Thursday, September 25, 2014

The nine-month belly

The countdown is here. I am officially full-term, 37 weeks. I have two weeks to go.

Our baby girl is breech, meaning she should have gotten her head down in the womb to make an exit. But she’s head up—right under my right ribcage. As my mom pointed out, she has a mind of her own. So, given my “advanced maternal age” and a jumble of other factors and considerations, I’m scheduled for a c-section.

It’s not ideal, but I’m not going to fight it. After a wonderful pregnancy—save for increasing incidences of heartburn, cankles, backache and other unsavory side effects—it’s been smooth sailing. But things have turned. I’ve run out of steam. I am profoundly uncomfortable. And I’m ready to meet this little girl!

Monday, September 22, 2014


The UN General Assembly is in town this week and, happily, one of the primary topics of conversation is climate control.

I gave up red meat for environmental reasons. It was after reading Michael Pollan’s New York Times Magazine piece, the one that became the masterpiece known as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, that I decided to give it up. The short explanation that got me is this: it takes eight pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef (or four pounds of grain to produce a pound of pork, and 2.5 pounds for a pound of chicken). It’s just not sustainable. A veggie and grain-based diet is healthier for us, and better for the planet. So that was my concession; my simple act for the greater good. The environment is a huge concern for me, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do, among other things, over the years.

One of the things that I do less and less is attend rallies and protests. So when I heard about the People’s Climate March in NYC, I knew I wanted to go.

There were 310,000 thousand people in the streets of New York City. There were some big-name celebs and politicians there (Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore and others), but mostly I saw were families, students and international folks. 

I petered out after a short distance, but I was happy to be there to support my cause.

There was great energy, fantastic messages, and we can't lose sight of what's important in this world.

Coffee with almond milk (when I say coffee, I'm talking about 5-6 sips, but I still love the morning ritual)
Green juice (added spinach to the normal line up of kale, celery, apple, lemon juice and frozen banana)
Avocado toast

Salad wrap
Dark chocolate

A couple individually-wrapped Chuckles candies. Remember those? Not exactly high-caliber food, but my pharmacy run this evening included Epsom Salts, Preparation H and Tums—I figured I deserved a little spontaneous candy boost.
Eggplant parm, made by my wonderful husband (sans mozzarella)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One year ago

Andrew and I like playing this game. One year ago, we weren't even engaged. We were each living in our own one-bedroom apartments. The single lifestyle.

One year ago, our Brooklyn pad was in the middle of renovations. We were packing up and paring down, but our new home was nowhere near ready for us.
One year ago, we weren't married, but the truth is, we were pregnant. I miscarried very early. It's not a pleasant memory, but it's important not to forget. Our happiness throughout 2014 is that much sweeter and more exciting because of all we've been through to get here, including the early bumps in our relationship, the long, arduous buying process, the wild renovations and even sad occasions like the miscarriage. The truth is, we are so lucky to be where we are to have what we have, and that's something to remember and acknowledge every day. xo

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Vegan Monday

Oy. If only we could control time like a remote controlled movie. The days and weeks are ticking by, which, with a three-week-old backache, is a good thing. But I’ve never been one to wish time away. It’s so precious. There is so much to do and see, in life in general, never mind when your days of freedom are finite. Our baby girl will be here in less than four weeks. Eek!

But it’s been an exciting time. I had my baby shower last weekend, which was a lovely day of lounging and laughing with a great group of girlfriends. My new sister-in-law generously hosted and went all out, creating a French-inspired menu of tartines, vichyssoise, quiche, macarons, éclairs, chocolate ganache cake, boatloads of stinky French cheeses, and much, much more. It was beyond.

 And my dad came down this past weekend to help us set up a nursery—though I use the term lightly. We moved my desk out of the second bedroom, but kept the sleeper sofa in there along with setting up a new crib and dresser/changing table. I have to say, it looks great (photos to come soon).

And in between those weekends, I’ve been working of course, but also washing all our girls’ clothes. We got some adorable outfits as gifts  (I think my mom started shopping as soon as I hit the second trimester. Maybe before.) and lots of awesome hand-me-downs. It’s actually pretty incredible how much stuff we have and, I have to say, it was fun putting all those mini-mini-sized socks and onesies away. I can’t believe I’m going to have a living, breathing daughter who will wear those things in mere weeks.

So all is going well with the baby. We are slowly getting more prepared. We are “test-driving” names. We are both excited and in disbelief. We have been so lucky and hopefully everything will continue to go well. I will be very happy to not have a backache anymore and to get my ankles back. Milo will be happy to have a lap back.

In the meantime, life marches forward. It’s feeling autumnal in New York. Work is busy. There is shopping and preparing to do. We cram in good meals when we can and my sweet tooth has not abated. Life is good!

Coffee with almond milk
Green juice: kale, apple, celery, lemon juice and frozen banana
Toasted cranberry pecan bread

Bagel with almond butter, banana and honey
Peanut butter smoothie

My husband’s (yep, still getting a kick out of saying that) kickass tomato soup

Hoping you’re all well, happy, finding adventure in life!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Vegan Tuesday

I didn’t do Vegan Monday yesterday. It was Labor Day and we were in Pennsylvania and every time I’m not at home, in my routine, I forget all about it. By 9 a.m., I had already had cream in my coffee, homemade yogurt, plus all the dairy in my delectable muffin and scone. (I’m loving this “eating for two” business.)

But that’s what happens when you stay at a nice country inn that has a great restaurant and bakery. You linger over the morning paper with a beautiful breakfast.

You linger on the porch with a beautiful man.

You linger in the fields under beautiful sunshine.

It was a beautiful weekend. And today, it was back to a summery hot reality in the city. So I treated Tuesday like Monday and ate more piously.

Coffee with almond milk
Overnight oats with blueberries
Mixed nuts

“Deep dish pie” from Lifethyme – a layered concoction of veg and quinoa. Delicious
More nuts

Peanut butter and jelly

Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer's setting sun

Summer always seems to pass to fast. Until you look back and realize all the beautiful little moments you've had.
Like traipses through the park.

Rooftop drinks and concerts in the park.

Baseball! The minor leagues and the real deal.

Lobster rolls and DQ in Connecticut.

Daydreaming in bed.

Oh yeah, getting married and going on your honeymoon.

So it's Labor Day weekend. Seize summer's last days! Let loose! Act like a kid! Have fun! xo

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Holy season of good reading (and cooking)

Have you heard about the crop of delicious cookbooks coming out this fall? No? There are a few in this month’s Bon Appetit, but Eater really did it up, selecting a whopping 43 titles, divided into geographic regions. Brilliant. At the top of my list: Dominique Ansel, Prune, Baked, Fat Radish and a new one from Ina Garten – hooray!

The sad reality is I haven't fallen in love with any novels as of late. I just finished The Goldfinch, which came after Delicious!, and Gone Girl. All entertaining, but not as earth shattering as anticipated (damn anticipation). My most exciting books, in fact, have been non-fiction.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – My idol, Michael Pollan’s, treatise to making that final connection of sourcing and eating food through… cooking.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time – An essential examination of having a balanced, fulfilling life in America’s always-on, 50-plus-workhours-a-week culture by Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte. Love.

Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness – I thought this was going to be more empowering, an ode to women who have created really cool, fulfilling lives that don’t include having babies, but it’s more of a lament. Still, Melanie Notkin’s book makes for fascinating reading, diving into everything from the contemporary New York dating scene (god help us) to the new generation of women who are freezing eggs (planning for it in their 20s, no less).

Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage – A foodoir about Molly Wizenberg and her husband opening their first restaurant together.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t StopTalking – Susan Cain’s thoroughly cool look at being an introvert in relationships, the workplace and life.

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves – Beautiful, moving, compelling – it’s a simple book about life’s big themes by psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz. I read it twice in a row.

And speaking of books, we have a winner of the Gag giveaway! There were 20 wonderful, thoughtful responses to Melissa’s question: What activity is the most transporting for you and/or makes you lose track of time?

But we liked this lush, sensory (not to mention humble) response from Diane:
Oil painting is the most transporting for me. Smelling the paint, mixing the colors, and applying the paint on the canvas. After finishing, wondering, did I just create this wonderful painting?

Congrats, Diane! For anyone who missed the giveaway, you'll definitely want to check out this incredible novella and read about her Seymour Projects.

And happy reading and cooking to all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New York or Paris?

Whichever city you find yourself in this month...
may it be filled with sunshine, chilled wine, good friends and that not-a-care-in-the-world feeling.
Bon vacances!