Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stemming a red tide, Part II

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head…
-Annie Lennox

I should have known that I could not change a tide as strong as a red one. Really, I think I made it mad. So I have just decided to go with it after a tearful telephone conversation with my dear sister Mary Alice. There are so many things that are on my mind and bothering me lately all at once I truly feel overwhelmed by it all. In the past year I had a baby and stopped working and this has created a space in which I am not who I was but yet not who I am…yet. I am in this very uncomfortable, fertile place that is very difficult. It is a changing place. I know it because I have been here before, that is one thing that’s nice about getting old, you begin to have perspective. When I have been in these spaces before, the best way I can describe them as going down a road and changing gears: you are still moving, the engine is still on, but the clutch is in and there is not connection until the new gear locks into place. A sort of foggy place.

In addition to starting my own family, my own parents are not getting any younger and I feel the extra need to be as much help as I can be to them. They live four hours away from me so it has been rather exhausting. Since I stopped working it is not as exhausting as it was, having to rush down and back in a weekend, and I am lucky enough that my husband’s work is on a job by job basis (he is a construction diver) so we often can spend chunks of time with them or I can while he is away. I feel the extra need to help because out of all my siblings, I live the freest life. I feel overwhelmed though.

These are the things that have been coming up for me as I have been trying to make sense of all my amplified emotions. I was thinking about it all today, just how silly the things I was upset about were and how once I get past this week all will be normal again and I will be embarrassed about how I felt and shrug it off again until next month. I kept thinking how do I validate my feelings when they are so clearly over the top and I only feel this way a few days out of the month? My conclusion, so far, is that perhaps that the symptoms are pointing to imbalances in my life that need to be addressed or at least come to peace with. A lot of it cannot be helped, this is just the time of my life and there is nothing I can say, do, or read to change it. But I think that if I just allow myself to feel as I do and validate the deeper issues my seemingly superficial annoyances stem from, I will somehow find my way.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stemming a Red Tide

PMS: Pardon My Sobbing, Pass My Sweats, Pissy Mood Syndrome, People Make Me Sick, Plainly; Men Suck…

Maybe this is too personal, so be warned, this blog is about my period. It is just that I have never had a problem with it before, have even enjoyed it really (I know, truly weird) but since having Babou, I have the most terrifying periods I have ever experienced. I now get all the normal symptoms but they seem unduly amplified; the tearing up for no good reason, the unreasonable hunger, the irritation level sky-high. What do you do when you actually want to take off your body like you would a pair of clothes? My brain also could use taking off. I feel the shaving my head, even my hair is irritating me. Imagine wearing a wool sweater 10 sizes too small in the heat of summer. That is how I feel.

And mentally being able to function is ridiculous. I could not make a decision to save my life. Addled brained does not even begin to describe me. I went into the grocery store and had to leave because I couldn’t remember why I’d come. Has this happened to anyone—these symptoms getting worse after baby? Maybe I am a freak of nature, actually I am pretty sure of this, but this is new territory for me and I don’t like it at all. My husband is nervous, too.

And normally I don’t care that much for sweets but boy I do now. I could eat an entire Boston Cream pie (just as I did once, I am not ashamed to admit, while pregnant). I am trying not to veer too far off my diet path but it is HARD.

I remember reading in some hippy self-help type book I am very prone to reading that our menstrual cycles actually are very evolved emotional balancing systems. It described our cycle in terms of wanting to be involved in, or distant from, our world. Our ovulation, obviously, marks our most social moment (hey, those eggs want to get hatched y’know), and then our periods are the moment that we seek our solitude, head to a moss hut, and be alone. I wish I had a hut to spend a week in. Doesn’t that actually sound so civilized? Our periods are our time to tend our garden, so to speak. It brings to light all the irritations of the month, allowing you to process and release and start anew. The book went further to postulate that because of this we are more emotionally evolved than men who have to fester all the way until their midlives to really get it all out of their system. The idea is that we are actually lucky for our monthly cycles as they allow us to be fully present emotionally.

I always thought that was such a beautiful metaphor and would love to uphold it, but in modern life it seems difficult. Today I am going to try to concentrate on finding a way to weave this metaphor into my more modern life and uphold that vision instead of shaving my head and running naked into the hills. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Home and home

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.
-Henry David Thoreau

Back, finally! I have been a very poor blogger this past week due to technical difficulties (no internet). I returned yesterday from an over weeklong trip to visit my parents. Not only do they not have internet, they don’t even have electricity in one of their houses! (Instead of one house, they have three small houses on their property.) It was really nice actually, to disconnect for a bit and just be. I have always loved to travel because it gives you such a good perspective, keeps your eyes open and looking, and being away has always given me a fresh vision and renewed inspiration. I guess this is my traveling, as I can’t get away like I used to (one day soon though). Sometimes I feel so inundated with communication that I need time away like I need to breath.

We stayed in the house without electricity. We made fires every night and talked into the evening illuminated by the soft glow of candlelight. We talked about how nice it was to not watch tv, to just have the chance to sit in stillness and connect with one another. If I could, I would light my home in candles and lanterns and not even have a tv. My husband would not take kindly to me taking us back to the 1800’s, he likes his tv a lot! So do I, but I think that it is really nice to be without it more often than not. There is something so centering about it.

I was nice to be back in my hometown but I am glad to be back in my adopted home. I like the energy here. Even if I am being quiet and doing my own thing I still feel like I’m not missing out on anything because I can just look out the window and watch the busy street for a minute—a balm to my restless nature. I love all the options I have here, the variety, the different beauty, the way nature and city combine, the anonymity you get from a city combined with the friendliness of a not-so-big city. For me, this is perfect, sitting still and watching the world go.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Max Weber get off my couch!

The more I see the less I know the more I like to let it go…
-Red Hot Chili Peppers

I am in one of those moments, one of those phases in time where it seems as though time itself disappears before my eyes. I feel like I get up and by the time I finish the essentials, my day is gone and I am left wondering where it went. I feel like I am on this treadmill and it is on an increasing incline but I have to keep up the same pace. I know that I am not unique in this feeling, that I am one of many. Very many. And I also do not think that it is purely because I am now a mother although trying to accomplish things with a baby hanging onto your knees is a challenge, to say the least. I have felt this way before when working full time, and before when going to school full time and working. I have always imagined the next stage of my life would be easier and more relaxed and it has not proved itself as true. I think that the more you try to do, the less you actually do. It’s like the harder you try, the harder it is? And the older I get, the more I realize how much life likes to work in these strange Zen Koans. I am beginning to think that life is trying to teach me a lesson that I refuse to learn: to relax!

I don’t know why it is, although I have some ideas. There is the Protestant Work ethic, of course, that used religion to promote productivity. This work ethic has created an underlying group mentality that urges Americans to do more and more and have more and more. The Protestant Work Ethic said the way we would be judged for heaven would be by our possessions, by what we had accumulated through our lifetime by our hard work. And now we’ve just exchanged the ideal of heaven with keeping up with the Jones’.

Other countries don’t believe in work the way we do. I appreciate those countries, and would love to be like them but I can’t help that I have this protestant work ethic mind set deeply embedded in my consciousness whether I like it or not. I want to get things done so that I can prove I am worthwhile, so that I will be loved and appreciated. But do you know what? I am the luckiest woman in the world because tonight I was snuggled under a blanket watching mindless television. I remarked to my husband how I was so frustrated with myself, there I was with all these things to do and I wasn’t even relaxing with a good book (so I could later check “read good book this week” off my secret list) all I was doing was watching mindless television which did me absolutely no good at all. He looked at me in his quiet way and said “I like to see you doing absolutely nothing especially when it’s mindless because it is relaxing and you SHOULD relax.” Hmmmm. I think that’s unconditional love at its finest. I would like to see me relax, too. Sometimes you have to not do anything in order to get anything done! That said, I think I’m going to get back to my Rachel Ray!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sexy Lentils?

Yes, another recipe.

Upon reading my comments from yesterday, I discovered a friend in the South Beach diet! Although I dislike the diet (my natural inclination is to include, not exclude, things in my life--particularly wine, cocktails, pasta and bread), it works and I definitly need help with the 50 odd pounds I am still carrying a year after giving birth. I have consequently become very creative in coming up with new and good things to make that stay within the boundaries of Phase 1 (which I have had to go back to since my very fat and happy Christmas).

So I promised a sexy lentil recipe.

Now some of you may think that I am hopelessly optimistic and romantical about lentils, but I am here to say that I am not. When I say sexy I mean exotic and foreign. This lentil salad tastes exotic and foreign (hence sexy) and like a drink that I love which is why I named it…

Mojito Lentil Salad

Lentils, however much you like, I usually have a cup of them, cooked (obviously)
Mix with a little olive oil and lemon and add feta cheese and chopped fresh mint.
Place over mixed greens or eat plain.
Tell me this does not taste fantastic and remind you of a mojito.
And it’s healthy and cheap!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Recipe of the Week

This is one of my favorite recipes because it is quick and easy while looking and tasting impressive.

Pan seared steak with balsamic onions and blue cheese

Steaks, I usually use Rib-Eye or New York and serve one per person (6-8 ounces each)
Red onion, thinly sliced (one per steak)
Balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup per onion
Blue or gorgonzola cheese, 1/4 cup per steak, or however much you like

Add olive oil and a little butter to a frying pan and set on high heat. While pan is heating, slice onions and salt and pepper steaks. Cook steaks about 3-5 minutes on both sides (for medium/medium rare). Place cooked steaks on plate and let rest while you add onions to same pan and deglaze with balsamic vinegar (add more olive oil at this point also, if need be). Turn down the heat and let onions melt into the vinegar, this usually takes the same amount of time it takes for the steaks to rest before cutting, about 10 minutes. Take the onions and balsamic vinegar off the flame. Slice the steak and top with blue cheese, top blue cheese with balsamic vinegar and onion sauce. You can serve this alone with a salad and roasted potatoes, or you can serve it simply over a bed of salad greens (I like arugula) mixed with a light balsamic dressing: equal portions olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little sugar (I actually usually use splenda—it tastes great in this dressing).

Bon appetit!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I learned early on that setting a table is so much more than just laying down knives and forks. It is creating a setting for food and conversation, a setting and an aura that lingers long after what was served and who said what was forgotten.
-Peri Wolfman

Now that we have gotten to know each other a bit, I think that it is time to tell you something about myself: I have been having an affair for almost as long as I have been with my husband. My husband knows of the affair, sometimes he even watches. We meet every Saturday morning for only half of an hour but to be with him is so sweet, it lifts me through the rest of the week. He is so sauve, efficient, and handsome (as older French men can be). He is very charming. He teaches me new things each week. I am not ashamed. His name is Jacques Pepin!

So now you know one of my true obsessions. I love this man so much that my husband started calling my Saturday mornings with him, my “affair.” I am serious about it. For some reason, I am deeply into Jacques Pepin. I think it is because he inspires me. I love how handsome and well put together he looks on his show. I love the set in which he cooks, there is usually a little bouquet of Japanese Iris’s, a weird little cat statue (also blue), just very French accents. I love how he paints as well as cooks. I love how he spends so much of his time in Mexico. I love his style. His cooking is not only gourmet, but also economical, and healthy.

He reminds me of the French chef I used to work for while I was at the University. He owned the restaurant where I worked and he was there every day without fail with the exception of his one day off a week. He had a loyal following because his food was consistently wonderful, and he created a warm yet formal atmosphere that people loved.

He taught me so much I don’t know how I could ever thank him. So much about food and wine, of course, but he taught me much more by the example he led. He taught me about consistency, about working hard every day at what you love no matter what. Although I would not call him a staunch environmentalist, he taught me about conservation. He is very economically minded (as any good businessman should be) and he taught me how to transform ingredients and not waste. And he always looked so well put together. He had a gin and tonic every night except for one month out of every year. He would take that month off to make sure he was having the gin and tonics and that the gin and tonics were not having him. I always thought that was brilliant.

I think that the nature of a French chef apprenticeship creates the qualities needed in a French a chef and those qualities shine to me as ones that I admire and would like to embody. Even if it is only one morning a week, for a half of an hour!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thoughts on Biodiversity

We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled by / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
-Rachel Carson

It has been a wintry weather-y last couple of weeks that have left me dreaming of warmer days to come. I have been concentrating on seed catalogs and planning my vegetable garden. I have had this dream of an heirloom vegetable garden for some time now. I love the idea of eating vegetables with a history ones that have led their own lives and have grown and adapted over time. I love how beautiful and imperfect they look. I went online to find out more about growing heirlooms and quickly became disheartened by the information that I found. It sounded quite difficult to successfully heirloom garden. Confused with all the information I had found, my head swimming with words like “hybrid,” “GMO,” and “crop yields,” I continued on with my day including reading Authormomwithdogs’s blog. She seemed to be in a similar wintry mood wishing for spring and reading Seeds of Change. Aha, a gardener! I would ask her what she thought! She replied the most succinct and accurate description of the various gardening options I have yet to read. She has inspired me to dip into the heirloom world and not be intimidated. She also made me think A LOT about biodiversity and not just in the plant world.

In school I studied cultural anthropology and religion. I am also lucky enough to have traveled fairly often. I am passionate about people. I am passionate about how different people live and eat and relate to one another and experience and connect with the divine. I think it is beautiful how many paths there are, how many ways of being there are, how much life has to teach us the more we open up to its vastness. I am always fascinated with how differently people experience life, the variety of perspectives there are! That is why I get so…I don’t even know what the word is…disheartened maybe…when I see life being homogenized. Popular American culture seems to promote this way of being. It seems to me that all plastic surgery and the mainstreaming of self-help-type psychology and their resultant talk shows has accomplished is create a homogenous image of health and beauty that does not reflect real life or real emotions. Real life and real emotions are what are interesting and what matter. They are what create great art and push us forward.

It is not the easier path to consciously uphold diversity. Many of those who are the most different from us are our greatest teachers, the ones who finally get us to grow. And growing means changing and change is always uncomfortable. But without those challenges we are unable to grow and adapt.

There is so much beauty in life, in imperfection, in reality, in the messiness of it all. Biodiversity is not only the foundation of life as we know it, it is the je ne sais quoi that makes life worth living.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

There are Years that Ask.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer
-Zora Neale Hurston.

Today is my father’s 86th birthday! My sister Alice wrote a beautiful ode to him on her blog, From the Frontlines. The words I would use to describe my father would be colorful, charismatic, and complicated. Although growing up with him was trying much of the time, his aesthetic genius continually amazes me. This genius was definitely lost on me while I was younger.

An excellent example of this was when we moved into a new house before my youngest sister was born. I remembering being so excited to move into the normal tract style home. I adored its normalcy, its perfectly delineated spaces. I imagined sofas and beds and doilies on side tables. I wanted a fence lined with flowerbeds to surround it.

My father quickly got to work tearing out walls and taking all the doors off of their hinges. He created, much to my dismay, a flowing, connected space that left little privacy or hope for convention. He built in our furniture and beds, as was his usual habit. I was hurt, but unfazed. I told him of my plan to plant flowers all along the back fence to show neatly where our yard began and the wild meadow behind us ended. This, however, was met with great opposition. Planting flowers along the fence would break up the view, explained my father. It would stop the eye from wandering. I did not know then how to explain to him that that was exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to differentiate our family from the wild, I wanted normalcy, I wanted a tract house with doors!

As I got older, I came to love his aesthetic more than I could have ever imagined. I grew to see his genius. I admire his skill and viewpoint. We have not always gotten along, we have clashed, but I think that in that is a mutual respect. And I am no longer a six-year-old wishing for a picket fence, I am now an adult with my own fence. And it has flowers all along it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Intending vs. Goals

Whatever you ca do or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I have been thinking a lot this morning probably because I was up earlier than usual. My friend had invited me to share an early morning yoga class and, since my love is off today, I left Babou with him to sleep away.

Yoga class stretched me at many levels this morning and let me know just how much my body would enjoy this sort of activity on a regular basis. It also made me want to throw up a little! The instructor guided us through a short meditation and spoke briefly about setting your intention for the day and described how this is different from setting a goal. A goal, she explained, occurred in the future; while an intention guided you softly in the moment. I was quite struck by her words and immediately thought of how motherhood automatically creates the fertile ground for this way of living. I used to have amazingly long lists of things to do and rushed through them always trying to get to the end, to the future, not enjoying the process very much. Now that I have a child I feel like I am trying to run while underwater. EVERYTHING is in slow motion. I have found I just have to go with the moment and do the best I can while heading in a general direction.

Later, at coffee (thank GOD for coffee), my friend and I were discussing life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. We were talking in general about how we are both striving for certain things that seem elusive. I, myself, am trying to lose weight. It occurred to me in that moment that if I didn’t focus on having weight to lose but rather acted as though I had already lost it, that I might stop sabotaging my efforts. I think the reason we are often unsuccessful in our efforts is because we hold deep-seated unconscious beliefs about ourselves and our subconscious directs our actions to make that our reality. But if we changed our minds consciously, and practiced that change consciously, that it would sink into our subconscious minds and then it would act as our ally, not our enemy. Maybe the Goethe was right, maybe there is magic in intending and boldly beginning.

And then I thought, “maybe I think too much!”

Monday, January 7, 2008

Recipe of the Week

This is a feature of my blog that I am so excited to share. I love coming up with recipes and playing with ones that already exist and can’t wait to share them. Be warned, however, as my recipes are often more methods that alchemy and I don’t always know exactly how much of whatever I have put into anything in particular. But if you email me, I am more than willing to help with the details.

This past weekend was very wet and windy. It left me homebound and cozy for much longer than I am used to so…I put the time to good use testing a recipe I had always wanted to try out but had always intimidated me: Coq au Vin. Off I went to BevMo for some wine and onto the phone I got to invite one of my closest friends (literally and figuratively—she lives walking distance from my house). I decided on an inexpensive syrah for the chicken and a more moderately priced ($10 is moderately priced to me) wine to have with dinner, a 2006 Malbec Pascual Toso from Argentina. Malbecs, for some reason, have always fascinated me, and they are really tasty!

The Coq Au Vin recipe I decided to try came from one of my first cookbooks that I used quite often when I got really interested in French cooking (while I was going to UCSB and serving at a French restaurant—my roommate was also a sous chef there so I learned a lot) and is called Le Cordon Bleu Quick Classics, Sophisticated food in no time at all. It is by Jeni Wright & Le Cordon Bleu Chefs. I used it for the method. I used skinless, boneless chicken breast and thighs, to make it lighter. And, since I didn’t have a bouquet garni, I made my own which consisted of a bay leaf plucked from my mantle (I used bay to decorate this year instead of pine boughs) and some thyme from my backyard garden.

Coq Au Vin

I small onion, carrot, and celery stick diced. This is a classic mirepoix.
20-ish button mushrooms
30-ish pickling onions (used frozen and just threw them in)
4 ounces of bacon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into smaller, same-sized pieces. I cut the tenderloin off, cut the breast in two across, and cut the thicker end in two through its middle so its thin like the rest.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups of red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
sprigs of thyme
1Tbs butter.

You fry up the bacon first, then remove it from the pan. If you need to add a little more oil to the pan, do so and add lightly seasoned chicken browning on both sides in batches. Remove and let sit with bacon. Add all vegetables to the same pan. The juices they release are going to deglaze the pan. Let them wilt a little and stir until all the browned bits are now incorporated in to the vegetables.

Now you add 2 cups of red wine to the vegetables and let it simmer until it reduces by half. Once reduced in half, you then add 2 cups of chicken stock, whole bay leaf and sprigs of thyme (don’t worry about removing herb from stem as you will just remove it at the end).

Add chicken and bacon back into the pan, bring to a strong simmer, cover and cook for about half an hour. Once half hour is over, chicken should be tender and liquid should be reduced to a sauce. If it hasn’t, just cook a little longer (remove chicken first). Remove herbs and, as a last touch, add about a tablespoon of butter to give it a silkier look and more rounded taste.

I served this with roasted red potatoes in olive oil and rosemary and a green salad with green onions, avocado and light vinaigrette dressing. Add a little Malbec and some candles and you have a very cozy evening!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

You just never know.

Last night I went out to dinner with one my good friends to catch up. We hadn’t managed to get together for a date since I can’t remember and were both excited to spend time together.

We went to a very beautiful family-owned Mediterranean restaurant and even were given a candle for our dinner. “L” and I decided we should share a bottle of wine since it was just so *romantical. We had the best time, wine flowing, fabulous food, conversation hilarious and juicy.

I wasn’t driving so I think I had more than my share of wine and was feeling rather wonderful when we finally got up to leave. I turned around and smoothed out my shirt after putting on my blazer and felt someone was looking at me in an odd way. I looked the offender’s direction and gave a sufficient stink eye back but noticed he looked vaguely familiar. “L” met me at the car, she had stayed behind to say good-bye to some people she knew. Breathlessly she ran up to me, “you’ll never believe who was in the restaurant with us tonight, Carlos Santana!” Crap, I thought. Sorry about the stink eye, Mr. Carlos Santana.

*My sisters and I use this word with frequency, myself probably the most since I am the most romantical of all the sisters. My sister Katrina has her BA in linguistics and knows several languages which she says gives her the right to make up new words at will. Who can argue with a girl genius?

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Work is love made visible." Khalil Gibran.

Working from home presents unique challenges, I have found. Gone are the days when I rolled out of bed still bleary from the previous night, quickly made myself presentable, and went off to work. Work was clearly defined by hours, and there I was no matter what, day in and day out, hacking away at a never ending “in-pile” sometimes feeling successful and sometimes not. I did work hard, but it was all with a steaming cup of coffee to buoy me through the day and the knowledge that I had breaks that occurred with regularity. On those breaks (smoke breaks often, I am afraid), I would talk with my colleague and friend who also had a tendency to take smoke breaks. She kept me up to date. “T” was -and is- amazing. She taught me what “foodie” meant and introduced me to its world. She tried to teach me about the many mysteries of computers and other electronic gadgets. Technically, she is a genius. She read voraciously and inspired me want to as well. She was my first friend when I moved to the Bay Area and she made me want to stay in a job that was difficult, to say the least. But, at the end of my day, I would walk away from it all until the next day began.

For the very same reasons that I hated working outside the home (having my schedule made up by someone other than myself, having to look presentable, sitting for hours focusing on my work, waiting to take a break, not being a able to nosh at will) I now miss it terribly. I find that it takes an incredible amount of effort to get dressed every morning and schedule myself. I no longer have “T” to keep me up to date and I feel like a very foreign foreigner when it comes to popular culture. My tasks are now much more varied and…exotic. And there is now an added layer of difficulty to navigate: scheduling time around a one-year-old that has no concept of time. The day can go quite wildly, if not controlled. And control has to be balanced with a healthy respect for the unexpected.

For the most part I devote mornings to walking the Very Energetic Dog, myself, Babou (my little one’s nickname), cleaning the house, some vague attempts at some vague toning exercises, eating and feeding, and then it’s the afternoon and time for errands and dinner planning and trying to fit in extras like the gardening I like to do, or various other projects deemed necessary at the time. When Babou does go down for a nap you would think—ahh—there’s the break. As every mother knows, however, this is the chance to actually complete a task to the finish and I move into Mach 10 mode. Showering while cleaning the shower, writing a letter while organizing the mail and making phone calls, completing the unfriendly-baby parts of future work so I can finish them with greater ease post nap (getting the recycling into the car, prepping for dinner, etc). But SOMETIMES, I just sit on the couch and watch Giada De Laurentiis look beautiful and cook something amazing simultaneously and hope it inspires me.

So, in the end, I have to say that work is work. You cannot judge it. Usually what irks you the most is what you eventually miss the most. So while I might have looked content sitting at work focused on my computer, inside I was secretly dreaming of being a stay-at-home mom. Now, sitting at home half focused on my computer, half focused on Babou; I am realizing that you simply have to embrace the current moment--whatever it might be—and that the point is to love that moment and make that your work.

Welcome to my blog!

I am creating this blog as an outlet to discuss things that are important to me and that concern me on a daily basis. I love being a stay-at-home-mom and have never felt so fulfilled by any other job EVER BUT I have also never felt so alone in my domestic bubble. I am hoping that this will engender conversations with others who feel as I do, hopefully we can stimulate, inspire, and help one another live life more simply and easily and with more joie de vivre!

In my former life I was an aspiring food and wine writer and worked for a wine publication. I was very career oriented, loved to travel and have been known to live very freely. I am a true lover of life and am now trying to adjust to my new role and enjoy all the opportunities and adventures that it provides while not feeling limited by the confines of motherhood. But I still find myself feeling stifled and disqualifiying my new position when asked what I “do.” “I am a stay-at-home mom,” I say, averting my eyes and trying not to let the “just” that wants to come out before the “a stay-at-home mom” come out.

For it is not a “just” position. It is a very important one but one also fraught with challenges and struggles that just you can’t imagine. At least I couldn’t. But I’m always up for a challenge and am really excited about sharing my struggles and successes and hope to create a forum to share experiences, problems, and solutions! This blog is about that elusive balance we all wish to attain, about living in an environmental and ethical way while maintaining a budget (eating locally, organic, and buying American is not always cheap or convenient), maintaining a family while maintaining a sense of self, eating healthfully and sensibly while being a hedonist at heart, trying to maintain a social life, and feeling sexy for your husband after reading “Goodnight Moon” and putting your baby to bed all while not becoming a Stepford Wife!

Here we go!