Saturday, December 18, 2010

obsession of the month: mad men

I know, I know. I'm "late" to the whole Mad Men thing. But hear me out: I have a 15-month-old, and my television time is not what it used to be. So I'm using Netflix to catch up. I thought, 'Oh, I'll get season 1 and see if I like it.' Holy martini, it's so good! I adore the one-liners, the clothes, the furniture, the uncontrollable drinking and smoking, and the misgivings of 1960 society. It's a very smart show.

Perhaps what I most love about it is that it makes me think. I think about how much social norms have changed since then, how different my life would be if I lived then and whether I would be a beatnik or a housewife. A career woman or a mom. A wife or "the other woman." The truth is, I would hate living during that time, but Mad Men gives me a chance to imagine what it would be like. So thank you, Mad Men, for being a smart show, because I hate mind-numbing TV, like those "World's Most Ridiculous Car Chase" programs. Give me smart TV. Give me Mad Men, please!

Friday, December 3, 2010

out with the old...?

*Photo by Mallory Hill

Last night, we ventured to a new gastropub in the Dallas Design District, and it will be difficult to describe in words just how fantastic it was. Meddlesome Moth is a take on Britain's gastropub phenomenon--a fancied-up, pub-like atmosphere with high-quality, four-star cuisine (not to mention a myriad beers from around the world on tap). My sister and her boyfriend joined The Husband and myself in a cozy booth overlooking the entire restaurant. I noticed the stained-glass windows tilting into the room immediately--relics from my childhood when they were on display in the now-demolished Hard Rock Cafe in uptown. Before we even tasted anything, I was already impressed by this detail. I decided to try a beer flight (above) rather than trying to take on the 140 different ales, lagers, wheats, IPAs, etc. on the menu. I chose "Hop Head" because, well, I like hops. The food was an adventure too since most of the menu is meant to be shared. We ordered and (I kid you not) polished off all the following: hummus and olive spread, shrimp and grits, pork belly with pancakes and syrup, cornbread and collard greens, sweet corn, seared ahi tuna, pumpkin pie, and an apple tart. It was all incredible, but next time, I think I will stick with a traditional English meat pie, just for ol' times sake.

On a sad and somewhat related note, one of my favorite foodie spots in Dallas, York Street, has closed. It was a tiny place with about 10 tables in Lakewood, but my-oh-my was it good. I hope Sharon Hage, the owner and chef, opens a new place soon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

dear harper

Dear Harper,

As I watch you, everyday, become the beautiful child that I can't BELIEVE is mine, I am continuously reminded of the day you arrived. You were all red-faced and screaming and totally helpless, and I remember thinking, 'here we go!' I couldn't wait to begin. Now that you're 1 (actually, 14 months now), you are doing incredibly grown-up things, like walking, laughing hysterically at mommy when she's silly, and trying to shove as much cheese as possible into your mouth at one time. (That Jarlsberg is SO GOOD!)

Thank you for giving me hugs and wrapping your arms around me so tight when you're frightened. Thank you for being the best napper this side of the Mississippi. Thank you for enjoying restaurants as much as your mommy does (one of these days, when you're ready, I'll take you to Stephan Pyles). Thank you for your love of animals, even when you insist on giving the dog an open-mouthed kiss. Thank you for being an explorer and a curious mind (just don't' talk to strangers). And thank you for being my baby. For even though you are no longer an infant, you will always be my baby.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

obsession of the month: jarlsberg

I'd heard of jarlsberg cheese long before I saw it in the cheese section at Whole Foods. I'd heard it mentioned in movies (Devil Wears Prada) and seen it on menus in restaurants. But then I tried it. Oh. My. Goodness. It's the best cheese in the universe. I learned it is a Norwegian cheese, and it was first produced in the early 19th century. Who knew?! It has that sweet, nutty flavor that I love in cheeses, and it just begs for an accompanying glass of Malbec. MmmMmm.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NYC Discoveries: The High Line

During my recent trip to New York City, my friend Jen suggested we visit the High Line. I had heard about it long ago but did not know the details. Apparently, the good people of Manhattan decided to turn an abandoned set of 1930s-era, raised railroad tracks into a skinny, walkable park. Parts of it are still under construction, but we climbed up at West 20th Street and strolled down to 14th, where we climbed down and explored parts of the Meatpacking District. The weather was beautiful that day, and it was nice to see the the city and the Hudson River from up there. A concrete pathway meanders through natural plants and grasses on the High Line, a very modern design.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

food. food. food.

In my very glamorous life as a SAHM and freelancer (ahem), I'd almost forgotten about one of my favorite local blogs. In fact, I hadn't read it in so long that I feel behind the times. The folks over at D magazine have a blog called SideDish, and if you're a lover of all gastronomy and a foodie at heart and you live in Dallas, then it's the blog for you. Check it out. Yum.

Friday, September 24, 2010

autumn in the northeast

Fall is officially here, and I am giddy and happy per usual this time of year. This fall is more exciting than normal because 1) Harper turns 1 next week, 2) I spent last weekend in New York (more on that soon), 3) Harper will get to experience her first State Fair EVER, 4) my brother is getting married next weekend, and 5) we are going back to New England next month. This time it will be the Berkshires in Massachusetts, upstate New York, southwestern Vermont, and perhaps a little northern Connecticut thrown in if we have time. It was a last-minute decision to take this trip, and I couldn't be happier. I can't wait to see the leaves, taste the cider and squash, and curl up by the fire in our condo.

I'm thinking of going to Whole Foods to purchase some Cinderella pumpkins just because. I tend to feel much better with a gourd on my porch.
*Photo above is Amherst, Mass.

Monday, September 6, 2010

coastal views

The travel bug has hit me hard this week. It might have something to do with the travel writing I'm doing for (see here and here). It might have something to do with the fact that I'm not working a full-time job, so the vacation possibilities seem endless. It might have something to do with it almost being fall and my obsession for New England fall foliage. Or it could have something to do with my discovery of this article , "America's Most Beautiful Coastal Views." I now want to travel to Cape Cod or Maine or somewhere equally gorgeous and New English. During our trip to Maine in 2006, I remember thinking, "I want to buy a vacation home up here somewhere." I love, love, love it there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

how to be alone

I am in love with this video:

Monday, August 23, 2010

5 trips i want to take RIGHT NOW

Driving the California coast from San Diego to Eureka:

Ireland Roadtrip:

Savannah and Charleston:

Banff and Glacier National Parks:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

heartache? here? on this blog?

Before you have a baby, everyone tells you it will be the best thing that ever happens to you, which is true. You don't believe it until you experience it, but watching your baby become a little person is the most incredible feeling. However, there is one feeling that parents don't seem to mention: fear.

This past week I've struggled with a paralyzing fear that was initiated by this heartbreaking story. I did not know this family and never had the pleasure to meet their beautiful baby girl. But she reminds me of Harper in so many ways. I have never been so affected by the death of someone I had never met. I found myself crying daily, every time I would think about it. If you are feeling kind, consider making a donation to Children's Medical Center, here, in the name of Margot Miller.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

mommyhood and happiness

So yesterday I found myself at a tot's birthday party in the company of several SAH moms. It's strange, but I think you become part of an exclusive, mommyhood sorority when you have kids, especially when you decide to work from home or become a full-time mum. I never thought I would be the kind of mom who would converse about playdates, mom-and-baby activities, and preschool and get EXCITED about it. But there I was, in a friend's kitchen, holding a beer, and watching gazillions of toddlers and kids run around me like little bees. The Husband stood next to me, holding Harper, and we were all engrossed in parenthood fodder. I was so happy. I was so giddy about being a mom that I came home and joined the local early childhood PTA.

Once we got Harp home and asleep in bed, we watched A Single Man, one of the most visually stunning films I've seen EV-ER. If you know me well, you know I am a tad obsessed with the 1960s, and this director got it SO RIGHT. Granted, I've never been to the 60s, but I know it was right on the money. I could FEEL it. Anyway, the storyline was good too, but I was more embedded within the visuals and lovliness of this film. While the ending was somewhat sad, I went to bed feeling happy and alive. And Colin Firth was fantastic. Simply fantastic. See it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


My blog has a new look, and my life has undergone some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (thank you, David Bowie). In the last month I have 1) quit my job, 2) started freelancing again full time, and 3) realized how much I've missed writing. Teaching a literature/writing class is a big commitment, and while I miss my students and the adventure that teaching can bring, I am excited to explore some things that I could not do with a full-time job. My daughter is growing by leaps and bounds, and I've realized (now that she's older) that one of the things I most look forward to as she grows is introducing her to the things that I love so much. I can't wait to take her to Europe. I can't wait t0 visit the library with her like my mom did for us every summer to check out books (WHY do library books smell so good??). I can't wait to read her The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, and all those fantastical books that made me long to begin my own personal adventures. I can't wait to shop for back-to-school supplies. I can't wait to take her to a museum and tell her how special every exhibit is. I can't wait to experience childhood all over again now that I'm an adult.

Well, that's all for now. More to come soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

fixing a hole

When I was about 2, I discovered the Beatles. No, seriously. I must have been a wee tot because my first memory is of my mother singing me a Beatles lullaby. To this day I can't hear "All My Loving" without getting sleepy and sentimental. I've been a Beatles fan ever since, and readers of this blog can attest to this fact. I listened to them obsessively throughout my entire adolescence, and I visited almost every major Beatles site of significance in England. I'm telling you all of this so you will understand my excitement over the newly remastered Beatles records. I was skeptical at first--that is, until I listened to the remastered version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I heard things in the instrumentation that I didn't know was there; it was kind of like hearing it for the first time. And for a Beatles fan like me, that's a big deal. I especially found a new love and fondness for "Fixing a Hole," a song I didn't pay much attention to before. Now I can't stop singing it... "Fixing a hole, where the rain gets in..."

Friday, January 1, 2010

my kind of store

While shopping for my little one, one store just makes my heart flutter. Janie and Jack is like the Anthropologie for babies and tots, and I can't get enough of it. I shop their sale rack because, well, I just don't see the point in paying full price for something that will be outgrown in a matter of months. But please don't hold that against me. I have found some fantastic items on clearance, like this minty green dress embellished with trees and tiny deer. Besides the super cute and fashionable outfits in stock, Janie and Jack also has less pink frocks than the average baby store. And anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer in baby girls wearing more than just powder pink onesies. I mean, really, would you want to wear pink outfits with little butterflies on them everyday? So thanks, Janie and Jack, for giving mums like me a better place to shop.