Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frozen Grapefruit in a Bowl

I am a person who is usually cold, likes a duvet in August, and under normal circumstances can drink 5 cups of hot tea on a daily basis.

Pregnancy has changed all that. Now I'm the girl who sleeps with no covers and asks for a fan. I drink maybe one cup of tea a day and that's just because it's called Third Trimester Tea or Mother-to-Be tea. All I want is cold things. If I'm drinking them, I prefer them with bubbles---such a shame champagne isn't on the pregnancy diet and I've been way more into sipping Sky's beers than ever in my life--and if I'm eating them, the colder, icier, more refreshing the better. Not necessarily creamy----it's not ice cream I'm craving. More watery, light, slightly sweet--like how eating ice cubes made from Lake Michigan water way back when would taste.

On a most basic level I can satisfy the craving with an entire half of a watermelon or a bowl of frozen grapes. I'm starting to stock up on popsicles since I think I'll want those for labor, and let's face it, I want them now. But after an insanely delicious dinner at The Tasting Kitchen a few weeks ago, I've had grapefruit sorbet on the brain. Our meal there finished with that, and though I can't say mine is quite as amazing as theirs, it's really good. And I don't have to leave my couch to eat it. I spend a lot of time there (the couch not the Tasting Kitchen) these days. I got the proportions for this from David Lebowitz. He uses campari, which would be awesome, I just didn't happen to have any. Given that campari has a stronger taste than champagne, doubled the amount of booze, which is still teensy given the amount of sorbet you're making. You could omit the alcohol entirely and use more juice--of grapefruit or something else like orange. Also, I used the Oro Blanco grapefruits because they were sweetest at the market, but pink ones would make a beautifully-colored sorbet. I love this recipe because it isn't too sweet. It's like eating a grapefruit frozen and mashed with a little kick from something bubbly and pink. I might make a gallon next time.

Grapefruit Sorbet
adapted from David Lebowitz
makes about 1 1 /2 pints

Juice of 4 grapefruits (2 cups)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c rose champagne

1. Warm 3/4 c grapefruit juice with the sugar, stirring just til sugar dissolves.
2. Remove from heat, add rest of juice and champagne.
3. Chill well (I always do overnight) and freeze according to ice cream maker's instructions.

No, mine is not in perfectly shaped sorbet balls, and yes, one day it will be.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Now there's not much to do but wait.
I had my second shower this weekend, this one co-ed and hosted by the lovely and amazing Kristina and her husband/Sky's brother Brock. (Some women who take my yoga class threw me a beautiful one earlier this month.) I do love a coed shower. I knew it would be gorgeous and delicious because it's Kristina. She just does things that way.

There's the chalkboard to sign up to bring us dinner since I hear I won't be up for cooking at first.....

As you know, we haven't found out the baby's gender. Guests picked a pink or blue tissue flower to wear on their lapels based on how they're voting. Most women picked girl; most men voted boy, but there were some who crossed the gender line. Any of you have a sense? (The jar that looks like OJ was very strong orange margaritas by the way. I didn't have one--duh--but I hear they were killer in every sense of the world. The white crock had watermelon aqua fresca. Ahhhhhh.)

To go with the backyard fiesta theme, she picked up tres leches cupcakes from a nearby bakery and another one of my besties made Mexican chocolate mousse (yes, I scarfed both).

So many of our friends have kids now and it's a totally different kind of party having them all around. A really fun kind of party. Especially when there are chickens to chase, balls to throw around, and trucks to climb over thanks to Dashiell (who's really into belly buttons right now-see below).

And then they all need naps.....

Notice Sky is wearing blue and I am wearing pink....

We were given adorable things, functional things, beautiful things, hilarious things

Have you read this? You need to. Today.

There were a couple other babies-en-route present (Julie and I are due 5 days apart and we live kinda close together! FUN. No, we didn't plan it. Weird that people ask that.)

Our mamas were there--this is the 5th grandchild for Sky's mom and the first for mine.

And there's the hummingbird, the star of the party. We're 36 weeks and 1 day, or about 27 days from showtime.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Body Love

I'm getting very "full", as one of my yoga students remarked last week. Meaning my belly is very...apparent. I like it. I'm also experiencing tremendous fatigue on certain days, which I hear is totally normal--the baby is gaining about 1/2 lb a week--that's a lot of work for both of us. I'm due a month from today.

Given that this week has been a particularly fatigue-y week, I am putting off writing a long post on the subject of gender neutrality, which will require me to think a lot. My brain isn't up for it. I actually walked into a wall about 15 minutes ago.

Instead, some gentle, non-intellectual material: my favorite belly moisturizers. You do not have to be pregnant to enjoy these. In fact, I wish I spent as much time loving my body up when I'm not pregs as I do during this time! I plan to continue when baby is born. I spend an inordinate amount of time on my abdominal area, but my arms, legs, tush, back--all have enjoyed the benefits of me obsessed with moisturizing at least 2x and sometimes more a day. It's a chance to slow down, and, I'm going to say it, practice gratitude for the body you have.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter. No, it's not organic. It has "fragrance" as one of its ingredients and doesn't specify what that is. But it smells amazing (in my opinion better than some organic cocoa butters), is solid when it's like this in the jar, ie good for travel and bringing into bed where Sky likes to give the belly a rub every night, and women for generations have sworn by it. I've used it on and off since college, and I love taking a big hunk of it out of the jar and letting it melt as it gets rubbed everywhere. It's pretty cheap, too, which I have to say is really nice when we seem to spend money every day getting ready for you-kn0w-who. Why this picture ended up so big I can't really tell you......

Oh LUXURY. I wouldn't even know about Dayna Decker if it weren't for my mom. She has now given me 2 jars of it, and I parse it out soooo sparingly. Like every 4th or 5th day. Technically it's hand lotion, but it's so thick and luscious I find it delicious on my whole bod. The scent she's given me is Sierra, which is floral and herbal and a little woodsy at the same time. I'm sure the other fragrances are beautiful as well. Nice when I want something a little less slippery than the oils I'm about to mention and a little less thick than the cocoa butter. Think night out.....or important meeting......or you're wearing something silk and don't want to get a grease spot on it.....
I LOVE THIS OIL. At $17 a bottle, again, I don't use it every time I hop out of the shower. But it is SO NICE. Pure enough to eat: just almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and Vitamin E. Safe for the baby if you rub it on yourself post-partum and then snuggle up to beebee. Can be used for perineal massage, mamas--I'm bringing it to the hospital with me. It smells warm and almondy and I feel like a glistening goddess after I've rubbed it all over. I keep it by the bathtub and use it when I climb out. Don't put clothes on right away if you don't want oil marks on them. I justify spending a little more on these things by 1)also using Palmers' Cocoa Butter and 2) I'm not going out for drinks

I've used Aura Glow since college as well. I go between almond and rose scents-both are heavenly. I just learned they have grapefruit---might have to try.....It's similar to Mother's in that the base is almond oil, but rather than the coconut oil I believe it's peanut and olive oil they put in there. No animal testing, very pure, and about half the price of Mother's. I get mine at Whole Foods; I've bought it at other health food stores and homeopathic pharmacies in the past--it's pretty easy to get a hold of. I know a lot of massage therapists who use this. My skin gets SO SOFT when I go back to using it after taking a break for a while. And it's really gentle--never irritated my skin or caused backne (as some oily products can do, let's admit it). I'm a devotee. Sometimes I'll alternate Mother's with this and cocoa butter--the trio is a nice one.

I can't not post this. This is my I'm-stranded-on-a-desert-island-and-I-get-one-thing-to-make-me-feel-sumptuous-until-the-cannibals-come-get-me product. I haven't used it much in pregnancy, but that's only because I have the bubble bath and I'm being abstemious. Join me and use that word in a sentence today.

Have a gorgeous weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I spotted this in the parking lot of a very fancy office building yesterday.

Really, people?
Unless there's an extra Hawaiian island in this parking garage I have to ask: has spelling (and grammar--don't get me started there) gotten so far away from us that this goes unnoticed? That or the sign painter seriously wanted a vacation.

I often wish I knew more tweet/text language, but then I see something like this and I am so happy that I still spell "everything" as "everything" and not "evrythng" if only to keep the real word alive in my brain. I don't think this was an error due to too much Twitter Speak, but it does remind me that spelling doesn't seem to be at the top of most people's list of subjects to master. One could always look it up online. Or don't, and trust that everyone is too busy on the smartphone to notice. And something about that makes me sad. Probably that part of me that cherishes the letters, the handwritten epistles I get in the mail, that deliberate sequencing of words and thoughts, from my sister and grandmother. That wishes I didn't want to race to the computer first thing in the morning to check my email. That really wants to break the habit of returning a text at a stoplight. I get nervous about the Kindle revolution and books maybe not existing. All that screen light can't be good for our eyes, right? Or should I suck it up and get one and discover that I like it? Not that this has much to do with spelling.

Maybe having a baby will take me back to a simpler time in myself. Maybe I'll be willing to check email only once or twice or OK THREE times a day. It doesn't need to be 15. I'm not the Secretary of State. What would happen in my mind if it wasn't so occupied with all these megabytes? Maybe I'd write that script I've had bouncing around for 5 years. Maybe I'd have an inspiration around storyline for a show a friend and I have talked about creating. Maybe I'd feel more spontaneous rather than tired and pinched in the face which too much time at the computer does to me.

How do you simplify, or tech-down, your life?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TIlted and Shifted

I've been taking a lot of walks lately. That's what they tell pregnant women to do, and it does feel really good. I usually opt not to drag my camera, but I do often carry my phone because OMG HOW CAN I BE SEPARATED FROM IT?! No, really it's because sometimes I listen to music and often I like to keep track of time since I'm still working on being less scheduled. There are some beautiful things blooming around the hood these days, and that's where the Tilt Shift Gen app comes in so handy. I'm sure you all have it and are wondering why I'm posting it a good year and a half or more after its debut, but I am. Like Toy Camera, it blows things out and somehow saturates the color and makes them kind of vintage-y. So eh photos become really pretty.

and no, I couldn't not shoot the peonies

Wait--that's not Tilt Shift Gen! That's someone who wants to say Hi.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If I Were a Flower.....

I do realize I posted peony pictures last week. However, those passed and I bought more. At any other time of year I put off going to Trader Joe's as long as possible because of their parking lots. At peony time it's worth organizing an afternoon around. This new bunch became so spectacular that they needed their own post.
One actually opened up on the car ride home. They're so eager to be gorgeous. Kristina also posted peonies last week and she put it well: they're the hussies of the flower kingdom. No shyness around their beauty: just begging to be loved, admired and adored. I should name them all Scarlett.

These have now turned to almost white which is what happens right before they drop their petals. I'm remiss to change the water because I don't want to make that happen because I move them. Except that I did go buy more today. At $6.99 a bunch I feel no shame.

Friday, June 10, 2011


33 weeks and 5 days. That's just about 8.5 months. Due basically in 6 weeks, which could mean 3 (please, Baby, stay in longer than 3) and could mean 8. Sky is out of town this week, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say this could be my last week alone in my house for.....10 years? We want to have more than one child, and yes, Daddy might take kids away for a few days, but a whole week? It really could be a while. So much is feeling like Lasts these days. Mind you, I have a lot of time alone in my house during the day. I guess the biggest difference is it's only me deciding what I want to do in the evenings, be it watching Coco Before Chanel instead of Anderson Cooper, meditating or reading in bed instead of hanging out on the couch or cleaning up, seeing a movie on a Saturday night (Sky is a rare person who just doesn't really go to movies. And he married me...), or weirdly enough leaving my dishes out. I never go to bed with unwashed dishes in the sink, but somehow knowing no one else is adding to my pile I confess I've left a couple sitting there for a day, as well as papers lying around the house, and it's been, well, very relaxing. I know--exciting stuff. These are not the days of hubby goes away and I party with the girls. I am slowing way down.

And, as always, I love my time to watch my belly move around and to imagine the hummingbird who was 4 lb 10oz on Monday, so might be approaching 5 lbs by now. Some thoughts I've had about the babe of late:


As I put onesies in drawers and coo over prefold diapers and stare at the picture from the ultrasound on Monday that shows these adorable little lips all puckered out (my belly was measuring a tiny bit small so the ultrasound was to make sure Baby isn't small---and nope-- not small just low), I'm simultaneously aware that this is the cutest most lovable little munchkin I'll have ever seen, AND it's a full-on soul come to this planet with a mission. Not a baby at all in its spirit. That's my belief, anyway--that a soul up there wanted to come to Earth now and chose me as the vessel to arrive through. Whoa. It's a big deal. I'll be raising someone and witnessing someone at the same time.
We don't know if it's a boy or a girl. I know that since the beginning I've only felt one way about this baby, AND I know I could be completely wrong. I'll be so surprised if it's not what I feel it is, but I also wouldn't put it past baby to be one who likes to surprise. Part of the not knowing, aside from wanting that moment of total surprise that I know I can't describe til after I have it, has been to not let myself start to make up much about the baby. The more I know the more I can try to predict. Not knowing, for me, leaves the canvas more wide open, and that's good for someone who's imagination can cross from active to overbearing.

We all hear there's never a perfect time to have a baby. There's too much work or not enough work; the house is too little or someone's still in school. There's that project or trip or thing that has to happen before the baby can arrive. For me, sure, there was some financial fear, and some projects coming up I wanted to be considered for that when I got pregnant I knew were out. There was that sense that I wanted to be a little more established (whatever that means--seems whatever level one is on there's always the next one to establish), have some more residual money coming in, have the Super Agent before I took a break. AND I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted a baby, so I figured it wasn't my job to create the timeline. The Universe usually does a better job of that than I can. As the arrival of the Bird gets closer, I am absolutely blown away by how provided for we are: the generosity of our friends and family, be it through gifts, or hand-me-downs, or time spent walking me through what we'll need. I am blown away by the surprise checks that arrive in the mail from a commercial spot I didn't realize was still running and another one that just started running in more places. Blown away by people's desire to help once the baby comes. I've always heard babies bring abundance, and I'm experiencing this as true. It's like we're willing to expand and the world expands with us. I've spent a lot of time saying Thank You lately: to all of these people who are showing up, to the baby for being in the right position and coming along so wonderfully, to my own body for doing things I can't fathom even as I sleep, and to the force up there that helps it all happen.

all photos found while browsing Pinterest--anyone know how to make them bigger?

Monday, June 6, 2011

First June Weekend

I can't take credit for these photos---that goes to Kristina when she, Brock and Dashiell stayed here while their house had some painting done on the inside. But I will take credit for landing at Trader Joe's where it is indeed peony time, and landing there at the perfect moment to snatch some of the most luscious ones I've ever seen in their big plastic pails. Going again this morning. They opened end opened and opened til the pink ones were almost white and the red ones looked like they were shedding big feathers.

Speaking of Dashiell, here's my sweet nephew (with his gorgeous and talented mama). Even with a scratch on his nose he's perfect. We had some good baby-in-the-house-practice during his visit, including a rare 4-am wakeup and lots of quinoa pancakes. This was taken after Kristina and I walked here:

Gjelina Take Away. It's a little scary that Sky and I can walk there, as that might mean I eat several egg breakfast sandwiches a week, which could slow the loss of baby weight once I get to that point. I haven't tried lunch yet, but it's only a matter of days. Can I have a kitchen like that? With an open wood-burning oven, shelves of pickled and canned things, and loaves of crusty bread awaiting my creations? One day. The culinary adventures continued at Tasting Kitchen Sat. night (they have a radicchio salad which I must copy--better than the one I posted last week) and that culminated in my first night out at a bar in a while. Nevermind that I fainted and fell off a barstool. That's what padded pregnant rears are for: to cushion such a fall. I was mainly concerned upon waking up that bar patrons would think the clear liquid in my glass was vodka not water.

First baby shower! (Next weekend is one for my friend Ami, pictured here, due 3 weeks before me with her 2nd little bairn.)

Some of my yoga students hosted it for me in this backyard. Yup, that's a backyard and not a state park.

Some of baby's loot from said shower, including an original rubber ducky, a kimono-style onsie, and baby's first piece of Marc Jacobs. I was ovewhelmed on the drive home-- in the good way---by how lucky baby and I are.
You can kind of see a piece of the turquoise we painted the accent wall in her/his room too. All sitting atop this dresser which we did in fact assemble in about 3 1/2 hours, not including a 24-hour break we took when we came to instruction 18 of 32: little happy diagram man telling us to hammer FIFTY-FOUR nails. We stared at it for a minute and then ran out of the room.

These are all handmade by friends who were there. My friend Jessica silk-screened those blue birds on a simple Gerber onesie--brilliant. Heather made us that bib which is backed in soft felt, and my friend Lee made the Happy Bunny onesie--she has an etsy shop and when I find her card I'll post it. I was cooing and rubbing soft fabrics to my cheek like a goon.

This one slayed me: the softest organic sleep sack with a little turtle at the top. A gift from my mom. Baby will lie in sleep sack on this Ikea sheepskin rug. All I need to complete the picture! Who's due in 6 weeks and 6 days.

Hope you had a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Salad That's Almost a Sandwich

Have you noticed I declare blogging schedules and then am incapable of following them? My 3x a week posting plan has gone.....I don't know where. To the land of prenatal yoga which I seem to be doing on those mornings I envisioned myself here. Ah well.

To catch you up on

Mamaland: reading A LOT on vaccines. Still not sure where I stand on this. I suspect, like most of my decisions, I'll be taking the middle road, like using some cloth and some disposable diapers--doing some but not all vaccines. Especially when some of them were only put on the market in the last 10 years so I, Sky, all our friends never had them and we're fine. Definitely want a pediatrician that's open to spacing them out and skipping certain ones if we choose to. Have met some good ones.

Actingland: have done 2 of my 4 days on I am I. Remember my friend I posted about who was raising money for her movie? It's in mid-production, going to be brilliant, and yours truly shows up in a few scenes. Baby's first job!

Homeland: chaise outside arrived. We spent a good few hours over the long weekend picking Flor tiles. Sneak peek: we're copying this for our bedroom. Planted tomato starters and they've already tripled in size. YAY! I failed to get the kitty into the cat carrier. Must restrategize once it trusts me again to pet it.

these have nothing to do with anything except they're the prettiest wine labels ever

Familyland: Brock, Kristina and Dashiell are staying with us for a few days while the inside of their house gets painted. We joke that we'll buy a big piece of land with 2 houses and have our own mini-commune. Last night I got home close to 8 and wanted to make dinner for everyone. Enter new delicious salad sent to me by a good foodie friend. Radicchio doesn't always strike me as a summer lettuce, but there's been a gorgeous supply at the market lately, plus this recipe uses zucchini pickles, of which I am a huge fan and are really best in the summer. Both Kristina and I are fans of the Zuni Cafe recipe, and she posted it a while back so I'm just going to link you there. Sky, after one bite, proclaimed This is really interesting. Which coming from a Meltzer could be a good or bad thing--they're not known for their adventurous palates, though Sky has broken form of late and gotten into some new exotic things. Like egg on pizza.

But I think the salad is really good. I've adapted it slightly because in my opinion the recipe didn't add nearly enough pickles and parmesan, and I had different herbs on hand. It's important to soak the radicchio to cut the bitterness, so save some time for that. I shortened the soaking time a lot since I didn't want us to eat at 10, and it was good, but more soak=better salad. Make the pickles and marinade the day before, and you'll have a fat jar of pickles left in your fridge for use on other salads and sandwiches.

Radicchio Salad with Zucchini Pickles, Green Olives and Parmesan
adapted from an adaptation of Jason Neroni of Osteria La Buca restaurant

1 c red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 medium red onion
2 small heads radicchio, quartered and coarsely chopped
small handful chopped mint leaves
small handful chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 1/2 c grated fresh parmesan
1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted

1. Make marinade the night before: combine vinegar, onion, garlic and thyme. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Soak radicchio in bowl of ice water for an hour. Drain, dry and reserve. Strain marinade and set aside.

3. Toss radicchio with mint, parsley, a big handful of pickles, 1/4 c marinade and a good glug of olive oil, parmesan and olives. Season with salt and pepper and serve.