the things i forgot


i forgot just how much pleasure i get out of grocery shopping and rummaging through the farmer's market. i forgot just how inspiring it is to be able to take my time as i peruse the produce as i decide on the nights' supper instead of hustling through the store as quickly as possible with an organized list in hand, destined to forget five different main ingredients.

i forgot what taking a long walk outside by myself felt like without pushing a stroller or hearing a toddler cry because she dropped her apple one hundred yards back and i failed to notice until the tears and tantrum began.

i forgot what it was like to be able to run errands, clean my house, write a post, catch up on emails, prep a few lunch items for the week, watch the news and even exercise all on my own time without a toddler under my feet.

i forgot what it felt like to sip an iced coffee on a random tuesday and actually take the time to taste it. it tastes like bitter, velvety heaven, in case you were wondering.

and while i feel like i should really be taking a nap or a shower instead of doing all of the things that i'm in the process of doing or have done in the few hours since i dropped marlo off at her first day of play school, i'm finding that completing these "chores" are bringing me an unexpected level of satisfaction.

maybe it's the change in seasons that is encroaching on me and my family. maybe it's the simple fact that marlo's newfound independence makes me a very proud mama, like joe and i have done something incredibly right over the last two and a half years. hell, it could simple be because i've finally got some consistent alone time for three mornings every week.

i'm not quite sure.

then again, i'm not quite sure that i need to be sure of why as much as i need to just be sure of what is.

because whatever the reasons may be, i'm feeling so, so very good and it's been a really long time since i've been able to say that.

the 52 project | 35 & 36


"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."
35: messy hair. a cheeky smirk. just marlo being marlo.

36: very often you will say to me, "mama. ima make a un-ny 'ace." and this is usually what i get.

virginia is for lovers and drinkers and eaters


pardon the silence this week but i left my computer charger in charlotte and although the USPS claims to have delivered it on thursday, it is nowhere to be found.


i'm back from a long labor day weekend spent in virginia visiting vineyards and eating way too much with some of the loveliest of ladies. it was a welcomed little break from my daily grind but i was incredibly happy to be home with my two babes. notwithstanding marlo being in a phase of wanting absolutely nothing to do with me. she barely acknowledges my presence most days and acted as if i hadn't been gone for almost an entire week when i walked in the door. the warmest of welcomes, i tell you what. it's all daddy-daddy-daddy-i-love-you-the-most and wait-who-are-you-again-mommy-?

as you might imagine, i'm not a huge fan of this particular stage of lamenting her daddy's girl status. luckily they're damn cute together.

happy weekend everyone!

five things | marlo says


marlo, almost 28 months, staring into the city, pondering the meaning of life, i'm sure.
thanks, joe, for the photo.
1. when marlo wants to be held, cuddled, or picked up, she simply declares, "i need you."

2. marlo will hear me moving about in the kitchen and, almost instinctually it seems, bring over her stool and tell me, "i wanna 'elp, mama" or, "i wanna watch, mama."

3. yesterday late afternoon while lounging on the sofa for all of thirty-seven seconds, i told mo that i needed to get up and start on dinner. without a word, she raced off into the kitchen and i heard her rummaging through the drawers in search of something. as she found what she was apparently looking for, she loudly gasped, ran over to me and- quite forcefully, i might add- threw a bag of unopened spaghetti at my face all while demanding "NOODLES!!! MAMA... NOODLES!!" she's a girl who knows what she wants i suppose.

4. for a few minutes at the end of the night, we let her watch the ipad in our bed. when it's time to go read a few books and we tell her that it's time to shut the ipad off, without even looking up at us she holds up three or four awkward fingers and says, "two minutes, dada. twooooo minutes."

5. "luhs you, mama. luhs you, dada"

the 52 project | 34


"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014." 
your dad is out of town this weekend and naturally we both woke up this morning feeling less than stellar. so, we walked to get bagels, orange juice (you), and coffee (me) and posted our rear ends on the sofa for the remainder of the morning. i reckon neither one of us are upset with being lazy bums today.

three years ago...


this week, i found out i was pregnant with our girl.
i wasn't exactly what i would refer to as prepared to see those lines on the pregnancy test (or the three tests after it) but the second i saw those lines, i became a mother. more specifically, i became your mother. and if pregnancy and motherhood have taught me anything, it's to be grateful. 

i'm grateful for the beauty that lies within the chaos and mess that is our daily life. 

i'm grateful that you're healthy and vivacious and have such an unbelievably bold and feisty little spirit. 

i'm grateful that i've been given this chance to be your friend and to remind you when you may need it that i'll always be rooting for you and in your corner, even if it's disguised as tough love. 

i'm grateful that it's my job to set limits and also to push you to exceed the boundaries and expectations that society has set for you. 

i'm grateful that you've softened me, taken away grudges and chips that once weighed heavily on my shoulders. 

i'm grateful that you've taught me that there is nothing worth fighting harder for than your family and your love for one another. 

but most of all, marlo, more than any of those thing, i'm simply grateful to have the chance to spend a lifetime loving you.

in my kitchen | one pan roast chicken


everyone loves chicken. everyone. and everyone in my household loves this particular chicken. i particularly love it because it's made in one pan in the oven and the prep work in minimal, minus the slicing of some veggies and the pulsing of a food processor.

if you're interested in a fool-proof roasted chicken with portions large enough to feed a family of four or five, this is the chicken for you.

roasted whole chicken with lemon, thyme, and a shit-ton of garlic
(serves a lot with left-overs)

the chicken
one whole organic cut-up chicken
one lemon
fresh thyme
one pod of garlic
half of a large yellow onion
half of a medium fennel root
flaky sea salt

the basil mayo
two egg yolks
extra virgin olive oil
handful of basil
lemon juice
preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (this is a two-part cooking process, fyi.) 

while the oven is preheating, rinse and dry your chicken. slice the lemon, fennel, and onion thinly and layer in the bottom of a heavy oven-safe skillet*. next, slice a pod of garlic against the bias and place in pan. add sprigs of thyme. how much is really up to you. i use a lot, which, is a technical term. and don't waste your time pulling the leaves off of the stems. it's underneath the chicken so the stems matter little. 

next, place the chicken pieces on top of the flavorings. drizzle with evoo and season liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper. next, sprinkle thyme leaves on top of the chicken. cover with foil and cook for forty minutes until cooked through**.  

while the chicken is roasting, in a food processor or blender, pulse the ingredients for the mayo- minus the olive oil- until well combined. through the spout of the processor, slowly drizzle into the yolk-basil mixture until emulsified and the consistency of a mayonnaise. season with salt and pepper to taste. set aside in a bowl to chill until serving.

after the chicken is cooked through, uncover the chicken and let rest for a few minutes while you turn the broiler on. cook under the broiler for another fifteen or so minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. rotate the pan in the oven once so that it browns evenly.

let rest for ten minutes so that the juices can redistribute and serve along side a mixed green salad and roasted fingerlings potatoes. oh, and don't forget the mayo! it's so, so good with the chicken and roasted fingerlings!*** 

*if you don't have one already, you should invest in a cast-iron skillet. invest is a strong word here because they're actually fairly cheap. i'm talking less than thirty bucks in most cases. so, no excuses really. **you can do this step the night before, too, and just reheat at the higher temp (step two) when you're ready to serve. ***ps. the basil mayo makes for a killer chicken salad with the leftover chicken. along with the diced leftover chicken, just add a handful of baby spinach leaves, half of a cup of halved grape or cherry tomatoes, diced red onion to taste, and stir in with the mayo. so, so very good.


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