mothers day | a gift guide


i've got no problem being honest in the fact that i enjoy gifts. whether they're bought for me or if i buy them for myself makes no difference to me. truth be told, i'm so good at shopping for myself these days, i'd almost prefer keeping with that tradition.

so, for mother's day, instead of your typical bouquet of flowers or a spa gift card- although, have no doubt, i'll have my house covered in fresh flowers from the local bodega- these are some items that i know i'd personally love for mother's day.

woven tapesty | a set of copper mugs plus the ingredients to whip up a couple of moscow mules, of course | fresh sugar lip balm treatment to replace the one that my lovely toddler destroyed | an every day spring market tote | a french marble pastry slab for keeping her ass in the kitchen baking pies. kidding, obviously. (so, papa joe, i really, really want this for baking purposes. need i remind you that you and littlest love bug will be the biggest benefactors? i didn't think so.) | greer V necklace (currently 25% off) |

five things | i want marlo to always know

1. i hope you never feel the need to be anything for approval. i want you to be you. first, foremost, always, and with no conditions. it is my absolute promise to you that i will be the last person you will ever have to prove anything to. in fact, it's my belief that i'm the one with so much to prove; as such, i imagine that i'll spend a great deal of my years trying to prove that i deserve the unconditional love i receive from you day-in and day-out. i've come to the conclusion that the best way for me to prove it is, quite simply, by giving it.

2. i hope you never struggle with body image issues the way that i have. i'm doing all that i can now to ensure that you don't, or at least, won't because of something i did or didn't do. when you look in the mirror, i hope all you see is your undeniable strength, your humor and intelligence, and what your body is capable of accomplishing, instead of whether or not you have a three-finger gap between your thighs. that particular way of measuring ones' worth or labeling people is poisonous and i won't have any part in it. i'm speaking from years and years of experience when i say that it's an unfair way of looking at your body. do i think you're beautiful? good god, yes. i often find myself looking at you and wondering how i had any part in creating something so undeniably perfect. however, i never want you to think that your physical beauty is something to stress over or rely on. with that said, i will teach you how to apply and rock the perfect shade of red lipstick if you should ever so desire; i will stress the importance of a well-fitting pair of jeans and a properly-sized bra; i will place emphasis on drinking a ton of water, sleeping eight hours or more whenever you can, and washing your face every single night before bed. oh. and i will absolutely remind you that you're tragically beautiful if someone ever makes you feel less than.

3. you will never find completeness in the arms of someone else. only you can complete you and you need no one else to help you. if someone comes along to spend your life with, fantastic. but please remember that they are an added bonus, not part of the equation. your identity does not lie within the boundaries of a relationship; it lies within you. not unlike almost everything else that i've come to know as true throughout my life, i, too, discovered this through the most difficult of ways. say no even when you want to say yes. you will never regret saying no, this i can undoubtedly promise.

4. if you feel that someone isn't respecting your boundaries or that they aren't hearing you clearly, you have every right to tell them as much. this applies even if your complaints are with me or your father. i do not believe in the do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do parenting method. rather, i believe in conscious parenting. i will not be a hypocrite or teach you that hypocrisy is blindly accepted just because i'm your mom and i say so. i respect your convictions and always will.

5. when i was largely pregnant with you, your gramps and i were discussing the importance that the role of parent would play in my life. he told me that relationships with spouses or significant others can fail, friendships can end over silly and stupid things, and family members can be horrible assholes to one another; my relationship with you, marlo, and my role as mama is forever. it will long remain a part of my identity even when other roles may no longer be. it is- and should be- number one. it is even more important than the relationship i have with your dad. (luckily, he and i agree on this. i don't expect everyone else to agree with this logic, though.) you are mine- and ours- forever and we will always be a family because of you. but, it is you whom is non-negotiable part. you are also the glue that holds certain pieces of me together. you have given me one thousand and one reasons to be a better human every single day. no relationship has ever given me that before because i could very simply and so easily get away with not caring as much because i didn't have to care as much. if there ever comes a time when you doubt your importance to me or you somehow think that someone else means more to me than you, then i've done something very, very wrong.

you are it, love bug.

to the moon, but so, so much further.


taking stock | spring edition

remembering: to stop and smell the roses. or count the rocks. remembering to just be.
trying: to not place an emphasis on physical appearance for the sake of marlo. it's an incredibly unhealthy habit to contribute to. 
cooking: muchos tacos because taco night never hurt anybody. 
drinking: it's finally rosé season! this one is my current fave.
 this article and loving everything it says about her level of self-confidence. taking notes.
 to want less. but, inevitably, wanting things that don't matter.
 forward to having friends visiting us over the next month. april and may are so full of fun. 
 hide and seek like it's my full-time job. 
pushing: a tire swing like it's my other full-time job. 
deciding: to take opportunities even if they scare me a little. you gotta put yourself out there at some point. 
 more people walked the walk. myself included.
planning: marlo's second birthday party and a baby shower for two of our good friends. 
enjoying: the last couple of weeks of a still one-year-old. 
 weekend trips to smorgasburg and its' plethora of fried food options. 
loving: that we got marlo into a co-op play school here in DUMBO for the fall. this is going to do both of us so much good.
considering: how expensive play-school is, it better do a whole hell of a lot of good.
hearing: the rain and marlo laugh at the puppies she's watching on youtube. 
needing: my body to figure out what is making it feel so yucky. gluten? sugar? corn? soy? ugh. i just want to love food again. 
smelling: the hyacinth sitting on the table in front of me. 
 these sunglasses. this lipstick. these jeans.
 that i'm so much happier now that winter is over. longest months of my life.
thinking: that some people will never get it. accepting it. 
admiring: this blog and the women behind it.
 myself this mother's day gift.
 nostalgic and all kinds of teary-eyed lately when i look at marlo. 
opening: a bottle of champagne on her birthday because, holy hell. we've survived two years. 
feeling: excited and grateful for a few opportunities that have presented themselves. stay tuned...

you can read my previous stock inventory here. and can we even talk about how much marlo has grown since then? it's really hitting me that she's about to be two. one didn't bother me at all. in fact, it felt more like an accomplishment. but two? it's making me incredibly aware that she's no longer a baby, rather, a full-fledged little girl.

the 52 project | 15


"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."
this week, it hit me that i've got an almost two year old. it also hit me this week just how precious you are. i mean precious in the gemstone-kind-of-way, not the sweet-and-cute-sort-of-way of the word, although, you are that, too. you're so stubborn and quick and physical that it's easy for me to forget just how gentle and sensitive you can be. technically, you're still a baby, my baby. you still need me in ways that i take for granted and you love me in a way that i'll never deserve. the littlest things, like you pointing out your nose and your eye and your eyebrows and your double chin, have made me a weepy mess the past few days. i blame nostalgia more than anything, but, i also blame you being so damn sweet.

two is going to be so, so good.

in my kitchen | smoky sweet potato and red pepper patties


we're really lucky that we never have to fight marlo on eating her vegetables. (really lucky, i know...) annoyingly though, she still eats dinner far earlier than we ever do. so, i often find myself reaching for those organic frozen veggie patties to serve along side a protein and fruit because i don't want to eat cold food later on and i'm no short-order cook. they're also incredibly convenient and easy to throw under the broiler for ten minutes when i've got a hangry toddler hanging on my leg.

however, i'm really sick of spending so much money on those damn things- especially considering marlo can knock back two at a time and she typically does. not to mention, it bothers me to no end that even though it's technically certified organic and i know exactly what's in it, i have no clue how much of which ingredient is in the patty. i mean, is it mostly spinach or is it mostly a filler, like rice or potato? huge difference in the nutrition of the two ingredients.

so, i took matters into my own two capable hands and came up with this recipe. if you make a batch on a weekend day and freeze them, they're just as easily prepared as the other guys and, what's even better, is that they taste a hell of a lot better. marlo took out two of them in five minutes flat. cilantro and all.

smoky sweet potato, lentil, and roasted red pepper patties
(makes six large patties)

one fully cooked sweet potato, skin removed
one tbsp white miso (optional, but marlo loves miso)
one cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
one tsp minced garlic
one large egg plus one yolk, beaten
one cup cooked lentils (any kind will do)
one red bell pepper, roasted, de-seeded, and skins removed
one-half cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
one tbsp chia seeds
one tbsp ground flax seed
handful of cilantro, chopped
one-half tsp cumin
one-half tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
one cup panko bread crumbs, plus one-half cup more for coating
two to three tbsp grape seed or olive oil

in a food processor, combine the roasted red pepper, the sweet potato, cannellini beans, garlic, miso, paprika, and cumin until fully combined. in a separate bowl, combine the lentils, corn, chopped cilantro, egg, and chia and flax seeds until well mixed. add the sweet potato-roasted red pepper mixture to the lentil mixture and fold together. add your panko bread crumbs and salt and pepper. 

let mixture sit in the fridge for about an hour to set. 

coat a shallow wide bowl or lipped plate with a layer of the remaining panko crumbs. form the vegetable mixture into patties. (i used my hands and eye-balled it for the amount but you could use an ice cream scoop if you want to be all fancy.) coat each side of the patty with a thin layer of the panko bread crumbs. set aside on a plate. (fyi- you can form the patties ahead of time and they can sit overnight in the fridge if need be. which, is exactly what i did because i was too tired to make them last night.)
to cook the patties, heat the grape seed oil over medium heat in a skillet (preferably cast-iron). when the oil is good and hot, add the patties carefully. they'll take about 4-5 minutes on each side to brown and crisp up. 

i served it with a dollop of avocado crema (avocado, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, & pepper) and some cilantro leaves. 

*worth noting, it helps if you have a very thin, flexible spatula to help flip the patties because they can be quite delicate if you make them on the thinner side. 

marlo turns two | want need wear read

want | we're not big on electronic toys, but, anything musical is fine by us. plus, i plan on hanging it in the living room | need | it's officially scooter season! we've been practicing inside all winter and she's getting pretty good at it, so, it's time to move this show outdoors and i need that precious little noggin of hers to stay in one piece. and, of course, matte black is the only way to go.wear | if only so that she'll stop stealing mineread | she already has this is paris, this is san francisco, & this is new york, and i'd really love to eventually own the entire collection. they're just so beautifully illustrated and i love that we can teach her about cities that we'll hopefully visit one day with her. 

the sling diaries, vol. IV: everything shines | adventure


an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity; 
daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm;

(verb) -
engage in hazardous and exciting activity,
esp. the exploration of unknown territory:

i adventured into motherhood.
over the course of the past six months, as i've written these entries for sakura bloom's sling diaries, i've come to realize something very important about motherhood: motherhood is far, far bigger than me simply being a mama.

motherhood is bigger than me being a mama to marlo and attempting to make it look easy or feel natural because, for me, it's neither. motherhood is about honesty and openness and embracing the challenge and sharing it with others.  

motherhood is bigger than one specific type of parenting; it's bigger than breastfeeding versus formula feeding, co-sleeping versus montessori beds, rice cereal versus organic and homemade purees, or attachment parenting versus helicopter or tiger moms. motherhood is bigger than what is portrayed by any one specific mother on a blog or social media stream. it's bigger than one mother's highlight reel.

motherhood is about connection and forming relationships with other mothers, uniting because of who we are, what we're doing, and also, what we have to learn from our differences. 
motherhood has become a large part of my journey as a woman. motherhood has proven to be the adventure of a lifetime but will last far longer than that within the legacy that i leave. 

motherhood is a daring task and, at times, even scary. it's unnerving and can become quite complicated. it makes me question and occasionally doubt myself every single day because i don't want to do any of it poorly. it makes me examine and then re-examine my priorities and my intentions. it gives depth to areas of my life that once lacked meaning. but aren't the best adventures a little of all of those things?

i've worn marlo for almost two years. i've held her close to me for a number of reasons. whether it's to comfort her or to allow myself to get a few things done while she sleeps away on my chest, wearing marlo made the adventure of motherhood feel more natural and helped me bond with my child during a period of time when that bond was all that i had to cling to.

as time progresses and i look at my confident and curious little girl, i've come to terms with the realization that the adventure of motherhood is also largely about embracing the inevitable change, transition, and growth our children will experience. knowing that the love and comfort you have provided for them to allow for such confidence should help us remember that the adventure of motherhood is always evolving... as are we. 
as this is my final diary for this volume, i want to sincerely thank sakura bloom for being a large part of our baby wearing adventure. i'm so looking forward to our next baby and beginning the adventure all over again. (but not anytime also, thank you for giving me the confidence to finally step in front of the camera because it's not something i've ever felt comfortable doing. thank you for allowing me to explore topics that force me to think more intently about my journey as a mother and what i want to teach my daughter. thank you to all of the other sling diarists for your support and for doing everything that you do. 

you can read along with the other diarists here

in this post, i'm wearing a discontinued essential linen sling in blackberry/plum, which belongs to my gal, julie


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