Anyone else still feeling a big TV-viewership hole in your heart due to the end of Breaking Bad?
You might enjoy this — Entertainment Weekly recently shared a video of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reading the final script together for the first time in Bryan Cranston’s living room in Albuquerque. They are emotional, and visibly stunned (and satisfied) by the ending. A response I think shared by most viewers.
Click here to watch.
(Homeland, you’re getting better as the season goes on, but my Sunday nights are just not the same.)
I know kale is so yesterday’s news, and there’s a new “hip” superfood all the time. (Swiss chard?) But I’m just getting my arms around how to eat this one. I admit, I’m not a huge fan of just eating it straight up. It’s a bit chewy, a bit green-y. Here are my two favorite ways to eat (read: hide the taste of) kale.
I’ve loved friends’ kale chips, but every time I try to make them in the oven they come out sub-par. I seem to always over-oil or over-cook them. So, when I came across this last week, I just had to try it: kale chips in the microwave. So very easy. And they turned out perfectly.
Kale in a Smoothie
Some months ago, we bought this handy little blender and have been making some great shakes and smoothies in it. I like to hide my greens in a berry/banana smoothie. Here’s my recipe:
- 1 ripe banana
- A few handfuls of frozen berries. I like blueberries and raspberries. It’s important that the berries are frozen. It really enhances the texture of the smoothie, especially when you’re putting some grainy greens in it, too.
- Handful of kale and/or spinach
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup water
Blend and drink!
[Top image via http://www.muranakafarm.com]
I came across this fascinating story in National Geographic via NPR about the “changing face” of America. The year 2000 was the first census that allowed people to check off more than one race; 6.8 million people did. And, in 2010 that number jumped by 32%.
Everyone I know of mixed race or ethnicity is incredibly beautiful; the people below give quite a dramatic illustration of the beauty that’s found in some very unique looks. If you click on the photo, it will take you to nationalgeographic.com where the graphic is interactive. You can click on each individual and read about their racial and ethnic background, and how they chose to self-identify on the census.
I found myself quite intrigued by the graphic. It was fascinating to learn what racial or ethnic backgrounds contributed to the unique individuals who participated in the story. And then I realized, my intrigue likely grew of out my very fixed understanding of what it means to look black or white or Hispanic or Asian. Maybe someday it won’t be so interesting; maybe someday racial and ethnic labels won’t matter as much as they do today. Unfortunately, that’s probably quite a long time from now. In the meantime, cheers to National Geographic for celebrating America’s “changing face” and giving some insight into the benefits and challenges for these individuals. I can’t put it any better than the last paragraph of the story:
It’s also, for the rest of us, an opportunity. If we can’t slot people into familiar categories, perhaps we’ll be forced to reconsider existing definitions of race and identity, presumptions about who is us and who is them. Perhaps we’ll all end up less parsimonious about who we feel connected to as we increasingly come across people like Seda, whose faces seem to speak that resounding line from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”: “I am large, I contain multitudes.”
[Image via nationalgeographic.com]
This fall, many of my favorite authors have come out with new books. Here’s my rundown of what I want to read next, and why.
Sometimes I’m disappointed by a second or third book by an author I’ve already read and loved, but I’m no less excited to get my hands on these. If you haven’t read any of the “originals,” definitely pick them up — some of my favorite books of all time.
[All images via goodreads.com]
…there doesn’t seem to be anyone around.
I’m all by myself in the house — for the entire long weekend. J and T are on a “boys trip” to Peoria, Illinois to visit family. Last week, when I mentioned this scenario to any mom-friends, without fail, they responded with complete and utter jealousy. “A whole weekend to yourself? What are you going to do?” And then they’d rattle off all the things they’d do with time alone: a pedicure, a massage, sleep in, go see a movie.
And, since Friday afternoon, I have gotten a chance to do these wonderful, relaxing things. I read a whole book, took a long bath, got my hair cut, slept in, watched an HGTV Love it or List It marathon, went to a very restorative prenatal yoga class, caught up on the stack of magazines that was sitting by the couch. It has been a nice respite before baby boy #2 turns our lives upside down.
But, I’m also lonely. I miss both of my boys. I find myself wondering what they’re doing and somewhat obsessively checking my phone for updates and pictures. I’m reminded that my life may be crazier and more tiring as a mother (and wife), but oh-so-much richer.
So, score another point for the “boys trip” weekend: in addition to giving me the time and space to do some relaxing me-things, it makes me appreciate the regular, non-relaxing life that I’ll get back tomorrow evening. I’m even willing to say — from my current relaxing and solitary perch on the couch — that I’m looking forward to some morning getting-dressed battles with an almost-3 year old.
With the impending arrival of my second little guy, I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood. There will be many new things this time around, I’m sure, but one thing will be a bit easier: I’m already a mom.
Becoming a mother means a lot of serious and amazing — and funny — things. I saw this list of 24 clear signs you’re a mom on the Huffington Post yesterday. My favorite: #8. You can experience heaven and hell at the same time. Kind of the essence of motherhood, right?
Some others I liked:
10. You have the ability to hear a sneeze through closed doors in the middle of the night, two bedrooms away.
13. A 15-minute shower with the door locked feels like a day at the spa.
19. You’ve been washing the same load of laundry for three days because you forgot to dry it.
Also on becoming a mother: A local kids’ boutique shared the image below on Facebook yesterday. The best and truest line is the last one: “It will be the last time you will have all the answers.”
I realized today that I haven’t written in nearly two months! I’m still here, and resolve to get writing again. We’ve just been a bit busy since the fall. I’ve been working 15 – 20 hours a week, which sounds like a little, but seems like a lot. J has started preschool and has learned to successfully defecate into the toilet. (Yes, we decided to try one more time before the baby arrives, and it was much easier just a few months later.) We’ve also been on the very busy 3-year old birthday party circuit that includes many barnyard animals, some puppets and quite a bit of cake.
So, here’s a quick run down of the things I might have posted about if I’d just sat down to do it over the last two months:
We had a wonderful time pumpkin and apple picking at Shelburne Farm, not too far outside of Boston. The apples were actually crazy-expensive, but I guess you pay for the experience, especially that close to the city. And we did have fun.
We carved the pumpkins a few days ago, in preparation for Halloween this week. We used this adorable free owl pattern because it reminded us of one of J’s current favorite bedtime books, Little Owl Lost.
My part-time work has gotten me thinking a lot about the whole working vs. staying-at-home debate, and I’m steadfast in my conclusion that the right balance is so individual. 15-20 hours may not sound like a lot, but for me it’s the max right now (and I feel lucky that I get to choose — I know there are many moms who wish they could work 20 hours or less, but have to work full time.) Most of the articles circulating about this push the idea that women need to be more ambitious — lean in, perhaps? — but this one was a different take, describing what a lot of women feel about the work-life balance.
We still haven’t settled 100% on a name for our newest little guy, set to arrive in mid-December. I’m still (somewhat) enjoying baby name research — like this fun GIF that shows the most popular boys’ names in each state, over time.
I’m sure there’s more on my mind, but it will give me incentive to keep on writing, especially as our lives are about to become topsy turvy again…very soon.
I realized that my (increasingly infrequent) posts have all been about parenting lately. Maybe it’s because my parenting duties are about to double in a few short months. Mommy-hood on the brain.
My most recent bedside read has also been about parenting. It’s a series of funny and lighthearted mini-essays by the comedian, Jim Gaffigan, called Dad is Fat. Gaffigan’s stories are incredibly relatable, even though his parenting experience is unique. He has five children and lives in a two bedroom walkup apartment in Manhattan. The essay about how they manage to cram all those people into the two bedrooms is fascinating (and makes me feel that our three bedroom house is palatial, even with the upcoming loss of a guest room.)
It’s a fun, light read that made me laugh.
[Top image via goodreads.com; image above via here.]
J has been suffering from a bad cough, so I was interested to see the Vicks under socks trick. After some additional internet research, it appeared to be very effective for many people. We tried it last night and, while it didn’t stop the coughing 100%, it did seem to slow it considerably.
Some other very creative “hacks” that I plan to try:
- Monster spray (not necessary at the moment, but I could imagine the need in our future)
- For the new baby, freezing a pacifier in juice for teething relief.
- A hook on our highchair for bibs. Simple but so smart.
And I wouldn’t put it past T to try this one. I’m sure J would be highly entertained.
[image via buzzfeed.com]
It’s no secret that maternity leave is better in places other than the good ol’ US of A — Canada, almost anywhere in Europe — but, did you know that postpartum practices are also very different in other countries (arguably much better)?
I read an interesting article in the Daily Beast this week. Very interesting to me, of course, because I’m a mere four months away from my second postpartum period. According to the article, in many other countries, the postpartum period is considered one of recovery for new mothers, as opposed to the US where we are expected to quickly bounce back and take care of the new baby, our household, not-to-mention ourselves. And, oh yeah, go back to work within six weeks.
Speaking from experience, the post-natal period can be a difficult one. You are physically recovering from labor, trying to figure out exactly how to care for an infant, and simply adjusting to being a new mom. Especially because of my non-sleeping, crying-all-the-time infant (who has since grown into a very pleasant toddler), I was in quite a shambles. In retrospect, I realize that it’s a very normal thing to go through a difficult adjustment period, but at the time, I felt like I should have it all together — and quickly. Perhaps our societal attitudes toward this period are much to blame for the guilt many new mothers put on themselves.
Read the article to hear about how other cultures think about this wonderful and difficult time for new mothers.