In Awe.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

 This morning, we took the most beautiful drive from San Francisco to Big Sur. I simply cannot believe that I lived in California as long as I did, and that I never saw this part of the coastline. The entire drive was beyond breathtaking and is something I will remember forever. If this isn't already on your bucket list, I recommend putting it on the top!

More tomorrow...


Monday, January 27, 2014

 Hello from Sunny California! On Friday, my husband and I said goodbye to the kiddos and headed to San Francisco for the week! Ever since we've arrived, we've done little but eat, drink, nap, and explore this amazing city! Here are a few snapshots from the trip so far!

I have a feeling that after this trip I'm most definitely going to be saying that I left my heart in San Francisco!!!

Oh, and how are the boys doing without their mom and dad? If these pictures are any indication, I'd say that thanks to my fabulous in-laws they hardly miss us! It's also amazing what a new lego set can do... they were literally pushing us out the door!

I hope you all have a great week! I'll try to get back here this week if I can break away!

P.S. Remember this from the last time we went away? I still crack up every time I think of it!

How Adventurous Are You?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

 I always liked to think of myself as a free spirit, someone who colors a little bit outside the lines.  But, the truth is, I pretty much live and die by my routines and I am not one who handles change very easily.  I've made a few big decisions in my life, the first being moving to California when I was in High School, and the second was moving to the East Coast for Law School. At the time they didn't really seem that big, and both were ultimately changes for the better.  Now, I am very settled in my life, and even though every day is a page out of the movie Groundhog's Day, I am perfectly happy, and content living my day to day routine. If it was up to me, I'd probably live here, in the same town until Gray graduates, not changing a thing about my life.  Well, since I'm married, it isn't all up to me, and from the beginning I knew that "someday" we would probably have to move to further my husband's career. That "day" has come and gone so many times, and up until now the conversation has always been would the move be to Northern or Southern California. Lately, however, discussions have shifted, and the dialog has me seriously questioning how adventurous I really am. 

As I've mentioned before, my husband grew up in Switzerland, and my kids are both Swiss. Since I've met him, my other half has always talked about moving back to the "motherland"and recently we have been seriously considering whether it would be an option for us to move over there. Whew, I said it out loud. Just so my best friend doesn't have a heart attack, the big move probably wouldn't be for another 5 years or so, but the idea of even considering such a move really has had my head spinning. 

Up until now, my main hesitation outside of what it will mean for me (meaning how can I live without my family and friends) and what it would mean for the kids. I can tell you right now, I love their primary school so much, that I can't stomach the idea of pulling them out of that environment, especially since Gray hasn't even had a chance to benefit from such an amazing school. Any time the topic of moving to Europe has been brought up, it has just as quickly been shut down with, "talk to me when it's time for High School." Well, my crafty husband did a little research, and would't you know it, there is a very similar American school, in a picturesque little town, exactly where he wants to live. We thought it would be ridiculously expensive, but wouldn't you know it the darn thing is actually cheaper. After this revelation the list of my reasons for not moving just got a lot smaller. 

Again, this is all superficial conversation, and no one is going anywhere yet, but I have to admit the prospect is gaining some traction around here. I mean, it is Europe!!! If we moved there the boys would have such an incredible life, with the Alps in their back yard. Paris, Italy... the world at their fingertips (or a few hours by train) and socially/ politically the kind of environment we dream of them growing up in. No mass shootings, reasonable gun control, the kind of place where you don't have to worry about them playing in the yard or walking to school by themselves. This really is the dream, isn't it? Sure, maybe not for everyone, but I'm starting to see that this may be our dream. 

I'm still not sure what this all would mean for me as an individual, but it would be one hell of an adventure. I can't even put in to words how much I would miss this life of mine, but with a six hour direct flight from Boston,  I'm pretty sure I could negotiate more than a few visits back each year, and really, who would't want to visit us if we were living in a town that looks like this?

Gorgeous, right?

I would LOVE to hear from any of you who have ever lived abroad... especially with little kids. Was it difficult to assimilate? I hear that most Americans who move out of the country naturally gravitate to other Americans. Is that true? The few times I've been to Switzerland I was in awe of its beauty, but put off by the rigidness of some of the people I met who lived there.  I wonder if I would ever get over that, or if I would change to adapt?  Serious food for thought over here. 

This one is go down as a to be continued...

Gone Skiing.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 Today is a snow day for us, even though we barely broke the 4 inch mark for new snow (isn't this always the case???) so the LM and I are off to take advantage of what powder there is, on the slopes. Hope you all have a great (warm) day! Be back tomorrow. 

If You Are Considering Platinum Blonde Hair...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

 If you are considering platinum blonde hair... my advice? 

Go for it! 

A little over a month ago I decided to bleach my hair. Not by myself of course, but rather I begged my hairdresser to do it. I was on the fence for weeks, and then one day decided it just had to be done. After years of tweaking my color, ever so slightly, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and honestly it has been one of the best beauty decisions I have even made. 

When asking friends if I should make the big change, the majority said wait until the Summer. Why? Well, everything looks good in Summer, doesn't it? I then realized that I come from the opposite school of thought, that since a tan can improve just about anything (including your mood) why not lighten things in the Winter, when only the prospect of a week on the beach can pull you out of your slump. I find that a self tanner, or a little lightening of your color can go a long way towards beating your Winter blues. So, I went for it!

Now that I'm a little more than a month in, I feel like I can say with some authority what to expect of you decide to go platinum. Here are the 7 things I've learned about taking things to the next (blonde) level. 

1) Do not go for a full bleach job. Seriously. That platinum look can be achieved just as easily with a lot of highlights. A lot. The first time you will be really blonde, the next few times you will be really, really, really blonde. I find the building of the color is what gives you the most dimension. Bonus, there is no bleach on your scalp i.e. no burning. 

2) You cannot freak out about the roots. If roots bother you, this look is not for you. With this kind of hue, you are going to have roots, you just have to embrace them. I went back after 4 weeks for a touch up, and was told wait 5 or 6 for the next time. I swear I will try my damnedest to hold out that long. 

3) Condition, condition, and condition some more. For the week or two after I get my color, I use a deep mask every time I'm in the shower. Now, my bleached hair feels exactly like my regular hair. I find that a hair oil is also great to have on hand, as well. 

4) Go easy on the heat. Now that my hair is super blonde, I actually prefer it pulled back in a pony/ bun with some bobby pins, which is good considering that putting heat on damaged hair is the key to breakage. If you are going to process the crap out of your hair, try not to fry it as well. I now use my curling iron, blow dryer in small doses. So far, so good. 

5) Wear a lot of black. Okay, that isn't really a "rule," but it is the fastest way to add instant chic to your look. I get more compliments than ever now, when I'm wearing all black, with my fierce white hair. I for one, am not complaining. 

6) Shorter is better. Listen, no one tries for Pamela Anderson's hair from the Baywatch days, but somehow when hair is long, and bleached, it tends to take on that look. As someone who grew up in Southern California I can say with 100% certainty that there is only a handful of people in this world who can pull off long, platinum hair. When in doubt, go for a big chop first. 

7) Own your look. Yes, white(ish) hair can be a little shocking. I spend the first two weeks hiding under my head of it. Once I grew to love it (which I now do, and swear I will have this for the rest of my life) I found that if you just own your look, those around you will grow to love it too. Yes, I'm pretty much talking about my husband, but really, confidence goes a long way with this look, 

Those are my 7 rules (so far). I'm not sure if I'm really keeping this look forever, but right now I am oh so happy with it. For the first time, in a long time, I'm not dreaming about what is next for my hair. Progress, people. Progress!

Weekend Links.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Friday! How was your week? Despite my poor husband being sick since last weekend, I actually managed to have a great one (and kept us all out of the house, and germ free!) The weather has been fantastic, and I spent a good portion of the week finally getting some much needed girl time, or as it's called around here "the babysitter is back from Winter break!" All week I have been able to spend some long overdue time with my best friend, and even sneaked in a dinner with my sister. These are things that make me very, very happy. This weekend is pretty action packed for the LM and I. Tomorrow we will be skateboarding, and then Sunday skiing. The kid is obsessed, I actually had to drag him off the mountain at 7:30pm on Wednesday... I swear he would have gone all night! Whatever your plans, I hope you have a great long weekend. Here are a few fun links from around the web to kick it off a little early! See you next week. 

The 8 self limiting behaviors successful people avoid.

I give in... the Birkenstock IS back. (One point goes to my good friend Anne!) You can't argue after seeing these gorgeous ladies!

My bestie is taking her 4 (!!!) kiddos to the beach for a week! This is a must have for their new baby! I really wish I would have had this a few years back!

A printer that can put your face in your coffee foam. Seriously!!!

Awesome shoes!

Okay, David Beckham is insane!

Great bags for the grocery, beach, diaper bag... you name it!

This salad looks so good. I'm absolutely making it this weekend!

This had me rolling on the floor!

All week it's been, Golden Globes this, dresses that, and all I can think is Jared F'king LETO! Gah!!!! That man did not disappoint! What are the chances I can get me husband to grow his hair out?!?!

My number one Summer lust item....

... followed very closely by these beauties.

Finally, I cannot even begin to explain how heavy my heart is after hearing the news about the sudden closing of Isis Parenting. While I haven't been there in over a year, I feel that I owe them so much, and I can say with absolute certainty that I would not have made it through the first year of the LM's life had I not found their classes. The minute you walk through those doors, new baby in hand, you felt like you were finally given the instruction booklet that the hospital forgot to send home with you. I met my two best friends in one of my first classes, and for that I will be forever grateful. I wish we all knew that the business was flailing, I just can't believe that the community wouldn't have kicked in, and tried to stop this from happening. My heart breaks for all those new mothers who will never be given the same opportunity that I had, and I hope that their teachings, and legacy will live on, even if it is back in someone's basement just like where it all began. This is a hugs loss for Boston, one that will be felt for a long time to come.

(Photo credit: Here)

Our 6 Favorite Vegetarian Pasta Recipes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My husband and I like to think of ourselves as pretty clean eaters. We don't eat meat or much dairy (except cheese, god I love cheese) and only certain types of fish and seafood. You would think that this makes planning meals difficult, but really it's the opposite. When I go in for our weekly shop, I grab as many vegetables as I think I can fit in my fridge, a few pieces of fish, and a couple boxes of pasta, and some broth. Once I get home I throw the fish in the freezer, and hop on my computer or pull out my cookbooks and try (try being the operative word) to look at the week ahead and plan a menu.  In the Summer things are a little trickier, mostly because I don't really want to spend a second more inside the house than is necessary, but also there are the usual concerns about heating the house too much with the oven, and not wanting a big meal with it is 90 degrees out... but the Winter. Well, in the Winter all bets are off. 

During the months of October- April I work out a lot more (mainly because there is nothing else to do in the freezing cold, and my kids always love the children's room at our gym) and when it's cold outside, like everyone else, I crave comfort food. Soups, pastas, anything and everything that needs to be roasted for hours... you name it. Basically if it's warm and has carbs, I'm in. While I certainly aim to mix things up a bit, I start to notice around this time a year that I tend to recycle the same recipes over and over. Sometimes it's just because I'm feeling uninspired, but mostly it's because they are just that good. In most of these I try to shy away from the unhealthy elements but substituting olive oil for butter, and halving (or even quartering) the cheese, but considering the amount of vegetables in each, you really can't go wrong. 

For those of you out there looking for some great new recipes, here are my 6 go to vegetarian pasta dishes. Bon Appetit!

Simple Spaghetti with Kale, Lemon, and Garlic

 Linguini with Pea Pesto*

 Cavatappi with Browned Brussels Sprouts and Breadcrumbs

 Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe**
(my favorite dish EVER)

 Brown Butter Spaghetti with Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash 

 Wild Mushroom Fettuccine 


What are your favorite wintertime recipes? I'd love to work something new in to the rotation!

*I substitue bow tie pasta and my kids love it!
** Most unhealthy dish ever... I so do not care.