Friday, November 21, 2014

Autumn Seed Salad

A few months back I participated in a little family taste test for NatureBox. A company I had already been very curious about seeing how I am always on the hunt for new (obviously healthy) snack options to keep the boy's school lunches interesting. Especially Leon, who has been gluten free now for over two years and is easily excited about any new snack options that pop up in our pantry that he too can enjoy.

Everything we tried on the initial round we loved. From the Sirracha Roasted Cashews to the Baked Cheddar Potato Sticks to the Lentil Loops, to each of the dried fruit and baked goods, every snack option tested was an instant hit with just about all of us.

This time around they asked if we might like to collaborate on contributing one of our "fall favorites," a personal recipe using whichever of their three snacks we prefer.  I've been on a salad kick (for lunch anyway) for the past couple of months so I incorporated some of their tasty seeds, and dried cherries to a bed of arugula, and then managed to snag a delicious dressing recipe from my good friend Rachel.

If you're craving a new twist on your salad, here's what I used

baby arugula 
1 cup quinoa 
sliced avocado
goat cheese crumbles
Naturebox dried cherries 
sprinkled with : NB honey comb sunflower & smoked pumpkin seeds

1 juiced lemon
4 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
3 table spoon balsamic 
1/2 tsp of honey
1 clove of pressed garlic
1 tsp of course ground mustard
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper 

Like I said, we were a big fan of everything Naturebox sent our way. I've been recommending them to all my friends. I mean, healthy and unique snacks delivered to your doorstep is pretty heard to beat. And, I just have to confess, those honey comb sunflowers are so addictive I finished off the bag while watching last night's episode of Parenthood.
Tears and seeds I tell ya.

You can check out Nature box snack options HERE and be sure and sign up for a free sample box to see which ones you might want to stock up on for Fall.

It's really is hard to go wrong. Promise.

Also, if you try the salad, let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Month Six

In which one brother will decide it's time for you to have a first go at a mo hawk, while another will be caught (and scolded) for trying to force you up against a wall to practice standing on your own.

Where you will still refuse a bottle. Outright. And so I will walk back and forth between hotels during a wedding in the desert, to feed and comfort you. Where you suddenly take to waking three or four times a night again due to teething issues, or growth spurts or whatever it is that makes you babies cry out for someone when you start to realize you are alone there, in the dark of night while the rest of the house sleeps solid, and soundly.

Where you still smile, indiscriminately, at every single person who happens to enter your frame. My tiny sweet hip companion, with the joyful eyes and happy face. The only baby I've ever had strangers stop to remark about how much you resemble me. Reflections I see and cherish too.

Half a year.
In the blink of an eye.

But by now, we know to expect that. How quickly babies turn to toddlers and toddlers into boys.
And possibly, even faster if those brothers of yours have anything to do with it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Scenes from a Weekend

I spent all of Sunday afternoon cleaning. Mainly my room because of all the spaces in this house it seems the most regularly neglected. And then, it looked so nice and I felt so refreshed that I decided to try and snap a few photos to share here because as much as I enjoy home interior posts, it's a wonder I never contribute any of my own.

So I tried.
But then the baby woke up and one by one the boys filtered in and before I knew it it looked just like it usually does. Scattered with random toy parts, and new drawings and unsightly kid things.
And, well, I gave up.

But it was nice while it lasted. Next time I guess I'll have to be a little quicker with the camera.

Here, two photos from my failed tour. The highlight being the postcard of William Burroughs pretending to stab Jack Kerouac that I've had framed since college.

The rest, I suppose will have to wait.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hayes & Maggie

Babies four and five for Anne and I. In matching blue and white knit sweaters with those adorable toothless grins. The golden age of infancy. Offering up new reflections of their personalities, of who will they ultimately will become but still content to sit and play by themselves for brief bouts in a sun-lit corner of the house with a basket full of toys, perfectly happy in your lap, just before they realize the power of those four limbs and set out to uncover all of the endless mysteries that await in unexplored quarters of their home.

Shane and Leon are the same age difference as Maggie and Hayes. Which means six years ago we shared the same long sober holiday seasons and complained about the same summer heat waves. And  now, with our expanded crews combined it can sometimes feel like a traveling circus show of screaming tantrumed toddlers, and dirty diaper explosions, and spontaneous fists flung and peed pants and non stop apologies because we are a notoriously loud and boisterous bunch. But the fact that we can sit and enjoy a beer together, trade movie recommendations or dinner recipes in the midst of all of it, in spite of the side long glances that come with taking a bunch like ours out in public, is still all the matters.

Be it evenings, afternoons, scattered hours throughout the years we will both be equally be thankful for.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Socks For Baby

On A particularly rough thursday morning, when nothing seems to be going your way and you're feeling like a full blown failure because you couldn't find a certain page in their home work packet when they needed to turn it in, or another boy's glasses (for the second day in a row) and you're on the phone with your sister who's in a real panic over the possibility of bed bugs having invaded her home, and you stumble upon your two youngest boys sitting quietly in one room, one singing, one cooing while the older is focused intently on getting socks on those two tiny feet because he thinks they might be cold, your heart starts to swell. In that single moment, that short sweet scene was all you needed to remind you of what you already know. That these days are tough, but fleeting. And that that baby, in his bright blue socks smiling lovingly up at his protective older brother, is all you will remember from  days like these anyway.

And the homework packet will work out. And the glasses will turn up. And the laundry will get done and the windows will be washed, and your sister will call you later to inform you of her relief in hearing that they are not in fact the dreaded bed bugs like she / we feared. And all will be right and somewhat ordely again, and tomorrow is just around the bend with the promise to take it a little easier on you, if you just take a breath, cease the moment, and believe in it.

Scenes From A Weekend

Palm Springs

For the wedding of our friends Lia and Felicia. We stayed at the Saguaro in Palm Springs for the first two nights, along with my niece who cared for Hayes while we attended all the accompanying festivities, but man was that hotel a harsh sight for our poor eyes. Purple carpet and orange walls. Neon pink accents. Bad lighting and the loudest pool party I've ever witnessed. I don't know, maybe we're old, but it just was not our cup of tea. It was obnoxious rather than "cute" or kitschy like the gallery on it's website led me to believe, but that's all beside the point. We were there to celebrate love. To honor two incredible woman there in the desert amidst a gorgeous setting in the company of some seriously amazing people. (Among lots and lots of fancy ladies in charge of some super creative, downright  hysterical toasts)

And there were other scheduled events to sweetly fill our time there too. Cheese and wine in the barn, downtown day drives in the land rover with the top off, brunch, and afternoon swimming. Midnight dance parties and cat naps by the pool. On our last night we were invited to take over a newly vacant room which we naturally jumped at. Sparrows Lodge is a dream of a hotel. Arriving the evening of the wedding, I was ready to move in. Part rustic, part modern but classically craftsman inspired, it was everything I love. It's everything everyone I know loves. Rock walk- in showers and deep tin basin tubs. Subtle, clean and refined landscape, misters by the pool, and that lovely little bar in the middle of the barn. So much beauty. But refreshingly simple still.

Sunday night Mike headed home to pick up the boys while I stayed to celebrate my birthday with a few friends, my niece, and the baby. We had an early dinner out and ended up hanging at the pool down the street, at The Ace. It was low key and fun. We laughed. A lot. Which is a gift in itself after a certain age, right?

By Wednesday we were back to the grind. Weighed by all that piles up on you while you're away for any substantial amount of time. Filled with dim (maybe desperate) plans to return again whenever possible. To soak up that desert sunshine and rinse in those dreamy rock walled showers. Until then, we raise our glasses to the new Mrs. Halloran's, may they be blessed with many years filled with love light and lots and lots, and lots of laughter.