::enjoying hot tea in April.
::letting Rachel live in her “Tinkerbell top.” A sick girl has every right to wear her special pajamas.
::trying to polish things up on this site.
::looking for a good 5 or 10k to run this summer.
::figuring out what’s next for my hair: bang trim/long, side-swept bangs/cut it all short & donate…all possibilities.
::filling out our application for a community garden plot.
::dreaming about putting an even larger plot in our small yard.
::reflecting on my upcoming birthday. Trying not to make a big deal about it, but also taking the opportunity to consider some things.
::excited to dye some Easter eggs this week. Jenna’s turned out just beautiful, don’t you think?
::hoping, at the last minute, that the Lady Irish win tonight’s national championship basketball game.
::studying up on Hunter Pence and other Phillies favorites. Bring on baseball season!
::obsessed with the idea of sheet pan meals. Tried one on Sunday; will try another tonight.
::pledging to channel my baking obsession into creating healthy-ish breakfast foods.
::considering a summertime challenge: find Philadelphia’s best ice cream shoppe.
::laughing out loud at these two Tumblrs: one…two.
::feeling light and content on this Tuesday, and hoping you are too!
I have sleep and dreams on the brain, apparently. Perhaps because I am not getting enough of either.
Sleep is boring. Dreaming is fun. Here are some of the things I’ve been dreaming about:
Waffles for breakfast
Making some shades for Rachel’s room (maybe out of mini-blinds!)
Planning our garden for this year
Going to Rome
Painting a blank wall in our apartment that I can’t think of anything else to do with. (Inspired by Design Mom’s question: why not?!)
Quinoa cookies, or quinoa salad, or quinoa anything really
I hope you have a restful and fun weekend planned. Maybe we’ll do/make some of what’s on the list above. Dare to dream!
PS- The photo above is from this post. I think she looks like she has the whole world in front of her. It’s one of my favorite photos ever.
Happy Monday! I thought I’d share something that we’ve been using at home to help us with Rachel’s routine. It’s a visual schedule from the small family company A Kid’s Day. It comes with 20 labels for different activities and you can customize them to include whatever you want. They also have bedtime charts.
I love it. It really helps Rachel know what to expect next and therefore eases transitions. It’s also made me more mindful of sandwiching difficult activities, like baths and naps, with things Rachel loves to do. This way, the favorable activity acts as a reward for doing the unfavorable activity, which for me, is better than giving Rachel a sticker or candy for completing a perfunctory task.
More than anything it gets me in the mode of telling Rachel what activities are coming next throughout the day, whether I have a label for it or not. Her memory and language skills are really developing right now and I can tell she’s building confidence in both. When I tell her we’re going for a walk, then going to the supermarket, then going home, then watching a movie, she retains it. While we’re walking I can ask her to tell me what we’re doing after that and she knows the answer. Competence builds confidence. It’s great.
I had been wanting to create something visual like this for awhile but I never got around to it, so I was very happy when I discovered Meg was offering one as a giveaway on her blog. I usually don’t enter giveaways but this one seemed worth it and I’m glad I did because I actually won! Can you believe it?
Have a happy week, everyone. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the more adventurous parts of our weekend.
Jim and I went on an awesome date night on Saturday. This is the awkwardly happy picture I took of us while we waited for our table:
Some highlights: First of all, the couple we dined with was so fun. They were such great company – warm and witty, with lots of great stories to share. It was so great to meet them.
Second, Audrey Claire serves up an amazing meal. Every single thing we ordered was delicious. My favorites were the bosc pear and gorgonzola flatbread, the grilled haloumi, the potato crusted tuna, the cinnamon rice pudding and the dreamy olive oil citrus cake. Uh-may-zing.
Speaking of amazing-ness. My super charming husband charmed our super charming waiter into free haloumi cheese! It started with Jim quizzing the waiter about the origins of the tile fish. (Straight out of a scene in Portlandia, I swear. Jim asked, “is is wild caught?” “Yes,” replied the waiter. “From which ocean?” countered Jim. “The one with water,” he replied.) The friendly banter continued when the waiter described the haloumi cheese as “Tunis haloumi.” “Like, from Tunisia?” Jim asked. Just like that, the waiter was smitten. We oohed and ahhed over the Tunis haloumi when he came back to check on us (It was seriously to die for), and before we knew it, somewhere in the middle of our second course, another serving of haloumi cheese magically appeared on our table as the super charming waiter dashed past us to tend to other (less charming) diners. Our street cred is sky high right now.
Have you heard of The Happiness Project? It is a great book (also a blog) that I sort of bought myself for Christmas (as in, I bought it as a white elephant gift then stole it from the person who picked it first…ha!).
I’m not gonna go all grad school book review on you, but I will say this: this book is filled with super smart, unique insights on the concepts of happiness and how to achieve it. It’s very happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I kind of like that. But she also gives great commentary on very specific topics like money (does it buy happiness after all?) and clutter (how is how we keep our stuff related to our attitude?) and a whole host of other topics.
She talks a lot about being yourself, which is really speaking to me at the moment. For example, how many times do we deny ourselves a hobby that makes us happy, like reading kid lit (her example) or watching sports (mine), because we think it’s either “illegitimate” or that we are not the “type of person” who should take interest in such a hobby? Think of just how much happiness we are denying ourselves. She says, think of what you liked to do when you were 10. You probably still really like a lot of that stuff, and that’s ok. Do what makes you happy. Even if it’s reading comic books. Or watching trashy television. Or collecting coins. Tons of grown ups do these things, i.e. it’s possible to be a grown up and do what you love and be mature and/or legitimate and have fun, and guess what, that makes being around you more fun, which makes people want to hang out with you more often, which makes you happy too, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert!
It’s a total game changer for me. I am not finished with it yet, but I am whipping right through it. My bag is like a library right now, to be honest. (How many books does a girl need to carry with her? I’m not going to read them all at once, right?) If I love any of the others as much as I love this book, maybe I’ll share thoughts on them here too.