Archive for the 'eating out' Category

travel strategy

dear world,

i am travelling for work at the moment. i realized i haven’t flown in a while when i had the option to use my phone as my boarding pass. it was amazing. i didn’t have to go to kiosk to print anything. i just scanned my phone. i feel so out of touch for not knowing this is how we do things now.

yesterday, i got up at 4:45am to get ready and make it to the airport for my flight to chicago. since i’m only here for one overnight, i packed light. my strategy involved choosing (comfortable) pants with pockets, one pair of shoes that match both outfits i brought and remembering to bring my inside sweater. total success.

now, i must find a special treat for each person in my family. V expressed quite specifically her excitement about having 1 present for her, 1 for N and 1 for M. you mean we don’t have to share? to be fair, i wanted her to go to sleep so i committed. but, my meeting starts at 10:30am this morning so i’ll be bringing treats from o’hare. no time to stop at the toy store downtown. she’ll never know.


red lentil cake

i took myself out to dinner last night. it felt a little awkward as i was the only person there dining alone, but i had an excellent meal. i went to sable which is all small plates. i started with truffled deviled eggs which it turns out i don’t actually like. then, i had 2 spicy scallops and i thought i would have risotto to finish, but they couldn’t take out the dairy. the server suggested a red lentil cake. i took 2 bites, but it had too much cinnamon in it and the server offered to take it back. i ended up having house-made honeydew-lime sorbet. so good.

i wore a dress. i took a cab. i made my own little night of it. and none of my clothes were any worse for wear after having spent the day in my bag. travel strategy success!

best of all, i woke up early to be able to talk to the girls on facetime this morning. i’m going to get back after bedtime tonight so i won’t get to see them until tomorrow morning.

missing my girls,



why i don’t go to the grocery when i’m hungry

dear world,

tonight, i’m in huntington, wv for work. it’s the first overnight i’ve had by myself in ages. usually, i’m thrilled and looking forward to a night by myself and a shower as long as i want. this trip, the kids were a disaster this morning and i nearly left without my phones because i felt so flustered.

after a 3 hour drive, i worked all day and finally knocked off around 7pm. rather than go sit at a restaurant by myself or swing through a drive through, i thought, i’ll go to the grocery. how economical of me.

you’ll never guess what i came away with:

after staring at the wall of salad greens and remembering i don’t have a knife, i grabbed a bag of pita chips, a small log of goat cheese, hummus, salami, potato salad and a bottle of wine.

seriously? i have no refrigerator in my room and enough food to fill 4 people. what a ridiculous hodge-podge of dinner.



big girl chart

dear world,

to encourage good behavior with V, we have been using sticker charts. here’s how it works: V writes her name, then we write the numbers 1-10. then, she gets a sticker when she shows good behavior. once all 10 numbers are covered with stickers, she gets a treat.

V celebrating big girl behavior

yesterday, she got her 10th sticker and was so proud of herself. “i did it, mommy!” she yelled. when pop got home from work, she showed him her chart. the treat for this chart was a trip to jeni’s ice cream. she had been looking forward to it for a week. (we had some days of really not good behavior. sometimes it takes her a while to fill up her chart. it’s hard to be a big girl all the time.)

i was also looking forward to this reward, but N started crying right before dinner and didn’t stop for over an hour. needless to say, just pop and V got ice cream. still, it was a tremendous triumph for V. she really does try most of the time. the rest of the time, she’s still trying, but trying to see how far she can push the limits before getting in trouble.

super proud,


ps- the treat for her next good girl chart is a blue tutu. she’s going to love it!

tofu is brain food

dear world,

this week has tested my ability to be pregnant and keep it together. monday and tuesday, i was in chicago. i missed bedtime every night this week. thursday, i made it home in time for bed only to be rejected in preference of pop. then i discovered that there was nothing to eat for dinner. i felt so tired and disappointed i literally stood in the kitchen and cried.

tonight, though, MHM is out late and it’s just us. i picked up V from school and we met nana at the restaurant which is always a hit. lately, when we haven’t felt like cooking on a friday night, we’ve gone up to the northstar (along with every other parent in a 5 miles radius. seriously, every high chair is in use around 6pm on a friday.) we used to order a pepperoni flat bread for V of which she would eat a couple bites, but then discovered that they make a kid’s version of their buddha bowl without any sauce. it’s perfect.

i asked V if she wanted tofu or chicken. tofu. are you sure? tofu! she hammered her dinner. every single bite of tofu, broccoli and apple disappeared in that order. then she finished off with a big handful of rice for good measure. i am so excessively proud that she would rather eat tofu and broccoli than pizza.

bedtime, on the other hand, did not go so well. as tofu is brain food, apparently it clicked something into gear in her brain and led to the realization that she could get out of her big girl bed. like i said, not so good.

she proceeded to get out of bed. get back in bed. kick the wall. get out of bed. throw a mini tantrum. (V: i want to go downstairs! me: oh, you want to go downstairs? in that case, no. it’s time for bed.) finally, an hour and a half later, we rocked together a little and i laid in the bed with her until she actually settled. she hasn’t peeped since.

all i’m saying is tofu really is brain food so be careful how you use it.

so tired,



dear world,

i am travelling again this week. this is the last time for work for the foreseeable future, but here i am anyway in gainesville, florida. hello, florida. nice to see you again. ironically, the least expensive and most convenient place to stay is this killer bed and breakfast 3 blocks from downtown. hooray for frugality!

the nice woman who picked me up at the airport (hooray for no rental car!) gave me a list of restaurants within walking distance and the one she recommended is closed on mondays. so i wandered towards the lights and the people and found a tapas bar with a half off bottles and cork and carry. not bad, gainesville.

enter the contrast. as i sit outside at my table, a woman walking on the sidewalk asks a server for a big glass of ice water in a to go cup because she doesn’t have any money. she says, i’ll wait. my table is the last table by the fence and she begins to talk with me. as she’s chatting, my side salad arrives with lots of colors.  i have to say, it wasn’t the most spectacular salad i’ve ever had, but it was fresh and good and what i was looking for. the server comes back out with her water and tells her not to bother the customers. that’s me.

she’s quiet for a while silently sipping her water. in this time, my taste of wine comes and i like it. my server brings me a bottle which i taste again and still like. then my tapas of terribly tasty crab cakes with a cold salad of (possibly pickled) yellow squash and dark leafy greens arrives and i devour it.

as i pour my second glass of wine, she engages me again. asking about trains to tennessee- the conversation spurred by if i like my wine and how much a shot of tennessee whiskey costs. how maybe if she takes a train west she’ll get a job. there’s no jobs in florida. maybe if she wears a disguise she can get out of florida. or maybe oklahoma city, that’s near tennessee, right?

at this point i feel terrible. i just finished an excellent meal with fresh greens and crab of all things. i felt frugal because i ordered tapas and cork and carry and here’s a 59 year old woman who can’t get out of her state without a disguise and really doesn’t know where she’s going anyway.

appreciating what i have,