Tag: <span>growingupsavvy</span>

I have to admit that the blogging has been a bit slow as of late because of, well, life, kids, Faberie. Busy, beautiful, bountiful life that has left not a lot of time for the documentation or retelling of all that living. Alas, having shed our winter coats we made space for our camera and endeavored to capture our everydayness.

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Good weather brought us out for the majority of the weekend. First up, Sophia and I picked up on our tradition from last summer when Eliza was just a wee one and took a leisurely walk through the neighborhood to a coffee shop. Over her chocolate bar with a glass of water and my coffee we talked about everything and nothing in particular. We lounged, people watched, discussed the artwork on display, and planned the remainder of our time out. I cannot tell what it was exactly that relaxed and invigorated the both of us except that the fresh air, the quiet humdrum of our neighborhood and our conversation were just what we both needed. I am a firm believer in giving each child individual attention and uninterrupted time.

My parents, as has become the usual, offered to share their time this weekend with us. Giddy with excitement over the prospect of cleaning our entire house and cooking, we gladly accepted. Both Evan and I have grown accustomed to the fact that they offer to come and spend time with us and the kids and aren’t waiting to be invited.

Sunday was the first day since we’ve moved to Philadelphia that we had a chance to clean the entire house from top to bottom without interruptions. Those who know me, know that I like to have a clean home. I love the fresh scented and shiny floors, clean baseboards, polished appliances and sparking counters.

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The warm weather helped usher in our spring culinary repertoire. We cooked light and delicious meals both new and old staples that pleased everyone’s tastes. First up were pan-fried eggplant topped with a garlic and dill dressing.

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These evoke unbelievable memories. I remember the very smell of our kitchen in Baku, the sound they made as my mom fried them and the amazing garlic aroma that emanated as the cool garlicky dressing hit the hot eggplant slices. They’re so easy, so delicious and so … home for me.

I could have made an entire dinner from these but alas, our little diners weren’t as keen on a one-course meal so we added in a pasta course.

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Simple and flavorful this dish took 15 minutes to make from start to finish and ten of those were inactive. Linguine, garlic zest, garlic juice, heavy cream, parmesan, olive oil and basil. Questo! The pasta wasn’t something that my mom cooked growing up, but maybe, one day my daughters will reminisce about playing by the kitchen and smelling the intoxicating lemon aroma while I finished the pasta in the sauce. Hopefully!

Cookery Flavors Life

Moments

For the first time in what seems like forever, the weather forecast shows that we are not expected to freeze for the next few days and that alone gives me hope that spring may arrive yet. Another sure sign that winter has departed is the arrival (and departure) of the Philadelphia Flower Show. The show is a big event drawing crowds from near and far and reducing the convention center area to a standstill, especially on a weekend when the Reading Terminal Market is in full swing. Having been away for a few years, we decided to partake in what used to be our yearly tradition of visiting the flower show. Sophia went as well, though earlier in the day on Sunday and with my in-laws. This year’s theme was Disney and she was dressed in, according to my mother-in-law, a mandatory princess dress. She put the princess dress on later in the evening and now our entire house (including the toilet seat and now our bums) is covered in glitter. Needless to say, we will be retiring her royal wardrobe as a cost cutting measure since our “palace”, unlike Buckingham, does not employ an extensive cleaning staff. But I digress…

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As per usual, there was quite a bit of cooking since we had on-hand help from both sets of grandparents. I made this vanilla-bean raspberry swirl cheesecake that is was divine and so very beautiful. Alas, Sophia has decided that she doesn’t like cheese and even adding cake to the name wouldn’t sway her. Except that she eats mozzarella and cheese ravioli (though we call that just ravioli). Oh well, more for the rest of us.

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And when we weren’t visiting the flower show, baking a cheesecake and getting treats from our local ice cream and candy shops trying to soak up every warm ray of sunshine outdoors, we were … living and enjoying.

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This move, our life is more than ever crazy, busy, and exhausting. Still, it is thrilling, wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for all the sand in the Sahara.

 

Cookery Delicious Dessert Flavors FriendsFamily Life

Good times, good times. We spent this oh so very cold and somewhat precipitous weekend celebrating. We toured a house in the city and followed that with an impromptu Valentine’s celebration at Tria in Washington Square West. That’s living in the moment for us especially when you have willing and able babysitters. And because no Valentine’s day is complete after drinks for two, we made homemade chocolate truffles dipped in … more chocolate … for Sunday. Sunday was Evan’s Bubbie’s birthday and we were joining the entire family for brunch at home. Sophia and I decided that homemade truffles would be the best gift because, of course, who doesn’t like chocolate? And, who doesn’t like chocolate truffles made by their great-grand daughter?

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There couldn’t have been a more perfect way to celebrate someone so dear to us.

 

Life

I’ve recently had a few conversations about the changes in our lives and the affect they’ve had on us as a family. Namely Evan has continued working in D.C., and we’ve fully transitioned to being a family of four. We are in the midst of selling our house in Maryland, have sold my car (that’s right, we’re a 1 car household!) and I started a business with my sister.

To a large degree, we’ve shaped our world around the lives we want to have. There is a distinction between the lives we want to have and “having it all”. Having it all, to me, would probably mean having more me time, collapsing onto the couch at the end of a long day and having a glass of wine without any interruptions. However, that glass of wine or relaxation cannot replace the immense satisfaction I get from creating, from owning and doing something that satisfies my creative hunger. So after the kids go to bed, I stay up a bit to knit, to blog, pull down and edit pictures and do whatever else needs to be done.

After all that, Evan and I either catch up on reading or watching TV or sometimes, frankly, collapse into bed wishing tomorrow was Friday. It isn’t easy, but then again, I haven’t seen many families with young kids who say that their lives are easy. No one’s life is perfect despite the stories the pictures on their blog, instagram or facebook tell.

That said, there is some magic to juggling a busy lifestyle gracefully and my tricks include taking the first ten minutes after returning home from work to myself. Those ten minutes are what I use to acclimate to the new environment. I change into my mom uniform (loungewear), wash my face and mentally organize everything that needs to be done that evening and when.

Now-a-days I also take another ten minutes during dinner to talk Sophia and ask her all about her day, what happened that was funny, what she did and what she wants to do tomorrow. And then, because good habits start early, Evan and I talk about our days and the kids listen.

It isn’t perfect; I don’t have time to clean the house from top to bottom in one sitting, and I haven’t been out on a proper dinner date with Evan in months, perhaps over a year, but our life works for us.

Food For Thought