Tag: Weekending

Living in the city and being constantly surrounded by you and single people provides an insight and reminder on what life used to be like before kids, full-time jobs, and responsibility. The summer also accentuates the carefree, fun-loving side of young people looking to soak up every last ray of sun (and a beverage) on balmy and hot evenings. I realized that dating isn’t just for single people and that there’s something very charming about having not just a dinner out but rather a date out. 


Technically there’s not much of a distinction between the two but perception is king. And so, last Friday, having sent the kids to what we lovingly refer to as Camp Baba and Deda, I met Evan for drinks. We didn’t make any extensive dinner plans out, as tempting as that was, instead opting to meet at a little old-school oyster bar in the neighborhood for drinks. We also didn’t arrive there together and that was what made it so much more fun. I walked over after a fairly busy and long day. The walk, was laced with the knowledge that the weekend had begun. Having just a few minutes of solace, and the anticipation of great conversation were waiting for me, made this feel much more like a date than a way to occupy my evening.

I highly recommend switching your evening out plans for something that seems much more simpler but is so fun and refreshing. And while we are at it, if it all possible, I would pair this lovely dating-your-husband activity with a summer of grandparents who take the kids off your hands, out of the hot and frenetic city, and give them a brief allusion of those carefree summers we all had. 

Food For Thought

This weekend, no, this summer has thus far been a blur. We’ve fallen into a familiar pattern of small excursions around the city, time with our families, and kids parties. This weekend has not been any different. The girls spent time with Baba and Deda. More than that, they had a pottery painting date with my sister and nephew at the very same place I used to take the now 13-year old Alex when he was Sophia’s age. We finally got out these little aprons my sister and I made for the girls a few years back when we made them for all the little cousins’ as Hannukah presents. We shipped the aprons with homemade hot chocolate and cookie mixes. The girls were besides themselves with glee and couldn’t wait to cook for each other and us. Sophia made a fruit salad for herself and Eliza with her very own real knife. Her fruit salad recipe had grapes, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and lemon juice in it. She doesn’t usually like blueberries but having made it herself won her over, I suppose. Or was it that she worked up an appetite after a morning at the zoo? Whatever it was, we were glad to see the kids enjoy their time in the kitchen and in the zoo, glad to see their time. Period.

Sunday was the first time we had been to the zoo since last fall and it was a beautiful day. We weren’t the only ones who had such a splendid idea but we have a membership and don’t feel the need to explore every nook and cranny each visit. The zebra exhibit was closed which was disappointing to Eliza who asked where is the zebra vacationing. Alas, all it took was a carousel ride, a significant amount of time at the Tree House.

Life Moments Tiny Tastebuds Weekending

Ice cream wasn’t the only thing on the menu though I could have it for breakfast lunch and dinner. We also made a roast, crepes, roasted tomato soup, a roasted chicken dinner, and a barley grain salad. It isn’t gluttony, its meal-prep for the week and it ensures that I can get a proper dinner on the table most evenings. Do you meal prep for the week?

Cookery Dessert Eliza Cooks Flavors Hubby Cooks Life Moments Sophia Cooks

A family dinner out was a very foreign concept when we first moved to Philadelphia. The girls were 3 years and 3 months old and neither would sit through a full meal irregardless of having toys. Its been almost three years and we are just now starting to gather the courage to head out for an enjoyable dinner out. First Friday provides the perfect backdrop for a dinner date — Old City is buzzing with people getting drinks, food, looking at art and repeating much of the same. We decided to follow suit and have drinks, oysters, and finish the night off with an art gallery crawl and ice cream. Why oysters? Besides the fact that they’re … well … oysters, they’re fast to order and fast to serve up and thus provide a low-risk time commitment when dining with kids.

And, on occasion, we play tourist in our own city having walked over to the Liberty Bell on Saturday morning to learn about how the bell broke and what fix was attempted.

Life Weekending

We were a family of five for a week and it was so, so nice. The girls, Evan, and I hosted my nephew Alex while he attended a photography camp at Fleisher Art Memorial. Old school photography with real film and a manual camera is slowly becoming less common and I am so glad Alex showed interest in learning how it used to be done. Looking back at my own childhood, I had great fun assisting my dad when he developed his own film in our dark room. 

Camp and photography is one thing, but photography at a camp that looks like this is another. Fleisher is housed in an old church complete with a gorgeous stained glass window that looks like it was transported straight out of Verona, Italy.

Outside of camp we enjoyed a lot of family time and the kids spent time together doing what kids do best — self-directed play.

Connect4, coloring, strawberry ice cream and fancy water. Fancy water is my way of encouraging everyone to drink lots of water by dropping berries into a to-go cup.

This past week wasn’t just about camp or family/cousin time. It was about providing Alex with an opportunity to live in the city for a week. Alex seized this chance with open arms and took it all in observing the diversity of the neighborhood we live in and the one where he attended camp (Queen’s Village). We had great conversations talking about the city, the neighborhoods, the history that is all around us, and our life here. We spoke about why Evan and I make this city our home and about how we make choices. I had such a nice time getting to know my nephew who is no longer a child but much more of a young adult. He is lovely and I am looking forward to making this a tradition.

Life Moments

Life

Cookery Dessert Flavors Life Moments Sophia Cooks

I’ve been watching The Great British Baking Show. As a result, I’ve been in a bit of a baking craze and made these cinnamon buns and now the carrot cupcakes with maple cream cheese buttercream. I had great helpers.

Both Eliza and Sophia were great pipers much to my surprise. I like baking with the girls as it provides a welcome reprieve from their typical play. They get to be creative and we learn about science (e.g., what does baking soda do in a batter and what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder). Besides that, we visited Bartram’s Garden which was just lovely. The weather was beautiful and the girls enjoyed exploring. It is difficult to believe that such peace and solitude can be found in the city.

Cookery Culinary Adventures Delicious Dessert Eliza Cooks Flavors Life Moments Sophia Cooks

There is an article in the newspaper discussing why America’s parents are among the least happiest in the world (at least among the first world countries) and that the issue is of most import to everyone, not just fellow parents. Moreover, the best help is always support that combats stressors (childcare, household chores). Our own household has been rocked recently due to the sudden and drastic unavailability of childcare due to a family emergency. Thankfully, my mom was able to step in and play Baba The Great Caregiver for a week. Her helping hands were entirely welcome and so, so appreciated. She topped off her week with us in the most lovely of ways — with a trip the Please Touch Museum on a torrentially rainy Friday. The girls, of course, loved their time and more surprisingly, to me, so did Baba. Experiences just like this one highlight that, deep inside, we’re all kids. 

The weekend couldn’t come fast enough and, with it, it brought a slew of spring cleaning and household organization activities. We finally started to organizes our little patios and make them spaces where we could spend time in the glorious spring weather. I am pleased with the progress and excited albeit nervous about getting some greenery and planters to further spruce up the space. For anyone who knows me, I am the antithesis of a gardner having successfully failed at keeping plants alive for well over a decade. Alas, for the good of the patios and aesthetically pleasing spaces, I am diving in once more into gardening or patio gardening. And this one picture? Just a papa decorating bracelets with some stick-on jewels. Spark-tacular.

Life

This past Saturday Sophia “dressed in her work clothes, put her car keys into her purse, and packed her lunch bag. She declared that she’s getting her cardigan and going to work. I noted that Sophia accessorized for the occasion with her purple Cinderella necklace. It was very sweet and I was surprised to see how much detail she had committed about our weekday life.

Evan and I took her out to dinner on Friday in South Philly to a place of her choosing. It was a real treat for her and us alike. For us, it is the beginning of the phase where dinner out does not include toys, figures, dolls, or crayons. For her, dinner out means an opportunity to dress up a little bit, choose her own meal, partake in conversation, and participate in all the other rituals of dining out.

Individual attention, I feel, is crucial. It is often difficult to devote time and listening ears to everyone especially if they’re trying to talk at the same time. Whether it is with Eliza or Sophia, those rare occasions when my attention to them is undivided, are the absolute best and lead to happier, more emotionally-sated children. Friday evening, after dinner, as she was getting ready for bed, Sophia says “Mama, do you think that the sky is a big blue puzzle and that the night comes after all the puzzle pieces fall down?” Moments like this remind me that their innocence and openness to all possibilities is electrifying.

Life Moments