Tag: Weekending

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The best adventures are the ones that aren’t necessarily planned. We took our little wild ones to see some big and really wild animals at the Philadelphia Zoo. It must be noted that we’re members of the zoo and admission and parking are free for us for the duration of the membership (1 year). The zoo is also a 10 minute ride from our house and yet, somehow, we have managed to omit the zoo from our weekend lineup for all of spring. However this happened, it was remedied on an overcast and fairly cool, albeit, humid summer’s morning.

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Not one to overstimulate my children and try to see and do everything, we took it easy and visited only the exhibits the girls wanted to see. We saw the polar bear, the penguins, the reptiles, and the big cats. These were the girls’ choices and I am pleased they led the way. The zoo posts all sorts of factoids about its inhabitants. For example, did you know that orangoutangs make new nests for themselves every day? Not only that, but they also make pillows, mattresses and even blankets from leaves and straw daily. Now that’s cleanliness and room service I can get behind!

IMG_4168 (1)Just as the crowds started to get significant, we headed home to peace, quiet, and air conditioning. That evening, we grilled middle eastern chicken kabobs. The kids were invited to Baba and Deda’s house for the better part of the day on Sunday and they’re not ones to turn down an invitation from their grandparents. I hear there was gardening and splashing in the back yard as well as books, games, and activities. All in all a much needed lovely weekend.

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Kids now-a-days have so many toys that most parents, including us, have a difficult time finding ample storage and managing the inevitable clutter. The best possible entertainment, I find, are activities that we make ourselves and not ones that are specifically for the kids anyway. We involve the girls in our everyday life encouraging and expecting that they participate in our family life. One such example was the making of a Vanilla Bean Raspberry Swirl cheesecake which both Sophia and Eliza helped me make. Eliza helped weigh out the graham crackers and Sophia crushed them and mixed the melted butter into the crumb mixture. Sophia also helped swirl the unbelievably good raspberry sauce before we put the cake into the oven. She loved being so creative with the swirling. The cheesecake turned out out of this world and a recipe is forthcoming.Speaking of homemade or handmade or made at home and by hand is this beautiful quilt. My sister Anna has taken two years to make it and it was worth the wait. It is so special because it is made especially for Eliza. The design is bright and airy—it isn’t too girly because of its geometrical pattern structure but hints of femininity with its bright pinks and reds. Without trying, the quilt has brought the rest of the elements in her small nursery together. Eliza loves to cover herself with ” ‘da blaket ‘dat Anya made!”This weekend was mostly about spending time as a family. We followed what has become a bit of a routine—a visit to a coffee shop, a trip to the farmer’s market, a dance class, and lots and lots of time outside.

Evan and I did manage to have an evening out. A friend of ours from college was getting married and we were excited to share the day with him and his beautiful bride.

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The wedding was held outdoors overlooking Independence Hall and the beautiful park grounds of Old City. I never tire of this view and never take it for granted. Sophia and Eliza helped make a wedding card and we think it turned out rather cute.

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We watched For Grace yesterday. I’ve, over the  last few months, preferred documentaries over fiction/drama.We’ve liked Cooked and Dior and I. People’s personal stories can be so powerful and their creativity inspirational.

The movie capped off a fairly busy weekend which started with a Friday evening tour of Sophia’s art at her school’s Lower School Art Show. She had two works on displaya watercolor of a wave and a clay butterfly. We capped the visit with a stop at the playground and retired home.

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IMG_5586We made it an early night on Friday to try and recuperate from the week. Busy and exhausting doesn’t even begin to describe it. The rest of the weekend was spent out biking with the kids, a brief dinner date, at dance class, and in a marathon blintz making session. My mom and I farmer’s cheeset wrapped ~90 blintzes. Mmm… That was punctuated by a home-made sprinkled donut snack and a glass of Jefferson Vineyards’ Meritage we brought from our babymoon in 2014.

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FullSizeRender (10)That babymoon was atypical because we took Sophia with us, toured Monticello, Madison’s house, visited wineries and explored University of Virginia’s glorious campus.

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Let me state right up front that the 4:40 AM train I was on bound for Washington D.C., this morning is quite an experience. Having to wake up at an uncivil hour of 3:45 AM sparked thoughts of changing my day job to that of a stay-at-home mom. I was fortunate that I could wake up as close because the trip to the train station takes me 10 minutes vice 30+ minutes from the suburbs.

I could have taken the train yesterday or even late at night but I didn’t want our wonderful weekend to end. Independence Day was July 4th and most everyone, myself included, had a 3-day weekend. We took advantage of the luxury that is a long weekend and spent time with family in the country. We visited Evan’s family on Friday where the kids played and splashed in the still-too-cold pool and the adults doted on them.


Saturday brought a visit with my family where we celebrated my sister’s birthday. Though the celebratory dinner was in the evening, we headed there early to spend as much time with my family as possible. My parents set up a corner for the kids with crates of toys and games that were once Alex’s (my nephew). In addition to the toys and games, there were crafts (Sophia’s favorite). Sophia played so beautifully on her own. She explored each crate and made sure to put its contents back before moving on to another activity. Eliza made use of her not-so-new walking skill to explore the house and run around in the yard. Both the girls spent some time exploring my mom’s vegetable garden and ate its bounty at dinner.


Not believing that anyone should bake a cake for their own birthday, I baked peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese icing in honor of my sister. My brother in-law is not a fan of chocolate and these were perfect since they were light, not chocolate, and incorporated peaches which are finally in-season.

We headed home rested and relaxed, and with lots (and LOTS) of delicious eats packed to-go. I mean really, who would say no to home-made blintzes, apple cake, and the likes?



 We couldn’t think of a better way to round out the weekend than a trip to a playground and the farmer’s market. I was sad to see the weekend come to an end especially since I had an awful early train, but I know the next weekend is just five days away.

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