Archive for the 'stay at home moms' Category

3 Days in Austin: Fun Things to See and Do

mexican martinis

Cheers to old friends!

Last weekend I spent some long-overdue kid-free time in Austin with my BFF (thanks, Chrissy, for letting me jet off!) and, oh, but it was nice…. Can I get a repeat? In addition to long, uninterrupted chats with someone who’s known me for 20+ years, here’s the short version of what was on the agenda — I hope it inspires you to plan a little “me” time, too:

* Mexican martinis at Dos Salsas in Georgetown (mmm, see above. And here’s a recipe — I’d tweak the Sprite to a splash.)

* Patricia Clarkson on 7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien. Do yourself a favor and watch this. It is highly enjoyable not only because Clarkson is super-appealing and slightly tipsy during the in-the-closet interview, but also because it introduced me to new lipstick shade Cherries in the Snow (which now resides in my handbag.)

* Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow — an excellent pick-me-up in the face of crappy fall weather.

cherries in the snow

Kiss me! I'm wearing lipstick.

* !It Jeans from Adelante — they hug, they’re snug, and they won’t set you back $200. (You’re welcome.) I snagged the My New Boy style, pictured below.


If fall has to come, at least I can be wearing these.

* New METALSGirl jewelry from Parts + Labour.

metalsgirl giant 4 color necklace

Giant 4 color necklace. Yes, please.

* Weird La Lucha Libre wrestling guys for the kids from Tesoros.

La Lucha Libre wrestling guys

Viva, Mexico!

* Chipotle and toasted almond guacamole at La Condesa. Heck, yeah.

La Condesa

Darn good guac. Drinks, tacos, and chile rellenos, too.

* Retro-cool at The HighBall.

Vintage bowling lanes, transported to Austin from New Orleans.

* Big-time cheesy fun at Austin Karaoke. Thanks to my friend Debra, I no longer have to wonder what my karaoke songs would be — let’s just say Sheryl Crow, Journey, and the fine ladies of Heart were all paid tribute to. Surprisingly cathartic. They had to pry the mike out of my hands.

Austin Karaoke

Hello, fun.

* Breakfast nirvana at Monument Cafe and Kerbey Lane.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Serving breakfast 24-7.

* A book called Love Life — and lots of pretty fresh flowers, too — at La Fleur Vintage.

Love Life

Colette: "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."

Thanks, Debra! xo


Currently Obsessed with…. Moving to Austin



A Reality-Check via Babble: Stay-at-Home vs. Working Parents

Be Brave

Parenting: A tough job.

I read a funny Babble post last week on the differences between the daily lives of stay-at-home and working parents — and let’s just say it struck a chord (for others, too, judging by the number of comments). Chrissy and I have had a few, ahem, conversations recently about how different our days are and how, honestly, sometimes it’s difficult to relate to and truly appreciate what the other has had to deal with.

Heather Rigby, who wrote the post, is feeling the same with her husband — so she came up with a list of questions to “help him and other office-bound parents gauge how (cough, cough) similar their days are to ours.”

Here are some of my favorites….

* When you walked into work this morning and pleasantly greeted your co-worker Jim, was his first reaction to scream “NO! WANT JASON!” followed by an office supply being thrown at you?

* Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?

* Did you finish a complete thought at any time during the day?

* Have you had to come to an associate’s aid because she fell off her desk after trying to climb on top of it using a rolling chair?

* When you reached for the report a co-worker was handing you, did he snatch it away at the last second and scream “MINE!” while shoving you backwards?

* While you are using the restroom, do various co-workers come in the stall and ask you to settle a disagreement or open a packet of fruit snacks?

And to those, I’d add a few questions of my own….

* Did a co-worker or your boss call you a poopy or a baby today when you did something they didn’t like?

* Did the person in the office next door stick his tongue out at you as he walked by?

* Did you have to let a colleague play with your iPhone for a few minutes so you could get something done, but then need to beg him: “Hold it with both hands! Please don’t drop it!”?

* Did you have to remind anyone in a meeting not to stick their fingers up their nose?

* Did you have to break up an argument over the red crayon?

* Did you find yourself finishing the half-eaten bits of a co-worker’s lunch or snack instead of getting your own?

* Were you at any point inadvertently spit on while a co-worker made loud farting noises?

No, I didn’t think so. (P.S., honey — I know you *did* have to deal with a whole long list of stresses that I did not. Endless meetings, crazies on the commute, and more. I’ve been on the other side, too, and being a working parent is also hard — I get that. Bottom line: Being a parent is hard.)

But, seriously…. I do get extra points for wiping butts and snotty noses, right?


8 Surprising Things About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

New York Magazine on Why Parents Hate Parenting

Chipotle-Spiked Hummus & Avocado Sandwich: A Quick & Easy At-Home Lunch

New York Magazine on Why Parents Hate Parenting

I’ve been obsessed this week with the current New York magazine cover story, All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting. The cover line on the front of the mag is actually even more intriguing: “I Love My Children. I Hate My Life.”

New York magazine

As a stay-at-home mom whose life largely centers these days around the act of parenting, I was curious to see what rang true for me.

Turns out, plenty.

Continue reading ‘New York Magazine on Why Parents Hate Parenting’

Chipotle-Spiked Hummus and Avocado Sandwich: A Quick and Easy At-Home Lunch

hummus-avocado sandwich

Staying home with my children has its rewards, but there are definitely things I miss about the working life. Like:

  • Reading on the subway.
  • Periods of time longer than 30 seconds where I do not have to speak to anyone.
  • The occasional lunch-hour haircut or Anthropologie run.

And, speaking of lunch — lunch itself.

Even if I was only eating in front of my computer, I looked forward to lunch and really considered what I was going to get. I often made an effort to seek out new places. I read Midtown Lunch. I would travel out of my way for the Daisy May chili cart. The hunt for a better lunch was always on.

Staying home, that doesn’t happen so much. I eat a lot of turkey sandwiches and salads. Even when I get creative with the ingredients, it still comes down to a lot of turkey sandwiches and salads.

The other day, I tried something a little different — with basic ingredients I routinely have on-hand — and it was pretty delish, if I do say so myself. Even pretty on the plate (please note, above.)

Here’s what I made:

I took some of the smoky chipotle-chiles in adobo sauce that I always have in the fridge, and stirred it into a couple tablespoons of hummus. I spread that on a generous piece of crunchy, toasted whole wheat bread.

Then I scooped out some avocado, mashed it up with salt and pepper, and spread that on top of the hummus. Topped that with a little fresh (not from a jar) salsa, and finished it all off with LOTS of chopped chives from our first CSA haul.

Had it with some fresh-squeezed lemonade that I made muh-self.


Got an easy, go-to, at-home lunch idea that ventures beyond roast turkey on toast? I’m listening….

8 Surprising Things about Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Magnolia in the city

I took this picture. I had fun doing it.

Here comes Mother’s Day. And I’m approaching my one-year anniversary as a Stay-at-Home-Mom. Time for a little reflection.

If anyone had told me I’d one day willingly quit my job to stay home full-time with young children, I’d never have believed them. But sometimes life surprises you, and that’s a good thing. Now that I’ve been at it a while, here are a few of the things I’ve found most surprising.

Continue reading ‘8 Surprising Things about Being a Stay-at-Home Mom’

I Love My Franco Sarto Crossbody Bag!

Franco Sarto Journey Crossbody Bag

Franco Sarto Journey Crossbody Bag, $58, from zappos

All moms know the right bag is essential. We’re past the diaper bag stage, but I still need a bag that’s uber-functional, and it had to fill several specific requirements. Here’s what I was looking for in the perfect urban mom bag.

  • It had to be a crossbody bag — hands-free is a non-negotiable. Fashion can be priority number one at another time in my life. For now, as a Stay-at-Home mom, practicality rules.
  • It couldn’t look like a messenger bag — not my look. And this one is tricky, because many crossbody styles are some version of a messenger bag.
  • It had to be a bright, fun color — no black or brown.
  • It had to be big enough to hold all of my things — iPhone, wallet, sunglasses for me and the kids, random gloves, snacks, and tissues — but not so big that it looked bulky on my hip. (I have big hips — extra bulk-age in that area is not a good thing.) It needed somehow to be roomy and have plenty of compartments, but also to be trim.

I looked endlessly, and flirted with many Fossil bags. They’re leather, have that European look I was after, and are well-made. But closer inspection in person left me cold — styles were either too small, too bulky, or not in a color I was loving.

In the end, I found this Franco Sarto Journey Crossbody bag online. It met all of my requirements and also came with a foldable tote that I thought might prove useful for neighborhood errand runs, and I’m happy to report that it has.

Last, it was way more affordable than all of the leather bags I’d been eying — a point I appreciated more when Magnolia spilled an entire glass of milk on it approximately two weeks after I’d gotten it. (FYI, the nylon canvas held up to that very well.)

More things we love:

Expedit Bookcase from Ikea

“All out of” Shopping List and “What to Eat” Planner from Anthropologie

Health and First Aid Essentials

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