Breakfast of Champions

Wow, watching Olympians compete sure does make me ravenous!  In honor of our mighty athletes, this morning I whipped up an extra special, extra large breakfast to fuel hubby and me on our morning run.  
Pancakes are my in my usual weekend repertoire, but today, I wanted something especially decadent.  Presenting....Almond Joy Cakes!  The nuttiness of almond flour combined with the richness of coconut milk and chocolate chips proved to be the ultimate Saturday morning treat.  


London Calling

"The greater the difficulty, 
the more the glory in surmounting it." 
- Epicurus
I am not a remotely athletic person, but I do love the Olympics.  Every two years, I find myself absorbed in competitions that at any other moment, I am completely oblivious to.


A Letter to My Former Self

I was recently combing through my multitude of photos on my computer and I came across this one.  

20 something. Polka-dot dress.  Adjacent to the Eiffel Tower after a summer abroad. Terrible posture. Cute pink purse from the Côte d'Azur. Uptight.  Smarter than I have ever been or ever will be again.  Oblivious to the fact that my dad was taking this picture.  Ten years ago.
Even though that moment seems like a blink ago, it actually was ten years, one marriage, one child, four apartments, three states, seven jobs and about 387 quesadillas ago. 


Pretty Monday: Natural Wonders

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long 
to play with your hair."  
-Khalil Gibran
Another weekend has come and gone (Madame Obvious at your service).  Sigh.  I spent my Saturday and Sunday with my sweet little family.  We had an exceptionally perfect time together, frolicking in the park and swimming in the sun, grilling veggies from the farmer's market and sitting on our porch.  I always find the best weekends are the most ordinary ones. 


Up on the Roof

Mine was the twilight and the morning. Mine was a world of rooftops and love songs.” 
-Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy
From Elle Decor
If I had a rooftop terrace, I'd love to sneak away for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee or an afternoon nap.  After writing about treehouses earlier this week, I have had lofty, dreamy spaces on my mind. There is something so cozy about being in a secretive place where you can see the world but the world can't see you.  Wouldn't a rooftop room be the perfect spot for a dinner with friends or a romantic evening with your love?  An exquisite view certainly wouldn't hurt the mood either. 


Eat like a French Baby

Willy Ronis, Le Petit Parisien, 1952
A few months ago, Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bébé received media attention for her somewhat controversial views on French parenting.  The American living in Paris presented her own experiences with French child-rearing guidelines about sleep, discipline and food.  While I didn't agree with all of her theories, I did find myself nodding "oui, oui" as she discussed how French children eat.


Pretty Monday: House in the Trees

"I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do."  ~Willa Cather, 1913

One of the many things I have in common with octogenarians is my love of 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning.  Both programs always enlighten me, cause me to ponder and offer some form of visual delight.  
On a recent Sunday Morning dedicated to summer pleasures, a segment pondered the childhood fantasy of a treehouse.  What kid doesn't dream of creating a hideaway, up in the trees?  


At the Movies: Moonrise Kingdom

Since I had a baby nearly a year ago, I have not been to a real movie in a real theater.  Pre-kiddo, this was my favorite introvert pastime: movie-going, all by myself (usually with a secret stash of Twizzlers).  Suffice it to say, returning to the theater this time around was a carefully planned affair.  I had to choose wisely.  It was critical not to waste my first movie experience in a year on some cinematic dud. And, chose wisely, I did.  


Flowers for Friday

Van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888
Today I bought a bunch of sunflowers.  Normally, I wouldn't purchase these big, hearty blooms, but I've been reading about Van Gogh and had sunflowers on my mind.  I arranged them in a champagne bucket for the perfect mix of country and classy. They've been smiling at me ever since. 


Cocktail du jour: Sinful Cherry Limeade

If you have ever lived within an hour of a Sonic drive-in, you know their famous beverage the cherry limeade.  A little bit tart and a touch sweet, the cherry limeade may just be the perfect summer drink.  It is nostalgic too, reminiscent of something you'd order at an old soda fountain from a waitress named Lou. 


Ode to the Library

The medicine chest of the soul.
— Inscription at the Library of Thebes

As a little girl, I remember making regular trips to our small library to select a new batch of books.  These memories are especially strong in the summer when I recall afternoons spent sitting in circles on the floor, sharing books with other children and listening to animated librarians tell tales of magic and mischief, princesses and pirates.  


Pretty Monday: Coffee Spots

"A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked." -Anaïs Nin

Monday after a holiday week and I'm betting it is a bit manic. Before I even begin to think about my daily to-dos, I prep, percolate and pour myself a steaming cup of French Roast. Suffice it to say, coffee is first on my mind today (and all other days).  It brings me joy.  The routine of it, the taste of it, the smell of it. Ah, delicious coffee!


Notes from Nora

Since we lost Nora Ephron last week, there have been tributes circulated in print and on screen, lauding her relatable wit and quietly profound wisdom.  Like many women, her films (and moreover her words) always got me.  Whenever I find myself channel surfing, even though I've seen You've Got Mail and Julie and Julia more times than I can admit, I always stop the remote.  I inevitably get pulled in.  A few movie minutes with a Nora Ephron film is like lunch with an old favorite friend.

Taste Treats: Almond Croissants

I do not believe in eating cereal on Saturdays.  Use your nice plates, make something special, top the table with a vase of flowers.  Announce the arrival of the weekend with a breakfast extraordinary. 


Cocktail du jour: Pink Paloma

Well technically, it's just a margarita made with pink grapefruit juice. But somewhere along the line, I heard this cocktail called a Paloma.  That is so much lovelier.  And when ordering cocktails, it's all in the name, right?  One could not possibly sound elegant ordering a "Sex on the Beach" or "Zombie" from the barkeep.  Let's stick to "Manhattans" and "Old Fashioneds" and now, introducing the classiest tequila-gal on the block: the "Paloma."


Patriotic Places

"My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth."  -Abraham Lincoln 

Relatively new to this state, it always shocks me when I discover how few of my fellow Californians have really traveled beyond San Diego or San Francisco.  Granted, this state has myriad sleepy beach towns and plenty of wilderness to explore, but the rest of America has so much history, culture and nature to offer us.  
Marion Anderson giving a concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939
A grand case of Francophilia aside, I believe it is an American obligation to see as much of this great land as we can.  Growing up in Missouri and getting educated in Tennessee and Texas has provided me that opportunity.  I feel immensely fortunate to have spent summers wading in Arkansas creeks, climbing in the caves of Chattanooga and warming my feet on the white sands of the Gulf Coast.  
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