9
Jun
2016
0

Eight-Year Maternity Leave

With dusk came dread and envy. The nights felt long as my desperation for sleep intensified. I would think of everyone else readying for bed, myself eager to also curl under the covers for eight uninterrupted hours. Instead, I would be up every couple to nurse, rock, change diapers and then repeat. Any predictability or glamour was buried and I questioned if it would ever surface again. When I crawled out of bed to my crying baby, was a rude awakening of the true meaning of a positive pregnancy test and the life changes that ensued. Read More

27
May
2016
0

Lackluster Foodie Passion

I would devour a cookbook – reading the recipes and recreating them. I could hum the intro tune to any Food Network show and followed the chefs on social media. My family looked forward to my experimentations in the kitchen and I was always on the hunt for new cook’s tools.   Most Friday night movies pertained to food and France, followed by whipping up something sweet with my husband. My favorite foodie lifestyle was when I would create a spread for guests. I wanted to invite friends over just so I could create a menu.   Read More

20
May
2016
0

Yosemite (Part 3) – Book It!

Asleep within minutes, we woke up the next morning almost flat to the ground again. I didn’t care as much as I was so thrilled my fear of bears subsided enough for me to sleep. However, after further inspection of our bed situation, there were clearly more holes than available patches in the Valley.  Read More

3
May
2016
0

Yosemite – Part 2

The blow-up mattress depleted the second we rested on it. The discomfort of lying on rocks and twigs highlighted my urban ways and also kept me up all night. To my relief, Brian’s back was equally as achy, minimizing my supposedly spoiled demeanor. However, more than a collapsed bed, it was the bears that likened my senses to a Doberman – sans courage though. Read More

18
Apr
2016
0

Semantics

It was my little secret. During our ten years of marriage I never felt it necessary to divulge. I never really faked it, only because there were so few times when I had to endure it; it meant so much to him and it was supposedly a common interest. Instead I remained silent. It all started after only a couple months of dating. In an effort to appear laid back, I failed to explain the whole truth – it was semantics. Read More

10
Apr
2016
0

A Quick Escape – Skamania Lodge

Engulfed in solitude: the surrounding forest, rain pattering on the stone ground and steam from the hot tub hitting the cold Gorge air, together created the perfect recipe for rest and relaxation. The novelty of an outdoor Jacuzzi – especially in its breathtaking environment – captured our children’s attention, and quelled the need for Brian’s and my repose. Read More

11
Mar
2016
0

French Flicks

The weekend warrior within demanded a rest, so once the kids were in bed, Brian and I reveled in an evening filled with movies and wine. In the mood for something lighthearted and foreign, we perused online and found a couple flicks that fit the bill. My Francophile ways naturally steered us towards two French films that piqued our interest. Read More

3
Mar
2016
0

Guilt-free Getaway in Seattle

As soon as I boarded the plane, the seat felt spacious and coach status luxurious. No balancing trays or gathering the troops when someone thought he or she had to tinkle. It’s not easy to squeeze my two young children with me into an airplane bathroom. It requires questionable acrobatics, sucking in and loads of hand sanitizer. However, on this occasion it was just me and inflight entertainment. Sitting alone was novel, yet effortless to embrace. Read More

16
Feb
2016
0

Where Relaxation Flows like Wine – Napa: Final Part 3

The next day followed the same routine of meandering a variety of harvested vineyards and their wineries. Our favorite was Chimney Rock for their cozy atmosphere and wine worthy of sharing with friends back home, so a couple bottles made it into Brian’s backpack. That night’s anticipated dinner left me giddy all day as we had reservations at one of my preferred restaurants, which summons my taste buds to recall my days in Lyon, France. Read More

14
Feb
2016
0

An Outfit That’s Worth a Thousand Words

He walked down the stairs with an accomplished grin. In his hands was a distinct, large silver box with a matching bow draping on top. Awe struck, I was giddy to glimpse inside and soon enough, I deemed him husband of the year. In years past and for most holidays, I deliberately chose my own gifts. However, most recently I handed over the reigns to Brian for Valentine’s Day. He carried out the unexpected – yet did what I had hoped for, which was to peruse the floors of Nordstrom in search of something we would both love. Read More

11
Feb
2016
1

Where Relaxation Flows like Wine – Napa: Part 2

Without an alarm, our wake up call was the aroma of homemade quiche wafting throughout the guesthouse and luring us out of bed. It gave us our boost for a brisk morning run to soak up the sun against the rolling, sunburnt California hills. Only a couple blocks from the B&B was a bike rental shop. As we brought our own (another way to keep on budget), we popped into the store for a free map on our way back. Choosing two loops for the first two days of tasting, we decided to start out with the shorter ride, which was 12-miles. Read More

6
Feb
2016
0

Where Relaxation Flows like Wine – Napa: Part 1

Not quite ready to bid adieu to the heat, we followed the birds lead and headed south. We hadn’t planned this getaway, but when given the opportunity for a few kid-free days; our first thoughts whisked Brian and me to Napa: Yountville to be exact. The vision of nibbling on cheese paired with some of the world’s best wine, all while basking under the autumn California sun on a rooftop terrace; it warmed us into limp relaxation just thinking about it. Read More

31
Dec
2015
2

A Brazilian Affair

I’ll admit I was jealous – well, I would say more envious. Brian recently had a business trip to Brazil. As I’ve been itching to board an international flight – destination, anywhere – I couldn’t help but dream of going with him, especially since Brazil and I had yet to be introduced. Reassured by him that it was all work and no play, I begged to differ when he called home and told me they were dining at fine restaurants and browsing a sea of outdoor markets. Read More

24
Dec
2015
2

Virtual Opłatek

Sometimes it was the only time we hugged. Sometimes it was the only time we let bygones be bygones. We forgot all of our many differences and relished in the moment. Some years it healed the quarrels and erased the scars. It was for siblings, spouses and any loved ones.   Read More

24
Nov
2015
0

Caudalie – A French Beauty Solution

As any francophile knows, the French own that je ne sais quoi from fashion to raising children.  So, when the founder of Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas announced the debut of her book, I did something I don’t often do and that was to preorder it. Arriving just in time for an upcoming vacation, I devoured each page while en vacances. Read More

23
Nov
2015
1

A French “Je Ne Sais Quoi”

When purchasing a bottle (who am I kidding – bottles) of wine or restocking Brian’s bourbon, I’m carded less and less. After years of being offended that I’m assumed to not be of legal drinking age, my defensive demeanor with the checker hid my self-consciousness for looking so young. Now, the pendulum has swung to the other side of the spectrum and the infrequency at which I remove my license to flash my age also ruffles my feathers. Have I aged that much?!? Really, it’s a lose-lose situation for anyone ringing up my alcohol bill. Read More

23
Nov
2015
0

Burn Cycle

It was one of those invites that while happy to receive; my response was apprehensive. However, when my friend assumed a spin class would be a good challenge for us, I knew I had to partake. Read More

18
Nov
2015
0

Business Cards for a Stay-at-Home-Mom?

When my alarm buzzed I was far from ready to face the day. I woke up that Tuesday morning with a bundle of nerves settled in my stomach because of my upcoming Saturday. Struggling to open my sleepy eyes, I made them stare at my phone and check emails, knowing this would slowly pull me away from my drowsiness. With only one eye open, I skimmed the only message I cared about, which was relevant to that weekend’s event. I read that I would need business cards, which shot me straight out of bed. Read More

6
Nov
2015
0

Same Subject, Different Light

I unzipped my bag and pulled out my slim, silver laptop. I gently laid it on the desk in front of me and looked around, noticing I was the only one to do so.  I was surrounded by fourteen others. Also differing myself from the group were several decades. As the only one under the age of 70, everyone else relied on their notepads and pens. Read More

6
Sep
2015
0

Krakow – Europe’s Gem – Part 2

Following Mass, our family walked up the set of stairs to reach the outside of the church. Once upon a time, parishioners stepped down to exit the church. Brian and I toured the unforgettable museum under Sukiennice, which depicts a story of the rough life during the middle ages, when the ground level was much lower that it is today. Read More

5
Sep
2015
0

Krakow – Europe’s Gem – Part 1

Under warm blankets, we huddled around the cafe table on the perimeter of the square, which was prepared for the procession of soldiers on horseback. Spectators nudged into the crowd for the perfect viewing spot, anxiously awaiting the noble march. Soon enough, the pounding of hooves commanded everyone’s attention, as did the men in uniform sitting high on their horses, holding their swords tightly against them as they proudly strode through the city. Read More