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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Because They Need More Love

Earlier this week, I was driving with our toddler when someone flipped me off. The other driver ran a red light, I beeped at them as they came inches from hitting our car. We watched as they angrily motioned at us, beeped back and gave us the finger.

Even at four years-old, our daughter understood the emotion in that moment.  She asked what happened and I told her that the driver was clearly in a hurry and drove through the stoplight when it wasn’t his turn and that he could have hurt himself or us. 

She said “He was mad, wasn’t he?”

“Yes,” I said. “Quite angry.” 

“You know, he was just mad that he almost got into an accident and just wanted to vent his frustration,” I told her,

Waverly was quiet. Then she said “Maybe we was having a bad morning  and just needs more love.”

Maybe he just needed more love.

She was listening.

As she grew and started figuring out her emotions (and others),  we made sure that she understood that she wasn’t responsible for other people’s moods. We told her that sometimes people will be in bad moods but that it wasn’t a reflection on her. I remember a very early conversation with her when she told me that if someone was mean to her that she would be mean back. “I don’t like mean people,” she said.

I realized that in that moment, we could teach her how to handle mean people in a way that would hopefully insulate her feelings against someone else’s bad mojo. I said, “You know, it would feel good in the moment to be mean back but that only hurts you. Maybe they are acting our because they weren’t treated well themselves.”

“Maybe they just need more love,” she said. I loved that. Ever since we had that discussion, that is how we handle other people’s aggressions. Someone wants to be mean? Be mean but that won’t affect us. We’re just going to send back good vibes and step away from the situation. Waverly is so good at this, at keeping her confident, happy bubble around her, regardless of what someone else’s temperament is.  I have been practicing this as well. It works. My first reaction wasn’t to flip the other driver off. Instead, I thought “OK, they’re clearly having a bad day. I hope they drive safely.” It felt good not to throw that negative energy back. It didn’t seep into my mood. It happened and we moved on, safely. This is considerably different than how I previously processed other people’s negative energy. I would take an aggression to heart and run it over in my head. It was fruitless and pointless and left me feeling zapped.

Now though, I know that Waverly is adding to her emotional toolbox and that hopefully flipping someone off won’t ever be a consideration. Rather, an honest “I’m sorry” will be her first reaction and hopefully driving lessons will prevent her from running reds.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

happy things: 21 seeds tequila

If you asked me what one meal I would enjoy forever it would be fresh, warm tortilla chips + guacamole along with margaritas, preferably served while looking out at the sea. There's something about salty air hair and margaritas that are magical together. 

This summer has been so hot here in Seattle that ice cold margaritas are a welcome start to the end of the day, even without the sea. While I usually use Patron tequila, I recently ordered the trio of 21 Seeds Tequilas: Grapefruit Hibiscus, Cucumber Jalapéno and Valencia Orange. I first noticed 21 Seeds on Instagram. While I liked idea of the flavors, I loved the idea that 21 Seeds is a woman-owned company that partnered with a tequila distillery in Mexico staffed primarily by women.  I ordered the trio of flavors from their website. 

When the package arrived, my friend, Heidi, invited me over to try out some recipes. Her backyard is reminiscent of a home (that you never want to leave) on the Mediterranean, complete with lavender and a Labrador who just wants to lay across your feet. 

We decided to start with Hibiscus Grapefruit and used the 21 Seeds Skinnyseed Paloma recipe  as inspiration. The grapefruit slant to tequila was a perfect pairing. Even as shots, the Hibiscus Grapefruit would be outstanding. Adding the spring of basil at the end, though, really made this recipe sparkle.  

We're poring over new recipe and in the next few weeks we'll be trying the other two flavors. Here's to happy summer afternoons!

The Happy Paloma Recipe 

For each cocktail add:

1 1/2 ounces of 21 Seeds Grapefruit Hibiscus  Tequila

1 1/2 ounces of pink grapefruit juice

 2 ounces of seltzer (we used Polar Orange Vanilla Seltzer)

Pour over ice and add a wedge of pink grapefruit and a spring of fresh basil

* The drinkers are from glassybaby in the colors rosé and vodka. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

my favorite new cleaning product: Saint Olio


I used to the be the girl who thought if the wet spaces (kitchen/bathrooms) smelled like bleach, then they were clean. During the pandemic, especially, I really upped my cleaning game.While it smelled clean and I knew that bleach would kill whatever germs were living in our home, I started to think about the fumes we inhaled and the toxins and chemicals that we were inviting into our home. 

I started researching household cleaners and just when I decided to make my own, I came across Saint Olio, a brand that makes cleaning products the are not only anti-microbial but they smell good too. I did a deep dive into the brand and I loved the philosophy of SD Kaven, the company's founder. I like that the cleaning products in her line are  synthetic-free while scented with essential oils. 

I bought the three main scents as well as the limited edition. Originally, my plan was to use the first one and then move on to the second scent when I finished the first one, but I've found that I like using the different scents according to my moods. I love how clean my kitchen is and how our home just smells  wonderful.  

The Originals Trio Pack (the one I purchased) is $75 with free shipping. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

when this is over


I have to admit that this thought has run through my mind hundreds (thousands?) of times in the past 400+ days that we have self-quarantined in one way or another. When I just couldn't face making another breakfast, I would close my eyes and think about brunch, marvelous, delicious, heavenly brunch. Bellinis, crispy bacon, a delicate omelet with goat cheese, avocado toast drizzled with chili-infused olive oil, bright red, perfect strawberries the size of a baby's fist and lemon blueberry pancakes.  I would get happy just thinking to myself, "Oh, when this over, I am going to go on a tour of my favorite brunch spots. Soon. Soon."

I actually can't remember the last time I went out to brunch. I think maybe January, 2020? It isn't only brunch that I miss but flights. I miss the long six-hour flight from Seattle to Boston when I would relax, sip something sparkling and read Elin Hilderbrand's latest book about Nantucket. I would be offline for a glorious few hours and have nothing to do but think about what I would be doing when I landed in Massachusetts. I miss that. 

I miss dozens of things from watching Waverly gain confidence in swim class to the way she flings herself into the arms of her favorite people. I miss my favorite people too. 

And yet. 

There is something that happened that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I got to spend an  uninterrupted 400+ days with my toddler. Yes, toddlers are A LOT. The questions are non-stop all day. They LOVE a food so you buy it in bulk and the next day, they can't stand the food you now have enough of to feed an entire pre-school class. Still, I look at her face and I listen to her questions which make me see the world from her point of view. I am fascinated as I watch her grow and navigate her world, as limited as it is right now. 

In the normal world, my husband and I would have been on planes going somewhere around the world, either working or visiting family and friends. Instead, we have been limited to this house of ours. We slowed down. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We've built endless Magna-Tile towers. We've colored, painted and tended a garden. I've spent languid afternoons in our bed with Waverly in what is supposed to be a nap but turns into "chat chat chat" as she likes to call it. I tell her about moments in my life and what we will do in the future. Sometimes we fall asleep, Waverly's head tucked just under my chin. I listen to her steady toddler breathing and I drift off too only to wake up with a pudgy hand resting on my face. The love I have for this feral, fantastic, kind, sweet girl of mine is something I could never have imagined. 

As this pandemic winds down (hopefully!) I am looking forward to expanding Waverly's world again and going back to swim classes and flights to see our favorite people but for now, I hold this little one close to my heart and softly tell her that soon we will be diving into our favorite lemon-blueberry pancakes together. Soon, my sweet girl.

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