“i like that kid.”

Today, I rode my bike to the grocery store with Willa on the back. I only needed a few things, so she walked through the store with me, insisting on carrying the basket. Overall, she’s a great helper. She likes to put things in the basket, and she’ll put things back once I tell her we’re not buying them. Occasionally, she wanders. But you know, she’s a toddler. That’s what they do. Right? Or that’s what I tell myself to stay sane, at least.

At one point, as we walked by a produce aisle, a man shopping with his partner gasped and said emphatically, “I like that kid!” I said thanks, and, “I do too!” Willa was a there at my feet, smiling, lugging the grocery basket, and wearing her Paul Frank bike helmet. People have said before that she’s “cute” etc., but this particular compliment made me feel really good. This guy didn’t just think she was cute. He liked her behavior. That meant so much more to me. She’s really is such a fun little buddy these days. So kind and sweet and funny. Most of the time.


She talks nonstop. For awhile she said “yack-ies,” but slowly it’s becoming “socks.” She gets really worried when something that’s fallen or is out of place: “Uh-oh!”

She’s obsessed with helping me cook: “see, see, see!” Her stool isn’t good enough, she wants to be held to really see what’s going on. She also demands to “help” or “stir” but mostly she wants to snag a handful of whatever it is I’m making, especially if I’m baking!


She’s definitely getting more independent and willful. She wants to walk everywhere by herself and don’t even try to spoon food into her mouth! She can’t yet put many clothes on herself, but she will get her coat and shoes out when she’s ready to go outside. And thank goodness the weather is finally getting a tiny bit warmer because she loves to go outside every chance she gets. Usually we have to insist she put on a coat and shoes otherwise she’d just go out into the backyard barefoot and play with water in 50 degrees. Which she does do on occasion.


Her favorite toys these days are stuffed animals and a toy stroller we got from the toy library. She gives everyone rides all day long and loves to cover them up with a blanket. She really likes her train set too: mostly making cars go down a ramp “really fast.”

I could go on and on, but mostly I just wanted to write down a few memories to remember this age. Because I really do like this kid of mine.


a weekend in minneapolis

I spent last weekend in Minneapolis. “I.” Not “we.” My first significant time away from W. Of course I missed my family a great deal, but it was wonderful to spend some time on my own and to see dear friends. I think it’s so important to continue to prioritize yourself sometimes after you’ve gotten married or had kids, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. I was proud of myself for making this weekend happen, and I felt lucky to have the chance to focus on my friendships and myself. The weekend was full of serious and silly conversations, laughs, hugs, many moments of just sitting down because I could, and lots of good food.

DSC02791^^cupcakes! we stopped at cocoa & fig for some treats, and i of course ate more than my share.^^

DSC02822DSC02818DSC02815^^on saturday afternoon we did some antiquing. alli scored a cool old record player cabinet turned coffee table, while i found some great maps at hunt & gather. i could have stayed there for hours!^^

DSC02828DSC02825^^for dinner we hit up the rabbit hole, which was pretty darn amazing. basically an updated take on korean street food and “funky cocktails.” (don’t mind the blurry photo of me, the restaurant in the background is in focus, and that’s the important thing to see!)^^

DSC02830DSC02832^^poutine with kimchi, brussels sprouts, and mackerel. the brussels sprouts were the best dish of the night, i thought. i’m always a sucker for brussels sprouts and i’ll eat an asian preparation of them every day of the week. so. good.^^

DSC02833^^cheers! to for years and years of friendship and frequent visits.^^

DSC02842^^snow! i totally forgot what serious snowbanks are like. in denver, snow never stays around long enough to accumulate, but the very opposite is true in minneapolis. i snapped this shot as we were walking to patisserie 46 where i had the most delicious pain aux raisins.^^

DSC02844 DSC02846^^after staying in and making khao soi on sunday night, we wrapped up the weekend with another sweet treat: sebastian joe’s oreo ice cream. i was amazed to see such a packed place amidst the cold minneapolis weather, but apparently everyone likes their ice cream. and it was mighty good.^^

mex-itali tacos


I don’t typically gravitate towards pre-prepared food options. In fact, I’ve probably been known in the past to scoff at them. But we all know the only constant in life is change, and since having a baby my approach to dinner has definitely morphed a bit. Yet I still think it’s super important to gather around the table for a somewhat homecooked, somewhat healthy, dinner. But I’m now occasionally okay with spending a bit more money on convenience foods to make my life a tad bit easier.

As I was wandering around Costco on Sunday (why I went to Costco on a Sunday, who knows), my cart ended up containing a big bag of “super greens” and a jar of pre-made pesto. Both had caught my eye as delicious and healthy looking items, and I had the inspiration to use them together to make tacos some night this week.


Dan was a bit skeptical as he saw me prepping dinner, but I must say the end result far exceeded even my own expecations. Apparently there might be some potential for Mexican-Italian fusion?

Mex-Itali Tacos (aka Costco tacos)
Serves 2-4

tortillas (~2 per person, depending on size)
olive oil
20oz prepared “super greens”
1c cannelleni beans
1/2c crumbled queso fresco
1/4c sliced radishes
lime wedges

1. Sauté greens in a generous glug of olive oil.
2. Meanwhile, char tortillas on an open flame, or warm in oven.
3. Place other ingredients in bowls, and put everything on the table, for everyone to make their own taco.



this weekend + last, in pictures.

DSC02642^^last weekend we went up to fort collins to see my parents, and started the visit with a lovely drive around horsetooth reservoir. it was super windy but really pretty.^^

DSC02654^^beer tasting and mr. potato head playing at equinox. a box of toys at a brewery is a superb idea! it was a really fun place, and great if you’re a hop-lover, but i regret that equinox beers aren’t my jam. too many ales.^^

DSC02665^^strolling through old town. W had her eye on the furry friends in the window of this pet store. she let herself inside and would have stolen one if i hadn’t intervened.^^


DSC02711^^up next: new belgium. it was CROWDED. but they offered up some great beers. much better than the ones they bottle and distribute, IMO.^^

IMAGE_2090^^this friday night, we rode our bikes to billy’s inn for dinner. this is the only picture i took, but it was a lovely evening. we’re so excited to have a bike seat for willa now, and she loves it. she also loves helmets, which is fantastic. i think it’s mostly the buckles.^^

IMAGE_2089^^the big thing on our calendar for this weekend: ikea. we spent 4 hours there on saturday morning, stocking up on furniture to outfit our basement. that place is maddening. but so great at the same time. we took a lunch break (which was a first for us, we usually try to just power through which does not actually go well), and i have to say i greatly enjoyed the lunch we got for $8. no meatballs, but salmon, eggplant lasagna, and mac + cheese. plus free tea and a cinnamon roll. it kept us sane amidst the ikea crazy.^^

DSC02726^^after a long day at ikea, dan and i went out to dinner at session kitchen in platt park.^^

DSC02731 DSC02733^^overall, the food was great! and the portions were much more generous than you find at many restaurants these days. i would say, however, several dishes lacked flavor punch i was expecting given their concept and vibe. the best dish was definitely the perogies and asparagus, with “frank’s red hot butter” (basically chicken wing sauce) and crispy potato skins. it was innovative and well-balanced. i pretty much licked the bowl clean. they also had cronuts for dessert. i’ve yet to have the real deal, but these were delicious!^^


DSC02756^^on sunday morning, dan got up before 6 to get us voodoo doughnuts! we’d been wanting to try them for months, but didn’t want to wait in the line that still is around an hour long. no wait at 6am. we aren’t interested in voodoo’s crazy concoctions, but their more tame doughnuts were seriously solid. i’ll always be a mighty-o loyalist, but these still made my day.^^

DSC02753^^this girl was a big fan too. her favorite: the sprinkle doughnut. so she can pick off each sprinkle one by one. she calls them “rice.” dessert rice i suppose?^^