Archive of ‘Culture’ category

Baby Names


Oscar the Grouch baby image via


We’ve had our girl names chosen for as long as we’ve been married, so it was a total relief to learn we’d be having a girl. (Boy names are still a point of contention.)

Still…the crazy moments come when when I worry that she’ll hate her name. That she’ll hate me for picking it. That it isn’t really her name. That because we’ve felt so sure for so long, we somehow missed stumbling upon the magic name that could only be hers and hers alone.

But then I think, really, it’s only a name. It’s not a crazy name. We’re pretty normal and we love it. And she’s going to hate me for other things anyway, right?

Then I read articles like these and around we go again.

So, here’s what I’d love to know. Do you like your name? Why or why not?

For the record, I’m not letting fear-generating articles get the better of me. Her name options remain the same- we have two- and one will be hers. I can’t wait to tell you which one.

xx Sarah


Where’d You Go, Bernadette


Yes summer officially ended two weeks ago, but is it too late to move “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” to the top of my Beach Reads 2012 list?

I absolutely loved this book, which was recommended to me by a friend who reads everything. So did the The New York Times:

“The tightly constructed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is written in many formats — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill for a run-in between Bernadette and Audrey. Yet these pieces are strung together so wittily that Ms. Semple’s storytelling is always front and center, in sharp focus. You could stop and pay attention to how apt each new format is, how rarely she repeats herself and how imaginatively she unveils every bit of information. But you would have to stop laughing first.”

What should I read next?



Happy Fall!


Image via

Happy Fall, lovebugs!

What are you up this weekend?

Lydia is visiting friends and one gorgeous baby in the mountains of Colorado. I’m taking a baby care class which is great because A. I love classes and B. I have never changed a diaper. Not once. Never, ever.

Please don’t tell my bump.

If you’re looking for weekend fun stuff, here are a few things that caught my eye:

An animal print clutch that purrs DVF but costs ASOS.

An on-going adventure into non-toxic makeup. Joanna’s trying everything- the mascaras, the foundations, etc.,- and rating them for women who won’t settle for “meh”. She’s already found some great stuff. (Lydia and I both swear by the Josie Maran argan oil products).

Do you love paint colors as much as I do? Do you love cute boys? Meet Emily Henderson and her gorgeous-men-as-the-key-to-choosing-the-perfect-wall-color series.  She’s done R. Patz (navy blue) and Ryan Gosling (gray!). It works.

Let’s run away here.

Clint. Doesn’t that make you laugh?

Do you need another reason to love Stanley Tucci?

My new favorite blog.

Enjoy your weekend,

xx Sarah


One Great Reason to Get Excited for Winter 2012


I know it’s just barely Fall, but let’s look forward to Christmas day, ok?

Turn up the volume and grab a tissue.


P.S. I know opinions are split on Anne Hathaway. But is there anything the girl can’t do?

Focusing Inward


Popping out of my chef’s coat at 8-1/2 months

Here’s what I plan to do beginning today, my first full day of maternity leave. I’m going to focus on what’s been happening right in front of me these past 9 months. If you think it’d be hard to ignore this roly-poly chickadee, you’re right. But knowing a baby is there isn’t the same as focusing on her. My intention for the next month- if she allows me the time- is to practice being present for her. I’ll put down the phone, slow the email response time, and listen to what she’s telling me.

Details need attending. I’ve a nursery to finish, food to make and freeze, and relaxation techniques to practice. That will all either get done or it won’t, depending on her schedule. What it comes down to this. To do anything well, to enjoy anything deeply, you must commit to following the process wherever it takes you. And this is the one chance I have to do this very special thing.

I so appreciate you coming along for the ride.


Image courtesy La Femme Epicure

Atlantic Beach Trip 2012


A few beautiful snaps from our North Carolina beach vacation taken by Anjali

Looming clouds


BBQ buddies


Seared scallops over green bean-corn-tomato succotash with squished squash eaten on place mats OVER our in progress puzzle


Drew’s Grandmother teaches us how to make fried okra


toss cut okra with cornmeal


crisp it in a pan with vegetable oil and season with salt


another dinner eaten over the puzzle (it was a hard one ok)

The little yellow beach cottage

the boys cooked us a dinner


we heart NC


Capt. Kerk and the Mrs.


With longing for next year,





Bits of August


Some snaps of what’s making me smile.

Happy Bunny Blue from Trafalgars Square via

Cutest baby bunny ever for the nursery.

An unexpected bird.



A Clare Vivier clutch in the perfect color combo.

Happy thoughts from Roald Dahl via La Femme Epicure.

What caught your eye this week?




Beach Reads 2012



Hi Friends,

I’m headed to the outer banks of North Carolina for my annual beach vaca (picture G & T’s, squished squash and cobalt blue hydrangeas) and have loaded up my Kindle with new beach books. I thought I might share what’s on my reading list and what I have recently enjoyed. Sarah and I love hear what you all are reading, book worms unite!


Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

On tap for this week… (a bit ambitious when you factor in G&T’s)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst

Persuasion by Jane Austen (I have a tradition of rereading one Austen book on my vacations)

Recent Favorites…

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Freedom by Johnathan Franzen

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Any book by Ken Follett (especially Pillars of the Earth)

Any Pat Conroy but Beach Music is my fav (when in Rome…)


What have you been reading this summer?




A Farewell to Anjali


One of our beloved chefs is leaving the kitchen to go back to grad school full time to become a registered dietician. We had a little goodbye dinner at Gjelina to celebrate Anjali’s next adventure.

Brunette power in our kitchen.


Anjali’s dessert menu had some edits from a previous diner, we happen to agree that the strawberry & rhubarb crisp was not warm enough nor was the chocolate crust on the banana cream pie chocolaty enough. Have you ever gone to dinner with chefs? It’s like being in art school and having your work critiqued. Or maybe it’s like shoving a fork in your eye, it’s just what we do.

Another thing chefs do at an inspiring dinner, take pictures of what they ate and share it on social media.

Some highlights of our amazing meal: this Croatian wine (we mob with a wine expert)


Young Garbanzo beans with goat cheese


Caponata crostini with burrata (sadly not pictured are the orange glazed carrots and squash blossom pizza winners.)

And the desserts!! The banana-chocolate bread pudding and butterscotch pot de creme were outstanding.


We sure will miss Anjali but you can keep up with her on The Kitchn and on her own blog Eat Your Greens.






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