Naptime Lifestyle: Everyday Favorites for Everyday Life
My friend Julie is one awesome woman. She runs this great website, Dinner with Julie, is an editor, author, and rockin’ mama. Recently she and a friend started this great website, Rolling Spoon. As a music fan I am super excited that someone has finally decided to contact cooking with rock’n'roll. They go hand in hand! Today Julie is stopping in for a quick interview to introduce her site and give us some hot tips for great food and musical pairings.
It has been a crazy busy week around here and I haven’t gotten much cooking done. Over the weekend we were helping my in-laws move and spent most of the time packing up the attic. It was exhausting! Anyway, the one thing I have been doing, when putting my feet up at the end of a long day, is flipping through some new design books I got this spring. They are my new favorites! Design, architecture, and style have always been interests of mine. More like side interests, things I enjoy but am not necessarily an expert at. As my husband will attest, I could spend hours rearranging our furniture, building tablescapes, and styling my coffee table. My eye is still a work in progress, but I am getting there. While I tinker away I am always looks for new ideas and these books have really been inspiring me lately.
New moms deserve their own special category when it comes to Mother’s Day. I am not saying that since I am in the thick of it with our second baby. I am talking about the first time mothers celebrating their first Mother’s Day ever. That first year with the baby is so exhilarating and overwhelming and every woman going through it needs a little special something. Of course, if you can’t wait for Mother’s Day to come around, all the gifts below would be awesome for any new mother at any time of the year. Here are a few of my picks for new mom gifts this year:
It is always nice to show your Mom a little appreciation on Mother’s Day. I am not saying that because I like to be showered with gifts on every Hallmark holiday that could possibly apply to me. I am just saying I don’t mind the idea of a little “thank you” now and then and I am sure your Mom doesn’t either. Here are a few nifty gifty ideas for the Mom on your list!
Over the next few months I am going to stop in from time to time with some questions for my next book. Since this book is all about curating the best go-to recipes for parents for all occasions throughout the calendar year I want your voices to be included! One of the chapters is going to cover road trip snacks, spring break travel treats, and generally portable food for kids. My editor and I thought it would be fun to include a pole of everyone’s favorite travel candy. So, here is my question for you all:
When I heard about The Perfect 10 Kookie – it is gluten-free, dairy-free and sweetened naturally with Agave – I thought it sounded really cool. I am a huge cookie addict and any kind of cookie I can enjoy with a little less guilt is a great idea in my book. I have been a long time fan of Christina Tosi and pretty much anything that Momofuko Milk Bar churns out. In fact, that is one of the first places I plan to hit when I achieve my baby weight-loss goal. (Those cereal milk treats are beckoning!)
It is hard to believe that my little guy is already two months old. I can now officially say things like “where did the time go?” and “boy, time flies with kids.” I’ll admit, I can hardly remember late January and early February. Many thanks to all of you while I dealt with severe sleep deprivation and adjusting to life with an infant. It was not easy! I know a bunch of my posts were late getting up and there were quite a few typos. Hopefully those days are behind us. You’ve probably also noticed that I have taken on quite a few sponsors this year. They help me keep this site running and I appreciate your support of these posts. I would never agree to a project I didn’t believe in sharing with you!
Before I started The Naptime Chef I worked at The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I helped Society committees raise money for all of the departments at the hospital. One of the ways we raised money was by writing and selling a charitable cookbook. Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes from New York’s Savviest Hostesses, was published just before my daughter was born. I will always consider that my first cookbook project. I loved being in charge of managing its production and my first published recipe, Mom’s Mac & Cheese, is in it! I also did plenty of direct and event-based fundraising. One of my personal favorite fundraising events was the Bunny Hop. It is a benefit thrown each year by The Associates Committee at FAO Schwarz in mid-town Manhattan. All of the funds raised go toward Pediatrics. What a better way to raise money for kids than by throwing a party for kids?! Though I don’t work there anymore, last week I attended this year’s Bunny Hop, which was sponsored by Tiffany & Co., with my daughter and we had a blast. Here are some of the highlights:
I am lucky enough to have grown up with a mother who is a knitter. Not just an occasional craft knitter, the real deal hand knit sweaters and afghans every winter kind of knitter. She is the kind of person who can knit in front of the television without ever looking down at what she is doing – that is how good she is. Not only does she knit for herself and her kids, she also knits at quite an astonishing pace for her grandchildren. My kids have multiple baby blankets, not a mention an amazing collection of handmade hats, sweaters, ponchos, and more. When she was visiting earlier this month she even measured my daughter’s stuffed dogs to make them each hand knit coats (!) One of my favorite things she has made my children are these adorable knit animals. She makes one for my daughter every year and now she has started making them for my son.
I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday that is meant to be fun and sweet. In our house we try to stick to thoughtful gifts, especially of the homemade variety, that don’t come with high price tags. Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for family and friends. They are all really fun to give and are especially appropriate for foodies! (Stay tuned tomorrow for a fun Valentine’s Day giveaway where you can win gifts for your child’s classroom!)
Lately, perhaps more than ever, I have been really appreciating my iPad. In the past I’ve had a lot of fun playing with cooking apps and using it for email, but these days it has become a lifeline. I am on it day and night, not only for email, but to keep up with the outside world, order baby products, and pretty much organize my whole life. Here are of the few the apps I’ve been relying on the this year. I am curious, do have any apps or websites you rely on?
I always struggle with the proper balance of screen time for my preschooler. My husband and I generally lean toward keeping her exposure fairly limited. Like most things with kids, we think (hope) that if it comes in measured amounts it will be constructive in all the right ways. For example, she is obsessed with the iPad. So, when we let her play with it we make sure she gets engaged with an age-appropriate learning game. We were pretty psyched when she got interested in maps based on Stack the States and she ended up asking for a globe for her birthday. As for movies, she likes all the normal ones for her age. I can never deny her the classic Mary Poppins late on a snowy Saturday afternoon. I remember loving that movie as much as she does. It is especially poignant for me when she dances around the room to the soundtrack and sings the songs from memory.