ICYMI: are you sick of the 30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge yet edition


Welcome back, sports fans.  I’m sorry.  I hoped for the results post on the challenge today, but it won’t be ready until next week.  Between planning for the lake this weekend and truncated naps, I’m a little behind.

Also, if you have any questions on the challenge, please lemme know.  I may do an FAQ post, and it is always fun to have actual questions instead of just the usual conversation with myself.  Not that I’m not a stellar conversationalist.  Why, thank you, self.

Until then . . .

On the blog:

In case you’ve missed it, come check out the challenge.

What is this 30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge anyway?

Did you actually make it?  Well, mostly.  Check out the first half here and the second half here.

Did you like it?  Overall, I’m glad I did it.  See what is working for me and what still needs work.

News team, be warned.  This could be the first of many challenges.  I’m already eying a finance challenge and a minimalism one.  Any other challenge ideas?

On the internets:

Watch swinging your arms around here!  I can’t say I’ve seen all of these, but I do see Italians talking with their hands constantly, even when on the phone.

I’ve just started using, but I’m LOVING this tanning lotion so far.  Noticeable after the first application.  It only has a subtle self-tanner tang and mostly smells a little lemony.

All my DC peeps, can you promise to check this out??

Are you guys also obsessed with the new album from Killers frontman Brandon Flowers??  I could (and do) listen to Lonely Town on continuous repeat (although the rest of the album is also very good).  I defy you not to feel the need to arm pump when that beat starts up.  Here, check out the subtly creepy video.

This is long, but Mindy Kaling!!  I’ve been watching in bits and pieces.  Check out more on BookCon at MMD.

Happy weekend, ya’ll!

ICYMI: where you at edition


Who has four thumbs and LOVED their quad bike experience? Yup, these two. They had their own bell. I apologize to anyone else who was in Villa Borghese yesterday.

Sorry for the silence around these parts lately.  It has been a mixture of guests, travel, and secret projects.  I’m hoping things will be closer to normal starting next week.  But, of course, no promises.  In the meantime . . .

On the blog:

It is like a million degrees here now.  I have been rocking these outfits on the reg.  I definitely recommend if you are heading to Rome (or anywhere religious and hot) anytime soon.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Puglia.  Haha, just scratching the surface really, but it is a great travel destination.

And here’s how the pacifier usage went down on the Puglia travels.

But speaking of someone who still has more lenient pacifier rules, Mac is one!

On the internets:

Anyone else follow A Cup of Jo?  I recently added this one to my rotation.  Little bits on kids, beauty, life in the city, design, and plenty more.  Here is a tiny house tour I loved.  (You know I love me a tiny house.)

PowerPoint should be banned. This PowerPoint presentation explains why.  But what about all of those sweet PPT skillz I learned at the law firm???  Was it all for naught?

I don’t have a dehydrator, but I need these zucchini chips in my life.

Does anyone use a planner?  This one looks pretty and tempting.  I want to make sure I would use something before getting one.  But right now I have no planning so any planning would be better?

Me:  “Who is that?”  James:  “Uh, Sting.”  Right.  So Sting has a beard now.  Good to know.

Looking for a statement piece for your living room?

Cracks me up: Toddler Adjusting To Society After Serving 2-Minute Timeout

Looking for guidance?  Check out these life lessons from Anthony Bourdain.

Summer is here.  Watch out for ticks!

What has four legs and is completely not kid friendly?  This coffee table, but I kind of want it anyway, fingerprints be darned!

Happenings & Coming up:

Italy had a holiday this week.  Republic Day, to be exact.  We decided to escape the city to see the ruins at Ostia Antica.  Here’s a pro tip:  Don’t escape the city in the direction of the beach.  It all worked out, but there were some packed trains involved.  More on Ostia Antica “soon.”  (It can get in the queue behind Montepulciano and Pienza and Sermoneta and . . . )

My bazillion internet tabs are currently split between Lake Bracciano and Turin.  (And, let’s be honest, a million other things.)  We are heading to both this month, and I am pumped.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you are up to!

ICYMI: mid May edition

The elusive double vintage shot.

The elusive double vintage shot.

On the blog:

If I had to pick a root cause of the difficulties of law firm life, this would be it.

Henry, still hilarious.

Food photos!  (I just typed foot photos.  For a split second, I thought about leaving it, but that would be super weird and gross.)

On the internets:

I heart tiny houses.  Anyone want to build our own street like these guys?

Remember how I said that fava beans are definitely a thing right nowHere is a little more background.  My version did not turn out so hot because apparently you have to shell them and then peel them?  Oh, well, I tried.

Even if billables are bad, law firms do have very generous paid leave.

Happenings & Coming up:

I feel like this week went by fast.  Henry actually made it to school all three scheduled days.  I can’t even remember the last time that happened.  Henry has also been biting his brother.  Not cool, kid.

I’m not sure what the plan is for the weekend.  I was thinking about a day trip to Comune di Sermoneta, but the weather is looking a little dicey.  A friend also just alerted me to this sweet dino exhibit in Rome.  Whatever we do, it will probably involve avoiding downtown Rome.  Tourist season is ON.  (And utility vests are definitely back BTW.)

Hope you have a great one!

ICYMI: dentist LIKE A BOSS edition

Sorry for the absenteeism!  To take full advantage of our family visitors, we’ve been trying to do ALL the things, eat ALL the food, and stay up ALL (well, half) the night.  It’s been fun, but we are run down.  I see clean eating, early bedtimes, and no vino coming up this week.

Proof of guests!

Proof of guests!

On the blog:

Check out these sweet gardens.  All excellent day trip options from Rome.  Monster posts like these are also one of the reasons I’ve been posting less.  This post took three day trips, writing 1100+ words, editing 30+ pictures, looking up links, and doing a little more research.  I’m hoping this kind of evergreen content can be useful to some down the road, but I know this isn’t super helpful to the majority of my readers in the U.S.  Sigh.

I squeezed in one more letter to Mac before his birthday.  Cake pictures to come soon!  (He went for it.  BIG TIME.)

5.8_ICYMI cake

Not that you will look beyond the adorbs baby, but you can see my ombre hair experimentation here.

And how to host like a rock star.  I attempt humor in this one.  Consider yourself warned.

On the internets:

A friend of my friend wrote a book!  C is for Critter is a huge hit with my boys.  Letters such as “E” for echidna and “N” for narwhal make this a nice change for the parents as well.  (I challenge you to google quokka and not immediately go awwwww.)


The Cult of Busy.  These articles are my clickbait.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters.  The faking it could help on perception, but this strategy ultimately won’t work if you have to bill your hours.  They always know.  I do completely agree on the better to ask for forgiveness than permission approach.  My biglaw strategy was to get my work done and make myself be as accessible as possible without actually being in my office all the time.

You remember when I said I was failing at all the current events?  A sweet friend (thanks AJ!) tipped me off to the Skimm.  This weekday newsletter curates world news into a humorous, easy-to-digest format.  I promise, this one is not just more inbox clutter.  Now when friends have said, “did you hear about . . . ?”  I’m all yeah, YEAH I did.

Have I mentioned that it is starting to get really hot here?  I don’t usually adulterate my sparkling wine, but I may have to work my way through this list of cocktails this summer.

Happenings & Coming up:

Speaking of hot, I’m very happy that Mac can wear his new-to-him summer wardrobe, which aligns surprisingly well with Henry sizing.  Chunky baby thighs on display make me happy.

I made a version of this.   Even without adding cheese, it turned out nicely.  Eggplant stuffing, who knew?

I also made pulled out the slow cooker to make this.  Excellent flavor, but this was more work than I like from my crockpot recipes.  You want me to cut the meat, sear the meat, cook on high for an hour, and then switch to low?  This one is not destined to be in regular rotation.

I’m very excited about summer produce.  Melon season has arrived, and these are some of the best cantaloupes I’ve had in my life.  Also, apparently fava beans are a big thing now.  I picked some up today; will have to figure out what to do with them.

Mac is pro peach

Mac is pro peach

Henry dentisted this week for the first time.  He killed it!  I was so impressed.  They did an actual cleaning, with an ultrasonic water pick thing and everything.  I sat there with my eyes welling up because how did my little boy get this big??  (Dentist here is just like back home BTW.)

5.8_ICYMI 2

For this weekend, I actually have no idea what we are up to.  We’ll try to squeeze in one more adventure with James’s parents.  We are also planning to attend a 70s-themed block party.  Pics if I’m brave!

What are you up to?  Any birthdays?  Dentist?  Questionable hair dyes?  Hope you have a good one!

Happy Mother’s Day!

ICYMI: Fresh Fish Edition

I had a delightful time with the fish guys this week.  We talked fresh catches and how to prepare them.  Here is my attempt at alici con patate al forno.  If I had just sliced the potatoes a little thinner, I think it would have been money.

I had a delightful time with the fish guys this week. We talked fresh catches and how to prepare them. Here is my attempt at alici con patate al forno. If I had just sliced the potatoes a little thinner, I think it would have been money.

On the blog:

Would you eat an orange off the sidewalk?  I haven’t yet, but I can’t get used to perfectly good wasted fruit . . .

Spring!  Pollen!  Easter!

I get a little emotional talking about too much of a good thing.  FeeeEEElings!

A sweet commenter stated this week, “[y]ou make me laugh so much my husband wonders what cat antics I’m watching.”  Being considered anywhere near the realm of cat videos makes me a little misty-eyed.

Since I don’t say this enough to all of you, THANK YOU!  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for chatting.  Thanks for checking out this weird little corner of the internets.

On the internets:

The True Cost of Leaning In.  Agree.  High quality child care is not cheap, not to mention frequently hard to find.

I’m not going to recognize anything when we go back to DC.

But would you switch to avoid sitting next to a solo two year old?  I’m a little nervous; we have a flight coming up where we couldn’t select seats.

Happenings & Coming up:

My sister and her fam left this week.  We have a week off before James’s parents arrive.  Yay family!

I had a bit of a meh morning.  First, it was that thing where the cappuccino counter is empty and then 10 people run up before I can place my order, then I couldn’t go into the zoo because of an errant ball under my stroller, and THEN Mac pooped his pants and I neglected to bring a spare outfit.  #WINNING  I know, all small stuff.  Thanks for listening.  I feel better.

I also saw a tram come to a complete stop in the middle of an intersection because a car was parked on its tracks.  It just sat there honking its horn, first politely, and then more insistently.  After about 90 seconds, a lady came running out of the cafe to move the car.  Italy, man.

I think we’re planning a day trip on Saturday (maybe Orte?) and then some relaxation and guest prep.  Do you have big plans?  Hope it is a good one!

ICYMI: Finishing Out Food Week


Does it get more Italian than this?

On the blog:

To kick off food week, I shared about my love/hate/love relationship with food.  Also, some deets on the Mercato Esquilino in there.

Breakfast is, without a doubt, our most consistently paleo meal of the day.  Here is our version of a “sexy” paleo breakfast.

And I talked about one of my favorite restaurants in Rome, a decidedly non-paleo place.  #pastaporn

On the internets:

“But the thing is — it’s not good for children to have infinitely patient, saintly mothers, because the world is not infinitely patient and saintly. . . . It’s good for kids to recognize the incipient stages of someone losing their shit.”  Interesting thoughts.

I need to try this immediately.  Mayo, who knew?

Ever planned a girls’ get together of any kind?  This podcast will make you snort your coffee.  Hey Ladies . . . (Yeah, for now, continuing with podcasting.  Listening anyways.  No immediate plans to launch a Roman Reboot podcast.)

Check out this doodle diary of a new mom.  Yup.

Coming up:

My sis, BIL, and my absolutely adorbs niece are here!  We’ll be trying to see as much as we can with three kids under three.  At least the weather seems to be cooperating.  Hope you have a good one!

ICYMI: Allergy Edition

The only thing that comes close to the awesomeness of a three-day weekend is a short week!  (With apologies to the many of you that did not have a three-day weekend.)  I’ve been hitting the Claritin this short week.  I don’t usually have bad seasonal allergies, but there is something in the air here that is potent.  Ah, spring.

On the blog:

Still no Puglia pics here, but I’ve got some up on Facebook.

Henry.  Still up to his old tricks.

Want to feel better about the junk in your purse?  Go ahead, check out the disaster that is my bag.

On the internets:

Another person who wears the same thing every day.  I must admit, I’ve been mixing it up a little myself.  I’ll update on this soon.

Loved this backstory on Rob Riggle.

I saw the surprise coming, but was still pretty blown away.  Ah, architecture.

Do you guys recommend North Face?  My trench choices previously were based more on fashion than function.  This one looks like a tasty compromise.

Coming up:

We are having a rebuilding weekend here after our epic adventure.  Besides generally getting caught up, we need to prep for guests next week!  I’m pumped we actually have family coming for the next three months.  (Not three months straight.  That would be crazy.  One visit/month.)  W00t!

ICYMI: Daylight Savings Edition

Count those wheels

Count those wheels

That’s right.  Most of you sprung ahead a few weeks ago, but we are finally doing it this weekend.  I’m pretty psyched about the extra daylight.  We will playground for-evah!

On the blog:

My top picks for Munich with kids when it is cold outside.

I updated my About page.  If you have more questions I should add, let me know!

I time tracked another day around here so I can answer the “what do you do all day” question.

Henry has been going to Italian day care for about two months.  I finally got around to sharing more about it.

I’m still trying to figure out a posting frequency round these parts.  Part of it is that I’m trying to carve out time for travel planning.  Another part is that we are going on adventures faster than I can write about them.  Our weekend adventures are usually pretty photo-dense, which means mucho editing time.  These are the posts I don’t love to write.  I want to make them more interesting than a hey-look-at-someone-else’s-vacation-photos type of thing.  Working on it.

On the internets:

For all you lawyers, LVK talks about billable hours and time management.  Yes, I have thoughts.  I still need to comment on this one.

Long but interesting:  What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Taught Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad.  I like his approach on thinking of seasons of life.  That’s what I’m doing now, a more intensive season with my kids.  I worry about what might be available next.  Not reassuring that a Supreme Court clerk had the same worry!

Loving this jacket.  I’ve been on the hunt for a moto-style knit for awhile.  It is jacket weather now . . .

Coming up:

What are you guys up to this weekend?  We’ve got an Easter egg hunt tomorrow, and we may try to dye some (brown) eggs.  On Sunday, we may hit the flea market in Trastevere.  It should be a chiller weekend before we get ready for an upcoming trip to Puglia AKA the heel of the boot.  I’m pretty excited.  Happy weekend, ya’ll!