Monday, November 19, 2012


This concludes our two birthday back to back series and the inevitable weight gain that starts the season... We had a very nice dinner for MrH, an organic roast chicken that I prepared with garlic, and mashed potatoes with nutmeg, peas and Brussels sprouts, and then for dessert the chocolate ice cream (divine, divine!!!) and a creme brulee that turned out really brulee because I have no torch and tried to use the broiler to caramelize the sugar.  Ended up cremating the sugar on top, but everything underneath was still scandalously decadent.

I was reading now about this woman in New York whose two beloved children were murdered by the nanny.  How very very sad!  The nanny was obviously mentally ill, and everything sounded completely devoid of any explanation that a human mind can comprehend... I can only say that my heart weeps for this tragic, unexpected loss, that makes no sense to anybody.

Yet...if you read the comments that people leave behind on the articles published in the media, it is so upsetting to see how they sound as if things could have somehow been prevented:  should not have left kids with nanny, one should raise own children, don't trust anybody with your kids, and don't ask the nanny to do housework, don't fight with nanny, blah blah.  People!  This nanny was not normal, don't make it sound as if it the parent's fault.  What the heck?  Have some heart!

MrH's birthday and breakfast

Today it is my sweet husband's birthday.  I think the world of him and wish him many healthy years, and a fulfilled life, and the art and ability to create happiness out of the ordinary day.  Even more so, out of the extra ordinary day, like today.  He is the best father that Emma could have ever wanted, and I am sure if she knew what a birthday is, she would be chiming in with some wishes as well.

You know what makes a great breakfast?  A home made baguette slice (doesn't have to be home made, but around here home made is the best you're going to get, and my latest creations are improving dramatically), with apricot or  peach jam, and topped with whipping cream.  Mmmmm.  Dunked in coffee with hot milk.  Heaven.

The only person who does not think so is Emma.  She looks at the jam, takes one lick of the whipping cream, and pulls her nose up.  If given the opportunity, she tears the breakfast offering apart with two fingers, like it were a dead insect.  I swear, this child of mine should be filmed and distributed as diet helper.  You give her great things, like dates, and candy, and she often spits them out and is not interested.  Banana bread, I mean c'mon, who doesn't like banana bread with dates and walnuts? apparently Emma.  When hungry, she might eat it, but if she is not hungry, you could give her the world on a stick and she would not touch it.  Except to trample on it, that is.

Why can't I be more like her?  I think I am becoming a bit more like her:  unembarrassed to spit out whatever does not taste like I really need or want.  Not always though, and not perfectly.  Last night, I asked MrH what he would like for desert on his birthday, and he said ice cream.  So I made the liquid for putting in the ice cream maker but it turned out too sweet.  So I drank about a cup of it (can't waste it) and replaced the missing cup with cream.  Turned out great.  I was a bit sick on the other hand....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

birthday and my closet

It is my birthday today!  I am turning thirty-and-a-considerable-amount.  I feel too old to have a birthday, if that makes any sense, in that I would rather not turn thirty-and-more and prefer to stay thirty-and-less, even at the expense of having a birthday... I guess it doesn't work that way.

MrH has brought me breakfast in bed, and let me sleep in, which is the first time I have slept in for the past two months or so... I am not going to lie, it felt so good it should have cost money.   I got myself for my birthday a nice black turtleneck sweater from Brunello Cucinelli, who makes the best cashmere sweaters (3 ply, soft, resilient, reasonably thickly woven) other than Loro Piana.

I am a fashionista at heart.  I am not into following trends much, and still wear bell bottomed jeans at times, but I like reading about different luxury brands and designers, and learning about fashion trends along the years, and most of all looking at, touching, and wearing very good quality materials made into very good quality clothes.

When I was young, I had no money for clothes.  Then, I did, and got myself lots of very nice clothes.  And shoes.  And purses.  The problem is that a wardrobe is always in flux, and my issue is that for the past five years or so I have only been attracted to very expensive pieces.  Like, ahem, the last piece that I bought was a Hermes belt.  Not a H belt, too obvious, just a black belt that looks very ordinary, but feels completely divine.  The leather is so soft, and bendy, it feels like a hug rather than a belt.  I am not going to say how much it cost, but suffice it to say I could have bought at least 8 decent leather belts with that money.  However, this belt, a Chanel scarf, a vintage purple wool A line Chanel skirt, a pair of red acid wash skinny jeans (don't know the designer), two white shirts from Thomas Pink, and the above mentioned turtleneck sweater are the only clothes that I bought this whole year.  The total price of all the purchases amounts to about 165 dollars per month, if I divide everything by 12.  Not too bad.  Each piece in itself is extravagantly expensive, but overall I don't think that the average amount spent on clothes is extravagant when calculated monthly.

I was reading a book on the psychology of one's closet (You are what you wear, by Jennifer B something) and at some point in the book, it is mentioned that a French woman "only needs a black cashmere turtleneck (check!), dress pants, jeans, a white collared shirt, a Hermes scarf, a trench, a pair of flat shoes, and a pair of heels.  Cost is immaterial because, even though French women purchase these items from the highest end, they can endure a lifetime".  I don't know about the lifetime part, since one is prone to changing the cut of the pants and jeans at least once every five years, plus in my house we stain things occasionally beyond repair, especially since Emma came on the scene.  But I do understand what she means.

Inspired by this quote (and several others that are harping on the same topic, quality over quantity), I have felt a few times compelled to clean out my closet to the bare bones, and just leave in it one or two pairs of jeans, two pairs of dress pants (thin and thick), three thick skirts, two thin ones, one dress, and two blazers, thick and thin, two white shirts, one pink short sleeve shirt, one white turtleneck, one black turtleneck, one cashmere cardigan and two silk blouses, two belts and two scarves.  And my lululemon pants, sine qua non (in case you're impressed, that's all I can remember from four years of high school Latin).

Those would be my essentials, at this point in time. However, I have some other needs that these essentials would not cover.  Like the need to roll around in the snow with Emma.  I doubt any of the above mentioned pants would cover my legs appropriately.  And the need to go to the playcentre and play with watercolours (ahem, the white or the black very expensive cashmere sweater?).  So I need some clothes with which I don't have to worry about stains and little hands grabbing me.  Also, I need some clothes for reinventing my style once in a while.  Like for layering, perhaps some cotton frocks, or a leather vest, or some leather skirts, or even very casual corduroy pants worn with man's shoes and a white shirt and a manly watch.  And pearls.  I am digressing, but what I mean is that more closet volume allows more colours, like orange and purple,  more patterns, like pinstripe and ecossais, and the presence of the hot pink blazer with bows that I would not be able to wear more than once a month for fear of being remembered as crazy on a regular basis.

So, there it goes.  I will not be culling my closet for volume or diversity in the near future.  As long as I have in my head all the possible combinations, I think volume and diversity are good.  Yes, there are clothes in there that I have not worn in the past two years, but invariably I dig them out and wear them eventually, and when I do they feel like new clothes, without having spent any money.  In addition, it is extremely unlikely that I will NEED something in the next few years, since I seem to have some item of clothing for every possible occasion (except for a nice formal dress, that is until my boobs recede back to their usual size so that I can fit into my pre pregnancy dresses) which allows me to spend the above mentioned extravagant amounts of money on occasional purchases of accessories and cherry-on-top type of designer clothing.

I bet normal people do not spend this much time dissecting their wardrobe.
But normal is overrated anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am getting a lot of spam comments lately, I was wondering if the rest of you that have blogs are getting the same problem.  Every day, some loser that is trying to promote their website writes some bogus comment that has nothing to do with the kettle of fish, and the comments come to my email.  I am not, however, seeing them on the blog itself, so I guess some spam blocker must be in place.

Still, I get so excited when I see a comment in my inbox in the mornings, and then realize it is spam...such a bummer.  I get the feeling that I am getting tricked, and falling for the same trick every time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm baaack

I went to South Africa on a quick holiday to attend the fabulous wedding of my step daughter.  It was very nice to enjoy some summer, and to watch Emma on the beach playing with the shells.  We came back to some nasty snow piled on the back porch.  Unfortunately, I was too pissed off to take pictures, but I should have, as the snow was up to my thighs.  I had to shovel for two hours, and MrH did about an hour and a half to finish off the job after I lay exhausted...

Flying to SA from Northern Canada has its own sets of challenges, namely taking three planes back to back with a small baby is not the easiest thing to do.  It becomes even harder if one's passport is expired, in particular if MrsH's passport is more than TWO YEARS expired and she is only made aware of this joyful fact by the airline checkin counter attendant... No, they did not let me on the flight.  We had to spend five days in Vancouver, having loads of fun trips to the passport office.  In other words, any travelling difficulties that we might have had were more related to my lack of adequate paperwork than to travelling with a 14 month old.

Emma is a beautiful, loving child.  She wraps her arms around me many times during the day, and at night when we fall asleep.  She is very affectionate.  She says "happy" and "cat" and a few Romanian words, all coming out really cute.  We go to Mother Goose where one can learn rhymes, and I know quite a few baby poems and songs by now.  We make cookies and bread, and she is able to use the rolling pin for both the dough and for banging things in the house with.  And she likes to bang on the piano.  A prodigy, what more can I ask for :)

As for myself, I am busy with work and now with cooking excessively again.  I have rekindled my love relationship with the Thermomix.  I swear that machine is addictive, and judging by the sheer number of blogs out there that deal with the Thermomix cooking, I think I might be right.  I simply must stop making things, and then struggling to eat them.  I think Emma is bang on when she spits out the food if she is full:  that's the attitude!