Picture this. It's 7:30am, your hair is wet, you have mascara on one set of eye lashes, you're halfway dressed, your dogs are following around because they're starving and your child is completely restless - demanding a ton of your attention.
This is what it's like for us 2 out of 5 weekday mornings. Good thing I never said I would swear my child off of television before the age 2 because I would never be able to put myself together in the morning.
However, what I do control is the quality of programming he's watching. We're raising Liam to be bi-lingual (English and French), and to help we bought this great language set called Little Pim. The set includes 3 DVDs, a CD of French songs, flash cards and a Pim plush toy. When I'm having one of those mornings, I turn on a Little Pim French DVD and voila like magic Liam is completely entertained.
Aside from this, Liam isn't exposed to any other cartoons. Majority of the time it's news and the occasional DVR'd Bravo TV show I'm catching up on, but otherwise that's it for TV. These Little Pim tools, combined with conversational French, have already proved to be helpful. Liam associates words/phrases like "L'eau" (water) with his sippy cup of water, "Mange" (eat) when he's eating a meal, and "Tu As Finis?" (are you finished) when he's over his bath. Not only are the DVDs, CDs and flashcards helpful to him, but it's helping Matt learn key words and helping me brush up on some words I haven't used in awhile.
If you are (or plan to) raise your baby bi-lingual I highly suggest picking up a Little Pim set. They come in more languages than I knew existed and you'll feel at least a little less guilty about what your baby is watching since it's educational.
|Are you raising a bi-lingual baby? How are you teaching he/she the other language?|
2, 655. That is the total number of people I'm linked to through my social sites. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. That is a shit (pardon my francais) load of people. I'm not going to do, what everyone expects me to do - which is freak out (name that movie).
But seriously, I'm not going to start un-friending people. Instead I'm going to do the complete opposite. I'm going to get personal. I'm going to email, message and ping every single one of those people (okay, okay most of the people). Why? Because these days it's so easy to "friend", "follow" or "connect" with someone you're acquainted with without ever creating a meaningful relationship.
The most important thing I've learned since establishing myself in the professional world, is that you have to create meaningful relationships. Every introduction, every handshake, every non-chalant hello can make a world of difference in your life. So if you and I are connected virtually don't be surprised if you see a note from me to say "Hello".
|Do you keep in contact with all of your online connections? How do you build meaningful relationships?|
I've been a little, alright A LOT, MIA the past 2 weeks and that's because my wonderful husband took me on a fabulous Eurocation to Vienna, Croatia and Barcelona. While I'm working on my recap, I'm truly appreciating my husband. Not only because of the amazing trip he booked for us, but for always keeping his promise of taking care of us through sickness and health.
This is a LONG overdue post about the not so new restaurant, Siena Tavern. Being a HUGE foodie and Top Chef fan, I was ecstatic when I first heard that the fan-favorite Chef Fabio would be opening a restaurant in Chicago. Obvious to anyone who watched his season, he has this charisma that makes every lady swoon and every man want to be in his shoes. So when the announcements were going around that Fabio's new restaurant Siena Tavern was set to open, I quickly jumped on Open Table and secured a table stat.
Both Matt and I immediately walked in loving the vibe of the place. It has a great huge bar right when you walk in and the restaurant is extremely spacious. They quickly seated us at our table and immediately our server came over explaining everything about the menu. Their menu was what you expected it to offer...charcuterie, cheese, pasta, pizza, salad, entrees and my favorite part - a crudo bar (which you don't normally find in an Italian restaurant).
We started with a bottle of wine (obviously the necessities first) and landed on a pizza, as well as some charcuterie to share as starters. The pizza was good, but very reminiscent of La Madia pizzas - which I love, so it's hard to trump that one for me. Nonetheless though, it was pretty tasty.
For our entrees, Matt and I usually go polar opposite directions, which this case was no different. He went for the Double Cut Veal Chop and I went for the Siena Chopped Salad. Matt was totally satisfied with his meal, I think more for the amount of food he was given, and I was...left expecting a little more. The salad was good and his veal chop was perfectly fine, but my expectations were a little higher than what we experienced.
Overall everything was "good", but I'll be honest. In a city where mediocre food doesn't last very long, your food has to be exceptional if you expect it to make it very far. Was Siena Tavern above average? Yes when it comes to service, but the food itself was just good only because there are other Italian restaurants in the city that offer truly exceptional fare. So will I return to Siena Tavern? Sure, but I'll always have a hand full of restaurants that will be my first choice.
I'm sure you've heard my spiele in a previous post about how much every person (even those who don't like to cook) should invest in a slow cooker/crock pot. You can even buy one for super cheap and what you'll find is that it quickly becomes the most used kitchen appliance. A few weeks ago I had a random craving for moroccon lamb stew. Now have I ever had it? No. However, the flavor profiles that I was imagining in my head made it seem delicious. So, alas I put together what I thought should go into the recipe and it turned out to be everything I imagined and more.
So what' you'll need...
2.5 lbs of lamb stew meat
2 cups of chicken broth
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of cayenne
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of all spice
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 large sweet potato cubed
1 chopped onion
4 carrots cubed
3 parsnips cubed
Salt (1 tbps, but more if needed)
1 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp butter
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup raisins
15 dried apricots
Peel and chop the onions, carrots, potato and parsnip then set aside.
In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of butter. Brown each piece of stew meat and place into the crock pot.
Add all remaining ingredients into the crock pot and mix all together.
Cook on low heat for 6 - 8 hours or on high heat for 4 - 6 hours.
This dish is super hearty, but light at the same time. What makes it great is all the sweetness from the raisins and dried apricot bring the flavor to a whole other level. With all the wonderful vegetables in there it's great to eat on it's on or over a bed of saffron rice, cous cous or quinoa.
A short 6 months ago when Matt and I were pushing Liam around the neighborhood, we saw a little boy wearing a helmet. I remember trying not to stare and softly asking Matt, "Would it matter if Liam had to wear one of those?" Of course we both agreed it didn't, but as any normal person would fear, there was the weird sense of insecurity that people would stare and think, "What is wrong with that child?" At the time I didn't realize how that moment prepared me for today.
Last Friday Liam too got a helmet, which I now know is actually called a Doc Band. While the Doc Band looks so much more serious than it really is, it will help to round out the shape of his head since he has a bit of a flat spot. After getting his helmet on, which doesn't phase him at all by the way, we took him to the park. While of course some parents quickly glanced and smiled, a group of 3 little boys (around the age of 5) approached us and asked, "Why is he wearing that?" Stumped because I didn't know how to explain it to a group of kids, Matt quickly jumped in and said, "It's so we can bounce him around." The boys looked at Matt slightly puzzled, looked at Liam, then went along their merry old way.
I knew that he would get stares, but I didn't think I would have to explain it. Feeling a little bummed out because my little nugget has to go through this, I realized that this moment does not phase him at all. This Doc Band is temporary and will only help him in the long run.
From the 1st day we found out that Liam would be needing this Doc Band, I've said to him every night, "You are perfect!" The stares, the comments and the whispers don't mean a thing because with or without his "helmet" - he is a perfect little boy!
Each week I feel like there is a theme and the inspirational moments come to me at the most random times. This week's little things are truly inspired by friendship. A call, an email, a text message, a letter (all that are non-work related of course) - think about how each form of communication from a friend can make your day. Now think about how much more meaningful it is when it's someone you haven't heard from in a long time or someone that you thought would be an unlikely friend. It's moments like those that make my week. Don't you just love when the un-expected pleasantly surprises you?
|What little things happened to you that made your week?|
For over 7 years blogging has been an outlet for me and while it started out as a little side project, I constantly am surprised when I meet someone that says, "I read your blog!" This extra curricular activity has helped me grow in so many ways and has grown with me as I've gone through many life changes...move to a new city, switch in jobs...baby! Not only have I grown, but blogging in itself has become this phenomenon that I never knew would become so influential to today's world. Case and point - some of the best bloggers have launched amazing careers because of it such as Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman, Maxxisnista Lindsay Calla of Saucy Glossie, and many (SO many) more!
There was a split second where I aspired to be a full-time blogger, but the vision for my blog was never clear. While I did start off concentrating on fashion, my interests and passions continued to grow that it only made sense that this blog evolved as my life did. So that's when I went from Fashion Therapist to Defining Tabitha. The more I progressed in blogging - the more the blogging community evolved and well let me tell you if it isn't already painfully obvious...EVERYONE is a blogger. True story! Love fashion? There's a blog for that. Love food? There are tons of blogs for that. Have a passion for Garbage Pail Kids? There's a blog for that...no joke. With all this said, I'm at a crossroads in my life where I'm constantly questioning, "Is blogging worth it anymore?" and "Do I embrace the reality that I'm turning into a mommy blogger?" While I LOVE blogging in itself, I'm having a hard time balancing mom, wife, work, life and blogging, but I'm committed to this blog. Just like any investment you don't give up on it so quickly, so you'll have to excuse me as I try to reinvigorate my blog with a better vision and direction. As always though I am so thankful for those who continue my life journey and appreciate your continued support.
Who knew back then when Doogie Howser kept his online diary that it would evolve into such an influential medium.