Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frequent flying tot

Our Pickle is becoming a traveling pro! At 20 months, he took his third flight and visited his fifth state.

Like San Francisco, we purchased his seat so he could be contained in his car seat. With my growing belly, I did not want to deal with juggling him back and forth between the two of us in our seats. At this point in my pregnancy, I get uncomfortable when the person in front of me reclines his seat on a flight, so imagine figuring out how to store a wiggly toddler on my lap. No thanks.

I was extra glad we bought his seat when we learned our flight home was sold out and delayed. The Pickle was a champ and slept for most of the flight home. While waiting at the gate, he was high fiving our fellow passengers and taking candy from strangers. Having a play area at the Tampa airport also helped bunches to keep him occupied since he was past his nap time.

This trip was taxing for me, but I'll treasure the memories of him playing in the sand and smiling at the surf. (Him sleeping horizontally between Phil and me with his bowling bowl head in my back...not so much.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Live music: a lifesaver when dining out with tots on vacation

The Pickle's initials are's no coincidence that DJ is part of his initials since this kid loves to dance! He particularly enjoys live music. (Maybe attending a Lady Gaga concert 9 months pregs inspired him in utero?)

On Saturday, we stopped at a little Cuban place for some al fresco dining and live music. It was past Dylan's bedtime, but since he was infatuated with the performers, he held up well.

He also did pretty well at the wedding reception last night because of other little minis running around and the steel drums. He even started a toddler congo line!

Toddler travel tip: if you need to keep the kiddos up past their bedtime for dinner, find a restaurant with live music. Works for us!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Best man and ring bearer

A bit windy, but still gorgeous.

Scored the Pickle's linen ring bearer outfit and sandals from BabyGap. Too cute, no?

Our growing fam...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mom and me morning in St. Pete

How would you like to start your morning off with this on your plate? I had my earliest brunch ever at 8 a.m. since the Pickle woke up early and Phil was off fishing with the groom and groomsmen.

I consulted Trip Advisor for yum St. Pete Beach breakfast spots and got Beverly's and Frog Pond as recs. Since they're across the street from each other, I figured we'd see which one struck our fancy upon arrival.

We ended up at Beverly's La Croisette, and I ordered the fantastic blueberry, banana and pecan pancake. It was huge and served me well as leftovers for lunch.

At the intersection next to Beverly's there was a fun fresh market on Corey Street, which houses a bunch of art galleries. We browsed and looked longingly at the gourmet hot dog food truck, but we had just stuffed our faces and definitely were not hungry.

I figured we'd save Frog Pond for another morning. The rehearsal dinner is at Mad Fish tonight, which looks fun, so I'm excited.

How often do you see a retro diner and palm trees that serves upscale seafood? Yum!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Love and beaches

My love and I are celebrating our 5-year anni during this trip to St. Pete Beach. It's also tripling as a destination wedding for our friends and our second babymoon before Kabongo debuts in July.

So fun to celebrate milestones with sun and surf!

For our honeymoon, we sunned, slept and stuffed our bellies at a resort in Punta Cana:

For our babymoon, we took it easy in Key West:

And, the view for this trip:

We've been talking about planning a beach vacay with friends and SITTERS for next summer down south and I think that would be amazing.

So far, Punta Cana is still tops. What's been your favorite beach?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Bare or Not to Bare on the Beach

I'm talking about my belly, fools, not boobs. Although I've been pondering this question so much, you'd think I was considering visiting a topless beach.

So, here's the deal. When we babymooned in Key West two years ago, I was six months pregs and we didn't know anyone at our resort. Our trip to St. Petersburg for our friends' wedding is coming up, which is also serving as our five-year anni/babymoon trip, and this go-around, I'm a very seven months pregnant. (Trust me: six months pregs with baby #1 is a very different look than seven months pregs with baby #2.) My belly feels way more out there! Also, and more importantly, we'll see our friends on the beach.

So, I have the suit I wore above and I have a black maternity tankini. We'll see if I end up breaking out the former on this trip...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mad for Momofuku

It all started on Monday when I spotted one of these cookies on a counter at work. I bit into the blueberry and cream one, moaned in delight and then read the packaging to see it was from Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. That's all it took to get a Momofuku fix. Chef David Chang is amazeballs.

I ate at the Ssam Bar for lunch a couple years ago and still remember how yum the pork buns were. I googled locations close to Tribeca and thought my coworker Katelyn and I could try to grab dinner at the Noodle Bar despite them only taking rezzies for large parties. Uh no. There was a 60-minute+ wait in the teeny tiny entrance.

Tried Urbanspoon for a backup rec and it pointed us a few doors away to Momofuku Ko. Deny #2. Although, checking the menu prices afterward, that might not be a heartbreaker.

We decided to grab some Japanese fare across the street and I had a udon dish with curry and tofu. A bit salty, but I heart udon and was happy.

When Katelyn said she could go for something sweet (this girl eats veggies all day long), I mapped the closest Milk Bar, googled the hours (open till 12 a.m.!) and off we went. I had THE BEST milkshake I ever had (sorry Michael Symon). It was the perfect size (petite), consistency (not thick) and taste (chocolate-covered pretzel...nice malty flavor). YUM!!!!!! Katelyn bought us a cookies assortment and we split the compost cookie with butterscotch, potato chips and a host of other deliciousness. I will kill her if she eats the cornflake-marshmallow one without me.

In other good news, I am back on track with manis in NYC. Even got a pedi tonight and it was warm enough to sport my flip flops to dinner (sorry wintry-mix Clevelanders). My prego tootsies are good as new!

Back home tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New luggage!

Mama got some new luggage!

I've had a hodge podge of bags for a while so when I saw Heys USA on Rue La La, I scored a new set of super lightweight luggage with awesome spinner wheels (these things cannot tip over). Love them so far and so does The Pickle.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm buying a condo in NYC

J.K. I've just been to NYC a lot in the past two months (5 times). I'm woefully behind in posting about my last two trips (3.14/15 and 3.28/29). I think it's because I jinxed myself in my last post about manis helping to make a biz trip awesome. No manis during my past two trips! However, I do have a gift card to use at a nail salon there next week and I did still score dinners, albeit so-so.

So, here's a quickie recap of yum dishes:

Sarabeth's Tribeca on Greenwich: The risotto was underwhelming, the beet salad was better, and the raspberry bread pudding was mmmm.

Pecan: Still my go-to breakfast spot (and sometimes lunch). I got short-changed with my sweet potato waffle last time! During my first sampling, I got just blueberries. This time I got blueberries, strawberries, bananas and nuts! I didn't think this dish could get better. AMAZEBALLS!

Bread Tribeca: Allison picked this spot for lunch on Friday, and it was good! Got the soup/panino combo (tomato soup and proscuito/mozz panino). Nom nom.

Rosa Mexicano: Disappointed with the atmosphere and eats, so I'm not posting pics. I hadn't been to a NYC location, just D.C., but a colleague had and she agreed the quality and atmosphere were lacking.

I hadn't had a chance yet to shop during one of my trips, so we played hooky before our flight and stopped at Topshop (I’ve been to both U.S. stores now…and bought nothing at neither).

Our lux dinner consisted of Pinkberry and then Auntie Annes at LGA, and honestly, they hit the spot!

Headed back to the Big Apple next week...I've only got so many potential trips left before my belly is forbidden to fly!

I love Hodges' tots so much I flew out of CAK and didn't complain

OK so the second part of that statement is a lie. I totes bitched about my 6 a.m. flight out of CAK last week. I'm still recovering, which is why this post is so late (ba da bing!).

I accepted an invite to a blogger preview dinner to Hodges before planning another trip to NYC, which Phil was super excited to attend. If you know my hubs, you know that super excited is not a state he's in often, so I could not bear to disappoint him and took a super early flight out of CAK to make a meeting since I couldn't fly out Wednesday night.

OMG. Even though I stayed at a hotel near the airport the night before, it's not really fair for anyone to be around a six-month prego lady who had to get up before 5 a.m. But enough complaining, and onto the food!

I cannot be more excited to be working so close to Hodges! Chris knows his potatoes, of course (TOTS!), and I've loved the food I've sampled. The hangar steak entrĂ©e is a winner for both lunch and dinner, and the French onion ravioli is a unique dish worth trying. Here are so picked from the two meals I've had so far:

Baked potato tots

Pork and beans app
Scallop with English peas from the Chef's Garden

French onion ravioli (lunch portion)

Cool check presentation
I'm supposed to go for lunch tomorrow, and it will be my third visit in just over a week. Yay April!