I’ve got an eclectic fav five for you this month—there’s something here for everyone. AND a few things you need to try even if they seem crazy. One involves someone who wears tiny shorts for a living.
1. Funny I’ve had the Sky Guide app on this list for a few weeks and just tonight Ethan showed my dad how to use it, blowing his mind with this amazingness. The app is very cheap, I think $2.99, and at any time of the day will show you the night sky to help you identify planets, stars, constellations, and whatever else is up there. Ethan’s a space kid so he and Stu frequently pop outside in the evenings to check out the sky through this app. Point it anywhere and you’ve got the galaxy at your fingertips, ready to explore. It’s fun for adults and kids.
2. I’ve received so many compliments on my lovely laptop case that I must share the deets. This iCasso hard shell case comes in several Mac sizes and a few more designs and I’ve never loved a tech accessory so much. Plus it protects my poor laptop that gets lugged all over the house/city/country from scratches and dents. I’ve had it for about four months and it’s held up beautifully, no cracking or fitting issues. At $19.99, it’s a small price to pay to show my pricey toy some love. My laptop has never looked so pretty!
3. Not too long ago I received an unexpected package in the mail containing the GORGEOUS Goodnight St. Louis coloring book. I almost hid it for myself—though I’ve never dabbled in adult coloring—after deciding it was too pretty and perfect to hand over to the boys. I of course reconsidered and am so glad I did because Ethan LOVES this book. We’ve been big fans of Julie Dubray and June Herman’s original book Goodnight St. Louis with it’s fabulous illustrations of our city, still reading it on a regular rotation, so the coloring book has been a fantastic extension. We’re tickled when Ethan races to the book after we’ve visited a St. Louis landmark. The other day after stopping at the World Chess Hall of Fame, he sought out the book and turned to the page depicting this attraction and it’s famous giant chess piece to start coloring. I thought it would be too difficult for him, but his skills have actually improved with practice coloring the intricate drawings. This is a perfect gift for kids and adults—just FYI, your kid should expect one if we’re invited to their birthday party. Get one on their website or check out these local retailers.
4. Around the holidays I was introduced to the lovely voice of Laura Mvula and have since added quite a few of her songs to my “Chill” playlist. I am drawn to her totally unique sound…every song is like a work of art, a complete production. Just try listening to Like the Morning Dew without feeling inspired. Green Garden makes me happy with it’s intoxicating beat and steady progression, reminding me so much of Nina Simone. Other favorites include She and Show Me Love. She is also achingly beautiful, her videos totally captivating. I love creating Apple Music stations based on her songs…it’s a great way to discover some amazing artists.
5. And here’s where you’ll think I’m nuts. As you probably know, I’m a podcast lover, always searching for something interesting to listen to in the shower, car, or on the treadmill, but this one is a stretch even for me. Missing Richard Simmons is dedicated to exactly what it’s name says, the people missing the man in tank tops who sweats to the oldies. Unless you are a fan (which I am not…or at least wasn’t), you probably don’t know Richard Simmons disappeared in 2014 and hasn’t spoken to anyone but his manager and family members since then. The man who taught aerobics lessons at his LA gym, Slimmons (now closed), for 40 years just stopped showing up about 3 years ago and never said why. Quit calling people to help them with their weight-loss, quit doing interviews, quit hanging out with some of his best friends, and just dropped off the face of the earth. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a fan who decided to do some investigating to see what happened, to make sure Richard was ok. Funny how a topic you never thought you’d care about, like Richard Simmons, can be riveting when presented by the right voice. It’s just six episodes, extremely well edited, and plays out like a mystery and life story all in one.
What’s your fav this month? Please share!
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day on Friday! How are you celebrating?
We’re not die-hard Saint Patrick’s Day celebrators like my red-head Irish friend Kate, but we’ve recognized this green holiday in many different ways, especially since the kids arrived on the scene. Holidays are just more fun with kids. Unless, that is, you are headed to an all-day drink-fest/parade…that’s fun too. Just not as achievable these days. Ethan and I have ventured over to Dogtown for the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade craziness a couple times, the parking is a nightmare but the people-watching is amazing. Plus there’s plenty of food to grab afterwards, like at Mac’s Local Eats inside the newly renovated Tamm Avenue Grill.
Since it’s freezing and Ethan’s in school nowadays, we will do something fun at home instead.
I told Ethan we needed to remember to wear green on Friday, to which he responded that he didn’t have a green shirt and somehow I started reminiscing about St. Patty’s days of the past and told him about the pinching…that if you don’t wear green you get pinched. Remember that whole thing in school? There was always a friend who took the “rule” REALLY seriously and left you with a bruise if you darned to go green-less? Do kids still do this?
This year, Finn and I will host a little-kid playdate in the morning, complete with green snacks and rainbow necklace crafts and green popcorn, then we’ll head to a local fish fry. We’re not church people, but darn it if Catholic churches don’t throw the best parties on Friday nights during lent! It’s so fun walking down the street to have dinner with neighbors and friends in a family-friendly atmosphere that usually includes live music. Probably Irish music this week :).
Anyway, in case you haven’t made a plan as of yet, I thought I’d share a few recipes we’ve tried in that past (plus a few we’ll be trying in the future).
These Cheesy Corned Beef Pull Apart Sliders were posted on one of my favorite food blogs, Foodness Gracious. This chef turned stay-at -home-dad-turned-blogger is always making mouth-watering dishes and this one pleased everyone in our family. Hot sandwiches? Never bad.
We’ve made this Beef and Guinness Stew at Saint Patrick’s Day gatherings and it’s delicious, especially in this icy weather we’ve been having. Really, all Irish cuisine is pretty perfect for cold weather.
If I were going to a party these would be my contribution, Guiness, Whiskey, & Irish Cream Cupcakes, and I plan to whip up some of this Green Popcorn for the kiddos tomorrow. Popcorn + kids = a big, snack-satisfying mess.
I’m tempted to try this lovely Guinness Pie, Martha sure can make comfort food look classy. Sardella, in Clayton, has started brunch service and it featured the most delectable looking Eggs Benedict (my favorite ever ever ever have got to try this) and their perfect hollandaise sauce is the most vibrant green. Can’t get much more Saint Patrick’s-y than that! In a perfect world, this dish would be served with a few of these Spicy BLT Green Bloody Mary’s.
Yet another holiday I love because it’s centered around food. Perfect.
Happy Satin Patrick’s Day!