fried chicken + waffles

what? you didn't think i would post my fried chicken and waffles in all its glory?!

you've heard of fried chicken and waffles?

i've known it's a thing for a while... but i thought... i'll try it someday. and then we moved to harlem. and nearly a year later, me and ben finally tried it.

katie (pictured above), ben's sister, flew in late sunday, so we thought no better way to welcome her to harlem than to get soul food! fried chicken and waffles is really quite rad. and i will probably never have it again so i can avoid an early death.
it's the best blend of salty/sweet/fried/unhealthy.

if you're interested in this delectable meal ::
amy ruth's is rockin'.


liverpool football club

liverpool v. tottenham
cutest little family // liverpool: we love you long time
not only did ben get to go to mexico for his birthday,

but he also got to go see liverpool play a soccer game in real life - only his favorite soccer team ever - and he got to go with his favorite person - me. too bad it wasn't in his favorite city - but baltimore is ok and it's only a bus ride away.

we took the bus from nyc to baltimore in the early morning on saturday - arrived a bit early for the game.
we roasted in the sun (102 degrees?) and got smart - moved and sat up in the only shaded part of the stadium. i think otherwise we both would have passed out (not sure how all the other crazy fans got through the game without shade... alcohol?).

there were sooo many liverpool supporters there - even on the way to the stadium, there were people singing the liverpool song, and ben lit up with pure happiness.
i said to ben, "it's your people!"
because for all we know there aren't a lot of liverpool fans since liverpool isn't the winningest team there is.

there were 42,000+ people at the game. pretty rad for a pre-season game in the usa! i felt proud of all the soccer fans.

after the game, we got to enjoy baltimore's inner harbor a little, got ice cream (rita's) and got some classic maryland blue crabs. looove those (a couple of my favorite times here and here).

i'm really glad ben let me tag along for his birthday to see his favorite team and his favoritest player play (on the hottest day ever).

p.s. it was a draw (liverpool and tottenham tied).


near lincoln center .:. war horse

doesn't he look dashing?

i don't know how many times i've/we've walked byaroundnear lincoln center ... and until saturday night, i don't think either one of us had actually been to a lincoln center theater. i know. for shame! but we are definitely going to continue to change that.
i want to go the ballet and the opera. yes, i want to be those people. we went to our first opera in dc... and i think we were instantly addicted.
i've always dreamed of being really good at dancing (ballet) or really good at singing (lead singer of a band)... so i love to watch some of the very best perform these things, live, in front of me - so i know that someone else is really good at these things.
so i don't have to be. (ha)

we went and saw war horse. which is a broadway production at lincoln center. it was so incredible. i'm not sure why we waited so long to see it.
obviously the horse isn't real in the play, it's a horse made of a wooden frame and sort of mesh filling - and a group of puppeteers play the horse (and other animals as well) and it is the most incredible thing to watch -
two people are the body of the horse (legs, rear, etc) and one person is the head. they control all the movement and the sounds of the horse. they are the horse. so much so that you forget that the horse isn't real.
loved it. would see it again. it's a really sweet story. heavy subject matter (ww1) but sweet.
here is a not so great clip from the 2011 tonys of the horse - war horse won the 2011 tony for best play (and rightfully so).

afterwards we may have bused down about 20 blocks for some ice cream at shake shack... because it's tradition :)

p.s. last night we saw into the woods in central park (same theater as shakespeare in the park). have you ever seen it? it's a musical - a parody on many different fairytales like cinderella, little red riding hood, jack and the beanstalk ... it was a lot of fun. we were laughing pretty hard. my favorite was the song sung by cinderella's prince and rapunzel's prince called "agony." it's so hard being a prince! ha. so funny.
thank goodness for free outdoor summer fun in nyc.


today i just felt really happy.

me and baby quincey // lincoln center fountain
ben in the canyons of the upperwestside (uws) // lincoln center box office
gardener emily // restaurant week - pretty nyc restaurant
tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden. we grew them.

coming back from vacation is always hard. our trip back sucked - our connecting flight in dallas (on the way back from mexico 1, 2, 3, 4) was a mess. the immigration line (to get our passports stamped) was the longest we've ever seen it. y'all: we've visited 30+ countries together and never seen an immigration line nearly as long. so we missed our connecting flight. we were able to get on the next (and last flight) to nyc - but almost missed that. and so we didn't have time to grab food - so we ended up eating wendy's on our stoop at midnight when we were finally home. ha. wendy's never tasted so good.

i don't know if it was stressful travel or something - i felt yuck the next few days which is always nice when you're catching up at work. blaaah.

we had a busy week - with good and bad.

the good - we got to meet our friends' (suziecole) new baby, quincey... the sweetest little baby girl. she just hangs out, sleeps and doesn't make a peep. holy nuggets - there is something so special about a newborn baby. i just wanted to hold her until my arm fell off.

it's rewarding to have a garden. stuff you grow yourself just tastes better?

nyc restaurant week(s) is upon us. we are. in heaven.
(restaurant week is when fancier/spendier restaurants have a prix fixe [set price] menu for 3 courses. pretty rad.)

today i just felt really happy. it sounds so cliche' but i feel really blessed and sort of a sigh like everything is really okay, really great today.

i feel so grateful:
to be employed and love the people i work with.
to be married to a super smart and hardworking man who is in the midst of such a taxing and intense educational career at the moment.
to be married to my best foodie-planner-traveler-buddybuddy-lover friend.
to live in the city and the neighborhood i do. nyc and harlem - you are rough and tiring but also beautiful and perfect.



my hair.
ben's hair.
charlie's angels.

yes. my family is quite large. we just seem to keep multiplying.

my parents fell in love and got married (2 people). approximately 40 years ago --- which was the inspiration for our family trip to mexico.

then it was 7. then we started adding... adding... adding. now 21.
i am happier and happier with each addition, although - i think adding ben was the best darn thing we (i) ever did.

things i've also been thinking .:.
ben has the best beach hair. he didn't really wash it much while we were in mexico so it just got better and better. easier to sculpt.
my hair. was pretty ok too... got a little dreadsy but i am paying for it now because i actually have to brush it...
my family is beautiful. my family is smart. my family is fun. my family is adventurous.
my family - i love them.
i am grateful for family. for vacation. for mexican food.
i am grateful for love in my life.
i am grateful for the beach and for sunshine.

long live summer.

more mexico here, here + here.

beach bums

more photos from mexico (here + here too).

if it weren't for the need to reapply sunscreen --- being at the beach would be complete bliss and perfection to me.
...there sure is something to be said about ocean water that is warm and fine sand beaches with your family that you love love love.

ben and i even took the cliche´ long walk on the beach... turns out it was a really long walk. about 4 miles. it's ok, we're used to walking a lot.

we sure were spoiled last week in meh-hee-coh.


how many kids can you fit in a pool?

baby rocket (charlie beckham) with grandpapaige, grandma and rocketjane
addyson, me
ben, addyson, me

nine kids. that's how many you can fit in a pool.

all last week we were in mexico in a lovely family friends' beach house... playing at the pool. playing in the ocean. eating mexican food. with my whooooole family. yep. 21 people in total.

i was content just hanging at the house everyday. when the pacific ocean waves got too big or the sand was too in-my-swimsuit, i just got in the pool.

pretty sure we were in the pool every evening until it was dinner time. and we even did some night swimming (would have done it more if it weren't for the mosquitos).

as much as i love my parents and siblings... those nieces and nephews of mine --- i sure have a special place for. those little tiny kids that give the biggest bugs and say the sweetest things.
i love those little kids. i love watching them grow. i love playing in the pool with them. in mexico.