I became a 7th degree aunt this week when my baby sister had her first baby!
It all unfolded in the middle of the night their time, and therefore in the middle of the workday for me, so I was getting play by plays throughout meetings and whatnot. In the end the baby was delivered by emergency c-section as she kept going into distress and since my sister lives in a small town and the hospital does not have a NICU, they made the call to just go in and get her out.
My family has a group whatsapp chat, and after the first adorable photo of that tiny baby on my sister’s chest, someone asked if there were any more photos. You guys, she sent pictures OF THE ACTUAL C-SECTION HAPPENING.
They were very freaking real. Very, very freaking real.
My sister is a nurse, it should be said, so has a strong stomach for that kind of thing. Needless to say it was NOT what the rest of us were expecting when we asked to see more baby pictures. And thanks to whatsapp downloading photos to your phone, my camera role is filled with delights like a surgeon elbow-deep in her abdomen and a head emerging from her midsection like something out of the movie Predator.
It’s a very, very cute head, though.
I’m currently in the middle of a major wardrobe overhaul, as, as I think I previously mentioned, I haven’t really bought any new clothes since before my older child was born. Most of what’s in my wardrobe is either worn out, out of style, or doesn’t fit anymore.
I don’t really enjoy shopping and my preferred state is in a hoodie with stretchy pants, so I’ve been depending on the humour and patience of some of my girlfriends to help my almost 41-year-old self to figure out how to dress myself.
A friend of mine works pretty nearby and gets a sweet discount at some good clothing stores, so we’ve done a couple of whirlwind lunch shops in which I try things on and she makes a two second judgement decision about whether or not I should get that item.
Through this process I have acquired what I refer to as my “big pants” and, you guys, I am having a hard time adjusting to them. Why are pants so big now? It’s like a throwback to the raver pants I wore in the late 90’s, only for business ladies. I feel like I might blow away if a strong wind should gust up.
Also, since having two kids my midsection is essentially mush, and I really prefer a baggy sweater. The big pants necessitate a smaller kind of top, so it’s a whole new thing I’m getting used to.
I did, however, just acquire the first pair of high-waisted jeans that I’ve owned since probably also the mid 90’s, and I must say, they are a delight. My worn out and toneless post two-child lower abs really appreciate the comfort of a full panel, and my butt crack appreciates not being exposed every time I bend over.
I also got a new pair of Chelsea boots on this last trip, and I have been schooled in what it is and is not ok to wear them with. Skinny jeans? Yes! A dress? Yes! (this one surprised me, I thought the dress would be a hard no). Chelsea boots with my big pants? Nooooooo. Not allowed.
I’m keeping notes in case I screw this up.
On Friday afternoon I wrapped up a rather eventful work week and then took the train to the airport BY MY SELF. Then I wandered around the airport BY MY SELF and bought some duty free BY MY SELF and then went into the lounge for a glass of wine BY MY SELF.
I boarded a flight on which I did not have to have a child in my lap, and I alternated tying up some loose ends on my laptop and reading my book for the entire 2.5 glorious hours of sitting on the plane. I drank a beer and ate some chips, which I did not have to share.
Ohhhhhhh the little things are so good sometimes.
I’ve spent a wonderful weekend in London bopping around with my dear friend Amy, and boy oh boy did I ever need this. I slept in a bed by myself and nobody woke me up in the middle of the night for any sort of reason. I wiped no butts. I cooked no meals.
Never mind the fact that London is a vibrant and fabulous city with amazing food and endless things to see and do, it was just so nice to get away, catch up with a dear friend, and recharge my batteries a bit.
On Friday evening Amy met me at the tube station and walked me to their home, and pretty much as soon as I walked through the door her husband popped a magnum of champagne and set out an epic cheese platter for dinner. (Pssst: have you seen my favourite way to make a Vegetarian Cheese Board?)
We stayed up late chatting and then headed up to bed, which was in my own room in a cozy bed with a cozy comforter and it was oh so quiet. Saturday morning I woke up at 6:30 and then rolled over and went back to sleep. At 7:30 I looked at my phone and thought, oh I should probably get up. And then I thought, WHYYYYYYY? So I went back to sleep.
You guys, I did not get out of bed until NINE-THIRTY in the morning. What a freaking luxury. I definitely didn't sleep that whole time, but I relaxed, I read, and I enjoyed every luxurious minute of it.
After some tea and some more chatting and catching up, we decided to get our butts out the door and find some brunch. Amy threw it out there that there was a place called Bubble Dogs in the Fitzrovia that had really good hotdogs, including veggie dogs, and because Amy is my spiritual twin when it comes to comfort food I told her to lead the way.
I didn't get until we arrived there that the "bubble" in Bubble Dogs is for champagne. You guys, this is a champagne bar that serves nothing but hotdogs on their menu, and it is EVERYTHING. Their hotdogs are gourmet, they make the buns from scratch, and they have super good veggie dogs in addition to beef and pork.
So we kickstarted our day with a flight of champagne, gourmet hotdogs, and tater tots smothered in cheese. THAT is how to start your Saturday in style, my friends.
After that we trundled around town, went to a bookstore so I could pick up some English books for the kids, and braved the crowds to go shopping along Regent street (holy crap, the crowds were intense) before cramming ourselves on the tube to go back to Islington where Amy took me to her favourite pub for a couple of pints before dinner.
At the pub something interesting happened... we were sitting at a table and there was a crowd of guys standing and watching the football (soccer) game on a big TV, mostly older men who were yelling at the TV and cheering boisterously. Suddenly a group of younger guys joined the crowd, probably in their early-to-mid 20's, and you guys, these dudes were wearing the TIGHTEST JEANS I have ever seen on any dude, ever.
We're talking like jeggings. We're talking painted on. And listen, dudes in Sweden wear pretty tight jeans. Waaaaaay tighter than anything you'd see in North America. But this was next level tight, and nothing that I'd ever seen in London before. And just this group of guys. Nowhere else in the pub or out and about did we see jeans this tight.
I have so many questions. Were they a gang of jegging-wearing dudes? Did they borrow their girlfriends' jeans? Is a super-tight male denim trend about to happen and we just don't know yet. I don't know. But I do know that Amy and I are both old married ladies and we were MEZMERIZED by the situation. Those were some real nice butts.
Once we recovered from the whole jeans situation, we shook ourselves off and walked a bit to have dinner at Ottolenghi. I have allllll of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks (you can see a few of them here, in my favourite healthy cookbooks) so it was a real treat to eat there for dinner.
We did a combo of cold items from their salad bar and hot items coming from the kitchen. I had this one roasted pumpkin dish that was served in a puddle of brown butter and topped with hazelnuts and holy crap was it ever good. It kind of reminded me of my hasselback butternut squash with maple sage brown butter, except if Ottolenghi made it for you. So, you know, amazing.
We were so full after dinner that we got a few desserts to go, but still felt too full even after our walk home, so decided to save them for breakfast the next morning (that's intuitive eating in action, yo!).
Sunday plans include sleeping in, a Sunday pub lunch, and then trundling over to my sister's place to spend some time with my niece and nephew before I hop a very late flight back to Stockholm. Man oh man has it been nice to get away for a bit of me time this weekend. Exactly what I needed.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
A busy life week meant a kinda quiet blog week, but here's what we had going on. First up, a super simple and super tasty veggie side dish, Green Beans Gremolata.
Next, a fun and easy breakfast you can make ahead for Christmas morning: Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles. I love making a big batch to freeze and then just heating them up in the toaster when it's game time.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
Here’s a look at what’s trending according to Google Analytics:
1. Turmeric Latte Mix. Perfect for homemade gifts!
2. Amazing Vegan Gravy. YES IT IS!!!
3. 14 Awesome Edible Gifts. So many good ideas in here!
4. Brown Sugar Shortbread. My favourite Christmas Cookie!
5. Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry. An easy and tasty meal.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Betty left the following comment and 5-star review on my Turmeric Latte Mix:
Just made it and it’s great! I used a higher grade raw powdered turmeric that was in my fridge. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla powder. Just made a cup and put a splash of organic eggnog in it- it’s delicious folks!
Yes! So glad you enjoyed this as much as I do!
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
1. Have you heard of PACE labelling? I am not a fan.
3. The internet is littered with dubious diet tips. A roundup of what's most definitely bunk.