vegan pesto.

i’m kind of a pesto-holic. it’s something that i find pretty much irresistible, which has been the case since i was a little kid and my italian step-mother would make a giant pot of pesto and fill jars with it once a month. that pesto will forever haunt me as the holy grail of pestos, never to be recreated but to forever live in my mind as the best shit ever of all best shit evers. once i became a carb-o-phobe and then gluten-renouncer my pesto intake became limited. add dairy to my pass column and pesto fell off my list-o. when i first heard about vegan pesto i was skeptical, but of course i had to give it a go. i have really tried them all, from kale to arugula to carrot greens. i’ve also tried it with all kinda nuts, from cashews to walnuts to pistachios, but i feel like this one is the winner. almonds really compliment the basil (which is what makes pesto pesto for me), and it’s equally bangin’ warm or cold. feel free to add in a clove of garlic if you are a garlic fan, but i still love this pesto without it.

ingredients:

  1. 2 cups basil leaves (no stems)
  2. 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1/2 cup olive oil
  5. 1/3 cup raw almonds

directions:

  1. in a food processor pulse the basil, salt, lemon juice & olive oil together
  2. add in the almonds and pulse until creamy
  3. stir into warm food (i like it with roasted veggies or cooked quinoa or pasta) or eat cold (it’s good on crackers or as a dip for raw veggies)

the end.

diary.

a week of outfits.

lately i’ve been feeling like vintage is where it’s at and staring into my closet at the designer items i have that remain on their hangers for fear of chocolate smudges and sweat stains and the messiness of chasing around a 3 year old. i’ve also been burned this year by some purchases, for example the jacquemus dress pictured above that i have been hunting for months, lost out on 3 different times, finally found, paid too much for and then tore at the hip button while trying it on (guess i’m not returning that one). lately i’ve felt like online shopping is more trouble than it’s worth. also i have a lot more fun mining for gold in thrift stores & flea markets and putting together outfits i can actually wear. so my designer discount days may be done, for now anyway. otherwise i’m surprised to find that shorts are back, as are overalls & jumpsuits (three things i have always bought incessantly & also things i thought i’d sworn off). also yellow really is the new black. yellow, orange yellow, yellow on yellow, yellow and gold. yellow, yellow, yellow.

the end.

tonglen.

the lack of writing that i do on the subject of parenting a child on the autism spectrum is odd, considering, but it’s a subject that i’m hesitant to broach most days. the truth is that my feelings about it fluctuate a lot. my son is rapidly approaching four years old and sometimes i still catch myself wondering how i got here. at the same time i realize that i’ve gotten past the merky denial that comes with an early diagnosis, where the term “autism” is formless, undefined and hangs over you like a warning. where you tell yourself things like early intervention will solve it like a problem. where you think if you try hard enough you can make it go away. my son was diagnosed on his second birthday, and at the time i had no idea what to expect or to feel. but as he gets older i see more clearly those behaviors, the ones that seemed abstract when he was still just a baby.

what i’ve learned over the last year and a half is that the rules that apply to parenting apply to autism: there is no simple solution or answer. no two children are exactly the same, period. what works for my son might not work for another child, and just because it works today it might not work tomorrow. during the diagnostic period of filling out endless surveys and questionnaires and hearing theories by different therapists and doctors and seeing how they contradicted each other made it clear to me that my son did not fit any one profile. oddly enough it was his (hmo) pediatrician who said to me upon hearing his diagnosis, “don’t put henry in a box.” i have refused to do that, even when it’s meant that i come off like a pushy complainer. i’ve accepted my role as “high maintenance mom” in the eyes of his therapists & teachers. it’s more important to me that my son is taught the way that he learns, not forced to perform the way that others want him to.

my son has been going through a lot of transitions lately. the school year ending means lots of schedule changes, not seeing familiar people anymore and new people showing up. for my son, repetition is everything. it is how he functions, assimilates, relates, and stays on the ground instead of floating away (this is my interpretation, anyway). any change to his schedule is extremely upsetting to him. navigating changes can feel devastating, to him and to my husband & i by association. couple this with the fact that he is 3 1/2 and naturally in a temerarious, defiant period of his life. i feel like i’m walking on eggshells in a way that i haven’t since he was a colicky newborn. i am constantly worried about setting him off. the frequent tantrums are looking more bratty, but lately i’ve been trying to muster a little more compassion. public humiliation sucks(!). but i realize that getting some negative attention from strangers is not the end of the world. lately i’ve been trying to understand my son better. even though he can’t tell me what is wrong, he is telling me through his tantrums. lately i’ve been trying to listen more. and let those tantrums happen. and not let it feel like something that is happening to me, but something that is happening to HIM. and how can i help him to get through that?

i often say that parenthood is a crash course in life. all of the little things that you turn a blind eye to or regularly deny or suppress come right up to meet you. our children are our biggest mirrors. i think that if parenthood is a crash course in life, parenting a child on the autism spectrum is a master class. i confront my biggest blind spots daily. i’m forced to fight on days when i just want to hide under the covers. i am forced to be confrontational when it’s my nature to be passive (or passive aggressive). i am forced to be nurturing & affectionate when it’s my nature to shut down & withdraw. i am forced to show up when it is my nature to run away. one of the things that has surprised me most about motherhood is that somehow the love never runs out. after the most challenging, exhausting days, i still wake up (sometimes after being up all night with him) happy to see his face. i still constantly look for new ways to try to help him, new ways to make it better for him, new ways to make him smile.

 

black bean salad with cumin dressing.

IMG_6685

i make this one a lot in the warmer months, it’s easy-peasy to make and tastes like summer to me. the dressing is way tangy and not sweet and cumin-y which is sorta my favorite spice. finding good salad dressings that aren’t mainly sugar is pretty rare, so i thought i’d put this one out there.

ingredients:

  1. 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  2. 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  3. 1 small bell pepper, diced
  4. 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  5. 1 or 2 green onions, chopped
  6. 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  7. for the dressing: 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  9. 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  10. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  11. 1 teaspoon cumin

directions:

  1. toss the beans & veggies together in a bowl
  2. whisk together dressing ingredients & add to the beans & veggies
  3. top with avocado & get into it

the end.

IMG_6682

mood board.

suit up!

suit up!

 

for reasons unknown to me, i am a swimsuit fanatic. perhaps it is due to being born in early august, but my entire life i’ve collected swimsuits like people collect basic sweaters or sensible shoes. my parents often tell the story of when i was 4 years old and in the middle of a snowstorm as they were shoveling out the driveway, i ran outside wearing only an orange bikini. i still remember that bikini to this day, it had a halter top with long strings that tied at the back of the neck and it was 70’s tupperware orange. i looked for any opportunity to put it on, including sneaking it on at bath time or while my parents were out shoveling snow, apparently. every year when swimsuit season comes i have to sit on my hands to keep from buying yet another swimsuit. i usually fail and end up with at least one new swimsuit per year. here are a dozen that i am loving this year.

  1. h&m just put out this adorable white striped one piece ($29), just make sure to size way the eff up.
  2. i am a maje sucker for all things nautical, especially swimsuits, and these little sailor shorts ($38) are too cute with this red & white polka dot top that ties in the back ($44).
  3. speaking of too cute nautical swimsuits this modcloth one piece is a killer ($79).
  4. really into the high neck swimsuit thing that is happening right now, this black & white anthro one even looks like it has boob support ($195).
  5. this j.crew high neck one piece has the cutest little neck bow, but looks like it has no boob support so if you’re tiny on top or never had a baby, get into it ($98).
  6. marysia swimsuits are everywhere this year, i super dig their scallop hem suits like this palm springs top ($150) & high waist bottoms ($148).
  7. this baserange fire red suit with boy shorts and t-shirt top is way cool ($160).
  8. the lisa marie fernandez one shoulder swimsuit now comes in white polka dot ($480). swoony swoon swoon. also really looks like it would hold all the mom giggly-ness in place, which is worth dat $$$.
  9. this maryam nassir zadeh tie front one piece holds really nothing in place but dang she fine ($288).
  10. same with this crazy stupid adorable hunza g x pandora sykes frill bikini ($155). one size fits a select few.
  11. old navy has this black ruffled one shoulder one piece ($39). it’s the clear choice for moms who can’t afford lisa marie fernandez but still want to look chic while reaping the benefits of interior gripper tape and the magical slimming properties of the color black.
  12. lastly from the queen of ruffles johanna ortiz is this insanely beautiful gorgeous work of art moon light bikini top ($355) and high waist ruched bottoms ($150).