eat! craft! live!

Baking, crafting, mama-ing and taking photos of it all. When I remember.

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Operation Try New Restaurants: June

I went all out in June. (Partly on the company dime. Thanks for coming, visiting researcher!)

In no particular order:

Firstly, Woodford F&B – this was the one I was lucky enough to have paid for. We went out for lunch as a farewell to a researcher who’d been with us for a bit. We each had a different type of Fancy Lemonade!


So fancy!

I can’t even remember what was happening in my life at this point, but I do remembering a pressing need to eat vegetables, so I opted for a Cobb salad, which was delicious.


Fancy vegetables.

And I took full advantage and ordered dessert too – something seasonal – a crisp involving rhubarb and perhaps other fruit with a honey ice cream that was to die for.


Fancy crisp with fancy ice cream.

Next, we discovered a new restaurant just down the street from us – Blazes Burgers. It was new at the time and within walking distance of our house and across from the park/playground and they have burgers! And fries! And tots! And they’re attached to an ice cream shop too! So basically we ate here a lot over the summer. It’s decent, inexpensive, and a kid-pleaser. Thumbs up.

I took the kids to Flea Bites in Congress Square for some delicious eats. We met my mother there and took turns wrangling children in a busy downtown spot while trying to order food from various different food trucks. My main meal-like food item was this amazing sandwich from Nom Bai. Yes. Yes.


We also got an assortment of donuts from Eighty 8 Donuts. I opted for a variety with CBD, and offered to share with my mom but she mis-heard me saying “CBD” and thought I said there was “seaweed” in them?


H opted for a flavor coated in fruity pebbles and could not have been happier. I tried to talk him out of it. It did not work.


That’s a monkey around his neck.

And the last food-I’ve-eaten-with-my-mom-in-June location was Empire Chinese Kitchen, which we went to at her request. She’d been trying to get me to go for ages – I just wasn’t sure how the kids would like it. Turns out I was mostly right to be wary. I loved it. They? Not so much.


H dares to eat some bacon fried rice. Fried rice! With bacon! And corn! What’s not to love?

We got a variety of small dishes including: char siu bao (BBQ pork stuffed buns), bacon fried rice (the kids’ fave), honey walnut shrimp (my mom’s fave), szechuan cold cucumbers (which only I ate…and loved), and I think some Chinatown roast pork? It was all good. My problem with small plates places is I always want to try everything and then I end up with a stuffed belly and a decidedly un-stuffed wallet. I try to remember that I can just come back and try something else, but in reality the chances of me actually going back are pretty slim, given how much I get out. (I know. I went out a lot in June. It’s unusual.)


These don’t even look like shrimp.


Like pickles. Only not quite. Delicious nonetheless.

And that wraps up my adventures in New Food from last June! I swear I’ll finish this up before the summer.

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Operation Try New Restaurants: April

OK, y’all, I’m a wee bit embarrassed about April’s new restaurants. After all the excitement of March, I guess I just had to tone it down a bit?

One new-to-me place we hit up was Goody’s Pizzeria, near the kids’ school. And truly, the only reason we went there was because there was some school function or other that required us staying near school instead of going home for dinner and coming back again. It’s within walking distance. They have mediocre pizzas and an assortment of salty snacks and sugary drinks. It’s not McDonald’s, which was the main draw. The inside was old-school charming and my kiddos got a big kick out the photos over every table and the tiny bathroom. It was perfect for what it was.

The other place we went in April was…99 Restaurant. Restaurants? The 99? I don’t even know how to refer to it. Basically the only big box, chain-type restaurants we go to are Chipotle and McDonald’s. But this whole casual style, eat in, chain restaurant thing is new to my kids! It was a family adventure – we met up with my aunt & uncle in their town and they took us out to lunch. I can definitely see the appeal of eating at a place like this with kids. Crayons! Coloring papers! Chocolate milk! Lemonade! Everything included in the kids’ meal, even dessert! (Which I’m fairly certain we never got and never mentioned because really how much sugar do my children need.)

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Everybody wants to sit next to Uncle Jim.

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Day trips with children: Portsmouth Fairy House Tour

Travels with kids! Always fun, right?


On a whim (or…reasons*) I decided to take the kids to Portsmouth on Sunday. I Googled “things to do with kids in Portsmouth” and, lo and behold! The Portsmouth Fairy House Tour just happened to be this past weekend! And my children are completely enamored of fairy houses! Win!

We had an uneventful drive down, with lots of the usual are-we-there-yets and how-much-more-highway-is-theres and please-be-quiet-mama-doesn’t-know-where-she’s-goings.

The arc of our trip went something like this:

What a beautiful day! Isn’t Portsmouth a cute town! I wonder where this fairy house tour is? I think we need to go that way… Look! Dancing fairies! OMG tiny dancing fairies! They’re so cute! So…where are the fairy houses? Oh, lunch, huh? Let’s go find our friends…

Finally find Strawbery Banke. Buy tickets. Get terrible map.

Let’s eat hot dogs! Yeah, you guys like hot dogs! Lady at hot dog stand: “We’re out of hot dogs for right now! I think there’s PBJ inside?”

Head inside. Find friends. Likely scare friend by thrusting map at her and begging for help deciphering it. There is not PBJ inside, but instead lots of delicious-sounding things I know my kids will not eat, especially not for $8.50.

Um. Food. We need food. And a better map.

Head back outside. Try harder to decipher terrible map. Finally get an inkling of what’s where. Event nearly over.

Look, guys, bubbles! Oh, now there’s hot dogs! Let’s eat! Yeah!

H stuffs a too-giant bite into his mouth, gags, spits it all out. $*%&^&#*

OK. Fairy houses! Look there’s one! Look, more! Look! Look! Look! E, “Oh! Mama! This one here must have slept late! We must be quiet so we don’t wake her!” This one is so detailed! OMG, dragonflies made of oak seeds! Tiny windows! Bitty chairs! This is amazing!

See a group of adult fairies I’m pretty sure are in drag. E, “Oh, mama, those fairies are so beautiful!”

Cotton candy cotton candy cotton candy cotton candy, mama, pleeeeease cotton candy! I buy cotton candy fairy floss. The kids turn blue.

Let’s head over to the gardens. Oh, fairy flowers! Let’s look at the water! Ooh, an island! Ooooh, a playground! Oooooh, mama, another island! Maybe it has four trees!

Remember, we have to walk all the way back to the car…

H staggers along. I finally pick him up. He’s a small largish warm inert lump. With wings. I can barely stagger myself, under his weight.

Let’s get going guys! Feel free to fall asleep!

They do. I only take a few wrong turns trying to get on the highway.

* * * * * * *

All in all, a really fun trip, despite the technical difficulties acquiring food and the terrible (really…awful) map of the event. It was a gorgeous day – bright blue skies & cool breezes. The kids were real troopers with all the walking we did – 5 miles! Tiny legs! No wonder H was about to fall asleep standing up by the end. Would definitely do it again, perhaps with a little more planning than just discovering it the night before, on my phone, while lying in bed. But the magic, wonder & awe on their little faces as they looked for fairies in the gardens? Priceless.

*Ingress. In search of 300 UPVs for September. Almost there!


In a giant fairy house.

Spreading her fairy-butterfly wings.

This fairy house was AMAZING. 

It had a tiny window!

E was TOTALLY convinced this fairy was real. And asleep. Perhaps my favorite moment of the whole trip.

Fairy dome.

Fairies gotta bank too.

Cotton candy bigger than their heads.