eat! craft! live!

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


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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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Operation Try New Restaurants: New Haven, CT

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Oh, y’all. Back in March (yes, March! Again!) I went to so many new-to-me restaurants while on a work trip to New Haven. I was in town for the New England Archivists spring meeting (which was wonderful, by the way) so all the places I went to were new to me.

I picked Shake Shack for lunch because I’ve Heard Things about it. It was good, fine, tasty but nothing mind-blowing. I very much enjoyed my lunch. Crinkle fries!

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We had one dinner at Pacifico, where I dined solely on queso fundido since I wasn’t terribly hungry. I mean, if you can’t eat a dinner entirely made of cheese while on “vacation” then what are you doing with your life?

We had another dinner at Heirloom, which was truly wonderful. I chose some sort of soup, if I remember correctly, which the server really wanted to make sure I understood was soup. (I guess there were some issues where people didn’t quite get that?) It was delicious. You can’t go wrong at a place that serves this:

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I also opted for dessert – butterscotch pudding with a toasted marshmallow, sea salt & caramel milk jam. Oh, my heart. That was delicious. My zebras helped me eat it.

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Another lunch consisted of bubble tea (yum) and pad see ew (also yum) from Koon Thai, right near the conference center we were at.

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Zebras like Thai food too.

That evening I was lucky to be able to meet up with my sister (!) who lives near New Haven. It had been ages since we’d seen each other! I got to meet her partner, a Very Nice Young Man, and we got appetizers and drinks at the Cask Republic. It wasn’t my usual sort of place but my drink was great – some sort of fancy Moscow mule. Heck yes. (Zebras also like drinks.)

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From there we wandered rather aimlessly around town, looking for something for dinner. Most places had stupidly long wait times, but we found a table at Kitchen ZINC and ordered ourselves some kale! (And pizza!) It was a cozy little place with good food and good cider.

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Finally, on our last morning, we revisited a place we’d been to every day while there – Atticus Bookstore Cafe. This place was heaven. I got a fancy croque monsieur with asparagus that was incredibly delicious. This place satisfied my coffee needs every day, plus it was just such a pleasure to peruse. I ended up buying gifts for my kids there, as well as a few things for myself, and wanting to buy so much more than I could’ve carried home.

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Thus ends my culinary adventures in New Haven!


If you’re wondering about the zebras – they are the unofficial mascot of the Yale Center for British Art, which I visited while there. They also had a presence at the NEA spring meeting, where they were giving out these adorable little zebras. I got two for my kiddos, one of whom is now missing his legs. It was such a pleasure to visit a museum all alone! Highly recommended.

Another non-food honorable mention goes to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (See first photo.) It. Is. Amazing. You can visit this place! Don’t be intimidated if you’re not doing “research” – it’s OK! They have exhibits you can see and the facility itself is just breathtaking. Go. Now.

Finally, I wouldn’t be a proper knitter if I didn’t also give a shout out to Knit New Haven, where I snuck off to during lunch one day. It was a lovely little store with a nicely curated selection. I picked up a couple skeins of Spincycle Yarns in the most gorgeous pale blue/brown/multi colors. I’m in love!


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Once upon a time, I was a runner.

WAIT.

Scratch that.

Once upon a time I was a middle school aged kid who ran track for about a week’s worth of practices and then decided I haaaaated it and never ran again.

Until about a year after my second baby (HBear) was born. In 2013, I started regularly exercising for basically the first time in my adult life and it was great – I lost weight, I was fit and strong, I felt good about my physical presence in the world. The kids were still little enough that I could put them in the double jogging stroller and run around Back Cove. (I totally got high fives from big burly dudes when I did that.) My work schedule was literally half what it is now, so I had time to run. And, importantly, I lived within a few blocks of a fabulous running trail. (I no longer do.) However, after about a year and a half of running, I had a recurrence of plantar fasciitis. I’d had it before and the doctor told me to wear super supportive shoes (hello arches!) and it went away pretty quickly. This time, I tapered off my running until June 2015, when I did the Color Run in South Portland on a very cold, raining, miserable day. (It was a lot of fun, despite the weather – until I got back to my car after the race and could barely get my keys out because my hands were stiff and frozen.)

Good times, y’all.

But that was the last time I ran. Until yesterday.

Over the past two years I’ve focused on my shoe choices, getting various inserts for said shoes, seeing my doctor, doing stretches, wearing stretchy foot braces, doing certain exercises for my feet & calves (which seemed only to exacerbate the problem) and, finally, wearing this stupid looking sock to bed every night. Very little seemed to help, except for that damn sock. (It is super sexy. And so comfortable. *insert eyeroll here*) I’ve been using it nearly every night since early May and gosh darn it if I can’t actually walk around (almost) pain-free now. HALLELUJAH.

But this means that for the past two years, I’ve been fairly inactive. Recommended “treatment” for plantar fasciitis involves staying off your feet as much as possible, which is…unrealistic for a mother of two small kids. But I’ve tried. No running. I still walked but not great distances, except occasionally. My two years of inactivity definitely shows. I’ve gained back all the weight I was so proud of losing before. I’m not nearly as fit or strong or physically capable as I was. It has been intensely frustrating to finally get to a point where I felt good about myself, only to slip all the way back. I tried to find ways of working out that didn’t bother my foot but it was very difficult – even yoga hurt, due to going barefoot.

So I took a small first step yesterday and did the first day (again) of C25K. I can honestly say something I never thought I’d say: I’ve really missed running. We’ll see how it goes…