What happened to playpens?

October 1, 2014

CKT: What happened to playpens?

I was having a funny conversation with my parents the other day about raising kids. We were talking about how my friend’s grandma had two sets of twins 14 months apart. Can you imagine? Hearing that makes me immediately feel like a real weenie when I sometimes struggle with two (ok, a lot of the time). And then there are Brian’s parents who both come from families of nine. NINE! I would like a snapshot into that life (but just a snapshot). And these women were not running out to Starbucks on a bad day, or taking their kids to Chipotle when they didn’t feel like cooking.

My parents responded with…”playpens, they had playpens for goodness sake!”

I thought about setting up a playpen (a.k.a. pack n’ play) for George when he started to crawl and pull himself up on the furniture.  That point when I realized I could no longer make dinner on my own, not sanely at least. And then I considered one of those play yards. But then after mentioning this to a few friends who retorted to something along the lines of… “you are not…” I thought “Yes! Have  you seen our house at dinner?!”

In the end, I never set up the pack n’ play or purchased a yard, but still contain him at times (with chair blockades).  And I’m all about some crib-time if he’s awake while I shower.

While I can only offer anecdotal notes on this situation, this article has some real meat. What’s your take?

p.s. that’s my brother Charlie in the playpen.

Favorite Clips!

September 8, 2014

I love a good movie, especially the ones I watched as a kid/college student/new mom over and over and over again. I thought it would be fun to show some clips this week in case you needed a good laugh, or maybe just wanted to waste a little time on the internet today.

I would love to know, what are some of your favorite movie/tv scenes?

Crazy Stupid Love – “Ok, cuz, I know I seemed confident at the bar, but that was mostly just because I was cold and wet and trying to be dramatic.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – “How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?”

The Breakup – “I’ve got to talk to Brooke about something…it’s called the baseline.”

When Harry met Sally – “And I’m gonna be 40.”

The Cosby Show – Bill – so deadpan and Rudy…just killing it.

Ghostbusters – “Back off man, I’m a scientist.”

Father of the Bride – “Well..what is that, is that dollars, twelve-hundred-dollars?!”

It’s Complicated – “Hey, there’s your…”

My Scary Mom Voice

August 27, 2014


This post is on the evolution of parenting and how one day you hear something you thought you’d never hear.

A child is born! They are an adorable little peanut. Yes, they cry, but they are so cute and cuddly. Ok, they occasionally drive you bonkers when they don’t sleep, but for the most part it’s all good (with the exception of mom-hormones). You have thoughts that this sweet child–your baby–will be perfect for life. Like forever, and ever.


Life moves on, and your little one–now a toddler– has figured out how to push your buttons with tantrums, not listening, and overall defiance. You keep it pretty positive but still resort to cliches like, “this mess isn’t going to clean itself,” “you are not in charge, I’m in charge” or “fine, bye, I’m leaving the park without you,” in hopes that you are getting through to them–in some way.


But one day comes, the day when all the buttons have been pushed, the encouraging words have been used up, and all that left is your scary mom voice* (it just speckles itself right into the day–like that). And nothing, I mean nothing, prepares you for this moment. I used mine the other day and scared myself. It’s weird when you do something so parent-y. As they say, sh*t got real. So, yeah, this parenting thing is tough work. Can I get an amen?!


p.s. but…how cute are they??

*term picked up from @teammandy!

a day in the life! (with marta)

August 19, 2014

CKT Snack for  Mouse

I am starting a new series called “a day in the life.” I want to give a snapshot of other people’s routines, interests, and take on life. My hope is that you’ll be inspired. I am starting the series with my friend Marta. She lives in Houston with her husband, Sam, and two kids, Felix (4) and Lily (1). She loves good food, yoga, and is an avid traveler!

What’s “normal” day?

A typical day at chateau Buist goes a little something like this: Lily and I wake up around 7:30 while Felix usually wakes around 8 (lazy). We all have breakfast together then do our responsibilities. I clean up after breakfast and empty the dishwasher while Felix puts his dish in the dishwasher, makes his bed, gets dressed and puts his pjs away. Lily usually just runs around wondering why we’re not playing. We are the kind of family that needs to go on at least one outing a day otherwise we are grumps. If we aren’t at a swim lesson, gymnastics, Music Together class, or working on a homeschooling activity then you can usually find us at a splash park, playground, or in our pool working on our cannonballs (Houston living is tough work).

Sam bikes home around 5. While I make dinner he plays with the kiddos then we all sit down for dinner together around 5:45. What takes about 40 minutes to make takes about 2 minutes to eat and not by choice, right? I miss those leisure dinners B.C. (before children). Then it’s a mad dash to clean up, bathe, and read books before the kids go down at 7 and 8pm, respectively. Sam and I will watch a show or two or take care of some secretarial work before we crash ourselves around 10pm. But sometimes we fall asleep while we are snuggling the kids to sleep and it feels so good.


Last good read?

I just finished the novel Burial Rights by Hannah Kent–absolutely loved it.

Listening to?

We are really into having dance parties at our house. And currently the new Ed Sheeran and Jason Mraz albums are on rotation.


Words to live by?

As mothers, we have a very powerful super power. It’s called intuition. Trust it.

Favorite summer activity?

Swimming in our pool in hot humid Houston

 A recipe to share?

My son, Felix, calls this ‘snack for a mouse’ because we take a bunch of small bowls and dishes and fill them with things that we think a mouse might enjoy ie nuts, seeds, berries, veggies, and goat cheese and crackers. I love doing this for lunch because a) it’s so easy and takes minutes to prepare b) we all eat with our eyes first and when things look cute and orderly we tend to be more inclined to eat it and c) you can honestly put anything in the dishes. Some ideas are carrots, pepper slices, grape tomatoes, sardines, goat/sheeps/cows cheese, rice crackers, pretzels, hummus, kale chips, bean chips, raspberries, blueberries,dried cherries, raisins, fig bars, pistachios, and almonds.

We try to get as colorful as we can and we try to represent a few different types of food.

Thanks Marta! Snack for a mouse is a BIG hit over here. xoxo

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

August 8, 2014

CKT Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Today is the last day of #CKTdrinkweek. And as it goes, I’m not even posting a drink. I know it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a food recipe, but I thought it was time. All these drinks and nothing to eat? Come on, we need at least one snack.

While guacamole is an easy one and something you surely know how to make. I think you’ll like this take on it…it’s all about the roasted garlic and man does it make a difference.

Enjoy the guac with any and all of the drinks featured on #CKTdrinkweek–like tonight.

CKT Roasted Garlic Guacamole

4 ripe avocados

5 cloves roasted garlic – minced (TO MAKE GARLIC: place head of garlic (cut off pointy top, brush with olive oil and season with salt) in an 350 degree oven for 50 mins; remove garlic from skin)

1 1/2 TBS red onion – minced

3 TBS cilantro – chopped

3 limes – juiced

5 – 10 splashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce

s & p

Place prepared avocado in a bowl, mash until desired consistency. Add in other ingredients and stir. It is important to use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, season and taste until it is just right. Place in airtight container and refridgerate until ready to serve. **Can be made up to 5 hours in advance.

Foghorn Cocktail

August 7, 2014

CKT Fog Horn

Today is Day 4 of #CKTdrinkweek and we are keeping with the cocktails. Brian has been a big fan of ginger beer these days.  When we were up in Michigan he was playing around with some new    cocktail ideas. He landed on the Fog Horn–have you had this? It’s very close to a Moscow Mule, but uses gin over vodka.

It was new to us and so refreshing with intense lime and ginger notes, yet clean and easy to drink. Enjoy this one on the porch with a good friend or spouse–hopefully (for your married folks) they are the same.

CKT Foghorn

Fill a glass with ice, 2oz gin

squeeze half a lime in–stir

fill glass half full with crushed ice

fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer – we like Gosling’s

Cherry Lime Cocktail

August 6, 2014

CKT Cherry Lime Cocktail Today marks Day 3 of #CKTdrinkweek and I’m making cocktails. My brother, Charlie, is the resident bartender of the family–he called me last week with a recipe that I knew was a keeper.  But as it goes, his girlfriend, Krystal, created this one!

It’s a vodka-limeade with a splash of cherry. It was inspired by our trip to Michigan (cherry country) and is perfect to make before summer’s end–by the Labor Day bonfire perhaps?

CKT Cherry Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces vodka (I like Tito’s)

3 fresh cherries — pitted and minced


limeade (I like Trader Joe’s)

lime wedge

Fill a glass with the vodka and cherries–stir (let the color come out). Then fill the glass half full with crushed ice. Finally add the limeade until your cup is full and garnish with some fresh squeezed lime. (This would also be a great cocktail sans the vodka!)

Summer Wine

August 5, 2014

CKT: Summer Wine

#CKTdrinkweek continues! Day 2 is all about summer wine. Naturally I’m drawn to rosé, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinto grigio, and dry riesling–and it’s best enjoyed by the water, under the stars, or in the backyard–and always with good company.

You suggested some amazing wines, but one stood out as my favorite. Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé fit the bill (thanks, Mom!). It has gorgeous packaging, beautiful color, and a fruity yet acidic flavor–the perfect summer wine.

Turns out, the wine’s vintners are pretty famous…like Brad and Angelina famous, no really, they are the vintners (thank you Internet). They have a great wine-maker and people in the wine world think of this as a serious wine. Plus, how perfect would this be as a hostess gift?!

Wine found at Costco // Price: $19

Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Penrose Brewing Company

August 4, 2014

CKT: Penrose Tour

Today starts #CKTdrinkweek. We are kicking off with a behind-the-scenes tour at Penrose Brewing Company. Deanna and I hit the road (1 hour west of the city)–I took notes, she took pictures, and we drank beer on a Friday afternoon.

CKT: Penrose Tour

CKT: Penrose Tour

Geneva, IL is the place to be if you like food and drinks and Penrose Brewing Company is at the center of it all. Penrose is all over (you’ve seen it at The Publican, Longman & Eagle, and Old Town Social), but have you visited the taproom? If you find yourself in Geneva, go a little off the beaten path to Penrose and you’ll find the beers people are buzzing about.

CKT: Penrose Tour

CKT: Penrose Tour

Penrose has only been open since March (hard to believe), but this crew is already making waves with their Belgian-inspired ales. Everything they do is intentional, thoughtful, and creative. Even their name cues this…the tile logo represents the intersection of art & science.

CKT: Penrose Tour

CKT: Penrose Tour

Penrose has both a production and a pilot brew system. Production = large-scale brewing that goes out to market (80 keg system) and Pilot = small scale, creative brewing that stays in-house (2 keg system). So, when you get to the taproom, of course you can enjoy a P2 or Proto Gradus (their bread and butter), but you can also try things that they are working on…like the Honey Ale made with honey from Heritage Prairie Farm (just down the street), or the Strong Dark a beer with notes of a tootsie roll. Stay tuned for their Sour Wild ales in the works.

CKT: Penrose Tour

One thing that I love is that their beers have a relatively low alcohol content (ABV). It’s not totally common that a small craft brewery would have such light, well-thought out beers, but they do. It is all about balance and approachability for them. And they say, when they drink, they want to have a few, so something with a 4% ABV works. (thank you!)

CKT: Penrose Tour

Their taproom is strictly a taproom–no chef in the house here, but they welcome you to B.Y.O.F–I think your best bet would be tacos from Bien Trucha while sipping the P2. Or, I hear that Nobel House would be a good next stop if you’re ready to hit the town (naturally, Penrose is on tap).

CKT: Penrose Tour

These people know their craft–even the bartenders are part of the Cicerone program–think Sommelier but for beer. They are a serious about the brews, but they still know how to have fun (we saw the skateboard). Thanks for the behind the scenes tour; we will be back soon, no question!

CKT: Penrose Tour

all photography & design work by Deanna!

Road Trip to Michigan

July 28, 2014

We just back from our trip up north.  My family goes up to Leland every summer–it’s our favorite place on earth (we are obsessed). Here are some pics and notes. We had a great time!

(for the record, our kids never slept and there was a tantrum or two or 40…)

It's a big world out there George,

It’s a big world out there George!

CKT: Michigan Vacation

SUP yoga was incredible! Yoga surrounded by water? Yes please. Plus Leda from Fluid SUP is amazing.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

Thanks for hanging out with us, you guys are too cool for school.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

6.5 hours north and I don’t let the kids watch DVDs. There was a lot of staring out the window.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

Start them young. Who doesn’t like a little adventure?

CKT: Michigan Vacation

No Filter: the water in northern Michigan is a midwest gem.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

Don’t leave home without the Tylenol, someone will NEED it, guaranteed.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

The Leland Lodge is the first place we stayed in Leland–it holds special meaning for us. We are so excited about its new owners, the wine bar, and chef (Robbie and Nora roped him into a drive around town).

CKT: Michigan Vacation

My family–the only people I know who can’t go a week without fresh ground coffee. Yes, we brought our coffee grinder to the cottage.

CKT: Michigan Vacation

Leland Gal has the coolest nautical-inspired fabrics and wallpaper–we love her stuff!

CKT - Michigan Vacation

These faces! Might be my favorite pic ever.

Links: Fluid SUP // Leland Lodge // Leland Gal