life has been tough y’all. and to pretend that it’s all roses and sunshine over here would be inauthentic and a down right shame because i know that i’m not alone in the struggle. as our country shifts and divides, and each morning i’m greeted with another headline that either terrifies or discourages me, i’m left wondering, where is there a place for hope?
i think many people feel as though they are in the dark right now, looking for a glimmer of light to lead them towards the exit. this kind of darkness is a lonely place to be and one can’t stay there for long without merely just accepting it as their new quality of life. in my best moments, i reject darkness, feel emboldened to continue to advocate for others and myself and to find hope and beauty in the everyday. in my worst moments, i’m furious that i have fought and will probably continue to fight my entire life for the dignity and freedom that our country deems as a birthright to my fellow citizens of fairer complexion.
i needed a break, so i took one – both for myself and for my family. author audre lorde once wrote that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” this intentional lull has brought restoration and more importantly, inspiration. i have found my place for hope. it is in my home and in the homes of complete strangers – it is the place where people gather around the table and break bread.
my hope has always been that forage + fodder be an approachable and intentional space that ignites the desire to bring people together. that hope feels more important and relevant than ever before and i am anchored to it, for better or for worse. we’ll be introducing the element of storytelling to our upcoming posts and recipes and while our content may be less, i can assure you, it will be much more meaningful.
now that lil’ bug has arrived and we’re all learning what it looks like to be a family, the importance of date night is quite clear. during pregnancy, we had several discussions about being intentional in our love for one another, and how to continue to be husband and wife, while balancing the new roles of mama and papa. we believe that caring for our marriage is the cornerstone of what makes this family work, and although we love ruby with all of our beings, we choose to not have her be the epicenter of our existence. as she grows, we know that we’re the first example of what a loving relationship looks like, and in how we love one another, we’re helping her set her own expectations of how she’ll want to be loved in her own relationships.
i’m sure most new parents can relate to those first few weeks where it’s sort of unavoidable for your little bundle not to be the center of everything – what with the constant feedings, diaper changes, soothing, and googling of “is this normal” ten times a day, but we still found moments to choose one another – whether it was twenty minutes of exhaustion-induced laughter in bed in the wee hours of the night, or scampering away for a quick sushi date in between feedings. our goal from the start was for date nights to occur early and often. and now that we’re about a month in, lil’ bug is starting to sleep a little better, and handles the occasional bottle like a true champion we are planning out our first real date night.
so for the rest of you new parents out there, we’re sharing some of our favorite date night spots for that first adventure away from your little one. we didn’t pick these spots on a whim, in fact, they meet a very specific criteria:
incredible cocktails… yes, i’ve been out of the drinking game for 9 months, and if i’m going to have a cocktail, i want it to be spectacular. rest assured that every spot on this list has a craft cocktail menu worthy of your first drink back.
easy parking – you mamas know when you’re on the nursing clock, the last way you want to spend your time is looking for parking. each of these locations have either complementary /affordable valet or ample parking available.
accepts reservations – this is sort of a no-brainer… you won’t catch me waiting for a table anytime in the near future because mama just simply don’t have time for that nonsense. we swear by opentable, because they have access to most of our favorite places, and it’s a good way to discover new spots as well. not to mention, we earn points towards restaurant vouchers by making free reservations…it’s basically a win-win. most importantly, i can just hop on the app on my phone, and don’t have to wait on hold for a hostess who can barely hear me.
so without further ado, here’s our list of the perfect spots for your first date night away from your little one, and a couple of our favorite dishes of course:
offering small sharable plates and friendly service in an atmosphere that lends itself to good conversation, vox table is a new favorite. oh and i can’t forget to mention their out of this world cocktail menu (including several variations on the old fashioned). with a free parking garage and complementary valet service, you can zip in and get down to the business of treating your taste buds to some serious flavor.
sip: irish goodbye
chow: smoked hamachi pipette + calamari noodles
sweet: sazerac sundae
for those desperate to be back on the sushi wagon, may we suggest going to uchiko’s sake social hour (5:00 – 6:30) for $5 house sake and some delicious small plates (ahem, the brussels sprouts). we like to add on a few rolls or hot tastings off of their regular menu as well. uchiko is only open for dinner service, and there’s usually a crowd waiting when they open their doors, so make a reservation for 5:00 so you can take full advantage of the social hour menu.
sip: house sake, takara nigori
chow: brussels sprouts, yokai berry, + pork ribs
sweet: fried milk
olive & june
olive + june is one of our favorite spots in town. they have an amazing wine selection, a beautiful patio, valet parking (although we’ve always found a spot on the street), and some serious coastal italian fare which includes pastas and ricotta made in house. if the weather is right, snag a spot on their patio and dine under their gigantic oak tree. again, a happy hour reservation is the way to go as they offer discounted small plates and cocktails…and save room for their incredible seasonal dessert menu.
sip: basil di limone
chow: farm egg, house mozzarella, + any of the piccoli piatti
sweet: seasonal menu, but it’s all delicious
the menu at fixe offers a creative twist on louisiana southern cuisine (think upscale comfort food) and the interior is pretty spectacular in my opinion. although it’s located downtown, there is ample street parking, and we had no problem finding a spot right next to the front door.
let’s be honest folks. the posting here has been slim to none recently, and for that we apologize. in our defense, i was finishing up graduate school, an internship, and if you follow us on social media, you know that i’m also building a tiny human at the moment. a lot has been going on in our household but we’re back with LOTS of new recipes, collaborations, travel adventures, and even a few pregnancy guides and reflections for our fellow future parents-to-be. thanks for sticking out the radio silence folks. that was real cool and we appreciate the hell outta you for it.
this year’s gift guide is about embracing simplicity. i’ve been on a real mission of self-care lately, thus this gift guide for the leading lady in your life is centered around slowing down, feeling nourished, and seeking inspiration.
slowing down // the holidays are sort of a whirlwind for us – family reunions, photos, epic meals, stories, and of course a little bit of traffic everywhere we go, so i relish in the chance to create a sense of calm and comfort when i can. this easy-going striped jumper travels well and lends itself to layers, because christmas weather is always a wildcard here. and these cozy moccasins are the perfect travel companion. this time of year, i am constantly burning candles, and this teakwood & tobacco scent has become a staple in our home. it’s perfect for curling up on cloudy days with a good book.
feeling nourished // first and foremost, these products from beautycounter are sort of a dream come true for me. they’re entire line is composed of safe and natural products whose ingredients contain the essentials – that means no fillers, no unnecessary scents, and most importantly they follow some of the strictest guidelines, so you don’t worry about what you’re actually putting on your skin. right now, their sugar scrub and hydrating body lotion are at the top of my list. to keep with the theme of natural pampering, i’ve come to love butter nail polish. although i don’t paint my nails often, when i do, i stick to a few choice shades, this union jack black being one of them. being a fairly no frills gal, i maintain a minimal to no make up routine. so this lip & cheek stain is easy to keep in my bag, and whip out when i want just a pinch of color.
seeking inspiration // it shouldn’t be news to you that i’m a big fan of kinfolk, so obviously their cookbook makes the list for dreaming up meals to share with those we love. i’ve also become recently smitten with stella maria baer’s incredible moon prints. there are a few i would love to hang above my bed and just gaze at for hours. seriously, they’re incredible. these brass gems would be a welcomed addition to my workshop, and i think there’s an endless number of ways to style them. lastly, these coconut palm hair sticks are a must for when these curls need to go up and away so i can get some serious work done. and let’s just say that those adorable earrings are my ‘just because’ gift idea. i mean what woman wouldn’t love them?
now that we’re at the tail end of our remodel, we’re searching for all of those finishing touches. with all of the tiling and demolition behind us, we get to enjoy putting the house back together, which is my absolute favorite part. we recently got an amazingly huge farm table and now we’re looking for chairs. i fell in love with cast + crew on our trip to marfa and i simply cannot stay away from their website. i mean c’mon, how perfect are these neon dipped chairs? pay a visit to their online shop, you won’t regret it.
today we celebrate five years of marriage. but really, i’m taking the day to be thankful for five years of waking up next to this handsome mug. five years of the most fantastic, challenging, rewarding, adventurous and transformative love story of my life. we did our big celebration in marfa last week, so tonight we’ll be taking it easy and cooking a simple meal in our almost finished kitchen. each day is a gift with this man, and i look forward to the next five, ten, twenty years with him. happy friday y’all.
that’s right folks. starting around 4:00am tomorrow, we’re marfa bound! we decided to get a head start on celebrating our anniversary by taking a much needed road trip. not everyone can stand the six hour drive, but we enjoy the random conversations, inevitable loud singing and snort-worthy laughter that happens when you’re stuck in car for so long. and let’s face it, we’re texans, we’re used to long drives in the middle of nowhere. i sort of love it actually.
we’ll be back next week with lots of photos and even a mini marfa travel guide. but until then, you can follow along right here. and for those of you with similar road trips on the horizon, i thought i’d share our playlist with you – it’s chock full of open road tunes, guilty pleasures, and songs for rolling with the windows down. hope everyone gets to enjoy a little sunshine this weekend!
yesterday was national administrative professionals day. woot. while i wish forage + fodder was my full time gig, i only moonlight as a blogger. my day job is spent sitting at two computer screens in an office with no windows. it ain’t pretty y’all. if you’ve ever been in the role of customer service or admin support you know that it can be tough on morale. you tend to meet people at their worst – who are frustrated, occasionally rude, sometimes entitled, and almost always looking for a place to vent. so to those of you who know what i’m talking about, kudos to you! you’re wonderful, endlessly helpful and a beautiful spirit. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
that said, i’ve put in my official notice here at work and will be moving on to some wonderful new things in about a month! i’m already dreaming of the perfect home office (with windows, amen). my work space essentials are natural light, a large table space for brainstorming, lots of plant life, and ample organized wall storage. here’s what i’ve got in mind so far, but what are your work space essentials?
the mr. and i got to collaborate with some wildly talented friends a few months ago for a spring wedding inspiration shoot. if i had to get married again, it’d probably be in this dress – i did not want to say goodbye to it. i’m telling ya, the talent in this town is unbelievable and i’m not sure how we ended up in such a creative community. these are just a few bits and pieces, but head over to ruffled blog for the entire shoot.
so for now, you can catch the occasional sneak peek of our progress here, but don’t stray too far because we’ll be letting you know when the full series is scheduled to run on their site.
in the meantime, the in-between time, can you bear with us? posting will be minimal because, well we literally don’t have a kitchen right now, or hot water, or heat or ac. need proof?
we’re still craving our morning juices, but finding an outlet near a dust-free surface is rare, so i’ve been juicing on an old cooler (aka our fridge for the moment) on our back porch, usually in a bath robe. it’s pretty glamorous. our only means of heating anything right now is our grill, so we’ll be camp cooking for a few weeks.
but that means s’mores, so who can complain, right? fortunately, we happen to have an awesome community of friends that let us borrow their kitchen in exchange for teaching them recipes. it’s a pretty swell arrangement. oh, and be sure check back next week for our latest underscore feature!