apple picking!


one of our favorite family traditions is to go apple picking in the fall!  we went up to silverman’s farm in connecticut as a family and had a great time running around, picking apples, picking rocks (samson) and petting all the sweet animals they have on the farm. i was so surprised how few apples remained on the trees, but because of the weather this year, they said their apple season came quickly. the did have large buckets with fresh crisp apples in every few rows or so, so we still brought home six big bags full of fruit.

since apple picking a few days ago, i’ve been asked by my kids to “start” maybe 17 apples – times two! (you know what i’m talking about right? where you take the first bite so it’s easier for your little one to have a place to begin to eat around the apple?) and i’ve also finished maybe 17 apples times two after both E and S have made their way around the apple just once with tiny bites.  “all finished!” they’ll say. and i’m like, “well, not really, but OK. i’ll eat a fourth apple in a row right now, sure.”  but, can’t complain! we had a great time together and there is an abundance of apples around this apartment now which is a very good thing.

a few photos below if you’d like to see, because you don’t go apple picking and not take your camera! i mean, who would ever do that?! ;)


^^^starting off with this photo, because it might be a new favorite of mine. i picked up samson because he wanted to be held and asked him to look at papa for a second (who was behind the lens) but instead he leaned in and gave me a big kiss! i melted.^^^


^^^oh these babes and their sweet eyes that play tricks on their mama. four seconds before you wanna leave em at the orchard and come home alone because they aren’t exactly listening to you whatsoever, and then they shoot you a look with eyes like that and you’re all, give me ten more babies, stat!^^^


^^^apple picking is memorable for the adults, the wagon rides are probably the main thing these two munchkins will remember from the day!^^^


^^^this beautiful face is just growing up too quickly!^^^


^^^just helping himself to some good ones!^^^


^^^so glad miss eleanor was with us to spot all the high apples and get them down for us!^^^


^^^it was like he’d just graduated from college, his “i did it!” each time he pulled an apple off the tree!^^^


^^^i love my people.^^^


^^^once apples get to be a bit boring, you can bet you’ll find this one wherever rocks might be hanging out!^^^


^^^family photo of 3 1/2 of us and one flying rocket ship! we’ll take what we can get.^^^

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^^^jumping off haystacks. you have the best hair, samson.^^^


^^^new baby bunnies!^^^


^^^petting and meeting the most beautiful llamas ever!^^^


^^^met the three little pigs, too! although they were very preoccupied doing stuff like this while we were there. haha!^^^


^^^this afternoon was a good one! past years of apple picking HERE and HERE!^^^

ps. my maternity jumpsuit was a gift from isabella oliver (thank you!) and eleanor’s cute dress and kitty cat ears (aren’t those so fun? i can’t help myself with the animal ears accesories everywhere these days) are from wunway kids for those curious.

white bean chili.


since the first day of autumn is tomorrow, we decided to welcome it the best way we know how. we pulled our beloved crock pot off the shelf after a long summer of neglect and got reacquainted with one another once again by making one of our favorite chili dishes.

nothing (and i honestly mean nothing) beats coming home after a 3 hour church block on a sunday afternoon to the smell of dinner already awaiting you thanks to your sous chef, the crock pot. that thing is like magic to a gal who doesn’t cook often enough and needs a bit of hand holding in the kitchen.

we made our favorite white bean chili with chicken yesterday. several years ago, i was going through a really hard time when were living in washington DC.  a sweet girlfriend of mine here in new york had her cousin who also lived in the DC area show up on my doorstep with dinner one night. to this day, i still can’t get over what a kind gesture that was and how much it meant to me then, and even now, to have someone i’d never met and who had no idea what i was going through, show up with dinner. she made us this white bean chili, and i’m not sure if it’s because of the back story attached to this dish, or if it’s just because it is freaking delicious, but it’s hands down, one of my favorite dishes.

the recipe is below if you’d like to try it!

white bean chili with chicken

4 15-oz cans great northern beans, rinsed
2 lbs chicken breasts
2 4 ounce cans green chilies (we use mild diced chilies)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves minced garlic
1 14 1/2 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

cut the chicken into small cubes and brown over the stove
drain the beans, and place all the ingredients into the crock pot, mix well
cook covered on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6 hours
we eat it over rice with a bit of cheese on top.  makes 6-8 servings


^^^here’s eleanor measuring and adding all the appropriate spices with a bit of help from papa! she likes to be involved with anything happening in the kitchen. notice how they are both in their pajamas! they put everything in first thing after waking up so that it would be ready for us right when we got home from church.^^^


^^^before we mixed up all the ingredients, those spices were just calling for their picture to be taken. just look at those rich fall colors! ^^^

chilifinished ^^^she’s all done! thank you, crock pot!^^^

you’ll have to let me know if you try it.  and if you have a favorite crock pot recipe you wanna share, i’d love that.  especially if it’s a chili one!

taza’s new york city guide: under the brooklyn bridge


happy friday, everyone! today i wanted to share a small guide and video we made covering a few of our favorite activities to do together right underneath the brooklyn bridge! that bridge (and the manhattan bridge too, let’s be honest) is so iconic and fun to walk (or bike!!!) across that i tell all of our family and friends who ask for nyc recommendations that it is a must.  it just doesn’t get old. it’s one of my favorite things to do in this city.

here’s a short video highlighting some favorite things to eat and do around dumbo and the north end of brooklyn heights after you cross the bridge….

if you’d like, you can subscribe to the love taza youtube channel here to see more video guides!

video by jenner brown. song by natalie prass.


jane’s carousel
brooklyn bridge park on dock street 718-222-2502

brooklyn pier 1
juliana’s (some of our family’s favorite pizza!)
19 old fulton street 718-596-6700
brooklyn ice cream factory
corner of old fulton and water street 718-246-3963
pier 1 playground and park
info on bike rentals HERE
check out events at brooklyn bridge park HERE
dumbo kitchen
108 jay street 718-797-1695
luke’s lobster at brooklyn bridge park
11 water street 917-882-7516
shake shack (they are literally everywhere now!)
1 old fulton street 718-307-7590
jacques torres chocolate (for warm chocolate chip cookies!)
66 water street 718-875-1269
east river ferry (always fun to ride back to the city if you aren’t up for walking or biking both ways ;)
brooklyn bridge park / dumbo 800-533-3779

other nyc neighborhood guides and videos here: UPPER WEST SIDE // UNION SQUARE TO MIDTOWN // SOHO + NOLITA // CENTRAL PARK // WEST VILLAGE 

mix it up!


last spring, i shared a few of our family’s favorite interactive books, one of which was – and still is – press here by herve tullet (which has been on the NYT best seller list for the past 3 years!). well, we heard the best news a few weeks ago that herve tullet just finished his follow-up book titled mix it up! we were kindly sent a copy a few weeks ago to check out. it’s of course as darling and creative and fun as press here, and it’s officially out this week!

a look at it below if you’d like to see…

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what i love about this book is the way we are invited as the reader to interact with each page. you touch, mix, shake, close and open the book to find all these bright and beautiful colors mixing together to make new colors, and new shapes and designs. the “splat!” page is my personal favorite (closing the book down hard between a blob of yellow paint and a blob of red paint to discover a splattered new color of orange on the following page.)

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since we’re asked on each page to touch or mix the colors with our fingers, eleanor, being the proper little lady she is who doesn’t like getting her hands dirty (even pretend dirty), requested we read the book with our paint brushes. haha! so we’ve been having fun rereading the book and doing all the imaginative interactive stuff with paint brushes instead of our fingers. we usually head to the kitchen table afterwards to mix some paint colors of our own, because hello! making new colors out of other colors suddenly makes a lot of sense and BLUE AND RED MAKE PURPLE? WHAT!!!  we’ve been making a lot of purple paint as of late.


thank you again to chronicle books, who this post is in partnership with, for sending along the new mix it up! book! now let’s get painting!

ps. my post on a few of our favorite interactive children’s books HERE.

eating our way through the garment district…


we always love the little food markets that pop up periodically around the city. there are few things in this world i love more than a ridiculously good meal, especially if that meal has the words “lobster roll” in it. we stopped by the new urban space food market in the garment district for dinner the other night after being invited down to check it out and sampled ourselves silly with all the good vendors they’ve brought in. (things like japanese curry, lobster rolls, meatball sandwiches, tacos, burgers, wood-fired pizza…) i’m still stuffed a few days later. having such good food around really makes us love being here in new york. a few photos from dinner below…


^^^a meatball slider from mighty balls…^^^


^^^and a kiss from E! what could possibly make dinner sweeter? ;) ^^^


^^^red hook lobster pound has always been one of my favorites since the DC days, so i was stoked to see them there at the market.^^^

^^^the pizza from roberta’s was top notch, too. josh and samson didn’t get any, but i managed to steal a few bites from E before she polished off that entire thing.^^^


^^^while i watched the stroller and sat at a nearby table, i caught a glimpse between the crowds walking by of josh swinging and playing with the kids while they waited for our food. i have many many fears going into having a third baby this winter, but if anything helps calm them, it’s this man of mine who is such a patient and invested father. it’s like, ok. i have him on my team. i can do this. ^^^


^^^samson and his empanada. he sat so still and quietly eating that entire thing. it was the cutest.^^^


^^^i’m not a big cheesy bread person, but josh liked the maple bacon queijo from cafe patoro.^^^

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^^^and this pistachio and stracciatella gelato was fiiiiiiiiiine. ^^^