fancy dinners with my dad in town…

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my dad was working north of the city the other week and didn’t think his schedule allowed for him to come into the city to visit us.  but on saturday night, he called saying his sunday opened up and he was going to rent a car and come in for part of the day! he told josh and me not to tell the kids, so he could surprise them in the morning! they were actually in the middle of face-timing with him on sunday morning when we opened the front door and there he was! holding a box of donuts, too! the day was already off to such a good start.

since we were about to head out of town a few days later, we hadn’t kept up on our grocery shopping, because we hate leaving town and having food go bad.  but it worked out perfectly, because we still had 2 blue apron meals in our fridge that had been delivered a few days prior, so even with company showing up with short notice, i was still able to serve a really beautiful and delicious lunch! we made and served their vietnamese chicken wings and rice and beef-stuffed poblano peppers.

if you aren’t already familiar with blue apron (although i mention them a lot on this blog cause i’m a fan), they deliver farm-fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box, in the exact proportions you need, right to your home each week. we’ve been using them for a few years now, and have partnered with them this year to spread the word as they’ve expanded to several new zip codes around the US.  one of the things i love most about using blue apron, is how it gets us out of our cooking rut and allows us to create beautiful and delicious meals we wouldn’t otherwise ever attempt to cook in our home ourselves.  we’ve discovered a lot of new ingredients and dishes through them, too!  we’re also able to skip weeks we’re traveling and just use them when it best fits our week to week schedule.

if you’d like to try blue apron, the first 100 readers to use this link to sign up will get two free meals on their first blue apron order! 

some photos from our sunday with my dad below!


eleanor helped us out quite a bit in the kitchen while my dad played trains with samson and conrad in their nursery.  we put on her favorite music (she is obsessed with the song adir adirim by balkan beat box. have you ever heard it? it’s kind of amazing!) and had a bit of a dance party as we went along.


also, this rice and beef-stuffed poblano peppers i linked above is insane! it has all these amazing spices in it and also dried currants and roasted pepitas. it was my favorite.


a few minutes before we put everything on the table, samson wandered into the kitchen wanting to help too! since everything had already been prepped, i told him he could help me with the dishes if he wanted. one of his chores is helping unload the dishwasher, which he does really well (the silverware and cups especially!) but he always wants to “wash” the dishes because it’s really just the best excuse to play with soapy water. haha! so he “washed” some of the bigger bowls for us that we had used cooking. i love his willingness to always be helpful. he’s such a good kid.


go time!

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plates just make no sense with this little dude. it’s a lot of clean up afterwards, but he likes feeding himself and discovering and learning as he does it more than when we feed him. gets tricky with some foods, but for the most part, he does a pretty fantastic job!


a quick photo with my daddio before we eat!


cheers! to a delicious meal! thanks so much for making the time to swing by, dad! and thanks to blue apron for partnering with us on this post! you can check out many of their recipes right here, if you’d like.

  1. I love when family is able to visit. We absolutely LOVE Blue Apron. My favorite meal was these burgers with lemongrass in them, so good!

  2. Mare

    How many solid food meals does he have? My son is 6 weeks younger than Conrad, so far we are eating only fruit.
    Love your photos, as always :)

    • TAZA

      he’s eating pretty much everything we eat now, minus dairy and honey. he is really loving it, so we just make sure it’s really chopped or mashed or in the smallest bits possible since he still is just gumming everything! such a fun age, right!?

  3. Amanda

    Cute dress, taza! Love the modest length. Where is it from? ?

    • TAZA

      thanks so much, amanda! it’s from steven alan!

  4. Such cute kids! And I love how involved they are in prepping and clean up time! I have a 3 year old that wants to help out all the time, and I go back and forth from wanting to involve her and wanting not to make a big mess! Love the baby! I have one too who loves to feed himself!

    xo Anna

    • TAZA

      i feel you on the mess! ha! and the whole ordeal taking twice as long. ;)

  5. Paige

    We’ve tried blue apron a few times and have always loved the meals we’ve gotten in our boxes!


  6. sumera

    Hi Naomi, beautiful pics. Sorry to ask such a silly question but where is your dress/top from?

    • TAZA

      thank you! it’s from steven alan!

  7. Jessica

    I wanted to try that recipe. However my husband is vegetarian so we mainly get the vegetarian option each week! Thank you for introducing Blue Apron to us

  8. justine

    I love your table! Do you mind sharing where it is from? also, Groupon offered a Blue Apron coupon and anxiously awaiting my first delivery. :-)

    • TAZA

      thank you! it’s an old farm table we found out in lucketts virginia at an antique shop!

  9. Yvonne

    beautiful. think I will try those stuffed peppers…did you find those peppers to be spicy?

    • TAZA

      i’m a wimp with spice so luckily no!

  10. Katelyn Humphrey

    Hey! I absolutely love your blog. I am a bride to be with no children, but am so encouraged by how you raise you kids and the balance you and your family have.
    I am wondering how you store all of your photos…? Do you print photos for photo albums? Photo store on the internet/computer?
    It’s interesting nowadays to see what works for people to save photos for a lifetime.

    • TAZA

      i would love to try to figure out a better system, but right now i have everything stored on multiple hard drives. i do try to print photos out regularly as well, the kids like flipping through them!

  11. Courtney

    Naomi! I am dying over your dress these pictures!! We have very similar body types, and I’m wondering where you found this gem? Thanks so much : )

    • TAZA

      thank you! it’s from steven alan!

  12. Bev

    Nothing like cooking together as a family, it’s the best! Beautiful photo’s, especially love the one of E and her dad having fun with the lettuce :)

  13. bri

    we love blue apron! although your spread looks a lot cuter than ours. my son loves helping with the dishes too. although he just ends up getting soaked ;)

  14. I don’t know what I love most about this post, your kids who are doing such an awesome job helping or the food that looks amazing. Also, I am loving your hair so much in your recent pictures, it suits you so well! Lots of love,


  15. Rachel

    Every time we have gotten Blue Apron we have loved it. I loved that your dad was able to surprise the kiddos. Your photos are beautiful (as always)!


  16. This is such a cute and fun post Naomi! I absolutely love the pics with the lettuce and the food pics are making me HUNGRY! New followers, loving the blog so much :)

    Pat @ The Bookshelves

  17. Rachel

    Family meals are the best! I’m so glad that your dad could make it :)

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  18. Marta

    I discovered you not long time ago and since then I just love coming back here to discover your little world which you share with us….and your photos…oh dear AMAZING!<3 you are absolutely stunning lady :) all the best for you and your all family…

  19. Shannon

    Thank you Naomi for the promo! I placed an order today. I rarely comment, but frequent your precious blog often, the children are growing up so lovely.

  20. Jessie

    My boyfriend and I just signed up for Blue Apron, and we also got the chicken wings and poblano peppers! We also got the squid ink linguine, which was AMAZING!

  21. Sarie

    I am digging that everyone wears chambray -perf fabric for summer.

  22. Kristin

    Love your pictures, and what a wonderful surprise to have your Dad to dinner on Sunday…so very special for you all.

  23. Jenn

    This looks like a great recipe! YUM!
    The Pepper Express

  24. Maye

    Hi!! A huge follower and reader of yours. I was wondering what do you have your kids stand on when they help w/ cooking? just curious! ; )

    • TAZA

      just a chair from the dining room table!

  25. Erin

    Thanks so much for the discount! I’ve been wanting to try Blue Apron for a while and just placed my first order thanks to you! ?

  26. L Dwyer

    Wow, everything looks amazing! Beautiful photos of a beautiful family (and some delicious food too)!

  27. lori

    It’s been very tempting to try out Blue Apron! Sometimes I just can’t figure out what to cook anymore! Very sweet of your dad to swing by to visit you and the family – it’s the random moments in life we treasure the most.

  28. Verity

    Can you please tell me where you got your water jug, and if it is a filter. I am looking for something just like it.

    • TAZA

      i bought it at target! i think the brand was called Soma. yes, it’s a water purifier.

  29. Ingrid

    I just played Balkan Beat Box to my 18 month old and she has been wiggling all evening! if you have a moment can you please do a post on non-baby music that your kids love. Thank you, i love reading your posts on your gorgeous family. (ps – wish blue apron delivered to Australia!)

  30. Jamee

    Thank you for the link to Blue Apron! I finally signed up! My kids will be very excited when the meals are delivered!

  31. Linda

    Good food, good company, great photos!

  32. carly

    Sounds and looks like some good quality family time! I am sure the kids were so excited to see their grandpa
    Dresses & Denim

  33. Adria

    Hey Naomi,

    First I adore your family and love reading your blog. Secondly where did you get the bike hook for storing your bike.