Instagram Paris

We had 4 days off over Easter weekend, so while all the Europeans in the cast went home to see their families, I took a fast train to Paris to hang out by myself eating croissants and wandering the streets. I used Airbnb for the first time, and it was a huge success! I ended up in this little apartment in the heart of St. Germain-des-Prés—I highly recommend it for 1 person (or 2 who like each other a lot).

I lugged my big camera with me to Geneva and then to Paris, but I haven't found myself reaching for it very often. It's so much easier just to grab my iPhone, and I'm especially loving Instagram (@littlemsbossy, natch). Here are a few shots from my Parisian weekend.

Lucky for me, Maison Kayser was just a few blocks away. Croissants and croissants aux amandes and baguettes for (almost) every meal.

 Of course every vacation needs a little opera thrown in. Or a lot of opera. Siegfried!

The view from the window of my apartment. Because it was a 5th-floor walk-up. Phew.

I've written about it before (here and here), but for me no visit to Paris is complete without time spent in the beautiful Water Lily rooms at  the Musée de l'Orangerie. This is my happy place. They seem to have abolished photography since I was last there. Rules are made for breaking, I say.

I had a lovely Easter morning at the Museum of Everything, which definitely deserves its own post.

French study is trés important, n'est-ce pas?

The gorgeous Seine. I loved staying on the Left Bank and crossing over the river several times a day.

Gare de Lyon as I waited for my train back to Geneva.

I got back to Geneva feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. Sometimes a tiny vacation is all you need—such a gift in the middle of a rehearsal period. Have you taken any little vacations lately?


Oh, hey. So apparently I needed a month off from the blog. Whoops. What have you been up to??

I… watched the HGO Studio rock the Studio Showcase, flew to Chicago at the crack of dawn for a few days of Bohème rehearsals, had a mini staycation with CM in H-town, sprang forward for Daylight Savings, finished the Whole 30 with only a few alcohol-related cheats along the way, said goodbye to CM, flew to Geneva for Butterfly, tried to speak some French to the chorus, saw Rheingold, went to Paris for Easter weekend, ate every macaron and croissant in sight, saw Siegfried, sprang forward for Daylight Savings AGAIN, reactivated my Facebook account(!), trained it back to Geneva for more rehearsals, and…that pretty much brings you up to date.

I'm having a delightful time in Geneva, which is a charming, convenient city with 2 rivers, a lake, and mountains all around. So pretty. Rehearsals are going swimmingly—we hit the stage this week! You can see some rehearsal pics from the first week here. I'm loving being over here, besides missing the hell out of CM and the kitties, and my French is improving, albeit more slowly than I would like. Luckily for me, rube American that I am, everyone speaks English. I've completely abandoned the low-carb thing in favor of an all-carb thing. However, I'm walking many miles every day, so maybe it all evens out?

Back at home, CM is working on Tristan and Trovatore, hanging out with the Familie Lausmann (I'm so jealous!), and sending me adorable pictures of the cats. Case in point:


I have lots of pictures and stories to share with you. À bientôt!

Happy weekend!

My friends, how was your week? We've been in production for the Studio Showcase (a scenes programs with the incredible young artists at HGO), and the show is tonight! It's been such a lovely process, not least because CM and I got to be in the same room all day long. Tomorrow morning we both head out on VERY early flights (the car's coming at 4:30am—ack!): CM to NYC and me to Chicago (more Bohème for me, happily). Luckily, we've both been upgraded, which should help our early morning moods. What are you up to this weekend?

Meanwhile, a few links:

I'm loving the new Prabal Gurung collection for Target. I walked away with this cardigan, which is perfect for brightening up chilly days.

Papa Bossy sent me this amazing video, the first thing I ever saw that made me consider getting a dog.

Wow, this and this have made me feel even better about the way we're eating these days.

We've been researching summer vacations and CM discovered this awesome site for finding hotels. Yes please to ANY of them.

Can't wait to make this! And here's another fave of ours.

The Bossy Cat was feeling left out because I've been posting so many kitten pics, so here she is, in all her glory:

Hope your weekend is filled with smooth travel, museum afternoons, and cuddly kitties! xoxo LMB

Happy weekend!

My dears, what's on tap for the weekend? We're throwing a little dinner party tonight after work, we're seeing a concert at the Rothko Chapel tomorrow night, and then supposedly Sunday we're going on a hot air balloon ride. Although currently the forecast says it might be raining, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up. You may recall that the balloon ride was my birthday present from CM in October 2011. We're still trying to make it happen. If we can't go, at least the Oscars should heal the pain.

While I'm crossing my fingers for sunshine, a few links:

This post really hit home with me. Can't imagine why.

Not a particularly sexy link, but I always forget to get my free annual credit reports (so important), and we did it last weekend (after organizing all our 2012 tax stuff—big day). Get yours here!

After eyeing it for ages, I finally bought a Clarisonic (the Mia 2 in Emerald). I've only been using it for a few days, but I swear my skin feels smoother and cleaner.

LEGO Michael Jackson. Cool.

Oh, this looks delicious. And it's Whole 30 friendly!

Here's Lola in the fruit basket, then and now. She's so big!

Hope your weekend is full of clear weather, lazy couch time, and red carpets! xoxo LMB

Oscars 2013

Will you be watching the Oscars on Sunday? I'm very excited, although since we no longer have cable I don't actually know where we're going to watch them... We'll figure that out.

We've been trying to see as many of the movies as possible in anticipation, since that always makes the ceremony more enjoyable. We haven't done as well as I would have liked, but we have seen the following:

5 Broken Cameras
Animated shorts
Beasts of the Southern Wild
How to Survive a Plague
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

We might have time for one more before the ceremony itself. What should we see? Lincoln? Amour? Les Miz?

A few Oscar-related goodies from the interwebs:

EW's interactive ballot

Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1 and Part 2 (SFW if you use headphones)

Funny moments in Oscars history

Whole 30 Day 10


About a year ago I got interested in the Paleo diet, which led me to Mark's Daily Apple and a pile of books about food and nutrition. Which inevitably led me to the Whole 30, a 30-day strict Paleo regimen that cuts out all grains, sugar, dairy, alcohol, and legumes. I completed my first Whole 30 on March 19 of last year, and I can honestly say I had never felt better. I didn't even find it particularly difficult—I'm definitely an abstainer, not a moderator. CM and I ate mostly Paleo for a while afterwards, falling off the wagon spectacularly during our 2 months in Europe and never figuring out quite how to get back on.

Fast forward to 2013, with both of us feeling sluggish and plump. We decided to try a Whole 30 together, and now we're 10 days in! Mostly it's been pretty easy, although we do miss stopping in somewhere for cocktail hour on the way home from work.

Here's what we've been eating:

In the mornings, we start with coffee (duh). I drink mine with some coconut milk frothed in the Aeroccino, and CM drinks his black. With our second cup we eat eggs of some kind—scrambled, omelettes, etc., with vegetables or avocado or a side of berries.

For lunch we generally have leftovers of meat and veggies from dinner the night before. If we feel like getting out of the office, we go to Chipotle for salad with veggies, meat, salsa, and guacamole on top (no dressing, beans, or rice) or we get a no-bun burger with veggies instead of fries. Yum.

We've been cooking dinners at home a lot, experimenting with recipes from the Well Fed cookbook or throwing things together. Mostly meat with vegetables, trying to mix it up with different kinds of each. Occasionally I make green juice for both of us, and CM is a good sport about drinking it.

We haven't quite fallen out of the habit of snacking, so we're well-stocked with nuts, almond butter, fruit, coconut for coconut chips, and Lärabars.

It feels great to know everything we're putting in our bodies is real food, and mostly I don't miss the other stuff (although I had to forbid CM from making cookies on Day 4 because I knew the temptation would be too much for me). The Whole 30 isn't designed to be a long-term way of eating, but it's the perfect reset to remind us of healthy habits.

Would you try it?

My shameful secret

Confession: there are enormous gaps in my knowledge of world history and events. ENORMOUS. I try to keep up with the news as it happens, but because my understanding of the background is so spotty, I often don't quite get what's happening beyond the basics.

Case in point. Last night we were watching 5 Broken Cameras, an incredible Oscar-nominated documentary filmed by a Palestinian villager in the West Bank, chronicling his village's conflicts with Israeli soldiers starting in 2005. We got about a minute into the film and I had to pause it to have Israel/Palestine explained to me. CM actually knew the exact year the State of Israel was created! 1948, by the way. It was humbling. Throughout the film we had to keep breaking out the iPad to Google different elements of the conflict. (How is it possible I did not know the word intifada???) I've already ordered this book to begin to remedy the situation.

And while we're sharing, I am also pretty shaky on the following: The India/Pakistan conflict. Tibet. Provinces of Canada. Gangnam style.

Perhaps I should spend a bit less time reading historical fiction about the court of Henry VIII. That might help.

Anything you should know but don't? Come on, make me feel better.

Date Nights in Houston: Oxheart

Last month an article came out in the NY Times: "The 46 Places to Go in 2013." We were pretty excited, because Houston was #7, but then we looked closer and realized that the new museums they were talking about as the major selling points for Houston making the list? And the new restaurants? Yeah, we hadn't been to any of them. Oops.

When I'm home, we tend to be anti-social hermits, holing up in our house surrounded by cats and cozy blankets. We don't get out much.

I'd like to change that. I'm gone so much that it's hard to remember what the city has to offer outside the walls of our home, but Houston is a great city, and not only because of its low, low, very low cost of living.

So, I'm launching a new feature: Date Nights in Houston, in which CM and I try new things or rediscover our old favorites.

First up, one of those hot new restaurants mentioned in the Times: Oxheart. The dining room only has 30 seats, so early reservations are a must (they start taking reservations on the 1st of the month for the following month, so if you wanted a table in April you'd try on March 1st). Oxheart is in the Warehouse District, East of downtown in a historic factory space.

The menus are seasonal, focusing on local ingredients. There are 3 tasting menus to choose from—a 4-course vegetarian option, a 4-course option with meat, and a 7-course menu. We chose the 4-course "Winter Menu" (meat included) with wine pairings. Everything we ate was delicious, and Justin Vann, the sommelier who was also our waiter for the evening, did a fantastic job explaining what he brought to the table.

Including sunflower seed soup:

And housemade English muffins with lard:

And a fish course we ate too fast to photograph. And chicken cooked 3 ways:

And a delicious dessert:

And housemade marshmallows with our coffee, just because:

For such a trendy restaurant, farm-to-table mission statements and filament bulbs galore, Oxheart does not have an ounce of pretention. Every member of the staff we encountered was friendly and knowledgeable, each dish was served up with care and pride, and we felt immediately comfortable. We'll be back.

Houstonians, where else should we go for date night?

Happy weekend!

So apparently this is a "long" weekend, but for us it's TWO whole consecutive days, so we're happy. We're planning daily bike rides and lots of cooking and as much movie watching as possible (so much to do before February 24th!) It's so rare that our schedules mesh, so we are taking full advantage. What do you have planned this weekend?

While we're enjoying some much-needed time together, a few links for you:

I want to go to there.

Our new favorite.

This makes me laugh.

I recently went here to buy baby shower gifts for a friend and practically died from cuteness.

I love this site.

In a rare break from hissing at each other and biting us:

Hope your weekend is full of together time, sunshine, and bitey kittens! xoxo LMB

Oscar-nominated animated short films

We took a couple days at the beginning of the week to rest and recover from the past few weeks (months?). Mostly we lazed around in pajamas reading (Gillian Flynn for me, George Saunders for him) and watching old West Wing episodes. We did, however, manage to leave the house on Monday to go to the movies. Our local Sundance theatre is showing all the Oscar-nominated animated shorts, along with a few that made it to "Highly commended" but didn't actually get nominated. I always try to see as many of the movies as possible before the Oscars, but usually when the animated shorts category gets called I haven't seen a single one.

It was fun to see them on the big screen, but you can actually watch 4 out of 5 of them on YouTube! Go figure. Which is your favorite?

Head Over Heels

Adam and Dog


Fresh Cuts

Happy Nemo weekend!

Friends, are you staying warm and dry and safe this weekend?? I hope so! I'm home in Houston for a super-quick trip to see CM play a concert last night. I had a couple meetings today, but mostly I'm just chewing my fingernails and hoping I can make it back to NYC tomorrow morning. Flashback. If I get there, I'll be in the city for only 24 hours for the last Elisir of the season and my friend's baby shower. Sunday I head home for 3 weeks! And just in time, as it turns out the kitten does not know her own mother anymore ("And whose fault is that," a wise friend asked me pointedly when I complained about it today). My husband seems to remember me just fine. Phew.

While you're snowed in, a few links:

This looks so cool. If I ever start running again, I will certainly invest.

I've always wanted to go to this. I think I'll be in rehearsals both days, so this probably isn't the year, but it seems like a good use of a Saturday, no?

In my ongoing attempt to look more like a grown-up, I walked into Sephora this week and begged for help choosing a lipstick. I ended up with this one in Sonya, and it's perfection.

I know I'm coming late to this party, but I finally saw Jiro Dreams of Sushi this week. OH, what a lovely film. See it!

I'm listening to this on repeat. And wishing we had HBO so I could watch Season 2.

Look at this wild jungle beast. Isn't she fierce?

Hope your weekend is filled with cozy slippers, hot cocoa, and comfort food. xoxo LMB

Sundays in New York: The Frick Collection

Holbein's portrait of Thomas Cromwell—he looks intimidating, no?

My time in New York for the season(!) is winding down quickly, and, at least as it stands at the moment, this past Sunday was my last until November. So a good Sunday adventure was in order. It's been cold here, but that didn't stop me from tromping across town to the Upper East Side for a little museum date with myself. I had planned to visit the Neue Galerie, followed by a slice of Sachertorte at Café Sabarsky. I've never been, and I was wishing for a little dose of Vienna. Alas, it was not to be. Their spring exhibits open this week, so all but one small gallery were closed for installation.

Instead, I hoofed it down a few blocks and visited The Frick Collection for the first time. What a lovely museum. Frick had it built as his home in 1914, knowing he eventually wanted to turn it into a museum of his incredible art collection. He only lived in the house for 5 years before he died, and it was completely converted to a public museum in 1930 upon the death of his wife. Most of the artwork is from Frick's original collection, although some was bought for the museum in the intervening years since his death.

No photography is allowed in the museum, but a few of the paintings can be seen at Google Art Project. I particularly loved the Fragonard room—what a peaceful place. And having just finished reading Bring up the Bodies, I was excited to see Holbein's portraits of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More flanking a fireplace in the Living Hall. The whole museum is laid out beautifully, surrounding the stunning Garden Court, which was actually a driveway back in Frick's day.

Not far from the museum there's a sweet little Italian coffee shop and restaurant, Via Quadronno. They have arguably the best cappuccinos in the city, and a wide variety of delicious panini at lunch. I always get the "Non ti scordar di me," with speck, brie, and paté. Delicious.

Then back across the park to walk off my lunch. Not a bad Sunday.

Have you been on any adventures lately? I'd love to hear.

She gets her talent from her dad

Look! Look what Lola can do.

6 seconds of pure gold, am I right?

Happy weekend!

Oh my goodness, it's February. Wowza. During January I dropped off the face of the planet and right into mid nineteenth-century Bohemian Paris, and I'm just now emerging back into the real world (although the show opened almost 2 weeks ago). Bohème was such a lovely experience in every possible way, challenging me and delighting me and most of all reminding me that I'm on the right path, that this is indeed what I should be doing with my time. There was, however, no time or brain power left for extracurricular creative pursuits, and as a result I lost the habit of blogging. I'm back in New York for a bit now. I got to see the last performances of Maria Stuarda, and now I'm on performance duty for a few more nights of Elisir. I'm catching my breath. How was your January? I've missed you.

While I'm remembering how to do this blogging thing, some links for you:

Well, of course I want Zosia Mamet as my new best friend. Don't you?

If you have some time, read this beautiful exploration of joy by Zadie Smith. (via Orangette)

Have you listened to Alec Baldwin's new radio show, Here's the Thing? I love it.

Our friend Isabel on becoming Sesto.

I'm absolutely loving my new Everlane t-shirt and tote bag. Such high quality and so affordable!

Here's a little bit of our Bohème.

And, because I'm missing them (are you?), here are my sweet cats. Photos by CM, obvs.

Hope your weekend is full of brunches, warm coats, and date nights. xoxo LMB

Opera nerd alert

In 2011 I started tracking every performance I saw. I loved being able to look back at the year through that lens, so I continued keeping track. Here are the 2012 numbers:

17 movies
2 vocal competitions
7 recitals and concerts
8 Broadway plays and musicals
1 Off-Broadway play
1 cabaret
1 circus
34 operas (at 11 different companies)

GAH! THIRTY-FOUR OPERAS! And I thought 17 was a lot last year. Obviously, our summer o' opera made a big difference. It was a great year for seeing things—was it for you?

My favorites of 2013 were, in chronological order:

March 10, 2012: Venus in Fur on Broadway with the incomparable Nina Arianda

March 13, 2012: Pina 3D at Lincoln Center Film

June 29, 2012: Don Carlo at the Wiener Staatsoper with the best cast ever

July 7, 2013: the premiere of Written on Skin in Aix-en-Provence

July 10–13, 2012: my first Ring cycle in Munich

August 8, 2012: One Man, Two Guv'nors on Broadway, where I almost fell out of my seat laughing

November 18, 2012: Joyce DiDonato's Drama Queens recital at Carnegie Hall

What did you see that moved you last year? Any performances you're particularly looking forward to in 2013?

Guten Tag, 2013!

2013 is beginning very auspiciously—I'm home! Since I got back yesterday afternoon, I have been soaking up all the time I can with CM and the kitties in our beautiful house. Monday's opening was a great success, and the gala party in the Grand Tier afterwards was fabulous, of course, but I could not be happier to be home.

I've been thinking a lot about goals for the year, how I'd like to grow, what I'd like to accomplish. Rather than making a lot of big resolutions, I'd like to focus on the little things—doing more of those things that make me happy, and less of what doesn't.

For 2013, MORE…

  • homemade coffee
  • wearing of lipstick
  • throwing of dinner parties
  • reading for pleasure
  • staycations
  • phone dates
  • braising of meat
  • writing
  • nights in
  • spontaneous adventures
  • taking of photos
  • intentional packing for gigs
  • after-dinner walks

  • wondering what I should do with my life (duh, this)
  • procrastination
  • constant checking of email
  • accumulation of stuff
  • internet rabbit holing
  • mediocre yet expensive dining out
  • streaming Netflix
  • cynicism
  • time without my husband

What about you? Did you make resolutions this year?

Buenos dias, 2012
Grüß Gott, 2011
Buongiorno, 2010
Bonjour, 2009


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