If only I’d picked my feet up when walking like I taught my daughter to, it might have been an easier summer, but I was determined not to let a broken ankle slow us down.

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes, a summer walk in New York

Nearly as quickly as Tatjana arrived from London, we took off for the holiday weekend in Colorado with my family.

A spectacular firework display in Avon, Colorado
Mom, Dad, Tatjana, and my sister Patty at the fireworks
After a grueling fourteen hour trip home – we got straight back to work catching up with clients early the next morning, shooting webisodes…
Webisode mode: Crispy Ginger Tofu Wraps

While fervently protecting the manicures we managed to squeeze into the schedule

… and enjoying screenings of Exit Through the Gift Shop (my personal favorite), Twighlight Eclipse, Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right, and Inception over the course of the next week.
Tatjana Rhodes and Sam Bradley
I loved watching Tatjana and Sam laughing over dinner again. They were literally rug rats together – having met when they were just five weeks old. Sam asking for seconds, and tweeting about his dinner was just gravy on an already perfectly sentimental evening.
Apricot lamb chops, with potatoes Anna, and roasted asparagus

Tatjana got such a kick out of seeing his band play live to sold out crowd at the Hotel Cafe a few nights later. Then her friend Leah arrived from New York, so I took them for a healthy Greek meal at Le Petit Greek in Larchmont.

Hummus, tzatziki, Greek salad, potatoes, spanakopita, and dolmathes
The girls decided my brace was “the gladiator look gone way wrong”, so shopping and some age inappropriate styling (I ended up with metallic leopard print Converse sneakers by Blondie) was next on the agenda.

Shopping can work up an appetite

After a couple extra stops at Blockbuster and Crumbs we settled in to a visual feast of…

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland
Crumbs wicked temptation
Alice in Wonderland. The film did instruct “eat me”, so all healthy intentions were once again dashed as we devoured cupcakes.
Julie Anne, Giovanna, Nashra, and Gina
Tatjana completed two film editing courses while I played in the clay with friend Yassi, and attended little Jeremiah’s 3rd birthday party. Then I had friends from out of town visiting too, so while the cat was away (having a scrumptious meal at Cecconis, and fabulous farewell party at Amanda Eliasch‘s house the next evening)…
Tatjana, Leah, Jenna, and Sophia

… the mice did play! Tatjana leaves on Thursday, and we still need to cram in some editing, back gammon grudge matches, the movie Cyrus, and Rihanna in concert at Staples Center. I’m already feeling heartbreak pangs over the thought of my daughter leaving, but I’ll be in need of some serious R&R at the end of it all! Did someone say spa day?
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  • July 20, 2010
    1:30 am

    Wow,you ladies really pack a lot into your visits. Hope the last few days of your visit are just as much fun. Your photos are amazing and once I manage to get a camera, I'll be hoping to become as adept. The plate at the Greek restaurant looks so tempting and maybe you can give some tips on making something similar at home. As always, your blog brightens the day and energizes me to do more and better. Thank you for your inspiration and hope those backgammon grudge matches go your way, painlessly. πŸ™‚

  • July 20, 2010
    2:55 am

    Funny how things make their rounds. I took that photo of you and Tatjana in Summer of … 88? :-)Patti Neske

  • July 20, 2010
    3:02 am

    Wow it seems like just yesterday you were counting down the days to Tatjana's arrival. I can't believe how quickly time has passed!It sounds like you two had a lovely, quality time together! You created more loving memories for the two of you to share. I hope her next visit isn't so far away. And on Thursday you get that Spa Day (I need one badly myself, lol!)I know when my son returns to college next month I'll be depressed too. Jodi Silverman Zulueta

  • July 20, 2010
    3:04 am

    So your responsible Patti – it is one of my favorite pics, and has been in a frame in my living room for years. Thank you!Jodi, I allow myself one day to wallow, sulk and rest, then back to life as usual. We're mothers, so we are allowed to miss our kids!

  • July 20, 2010
    4:21 am

    Grudge match…is there any other way to play backgammon?The lamb chops, Greek food, and cupcakes all make me want to lick my computer screen!!

  • July 20, 2010
    5:02 am

    Dang! That Greek plate looks delicious. Now I want some spanikopita, but I have no phyllo or feta in the house! It's probably best – I would want to eat it all, anyway!Love the pic of Tatjana and Sam – his tweet is what sent me (and several others) to your blog, so you can blame him for all the new crazies.Which of the shoes has turned out to be more comfortable, Blondie or the 'Metallica' hi-top?

  • July 20, 2010
    8:19 am

    Hi Bandmum – the food was great, and my favorite shoes are the metalic leopard print, but only with pants, not dresses like the girls wanted me to do. I don't know about "crazies", but Sam's tweet sent about 750 new people to the blog. Thank you Sam!I LOVE "the lamb chops, Greek food, and cupcakes all make me want to lick my computer screen" Suzanne. I can't tell you how many times I have felt that way looking at food blogs.

  • July 20, 2010
    8:20 am

    Very true! Plus I have the three little monsters to keep me from having too much of a pity party. You do have a very positive attitude. I'm always teased by my friends about how negative I am. Glass isn't half full- I HATE glasses, lol!Jodi Silverman Zulueta

  • July 20, 2010
    8:20 am

    Hahaha – it is a constant, deliberate reprogramming of my brain to stay positive. I often fail miserably, but then try try again until I succeed.

  • July 20, 2010
    8:21 am

    OMG — Tatjana is too cute for words in that picture … oh they are young for such a short time!!Justine Owls

  • July 20, 2010
    9:49 am

    I LOVE your washing up gloves! I have similar ones courtesy of good old John Lewis. They are absolutely essential for all my soap making activities.I am cupcake obsessed lately as in an attempt to exorcise my sweet-loving demons I have been replicating sweets I crave into soapy creations….so far it seems to work well. I', totally studying cupcake creations for decorating inspiration.

  • July 20, 2010
    6:22 pm

    Beautiful Tatjana, she looks like you very much!!!! :)Marzia Medazzaland

  • July 20, 2010
    11:02 pm

    They are cute together even if it's only as friendsCarly Guerrero

  • July 20, 2010
    11:03 pm

    They are just friends Carly, but what great friends they are.

  • July 21, 2010
    2:55 am

    LOVED the new blog post!!!! xxxxx'sSammy Phillips

  • July 21, 2010
    4:15 pm

    Sounds like you and Tatjana had an awesome time together! Very happy for you! :-)Lisa Van Ore Thompson

  • July 21, 2010
    4:16 pm

    See what you have to look forward to?

  • July 21, 2010
    5:14 pm

    I do! But, I have to get my almost 13 year old to like another store besides Hot Topic. lol! But, I did pick up some silly bands from them. :-)Lisa Van Ore Thompson

  • July 22, 2010
    12:18 am

    Beautiful blog Julie Anne.What a very busy time it has been for you and Tatjana. So happy to hear that you have been fitting so much in your very short time with her. Before you know it, she will be back.Love the pic of food from the Greek restaurant. It is certainly one of my favourite cuisines and I love spanakopita and dolmathes. My mother makes it all the time. Enjoy the day spa!Aussie MumP.S. Those apricot lamb chops look so delicious. I agree, it certainly makes you want to lick the screen.

  • July 22, 2010
    3:51 pm

    Julieanne, I recently found your blog and I'm enjoying it so much. I love your stories. You really need to post a photo of those metallic leopard print Converse shoes though! I think I need a pair of those dishwashing gloves. Very nice.

  • July 22, 2010
    4:00 pm

    Hi The Fat Girl- If you scroll down the fb "like" page, I posted them there before the blog came out. May be a bit old for them, but they are cute. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jewels-from-The-Roving-Stove/242752441431?ref=mfHey Aussie Mum – wish I had Mia to hug today. I allow myself to be blue for 24 hours, then back to business as usual. It's a ritual now since we've been doing this for 13 years.We really did Lisa – and the Rihanna concert last night was the perfect end to the visit, thanks to Nick.

  • October 20, 2010
    8:28 pm

    Woah! Your little girl looks just like your Dad! πŸ˜€