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Ask Jen Anything: City Foods, Father’s Day & Friends With Your Spouse

by Jen Polvogt

I’m back! It’s been a month since the last edition of “Ask Jen Anything” (“AJA”), and it’s now summer! Children are out of school, parents are inventing new ways to keep their kids busy and vacations are being taken.

Every morning I wake up, look out the window and smile because the sun is shining and I don’t have to wear socks. I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far and that you have many memories to make as we head into the throws of heat waves and sunburns.

That said, let’s see what’s in store for us from our readers this month and jump into this edition of “AJA!”

Favorite City Dishes

“Since we love rankings, can you rank your favorite cities for food? And any favorite dishes that really stand out?” – Jorge 

Jorge’s Rankings:

  1. New Orleans
  2. Barcelona
  3. Florence
  4. San Francisco
  5. Washington DC

That’s a great list, Jorge! There’s only one place on your list that I haven’t been to – Barcelona – so I’ll add my favorite food from each of your destinations and add one of my own!

Jen’s Rankings:

  1. New Orleans:  My favorite dish from “The Big Easy” has to be the Garlic & Herb Char-Grilled Oysters from French Market Restaurant & Bar. They come out to the table extremely hot, so give them a second to cool down before you have the best oyster of your life.
  2. Puerta Vallarta:  I’ve never been to Barcelona, so for the No. 2 slot on my list, I’m choosing Canto Palmeras in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s hard to go wrong when eating in PV, but Canto Palmeras is top of my list for their beach-front location and amazing tostadas. Topped with any meat or seafood you desire (choose three) and seasoned perfectly on the best tostada shell you’ll have in your life. A little of their secret sauce, guacamole and crema, and you’ll be in heaven!
  3. Florence:  If you’re going to Florence, you’ll likely see the Fountain of Neptune. While you’re there, you’ll notice shops all around you. Pick any of them that serve ice cream, and you can’t go wrong. With waffle cones as long as your arm, shop owners will fill the cones with any one of their amazing flavors. It gets sweltering in the summer months, so eat it fast!
  4. San Francisco:  This is obvious because San Francisco is known for its sourdough bread down on Fisherman’s Wharf. One of the best ways to enjoy the bread is to hollow out a bread bowl and fill it with fresh clam chowder. Pair that with freshly caught crab, and you’ll be in for an experience like no other.
  5. Washington D.C.:  RARE Steakhouse & Tavern served me the second-best steak I’ve ever had in my life (No. 1 is the porterhouse steak from Ruth’s Chris in Boston, MA). The ribeye was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth as I enjoyed a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a side appetizer of their steamed mussels. Definitely worth a try if you have the funds. RARE is pricey but worth every penny.

Father’s Day

“Help – Father’s Day is this weekend, and I don’t know what to get my dad! He’s not big on “stuff” or the traditional dad gifts, so I’m thinking more of an experience or something that provides a little longer value. Any ideas of what to get him or how to celebrate?” – Desperate Daughter

Father’s Day is such a happy time – we all celebrate the amazing fathers and/or father figures who surround us and make life so much better. But the gift that surrounds Father’s Day can be tricky. Especially if your pop already has everything he wants, or you’re celebrating your 40th Father’s Day!

That’s my case, so I can empathize with you. My sister and I always go in on gifts together, so if you have siblings, I suggest teaming up with them. Since this is our 40th and 38th Father’s Day with our dad, we have recently decided to gift our parents with experiences and “consumables” for birthdays and other special holidays from now on.

It’s too stressful to come up with unique and exciting presents for all the holidays we celebrate, so we generally stick to pie and wine for our dad. Because who doesn’t love pie and wine? We do a different flavor of pie and pick out ice cream, as well. He’s a chardonnay guy, so that’s pretty straightforward. 

Experiences are always great, as well. For example, if you live in a city with a baseball stadium near you, nabbing a couple of baseball tickets is a fun way to make memories. 

Pick one of his favorite activities and do it with him. Fishing? Wood carving? Gardening? Hiking? Do something he loves and let him teach you something new. 

At the end of the day, he likely just wants to spend time with you, so just by showing up, you’re showing him you love him. As a mother, I can tell you that I treasure time with my son more than any other gift he could get me. 

Good luck! I hope you have a fantastic Father’s Day!

Friends With Your Spouse

“My wife and I recently started working from home together. So far, it’s been great, but being together this often isn’t normal for us, and I’m worried it’s going to cause us to get sick of each other. How do you do it? Do you have tips for making it work and not wanting to kill each other?” – Anonymous

That’s exciting! My husband and I have been working from home together for three years and love it. Don’t get me wrong, it has its challenges. But in the end, we chose to love each other forever, so we make it work (we don’t always like each other, but we always love each other). 

The first thing to do is to set up separate workstations. It’s critical to carve out your own workspace. For example, my desk is in the corner of the living room, and my husband works at the dining room table. 

I prefer to work in silence, but he works better to music, so he wears his headphones, and we text each other if we need to communicate. That way, there’s not a constant stream of interruptions.

Next, give yourself space. Take a break and go to the grocery store by yourself. Or grab a cup of coffee for each of you. That 10-45 minute break will breathe life into your work and relationship.

Third, have a dedicated start and stop time for your day. Lay out your schedules and stick to them. That will provide a work-life balance and provides imaginary boundaries for what you two can expect from each other.

Lastly, eat lunch together. That way, you can discuss what you’re working on, brainstorm any new ideas you might have and reconnect with each other on a personal level.

Good luck! I think you’ll enjoy it when you get into the swing of things.

I’ll be here every month to answer any questions you have and to offer my advice. You can send me a Direct Message (DM) through Twitter or click here to submit your inquiry. I look forward to connecting with all of my readers!

Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.

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