Friday, December 30, 2011

Ice Skating is for Kids

The first thought I had when I pulled myself and my four year old onto the ice at our local rink was "I'm too old for this.", then "What was I thinking", then "One of us is going to get hurt!"

Well we survived and made it around the rink two and a half times before the free skate was over. Doesn't sound like much, but it's quite an accomplishment when your clinging to the boards and pulling a little one up off the ice every few seconds.

Miracle one was that I didn't pull her arm out of its socket, miracle two, I didn't break a hip and miracle three, she wants to do it again. I have to say I was really proud of her tenacity. Before we went in she said "to skate you push, push, glide" when we left her new skating motto was" when you fall down, you just get back up".

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful for Friday

The sun is out, it's crisp, the remaining leaves on the trees are a vivid yellow. Hurrah a fall weekend lies ahead. Looking forward to preparing for the holidays.

And I have to get two bags of bulbs planted while I still can. Not my favorite gardening activity but I be glad I did in the Spring.

The beautiful yellow leaves in the photo are actually in Vermont. Photographer unknown.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Try This at Home: Mini PearTarts

I want to try this recipe at home during my Thanksgiving break and enlist my four year old to help. I think it seems like a pretty fool proof recipe and a four year old's touch should prove interesting. Even hilarious.

See the full recipe at Oh Joy.
Photos by Michael Graydon. Styled by Nikole Herriott.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harvest Tables

Sitting down to dinner at any of these tables would be a treat. Time to start thinking what's for Thanksgiving dinner.

The majority of these tables are set up outside. Would you eat Thanksgiving dinner a fresco?These look great, but I'm sure if I tried this at home, the temperature would drop or the wind would pick up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Geniuses All

A generous sentiment from a real genius. Here's to climbing less and swimming more.

Poster available at society6.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Meow On

These rock and roll kitties took me right back to the joys of vinyl, liner notes and album cover art. Oh and they reminded me of some great music I haven't listened to in a while. What a brilliant twist on the familiar.

You can see more of Alfra Martini's revamped album covers at The Kitten Covers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Leaf Jumper

Fall Back

Yesterday was a nice long day that allowed us to get a lot accomplished. Dinners for the week. Some over due gifts wrapped. We made a play-doh rainbow together. Two bushes were planted before it gets too cold. A massive pile of branches and sticks made their way to the curb. Garden gnomes were tucked away for the winter. And best of all leaf jumping. We raked just enough leaves to jump in and then enjoyed the fun.

I kept thinking some people are running a marathon today (people I know!) and felt like I should be accomplishing more. Then again, even with an extra hour, there is just so much time in a day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Home Time

Looking forward to some real down time at home this weekend. Hopefully the weather holds (as in no snow storms) so we can spend some time in the yard.
There are still two bushes to plant and a big bag of bulbs that need to find a spot. The boxwood needs trimming and there are pots to be stored. Hopefully this will be the last of the yard work for a while.

Oh and leaves to rake. We haven't had the chance to jump in leaf piles yet this year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is Going to Hurt Me More Than You

My little one is in the dental chair today getting her baby teeth filled or as they say at her kid friendly dentist "getting rid of the cavity creeps". Yesterday was one of the those parental lows. I felt awful when the cavity count came in, a parental failure.

She has a beautiful smile and brushes her teeth regularly which was not enough to overcome the fact she still drinks milk at bedtime. The cavity creeps took advantage this nighttime snack - big time.

Now I'm in a waiting room while my little one faces the world of dentistry. I'll face the bill later. Luckily, we have dental insurance and the balance, I'll view as my penance for those night time warm bottles and any skipped brushings.

Now, I'm just sitting here worrying if she's okay. Parents have to wait outside because they cause more anxiety than comfort. Yesterday she had so much fun during her check up and was thrilled to go back this morning. I'm hoping she doesn't walk out and look at me with a "what did you do to me" face.

Her tooth brush is in my hand bag and from now on I'll be sticking it in her mouth every chance I get.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Break the Rules

I know it's Tuesday, but I found this today and I'm using # 24 on the list as my excuse to post it. Hmm, breaking the rules is fun.

A Wintery Halloween

The drastic weather from this past weekend had me scrambling to find a warmer Halloween costume for my daughter. Her butterfly costume was set aside and instead she made the rounds as a "baby witch" in a very over sized hat. I in a coordinating costume, went as the "mommy witch".

The funny thing was she didn't want to be in matching costumes. I had my witch gear left over from last year, so I thought she'd be pleased (and warmer) with her own witch costume. Well she was, but she stated very strongly that everyone should have their own costume and I should go as a duck.

Well I love her madly but that's where I draw the line. Even if I could have found a duck outfit, there was no way, I was going around the neighborhood as a giant water fowl. Hmm, was that witchy of me? Or her? I mean a duck, really? I wish I knew where she gets her ideas. They are so wonderfully kooky.

Image: ANDY WARHOL Witch, from Myths

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To Fright or Not to Fright

Do you like scary movies? Personally I'm not a horror movie kind of girl. I can probably count the number of scary movies I have willingly sat through on one hand.

I remember watching Bela Lugosi walk slowly towards his prey in Dracula (1931). I was at a friend's house and while our parents chatted away in another room, the Transylvanian import was wrecking havoc in England. This was a movie that would not likely have aired in our den at home. I remember that the female victims were light deer in headlights, mesmerized by his terrifying gaze. I, too was frozen in fear and thankful when my mom walked in and said it's time to go home.

Unfortunately, my new fear of vampires didn't stay behind, but came home in the car with us and settled in for good. Now, I worried that sounds at my window might be a vampire bat trying to get in and opened closets with the notion a terrifying figure in a black cape might emerge. I had no interest in joining or even rubbing elbows with the undead.

So now all these years later I still avoid scary at all costs. My list of "Scary Movies I Have Endured" is like a badge of honor, a list built on personal acts of courage and great determination on my part. So here it is the list of scary movies I've watched (at least the one's I have not completely blocked from my memory.) Laugh away you terror fanatics. You are braver souls than I.

Rosemary's Baby
The Birds
The Omen
The Shining
The Others
Sleepy Hollow
What Lies Beneath
The Sixth Sense

I know, I know, where are the really scary slasher films? Hmm, not on my list.

Classic Jack-o' Lantern

Of all the Jack-o' lanterns on google search this is my favorite. There are fancier ones, but I like how straight forward this one is. I'm looking forward to carving our own "classic" this weekend.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is it Monday Already?

The weekend flew by too fast as usual. We managed to squeeze in the dance class, soccer class, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Other than that we mostly just chilled out at home which was fine with me.

Summer clothing needed paring down & packing up. And more bags were filled for the goodwill. I'm continuing my attempts at lightening our load and clearing space.

This week the focus will be on getting spooky and into the Halloween spirit.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Hurray for Friday

It's been one of those weeks and I couldn't be happier that it's Friday. I'm trying not to over plan the weekend but there's a ton of stuff I'd like to get done.

I've got huge to do list of chores, but I'm also trying to come up with a fun fall outing for us. What are your favorite Fall activities?

Still Life by Henri Matisse.

Lady Bug on the Loose

Lady bug, lady bug
fly away home

Wednesday night we found a lady bug in the bedroom and my daughter became very concerned about it's welfare and instantly attached to it. The little thing had no spots which made it a bit of an oddity and perhaps more deserving of sympathy.

I scooped it up on a card and it ended up flipped over on it's back. Once we got it righted, it was very still. My daughter was very worried that it wasn't moving any more.
I told her it was scared and she looked very sad and asked "Is it scared of me?" I reassured her it was just scared. I blew on it gently and it started to move. She was delighted.

I asked her if we should put it outside. Her lower lip went out and tears were immanent. "No, I'm going to miss that ladybug." It was pouring outside, so putting it out the window did seem cruel. After a discussion of where it should live and more concern about Lola the cat getting it, we settled on leaving it near her dollhouse in the other room. Of course it made off and now there is a ladybug on the loose, but tears were spared.

Quilting blocks designed by Phyllis Dobbs. Pattern available at the TLC.

You Are a Very Clever Mommy

The other night I caught my four year old using flattery to get me to put together her Lego Thomas set. I kept insisting it was bedtime, while she kept encouraging me to bend to her will by handing out compliments.

"Don't worry mommy, you're a very clever mommy, you can put it together" or "Good job, you're a very clever mommy." Clever is obviously a new favorite in her arsenal of vocabulary words. Of course it was hard not to take the bait or the compliments, so Thomas and his carousel were built before bedtime. You are a very clever little daughter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Escapism #2: Le Happy

I'd like to be hanging out in "Le Happy", whatever it is. I'm sure there must be cocktails involved.

Photo from the series Vanishing America by Michael Eastman.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Strange Fall Sightings

This morning while waiting for my train the sky was all shades of red toward the east and it made me think of a saying my father taught me - "Red sky at night sailor's delight, red sky in morning sailor take warning."

I was pondering what bad weather might be lurking ahead, when I suddenly turned around to spy a giant rainbow in the sky behind me. I was pleasantly startled. It was not raining and seemed to have no real reason to be there. I imagine the morning air was full of moisture, but preferred to see it in a less scientific light and decided it was hanging there as a good omen.

Yesterday, I was walking around downtown and came upon a tree that was half in bloom with what looked like white apple or cherry blossoms. It stopped me in my tracks and I took a photo just to convince myself I wasn't making it up. There was a honey bee happily gathering nectar, who I imagine, did not care that it's October and was just delighted to enjoy his flowery treat.
Now, I wondering if strange sightings come in threes. I'm excited to see what else October has to offer.

Cider and Roast Corn

This past weekend we braved the crowds and went apple picking again. So different from our previous outing when barely anyone was there and the trees were overflowing with apples.
We had to look hard for apples we could reach and a quiet stretch of orchard where we could enjoy the perfect fall day.

We managed to pick a nice mix of apples and fill our basket, before climbing into a packed hayride. We finished off with cider and roast corn. Cider and doughnuts might be more traditional, but the corn was amazing. Piping hot and buttery with a nice seasoned salt, the corn was a perfect contrast to the sweet cold cider and crisp fall day. Oh and we took home a bottle of cider and a bag of doughnuts for later.


My daughter was explaining "Fall" to me this weekend. "The leaves fall and so it's Fall and we have to hurry up so we don't miss it."
She's very excited to rake and make leaf piles. And indeed the leaves have started to fall suddenly.

The long grass under the cedar trees has turned golden brown and the deer have moved in from the back woods. Now they are spending their days resting together in the grass. They chose their spots, sometimes shifting configurations a few times, before settling in. It's almost like a scene from a safari, all these elegant heads and long ears sticking up in the grass.

The male deer are suddenly very visible with their antlers fully grown. Jousting playfully or just making a grand entrance. Surprisingly they often show up in pairs or small groups as well.
The twins that were born this summer visited this weekend, their spots are completely gone and the edges of their ears have turned black. Their coats have lost the burnt reddish brown of summer and are now like mocha - a sure sign of fall.

Hopefully this great weather will hold so that they deer can enjoy sunny naps and we can enjoy deer watching and jumping in lots of leaf piles.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Be Courageous

I just feel like I'm going to need it this week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cabin Fever

There's not a lot, not to like on David Coote's Design site. His cabin's design's are beautiful and light filled while still appropriately rustic. I particularly like his addition of a green house section to one of his designs. I wouldn't mind escaping to one of these spaces for some streamlined living, even if it were just in my back yard.

Via A Well Traveled Woman

Never Small Again

Last night my little one was talking about how her cat Lola was small like her. Lola (or Whoa Wa) is by no means a small cat. There are times when I am feeding her, that my daughter cautions me not to give her too much food or she'll become too big for the house and have to live outside. Looking at Lola, you could almost picture this scenario coming to life.

I was amused by Lola suddenly being referred to as small and remembered where some photos of Lola as a kitten were stashed. I pulled them out to show my little one. Lola was once truly small. She came into my life at the McCarren pool in Williamsburg. Approximately four weeks old, I needed to feed her with a special tiny bottle for weeks. She was just bigger than my Nokia cell phone.

At first, when my daughter saw the photos, she insisted it was not Lola. When I finally convinced her it was, she burst into tears. "Lola will never be small again." I could not get her to stop crying. She was so genuinely upset by the loss of smallness. Upset that she did not get to have or know the little kitten in the photos. She just cried and cried, saying over and over " but Lola will never be small again." I tried to comfort her by telling her Lola wanted to grow up and get big. It took at least a half an hour to restore her mood.

The photos are tucked away again, but I was saddened too. If my little one only knew the pangs I feel each day as I witness the loss of small. You my sweet little one are growing everyday and will never be quite so small again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Testing 123

I'm blogging on my iPad for the first time today on the train. I'm very pleased indeed to be able to use my train time productively. I usually hand write posts on the train and need to type them later, if I get the chance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No More Kisses!

We have entered a stage of not wanting kisses. This coincided with turning four. At least that was the initial excuse. "No more kisses now that I'm four years old!" Now I also get - no kisses when Thomas is on, no kisses when it's dark outside, when we are drawing , in the car, and the list goes on.

There's some hope, as I'm sometimes told "No more kisses till I'm five years old." So until next year, I guess I'll be sneaking kisses while she sleeps. I'm hoping this phase passes more quickly than that. Oh and if you're wondering, Hershey's chocolate kisses have not been banned, which makes me think bribes may be in order. A kiss for a kiss!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Inspiration: The Power of Small Things

I'm going to try and use the power of small things this week and see if it works. It seems to reason, that small positive steps will add up, in the same way small troublesome things seem to snowball.

So it's Monday morning and I'm going to try and take a positive attitude in to the week and rather than become overwhelmed with all there is to do, just work on taking small steps, getting little things out of the way. Let's see if I can get a snowball of good rolling.

Here's an inspirational post from Professor G for anyone else interested in exploring the power of small things.

Image: Small Things Work # 755, Martin Creed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Mood Board: #1

I still lamenting how short the summer seemed and having trouble adjusting to the idea of fall maybe because I'm dreading the winter that follows. I actually love the snow but not commuting in the bitter cold. But I'm rushing ahead a season!

Back to fall. In an effort to get inspired by and into the season I've been browsing and came up with some images to set the mood. And hopefully inspire some fall activities.

Judging from my first set of images, it seems as if eating will be one of my preferred fall activities. The recipe for the Chocolate Pear Tart can be found at Confessions of a Tart.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Picking Part 2: Simplest Apple Tart

After recovering from our outing in the orchards, the very full basket of apples that resulted was begging to be made into something. I searched for an apple pie recipe, I had success with a few years ago to no avail and decided if I didn't act soon our harvest would end up as as deer food. (More about that later.)

I opted for this "Simplest Apple Tart" posted on Smitten Kitchen with beautifully photographed instructions. I didn't follow Deb's advice on the sugar and went with the full five table spoons of Alice Water's original recipe calls for. Two would not have satisfied my sweet tooth or our mix of apples which included Granny Smith. The final tart was not overly sweet even with 5 generous tablespoons. We had the tart with ice cream and there was a nice contrast between the still semi-tart apples and the truly sweet ice cream. It was a perfect reward for our apple picking effort.

To make things even simpler I cheated and used pre-made pie crust. I cheated again and made the fold over edge by tearing a second pie crust and adding it on. No rolling pins were involved in the making of our tart and it turned out just fine. I'll take on pâte brisée another day when the tractor is working.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Early Apple Picking

We went apple picking early this year. In fact on the first day our local farm was open to the public for picking. We were looking forward to a hayride but we were so early, they were still fixing the tractor or running to get fuel for the tractor depending on who you spoke to.

So we had to walk out through the orchards ourselves and carry the basket as it filled up. My little one wanted to carry it in the beginning. She told me she was fours years old now and had enough "enjurey" to carry it herself. A few feet later she decided she wasn't strong enough yet and I took over. Without the extra weight she ran ahead of me, when I finally caught up out of breath and took the lead again, I was scolded for going too fast. We ended up going further out than I expected and got quite a work out in. The problem with a good apple picking session is, at least without door to door tractor service, by the time your done there's no "enjurey" left to make the pie.