Friday, December 28, 2012

Why Santa is so FAT

If you hang out at the Food Court at the mall enough you just might run into Santa! My little one discovered the Food Court this year and now any trip to the mall has to include a stop there. This certainly slowed me down in terms of getting the Christmas shopping done but was worth the scream of delight when she spotted Santa.

She literally shouted "Mommy look, look. Look at what I see." I turned around not knowing what to expect. Her excitement was followed by a very rational five year old declaring that Santa doesn't belong here. He is supposed to be sitting in the big chair taking photos. I smoothed things over by asking "How do you think Santa stays so fat." That did the trick and we had a good laugh.

What we don't have is a photo of her with jolly old St. Nick. She refused to go anywhere near the photo area declaring she was too shy. She actually refused to go down the escalator near his big chair. So I'll be putting this photo in the album where the cute photo with Santa should be. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Back After an Unexpected Break

The end of year seemed incredibly busy with not much 'me time' which meant not much blogging time. Maybe all the long hours at work this past year also made me a bit introverted as well. One of the things I' m determined to correct in 2013. Hmm, there are actually several things that need fixing in all of that. Guess the resolutions are starting to form. Oh no!

Resolutions are so daunting. But I missed my blogging time and need to remember no matter how busy things get not to lose sight of what really matters to me.

So here are a few things to consider for the resolution list:

Keep blogging
Take time out for me and mine
Stay in touch and social

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well it seems sweet again, now that the lights are working and the fridge is restocked with fresh food. Saturday was spent looking for gas, throwing out tons of bad food, deep cleaning the fridge and buying new groceries. And catching up on laundry.

That's makes us among the lucky ones. My heart goes out to those families who have much more serious damage to their homes to clean up or worse, no home as a result of the storm. It has been a very unsettling time here in the tri-state area.

Here's hoping the recovery is quick and that we don't see the likes of another Sandy for a long time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Rainy Close to the Week

The grey and rainy weather is not dampening my good mood today. It's Friday and I couldn't be happier that the work week is coming to a close.

Sure there are piles of laundry to be done and all the tidying I did last weekend has been undone, but I'm thrilled that I will be home and can put this work week behind me.

Now, I just need to remember to find at least one really fun thing for us to do.

Growing Up

My five year old was talking marriage last night. Her aunt sent her a very pretty white dress her cousin had worn one Christmas when she was little and my little one decided it meant she was getting married.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when she said "but who am I going to marry?" Then she became all sad and concerned as she considered her impending nuptials. Where would she live? Did she need to leave home?

When I told her she was too young to get married, she wanted to know how old she needed to be. I hesitated and said at least 21(that's a big at least).

She finished slaying me by asking "So 5 years old is too short to get married?". Oh boy, part of me just wanted to say please stay small and live with mommy forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Late Bloomers

Hurrah for zinnias, marigolds, morning glories and all of the other late bloomers. Our garden is still producing these hardy blooms as well as nasturtium and herbs. A little bit of summer lingering as Fall sets in and the days get noticeably shorter.

While these late bloomers linger and the rest of the garden is shutting down, my plans for next year's garden are starting to form. Next year we are going to plant even more zinnias. They make such great cheerful little bouquets. And add moon flowers to the morning glories. Plant more varieties of marigolds and add other cutting flowers. It's easy to be ambitious now, we'll see what I'm up to in the Spring.

Fall a Season of Renewal

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

Ah, Fitzgerald, a beautiful notion from a beautiful man. Here's to fresh starts in the fall.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Basket Full of Apples

There's still a huge basket of apples left from our apple picking outing last weekend. I was proud of myself for making a crumble last weekend, even though I used a box mix for the topping.

I'd like to say I'm going to be more ambitious and make an apple pie from scratch this week, but I'm a realist. I already have store bought crust in the fridge waiting.

I'm planning a Rustic Apple Tart thinking the homey look will make up for my skipping the Pâté Brise recipe.

Add some vanilla ice cream and nobody's likely to complain.

I'm planning on trying this uber simple recipe from YumSugar and skipping the pears. That will mean four less apples in the basket.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reading Room #1

Today would be a perfect day to curl up with a warm blanket and a good book. When I first saw this room tucked under the eveaves and lined with books, I fell in love. It also reminded me that I've been thinking about creating a regular little feature here called "Reading Room" that would match great rooms with great (or just favorite) books.

Hmm, what would be the perfect book to read in this cozy loft? For some reason I'm picturing a children's adventure book like The Pheonix and the Carpet by E.B. Nesbit or the memoir of an adventurous soul, maybe Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. Maybe because the peaked roof and the bed on the floor remind me of a childrens play teepee or a fancy safari tent. What book would you pull from the shelves?

Photo from the Penfield's Fall look book. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Festivals, Apple Picking and the Harvest Moon

Last night as we were driving home, tired from a long weekend packed with fall activities, a huge orange orb was looking down at us. The harvest moon hung over the fields and lit the way home.

It was a beautiful fall weekend and we managed to squeeze in two hayrides, a pony ride, face painting, pumpkin painting, apple picking, dance class, and even most of the laundry.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with so many apples, get the laundry put away and find time for a nap.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Last Minute Pesto

I have a bunch of basil in the garden that I keep meaning to harvest before it's too late. I have to get inspired to make the extra effort one night this week and make a big batch of pesto.

The thought of a delicious bowl of pasta or a homemade pizza topped with it, for when the real cold sets in, will hopefully get me to pull out the food processor.

Photo and a recipe I may try, I like the idea of the lemon.

Feeling Fall

This morning it really felt like fall. I'm still wearing a pair of opened toed shoes but know I'm pushing it. The air conditioning is off on the train, thank goodness and the quality of the light has changed. Time to think warm clothing.

This Marc Jacobs shawl has been on my mind since I first saw it. I think I can figure out the pattern and am going to attempt my own version. Hopefully the look will work without the hat.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Ahead

Wow a busy first week of school! And it was only three days long. I would love to just crash, but boy, do I have a lot to do. Knowing I'll never get it all done, it's definitely time for a "must" to do list.

1. Buy new dance outfit and shoes for the little one.
2. Send out cards to the birthday Aunts. Figure out gifts to send.
3. Birthday gift and cake for my little one who turns five tomorrow.
4. Figure out a bigger party for her later in the month.
5. Outfits organized for next week.

And then there is all the other stuff I want to get done

1. Bags of old stuff to the Salvation Army.
2. Last years dance recital outfit to the dry cleaners.
3. Mulch around the big tree on the side of the house.
4. Two doors and window trim painted in the laundry room.
5. Pack up some of our summer gear.

Yikes! Better put running shoes on.

Still Summer

With school started and the pool closed, it's easy to forget it is still summer. Happily the sunflowers that are sprinkled around town are lending some end of summer cheer. This bunch planted next to a street sign made me smile.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Swimming in the Rain

We were so set on getting in some last minute swimming time, that we braved the dark clouds and headed to the pool on Saturday.

And we are so happy we did. It seemed cold at first, but we dove in and had our last summer swim under a threatening grey sky. No matter, the water actually feels warmer when it starts to rain. The rain makes swimming seem extra special and the drops on the water are pretty to look at. We sang "Rain, Rain Go Away"and "It's Raining It's Pouring" and played "Ring Around the Rosie". I wonder if my little one will still want to do that next year?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Country Garden

Up on hill behind a white farm house sits a modest country garden with towering sun flowers. The little square is surrounded by vast fields of corn and overlooked by huge silos. A rickety fence guards its tiny perimeter from deer tired of the easy pickings in the corn fields. It's diminutive size contrasting the abundance held with in.
Is there anything better than summer in the country?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweet as Peach

Oy Vey!

Leaving Brooklyn has been the major project of the summer. It was hard to give up my apartment and final ties to Williamsburg. Now I'm faced with a lot of boxes and a packed garage that need dealing with. I'm going to take a little break from sorting and tossing and try to get in full summer mode for a few weeks before fall sneaks up on all of us. Oy vey indeed!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cannes Anyone?

It's past the midpoint at this year's Festival de Cannes and needless to say, I am not enjoying an espresso at Cafe Roma on the Croisette this morning. Tant pis pour moi . Instead, I've been getting a dose of French cool watching some of the footage that is posted in the Daily section of the festivals official site.

I've also been been creating my "must see" film list from this year's selection. You can view trailers of most of the films in the Competition category on the site as well.  Here are a few that are topping my list:

Moonrise Kingdom
Like Someone in Love
Rust and Bone

Monday, May 21, 2012

Affordable Luxuries #14: Peonies


Along with violets and lilacs, peonies top my favorite flowers list. There are a few blooming in our yard right now which are sadly getting beaten by the rain. I'm going to treat myself to a bouquet from the corner deli today while they are still available and enjoy watching them burst in to full bloom. Ten dollars and a few stems pay off in terms of flower power when it comes to peonies.

Images: Girl with Peonies by Espranza Moya
Jackson Dress from Plumo
Drawing Study by Martin Schongauer

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Inspiration: Beetles & Beatles

This is so random, it's making me laugh. Which is not a bad thng for a Monday morning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Overlooked #1: The Hearst Tower Atrium

I too rarely get the chance to go out at lunch during the week. If I do, it is usually just long enough to run out and buy something to eat mindlessly while I sit at my desk working. The sad state of the lunch hour is a topic for another day and another post.

My point for this post is, that in our haste, we often overlook so much of what is worth seeing in our environment. Fifteen extra minutes away from the office the other day allowed myself and a coworker to experience the atrium of the Hearst Tower and it was worth the little bit of extra time it took. I work only a few blocks away from the building and pass it all the time. I've thought about peeking in before but always feel rushed during the week. Any sense of adventure or exploration seems out of the question.

The space, with its dramatic yet gentle waterfalls, was light filled and upbeat. With the lovely sound of water and as my companion pointed out, a pleasant scent. Perhaps most enjoyable of all, was the guard who greeted us. Instead of making us feel like we were trespassing, he enthusiastically greeted us and took great pleasure in showing off the space where he works.

A stark contrast to the dark entrance of my office where even employees with IDs get the once over. I'd probably be grumpy too, if I spent all day in an atrium with two very large and not very attractive paintings as a view. All atriums should be as original and welcoming. Bravo to architect Lord Norman Foster for creating a truly beautiful space that is green to boot.

I'd Rather Be in Bed

That about sums it up this morning. I'm not a huge fan of mugs with messages on them, but the one pictured  in the background, pretty much captures how I feel in the morning when I make my coffee.

As for the two baby burrowing owls, I think they have the right idea, but where would I find a tea cup big enough to to hide in? You can get the full story of these two feathered friends here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For the Love of Lilacs

If you believe Greek mythology then we all have Pan to thank for the beautifully fragrant lilac bush. His unwanted pursuit of the nymph Syringa lead the desperate nymph to transform herself into a syringa bush or lilac.

Apparently, taking the form of tree or bush was not an uncommon way of spurning unwanted advances in ancient Greece. Syringa joins Daphne who chose to transform herself into a bay laurel to escape Apollo. Syringa's dramatic metamorphosis takes the cold shoulder to a whole other level. Oddly enough Lilacs are considered a symbol of early love.

Mythology aside, lilacs are among my very favorite flowers and the few weeks they are available each year, a season to be savored big bunches at a time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Gets Rainy

Yesterday was one long rain shower. It was as if April decided to squeeze every shower into a single day. Any hope of getting outside to garden or just play in the yard faded pretty quickly so we took advantage of the weather and did absolutely nothing!

By nothing, I mean we hung out and had breakfast, watched videos, did laundry, cooked, including making a little cake, did some knitting (then needed to pull it out), read a little, played games on the iPad, napped and did more laundry. Even with all of the laundry, it wasn't a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday.

What's your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Image: April Showers fabric by Alexander Henry Fabrics.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Favorite Tree

It may seem odd to say one has a special relationship with a tree but this cherry tree that stands in lot sized park on Driggs Avenue has been a friend of sorts for many years.

I have walked past it endless times over the years and photographed it many times. I have looked forward to seeing it bloom in Spring and it has lifted my spirits many days when things could have been easier.

The photos never seem to capture the full splendor of this tiny tree that explodes with blossoms and offers so much beauty to an otherwise ordinary Brooklyn corner.

I took this shot yesterday on a quick visit to what will soon officially be my former neighborhood. It was past the height of it's blossoming but still beautiful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What are you thinking?

Hopefully this is what I will be thinking today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Domino Back at the Newstand?

I took a quick look I the magazine store on my way to work this morning and did a double take. There was a Domino magazine on the racks. Could it be that one of my favorite magazines was being published again?

I was so disappointed when it was cancelled in 2009. I remember there was a sweepstakes for a trip to Paris in the last issue which was cancelled. Today's issue was more of a compendium of the best of Domino issues past. But it gave me hope that this might just signal the resurrection of this amazing decorating/life style magazine. Please be true!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Signs of Spring

Forsythia, violets and bunny ears all sure signs of Spring.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's in Your Easter Basket?

I'm behind this year on putting the little one's Easter basket together. Partly because I've been busy. Mainly because I don't want it to be all candy and as cute as they are, there's only so many stuffed bunnies a little person can own.

As a result it's turning into a hodge podge of little things like seed packets for the garden, fairy stickers, a silly putty egg, a Thomas book, colored bubbles and chocolate. It doesn't look like something out of the pages of Martha Stewart but it's filled with things a four year might actually enjoy playing with.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Time for Herb Gardening

I'm delighted to have a head start on growing fresh herbs this year. Thanks to the mild winter this year I already have fresh chives and tarragon in my garden.

The garden looks a complete wreck, but when I was cleaning up my pots, I found new growth under the old in one of my herb pots. The chives and tarragon never completely died and are already large enough for cutting.

Medieval Herb Garden at Rye Castle in Sussex England from the Virtual Tourist.