April 18, 2014

Hello Friday...Bits 'n Bobs

Skyline

Happy Friday! I'm in the midst of planning Zoe's second birthday.  This is only her second annual birthday, and already I'm experiencing moments of anxiety.  Will it rain on our outdoor event?  Do I have to keep up with the Jones'?  What exactly happens at a party for two-year-olds?  How much is too much?  If I go all out, what will I do for next year?  

I'm managing to keep it all in perspective by holding a gathering of friends and family at a public food festival.  It will have a waterfront view and a custom dessert table just for the party.  So it will be fun for the adults, be outdoors for the kids and offer yummy desserts for a personalized touch.  I remind myself, that at two, I don't need to impress my child; it's just another day for her.  Therefore, I'm focusing on making this a gathering of people we truly enjoy being with, and who enjoy being with her.  And that's more important than spending gobs of money on shiny, colorful entertainment.  For now, anyway.  Now, only if it won't rain, we're golden.  In the meantime, some bits 'n bobs for you!  Have a wonderful weekend!

{ } I love the nakedness of these leather shelves.

{ } Been enamored with black & white paintings lately.

{ } If you’re a mom, you’ll feel redeemed by this.

{ } Turning eggshells into candles!

{ } If you like jigsaw puzzles, you’ll love this app!

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April 16, 2014

J. Crew's Liquor Store

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I just love New York!  Next time you are in Tribeca, check out J. Crew’s men’s shop housed in a landmark 1825 townhouse that used to be an old liquor store.  What could be better than stylish fashion surrounded in excellent decor?

{Photos via A Continuous Lean; Remodelista}

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April 14, 2014

DXV by American Standard

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American-Standard

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You’ve heard of American Standard.  When I received an invitation to their new Manhattan showroom introducing their DXV line, it sounded like an event I should not miss.  I found out what their big news was: DXV represents American Standard’s new luxury kitchen and bathroom line, and pulls from their storied past.  I call it, “American Standard’s greatest hits."  Of course, modified with fresh silhouettes and details.  By the way, DXV, stands for Decade 15, as in they’ve been in business for 150 years.

There’s a reason why I salivate over beautiful kitchen and bath design.  How often do you get to choose a new fixture, sink or bathtub?  Certainly not on a regular basis.  It’s not that kind of disposable product.  It’s meant to last through the times, and because of that, it’s a special occasion when the opportunity presents itself.  Also, I never underestimate the pure joy of loving your bathroom or kitchen.  It makes my day, everyday.  Check out more on DXV!

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April 11, 2014

Hello Friday...Bits 'n Bobs

Records

Happy Friday! Who ever said it was a good idea to toss your record collection once CDs came to be?  It's such a shame because we are now starting from scratch and slowly amassing a new vinyl collection.  Collecting happens slowly, and whenever we pass a flea market or used record shop.  It's so much fun!  Behold my crown jewel, Madonna's first LP for $6!  Some bits 'n bobs for you...have a wonderful weekend!

{ } How to put a toddler to bed in 100 easy steps.  

{ } Check out what kind of bangs will go with your face shape. 

{ } This article written by a former personal assistant to a Hollywood star was amusing. 

{ } Anatomy of an outstanding résumé. 

{ } Make these ombre eggs.  It’s easier than you think! 

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April 9, 2014

One cake, Many toppings

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Isn’t this cake brilliant?  I found it on a lovely blog called, Griottes.  It’s in French, so I can’t be 100% certain of the entire backstory even with Google translate.  But I think you can see and understood the idea, and I had to share the visual.

It makes perfect sense to make a cake like this, don’t you agree?  Not everyone likes fruit as a topping, and those who like fruit would never touch nuts or chocolate.  This cake is for everyone!  It also seems she used aluminum foil to create separate wedges for each piece but I’m not sure why.  The slices are different sizes, maybe to accommodate the different topping sizes?  If you speak French or have a theory, do share!  In any case, perhaps you’ll see this cake and it will give you beaucoup idées!

{Photo via Griottes}

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April 7, 2014

Recipes: from messy to organized

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At the moment here is my recipe system: dog-eared magazines, random tear sheets, yellowed newspaper clippings, notebooks, Post-Its tagging various cooking periodicals and a Word document with “must try” recipe links.  I really can’t even call it a system.  It’s more like a rag-tag, lazybone process, which entails pleas of “Where did I see that recipe last” and “Oh, I hope I find it.” 

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I found a free app called ReciFoto, which I downloaded onto my iPhone.  You take a photo of all of your recipes, and the app collects them for you.  Imagine all of grandma’s handwritten ingredients and grease-smudged magazine pages digitized forever, and all in one place.  The app describes itself as the Instagram for recipes, which is to say it’s a running stream of your recipe photos.

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Here’s a rundown of the app’s basic functions:

{ } “My recipes”: take photos of your collection, keep them private or make them public for other ReciFoto members to Like, comment and share
{ } “Public recipe list”: scroll through other members’ recipes
{ } Search box and categories help narrow down options

Note: there isn’t a way to categorize your own recipes but if you click in your profile, you’ll find the number of recipes you’ve photographed.  Tap to see a list of your titled recipes, which you can scroll through.

All in all, ReciFoto is a basic organization app without distracting bells and whistles, and it’s a very good start from where I stand.

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April 4, 2014

Hello Friday...Bits 'n Bobs

Shoes

In a New York magazine cover story on the influence that this city had on the sound of music, it described the petri dish that was unique only to NYC.  At the infamous Grand Scarlet Ball held on March 15, 1883, you found the “microcosm of New York City’s pop-music culture…the collision of races and classes; the mix of high and low, of grit and glamour; the uptown slummers rubbing elbows with the downtown demimonde.”  For example, New York took the pure sounds of New Orleans, transformed it into pop music and sent it back out to the world.  The article is riveting, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing here.  I was immediately nostalgic for the grittier, edgier city I grew up in.  The one that wasn’t so slick and polished.

Then I walked by a bag of garbage on the street that had split open.  The contents just seemed so interesting, recently tossed, so clean and organized.  Oooh, mysterious.  The singlet shoes were completely glamorous.  How did only one shoe get thrown out?  Even in New York, the garbage is chic, and makes you wonder who was this cool chick?  Right?  The mystery deepens.  Ponder, while you read these bits ‘n bobs…happy Friday!

{ } A glimpse into living in New York City as a parent.

{ } I love the idea of using pencils with the days printed on them. 

{ } If you love ricotta… 

{ } These DIY mottled dyed eggs are gorgeous!

{ } When small closets turn into a home office niche, and look this good.

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April 2, 2014

Brunch at Schapiro's

Shapiros

Brunch at Schapiro’s on the Lower East Side was such a great experience.  We sat in one of their large rounded banquettes, and treated ourselves to a well-deserved late lunch and a glass of wine.  This was one of the most comfortable restaurants I’ve been in.  The high ceilings and natural light flooding in was perfect for a Sunday meal.  The interior design was like a candy shop; you can’t stop looking.  Everything you see comes from salvaged scraps and artifacts from historic Lower East Side establishments.  The antique mirrors and patterned wallpaper found tucked in various niches were pretty charming.  

As for the menu, if you have a hankering for French toast, their bananas foster version with ricotta will take care of that, not to mention make a fine dessert substitute.  By the time I took my last bite, I pretty much reached my threshold on the sweet ‘o meter.  I had heard about their spinach and mushroom side, which was simple, and totally hit the spot. 

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March 31, 2014

Smorgasburg & Brooklyn Flea Indoors

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In the winter months, Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg share a space indoors in Williamsburg.  Flea market and food under one roof spells a very good day!  This is the last weekend indoors, and in a few weeks, both will head their separate ways, and find their summer homes outdoors.

Held in an empty warehouse, it offered a microcosm of what you normally experience during the summer months.  At long last, I tried my first Ramen Burger.  I have no idea how this food vendor escaped me all this time but I finally got to see what all the talk was about.  It was hilarious eating a burger with ramen noodles fashioned into round sturdy discs as buns.  I LOVE ramen, so this was super fun.  I was also impressed with the custom paper wrap that was stitched in a curved shape to round seamlessly around the burger and catch the drippings.

Inglorivs Kaburayvs had a very epicurious item on their menu called Brooklyn Tamago, which is a steamed egg in a jar.  The glass jar touch was so well done.   The line to ordering Palenque Homemade Colombian Food’s arepas was fast but the cooking took a little more time.  In the meantime, I had fun snapping some shots of the ladies making them.  While David ate his arepa, I started scouting around for my dessert choice.  I zoomed in on For the Love of Pie pretty quickly.  Chocolate in a pecan and pumpkin mini pie?!  Yes, alright. 

After we ate, we walked into the Brooklyn Flea section but basically spent the rest of our time at Manny’s Collectibles going through crates and crates of used vinyl records.  We walked away with Madonna’s first album, which I had been salivating to find, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ and 2-3 selections of Van Halen, including their first release. 

Looking forward to the first week of April to eat and flea out of doors!

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March 28, 2014

Hello Friday...Bits 'n Bobs

Zoe-wallpaper

Happy Friday!  I've decided that decorating for someone whose personality hasn’t fully formed is quite difficult.  My toddler is basically at the mercy of my taste, visions and desires, when it comes to designing her bedroom.  I avoided the challenge because I didn’t feel it was fair to impose décor that didn’t complement her personality.  It’s a catch-22, don’t you agree?  I’m embarrassed that her room to this day is spare except for basic functional furniture and walls painted the blushest of pinks.  I recently put up alphabet decals in classic lettering in pinks and grays, and always fight the little voice inside that says, “She probably loves primary colors.” 

I try to think back to my childhood room, and how I felt about it.  It was all chosen and set up for me: wallpaper with little boys and girls with blue hair.  So weird to imagine it today but it definitely wasn’t short of visual stimulation growing up.  I didn’t hate it or love it.  I just accepted it for what it was, and took joy in it.  As a child, you feed on what is given to you, which coincides with the belief that your environment shapes you into the person you become. 

I definitely didn’t want a baby-ish, girly girl room for Zoe, so I have kept it bare long enough to catch a glimpse of her personality as it develops.  I saw this Albert Hadley wallpaper named ‘Fireworks’ and it was perfect.  The pattern is explosive, asymmetrical and free-formed making it a good foundation to build on as she chooses her own style; the colorway is classic black on cream that will grow with her; and it is the perfect foil to the barely pink painted walls that's a touch sophisticated.  I’ll hang the gold-sequined letters, which spell her name on this background, and then I think we’re off to a good start.  And when she can speak, perhaps she’ll point at her wall, and say, “Yuck, mommy.”  Well then, at least I’ll have a clue.

{ } I found my favorite new mini pie company, and Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Swirl tops my list.

{ } This eye cream with avocado oil sounds like a keeper, as well as yummy.

{ } This Williamsburg restaurant: gluten-free pizza, gluten-free chicken parmesan and vegan kale cupcake.

{ } I think plaid looks great on a man.

{ } Slowing down is the key to success.

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