Archive for May, 2009

spotted at the salon

May 31, 2009

I went to the beauty salon today. In an effort to make better use of my time I took some magazines with me so I can start clearing them out of my stash. Looking through magazines makes me wish I had unlimeted funds so I can purchase every little item that makes my inner voice scream – I want that!

My current I want that item comes from Food and Wine Magazine (June 2009) – sphere shaped ice cubes. You can purchase them at momastore.org.

 

via Food and Wine Magazine

via Food and Wine Magazine

 

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baking up chocolate goodness

May 30, 2009

I don’t read too many food blogs. I don’t appreciate food enough to really justify the time spent on food blogs. Don’t get me wrong.  I adore food and I love baked goods. Oh, and let’s not forget that I drool with delight over gorgeous images of food that has been perfectly styled BUT I don’t appreciate food like a foodie does.

My other issue with food blogs is that I’m always weary of people who seem to enjoy 90 percent of the new recipes they make. Here’s the thing, I don’t have a sophisticated palette. My palette is – average. My palette likes the occasional Cheesecake Factory or a biscuit from Red Lobster. I live in New York City, a city of great food enormity, and once a year I skip fine dinning and treat myself to some good old Red Lobster or Olive Garden. Not the proudest thing I’ve ever admitted to but both those places can dish out some yummy stuff.

It’s like this, I rarely go visit my parents in Ohio but once when I traveled to see them I told my mother all I wanted to do was hit up fast food joints that we don’t have in New York City. In my real life I’m not a fast food eater but 6 years without an Arby’s Chicken Sandwich and suddenly it can seem like a the best thing on earth. Or Long John Silver’s, I love me some Long John’s chicken. So you see, no sophisticated palette here.

So yes, I have an average palette and I get weary when little old me is content with such types of mass produced food and these foodies are making all these amazing sounding recipes and raving about it but then I go make it and I’m like… Red Lobster would have been better. Ok, I don’t actually say that but if I make a recipe that is being raved about by people who KNOW food and then I’m like it tasted like… um… nothing special then I go on to think how is my crap palette unable to appreciate this. And I do believe that these people know food and it’s clear they love food but I get weary. Eventually my weariness leads to self doubt. I feel a bit crappy that I can’t seem to honestly rave about the things I make yet it take me a whole afternoon to prepare one dish. And so there I sit having spent half a day on a dish that I serve to my husband and think about how I could have done something better with my time.

BUT, one of the few baking/food blog that I do check out regularly is My Baking Addiction. Jamie posts a lot and with photos and commentary and it’s food that is simple enough that I don’t find myself lost. And Jamie does seem to like most of what she makes so I get weary at time but my inner voice tells me she knows what she’s doing and her stuff just IS that great. This all has me wanting to test out a lot of the recipes so – I am.

Recently I made these brownies since in the last two years I’ve discovered that I love brownies. Now, I’ve never made brownies from scratch so I feel a bit thrown. You know how brownies have that top crust that flakes. My brownies didn’t have that; they were dense and thick like cake. They were good but just not brownies like I know brownies or should I say – like a brownie from a box mix. I didn’t add nuts and maybe I needed that to break up the thickness so if I made them again I’d add something. Maybe not nuts but chips of some sort. Now the frosting on the brownie was delicious, just don’t refrigerate too long. I gave them to some new friends that moved into our hood and they seemed to love them… but they are new friends so it’s very possibly they lied. But then again, the husband mentioned them a few times so I’m gonna have to believe he liked them.

I never got a photo of my brownies but here goes a photo of the ones Jamie shared on her blog.

 

Hershey's Brownies via My Baking Addiction

Hershey's Brownies via My Baking Addiction

 

And just last week I made this recipe, Black Magic Cake. I made cupcakes rather then a cake and sent them to my husbands job. We both liked the cake and it was pretty simple to make but I think my boxed cakes are pretty darn yummy so I probably wouldn’t just make this to make it. If I were having people over that know a cake from scratch and appreciate a cake from scratch then I’d certainly whip it up. Next time I’d try it with a different frosting… a different frosting might send it over the top and the cake was super moist. So very yummy indeed.

 

My husband sent me an email from work saying – your cupcakes were a hit! I was over the moon from the complement. Then he forwarded me an email that a coworker had sent. She said –

Rebecca’s Cupcakes are the best I’ve had in a long time!!! And you know I’m a cupcake connoisseur. She should start a business!

O-kay, I think she took it a bit far with that last line but I was on a high after hearing that. And maybe all this just means I should stop being weary and accept that I don’t know good when I taste it. Perhaps all the food bloggers are onto something and I’m just not sophisticated enough to get it but I should trust that they know what they are talking about. Here go two images I took of my Black Magic Cupcakes and frosting.

Chocolate Frosting paired with Black Magic Cake

Chocolate Frosting paired with Black Magic Cake

a friday pretty

May 29, 2009

image via House Beautiful

image via House Beautiful

Alabama? Really!

That’s what I think when I see these lovely photos. It’s a nice knock on the head that beauty is everywhere.

“I wanted something unpretentious and straightforward but also a simple, modern background.”

Betsy Brown

Well, I think she nailed it. Such gorgeous oak floors and the mirror is pretty darn stunning as well (see below). And the exterior, you don’t find something like that in New York City.

via House Beautiful

via House Beautiful

via House Beautiful

via House Beautiful

lists: here we go again

May 27, 2009

 

via Bigs and Fishes by Lupin

via Bugs and Fishes by Lupin

 

It is with much embarrassment that I admit to seriously slacking in my updates. I’m doing a lot these days so lack of topics to discuss isn’t the problem. Case in point, my closet is finished and in fact it’s being lived in but photos haven’t been snapped. Opps! In keeping my annual goals I have continued to test new recipes each month but again, I’ve neglected to take photos a few times. All is not lost, I have documented a few dishes with my camera but I’ve flaked on drafting up a post to mention them. And I’ve even wrapped a few gifts but again, haven’t gotten around to downloading images. Ack!

I need an intervention of sorts, don’t you think? This would make a good To Do List. You know, down the line a bit. See, I can’t even pretend that I’ll get to any of this in the next day or so. In fact, we’re just coming off a long weekend so you’d think I had time but no – I was too busy running my son around town trying my best to bribe him into loving me more then the nanny.

I think a list is in order. Things I need to do in here:

  1. Post an update on my closet
  2. Post an update on dished I’ve cooked/baked
  3. Post on gift wrapping
  4. Post an update on some deliriously cute things I’ve recently spotted

And there are also projects I want to tackle. Like…

  1. Visiting with my friend Stacey
  2. Hunting down some vintage stamps
  3. Finding and possible purchasing a bird cage
  4. Finding a calligrapher
  5. Figuring out a suitable organization system for my craft supplies
  6. Making another crepe paper flower

I’m giving myself 30 days to do as much as I can. If anyone else is working on a tall order of a To Do List I’d be interested to hear. Or, if you have help to offer on my own list I’m all ears.

fashion: nail polish

May 25, 2009

Our new nanny started last week and she is phenomenal. I know, I know – it’s much too early to make such a declaration but she is. In fact, she’s so phenomenal that my dear son cries when my husband and I arrive home. It is clear to us that this is a case of him really really liking her and not about disliking her. And yes, it’s clear to us that he is not crying over some enormous joy regarding the arrival of his beloved parents. No, it is much too clear that this isn’t the case. He cries because our arrival signals that the phenomenal nanny must be leaving. Her day with him is over.

See, she IS phenomenal. My son apparently loves her more then his parents. See, phenomenal!

What more could a loving mother ask for from her nanny? A nanny so phenomenal that her child cries at the thought of her departure.

O-kay, on some level it sucks! There, I said it. The nanny is phenomenal and now my child cries when I come home because this other person (who he is clearly having more fun with) isn’t a 24-hour permanent fixture at our residence. BUT, I will hold onto the humor in all of this and keep believing that it will get better. It will work out. At some point Graycen will come to his senses and realize how enthusiastic he should be upon my arrival home. And yes, at this point my focus is all on me and getting my son to once again realize how much he adores ME. My husband can take up this matter with our son on his own time.

And I’m not above bribery. Lets see, perhaps a nice cold Coca Cola will turn him around. I don’t believe in serving such things to an 18 month old but if that’s what it takes to get a smile out of my son when I come home next week, then so be it. And thank goodness for that upcoming payday. I’m saving for some décor stuff but perhaps a trip to the toy store IS in our near future. Whatever it is, I’m not above doing it.

See, this is going to work out! Believe me.

While on the topic of nannies and me I should also mention that I stayed home from work one day last week. I like to stick around and observe things when we start with a new person. But I’m not the hovering type. I stick around, explain things, chitchat for a while but then vanish frequently. To be around but not around can be very telling. I find it a great way to soak things in. But, all that vanishing also meant I got some much needed me time. I decided I wouldn’t spend that time cleaning or organizing. It was to be about me. I rarely do that but I do deserve it. So, I emailed dear friends that I’ve been out of touch with for much too long. I painted my nails, which I haven’t done in ages. Chanel nail colour 73, violette. I cancelled a few subscriptions that I was wasting money on and I also began reading a book I’ve wanted to delve into for much too long. It was a good day indeed.

I bought my Chanel polish a good four or five years ago. I’d show you this magnificent color but it seems they don’t sell it anymore. It’s a perfect steely violet metallic color. And Chanel polish, though a bit pricey, is truly lovely. It has a perfectly smooth consistency that glides on. It doesn’t bubble, dries quickly and as you can see – it’s long lasting. After all this time my bottle of polish hasn’t gooped up or dried out.

Here go two summer colors that I think would look pretty hot with a perfect summer tan. 

 

limited edition chanel polish via nieman marcus

limited edition chanel polish via nieman marcuslimited edition chanel nail polish in feu du russie

 

limited edition nail polish by chanel, color feu du russie

limited edition nail polish by chanel, color feu du russie

happy memorial day

May 24, 2009
Memorial Day 2008, Central Park

Memorial Day 2008, Central Park

stuff 187

Memorial Day 2008, Central Park

mommy?

mommy?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I took those photos. My baby, who is still my baby, is so not that little baby anymore. I miss him – the chubby cheeked little bundle of joy. He’s not so chubby these days but still little, still my bundle of joy. Still a lot of fun but also a lot less eager to be held and cradled. I miss those days but I love these day’s, too. And here we are, exactly one year later.. Memorial Day Weekend.

Did you know that Memorial Day use to be called Decoration Day? Cause I hadn’t. I think I prefer the latter. I also hadn’t known that people decorated their doors and windows in honor of this great holiday. Cause if I had, I think it would have been fun to do that this year. Nevertheless I will be certain to take some time to honor those who have died in our nations service. We will probably have a quiet day at the park. Much like last year.

Happy Memorial Day!

home decor: books

May 22, 2009

For a while there I had to take the train into work. If you recall this post then you might remember that I much prefer the bus. But things came up and my need to take the slightly shorter commute was necessary. Well, this week I have managed to take my beloved city bus into work again. It’s crazy how much I miss my early morning sight seeing. How quickly window displays change and new things pop up.

While traveling crosstown today, the bus stopped at a red light on 59th and Fifth Avenue. For several minutes we sat in traffic. My thoughts left me as I began to take in the beautiful rhythm of the window washers arm swaying back and forth as he skillfully washed the window. There’s a technique if you weren’t aware and if you’ve never taken the time to really study a washer in action I suggest you do. The way they move their arm up and down and back in forth in a figure eight motion is – ingenuous. In seconds they have a perfectly clean window with no streaks, no lines, no watermarks. It seems all so simple. The whole scene is just a delight to take, like a dance between the hand, the wrist, the pull of the squeegee. As everything slides from one direction to the next there’s a twist, a turn, a spin. It’s that simple beauty.

 

Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing

Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing

 

But what I really wanted to mention was the banner hanging in the window of the Rizzoli Bookstore that caught my eye. I saw it three days in a row and always thought “I must Google that as soon as I log in at work.” It wasn’t until today when the banner was gone that I realized I hadn’t Googled that book – Downtown Chic. I finally got around to that today and I’m so happy I did. What had initially caught my eye was the large pom-pom style light fixture in the image but the reviews have me realizing I need to get this book for so many more reasons.

If you’ve checked it out, please let me know. And if you want to read more about the authors there was a good write up on All the Best: A Passport to Stylish Living.

And if anyone knows more about this piece of art, please spill!

 

decor by Sixx Design

decor by Sixx Design

words to live by

May 21, 2009

DVF: superfly pants in white

DVF: superfly pants in white

 

DVF: hazelle top in venitian sun

DVF: hazelle top in venitian sun

I love quotes, I always have. Since a young age my life has been shaped and changed by snippets of words I’ve heard. And I know this may sound a bit outlandish but my world, my life, has been enriched by so many quotes that I have taken in, absorbed and went on to live by.

My love of quotes means I also collect them. Not in a fancy way. No decretive sheets of paper in lacquered frames with meaningful thoughts are hanging on my walls. My collection of quotes is made up of little scraps of faded paper filled with inspirational words and phrases. The reason being, in most cases I hear something great and as I can feel the magnitude of those words I frantically grab at anything I can scribble on. A receipt, a Stick-It note, the envelope of recently received junk mail. Sometimes I later rewrite the quote in my better, non-scribble, penmanship but often I don’t.

Recently I was doing a mass cleaning and came across several folded up pieces of color paper that were stashed away in a tin pencil holder. As I unfolded each piece I was greeted with quotes that at one time held so much meaning in my life, in the person I wanted to be. They were such a joy to read and in the end I couldn’t part with most of them. So there I sat on my leather stool refolding them and stuffed ‘em right back into my tin pencil holder.

I love when I rediscover such goodness.

Not too long ago I was watching an episode of The City (blush) and I heard Diane von Furstenberg state something so true but often forgotten:

The most important relationship you have in your life is the relationship with yourself because no matter what happens; you will always be with yourself.

DVF

home decor: inspiration

May 19, 2009

janice's valise's via pink wallpaper

janice's valise's via pink wallpaper

I came across this image on Pink Wallpaper. I don’t know about you but I love it. It’s one of those images that makes me want to collect old key’s and purchase expensive ribbon so I can fill a big ol’ bowl with them. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

I’m not a Flea Market kind of girl but suddenly I want to be.

happy mother’s day

May 10, 2009

my mother and i

my mother and i

My mother is phenominal. She means more to me then I can ever say in words. She is seriously that wonderful!

I will be seeing her later this week. Due to our lack of a childcare provider she is flying in from Ohio, taking time away from her job, to help us out. I am always floored by her guidance, assistance and love.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!