Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Past, Present, & Future

I haven't written in this space in over 6 months, I even missed writing a birthday letter to my beautiful six year old boy.  That's him, of course, on his sixth birthday (which also was his first day of first grade this year)  Gorgeous thing, isn't he?  Smart and funny too.  I have a hard time being a mama these past few months.  I have not loved my boy less, but I have been struggling to find my way, with work and life, and balance.  B sometimes shows me a path, and sometimes I stumble on it.  We are getting there.

I came here today, because I wanted to remember something....B is learning about past present and future at school and he had to draw a self-portrait of each period of time.  This is how he described his portrait:

For past I drew me in your tummy, and for now I drew me writing (laughs) because i was writing, and for future I drew me as a ninja (acompanied by ninja pose)   (Pensive silence)  Evil is coming someday.  (longer silence)  I just hope it doesn't come before I am a ninja.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

:-( LOL

via imgur

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gold Flatware

For the first several years of our lives my sister and I were the only grandchildren.  This was a situation that came with many perks....heaps and heaps of presents for Christmas; multiple easter baskets with giant chocolate rabbits; Saturday nights spent with my Grandma Brown at the bingo hall, being tucked into my own cozy twin bed at her house; and countless hours of enthrallment as my Grandma Reifsteck taught us about makeup and style and being a lady at her special dressing table; but one of the biggest perks was being included at the grown-up table for holiday dinners (a privilege which I fear I will never regain as the cousins have become numerous, and we all seem to be having our own children...making the idea of all being at one table very improbable!)  My Grandmother Reifsteck had a special set of gold flatware, she only had a few place settings, but my sister and I coveted them.  We would beg her to show them to us when we would come over and she would open the special drawer they were stored in, and take out the special felt bag they were wrapped in and unfurl it to reveal the sparkling fairy beauty of those special utensils.  We were never allowed to touch them, but then....then at holiday dinners my sister and I would arrive and find our places amongst the Aunts and Uncles because the gold flatware was just at ours, and joy of joys, not only did we get to touch them, but we got to eat with them!

This Almaco Gold Flatware is a beautiful modern take on the traditional set I loved.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Healthy Cookies

Bowie was watching over my shoulder while I was writing that last post and wanted me to also report on the cookies we made today. He also wants me to tell Aunt Sarah that we are saving some cookies for her, and he wants to make sure that she reads about our dinner. So I hope you read this Aunt Sarah, or I can just tell you about it when I see you later.  Anyhoo....these cookies are [cane] sugar free (though I do add honey, and of course the nana) and gluten free as long as you use gluten free oats.  They are based on this recipe from 101 cookbooks. We have made them several times, with varying degrees of success. I always add more salt then she calls for and I just put the cinnamon in willy-nilly.  I like the flavor the honey gives them, though next time we make them I am going to try it without again. The recipe also calls for shredded coconut, but we were out. I did add some ginger and I have to say this is the absolute best these cookies have ever come out for us, B agrees!

PS I use treats as a bribe in BB's lunch.  I put veggies on one side of a lunchbots tin and these on the other side.  If B doesn't eat the veggies as well as the cookies he doesn't get the "treat" the next day.  Since all of the treats I pack are good for him I never really worry about him eating them....I'm just trying to get him to eat variety, even when he is not with me.  90% of the time this trick works for him.

PPS One day B asked me to send extra treats with him to share with his friends. It was the first and least successful batch of these cookies (good, but bland, and the bananas weren't quite ripe enough) but I sent along extra anyway.  B shared one with everyone at his table.  That evening I asked him if his friends liked the cookies....he said "not really" so I asked him if they ate them, and he told me that mostly they threw them into the trash.  I don't think they would toss this batch, but they certainly are not the sugar laden treats I think a lot of kiddos are used too (I believe his lunch partner usually gets candy for dessert).  I guess I am that mom (and proud of it!).

PPPS As long as I am reporting on our food this weekend, we also made this dip courtesy of another fave Pinterest discovery, Raising Foodies. We ate it with blue corn chips, but B said the lemon made it a little too spicy.

"This is better than jam on toast!"

Sesame Noodles with Scallions & Roasted Broccoli
That's what B said about tonight's dinner.  Sorry for the bad phone pic with a few bites already gone, but I had to do something to preserve the memory of this historic dinner.  It came about as a series of happy accidents and odd substitutions. Friday I made Chicken Satay or Chicken on a Stick as B likes to call it.  I used this recipe because it seemed simple.  I made some liberal changes.  I'm not so sure it can even be called "satay" since I really just grilled the chicken without marinating it (I wanted to make some avocado chicken salad for myself).  I also discovered that I didn't have any soy sauce, so I substituted Worcester sauce (dark brown, salty, anyone?) but stayed true to the other spices.  I haven't been keeping any sugar in the house, so I used honey, and they say not to use natural peanut butter (?) but I ignored that and it seemed to work just fine.  However, this recipe made a LOT of sauce!

B liked the chicken all right (and I liked the salad okay, not great, no crunch, next time I am trying Martha's version) but when I tried to pawn off the same meal on him the next day for lunch he said the sauce was way too sweet (which it really was after sitting in the fridge overnight) but I had all this sauce to get rid of!  I froze half of it and then picked up some soba noodles today and made another batch of the marinade (still with the Worcester), and added it to the left-over peanut sauce with a little water to thin it out.  I also tossed some broccoli that was starting to look a little wilt-y in the marinade and then roasted it while I cooked the noodles.  I chopped up some green onions, which B likes ever since the kids from his old school discovered them growing wild in the park.  The kids all munch on them like candy....not sure what is in the soil of that park, but it really can't be worse than what's in the pipes at the house......I digress, back to the meal.  B loved it, he said "Yum!" a few times, he asked for seconds (I don't remember when the last time that happened!), he ate all of the broccoli, and the ultimate compliment, I already mentioned.  What's more I loved it!  I think this is the first time in B's lifetime (or at least since he quit nursing) that we both enjoyed a meal equally.

We are definitely making this fact I still have some sauce left over so another night this week.  I am still planning on the creamy avocado pasta for tomorrow though.

New Blog Crush (es)

Creamy Avocado Pasta by Tina Jeffers

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?  I am sure there are copyright issues, and I hope I am not putting up anyone's pictures who doesn't want them used this way (please tell me if I have! and what I can do to fix it) but all of that aside.......this site inspires me.  B and I have been cooking all weekend (as I type this I am dehydrating sweet potato chips) I am cooking because there are only like a gazillion things I want to eat on pinterest or on blogs I discover through pins, and 99% of them are really pretty healthy.  I have a few new total blog crushes, the above picture is from Tina Jeffers at Scaling Back and I seriously want to make just about everyone of her recipes.  I pinned the link for this creamy avocado pasta and within hours it had been repinned over 70 times, and it is still getting repinned.  I mean CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA!  We are having it for dinner tomorrow (with quinoa pasta, my new favorite thing, since B and I are trying to go gluten free)  Can't wait to see if B goes for it.

Tina also posts at Blissful Blog, which is another new discovery for me. I love, Love, LOVE Mrs. French's style picks (her I heart Monday posts are the best)  I also found Fig & Sage, which makes me want to try out about a gazillion products, and I love that they all look safe.  (I am a bit of a product junkie, though lately I have toned it down a lot.....broke and trying to only use natural products)  I want to try everything from Vapour, but especially their skin perfector (only question does it have any SPF?

Anyhoo...these are all the things wasting time on Pinterest has led me to this weekend.....I'll keep you updated on that pasta!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Goals for my 38th Year

I was looking for a picture of me to post, this one at 19 sitting on my friend's bed in the dorms at Barnard, but I can't find it right now.  That picture is me before my life began really, before I found what being an adult really was, but  I had an idea of what my life would be, and an idea of how to get there back then....I have to say about 75% of that plan went awry, but the two most important things happened.  I am a designer and I am a mother.
I turned 38 a few weeks ago, and while there are a few things I am happy with (my delicious son!) I am not so happy with my life.  I spend a lot of time stressed out (especially about money and my relationships) and feeling insecure. I would like to stop doing that.  The big difference between me at 19 and me now is a plan.  Even if some of my plans failed I was moving forward.  Lately I feel so paralyzed by fear of my past mistakes that I can't step forward.....There are a few goals I have for this year and I thought if I wrote them down it might help me get there.  I want to write down things like "lose 20 lbs" or "make more money" but those don't seem very concrete, so I'll start with a few small things that will get me going. Here goes:

Enroll B in a school he likes.
File for sole proprietorship & get my resale #
Post at least one project on line per month
Jump rope at least once/week.
Do Tracy at least once/week.
Drink only 2 cups of coffee/day.
Stop eating after 8PM.
Wear sunscreen everyday.
Have B pick up his toys every night before bed.
Do the dishes before bed every night.
Listen to NPR every weekday morning.
Send before and after shots of Caribou to Design Sponge.

I might give some updates on this as I go along, but here is what I am aiming for. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

B-Boy lost his first baby tooth!

Unfortunately he seems to have lost it while eating peanut butter on a rice cake and I think it is now in his belly.  B seems unfazed by that, but was a little upset he wouldn't have a tooth for the tooth fairy.  I told him the tooth fairy would accept notes of explanation.  We have to write one ;-)

Pesto Madness

At the end of every week I open my fridge to find unconsumed leafy greens.  I have been turning it all into pesto, or at least some version thereof.  Last week it was almonds and cilantro, the week before I had tons of parsley left, and this week I had cashews and arugula.  Throw it in with some garlic and olive oil and it makes everything good for the week:  eggs, love 'em (especially how I had them this morning over a baked sweet potato left over from last night); veggie burger, devoured; quinoa & roasted veggies, went back for seconds.  Seriously, it all tastes better with pesto!

(Of course B hates it.  Oh well, you can't make everyone happy)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

rubber toy storage bin

That is what I just googled, this is where I got.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vintage Eames Rocker

Like this rocker, wondering if it is not overdone, or if the vintage fabric makes it a more original idea?  Or does the discoloration on the fabric just make it look dirty? Hmmmm

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What I did today:

Do you think mid-February is to early to take down our Christmas tree?  I know this is so sad, but I just stopped noticing it was there.  I think this is earlier than I got it down last year.

B was sick all day.  I don't think he got out of his bed except to go to the bathroom, poor guy.  He seems to be feeling better, but I just read him books and tucked him in.  I had intended to do laundry, go to the grocery, clean house, but instead I sat around in bed with B and played on Pinterest. I did make these cookies.  Delicious, not too sweet.  They were inspired both by my sweet tooth and lack of butter (or just about any other groceries in the house).  This is one of the reasons I love the internet, anything you want, any question, any recipe, any ingredient, any product.....a well-worded google search and you have your answer!  This method of research suits my lazy, home-body ass perfectly.  Also, due to our lack of groceries, I made a very bland veggie soup with everything that was about to go bad, including some bib lettuce (probably part of why it was bland).  I'm going to freeze the rest to use for stock, but I served it over some quinoa, with a little bit of grated Romano and the last of some parsley pesto I made last week and it wasn't half bad.  On the other hand I am truly out of food, if we were for some reason trapped in our house for any long period of time, we would starve after the vegetable stock runs out.

I hope my wee son is all better tomorrow, but it was a rather nice day of cuddling with him in bed :-)

Poor B-Boy :(

B had a great time this weekend at his first sleep-over (without Mommy) play-date at BFF's place.  Unfortunately he is a little sick today so we are just hanging out with the bed folded out in our little living room watching netflix.  I'm still obsessing on pinterest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Real or Replica & Pinterest

Pinterest has renewed my love of surfing the net, it is a way to organize stuff that I GET, which seems to have also renewed my desire to blog.  Just another quick note about est, the real or replica is a regular feature.  I'm on the second issue, and I am not certain that I absolutely love the magazine (the interiors are a little stiff for my taste) but if it has features like this every month I will eagerly await each issue!

Est Mag

I used to be a design mag addict (Domino anyone?) and I still am, but I don't have to spend an arm and a leg on all of the European Mags I used to get (and the only ones worth looking at anymore!)  I can spend that money on local, organic fare for my wee son (gees that stuff is expensive some days) and get my fix for free online.  A new discovery for me is Est Magazine.  I liked this feature on the Eames classic shell (the DAW chair, who knew?).  I spotted the real one right away, but you know I wasn't quite aware exactly why it was real.  This was brief, but super informative; also, loved their styling of the Eames chair.  Check it all out here.

Symmetry in an unsymmetrical world

I am always on the look out for clever ways to deal with odd doors and windows since almost all of my work is in New York City, and every space is small and quirky. Enter this room from Susanna Salk’s summer cottage (via Rue). While not exactly my style, the beautiful mustard curtains behind the sofa and low slipper chair dividing the entry from the living area and then echoed on the other side of the room, give this room a cozy symmetry and sense of depth, despite the architectural detail.

Daily Candy

Photo by Robin Blair Riley
Daily Candy Conference Room.

I am trying to start putting up some of my own work here.

Designed in 2004.  All of the furniture in this shot was painted/altered by me (except the chairs)  I had my carpenter build the structure above the conference table to suspend a series of IKEA lights from, and lower the feel of the ceiling to make a small room with a tall ceiling feel a little more intimate.