Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween! Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Ghouls and Gourds

Boo! at the BBG.

How it is that I’ve been a Brooklyn mom for the last seven Halloweens and never been to the Botanic Garden’s Ghouls & Gourds seasonal kid-fest, I do not know. But tomorrow I’ll right that wrong by putting the kids in their costumes (Darth Vader and “pink” Batgirl, in case you were wondering) and heading over for some fun, rain or shine. On tap: dancing, music, crafts, big puppets, books and authors, and the garden’s pretty fall colors.

Other fall random-ness:

* 6 Yummy Soups

* Pear Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble from Smitten Kitchen

* An over-priced but possibly irresistible little lounge-y chemise from Anthro that I can totally see myself padding around the house in this autumn. Mmm-hmmm.

* And…. Last: A little bit of life wisdom from working mom SJP — “The firsts go away — first love, first baby, first kiss. You have to create new ones.”

Keep it real, people. Keep it new, keep it fresh, keep it fun.

Go love life this weekend.

Meet you back here next week.

 

Metropolis: A New York City Timelapse

New York City, day and night, night and day. By Will Boisture, via MUGuide.

Your kids will love. So will you.

The Hot List: Finding Monday’s Bliss

Shiny Brite is all about what makes our lives better as moms. Sometimes it’s got to do with parenting tips on how to make things easier or a fun, kid-centric outing; sometimes it’s all about what keeps the moms happy and sane (essential to home peace.)

Today, people, in these rough fall times — have we mentioned how much we hated leaving summer behind? Oh, right, we have — the focus is on finding little pockets of joy where we can. Here’s my Monday list:

* OPI’s “Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ” — a deep, dark red — on my newly-polished toes. A warm fall hue for sure.

Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ from OPI

* The leek and gruyere frittata I just took out of the oven — how good it smells!

* A couple of potentially fun freelance opps I have brewing.

* How happy my kids were to see me at “Bagel Bits” (where parents get to come to kids’ classrooms and see what they’re up to) this morning at school. And I was so happy to see their math skills taking off — parental pride + heart melting cranked right on up to “high.”

* The bag of Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies I have close at hand. Crunch.

tate's chocolate chip cookies

Everybody needs a little somethin’-somethin’ to get through Monday. What’s giving you your little high today?

October 22 – 23: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

cowgirl costume by Cookies and Costumes

Cowgirl costume by Cookies and Costumes on Etsy, $55.

I spend a ton of time coming up with activities and outings to entertain my kids — sometimes, I just want somebody else to do all the work. So, bring it on.

* Best Halloween Apps for Kids

* Last-minute handmade Halloween costumes for kids from scary-good Etsy

* Free Halloween events for NYC kids

* And totally tune into the kids’ Halloween mixes on Pandora Radio. They will LOVE dancing to the theme from “Ghostbusters.” And you won’t mind it, either.

BOO!

***

Cookies and Costumes on Etsy.

October 15 – 16: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

dior tuxedo blue nail polish

Dior's Tuxedo, Dior.com, $22

When in doubt — and, boy, have I been in doubt — don’t think deep. Think nail color. In case you haven’t noticed, trends for fall point to blues like the one above, as well as varying hues of gray and green. All colors that would make Magnolia say: Uh, why are your nails that color? (Those shades will never trump red, pink, or purple in her world view.)

What else?

Cute handmade Halloween costumes you don’t have to make yourself.

The newly-renovated Hester Street Playground and Chinatown fun.

Kids’ Fall Fest in Madison Square Park, with Eataly nearby.

Keep the thoughts light. Keep pie close at hand. Keep sneaking in extra hugs and cuddles with your kids.

Happy weekend!

 

3 Days in Austin: Fun Things to See and Do

mexican martinis

Cheers to old friends!

Last weekend I spent some long-overdue kid-free time in Austin with my BFF (thanks, Chrissy, for letting me jet off!) and, oh, but it was nice…. Can I get a repeat? In addition to long, uninterrupted chats with someone who’s known me for 20+ years, here’s the short version of what was on the agenda — I hope it inspires you to plan a little “me” time, too:

* Mexican martinis at Dos Salsas in Georgetown (mmm, see above. And here’s a recipe — I’d tweak the Sprite to a splash.)

* Patricia Clarkson on 7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien. Do yourself a favor and watch this. It is highly enjoyable not only because Clarkson is super-appealing and slightly tipsy during the in-the-closet interview, but also because it introduced me to new lipstick shade Cherries in the Snow (which now resides in my handbag.)

* Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow — an excellent pick-me-up in the face of crappy fall weather.

cherries in the snow

Kiss me! I'm wearing lipstick.

* !It Jeans from Adelante — they hug, they’re snug, and they won’t set you back $200. (You’re welcome.) I snagged the My New Boy style, pictured below.

iT_Jeans_My_New_Boy

If fall has to come, at least I can be wearing these.

* New METALSGirl jewelry from Parts + Labour.

metalsgirl giant 4 color necklace

Giant 4 color necklace. Yes, please.

* Weird La Lucha Libre wrestling guys for the kids from Tesoros.

La Lucha Libre wrestling guys

Viva, Mexico!

* Chipotle and toasted almond guacamole at La Condesa. Heck, yeah.

La Condesa

Darn good guac. Drinks, tacos, and chile rellenos, too.

* Retro-cool at The HighBall.

Vintage bowling lanes, transported to Austin from New Orleans.

* Big-time cheesy fun at Austin Karaoke. Thanks to my friend Debra, I no longer have to wonder what my karaoke songs would be — let’s just say Sheryl Crow, Journey, and the fine ladies of Heart were all paid tribute to. Surprisingly cathartic. They had to pry the mike out of my hands.

Austin Karaoke

Hello, fun.

* Breakfast nirvana at Monument Cafe and Kerbey Lane.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Serving breakfast 24-7.

* A book called Love Life — and lots of pretty fresh flowers, too — at La Fleur Vintage.

Love Life

Colette: "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."

Thanks, Debra! xo

Related:

Currently Obsessed with…. Moving to Austin

 

Weekly Menu, October 2-8: Ode to the End of Summer

Well, here we are again. Back to the menu. Hi! It’s been a while. I’ve been a bit distracted. And uninspired. Felt a little hiatus was in order.

First, it was coming down off sabbatical. I’ll admit I checked out in July. Turned daydreams from a hobby into a profession.

Mmmmm. Daydreams.

So August and September, with all their attendant, resuming responsibilities, the stress of work, the noise of the City, was a bit of a shock to the system. Like winning the lottery, and then being told, whoops! It’s not you after all.

There is also the issue of the weather. The thing is (and you know this about me if  you know me at all): I’m a summer person. There’s nothing I like better than a bright sky, warm weather, bare skin, bare feet.

Poolside in Italy. Isn't this the way it should be?

When I start waking up in the dark, when I see City women get out the tall boots, when I begin to carry around a cardigan, and think twice before putting on a summer dress, my inner bear wakes up and begins to contemplate the winter ahead. Explore the hibernation options.

Trees, knees, sheesh. No sub for sun and heat.

Question: What’s up with all you fall people? What is fall really but a prelude to winter? I love the first snow as much or more as the next person, but after that, do we really need more snow if we are not skiing, sledding, or making snow angels? I think not. At least not here. And all those holidays squashed together so you barely get to enjoy them before they’ve rushed past and there’s nothing but months without a break (think about it: January – May is holiday free). Sadly, my lobby to move Christmas to February has never gained any momentum.

Remember this? That's our car buried in front of the house.

Yes, winter drags on.

I just haven’t felt inspired. We’ve been eating as much of the late summer harvest as we can, in a completely ad hoc manner, and I’m still gamely trotting about in sandals and breezy dresses. But I know, in so many ways, my number is up.

This menu is about trying to get past personal disappointment in summer’s sweet brevity, and everything ending with it. It’s about comfort food. Unless we are moving to warmer climes, I’m stuck with the next two seasons. So I’m trying to make the best of it! And happy to hear from you with great fall recipes.

Weekly Menu

Sunday: Family dinner tonight: Grilled Skirt Steak, Homemade Mac and Cheese. We’re still enjoying My Father’s Daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. Her mac & cheese- a reasonable, not-too-rich recipe with mascarpone, parm and breadcrumbs– is nice addition our repertoire. A gorgeous, late summer CSA Salad rounded out the meal.

Monday: Roast Chicken and Braised Leeks; is there anything better? Not when it’s only going to get up to 61 degrees.

Tuesday: Grilled Shrimp and Watercress Salad with Gigante Beans- Something a bit lighter, and again, from My Father’s Daughter, but you could make this up, easy. In fact, we’ll probably skip the watercress (which to me always tastes a little bit like eating dirt) and sub in some other green.

Wednesday:Slow-Roasted Tomato Soup (from you-guessed-it: Gwyn) with leftover Mac and Cheese

Thursday: Grilled CSA Veggie (red pepper, maybe eggplant- what does one do with eggplant?) Burritos

Friday: Melisa is out-of-town, so the kids and I will do something, don’t know what! Dinner with Katie, I hope.

Saturday: Road Trip! Dinner Chez Bush.

May L.A. days be your every day ALL OCTOBER!


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