Archive for November, 2011

Register Now! Awesome Winter Weekends with Curious Jane!

Curious Jane Winter Field Trips

Come have fun with the CJ community!

Hey, Brooklyn mamas of daughters!

Looking for fun ways to keep your adventurous girl busy in the city this winter? Of course you are!

Well, Magnolia attended an amazing summer camp this year I was so happy with that I contacted the woman who founded it about doing some freelance work for her — and the Curious Jane Winter Field Trip Series is the collaborative end result. Great trips around the city, all girls, all fun, all winter!

Come sign up! From flying on a trapeze to cooking to building something cool, here’s a brief description of what we’ve got lined up (go to Curious Jane for complete deets):

* Curious Jane Takes on The Sketchbook Project in Carroll Gardens — Have an art book published!
Sunday, December 11

* Learn to Fly at Trapeze School New York in Manhattan
Sunday, January 22

* Build Something Cool at Makeville Woodworking Studios in Gowanus
Sunday, February 12

* Whip Up Something Tasty at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg
Sunday, March 11

* Travel to See Your Finished Sketchbook + Sample Sweet Treats from Momofuku Milk Bar Brooklyn in Williamsburg
Sunday, April 22

For full details, and to learn about Curious Jane Weekend Workshops, too, (at the CJ work space, and very fun!), hop on over to the CJ site.

For more on the camp and its founder, Samantha Razook Murphy, read my interview with her….

Hope to see your girls (with a friend or sibling) there this winter!

 

 

Currently Obsessed with…. My Schuler & Sons Boots from Anthropologie

Brass Tacks Boots

Brass Tacks Boots / Schuler & Sons / Currently Out of Stock at Anthro / Wah.

You know it and so do I — we’re Anthro-obsessed.

So I was super-psyched to find these boots at 50% OFF the sale price (!) at the store on Black Friday. Apparently, some online shoppers were loving them, too, ’cause now they’re sold out. Take heart, though — other Schuler & Sons styles can still be found (although not all of them are on sale.) Keep your eyes peeled, though — prices could plummet the closer we get to Christmas. Here’s a cute pair:

Claret Bow Boots

Claret Bow Boots / Schuler & Sons / Anthropologie / $238 / Yay!

These boots + purple tights + my Moth sweater dress (below — I have it in espresso) + OPI’s “You Don’t Know Jacques” = my fall-into-winter uniform.

moth+rendition+dress

Moth Rendition Dress

opi+you+don't+know+jacques nail color

OPI / You Don't Know Jacques nail color

This look is helping me feel it — at least a teeny bit — for fall. Although I’m already dreaming of summer vacation…. < Big sigh. >

Other obsessions:

New French Classics from Food & Wine

State Prints from One Canoe Two

Dining at Buvette

 

Cutest Christmas Tree Skirts for 2011

I’m a bit slow getting Christmas together this year, but I was inspired a bit by helping my mom pick out her cards on Etsy. Every time I browse the site, I’m amazed at the things people are making and selling.

Which got me thinking about the Christmas tree skirt. Still haven’t found one. They are usually too formal or preppy for me. I like color, and I like a touch of modern or whimsy in my skirt.

Here are a few standouts I found this year:

For those of you who love color, this cutie from LoveElaine would be fun:

The Coral Christmas Tree Skirt from Crabby Chris (hey, who you callin’ crabby?) is perfect for the beach house I hope someday to have:

A mod skirt from Kay’s General Store is a little vintage and a lot fun:

You can’t go wrong with this simple, red felt tree skirt from West Elm, with the sweet monogram. The price is right at $65!

And like Magnolia, I prefer a little sparkle in my life. Especially at Christmas. So this glitter-y, silky tree skirt from Target (can you see the snowflakes?) could be just the thing. Did I read that right? Thirty dollars? In store only!

Still not sure I’ve found THE ONE. But this is a start!

***

Related — But use this as additional inspiration only, you know, to get in the mood; many of last year’s finds are no longer available.

Cutest Non-Traditional Christmas Tree Skirts

 

 

I’d Be Thankful If I Had… This Red Sweater Dress from Anthropologie

red sweater dress

Flared and Cabled Sweater Dress, Anthropologie, $148

{ “I’ve got a beautiful red dress. And you look really good standing beside it.” — Laurie Anderson }

I may not have anyplace special to wear it this holiday season, but I want this red flared dress from Anthropologie anyway.

I would totally give thanks.

Wouldn’t you?

Back to counting blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

November 19 – 20: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

nan goldin scopophilia

Nan Goldin's Scopophilia at Matthew Marks

nan goldin's scopophilia

Nan Goldin's Scopophilia at Matthew Marks

Yesterday, I went to see the new Nan Goldin exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery in West Chelsea. Goldin, who lives in Paris now, was invited to photograph works of art at will in the Louvre, with total museum access on Tuesdays,¬†when the institution is closed to the public, over a period of eight months. With the help of a French friend and a ladder for height, she took thousands of photographs — and then paired them with images from the span of her career.

Can you imagine? Free access to the Louvre?!

The result is sensual, absorbing, stirring — some photographs are even (for Goldin) oddly sweet. And, as is often the case with her exhibited work, there’s a satisfying slideshow as well. When you have a day in the city without the kids, head on over to see the wonderfulness before it closes, on December 23rd.

Here’s what The New York Times had to say about Scopophilia (translation: the “love of looking.”)

And for the kids this weekend? Oh, right — the damn kids. Two ideas, both via Mommy Poppins, so click through for the deets:

* The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens — it opens this weekend; beat the crowds and get your brood in there early.

* Junior Detective Day (Saturday) at the New York City Police Museum. Sounds way cool.

And now, more for mom — because, really, can there be enough to keep a mama happy?

My Friday pick-me-ups:

OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark, voted one of the best dark nail polishes of 2011 by In Style, on my nails. Get outta muh way, people.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

Dark purple-y fun for your nails.

A chocolate cherry cupcake from Billy’s Bakery. Gulp, all gone. Sssweet.

Gwyneth Paltrow is on Facebook and Twitter now. And I feel better knowing that. I hope you do, too. (She’s in Beijing, right now, in case you were wondering.) That, and I am totally grooving on Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto (say what you will — in a rare turn, I side with the masses on this one.) See a video for one of the tracks, Paradise, on their site or on YouTube.

Last: This fall picture I took in the city yesterday.

fall NYC

Color me blue. And purple. Lots of purple.

Hope there are many, many little treats, pick-me-ups, and pockets of happiness in your weekend.

See you back here next week!

South Slope Silent Art Auction: This Friday, November 18, 6 – 9pm

Frid+Branham

Artist: Frid Branham, Starting bid, $25

Charles+Kushla

Artist: Charles Kushla, Starting bid, $75

This Friday, you can attend an event to benefit a public school that does not involve trucks, bouncy castles, pony rides, games, not-very-good cupcakes, or KIDS.

Come bid on art, have a glass of wine, hang with other art-loving parents. Sounds civilized, doesn’t it?

Who gets the money: South Park Slope’s P.S. 295, The Studio School of Arts & Culture

How it works: More than 60 works by 40+ artists will be available for viewing and purchase. Bid online, bid in person.

Where + when: This Friday, November 18th from 6-9pm, at Korzo, 667 5th Ave, South Park Slope, Brooklyn

Read this for more details and to see more of the artists’ works.

COME. BUY AFFORDABLE NEW ART. SUPPORT A NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL. HAVE FUN.

 

Recipe of the Week: Homesick Texan Carnitas

Homesick Texan carnitas

Porky goodness.

So many things in Lisa Fain‘s new cookbook, The Homesick Texan, look good to me — and, of course, remind me of home — that I literally couldn’t decide what to make first. Then I saw Deb over at Smitten Kitchen tried out the carnitas, with great results, and I thought, OK, decision made.

Carnitas are basically tender-crispy bits of pork that you put into a corn tortilla, dress up with your favorite fixings, and eat as tacos. You braise the pork first in liquid — orange and lime juices, water, cumin, crushed garlic — and then sear to brown and crisp up all over once the liquid evaporates. It takes a good three hours start to finish and, I have to say, Chrissy and I thought the meat was absolutely delicious. Flavorful, perfect.

The recipe says to use pork shoulder or butt; we used shoulder. And the three pounds of meat was crowded in our medium-sized to large Le Creuset — so I’d suggest using the biggest damn dutch oven you’re got. Also: I’m not sure if it was in part because of the crowding, but not all of our liquid evaporated — we had to remove the excess ourselves. But it didn’t matter. We took out the remaining juice and let the meat brown nicely in the pot. Crispy, salty, addictive.

We made guac and piled on diced pickled jalapenos and cilantro, too. Yum, yum.

Carnitas, via The Homesick Texan (but as posted on Smitt-Kit — looks like Fain has adapted the recipe from her blog for her cookbook, so that’s what I’m linking to.)

For more Tex-Mex and other faves, scan the blog or buy the book.

Let me know what you think! (P.S. — The kids loved the meat, too, and there were plenty of leftovers.)

November 12 – 13: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

New York Chocolate Show

Sweet!

Lots happening for families in New York City this weekend — here’s what’s tickling my fancy:

* The 14th Annual New York Chocolate Show. Pricey, but sounds like there’s lots for kids to see, do, make, and taste.

* Puppets on Film, this weekend and next at BAM. Expect a few creepy showings for adults, but also Muppets a-go-go and some Live Action Puppet Shorts.

And, hopefully happening in my kitchen:

* Homesick Texan Carnitas

Happy Weekend!

Recipe of the Week: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marinated Gigante Bean Salad with Grilled Shrimp

gwyneth-paltrow-gigante bean salad with grilled shrimp

Summer’s over, but we’re still making this light, lemony, garlicky salad and loving it. Don’t have gigante beans? Use butter beans or cannellini beans instead. No watercress in your fridge? Use any kind of greens or serve over sauteed spinach.

One note: Marinating the beans in olive oil, garlic, and scallions (or chives) for several hours before preparing is a key step in the recipe and makes a big difference in flavor. So do that earlier in the day and then assemble later for dinner — it’s fast and easy. And delish.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marinated Gigante Bean Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Watercress.

What else is cooking:

Pork Shoulder Ragu

Spicy Veggie Burritos

Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze

 

 

 

November 5 – 6: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

tea time sandwiches

Tea time! (photo by Leslie Kalohi)

Thanks to Halloween, jury duty, and some fun new freelance ventures, I’ve had precious little time to blog this week. But I’m pulling my crap together today to get something short and sweet out — since I know there are, like, three of you sitting on the edge of your seats out there wondering, “God, when are they going to post again?!”

Well, my dears, here you go.

It’s pricey — $25 a kid — but dying to take the kids to this DIY (but with the help of a NYC chef) Yummy Tea Time Party at lovely DUMBO shop Pomme tomorrow. (Reserve a spot by email.)

Can’t wait to make tracks to the new space for the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Looks awesome.

On tap to cook this weekend — gotta knock out the last CSA squash for the season — is Mark Bittman’s Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Bacon. If you’re looking to take down a lurker squash or two at your house, I recommend these Garlic and Herb Roasted Potatoes and Squash — made them last night and yum, yum. The balsamic vinegar adds a ton of flavor. One other late-breaking idea, from a friend I just had lunch with: Butternut Squash Risotto. This one, a Chez Panisse recipe, looks good.

I’m also eyeing this chili, from the fine folks over at Dinner: A Love Story.

Happy cooking, eating, socializing, wine drinking, kid wrangling weekend!

(flickr photo: Leslie Kalohi / never cool in school)


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