Archive for March, 2010

Easter and Springtime Traditions We Love

The forsythia is blooming (or getting ready to); our little Magnolia tree is lush and gorgeous and smells like yummy lemon; the daffodils are popping, and the tulips are not far behind them…

At this time of year, when everything turns a brilliant chartreuse, I can officially come out of my winter slump, and rejoice in the coming of summer. It’s called spring, and it has its good points (more on those in a min), but to me, it’s a happy pit stop on the way to summer. Ah, summer.

The hallmarks of the spring season that make it wonderful (if not August) are as follows:

The bunny cake. Simple, delicious, and a crowd-pleaser every year.

Bunny cake

Bunny cake and baby Jasper.

Sometimes it’s pink. Sometimes it’s yellow, white or lavender (see below). Gooey frosting, gumdrops, toothpicks, and ears cut out of construction paper complete the “look.”

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. This one belongs in your permanent collection. Talk about a working mom! It’s the story of a country bunny, who grows up to be one of the five (yes there are five; it’s all explained in the book, kids) Easter bunnies, despite having 21 children (whom she teaches to run her house like professionals). Yes she can! The illustrations are gorgeous, a kind of South Beach bright. Perfect for spring.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes,, $8.99

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes,, $8.99

Bluebonnets. Texas.

Jasper in the bluebonnets

Jasper in the bluebonnets.

April and May usually marks the annual pilgrimage to Texas to visit family and friends, and if we’re lucky, we’ve scheduled the trip in time to see the spring bluebonnets, too.

in the bluebonnets

Melisa (and Magnolia) in the bluebonnets.

Luckily, the margaritas, Tex-Mex, good music and company in Texas are not seasonal like the bluebonnet show.

Easter baskets.

First Easter basket

First Easter basket.

Easter basket

"A Clean Getaway"

Bunny and the bunny

First bunny.

Easter baskets 2008

"Look what we found!"

What else is there to say?

Bunny cake in purple

Hippity Hoppity.

March 26 – 28: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

sandals for spring

Think spring. We are.

Brooklyn City Guidedesign*sponge

For divergent tastes: If Walls Could Talk: A Workshop on the Genealogy of Your Home at the Brooklyn Historical Society & Coney Island Cyclone Season begins — Brooklyn Based

The Park Slope Farmers Market joins The Makers Market at the Can Factory on Sundays (thanks, Helen!) — The Can Factory Market

Mark your calendar now: Fifth Avenue Family FestivalAll About Fifth

Fornino Pizzeria is coming to Park SlopeSlice

Clothing and toy swap in Prospect Heights at Nairobi’s KnapsackMommy Poppins

Free things to do over Spring Break and Easter events this weekend and nextTimeOut New York Kids

Family Flat: 2 Bedroom condo with garden in Clinton HillA Child Grows in Brooklyn

And Weekend Open House PicksBrownstoner

We’re off to Texas in search of warmer weather and spring break diversion, but y’all have fun! More soon.

Baby Names: The Top 50 Names of Style-Conscious Parents

I used to blog about baby names all the time when I wrote about pregnancy for CafeMom. But since I gave up that gig and we’re not currently expecting (sorry, grandparents!), it’s been a while. I am baby name-obsessed, though, so when my friend Liz passed on a fun link to The Elite’s Top 50 Baby Names last week, I couldn’t resist.


Magnolia didn't make the list; Jasper did.

The piece was by Pamela Redmond Satran, the baby naming guru behind nameberry and numerous baby name books, several of which we perused endlessly while waiting for our kids to arrive (our favorite was Cool Names for Babies.) “Elite” is what she chooses to call selective, style-conscious parents who want an unusual name for their child — the people studying the Social Security Administration‘s list of Most Popular Baby Names and deliberately steering clear of the ones that top it (no Emma or Jacob, thank you very much.)

Satran susses out the trends and ranks the top names that parents in search of the unusual are choosing (so, yes, what this means is that many of the people in search of distinctive names are picking the same ones.) Jasper is on the list (#7 for boys), but I’m definitely not bothered — I still love the name, which is of course the most important thing.

When we were picking our babies’ names — Jasper and Magnolia — here’s what we considered:

  • We wanted unusual, yes, but not unheard of.
  • We liked the idea of the names having a Southern feel (we both have connections to Texas and a love of the South.)
  • We wanted the names to sound nice together, and we kind of liked that they were “things” — a stone and a flower.

Did your kid’s name make the Elite list? (Henry is #1 for boys, and Charlotte for girls, by the way.) How did you pick your baby names? What was most important to you?

I Love My Wallaroo Rain Hat!

Sounds banal, but it’s true: my rain hat makes life a little bit brighter. I can hold a child’s umbrella without juggling my own. I can push a stroller (again, no umbrella) and still have my head stay dry. And I can peek out from under the brim and feel mysterious. Not so much in this picture, taken on a non-rainy day, but you get the idea.

Wallaroo rain hat

Wallaroo rain hat, $40

Don’t moms always know best? And by that I mean my mom, who found this excellent hat, from the Wallaroo Hat Co., and gave it to me for Christmas. It’s lined with some soft fabric, and is adjustable, so the wind doesn’t rip it off my head when I’m heading out into the weather. Love that!

Now I just need a good raincoat. Maybe I’ll finally buy this one I’ve been coveting over at Ann Taylor Loft:

Ann Taylor Loft Ruffle Trench

Ann Taylor Loft Ruffle Trench, $128

Won’t it look cute with my hat?

Family Weekly Menu, March 21-27

Still recovering from a gorgeous weekend here in New York. Grilling, gardening, kids playing on the sidewalk. And a most excellent Sunday brunch (Helen, we want that strata recipe!) at the Gingold-Rogan household, featuring some fab strawberry daiquiris. I could use one now.

Anyhoo, so last week ended up being a bit crazy and we didn’t get to some of the recipes on the menu (like Pasta Carbonara & Thai Chicken Curry). So they’re back in the saddle for this week!

The menu:

Sunday: Pan-roasted Salmon and Green Beans (anybody have an opinion on what kind of salmon is the best? We’ve been having some flavorless organic salmon of late)

kids: Roasted Fish and Veggies

Monday: Pasta Carbonara with Broccoli Rabe

kids: Spaghetti Bolognese, Broccoli on the side

Tuesday: Thai Chicken Curry with Zucchini, Carrots, Snow Peas and Ginger

kids: Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables

Wednesday: Burritos with Fresh Guacamole and Green Salsa

kids: White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Broccoli

Thursday: Quiche with Spinach and Bacon for all!

Provencal Chicken and Tomatoes

Provencal Chicken and Tomatoes

Friday: Provencal Roast Chicken, Olives & Tomatoes with Green Beans

kids: Barbeque Chicken and Vegetables

Saturday: PIZZA (and a movie) NIGHT! Time to order out from Toby’s (as it is the night before vacation to Texas!)

Jasper eating Blue Bell

Jasper eating Blue Bell

March 19 – 21: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge, GaryHellerPhotograph, $39, Etsy

A Red Hook Outing Beyond Fairway and IKEA — A Child Grows in Brooklyn

The “Elite’s” Top 50 Baby Names (for what it’s worth, one of mine was on the list….) — The Daily Beast

8 Quirky Brooklyn MuseumsBrokelyn

Rumors of a Shake Shack coming to Brooklyn (wouldn’t it be nice?) — Brownstoner

Brooklyn Family Bike Ride in Prospect Park on Sunday — Mommy Poppins

Super-cute personalized dinner plates for your kid — ohdeedoh

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 opens to the public on Monday — Brooklyn Daily Eagle

* Image available at GaryHellerPhotograph on Etsy.

Review: Brooklyn’s BounceU


Get your bounce on in Brooklyn.

We checked out BounceU with some friends a few days before poor Magnolia fractured her left hand. We won’t be bouncing again for a while, unfortunately, but here’s what we found.

What it is:

A big indoor play space with bouncy structures a go-go. The place is popular for birthday parties and they also have camps and toddler play times, so you have to reserve a spot (and pay for it in advance, $15 a kid) to attend an Open Bounce session. Call on Thursday or Friday to see what times will be for the upcoming weekend, as they change around the party sked.

The bounce session lasts an hour and 15 minutes and kids are transitioned from one room to a second about halfway through (the two rooms have different play equipment, so the diversions are all new when the kids move.) It’s well-organized and there’s lots of BouncU staff on hand to make sure equipment doesn’t get too crowded and that no one’s playing too rough.

Kids can bounce in a big castle, shoot hoops, navigate obstacle courses, climb a tall tower, or — the number one draw for our crew that day — shoot down a giant bouncy slide (it really is impressively tall.)

Where it is:

Dyker Heights, a neighborhood you’ll probably only venture to to visit this place or check out the over-the-top Christmas lights at the holidays.

BounceU is at 6722  Forth Hamilton Parkway (between 67th Street and Ovington Avenue), on the second floor. Entrance is on 67th Street and 9th Avenue.

What we thought of the place:

It was cold and drizzly outside while we were inside: the kids left sweaty, exhausted, and asking when we could come back. ‘Nuff said.

Special bonus:

We got soft and sweet Chinese pastries for the kids and pillow-y barbecue pork buns for ourselves at nearby Maple Leaf Bakery, just a block away from the entrance to BounceU.

Why there are no photos of my adorable children and their friends in this post:

1) Because all photos taken were an unrecognizable blurry mess of forms whizzing down slides. 2) Because I’ve already posted a photo of an unrecognizable blurry form on a bouncy slide (Jasper at The Bell House.)

Who I Am

Find Me on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 40 other followers