Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pacing myself

Daisy's ballet on the UWS is dangerously close to Levain Bakery on 74th and Amsterdam. I only let myself go once a semester (or so), and London came uptown with me today and was willing to go. It's this sweet blue little bakery, you can see London going down the stairs? Then for $4 a pop, these hunks of crusty, walnut chocolate chip cookie dough get delivered to your thighs while taking a short stop in your mouth. Bank your calories for this one, sister. It's so worth it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I want him...I mean, these

So I was turned on to these shoes and now I'm obsessed. They're Princess Catherine's favorite, so I'm in good company. They're from LK Bennett and come in nude!!!  But this color is great, and I need platforms for my awkward legs and motherly sex appeal (?!?).
LK Bennett is opening up a store this weekend at Columbus Circle and I can't wait to try them on in person.
 Will they throw in Prince William for free?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Had to capture this

The girls found a fun way to block their ears when an Express train whizzes by (it is SO LOUD if you're at a Local stop and the train isn't stopping!) Daisy (post-ballet apple in hand) absolutely idolizes her big sister. London loves her right back

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Maybe I actually do need sunshine blown up.... oh never mind

So I am pretty sure I have that Seasonal Disorder, but this year in spite of the mild climate I felt crappy. All my girlfriends were finding out weird things with their thyroids, so I thought I'd get blood work done.
Normal Vitamin D levels are between 30-100. When the results came back the doctor informed me that I was at 17- SEVENTEEN. Like, 'you're so far away, you're not even a dot!' kind of results. So he told me to take 2000 I.U. for 3 months and get back to him. After 1 week I felt so much better (aside from calcium absorption issues, low Vitamin D causes muscle fatigue); I felt like I was on speed.
My friend Kate turned me on to these gummy ones a few years back, and they are seriously so yummy it's like a treat!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happening #4587 that New Yorkers are so.over.

We moved in to our apartment 4 years ago on July 3. We were so excited to be in the belly of all this New Yorky-New Yorkedness. 10 minutes into our day we got a call from the movers saying that they couldn't park on our street, because they were filming a movie. (When In Rome) My first thought was, "How cool!" then my second thought was "Um, how am I getting my couch?"
The movers were more used to this stuff, and after a long long day we settled in unscathed, but that was the first of many movie and TV trailers that we would see parked on or around our block. They're usually Hadeed's brand, with sets of stairs up to doors marked "Lucy" and "Desi" (I guess to signify the lead actor/actresses, but in code? so sneaky!).
It's fine, it creates a mild distracting curiosity on the way to taking the kids to school, and is always uneventful. Except for the craft tables. I'll never get used to them. They set up these tents on the sidewalk with this beautiful and generous catering, and it's always with my hungry kids coming home from school. It looks good just by virtue of being on the street and free (at least for someone). I swear one of these days I'm going to walk up, give a nod to some dude with headphones and a walkie, mutter a "wassup" under my breath, and chow down.

I mean, it's just THERE, waiting to be pinched...
Opened my apartment door one morning to this facing me straight on
"Lucy" and "Desi" on the doors- they got some 'splaining to do!
This was the posting that inspired this posting

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Carb Loading, Birdbath Style

I love going to City Bakery in the Flatiron District, their Mac and Cheese is to die for. To die for. But here in Tribeca we have a happy little extension of City Bakery called Birdbath. All eco-friendly and such, it has this Baker's Muffin that I have to buy every time I'm there. It's pull apart bread in huge sugary muffin format with raisins and walnuts. The bits of bread are baked together in small pieces so I pinch it off and eat it slowly with my fingers. (I have a full ritual behind this, believe me!) I bought this and practically ran home so I could eat is as quickly as possible after I took a picture.

From the mouth of babes...

Daisy says the funniest things from the depths of her sweet loving little heart. Lately she is concerned about health (I think all my kids are, I guess I've scared the crap out of them regarding McDonald's, Junk Food, Vitamins, and Exercise):
"Mom, is that your first Diet Coke of the day?"
"Mom, I can't eat that (hot dog). I'm a vegetarian"
and finally today when I picked her up she said, "Mom, I've decided I'm going to eat only organic foods"

It seems like all city kids, like their parents, shun processed foods and needless calories- organic is de rigeur. I love this indoctrination because it keeps Jason and I healthy. Except when I don't. When I leave the city and I just want to shake it off and pretend we are an easy hang. We go and visit family and a relative wants to come in like Superman, "Hey let's all go to McDonald's! MY TREAT!" (Because that worked in the 80's) Then my kids drop in the fetal position and start to cry, "no! not there! It's FAKE FOOD!" London will say, "Do you know how they make their nuggets?!?" Tass will explain, "It's not even real ice cream!!!" And then I laugh it off and talk about how we live at Sonic in the summer and see? they don't really know the difference and I fed them cereal for dinner last week and really, they aren't that uptight and snooty, with their brioche and cornichons and exposure to the best damn food on the planet...we absolutely love hydrogenated oil, really!

As an experiment I ordered Hostess cupcakes from Peapod yesterday, a big box of 8. (Fresh Direct, the other grocery delivery, doesn't carry them- guess they're too Fresh) Chocolate frosting with the white squiggle on top. The kids had never seen them before. McAllister is 9, mind you, and was confused how they put a cupcake inside plastic wrap. London, I guess, had read the ingredients and told me "mom, it has BEEF FAT in it" ('animal byproducts'). Then I realized something: "Kids, have you ever had a Twinkie?" (That's the classic after all) - and, I kid you not, blank stares! McAllister didn't know what it looked like. London made a face and said, no, she'd never had one. Not once.

Since we moved to NY I have tried  to make my kids' childhood as normal as possible (from what I knew growing up). This oversight proves maybe I have some work to do.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Speechless Brilliance

I can't even deal with how good this is.
He has the unique distinction of deserving to be paid just to be himself.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh If I was a Drinking Man...

Before - the Winter Windows (including the shed-like entry)
After- also the cute shed door will be removed soon
There's the cutest sports bar on our street, called 77 Warren. It serves fabulous bar food (great delivery!) If I was in the drinking circle, I'd happily follow Jason there every night there was a game on to watch. But since we're teetotallers I'll just enjoy this First Sign of Spring, when the corrugated glass windows stay open to the outside and we know that flip flops and sunshine can't be far behind.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The best things in life are free
The second best are very expensive.

- Coco Chanel

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All you other moms can just sit down...

"Does your child have a dedicated homework spot, free from distraction and noise, where she can grow and learn in a nurturing manner?"
Daisy at Times Square waiting for the Express #2, doing her homework on the way to ballet. With a pen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Inhale and listen

Carla Bruni. Singer, Wife, and Nicolas Sarkozy's wife. This is the best post-workout song ever. I speak French, but even if you don't you'll love it. 

Ahhh....... when is it my turn to be First Lady of France?  :(

Monday, March 19, 2012


So my dear friend Allison turned me on to Oscar Blandi's Dry Shampoo, it will change your day. I used to think I had to wash my hair every time I worked out*, or if I wanted to feel like I wasn't gross (i.e., get by without showering during a crazy busy day). But this powder has changed that; after (or without) a body shower I towel off, put the point in 4 spots against my scalp (2 in the front top, 2 in the back behind my ears- just a squeeze, not too much), rub it in with my finger tips, and then brush it. It smells clean and a little citrusy, and it makes you feel clean, body shower or not. And you can totally curl and style it as usual.
* If my workout includes a run, I have to wash my hair. After Mile 1 I look like Steve Nash a drowned rat. Spinning, Yoga, or a 30/60/90? This product's great for that.

I Had No IDEA that Dads felt this pressure

Pinewood Derby. Last year I wasn't there (I will never miss that again), but this is what I observed:
* Jason worked for 2 months on the car (anyone who tells you that the boys are doing it, is lying. This thing is a way to seek boyhood glory, which is kind of cute, because moms are always dealing with that.)
* The sideline discussion was intense. Much like StageMoms, these dads were comparing, discussing, gently challenging, gloating, or suffering.
* NYC is full of creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, so the cars had to be the embodiment of all that
* The video camera, track, and layout is no joke. I loved it because seeing it on the projector included all the moms and sisters who would otherwise wonder what the hayell the fuss was all about. (Similar to that blessed yellow line they show on the screen in football games now- what a marriage saver).
* Jason McAllister did not win. But he didn't care at all. Jason on the other hand was a little down. It broke my heart.
* This day blew my mind because there was a huge, HUGE turnout of many in the LDS community (through which this Scouts program is run) and lots of non-LDS families. We loved it
Jason tore apart a broken Wii remote and made a Wiiiiiiii car
The Competition
The video screen and track
Look at all these Dads' expressions and compare it with the moms'!!!
Hopeful Tass :) Families and kids were wrapped around like a huge "U" around the track
Tass Coming in 2nd for this heat
See that digital sensor that tells what place each car got? NO JOKE.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When I'm not looking

The Sense of Humor is alive and well in our house. Thank you London :|

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Uniqlo Undercover

We love Uniqlo around here. Think Old Navy pricing mixed with H&M  but with a clean, Japanese feel. Great basics that make up most of the NYC uniform. I love the HeatTech and their spanx are great when I wear skirts.
Normally I'll go to main one in SoHo, but for the launch of the new Uniqlo Undercover line we went to the new store on 53rd and 5th Ave. Just me and Lon, my sweet partner in crime. The store is huge and open and techno-japanese feeling. I love the clean aesthetic to the women's clothing, but the main reason we went is because this UU line is has kids and baby clothes along with womens/mens and I had to check it out.
We posed in the family frame and London stuffed a teddy bear for Daisy, thanks Divalysscious!
Here I tried on a great pair of shorts pants that I loved but wasn't sure about - Jason saw and loved so I'll be going back!
 London bought a great pair of bright blue twill jeans, and since we were in that neck of the woods we finished off with a stop at Dylan's Candy Bar for some pricey bulk candy. I think every day should end in chocolate.

Even though we're Jets Fans...

The picture from our window- love the horse police
I know this happened a month+ ago, but I wanted to post when the Giants won the SuperBowl and they had the TickerTape parade. The parade goes through the Canyon of Heroes (aka, tall buildings) on Broadway from the south tip of Manhattan up to City Hall where it ends and the Mayor gives a big presentation. We live across from City Hall Park, and got the best street cleaning for 2 days after! But this location has a downside- we hear every single protest that ever happens in the City; for example we got the drum beat every night at midnight for 2 months during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kids Room 2.0

So in March 2009 I showed pics of the kids' room and how we fit 3 kids in a 9x14 room. When we refurnished everything this fall we trickled a few changes in the kids' room. The kids love it even more.
(I don't know why my pics are so yellow, it's a navy/bright white look!
The first change was the brick; this building was built in 1860, so deciding to paint over it was a careful decision. But we figured in this one room in the back corner would be too effective a change not to do. We left the copper pipe for the heating exposed though for contrast.
These pics don't do justice, our ceilings are (I think) 12.5 feet high? So that top bed is freakin' UP THERE! London sleeps up on top and climbs up by the side footboards that act as a ladder. It's almost 8 feet high so she wrote up a waiver for her friends to sign in the case of 'injury or accidental death'. :) She's fine, she takes the subway home by herself- she laughs in the face of danger! And it's formed her own private space. It's not as pathetic as it sounds, I promise. Just New York.
I'm so happy with how the dresser turned out; I saw the Novogratzes do duct tape on furniture once, so we did one better and used Gaffer's Tape. It's a fabric tape with a soft matte sheen. As solid as this furniture is (triple bunks are hard to come by, after all) I don't love it, so the navy and white set the tone for the "Industrial Whimsy" I was going for. I did the ladder's sides too. The tape is totally secure, but I am pretty sure can be removed if I wanted.
This grass rug from CB2 cracks me up. Irony as a design tool! Daisy really truly does not know what a lawnmower is so I brought this 'grass' to their room.
Here's the grass wall decal I applied to all the drywall in the room as well. We have our lovely Betta fish, Torpedo hanging out. That guy is setting the world record on longevity, he is 3 1/2 years old!
In the spirit of equality and anal organization, each kid gets a magnetic board circle. I'm going to change the green color of them as well as the "Dream" sign once I change their bedding. The red bench was once black but I painted it red and acts as our additional seating when we're having 12+ people at the dinner table. The red felt park or tricycle-like and this surface acts as the best landing pad for their clothes and books. Lastly, TAAAAALL Bookshelves in each corner, Ikea baby!
Below is their closet; I removed the door, put in the ribbon curtain to create a visual boundary, and it is the epitome of organization thanks in part to California Closets. You can see the inside on that 2009 post.
I'll be changing the lighting but for now it's my paper lanterns. If one gets old we are 6 blocks from Chinatown. :)
The kids love, love, love sharing a room! I have such amazing kids- they really love each other and as a result, love to be around each other, and rely on each other. They have plenty of books and toys, but nothing is ever extraneous or cluttered and it's such a 'light' way to live. They thrive on it.
I thought London would be dying for her own room by now, but the only person with apartment envy is me and a 3 bedroom in Tribeca, I'd rather spend money elsewhere. I can honestly say that I would be happy staying here 'til the kids grew up because the spirit and rhythm in our home works and as tempting as it is, I don't want to mess with a good thing. I block out the houses we owned, the yards we enjoyed, and the s p a c e we had in Virginia and I am just grateful to live where and how we do. There are too many pressures that convince you that enough isn't enough and then you're just robbed of your gratitude. Life is too short for that.

Connecting the dots

Only on Mondays when Daisy's ballet class is dismissed, they have the good fortune of walking past the Adagio (couples) class, and the door being open! For 5 blissful minutes a few little dancers gather quietly around the door and watch the 12-14 year old girls and boys being instructed by some legendary men. Waiting for Daisy to be dismissed is my favorite 10 minutes of the day because while waiting for her I get to look into this studio. The talent and beauty (so young!) is palpable. Daisy loves watching the ballerinas (there she is in her fluorescent pink bow) and seeing the pointe shoes and hoping one day that will be her.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Always Late to the Party

There's this new-fangled stuff I'm totally addicted to. It's called sunscreen and you can even put it on your face! It will keep your freshly-Botoxed face smooth and free of a TAN (that sun-darkening habit you had in the 80's and 90's that you thought made you look sexy, and like every.single.thing you ever did because you thought it would make you look sexy, it actually destroys you? yeah). This Skinceuticals is my favorite because it's SPF 50 and it's even tinted so it acts as the perfect primer to my face powder. I'm even getting used to the slight sunscreen smell. 
I swear, I feel like I'm growing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What, MOI?

Ah, the gym. There are a ton of treadmills but in each bay of 7, there are 3 TVs that feed into them. I am always feigning shyness in changing a channel to the Today Show in light of MSNBC. (Those ticker tapes and stock discussions are uninspiring). But running tonight I had a real problem: TWO channels on TWO different MSNBC channels and one on ESPN. I had 7 miles to run. Luckily there were just 2 dudes running at that moment. The Achilles Heel. So I smiled a little, shrugged my shoulders apologetically, and went in for the kill. I changed it to Bethanny Ever After on one channel, and Twilight (the DVD version with deleted scenes and plot explanations!) on the other. Was so giddy I ran 8.
So whatever it takes to work out, if it means listening to rap music or wearing your lucky shorts, do it. Have your 'thing' and own it! Heaven knows I do. OK, maybe a couple of 'things'. Or 5. Or 9.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Towel Instructions

Growing up Mormon and Army there were always tons of sweet babies being born around us. One of my strongest memories of my mother is her sewing these baby towels from a washcloth and body towel to give at every baby shower. She was always on a budget so she would buy them in bulk whenever they were on sale and then just sew a bunch and have them waiting.
I recently unearthed this tradition and found that the love I can put in these towels is awesome! I'll be doing this from now on, even if there are pricier gift options out there. Plus, you get to give yummy, thick towels in cute colors rather than the wimpy ones they offer in gift sets. And you could even sew a matching set for siblings, or give them as Christmas or Birthday gifts (just angle the hood wider for a larger head).
My mom never did fancy embellishments, but I've been tinkering around with rickrack or a fabric trim below to jazz it up. But keep in mind that it needs to be soft, so if you're going to do embellish, put the Bedazzler away  :)
 This towel has a cute fabric edging, so here's how much width I needed against the washcloth edge. (Not much- in fact, it was one of London's scraps!)
I sewed the underside here, then flipped it, ironed it, then folded it over the edge and ironed it again.
 Here I am ironing the other edge; one side (the outside of the hood) will be hemmed blindly, the other (inside hood) side will have a narrow hem. I trimmed the edge a bit more than shown here but then left it raw to give it a Downtown feel. (If you want to tuck and finish off the fabric trim go to the Upper East Side for those kind of shenanigans)
Fold the washcloth in half inside out, you'll be sewing the hood shape from the inside. Mark the center of the washcloth, preferably with your 6 year-old's hand so she feels involved and happy.
Following the photoshopped yellow lines, sew the hood together at the angle shown. An inch from the top trimmed edge, and at an angle that allows for 3 or 4 inches total margin from the bottom center (where the pin is)
I tacked down 3/4 inch of the inside triangle that was just hanging there, although you can leave it alone if you want too.
 Fold the towel in half width-wise and pin the hood to it (also folded in half at the center); sew it all together
I put the outer edge of the hood outside away from the baby when it will be wrapped up; see that edge just hanging out? I went along and sewed it down after I took this pic. Daisy was at the park all day and was in no mood to be campy. boo.
Here's the finished product; you can give away a family pack for all the siblings, or give it with Baby Wash or Baby Powder.