Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sprinkles Cupcakes

I feel like I'm doing my own cupcake tour around here! Was uptown at 59th and Lex, and came across Sprinkles cupcakes. I've had them before but never in the store.
Branding points, I give them a 9 out of 10 (Georgetown Cupcakes in SoHo gets the 10 in my book!) And in taste, I place them second to Georgetown as well. I got the Orange cupcake just to try something different, and it was fab. Had to hurry and throw the other half away before I inhaled the whole thing!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

If you're wondering how many registered republicans there are in Tribeca...

...the answer is 3. Since Elizabeth Hasselbeck lives on the UWS, Jason and I are wildly curious who it is (my guess it's not Harvey K.). Would love to meet him and say hello. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Things that crack my kids up...

...driving in the Holland Tunnel, there is a tile marker where the tunnel leaves New Jersey and enters New York. The kids watch for it and watch for it for those few miles, then cheer when they cross the line. I love it too. My dream is to have a perfect picture of the Line of Demarkation from Poo-poosville to Home- I'll have to try next time, the rearview mirror got in the way :)
Wait for it...
wait for it...
here it comes...
HERE IT IS! NEEEEEWWWWW YOOOOORRRRRRRKK!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Packing Heat

So I went to Matt Bernson today on Harrison. A new store, his workshop has been in Tribeca for a while but it's nice to have a retail place to shop. I love his shoes. Love his bracelets. I've been obsessed with getting a gun necklace (ironic, since I'm such a pacifist I walked out of The Hunger Games movie), and found this sniper rifle necklace. Much bigger than the $850 one here, in fact styled completely differently, but a great happy little springtime bobble, don't you agree?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why "Queen of A Small Country?"

I worried that the name of this blog would sound a little silly, as in 'what country'? 'what queen?'
It's actually just a simple joke on me, and here's the story:
About 5 years ago my sweet husband came home from a long day at work to find me in tears, knee-deep in kids and unmet expectations. Crappy dinner. Probably no workout, cagey day. As I vented and vented about how much I hated it, how Motherhood made me feel like I was a round peg trying to shove myself into a square hole, I finally concluded, "There's been some huge mistake. This is all wrong. I wasn't meant to be a mom. I know I was meant to be the Queen of some small country!!!"
I was totally 100% serious when I said it. I really believed it. Some days I still do. But at that point my husband, as usual with my freakouts, tried I'm sure to suppress his giggles, all the while trying to figure out how to fix it all.
I got over it that day, and every other day that felt that way. Barbara Bush once described her child-rearing time as "Long Days and Short Years". Nothing more true than that. Some days you want it to end. NOW. Other days you know you're seeing into eternity, with 60 seconds of bliss that somehow makes all the other stuff work it. I still work to reconcile this job. I'll always be a round peg, only now I've created my own round hole to fit in. Just to be myself and be their mother and realize that it's not mutually exclusive.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My brilliant husband- I always knew the sky's the limit with him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stockholm Syndrome, Mommy-style

I'm so excited to be running Ragnar SoCal this weekend! It's a 2-van, 12-person relay over 200 miles long. It goes for 24-30 hours straight, which means I'll be running in the middle of the night. Everyone runs three legs, and I'll be Runner #1 (of 12). My three relay legs will be roughly 5, 10, then 5 miles. I'm doing it with a group of friends with whom I don't mind in the slightest being stinky, including my husband. I have had all kinds of aches and pains this past year, and right now I feel like 90% injury-free, which I'll take. I'm ready to go! The only stresser, of course, is leaving my kids...

I have my 5-page typewritten document, listing out everything that will happen and when, including all emergency contacts (is Mayor Bloomberg's cell too much?) and meal plans. Playdates. Scheduled events. Entertainment ideas. We are ready to GO! And I love the girl watching the kids, I totally trust her and I know that kids will be well. But that thing that makes my heart beat faster is that my 11, 9 or 6 year old, one of them, might want me. Might need me. And I won't be there. I'll just be off, being selfish, probably kissing Daddy 'marriage-kiss' style (that Daisy's obsessed with- but that's another post entirely), laughing, peeing alone, drinking more than one Diet Coke. And one of them will want me and I won't be there... Or what if they can't find that one thing they're looking for? That particular sock, toy, book for school? And like everything in the apartment, only in asking me (while peeing) and making me go myself will it be found? (not in it's place though, nor in the last place you used it)...

Maybe this anxiety comes from the inevitable- the worst-case scenario of all, coming on the horizon but I hope not too quickly: What if I'm gone, running and playing, selfish and kissy-like, and they actually don't want me at all? What if they realize, "Hey! this is a party, and our mom is cramping our style! Life is so much fun without her!" I can be fun, you know. Behind the baths and piano practice, math drills and vegetables, I'm a circus. And everybody wants the circus. right?

It's coming, though, that sentiment. And as I polish off the sixth page of instructions, it's with the hope that somehow all this prep will prevent it from coming anytime too soon. Circus.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running, Post #1

Jennifer Aniston once said of running, "It's the only thing that burns fat". But fom me, falling into running was never intentional. To say I made it up as I went along is a huge understatement. Having quit ballet in college, I started walking to burn calories. After a year of that I decided to start running to get the distance up the canyon over with sooner. Mixtapes in my (heavy!) yellow Walkman, running the hills of Provo, Utah, I got in decent shape (for an ex-ballerina) and my loathing of running went from 100% to 95%. After 2 years I was running for 60 to 75 minutes, even finishing a half marathon by the time I graduated. (I credit a good guy friend my Junior year, Matt, who became a great running partner and was patient with my pace.) I hated it the whole time but it kept me in shape better than the Callenetics VHS tape and aerobics classes in the huge indoor track of the RB I did religiously.
After graduation I became a missionary for my church and had only one companion Allison, who would get up earlier than the required 6:30am and run with me. (The rest of the time I used a jumprope to get in some form of cardio, because the street-contacting never gave me the opportunity to raise my heartrate- I was in France, not Brazil, after all). From that my love of running slowly started to build. One of my best memories of my mission is of those early morning runs, going down the main avenue in Bourg-La-Reine, circling a chateau and it's gardens, then looping back. I can still see the townsmen (yes! they had 'townsmen'! or maybe they were just the intentionally unemployed?), at 6:30 in the morning, emerging from their cafe/bar (either still drunk from the night before, or just getting started), who would come out of the cafe, confused (French women don't run- they're just born that way), and smelling of stale wet cigarettes. I could always count on this one particular fellow who would see me running as fast as I could ahead of my comp in some random sprint to the finish, yelling after us in the pre-dawn light, "Allez les filles! Lui, elle va gagner! Allez les filles!"
I still sucked at it, still hated it- 93% loathing. But it did something and made me happy for the day.

Years later, when it came time to retire my Walkman and get an iPod, I had to name my running playlist. Keeping in line with my poetic self, I titled it 'Allez les Filles'.

Never mind that it's that portly drunk Frenchman's face I see, every time I see my playlist. Never mind that I remember those runs as awkward and hard and far too short. In the dim light I see him step out of the cafe, espresso in hand, and begin to watch us running down the street. He pretends surprise as always, elbows his buddies and points. He begins to smile and for the next 30 seconds he's my fan. I hear his mutterings and guffaws and then as we get closer he gains confidence. It's coming, I can see it on his face. Then just as I pass, he bellows, "Go girls! Her, she's going to win! Go girls!!!" I try not to smile in acknowledgement or approval but I can't help it. I pass him and hear faintly as he laughs at himself, or us, but I don't care. His yells and jeers somehow motivate me. Echoing in my head today, they motivate me still. I can run faster, he's telling me to. I can give more, I can go. Those early morning cheers are the first ones I hear in my head when I start a run, and years later I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

If we peeked inside the apartments of most New Yorkers we would definitely feel better that our outfit wasn't as cool as the twenty-somethings walking blocks in heels with a great bag. But since that's not possible, they get to live the lie and I get to feel schlumpy in my flats and skinny jeans

Friday, April 13, 2012

guilty...

What's for dinner

I made this broccoli cheese quiche with a brown rice crust! I normally do crustless quiches because there is so much fat and unecessary-ness in the crust (although my family would disagree), but in adding the brown rice crust there's more texture and it stops being an egg casserole of sorts. Do this with any variety of quiche: ham, cheese, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, even sausage.

Here's where I got the recipe, but I would argue you could do with less cheese in the crust. This is a broccoli recipe, but try it with anything (and chop up the broccoli way more than I did here- the kids cried foul when they saw this, although they'll eat broccoli on its own just fine)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Words to live by

“The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”
Margaret Nadauld former General Young Women’s President

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NYC DOE in full effect...

I will tell anyone how much I absolutely LOVE London's Middle School. She is thriving. She loves her teachers and administrators, and even though there is the regular MS drama, she is happy and supported. She participated in the talent show and while everyone else was dancing hip hop and singing pop songs, Chick went up there and played Albert Ellmenreich's The Spinning Song (written in 1850s) and had a blast. All the students were clapping and whooping along and again I was blown away by the support the students and student body have for each other.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Sweet Kid

 Ahh, McAllister...my passionate, complex, affectionate boy who loves his school and all the sports he can play through it: Basketball, Flag Football, and TRACK! They had a track meet a few weeks ago and I guilted myself into decided to chaperone. It was awesome: my old neighbor and bestie Julie was there and we caught up to our hearts' content, Tass ran his heart out, and I enjoyed the view between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges- my favorite. I am convinced it will be the Brooklyn Bridge that you cross to get into Heaven. Overall, a great day!
What day wouldn't be complete without a solid MiniStorage ad?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Manhattan Mini Storage ads are the best. Hilarious. I will post a ton because they can be so truthful in their observations of City Life. The pressure to dress well is solid because it is the one and only method of self expression! You can't express yourself in your car (you're in the subway) or your home (most likely a shoebox version of what you could have elsewhere, fraught with jigsaw-puzzle storage solutions and odd furniture arrangements), so how you look is it. Jason and I noticed it right away, and I'm sorry but I love it. I love seeing my friends and strangers on the street convey qualities about their personalities in their coat choice, shoe choice or whatever. It's what makes fashion really, really fun and insightful.
What's awesome is my kids' adherence to this. They love their clothes, and I promise it's in a non-creepy JonBenet kind of way! London is blossoming in her creativity mixed with practicality. McAllister and Daisy too. By seeing what they wear and why I learn so much about them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brooklyn...

They have so much wisdom in the BK they have to give it away for free!
On a wall, walking around in DUMBO

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spiritual Matters...

So anyone who gives me a chance to speak on it will hear me say how much I love the Brooklyn Bridge. I would go into the story of the Father and Son, the tragedies, and the heroine of the story, Emily Warren Roebling. I'm afraid you'll have to Wikipedia it, but it's inspiring. Everyone who visits our apartment from out of town is required to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. I tell them, "Go at least to the Manhattan Tower (there are 2, the other is the Brooklyn Tower), then when you get back to DC/Florida/California, Google it and you'll thank me later!"
We own the Burns documentary and I make my kids listen over and over to me tell the story of hardship and fortitude in getting it built, the revolutionary idea and conflict it took for the idea to gain respect. The building of the Brooklyn Bridge is its own New York Survival Story.
This quote is going on my board- even though to buy it would cost an arm and a leg, you would do it because you know it would be worth it. To sell it and walk away would be ignoring the potential. Good courage given for all of us trying to make it here.