Monday, March 30, 2009

Captain Crunch For Grown-Ups

Sorry for the mundane posts about children's tv shows and cold cereal.
Yeah, life's not all that exciting lately. Oh, well.
I am working on a blanket for my dear Grandmother. I've also finished-up a few crochet projects that I'm pretty proud of, too.
But this caught my eye and as you know,
I love to share what makes me happy!
As we made our way towards the end of the cereal know, the section where they have the organic/health-foody cereals,
we found this vision of loveliness...

How could I pass up a cereal by that name, huh?
(Not to mention, "Cereal Pillows!")
It happens to be really good.
Just like Captain Crunch.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Candy Colored TV Show

When it comes to children's television programs, I loyally stand by my beloved PBS, channel 13 here in the NY-area. My girl prefers Noggin, a station I am just "okay" with, nothing more.
During the wind-down, about an hour before she goes to bed, I let her choose from the cable on demand channel. Lately, she has fallen in love with Andy Pandy, a children's show from England.
I am now a fan, too. I love these three little sweethearts. Not to mention the fact that they live in a world of creamy pastel colors.

While searching for an image tonight, I learned that Andy Pandy originally aired from 1950-1970. How cool is that?
Here are the first Andy Pandy and Looby Loo puppets.
So sweet.

I suppose there was something about this show that struck a chord within me because somewhere in the depths of my memory I can still recall the darling puppets that were a part of my childhood tv experience...Punch and Judy, Captain Kangaroo, The Magic Garden, HR Pufnstuf, and so many more.
(sniffle, sniffle...)
I miss those worlds of wonder sometimes.
I'm so happy I have had the chance to glance back there
with my daughter.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


We survived our first night time birthday bash! I mean, these kids are only turning five! I didn't have a night-party until high school. But it was a whole lotta fun, probably because it was held in the most adorable place...Ricky's Candy Shop! (I can picture getting married in an old-fashioned candy-store someday!) What brave parents little E. has. There were around 20 kids plus their grown-ups, plus pizza, candy bingo, ice-cream sundae bar, ice-cream cake, and candy pinata! Yeah, it was pretty wild.
After that, we actually braved a Toys R Us run with our best buds for another classmate's party today. However, this is what I'm up to right now...

I had an early morning meeting in Manhattan this morning.
Lately, it feels so good to drive out of the city and back towards home.
I love my parks, my waterfront, my hills everywhere, and my trees.
As Cub said while we were making our way towards the bridge today, "There is only dry land here." "Yes, I added. "And lots of buildings and cars. That's it."
I'm always half expecting that one day I'll break down and flip-out that I have to go back to Staten Island. But that has never been the case since she has been born. (Sigh of relief.)
Yes... this is our home.
Hope you are enjoying this lovely spring weekend, wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Her Sweet Resemblance

When my daughter was first born, she looked exactly like her paternal grandmother.
I mean, exactly like her. Everyone thought so...Yes, it was a little scary.
But when I pour over that round moon of a face, the way her eyes tilt up ever so slightly, the roundness of her head, and those cheeks...Those cheeks that literally spilled out onto her shoulders when she was an infant..(They were so edible!!!)
Well, as I told her daddy all the time..."I see Nara."
And I still do.

Compiling these little samples reminded me of how much I love this artist.
His subjects exhibit a curious blend of cool confidence, innocence and
(sometimes more than) just a hint of mischief.

I can't help but see my girl in their little faces...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scents For My Grown-up Self...

Just couldn't help myself today.
I needed to round-up the culprits that are responsible for my recent love-affair
with certain scents. All are inspired and/or derived from the natural world. At least I'm true to my essential oil wearing self!
I am also enjoying how my senses seem to be re-awakening with the onset of spring!

I now understand why I may find this one so appealing after reading this review (written by one of my favorite scent bloggers)which explains how, "Prada is a modern take on essential oils."
It has heavy amber base notes, which I love.

Then there is Anya's Garden, which is in a class by itself. Anya is a natural perfumer from Florida. She cultivates many of the herbs and flowers she uses in each of her scents.
Oh, what I would give to be able to attend one of her workshops!
is one of the most mysteriously sensual perfumes I've ever worn.
It's difficult to put into words because it is from another world entirely.
This one I enjoy from late spring throughout the summer.
If I had a lot more money to spend on the finer things in life, I'd buy most of Dr. Hauschka's line of all natural health and beauty products. They really are that good.
They are almost entirely all-natural, luxurious and smell heavenly.
The body oils are well-worth the money, especially the Blackthorn.
I'm pretty much over making my own deoderant and fighting to get it out of the jar each morning.
It was an easy break-up after discovering this.

I realize I sound like a walking advertisement for these products, but I get excited about things like this. I figure someone else just might appreciate these little beauties, too!
Which scents are making you happy these days?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

To Celebrate Spring

My girl and I have already created some of our own rituals and traditions.
One of them involves doing something special together to honor the first day of Spring.
So, off we went into a borough that is very near and dear to my heart...
Park Slope, to be exact.
I have a history with Brooklyn. It is where many of my close friends moved after college.
I moved to Williamsburg in the early 90's and lived there for five years. I worked in Park Slope as a nanny for three years, but hung-out there for about ten all together. It was one of my first real "homes." I will always remember the years that I spent growing-up in Brooklyn.
Of course, it is all very different now, much to my dismay.
But it will never stop being beautiful to me.

Puppetworks is just a great little place. I remember strolling past it many times with the little one I was taking care of back then. How surreal it was to walk inside with my little girl this afternoon!
I have always had a thing for puppets...especially marionettes. To me, it doesn't get more romantic than this. I can just lose myself in their world.
The space is just magic. These beautiful handmade marionettes are all hanging around the perimeter of the room. Gorgeous.

We saw Sleeping Beauty. One of the pupeteers came out to speak to the audience before the show started. He told us that their version is based on a combination of the fairy tale and the ballet; so the music was beautiful. It was all just dreamy.
We both loved it.

Afterwards, we walked around the old neighborhood and had some lunch.
This outdoor flea market has been here forever. My girl was so interested in
all the old things. She really likes to look at everything.
Too bad it is all so unreasonably overpriced.

Happy Spring, Friends.
Here's to the old and the new...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All Cupcakes Great and Small

There is something about cupcakes that make kids of all ages happy!
We are still eating our way through the results of the St. Patrick's Day festivity-baking!
We went the semi-homemade way, as usual. Boxed devil's food with homemade vanilla cream cheese icing.

Just look at that shine!
Doesn't that make you smile?
Cub received the best Christmas present in the whole wide world from our Jenn...A kid-sized baking kit-complete with apron, muffin tins, mini-whisk, rolling-pin and measuring cups. She loves it, of course!
Tomorrow the day care is closed. It makes me sad to know that I have noone to watch her while I go to work. So, I have to stay home with her. I do not like taking days off, especially when we are both healthy.
I think I'll stay up a little later than usual trying to finish-up my scarflet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green Day

It took me a few seconds to realize the (not so) subtle humor of this drawing.
Then I fell in love.
Something about the precense of the green slug in each little compartment makes me smile on the inside!
Love. Love. Love.
It took me a few more seconds to make it mine this evening.
And it is going to fit so well in our home.
I figure Cub received a green fairy from her Grandpa today
so Mama deserves a little something, too!
Besides, I didn't know I was hosting a steak dinner for Cub and F, her buddy from downstairs.
There has been lots of coloring, pizza delivery games, jumping on the couch, and cupcake baking.
Boy, am I tired!
They, on the other hand are now chasing each other around the apartment.
Uh...time to go!
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who are celebrating...
Hope it's a fun one!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Crafting Cures What Ails You

What to do after a two and a half-hour trip to the new local Friendly's? - An "event" as some may call it...The kind where you wait 30 minutes to be seated, another 45 min. to get served a partially raw burger, and then to top it all off, the manager spills a large glass of seltzer all over your lap! Luckily, I was in the excellent company of my two sweeties, Cub and Jenn...or else!
Later in the evening, (after taking 3 Papaya enzymes for the stomach ache) I decided to teach myself THE GRANNY SQUARE!!!
They are so much fun and quite addicting to make.
I decided to make a pincushion out of my very first one.

I was feeling well enough before bed to FINALLY finish-up little Cheri.
She was sitting at Cub's table to wish her a good morning today!

Happy Sunday, Friends.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Process

I. Beginning
While cruising the creepy looking Sale area in the corner of JoAnn's, I stumbled upon these sweet fabrics. Between the 25% reduction in price and a 40% coupon, three yards of fabric cost me $6.50.
The tractor fabric is going to be a summer dress - a personal request made by my girl Cub while we were on line.

II. Middle
I didn't put my crochet hook down for as long as I thought I would. I'm back in action with several wips. Here is a glimpse of a new soon-to-be washcloth to match our bathroom. The hook broke two nights ago, so I gave myself permission to dig into my new scrumptious "Buttercream" yarn. Although I still feel a tad bitter about overpaying in a local yarn boutique, the fact that I can't stop looking at (and touching) this future vintage-style scarflet makes it worth its double digit price tag!

III. End (Product)

Cub brought home this cup with soil in it at the beginning of the school year. It was promptly placed on the windowsill and watered with the rest of our much-loved house plants. Recently, I became saddened because it became dry and extremely limp. I thought it was over, but I kept it on watering it and turning it and loving it anyway. I didn't have the heart to get rid of it. A few nights ago, Cub was over by the plants and I heard her say, "Look, Mama! A Pepper!" She slowly carried the plant over to me and we both just looked in total disbelief. We touched it and smelled it. "Yeah, it's a pepper, Honey!"

Wow. I felt so humbled by this interesting miracle. So quiet and so bold, at the same time.
Little plant, when did you grow that chili pepper?
You almost had me fooled.
And then Cub picked it and we split it in half
and ate it. Of course, she ran screaming for the water a few seconds later!
Oh, Life in all your glorious stages...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beating the Blahs

One thing that's nice about being my age is that I'm finally beginning to figure myself out.
Little things that seemed to elude me in the past (like, my zillion ever-changing moods)
are finally starting to make a bit more sense...At least the "when" and "why" of some of those moods, anyway.
So it appears that I am sensitive to the change of seasons. I end up feeling a bit blah at the end/beginning of each one.
What can I say? I'm not good at transitions.
During these early days of March, I've found myself wanting to create a lot less and to just sit and reflect and just "be"a lot more. Not so bad if it weren't combined with that tinge of

Here are a few things that always seem to have a way of lifting my spirits...

Some lovely new olive green flats...and of course some homemade baking is always soothing to the soul.

Here is our floppy sad-looking "Cheater's Apple Pie," as I like to call it.
Just sliced Granny Smiths tossed with 1/2 cup sugar and some cinnamon, poured into a (gasp!) store-bought crust...Brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar and baked at 400 degrees for about an hour. No fuss. No muss.
And it still smells delicious...
What makes you happy when you're feeling blue?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Coolest Thing We've Seen Today

I am the biggest sucker for felt food. Sometimes, I just stalk all of the felt food goodies on etsy.
Is that weird? Ah, well. We all have our things, don't we?
But honestly, there are so many talented people out there making such tasty-looking
victuals. I really wish I had the patience to sit down and make us a lunch that looks this good.
My hat goes off to you Skip to My Lou for this adorable tutorial. May my girl and I have a felt picnic one sunny spring day in the future!
Speaking of sandwiches, we had a real scare here tonight. To make a long story short,
I tried a new brand of peanut butter recently and made my first sandwich with it this evening.
About five minutes after finishing it, I felt my lips start to tingle and the bottom one eventually went numb. I started to gulp water immediately. I tried to stay calm. But once my throat started feeling itchy and swollen and my tongue began to itch, I took two Benedryl and called 911. I was alone with Cub and I was so afraid of going into anaphylactic shock. We were both crying. It was terrible.
The EMT's were here in under five minutes, God bless them. They brought us into the ambulance and took all of my vitals and gave me a breathing treatment to open my airways. They said they didn't think a shot was necessary and that they thought I nipped it in the bud with the Benedryl. They let us sit in the ambulance until I felt good enough to go back inside, assuring me that I would be okay. Those guys are the best. They really are...Not an easy job at all.
So, when all was said and done and we were back inside, my Cub says, "Mama, I'm so glad you are okay and nothing bad happened to you." She pauses a few seconds..."But that ambulance was AWESOME!"
I am so very thankful it was not as bad as it could have been.
I'm blowing kisses to those little angels among us.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pretty Flowers

There is nothing like the vibrant colors...
The softness of the angelic petals...

There is nothing like...

Artificial flowers!

Did I fool you?

This weekend was simply gorgeous...especially today. I love mild cloudy days. They are so sublime. The air felt good, comforting. It must have been that most people were at the parade. Whatever it was... it was heavenly. There seemed to be a peaceful stillness over the island. I wish it could be like this always. Then I could actually like it here. Sigh...
Lots of crocheting and dreaming this weekend. Last night, I put down the hook and the yarn and just enjoyed some good, old-fashioned thinking, pondering, and meditating on this and that. I looked at my bookshelf for a long time and I became reacquainted with myself. I put some old demons to rest, too. I believe I achieved a new level of peace and it feels great.
Sometimes you just have to stop whatever it is your doing and
give yourself some real attention.

Blessings to all for a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My First Scarf!

The crocheting has been steadily picking-up steam and I am going from one project into another!
I'm having a ball and I'm loving the results.
Meet my very first scarf...

I used this pattern, which was straightforward and easy, great for a beginner like me. It's so nice to know I can make useful and adorable articles of clothing with my own two hands! Cub is excited and keeps asking me if she can try, too.
The colors of my scarf didn't transfer so well photographically. I used a vintage-y looking white yarn with sky blue flecks, another white yarn with opalescent metallic threading, baby pink, and of course, black. I'm going to crochet some little black and pink rosettes and sew them on to both ends later this evening-so it will be extra-pretty!
Last night, I started a set of these useful cotton dish scrubbers. I'm enjoying experimenting with different hooks, yarns, and color combos.
Next, I think I'll try to tackle the sweet Cupcake Pincushion. I've been bookmarking patterns and projects like crazy and cannot wait to share my progress.
It's so nice to feel really passionate about a new craft!
Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick Fix

I have been quite obsessed with crocheting lately. I now have an assortment of rosettes, headbands, chokers, necklaces...and will soon (if I have my way this evening) make a scarf using four different strands of yarn all at once! So exciting, I know.
That is the reason there hasn't been much baking going on over here lately.
So tonight, I had to think fast to make-up for the less than successful dinner I made.
Dessert had to be good.

Here is our "Yummy Yummy" (named by Cub) Trail Mix-in-a-pinch:
Walnut pieces
Butterscotch Chips

I need to remind myself more often that it's a pretty nifty idea to combine sweet ingredients with some of the healthier variety:

yogurt raisins
dried cranberries
raisins or other plain dried fruit
chocolate, carob, butterscotch or peanut butter chips
nuts of all kinds
m & m's (a personal favorite!)

Any other ideas out there?
Oh, and while I'm on the subject, I've just reserved this book. I'm going to jump on the green smoothie wagon with the rest of 'em. It all sounds so delicious and healthful. Why not rejuvinate and energize along with the upcoming seasons?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Productivity

Such a great weekend. So much accomplished:
1. Visit to see Grandma and Grandpa!
2. New sneakers and on sale, too!
3. I (think I have) figured out which school I'm sending Cub to next year.
4. Finally, getting over Cub's daddy; means having a DREAM again! Yay!
Just in time for spring...:)
5. Time spent hanging-out with good friends in their beautiful home...
while our children played harmoniously together, their happy sounds
serving as wonderful background to our lively conversation.
6. Whipping-up this "Guinevere" headband in about 30 minutes after
Cub fell asleep. (I must give myself a pat on the back for this one...and #4, too!!!)
I am having sooooo much fun crocheting!
It was a lovely weekend.
Hope you enjoyed yours, too...