Wednesday, December 29, 2010

She Says...

This is my daughter on her first day of first grade this year.
If you know her, you will know that this is a typical face she makes. She loves making the thumbs up sign when she likes something, too. I think it is adorable.
For the past two days she has been saying the darndest things. I wanted to record them here in my special space so I'll never forget them.
She is experiencing a growth spurt lately...specifically in the intellect which is exhibited by her curiousity and all the amazing thoughts she has been having.
"I'm really excited about being a grown-up...except I don't like the part about dying.
I don't want to be ninety. But I wanna be a grown-up. Twenty is the age I wanna be. It's half way between a kid and a grown-up."
"You make a good mom. You just do."
"I've gotta go into business. I could sell snowcones or lemonade. I think we'll do lemon snow cones. That's in the middle."
Wasn't I smart today? How I investigated my butt. Since I was five, I was always curious about what the inside of my body looked like. "
"Look how big my heart is. See how big it is? That's because I'm so kind."
I love you, my little girl.
What a blessing to be by your side...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Handmade for the Holidays...

This is an old image...maybe from two years ago or so. I would love to post photos of what I've been up to in terms of "elving," but my iphone is not uploading properly and I've been too busy/lazy to try and solve the problem.
This year, I decided to take the pressure off myself as far as crafting for everyone in our lives. I decided to set a reasonable budget and shop within set boundary. It actually worked out and for the first time I'm not completely stressed. It has felt nice to just enjoy and not rush to complete projects. Truth is, I'm just really exhausted this year. Our lives have been fun-busy...but this mama is tired.
Here are a few links to things I've made for our sweet loved ones so far:
(My first!!!) Arigurumi-Heloise the Hen
one of these fabric ornaments
Now the only thing left is some cookie making later in the week.
This Christmas season, I am missing my sweet Grandfather terribly.
The holidays just don't feel the same without him...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Gonna Be A Good One

"It's a new dawn,
It's a new day,
It's a new life for me
And I'm feelin' good..."

Oh, how I love that song! And lately it sounds great to my ears.

( image courtesy of

For a few years now I've tossed around the idea of a pink Christmas tree.
But what I really wanted was a white one...With lots of candy-colored trim!
While on Long Island a few weeks ago, me and my girl were in a favorite store and guess what we found? A lovely white Christmas tree. Perfect size. Perfect cost.
My girl was a little suspicious at first, but I quickly convinced her how pretty
it is going to look in our new living room.
I can just tell that this coming holiday season is going to be wonderful.
It's all about NEW BEGINNINGS...
and about feeling good.
Next weekend we will go to our favorite dollar store where they have the bestest, most kitschiest ornaments in the world, and we will stock-up on Christmas cuteness.
We both can't wait to decorate.

I can't wait to make some of these for the tree!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thoughts, Dreams, and Plans

I am marking this point in time for myself by posting this picture.
It is symbolic for me. It was snapped at our special place this past summer.
Lately, I can't help but feel the beginnings of a new life cycle for me and it feels so good.
I feel strong.
This is such a new feeling for me...Feeling strong and confident.
Of course, I give all the credit and glory to my best friend and heavenly Father above!
It has been a loooong season for me-this coming into my own.
But I believe it has finally arrived.
And I am so grateful.
These past few weeks I have been inspired by-
1. Singing in unison with the new choir I am a part of!
2. The originality and creativity of my beautiful daughter.
3. The generous heart of my Girl--for everything she makes is for someone she loves. Always.
4. The courage and grace of a dear friend as she continues on a most sacred journey.
5. The beauty and strength of my Grandmother, as she presses on without my beloved Grandfather, her husband of seventy years.
6. The beauty of autumn here in New York, which has been so vibrant and beautiful-
serving as a reminder that there is so much beauty even within the "dying" times of life...
...and that it is okay to let things fall away as they need to.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"I'm baaaaaack!"

How I've missed this cozy little sharing spot!
I see my last post was almost two months ago.
So, what have I been up to?
Let's play a little catch-up!

We continue to be blessed with happiness, good health, and the love of dear friends and family.
So, life is good. Very busy, but good busy.
We moved at the end of the summer and it has been the best thing I've done in a looong time. Our place is a much better "fit" for me and my daughter.
There is great shopping and convenience, a community filled with families and children, a wonderful new church...and the beach is nearby. There are even little old-school Italian American gems-like restaurants and salumerias tucked within the streets leading up to the beach. We are happy here.
So recently, it has been all about settling in and living day to day.
It's the little details of our simple life together that I love and enjoy the most.
I've missed you all!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Easy Bake

Chocolate. Cookies. Cakes. Baking!

(Photo courtesy of
Seriously, though.
Last week we were walking the aisles of a local grocery store in search of a yummy snack.
I wanted sweet, preferably chocolate...and wholesome. That is, I don't like a lot of chemicals and hard-to-pronounce ingredients in our goodies.
PS: I ended up leaving without said snack because I just couldn't find anything that fit the bill.
In a pinch, I will settle for Pepperidge Farm...and I've never met an Oreo I didn't like...But those are our occasional splurges. Time and again, I always go back to baking.
For me, it is just the best way to go.
Tonight, a sudden craving for brownies led me to this recipe.
It does not get much easier than this and the plus side is you'll know
every ingredient that went into your treat!
Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"August creates as she slumbers..."

After all the traveling around here and there and living out of our suitcases this summer,
it has been so relaxing to finally be home for a chunk of time.
We have been enjoying these days as summer (sadly) winds down.
The change in light and the air especially in the evenings is already noticeable.
Here is just a little bit of what we have been up to:

While on a picnic at our very special place...
Not to mention some very exciting outdoor concerts
including KC & The Sunshine Band!

Granny hangers for me & my girl...
A great way to cover those ugly ones from the dry cleaners.
I'm making this one for my future sister-in-law to hang her wedding dress on.
I've been working on a basic shawl in black and adorable shrug for the fall.
I'm hoping to eliminate the confusion I often feel when trying to buy something
to wear during transitional, in-between weather!

Fingerless Gloves & matching headband for a girl who is turning 7
and has a style all her own...She LOVES black, too!

Lots of vegetarian and Indian, as usual... I am very proud of this
Aloo Paratha, which is an Indian flatbread stuffed with potatoes and spices and is
one of my favorite things to eat for lunch.
After many attempts over the past months, I finally have the dough spot on!
(Thank you, KitchenAid.)
I go to my favorite Indian "Auntie" for my virtual cooking classes.
I wish Manjula lived next door to me! I am such a fan.
She is one of those people I would love to just hang-out and cook with, too.
She has taught me everything I know about cooking
delicious homestyle Indian food, my favorite!

I hope everyone is having a healthful, happy, blessed
SUMMER...enjoying each day to the fullest!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today You Are Six

I can't believe how quickly a baby grows into a six year old little girl.
I have an ongoing joke with my little one...I say, "Okay, so what did you
do with the baby???" And she just laughs and says, "MOM..I AM THE BABY!
(Yes, my sweet girl, you are growing up.)
I am happy and a bit sad, too-
because life goes by so quickly, and I never truly internalized that
until I had my daughter. I'm just savoring every minute of her life; taking it all in and enjoying
the blessings of watching a human being evolve-From the blip on the sonogram when I first saw her, discovering I was now and God willing beyond...I'd gladly take forever if I could...
Josette, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, You make me happy
when skies are gray..."

I discover new things about you every day and they are all AMAZING!
I can't believe I created you...with God's help, of course!
Happy Birthday, Sweet One.
I can't wait to see what SIX brings...xoxo

It was a very nice few days, indeed. A couple of parties, friends, family, pizzas, ice-cream, a movie, a walk along a rainy beach, new earrings, a special memory necklace for a
"Big Girl," and lots of clothes with a smattering of books, dvd's and toys.

This birthday marked the start of my using handmade fabric gift bags instead of wrapping.
I have finally made the transition and LOVE IT.
As fun as it is, I just can't do the paper anymore.
These make so much more sense to me...and we get to save them throughout the
years and make them special!

What a wonderful 24 hours it has been celebrating
my girl.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

DIY: Rare Earth Daily Cleanser and a little background...

My love of Kiehl's first started when I was eleven and went to visit my best-friend from summer camp who lived in Ohio, and while visiting NYC was staying at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
My grandpa, (who passed on his love for all-natural products to me) picked me up from my city weekend and brought me down to the lobby, where they sold Kiehl's. I remember picking out little samples of egg and herbal shampoos...Hey, it was the 70's!
I was hooked.
Years later, when I was in my early thirties, I lived a block away from the famous Kiehl's store in NYC.
Me and my boyfriend at the time were addicted to a couple products, primarily the Pour Homme shower gel and body lotion, which to me was the perfect unisex fragrance to share.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of strolling around downtown with my girl and what do you know...I found myself right in front of the shop. Well, Pour Homme brought back fond memories, but I had no interest in wearing them! I ended up purchasing one of Kiehl's original fragrance oils in Cucumber. It was the perfect quirky spring fragrance and I love it.
(I read somewhere Bjork likes it, too.)
Things apparently changed at Kiehl's because they are no longer as "generous" with the samples as they once were. Everyone knew you only had to purchase a little something to take home a hefty smattering of their famous samples.
This time, I found myself practically begging for a sample of facial cleanser and only after taking what felt like an oath that I had combination skin! Ugh. Anyway, that is how I found Rare Earth facial cleanser and my skin fell in love with it.
The End...
Not really. See, this Mama is on a tight budget. It is also empowering to make my own (and almost always) BETTER products using the original as an inspiration for my homemade creations. And not that I'm knockin' them, but there are a few (or more than a few) suspicious chemicals, additives, and ingredients in their costly products.
So, I took the key players from the Kiehl's version, mainly the clay...and I created something that makes my skin feel even cleaner and softer, than the "OG!" Sorry, Kiehl's.
I still love you...

My Rare Earth Facial Cleanser
3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons French Clay
1 Teaspoon of Sugar (for exfoliation)
1.5 Tablespoon Oatmeal
Put the above ingredients in a blender or other blending device. I used a coffee bean grinder I have and it worked splendidly!
Give it a few whirls until everything is ground up fine.
Careful when you open the lid. You don't want to breathe in clay powder!
Put your lovely facial cleanser in a jar or other air-tight container.
To Use: Place about a teaspoon of cleanser into the palm of your hand. Add a tiny bit of hot water, enough to mix a paste. Gently rub around your entire face, focusing on the oily areas.
You can even leave this on for a few minutes as a mask, if desired.
Rinse and pat your beautiful face dry.
I promise, you will love the way your skin feels.
Hope you'll try it.
***Stay tuned for my tingly deoderant/foot powder recipe!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Summer,

I am unabashedly relishing all of the delights you have offered me!
(Staten Island, NY)

There have been few free moments, but all have been memorable.
(Movies at the Brooklyn Salt Marshes)

You have given us sunshine, water, peace, beauty, lots of fun,
and the love & company
of our wonderful family & friends.

(Westhampton Beach, NY)

Thank you for being so very good to me & my girl.
Love Always,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Summer Kitchen

The heat and humidity finally seemed to break the past two days...I didn't realize how much
I've missed cooking & creating in our kitchen!
Yesterday, we made this easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam.
We used organic berries and very little sugar. It's nice and tart and
delicious. Can't wait to put it on my toast tomorrow morning...or later this evening!
I think I'll use this recipe again to experiment with other fruits, too.
Wow, we really can make our own jam without turning our kitchen upside
down with the crazy canning process!
Last week we recieved a kohlrabi in our CSA harvest.
My eastern euro roots must be the reason I love it so much.
It's an interesting cross between a potato and a turnip.
I wanted to try something new and found a delicious recipe over at Farmgirl Fare.
Kohlrabi puree is yummy! I added a red potato and some parsley, too.
For this evening, I'm finally getting around to making Indian Plum Chutney.
We picked up some beautiful red plums on the drive home from upstate last weekend, so
I'm excited to get started. I am loving the idea of plum combined with spices.

Can't take credit for the photo above. Photo and recipe are from
...There have been many homemade popcicles & fruit granitas for dessert.
On a less exotic note, I've been experimenting with making my own healthier versions of the icky foods my girl seems to love and want to eat a lot Chef Boyardee
and Hamburger Helper. Both contain chemicals and tons of suspicious ingredients.
Chicken in the Road has been a great resource for cooking
to the taste of my she has
an amazing story to tell about life on her family farm.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Color

Nothing like the bright colors of summer to make you smile...
Here is Cub modeling the latest sundress I made her. Super easy 'cause
the material was already smocked when I bought it...Just sew up the sides and add ribbon.
I really need to make her another one of these. She loves it so.

While cleaning out the closets, we found a huge stash of playdough.
I enjoy my girl's interesting scuptures!
She calls this her "summer snowman!"

In preparation for our camping trip, I picked up some great reads this afternoon.
Hopefully, I'll finish them by the end of summer!
Enjoying the bright sunlight streaming through the windows.

Leaving for the woods in a few days...
We can not wait!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tangled Up in Blue

I've been staring at a pile of old jeans for too long now.
So, today I went on a search for some cute projects to whip-up fast.
Denim is so durable and easy to work with, too.
I love the above apron tutorial by Betz White. I'm going to make a version for myself later and trim the edge with some red pom-poms.
Right now, I'm making my girl this longish apron by the fabulous Threadbanger people.
It's a fast and fun way to use up the old denim.
Some other things I'm planning to make with the same pair of jeans:
oven mitt, bibs, and if I'm feeling ambitious...
I would absolutely love to make a pair of these!
It's been a great way to spend a rainy morning.
I love being creatively productive.
Now, if I could only get the other stuff on my to-do list done!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer 2010 So Far...

A List
1. Grieving
2. Graduations
3. Close-knit time spent with our beautiful family
4. The Try-Out costumes
5. Adventures across the water...Battery Park days
5. And portraits, too.

6. Absolutely shameless Starbucks coffee runs & late-night eats with a certain someone
7. Outdoor movies at night, riverside...
8. Fancy hair salons
9. Mani-Pedi's - Already too many to count!
10. Many meals at our favorite restaurants, like this one.
(Photo taken by my girl!)

11. Westhampton Beach and all the time spent together as a family
12. Fourth of July & a private fireworks display.
13. The most wonderful girl overcoming every fear
of the water and swimming like a fish. This is one of my all-time favorites
of my girl and wonderful brother. So cute together...

14. Making my version of meal planning for summer (Eh-hem- too many restaurants had to end sometime!!). Using this amazing website to make a long list of foods & ideas...So far, so good.
15. Enjoying every morsel of our farm share.
16. Homemade Popcicles- For kids (& some for grown-ups, too!)

16. Lots of crafting, cooking, sewing, indoor camping, picnics,
and a lot of travel in the near future.
17. Both of us joining the NYPL Summer Reading Program.
18. Reading Philosophy & Literature and The Emperor of Scent & loving both!

Still to Come: Camping in the Woods, Vacation Bible School, and a very special wedding.

A Peaceful & Blessed Summer, Everyone.
May you find a little bit of bliss each day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Try-Out

At 7:00 am this morning I reported to a baseball field underneath the
Manhattan Bridge. I have to say it was a pretty nifty sight, the only problem was the weather.
Today, it hit 96 and factoring the humidity the heat index was up around 101.
Boy, did I feel sorry for all the guys in their wool baseball uniforms.
This was my second time working on a film crew for costume/wardrobe.
The Try-Out is a short film made by the talented (and adorable)

This time I was more of a seamstress, refashioning baseball uniforms and caps and altering a pair of pants worn by Gibson's character, Felix.

The dugout scene was filmed under the bleachers...a relief from the sun.

Almost looks like a real team, huh?

What a blessing to experience the process of filmmaking from the inside with
such a talented and professional group of people.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eternally Grateful

This is a cropped version of a recent photo I took of my girl at a birthday party for a friend.
There have been so many things I want to document here in this space, but my camera appears to have finally kicked the bucket and I haven't had time to shop for a new one.
I miss writing and sharing here.
This is our little space...our cyber dreamcatcher--a place to capture memory bits.
-Hiking through tall trees & around waterfalls with my girl and friends
-Relay For Life: One of the most special nights we have ever had...
-Popcorn & "movie theater nights" at our place
-The last June days of school...A summer stretched out before us...
-Cabins reserved, vacations to come...Excitement, anticipation!
-Costume design jobs for theater and film! (Still speechless)
-The short-stories my girl continues to write & illustrate: Tonight's title:
"Toot, Toot, Boom, Boom!" (A Fishing Tale...)
-The constant buzz of creativity always present in our home
-Tinkering with new projects: crochet jewelry, hardware lockets, paint & collage
-The blessings of our family & friends and all the love surrounding us...
-My daughter, my first and strongest prayer partner...How I cherish our prayer time together.
Heavenly Father,
We are so grateful for the beautiful life you have blessed us with.
You have been so good to me & my girl.
Thank you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Project: Room for My Big Girl

Turns out SIX is a bit of a milestone-I've noticed my girl is growing taller, has a loose tooth, and is already reading on her own. She has definitely left the baby stage...which was also noticeable when we began to go through her toys this past weekend. There was so much she was actually willing to put into the donation bag this time. I've noticed her play is changing, too...Less dramatic play and A LOT more art & writing. Of course, it is a little bittersweet for this Mama.
But I am welcoming each stage of her precious life with open arms and heart!
So, in honor of her upcoming Kindergarten graduation (June) and sixth birthday (August), we are redecorating her room this summer. Time for some upgrades...and we are having a blast picking it out together. Well, it is mostly me. I'm lucky she loves my taste!
Here is her big-girl bed. I am going to place the order in the next week or two.
I love antique iron bed frames.

Here is a new rug for her room. I have ordered this already. We both sorta fell in love with it at first sight. I guess we are going for the Shabby Chic look,
which I think suits my girl so well!

Next, we are going to comb the thrift stores out East and upstate while we are on vacation this search of the perfect book case and vintage dresser. The book case is a must because the one she has now no longer contains all the books we've acquired.

There will be few shelves added to the wall so that she may display her favorite things...and some new wall art. She is getting this vintage Barbie portrait for her graduation.
I can't wait to surprise her with it because she went wild for it a while ago.
And let me not forget the Japanese Fighting fish she will be getting for graduation as well.

Mommie's little girl is growing up so beautifully...

Saturday, May 29, 2010


So proud of my girl & I...we almost went an entire year without getting sick.
But it definitely hit us hard this past week. I blame all of the road-tripping, visiting, and late-night creating sessions...but they were so worth it!
Our strep throat & fevers have forced us into some much needed downtime at home. Unfortunately, we are not with the rest of our gang out east in Long Island for this three day weekend! Late this afternoon, we finally began to bounce back a little. I finished-up some easy projects I had laying around-
This simple skirt with a draw-string made from a thrifted DKNY t-shirt:

...And a wide crocheted belt with satin ribbon closure. Totally does not go with the day's attire, but hey- I wanted to share!
I actually made this to belt a white t-shirt tunic dress and another olive
green peasant dress.

Other than that-we've been making lots of movies with my new Flip video cam. I highly recommend light and portable. We love it! My girl has been busy writing lots of short stories and even a play that was supposed to be performed by my family this weekend.
Tomorrow we are off to the beach to rest-up at one of my girl's favorite places.

A blessed & safe Memorial Day to all.

A special thank-you to my Grandpa's youngest brother, my Uncle Richard-whom I never had the chance to meet...He ran away at 15 and signed himself into the service. He died during World War II, when his ship went down. I have a picture of him on my altar. I don't know much about him...I do know he was very patriotic and died for the love of this country.
God bless him...and all who have died in service for something they believed in.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Otherworld

This was a tremendous weekend that began at 6am friday morning when we loaded-up the car with the costumes I made and set out for Millbrook, New York - one of several locations for
The Otherworld Film. I proudly completed all of the tunic, tunic dresses, and fairy wings I was hired to make...and then I was honored when Gisela, the director/filmmaker asked if my daughter and I would appear in a couple of scenes. Wow.
Not to sound too cliche, but this entire experience has been quite magical.
Working on these costumes has already opened some doors for me. I will be working on costuming/wardrobe at the Rhinebeck Center for the Performing Arts this summer and this morning I was offered a one-week position as Costume Assistant on a soap opera being filmed not too far from NYC! More to come...Now back to The Otherworld:
Several scenes of the film were shot at Wing's Castle, an incredible place built by owner Peter Wing and his wife. You really have to see it to believe it. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside, too. My daughter and I spent our first hour there just running around inside the castle with wide-eyes, mouths open, taking photos and squeeling with delight!

Here is the view from the side yard...
Oh, I've missed the mountains, even the little ones.

I took lots of photos, I thought I'd just share a few here.
Actors on set!

Me and my girl hanging waiting for our scene in the woods.
It was such a glorious feeling making this tunic dress for my daughter.
This was an experience of a lifetime and I have been so very blessed to be able to share it all
side-by-side with my darling child.

Like her Mama, she enjoyed every second of it all.

"I wanna thank you Heavenly Father for shining your light on me." - Alicia Meyers

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Otherworld Costumes

I have been keeping a little bit of a secret here in bloggy-land.
About a month ago, I signed on to be a costume designer/seamstress for
an independent feature called
This actually rocked my world for so many reasons!
I have flirted with the stage/film industry throughout my life...Primarily acting in my late teens and throughout my twenties. The dream sort of morphed in my thirties and I became more interested in the actual writing and "craft" of the theater.
In more recent years, I have been dreaming about costumes...Something I have always been interested in. I almost applied to FIT at 27 to study Costume Design.
Funny, how things come around again...Or never really leave you, that is!
I have been so abundantly blessed with this opportunity.
It leaves me speechless.
Here is one of several women's tunic dresses I've been working on.

And here is the dress alongside a couple of men's tunics.
I have a few more of those to make.
The filmmaker is still deciding on whether or not she wants trim on the men's tunics.
I personally think we should go for it.
I like ornate costumes!

The next phase of costumes will involve more tunics and more
elaborate dresses. Also, long, flowy, fairy-wings will be made.
The film will begin shooting again on Monday, so this is going to be a very busy week for me.
However, I don't mind at all. I love it.
I was made to do this.

Monday, May 10, 2010 Us!

Mama's: Using this nifty tutorial I whipped-up a batch of funky nighties
after scoring a pile of old-time concert tees from back in MY day!
(Pink Floyd's The Wall included!)
This was especially useful since my girl is growing like a dandelion and was in
need of some bed clothes. She loves to throw them on as soon as she gets home
from school. They make us both happy and just suit her so well!

CUB'S CREATION: (So proud of her!)
Just check-out Barbie's dress. It is completely made of paper!
Too bad my girl wouldn't boost Barb from the car so I could give you a full view of the dress.
She even cut the bottom into a fishtail shape!
Is there a fashion career in her future or what?

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We Made...

I made a white nightie out of a thrifted LL Bean T-shirt.

She made my dream of becoming a mother come true.

We made...

Bouquets of Love

The pipe cleaner bouquet is a Mother's Day gift I made.
My little fairy-girl made the paper bouquet for me a while back and placed them next to my bed,
"So you would feel like you're in a hotel, Mom!"

May you have a blessed Mother's Day.
Peace & Hugs to you all!