June 2014

Monday, Monday– or more links with advice for the summertime

This is my daughter's new favorite look for the summer. I am totally jealous and am dying to copy her, though I fear it may not be appropriate for a woman of my age. Oh well...

This is my daughter’s new favorite look for the summer. I am totally jealous and am dying to copy her, though I fear it may not be appropriate for a woman of my age. Oh well…

The sales are on… Makie, my favorite (but totally not inexpensive) clothing line for kids always has some great pieces on sale this time of year.

If money is no object (or selectively no object, like when it comes to beauty products) here’s a list of top all-natural sunscreens that really work and don’t go on like plaster.

Make yourself a delicious red cabbage stir fry like the ladies from A Beautiful Mess evidently do all the time…

And while you’re cooking, try one or all of these super easy summer appetizers from Dinner A Love Story when you’re having friends over (or just want to feel festive!)

I almost never look at Buzzfeed, but the brilliance of their list of 28 travel hacks for summer road trips might turn me into a regular visitor…

Having people over for July 4? (which is Friday, by the way…) Here are 10 red cocktails from the ever stylish Design Sponge that will brighten up any Independence Day table. (just add a blue table cloth and white napkins and you’re good to go!)

Last, but not least, the sale is raging over at Bird so maybe now is the time to buy a new pair of summer shoes for Way. Less. Money. (’cause who doesn’t love a good markdown?)

Yesterday, at some point…


Hard to believe this is Queens, but there it is.

We spent a glorious 24 hours in Rockaway yesterday (you’ll be hearing more about this in the next couple of days, I promise) and the Atlantic Ocean gracefully welcomed us to her shores.

Summer has really begun.

Sure there’s a huge crazy pipe that’s replenishing lost sand and sounds of post-Sandy construction everywhere. But the ocean is the ocean is the ocean.

And that’s all that matters.

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

Just another rhubarb recipe

rhubarb toasts

Good Eggs’ Rhubarb Toasts. A lovely way to begin an early summer meal

Asparagus season is basically over. Garlic scapes are pretty much done too, as are ramps and fiddleheads. But rhubarb is still going strong in the New York area, at least for a few more weeks, and I am determined to take advantage of it’s tangy deliciousness as much as I can while it’s still available in it’s freshest form.

The good people over at Good Eggs (my favorite deliverers of locally produced and farm fresh food) just recently shared a killer recipe for their own Rhubarb Toasts and I figured it was my duty to pass it along to you guys while you still have the chance to pick up some big red stems of rhubarb and make some for yourselves. I made it the other night for a little appetizer and it was delicious… the kind of thing one imagines people who live with Alice Waters or Gabrielle Hamilton probably eat all the time.

Good Eggs Rhubarb Toasts

3 stalks chopped rhubarb
4 dashes of sugar (I was a bit more generous with the sugar)
Juice of one lemon
Bread for toasting (I used thick slices of hearty multigrain)
Fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To prepare rhubarb: Toss rhubarb, lemon juice, and sugar to coat.
Wrap rhubarb in tin foil and place in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes or until soft.

In the meantime: Prepare the bread, either in a toaster or below the rhubarb in the oven. Once browned, smear with goat cheese and top with rhubarb mixture. Garnish with mint and lemon zest.


(Though you may be sad that you only made this much and will swear, like I have, to double the recipe the next time you make these…)

Monday, Monday– or more links about things to do with your kids this summer

The beautiful sunny summer days are stretching out before us...

The beautiful sunny summer days are stretching out before us…

If you find yourself in NYC this summer, check out this Mommy Poppins guide for a comprehensive guide to activities in the city– many of them free!

Modern Parents Messy Kids has a Pinterest board devoted to good books for kids that is worth checking out for those rainy days…

It’s summertime, and everything is in bloom… a perfect time to paint with flowers!

If you are lucky enough to have a backyard, Apartment Therapy has a few ideas for how to cool your kids off during the dog days.

The fabulous Krrb blog did an article about making popsicles a few years back that still holds up. Half of the treats are for the kiddies, and the other half are savory or, better yet, have a bit of the cocktail about them. Try a few and let me know what you think…

Of course Momfilter has loads of great crafting-with-your-kids ideas…

And for the serious crafters, there is always The Artful Parent. You fans of the glue gun and the yarn and the felt will not be disappointed.

Here comes the sun


My slightly tattered bottle of Natural Radiance, an all natural sunscreen with rooibus, chamomile, rose hips, shea butter, and a whole mess of other ingredients that help protect and nurture the skin.

Sunscreen season is upon us. And while slathering thick layers of zinc oxide on my daughter’s skin brings back memories of my childhood swimming teacher (who would have made a perfect drill sergeant in a WW2 movie) I have been trying my damndest to find some effective all natural alternatives. Both because I try to have my family ingest as few harsh chemicals as possible and because I want us to get as much vitamin D as possible, and most sunscreens cut our bodies’ natural production down to a miniscule amount.

Enter Loving Care Sun Protection by Natural Radiance. An all natural herbal lotion that is loaded with antioxidants like Rooibus and Green Tea, oils like shea butter, vitamin E and coconut oil for moisture as well as sun protection and over 14 herbs selected for their healing and protecting powers.

If we are spending the entire day outdoors, at the beach or in some flower-ridden meadow somewhere, I’ll still opt for the somewhat waterproof Badger sunscreen, with that hard-to-rub-in-yet-highly-effective zinc oxide. But for the more typical city-style days of running in and out of buildings, trips on the subway, an hour at the playground before we melt and run into an air conditioned store for shelter, etc, this stuff is perfect. And with these ingredients, it’s like you are giving your skin an herbal tea party.

What’s not to love about that on a hot summer day?

Shake it up in DUMBO

opening day of shake shack

Bringing a few chairs outside for opening day of the newest Shake Shack, in Brooklyn, right by the bridge.

The day before yesterday, my daughter and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with my 2 nieces and their parents, who are visiting from the west coast. I may have mentioned them previously.

It was the Hottest. Day. Ever.

Ok actually that’s not true, because yesterday was even worse, but it was still pretty intense… especially for June.

Before we set out on our journey to Manhattan, we wandered around DUMBO looking, of course, for a bathroom. Because kids only have to go at the most inopportune times, and I had been too busy concentrating on staying cool to make sure everyone had done the right thing before we left on our voyage in the first place. My bad.

Imagine my delight and surprise to see the words Shake Shack (parent-ese for restroom) shining in gold leaf right there on Old Fulton Street. The perfect solution! I get to drink my favorite NYC milkshake, the kids get to use the bathroom, we enjoy a bit of AC before the climb begins… I couldn’t have been happier.

shake shack DUMBO

Here I am, in a rare selfie, in front of the Shake Shack, excitedly thinking about the delicious (and cold!) milkshake I am about to have.

Until we headed inside and there was NO LINE!!??!! Which, at a Shake Shack, is a once in a lifetime experience. Turns out, it was opening day, so the word isn’t out yet. Who knew we were such trail blazers?

shake shack DUMBO

This is a terrible photograph, but I just had to include it because there was basically NO LINE. And I wanted to make sure you all believed me…

So let me help spread the news: There is a beautiful, spacious, air conditioned Shake Shack filled with deliciousness (and a bathroom) just waiting for you to enjoy right by the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jane’s Carousel and all the other stuff that DUMBO has to offer. Much of the wood used in the interior was even resourced from old factories in the neighborhood… How’s that for responsible building?

Run Don’t Walk, because I can’t imagine that the line-less situation will last for long once the people find out.

Yesterday, at some point…


Last weekend we went strawberry picking and this particular example won the prize as the most oddly shaped berry any of us had ever seen. It was delicious, though, as was the rest of the haul. It’s a miracle any made it all the way home with us.

The real prime season for this delectable fruit is quickly coming to an end, so if you can get yourselves out to a farm for some picking, now is the time. If you’re on the east end of Long Island, I strongly recommend Hank’s Farmstand in Southampton, which offers strawberries, raspberries and blackberries as well as pumpkins for the picking. Nice fields and not at all crowded, this place feels like an actual farm rather than the suburban petting zoo style spots I’m sure we’ve all experienced at least once.

Oh and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

Shoo fly

fly swatter

A lovely wooden fly swatter made by Germans, of course.

Hmmmm… one would think, judging from recent posts, that I am a woman at war with the entire insect world. This is not true, though I do harbor a potentially unreasonable disdain for ticks, mosquitoes and flies.

The war against ticks became less unreasonable once they introduced Lyme disease as a weapon. Mosquitoes are not quite so powerful in the illness inducing dept (though malaria and west nile virus must count for something) but their bites can be awful and the sneaky bastards are everywhere.

Flies, by comparison, don’t do all that much. Except hang out on dog poop and then walk all over the lovely potato salad you made for the picnic. Even so, I truly dislike them, and have always had a fly swatter on hand to shoo them either out of the way or into oblivion, depending on my mood and their transgression.

This summer, I have treated myself to a new, really nice fly swatter. Saw it over at Fellow Barber, where I am just now noticing it is on sale. Made by the esteemed German company Redecker, which makes all sorts of lovely wooden objects to help with the housekeeping. You should go get one of these, if you’re in the market for such a thing, that is.

Because if you’re going to spend the summer swatting, you may as well do it in style.

Showing off the city

brooklyn ice cream facotry

The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a favorite spot on a summer day. This photo comes courtesy of thingstoseenyc.com. I know I’ve taken many photos of this place, but I can’t put my hands on them…

So my sister-in-law is coming to visit from the west coast with her two kids and husband in tow… they have all sorts of other family obligations (her husband’s family is nearby in Jersey) so we only have a limited time to hang out with them and show them our world. The girls have, essentially, never been to New York, so this will be their first real window into what their younger cousin’s life is like here.

In a perfect world, here are links to some of the things I would love to do with them. Hopefully these will come in handy as things you guys could do when you want to show off this big bad city of ours (or when you come to visit!)

The Kara Walker installation at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg is only up for a few more weeks. Then it gets destroyed and the factory becomes another luxury condo. The show is a once in a lifetime experience. If you’re in Brooklyn before July 6, don’t miss it.

Take the East River Ferry to Dumbo and ride Jane’s Carousel (and play in the playground there, call ahead to pick up pizza at Grimaldi’s, grab some cones at The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and then stroll back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge. Fun!)

If you’re organized, go see a Broadway show. I vote for Matilda or The Lion King. If you’re adventurous, head to TKTS in Times Square or it’s two other locations to see what kind of same day discount tickets are available… a great way to enjoy a show at a fraction of the regular (astronomical, if you ask me) cost.

Take the ferry to Governor’s Island. I have never done this and am dying to. Pack a delicious lunch, explore the 30 acres of park and old buildings… what’s not to love?

If you’re looking for the ultimate kids toy store, look no further than FAO Schwartz. This has been the BEST. TOY. STORE. EVER. since before I was a kid.

Of course a trip to the Natural History Museum with a Planetarium show thrown in is a sure fire hit. Try to avoid school holidays, as this is probably the number one destination for most kids on their days off. Right now there’s an exhibit called “The Power of Poison” which looks like a real crowd pleaser…

And what would a trip to NYC be without a little shopping… I think I’ll send these folks to Uniqlo. It’s got great stuff at super reasonable prices, and they don’t have anything like it back home. Uniqlo’s flagship store is the biggest retail location on 5th Avenue, for what that’s worth. My in-laws are also really into outdoor sports stuff (something I know very little about, but whatever) so maybe a trip to Paragon would be a nice thing to do. Oh and Dave is really into playing guitar, so I’m going to take him to Main Drag in Williamsburg and hopefully shop vicariously through him while he’s there.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, naturally. But hopefully once they get a taste of the big apple they will be back wanting more before too long…

Yesterday, at some point…

first grade farmers market

Sometimes pictures need no captions.

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.