February 2016

Monday, Monday– or more links about Black History on the last day of Black History Month which will hopefully be the first day of the rest of the year during which we all aknowledge the role that everyone has played (and continues to play) in shaping the United States

You might not be able to tell from the photo, but this is a video of Chris Rock’s opening monologue from last night’s Oscars where he rips into the Academy for the absence of Black nominees this year.

Who knew that eBay has a style blog? Well I do now, and here’s what they have to say about Black History Month Sneakers. (Which, by the way, I didn’t realize were a category all to themselves…)

Listen to the Voices from the Southern Civil Rights Movement by checking out the huge archive of radio shows and interviews collected by The American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Time Magazine for Kids has a great online resource of articles, photos and videos about African American History for the younger generation. Because the more our kids know, the less likely they are to repeat the same mistakes again and again… and again.

10 little known (and yet highly significant and super interesting) Black History facts.

TED put together a playlist of 11 talks to celebrate Black History Month.

And last but not least, Morgan Freeman finds the whole concept of Black History month ridiculous. With good reason.

Yesterday, at some point…

circus poster

I mean, who doesn’t want to go to the circus after seeing this poster?

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.

The struggle against the ravages of winter continues…

remedies brooklyn

I know that the traditional 14th wedding anniversary gift is roses, but we gave each other a lazy lunch and some herbal treats from Remedies Herb Shop instead…

My husband and I recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe it’s been so long. I would say it feels like only yesterday that we were walking down the aisle together, but in reality it feels more like last week. Or maybe two weeks ago. Time has flown, but a lot has happened as well.

We had a glorious and slightly boozy lunch at Prime Meats, a meticulously wood paneled, slightly Germanic feeling, old New York kind of spot in Brooklyn’s Caroll Gardens. And then we wandered down Court Street and found ourselves in one of my current versions of heaven: a beautifully appointed herb shop.

Remedies has a long wall lined with jars of dried herbs, plus tinctures, creams, soaps, balms… you name it. I pretty much wanted everything. And the woman behind the counter (a friend of the owner’s) was a super knowledgeable practicing herbalist. Just the kind of angel one wishes were always a stone’s throw away.

We managed to escape with only 4 things (see the photo above) Burdock root to add to the bone broth I should have already made (but I swear I’m gonna do it this week!), some Hand to Hand salve for helping to repair dry heels and palms, a bundle of sage to burn for a little aromatherapy of the soul, and lastly, some charcoal soap with shea butter to purify as it moisturizes.

A lovely kit with which to begin year #14…

Monday, Monday– or a few links for helping us learn how to do stuff

canvas magazine rack

The photo (and instructions) for how to make this lovely magazine holder come to us from Design Sponge.

First off, NY Times’ Florence Fabricant show us how to cook salmon.

Since we’re in the kitchen, here’s how to season a cast iron skillet.

And now that your skillet is properly seasoned, here’s how to keep it clean.

Keep your reading material organized once you’ve made your own canvas magazine holder.

While we’re on the topic of reading, here’s how to educate yourself (aka how to learn basically anything you might learn in school at home, online, for free)

It’s winter, and we all suffer from time to time with chapped lips. Here’s how to make your own lemonade lip balm.

And last but not least, how to spot a sign from the universe. Because who doesn’t want to know how to do that?

Mid-winter break

snowy fence

This is the fence leading into our back yard after the last big snowstorm… it feels like a passageway into a magic kingdom…

This is the week that NYC schools close for their mid-winter break. In the past, I generally get all ambitious and plan to continue posting all throughout whilst also being the number one companion for my daughter for 7 days straight. For the record, I almost never keep it all up.

So this time I’ve decided to lighten up the schedule and just spend a bit more time being present with my family… it’s a rare moment when both Josh and Ada are without regular daily commitments. We’ll check out the beach in the winter, take a small trip to Philly, and just generally hang out as a family until our regularly scheduled programming returns.

Very much looking forward to it…

Be mine

our valentine's

As promised, here is our version of the painted newspaper heart valentines I wrote about in the last post. We painted on envelopes so that we could enclose our traditional handmade peppermint bark. And they were very well received, if I do say so myself.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a playlist of some of my favorite love songs. On Spotify, as usual.

Below please find the track list, should you wish to follow along:

Beggin’ – Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons
Happy Valentine’s Day – Outkast
I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family
(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry – Darlene Loe
I’ve Got A Woman – Ray Charles
Wanna Be On Your Mind – Valerie June
Hidden Place – Bjork
(Every Time I Turn Around) Back – L.T.D.
It’s In The Kiss – Betty Everett
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – Bettee Swann
Boy From New York City – The Ad Libs
Kooks – David Bowie
Love Has Fallen O Me – Chaka Khan
I Keep Coming Back – The Afghan Whigs
A Song For You – Donny Hathaway

Only 4 days till Valentine’s Day!

It’s Wednesday and Valentine’s Day is Sunday. And if you have young kids, the deadline may even be the day after tomorrow, since one tends to have to produce cards, etc, for all the classmates, favorite teachers, etc.

We don’t have much time.

If you are still looking for ideas– here are a few I’ve seen while casting about for inspiration. Best of luck to you all!

shortbread cookies

One surefire way to a person’s heart is via their stomach, so these heart shaped shortbread cookies should be just the thing. I’m thinking these are obligatory if you’re having any kind of Valentine’s Day party…

tissue paper sun catcher hearts

photo from MarinMommies.com

These tissue paper “sun-catchers” are a great way to add a bit of color to the otherwise dreary midwinter days…

string heart cards

photo courtesy hellowonderful.co

These string heart cards are a great way for your kids to practice handling a needle and yarn, plus the clean graphic appeals to kids and adults alike.

heart shaped crayons

photo courtesy momdot.com

I mean, what kid doesn’t want a multi colored heart shaped crayon?

newspaper hearts

photo courtesy of youaremyfave.com

These painted newspaper heart cards were the design that really spoke to us this year. We’ve made a few adjustments and are mid-production now. I promise to let you guys all know how they turn out!

felt tipped arrows

photo courtesy carolynshomework.com

Perhaps a nod to Cupid is the right way to go this year? These twig and felt arrows of course make great little toys, but they would really be amazing as a little extra touch on top of a beautifully wrapped gift that you might be thinking of handing over to that special someone…

wax crayon hearts

photo courtesy marthastewart.com

No list of holiday related crafts is complete without something from the grande dame of the handiwork universe. Martha Stewart’s wax paper and crayon hearts look beautiful hanging in the window but would also make lovely stand alone cards.


What kid (or grown up, for that matter) doesn’t secretly want to spend all day blowing paint through straws? I’m thinking these straw blown heart cards may be the way we go next year…

Yesterday, at some point…

old stove pub

We have been passing this place by for years and finally, finally stopped in for dinner. Recently reopened, it’s a classic and slightly ramshackle Greek steakhouse with quite possibly the best and most gigantic perfectly pink-on-the-inside-charred-on-the-outside steak I’ve ever had. No surprise, as the kitchen is overseen by Colin Ambrose whose Sag Harbor spot, Estia’s Little Kitchen, is one of my all time favorite breakfast joints. Evidently the steak’s success is all about the crazy hot vintage stove. Sure, the main dish was $90, but it was dinner and then lunch again for all three members of my little family, and a happy trio we were.

We’ll be back again for sure.

Old Stove Pub
3516 Montauk Hwy
Sagaponack, NY 11932
open year round

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.

Last night’s dinner: Stir-fried beef

Stir fried beef

Stir fried beef with snow pea pods– a favorite around our house.

I try to always have about a pound of good quality beef around… cut into strips and ready to throw onto the wok. (Yep, that same wok that spent years languishing unused on the shelf is finally coming into heavy rotation.) Because when you needed dinner to be on the table 15 minutes ago, this recipe can’t be beat.

Absolutely first thing to do is get your rice going. Next, start the beef soaking in soy sauce and sesame oil. Once that stuff is happening, you just prep and chop the veggies, heat up the wok and go. It’s amazing how fast you can get a delicious and semi-exotic meal on the table.

And if you play your cards right there may even be leftovers for lunch the next day.

Melissa Clark’s Stir-Fried Beef with Sugar Snap Peas


1 pound lean beef, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons tamari or dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, more for drizzling
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (we sometimes use snow peas, when the sugar snaps are scarce)
3 fat scallions
⅔ cup chicken broth
2 ½ tablespoons Madeira or sweet sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Rice, for serving
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sriracha or other hot sauce, or rice wine vinegar for garnish
chili oil, for garnish


In a medium bowl, mix beef, 2 tablespoons tamari, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Set aside. Thinly slice sugar snap peas crosswise into disks. Thinly slice scallions, reserving dark green parts for garnish. In a small bowl, mix chicken broth, Madeira, 2 tablespoons water, remaining 1 tablespoon tamari and cornstarch. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When pan is hot, stir-fry beef until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer beef and any liquid to a plate. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and when hot, add garlic and white and light green scallion parts until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add sugar snap peas and chicken broth mixture, lower heat to medium and cover. Let cook for 2 minutes. Transfer beef and juices to skillet and stir-fry 2 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with more sesame oil, sesame seeds, dark parts of scallions, and hot sauce or vinegar and chili oil.

A little pep in your step

I was just wasting time on Facebook when I came across this amazing video. The caption (from the Studio by Kelly Facebook page) reads:

The Nicholas Brothers were a famous African American team of dancing brothers, Fayard (1914–2006) and Harold (1921–2000). With their highly acrobatic technique (“flash dancing”), high level of artistry and daring innovations, they were considered by many the greatest tap dancers of their day. Growing up surrounded by Vaudeville acts as children, they became stars of the jazz circuit during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance and went on to have successful careers performing on stage, film, and television well into the 1990s.

Now that I’ve shared it with you guys, my time on Facebook has been well spent.