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spring cleaning

So I finally bit the bullet and am doing a juice cleanse. Just a two day voyage, plus you get some millet with a sprinkling of carrot and celery for dinner, which I think is the only reason that I thought I could potntially go through with it. Me, who is a constant snacker and a true lover of food in all of its glory.

Also this particular fast was designed and prepared by Brownie of the shanti shack fame. She is a genius and an incredibe cook, so I knew that the juices would be delectable. And as I have befriended her over the past 18 months of practicing yoga at Kula’s Williamsburg spot, I knew I’d be in good hands.

So here I am, one day and 2 juices into it… And I’m waiting for the soaring feeling of tranquility to kick in. Right now, I’m just a bit chilly (nothing like a little pasta to keep a body warm) but I am feeling oddly clear. And the time is passing more slowly (how long before I can have my next juice?) but I am also getting a hell of a lot more done. Which is reason enough to do this more frequently.

for details about the juices, click below…

I have to say, I have not been at all hungry. I miss chewing, but two days is nothing (talk to me around 6 pm and see how I feel then…)

Here’s what I have been putting into my body:

First up, grapefruit juice to start, which suppresses the appetite and gets the metabolism going. Two hours and a  bunch of water later, comes green juice with spinach, zucchini and citrus for some internal scrubbing. Next up, a blush of beets, apple, strawberry, lime and ginger filled with fiber and the perfect thing to, in Brownie’s words “iron your lunch pains.” For the late afternoon comes the much needed “pep talk” full of clarity inducing agave, jalapeno, lemon, ginger and peppermint. Then, oh happy day, comes the millet, leek and fava “porridge” which is like a miracle in my mouth by this point in a previously all-liquid day. Lastly, for desert, the dew coloada, a “misty mix of honey dew and pineapple to vaporize today’s drop.” This last one is killer. A sweet reward for making it through the day.

Doesn’t sound all that bad, right? And the benefits are legion– everything from cleaning out (and giving a rest to) the digestive tract and eliminating toxic waste in the bloodstream to clearing up the skin and increasing energy. And this particular cleanse comes with a super short meditation in the morning and evening, as well as a short series of yoga poses to help encourage the body to release what it’s been holding on to for so long…

Mind you, I’m only a bit more than halfway through a relatively easy two day cleanse, but I am becoming a convert for sure. I do love my red velvet cake far too much to adopt this way of eating whole hog, but a little refresher every now and again isn’t such a bad thing, right?

I’ll keep you guys posted as to when Brownie decides to do another one. Or, if you are jonesing to get your juice on, check out Organic Avenue for their wide array of cleanses.

guilt free xmas trees

When it comes to Christmas trees, I am a traditionalist. Try as I might to be enthusiastic about little trees in a pot (that I can replant in some forest someplace at some point) or a cool all white kitchy fake tree (landfill fodder, anyone?) I still find myself pulled towards a nice big 7 foot live tree that I stick in some water and load up with as many lights and decorations as I can deal with.

And now that there is a next-generation in my immediate family, we’re even more into it.

But now all those people who look down their noses at us trad tree users can just be quiet. Because NYC Dept of Sanitation is picking up trees curbside and mulching them. The mulch is then used to help take care of the city’s parks and trees. Just put your unadorned tree on the street before January 14th and you’re good.

Or, if you want a piece of the action, this weekend (Jan 7 and 8) is Mulchfest, where, in many parks around the city, you can take your tree, watch skilled professionals run it through a crazy mulching machine, and then walk away with a bag of your own mulch. The Parks Dept keeps the rest.

So let this be my holiday gift to you. A future of live Christmas trees with no guilt attached! See you at Mulchfest…

happy new year!

Damn! Why didn’t I buy this at that Krrb auction a couple of months ago?

Oh well. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Here’s to making all the right choices in 2012… Happy New Year everybody!

Today we celebrate (and potentially nurse hangovers.)

Tomorrow– resolution time!

happy merry

Somehow, despite my adult life’s obligations’ ability to turn “the holidays” into an insanely long and impossible to actually achieve to-do list (not to mention all of the official year-end business that suddenly needs to be taken care of before Dec 31), I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see the massive tree at Rockefeller Center for the first time each year.

This year, I was running (literally sprinting through the crowds) late to see the incredible collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels and frocks on auction at Christie’s when I rounded the corner and found myself face to face with the tree. And I stopped. And smiled. And remembered how much I love where I live and how lucky I am to have so many amazing people and things in my life to take my breath away. And then, of course, I took a picture.

So here’s to you all. May 2012 be even more chock full of your amazingness.

Thank you all for being a part of my reality.

around the way

Actually, it’s so last minute that at this point Santa’s probably already been to whatever wharehouse he uses in your area to store the gifts till Christmas eve. And if you’re celebrating Hanukkah, your deadline is tonight (though you actually have till the 28th, so it’s not so bad)

So we’re left with what’s down the block (Krrb can help you there, actually,) on Amazon (one day left to get it shipped on time) or MP3′s… or of course donations to your favorite charities.

If you live in Williamsburg’s northside, and you have somebody like me to shop for, consider going to Jumelle and picking her up a pair of the mocassins in the photo above. Soft, furry, warm, perfect.

OK I give up.

Evidently today is one of those days when nothing really works. SO every time I try to upload a new photo of another cool thing that you guys should know about, it comes up blank. I’m taking it as a sign and am going to walk away from my computer right now. Or right after I finish typing and (hopefully) posting this.

And then I’m going to take a little break from shopping and go back to paying attention to the things that are interesting. So much going on in the world these days… who cares about the really cute shiny glittery old fashioned horribly overpriced but who cares Christmas tree ornaments that are to be had at John Derian on Manhattan’s east 2nd Street?

for the little savers (gift guide #7)

I am horrible when it comes to managing money. It’s a miracle I haven’t been carried off by men in black suits and briefcases and locked in the basement of a bank someplace for decades, never to emerge until I finally learn how to balance my checkbook.

I am determined to save my little one from this horrible fate. And so the lessons in how to deal with money must begin. The experts say to keep it fun and simple at the beginning, and what better way to do that for your kids than with their very own piggy bank. There are literally millions of options out there… Here are three of my favorites.

This glass piggy (see above) from Brooklyn’s own The Golden Calf (one of my favorite neighborhood spots) has the added motivation of letting you watch the savings grow inside the bank.

Head a few blocks south from the Golden Calf and you will find this ceramic piggy bank, living happily among the other beautiful things at the Brook Farm General Store. And there’s no need to break the bank should the need for some extra candy money arise– a cork in the back gives you full access to all contents.

click below for more banks…

Leave it to the Japanese to come up with a hilarious and action packed way to save your pennies. Just put a coin on the dish and watch the cat emerge to gently pull the booty back into her little box. You can find this kitty bank at Modcloth.com, which, by the way, is a whole experience in and of itself, that is not to be missed.

And lastly, f you’re feeling like making an activity out of it, go to money-management-works.com to learn how to make a papier maché piggy bank of your own. And while you’re there, you can get some good financial advice for the entire family, which is never a bad thing.

Happy saving!

for the tactile kitchen (gift guide #6)

I was doing some reaserch online and I came across one of my all-time  favorite neighborhood stores: Brook Farm General Store. It’s the kind of place that it behooves me to think of when stuck on a rush hour subway car trying to remember why it is I live in this god forsaken city.

The store is nearly perfect. And if you have any friends who love to cook, or bathe, or garden, or have kids, this is the place to go to get them something for the holidays. Or any day, really. Even if they are the really really particular spend-their-summers-in-Provence-send-their-kids-to-waldorf-school types.

Because chances are, unless they live nearby, they don’t have porcelain measuring spoons. Or this perfect small enamel pot for heating up milk or hot cider on a chilly afternoon. But how much do you want to bet they’d freak when they saw them?

You can get these tings (and TONS more) on their website or, better yet, stroll over to the southside (they are at 75 S 6th street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and check out the place for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

for the sustainable desktop (gift guide #5)

A keyboard handcrafted out of bamboo that actually works. And a mouse to match. Hallelujah.

Beautiful. Sustainable. Practical. Available on Amazon. What more could you ask for?

Well, for it to be more compatible with Mac’s for one. Seems they forgot to include the squiggly key and the command key, the bastards. But hey, isn’t it about time for us to finally be able to give a PC compatible gift to the few unconverted PCers in our lives without cringing?

Now we can.

Keyboard and mouse by Impecca. Comes in a wireless model as well.

for the tree dwellers (gift guide #4)

Maybe you have friends who have a garden and all it needs is a birdhouse to complete the picture.

Your answer?  Jack Smith’s plywood bird house.

(thanks herewegonow)

Might be logistically challenging as they are made in the UK, but it’s not super expensive (20 pounds) so the added shipping shouldn’t be too painful. And just think of how pleased the birds will be to have a little extra something to nibble on during the sparse winter months.

Too bad they don’t make houses like this for people.

(photo: courtesy of jacksmith.com)

for the design detail oriented (gift guide #3)

Whenever I travel, I try to stop at a good stationary store to buy paperclips, rubber bands, erasers… all of the ordinary things that we don’t think twice about when we’re browsing the aisles at Staples, but which are so much cooler when they come from Iceland, or Cuba, or (of course) Italy.

Which is where these brightly colored tacks and paper clips are from, though thanks to the global economy, we can order them domestically through Twine, one of my favorite online sources for cool little objects.

With both the paper clips and the pins priced at a whopping $4 each, you can have yourself a singular gift from a distant land for less than it costs to buy a halfway decent glass of wine from that same country.

And these will last longer, too!