A blogger seeking a richer life... in a wasteland called the suburbs... for my family, myself, and anyone who will listen!

Friday, February 26, 2010

'Pillow(s) Talk'

While carpooling yesterday in the driving rain, we passed through a lake in the middle of the road behind a caravan of cars crawling (a pun you'll get later) through WATER that had no where to go, when my 11 year old comedian son says to us, "Imagine we see Michael Phelps passing us!".  Well I thought I'd share that with you on this yet another "Snow Day".
On Monday, my husband and I were returning something at the Roosevelt Field Mall (poured that day too), and we popped into Anthropologie... I know I just wrote about them yesterday, but I can't help it, I love that store!
Anyway I've been looking for something for the above kids room, when I saw a GREAT pillow in the sale area, with an "as is" tag at 1/2 price.  Something just had to be sewn back in place... I could do that!
I don't like to shop for my boys rooms in kiddy stores or catalogues... it drives me crazy to see all that fantastic stuff for the girls and then the boys stuff is drab and boring!

A focal point for Aaron's room

Love this one, and there are other animals too!

They have five other designs, this one looks good in my powder room

I like decorating my home with 'accent pieces' I find slowly over time, that way it's more thought out and  special... with Aaron's room I wanted something for a while now, but had trouble finding the right piece until now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yearning for Soft

Felix and Oscar, Noah and Aaron, my kids (almost 14 and almost 12) in many ways parallel this 1970's sitcom, "The Odd Couple", about two divorced men who share the same apartment, Felix the neat freak, and Oscar the slob... only without the laugh track!  There's more to it than that, their teen and tween manner can run from caustic to yielding... right now the former more often prevails.

The testosterone soaked sibling rivalry often makes me yearn for a softer feminine (sometimes bitchy) energy...  of course my friends with girls may heartily disagree.

 "Opposites attract"... do they REALLY, "this spring as unexpected pairings rule the runway"... "Color palettes range from khaki earth tones to to vivid citrus colors...", says Bloomingdales Fashion Report. My yearning for feminine soft, leads me to these beautiful pieces from Anthropologie...

Even prettier in person, pair it with jeans

How do you deal with sibling rivalry in your house?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heart Sick

For those of you not glued to your TV these past few weeks watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics, you may have missed the tragic headline surrounding the women's figure skating competition.  Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette's mother, age 55, died of a sudden heart attack, this past Sunday while in Vancouver, awaiting her daughters skating competition.

Rochette skates last night...

Rochette on her way to a Bronze Medal

                                                                   NBC Olympics

This brings me to the subject of heart health, in particular women's heart health, this being 'American Heart Month'... it's important to note that women can have different heart disease symptoms than men.  Start taking care of your heart early, eating healthy, and keeping your blood pressure within the normal range.
NEWS FLASH... It was reported that 1 in 3 Americans have hypertension, and some may not even realize they have it!  Yesterday in the LA Times, and across the country it was reported that a Federal Panel is sounding the alarm on this national emergency.

To my friends and blog readers...  I wish you good health!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Klothing from Kara

A few nights ago my husband, my 11 year old son, and I were waiting to be seated at California Pizza Kitchen, (Walt Whitman Shopping Mall, Huntington, NY), and I spotted a new store (new for me) called Kara NY, which the salesgirl informed me has about 9 locations in the city (NYC).  So why waist precious time... while they waited I shot across the way trying on one great piece after another... what got the juices going was the fun styling and prices... how low can you go for these fun european looks!  They carry a number of different labels, one in particular I really liked called Monoreno.  The dresses/tops ranged from about $14.99 - $49.99.

I bought this on in black with white trim... I'll wear it as a top

Color abounds in the store I just chose these because I love black and white

They called me when they were seated for dinner... I don't know what I was more excited about, my new clothing find or my 'Miso Salad' (my favorite) and a Sonoma chardonnay!
I wasn't able to find much online about the stores, and there is no online shopping, so you'll have to find a store nearby.
I ended up going back the next day when I had more time to really scour the place... they also had some great handbags that were in the $35 to $45 price range!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Skating Olympic Style?!

Well with the kids off from school this last week, and once we were home from skiing for a few days, we had a lot of time on our hands.  Don't get me wrong we did some fun things like sledding, going to the city, seeing jazz with their friends (they're all in the jazz band together), having sleepovers with friends and cousins, etc... but I was thankful that the Olympics were on TV this week too.  The 'winter games' are my favorite, I'm addicted!  The skiing and snowboarding have been great, and the only time I ever watch ice skating is during the Olympics.  So I must comment on the Russian champions, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.  Besides skating brilliantly in the compulsory on Saturday with an expressive interpretation of the tango romantica, they looked so chic in an arena where most of the time the fashion police should throw away the key.
You judge...


Then SADLY there was yesterday... 


Washington Post

Worst case...  an Australian aboriginal themed freestyle where they were accused by some of 'cultural theft'!  At best the costumes were amateurish and a complete distraction from the bizzare and underwhelming dance which showed very little of their extraordinary talent. 
When an artist is influenced by music from another culture (and many have), then interpret the sound through your own eyes and make it yours... at worst it's exploitive and at best they looked ridiculous

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic Shopping!

I was shopping in NYC yesterday with my mother and 13 year old son at 'lululemon', where I indulged in their yoga inspired athletic clothing, which most fashion conscious would be proud to wear on the street anytime. Little did I know until this morning, that they originated in Vancouver and that their founder Chip Wilson, ran with the olympic torch for these Olympic Games...

Vancouver store, open 24 hours during the Olympics!

It was my husbands idea to go shopping there for him... sooooo I also picked up a few things for me and our son also, while grandma cheered us on... olympic shopping of sorts!

I bought some tanks and socks too... Of course you can't tell from the pictures, but the fabrics feel wonderful, and the cut is great.  These pieces will be great to take on our trip to Sedona this spring... lightweight and good for layering as the days will be warm and the nights drop about 20 degrees that time of the year.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuna, Hold the Mayo!

If you asked me what was my favorite food in the world, in a moment of weakness I would say, "Hellmann's REAL Mayonaise'!!!... surprised at that?... It's the perfect balance of creamy and tangy I often long for, you see 'long for' is the key phrase here, because I rarely eat it anymore or maybe only a tablespoonful mixed in with yogurt for a dressing.  Moderation and NOT deprivation is a healthy approach to living and loving food (or almost anything for that matter).  I love to (not more than once a week because of the mercury) make Tuna for lunch with whatever is around the house, but without the mayo.  One thing is certain, I always use good canned italian tuna packed in olive oil.
Genova Tuna in Olive Oil, use the oil it's packed in

Trader Joe's or any other Garbanzo Beans
I like them al dente not mushy

You can use red or green onion, or shallots, chopped fine
Celery or parsley or cilantro or not

Use the juice and some zest for freshness

Mix everything together with a little salt and pepper and serve it on romaine leaves with pita chips or your favorite cracker... or just eat it straight out of the bowl.  If I don't have garbanzo beans, another variation is with just onion and small capers... delicious too!
The onion, caper, and tuna is something I make for dinner in a hot dish with pasta, but that's for another day...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiger in the House!

It's the Chinese New Year, and the year of the TIGER!

Sorry about the late posting, but the kids are on their 'winter break' this week and so am I... It's nice to wake up with sunlight peeking in, intead of the usual darkness at my 6:20am wakeup.  Now that we're back from skiing I thought I would take the kids into the city for some 'cultcha'.  My 6th grader is studying Chinese this year, and it's the Chinese New Year (which began Sunday, Feb 14th) and lasts 15 days, ending on the full moon.

I like to relate the cultural things we do when possible to something 'au courant'...
So we're planning to visit MOCA, this Thursday, at 215 Centre Street, NYC.  Every Thursday admission is free, thanks to Target.

These envelopes hold money and given for 'Good Luck'.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discovering Snowshoeing

I used to ski, my husband skis, my kids board, but I don't love skiing the northeast much anymore... so my friend Cori, who lives on the mountain during the winter weekends, has some women friends who go snowshoeing together and she arranged to have me go with them for a hike.  I wanted a good workout while the others were doing their thing, so I accepted.  I 'power walk' everyday at home, so I hoped I could keep up with them, but was a little nervous since I wasn't sure how strenuous it would be... Well I was fine, I stayed in the back of the pack, everyone was very supportive, and it was really fun and a great cardio workout ( about an hour and a half) too... now I'm hooked, thanks to my friend Cori, and I'm ready to buy my own snowshoes, and my husband, the hiker, who was jealous that he wasn't going too, now plans to go with me the next time while the kids are doing their thing.  If you're interested in trying it out most of the ski resorts rent them out (with poles of course)...  at Windham, where we were, they were only $20 for the day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Modern Grace"

I don't usually write on Saturdays, but this is my Valentine gift to you...
One of favorite blogs is The Satorialist, not just another fashion blog...  beautiful photography, elegant, and sensitive prose as seen from a recent post, he wrote...

"A great scene of modern grace on '30 Rock' the other day:

Liz and Jack went out to dinner at a very chic restaurant. As they sat down at the table, Jack immediately moved the candle from the center of the setting to the side of the table. Liz looked at him kinda funny, not understanding why he did that but, not really caring either. Later, however, when Liz reached across the table to steal some of Jack's food (as she always does), she realized he moved the candle so her sleeve wouldn't catch fire when she reached across the table. Jack's manner and grace were so attuned to her as a friend, that he knew her moves before she did. That tiny gesture ended up becoming the pivotal moment of the episode and changed the course of their business relationship.

I'm telling you guys again, women notice the small stuff. They notice the gentleness/gentlemenliness more than if you use the right fork at dinner. I'm a very lucky man, Garance notices every little kindness I offer her, she doesn't miss a thing. Knowing that makes it so much more rewarding to do even more little things for her. I'll be honest, my biggest obsession in life right now is not better shoes, more suits or a bigger career but, to simply be a more graceful man for my graceful woman.

So women, in the spirit of grace, manner and Valentine's Day, take a moment and share with us men some of the little kindnesses that your man has done for you that made your heart flutter. Us men might learn something and you might gain an even more graceful man, a gentleman." 

Have a great Valentine's Day... we'll be skiing on Monday, so I'll post again next Tuesday.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stripes for Your Valentine!

I've never been a big fan of stripes, for the obvious reason... but this seasons selection has made me a convert.  I love Sonia Rykiel's colors paired with this black stripe, and her necklines are always super flattering!

This deconstructed stripe dress from 'Acne Studios Online' has a very slimming line and is very lightweight... my favorite, for someone who likes a 'vintage look', something different! 

Now you can pair these dresses with a bright colored clutch...

Love to you on this Sunday's 'Valentine's Day' and 'Chinese New Year'!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SRIRACHA - Hot Sauce of the Moment!

I thought "Cholula" was 'IT', well it was in our house until we discovered 'Sriracha'...  Bon Appetit magazine called it "Ingredient of the year" and said, "This addictive spicy chili sauce is everywhere..."
The kids had a 'Snow Day' so I planned to make Pulled Pork and Apple Crisp in between shoveling, pulling clumps of snow out of my Labradoodles locks, and just enjoying a relaxing day off... and yet they have another one today...  I think they're pushing it!
When I mixed the Sriracha chili sauce with rice vinegar, it brought me back to my childhood, where my southern father made 'North Carolina' barbecued pork on a bun with coleslaw often... dry and hot none of the wet stuff.

Pork Butt

Browned with olive oil and kosher salt

Sriracha mixed with Japanese rice vinegar

Kenmore Crock Pot from Sears

Coated with Sriracha marinade, cooked on 'Low' for 7-8 hours

Pulled Pork

Plated with brown rice and roasted jalapeno, slushy slaw, & chopped guacamole

I put a little of the straight hot sauce in a bowl for dipping, for the brave in my family.  Nobody wanted to eat the pulled pork on a bun... BooHoo, but we enjoyed every bit of it anyway and there's leftovers for our second 'Snow Day'!