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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Art Meets Tennis

I'll be spending my birthday at the US Open today.  All of my friends that are going with me have kids who play tennis and they will be thrilled to spend this hot hot day at Arthur Ashe Stadium as well as all the side venues.  Spotting famous players will be a thrill for them!  Spotting Michael Kimmelman, art critic for the New York Times, would be my thrill.  As an artist, meeting him would be a highlight to my day.  Although he may be not be considered a celebrity to most, I read his work and I'm very excited to see this kind of cross-pollination from the Times.  Yes, he will be there with Gerald Marzorati, editor of the New York Times Magazine and big tennis fan, and they'll be blogging about the US Open... called "Straight Sets".
The first time I ever saw this kind of cross-pollination was many years ago when Gene Siskel, movie critic, was interviewed on TV about the Olympics... so go guys!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Inspirational Friday

I can't live without (dramatic, but you know what I mean)...  everyday I check in with my favorite style blogger extraordiaire,"Oh Joy"... so on Wednesday I was in heaven after seeing GREENmy favorite color... what she calls her "lust list', is SO my lust list...
Then I clicked on the photographer, Mark Eden Schooleys' link, which brought me to his website... OMG...
Just Dreamy

Ok, it's the weekend, it's time for dreamy... 

Next week I'll have some Back-To-School items that are different and reasonably priced.  
We're doing a family getaway Sunday and Monday in Montauk (Yipee) so I won't post until Tuesday... Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The First Fall Shopping

Yesterday while my 12 year old was in tennis camp for a few hours, I scooted across the street to exchange some clothing I bought my kids at American Eagle in the humongous Tanger Outlets.  Of course I couldn't resist stopping in Saks Off Fifth and Neiman Marcus outlets for a sneak peak of some Fall items.  I left two hours later with what I think were good buys, which is not always the case at the outlets.
What I like to do while working within my clothing budget is mix it up, by that I mean buying a few good pieces mixed in with jeans from the Gap for instance... So for my first good pants of the season I found a great buy on these Vince Ponte Knit Riding Pants at the Saks outlet.  I love Vince pants, Vince anything, the fit is amazing, but they're expensive.
I bought these in brown, original price was $245, I paid $135.99

The Saks outlet is also offering additional discounts between 20 and 40% off posted in plain sight throughout the store.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Double Rainbow

I can't remember the last time I saw a giant rainbow across the sky...  The droplets of rain and the sun present in the sky together in just the right way.  It happened the other night when my son and I had just finished dining at Chipoltle (our fav and only fast food), and I was disappointed to realize that I left the other half of my salad on the tray, which I intended to bring home for my husband on his late night and my son had tossed it in the trash with our other garbage as we were leaving... OOPs... sorry honey!  As we were slowly pulling out of the busy parking lot with the car windows down, a man called out to us to stop and look up in the sky... OMG! We pulled back into our spot and got out with many others staring up in the sky.

This is a photo of what we saw taken at dusk with my phone... the rainbow was so large I had to shoot it in three parts...
They need to be placed horizontally

The next day I found out that many people had seen it and my girlfriend had posted her photos on FB.

Just because I love to know, just know stuff about everything.  I looked up info about rainbows and even though you can't see it in these shots there was a very faint second rainbow above this one... so there were two rainbows the primary and secondary.  The secondary is fainter than the first and it's colors are reversed and more widely separated. "Light can be reflected more than once inside a raindrop.  Rays escaping after two reflections make a secondary bow", like in this shot from Atmospheric Optics website...
                                                    photo by www.atopics.co.uk

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FALLing into CAPES

I get so excited at the thought of Fall... I don't want this sultry summer to end, but I love Fall, everything about it, from the slight chill in the air to the smell of the changing leaves... and of course Fall clothes... jeans and leather, tweeds and sweaters, but what really has me pumped in this years fall line are Capes... they have made a comeback in a big way!
One of my favorite things to do at the start of every season in fashion is to go to Style.com and check out what is Hot for the season... this Fall 2010 RTW Cape Fashion Show on Style.com is just fabulous and I pulled a few of my favorites just for inspiration...
plaids and tweeds are big... mix them with denim
Great shape
Yum... lace and leather
I want this one
Everything is camel this season
Love all the pieces
Out there and gorgeous
The colors are to die for delicious

The challenge is to find these ideas trickled down to affordable pieces that are in my budget.
I suggest following The Cheap Chica's blog for great buys... I do!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Local News Forum

Simply called Patch... "a local source for news, events, business listings, and discussion"... I heard about it through a friend, writer and teacher extraordinaire... Today was the launch of my local Patch in Dix Hills, NY, with editor Karen Forman.
I'm excited to be a contributor, writing articles with the 'Mom' audience in mind... about the spicy rumblings going on in my backyard...  especially when it comes to FOOD, where to get it, how to cook it, how other people cook it, how to eat it... fresh and healthy, one meal at a time!

Check out 'Patch' in your community, if you don't have one yet, maybe you can get one started!

Thanks Rissa and Sharon for turning me on to Patch!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Ice Queen Cometh!

Imagine boasting to own the title of "The Ice Queen"... there are plenty of ice queens... I happen to know a few myself... but none that deserve the title more than Dominique Colell from California who carves ice with a chainsaw while donning a white gown in the sub-zero temps of Alaska!  She and her 70-year-old Dad make up 'Team Ice Queens' carving a 50-foot Eiffel Tower...

... competing against 3 other teams including 'Team Texas', a few Bad boys from the Lone Star state carving a delicate spider and scorpion sculpture... the show "Chainsaw Ice Sculptures:Challenge Alaska" airs this Monday on TLC at 10:00pm...

It's fast-paced, it's dangerous... the perfect formula for a show my kids will watch... a great family activity.
Let me know what you think on Monday... leave a comment below.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Across Generations

Mom and kids at a Phish concert, Jones Beach amphitheater...
Tuesday night at 8:00pm there was no more countdown, the long awaited moment all summer was finally here, my 14 year old son, his friend and I were sitting in a naked stadium theater, inexperienced Phish fans that we are, waiting... at a little past 6:30 for a 7:30 concert, which if you're in the know you know rarely starts on time.  They had their concert T-shirts, food in their bellies (which is like filling your gas tank, every hour of everyday throughout puberty), photos to prove we were there (which I already proved by the big dent in the credit card), and then it was just about the wait... tick, tick, tick...
6:30pm... the blonde is mine
just about to start
What most of us were seeing on our phone cameras
Building to a crescendo

Everyone was dripping in sweat from the humidity in the air, but mine was MORE than that...  but how many woman would admit to having a 'hot flash' at a rock concert!... maybe it's this... how many women who have 'hot flashes' go to rock concerts!!!... 

My generation likes Phish because there are 60's influences in their music... they're noted for musical improvisation and extended jams... their music blends genres... with rock, jazz, funk, folk, blues, and classical mixing.  My son who plays guitar is exploring many genres of music himself...

The concert was just great with an explosive light show

Last year he went to see Phish with his dad, so now we're set for awhile... in October we;re planning to see Pat Metheny... hopefully I'll be finished with the hot flashes... probably  NOT!

We got home at 1am... way past my bedtime!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Obsession

This is what I'm obsessed with... and what you don't see is what I'm really obsessed with...

Never refrigerate your tomatoes or avocados!

... for the last three days especially, for a late breakfast, lunch and dinner I've eaten local Beefsteak Tomatoes... the biggest, firmest, sweetest I could find at a local farm stand, White Post Farm.
The heirloom tomatoes here, or what's left of them I buy from TJs or Fairway... wish I had the time to travel into the city to the Union Square Greenmarket for the best.

photographed this morning in natural light

... for lunch I eat them on crostini (small toasted bread from Fairway) sliced with some kind of wonderful sheeps milk cheese... for dinner I serve them as a side, the Beefsteaks sliced thick with red onions, and sometimes (for the kids especially) with mozzerella, and fresh basil when I have it... dressed with good olive oil and good balsamic vinegar... "ingredients, ingredients, ingredients"!
Actually there's a great quote about ingredients I heard last night while watching a must-see episode of the Travel Channels show, Anthony Bourdains: No Reservations, "Next Up: Rome", ... you'll be thoroughly entertained and understand the "mindset of the Roman people"... simple life... fresh ingredients!

A tomato rule to follow... firm (even hard) for slicing... soft for cooking.

This issue of New York Magazines' article "The Great Tomato Hunt", rates the top 15 heirloom tomatoes and the farms they come from... 

These are the top 4 heirlooms 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blood Orange Anything!

I just love the color... what could be bad about a drink made with Blood Orange anything!
I'm hearing about drinks made with Blood Orange Soda from Trader Joes or Blood Orange Juice Mojitos... they're enticing... just looking at these photos... I'm running out today to TJs... I thought I knew everything about them, everything worth eating or drinking from that store... but I've never tried this soda ...  I love their Pomegranate Limeade to mix with fresh lime juice, rum and mint for Mojitos, but these look great...

This recipe comes straight from Sardinia and is made with either the juice or soda...
Sardinian Blood Orange Mojito from Design Sponge

A gin concoction made with Blood Orange Soda from Cupcakes and Cashmere

Happy End-O-Summer almost... Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Digital Bookmobile Came To Town!

A Pleasant Surprise...
Yesterday, my 14 year old son and I just happened upon an eBook 'eVent' at our Long Island, NY library... it's hard to miss an 18 wheeler in the parking lot...

Download digital books, audiobooks, video and music... This FREE download service is available through the library website 24/7... and all you need is a PC, MAC, and many mobile devices too (i.e. Sony Reader, Apple iPod iTouch, MP3, etc.)...

Inside the Bookmobile

 All you do is Browse, Check Out, and Download...  so easy... To learn more about it and to check out the digital collection go to www.suffolkwave.org or go to the library website and look for 'Digital Bookmobile'... Millions of people are already using digital readers!

My only disappointment is that music and video are not available on MACs and it also doesn't work with The Kindle because the books are purchased from Amazon.

So parents, before school starts, now is a good time to check it out... oh, and many libraries throughout the country support this same service so ask at your library.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Your Own Show

How would you like to be the CURATOR of your own show, a show of collections of things you love, that you can share with your friends... and follow collections created by other people (with great taste)... well, it's a brilliant idea, called Pinterest... it uses FB to find friends too!
The staff from sunny California (where else do most of the new ideas come from), suggests their favorites and all you do is click 'follow'...

Ben from Pinterest put it this way, “We both found ourselves asking friends for suggestions — good beer, nice gifts for cousins, books, art. We noticed that the people you really trust are actually collecting ideas all the time. They have folders on their desktop, links in emails, and bookmarks. We thought it’d be great if they had a space to share all those great finds. How cool would it be to browse your most well-read friend’s bookshelf, or dvd collection, or closet, or art portfolio? We both felt like you shouldn’t have to start a blog or spam your Facebook friends to share your taste."

Here are just a few things I like and pinned...

Try it... it's so much fun!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pie for the Party

Want a quick, delicious and refreshing summer pie recipe... a hit for adults and kids alike!!!  This Lemonade Pie from the Neelys, (the cutest cooking couple) is perfect to bring to the next barbecue or just make it for your family one night before the summer draws to a close, which by the way is sadly happening...
When I made this recipe it was enough for two pies... maybe my pie tins were small, but I was happy... one for you and one for me!
                                                 photo from The Food Network

Also I had trouble finding the candied lemon peel to garnish the pie so I just grated some lemon zest on the top and Voila'!
Another idea (from my sister) would be to make it with frozen limeade instead of lemonade more like a key lime pie.

Let them eat pie!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Raw Corn Salad

As I mentioned last week, I had a 'Girls Night' cocktail party August 4th, inviting old and new friends (they mixed a little), and everyone had a really GREAT time.  Tomorrow I'll give you the whole menu, but one dish that was clearly a hit, was a version of a salad my sister recommended that my nephew made with raw corn... so delicious, fresh and crunchy!
This means the corn needs to be really fresh...  buy it that day and preferrably from a local farm stand, but the supermarket will do too.  This salad has three basic ingredients , raw corn, red onion, and avocado, but for this party I added chopped steamed shrimp to make it more of a main attraction at the cocktail party... and boy was it!  It's a great side dish without the shrimp to accompany any summer meal.
So here it is...  Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad... oh, one other thing... I had used all my limes for the Mojitos, so I used lemon juice, either works or both for that matter...