istanbul_mosqueJust back from Istanbul, and I have to say that exploring somewhere new is just good for your psyche. Not that this is a newsflash for anyone, but it was a good reminder for me. Just the small act of finding your way around a strange place and showing yourself how self-sufficient and resilient you can be gives us each a lot of faith in ourselves. I liked Turkey and the artifacts were really something to see — we think the rest of Europe is old, but when you are standing below ground in a 3rd century cistern, or turning the corner to see Moses’ staff from the parting of the Red Sea, you begin to have a whole other understanding of antiquities. The plunder from war was very good to the Ottoman Empire — and they have the emeralds and diamonds to show for it!

My son fell in love with this yogurt drink that they guzzle like Coke: Ayran. (I’m happy to report that we found some here in NYC at a Turkish restaurant on 14th Street.) We had lots of kebabs and these huge overstuffed potatoes called kumpir, We stayed in the Beyoglu area and that definitely felt like the place to be — lots of people out til all hours and just a palpable sense of energy, particularly on Istikial Street. Our favorite restaurant there was probably Konak Kebob, and head to Mado for dessert. It really is amazing how many different versions of baklava there are.

On the Bosphorous you definitely want to have a fish sandwich over the Galata Bridge in Eminonu. They catch it in the river. fry it up on a boat and hand it off to you to eat at a little wooden table, lemon juice optional, all for about $3. (And when the young men come around trying to sell you handwipes, buy them! Your hands will smell fishy.) Nearby is the Spice Market, which I liked better than the Grand Bazaar. Definitely worth a walk through if only for the spectacle of the colors and variety of spices. Further up the river is the Assk Cafe, which is a nice spot in a more quiet, exclusive area.

If you head up that way, the Hotel Les Ottomans has one of the nicest spas I’ve ever been to and if you want to experience a Turkish hammam, this is the place to do it in style. Go for the hour-long Citrus Remedy, where you get exfoliated, cleaned, massaged and moisturized, plus you get full use of the facilities, including the meditation room and steam room with salt inhalation. The ice exfoliation was particularly…reviving!

We took a nice boat ride on the river up to the Black Sea and headed over to the Asian side, where we had a tasty lunch of fresh fish kebabs and then took a bus down through a bunch of small towns. We got off in Kanlica to sample the yogurt.

Of course there’s the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Aya Sophia, and a little off the beaten path is the Istanbul Modern art museum, which had some interesting pieces and a hip vibe. (If you’re not Turkish, don’t be fooled by the “Free Thursdays” promotion — it’s only for the Turks.)

We finished up our trip with a traditional Turkish breakfast at Namli Gurme Karakoy, sitting outside near the Bosphorous, drinking Turkish tea and sopping up cream and honey with some Turkish bread.

All that’s left to say is “tesekkur ederim,” which means thank you and took us about half of our vacation to master. Someone gave us the tip that it’s like saying “tea sugar and a dream” really quickly, all together, so I pass that on to all of you.

Dry Me

Like most things in life, until you actually try something it’s hard to appreciate or understand it. Add towels to that list. I had heard of pestamels and seen people using them, usually as scarves and usually by people who some would refer to as “earthy.” They are thin towels, usually with tassels on the end, sometimes with stripes woven in. We are familiar with our western ways where bigger is better, and an absorbent towel translates to thick and cozy. But the beauty of a pestamel is that it’s super absorbent but never heavy, and it dries quickly. This makes them perfect for beach towels and as a regular towel in the summer. I was amazed how well it worked on my hair, getting most of the water out in no time flat. Like anything, there’s better quality pestamels. Jennifer’s Hammam in Istanbul carries particularly nice hand woven ones, and you can choose from cotton or bamboo. Definitely worth having a few around for the summer. And yes, in a pinch they can double as scarves, wraps…even a tablecloth!

Etc.

Slowly but surely we are getting over the time difference. Our first few days back we were all up around 5am and then ready to crash by 9pm, always fun…Finally the weather seems to have taken a turn for the better. Let’s hope it stays. I, for one, am sick of wearing socks!

Advertisements

Thoughts on the Holidays

December 23, 2012

6a0115711b8d26970b017d3eec0c44970c-800wiMy inbox is finally not stuffed with offers trying to entice me to order anything else to put under my (non-existent) Xmas tree…probably because unless it’s an e-card, it’s absolutely too late to get anything shipped here before the big day. Oh well! There’s always a brick and mortar store…

I thought as the year is winding down it would be nice to share some of my thoughts on what makes the holiday season nice and special — of course there’s the expanded time with family and friends, the extra days off from work and school, and the endless supply of sweet treats that seem to be lurking around every kitchen counter and office cubicle, but here are some more ideas for what remains of this year, or the year to come:

Start a Tradition: Every year, we meet up with another family one Saturday in December and we see the tree in Rockefeller Center and then we have lunch at Virgil’s, a barbecue restaurant in Times Square. We have been doing it at least for 5 years and it’s funny because it may seem so simple, but we all genuinely look forward to it. My friend and I contact each other in early November and we block out the Saturday early on, so it can’t be messed with. With everyone leading such busy lives, it’s nice to know that we’ll get to see each other and spend a good solid few hours together, catching up. Another friend and I take a day off together every year and go to the Short Hills Mall to bang out our holiday shopping. We get to spend the day together and be super productive, which, as my friend says, is the best kind of day! (Especially for 2 working moms!) The idea behind creating a tradition isn’t that it has to be some grandiose plan, just that you have constants that you can look forward to.

Bon Bons are a Big Hit: We went to a big holiday soiree last night and we were commenting that it’s funny because at this party, everyone really eats the food. There are some parties where it’s a bowl of chips and some salsa that never get touched, but this party features shrimp, dumplings, carmelized bacon, stuffed cherry peppers, sesame chicken skewers…and on and on, all home made by the hostess. And then the desserts come out! And while there are all kinds of cookies, cakes, brownies and candies, do you know what went in a red hot minute? Huge ice cream bon bons. They were not easy to eat with your hands, they were messy and inelegant, but no one seemed to care. My husband ate his chocolate covered caramel one and then came in to eat half of my peppermint one. They were cold, sweet and delicious — and apparently everyone else thought so, too, given how quickly they disappeared. So maybe for your next party forget about the fancy desserts and go for some bon bons. (By the way I woke up this morning and had on the Today show and Lester Holt was making bon bons, so clearly I am onto something!!)

Say Thank You: I was chatting with a colleague this weekend about how much of our own money we spend on holiday gifts for our employees, and how much time it takes to shop for each of them. And then he said to me, in disgust and disbelief, “And some of them don’t even say thank you!” And I had to laugh, because I had just been complaining to my husband that some of the employees I gave gifts to didn’t even say thanks. So people do notice, and it does not reflect well, trust me. Whether it’s in a work setting or in your personal life, even if you don’t write a note, say thanks. And I mean after you open it. Tell them something specific about the gift so people don’t feel like they wasted time, money and effort on you.

Remember Those Less Fortunate: This has been a tough year for an awful lot of people. Personally, we have had to lay out money for Hurricane Sandy damage that we (obviously) couldn’t plan for. But I am digging deeper and giving to the charities that we always give to annually, because the truth is there are always others less fortunate than you. And even if you can’t write a check, volunteer for an afternoon, or make a snowflake and send it to the new school that the Sandy Hook survivors will be attending. (Click here for where to send them.) Many small gestures add up.

Just Relax: With all the running around to shop for gifts, attending parties, mailing cards and doling out tips, you need a pause before the new year starts up again. Give yourself permission to take a nap. Read a book. See a movie. (I liked Skyfall and Argo and I want to see Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln.) Swap kids with a friend to give each other a few hours of peace and quiet without the expense of a babysitter. Walk to get coffee, slowly, and really enjoy the scenery, not to mention the coffee.

Because before you know it, 2013 will be kicking your ass.

Happy Holidays Everyone and Thanks So Much for Reading Family Favs!!!

Oh Sandy Baby

October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy taken from a NASA satellite at 4pm on October 28th.

Summer lovin’, happened so fast…and now here we are in October preparing for the arrival of Sandy, the largest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. Yikes! Who knows what to believe — I always feel like it’s every weatherman’s wet dream (literally and I guess figuratively) for one of these major weather events to play out. But I guess if they are shutting down mass transit in NYC as well as schools and places of business, they must think something bad is going to happen. I tried to go onto the National Hurricane Preparedness site and click on “If You Live in a High Rise” to see if there’s anything special I should be doing, and the link is broken. No info for you. That sounds about right.

Anyway, it is a good reminder to remain prepared whether the Weather Channel is on your corner or not. Here are a few things no home should be without, in this age of both man-made and natural disasters.

Flashlights: Lately it seems like someone blowing out their birthday candles can make the power go out, which means that every man, woman and child should invest in a good flashlight. I like Mag Lites. They’re small enough to fit in a bedside drawer but give off good light and come in a whole range of colors. (My daughter was excited to get a pink one.) Others will suggest candles but I worry about fires — and the fire department has enough to worry about.

Radio: We are so dependent on electricity, and you don’t really realize it until it’s gone. A battery-powered radio will let you keep in touch with the outside long after your cable company has been forced to go offline.

Batteries: If you don’t have backup, your flashlights and radios will last only so long. Keep all different sizes on hand.

Water: If the power goes out, fresh water may go with it. And these days, it seems it could be several days before everything is restored to normal. Buy a lot, as you may need it for things beyond drinking, like brushing your pearly whites or taking a spongebath. (Ugh.)

Food that doesn’t need to be heated up…or refrigerated: I saw a lot of people buying milk and meat at the market. Which is fine, as long as you plan on using it quickly. But when things go south, you need things like applesauce, breakfast bars, peanut butter and bread to get your family fed until things return to normal. And remember that if the power remains out for more than 10 hours, everything in the fridge and freezer has to go. (Most homeowners insurance does cover the loss of food in a power outage, so make sure to make a claim if you lose it all.)

Take pictures: If you do have to make a claim to insurance, it helps to have pictures to show the adjuster what the house looked like before the damage. Take it of the rooms as well as any valuables. And then keep the photos in a safe place.

Anyway, of course there is more you can do, but that’s a good short list, even for those who think the whole thing is blown out of proportion. Only time will tell on Sandy…

Etc.

I have been a bit absent from the blogosphere lately — it has been a really busy few weeks! I have a list of all of these things that I want to get done inside during the storm — switching over to my winter shoes, doing a new puzzle with my kids, watching all of the 30 Rocks from so far this season among them — so we’ll see how that goes.

We were down closing up our house near the beach this morning and the sky was very ominous. And the wind was quite strong, well ahead of the storm’s arrival. As I look out over the city which is already weirdly quiet for a Sunday at 5:45pm, I can see and hear the wind picking up.

Be safe everyone! Let’s hope it all blows over without too much damage or loss of life.

Dry Me

August 18, 2012

The winner!

Today let’s talk towels. I never really think about towels, and I bet you don’t either, but when you have a good towel, you can really tell the difference. Here are my requirements for a fab toweling off experience:

It has to be absorbent! Don’t you hate when you have to go over things a few times to really get dry? That’s a sign of bad fibers — probably synthetic. Next, please.

It has to stand up to multiple washings! No one wants faded towels or ones with pulls, and since  you use a towel every dang day, unless you’re Pigpen, that’s a lot of washing machine time.

It has to be soft! Since you do use it daily, and sometimes many times per day, you want it to feel good against your skin. Only cotton will do!!

It needs to come in good colors! It’s 2012 Mr. Manufacturer, and people don’t have bathrooms in the colors that were prevalent in the ’60s and ’70s (avocado green, anyone?)…wake up and smell the shower gel, only modern, muted beautiful shades will do.

I recently threw my dilemma out to my towel guy Tom at Bloomingdale’s, and he told me that the store gives him one of every towel to take home and try out, so that he can give advice to customers like me who clearly overthink these things. (Ha! Those were my words, not Tom’s.) He recommended 2 kinds of towels to me, and I bought both to try, but only one came out the winner…

Runner Up: In second place, I put Calvin Klein towels. I got a bunch for our wedding — which is over 10 years ago already — and I originally picked them just for their colors, which were the most modern at the time. They have held up well.

And the winner is…WATERWORKS! Tom did recommend these, and he did not steer me wrong. They stand up well to all my criteria and they have been a welcome addition to our household. We’ve been using them for the past year and I highly recommend these towels.I’m partial to the Perennial style (pictured) which is 100% Turkish Combed Cotton.

One last word on towels: do not pay full price! Bloomingdale’s and other department stores have home sales at least twice a year, and the towels are usually 40% off, which makes them much more affordable.

Happy drying!

West Village Comfort Food

I recently had a lovely dinner with my friend Kitty here from San Francisco, and her friend Barbara. There’s always a little bit of pressure picking a place because Kitty is a foodie. I had wanted to go to Tremont in the West Village for a while, so I decided to book it for us, and it did not disappoint. It’s the perfect restaurant for the West Village, and just what you want for an adult dinner where you want good food and wine with the ability to layer in good conversation. We had a lovely table by the front window and the scallops were terrific. (We sat next to Annette Bening and her daughter and they seemed incredibly normal and I have to applaud Ms. Bening because I don’t think she’s had a stitch of work done to her face, which seems unheard of in an actress these days.)

Anyway if you want a truly nice night out with friends and family, this is a good spot. It’s not too large, and the staff is friendly, And there are some cozy booths in the back. There is one, I think it’s table #2, that Barbara was already checking out for her next time back. (Tremont is located at 51 Bank Street, NYC)

Etc.

I was able to get to the beach for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and it was gorgeous. I love when I read and fall asleep, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The sound of the waves just puts me out. Today there’s some rain but we have friends coming for the weekend with wine so I am sure that will be fun!

 

Summer Book Club

August 5, 2012

Well, it’s happened again. It’s August already and I have a whole long list of books that I wanted to read on the beach. So I’ve got less than a month to make it happen! I did read Joan Didion’s Blue Nights, which was great writing but incredibly depressing and thus all wrong for summer reading (note to self: never select anything about a child’s death over the summer, especially non-fiction). Then my sister got me hooked on the crack that is the 50 Shades trilogy, which is so poorly written and empty and wrong and yet you cannot stop — the literary equivalent of bad potato chips. (Funny story:  I was in Three Lives bookstore in the West Village recently, which if you’re in NYC you must stop by and browse — it’s the most perfect little independent bookstore — and I was teasing them for carrying the 50 Shades books. And the owner said, “That paid all of April’s rent! Once that happened, I was like, ‘I’m on board!'”)

So what’s on my August reading list? I’m all about paperbacks:

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron — I had read excerpts of this in various magazines, but with her recent passing, I was reminded that I wanted to read the whole book. It’s like sage advice on aging from your mother, if your mother were a famous writer and film director who was married three times and had lots of famous friends and a fabulous life in NYC. Funny women are often overlooked for the male comedians, so I like to read a good funny female book, which brings me to the next entry on the list…

Bossypants by Tina Fey — I was waiting for this to come out in paperback, and now it has. The excerpt I read in The New Yorker about what she wishes she could tell her daughter Alice about the internet was hysterical. As a 30 Rock fan, I am excited to read her other musings.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan — I need some good fiction too, and this Pulitzer prize winner should do the trick. I’ve heard an awful lot about it, especially the chapter that’s written in Powerpoint, so let’s hope it lives up to the hype. She’s a fellow U Penn grad so we have to support one another!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — This one was given to me to read by my mother. I believe technically it’s a Young Adult book, but in the Hunger Games tradition, it’s a story for all ages set in 1939, Nazi Germany.

I also want to read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but it is only in hard back so it may have to wait…

That should keep me going til Labor Day.

A Cappuccino and a Laugh

Jerry Seinfeld started a new internet series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I had high hopes for it, but after watching the first two installments, I wasn’t bowled over. But there were some gem moments and with each episode being less than 15 minutes, it’s not a major time investment. Check it out at comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com (go figure). I thought the Larry David one was the best so far.

H&M Home

Apparently H&M Home is about to hit stateside, which means you can get some cheap accessories for your home. It’s good for all the extra knick knacks you need to make your room that much more designed.

Lounging Around

We went to a very good restaurant last night, Labrador Lounge. (3581 Route 35 North, Normandy Beach) It’s got an extensive menu and a hippie vibe, and the food is tasty. If you find yourself in Ocean County, NJ, make a reservation (it gets packed) and indulge in dinner. Some standouts were the lobster mac and cheese, the jersey blue salad with grilled peaches and vidalia onions, the tuna, shrimp and mango ceviche served with tortilla chips, grilled corn and the sesame-encrusted tuna. My kids loved the sushi. And for dessert the bread pudding was tasty. There were so many good things on the menu we probably over-ordered, but that’s a good problem to have.

Etc.

The humidity is really starting to get to me, I must say. The air is just oppressive. I wanted to go for a walk this morning but it was too hot so I will wait for the air conditioned gym tomorrow.

I bought lobsters and for the first time I am going to attempt to grill them for dinner. Lobsters, tater tots and zucchini. And probably an Angry Orchard hard cider, which has become our unofficial drink for this summer.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

Mmmmm…candy!

April 5, 2012

Don’t know if you heard all the brouhaha about Karl Lagerfeld calling the tremendously talented Adele “fat.” It’s absurd on so many levels because 1. she’s not fat, and 2. all of the talent, all of the success, and that’s what he chooses to say? Anyway, apparently to make up for his insensitive comment, he sent the singer 50 rare Chanel bags from their archives. But maybe he should have sent shoes, to repent for the big ‘ol foot he put in his mouth…

Today, our guest blogger Denielle weighs in on the timely topic of Easter candy…and so we say Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all!:

Today I was introduced to an exciting new Easter candy product extension: The Rainbow Pop from Peeps…personally I think they missed some great branding opportunities, such as “Chicks on a Stick” or “Peep Pop.”  Basically, it’s something that crafty moms have probably been making in their kitchens for years: it’s 4 different colored Peeps on a 12” lollipop stick, covered in a clear bag. And it retails for $2.75 each.  Brilliant!  For Peeps, that is.

There’s no doubt that the Easter Basket business has become a huge racket with new products hopping on the bunny trail every year!  The toy industry has set the pace for this trend (thank you, Crayola, Mattel, Hasbro, et all). I’m not sure when it veered away from the candy-giant marketing wars of my youth.  I’m pretty sure “Easter Barbie” did not exist when I was little, or if she did, Mattel wasn’t putting TV advertising dollars behind her!

Now you don’t have to travel far to find Easter toothpaste, pump hand soap, toothbrushes (ok, this is a good idea considering the candy), lip balm (Peeps flavor! Yes, it really exists) and even shampoo!  These were just a few of the items I saw on my weekly pilgrimage to Target and CVS!

As much as I appreciate the non-candy fillers in my children’s Easter Baskets, I still fondly recall the baskets of my childhood.  Staples included a solid chocolate bunny, or maybe a hollow one, a box of Peeps – back when yellow was the only color, a Cadbury Egg (I still don’t like those things!), maybe some Cadbury Mini Eggs (I LOVE those things) and jelly beans or m&m’s, lovingly filled in multi-color plastic eggs — not Hello Kitty shaped branded eggs, and not pastel colored m&m’s! All of this deliciousness sat serenely on a bed of green plastic hay.  I would look at it for days, not wanting to disturb the beautiful display.  The Easter Bunny has always had a real gift for presentation.

I’m not sure what the Easter Bunny has in mind for my children this year. I’m sure he’s tempted by pastel colored, sanitizing foam hand soap….  I’m pretty positive that Peeps will make it in, though I think we’re ok if the bunny forgoes the Rainbow Pops and hops it old school with a single box of yellow chicks.

 

 

 

Home Sweet (?) Home

March 28, 2012

Guest blogger Denielle is back to give us some tips on the joys of homeowning…and there are joys, right?

Being a homeowner can be a real drag. Every month we have some surprise charge for something we didn’t know even existed (drainage tube for condenser on AC unit; sewer ejector pump for basement bathroom, garage door cable; thermal cup on hot water heater, igniters on stove – yes, these are real expenses we have incurred over the last 6 months). The list goes on.

Add to this the list of regular/semi-regular maintenance projects that must occur (driveway sealing, deck waterproofing, sprinkler system winterizing and re-starting, etc., etc.), and my checkbook register looks like an ODE TO LOWES.

The moral of this story is: marry a handyman/handywoman. No, in all seriousness, when I have work done (the exception being major appliance-related stuff – I don’t tinker with hot water heaters or stoves), I watch the technician and often ask him to explain the problem and solution in great detail. Maybe next time I won’t know how to install a sump pump, but I will certainly know how to determine if it’s working properly.

Other key bits of advice (remember: the most boring advice is often the best!):

  • Always keep instruction manuals and warranty info in an easy-to-access location (I keep a binder with clear page inserts). Instruction manuals can provide helpful trouble shooting techniques.
  • Google is your friend; I installed dimmer switches in 2 rooms thanks to a step-by-step video tutorial online. My local hardware store owner also loves to explain to me how to do things and what tools I need to do them. Re-grouting or re-caulking bathtubs is much easier when you get some slick tricks explained in advance!
  • Keep a well-stocked toolbox.  If particular tools come with certain appliances, be sure to label them properly. Do as I say and not as I do on this one. I’m in the midst of an exhaustive search for the exact Allen wrench needed to tighten my refrigerator door!
  • Get maintenance plans for plumbing and heating related machinery. It’s usually a nominal fee and will pay for itself when a problem arises and the service fee is waived!
  • Know you can do more than you think you can!

HAPPY HOMEOWNING!

Soap Opera

February 10, 2012

Well the Giants fans were out in full force this week, with the parade and all. Most of them seemed to be in good spirits, although I did run into a drunk one on the subway at 8:30 am! Pace yourself, my brother…

We went to see Jay-Z in concert at Carnegie Hall — fun (but late!) night. Chris Rock, Josh Groban, Russell Simmons, Beyonce and a bevy of models were in the audience, and Jay brough Alicia Keys and Nas out on stage to help entertain, along with a 30 piece orchestra (and Questlove on drums!).

The next night we headed out to a dinner party for Josh Bazell and his new book, Wild Thing. I haven’t read it yet, but I did enjoy his first novel, Beat the Reaper. That’s out in paperback and is a good read. And now the author/medical school grad may go back and finish his residency. It’s a shame when people just aren’t motivated in life! Ha ha.

Let’s talk about soap today, shall we?

Hand soap can be so blah, but I really love Savon de Marseilles. The packaging is great, and the scents are clean and fresh without being too overpowering. The last few times I have been to France I have filled my checked suitcase to the brim with all kinds of soaps, lotions and scents. And you know what? Every time I use it I think of those fabulous trips…and I want to go back!

It used to be hard to get their stuff in the states, but now they’ve got a website with everything, and the added bonus that things ship free with a $50 purchase. Check out the Compagnie de Provence here. You can use them to add a splash of color to your bathroom. All the ingredients are natural and you can choose from glass or plastic for the bottle. I have the brown glass bottle of the incense lavender olive oil hand soap, and I buy the huge refill bottle to keep it filled. The Mediterranean Sea Hand Soap is perfect for a beach house. I love these as hostess gifts if you’re spending the weekend with friends. If you already have soap dispensers, you can just buy the more economical refill bottles, but the bottles themselves really are a good decorating tool!

Paper Is Still In

January 27, 2012

Moleskine at Work

This year marked an important milestone for me: I finally gave up my paper organizer, which I LOVED, and went all digital with my iphone calendar. Scary! For the most part it has been fine, but I must admit I miss being able to write things in with little notes to myself, refer back to see when my last haircut was…it just seemed somehow easier. But I am still adjusting.

I realized that there was a second part to my datebook which went beyond the calendar — it really was the organization of my life! I kept business cards from places I frequented in there (everything from my doctor to my eyebrow waxer), prescriptions I needed to fill, fortune cookie fortunes…you know, everything that kind of makes your life tick. So while I’ve become adept at making my shopping list on the “notes” section of the iphone, I still needed something to carry along day to day.

Moleskine! It has rekindled my love of little leather Moleskine notebooks. Do I like that Picasso, Hemingway and van Gogh used to use them? Sure! But for me it’s more about the size and durability. They’re perfect to throw in a purse, and come in thinner sizes so it’s not too much to cart around every day. You can write notes, tape in biz cards or photos. The leather cover holds up, the plastic band keeps your place, and I’m partial to lined paper — it’s all very functional. It used to only come in black but now they’ve got colors too. I go for the pocket size and it runs about $12, lasts all year.

Because while we may be in the Digital Age, paper still feels mighty good!

Single of the Week

It has been a while but our old pal Ken is back with his music recommendations:

Science can explain a lot of things – the boiling point of water, black hole thermodynamics, the advantages of a waffle pattern on sleepwear and why Tom Wopat would make a poor attorney. But it can’t explain what happens when you stop everything, turn down the lights and play this song. It may change your day.

Etc.

My son lost another tooth this week and he is coming to terms with the fact that the Tooth Fairy is…me! He’s like, “I know it’s you mom.” I ask why, to try to throw him off. “Because you have money and have the same handwriting as the tooth fairy!” I guess the jig is up, but I will press on.

I saw Nick Jonas in the lobby at work this morning, with his big old entourage. Why are famous people all so shiny and short? It’s so funny.

Hope you’re all having a great week…the blessed weekend is almost here!

Warm and Snuggly

January 21, 2012

Flip-Side Quilt

Garnet Hill's Dream Quilt

I was just looking at a skin product online whose main active ingredient was Dragon’s Blood Complex…which really just proves that women will try anything if it promises to make them look younger. (P.S. I did not buy it!)

Well, the first real winter storm hit us in NYC. The kids were excited to wake up to snow covered rooftops. It was nice but COLD. The wind really whips up and goes through whatever layers you happen to be wearing. But I have to say that two pairs of socks really do keep your feet much warmer, no matter what kind of boot you have on.

And at night, another blanket certainly does the trick. Instead of a blanket or a duvet, I am liking the look of quilts lately. Not the older looking, woodsy/crafty ones (which some may find perfectly nice, just not my style) but some of the more modern ones, or even whimsical ones for kids. They add a layer of warmth without too much bulk. I really like Garnet Hill’s Dream Quilt, which has a more sophisticated look with its muted colors. Their Flip Quilt offers a different color on each side, so when your teen goes through their inevitable mood swings, they can flip their bed cover to warn you in the morning.

Garnet Hill is a great resource for bedding overall — I find their sheets to be good quality and the designs are modern and fresh. Their pajamas also hold up well. It can be a little pricey, but they do have sales. I find department stores have the same old, same old when it comes to bedding, but Garnet Hill still feels unique. (Garnethill.com)

No Reservations?

It’s almost upon us: Restaurant Week in NYC. They’ve extended it to a few weeks, January 16th to February 10th.With 3 courses priced at $24.07 for lunch and $35 for dinner, it’s a great way to try an expensive place. I made a reservation for dinner at Mesa Grill — it’s always a crowd pleaser and it’s nearby. But there are so many good ones. All of the participating restaurants do lunch but not all of them do dinner, so check before you make your reservation. You can see who’s in on the fun here. If you have an American Express card, they’re running a promotion if you eat at 3 participating restaurants, you get $20 back, making it all an even better deal. Enjoy!

Etc.

My kids went to the Cornell/Columbia basketball game tonight with my husband and it is so nice to be able to rest. I have a cold which I would really like to go away so it’s nice to be home in our warm apartment after being out in the snow/freezing rain all day. Although nights like this are great to go out to dinner — people from the suburbs get freaked by the snow and you can get a table just about anywhere. We used to always head to Nobu on snowy nights.

Hope you’re all keeping warm!