29 March 2013

Love Announcements




It's been awhile!  Today, a few things I've been wanting to share with you..

1.  First up, these amazing Subway eggs (made with stickers from Office Max).  LOVE them, of course.  See here for the full instructions.  (Thanks, Sarah!)  I saw that one woman liked the idea of numbering the eggs because they always lose some during the Easter egg hunt.  Not a bad idea.

2.  A really great article on happy marriages:  Friendship, More Than Romance, Leads to Happy Marriages.  So good.

3.  A date night suggestion: a MOTH STORY SLAM!
We FINALLY went to one of these.  They host them in different spaces in Manhattan & Brooklyn (as well as in many cities in the country.  See here for the schedule.)  The one we went to was at the Housing Works Bookstore on Crosby Street, which is such a great little gem in the city (the place was packed!)  People stand and share TRUE stories - based on a theme - in 5 minutes or less.  Plan for heartfelt, funny, shocking, and unbelievable stories.




4.  Over the last few weeks, Danny and I have been watching a new epic mini series by the History Channel called The Bible.  It's actually really good!  I really recommend it.  And I'll admit, it's been clearing up a lot of things for me. :)  haha.  The finale will air on Easter.  There is also a DVD you can buy if you'd like to see the whole series...or maybe you can download it somehow online?

5.  A trick to calm an argument with your spouse.

6.  A new way to make a quiche crust (using shredded potatoes!)  I think I'll actually be able to use this crust to pull off a dairy-free, gluten-free quiche!

And, sending love to you all for a wonderful Easter weekend and the new beginnings that it represents.  This is one of my favorite Easter sermons.  But I'd also love to hear if any of you have a favorite sermon, tradition, article or passage that you enjoy during Easter.  Please share!

Love,

Mara

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"The Cake"

 
Our friends make this cake a lot and it has become kind of famous in Brooklyn, because everyone loves it.  So yes, it's now affectionately referred to as "The Cake".  And Danny kind of goes nuts over it.  It's definitely not gluten or dairy-free, but I do remember that it IS ridiculously moist.  And yes, this was the cake Danny requested for his birthday.  I was glad when he finally ate up all the leftovers so I didn't have to keep staring at it.  :)


Behold, the recipe...

THE CAKE

1 yellow cake mix
3.5 oz. vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
3 T flour
1/2 cup oil (can use applesauce)
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water

1. Mix all ingredients well.

2. Grease or spray bundt pan well.

3. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 3 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle enough in greased pan to
cover inside of pan. Save rest for later.

4. Put 1/3 of batter in pan. Sprinkle with about 1/3 remaining
sugar/cinnamon mixture. Using knife, swirl mixture into batter slightly.

5. Repeat step 4 twice.

6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Wait a few minutes before turning out
onto cooling rack.

(FYI, I didn't make that cake, above.  I forgot to take a picture of the one I made!  oops.  But the one above looks just like the way this cake turns out.   Only we don't add icing, but just serve the cake warm with a dollop of whipped cream.)

(image from Nestle Kitchens)

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27 March 2013

Subway Lovers & A Date Night Tip

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One amazing thing about a date night...

On dates, you generally hold hands and sit close to each other, right?  And yet - you can't do anything more, because you're in PUBLIC.

Let that detail work in your favor!!  :)  

Enjoy the act of desiring each other, caress each other's arms during a movie, sit next to each other on one side of the table, kiss a bunch while on the subway platform, sit ridiculously close on the train, hold hands under the table.  These are all things you would have done if you were dating.  But even if you've been married for awhile, doing these things all night might make you feel...um...we'll leave it at giddy.   :)

And may these gorgeous photos from the subway inspire you...

subway lovers
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 (image)
lovers in nyc
 (image)

 (image)
  (image)
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showing affection in public
 
 (image)

 
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date night tips

 
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Ahhhh....I love these.  So beautiful.  

P.S.  Something funny...Danny and I were at an airport once on a layover somewhere and we were being affectionate while waiting for our turn to board the gate.  Someone behind us said, "Enough with the PDA" and we turned to look and it was the CEO of Danny's company!!!  haha.  She is this amazing and delightful woman and she was just beaming, giddy, laughing, and so happy about catching us in the act.  How do you all feel about being affectionate in public?  Does it make you uncomfortable?  Or do you think it's sweet?

{And, something fun we could do here....if you see two lovers, snap a photo and send it to me.  I'll post them on the blog.  Please put the word 'Lovers' in the subject line.  It could be so sweet to see your pics!} 

Here are two lovers I caught with my i-phone:

Seeing them made me so happy.

Have a great day everyone!!

MK

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Kitchen Items from RedFarm

I have to mention that while at RedFarm for Danny's birthday, I saw these RAD water pitchers.  They looked vintage and so striking in the cozy atmosphere.  I asked the owner where they got them...

 
It turns out they are vintage reproductions from the line, Fiesta (sometimes called Fiesta Ware).  The original, art deco line was designed by the company's art director in the 1930s!  (More history here.)    You can get these pitchers on the Fiesta website, but the large pitchers are on sale right now at Macy's for just $30.99!  I totally want one of these.  There are 15 (!) amazing colors to choose from.

AND...loved the dishcloth napkins at RedFarm...

I had just seen the French dishcloths on the fun post from Design Mom, and now I am convinced that dishcloths are the way to go for napkins.  It's so much cheaper and greener to use these instead of paper napkins.  And even better, stacks of them would be a greener alternative to paper towels!  Would it be possible to go paperless? 

I have been looking for some of these dish cloths and here are a few options:  

Red stripes from Ikea, 79 cents a piece:

Blue stripes from Ikea, $3.99/for 4:

 
Red stripes from Wasserstrom restaurant supply, $14.40/per dozen:




Green stripes from Medline (on Amazon), $14.69/dozen:



 MANY striped colors are available from Gourmet Classics (on Amazon) $8.05/each:


What about you?  Do you use paper or cloth napkins & paper towels?  Every time I'm around kids, it seems I use a dozen paper towels.  I always feel bad to waste so much.  Also, I just figured out that I can buy a dozen cloths for the same price as a pack of paper towels from Costco.  Well, I'm sold.  Buying these cloths will be a lot more fun than buying paper towels...

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The 3-day Birthday Celebration

Danny's birthday celebration was long and so fun this year! 

It started Saturday.  We had brunch at our favorite local Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, Fonda.  You could say Danny was excited about his breakfast burrito...
  
fonda brooklyn

fonda brooklyn
We then headed uptown to The Jewish Museum.  Remember Stefan Sagmeister, the designer behind The Happy Show?  He has a new exhibit here in NY.  I was so glad to hear of it as I wanted to find something great to do for Danny's birthday.  So, this exhibit is small.  But it's so cool and it will have you smiling.  It's called "Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh."  We really loved it.  They examine six things culled from Sagmeister’s diary that he believes have increased his personal happiness:

1.  If I Don’t Ask I Won’t Get
2.  Keeping a Diary Supports Personal Development
3.  Be More Flexible
4.  It Is Pretty Much Impossible to Please Everybody
5.  Now Is Better
6.  Feel Others Feel 

Sounds good to me!

FYI, Saturdays at the museum are FREE (due to the Jewish Sabbath).  It was not crowded one bit when we were there.  The exhibit is open until August 4.

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh
 
Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh

Six Things: Sagmeister and Walsh 
I didn't even think to check the museum gift shop, but it turns out Sagmeister has this cool tote for sale along with some other things.
Sagmeister Tote
Jordan and Paul Ferney were in town so they joined us at the museum and then afterwards we had the best walk around Central Park.  The park is designed to get lost.  And we did.  :)  I saw parts of it I had never seen before.  It really was so fun to just walk and wander, which sadly doesn't happen often enough.


On Sunday we had dear friends over for one of Danny's favorite cakes that is affectionately called, "The Cake".  (I'll post the recipe soon!! )

And on Monday, Danny's actual birthday, we met up in the city for a date, which is always such a thrill for me.  We visited a restaurant that has been on our list - RedFarm (thanks to Rebecca).   It's a Chinese farm-to-table restaurant (anything farm to table is my kind of place...)
RedFarm

RedFarm
I had just gotten a haircut that day, so I met Danny at the restaurant.  And yes, I'd say Joanna Goddard is right when she says it's super fun to just "meet" your date at your destination.  Danny was there at the bar perusing the menu (he was sweetly mapping out all the gluten and dairy free items that I could eat :).  And when I walked in, we were both just beaming and so happy to see each other and to sit and have a wonderful, romantic meal together at our little table for two.    
RedFarm

RedFarm
Danny ordered these recommended Pac Man dumplings.  I had to send a picture to my friend, Koseli.  She loooves things with cute faces on them (like this & this).  She replied and said, "Those are the cutest dumplings in existence.  *So cute*."    :)  
pac man dumplings
So yes, it was a wonderful birthday.  Normally we would just go out to dinner (which is a treat for us as we normally eat at home.)  But I guess birthdays that fall close to a weekend call for more celebration.

How do you celebrate your birthdays (or your spouse's/partner's)?  Do you find yourself falling into traditions or do you try to do something unique and different each year?

(Exhibit photos from The Jewish Museum, restaurant photos from RedFarm)
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26 March 2013

Yellow Happiness

OK, friends...THINK SUNSHINE!!!  :)

From Sara Staebler:

"Yellow was never one of my favorite colors, but your posts are slowly changing my mind about that color.  It sure is a happy hue!

This is just a crappy iPhone picture, but this yellow-tiled staircase in the metro station I take every Tuesday and Wednesday makes me smile every time. Even with that ugly graffiti on it.  :) "


From Ieva Terminaite of Lithuania:

"This photo was done at a bus stop in Lithuania one rainy day.  It was very surprising because nobody in my country ever walks in street with a huge pile of balloons.  So I wanted to share that with you because I really had a big smile when I saw it surrounded by sad, freezing people one routine day in November..."
 
From Kimberly Bonham:

"Attached is my yellow picture. Hope you enjoy it!"


From Melanie in Australia:

"My 'Yellow' was a happy moment on holiday in Bali when I realized my (new 'measuring tape') shoes matched my cocktail! Haha! They are my favourite shoes (bought from Camper - a Spanish brand) and always make me happy and add a pop of colour and sunshine to any outfit!"

From Sibyl Kane:

"I know folks are sending in pictures, but when I think yellow - this is the best yellow ever, for me!!

(Click link below to listen to the song - and the music video is so sweet):

The Innocence Mission: Bright as Yellow


...How can you resist an idea like:

And you live your life with your arms stretched out.
Eye to eye when speaking.
Enter rooms with great joy shouts,
happy to be meeting.
And bright,
bright,
bright as yellow,
warm as yellow.

I like the bit about having no thorns to distance me and wanting to be so so bright as yellow.
I love the idea of wanting to be like a color; like the way a color makes you feel.  -Sibyl"

--------

You all are so, so great.  Thanks for all the cheer today!

xoxo

More Yellow:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

P.S.  The Innocence Mission has lots of songs about infertility.  I learned about them the summer my husband left - and their music takes me back to that hopeful, empowering time of my life. 

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