From the yearly archives:


Merry Christmas

December 24, 2012

Wishing you all a wonderful christmas full of love and light (and chocolate cake and elf hats).  PS wrapping paper by Rodarte for Target ($3.99 for 4 sheets)



Remember the Cuppow?

November 30, 2012

I blogged about the cuppow back in May and there was lots of fervor both pro and con.  Anyway, I just noticed that they are on sale for $13 (for two) on through tomorrow. Stocking stuffer?


Grocery Scouting

November 24, 2012

I recently discovered these delectable little flavor bombs at Eli’s (imported from France, naturellement!) They are perfect savory bite and particularly good with cocktails. I highly recommend them. I can’t find a online source but they are made by  Traou Mad de Pont-Aven.



The Design Scouting Gift Guide

November 21, 2012

I couldn’t be more excited for the holidays this year; my sister is hosting Thanksgiving so that means no travel and no cooking for me (and great food).  Then we’re headed to Boston for Christmas, which means snow (and sledding!) and sitting in front of the fire with loved ones.  Thanks to my sister for handling Thanksgiving so I had time to do this gift guide.


For the survivalist or recent Sandy survivor. Duracel Powerpack 600 ($153).  This backpack is also on my list.

For the tree. Target Rodarth Ornament ($19)

For co-workers, stockings, best friends, the mail man. Chocolate Editions Chocolate bar ($6)

For the (urban) gardener. Raspberry bush ($32) that can be grown in a container and it’s thornless, too.

For the expecting or new mom. Dwell Studio Blanket ($48)


For your builder toddler, architect husband or Italophile friend.  Left to right, 1. Plan Toys Block Set ($55), 2. Romanesque Block Set ($150), 3.Coliseum ($40), 4. Leaning Tower of Pisa ($40).

For the adventurer; brother, husband: Bluffworks Pants ($70)

For hot food lovers, perpetually cold friends: a Tabasco sweatshirt ($30).

For the new home owner; hipster sister; design blogger; person who has everything. Gem stone shower curtain ($90)


Daily Dose of Green

November 13, 2012

Found here.

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Have you heard about the People’s Bailout?  They are buying up debt (the same way debt collectors do) but instead of collecting the debt, they forgive it.  Yes, forgive it.  My first year out of college, I was living in a new city and barely scrapping by with temp jobs; my credit card balance  just grew and grew — not because I was buying extra pairs of shoes but because I was buying groceries.

I count myself as really lucky in that eventually things turned around; the economy improved, I found a full time job (with benefits) and moved in with Tim, (who also helped me pay off some of the debt).  But, the panicky desperation of that time gives me empathy for anyone who is carrying credit card debt. I’m sure there are some kinks and details to be worked out, but, I really support the message of people helping people.  That is what I find so admirable about Occupy Sandy and really, any time a community comes together (babysitting coops, CSAs, quilting bees, barn-raising…).

Donate here.

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Sandy Bake Sale

November 9, 2012

Joanna is co-hosting a fundraiser for Sandy relief; I’ll be there to buy some cookies and make a donation on Sunday!


Letterpress Word Game is the newest obsession in this house (similar to Words With Friends, but, a little more satisfying somehow). Tim and I will play speed rounds sitting in bed; what could be better this (highly competitive) History major married to a (highly competitive) English/French major?  I highly recommend.  My user name is LaughingAbbey if you want to play along?

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Do you ever read something and find it sort of kicks around in your head, popping up when you’re pulling on your socks,  crossing the street, reaching for trash bags at the grocery store.  My friend Nancy posted this quote on Facebook recently and its been rattling around ever since, especially in the wake of the hurricane.

A sad game it is, the charade of wealth. Even the security it supposedly brings is a deceit… We are all going to die anyway, and no matter how long you live, the moment will come when you look back upon your years and they seem short, a flash of lightning in the dark of night, and you realize that the purpose of life is not after all to survive in maximum security and comfort, but that we are here to give, to create that which is beautiful to us.

– Charles Eisenstein in Sacred Economics



I got this notice of a neighbor to neighbor relief effort in progress to help out communities in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are really struggling with the basics – blankets, water, food, socks, towels, printer paper, pet foods, baby items: diapers etc.  I know I’ve been wanting to help out since we came through the storm in one piece and wanted to pass it along to my fellow upper west siders. Check here for info on donations needed and community-led volunteer efforts:

All relief sites need: blankets, water, food, socks, towels, printer paper, pet foods, baby items: diapers etc.

@ 206 West 84th — anytime 24 hrs
@ 39 West 105th, Apt 4 — after 5:30pm Fri, anytime Sat, Sun till 11am

If they can fill the van before Sunday morning, they will make multiple runs. Call coordinator with any questions: 917-517-3627.

More ways to help NYC here.


I hope everyone is safe and dry; with power and internet access!  The photos and stories of life below 40th and in NJ and Long Island are sobering.

Happy Halloween! Alex wasn’t that into dressing up this year, so we just carved pumpkins.  My father was a big believer in jack-o-lanterns having eye brows and ears, something I’d forgotten until we were working on ours today and I suddenly blurted out “we need eyebrows and ears!!”.  Parenting and memory of childhood — so intertwined and mysterious.

For those of you with restored internet access, I wanted to share this post on Cup of Jo which is full of parenting advice from the trenches, as it were.  My favorite piece of advice was this:

Not sure what to make for dinner? Make a “pupu platter”—three olives, two apricots, a lump of peanut butter, a slice of cheese, a dollop of hummus and whatever other random stuff you have in the fridge. It’s fun to eat and will likely be healthier than mac n’ cheese or frozen chicken nuggets.

I also contributed a piece of advice, about asking for help.   What parenting tips would you share?


Read This! Sandy Edition

October 29, 2012

We are hunkered down on the UWS watching the trees outside our window bend in the wind. I made a twitter list of breaking news twitter types and have been glued to it on and off through out the day (both Tim and I have been working from home trading off playing with Alex).

West Side Rag is one of my favorite websites/twitter feeds.

My friend Dave tweeted this wind map which gives visual life to what we’re hearing outside.

I came across the live blog of Bob Hardt — NY1’s political director who lives in the Rockaways.  His house flooded and he is detailing the challenges facing the Rockaways in rebuilding.


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One For All The Worriers

October 28, 2012

Tom Cheney for The New Yorker


So what do you read when you’re deeply deeply into Friday Night Lights and want to talk about it ALL THE TIME.  Well, if you’re me, you turn to the internet, and in particular, Alan Sepinwall.

He writes of the show:

“Friday Night Lights” was always a show that was simultaneously about high school football but about so much more than high school football: about race and class and spirituality and striving and hardship and all the other things that make life so wonderful and so terrifying.

You see why I loved his writing about FNL — he totally ‘got’ the show and his writing feels like a phone conversation with a really smart TV loving friend. Here are two of the columns Alan wrote on FNL for that I particularly liked, however, depending on where you are in the show, there are posts about each season.

1. A round up of the entire series.

2. Jason Katims’ series post mortem.