Saturday, December 15, 2012

Inflatable Santa

Even inflatable Santa needs some love! 


 High five and Happy Holidays, Kids!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

What a cute couple!

 What to get the couple who has everything?  Why not whip them up a set of these cute Christmas stockings! 

 I decided to use non-traditional Christmas colors to make them more mod.   I think they came out pretty well, and were super simple to make!  You can certainly put together some of your own in an hour or two.  How?  Take a look at my tutorial on of course!  Let me know what you think!  Happy Happy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dino-mite! (Cake)

 If you could think of any cake in the world that a 31 year old lady would want for her birthday, what would you pick? 

 If you're me, the clear answer is: DINOSAUR CAKE! 

This weekend I celebrated my birthday (and my friend Melissa's bday 2 days before) with a delightful celebration.  I made the cake and it was exactly what I wanted, of course!  A lovely dino cake, with a melting shirtless man-candle (well, that was what we had on hand) to top it off. 

 I forgot to take a picture but the cake was red velvet, so as to be more realistic when cutting into blooooody dinosaur meat.  (Although I'm vegetarian.)  The frosting was green, but cream cheese - pretty good!  Also, the spikes are Hershey kisses.  If you'd like to make your own, I found the pattern here at Betty Crocker - there are lots of fun cake ideas there!  Check it out for your next soiree.   
 Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate this weekend!  I had a great birthday and tons of fun. 

Happy Birthday to us!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Patchwork Stocking

Hello!  Here is my first Christmas project of the season - a delightful patchwork stocking! 

My niece Rakia saw the fabric I'd put together from all of the little scraps I'd accumulated and I knew it had found its owner.  Don't worry though - you can make one of your very own!  Check out for my tutorial here.

More holiday fun to come, so check back!  Happy December to one and all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do you know the muffin girl?

It's me!

Check out this sweet muffin cookbook I won from!  I feel so lucky!  Its a book filled with a billion muffin recipes, and I can't wait to try them out!  There are traditional ones that look delish, plus some savory ones that I wouldn't have thought of.  I am considering trying out the pear, date and bleu cheese ones this weekend. 

Yay I win!  You can too - Celebrations has tons of contests on their site, twitter and facebook page so give it a shot! 

And I will certainly keep you updated as to my journey into muffin land. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hats Off

Oh man do I love things wearing hats that don't normally wear them.  Like this sweet mini bottle of hot sauce.  And don't worry, I have backup for when it runs out.  Or I can create a wild west family.  Hmmmm...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Me & Steve - O!

Oh hello, just hanging out, me and Steve-O, in a conference room.  Whatever. 

Also, check out Killer Karaoke on truTV!  Funny stuff.  And hosted by a very lovely gentleman.  Really!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wishbone Buddies

I hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving!  Here are my two favorite kids, getting ready (patiently!) to pull the wishbone.  Rakia won, but Dorian was a good sport about it.  I think he won last year.  She's getting stronger in her old age!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pretend Rice Pudding

Recently I got a groupon deal for something called Miracle Noodles.  They are noodles that have 0 calories. A miracle.  Not as tasty as regular pasta, but when you mix them with a bunch of other vegetables and flavors and what not, they can pass.  (Do not freeze them, though.  Just don't.)

My noodle assortment came with a few packets of miracle rice, too.  I don't like rice.  So it has sat in my fridge for some time.  (They last for a while, don't worry.)  Finally, I decided to make something out of it that I do like - rice pudding!  So, here is my recipe for Pretend Rice Pudding made with Miracle Rice.  It works out to be not bad for you at all.  You can replace the Miracle Rice with regular, for additional calories, and it would probably be even tastier.  And edible to normal people not dieting, to boot.


2 cups miracle rice (or substitute cooked brown rice)
1 1/4 cup almond milk (or substitute soy, skim, or any type of milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins (you could use dried cranberries or another dried fruit, too)
1 tsp vanilla extract (almond would work too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves


Prepare miracle rice (or regular) as directed on package.  Combine rice, milk, sugar, and raisins in a medium saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce head and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, then stir in extract, cinnamon, and cloves.  Serve at once, let cool to room temp, or cover and refridgerage and serve cold.  About 1/2 cup per serving.

Makes a cozy winter dessert, snack or breakfast!  Top with whipped cream if desired.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nice & Light

Lots of cooking this week!  (I also made some split pea soup, so it wasn't all sugar, don't worry Mom.)  I did want to make something fun, but not too damning to the diet, so I found these sweet little meringue cookies from Weight Watchers.  Get this - you can eat 12 for only 2 points!  Score!  They are tiny but great for a sweet snack when you need one, and don't want to go overboard.  


  •  5 large egg white(s)  
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa  
  • 2 Tbsp sugar  
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract  
  • 1/8 tsp table salt  
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar  
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa  
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 225°F. Cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine 1 egg white, 1/4 cup of cocoa, 2 tablespoons of sugar and extract in a large bowl.

Beat the remaining 4 egg whites and salt with an electric mixer just until soft peaks form; add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating, until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three batches.

Fill a pastry bag with the mixture and pipe out the cookies onto the cookie sheets. Each cookie should be about 1-inch wide. (Note: To make your own pastry bag, use a gallon plastic bag and cut a hole in the corner.) Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes until a dried texture.

Mix the remaining 1 teaspoon of cocoa and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot cookies with a sieve or sifter. Let cool completely on wire racks before removing from parchment paper. Yields about 12 cookies per serving.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pound Those Lemons!

Here is a great recipe I just tried this week  - another of my Hurricane Sandy creations.  This Lemon Pound Cake goes amazingly well with Lemon Curd.  Also delicious with berries, whipped cream, jam and butter, chocolate sauce - or plain!  A simple dessert (or breakfast!) that also freezes well, and is yet another great way to use up some egg yolks.  

from Italian Dessert Recipes by Lisa Marietta Gianotti
YIELD: 5x9x3-inch loaf pan (this needs a small loaf pan)


·         6 tablespoons butter 
·          2/3 cup granulated sugar 
·         4 egg yolks, beaten
·         1 1/4 cups flour
·          1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/8 teaspoon salt
·         1/3 cup milk
·         2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
·         2 teaspoons lemon juice
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Heat oven to 350° F.   Butter and flour a 5x9x3-inch loaf pan. 
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks work into the creamed mixture.  Set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Gradually add flour mixture to the first mixture, alternating with the milk.  Beat well.  Blend in the lemon zest and juice and the extract.
4. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake 45 - 50 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool in pan on rack for 45 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool thoroughly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn Style

Hello Everyone!  Thank you to all for your concern these past few days as Hurricane Sandy took her toll on the NYC area.  Living in Brooklyn, I was nervous but stayed put, as my neighborhood was not ordered to evacuate and we are on high ground - they don't call it Fort Greene for nothing!

As the MTA was shut down and work cancelled, I spent Monday at home, doing some cooking (recipes to come), reading, watching hulu, and lounging about.  It was kind of nice!  I took a stroll on Tuesday morning as the rain and wind had stopped, for the most part, and I wanted to see how my area had fared.  

 This was the worst of it, that I could see.  And yet another reason why I don't need a car in NYC.  This poor van was parked outside of an evacuation center - luckily no one was inside when the tree was uprooted but yikes!  

Subways are still shut down, so work was cancelled again on Tuesday.  Not sure what will come for the rest of the week, but looks like more leisure time for me.  I know a lot of my friends in Manhattan are without power and water so I am thinking of them and wishing them well.  Apparently this is the worst disaster the MTA has experienced in its 108 year history, with tunnels flooding, equipment damage and more, so I don't know when things will be operational.

I did get supplies - plenty of food and water just in case, but it is good to know that in addition to an assortment of bodegas, also open in my neighborhood Tuesday morning are: bookstores, coffee shops, dry cleaners, hair salons, and more!  So, even if I do run out of any number of goods, I am pretty well set.  Also, the preemptive Christmas decorations that went up last week are still standing.  Even though it is before Halloween!  Sheesh.  

This is my street - as you can see if is clean and clear!  I am lucky.  

And my building is in one piece too.  

Hope all is well out there for all of you that experienced the wrath of Sandy - good luck!


Luckily I got a lot of wear out of my Halloween costume this past weekend, because I'm not so sure how many people will be able to be out and about tomorrow, what with Sandy Super storm's aftermath.

So here is the big reveal - ta da!  I'm a Brooklynette!  

 What is that you may ask?  Well, the former New Jersey Nets basketball team recently moved to Brooklyn where they had a fancy new stadium, The Barclays Center, built for them.  There has been a lot of hullabaloo over the stadium, and I'm not a sports fan, but after seeing this picture of the costumes for the Brooklynette Dance Team, I knew what I had to do:

So, these looks are my inspiration, and I think I made it my own.  Plus I wasn't up for too much pleather and spandex.

A lot of outfits coordinated with mine, unintentionally!

Like this amazing Beyonce costume.   

Matt had an spot on Roger from Rent costume.

With Vanessa as a killer Mimi, to boot.  
 All in all it was a fun weekend!  And one of the most comfortable costumes I've had in recent memory.  After wearing it three days in a row, it could use a wash, but I may just have to break it out tomorrow one last time...we shall see!  

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

You make Lemon Curd!  Right?  Right.

So, due to Hurricane Sandy, I happen to have not one but two days off from work!  Wow!  With the wild weather, I can't spend time on a nice fall stroll, or explore the fabulous city in which I live, or even do something mundane like go to the gym, or do errands or what have you.

Not to focus on what I can't do.  Here is what I can: make delicious lemon curd!  Because in addition to having extra time at my disposal, I also have a freezer full of egg yolks and a bunch of lemons.  Score!
(Side note - I eat egg whites for breakfast a lot, and generally have a bunch of leftover yolks.  I found the recipe below - and a whole bunch more - here - a great list of things to do with extra yolks!  Waste not, want not.  Check it out!)

This makes a great hostess gift, and is amazing on top of cake - angel food, pound, gingerbread, cheesecake,  muffins - and more.  Also delightful swirled into yogurt, or on fresh berries, and also right out of the jar.  I covered the decommissioned (and thoroughly cleaned) salsa jar with a fabric scrap on top and a little ribbon to make it cute and presentable.

To be absolutely honest, I can't have this lying around the house because I will seriously eat the whole batch with spoon, over the course of a week or two.   So, I'll be giving this away, most likely, but it is seriously so good.  And easy!  Try it, you'll see.  

From John Mitzewich, former Guide

Makes about 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes             Cook Time: 15 minutes           Total Time: 30 minutes
· 6 egg yolks
·  1 cup sugar
·  1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
·   2 tbsp grated lemon zest
·     1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into 1/8-in slices
1.        Add 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. In a medium metal bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined. 
2.        Place the mixing bowl on top of saucepan (the bowl should be wide enough to fit on top of the saucepan, but shouldn't be touching the simmering water). Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir, until it begins to thicken, and will coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. 
3.        Whisk in the butter, one slice at a time. Wait until each piece almost disappears before adding the next. Spoon into clean glass containers and allow to cool with a piece of plastic wrap laid on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  
Refrigerate until needed. This lemon curd will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Only Make Believe!

I  bet you are wondering where you can purchase such phenomenal chapeaus such as the ones we are wearing below. Sorry to crush your dreams, but you can't.   
Now stop crying.  My work pals and I participated in a volunteer day where we helped out with an awesome organization - Only Make Believe.   (That's me on the left - you might not recognize me with Viking blonde hair, plus Julie, Seida, and Cassie). 

They have volunteers come in and create cool costume hats for kids - like this cute tiger that Julie made (go Tigers!). 

We also made some fun necklaces for the kids - or, "bling" as we were asked to call it.  (The little boys won't wear necklaces, but "bling" is ok.)

We had a few hours to make a whole bunch of fun hats for kids that they could wear during a interactive musical performance

 From their website, " Only Make Believe is a non-profit organization that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities."  

 We went to an out patient facility where the kids came by after school to have fun, dress up, watch a little play and join along with it, and then have some nice snacks.  

 It was a pretty fun afternoon, and the kids loved it!  I did too.  Whenever I can use my powers of crafting for good, not evil, I am a happy girl. 

If you're in the New York area, definitely consider volunteering for this great organization!  It was a lot of fun and a great way to bring joy to kids that need it. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Columbus Circle - A View From the Top

Well hello there! 

Recently my friend Julie M and I went to visit a cool new art exhibit.  Lucky for us, it is right across the street from our work here:
and tickets are free!  Not too shabby!  Artist Tatzu Nishi has constructed an 810 square foot living room (aka, bigger than my apartment) around the statue that graces Columbus Circle, at 58th street and Broadway in Manhattan at the base of Central Park.

To check it out, you have to hike up six flights of stairs, but the view is spectacular!


You can see the hustle and bustle of the circle below, central park, down Broadway to Times Square, and beyond.

 If you are in New York, the exhibit is open until November 18th, and again, tickets are FREE!  You can get them here.  
 There is also a kiosk and information center inside the mall at the Shops at Columbus Circle, if you're in the area.

 In this exhibit, you can get up close and personal with Chris.  Just like Julie here!

 There is a cute little living room build around him, with lovely windows to gave out on the city. 

Interesting wallpaper adorns the walls, full of iconic American imagery - celebrities, hot dogs, architecture, and the like. 

Comfortable couches surround the statue if you'd like to take a break after all of those stairs.  There is a flat screen TV on one side to catch up on your news, as well as books, magazines and newspapers if you're looking for reading material. 

And, a giant statue in the middle of it all, as I mentioned. 

 The artist has created similar exhibits all around the world feature famous public works of art.  Check them out here.  Pretty fascinating, and an intriguing and unique way to look at art we may see every day in a new way! 

Thank you to Julie M for the lovely photos.