July 30, 2008


Yes, I love to pick blueberries! And I love to eat them. Right off the bush, the next day, or months later when they have been frozen. My good friend Sarah joined us on our trip to "the country" last weekend. There is really nothing to compare to the peace and joy blueberry picking brings on a beautiful summer day. Hopefully I have enough to last through the winter (11 quart size ziploc bags full).


When you see a crowd forming in the West Village, what do you do? We were curious (assuming it wasn't street performers), so we had to find out. It was all the paparazzi, focused on Lindsay Lohan and her girlfriend. We were so entertained, not by Lindsay (no thanks!), but by watching the paparazzi move and sway together, trying to get that perfect shot. These photos really don't do the moment justice.

Restaurant Week Day 4: Eleven Madison Park

Two years ago I had a reservation for dinner (during restaurant week) at Eleven Madison Park, but ended up canceling it since I knew I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I should since the reservation was for 10pm and I was 7 months pregnant and could fall asleep by 8pm every night if I had the opportunity. Pregnancy in NYC, during the summer is absolutely exhausting!

My attempt to discretely take a photo of the menu...for you!
Can you read it?

After going there last Thursday I'm so bummed I canceled that reservation two years ago. I LOVED it! It was all so fabulous. We weren't crammed in like cattle, our waitress spent a ton of time, happily telling us about all the dishes, and the food was really, really good. I felt like a million dollars!

This is the Salmon Escabeche...so good!

Brian got the tuna with heirloom tomatoes, the skate (which is a fish, if you weren't sure), and the cheesecake. The tuna dish was amazing, the skate was very good, and the cheesecake nice and creamy, just the way I like it!

I had the salmon, which was delicious and light. Then I got the lamb which was a bit heavy for the summer, but it had tons of good flavors.
I loved the other parts of that dish: the eggplant and tomato confit. For dessert I had the honey glazed peach which was fabulous!

Brian says Gotham Bar & Grill is still his favorite, but I'm really leaning toward Eleven Madison Park as mine. Both had great food, but I really love the atmosphere of Eleven Madison Park so much more.

Please forgive the poor quality of the photos...I only had my iPhone.

July 23, 2008

Restaurant Week Day 3: Mesa Grill

Our reservation was for 1pm and Brian called at 12:30 saying he had to skip out today since work was so busy. He was slightly surprised I still went by myself. Why not?! I already had a babysitter and was already out the door, on my way. What else would I have for lunch?!

It was a different experience eating alone, but I enjoyed it. I had brought with me some brainstorming work to do, so it was really pleasant to sit in a fancy, busy restaurant, eating delicious food and coming up with ideas. I highly recommend it!

The second photo above was taken, oh so nonchalantly, with my iPhone. (So i would remember what I ate. Can you read it? There was very little light.)

I had Sophie's Chopped Salad, Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno, and Warm Chocolate Coconut Cake. First off, if I wasn't allergic to avocados I probably would have gone with the Spicy Salmon appetizer. And since the soup didn't call out to me I chose to have the salad. It was good and reminded me of a salad my Aunt Ann would often make when I was growing up. She called it Chef Salad. I really liked the Chile Relleno. Full of flavor, spicy, and it was filling; I couldn't even finish it. The chocolate cake was good but nothing special, until I made sure every bite had the coconut creme and pineapple ice cream. Tastey!

Once again, good, delicious food. But no "WOW's". Both the salad and the chile relleno I felt I could probably cook well at home if I had the recipe (and patience).

July 22, 2008

Restaurant Week Day 2: Bar Boulud

Today we enjoyed our lunch at Bar Boulud on the UWS. It is a fairly new restaurant and we enjoyed it, but I think yesterday's meal at Gotham Bar & Grill was better, overall.

Brian got the Pate, Roasted Chicken, and the dessert was similar to a creamy meringue (can't remember what it was called).
I got the Chilled Carrot Soup, Mussels, and Pecan Mousse.

It was our first time trying pate and it was good--we enjoyed it. The carrot soup was fresh and refreshing. I really, really liked the pecan mousse. It was good, delicious food, but nothing was a "WOW".

I'll try to write down the actual names of the menu items...they sound so much more delicious.

Restaurant Week Day 1: Gotham Bar & Grill

Restaurant Week Summer 2008 has begun! Each time it comes around (twice a year) Brian and I try and hit one restaurant and indulge in some savory treats. This time we've gone a bit crazy and have reservations at a different restaurant every single day for two weeks. Many of the top restaurants only offer a Restaurant Week lunch menu, so Brian and I are enjoying some fabulous lunch dates. My criteria when making reservations were that I had heard of the restaurant and it had to be pricey (in order to really make the Restaurant Week price a deal, and a place we normally wouldn't go to because of the price).

Yesterday was the first day and we started it off with a bang at Gotham Bar & Grill. Brian and I always order different things (while consulting each other) so we can taste as many offerings as possible.

Brian got the Chilled Tomato Gazpacho, Miso Marinated Cod, and Flourless Chocolate Cake.
I got the Melon Salad, N.Y. Style Steak, and Panna Cotta.

Our favorites were definitely the cod and chocolate cake. The cod practically melted in my mouth and the cake was so rich it gave me a bit of high, similar to drinking hot chocolate from MarieBelle's. We also really liked the gazpacho, melon salad and the panna cotta (which was very light, creamy and delicious). The steak was good, but nothing special.

And THANK YOU Marci for watching Isabella while we enjoyed our meal!!! (And suggesting I blog about this!)

July 21, 2008

Run Mama, Run

I raced again on Saturday and did a pretty awesome job! It was a 4 mile race for Central Park. This was my second race of the season, and I will hopefully do one (or two) more this year. I beat my own time with an average of 8:19 min/mile. Sweet! It was, of course, the hottest day of the year...again!

I barely made it to the race on time because the downtown trains weren't running. So I jogged from W 119th St to W 72nd St, which is about 2.25 miles. And, yes, I drank gallons of water that day!

Fantastic Fountains!

Isabella loves fountains! Rightfully so, especially since it was so hot and humid on Saturday. This was down at Battery Park as the sun was setting.


On Saturday we went for a cruise on the East River to see The New York City Waterfalls. It was fantastic! Anyone interested? Grab the $10 Circleline tickets.

West Village

I seriously love the West Village. Each time I visit I fall more deeply in love. Last week when I just had to get out of the hood I hopped on C train and got off at West 4th St. Isabella and I just cruised around, enjoyed the people, shops, and gelato. We stopped at a fantastic playground where Brian met us after work. It was the perfect day.

July 17, 2008

Sew Mama

Isabella washing her hands after church (and spraying herself).
And me, finally getting a photo of the dress on her before striping her down for a messy lunch.

The past several months I've had an intense desire to create things with my hands; sew, craft, make! I'm not really a crafty or creative person so I have had a slow start. Not sure where to begin, afraid my lack of skill and experience would make my creations look, well, blah...I found something I wanted to make for Isabella. I had seen this Oliver + S pattern featured on a few blogs I had been visiting and basically learned all I could about it to make sure I knew what I was getting into.

When my mom came to visit in May we went fabric shopping in the garment district. (So fun!) And then she helped me. I don't think I could have made this dress without her. The sewing machine I have is an old Singer (I think from the 60's) and worked great once my mom worked out all the kinks. And then she patiently retaught and reminded me all the bits and pieces of sewing she had taught me when I was a teenager.

And, BTW, the pattern is called "Tea Party Sundress". So sweet!

Touring with Friends

Hanging out on the front steps of the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem with friends, Chase & Eliot

Daddy + Cooking

Isabella loves her daddy and she loves to help in the kitchen, so this was a very special treat!

Daddy + Bedtime

Silly gnome baby!

When Brian gets Isabella ready for bed it's all fun and games! Isabella's favorite spot lately is our bed. She loves to pull up the covers to her waist and sit and read books. It's pretty cute. (Probably because we often have the air conditioner on in there.) It reminds me of growing up and how my siblings and I use to pile onto my mom's bed Saturday mornings. We would just hang out, laugh and talk and then we'd go make waffles or something like that. Oh wait! We still do that (when we visit)!

July 9, 2008

The Perfect Weekend

Cousins Devon & Wednesday

Red light!

Green light!

Catching frogs

Not only was the blueberry picking absolutely fantastic, but the rest of the weekend matched it. We played outside with the kids, visited Brian's great aunt, had s'mores on an outdoor/patio/camp fire, and watched The Incredibles on an amazing out door movie theater, set up by friends Dave & Malisa.

More Weekend Fun

Berry Picking

Cousin Roman

I LOVE blueberry picking!

Isabella finding her treasure.

Spencer, Brian's brother, with his loot.

Isabella loved the tart raspberries too. I couldn't pick them fast enough for her.

Cousins Devon & Roman raspberry picking.


The first time Brian took me blueberry picking I knew I was in love. The most perfect moment was when I was crouched in a field of blueberry bushes on the top of a hill in South Glastonbury over looking the lush, green hills of New England. Then popping a warm, sun ripened blueberry (the size of a grape) into my mouth. The flavor, texture, and whole experience was amazing. Oh, sweet blueberries, I love you so!

July 4, 2008

Beach Bums

Some of my favorite photos from our trip to the New Jersey beaches yesterday. The weather was fantastic and we had a great time.
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