Weekend Snapshots

Oh my goodness, this weekend (which I guess technically isn’t over yet, but I’m working today so it’s more or less over for me) was the best.

Friday was our 4th anniversary, but a) we’re not big anniversary people and b) Kendrick doesn’t get home from work until right around Indy’s bedtime (that’s me picking him up at the train station), so our plan was to have Kendrick take him on a walk around the block while I sat at the restaurant with a martini, and then eat dinner together once he fell asleep.

It didn’t work out exactly as planned. But the end result was that food was eaten and no enormous tragedies transpired, so hey.

I also got to wear these ridiculous Oscar de la Renta earrings (via Rent the Runway), so that was fun, too.

Here’s Kendrick arriving home to a little anniversary surprise (think he liked it?).

We spent the first part of Saturday continuing to play with Kendrick’s studio. I surrendered our bedroom TV (which we never watched anyway) and the Wii, so I suspect I may never see him again. (That print, by the way, is from Stampa and was part of Kendrick’s Father’s Day gift).

We stopped by the Farmer’s Market (where we ran into a few people we actually knew; that was exciting) for fresh vegetables and desserts for that afternoon’s BBQ (above, that’s the crudite plate I put out - how pretty are those rainbow peppers?).

And here’s us mid-BBQ.

You know, Saturday was such a perfect encapsulation of why I wanted to move: some of our favorite people (including Gala, who drove up from the city in the most amazing car ever) were there all eating and drinking and doing their thing (because there was space for them to go off and check out the lake, or hang in the hammock, or sit on the porch with a beer, whatever), kids and dogs were running semi-amok…

…and then later, once the kids had gone to bed, there was a little karaoke-ing.

Oh, and Francesca and I lost cataclysmically at Cranium. It was very annoying.

On Sunday morning, Lucy napped (this is how she naps; really) while Francesca helped me get ready for today’s Old Navy/Polyvore shoot (I’m working on their new Rockstar Denim launch).

And we ended the whole thing with a babysitter, a tub of popcorn, and Jeremy Renner.

Not a bad one.

Weekend Snapshots

In a crazy turn of events, we spent most of this weekend fixing up the house.

(Starting to notice a pattern here?)

It’s fun, actually. I’m a little confused as to why I haven’t grown enormous arm muscles yet, but maybe I still need to lift another rug or two.

This is Kendrick’s studio (he gets the garage all to his lonesome) mid-makeover.

So far, we’ve removed the questionable-smelling carpet, bleached the floor and painted it a dark walnut, and put down a sort of improvised “area rug” of indoor/outdoor modular carpet tiles (so they’re easily replaceable in the event of spillage).

Rock Band is also present and accounted for.

New rug love! (from @nuLOOM)

And here’s our new rug - step 3 of 300 of our ongoing living-room makeover (next up: stalking the Restoration Hardware outlets per reader recommendations).

We swapped out the coffee table for a more ’50s-style one that we’ve owned for about six months now but have been procrastinating about putting together because it looked like it’d be such a pain.

(It was a huge pain. Or so Kendrick tells me.)

And here’s where our old coffee table ended up: on our patio, in front of a two-person rocker/glider thing that I bought at Christmas Tree Shops (Olivia, thank you for the tip!) for thirty dollars. Yes.

Here’s another picture of my Morning Coffee Spot, just for kicks and because baby overalls are cute.

Weekend Snapshots

So our town, in a bid to make me love it even more than I thought possible, does this thing called “Third Fridays”, where on the third Friday of every month they more or less shut down Main Street and have things like live music, free food and wine samples, and capoeira demonstrations. And all the restaurants and shops stay open late, so it’s basically a town-wide street party. It’s lovely.

The street is lined with antiques shops, and a few of them put out tables filled with little things being sold at a discount. Above is our find: a gold-framed Alice in Wonderland painting for $20.

On Saturday morning, we headed to the Farmer’s Market for dinner supplies and Storytime In The Park.

Some of my Farmer’s Market finds: peaches, heirloom tomatoes, scallions, and…ba da dum…garlic-stuffed olives from Pickle Licious.

And then I sat in the hammock for a bit, waiting for our friends to arrive from the city. That’s what I like about 20-minute meals (which are the only kinds I make these days): you can do things like hang out in a hammock reading US Weekly while you wait for your guests, instead of frantically chopping and whisking and preparing. (Farmer’s Market-bought desserts also help.)

I finally got to break out the 1950s Fire King bowls that I found in Cold Spring.

Our friends Lauren and Brian, cracking up at our son’s “Incredible Hulk” move.

On the menu: Blue Monster Burgers with Special Sauce, Honey Corn, and Tangy Avocado-Potato Salad (recipes coming up).

And then this was Sunday: a trip into town for brunch at Sweetgrass, which opens at 10AM in a nice concession to those of us who wake up at 6AM on Sundays (and every day) rather than the far more normal hour of noon.

And then we went to the mall, which we thought would be fun, but ended up being kind of not-so-fun and exhausting (the high point was a trip to Build-A-Bear).

See? Exhausting.

Weekend Snapshots

This was where I spent the bulk of Saturday: in our attic, clearing out the thirty or forty boxes that we’d piled up there to deal with “later”. I have plans for this space - I’m thinking a library on the side pictured above, and a guest bedroom on the other side - and will post pictures once it’s all pulled together. In the meantime, though, it’s fast becoming one of my favorite spaces in the house.

We took a break to eat at The Wobble Cafe, per reader Katherine’s rec.

You know, you can find kid-friendly restaurants in the city, of course, but in my (admittedly limited) experience “kid-friendly” mostly means either that you’re at a diner, or that it’s more “kid-tolerated”. Which is, you know, fine: I totally get why most restaurants aren’t exactly over-the-moon about having pasta sprinkled on their floors. But still: it’s nice, sometimes, to go somewhere that’s clearly set up just to make your little ones (and thus you) happy.

The Wobble Cafe is all cute mismatched everything, kids’ drawings on the walls, and straightforward food. Plus an awesome (and clean!) play area filled with toys and books, so kids (and my husband) can be entertained while waiting for the food to arrive.

While they played with trucks, Squirt and I paged through The Gallery of Regrettable Food - a collection of the worst recipes from the ’30s through the ’60s (Boiled Cow Elbow with Plaid Sauce, as one example). It’s fantastic, and so funny (and a great gift for a foodie).

And then I broke in the hammock.

I have wanted a hammock my entire life. No exaggeration.

This was my Great Find from Super Saturday: a C. Wonder picnic basket. I wasn’t sure it was the kind of thing I actually use, but I Twitter-sourced to find out whether I should buy it, and the answer was “yes and yes and yes”. As always, you guys were right, because presto: two weeks later, and it’s in the rotation.

And this was where we took our picnic basket for its first outing. Joy all around.

Weekend Snapshots

Remember how I said I can breathe better here?

I also sleep better here. And this, for me, is a big, big thing.

The deep sleeping that happened this weekend may also, however, have been a byproduct of the fact that we have not stopped moving for five days. Between the hours of 6:30AM and 11PM, we’re hammering, folding, Home Depot-ing, arranging, and wrangling (animals and babies).

But let me take a moment to say: hello, my love.

I know you’re not going to believe me, but I have literally never been to Costco before in my life. I had no idea what I was missing.

That box of diapers that’s half the size of Kendrick cost just a couple of bucks more than the teeny-tiny package we used to pick up a couple of times a week from the corner bodega. Let’s not even get into the price of that dog food bag.

Proud new convert over here.

One thing we didn’t do a ton of this weekend: cooking. I whipped up some bacon-chocolate-chip pancakes on Saturday, and last night I made ribeye steaks and corn, but mostly we’ve been doing improvisational, whatever-we-can-scrounge-up meals…

like Top Ramen and Sauvignon Blanc, accessorized with some Yodels for dessert. (We watched The Rock while eating this particular dinner, so it was like a perfect storm of things I love.)

Of course, we took a little time out every morning for some family wrestling in our new bedroom. (I really love this picture.)

Two more things the weekend was full of: home improvement projects (lots of B&As coming your way!)…

and bubbles.

Oh, and bugs, but that’s another story. (Did you know that there a lot of bugs in your house when you live next to a lake and woods? This is something that hadn’t occurred to me pre-move, but oh it has occurred to me now.)

This is my favorite room, I think. I spent the entire afternoon there yesterday, catching up on work and making accidental eBay purchases (wait until you see the ridiculous thing that is about to become the centerpiece of our living room).

And if you’re in the New York area, you saw that torrent of rain that came down last night. I couldn’t resist. (The clicking you hear in the background is because when one of the stove burners is lit - we were boiling corn - the other one won’t stop firing…any suggestions? Google has failed me on this one.)

A Puttering Kind Of Sunday

We just spent the day puttering around, doing a little pre-move Home Depoting, fussing, and fixing, and then went out to dinner on Main Street before heading back to the city and two very sad dogs (I wish I could make the poor babies - who now have about three square feet of floor space left to hurricane around in - understand that they are thisclose to joy in grass and mud form).

This was my favorite picture of the day by leaps and miles.

The fact that my son is completely obsessed with blue cheese warms the very depths of my soul.

Weekend Snapshots

The fun part of packing: discovering (very) old boxes full of stuff you forgot you had, and taking (long) breaks to sift through them.

Like great black jeans…

...and my headshot from when I was 15. #blastfromthepast  #ramshackleglam

And my headshot from when I was 15.

Yellowtail jalepeno w @kendrickstrauch (new #instagram inductee) #ramshackleglam

We also took breaks for yellowtail jalapeno.

And sunset wine.

The Penrose And Pickle Martinis

One of the highlights of this weekend: a long, chilled-out afternoon at The Penrose with one of my very favorite people, Nadine Jolie (Dad and Baby showed up towards the end).

I’ve been sort of gazing longly at The Penrose since it opened a few weeks ago - it’s right around the corner from me, and is a total anomaly on the UES, the land of Bud Light-soaked sports bars (not that that’s a bad thing, but variety is nice).

It’s all house-made everything and cool small plates and raw wood and bartenders with Irish accents and cocktails like homemade root beer with whiskey. I’m not even really a “cocktail” person - I generally stick to wine or beer - but the cocktails at The Penrose are unmissable.

Jolie and Baby Ramshackle and bottle #ramshackleglam

Jolie and Baby and bottle

Pickle martinis and pickle oyster sliders and pickles and pickles (w @nadinejoliebeauty at The Penrose) #ramshackleglam

Pickle martinis and pickle oyster sliders and pickles and pickles

SPICY PICKLE MARTINI (a.k.a. My Favorite Drink In The World)

It’s so good. It sounds so bad. But it’s so good.

In a shaker, combine 3 oz good vodka (I like Ketel One), 3 tbsp pickle juice (important: use really top-quality pickle juice, like McClure’s Spicy Pickle Juice), and ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a pickle spear.

That Was A Hot One

Whoo man, was this weekend ever hot.

So hot that we were forced to tailor every single activity from sunup on Saturday to sundown on Sunday to accommodate the fact that our air conditioner a) is generally crappy, and b) doesn’t even begin to reach the living room or kitchen.

But you know what that meant? Trips to Toys ‘R’ Us, bed picnics in the company of vintage Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon, and ice-cold Coronas. So it worked out pretty well in the end.

First truck (@ brunch @cascabeltaqueria) #ramshackleglam

Here’s my guy at Hotpocalypse Escape Spot #1: Cascabel Taqueria, playing with his very first truck.

Actually terrifying. #ramshackleglam

Have you been to the Times Square Toys ‘R’ Us? This thing is no joke terrifying. He’s about fifteen feet tall, and gnashes his teeth and rolls his eyes before breaking out in shattering roars every so often, and I can’t believe that more children don’t flee the store in the throes of a profound anxiety attack. I guess the close proximity of Legos balances out even Godzilla. (Kendrick: “That’s not Godzilla.”)

Chocolate Merlin, yes. #ramshackleglam

We fortified ourselves with Chocolate Merlins for an abortive trip to the Apple Store (my iPhone battery won’t hold a charge for more than an hour, which, as you can maybe imagine, is sort of annoying, but still not worth spending an hour and a half sitting at the Genius Bar in the middle of a crush of Italian teenagers on a school trip).

Too hot. Camped out next to the a/c with new toys and favorite movies. #ramshackleglam

And so we gave up on Apple, and the entire family set up camp three feet away from the A/C with our new toys and favorite movies.

Dinner in (on?) bed b/c the a/c doesn't reach to the living room. #heatpocalypse #ramshackleglam

Bed picnics were a must.

P.S. This also happened, and we loved it.

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend, we took yet another trip up to Tarrytown to (hopefully) get this show on the road. The present hold-up: basically, when you apply for a loan (we applied for something called an FHA loan, which allows you to make a significantly smaller down payment and is essentially geared towards helping first-time homeowners or those who may not otherwise be able to afford home ownership get into a residence) the bank goes in and takes a look at the property to see whether a) it’s worth what you paid for it (if its not, you have to go straight back to the negotiation process or pull out entirely), or b) you need to fix up any stuff before they feel comfortable giving you the loan. We’re obviously trying to move this whole thing along as quickly as possible, so yesterday we met with a contractor to go over the handful of things that need to be done pre-closing.

Speaking of - I’ve been thinking about putting together a really straightforward play-by-play of what we’ve learned having gone through this process (in other words, how you actually do this thing - buying a home for the very first time - that sounds so completely impossible and complicated when you first embark upon it). Is that something that any of you would find interesting/valuable? I’m obviously not an expert in these matters by any means, but I definitely wish I had had someone to explain the process to me in non-laywer-y, non-broker-y terms (in other words, like an actual person) when we were starting out, so I would have known what to expect.

Anyway, here’s us on our day trip up-river:

Playing in our (hopeful) backyard-to-be. #ramshackleglam

Playing in our (hopeful) backyard-to-be.

(The fountain is, sadly, not staying; it belongs to the sellers. Any fun ideas for what to do with that raised area? It’s right smack in the center of the yard, not tucked off into a corner as it may appear in this photo.)

Heading home! (love main street so much) #ramshackleglam
Heading home! (Love main street).

On me: Dress c/o Dress the Population, Jessie Lane stacked beaded bracelets, Foley & Corinna fringe purse.

And! One more thing. I’ve gotten some emails from those of you who are thinking of moving into the area asking, you know…where to start. And where to start is by calling our realtor, Penelope Herbert at Hudson Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, because she’s the best. We’ve been working together for way too many months now, and she’s seen us through some seriously high-stress, emotional situations, and has been absolutely incredible - levelheaded, committed, on-the-ball - every step of the way, to the point where she now feels more like my friend who I’m excited to drive around my new town with than our realtor.

Weekend Snapshots

Things that happened this weekend:

I spotted a truly awesome vest (at TopShop)…

Mom and I ate even awesomer pasta (in Little Italy; I couldn’t decide whether to get the spinach ravioli or the gnocchi, so the kitchen whipped me up a little half-and-half action)…

We made a stop into Ferrara Bakery for cannolis and display-gazing…

We got a bright-and-early start to Father’s Day with steak-and-egg wraps (yes, those little monsters got some, too)…

And then we settled down for an afternoon nap that wasn’t really a nap at all (but was way better).

And then, on Sunday night, we had a party for one of our friends.

I made watermelon, tomato and basil salad (with mozzarella instead of feta; click here for the original recipe)…

And we picnicked on the roof while the sun set.

And you know what I did, when everyone else went downstairs and Kendrick and I stayed to rock the baby in the open air for just a minute?

I totally cried.

Because as excited as I am to take this next step, and as much as our apartment is making me crazy these days, what with the stairs and the overcrowding and the half-packed-ness and all...

we’ve built a whole life together in this building, in this neighborhood, on this rooftop. It’s been such a good place for us, and I love it; I really do.

I know that it’s time to leave, but still: I’m going to miss this. There are many places in this world that can feel like home, but right now, for me, home is right here.

Weekend Snapshots

Tell me that doesn’t look like the best thing on the planet. That’s the brunch pizza at Gina La Fornarina, which I write about…oh, all the time…and it’s what I ate for my birthday brunch on Saturday, post-playground excursion. (If you go, the brunch pizza is no longer on the menu, but they’ll still make it for you if you ask nicely.)

Following an afternoon nap, we stopped over at my parents’ place for some wine before heading out to dinner at another one of my favorite spots, Trattoria Casa di Isacco (full review here).

What makes dinner at this place so fun is mostly the owner, Isacco, who runs between tables depositing little plates of delicious things (like this wild boar, which is UNBELIEVABLE rolled in soft bread with a little manchego).

For Memorial Day, we headed to the Jersey Shore to visit Francesca and her family.

This is some good beach food, right here. (Lightly toasted pita filled with avocado, tomato, hard cheddar, and salt.)

I needed a day like this one. Good for the soul and all. (Or it was good for mine, anyway: Indy was a little dubious about the whole sand-and-sea thing, as you can see in this picture. He’s also sort of petrified of grass. We’re working on it.)

Perfect summer dinner: grilled skirt steak sliced over arugula salad…

…and homemade ice cream in vintage apple bowls.

More Weekend Snapshots

When we travel to Canada we usually stay right in Moncton (New Brunswick), but this time we stayed with my aunt in Riverside, which is only about an hour outside of town but feels like just about the middle of nowhere.

It’s also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

New cousins getting to meet for the very first time.

My cousin’s daughter is excellent at sharing, as evidenced by the fact that she deposited every single toy in the house directly into my son’s lap within five minutes of his arrival.

It was all very exciting…and apparently more than a little exhausting.

The bracelet stack I wore all weekend long (L to R: Courtesan Studio red stretch bracelet, chloe + isabel silver bangles, Sisco Berluti stack bracelet).

Thrift stores are a treasure trove of very awesome, sorta retro, incredibly inexpensive toys - that thing above plays “rock ‘n’ roll” and “classical” versions of Old MacDonald (in quotations because…well…they’re fairly loose interpretations of those particular genres) and is my son’s New Favorite Thing. (Just remember to clean thrifted toys well before taking them home and double-triple check that there are no small and/or broken parts that could prove dangerous.)

Weekend Snapshots: Mother’s Day Edition

Maybe a month or so after Indy was born Kendrick and I went on a date to a very cool local restaurant, and noticed, at the next table over, a very cool dad holding his very cool baby and generally just hanging out with his friends and family. It was all very cool, and we said to each other that we hoped that we’d be parents like that, the kinds who are laid-back enough to just bring our son with us wherever we go.

Not so much.

We tried it a few times early on - going out to dinner at a “normal” restaurant at a “normal” time - and…let’s just say I can think of a few better ways to spend sixty bucks than spending an hour bouncing, not eating, and avoiding the withering and/or pitying stares of other diners. But on Friday night we gave it another shot, meeting friends for dinner at Felice

and it was great. 

And I understand that being able to enjoy (really enjoy) a full meal in a restaurant with a (nearly) seven-month-old is probably the exception rather than the rule, but still…

it made me feel tres French

This, by the way, is the short rib and brisket burger at Felice, and is what I insist you get if you go there for dinner.

On Saturday, we started out at the playground…

…and then picked up the dogs, a whole bunch of delicious things, and a blanket, and headed off for a picnic in Central Park.

First family picnic! Just the best.

Sunday - my first Mother’s Day - began bright and early with a Bellini and an OK Magazine deposited into my lap while I was still in bed. Good man.

Here’s all three generations, out to brunch at 44 & X.

So that was quite the lovely weekend. I hope yours was wonderful, too!

Weekend Snapshots

We started the weekend with a date night, and started that date night at Pizzeria Uno, mostly because we heard that you get a deal on your movie tickets if you eat at Pizzeria Uno first. As it turns out, the deal was for a different movie theater than the one we were planning to go to (we saw The Cabin in the Woods - loved it), but that’s fine, because the end result was that we got to eat Pizza Skins (pizza crust filled with mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, and sour cream). Which are terrible. And also great.

We spent the rest of the weekend with Kendrick’s parents, who drove in from Ohio to stay in Tarrytown for the weekend (we took the MetroNorth up to meet them).

Obviously lots of shoulders were ridden on.

We stopped in for dinner at the Striped Bass - it’s a great place to have dinner if you’re doing a Tarrytown day trip, because a) it’s so right-on-the-water that you feel almost like you’re in a beach town, and b) it’s about six feet from the train station, so you can hang out on the deck with a beer up until pretty much the second before you’re scheduled to depart.

Long day trips make for some zoned-out rides home.

On Sunday morning we got all ready to head back up the river, but arrived at Grand Central to discover a total mob scene (above that’s where we hid out while we figured out what was going on). What was going on was that no trains had entered or left Grand Central since seven o’clock that morning - why, I have no idea, but we were going nowhere. 

So we gave up, and Kendrick’s parents drove in to meet us for brunch at Johnny Foxes (very affordable, decent menu with options that range from standard to vaguely interesting), where we discovered the wonder that is a Yo Gabba Gabba episode played on an iPad when Mom and Dad are trying to eat.