shoe cat

My sweet kitten. He loves shoes even more than I do.

New York, New York

Some pictures from our last trip to New York, one of my favorite places on the planet. 

Technically, this is Boston. We went there first. The tunnels to the airport are so scary!

We stay at the Bowery Hotel most of the time. It's located in a great spot, easy walk lot's of places, and just a great atmosphere. Maybe the best people watching in all of the city. And great views:

I hadn't seen a view of this huge yard, I wonder what it's for.

The hotel stocks the best magazines in your room, gives you three tiny cookies on a tray every night, and even provides a teddy bear for your bed (which is kind of gross to me, to think about cuddling a stuffed animal that strangers may have, so I always kick him off).

Think Coffee across the street has the best soups. This was ginger carrot artichoke. I've tried to find a recipe to recreate it, but haven't been able to.

Room service coffee, and after days of eating out and too much coffee, I was craving vegetables so much. 

Found them at a new cafe down the street. I love being able to walk everywhere.

Even got some new flats for walking around after my feet couldn't take high heels anymore.

As much as I love home, this is the only place I never want to leave.

My Week with Marilyn

Getting to be a bit obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, after watching My Week with Marilyn, which was really good by the way. Michelle Williams did a great job. Then moved on to re-watch Some Like It Hot, which I think is one of my favorite old comedies. It really holds up. And then started on her autobiography, simply titled My Story. What a sad life, but I really admire people who aren't afraid to completely reinvent themselves. I love revisionists.

pool days

It's feeling like we're perpetually on summer vacation. We've been spending an hour or two at the pool in our building whenever the sun's out.

My husband picked up this striped straw hat for me a while back and I've been wearing it religiously at the pool. And these Tom Cruise wayfarers are the first pair of sunglasses I've managed to hold onto for years. Now I just need a super awesome beach bag!


For the last decade, I've been using the same boring soap (Dove sensitive skin beauty bar) after recommendation by a physician. (Seriously, how unfair, every thing that touches my body has to be free and clear, especially laundry detergent.) When trying to switch to more natural beauty products, I was really scared to try anything new, but when I found this at the grocery I fell in love with the nutty scent - reminiscent of the Laura Mercier Pistachio Body Scrub.

It lathers so well, lasts forever, and smells so good. The scent doesn't stick to your skin either, so you don't have to worry about it clashing with perfume. It was a bit drying at first, but I liked it so much that I kept on, and now guess my skin got used to it. This is one of my favorite beauty finds ever!

Another favorite:

I found used this toothpaste at the Bowery Hotel in New York, where I stole every tiny tube I could get my hands on. They actually sell full size tubes of it in the mini-bar there, but it was too expensive to risk getting taken away by security and I refuse to check bags for a toothpaste. I seriously contemplated purchasing it online, but buying toothpaste from Amazon seems a bit ridiculous. Anyway, we stumbled into a store the other day and there it was. Yay.

Speaking of things stolen from the Bowery Hotel, I fell in love with this magazine. I decided on the spot to order it, but this issue was so good I had to have it. I felt a bit guilty, but I figure that if they aren't okay with me taking it they could always charge my room for it. 

Seriously phenomenal.

French Women Don't Get Fat

One of the things I love about Kindle is that I can sample anything. After a chapter or two, I sometimes wind up liking books I wouldn't have thought I'd like, or not liking something that I was sure I would. It's opened me up to books I would normally not order, such as this: French Women Don't Get Fat

This is not a diet book, per say, more of a commentary about the differences in eating and lifestyle between the typical French and American families. It's a story beginning with the author coming to American and quickly gaining weight, then struggling to lose that weight again when she went home. She presents how she manages to navigate maintaining an ideal weight with eating a luxurious diet. It's a lot of common sense, but may have some things that never occurred to you.

We managed to incorporate some of her rules into our eating style, mainly the idea of having a menu of small courses in dinner every night, instead of a huge main dish. It's enabled us to have much more variety, no leftovers - which also means no second helpings, and not ever get that uncomfortably stuffed feeling, while still being completely satisfied. We've also been eating all fresh foods, going to the market and planning meals, and even cooking together. We've also been eating with the nice cloth napkin every night and having a glass of wine with dinner.

I was absolutely sure that I would be gaining weight from eating like this, but after a week I've actually lost about two pounds. Crazy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to enjoy food more.

And now onto some of the recent meals, at lease the ones I stopped to take a picture of. 

Avocado and butter leaf salad (the bacon bits obviously weren't on my, but I did mention that I started eating things with no brains, right?), sauteed brown mushrooms with yellow squash and sweet potato, and fried pears with blue cheese:

Avocado and baby greens, grilled cheddar and tomatoes with basil, and more pears for dessert. Hubby actually participates in the cooking a lot, which is so fun. These grilled cheeses were all him, and the best I've ever eaten by far:

Avacado and tomato salad, steamed clams with white wine sauce, and strawberries with sherbert:

Spring mix with tomatoes, gorgonzola, and a dressing mix of pomegranate balsamic and lemon olive oil (fresh from the Farmer's Market! We finally went!), seared sea scallops with a side of Italian farro with cranberries and pistacios, and more strawberries for dessert.


Our bedroom is pretty minimal, with just a bed, two side tables, and a cat bed. For the last five years, we've had black sheets and comforter, and it just wasn't working anymore. So after I killed our comforter by shoving it into the washing machine one last time, we decided to go in search for a thin, but cozy blanket to take its place. One that could fit easily in the washer, but still felt substantial. We found the most beautiful, soft white blanket, and got white sheets to match. 

The linen store had a kitty living there, I stumbled upon him curled up on a show bed. I pet him a bit and he was purring instantly.

The room looked so much better and brighter instantly. But still a bit bare. So we went in search of a wall mirror, one that could be a substantial part of the bedroom decor, but that matched our style. Our friends in NYC have one close to the one below, made from a really old steel window frame, and it's beautiful in a antique, but modern way. 

I also really liked this yellow lucite frame, but probably because I'm a sucker for anything made out of plastic/resin/lucite.

Finally, we fell in love with this gigantic (8 foot tall?) faux white-alligator mirror. It's huge - substantial enough to be a focal piece of decor - but still bright and minimal. It was delivered today!

vegan french toast

One of the things I used to love was making a huge Saturday or Sunday brunch. But with eggs, bacon, and sausage off the menu, it didn't seem like much of an option. Enter this recipe for vegan french toast. It was so good, everyone agreed that it was even better than the original! (Note: this picture has real butter pats and white bread, but mine had Earth Balance and wheat bread and was still really delicious.)

Vegan French Toast

1 ripe banana
1/2 c. soy milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 slices bread
Vegan margarine

Blend banana, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in food processor. (You want this to be runny like the egg mixture from French toast, so adjust the proportion of milk to banana if needed.) Pour into flat dish.

Heat vegan margarine in skillet over medium hot heat. 

Dip bread slices, coating each side.

Fry in skillet until golden brown on each side.

Serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar.

Our bruch consisted of some cut up berries, strawberries and peaches, sauteed onion and, red potato home-fries, and a few different kinds of soy sausage to try them out. Surprisingly, hubby was really into this MorningStar Farms sausage.

blackstrap molasses

I found out about this stuff when I stopped eating meat, because it's super high in iron (13% daily value in 2 tsp). An acquired taste, but now I really like it. You can use it on things like oatmeal, really anywhere you would want a touch of maple syrup. But it is a totally bitter sweetness, so be warned!

coming home

We've been out of town for a few days- it was a busy, beautiful trip. I am usually always ready to go home, a little less so in Manhattan, but I still get so excited on the plane ride home. There's a little feeling of starting over, turning your vacation into real life, detoxing a bit after eating only out. I wind up writing a list of a few things I want to do when I get home, some things are always on the list and I never get around to doing them: go to a yoga class, go to the farmer's market, go to the museum, go to the gym. My tiny, tiny goal is to do one of them in the next 7 days.

And now I'll leave you with more models with kittens, because, that is awesome: