Archive for September, 2011

Easy Eats E-zine

Steven Scott Gross is a photographer who I met at a portfolio review. His food photography is beautiful, and he recently emailed me a link to his newly finished project: shooting the entire issue of Easy Eats e-magazine cover to cover – 103 pages in all!

Silvana Nardone is editor in chief, and was previously with Everyday With Rachael Ray Magazine. She is the master at making gluten-free options for kids, as her son has food intolerances AND she’s a food editor (and use to own a bakery). These recipes are also great for this time of year – especially if you have fall allergies and congestion to alleviate (like I do).
Click here to see the first issue, and here to find even more recipes.

Thank you Steven for sharing the link!

photos by Steven Scott Gross

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Shana Tova

It’s a beautiful start to the new year. Ezra is increasingly confident on his bicycle (without training wheels! Thanks to the balance bike). Zoe is having morning conversations with Eddy the Monkey and other friends on the end of her brother’s bed. I swear: I found her like that! This time I ran and found my camera to catch it. May the year ahead be this sweet for everyone..

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My photo editor friends (and moms) Jane and Melissa have created a new line of tee shirts: “reinventing heroes of the past into the rock stars they should be recognized as.”

Their colorful tees take off where Obama’s children’s book ‘Of Thee I Sing‘ may have started. I love that children get to identify with the person of history that they are wearing for the day. Go ahead – choose a rock star.
You can order one by clicking here for their Etsy link.

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How we roll

A few years ago when Ezra started preschool, he met some kids who had scooters. He would chase these little guys around the playground begging to have a turn scooting on their mini-kick scooters – to the point where I think we were finally embarrassed into buying him one so that he’d stop bothering everyone else for theirs. My husband thought he wouldn’t use it for more than a year, but now it’s become his main method of transportation (going on 2 years now). When we chose a school for Ezra, we decided to support a local school – not only to avoid that lengthy yellow-bus ride, but also because I love the time that he and I spend walking to (or from) school. We say hello to the same sleeping cat outside the flower stand, and we talk about the cars he will build when he grows up. Walking 13 blocks each way however is a challenge for little 5 year old legs. We use the scooter to get him to school, to get him some daily exercise and frankly – so I can pull him along if he’s absolutely wiped out. His friends at school recently came up with a game of checking the muni-meters en route to class – and so we have yet another reason to get him to scoot ahead of us and keep moving along at a fast pace. He even found $1.85 in change last week (plus one rupee from India)! It just so happens the scooter company called us in July and informed us that we won a new maxi-kick scooter in a random lottery; just in time for Ezra’s birthday. An upgraded taller scooter, now that he can reach the meters.

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Rain or shine, this festival is always a good time. We had to remind Bubby: DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. We got to ride the brand new carousel, create a ‘Draw-Bot‘ that drew funky patterns on paper, and Ezra even bartered for a fabric mustache.

Carousel in a giant glass box by the water!

Our Draw-bot, hard at work:

And lots of art to see:

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We live in Jackson Heights Queens – in a predominantly Indian neighborhood. For this reason we get ‘Season’s Greetings’ lights hung over our street in the middle of August. I guess this was installed for the ‘end of Eid’ festival that happened on Aug 30th this year. It’s the end of Ramadan, when everyone breaks fast and can go out and eat and party. I had to ask a man standing in the street what all the Christmas lights were for – and he kept saying ‘end of Eid’. I then had to get to a computer and google ‘Eid’. I love that we get to expose our kids to a Muslim holiday that normally we wouldn’t hear much about. I went to India in the late 90s and always thought it would be a great trip for kids. While I cannot yet afford to get back to India with my family, we can at least live in the middle of the liveliest Indian community on the east coast. The restaurants under our apartment serve vegetarian food (and crazy sticky sweets) and even boast that they are certified kosher. We are at times shocked by an occasional truck of slaughtered lamb in front of our building, and there is an endless array of sari and bangle shops. And check out our access to produce (bumpy cucumbers called karala?) – strange and wonderful produce everywhere! Fruits and vegetables that we do not recognize – I can’t wait to try another new one. Jackfruit? Durian?

At least our holiday street lights can double as decoration for the upcoming Diwali; a Hindu festival of lights in October.

Read more about our fabulous ‘hood here.

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Well here we are at the end of the week and I’m thankful that the ‘bubby-sitter’ (my mom) was here. My husband and I were flogged with work so we called Bubby in from Florida to save us visit. Having her around to help dress and feed kids in the a.m. has been a huge relief, but we’ve also needed help after school now that Ezra’s teacher has stepped up the expectations on homework. About 5-7 pages of ‘writing’ to be exact. And 2 math books are in his backpack – one in English and one in Spanish. Since I have my mom nearby I’ve had her confirm that – yes, when I was in kindergarten – it really was all ‘snacks and naps’. And I think I had a 3 hour day instead of 6 hours.
I’ve just returned from a ‘meet the teacher’ night where I was informed that my 5 year old should go from a level A reader to a level D reader – all within this year. Does this mean he can read to his sister by spring?
Oh and Ezra just informed me that he’s already had an ‘internet safety’ class and will soon need time on my computer. Wow.
Did I mention that he’s only in kindergarten?

Thanks Bubby, you’re the best! I can’t believe you got these little sleepy, fuzzy morning faces out of the house on time (affording me some luxurious time to take their pictures).

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Restaurant shot

Another beautiful photo captured by Ezra. He took this somewhere between slurping miso soup, and the arrival of his sushi.

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Happy first day of autumn!

I already miss summer because it went by so quickly. Thank goodness my brother is getting married in Miami in November; I need one last trip to the beach. Not that it hasn’t been super muggy here in NYC this week, but it’s been rainy and gray. I do love fall however, and I cannot wait to go to Storm King or anywhere where I can romp with the kids and gaze at fall foliage at the same time. For now however the J Crew website is exciting me. Look! Lady-like bright stuff – what a great departure from the onslaught of the ‘skinny jean’ and all things denim. Does it seem like we’ve been seeing a dominance of denim for about 10 years now?
I for one am glad to see wider leg trousers creeping back.
But I diverge.
I’m putting these J Crew photos in the ‘beautiful thing’ category, to get some color in this otherwise really gray day, and to get excited about wearing a coat again.

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There are things that you think you will ‘never do’ before you become a parent. Like co-sleeping and nursing beyond 12 months, parenthood surprised me and I had a change of heart on a number of things. Once I realized that certain things worked well and added closeness to our family (especially when we are short on time, going back to work, etc.) I just stuck with what worked. Ezra’s floor bed was one of those things.

I know that visitors loved Ezra’s mattress on the floor – sitting on it was easy and fun, and it felt nest-like. Grandparents however were not so thrilled. I got the question ‘how can you put your kid on the floor?’ a number of times, and even myself wondered if I would’ve found a solution sooner if we had critters in the apartment. I thought I would never put my son on the floor, but I had a deep-seated fear that he would roll off the bed and on to the floor – and irrational fears of a concussion in the night took hold. I feebly tried on the excuse of making Ezra’s room ‘Montessori’ so that he could easily reach things, crawl out of bed on his own – but he soon got too big for that to seem necessary.

Truth be told I also couldn’t seem to find a bed frame that I liked, that didn’t cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $800. Yeah I know, ridiculous.
Finally we found this bed frame while flea-marketing. A woman anxious to unload it and not have to tote it home beckoned “it’s only $5”, and suddenly we were curious. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint, and assembly. I knew that we’d fall for an old headboard that had some character to it, and the nice thing about this frame is that it accepted an Ikea slatted bed base so that a box spring wouldn’t add unnecessary height to that bump in the night (which still hasn’t happened, thankfully).

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