Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Farmer's Market

Cash always gets tight for me around this time of the year. Months away from a holiday bonus and Christmas cards stuffed with cash, too too close to summer time shares and trips out of the country. Luckily, $10 can go a long way at Gerardi's Farmer's Market over on Richmond Terrace.

With grilling season right around the corner I am super-happy with the mini corn stalks, peppers, large Spanish and red onions, stalks of broccoli, red potatoes, and portobello mushrooms I brought home for just over $7 this past week.

The official Parks backed St. George Green Market doesn't open in the Municipal Parking lot for another few months, so it's nice to have Gerardi's back

Bed, bath and beyond

This isn't the most timely report but something that's been on my mind for a few weeks.

In the ever present fight to keep my abode feeling sparkling and new I have turned myself into a bed sheet pro. If there's a new sheet in town, I must have it.

Low and behold to my inbox comes an email from bed bath ad beyond. I'm pleased to announce their line of new dkny bed and bath products. It comes in sophisticated colors and modern shapes but what I enjoy most is that I can outfit my bed in this and my boyfriend won't feel like a wimp crawling in at night- they are definitely unisex friendly.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hooray for Hollywood

I'm headed to Los Angeles in a few weeks and couldn't be happier. Disneyland is debuting a new ride/game attraction that promises to be hysterical and I will be one of the first people online to see it at Disneyland, and then Disney World when we head off in September.

But I wanted to pass some of the information along, out there in the cyber ether. Disney's Toy Story Mania (Toy Story Midway Mania in Anaheim) is nearing its completion and just about open for business!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Down Home Weekend

This weekend was all about a little R&R for your truly. As some of you might know, I've been hard at work on a website relaunch at my full-time job so instead of the usual running around I like to engage in on Saturdays and Sundays, I spent some time absorbing the neighborhood, some locals eats, and my bed.

If you're on Staten Island, the best tip I can offer you is o get over to Sushi Excellent on New Dorp and Hylan. From the first sip of my fruit martini to the Coconut Shrimp sushi, it was amazing- and I don't mind saying, a really affordable price.I was really impressed, and for someone who's eaten sushi all over the world to be impressed is a huge accomplishment.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I broke the rules

of blogging.

I left my blog for more than day. I'm sorry. We relaunched the website I work on 9 to 5 and it required 15 hr work days from me for the last 10 days- leaving zero time for you.

But I'm back, and have plenty to sure on this post-Earth Day weekend with the NYC Grows Festival, and more!

Have me back, please.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kitchen Island

I'm looking to expand my kitchen cabinets, but for now this super-cheap Ikea butcher block top island is doing just fine!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Flea

This weekend weather and time allowed me to stop by Brownstoner's Brooklyn Flea. While I wasn't sure what to expect, one thing I definitely wasn't prepared for was the overall sense of community and friendliness from people of all walks of life. Hipsters and obvious out-of-towners, low-income natives and sky high income new residents, everyone working together to collect money for schools, support local businesses, and keep Fort Greene exactly what it should be- a neighborhood.

I came in contact with many very helpful people, from native born artists, to a couple new to the city who shared my enthusiasm for mismatched ceiling tiles, and I had a great time.

If you're heading to Brooklyn Flea next week, here are some things you should know:

1. Parking is limited in Fort Greene, but the further down, the better. Try Washington Avenue and cross blocks.

2. Hold off on the food till you arrive. There are a ton of vendors peddling sandwiches, cupcakes, and other yummy treats you'll be sorry to miss.

3. Carry cash. 99.9% of the vendors will only take cash, and the schoolyard that houses BK Flea is not adjacent to any ATMs.

4.Grab business cards, flyer's, and other calling cards. While you may not need a 2x4 print of the Brooklyn Bridge now, it may come in handy as a holiday gift in the future. Give these folks a chance after Brooklyn Flea ends.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Photo Essay

Today, I'm missing Vegas

But I'm thrilled that I'll be back in mere weeks.

You've got a friend in me

This summer, I'm headed to sunny SoCal and making a stop at the original House of Mouse. I'm a huge WDW fan, so I'm thrilled to see the original Land that Walt built and even more thrilled to try the brand-new Toy Story Midway Mania. You can imagine the chills I had learning the ride was already in tests and I could take a sneak peak now on YouTube. Enjoy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Backsplash beige no more

I've been having ongoing problems with my basement ceiling, and in an attempt to combat them, bought tin tiles. The idea was to attach them to pre-existing (read: ugly) ceiling tiles and make my damp, dark ceiling hideous no-more, but that didn't quite work out. So instead, my imagination got to working over time and I decided to try a little piece of the kitchen to see what it would look like. Please excuse the bad photography- rogue camera.



What's that on the cabinets, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Chalkboard paint.

Yes, believe it or not, I slathered my cabinet doors in chalkboard paint with every intentions of scribbling to-do lists, recipes, notes to Craig, and reminders up there. The paint was originally for a neighboring wall, but after a kitchen marathon on HGTV I was too inspired to let this pass.

The other side isn't finished yet, but I'll post more when it is.
And yes, those are cheap Ikea knobs looking very sleek and fabulous on the doors.

Project H

Because I didn't come into this world with a silver spoon, I'm very grateful for everything I have, and like to give back when the opportunity comes up. I found the following post today on a community message board, and you bet I will be handing over whatever I have. You should, too.

Please join the CSI Alumni Association Student Alumni Interaction Committee and our exceptional student athletes in a food drive for Staten Island Project Hospitality

Most needed items include, canned meats, fish, vegetables, or fruit juices, pasta & tomato sauce, non perishable milk, cereal, rice canned or dried beans, peanut butter, jelly , coffee and tea

donation drop off points:
Building 1A
and Sports and Recreation Center

Project Hospitality is almost empty!!!
So Donate Today

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Like the first ray of sun

So comes the first iced coffee of the season.

This one, hailing from Starbucks at Macy's Herald Square, is a Caramel Macchiato. Bad for the hips; good for the soul.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Washington DC is one of my favorite cities to visit. Not only is it a quick weekend getaway from NYC, but you can absorb yourself in art, history, nightlife, shopping, or eating. As you can tell, I really don't need a reason to slide down the East Coast, but for those who might, DC Yoga Week is just over the horizon.

As pulled from The Washingtonian, DC Yoga Week will run from Saturday, April 12 through Friday, April 18, and feature discounted classes and gear, tips, advice, and- weather permitting- yoga on the National Mall. Volunteers and instructors will be on site to advise any newbies, or pass tips onto seasoned regulars, and for locals, it's a great way to sample yoga studios in your hood, and decide which may be for you.

Above all, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it's that time of the year again to get out and do something to make your body happy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weekend Update

While the scattered showers and massive crowds kept me away from Brooklyn Flea this Sunday, I plan to go this weekend and shop enough to make up for it!

You may have noticed my New Orleans guide now up at design*sponge. I highly recommend you visit the city and pour some cash into it. There are too many fantastic stores, restaurants, and other shops still waiting to reopen. (Thanks again, Grace!)

Also, if you're looking for hip places to take your family, I feature some great restaurants, classes, and trips in the NY/Philly/Chicago metro areas over at Dancing Meatballs.

After many trips to Lowe's, Home Depot, and local hardware stores, I was able to create a kitchen worth of my collection of pots, pans, and gadgets. I will be including pics, as well as a how-to for anyone interested, later in the week.

Lastly, I had a chance to check out Color Chart at MoMA on Friday for free, thanks to Target's First Fridays program. Some really great pieces that I want to duplicate for my home. More on that later, as well.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Travel Good

A previous and fantastic intern left my 9-to-5, where she was making mere peanuts researching in an office, to take a job in Costa Rica and make a difference in the world. Since then, I've had a major crush on the country, and write it up whenever I can.

Of course, Costa Rica is one of those destinations that, because of underdevelopment and advancement, is a pure, natural place to see, but also a difficult place to wrangle. Sure, there are tons of beach getaways, but if you're looking for more of a rainforest or cultural trip, many tour companies are a little lacking. This also makes it an expensive trip.

Luckily, I was tipped off to a voluntourism company called Globe Aware which organizes trips to Costa Rica, Peru, Romania, Nepal, Vietnam, Jamaica, and more, with a catch- you do community service while there. The tasks are more experience than labor and range from providing language conversation to Peruvians studying English, to assembling wheelchairs in Cambodia. Lodging and meals are provided on most tours, which last an average of a week and cost around $1200 (10% discount for minors).

And if you'd love to take one of these trips, but just don't have the money, Travelocity is offering a $500 grant to deserving individuals who would like to spread some love across the globe. Their voluntourism page highlights tours saving Leatherback Turtles in Costa Rica (yay!), assisting medical operations in Tanzania, and even cleaning up US parks.

A tip: Many of these tours run year-round, but fill quickly, especially in the summer months.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Brake for Greenmarket

April brings more than just Earth Week in my little hub of Downtown Staten Island, it also marks the beginning of fresh veggies and fruits. So yum.

The St. George Greenmarket, our official greenmarket, will open at the tail end of spring and last through the very tip of summer. Besides the produce you can stock up on, many local artists peddle their wares around this DIY hub, and there's always a good time to be had at Cargo (Sunday night trivia contests and a pint!), South Beach (super-secret, but not so secret, beach bonfires), and The Muddy Cup (a latte and some Faulkner).

Don't be shy. Come and visit.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wish List 4/08

Every once in awhile I surprise myself and fall in love with something the general masses (of Williamsburg) have already been diggin on for weeks, maybe months. I tend to march to the beat of my own sometimes dillusional drummer, and have a hard time revealing this, but, yes, its true. This week I'm ready to commit to a life long love of working girl glasses.

They may not be called working girl glasses for sure, but they evoke memories of mom putting on her blazer and going off to work, while I sat in bed with a big bowl of Rice Krispies, pigtailed hair, and rainbow bright nightshirt- Puffalump in lap. I'm crossing fingers that somewhere in the attic is an authentic pair waiting just for me.

Obsession number two comes at no big surprise to anyone who knows me. I'm a stationary freak. I have a drawer full of cards for Birthday, Christmas, Groundhog Day, Thank You, We've Moved, Happy New Year, Happy New Baby, and Just Because. I have a silver plated Pierre Cardin pencil I received years and years ago, sans original lead insert, and now I'm looking to expand this collection.

Call it excessive, but I just can't help imagining my red Ikea vase-made-pencil holder stashing a few of these bad boys. Superfluous? Yes. A little bit of sunshine in my life? Absolutely.

ps: Both items via BK.
300F Kingsland Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 599-9221
314 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-3705

On the Road

This weeks Lonely Planet Blog on MySpace is near and dear to my heart. While cross-country road trips, and out-of-country experiences are often praised, the band tour is often left out.

I got my first taste for traveling while sharing a ten-year old rusting van with five guys and a girl, driving up the East Coast on their bands tour. Different from traveling, but not too different from run-away road trips, cash is short, time is of the essence, and creativity is high. Changing drivers at midnight is necessary, and you grow a taste for lesser known fast food chains and roadside stands. Though I can't imagine hopping aboard that van again, I look back fondly at the open road and total freedom of rockstar road trips.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Drawing from MoMA's Color Chart exhibit, which I'm stopping by tomorrow, I noticed a site where they give you a personality profile based on what colors you associate with yourself. Fun!

The down side? They're a bit preachy and after a sentence or two showing how great purple-blue-red-silver-yellow-black-brown-green can be, they go into great detail about how your life sucks. Then they try to sell you something to "fix your life." Not exactly what I had in mind when I signed up.

Anyway, they were pretty spot on with much of my choices. If you're not easily pissed off, try it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spend some money this weekend!

I am super excited about this weekend. It's actually the first weekend in a long time that I don't want to hide under the covers with a big mug of hot chocolate.

Not only is tomorrow First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum, featuring Arts of Japan, and Elizabeth Sackler's Feminist Art, but Sunday, April 6, makes the first day of Brownstoner's Brooklyn Flea! 200 vendors from the 718 will be represented with home wares, crafts, DIY projects, and a ton more goody's. Click the link for location, hours, and more info.

Right now Weather Channel is showing big rain drops for the day, but Brooklyn Flea will run rain or shine. And I will see you there, precipitation or not.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

While the rest of you have been hard at work, or play, this week, I've been looking into:

1. Sending online postcards.
2. Planning my next cross-country getaway.
3. Getting rid of some baggage.
4. Creating and trying out new get rich quick schemes.
5. Sticking with the monkey.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Word from our Sponsor

Lately, I've gotten a number of emails complimenting my profile picture, and asking how I made it. Well, I didn't make it. I actually had it created by this cool online service I found via the Stumble tab on Firefox (thank you Stumble).

It's called CartoonMe and for about $7 American dollars it'll create a cartoon image out of any photo you upload. I uploaded from my computer, and it was emailed to me in about two days time.

I was persuaded to try out the program because I really, really want cartoon images of my dogs to hang in my house, but other options I found have been so expensive- this is not a project I'm willing to spend so much money on; let's save that for the slate shower. Besides the price, I'm into CartoonMe because its online. My next stop is to take the photos I've Cartooned, expand them and print them on photo paper, and frame them for my house- easy as that.

As soon as I get that done, I'll be sure to post pictures.