Chocolate & Bacon and Cupcakes

My friend Tammy is buying a house in the ‘burbs (upstate NY) and is hightailing it outta NYC. Tuesday night we went out for a girls night only. Nothing too wild, just dinner at Festival Mexicana and cupcakes at our favorite Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Last week I finally bought Vosges Mo’ Bacon chocolate bar to try and saved it for tonight.cupcakebaconchocoblog.jpg

So what’s the verdict on the chocolate, you wonder? It’s yummy! The bacon felt like it was just the right amount, nothing was too overwhelming. It is quite delicious! I can’t get Yves to try a piece because he thinks it’s disgusting but maybe I can try and trick him somehow…When I was at the chocolate store, there was this group of 3 people looking at the chocolate and repeating all the names and the ingredients in the bars and sounding a bit disgusted. I guess this is not for everyone! (I also bought the Calindia Bar and had a hard time deciding which other one to try and was very tempted to try all of them!)

Joy contemplates….
She likes it! “Pork Fat Rules!”
It looks like Tammy is suspicious of her piece but she likes it (I mean, she keeps harping about these Bacon Brownies I have yet to try!)
My first bite (a bit blurry!)

3 course dessert and Wiiiiiiii


On Saturday, Pete came over with some Wii games he’d been wanting to play with us so I took the opportunity to bake. I already knew I wanted to make Banana Chocolate Chip muffins because we had super ripe bananas and I made them for the first time a couple of weeks ago and they were so yummy! And I knew I wanted to make New York style cheesecake so I could use up the 2nd graham cracker crust I had. But then I also decided to bake apple crumb pie while I was at the market and picked up some apples and crust. I was having a baking bonanza! Everything came out delicious. The cheesecake was Yves’ favorite and the muffins were Pete’s favorite. I liked the pie but next time I will use different apples as the Granny Smith were a bit tart for my tastes (they were on sale at the market!) I also made turkey chili for lunch (yes, we did eat an actual nutritious meal beforehand!)

I knew I could pawn off the baked goods to Pete so there wouldn’t be so much in the house and he did not disappoint! He was going to a party later and I heard it was well received there! They might not look very pretty but it all tastes great! 😉

The Wii games he brought over were super fun!! I enjoyed them all! We played Ravin Rabbids 2, Wario Smooth Moves (by far the most bizarre game played ever!) and Mario Party 8. Sienna woke up from her nap during Mario Party 8 and seemed to enjoy the graphics. All in all a very fun and filling day! Thanks Pete!

I rushed to take a picture of Sienna on Pete’s lap and had the wrong setting on the camera!
This one is cute but Sienna’s little car was blocking Skippy!
Pete’s like “if I smile again, she won’t stop taking pictures! I’m making a somber face now!”

Sienna cuteness!

Some of the latest Sienna pics!

Sienna loves the Sesame Street car my brother sent her for Christmas!
Sienna helping daddy put the Christmas tree away. She literally threw the ornaments into the box!
Helping Daddy grind some coffee!
Sienna is always outside the circle! (at music class!)

Bras & Sliders

Wednesday I finally decided to go to the Lower East Side and get properly fitted for a bra at Orchard Corset Center. My friend Tammy gave me the name during the summer and told me stories she heard of the owner kinda feeling you up to size you but was a miracle worker on sizing. Then after he got married, he didn’t do the sizing anymore but his wife or shop assistant did it. I was tired of constantly pulling up my bra strap so finally went down there on that rainy day.

The store was really a throwback to the old times. Its a small rectangle store with boxes all over the place but neatly stacked. There was a little tv on a table with The View on and a nice Hasidic Jew sitting behind the counter, which was the owner. The owner was very nice, just looked at me, my back and felt the side of me. He did ask me what size I was wearing and I can’t remember if he asked me before, during or after he went to get a bra for me to try. He gave me a bra that was the same size I was already wearing! What a bummer! For some reason I was expecting some revelation about my sizing. I was actually kinda disappointed that I didn’t get felt up by somebody! I went behind the curtain with the assistant and tried on 3 bras. I decided on the first 2 he gave me. I spend $54 on them and was initially shocked at first, I don’t usually spend that much on 2 bras (which could be the problem in the first place!) and this store is, from what I read, discounted. The bras are in the hamper now so only time will tell if these bras were worth it.

Then I had decided to have lunch at Shopsin’s.  I can’t remember how I first heard about this place but did remember that this was a foodie’s paradise, the owner pretty much cooks what he wants (mac n’ cheese pancakes anyone?). The menu apparently has over 900 items with 300 soups! I didn’t count but it was 11×17 smallish print, double sided. Here’s a NY times article that better explains the philosophy and attitude of Shopsin’s. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there (more on that next). The owner and his son both have trucker’s mouths and the food was delicious! I had sliders and fries and a chocolate egg cream. My goodness, the sliders were soooo awesome! The onions, oh man! YUM! When I think of sliders, I think of White Castle sized where I can easily eat 6 of them. 3 were on my plate and I was stuffed after them and barely could touch my fries! The egg cream was scrumptious as well (and I was having fun with the goose necked straw! It’s always the little things that get me!)

To explain more about my experience. First of all, I didn’t even realize I was there (it’s in a stall at the Essex Street Market). There isn’t a sign with the name and I realized it was the place because I saw the menu hanging and recognized it from their website. I think the owner had walked away or went to do something because the son took the order of the table with 2 guys to my left.They wanted each an order of sliders and 1 order of ghetto fries. The son didn’t know what ghetto fries were and said to them, “What the fuck are ghetto fries?” He then called up his father on the cell phone and asked “Dad? That the fuck are ghetto fries?” I thought it was hilarious and while some people might find it rude, I didn’t feel like he was doing it on purpose, just thought he was being himself and talking like he was talking to his buddies. While taking their order, he saw a flash go off and said “who the fuck is taking pictures? This ain’t no museum!” He was very sweet to me when he took my order! The only incident I saw with the father was when he took the order of the table to my right, another slider order, and the woman said ‘medium.’ The father (Kenny Shopsin) said “what do you mean medium?” The woman explained she wanted the burger cooked medium. Kenny then explained, ‘we cook it the way we cook it. It comes out the way it comes out.” LOL! I love it and can’t wait to have a chance to go back again. (I’m sure Yves would hate it as it is also a place NOT to go if you are in a hurry!)


I also finally had the opportunity to check out Economy Candy! I really was like a little kid in a candy store! This place was really stuffed to the gills with candy! I only bought some UK candy tho, didn’t go crazy! I guess cuz I was still so full from lunch!

Jamaica Holgas

Here are some holgas I took in Jamaica. I’ve never been a beach person but I’m sure that would be different if I grew up with beaches like the ones in Jamaica!





Sewing again!

The sewing bug has hit again and I decided to make a tote bag for one of my mother in law’s Christmas presents. I was feeling guilty that I’m such a crafty person but I rarely make more presents than buy. I don’t know what compelled me to try a pattern I never tried before for a present for someone but it didn’t come out too terrible. LOL. It was challenging, that is for sure! If I make it again, I’m sure it won’t be as difficult. I had this fabric for a couple of months. When I saw it, it just screamed my MIL’s name! The pattern for the bag is here.

Skippy posing with the bag (it’s reversible!)
A matching zippered pouch

I also made this grocery tote for a swap-bot tote bag swap. I hope the receipient likes it! The pattern is here. I already received my bag while I was in Jamaica and it’s so nice! I’ll post it when I take a photo of it.

The box is not included! I just put it in there to show the bag filled.
The bottom

Here’s a pillowcase I made for Sienna’s new pillow! The Elmo fabric was leftover from when I made her shopping cart cover. I also made another case with a monkey fabric. I thought I took a photo of it but I guess not!


Jamaica Finale!


Sunday was our last full day in Jamaica. It was a wonderful week in Jamaica and I’m really glad we came and that Sienna got to experience it. I was hesitant at first because of being nervous to travel with Sienna (energetic child + 4 hour flight = parents pulling hair out) and thinking of all the stuff to bring for her. Thankfully, we did not have to pack as much for her since there was a good supply of baby things because of Gaby. Plus, I am glad to learn that Sienna is a great traveler! She has a pretty set routine when we are at home and we knew it wasn’t going to be followed while on vacation and we were ready for it. Sienna adjusted so well! She fell asleep most times while going down the mountain, she actually told us she was tired and wanted to go to sleep (for nap and nighttime!) Wow! So unexpected that now I’m thinking, cool! Where can we go next? 😉 This vacation was very super relaxing and I had that in mind even before going. (I’m one of those vacationers that enjoy having something to do every day.) I mean, I only had 2 cameras with me (vs. the usual at least 4!)  I did not end up taking as many pictures as I usually do (I forgot the cord to download the photos) so please make sure to check out Yves’ photos here! My only regret is that I did not think to get a group photo while I had the chance when JP and CA were up!


We took our last walk around the grounds that morning. It was also our last chance to have a real Jamaican patty so we went to Mothers, since it is the only patty place open on Sundays! Definitely not as good as Tastees but in all fairness, it just came out of the oven and was super piping hot!

Anyway, we’ve been here almost a whole week and did not do any socializing so today was the day. Since we didn’t want to get back up the mountain too late, we made our visits very quick. Yves and my father in law didn’t believe my mother in law could keep the visits short but to her credit, they were! We went to visit Auntie Judy, whom I’ve heard about for many years. It’s nice to finally have a face to put with the name. Then we went to visit the DuMeres (sp?), a frenchman married to a jamaican. They were very nice and Sienna loved their back area (and with a wonderful view of Kingston!). We did a quick shopping trip for stuff to bring home (whole wheat hard dough bread! YUM!) and last minute Christmas presents. A drive by to meet Auntie Denise, also a very lovely person! And then back up the mountain around 5!

We came home to an invasion of red ants in the bedroom, all over the window and the floor where Sienna’s pack and play was. Gross! I’m a really squealy girly girl when it comes to bugs. Yves sprayed them with bug spray and was pretty much able to kill most of them. Of course, I was packing our clothes and some were on our clothes! YUK! But I braved it and even managed to kill some on my own!

We had to go to bed early since we were getting up at 4 am to be able to catch our 8:30 am flight. It was a rough night as me and Yves had trouble sleeping. We managed to get up and Sienna got up shortly after us from the noise we were making. She was in a decent mood considering! We make it down to the airport at around 6, said our goodbyes and went into the airport. Well, guess what?! Our 8:30 am flight was delayed until 2:30! The woman at the line said they might be able to accommodate us on a connecting flight from Montego Bay that leaves at 8. Well, if it didn’t take 1.5 hours to get through the line, maybe we could have gotten on that flight! UGH! Then to top it off, our ONE suitcase (that was for the THREE of us) was overweight by 12 lbs and they wanted to charge us $100! They didn’t care that they were delaying our flight 6 hours or that it was 1 suitcase for 3 paying seats! We had to scurry and throw some things into our carry ons and the one extra bag I had (the beach bag my MIL gave to me!). I was so beyond annoyed and probably more in shock that we were treated like this. We got meal vouchers and I tried to get some sort of phone card or something since there was no way we could get in contact with anyone. My cell phone didn’t work in Jamaica and while I had my MIL’s cell number, she was using my FIL’s cell phone! So we really had no choice but to wait at the airport.
photo by Shuggy

Sienna was a trooper! We took turns running around with her and she only got fussy maybe 2 or 3 times. Mostly because she could see outside and wanted to go outside so badly. Another time was when she saw a stuffed monkey in the window of one of those kiosks. Of course, I had to buy one for her! I managed to talk her out of the one she originally saw (it vibrated and sang some song that I don’t mind that I forgot as it seemed to go on forever!) and got her one with long arms. She was happy after that. She did take over a 2 hour nap in her car seat!  Yves’ mom had paged Yves around 11:30, when they got back to the house and found out about the delay! My dad ended up calling her because even he couldn’t believe such a long delay could happen! And we finally boarded the flight and left at 3:40 instead of 2:30 (that turned into 2:45). It was a mostly empty flight! We figured that they probably didn’t want to fly a half empty plane up to NY so waited for the 1:45 flight coming in (the same one we took the previous Monday into Kingston) and used that plane instead! I hate to end such a wonderful trip on a negative note but we are NEVER, EVER flying Air Jamaica again! We will connect if we have to! But I swear, never again!

Anyway, by the time we landed and got home, it was almost 8ish. Thankfully, my parents had some food for us and after we ate, Sienna went to sleep and all was well again (besides it being freezing cold, of course!) Home. Ahhh

Jamaica – Road trip! (part 2)

After breakfast on Saturday and a final dip in the bath (Sienna and Yves did not partake), we headed over to Reach Falls, about half an hour to 40 minutes away. Sienna had fallen asleep during that ride (she actually fell asleep quite frequently going down the mountain!). The falls were very quaint and not what I had imagined when I think of waterfalls (I tend to think of Niagara Falls when I think of waterfalls-LOL! That’s a lot to live up to!) The water was colder so I didn’t bother changing into a bathing suit nor did Yves or Sienna. I guess I should have changed Sienna because she couldn’t get enough of the water, even tho it was cold! She wanted to go in it and ended up with a wet butt. I waded in it a bit and it felt good after awhile although the rocks made it a bit uncomfortable. Carol-Anne went all the way in, shivering at first! Gaby didn’t want to go in nor my mother in law!


After this dip, we went to have lunch at Hotel Jamaican Colors,  a cute hotel by the water that my in-laws stayed at for their anniversary. It is owned by a french couple that came to Jamaica on vacation about 5 years ago, fell in love with Jamaica and decided to move there. I believe they bought the land and built the hotel on there. How crazy is that? Instead of rooms, there are little stand alone rooms and the views of the water were really nice! The girls liked running around and the pool. They dipped their feet into the pool (of course Sienna wanted to go all the way in!) There was a very cute moment where Sienna was telling Gaby something and pointing at something, as if to say “look at that.” So cute!! Lunch was good although the wait for it was pretty long. We did not end up getting back to Kingston until around 5ish so decided to order Chinese and bring it up the mountain. We got up the mountain at around 8. I wish you could see the beautiful stars in the sky that night and apparently every night! So beautiful!!

Jamaica – Road trip! (part 1)

Yves and the girls are ready to go!

Friday was a road trip! My mother in law wanted to take us to the waterfalls and there were 2 in Jamaica that she has been to. It was decided to go to Reach Falls and we can stay overnight at Bath Fountain Hotel and Spa since it was a 2 hour drive from Kingston. Carol-Anne was able to borrow a car from a friend so we were all able to go. I was in the car with my FIL, Yves and Sienna and CA, my MIL and Gaby were in the other. It was typical Jamaican roads to Bath, passing through sugar cane fields, little villages, windy roads around the water… We got to Bath around 4 and were allowed 2 soaks in the tub during our stay. The water at Bath has been tested and it has one of the highest mineral contents in the world. It’s supposed to help such ailments as gout, some skin conditions and chronic rheumitism and disorders of the spleen and liver. Unfortunately, mosquito bites was not listed so it didn’t help me with those (the salt water from the beach did wonders though!) and I also got new ones there! It was an interesting place and I agreed with Yves when he said it had an old age home sort of feel to it, especially since the workers were wearing a sort of an orderly looking uniform on. We had a nice room with a balcony and my inlaws shared a room on the top floor. Sienna enjoyed the bath! The dinner wasn’t anything to write about although Sienna enjoyed the spicy soup they served!
Arriving at Bath
Holding hands at Bath
Here’s a cute video of Sienna giving Gaby a kiss (or 2)- please comment or e-mail me for the password!

Kiss at Bath from Lisa on Vimeo.

Hallway leading to the reception
The bath
At dinner
Enjoying the balcony

Happy 2009!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2009! Here’s to another great year of parenting, crafting, eating, music and friends and family!

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