Cookout and baking mess

On Monday for Memorial Day, we got invited to a family BBQ by my lovely friend Geneva. We had a wonderful and great time and it was nice to spend the time with other parents of little ones. Besides Phoenix, Sienna had Nico, Sylvie, Nico O and Ethan to play with as well! Fun times! The food was great, the company even better! I made Devil’s Food Cupcakes with this chocolate frosting. I had a bit of a mishap (I overfilled the cupcake and they baked up huge and ran into each other over the rim and got stuck) but luckily this recipe made 24 (although I think I got more like 36!) And I also baked some of Yves’ favorite cookies to bring over and some pasta salad. Even getting bit by mosquitos didn’t squash my fun! 😉01siennachipfb.jpg
Sienna with a chip
Yan Ling holding Sylvie wearing an old outfit of Sienna’s, which I think was a hand me down as well!
Sienna with Phoenix and Nico at the kids table!
Starr made this awesome cole slaw and told me to put it on a hot dog for a slaw dog, a Southern thing.
The kids playing!

And here is my baking mishap!
They may not look so bad here….
The outer edges of the cupcake that were touching the pan were stuck and I thought I was being clever by just flipping it over. HA!
The tops just kinda crumbled and fell apart!

I baked another batch with the silicone cups and normally I don’t have any trouble getting them out but for some reason, they were sticking inside the silicone cups! But thankfully there was enough batter to make another dozen in some Elmo cupcake paper.
I put the ones from the silicone cups upside down to prevent it from sticking to the rack. Do you notice the kinda glaze that’s on the bottom of them?

And here are the ones I brought over. I had fun frosting them (I did the ziploc bag thing)!

They were a big hit at the BBQ as well as the cookies. I think my pasta salad probably didn’t matter! HA!

The Country!

So now that we are equipped with a nice, new, spacious car, Yves was anxious to go on a little road trip. We took this opportunity to finally go up to visit Tammy and see her new house in Cold Spring, NY! The country! It was only an hour and 45 minute drive so it wasn’t really bad. It’s not a straight shot up and exits came by pretty quickly and we actually missed one! Yves was driving and I was the navigator but Yves took that time to tell me the merits of all the gauges on the new car so I wasn’t paying attention and we missed the exit! We are such city people, we were freaking out a bit because we didn’t know what to do and we didn’t know where we were and the road map I have is from 1995. HA! I had the google map directions but it doesn’t help you when you miss an exit! Of course, normally we would just get off the next exit and turn back around and exit from the other side. Ok, did that except there was no exit on the other side! HA! So we ended up having to go back down and around to the road we were originally on and made the exit. It’s just a little more nerve racking when you have a toddler with you. Normally, if it was just us, it would be mildly annoying and we would easily figure it out!

Ok so I can officially say it is indeed the boondocks! Once you turn onto her road, it’s still a ways down the windy road. I can’t even imagine how spooky it would be at night time! We finally made it at about 10:30 and I was a little chilly! I had to borrow a fleece from Tammy. It did get warmer out later when the sun came out (mind you the sun was out in Brooklyn when we left!). Anyway, her house is so very cool and definitely unconventional! Sienna loved running around and going up and down the windy stairs (there were a couple of sets of windy stairs!). There were a couple of kitchens and a couple of bathrooms, so super funky! After a little tour and chat, Tammy fired up the grill and we got our burgers on. Had a nice lunch and after some playing, Sienna said “Nenna go home.” Perhaps she is not ready to be a country bumpkin! HA!

Why is this chick playing in my sandbox?
Check out Zack standing!
The backyard!
First her, now this big dude, I’m outta here!
The look
Sienna is ready to dig in!
One of the windy set of stairs Sienna liked. That’s kitchen #1 Tammy is in.
Awwww! That’s kitchen #2 on the left side in the back there!
Now she’s playing with my inside toys??
Ready to get back to city life!

Catch Up Post

Ugh! I can’t believe how behind I am in posting! So I will try to do a quickie update. If you have been reading Yves’ blog, you know we bought a car! I actually don’t have any of my own pictures of the car but Yves has plenty! He did take this one of me before leaving my old spaceship…


I’ve had that car for almost 14 years!! Anyway, I won’t really go into detail about our experience at the car dealership. All I’ll say is that sales people suck and they want to wear you down until you can’t take it anymore. But we do have a nice new car and Sienna likes it too! So we bought the car on the 15th and it took longer than we anticipated so Sienna was totally off. She was really good at the dealership and after awhile, all she wanted to do was run around. I let her but kept an eye on her. Her lunch was late and she fell asleep on the way home. I tried to get her to nap in her bed but that didn’t last. We had to go back to the dealership later that afternoon so the plan was to take her to the playground and have my parents stay with her while we dealt with all the paperwork. Which of course took longer than they said it would. UGH. So when all was said and done, we drove away with our new car and went out to the Chinese restaurant in our hood for dinner.

The next day, Yves took the car back in to get LoJack installed, which we also got fanagled (sp?) into getting. At the time, I thought it was a good idea but it ended up being that they told us things about LoJack that weren’t true. UGH! So now we got them on blatant lies and probably should report them. UGH. It ended up being a rainy day so me and Sienna stayed home. She woke up that morning with red rashes all over her body. It didn’t seem to bother her so we figured we’d play it by ear and see how it goes. They seemed to be fading later that morning so I was relieved. So of course, the installation of the LoJack took longer than they said so Yves was gone all morning. Sienna’s rash seemed to be coming back after lunch so we decided to take her into the Urgent Care at her doctor’s office. I was expecting a really stressful waiting area and wait but it wasn’t so bad, thankfully. We might have waited about 20 minutes to get into the doctor. The doctor took one look at the rashes and said it was an allergic reaction to something. Could be anything, most likely something she ate and could be from something she has been eating. Ugh! Not very helpful doctor! So she prescribed some medication to give her twice a day and it will make her drowsy.

On Sunday, there was no sign of the rash but the doctor said to continue giving her the meds for the full five days. I don’t know if it was the medication or the bit of a wacky schedule the past few days and not having proper naps but she was like super psycho dwarf on Sunday! She actually threw a bit of a tantrum! The biggest one she has ever thrown (and she does not do tantrums at all!) She wanted one of her cookies (biter biscuit) and I said no because it was close to lunchtime. Man, she started crying and screaming at me! I continued to read my Sunday paper. She even started yelling at me “Come on mommy!!” I calmly told her no cookies and that screaming and crying was not going to help. Thankfully she stopped the tantrum when she realized it wasn’t working. She had a proper nap that day and now she was been her normal, happy, fun loving self. WHEW!!!

She really is a great little girl and has been wonderful so when these little tidbits of strangeness happens, I try to take them in stride and ride the wave until it ends. Sometimes it’s not so easy because she really has spoiled me with her relatively easy going manner. I just have to remember, it will pass!

Psycho Dwarf


As I mentioned in the previous post, Sienna started getting sick on Tuesday and so we stayed home on Wednesday (I wish the mom whose child was sick on Monday stayed home so that perhaps Sienna wouldn’t have caught her cold! ARGH!) We watched TV most of the morning and I just tried to go with the flow. She fell asleep on me while in the sleepy chair so I took that opportunity to watch some of my TiVo’d shows. Her molars are also coming in and combine that with her dripping nose, she was driving me a bit batty. One second she is perfectly fine and the next she is super whiny child. Then she is fine again. And this was how it was all day. I tried to comfort her as much as I could and give her whatever she wanted. She wanted a cookie, I would give it to her and then she would scream NO! WTF?? So I immediately thought of the term my friend Starr termed: psycho dwarf! She actually termed it for the whole terrible twos but I think it fits whenever you think it should!

Thankfully she was well by the afternoon and Yves even took her outside to the garage to play. We went back to our usual routine on Thursday and went to the Little Gym. She started acting batty again on Saturday and Sunday. More on that later!

These shots were taken at the playground by the Stone House in Park Slope. Yves and Sienna played while I got to browse the Handmade Cavalcade at the Bell House. I managed to keep most of my money in my wallet and only shelled out for a handmade chapstick (I couldn’t resist Mocha Mint!) and 4 mini cupcakes. Yves has a photo of her cupcake face on his blog!

Shopsin’s Visit

Once again I am behind in my posts so I will try to catch up in the next couple of days. A lot has happened last week! On Tuesday I met up with Pete for lunch at our favorite Shopsin’s. It’s been awhile since we have gone! We have to get back on going regularly again. We opted to get some sandwiches and share them. We decided on the Rooster, chicken salad with avocado on cheesy garlic bread. YUM. Then also we got High School, turkey and sausage with mushroom gravy. YUM.

The rooster came first and I was pleasantly surprised that the chicken salad was warm! OH MY GOSH! Heaven! I would never have thought something as simple as warm chicken salad would make such a big difference. Then the High School came out. It was in a bowl!! It had bread in there but I guess they put it in a bowl because of the gravy. Thick and gooey gravy. Delicious!!


Pete was on his lunch hour so we started heading back. I got home to find that Sienna has a fever (she had felt a tad warm when I left but I was hoping it would subside). More on that in the next post.

Cupcake Craze

The cupcake craze is really in full swing now and Sienna is all into cupcakes too! It must have started when I gave her a cupcake at the Easter Egg Hunt! There are these 2 stuffed cupcakes that came with the kitchen set the 1st floor tenants gave to her and she loves those things! Well, if you know me, you know I love me some cupcakes so she must have inherited from me! On Monday afternoon, I finally made the chocolate cupcakes with banana cream cheese frosting that I had on my list to bake. I didn’t plan this very well because Monday night I attended Cupcake Night at Etsy labs. I’ve been meaning to go to a couple of their recent craft nights but it turned out those nights were rainy and I got lazy. But I was intent on going to cupcake night! Free cupcakes and cupcake crafts! And then after cupcake night, Brenda met me so I could give her her camera back (I was testing it out for her) and she gave me the leftover mini cupcakes that her friend (who is a pastry chef and used to work at Union Cafe!) baked. Oh man. I thought I would never say this but…cupcake overload!! Good thing I signed up for that aerobics class at the Community College!

Filled and ready for the oven!
Frosted (I opted not to add the yellow food coloring) I really need to take more care in photographing food! I looked so much better than this!

I thought these cupcakes were good but they taste best the same day they are baked. I noticed the bottom of the cupcakes got dry as each day passed. Also, the recipe says it should make 12-15 cupcakes, I got 21! (I gave some to Jana and some to Peter!)

My cheesey attempt at coloring. Good thing I can bake the real thing better than I can color the fake thing! HA!
I was delighted to find that they had cupcakes from Ivy bakery in Bay Ridge. A place I attempted to go to twice but were closed both times! They were good! (Now I’m dying to try Robicelli’s cupcakes!)
Cupcakes from One Girl Cookies. I was intrigued with the blue icing. I’m such a sucker. The icing tasted a bit too sugary. I prefer the more creamy type. They had other cupcakes from other places but these were the two I tried.
These were the cupcake crafts I did, they are tags, or going to be tags.

I also got to meet Rachel, the founder of swap-bot and a new transplant to Brooklyn! Such a sweet person!

In The Kitchen

So super cute, I’m not even going to password it!
From the morning of Mother’s Day!

The Who Can Care Less Dance from Lisa on Vimeo.

Crafty Goodness

 Recent crafts for swaps!

My very first sewn potholder from the book The New Handmade. Front and back.
My 2nd and 3rd attempts at a sewn potholder from the same book. I got bold and tried a cupcake applique and did the cherry using the freehand embroidery needle. I was a little confused with the handle but I improvised and just did it the way I thought it should be. Came out cute, I think! The blue one is the same on the back.
A crochet water bottle holder (my partner loved it!)
Reverse applique coasters for the Coaster swap.
A card I made at a Stampin Up meetup using watercolor crayons. I sent this to Geneva.
For the zippered pouch swap. My partner likes Asian themes.
I had fun doing the watercolor cards so made a couple more for a swap. This is one of them.

And this one isn’t for a swap but for Sienna!
She may not look it but she really liked the apron. I think she wanted to go into the kitchen and start helping daddy. The cheap one that came with the little baking set she got for Christmas ripped and I used that as a template. I had no idea she’d be so into ‘cooking’!

Dark Was The Night

Sunday I went to see Dark Was The Night at Radio City with Joy. She first lured me to go by saying that Ben Harper was supposed to play it. He didn’t – DOY! (I think he was at the Pete Seeger celebration at the Garden) but it was a great show anyway! It started around 8:15, had a 20 minute intermission and ended about 11:115ish. We had pretty good seats, first mezz in row C. Alison was there with Josh in the orchestra. ;-p~

Dark Was The Night is a compilation that benefits the Red Hot Charity Organization and all the benefits go to prevent Aids and for Aids research (I believe). You might  remember past compilations such as Red, Hot and Blue or Red, Hot and Rio.

Stand outs for me were David Byrne (I was surprised at how good his voice sounded as I’ve only seen him live with Talking Heads), My Brightest Diamond, Feist, Bon Iver, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Honestly, I really enjoyed everyone!Here is the setlist taken from brooklynvegan.

Dark Was The Night @ Radio City Music Hall 5/3/09 – Setlist (started by Happy Genius Heroes)
1. Dirty Projectors – “useful chamber” and ‘stillness”
2. Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is the Move”
3. Dirty Projectors – “Ambulance Man” w/ David Byrne
4. Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine” w/ David Byrne
5. My Brightest Diamond – “Feeling Good”
6. The National – “Slow Show”
7. The National – “England”
8. The National – “So Far Around The Bend”
9. The National – “Vanderlylle Cry Baby” w/ My Brightest Diamond
10. Dave Sitek – “With A Girl Like You”
11. David Byrne – “Don’t Fence Me In”
12. David Byrne – “Dreamworld: Marco de Canavezes” w/ Justin Vernon
13. David Byrne – “Waters Of March” w/ Leslie Feist
14. Bon Iver – “Brackett, WI”
15. Bon Iver – “Blood Bank”
16. Bon Iver – “Big Red Machine” w/ Matt Berninger
17. Bon Iver – “Flume” w/ My Brightest Diamond
18. Feist – “The Wagoner’s Lad”
19. Feist – “Look At What the Light Did Now”
20. Feist – “Train Song” w/ Justin Vernon
21. Feist – “Someday Baby”
22. Sharon Jones – “Not Gonna Cry”
23. Sharon Jones – “When I Come Home”
24. Sharon Jones – “Inspiration Information”
25. Sharon Jones – “100 Days, 100 Nights”
All – “This Land Is Our Land”
(they were playing the song rather mellow and then Sharon Jones came out to show them how to really sing it!)

David Byrne with the Dirty Projectors
My Brightest Diamond
The National and My Brightest Diamond
David Sitek of TV on the Radio
I loved these drummers that came out with David Byrne and I loved that he played 2 songs from past compilations that were never heard live!
Bon Iver and My Brightest Diamond
Sharon Jones
The Finale