Last week instead of having a mixer, I went out to dinner with the ladies (Brenda, Ali and Joy). We went to Ippudo, a ramen noodle place. Yes, a ramen noodle place. The stuff you eat in college that you add water to. Go figure! But there were good things said about this place. If you go there too late, there is an hour to hour and a half wait. We made it just in time and when the whole party got there, we walked right in. It had a cool tree like (or maybe it was real? Couldn’t tell as it was dark and I didn’t go up to it) sculpture in the middle of the restaurant. There seemed to be a lot of workers there as they cheered when you walk in and there was always a bevy of different people filling your water or taking your plate.

We ordered 3 appetizers, well I guess it’s actually 4 since we got 2 orders of the Hirata Buns (steamed buns, filled with pork, served with lppudo original spicy buns sauce.) These were similiar in style to the pork buns at the Momofuku Milk bar. I felt like you get more pork at the milk bar but I guess because of the sauce, it was spicier, which I liked. We also got what I swear to remember as pork belly but I don’t see it on the menu at menupages! As well as a Phildelphia Cheesesteak egg roll. I was so curious about this! They were all delicious!

2 orders of pork buns
The pork belly
Joy breaking the egg over the pork belly
The Philly Cheesesteak Egg roll

The ramen soup I ordered (which Joy also ordered) is not on the menu on menupages so I can’t give the name or accurate description. I do know that it had duck and an egg in it! While it was very good, I have to say that the apps were way better and tastier to me. The soup was just ok and while I can’t seem to taste MSG (or know any effects it has on me), I read that they do use that and Joy did taste it.

My/Joy’s ramen
Brenda’s (I think she got this:Kogashi Miso tonkotsu based noodle soup, a dark, rich broth made from roasted miso, topped with slices of berkshire pork, fish cake, green bok choice cabbage, and glazed with a layer of oil.)
Ali’s classic (Shiromaru Hakata Classic ‘the original tonkotsu’ soup noodles with slices of simmered berkshire pork, kikurage, red pickled ginger, menma, 1/2 hard boiled egg, sesame & scallions)
Brenda ordered a salted egg on the side that she shared. When it came I thought the shell was still on it but that brown color is not the shell. I was told it’s steeped in tea? It was quite yummy. The inside was perfect!

Crafty Catch up

Here are a few swaps that I hadn’t posted yet because they were mainly Christmas swaps (and lots of people actually had the patience to wait until Christmas to open them!)

Part of these items were for a 12 days of Christmas with a twist swap (for each day, you send the appropriate amount of gift, i.e, the 11th day would yield something with a quantity of 11). My partner is a fan of pin up girls and Bettie Page. I used a collage sheet from piddix to make magnets and bracelet blanks and found a royalty free, vector image of Bettie Page where I made tags.

These were for the Wacky Holidays November swap. I crocheted a pie holder for Pumpkin Pie day and an apple cozy for Eat a red apple day.

Some items from the Handmade Christmas swap. My partner loves mermaids, cupcakes and palm trees. I pulled out my rubber stamps and made her notecards. I colored the mermaids with twinkling H2O’s and made their hair different colors. The cupcake is a potholder and the palm tree/flowers are luggage tags from the book Pretty Little Presents.

This was for a different Handmade Christmas swap. I’m proud of myself for doing this round bucket, round is not easy for me!

A crochet earring swap, which I told my partner I would make her new ones since some of the beads did not survive the mail system!

A profile Surprise Christmas swap. My partner loves the Flyers hockey team so I made these magnets with their logo.

These last two were not for swaps. This one I made for my new nephew in Thailand that was born in November. A little felt heart mobile.

This shirt I’ve been wanting to “fix.” My parents, in their oh so subtle way, bought this shirt for Sienna LAST YEAR (they tend to buy big) so now that she could fit it, wanted to have her wear it.
I bought this book of iron ons from Chronicle books (the name escapes me now and I’m too lazy to go look at the title!). I picked this iron on to put over it (i ironed it on one of Sienna’s old receiving blankets) and then sewed brown zig zags around the edge to match the seams of the shirt.

Although you could still see what it says underneath in this shot, you can’t really tell when she is wearing it. Unfortunately, it faded after the first wash. I didn’t read the instruction on washing so I’m sure I did something I wasn’t supposed to do.

I also made a set of placemats using a tutorial on reprodepot’s blog but I forgot to take photos of it! I made them for my mother in law for Christmas.

Uncle Peeder!

My friend Pete trekked out to our house this past Sunday for a visit. Sienna hadn’t seen him since summer and was super excited to see him! Thankfully we were smart enough to not tell her too early in the day that he was coming because once we did, she kept looking out the window and saying “Where’s Uncle Peeder? Where is he? I don’t see him!” He arrived for lunch where we were having cold cut sandwiches and I actually made a potato soup, a relatively easy recipe I cut out from the newspaper last week (minus the celery and added extra potatoes not on purpose). I also made these parmesan cream crackers (they were good but the middle parts were more doughy and needed to be baked slightly longer). And Pete presented us with some awesome donuts from our neighborhood shoppe.

Sienna took her nap and we were able to play some Boom Blox 2 on the Wii. Pete brought the Wii Fit Plus with him. That was a lot of fun and am considering getting it. Time to dust off that Wii Fit board! Sienna woke up while we were playing on the board. Since there were multi player options, we were taking turns doing stuff on the board and Sienna wanted to join in. It was funny watching her on the board! We all kind of worked up a sweat on the games we were playing so Yves took the opportunity to put on football. Sienna happily played with Pete; doing puzzles, dancing in her room and having stories read to her.

And I want to thank Pete for wearing her out. She didn’t give us any trouble going to sleep that night! She recently started this (hopefully short lived!) trend where she doesn’t want to go to bed. I knew that was bound to happen sooner or later (I was hoping for later!). We would do our usual routine, read her stories and she would climb into bed (she’ll climb in but won’t climb out.) Not more than 5 minutes later she is crying. As soon as we walk in there, she stops crying and informs us in her sheepish voice, “I don’t wanna go to sleep.” She is even started to tell us that the back of her mouth is hurting (we are beginning to think this is a ploy to get tylenol drops, which she loves!) Anyway, we don’t take her out or anything but try to reason with her and have her lay down and go to bed. We walk out of the room. 5 minutes later the show starts again! Monday night it happened for about the 4th time maybe in a week. By the 3rd outburst, we ignored her and she finally fell asleep. Argh! I wish Uncle Peeder could come over every night until this phase is over! (noted to add: it didn’t happen last night! Woohoo! Cross fingers that it’s over!)
Sienna’s turn on the Wii Fit board
Pete showing us the marching game
(I know this one is blurry but I like how I caught Pete’s butt sticking out and Sienna in mid twirl while they were dancing!)



Back in early December, I met up with my friend Rachel and we hit up the Handmade Cavalcade craft fair and Martha Stewart’s craft fair. It was a rainy and cold day, not the most ideal weather for trekking in the city but it was fun regardless! We went to the cavalcade on Mott Street first, right when it opened but boy, it got crowded pretty fast! It was hard to resist all the fun goodies and I tried not to be selfish and buy just for myself. I think I did ok! I managed to snag myself a beautiful handmade Betta Fish screenprinted journal from fisk and fern. I recognized her name from her participation in my gocco postcard swap I hosted. It was great to meet her as her card was one of my favorites in the swap. She’s super sweet too! I also met Simone of craftevolution and whose etsy shop is Groundsel. I actually was introduced to her via facebook from a Bay Ridge mom who said that we were the 2 craftiest people she knew. It turned out that I was already a reader of her blog! She was really nice and I had meant to go back to her booth and buy her super cute hair clips but like I mentioned above, it got crowded really fast and I forgot! I did pick up some pretty hand soap from Nordea’s soaperia and picked up a present for my father in law. Peppersprout had these cool wooden coasters with the names of the 4 boroughs of nyc on each one (Staten Island was left out, hmmm, wonder why?) I thought he would appreciate the hand craftness of it. Sadly I forgot to take any photos of the fair. Then we headed to lunch at brgr, which is right down the block from where Martha’s craft fair was. I was actually there in November and while the burger wasn’t bad, the onion rings were the reason I wanted to go back! MMM, red onions sliced really thin!

Anyhow, I digress! Turns out there was a bit of a wait to get into Martha’s craft fair. A line outside of the building and then another line once you get inside! The wait wasn’t too bad and it was definitely more spacious once we were inside and also included lots of displays from MS Living Holiday magazine spread. It was fun to look around but I didn’t buy anything.

I parted with Rachel after that and did a quick stop for some Christmas shopping. The reason I called this post Inspiration was because of the last store I passed before jumping on the subway. Beads of Paradise is a store on 17th street full of beads (duh) and lost of other fun stuff. I didn’t go inside (too tempting) but the window display was enough! So amazing and inpirational! Really, these photos do not do it justice. I just loved how it was filled up with so much fun stuff! I love the colors! I love the little dolls and the button eyes! I love it all!


Brrr!! It’s cold!

The first weekend of 2010 was brutally cold (actually so was the 2nd weekend but finally some relief this weekend with a expected balmy temp of the mid 40’s). So we went back to the Staten Island Children’s Museum. The first time we went was back in October of ’09. It was Yves’ idea to go this time and he was even thinking of becoming a member. I don’t know who has more fun, Yves or Sienna!

For lunch, we opted to head on over to Lento’s, a thin crust pizza place that we loved in Bay Ridge (which closed in 2006). While I never thought the Staten Island location compared, it was better than going down the road for lunch as we did last time. Plus it made Yves so happy! We ordered mozzarella sticks, a salad for me and the pizza with half black olives/pepperoni and half cheese. Sienna enjoyed it was well!

lentos1500.jpg pizzagone500.jpg

Why is Christmas over?

That’s what Sienna essentially asks me. I enjoy the hustle and bustle and excitement of Christmas but I am actually looking forward to getting back to a normal routine. I guess that makes you a real adult, huh? Anyway, I can prolong it a bit by posting all the ornaments (and some tags) I made for various swaps on swap-bot!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas ornament swap
The skull flower is from Sublime Stitching
The robot stencil from the Stencil Me In book. I used Tulip fabric spray for the color.doggieornament500.jpggingerbreadornament500.jpg
The dog and the Gingerbread house are from the The Softies kit. I made them into ornaments.
I really have a thing for these retro ornaments!
The pattern for this house is from Nini Makes blog
I thought the smiley face came out really cute. I was a little disappointed in the ball ornament.
This one is for the Spooky Christmas swap. This pattern is from Sublime Stitching (2 that I made into 1)
Embroidery tags. The top 2 are from Wild Olive, the bottom right Sublime Stitching and bottom left from the Stampin’ Up catalog.