Sunday, May 20, 2012

the week in review: good reads, magic and Mozart

A pictorial review of the week.

Flower appreciation.

 / 1 / 
Prettiest flowers I have ever seen growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. 

 / 2 / 
Campanula. Why do they remind me of toys, images and characters from my childhood in the early 80s?

/ 3 / 
My beloved clematis burst into bloom this week.

Living room progress surges on.

/ 4 / 
Evan spent most of the evenings this week scraping, and scraping, and scraping the 10 windows in the sunroom. 

 / 5 / 
More attention and commitment to detail - original hardware covered in layers of paint by decades of DIY homeowners without Evan's attention to detail. Soaked in baking soda and water, and scraped and polished. Like magic.

 / 6 / 
Living room on lock-down - the sanding has begun.

 / 7 / 
One wheel down, three to go on the antique industrial cart that we're turning into a coffee table (see here). 

 / 8 / 
Sully telepathically communicating.

 / 9 / 
Dinner at Left Bank - a 16 oz porterhouse steak that I thought would be impossible to finish, but alas, was not. 

 / 10 / 
Dinner at home. An odd medley of ingredients in the fridge that actually turned out quite tasty and definitely unexpected - feta, cilantro, red onion, jalepeno, cider vinegar and lemon.

/ 11 / 
Impromptu vinyl session inspires Hey Ladies dance.

 A lot of Billy Joel, a little Jefferson Airplane, a lot of hip hop and some Mozart to wrap things up.

Good reads. 

/ 12 / 
What a fun surprise to get this in the mail this week from my friend Penny - a down-to-earth, hilarious approach to parenting that I can really get behind. 

/ 13 / 
And some more parenting tips. This made me smile while waiting to take Sully in for blood work at the vet. Might have to pick up a copy.

These weekly roundups just reiterate how quickly time flies. Like woah, Nelly. 

Hope you all had a great week. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the week in review: good food, good music, coffee table project and family

A (mostly) pictorial review of the week.

(A wee bit late ... should have been posted last Friday). 

/ 1 / 
Lemon Buttermilk sorbet, inspired by a recent trip to my favorite restaurant. Recipe found here. The official kick-off to homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet season - highly, highly recommended! My only modification came from a lack of planning - I only had one lemon, so that's how much zest and juice I used. Honestly, even though I am a lover of lemon and all things intensely tart and sour, I can't imagine making this with any more than one lemon. 

/ 2 / 
St. Vincent at the Town Ballroom. Annie Clark was such a great performer - obviously her voice is stunning, but she also seemed comfortable and genuine in her comments between songs which is always a bonus. Her crowd surfing at the end made me nostalgic for high school ... my first concert and crowd surfing experience was at Dinosaur Jr. at the State Theater in Portland, Maine in 1994.

/ 3 /
Dinner at Bambino with my lovely lady lawyer friends. We shared a lot of things, but this was by far the prettiest - assorted melon balls over arugula and proscuitto with balsamic drizzle. 

/ 4 / 
A coffee table in the making. I found four industrial carts locally on Craigslist - we bought two, convinced another friend to buy a third, and then sold one of ours to other friends. They've all finished restoring and converting theirs already and both of them look amazing. Things on this end are moving a bit slower due to the living and sun room renovations underway. 

One of the wheels after Evan cleaned off some of the rust and gunk (new pictures of this wheel completely gunk free coming soon). I love the pin detail. I'm feeling pretty smug that we'll have something like this for more than ten times less. The thrill of the hunt and being able to watch it transform from a crusty work horse into something beautiful for the house right before my eyes makes it that much more satisfying. If you are interested in one and cant source inexpensive carts in need of DIY'ing, Etsy has some great finished options. Not inexpensive, but now that I am seeing all the work that can go into cleaning one of these buggers up, I can say that they are not overpriced either.

/ 5 / 
Summer bedding switchover!

Not pictured: Getting to visit Evan's Aunt and Uncle on Friday - they just moved to Buffalo from Nashua, NH this week. It is the first time since we moved here 10 years ago that we've had family in the area, and it feels great. Evan's Aunt and Uncle met each other while living out here over 25 years ago - his Aunt was from here, his uncle was from Massachusetts. They moved to New England but always came back a few times a year to visit her family. When Evan's grandparents passed away, they decided to move back to be closer to her family, and incidentally, ours! They do not have children of their own, and Evan is their godson - so it will be like having one set of grandparents nearby when the little guys arrives in September. Good stuff. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

the week in review: art, flora, my "least meal" and staggeringly thoughtful birthday gifts

A pictorial review of the week. 

/ 1 / 
A Sunday trip to the Birchfield Penney art museum. James J. Vullo's "flying sculptures."

A recreation of Charles Burchfield's studio.

/ 2 / 
Birthday dinner at Tempo. Tasty tart mocktail to start.

Antipasto. The feta and salami were amazing, and even better paired with the roasted red pepper spread.

Best carpaccio in town: herb and sea salt marinated rare beef sirloin with arugula, shaved parmigiano reggiano, garlic dressing and capers.

This would - hands down - be my "last meal." It's been my favorite special occasion meal in the city for the past five years or so: proscuitto wrapped filet crusted in warm gorgonzola, over the best gnocchi I have ever had (browned and somewhat crispy on the outside, pillowy and warm inside) with garlic braised escarole. Looks fussier than it tastes, but the combination of flavors is seriously stunning considering that they are not particularly exotic. Just perfectly prepared.
Never ever fails me.

Sorbet trio for dessert - highlight was the one on the right: a lemon buttermilk sorbet. I wasted no time in looking up recipes to make at home. Found one here - a bowl of it is sitting in the fridge, waiting to be put through the ice cream maker this weekend. 

/ 3 / 
And speaking of sweets, here's just one of the small cooler full of whoopie pies my Grandmother sent me for my birthday. *Verklempt!*

/ 4 / 
The medley of shade loving plants that my mom lovingly packaged up from her garden in Maine and sent to me for my birthday for my shade garden project. Verklempt again!
There's Solomon's seal, peony, lady's mantel, lily of the valley, white and red bleeding heart, columbine, Bethlehem sage, ferns and hosta. 

I don't even have words. To say my mom is amazing is such an understatement. 

/ 5 / 
Saying goodbye to the ridiculously long-lasting dubium bought weeks ago. I kept trimming and downsizing, trimming and downsizing until almost every last bud had popped. Finally, I came home to this. It's as if they collectively said, "Enough already, lady - our time has come. Just let us die!" Either that, or the last bloom standing decided she needed more space and shoved all the others out. 

/ 6 /
Grocery store flower pick of the week: Campanula. I plan to play around with them this weekend.

/ 7 / 
Tired of wasting fruit, citrus and herbs on their way out (but still edible), here is my quick and easy solution - especially good for cleaning out the fridge before or after a trip to the grocery store. I am enjoying a big glass of apple-lime-mint flavored water as we speak, and it's fantastic. 

Highlight not captured on film: Baby's first real kick! Big enough for Evan to feel. The look on his face when he felt it was priceless, and I'll never forget it. 

Definitely not a highlight - Adam Yauch's passing today after a battle with cancer of the salivary gland, age 47. The world lost an extremely talented musician and (although I didn't know him personally, I'm willing to bet that everyone who did would say that he was) just a really, really good person. RIP, and xoxo.

Happy weekend, everyone.