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China is Fabulous (and not just for old ladies)

China is Fabulous (and not just for old ladies)

It’s April! On this month two years ago, Stephen and I recited some vows and had a party with our closest friends in family. Our wedding day was the best day of my life, which started the best two years of my life as Stephen’s wife. I plan to share wedding posts all month as a celebration of our second anniversary.

This is a photo of the china closet in my parent’s house in Texas. There is so much history and love in each and every piece in this closet.

For a bride, picking a china pattern should be just as important as picking the wedding dress. I still remember when I laid eyes on this Bernardaud china. I instantly knew this was the one for me. I love the birds, the gold and how it’s very modern yet timeless.

Neimans

This is my mom’s wedding china – Wedgwood Kutani Crane. I love that her china has birds on it (like mine!).

Mom's China
This was my grandmother “B’s” china – Bracelet Old Ivory Syracuse. I love that her china is gold (like mine!). I remember instantly feeling like an adult eating on this china, even if I was sitting at the kid’s table. Isn’t it amazing that this is still so beautiful and current, even though it was purchased in the 1940s?

B's China 1.2

B's China 1.1

This final china also belonged to my grandmother B. It’s Montgomery Ward. She and her group of friends each started collecting this pattern at the same time so that together they would have over 200 place settings. Can you imagine anything more glam than knowing that between your group of friends, you could entertain 200 guests on the same china pattern?

B's China 2

Make memories this weekend by inviting friends over and using your favorite china. Remember – don’t put your grandmother’s china in the dishwaster, and wait until the morning for hand washing. I find my hands get extra slippery after a night of bubbles entertaining… Cheers! Keep your elbows off the table!

Childhood Treats (with a grown up twist)

Childhood Treats (with a grown up twist)

At the very last minute, I decided to pull together an Easter favorite that reminds me of my friend Holley. Holley’s mom made these Easter nests almost every year when we were growing up, and they’re just as delicious as I remembered.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the nests: Marshmallows, butter, peanut butter, chow mein noodles, M&Ms (or any other little egg-like candies).

Easter 2

Simply melt the butter, peanut butter and marshallows in a saucepan (or in the microwave) and pour the mixture over the noodles.

Easter Pour

Then spoon out enough gooey nest stuff to fill a greased muffin pan. Once the nests cool, slide them out and drop in your eggs.

Easter 4

I remember sipping lemonade while crunching on these nests during snack time in elementary school, so I made a grown-up lemonade with fresh lemons, agave, club soda and a little Tito’s vodka we had in the freezer. The perfect grown up version of two childhood favorites! Happy Easter!

Easter Brunch at Home

Easter Brunch at Home

Avoid the brunch crowd and the extra calories by preparing your favorite brunch item at home. Here is my healthy twist on Eggs Benedict. It’s easier than you think, and you’ll be so proud of yourself, you’ll want to share with others. I think Easter is the perfect reason to invite your friends over for a celebration (even if you do live in a teensy little NY apartment).

Here is what you’ll need to make the potatoes: Any type of taters will work (I used these little babies from Trader Joe’s), a bell pepper or two, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper

Taters 1

Simply chop chop chop everything up, and if you’re going to blog about it, be sure to organize it all pretty like this…

Chopped taters

Toss everything with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and scoot everything around on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or so at 450*. I checked on them a few times and even shuffled them around every now and then.

final tater

While the breakfast potatoes are cooking, I whipped up a healthy version of hollandaise sauce. Here is what you’ll need to make the sauce: a glob of greek yogurt, a spoonful of mayo, lemon juice (I used one lemon), a glob and a half of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne. Can you tell I don’t like measuring?

Sauce

Whisk everything together in a bowl and leave it on the counter while you prepare the rest. This sauce is delicious at room temp, but if you want to heat it up before drizzling it over the eggs, that’ll work too.

Now for the scary part – the egg poaching! It is very important to have very fresh eggs.

eggs

Bring your water to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer, add a tiny splash (a really tiny splash) of white vinegar, swirl the water around with a spoon and then drop the eggs in (while the water is kind of swirling). I put the eggs in a coffee cup before dropping them in the water (the handle makes it easier to get them in with one plop). Now let them be – don’t touch them for 3 minutes! After 3 or 4 minutes, fish them out with a spoon and let them rest on a paper towel.

pan

And now for the fun part, assemble your eggs benedict and set the table! I used spinach and local tomatoes from a fruit stand on 2nd Avenue, rather than Canadian bacon. I also whipped up a side of greek yogurt drizzled with honey garnished with raspberries and mint leaves, which looked adorable in these little mini martini glasses I got at a thrift shop in Dallas.

Brunch Final

Wasn’t that easy? You should be impressed with yourself. Enjoy (and put your napkin in your lap)!

Brunch Action

 

Toodles: Sandra The Neighbor

Toodles: Sandra The Neighbor

Stephen and I have been tangled in packing tape, boxes and dust for the past two weeks during our apartment move (more blog posts about the new place to come). And while was hard to leave our first married apartment, it was even harder to leave our next door neighbor, Sandra.

A few days before the movers arrived, Hudson and I spent the evening chatting with Sandra and snapping a few photos. Meet Sandra, our next door neighbor (and so much more).

SANDRA, NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR/FRIEND/HUDSON’S FAVORITE

You’ve lived in this apartment for a long time, how do you keep it looking so current? I like change, and I consider myself current. I have always been ahead. I split my time between Paris and New York. I get bored with routines, and I like to do something a little different everyday, which includes changing things in my apartment and living in my two favorite cities.

Even if you don’t have a routine you stick with, there has to be something that you do everyday besides brush your teeth, right? Well, yes, I write everyday. I kept a journal everyday for 10 years – see the leather bound notebooks on the top shelf of my bookcase? I always travel with a notebook and a pen. I love to write. I have to write.

Writing is more than something you love, it’s what you do, so tell us about that. Yes, I am a playwright. I was the first woman to produce an American play in Paris (written in French). The play is about an employment agency, and it is still the most produced female written play in Paris.

Why the employment agency? What was your inspiration? I was an office temp at an employment agency for a period of time in New York City, and I took notes during the job. The play has been translated to English, and I am sending it to producers in America.

What do you enjoy most about living in New York? I like that you can do anything quickly here. People understand that you’re in a hurry, and people are respectful of that…unless, of course, you’re trying to mail a letter at the post office. (The post office is a nightmare, and we miss you already, Sandra!!) 

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Snow Days and Nights

Snow Days and Nights

Snow nights are more fun than snow days. These are the nights when you have an inkling that your office will be closed the following day so you order the extra glass of bubbles at a tiny fireplace bar (just knowing you’ll get to sleep in after getting the office closure email on your BlackBerry at any moment…around 3am, while you’re still out wearing fur and cashmere). Our snow night looked a little different this year, but it was just as fabulous (and so much more restful).

Stephen and I spent our snow night playing with Hudson in central park followed by champagne and tortilla soup, while we watched the news coverage about the storm. The lights didn’t go out, but I kept most of the lights turned off and lit candles to add to the drama of the storm (I’ve been known to be a bit dramatic). Here are a handful of my favorite photos we took during the storm:

When the wine shop is fresh out of chilled bottles, sometimes you get a brilliant idea on the walk home…

 

Here are a couple of pretty pictures of central park…

snow-day-landscape_001

snow-day-landscape_002

 

 

Warning to all snowmen: Hudson will eat your limbs when you least expect it (and his parents will take photos of it). See below photo of Hudson chewing on a stick, which was once a leg.

snow-day_003

 

Here is a photo of Hudson surveying the damage (the leash and the hand-me-down jacket don’t match, but it’s never that easy)…Thank you to Kate (and Winston) for the snow vest. It’s still our favorite.

snow-day_001

snow-day_002

 

 

Thank you NYC for the snow storm – we had the best snow day (and snow night). Hoping for one more blizzard this winter. We’ll see. Until then…goodnight, New York. Back to work tomorrow. Xx.

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