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good enough

good enough

March 7, 2014 |  Category:   home life

Lately, Claudine has been going around the apartment saying how much she likes our home. When I ask her what she likes about it, she answers that it has everything we need. Pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?   I’ve been thinking about our home a lot, now that we’ve been here 9 years. At this point it’s the longest we’ve lived anywhere, including our childhood homes. I think it’s fairly accurate to say that New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate in some capacity or another, whether it’s dealing with crazy rents, pining for more space, navigating a competitive seller’s market, ogling other people’s apartments, or scheming an escape out of the city altogether. There isn’t a day… CONTINUE READING

the one time of year when I nest + adventures in couch buying

the one time of year when I nest + adventures in couch buying

January 13, 2014 |  Category:   home life

This is the one time of year when I get a bit obsessive about the apartment. And when I say obsessive, I’m talking about major procrastination on everything else in my life, including work, just so that I can rearrange some knick-knacks on a shelf, stand back, mull it over, and rearrange the stuff on the shelves some more. I re-pot and move plants, put them back, organize drawers, shuffle books, pillows and maybe even the art on the walls. I’ll spend hours looking at old interior magazines and furniture websites and start bookmarking things – I’m talking Pinterest, people! And I’m not even a Pinterest user AT ALL.   I don’t give the apartment too much thought the rest… CONTINUE READING

room, version 4

room, version 4

January 8, 2014 |  Category:   home life remembering

We’ve been needing to update the girls’ room for awhile so I spent most of the holiday vacation doing what I do best: purging and organizing. They need proper desks, having long outgrown the smaller-sized kids’ table that they’ve been using since they were toddlers, and the girls are totally over anything that they deem too “babyish”. Space is a challenge; their room isn’t particularly big and I sometimes find myself wishing that we could sacrifice some of our common living space, which is fairly spacious (by NYC standards), for slightly bigger bedrooms.   But we’ve been here before. This will be the 4th version of this room. There was first a crib, then a single twin bed, then bunk… CONTINUE READING

tree follies

tree follies

December 11, 2012 |  Category:   holidays home life

The scene is set in a Brooklyn apartment. A 7 foot tree lays on its side on the hardwood floor. A man struggles to fit the cheap metal tree stand on the 7 footer, cursing under his breath that he could have sworn that he declared last Christmas as the last year they would use this flimsy tree stand. He tightens the screws, hoists the tree back up and the family stands back. The tree is crooked. The man lays the tree back down, fiddles with the screws around the trunk and hoists the tree back up. The family stands back and looks. Crooked. The man summons the woman to hold the tree as he attempts to adjust the 7… CONTINUE READING

Master procrastinators and some recommendations, please

Master procrastinators and some recommendations, please

December 6, 2012 |  Category:   home life travels

I woke up this morning really hungry. Yesterday, I had a handful of almonds, 2 apple slices, a quesadilla wedge and a couple of brussel sprouts. I couldn’t eat, stomach knotted in antibiotics and nerves. I also have been sleeping a lot this week, probably another byproduct of the medication. Usually I will fight to go to sleep, dragging myself off the couch at 2am knowing I have to wake up 5 and a half hours later to get the kids ready for school, but the last 3 days, I’ve been going to bed before midnight, barely able to stay awake. Maybe this will help reset my internal sleeping clock for good (oh, who am I kidding).   It’s just… CONTINUE READING

homebodies

homebodies

December 3, 2012 |  Category:   home life

I had some friends and neighbors tell me a few months ago that we were really good at taking advantage of living in the city by taking the girls to events and planning outings on the weekends and I thought, “really?”. Because it doesn’t seem that way from where I’m sitting. I think like most people, we stick to the same general area, a 10 block radius from our apartment, day in and day out. Most days, we don’t even venture far beyond our 3 block walk to school and back. It’s kind of amazing to not have to leave your neighborhood for long stretches of time if you live in a place that has pretty much everything you need.… CONTINUE READING

before the storm + NYC shuts down

before the storm + NYC shuts down

October 29, 2012 |  Category:   home life nyc

So, we’re waiting for hurricane Sandy to hit though you wouldn’t be able to tell from these photos, would you? During the day, the neighborhood bustled at the farmer’s market and stores as people stocked up on food and supplies. It was eerily pleasant outside, the first day that really felt like a crisp Fall day in a long time. Playgrounds were crowded, people were out eating brunch, and neighborhood activities, like this bread and muffin baking session in an outdoor wood burning stove, went on as usual. Once inside, we cleaned, cooked, and baked to keep ourselves preoccupied like so many other people.   But by afternoon the city started the process of shutting down. Schools, museums, Broadway and… CONTINUE READING

a year without a cat

a year without a cat

October 25, 2012 |  Category:   home life

It’s been over a year since our cat, Tobi, died. We knew we weren’t going to get another cat, not right away anyway, or maybe not even for a long time. Along with some other reasons, Mia seems to have developed an allergy to some furry creatures, cats included, and we saw some of this manifest during the last 6 months of Tobi’s life. Sometimes I still think he’s around, like he’s just in our bedroom laying on the bed like he always did or hiding under his favorite chair, and after having lived with cats for the last 20 years of my life, it’s a little strange not to have a cat around the house. But I do have… CONTINUE READING

little things

little things

May 25, 2012 |  Category:   happy purchases home life

I’ve been sprucing up the house this week in little ways like replacing our curtains, changing our duvet for summer, adding a pillow here and there, simplifying the clutter on shelves and dresser tops and finally framing some prints from my friend Sandra Juto that I bought a few months ago. I also got around to planting our balcony garden. It feels good around here. There are lots of things that I’d love to change about our apartment (namely the bathroom and kitchen!) but that isn’t going to happen unless we find ourselves with a whole lot of extra money, so these small changes will have to do. I’m currently waiting on a small, colorful vintage kilim rug that I… CONTINUE READING

things that make you feel grown up

things that make you feel grown up

January 20, 2012 |  Category:   happy purchases home

There are a few benchmarks in your life that are like markers of adulthood. I remember when we first bought that round dining room table 7 years ago. We were still living on the top floor of the brownstone apartment we lived in when we first moved to this neighborhood. We lived without a table for years. We couldn’t fit one in the studio apartment we lived in on 12th Street in the East Village and even when we moved to that Brooklyn apartment with a dining room 12 years ago, we always opted to eat on the couch.   We bought this table when Mia was a few months old and immediately felt like grown ups. A baby AND… CONTINUE READING

a weekend for hibernating

a weekend for hibernating

January 17, 2012 |  Category:   home life

Did you have a good 3 days weekend? The girls are back in school today, but we mostly stayed at home this weekend while Mark worked all 3 days. It was cold! The first string of frigid days we’ve had all winter, but despite snow falling everywhere else in the country, we are snowless so far this winter except for that freak storm back in October.   Much of what we did all weekend is what you see above: lots of coffee, looking at books, playing with all of their little calico critters, and drawing pictures. Mia drew the picture in the 2nd photo, but both girls have been drawing these houses on top of hills with these elaborate paths… CONTINUE READING

the piano chronicles, possibly in multiple parts

the piano chronicles, possibly in multiple parts

September 27, 2011 |  Category:   home life

It all started when my mom planted the idea in my head that we should get a piano and that maybe we should take the one I grew up playing, although it has gotten out of tune. Mia has expressed interest in piano lessons and likes to tinker around with it whenever we are at my mom’s. Mark’s even taught her how to play a melody or three with her right hand and surprisingly, she’ll remember how to play it even if a month goes by. Maybe the kids have skills! And I do have to admit that for whatever reason out of the blue, I’ve been sort of wanting to play again, but it’s always been rather difficult to… CONTINUE READING

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