Saturday, February 27, 2010

Help for Haiti 2

Laura at the Shore House is hosting another auction for Haiti! I'm going to be adding in as a bonus item a tissue holder, sunglass/eyeglass case and pancake mix! (A random assortment, I know...) anyway, you should totally check it out!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leggo my....

oh, whatever, the damn Eggo Waffles are still in short supply!

The Reader

So I didn't see this movie when it was it out in the theaters. But I did finally watch it last night. Now I have to say, Kate Winslet did a great job. She really nailed the German accent and she did age thirty years or so throughout the course of the movie.... and it was a Ralph Fiennes movie, so it's got to get extra points for that... but it kind of left me with mixed feelings.

First off, you've got the relationship between the Kate Winslet character, who at the time is supposed to be 35 and a 15 year old boy. So that's creepy enough... but then we've got the whole thing where she was a guard at Auschwitz and she was among a group of guards who were responsible for the deaths of three hundred people. She's on trial and she basically takes the rap for the rest of the guards because she doesn't want to admit that she can't read or write.

The Ralph Fiennes character (Michael) knows her secret and could tell the court but decides not to. Kate Winslet's Hanna is then sentenced to life in prison. While she is serving her sentence Michael then goes on about sending her taped readings of books that he had read to her during their affair. She uses the tapes, together with books she's taken out from the prison library, to learn how to read.

Illiteracy is certainly a pressing issue, but trying to weave that story in with a holocaust participant? Trying to suggest that her shame at not being able to read was greater than her shame for murder... isn't that a little bit of a stretch?

I can't quite explain it, but I certainly wouldn't have made it into a movie, that's for sure!

I vote for Coco Before Chanel, if you're looking for Euro-tinged historical dramas.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The September Issue

I watched this documentary today and it was very interesting. If you liked the Devil Wears Prada you should check it out, to see Anna Wintour behind the scenes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In time for Valentine's Day, I started on a project. The Husband has been asking for a wedding album for nothing short of eight years. It's a long story but our wedding photographer wasn't the best in the world. Needless to say we never had the wedding photographer do an album, opting instead to take our negatives and get half of our money back. What can I say, that's what happens when they fail to get some traditional pictures like the first kiss and first dance.

Anyway... after all of these years I still hadn't made an album. I had thought before about having prints and enlargements done and putting them in an album or scrap book format, but never did it.

Then, I thought about doing a Kodak Gallery type of thing. Finally, after I worked on the Blurb book for my Mom I was intrigued by the photo coffeetable books they show on the website.

So, I finally decided to have our negatives scanned in (together with some negatives from photos taken by friends and relatives-- who actually WERE able to get some of the missing images, like first kiss and first dance...) and digitized. It cost about $120 for the negatives to be scanned and a CD created. I chose for high resolution scanning so that way I could crop the pictures. Good thing I did, because I ended up picking 72 photos and out of the 72 I had to alter 70 of them--- the only two that weren't cropped were pictures that our photographer didn't take!

With the photos done I was then able to upload them to Blurb and using Blurb's software and tools I put together a beautiful photo album complete with dust jacket.

The book, with overnight shipping, came to $65.00. If you have any albums you need to make you should really think about using blurb. The cost of the album itself (outside of shipping) wasn't much more than what Kodak charges but the quality is really a step up.

Below are some of the photos!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Should I Make With This?

I just got in the mail 72 four inch squares of different Kaffe Fassett fabrics in reds and pinks!

They're really neat colors and patterns. The Mom got me a book on "fat quarter" projects, so I'm thinking I may see if I can use these for one of those projects... but let me know your thoughts!

Long Overdue Crafts!

So I had this great Jennifer Pudney needlepoint kit for the longest time. Then I started it while I was pregnant. Flashforward two and a half years later and I've finally finished it! Granted, it has actually been complete for quite some time, I just never got around to fully outlining the fairy godmother... anyhoo I finished her off today and put it in a little frame. What do you think? Better late than never! (ps. I did change the design around ever-so-slightly from the original... the kit called for the fairy godmother to be a blonde ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Yes, it's that time of year again... when we go with Thisbe and the Wee Kraken to see the Westminster Kennel Club dog show! This year was the fourth year in a row that we've made the pilgrimage! This time we were also joined by Melanie, Andrew and Thisbe's friend Jason.

We saw the English Springer Spaniels...

And Siberian Huskies
Airdales.... and

a nun!

Afterwards, a Happy meal.

Crazy Crafting

Since 10:30pm this evening I've: (i) hot-glued wooden letters spelling out Miss B.'s name onto a kid-sized wooden step stool, (ii) finished one Kolo baby scrap book (pregnancy through christening), (iii) finished a second Kolo baby scrap book (christening through second birthday), (iv) brought third Kolo baby scrap book up-to-date (second birthday to the present), and (v) sorted and chronologically organized photos from trip to Paris and then put them into an album.

It was that or making one of two baby quilts or working on one of two long overdue knitting projects.

Alas, those will have to wait for another day. For now? Sleep!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Okay, so how cool is this? The Husband told me about the NPR app for iPods/iPhones/Droids. It's neat, you can read current stories, etc... But I looked at it more closely tonight and found that you can have access not only NPR news stories, but also radio broadcasts including "Wait, wait, don't tell me"! and Fresh Air and obviously, All Things Considered. You can even search for broadcast stations that are airing certain shows now, and then you can live stream the audio feed!

And let's not even talk about Pandora!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today we went to a great Valentine's brunch at Elements in Princeton. It's a lovely space and they have neat modern art up on the walls. Upon sitting down and looking around Miss B said: "Nice painting!"


The other night I was listening to Studio 360 on WNYC and I heard a performance by Malaysia's number one ukulele player. Only on public radio right? Well her name is Zee Avi and you can find her debut alb on iTunes. She's a singer songwriter and she sings kind of in a similar style to Zooey Deschanel (She and Him).

Also, this week's People magazine recommended Colbie Callait's acoustic version of "I Want You Back" for download and I have to say it's not bad.

Rounding out our latest downloads? "Rapper's Delight"... Always ecclectic, we try to be.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We've had a weird fumey kind of smell in the house since yesterday, after the Husband used the snowblower outside. It's kind of a mix of exhaust fume and gasoline. Mostly it's in the family room and it also can kind of collect in the stairway between the first and second floors. While I was doing some housecleaning yesterday evening I opened the windows on the second floor and got some good cross-ventilation going and the smell seemed to dissipate. The Husband opened up the garage door, the back sliding door and then febreezed the heck out of the garage and family room where the smell had been concentrated (you see, we hosted a playdate today and didn't want to have the whole play area smell like gasoline, I'm sure you can understand!)

This morning, the stairway was clear and the family room was okay-- we also kept some of the windows open a smidge. Then, this evening the smell started to build up again. So, I called the fire department. I used the police non-emergency number and asked whether they thought the fire department should come or if I should call PSEG. The dispatcher voted for fire department and we waited.

Next thing you know we've got two fire trucks, an ambulance, the fire chief's truck, another truck with other fire department personnel in it and lastly, a police car. Why is there a police car? Because one of the ladder trucks knocked the side view mirror off of a car sitting in traffic while the truck was turning onto our street!

According to the Husband this set off a discussion between the police officer and the driver of the car to the effect of "it's minor, do you really need to report it?" and between the police officer and the fire department "do we really need to do a drug/alcohol screen, or can't everyone just tell that you took the turn too wide?") and between the fire department and the driver of the car to the effect of "we can get you $500 out of petty cash..."

Of course we have virtually no driveway to speak of so all of these vehicles were lined up on our street out in front of our house and in front of the neighbor's to the left and right. The smell? Unclear. The fire guys (in all of their gear) used their high tech equipment to determine that there was a higher level of "combustible fumes" at a localized spot in our garage. However, there is no evidence of a gas spill or otherwise. Their advice? Empty out the garage and do a scrub down.


But, look at the chain of odd events we set in motion. Sorry to the guy who's one side mirror short!


Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with how the Olympics is handling the death of the Georgian luger?

The track looks clearly unsafe. Shouldn't the IOC and/or the representatives from certain teams (such as the US) halt further use of the track at least until the area of the track where the accident occurred is re-tooled? Had the walls of the track at that particular stretch been higher the athlete wouldn't have been launched out of the track.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Fashion

So, normally I'd say we love Ralph Lauren... but really? This year's Team USA outfits? Ralph, are you kidding? It's clearly just stuff recycled from his Polo line... so much so that even the hats say "POLO" on them... and do we really need the Ralph Lauren signature polo horse mascot emblazoned on the front of the down puffy coat? Hi, you're designing for the olympic team... shouldn't that be honor enough? Do we need to turn it in to a worldwide marketing event while we're at it? Ugh. And, Ralph, you of all people should know you can't pull off white pants after Labor Day.

We love our PR!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Icebat Goes Missing!?!

Sadly, Miss B.'s mid-sized Icebat (you see, we have three different Icebats-- key chain sized, medium and Large) was left behind at the Stowe Mountain Lodge (NEVER leave a man behind!)

Ivan in loss prevention found him. Icebat has proved popular with the people in Stowe, having been adopted and formally deputized as part of the loss prevention team.

However, lately he's been lonely, looking out the window of the office there, hoping for our return.

Today his adventure will begin again as he is carefully packaged and shipped off to home.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

And From the World of Completely Random Job Descriptions...

Grant Wilfley Casting is seeking caucasian males with facial scars for work on the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire." Email a recent photo to w/ [Facial Scars] in the subject line.

Shutter Island

So I finished it. In a day and a half. That's usually a good sign. It was fast paced and a good read. I was a bit disappointed in the ending. Passing the paperback on to the Mom... I'm still going to see the movie though. I always love Scorsese and Leo.

I Promise, This is the Last Post About Stowe, at least for now...

On to the food!

If you're in Stowe and in need of a good bagel, you must check out "The Bagel" at 394 Mountain Road. When we had brunch at Norma's at Topnotch the Husband got the "NY Deli Bagel" and it was a great bagel... so we asked where it came from and were told that Topnotch gets their bagels from a shop in town. We hit up the shop and the joint was jumping. I bought a half dozen to take home and they were really good! They even had a "cinnamon sugar" bagel. How neat!

By the way, Norma's? Was really good. I got the "Vermont Country Breakfast" (2 eggs, potatoes, toast and bacon), the Husband got the aforementioned NY Deli Bagel and Irish Oatmeal and Miss B. got french toast. B. won the breakfast challenge by far-- while everything was tasty, the French Toast (with real Vermont maple syrup) was outstanding.

We also went to Solstice, at the Lodge. Solstice specializes in farm-to-table artisnal cuisine. We had a terrific Vermont cheese platter, Rhode Island calamari, the Husband had lamb and gnocchi and I had truffled macaroni and cheese. Baby had a slider and fries.

Then, in addition to the samples at the Ben & Jerry's factory tour, I also got some great cheese samples at the Cabot Cheese Annex in Waterbury. Mostly, we just ate a lot.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Here are some pictures from our weekend in Stowe... first off, we've got to get bundled...

Then we were ready to hit the slopes!
Here's a glimpse at the Lodge... (it was beautiful and had a fantastic location... BUT the service was *atrocious!*) Live and learn!

Miss B. is asking, "why can't I eat the snow?"
Atop Mt. Mansfield...

On the Gondola...
Ski Patrol!
Then, later on we did some sledding... here we are at the back of "sled cam"

Mostly, though, this was a weekend filled with lots and lots of food. No visit to Vermont would be complete without the Ben & Jerry's factory tour...

Sadly, they actually don't make any ice cream on the weekends, but you can still tour the facility (the most important thing, though, is the sample ice cream that you get at the end of the tour!)

Friday, February 05, 2010


We made it to Stowe and the Stowe Mountain Lodge. It's super nice-- we have a balcony overlooking the pool and a fireplace! After dinner we checked out the lodge and I even tried out the heated outdoor pool. It's pretty neat that they have an entrance to the pool inside, and then you can go outside while you are in the water already and that way only your head realizes that it is five degrees outside. There was so much steam coming off of the pool I felt like I was at one of those natural hot springs in Iceland. Tomorrow? Winter activities. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

So, what's up?

Well, not too much, I suppose. The Husband and Baby have been sick for what seems like ever, aa evidenced, at least in part by the fact that as I type this it sounds like I'm sleeping next to Darth Vader.

Thanks to 410e9th, last week I completed (and bombed) the online Jeopardy! Contestant quiz. Mind you I knew the answers to more than 35 of the 50 questions, but I was woefully unprepared for the evil test taking format. Alas, there's always next time. I wasn't captain of my high school quiz bowl team for nothing (it, along with memorizing the entire deck of Trivial Pursuit questions, was all part of my lifelong Jeopardy! Training strategy).

In other news, during our illness quarantine Baby and I made paper bag puppets. Yes there is a good use for the 47 different sizes of paper bags that they have at Whole Foods.

We also did some Redboxing. Whiteout? It's like a bad Lifetime movie. Surrogates? A lame remix of Minority Report, I, Robot, yada, yada, yada.

On the book front I have officially given up on Gomorrah. I made it about halfway through and what would have been interesting as a 10 or 12 page article in VF or the New Yorker just became not interesting enough to keep reading.

Instead I moved on to Homer and Langley, E. L. Doctorow's spin on the Collyer Brothers. On the whole it wasn't bad but it did seem a little thin. The narrative moved through time very quickly-- I think it would have been more interesting if the story spent more time in each time period. It was also told entirely from Homer Collyer's perspective, I think it would have been interesting if we could have also gotten Langley's voice out there too. As an FYI, if you plan to read it, do be aware that the author has taken liberties with the main characters. In the book he has switched their birth order, made Homer the pianist, and among other things, expanded their lifespan. The Collyers died in the late forties but in the book they live through the seventies.

Next up? Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, which I hope to finish before the Scorsese/DiCaprio version comes out in theaters later this month.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


what was I thinking?

Looks like the weekend forecast for Stowe includes lows at 1 degree.

Why did I think a "ski trip" was a good idea?

Upon closer inspection the ye old North Face jacket I have just doesn't seem thick enough. That together with the discount snow bib and the North Face fashion snow boots all spells out: "You will be cold."

At least Mom sent my fur hat.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I want to make this!

Darby at Fly Through Our Window made this great looking dessert, which seems easy to make and is reminiscent of a thing that the Mom used to make (but hers had cream cheese in it too...)

What can I say, I'm on a pudding kick.