Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update on Book Sale!!!

Guess what, guess what?? The Husband took us back to the Bryn Mawr book sale today and it was bag and box day. Bags (all you can fill) were $5 and boxes, $10. All in all we had two bags full of books. The Husband got some, Miss B. got some and I scored 32 additional books! (Yes, 32 books!)

The best part? I found two books that I've wanted to read for ever. Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell and The Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner. I had seen the BBC television version of Brookner's novel ages ago and had wanted to read the book ever since, but it is out of print.

How cool is that?


So, as some of you may know, I've been working on a project lately with the J*unior L*eague. We were tasked with revamping a multi-purpose space at a local children's charity in Trenton.

We have ordered various furniture and other supplies to help outfit the room and we also planned to paint a mural.

Note that there is one large focal wall in this space which is at least 30 feet high-- it's tall and narrow and would have been perfect for a Chagall-esque mural a la the Metropolitan Opera House. Did we do something like that? Not in the slightest.

One of our chairwomen had a contact with a local artist who was supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. She was going to do a design, yada, yada, yada. Well, one kiln fire later (she works mostly with tile, apparently) and she couldn't help us. So, one of our other committee folks reached out to a local interior designer who does children's murals (meanwhile, it was basically ignored that I had prepared a design and I can draw... but such is life!)

So, instead of a thirty foot Chagall, we ended up with one short wall and a giraffe. Since the giraffe scene wasn't quite filling up the room, the ladies elected to paint a secondary tree elsewhere in the space. Above is the tree as it was when I arrived this morning.

Below is the tree, after I spent from 11:30am till 4pm painting it.

It still totally looks like something that you'd see in the waiting room of your local pediatric dentist, but what can you do? We're not even going to discuss the giraffe. ;)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Sale!!!!!!!!!

This week it was the annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale!
Billed as the "Largest Used Book Sale on the East Coast" (i.e. see, picture), it's always a fun event! This year it began on Wednesday with a "preview" day. The preview day is so popular there is a $20 admission charge and a lottery system for entry (apparently, used and rare book dealers from around New England and the Mid-Atlantic states will line up before opening just to get a good spot!) One day I may brave the first round, but a $20 cover charge to buy books was a bit too rich for my blood. Instead, we went back on Thursday and for the second year in a row we got the *best* parking spot-- right by the front door! Having gotten this spot two years running, I like to think of it as "my space", but I digress.
Last year, some of you may remember, Miss B. didn't quite have the patience level needed for serious book-looking. Indeed, she had quite a bit of a fit somewhere between the Art History section and British History, but not this year!!!
This year we came armed with a) one stuffed bunny, b) sippy cup, c) one bag Annie's Organic Fruity Bunnies, d) one bag Ian's Organic Cookie Buttons, and e) Raisins.
In addition to toys and snack foods, we also had the spectre of the Easter Bunny! Yes, Miss B. knew that if she was patient during the book sale not only would she get to pick out books to take home from the Kids' Section, but she'd also get to visit the Easter Bunny after the sale!
She was super patient and generally wonderful. We spent quite a bit of time checking out all the great selections and then after we scored our initial haul, we hit up the kids' department. In Kids we got seven books including Madeline stories and a great little Lift the Flap book by Rod Campbell.
Here's a list of what else we found:
Allende, Isabel, The Infinite Plan, 1991, First HarperCollins Edition (marked)
Beaumarchais, Oevres Dramatiques I, 1829 Imprimerie de Guiraduet (1829!?!)
Byatt, A.S., Posession, 1990
Carhart, Thad, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, 2001, First Edition (marked)
Cunningham, Michael, A Home at The End of the World, 1990, First Edition (marked)
De Courcel (ed.), Malraux Life & Work, 1976, First American Edition (marked)
Doctorow, E.L., The March, 2005
Gaarder, Jostein, Sophie’s World, 1994, Second Printing (marked)
Gordimer, Get a Life, 2005, First Edition (marked)
Harvey (ed.), Oxford Companion to French Literature, Oxford 1959
Malamud, Bernard, The Tenants, 1971, Second Printing (marked)
Malaraux, A The Voices of Silence, 1953
Maxwell, Donald, The Landscape of Thomas Hardy, 1928
McEwan, Ian, On Chesil Beach, 2007, First US Edition (marked)
McEwan, Ian, Saturday, 2005, First US Edition (marked)
Myers, John Bernard, Tracking the Marvelous, 1983, First Edition (Marked)
Phaidon Press, El Greco, 1938
Roy, Arundhati, The God of Small Things, 1997, First US Edition (marked)
Salinger, J.D., Franny & Zooey, 1961, Sixth Printing (marked)
Sartre, J.P., Saint Genet, 1963, First Printing (marked)
Stein, Gertrude, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, 1933, First Edition (Marked)
Tan, Amy, The Hundred Secret Senses, 1995
Tan, Amy, The Kitchen God’s Wife, 1991
Thoreau, H.D., Cape Cod, 1951
Toesca, Pietro, Storia Dell’Arte Italiana Vol. I Medioevo, 1929
Tyler, Anne, Patchwork Planet, 1998, First Trade Edition (marked)
Updike, John, Marry Me, 1976, First Trade Edition (marked)
Updike, John, Brazil,1994
And yes, we did visit the Easter Bunny!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Men Who Stare at Goats

We just finished watching it. Other than finding it humorous every time Ewan McGregor had to talk about "Jedi" (mostly, the part where Ewan's character says that he doesn't know what it means to be a "Jedi"), it was pretty lame. I guess it ranks among those movies that you would normally watch at 2am on Starz! or something. (I mean, it was much better than "Ninja" which we watched last night after I mistook it for "Ninja Assasin", but that really isn't saying much).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Compare and Contrast: Big Red versus Big Blue

Will Cornell beat Kentucky on Thursday? Probably not, but it's fun thinking about it. Here's a link to a USA Today article Comparing and Contrasting the two teams.

As always: Go Big Red!


would this have happened if a woman was driving?

The other day on Route 1 (just before the evening rush), there was a Garbage Truck stopped in the fast lane. It had run out of gas.

Really? First of all, do we really need to be driving a garbage truck in the fast lane? Then, for it to have run out of gas? (How did I know this, you may ask? Because a tow-truck had been pulled up behind it, the driver of which was using a giant gas can to fill up one of the reserve tanks under the cab of the truck!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

How Do You Know You Have a Toddler?

You find googly eyes in the washing machine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today's Craft!

This morning, Barney made masks, so we did too!

Who knew you could do so much with a paper bag from Whole Foods?

Add some paint...

Add some ribbon for a tie and you're done! Hi-Ho Silver!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I can't explain it

but I have a Steak and Shake craving. Unfortunately, according to their website there isn't one within a 100 mile radius. Damn!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shoes, Italian Shoes

Tonight I finally wore my Chanel ballet flats. They've been sitting, in my closet, since January 26th 2008 (I still had the receipt). They're beautiful shoes-- black leather with black patent leather toe caps with a tiny leather bow on each and the trademark interlocking double C logo. They're made in Italy and are a size 37.5. Why have they been in my closet for two years? First because time passes too quickly and second, wouldn't you be hesitant to take a pair of $550 shoes out of the house for the first time??

The first pair of expensive shoes I bought were a pair of black Gucci loafers when I was a first year associate. Do you remember George Bush's $300 tax rebate? It got me $50 away from Gucci loafers. Gucci Loafers, Chanel Flats and most other fancy sounding shoes are often made in Italy. Italians can make very beautiful shoes. Unfortunately, however, they can't necessarily make two very beautiful shoes that are actually the same size.

When I was looking for the loafers I had to try on multiple pairs. I bought one pair at Saks, and still not completely convinced that they were the most comfortable, well fit shoes in the world, bought another identical pair at Bergdorf. At the end of the day, in order to make a pair which actually fit both feet properly, I ended up with one shoe from Saks and one from Bergdorf (I returned the other pair-- while still technically a pair, but of mixed heritage--to Saks... it was closer to my apartment).

It took me weeks to finally take the plunge and wear them out of the house. Looking back on it, I probably should have gone with the more classic leather soled version (I chose a lug-sole... very early-aughts, I know). I figured I walked to work-- these shoes were practically the equivilent of a car!

When I got to my office and stepped into the elevator, a woman colleague noted--"are those Gucci?" Why yes. Sure, I should have put that $300 from the government in the bank or in a tax-free municipal bond or something, but instead I bought shoes. (Which I may say, I still have, in my closet and since thankfully my feet finally reverted to their original size after pregnancy, I can still actually wear them).

The ballet flats? Fit both feet properly and are wonderful.


Today was a day! We woke up and found our snow blower had been stolen out of our front yard.

Later in the day? I'm eating a Quaker Oats Granola Bar and I feel/hear that awful, gnarly sound of a tooth crunching. Yup... a granola bar cracked out a crown. Have you ever actually spit out a tooth? It's creepy. It was one of those things where all of a sudden you're lightheaded and it's like: Oh, my god. That's my tooth! The damn thing was half of a molar. Ugh.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Redbox, Score!

It's 12:30pm and I just managed to snag both "Up in the Air" and "Where the Wild Things Are" from Redbox!


Here are two baby quilts that I recently made.

This one is with Amy Butler Midwest Modern quilt squares together with quilter's batiks from the Pennington Quilt Works. At each of the four corners I added in ribbon tags (like those "taggies" blankets and dolls for babies).

This quilt is larger, in primary colors using Dick and Jane quilt squares.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Chocolate Room

Today we went to Brooklyn to take part in a chocolate tasting at The Chocolate Room.

The Chocolate Room has two locations in Brooklyn, owned by Jon and Naomi. Jon lead our lecture and tasting, hitting up the high points of cacao bean production, processing and manufacture.

We sampled about 6 different chocolates-- most of which were dark. The Husband and I have a bit of a difference of opinion on chocolate. I'm a milk chocolate person myself, while he likes dark chocolate. I thought that 5 of the 6 chocolates tasted like baking chocolate, but the Husband really liked them!
(My plate is the one with all of the leftover chocolate on it....)

While we were there we saw some of the other great desserts that The Chocolate Room features, such as milk shakes and some killer looking banana splits!

They also have a wide selection of chocolate bars
and chocolate candy. We took home some candies, including one with a Grand Marnier filling and one with a Turkish coffee filing-- they were *very* good.

The interior of the shop is pretty neat too-- it has a lot of vintage signage, after all... who doesn't love Yoo-Hoo?

If you're in Brooklyn and you've got a sweet tooth, you should totally check out The Chocolate Room!

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Today we visited the West Windsor Library Booksale. If you're in the area and a book sale fan you should check it out! Its going on through Sunday. Saturday is half-price day and Sunday is bag and box day!

Today we got some great Oxford books including the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, an Oxford Concise Dictionary, an Oxford book on English Useage and an Oxford Edition of Pride and Prejudice. We also got some first editions, including a first edition Daphne Du Maurier and Thorton Wilder. We got Winnie the Pooh in Latin and in the craft section I got some neat stencil books and a Rowan knitting pattern book. Best of all, though, was finding a nice hardcover copy of Kipper's Toybox!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


It would appear that now we have even less time in a day. Does that mean we're aging faster now, too??

Whirlwind Weekend

So we had quite a weekend. Things started on Saturday with a trip to the Met. They were having a music and lecture series for families showcasing Poulenc's "Babar the Little Elephant" performed by the New York Chamber Soloists. It was a lovely performance (though I have to say that Miss B. fell asleep during the musical lecture part, and only woke up after Babar was over...)
We also had a great lunch at the Petrie Cafe and Wine Bar inside the museum. I had this terrific poached pear, proscuitto and gorgonzola creme appetizer and a fabulous eggplant, tomato and mozzarella tart. The Husband had a puree of celeriac soup and farfalle bolognese. Miss B. got her standard pasta with butter and cheese and all were happy and well fed.

On Sunday we took a drive down to Philadelphia to see Ringling Brothers' new circus tour: Funundrum!!
It was at the Wachovia Center and it was a great show. Of course, no trip to the circus can be complete without loads of nasty circus food including hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn. Miss B. had never actually had popcorn before but she was insistent from days before even arriving at the circus that she had to try some. Let's just say the popcorn went over better than the cotton candy. (After all, cotton candy is really just like colorful dryer lint).

We got tickets in the "Circus Celebrity" section so we got to sit on the floor during part of the show which was pretty neat.
Over all, Miss B.'s favorite part was the elephants. (And yes, as with lots of junk food, no trip to the circus would also be complete without a half-hearted PETA protest outside of the arena... all they could muster was a few posters).

Monday, March 01, 2010

In Like a Lion...

Check out my new project and my new blog! My Month by Martha!