Sunday, January 30, 2011

OMG! She turned 3!!

Yes, it happened. Today was the day...but we started celebrating on Friday at school, worked it all through the weekend, and will continue until party #3 this coming Saturday. We are party ANIMALS!!

Every one of my precious lil'bub's birthdays makes me pretty emotional, and this was no different. I think it must be surreal for every mom, but after spending the first month of her life wondering how we would ever make it to just one birthday, all the ones after that feel like an absolute dream. She continues to surpass everyone's expectations and surprise us every day! We just can't imagine our lives without her beautiful smile and sweet giggles. Joy, joy, JOY :)

Here's my three year old enjoying her cupcake with a big girl spoon!

More photos to come this week, we only took about a million! Check back soon :)


Saturday, January 22, 2011

New York, New York

New York photos, as promised! We had a blast visiting the Gentry clan. It was a little bit weird though to be back (after 5 years!) in my old Upper East Side neighborhood where I lived during graduate school. A lot has changed, but mostly it's stayed the same. The same yummy gourment food places and tiny grocers...same crazy cab drivers and watchful doormen. Still an insane amount of people walking their dogs! Huge dogs, small dogs, dogs in sweaters and dogs in shoes. Still have to watch out for the little surprises they leave everywhere.

The snow was piled up pretty high from the blizzard we missed by about 3 days! Seriously, it was already pretty high I think and then the snow plows come out to play and piles all the snow to the side of the streets, completely covering the parked cars...I mean, seriously, when do you think this car will make it out? Spring thaw maybe?

Let's hope! The snow in Central Park was perfect for the kids though, Avery had so much fun. Lots of kids to watch, sledding and playing. She liked to be on daddy's shoulders too.

The Gentry boys had a lot of fun making snowballs!!

some quite large!

We stayed quite snug in the Gentry apartment too. The boys are really into dragons right now. We watched How to Train Your Dragon with them and they even gave Avery her very own dragon, which she enjoys cuddling :)

The boys were also sweet enough to let us/insist on wearing their dragon slippers! Such thoughtful dudes.

Bub the hub enjoyed wearing them while cuddling with sweet Mya...

here's a close-up of lil'Mya getting a sink bath. I think she looks like Logan here!

One of the best parts of our trip was the last night when we made it over to Craft, the reservations I suprised Bub the hub with on Christmas morning. The meal was absolutely to die for! Probably the best I've ever had. Ever!! They served the meal family style, so we got to sample a bit of everything, which included: an amuse bouche (Top Chef lingo, but the waiter actually said it too!!) of mackerel with an awesome citrus sauce, oysters, arugula salad with lemon, quail legs, red snapper with roasted red pepper sauce, beef short rib with aged balsamic sauce, duck risotto and pureed potatoes. 

Although everything was delicious, the salad and the side dishes totally blew me away. The arugula salad with lemon was amazingly simplistic, and yet probably my favorite thing. They brought out this huge pile of crisp arugula that looked very naked. But then I tasted it and it was just exceptional. A few pine nuts, and a lemon dressing that was like heaven...a little gritty with some parmesan/salt I think. So anyway, I've been trying to recreate it ever since I got home!

I found this recipe for lemon dressing:
•1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
•5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

and I've come pretty darn close! I crave it now. I can't really say enough about the other two side dishes either. The duck risotto was exquisite- super, super rich and perfectly cooked risotto. I'm now a duck fan! I'm still dreaming about the pureed mashed potatoes. I wanted to order some to-go they were THAT good. Perfect texture and creaminess with a little chive and pepper on top. OK THEN, are you hungry already? I certainly am now.

Forgot to say that lil'bub did fabulous on both plane rides, which sure made mommy and daddy happy :).  All in all, a fabulous trip!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ridiculously Overdue

Thought it was high time that I shared a few Xmas/New Years photos, you know, before spring arrives! I think this past December was possibly the busiest month of my entire life...but I do like to exaggerate. sometimes. Even so, I think I completed about 25 cards in approximately 20 days, which was CRAZY, not to mention lots and lots of lil'bub doctor appointments (she got her second round of botox injections!), and crafting 90% of the xmas presents that I gave out this year. The crafting always seems like a good idea at first, and then I always run out of time. Still, I think everyone enjoyed their stationary and/or sewed project whether it was on time or two weeks after Christmas (sorry friends :)!

The downside of the busy-ness is that I barely took any photos, darnit! But here is what I do have:

 Us before Bub the hub's office party

Lil'bub after her first school pageant!

 Uncle Drew brought Christmas Eve dinner over AND 
cooked it for us all by himself! so impressive and less stressful for me :)

must share that this is one of the greatest things that I have 
ever tasted....whole chicken stuffed with yummy, YUMMY mashed potatoes.
sounds weird, tastes delicious.

Avery talking/petting/rolling around with one of her very favorite doggies,
Shrek, her bf Leila's pet.

As far as Christmas day, I present you with:

The new favorite way to post photos! Avery looked quite beautiful in her penguin sweater dress and she got lots of awesome presents. So did her parents! It was really fun to finally see Bub the hub open up the trip to New York that I had kept a secret for so long. I wrapped up the printed reservations to an amazing restaurant in NYC owned by Top Chef's Tom Colicchio. He was surprised to say the least! And he did his own surprising too:

 He printed a book from the first year of my blog, isn't that the best!?!? There were definitely some tears on this one. Such a thoughtful present, and I absolutely love reading through it. Great job bub! 

Well, I ran out of time for New Years pics so I'll do that later this week. Looking forward to the next montage. I really love that tool. And don't forget to check out the montage I just posted on SugarBee of my 2010 Holiday Collection!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Happy New Year everybody! We are back from our whirlwind trip to NYC, and back in school, back at work, and back to working on cards. So, basically, back to the grind. It was a nice holiday and a wonderful trip while it lasted though! Now it's 2011. Holy moly, that is so weird.  I'm been feeling lately like time is flying by a little too fast for my comprehension, and my munchkin is growing up exponentially before my eyes. Slow down everyone!! Seriously.

I read an article the other day that made me feel more optimistic about 2011, and certainly for the future of our country. I'm going to share it here, so maybe you can share some of my optimism as well :)


1) Crime is down. It's true! Decreasing as we speak, actually...the nightly news might convince you otherwise, however.

2) We use less energy. The avg. per person consumption of energy in the U.S. has fallen about 9% from it's peak during the oil crisis. Hallelujah!

3) We give and give. More than a quarter of U.S. adults volunteered last year with nonprofits, contributing more than 8 trillion total hours of service...and there was a 5% increase in young adult volunteers. Americans gave $300 billion to charities in 2009 as well. This blows me away.

4) We conserve fuel. The use of public mass transit is on the rise, growing 38% in the last 15 years.

5) We live longer and feel better. People today are living about 10 years longer than their parents did. And a survey by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that once people reached 50 years of age, feelings of happiness and enjoyment increase....ok, wish we could bring that age down just a bit!

6)Young people make smarter decisions about their well-being. For the last 10 years, the percent of highschoolers that smoke has fallen steadily. Fewer teenagers are using alcohol and hard drugs as well.

7) We network with wonderful results. Research from the Univ. of Calif. reports that within a social network, happiness is contagious :) Also, for 1 out of every 6 marriages, the newly engaged parties met via online dating. That's amazing!!

8) We can connect easier. Electronically, that is. There are more than 10.5 billion WiFi users in the U.S. each month. We can connect almost anytime, anywhere...and internet access on flights is expected to become free sometime in the next year. Woohoo!

9) Our bonds are stronger. The divorce rate continues to fall, from 4 per every 1000 people back in 2000 to currently 3.5. Hey, at least it's something!!

10) We give away before we throw away. Have any of you tried yet? I discovered this site when I lived in NYC and didn't have a lot of money to spare. You are saving items from landfills and helping a neighbor out! The amount "freecycled" currently equals 800 tons of stuff every-single-day that isn't thrown away. Unbelievable.

11) Our forests are growing. Despite the perception that suburban sprawl is eating up unused land, the total acreage of forested land in U.S. has increased  during the last 30 years. Thank goodness!!

12) We breathe cleaner air. OK, so this one I was pretty doubtful, but it's true that the levels of 6 common air pollutants have fallen since 1990! So it's a positive.

13) We drive more carefully. Last year, 8.9% fewer people died in car accidents than 2008, and the lowest number since 1954, when they began record keeping.

14) We grow more of our own food and enjoy the benefits. Wish I had a garden to participate in this one! Seed sales have increased and so have canning equipment sales.

15) Our hearts love anti-smoking laws. According to a study of Medicare patients, the amount of hospital admissions for heart attacks has dropped 23% in 5 years. Perhaps it's the public smoking bans now law in 32 states and many cities....

16) We buckle up. Seat belt use is rising, jumping at least 3% in each age category.

17) Bees making a sweet comeback. Although bees have been disappearing in the U.S., more than 100,000 beekeepers are fighting back by helping farmers pollinate their crops. Save the bees, y'all.

18) Women are healthier. Incidences of breast cancer in the U.S. have decreased 2% per year since '96. Deaths from breast cancer have decreased 1.9% per year. Amazing news!

19) We move more. Average marathon times indicate exercise among the general population is on the rise. They are actually slower than they were in 1980, which means more people are logging miles for health and enjoyment....interesting.

20) We know the poswer of positive. A study by the American Heart Association showed that women who expected good, rather than bad, lived longer. Another study of law students found a bright outlook didn't just affect performance, but the immune system too. It's the true power of positive thinking.

Here's to a POSITIVE 2011!!!

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