Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
New York, New York
I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

Good Reads

Archives

May 27, 2011

DIY: Mason Jar Herb Garden

{mason jar herbs}

My friend Aly left New York on Monday for a ten day trip to the holy land.  Being that I am the most responsible person she knows (j/k), she asked me to babysit her "herb garden".  Growing herbs is a new activity for Aly, and these things are her babies.  I almost wanted to say no because I was afraid to kill them. 

Last weekend when we were at the Brooklyn Flea, I saw a vendor selling these cute little Mason Jar Herb Gardens.  I fell in love with the idea and grabbed these two mason jars from another vendor that day so I could make Aly this little DIY surprise.

Obviously, I started this project at 11:30pm last night, when I should have been packing for my trip to Cannes today so the lighting is not that great...

{herbs pre-DIY}

The tools you'll need:
Herbs
Mason Jars
Terra cotta potting
Hammer
Soil
Chalkboard paint
Twine
Painter's tape


{tools}


I bought two little terra cotta pots at Gracious Home and broke them into pieces with a hammer.  The terra cotta at the bottom of the mason jar serves as a drainage system since mason jars are completely enclosed.  The material acts as a sponge, absorbing extra water if you over-water your plants.  The plant can also absorb water out of the terra cotta if the soil dries out. 

Foolproof. Now anyone can grow herbs.


{terra cotta}


{transferring the plant}


{fill with soil}



{basil}


I used masking tape (painter's tape will work better} to make a stencil for my chalkboard paint labels.  If you are a perfectionist, you can measure this so they are exactly the same.  Time constraints and anxiety about packing led me to eyeball the size of my labels.


 {stencil}


{chalkboard paint}



{drying}


I wrapped a little twine bow around the top and labeled each jar.  Now they're left on my windowsill for her to pick up when she gets back.  I am hoping she is too busy riding camels and filling up on her fair share of Israeli salad to go on the internet (because if she did i am SURE she'd check my blog - righttttt?).
If not, HI ALY! SURPRISE!
The next eight hours of work is standing between me and a glorious vacation...




May 25, 2011

Green Tea Cake

Working in the apparel industry, I have a lot of Asian co-workers.  Consequently, over the past year I've been immersed in Asian culture.  I've tried all kinds of new foods - mooncake, white rabbit candy, green tea cookies, shrimp chips (don't try these- trust me), and my all time favorite (on opposite day- yeah, I still like that joke)

{unidentifiable asian seaweed snack}


Seaweed crunchy twist things.  They are dis-gus-ting.  I had to eat the whole plate because my co-workers were watching in amusement to see my reaction. Shortly after, I texted this picture to my father and told him our late dog was alive and I just tasted his excrement-- needless to say, he believed me. 

On a brighter note, one of my most recent indulgences at work was Green Tea Cake.  I was offered a piece by a co-worker and was pleasantly surprised.  The cake was light and moist and had a fluffy, light cream cheese frosting, and was topped with blueberries.  I was intrigued by the concept of green tea cake and made it a point to look into it.


{homemade green tea cake}


After some research, I used this recipe and made my own Green Tea Cake.  The powdered green tea was the hardest ingredient to track down.  I finally found it at Whole Foods and my jaw dropped when I saw the price tag.  $33 for a tiny tin of matcha (green tea powder).  I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on an experiment, so I opted for this

 {rishi green oolong tea to-go packets}

The box was only $9.99 so I figured it couldn't hurt.  I also ended up making a basic lemon frosting instead of the cream cheese frosting due to the opinions of those who would be eating the cake with me.  The icing was simple - I whipped together lemon juice, confectioners sugar, soy milk (I forgot to buy regular milk), a tiny bit of butter, and some vanilla extract. 

The cake at work was definitely better than the one I made at home, but I definitely just finished off the last piece of it right now, so I'd call it a success.  Something I will definitely make again.  Its a perfect not-to-sweet treat after dinner (or for breakfast, or for dessert after breakfast)



It's green tea, so it's good for you, right?
May 24, 2011

Almost Done

After two days of installation, the floors in my apartment are almost done!  I came home on Thursday to what looked like a brand new (extremely dusty) apartment.  I am in love and I want to stay home and glide my feet over the soft wood all day long. 

I bought Mayflower 5/16" x 4" Mudslide Birch Prefinished Engineered flooring from Lumber Liquidators (on sale for $1.69/sq ft!), and the process was way easier than I thought. The floor was delivered and Lumber Liquidators put me in touch with a contractor that they work with directly.  I had Palermo Flooring come in and give me an estimate on the installation costs, and within two weeks they had worked out the paperwork with my co-op board to begin the installation.

Here's a look at the (almost) finished flooring. My favorite part is the closet. The floors used to be a dirty brown tile, but the contractor leveled out the floor to be flush with the foyer and the wood makes the space look much larger and cleaner.  Organization is my next project... 

{looking into the closet from the kitchen}


{towards the alcove} 


 {"living room"}


{looking into the bathroom}


There was one thing that didn't go right, but it was totally my fault.  When I ordered my floors, I forgot to order the thresholds that go between the tile in the kitchen and the hardwood in the foyer and along the doorways into the apartment and into the bathroom.  I'm in the process of tracking down the right pieces and trying to havethe job completely finished before we leave for our trip on Friday!

 {threshold}


Nothing can go totally perfect, right?

May 20, 2011

Happy Friday

It's FRIDAY and the rain has finally started to ease up on New York City.  I don't have any plans this weekend besides brunch and puppies, so I plan on filling up the days with trips to the flea market, early morning walks in Riverside Park, and a hunt for the perfect straw bag for my upcoming trip here:

{cannes, france} 

I'm hoping the weather holds and I can throw together something inspired by these babes for the perfect weekend full of nothing. 












P.S. -- A peek at the progress in my apartment (mentioned here)!


{installation}


Happy Friday!


May 19, 2011

Bad Hair Day

To say I am having a bad hair day today is a severe understatement.  I was blessed with many gifts - the ability to eat an entire sheet cake, the ability to fall asleep just about anywhere at any time, and the ability to make a breakfast sandwich in the matter of minutes.  Creating an "okay" hair day out of a bad hair day is definitely NOT one of the gifts I was born with.  The combination of endless rain and kinky lion's mane curls that grows out of my head has resulted in a slighly offensive hair-do that I tried to pull together on a subway car.

Makes me wonder how babes like this can pull it off.

{olivia palermo}

Her pup may need a new 'do, but I'l let it slide because it looks like my dead-as-dust pup, Tigger.  Olivia seems to be able to pull her tresses back into a bun that looks so simple I am seriously worried about why I can't do the same. 

I need to get me some of that effortless chic (and a puppy). 
For now, I'll blame it on my mama.

A Belated Shout Out

Can you say you skipped over the finish line of a half marathon just because one day you decided you wanted to prove to yourself you could do it?

I can't either.
But she can!



That's why I like to call her my main squeeze.

Congrats CH -- you make me proud!

..........Even 3 weeks later! 
But I know you love the fame when you're on my blog-o.
May 18, 2011

Project #2

I haven't shown many pictures of my apartment, mostly because there is not much to show. Even though I've lived in these 600sq feet for an entire year now, I haven't come close to finishing decorating (I probably never will).  When I moved in, there were 4 main projects that I knew I wanted to tackle: the kitchen, the floors, the bathroom, and the walk in closet. Since moving in, we've gutted the kitchen, but since I haven't been able to decide on a color for the walls or hardware for the cabinets, I haven't done a full before and after besides for my chalkboard wall.  

Tomorrow starts project number 2 -- the floor. 
I've had thirteen boxes of engineered mudslide birch wood floors staring me in the face when I wake up in the morning for the past two weeks, and I'm itching with a combination of excitement and the fact that there are thirteen boxes in the middle of my living space.

Right now the floors are old school New York parquet flooring and some 1960s brown tiles in the walk in closet as well as the linen closet.  I'm going to go ahead and guess that the floor is the original floor that was installed in the apartment.

{from the front door} 


 {looking towards alcove}


  {from dining area}


{towards vanity and bathroom}


Lots of New York apartments have parquet flooring and have tons of character.  I don't have anything against parquet flooring and almost would say that I like the pattern of it; I just don't fancy the color in my apartment.  In addition, the flooring in my apartment is beginning to pull up near the bathroom and the base moulding has clearly been painted a million times.

{damaged floor near the bathroom} 


{ancient / non existent base moulding}

Today starts the installation of the new floors and base moulding. 

Wish me luuuuck.


May 17, 2011

Weekend in Pictures

If I ever move within New York again, it will definitely be over a bridge. Manhattan is Manhattan, and there is something to be said for that, but Brooklyn is the perfect balance of urban living.  It's like Manhattan, but with happy creative people who don't own closets filled to the brim with black and grey, amazing restaurants that you don't need a reservation a month in advance for, and bright lofty living. We took a trip over to Modern Anthology in Dumbo on Sunday afternoon and wandered around the cobblestone streets along the water. 

I fell in love the minute I stepped out of the subway station because I wanted a coffee and unknowingly wandered into Siggy's. If I lived anywhere near that place I'd be a regular every weekend morning.  Smoothies, good coffee, fresh eats, and outdoor seating.