Personal,Spend a Couple Hours »The Parlour

photo-272 Greenpoint Ave

I’ve actually recommended The Parlour salon before on Jim’s word as he gets his beard trimmed there regularly.

I however, am a much less frequent visitor to salons (two plus years since me last trim) and usually find them over priced, weirdly snotty and mediocre.All of those negatives are no where to be found at this inviting, friendly (yes, friendly!) Greenpoint spot.

You are offered water, given a choice of lovely vintage robes to slip into for your wash and cut and given a soothing scalp massage in the process.

I had intended to get a major trim, but not much more when I walked in. Together Cynthia and I decided to chop about fifteen inches to give to the charity Locks of Love.

My hair was still past my shoulders and it felt somewhat anticlimactic, so somewhere between our chat and the end of my shampooing, I decided to just cut the rest of it off.

Inspired by the signature cut of Kate Lanphear, I went for it, and Cynthia, with excitement and a deft hand took me there. She managed to give me a cut that was what I wanted without being impractical for my lifestyle and all for a very fair price (so if you go, tip generously!!).

I left feeling elated. It wasn’t a haircut, it was an experience, and a joyous one.


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Posted on January 13, 2013

Spend a Couple Minutes »Colored Laces

20120522-121930.jpgPop of Color

It’s a simple effective way to spruce up old shoes.

I got some colored laces from J. Crew for only $4 a pop.

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Posted on May 21, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Christmas Tree Time!

Happy Holidays!!

One of the things I love most about the Holidays is the day we choose and decorate our tree.

After years of fakes, we do the real deal now, if only for the wonderful piney scent (and not having to store a musty plastic one).

We went to Greg’s Quality Christmas Trees on McCarren Park near Manhattan Ave. and found a perfect Fraser Fir.

They deliver at no extra cost too! (But be kind and tip your friendly delivery man).

My plan this year was to do fake flowers which I got from the local dollar store and bright glitter ribbons from another dollar store seemed to match perfectly.

I was a little nervous that it might look nuts, but it all came together splendidly!

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Posted on December 11, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Marie Nails

155 Prince Street

Hooray for neon gradient calgel manicure from Marie Nails!

Just the break I needed from weeks of difficult sleep with the little one.

It’s a luxury but a much more affordable one than other spots in the city.

The trade off is a no frills, no AC environment but that didn’t bother me at all.

The nail technicians are very talented and polite while the possibilities endless.

Few tips though:

First, book early especially for a weekend appointment. (I booked myself for next month at the end of my visit.) They fill up quick and have people coming one after the other.

Which leads to tip number two. Research and ask for exactly what you want when booking. Some nail art takes much longer than others and they won’t be able to accommodate for trickier stuff with the tight schedule.

Third, cash only.

Fourth, some elements to a manicure like cuticle care may be additional small costs… just chill! It still ends up being a relative bargain.

I plan on getting a reverse French manicure next and can’t wait. I really love this place.

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Posted on September 22, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Flor Modular Rugs

Modular Rugs

Looking for an affordable, attractive rug option for Van’s floor play, Friends Mike and Shaun led us to Flor.

Modular, stylish, cheap and offering a myriad of textures and colors it was a perfect solution! I always wanted a pop of yellow in our pale blue grey room anyways.

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Posted on September 9, 2011

Personal »Prepare!!

Be Safe

Well, it definitely feels like the calm before the storm.

Van is sleeping and we are surrounded by bottled water, flashlights, components for peanut butter and jelly, beef jerky, sardines, baby food and pop tarts.

I truly hope Irene becomes an exciting adventure we all survive and damage and fatalities are less than expected.

Until we can joke and swap stories though, we are taking it very seriously and are prepared following government guides

Thanks for happy thoughts and we wish the best for all our friends and neighbors.

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Posted on August 27, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Wear Your Baby

Everybody’s Doing It

There’s a new movement in mothering. It says no to the common ideas babies should be left to cry, it supports co-sleeping, breastfeeding as long as you want, and babywearing. Some call it Attachment Parenting, some call it trusting your instincts, some call it spoiling your baby (pshaw!). Some think it’s a luxury, others think it’s insane.

But no matter what your philosophy on parenting, most moms can agree that at least the babywearing part is pretty awesome. And it’s been done the world over for pretty much forever though has only become a trend in the US fairly recently.

I started carrying with the ubiquitous (and terrible for your back) Baby Bjorn, but moved on to other, better structured carriers like the Gemino Becco and the Ergo. But my newest love is the wrap (and as you can see Van loves it too).

I was surprised how easy wrapping is and comfort wise, it feels like I am pregnant again rather than lugging around a big baby.

I found a gorgeous aqua hombre wrap from Girasol at Caribou Baby, which is an incredible resource for moms and moms to be. Owner and friend Adriane knows as much as anyone on the subject of babywearing and will help you get the hang of it.

I’ve found that the Girasol is a free trade product from Guatemala and they often come in rare limited edition colors – making it an special purchase which is really fun for us moms that thought our days of buying exclusive coveted items for ourselves were over.

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Posted on August 4, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Braids of Paradise

Awesome Hairdos

If I were rich, like really really rich where money was just there to be spent, I’d pay someone to brush and braid my hair every day. Ever since I was a kid, with hair as long as it is now, I was designated as the girl who’s hair was played with – and I loved it!

Well, I’ve not suddenly come into wealth, but for an afternoon I did get to pay someone to play with my hair again.

Megan Pflug is a RISD chum and her side project, Braids of Paradise offers awesome braids (as you can plainly see). I felt like a science fiction queen for a couple days.

You can find her at the Backyard Bazaar at the great local shop In God We Trust (where I found a travel razor kit that could be hand engraved for a wonderful birthday gift). I believe it is held every Saturday and features many vendors of cool stuff.

Speaking of cool stuff, she and friend Katie Wright will have their lovely Cairo hand painted silk scarves for sale there as well.

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Posted on July 25, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Hair

1008 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Hair is truly a neighborhood gem. Kim has earned a great reputation and devoted clients based on word of mouth. I, myself made an appointment after seeing her handiwork with a friend’s mane.

I only got a trim (so now my hair goes to my waist rather than past my butt) and it looks much healthier. I beat her record for longest hair she’s cut – but honestly I don’t even remember when it grew so much.

She was reminded of her own business card (pictured) which features an old photo she uncovered in an old apartment. At the time, she didn’t see hairdressing in her future but it must have been a pretty strong portent.

While my trim was a relatively simple task, it was done with care and precision. Plus, I’ve seen her work wonders with more complex layered cuts and color.

Unlike many salons that treat you like you’re butting in on their hanging out looking cool time, Hair is intimate, friendly and inviting.

She only takes customers over the phone via voice mail, which may sound old school, but adds to that local charm.

She does men’s and women’s and is more affordable than many places I have tried in the past.

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Posted on April 6, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Organize Your Jewelry

from Brylane Home

I have literally been dreaming of this jewelry organizer – there I was, at my old, old job – the one in Midtown and the sassy women I used to work with had bought it for me. I woke up ecstatic in that fleeting moment when you don’t know you’re dream isn’t real. Then – as reality set in – I knew there was really nothing better or even feasible to ask Jim for for Christmas.

I love it, despite its old lady guest bathroom fixture appearance – because finding one to fit my mammoth costume jewelry collection is near impossible (basically this is it). Those wispy tree branches you usually find under “jewelry organizer”? Ha, it would be like trying to contain all this snow of ours in a snoopy sno cone machine. This was honestly the only one I found of this size and sturdiness – a lifetime of Brylane Home catalogs is a worthy side effect for the purchase.

I am still in the process of adding all my earrings, but I love that I can finally find all my stuff without having to wade through a drawer or a box – and the days of tangled threads of faux pearls and beads are over. Now. looking at those empty hooks, I just need more huge statement bracelets it would seem – good thing I have a birthday coming up.

Slightly off topic, I’d like to mention that this little collection of mine is an ode to the idea that expensive is not always better. Every time I am glancing through the jewelry section of Vogue or some similar publication, I balk at the “real” jewelry out there (of course there are significant exceptions) but most of it is so yucky and so expensive. I always think how one ugly gemstone ring would cost more than buying out an entire Claire’s.

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Posted on January 28, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Getting and Decorating a Tree

For The Holidays

It just doesn’t feel like the holidays without one!!

In the neighborhood, Jim prefers the tree spot on McGuinness and Greenpoint Ave where there are Germans and hippies to help you as opposed to the “vagabonds” on Manhattan and Calyer. We went all out at the Big D (one of the largest local dime stores) for decorations on the cheap.

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Posted on December 19, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Frame Your Photos

No More Bare Walls

If you’re like me you have at least one bin filled with photos and an even larger digital library. As one last big chore while awaiting baby we decided to finally frame a few. There’s no need to go to a framer (though I can recommend a good one in Greenpoint). With just a little bit of creativity we managed to get several up on our walls on the cheap.

We started with Ikea, home to cheap everything and picked up a cart full of frames. Right now they are carrying some really fun brightly colored ones as well as deep set neutrals and woods. Unfortunately many, the brights included, aren’t quite to American sizes, so we had to improvise. We found some equally fun colored art paper at Artists and Craftsman Supply in Brooklyn, which we used as a faux matte.

We just cut out a square of colored paper to the size of the frame window, using the back as a template and centered the photo before reassembling. Getting photos centered took a little practice but is quite easy. The result is pretty great and adds a nice shock off color to our walls. We started with some of our favorite actual photographs, but didn’t want to ignore some digital favorites.

Canon Pixma Photo Paper Pro Platinum delivered the best results for printing. I have a new Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II for work that did an incredible job with the prints. Printing our own photos also allowed us to re-size images to fit the awkward frames without faux matting.

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Posted on October 16, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Team Clean

Green, Non-Toxic, Holistic Cleaning Services

I’m not one for paying people to do things for me – even a manicure can sometimes make me uneasy (I’m getting over it), so even though I probably need some help in the cleaning department more than most, I’ve never looked into cleaning services. Lucky for me, the stars aligned – Jim and I were asked to design a website for the new All Natural and Biodegradable cleaning service, Team Clean in exchange for a few sessions. This was a god send at nine months pregnant.

Run by Candace Mills, who ran a successful Memphis cleaning service called 2 Chicks and A Broom along with college friend Megan Pflug and J Penry, Team Clean is a great, environmentally sound company that is pet friendly and super speedy.

Two people, including Candice came over for an initial 2 hour session and were like cleaning machines. From the floor to the stove, everything smelt clean and fresh and even all the cat hair (the amount of which you can’t even begin to imagine) was gone. They require a two hour minimum per session and can meet with you to assess price and cleaning style. I highly recommend contacting them!

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Posted on October 13, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Mix Your Polishes

Fun Color Combos

It’s certainly not a revolutionary one, but the idea of mixing up my nail polishes just occurred to me and makes for an easy way to all dazzle to my razzle. First go I tried neon pink and true red (colors I have always loved together) next it might be grey and florescent yellow, what do you say to that?

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Posted on August 22, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Get a New Bathroom

A Big Job

Well technically, this should be in a new category called “things to do with a couple weeks or months”. Like most home improvements, this bathroom remodeling has taken much, much longer with much more inconvenience than expected.. but it’s truly all worth it. Some people scoffed at the idea of an all black bathroom (inspired by this photo) but I knew it was going to turn out divine!

We have Jim’s friend from High School and current contractor to thank for coordinating the job and were especially impressed with the tub reglazing (a cheaper option to getting a new tub) courtesy of The Painted Otter. Tiles came from Nemo and we used for the fixtures – an extremely easy and affordable site for all your building needs. We had some hiccups at the Home Depot for paint (we rejected cans of paint that were meant to be grey but were green) and decided to pay the extra cash for Sherwin Williams. Our ceiling fixture was a refurbished art nouveau light that I found on ebay and spray painted white.

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Posted on August 1, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Honey Spa

592 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I am not a regular manicure pedicure customer. I treat it as an indulgence so am always open to other’s opinions and reviews for the service. Honey Spa received glowing reviews compared to the many slightly cheaper nail spots that dot my neighborhood, so I gave them a call. Cleanliness was a particular concern (especially while pregnant) and Honey is spotless, pleasant and relaxing. It fits someplace between a super high end (and high priced experience – I spent as much on just a pedicure in the city) and those hole in the wall cheap spots, which makes it just right for so many local girls, myself included. The staff is friendly and very professional. Natalia, an expert with the polish, was even kind enough to fix a toe smear before I left. They also offer other spa services like facials, messages, and waxing. Be sure to book ahead of time. They were getting phone calls all day and booked until closing.

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Posted on July 11, 2010

Laughs »The White Castle Candle

The Aroma of Tiny Burgers

Whether it’s reservation only candle lit red rose Valentine Dinners or vampire claims, I like the style of White Castle’s stunts as much as I like their little square sliders (by which I mean, quite a bit). The newest pr oddity is their candle that promises the aroma of hamburgers (but according to this article doesn’t quite succeed). Still, like all the crazies that snagged these up right away (they are totally sold out online), I’d love to have one of these.

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Posted on June 27, 2010