Thursday, November 19, 2009

Africa: Giving or Receiving?

At least once a day, I find myself thinking about Africa. Where I've been, where I'd like to go, the "problems", the "solutions", the cultures, the people....

Blog posts here and here last week brought me back to whether it is possible for someone in America to "do" anything at all to help such a vast continent with such great challenges. Am I kidding myself to think that a volunteer trip every other year to spend time at an orphanage will have any effect at all? That taking time to do crafts and projects with kids, or sharing hugs and tickles will be remembered for even a moment, once I have left? Perhaps not, but I'd like to remember this quote:

We can do no great things; only small things with great love.
~Mother Theresa

And I'd also freely admit, that I have gained far more by visiting Africa, and spending time with people there, then I have ever given in return.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Great weekend but too much eating and too much shopping

Wow, I had such a great weekend. One of my best friends from university flew down from Canada for the weekend.

Here is a brief synopsis of our eating adventures for the weekend.

We started off with Friday night cocktails and dinner at Craftbar. Good, but not great food and watch out, their gin "blondie" martini packs a whallop.

Then, both being redheads, we proceeded to the Redhead in the East Village for drinks. Um, what is with the new spicy beer fad? Not a fan...

Saturday we had a great dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar. As a life long fan of ramen noodles, I was glad to see that they have gone from 25 cents to truly gourmet. Double yum, and actually much better than the ramen I had in Tokyo last year.

The fun continued on Sunday with brunch at Joe Doe, a stroll through SoHo and then up to the East Village. My friend requested we stop at Magnolia Bakery (or the Soviet bakeshop as I affectionately refer to it, because you have to wait on line outside to go in). But my friend was happy and brought home a little parcel full of cupcake love to her fiancee. Aww.... ;-)
Good thing we literally walked back and forth across the entire width of Manhattan, after all those calories consumed!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My new Imperial Trellis (Kelly Wearstler) pillows have arrived!

I just had to share how excited I am with my new pillows from Etsy! I just love the mandarin orange color of the imperial trellis pattern by Kelly Wearstler

And it coordinates perfectly with my "Keep Calm" sign, also from Etsy.

My new apartment is slowing coming together, designwise. More pics to come, including the unveiling of my new zebra covered ottoman!

Eating in NYC for $30 a week??

I follow blogs on a wide range of topics. Some of the blogs I follow are written by adoptive moms of large families (I became interested in adoption following the time I spent volunteering at an orphanage in Ethiopia). But I digress...What does this have to do with eating in NYC on a budget? Well, these women are keepin' it real, creatively and healthfully cooking for large families on a budget. Mary at Owlhaven posted a challenge to shop and cook for $75 a week.

I thought I would give it a try, but for $30(ish) per week, keeping in mind that I am only cooking for 1, but that I also do not have a stocked pantry or freezer (ice cubes aside) and I'm not fortunate to have a garden's bounty.

So, how did I do? Well, for someone who (pre-recession) had a $30 per week coffee addiction, I would say I did pretty well!

1) I focused on healthy meatless meal (trying to be vegetarian this month, too)
2) I spent Saturday morning at the Union Square farmers market stocking up.
While some of the prices are a bit $$$ ($15 per lb designer mushrooms, $5 per lb heirloom tomatoes), I came away well stocked with zuchs and eggplant among other things, for about $12
3) I tried to cook over the weekend and freeze and store a few things for the week ahead.
4) Here's some of what I made:
Broc Cheddar Soup (Ate most of yummy, but froze some, too)
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread (1 to eat, 1 to freeze)
Zuc, Eggplant, Tomato and Feta casserole...based on this recipe
A large batch of pesto (froze)
5) I brought my coffee and lunch to work each day...something I have never done before, but is (duh!) a huge $ saver.

I can't wait to start cooking again this weekend. Thanks for the challenge Mary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Travel Daydreaming: Cape Town

Cape Town has been on my travel wishlist/must-visit-list for a very long time.
Something about how the mountains meet the sea, combined with a nearby, worldclass wine growing region....

Bookmarking this article about shopping in Cape Town. I just love "safari style".