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project food 2013

03.01.2013

I woke up after the holidays, as many of us do, feeling fat and pretty grossed out with myself after eating everything I could fit into my pie hole over the last 6 weeks. I accidentally got a look at myself naked in the mirror (yikes!), and dragged myself to the gym while thinking about what I needed to do to get back on track. First priority was to buy a juicer. I’ve been longing for one for awhile but didn’t want to spend the money. Luckily my in-laws bought me one for my birthday in January, and I have juiced everyday since. I feel like the juicer had a domino effect. It kick-started my health/diet/food/whatever you want to call it, makeover.

WORKOUT ROUTINE

I decided my goal was to work out five days a week. Let me preface this with, that is my goal, not to be confused with what actually happens. I have always worked out but when I get busy with work, my work-out routine suffers. It’s now the time of year when my work is slower so it’s easier for me get to the gym in the morning. I take classes with a handful of girlfriends, which highly motivates me. I have selected classes that are cardio and weights together, and separately, and all of which have good music, since that’s another huge motivator for me to put on my gym clothes and schlep to the gym in 20 degree weather. Good music is a must. I run outside about once a week but for the most part classes are what I enjoy and see the best results from. You will never find me running aimlessly on a treadmill or on an elliptical. I’ve also borrowed the Insanity videos from a friend so I have something to do at home on days when I can’t make it to the gym. Let’s face it, we are busy and the gym isn’t always possible. Running outside is a good back-up as well.

 

DIET

For the most part we eat pretty healthy, but I decided to take a closer look at what we are eating as a family, and really dissect it. The boys’ dinner most often consisted of Bell and Evans chicken fingers, Dr. Praegers fish sticks or an Applegate hot dog with Amy’s organic mac and cheese (or if I’m feeling adventurous, some frozen squash) with a side of fruit and/or avocado. Some nights I would make meatloaf or pasta and meatballs, but for the most part I felt like too much of what they were eating was coming out of a box, either from the freezer or pantry. Not awful, but I felt like we could do better. Not only was I feeling guilty for not making more of an effort but I was tired of making two, sometimes three, meals every night.

Early February I went to a Cookbook club at the Stone Barns Farm which featured Dinner, A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach, and a huge door was opened. She had so many wonderful tips for cooking for, and eating with your children every night. Something she has built her life around. Since then, I’ve stopped asking what my boys want for dinner and have started making one meal that I think we will all enjoy. Sometimes I have to make adjustments to their meal (by adding or deleting something from ours) but for the most part, we are all eating the same thing most nights. And some nights the boys love dinner, and some nights they don’t. Don’t be misled, there are still nights when I open up the freezer and pull out a box of something or another for the boys, it’s just happens a lot less than it used to. I also threw out all of the processed food we had in our house. Anything that had unrecognizable items on the label, or was too high in sugar, went in the garbage. Jenny has alot of wonderful tips on her blog today for dissecting labels and how to avoid the junk at the grocery store. My favorite tip – “It’s wise to stick to the perimeter of the store — produce, dairy, meat — where the fresh products are sold. Interior aisles are filled, floor-to-ceiling, with processed foods.” There was also a fascinating article in the NY Times Magazine this weekend by Michael Moss. Definitely worth a read.

 

homemade pizza, something we make often as a family

 

MEAL PLANNING

This all began with a conversation I had with my friend Christina, and was put into real motion after reading Dinner, A Love Story. Christina mentioned she was planning out their meals every two weeks and ordering all the ingredients from Fresh Direct. Hmmm… I was going to grocery store almost every day, stressing out about what I was going to make, spending too much money, and wasting too much food. I wasn’t paying much attention to the menu line-up either. It was time for a change. I decided to attempt meal planning. Every weekend I plan out the week’s meals and typically order from Fresh Direct or go to Trader Joes. I cook at least 5 nights a week, choosing healthy ingredients for homemade meals. We now have a wall painted in chalkboard paint in our kitchen where I write out the menu on Sundays. Planning out our meals allows me to choose our meals wisely, and make better use of leftovers. Since I work from home, I try to make things that will work well for my next day’s lunch as well.

 

EAT MORE VEGGIES

The last effort I’ve made was to enroll in a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, which starts this summer. All of our fruits and vegetables will come from a local farm, Roxbury Farms, from June – November. I love the idea of not knowing what we’ll get in our box every week, and the challenge of creating meals using what has been provided. I think it will be a great example for the boys, even if they don’t love everything we get.

To follow my food journey you can follow me on Instagram, where all of the above photos were shared. Request to follow and I will gladly accept you. Please note, these changes didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy at first, but now were in a good routine. By no means is it perfect everyday, but this is what we strive for. For added support we all take the Juice Plus vitamins. I highly recommend.

2012 highlights

02.12.2013

Here are a few of my favorite images of Conner and Tyler from 2012, in no particular order. It was an active and energetic ride, filled with alot of joy and laughter. The boys have mastered being silly and wearing costumes, serious moments in our household are few and far between.

spring break from blogging

04.10.2012

Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?

I know, it’s been awhile. I’m not sure where the last two weeks have gone but I think I needed a break. It wasn’t even really intentional, it just kind-of happened, and before I knew it, two weeks had passed. For those of you who blog, you know how time consuming it is. I don’t have alot of time to blog during the day so it’s become a night time activity, and for the past several years I’ve spent many of my nights blogging. Lately, I’ve spent my nights watching TV, reading, cooking, browsing magazines, drinking wine, wasting time on Pinterest or you name it, doing anything but blogging, and it’s been really nice.

I’m torn. I love to blog, I love to read blogs, I love to look at blogs, but lately I feel like the blog world is causing me more harm than good. Not only does blogging take time away from my personal time and family, but blog surfing can be detrimental too. Sometimes the more I look at other people’s photography the worse off I am, BUT, then sometimes, it’s the other way around. Don’t get me wrong, I love to blog-stalk, surf, comment, etc., but the more I do, the more I think… god, I should be doing that, or I should be shooting like that, how did she get so many followers or why do I care about how to make a hex bracelet or jeez… why am I not as successful as he/she is? It’s a very thin line. A thin line of being inspired and left wondering if I’m as good as the next person. Do you agree?

So I’ve taken a break from my own blog, and from others. It came at the perfect time since my boys were on spring break. On our agenda? Afternoons at the MOMA, meeting up with Bren for dinner, banana bread, homemade margaritas, EASTER, a trip to the Hamptons, grilled shrimp salads, afternoons at the park and well, just being with each other. We didn’t pack any bags. We didn’t board a plane. We stayed local and spent time with each other. And it was awesome.

august in the hamptons

02.02.2012

Since it’s a cold and very grey day here in New York, I decided it would be a good time to post some of our photos from our vacation this past August in the Hamptons. These photos brightened my day. Hopefully they will do the same for you.


This was taken the night before the hurricane arrived. Available for sale in my new Etsy store.

do you instagram?

12.12.2011

Do you Instragram? It’s my latest obsession and I’m head over heals. For a photographer this is a little like crack. It’s basically twitter for photos. Instant photo gratification, at your finger tips, on your Iphone. What’s better? If you don’t Instagram you should. Join the masses, download the App, and follow me here or by clicking on the new top right button on my header.

A little taste (compliments of Instagram) of what our Christmas countdown has been like over here in Chappaqua. Our days and nights have been filled with mint chocolate chip and candy cane milkshakes, poinsettia picking, cutting down and decorating out tree, dinner in NYC, visits from “Rusty,” our version of the elf-on-the-shelf, cooking a few of our favorite winter meals and mailing out our cards. Lovin’ this time of year.

 

our family feast

11.30.2011

This year our Thanksgiving celebration was a favorites of mine. It was very special, as we all met in California and planned a wonderful meal. Everyone pitched in making a few of their favorite dishes. We met at my dad and his wife Nancy’s home, and spent the day hanging out, cooking, laughing, drinking and eating, of course. Preparations began on Wednesday morning at the famous Santa Monica farmers market. What a feast for the senses.

On turkey day, a few of the boys playing outside.

Back inside where the festivities began.

Some of our recipes included sweet potatoes found on Sara Tegman’s blog via Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart’s turkey stuffed with fig and prosciutto stuffing, green beans and radicchio inspired by this recipe, roasted carrots and parsnips with maple syrup, a new favorite cranberry sauce with port and tangerine, and this pecan pie, not homemade but delivered from Texas. It’s by far the best pecan pie on the planet which not only tastes like heaven, but comes in a cool wooden box and makes a wonderful gift. Make sure to click on the link to see the clever slogan that makes me miss my roots.

The best part of the trip was once we returned home. I was putting Conner to bed, when I asked him what his favorite part of the trip was. He replied, “Thanksgiving.” I asked, “why?” And he replied, “because everyone was there.” Sigh.

gobble gobble

11.22.2011

We are in California for the week. We stepped off the plane yesterday and were greeted by a bright blue sky, a flood of sunshine and nice cool breeze. Ahhh… Such a nice change of pace after our spastic weather in the northeast over the past few months.

Both Brendan’s and my family will unite on Thursday and prepare a grand meal for a party of 15. We’ll cook while watching the parade on TV and I’ll think back to when my dad and step-mom used to drag us into the city at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning, to watch a parade that we couldn’t even see, being 4′ tall. All I remember are the tops of the floats dancing by the sea of winter coats I was sandwiched in. We would freeze our tails off while relentlessly whining until the folks finally caved, deciding it was time to head back to Westchester. It would take the entire ride home to defrost.

I can make one promise to Conner and Ty. I will never drag them into the city for a parade they are too short to see, while they freeze their butts off. Instead we will take them to Cali where there is guaranteed sunshine and they can watch the parade on TV, in front of a fire, even though it’s 55 degrees out.

Our menu consists of the following items; turkey, Italian fig and prosciutto stuffing, green beans and radicchio, roasted carrots and parsnips, brussels sprouts, mashed and sweet potatoes, wheatberry and quinoa salad, cranberry sauce and 3 pies, one of which is flown in from Texas. We’ll top it off with a viewing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I’ll be back with all the links and details. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

dinner par-te

11.08.2011

This past weekend we went to friends for a little dinner soiree. The head chef Lisa, just completed the Institute of Culinary Education’s program so dinner was very tasty, to say the least. Baked from scratch bread with garlic, ricotta, lemon zest and honey kicked things off. Next up was a celery, red onion and olive salad with homemade pasta and bolognese sauce. And then, out came the panna cotta which was pure heaven. After dinner drinks consisted of this and this, while listening to this, which you must listen to. She rocks. Cheers.

this week

09.15.2011

two sump pumps broke.

for those of you who don’t have basements, those are what pump the water out of our basement when it rains and snows.

one is located under a massive toy shelving system, which means we have to take it apart to get to the pump.

now you know our plans for this evening.

i didn’t even know how to spell “sump” until yesterday.

this was after it kept blowing a fuse and caused us to spend a day without cable, internet and a landline.

joy.

my nanny is on vacation.

for one of my busiest weeks of the year.

sweet.

both boys started school at new schools.

which went very well.

on conner’s first day he told me he, “took a poop, read a book and came home.”

hilarious.

i managed to get a little work done.

but clearly didn’t have time to blog.

which is annoying because I have alot to blog about lately.

there is alot going on in my head.

stay tuned.

 

treasures

09.06.2011

Before I tackle my long list of things to do, before I start processing the mountain of shoots from the last 3 weeks, before I have my lunch on this rainy 6th day of September, I will write a little here. Get my thoughts down, or onto this screen and say hello. The sounds of the rain hitting the leaves fills my office, as I settle back in after a long trip to the beach. It’s a nice change after several days of sand-covered toes. Sand that still sits on my flip-flops and in the cracks of my car. I feel like overnight we have gone from summer to fall but that’s the Northeast for you. I’m trying to keep up, switching gears as I type.

Yesterday we returned from our family vacation and although mine was more of a “workacation” we had a good stay at the beach this summer. Our days were made up of lobster roll lunches, collecting treasures on the beach, dips in the ocean, rounds of miniature golf, homemade donuts and rolling down the hill at the Lighthouse. As wonderful as the last 7 days were, we were all so happy to return home. The joyful homecoming reminded me how much I love our house, and I think the boys felt the same way. To have all of our things, our family room, our kitchen, our shower, back at our finger tips felt so comforting. Finally back in my own bed, I slept better last night than I had in nearly 3 weeks. Brendan and I fell asleep in each other’s arms giggling about funny little things that happened over the past week. Things the boys did. Things we did. It felt so good to be home.

Now we are onto fall and starting the school year. This will be Ty’s first year in nursery school and Conner’s last. We will sort out the drawers, tucking the old clothes into the attic before we buy some new ones. Jeans that don’t look like shorts. Shirts with out stains. A new lunchbox and new sneakers to fit the little feet that grow like weeds. We will buy mums and pumpkins for the front of our house. We will enjoy the cooler air and make soup. We will enjoy my favorite time of year. Fall.

Just a few of the treasures I found along the beach.