Monday, December 29, 2014

Holidays and Whatnot

We're back from Christmas and here are some recent items:

Scene from my holiday card writing mayhem
How blissed out our cat was when we returned from Christmas in Illinois
My first attempt at a mason jar salad (lemon/balsamic vinaigrette, carrots, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, avocado, tortilla strips, and cheddar).  It as kind of difficult to eat out of the jar.
Before we left the city for the holidays, I tried my first ever Manhattan at The Smith downtown.  Not my thing, but I'm glad I tried it.
I came home with more books and my new book pile now includes: Red Love by Maxim Leo, The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor, A Stay Against Confusion by Ron Hansen, Sister by Rosamund Lupton, and Complete Stories of Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Here's what I've been up to lately:

Ordering lots of books: Auden, Mankell, Cheever, and Bishop
Eating pumpkin pie for breakfast with espresso

Drinking lattes for the art at cute coffee shops in NYC...
...more latte art...

...and big gourmet donuts to go with my latte art

Ordering white hotel-style bedding despite having cats with dark fur.

Having the best mom ever who sends me beautiful tins of popcorn for Thanksgiving and...
...Fannie May Mint Meltaways for St. Nicholas Day.

Life's been good, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the holiday season and 2015.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Last Couple of Weeks

Here's some random mundane happenings from the past couple of weeks:
When it's cold, this little guy hides in a storage cube in the closet.  On the left is a photo from last year and on the right is a photo from last week.
We changed our duvet cover from this floral one to...
...this white one.  It's 300 thread count and hotel linen style.  I'm a bit apprehensive about having white bedding with these two balls of fur.

I made chicken enchiladas.
We have been buying a lot of Whole Foods Guacamole.  It's really good.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a wonderful week.  Bonne nuit!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Part 4: October 2014 Berlin Trip - Sanssouci in Potsdam

One of the days we were in Berlin, we took a regional train down to Potsdam to visit Sanssouci Park.  We got lost a little, it was raining, but it was totally worth it to see the gorgeous park and schloss mecca.
Chinese Pavilion - if you want to know what chinoiserie is; then you should check out this folly.
Pretty flower garden in the park.
Schloss Sanssouci - Rococo, anyone?
The Tent Room in Schloss Charlottenhof designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - this room is the main reason I came to visit.  It's a gorgeous little interior that was designed with the 19th century naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in mind.  Humboldt would visit Charlottenhof frequently; this would be the guest room he would stay in, and Schinkel wanted to remind him of being out in nature in a tent on a collecting expedition.  I just love when interiors are this thoughtful and whimsical.
If you like art history (especially design history) and you're in Berlin, you must go down to Potsdam.

We had a wonderful trip in Berlin, and I'm so happy the wall fell 25 years ago, making Berlin the hip, diverse, bike-loving place it is today.

Part 3: October 2014 Berlin Trip - Schnitzel and Sausages

We went to two great restaurants, Austria and Das Meisterstück.  Austria is on Bergmannstrasse in the Kreuzberg neighborhood and serves some of the best schnitzel in town:

Pork Schnitzel
Schweinbraten and Salad
Das Meisterstück at Hausvogteiplatz specializes in sausage and craft beers:

Coburger sausage on a bed of awesome potato salad
Potato Soup
Flight of sausages with kraut and potato salad

Part 2: October 2014 Berlin Trip - Randomness

There were a lot of things that I liked about Berlin and here are some random observations:

This guy on the Tirol Milch Swiss cheese packaging is obviously amazing.
Flammekueche is so delicious.
Dunkin Donuts is better in Berlin.  My husband's apple donut.
My blue sky donut - not sure what blue sky means in Germany, but it was all over Berlin.
This plum schnapps is from where my husband's German family is from and it's yummy!  Graf's Frünkische Pflaume from Marktredwitz, Germany.

Pretty staircase in the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum

A little bottle of Riesling I bought at the Galeria Kaufhof at Alexanderplatz that was pretty good.
Rossmann's is a pretty sweet place to get beauty essentials like nail files and clippers - makes Duane Reade look like garbage.
Trying to use the washing machine in the apartment we stayed in - what does it all mean!?!?

Part 1: October 2014 Berlin Trip - Mokkabar: A Frühstück Love Affair

We were staying in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin, which is a young, hip place to live.  If Germany has hipsters, they live here.  It was my favorite place in Berlin with a lot of diversity, culture, and affordable cuisine.  One of the highlights of the neighborhood, was the café Mokkabar on Gneisenaustrasse (strasse means street).  They had the most amazing and affordable breakfast (frühstück) ever:
MILCHKAFFEE mit doppeltem Espresso Schale - BEST COFFEE EVER.
Yummy omelets
My vegetable omelet with salad - salads in Berlin were amazing.
On another day, I had the käse (cheese) breakfast... yum.
My husband got the ham platter.
All served with a bread basket (brotkorb)
Can't wait to go back and eat frühstück in Germany again one day!

Introduction: October 2014 Berlin Trip

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I thought I would do a few posts about our recent trip to Berlin:

Brandenburg Gate
Berliner Weisse Rot and Grün - I really like the rot (red) one - the grün (green) was interesting.
This angel statue or victory column was pretty.  Note the biker in the foreground.  There were soo many bicycles, and it seemed like bike lanes were everywhere.  It was kind of dangerous.  I'm glad for Berliners that they are all so atheletic, but the bikes were a bit intense.
We got the classic street food currywurst and loved it.
We had a lackluster slice of sachetorte at the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) cafeteria.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hanky Panky Sample Sale Loot

For Columbus Day, I went undies shopping at the Hanky Panky Sample sale at Chelsea Market.  I made out like a bandit:

My spoils: five panties, two bras, and two chemises