A perfect day with bestie, Gail!! NYC happy Earth day!

I spent the perfect day with my groovy gal, Gail, today in lower manhatten. She knows EVERYTHING. I have so little time to leave my mile square that going to NY with Gail is such a treat!!! That’s partially because SHE ROCKS (Duh) and partially because she knows SO much about great things to do and see!!! This was just a quick trip to acquire me a bathing suit and maybe have lunch. It ended up as follows:

Quick trip in on the Path train to Christopher st.


Then we zig-zag’d over to Houston and Sullivan (on all the sneaky backstreets Gail knows like the back of her hand) to Melvin’s Juice Box. Absolutely DELICIOUS, organic, filling, massive juices are served here! I got a “Lightening Bold Immune Booster” which I would definitely order again. There’s a great vibe in here. The lunch menu focuses mainly on Jamaican favorites like jerk chicken, rice and peas, plantains, etc.


Next up we set off to cross town to find Malia Mills on Mulberry St. for me to score a new bathing suit. I realize I don’t have one! With all the fantasy-travel plans I daydream about making I figured I need one ready to pack! (My flooded bathing suits included a great simple black bikini I’d had for about 20 yrs from Malia!) I found the perfect one-piece with great cut outs and removable strap (for all that tanning I do..haaa!). The gracious saleswoman was more than happy to offer to have one sewn just for me in the perfect color called Sequoia. Perfect customer service!

Moving along to one of Gail’s favorite stops: The Calypso “outlet” store. Everything is 1/2 off an already marked down price. Sizes and selection are very limited but with frequent trips in you can score a great piece.

Found a great little gift for Yomi at Canvas on Lafayette street. Today is her birthday and it’s so fun to get her stuff! This store has beautiful home and gift pieces. The pottery is especially clean and appealing.


A little farther up Lafayette is Morini. Gail had been dying to try this super popular eatery so this was the perfect time! Lunch is such a sneaky time to go out and eat since you can get into so many more places with no reservation. I had the “rucola salad” and the “Stracci.” which were superb. The pastas are all homemade and fantastic.


As if the gourmet buzz wasn’t enough we then headed over to Loopy Mango on Grand St. Ok this was the most incredible shop I’d been in a long long time! Gail discovered it recently and raved. She insisted I check it out with her and consider taking the knitting workshop on a Tuesday. Well the environment was so welcoming. Even though Gail has been in there only a few times the sweetest staff-member, “Mackenzie”, greeted her with familiarity. He was happy to show us around this treasure trove of knitting supplies, antiques, terrariums, and just great things! I am absolutely going to do a workshop there and think it would be a fabulous thing to do here at Peper with the Loopy Mango staff! (Stay tuned for this….)

Mission accomplished! New bathing suit on the way, great lunch with Gail, and made a great connection for an instore workshop.


How I “did” the jeans….

Ever since Yomaira posted about our store “makeover” I’ve been asked repeatedly how I got my old Habitual skinny jeans distressed and bleached etc.


Step 1: Find a jean that just needs an update. Preferably one that’s not so worn thin that it can withstand some abuse.

My 7 yr old Habitual skinny jeansGathered stitching.

Step 2: Decide where you want the bleaching or streaking and in those areas consider running a simple sewing stitch through to create gathering. (try to use synthetic thread but either will do). If you don’t care about a pattern or placement just throw those bad-boys in the tub/shower and get ready to bleach (“resist-dye”)

Step 3: I began using as prescribed on some crafting websites a solution of bleach/water of 1/10. I found that the high-quality of my Habitual denim (Same happened with my NSF by the way) was not allowing any change to happen! I gradually increased the bleach porportion until it was 1/1. I used a spray bottle at first but then eventually just found myself throwing the solution all over the jeans.

my supplies

my supplies

Step 4: Wait. I monitored carefully to make sure i didn’t go “too far” as i was using such a highly concentrated solution with bleach. I didn’t want to burn a hole in them (or did I….hmmm. next time!) I think I left it on at least 15 minutes but depending on the saturation of the original dye in the denim the time could be shorter.

Step 5: When I achieved the effect I wanted, i put the jeans in a bucket and used hydrogen peroxide as a “stop agent” to prevent further discoloring or even holes.

Lastly: I just washed alone on cold in the washing machine.

Oh, and as far as the paint splotches. You just have to get busy and do a little makeover on your own walls and undoubtedly you’ll get paint on yourself. Pretty silly.

There you go.

City folks tryin’ to go country…


Sadly, this is the mailbox of my good friend, Tommy,  and his family at their new upstate NY digs. We dared to visit Sunday and left this damage as our parting gift. I have no business out of my element clearly. Any suggestions for a great way to say “sorry”? (aside from a new mailbox)


We had such a lovely time meeting his 7 and 12 yr old step-daughters and torturing the kittens. I hope we can do it again soon!

PS. Photo is AFTER we “fixed” it.

DIY Denim Owl Toy from Old Jeans

DIY Denim Owl Toy from Old Jeans.


I loved this quick and easy idea from fellow-blogger Zhenya. I think i’ll make this on Saturday at the shop! Stop by with your fabric if you want to give it a try on our sewing machine!!



A tweak here and there makes a difference…(Simplified living experiment part 5.)

While Baby Business was at her Dad’s on Sunday Arthur and I got SO much great stuff done! Our two favorite little projects to improve the apartment were the handles on the inside of the infamous cabinet, “The Housssse”, and the new gate on the steps to the bunkbed. Arthur was so excited to work on these very important tasks that he drew up some plans and a shopping list the night before including our “schedule” for working on the projects: 7am-12noon.

Plans for the big day.

So damn funny. He was so elated when the gentleman at Home Depot checked Arthur’s list and directed him to the correct aisle for hardware…I haven’t seen Arthur so proud and happy in awhile!

The climber who thinks we’ll leave it open…yeah, right!

The end result of our efforts is that now Beatrice can close herself into the cabinet (her preference) but can NOT get up the steps to Arthurs top bunk!

handles help

Life gets easier in some way or another everyday down in the basement!

paper flower project

we are a bit obsessed with flowers (and not only because the mini flower motif is in again).

we just love the life that flowers breathe into any room. so we are considering starting a paper flower project for the shop.

we want to make and hang colorful paper poms from our recessed ceiling shelves.

who wants to help?! we start in a about a week!

Crafting “Pop-Up” at Peper and Parlor…

So since I’m getting NOTHING done at night when the babes are sleeping, I decided to just bring all my sewing things to the shop and set up for the summer. There are always a million projects i’m cooking up in my head but it seems like once the clock strikes 9pm and the kids are to bed I’m just too exhausted to do anything besides watch crappy television or just go to bed.

The former site of our Holiday “Land of Little Things” has become our little craft Pop-up!  Last Saturday we had myself as well as some adorable neighbors (Tessa and Delphine both 13 yrs old) stitching away. In between helping customers on what turned out to be a crazy-busy day in the shop, I was still able to get the first stage of some curtain embellishing done!! Arthur stopped in for awhile and even got to make a skirt for Beatrice.

So stop by at any point this summer and you might find a work in progress (or just use the sewing machine at your convenience if you’d like!)

As far as the Land of Little Things: it will certainly be back this October!!!