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.


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!

We’re getting there! (Simplified Living Experiment part 3)

Our room dividers: A work in progress! (you’ll see me working on these at the shop on Saturdays!)

It’s been 12 days since we’ve been sleeping in the new apartment. The relief of being in such a manageable, small space has set in.  The children seem so at ease with it all. Mommy is always right nearby. (Arthur seems to benefit from that even more than little Beatrice!)

My independent girl!

Already we’ve settled into a routine. Bea wakes up at 5:30ish (GRRR) and peers her tiny face over the side of her baby-cage and greets me with the cherished little “Mama?”.  Arthur just snoozes and rolls over. I get up with Baby Business and sit quietly having milk. She likes to wander out to the yard early in the morning by herself but i recently had to put a stop to it because as she was yelling her nonsense words up to the sky i realized it was only 6:30 and perhaps the rest of the neighborhood would prefer to be sleeping!

Arthur playing “school” with his animals. NOTE: strategic positioning up at the counter to keep Bea from wrecking the groups of pupils.

As always Arthur is thrilled to get up as soon as he realizes the party has started without him! Typically they start the day with a little chase ending with a bit of stowaway time in the cabinet in the chimney. This adorable little storage spot (above) has been dubbed the “housssse” by Business. She fearlessly sits in there and closes the (un-latchable) doors so she can sit in blackness.  She’s been dubbed my “creepy” child by her Auntie Yomaira.  Clearly i won’t be using it for storage any time soon…

Where we terrorize the baby…

The “family-shower” time has become a favorite of Arthur’s and mine but not so much of Beatrice. She just hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet. We’ve coaxed her a number of times but she’s not having any real part of it. I even went so far as to go in myself the other evening and let her wander to the edge fully clothed until i scooped her into my arms to participate. She did better that night but it will be harder getting her clean if she showers in pants and shirt!  I’m sure she’ll adjust with time.

Sink? I’m not a big fan.

The only thing really getting on my nerves so far is the sink. It’s about 14″ x 17″ if that. It’s basically a bar-sink (without the handiness of actually being part of a BAR!). It took so much effort and counter-flooding to wash the 3 baking pans we used that i considered having “family-shower” time with the pans and getting it over with.

So, all in all: so far so very very very good.

The front construction site…YUCK.

Now if only the contractors would finish the work out front on the steps and sidewalk so our “bedroom” right inside the front door wouldn’t have cement and brick dust all over the floor…

What, i need to pack? ( The Simplified Living Experiment: Part 2)

I’ve been preparing by making lots of gorgeous, pear-green wall shelves (you know i need my pear-green…) for the nooks in the kitchen. I’ve begun packing up our things in boxes. With only 4 days until we move, it dawned on me that i needed to be even more organized than i realized because Beatrice is curious about everything and anything and will potentially climb, move, eat, or destroy anything left on the floor or at her level. Simply plopping all our things down on the floor in a studio is going to create chaos. So the packing begins. (Packing…just to move downstairs…really?)

searching for the perfect bookcase

Yomaira here on the blog-o-sphere! No, I wont subject you to my free-style rhymes (you should be so lucky!).

So Tacuma and I are on the search of the perfect bookcase. I have a vintage bookcase passed down from my family where I keep all my pertinent dissertation books at hand near my desk. I painted it purple and ka-boom! I’ve got a little gem on my hands!

ANYWAY, Tacuma feels left out and is wanting his own “special bookcase” for his tomes. We’ve toyed with the idea of building one, but really? How far will our grad student procrastination take us? We thought this, this, or even a whole new home furnished by Palo Samko would work but none of them are “the” bookcase. Are we being too picky?  On my search I found these awesome pieces by The Utility Collective appendageandbough, and unlimitedwoodworks. Do we just need to hit-up Brooklyn Flea again?

What do you think? A little too much effort on a tiny part of our apartment? Or a perpetual weekend project for me and my hubby?

yomo over & out!

P.S. this is my “dream a little dream” moment…i wish I could get my husband to agree to do this to our apartment…alas, he put the kibash on my dream!

terrarium obsession

OKAY… so Yomaira has been yammering on-and-on about terrariums since last summer (her husband says its been going on for 3-years now) and we finally are dedicating a blog entry to her love of the little-green-eco-systems-in-a-jar!

These little beauties can be displayed in vintage glass jars, carafes, or any other worthy container. They add a little earthiness to any modern/vintage home! Yomaira has gone from buying gorgeous terrariums from Twig Terrariums NYC  to making her own right at home. With a little help from Beethoven’s Veranda (moss and gravel), Hoboken Hothouse (succulent plants), and Succulents Galore (baby succulent cuttings), many a terrerium has been made by Yomaira & Tacuma – (they even made an appearance at her surprise wedding where four lucky guests went home with a little-green-world of their own)!

These bad-boys are super easy to care for…just a little spritz of water every week or so, and some indirect sunlight! Great for those with/out a green-thumb and super cute for the kiddos!

Interested in making your own? Check this out or ask one of the girls at Peper & Parlor!

Comment below and you will have a chance to win a hand-made terrarium from the crew @ Peper & Parlor!