Category Archives: life

cooking creativity decor fashion life

Renegade Craft Fair Finds

It was a beautiful weekend here in Brooklyn … great weather, good friends, lazy brunches, farmers markets, strolling around, and little bit of shopping.  On Saturday, we headed over to McCarren Park for the Renegade Craft Fair.  This was my second year going … last year was a nightmare.  It was one of the hottest days of the year, I was pregnant, felt like I was going to faint, and only made it a quarter of the way through the booths.  This year we made it all the way through with baby in tow and while I did come across lots of great finds, I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the creative originality of many of the crafters.  I kept seeing lots of the same thing … tons of pastels, t-shirts and totes with prints or paintings of wildlife [deer seemed the most prevalent with squirrels coming in second], embroidered onesies [with either a squid, octopus, or robot], onesies with ironic phrases, and lots of mustache art.  Whether it was cute and trendy or not, I wanted more of a selection.  That said, I did make it home with a purse full of business cards and here are a few that stood out for me …

Coconut Mango, Agave Lime, Ginger Lemongrass … they sound good enough to eat, but unless you have a really dirty mouth I wouldn’t recommend it.  Rinse Bath & Body Co. even makes a soap using chocolate.  Their soaps are handmade and they have 100% natural and vegan product lines.


I love these ‘oh so pretty’ ceramic [Moon Glow and Secret Garden] dishes by MayLuk.  I want to serve a spring salad on them and dine outdoors with friends and candles and a nice light white wine.


These bracelets and rings by Nervous System are sooooo awesome!  They make stunning jewelry modeled after coral, branches, algae, dendrites, etc. and it’s affordable.  I think I’ve found my new favorite thing.

bracelet2 rings


baby / tots life

At The Speed of Motherhood

The babers is asleep in her stroller, it is raining outside, and the house is actually quiet.  Normally, I would take this opportunity to run around the house frantically cleaning, but today I am forcing myself to enjoy some “me time” and sit on the sofa with a mug of coffee, my laptop, the cat, and my thoughts.  I had almost forgotten how good it feels to relax … to slow things down … to be “alone”.  It’s like the instant I became a mom, I started moving at lightning speed.  Everything is rushed or interrupted – eating, sleeping, showering … things I never thought twice about before have become – hold that thought … the stroller is rustling.

Two hours later …. Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Talking about how the littlest things have become luxuries.  Since I began typing this post I changed a diaper, played peek-a-boo, prepped green beans, red potatoes, and tomatoes for a salad we will be having for dinner, dusted, mopped, kissed the babers like a hundred times, did the dishes, and made the bed.  I could have kept going, but Ava eventually tired of playing with toys on her alphabet floor and put her newly mastered army crawl to work.  I fed her and put her into her crib when she fell asleep and now, as if on cue, I hear a fussy baby calling me from the monitor.

One hour later … Took pictures of a Boppy swing and Bumbo chair to sell on Craigslist and cleaned up Ava’s room while singing and dancing.  Now she is quietly babbling on the floor in front of me while chewing on a cup [a floor full of toys and she chooses the cup].  Uh oh, she is crawling this way … better wrap this up fast.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the day, things like hot meals, closing the bathroom door, sleeping in, and finishing anything I’ve started are small prices to pay for the wonderment of motherhood.  One little smile is all it takes and suddenly, time stops and I’m in the moment and that moment is the best moment of my life.


ava babers

cooking life

What Can You Eat if You Can’t Eat Wheat?

Today’s topic was inspired by a family friend who just found out that she has to go on a wheat free diet [much to her dismay].  I thought about all of the foods I eat each week that contain wheat and understood her frustration.  Angie, this post is for you.

Many people confuse a wheat free diet with gluten free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, but not in grains like corn, wild rice, and buckwheat [to name a few].  Wheat free products can contain gluten and gluten free products can contain wheat and figuring what you can eat and what you cannot can be tricky.  Wheat starch [with the gluten removed] is used in some products and some makers of gluten free goods use wheat in their manufacturing facilities.  Wheat, gluten, wheat, gluten AAARRRHHH… stay with me, you can do this!  Be sure to read your labels carefully and do your research.

While wheat is most commonly found in foods such as bread and pasta as well as some soups and sauces that contain wheat flour, there are alternatives.  Here is a Wheat Free Pizza Crust Recipe using rice and tapioca flour from [they have tons of info and recipes on their site!].

Click on image for recipe


Not a cook?  No worries.  I found this great site, aptly named The Really Great Food Company,  to order Gluten, Wheat, Soy, and Casein Free doughs, mixes, condiments, pastas, etc. online [and the prices are reasonable too!].


Another great site for recipes is Healthy Green Kitchen.  Just search “wheat free” on their site and loads of delicious goodies, like these Wheat Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes pop up!

Click image for recipe


And there are plenty of helpful Wheat Free Cookbooks out there, like this one by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. [available at]

Click image for more details


So if your doctor or body tells you it’s time to stop eating wheat, don’t despair.  It will take some getting used to and you will probably find it difficult to dine out, but there are plenty of great resources out there to guide you in the right direction.  The best news?  The pizzas, pastas, breads, and sweets you thought were gone forever are still on the menu!

creativity decor fashion life

For The Love of the Blog

I have that ‘need a vacation from my vacation’ feeling only it’s ‘need a weekend from my weekend’.  What happened to those days I used to wallow around complaining, “There’s nothing to do” in an overly dramatic tone?  Oh right – baby.  Wouldn’t trade the chaos of motherly love for anything, but everyone needs a little R&R and throughout the week, I find mine in cute, fanciful, darling little blogs like these ….


shoes accessories

The Cherry Blossom Girl is Alix – a young, French fashion designer with a love of all things pretty.




Join Louise in her whimsical world of Art and Ghosts … beautiful works [there’s also and Etsy store!] and plenty of imagination.



Made by Girl is made by Jennifer Ramos [she makes the colorful cards and prints in the pic above] and her blog is all about inspiration, color, and design.


The Hidden World of Eloise … speaks for itself.  Happy Monday … XO


cooking life

Eat Local, Eat Fresh, Eat Well

Almost every weekend, we hop in the car and go for a drive to explore some new part of the five New York boroughs or upstate or along the Jersey Shore.  This past weekend, I couldn’t help but notice that it’s prime season for farmers’ markets.  Fresh from the farm veggies and fruits, homemade jams and sauces, colorful flats of flowers, and even a few crafts.  One of my favorite markets in upstate New York is the Saugerties Farmers Market, which opens this Saturday!


read more »

cooking life

Tips for Opening Your Own Catering Business

Are you thinking about taking your cooking skills to a new level?  Sunny Gandara of New York’s Fork and Glass shares her top 5 tips for getting started in the catering industry.  Be sure to read the profile post on Sunny too!!!

TIP #1: RESEARCH. This means everything from what permits you need, food safety certificates, and how you want your business to be formed (For instance we are an LLC which protects us as private persons against law suits).

TIP #2: Know your competition and define yourself clearly. Are you a high end caterer or a “budget” food provider? (I would never suggest the latter, by the way…) What foods or events do you specialize in? Find your niche, and be GREAT at that – not mediocre in a million different areas.

TIP #3: Don’t be afraid to outsource – a caterer can’t be everything from a florist to a baker.  You need to know your strengths and let others do what they do best. This also saves you time.

TIP #4: Don’t get into this business if you cherish your weekends and holidays – this is when you’ll be working.

TIP #5: You must love this business in order to excel in it – love food, loving throwing parties, and most of all – be great around people!!  What is going to keep you alive is repeat business, nobody wants to hire someone they are uncomfortable around.

baby / tots life

Diapers – Cloth or Disposable?

I use disposable diapers.  Cloth diapers just aren’t a practical solution for me, and I am ok with that.  I am not necessarily comfortable with the plastic and waste that ends up in our landfills from the use of disposables, nor am I a big fan of the energy and water used to launder cloth diapers.  But now there are new options; eco-friendly disposables, “hybrid diapers”, all-in-ones, and pocket diapers – all of which I will give you the low-down on so you can make your own decision.

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creativity life

It’s Friday: “Let’s Get Personal”

I have almost completed my first week of blogging and thought it was about time I shared a little about who I am and what this blog is all about.

I grew up in a small town in Ohio and moved to New York City 14 years ago.  For the past three years I have been living in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.  When I first moved to the city, I worked as a waitress and model and then onto a string of jobs in fashion and advertising.  I eventually ended up in the music industry, where I handled international marketing and public relations for about seven years.  I then went to work for a photography agency as a talent rep and producer.  Blah, blah, blah.  After finding out I was pregnant with my first baby, my other half and I decided that I would stay at home and focus on being a mommy.  Michael works as a Senior Art Director at a boutique ad agency and is a loving and supportive father.

Here is a picture of us on Mother’s Day on our way to brunch:


And one of Ava enjoying her first taste of peas!!


I feel blessed to have this precious time with our daughter day in and day out, but need some sort of creative outlet.  I just resumed rehearsals with the band I am in [I sing … and promise to post a song soon], but I wanted to be able to share my experiences and finds with other moms and like-minded people.  Ava is about to turn six months old, just started crawling, and just sprouted her first tooth.  The photo of her screaming in the big sunglasses was taken when she was two weeks old and was the inspiration for Furious Shirley.

For each day of the week, there will be a different theme featuring products and inspiration from myself, independent creators, and moms just like you.  Here’s the breakdown:

Mondays – “Things I Like” – cute things, things I can’t live without, good advice, submission reviews, etc.
Tuesdays – “All About the Babers” – everything baby
Wednesdays – “I’m Hungry” – recipes, kitchen gadgets, food related topics
Thursdays – “Get Dressed” – fashion and trends
Fridays –  “Let’s Get Personal” – interviews with interesting people
Saturdays – “Laugh Out Loud” – things that make me and hopefully you smile
Sundays – “Lazy Sundays” – miscellaneous post day

I want this blog to grow to be a portal for creative minded people to share themselves and their workIf you have a product, service, recipe, etc. that you think should be featured/reviewed on the blog, please email me.

creativity fashion life

Thursday: “Get Dressed”

Little Ava [aka Furious Shirley] is just about to turn six months old and I can finally fit back into three pairs of my pre-baby jeans!  Getting back into shape has been tough – I gained close to 65 pounds during my pregnancy thanks to my, “Hey, if I’m going to get fat anyway I might as well eat whatever I want” attitude.  And unfortunately, whatever I wanted was ice cream.  I have no time to get to the gym, so I have had to come up with ways to combine working out with play time.  Ava loves watching me do floor exercises while she rolls around on her play mat.  I count reps out loud to sneak in some number fun and it amuses her to watch my legs going up and down and up and down.  I’m pretty sure it would amuse just about anyone – lol.  For cardio, I usually “dance”.  I put that in quotes because dancing consists of jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and some ridiculous flailing about in time to the music to keep the babers entertained.  So far it has been working and I am down to my last 18 pounds!  Getting dressed is probably one of the most frustrating times of the day for me because I’m not happy with the way my body looks in anything anymore.  So, today’s fashion focus is going to be accessories because a cute bracelet or bag will always be cute no matter what your weight.

I’ll start off with my favorite mother’s day gift – a personlized birthstone sterling tag necklace from MamaBethBling.  There are several variations to choose from and the price is just right at $22 USD.


And what would a post about accessories be without a great bag?  A purse is a great way to add some color and flair to any outfit and Bayan Hippo has a great collection of colorful and stylish purses that are also eco-friendly!


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It’s Monday and Time for “Things I Like”

We’ll start off with these and if I have time between playing with, changing, and feeding the babers I may add more throughout the day.


Magazines.  I love flipping through the pages and gathering ideas for my home and life, reading helpful tips and inspiring stories, checking out the latest clothing and makeup trends, and occassionaly getting a gossip fix.  With so many titles out there, I would be paying a fortune in subscription fees if I were reading all of the magazines I wanted to … but not anymore.


With packages as low as $4.95/month, Maghound lets me choose 3 or more magazines to receive each month and I can cancel or switch titles at anytime.  It’s like Netflix for magazines.  Awesome.  No hassles, no strings, just pure reading entertainment.

Loungewear. Just saying it is relaxing.  Grown-up pajamas.  Soft, comfy, and sometimes even sexy.  Like this organic kimono from VivaTerra


Or these super cute hand knitted booties [also from VivaTerra] –


And these ultra soft bamboo yoga pants from Sandmaiden I found on Etsy


With so many cute and comfortable options, you can spend your mornings/evenings lounging around in style.  Ahhhhh.

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