Favorite Things, Mother’s Day Edition

This post was inspired/request/demanded from a loyal blog follower. I was thrilled to received a request for two reasons:

1. It shows that I am becoming a source for trust information (look out Google).
2. It makes blogging much easier as coming up with ideas is 75% of the work.

So here is my list Mother’s Day Edition of My Favorite Things

DIY GIFTS

Candles

I love candles as presents. You really can never have too many because are things that you use up (much like food of bath products). While candles aren’t super expensive, there are a lot of fun and easy DIY candle projects.

Dipped Candles

Tea Cup Candles

Scented Soy Candles

Decoupaged Candles

Diptyque Candles

Totes

A girl can never have too many tote bags, especially if they are cute! And with eco-chic being all the rage, mom can use this for her grocery sopping and farmer market trips.

Cherry Branch Tote

Basic Tote

Minimalist Tote (for the most advanced DIY-er)

Doily Tote (we did something similar for the “welcome bags” at our wedding)

Vases & Pots

Flowers are a solid go-to option, but after a week, there won’t be much gift left. Why not add a little something to your bouquet of flowers with a DIY vase or pot?

 Swirl Vase

Decoupage Pot

Rainbow Drip Pot (good options for kids)

Colored Pencil Vase

Neon Rope Vase

THINGS TO BUY

Nothing like a cute quote to make her smile.

Print (could be a DIY)

Key Chain

Sign

Jewelry is usually a safe bet. Here are a few that celebrate motherhood.

Morse Code Necklace

Fingerprint Charm (perfect for new moms!)

Dogeared

Simple XO Necklace

Name Necklace (another good one for new moms)

Let’s be honest, moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Get her something that will make it more enjoyable.

 Agrate Trivate

Mini Colored Colanders

Colored Spatulas

Medallion Table Cloth (DIY? I dare you.)

Recipe Box w/Card Holder

DIY – Dish Cloth

And if you are lucky enough to actually see your dear mother over Mother’s Day, here are a few resources to help you host a Mother’s Day brunch.

 

Mother’s Day Brunch via Cup of Joe, Delish, Real Simple, Epicurious and Martha Stewart (it wouldn’t complete without MS)

And for those of you who break out in a cold sweat at the idea of hosting a brunch, here are NY Mag’s top restaurant picks.

And last, but certainly not least, surprise mom on her special day with a new tattoo!

Girls

Does everyone else there agree with me that the new HBO show, Girls is 100% awesome? I honestly can’t get enough of this show.From the fact that it is set in New York City to the incredibly accurate portrayal of the early 20-something year old female – I love every angle of this show.

It is like a realistic  version of Sex and the City. The girls don’t wear manolo blahniks – not because they aren’t fashionable but because they are in their early 20s and can’t afford a pair of shoes that cost over 500 dollars (I am still trying to figure out how Carrie could afford so many pairs on her writer’s salary). And they don’t live in enormous apartments like Rachel and Monica on Friends, but in small apartments in Brooklyn.

I salut you Leah Dunham. It is like you have tapped into the voice in my head and made it into an incredible tv series. Let’s grab a drink and talk about some of the ideas I have for season 2.

The Benefits of Marriage

Sometimes I think marriage is man’s ploy to enslave women.

Since getting married I have had to clean up after two people instead of just one. I spend twice as much on groceries and toiletries. I wash double (maybe even triple) the number clothes and dishes. And I have half the amount of space in my closet. I am really not seeing the upside.

But like all things in life, it is easy to focus on the negatives.

This weekend I got to see a lot of the upsides:

Friday

Matt took Abby, her friend and me to the Rangers hockey game. Not only did he provide the tickets and purchase our food and drinks, but he also sat quietly while Abby and I communicated in the way that only sisters truly understand.

Saturday

After morning swim practice (just like the good old days) Matt let me crash his “boys brunch” at Daddy-O’s, home of the best bloody mary ever. Afterwards, I met up with two of my favorite Harvard swimming teammates and then went for a manicure. When I met back up with Matt and the boys, they all complimented me on my newly painted pink nails. It was like having 3, somewhat feminine, husbands.

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Sunday

After a quick workout, Matt and I met up with our third-wheel for a lovely Hell’s Kitchen brunch at Eatery. Afterwards, we went to the movies to watch the highly anticipated Hunger Games. It was awesome – I absolutely loved it! On the way home Matt and I stopped at Columbus Circle to purchase new running shoes. After getting fitted for a lovely pair of black and hot pink New Balance shoes – I proceeded to aimlessly walk around the store.  As I was walking around the store, Matt went over to the cash register and paid for our shoes. Although Matt and I have joint checking, we each have our own credit cards for which we have tried to set a budget. As a result his budget will be taking the hit for this purchase – if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

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When we got home, Matt decided to get our taxes in order – a process that is so much more time consuming and complicated than you think. I thought about making some cookies but then proceeded to lie on the couch watching terrible reality tv.

Suddenly married life doesn’t look so bad.

Thank You Broncos…

for giving me, yet another reason, to hate strongly dislike a New York Sports team. I really needed that as I had started to become a Jets fan after watching Hard Knocks two seasons ago.



Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a Peyton Manning fan (or Eli for that matter) but I might actually like him a little more than Tebow.

Crack Pie Recipe Unveiled

Whenever someone tells me about a restaurant or bakery that makes amazing desserts, I immediately feel myself thinking “I wonder if I could do that.” Let’s be honest, baking is really just reading, following directions and being patient. And I can do all of those things. So even if I don’t have an industrial grade kitchen, I can still make some nearly professional desserts. Right?

Well I put that to the test after leaning about Momofuko’s Milk Bar, the dessert arm of the Japanese restaurants owned by David Chang. I first ventured into Milk Bar when I wanted to pick up something to bring to Matt’s work after the marathon. Typically, if I am sending delicious treats into work with Matt, they are homemade. I think I got this from my mother. We’ve always had homemade birthday cakes and whenever it was our turn to bring a snack in for our school, it was definitely going to be something homemade: banana bread, blueberry muffins or sometimes chocolate chip cookies. But during marathon weekend, I was completely swamped, and didn’t get around to making anything. so I figured, this is a great time to try out Milk Bar, which I had been hearing rave reviews about.

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I walked in and ordered their post popular item – “crack pie.” I didn’t know what was in it, but the sales clerks assured me it was “amazing.” After paying the $44 for the 10″ pie, I thought to myself “well, it sure as heck better be amazing.” Thankfully, it was. Matt’s co-workers gobbled it up so fast – I knew I had found a winner.

Unfortunately, the idea of paying $44 dollars for a dessert – and then not even being able to take the credit for making it, well that didn’t sit too well with me. I decided to do a little research and quickly learned that I could buy the Milk Bar cookbook and start making their wonderful creations out of my own kitchen. This would save me a lot of money and earn me a lot of praise for my baking skills. WIN – WIN!

Soon my kitchen became a crack pie factory. I made two for work, I made two for Thanksgiving, I made four more for work and embellished them with the Robin Hood logo. I had to admit, I was getting pretty good at making these things. Unfortunately, they are relatively time-consuming and VERY unfriendly to your waist line! I decided that I need to take a break from crack pie for a little while – until this weekend.

For Matt’s Birthday, I decided to make him two crack pies to bring in to work. I was a little nervous since they had only ever had the authentic, Momofuko version. After spending a few solids hours in the kitchen, I sent the pies in with Matt and waited… soon enough the reviews started coming in.

  • A text from Matt at 10:40am letting me know he had his first slice of crack pie and it was delicious.
  • An email from Matt at 10:52 saying that one of his bosses loved the crack pie and wanted the recipe.
  • An email forward by Matt from a co-worker saying “It is amazing!”

I felt a sense of pride – my dessert was just as good as the $44 pie!

Well, I guess that should have come as no surprise; momofuko provided me with the recipe.  Thank you to the folks at Momofuko for sharing their brilliance with the world. It is because of you that people think I am a great bakers. And thank you to my parents and all of the teachers in my life, for giving me the skills to make crack pie: literacy, the ability to follow directions and the gift of patience (let’s be honest, that one is more dad than mom!)

So here it is, the big reveal… I present to you “Crack Pie Recipe.”

A brief explication:
The first 3 pages are the instructions – they break it down into 3 parts: the actual pie (which is more instructions for assembling), the oat cookie (which is the crust) and the filling. I typically make the oat cookie the first day, make the filling and assemble the pie the second day, then after freezing overnight – eat the third day! It is slightly time intensive, but not difficult.

The fourth page has explanation of ingredients – the only weird thing in the recipe is corn power. I bought freeze dried corn at whole foods (it is with all of the dried fruit) and blended it in the blender.

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HAPPY CRACK PIE MAKING! Let me know how it turns out.

Fighting Poverty with Cookies

A huge part of what makes my job so awesome is the incredible people who work here. It is inspiring to be part of an orgnaization that is full of intelligent, high achieving people, who have left fields like consulting, banking, and real estate management to come and work at a non-profit. The need to do something “meaningful” became greater than the desire to make a lot of money or “prestigious” career. And while Robin Hood is certainly “best-in-class” when it comes to fundraising and grant making, few people outside of the New York financial community have ever heard of it. But trust me, it is an awesome place to work.

If you don’t believe me, just read the email exchange I just had with my colleague. If this doesn’t show you just how incredible this place is, I don’t know what will.

———————————————————————————————————–

From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:55 PM
To: Laura  

Want to get a chocolate chip cookie at paradise :)

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

 Of course I do.  I was going to leave for my meeting at 2:30, want to go down in 15 and I’ll just leave from there?

From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:57 PM
To: Laura
Subject: RE:

Perfect. I love that I can always count on you to partake in a mid-afternoon cookie break. It is really a big part of what makes you so great.

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:58 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

A really big part of what makes you so great is that you request mid-afternoon cookie breaks.

——————————————————————————————————————

I am so happy that I have finally found a place of employment where people really “get” me. It took a few years, but I am here. And there are cookies!

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Celebrities I Would Like to Hang Out With

I have a mild obsession with celebrities. You would think that living in New York City, my path would have crossed with some famous folks – the cast of Gossip Girl, Sarah Jessica Parker, Regis or Kelly, Natalie Portman or any of the muppets from Sesame Street. Sadly, this is not the case. However, if I had my pick here are the celebrities I would like to add to my social circle.

Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords

 

Daniel Tosh (warning: he might be a little too offensive for some people’s taste)

 The Red M&M

 

Jonathan Papelbon (NEVER gets old)

 

Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm

Suri Cruise

(Read this blog and you will understand why)

If you were going to have a party, which celebs would you invite?