Renovation Stories, 4/26/2015

Things muscled forward today. Plumber is still AWOL, but the electricians did a bang up job rewiring things. That job, at least, appears to be halfway done. More of the floorboards have been pulled up. It seems the previous renovation folks both nailed AND glued these suckers down, which makes it really slow going. 

I think that’s mastic. Who does this???

Some interesting finds today include an abandoned ant nest. Whether it’s better to have found an abandoned one or an active one, I’ll leave you to decide. 

Blech. I hate ants.

Yesterday, we found a very old Heineken bottle wedged in between the kitchen pipes (circa late 1990’s). To our contractor’s shock and amusement, it actually had sediment in it. We decided not to open it, so it remains on display, for all to see.

There’s also something else, which I will upload tomorrow, since there were too many people in the way to get a good picture. It’s pretty cool, though. What’s not so cool is that when the kitchen wall came down,  we were looking at the back side of the bathroom wall, and it’s not looking so great. You know how these things go, right? More updates tomorrow. Until then, build upwards!


It Begins


Time to throw your hats up, because my apartment is BROKEN! Yes, this is intentional breaking, and about seven years in the making, if you’ve followed this saga at all. The plan is to make a new kitchen and put a new floor into our modest little abode (you can see a news feature about our tiny apartment here), and for this job, we’ve been quoted about a month’s worth of dust to avoid, so we’ve moved into a sublet during the heavy part of it. But who knows how long, really?

Here are some before and after shots of the current demolition:

Our kitchen, ready to demolish…

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Exploring Emotions and Self

Astrid feels distracted, and Max feels happy! Being able to understand ones own emotions and read the emotions of others is an important part of child development.

I don’t receive any sponsorship for running this blog. In fact, the whole reason I started it in the first place was to give my kids a place to go if they wanted, sometime down the line, to remember things that happened while they were at home, and look up a recipe or two. It’s completely a labor of love. However, every so often, I come across an item that completely knocks my socks off, and I’m not afraid to tell the world about it.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m speaking of the Crayola DIY Trikky by Kidrobot… Continue reading



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Max: Ooo! What’s that?

Me: It’s trail mix.

Max: I want some! Can I have some?

Me: But, you don’t like nuts.

Max: Yes, I do. I like THOSE nuts.

Me: You pick nuts out of your granola.

Max: Please, Mommy? I want a bag of trail mix, too.

Me: No, I think you’re going to pick out the chocolate chips and leave the rest.

Max: Mommy, I love cashews, and almonds, and those green nuts, and I also love cranberries. I promise I will eat it all.

Me: I don’t know… You always say you’ll eat stuff, and then you don’t.

Max: Please, Mommy? 

Me: Well, what happens if you don’t?

Max: Nothing, because I will eat it ALL.

Me: Fine. *Hands over small bag of trail mix*

Max: *picks out chocolate chips*



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​At a play date yesterday: 

Max: (whiny voice) Mooooommmmmmyyyyy! I have a cut on my finger! 

Me: I don’t see a cut…


Me: Oh, I see it. It’s very small.

Max: But, it HURTS!!! (tearing up)

Me: Wait… Are you SURE that’s a cut? Or, is it…A radioactive spider bite?

Max: (look of surprise)

Me: Yeah, that’s no cut, man. It’s totally a spider bite. (Gasp!) Maybe you have superpowers, now!





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Hamantaschen filled with (clockwise from the top) Nutella, poppyseed, and apple spice. Use your imagination, and fill to your heart’s content!

Seems not a Purim goes by without seeing hamantaschen everywhere! They are traditional Ashkenazic cookies given out in mishloach manot, gift baskets, to celebrate the holiday. It’s said that their triangular shape is that of the triangular hat worn by Haman, the King’s advisor, as told in the Book of Esther. There are many foods traditional to Purim, but, in the US, these are among the most recognizable. They’re also quite tasty, and come in as many varieties as there are mind of ice cream! Here is my recipe, which will provide a light, flaky base to whatever filling you decide to use.

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Shabbat Brisket With Chiles


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We don’t do large roasts often, but this is one that just about everyone likes. It’s a recipe I modified from an old Bon Appetit recipe; The chiles add lots of good flavor rather than heat, so don’t worry about spice… But you can always add more, if you like. The recipe as written yields a lot of liquid, so you could conceivably braise up to a 4 pound brisket. If you have a brisket 5 pounds or more, double the recipe and cut the brisket in half.

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