My House

Love Life and Lollipops- Montclair Home front

Hi everyone.  Crickets around here recently.  I know.  Sorry!!! Life has been crazy and confusing, but I think we've got it all under control now.  Believe it or not, we're moving again.  I realized that if I'm not gonna be in Brooklyn (my one true love), I need to be closer to family.

Sooooo...after buying and renovating and decorating this amazing home in New Jersey, we've already put it back on the market and are in the process of getting it sold!

Lucky for those of you who've been asking to see pics, the lovely photographers over at Halstead took some fabulous ones.  So here's a peek, my best attempt at design on a budget and within the realm of eco-living as I could:)

(Montclair Home)

(The kitchen and center of my world)

(Welcome in...)

(Montclair Dining Room)

(Avi's Big Girl Room)

(Bar's Baby Room)

(The Girls' Bathroom, fully renovated)

 

 

 

Fridge Staples

Love Life and Lollipops- Better Than Roasted Cashew Butter

Last week, over a recuperating lunch after spin, my friend Ali and I got to talking about my blog and how I want to work on expanding it and yada yada.  Long story short, she said she wanted more direct info, i.e. products to buy, snacks to eat, etc.  So I figured I'd start with my refrigerator staples.  Things I keep stocked all the time, that we can't live without, that make being vegan and healthy, delicious. Here are some of my favorite things (that need to be kept cool):

 

 

image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lemon.jpg

Hope this is good for you Ali;)

And I'll be doing a series of these types of posts, so if any of you have any requests, email me or comment here:)

 

Dry Goods Are Gorgeous

Love Life and Lollipops- Dry Goods

When we moved into this apartment, as much as I was in love with the open, newly renovated kitchen, I knew immediately we'd fill it in seconds leaving boxes and boxes of dishes, serving plates, foods, utensils, electronics without any proper place.  So I decided to have some large shelves built to act as an open pantry type thing.

For a long time it was filled with our glasses and plates and some dutch ovens.  But recently I decided to take my mason jar filled cabinets and empty them onto the shelves.  They look great if I do say so myself.  And others have said so too actually.  So many people have complimented me on it.  I'm loving the rainbow of beans and rice and dried fruits and how they promote natural eating and cooking to all those inquisitive minds peering over.

Some of the glass jars I bought, but most of them were from jars of foods I bought at the market, cleaned, and reused!

Urban Gardening

Love Life and Lollipops- Plantings on my terrace

I figure just because I live five floors off the ground and am limited to a small terrace's worth of outdoor space, doesn't mean I can't enjoy fresh summer fruits, veggies, and herbs right off the vine! Last year I was miserably pregnant and still getting settled into this apartment, so decided to forgo the planting, but I seriously missed it!  The year before you may remember the mint tea we made from our terrace plantings or the crazy sweet mini strawberries we harvested from our window box.  We had the smallest space in that apartment, but totally made it work with hanging tomato planters and window boxes.  It was fun and educational and delicious.

This year I was lucky enough to have a little more space and my amazing babysitter Maria around to teach me a thing or two.  Avi was psyched to get dirty and help plant and every day she diligently remembers to water the plants with her trusty piggy watering can!

We managed to plant:

  • 3 types of mint
  • a couple basil plants
  • sage
  • a few cilantros (we use a lot of cilantro around here)
  • tons of tomato plants (all different types)
  • a blueberry bush
  • 2 raspberry plants
  • eggplant
  • jalapeños
  • green bell peppers

And we're working on:

  • cucumbers (which will wrap around the beams and look supercool)
  • watermelons (just a seedling now, but...)
  • and we planted some of my garbanzo sprouts and broccoli sprouts (I think) which are surprisingly strong! (see below)

I'm superpsyched to see how everything grows! I'll keep you guys posted:)

Oh and here are my organic helpers (plus everything is of course planted in organic potting soil):

Guest Post: Liza Chrust

Fun Baking Tools I know I usually post about a recipe, but I thought this time I'd share with you  the fun baking tools I have.  These are by no means absolute, must have, I can't make a cake without them, but they sure are fun to have in the kitchen and make baking a little easier and eco friendly in some cases!

My first tool is the offset icing spatula:

Liza uses this offset spatula to make all her amazing vegan cakes!

This is great for evenly distributing icing all over and throughout the cake.  I used to use a regular butter knife before this and I cannot tell you how much this one tool has changed my baking life!  My cakes look much prettier now!

The personalized silicone spatula is not for icing like the offset one, but for mixing.  These are like any other spatula but with two great features!

Liza loves these personalized silicone spatulas for mixing her batters.

One:  They are heat resistant and Two: You can put your name on the handle!  How cool is that.  Mine read "Friedman's Kitchen" (I am getting married soon and that will be my new surname).  These ones have Chuck's Kitchen, but you can really put whatever you like on them.

The last is the Silpat silicone mat:

This silpat is recusable.

These are great for you, the environment, and your cookies!  It is super easy to clean and keep your pans clean too!  It is reusable which is good for the earth and will save you money .  It also make the bottom of your cookies light and crispy!

Enjoy these wonderful, fun baking tools!

Etsy

Etsy is the perfect place to find vintage and recycled goods!

Every once in a while I get sucked into the world of Etsy for an hour or two.  For those of you who don't know, Etsy is an online marketplace for all things vintage, antique, and homemade.  It's pretty fabulous, kinda like spending some time in a high end flea market, but in the comfort of your computer chair!

Here's what the Etsy About Page says:

What Is Etsy?

Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.

Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:

Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

Pretty cool, huh?

I thought I'd share a few things up on Etsy now that I wouldn't mind having around:

Vintage sweater on Etsy.com

Original, beautifully detailed and coloured antique chromolithograph of charming and spectacular breeds of chicken, printed in 1899.

These etsy.com finds are amazing vintage frames.

Etsy.com vintage amber bottles

My Newest Project Finished

Love Life and Lollipops- Vintage Mirror and Frames

These vintage frames and mirror are the perfect collaboration for my front door.

So I told you all that I recently moved (yet again) here, and we've done a really good job of settling in (and quickly) as Richie is a clean freak and can't stand to look at boxes and I'm constantly in a state of anxiety when I know there's anything major to take care of that I haven't yet.

That said, we're entirely unpacked and organized, but with the severe cost of moving and all that comes with it (any renovations, new furniture, new carpets, etc) we're doing our best to space out all of the little costs that follow.  We've finally ordered the lighting for the apartment (we've been living with those $20 floor lamps you can find at bed bath and beyond) and tidbits like a craft table for Avi with the cutest mini chairs you've ever seen, but I've been struggling with artwork.

My friend Michelle (seen here and here) promises me some photography from her and her hubby (the infamous Dan Forbes) for the bathrooms and kitchen, but I was struggling with the rest of the space.

I decided we needed some more family photos and a supercool mirror to check ourselves out before we slip out the front door.  At a recent trip to Brooklyn Flea, I figured a perfect way to incorporate both.

All of the picture frames and the mirror came from the same vendor at the flea market and are authentically vintage except for the two illustrations which came from a local artist showing there.  I love them!  The one to the right is entitled "the magic tree" and the other is a nyc skyline as seen from Brooklyn!

It took me a while to get this whole project organized and put together, but I think it works nicely.  What do you think?

Cloth Napkins by MU Are For Me

Mu Kitchen makes eco-friendly kitchen products. I while back I mentioned my goal to stop using paper towel in an effort to be less wasteful.  Since then we've adopted another earth-friendly habit in our home: cloth napkins.  I realized we created so much waste with paper napkins three times a day every day and wanted to find a solution.  When wandering the aisles of Whole Foods one day with my mom I noticed some supersoft bamboo napkins and decided to take some home and give them a whirl.

Turns out we love them!  They look great at the table, are way softer than paper napkins, last for more than one meal often, and are way way WAY better for our environment.

We bought 12 MU Kitchen napkins in two different shades of green and we'd never go back to paper.  As a matter of fact I get a little salty every time we get delivery and they throw in a stack of napkins!

Any cloth napkins are preferable to paper ones (reduce, reuse, you know the drill), but the ones we purchased are made of bamboo, are biodegradable, sustainable, produced without any pesticides, and dyed with eco-friendly dyes!

Eco Conscious at the New York Gift Show

Love Life and Lollipops- NYIGF

New York International Gift Fair Yesterday I decided last minute to join my grandmother (who doubles as an interior designer) at the New York International Gift Fair at the piers on the West Side Highway.  We needed a handful of things for the apartment and I'm always happy to spend a few hours with my bubby!

It turned out to be a success (I purchased some outdoor furniture for Avi, a good portion of the lighting we needed, and some counter stools for Richie and Avi to hang out on while I cook).  I was particularly excited and surprised how many booths were marketing eco-friendly and "green" goods!

There were amazing recycled saris made into blankets (I tried my best to make one of these work in my house, but to no avail), recycled threads made into supercool throw blankets (unfortunately they didn't make bed sized ones or I would've bought one for the end of my bed), and tons of other interesting iterations of earth friendly wares).

Recycled Plastic Bracelets at the NYGIF

Recycled tin kids furniture

If you're in New York and needing goods for your home or just some good, old fashioned inspiration, the show's still on through Feb 3rd, so check it out!

Bio Wash Ball

This laundry replacement Bio Wash Ball is eco-friendly and money saving. I recently purchased 2 Bio Wash Balls and am loving using them (I actually only use one...two should last me 6 years!).

What are they?  You ask.  I'll tell you: They function in place of laundry detergent and last for 1000 loads (or apx 3 years)!  One costs about $30 and is eco-friendly, easy to use, money saving, chemical free, and totally awesome.

Here's how Amazon describes them:

Cross "laundry detergent" off the shopping list for good with the help of this revolutionary green Biowashball. A hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, easy-to-use alternative to traditional soap-based cleansers, the sturdy plastic sphere houses a combination of ceramics that ionize washing water to a pH10 level (the same as a chemical detergent) to effectively repel dirt from fibers, including grease, organic, and chemical stains. Simply place the ball into any washing machine, choose any temperature, and let it do its work--clothes come out clean without chemical residue. The ball also eliminates odor-causing germs and bacteria as well as damaging chlorine in the water. Lasts for 1,000 loads of laundry or approximately three years.

How cool?!?

Hope you all have a fabulous and warm weekend!