Jamaica

Sandy Situation Update

Let me start by saying that I hope you are all safe and spared from all this craziness!My Internet is limited, so I'll be quick. We chased Sandy down here to Jamaica for a close friend's wedding. We left the kids with my parents (first time for Baby Bar). Even though we missed the storm down here the aftermath was crazy with 20ft waves and crazy winds hitting the Negril cliffside even through the sun. Meanwhile the storm took a turn west and headed straight toward Brooklyn where we live on the waterfront. End of story, we lucked out. Everyone is safe and relatively untouched. It's been a long and scary few days away from my babies and parents. Thank goodness my in-laws are here to help keep me calm and sane. I'm still stuck here in Jamaica. Hoping to make my way home tomorrow. Sending you all love and safe thoughts!

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Our Trip to Jamaica

Love Life and Lollipops- Rum Soaked Toast!

This past trip was Our First Family Vacation without extended family and it was amazing!  We ate well, slept well (although Richie likes to get up bright and early and the rest of us with him), drank some, and swam a lot.  It was just the right medicine to cure the serious chills we were experiencing here in blistery Brooklyn. We love going to Jamaica because the Rasta culture is vegetarian, so it's always easy (and most often deliciously filled with curries and rice and bean mixtures) for us to eat there!

Here are some pics from the trip:

This Jamaican special, rum soaked toast, was a seriously strong breakfast and totally vegan!

Jamaican Vegan Veggie Curry

Avi and I Right Before a Naptime

Reading on the beach= my meditation

Checking out the beach.

Jamaica Mon

Love Life and Lollipops- Pina Coladas in Jamaica!

Pina Coladas in Jamaica! Soooo, yesterday we flew to Jamaica for a last minute trip we planned with our friends Michelle and Dan and Ike. We desperately needed some sun and are hoping to get pregnant again sometime soon and won't be able to travel, so we figured let's just pick up and go while we can. And it felt so good! I think we need to live on the edge bit more (or at bare minimum do more spur of the moment travel!). Thought I'd share an awesome shot Dan snagged upon arrival (he gets credit for the one above too;): Avi and Ike in Jamaica.

Vegan Curried Cauliflower Soup

Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Curried Cauliflower Soup and Moroccan Couscous and Acorn Squash

Vegan Curried Cauliflower Soup and Couscous and Acorn Squash

Last night (as I mentioned) was a little crazy for us. We're leaving for Jamaica tomorrow (a last minute trip with Ike and family) and so I should have been gearing up for our trip (read: packing, organizing, doing laundry), but instead I was getting the house and us ready to be photographed for an article the New York Times is doing about families in Williamsburg.

So while the laundry ran, we had Robert Caplin, a photographer for the Times, over taking some shots of us doing what we do every night: cooking dinner and hanging. Robert was a supercool guys who's shot some amazing people and things (check out his site here) including Justin Bieber on tour for the last six months (he's the official tour photographer). While he was here, we prodded him for some stories about his travels and recent marriage while I cooked some cauliflower soup and morrocan couscous in mapled acorn squashes. I had to clean out the fridge before we left and this seemed to use up the right amount of perishable ingredients.

Of course I wouldn't let him sit around without eating, so I set him a plate with ours and it turns out he totally liked it! I love spreading the vegan love (especially when they're not suspecting it;)).

Here's how I made the soup:

Ingredients:

1 large onion large chop

2 leeks white and light green parts only large chop

2 tablespoons canola oil

salt to taste

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon (plus more for garnish)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon fenugreek

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 carton of no chicken stock

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets

  1. In a large soup pot saute the onion and leeks in the canola oil with a couple pinches of salt until translucent.
  2. Add the spices and cook them in for about a minute.
  3. Add the stock and the cauliflower and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minute (or more) until the cauliflower is very soft.
  5. Blend the soup to a puree adding water or stock if you'd like it thinner.
  6. Garnish it with a sprinkle or two of cinnamon.

Missing Those Tropical Jamaican Days

Love Life and Lollipops- Jamaican Tie Dye Dress 1

Last week we had phenomenal weather.  Seriously summer weather.  It was unreal!  I'm talkin flip flops and tanks...sundresses even.

This week leaves something to be desired in the warm and sunny department and I can't help but think back to Jamaica which feels like it was years ago (but really was just weeks).  I bought this dress below at a small shack on the side of the road in Negril.  I try my best to buy sustainable, organic, or recycled clothing whenever I can, but the next best option is undoubtedly buying from local artisans.  Supporting local designers and artists (in your own neighborhood or beyond) helps promote regional trade and embrace local aesthetics.

I bought this dress from a dude named BeEasy.  Yes, that was his name.  And he absolutely was.  Irie mon.  He ran the shop and his sister hand made all the dresses.  I can't wait until the weather warms up again and I can rock this on the streets of Park Slope!

Yoga Life

Love Life and Lollipops- Uktanasana by the Shore

Yoga is so important for healthy living. One of the best perks here at the Rock House Hotel is the 8a yoga offered by the pool (overlooking the ocean) every morning.  It’s so beautiful looking out onto the water and it definitely makes those utkatasanas much easier to stay in just a bit longer;).

I do my best to get a little bit of yoga into each of my days.  Most days that means I pull out my mat to do 10-15 minutes on my bedroom floor concentrating on whichever poses will relieve whichever achy muscles I have that day (i.e. sore lower back from sleeping with Avi all night or achy right arm and shoulder for choosing to carry her instead of lugging the stroller or for that matter achy upper back for lugging a stroller into and out of a cab when all she really wants to do is walk).

We do mommy and baby yoga on Mondays and I always love our Mondays for this.  Starting the day with a true practice is such a phenomenal, invigorating, energizing way to get through the day’s struggles.

This morning Richie and I got up super early to the sound of the waves crashing in the caves beneath us.  I peeled myself out of bed and washed up, made us some iced green tea, each had a bit of computer time to feel caught up, and off we were to yoga overlooking the Caribbean ocean.  The only thing missing from this extraordinary day is our little munchkin, but I expect she is having a fantabulous time of her own with my parents in Connecticut (a vacation of her own).

The Rock House Hotel = Paradise

Happy with a Red Stripe RHH Day 1

So yesterday (after launching Love Life and Lollipops that is) my husband, Richie, and I embarked on our first solo vacation since our honeymoon!  We arrived here in Negril, Jamaica late yesterday afternoon and are still ooing and aahing about how absolutely amazing this place is. We were lucky enough to be able to snag a (shockingly affordable) villa (read: luxury thatch hut with all the bells and whistles of hotel accommodations) here at The Rock House Hotel.  I seriously can’t say enough about how amazingly serene, friendly, and relaxing it is here.  The entire hotel was built up from the caves and cliffs of the Caribbean Ocean.  Here pictures speak louder than words, so feel free to daydream a bit through my pics and those on the hotel’s site (www.rockhousehotel.com).  And while you’re there, take a peek through the hotel’s history and environmental commitment initiatives.  It’s so amazing to be able to go away, get pampered and sun soaked, all while knowing that the establishment providing you with all this wonderfulness is devoted to preserving our beautiful earth as much as you are

Here are a few practices Rock House has incorporated:

  • The use of compact florescent bulbs
  • Solar hot water systems for all guest rooms
  • Water saving toilets, faucets, and shower heads
  • The use of A/C cut off switches in guest rooms to minimize cooling in empty rooms
  • The use of hand dryers in public bathrooms in place of paper towels
  • Guttering, piping, and capture tanks installed for rainwater use
  • Chipping, shredding, and composting all organic garden waste to make mulch
  • Recycling paper, cardboard, glass, and oil
  • Purchasing that favors biodegradable and local products
  • Low energy equipment selection and preventative maintenance
  • Minimizing use of plastic bags to collect and transport linen or waste
  • Recycling old plants and making cuttings to propagate seedlings
  • The use of hand tools rather than powered tools to work gardens
  • Communicating electronically rather than in writing where possible

Um, how cool?!?  Plus, they source as much of their food locally and organically and they’ve been super accommodating with our vegan diet.

We love love love it here and are super thankful and blessed to be in such a special place.  I’m off to sink into a lounge chair with my kindle and an iced tea…