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)




Combating it all

Love Life and Lollipops- Ginger

Between the stress from moving and this crazy cold season, my immune system has been hit with the worst.  Luckily I avoided any major sickness despite the fact that it went around my house and hit my babysitter and Bar pretty hard. Love Life and Lollipops- Ginger

Here are some tips on keeping your immune system boosted to avoid the flu and some tips on how to heal quick and soothe in case you do get hit:

In avoidance of:

  • Green juice!  Add lots of lemon and ginger.  Lemon helps our bodies detoxify while ginger is an immune booster and anti-inflammatory.  Chlorophyll is like a blood transfusion (not literally of course).  It is chemically similar to hemoglobin, so cleans our blood and gives us a boost.  It's life at it's simplest form.
  • Green tea.  The benefits are too long to list.  Drink it!  Lots!
  • Avoid sugar.  It's bad for everything and taxes your system.
  • Eat whole grains, enough fiber, tons of veggies, beans beans beans.
  • Neti pot on a regular basis and use salt.
  • Take your vitamins!  Specifically a whole foods multi, vit D, omegas, probiotics.
  • Get enough sleep!  I can't stress how important this is.  As a parent of young children, I understand life can get in the way and getting enough sleep can feel impossible, but sleep and stress can dictate how our lives go.  They both control our energy levels and motivation among other things!

In the case you feel something coming on or find yourself stuck with a cold:

  • Use your humidifier and put 5-10 drops each of tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus.  If you can find it, replace the tea tree with medieval mix or thieves.
  • Green juice!
  • Take zinc, echinacea, and 1000mg of buffered vit c with bioflavanoids on top of your regular vitamins.
  • For a cough or anything bronchial make a drink consisting of the following: apple cider, the juice of one orange, honey (preferably ginger, garlic, 1/2 onion, cinnamon, turmeric.  Bring it to a boil, let it simmer for 10-15.  Drink it warm!
  • Make a natural chest rub of any oil or lotion you like along with a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil.
  • Neti pot.
  • Miso soup!!

Good luck!  Stay healthy!  Enjoy this gorgeous winter!

Radio Silence

Love Life and Lollipops- Avi's first day of school

Sorry for all of it.  The radio silence that is.  Moving is bananas!  Seriously.  It's both physically and emotionally draining.  My days have been filled to the brim with acclimating my kids, runs to Bed Bath and Beyond, organizing various renovations and who is working in the house when, trying my best to get a work out in whenever I can, maintain home cooked dinners, obsessing over design details...  I get in my bed at night and conk out! That said, we are loving exploring Montclair.  It is really a cute town with proper liberal values;)  The space in a house compared to our Brooklyn apartment is a breath of fresh air.  Avital is like a different kid, playing by herself, happy to just hang out, loving her own room and all the open storage for her toys so she can actually see them and pick out what she wants to play with!  Bar spends most of her time getting into my kitchen cabinets and throwing everything on the floor... I promise I'll be back to posting regularly soon and I know I've promised some of you house renovation pics which will come as soon as everything is ready!  Meanwhile, here is a bit of what we've been up to: (Getting Avi off to her first day of school)

(Bar helping with renovations.)

(A visit back to Brooklyn.)

(Very tired after a long day of unpacking.)

(First fire with Saba.)


(A healing vegan dinner of corn bisque, Field Roast, and Sprouted bread with Earth Balance.)


(Power wheels at the new play space.  Nuff said!)

"Peanut" Butter Smoothies

Love Life and Lollipops- Peanut Butter Smoothie

After the gym, Richie has been going to this little health food store for smoothies.  He's been getting a peanut butter smoothie that he raves about.

I have to say, I'm not much of a smoothie person.  I would love to be.  They're superhealthy (when made right) and a cinch to make, but I always wind up feeling bloated and over full.

Well, one day, Richie picked me up from somewhere and I was famished, as usual after a day of running around, and he had one of those peanut butter shakes there.  I figured I'd give it a whirl.  And I have to say, it took me for a whirl!  It was sweet, but not too sweet, thick and milk-shakey, and totally filling and full of satiating protein.

That weekend I decided to make my own version at home and they were even better!  Granted they're more of a dessert for me than a breakfast, some of you sweet-toothers may disagree.  Either way, try it out, it's definitely a keeper, go-to recipe for quickie breakfasts, post work-out replenishment, or a snack on a busy day of running.

Here's how I did it: (makes 2-4 smoothies depending on how much you can drink;)

Throw the following into your blender (a Vitamix works the best for this and everything else;)):

  • 2 large scoops of cashew nut butter (or whatever your favorite nut butter is...cashew is particularly sweet and smooth, I try to only buy raw)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of local, raw honey (or raw agave if you prefer)
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ice (the amount will depend on how thick or runny  you like it)

Blend away!  Drink immediately through a straw.  Love every nutritious, delicious sip!

Nina Rutsch's Soul Cycle Gym Bag

Love Life and Lollipops- Nina Rutsch

I know I gush and ahh over my friends, but I have to say, I pick them carefully.  They're pretty awesome people!  Moving is stressful.  Nina and her class make me happy.  Nuff said.

I told you guys about Nina a while back.  She's not only a rockstar Soul Cycle teacher, but also one of the most stylish gals I know.  She was gracious enough to show me up on the "what's in my gym bag" post, so here she is, showing us what's what in the world of looking good while we're working to feel good:

  • Deepa Gurnani decorative headbands- a quick fashionista look to cover up frizz & fly-aways- a great way to "dress up" sweaty hair
  •  Trader Joes- individual packs of raw almonds, the perfect snack on the go: protien, energy, filling and easy to keep in the pocket of my lululemon tote
  • lululemon "OM" tote bag- It has a computer protective bag pocket.  I use the front pocket for my spin shoes so they can air out, inside divider pockets are perfect for phone, almonds, metro card everything at arms reach complete with full zip to keep my stuff safe on the subway as I was pickpocketed days after returning to NYC after being "LA- "om"ed out and not paying attention on the train !!!!!!
  • NARS  larger than life lipgloss this stays on for hours and does not feel sticky and stays on through class
  • Emergen-C packs- These are my godsend I will throw one in my SmartWater at SoulCycle and it gives me a quick boost during class and I like to think the vitamin C wards off any germs
  • COCONUT WATER- ANY KIND that's natural.  I drink at least 2 a day.... It is my CURE ALL, is my "windex" (referencing MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING movie joke) ......LOLimage via,r:0,s:100,i:4
  • Altoids
  • SOULCYCLE  bandanas!!! cannot.teach.without.
  • Cabots cocoa butter- I use this for everything! It works great as a hand/body lotion also comes in a lip balm its all natural cheap and smells amazing
  • lucky charms :) ... no not the cereal ( NO SUGAR CEREAL!! )- I carry my zen amulet necklace given to my by my "spin family before I left LA" designed by Suzanne Wilson and numerous lucky pennies found on the street and a heart shaped crystal given to me by my nephew :), and other notes and sentimental items as mini- every day reminders to be grateful to those around me.  Can you tell I am superstitious?
  •  yes to cucumber towelettes- for a quick face wash on the go
  • soulcycle bathrooms are well equipped with bobby pins and black hair elastics so its quite easy to put together quick hair fix in a rush!
  • MAC studio fix undereye concealer ... enough said
  • WESC headphones ... always "music-ing" thats what we do

Music Monday

We're finally out of our apartment (tres sad!) and into my parents house while we ready our new digs.  Feels like our lives are entirely put on hold and up in the air.  That said, it's a good time to spend the holidays with family.  My sister was here this past weekend and was beyond helpful with the kids and such a comfort to spend some time with.  We celebrated Channukah, nursed some major colds (Richie and my dad both contracted whatever has been floating around my kids), did some spin, latkah frying, a long walk around the hood, and lots of handing around the house. Maddie knew I was having a tough time with all this change and fast movement, so she sent me this fabulous piece of the internet to cheer me up.  I have to say it did.  Serious laughs lightened my mood.  Hope they put a smile on your faces this Monday morning!:

Catch up and Music Monday

Hi guys.  Sorry it's been so quiet around here.  This pending move has got my head spinning.  Packing boxes, picking bathroom fixtures, teacher conferences, nutrition clients, a sick baby, mortgage paperwork, moving insurance...I can't keep up. Been listening to The Lumineers a bunch.  It's calm and happy music and it's been lifting me up and putting a smile on my face.  Thought I'd share:)

Kabocha Squash Soup and Cinnamon Raisin Mochi

Love Life and Lollipops- Kabocha Squash Soup with Cinnamon Raisin Mochi

Last week, in one of my usual fridge trolling sessions, trying to figure out what would be worth cooking as opposed to ordering Wild Ginger (maybe the world's best vegan Chinese food), I came across a lone brick of cinnamon raisin mochi.  It's one of those things I oooh and aaaah over in the supermarket, buy, and bring home, and it sits there forever cause I never go in the fridge to find dessert and feel like it's too "sweet" to use for dinner.

That said, it was the perfect garnish for this supersimple, grounding, healing soup that needed a little umph that could stand up to it's inherent healthy deliciousness.

Here's how I did it:


  • 1 large kabocha squash, large chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons of saute oil (a combination of coconut, olive, and sesame oils)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 4-6 cups of water (depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • cinnamon raisin mochi cut into 1" squares
  1. In a large soup pot saute the onions in apx 4 tablespoons of the  oil.
  2. Sprinkle with the salt.
  3. Add the squash and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for 45min-1hr until the squash starts to disintegrate.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky, but it's up to you how pureed you want it.
  6. Once the soup is ready, in a separate pan (cast iron preferably), heat 1-2 tablespoons of the oil.
  7. Once the oil is hot, add the mochi filling the pan, but not letting them touch.
  8. Cover the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottoms are just browned.
  9. Flip the squares and cook, covered, for another 2-3min until the flip side is browned and they start to melt a bit in the center.
  10. Serve immediately on top of the soup.
  11. Enjoy wholeheartedly:)

This Week, Whadda Week!

Love Life and Lollipops- A scoot with Avi's boyfriend Jonah

Sorry y'all for the lack of posting this week.  We had a birthday (for Avital), an election day, a few of us sick in this house including our poor babysitter, a big birthday for my father-in-law and a nor'easter.  I had my hands full! That said, a trip to the natural foods store in Park Slope yielded a fabulous new find: Flax Milk!  Bar is loving it. We also visited the Big Apple Circus on Avi's Birthday which was superfun and guilt-free seeing as they're notoriously good to their animals!  So it wasn't all overwhelming craziness...

Here are some tid bits from our week:

In the wake...

Love Life and Lollipops- Hurricane Sandy

We finally got home late Thursday night and are so glad to be here with our kiddies.  We lucked out big time and are relatively untouched.  Williamsburg is a bit of an oasis.  There was little to no effect on my neighborhood which is a huge blessing, but it feels strange.

So many of our Brooklyn and Manhattan neighbors have been devastated and displaced. My heart goes out to all of you!

Yesterday, I went through our apartment and donated bags and bags of toys and clothes and diapers and anything I could part with for the Red Hook Sandy Relief Initiative.  There are tons of donation drop offs all across my hood and many online options for any of you interested in helping out.  The cafe on my corner (Sweet Leaf, for those of you who know it, is accepting donations today and tomorrow for the 84, 110, and 34 in my hood are all accepting donations too).  I know a few friends were organizing clean up crews for Queens families to help clean out peoples' basements.  Another friend was collecting things for a family of six (with 10 month old triplets!) in Oceanside who lost everything!

The silver lining here is how amazing New Yorkers can be in the wake of such a disaster.  Hearts and hands reaching out and it's truly inspiring!