Thursday, March 28, 2013


From the vault! I found this on my phone and realized it never made it up. Between BIG LOVE and basically everything on TLC, polygamy seems to be all the rage. It got me thinking about the topic of Sister Wives...

The mountain of laundry has finally been tamed to an anthill. Partly through my own efforts, but mostly due to a weekend where Jeremy was left home alone. I mean, Hub 'o the Year Award or what? The girls are gone for 3 days and instead of watching reruns of Wipeout and wacking off to Alyssa Milano, a man does laundry. Alyssa Milano? Vanessa Manillo? Whatevs. Point being: my laundry's done.
Several monthsago when the pile seemed literally insurmountable, everyTuesday eveningafter mommy and me ballet my friend Jen would come over and "sit on my stool." She'd help unload and reload my dishwasher while I chisled away at folding and we'd gab while our girls played in a post pizza haze, memorized by a two year old's answer to Justin Beiber: Buzz Lightyear. Getting my daily chores done with 2 under 3 seemed impossible. Well, to me anyway. Everytime I'd leave for a few hours and my mom was there or Jeremy I'd come home to clean dishes and wiped countertops. How was this possible?! When I'm home alone these girls hang on me like monkeys. Literally. Up in my shit and screaming for tit. But somehow, on Tuesdays, I could get it done. Just having Jenn there, even if she never lifted a finger (though she always did) made it all better. I could breathe. I could fold. We started joking how she was my sister wife. Our friend Jess agreed: "sometimes ya just need someone on your stool. " she says. Sippin' tea in your kitchen. Another body to you rinse plates. Or darn socks. Or whatever it is we do. Another woman there who knows what you're going through and offers her warm body as support. Now I sound like I lez out with my friends. Deal with it. Please, at this point, a spotless kitchen feels as satisfying as any sex I could imagine.
I've talked about competitiveness amongst women, specifically moms, in the past. It's just too gross. Mothers have enough problems combatting the onslaught of Disney princesses and celebrity post baby bodies. We don't need to be against each other. And when we ban together. Support one another. Beautiful things begin happening.
If someone offers you help, TAKE IT. A busy mom wouldn't offer if she wasn't sincere. And if she WAS just "being nice"that's her problem. And if you see another mom struggling, HELP HER. It will come back around. It always does. I know I live in NYC and freaks are everywhere, but it always BOGGLES my mind when mothers won't accept help when I offer it. On the subway. On the street. And since when are you not allowed to smile at someone else's kid when you have a kid with you? People are so paranoid and weird. But now I'm rambling. Help. I was talking about help. If you need it and it's offered, TAKE IT. If its not, ASK FOR IT.
The more I think about it, the more an idea of a sister wife makes sense! I feel like i just "do better" with other women around. I'm more productive, more motivated. I don't really know why. Well, let's be honest, besides squeezing my pores and eating chicken wings there is almost nothing that I don't do better in front of an audience. Maybe its the distraction of a friend? The "whistle while you work" theory? Perhaps. Maybe instead of weekly playgroups (or in addition to) we should start a weekly chore group. You grab 3 girlfriends, and each week you get together and fully clean a house. Scrub it. Organize. That way you just have to upkeep with tidying and wiping! I like it! Then afterwards you could celebrate with wine and snacks. Perfection. Now, imagine if those three girlfriends lived with you all the time. Like in a big giant farmhouse?! Amazing! And you wouldn't even have to look super cute all the time. Just throw your hair in some sort of braid, add a turtleneck and a long denim skirt and you're good to go! This idea is starting to sound better and better by the second. (Except we'd be in lululemon or Target lougewear and messy buns.) Once you get past the jealousy issues and the concept of another chick boning your husband, a little help with baths and lunches and laundry while you place yet anotherSoap.comorder sounds like Heaven. I mean, at least someone's always there so you can take a quick shower. Or poop. Or just cry alone in the bathroom for 5 minutes. A capable adult always on call, allowing you to chug a Chardonnay during Fireman Sam without feeling like a complete irresponsible mess. For better or for worse, "I do."

Im not a huge recipe follower. I'm more of the kind of cook that gets inspired and makes stuff up. By, when I saw my friend Kelley post this dish, I had to swipe it. Another potential advantage to having a sister wife. Inspiration! And I never use a slow cooker.
There just so happens to be one here in the house we're renting. So the stars were aligned and i decided to try it! This recipe is so amazing and so easy. You can serve it as an entree over chips, as I did. Or, you can bring it to a party with chips on the side and it's a ridiculously delish, hot and hearty dip. It's basically fool proof and you could add or omit anything you like. Adding frozen spinach would be awesome, or maybe a flavored cream cheese. So good!

I lb chicken breast
1/2 c frozen corn
A handful or so of grape tomatoes
1/2 jar of salads verde (the green stuff, sometimes it'll say tomatillo salsa)
6-8 oz cream cheese (so either a full brick or just shy of one. I used light, use what you want. If you like it extra creamy or bringing it as the dip I'd use the full brick. Otherwise, six oz is fine.)
Cilantro, for garnish. About 1/4-1/2 c chopped
Blue Corn tortilla chips (use what you want. The blue corn just look super pretty)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Throw in crock pot. Add tomatoes, corn and cream cheese and a little more salt and pepper on top of that. Cover and turn the crock pot in low. Don't touch for 6 hours. Turn it off and stir. The chicken will magically shred itself. Ladle over a plate of blue corn chips and garnish with cilantro. Pair with my Firecracker Margie and you're in business, baby! Perfect girls night with your sister wives. Real or honorary.

PIX: 1) Me & Abby enjoying post playground firecracker margies. Just cause. 2) Me & Jenn at a schmancy Broadway opening. Ignore my boobs if you can. I forgot my pump that night. Mooooooooo! I'd be proud to have either one of these gorgeous gals as a sister wife! The best! 3) Miss Kelley and her gorgeous daughter AJ. If she didn't live all the way in Milwaukee...I'd be all over that sister wife style. 4) Chicken Mc Dreamy! YUM.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Listen up: NOBODY IS MORE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL BEING OF MY CHILDREN MORE THAN I AM. Got it? Just as I've wrote before about nobody wanting them to "Shut the F up more than I do," this rings just as true. I don't want them to be cold. I don't want them to get sunburn on their face. I don't want them to fall off the top of the jungle gym and crack their heads open. Really. I don't. So you can put your copy of "Happiest Baby on the Block" back in your Bugaboo and mind ya business. Living in NYC we walk a lot. I guess because I'm out in public with my kids so much it gives people free reign to start vomiting opinions at me. A little sun is good for people. We're not on the equator. Or in Jamaica. But thanks for your concern. My child is naturally hot all the time and gets unbearable cranky when she sweats. And she speaks. Actually, she rarely STOPS talking. She will tell me when she's cold. And my 2 year old? She's thrown her hat out of her stroller 5 times already and I'm  only 2 blocks from home. And if I have to pick it up yet again I'm going to have a nervous breakdown on the corner of 155th Street and Broadway. And that would be very very sad. And PS- its 50 degrees. But thanks. And I know you've perfected your helicopter parenting skills, but I can see my kids from over here. I WANT them to learn how to climb the big slide. I WANT them have a go at the "big girl" swings. I want them to experience things and be independent and I'll step in if I FEEL they're in real danger. It's not my fault that the one time your kid took a header and knocked out a tooth it was because you were checking your email on your phone and now you feel like you have to be on top of every kid at the playground. Look, if a child is truly in harm's way, of COURSE any and every sober adult should do whatever they can to help. A child's LIFE is more important than the bruised ego of a distracted mother. But, a little rain is not going to kill anyone. That's my favorite. The kid is stuffed into the stroller a la Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," umbrella, plastic wind shield, sunscreen, canopy, hat, boots...and is chowing down on a packet of Fun Dip. Fun Dip! Sheesh. But, I mean, he's protected from the DANGEROUS poison rain that falls in Harlem. So it's all good. And you're looking at ME cause my kid isn't wearing a hat. I mean, do you KNOW the fight we just had trying to brush that rat's nest? No hat. Mind ya business. (Now, I know there are COMPLETELY clueless people out there who happened to create a child through basic biology that posess ZERO knowledge or instincts when it comes to parenting. I hope, in these extreme cases that are beyond my expertise, child services are involved. That's a horse of a different color.)

I general, as much as I may dislike it at times, I can handle whatever people throw at me. I've always been able to. I can take criticism as easily as I can take a compliment. Ya know, it's not to always FUN to be criticized, but it doesn't break me into pieces. Not in public anyway. I also feel like I know when to accept help and recognize that I didn't know EVERYTHING. I'm always wanting to learn how to be...better. For myself and my girls. There's definitely a time to listen. I find it very important to surround myself with mothers and everyday humans with whom I can have a candid conversation, where we can express our opinions and give advice and take it. When it's comes to my "core," often words aren't even needed. It takes but a raised eyebrow from my gals Jenn or Abby when they catch me giving Pats a "fake timeout" or using the microwave when I don't REALLY need to. I know what they're trying to say. And I appreciate it. It takes no more than a deadpan stare for me to know how my friend Craig feels about a performance I've given. On stage or off. So yeah, it's vital to be able to accept praise and words of encouragement and also a little tough love from those you really trust. It's also important to know when to keep your mouth shut. To strangers and friends.

I've become obsessed over the past few years with baby wearing. The proper carriers, holds, etc. Through my research and advice I've gained from EXPERTS, I've found my two faves. (In case you're wondering: MOBY WRAP and BABY HAWK If expectant to new moms ask me about carriers, I give them my opinion. As much as it makes me cringe, I do NOT go up to every woman (or man) carrying a 5 month old front facing in a Baby Bjorn and tell them they're "doing it wrong." I don't classify improper hip placement as a life or death situation. I also don't consider consumption of straight up sugar from a paper package life or death. Well, it kind of is, but I choose my battles case to case on this one. If I see the child choking on said vibrant colored sugar, I will step in. And I've still not been able to figure out a way to confront mothers who are smoking while pushing a baby stroller. It makes me so crazy I could never eloquently address them. I welcome advice in this arena.

Kids or no kids, here's the deal: Other people will never, ever stop bringing you down. Or trying to. And the more successful you become, the worse it gets. The people that are doing it and don't realize it, are stupid. The people who are doing it on purpose are assholes. Neither of these people are worth your time or tears. And most of the time, we KNOW what our shortcomings are, right? I'm not a professional writer. When I become one and I have books or articles published I assume I'll have a capable editor. Until then, I may have grammatical errors and misspelled words from time to time. I KNOW THIS. I'm short and I have thick thighs. I KNOW THIS. You see, "Constructive" implies building you up in some way. This takes very careful delivery and tact. The right forum. Most unsolicited criticism or "advice" from peers is not constructive. It's just pointing out your flaws. And, its usually done passive aggressively by people who are your "friends" and not your FRIENDS.

Look- I love Joan Rivers and Fashion Police and US Weekly and all the celebrity gossip I can handle. Guilty pleasure. But the way our society is so quick to judge and pick apart people we don't even know is out of control. Yes, most of the time it's all in good fun. It's entertainment, I get it and I love watching. But a poor girl who's on the red carpet at her first Golden Globes, glammed out from horn to hoof in the best duds money can buy - well, borrow- and there's 5 different networks criticizing her lipstick shade?? It's truly nuts. So it's no wonder with this type of blatant judgement we see and hear everyday that we, the peasants, start following suit. Maybe it's just "the way things are." But I've said it before and I'll say it again: Being a mother is HARD. I've always been a proponent of women sticking up for and building each other up, but ESPECIALLY mothers. Don't judge, don't be shady, and don't talk shit. HELP. ENCOURAGE. LISTEN. UNDERSTAND. This WILL work. And eventually it will all come around. It will.

And before I button this, let ME offer a tidbit of "advice": PUH-LEEEASE teach your children to chew quietly and with their mouths closed. That way, they don't grow up to be the asshole I have to listen to while I'm in the "relaxation room" at the spa waiting for the ONE massage I'm able to get each year-smacking their lips, shoveling almonds and dried apricots into their gullets like barbarians. It's annoying. And rude. And not at all relaxing. Theenks.

A dish EVERYBODY has an opinion about: ribs. BBQ. I am neither a BBQ nor a ribs expert by any means. But, I know what tastes good, I know when other people think something tastes good, and I know when something is super easy and no fuss. This recipe is that. I'm on a slow cooker kick, so get over it or get on board! My new lifestyle practically demands it. So here we go!

KICKIN' [me in the] RIBS
4 lbs pork back ribs (this was two full racks at the Farmers Market)
1 bottle of Thai chili sauce (in Canada I use President's Choice Memories of Thailand Fiery Chili sauce, in The States I use Trader Joes.)

Season ribs with basalt and pepper. Place in crock pot up and down (as opposed to laying them flat. Dump the whole bottle of chili sauce over the ribs. I kind of massaged it in a little bit. Turn on LOW. Cover and let sit for 9 1/2 hours. Remove ribs and set aside on serving platter or baking sheet. Pour the drippings from the crock into a small saucepan. Whisk in Wondra on Med-High heat till you have a BBQ sauce consistency. Serve on the side or directly over the meat. Jeremy likes his without extra sauce, so I always serve in the side. Eat alongside potato salad and veg, or your favorite BBQ staple. These guys are so absolutely scrumptious they will shut up even your most outspoken dinner guests!

1 lb waxy little potatoes (new, red skin, fingerling- that's what I used. They cook quick and you don't have to chop them up)
2 small hard boiled eggs (if using large or extra large eggs, maybe just one)
2/3 c mayo (I use low fat, use whatever you like)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp spicy brown/deli mustard
2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Handful of flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped- about 1/4 c

Dump potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Liberally salt. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain. Boil eggs**
While you wait...make the dressing. Whisk together mayo, sugar, mustard and spices. Then stir in the celery scallions, and parsley. Add the potatoes, once they're drained, to the dressing while they're still warm. This way they absorb the max flavor. Refrigerate right away. The longer the better, but prob not longer than two days. You have to wait for those ribs, anyway...

The ribs and the potato salad fed 4 adults plus Jeremy for lunch the next day.

***OK. Hard boiled eggs. This method never fails. Perfecto every time. Place eggs in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. The remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Drain the water, then fill with ice water for 5 minutes. Drain that water. Peel and enjoy right away, or refrigerate with shells on.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Can we really have it all? Can we be mothers with gorgeous well behaved kids AND be smoking hot wives, AND live out our dreams in out chosen profession? Can we really juggle these things without anyone or anything suffering in the process. My first instinct is to say NO. No we can't. Something at some point has got to give and that "something" will suffer, causing a trickle down to all areas of your life.

Example (from several months ago):  Over the past few weeks, maybe twice a week, Nora would complain about her butt.* On a dime just FLIP OUT. Squealing and screaming at the top of her lungs. Clenching her little tuchus as tears streamed down her face. This mysterious butt disease was magically cured by ice cream, me laying in bed with her, or an extra episode of Strawberry Shortcake. I know it was at least a LITTLE bit physical, but definitely was seasoned heavily with manipulation. A few days ago, it was...BAD. I came home from work for my two hour break to give the sitter a breather. Nora was screaming non-stop about her butt. Of course it was a Saturday. Should I take her to the hospital? Jeremy arrived home too and I figured she'd chill a bit. No suck luck. It just got worse and worse. Finally it was 6:38. I need to leave by 6:40. She was standing naked in the living room screaming bloody murder. And I just...left her there. To go to work. I was devastated. I left my baby suffering and could think of nothing else during the show, and therefor, my work suffered as well. Ultimately the whole situation ending in Jeremy and I have some ludacris fight. So Nora suffered (and I'm sure Pats, too as it trickled down), my marriage suffered, and my performance at work that night suffered because I was completely fixated on Nora and how she and her butt were doing. The night was made better-slash-worse when I got a txt from my sitter (who's AMAZING, by the way) saying that 5 minutes after I left she was fully clothed, laying on the floor calmly watching a movie before heading to bed without a fight. Um...SERIOUSLY? If I had stayed home from work would the night have gone the same? Or, would I have been ripping my hair out as she wailed until 11:00pm when Jeremy could relieve me. It's so heart wrenching. So frustrating. This was not a situation where I felt that "having it all" was all its cracked up to be. If this was having it all, I wanted absolutely NOTHING. Then, I started thinking about the word "all." Ya know, in regards to "having it all." Who decides what that means?? What's the measuring stick? Does Angelina Jolie have it all? Beauty, respect, arguably the sexiest man alive. Toting her brood all over the world on private jets throwing her endless income around on mansion  in France, all the while managing to sustain her Academy Award-worthy acting career. Um, her kids still eat McDonalds. Or does Halle Berry have it all? She still has a strained situation with her baby daddy. Sarah Palin? Healthy kids. Loving husband. High profile. She has the utter disrespect of half the nation. Oprah? OWNs the world. No husband. No children. So maybe it's time to stop measuring our lives against others and redefine the word "all" for ourselves. And maybe that definition changes from year to year. Hell, maybe it changes from day to day. One day simply having a shower, remembering to brush your teeth, throwing in ONE load of laundry, and feeding & keeping your kids put of traffic might be having it all. The next day, getting everyone dressed for a holiday picture without a fistfight i having it all. Another day, a killer job interview and a quick spin around Trader Joes is having it all. And maybe another day you have a breakfast meeting, hook up with your glam squad, give the kids a home cooked meal, get them bathed and diapered before you head to the Emmy red carpet. It's all relative. Honestly if you're able to keep your children clean and healthy, your husband relatively content, and keep your own head above water before another night all too quickly turns to morning, I'd say: that's having it all. And if you can do all this without heavily self-medicating, more power to ya. I, however, say pass the Pinot Noir. And the leftover chocolate birthday cake frosting. All of it. And a spoon.
Having it All in various forms: Prego while performing in the Broadway hit, JERSEY BOYS.
Celebrating my 21st Bday in Vegas (I was actually 30 1/2).  Xmas morning cuddles with the babes.
Nora reading the Arts Section of the NY times. With me on the cover.
If I had any documentation of me make-up-less, yet ALIVE, after a subway ride with a double stroller after
getting groceries trust me-I would've included it.
This recipe defines "Having it All" for me! Right before and right after Jeremy and I got engaged we were living in Las Vegas. He was working there and I was a kept woman for 5 months, consistently tanned to a golden shade not unlike the most delicious roasted chicken you've ever seen. When I was bored or we had late night plans, I'd drive down to The Strip and meet him. If I had extra time to kill, I'd always stop off for a glass of Cava at Emeril's TABLE 10 at The Palazzo. And there, is my favorite restaurant meal of all time. I would order a side of the lobster mac and cheese and a side if the grilled asparagus. It's good! Shortly after Nora was born, I was craving it like nobody's business. Thats when I came up with this recipe. So easy. So affordable (well, certainly in comparison to Table 10), and just as delicious! 

Creamy, rich goodness. Have it all, lady!

I lb box of medium shell shaped pasta
2 cups milk
Wondra (In Canada you can find Robin Hood Easy Blend Flour-I just found this. So happy.)
8 oz havarti cheese, grated or finely cubed
4 oz havarti w dill, grated or finely cubed
Panko (Japanese Style) read crumbs
Grated parm (freshly grated from a chunk is best, but if the can is all you have no prob)
Salt, pep, old bay
I pound large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and shelled. (I buy the bag in the frozen section that's already cooked and all you have to do is thaw and remove tails. So easy.)
Zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil

Boil pasta according to package directions. About 10 minutes. In another large pot, heat milk till its almost at a simmer and start whisking in the wondra. Bit by bit until it becomes thick. Like shampoo consistency. Yummy. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Havarti.
add in the drained pasta and stir until evenly coated.  Cut the large (fully defrosted) shrimp into thirds. Use your eye depending on the size of the shrimp. The pieces should be about the size that they could for into one of the cooked (pasta) shells. Fold in the shrimp and transfer entire mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole. Top with Havarti with dill, then panko, then lemon zest, then grated parm, then chopped parsley, then drizzle w olive oil. Bake at 400 for 15min then put under broiler for 3-5min depending on the strength of your oven. And KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT! I have a wicked strong oven and burn Mac & cheese about every 3rd time I make it. Pair this with some bubbly and a green salad- perfection. Or if you wanna try my asparagus: 
Asparagus, olive oil, montreal steak seasoning. Toss. Spread on baking sheet. 400 degrees. 15-20 min. Boom. Done. Easiest ever.

A 3 year old. Teaching me what LOVE is. On the daily.

Just an afterthought post LOVE DAY...
1) a gal who turns a snowman into a snow diva to help curb her extreme hatred for winter play in an effort to not extinguish the joy her child receives from such activity. 2) a woman with the ability to relinquish control in the area of confection presentation. And, the ability to recognize that it's ok if it looks like a 3-year-old made the cupcakes when indeed a 3-year-old DID make the cupcakes. 3) a chick who can get through any ordinary day with any number of squealing children without beating them, developing an illegal substance abuse problem, or completely destroying her mani.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SUPERMOMS! You are LOVED! May you stuff your face with drugstore chocolate like nobody's watching. Cheers!

*We did take Nora to the doctor. There is nothing physically wrong with her butt according to a physician's opinion. It did, however, flare up yesterday and was instantly cured by playing on my iPad. During a trip to see the Rockettes this Xmas, "The Magic of Santa's lap healed [her] butt." Direct quote. Ringing through Radio City Music Hall. Not awkward at all.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Political and human rights issues aside, I've decided to adopt the new mantra:
KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. Unless someone is directly out to physically harm or psychologically take down your children or member of your immediate family, smile and ignore them. "Seriously? Just leave it? Someone's being a complete dick to me and I'm not supposed to retaliate or even stand up for myself?" Exactly. That's what I'm sayin. nice. Sounds easy right? It IS. Those who just can't seem to do it, that's their problem. There are sad sad people out there, that unfortunately some of us deal with on a daily basis, who some how get off on just being...miserable. Creating drama. Making others feel like shit to make themselves feel better. It's gross. And the best way to keep clean and come out looking like the honor student is to KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. It's as insane as entertaining a two year old's tantrum in a grocery store. You can't reason with a child in the midst of a fit. The same way you can't reason with some grown ass woman who's trying to bring you down. And NEVER forget this: You can't reason with crazy. Someone who is a legit Wack-a-Mole is never gonna really realize that they are one. Even if they've "admitted it" by seeking help or taking Trust me, tread even softer around these folks. Cause when push comes to shove, you'll end up getting so frustrated you'll freak out and they'll start crying about their horrible mommy or absentee daddy who made them this way and then -POOF- you're the bad guy.

My homegirls circa 2001 are reading this right now in UTTER SHOCK! Jenny Lee??!! "But wait. No. That sounds like I'm being fake. And if there's one thing I can't stand its a fake bitch who's nice to your face then gossips behind your back. Ugh!" That's what I used to think. For a long, long time. I took pride in the fact that I spoke my mind no matter what, and that people ALWAYS knew how I felt about them. Good or bad. If someone was pissing me off I nipped it in the bud right then and there, regardless of awkwardness or anyone else's feelings. I was the bass ass chick who told it like it was. And ya know what? Ya know what I got behind closed doors from every guy I ever dated who was on the outside looking in on my relationships with other women? I was MEAN. "MEAN?! No. Well, I don't care. At least I'm honest." Ah! Right. Cause that's what the world's been waiting for, right? MY opinion. MY 

judgement. How egotistical, selfish, and...disgusting. Cause guess what folks? NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR THE TRUTH. Not when it's negative. Why do you think the wife to husband exchange "does this make me look fat?" is such a cliche? What good does it do if Mr. speaks the truth and says to Mrs., "Yes. It makes your ass look huge. Ya know why? Cause you have a big fat ass and  nothing is gonna change that babe." Um...just mean. Look, when it comes to my core of bessies it's a different story. My few really close, good girlfriends. Of course, IF ASKED, I would tell them. Because we have a history. A relationship. A trust, an understanding. And even then...unless I felt they were REALLY out to embarrass or hurt themselves...I still probably wouldn't say anything. Unless it was a real eye-to-eye-tell-it-to-me-straight moment...bottom line: its just none of my F-ing business. Example: mother of two under two asking, "Is my husband boning his supervisor?" TRUTH. Mother of two under two asking, "Do I look exhausted? Does my hair look like shit?" LIE. Smile and lie. Well, no, smile and help her fix her hair.

A few years back, I worked with a gal. She was just..SO NICE. To everyone. Well, to everyone's face. She always had a second or two for everyone in our company. A seemingly sincere, "How are you?" or "Great sweater!" Now when she was with us girls, her co-workers, she was...normal. She rolled her eyes about the people she had just taken time for in the hall, and chatted cattily about whoever. It annoyed me SO MUCH. (I was in my "If I don't like you, you'll know it" phase. Hardcore.) Ahhh! It seemed so fake! And I couldn't stand it! And then...she died. She got very sick. Very suddenly. And just...died. And ya know what people remember about her? Her smile. Her joy. Her zest for life and kindness to everyone she came in contact with. THAT's what people remember because thats what they saw. Thats what they felt. And this CHANGED ME. Big time. At this point, Nora was about 5 months old. I remember getting the news of Lindsay's passing and looking into my baby girl's innocent eyes. I didn't want her to be hard and tell-all like me. I didn't want her to ever be viewed as mean. Even if it was "funny." I wanted her to be like Lindsay. Kind for the sake of being kind. Always with a smile because it takes no more effort than a frown, so why not. I now say, it doesn't matter WHY you're being nice. Just do it. People who are nice just to get things out of others? I really don't care. Do you think your going to get what you want out of people by being nasty? No. I've decided there's no such thing in my mind as "artificial kindness." From here on out, there's no suspicion. If you're nice, you're nice. Done and done.

Here's the real deal: I've recently been in the presence of a person who was/is...mean. Almost all the time. To me. To others. Just an angry and sad human being who I assume feels better by being nasty to people. And ya know what? To be on the receiving end of that feels like shit. If you knew me in the recent or distant past and ever fell victim to my "truths" or "jokes" or just bottom line mean girl behavior and you happen to be reading this: I am so, so very sorry from the bottom of my heart. I probably thought I was doing you a service by being straight up and candid with you (that's how blind I was), but that is in no way an excuse. I hope you can accept my apology. That's all I really want (but don't need) in return. For this sad and disgusting bully to open their eyes to their behavior and apologize. To apologize and to know:  I don't care how hot or pretty you are (or think you are) it's ugly behavior. And ugly behavior makes you an ugly person. Mirror Mirror on the wall, much? Eek. Wait. Did that sound mean? Haha. But seriously, I used to have a reoccurring dream where I would lose it 

Me and Linds. My Earth Angel.
 I only wish
I had the chance to tell
her sooner how she changed me for good.
Thank you, gal. See you at The Seabreeze.
and tell this person off and wake up feeling horrible and guilty. Awful. And in my dream I always came out looking like the villain. But still, I would fantasize about retaliating. Then, I took a moment. And I would think of Lindsay. And I would think of Nora and Pats. And ya know what? It's just not worth it. And it doesn't make me weak. And it doesn't make me fake. It makes me better. Its not my job to educate every D-grade wanna be bully. So I'm taking it off my to-do list and taking the high road. And somewhere, sometime in the murky future these meanies will cross the line with the wrong person and they will be taught a real lesson. Or better yet, they'll meet their Lindsay.

So what have we learned? KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. And then bitch and vent to your true friends in the privacy of your own home over a bottle of wine while stuffing your face with amaze balls Spinach-Crab dip. It's perfection with pita chips, veggies, whatever. Leftovers would also be ridiculous atop a burger for a decadent switch up! Ooh! Fancy surf and turf with truffled fries! OMG. I'm getting starving. Ok, here we go--

1- 8oz block cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c + 1/4 grated parm
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Old Bay
I lb frozen spinach, thawed & drained
8 oz lump crab meat*
8oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Beat together cc& sc in large mixing bowl with spices until well blended. Stir in 1/2 c of the parm. Fold in spinach & artichokes then crab. Spread into sprayed glass pan. What you might make lasagna in. Top with reserved parm and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve with pita chips, crustini, your fave crusty bread or veggies. 

*if you're vegetarian, just not feelin it, wanna save a couple bucks... leave it out. No biggie. It's just as delicious without!
Dig in!
Not the prettiest pic of uncooked dip, but here's a great tip:
When taking this to a party, pack in a bigger tray with dip to one side.
That way you heat and fill up with chips when you get there and don't have to bother your hostess for an extra bowl!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Ya know those mornings when you have to get up so early that the sun is hours from rising and your level of exhaustion is legitimately making you physically ill? But you shake it off cause you're en route to the airport about to fly away on an amazing trip. And by 11 am you'll be checked in to your posh hotel and be sitting poolside sipping an umbrella drink, the aromas of coconut and salty air filling your sinuses inducing utter relaxation. Well, that's my life. Every day. But instead of a fabulous vacation, I'm getting up to watch Caillou. 

4:30?! 4:30. When does it end? I am no longer the mother of infants. A 3 year old and a 19 month old. I guess they technically "sleep through the night?" They're out by 8pm at the latest (So I'm told. I work at night and put them to sleep only 1 night a week)  and up usually around 6 or 6:30. But for far too many consecutive mornings it's been more like 5:30 or today- 4:30. No. I'm sorry. Completely unacceptable. Unless you're a farmer or shooting a Scorsese film, there is no good reason to be awake at 4:30 in the morning. Let me rephrase that: There is no good reason to be WAKING UP at 4:30 in the morning. I can think of many a good reason to be [still] AWAKE at 4:30 in the morning (internal chuckle, smiles with eyes) and none of them involve a bald, Canadian cartoon preschooler. 

Full time mom. Full time job. With odd hours. My level of exhaustion has gotten to the point of living outside my body. Just kind of floating above the reality of no more than 5-6 hours of sleep. Ever. And mind you, that 5-6 hours is never NOT interrupted. It's like being high all the time. I'm a highly functioning addict. If my addiction is lack of sleep. Really? I'm addicted to lack of sleep? I can't be addicted to something that gives even a little pleasure, ie: booze or chocolate. Why me? I don't know. All I do know is that I need to get some serious sleep seriously soon or I'm gonna end up on the news. And not like E! News. Like the serious news. Seriously. I'm starting to think Kate Gosselin wasn't such a crazy bitch afterall. She was just TIRED. Yikes. Recently my mind has been going to the place of getting prego with a third child just so people will feel so sorry for me they'll INSIST I catch some Z's. I mean, seriously?! Yes. I've officially entered Crazytown and I'm first lady. Zombiemom.
The two reasons I get up every morning.
 Also the reasons why the time between going to sleep
 and getting up is so brief.
I'm just gonna keep on holding on to the fact that the day will come when Nora and Pats will both be in school all day and perhaps sometime in that 12 year span I'll be able to grab a quick nap in the afternoon. I mean, THIS is now my fantasy? Sexy. And, in the meantime, I'll continue to slather myself in coco butter daily and every once in a while chug a skinnygirl margarita alone in my kitchen at 3 in the afternoon and stare blankly at my granite countertop. In that 90 seconds I have to myself, the granite turns to sand in my mind and I'm at a beachside pool laughing histerically about nothing. And I'm all alone. Cause nobody wants to lay  next to the crazy lady who's pounding cocktails before noon and laughing histerically to herself about nothing. I dunno why. She sounds like a good time gal to me.

Ok, folks it's mid October and you know what that means: People are coming out of the woodwork and going absolutely bat shit crazy for anything and everything PUMPKIN! I mean, it's gotten a little out of control. I know it's become sort of a marker of the beginning of the season, but... You know they sell canned pumpkin all year right? And nowhere in our constitution does it say "No man shall eat pie of squash before the morn of the first of November." The one that gets me the most is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. To make your own Pumpkin Spice coffee syrup costs about 2 cents and takes about 2 seconds to make. And the best part: you can enjoy it anytime of year in the privacy of your own home without even getting out of your jammies. So here it is:

1 c sugar (I use organic raw sugar cause I'm super snobby, but white sugar works just as well)
I c water
3 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 tsp of cloves
I use a little sifter like this over a funnel, over a squeeze bottle.

Bring water and sugar and spices to a boil, then kick it back to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Strain through a sifter or a coffee filter. I do this because for some reason when I've made cinnamon flavored syrups in the past, if you don't strain it it changes the consistency and it's very gloppy and gooey and doesn't dissolve properly. I strain it into a little plastic ketchup bottle or squeeze bottle from the dollar store. Or a squeeze bottle from a beauty supply store. Same diff.
Add to coffee to taste. Keep in mind Starbucks uses "2 pumps" in a standard flavored coffee. 

Next up, a savory twist on the pumpkin craze: Cheesy Pumpkin Noodles! So delish, so easy. And because of the color, your kids will think it's Mac and cheese while you're sneaking in the nutrients from the pumpkin! Devilish mama, you.


1 pound orechhiette (this is the pasta that looks like little ears or in this case little pumpkin crowns. Use whatever shape you like, I just like the themeyness of it!)
1 small container (15oz)of ricotta cheese (I tend to use fat free, but full fat or reduced fat works just as well)
1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling. There should be one ingredient in the label: PUMPKN.)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c half and half 
1/4 c grated parmesean cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (don't worry! it won't taste like pie, promise!)
Olive oil
Cheesy. Squashy. Yummy.
Boil pasta in salted water according to package. While that's cooking, grab a large bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together ricotta, pumpkin, 2 cups of the mozzarella (reserve 1 c for the top), parmesan, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Drain pasta and mix thoroughly with cheese mixture. Pour it all into a greased lasagna pan. Top with remaining mozzarella, chopped sage leaves (about 10) and drizzle with olive oil and a teeny sprinkle of nutmeg. Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges become golden brown. Serve with crusty garlic bread and seasonal beer of choice. Or your fave red wine. Or whatever. 

Ok, now brunch is a rare outing for us these days, but this past weekend our cousin was in town and we wanted to show her a good time so we took her to a cute place in Morningside Heights, NYC: Kitchenette. They had a drink special that I was all over. Apple Pie Mimosa. Um...YUM. 
Super easy. Super delicious. 

Your fave champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine
Apple Cider

Champagne flute. Fill 3/4 of the way up with the bubbly. Top it off with the cider and sprinkle with cinnamon. Drink and be merry!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I will never ever forget the moments when my daughters first latched on to me, minutes old, as I fed them from my breast for the first time. It was the most amazing, natural, life changing experience. 
I will also never forget the moment my 2 1/2 year old was feeding and looked up looked up at me, puzzled and said, "Mama you're empty. You have nothing left." Sigh. Kid, you ain't just whistling Dixie. 
Now I've said before, I'm incredibly blessed that both my girls are efficient, enthusiastic diners and besides the occasional love bite it's been smooth sailing in the breast feeding department from the get.

Feeding Time at the Zoo
Hello, my name is Jenny Lee and I've been breast feeding for the past 2 years and 9 months and I see no end in sight. I haven't slept in almost as long and I feel like a crazy person. I nursed all through my second pregnancy and am now nursing a 14 month old AND an almost 3 year old in tandem for most of the day. Nora is absolutely right. I have nothing left. Well, technically I do. It's crazy! I can barely get through yoga without my tatas becoming veiny rocks. Let alone go out for the night! I recently went to an event with my husband and by the end of the night I looked like a 'ho vying for Flava Flav's affection. It's like I have 3 month old twins. Insanity. But I'm so incredibly torn. I know I'm not through nursing Pats. I want her to have breast milk until 2 if I can and she's still interested. So I feel the old tricks of vinegar or lemon juice on the nips to deter Nora is out. And even though it's a pain sometimes, Nora is CLEARLY not through with me. Am I naive in thinking she knows best when it comes to this? I don't want to deny her of my milk for my own convenience. I'm a crazy person, right? Ugh! My mom says I'm being selfish. That I continue to breast feed them for ME, not them. I really don't even know how to respond to that. Besides being afraid I'm gonna gain weight and my period will return and I'll go through extreme hormonal swings and have a nervous breakdown due to this trifecta, I don't know what she could possibly be talking about. Oh, wait... I don't know. Maybe she's right. 
3 weeks and 2 days later...
I did it. They say it takes 2 weeks for something to become a habit. Yeah, I don't know who "THEY" are either. But they say it. Like if you do hot yoga everyday for two weeks it becomes a habit. Or if you have a drink with lunch every day for two weeks. A habit. Not that I would know anything about either of those things... Anyhoo- I didn't wanna jinx it, so I waited an extra week. And I can say with absolute confidence: NORA IS WEENED! After 15 months of being double teamed daily by two pint sized piranhas, I'm officially down to nursing just one baby. It's strange. If I hadn't kept an account of that first week, I'd think it was no big whoop. Just another stage you go through as a parent. Something you GET through. And yes, I got through it. But it sucked. It sucked HARD. And then it just...didn't anymore. 
Heres's a little taste of how it all went down in the drama I referred to as NO BOOBIES FOR NORA or #NBFN:
DAY 1: 
A random Saturday. My 19 year old niece is in town some have some back up to help look after Pats if things get nasty, and I just decide to go for it. We didn't talk about it. I had no strategy. Just jumping in. Cutting her off cold turkey. Without any warning. I'm a horrible person. We stayed out all day as a distraction. We got home tonight and she's exhausted and a little warm. She tries to nurse and I say no. She doesn't really fight too much and settles for an extra cuddle and some agave-laced soy milk in a baby (sippy) cup. Hm. Maybe this won't be so bad after all... #NBFN
DAY 2:
Nora has a full blown fever of 103 and hasn't pooped all day. She keeps asking for boobies. I keep refusing. She's still not putting up much of a fight. She cries for 3-5 minutes, then settles for a cuddle. But she's so drowsy and pathetic from the fever and bloating, she's not doing much of anything. I feel terrible all I want to do is nurse her back to health. Literally. Maybe I should just quit and start this whole weaning thing once she's back to normal... No. Staying strong. #NBFN
DAY 3:
I'm trying to keep her busy, but it's raining and she's officially sick. She's NEVER sick. And she STILL hasn't pooped. I'm beyond guilty. I know boobies would just make it all better. But I'm not giving in. #NBFN
DAY 4:
I'm just...mean. I'm home alone and I can't just leave Nora downstairs while I nurse Pats in private. If I go into the other room she KNOWS what I'm doing. It's like eating brownie batter in front of someone who's being forced to lose 5 pounds against their will. She's obviously feeling better cause she's beginning to fight. Papa's on duty as she wakes up almost every hour through the night, screams "Mama! BOOBIES!" for 15 minutes then passes out. I have to listen from my room as I snuggle and nurse Pats. I hate this. But deep down I know this too shall pass... #NBFN
DAY 5: 
"O. PEN. YOUR. SHIIIIIIIIIIIRT!" "GI. ME. SOME. BOOBIIIIIEEEEEES!" Her fever broke and she's fightin' hard. Screaming for up to 35 minutes at a time. It sounds like Mardi Gras in here. With less beads. And more booze. As for her constipation....she did eventually go, but my brilliant plan backfired on me. Literally. In an effort to prove to Nora how DELICIOUS prune juice and dried apricots are, I am now sharting. But standing strong. #NBFN 
DAY 6: 
It's 3:30 am. Why am I doing this again? I've completely lost sight of the reason. I lay in her little bed as she paces manically around her room and cries "Boobies, Booobies, BOOOOOOOOOOOOBIES!!!!" She's sweating, out of breath. This has been going on for 1 hour and 12 minutes, without intermission. I'm sick to my stomach. Not giving my child what she's begging for when it's right at my fingertips, well, nipple tips (?) whatever... Something that is healthy and natural and comforting ... Ugh! It's not like she's crying to stay up and watch Showtime and binge on Milky Ways. She doesn't even want to snuggle me at this point. She hates me. I'm so sad. If it were up to me, we'd eat cupcakes everyday for breakfast, she'd never go to school, and I'd nurse her till she got her first period. Wait. ISN'T it up to me? Damn you...society! And...Social Services! You ruin everything! #NBFN
Day #8: 
HO. LEE. SHIZ NUGGETS. She slept through the night! She slept through the mutha-humpin NIGHT! I sleep trained her at 12 months old. It took in one session. It stuck for almost 4 months. Since then shes been in bed with me, draining my dry every 2-3 hours. This is EPIC. Now, granted, she slept through the night on a blanket on the living room floor. But it counts. It counts. #NBFN
Day #9:
She pulled down my shirt and called Pats over. Like a dog. "C'mon, Pats. Time for boobies. C'mon." Slept through the night again. On the floor. Like a dog. #NBFN
Day #10:
Not so much as a whimper of "The B Word" all day. 
Day 11, 12, 13, and beyond...I mean we did it. Its done it really happened. We don't talk about it. It Pats gets boobies. Nora doesn't. No fits. No fights. Well, not about boobies anyway.
It's crazy. I was so nervous that if I weaned her, Nora wouldn't love me as much anymore. Terrified we'd loose our special bond. But it's the opposite. It's like we've become CLOSER. Instead of just whipping a tit out every time she gets a little upset, we actually have to talk things through and COMMUNICATE about what's really bothering her. Imagine that. In my guilt, I've started to find special things for us to do together. Just us. Art projects, trips to the store, things that only "big girls" get to do. And it's totally working. And that's that. I have absolutely no regrets about nursing Nora until almost 3 years old, and absolutely no regrets about stopping when I did. 
Now we just need to get her off the living room floor and into an actual bed. Then, we need to get her out of diapers full time. I'm REEEEEALLY looking forward to that. Especially as a New York City Mama. I can't wait to stop every hour while we're out and about and wedge my double stroller into a Starbucks bathroom where I can then hover her above a toilet seat that a homeless man no doubt jacked off on moments before. But that, my friends, is a blog of a different color. A tale all it's own. Stay tuned. 
Grown up Girl Bonding. Boobie-Free. 
Nursing two babes, pounding the pavement, hitting the hot yoga room, surviving in New York. I'm eating for FUEL. I'm starving and dying of thirst as soon as I wake up in the morning and for most of the day. But I refuse to grab crap. Except for my almost daily Black and White cookie. And my nightcap slice [of pizza] anytime Jeremy and I are out on the town. Neither of which I consider crap! Anyhoo, point being, I need things on hand to grab quickly that taste really good, are in someway healthy or appear to be so (I believe half of everything's in your head anyway), and fill me up and sustain me for as long as possible. These are two recent recipes I am obsessed with. 
1 lb pasta  I originally used a gluten-free brown rice penne for this dish. It was awesome. I had never used it before, but had some gluten-free guests coming so i gave it a try. Super yummy. However, I'm not crazy about the rice pasta straight from the fridge. I prefer it room temp. Thats just me. Feel free to use and short cut pasta you like.  Rotini, penne, farfalle, whatever tickles your pickle that day. I will always vote for a multi-grain or whole wheat, though. More fiber and protein to keep ya going! Also, I think, a better match for the veggies. 
1 small onion
10 garlic cloves (I know that sounds CRAZY! 10 garlic cloves. But trust me when they're roasted up they are so sweet and mellow. Delicious. And they won't burn a hole in your stomach, blow out your ass, or make your breath reek.
2 carrots
1 c broccoli florets
1 c cauliflower florets
3/4 c roasted red peppers
1 ear of corn off the cob
Now, these just happen to be the veggies I had on had that day. Asparagus would be awesome in this. Mushrooms, artichoke hearts, zucchini, almost anything would be amazing. 
Baby arugula I'd say a good handful. About a cup or so. If you don't have or don't like arugula, fresh chopped baby spinach would work fine too. I like the arugula because it's a little peppery and spicy. 
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and a generous amount of kosher salt and set it n the stove to boil. Slice onion and de-cob corn and throw into a skillet over medium-low heat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally till soft and caramelized. While thats going...Place peeled, whole garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil. Lightly toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and wrap loosely. Set aside on a baking sheet. Cut up carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower (or whatever veg you're using). Scatter on that same baking sheet and, again, olive oil, salt, pepper. Toss the whole sheet into the oven for about 20 minutes. I actually usually do the garlic in my toaster oven. I pop it in before i start anything else and the whole house smells amazing! I'm obsessed with toaster ovens. I seriously use it very day. 
Ok. Cook pasta according to package directions, usually 8-10 minutes. Drain. Now any time I make any kind of pasta, pasta salad, Mac and cheese, I always reserve a small Tupperware's worth. With 2 girls under 3 in the house it never hurts to have some extra plain pasta ready to go in the fridge. Ok, veggies are done. Pasta is done. Now we just toss and serve. I like to put all the veg in the bottom of a large bowl and toss with half the dressing, add the pasta and toss with the rest. Then I stir in the arugula at the very end. I still like it with a little bite to it, not too soggy. I Ok. So here's the dressing:
2/3 c olive oil
1/3 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp agave nectar (you could prob substitute honey and it would be fine, but I like the agave)
Salt and pepper to taste 
Whisk it all together. This is so yummy. Use it on salads, chicken, fish, steamed or grilled veggies...whatever. Fresh and delicious! You could also add a teaspoon or more of fresh tarragon, chives, thyme for a delicious herb vinaigrette. 
I'm allergic to nuts. And peanuts. So it's hard for me to grab any old granola bar of the grocery store shelf and feel 100% confident that it's not gonna kill me. I was so happy when I found Sunflower seed butter or SUNBUTTER. In some stores it can be a bit pricey, but Trader Joes's their own and it rocks. I use it all the time. These bars, I'm sure, aren't low in calories or carbs or fat, but I need the calories like most moms who are running around all day. They're full of good fat and fiber from tons of dried fruit. I don't know what a nutritionist would say, but I say they're delicious and I know EXACTLY what's in them. And that's a big deal to me. And your kiddos will love them too!
2 egg whites
1/2 c SUNBUTTER (like I said, I'm allergic to peanut butter and all other nut butters. If you want to substitute, go ahead. But then they really wouldn't be called sunflower bars anymore...)
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter
2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c roasted sunflower seeds (salted or unsalted, up to you. I like salted!)
1/2 c each: craisins, raisins, dried apricots (again, this is what I happened to have on hand. Almost any dried fruit would be fine. Apples, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, coconut. Just dice up anything bigger so all the fruit is about the same size.)
1/4 c semi sweet choc chips
1/4 c white choc chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (same size pan you would make a regular lasagna in). In a big bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add in SUNBUTTER, brown sugar, honey and butter and whisk well. Sir in oats, sunflower seeds and fruit until well mixed with a big spoon, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter, then transfer to the fridge. When is fully set and cold, cut into bars and individually wrap if you wish. I store them in the fridge. They'd be fine to throw in your diaper bag if you plan on eating them that day. Otherwise, I'd keep them cold. They also freeze well and are so delish crumbled on top of vanilla ice cream or stirred into yogurt! 
PS: I want you all to check out TRENDY NEW YORK MOMS on Facebook. Whether you're a New York mom or not, whether if you're a MOM or not this is a great page providing tips on fashion, trends, affirmations...I know you'll love it if you "LIKE" it! So do it. Now! 
The Original To-Go Cup