A $4.00 cross-body clutch from Conway that’s surprisingly roomy and well-constructed. This bag is so versatile, I’m thinking of buying another one in the purple/black combination.
Bowron’s Shorn Wool Baby comforter is unbelivably soft; it stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter and can absorb up to 33% of its weight in moisture. The baby fell asleep as soon as I put him on it, despite having recently woken up from an 8 hour slumber. This sheepskin comes from the Bowron family in the Australia’s highlands. They tan the wool using the same eco-friendly techniques since the 1880s. Each of these lasts a lifetime, if not longer.
I’ve had to pare down on my subscriptions lately, since there is no way I can keep up with all the reading. A few things, however, will always remain on my reading list and The Sun is among them. This little magazine is full of heavy-hitting but elevating little poems, short stories and interviews with visionaries. Its kind of like a Highlights for adults–I always look forward to and devour each issue. The Sun is ad-free and is always looking for new people to join their reading community.
We recently took a chocolate making class at Tache Chocolate and had a delicious 90 minutes of composing and nibbling on incredible chocolate creations. Located on the Lower East Side in NYC, Tache Chocolate is owned by the talented and lovely Aditi Malhotra, who was recently awarded Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ Award. Aditi trained at the French Culinary Institute and named her shop after the French word for “smudge” to commemorate the chocolate marks she often finds on her chef’s apron at the end of the day. In addition to her impressive foodie credentials, Aditi is a great teacher–engaging, effusive and clearly in love with her work.
We started off by getting a rundown on some of the ingredients we’d be using: coconut flakes, various spices, nuts, raisins, strawberry wafers and jasmine tea! Aditi also shared with us what some of her favorite chocolate brands are, recommending Valrhona and Callebaut. Then, we got to peek at some of the machines Tache uses in the chocolate making process. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the machines that reminded us of the infamous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy starts stuffing truffles into her mouth off of an assembly line. Aditi demonstrated what the machines were used for and how they worked. We also got to taste Aditi’s dark chocolate grignotines, spicy chai truffles and jelly fruits. Delicious!
Our first assignment consisted of making white chocolate grignotines and mendients. We learned that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. In fact, it’s made mostly from cocoa butter and milk solids. Because of its more neutral flavor, it can serve as a nice base for additions such as various nuts and spices. This was all news to us! After heating the chocolate to the working consistency we set to making our chocolates. Aditi encouraged us to get really creative with our toppings, even showing us how to use pan masala supari mix at one point!
Next we got to work with some yummy, glossy dark chocolate. We started out by making dark chocolate coated marshmallow lollipops with toppings. Here, you can see Aditi neatly demonstrating how to top the lollipops. What you don’t see is what our versions looked like. Hint: definitely not like hers!
The final part of the class was our favorite – we used molds and filled them with chocolate using one of the machines. We chose an Eiffel Tower and skulls and topped them with edible glitter and sea salt. The glitter ended up looking like sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower and the red glaze on the skulls made them look super badass. We both agreed that this might’ve been one of the best food-related classes we ever took–it involved making and eating chocolate, after all!
Mubina with our molded chocolate creations
Posing with our creations and our teacher Aditi (center)
Fire pit at the Salt Lick BBQ in Austin, Texas
Cultivating new hobbies thanks to Hobby Lobby in Austin. Why don’t we have one in NYC?!
The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal, NY for a friend’s birthday drinks
Afternoon tea at Bosie Tea Parlor
Making citrus infused madelines at a Julia Child cooking class with A Pinch of Salt cooking classes
Learning essential knife skills at A Pinch of Salt
You know what’s cuter than baby feet? Baby booties! You can’t go wrong with hand-knit baby booties! A quick search on Etsy delivers an incredible selection like this amazing set of crochet loafers or this whimsical baby blue mustache set or this clover-green and red tartan pair.
My boss at the Federal Reserve Bank sent me this baby gift and it soon became one of our favorites. This awesome book provides high contrast contemporary art images for baby to gaze at and enjoy.
I tried a lot of different baby carriers before finding this one–it’s hands-down the best one for me. Better than the Baby Bjorn, Baby K’tan, Ergo baby, etc. This lightweight organic cotton sling is easy to put on and super-comfy to hold baby around the house. The breathable fabric is perfect for longer-term wearing.
I love incense–it’s a big part of my upbringing and its heady smell reminds me of home. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of this hand-rolled in incense from Ramakrishnanda. My favorite scent is Yamuna, which has vanilla, copal and amber in it. The scent is pretty strong but it’s gorgeous and there’s a lingering after-scent that makes the room smell warm and inviting. Visitors often remark on how good the house smells when they enter–it’s all because of this incense! I buy these at a local shop but you can purchase them here.
I’ve been doing a lot of spring/summer cleaning and found this necklace at the bottom of my jewelry box. I decided to rotate it back into my summer wardrobe because the big, milky blue gems remind me of seaglass–perfect for wearing with a breezy, beachy maxi dress.
If you haven’t heard of it, Rockabye Baby makes baby-friendly versions of rock and pop favorites. For me, the lullaby renditions of the Smashing Pumpkins are beyond sweet and amazing; I downloaded a few of the tunes for fun post-birth listening. Check them out!