1
Behind The Scenes: V Magazine Fashion Shoot
2
BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!
3
Cats and Reed + Rader
4
Painting With Cats
5
Pizza Time! Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza Review
6
Lorena Garcia Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Review
7
How to Get Cat Lady Nails
8
I Hate My Bathroom
9
Happy Holidays! + Dancing Snowmen
10
When My House Burned Down & Kitchen Fire Safety
11
December Swap: Snowmen and Cookies
12
Happy Halloween From Brooklyn!
13
November Swap: Baby, Keep Me Warm
14
Birthday + Red Jacket Giveaway
15
Tuesday Thoughts
16
Halloween Hot Drink Swap
17
Thursday Thoughts
18
Tea & Hot Chocolate Swap Interest?
19
Cooking With America’s Test Kitchen
20
Weekly Round Up

Behind The Scenes: V Magazine Fashion Shoot

I’ve been promising to start posting more of what I do outside of gardening and cooking, so here I am with a Behind The Scenes of a recent project we did.    If you guys dig this new feature, let me know  in the comments as I’d love to start documenting and sharing more of our work!

For this post here we’re going to look at a recent fashion shoot we did for V Magazine.    You can see the final project on our website as well as V Magazine’s website

We’ve been working with V Magazine for years now and they were one of the first believers in showing moving images and videos for fashion content.  They really let us do our thing and be creative so it’s always fun working on a project for them.    For this shoot our goal was to do a project that focused on 3D scans.  We wanted to shoot the model as is on a regular background and then have her avatar, a 3D scan of herself, next to her.   After some testing on ourselves we figured out what was the best software to use along side the Microsoft Kinect which we’d be using for scanning.

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BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a great weekend and got to spend some time getting your nails dirty in some soil!   
I wanted to take care of some changes that you might see around Brooklyn Farm Girl in today’s post. 

First you might have noticed the BlogHer banner to the right.  I was so happy to receive word that I’m now part of the BlogHer Network!  This is something I was hoping to be a part of almost since Brooklyn Farm Girl started so I’m happy to see it here!   With it comes some advertising banner changes that I had to make.  I had to remove some ads to work with their terms, but in the long run I hope this is a good idea.  I’ll be monitoring this through the next few months to make sure it’s the best fit for the blog.   I’m honored to be part of such a great group of bloggers so I’m hoping everything works out here!

Second,  I have  been wanting to show you guys this video that the fine folks at Miracle Gro and Home Depot made of me in the garden.   It’s only a few minutes now and I hope it doesn’t bore you too much! 😉  Welcome to our garden!  By the way, don’t you love the thumbnail for this video? I’m either gardening or burying bodies on the roof.

Lastly, I wanted to share some new features I created in the Garden section here at Brooklyn Farm Girl.  When you visit the Garden part you’ll notice a few new sections.
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What are all these about? Let me explain!

Posts – This is where all the garden posts will live.  Basically anything garden related from how to’s and harvests will be archived here.

Recipes – This is where all recipes will be archived that focus on garden recipes.  If we grow it and I use it in a recipe, it will be here.   Eventually I am going to have a ingredients picker here so it’ll be more specific to what you’re looking for.  Example:  You just grew a bunch of lettuce and don’t want to search through a bunch of recipes, you  just want the lettuce recipes.   So you’ll click lettuce and all those recipes will be listed.  I’m working with a designer now to get some pretty graphics for this!

Garden Yield Chart – This year we are tracking the weight of all the vegetables we harvest.  We’ve been meaning to do this for years but finally got around to doing this.  This chart will be updated every single time we pick something so keep checking back.   Already we’re close to 25 pounds! High 5’s!

How to Store Vegetables – This is a long list of directions on how to store vegetables and fruits.  It lists how to store each to make them long as possible.  It also gives instructions if you can freeze it or not.  I pretty much visit this page myself whenever I need to know what to do.

Seed Calendar – This lists the dates for every seed we have planted for the past few years.   This is a good way for us to keep track of our seed schedule so we can compare with past years.  It’s basically the list we live by in regards to knowing when to plant and when to transplant.  If you’re in a similar zone as us I hope this helps you.

Our Garden – This is a little about section dedicated to the garden.

When I first started the blog I had a section called “Peeking” where I visited other people’s gardens.  It was a way for me to show other people’s spaces for inspiration and just to really appreciate what others were doing.  This section got pushed to the side a bit, but it’s always been something I wish I did more of, so I’m bringing it back.    This week I’ll have a new Peeking feature so look out for it… it’s a good one!

So that’s some Monday cleanup here on the blog.

I hope you guys like the changes and I hope you are digging (hahaha) the garden section being expanded.    If you ever have any suggestions for future garden posts, or need info on a how to, let me know! 

And to leave you with, my current cat video I’m obsessed with.  Everytime I watch it I have to hold my stomach because I’m laughing so hard. There’s so much truth in this.  

Happy Monday guys… see you tomorrow with a tomato based recipe!

Cats and Reed + Rader

I’m totally going to shock you here… but I love cats! Ok maybe that’s not shocking at all, but it was reason to just yell out “I love cats!”.  I love the entire population of cats! 

We were shooting the entire past weekend and unfortunately there was no cats on set.  You know how much this breaks my heart but don’t worry, there was plenty of cat gushing with friends that we work with!   The shoot was a fashion project we’re working on and that got me thinking about cats in fashion.  You all know I’m already obsessed with cat clothes, but how about we go a step further and investigate cats that roam fashion sets and end up in the final pictures?

Matthew and my own work  features plenty of cats! We’ve done plenty of gifs, videos and interactive projects that put our cat love on full display. Here’s just a few that I’d love to show you guys!  Being inspired by cats is totally my daily fancy!

The most known one is a video we made for Vice Magazine.  The film is called “I Hate Kitties” but don’t get the idea that we hate kitties, that’s not true at all.  The video was done in good spirits but expresses that feeling when cats wake you up at 6AM with a meow to be fed, you get out of bed and run into the wall while stubbing your toe, feed your cat and then head back to bed. Then the cat appears on your belly with a look that says “I didn’t want food. Sucker.”.  

Last year we were approached by the fine folks at Snapple to create a video about cats.  The video was based on their under the lid facts. The fact for our project was Snapple Real Fact #685: Dogs can make about 10 sounds, cats make about 100.  So we decided to go right in and show how brilliant cats are with our spelling bee.    

Don’t you love a behind the scenes look at our Snapple video too featuring Brother Bear?
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For Christmas we did a GIF story for Flair Magazine. One of the shots included a grumpy cat lady.
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Then we did a V MAN / Marc Jacobs story that featured some cat rubbing. Don’t be terrified, the cats are happy.
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For a interactive piece last year we projection mapped colors on a 3D cat that we created.  The final result was a installation piece called CAT GOD. Meow.  Here’s a look at it during the day when it’s not lit up.. with me on Matthew’s shoulders (he made me do it, I was scared!).
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Finally, even a talk we gave in Toronto in April had cats in the title.  Cats, Cats, Cats! Love, Love, Love.
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And what would be a post with our projects be without some snapshots of our cats behind the scenes?  Being loved on set is their daily fancy.  Kitties love lots of attention… especially Xanadu! I really love all the models who have shown Xanadu love over the years…. she tends to always want to jump into the shots!
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Hope you guys liked taking a look behind the scenes of our cat happy work! 
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What’s your daily fancy? Follow Fancy Feast’s new Tumblr to read the #DailyFancies of fancy cats and passionate cat owners. I’m really loving the interviews they are doing with cat loving bloggers so check it out!

And check out my other cat related post I made today about painting with cats!  It’s cat day Wednesday! 

Painting With Cats

Have you ever tried to paint a wall alongside a cat? How about 4 cats? So the journey begins..

For the past few years we have had a wall unpainted that sits behind my desk. It’s called the bike wall as it houses the bikes on it.  The wall was supposed to be painted right after construction but for some reason that never happened so I have just been looking at a ugly wall for quite some time.  Because I could not put up with it anymore I told myself in May that wall would be painted!  I was pretty excited to do this and thought it would be simple.. but then some furry critters entered the painting day.

First up I wanted to tell you about the paint I chose.  I’ve heard great things about BEHR’s Marquee Interior Paint and Primer as it’s a one coat color that gets results quickly.  It’s paint + primer in one so it means no waiting around.. quick quick quick! What’s even more quicker? It has low VOC in it that allows the paint to dry faster which means you could paint and entertain a room in the same weekend.  Because I knew this was the bike wall I needed a paint that would be able to handle mud and wet stains that bike tires could cause.  With this paint it’s scrubbable which is perfect for the project at hand.  This paint was found at my local Home Depot and you can check your store availability here if you’re interested.  There’s 372 colors to pick from so they pretty much have every shade you are looking for.  We went with Siberian Ice Eggshell which is a icy blue shade.  I have to say that it was pretty dead on perfect with the swatch which is a great positive.  Did you ever buy a paint and it looks nothing like the swatch?  Terrible, I know.  A gallon retails at around $40 which I do find pricey for normal paint but since it has the primer mixed in and is quick drying, the results pay for themselves.  If you don’t need a gallon they also have 8 oz samples.  The paints come in matte, eggshame enamel and semi-gloss enamel.  What I’m saying is this paint rules!  Do-it-yourselfers can visit behr.com/marquee to learn more about the product and access robust how-to information.  

So now on to painting with the cats!
This was the wall to begin with.  It’s color was “natural” as it was never painted. Also I know the Grumpy Cat poster is a great touch.
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In the same afternoon with only one coat of paint I was able to have a already transformed looking wall!
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I really love that color is subtle and not overwhelming.  With my purple wall I wanted something that wouldn’t outdo it.  As the day goes on the shadows get darker in our loft the color gets slightly darker making the icy blue stand out.
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I also painted a canvas with this color to see how it would work with crafts.  We used this canvas for a backdrop for a upcoming project and the color really stuck well to the canvas.   Canvas really soaks up paint so it goes quicker in this way but the color was spot on.
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Now on to the painting…

The afternoon started with some paint and a roller.  I thought everything was going to be great…
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Then I got the ladder out and I knew this was going to be a adventure.  Hi Goblin.. one cat shows up.
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And then once the cats realized there was plastic on the floor Wrestlemania began with the boys.  In this picture Brother and Goblin are both on the plastic while Xanadu lives on her ladder as the referee.  The boys love to roll around and wrestle on the plastic. It’s madness.   They also love seeing how their nails can rip the plastic.  It’s great fun for everyone except me.
Planned on painting but I have bad helpers.  1 wont get off the ladder and the other 2 are wrapped in plastic. #goblin #cats #cat #persiancat #Persian #fluffy #fluffball #kitten #furry #catsofinstagram  #siamesecat #mainecoon #home #diy #painting #design

Finally I got them to calm down a bit and they napped on a box.
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Then Xanadu decided that while the paint was drying she was going to head back to the top of the ladder again.  Xanadu has always been a fan of ladders.  She often sleeps on top of them when they are out.
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In the past few weeks Goblin has really been investigating Xanadu’s methods of play.  Xanadu is very active and smart and generally gets into everything so Goblin is very curious about how she does it.  When the moment came where I saw Goblin thinking about climbing the ladder I knew this was going to go bad.  She was teaching him all her tricks.
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So after a bit of figuring out how to get on top of the ladder, Goblin climbed slowly to the top.  Xanadu was not pleased at all and tried to bite his ear off.  After all, it is her ladder.
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But finally Xanadu gave up because Goblin would just not let go of the ladder.  She jumped down and Goblin stayed hanging onto the ladder for the next 3 hours because he has no idea how to get down.  Eventually we had to save him.  Good job Goblin.
Congrats Goblin, you finally climbed to the top of the ladder… but how are you going to get down?  #goblin #cats #cat #persiancat #Persian #fluffy #fluffball #kitten #furry #catsofinstagram #ilovemycat #grey

Are your cats curious too?  Tell me stories in the comments!

And check out my other cat related post I made today about cats in our work!  It’s cat day Wednesday! 

Pizza Time! Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza Review

The answer to “Hey, want to grab some pizza?” is always yes!  So when Fratelli Brick Over Pizza and Wine Bar invited me for dinner the answer was one giant yes!  Take my hand and let’s jump on the subway, we’re about to take a trip uptown! That’s right, I’m going past 23rd Street to the Upper East Side… but it’s worth it for this pizza.

First up, let’s talk about this awesome homemade sundried tomato dip and bread that they brought out after we placed our orders. This sauce is so good they actually sell it in jars at the restaurant.  Get this.. the sauce is made with anchovies, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil.  Did you hear me? Anchovies! And here I thought they were gross my entire life but not in this sauce!  
Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza

I love surprising Matthew with things like “this sauce has anchovies in it!” because I know how much anchovies scare him too.  The bread and sauce was a big hit.  I’m guilty of eating too much bread before the main course, anyone else?
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Next up was the Antipasto Contadino which is an assortment of cheeses, sopressata, dry sausage and tomato.  This was a appetizer but it was HUGE.   We both nibbled on all the delicious meats and cheeses while throwing on the yummy assortment of peppers and beans that were soaked in a spicy marinade in the middle. 
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While digging into the vegetables in the middle we found a piece of cauliflower that both made us cheer with excitement.  You guys know how much we love our cauliflower so this was a happy surprise at the bottom. 
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Now baby, it’s pizza time!

They serve 12″ and 16″ pizzas that can be made whole wheat or gluten if you’d like. They have the traditional Margherita but then they also have special pizzas like:
Pizza Girasole homemade mozzarella cheese, prociutto and sun-dried tomatoes.
Pizza Importante roasted shrimp, fresh arugula and mozzarella.
Pizza Quattro Formaggi gorganzola, fontina, mozzarella and reggiano.
Pizza Spring pineapple, roasted red peppers and grilled chicken in a light tomato sauce.

I got the Mamma Fratelli’s Classic which was diced tomatoes, ricotta, fresh mozzarella and garlic. Ricotta and mozzarella? Yes please! And on top of that I added some of my favorite prosciutto and mushrooms.
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Doesn’t it look delicious? And it was! I always love pizza covered in ricotta cheese on top so this was a big winner to my taste buds.
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Matthew got the Margherita Pizza which is fresh homemade mozzarella, basil, grated cheese and tomato sauce.  He topped it with mushrooms, pepperoni and sausage.  Matthew is a giant pizza lover (kinda crazy about it) so to hear him say “This is real good” I knew that this pizza passed the test.  To be honest we don’t leave Brooklyn often for pizza, but this pizza here holds up with the best of them so A+!
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And now dessert..

I read great things about the White Chocolate Polenta Cake so I went with that.  It tasted like warm corn bread covered in sweetness.  It was simply magical. 
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Matthew got the cannoli which I think was the star of the dessert menu. Even though my Polenta Cake was delicious this cannoli was on the scale of “holy heck this is delicious”.  Matthew only gave me one bite because he is mean and wouldn’t share but the one bite I took was simply amazing. Next time I go I’ll definitely treat myself to the cannoli (and not share with Matthew!).
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A funny moment that happened during dinner was when a ambulance parked outside the restaurant, lights on, for about 15 minutes.  It was like watching a light show on Matthew’s face.   
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Verdict? Delicious! Their pizza can battle with the best of them, their serving sizes are generous and they had the kindest wait staff that was always refilling our glasses and making sure we were good.  It was a great dinner and we’ll definitely be back!  If you’re in NYC I’d recommend this for your next restaurant to try!

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza is located at 1317 1st Avenue (between 71st St & 70th St) on the Upper East Side in NYC.

Lorena Garcia Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Review

You know what makes recipes even more pretty?  Colorful cookware turns a simple pasta dish into a work of art with a simple pop of color!

Recently we were in the market to get some new cookware and being a blogger who tends to post recipes, I knew I wanted to get something that was more fun than my regular silver and black pots that I was used to. When I was given the chance to review the  Lorena Garcia Technolon Ceramic Cookware  in a beautiful “French Blue” shade I was pretty excited!  The Lorena Garica collection is part of HSN Cooks which pairs up culinary experts with foodie products. 

 The first thing I noticed right out of the box is the cookware was SO LIGHT!  I have incredibly weak arms (it’s often a joke about truly how weak I am) so sometimes trying to drain a big pot of pasta while keeping everything in the pot, while not being burned, is quite a challenge.    This cookware is so light making picking up pots and pans so much easier. When I first used it I cooked a big pot of noodles and I just amazed by how easy it was to pick up and drain.  If you aren’t weak, then you probably don’t know what it’s like, but this was life changing, I’m a light cookware user for life now!   The pots and pan are made out of cast aluminum. 
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The cookware is a 6 piece set coming with a 2 pt soup pot, 3.5 qt soup pot, 9.5″ frying pan, whisk and 2 lids.  What I like about this is that it’s not a giant set.   Have you ever got a 20 piece set of anything and wondered 1) Where am I going to store this? 2)  Will I ever need 7 frying pans at the same time for a 4 burner stove?.  This is a great basic set that pretty much covers all my cooking needs.  Quality over Quantity in this case definitely! 

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I love that I can cook these pots on the stovetop and then transfer to the oven up to 550 degrees.  The lids are safe up to 420 degrees, making a casserole so much more enjoyable when you only need to clean 1 pot! The pan is not oven proof as it has a soft grip handle. 

What else makes for easy cleanup?  Ceramic technolon nonstick interiors!  Have you ever made pasta, let the pot sit and then you have that pasta that’s stuck to the inside and you need to scrub it out to so hard you work up a sweat? I hear you sister.  I let the big pot sit overnight and the next morning the pasta just came off with one little scrub.   The pan was just as great, making greasy oils and butters easy to clean out. 

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The only negative thing to mention is that the pots handles get very hot.  Thankfully I read a review of these before hand to know better, but if I didn’t, I would have reached for the handles and quickly backed away while muttering bad words.   That means that removing the pot (not the pan) from the stove requires a mitt on the hands.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but I do wish they didn’t get as hot. 

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The set comes in French Blue (pictured here), Lorena Green, Perfect Purple, Rich Cream and Rio Red.  The whisk you get with the set is rainbow color and perfect for mixing funfetti treats!  
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Overall: I love these and they’re now a permanent addition to dinner cooking every night!  

What color is your cookware?  
Do you have weak arms like me and have to battle draining a pot of pasta? 

This Lorena Garcia cookware set is now on HSN.com. Lorena is the face of Taco Bell’s “Cantina Bell” menu, Lorena is also a chef, TV personality and cookbook author.    Note: I wasn’t paid for this review, they just kindly sent me the cookware to try!

How to Get Cat Lady Nails

I have a thing for cats and colorful nails, so I’m happy to say these worlds can be combined!

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Want to know something?  I never have had a professional manicure.  I’ve always been more of a girl who does her own nails with a drawer full of every color of the rainbow nail polish alongside every glitter option!    Ever since I was little I always had a collection of nail polishes stashed somewhere in my room.    I’ve also never really been subtle in the nail polish category. I don’t really do nudes or soft pinks, I’m more of a neon orange and glitter girl.  I love bright colors, big sparkles and plenty of design!   For a while now I’ve stayed away from painting nail designs because I can’t draw very well, but when NCLA sent me these Melody Ehsani nail wraps, I was beyond pumped to try to get some design action happening on my fingers!  Note: I wasn’t paid for this review, they just kindly sent me the nail wraps to try!

The nails wraps come in all types of patterns and colors.  I happened to get sent a cat style which made me giggle like a school girl. It’s like I like cats or something.
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Here you’ll see all the beautiful cats.  I showed my cats this package and they all nodded in approval.  (I’m lying, they rolled over and went back to sleep before asking me to stop annoying them with my silly questions).  
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I was curious how hard the nail wraps would be to put on.   I watched a tutorial video first to get a idea and it seemed easy enough.   What you do is just pick the size of the wrap based on your nail size.  I have small fingers and nails so I couldn’t use many of the larger nail wraps.  I do think I could easily modify some of the larger ones with a pair of scissors and they’d work well. 

All you do is peel off the wrap from the pack and stick onto your nail.  Then you rub the wrap to get all the air bubbles out.  You’ll see the nail wrap is way too long though.
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Then you take a nail file and just file away at the extra parts.  Just a few swipes and the excess wrap will fall right off.   
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Then you’ll do this for all your nails, matching a wrap to a nail and filing down.  Once you do a few, you’ll start to get in a pattern and it’ll be done much sooner than expected.  After you finish you put some clear nail polish on top.  I had to add a little glitter too.

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Let’s chat. 
Do you regularly paint your nails? If so, what’s your current favorite color?
Have you ever used nail wraps?

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I Hate My Bathroom

I’m going to repeat the title, I hate my bathroom. 

If you’re a friend you might have received a text or Facebook message from me in the past few days exclaiming my bathroom hatred.  If you follow me on Pinterest you might have seen my inspiration photos coming in at fast speeds.  If you follow me on Twitter you might have read a few bathroom requests for hope and help.  If you’re my husband you have received about 88 texts from me saying we need a new cabinet, a shower door, a new floor and really tell me the truth, do you feel ok with white towels?

 In this post I’m going to tell you all about the things I don’t like our bathroom.  I’m going to tell you what I want in our bathroom. I’m going to post unrealistic photos but still dream about them.  I hope you can give me some guidance, tips or just a nod that says “You are going to be ok”.

We have lived in our apartment for 9 years now.  Honestly not a whole lot has changed in those 9 years.  A new shower curtain, a new bath mat, towels, a toilet seat cover, but nothing dramatic.  No big furniture pieces, no changing of the floor, I didn’t even paint the walls.  And it’s been 9 years. I need a change. 

Here are the problems with our bathroom that causes my heart to break at every glance into that unavoidable room.

-There is no bath tub. I have lived without a bath tub for 9 years.  Can I get some type of spa reward for this?  Honestly, this just sucks.  I’m a girl. I like to just spend ridiculous amounts of time in hot water reading, listening to music, drinking ginger ale with a straw and just doing nothing.   Whenever we go on trips I never get to experience those new cities because I’m too busy spending all my free time using the hotels bath tubs.   When we stayed at the Soho House in Berlin this was our bath tub.  Do you really think I was going to do anything but close my eyes and lay in there? I mean it came with it’s own Rubber Ducky and a cup of tea.  

-I hate the floor.  It’s black and white checkered title (it looks like this).  You might think it’s charming at first but try living with it for over 3,000 days and you won’t be able to take it anymore. It’s overwhelming and I hate to use this word, but I think it’s ugly.   Plus there’s this one tile that is starting to come loose that really bugs me and throws me off the deep end. 

-My bathroom has 2 doors and it drives me insane.  My apartment is a loft space that was converted out of a old factory (used to be a toy factory).  So what was one big factory is now individual apartment spaces.  I am unsure why each apartment has 2 doors but each one does.  There’s the actual front door and then a door that goes from the hallway into the bathroom (I’ve never seen anyone actually use this door to their apartment).  So that means that hypothetically I could install a lock and have 2 front doors, one for the main entrance and one right into the bathroom if you really have to go real bad and can’t take those 8 extra steps from front door to the bathroom.    What this means with the bathroom is there are 2 doors there: the bathroom door and this strange hallway door.  I need to find a way to block this visually as the door frame around it along with the knob just makes me shake my head and ask myself “Why?”

-There is no window in my bathroom.  Like many apartments the bathrooms are usually on the opposite side of your windows which means no natural light. This means my bathroom feels like a cave.  I asked Matthew to move the bathroom to the other side of the room but he acted like I didn’t say anything at all.  Do you think he was ignoring me?

 -Because it is the bathroom, I believe we all should do our business in here, furry cats included.  So the litter box is also in the bathroom.  It’s design has been changed multiple times due to helping a older cat, but now we can go back to something nicer.  What’s happening there now is a eyesore. Also FiFi Bofinkles is a stinky cat, just so you know.  How’s a adorable girl like her do that?  I’ll never know.

 -There isn’t much storage.  

-It’s boring.

Things I already am thinking of changing, or have:

-On Tuesday I woke up and rushed to Home Depot. I had one thing in mind, the bathroom needed color.  The bathroom has 5 walls but I didn’t want to paint them all so I painted 2 of them with Behr’s “Beachside Drive M460-2”.   Here’s the color featured with my hideous floor.

The walls that remained white will be touched up as they’re kinda not the prettiest right now after years of neglect.

-We have a small black cabinet under the sink now but it’s tiny and low to the ground.  I’m really against all dark colors right now so we are going to either build (Matthew prefers to custom build everything) or buy (I prefer to have things right away) a larger cabinet to house the sink with lots of storage underneath.  We really can’t have many (or any) shelves on the wall because we have a crazy Siamese cat so cabinets work best.  We are thinking it will be white or a softer color like a antique white or pale yellow.
I’m not sure if I want to go modern or more shabby chic cottage. I am leaning towards more weathered in this case but I am already feeling the glares coming from Matthew.

-I don’t want a medicine cabinet mirror anymore. I just want a mirror flat on the wall. Everything inside of the medicine cabinet now can go below in the cabinet drawers. Something simple but again I like slightly weathered.

-The whole bathtub is a dream.  Not saying we couldn’t get one installed, but it’s a investment in a home that we’ll never have the option to buy so I don’t know if its honestly worth it.  Will we stay here for another 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?  I don’t know if we’re ready to make a solid commitment (ok “we” is really “me”) so I was thinking if I can’t get a bath tub why can’t we at least make the shower feel a bit more like a spa with a nice glass door instead of a shower curtain.   I think frosted might be better because I’m a horrible shower cleaner and would like to hide my guilt when friends visit. 🙂
(PS.  I just bought that bamboo shower mat as well).

 -I want simple accessories such as mason jars, white towels and flowers.  Flowers in the bathroom are such a simple and calming touch, but I don’t think I ever had flowers in my bathroom.  With no windows I have to find a happy in between for flowers that won’t break the bank but I have some ideas already.  White towels have been ordered to replace my current mismatched ones, a Antique White double light cover is being shipped from Etsy, art work is being sorted to frame for the walls, hooks have been placed on the door and I have plenty of mason jars so this step is being worked on.  I also asked Matthew to build me a simple (light color) wood tissue box cover.

 

Inspiration:
These are some of my favorite inspiration images I have saved this week, the majority being not really possible with my space, but I think I can take elements from all of them.

I love the color of everything here.

I love the idea of having concrete counters.

I would never leave this tub.

If I had a window, I’d have plenty of greens growing.

I really love the blue and white contrast with the tiles here.   Since I already painted the walls blue I think a softer palette like this would brighten the space up.

 

So help me:
The bathroom size is 6 feet wide by 9 feet to put into perspective, with a shower wall already in place that separates the toilet from the shower.  I really want a bathroom that is calming and makes me feel happy to be in there.   

What should I do with the double door situation? How do I block the one door completely – do I put something in front of it and if so, what? 

What should I do with the floor tiles?  I need ideas for tile replacement that is economical as this is a rental apartment.  I think something light would be nice.

Can I borrow your bath tub? Just once a week? Please.

 

 

Happy Holidays! + Dancing Snowmen

Hi Friends,

I hope you all have a lovely holiday full of family, friends, cat whiskers, smiles, treats, hugs… and a good gift (or two) because I know you’ve been good this year.

Here’s a video Matthew and I made for the holidays, hopefully it will put you in a good holiday mood.

See you after Christmas!

Big hugs,

Pamela

When My House Burned Down & Kitchen Fire Safety

Fire.  That word alone is the most terrifying thought in the world to me. 

Fire safety has been a issue to me for the past few years but it wasn’t until a few nights ago when our apartment building’s fire alarm system went off 5 times during 1:30-3:00AM that left my hands shaking, heart beating quickly and pacing our loft (with kitties in arms) that I knew this had to be a post.  When I spoke with Matthew the next morning discussing the best fire practices for our living space, what to do, when to stop and get out of there, etc that he said “You should do a post about this”.  And that was a brilliant idea.  When a fire hits, we tend to panic.   We will stop.  We will fill up with fear.  We might even freeze.  We all need to be prepared incase of a fire to protect ourselves, our family, our homes and our neighbors. 

Hearing about a fire is pretty awful, but it wasn’t until it touched me personally that I knew how heart breaking and life shattering a fire can be.  Let me take you back to January, 2011. I was asleep when my phone rang during the middle of the night.  When you look at the phone and see it’s a family member calling you at 4AM, you know this will not be good.  The phone call went like this:
“Hello?”
“Pamela, it’s your brother.”
“What’s wrong?”
“Don’t freak out, Dad is OK, but the house burned down.”
Enter tears, the tugging of the heart and Matthew’s arms immediately wrapping around me as I sobbed in bed.  

Immediately the phone calls started coming in from my sister and my mother while all I could think about was getting to hear my father’s voice.  Everyone told me it was all over the news so immediately I jumped on the TV stations from Central/Northern Pennsylvania and saw this on the front page:
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My heart sunk.  The fire was coming out from my brother’s bedroom that I spent so many years in listening to the Beastie Boys while shooting nerf basketballs at him. The hours we played Nintendo in this bedroom was unimaginable.  But there it was. 

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Next came this photo and that’s probably where I really lost it.  Not only is the house on fire, but the truck now outside is.  My brother took this photo right when the fire departments arrived.  

 

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Later scene on the front of the newspaper, the next morning.  That’s my brother in the picture.  

That was my house.  That was truly my house.  I might have moved away and moved around but the only house to date that was ever “mine” was that one.  I lived in that house from the time I was born to the time I went to college.   The phone number of that house will always be the most remembered digits in my head.

 So what happened?  During the middle of the night the house next door to mine lit on fire, it started in the kitchen.  Then it quickly spread.  It left 5 houses homeless.  It spread quickly because they are row homes and because it was in the single digits that January night so firefighters were battling ice.   My dad who doesn’t have the best hearing was asleep when he finally woke up from the blaze.  Everyone from the other houses were already out wondering when my dad was going to come out of the front door.  He later told me that as he left his bedroom, down the steep stairs of the house,  around the middle room and finally out the front door where someone was waiting to grab him and pull him out, fire was blazing on the walls.  He saw fire on the walls in his house that all his children were raised in.  To this day every time I imagine my dad in that situation it breaks my heart and my throat tightens up.

After they pulled my dad from the house, with nothing left, he couldn’t even grab his cane, they rushed him up the street and someone threw a winter coat on him.  

 I was finally able to speak to my dad on the telephone after the good people at the Red Cross and neighbors supplied him slippers, a coat and a gift card for a few nights at a local hotel.   As soon as we heard each others voices we both started crying.  I just wanted to grab him through the telephone and give him a great big hug.  And that’s what I did a few hours later after I immediately ran to Port Authority, jumped on a bus and made my trip back.   I found my dad at the hotel, sitting, not having any of his own belongings.  And I just wrapped my arms around my dad, one of my best friends for life and just told him I loved him. 

After I saw my dad my sister took me to see the damages.  The fire trucks were still there the following evening as little blazes would come here or there.   As soon as we arrived on the hill where I spent 18 years of my life rolling Matchboxes down the pavement, playing kickball that left all neighbors angry at us kicking balls at their cars and organizing neighborhood kids bingo games I saw what was left of the house.  And then I smelled the fire.   That smell will stick with me forever.  Whenever I smell anything remotely to burning, I become paranoid.   Is someone outside barbecuing or is that a fire?  I have to check it out.  

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When walking down that icy sidewalk to look at my past home this was laying in the street.  I wish I could have grabbed it and removed the smell.  That was my couch’s pillow.  That couch was a highlight when my parents bought it one year.  It was bold red plaid and it matched nothing in the home, but it was gorgeous and we all loved it.

The next day I ventured back to the house to look at it during the day time, see old neighbors who all had that look of pity on their faces and see if I could possibly savage anything alongside my brother.   I think it’s therapeutic to talk about things like this so I wanted to share these pictures with you.  Days after these pictures were taken the houses were leveled to the ground where now nothing exists but grass. 
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First, that’s my bedroom.  Even though it no longer exists, I still call it mine.   My bedroom had all my treasures down to my Hawaiian girl sheets, family photos and notebooks full of my first 18 years of my life.   All now gone. 

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You can see the roof no longer exists in my brother’s bedroom.

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A eerie curtain hangs from my dad’s bedroom. 

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The kitchen where I made sugar cookies every Christmas and halupkies a few times a month with my mom. 

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The kitchen sink and stove.

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The ceiling of the first floor or what was left.

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Ice hanging off the existing ceiling pieces.

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My front house window that no longer existed.

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My living room that I tried to learn how to ride a bicycle in but fell off and hit my head making my babysitter panic and call my parents on their date night. 

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Me standing on a wall that used to exist.

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The middle room of the house.  Above this is the upstairs which I wasn’t allowed to see.

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All my baby photos and books are gone, family photo albums gone forever, but somehow this pin of my Kindergarten picture made it out.   I owe it to the stylish bow-tie that a 6 year old wore decided to wear for picture day and unfortunately messed up her own bangs right before the photo was taken. 

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Also this cat garden sign survived.  I got this custom made for my Father one year because he’s in love with Xanadu (and vice versa) and even though Xanadu didn’t live there, in his heart Xanadu ruled his home.

The experience was life changing and gloomy for quite some time.  Many families lost their homes that night but thankfully noone was seriously injured.  The Red Cross, the Community, family and firefighters were extra nice to my dad and I thank them for that. I sent the firefighters Junior’s NYC cheesecake weeks later as a well deserved thank you.   

The heart warming part of this story? After my dad lived in a hotel for 8 months (!) while home owners insurance finally settled, my father was able to buy a home he always wanted.   One that had a great big yard where he could grow his massive amounts of tomatoes and peppers and that had a garage that he could wash his car outside of.  Car washing was one of my dads hobbies I remember not enjoying as a kid as I was always selected  to help him pull the hose up from the basement which happened somehow every Saturday morning while I was trying to eat cinnamon rolls and watch Save By The Bell.

And guess what exists in his front yard now? Yup, the Xanadu cat sign.  She pretty much has a shrine in one the front yard beds.

 In this yard he’s able to put as many santa wearing bears and cats and disco balls as he wishes now.   Many people ask where I get my creativity from? My dad.

So with that, let’s talk fire safety.  The fire started next door in the kitchen.  Who knows the real cause, but we know it came from the stove in some way.   Fires start in the kitchen more than any other place in the home.  Although fires can’t be prevented completely we can minimize fire risks to keep our families safe.   Two out of three reported home-cooking fires start with the range or stove.  Let’s be prepared in case we ever have to face that moment.

Prevention Tips:

Install a smoke detector.  Make sure it isn’t installed somewhere where it always is going to go off during cooking but close enough.  Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms.  Test it, make sure it’s working. Replace your batteries.   

Have a fire extinguisher nearby. I keep mine right next to the stove in a bottom cabinet.  I can get to it within 1 second (trust me, I practice).   Replace your extinguisher immediately if needed.  Learn how to work it, learn the PASS system – pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. I learned that as a kid and I will never forget it. Educate your kids about this.  If you contact your local fire department they will even show you how to use a fire extinguisher.  

Unplug electric appliances when not in use. Toaster ovens, mixers, coffee makers, and so on, continue to draw electricity even when they’re not turned on. So if the wiring is old or faulty, or if the thermostat overheats, a fire could break out.

Use caution when lighting the pilot light or burner on a gas stove.

Don’t use metal in the microwave.  Ever.

Don’t overfill pots or pans with oil or grease. They can splatter and cause a fire.

Always roll up long sleeves and tie back long hair when cooking.   Need to reach to the cabinet above the stove?  Be careful.  Make sure your apron isn’t even close to a burner that is on.  

Keep dish towels, pot holders, and paper towels away from the stove. Also curtains, paper bags, food packaging, wooden utensils.   If your burner is left on by accident, these can light on fire.

Keep your stovetop, burners and oven clean.  

Plug it directly in.  Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, it can cause a fire by overloading the circuit. 

Never leave cooking food unattended.  Ever.   Get a phone call during making dinner?  Don’t risk it, shut it off if you need to leave the kitchen.

Use a Timer.   Incase you were to forget you are broiling something, the timer will remind you. I have 5 different timers in my kitchen incase I am cooking multiple things.

Check it.  Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.  Matthew and I have a mental checklist that we check before leaving the house.  If you leave the house and aren’t sure if you turned it off, return home to be extra safe.  

Talk to your Family.  What happens if the kitchen is on fire? Where is the nearest exit?  In general, kitchen or not, have a exit plan.   Everyone in the family should know their part of the escape plan, even the dogs and cats should have their carrier readily available if needed.    Be prepared.   Sparky is a great resource for children. 

If there is a fire:

Smother the Flames.  Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. (Make sure you are wearing the oven mitt.) Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.  Never use water or flour or pick up a burning pan to put into the sink. Smother it with a lid and remove that oxygen.   

Turn off the heat.  In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing. 

Keep The Door Closed.  If a fire starts in your microwave or toaster oven, turn the appliance off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet. 

Exit.  Fire too much? Leave immediately.  Your life and your families are much more important then your Le Creuset cookware.  Call 911 immediately. 

Stop, Drop and Roll. We all learn this as a kid but remember it.   Don’t run if your clothing catches fire , stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll,

 

Thanks for sticking with me through this post because honestly I had to stop and cry a few times.   Thankfully memories last forever.   I hope the safety tips are helpful to you and your family.
Now, a group hug.

December Swap: Snowmen and Cookies

Can you believe it’s almost December – wild, right?
I’ve had alot of fun with the last 2 swaps and am always in awe when receiving such kind and loving packages from my partners.    It really does cheer up your day and you can’t help but smile.
October’s swap was full of Halloween ghouls, November’s swap was full of Warming Spirit, now December’s swap is all about the holidays!

I know the holiday is a busy time for everyone, but why not say you love your fellow bloggers by baking them some homemade cookies that they can Instagram about how delicious they are?  This is the swap for you!  And not only will you be sending them some homemade cookies but you’ll also be sending them a Snowman decoration to add a little holiday cheer to their home.  Snowmen are my favorite part of the holidays, I have a bunch of plush ones that I hug daily during this time of the year.  They make me pretty happy!  And they will make you happy too!

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You will send your partner:
-Homemade Baked Cookies
-A Snowman Decoration of your choosing (ideas: cookie plate, mug, tree ornament, wreaths, home/table decorations, etc)
-Something Written saying Hello!

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How it works:
You sign up here (click this link for the form). Sign ups end December 3.
I will send out a email with swap partners by December 5. You and your partner contact one another and exchange mailing addresses over email.  Please ask them about allergies or dislikes as this is a cookie based swap.
You send each other the swap contents.
You become friends for life.

Rules:
Anyone can sign up – but you will only be paired with someone in your own country. US to US, Canada to Canada, Australia to Australia, UK to UK, etc. If no one signs up from your country, then you don’t have to swap.
Your swap must be sent out by December 15.
Brooklyn Farm Girl is not held responsible for swaps not sent or received.

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Happy Halloween From Brooklyn!

The day has come.. time to play spooky tunes, eat candy until your belly hurts (I’ve already eaten 12 Kit  Kat bars) and wear your best costume!    Happy Halloween Friends!

Do you enjoy Halloween and dressing up? I love it.  This year sadly we’ve  been dealing with a tight deadline so I didn’t have time to make a costume or plan a Halloween bash.  So please make me happy and share with me in the comments about what you’re dressing up as!    

Here are my costumes for the last couple Halloweens…
My favorite Halloween costume I ever made was Hello Kitty.  This was a big hit, especially on the streets of NYC. Walking from my home to the subway ride to walking to parties I felt like a celebrity.  Everyone wanted to stop and take a picture with me or just give me a hug.  I smiled alot those days.

Matthew was a Whipped Cream can that year too.

Last Halloween I was a clown.. down to the big floppy shoes and handing out stickers to everyone that said “Clowns Are Cool”.

This is how clowns hail a subway train…

Clowns love cats.

That year I let Matthew wear my clown costume  one day. Wouldn’t this just make you smile if he rode by?

So yeah, I really love Halloween!   I should start planning for next year already! 

In tradition of Halloween, I wanted to share some festive houses decorated in Brooklyn for the holiday.   Growing up in a small town, holiday decorating is a big deal.   There’s no official standings but I think my house was  the best growing up.  My mom and dad went all out for Halloween and Christmas.     Some of my fondest childhood memories come from the holidays, so seeing a house decorated is one sure way to make me smile.    If you see a festive decorated house and you see the owner outside, be sure to say it looks great and thank them! Think of all the work they did to cause some walk/drive by happiness.    If fact if I was President I would make it a legal obligation to decorate your house. If you do not, I would round you up and bring you to a deserted location where you would be made to party, parade and dance the night away in costume!  It would be so much fun!   Basically I would kidnap you and force you to eat bite size Butterfingers while doing the Monster Mash.  You would end up loving Halloween! 

This is one of my favorite houses in Brooklyn and each holiday they decorate the yard to the max. I believe the Dentist office that resides in the bottom floor does this. I love it. I look forward to seeing their decorations every year.
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I love a greatly decorated tree bed on the sidewalk.
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I love sneaky decorations too. A house with nothing but a bloody  hand trying to escape.  
#Brooklyn #Halloween

A house with nothing but a freshly dug graveyard with a zombie ready to escape.
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Spiderwebs are big in the neighborhood too.
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Here’s a beautiful skeleton dressed up ready to dance the night away.
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I absolutely love children’s crafts too. They might me my favorite.
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This ghost monster guy dances all day long. I was able to catch him in a fabulous pose.
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Stores most definitely get in the spirit!  This is one sure way to get me in and buy things!
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Construction sites are no exception!
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On my birthday we celebrated out of town and decided to bring a big Pumpkin back home.
Birthday pumpkin!
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I’m hoping your Halloween is full of fun and good spirits, have a good one!

 

November Swap: Baby, Keep Me Warm

Hi Friends, Happy Friday!
First, thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes yesterday, you sure know how to make a girl feel special.  Come on over this afternoon, I saved you  a cupcake. 🙂

It’s that time again – Swap time!

October’s Halloween Hot Drink Swap was so much fun.  I received multiple emails from Swappers saying how much of a good time they had with this Swap and how sending out and receiving a little Swap package in the mail sure  made them smile.  I for one had a blast and received amazing goodies from Shashi and Amy.  I send you both such big hugs while enjoying my new teas and cookies! 

So let’s swap again!

It’s getting cold out, I’ve been wearing hats and big sweaters.  In some parts  of the country it’s been snowing!   So November’s Swap is.. Baby, Keep Me Warm!

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You will send your partner:
A variety (At least 7 bags of tea) of hot drinks to try (Ideas: tea bags, loose tea, hot cocoa mixes, coffee mixes) 
Something to Keep Them Warm (Max Price: $10) (Ideas: Cozy Socks, Mittens, Candle,  Pillow, Tea Mug, A warm dinner’s worth of ingredients.)
Something Written saying Hello!

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How it works:
You sign up here. Sign ups end November 2.
I will send out a email with swap partners by Nov 5.  You and your partner contact one another and exchange mailing addresses over email.
You send each other the swap contents.
You become friends for life.

Rules:
Anyone can sign up – but you will only be paired with someone in  your own country.  US to US, Canada to Canada, Australia to Australia, UK to UK, etc.  If no one signs up from your country, then you don’t have to swap. 
Your swap must be sent out by Nov 15
Brooklyn Farm Girl is not held responsible for swaps not sent or received.

I’ll meet you guys by the fire!  Have a great weekend!

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Birthday + Red Jacket Giveaway

Hi friends,
I have some big news.  Are you ready?
Today is my birthday.  
*Takes a deep breath*
I’m 30.
Ok, that didn’t feel so bad.

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Because it’s my birthday, because I think you are pretty cool, because I want to have a virtual birthday party with you where we all dress up in pastel dresses and pretty shoes,  because I really love Red Jacket Orchard juices, this is a giveaway.  And I’m being completely sincere when I tell you that if you haven’t already fell in love with Red Jacket, you will within one sip. It is hands down the best apple juice I ever tried.   I remember the first time I had it was when I was walking home from a appointment and needed a cold drink, so I stopped in a grocery and picked up a Red Jacket juice.  From the first sip, I was hooked.  

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Why’s it so special?  First of all, it’s family owned.   Then it’s 100% fruit juice, all natural, never from concentrate, unfiltered and cold pressed.  And the flavors! There’s rhubarb, strawberries, cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches, and apples.   

What’s my favorite? The apple cider! Matthew and I basically wrestle to see who gets the last bottle of this.  
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Ingredients: Apples. How can’t you love that?

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Also a big hit, the Tart Cherry Stomp.  It’s tart cherries, apples and Vitamin C.  It’s so.. well, tart. I love it.

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The flavor choices are endless,  it’s really hard to pick a favorite!

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But it’s your lucky day because one reader is going to be sent a 6 pack of juice that is going to knock your socks off.  I am being very serious, prepare to mutter the word “wow” a million times.

To enter:
Just leave a comment below saying hello. 
Only US residents.
Contest ends October 30, 2013.

Tuesday Thoughts

Since many of you said you liked my rambling Thursday thoughts, I thought I’d bring it back for a Tuesday edition.  Thoughts can only happen on Tuesday and Thursday, the others days of the week don’t have that alliteration ring to it I like.

Happy October Friends!  October is the beginning of the best 3 months in my opinion. October means the start of chilly weather (but not today where it’s 80 degrees), apple picking, pumpkin patches, Halloween and my birthday (the big 3-0).  Welcome October!

If you love Halloween and hot drinks make sure to join our October swap this month! Sign up ends tomorrow!

I’ve also been swapping some letters and Halloween treats to other friends around the World.  Pen pals is a forgotten art, don’t you love it?  Sadly international shipping has gotten so expensive, ugh!
I love penpals.  #penpals #finland

The Nightmare Before Christmas is on my headphones playing all the time.  This is one of my favorite soundtracks ever.  Others include Aladdin and Dirty Dancing.  What soundtracks do you love? 

 I love reading but I fell out of it as my nightly bedtime ritual for a few weeks, but now I’m back to it and can’t wait for that time of the night to come.  My last few books I read that I highly recommend are:
The End of Your Life Book Club – this is a beautiful book but will also make you cry.  It’s also full of names of other books so you have a endless amount of new material to read after you finish.
I Feel Bad About My Neck  and I Remember Nothing – I recently became a super fan of Nora Ephron and love everything she wrote.  These books will make you laugh out loud, while your other half looks at you oddly in bed. They deal alot with things that women go through, all written with charm and wit. 
The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story – The women behind the first men in space, full of so many NASA and behind the scenes to the space mission facts I had no idea about.
Defending Jacob: A Novel – this is an amazing book and I stayed up to 6AM one night finishing it because I could not put it down.  It’s full of so many unexpected twists, definitely one of my favorite reads this year. 

I’m currently reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers.  I’m only a quarter of the way in but so far it’s been a great read.  The book follows the author as she spent 3 years in the Annawadi slum of Mumbai and introduces us to the residents, each with their own life goals and stories.   

A serving of Nutella is 2 tablespoons.  I eat 2 tablespoons before I even start baking with it.   And don’t even get me started on late night eating with Nutella.  Nutella is my go to jar at 4AM when I walk subconsciously to the cabinet, pull out the Nutella jar, a spoon and eat too much.  Then I go to back and wake up feeling pure guilty.  But the way I see it, the quicker it’s out of the kitchen the safer I am… until I buy another jar the following day.

Harvest Peanut Butter M&MS are ruling (ruining) my life.  I don’t even look at the serving size.

I’ve been thinking alot about my comment I made in the previous “Thoughts” post about leaving conditioner in for 2 minutes.   Many of you commented that you wash your body and face and shave during this time.  Here’s my problem with this situation.  When I rinse my conditioner it will run down my body, making my body all conditionery (new word).  So that means I would have to wash my body and face again.  This just doesn’t work or me.  I will continue leaving my conditioner in for 30 seconds while wondering what to do.  It’s a very tough situation I have here!

A few days ago I went around our apartment building handing out spinach from our garden.  Multiple people called me the Spinach Fairy when opening their doors so I think I should get a Spinach Fairy Costume made for my next harvest delivery. 

Our internet was down for a solid 2 days and it was a very rough period.  I spent hours on my roof trying to “borrow” internet.   I found a hotspot finally but a inch in movement to the left or right would make me lose it.  Standing while holding your laptop makes for strong arms!
Internet, are you out there?

Matthew gave me a taste test a few days ago from a regular cherry tomato and a homegrown cherry tomato from our garden.  Hands down our garden version won.  There was no contest, I opened my eyes like “There’s no doubt this is ours!”.  It was full of flavor and sweet.  I love homegrown cherry tomatoes.  Speaking of tomatoes, we’re still picking them..

Sometimes it is 11PM at night and Matthew and I realize we haven’t hit our Nike Fuel points yet and craziness ensues.  The Nike Fuel Band is a band that counts your movement throughout the day and without doing a post on how much I love it, I really do it.  Not only has it helped me lose a few pounds but it’s kept me moving on those days where you don’t realize how long you really sit at the computer for.  It has really motivated me to move, dance, run and just shake it.  I have a long streak happening on my Nike Fuel so I’m very cautious of not hitting my daily goal.  Anyways, when we realize we are a few hundred points away, it becomes madness in our house.  We stare at each other and jump up and down, we run through the house, we grab a cat and throw them around our shoulders and dance, we do a move called riding the dog, we a do a move called walking the dog, we mimic each other as we move quickly.  Most of this takes place in front of our windows so we can watch our reflections and laugh hysterically at how ridiculous we look.  I bet our neighbors across the street are constantly wondering what is going on in our loft.

The Love Glove is the best grooming glove for cats.  Our cats love it.  Xanadu practically lays on the ground passed out, enjoying every rub.  This is fur side by side comparison. Top left: Xanadu. Top right: Brother Bear. Bottom left: Essy. Bottom right: Fifi Bofinkles.
Grooming time.  Top left: Xanadu. Top right:  Brother Bear.  Bottom left: Essy.  Bottom right: Fifi Bofinkles. #cat #grooming #loveglove

Matthew’s family visited from Ohio.  It was the first time his family came out to visit us in NYC!  It was great seeing them, but I’m pretty sure we exhausted them.   It’s hard when family visits because you want them to see everything!  There’s lots of walking.. and lots of photo bombing. 
The Raders.

We also had to share some of our favorite food with them too!
Grimaldi’s, what we think is the best NYC pizza (yeah, I said it!).  White pizza and Pepperoni and Mushroom pizza.
Grimaldis #2.  #pizza #nyc #magicWhite pizza at Grimaldis.  #pizza #nyc

Dough (best donuts!) and Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Coney Island.
DOUGH.Coney Island lunch.

 My favorite donut from DOUGH is toasted coconut, followed by the lemon poppy.  Oh goodness, they are so soft.  Really, they are the best.  I think I’ve talked about DOUGH at least 10 times in posts.  I’m in love.
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 Target has their Halloween decorations up.  Run there immediately! They also have amazing wigs which every single person I saw took a selfie with them on. I did too.
Hours of fun in Target.  Halloween has arrived! #halloween  #costumed

Save your juice bottles and do this!
 

Right now we are watching the Sopranos, we’re about 15 episodes away from the end.  Do not spoil it for me!  Sopranos is such a great show, I needed to watch a few to get drawn in but now I’m totally obsessed and the thing I look forward to most is watching a episode every single night.  If you haven’t watched the show and are into infidelity, murder, violence and good pasta then I recommend you watch it.   Also Michael Imperioli as Christopher is very easy on the eyes.

After Sopranos, we are thinking of watching Breaking Bad. Is it as good as everyone says?

I’ve been busy drying herbs and storing them for the winter.  Expect a herbs post soon!
Herb drying.  #garden

We are still getting a bunch of cucumbers and tomatoes.  My entire bottom shelf of my refrigerator is full of pickles.  It’s honestly out of hand and I’ve run out of mason jars.
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Here’s a different angle from the garden.  Look at all the expansion we could do! Also the garden looks so tiny in this big city.
Our garden looks so tiny in this big city.  #garden #brooklyn #nyc

Have you ever unplugged something in your home, forgot, then try to turn it on but it doesn’t?  Then you continue to walk around for 12 minutes wondering why it doesn’t work, saying it’s broken, etc?  Then you remember what you did.  

The cats love their sunbathing.  Here are all 3 ladies enjoying some sunshine. Essy (in the middle) has turned absolutely crazy the last few weeks.  It’s so great to see her 19 year old self so wild and full of energy, but when it’s dinner time, she is out of control. We’re talking tearing garlic bread out of my mouth.  But we love her alot, so it’s ok.
3 ladies sunbathing. #cats #bathingbeauties

FiFi Bofinkles does not want to go camping.
Fifi Bofinkles does not want to go camping.

This pillow is so cute. I could spend all my money on Etsy.

Have you ever accidentally turned on your camera and taken a picture of you from an up angle so you have 7 chins and honestly look nothing like yourself (at least you hope that)?  Then you mope around for the next 4 hours because you think you are now a hideous beast.  

I leave you with a few questions:
What is the last great book you read? I love book suggestions, please give them!
How often do you eat dessert after dinner?  It can be a brownie, ice cream or just 2 M&Ms.  Is it every meal  or only once in a while?
How often do you work out (honestly) and what do you do? 

Follow me on Instagram for more daily pictures and Pinterest for Halloween pinning!

Halloween Hot Drink Swap

Hello Friends,

Let’s go on a amazing adventure together.  Are you ready?  Let’s go on a Halloween Hot Drink adventure.  After many of you commented saying you would like to be part of a upcoming swap – I bring it to you!   This is hopefully the first swap of many, maybe something we can even do every month with fun themes.  I love themes! Let’s go..

October’s Swap is HALLOWEEN HOT DRINK.
You will send your partner:
7 Hot Drinks to Try (Ideas: tea bags, loose tea, hot cocoa mixes, coffee mixes)
Something Halloween Related (Price Max: $5) (Ideas: Decorations, Stickers, Stationery, Halloween Food Items/Candy)
Something Written saying Hello!

How it works:
You sign up here. Sign ups end Oct 2.  
I will send out a email with swap partners by Oct 5.  You and your partner contact one another and exchange mailing addresses over email.
You send each other the swap contents.
You become friends for life.

Rules:
The first swap is US only.  (Sorry, International Shipping is very expensive, eventually I hope we can start matching up people in Non US countries).
Your swap must be sent out by Oct 15.
Brooklyn Farm Girl is not held responsible for swaps not sent or received.

 Grab your witch hat and let’s get swapping! Hope to see you joining!
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Have questions? Leave them in the comments.

Thursday Thoughts

Hi Friends,
Happy Thursday!
Here’s a Thursday thoughts post full of pictures and random thoughts.  Follow me on Twitter or Instagram where I’m posting pictures all the time!

Cats love boxes.  Get them a toy? Sometimes they play with it.  Get them a bed? Sometimes they might sleep in it? Give them a cardboard box that wasn’t even meant for them?  They fight over it.  Cat wars.  First one in the box owns it.  Until one leaves, then another jumps in.  Then the cycle continues.  Then you have to throw away the boxes because your living area looks like you are moving but you aren’t.  Cats, they really love boxes.  

Has anyone ever looked at Oreo Cookies or Ritz cracker serving sizes? 2 Oreo Cookies? 6 Ritz crackers? Are they serious?

Speaking of Oreo Cookies, this is how they are made. (Thanks Avery!)

The back of my conditioner bottle always says to leave in for 2 minutes.  Does anyone actually do this? If so, what do you do during those 2 minutes? I can’t keep it on for more than 30 seconds because I become very bored quickly.  

We picked carrots.  Victory!
Carrot harvest.  #garden #harvest #boss

We keep picking Spinach. I’m going to send Matthew out on the streets to sell it.
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This is a Zucchini plant growing on a tree on a sidewalk in Brooklyn! (Note: Zucchini Cookies coming soon!)A zucchini plant that took over a tree on a Brooklyn sidewalk!

When AT&T has an outage and you spend 2 hours on the phone with them .  They tell you there is no outage and then make you do all these shut downs to your phone for them to tell you at the end of the call there is a outage in your area.

When AT&T has an outage and you spend 2 hours on the phone with them .  They tell you there is no outage and then make you do all these shut downs to your phone for them to tell you at the end of the call there is a outage in your area.  During this time you feel bad because everyone is hungry so you multitask and decide to make dinner while on the phone which results in your spices falling out of the cabinet and your Rosemary you grew and dried is now laying in broken glass on the floor.  No Mr AT&T customer service agent I am not ok, and I will not stop crying.  You just ruined my Rosemary!

I got a new spice rack so I won’t break my glass bottles of Rosemary ever again.  Let me show you, isn’t it just amazing? They come in different sizes, but this is the 3 tier version which holds 30 bottles.  And each rack just slides out and down.  Then when you’re done you just push it back in.  It really is a magical spice rack.  I even got it shipped Overnight because I’m a crazy person and could not wait to get it!  It comes with nametags too but I have to figure out if i’m going to alphabetize them or not (I think so).  Exciting! I am totally ok with saying this spice rack changed my life. 
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Even when it’s 100 degrees out, I have to dry my bangs.  I don’t usually dry the rest of my hair, just my bangs.  If I don’t, they’re a disaster.

It’s in the 40’s in the mornings now. It feels amazing. I can wear my fluffy robe.  We refer to my robe as my bear suit.

I am trying to only drink Herbal tea to combat my headaches.  I get horrible headaches and after multiple Neurologist visits, tests, MRI scans we’ve come to the conclusion that it might be my tea intake.  So I have been drinking decaffeinated tea, but decaffeinated tea still has *some* caffeine in it, so I’m trying all herbal.  We’ll see how it goes.   I don’t know if I can totally cut out my Earl Gray or Green Jasmine.  This hurts me so much, but so do the headaches.  Choices!

If you love Lisa Frank as much as me you will love this video.  I’m officially obsessed with these Lisa Frank inspired nails now too.
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My health insurance costs so much I cry everytime I think about this.  I’m scared to see how it will increase next year. How much does it cost? Well I could go to Disney World 6 times a year – this includes 2 people with flights, Disney hotel and tickets.  Oh gosh, I’m going to cry again.

I want to go to Disney World right now.  

I work best at night.   I feel in the zone, my mind is racing, it’s the perfect time to do blog posts.

I should get to sleep early, it’s my current at the moment goal but see the above comment and you can see the problem here.  I am trying to be in bed every single night by midnight.  You would think might be easy, but it’s not.   I am trying really hard on this!  Do you have tips on how to get to bed early?

Do you have tips on how to do nothing? How to relax and just zone out?  I get incredibly anxious doing nothing.  I used to be able to just lay on the floor and read but now I have so many self caused distractions that I forgot how to just relax.  I’ve been telling Matthew that we should have a day of just doing nothing but we both worry about how scary that might be.

We pressure cooked for the first time.  I lived! But I told Matthew I was scared 84 times.
Pressure canning peppers for first time, terrified.  Think I need a Xanax.

So it’s basically Halloween.  Ok it’s not Halloween, but it basically is.  I have my nails painted black and orange, I already started to decorate, pumpkins are out, decorations are slowly arriving in the stores, Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins are dangerously nearby for the next 50 days.  I love this time of the year.   It’s the best.  It makes me so happy. Here’s me and a pumpkin, don’t we look alike?
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 This is how you should decorate your tomato cages for Halloween.  Actually all year.

Have your bananas ever turned to complete liquid?  One night they are fine, the next morning they are just sitting in a giant puddle of banana liquid? It was gross.

I am totally not spamming you but I recently discovered the Discover It Card and it’s changing my life.  We were in the process of trying to find a Rewards Credit Card where we could purchase everything on it to keep receipts together and then just pay it off every month.  This makes keeping track of my bank account such a breeze now! But the Rewards Card is amazing because you get  1% back on every purchase and during Oct-Dec it’s 5% back on online purchases (hello Holiday season!).  Right now it’s 5% back off gas stations.  And to make it even better I called them one day and it rang once and someone picked up.  No entering numbers or speaking to a robot and waiting on hold while they play horrible alternative rock, they just answered!  Plus they match any price on a item you bought and then find for cheaper.  Sorry, I am really excited about this.   Again, not spamming but if you sign up now you get $50 bonus.  Again, not spamming but if you want a Credit Card to earn you some money, this is a really great card.  I earned $30 back this month.   $30 x 12 months = $360.  Hello pretty new shoes! Or savings.  Or pretty new shoes.

9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask.

I love raspberries, it’s on my list of things we must grow next year. I have this bodega that is around 15 blocks away and they have amazing sales on fruits and vegetables.  Lately they’ve had raspberries for  $1.49 a package, blueberries for .99.  I’ve been stocking up.  And by stocking up I mean buying containers and just eating them on the walk home.  Note to self: Buy more raspberries.

We found a turtle in our garden one night.  We didn’t know what to do, or how the turtle got there, but it really enjoyed it’s time laying in our cucumbers.  We eventually found out it was a neighbor’s turtle and the turtle’s name is Axl Rose and they let this turtle roam on the roof. I’m in love with this guy, I wish he was always there.  I want to build him a little home in the garden. 
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Hug and kiss your kids before they go to sleep.  Tuck them in.  Read them  a book.  Grab their favorite stuffed animal.  4 years old or 17 years old.  They will remember it forever and the cycle will continue.  

My Gardeniere video shoots went great over the weekend.  We did some shooting outside in the garden and some shooting inside in the kitchen.  
Day 2 of shooting:  cooking mama time.6tag_140913-135546.jpg

While filming in the kitchen Matthew recorded this video that shows FiFi Bofinkles confused why her mama is talking but she’s not looking at her.  Look at how she looks up at me “Mom, I’m down here, What are you talking about, Look down at me”.  Gosh, I love that FiFi Bofinkles so much.

Also while here, the cats helped out the film crew.  Again, cats love boxes.  Real big boxes.
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My favorite snack right now are Blue Diamond Coconut Roasted Almonds.  I found these Almonds last year and I never looked for another almond again.  I love them dearly.  If you see them (I know Target has them) please try them.  They’re just purr-fect.  
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(Totally going to ignore the fact I posed the Almonds with a Astronaut suit).

New garden tip I learned (Thanks Melissa).  Keep  a bucket of sand in your garden, put your tools back in after you are doing using.  The sand acts like a abrasion and cleans your tools, and you also will never ask yourself “Where did I put that shovel” and walk around the garden for 12 minutes looking for that shovel while the shovel is in your hand the entire time (hey, it happens).
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The Antares rocket blasted off Wednesday and we were anxiously timing the countdown on the roof as Matthew is Mr. Spaceman.  Sadly though we totally couldn’t see it.  It was hazy in the low sky, buildings too tall, we were pretty bummed out.  I did see the sun though.
Tried to see Antares but too many buildings in the way.  Did see the sun though.

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There is a new peanut butter out called PB Crave. It offers an unexpected twist to classic peanut butter using ingredients such as white chocolate, raspberries and wild honey. The fun flavors include Cookie Nookie, Razzle Dazzle, Coco Bananas and Choco Choco. Their natural and nutty line is gluten and cholesterol-free, made with fresh-farm peanuts.  I really love the video they made too!  
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They sent me a jar of each to review, so one afternoon I grabbed Matthew’s hand, some spoons, a notebook and we tasted everything.  
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Here were our notes:
Coco Bananas: If you love Banana flavored food, you’re going to love this.  As soon as you open up the jar the smell of banana hits you.  It definitely tastes like banana too.  Great if you love bananas (like me), not so great if you don’t love bananas (Matthew).  
Cookie Nookie: We were most excited about this one as we were expecting pieces of chocolate chips and cookie dough with the peanut butter but instead it was just smooth.  The peanut butter is good, thick and smells like malty chocolate baked goods.  Still wish it would have had pieces of cookie dough in it as I would then make it my favorite peanut butter ever. 
Razzle Dazzle:  Smells very fruity, you can smell the berries right away.  On the first spoonful, you can immediately taste the sweetness.  This peanut butter is very light and smooth.  
Choco Choco: This was hands down our favorite and winner of the peanut butter taste test afternoon.  It’s light, it’s smooth.  The chocolate is not overwhelming at all.  I would totally pull this jar out for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich any afternoon!

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Choco Choco – our favorite.

The great thing is that PB Crave donates 2 percent of the profits of every PB Crave jar to Project Peanut Butter, a non-profit organization that aims to treat 2 million malnourished children by 2015.  

If you’d like to try this peanut butter, you can find a store locator here!

 

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope it’s a good day wherever you’re at!

Tea & Hot Chocolate Swap Interest?

Hi Friends,

This is a quick post but I’m looking for interest on this idea…

I love food swaps, craft swaps, sticker swaps… basically I love spending time to make a gift special to a old or new friend.  I have participated in many Holiday, Foodie and Tea swaps, but I thought wouldn’t it be cool to host a Swap here on Brooklyn Farm Girl?

The Fall and Winter  are some of my favorite months for the best hot beverages: Tea and Hot Chocolate.  How many cups of tea do I drink a day? Many!  I’m not even going to tell you.    If you remember I went to Twinings in London last year and I basically asked them if I could move in (they declined, but they did give free samples to the crazy American girl who won’t stop talking about how much she loves them).  I love my tea.  I also love hot chocolate! During the winter I often have a cup as soon as I come home from a freezing day where I can’t feel my toes.  Hot chocolate is also the absolute best after dinner dessert in the winter time.  

So if you love hot beverages during these upcoming months – would you be interested in a swap?

It would work like this:

You would submit your name/email address by a certain date.  Then I would randomly hook up every single person with a partner, you both would swap with each other.   You would ship your swap package out by a certain date, and the other person would magically fall in love with your kindness! 

I love doing swaps like this, so I just wanted  to know if you did too?
This could potentially lead to other holiday swaps… Halloween and Christmas are my favorites. 

Any interest – let me know in the comments below and if there’s enough people into it.. then I can set it up to run in about a month!

Here are some swaps I have sent out in the past or received.  They really do just make your day!  If you are in love with giving gifts and spending time to make everything special, swaps are a super fun experience.  


This was a tea package I sent out, with a Brooklyn postcard.  I sometimes try to include a tea accessory too, like a spoon or coaster.


This was a Tea Advent Calender for Christmas that I sent out.  Each day up to Christmas you would open up a little package with a tea bag inside.  Some of them also included little treats and notes to make your day.


I found these tea cards  that I often use.. aren’t they the cutest?


This was dark chocolate and black tea that I received from a Australian swapper who eventually became a friend and now we write letters to each other. 🙂


This was a UK-USA swap. I sent her USA goodies, she sent me UK goodies.  I ate every single thing. 


This was a Christmas baking set swap I sent out.


This was for a Colorful Kitchen swap I sent out.


This was a Ugly Christmas Sweater swap I sent out.


This was a swap I received for Christmas Cats.  My cats were in love. 🙂

So anyways – let me know if you would be interested in swapping and any ideas you have – tea, hot chocolate, holidays, baking supplies, etc.

Cooking With America’s Test Kitchen

You might remember that in May I was in Atlanta making some gardening and cooking videos.    This was in collaboration with the Gardenieres and America’s Test Kitchen.  There I got to cook up some yummy dishes with the ultra kind and funny Bridget Lancaster.   We used vegetables that I grow in our garden to make some easy recipes that were delicious (seriously, I tasted them all.. multiple times.. including sneaking in extra bites with my back towards the camera, because that doesn’t look suspicious at all, does it?)

First up:  Strawberry Pie with the most yummy whip cream on top.
This pie tasted so fresh, it was extra strawberry. It basically tasted just like picking strawberries out of our containers and immediately throwing them in my mouth.   Plus whip cream.  Because whenever there is whipped cream I’m going to be all over it. Can you imagine if I could grow whipped cream? Also can you imagine if whipped cream was healthy? Why is it not? Instead of a bowl of carrots, I could just snack on a pint of whipped cream.   Come on science, let’s make this happen.


Shudder getting in on this pie action.

Next Up: Kale Pesto Pasta
I am a big kale pesto fan (my favorite recipe is coming soon!) so I was pretty psyched about this dish. I really love the bits of red pepper flakes sprinkled in too.  



The rooster really liked it too.  I’m so nice feeding everyone.

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In the beginning of the video on the roof, you might think I look a little wet, that’s because it was pouring! Pouring! And there’s me, trying to see and hoping my mascara isn’t running.  

Behind The Scenes:
It’s pretty amazing to see all the behind the scenes work that goes into cooking segments.   Since I often work on filmsets I’m pretty used to all the cameras, mess outside of the camera, clamps holding together a model’s dress so it fits her perfectly, and making a magical world that doesn’t really exist. But with shooting cooking segments, everything is cooked in separate sections so it’s ready to go. There’s not 1 strawberry pie made, there’s 8 of them in all various steps.  Also outside of the camera there is space dedicated to every pan, towel, appliance, kitchen gadget you can think of.    Wouldn’t it be amazing if instead of waiting 40 minutes for those brownies to finish, someone just walked into your kitchen, took the brownie mix (wait, give that back!) and replaced it with a hot tray of brownies already made.  Come on science, make this happen.

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Multiple crusts in different stages ready to go.

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Keeping that pasta warm, bowls for days.   The number of pretty Anthropologie towels they had for props made me pass out. Kidding, I didn’t pass out, I just laid on the floor hugging the towels.

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Binders full of pictures showing all the steps of making the recipe.

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Waiting for the next step.. with my pink cat bag on the counter.

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Lights, Camera, Food.

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Hey, that’s me.  How did that cat get in the bottom right?  I have no idea!

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Makeup, please come and save me from these hot lights.  Honestly, I was pretty scared of the eyeliner.  But it worked out. Thanks makeup artist!

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I’d like to think I am saying something very exciting about kale here.

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At the end of the shoot they made me do this. You can see how enthusiastic I am.  Charlie’s Angels aired until 1981.  I was born in 1983. Now if they wanted to pretend to be Jem & The Holograms, I totally would have been more exited. 

Hope you liked these videos! They were lots of fun to make. 
If you try the recipes, let me know what you think! 

Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday Friends!

This post should really be called the last few weeks round up because I have been slacking, sorry!   Some of my favorite posts on blogs are the more personal ones where we can see inside their days and lives besides the yummy recipes and gardening tips they create, so I’m going to try to do this more often.  They really are some of the funnest posts to make, not to  mention I take so many pictures every single day!

Can you believe it’s August already?  I really can’t.  It seemed like we were just planting broccoli seedlings in March and now suddenly it’s time to do it again.   In the world we work in, August is pretty  much vacation time for many, but unfortunately not us as we’re in high editing mode for a film we’re making with a soon to be due deadline.  Then there’s a few more projects in the works so we’ll have to begin pre production on them.  Then September hits and we teach a few digital photography, gif animation classes at The School of Visual Arts.  Then our work work goes into high gear until the end of the year.  Go, Go, Go. 

Here are some of my goals I hope to get in before the end of the summer:
Picnic in the park.  Do nothing but eat fancy cheese and bread while laying on a blanket, reading, and occasionally snuggling noses with Matthew.
Grill something.  Anything.  Please.
Go to the beach in complete 100SPF, hide under a umbrella, eat sandwiches, occasionally run into the ocean, eat a funnel cake, read, do nothing. 
Go to a baseball game, Mets or Brooklyn Cyclones

I’m not sure if all those are going to be possible because empty days are hard to spare, but I’m going to try!
Do you have anything left on your summer wish list?

Now some pictures..

We were lucky enough to see 2 amazing films in the past month, 2 favorites.  We’re lucky enough to live near BAM Theater which is usually showing amazing films and has delicious popcorn.

 About to go on a Kubrick adventure.
First up, 2001: A Space Odyssey.  An amazing film that always makes me question the plot and then makes me feel insignificant with my own work.  Thank you Mr. Kubrick. 

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And then we had a Friday night date for The Land Before Time where there was a entire audience of adults all crying and cheering at the same time.   Speaking of crying, I cried about 14 times during this.

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New York beautiful sunsets.

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New York beautiful sunsets with a basket of garden goods. 

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And then sometimes you will be out talking a walk, round the corner and see this.  Then just have to sit down and stare.  Oh New York, you beautiful place.

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Some Brooklyn greenery while walking around my neighborhood.

Hi Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.  HELLO BROOKLYN.
Speaking of Brooklyn, any basketball fans in the house?  We renewed our Nets season tickets so we’re excited for the next NBA season, especially with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett now on the team.  The games are so much fun, and it still blows my mind we can walk to a NBA basketball game in 15 minutes.    As a kid these were all day events to travel to get to one, and now it’s like I’m baking some brownies, let them cool, go to a basketball game, come home and eat them.  It’s wonderful.  Go Nets.  

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On to food, I took Matthew to his first fine dining experience at Ikea.   The funniest part, Matthew hates seafood, talks so bad about how gross it is.  Then there was this soup and he was like “What is it?” and I was just like *shrug* even though the seafood smell was so great.  He took a bite and his eyes lit up, “potatoes, this is really good”. I chuckled inside knowing that the sign up above the soup said “Seafood Chowder with Clams and Salmon”.   And then he continued to eat the entire soup, dipping his meatballs in it, and eating every single bite.  After he was finished I was like “I have to tell you something…” Busted.  I love moments like that.

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We went to Ikea to look at cabinets for our kitchen as it continues to grow into my dream. When we first moved in here our kitchen was tiny but it’s turned into my paradise and mama needs more cabinets.    Funny story.  We looked at these forever, back and forth.  We built a 3D design of it on the computer (see above).  Then we finally left the kitchen section and Matthew ventured to see if they were in stock while I picked up some new plates/towels for food pictures.  Then I went to stand in line for about 40 minutes.  Matthew came and told me you have to special order the cabinets upstairs.  We didn’t plan on buying them anyways that day. So then I continued to stand in the line that never moved. Then I got up to the register and the employee told me I could not buy my mint green plate because it was a display plate.  Didn’t I see on the bottom where it says “display” in small letters next  to the price tag?  So I asked him out of all 140 plates, I randomly picked one that says display therefor I cannot buy it? That’s correct.   Considering that was really the point of standing in line, I was kinda peeved.  Peeved as in I did nothing about it and continued to buy my towels.  Anyways, we get outside and are waiting for the bus and we talk about the cabinets again (while I am still slightly crying internally about my 1 $2.99 plate).   When are we going to get the cabinets? How? Order online? Order at the store – that means we have to come back to Ikea – who wants to do that? Delivery is only $60 from store, online it’s $200.  Oh well then we should order them right now. So then we go back into Ikea, order the cabinets, which are completely out of stock and would be about 2 months. So they offered us darker ones instead which are actually much better, we thought they were more expensive but somehow they came out to be less.  Anyways, it worked out.  They arrive next week! They are slightly blackish and match our island countertop.  I will have so  many cabinets.  I will have a entire shelf just for tea! Maybe even 2! It’s going to get wild!

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My Mom came out  to visit so I took her to some New York must stop by food places, including Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Coney Island. I also took her to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory where you must go if you visit.  You must! I had the green tea ice cream and it was AMAZING.  

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We got the best donuts in the world from DOUGH.  I think I say this all the time, but if you visit one place in New York you come to Brooklyn and go to DOUGH. And you let me know because I’m a few blocks away and I will treat you to a donut that will change your life. 

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We had a slice of New York pizza and my mom ate it with a fork.  Worst, she made me ask the guy behind the counter for a fork… for pizza.  Oh the embarrassment! 

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Oh by the way this is me and my mom.  And yes she has purple streaks in her hair.

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We went to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island (in Brooklyn).  Hurricane Sandy hit the coast  pretty hard and with the Aquarium being right there it didn’t do too well.  I’d say about 75% of the aquarium is currently closed, but they are building to be bigger and better in a few years! I love this place.   

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Woah guy, hi to you.

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And hi to you too.

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For the many years I’ve lived here I’ve never gone on a ride at Coney Island.  Maybe one day…

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Then we sat on the beach and ate cheese fries.

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When we were about to leave we found a candy store which sold the biggest boxes and packages of candy and treats.  Can you believe this? I love America.

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At another place I saw these.  I am regretting not getting one!

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This is Essy Bear, the old lady in charge of everyone. If she meows, you come running!

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This is FiFi Bofinkles laying in my arms at night.

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This is FiFi Bofinkles waiting to lay in my arms.

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This is FiFi Bofinkles asleep.  

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This is also FiFi Bofinkles asleep not caring that she just laid in the middle of everything.  I can only imagine her saying “Find another table to work on!” in mid dream.  She’s sassy.

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This is Xanadu laying in a silly way on a hot day. She’s my baby girl.

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And this is Brother Bear just looking like a elegant man.  He sits like this all the time, I think it’s a Maine Coon thing. 

Piñata is a #coolguy
This is one of our stuffed animals, Pinata.  He looks like a real cool guy here.

As I mentioned we are busy working on a film we’re making.  There’s lots of intense editing going on… 
Bird's eye view.  #bravenewworld #coming soon
This is a top down view.

The circus is coming to town. #bravenewworld
And this is another view.. our circus is coming to town (your computer screen) soon!

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We’ve had multiple shooting days for this project because of the scale and the amount of characters.  This is one day of shooting clowns. These 2 guys are our friends who graciously and excitedly wanted to become clowns for a day.  I know some people are scared of clowns but I absolutely love them.  I have a dream of wanting to go to clown classes and be a weekend clown. I am totally serious.

~Reed + Rader~ #brooklynresearch
In other work news, we got a official workspace where we get to swipe a card and our name comes up on the door.   Time will be spent here editing, it’s really good to get out of the home as distractions here are high with the cats, the garden and me singing like I’m Drake every 5 minutes.

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There is also a astronaut suit in the workspace.  That’s pretty cool. 

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Our workspace is in Pfizer’s old pharmaceutical factory   The building is amazing as Pfizer left alot of their equipment there. Who doesn’t want a computer with a big red button?

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Also who doesn’t want.. this machine that I have no idea what it did.

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Soon it will  be Fall so the garden planning is in full gear.  Many seeds were planted in June, July and this month.  

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Some of the seedlings have already moved outside to harden off.   Here is a baby kale plant.  We are planting 6, but we have 4 growing already, so possibly 10 kale plants.  Life is going to be great, I’m kale obsessed right now.

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The amount of peppers we have right now is insane.  It’s wild.  It’s crazy.  Pepper recipes? Leave in comments – please!

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And there’s probably about 40 more to pick.

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Who doesn’t like Dino chicken shapes by the way?

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Lots of new fresh recipes coming soon.. like these watermelon popsicles! Oh my, oh my!

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And chocolate goodness…

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And pumpkin macaroni and cheese.. are you ready for this?

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I leave you with one of hundreds of pictures I have like this.  These are happy accidents, I take a picture with my phone and either it’s in a bag, my hand is in front of the lens, or I move it so quickly.  Then colorful magic happens!

Have a great weekend everyone – do you have anything planned? What are you going to cook/bake this weekend?
See you Monday!

PS.  Don’t forget  to sign up for the Peanut Butter & Co Giveaway – it ends on Monday!

PSS.  Follow me on Instagram for fun cat pictures and videos of me walking in the pouring rain! 

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