My country boys
It almost looks like they are holding hands…instead of bickering over who is closer to the chickens that are just out of the frame which I think was what was actually happening…

Hello, anybody out there?  I’m sorry to have fallen off the face of the earth.  The past month has been overwhelming to say the least.  Between packing our entire apartment, moving across the state, going back for a second load the next day when the moving truck proved to be too small even after some extreme purging, immediately jumping into a gut kitchen reno, a broken laptop, starting two and a half other reno projects (deck, sunporch, and prepping for basement:-), Adrian starting medical school, the boys and I going on a two week beach vacation with my family, Elias going to the ER while on vacation, closing on the sale of our NYC apartment (sob), buying a mini van on the way home from vacation, an unexpected rewiring of the whole kitchen, a business trip for me to Atlanta, and several pressing work deadlines, I am now recouperating from pneumonia (in case you were wondering, pneumonia + drywall dust=awful).  The antibiotics seem to be kicking in and hopefully I am on the mend.

We also sadly had a miscarriage in June. I am not quite sure what to say about it, but wish that people in general talked more often about these kind of experiences so I’ll just say, even though it was early in the pregnancy, we are both still working through some sad and tender feelings.  We are open to talking about it, but if you go there with us, please be extra gentle.

Overall, there has been zero time for blogging, but I have so much to share-kitchen, deck, sunroom, basement..!  I’ll try to send some updates this week.  It’s been so long I forgot all my passwords and had to reset them all…

Instant garden
Our little one pot tomato and herb garden from Nananne

In the meantime, my two children have gone semi-feral during country excursions, are loving daycamp (but not as much as mommy-I LOVE DAYCAMP:-), and would spend all day everyday outside.  Their favorite activity is fighting over who gets to pick the ripe tomato on our tiny cherry tomato plant (Nananne for the win, thanks for giving us a little “garden” this year), thank goodness a new crop is about to ripen, and they both got haircuts.  Daddy cut Samuel’s and mommy cut Elias’.  They are thrilled as it means less hair combing in the mornings and I.can’t.even, they are so stinkin’ cute!  If I ever figure out how to edit video for the blog I will post it here, otherwise, you’ll just have to come visit:-)

Knock, knock…who’s there? I Yeyilas Rhodes
Is it just me, or is he 7 going on 17?



On the bus en route to Wave Hill, this is classic Elias. Thanks for the pic Holly!

Okay, so it’s no secret, leaving New York City is hard for me.  This country girl always dreamed of living in the city, and New York City was at the top of my list.  If we ever left New York, I thought it would be for another major city, but really, I couldn’t imagine leaving. Selling our apartment was somewhat easier to picture as I could absolutely see us getting a brownstone, or a three bedroom, or even a 2 bedroom with 1.5 bathrooms (we jokingly call the toilet in a cinderblock closet bathroom in our laundry room “Adrian’s bathroom” and I can’t tell you how many times we have wished for a second bathroom in our apartment!). But, leaving NYC was not really part of my plan.  As hard as it can be, I love it here and some days still have to pinch myself to see if living here is really my life.  Anyway, since we I thought we’d be in New York City forevah, I have amassed a list of places I planned to visit “someday”.  Well, someday is  5 weeks from now basically here, so we are stopping by some of our favorite spots and making time to visit places I have always meant to go. Here are our highlights from touring the five boroughs with kids.


Riding the 7 to Queens-my phone takes terrible pics, but this is the only one I have from this trip…

SriPraPhai-I first learned about this yummy Thai place on an opera singer listserv before I moved to NYC.  So, for a decade I have meant to try it…talk about procrastination!  The 4 of us rode the 7 train to Queens (highlight of 2016 for Samuel!) and enjoyed an amazing lunch. It was our first stroller-free outing with Elias and we learned our lesson.  With a passionate 2 year old who has huge emotions, dramatic tantrums, immediate needs for sleep, and an overwhelming desire to run, strollers are a GIFT.  We have a newfound love for our umbrella stroller


The best selfie we could manage on the Staten Island Ferry
The view from the ferry never gets old

Staten Island Ferry-On a grey, drizzly Saturday the boys and I headed out for this old favorite. Samuel is an old hand at this ride by now, but it was Elias’ first time.  Between tantrums, rain, and a tired mommy, we didn’t make it outside the ferry terminal in Staten Island, but the boys liked their Dairy Queen lunch and any day when you get to ride two subway lines and a ferry is tops in their book:-)



IMG_20160521_100054 (1) IMG_20160521_100045

I couldn’t have scripted these moments at Wave Hill if I wanted to…

We headed out to Wave Hill Saturday with a dear friend and her daughter. Wave Hill has been on my list of places I always meant to go, but I never quite made it up there.  It is stunning and I wish we had started going there much sooner!  The admission is a wallet friendly $8 per adult, but Saturday mornings turned out to be free so that was a bonus.  Then there was a family art project as well, so the boys enjoyed stories and painting.  YAY!  The gardens are simply lovely; the views of the Hudson are just as gorgeous as you would expect; and, there were no crowds. The cafe was yummy (we were a little early for their lunch specials, but the chicken pot pie smelled AMAZING!) and it’s very convenient with bathrooms, snacks, activities, and lots of places to play.  There was a little kerfluffle with the kids running on a patch of seeded grass, but even that was handled in a pretty chill way. We may try to stop by again before we move, it was that lovely! Predictably, the boy’s favorite part of the trip were the bus and subway rides to get there. Adrian tends to drive everywhere he needs to go, but it is going to definitely be an adjustment for the boys and me to drive instead of taking the bus or subway.


Jane’s Carousel-“Mommy I wanna ride the wagon” Okay buddy:-)
Jane’s Carousel-How handsome is he?

Brooklyn can feel far from us so we don’t typically trek out there, but we made a special trip for a very special friend and former coworker’s daughter’s 4th birthday.  The party was at Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park and you really couldn’t have asked for a better day, Sunny, breezy, warm but not too hot….and we had such a fun time!  The last time I was at Brooklyn Bridge Park was probably 5 years ago and that trip included Grimaldi’s Pizza and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (yum and yum!).  This trip, Samuel picked his fave, Shake Shack, and of course it was also delicious. Such a fun and special day, and how much better can you get than riding a gorgeous, restored carousel overlooking the river and the Manhattan skyline.


My evening view from our corner when I walk Max

This one is a little trickier as we are mostly just trying to visit our favorite parks, playgrounds, street corners, bodegas, bakeries, and take-out joints, as well as spend time with friends and in our building’s lovely courtyard. We do have three fun adventures planned in June though.  Stay tuned for trips to the American Museum of Natural History (Elias’ first time!), New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park (seems like a fitting, full-circle way to end our time living here since I moved here to work for the Phil), and to the top of the Empire State Building (this is definitely at the top of Samuel’s list).

Cathedral of St. John the Divine is always a favorite for Samuel
Elias loves to swing, and swing, and swing, that’s pretty much the only time he stops running

We have a list of other places we would love to go, but will probably have to save those for visits back.  Feel free to post your favorite places for touring the five boroughs with kids as we would love to add them to our list:-)


It’s been quiet over on this little blog, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been eating bon bons and putting our feet up. Au contraire mon frere!  DIY floor sanding has been happening like gangbusters.

Last weekend Adrian spent Thursday-Monday at the Cape sanding all the floors.   Continue Reading

5 Wallpaper Stripping Tips

Friends, family, countrymen (and women!) lend me your ears…wallpaper is evil.  If you are thinking about putting some lovely mod, deco, floral, striped, psychedelic, horses, anchors, arrows, birch trees (or whatever print you love) on your walls.  Stop now, walk away from the paste, and for goodness sake get a stencil or something!  The Cape is COVERED in wallpaper.  The previous owner seems to have had a love affair with wallpaper and left some serious, old-school, Laura Ashley/Waverly-type florals and stripes and ribbon wallpaper all over the house.  They are nice in a “last updated in the 1980s, now enjoyed by women of a certain age” kind of way…but not really our style.  Let me give you a quick tour and then I will share our 5 Wallpaper Stripping Tips. Continue Reading


Love Hate Relationship New York City

View of George Washington Bridge from my bedroom. Photo by Tina Gallo at VHT Studios.

My love hate relationship with New York City stretches back about as far as I can remember.  When I was little we would visit my grandparents in New Jersey and come into the City for the day.  Usually it was Continue Reading