Thursday, July 17, 2014


Last week I got to see a phenomenon unique to Manhattan - a singular time of year when the setting sun aligns with the grid of Manhattan streets and shines right through the cross streets of the city. It's a incredible sight to see, not only because the sun seems to magically appear exactly where you're looking, but because the photographers gather for hours (hours!) beforehand at their chosen cross streets. I had scouted out the Tudor City Bridge at 42nd Street and First Avenue as my prime viewing spot earlier that day and was surprised to see photographers camped out at the spot at 2 in the afternoon! 

When the sun appeared from the left, coasting down to the right, we all clamored to get that perfect shot - for those few seconds that the sun was actually in the middle of the space between the buildings. I was craning over the shoulders of the two rows of photographers in front of me, and only really got a few shots of the sun in the very middle. I had a friend with me, who kept telling me to appreciate the moment and stop taking photos for a second. She was right. The sun was huge, and orange, and magnificent. And it looked so much better with the naked eye than through my camera lens.

In the end, the shots that show the sun in a blur make it much easier to see the perfect central placement of the sun on the grid as it sets. 

So cool, right? By the way, Manhattanhenge also occurs twice during the year as the sun rises. I'd like to say I'm going to make it up for that, but the sunrise version of Manhattanhenge falls in the wintertime (December and January), so it's going to take some serious motivation to get me up before sunrise. 

When we turned around after our sunset photos, we were faced with a full moon rising over the East River. And yes, that long tripod below is holding a tiny camera!

Manhattanhenge, I can't wait to see you again next year!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The curator newsletter

So, a wise friend suggested I turn my blog roundups into a newsletter, allowing my finds to pop weekly into your inbox, rather than waiting for you to find my entries. The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea of writing you a letter every week. It feels more intimate, more meaningful somehow. You will have chosen to receive my roundups - and I'm so grateful. My site will now become a location for recipes, photographs, places we love in New York, and my random thoughts, and ultimately a bit more personal that it has been before. So sign up in the box below to receive my newsletter, and I've given it a permanent spot on the left column of the site also. 

I hope you'll join me on TinyLetter, my first newsletter is almost ready to go, so you should see it in your inboxes very soon :)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Foodie Finds

The days have suddenly turned hazy and thick, and seem to stretch on without end. How is July here already? And why do I express surprise every time it's a new month? It happens twelve times a year, so it really shouldn't be such a shock. Since during this time of the year I'm not turning on my oven if I can help it, my summer cooking is restricted to drooling over food photographs on my computer screen. And there are plenty to drool over, that's for sure. So, I'm checking in today with some of my foodie favorites over the past few weeks:  

I haven't had meat in over 8 weeks (!!) but am still occasionally having fish. So, I'm craving these crispy fish tacos with jalapeƱo sauce from Pinch of Yum for tomorrow's dinner.

Ok, I know I've gushed about Adrianne Adarme's gorgeous food blog, A Cozy Kitchen many, many times on this site, but guess what, guys? I got to meet the lovely Adrianna in real life several times in the past year, and now I get to be her editor on her new book The Year of Cozy!

Ugh, I'm slowly but surely coming around to kale. I know I'm behind the 8 ball on this, but it's taking me a while. This spicy kale and coconut stir fry from the always inventive Kate at Cookie + Kate will get me to kale nirvana faster.

If you're not yet reading nutritionist and food blogger McKel Hill's Nutrition Stripped, then you're missing out. I'll think about you as I make her creamy ginger green smoothie with avocado and lemon tomorrow morning.

I haven't gotten nectarines from my farmers market yet, have you guys found any good ones? When I do, I'm making this green rice salad with nectarines and corn from Not Without Salt (although the recipe is from the recently published Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink).

I simply adore baking with olive oil, so this olive oil cake from Beth at Local Milk isn't really that different for me - except that she's using fennel and rosewater, two flavors I haven't combined yet, and two flavors that I independently love.

Here's the perfect housewarming gift: Nikole Herriott is now selling these stunning kitchen towels created by Lisa Rupp.

For those of you in the US (or Americans outside the US) have a lovely July 4th weekend! Hopefully these food links will come in handy as you hang out with friends and/or family.

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's the little things

I tasted my first strawberries of the season last night. And I can't stop thinking about them. I spotted them gleaming redly at me from 3 stalls away during a lunchtime Union Square farmers market visit, and I fairly ran at them. I happily spent my last $5 on the little green box, hiding them in my bag for an after-dinner treat.

It's easy to lose the connection to the seasons when you're no longer walking through a farmers market every day on the way to work. I had to make a point to take the train to Union Square to walk the aisles and see the produce stands overflowing with basil, tomatoes, and even some early corn. And just like that, I felt reconnected to the seasonal cycle of growth and harvest. Somehow it was all the sweeter for the effort involved.

interior design

These gorgeous hanging shelves from Bonnie at Going Home to Roost would hold my plants perfectly. Near the window, but not on the windowsill--an important distinction, I think. Future project, perhaps?

Don't we all just want a little bit more calm in our lives? This charming Swedish fishermen's cottage (on My Scandinavian Home) would do it for me.

Have you heard about the launch of the new print magazine, San Francisco Cottages and Gardens? I was kind of excited to read dynamic Editor-in-Chief Alissa Carroll's interview on Apartment 34, and now I can't wait to see my first issue of the magazine, as it's the only one that really celebrates the inspiring design scene in SF.

Since I'm from Ireland, and my husband is American, we constantly emphasize to our children that they're so lucky to be from two different cultures. This world map marker project from This Little Street is a tiny craft that only takes a few minutes, but would be so cute, and so meaningful to families from diverse cultures.


I know you don't want to be turning on your oven these days, especially if you live in an apartment where your kitchen is FAR away from your windows (like we do), but if you can bear to turn it on then try out this pea and avocado pizza from I am a Food Blog.

Here's a recipe should you want to drink your strawberries with some chia seeds, from Jessica at One Part Plant. She's also written a heartfelt piece on learning to love yourself and letting go of those in your life who bring you down.

I'm loving the idea of these poached apricots with lavender and mascarpone (and a giveaway of Kimberley Hasselbrink's book, Vibrant Food) from Brian at A Thought for Food.

Enjoy your weekend! I think it's going to be a warm one here in the city.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A New York trip: Storm King

It was a cloudy day in early May when we decided to drive out of the city to Storm King, a sculptural arts center in the Hudson Valley. It has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, a place that we can just let the kids run and run in open fields. Last year's visit was on a hot day where the sun drained us far too quickly, but this year the weather was much more favorable and the clouds made for a dramatic ceiling over the sculptures dotted across the 500 acre landscape.

If anyone is looking for a quick getaway from the city this summer, it's a great place to spend a few hours, breathe some fresh air, and see some spectacular art. Do it!

I always notice a theme in my shots after a photo taking session, and that is that I clearly favor shooting trees over anything else. The trees at Storm King have an art-like quality themselves, and their shapes take on natural sculptural form that I can't stop looking at.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cheers to the weekend!

New York in the springtime

I don't know if it's because I'm working at a publisher that values health and wellness above all else, but I'm living a healthier life these past few weeks. I've discarded my morning cappuccino habit for green juice and my alarm clock has gone off at 6am every morning this week. And I'm actually getting out of bed (without grumbling) to greet the sun over the east river with some yoga. Oh, and I haven't eaten meat in almost two weeks.

Also, cheers for making it to the weekend! It's a holiday one here in the US, and I'm spending it in Pennsylvania. Here are some links for you to peruse, hopefully with a cool beverage (or a green juice!) in hand.


So apparently summer's biggest trend is the tea length skirt. Identifying something as that season's "biggest trend" usually drives me in the opposite direction. Except that these skirts are so lovely and flow-y and when thinking about the sticky summer days that lie ahead, I could definitely use some of the skirts that the writers at Clementine Daily suggest.

Check out this homemade pore reducing mask from Allison at Petit Elefant.

interior design

Not only is Erin Boyle of Reading my Tea Leaves on the verge of welcoming her first baby, but she still found the time to create the cutest leather drawer pulls I've ever seen. Plus they look super easy.

Heather from Habitually Chic is making a move to Paris and her depiction of Parisian skies on grey days make me think of grey Irish days. (That doesn't really count as an interior design post - but Heather's mostly an interiors blogger, so that's where I'm shelving this post.)


If you're looking for a way to plan your meals check out Rachel's ideas for a weekly meal plan on Heart of Light.

Molly Yeh shares her recipe for homemade bubble tea on Food52.

It's no secret that I'll eat almost anything with a fried egg on it. Toast, pizza, pasta, whatever. So, these goat cheese and egg toasts with peas and dill from Kate at Cookie + Kate are going on my saturday night easy dinner list.

Ok I don't want to turn on my oven in the summertime any more than you do, but you should make an exception for this Vietnamese caramelized shrimp pizza from Stephanie at I am a Food Blog.

The dog watches me do yoga in the mornings now.
Cherry blossoms in Central Park
Have a wonderful weekend - holiday or not. I hope to be here a lot more in coming weeks - I miss this space.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My mothers day treat

I had an exceptionally relaxing mothers day this year. Mostly because it was spent by myself with two friends. We had the brilliant idea a few months ago to get a hotel room for one night of the holiday weekend. Once that was decided upon, we added in extra treats like a massage and dinner reservations at Cherry - an Asian-fusion restaurant in Chelsea that was on our must-try list.

Now this would have never happened had I not been seriously motivated for some time away. The relief when we entered our rather decadent hotel room was palpable, and the time away was well spent with prosecco, trashy tv watching, and all-around general girl talk. We woke up at the luxurious hour of 9:30am and dawdled over a room service breakfast.

And then we walked home through the heady blossoms in Central Park to meet our husbands and children for the rest of mothers day. I somehow think the cherry blossoms are prettier when they come to the end of their lifespan, don't you? When they flutter down to blanket the earth in a thick pink petal carpet I can do nothing but stand still in awe when I see them (and instagram immediately, also).

So all I'm saying is that I hope all you mothers, mothers-to-be, and those who wish and hope to be mothers (now or in the future) took care of yourselves this weekend. We all deserve a little time to ourselves, in whatever capacity we can make it happen. I know that may seem counter-intuitive to the whole point of mothers day, but I say mothers day is whatever you want it to be. I know I returned home a more relaxed person for my night away. And a happier me = a happier atmosphere at home :)