Today is my gorgeous little brother’s birthday so I wanted to wish him lots of love from this side of the pond and hopes he has a great day.
Since the weather is so spectacular at the moment the Egan clan all boarded the East River Ferry and headed up to explore Greenpoint today. It’s an area completely new to me and we discovered a few gems. For Rory there was the magnificent ‘Play’ an indoor play area that also hosts great classes such as Karma Kids Yoga. They also have a very sweet children’s shop and carry their own clothing line called Phoenix and Nola that is tres chic. For us there was the rather beautiful shop ‘Raised by Wolves’ which not only had the loveliest shop owner but incredibly cool clothing and accessories. I think we’ll be back.
This evening I watched an incredibly sweet film called To Be and To Have (French: Être et avoir). It’s a 2002 French documentary film directed by Nicolas Philibert about a small rural school in France. I loved it. From the caring and knowledgeable teaching to the brilliant students (Jojo was my favourite) this is a great watch.
This afternoon Rory and I met up with Christine and Gracie and had a walk to the brilliant water park on Pier Six. After the babies had their naps, we got the picnic blanket, sat down in the shade and enjoyed a good roll around. I’m rather enjoying living life at a baby’s slower pace at the moment – the only way to tackle this NY heat.
Rory and I headed to Soho this afternoon to one of our favourite shops ‘Giggle’ to take part in a music lesson. We met the lovely Eileen and Dorothy and enjoyed singing dancing and playing instruments along to all of the catchy songs. Rory really enjoys his music.
You know I love an inspirational interiors book and my latest find is all about planning your home around your children without compromising on style. Called ‘Children’s Spaces from Zero to Ten’ by Judith Wilson, this is a useful guide to preparing rooms from a nursery to a play space in the lounge, with some inspiring images along the way.
Ok so I’ve been somewhat ‘treating’ myself of late and those last few baby pounds aren’t shifting. Feeling sick of the muffin top I’m attempting to tackle this by having an exercise blitz. Unless I get up at the crack of dawn or run on after sunset, this is a bit tricky with Rory. Enter the brilliant Jillian Michael’s and her ’30 Day Shred’. It was recommended by a (very thin) friend and it’s brilliant. Firstly it’s a DVD so you can do it at any time you’re home. Secondly it’s only 20 minutes long which makes doing it daily and fitting it into your day (usually Rory’s morning nap) easy. Lastly it’s a circuit combination of strength, cardio and ab work where you only need a mat and some weights. I started on Level 1 (there are three) and nearly died. It’s hard. But it’s effective. Treat muffin-top be gone!
We finally made it to Prospect Park today – something that has long been on the agenda that we hadn’t got around to doing. It certainly didn’t disappoint. Designed by the same duo who did Central Park, but apparently in their words ‘perfected’ it is just like a bigger, less busy version. After walking part of the way around (it goes on for miles) we went for an explore around Park Slope. Stopping off for a delicious lunch and then treating ourselves to a mini Brooklyn Blackout Cake from the famous Ladybird Bakery. Delicious is an understatement.
This morning it was ‘Summer Streets’ in the city, where one of the avenues up to the park is closed to motor traffic and open for all to walk, run and cycle on. We took advantage by walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and walking up to Soho and then across to the East Village. After a stop and rest in Tompkins Square Park and an explore, we continued on to the Lower East Side where we stopped for a bite to eat and the delicious and incredibly stylish Shillers. We popped into the brilliant Essex Market to buy a few fresh goodies and finished the afternoon with a stop off at the famous ‘Baby Cakes’ where we treated ourselves to a cookie sandwich (calorific but utterly divine) and a vegan chocolate cup cake which was surprisingly delicious.
So I finally got around to reading the book that everyone is talking about ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ by Amy Chua. To say I was addicted is an understatement as I finished it in two days. Incredibly thought provoking regarding parenting styles, at times laugh out loud hilarious, but mostly I felt utterly exhausted by how much this woman was cramming into her day. Interesting stuff and well worth a read.