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the snowy day.

Happy New Year.

Albeit, I'm a little late and have been gone for quite awhile. New Years resolutions are a bit overrated in my opinion, however, I am truly fond of the idea of being able to start fresh. Therefore, I'm taking this opportunity to make some positive changes to my life. One of them being to take more photos.  The other being to write more.

So, here I am.

I woke up this morning feeling thoroughly under the weather, but I was still eager to get to work. I knew it would be one of the good days.  I could feel it. Snow days--even the ones when you don't get to stay home snuggled up on the sofa, drinking the piping hot beverage of your choice--are the best when you spend your days surrounded by kiddos. They screech at the very first sign of a flake, press their small, round faces up against the windows, and make you feel like a child again. They make you wish you could run outside as fast as you can and throw a snowball at your dad. (or mom.) (or both.)

One of my boys surprised me by pulling out the magnifying glass this afternoon. He was observing closely and completely mesmerized by the shapes of the snowflakes as they collected on the window sill. He immediately called another friend over to see and it was such an exciting moment, for them and for me. Snowflakes are beautiful. Not only when they fall from the sky and cover our city in a crisp, white blanket, but when they are appreciated for their exceptional and distinct designs. When life is flying by with all of its ups and downs, it's easy to forget that each snowflake is unique. Luckily, I have these cuties to remind me.

Whether you're off to work or savoring an actual 'snow day' tomorrow, I hope you enjoy.  Safe travels, wherever they may take you.


all you need is love.

seriously, the beatles were damn right.

today was my bridal shower and it was hands-down one of the best days of my life. shout-outs to my awesome family (both old and new) and friends who planned, created, cooked the most amazing food, and made this all as fabulous as could be. i couldn't have dreamt up a lovelier day! hopefully my facial expression here says it all:

raw joy and happiness right there!

everyone gave a recipe that is special to them and a spice for our pantry.  so sweet!

my aunts.

the food was a selection of tapas and salads. everything was incredible!

eric's nanny and cousins.

my future mother-in-law and her bestie.

handmade apron and coasters by amy!

ribbons galore.

this isn't so bad!..

my gals.

my best friend and matron-of-honor. i love you, j.
thank you, everyone! sending you all the love in the world from eric and i.



on the nightstand

i have a pretty great stack next to my bedside these days.  i'm only partway through all of these, so i can't give a full review here, nor do i want to.  all i can say, is they are all amazing in their own way.  

my heart is really into last child in the woods by richard louv, which i've been meaning to read for years, but couldn't quite find the time to.  

last week, my colleagues and i had the opportunity to attend the njmac (new jersey montessori association corporation) conference.  one of the workshops that i chose to attend was focused on integrating a biome curriculum into the classroom. the presenter was sharon duncan who is the director of the waseca school in athens, georgia and the creator of waseca biomes, a non-profit company that designs and sells environmental montessori cultural materials.  she showed all of these photos of her students on hikes, making grass hair wreaths, engaging in "gratitude circles", finding animal bones, and learning about nature--just by being in nature.  there i am, trying to hold back the tears, because i miss the outdoors so much.  don't get me wrong, i spend a ton of time outside (especially when the weather is nice), but it's just not the same when you live in the city. i've secretly admired this women for years, own many of her materials, and finally had the chance to tell her in person how much of an influence she's had on my teaching.  it was quite a moment. 

so that's where the connection to last child in the woods lies and i'm committed to making sure that my students (and my future babes) don't suffer from what louv calls "nature deficit disorder".  here's one of my favorite passages, so far:
"for children, nature comes in many forms...unlike television, nature does not steal time, it amplfies it.  nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood.  it serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture's fantasies.  nature inspires creativity in the child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses.  given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace."
i'll leave you with that to ponder. happy week, everyone!


bird love

hello friends.  i apologize, it's been awhile.last week we finally shared with the children the news about our dear, betty the bunny.  they took it well and after some honest, kind discussion, we all decided to focus our energy positively and show some love to our other classroom animal companion--our zebra finch, marshmallow.  with national bird feeding month underway, we created these heart-shaped treats to be hung around the neighborhood along with a few special ones for m.  she was apprehensive by the new addition to her cage at first--but after an hour or so, she dug right in.  and appeared as delighted as a bird could be.all you need are a loaf of bread, some peanut butter (or in our case, soynut butter), yarn, wild bird seed, a tree, and a few hungry birds.  we learned that toasting the bread and attaching the yarn first makes spreading the butter much easier.  bring on the bird love.


new obsession: the frittata

broccoli, tomato, mozzarella + parmesan frittata

with sunday morning only hours away, i already have breakfast on my mind.  my new obsession, the frittata, is italy's version of an omelette, served open-faced (similar to a quiche)--where the ingredients are mixed directly into the eggs instead of folded inside. i love any chance to use my cast iron skillet, which is currently the sole culinary item i don't think i could go without.  

frittatas are delicious and better yet, incredibly easy. they're the perfect addition to our weekend brunch menu.  no more standing over a stove and waiting for the eggs to cook. once a frittata's eggs are set, i just pop the entire skillet into the oven for 15 minutes and BOOM!--breakfast's served. frittatas are also wonderful for using up leftover produce in the fridge that's on the brink of spoiling. almost any combination of veggies, meat or cheese will do. enjoy!

broccoli, tomato, mozzarella + parmesan frittata

ingredients: 1 tbsp butter, 8 eggs (beaten), 1/2 cup chopped broccoli (cooked), 1/2 an onion (finely chopped), 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, freshly ground black pepper

preheat oven to 375 degrees. melt 1 tbsp of butter in a 12 inch skillet (cast iron or non stick, oven safe).

cook onion about 5 minutes or until golden brown. add the broccoli and tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes. in a medium bowl, beat eggs with 1/4 cup of both mozzarella and parmesan.

add the egg mixture to the skillet. cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the sides begin to set. top with the remaining cheese.

transfer skillet to the oven and cook through for about 10 to 15 minutes.  top with freshly ground black pepper.  yields 6 servings.


lobsta rolls

since actual valentine's day was a bust this year, we celebrated a day later with a homemade dinner last night.  we made one of our absolute favorites. lobster rolls are surprisingly easy to make, especially if you have someone to crack the lobsters for you. eric didn't realize we owned a lobster cracker, so he used a good ol' fashioned hammer to do the job. he also got me the coolest valentine's gift ever: a copy of super natural every day by heidi swanson. i seriously can't wait to swan dive into some of these recipes. bravo cute fianc√©

lobsta rolls

ingredients: 4 rolls (split), 3 lbs. cooked + cubed lobster meat, 2 tbsp. butter (softened), 4 tbsp. mayo, 2 tsp. fresh lime juice, few dashes of tabasco, 4 green onions (finely chopped), 2 celery stalks (finely chopped), salt + pepper, pinch of dried parsley

lightly butter the inside of each roll. set aside.

cook the lobsters accordingly. crack, take out meat and cube.

in a medium bowl, combine mayo, lime juice, tobasco, salt and pepper. mix in green onions and celery. then lightly mix in lobster so it is coated but doesn't fall apart.

stuff the rolls with lobster meat and sprinkle with parsley. enjoy with corn on the cob and shoe string fries.  yields four rolls.

footnote: we ended the night with some cupcakes by sophie sophia. they are seriously the best cupcakes, ever. they didn't last long enough to be photographed, but if you're ever in the jersey city area, stop by.  they're well worth the trip.


betty boo

this is betty and i's first, and only, picture together. 

if you know me well enough, you know that valentine's day is one of my favorite days of the year.  it always has been. then there was today.  today was hard because today, we lost a love.  betty the bunny was one of a kind.

my friend, and co-teacher, put it best:  betty spent her life teaching children to be tender, responsible and affectionate -- no better legacy to leave behind.  

we love and miss you.