I had long forgotten or better yet, given up on my teenage dreams of becoming a fashion designer . That was until recently, attending a Target Free Sundays at the Studio Museum in Harlem with my 8- year old daughter and viewing the Speaking of People exhibition. Directly after, we headed to Workshop A for the Hands On Fashion Extravaganza workshop to make our own fashion layouts from blank traced silhouettes.
The workshop re-ignited the passion to begin thinking again about designing clothing. A dream I’d abandoned so many moons ago while a teen. Summers of countless hours pouring over the fashion pages of Ebony, Vogue, Essence, Seventeen, TEEN and Cosmo .
Dreams of one day designing my own line of bold, vivid colorful fashions reminiscent of my childhood in Barbados were always at the back of my mind. Although not led to a career in fashion, I did wind on the pages of magazines —writing and reporting on fashion and being amongst the small group of initial staffers to start-up a then new PEOPLE Stylewatch in 2002.- launching it to its fashion bible status of today . Choosing a path of going to the world of magazines and celebrity journalism. I would end up writing about fashion not designing it,
Getting to share the workshop with my daughter and seeing her talents shine at such a young age is so rewarding. Other families enjoying the including the workshop mums, grandmas, dads and aunts taking the for color, design and Thinking Springtime and Summer I chose bold colored paper for the clothes and got my scissors to work in cutting them out. Gluing the paper clothes on was a lil tricky but
We started out with blank Sillhouttes
The colored paper to create the clothes
My 8- year old daughter ‘s creations: She has a great eye for color. She chose to use colored paper and colored markers.
Take a trip to the Studio Museum in Harlem.. What a wonderful way to bond and learn alongside your child. Art Rocks!
I love Indian food especially in the wintertime. It is my comfort food of choice . Choosing a healthier eating lifestyle was one of my new year resolutions and since Jan 1 I have been eating more fruits, salads and chick peas. Yes, I did say CHICK PEAS!
After threading through yesterday’s high winds and freezing snow and gaining frozen toes and fingers while heading to pick my kids up from school I decided when we arrived home that I needed to spice up some chick peas and make the hubs and I a spicy Indian style curried chick pea delight to chow down on . I needed a comfort food.
I found a curried potato chick pea recipe on foodnetwork.com added a few of my own caribbean spices and got down to my culinary skills in the kitchen.
I would eat chick peas every day if I had my way. They are delicious and not too heavy on the stomach, plus they are rich in fiber. Thinking back, I remember as a kid how I hated the weird distinct taste especially when my grandma would serve them with dinner. Many times unbeknownst to her, or so I thought, I would rake them off my plate and hide them in a napkin on my lap so I wouldn’t have to eat them. In retrospect, I think grandma knew what I was doing but never said a word. So I am not too upset that my now 8 and 7-year olds are not turned on by eating the small bean preferring instead to eat it as chickpea hummus. At least they are still getting its valuable nutrients.
Making a curried chick pea meal is one of the quickest to prepare- with cooking times of 15 minutes and prep time of 20 minutes . I set forth to prepare this recipe which is one of the easiest and can be a favorite on any vegetarian, vegan or meat lovers plate.
The Chick Pea or Garbanzos Beans as my South American peeps call them is one of the healthiest beans available. For those who love their food spicy I say bring on the curry and the scotch bonnet pepper and make this baby indian style.
Quick and Easy way to make. Get it in the can.Goya is a great brand but you can choose most others as well. You can use dry chick peas but you will have to soak them for hours or overnight or boil them.
Known for its rich fiber benefits it is no wonder there is always some choice of chick pea or Chana as my Indian friends call it being offered on the menu of restaurants in India . In fact chickpeas has long been a staple of the daily diet in India.
Some of my favorite cities with Indian restaurants that make the best curried chick pea meals can be found in Covent Garden or amongst London’s Brick Lane curry houses as well as in New York City and Chicago.
RECIPE FOR CURRIED POTATOES AND CHICK PEAS courtesy of The Food Network Magazine and updated to include ingredients added by crownheightsmom.
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15 -ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups fried onions (one 2.8-ounce can)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for topping
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)...–NOTE: I used Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers instead of Jalapenos and I added fresh garlic, scallions, thyme and a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger. I also ncluded 1 teaspoon of Cumin.
Put the potatoes, 2 teaspoons salt and enough cold water to cover in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the potatoes.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas, 1 cup fried onions, garlic, thyme, scallions and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water; cook, mashing the potatoes with a spoon( I did not mash my potatoes), until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add more cooking water, if needed. Season with salt.
Mix the yogurt, chopped cilantro, lime juice and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. Divide the potato-chickpea mixture among bowls. Top with the yogurt sauce, the remaining 1 cup fried onions, the sliced jalapeno and cilantro leaves.
Almost ready to eat and a dish I am sure renowned chef and Hell’s Kitchen mentor Gordon Ramsay would love.
You can choose to eat your curried chick peas alone, with flat bread, a salad or on top of rice -basmati or parboiled, or a pasta of your choice. I paired mine on top of Penne and it was delicious! The spicy kick from the scotch bonnet peppers hit the spot. I was warmed all over.
FRIDAY’ S CUTE PIC OF THE DAY on crownheightsmom goes to Magnolia, the heart-stopping, cute-as-ever little 20-month old happy tyke who along with her BABY stopped me in my tracks on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon.
Meet MAGNOLIA . She literally brought the sun out today. In fact I think her cuteness is the reason the expected snow storm for Thursday went bye-bye!
I spotted the lil darling taking her baby out for a walk on Eastern Parkway. Along for the stroll was mum Natalie and dad Matthew. The 9-year Brooklyn residents have been residing in Crown Heightsfor the past three years. Before Magnolia came along the gorgeous couple were living in Do-or-die Bed-Sty!…
Brooklyn is fast becoming that borough young families are flocking to. Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush are the new favorite areas for new renters and buyers. Don’t get me wrong there is still interest in Fort Green, Bedford Stuyvesant, Ditmas Park, Sunset Park, Park Slope and Boroum Hill areas .
Let’s not even begin to talk culture. Brooklyn is a gumbo pot of cultures. It is the epitome of what New York stands for. For young families moving to Crown Heights you can walk down the street and bump into someone from every caribbean island known to man, meet young hip fashionable Hasidics, or a Korean grocer selling the freshest fruits and vegetables this side of Chinatown, or even talk politics with the Yemen corner store owner . The cultures my friend in Brooklyn are infinite .
So as our little cutie pie Magnolia continues on her walk here’s to wishing her a wonderful year and hoping when she hits her 2 year mark on May 19 that she stays as sweet as ever for mummy and daddy .
Enjoy your walk little Magnolia and take in all that your wonderful neighborhood has to offer. Soak it up!
I was pretty much feeling annoyed at myself for coming down with the flu . I mean it’s not like I have super powers to shield myself from all colds and flu but the “It’s your own fault” voice echoed over and over heavily in my head. Blame myself I did because as of the writing of this post I still have yet to get a flu shot.
I know, but I just never got around to getting it. I meant to but kept putting it off because I rarely get sick and whenever I do get the flu shot I end up sick two weeks after. So this year I said to myself I will see if I can make do without it and like many healthy people who take their vitamins supplements, exercise, eat well and run daily. I figured, I would be ok.
Looking back, I should have visited my docs office when I saw the glaring headlines stating that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had released flu data reports showing that the 2014-2015 flu season was at epidemic levels with 8.5% of deaths occurring due to pneumonia and influenza. The report also said that this was an increase from the year and with 19 reported deaths. There was no data for adult death as the only keeps tracks of children’s death and the 19 CDC reported cases were all of children having died of the flu across the United States.
Weighing heavily on my mind since coming down with the flu were thoughts of ‘I do not want the children to catch it.’ I felt assured that they wouldn’t because my husband and I made sure they’d received their flu shots when school began in September. My only hope was in that the vaccine would protect them from this bad strain of flu going around hoping their little immune systems stay strong. Right after the first snowstorm in November we started to give them daily does of elderberry vitamins to help boost their immune systems and I began to pack an orange a day in their lunch boxes and have been giving them more tangerines and grapefruit slices to boost that Vitamin-C intake . Knock-on-wood, I can say that so far so good. These have helped.
Day 5 of being bed bound, I literally crawled out of my bed and forced myself to go outside taking our dog Hiro with me out for a walk. This was more so because I really needed the walk more than our Akita did . I needed to feel the cold air biting my cheekbones and passing through my nostrils. Doing this would somehow cleanse me of this flu bug that had invaded my body and rendered me down, but definitely not out.
I was definitely thankful that it was the long MLK holiday weekend so the worry of shuttling back and forth on the subway with the kids I did not have to do until Wednesday. This thankfully gave me some extra time to recover at home.
On the mend . I owe my recovery to a little vegetable called Ginger root . Yes, thank goodness for ginger root. I live by this veggie’s properties which act as a herb . I am drinking my ump-teenth glass of ginger tea, which as far as I am concerned is the reason that I am feeling so much better. With my appetite gone, my six times a day freshly grated ginger root tea became my constant companion. Simmered in hot water with a teaspoon of brown sugar to taste I devoured a cup of it every two hours .Boy, did it work wonders. It got me on the mend and I cannot recommend it enough. It also helps that it tastes oh so good. It has definitely been my savior.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR OWN GLASS OF GINGER ROOT TEA .
What you will need to begin –
Wash 3 roots of fresh ginger and freeze overnight in a zip lock bag.. (Note – fresh ginger root is usually sold at your local supermarket, in the fruit and vegetable section. You can also find at the Korean Vegetable grocers . Pick up enough to last you a few weeks .. You are freezing the ginger because it makes it easier to grate it .)
You can choose to peel off the beige skin or keep it on. I usually peel mine.
Grate one root and scoop the grated contents into your personal coffee mug
Add hot water and sweeten with brown sugar or your chosen sweetener to taste. You can also choose not to sweeten.
The ginger root’s pulp will settle at the bottom of your cup. Stir it up and drink up all the contents . It’s the grated pulp thats the secret weapon to curing you and getting you on the mend.
With my flu ebbing away as I sipped on my ginger tea my only wish was that it would also cure the mom guilt I felt about getting sick. I finally decided that I was going to stop beating myself up about it. I am not a genie or a wizard with powers to protect myself from getting sick. It’s nature, it happens and I was over feeling guilty about it .
Looking into the subject of Mom Guilt I found that moms all walks of life—-rich, poor, black, white all experience this guilt. Although usually attributed to working moms —-as was discussed on WPIX-TV 11—-and moms balancing home and work life I found that mom guilt attaches itself to a woman the moment she gives birth and stay-at-home moms battle it just as often as working mom do .
Looking back at my own mom guilt , I tried to recall how far back it ran and hit it on the nail at the newborn stage when i would feel guilt if the babies cried too much. I remember usually thinking maybe I didn’t nurse long enough or maybe I didn’t spend enough time burping. As they got older the newborn guilt transferred into the toddler guilt and those feelings included the am I spoiling them, am I giving in and lifting them up whenever they cried , is the temper tantrum a result of my not being in control., there was also the diaper rash guilt feelings of feeling responsible for leaving on that wet diaper way too long, and the not packing enough snacks or clothes when we went out for when messes occurred. The list goes on and on and it made me ask my husband if he ever experiences any dad guilt feelings. He said of course dads get it too. But my response to this was not in the same way moms do .
When I appeared alongside Denise and Melisssa of the MOMS on PIX 11-TV NY discussing this topic morning news anchor Sukanya Kirshnan gave out tips to help combat it. See below.
I am happy that my husband held down the fort while I was out of commission helping with the take home homework, making breakfast, lunch and dinner and doing the food shopping. He allowed me to get all the rest I needed in order to get back to a healthy place.
Cheers to him as I sip on another cup of ginger tea . Baby, I am back!
Mention the name Rockettes to any little girl and the reaction —– automatic excitement.! The annual Radio CityChristmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes, Santa, the Nutcracker and a Living Nativity ended just weeks ago . My family and I didn’t attend this year so finding out we could see them for free and in our local neighborhood was luck shining down on us.
The Rockettes were going to be the special guests at Dancewave’s Open House on Jan 10. The Brooklyn non-profit dance education organization was having an Open House and the Rockettes were going to be there.. It was like being given a belated Xmas gift with extras added in including free dance tips, autograph signing with the iconic precision dancer company members as well as information on Dancewave’s Spring semester class offerings . My daughter and I jumped at the offer.
Donning our dance gear we headed off to Park Slope . When we arrived we met Dancewave’s Executive and Artistic Director, Diane Jacobowitz who was responsible for bringing out the Rockettes.
Between speaking with parents about her non profit’s class offerings for adults and children Jacobowitz pointed out a sentiment echoed by every family present. “Everybody from every neighborhood loves the Rockettes,” she says . That’s very true, thus why the event was such a draw for Brooklyn families. Not only residents of Brooklyn were in attendance also there were families as far as the Upper West Side.
Says Jacobowitz, “Here is an opportunity [to see them] in your local neighborhood. ” Indeed it was. The Rockettes were in BROOKLYNNN, baby!
The event was definitely an opportunity for that up-close-and-personal meet and greet. Checkout below for visuals of the fun day .Also do not forget that the Rockettes will be struttin’ and kicking it up this Spring when they present Spring Spectacular an ode and celebration of all things New York NewYork with hottie Derek Hough as a bonus dancer. Not bad at all.. Definitely not too shabby!
The dance lessons with the Rockettes begin. Lots of questions from this group of girls and they are all quick learners.
Learning how to execute the perfect Rockette high kick.
A Rockette is BORN! Tadaaaa!
The event was Fantastic! Dancewave has wonderful dance classes to choose from—ballet, hip-hop, modern, street jazz, creative movement , contemporary and more . My kids are interested in the hip- hop classes which we will audit on the 21 . I also love that Dancewave has adult classes. This makes it quite the place thats all about the family .
A Goodbye from the Rockettes who say, ” It was beautiful being here.” Adding, “Being around children is one of the most important things.”
A warm, feel good family movie that will make you laugh, scream, cry and cheer-crownheightsmom
Nicole Kidman who stars in the Paddington Bear movie opening Jan 16 says she would have done a lot more movies her kids could go see if only she was offered children’s film scripts she found interesting. That time my friends has finally come and it’s just wonderful!
“It [children’s movies] was something I have always wanted to do ,” says Kidman 47. ” I don’t get offered a lot of children’s films I find interesting or compelling.” The star sat with the MOMS‘ Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein for their first Mamarazzi event of 2015, before screening the Paddington Bear movie at the Film Society at Lincoln Center on Jan 7. “It was just a gorgeous script,” says Kidman. “Adorable!” the star adds.
The movie released already across France and the UK has grossed international box-office receipts totaling $109,713,825 thus far according to Box Office Mojo .It is set to open in the USA on Jan 16.
Paddington is the type of family movie that will certainly have adults and kids alike swooning and wishing for their own real-life Paddington Bear. I, for one, after seeing the movie wanted to leave the screening room with a new addition to my family and loads of marmalade. I wanted a warm cuddly bear. Heck, give me the adoption papers ASAP, I will sign on the dotted line . Paddington Bear is a keeper.Not to mention, he’s as cute as a bug.
On all accounts I absolutely ADORED the movie. It has definitely achieved what Nic Kidman hoped movie audiences will take away after see the film. “For me, it is just so nice when people come out feeling great,” she tell Musen Gerstein. Adding, “It makes you feel good.” Indeed, it does Ms. Kidman. Indeed, it does!
Having already had the sneak peek, which, my kids were not too happy about missing I had to promised that our tix will be purchased way ahead of time on Jan 16 so we can go directly to the movie theater after school . In the meantime reading the new Paddington books at our local Barnes and Noble bookstore in Cobble Hill will suffice .
It is not often that Hollywood gets it right when it comes to film adaptations of books but with Paddington the seamless adaptation drawn from the characters immortalized in the books hooked me right away. Those not familiar with the books will certainly want to read more about this cuddly Peruvian’s bears many adventures.
The movie tapped into so many of my emotions within its 95 minutes—-I laughed, cried, cheered , jeered and soared . I became a kid again remembering back to my young childhood days of losing myself with Mr Bond as my guide while reading about Paddy on his adventures. There is never a dull moment.
Being married to a British citizen it was special looking for familiar sights and places I have been in London. Even more exciting was seeing and hearing the sweet sound of classic calypso music being played throughout the film. I am from Barbados so to know that the music of the late Trinidadian calypsonian, Lord Kitchener was included on the movie’s soundtrack was exciting. Kitchener’s flute tinged tune ” London is the Place for Me” adds to the movie’s splendor.
It has been said that Michael Bond the author and writer was so influenced by the caribbean culture in London during in the late 40s and early 50s that he include elements of it in his writings. It is definitely included beautifully in the movie.
See Lord Kitchener and others embarking on London in the 30’s below
See D Lime and Tobago Crusoe featured in the movie perform “London Is The Place for Me “below:
Kidman truly owns this role. Presently filming the drama “Genius” alongside actor Jude Law it was surprising to hear her share with the audience that she almost considered giving up the craft she loves. “At one point I was going to stop working,” she says. “It was happening when I was pregnant with Sunday. I talked to my mum about it. I said, I am done. My mum had given up her job to help raise us at home and she said to me, ‘You should still do something creative. Still keep a finger in the pot because I just feel that it is your destiny and you shouldn’t give that up completely. ‘”
Mom knows best. “I was thinking, ok maybe she is right.and so I went and started to do some films and started producing and that is how I manage my life now.” Plus, she adds, “I always have them[her family] travel with me. ”
Clearly having her family around her while filming impacted Kidman’s work. The results? A job well done!