French Press at Utensil on Main Street

The new kitchen store, Utensil, on the east end on Main Street, has a might nice coffee press for the coffee lover on your list (ahem...! I still need one despite my aero press!).

As we know, I love my new fangled espresso style coffee maker, but the ease and richness of a French press still cannot be beat. The French press is less work and coordination than the aero press, but I like them both.

Utensil has all kinds of must-haves, like a wooden pizza board thing for placing the pizza you made onto your pizza stone, which they also have.

And crepe pans, should you need one.

Head on down there!

Cherry Bombs: The Bomb of a Pop Up Shop in Zora Dora's

You've walked and driven by it: the amazing cuteness that is oozing out of Zora Dora's on the west end of Main Street, and if you haven't been in yet, you may have thought: "What is that really cute sign? Is Zoras open for winter frozen treats?"

As is becoming the custom with Zora Dora's, a seasonal Popsicle shop, a pop up shop springs up to warm our eyes drying the winter. And let me tell you, this picture doesn't do it justice. I'm only showing you the storefront, but how I wish I couldn't have started with a closeup of their ornamented chalkboard, or the painted fabric sign, or the yards and yards of knotted yarn that makes the pile of snow in the window. These ladies have fun!!

Ladies because it's a pop up shop that started as a vendor table at Beacon's Riverfest. It was three lady crafters selling their creations. They had so much fun, they wanted to bring it to a storefront. But a storefront is a big commitment. But a pop up shop...!

Each time I've gone into the store (because my daughter is fascinated by their Christmas lights), there are more goodies. More designers and more goodies. The first time, I found fabric flowers, which I'm a sucker for, and the artist fashioned them into clips for me to give to a friend. As I was leaving, my eye caught new ornaments at the door. So you know what I'm going back in for next. And the jewelry...really neat. I saw lots of silvery feathers and some rustic pieces, but I got out of there before I could go off budget.

You'll be seeing more pictures of what's available inside, because I can tell my shopping isn't quite done!

Really Good Cup of Coffee Espresso-Style at Home w no Machine

After Super Storm Sandy, my business partner at 'PRENEUR and I wanted to send a care package to a small business friend who had lost her house and her soap making business. Without electricity for ever it seems, she's been making lukewarm, weekly filtered coffee on her grill. A girl needs good coffee if she's going to rebuild her biz, so I walked down to Mountain Tops on Main Street in Beacon to see what sort of camping style coffee maker they had. My requirements:

- not electrical
- easy, won't break
- don't have to clean it much
- no filter.

I thought I'd be getting a French press. It's what I use, has no filter, and I can do it one handed with one kid on my hip. However, the camping pros at Mountain Tops steered me to the AeroPress, a funky little coffee maker plunger thing that makes espresso shots or style of coffee! It has a filter, but is a tiny circle of paper that didn't seem like a big deal. As for cleaning, there really isn't any cleaning because of the way the coffee gets pressed into an espresso shot, and then into trash or compost. I doubted it, but ended up buying one for our friend, and one for my dad, because he likes strange, inventive ways of making things good.

And then we traveled for Thanksgiving, and I forgot my French press at my parents. Darn! I broke open the AeroPress and made myself a latte. Yes, a latte. Why? Because it makes espresso style coffee! I couldn't believe it! I've been drinking 2-3 a day now! (Sorry Bank Square for not banking coffee money with you).

You put the grounds in, then a certain amount of hot water, then comes the press part, where you press a plunger down for about 20-30 seconds. Voila. You have an espresso shot. Pour in hot milk (or half hot water and half hot milk). And I even have mocha powder, should I want to spruce it up a bit. But normally, I only put in a 1/8th of brown or white sugar, which is far less than I was putting in my regular cup of french press coffee, which used to cause major sugar crashes for me, and I'd hunt for the nearest brownie. Literally, pounding the pavement. Which is how I know where the best baked goods are in Beacon.

I know. That's a lot of passion from a cup of coffee. But it's true. And I'm happily hooked. And got another one for my dad (since I'm using that one), and one for my brother and his wife, since they appreciate coffee as well.

Thanks Mountain Tops!

It's Going to be a Good Week

It's going to be a good week because I just got this weekly planner (with a wood cover) from Dreams in Plastic. I'd sworn off buying or using weekly planners anymore because there are so many digital ways of doing it. This was a sad decision, but I've stuck to it.

Except that...I seem to be tricking myself. I'm buying and using blank notebooks, that I buy with the intention to journal, but I'm not journalling. I'm making todo lists! Cheater!!

In my digital todo lists (yes, lists plural) in my Google Docs, I've deviated from filling in my Deadline column with numbers, and now do the days of the week. I'm on a limited childcare schedule, so I work by days of the week and hour of the day.

This weekly planner is just that - weekly, with no numbers! Just a page spread of the 7 days of the week, and morning, noon and night.

Love!!

Oh Look, Max's is Family Friendly on Football Saturday!

Being a mom these days doesn't find me hanging out at Max's, aside for an occasional take out order of potato skins that are lukewarm at best in the styrofoam when I get home. Maybe it was the three cups of coffee and intense but fun jaunt at consignment hunting at Trendy Tots that drove us to drink, but upon walking home, we took a sharp right into Max's, where they whisked us away into a corner booth, where we could corral our girls and drink Blue Moon and color with red crayons in peace.

We're sure that the 6-top of trendy, hipster cool young adults next to us weren't psyched about their new meal partners, in fact, we're nearly sure we petrified them (enjoy it while you can!) when our girls broke free of our guard and started break dancing and showing off one legged downward facing dogs on the floor.

But all in all, thanks Max's for letting us in and feeding us!

Nissan Quest to the Rescue Again

Because you never know when you're going to accidentally pass one of the biggest consignment sales in the Hudson Valley - the Be Green sale in the rec center in Fishkill.

Lugged home:
- entertainment bouncy center for baby Cole
- CVS meds for Ruby for asthma in the biggest CVS bag I've ever left the pharmacy with
- Sweaters for dry cleaning
- 12 pack of paper towels to clean dog's unfortunate smelly accident in Ruby's room.

Summertime Apple and Cherry Pie from BJ's

In case you need a quick and delicious dessert to bring to a picnic or dinner party, BJ's on Main Street across from M&T Bank always has freshly baked pies behind the counter. They are mini, good for four mini slices, and come in apple, cherry, peach, sweet potato, and what ever other flavor she feels like baking that day. Delish!