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Painting the Nursery

I am waiting for the ultimate surprise. In t-minus 9 weeks, the gender of Baby T will be revealed! Strangely, a lot of prep work seems to be contingent on old, traditional norms. Pottery Barn, OshKosh B’gosh, Carter’s, Old Navy and other big brands are convinced that “male means blue” and “female means pink.” The birthing industrial complex kindly suggests green, yellow and grey as unisex hues. Onesies, house paint, socks, and animal-themed toys (lions are on “boy teethers” / birds are on “girl swaddlers”) are all codependent on antiquated tropes. Some of the clothes even seem overtly sexist, “Mommy’s littler helper” and “Daddy’s princess.” Sigh.

That said, a few brands get the aesthetically pleasing, gender-neutral baby fashion (and lifestyle) items right without all of the saccharine, cutesie details: Boden, Giggle, Sprout, Tea CollectionBurt’s Bees Baby, KicKee Pants, SkipHop, René Rofé Baby, and hundreds of independent brands found online and via Etsy.

Now that my nesting instinct has kicked in at (just shy of) 32 weeks, my personal struggle with the “gender wars” came this past weekend. In my desire to check errands off of my (never-ending) list, calm anxieties, or feel superficially prepared for the whirlwind of a newborn, I decided this Saturday was the time to paint. Four of my wonderful friends obliged and were paid in delicious Greek food and major gratitude.

Headed to Lowe’s Home Improvement with nothing but a few dream photographs from Pinterest, I had little idea of what color to choose. Originally, I had wanted a minimal and Scandinavian white. But, my friend Sonja said such a dull color was “unnecessarily punishing the baby with bland” and also, not indicative of the excitement, joy and magical exuberance of a child. Tall order.

Hours later, we chose Valspar’s Mint Hint. I’m told it pairs well with Apple Slice, Lime Sherbet, and Pearly Violet. Considered a blue undertoned neutral, it easily complements grey, wood, and pastel. Step one of our unisex mint nursery is now complete!

Now on to modern yet infant appropriate decor.

A Modern, Gender Neutral Mint Colored Nursery

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P.S. Yours truly, neurotic mom-to-be, promises the room was HIGHLY ventilated – windows and doors were open.
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Ciderfeast 2015

On the sunny banks of the East River, from the producers of Pig Island, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo and Brisket King (and Queen) of NYC, came Ciderfeast! The event featured select regional, national and European ciders from more than a dozen brewers pouring over 30 beverages. The sweet summer refreshments were also paired with tons of hot dogs and live folk music.

The alcoholic libation, made from the fermented juice of apples, is most popular in the United Kingdom, but has been having a bit of resurgence in the states! (I say resurgence because our founding father, John Adams, began his days with a draft of hard cider. A common habit among Colonial America.)

Everyone knows the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While the factuality of this statement could stand some prodding, it is true that cider has some research-backed health ben­e­fits from its high level of antioxidants. So, perhaps I went to Ciderfeast for my health? How responsible.

The real reason I loved going to Ciderfeast (while pregnant and unable to sample the wares, nonetheless) is because my husband is gluten-intolerant. For those with a sen­si­tiv­ity to gluten, Hashimoto’s disease or celiac disease, cider is one of the most delicious drink options out there. From dry to sweet, sparkling to flat, most of the brews are wheat, barley and hops free!

We sampled:


Put a Bird on It

At the expense of becoming a punchline, and already made fun of by the fine writers of Portlandia, I still believe birds can be used in functional, non-ironic decor. Just as shells have been coopted as the pattern-du-jour for beach houses, birds can usher in a tropical, modern feeling.

These toothless, egg-laying vertebrates come in myriad forms. Biologist estimate that ten thousand different species, an extraordinary variety, exist today. Think of the difference between an ostrich and a stork. A hen and a condor. A penguin and a hummingbird. Each of those different forms and colors can lend itself to a different style of home decor and clothing.

“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.” – Aesop

Put a Bird on It, clothing featuring birds via Tory Burch, Minted, Rochas, Nordstrom Rack and more.