Category Archives: lifestyle

CawfeeGuy Knits at the Diner

My most favoritest fabulous eatery opened across the street from my home today, and I am practically gagging with excitement! Le Pain Quotidien!! It’s ridiculous, but every time we walked by and I saw progress on the construction I was bouncing up and down. I’ve been told the name means something like ‘the daily bread’, but really it should just mean ‘the most awesome everymeal.’

I just love sitting and relaxing there, surrounded by beautiful, awesome smelling bread. Drinking my laté from a bowl. Ordering perfectly prepared soft boiled eggs with crusty fresh bread. I love the assortments of fruit and nut spreads. I love that they use slits in stale bread to hold their menus. I love that for any meal of the day I can order something totally healthy or totally bad for me and have it feel decadent wither way. We have a brunch place! I love sitting and chatting for hours in a place that feel transcendent of time and place.

Let’s go back to that last one: talking for hours somewhere transcendent of time and place, with coffee of course. See, I’m a Brooklyn girl born and raised. And before I ever swooned at the idea of anything like Le Pain, I logged countless hours and meals and disco fries and cups of coffee at THE DINER.

I love a good diner. And that is one of the many wonderful things I have in common with my great friend and newest client, CawfeeGuy. Another thing we have in common is our love of knitting. Knitting and diners. The inspiration for a quick little photo shoot we did to show off a couple of his custom knit design. This was sort of a test shoot but I like the idea, so hopefully we’ll get in a few more diner sessions as he continues to build his brand.


Just so you know, CawfeeGuy did not promote the placement of the Cawfee Cozy on the sugar, but I think it’s darling and I get artistic license on my own blog. If he has a problem he direct it to the complaint department.

You can follow him on Facebook at CawfeeGuy Knits. Next week I’ll have more product shots and a link to his Etsy site. He takes custom orders for fabulous hand-knit accessories and he has a mean set of coffee cozies so you can aid the environment by ditching those paper cup wraps while looking stylish and cute at the same time.

What I said about not giving Dug an ulcer? Apparently I lied.

Overheard in the car on the way to the Sheep and Wool Festival {MS T (me), driving. Dug, shotgun. CawfeeGuy and CawfeeMate, jammed into the backseat.}:

Coffee… blah, blah, blah… Such a gorgeous day… blah, blah, blah. Yarn… blah, blah, blah… Sheep… blah, blah, blah… Lobster rolls… blah, blah… Tile… Music… Knitting… (unintelligible sounds and much gesturing from shotgun position, Dug) Deliverance country… blah, blah…

Me Hang on a second, guys… Dug? What’s going on over there?

Dug (excited hand gesturing and grunts followed by slightly sinister laughter) Oh, uh, go ahead and finish your conversation.

CawfeeGuy OK. So, blah blah blah (aside: not to be rude here but the wild antics going on in the tiny little space next to me were too much for me to focus at that particular moment on what was actually being said)

Me No. Excuse me. Stop.

Me You guys, he totally found a video of a Yorkie herding sheep. I can’t even see the screen, I can just tell by the smug look on his face… Dug? Did you find a Yorkie herding sheep?

Dug YOU TOLD ME CHEWIE COULDN’T HERD! ‘he’s a ratter. ratter’s don’t herd.’ THAT’S WHAT YOU SAID!!!!

Me You DID?!!! oh… em… gee… I can’t believe it!

Dug This guy is totally herding sheep!!

CawfeeGuy Oh, he’s not gonna let this go…

Me Chewie cannot herd. He has never seen a sheep. He has never been on a farm. He is very sleepy and doesn’t bark.


CawfeeMate Rufus probably could. (laughter)

Dug Look at this YORKIE! (YouTube video playing on repeat, constant sound of tiny dog annoying bark. Video embed for your viewing pleasure all the way at the bottom.) His name is Bruiser… I love him.

Me He’s probably one of those York-asaurus-es.

Dug Heisnot! He’s 4 pounds. 4.

Me Oh.

(more laughter from the back)

CawfeeGuy You are really never going to live this down.

Me I know.

Dug Ohhhh. We should have entered them. Oh. Why didn’t I look this up before! I am so upset with myself that I didn’t look this up before!

Me OMG You cannot throw a dog that has never seen sheep in a ring, or whatever you call it, during A COMPETITION. There has to be training. You have no idea how to ‘handle’ a sheep dog. There is work and training involved.

Dug He can.

Me OK. Fine. We are on our way to a sheep and wool festival. You make friends with some sheep farmer, find someone who trains sheep dogs in CT, and I promise, we can take Chewie and Rufie on a day trip and give it a try.


Dug You were wrong.

Me I was wrong. You were totally right.

Me And I would love for Chewie, I mean Rufus – because there’s no way Chewie’s going to have anything to do with A HERD OF SHEEP – to learn to herd. That would be amazing.


My dear reader, if you were here last week, you will understand that Dug is never going to let me hear the end of this. And now I’ve gone and given him an ulcer. Just like Diana predicted.

For the record. When we got home after seeing those beautiful sheep herding dogs, we looked at Chewie and Rufus, and we all agreed that they looked way smaller than usual.

Here’s where I jam in all my favorite pictures from the event. (I do not have pictures of the fried dough, maple candy or lamb burgers because I was too busy stuffing my face.)

This is the first guy we met on arrival and I love him. He sweats through his horns apparently. Random.

Are these not the cutest little handmade finder puppets? The detail is incredible. Dug bought a bag full. No joke.

And these little alpaca/cactus mittens! I had a hard time not coming home with a pair. That’s a sample Beekeeper’s Quilt on the right with some mini-skeins for sale – I happened to have started the Beekeeper’s Quilt hexa-poufs this past week. It’s a loooong term project I’m doing as a knit-along with CawfeeGuy. He’s working on some entrelac in this photo while we spent time knitting in the sun and watching the dog trials.

I was kind of expecting to see 1 or 2 breeds of dogs. And there were a lot of Collies and Australian Sheep Dogs, but there were plenty of other breeds represented as well. They were all pretty friendly and camera ready.

These guys may not look it, but they were the friendliest of the bunch. The reason I got these shots with my new 50mm was because they came right over and were sitting in our laps.

This is Dug. Talking about the dog trial he just saw. And then telling Dave about the alpaca he just saw. I think he sent out a text message to everyone he knows with a picture of the alpacas and the caption, “Taluloo and Carly. The official alpacas of the CT Sheep and Wool Festical. Don’t hate!”

Shearing, and then they sell the coats. They bag them up and tell you the name of the sheep you are buying and all it’s stats! The barn was filled with bags and bags of coats. Poor guys look so pink and cold after.


Overall a huge success. Well, not a success for my diet. But a great time was had by all. Once we were able to get past the tragedy of not having Sheep Herding Yorkies. Yet.


For your entertainment, I present to you, Bruiser, the sheep herding Yorkie, in incredible action.

Impersonating Rich People

Meet Oscar Wild.  Get it?  Oscar because he’s green and sort of in a trash receptacle and Wild because, well, it’s a pun, see?  I got this super incredible awesome gift from Trish and fam for my birthday. She might have heard me mention I LOVE TERARARARARIUMS. Maybe once or twice.

Oscar Wild is already a member of the family, firmly entrenched in our new digs. As you may know, we recently moved to an apartment building. We have all sorts of fancy, incredible things like a concierge, a pool, floor to ceiling windows, a million neighbors who only know Chewie’s name and not mine, toddlers living upstairs, etcetera, etcetera. Our first dinner guests were Trish and family, including of course, Little Miss A.  She’s quite the Miss now that she’s 5.

Last night, when I was thanking Trish for the 5th time over text for my incredible amazing gift, it kind of went like this:

T Happy birthday, love Chase {visualize adorable 6-month-old toe grabbing diaper pic}

M YAY!!!! {visualize Instagram terrarium photo complete w big pink bow}

T Love A too!! {visualize Chase and A smooshed face photo}

T Little Miss A thinks you live in a hotel.

M Oh. Yes? Like rich people. Who live at The New York Palace? Or poor people. Who live at sleazy motels. Like hookers?

T Like Eloise… Less like Pretty Woman.

{ummm… in case you didn’t know, because you were never a 5-year-old girl, Eloise lives at The Plaza, people!!}

M Rich people it is! Rich FUN people even better! Hug her for me!

You have to be amazed by the crazy awesome absolute logic of the 5-year-old set. One of my favorite things is hearing about the way little ones view the world. And girlfriend will tell me if my makeup’s good too.  She does not mess around.

You can meet A here when she was brand new and we attempted my first baby shoot.

Here when she helps me learn high key lighting with Gnome Chomsky as her Stand-in.

Here when she contemplates The Meaning of Life.

Or most recently here when we had some fun at the beach in anticipation of her new baby brother.

So back to my uh-mazing terrarium. Oscar Wild. I’m trying out different resting places for him, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m always moving stuff around anyway. And because I have very limited surface area in my small-ish apartment, AT THE PLAZA, Trish was thoughtful enough to choose a terrarium large enough to be placed on the floor if desired. Here Oscar’s taken over the table previously occupied by DUG’s satellite radio contraption, so now Howard is on the floor. And Hedwig has relocated to join Mr. Wild.

Oscar Wild

This blog does not pretend to be a design blog, but for all you design-y creatives who come here, I’ll give credit where credit is due, possibly just this once.

The prints are from Sharon Montrose’s Animal Print Shop – I love love love her. I don’t know her personally, but when I daydream about who I want to be when I grow up, I go to her site among others. I gave them to DUG one Valentine’s Day; his are Donkey and Pig.  Mine are Fancy Cat and Bunny.

Hedwig was Harry Potter’s. I caught him when he got Avada Kedarvad and had him taxidermied after he fell from Hagrid’s motorbike… Fine. He’s from Home Goods.

Oscar Wild, the terrarium if you haven’t been paying attention, is from Fleurescent in Milford, via a friend who always manages to find the most incredible gifts.

The reclaimed railroad tie table is from a Viva Terra set, a hand-me-down from someone who didn’t need that size.

In the photo up top, well, Chewbacca, the grumpiest puppy around, is a one of a kind.  I do not put him in every photo.  He follows me around and demands to sit in my lap. When I am not sitting he will settle to be in my direct line of vision. Which is also my camera’s line of vision. As a result, he is in almost every photo of my house.

The blanket is Donna Karan. A wedding gift.

And the chair was my Grandmother Eleanor’s and I had it recovered in animal print and silk.

Whoo. That was rather ambitions. I’m going to make a tequila sunrise now…

Neuroses #67 & #68: Cluttering and Clearing Surfaces

I can clutter up a surface in 2 second flat. Yet, somehow, I never tire of greedily perusing images from design magazines. The textures, colors, and organization of the spaces soothe me, so it makes sense that I’m so passionate about creating interior images. My neurosis about clear surfaces, even hidden, private surfaces, explains why these are a couple of my favorite photos {that no one but you are likely ever going to see, because who publishes a pantry?} from a recent kitchen shoot of mine with the lovely and talented Yvonne Ferris of Yvonne Ferris Interiors.

Pantry Envy

I’d love to show you the rest of this sumptuous kitchen, but you’re going to have to accept these as a sneak peek… They were taken at the end of the day as I was thinking about wrapping things up. With so many moments of inspiration in that room, I just couldn’t put away my equipment.

It’s the styling and organization of that pantry that gets me. It’s so compelling, right down to the color and packaging of the products. The next day I set up my fridge in the same meticulous manner with our new groceries. And that lasted a hot minute before my husband swooped in and wrecked it. *sigh* To his credit, he mostly allows me to retain my OCD kitchen cabinet organization, and without too much grousing, even though I’m sure he thinks I’m certifiable. But we don’t have a pantry.

Which brings me back to my envy of this pantry.  There I am, setting up the first shot, fully immersed in my process and enjoying every moment in the well-designed, clean, gorgeous space I’m inhabiting, if only for that day, when a trap door slams open right there in the floor, the stool goes flying, and a workman shouts ‘hello!’ scaring the shit out of me. Go ahead. Look.  There’s the trap door.  Right there.

Boo! This is not your kitchen, little one!  Could you die?  Yah.  I almost did.