Posts categorized as DIY

Centuries-old Secret To Sicilian Beauty

Blood Orange Sicilian Beauty

  When most of us hear the word oranges, we think of Florida but I think about the hills of Sicily. Blood orange trees grow robustly around Mount Etna between Messina and Catania. This region is known as a microclimate. The soil is fertile and the weather is dry. But what makes this environment so unique is the volcanoes’ impact on temperature. It increases the air temperature during the day and in the evening, it drops just below freezing for one hour only. This sudden daily change is necessary to […]

tagged in beauty, diy

Witchy Winter Wellness Potion

Potion-prep-photo-credit-Jacquelyne-Walther

Winter is the time for experimentation in the kitchen. It’s cold, very cold, especially here in Rockaway and we’re spending more time in the house. My friend Jauquie has been using her hibernation time perfecting a wellness tonic. For Christmas, she gifted me a bottle of this fire cider. Homemade gifts are especially thoughtful and that’s exactly what Jauquie had in mind. When I thanked her for the gift she said,  “I wanted to make my gifts for xmas this year. For me, health and wellness are always top of […]

tagged in drinks

Wreath Making With Amy Febinger at The Rockaway Hotel

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I’ve been to the Rockaway Hotel many times for rooftop cocktails, seasonal markets and for dinner and luncheons. The food is top-notch and the cocktails are 5-star. Whenever I walk in the door, I feel like I’m in Manhattan for the evening, yet I’m only 10 minutes from home! Last week I signed up for my first experience at the hotel – a wreath-making class hosted by Amy Febinger. Amy is a floral designer living and working in Rockaway. She creates beautiful sculptural arrangements for all occasions including weddings, corporate […]

tagged in craft, diy, plants

DIY Fruit Ornaments For The Holiday Season

DIY Fruit Ornaments

It’s funny how I’ve been thinking about citrus fruits lately and it’s almost winter. I was preparing my bath of fruits and herbs the other night. While slicing up the lemon, I remembered that my friend Jodi posted a picture of dried fruit Christmas ornaments last year on her instagram account. They looked beautiful. I wanted to try this! I called Jodi and got some pro tips and creative crafting ideas. Below are the directions for this holiday craft. DIY Fruit Ornaments Supplies: Knife Cutting board Baking sheet Parchment paper or wax […]

tagged in diy, holiday

Self-care is a Scam

diy fresh fruit bath 1

While I loathe the term “self-care” I’ve been attempting – during this off-season – to hit the reset button. For once, I’m realizing I need to focus on my mental and physical health. I’ve been taking baths almost every night. Sometimes I log off and leave my phone out of reach. This is proving to be a challenge. More times than not, I set up the laptop on the toilet seat cover and watch nature documentaries while floating in the warm bathwater. There was a great YouTube video on ant […]

tagged in diy

The Lucky Bog Cat

Irish bog cat 1

My family has always been savvy thrifters. After all, my father was one of New York’s Strongest for 35 years, and he was always looking for hidden treasures “on the job,” so it’s in my blood. As a kid, my dad would take me to various junk shops but our favorite, “upscale” place was St. Vincent De Paul. It’s close to our house, just a town over in Garden City Park. I don’t get there much any more, but my father still goes regularly in search of a great deal. […]

tagged in irish

You need a thrill, a fill, and a spill

Here I'm using a skewer to push through sedum and cocoa mat

I have a vague memory of watching the Oprah Winfrey show when I was a kid. The episode was about beautiful wrap-around porches in the south. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with porches and porch style.  When it comes to Rockaway porch style, Aunt Brenda is the master. Before I lived in Rockaway, I’d come down to the beach to see Matt. We’d pass Aunt B’s on the way to the water and I’d always admire her house. Brenda’s porch then and now is worthy of a spread in Better […]

tagged in gardening

Time to Start Anew

Maggie and Or sorting through the mess

My husband and I gut renovated our house five years ago. I documented the construction from start to finish here on the blog.  It was the biggest project I’ve ever been apart of. Mentally and physically it was so intense for the both of us. It feels like a dream now. I can’t believe we went through it all. During the process of the rebuild, we accumulated a tremendous amount of tools, wood, paint, sinks, plaster, you name it. To put things in perspective, we had 4 sledge hammers, 10 […]

Kitchen Hacks: Part 2

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I heard positive feedback about my Kitchen Hacks column from a few weeks ago. Using sunglasses to prevent one’s eyes from tearing up while chopping onions and lining a bowl with a compost bag for easy kitchen clean-up were helpful hacks I’m told! So, here’s Part 2 as promised. — Make your own “house blend” spice. Most of the time I use the same four spices in my meals and green salads – salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Instead of pulling out all of your go-to’s very time you’re […]

tagged in kitchen

Rockaway Beach Needs Garden Zhooj-ing

My-Friends-Kieth-and-Naomi-Vittore-are-interested-in-becoming-guerrilla-gardeners.-They-were-on-board-to-help-and-get-their-hands-dirty!

It’s mid-April: the time to slip out after dusk with your trowels, rakes, plants and seeds. If heavy rain is in the forcast, get prepared to launch your green grenades over your shoulder on the way to work. What? I’m talking about guerrilla gardening, planting in places that need a little love and wouldn’t otherwise get it– abandoned lots, under the el, unkempt street medians, every tree pit on the blvd. past 90th st. Rockaway Beach is the perfect target, and the result is aesthetically pleasing, enhanced public spaces, not […]

tagged in diy, garden, gardening, rockaway