No Reservations with Catherine Zeta-Jones

August 1st, 2011

Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade, Lily Rabe and yes…Jeanne Omlor!

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Yours Truly.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhardt and Jeanne Omlor again!

Well, as you may know from reading my About, I was a professional actress and still do work from time to time as an actress, although I slowed it down when I had my first daughter. Anyway, quite a few people have been emailing me with the question that I (and every actor) always get: “What have you been in that I would know?” Well, I used to rattle off a list of classic and/or obscure experimental plays and indie films and would watch people’s eyes glaze over as they made mental notes to wash the dog, do an inventory of their fridge… Well, No Reservations (directed by Scott Hicks) is the one thing I’ve been in that almost every woman I meet and a lot of men have actually seen, probably because if they want to spend time with all the women I meet, they have to! And I did have a couple of lines in it. The ironic part is that I was talking about a beautiful baby in the scene.

As far as La Zeta-Jones goes, she was so lovely and very sweet to me. And we would have little conversations in French (bet you didn’t know she spoke French and was in a Thierry L’Hermitte film earlier in her career) and she even sent me a pretty French thank you card. And yes, Aaron Eckhart was a total hunk and we had some great eco/sustainable kinda conversations. Who knew?

Now if you haven’t seen this film, shame on you. Well, it is still available here on Amazon but can you believe it’s only $4.99 now? So, now we’re in the bargain basement. Hmm.

Baby Suommo Cribs

August 1st, 2011

I just found the dream baby bassinet a bit too late. I am just in love with this DODO womb (at the top) by Baby Suommo, a luxury Spanish company dedicated to developing safe children’s furniture, with the highest quality materials like fine woods and silks. And then there is the futuristic, fantastic design.

And the rocking cradle, MOVEO (just above)  is a cradle-minicrib concept that is also to die for. They all have their special BabyAirflow system, for better circulation for all those Moms who worry about that – I know I did. And the handy thing is that they all come with multidirectional wheels, so they can be moved easily. I am swooning over these beds. And believe it or not, their GRAND SONNO crib below actually transforms into a bed, a desk or you can make shelves out of part of it. Talk about reusing. Talk about cool.

Modern Twist Placemats

July 30th, 2011


What a great idea from Modern-twist. I just love these Frenchy looking cats and dogs. They have collaborated with independent artists to create these spunky reusable placemats. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate art into my kids’ everyday lives and  always loved restaurants that provide crayons and paper tablecloths. Now we can do that at home without wasting tons of paper and the whole production of it all. The mats are made from food-grade, hand silk-screened silicone, so are pretty sturdy. If you use washable or dry erase markers, they just clean off with a damp cloth. So, while encouraging junior Frida Kahlo’s (or Cy Twombly’s), we save trees, and reuse. Love it! These are coming on our next plane trip. They are available here.

Jumina Design from Norway

July 28th, 2011

The actress in me is enchanted and just blown away by the dramatic art direction of these photos of the Spring/Summer 2012 collection by Norwegian Jumina design. I imagine these little girls are in some Shakespearean play. And the clothes themselves are  just exquisite – love the rich textures and gorgeous details. These artistic and unique garments for children and adults use natural materials and organic fair trade cotton. The designer behind the brand, Elisabeth Grønning Rognmo, gets her inspiration from her 3 children and Norwegian fairy tales. All the clothing and accessories are designed and handmade by Elisabeth and she only makes a few copies of each garment, so each piece is unique.

Jumina Design is based in the environmentally friendly gallery and workshop, Gallery Straw. The gallery is built of straw bales from local farmers which are treated with a mixture of clay and sand. The house has very good indoor air quality as the walls “breathe”, and the straw works as great insulation. See pictures below. Even the place these clothes are made in is a fairytale!

Tubohotel – Mexico

July 27th, 2011


If you always wanted to sleep in a concrete drainage pipe,  now is your chance. It’s funny that I never thought of that before… Tubohotel is a collection of rooms (that look  like installation art) inside sections of recycled pipes. But seriously, this place is calling me.

These windowed cocoons are planted in an orchard of limes, guavas, wild plums, and tecojotes, overlooking the breathtaking Sierra del Tepozteco, in the mystical Mexican village of Tepoztlán, 45 minutes from Mexico City. The rooms are minimalistic, and a queen-size bed fills the space. Inspired by a bathroom made out of one of these tubes in another cafe and cultural center of theirs, Cafe 5, celebrity chef, Ana Garcia and her husband, Robb, expanded on the idea with this unique hotel resort. There’s a lot to do in the area — you can hike to the Tepozteco pyramid, book a cooking lesson with Ana Garcia (more on that below) or a take a trip to the birthplace of the Aztec serpent god Quetzalcoatl. And the rates are surprisingly low for a unique experience like this: $48 USD, including tax. The place attracts everything from families, singles, backpackers and curiosity-seekers.

Ana and Robb also founded La Villa Bonita Mexican Culinary Vacation®,  a cooking school and culinary vacation. La Villa Bonita was named “One of the Five Best Culinary Vacations Worldwide” by The Food Network. Dubbed the “Mexican Rachel Ray” she has made appearances on the Food Network and PBS among others. They also have cooking classes for kids all year round. Chef Ana has always had a focus on kids and cooking as she believes it gives them a deep appreciation for the work involved in preparing food as well as opening the palate to new things. They also have nanny services for younger children so that parents can enjoy the classes. Okay, now I really want to go!

En Ljummen i Gräset Music Festival – Stockholm

July 27th, 2011


Being a music loving, young (yes, if 40 is the new 20 then 31 is definitely the new 11) and outgoing person stuck in a confused mama body, it is with sadness I’ve noticed I can’t go out to gigs anymore. Turns out, dark clubs and late nights don’t do well with breastfeeding duty. That is why I am super happy that it’s soon time for the mini music festival, En Ljummen i Gräset (A Lukewarm in the Grass..somehow sounds better in Swedish). My friend and former colleague Peder and his companion Arvid are the masterminds behind this cosy little festival taking place on a piece of grass just by Vinterviken in Aspudden.

“All ages are extremely welcome” they state on their website, so Sixten and I are going. Kids ear muffs and mosquito net for the stroller are on the to-bring list. Festival dates this year are July 30 and August 7. Entrance is 60 SEK.They sell food and drinks there so no need to bring a picnic this time!

The Elephant DVD by Eric Herman

July 27th, 2011


We got this a few days ago and the kids are watching it non-stop! As soon as Solène, my 17-month old heard The Elephant Song, she was bopping around in her diapers. Oh, and she also loves playing with the DVD cover. This is the new The Elephant DVD by Eric Herman, the artist behind the song, Ants in Your Pants. Eric is huge with the kiddos – his Youtube video has had over 18,000,000 hits! The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek at times to keep us parents amused too, and the accompanying graphics are funky, colorful and just hilarious. They range from cartoons to real kids, and cover everything from dancing, eating your vegetables, cleaning up (gotta love that), and just having fun. Of course, Eric’s also in there doing his thing.

All 10 music videos are a mixture and variety of catchy tunes and sweet ballads. Besides Ants in Your Pants, Oona loves, Dance Like an Animal, and Crazy Over Vegetables. She has also become attached to, Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Redbeard – a humorous pirate tale. As for me, I keep listening to My Lucky Day  – just a great catchy song. I went to bed last night and couldn’t get it out of my head. I’m just so glad to give the Wiggles a break for a while! The Elephant DVD is available on Amazon.

Apolline à Paris

July 25th, 2011


I first became aware of Apolline à Paris when I walked into the new Bonpoint flagship store in Manhattan, where amongst all the beautiful things in that exquisite shop, were these magical and whimsical dolls. She was commissioned to design a collection of dolls using the fabrics in this season’s Bonpoint range. So detailed and lovingly made, they set wild my imagination and took me back to my childhood. I was charmed and also a little melancholic about the years I lived in Paris, as they do have something very particularly Parisian about them. From her pleasure with mixing materials, fabrics, patterns and colors, her attention to detail, and inspiration from her two little girls, arose a whole world of folkloric dolls, cheeky sprites, mysterious fairies, charming animals, and elegant sweethearts. They are in a wonderland of their own.

Apolline works with a small embroidery studio in Madagascar which helps reintegrate women into the workforce and her creations are then reworked by herself in her Paris studio. The two dolls above are Oona’s (my daughter’s) personal picks…guess we don’t have to try too hard to find something for her birthday. Apolline’s website also is like a wonderful fairytale.



July 24th, 2011

How beautiful these colorful glass pendants are, handmade by my vivacious and dear friend, Roberta of Le Primitive designs. We met when my first daughter, Oona and her son were babies and they have been a lovin’ and a fightn’ ever since. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and I think this is the most delicious range she has ever designed. I’m proudly sporting one of these eye candies, and getting tons of compliments. Baby Solène loves pulling on it when she nurses and so far, it’s no worse for wear. Oona (pictured below) trendsetter that she is, requested that I buy her one but smaller, so I did. Since then, I’ve seen a few other kids in the hood wearing them. Roberta can be found at the Bleecker Street markets, between Carmine and Leroy streets every Saturday and Sunday right through the fall. Just mention Bellissima Kids and she will give you a 10% discount and one of her dazzling smiles…well, she would give you one of those anyway.

Interesting tidbit: Brooke Shields loved the handmade mosaic that Roberta donated to Broadway Cares so much, that she ordered one for herself.

GIVEAWAY: And last but not least, Roberta has kindly offered to donate our very first giveaway! The cool pendants in the photo below. Just make a comment and sign up for our email alerts (the blue envelope icon on the left)  to be in the draw to win BOTH of them. We will be picking the winner in 10 days and will ship them anywhere in the globe. Good luck. Sorry. This giveaway is closed.

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