My mother has been dying to get herself into this blog by any means possible, so being that it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, I finally gave in.
I gave her complete freedom in choosing what the adventure would be, and she actually came up with a really nice idea…
…a trip to Beadworks to design some jewelry.
Since so much of what I do on this blog is done outside, it was really nice to mix it up, and do something relaxing indoors…although the massive selection of beads was a bit stressful, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing.
I finally fell in love with a strand of pale green stones, which I decided to pair with some soft yellow Swarovski crystals. I plan on turning the below layout into a necklace and earring set.
This was definitely the perfect indoor adventure for this blog, because creating a necklace from scratch costs a fraction of what it would retail for, and it’s a lot more fun getting to say you designed it. I didn’t have time to complete the above creation yet, but when it’s finished I’ll post pictures.
My mom bought a whole bunch of stuff, so it will probably be a while before she completes all of her creations also.
After the bead store, we decided to eat somewhere semi-adventurous so we chose Chocopologie down the street, which is a very European-style cafe run by a famous chocolatier from Denmark.
The menu is a fusion between really decadent specialty drinks and desserts, and lighter fair such as healthy sandwiches and salads.
My mom and I had already had a massive mother’s day breakfast with my family, so for our first course we split their signature drink, the Chocopologie, which is rich espresso and dark hot chocolate topped with lavender foam.
This tasted absolutely incredible.
For our second course I had my heart set on their grilled sandwich with mozzarella, avocado, tomato, red pepper spread, and grilled portabello, but they were out, so I ended up ordering the Mediterranean Salad, which consisted of goat cheese, kidney beans, pine nuts, lemon croute, string beans, roasted beets, and a citrus vinaigrette.
There was a lot more to this salad than pictured above, but once again, I didn’t remember to take pictures until I was almost done with it. The good news is that this salad tasted incredible, and I’m now so in love with the above combination of ingredients, that I think I’ll try to re-create it this weekend….maybe I’ll feature it as another Meatless May recipe.
After lunch my mom and I had one more adventure at Mashalls Mega Shoe Shop, and then we called it quits.
I guess pretty jewelry, hot chocolate, and a nice pair of shoes is all it takes to subdue even the neediest of mothers (she didn’t call my phone once for the next 24 hours).
May 11, 2010 No Comments
After breakfast on Sunday, I felt exhausted, so I crawled back into bed and didn’t wake up again until around 1:30 in the afternoon.
I don’t know if it was my allergies, or the fact that I was just a bit behind on sleep, but even after sleeping in, I still felt extremely groggy and a bit in a funk. Even though I was in no mood to get out of bed, I forced myself to at least take a nice long walk outside (which often is the best cure for a stale mood).
First stop along the walk was Cafe Romeo for lunch, because my stomach was already grumbling like crazy. I guess my banana bread oatmeal for breakfast wasn’t decadent enough?
Cafe Romeo is a fairly new eatery in East Rock, and although the competition for Italian food is fierce in this area, they’ve sort of carved out their own little niche by pairing good sandwiches with good aesthetic design.
With their open-air store front and large outdoor seating area, the ambiance is definitely a step above the competition, but their service still hasn’t quite reached the level of professionalism that I guess comes with time. I don’t think this has deterred anyone from going though, because the place was packed!
I ended up ordering something I’ve enjoyed at Cafe Romeo before—their tuna salad sandwich.
I had my tuna salad on their whole wheat bread, but in the past I’ve had it on their pumpernickel rye bread, and that’s definitely my favorite.
I also got to sample their foccacia bread, which Michal had an Eggplant Panini on.
Grilled balsamic marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers, and baby spinach, with a kalamata olive tapenade.
This sandwich melts in your mouth
I also ordered some freshly brewed ice tea, which tasted amazing, and really helped perk me up for the remainder of my Sunday walk.
After Cafe Romeo, I came across a store near the New Haven green that I’ve never noticed before (which is odd since I’ve walked past it at least a dozen times now).
Ten Thousand Villages is fair trade non-profit organization whose mission is to, “provide vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing.” (Source: Ten Thousand Villages website).
Walking through the store felt like someone had stocked the shelves based on my personal taste in jewelry and home decor.
…And because it was for such a good cause, I had to buy a few things, right?
I immediately grabbed a bar of extra dark chocolate, because it’s really hard for me to find authentic chocolate at the local grocery store, and once you acquire a taste for real chocolate, everything else just tastes processed and fake.
My next purchase was the most beautiful card ever, but I can’t show it here, because it’s for mother’s day, and my mother sort of stalks me through this blog, so I don’t want to ruin it for her (sorry mom–you’ll have to wait until Sunday).
My last (and favorite) purchase was a necklace and pair of earrings made from recycled brass.
I’m a bit obsessed with the craftsmanship and beauty of this necklace (this photo doesn’t do it justice), and the coolest part is that they can provide you with a print-out with background information on any item in the store…
My particular necklace came from the non-profit, Jacaranada Workshop, in Kenya, which provides employment, training, and other assistance to artisans with mental or physical abilities.
The sad thing is that I never really realized the impact one can have by simply choosing to buy their jewelry or home decor from developing countries.
I’m definitely going to make more of an effort from here on out to buy jewelry and other decorative items from non-profits such as Ten Thousand Villages, rather than Anthropologie other stores.
On my walk home I passed this advertisement:
I thought the tag-line would be a great motto for this blog, even though my motto for today was sort of “get out more, spend a little!”
Although there was nothing particularly adventurous about this Sunday, by the end of my long walk I felt so much more energized (and happier) than when I had begun, so I stand strong in my belief that it’s always better to just force yourself to get outside if you’re in a funk.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but a long walk in the sunshine can cure even the most stubborn of mental states.
May 4, 2010 1 Comment