There’s No Place Like Home

I'm a homeowner! Well, at least, my parents are but they'll let me live here too. #teenytinyfoodie #outofthekitchen #citytosuburbs

Well Toto, we are NOT in Kansas anymore!

I’m just going to put it out there: Moving to a new house, in a new town has kind of sucked. I’m sure in just a matter of months I’ll feel settled and really love this massive change we’ve made. But for now, moving from a rented apartment in the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I spent the last 10+ years to owning a house in a new town in the suburbs has been hard. First, my mom and I spent a solid week unpacking boxes. (My mom equals Rockstar Unpacker by the way. Thanks, Mom!!!) Then I spent another week moving boxes all over the place because the movers left them in the wrong spots even though they were clearly labeled thank you very much. At least it’s been a workout! And the amount of time I now spend in the car? I abhor it. Not even thinking about the emotional aspects of leaving friends, a community, our neighborhood etc. and how much that sucks, moving is not fun!

“But don’t you just love your new house?” you may ask. Umm… almost? (I do love having all this space of course!) I know I will eventually love it but for now, home ownership has felt like I’m Wonder Woman deflecting the next major (or minor) catastrophe that I continually have to fix. What could possibly go wrong in a “well-maintained 100 year-old house” you ask?

On our one-week anniversary in the home, one of the toilets overflowed. That was awesome. At least it was a flushed toilet!

A few days later we discovered a pre-existing mice problem. You don’t put that on the listing when you sell your house, do you? Apparently we have “rodent railways” running through our basement. With my kitchen under attack, I spent a day repackaging our pantry into mason jars and plastic containers. You know I totally loved doing that! It all looks so neat and organized now. Minnie, Mickey and the rest of their crew have since found a new house, by the way.

We discovered a pre-existing mouse problem in the basement. Pest company said we have "rodent railways.' Ugh! To protect my kitchen, I put all dry goods in glass and plastic containers and we haven't seen any remnants of them in the last few days. Woohoo! Now if only closing up the holes they came in through were this simple. #teenytinyfoodie

I encountered furry bugs living in my basement. Yes, bugs with fur!  Grody, gross, gross, gross! I’m used to rats on the NYC subway and palmetto bugs (huge roaches that fly) in Miami but furry bugs?! That’s a new one for me. We have since added “pest-control company” to the to list of monthly bills.

Most recently, the clothes dryer has stopped working. I mean, come on! Where does a suburbanite even do the laundry if not at home?? Obviously the dryer bails on me while I’m in the middle of doing tons of laundry and have a washer full of wet clothes.

But it hasn’t been all toilet water and freaky bugs. There have been some amazing, unique and really fun moments in our “new life” as well.

We get regular visits in our back yard from fawn siblings that I’ve named Flora and Fauna. I know their ticks are dangerous but the deer are so amazing to watch. And these two have no fear of humans. They keep coming closer even if they know I’m sitting out there.

Flora and Fauna are fawn siblings that visit our backyard. I didn't realize I was moving to the forest. from #teenytinyfoodie #deerinmybackyard

Eliana got to experience her first roller coaster ride.

Eliana's first roller coaster ride! She was so excited that she got to share it with her cousin. from #teenytinyfoodie

We’ve been enjoying fun in the sun at a small beach a quick drive away.

Fun in the sun at a local beach! #teenytinyfoodie

And now that we have a guest room, we’ve loved being able to host some family and friends. (More will come this weekend! Yay!)

My dad with my daughter. #Love from #teenytinyfoodie

Is there anything better than spending the day at #RyePlayland with your buddies? from #teenytinyfoodie #kidsunplugged

All kidding and complaining aside, I’ve been working hard to make this new place feel like “home.” Much of that is obviously unpacking and organizing but there’s the emotional piece which kicks in by doing the things we used to do in Brooklyn. A really important factor for me in this move was maintaining the ability to walk to places I actually wanted to go–not just a random strip mall. In the last two weeks we have been taking more and more walks. We go to restaurants, the bank, grocery stores and various shops. I’m so happy we can do that. I have to say that our little town of Larchmont is pretty cute.

In an effort to redefine normal, we’ve also been:

Exploring our new Whole Foods in a nearby town. We have to drive there so that’s annoying but at least it’s close. I was so spoiled by being able to stop by WF Brooklyn on my way home from the playground. {Sad sigh.} During our first visit to the new location, Eliana and I walked around looking for things that were the same as “our” Whole Foods in Brooklyn and noticing what was different about this new one.

Today we are checking out our new #WholeFoodsMarket. Eliana is looking for what's the same as our old WF Market in Brooklyn and what's different. We are on the hunt to figure it out! #teenytinyfoodie #outofthekitchen

Finding new playgrounds to for Eliana to conquer.

Enjoying the local farmers markets. I’ve been super excited to discover that my market in Larchmont is the most extensive and that my favorite farm, Migliorelli Farm, has a booth there. Woohoo!

Part of exploring our new town is checking out the local #DowntoEarthMarkets farmers market! I've been really excited for this! I love seeing the crossover of vendors between our old Brooklyn market and our new one as well as discovering new ones, too. Can't wait to go back next week! #teenytinyfoodie

Hmm, which squash should I choose? Eliana is checking out the #MigliorelliFarm booth at #DownToEarthMarkets from #teenytinyfoodie

We 💚 Farmers Markets! We missed our @downtoearthmkts day in #larchmontny yesterday so today we headed to Rye to make sure we got farm fresh produce, local fish and country flowers. And, of course, we had to get our tattoos to show our support. Go get yours today! #teenytinyfoodie

We’ve had play dates with a couple of our favorite Brooklyn friends. We can’t walk over to their places after school or naptime anymore but now we get to have sleepovers.

I love watching these two grow up together. #bffs from #teenytinyfoodie

I’ve been able to head back into Manhattan for a bit of beautification and time with some of my ladies.

And, of course, we’ve been cooking. I’m really excited that Eliana and I have continued cooking together for We Cook Wednesday. Keep up with our weekly adventures on Facebook!

Today was the first official #WeCookWednesday in our new home! To celebrate the event, Eliana and I made Sweet and Salty Cereal Treats. It was so fun to cook together in this new-to-us kitchen. From scooping to measuring to mixing and restocking the shelves my #teenytinysouschef was a rock star in the kitchen. I'm so proud of her! #teenytinyfoodie

Happy #WeCookWednesday! Eliana wanted to make "healthy muffins" and immediately said, "We need vegetables." (Have I brainwashed this kid, or what?? No, I'm not complaining at all!) So today we made our recipe for teeny zucchini muffins. Eliana took over measuring, putting in the liners, grating the zucchini, pouring and stirring. Happy Cooking! #teenytinyfoodie

Beyond putting our stuff everywhere, cooking is really what’s helping me claim this space as my own. Without making a conscious choice to do so, we’ve been making many of our family favorites, staples and comfort foods. Nothing particularly fancy or complicated, but foods that make us feel like we’re at home. For example, scrambled eggs—like I said, nothing fancy, but that was the first meal I made in our new kitchen!). Also, pancakes, french toast, taco salad, vegetable strata, egg in a hole, quinoa with veggies, chilled summer squash soup, fried rice and grilled cheese sandwiches. We’ve also made lots of cereal treats since Eliana and I are working on a new recipe for them. We’ll share it as soon as it is ready. Follow along on Instagram!

Success! I was able to make us cream cheese eggs and bagels for breakfast in our new (and utterly disorganized) kitchen! Woohoo! I used a plastic fork to scramble eggs in a measuring cup and cooked it next to a tower of homeless pots and pans but, hey, I made us breakfast. My first meal in our new home! #teenytinyfoodie

Look at my #teenytinysouschef go! I love that she was so excited to help make french toast for dinner. Cooking together helps to make this new kitchen feel like OUR kitchen. #teenytinyfoodie #creatingateenytinyfoodie

This chilled summer squash soup is a perfect and easy meal for a hot summer day. I like to add croutons or popcorn for a little crunch and cubes of tofu or chickpeas for some protein. It's so easy and uses only 5 ingredients! #teenytinyfoodie

Dinner with a side of geometry. Who says the shape you make for your for "Eggs in a Hole" has to be a circle? I like to mix it up for Eliana (and #tbt myself) with different shapes. She gets a healthy dinner and a little math skills too. #teenytinyfoodie

On Wednesdays Eliana and I cook something SHE wants to make. Typically she chooses something sweet and carbohydrate heavy but, to me, part of #creatingateenytinyfoodie is honoring what a little chef wants to learn to make. So, we go with whatever she wants. This past #WeCookWednesday we made Sweet & Salty Cereal Treats. Eliana measured and counted out ingredients, crushed ingredients with an @oxo rolling pin and did her best to stir the sticky mass all together. We are still fine tuning our recipe and will share it soon. In the meantime, the #vegan recipe for cereal treats we are working off is temporarily in our profile. Happy cooking! #teenytinyfoodie

Stay tuned because new recipes, tips and ideas are coming soon!

Now I must go. It’s time for me to go battle furry bugs as I try to figure out who I need to call in order to fix my dryer.





4 Responses to There’s No Place Like Home

  1. Papa says:

    Jory, this was wonderful. Warm, humorous, tender, and very well written. Those following you from the start of Teeny Tiny Foodie can actually marvel at the story of “life with Eliana.” I loved the pictures, and especially loved when you mentioned me (overflowed toilet!!)

  2. Linda Arkin says:

    Much happiness in your “new home” ….love the deer in your backyard…beats an alligator in your backyard…I know you will all be happy there…

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