Category Archives: Life

Disconnect to Reconnect

I just came across this brilliant, short film, I Forgot My Phone, via NPR (article link at bottom of post) re: our (unhealthy) obsession with our smartphones. Check it out and tell me if you see any familiar scenarios.

In our tech-obsessed world, I found this short by Charlene deGuzman to be a much needed wake up call. It made me stop and remember times with friends and family – pre-cell phone fixation.  Real-life experiences: bike rides, outdoor adventures and super soaker battles with childhood friends…and when I was a bit older, trips trekking around Europe (ahem…before I made it mandatory to get a SIM card in every country just to stay connected – and always available to the higher ups. Ugh.) Remembering how freeing it was to unplug a few years back on an incredible 6 week sabbatical to New Zealand.  I was present and focused solely on physically experiencing the dynamic environment around me and those who I was with.  I came back fresh, rejuvenated and so full of fire.

I recently read one of the key practices President Bill Clinton attributes to his success is being completely present – giving full attention and empathy to who he’s speaking with. In an age of such incredible technology to help us live our lives more efficiently (which, don’t get me wrong, I love), we need to learn when to put down the device and give attention to the here and now.  Make an effort (every day) to disconnect so we can reconnect.

A few simple recs I’ve been practicing as of late:

#1 Make your bedroom a no phone zone by buying an alarm clock (yes, they still sell those).

#2 Put your phone away when you’re out with friends. There’s something to be said about giving full attention to who you’re with. Why should we be so concerned with what everyone is doing elsewhere? Be present. Focus and appreciate what’s right in front of you.

ox

-Stacy

Full article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/09/05/219266779/our-cultural-addiction-to-phones-in-one-disconcerting-video?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130905

American as Apple Pie

American Makers S laptop bag

Alright fans, it’s game time. It’s officially been a year since opening our (virtual) doors and it’s been quite a journey thus far!  We’re kicking off year two and stepping it up – courtesy of the queen of handmade herself, Ms. Martha Stewart.

Yes, it’s true and we are thrilled to announce that we are a nominee for Martha Stewart’s 2013 American Made Competition! You’re thinking, “What does this mean exactly? Stacy, cut to the chase.” The best of the best of America’s makers across six categories (Style, Craft, Design, Food, Garden & Tech) are duking it out to see who gets enough online votes to come out on top.  If Fritz & Fräulein’s Style entry gets enough votes from you guys, we win 10k and that means a whole lot of new, fabulous products developed for you to get your hands on!  I may also even get a little generous and do a giveaway. Messenger bag anyone? =)

But before I get ahead of myself and start makin’ it rain with new goods, you need to know this competition is strictly based on public voting, so every vote truly counts and your support is critical! Click the link here to check out my profile and vote: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/80344 *Knitty Gritty: Voting for Round 1 runs from Aug 26th to Sept 13th. You can vote up to 6x every day (and for the same person if you like – hint hint, nudge nudge). Just keep clicking that “Vote” button when you get to my page! =)

Thank you so much for your support! Let’s do this.

ox

-Stacy

Kale & Egg Bird Nests

Kale & egg nests

Hope you all had a great and safe St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.  With that in mind, there’s nothing better for a hangover cure than a good brunch. Sunday brunch is a ritual here in New York, but if you want to stay in and have people over, I have a great (and somewhat healthy recipe) for you. Okay, actually the kale is the only thing healthy, but whatever, it’s delicious. =)

This particular recipe was inspired my local coffee shop here in Brooklyn.  Every weekend, when I pop in for my morning latte, they have these amazing little kale and egg bird nests. However delicious they are, I’m always slightly bummed because the egg yolks are cooked through (which, I understand as they’re not made-to-order). So, I decided to do a little research (thank you Pinterest) and concocted a recipe à la my coffee shop version + a handful of other recipes to create perfect yolk’y goodness. =) So, here we go…

Kale & Egg Bird Nests

Ingredients:

Sauteed kale:
1/2 large bunch kale
2 big cloves of garlic (add more or less depending on your love of garlic)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
sea salt & pepper (to taste)

Herb mixture:
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced (if you don’t have fresh herbs, i get it, but they do make a big difference in taste)
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt

Add’l Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 tbsp butter cut into pats (can omit, but much tastier – of course) =)
Olive oil or canola oil spray (truffle oil wouldn’t be too shabby either)

Optional ingredients (I decided to add these suggestions in because, well, I like options and experimenting in the kitchen. =) Choose 1-3 if you like, but no more as those little cupcake tins can only hold so much deliciousness):
– freshly grated parmesan or cheddar
– jalapeño pepper – chopped
– crispy cooked bacon – chopped
– chopped artichoke hearts (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
– chopped prosciutto
– chopped sundried tomato
– chopped roasted red peppers (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
– the options are endless! (just make sure you chop whatever you choose into small bits)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 6 wells in your cupcake pan with canola or olive oil spray, making sure to not forget the sides. Cut pats of butter (use your discretion) and place 1/2 a pat in the bottom of each well. Put pan aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. Add shallot and sautée until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Add herbs and 1/2 tsp sea salt; remove from heat and stir to combine. The mixture should be somewhat coarse and just a little buttery.

Wash kale, shake or pad off excess water and rip leaves from stem. Discard stems. Put olive oil and chopped garlic cloves in a large sautée pan or skillet heated to med-high (i’m a fan of cast iron, but use whatever you like to sautée in). Sautée garlic for 1 min. Add kale and keep moving the mixture around. Sautée until bits of the kale start to turn brown. I like to sautée mine for a little longer to make it nice and crispy. Dash with sea salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Put sprayed cupcake pan with butter pats in the heated oven for 1 min to melt the butter. Remove from oven. Line each cupcake pan well with sauteed kale to form a nest for the egg to sit in. If adding any optional ingredients (cheese, jalapeño, bacon, etc..) do it now, putting a little bit of them on top of the kale nests. Don’t O.D. though as you need room for the egg (and you can always put more on top). 😉 Crack one egg for each nest, careful not break the egg yolks (I typically tap with a butter knife). Add the herb mixture on top (and if you have room, go nuts w/any additional ingredients). However, keep in mind you’re going to want to be able to see if the egg white is cooked through (and we do want this to actually cook). =)

Here’s mine before I popped them in (I did a variety of optional ingredients – those are jalapeños topping the right side):

kale and egg nests pre-oven

Place in oven and set your timer to 7 mins. Make sure to pay attention to the timer as you don’t want to overcook the eggs. Check the eggs to see if the whites have cooked mostly through (if not, check on them again after another minute). When they’re almost cooked (white should be slightly milky-clear on the top, if that makes sense), crank up the broiler and put them in for another minute and then check to see if the whites are fully cooked. My oven took an additional 2 mins, but all ovens vary, just be vigilant. If you want the yolks runny, don’t overcook the whites. As soon as the whites are cooked, remove from oven.  They should look  something like this:

kale and egg nests done

While you’ll want to inhale them immediately, let them sit for 3-5 mins. Then use a small spatula or knife to go around the edges and gently lift them out and wah-lah!  Serve by themselves or with toasted English Muffins, crumpets, or whatever your carb of choice is. Enjoy!

ox

-Stacy

 

 

Music Monday – Girl on Fire

Happy Monday! If you’ve been following the blog, you know February was a pretty big month for me and I’m dedicating this Music Monday to all the women out there who are rocking it to the fullest. Surrounding yourself with such driven and inspiring people creates an amazing synergy I can’t even begin to fully describe.  I feel so lucky to have a group like this in my life to help keep that amazing momentum going.  I have to note, this doesn’t at all pertain solely to those succeeding career-wise but also to those reaching for personal growth, setting goals, obtaining achievements, etc…

As of late, close friends to acquaintances have received promotions, changed careers, had babies, gone back to school, started training for their next marathon (or just started back at the gym, period), opened businesses, achieved new certifications, moved across the country and world, and so on… It’s all about growing, going after what you want – what you’re truly passionate about, pushing boundaries and never becoming stagnant.  The strength of these women – who come from all walks of life, mind you – astounds me.  And so, ladies, this one is for you.

ox

-Stacy

Music Monday – Pillowfight

Happy Monday! Hope you had a fantastic wknd and aren’t too groggy-eyed as we roll into the work week. I thought we’d start it off with a group I’ve been digging on as of late – that being Pillowfight, which is the Gorillaz Dan the Automator’s new project with Brooklyn-based hip-hop violinist, Emily Wells and Kid Koala.  KCRW’s Jason Bentley introduced me to these guys last month as they’ve just released their debut, self-titled album (which you can have a listen to below – you’re welcome). ; ) I’ve particularly been cranking the track, “Get Down,” in the studio and at the gym as it has that perfect twist of funk disco with modern beats to get you up and at it. I’m a fan. I think you will be too. Enjoy. =)

ox

-Stacy

https://soundcloud.com/bulk-recordings/sets/pillowfight

 

 

 

New Years Resolution Time

New Year’s Resolution: Blog More…than once every 3 months.

Oh dear readers, first of all, thank you for patience. The end of 2012 was an intense one and I couldn’t be more humbled by the amazingly warm reception my business, Fritz & Fräulein, received over the past few months from you, my dedicated New York, D.C. and Etsy customers around the world, as well as family and friends that have become family.  Needless to say, business grew tremendously and consumed almost every waking moment for me.  But…it was SO. completely. worth it.  This truly has been the hardest but most rewarding experience of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

There’s no signs of letting up in 2013 but, as business expands, I’m learning to balance and delegate more (however hard that may prove to be for me!), while still staying true to the core of my business of creating beautiful, functional and sustainable pieces with exceptional attention to quality and detail.  Fortunately, this means I’ll have more time to focus on sharing this adventure with you and expanding this site to include e-commerce (one of my goals for 2013).  There is so much more I’d love to share about where my business is headed, but I will have to bite my tongue for the moment.  The only thing I can say is that we’re going to be bringing you some really incredible pieces and have some amazing collaborations in store. Stay tuned…

Much love,

-Stacy

Music Monday for Dad

This week is a BIG one as we’re getting ready for Crafts in Chelsea this Saturday.  I’m buried under piles of vintage fabric for new laptop and iPad sleeves as well as silk screens for our new vintage modern city pillows (debuting @ CiC!). More to come on that!

However, this Music Monday brings me back to my childhood and our living room song and dance sessions. I’ve selected one of my dad’s favorites, in honor of him reminding me, “You’re my daughter. We don’t quit. We Keep. On. PUSHING.” So dad, I’m listening and firing on all cylinders.

I hope you have someone in your life that positively inspires you to keep striving towards your goals and going after what you love.  While I haven’t always had the support in all the decisions I’ve made, I’m very grateful today for my dad’s words of support and encouragement.  So here’s to those people in your life that remind you to never give up and keep. on. pushing. Thanks dad.

ox

-Stacy

ps – By the way, if you’re a Stones fan, they’ve just announced four concert dates in London and New York via their YouTube. Tickets to go on sale Oct 19th and 26th, respectively. Click here for more info.

Perks to Meetings on the West Side

I’ve been meeting with some really incredible and inspiring people as of late and today was no different. After a morning discussing some dynamic new ventures with a certain art media company on the West Side, I could think of no better way to spend the rest of my morning than taking in a little contemporary art and walking (and lounging a bit) on The High Line.

Before taking in the sunshine, I took a trip down memory lane and popped into the Shafrazi Gallery.  I should back up and explain that Tony was our New York art dealer when I produced contemporary exhibitions during my time in California.  Sadly, neither Tony or Hiroko were in that morning but I was able to see the current exhibition, Spring Fever, featuring some of Dennis’ friends, including Keith Haring and, one of my favorite artists, David Salle.  I will say, despite working with many Haring pieces and hearing some of the great stories about him, DH and Tony, his art itself never really blew my hair back.  It always felt very…80s, I suppose.  However, on this day, for whatever reason – whether it was nostalgia for my days working with DH or I just enjoyed these pieces more than DH’s (being that one of his reminded me of Beetlejuice) – my appreciation for his work grew a bit.

After getting my art fix, I changed out of my heels and headed up to The High Line, which is a 1.45 miles park along Manhattan’s West Side that was formerly an elevated railway for the Meatpacking District.  It’s packed on the weekends so I had to take advantage of this gorgeous Spring weekday to check out the recently opened 3rd segment of the park.

The High Line has also become a welcome destination for local handmade vendors such as La Newyorkina, who I stumbled upon during this wander.  They do frozen gourmet Mexican sweets and they had some incredible flavors of paletas (Spanish for ice pop), such as mango-chile, avocado, papaya-passion, key lime pie & cucumber-lime.  However, being the coconut addict that I am, opted for that and topped it with Mexican chili powder – can you say a-MA-zing?  Really a perfect end my morning on the West Side.

Here’s some shots from this morning’s adventures: (sorry, no photos of my coconut paleta – i ate it too fast) =)

Winter Wanderings

We’ve been living in Fort Greene (a gorrrgeous little tree-lined, brownstone-filled neighborhood in Brooklyn) since September and wanted to give you a peek into our little slice of NY.  I’ve found it to be such an inspiring, beautiful place, especially on crisp winter mornings.  Before settling into work in the studio, Tank and I do our usual spin, passing the 9 to 5ers headed to the bus or train with coffee in hand, freelancers en route to the local cafe to settle in for the day and our fellow dog owners heading home from the park as the stroller crowd trickles in. It’s peaceful and lovely and home. Here’s a few shots from some of our strolls as of late. Enjoy and hope you’re having a wonderful start to your week.

ox

-Stacy & Tank

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