Archive for the ‘fab fam’ Category

Festival of Lights

December 15, 2009

Happy hanukkah, everybody!  My roomies and I hosted a hanukkah party on Sunday that was a smash hit!  What’s great about Hanukkah, from a busy person’s perspective, is that it’s 8 nights long.  So there’s a lot of leeway in terms of potential party dates.  And the 3rd day is just as important as the other 7 days, so…come light the menorah. Let’s have a party. We’ll all dance the hora.

What started out as an innocent idea to have a few people over for latkes and wine, quickly turned into a large potluck party with multiple rounds of Drunken Dreidle (my brother came up with it: a drinking version of the classic spinning top game from every Jew’s childhood) and dozens of delicious jelly doughnuts!

A fun time was had by all — even the goys were into it.  The latkes fried and the oil flowed.  For a first time Hanukkah party-thrower, I’d say it was a success.


A Very Voorheesville Thanksgiving

December 1, 2009

The friends and good times…

And then there was food…

Well, that just about sums it up.  A 3-day vacation with some of my besties was just what the doctor ordered.  New York City is a funny place – I love it dearly, but every few months I just need to get the hell out.  And the crisp air of upstate New York, amazing comfort food, and some serious 3 on 3 basketball games were a the perfect little rejuvenators.  It was nice to have all the space in the world to run around, and also to have the option of staying in pajamas till 5pm.

With December practically here (holy cow, what!?), I’m hoping to take some more time off, and go visit my family in California during the holidays.  But procrastination really got the best of me this time, and airline tickets are already in the $600-$700 range!  Eeep.  Not an option.  I’m praying for a miracle, or some mercy from Virgin America.  Otherwise, I might have to get creative and plan a train-able/zip car-able/hitchhike-able East coast adventure for myself!  Any ideas?

And now I’m back in the city.  Back to the daily grind.  Everyone at work today was moving just a bit slower than usual.  It seems I’m not the only one who wasn’t quite ready to return from vaycay.  Or the lethargy could also be attributed to everyone’s happy little lingering buddha bellies filled with mashed potatoes and pie.

It’s Not A Birthday Without Sweets

November 11, 2009
Mag Cupcakes in box

Magnolia cupcakes!

Magnolia logo

First time at the Upper West Side location

Mag Cupcakes


Trev and Julie

Cupcakes caught him off guard!

Bring cupcakes to Trev

Here they come...

Trev and candles

Make a wish! George Costanza's watching.

Bday Boy

The bday boy

The dust is finally starting to settle after the birthday craziness of October and November.  After a bunch of close friends’ birthdays that fall in those 2 months — including myself, my brother, and Jen — it seems that there is finally some birthday-free weekends on the horizon.  Friend, if I’m forgetting that your birthday is coming up, I’m sorry.  Are you on facebook?  I need those birthday reminders!

Last weekend we celebrated my little brother’s 21st birthday!  It was a surprisingly low key event.  A nice intimate dinner with close friends at one of my pizza faves, Motorino, and some Magnolia cupcakes at home.  Sounds mature.  I guess that’s the difference between 20 and 21.  You start to appreciate the finer things in life as you get older.  Meanwhile, I’m advertising jello shots and encouraging booty dancing at my 24th bday party a few weekends ago, so…

I haven’t had Magnolia cupcakes in a while.  I remember they were alll the rage when I first moved to New York and went to NYU.  They were pretty much the sweets staple at any birthday party/fundraiser/dorm floor event.  But then, as I began to expand my sweet tooth and venture off the cupcake beaten path, I started to discover a whole slew of other lesser known (and often better tasting!) cupcake options in the city and in Brooklyn.  Since the cupcake market in New York is already so saturated, Jen and I decided in the beginning stages of starting Fanny & Jane, that we would explore other comfort sweets options (our red velvet cake bites being the most popular), offering New Yorkers and friends and family an alternative to the usual cupcake fare.  We’ve dabbled in cupcakes before (remember our mini carrot cake cupcakes at the Susan Woo Fashion Week event?) and as the holiday season approaches, we are thinking of trying some special seasonal treats.  Peppermint cupcakes, perhaps?

But enjoying those Magnolia cupcakes for my brother’s birthday the other night, it was a nice reminder of the good ol’ days.  The Magnolia cupcakes that I bought for my roommates, or the time I took my mom to their bakery when she was visiting, or the delicious pick-me-up after finishing a final.  It’s funny how sense memory can do that.  How the taste of the Magnolia frosting can take me right back to Freshman year.  Look people, I eat sweets to help me remember.  And also, because they just taste so good.

p.s. these photos were taken with my NEW birthday gift CAMERA!  Sweet, huh?

And Now…I’m 24

November 4, 2009



After a full weekend of birthday festivities (I’m talkin’ Girls Night Out For Drinks, a Notable Mention at our Harvard Sailing Team show, a Big House Party in honor of my birthdayoween, and brunch the next day), I am tuckered out.  But in a good way.  The kind of tuckered out that makes you smile and wanna eat ice cream.  Not cry and wanna eat ice cream.

I feel very lucky to have such generous, thoughtful, and party-hard friends in my life.  So generous and thoughtful in fact, that my best girl buds and my boyfriend pooled together to get me a BRAND NEW DIGITAL CAMERA!  I’m over the moon!  This is such great news, because I’ve been a little bummed (and limited to David’s iphone camera) that I haven’t been able to take quality pictures for the blog since my camera screen broke over the summer.  Now, as soon as I figure out how to upload photos to my computer, I can promise lots and lots of pretty photos on here.  Thanks NatalieDavidShawnaJessicaMacKenzie!  I am loving my present.

Not only have I been kept busy with birthday stuff (not to mention the fact that my little bro’s big bday was yesterday, and Jen‘s is on Saturday!), but there’s also been quite a lot of buzzing about Fanny & Jane lately.  Since I’ve been putting in the hours at my new full-time job, Jen has been working tirelessly to move things forward with Fanny & Jane, and I am so pleased to announce…


Our online shop is now taking orders!  You can visit us and check out our new website at or you can go directly to our shop by clicking here.  Thank you everyone who has shown us love lately, and thanks to everyone who has placed orders!  Up until now, we have been filling orders just by word of mouth, and we have been happy to bring our sweet treats to family, friends, and friends of friends.  But now our sweets are reaching farther, to people we don’t even know, and we couldn’t be more elated to spread the sugar!

Right now I’m running off to a birthday dinner for my lil bro (YES!  More wine and dessert!), but I’ll be back soon with photos from my new camera and more exciting Fanny & Jane news and updates.


Old Family Photo

July 15, 2009


On Sunday I went to New Jersey to spend time with some of my East coast family and to play with the newest baby in the family, Brody Sid Baker!  Going to Jersey is always a big family affair, and ten times out of ten, this involves copious amounts of food and big comfy couch-sitting sessions.  Sign me up.

The matriarch of my New Jersey family is my great Aunt Rose  (literally a great lady, but also technically my Great Aunt by family tree definition).  I love and adore her.  I’ve blogged about her 90th birthday party and some of her classic Aunt Rose-isms here.

Recently, my great Aunt Rose  moved from the house where she raised her kids, into a brand new apartment.  So this move was a big emotional deal for her (c’mon, she’d lived in that house for over 50 years), but I’m a fan of change, no matter how set in your ways you think you are, and I think even she surprised herself by how quickly she was able to adapt.  One of the greatest things to come out of the move, was that it unearthed some great family photos that I’d never seen before, and every time I go to Jersey I come back with some awesome family relic.  Among them, was this gem.  Sorry, mom.

Mom, where was this taken?  And what’s with that facial expression??  Great hat.

Say Hello To Your New Fan, KEANE

June 17, 2009








I came across these pictures last night, and it reminded me how great this concert was.

I wouldn’t be my father’s daughter or my brother’s sister if I didn’t like the band Keane.  So going to this concert was somewhat of a family obligation.  Actually, the reason I was able to go to this concert at all was because of a family boo-boo.  After a series of extended travel plans and several standby lines later, my brother missed his flight back to the city and was thus left with a pair of unclaimed tickets to the May 27th SOLD OUT Keane concert at Radio City Music Hall.  I guess I could go.  I mean, I am a really busy person, but I’ll try to clear my schedule.  Actually, Season 5 of LOST is over, so, look at that, my Wednesday nights just opened up!  Brother, I will go in your stead.  And I’m bringing Shawna.

Having gotten word from my father (who saw the concert in L.A. a few weeks prior) that the opening bands were missable, Shawna and I decided to have a nice and leisurely pre-concert evening.  So to Happy Hour we went!  Hitting up our  favorite HH spot, Pianos, on the lower east side, we indulged in their $5 burger and nachos (seriously you guys, it’s a great deal!) and some gin & tonics.  Then off to Radio City, getting to our seats just in time for the show to start.  This was only my second time ever at Radio City, and the grandiosity of it is something to behold.  The lobby alone is magnificent — beautifully decked out in art deco style with a grand spiral staircase and pointy glass chandelier.  It’s hard for me to adequately explain how magnificent it felt to be standing in the lobby of Radio City, but I just remember thinking it feels important to be here.

Once inside the theater, I was immediately taken by the lead singer’s voice.  He is incredible – his voice sounding as crisp and pure as it does on the radio.  Only kinda familiar with some of their songs, I’m more of a fan by association (sorry dad), I was actually surprised to find how many songs I knew without realizing it!  It was a great concert.  Not only were the songs catchy and beautiful, but Keane kept me entertained with their boundless energy and verve while the frontman, Tom Chaplin, bounced all over the stage often leaping into the side pews and mugging for his adoring fans.  (Their second encore of Queen’s “Under Pressure” being a highlight of the evening).  I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty fun to scream and holler and pretend I was a bigger fan than I actually am, but by the end of the night, truth is I couldn’t get any of their songs out of my head.

I’ve been really digging their music lately, and I now have the Pandora “Keane station” bookmarked at work.  To listen to all the songs from their set list, click here.  Their song “Try Again” is my current favorite.  Enjoy!

Sittin’ & Wonderin’

June 4, 2009




Here we are at the new neighborhood cafe.  My brother just got back into town from an extended vacation in Casper, Wyoming visiting his girlfriend, and we’re catching up about his trip.  He’s recounting his first ever trip to Walmart, visits to The Sportsman Store (basically a Gun Shoppe), and the only Italian restaurant in the town, Boticelli’s.  Since both of us grew up together in Los Angeles and now living in Brooklyn, he said that visiting a town like Casper was a real nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the Big Cities we are used to.  I’ll try and post some photos he took at the dog park — beautiful big blue skies and adorable german shepherd puppy.  Looked like the perfect getaway.  Hope to see you out here soon, Julie!

I’m obsessed with this new coffee shop Sit & Wonder.  It just opened  on Saturday (!!!) and this is my second time here.  Free Wi-fi, yummy baked goods (this morning’s choice was a banana chocolate chip muffin), and Stumptown coffee.  Giving me some great ideas for Fanny & Jane!

Let’s Split It

May 16, 2009

Another thing to add to my “Absolutely Love” list is the act of splitting.  Regardless of whether it’s a piece of pie or a burger, I’m always the first to ask, “Do you wanna split something?”  For a while I thought I did it because I just liked the feeling of sharing a couple dishes with a friend (you get a little a this, a little a that), but now I realize that this compulsion is actually hereditary: I got it from my mom!  This realization hit me like a ton of bricks this past weekend while she was in town.  We went to Sarabeth’s for lunch, and just after the menus had been freshly dropped off at our table she asked, “Do you wanna just split a few things?”.  Caught completely off guard by someone else initiating the splitting process, my excitement levels went through the roof, and in my mind I was thinking, “Yes!!!  I LOVE splitting! OMIGOD, THIS IS GREAT”.  But in an effort to conceal my overzealousness (If I seem too excited, she might take back her offer!  Be cool, Faryn.  Be cool, man), I tried to take the nonchalant approach, and just politely replied, “Perfect.”

We ordered something sweet and something savory – my favorite way to split. 

Market Vegetable Salad Plate

market vegetable salad plate: baby field greens, shaved fennel, green and red peppers, haricot verts, carrots, beets, and ricotta salata in a sherry shallot vinaigrette

lemon and ricotta pancakes with fresh berries

lemon and ricotta pancakes with fresh berries

It was absolutely delish!

Thanks Mama

May 15, 2009

This morning, my mom sent me the following message:

I miss u already.  Just want to say that you are absolutely radiant and I know how hard you’re working, but you’re lifestyle must agree with you…you’ve never looked better (or happier) xoxo

Thanks, Mama.

Sometimes All You Need Is Family, Tons of Couches, and Food

May 11, 2009
my beautiful mom, Mindy (gotta love those Baby Boomer names)

my beautiful mom, Mindy (gotta love those Baby Boomer names)

Aunt Rose-cake time!

Aunt Rose (a vision in white) - cake time!

Babka, the sheepdog.  what a load.

Babka, the sheepdog. what a load.

siblings on the train

siblings on the train
platters of fanny & jane sweets for mother's day lunch

platters of fanny & jane sweets for mother's day lunch

serious kiddie tricycle riding

serious kiddie tricycle riding

Last night, I returned from 2 days in New Jersey with my East Coast fam and my mom, who came in from L.A. for a few days! Driving through the greenery of Warren, New Jersey and getting to turn my brain off completely, was exactly the rejuvenation I needed from the non-stop work and stress of the past few weeks. The main attraction of the weekend was my great Aunt Rosie B’s 90th birthday soiree. My cousins, Karen and Irwin, generously hosted at their house, and it was quite the affair! There was delicious catered finger foods (by the end of the night, the pigs in a blanket guy just kept b-lining it to me, my boyfriend and my brother. Embarrassing, but we were his best customers). There was a live pianist who kept it classy by playing songs from Rose’s era, like one of my favorites, “Stars Fell on Alabama” (yet by the end of the night, my cousins and I were shouting requests, and we all collapsed on the couch and raucously joined in singing Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”). And for hours, the house was alive with laughter and stories, and a lot of “Oh my god! I haven’t seen you since dot dot dot”.

One thing you have to know about my great Aunt Rose is what a firecracker she is. I tell you, at 90 years old this woman is so full of life and energy, she is such an inspiration to me. One of the strongest and most loving women I know. She’s full of class and practical wisdom, and has always taught me the importance of bringing family together. Some classic Aunt Rose-isms include…

Always put your face on before you go out. You never know who you’re going to meet. (And don’t forget to bat those lashes).


There’s no such thing as too many onions.

and the most oft repeated,

Don’t work too hard, but make a lot of money.

There are many tenets that I hope to adopt from her as I grow older, but the number one defining Aunt Rose tradition that I would love to take on in my old age is her ritual of the “L’chaim Club”. The L’Chaim Club is a daily routine that she shares with her oldest and best friends and fellow widowers, Ruth and Belle. Every night at 5pm, they each pour themselves a drink (Aunt Rose’s choice: vodka on the rocks), and the three women call each other, and make L’Chaim (cheers “to life!”) over the phone. Every night! I just love it.

Over the course of the past 2 years, both of my grandmothers passed away, leaving me with no remaining living grandparents. Having this weekend, devoted to family time, eating till we could eat no more, sharing stories and poking fun at each other like only relatives can, felt very special and precious. As I get older and start to realize that my brother and I are no longer the babies of the family, I know that when it comes time to raise a family of my own, I want to make sure I remember one of Aunt Rose’s greatest priorities: to bring the family together.

Aunt Rose, happy birthday! I love you very much.