Monday, September 12, 2011

Just Peachy Keen

After a much needed weekend at home in NYC after weeks of travel, I had the pleasure of visiting the Union Square Green market this weekend. In addition to a special surprise from Kate Spade, I was overwhelmed by the bounty of the late summer harvest. Corn, tomatoes of all colors...and my favorite, peaches! I picked up quite a few.

While they need a couple days to be juicy ripe for biting straight into, they are perfect for baking in the meantime. Ever since I purchased, Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts cookbook, I've been obsessed with this recipe for Pate Sucree, which is a nice sweet pie crust that is easy to make (especially with a food processor) and when baked is the flaky light crust that just melts in your mouth. Especially when it is covered in peaches!

I'm particularly fond of this free form galette style pie/tart which requires you simply roll out the dough, pile a fruit of your choice on top (mix it with 1/4 cup of sugar and the juice from half a lemon), and fold the edges in. Bake it for 45 minutes at 375 and it will be golden (literally)! I've made it with blueberries, peaches, and a mix of the two (as pictured). It made the end of family dinner just peachy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Big News!

It's finally official! After 6 weeks of contracting, I was hired full-time on Monday as a Product Marketing Manager at  Etsy. Here I am at my desk with my hand embroidered Etsy Labs coat! How cool is that?!

I couldn't be happier about this. Here is a pic of me with the entire Product Marketing Team.....

So, yeah, I'm the first one, but we will be hiring soon! Contact me for more details.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Come on Irene

I'm 6 days late on this, but its still worth reporting that last week held many natural disaster 'firsts' for me, and for New York City. I actually felt the earthquake on Tuesday, and on Saturday and Sunday there was enough rain and wind to shut down the city. Hurricane Irene, possibly the most over-hyped storm I've experienced, was proof that the media can essentially fabricate natural disaster. After a weekend of hibernation, board games and eating like it was the end of the world, Monday brought sunny skies and little damage (aside from some minor flooding) in NYC.

Here are some photos I snapped on Monday morning of "the aftermath" in the West Village.

Hair Salon


Jonathan Adler, I'm rather embarrassed that the design store couldn't do better than this.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Doctors

Oh hello, yes, I know, it's been a while. Truth is, I've been refraining from blogging for the past few months, while I was funemployed because I knew it would just be too mean. You didn't really want to hear about my life of midday outdoor yoga classes in bryant park, leisurely afternoons reading on the highline, evenings cruising with a cocktail on my way to the Yankees game now did you? See, it was generous of me, I knew the jealousy would be too much. So you're welcome.

But now I'm back, a month into my new job at Etsy, which I understand may make some of you jealous (who could blame you, I get to craft AT work), but I think it's an appropriate enough time to start blogging again. Some notable things have happened since I last updated the Internat, and I'll fill you in little by little. At the moment I'd like to dedicated this post to several very special doctors in my life. These three docs are all very important in the well-being of one my vital organs: my heart!

First up: The Drs. O'Malley, finally got married this month (see this post on their engagement a mere 28 months ago!), and it was a blissfully wonderful weekend in Sonoma. We stayed at the beautiful H2 Hotel, and I felt like a VIP getting to spend some great quality time with the future Mrs.O'Malley on her big day. The whole bridal party took off for a group run and bike on the morning of the wedding, borrowing perfectly picturesque white beach cruisers from the hotel. Later when we were dressed up, the bikes came in handy for ridiculously adorable pics! (See many more here thanks to the Paul-parazzi)

It was a tearful day as I watched my mom preform Kit and Ryan's thoughtful and personal ceremony and pronounce them husband and wife. Hey, it's not every bridesmaid that gets to kiss the officiant in the recessional.

I must say after a weekend full of such love, I've been suffering from a little PWSD! The only cure will be seeing them soon, so I'll have to make a trip to Boston.

The third Doctor is actually a Dr-to-be (can we call her a DTR?), one Rebecca Sista-girl Schwartz, is officially white-coated and ready to take on the world of medicine at UPenn armed with endless textbooks, a stethoscope and a banana. Clearly.

I think that during this glamorous white-coat photo shoot (talk about Dr. McDreamy) my mom said something like "Paging Dr.Schwwwaaaartz!" and Bec whipped that out of her pocket. Not sure though. I, sadly, could not make it to the white coat ceremony, but I came in for the celebration dinner (and fro yo).

Can you tell we are very proud?

I love you Drs!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dressing Up

As I mentioned in my last post, Lily and Matt's fabulous nuptials kicked off my wedding season this year. It was a flawless event at the Boston Seaport Hotel, and the bride left no detail behind. If I had to pick one favorite detail of this spectacular event is was Lily's absolutely swoon-worthy dress.

There hasn't been a wedding so far where I haven't loved the bride's dress pick-- it always seems to fit the bride's and setting's personality. I have loved some of the simpler dresses, like that worn by Alex last summer; but at the same time, I always adore the big fabulous dresses with trains and the whole nine-yards, which I call "the cupcake dress" (that is not a technical term). It doesn't fit every bride, but for those who can handle it, I say embrace it. It's your day and it's probably the only day you will be able to wear a dress that you could hide people under (unless you're into victorian reenactments or something).

Clearly it was the perfect choice for Lil. So perfect in fact that even Vera Wang decided it should be
on her blog :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?!

Wedding season!!

On my way to the official kick off of this years wedding season, and I feel like a kid on Christmas eve! Lily and Matt are first up this summer so I'm headed to beantown to celebrate with some high school friends and the parents. I know these Colby kids like to party (nothing better to do when go to college in Maine) so it promises to be a great time...stay tuned for pictures post weekend!

Ok off to keep playing on my new iPad...which I'm blogging from right now. Woot! I heart technology. And weddings!

Monday, May 23, 2011


It's smartification season. It's May, and the April showers have brought May flowers, babies and graduations. I had the pleasure of attending one cousin's graduation last week from Penn. Most of Schwartz-Sweet-Petri-Egger family (Schweetezieneggers?) headed to Philly to be there to watch Alex get an award and get her wizard of city planning diploma. In between, we did a lot of sitting, waiting, eating mini sandwiches, clapping, reading in seats, biting nails (I know, sad, I relapsed) and trying not to fall asleep. But for the 30 seconds that Alex was being honored, we were really excited and proud. Here we are looking so proud:
Being on the Penn campus around so many students made me nostalgic-like-whoa for the years of sauntering through the sun-drenched quad, biking through campus, and living within a half mile radius of all my friends. It made me smile, it made me want to cry, and most of all it made me wish Kaitlin would hurry up and get that time machine running already so we could go back and relive the glory days. Hurry up girl, Senior year is waiting!

In honor of Alex's Master of City Planning degree, I decided to test my Master of Sewing skills and make her a bag to show of her style as the queen of urban transportation. Here's the bag I sewed myself:
Bikes on the outside, subways on the inside. And yes, that is a customized "Handmade by Natalie Schwartz" tag (thanks Allison!).
I also made some matching pencil cases:
Here is Alex with her gifts: I think she liked them? Yay.

This week much of the same crowd is headed out to Colorado to watch Kroger graduate from college! Sadly I'm sitting this one out in NYC, hoping to make someone proud and get a job... It's a proud time for families everywhere, and I am also very proud of my San Francisco Stanfordites turned MBAs Dary, Kat and Chase who are graduating this week and next!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Babies

Chelsea has decided to be coworker extraordinaire (not surprised) and commissioned me to make this preppy fresh diaper cake for what promises to be the best dressed baby boy in DC!
In other news I got my first order from a stranger on Etsy! Woot! Maybe I can just build cakes (points for the movie reference on that one) full time? Probably not.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Hello, hello. I got a lot of positive response from my previous book review post, so figured I should let you all know what I have read since then. I'm not necessarily proud that I spent hours reading some of the books listed below, but cut me some slack, I don't have a TV. I'm allowed to read for mind-numbing amusement sometimes.

This is the second book by the brilliant author of I was Told there'd be Cake, which I wrote about previously. I thought this was only slightly less amusing than the first, (perhaps it was just the novelty of this hilarious writer wearing off) but definitely still great. Sloane recounts stories from her childhood, to life as a 20-something in NYC with descriptions so vivid you will feel like it was you...who was doing an illegal furniture trade in a dark alley of Manhattan with a mysterious man who you met at Design within Reach? Really, funny.

This is where the aforementioned note about not judging my junk reading comes into play. I had always wanted to read this book when I saw it on display in the airport book stores, but I was too embarrassed to be carrying it around, risking that a co-worker or elder might see me (or hear me laughing) and look over to see me reading about *gasp* one night stands! Well, that is the glory of the kindle, my friends- no one knows what you're reading! So I downloaded this sucker and plowed through it. It is, as titled, a bizarre and truly unbelievable--not as in "amazing" unbelievable, but as in "I'm really not sure if I believe you" unbelievable-- collection of one night stands. Whether true or not, they are laugh out loud funny, and I quickly hit download on her next title.

This didn't differ all that much from the first book, and honestly I can't remember which stories were from which book at this point. Despite the adult-only titles, Chelsea writes a fair amount about her childhood: from walking in on her parents, to the missteps of her embarrassingly nerdy father, and stories of trying to fit-in with the cool kids. After finishing this in a day, I read....

This is the most recent of Chelsea's books and so recounts more recent stories from her life. The book takes place when she already has 'made it' (she has a show apparently? yes, I don't have a TV). It contains some pretty funny stories of the ridiculousness of the LA scene, and how much she seems to torment her long-term live in boyfriend. Mostly it made me feel bad for him. And laugh a lot. Luckily she doesn't have any more books so I was forced to return to more intellectual reading.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Appropriately, I decided to download this on my way to Mexico which marked the start of my time off from work, in search of new work. It's a best-seller, but honestly I think it's a little shallow. While there are some lessons to be learned from this guy about how to maximize efficiency in life and in work, I think his overall proposal was weak. Basically he thinks that everyone should create some sort of online business in which they can set up to function almost completely without their supervision, but by which they can rake in buckets of money monthly to spend on travel and fun. Sounds nice, huh? He uses himself as a model-- he managed to set up a very lucrative online vitamin business. I think he over-simplifies the ease of doing such a thing, assuming unrealistic demand and success. Furthermore, he makes the assumption that to all of us, this would be satisfying. This part bothered more more than the simplification-- the idea that no one would actually derive pleasure or satisfaction from his/her job, or life's work and that everyone should work on minimizing their time working. It is the complete opposite of the more popular concept of finding a passion that can be your work, or work that ignites your passion. In any case, interesting read, if for no other reason than for suggesting that everyone hire a remote personal assistant in India. I'm looking into it.

If you're going to read one book from this list, read this. In fact, if you're going to read one book all year, read this. This is an incredible memoir of a girl who was born to two drug addicted parents in the Bronx. She lives with them through her middle school years, as they spend their welfare checks on coke, and she scrounges for food on the street, sometimes resorting to eating ice cubes because chewing makes her think she's eating. Despite the clear abuse of her addicted parents, Liz tells her story without distaste or anger towards them, which leaves the reader feeling compassionate towards the whole family. After her mother's mental illness causes her to be taken to a hospital, and she ends up living with her mother's abusive boyfriend and finally runs away, spending almost two years sleeping in the subway and on friends' couches. She misses all of her first two years of high school, but at the age of 16, after her mother dies of AIDS, and Liz feels she's about to hit rock bottom, Liz comes to the realization that she wants to turn her life around. She begins applying to alternative high schools and eventually gets in, impressively finishes in two years, and wins a NYT Scholarship to Harvard. This story is real, and it is one of the most unbelievable testaments to the will of the human spirit. It's beautifully written, humbling, heartbreaking and inspirational. MUST READ.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
As you've probably read in every liberal publication, Tina Fey wrote a book. And, no surprise, it's funny. My experience of this book was definitely influenced by the fact that Lauren and I read it aloud to each other in Mexico, while lounging in on the beach, or while listening to the waves as we fell asleep. I'm pretty sure I would enjoy it anywhere, but in that setting, it was pretty much heaven. I enjoyed the first half more than the second-- her stories of her childhood and post-college days of "making it" as a comedian and actress are hilarious, and as is the story of a cruise ship fire on her honeymoon (confirming my commitment to lifelong avoidance of cruise ships). Read it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I'm embarrassed that I started reading this, and even more embarrassed that I finished it. This is the first of a series (but the last that I'll read of it) set in a futuristic world where teens from each state are chosen for an annual survival test called the Hunger Games, where they fight to kill each other off while living inside some sort of life-sized terrarium controlled by the game makers. Now I know I'm not one for fantasy, but if I'm going to read it, I'd at least like it to be vivid and well-written. I was as disturbed by the attack of the larger than life foxes as I was by the horrible writing quality. Apparently after the whole Eclipse saga swept the nation, teen lit is now completely socially acceptable for not-so-young adult readers. Verdict: I'd rather read Judy Blume.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Bacccccck

Sorry. I'm back to fill you in on a couple of things, and then hopefully pick up blogging more regularly.

1. It's spring in NYC. This makes me VERY happy. There are birds chirping, I got the bike tuned up, there's a skip in my step and I went outside with bare legs yesterday. GREAT NEWS. If you don't live here, come visit now, it will make you want to move.

2. I went on an incredible vacation to Three Jewels Retreats in Puerto Vallarta for some yoga, surfing and R&R with Lauren. I simply cannot speak highly enough about it-- I got hooked on surfing, back into Yoga, a nice tan and some amazing authentic mexican food. Going back next year for sure. Here's what Yoga looked like every morning:
3. I'm officially on the market for a new job. Please forward any potential prospects my way. I'm taking the month off from Goog to look both at new jobs at Goog and outside. Holler if you have some ideas for me (or if you want to play hooky and hang out during the day and pretend to be funemployed like me!) In the spirit of job searching and self-promotion, I have seen this poster several times in the subway:
Maybe I should just print my resume on poster-sized hot pink paper and start papering the subways? Or print it on a sandwich board and hire some homeless man to wear it on the corner of 23rd and 8th?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's Sunlight at the end of the Tunnel

As March draws to a close, it's still freezing in NY. Literally: 30 degrees, and it was sleeting and snowing last week. Enough is enough, Mother Nature. You're a liar, Punxatuney Phil. Good news is, there is sunlight at the end of this dark NYC tunnel. Well, for me at least.

Headed here tomorrow:
Then here for a week:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magic Stick Pesto

Of all the kitchen appliances stuffed into my mini-kitchen, each one has a special place in my heart and in my overflowing cabinets. But today's post is dedicated to one very special appliance which I call the Magic Stick.

If you've never owned an immersion blender, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. But if you have, I bet you'll be calling yours the magic stick too...because this little electric wand has tricks to make treats like you've never seen. It can turn lumpy potatoes into a silky smooth mashed, it's a souper way to puree soups and, in the case of last night, make a presto pesto.

So I came home last night and had a serving of delish fresh pasta from Eataly left in my fridge....unfortunately, I did not have any sauce leftover. I quickly surveyed the contents of the fridge (which are quite dismal) and noticed I had half a bag of arugula that looked like my best bet. I quickly whipped out the magic stick and turned that half a bag of arugula into a delicious arugula pesto. I loosely followed a pesto recipe and created my own masterpiece (that's the magic of the stick)-- here's how I did it.

Arugula Pesto

- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup olive oil

- 1/4 cup of freshly shaved parmesan

- 3 tablespoons toasted pinenuts

- 2 pinches of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper

Throw all ingredients in the mini chopper attachment to the magic stick and press GO until its chopped into a creamy greeny pesto! Yum.

PS- You can also make this with a mini or full sized food processor (it's just a lot bigger mess to clean up).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Green!

So, it's St.Patty's day. I have no idea what this celebration is actually for (other than four leaf clovers, Irish people and green beer drinking), but I never met a holiday I didn't like. Any excuse for dressing in theme, wearing costumes and using food coloring.

This morning on my run (sporting a green jacket, duh) I ran into a little dog wearing a hat....I didn't have my camera but this is what it looked like:
Things like this always make me smile-- New Yorkers never do seise to surprise me.

To celebrate the holiday I decided to whip up some rice crispy treats with a hint of color. It was an experiment but it worked surprisingly well-- I just added about 8 drops of green food coloring to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding the cereal, and then proceed with the classic rice crispy treat recipe. Then I melted some chocolate and let it cool in the fridge until it was frosting-like enough for spreading into a little clover (please excuse my drawing skills, I didn't have a clover cookie cutter in my collection so this was freehand).
(and yes, Meg, I still have fake nails on)
It struck me after the fact that maybe I should have substituted Lucky Charms for Rice Crispies, since they are all about rainbows and leprechauns and seem to be related to the holiday more than Snap, Crackle and Pop (or were they leprechauns too?)...but oh well.

Best thing about Rice Crispy treats? They're cereal, so it's totally appropriate to them eat for breakfast! Go Green!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Magic in the Middle

Everyone loves a surprise inside. That was the theme for this Winter's edition of the Winsor Weekend (the WWW for short). Luring us by telling us she had recently renovated her kitchen to include TWO ovens (as well as literally 10x my counter space), we headed deep into suburbia to visit Meg in her West Hartford home/palace.

First things first, Dr.Rossin arrived with her stethoscope to see if she could hear Baby G's (yes, there is a new baby-to-be G!) heartbeat....There's magic in her middle! (stretch, sorry)
We then made ourselves at home and set up shop for an afternoon of baking and reminiscing. We whipped up some Magic in the Middle cookies which were the pretty much a cookie version of a peanut butter cup. Its a much easier recipe than the sophisticated result may suggest, so I recommend you test it out.
Completely chocolate and unassuming on the outside, but a delish peanut butter surprise when you bite in!
Thanks for the Magical weekend Meg, we'll be back!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yay, Sista Girl!

If you cant read her text it is "Here's a photo of me being provisionally accepted to Penn. Taken by my physics partner as I opened the status page."

So yes, jury is out, the future Dr. Schwartz (!!!!!!!!) will be going to UPenn next year, provided she nail the MCAT out of the park next month. GOOOOOOOOOOOOO BEC!