IMG_5665 (1).jpg

Hi. I’m Jennifer.

Welcome to MidLife Modern, a lifestyle blog for grown-ass women. Me? I’m 40 +, urban dwelling, happily hitched, childfree and self-employed. I’m into food, travel, flea markets, home decorating, throwing dinner parties and boundless exploration. I like to dip my toes in wellness trends but will never give up butter. Like, ever.

Loving Lately

Loving Lately

NEW YORK CITY

ICE CREAM SHOP: Morgenstern’s on Lower East Side cause their flavors be cra-zy, Van Leeuwan (bourbon vanilla + early grey, please!)

COFFEE SHOP: Iced coffee at Devocion in Williamsburg (so original), draft latte with lavender at Moa in Astoria

NEW CHEAP DISCOVERY: Wolfnights gourmet wraps. Holy shit- crazy combos like grilled chicken wrapped in date & pumpkin seed dough with fried pickles, feta, melon, mint & yogurt sauce or charcoal grilled cauliflower wrapped in fennel seed dough with spicy pickled pineapple, shallot, bbq potato chips and sage aioli. I’m very into this!

VINTAGE: City Opera Thrift Shop, any Housing Works store and Vintage Thrift just off 23rd Street

LANDMARK: Central Park in springtime. There’s no place I’d rather be! All hail the cherry blossom trees.

ASTORIA, QUEENS

RESTAURANT: Cafe Triskell for excellent French(their buckwheat crepes are other-wordly—I like mine with just lemon and sugar), Sami’s Kabob House (Afghani food served with true hospitality, like you’re a guest in their home); Ornella (get the PASTA DI CASTAGNA—chestnut flour pasta in a cream and pistachio sauce with truffle oil)

GREEK FOOD: (Because it needs its own category here): Bahari for fresh seafood, Loukoumi Tavern for the zucchini chips and atmosphere

COFFEE SHOP: Moa on 30th, tiny, great staff: they have Balthazar pastries and Colombe draft latte (I like mine with a shot of lavender syrup), Gossip for their year-round backyard space

FOODIE FINDS: Mediterranean Foods (12 different kinds of fresh feta), an olive bar and giant jugs of Greek olive oil, International Meats- an outstanding old-school outstanding butcher shop, United Brothers Fruit Market (open 24 hours!)

VINTAGE: Furniture Market! My favorite place for home goods and unique art. 100% vintage and reused furniture and home decor— they buy out estate sales and sell from a huge warehouse. They furnished most of the set of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!

STORE: Astoria Bookshop, I order and pick up if they don’t have it; Lockwood for gifts, greeting cards and Queens-heavy merch

BAKERY: Artopolis for their amazing assortment of nutty Greek shortbreads; Chip for hot-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies

HOME

EARTH FRIENDLY: our new charcoal water filter from Package Free Shop in Williamsburg… we’re chugging cheap filtered H20 now!

KITCHEN GADGET: toss up between our Soda Stream and my food processor

DE-STINK SOLUTION: Eighty bucks sounded like a rip-off for a trash can, but nothing contains smells (and hides ugly trash bags) the way simplehuman does.

ART/DECOR SOURCE: Etsy for vintage finds and homemade gifts. I also love some good thrift art.

RABID OBSESSION: vintage rugs from Turkey and Iran (usually purchases through Etsy). I have them all over the house.


PRODUCTS

BEAUTY: Revlon Kiss SPF 20 lip balm in pretty much every color they make. About five bucks at the drugstore, sheer color, non-sticky, easy-peasy.

ORGANIZATION: I’m likely one of the last devotees of the daily paper planner, but I live and die by my Year Task Planner by Appointed. I love that it has both monthly and weekly calendars and breaks down my weekly to-dos the way any therapist would— up top a small space for the week’s top four priorities, followed by a larger section to add smaller, more low-level tasks.

HOT STUFF: Thanks to my Stanley thermos, I have never had a cup (okay, flask) of coffee that wasn’t piping hot. It’s not the prettiest cup in my collection, but it’s by far the most used, and most useful. I drink some at home, and whatever I don’t finish packs up tight and comes with me to work.

CLOSET

JEWELRY: a gold medallion necklace with a bald eagle on one side and an old fishing captain on the other; i got it for $2 at a flea market and love it sooooo

CARRYING: my new backpack by State—holds my laptop, two books, gym clothes and shoes in the main body and also has several zipped compartments with an expandable side pouch for a full water bottle. It’s going to come so in handy for summer travel as it fits a ton!

SHOES: I just bought my first pair of Dansko clogs, and as an (almost) 42-year-old person with 82-year-old feet, I’m never looking back.
DAILY OUTFIT: Now that I’m self-employed I can set my own dress code and it looks like this—distressed or black jeans, white button down, aformentioned gold medallion necklace and clogs. A blazer if it’s chilly.

 

READING

THERAPY RELATED: When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough, Radical Acceptance, Attached

COOKBOOK: Dinner by Melissa Clarke, Jerusalem by Ottolenghi (my all-time fave)

FICTION: Where the Crawdads Sing—I thought it was a little slow to start, but I’m nearing the end and can’t put it down!

NON-FICTION: Educated by Tara Westover- a really compelling read by a really terrific writer!

 

WATCHING

SERIES: Game of Thrones! We started watching in January or February and caught up to the rest of the planet just before the season starter. I now see what all the fuss was about.

FOR LAUGHS: Jane the Virgin! I’m always so shocked that no one else I know watches this show. It is so much fun and the casting is perfect!

MOVIES: I’ve noticed that I’ll watch anything with Diane Keaton in it many, many times.

LISTENING

MORNING: I flop between two Pandora stations, “French Cafe radio” and “Spanish Guitar”. I like my mornings internationally instrumental.

NOON: To get pumped up for the day: I listen to bands like Chairlift, The National and Radiohead. I also find most anything by Dua Lipa incredibly catchy.

NIGHT: To wind down in the evening, I listen to a an old CD converted onto an old Ipod called “Night Tracks”. It’s basically like going to sleep to movie background music.

FOOD + DRINK


FRIDGE STAPLES: giant box of baby spinach, half & half for coffee, Canadian maple syrup, mountains of broccoli, if it’s not $11— bacon
GO-TO WEEKLY DINNER: chicken thighs slathered with garlic and olive oil (maybe some paprika and fresh thyme), cooked on the range and finished in the oven, mixed with whatever veggies I have on hand— loving broccoli and sliced potatoes, or thin asparagus and mixed mushrooms
CONDIMENT: Move over truffle salt—I love saffron salt! Good on everything!
SNACK: string cheese and a few smoked almonds; kills hunger pangs quickly!
DEATH ROW MEAL: really really good fried chicken, three spoonfuls of deadly mac and cheese

Okay, I’m done. What have you been into lately

 

There's a New Kid in Town

There's a New Kid in Town

Moving in to the bright light city, gonna set my stove on fire

Moving in to the bright light city, gonna set my stove on fire