time to dish: a photo essay

Oh, how many times have I snapped a moment with the intention of posting it? I’ll flip through the imported photos and realize, oops. Kind of too late now, no? Like a tour of where we lived in Woodfield Country Club, or snapshots of the women of Boca, at a birthday party, dressed as if. There’s no point in finishing that sentence. Just “as if” will suffice. I am all for looking your best, feeling comfortable, fashion forward, on trend, etc. I also never mind much if I’m overdressed. BUT. There is a difference between overdressed and overkill. This birthday party wasn’t a Saturday night. Come Sunday afternoon, the six-inch-heels shouldn’t come with you.  In no particular order… none of these things go together…
Boca Moms

Above: Moms of Boca Raton, FL at a Sunday afternoon Bowling Birthday Party for a 5-year-old. Judging a glossy mag by it’s cover, these are not necessarily the types to make you a quilt.

B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Parents

Above: Parents on the day of Pre-K Graduation, B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL – Pretty sure this is a scene you’ll see at school performances everywhere… though there might be a few more skin tones in the mix.

Stephanie Klein being a Ham at a Brisket Place

Hamming it up at a Brisket Temple. Best place ever. Man, I love Austin. Lockhart, TX

Twisters Gymnastics

Above: Twisters Gymnastics, East Boca, FL: Included in their gold membership (which was the price of one class, plus an additional $20/month): Babysitting on both Friday and Sat nights 5:30pm until 10pm, EVERY WEEKEND, with pizza and ice cream included. Loved this place! So much better than a babysitter at the house.

State Fair, Florida

Above: State Fair in Florida

Prisma Pencil Drawing

Above: It’s kind of strange to draw a picture of your parents’ wedding day, when they’re now both happily remarried to other people. Not kind of, it is. But, it was the only photo I had framed within reach when I was sketching. I know, people will say that’s just an excuse, that really deep down we all want our parents together. Those people can go scratch cause it just ain’t true.

Homemade Shrimp Cantonese

Above: I make the best Shrimp Cantonese (Shrimp in Lobster Sauce) Ever. It’s true. I can’t do much else, but this I do with a vengeance. Recipe in the comments below.

Oil Painting by Stephanie Klein
Closeup of Abstract Painting by Stephanie Klein

Above: A painting I made for staging our home in Austin. I didn’t set out with anything in mind as I painted, but I saw a pattern and realized it was an abstract of Koi I was painting. So, to pair it with the living room space, I added an orange to the green bowl of apples to play up the orange of the painting. Meanwhile, we still own the house (yes, we’ve been paying a mortgage, etc. this whole time). We were in contract but realized we needed a whole new roof. A pretty penny later, the roof is finally finished, and now we’ll sell the sucker (I love this home).

Yiya with Luke and Abs

Above: My mama! Their Yiya. Lots of miss going on.

Miami, FL
Outfit Awe
J.Crew Miami

Celebrity Diner Jericho, NY

Above: Clean Beans

Celebrity Diner Jericho, NY

Hamlet East Jericho, NY

Above: Abigail putting down roots in our new New York community. Oh, how I’ve missed the Maple, Oak, Sycamore and Pine trees! It’s an odd detail to miss, not just the change of foliage but to miss the actual trees and landscape of New York has been a surprise to me, about me.

If you stopped to document your ordinary moments in a day and added them all up, mismatched and random, what would your life look like and would it be representative of how you want to be living, vs. how you’re actually living?



  1. O.k. girlie, no holding out; post the recipe for your Cantonese Shrimp!

  2. OMG the women in clunky wedges looks god awful tacky..plus the louis vuitton logo purses..those were popular what in the late 80s? Those women look dated and desperate! So sad. You look nothing like them, oy.

    And the painting is neat what supplies did you get to make this? Pre stretched canvas from a craft store? I want to try making my own now

    And the hanging post cards.. hahaha! Reminded me of the scene from the movie ‘Seven’ where Bradd Pitt and Morgan Freeman walk into a room and find a creepy guy in a room filled with hanging air fresheners EVERYWHERE! Random, i know

  3. Thank you for posting your pics. I got a laugh out of the Boca bday party picture. I live in Northern Westchester, but having grown up on Long Island we occasionally go to kids parties out there. Dressing exactly as I do for a kids party in Westchester (jeans, sweater, long sleeved cotton T, flats, flat boots or all-stars for instance), I look like a I just came from eating at the soup kitchen at the L.I. kids party. The interesting part is, the parents in Westchester are usually a far wealthier group. L

    On a side note, if you are ever in Rockville Center you must eat at Press 95. They serve pressed sandwiches that are heavenly. They started out in Park Slope and when I was living there you couldn’t get in the place it was so crowded- much easier on L.I.

    Welcome back to the hood ;)

  4. Ahhh NY trees. Love them so much. Your post reminds me a little of the Friday Photo Dump Kellie Hampton does on her blog Enjoying the Small Things.

  5. I’ve been a sporadic reader of your site for a few years and I can’t believe how big your kids are now! How handsome is your little guy?!

  6. Just wondering if you’ve ever thought of how you would feel if you came across someone’s website and they had a picture of you and were talking about how tacky-overdressed-etc. you were. It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another to post actual pictures.

    1. Author

      I’ve been called a lot worse than tacky. What someone else thinks of me is their business, not mine. These photos were of strangers in a public place. I do not know any of these people.

  7. Is it any wonder you had no friends in Boca? Oh, I know, they were tacky and you are hip. So how come you posted photos of them(w/o permission) to mock them? Guess it makes you feel superior. Good luck making friends in ny.

    1. Author

      I don’t know any of the people in those photos. There were plenty of birthday parties going on at Strikes, though they all looked alike.

    2. I agree it’s wrong. Not knowing these people doesn’t justify posting their pics to mock them I’m sure Stephanie sports her logo LV bags. Stephanie is psuedo hip. She’s a tacky jap who wants to show off her labels.

  8. I know you’ve been feeling blue lately, and I’m not always the biggest fan of yours, but I’m asking this question sincerely, so I hope you answer. Have you thought about rejoining the work force? At least part-time since your children will be in school full time very soon? I know you’re a writer, you’ve published two books and no one can take that from you. It’s a lot more than most people who long to be writers will ever do. And I’m truly not making a comment on your ability to write in the future. If there’s another book in you I’m sure you’ll write. I have no question about that. Even if it’s out of pure stubborness. But barring the economy and all that which could make rejoining the workforce difficult, have you even thought about trying it? Getting around some new people, getting some new challenges, bringing in at least a little money to help out or for your own personal spending (you’ve mentioned feeling like a financial burden quite recently) could do some good for you.

    Many women rejoin the work force after their children start school, and many successful and prolific writers have other jobs besides writing books. If you like staying home and the flexibility that provides you, that’s no problem. But you seem to be kind of puttering around. Once your family is settled from the move, and the kids start school, what will you be doing all day?

    Please don’t say shopping and going to lunch.

    Also, I’m on my tablet, so if the formatting/spelling is off, I apologize. Sometimes this stuff ends up just being a wall of text.

    1. Author

      No offense at all. I loved work! Loved working in advertising, never wanted to leave. I’d also love to work at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. However… I am actively working on my next book! Yay! I still workshop my stuff with my group in Florida, but I’m looking for a weekly writing workshop here in New York. If I can’t find one, I’ll start/teach one. It’s my most favorite thing, and I look forward to workshop waaay more than I ever look forward to shopping, unless it’s for makeup.

    1. Author

      I haven’t written the proposal yet, smarty. You say it as if I’ve been looking, as if I’ve been actively trying to sell something. There’s nothing to sell until I have something to actually show along with a proposal. The book deals will be there when there’s something there to sell… at which point you’ll comment on the amount of the deal. A big number, you’ll say, “You’ll only disappoint the imprint.” A small number you’ll say, “exactly.” Now that that’s behind you, Anon, can you move on?

      1. Actually, I’d say “you got another book deal? Color me shocked.”

        (I was trying to leave you alone since you are depressed anyway, but the Boca photo was too much. You can mock others freely. Mock how they look no less. But one can’t comment on your lifeless literary career? Moving on now.

        1. Anon, Move along and go find something better to do than stalk someone you don’t like! Shouldn’t you be in the Hamtons on a nice sunny day. I think you really need to take a good look at your mean spirited self.


      2. I am always impressed with how you respond to these kinds of comments. Backbone, humor, grace. Cool.

    2. Anon why do you visit Stephanie’s blog if you have such an apparent dislike for her and everything she does? Curious. Have you really got NOTHING better to do?

      Great shots Stephanie, I enjoyed seeing slices of life.

  9. My gosh, this blog certainly attracts some miserable people. Hey ‘Anon’, your posts reek of jealousy. Excuse me while I open the windows….

    1. Never understood why you blind followers say haters are jealous? Of what???
      Just have a different pov than Stephanie…..how exactly does pointing out her constant need for validation make me jealous?

      1. Great I idea to post all the random photos from the phone, I love the picture of you in front of the BBQ, who took that awesome picture:)

        Anon, do you know stephanie? My guess is NO. If you actually knew her you would be ashamed for being so mean to such a kind person. Find me one person that is not looking for some kind of validation in this world. Do you feel validated?

      2. Not necessarily jealous but a sad little person with nothing better to do than critique someones life. Can we come to your blog/house and shit on your carpet? Repeatedly?

        1. Actually kind of sorry I commented on your posts ANON. Probably the only social interaction you have had all week. Shouldn’t feed the trolls.

      3. I agree with you Anon. The sheep accuse you of jealousy while you are just stating your opinion. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

    2. I would say that Stephanie’s grossly judgmental tendencies are far more miserable than someone calling her out for it. Stephanie, for someone who wears 15 makeup products applied with 19 brushes a regular basis, you have a lot of nerve calling out a high wedge on a Sunday afternoon.

      It’s more than a bit amusing to read people tear Anon a new one for having “nothing better to do that critiquing someone’s life” on a post where STEPHANIE SHOWS THAT SHE TAKES MULTIPLE PICTURES OF PEOPLE SHE PLANS TO MAKE FUN OF on her blog.

      Also, why does “I don’t know those people” make it any better? Ridiculing strangers is okay? Excellent rules for human interaction. Good luck to your kids. In fact, if you DID know them it might be better. Then at lesat you might know for a fact that someone is shallow or vain, or “trying too hard” as opposed to judging the entire female population of an entire town. Judging people for their sameness is no better than judging people for what makes them different.

      There are a couple of sure things in the comments section of this blog. 1) 3 Teen’s Mom will rush in with a barely tangential hi-jack of a story and heavy “words of wisdom” that have little to do with the actual post.
      2) Anon will say what a lot of other people are thinking.
      3) Ardent fans of Stephanie’s blog will call Anon jealous.

      Is Stephanie jealous of the women she’s ripping into up top? No? Then maybe we can agree that just because you criticize someone doesn’t mean you’re jealous. Finally, I think the word you’re looking for here is “envious”, people.

      1. Well said Laura. I know that others agree with me, but never seem to speak up. So, thanks!

        1. I always agree with your posts but I don’t read this blog very often and I’m not afraid of Stephanie’s sheep and do speak up when I see your comments.

  10. Wow, Anon sure is a nasty little thing…Stephanie, I think it’s hilarious the way you deal with (Him?/Her?)…you never get angry…you just deal calmly and with ease. I think it bothers them that you handle them the way you do, so they continue to come back hoping to throw you off…Not gonna happen, Anon! Fashion advice question…I really want the Neverfull MM – Are they tacky now, the LV logo bags?


    1. Ok, she gets angry..she posts the ‘restrained’ response on here everything is image when you habe a blog/write, so not criticizing here. But when ordinary comments go missing that are not nearly as snarky/critical as ‘anon’s’ and then anon has not one but several mean spirited comments posted, and SK responds to it (and does not respond to many seemingly genuine queries) it looks suspect and like another way to contrive an “I am so patient and above it all

      1. Author

        Not sure what you mean about ordinary comments gone missing. Sometimes I find harmless comments in the spam folder, so that might be it. I rarely delete comments anymore. I do it, to be clear, but rarely.

  11. Seriously, if I send you a picture of my wedding day will you sketch it? That sketch of your parent’s wedding is fabulous. Or I could send you a picture of my little boy. You are very talented!

      1. I am totally serious! I love the sketch of your parents. And I would never call you Shirley.

  12. I love the sketch of your parents on their wedding day. Really lovely. One of my favorite photos is a black and white I have of my parents on their wedding day in 1958 cutting the cake. Such happiness. They divorced after 37 years of marriage and I still love the photo. I wish I had the talent to do a sketch like yours.

    I like the photo essay. The mismatched pj picture is wonderful.

    I really love the one of Abigail “putting down roots” there is something about the big, old trees of New York. I miss that too. The colors of fall. Here we get the yellow aspen trees which are beautiful but not the same as an East Coast fall.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. hi just wondering, do you ever travel, i mean out the US??? If you have which are the countries you have visited?? traveling broadens your horizon/……..

    1. Author

      Yes, I have traveled, but I’d never consider myself well-traveled. I haven’t done it in far too long. It’s interesting when people make comments like, “You talk about wanting to do it, so do it already,” as if I hadn’t thought of it. Phil simply hasn’t had the ability to get away, given work and changes, and juggling home addresses–that and the family budget hasn’t been able to allow for it. I am still desperate to go to Burma. It’s where I want to go most. Where have I been: Italy, seven times from Venice to Cinque Terra to Bologna, Tuscany: several villages and towns therein, Florence, Rome, Amalfi coast: all of it, Capri. Madrid, Barcelona, Milan. France: Paris, Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Monoco, Montpellier, Aries, Aix, Juan Les Pins, Antibes. The United Kingdom, London and some day trips outside. I am Greek and have never been to Greece. A redhead, and I’ve never been to Ireland. Africa will happen one day. But first Asia. Then some random places like the US and British Virgin Islands: Virgin Gorda, Tortola, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Guana Island. The Dominican Republic. The Bahamas. Turks & Caicos, etc.

  14. I saw a lady dressed like that in denver at a costco….on a Sunday…go figure. They are everywhere

  15. Stephanie! I just had an epiphany. I was reading Risky Business that you posted many years ago (love reading those), and I think Anon is actually Michael James. They have the exact same snarky, defensive, mean, belittling, pointless attack language. Anyway – just had to share the thought. Fabulous photos of your darlings – my, oh, my – they’re so grown up and beautiful.

  16. Author

    Recipe for Shrimp in Lobster Sauce

    1 lb. medium-size shrimp, shelled and deveined
    1/4 lb. ground pork
    2 eggs

    3 scallions, cut into 1.5″ lengths, including green tops
    2 slices fresh ginger, shredded
    1 clove garlic, minced

    1 tsp. sugar (optional)
    2 tsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot)
    1 tsp. salted cured soybeans, washed and crushed (they come vacuum-sealed, look like cooked beans)
    1/4 Cup frozen peas, defrosted
    1 Tb. dark soy sauce
    1/2 Cup stock or water

    2 Tbl. cooking oil of choice
    2 Tbl. sherry

    Crack eggs into a small bowl and break the yolks, but don’t beat well.
    Mix together all ingredients in GROUP THREE, set aside.
    Have all other ingredients cut and ready to go.
    Heat a wok or pan hot and dry. Next, put in the oil, then ginger and garlic to brown.
    Next, add the pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
    Next, add the scallions.
    Then, add the shrimp. Let cook for 1 minute, then pour the sherry over and cover immediately.
    Cook covered for 1 minute.
    Lift cover and stir in the sauce mixture from GROUP THREE.
    Cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Then pour the eggs evenly over the shrimp (do not stir).
    Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to get slightly firm (~2 min).
    Scoop into a large serving dish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.