Monday, January 30, 2012


Giggle is in itself a fun word to think about - let alone when it's actually happening.  If laughter is the best medicine -  then it's just a matter of finding the right prescription.  Find out what gets your giggles going and laugh yourself silly.  Movies, books, children, friends, memories?  Notice what brings a smile to your face and stick with it.  More good news?  Giggles are contagious so keep an ear out for peals of laughter among your family and friends and jump right in.  Children laugh about 400 times a day while adults average about 15.  Let's give them a run for their money!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


There is nothing better than the season's first sled.  The gear, gloves, and looks of sheer delight are priceless.  But there's the other fun fact - after making the trek outside - a cozy day inside feels earned.  What to do?  Board games are a personal favorite, and although it never seems to happen enough, to me there is nothing better than playing a game with the kids.  And a post-tuck-in backgammon battle on this board would be icing on the cake.  Here are a few of our faves: 
For Pre-Readers: Zingo and I Spy
Super for Solo Play: Rush Hour Jr. and Rush Hour
Kids Can Play: Yahtzee Jr  and  Mastermind Jr. 
As a Family: Yahtzee  and Parcheesi
For the Grown Ups:  Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase
Your turn! 

Friday, January 20, 2012


What sounds at first like a groovy mantra, is really precious sentiment. Our greatest joys are never exactly the same as another's, nor are our deepest heartaches, but we all share in common the certainty we will feel both. Sometimes, it is the challenge of others we lament: family, friend, neighbor, stranger.  Sometimes it is our own (very) rough ride we must survive.   Wherever life finds us, when we can we must try to take the time to really enjoy the little things.  Late mornings and lost lunches can always take a backseat to squeezes, squeals and smiles.  XO

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Sometimes (just sometimes) an impulse purchase can lead to years of satisfaction...and such is the case with the Deadly Squire Tray.  The extra-large size and super-cool pattern are what caught my eye initially, but now its million-and-one uses are what I enjoy most.  Use it to carry dinner outside on those great summer nights - or as of late - to bring dinner from the kitchen to dine in the family room if the (Giants) are calling. Wherever you are heading - this tray will transport what you need in style.  And my most recent spot for it has turned it into a mommy "transformer" of sorts: use it as centerpiece on the kitchen table, then a serving spot for family-style meals, and finally load up post-dinner carnage on top and head straight to the sink. Check out the site to see some other cool products from this husband and wife design team on a mission.

Monday, January 16, 2012


My significant has always been a huge fan of music, and our daughter is following right along.  But seeing the physical reaction that music has on my littlest guy stops me in my tracks: eyes wide as saucers - head bopping - hands clapping - legs kicking - and his two-toothed grin wide as can be.  Music makes us all feel good, and although there are some parts of the pre-tech world I miss dearly (bookstores, camera shops, movie stores) music is an area where there is lots of fun to be had.  Get out the chargers and the docking stations, passwords and plugs, and take the time to dive deep into iTunes to build up your playlists.  For kids music the whole family can groove to have some Dan Zanes and Ziggy Marly on hand, but make sure to snag some time to surf for your own current favorites along with some oldies but goodies.  And just in case you're looking for a laugh? Here's a bit of humor and music colliding - love that Adele and thank you SNL!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Much like Dorothy, the thoughts of the early morning scramble for gear can frighten the best of us.  Hunting down a lost glove or rain boot while trying to catch the school bus is no way to start the day - believe me, I know!

So, in an attempt to foster a sense of autonomy for the kiddos, yet have there be at least a fighting chance they can find what they need - when they need it - we needed a plan.  Fast.

All the hooks in the world don't mean a thing if little ones can't reach.  Think - what would the kids do? - and organize accordingly.

For us that means a heavy duty basket inside a window bench to house the endless peels of layers upon homecoming (jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, raincoats, backpacks) with space left to the side for one pair of boots and one pair of school shoes each.

Miraculously, once contained, these items wait patiently to start all over in the morning.  It's too cold, too rainy, and just too darn early to not strive for smooth sailing.

PS: Don't forget one of these!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Those two small words pack a mighty punch.  I first heard of this "superpower" from my superhero-centric little guy.  Stuck in some traffic together, he proclaimed from the backseat that this seemed like the "perfect time to use some Patience Power".  I instantly cared much less about the the snarl around me and couldn't help but smile.  Since that day I have found myself harnessing some Patience Power now and again, and every time it does the trick - if even just a little.  Another nugget I learned?  Keep an ear out for some great wisdom out of the mouths of our babes.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Who knew the kitchen could be so fun? While the making, preparing, (and most often scrambling) for meals can feel relentless, these superbly fitting aprons can make the process a whole lot more fun.  A contemporary counterpart to their frilly predecessor, these A-line canvas aprons by birdkage are part utilitarian and wholly fashionista.  I was kindly gifted one a while back and loved it so much I had to head over to my sister-in-law Jane's amazing shop to pick up a few more.  Made of 100 percent canvas, with a double front pocket fitted with "sailcloth" grommets, the NYC-based designer Courtney Kivela sought "accessories that move seamlessly from the thick of the party to the heat of the kitchen and back again." Whether it's Monday night with the kids or Saturday night with friends she's got you covered in style.  Bon appetit!

Friday, January 6, 2012


A brief leaf through this stellar volume is a joyful trip down memory lane - titles and images from books long ago, some well-loved though long-forgotten.  It is perfectly curated and seamlessly organized. Described in the introduction as a "unique guide to some of the greatest and most imaginative journeys into fantasy, mystery, adventure, history, real life, and more", this collection will bring much joy and is certain to benefit family members of all ages.  Story time can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Even just typing the words above feels good.  2012. A fresh start for us all - our resolutions resolved with the highest of hopes.  A really gratifying concept to remember is that January 1 is not our only clean slate - we get one each and every morning.  A brief moment captured before the mad rush, a daily resolve and deep breath can work wonders.  Collect a few small favorites of inspirational reading by your bedside (like this gem by Melody Beattie ) and open at random to read an entry. Another favorite, Alexandra Stoddard's Grace Notes, is best read chronologically as she reflects on the seasons.  In less than a minute there's a new beginning each day.
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