Thursday, September 27, 2012


Petra has been throwing a royal fit at drop off each morning. It does not matter who brings her to school, she even fights with the neighbor when she tries to get her out of her car seat. Crying, screaming, clenching her fists around the car seat straps she digs her heels in deep. Once she is left there, her tears shut off, she begins to play right away with friends and she has a great day. We all conferred (Josh, neighbor, teacher & myself) and decided some type of reward system needed to be instilled.

I took Petra to the bead store where she was able to choose 6 charms. She could earn the charms if she had good drop offs for 3 days in a row. So far, so good. One more day to go to the horse charm.

This feels very familiar. I'm sure we've all tried these reward charts. Beckett had one next to the toilet to earn Match Box cars and Scout has a bowl of treats for each time she pees & poos outside. This time, I kept it simple, no Excel spreadsheet with rows and rows of dates to check. I'm realizing my kids work better in small increments of time and so do I.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Credenza Project

We finally found a credenza. It was a good size, style and price. I wasn't sure about so many drawers, but it could work. The biggest appeal was that is was to be hung from the wall. I loved the idea of it hovering over the floor. Installation day: we realized we would need to find many studs to attach it to. It weighs a ton. Problem was, we were installing it on a wall that  housed a pocket door- we found no studs. I jumped online & quickly found mid-century style legs, available in many lengths. They even installed the machine screws & and sold me the hardware needed for bottom of credenza- total cost of $68. See staining process below:

I set each leg upside-down on hunks of Play-Doh.

The stain was color and varnish all-in-one. I needed 2 coats.

Machine screws were already inserted.

Hardware installed & waiting for legs.

All set.

Friday, September 21, 2012

J.A., For Me? You Didn't!

Jonathan Adler came out with the sweetest collection of stickers and labels. Just for me I assume. I snatched the book up today for a mere $10.50. It made my day.

Many of you are aware of my love of anything Jonathan Adler. I wish I could decorate my entire world with his wares. Surpassing my love for anything J.A., is my deep, long relationship with stickers. We go way back. The major sticker heist of second grade defined my unhealthy urge to possess mass amount of them. Confession: I emptied my teacher's entire filing cabinet of carefully filed-by-occasion stickers into my Stayin' Alive back back. I was caught red handed, returned them to Ms. Thompson, head held very low. 

That incident increased my desire for anything sticker related: gift tags, label makers, wall decals. My parents could not afford to buy nonsense like stickers, so I set out to acquire them with any money I earned from babysitting. At the height of the craze, I was in 5th grade. My collection grew, but was never up to speed with the gals I like to call "The Gottesman Group". They know who they are. They would lug around overstuffed photo albums filled with sheets of stickers to trade at recess. Puffies, goggly eyes, Smurfs, metallic rainbows, scratch-n-sniff, Hello Kitty, all very desirable and expensive. You remember:

I would do just fine with my little clique who had similar sticker books of Halmark brand Thanksgiving turkeys, Easter bunnies, and incentive stickers peeled from homework "Great Job! Excellent!" I even collected the free stickers sent in the mail from The Wildlife Fund. They were cute. Can't forget the 2 bumper stickers that never got traded: "I heart NY" and "Keep on Truckin" I kept those towards the back of the book. I think my Grandma gave them to me thinking they were amazing jumbo stickers. Very sweet of her. 

Oh well, nothing makes me happier than finding something affordable, stylish and memory evoking. Thank you very much, J.A. these far surpass any sticker I could buy back in 5th grade and they are not for trade. I only wish they were scratch-n-sniff.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Duh. Dinners Saved!

Fun platter from my dear friend, Denise. I use it every night:

I am keeping the promise I made to myself this new school year to cook only one dinner each night. I had been catering to the kids schedule & palette by cooking them an earlier dinner then cooking Josh & I a second dinner later. Twice the time & mess. What was I thinking? With the idea of one main dish on the table each night, I knew there would be some unhappy taste buds as new flavors are forced upon the kids. I imagined my chili, beef stew, and enchiladas sitting cold on their plates as the night wore on. This is a no brainer tactic and I'm sure we all try to put a mix of veggies & fruit in our kids diet, but this platter has saved my dinner drama. Along with whatever main dish I am serving I fill this platter with an assortment of fruits, yogurt, and cut veggies. If the kids are not fully consuming the main dish, (they must at least try several bites) they are then reaching for the platter. I do not jump up and throw some pasta on the stove or nuke some nuggets- although it is tempting. They fill their bellies on this stuff rather than go to bed asking for crackers in bed- which I have been known to sneak in. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Little Trends

 I guess these elastic hair bands are the new rage. They're being worn as much as bracelets as in your ponytail. I'm sure they're out and over with already in the Big City, but the girls in New Canaan have yet to catch on...but it's only a matter of days. It reminds me of the day before Crazy Bandz made it out here. They get up to speed on little trends like this and given all the long locks that flow from these girls, these hair bands will be stocked in all the cute shops downtown like tomorrow. I'm trying to be one step ahead and get some of mine in stores before the Fed Ex truck makes it out here. Not sure if I have the energy to knock on doors peddling my wares. I feel so pathetic. But they are really sweet & my packaging will make them sweeter. So keep an eye out in the mail for your little package of hairbands. I'm making them by the dozen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Learning 'Fancy'

The three sisters: Aunt Helen, Grandma, & Aunt Anne
Lathered in Ban de Soleil Orange Gelee. 

Theresa &amp: I 
Sitting 'cheesecake' bejeweled for cocktail hour. Grandpa is peeking over at us on far left.

A summer project checked off the list just in time: My newly organized jewelry drawer with stacked trays. Many pieces I inherited from Aunt Helen and my favorite charm bracelet is from Aunt Anne.

Aunt Anne & Aunt Helen were my Grandmother's unwed sisters from Queens.  Their visits to my Grandmother's house, which was next doors to ours, filled my childhood with ideas of what was fancy. Michelle just reminded me that Aunt Anne & Aunt Helen used to travel from NYC up to Lake Sunnyside in the woods with all of their costume jewelry in tow. A few pieces were the real deal- (such as the shamrock charm bracelet in the far right of photo). As they unpacked their suitcases, perfumes filled the air. They would wrap each piece of jewelry in tissue paper or in the original Lord & Taylor boxes closed with rubber bands. My Grandmother would leave the top drawer in their guest room empty. Upon their arrival, the three of us little girls would plop on the bed in our wet bathing suits as they unpacked their stylish boxes.

We were in awe. They would take out each necklace, matching clip-ons and lay them neatly in the drawer. They had no children of their own, so playing with us and sharing all of these fancy things was a highlight of their trip. They would throw us each a set of pop-beads and we would alter them to different lengths and small bracelets. We would try on the dangly clip-on earrings but would take them off since they were quite painful. They would then hang all of their outfits in the spacious empty closet, calling them foreign names like "blouses" and "slacks" and "tunics". This would take hours. They would linger in the bedroom with us laughing, talking and being silly until cocktails were served before dinner.

We would then walk the catwalk out into the living room. Someone would announce us as we entered the living room. We were dressed to hills with gobs of their jewelry hanging from our limbs. The three of us little girls looked silly, but they looked classy. They had teased their hair with a spritz of spray, put on fresh lipstick, matching jewels and a splash of Chanel No. 5. All this just to hang in "the woods" with their dear "country-bumpkin" family for a week or two.