Friday, December 26, 2014

We had a merry little Christmas

I could not wait for Christmas Eve this year. In the retail world, Christmas Eve is not a corporate holiday. At Toys"R"Us, special events with Santa, Geoffrey, and toys are created for families on Christmas Eve so that it really doesn't feel like a work day. And while all of that is absolutely wonderful (and really quite generous), I decided that we would forgo the work events this year. Greg had to work and heading in to TRU for this event without him would not be the same.
Instead, the boys and I made cookies and we decorated the mantle for Santa while we waited for Greg to get home. Greg got home pretty early, so we headed to church and then began our evening tradition of food, fun, and laughter. The boys frosted cookies and made up their plate for Santa. On Christmas morning, no one was disappointed! The boys loved their gifts! The theme this year was sports and primarily hockey and football. I especially adore the two ornaments that the boys made for us their after school program.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Gingerbread houses, fresh greens in our home, chalkboard paper gift wrapping, and school projects have been the name of the game this year. Between work and my family, I have just been so busy. The kids have so many fun things to look forward to in school with Christmas coming soon! Wednesday is Grinch day and everyone at school will be wearing green! On Thursday, I get to join Christopher in the school cafeteria for an hour and help him make a Gingerbread house with all of the 3rd graders. Finally, on Friday, the kids have their Holiday Concert, and I am most looking forward to that! They put on such a great performance and I cry the whole time because it's too sweet for words!! Joey has been faithfully practicing all of his songs! His little voice is so sweet. Next week is their school party where they will give out goodie bags to each other. I love this time of year and I hope everyone is enjoying the hustle and bustle of Christmastime too!

Wrapping paper and tags: Anthropologie

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Link Up: #ThroughTheLens

I was tagged in a post by my lovely niece Kristen over at Treats and Travels to join in on a #ThroughTheLens blogger link up for November. She and All That Glittered are hosting the linkup, and are celebrating photography (which I love and really miss talking about on a daily basis since leaving Kodak).
Here are a few of my November faves that I've pulled in from my Instagram. Enjoy them and happy December!

Serious views of the Freedom Tower from Hoboken, NJ

Eye-catching storefront, NYC taxi, Sun going down, my reflection in the window

The pie I made for Thanksgiving,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Inspiration

While Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away, I find I am more excited to decorate our home for Christmas. This is our second year in our current home, and I really enjoyed decorating for Christmas last year. I had lucked out and found some beautiful boxwood wreaths, paperwhites, and mini trees at Trader Joes. I decorated the entire house with them and it looked so lovely. I am hoping to score big again at Trader Joe's, and I'm hoping that they will have similar greens this year. If they don't, then Terrain is my back up plan (OK, Terrain might have to be plan A because, well--SO PRETTY!).
I've been collecting all sorts of inspiration on Pinterest and hope I can reproduce something like these images below with candles and greens.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's dark out...

...but what I love about this time of year is that you can have candles lit all around the house at 5pm and suddenly it doesn't feel so fact it feels pretty nice.
I love reusing my Bonne Maman jars with tea lights and placing them on my window sill. The jam is delicious, but let's face it the jars are the real prize!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


We've been taking every opportunity to soak in the gorgeous fall weather. Warm, sunny days and crisp cool evenings. I have been particularly enjoying my morning power walks through town while the colors have been changing. So many lovely sights that I keep interrupting my walk to stop and shoot pictures!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Old denim gets a new use

Getting ready for the school year in our house meant tackling the boy's closets, and weeding through all of the clothes that did not fit them anymore (I did the same in my own closet too). The obvious cycle for stuff is that Chris' clothing gets handed down to Joey. When clothing does not fit Joey anymore, they are donated if they're still in good condition. These two grow so fast, that most clothing remains in pretty good shape by the time Joey has outgrown the item. The exception to this rule is denim. Who knows why, but, they can't seem to hang on to a pair of jeans without blowing a huge hole in the knee. We've made a few pairs of cutoffs here and there, but the boys really prefer to wear gym shorts all day, and not denim. So - since they can't be recycled for the purpose of wearing again, and since they are in no condition to donate, I'm bringing them to J.Crew as part of the Blue Jeans Go Green program. This is a pretty cool use of old denim. Madewell is also part of the program, as are a few universities around the country. Bring your old jeans to the store, and they send them in to Blue Jeans Go Green to be used to make insulation for communities in need. As if that's not enough of a reason, you will also receive a coupon for money towards new jeans! Thank you Shelley of Calypso in the Country for inspiring my post today!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mom and Dad

Yesterday was Grandparent's Day, and I can't help but think about my own parents and how I wish they were here with us. My Dad died of ALS in the 1990's when very little was known about the illness, and many people had never even heard of it.  I recently lost my Mom to breast cancer, and she did not go down without quite a fight. My parents were the most wonderful people. They had a lovely, happy marriage and it reflected in their love for each one of their children. I can't even describe how much I miss them. My Dad had only met Greg once while we were dating, and had passed away before my wedding. And while he's never met my kids, I see resemblances of him in both Chris and Joey. Thankfully my Mom was here for the birth of both of my kids, and they remember her dearly. I see my mother's smile in Christopher. Her eyes were always so beautiful and sparkly, especially when she smiled. Christopher has the same exact smile!! I see my Dad's ability to understand complex concepts, and strong mechanical inclination in Joey.

These pictures are from scanned Kodachromes of my parents' honeymoon in Bermuda. These are very special photos to me. My Dad had this picture of my Mom on his dresser for as long as I can remember. And this photo of my Dad is just so classic! He was always known for his fashion sense and was dubbed "the best-dressed professor at UMass!" (he was especially known for having great shoes :) ).

Mom and Dad, I miss you more than words can say. Thank you for being my guardian angels. I will love you forever. xoxoxo.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Football Game for the boys

The boys have made a ton of new friends in the last (almost two!) years that we've been here, and many are football fanatics who attend lots of games. Living here is more like living in the Boston area, where professional sports are abundant, and being a fan is a major part of the local culture. Greg and I also love to attend sporting events, but have always hesitated due to the price of tickets. Here in the metro NYC area, even the "cheap seats" can run a family $400 or more.  When we saw that the Patriots were playing the Giants in pre-season, we began researching seats because we figured they would be less expensive. We used SeatGeek (site a lot like StubHub) and were able to score seats for less than half the price of normal seats on the secondary market (yes!) We bought the seats, and a parking pass (also less than going rate).
When game day arrived, we packed up sandwiches and drinks, and had a little tailgate fun in the parking lot. That was a lot of fun, and the kids were happy to see there were quite a few Patriots fans at Met Life Stadium!

What really impressed me was how much of the game Christopher watched and understood. It was so fun to see him get into the game and watch all of the plays! Joey had a blast too. I think they really loved dancing in between plays and during the TV breaks. They so badly wanted to get on the jumbotron! We are hoping to catch a Rangers game in the near future. Chris has already been eyeing the schedule, and I will be keeping my eye on SeatGeek for reduced price tix! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Great times in East Hampton

We made a quick trip out to East Hampton to see my brother, George this past weekend. It was great to see him,  and though our visit was short, it was a lot of fun. We managed to pack in a full day and a half of ocean, pool, shopping and eating. His garden was to die for!! He sent us home with a ton of fresh tomatoes, cukes, zukes, squash, eggplant, and green beans. I also cut a really pretty bouquet of flowers to take with us.
Next year, we will plan to stay a few extra days!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Customize your Instagram feed with Circles using INK 361

There are upwards of 200 million monthly users on Instagram, and 60 million uploads a day, according to the latest stats on the Instagram blog. It's safe to say that IG is rising to the top in terms of platform usage. The number of accounts we are all following are increasing every single day, and it's very easy to miss a post because it's almost impossible to keep up.
With all of this growth, and as I personally find new and inspiring accounts to follow each day, I have often wished for an easy way to sort my feed. As a Social Media professional, I'm always looking for new tools to help streamline content. There are time that I just want to see what my close friends are posting. And other times, I want to be inspired by the incredible art that many of the photographers who I follow post.
I was thrilled to read about the new Circles feature on INK361! It allows you to sort the users you follow and see the content you want to see at any given moment. Similar to Circles on G+,  it is easy to use and create categories. I find this feature pretty intuitive and less cumbersome than creating lists on Twitter. Your circles are private, and other users will not know whether you've added or removed them from a circle.
All you need to do is log into your INK361 account, and then you can create Circles right in your feed by clicking on the blue circle icon, or, you can add to and create Circles on each image. You can go as micro as you want with categories - how you organize is all up to you! Pretty simple!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birthday Gift for a Mason Jar Lover

My colleague Dan is full of energy and positive spirit, and I am happy he has joined me on the social team at work. He is also a huge lover of Mason jars of all kinds. He brings his water in an Atlas glass with a Cuppow fitting and he brings his am juice in a small jar every morning. Since he loves jars so much, I thought I'd make him a personalized one for his birthday. Like my Easter project, I used a small Kerr jar and my Martha Stewart Glass Etching Kit. I was disappointed with how faint the etchings were for my last project, so I consulted my good friend Jenny, and she gave me some council for getting better results! This time, per her direction, I really slopped on the goop, and let it sit longer than the instructions said to. I also created a hand-made tag with "hbd" stamped on it. Hope he likes it! :-)

I played around with my rubber stamps until I got a design I liked
I ended up with "hbd" flanked by two smiley faces.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beach Day!

A common theme that plays over and over again in our lives since we've moved to New Jersey is proximity. We live in a suburb of NYC that is, for the most part, pretty suburban but nothing like the town we moved from. The train to Penn Station is walking distance from our house, but driving into Manhattan is pretty easy too (and sometimes faster depending on time, day, etc). We have the mountains. Prior to moving here, we had not realized that this part of NJ was right in the Catskills. This lends to lots of State forests, lakes, and loads of areas to hike, ski, bike, and picnic. And, we have the ocean. The entire eastern edge of NJ is water. The furthest south we've been is Point Pleasant, which is about an hour and a half away. Perfect for a day trip! This weekend we decided to take advantage of the perfect beach day on Saturday and head down. We discovered that Joey loves roller coasters and fast rides. We ate beach food all day. We stayed in our swimsuits until it was time to go home. On the way out, we had a chance to see the glorious supermoon over the ocean. What a beautiful way to end a perfect day!


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