Repurposing the Skirt

I give full credit to my cleaning lady for inspiration on this one. One of my many Black Friday purchases this year was a snood (nope, not the head covering,  the “eternity scarf”).

I was totally dancing for this picture. 

Well, a few weeks back I found my snood in the closet on a skirt hanger….
Totally blends in, right?

So I started thinking, any straight skirt can be a snood. Have any skirts that don’t fit? Snood! Bored of your scarf collection? Turn your skirt into a snood! I know I sound like an ad, I think I’m just a little excited.

Skirt

Snood!

Up next: Repurposing your shoes that no longer fit since your feet went up nearly a whole size…..

Pier 51

I will not talk about the weather.

I will not talk about the weather.
I will not talk about the weather.
I will not talk about the weather.

But……. It’s been cold out there. I’m trying to think warm thoughts so today I’m going to talk about my favorite playground (so far) in the City. Last May I was checking out the new Coffee Bean on the corner of 14th Street and 9th Avenue and afterward I felt like trying something new. I googled “playgrounds in the meatpacking district” and Hudson River Park Pier 51 popped up so off we went.

It took some walking around but it’s a pretty cool neighborhood to get lost in. The streets are cobblestoned and can get a little confusing — I was literally standing on the corner of 4th Street and 10th Street. How does that happen? My goal is to figure out that neighborhood by the time summer rolls around. I think I can do it.

So the park is on the water at 12th Street. If you don’t feel like exploring just go west on 14th Street and walk south along the water. You would think 14th and 12th Streets are 2 blocks away but they are NOT. (Ok, I’ll stop.) This park has a great water feature that turns on around Memorial Day and a little stream of water runs through the park — perfect for parents who want to get their toes wet. There’s also a sandbox, two sets of equipment — one for big kids and one for the littles — and plenty of benches if you feel like, well, sitting.

There’s also a giant spiral structure in the center but if you don’t trust your kid I recommend running up there with them — there’s a pole that will take you down to the bottom.

There are some sick views of the Hudson and it feels like you’re on a ship complete with a telescope so you can check out Lady Liberty! 
These girls loved getting their hair wet in the stream.
I bet no one peed in that water.
What makes this playground awesome? 
-The playground is surrounded by water and I feel like I’m on vacation.
-There are bathrooms on the premises. Like actual toilets, not just bushes.
-There’s a small grassy picnic area. There’s also an ice cream truck on the premises!
-Make a day out of it and walk along the Hudson, there are plenty of piers to be seen!
Here’s to counting down the days ’til ice cream is a necessary part of the day!



Snow Days

Snow much in New York this winter? Yeah, I know this topic has been talked about over and over and over and over again but come on, it keeps snowing over and over and over and over again. I’m not a hater. This IS winter. It’s not like it’s snowing in May (yet. who knows what spring will bring). At first the snow looks really pretty and can be fun to play in. Then it’s just gross. And your feet are wet and cold. And there’s week-old dog poo underneath all the snow. Whatever.

I have a love-hate relationship with snow days. They’re fun for maybe a day or so but 6 snow days later I’m starting to get over it. Thing is, I’m used to getting on the subway and doing something but the snow is really starting to cramp my style. It’s been fun/challenging trying to come up with snow day activities but the truth is, some of them have been so fun I’m secretly hoping for one more snow day.

1) We kicked off with a half day back in December. That was easy. A bunch of Annie’s little friends just came over straight from school.


That lasted for a minute


   But while that was happening…… 


This happened.
                                    


2) That weekend it snowed again. 

This was a Sunday after. No school was missed.

That may have actually been the first time we dressed everyone up and went to the park to play in the snow. I’d be lying if I said no one was freezing and cranky. There may have also been tears. From all of us.


Storm #3 started off with 10 minutes of Dot Art. I know it’s not a big deal since they do it all the time. It’s like me saying “and I kicked off my morning off by perusing the sale section at jcrew.com” — I do it every day (what? you don’t?). But this particular morning they were  playing together really nicely and SHARED 1 piece of paper. I think that’s noteworthy.


                                      


Did I ever mention that we have a backyard? We’re practically suburbanites. Practically.


Annie had a good time. Judah? Meh.


4) Then there was the storm over winter break. I didn’t have the heart to post pictures while we were enjoying such gorgeous weather. Although a small part of me enjoyed our vacation a tiny bit more knowing how cold and snowy it was back home. I know, that’s a nasty thing to say but what if we went away the one week in January that there was a warm front?

When I asked her what she liked most about our trip she said “sitting in the hot tub”. That’s my girl!



Don’t worry, there was still plenty of snow waiting for us when we got back! 

                                     

5) This snow day was interesting because Judah had school and Annie didn’t. It gave us the chance to do something that I probably wouldn’t do with Judah around. 
                                     


So we melted chocolate and dipped. This was Annie’s batch. It tasted better than it looked! After we picked Judah up from school we took a walk up the block for a play date. It was probably my first time ever taking everyone out without a stroller but I didn’t want to deal with the snow mountains. 

            



It was a loooong walk but totally worth it.

And of course….

Mommy snacks!


6) Believe it or not but 2 days later there was ANOTHER snow day. This time we were lucky to get invited to an impromptu birthday party in the building. There was cake (mmmmm chocolate cake), arts and crafts, pizza, espressos and just as we thought we were overstaying our welcome…dinner was served as well!

                         

AND the cleaning lady had come that morning? Oops. We owe them one.

7-8) And lastly, there was the storm that brought us into a 5-day weekend.

                                


I left a garbage pail on my balcony (read: fire escape) collecting fresh snow to bring inside. It’s been out there for a while and there may or may not have been a small bird poo accumulation as well. We mixed it with colored water to make some artwork and then put salt on top as a science experiment. I should totally homeschool. 

                     

Needless to say, they were done pretty quickly.

So. Will we make it to 10??? Let’s wait and see! Oy.

4

On the one hand I don’t want to over-blog EVERYTHING but on the other hand I can talk about whatever I want and I feel like talking about Annie’s birthday….again.  The craziest part about having a  4-year-old so far is the fact that I can still  remember when I was 4 which means that I really have to start being careful what I do/say because it will stick with her for LIFE.

We started the celebrations a few days early. We were already on the West Side and we were hungry. Luckily I convinced everyone that Gotham Burger was the perfect place to go and I knew that Annie would love to try those fried Oreo’s(I lie, I wanted them). We had a delightful time with great friends and ended the meal with this special treat.

In case you were wondering, she did like them and so did Craig even though he might not admit it.

Tuesday was her actual birthday. It started off with what has become a tradition in our house; throw balloons at the birthday girl/boy while they’re still in bed in the morning.

 

Tomorrow is Craig’s birthday and Annie wants to blow up 34 balloons. Good luck with that. 

We’ve never really made any of our kids birthday parties before. We wanted to set the bar low, winter birthday = hosting a house party, and if I ever feel like I’m buying too many toys I remind myself that they didn’t have parties so it’s ok. Now that Annie is in school she finally gets to have her party. I somehow managed to talk Craig into playing his ukulele for her class. It was kind of awesome. The kids were really into it and Annie felt super special. I was actually having so much fun enjoying the little concert I didn’t get any pictures. Remember this shirt?

 

 

It says “I’m with the rockstar dad” and it couldn’t be more accurate – she IS with the rockstar dad. Btw, doesn’t she totally look like Lisi here?

 

That evening we took her to Mr Broadway for dinner. Just the 3 of us. Her favorite meal is salmon avocado sushi with NO wasabi and we even let her get a soda. The best part was that they have Dr. Brown’s Cel-ray soda* and man, I love that stuff. Ok, not the best part but it helped and it was actually a really great birthday dinner, a fabulous time was had by all!

 

She was feeling cream soda at the start of the meal but I let her try my cel-ray and I think she’s converted.

Our next stop was Toys R Us (actually we detoured to Coffee Bean because it was freeeeeezing) and let her pick out her birthday present. It took a few circles around the store but she finally picked out a hair/make-up/girly stuff kit and a Doc McStuffin’s Big Book of Boo-boo’s (as in a notepad and 2 crayons for $7).

And yes, a kiss was required to complete the transaction.

 

I think it may have been her best birthday yet and I really hope we do this more often! The best line of the evening was on the subway ride home when Annie announced (quite loudly), “You know what I love more than beautiful toys and ice cream? MONEY!” Ok, not sure where she got that from. We were hoping for: family, hugs, school, Hashem, lollipops, marshmallows, Pez, pretty much anything else. I guess it could have been worse.

 

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Love that kid.

 

*I’d bathe in that stuff too.

Mommaversary

  Happy Mommaversary, to me! And yeah, it happens to be Annie’s 4th birthday today too. Actually that’s a big deal. Happy Birthday Annie! I would share Annie’s birth story but it kind of bores me when I compare it to Lisi’s. All I remember is dashing out for a mani pedi when I felt my first contraction. Making Craig buy me a V8 and then not being able to drink it since it wasn’t clear. Nearly 3 hours of pushing. An episiotomy. Shivvvvver. And once she was out my life was never the same. Happy Birthday Kiddo!


                         

                

Museum Fail

No, my days don’t always go as planned. Sometimes they’re even better and sometimes I narrowly miss getting frostbite. Tuesday morning I ventured out at 9:45 with the intentions of going to the wee-arts class at the Children’s Museum of the Arts. The program starts at 10:45 and runs until about 12:30. I obviously stopped at Coffee Bean on the way (I thought my day was off to a good start when they actually had my chocolate cheese muffin!) and arrived at 10:47 to find out that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. Right. I actually did know that.

My next stop was the Fire Museum. Did I mention it was the day after a snowstorm and quite chilly out? Judah doesn’t really care about fire trucks but it sounded cute enough. Well apparently the Fire Museum isn’t very hands on. It’s more of a 911 memorial museum. There was a fire truck but it wasn’t for climbing on. They did give us a coloring book but no crayons. I was thankful that we got to warm up for a few minutes but that was kind of a flop.
I made a bunch of phone calls but there really isn’t anything in the area so I just walked up West Broadway. I passed by the Anthropologie where I used to work. I’m always hesitant to go in because there’s a small flight of steps but I was a little desperate for some warmth and I always loved the smell of the store. Am I going to let a small flight of steps get in the way of shopping and good scents? No! So up I went. I bumped up the stroller and I felt like a superhero. When I was welcomed in the store the greeter goes  “Hi, welcome to Anthropologie! Just so you know, there’s an elevator right over here for when you leave”. Wait, whaaaaaat? “Ok, when did that happen? There should really be a sign!”.  I ran straight for the clearance rack and wow, what a sale! Good call stopping there and the store scent remained with me for the next couple of blocks!

At that point I realized that our plans were pretty much shot. We walked around Soho, went to visit a friend who was working undercover in a store (how cool is that?) and it was still only 12:30. The sun was shining, there was snow everywhere, let’s just go to the park. We went to Washington Square Park.

The nice part was that we had the park to ourselves but you know how all the snow stuck to the trees the day before? It was really quite beautiful but by Tuesday afternoon the snow was falling off all the trees and landing on us.

The dude didn’t seem to mind

Ok, it’s 12:50. I love walking around the West Village (one day I will post about how darn confusing that place is!) and I had to stop at a hat shop anyway so I just went for it. Every time I crossed the street I just had to stop and take a picture because it all looked so beautiful covered in snow!

It was finally starting to get a little late. I may have made one last stop at the Anthropologie in Chelsea Market (Did I mention how good the sale was? They were up to 3rd and 4th markdowns!) but that was our day. So no, we didn’t end up going to a museum and yeah, my hands were numb and my feet were a little wet from all that slush but we still got through the day with minimal tears (from me) so I call it a good day!

Growing Old

I try not to think about it but in less than half a year I’ll be turning 30. I know it’ll be fine but it’s still a big deal! Annie was born 3 days before Craig turned 30 so I think that took the edge off for him. I know I’m wise beyond my years but I won’t be in my 20’s anymore which is kind of crazy!

My knee has been hurting me for the last few weeks. I keep joking that I need some new knees. My elbow has also been hurting me the last week or so. Is it arthritis?  Maybe it’s because Judah insists that I carry him when we bring Annie to school? Or maybe because I thought it would be a good idea to return the wine fridge to Bed Bath last week (maybe not my best return…. I shlepped it on the train with a transfer and all to only get $54 back but it was used and 6 years old so wahoooo $54!) and now I’m feeling the repercussions? 
This past weekend a bunch of us celebrated a good friend’s last couple weeks of bachelorettehood (spellcheck tells me this is not a word, I say it is).  I’ve known the girl for like 25 years, talk about feeling old! There was pizza, there was drinking, there was dancing. DANCING? I’m pretty humble but wow, I’m a good dancer. I only discovered this hidden talent a little while ago but I wish I danced more — I’ll add it to my list of things to do in my 30s. We were talking to some people and I heard my friend lie about her age. Am I now old enough to lie about my age? I sat down for a little breather and saw these middle-aged women dancing, they looked really happy but is that what I look like when I dance? Were there 21 year olds thinking the same thing about me? Do I care? Don’t think so! We danced the night away and now 2 days later I’m still feeling it. 
At a Superbowl party last night I ate awesomely amazing sliders, lots and lots of slaw, pickles, olives, crudite, guacamole and chips, cookies and 3 (3!) cans of Pepsi. When I got home last night I had heartburn. Yikes, that totally sounded like a little parody of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Heartburn? Come on, I’ve eaten *way* more than that before! I think my body is trying to tell me that maybe I should be sticking to blander foods?
I cannot go back to my doctor with non-symptoms after the Laryngitis fiasco, I mean, what would I say? “Hey Doctor! My elbow and knee hurt, I can’t dance for a long period of time without sitting down and I get heartburn from eating a small meal” What would she say? “Oh Al, there’s nothing wrong, you’re just turning 30”. And that’s EXACTLY how the appointment will go down. I don’t need that kind of humiliation. No thank you. I asked Craig if he thinks I should just go to Urgent Care and he laughed, “Aw, this is it, this is what happens when you turn 30”. Really? You know when you’re pregnant and it’s fine, you feel good and then one day you wake up with sciatica (omg, I have that too!), the next day you have veins everywhere, soon you’re peeing in your underwear not only when you sneeze or laugh but also when you’re just sitting down doing online shopping? Then the baby comes out and it all goes away? Well I was kind of hoping that all these “ailments” were the same deal. It’ll all go away soon, right? Or is this just it? Will it keep getting worse and I have to learn to live with it?
Btw, one week left to enter the Freshly picked moccasin giveaway! Good luck!

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Hard Tag

Two nights in a row. Crazy, but this is actually a small cry for help! I bought this blazer with the intention of wearing it Saturday night.

                                  
A little glitzy but I’m really into it! Well I came home to find…..
                                 

I Googled “how to remove a hard tag at home”.
So in case anyone was wondering….
                         

No, a stupid rubber band will not do the trick. It will break. And you will be out a rubberband (or 3 in my case).
So I tried thinking like a salesperson. They have that magnet thing that they hit the tag against and it pops right off. 
                           
But no, Magnatiles will not do the trick. 
So I resorted to this:
   
                                    

Note: a hammer will only make it tighter.
So, here’s where we stand:
-A rubber band will not “loosen” it
-A Magnatile is not a strong enough magnet
-A hammer will not help
I texted my friend who is a security guard at the store where I bought it. He suggested burning the bottom. Hang on, I gotta run.

My Taste

 I love food.  I’m not a picky eater and there are very few foods that I don’t like. I’m not a foodie. On any given day I can sit down to a platter of Brie cheese, jam and herring, or at a playdate the mommies and I might enjoy some crackers, mayo (the kind in a tube that Swiss cousins bring every time, mmmmmmm), sardines and capers. I’m not a health nut but I happen to like healthy foods — I’ll add kale to my chocolate banana smoothie or some chia to my cottage cheese with grapes. I prefer white flour to whole wheat, skim milk isn’t my taste, I like diet soda better than regular and EVERYTHING is better with caramel sauce (not to be confused with syrup). I don’t like alcohol unless it’s in a reduction sauce or in my chulent. As far as fried foods go, I’m pretty vanilla. I don’t own a deep fryer, I usually just bake or grill everything. I think the only thing I fry are latkes (mmmmm, with sour cream, sugar and apple sauce).

 Last night we went to Gotham Burger for dinner. I was a little early so I had time to really study the menu. It had been about 10 hours (or at least what felt like 10 hours) since my last meal and I wanted everything.  I finally settled on a slider, a salad with chicken fingers and homemade onion rings – in beer batter! Not to mention lots of dips* on the side. My eyes wandered over to the desserts. I often avoid desserts at meat restaurants that don’t specialize in desserts but when I saw Fried Trios: coated deep-fried “oreo” dusted with powdered sugar my eyes bugged out of their sockets. It’s not something I’d normally be into. I’d heard of deep friend Oreos before but it kind of grossed me out. There was just something about the wording “dusted with powdered sugar” and I knew I had to try it. It could be bought as 4 or 12. Perfect! There were 4 of us!

Sadly for me no one else at the table was feeling it…. and I’m pretty sure Craig threw up in his mouth when I entertained him with the idea. We went on with our meal. Both food and company were great. There were 4 seemingly healthy girls at the table next us (4 salads at a burger place?) and then the dessert came out. Yup. They ordered the Fried Trios — the LARGE. Great, they’ll for sure give me one, they can’t possibly eat all those! I glanced away for a second and they were gone. Seriously???? You girls didn’t see me drooling? I called over our fabulous waiter for the evening, Brandon. “Look, I really want to try those Oreos but I can’t eat 4. Can I please have just one?”


^^^Isn’t that a beauty? Don’t you like the way the powdered sugar melted on that bad boy?

       

                                                           ^^^^Seriously. Wow. Just wow.

                                  ^^^^Fear not, I did lick off that remaining powdered sugar.

Thank you so much Brandon! I will definitely come back and order myself a portion next time!


I’d like to informally add their garlic mayo to the list of foods I’d bathe in.

Just a reminder that the Freshly Picked Moccasin raffle is still live! I’m still learning how to use this app — sorry if anyone is having trouble! You can now enter the raffle daily — be sure to check back, who knows, maybe there will be chances at extra entries! Good luck!

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Freebies

I mainly started blogging because I enjoy it. English has never really been my thing, I was never much of a reader and my grammar and spelling can use a lot of work. Ever have a teacher threaten that if you fail you’ll have to repeat in summer school? Yeah, that actually happened to me, 9th grade English. Meh.


Another reason I started was because I wanted free stuff. I often see blogs that go into detail of some fancy vacation and then in fine print it will say “all opinions expressed are my own however I did receive a free vacation”. Um, I would love a free vacation!  We recently went on vacation and I contacted the hotel before saying something like “Hey! I’m soooo excited for our upcoming trip. I recently starting blogging and would to do a review, please upgrade me”. They didn’t really care but we had a great time. There goes their positive review. 

There was also the time I decided we really need to buy a crib for Lisi since I want Judah in his crib until his Bar Mitzvah. I didn’t want just any crib, I wanted the $800 one. I know! I should contact the company! “Heeeeey! I would love to review your Alma Papa crib in white on my blog so can I have one please” and they actually entertained me with a response “can you send us a press kit”. Hmmmmm “no problem”. Ok. Google ‘press kit’. And 20 minutes later I sent them my press kit. Let’s just say Lisi is still sleeping in a mini crib. It’s ok, she’s small.

Then there was the time I saw these awesome moccasins by Freshly Picked. I fell in love with all the colors so let’s try this “I started blogging…any chance you guys can send me a pair to review? I have a 5 month old that would love them!” I was shocked when I got a response something like “sure, pick a color, want to run a giveaway?”. Holy cow. I started looking at my options. I couldn’t decide, one color more awesome than the next! I looked at the sizes. They go up to size 10? Annie and Judah can wear them too? “Hey! You guys make bigger sizes? They can be worn outside?” “Sure, let me know what sizes and colors everyone wants” WHHHAAAAATTTTT???? Keep it in your pants, Al. After agonizing for a few hours I finally had my colors picked out. 




They are even cooler in person. I admit that I was very skeptical about letting Annie and Judah wander around the city in these guys but I can’t believe how nicely they’ve held up — and these guys are hard on shoes. Judah has jumped in many puddles with them and they still look great!



^^^^Awesome, no? I’m sure she would have preferred something in the pink/purple family but I’ve really been pushing my luck on hand-me-downs for Judah lately.



^^^^^^I played it safe and got Judah the orange! 

I’m so happy that Freshly Picked agreed to this, they were so nice and pleasant and definitely helped boost morale and above all their product is AMAZING. Annie won’t take them off!


So, as promised, who wants a giveaway?


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Winner will be contacted on February 11, Annie’s 4th birthday! Good luck!