A blogger seeking a richer life... in a wasteland called the suburbs... for my family, myself, and anyone who will listen!

Friday, December 31, 2010


This is my 216th and last blog post this year!... not enough I say... or is it quality not quantity?  My goal for 2011 is to take the blog to the next level.  What does that mean you say?  It means that way more people need to see the blog and I want to make money doing it too.  There that's a New Year's resolution in the making.
I did get a paying freelance writing job this year from an editor seeing the blog... that's pretty good right?... and I get to write a food column to boot.  I should be pretty happy about that right?
Yes I am... but hey things get in the way... life gets in the way... but I'm having FUN with life getting in the way!!!
My youngest child will be turning 13 this spring... boohoo... no more babies or kids... little men... or kinda big strong men since they hit the gym about 4 times a week now!

I'm not ready to let go of 2010 this morning... there's that beautiful scarf (I didn't photograph it either) I bought on our trip to San Francisco that I can't find and probably lost (not in the house) last week.
Looking back on some blog posts... I still love... Sriracha hot sauce, Lululemon workout clothing, watching the Oscars, Trader Joe's, cooking, taking my kids to NYC, Toasted Marshmallow Shakes, fish tacos, driveway tennis, shoe shopping and bag shopping... and shopping and writing about issues that are important to so many women and issues that are important to women with teen and tween kids!

Thank you to all those friends and readers of my blog.  I really appreciate your support this year...  even though I didn't go out with a bang and I took off some time these last few weeks I hope you'll continue to go through 2011 with me... I'm looking forward to a great new year.

Photos from December 31st last year...
My 12 year old and our dog

Fish tacos I made for a New Years party

Thanks again and Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Whimsy in the Kitchen

One of my favorite stores to visit with the kids when we're in NYC is Pylones (pronounced pee-lone), a colorful and innovative French import with everyday objects, but with a twist...

Inside the Lexington Avenue store

I bought this grater for my kitchen years ago and still love it...

The latest kitchen gadget is this pizza cutter which comes in 6 different patterns...

There are 5 different stores in NYC from uptown to downtown and if you can't visit you can shop online.

The kids are off for the Christmas vacation starting tomorrow... it'll be fun and relaxing I hope... wish me luck (I may need it)!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

A mirror can change a room completely with it's shape and reflection, it can really be transforming...
Try this Shell Mirror as seen in Food & Wine magazine's feature on this beautiful Florida kitchen and it comes from Pier 1...
I'll take the kitchen please!

This is an eye-catcher also...
Sunburst on sale for $79

Or this fun wall piece for a girl's or guest room...

I love shopping Pier 1... I usually find great buys on their glassware too.  I buy 3 or 4 glasses to mix and match for a dollar or two each like these pressed floral tumblers...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cool Cardigans

The other day my 14 year old asked me, "What's a cardigan mom?"... WOW!... it made me realize that I had been seeing them in the stores and online but dismissing them or blocking them out somehow as being in fashion again.  Aren't they for old men who smoke pipes?... NOT now anyway... they come in all shapes and styles as I discovered at Urban Outfitters website...

They range in price from about $38 to $78

Since then he has been asking me to buy him one, so if he is any barometer on what's hot and if you're looking for any last minute gifts for your boys (of course you are) then maybe this is it... winter is here and has certainly been here on the East Coast.

Happy first day of WINTER (6:48 EST)!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Car Shopping

SORRY about last weeks short week on the blog, but I won't go black on you, I promise, and everything is alright with me just soooo busy with a few big things.
One is that I'm in the thick of planning my son's Bar Mitzvah, my last but not least... and right about the same time (March) I have to decide on a new car with my lease coming due just about then too.
Frankly, I don't know which one is more work!  One is months of planning and will be over in a matter of 6 or so hours and the other is weeks of research and I have to live with my decision for 3 years.
You might think this is ridiculous even comparing these two unrelated things but they are converging and making me crazy at the same time.
I know a lot of women who have their husbands making this car decision for them but not in this household it's a joint decision, it's the car that I will be living in 95% of the time carting the kids to and fro.
I don't want to spend a lot on a car (it's not where we care to put too many eggs) but I'm thinking to go to a third row so I don't have to say 'no' to taking my 2 kids and all their friends places.
Anyway I tend to do a lot of research on things and usually I'm a very fast shopper (clothing, home decor, etc).  I know what I like, but a car is a big ticket item and there are a lot of players who present a lot of confusing information.
My latest is this... I have never bought an American car but suddenly some of them are looking quite good, especially Ford... with their technology and safety...

...so wish me luck and please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions you'd like to share... Thanks!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Cold Outside

My new (for me) favorite website for fashion, personal and home Styled On, lead me to these warm and stylish puffer (goose down) Moncler jackets at Jacket-Shop.com... these are $1,200 marked down to $319... WOW!

Love this purple

Saks is selling them at full price... oh, and they have mens and kids jackets too (some in hot colors).

BURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR... it's cold outside!

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Down and One to Go

TWO things are at the top of my list lately as far as purchases go... a special DRESS for a very special occasion and a CAR (my lease is up soon). I'm lucky I guess that I am able to think about that and not where my next meal is coming from or where I will sleep tonight!
Yesterday I went to lunch with two friends and we stopped into one of my favorite dress shops, Spotlight Italia, to look and to my delight I walked out with 'the dress', it was "bashert", which means destiny in Yiddish... It looks great on... the stretch fabric shapes to your body...

It has a 'blouson effect' with a tight fitting skirt and the top fabric is loose with a v-neck

The CAR, that's another story.... I've done so much research and test driven so many cars/SUV's that I'm in overdrive, it's overkill... go ahead, ask me a question about almost any vehicle and I've been there and have an opinion (of course) because that's what makes me a blogger... OPINIONS!
The only thing I think I know is that I want a seven passenger hauler for my kids, my dog, and their friends... and of course my husband.  The problem is that these things are real gas guzzlers and that bothers me.  If it wasn't for them I would drive some little thing, one of those funny looking abbreviated vehicles, that gets like 70 mph or so...

Thanks girlfriends for all your support, it was fun too!

Car suggestions anyone?!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I made latkes for my family last night.  If you've ever made them you know how much work they are and then I was carpooling the kids, so I got a break before frying them.  One of my kids said he wasn't hungry for dinner after all that too... wanted to kill him... sweetness and light that he is.... I controlled myself.
Anyway, I photographed them and was going to show them to you this morning, but then I visited one of my favorite bloggers, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, I saw that she also made them last night and did a beautiful job on her photos with a link to a recipe that I also used from memory...

photo by Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere
photo by Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere

I squeezed the shredded potato dry and didn't use the cheesecloth method.  I've also made a version with shredded carrots in them which is also delicious and sweetens them.
When I called my mother last night to tell her I was making latkes she told me that she used to sometimes make them with Gruyere cheese and they were so wonderful... I have no memory of latkes with cheese, but I bet they were good, they sound good and she's such a good cook.
Next time Mom!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All Legs

One way to change it up for winter is to pull all the classic black dresses and skirts you have out of the closet and freshen it up with new accessories... only think about tights being the new accessory...
I found these tights from House of Holland on mytights.com from a great and inspirational fashion website StyledOn.com, that the NY Times says, "... is quickly becoming the Facebook for the fashion set."...
If they're too out there for you then what about your daughters or nieces for the holidays!

These chic graphic shapes are fun and will run about $28...

Hope you find what makes you feel glamourous and please share it with us1

Monday, December 6, 2010

Overrated List

What's overrated for me might bring pleasure to another... so don't hate me ("because I'm...") for my list:

- Mail
- Shrimp
- Coach bags
- Skiing
- National Junior Honor Society (this one will make enemies)
- Salmon
- Rachel Ray
-  iPads (and I LOVE Apple products)
- BBMing!
- "Dancing With The Stars" (Yuck)
- Pottery Barn furniture
- UGGs (for 30+)
- lonnnnng School Vacations
- Droid phone
- BMW and Mercedes SUV's
- Starbucks
- Harry Potter movies
- Antique Reproductions
- Rudeness
- Panini Presses
- Scented Candles
- expensive Broadway Musicals
- Adult evenings discussing 'the kids' and nothing else!

Love to hear from you about what's on your overrated list...
My underrated list is much bigger and probably less offensive too. Stay tuned this week for that one.

Inspiration from Art Basel Miami which took place this past weekend... wish I could have attended!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gifts for Snow or Surf

If you're looking for a fun shopping experience for your teen kids (girls and boys) this holiday season in NYC check out the Billabong Superstore right in the middle of Times Square.  The 4,000 ft space includes surf and snow apparel, beautifully carved wall-mounted wooden surf boards, tropical tees with NYC related imagery, jewelry, hats, Nixon watches, Oakley and Von Zipper sunglasses... adjoining Billabong is their skater brand store, Element, where I was catered to with great sales people helping since the kids weren't with me.

High socks from Element to go with his lacrosse shorts

Happy Holiday Shopping!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Very Fine Plan

They have a TV show the kids really like!
silly funny... kind of a cult (niche) following 

Sometimes the best layed plans really do work, as in last Saturday... My friend Sue and I took five teen boys (14 - 18) into NYC via train to Penn Station to see the comedy team of Tim and Eric at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.  This was her treating us for her older sons's birthday.  The younger brother got to invite a friend, that's where we come in to the picture.

It was a perfect afternoon/evening:  We took a 3 o'clock train and arrived at 4pm, then we hoofed it 11 blocks to 44th Street to get on line early for general admission.  We did our mothering thing for awhile until they shooed us away.  We killed about a half hour sizing up the situation and offering a myriad of instructions about staying together etc, etc... It wasn't that hard to leave with the thought of a glass of wine and dinner waiting for the Moms!  They had about an hour to stand on line and and an hour to wait inside and the show didn't start until 7pm, ending at about 9:15pm... So we had a comfortable amount of time to dine and even get some shopping in too.

  We dined at a favorite spot,  I wrote about last year,  Gallo Nero Wine Bar and Restaurant, mostly for the atmosphere, small, intimate (not noisy) and beautiful candle lighting, a great place to relax with an amazing wine selection.  The grilled octopus with olives and capers was fantastic and a first for my friend, the rest of the Italian fare was good but a little salty... but boy did we enjoy ourselves!
After a most enjoyable dinner we sauntered back to Times Square with about an hour left to shop.  Since Hannukah was only a few days away (Dec. 1), I had a few little things left to buy the kids which I found at the Billabong Super Store right near the theater at 44th and Broadway... I bought long socks to go with the latest trend of wearing lacrosse shorts in Winter, and a cool hat too.
Then we went into the bustling Levi's Superstore where I spotted some great stuff for me and today I see on their website that there's 40% off on many items, including this sweater I liked...
... great with these black legging jeans
We were back at the theater just in time as they were letting out, but none of our kids came out!  First we were a little panicked, but then we remembered that they were selling merchandise, like posters and T-shirts, and since they're our kids we knew they would be shopping too.
We had to run to make the 9:51 train and we did with only 4 minutes to spare...
I was tired, but a good tired, after hosting Thanksgiving, a cousin sleepover at our house, running the kids around on Friday, and this satisfying Saturday, I knew I would sleep well and rest on Sunday.

Thanks Sue for a great time had by all!