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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teen Brains and Sleep

Something I've wanted to change for a while now is school start time for my teens who wake at 6:00 and 6:30 for school and who verbalize that the early rise is a problem for them, especially my 9th grader who has social studies, math, and science classes first thing in the morning...

Stay up until midnight and sleep until noon?...
The latest studies out of Brown University and Bradley Hospital show that the mid to late teenage years require more sleep for their brains, possibly to recover from the daily assault of information as their brains are maturing and preparing for adulthood... Dr. Mary Carskadan says they need a minimum of 81/4 to 81/2  hours a night.
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

What compounds the problem today is the amount of late day distractions for teens... cell phones, electronic media, and other activities that extend their day later and later.  This lack of sleep may contribute to problems such as ADD, Obesity, and Depression in teens.

NBC Nightly News on the web

Parents please let your school know if this is a problem for your kids... sleep deprivation needs to be addressed in a serious way.  
One of the school districts in our area (Long Island) has changed the schedule and the high school starts at 9am with the elementary school starting in the early am slot... let's speak out at the next Board of Education meeting and let it be known.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stripes for Spring

What Prada has done with stripes this Spring is inspirational!... the video from Prada that was on Cheap Chica's Guide to Style blog is so much fun and really communicates the intended spirit of the campaign... with a really 'out there' concept and prices!

Here are some of my favorite affordable options from ZaraAnn Taylor, and Urban Outfitters...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Music,The Met, and a Food Hall

As a visual artist I have always appreciated music as an avid listener up until about seven years ago...   but now that my two teen boys are into music in a big way as musicians,  I've taken an more involved interest through them.
Whenever I see or hear about events related to music my ears perk up, so when I heard about this show at The Met (NYC) called "Guitar Heroes", an exhibit of stringed instruments, violins, mandolins, and guitars, I knew it was something we could make a day of in the city...

This exhibit of "Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York" is on now through July 4th, 2011.
This is now on our list of things to do on Spring Break.

Maybe we'll check out The Plaza Food Hall, which I've heard is a tasty and fun experience for the kids too, especially the Dumpling Bar... you can eat-in at any of eight culinary food stations or take-out specialty foods, cookware, flowers and home goods.

See you there!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Retro Flying Experience

Recently my husband and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest Airlines from McArthur Airport on Long Island.  We had a very favorable experience all around, from the 'early arrival' home to New York, the 'funny schtick' from the announcing flight attendant, to the cute retro-snacks on the plane.  These days the flying experience is usually filled with dread, hassles, and long delays...  so flying Southwest surpassed our "let's just get through this without too much hassle" expectations!

 Next time we fly will be with the kids this summer to Venice, a much longer flight and an international one, so I'm hoping for something neutral at best...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Off The Cuff

"Off The Cuff" (definition):  Impromptu; not prepared...

That's me, today and for the last month, as far as writing this blog goes...
sorry for the interruption... but now I am working my way back to posting each day, Monday through Friday, now that my big event is over,  and my ginormous party and all it's planning is behind me, at least on a large scale.  Now, planning a dinner party for half a dozen people will be a breeze and I look forward to patio dining this spring!

Actually, I'm thinking cuffs, because I'm in search of a cuff for the spring... any ideas?, nothing too expensive... I want it to be modern, gold, and something that won't catch on my clothes... oh, and not too heavy either?!
Any suggestions you have would be appreciated, just leave it in comments, thanks, and I'll post your ideas tomorrow...
I saw this pretty one at BCBG (looks even better in the person), but it's a little too dressy for what I want...

Look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gifts with Zazzle

One of my favorite websites is Zazzle... Zazzle for customized stamps, clothing and much more.  You can create your own custom stamp or t-shirt and now an iPhone case with a photo of anything you can think of and they make it so easy with their drag-and-drop design tools...
In the section of the website called 'Gift Center' they organize it by women, men, teens and kids.
For instance, the categories for teen gifts are broken down by type of teen, like techno, rockstar, artist, activist, etc...

I love how the tools have become so accessible and easy to use, allowing everyone to express their creativity.
Tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day you could have designed your own or purchased one of their designs for a sticker...

So maybe now you can start thinking about Easter or Passover or the 4th of July!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teva Hiking Stiletto?!

WOW!!! Introduced this week...
When sport sandal meets stiletto = Teva+Grey Ant = Velcro strap grip-sole and platform 4" heel, coming together in this fashionable anti-fashion shoe. It looks great!
They're calling it high performance?...  'high' as in height not performance!
I love the look, how comfortable it is, is another story.
You can purchase them in two styles at New High Mart...
As seen in Daily Candy. Editorial photography by MI-ZO.com

I remember when Cole Haan and Nike married and I purchased one of their boots which were not so comfortable after all.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

White Out!

...and I don't mean snow!
That last bit of dirt-crusted granular snow has finally been replaced by spring soaked soggy ground.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see mud and grass again.
Here are some stylish looking electronics that won't break the bank.  I know my kids are always talking about Dr. Dre headphones for $200 to $300 dollars!... what about these cool looking Bongo Headphones I found on Urban Outfitters website...
Or this vintage camera that uses real film!...

Or this instant camera which produces credit card size photos in minutes!...

Also Urban Outfitters offers FREE returns.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Clutch It!

Don't spend a lot for a clutch this season, there are some fun brightly colored choices for under $100 and in some cases under $50!  ASOS is one of the sites I check frequently and recently purchased a great feathered clutch for under $30!!!...
Mixing bright solids is one of the trends this season...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Working Vacation

This was supposed to be a vacation week celebrating our presidents, but it turned out to be a working vacation for me.  We did manage to go skiing for a few days in upstate New York thanks to our friends who put us up in their condo (or put up with us not sure which it is).  The kids and my husband skied 'dust on crust' (I have a mildly torn meniscus), while I got a lot of work done on our upcoming Bar Mitzvah celebration (for my drummer son) which takes place in a few weeks.  I did go snowshoeing the last day which wasn't too smart either... feeling the pain as I descended the last third of the trail, wondering if I had done more damage to my knee.
The dirty laundry lay on the floor for most of the week while I tended to all the party plans, especially trying to get replies from kids who hadn't RSVP'd yet, way past the due date.  What if these kids just show up at the party?!  Part of the reason that this is an issue is that I decided, since this is to be mainly a kid party (just a few friends and family are invited), that I would go paperless with a website invitation... inviting ninety of his closest friends via a message on Facebook with a link taking them to the website.  Only one problem, who is RSVPing, the parents or the kids?  The responsible ones show their parents otherwise who knows...  It's new ground and I may regret it but the website is so COOL and it contains so much more information than a paper invitation... there's video of him, stills, a bio, directions, a link to Google maps, and troubling RSVP page which sends me an email at a different site so I can track the responses.
The site is beautiful and I thank my photographer for that, but I'm not sure how I will look back on this experience... too early to tell now that I'm in the throws of it... anyway back to work for me...
Happy Monday and sorry I was down for the week, but I'm back and running.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brooklyn Creative

Brooklyn, New York... the center of everything creative right now. There's so much going on, it's amazing and thanks to blogger, Oh Joy!, I found myself at Part & Parcel, which took me to Kate Spade and her 2011 film project where she collaborates with different artist's in the making of short films...  February's theme is pink...  If you click on Kate Spade then you'll see on her website and "Watch the Film"...

Next week the kids are off from school so my posts will be spotty at best, but I hope you'll check in anyway for more of Mama Lisha's picks...

Happy Friday and I hope you enjoy this crazy warm (possibly record breaking) temperature in New York today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's For Dinner Mom?

Every morning before school or right after school one of my teenagers ask, "What's for dinner Mom?"
Uhhhh, "Donno", I say... because I usually don't... I like thinking on the fly, using what's around combined with some fresh produce and deciding what looks good that day at the market.
This frittata I made the other night is one of those dishes where you can use what's around and throw it in, just remember less is more... I had a lot of broccoli and cauliflower lying around, so I bought about a 1/3 of a pound of pancetta and the rest was in the fridge...


5 eggs
2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 Tbls sour cream
1/3 lb pancetta
2 cups broccoli
4 cups cauliflower
about 8 rings red onion (decoration on top)

I cooked it in my favorite Le Creuset pan I use for almost everything! I went from stovetop to oven with the pan for this recipe.

Saute the pancetta or bacon or ham in the pan until well done and drain excess fat.  There was just a little fat from the pancetta so I sauteed the veggies, browning them in the pan with the pancetta after I microwaved (steaming) them a little first.  Then pour the mixture of shredded cheese, beaten eggs, milk and sour cream (2 tablespoonful) into the pan and spread evenly.  Place onion rings on top and bake in a 375 degree oven uncovered for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Optional: I served it topped with a few of these rosemary almonds from Trader Joe's and a side of cole slaw I bought at the deli.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thrifty Fashion

I know that each time I post about some fashion item and either I or one of YOU out there goes and buys this, or any new item for that matter, we are making a bigger footprint... using up more of our planets natural resources, limited resources and adding to landfill.  Ok, so I got that off my chest... anyway when I saw that I could donate to a wonderfully creative project called All Thrifty States, "A woman on a mission to document what America throws away", visiting 50 states and their thrift stores, as a way to create awareness of a way to repurpose and recycle... attempting to shrink the collective footprint one thrift store at a time...
Meet Jenna Pfueller and her website...

The site is entertaining with photos of some bizarre things she's found and photographed at thrift stores organized by states, like fornicating taxidermic frogs and an ACDC snowglobe!
photo by Jenna Pfueller

Her goal... to bring attention to our national spending habits... and maybe we would think twice before spending on things we don't really need.  Maybe we would find fashion in the used and vintage and reduce not only our debt but our footprint.... WOW!
Go Girl... check it out and you can donate to her cause on KICKSTARTER.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dressing for Nuptials

One of the good things about having my wedding anniversary towards the end of January is that the stores have all the Valentine's Day merchandise on the shelves by then... lot's of lovey dovey stuff to choose from for my hubby... which reminds me... Today is the launch of a NEW line of wedding gowns and much more from Anthropologie.  It's actually a separate company called BHLDN (pronounced beholden), offering heirloom quality gowns, bridesmaid dresses, artisanal hair adornments, footwear, and lingerie...

Makes me want a wedding in the family... Hmmmm, since I don't have a daughter, and my son's are too young anyway, maybe a niece will be next...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brit Style

Allsaints, a British retailer of women's, men's, and children's clothing, accessories, and housewares has a beautiful earthy and feminine line for women this spring...

Well thought of for their graphic T's...

Love this fabric!!!...


 I'd take this over chocolates and flowers any Valentine's Day!!!... Hint Hint honey!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What's in a Name?

It was suggested to me yesterday that my blog needs a better name... and that is so true.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time now and just turned a blind eye to such an important part of how much exposure one gets in the blogosphere.
So today I'm asking your help... knowing my voice (if you're a regular)... what would you name it?
Names are important, especially to search engines... branding, readership... it's all part of it.
"How To Name Your Blog: What Makes a Great Name?", these are the articles I need to read and think about as I set out to step up the job of blogging and expand my readership.
First and foremost I need to be clear about what this blog is about... like my tag line says... after a year and a half of writing, it's still about... "surviving the suburbs with style... seeking a richer life... in a wasteland called the suburbs... for my family, myself, and anyone who will listen!".

Food...Heart Beets, February 4, 2010

Love to hear from you in comments below... you can write anonymously or not.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Genuinely Fresh

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami's burgeoning Design district is a neighborhood bistro offering contemporary American Cuisine from chef Michael Schwartz, in a friendly indoor/outdoor setting.  The dishes are grouped by size not kind, as in small, medium, large, extra large, so depending on your appetite and how many dishes you would like to taste you can order accordingly.
It was Super Bowl Sunday when we ate dinner at this popular bistro, which is why we were able to get a reservation with only a few days notice, but I would plan ahead otherwise...
We shared these three small and medium dishes and one large dish which is not shown here (blame the wine)...
This crispy pork belly with kimchi (spicy korean cabbage) is a great contrast of flavors.  The best prepared pork belly I ever had was in New Orleans, but this is wildly creative and delicious surprise...
 Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly
 Chargrilled Octopus
 Wood Oven Roasted Local Eggplant

The creamsicle pot de creme is delicious just by itself, but then add the doughnut and jam and it's close to heaven!...
 Tangerine Creamsicle Pot de Creme
 'The Hand' zoning in on my second doughnut
Blackberry Tarragon Jam

We left Michael's satisfied but not full, which is the best way to eat and I bought a signed copy of his new cookbook which is scheduled for general release on February 15th...

Thanks to my sister for the hot tip on Michael's Genuine.