Friday, March 30, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Life in Larchmont

When we first moved away from Manhattan, we lived in Larchmont - a suburb in Westchester, NY, about 15 miles from our old apartment on the Upper West Side.

Because I found the idea of living in the suburbs so abhorrent, I referred to it as us "moving to the Country," and I made our best go at enjoying the fun it was for City kids to have a garden, and a yard.

Now we live in suburban New Jersey, with soil so poor we can't grow anything, although I keep trying.

And as another unremarkable gardening season begins here, I'm reminded of our very nice little Larchmont garden that first suburban summer. Our garden that with very little effort required grew vegetables and bloomed flowers, and I miss it.

And I remember my daughters delighted faces when our weekly Farm Share would show-up on the front porch  - somehow not knowing what would be there make it exciting even for kids who were almost guaranteed not to eat any of it.

So this year, I am hoping to get around to signing-up for a Farm Share before it's too late. Because there certainly isn't going to be much coming up out of the ground here. I'm willing to accept that.

If you're in New Jersey, here's a list of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun Ideas For Duck Tape Easter Craft Projects and an AWESOME DUCK TAPE GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED

The giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to the winner @Angiewith3!
Thanks to everyone who entered!

As many of you know, we are just a teeny bit obsessed with Duck Tape at our house.

So you can imagine my tween daughters delight when this box showed-up outside our front door yesterday.

And we opened it to reveal this:

It's new duct tape spring colors from Duck Brand, and they are spring-irific! Spring-tacular! Spring-tastic!

We used our pretty new Duck Tape to decorate some plastic Easter eggs in need of a little pizazz. We easily transformed these:

to these by covering them with fun patterns of duct tape:

I liked how they turned out so much, I even got down a bowl from my wedding china with its basket weave pattern so we could display our mother-daughter Duck Tape handiwork on the kitchen table.

Inspired to do some crafting with Duck Brand duct tape? Here are a few more Easter projects using Duck Tape:

- Duck Tape Easter Basket (great directions for the basket and how to make grass, too)
- Duck Tape Hair Bows and Duck Tape Hairbands -(very easy to follow how-to videos)
- Duck Tape Easter Bonnet (requires fabric and more effort than I'm gonna guess most of us are capable of, but still very cool)

And for tons more ideas, visit my Duck Tape Awesomeness board on Pinterest.
And I almost forgot! The generous folks at Duck Tape are letting me give away an Awesome Duck Tape Prize Pack to a lucky winner!
To enter:
Just leave a comment here with your email (or make sure your comment links to where I can find it) and tell me your favorite Duck Tape color or your favorite Duck Tape craft project.

For extra entries leave a comment for each of the below letting me know you already/do now:
If it's easier, you can also tweet or leave a message on the Facebook page that you follow/like and you don't need to also leave another comment below.

If you do ALL FIVE of the additional entries above, you can just leave one comment along the lines of "home run!" "the whole enchilada!" or even a reference to a trifecta or hat trick will work fine.
~ Good luck! Enter Now! Entries close on Monday, April 9 at 9am EST ~
Giveaway small print: Contest open to U.S. residents age 18 and over. Contest ends at 9:00am EST, Monday, April 9, 2012. Winners will be randomly selected via and announced here as well as emailed or messaged on Twitter with the good news. Entrants must provide contact information in their comment. If winner does not respond within forty-eight hours, a new winner will be selected. Prize supplied and fulfilled by Duck Tape. Colors of winning products will vary. I was not compensated for this post or for promoting this contest. I received a similar prize pack to review.

For more information and full giveaway rules, please contact
Good Luck!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life imitating blog

There are times when I wonder if my blog life is impacting my actual real life in ways approaching a reality show (and not in a good way).

Like when my daughter went to a birthday party, and got a really amazing looking iced cookie as her goody bag take-home treat.

I admonished her as she started to open the bag, "Don't eat your cookie until later!" You know, because I am an on-it and together mom who doesn't want her kid eating a cookie right after she had a giant slice of birthday cake.

And my kid, in front of everyone, sneers:

"Why? Because you want to take a photo of it for your blog first?"

Uh no, but now that you mention it...

I mean, c'mon, how awesome is that cookie?

Note: Magpie got to eat the cookie the next day. And for breakfast, no less.

I'm linking-up to the always hilarous and fun Finding the Funny with Kelley's Break Room and My Life and Kids.

Also, thanks to the Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms for their post 10 Reasons Being a Kid with a Mom Who Blogs Rocks, which inspired me to write this post.

New here? There's more random fun to be had on Twitter, Facebook, and the ultimate time-suck, Pinterest. Join. Follow. Waste time.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Family Resemblance

My dad, around 1938:

My son, around 2010:

I dig around in my old photos every Friday. You can see the rest of the Old Photo Fridays here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Glad I Saw it: The Crocheted Daffodil

Happy Spring!

I am fortunate enough to live in a town that often gets to enjoy the efforts of the local yarnstorming enthusiasts.

The Rebel Yarns will be yarnstorming a park in town on June 3, and I'll be looking forward to seeing their creations and sharing those photos. In the meantime, you can see some more awesome examples on my Yarnbombing Pinterest Board.

{As always, my Glad I Saw It inspired by the original Glad I Saw It.}

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breaking News: Mother with Young Children Attends Off-Broadway Theatre Performance in Manhattan

New York, NY - Sunday, March 11 - The Sunday afternoon performance of The Big Meal was attended by the usual matinee goers with one notable exception. The performance was also attended by Anna Sandler, a mother of three young children, living in suburban New Jersey who admitted:
"I never go to the theatre these days. Well, let me re-phrase - I never see grown-up theater anymore. I see tons of kids shows. Dancing monkeys, talking mules, singing puppets - I see that kind of stuff all.the.time."
So why was Ms. Sandler able to attend The Big Meal? One word: PLAYTIME! This revolutionary new concept in childcare made it possible for Ms. Sandler to watch, enjoy and reflect on the nuanced performance taking place on stage before her without simultaneously wondering if a child would ask to be taken to the bathroom, or ponder if it was time to leave - because there were no children with her.
Has Ms. Sandler discovered how to clone herself? No, not at all. She was able to experience the show without sleeve tugs, tissue requests or the need to quietly hiss, "leave your sister alone!" because her daughters (ages 6 and 8) were enjoying the babysitting services provided by PLAYTIME! on the 3rd Floor of the theatre venue, while she herself sat watching the show with the company of her very own mother and an audience full of other adults on the 4th Floor.

Later, the children would report that their time on the 3rd Floor with PLAYTIME! was filled with fun games and a pirate adventure, and even put-on their own pirate vests that they had made to further illustrate their explanation.
Ms. Sandler explained to us that her story does not need to be unique.
"It's totally easy. I think really anyone could do it - well, anyone with a child between the ages of 4 and 12. Just sign-up online for PLAYTIME!, fill out a quick online form which asks for some basic information about your kids, and then enjoy a grown-up theatre performance."
We will continue to report further breaking news stories of parents attending shows both on and off-Broadway as we hear them. If you have information of any similar incidents, please leave the details below!

Performances of The Big Meal are playing at Playwrights Horizon through April 22, 2012. Show runs 1 hour and 25 minutes with no intermission.

PLAYTIME! is dedicated to providing creative, affordable ($15 per child for the duration of the performance) childcare so grown-ups can see great shows.

Disclosure: Thanks to MamaDrama I received two free tickets to The Big Meal as well as childcare services from PLAYTIME! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Purims Past

This year's Purim was sorta a bust, with festivities mostly centering around the eating of a mountain of soup dumplings from the local Chinese restaurant, followed by a substantial quality of Hamantaschen - or as Ziggy likes to call such things, "a leaf pile."

So, with no great photo ops from this year's Purim, I am happy to indulge photos of Purims past for this week's Old Photo Friday.
Kay, Westchester, 2009

Magpie and her bestie, Upper West Side, 2008
Kay and me, Upper West Side, 2008

Sisters, Westchester, 2010

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Big Duckie Back in the Spotlight!

I've taken a break lately from my Big Duckie perseverations.
Thankfully, my brother took this photo when he was over last week, and thus Big Duckie has returned to her rightful place in the spotlight:

For more photos of Big Duckie, be sure to check out her Pinterest Board.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three New York Bands Making Great Kids Music

Lately, I've had the chance to review some great kids music from local New York City based bands. I don't usually do a lot of kids music reviews, but I'm glad I had the chance to listen to these, because it's not often you find music equally enjoyed by both the littles and the bigs in a family.

Oh how I hope to write those same words when my kids are teenagers.

Here are three great kids CDs, all highly recommended as having tunes all will be happy to hear.
Bari Koral Family Rock BandAnna and the Cupcakes

The New York-based Bari Koral Family Rock Band recently released their sophomore CD on February 14, and it is already a favorite with all three of my children.

In addition to the title track Anna and the Cupcakes, which is a delightful tale of what happens when you sneak too many cupcakes, there is the beautiful song of parental love, Hearts, as well as a fast-paced rendition of Kick Drum Heart which my son sings along to so adorably I don't mind how many times he asks to hear it. Another big hit for any train-obsessed toddler is the Train Song, also much beloved by my toddler son.

Monkey Monkey MusicWhat Are the Odds?

Meredith LeVande, the musician behind Monkey Monkey Music, has plenty of upbeat tunes for young listeners on her 2010 release What Are the Odds?

With a focus on teaching, these songs are fun as well as educational, like in Guess Who I Am? with lyrics that encourage kids to solve riddles. The track Who’s a Knockin’ tells a series of knock-knock jokes and has a tune so catchy, my kids insist it plays in the car on “repeat.”

Brett Band for KidsBathtime

In November, 2011, Brett Rothenhaus, the Brett in Brett Band and an Early Childhood Music Educator, released his second album, the 4-song EP, Bathtime.

The title track Bathtime, makes taking a bath sound so enticing it’s hard to imagine even the most intractable toddler refusing entry to the tub after hearing this tune. The song Elevator introduces counting in both English and Spanish, and is perfect for elevator-loving City kids – and their parents – everywhere.

Disclosure: I received copies of Bari Koral's And Monkey Monkey Music's CDs for review. I listened to Brett Band online. I rarely do music reviews, so that alone should tell you that if I took the time to write about these selections, it's because they are really, really good.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Annie the Musical Returns to Broadway this Fall!

Annie the Musical is coming back to New York City's Broadway this fall, and I couldn't be more excited about the timing as my daughters at ages six and eight are prime ages to be Annie-groupies.

My eight-year-old has taken to singing Maybe around the house, and I feel like I am just a step away from my hear breaking every time I hear her sing it. So yes, I'm sure I will be taking my kids to see the revival of Annie the Musical when it opens in about 250 days from now.

And if you have a daughter who doesn't just want to see Annie the Musical, but wants to be Annie - here's her chance. Currently auditions are taking place for the part of Annie in several cities as well as online. So get to it, stage moms!

When I was at Toy Fair last month, I saw this adorable Madame Alexander Annie doll, set to be released around the same time the Annie show opens. She has incredible details, and the expression on our face captured the essence of Annie perfectly.

Disclosure: I had always planned to post about the Madame Alexander Annie doll, because well, she's pretty awesome. I would probably have included a link to the Annie show site in my review. But I decided to definitely include the link when I got an email that implored me to link to the Annie website and "if you do help spread this news and respond with a screen shot or link to your post we will invite you to a special insider only event this Spring."

Now I've been at this mommy blogging long enough to know that companies never, ever ask us mommy bloggers to do something for them without doing something super-incredible in return, so I'm guessing this insiders event is gonna be (in the words of my children) epic. Grooming lessons with Sandy? How to polish Annie's patent leather shoes? Who knows? I'll let you know, when I do.

And no, I received no other compensation.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Toys for a Third-Born Baby

When my son Ziggy was born, he was lucky enough to already have in place two older sisters. Helpful older sisters. This photo is Ziggy after his big sisters responded to my request to "Get the baby a toy!"

More endearing? Finding the sleeping baby festooned with his sisters' favorite dolls.

May you always be this good to your baby brother, who (as this is after all Old Photo Friday) not only no longer a baby, but is in fact now even closer to being three than he is to being two.

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