Monday, August 19, 2013

Made it Myself Monday-- Tie Dye

I am known to be pretty crafty.  While the left side of my brain loves to create, the right side of my brain hates to get everything so messy.  So, when we take on a craft project, I try to be well organized so the project is smooth and tidy.

KF had her good friend spend the night last week and I pulled out one of my pending projects to try. Sharpie Tie Dyeing.  Leave all those buckets, dye, and rubber bands behind, this is faster and cuter (in my opinion).

Here is what you will need:

  • Tee Shirt (we used oversized for nightshirts)
  • Pom Pom Trim (optional)
  • Sharpies (we used the new NEON version)
  • Red Solo cups
  • Rubbers bands
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Medicine Dropper


  1. Slip a plastic cup in-between the front and back of the tee shirt.  When you find a spot that you like, pull the fabric taught over the lip of the cup and put an elastic band around the cup.  I usually place about three to four cups in the shirt at a time.
  2. Use your sharpies to draw designs.  These designs will "spread" with the rubbing alcohol.  We made snowflakes, hearts, and scalloped borders along the outside to give the designs a circular feel.  
  3. Drop the rubbing alcohol on the design.  If you use too much, it will just go into the cup (love that!).  Watch the design transform.  At this point, if you want more color, let it dry and add more designs and more alcohol.
  4. I used a hairdryer to dry as I went.  This takes about one minute (also love).
  5. Keep moving the cups and designing until you have a design that you are pleased with.
  6. We sewed some pom pom trim to the bottom of the shirt just to make it even cuter.  If you have a sewing machine this takes less than 3 minutes.  In fact, I let the ten year olds do this part themselves.  

And there you have mess tie dye!

Sample Sale Season!

Many of you have asked me about this sale.  So here are early details.

Sample Sale!

Thursday, October 10th  10am - 8pm
Friday October 11th  10am - 4pm

Greenwich Boys and Girls Club
4 Horseneck Lane Greenwich, CT 06830

and don't forget what starts at 8am today

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Baby Starbucks

I love Starbucks.  Seriously.

When we lived in New York, we probably hit the Starbucks a couple of times a day.  There was one on the block where we lived and another just outside my office.

Once we had children, I couldn't exactly get something for myself and ignore that little bundle in her stroller.  So, KF would get a strawberry smoothie to sip.  Fast forward, we now have three little bundles and trust me, Starbucks can become a line item in your budget if you are going frequently and buying everyone a drink.

Needless to say, I have cut back by habit tremendously.

If you like to take your little ones to the coffee shop, here are some great non-caffeine options

  • HOT CHOCOLATE-- You can have the barista make the original (which has a richer and darker flavor).  If you have a picky eater, you can have the barista heat a horizon chocolate milk.  Whip Cream optional.
  • PASSION ICED TEA-- This is a Hibiscus (read: Berry) flavored tea-- sweeten it with plain or raspberry simple syrup and I promise your bundle will love it.  Alternatively, you can have the barista cut the tea with lemonade.
  • SMOOTHIE-- orange mango, strawberry or chocolate are all available and they are pretty good!
  • BABYCCINO-- Think of this as a cappuccino but with no coffee added.  Frothy milk is fancy for the younger set!
  • BLENDED STRAWBERRY LEMONADE-- made with strawberry puree, lemonade, cream base and sweetener.
  • CARMEL APPLE SPICE-- This is apple cider heated up with carmel and whipped cream on top.  And again, if you have a picky eater, you could also have the barista heat up an apple juice from the refrigerated area.
  • RASPBERRY ITALIAN SODA-- using a pellegrino from the front case, ask the barista to add a couple pumps of Raspberry syrup and if you want, some sweetener.
  • SYRUP CREME FRAPPUCCINO-- Strawberries & Creme, Vanilla Bean, and Double Chocolatey Chip are all made without any coffee and with a caffeine free base. 
  • VANILLA STEAMER-- This is my kid's favorite.  It's 2% milk with a couple pumps of vanilla syrup.
There is no reason not to make the coffee shop a fun place for the smaller set.  In fact, for an after school treat, it's definitely easier on your waistline if they choose it over the ice cream shop!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Where I come from

I am from the peach state, but yesterday, we were doing our peach picking at Silverman's in Easton, Connecticut.  The weather had a hint of fall in it and the sky was a brilliant blue.  I combination that always reminds me of the morning of September 11th.  We headed out early and enjoyed the farm's petting zoo first.  They had all sorts of interesting animals.  The kids laughed as I called them all by wrong names (emu/ostrich, reindeer/deer, bison/buffalo ..really, what's the difference).  For the first time in a long time, I sat back and watched my kids genuine excitement.  They are quickly approaching the age where screams of delight and running for pure excitement at a petting zoo will not exist.  So, I indulged in the moment.

There was one BIG buzzkill of the day.  They only had doughnut peaches for picking.  So, we picked our minimum of 20 pounds and now I have to figure out what to do with all these little peaches.  I'm pretty sure the uses are limited.  However, if you know of one or ten recipes, please send them my way (cough, cough...Mrs. White).

 We ended our stay with a play on the playground.  I loved the wooden structures.  The bench that the kids are sitting on was their largest tree on the property tht fell when Sandy came through.  Such a great use for a sentimental tree.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recipe du Jour

The farmers market has so many wonderful veggies this time of year.  With beach/swim time and activities to keep the kids occupied, I am always looking for recipes that are delicious, but more importantly, quick to prepare.  I found this recipe in Real Simple Magazine and it is a slam dunk!  My kids love it and it only takes about 10 minutes to put together.  Tonight I served it with Salmon and Quinoa and it really hit the spot.  Definitely add this to your weekly menu.

Pea, Fete and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

  • 2 thin slices of prosciutto (2 ounces)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh peas (about 2 cups) or two cups of frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces Feta, crumbled (1⁄2 cup)
  • scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until beginning to darken, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool (the prosciutto will crisp as it cools), then crumble.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes (1 to 2 minutes if frozen). Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the peas with the oil, Feta, scallions, prosciutto, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

KF.. Eleven Down-- Nine to go!

The First Molar finally came out on our car ride home from Atlanta this summer.  Of course, she promptly lost the actual tooth before we made it to Darien.  I am sure I will find it in the floorboard of the car when I finally get to vacuuming and cleaning it.  No joke, there is an equivalent to a four course meal on the floor.

We have had our first consultation with the ortho and are now waiting for the remaining molars in KF's mouth to come out so we can get started with the braces.  It's actually a lot of patience on our side as we would love to get those teeth corrected sooner rather than later.  Thankfully our wonderful ortho has stressed the importance of timing and has said that if we can just wait for the right timing, that her time in braces will be much shorter.

The above chart shows the teeth she has lost, to date.  The "M"s indicates that the tooth is missing.  One which we lost in the car, two swallowed, and one of her front teeth which I have somehow lost...ugh.

I'm a little obsessed with the teeth...can you tell?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

End of School Stats 2013

We Spent our final day of school in Martha's Vineyard.  Best last day of school. Ever.

Here are the stats for the 2012/13 school year

Baby J (6.4)
Starting Height: 47"
Ending Height: 50 1/2" or 4' 2 1/2"

Starting Weight: 51.2
Ending Weight: 55.5

Chomps (8.1)
Starting Height: 53 1/2"
Ending Height: 57.5" or 4' 9 1/2"

Starting Weight: 78.0
Ending Weight: 81.6

KF (10)
Starting Height: 53 1/2"
Ending Height: 56 1/4" or 4' 8 1/4"

Starting Weight: 79.6
Ending Weight: 81.9 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bath Time with The Peach

I'm definitely the type of girl that likes to take a long shower.  It's the only time that I am guaranteed no chaos and a little bit of thinking time.  So, in my shower, I clear my mind and plot my course for the day.  I work through problems, come up with things to google, and make my mental to-do list.

For the past few months, I have been indulging in Molton Brown Bath and Shower gels.  Their products are so rich and the scents are so saturated-- that I smell them all day long.  Last week, when I ran out of my last bottle I used the Neutrogena rain bath (which I usually love ) and was shocked at the difference.

If you are considering giving these babies a whirl, try my three favorite scents...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

KF.. Ten Down-- Ten to go!

The tenth tooth has been dangling for a few days now and KF decided to take action.  She asked Dad to pull it for her.  He has done this several times for bun (and actually for several other children too).  I always hate to watch, but KF seems to trust completely that he won't hurt her.  

Next to drop are the molars!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taco Tuesday

These days, I am ALL about making one dinner that pleases everyone.  I just plain refuse to make different things for different people - after all, I am not a short order cook.. right?  Tacos are a trusty crowd pleaser that take no time to prepare and are loved by all.

Everyone in my family likes the novelty of making their own food.  So, I prepare the meat and shells and then put tons of sides on the table to choose from.  To sweeten the deal, I have been buying Mexican sodas for the kids to enjoy.  That definitely raises the bar on this dinner

Here is what I serve:

  • Tacos with beef
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Rice (or polenta)
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Salsa 
  • Sour Cream
  • Habanero sauce
  • Pinto beans or black beans
  • Corn (sometimes with chiles) or corn on the cob
  • Fruit salad
  • oh...and don't forget the margaritas..duh

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Everyday wines.

With all the snow February has brought, we have been confined to the house quite a bit.  This has made for some cozy days by the fire and lazy evenings with comfort food and wine.  I thought I would introduce you to two of my favorite reds.

The Bogle Phantom was introduced to me by a good friend and it's a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Mourvedre.  this wine has a strong berry flavor, with hints of both cocoa and cedar.  At $20 bucks   this is a great everyday wine.
The other wine we have been drinking a lot of is the Taymente Cab.  Again this wine shows real berry flavoring along with a hint of vanilla on the finish.  This bottle is a great buy at $15.
As we move into the spring, I'll move towards more mixed drinks and white wines, but red wine is the drink of choice right now!  I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sausage Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Ever so often, I go through a stage where I feel compelled to clean out almost everything in my freezer. So, as you can imagine it gets me cooking things that are not in my normal rotation.  This week, it got me cooking sausage biscuits and boy were they good.  If you are looking for something healthy or gourmet, these are not for you.  However, if you are looking for something easy and yummy, enjoy this recipe.  Remember, these are great to keep in your freezer.

Sausage and Cheddar Drop Biscuits
1 (1lb) package sausage (Jimmy Dean mild or hot will do)
1 (16 oz) package of shredded cheddar cheese
3 Cups bisquick
1-2 Cups milk
2 cloves garlic

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Cook sausage in a frying pan until browned, drain and set aside.  Mix Bisquick and milk until a dough ball forms.  Knead the sausage, cheese and garlic into dough ball.  Separate dough into 1 1/2 inch dough balls (I use a cookie scoop).  Drop onto cookie sheet.  Bake on un-greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on tops.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mystery Reader for J

Today I was the mystery reader in J's class.  We have been so good about using our wonderful library, that I seldom buy books anymore.  Thankfully, our librarians are so good that I called ahead and have them pull 5-6 books that J would like  (I love that they know him well enough to know what he would like).  I gave each a read and ended up selecting this one..Mustache.  This book is hilarious and had all the kids giggling in the Jackson's kindergaten class.

Since we are no longer allowed to bring treats for birthdays, they allow up to mystery read instead.  So, I couldn't help bringing a little treat for the kids to enjoy.  At Party City, I came across these fabulous stick-on mustaches for a quarter-- they were  hilarious.  I picked up one for each kid and they LOVED it.  Here are just a few pics of the kids with theirs on.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day 2013

For whatever reason, Valentines always signals the last bit of winter and the race to spring.  The bright pink and red sets a tone that it is decidedly brighter.

For Valentines Day this year, my kiddos got their favorite balloon pets.  Have I mentioned their my favorite pets too?  KF got a kitty, Chomps got a doggy and Baby J got a dinosaur

Each one also got a heart balloon, a mailbox of candies and treats, and best of all, I got them each a house key.  Now that I am working, I thought these might be in order.  How fun are these keys I picked up at Home Depot?

The kids enjoyed a special afternoon treat from the donut shop.  I can't believe that I actually ended up throwing an un-eaten one away.

I totally embraced the day with bright pink.  The J.Crew excursion vest in pink is a favorite.  I bought the red last year and I have worn it to death.  So, I just had to have this color.  As for nails, I used Essie's Fancy Delancy.  Toooo cute!

Valentines Day 2012

I hate to complain, but my did's school has decided to take a "healthy" approach to holidays and they no longer allow candy to be exchanged.  Consequently, holidays such as Valentines can no longer include conversation hearts or red hots.  So, this year we had to figure out a way to get creative.  I think we did a pretty good job.

Baby J gave each of his buddies one of these cute hot wheels.  We packaged them in some cello bags I had on hand and made this cute topper that we stapled on.

Chomp's was my favorite valentine.  I had left over test tubes a previous party.  So, we made a mad lib for each child and rolled it up with a golf pencil, corked the entire thing and added a tag with bakers twine.  I love when I have all the supplies needed for a project.

Last was KF... her pick was seed packets.  We found them 4 for $1.00 at the dollar store and stocked up.  From that we created a construction paper pot that opened up and added  a "heart" flower.  

Ever since my kids were little we made our Valentines.  Sometime I wish I could just go pick up a box of cards and be done, but I am always so proud of what we create.