Friday, September 30, 2011

Flashback Friday - High School Senior


If you're looking at this picture and can't figure out which one of those bubble jacket clad lovelies I am...good!  This picture was taken during a senior ski trip.  It wasn't school sanctioned of course being as I went to an all girl Catholic School and this trip was basically referred to as Cancun on ice.  These were some of the girls that I hung out with, including my all time bestie.  It really was such a super fun trip.  Making out, getting tipsy off of bud light, and feeling alive, and full of promise.  

Man I hope I didn't peak in high school.  And I'm the one in white :)

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Broadway Review

Recently I had a big broadway bonanza where I gave a bunch of tickets away.  I finally got to go and see two of the shows, ImaginOcean and The Gazillion Bubble Show

The Gazillion Bubble Show was fantastic.  Deni Yang, who was pretty handsome by the way, created a spectacular show of bubbles.  There were bubbles inside bubbles, big giant bubbles,  bubbles filled with fog that burst into little tufts of smoke, colored bubbles, and at the beginning and end, a wall of bubbles that covered everyone in the audience.  Throughout the show, there were clips of Deni performing and backgrounds on his family.  Also, there was a part of the show where he brought up children from the audience to take part in the fun.  I took Isabella, my mom, and my niece and we had such a great time.  The theatre in NYC where it's held (New World Stages) is small so everyone had a great view of the stage.  If you're ever in the NYC area I definitely recommend seeing it.  There's a great chance I'm going to take Isabella to see it again because she talked about it to everyone for like 4 days afterwards.

ImaginOcean also started and ended in a great way...with bubbles!  Apparently kids really go nutso for bubbles.  But ImaginOcean was cool because it was puppets all in irridescent black light, so you couldn't see the people controlling the three fish.  The colors were really bright and it told the story of 3 fishy friends trying to find a hidden treasure, and, of course the true treasure was their friendship.  This show was less than an hour so it might be a great way to start out with a little one who you're not sure how long they will sit for.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Bad Mood Blues

The past few days I've been in rare form.  I've been in a super bad mood with no real reason other than I'm in a bad mood.  I'm back into my work routine and it's starting to feel like a rut.  I need some excitement in my life but don't know how to go about getting that.  I feel fat.  I feel ugly.  I feel old. I feel boring.  My house is a mess.  I hate my Fall/Winter wardrobe.  I haven't gone for a run or hit the gym in like 3 weeks.  I'm having a hard time adjusting to being back at work.  I have a nagging to-do list and no motivation to tackle it.  Just feeling blah.

I know that if I called a friend and chatted on the phone or over a cup of coffee I'd feel better.  I know if I went for a run or hit the gym I'd feel better.  I know that if I did my hair and make up and found an outfit that didn't make me want to hide under the bed I'd feel better.  I just don't have the "ooomph" to get up and do it.  The dreary rain doesn't help either.

I'm just feeling a bit lost and not of my self right now.  I know it will pass.  It always does.  But for now I'm just in a really foul mood.  How do you guys banish the bad mood blues?
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Surviving September- Work

Picture Source
Ask any teacher and without a doubt they'll tell you that their most difficult months are September and June.  Basically because you are inundated with paper work and bogged down with assessments.  The only difference between the two is that in June you don't mind as much because a long summer is ahead of you. In September there's still 9 more months of work, so it can be a little daunting.  This month I focused on Work for my Happiness Project.  My resolutions were get organized, ask for help, try new things, and work smart.

I've definitely spent a lot of time organizing.  Just taking 15 minutes of a prep, coming in 15 minutes early or staying 15 minutes late, and rarely giving up 15 minutes of lunch can really put a dent in the mess of papers, books, and miscellaneous hodgepodge.  So even though I have a lot more to do, I'm going along nicely.  I always feel like I can work better in an organized, streamlined environment.  I think it will probably take me through October to get it the way I really want it.

I've been making sure to work smart and ask for help when I need it.  Asking for help, proved a lot easier than I thought and I'm lucky that my co-workers are also very close friends of mine so they generally don't think I'm an idiot if I've forgotten something.  I also make sure to offer help when I can.  Although, honestly sometimes by the time I explain what I need help with I could have just done it myself.  I haven't tried anything new yet, but I have some great ideas for projects in upcoming units.

Basically at work in September I felt like I was constantly drowning.  Now I feel like I'm just struggling to keep my head above water, but before I know it...I'll be coasting.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Free Pregnancy Planner App

No, it's not for me I still have some time before I cross that bridge unless one of you wants to jump start my ovaries.  There's a free pregnancy planner app on facebook that is completely free.  It's from Delta Labs which is a company I've worked with before and absolutely adore.

You can find the free app  http://www.facebook.com/bundles.health. The Pregnancy Planner is a place to find some great tips and advice on getting through the pregnancy period. From pre-pregnancy through all three trimesters, to post-pregnacy and breastfeeding, you'll find a wealth of information.

And plus also, in celebration of the Pregnancy Planner launch, they are giving away ten Prenatal Vitamins EVERYDAY in the month of September and October. You can enter from the Bundles page by clicking the "Prenatal Giveaway" tab.

Just some information I thought I'd pass along.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Freedom

There are many things that I had pre-baby that I still long for, sleeping in, a backseat that isn't covered in cheerios and goldfish, thighs that don't rub together like a cricket.  But of all the things I miss, there's one I've been missing a lot more lately.  Freedom ::cue Mel Gibson with his blue face and plaid skirt::

Freedom to go where I want and do what I want.  I guess this would even extend to before marriage.  Oh what would it be like to go shopping without nagging thoughts of a house payment, a car payment, and a Fall wardrobe for Isabella.  To buy something just because it was beautiful and I loved it without worrying if I'd have to live on Ramen noodles for the week or if it would go on sale or if they had something that doesn't look as great, but was cheaper.

Freedom to stay out all night without worrying about quizzical looks from my husband or worrying about how to nurse a hangover and meet all the demanding needs of a toddler.  To not have to leave a night out early because I have to wake up with the baby the next day.  To feel beautiful, not stretched out and saggy.

Freedom to stay in my pajamas all day long watching Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, Glee, and all my Housewives.  Just the freedom to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without worrying or answering to anybody.

Now I haven't gone completely bat shit crazy because I'm pretty sure that even before Andy and Isabella I couldn't really have gone out all the time, spent a ton of money on clothes, although I did have trash TV marathons regularly, but it's nice to dream.  I don't know, I've kind of been in a weird mood lately.  Getting back into the routine of work again feels just like that...a routine.  I'm feeling chained to this routine, like I'm living my life inside some little box and it's making me nuts.  I don't want to run off and join the circus or anything but my life feels a bit gray right now and it desperately needs a splash of color.  I have to shake things up a bit before I start feeling like a prisoner in my own life.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday Twihards

To say the girls and I were obsessed with the Twilight Saga is akin to saying that John Goodman is chubby.  It just ain't the truth.  We would read, re-read, and dissect the books and the movies ad nauseum.  We discussed the pros and cons of being with Edward as opposed to Jacob.  We worried if Charlie would ever find love.  We cursed the abomination of Stephanie Meyers imagination that allowed Edward to produce sperm despite the fact that his lungs do not produce air nor his heart blood.

This picture was taken on opening night of the first movie.  We waited in line with the twelve year old girls (and their twihard moms) clad in t-shirts.  Teresa and I are the only Team Jacob's.  We like Edward, but Jacob's happiness means more to us.

This was Isabella's first movie...I was 2 ish months pregnant or so

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Obsession

Hands off ladies he's all mine!
I have a serious, serious obsession.  It's with George RR Martin's epic saga A Song of Ice and Fire.  I can't get enough of it.  I watched Game of Thrones on HBO and something (I won't give any spoilers) happened that had my hoisting my jaw off the floor and so I googled to make sure that what I saw actually happened and it wasn't a flashback of a bad ecstasy hit that I took in 1999.  It wasn't.  Then I realized that this amazing show was based on a book and not just one book...a bunch of books...long books.

So I went to download them on my NOOK, but surprisingly for the 4 books that were out at the time it cost $35 to download and only $20 to order, which is weird, so I ordered them and devoured them.  A Game of Thrones, A Storm of Swords, A Clash of Kings, A Feast for Crows, and the newest one A Dance of Dragons.


I'd gladly forfeit my other guilty pleasures, The Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, etc, to get lost in the seven kingdoms.  I love books like these that really just wrap you up and take you along for the ride.  And now I am completely obsessed with Sean Bean.  So if any of you know him can you please make him call me so I can tell him that I am completely obsessed with him in the least creepy way possible.


Oh and no one is paying me to say this shit.  I'm just really into it right now and I'm hoping to spread my obsession to as many people as possible.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh the Things that I Think

The alarm clock goes off around 5:45 am and here is how the rest of the day plays out in my head...

Seven hells that alarm clock is so obnoxious.  I'm not a religious person but I swear to God that is what hell must sound like.

Do I really need to wash my hair today?  Nope!  Ponytail.  Maybe if I put a braid in the front people will think it's fancy not dirty.

This isn't wrinkled I'll wear this.

If I chew very lightly on the right side this banana almost tastes like bacon, egg, and cheese.  Will I ever be thin enough to enjoy a guilt free breakfast sandwich again?

Speaking of guilt...why the hell do I feel guilty about everything?  I blame Sister Jean and Sister Lora for years of guiltwashing me.

Why is there always so much traffic in Staten Island?  If the toll goes up again I swear I'm writing my congressman.

I have so much paper work to do.

With each passing moment I spend in this classroom with these kids I'm starting to believe that the old addage, "There's no such thing as a stupid question" is a giant farce.

I'm tempted to change my name just so I don't have to hear these kids say it 50 times a day.

Thank God it's lunch...oh wait, hummus and carrots...lame sauce.

I'm so happy I'm home so I can squeeze my Isabella.

Why won't this kid hug me?  Maybe she has some sort of hugging disorder.

Nevermind, she's hugging Andy.  What the hell? I was with this kid nearly every day for 10 weeks, I'm back to work for 2 and I'm dirt.  Maybe I'm just a shitty ass parent.  Does this kid even love me?

Should I have wine tonight or tea?  I really want wine, but Dr. Oz is constantly extolling the virtues of consuming green tea.  Oh fuck it I'm having wine.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

September Happiness...Work

I've been really dragging my feet writing this post, as you can tell that it's September 12th and I'm just sitting down to focus on my September Happiness theme of work.  But as a teacher, there really is no better time to focus on my work then right now.

I really love what I do.  I can honestly say that I couldn't picture myself doing anything else, except maybe writing or being a Beverly Hills Housewife.  But this year I'm really dragging.  I'm adjusting to the fact that I'm back in the classroom after a year of doing a job I loved as a Reading Teacher.  I'm adjusting to the fact that I have a really big class.  And I had such a great summer that I'm really adjusting to not being home with Isabella...of drinking my coffee in the car listening to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show instead of curled up on the couch flipping through a magazine while Isabella watches Alice in Wonderland.  But like it or not, I'm back at work and it's time that I focus on bringing my happiness there.

Since I already love my job I feel like that's a plus, if you were doing this happiness project and hated your job maybe you could focus on finding one that you like, not that I think any of you are actually doing this with me, but if you ever feel that urge.  Here are my September resolutions:

Try New Things: I'm good at what I do, but I think I need to shake things up a bit.  Sometimes I'm afraid to try something new in my classroom because I'm scared that it won't work out or because I already have all the "stuff" to do it the old way.  I want to branch out and try new things and if it doesn't work it doesn't work.  I think I'm ready to grow a little bit professionally.  Maybe integrate more projects and group works and vamp up my lesson plans.

Ask for Help: Picture this, a classroom overrun with new supplies.  A to-do list that is two pages long.  A stack of papers needing to be looked at.  A cup of pencils that need to be sharpened.  Someone walks in and says, "Hey you need some help?" And what do I say, "No I'm ok, but thanks."  That's nuts, sometimes I need to just let people help me.  And I need to learn to delegate.  Andplusalso, I need to check my pride and ask questions if I don't get something right away.

Organize: I'm a pretty organized person, but I'm back in a room that I haven't been in in a year.  In that year, it was occupied by one general ed teacher, one long term sub, a para professional, a special education teacher, and about 20 3rd graders.  To say the room is not as pristine as I left it is a giant understatement.  I need to get busy organizing and streamlining my room.  Even if I just dedicate 15 minutes 2 or 3 times a week just to organizing I'll make a big dent in what I have to get done.

Work Smart: Work smart, not hard.  I bet I could accomplish more if I stopped stopping in the middle of one task to start another or farting around with my Smart Board software or chit chatting with co-workers.

Here's to the start of a great year!
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday When I Felt Pretty


It was December 31st 2007.  New Year's Eve.  All of my bests and our men (those who had them) were celebrating at Sirico's Catering Hall in Brooklyn.  This was pre-baby so I was still getting lots of girl time: dinners, dancing, bars, movies, game nights, even a day at The Painted Pot pottery shop.  I felt good in my place in the world.  Andy and I were over that first year struggle in our marriage and we were really happy and I felt really close to all of my girlfriends.  But more than that, this was the first time, including my wedding day that I actually felt beautiful.

Not just pretty.  But really beautiful...and thin.  This was the only time I can actually recall loving my body.  I was newly vegan and had dropped about 15 pounds in a little less than three months and I felt fantastic.  You can't see it in the picture but the dress has a cut out back, which is something I would shy away from now because of unsightly back fat.  But at that point in my life I was healthy, thin, beautiful and surrounded by people who made me so happy.  I know I'll never get down to that weight again, unless I go vegan again, but I'm hoping to one day love my body and my life like I did that night.  It really was one of my very best memories.



And my girls looked pretty good too (from left me, Crotch, Christina, Christie.  Meg, Teresa and Lara are not pictured)

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When Giveaways Go Wrong

In April I hosted a giveaway from Skin MD Naturals.  I reviewed the product, hosted the giveaway, and promoted it on facebook and twitter.  I did everything I said I was going to do.  BUT they never mailed the prize out to the winner.  I have sent several e-mails to Sarah Macgregor-Scott, who is the woman I dealt with, and she has ignored every. single. one. of them.

I said the product was great and it's true, but the lack of respect and customer service and the lack of fulfillment to our deal is inexcusable in my opinion.  I know many of you who read this may host or participate in giveaways on your blogs, so what do you do when shit hits the fan and companies bail on holding up their end of the bargain?  I feel angry and cheated and I hate the fact that one of my readers is disappointed.  It makes me look bad even though it's the company that botched it.

If this makes you angry, please e-mail sarah@skinmdnatural.com and tell her that you find this unacceptable.  I'm calling all bloggers to arms to take up this cause (ok so that might be a bit melodramatic), but maybe they'll actually do what they said they were going to do if people speak up and tell them that it's not ok.

I will gladly now step off my soap box and thank you kindly in advance.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Almost Costume Time

I love Halloween, like I decorate my house on October 1st from top to bottom.  It might be our favorite holiday.  But usually around this time of year I start stressing out about what I want to dress up as.  Every year we host a Halloween party with our friends and we have a costume party.  Some years I rocked it (Cleopatra) and some years I completely botched it (that Marge Simpson wig would just not stay up).  But this year www.BuyCostumes.com has made my life a lot easier.

I was offered the opportunity to review any costume I wanted from the TV and Movie section of Buy Costumes website.  That in and of itself took me about a day and a half to decide.  Do I want to be Angelica from Pirates of the Caribbean? Could I pull off Wonder Woman? Would the Cruella DeVille dress make me look hippy?  Seriously, there are a ton of costumes to choose from for men, women, and your tots.  In the end I decided on The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.  We're currently in the middle of an Alice in Wonderland obsession over here so I figured it would make the wee one happy.



I love the costume.  It fits, it's comfortable, it's age appropriate and it comes with everything I need to rock it.  It fits true to size and it's reasonably priced.  I don't know many people who want to spend a ton of money on a costume they're going to wear for one night and I have to say that the prices at www.buycostumes.com  are appropriately priced.  The costume is made of quality material and it doesn't look cheap at all.  I'm very satisfied with my costume and I can't wait to wear it at the Halloween party this year.

Just in case you wanted to see what it looked like on a tall, thin, good-looking model


So when you're thinking of what you want to be for Halloween this year, take a look at www.BuyCostumes.com  

I was given a free costume so that I might provide my honest opinion.  The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone.  
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Falling off the Happiness Bandwagon

September's Happiness Project Theme is Work, but since I haven't started back to work yet I thought I'd do a general Happiness Project post.  I love the focus that starting this project has brought into my life.  I love how it gives me small, structured steps that lead to happiness in different parts of my life.  But this past month I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon.

I've been a little slack checking off my resolutions for each month.  I think since I knew August was my last month of vacation I kind of threw caution to the wind and really just enjoyed myself.  I ate what I wanted, drank a lot of what I wanted (cabernet anyone?), slothed, and hermited myself up.  And even though it felt great, I'm feeling the effects now.  I'm a bit fatter, not running as fast or as long as I was, and I'm starting to get text messages from friends asking why I still haven't called them back.  Times like this happen and I'm being gentle with myself, but I'm ready to get back on the program.

Going back to work I think will be a big time buzz kill, but it does keep me more on schedule and I thrive on routines.  So I'm ready to start treating my body nicely, treating my friends nicely, and treating my home nicely.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

The First Night Out

So Blair over at Heir to Blair does this Flashback Friday and I'm kind of digging it, so I decided that I'd jump on the bandwagon, for today at least.


This was a picture from my first girl's night out after Isabella was born.  She was only 2 weeks old (which is why I'm not showing you a full body shot).  The reason I strayed from my nest of spit up, squalling, and sleep deprivation was because one of my besties was moving away to Israel and it was only fitting to have all of us girls there to give her a proper Brooklyn send off.  You ca see the empty glasses, my stink eye, and Teresa laughing at something I said that for sure was cutting, even in a martini induced hazed.  Check out the short hair too!

And a big welcome back to Lara, who after a 6 countries and years of absence has returned to us.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ummm...Who's Too Cute?


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Potty Training Begins

I recently wrote about how I'm feeling really lazy about potty training (Click HERE to read all about it).  I wasn't up for it and I didn't think she was.  However, lately she's been really into the potty.  She likes to sit on it and she loves the toilet paper, and then I went to pick her up at school at the beginning of the week and on her sheet it said that she sat on the potty like 3 times.  So even though I'm still feeling really lazy about it, it seems that she's getting revved up by it so I decided to take her lead and plunge into potty training.

For those of you living under a rock, the north east was pounded by Hurricane Irene, since I live in Jersey, we were slated for a direct hit so I figured I would use those 48 hours indoors to really tackle the training.  So in an effort to prepare myself, I googled.  The results were so numerous that I really just didn't know where to start.  Some said to start at 18 months, others said 36 months, some said use pull-ups, some said run around naked.  But they all seem to say that if you don't keep potty training positive you will shame your kid into being a sociopath.  So I closed the computer and asked my real live cousin Nicole who has been there and done that with her daughter.  She said that she kept her bare bottom and took her to the potty a lot and used M&M's to help with incentives.

Ok, that seemed simple enough.  So Saturday morning I took off the diaper and let her run around bare assed.  She peed on the potty no problem and once she saw she was getting a treat (candy, TV show, craft etc) she was even more into it.  We lost power on Sunday so she was a little hesitant to pee in a darkened bathroom even with a flashlight, so we had a few more accidents on Sunday than Saturday, but she still did a pretty decent job.  Although, we went for a walk late Sunday afternoon once the weather cleared up and she peed in her shorts, which struck me as kind of funny.

So here is what's going well:  she'll sit on the potty whenever I ask her to (I try to have her sit on it every 30-45 minutes), if she has to pee she does, and sometimes she'll go in herself without me if she has to go before the timer goes off.

Here are the challenges:  she will not poop on the potty.  It's been several days and she will poop on the floor or outside on the deck like an untrained poodle.  I'm not sure if she's scared to poop on the potty or if it's a sign she's maybe not ready.  She'll still have pee accidents on the floor sometimes (1-2) a day.

Here are my concerns: What happens if we have to take her for a long car ride? We've been lying low this week to get her into the swing of things, what happens when it's time to go on an outing?  I'm going to send her to school in pull-ups, but other than that I'm planning to just stick with panties (except for nap and bed time, I'll tackle that after day time is established).

I'm accepting any and all potty training stories, advice, and answers.  Now excuse me while I scrub the poop off my floor.
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