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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The New Jersey Children's Museum


So today, on this miserable and dreary day, I decided to take my kids to the New Jersey Children's Museum.   It's located in Paramus which is easy to get to via the GWB or the TZB.  From the TZB, its about 20 mins.   Admission is $10 per person, but I had a coupon from one of my favorite sites www.livingsocial.com (that's a whole separate blog entry....discount sites).  The coupon was for $5 tickets.  Even at full price, $10 is fine for what it is.    

From the outside, my first thought was "not impressed."   It's in a building that looks somewhat industrial and is not as aesthetically pleasing as Stepping Stones in CT, but I checked out the website beforehand and it looked like it had some great things for the kids.    We walked into the main entrance and the girl at the front desk gave us this map.   

I looked at it.   Adorable.  :-) 
(While I was checking in and redeeming my coupons, the kids were entertained by fun house mirrors that distort their faces.) 



Is it a little run down?   Yes.    
Could it be a drop cleaner?  Yes.  
The truth is, kids don't care about the quality of things.  
Look at most preschool toys; kitchen sets, dolls, outdoor equipment.  I will never forget going to the Parent Orientation at my daughter's first preschool.  When we left, I could tell that my husband was a little quiet and seemed dissatisfied.  I asked him what he thought and he admitted that he did not think it looked too inviting.   He asked me if we should buy  a new kitchen/play area and donate it to the school.   I explained that the 2 year olds in the class don't discriminate.  Because we had the nice pink Pottery Barn Kids kitchen at home did not mean that she was going to like it anymore than the old wooden one at the school.  WE chose that kitchen.   Most parents want more for their kids than the kids want for themselves.   OK, I am rambling.   Back to the museum.

So it's a little tired but it has a lot of fun things for the kids.  I guess its best for kids aged 2-6.  There is a younger section for babies and kids older than 6 might not be interested in the creative/pretend play.   There are cute areas like a grocery store, a pizzeria and a castle.  Children can pretend to drive a backhoe, a fire engine, ambulance or helicopter.  There are some scientific areas and some historical areas.  Other areas are a music room, an infant soft play room and a giant train set.  Of course, there are party rooms and a gift shop...but what I loved was that they did not serve food.   Most of these places serve junk.  

Here are some pics:
















-Emma 

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Item Promotion: Sunscreen for Kids  

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Never have to worry about getting in their eyes.  No more sticky hands.   Older kids can even apply it themselves.   Just throw it in their school bag or camp bag.  
(Schools actually consider applying sunscreen "medication" and are unable to dispense it.)
$30 or so on Amazon or on the company's website 
www.ilovegoscreen.com



Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Home Office

Years ago, when I was working full time, I had access to office equipment that I was able to use for personal use.   Receiving faxes was not always the easiest but to send a fax, copy some documents, it was great.  Having a fax phone line run into your home was expensive and carried a monthly charge as it required a separate phone line, etc.

Now that I am not working, I have to take care of office chores at home.   Running to Staples is a pain, fax machines are basically like cassette players anymore and everything needs to be done quickly.   So you kind of need to have a set up in place at home.    When I went through the mortgage process for my house, I was amazed that not a single piece of REAL paper was exchanged until the closing.   All documents, applications, forms were sent via email and returned via email.   Had to think quickly about how to keep up with this paperless trail and move the very slow process along quickly.

The solution is a combination of the following items.  A scanner, copier, printer, computer and a membership to efax.  No phone line needed.  Just an internet connection.

When applying for a pre-approval, a basic screening process takes place to check our your financial status.   Mortgage guy sends an application via email, that you can fill out and return.  No meeting each other, no sitting at a desk in a bank branch.  All done over email and a phone call here and there.   Scanned drivers licenses, social security cards etc. and returned the completed mini-application and was given a pre approval, by email within 24 hours.  

Thank God for my 3-in-1 scanner/printer/copier.   Pages had to be printed out, scanned and resent not via email attachments.  They can send ME documents via email attachments....but they wanted them returned via fax.  Their faxes were delivered to their email inbox.   A little bit confusing but if all I had to do was go out to fax some things here and there, that's fine.  

Then my husband told me about efax.  www.efax.com gives you a fax "number" that delivers your scanned documents via internet from your efax number to their fax number that somehow has nothing to do with a phone and appears in the email inbox even quicker than the papers in a fax machine would take to feed in and transmit over the phone lines.

Once the pre approval was given, we reached a deal on our house and that 3-in-1 printer became the most popular appliance in the house.   Mortgage guy emails me a checklist with about 20-25 items that he needs.    One of the things on the list is....tax returns.  Organized as I am, I have them in a file folder, labeled with the year, beside last years and the year before.    I find about 20 sheets of paper and think, ugh....scanning these one by one and email attaching/efaxing all of these is going to be a nightmare.   Can't I just gather these 20-25 things and bring them to this guys office?     I ask him how he wishes to receive the tax papers and he says, "Have your accountant email them to me."   I'm like....what?   My account is old and gray.....I can't imagine that he emails 20 page documents.  I call him up and suggest this, knowing that he has an entire WALL in his office filled with file folders.   He says, "Sure.....give me the broker's email address and I will get them over today."

WTF?  Seriously?  Old man accountant does this?   Apparently, every time a client needs them for a home purchase, he can email them.  Who knew?

Next order of business is bank statements.   Back to my hard copies in my file folders, nicely labeled.   They need a handful of statements, maybe 6 months or so.  I have them all but again its another bunch of papers.   Then it dawns on me-- these documents are all online.....so I go to my Chase account and I am able to download each months statement to a PDF file and email attach it.  6 months, 6 emails, took me about 6 minutes.

As speedy as all of these items were electronically transferred back and forth, the process dragged......I wonder if this is how it was in the "old days" when people did not have the internet.   Did someone receive the checklist in the mailbox.....gather the pieces of paper and go to an office and sit down with someone who would review them in real time?   How, with all of this technology is the process as slow as it is?   Technology is supposed to speed things up, make everyone more efficient, etc.    This process was the single most stressful experience of my life.   There has to be a simpler way.

Now that I am settled in to the house, my 3-in-1 printer/scanner/copier is still used on a regular basis.   I have a USB drive that holds all of the pages that I scan and I can refer back to them when I need them.    A doctor once gave me a list of good and bad fruits and vegetables.   I scanned it and I review it regularly.   My kids birth certificates and medical records/immunization forms are scanned in case I need them for school, camp, extra curricular activities, etc.   I scan papers from my kids school such as the "change in dismissal" form.   I can print it out as often as I need to.   I started scanning my daughters cute notes (she is beginning to spell in "kids spelling") and drawings.    I have folders that contain all of these scanned items.  Some are for practical day to day use and some are just to preserve memories.    I keep saying that I am going to post pics but really, I am going to do it tomorrow.   I plan on making a photo book with all of these scanned images and making sort of a "year in review" using these scanned images and pages.    I can hold these memories the way a photo album would.   :-)

If you buy one item for your home, buy a 3-in-1 printer/copier/scanner.   Eventually these manila file folders will phase themselves out.  I can scan my Con Ed bills....my cable bills.... everything!  

Tomorrows entry:  More Gadgets.   Cameras, phones, iPads
And PHOTOS!   Will go back to older entries and add some in.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where to Shop

Over the years, I have heard my grandmother say this statement:

"If you have good taste, you can shop anywhere."  

How true it is.   Where you shop really is not as important as what you buy.  As much as I think that I would like to shop strictly at designer stores, high end department stores etc... I realize, NO.  I wouldn't!   We all seem to think "Man....if money was no object I would buy _________."   or "If I was rich, I would shop at ___________."    Think about it.   Would you really? 

I am pretty good at looking at outfits and having an idea where they came from.   I browse enough websites to know what's in at the Gap, Banana Republic, AT, The Loft, etc.   I am not a name brand snob at all.  In fact, I purposely look for NON-name brands and pick clothing based on what I really like.    I get the Neiman Marcus catalog in the mail....I am not salivating over their clothes, buying Win for Life tickets at 7-11 in hopes of "someday" being able to shop at Neimans.   

So much of the fun of shopping, to me at least, is the thrill of the bargain.   And how nice is it to have things that no one else has, because no one would buy clothes in that store.   This blog is going to be somewhat of a ramble, because I am not sure how exactly to organize it.  

This blog has me reflecting on some of my favorite purchases over the years:

Favorite Stores:   Fox's in Eastchester, TJ Maxx, Annie Sez.    
Admitting that I have bought clothes at:  Target, Kohl's and Dress Barn

I used to have a black sleeveless wrap dress with periwinkle blue designs on it.   When I was working, I would get compliments on that dress EVERY time I wore it, often more than once a day.   "Cute dress!" people would say.   I am not one of those "oh, this old thing..." people.  I can accept a compliment and smile.   What I could have/should have/might have said was, "Target!"  But I didn't.  Why spoil the moment?     Target has some cute things!   I do own not one, but two Missoni for Target dresses.....and believe it or not, together they did not cost $100.   I bought ONE Missoni Missoni scarf on a discount site for $99 and was disgustingly disappointed when I opened the package, hoping to find my treasure, my real splurge and treat to myself.....to find out that I did not like the quality of the $99 scarf nearly as much as I liked the dresses for Target.  

What I love about Fox's and Annie Sez is that you can get the "in" clothing relatively inexpensive and by next season, when it's out, you did not spend a fortune.  And truthfully, how many times are you going to wear the same blouse??   Once you wear it to a girls night out, a family party with a different group of people, to a bridal shower with a third group of people.....you don't want to be seen in it again!!   Especially now with Facebook! You are no longer allowed to "outfit repeat" because people post pics and you're going to get caught.   So buy 3 cute shirts at Fox's and leave the fancy one at Lord and Taylor or Nordstrom where it should stay.   That brings me to my next topic.

Overhead
When you are shopping at XYZ store, consider the overhead.   What does a space in the Westchester Mall cost per month?   A favorite purchase of mine comes to mind.   I "like" (don't LOVE) the store White House/Black Market.   I will occasionally pay full price for something that I just have to have.   I like their things but really, I might buy 1-2 items per year in that store.    
One day, I am in a favorite store, Amazing Savings.....kind of a variety junk store, a little nicer than a dollar store but not as nice as a pharmacy.   Lots of overstocked items for seriously reduced prices.   I was looking on the clothing rack, in Amazing Savings, yes.  What did I come across?  A pair of capri length black leggings, from White House Black Market!  I thought I was seeing things.   I forget if they were $5.99 or $7.99 but I am sure that they were less than $9.99.   Full price in WHBM would be around $30-$35.   
WE are paying for overhead costs.   To buy cosmetics in the department stores, we pay for their space in high end commercial spaces.   I went for a facial once and asked the esthetician for some skin care product recommendations and she told me to get the Oil of Olay Regenerist Line in CVS.  I was expecting her to name drop the higher priced ones I have seen (and bought) in Lord and Taylor.  
When those high priced items do not sell in the department stores.....they get shipped off to places like Fox's, TJ Maxx and Annie Sez.....for people to buy at a fraction of the cost.   That brings me to my next topic.  (This is more organized than I thought it would be)

Kids Clothes
Kids aged 0-5 years old wear things for ONE season.   Under 2 years old, they change sizes 5 times!  After that, less frequently, but things usually don't last from one summer to the next summer.   Sometimes spring and fall clothes can be interchangeable, yes.  But generally they are in it and out of it in under 6 months.   
To say that I over bought for my first child is an understatement.  I lived and learned and decided that with my second, I would buy less.   I have been much better the second time around.   Part of it is first vs second and part of it is girl vs boy.   Shopping for a girl is definitely much more fun but I honestly think that if I had a second girl, I had learned my lesson to know that sometimes less is more.   
With kids clothes, you do not need quality as much as you do adults clothes because they are not going to need them for too long.   That's not to say that Kmart is on the top of my list for kids clothes, but neither is Janie and Jack or CrewCuts.    Of course there are splurge items for kids too-- A holiday outfit or a special occasion outfit (professional photograph picture day clothes!) you might want to spend a little more.   With that said, when I had my daughter's 4 year old pics taken, she was wearing a glittery sparkly dress that I bought for her in the dress up/toy area of the cough-cough, Christmas Tree Shop.   Swear to God.   When I figure out how to put pics up, you will see it.  Every SINGLE person who saw the pictures commented on the outfit.   The dress and the white furry coat from Old Navy!    
That brings me back to my grandmothers words.  If you have good taste, you can shop anywhere.    On my notes page is a reminder to myself to tell the story about the "strawberry sweater" and that fits in perfectly now.

The Strawberry Sweater
I used to have this acquaintance/neighbor/friend, whatever you would call her.   My husband called her my "frenemy" (friend/enemy)   We had girls the same age, but could not be more different.  She was a name dropper, cared about things that I could care less about.  Strangely she was at least 10 years older than me and probably could not afford the lifestyle she was living but that's another story.
We would bump into each other in the stores, out walking, in the playground often.  I saw her daughter's sweater and complimented her on it.   She thanked me.   When I told her that my daughter had the same one, she froze.   I realized at that moment, that I embarrassed her.  The sweater was from Babies R Us.  In her nervous way, she back pedaled and said, "I never go in there but I was low on diapers...." blah blah blah.... but she was happy to receive the compliment until her secret was out.  She bought a clothing item in Babies R Us!?   She even said, "A sweater like this would sell on the Upper East Side for a hundred bucks."  I just smiled.   I happened to like some of my baby items from Babies R Us.  I'm not ashamed.  :-) 

Favorite Kids Clothing Stores:  
TJ Maxx
Gymboree (for multi season matching-ness purposes) but past a certain age, not cool anymore, for some girls.   
Epsteins in Tuckahoe (love Pink brand for girls)
Carter's Outlet-- Great value, washes up nicely, lots of choices-- Esp zip up pajamas
Lord and Taylor (amazing sales.....great if looking to buy end of the season clearance for the following year) 

Cheapish but "good enough": 
Old Navy/Target/Childrens Place  (cute graphic tee's, Hello Kitty, Batman, etc.) 
Baby Stores (holiday themed items, costumes, shirts with sayings, Big Sister, etc.) 

Not impressed:
CrewCuts
Janie and Jack
Hanna Andersson

Pocketbooks 
This kind of doesn't flow with the topic above but I want to revisit another line of good old grandmother on the topic of purses.  In her day, women always had to match the purse with the shoes; I don't know if that is the rule so much these days.....who really looks?    And the white after labor day rule is one she always observes.   
I believe that every woman needs a nice bag, or two.   Nice meaning, expensive.  More than you would probably spend-- a splurge.   I have a number of genuine designer bags and I will have them for a long time, I know.
What I also have though..... is an entire closet shelf with "other" bags, inside bags, filled with cosmetic cases, wristlets, wallets, etc.  Sooooo many inexpensive bags too.   Not to match up with shoes, to go with an outfit, for any occasion-- just because I wanted it.  $50 here and $50 there...it adds up.    Still my favorite bags are the real ones.   :-)   The others do not compare.  BUT, to come back to my main point, some of those $50 bags are knock off bags.... a fake Louis Vuitton, a fake Tory Burch clutch bag.....but according to the mother of my mother, "When you have nice things (she means expensive things) you can pull off a fake one, because it's believable"  Believable that the Tory Burch clutch MIGHT be real....because, look at her.....she has a real Gucci.....and she drives a nice car....and always has her nails manicured, etc.   One fake item here and there, mixed in with all of the other "nice things" works.    

Shoes
I would say my theory on shoes for myself and for kids is the same.   Splurge on the pair you will wear most often.  Get the better sneakers, if your child is wearing them day in and day out to school.   Buy the less expensive holiday card, Easter Sunday shoes that will be worn a handful of times.     

Shoe Favorites:  
DSW, Marshalls, TJMaxx
Gymboree/Gap for kids.  
Always good sneakers
Aerosoles for comfort

Once in a while:  
Payless for tap shoes/ballet slippers for an 8 week session.  
Target for a pair of rain boots or snow boots for the few times your toddler wants to play outside in the winter.  

Websites
I am addicted to online shopping.   I have seriously contemplated cutting up my credit card for ONE WEEK to see if I could manage.   I will admit I binge shop sometimes.   I have made myself a deal.   Load up the online cart, and before checking out, remove a couple of things before finalizing the order.   Another little strategy is to buy a gift or two, to kind of offset the guilt.  I will buy a generic birthday gift, for a random classmate and I feel validated because I saved myself a trip OUT to buy a present and completed an errand from home....so my reward is one cute item for my little guy.  :-) 

Love: 
www.ruelala.com
www.hautelook.com
www.gilt.com
www.theminisocial.com
www.zulily.com

Wrapping up for now.  May continue on other topics at a later date but have so many topics I want to cover by 4/1.   Have to do 1 a day at least this week.  Will set more realistic goal for weekly blogging once 4/1 passes.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Designing and Decorating Kids Bedrooms

I have never been a fan of colored paint.   I grew up with a mother who only had white walls.   Her mom only had white walls.  Of course, my first apartment had....white walls.   I went a little crazy and got linen white, instead of plain-Jane stark white.   I was an adventurous 20-something.  
You would think that I would have had chosen to paint every room a different color since it was my own.  But like most of us, we tend to do exactly what our moms did.   If you are wondering if that is true, take a look in your grocery cart the next time you go food shopping.   You will see that you buy for your own home, everything that mom bought.   Well, maybe when you first move out on your own that is true; Until you start finding out own favorites must-have items.  
I realized this when I was in the supermarket with my neighbor and friend when I was about 25 years old.   Two single girls, taking a ride to replenish our cupboards and since we would take turns cooking, it made sense to shop together.   I will never forget looking into her cart and seeing: matzoh, small cans of mushrooms and store brand paper towels!   I looked into my own cart and compared her things to mine.  Why was I buying the things I was buying?   Because it's what my mom bought growing up.  Mom only used Bounty....therefore, I would only use Bounty.  (10+ years later, I STILL only use Bounty.) Over the years, I find myself shopping with my mom and she is confused by the choices in my cart and I guess I have evolved into my own person, with preferences and tried and true favorites.  I often try to convince her that something that I have is "the best" but she sticks with her own choices.   If this was Twitter, I would insert a #olddogsnewtricks or #momknowsbest right about now.

Anyway, I am getting way off track.  Back to the white walls.  So my first apartment had white walls.  My first house had white walls.   One room was of color and gradually I decided to bring in some color to the rooms.  Over time, the dining room became a deep red.  The living room a shaker beige, taupe/tan color.   It was fun to select colors.  Thank you Pottery Barn catalog for suggestions.  It is amazing how the lighting in a room and the furniture play into it.   Not going to lie- there were a couple of re-do's over the years, a couple of "OMG, lets lighten this 10%" after seeing the tester.  But never such a disaster that I couldn't live with it because after all, I am my mother's daughter....just a DROP more adventurous.  I was still within the comfort zone of normal, Type A choices.

So, I had my first child in 2006.   My husband and I did not wish to find out the gender of the baby.  People said, "Well, you can get the room ready if you find out."  Get the room ready??   That's assuming I would paint it baby pink or baby blue.  Nope!    I don't do pink/blue paint or pink/blue rugs for girls rooms or boys rooms.  A blue rug in an office is fine, anywhere else, fine.  A throw rug, an area rug, maybe.  But to commit to paint and rugs of color leaves you without options if you should have a child of the opposite gender next (which I did) and want to switch rooms (which I did).    Both rooms were neutral colored and I decorated "with color" to create my theme.   Can you imagine a babys' room with a blue rug, blue paint, bedding/sheets/curtains with choo-choo trains on it?   Too. Much.  Blue.    Same for girls.   Pink walls, pink area rug, Granny's rocker with pink pillows, pink floral bedding with puffy pink valances to match because Auntie wants to make it just perfect for your baby?   Vom-it.

The funny thing is that, since both kids, I moved.   Left the old house with neutral rugs and walls and moved into a brand new house with guess what!?  Neutral walls and neutral rugs.    Just how mom says it ought to be.   The couple who bought my house appreciates that they do not have to repaint baby-girl-throw-up-room over NOR baby-boy-give-me-a-headache-room.   Less expensive for the elderly couple with grown kids looking to downsize and easier for me to find buyer for when I wanted to move with my growing family.

So.....how do I decorate my kids rooms?  Can you tell the girl's room is for a girl and the boy's room is for the boy?  Absolutely.   I am not a gender-neutral, all-organic, don't-buy-your-girl-a-doll-buy-her-a-car-kind of mom.   I am certainly not "that mom."   I love my feminine choices and honestly the pink in the room pops because it is not overly pink.  It is delicate and pretty.

Girl's Room
Creamy ivory Madeline furniture from Pottery Barn Kids.   (Trundle bed, armoire, dressers) She has the PBK bedding and window treatments but NOT the matching ones.    Striped panels on the windows and polka dots on the bed.  Stripes are hot pink, light pink and ivory tones.  The sheets do not match the duvet, nor the curtains.  They do go together because the colors are from the same family and they are pretty much the only colors in the room.   The one stripe of hot pink in the curtain panels goes beautifully with the anywhere chair, that is the same pink.   It is the smallest color represented in the window treatment, therefore the chair pulls the color out.   (I can throw away the hot pink cover anytime and recover it, change it, give it to her brother, a niece or nephew.  Those chairs last forever.)   Color also comes from art work, pillows, lamps and my personal favorite.....dresses.  Yes. Dresses on hangers.   What's more beautiful and feminine than a wall of beautiful dresses?


Boy's Room
Let me start off by saying that the boy's room was once the girl's room at one time.  Easy transformation when main colors do not have to be changed!   Quick change.   Move the girl and all her pink to another room; Leave baby close to mommy for those early years.  Add color last.  Boy had a light blue/brown striped/polka dotted theme.  (Notice the similarity to the girl's room mentioned above.)   Accented with brown monkeys.    One of the best decorating tools ever invented has to be WALL DECALS.   I was able to add color  by placing monkeys on the wall.  NOT painting them....What if he surprised me and did not like monkeys?  No problem....Just peel them off.    Once I figure out how to get pics on here, I will add photos.    I may dedicate a blog just to decals.   Great sites for decals, are www.wallies.com and if you join the mailing list, you will be notified of their 50% off sales, which take place every 45-60 days.   Also, ebay sellers, make custom decals....you can get anything you want made into a wall decal.    Hope to get some pics up tomorrow.
Boy's room finished off with stuffed monkeys placed around the room and, of course, blue gingham PBKids Anywhere Chair....small version.   (Was sister's at one time, but recovered it for a small price on www.potterybarnkids.com)

To be continued.....I realize this topic was too giant for one post.  Will publish and sign off, "for now."

Update:  Wall Decal Pics
Custom Decal.
Found an ebay seller who made them.
My kids playroom is called the "kids club" and I wanted a sign of some sort for the wall going into the room.   I emailed them the text that I wanted, sent me the proof and it arrived within a week.   Probably cost $25 to make.  

Alphabet Decals
These were purchased on www.wallies.com
These are just above the white dry erase board that my daughter uses to play school.  
(White dry erase also bought on wallies!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blogs: My "To Do List"

Since I started this blog, less than a week ago, my goal was to write a blog a day.   I have already fallen behind.  What I have done, is make a list of things that I need to blog about....as things come to mind.

Here is my list:
-buying cars
-home furnishings/storage and organization
-toys for kids
-sunscreen for kids
-kids birthday parties
-thank you cards for birthday parties
-photos taken on iPhone/blackberry
-printers/fax machines etc.
-Groupon/Zulily/The Mini Social and the like

I may try to combine a couple of topics into one blog.  Maybe my techie blog will cover the iPhone/printer/fax topics.  Birthday parties can be a category.   I have to figure out how to accomplish more topics in less time to make up for the time already lost.   Please bear with me as I try to launch this blog.   I am going to set a goal date as April 1st as my official "share with everyone" and ask them to share with 10 friends, and ask them to share with 10 friends, and so on......  But before then I have to get to blogging!  

Feel free to suggest topics, ask questions and most of all "retweet" this blog if you wouldn't mind.  I am trying to make some new twitter friends and would appreciate your help.

Thanks
Emma


Monday, March 19, 2012

Consignments: This Weekend!


Be Green Logo
 
WESTCHESTER HERE WE COME!
Hello Be Green Friends!
OverheadShotDC

Spring is here this week and our second sale in Westchester is upon us!  We are super excited as we have over 100 consignors and 8,000 items in our inventory system.  So many great deals and bargains on kids stuff (newborn to pre-teen).  AND the location is AWESOME....LIFE: The Place To Be in Ardsley.  Bring your family and make a day out of it- they have a huge arcade room, play area, climbing wall, bowling alley, restaurant and more.

Great spring and summer items will be sold at this sale. Swimwear, spring holiday dresses, clothing, gear, room decor, furniture and toys toys toys!  Come get your kids summer camp wardrobe here!  

Here is the link to our website with all of the information about the sale, including directions to LIFE (2 Lawrence Street, Ardsley - right off the Saw Mill Parkway, Exit 16- super easy to get to from Tappan Zee Bridge and Manhattan.  Also about 1 hour South of Dutchess County- Taconic South to Saw Mill and an hour north of Brooklyn)


WESTCHESTER SALE SCHEDULE

Friday, March 23, 2012
Noon-5pm: Pre-Sale for Consignors,Volunteers and flier fundraiser participants ONLY. E-mail us to learn more about our flier fundraiser and how easy it is to raise money for your child's organization or school.
6pm-9pm:Pre-Sale for First Time Due & New Parents. Must Pre-Register to gain admittance. Limited to 100 due & new parents. Go tohttp://www.begreensale.com/newmoms.php to register.

Saturday, March 24, 2012
9am-4pm:Public Sale. Free & Open to everyone!

*** Officers fromThe Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley Police Departments will be at LIFE during the day to show you how to properly install a car seat and check if yours is correctly installed!
***

Sunday, March 25, 2012- DISCOUNT DAY!!!!
9am:Early entry with diaper or wipes donation.
10am-1pm: 1/2 Price Public Sale. Many items 50% off! Free & Open to everyone!
1pm: DOORS CLOSE/ SALE OVER 

Hope to see you all this weekend......it's going to be an incredible sale, you don't want to miss it!

Alison & Meredith

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sister

How cute is my sister? Saw this sign and sent me the pic. Love the well wishes for my new blog. XOXO

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Roomba

Roomba

My first post is going to be about the Roomba.   Why?   Because it is the most popular item in my house.   I have a brand new house, with brand new furniture, have spent thousands of dollars on furniture, accent pieces and window treatments and what do people love the most??   The Roomba.

For those of you wondering, what is a Roomba....it is a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.   It is plugged into the wall, on a charger/base and when you want it to vacuum up your kids cookie crumbs or the dots that fall out of the hole puncher after your daughter completes a "project," you run the Roomba and it picks up everything!

I can not tell you how many times people have asked, "Does it work!?"    My reply is, "Of course it works!" and I proceed to open the bottom compartment and show them HOW WELL it works.....It is filled with everything from cheerios to paper to dust.   I do not have pets but there is even a pet series one, that for one reason or another, works better?  I can't imagine it working better than mine.

Strangely enough, it knows how to work around the legs of chairs and tables.  It knows how NOT to fall down a flight of stairs.  It works on carpets and wood floors and can go from room to room, from carpet to floor very easily.

Where can you buy it?
Bed Bath and Beyond sells it and the 20% off coupon DOES work on it.  Roomba is not excluded (yet!) the way the higher end items are excluded.   I have also seen it in Costco for just a drop less than Bed Bath and Beyond.  BBB has it for $299, more or less and Costco has it for $279, I think.   However, now that I think of it the pet series, which is more expensive was $279 at Costco.   I guess you have to comparison shop.   It is well worth the money spent.  I mean, who really wants to push a vacuum anyway?  Those who are lucky enough to have a cleaning person weekly, can run the Roomba 6 days a week and have it vacuumed with your "other" vacuum on cleaning lady days.

Funny Story about the Roomba
It once picked up my very beautiful, delicate Stella and Dot chandelier earring.  I heard a noise and I went to see what it picked up.   Figured it was a plastic toy or a Poland Spring bottle cap, something that dropped to the floor.   I was shocked and upset when I realized it was my earring.   First because I loved the earrings and they were new; I had probably worn them twice, three times tops.  Secondly, because those damn Stella and Dot earrings are not cheap!   Figures my Ann Taylor Loft (or better, my New York and Company, LOL) earrings wouldn't get caught in it.   Those earrings were like $69!   Don't you know....it did not get ruined.   The way it was picked up, just let it fall out the same way.... Easy as can be.   Phew.....

Seriously, every woman, young or old, single or married, kids or no kids NEEDS a Roomba.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Introducing Emma

Hello Everybody

My name is Emma :-)

I am the kind of person that people around me refer to as the "go to girl" when it comes to all things it seems.  Relationship issues, family issues, book suggestions, party ideas/themes.  Maybe people value my opinion.  Maybe people think I am knowledgeable about a lot of topics.   On a given day, I can have 2-3 text messages or emails asking, "Hey....can you send me the name of the (fill in the blank) when you get a chance."  I am happy to connect people with each other.  Happy to help anyone at anytime.   I guess it's who I am.

I am a stay at home mom right now.   After spending many years in the education field, I decided to commit myself to my family full time.  I run my household, schedule appointments for my family, prepare 3 meals a day for each of us, deal with the headaches that come with all of this, but it is truly the most rewarding job I could ever dreamed of having.  

I plan on blogging daily, about random everyday things....Things from marriage, to child rearing, to shopping and cooking.  I will "promote" toys, books, companies, businesses and websites that I think are valuable.     Please feel free to comment, suggest topics or simply post a question and if it is something I can answer, I will.  

Happy Blogging to Me.....I guess my blogging birthday will be 3/16/12.  

Emma