And with a blink, it has almost been a year since I’ve posted to this blog. It has been a year of many successful projects, both big and small. Now it is time to pause, reflect and think about the coming year. I think this needs to be a year to look in — to focus on health, family and home as much as community. Simplify. Slow down. Cut back. Appreciate how far we’ve come and all of which we have to be grateful.

P.S. I just found a draft post from January 2013 that said almost the same thing. Note to self.


Something to aim towards..


I read this a while back on simplelovely & adore it. It does make me feel a bit klutzy. But, it is a goal so it is ok to be lofty, right?


Not buying new

I keep coming back with curiosity to the group (Compact) that commits to a year without buying new products. It fascinates me economically and is in line with where I’ve been heading (buying local & used). This would be taking the next natural step & cut out big box. I hope it would further distance me from the shopping impulse.

This is what they say:
“To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc.
To reduce clutter and waste in our homes.
To simplify our lives.

We’ve agreed to follow two principles:
#1 Don’t buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.) with some exceptions below.
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.”

They have exceptions listed here. They are: Food, drink, necessary medicine, cleaning products, socks & underwear, pjs for kids, services (utilitarian, recreational & local artisanal items), charitable contributions, plans, cut flowers, art supplies, and subscriptions on renewal only. Some choose to eat out once a week or add in other exceptions.

I’m not sure we are quite ready for this yet but maybe it is easier than I think. I keep thinking about how parents look at me with fascination when I say that I read but the answer is simply I don’t watch TV. Perhaps this is just as simple?


Coming up for air

I knew going into it that I’d over committed for October. I forget something that even if my shear determination allows me to do it all that I’ll pay in other ways. The good news is that the local harvest festival was amazing! really really amazing & reminds me how much I love this community. I am so grateful that my Mom & Stepfather were able to come and help! It’s My Park day on the weekend my Father visited was good & busy. The Halloween Party happened even though I went home and let everyone else cleanup! Little and I then got a bad cold. Surprised? Oh then came Hurricane Sandy!!

I am just now picking up all the pieces from the fall. I finally finished the bookkeeping for the Harvest Festival this week! We are in full swing for the holidays: a tiny tree is up, gingerbread cookie ornaments been cooked, advent books were rewrapped andare being opened daily and we just visited the amazing local holiday market!

Finally, my gorgeous free spirit of a cousin died on Saturday night in a car accident. My heart hurts for her mother, sister & boyfriend. What do you say in a moment like this? except that her passing has really touched all of us. I hope that I am able to find a way to remember & celebrate her life by living it in her spirit.


Restoring the faith (just a little bit)

If you do any community work, you many recognize that sometimes you start to feel like sisyphus & it might get you a little down. Today, the world gave me aboost.

Something happened in the park this morning – as a New Yorker I would have just turned my back and walked away but it was too close to my kid & made my stomach turn. I looked on our community list serve, found the number & email of our new Deputy Inspector and emailed him the photo I took. An hour later – he called back. The guy is in custody & they matched his photo. They will take documented photos of him, distribute them and do their best to keep him away from the playgrounds. It was just how you wish your local police department would respond – with respect, honesty & efficiency.

Baby Personal

Potty Learning

We’ve been traveling down a long path of potty learning. At 1 year, she was sitting on the potty. Almost a year later, I tried the every 30 minutes on the potty & after a bad rash she resisted. We started again about 3 weeks ago at 26 months. She’s now wearing diapers only during nap & nighttime. We read lots of potty books, watch potty power & she gets hand stamps when she goes on her potty. She loves her elmo and hello kitty undies. The Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus goes EVERYWHERE with us. It helps that some of her girlfriends are learning too. I didn’t expect how present it would require me to be.

Baby Project

DIY: Fairy Path

My mother had a lovely idea to turn her woods into fairyland. While my daughter napped, I took her collection of fairies and spread them along a path. She already had a fairy house & several fairy doors in place. The girls has a fantastic time finding all the little fairies & my daughter (who really enjoys Look and Find books) especially loved finding the tiniest fairies. This would really make a easy & fun activity for a birthday party!

Tub of glow in the dark fairies available here.
Similar Fairies from Safari Tube
Disney Fairies are pricier on Amazon but can also be found at stores like TJMax.


Is anyone gonna show up for the party?

After weeks of planning & some amazing stuff happening – we have a Hudson Heights Cleanup organized for today! We’ve got tshirts, tools, signs, pizza, coffee, cupcakes, prize items etc. I’m left now with the same 12 year old anxiety that I hope folks show up for the party. The weather says thunderstorms. Oy! Fingers crossed!

Out Personal Project

Summer Bucket List 2012

I’ve been unscheduling us for the summer. This spring (through a series of snafus) we’ve been way over scheduled. My daughter seem to thrive but it has been running me ragged. We need to calm down, focus on potty training & enjoy the summer!

So here’s our Summer Bucket List 2012

- Eat tons of watermelon, berries, corn on the cob & popsicles
- Go to the zoo
- Have friends over to eat outside on Sunday nights
- Make homemade icecream
- Pick your own fruit (strawberries, peaches, etc.)
- Weekly Farmers Markets
- Beach & pool! Find new lakes to visit!
- Screen free everyday 9-5? That’s a tough one – maybe we say except during nap time?
- Watch Fireworks
- Fly a kite
- Write letters
- Go to a splash park
- Make friendship bracelets

Update: take a family photo in front of a graffiti wall!

Cooking Personal

The Great Sourdough Adventure

I took a jump a few weeks ago & ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur. The starter arrived in the mailroom the same day that we took in a stray who had been locked in our basement; together they added two more “mouths” to feed! Oy!

If you are a newbee like me, you may not know that you need to feed your starter each week a meal of flour and water. Since it arrived, our sourdough has been doubled twice to share with friends & once busted out of a container threatening to consume the fridge. It also made some pretty yummy rustic sourdough bread, recipe here. I’m going to try the more sour bread recipe & the sourdough pancakes this weekend.

Am I brave enough for Kombucha? Not sure yet…