Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Joyce!!!

If you haven't already, please make sure you wish Joyce a very happy birthday at: 

She is a February angel every day of the year!

Sparky Malarkey

Malarkey-something that does not have or make sense.

The story I am about to tell is senseless. But, know that in the is NOT sad.

 A college girl who had tried to have a puppy in her dorm, couldn't handle it after a few months and was looking for a home for an odd looking Dalmatian. The puppy wasn't trained and was very high strung as Dals are known to be. We decided to adopt this pup and soon had a nine month-old Sparky in our home.

I don't know if you know this, but Dalmatians spots do not develop until they are a bit older. So here we were with a strong, feisty, creme colored puppy. He was a happy-go-lucky type of personality and we were really enjoying him. Very soon after we adopted him I became pregnant with my fourth child, Becky.

The winter I was pregnant with Becky was 1994, the winter of many blizzards. Not easy when you have a 70lb puppy that needed to go out- a lot.  The kids couldn't really handle him on walks because if he saw a squirrel, chipmunk, or another dog he would take off pulling them in the process. 

So it fell to me. Of course I was huge. But, he listened to me. So I began to train him to stay in the yard. I could just let him out the door and he would come right in when he was done with his business. Even he didn't want to be out in the frigid cold, ice and snow.

We lived on a quiet street back by some woods. The only traffic we had was from the town road crew first thing in the morning and at 5pm at the end of their day. The kids could play in the street, ride bikes, or cross to visit neighbors without me worrying.

Becky's due date came and went. Finally my doctor decided to set a date to induce me and I was so relieved, she was already ten days late. Of course there was another blizzard on its way. So my husband came home early from work. The roads were already treacherous and we planned to leave early for the hospital. My mom was there to help with the kids. Everything was set. We decided to have  dinner together before we left.

As my mother and I made dinner, Marc went outside to shovel the walk and driveway.  The kids and Sparky went outside to play. I could see them from the kitchen window. They were having so much fun. The boys were having a snowball fight and Sparky was chasing the snowballs trying to catch them and when he would? He would be so surprised as they would disintegrate.
It was so funny and cute. As I looked out the window I thought to myself, this is like a Norman Rockwell winter scene.

It began to get dark and dinner was almost ready. As I looked out the window I could see that my husband was helping our elderly neighbor by snowplowing her driveway. I was glad but remember thinking that we really didn't have time for "extra" snow removal as we had to still eat and leave. Just as I was about to go to the door to call everyone in I saw a truck with a snowplow coming up our street, fast.  At the same time I saw Sparky, who was still creme colored,  playfully leap into the street.
He was hit right away. And I saw it all.

I began to scream. My Mom realized what had happened and was trying to calm me.  I ran outside to get my husband. My oldest son was screaming and crying on his knees in a snow drift. My other son had joined the men who had hit Sparky. 

I will never forget it. Sparky was laying on the ground in front of the truck with the headlights shining on him, still breathing. The men were just looking at him. All I could hear was the snow blower. My husband was oblivious to what had happened. I screamed for my sons to "Go get Dad!" They did and he came running.

The odd thing was that there wasn't any blood or cuts. Marc scooped him up, put him in the truck and ran him to the animal hospital. I was left with three hysterical children. As I tried to calm them down  I was very nervous because I wasn't sure if Sparky would live. Within an hour Marc was home. he said the vets were still examining Sparky and were not sure what the outcome would be. In shock from the entire event, I fed my husband and then went to the hospital and had my fourth child.

To be continued....

Careful. The next installment contains the gruesome part.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sparky- the wonder dog

Our dog Sparky was a three-legged Dalmation. We had him for thirteen years. His is a long and interesting story, a gruesome one as well.
You can't tell from the picture, but he was a liver-spotted, (brown) Dal.  He had one blue eye and one greenish brown. He was very friendly, loyal, loved kids and adults, and very smart.
All good things.
Unfortunately, he definitely needed more training than we were able to give and because of this was endlessly getting into trouble.
Think-ADD dog style!
He respected my husband and I and we were certainly the head of the pack, but he thought he was next in line and would not listen or obey ANYONE else. If we were in the kitchen he would never take something from the counter or get into the garbage, but- if we weren't?
All bets were off. He would take sandwich's right out of the kid's hands!
Sparky was a puppy for about eight years. Seriously. He would cry when we would go to bed and leave him. We couldn't allow him into our bedrooms because he would chew or get into something-this went on for years!

Tomorrow I will tell you the story of how he ended up with three legs-do not eat while you are reading.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

paddle tournament

That's what I've been up to ALL day.
 Not a bad day- playing my favorite sport for hours, having a beautiful luncheon, socializing and playing with old and new friends, and going home with a new paddle sweatshirt.
Now it would have been better if we won more...
Next time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HELP me solve the mystery!

Something strange is going on...
For some reason, and I am hoping one of you can help me solve this, I am getting hits every two minutes, (no exaggeration) on a post I did on critter pants back in December!
They are all coming from a TV guide feed!
How crazy is that?
I've done some sleuthing and still cannot figure it out. 
Check my live site feed, IT"S CRAZY!!
Please help me solve this!
*It's solved, thanks to kate at Nautical by Nature!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My new love...

Ever since a few of the girls from my book group went to Italy I have loved Prosecco. They said that in Italy it was used as an aperitif. The perfect accompaniment to antipastos or appetizers.
Prosecco is dry and bubbly, very bubbly. 
I really enjoy it with anything salty, like cheese and olives.
Many people compare or confuse Prosecco with champagne. you shouldn't as the price and taste is decidedly different.
If you are looking for something that Venetians consider a apperitivo or ombrette (pick me up)
Prosecco is the right choice.
I am enjoying one right now.

Readers Shmeaders!

A lot of us need Readers. 
Some of you don't... but you will!
I am considering selling readers for many different reasons. First, I think that people, (like me) tend to forget to bring their readers to sporting events thinking they won't need them...
Then they are given a program and guess what?
Obviously this has happened to me. It is beyond frustrating.
Another reason I would like to sell readers is that I found an amazing company, ( all glasses shown above) that sells very stylish readers at more than reasonable prices. 

Not only would I be able to afford readers to put in my car, by the phone, in my purse, coat pocket, gym bag, and tennis bag- but I can pass on the deals to my customers!
I love that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My girl, my niece.

This little honey is my youngest niece, the Frau's too! Her birthday was this past weekend and she spent it in Utah skiing. Now she is home and I think we have to do something special for her....

Starting to plan Spring offerings...

 I am starting to plan what I will be selling this Spring and Summer, always looking for the next "new" thing that everybody has to have! I will be at the Accessory Show in NYC later this week. I am beginning to add apparel to what I sell, all items with a "preppy" style.

One company I am interested in is the PINK FISHING LINE.
The owner/designer of The PINK FISHING LINE wanted to provide nice tee's for girls/women who love to fish.
I think the line is really fun, especially this pink tee.
I know Kate from Nautical by Nature and Ina would like this- What do you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

USTA Tennis

My paddle partner and friend, Jan,  told me that she had a tennis match last night.
 I was surprised.
Especially when I found out she was playing USTA mixed doubles. It actually is wonderful for her because she is newly divorced and it would be an excellent way for her to meet new people and get out.
That isn't what surprised me.
What surprised me is that I started thinking of tennis again, USTA in particular.
You see, I use to be a tennis nut. I played on a  USTA mixed doubles team,  a Usta women's doubles team, women's outdoor team and on an inter club team...all at the same time.
Of course I would never play at that level again because I don't train, drill, or care enough. 
But I think I am interested in playing USTA this Spring...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lafayette vs St. Joe's

So, they lost today. 
Big time. 
It can only get better. 
Lafayette Women's Lacrosse parents sure know how to throw an amazing tailgate though!
Always looking for the positives :)
I'll take pictures when Lafayette plays Columbia University next Saturday- seeing is believing!

Sleepovers- pro or con?

First off, I loved sleepovers when I was a child/teenager. I have many fond memories of midnight raids of the fridge, late night giggling, prank phone calling, and big secrets shared. 

I also remember my mother saying, "no more sleepovers!" Until time would pass and she would forget just how cranky I was the day after the last sleepover.

And here I am. I hate when my kids sleepover at their friend's house! 
The next day? 
WE pay all day. 
We have a cranky, irritable kid who doesn't want to do anything asked and who is unable to tolerate a"no" without a tantrum. 

And sleepovers at our house?
Just as bad!
How many times do I have to go up the stairs and say, "Girls! You must go to sleep!"

Or, the last minute sleepover- when my daughter calls at 11pm and says, "Can such and such sleepover?" 
 Of course I say yes, (as I remember how much I loved sleepovers when I was young, Blah, blah, blah,) 
And then I realize that we won't have enough milk/juice/food for extra guests in the morning and I better hightail it to the A&P before they close!!

Whew! Truly exhausting.
What do you think?  ( Remember I am a cranky, peri-menopausal mother of five, now dealing with  the sleepovers of my last two children, I use to be nicer.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hervé Chapelier Redux

So, here we are... back talking about Herve Chapelier bags. 
Love them. What's out for Spring 2009? A lot.
But here are the best:

The totes are just right and retail for $138. The backpack retails for $$106.
The pochette is $38. I like to put a bit of money, a few credit cards, make-up and my cell in it and then just move it from bag to bag. Makes life easier.
Did I mention that these chic french bags are washable?

Thursday, February 19, 2009



It is said that there are certain people that are connectors, people that join others together...
Ina is a connector. I would have to say that most of us that read her blog now read each others. A wide and varied group are we!
There are certain themes that resonate, interests that we share. Because memes are so popular with bloggers and on facebook I thought I would do a 25 things I know about Ina. if I leave anything out, please let me know.
Here goes:
  1. LOVES, no really loves dogs, especially hers!
  2. LOVES, seriously loves her husband and family.
  3. Has purple streaks in her hair.
  4. Is from new Jersey.
  5. Looks at licence plates...a lot.
  6. Loves shoes.
  7. Has champagne EVERY Thursday.
  8. Has a wonderful neighbor named Joan.
  9. believes passionately in animal rescue.
  10. has some Italian roots.
  11. Works in her husband's law office.
  12. An avid tennis player.
  13. An avid Yankee fan, no make that passionate!
  14. Changes her header picture on her blog more frequently than anyone I know!
  15. She is a reader.
  16. She is a traveler.
  17. She is close to her family in NJ.
  18. She is a creative cook and hostess.
  19. She is a thoughtful and supportive member of the blogging community.
  20. She has expensive taste. ( you know what I mean INA!)
  21. She loves UGGS.
  22. She reads the NYtimes every Sunday.
  23. She introduced us to Snowzilla, pictured above.
  24. She is becoming an accomplished photographer.
  25. She was not a Sarah Palin fan!  
  26.  **I can't believe I didn't include this from the beginning cuz not everyone would know this-unless you read her blog.  INA BLOGS FROM ALASKA!!!
Most of all, what I really know about Ina, (without ever meeting her in person) is that she is a loyal, supportive, curious, interesting, funny, gutsy, and adventurous friend. 
She is someone that I want in my book group, to go on a road trip with, shop, and have a drink with!
I think if you read her blog you know what I am talking about and if you don't...

Read her blog and you will be like me and consider  Ina a true friend!

oyster crackers

Does anyone else love oyster crackers like I do?
I doubt it.
We're talking cream of tomato soup and oyster crackers, New England Clam Chowder and oyster crackers.
How about just, plain oyster crackers and a glass of red?
Now we're talking.

First Lafayette Women's Lacrosse game of the season

At Penn State
L, 20-7
Michaela scored two goals.
We look for the positives. 
Penn State is a  huge and great program, I am sure that Lafayette will do amazing in their own conference, the patriot league, this season.

Go Pards!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Winter remedies

Here are ways I endure the winter, my winter remedies:
  1. Lots and lots of green tea.
  2. Frequent baths, (Epsom of course!)
  3. Platform tennis
  4. Skiing
  5. Red wine
  6. Movies- theater and home
  7. Fires in the fireplace most nights.
  8. Blogging
  9. Facebook
  10. Hugs and Kisses
What helps you survive the darkest, coldest time of the year?

Monday, February 16, 2009

My favorite subject...

Oh I don't mean in my kingdom/Queendom!
I've taken many a photography class. One of my favorites was a studio portrait class, in that class I learned a lot about light.
My husband has a very angular face and is naturally photogenic, he made all my pics look good.
These photos are from the portrait class and I really like them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My hot date(s)

Valentine's Day 2009-
After five children and twenty-five years of marriage I wouldn't ever say the romance is gone. No!
But, we are realistic and pragmatic. Flexible too.  Kevin is our last child who actually wants to hang around with us.  And, he was the only one without plans on V-day. 

Marc and I get plenty of nights out these days. When we had a bunch of little ones, Valentines day, our anniversary- they were sacred. We made plans, we secured babysitters, we spent big bucks on a special night out. These days,-thanks to Mr. Economy, ( I HATE him!) and the fact that we are out a lot and actually have an adult life...we don't feel it is as necessary or dire that we are alone. 

We know how fast time goes and we only have a couple more years until Kevin is out with his Valentine. So, until then I don't mind sharing a date with him-even Valentine's day!

by the way we saw Slum Dog Millionaire. LOVED it! Very powerful, upsetting movie...yet the best ending ever.  I have been sad thinking about it though.
Have you seen it? What do you think?

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm GAGA for MOMA!

Our family LOVES the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. 
Especially Kevin and I.
This Van Gogh is one of the main reasons I MUST visit.
Every single time I am there I hear someone say of this Jackson Pollack, " I could do that!"
This Monet is what brings Kevin to MOMA. I should say ALL Monets bring Kevin to MOMA!

Here in Northern New jersey many of the schools, ours included, have next week off. Usually we go to Utah to ski or to Florida for spring training. This year we are home and plan on many fun day trips. Top of our list?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Preppy Tennis Racquet Covers-

It's Tailgate time!

It seems crazy, right?
The supposedly Spring sport of lacrosse begins next week! 

College Spring sports, it's really a misnomer. I remember my son's baseball team playing Lehigh at Lehigh in a snowstorm. I brought him hand warmers to keep in his back pocket. That was tough. We all watched from our cars with our heaters on.

I think the season should be referred to as College pre-spring sports!

At least lacrosse is a fast paced sport and the players keep warm, unless you are on the sidelines. My daughter's team plays Penn state for their season opener and I am anticipating a very COLD game!

The emails have begun. The team parents are planning our awesome tailgates.
 And, they are AWESOME!
Our first two games are on the road and we will tailgate, but it won't be as involved as when we are the home team. 
Then... we throw a party. One dad keeps a grill PERMANENTLY on the back of his truck. They set up a grilling station and serve from there. We all bring our specialties. We bring A LOT, knowing that whatever is leftover will go back to the dorms with the girls. 
We feed everyone... the team, families, friends, and even fans that wander over.
We might not always win, but we always eat well!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

French Wicker and Capucine

Because I am enchanted by the video of a little french girl, Capucine, making the rounds all over the Internet- I am reminded of how much I love french culture. The style, the food, the language, the art....

My favorite museum in Paris is Musee d'Orsay
Mostly because of its huge collection of Impressionist artwork and also because of the gorgeous wicker chairs throughout the museum. Not only were they comfortable after a long day of walking, they were also so pleasing to the eye.

And, because I cannot figure out how to post this video, 
here is the link to the cutest little girl telling a very involved, charming story.
 I keep watching this over and over :) Let me know what you think!

Gingham is Good

I am a sucker for gingham too.

Twall Y'all

I am a Toile Freak! Love it. Mostly I prefer bucolic prints. The African toile pictured above is different. It really caught my eye.

Kitchen dreamin'

If we go small scale
If we go large scale.

Dear Mr. Economy,
I've been such a good girl this year. I finally found that stupid budget that you kept telling me to look for. Mr. Architect and I have met MANY times and I have become good friends with all the contractors I've interviewed.
I've really tried to cut back in anticipation of "THE PROJECT."  I scaled down Christmas. I haven't had a manicure or pedicure in months! We have pasta twice a week for dinner and I try to buy store brands.
Please, Please, please settle down. Get back to normal so that my husband calms down and lifts the spending freeze! Come on Mr. Economy, we are ALL sick of how you have been behaving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New York Gift Show distractions!

When I am at the show I REALLY try to stay focused. I am there to look for preppy, traditional and classic-  jewelry, accessories and gifts.
 Invariably, I am distracted. I am consistant though. This year my main distraction was wool hooked rugs or needlepoint pillows. Anything with dogs or horses.
The company that really grabbed me and took me off course was Macadoo Rugs. They are out of Bennington, Vermont.
Love, Love Love them! These wool rugs are not inexpensive, but they are not over the top.
The designs are amazing! They also do custom rugs. I love wool rugs, especially when we had two dogs and five little kids. If something spilled or if there was an "accident," it was always an easy clean up.
If you love dogs and want to see more, go to
Let me know what you think!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Has anyone read this?

This book has been suggested as our next read for book club.
 Has anyone read it?
 And if so, What do you think?

It is just so simple...

and so easy to make me happy!

My husband knows me. This morning I came to the table and there was a hot cup of coffee, a Taylor Ham and egg on a whole wheat bagel and the news.
And my husband knows how I like my news,
Highbrow- New York Times
Lowbrow- New York Post
Local- The Bergen Record

I had three newspapers to read! And all morning to do it :)

By the way, this is NOT the norm. Usually there is not enough time for one paper!

In anticipation of April showers...

I am beginning to realize that I need a decent trench coat. I have a long Macintosh, a typical mom coat. I think I need something a little stylish/sophisticated.

Trench coats are such a classic. In my spy theme fantasy it is ALWAYS a camel colored trench. And although I have seen colored trench coats that I really like, I am quite sure I will be buying a creme or camel colored one.

So, here are two lovely choices. One is a J.Crew trench, ( $298) and the other is Burberry ($1,200.) Can you guess which one is Burberry and which is J. Crew? And... which would you choose?

Friday, February 6, 2009

If we do get a...

Dog. It will most likely be a Havanese. 
Love, love, love this breed.
Highly intelligent, people pleasers with a laid back temperament.
They can't knock down small children, or jump up on counters, or get into garbage cans. their poo is miniature, VERY important.
 They don't shed! 
They live long lives and they are so CUTE!!!
Are you familiar with this breed?

A women's best friend?

Everyone looks great in a turtleneck.
 It's true. 
I think.
My go-to outfit? Turtleneck, jeans, and boots.
My favorite turtleneck? Cashmere baby!
What do you think?