Bullet Journal Essentials

Bullet-Journal-Essentials- The-New-York-Mom
Be still my stationary loving heart!
Bullet journals are the big thing in pop culture right now and me and my Moleskine, gel pens and oodles of doodles are only too happy to shed some light about this journaling and organizing trend.
What is a Bullet Journal? It’s basically a notebook that you create that helps you track and organize your entire life. Pages of the journals include notes, dates, schedules, lists, to-do, goals, health all of it. It’s a sketch book, diary, address book, calendar and anything that need pen and paper. You can decorate your journal, you can embellish it with stickers or you can just bullet your thoughts down.
I’m working on a great new post about how to start your bullet journal. I can’t wait to share! But before you start your bullet journal… you need your supplies. Best part of any project… supplies. Crafting a bullet journal is really any stationary lovers dream!
  • First you will need a Notebook – I love the Moleskin Dotted Notebook.  You can choose the size of your notebook to fit your everyday lifestyle. I get the medium Moleskin Dotted Notebook – the small is too small for my entries and the large is too big for my bag!
  • The Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen is my absolute favorite for everyday writing. It has a gorgeous black india ink with a pointy tip and the ink dries so fast that it will not bleed through your thin moleskin pages. Get this pen!
  • Gel Yeah! – Grab some gel pens to decorate your bullet journals. Ok fine, this is where you can take creative liberty and skip the gel pen thing all together but then you won’t have neon gel pen details! I like the gel pens because it helps me categorize things – family lists, health lists, work…etc. So get the gel pens.
  • A metal ruler. – metal – not plastic. So much of bullet journaling is just a routine and ritual and you want good stuff to make it feel like a ritual and routine. So get a 6-inch stainless steel ruler.
  • Washi Tape – Maybe kinda like the neon gel pens… not REALLY necessary but oh so fun and colorful. Your journal will look like candy! I like the washi tape for headers and side notes or to ear mark important pages. Get the washi tape. You can grab any color you choose not just the crazy ones I like.
  • Finally – Stickers and Stencils! Ok fine… you don’t need the stickers but I usually have ‘event stickers’ that help me remember birthdays, grocery stuff, invoice days… etc. Stencils help me create headers with ease.
That’s it… you are ready to start your bullet journal. Go out and get your supplies and meet me back here later this week to start your journal. I’ll give you step by step notes on how to get yours set up. Don’t forget neon gel pens and stickers!
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The News From These Parts


I can’t even begin to tell you the madness that is happening in these parts. It has been non-stop, overtime over here.

First of all: My iPhone 6Plus that is basically my life line decided to crash over the weekend and ALL MY PICTURES since February 2016 have been wiped out!

Our iCloud was full and we just never got around to upgrading the storage and I didn’t backup my phone. So there. Awful lesson that I had to deal with! All my Pictures from the summer are gone, all my content for fab new snazzy posts gone.

But in a way… it feels good. It has totally given me a whole new “Re-Start” on my daily grind….or that’s what I’m telling myself to be all zen and not freak out all the time… I guess. Back Up Yo Stufff!

Second: My sweet Jonah has a cone on his head. I hope this not in-humane to my sweet pup but the “neck pillow’ option doesn’t work with Saint Bernard’s because they will just pop that pillow and keep on keeping on.

The New-York-Mom-dogs

Jonah has a “hot spot’ on his face and basically smells like death because of the raw flesh that’s exposed all the time.

Gross. But my sweet bear is slowly slowly …very slowly healing.

Third: I’m not supposed to mention but since you all are so supportive of my tween dramz… Middle school has been amazing! That is all I can say! Lily auditioned for the role of ‘witch one” in Macbeth… she’s been practicing all her life for that. ( I kid. i kid).

Fourth: No kitchen Reno yet soo…. don’t talk to me about it.

Fifth: Hillary Clinton lives in the area and the paparazzi and news Ahem – journalists – if you can call them that have been wrecking my daily errands!


Sixth: Thomas starts Preschool tomorrow and is super excited about his Dinosaur tee shirt!


That’s it. This is all the news fit to report from these parts here in the suburbs of New York City!

What’s happening with you lately?

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This Back to School Season, Don’t Forget the New Kids


“I do feel bad for this new kid but I don’t think we have room for any more friends and I don’t want to disturb the dynamic the boys have already created”

Exact words said to me by a local parent who was lamenting the potential disruption  of the sacred bond and dynamic created between her son and a few other boys through the years. The kids are in 7th grade and are on the same sports teams.


This new kid has no chance at building a natural social life because the parents have already decided that it’s too much – and they already had a good thing going with the group they had – and adding a new kid would throw away the years of careful social cultivation of friendships that they (the parents) have worked so hard for.

Is this a fear? Are we afraid that our kids will be bullied, left out, fail at social life if a new child comes in to disrupt the dynamic? Or are parents just too involved these days? Are parents still helicoptering their middle and high schoolers?

Back-to-school TheNewYorkMom.com
Back-to-school TheNewYorkMom.com

As we all settle into the school year, let’s not forget one very important aspect. Let’s not forget about the new kids.

Whether it’s Elementary, Middle or High school… being the newbie is nerve-wracking for both the new parent and child. The social pressures of fitting in seem to be accelerated now more than ever.

Sometimes it really feels like it’s the parents running this charade, not the kids.

I have certainly been on the receiving end of this idea as well… a group dynamic within the moms groups that dare not be disturbed by a new mom moving to the neighborhood. The difference is that I’m a grown adult who moves on and lets things roll off.

But what does this do to kids who are socially stressed, overly aware of themselves, and just want to fit in?

This Back-To-School season, don’t forget the new kids. Be nice. Be kind. Be inclusive not exclusive.  Just a simple hello, come sit with us at lunch, where did you move from… or any small gesture will make a huge difference in an already anxious – new kid in town– child. You don’t have to jump in and be besties… but at least make the new kid feel welcome. It will mean the world to them!

And parents…maybe we should  just let the kids be!


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Off to Middle School

Lily is off to Middle School. My goodness. How did the years flash by so fast!? I don’t even feel old enough to have a middle schooler!

If you haven’t listened to This American Life on NPR you should… and you definitely should listen to the episode on Middle School. It will put the fear into you for sure!! Good LAWD! What are we getting into ourselves into!

The New York Mom

This morning we woke up at 6AM to catch the 6:50AM bus to school. Last year her school bus picked up at 9AM right in front of our house! So we are in for a ch-ch-change! 

On the walk up the hill…


I went to school up the hill both ways in the snow with now shoes at 6AM … 

that- up the hill…

on the walk up the hill to the bus stop, we tip toed on the shiny dew drops on the grass and shrubs, enjoyed the early bunny rabbits hoping around and the slow peeking of the sun as it woke the earth. Neither Lily nor I are moving people but we did enjoy our short walk up to the bus stop. I think this will be a nice morning ritual.

Hug your babies everyone… hug them tight. They grow up really really fast! I’m not ready for middle school.

SOOOOO we are back to the schedule of things. Lunches, breakfasts, and dreaded Math!



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Best Tips to Fight Germs with Lysol #LysolGermSchool

Photo Credit: Will Star

I headed back to school last month with Lysol. Germ School to be exact. I got schooled you guys! All parents can attest to this – the kids head back to school and within days… days… the whole family is sneezing and sniffling and germing up the entire house. So Lysol decided to school us on how to tackle those pesky germs.

Photo Credit: Will Star
Photo Credit: Will Star

The morning started off with a pop quiz. Takes me back… high panic sets in… did you do the reading, what will they quiz us on? Not to worry, ( unlike my high school days), I aced it. I know a thing or two about germs… having these dragons circling me all the time!


What I did fail however was the hand wash test. To do this, a residue was placed in the palm of our hand and we had to rub it in. Then we were asked to go wash our hands. Me, being the smarty pants that I am… totally did the whole “ sing the alphabet while washing your hands‘ thing. All smug… I was ready to take the test. FAIL! Under the black light you could see that while I did get the residue out of my hands and fingers and back of the hands… it was all over the very edge of my wrist. The wrist! of course… wash your wrists!

Photo Credit: Will Star
\\ these are not my hands \\ Photo Credit: Will Star

The morning was great with a wonderful group of blogging friends, our hosts Audrey [@momgenerations]  and Vera [@verasweeney] were delightful and fun as always and the information was something every parent can use.  [ and that hair! I need to up my hair game]

Photo Credit: Will Star
Photo Credit: Will Star

Alright so what did I learn:


…but seriously…

How are Germs Spread? What are the most common ways that kids and adults get germs?

  • Airborne – sneezing, coughing, even talking.
  • Vector Born – carried by mosquitos and rats.
  • Direct Contact- shaking hands.
  • Indirect Contact – contaminated surfaces. Get your  LYSOL out folks… wipe down those airplane seats/tray tables, train windows that my son likes to LICK, grocery carts… get to wiping with LYSOL.
  • Contaminated Food and Water.

Kids are gross, we know that. But did you know that kids touch and retouch MORE THAN 300 surfaces in 30 minutes.

@AmyOztan and I are up to no kinda good!!!

So, what’s the best thing you can do to prevent a cold and flu?

  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Get healthy – diet  and exercise.
  • Wipe down and disinfect your common surfaces often.
  • and please stay home or keep your kids home when you are sick.

Simple right?  Just making sure to wash your hands and staying hydrated and healthy makes a huge difference.

With school back in session,  LYSOL has a new partnership with Box Tops for Education. This means that everytime you get your  LYSOL, you can turn in that pink Box Top to your school to help support the programming at your child’s school.

Photo Credit: Will Star

I’m have been a LYSOL user way before this campaign. My mom uses  LYSOL and passed down her germ fighting ways down to me. The  LYSOL Wipes are my favorite. We use them in bathrooms, kitchens, kids play room, wipe down beach toys, pool toys, and anything we can wipe down. I also take a travel pack with me when I travel. So I know this stuff is good, but did you know –  LYSOL Wipes kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria including flu virus ( H1N1), Staph( MRSA), Salmonella, E-Coli, Norovirus,  and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1.

Happy Back to School everyone… stay healthy this season!

*this post is sponsored by Lysol*

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Back From Summer! 

We are back in business after a full summer of sunshine and salty sea air!

Our whole family just returned from an amazing few weeks in Florida. The white sugar sand, fresh seafood, time with family, chasing dolphins, late night fishing and endless sunsets.  Summer was busy over here.

The New York Mom

It’s almost been a year since we moved to our new house. We STILL haven’t unpacked. OMG how is that even possible!!! This month of September I’m hoping to tackle the whole unpacking and purging situation.

I also took some much-needed time to re-evaluate this blog, revisit some old ideas and come up with a few new things.  I’m adding video, getting back to my DIY roots and just committing to be a lot more consistent.

The New York Mom

Lily starts middle school next week… MIDDLE SCHOOL. did you hear that? How did we become parents of a middle schooler! and no.. she is STILL not allowing us to post any pictures of her… except once in a rare while.

Welp… life marches on right. I always take the beginning of the school year as a FRESH START for me as well. We are all back on schedules, everyone has a place to be and things to do and sometimes it’s THAT much more easier when you have a structured schedule.

also.. fall season! It’s my absolute favorite!


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HGTV Blogger Block Party! YOU are invited!


I’m thrilled to partner up with HGTV Magazine to invite YOU to the HGTV Blogger Block Party! I’m SUCH a fan of everything HGTV – all their home reno’s, DIY tips and tricks and house hunting shows. You know we just moved to our new house in the NYC suburbs and HGTV Magazine has been our go to resources for everything house!

So all you Makers, Design Lovers, DIYers… get ready! On August 22nd HGTV Magazine is having their 3rd annual Blogger Block Party and they want YOU to attend and be part of the fun. This all- day event is for you Makers and DIYers to meet your favorite HGTV celebs. There are tons of live demonstrations during the day and interactive participation opps!

The lineup is pretty exciting with appearances  by HGTV Magazine editor in chief Sara Peterson, Emily Henderson, John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love, Genevieve Gorder, and Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte!   Event Address: 404 10th Avenue, New York City Event Date & Time: August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm – 8 pm Make sure to RSVP!!!

Here is YOUR personal invite… from me to you! Hope to can make it on August 22!!


Thank you to HGTV Magazine for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. #ad

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Beach Days – How To Build a Palaylia

My kids come with the wildest ideas on what to call their creative creations. We spent a week on Shelter Island last month and played in the water and sand every single day. Thomas started building ‘Palaylias’. These are ornate sand dunes surrounded by a deep moat with water fed directly from the waves.

I don’t know how he decided on the name, expect one day when Matt joined us on our Palaylia building project… Thomas proudly declared – You want to build a Palaylia.

and so it was… Palaylia. Pronounced : Pa – lay- lia. sound it out!

Thomas loved playing on the beach. He does remember his beach days from last summer but this year, he is now 3, it’s such a different experience. He also has no fear at all and at any given moment he’s neck-deep in the water…waves and all.

At this point I KNOW you are curious and want to build a Palaylia of your very own. Being the DIY diva that I am … not… I will teach you the secrets of the Palaylia.

How to Build a Palaylia:

  • Pick your spot right at the tide line. The waves should wash into your Palaylia moat.
  • Dig up lots of sand to make a massive sand mound.
  • Make sure your sand mound is half wet and half dry sand.
  • Dig a moat all around your sand mound.
  • Collect seashells. Lots of them.
  • Place seashells all over the sand mound. Try to cover ever single sand space.
  • Find a feather or drift wood to place on the very top of your sand mound.
  • Walk in circles around the sand mound backwards chanting the lyrics to Cake by the Ocean. (optional)
  • Step away and watch the waves come into your Palaylia.

E N J O Y !

We are heading off to Florida in about a week… more beaches and more Palaylias.

*Thomas made this word up. Please don’t take it for your marketing gain without credit!*

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Back to School: Backpacks for Tweens

Back To School: Backpacks for Tweens
The kids are in the middle of the hot days of summer and while we here in New York still have over a month and half to go before school starts, most of the country starts in mid August. Lily starts 6th grade, this fall,  and it’s very exciting. Her sense of style is really becoming her own and no longer will I be able to pick out her accessories, clothes and backpacks.
To keep up with your picky tweens awesome personality, I’ve picked a few of our favorite backpacks this season. Everything from the trendy Pokemon to the classic Herchel is here on this list to fit your picky tweens style!
1. Miss Selfridge Holographic Mini Backpack $53 // 2. Accessorize Galazy $59// 3. Realm Divide Backpack $40 VANS // 4. Nintendo Backpack – $40 VANS // 5. Multi Tropical Backpack $34 GO JANE // 6. Herschel Supply Company $100 Nordstrom // 7. Aeropostale $25 // 8. Pokemon $20 HOT TOPIC //
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Improving Your Home with Angie’s List


As any new homeowner will tell you… the list of “projects’ around the house is never ending. Since moving to our new house, 6 months ago, up here in the suburbs of New York City, Matt and I have a running list of things we need to work on around the property. Everything from our kitchen remodel, basement wall paint, sprucing up of the laundry area, a veggie garden and even a new façade for the front of the house sits on this list patiently awaiting to get done.

Moving to a new community and not knowing anyone, we have been depending on recommendations from local parenting groups and neighbors. Our lawn person was a recommendation and has worked out really nicely, our oil company was a recommendation, babysitter, preschools, doctors and even the all-important drycleaner was recommended by a neighbor.

While these are everyday needs and things have worked out well for us, something like the kitchen remodel requires some background info and much more insight.


This is where Angie’s List comes in. I recently attended an event hosted by Angie’s List in NYC and sat down with Angie… yes THE Angie of Angie’s List and in between chatting about food and tweens… I got the scoop on what Angie’s List is up to these days.

First of all – Angie’s List is now FREE to join!

Angie’s List is a list of recommendations for pretty much everything! For example – our kitchen remodel.  I can choose a contractor off Angie’s List – I get reviews and details on the type of the work this person does, how efficient, helpful and quality of their work. I choose the contractor that fits my needs. But wait… there’s more, with the new Silver and Gold Angie’s List membership tiers, I will be GUARANTEED a job well done. So if something goes wrong… Angie’s List will fix it for me. Can you believe that!  It’s pretty amazing when you think about the intensity of a kitchen remodel – floors, cabinets, electric, plumbing… and the work is guaranteed.


Angie’s List has lots of new changes and these have all come about from customer feedback. The most exciting new addition is the membership tiers. Angie’s List has three tiers of memberships –

  • GREEN: free-of-charge access to companies in more than 700 service categories; nationwide access to more than 10 million verified consumer reviews; and monthly digital form of the company’s magazine. Benefits planned to be added to the Green membership tier this year include a project pricing guide, project scheduling and project financing.
  • SILVER: includes all green features plus fair price guarantee and service quality guarantee, exclusive discounts, chat and email customer support, a bimonthly print version of the magazine for $24.99 a year.
  • GOLD: includes all green and silver features plus complaint resolution process, customer support via phone and access to exclusive eCommerce savings for $99.99 a year. Benefits planned to be added to the Gold tier in the future include handy chat, a home emergency service line and instant hiring.

Be sure Visit angieslist.com for more information. #AngieHeartsHome

*This post is sponsored by Angie’s List. All opinions are my own* 

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