Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh the Humanity (Humans of New York)

Do you follow Humans of New York on Facebook or Tumblr?  If you don't, you should check it out.

For those of you that don't know about it, Humans of New York is a photoblog of street portraits featuring everyday New Yorkers.  It StoryCorps in photos.

I love the posts because they remind me that everyone has a story and that you never know what the person standing next to you is going through.  Some of the posts make me laugh and others get me teary eyed.

Did I mention this project was so successful the photographer, Brandon Stanton, turned it into a book?

Here are some of my favorites:
Blogger Tricks

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Hire and Pay your Child's Caregiver

If you live in the Washington Metro area, I don't need to tell you how difficult it is to find child care for children under 3. I also don't need to tell you how expensive it is.

In our case, I called three different day care centers the morning I found out I was pregnant. The waitlist for each location would extend far beyond my maternity leave.  This mean that I knew that I would have to seek out alternatives to a group child care setting (nanny share, home day care, in-home nanny).  After taking into account our different needs, my husband and I decided to hire a nanny. 

We soon learned that finding and securing in-home childcare is a bit more difficult than going the day care route.  You are responsible for making sure your child is in the care of a trustworthy and dependable person.  You also have to take on the responsibilities that other employers have which means that you need to set up your own systems so that you can properly manage this employee. 

Here is a guide that I put together based on my experiences of hiring and employing our nanny.   

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ice Cream Social (The Beauty of the Ice Cream Sammie)

Prettied up store bought ice cream sammies via Stephanie Lynn
This Sunday is National Ice Cream Day. In honor of this special day, I wanted to take a moment to talk about ice cream sandwiches.  We had them at my daughter's birthday party and I have been eating the leftovers ever since.  Until last week, I don't think I have enjoyed an ice cream sandwich since I was a kid. I do hope to have them at her birthday parties for as long as she will let me.

We kept our sandwiches simple and just bought what our local Safeway had available. But a quick search on pinterest tells me that you can do a lot with these fun novelties.

Where I've Been (Crazy Day Slippers)

Aren't these Stubbs and Wooten slippers perfect for those days where you feel like life is spinning out of control?  The best thing about palm trees is that they sway all over the place but their roots keep them grounded. 

Life's been a little cray cray since I last posted. Over the past three weeks, I've been to two memorial services, spent my first weekend away from my baby and have been working very hard.  In addition to that, our nanny was on vacation so I had to navigate the crazy world of finding backup childcare when your child is experiencing stranger anxiety.  I had planned on taking some time off to oversee the transition, but work got totally insane. And by insane I mean the kind of busy where you might decide to go to work even if you had a bad case of food poisoning.  This paragraph doesn't even begin to cover it all but you get the point.

On the bright side, my daughter taught herself how to walk, turned one, learned that she could have others care for her and served as hostess for her first birthday party. Also our first real family vacation starts one week from today.

When my life gets crazy I try hard to simplify.  Meaning I don't do anything beyond putting out fires.  Sometimes that's a good strategy but other times it means you don't get to do the things you enjoy that help relieve that stress.  It also means that you put things off that you need or want to do.  That camp care package I put together?  It hasn't been sent yet.  Haven't returned your call (trust me I feel terribly guilty about it). 

Next time this happens I need to remind myself about palm trees and how sometimes keeping up with your routines and hobbies (your foundation) can help you weather the storm. 

How do you stay grounded when your life is feeling like is spinning out of control?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Friday (June 27, 2014)

What are you up to this weekend? I'm going on my first overnight trip sans baby. Looking forward to resting and relaxing but also sad to leave my little one.

Still trying to figure out what to do? Check out my summer guide or take a look at these suggestions below.


No World Cup games. Take some time to catch up on the rest of your life.


The Smithsonian Folklife festival begins this weekend.

For those us that came of age in the 90's, the 9:30 club is hosting No Scubs, a 90's dance party. Get ready to do some Vogueing.


Watch the Netherlands vs. Mexico at noon. I don't know about you but Mexico wins the Cup even if they don't really win the Cup. Their coach and goalie are awesome!

Mouse on the Move is showing at Bethesda's Imagination Stage. The show is good for children 1-5 years old.

In other news. . .

This video about encouraging your girls to be more than just pretty faces.

NPR's series on Cuba, has peaked my interest.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Campers (Camp Care Package Gift Guide)

Summer is in full swing. I imagine many of you know a camper that is either having the time of her life or about to have the time of her life.  What are you planning on sending to your favorite camper? 

1. Watercolor Postcards and Watercolors- Camp is one of the last places on Earth where you actually send and receive snail mail.  These watercolor postcards are a great idea.  Your camper need not only use watercolors.  She can draw on them, decorate them with stickers, decoupage. . .  

2. Personalized Stationary- I love these cards because they have a campy feel to them.  Tinyprints can get these to your camper in less than a week. 

3. Stickers- Younger campers will trade them and older campers can put them on envelopes. 

4. Books- Kids actually read at camp because there's no television.  I am told that Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl series are popular with both pre-teens and their parents. 

5. Fake Tattoos- Because we all know that camp is the time for fake tattoos, friendship bracelets and other fun stuff.

6. A knotted bracelet screams summer.

7. Zinka- I don't know if kids these days use it, but I'm glad to see it's still around. 

8. Glow Bracelets- Things that glow in the dark are fun for campfire time and also after the lights go out.  Get this pack of 100 and your camper can share them with her bunkmates.

9. Hairbands- like socks and underwear, you can't have too many hairbands.

What would you add to your camper's care package?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Friday (Summer Solstice Weekend 2014)

What are you up to this weekend?  I am going to a bridal shower.  I start boot-camp this Sunday! 

Still figuring out your plans?  Check out my Summer Reference Guide.  Or, you could spend your whole weekend drinking caipirinhas and watching the World Cup.