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Since the arrival of spring, my family and I have been happily working in our yard– planting new flowers, trimming the hedges and basically doing all the primping that makes lounging outdoors so beautiful. We have however, come upon a major bump in the road…how to maintain our newly planted grass. Which brings me to the question…should we fertilize or not? I’m sure you would agree when I say there’s nothing like a luscious green lawn. But at what price? Fertilizers are widely known to be responsible for many adverse human health effects, including leukemia and many types of cancer. And let’s not forget to mention that they pollute our surface and ground water, deplete the land of its vital nutrients and cause harm to animals and pets. All this havoc is mainly caused by the long list of unsafe metals that exist in fertilizers including arsenic, lead, mercury, nickel, uranium and boron just to name a few. So what’s a eco-conscious mom to do? I’ve begun my search to find an alternative, but have only been able to come up with fertilizers that are good for small gardens or companies that claim to use organic only to discover their claims are not all true. I promise to keep you in the loop on my findings, as I’m determined to find a better solution. In the meantime, we’re going au naturale… I’ll take a healthy family over green grass any day!
With the 55th Annual Grammy Awards just around the corner (February 10th, 2013), here’s what you’ll need to know about Grammy nail trends (and I speak from experience because I’ve attended about 6 of them): Musicians really are true Artists from head to toe. Not only are they constantly dreaming up the next big Top 10 hit, but they also love to express themselves through their hair, nails and clothes. Glam squads definitely use Grammy night as an excuse to get creative, edgy and experiment with new looks– coordinating nail color, shape and length to complete artists outfits—which, as we all have seen in the past, can sometimes get very, very funky! Most likely this year we won’t be seeing much in the way of Minx and decals–both a bit passe’. The new trends that will be making their way down the Red Carpet will be two-tone nails– contrasting buffs with dark vampy colors, shiny metallics and creative hand-painted nail art –in the form of blocks and racing stripes . But, if I had to guess, the funkiest looks will probably incorporate some sort of beads and glitter, which give polish a three-dimensional form. For me, Grammy night just happens to be one of the most fun nights of the year since it showcases two of my favorite passions…music and nails!
Next week begins National Fire Prevention and Awareness Week (Oct 7 – 13th). I cannot stress enough how important it is to become of aware of this issue. My personal eye opener happened a few years back when my family suffered a house fire. Fortunately no one was hurt, but in a matter of minutes the entire house was gone. In big cities we are lucky to have buildings equip with life saving sprinkler systems coupled with fire departments that respond quickly. In suburban areas, however, fire departments are mostly volunteer. Which means it takes some time for them to get the call, mobilize and get to your home. It’s for that reason that families need to have a very well thought out home escape plan and if you are doing any renovations or building a new home, you should consider putting in a residential sprinkler system. We did and believe it or not, it costs less than a new driveway or your kitchen appliances. The peace of mind, however, is priceless. For more info on how to protect yourself from a home fire, proper escape plans and how to properly maintain your smoke detectors, visit this website. www.nfpa.org
Summer in NYC always poses a problem for us moms. School’s ended, it’s hot and friends are on vacation so playdates are few and far between. What’s a mom to do!? Over the last few years, I’ve conjured up some creative outtings to pass the time and keep it interesting for my little guy too.
Gavin & Mommy’s Day of Fun….Top 5 Picks
#1 Turtle Back Zoo: if you haven’t been to TBZ in West Orange NJ, then rent a Zip Car and get over there! It’s a great escape from the city heat and it’s perfect for smaller kids. Animals range from monkeys and bears but the main attraction is the train that circles a large reservoir, the Tarzan-like playground and the merry-go-round.
#2 Ikea Red Hook: get some shopping done, have a cheap lunch with great views and take a free ride around the NY Harbour. Spend $10 or more and your receipt is proof to ride the Water Taxi for free. Cruise from the South Street Seaport and back again for a 20 minute view of Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty.
#3 Picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park: The newly renovated Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is a weekday favorite. Find a spot on the grass and watch the ferries and tankers roll by with the Statue of Liberty & Brooklyn Bridge as the backdrop. Bring a frisbee or a kite and enjoy the open air and lack of crowds. And don’t miss Jacques Torres’ Ice Cream Shop on Water Street (open only in summer) for some deluxe cones and take a ride on Janes Carousel.
#4 Metropolitan Museum of Art: my 4 year old loves and surprisingly grasps the idea of the art at the MET. It’s a great way to introduce them to classics like van Gogh, Monet and even Jackson Pollock. Make sure to pick up some books designed for kids in the gift shop to continue the learning at home. And the cafeteria has an affordable kids menu and serves it up in a NYC Taxi box…did someone say free souvenir?
#5 Big Toot: who needs the Circle Line when you can ride a vintage US Navy Launch boat instead. Every weekend Big Toot departs from the World Financial Center and circumnavigates the Statue or Liberty and Ellis Island on a 1 hour tour oriented for kids. $10 for adults / kids ride free… and they provide the kiddie life vests too. Just hold on tight…because it can get bumpy when the big guys roll through and make waves.
As you can tell, we like boats, the NY Harbour and some iconic landmarks. But really who doesn’t? Tourists travel from all over the world to see what we can in an afternoon!
From no-chip gels, to crackle and magnetic polish… nail companies are always trying to re-invent the traditional mani / pedi for us. This summer, we’re happily seeing a shift back to basics…but that doesn’t mean you need to forgo on the fun. How to? It’s all in the color….bold teals, banana yellows and pumpkin oranges. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and pair one with a classic, floral sundress or a simple pair of khaki’s and tank top. Let your vibrant nails be your fashion accessory this summer…and save that pricey purse for autumn!
Here are some of my Zoya Favorites…
- Wednesday: Creamy Teal
- Pippa: Acid yellow
- Heidi: Electric orange
- Whitney: Vibrant Pink
- Charisma: Poppy Purple
It never fails…No matter how much I try to relax during the month of December, work, parties, shopping…it all seems to stress me out! The one little trick I’ve found helpful is to decompress each night at bedtime with a dab of organic Lavender Oil on my temples and my ever faithful neck cozy from Do Not Disturb. I just pop it in the microwave for a minute, place it around my neck and let the warmth melt away the stress and tension of the day. The neck cozy is filled with rice and calming lavender buds and its effects relax me to the point that it takes about 15 seconds and I’m fast asleep…seriously! I love it so much, it was a must for the Boutique!
Now that fall is quickly passing, all thoughts turn to the dip in the mercury, the arrival of snow and a festive holiday season. In past years, traditional holiday polishes have focused on deep, wine colored reds, dark, tinted purples and even near blacks. But this season, Zoya has introduced a refreshing alternative… Winter Pastels…. soft, beautiful blues and grays that have the comfort of winter and the coolness of snow. My personal favorite is Megan. I’ve been wearing it every day on both fingers and toes and been getting compliments ever since