Opinions wanted...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

As my loyal readers may recall, I have a  Bar Mitzvah coming up. Well, my son has the Bar Mitzvah. I'm just paying for it. The ceremony is to be held on a private beach during a cruise.  I am planning great swag bags for my guests who are family and best friends. The swag bags are going along very well and I am starting to obsess over making them fabulous.

So for the next few weeks, bear with me as I discuss these bags which are taking over my house at this point.

A note to my sister who sometimes reads my blog...If you want to be surprised, please stop reading right now. If you want to give your opinion, please do. Everyone else who is not going on the cruise, please chime in with any suggestions and keep checking back as I post other items in the bags

First of all, the bag...

This style bag won out. It is lightweight and cute. I purchased the logo on Etsy. This logo is only on the bags and on the notes that I sent out to the travelers with information. The pirate logo seemed too tough for the bags which will be carried by ladies. The pirate logo is going to be on almost everything else that we give away during the trip.

I wanted  some beach stuff in the swag bag. My guests range in age from 3 to almost 80, so I had to be very generic. Everyone can and should use is Sunscreen, so I put some in this heavy plastic case. It is not waterproof but water resistant and you could throw your seapass/room ticket/boarding pass thing and a few bucks in there.    

What do you think? What else can I put in there that someone would really want on the beach?  I'm sort of stumped. Is is good as is?

I'll post more swag tomorrow! 

Going through the baby photos...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

     Generally when one throws a Bar Mitzvah party for her child, there is a slide show to prepare. At some parties, there is a slide show of the guest of honor at various ages with family and friends which plays in the background.  At other Bar Mitzvahs, the parents stop the party all together, turn down the lights and show a long chronological montage of the Bar mitzvah boy from birth to present day. 
     My preference is to have it playing as background art because who really wants to watch 15 minutes of photos from the life of a 13 year old other than the parents and grandparents of said child? This is what I did at my first son's party. This was an easy way to do it as I did not have to edit the photos to songs or cut out any photos. The slide show played during the party and honored my son without boring anyone to death. 
     For my youngest son's upcoming big event, we are going on a family cruise, so unless I can convince Royal Caribbean to play photos of my son on the close circuit televisions in every single one of the 2730 cabins on the ship, I'm not doing a slide show.  This is quite a burden lifted as I have 11,000 photos on my trusty mac and hundreds more in albums and boxes from the pre-digital camera age.
     That being said, I made a personalized photo album from Shutterfly featuring about 20 photos of my son at various ages.  It is a hard cover bound book. I  kept the pages around the photos white and will bring it on the trip and let everyone sign it with well wishes for him. 

     My blog is supposed to be anonymous but no one would recognize this guy today. He is almost as tall as me and his blond hair is now curly and brown.

   The big challenge was narrowing it down to around 20 photos of my son. It was like  Sophie's choice. Especially when it came to Halloween costume photos. Infant in a dog suit (in). Superman with muscles (out). 7 year old elvis complete with white jumpsuit and wig (in of course!).  I got so frustrated last week that I just gave up. How can I pack 13 years of cuteness into one little album.


     I promised myself that I would cross this off of my list this weekend so I hunkered down and finished it. My husband was mad that I did not give him final approval before I ordered it but I saw a tear in his eye when I showed him the proof online.

    One down, 7000 more things to do before the big day. Wish me luck that I will get it all done without needing to color out my gray more than once before the trip!

Fiats and Fun in Florida....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hey fellow Boca Girls! (once a Boca Girl, always a Boca Girl right?). From May 9th-12th, an Italian themed celebration is taking place at the Fountain's Center on Camino and Powerline.

The Event will showcase some awesome Fiats (If I did not have to bus around every kid in my neighborhood, I'd drive one). One of the Fiats is custom painted by Miami artist Abstrk and there will also be a Chrome Fiat 500 Abarth Model on display.

There will also be a pop-up Pizza Cafe sponsored by Lavazza Italian Coffee with free samples! Other festivities include a sing along movie night to MAMMA MIA and some mother's days events

Go to www.Fountainscenter.com for more info.

Living in Miami is always an adventure...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One of the best (and sometimes the worst) things about living in Miami is that it often feels like you are living in another country. 

Miami is a true melting pot. It is not just Cuban (as many people think), there are also tons of Central and South Americans, Caribbean people and lots of Russians along with immigrants from all around the world. Driving is often a big old party, especially in the winter when the Canadians and American snowbirds head down to warm up.

I love that I can go to my local supermarket and try to figure out what languages the other shoppers are speaking. I love the accents.  I also love the restaurants.

Last night my husband and I tried a new-to-us restaurant in Coral Gables, which is a city within Miami-Dade County. It was called Aromas del Peru.  It was a little Peruvian restaurant. Peruvian food is different from Spanish or Mexican food that you might be familiar with. All Miamians, including us, know enough Spanish to order food in restaurants but we were a little confused because we don't really  know Peruvian food so the experience was like being on a mini-vacation for us.  Our waiter spoke no english so we sort of asked him to bring us what he thought we would like. A risk? Yes. Fun? Yes

We started with  a  causa. A causa is like a potato knish with filling. The filling we had was crab. It was beautiful and delicious.

The waiter then brought us a huge dish of cerviche. It has shrimp and other fish. It also had some type of beans, sweet potato and corn. It was absolutely heavenly. 

After that, we were full but the waiter then brought out a seafood only paella. It was amazing.  

He then brought us some type of torte with dulce de leche and apricots.

This place was amazing. Yum Yum. Yesterday was one of those days where feeling like you're living in a foreign country is a good thing! 

Spring cleaning....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

As many of you know, I have a very successful  eBay consignment business. I have no trouble selling high end and other desirable brands, but I have ahard time selling good old regular mall brands for any type of profit. The amount that stuff like Gap and J.Crew clothes sell for is just not worth the time or effort. Luckily, I just came across this cool site called Like Twice and I'm cleaning out my closet right now.

They send you a bag or a pre-paid sticker and you mail them your unwanted clothes like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc and they mail you a check. You probably won't get rich, but something is better than nothing right? They also sell gently used clothing so if you need some well-priced spring stuff to fill your closet back up, you may find something good! 

Don't you love the feeling when you purge out your closet? I do. Here is the link to their site like twice

Maybe we should be a little goofier...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Yesterday as I was pulling out the the supermarket, I saw a cute little old man get into his very expensive and nice Mercedes Convertible and put on a pair of giant novelty sunglasses.  He had a big smile on his face as he peeled out onto the street.

I had to laugh. He looked absurd. If I was related to him, I probably would have been embarrassed. He looked certifiably insane. A crazy person. 

I looked about the parking lot and everyone had a smile on their face. They were laughing with him. He was spreading joy.  Perhaps I need to be a little sillier as I age. Anyone with me? 

I said Yes to something...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

As you might recall, I've been having trouble saying "No" lately. I'm just easy that way. It is bad. I'm overwhelmed with mom/wife/ebaying stuff to do and I've agreed to do some lawyer work. On top of that, I have a Bar Mitzvah to host next month. I'm frazzled. 

Last week, I was invited to attend the Principal of the year dinner and dance for Miami-Dade County. I agreed to go but was dreading it. I drove myself to the event (even though the other mom's were carpooling together) so that I could dash out if it was horrendous. When I got there, it was really nice. It was at a fancy ballroom. There was flattering lighting.  The was alcohol! There were pretty centerpieces. It was way more glam that I expected an educational event to be.

The program started and the anticipation for the awards was slowly built up. It was a huge honor that they had made it this far. By the time they announced the winner, I was all nervous for my principal!   We did not win. I wanted to throw my plate of chicken at the stage. I know now what it must be like when your people don't win the academy award and you  have to sit through the rest of the awards with a fake smile on your face.

It was fun. I'm glad that I went. My principal should have won but but there is always next year!

The funny part of the night came when they served dinner. Funny or Gross actually. The dinner was held a Jungle Island. Jungle Island is a bird zoo that used to be called Parrot Jungle.  The ballroom is a separate area and rivals any nice hotel ballroom but right next door are a million birds including my favorite, a parrot that rides a bike across a tightrope.

When they served the chicken, it was perfectly parrot sized. One of the PTA girls said "enjoy your parrot" and we all decided to just eat the rolls out of the bread basket.  Maybe they should serve fish next year!
                                          Hope this bike is really fast! Go Polly Go!

I got mugged...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I got mugged yesterday by two seemingly innocent looking old Israeli women.  Don't worry, the only things injured were my pride and wallet.

I went searching for an outfit for my son's Beachside Bar Mitzvah.  Unlike a Beach wedding, there is no protocol for this type of event as it appears that my child is the very person in modern history to have this type of event. It's going to be hot. It's going to be casual. I had the idea in my head as to what I wanted to wear but could not find it anywhere in the normal shopping world.

I put my feelers out and little birds told me about this boutique far away but worth the drive. This boutique supposedly carried the beachy gauzy items that I was seeking.

I got there and , low and behold, they had plenty of the type of stuff that I wanted! Esther, my sales clerk had bottle blond hair, a thick Israeli accent and a lovely smoker's cough. She realized right away that she had a live one and starting  bringing me clothes and dressing me up.

Before I knew it, not only did I have an outfit for the big day but other  cute things for the rest of the weekend. Esther and her cohort Rivka promised me that I looked great in everything and could wear the stuff 365 days a year here in the Tropics. They also said if I took the whole pile, they would give me a discount in celebration of my son's big event.

When I got home, I realized that not only did I pay full price, I think that I overpaid. Oye Vey.  The clothes are cute and I will wear them and I think that karma will come around and bite these two some day.  Here is one of the pieces that I picked....

School Uniforms...

One of things that I forgot to say no to was the school uniform committee.  Yes, good old Japolina is saving the world and giving back to the community again. Seriously, somehow I found myself at a serious meeting discussing high school uniforms.

My sons' public k-8  school has always had uniforms. For the first few years, our mornings consisted of ironing the smallest easily wrinkled button down embroidered shirts. Luckily my husband is a pro-ironer and they eventually changed to embroidered polo shirts and dress shorts or pants or I might have gone prematurely mad.

My eldest son started public high school this year and was so excited to ditch the uniforms and show his individuality by ordering tons of cool t-shirts with sort of obscure cultural references such as these
                                        This is not my son. His arms are not this hairy (yet)

The large public school has a dress code but it seems impossible to enforce. It seems that girls like to tape up their skirts and shorts during the day and remove cardigans to expose tank tops, etc.  They look fine when they walk in during the morning but slut it up during the day. The hoochies are ruining it for the boys.

So the school  wants to require uniforms. Everyone  on the 8 person committee including faculty, administration, parents and students wants uniforms. Everyone except me. And they want sort of fancy ones. I suggested a school t-shirt and jeans but the committee members were dreaming of khakis, embroidered polos and school uniform belts!  I think that the kids should learn how to follow the dress code or be forced to go into an ugly box of clothes in the school office and change into ugly clothes but I'm very far from being an educator so I really don't know how difficult is to enforce a dress code on crazy teens.

The decision now goes to all the parents. It needs to pass by 51% of the parents who actually vote.  There is fear that the students will hijack their parents' votes. This is big drama in a mom's world.  Not really but I know a certain 15 year old who is going to be very pissed when his Ferris Bueller t-shirt is now only weekend wear.

Forget Gun Control and North Korea, this is my issue today. Let me know your feelings about this very important topic.

Just say "No"!

Monday, April 8, 2013

When I practiced law, I stuck at post-it note on the side of my computer monitor that said "just say no". Not "no" to gambling in the office or drinking too much diet coke but "no" to business invitations.  

These were the invitations and obligations that did not seem bad when the opportunity presented itself but when the time actually came to leave work for two and half hours to sit in a hotel ballroom with strangers to discuss gender equality in the law, it seemed very painful.  I used to say yes to all of these types of things but when the day came to actually go, I was very pissed at myself for saying "yes".

The straw that broke the camel's back came when I volunteered to be the office social/party planner. I was planning office holiday parties, staff luncheons, parties for clients. I even had to order flowers for the office. This was not in my job description and came with little thanks and no glory. It basically just cut into my work day and made me less productive. As a lawyer with billable hours as a goal. This was just dumb on my part. I decided to just say no to extracurricular things. It worked. I was happier and more productive.

Flash forward 15 or so years and the post it note must come out of retirement again. This past month has seen me saying "Yes" to things that I really don't want to do. For example, I have to go to a "uniform  committee " meeting for my son's school today. I really don't give a crap about whether or not the school has uniforms. Why did I volunteer for this? I also over-volunteered for other school events and committees this spring at both schools. Huh? What was I thinking.

Yes, participating and volunteering at your child's school is important. Mom's who don't help at all just suck but I need to stick that post it note on my forehead or i phone so I remember that my job description is not Volunteer of the year.

Thanks goodness school is almost over. Remind me next year to just say "no", a little bit more often.

Snag a Husband part 2...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yesterday I discussed my thoughts on the letter to Princeton women about their options for a mate peaking while at the Ivy League University.

I thought about it some more and had a bit of a discussion with my husband over delicious sushi and I think that I have a more concrete opinion about the topic.

Love will find you. You need to be open to it but you can't really plan it.  Searching for a husband, whether it be on a college campus , a television show or through a matchmaker  is probably a long shot.  Sure there are stories of people who actively search for a spouse and find one (and supposedly live "happily ever after" but they are the exception rather than the rule. Anyone can find another and get married but to find the one that is "it" is way more complicated than that.  It requires an open heart and mind and a lot of luck. Once you find that person, it requires work, loyalty and dedication.  

I met my soulmate when I was 24 years old. I was not looking for a husband.  On paper, no one would have ever set us up. That being said, from the moment that I met him, the spark was there. He was "it". Flash forward 20 plus years, a couple of kids and all of the stuff (good and bad) that life throws at us, we are the best couple that I know. By the way, my husband and I attended the same University, lived in the same apartment complex during out sophomore year and had mutual friends but never met until years later when we were both living in Miami. Who knows, had we dated in college, we may have never ended up together. It was not our time. It was meant to be, but not then.

So my message to the Princeton women would be, go get your degree but keep your hearts and minds open. Live your lives. Que sera, sera...whatever will be, will be.  

Snag a Husband as fast as you can?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This photo has nothing to do with the topic of my blog today. I snapped during my walk on the beach this am and was more interesting that any photo that I could come up with for my topic! 
Princeton University Alumna Susan Patton is urging current female students of her alma matter to find a husband on campus before they graduate.  Patton, who graduated in 1977, wrote a letter to the campus newspaper trying to remind women on campus that their male counterparts are smart, ivy league men who are going to leave campus and marry women in the outside world who are young and less intelligent than Princeton Students. 

You can read the entire letter here, but in summary, her advice to the daughters that she never had is that in addition to the MBA or whatever degree they are seeking, they should also seek an MRS degree while still in the ivy league environment. "you will never again be surround by the concentration of men who are worthy of you".

Her reasoning is that there is a very limited population of men who are as smart or smarter than the Princeton female students.  She goes on to state that men have a much more unlimited stock of women to choose from and many men marry beneath them in terms of intelligence or education, especially if the woman is pretty.  In addition, men don't have the biological constraints in terms of find a mate to have children with.

I heard Patton speak on a radio show this morning and while I want to hate her advice (especially because it seems so snobby and because she has sons), it is quite practical if you really think about it.

I goofed around all during my college days. I went to a great Univesity but it was not Ivy Leaque. The boys that I met and dated were not serious, nor was I. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to experience life. I wanted to go to law school so I did not even think about snagging a husband during those days.

When my sorority sisters would announce their engagements, in the surprise, secret, dramatic ways that sororities do this, I was never jealous. In fact, it seemed ridiculous to me. We were too young. We had stuff to do. Through Facebook, I've kept in touch with many of these girls and just about all of them who got engaged during undergrad are now in their mid 40's and divorced.

I will say, however, that once I went to Law School, I looked around and was amazed but the plethora of single, smart, soon-to-be successful men. I really enjoy hanging out with smart people so I loved this.  I started to think, wow, if you want to be a lawyer's wife, this is the place to be. I even thought that I should write to the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and suggest Law School to women looking for a rich (or soon to be) husband.  

I was in Law School to snag a law degree and not a husband.  I began to think that a lawyer -lawyer marriage might involve a lot of arguing as this is what lawyers are trained to do and the fellow students were not as attractive as I first thought once I spent a million hours with them. 

 I did happen to meet my husband during law school. He was the non-lawyer friend of some fellow students.  

As the mother of two teenaged sons, I don't know if I would be terribly excited for them to  ge
t married in their early 20's.  I think that the craziness of one's 20's is best acted out at the time rather than squeeze out later when they are middle aged.  But as we all know, I barely have any control at this point. I'm sure that they won't care what I think by then.

What do you think of Susan Patton's advice? I'd love to hear your opinions.

GIVEAWAY for South Floridians!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The taste of Grove is Miami's original family-friendly food festival. Me and my clan are going to eat, drink, rock and stroll.

The festival was nice enough to give me a four pack of tickets to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. Leave a comment if you want to win. Tell your friends. I will hold a drawing of all entries on Fiday April 5th at 11:30 p.m. so leave your  comments by then.

Even if you don't win, the tickets are only 10 bucks for adults and 5 dollars per kidlet so it is totally affordable. 

5 things that I know...

Monday, April 1, 2013

1. If you are chubby, you don't need botox.

2. If your girlfriends are about to get a divorce, they will look better than you. All of the time. Even at the supermarket or carpool line

3. Girls who base their personalities on beauty don't fare as well later in life.

4. You never know what is going on inside someone else's house.

5. Cadbury chocolate eggs are addictive so luckily they are gone until next spring.
template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)