Archives for posts with tag: New York City

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There is a mound of toys in the living room of my 900 square foot Manhattan apartment.  It grows. It shrinks. Sometimes it remains untouched. There are 67 episodes of Little Einsteins downloaded on my Apple TV. (Please Disney, please bring this show back.)  We have been to the Children’s Museum,  Natural History Museum, MOMA, The Met, Children’s Museum of the Art, the Carousel in Central Park and a show featuring the real-life Angelina Ballerina and her friends.

And yet, despite all of the time and money I spend trying to keep Madeline stimulated – I learned last week that all I really needed was a 5 lb bag of fresh peas from the GreenMarket.

She had come back from a weekend with her dad. We set about preparing our dinner with the vegetable of the week – fresh peas. We had a lot of shelling to do. I grabbed her stool and brought it into the kitchen. She can see above the counter now. We organized our workspace and started shelling. I held her little hand and showed her how to open a pea pod, how to take the fresh peas out and where to throw away the pod.  We talked. We examined the sizes and shapes of peas. We counted how many peas were in each pod. We laughed at the baby ones. We were amazed at the big ones.  We both ate raw peas and talked about how they tasted. We both wished we had more peas when the bag was empty.

In two words: we reconnected.

My dear Maddie, this is a moment I will never forget. No matter how many days you are away, I will always be your mom . You will always be my daughter. We will always find a way to smile and a reason to hug each other.

I will also never forget that ridiculously amazing fresh linguine carbonara we made with those fresh peas and fava beans. Damn, that was good bacon.

So, to all those moms and dads out there (especially the NYC ones), here are just a couple of Madeline and my tips to finding your pea pod moment:

  • Have a special Sunday dinner – Slow down on Sunday and plan a fantastic simple meal. Think of something that you can make together and identify small tasks that your child can do that aren’t too messy and that will hold their attention such as cracking and whisking eggs, snapping green beans, shucking corn or stirring some red wine vinaigrette.
  • Throw some pennies in a fountain – Find a beautiful foundation and stop by once a week to make a wish. Tell each other what you wished for. Try to count all the wishes in the bottom of the fountain.
  • Smell the roses, literally – Stop by some flower beds. Look at all the different colors. Inhale.
  • Hang out on a bench – And talk to each other. Look around and make observations. Find something silly and laugh about it. Sing some songs.
  • Just sit on the floor – Turn off the TV. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Sit and play with each other until it dings. Play pretend. Build a block tower and knock it down. Or just giggle.

We are off to find this week’s fruit or veggie today. Hopefully, we’ll find some QT along the way.

Happy shelling.

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Ok, being a single mom in New York City means a totally new financial reality for me.  I’m on a shoestring budget. First thing to go, unnecessary overpriced beauty products. I had to break up with them.

Here’s how:

1. Do not make eye contact with Sephora: Do not look at the store front. Do not touch the door handle. Do not browse or go in to put on some quick makeup on before you go out. You will not pass go. You will spend $70 (on things you only use for about a week).

2. Detox your body – Go to hot yoga. Become vegan for a couple of weeks (this may sound extreme). Drink gallons of water and fresh juices. Last night, I completed my 95th Bikram Yoga class (that’s 145 hours of yoga) and my skin has never looked better in my life. Even my mild sun damage is slowly disappearing. I don’t know how the hell it’s happening, but it is.

3. Watch this movieChemerical – Yes, there are some awkward moments where husband and wife talk about pheromones after they give up deodorant that are kind of awkward and nauseating, but overall it will freak you out enough to make you stop using scary chemicals in your house and on your body. (Personal note – I cannot give up deodorant – thank you Dove – I hold my pose with confidence).

4. Stop dying your hair – Really, why do we do this? I was a big fan of the $250 highlights and $100 gloss (what does the gloss do anyway?). I forgot what my hair actually looked like. I single processed to bring back my natural color and now that all the years of dye has grown out, my hair looks the best it ever has. It matches my skin tone. (note- if I start going gray, this step will be re-evaluated).

5. Buy a bar of nice organic soap – Are we really so lazy that we have to squirt soap out of a bottle instead of rub it on our skin? Think about the material waste. We are destroying our planet.  It’s kind of crazy. I started using this awesome organic soap from Zen Medica and I feel really clean. Like there isn’t a layer of chemicals on my skin. With all this detoxing, I actually get a headache if I put on my old perfumed lotion.

6. Only buy something new when your old product is almost gone – Gone are the days of browsing the aisles and just picking something up. Find the necessary products. For me, it’s concealer, mascara, gloss, and some basic eye shadowesque creme stuff. I’m done with experimentation. Do you really need to try out self-tanner?

7. Go to the dermatologist  – Instead of trying to cure your own skin with products offering false promises, head to the doctor, find out what’s really wrong with you and have them prescribe something that will get rid of the problem. Your health insurance might even cover it. (Note – do not fall into dermatologist trap of shooting your face with a laser – more on that in a subsequent post).

8. Feel beautiful on the inside – (Oprah moment) There’s a reason why you’re buying all this needless stuff. Figure out what it’s giving you and how you can get it through action. A face peel is never going to make you feel as good as a french kiss and good snuggle.

Like any break up, this will not be easy. Take it step-by-step and remember what you are doing is going to make you a better person from the inside out. And you’ll have more money to spend on hot yoga membership fees.

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