Brand new park

guttenberg, hudson river, Mommyhood, new jersey, north bergen, nyc, river road, The 'berg, Uncategorized, west new york

This playground was recently constructed in October. It is brand new, clean and in mint condition. There is parking, restrooms, a walking trail along the Hudson, and one nice little playground.

Ari likes the slide best as it shoots you down super fast “MORE” he says!

There’s picnic tables if you want to camp out for an afternoon lunch in the sun. If you live above the cliff it is a great hike up and down.

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The FAST slide!

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Ari riding an Angry Bird

The only bad thing about this playground is that there is no gate therefore the only thing between your little one and 4 lanes of busy traffic are these 2 light poles… beware.

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DANGEROUS!!!

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A Thoughtful Holiday Season

guttenberg, holiday, maine, Mommyhood, new jersey, Organization, Uncategorized

I have always appreciated hand made gifts. They are much more personal than store bought items. Having worked full time and taken care of Ari on the side I never had time to make anything. This year I was determined to make 3 things and make it a family activity.

Vicks Shower Pods

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Everything is better in a Mason Jar

I got an easy tutorial from Mom Foodie and made up the mixture while the kids were napping popped them in mini muffin wrappers and placed them in the freezer to set in the mold.

When Ari woke up from his nap he helped me put them in the Mason Jars and label them with some tags and ribbon. I suggest making the mixture into a liquid and pouring it in the molds so you don’t have to get your hands all menthol.

 

Ornaments for Ari’s buddies

We bought a bunch of clear ornaments, painted them and stuck glitter and modge podge all over them. Ari’s favorite part of this whole process was painting the white gift boxes.

 

All Purpose Spice Rub

I looked up a nice spice rub recipe and tweeked it a bit. I measured, Ari dumped the spices into a bowl and then he was in charge of mixing it all together. He also assisted with tags and ribbon.

Spice rub: 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c paprika, 1 tbl pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder & cayenne pepper.

New York Botanical Gardens Train Show

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New York has an overwhelming list of “to do’s” during the holiday season. Most of the tourist attractions are overcrowded and NOT FUN for little ones. I suggest waiting until your kids are older and are able to walk on their own and go on a toilet before you trudge around Rockefeller Center.

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Drive to the Bronx instead and check out the New York Botanical Gardens Train Show.

It is breathtaking; everything is intricately handmade to match New York landmarks. My son is a train enthusiast and was flabbergasted by all the trains running around the exhibit. When he saw Thomas and Percy I believe if he had more of a vocabulary he would have told me it was the highlight of his year. We also went with Ari’s bestie O who is the same age but not as into trains as Ari and she couldn’t stop smiling the entire time.

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They do have a café but they allow you to pack a lunch if you prefer.

North Bergen Sports Complex

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Last week the weather started to get very cold around here. The kids and I typically go to a playground or park every day to get fresh air and it had been a while since we ran around so I figured a new adventure was in order.IMG_1635

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The North Bergen Sports Complex is the perfect place to make a quick pit stop to get your kids wiggles out and it still being convenient. Parking is close to the complex and free. The Playground is gated in. There are restrooms. Seriously what else could you need in a playground? Except swings they are lacking a good swing set.

We also walked around and visited the Arboretum Garden next to the playground. It may be nicer to visit in the summer for a picnic but it was kind of old and in need of a major cleanup. Some of the trees were missing- maybe they died. The trees that were there were absolutely gorgeous. Being from Maine I can appreciate a beautiful tree when I see one.

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When was the last time you stopped took a deep breath of fresh air and admired nature in your hood?

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4 people 1 schedule

Mommyhood, Uncategorized

One strength of mine is organization and scheduling. I made a living creating schedules as a project manager for one of the worlds largest retailers. Therefore I knew once my world changed from 1 to 2 kids and full time daycare to none at all I would have to put my creative scheduling skills to work right away.

I read a few books on sleep training, read many fellow bloggers posts and most importantly asked my family and friends for advice (I highly recommend this book for sleep training your child). I took all the information and made many rough drafts of daily schedules tested them all out and came up with the one below:

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Schedules are a great tool to combine multiple diverse things into one cohesive plan of execution. It was important to me that I knew I had certain times during the day when I could take the kids out and it wouldn’t disrupt their sleep. I also needed at least 1-2 hours where I could take a shower, prep for dinner, or just lay down and rest!

Another thing I want to point out is that I do not follow this schedule religiously. I learned from my work experience that business changes, and when that happens you have to be flexible and adjust to what the business needs are. If you chose to be inflexible chances are you will be unsuccessful in your execution of the plan. Same thing here goes for you and your families schedules as it does in business.

If you go out of town, have a sick baby or are experiencing a major shift, don’t expect this schedule to work perfectly.

I keep my mini schedule (pictured above) next to my big scheduling “command center” in the hall. Then I can glance back at it when I feel I have gotten off track or need some grounding.

I hope this schedule is helpful to you and your family. On another post I will be sharing my weekly mealtime & cleaning schedule and a little bit on the “command center”.

Leftovers & Traditions

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Post Thanksgiving what to do with so many leftovers?

I was determined to not waste a thing and be creative with what was let behind from our giant feast.
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My 21 pound beer brined bird.

  1. Pick the turkey, every bit of it
  2. Boil it down on a low simmer all day long then let it cool and scoop off the fat the thickens on the top. Pick the turkey again. Freeze up the stock in ziplock bags to use at a later time.
  3. Freeze half of the picked turkey meat- it will be good for a nice casserole dish or stew.
  4. Pulse turkey meat, cranberry sauce, chopped nuts and a few tablespoons of mayo in a food processor. There you have a nice inventive turkey salad.
  5. Emeril’s Turkey Tetrazzini– its such a nice comfort meal you won’t regret slaving over the stove for this dish.Turkey stock will com
    e in handy when making this dish.
  6. Potato pancakes from Just a Taste were a nice treat to mix up the monotony of leftover mashed taters.
  7. Buffalo Turkey Chili. Recipe: Carrots, onion, turkey stock, turkey shredded, Ranch dressing packet, a heavy pour of buffalo sauce, 1 can of beans & 1 block of cream cheese. Let it all simmer in the pot on low for many hours. It is SOO freaking good!!
I wanted to start an ongoing tradition now that Ari is not a big baby blob  anymore and is having memories of things. I made

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Snapshot of the table, decorations & crafts

everyone write what they were thankful for and sealed it in an envelope  to read next year. It will close the loop on the year and let us all reminisce on what was so important to us prior year.

I will also be making crafts to decorate the table the evening before with the kids. Here is a snapshot of the glitter turkey nameplates. We used Ari’s hand for tracing to involve him, he loved it!
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A friend made this candle for me with her circuit.

Happy Holidays,
Amber
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The kids after Thanksgiving

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Nini girl

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Another friend also brought these cute turkeys for the kids.