Thursday, July 31, 2014

What we're reading 3, kind of...

Currently, I am not reading anything!  Except skimming through the occasional magazine.  Usually, its Real Simple.  During the day, I don't have time to read and in the evening, I don't feel like it.  I just want to veg out and watch a marathon of something good on TV.  Currently, we are watching The Wire.  Now that is some good TV!!!  I won't give any spoilers.  We are on the last season and I could watch all the episodes in one night, but I don't want it to end.  It's a show that follows a group of detectives and various "bad guys"-drug dealers, politicians, etc. in Baltimore. So, if you are having a break from reading and haven't already seen this show, check it out.

Onto the kids.  Currently, Mena is into Olivia and the Missing Toy and pretty much any book from the Olivia series.  The books are written by Ian Falconer .  The stories, which feature a pig named Olivia are funny and I really enjoy the minimalistic illustrations.

Idris is totally into zombie and comic books, as well as, graphic novels.  However, he has summer reading to complete, so we had to pick something off of the approved list.  He chose Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen.  It's about a boy who's new in town, who befriends some other kids and they try to prevent the destruction of an owl colony.  He's not that far into the book yet, but says "It's Cool," which translates to "I haven't made my mind up about this book yet."  Anyway, the book won a Newberry Award, so it must be pretty good.

What are you guys reading this summer?

Monday, July 28, 2014


It's funny that I enjoy plants now.  As a child I couldn't stand them.  My mother had and still has a ton of them and they were always blocking the windows.  However, things have changed and I grew to appreciate them.   This is one of the "mini-gardens" in her place.

I love this space and look to it for inspiration.  One of the things I didn't inherit was my mother's green thumb.   It's crazy but I even manage to kill succulents, which is supposed to be one of the easiest type of plants to maintain.  I have about 7 plants and they have been the lucky bunch that have survived living with me.   They are mostly tropical plants and I have found that putting them outside until the temperature dips helps to rejuvenate them.  One plus for our yucky east coast heat and humidity!  I water them every few days or so, weather depending.  

I wish I had taken before shots, so you could see how they looked before.  I will probably be adding two more plants soon, a snake plant and something else that's hard to kill! 

Do you guys have any tips to share?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Adventures in road-tripping with a newborn and a toddler-Saratoga Springs, NY

Finally!!! The baby is napping, my daughter is out with Nana and the oldest is away at camp.  I am sitting in my childhood home which my mother has made into her own garden oasis.  I am enjoying a lovely cup of coffee and I have time to post!
Last Saturday, we drove our son up to The Adirondacks to attend summer camp.  On our way home, we stopped in Saratoga Springs, which was beautiful.
We had the younger two, so getting pics was a bit of a challenge since my daughter is still adjusting to the new baby and has become very clingy.
Anyhow, we spent time in Saratoga Spa State Park, which looks like one of those gorgeous college campus's from 80's films, but better and bigger.  There are big plush lawns and buildings from a time when beautiful architecture was appreciated.  There are geysers throughout the park and many have been tapped so you can just pull up and fill up your water bottles right there!  Which, many folks were doing.  People even pulled out there huge 5 gallon bottles (several of them at a time.)
We enjoyed walking in the springs, until my daughter didn't enjoy it.  She's at a stage where she likes something and then doesn't like it within seconds.  She's suddenly scared of bugs and the cloud of dirt that formed in the water when she moved, and a numerous amount of other things.  She has a strong personality and wants what she wants IMMEDIATELY, ha!  We also did a brief hike because my husband didn't pack the back pack to carry her and we didn't want to have to carry her all the way back.
After the park, we decided to head to the Downtown area, which was full of people and plenty of restaurant options.  We chose a Mexican restaurant and ate the quickest meal ever for several reasons.  It was noisy inside and too hot outside.  Also, it was the witching hour for Mena, so she wasn't into sitting in her high chair or with Daddy, and recently she's started doing this high pitched screaming-thing and then laughing when she's getting tired.  So we took a short walk around and grabbed some ice cream and headed to NYC.  FYI Ben and Jerry's has cotton candy ice cream that is soooooo good!
The ride home was lovely......NOT!  The baby wanted to nurse about every 45 minutes-1 hour, so a 3 hour trip turned into 5 1/2 hours by the time we hit the lovely traffic at Lincoln tunnel.  Thankfully, there was a parking spot waiting for us, which is huge here!
All in all, it was a lovely day!  We would definitely like to head back there and stay over for a few nights to enjoy the many mineral spring spas, visit the park again and try some different restaurants, but definitely not until the kids are a little older.