Saturday, June 30, 2012

So July 4th is upon us...we never have plans. I don't know why. We've been going to the Ridgewood fireworks for the past two years and I assume we'll be going again. We usually sit in the Kings parking lot. Better than paying and easier to get out. We end up running into Liz, Sydney and Jordan so Ethan is excited to see them and it's just a nice night. Hopefully we won't be sweating our asses off. Please, heat, break. Please..

Here are some options for you if you are looking for something to do in the way of fireworks- I stole this from Bergen Mama

102nd Annual Ridgewood Fourth of July Celebration
Where: Veteran’s Memorial Field, 176-236 Linwood Ave W, Ridgewood
When: Wednesday, July 4th, gates open at 6:30 p.m. for performances by the Illumination Twirlers, The Manhattan Dolls and the Fallin’ Angels Skydivers; fireworks begin after gates are closed at 9 p.m.
Chow at: Ridge Thai or Brick Lane Curry House for a little pre-festive spice

Paramus Fireworks Display Sponsored by Westfield Garden State Plaza
Where: Cliff Gennarelli Sports Complex
Paramus Road & Plaza Way, Westfield Garden State Plaza - West Lot
When: Sunday, July 1, 2012 Gates will open to the public at 7:30 pmRain Date:Sunday, July 8th
Chow at: Legal Sea Foods’ for their famous clam chowda

What: Tenafly’s Annual Fireworks Display
When: Sunday, July 1st at 9pm (Rain date is Tuesday, July 3)
Where: Behind the Tenafly High School, 19 Columbus Drive, Tenafly
Chow at:Simply Vietnamese’s light, zingy dishes

What: Hasbrouck Heights Fireworks and Parade
Where: Depken Field (Rt 17 and Franklin Ave)
When: Fireworks: Monday, July 2, at sundown, & Children’s Parade, Wednesday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m.

What:Nyack: A dazzling fireworks show at one of our favorite Hudson River Towns
When: July 4th at 8pm festivities, 9:00 fireworks
Where: Memorial Park, 53 Piermont Ave, Nyack, New York
Chow at:Baumgart’s for them, 2 Spear Street for you

What: MACY’S Fireworks Spectacular on the Hudson River
Chow at:Son Cubano NJ for sangria, guacamole and spectacular views or the NY Waterway Cruise, which sails from 6:30 to 10:30, includes great seats on the upper deck for all guests plus a cash bar with snacks. ($100 for adults and $75 for kids ages 4 to 11)
Details: River Road will close to traffic at 4pm at Bulls Ferry (so get south before then)
When: Wednesday, July 4th, 9pm
Where: Best viewing on the Jersey Side is from Weehawken to Hoboken

Friday, June 29, 2012

Coffee House 2!

Glen Rock Jewish Center presents:
Coffee House 2!
Saturday, June 30

at 9:15 pm


Home Grown Talent

and Special Guests

If you attended last year's event, you already know what a terrific night this will be!

If you missed it the first time,

you're in for a real treat!

$15 per person

accepted at the door.

Dessert included.

BYO Beer, Kosher Wine and Spirits

Ring in Summer 2012
with Coffee House 2!!

A flyer with more details

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shades of Soho LIVE!

Finally, after years of so much hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, our Shades of Soho e-commerce site is finally live and open for business.

We are so happy with the final product and hope you are too!!

Please check it out- and let us know what you think!

And if you love it, share it!!

Shades of Soho:

Shades of Soho is boutique lighting store where we make and design all of our own 100% New Jersey-made products. These are not sold anywhere else except directly through us, at our two NJ locations or on our website.

Our passion is to design and make products combining fashion and function, while offering something unique for those yearning to create a look in their homes that is different from others'. We pride ourselves on providing American-made handcrafted products. Our mission is to help bring color into your world and illuminate your homes and lives.

Please "LIKE" our FB page too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Music!

I just got this email from Music for Aardvarks-

Summer is here, woohoo!! Our eight week summer session begins this week on Tuesday, June 26th, with class offerings in Ridgewood, Waldwick, Washington Township, and Park Ridge! Check out our full schedule at

There's still space available in many classes, so come join us for another great semester of rockin' music & movement.

We'll see ya' soon!

Cindy & Sean
A Hum Music

So if anyone is still looking for something to do this summer with their toddlers, this is a great program! E just stopped going because he's in camp/school full time these days. We started in this class when he was eight months old and he loved every minute of it.

Language for little ones

My friend Maria, who TEACHES Spanish, JUST mentioned to me this brand, Little Pim, for teaching kids a second language. I only know English and a handful of Yiddish words, which doesn't help me much in life, at all. I would LOVE if Ethan could learn a second language because that is the way of the world. And I had SUCH trouble learning it in high school. I've been told that they learn so much easier when they're under five years old. I don't know if this is true, but I felt like when I saw the Living Social deal today, after I missed it the last time, that it was meant for me to try. I don't have any reviews yet, but I do have the link to the deal. It seems worth a shot. They have quite a few languages on their site- Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew & Russian. I don't even know which to pick myself!

Here is the deal:

Here is the site:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Meadowlands Fair is here!

June 22-July 8

I haven't been there since college I think, but it's big, lots of rides, and lots of fun. I remember it being crowded and a bit on the expensive side, but if you like rides and carnivals, it's definitely worth checking out. They have lots of shows, games, and interesting/weird attractions.

Fair Hours ►

  • Dollar Preview Night, Friday, June 22: 4pm to 2am
  • Mon – Thu: 6pm to 12am
  • Tue, July 3: 4pm to 2am
  • Wed, July 4: 2pm to 2am
  • Fri: 6pm to 2am
  • Sat: 2pm to 2am
  • Sun: 2pm to 12am

Ticket Prices

    Gate Adm-13 & Older - $7;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $5
    Combo*-13 & Older - $27;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $25
    Gate Adm-13 & Older - $9;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $7
    Combo*-13 & Older - $31;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $29
    SATURDAY-SUNDAY-HOLIDAYS Gate Adm-13 & Older - $9;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $7
    Combo*-13 & Older - $34;
    12 & Under; Sr. Citizens - $32
    *Combo-Admission & Rides Children under 34” are admitted free everyday

Friday, June 22, 2012

BBQ for you!

We were on the go again the other night when we realized it was almost 7p, had E with us, and no one has eaten. Nothing familiar sounded good. I finally remembered B had always wanted to try the BBQ place on Goffle Rd in Wyckoff. I thought it was Hawthorne but I was mistaken. B said every time he drives by the parking lot is packed.

I'd never been to a BBQ place. Well, that's not entirely true. One time, when I was visiting Tennessee for my job with John Abate, I ate BBQ in the Knoxville airport. I don't know what the name of the place was but it had a big pig face on the front. I remembered it being good.

So we went to Bourbon BBQ & Grill. Walking in, it feels like you're actually walking into Tennessee. It was so odd. But cool. Johnny Cash was playing and the place was busy. They have a decent size menu, including a children's menu. The children's menu has chicken fingers, hamburger, grilled cheese, etc. It was definitely a standard kids menu so I was able to order something for E that I know he'd eat. They even had milk, which believe it or not, can be scarce in restaurants.

B and I both ordered the BBQ Sampler- Brisket, pulled pork, and ribs with 2 sides. That is $19.99. I figured whatever I didn't eat, B could eat the next night. They have a decent amount of sides to choose from. I chose corn on the cob and sweet mashed potatoes. I LOVED the brisket and pork. The ribs weren't that great. They were kind of tough and not easily cut. They looked more like Chinese spare ribs than my perception of what BBQ ribs in a BBQ place should look like. Usually BBQ ribs are falling off the bone. I also didn't love my sweet mashed but the corn was perfect. The only thing I would've loved would've been some cornbread but I certainly didn't need it.

B got beans and something else as sides and he ate everything on his plate. He was stuffed and loved every bite.

The service was pretty slow but it sort of goes with the whole southern theme going on in there. And we didn't really care. But if you were in a hurry, I'm not sure they'd get you out of there in time.

It's definitely worth a try if you are craving BBQ. I don't know of any other places in the area. At least not this close by. I've never really investigated it though so I may be incorrect!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Kind of Mom

I know what kind of mom I am. It's the "just get my kid a fucking scoop of ice cream" kind. And I'll tell you what that means.

For Fathers Day we went down the shore again. Noticing a theme? Yeah, if we have free time, which is like, never, we try to make the most of it. Usually that means going somewhere near a large body of water, a good meal, and possibly some ice cream. This was no different. Except we hadn't eaten in any of the restaurants in Long Branch in awhile. We used to go to Rooney's but the last two times we were there we had really disappointing service and the food wasn't great either. We'd gone to McLoone's and I remember it being good, but just decided not to try there. Figured they'd be booked for Fathers Day.

There was this other restaurant- Avenue. I couldn't tell if it was fancy or not. I peeked in and it didn't look overly fancy. They also had outdoor seating with wooden tables so it was a bit deceiving. When you're on a beach and see wooden tables outside it can go either way. I definitely thought it was more casual. A family of four with two kids who looked under 10 yrs old had just been seated before us so I just assumed it was kid friendly.

It was weird- I asked the maitre d if they have high chairs and he said, "We're not too snooty to have high chairs" or something like that. He was trying to be funny, but I wasn't asking for that reason- you just never know what the deal is with high chairs. Recently we went somewhere that only had boosters. (Yes, my 3.5 yr old still sits in a high chair- that's how I like it. He doesn't know there is another option, he's fine with it and it keeps him sitting still). If they hadn't had high chairs I might have opted out of eating there. But I should've taken that comment as a sign.

Our waiter was pretentious as hell, to say the least. First, I don't understand how as a beach restaurant, no matter how highbrow, they don't have a kids menu or something REASONABLE for a child. I had to order him a SEVENTEEN DOLLAR hamburger. Really? Obviously you're going to have tourists. That's what the Jersey shore is about. This isn't the Hamptons as much as they'd like to pretend. Sure there are more kid friendly restaurants. There is a Stewart's across the street. But how about a happy medium. B and I want to eat nice but I also don't want to have to pay $17 for a hamburger for E. Although I've now gotten three meals out of it for him. I made it worth it for me monetarily. Anyway I asked the guy what this meat dish (that I can't tell you because I can't spell it) and he told me with the air of "you must be a moron". I didn't want to ask anymore questions so that's what I ordered.

B's meal and my meal both came with dessert. I did a $30 price fixed thing of an appetizer/entree/dessert. So when it came time for dessert, I couldn't leave E with nothing. He's simple- he's THREE. I asked the woman who was obsessively cleaning off our table every three seconds, if I could just get E a plain scoop of vanilla. She looked scared. She ran off to get our waiter. He came back and said he heard we wanted a dessert menu. I said, "No, can I just a scoop of vanilla for him? Both my husband and my dinner came with dessert so I just want to order him a scoop of vanilla....". He just looked at me disdainfully and said, "well, we have ice cream with berries.....". My head almost just spun off my neck and exploded. Without freaking out I just stopped him and said, "I JUST WANT A SCOOP OF VANILLA. THAT. IS. IT.". He pursed his lips, said "ok" and walked away. I just wanted to scream at him- "just give me a motherfucking scoop of vanilla. A fucking scoop! If you want to charge me $10 for it, I'll be furious but do what you have to do and get me some ice cream for my kid.". But I didn't say that. I did seriously feel like Shirley Maclaine in Terms of Endearment when Debra Winger was in the hospital and Shirley was trying to get her daughter the pain meds.

Let me say, I am EXTREMELY nice to wait staff. I have NEVER sent something back in my life nor have I ever disparaged or spoke rudely to a waiter/ess. But this was ridiculous. I mean, seriously, I'm telling you I don't need a whole thing- all I need is a scoop of ice cream. It's not difficult to just give someone what they're asking for, especially when it comes to a child. I don't care how fancy your restaurant is- I don't think it's a big deal to just give someone what they want, within reason. I certainly don't think I gave him an unreasonable request. My dessert was coming with vanilla ice cream so I knew they had it. And you know what- if it's against the rules, bring out your manager to explain it.

I'm not being difficult, really. But we take E everywhere out to eat. We try to pick family friendly restaurants when we can, but we also don't always know till we're in and sitting what we're getting into. I'm not going to google reviews when we're on the fly. I'm not even saying every restaurant has to have different items than they'd normally serve to accommodate children but how about just modifying some adult dishes? Instead of the $17 giant hamburger meal, offer two sliders for $10-$12 or something. It's still pricey but it's more of "kids meal" than what I had to order. Otherwise, when I ask for a high chair, instead of making a weird goofy joke, say, we have them but we're not really kid friendly. It's up to you and we'd love to have you, but we don't have a kids menu either. I'd appreciate the honesty.

All in all- the food was fine. It wasn't the best I ever had in my life. What I will tell you is that we won't be going back unless it's an adult only outing.

But the day was still good. We got a decent amount of time on the beach. E loved playing in the sand. B didn't get to relax or anything because E wanted to play with him, but I guess that's what Fathers Day is really about. E loves, loves, loves his daddy and there is nothing more fun to him than playing with him. At the end of every day he's telling me "I want my daddy!" so B is obviously doing something right. We sunned, we ate, we played and we did eventually get some ice cream- all in all, a very nice day. Oh, and just FYI- our "Wonder Wheeler" cart came in super handy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Just like burgers, Fro-yo is having an unbelievable resurgence. Remember in the 80's where all of a sudden there were TCBY's, Colombo's, and Everything Yogurt's everywhere? Hell, my college roommate Aimee was a manager at Everything Yogurt for years. It was the cool thing to get- the "healthier", less caloric cousin to ice cream and everyone seemed on the bandwagon. Then one by one they started closing up. My mom really liked Colombo. They were in Emerson in that weird spot across from the railroad station store. It's been a million things since then. I think it's a hair salon now.

Out of what seems like the blue Bergen County now seemed chock full of frozen yogurt places, each intent on outdoing the last. Oddly, in my opinion, a CUPS just opened in Bergen Town Center- or the extension of it. It's where Health Spa 2 used to be. Unfortunately for them, there is nothing else yet in that strip of the mall except REI behind it. I guess the positive is that they have tons of parking for now because no one else is there. But there is also no reason to go over there unless you JUST want to go there. Or REI. I find this location odd because Frozen Peaks just opened within the last year INSIDE the other part of the mall.

Essentially they are almost the same. Down to the same spoons just in different colors. They have cool music playing, kind of loud, tons of flavors, self serve, pretty much the same toppings, and young girls working there. I tried a bunch of flavors all in my one cup- Red Velvet, Cake Batter, Strawberry & Cheesecake. I liked them all. Of course I love those little cookie dough pieces so I threw them in there too. This time I skipped the dark chocolates with the raspberry filling but I wanted them. I did notice as I was paying that they had cereal to put in as a topping, like Lucky Charms. That could be dangerous. I don't know if any of the other places have that. It was good. For me, it was better than going to Frozen Peaks because it was nearing 5p and I didn't feel like battling for a space in the busy part of the mall parking lot. Here I was able to run in and out. But that won't be the case once other stores join CUPS on that side.

I will say there were way too many people working there. I think there were FOUR girls in there. And the two behind the counter weren't paying any bit of attention to me whatsoever. They were deep in some teenage conversation that may have been interesting to eavesdrop on but not the best for customer service. It's not that anything was "wrong"- I got the right change, a spoon, etc. But I don't know- it's a new store. They should sort of be on there best customer service behavior. Especially with so much competition. It would be like if someone came into my store and I just continued to play around on the Internet while they were talking to me.

But it's worth a try. Especially if you're in a hurry. Get there while they still have the whole parking lot to themselves. It would be cool if they were able to put a few tables outside too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Toddler Time activity

I got this email from Hilarie, the director of the Glen Rock Jewish Center Pre-school. It's for a mommy & me class. I know people are always looking for interesting activities to do with their little ones, especially if they're too young for camp. It's also nice to get to chat with other moms of kids the same age. I never got to do this- I didn't know about it when E was this age and when I did finally hear of it, it didn't work with our schedule. But it definitely like something cool and different.

Summer Toddler Time

                                                            CLASS SCHEDULE
       (9:30am – 10:45am)


June 27,

July 11, 18, 25

August 1, 8


Our Toddler Time program is for children who are 12 months through 23 months of age and a parent or caregiver. The group of 10 - 12 child/adult pairs is facilitated by Merri Kapiloff, a professionally trained and experienced Child Life Specialist. Classes consist of a mix of arts and crafts, music, songs, stories, finger plays, indoor and out door play, etc.  Time is also set aside each week for discussions on topics of special interest to the parents and care givers of toddlers.

You and your child should dress comfortably and bring a smock and drink.  We will provide snack.

The fee for the 6 classes is $120.00. Payment in full must accompany the attached registration form.  There are no refunds and only classes cancelled by the Toddler Time program will be rescheduled.  There are no individual make up days for vacation, illness or missed classes. All classes are subject to minimum and maximum enrollments and are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More local carnivals


Thursday, June 14 – Saturday, June 16, 2012

Holy Family School Grounds
200 Summit Ave, Norwood NJ


Thursday, June 14 – Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thurs & Fri: 6p-10p
Sat: 1p-4p & 6p-10p
Sun: 1p-5p

Guardian Angel R C Church
320 Franklin Turnpike

Allendale, NJ 07401

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We love Glen Rock Hardware

First- B and I love Glen Rock Hardware and Geno. We moved to Glen Rock in 2006. We got everything there. It was just even the atmosphere that drew us in. They had the nicest, friendliest, most polite staff ever. Definitely not what you get at a Home Depot or Lowes! Geno had high school kids working there that actually would bring your bags out to your car- the bags didn't even have to be heavy! I was flabbergasted. The hardware store made the town seem like Mayberry or for you Gilmore Girls watchers- Stars Hollow. It just gives you a good feeling to go in there. Geno seems to know everyone and really wants to be helpful. He cares that you get what you need. We bought our grill from him back in 2006 instead of going to one of the big box stores because we felt like we could trust him and his staff not to try to sell us something we didn't need. He didn't- he kept it in our price range, had it put together, and delivered all in record time with no hiccups. Amazing service.

So we're happy to support him. We don't want to take away from the AWESOME "Cash Mob" happening for Glen Rock Hardware, but we definitely want to show our support and impress upon people how important it is to shop local! So if you bring a receipt from Glen Rock Hardware into Shades of Soho for any amount, you get 10% off lampshades or chandeliers.

This is the story about this Saturday's (June 16) CASH MOB-
From Gabby Robbins on the Ridgewood Patch:

When someone from another town drives through Glen Rock, they may notice the preponderance of the chains stores – Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and a significant number of banks dot the landscape. But the residents of Glen Rock know it has treasures on Rock Road, and not just the town’s namesake.
Glen Rock’s number of mom-and-pop stores are something that makes Glen Rock unique, so when Glen Rock Facebook page member Jane Lambert posted about the Glen Rock Hardware Store having difficulties, the town responded with concern.

Andrew Ritterman, a local parent who grew up in Glen Rock himself, responded on the page, saying that the owner of Glen Rock Hardware, Geno, was a sincere man, and recalled the squeaking floorboards and friendliness of the shop from his childhood, when he’d go there with his father on the weekends after moving to Glen Rock.
After doing some internet research, Ritterman came upon an idea – a cash mob – based on the idea of ‘flash mobs’, where a large group of people shows up at the same time and spends a small amount of money; in this case, around twenty dollars on Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m.

The Glen Rock Facebook page has sparked many similar discussions, and has encouraged a community bond amongst Glen Rockers, and the thread concerning the hardware store, with over 50 comments, shows the willingness of the community to come together to help out this local shop, and one another.

Glen Rock Hardware is a retail staple in the borough, a fixture on Rock Road for about 100 years.
In 1927, it opened as an ice cream parlor with a hardware shop in the back. As new ownership emerged, the store changed from an ice cream shop, to a “5&10”, to what it is today; a hardware store that sells everything from coin tricks and candy, to mixed paint and power tools.
The current owner, Geno Paolucci, bought the store in 2003 when he moved to Glen Rock from Manhattan. He says there were some tough years to start, and some better times when the economy was booming.

Still, in the rough economic times facing the nation, the hardware store has loyal customers.
“The people are so great, they keep coming back,” Paolucci said Monday with a smile.
He recalls a time when there was a storm coming, and he’d found a source for batteries in PA and bought them so that Glen Rock wouldn’t be without them.
“I was the only store in the county with batteries,” Paolucci said. The reciprocal sense of community is clearly a big part of Glen Rock hardware.

The cash mob idea Ritterman put forward is an exciting way for Glen Rock to help out the local stores.
“It’s not Jane, not Andy, but Glen Rock,” Ritterman said. “I’m just hoping it inspires people.”

Sitting Pretty

We went to Applebees the other night for dinner. I know- Applebees is a chain, no gourmet dining experience, etc. But Bergen County is pretty much shut down for any kind of shopping so we had to go to the Totowa area to do some errands. Applebees is in the parking lot of Toys R Us & Babies R Us. Very convenient. Anyway, we got a table rather quickly. There was a couple behind us with an infant in an infant seat/carrier. B and I both hated that infant carrier thing. It was bulky, heavy and there was never anywhere to put it. But, it's been a long time since I had to worry about that, so I hadn't noticed anything really the whole dinner. Except that the baby was at the perfect height for the mom to feed her and for E to get all up in her face. When the people were about to leave B asked me if I noticed the thing the baby was in....

It looked like a mesh hammock. Or one of those things they have to sit your luggage on in a hotel that folds up. I took a photo of it. I asked the people if it was theirs and they said it was from the restaurant. I've NEVER seen this in any other eatery. It was the coolest thing ever. You sit the carrier in there and the baby is secure and at table height as if they were in a high chair. Obviously you're not going to put a three month old baby in a wooden high chair with no support. Sure, you could sit in a booth but that carrier takes up a lot of room that way. But THIS was genius! The baby could also look around and see all the people and the atmosphere.

So, FYI- Applebees is really family/baby friendly. They also still have that Weight Watchers endorsed menu items thing. My mom and I did Weight Watchers together back in like 2002 or 2003 when they first started that. We would go to dinner there as something to do together but not have to ruin our diet. It's really nice to know you can enjoy going out to dinner but take the guesswork out of trying to make good choices that won't negatively affect your diet. They also have a new bunch of items that are 550 calories. The WW dishes are already converted to Weight Watchers points. Most of what I saw was between eight and twelve points. And while twelve seems like a lot, I'd rather know it's twelve than make a guess and eight isn't bad at all for dinner out, considering a lot of frozen entrees are six points.

Dinner was good. I had a steak and shrimp combo with bruschetta & sliced almonds on it, with potatoes and steamed veggies. I was really happy with it. B had an eight point WW dish and he really liked his too. E had two mini burgers with carrots and ranch dip. We were all happy and not overstuffed. I think the whole bill was $46 + tip so it was monetarily reasonable also.

Applebees 550 Calorie menu:

Applebees Weight Watchers menu:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Driveway Safety

I always saw these net things in the One Step Ahead catalog. It looked cool but I never mentioned to B before because we were rarely playing in the driveway. All of a sudden E wants to be out there all the time. He's chalking on the driveway, playing with balls, his bike, Cozy Coupe, etc. Out of the blue, B asked me if there was anything to put at the end of the driveway to keep stuff going into the street.

We live on a double yellow line street. It's not super busy because people don't really use it as a cut through street but people do whip down it because there are no lights or speed bumps. E has become much better in terms of me not fearing him running away or into the street with no reason, but I definitely don't think he has the impulse control yet to stop himself if his new ball went rolling there.

The One Step Ahead Driveway Guard comes in 2 sizes- 18 feet and 25 feet. You have to measure your driveway and you want there to be room on the sides because there are these plastic things that have to go into the ground to hole the guard in. We probably could've gone with the 18 ft one but it would've been tight. Plus, we wanted a lot of extra room on the side. If you don't, it's retractable anyway, so you can make it just over 18 ft if you don't want it further.

It literally took minutes to install. We've used it already and it's pretty cool. Does exactly what it says it will. Only thing is, it doesn't hit the driveway flush so if he had really little balls or toys they could go under. I would just make sure he doesn't have small stuff like that out there. He had a small basketball and a regular size one and it was perfect for keeping those in. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing them all over the neighborhood now. So many people already asked about it!

Here's the description from the website:

The biggest driveway guards you can buy — for maximum protection! Now you can safeguard two-car and even three-car driveways. These soft, retractable barriers keep kids and rolling balls out of the street, while keeping vehicles out of your driveway. In high-visibility orange. Please measure the width of your driveway before ordering, allowing room for installation of ground stakes. Netting rolls up for storage.                                                                           

Monday, June 11, 2012

I scream (ice cream)!

I'm actually not that into ice cream. It's one of those things I'm never really craving, but then I eat it and I'm like, "why don't I eat this more?!". B is a huge fan of ice cream. He'd eat it every day if he could. He really likes Ben & Jerry's. I like Ben & Jerry's if I'm picking it up in the supermarket in a pint. But if we're going to go out and get a cone, I want some other kind. I like hard ice cream vs soft serve and I wasn't picky about where to get it from. We have an actual Ben & Jerry's right next door in Ridgewood but I never feel like going there.

We'd been told about Van Dyk's in Ridgewood forever- since we moved in in 2006. We just never got there. Finally one night we were driving by after dinner at The Office and decided to stop. I ordered Black Raspberry with chocolate sprinkles. It was okay. I liked it. I did have an issue though- it was that there is NOWHERE to sit outside. It's in a weird, residential spot- It looks like a house. But it has a big parking lot that's always packed. That's awesome. I'm just baffled that they can't throw a few benches or tables with chairs out there. I'm not sitting in my car, I'm not letting my three year old eat ice cream in the car, and it's just uncomfortable when trying to eat a cone to not be able to sit down. I don't know if they're worried about people hanging around, making noise in a residential neighborhood but people were hanging outside all by their cars so I don't see the difference. I'm pretty sure it looked like they even would have some room for tables or chairs on the inside but I didn't see any. It just seemed odd for the place that consistently wins awards for best ice cream to have nowhere to sit, especially for kids. By the time we left, my son was covered in ice cream and it was annoying. I don't think we'll be returning unless B just wants to go pick some up to bring home. With a small child I need somewhere to sit and napkins readily available. I can't stand, hold a cone, help my kid and clean him off all at once. I'd need to be an octopus. At any rate, it's convenient if you live in Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Hawthorne, etc, it's open from 11a-11p. I can't find a website for them. 145 Ackerman St, Ridgewood.

That brings me to my new obsession- Clyde's in Allendale. I can't stop thinking about it so it must be good. Clyde's is 100 years old, they also make their own ice cream and they're primarily known for their Italian Ices. I didn't know that. They started in Garfield and that's where they make everything, then bring it up to Allendale. I LOVE Black Raspberry ice cream, if I'm going to eat ice cream. I see that in a place and that's always my go-to flavor. Theirs is phenomenal. I asked what the secret is and was told that they use raspberry puree in it vs just a flavoring. I can totally tell the difference between theirs and others. They also have a variety of cones- sugar/cake, then chocolate chip cookie and various others. There is cream ice which is sort of an ices/ice cream hybrid. They all put in 100k soft serve frozen yogurt machine with 15 flavors and 50 different toppings. There are just a lot of options. They have milk shakes, egg cream, soda floats, slushies, sundaes, coffee and stuffed cupcakes. Now, of course I'm an A la Cupcakes loyalist so I didn't eat the cupcakes but they have them. They have A LOT of seating. At least 6 tables on the inside and they also have outdoor seating. It's been packed in the 4x I've been there already but was always able to get a table. They've only been in Allendale for about 1 month-6 weeks but I think they'll be around for a long time. The owner, his wife and their daughter are almost always there if you have questions. Very friendly people. They're open 7 days a week from noon-10p. I can't seem to find a website for them either so I'll put the address- 86 W. Allendale Ave, Allendale NJ and 48 Gaston Ave, Garfield NJ

You can find reviews on

Friday, June 8, 2012

Glen Rock 4-Day Family Fair

I LOVE this carnival. It's local, it's relatively inexpensive, it has all-night bracelets and it has plenty of stuff to do. I could literally go all four nights. If I remember correctly and it's the same carnival company, a lot of the rides were 36 inches for a child to ride alone. I remember because E JUST made the cut off. Hopefully it's the same because he's just about 40" now!! And he LOVES that dragon ride so I'm really hopeful it's there!!

Here's the info!!

June 21, 22, 23 & 24th.
Wilde Memorial Park on Maple Ave.

Thurs: 5:30-10p
Fri:     5:30-11p
Sat:     5:00-10p
Sun:    3:00-9p

Bracelets: ALL FOUR NIGHTS, "Pay one price, Ride All Night!"- $20
*Please note- Bracelets are good only on the day purchased and are non-refundable

Quality Food Selections:
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken Sandwiches, Sausage & Peppers, Fish & Chips, Funnel Cakes, Fresh Cut Fries, Pizza, Philly Cheesesteaks, Gyros, kids meals and more.

Win Prizes, No entry fee!
Sunday June 24 starting at 4p
Pre-reg required: Nancy Gazda,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More on the A la Cupcakes Pink Carpet event

I just want to share what you're getting in your "swag bag" at A la Cupcakes on Saturday at their "Pink Carpet" event. I think it's really cool that Pam supports all Glen Rock businesses. She's giving literature and coupons from other businesses in town who wanted to participate. I think that's pretty cool- not just because I put a coupon from Shades of Soho in there but it just shows how much she cares that we have a thriving shopping community in Glen Rock!

This is a copy of her letter:

To our Most Valued Customer,

I want to personally thank you for all the support you have given to A’ La Cupcakes over the past year.  Without you, our small business would not exist.  We are truly grateful and appreciative to be part of the Glen Rock community. 

I also want to encourage you to continue to shop and support your local community businesses.  Attached are just a few local stores that we work with and trust.  Please patronize them, and let them know that A’ La Cupcakes sent you. 


Pamela Lambert


 A’ La Cupcakes 

What it means to Shop Local

"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."- Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

Shopping locally is important for environmental sustainability as well as economic sustainability.  When you shop locally you are supporting members of your own community who are also vested in the heath and success of the community.  Here are the top 10 reasons to shop local.

1. Local Economic Stimulus.

2. Non Profits Receive Greater Support.

3. Unique Businesses Create Character & Prosperity

4. Environmental Impact Is Reduced.

5. Most New Jobs Are Provided By Local Businesses.

6. Customer Service Is Better.

7. Local Business Owners Invest In Community.

8. Public Benefits Far Outweigh Public Costs.

9. Competition And Diversity Leads To More Consumer Choices.

10. You Matter More

And here's her press release for the event:


One year anniversary and customer appreciation

An event not to be missed!  On Saturday, June 9th , A’ La Cupcakes, located at 36 Glen Ave, Glen Rock, NJ will be rolling out the “Pink Carpet” to celebrate their one year anniversary and customer appreciation.  100 foot pink carpet runner will drape the sidewalks of Glen Ave this Saturday, as women and men dressed to the nines will be handing out “swag bags” (to a limited number of lucky customers) filled with goodies and information on the local community.   

Starting off as a cupcakery, A’ La Cupcakes opened its doors on April 7, 2011, offering the community a selection made with organic and all natural ingredients.  They quickly expanded their menu due to the demands of the community.  They now offer a variety of cookies, pies and specialty cakes, and in July will add to their menu a variety of pastries.  All of their products are made on the premises and baked fresh daily. 

Although the event is to celebrate the one year anniversary of the store, the true message is to thank the people for keeping it local.  There will be special promotions, giveaways and samples while supplies last.  If you have the opportunity we strongly recommend stopping by A’ La Cupcakes to see what it is all about.

If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Pamela Lambert, please call 201-444-2253 or

Fundraiser for Bergen Family Center

Bergen Family Center is Bergen County's oldest family service agency.


From its founding in 1898 as an organization of boys' clubs, Bergen Family Center has developed into the County's oldest continuously operating family service agency. The Woman's Club of Englewood, who started the boys organization, added a day nursery in 1900 which launched a total family-supportive mission.

For the next several decades the agency operated under a number of different names and in varied locations, becoming the Social Service Federation in the 1920s. The 1950s saw a spinoff of the clinical counseling and family advocacy departments into a separate entity, the Family Service of Bergen County headquartered in Hackensack. The original Federation continued to provide neighborhood-based programming in Englewood.

In 1997 the two organizations reunited and five years later took the name of Bergen Family Center, better reflecting our commitment to the diverse needs of our county's families.

From Paula Tenebruso about BFC: There's 3 agencies funded to do this work in Bergen County and one just closed its doors due to lack of funding. We need support more than ever. The reason I believe in it so much is that we go out and do a lot of community outreach and education. We test people for HIV at 2 am in parking lots. As a result we had 20 people test positive this past year. It's almost double what the county health dept tested. So we are really making a difference. If we weren't out there I believe these 20 young people would not know they were positive and potentially would be getting more sick and spreading the virus to others.

The sooner we can get people into care the better. I believe it should be a part of everyone's yearly health check and just maybe that will put an end to the spread of HIV and AIDS. We link people into medical care, support services and provide mental health counseling for free. Our clients must be unable to afford care by other means/ insurance. Sadly people are still dying because of the shame and stigma associated. They don't get tested. My client's nephew just died last month at 26 years old. He never told anyone until he was in ICU a week before he died. That never had to happen. Please help spread the word. Would love to have people who don't know about our agency come and learn about it. BFC does a lot of therapy with victims of violent crimes, sexually abused children and domestic violence. We provide services in English and Spanish. It's a great little agency that does tremendous work!


Looking forward to this wonderful event at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. Come join us this Tuesday for an evening with fabulous food and over 20 wines to sample, and best part you will be supporting a very important program in our community! Many great door prizes like a $50 gift card to Solari's and other vendors as well as bottles of wine you will be entered to win just for coming! The silent auction has something for everyone to bid on whether you love music, The NJ Devils, making wine, cigars, golf or just pampering yourself! Please click on link and hit DONATE to purchase tickets!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Summer Faves

Memorial Day has come and gone & school is still in session. But you know that first long weekend signifies summer to most of us. It's the beginning of our pool and shore trips, bbq's, road trips, etc. I thought it would helpful if I posted all the stuff I'm liking to make life a little easier for summer fun.

I knew I needed a new pool/beach bag. I had a Coach bag that was "meant" to be a beach bag but it isn't practical at all. I got it at Loehmanns years ago when I was single & just me going down from my apartment to the pool in my building. The handles are too short, which always seems to be the case, it's lined in satin (Um what? What if it gets WET?!). What I did like about it was the inner pockets which also seem hard to find. I had another bag but it was deep & had no inner or outer pocket. Stuff just got lost in there. On a message board I'm on a few people mentioned the Whale Bag from Saltwater Canvas. I checked it out and they have a whole bunch of assorted bag sizes. The
description of the Whale says it holds six beach towels. Of course I had to order it. They have a "sale" section where you can get a discount on multiple bags or irregulars. I ordered the irregular for $5 off. It's a beach bag- the stitching doesn't have to be perfect (irregular stitching is the "defect").

I received it within a week. They ship from Massachusetts. It's big. It's got TONS of pockets. And its mesh. So I'm hoping if it comes on the sand most of it will shake out. It also comes with a hook on the inside for your keys. THAT is awesome because there's nothing worse, at the end of a long beach or pool day, in the heat, digging around for your car keys. Now- I fit four towels in their easily. I think 6 would be pushing it, BUT, if your towels aren't bath sheet size (which I prefer), you might be able to do six. I also had a change of clothes, diapers, body wash and wipes for my son, 2 magazines and three types of various sun lotions in there easily. The straps COULD be longer for my taste but they were fine, especially because of my next find....

Another option- brace yourself. This is going to sound a little odd. We were down in Long Branch for Mothers Day and went into one of those boutiques just off the boardwalk there. They sell all Vera Bradley. I'll be honest. I hate VB. I think it's all so ugly. Just my personal preference. BUT, I saw
these HUGE duffel bag looking things on the floor. They had a long handle that looks like it's meant to be slung over your shoulder. THAT would be perfect. Because when you're trying to manage a kid, a beach chair, toys, etc, whether you have a stroller/cart or what, it would be helpful to just sling your bag over your shoulder. Well guess what? It's VB's new laundry bag. So that also means it's meant to be washable too. How awesome does that sound. It's enormous so it would definitely fit a lot of towels, it would be ok if it got wet, and it has a little pocket for some stuff on the inside. I guess money if you were using it for laundry at a laundromat. The patterns are a little more...tame...too vs the regular ones. Anyway, it's worth checking out, especially if you have multiple kids or are just a person that doesn't travel light.

I'd always seen those carts people use down the shore for all their stuff. We'd always used our Uppa Baby stroller as sort of a cart. But now E is bigger, he can walk and the stroller is just awkward to get on and off the beach. I'd seen the Wonder Wheeler beach cart in the One Step Ahead catalog but I was reluctant to spend $80+ dollars on something I didn't know how often I was going to use. Well, hurray, Bed Bath & Beyond carries the same one or close enough to it for $59.99. If you use the 20% off BB&B coupon you get it under $50!! SO WORTH IT. We used it to go to the pool & at least five people commented, asking where I got it or saying they need one.

One of my real favorite things I use all year round but awesome in the summer is the Pack It lunchbags. They are a great size and a phenomenal idea. I HATE those cold pack things you have to put in coolers for numerous reasons. One, they're bulky. Two, they get condensation on them wetting everything in the bag. Lastly, sometimes they rip/break, etc and then they're ruined. I loved these ones I found in Buy Buy Baby which were like like a bunch of little squares together all filled with water that would freeze. Some of the squares would pop and I'd be left with 5 squares out of 12 eventually AND every time one would pop, there would be water everywhere. These have gel that freezes INSIDE the lining of the bag. It folds up to a rectangle to fit nicely in your freezer without taking up too much space and it keeps your stuff cool all day. I don't believe it really stays the "10 hours" the advertising says but I still think they're the best option for keeping your food & drink cold wherever you go this summer. It used to just come in the lunchbag size but now there are cooler sizes too. They do sell the lunchbag size at Buy Buy Baby where they have the bottles/bottle bags and if you use the coupon, instead of $19.99 it's around $15.

Now for the moms especially- I used to be a bikini girl- even through my 1st & 2nd trimester. But once I had to start hanging out at the kiddie pool, I didn't want to be doing the ugly-naked thing all over the place chasing my son. I'd tried the tankini but it didn't really do it for me. I still felt gross and exposed. I'd seen swimdresses before but they seemed too "old lady" in the past. I was hoping I'd find something and I DID!! These brands helped me out big time- Coco Rave, Coco Reef, Lands End, and Nautica. I don't know what they have this year by those brands but below are some links to take a peek at what I found.

As far as kids and swim goes- E used the foam swim trainer from when he was 1.5 till now- and he's 3 yrs old. I LOVE this thing. It's not made to last but it will last the whole swim season from Memorial Day through Labor Day using it almost daily. I don't know how much it "trains" but it was great just for keeping a kid who has no fear from falling under without being RESTRICTIVE. What three year old wants his movement restricted? Not my kid. Wearing this was like he wasn't wearing anything. Those things that go over his arms would've never worked. He would've hated it. He wants to be able to move about freely and for like $12, this was the best I could find.

Best bathing suit from 0-3T? I have it. I'm so thankful last years still fits- I bought two and rotated them. People goofed that it was silly looking yet it was the easiest thing ever. It's beyond lightweight and only ONE piece. Ease is key with toddlers and this zips on and off in a flash. No messing with rash guard and separate bathing suit shorts. I LOVE this thing. Had it the summer before last, last summer and now this one. I'm so sad it only goes to 3T or he'd be wearing them till he was like seven years old. Think of it like a wetsuit without being skin tight. They used to be at Buy Buy Baby but I didn't see them this year. But you can get directly from the company in boy & girl colors/styles.

So that's it. Hope this is a start to a happy, awesome summer for all! If I find any other cool things along the way I will surely pass them on!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A la Cupcakes Anniversary Event

As a THANK YOU to their customers, A la Cupcakes in Glen Rock is rolling out the "Pink Carpet" for their 1st Anniversary event!!!

SATURDAY JUNE 9, 2012: 10a-7p

***WHILE SUPPLIES LAST*** Pam, the owner, creator, and baker extraordinaire bakes fresh daily so she only makes enough for the one day. No frozen/dried out/stale cupcakes here! Since the weather is kind of iffy she doesn't want to over bake & have stuff go to waste if possible. I know this because I'm there 4-5x a week like a cupcake addicted lunatic. AND I found out today, just FYI, if she has anything left over she donates to charity instead of just throwing away. I think that's awesome.

This is what you're going to experience this Saturday, June 9:

1. Cupcake sampler box - 6 cupcakes for $12 (savings $1.50). 2 types to choose from classic sampler box (including van, choc, oreo, etc) and spring sampler selection (including blueberry, raspberry lemonade, chocolate beer etc)

2. Mystery Cupcake - unmarked cupcake - basically various cupcakes will be in a bags, you wont know what flavor you are getting but it only cost $1.50. (while supplies last)

3. Reusable bag giveaway with goodies inside including a chocolate dipped cookie (while supplies last). And coupons/information from local businesses. At least 50 bags have 15% off coupons for Shades of Soho Glen Rock/Norwood!!

Will also have regular and mini cupcakes for sale along with the french macarons, coconut macaroons and mini pies.

Monday, June 4, 2012

DARE Carnival review

We went to the carnival on Saturday night. There were some big changes....

We went at approximately 6p and the line was already long just to get in. The front "ticket" booths were just for the $3/pp donation to get in for people 4 years old and up. THEN, you had to go inside to buy tickets for the actual rides. I suggest going inside and going toward the back to the ticket counters back there. Everyone is in the front on a really long line. We went to the back and got tickets right away. The rides ranged from 3-5 tix per ride, the 5 being the more grown up rides. They do have some REALLY cool stuff for bigger kids/teens/adults. Stuff that's more Meadowlands Fair calibur- definitely bigger than what they used to have at this one.

They are using a different carnival company this year. I don't know who it is, but it's bigger. More rides. But also different rides. And different height requirements. It was hard last year because maybe E was 36 inches and many of the rides required 36 inches. But the measuring stick things were often askew or not perfectly level so some he made it and some he didn't. They really weren't strict about it though and most things he could go on with B. This time, A LOT of the rides have a 42 inch height requirement even to go on WITH a parent. So that sucked. He's 40" this year. And worse, their measuring sticks are built on to the gates around the rides and they don't hit the ground. I KNOW they aren't accurate that way because he was barely making some of the 36" height requirements with them. I understand that it's for safety obviously but then also make sure they're accurate. Had those rides been on grass, those sticks probably would've hit the grass and he probably would've been seen as TALLER than his 40". It's definitely not a perfect science. Try explaining an inaccurate measuring stick to a three year old who just wants to go on the same "dragon" ride he went on last year alone that he can't go on at all now, even with a parent. It makes no sense. Hello, meltdown.

There were some rides he could go on alone- some bouncing cars, carousel, a climbing maze thing, flying bees, bumper cars (with B), ferris wheel (with B), and maybe another ride or two. I don't remember the exact number of things with or without a parent but it was enough to occupy him for 2 hours.

They also have a Eudora Farms exotic animal petting zoo. Before anyone gets up in arms about animal cruelty, I really don't know what their story is concerning treatment of animals. I NEVER go in these animal things because it's just not for me, but E saw it & wanted to go in so I quickly googled them to see if there were complaints against them. I didn't find any in my quick search. I know from the circus that if you google Barnum & Bailey a ton of stuff comes up, with VIDEO. No one was protesting like with the circus so I just made a snap decision to go in there. They had a giraffe which I'd never seen up close like that, a small zebra, lemurs, goats, alpacas, parrots, and some other interesting animals. There were also camel rides. The petting zoo is free- you just have to buy the cups of food. They also have a mobile washing station to wash your hands.

They also had a lot of games- for all ages and some decent prizes.

The food was better this year than last. They have your standard gross carnival food- fried everything including kool-aid. But they also had a grill station where B got grilled chicken in a pita and I got grilled teriyaki pork on a stick. E had a hamburger. However- be warned, anything with cheese on it- cheesesteak, cheeseburger, etc is that goopy yellow cheese they pour on. It's not like a slice of American. I do not like that goopy cheese so a cheeseburger was out for me.

I don't know if they ever have bracelet night or whatever but 55 tix was $51. We didn't use them all but you can use the same tix the entire run of the carnival and we're going to go back. It tired E out and he loved every minute.

The last day is June 10. It's in the Garden State Plaza parking lot. You can see it from the Rt 4 side.