Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Office

Not the TV show. The restaurant in Ridgewood. Almost every Saturday night is a non-Jenny food cheat night. Of course, this past one it had to snow like nobody's business. But I was undeterred. Being home alone all day with E every Saturday (because B is working) means by late afternoon, I need out for a good meal. I don't know why Saturday seems different, like I NEED to go out, but I do. Poor B has to come home from Day #6 of work only to be dragged out again for dinner. As most people know, we used to spend every Saturday night at Bensi in Paramus Park. Well, that's over since Bensi is gone so we've been trying out a few different places.

This weekend we wanted something really local because of the weather. We weren't even sure what would be open because our street was still really hard to drive on. We live on a semi-main road in town so we were surprised it wasn't cleared. I suggested The Office out of the blue. We hadn't been there since maybe 2005 when we were dating. I don't know why we were there. All I know is the last time, there wasn't one healthy option on the menu so we never went back. I'm no health nut but I prefer dessert to anything else. In order to feel ok about ordering a decadent dessert, I need to eat a healthy-ish dinner.

One of the years in between the last time we'd been there and last year, The Office won a category in Bergen Health & Life's Best of Bergen. It was a year we also won. I spoke to the owner or manager and he told me they had revamped the menu to add some healthier choices. We just never happened to go back. This week we did. We didn't have to wait which is always a bonus. It's very kid friendly in the sense that they do have crayons, they have a kids menu, they have tv's and it's not quiet in there. They did add some salads- I ordered the Harvest Salad. It was supposed to be one of those mixed greens, sugared walnuts, craisins, green apples, soft crumbly cheese and balsamic dressing things. And it was... But, it was just a little bit off. They added tomatoes and onions on it! Those don't go in that kind of salad! I'd NEVER think there would be onions and that ruins any salad for me. I always ask for no onions but it just didn't occur to me that they'd be on there. I will say, aside from the onions and tomatoes- which I happen to love, the dressing was awesome. I like that the salad wasn't drenched in it and it came on the side.

I ordered grilled salmon for my entree. The salmon was supposed to be in a garlic butter sauce but I skipped the sauce. It was also supposed to come with spinach but I opted out for that too in lieu of a vegetable medley. I also got their jasmine rice. It was sort of like wok rice. The smell kind of made me nauseous because it smelled like the oil they use at The Healthy Way to massage me. But the taste was fine. To be honest- the way I ordered it, my dinner just looked like a "diet plate". Boring but functional. The portion was fine. But, I was eating it as a means to the warm chocolate chip cookie baked/served in a skillet with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Now THAT was worth saving calories by not eating my Jenny lunch and having a diet dinner plate. They were just kind of stingy on the ice cream. That cookie was definitely big enough for two scoops.

But, everything was just this side of off. I got E a kids meal. A burger and fries. He actually ate the burger which always thrills me. But the kids dessert is one scoop of ice cream. They served it in a ceramic bowl that is too big, a spoon for Andre The Giant, and with nothing on it. Now, E isn't a big sweets eater. Part because I never gave it to him and part because he's suspicious of new food. Junk food doesn't "look" any more appetizing to him than anything else. If he's never eaten it, no matter what it is, it's foreign and he's most likely not into it. But, he's been eating a few bites of ice cream here and there. Would it kill a restaurant that bothers to have a kid's menu to have some sprinkles? If it's only going to be one scoop, put it in a paper cup! Or just a smaller bowl! And the spoon. Seriously. I couldn't have used that. How about the waiter exercising some judgement there. We asked for a smaller one and they brought him one. So clearly these ginormous spoons are not the only ones available.

B had a rib-eye steak. He wasn't thrilled. But, admittedly, he doesn't know much about steak. For instance, he doesn't know what cut is what, which is more or less fatty, etc. So, his piece of steak was really fatty. Picken (B's college roommate that works with us and happens to be a steak connoisseur) said that rib-eye is a just a fatty cut. But HE LOVED that jasmine rice. He also wasn't that into his chocolate cake dessert. He said it was too sweet. Obviously we have differing palates.

Lastly, my salad was huge and it came out with my dinner. They might mention that the salad is something probably better shared. I gave some to B because there is no way I could eat that whole thing. It was all just a lot of food at the table at the same time.

As a whole though, it was a decent dinner. Now I'm prepared if we go back. I know what's on the menu and I'm still thinking about that cookie dessert. I've always loved blondies over brownies and that's sort of what it was like. It's a good place to go with a kid and if you want to eat early. It's located across from that municipal lot where you get a ticket to put in your window to show you paid. It just wasn't a favorite place in the sense that we'll be going back every week. It has a nice bar and atmosphere for hanging out too if you're single or married with no kids too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I haven't been blogging a lot lately because I've been getting re-acclimated to being back at work. It is only part-time but it's three days and after not working regularly since E was born, it's been a bit of an adjustment. I always had a lot of laundry, but now it just seems there's MORE. I guess it's because I'm wearing clothes other than my VS Boyfriend sweatpants. Granted, I'm also immersed in Mob Wives, Revenge, Parenthood, Jersey Shore, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and One Tree Hill, but who's counting. By the time I get around to wanting to blog, it's time to go up to the bedroom where my husband has deemed it the No Laptop Zone. I shake the bed with my fingers flying over the keyboard. He has to draw the line somewhere. I get it.

I'm happy to be back at work. I love what I do. I'm in our Norwood store now and I have to say, the customers who have come in have been awesome. I don't get a lot of people like we do in Glen Rock. Glen Rock is more of a walk-around downtown. So, B gets a lot of foot traffic there and people just stopping in to browse or ask questions. In Norwood, it's more of a destination. It's on Livingston Street which also turns into Rt 303 so it's considered more of a highway. There is no sidewalk and no one is just really walking up and down the street. But, the people who do come in love everything, seem to totally get what we do, and don't give me a hard time about ANYTHING. They're not looking for the cheapest shade, they're looking for the shade to complete the look their lamp is meant to have. I think all but maybe four people who have come in have bought something, even if it was just finials.

E had to be put in school for a longer day since I'm at work now until the later afternoon. I was interested in how he'd transition since he's used to his schedule at home. He takes a daily nap and it's in his pajamas, with his three white noise machines, in the dark, in his crib, like it's bedtime. Well, apparently the first week, he slept all three days for around an hour and a half in a sleeping bag, wherever they do their napping. I was shocked, but thrilled. He hasn't slept there that consistently since, but it's fine. The days he doesn't nap he's asking to go to sleep by 7:45p. I'll take it.

As far as the store itself, it's been a little quieter than I'd like. We advertise in the Bergen Record and sometimes in the weeklies, but it's definitely a learning curve trying to figure out how to get as big a following in Norwood as we have in Glen Rock. I have some ideas we're throwing around so hopefully something will stick.

But, now you know we're here if you didn't- and if you're thinking about new lampshades, chandeliers, or just want to say hello please do!!! Oh, but if you are looking for a shade, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring your lamp IN with you! Remember- Trying to buy a lampshade without your lamp is like trying to buy a hat without your head...

We're only open Mon-Wed-Fri from 10a-4p right now because I can only work part-time. But I look forward to making those hours power-packed with happy customers!

Shades of Soho
459 Livingston St
Norwood NJ

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rainbow Academy is here!

I posted a little while back about seeing Rainbow Academy Day Care coming to Maple Ave in Fair Lawn, right on the border of Glen Rock. I didn't know any specifics except that they were offering $500 off the first month's full time tuition.

I got an advertisement today in the mail and I thought I'd pass the info along-

It's Open House Week!
January 9th-13th
Special Evening Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 5p-7p

The address & phone is:

22-50 Maple Ave
Fair Lawn, NJ

From what I saw, it's a brand new building- I'd seen it being built over time. I think originally it was meant for retail but I'm not sure. It looks great and it's right off Rt 208. So if you're looking for a Day Care center that's part of a chain, it definitely is a place to take a tour. It says on the ad that if you take a tour, you enter a drawing to win a Nook Color E-Reader.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sing like an Aardvark

Winter Session of Music For Aardvarks starts this coming week. I got an email last night that said there are still spots left.

Here is their site with classes and availability-

E has been in this class since he was 8 months old. He loves it. It's been really great for instilling his love of music and dancing. If you're looking for something to do with your baby, toddler or pre-schooler, I highly recommend this class.

They added a new location in Teaneck in addition to Ridgewood, Washington Township and Waldwick. So, now they're really covering a lot of Bergen County and making it convenient!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Deal

I got this email from Stroller Strides this morning so I thought I'd pass it along. It is January, when most people have vowed this is their year to get back in shape. I can't do it because my son has aged out of strollers and into school, but if you have a stroller bound baby, it's a great deal. I did Stroller Strides until E was around 2.5 yrs old and it was great for getting me out of the house before the day was over, for lightening my wallet from shopping the mall after class (but I got awesome stuff on discount), and for meeting other moms.

Here's the email:
If you've been watching our facebook page or twitter then you knew that a huge announcement was coming. But just in case you weren't - THIS IS A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT.

Right now, moms who have never taken Stroller Strides are being offered a special "Introductory" rate to come down and try Stroller Strides at a huge discount.

But we haven't forgotten you or our remaining members who helped make Stroller Strides what it is today.

Come back to Stroller Strides from now until February 29th 2012 and pay our NEW "Introductory" (but in your case it's a "Re-Introductory rate) of just $39.99 a month from now until April 29th, 2012! That's a savings of over $20 per month! No Commitment periods, no lines of fine print that you need a lawyer to study for 3 days....

If you were a member, all you need to do is email us or come down, and we'll resume your membership under the new rate. If you were on a pass, you will need to purchase a member bundle which we will give to you at COST ($30).

Add in the fact that we are ADDING classes, and this is an incredible value!

If you haven't been to class in a while - we'll even let you take a FREE Trial to help make up your mind! (Must not have taken a Stroller Strides class in the past 6 months).

But remember - this special ends February 29th so don't miss out! This is the best time of year to start getting back into the swing of working out, and you know that the support of your fellow Striders is like nothing else!

Email us to take advantage today, and visit our website for more information on our upcoming classes!

I hope to see you at class soon!

In Stride -


Monday, January 2, 2012


I recevived this email from Park N Play this morning so I thought I'd pass along:

Hello and Happy New Year to all friends of Park 'N Play!

Please spread the word that we will be giving FREE TRIAL VISITS this week
only to FIRST TIME VISITORS of Park N Play! Membership starting Jan 2nd
will cost $200 per family.

Unfortunately it has been a slow season to this point, and we need more
members to ensure we'll be able to stay open for next season. We'll be
running some fund raisers in the future, so stay tuned. Please help us
out if you can!

The Board of the New Park 'N Play

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Halfway there...

This is my Jenny check in. Yeah, I know I pretty much skipped posting about the holidays but I don't have much to tell. I can do that in a paragraph or two and segue into Jenny because most often people associate holidays/December with over-eating and for us it isn't a gorge-fest. We don't really do anything. For whatever reason, no one is inviting us to holiday parties if they're having them, B's family doesn't really do anything, and neither do we. We also don't have a "corporate holiday party" for either of us to attend.

For Hanukkah, of course there are latkes. We went to a Hanukkah thing the pre-school did at the synagogue, but the latkes there kind of left something to be desired for me. They were the shreddy (I don't know what else to call them) kind. I ate it, because it was there, and it wasn't Jenny food. But, I did stick to one and a bite of the one E didn't eat. I don't like applesauce so I didn't eat that. A very close family friend, Barbara, makes kick-ass latkes that are to die over, and I couldn't resist letting her bring some over. I only ate two. One per day. I let B eat the rest. It was sad, but I was able to do it.

Other than that, on Christmas, B is really adamant about a strict "Jewish Xmas" (I think it looks weird to keep the "Christ in Christmas" when I put Jewish in front of it, so excuse the "X" but it seems right to me) of Chinese food and going to the movies. Instead of doing both on Christmas and maximizing on calories, B was cool with doing Chinese on Christmas Eve and the movies on Christmas day. I ordered the Combo plate, but got steamed chicken, shrimp & snow peas with my pork fried rice and egg roll. I skipped my snack that day too. I knew going into Jenny: Week 3 that going to the movies, I was having my movie theatre popcorn with extreme "butter" (whatever that goop really is, I don't want to know, but I LOVE it), come hell or high water. And I did. But, I ordered a small and I didn't eat the whole thing. Because I was also nauseous from the amount of butter. When I say, a lot, I mean, I sometimes choke on it. Yeah. We got no candy and usually I'd get (ok, I'd bring...) a box of Raisinets so I felt like I was making a better choice than usual.

So, that was food. As far as exercise, I've been going on the treadmill around 5-6x a week. Listen, I'm no runner, I'm not going to end up telling you that I'm doing any 5k or "dirty marathon" (you know, whatever those mud things where you go through barbed wire and shit) at the end of this. I go on my treadmill. I walk fast. Or as fast as I can go while still being able to hear the TV and check the Nest or Facebook at the same time. That's roughly going up and down between 3.2-4.2 the whole time. Here and there I burst into a little jog for like a minute. But, it's exercise. 30 min. It's better than nothing I assume.

The kicker- I had TWO F'ING YEARS of Desperate Housewives I was watching in the 30 minute increments on there. Last week, I went to go see if Orson and Bree were going to make it as a couple and my DVR DIED. It DIED. I don't know if you fully know devastation until your DVR kicks the bucket. I am a fully admitted TV addict that doesn't plan to change. And this was PERFECT for being able to hold my attention on the treadmill because I loathe exercise. Had to get a new box, and by the way, they gave me an HD box which we never had before. Yes, I realize we're late in the game but when you have 2 years of TV saved up, you can't just go get a new box. Well, until you HAVE to do it in an unfortunate box death. HD is WEIRD. Actors you think are hot? Not-so-much when you see every mark on their face. It's very disconcerting. Ok. A friend from Rider, James Mount, tells all his FB friends he's in this movie- Lebanon, PA: and it's on Showtime. I christened my new DVR with it. So, yay, I had something to watch. Just FYI, if you can catch it on cable or stream it on Netflix or Amazon it's worth it. GOOD MOVIE. I got three treadmill days out of that one. I got B to watch part of it today and he is really digging it too.

I went to Jenny on Wednesday morning to weigh in and get my food. I was concerned because of the Chinese food, the latkes, and the popcorn. DOWN TWO POUNDS. Yup. I don't know why I was so surprised. That's the cool thing about Jenny- it helps you re-train yourself to normal portions but you CAN have "cheat nights" here and there and still manage to lose. Because the bottom line is, it's all about calories in and out. Jenny just helps you manage it easier if you're not into measuring and cooking. And I'm really liking my food. I'm eating the beef slider for lunch like 3x a week and loving it. I think my weight was 154 and change (ounces, but not sure the exact weight). Whatever it was, I reached my halfway goal so I got $50 off my food that day per whatever plan I signed up on. Awesome deal if you ask me. Very motivating.

I gave them a goal of 148. Ideally, I'd really like to get between 140-145, but like I said in my earlier Jenny post, that's a bit harder to maintain, and while still realistic, I can live with 148. When I get there, I presume, hopefully in the next 4 weeks, I'll just keep buying the Jenny food. But, instead of buying the hot breakfasts which are more expensive, I think I'll just stick to the cereals which are like $2 less per item. Eventually, once I get past the goal, I'd like to find out approximately how many calories my favorite cupcakes are at A la Cupcake and instead of buying Jenny desserts, I'd like to eat those! I'm never giving up dessert. I don't do the Jenny "snacks" as snacks- for instance, I don't switch it up and ever get chips, popcorn, or anything like that. I always get 7 Cookies & Cream cheesecakes and eat them as my after dinner dessert. I'd like to be able to at least substitute my strawberry preserve cupcake from Pam a few times a week instead! I know I can't go back to my jelly bean addiction, but what I can do is buy some jelly beans, find out what the real serving size is, and eat them here and there as a treat, in a controlled portion. I think I'm going to have to give up my candy dispenser. So sad.

New Years Eve was going to be another pitfall though. I don't know how this weeks weigh-in is going to go. I weighed in Wednesday and went to Grand Lux Cafe with my friend Amy on Thursday for dinner. I did really well. I had two small pieces of bread with butter, but got steamed edemame, grilled salmon, sweet mashed potatoes and steamed green beans for dinner. I only had half (pretty much exactly) for dinner there and took the rest home. I ate the second half Friday night. We were having friends over for New Years Eve and I'd bought all hors d'oevers, including my weakness- Hebrew National pigs in a blanket. The others I could give or take.

My friend C brought some cool stuff from Trader Joes, including that awesome microwave spinach dip thing. And M brought brownies from Kings. But, for some reason, I guess from all my running around preparing, trying to get all the food made and warm at the same time, I wasn't super hungry. I know you're probably not supposed to do this, but I saved some 800 calories for the evening by not eating my Jenny lunch or really anything else besides breakfast so that I could indulge a little. But, all I ended up eating really was about 10 blanketed pigs and about 10 of those amazing cream puff things you buy frozen in the box from the supermarket! I also had two Mike's Hard Lemonade which I think was responsible for the absolutely splitting headache I had all day today.

I started out the day on 12/31/11 at 154.5. I bought a new scale- the Weight Watchers one, at Target, which gives you your weight in increments of one ounce, exactly like the Jenny scale at the center. I've been getting on it like every other day. I got on it today and my weight was 154.2. Hey, I'm not going to argue. Like I said, once you've retrained your body with Jenny, it becomes easier to be full on less so even if I cheat, it's not like I'm back at eating 2lbs of jelly beans and a daily cupcake.

All in all, Jenny has been a success. It definitely helps keep me in line and that's what I need. I honestly don't understand the waiting for January 1 to get back in line. If anything, it helps retrain your mind too. If you start it BEFORE you know you're going to want to over-indulge, it helps motivate you not to sabotage yourself like that. It helps give the discipline I can't just give my myself without a little help. Hopefully my weigh-in won't be messed up this week but having the scale with the most accurate weight also helps in not having any surprises. We have another scale that just goes in increments of half pounds. So, it would be either 154.5 or 154/155. I NEED to see that little ounce number. For some reason, it helps.

For anyone who is starting their weight loss journey this week as their New Years Resolution, good luck and feel free to be like a weight loss buddy here- leave comments, inspiration, funny anecdotes, whatever you need to stay motivated and on track!!