Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cups! More cups!

Social media is really my BFF. Last week I posted a photo of my favorite cup. My sad little cup, all fixed up with electrical tape because it cracked in like four places and I couldn't bear to get rid of it.

I loved that cup. It was from some Rider Alumni event. I think it was at Jenkinson's in Pt Pleasant. You paid your $20 or whatever and you got to be part of a roped off area. And you got...a cup. But, I actually was not in love with the cup for the nostalgia. It's just a perfect cup. It's the right size, the right plastic thickness for drinking, and it has a HANDLE.

I bring Crystal Lite upstairs with me every night. I may have cut out my nighttime jellybean fix but I can't get rid of my Raspberry Lemonade. I'm usually carrying up my phone, a magazine, and who knows what. And my cup. It needs to have a handle on it. Sometimes I need to hold it in my teeth while opening the gate to upstairs. It's thin enough around the rim to do that without dropping it.

One day I noticed it cracked. To be honest, I tried drinking from it with the cracks for awhile. But every time I washed it, the crack gaps would open a little more. It was just getting messy. So I put the photo up of my broken cup on Facebook. Lo and behold, Jennifer Stow (Rinaldi! JenJen1!!) came through, giving me a link to someone's old ZTA 2003 cup from somewhere listed on eBay for $6. I bought it right away. THEN, my friend Ali said she has a bunch from her roller derby league. She said she'd send them but I didn't know when she would actually get around to it. I assumed she had other things on her priority list ahead of my cup needs.

Got a text on Friday at work from B. He was home working on a giant chandelier in the driveway. He said- "Looks like you can throw away that poor excuse for a cup you have ;)".  It was a small skinny box and I'd told him I'd bought the eBay one. WELL, then I got another text- "This might be a cup too??" with the picture of a SECOND BOX.

It WAS. I came home to two boxes and THREE cups!! Thank you ALI!! I especially like the added touch of "Cha Cha" personalization. And thank you weird old Zeta selling old cups on eBay!! I love you both! My cup(s) runneth over, yet again!! Now and forever.

Note: I will continue to accept cups from anyone looking to get rid of them. ;)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bombarded: Attack of the new breed of Willie Loman

Let's talk about sales. And no, I'm not selling anything. Not here anyway. But I think we need to talk about direct sales since it seems to have exploded recently. I'm a salesperson by nature. I've been selling since I was born, even if I wasn't making any money. In fact, that's how this blog came about- selling without selling. People have been coming to me since I can remember for recommendations. You need a doctor, a cupcake, Botox, kids party venue, camp, school, you name it. People come to me. I don't get kickbacks for recommending places I love either. I don't get paid and I don't get a pink Cadillac. Ok, Pam (a la cupcakes) used to give me free and discounted baked goods but I would've bought just as much anyway. But friends of mine convinced me to put all my opinions, rec's and otherwise all in one place and Know It All In NJ was born. For no pay. Just for the fun of putting all my stuff out there. Because it's in my nature to "sell". And people trust my recommendations.

Let me switch gears for a moment and say that I've also been a part of message boards and social media since I found the internet in 1994. I know what it is to be part of an online community. To REALLY take social media. From Friendster to MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. I'm still not into Instagram. I made an account for work but I've yet to immerse myself in it. Why? Because while I *could* just bombard people with photos of lighting, I don't think anyone cares that much and to me, the personality is missing from Instagram. I prefer the back and forth of Facebook but I'm not on social media just to push my product. I thoroughly ENJOY the camaraderie, the drama, the in-the-know, the sharing of information, and more. I'm pretty sure anyone that really knows me really believes that I'd be on social media whether I had a store or not. Business is not my drive to be such an integrated member of all the social media I can find a comfortable home in. It *is* also networking but that's more a bonus than a focus.

Everyone knows we own a custom lighting store. I do post about work we do here and there. But I guarantee that if you asked anyone who is friended to me about what I post, the first thing to come to mind is TV. TV shows. I love to talk about TV. Something I don't get paid to do. I also like to post random observations and things that I think other people will find funny. Sometimes I post stuff that's on the controversial side. There are debates and discussions on my page from any of the franchises of Real Housewives to marriage equality and women's health issues. The main focus of my postings on any social media or message board are NOT sales related. So when I *do* post about work, people aren't turned off by it. It's not even a conscious thing- it's a Tara thing. *I* am more than my work. I'm a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend & a lampshade designing superhero. I love message boards, Facebook, street fairs, one-of-a-kind anything, the sun, tanning, the beach, diet pills, my fitbit, and I watch a TON of television. I read a multitude of magazines and I can't get enough of celebrity and entertainment memoirs. I don't really read fiction. I LOVE shopping. I have a million opinions on a million things. I know I could probably get pretty far on Jeopardy.

Anyone who is friended to me on social media could tell you all those things. Because you are what you put out there. And sales and how successful you are at it is related to what you put out there. The jury is still out for me as to whether someone either just has sales in their blood or they could learn it. I'm not sure you can learn it. Because I know a lot of people who just simply can't do it, or do it well But what you CAN learn are tips to make you better at it and tips not to annoy the living hell out of people.

You can't be a hermit, just lurking on social media, then come crawling out of your hole to just bombard people with your pitches. You can't talk about Facebook with disdain from a high horse only to come out of nowhere hawking your wares. You have to dip your toe in, start becoming part of the social media community, and make it personal. You have to engage with people having NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT YOU'RE SELLING. Post pictures. Re-post interesting articles (but check Snopes first!). Join in discussions. Trust me, people totally know what you're doing when they've never seen you post much of anything and then all of a sudden you come on with how your life changed from whatever xyz you're peddling. They know what's up when you haven't ever made an effort to hang out and all of a sudden you're suggesting a play date "so the kids can play and we can talk about this new business I'm involved in! It'll be SO fun!". No, no it won't. And no, no, it's not going to happen. I'd rather shove hot pokers in my eyes than discuss mass produced jewelry.

Further, if you live a generally nice life in Bergen County, you didn't "change your life" by selling a product. Be RELATABLE. If you're now in the weight loss biz and you lost weight from a product, then talk about the real down and dirty. Not the weird TMI that someone posted recently in a FB group I'm in. As the queen of oversharing, if I think it was weird TMI, it WAS-- talking about being home with her kids, hitting rock bottom, not feeling well and being depressed, and nutritional cleansing changed her life. Unless maybe those shakes are laced with Prozac. Or amphetamines. Maybe it did change her life, I don't know. But to me, all it got was a ginormous eye roll.

When I say tell the down and dirty- I mean the TRUTH. Say you felt like a blob next to all the skinny bitches in the barre class you tried and you were just eating too many Dunkin' muffins. You needed a jumpstart. You needed a second income because one income just isn't cutting it. You were bored and wanted something else to do. You like hosting parties so selling gives you a reason to be the hostess with the mostess. Or you've been eyeing a Louis Vuitton bag for ten years and for your 35th, 40th, 50th birthday- you plan to own that bag. And selling skincare products is your ticket to that Louis. Just be normal and be honest! Most importantly, be YOU. Not the selling Stepford Wife version.

I love what I do for work. It's my third "career". It's my most rewarding career. When I talk about what I do for work, and show photos, I talk about each piece like ME. It sounds like I wrote it. Because I DID. No inspirational quotes. No memes of sunsets with more quotes from other people. Just. Me.  I have been seeing an overload of these "robot" posts from people who I know don't talk like that in real life. Where they used to post photos of their kids and funny anecdotes, there are now only memes and sales pitches. Both thinly veiled and outright. All the time. There has to be a BALANCE.

Know your audience. I can promise your entire FB friends list isn't interested in your wares. I know they aren't interested in mine! I'm not trying to sell my best friends a new chandelier and they know it. If I ask you to dinner, you know it isn't because I want to pitch you to buy lampshades. You have to remember to know who you're talking to when you've decided to solely post about your new business venture. Sure, there will be some of your contacts who are interested, but you're losing the rest of your audience, who are presumably your friends and family. Your grandmother and seventy-five year old Aunt Betty want to see photos of your family trip to Disney. They aren't likely to buy your tummy slimming body wrap. Make a FB page just dedicated to your product and invite your friends and family to like it. Those who are interested will join it and those who aren't are spared being bombarded by sales pitches. We have a FB page for our store. Not all my personal FB friends have "liked" the FB page. I'm ok with that. Because I KNOW that not everyone is my audience. Same with the page for this blog. I don't want people connected to any of my pages that isn't truly interested in what I'm doing. We can still be friends whether you want lighting or my opinions or not.

Gauge Interest FIRST. Don't just think you can take your whole email contact list or someone else's, start sending a barrage of emails about your venture(s) and you'll get a favorable response. If you got my email address from a mutual friend for one thing and I start getting emails about product instead, I'm not going to be happy. You can't just take the school or newcomers directory and use it as your personal sales lead list. If you want to market via email, send your ONE email, not to your WHOLE list, but to those you really think might be interested, but find a way to give the option to unsubscribe or only re-email those who expressed interest after the first one. Don't just send constant emails out figuring "it's just an email" and people will think it's casual and innocuous. You don't know how many emails a DAY some people receive and no one wants more junk mail.

No one wants to do your work for you either. If you want people on your team, YOU have to put the networking time and effort in yourself. If someone puts someone who is interested in contact with you, awesome. But don't expect your friends to recruit a sales force FOR you.

DO NOT START FRIENDING PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW ON FACEBOOK for the purpose of selling them stuff. Especially friends of friends. AND- don't do it without some kind of message telling them who you are and WHY you think they should accept your social media friendship. I've now gotten numerous emails telling me XYZ friended them, they saw XYZ is friended to me, and they're wondering if they just forgot them somehow. No, no. I just know a lot of people. This person is selling stuff and apparently just on a friending rampage to try to further their business. Inappropriately, I might add.

Be clear- You can't be covert about what you're selling. Whatever it is, no one needs a long, confusing sob story with the happy ending being, "I changed my life- If you want to change your life, PM me!" without knowing first what you're talking about. Sure, a lot of people want to change their life, but your answer to what's life changing and mine could be vastly different. If you're inviting me to a sales party- I need to know what it's for! Everyone has limited free time. Work, spouses, kids, commitments, I want a detailed explanation of what you want me to attend if you want me to make time for it. It also seems shady if you don't want to reveal what it's about so people can make an informed choice as to whether that event is going to be worth their free time.

These MLM companies are giving awful, moronic advice to an inexperienced sales force. If they're telling you to put things out there on social media that don't sound like you (quotes, memes, emails)- It's BAD. If they're telling you to be cagey about what you're selling until you can reel people in- It's REALLY BAD. And if they're telling you it's easy, sales is easy, and it's basically like doing no work, it's THE WORST.

I'm all for people being entrepreneurs, making money, having something for themselves, and doing anything that makes them feel good. But there is a fine line between being excited about whatever you're doing and becoming one-dimensional with it. Do a quick once-over of your Facebook page. Go back about a year before you were selling something and see what you had to say, what you were putting out there, way back when. Then jump to when you first started selling something through to now. Compare. If you see that there is a major, noticeable slant to only posting about product and product related memes in the recent year, it's time to find your balance. Find the you that people liked before. And just make a conscious effort to add in more of the old with the new. I bet you'll find people much more receptive to listening about the new when they can remember why they fell in love with the old.

Lastly, if someone says they aren't interested, move on. Nothing is more awkward than friends avoiding you because they're afraid you're going to pitch them again.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Education Explorers

One of my friends, Jennifer Paradiso started this company with a friend of hers. If you're looking for something for your child or children to do, Education Explorers is a great option!

About Them:

Education Explorers LLC is owned and operated by Jennifer Paradiso and Jeannette Tappan, two certified teachers with backgrounds in language arts and mathematics.  With over 15 years of combined classroom experience, our goal is to bring innovative and engaging educational enrichment experiences to children. 
Our programs are designed to broaden children's horizons so that they can explore, create, manipulate and expand their understanding of the world around them through discovery. Our passion for quality enrichment programs sets us apart from the rest.

Ready to Explore?

Jr Explorer - Tech Titans

In this hands on class, children will explore the many aspects of engineering involving the application of creativity in partnership with math, science, social studies, and language arts using real-world problems. Our “Tech Titans” will become problem solvers as they discover how to design and construct various engineering projects.

Jr Explorer - Cooking Class

Our Jr. Explorer “Chefs” will learn the basics of cooking in this fun and creative class. Children will learn how to follow the steps of a recipe, as well as learn to measure, mix, and decorate desserts using a variety of tools and techniques.

Jr Explorer - Science

Let your child explore and develop an understanding of the many areas of science (earth science, chemistry, biology, and physics) in a fun and exciting class! Through observation and experiments, children will participate in a variety of hands on, inquiry based activities that integrate science, math and literacy. 

Jr Explorer - Creative Kids Workshop

During this workshop students will have fun exploring a variety of art techniques and mediums. They will challenge their imagination in the production of artistic work that will showcase their personal originality.

Jr Explorer - Dramatic Arts

This fun and imaginative workshop will explore literacy through the use of a variety of dramatic arts based themes such as story telling, play writing, puppetry, fairy tales, and folk tales. Children will use art, music, and their natural creativity to complete their performance based projects while developing critical thinking skills. These activities will embrace and nurture your child's various learning style and foster a love of reading.




Birthday Parties-
Education Explorers can host your child's birthday bash by providing a new and unique form of entertainment. We offer convenient, fun, and reasonably priced party packages at a location of your choice that are sure to please your Jr Explorer.
Packages include 60 minutes of Education Explorer fun for your little explorer and a minimum of 12 of his/her explorer friends. We offer a variety of party themes or contact us to create a custom party for your Jr Explorer.
New and Exciting News...We have partnered with Planet Swirl Frozen Yogurt to offer birthday parties at their location in Ramsey, NJ! Have your child's next party at Planet Swirl with Education Explorers as your entertainment!!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Super Hero Camp

Naturally Yoga

Super Hero Camp!
Ages 6-10
June 23rd - 26th (Mon - Thursday only)
July 14th - 17th (Mon - Thursday only)
$108 per child per week
Pre-registration required at 201-612-7330 or
Come learn to tap into your own innate super powers &
Create your own unique comic book character & comic strip
Naturally Yoga
Address: 175 Rock Rd, Glen Rock, NJ 07452
Phone:(201) 612-7330

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bashing Bandwagon

Why is the first place people think to go when they want to complain is social media?  I don't mean complain about stuff like James & Peta getting robbed on Dancing With the Stars (THEY DID!). I'm talking about when they have a problem with small business.

Big business- I can kind of understand. Because they often don't make it easy to get in touch to resolve your issue. I know when I was fed up with different Shop Rite stores having different stuff and not being able to find what I need, I tweeted to Shop Rite. Even though they are franchises, which I learned only when I tweeted, they still have a "Corporate" over them. Currently, I'm looking to rip Jenny Craig a new one for firing my consultant there with no good reason and no warning. I can't even find any way to contact their corporate office or HR or whoever I need to give a piece of my mind.

But, when I have an issue with small business, I take it to the business. I may write a letter instead of coming in or calling but I contact the actual business before just blasting them across the internet. I'm not talking about Yelp either. I'm talking about these Facebook groups that are popping up every day. On these town groups, there are people that NEED a hobby besides slamming small businesses. If someone in a group asks for a recommendation or opinions, that's one thing to give a good or bad opinion based on firsthand experiences. But it's another when someone comes on expressly to ruin a business's reputation.

I don't know why people think it's ok to do this. I'm not bothered because I happen to own a small business. This actually hasn't happened to us online. I don't think a lot of our customers use things like Yelp or even Facebook. But we also have a different kind of business. We do custom work that is discussed in great detail and length before it's executed. I don't know exactly why it's different or we don't deal much in online reviews but it is and it's probably for the best. I'm bothered because I think it's just such a poor approach to dealing with people and business.

I read one complaint from a woman who had just returned home from what I would argue is an amazing local restaurant and I couldn't help but call her out. She went out to dinner on VALENTINE'S DAY. I guess they didn't seat her quickly enough and she felt ignored. Her first sentence, THAT NIGHT, was- "I'll NEVER go to XYZ restaurant again!" Then she explained her issue. I had to say something. I basically said that it might have benefitted her more had she gone to management and said something then instead of bashing a really good, proven good, local business on a public forum. Not to mention it was Valentine's Day. To me, that's like going out on New Years Eve. Amateur hour. If you choose to go out to dinner on Valentine's Day, especially when it falls on a weekend night you kind of reap what you sow. Sure, maybe they could've done a better job- I don't know, I wasn't there But come on. Cut the place a little slack on a holiday and a holiday like that where every restaurant is jam-packed. And if that's the reason why you're "never coming back" then consider that establishment lucky for losing such a complainer.

Another one was when a formerly struggling local store was finally able to renovate and restock. Instead of just choruses of "AWESOME", you get the person who HAS to say something like "Oh good, because the last few times I was there they had nothing I needed in stock". Great! Thanks for reminding everyone about past issues. How about just a hearty congratulations and patronize the business in the near future. THEN, write about how wonderful the experience was for you.

Recently I saw a post complaining about the attitude she got when she went into a new business, wasn't buying anything, but asking for a DONATION during a lunch rush! She didn't say anything to the owner about not being happy or even try to get to know him. She immediately ran to the computer and put it out on Facebook. Nevermind that people have no idea how small businesses get solicited every single day for donations, for every school, church and other non-profit organization in the area. Not even just from the town they have a business in but from all the neighboring towns. If an attitude was given, maybe instead of blasting the business on Facebook, maybe take a minute to think about what you could have done differently. Like, maybe have a list at each organization of every business that has been asked and has given and make a policy of only asking once a year. Or, buy something instead of just expecting something for free. How about just go in, at an off-hour, without an agenda some time and see how THAT goes. The attitude you got has nothing to do with how someone would normally run their business. You weren't bringing them any business and that's what they go there, open up, and work for every day. Not to give away stuff for free.

It's become a situation where I think people just need something to do or bitch about. Or they're so trapped in their own bubble that they don't have a clue about how to deal with people properly. What happened to talking something out? Having some balls and nicely expressing some dissatisfaction? Sending an email detailing the particular situation and how it negatively affected you? Trying for resolution before trying to ruin someone's livelihood? People are also really, really BRAVE behind their computer screen. I witnessed one of the most immature exchanges on one of these pages a couple of days ago. A grown man was totally taunting a woman who innocently asked when an event was taking place. It ended up with him cursing her out. It was embarrassing for both of them.

And it's always the same people that never stop complaining. I think they need to do one of those Pinterest-type things like #100DaysOfHappy and find things they're happy about. No one wants to read a laundry list of complaints on the daily about nonsense. So you weren't seated on time ONCE. So a store didn't have what you needed before they renovated. If you don't like the goods or services, just SAY SOMETHING. To someone in the position of authority to help you FIRST. If, IF, no one helps you, it doesn't get resolved, or they treat you poorly, then by all means, blast away wherever you want. But I guarantee, if people used half the energy it took them to write the ugly public review or complaint, to have a real conversation with the business they had the conflict with, they'd end up happier with the results. I see all the time that someone will post their rant, then someone will ask if they spoke to a manager or the owner and the answer is usually- NO. How do they expect any help if they don't say anything?? I almost feel like it goes back to the days of public beheadings. There has to be something inherent in some humans to want to publicly shame people in the town square.

Basically, all this is turning into, this Facebook group business bashing, is a form of online bullying. It's done in hopes to either ruin someone's livelihood or to embarrass or scare that business into doing something you want them to do. Or have them be "taught a lesson" by going out of business. It's blackmail. It's not fair, it's not good karma, and it just makes you look like you have a lot of time on your hands.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mass Appreciation

I don't know if it's noticed or not, but I tend to ignore holidays when it comes to my blog. I'm not a fan of holidays in general, but that's another story. In the simplest terms for now, it will suffice to say that they're just another day. We do our thing, fly by the seat of our pants, and you never know where we might end up for any of them. That's the long and short of it. I don't get all sappy about them and I'd be fine to ignore them altogether.

I'm pretty sure I cared more about holidays when my life was kind of messy and they were something to look forward to doing something special or different. Or when I was dating someone that was kind of a dick the rest of the time but I had a better shot of him not being a dick on a holiday. Now that my life isn't messy and I'm not spending my days with someone who is a dick, I'm less inclined to be bothered with the hoopla surrounding holidays. And with a small child, holidays mostly signify days that I still have to work so I need to jockey babysitting because school is out.

But, I'm not here today to talk about holidays really. I'm here to talk about appreciation. They are way intertwined, if you didn't know.

I've been on message boards since they were invented. In the 90's. I spend a lot of time talking to my online friends. Every single holiday that comes up, the inevitable questions of the what, when, where come up. Along with the "What are you hoping you get?" or "What are you hoping to do?" inquiry posts. And every single time I know what is going to happen. There are going to be a decent number of the women that are going to be let down. Especially when it's Mother's Day.

Hey! It's NOT. ABOUT. THE. GIFTS. The material things. Ok, well, maybe for some it is. But not most of these women. It's about appreciation. Or lack of it. And it's huge. It starts like this. Someone posts what awesomeness they got or was done for them. THEN... :::cue the sinister music::: comes the post about who was disappointed, angry, got the shaft, etc. "Who didn't even receive a card?" is somewhere in there. And I'm always amazed at how many there are.

I'm not one for forced intimacy or feeling. But dude. If you're a decent mom in any true sense of the word, which I believe all of them to be, you deserve a card. Then you have ones who excuse the behavior by saying, "that's just his personality", "he's not into cards or that sort of thing". No, no. One mom told another she should look at the bigger picture and as long as he's great in every other way, then he should get a pass. Again- NO. Not being able to just pick up a card is a huge character flaw. HUGE. We live in NJ, not Little House on The Prairie. There is a CVS on every corner. But beyond that, it's knowing your audience. If you think it would make your spouse feel good to receive a card, then that is JUST WHAT YOU DO. Not everyone wants that. One woman would kvell over a bouquet of flowers, where as I would probably burst into tears. Why? Because it would mean my husband didn't even know me. Or care what would make me happy. Luckily my husband is fully aware that I can't think of anything I'd want less than flowers. Well, except things like a communicable disease. Or to go hiking.

I know there are some people who do everything last minute. And even that is fine. Except for this past Saturday when the mall was evacuated well before closing time. Those spouses/kids were plum out of luck. But in most cases, last minute works, as long as it's done. Whether you think Mothers and Fathers Day are stupid Hallmark holidays or not, they do exist, and it's a day you can celebrate in some small way the person who brought your child(ren) into the world or the ones who are responsible for raising them. Raising them well.

I'd be as bold to say that it doesn't need to be diamonds, ipads, or expensive anything. They just want to be recognized for the job they do. If they don't work outside the home, there isn't anyone to give their pat on the back. No one to give a positive performance review. They just do their thing with no feedback. Why isn't it on your mind, the ONE day it's shoved in your face for at least a month before the holiday comes, to do SOMETHING? Anything. There are commercials, paper ads, online ads, flyers, direct mail, etc. You can't escape knowing a holiday is coming. Any holiday. Holidays you didn't even know existed are now right in your face with ample time to plan. Go now any buy a card for next year from the ones left over. Make a reservation now for next year's brunch. Know yourself. If there is one thing not to procrastinate on, it's the holiday that celebrates the person you lay your head down next to every night. That's your person. The co-captain of your team.

But by the same token, I've seen the posts asking how to return the crappy favor they were dealt. And the answer is simple. COMMUNICATION. Sorry that it has to be spelled out apparently for some, but it is what it is. I'll give it to some of the Mother's Day Failures that maybe that is what they grew up seeing. A lot of nothing in terms of appreciation between spouses, especially the fathers to the moms. So it will take a bit of work to make them more aware. I'm pretty sure something much more productive will come out of a real heart to heart conversation vs the silent treatment. You have to speak up. If you're hurt or disappointed in the lack of appreciation you're feeling then you have to make your voice and feelings heard. Don't be passive-aggressive. It's not easy to have these talks but they're necessary. And really, based on the response you receive, both in words and actions will be very telling.

For me, I feel like people do what they want to do. If you put your feelings out there and nothing changes, well, draw your own conclusions. I remember telling someone over and over again that I didn't feel valued or appreciated. I didn't feel like I was a priority. Because I really wasn't. In the end we broke up because he just didn't feel the way he should have about me at the point we were at. And he never would. This was long before I got married (to someone else) and had a kid. I couldn't make him care.  I deserved more. Better. And realizing that was a defining moment. It wasn't just that he didn't think of it or didn't want to do it, he just didn't think about it or want to do it for ME.

There *are* also just people who are clueless. Clueless that a simple gesture goes a long way. Clueless that it doesn't need to be a whole fanfare, it just has to say something meaningful. There is no way I'm just going to throw men under the bus and say it's a guy thing. Because I have a husband who is not like that. At all. It's SPECIFIC guys. And you know if you have one of these. You have to work a little harder and open his eyes for him.You have to say something. Rome wasn't built in a day, so it's said. You can't expect magic right away if your person just isn't wired that way. But if nothing changes, that's a bigger problem. Because regardless of anything else, you deserve to be heard and have your feelings taken into consideration with the person you're in a relationship with.

I'm very lucky. My husband is very in tune to these things. He shows his appreciation all the time. I really don't need Mother's Day, the same way I don't need Valentine's Day. I don't need a day because I have a year. He's a great husband and a fantastic dad. He gives me time to myself to the detriment of his own. He never gets a moment's peace when our son is around. What can I say? He's a Daddy's Boy.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Casino Royale

Only 11 days to go! Get your tickets now! Come support this amazing charity.

 A great night of great food, fun and prizes. The Twins' Mothers Club of Bergen County is hosting a charity tricky tray/casino night to benefit ArtWorks, The Naiomi Cohain Foundation. All monies raised goes to our charity. Artworks helps children suffering from chronic and life threating illnesses have a distraction from what they are enduring in the hospital by expressing themselves through the arts.

Tickets are $50.00 and that includes a buffet dinner and starter casino cash. We have a great selection of prizes from sports memorabilia, gift certificates, a 43' TV, a Jimmy Choo Purse to Disney passes.

Plus many more great prizes to mention! Please contact Amanda Lupino to purchase tickets. This is a great date night or a fun night out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kegs & Campfires

Who wouldn't want to go to camp? I would. I'm so jealous when E gets on his bus just to go to day camp. He's zip-lining, go-carting, cooking, dancing, ceramics, arts & crafts, swimming, sports, and more. It's not likely for me to go to any camp considering I have a husband, child, and business. But if you can- if you've never been to summer camp or want to re-live your childhood camp memories- here you go! I got an email for this Living Social deal earlier and wanted to pass it on. Sounds like a great deal and a fun weekend. A great single girl getaway with friends. Check it out!

Kegs & Campfires: Adult Summer Camp in the Berkshires

Club Getaway • South Kent, CT

Escape Kit

  • An All-Inclusive Two-Night Stay for One Person in a Triple- or Quad-Occupancy Shared Cabin During June Value Weekend from June 13 to 15 ($294)
  • Or, an All-Inclusive Two-Night Stay for One Person in a Triple- or Quad-Occupancy Shared Cabin During Young Professionals Weekend (Ages 21 to 39) from July 18 to 20 ($364)
  • Or, an All-Inclusive Three-Night Stay for One Person in a Triple- or Quad-Occupancy Shared Cabin During Memorial Day Weekend from May 23 to 26 ($399)
  • Or, an All-Inclusive Three-Night Stay for One Person in a Triple- or Quad-Occupancy Shared Cabin During Independence Day Weekend from July 3 to 6 ($434)
  • Souvenir Weekend Duffle Bag, Fleece Blanket, Carabiner Flashlight, Water Bottle, Club Getaway Hat, and Drink Voucher
Relive your childhood—and make a few friends while you're at it—during a weekend at this adults-only summer camp in the Berkshires.

The Digs
Bring back that carefree spirit of summer camp with an Escape to Club Getaway, the East Coast's recreation mecca for adults. Set on 300 acres in the Berkshire Mountains of Kent, Connecticut (just 90 minutes from Manhattan by car or bus), Club Getaway is your hall pass to the great outdoors. Stay in comfortable air-conditioned country cabins with private bathrooms overlooking the beautiful lake and mountains. Daily housekeeping is included, which is good, considering the camp's full roster of activities that is sure to keep you busy. Meals are a step up from traditional camp food—while grilling takes center stage, outdoor international buffets and wine-soaked dinners coordinated by chefs from the Connecticut Culinary Institute get top billing.

The Destination
As if taken straight from a scene depicted by Thoreau, the Berkshire Mountains of Kent in Connecticut are a nature-lover's paradise. Rolling mountains change color with the seasons, their brilliant hues magnified in the placid lakes that line the valleys. As the sun goes down, outdoor enthusiasts revel in happy hours by the lake, live music, karaoke, beer pong and flip cup, plus dinner parties with live bands before partying the night away at the Boathouse nightclub. Late-night campfires burn into the night set to the strumming of guitars and the melting of s'mores.

The Diversions
• Salute the sun with yoga classes, or shake it with other campers during Zumba
Go mountain biking, rock climbing, and even fly on a trapeze
• Slip into your swimsuits with scores of water sports to choose from like canoeing, waterskiing, or kayaking
• Participate in the The Club's famous softball kegger or go keg-to-keg through wooded trails during the Beer Hike
• Rediscover arts and crafts or take a cooking class with chefs from the Connecticut Culinary Institute

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Artistic Funtimes

Here's what's going on at The Drawing Room! Check it out with your friends. Make it your next "Mom's Night Out"!

Creativity & Cocktails for a Cause May 19 & May 22
A FUN PAINT night out while raising some money for charity.  A 2 hour step by step  painting lesson with no art experience necessary. A special Cafe d Artist  menu including wine and Live Music...all for $60.00. Once a month at Brickhouse Wyckoff on a Monday and Aldo's Restaurant Wyckoff on a Thursday. May dates are May 19 at Brickhouse and May 22 at Aldo's.​ Raffle proceeds  during each paint night is given to a different charity each month.To register online and see the Creativity & Cocktails for a Cause 2014 schedule- go on line to Homepage double click Creativity & Cocktails at top in pink header or see our calendar of events.  Please note you can create your own Creativity & Cocktails event anywhere and at anytime. Call the studio 201-447-7272 for details.

These are going to be the dates for future Creativity & Cocktails events:
June 16 and June 19
July 22 ( Tuesday) and July 24
August 12 (Tuesday) and August 14
September 22 and September 25
October 20 and October 23

Creative Spirits Weekend-St Mary's by the Sea Retreat House
Cape May NJ -- May 31 to June 1
Find Your Peace- Nourish Your Spirit- Create from your Heart.
Join other beginner to advanced Artists for a weekend of learning, prayer, reflection, creativity, and making new friends. This weekend is a gift of time and transformation of ourselves and finding the beauty of God's creation through your artist eye. For details, complete schedule of events and to register on line - go to - homepage - creative spirits weekend page or see the calendar of events page. Come and join us. 

Summer ART Programs
June 30 to August 29-2014
We offer a wide variety of artistic opportunities for artists ages 4 to Adult for nine weeks. Daytime camp experiences, afternoon and evening classes, portfolio development, private lessons, Outdoor Workshops & Music and Art in the Park, Hike and Paint and Creativity & Cocktails for a Cause.
Register online now - summer camp---while spots are still available.