My Working Motherhood Interview

logoLast week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Portia Jackson, founder and host of Working Motherhood, an online resource for working moms that offers a “daily source of inspiration and encouragement.” Working Motherhood features 30 minute interviews of women from all different backgrounds, professions, and stages of life, exploring the journey of motherhood, the balance of career and family, and moments of challenge and success.

I’ve never been interviewed like this before, and I’ll admit to being nervous (okay, more than a little nervous), but talking with Dr. Jackson was like speaking with good friend so I was quickly put at ease. The interview provided me with a chance to reflect upon on my journey as a working mom these past seven years, and I found myself surprised a bit by all I had to say (though having something to say has rarely been a problem for me!) and pleased that, even though life often feels so frenetic, I’ve managed to find my way through, incorporating my own lessons learned and maybe even being a little bit better today than I was yesterday (or at least I hope so!).

My interview is now online on the Working Motherhood site; you can find it here. (It’s also on iTunes.) Come visit me on Working Motherhood, and listen to my story. And, since I’ve not yet been able to work up the courage to listen to the interview myself, please tell me what you think in the comments!

5 Tips for Going to the Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show

About two weeks ago, I crossed another item off my bucket list: I went to the Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show.

When I was kid, my family occasionally went to a flea market near our home, and I remember those trips with fondness. The challenge of finding a parking space, the discovery of just the perfect item, and the people-watching all made the experience memorable. I knew that Brimfield—which is so much more than a flea market—would be quite a trip.

With thousands of dealers selling everything from pristine (and expensive) antiques to items you probably saw in your Grandma’s kitchen to, well, even some junk, Brimfield is a popular destination to collectors who love to hunt and seek. I managed to talk my husband into a weekend away at a bed and breakfast as the hook to get us to Brimfield, so our adventure could be combined with some long overdue couple time. I’ll be honest that Brimfield was not his first choice of activities, but he was an incredibly good sport about—even when the heat of the day reached the high 80s with significant humidity.

The mix of items for sale was fascinating. We stumbled upon a vendor selling tables, chairs, and umbrellas from German biergartens, which would have been perfect for a small porch. We saw more Pyrex than I ever thought existed. We spied relics of carousels, ocean buoys, and vintage clothes. We saw classic toys, art prints, and Bakelite. Furniture, light fixtures, and even bicycles. The list really is endless!

The scale of Brimfield can be overwhelming; the dealers are spread along a mile of Route 20, positioned in show venues that are commonly called “fields.” (The show started, literally, in a farmer’s field in 1959.) There is also a food court, numerous (addictive) lemonade stands, and other food stalls, ensuring that you can eat while you shop.

While my husband and I went with a list in hand to help us stay focused (which I recommend), we instead brought home a mix of things we uncovered as we walked up and down the crowded aisles. The most we spent on any one piece was $40.

Here’s what came home in our car:

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Noodles and Company Giveaway!

noodlesandcompanygiveawayLast month, I had the pleasure of attending a special tasting at Noodles & Company, a new entrant to the food business in the Boston area. This “bloggers only” event, held at the new Noodles & Company in Burlington, featured a chance to try a number of the restaurant chain’s delicious dishes, including Bangkok Curry, seasonal soups, and a so-yummy-I-wanted-to-hide-it-in-my-purse-and-take-it-home Pesto Cavatappi.

Noodles & Company’s menu offers an extensive number of—you guessed it!—noodle dishes from pasta with butter (for the toddler set) to the aforementioned (gluten free!) Bangkok Curry. They also feature flatbreads, sandwiches, and salads, with a menu that changes seasonally. I am planning to take my kids to Noodles & Company soon, and I suspect my daughter will love their Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. My son will go for their Spaghetti & Meatballs, while I’ll try the Japanese Pan Noodles.

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I’m on Wayfair.com today!

Where am I today, dear readers?

clever toy storage

I’m over on the Wayfair.com Idea Lounge! Check out my post, “Clever Toy Storage Idea,” where I share tips on organizing those pesky kid’s toys. It’s my first post for Wayfair as part of its Homemakers program so please give me some love!

An Unexpected Wedding Anniversary

The traditional gifts for a ninth wedding anniversary are pottery and willow. This week, when my husband and I celebrated our ninth anniversary, we went a different route: stitches and an emergency room visit.

Our anniversary started off like any other day: kisses goodbye to the kids, hectic commutes, and busy hours at work. We were supposed to meet up in the evening for a delicious dinner at the famed Hamersley’s Bistro, a terrific Boston restaurant that’s long been on my bucket list. The reservation was especially important because Hamersley’s is closing next month. We really wanted to get there before its lights went off for good and anniversary celebration was a perfect reason to trek its location in the South End.

There I was, at the office, trying to get a few things done before my husband arrived when the following text came in:

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4 Things I’m Doing Differently This School Year

4thingsEarlier this week, my kids started at their after school program. They attend four days a week from the end of the school day at 3:15 PM to 6:00 PM when my husband or I pick them up. It’s a long day for the two of them but they love it.  When I arrived home from work the other night, they were already in their pajamas, bubbling over about their adventures of their day, playing soccer with friends and getting used to the new routine of after school.

I was happy to see them so joyful about school and after school, and it got me thinking about how I could make those good feelings last throughout the school year. I came up with four ideas:

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Three Tips to Rock the Lunchbox and a Giveaway!

School has been underway for a week, and already I’ve heard one of the more dreaded sentences in the English language: “Mom, I didn’t like what you packed for lunch today.”

My children, R and G, are good eaters, but lunchtime can be challenge. They don’t have long to eat lunch during the school day (only about 20 minutes), and their friends distract them with chances to talk and be silly. Therefore, what I pack in their lunchboxes has to grab their attention—while also being healthy.

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The Paint Bar

Last week, I was fortunate to spend an evening at The Paint Bar, along fellow blogger, Cheryl of Busy Since Birth. We were invited to attend one of The Paint Bar’s fun three-hour, instructor-led painting sessions, and it was a terrific way to spend an evening with a friend.

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First Day of School!

We did it! Today was the first day of school, and we welcomed the start of the new academic year with big smiles.

first_day_red_shutters

R, now a first grader, was excited, though apprehensive at the prospect of homework (it’s really happening) and uncooperative about his clothing choices (who knew boys cared so much about what they wear?). G, with her two missing bottom teeth and fancy shoes, skipped off to kindergarten with two thumbs up and calls for “no more pictures, Mom.”

I held it together, worrying about supplies, lockers, and after school pickup. It was only at the end of getting the kids settled in their new classrooms, as I was leaving for the PTA breakfast (sign up for this committee! be a room parent!) that I struggled with the “how-did-we-get-here” feeling. Sometimes, these transitions are hardest on the parents for we see clearly the distance we’ve traveled and know what’s yet to come. More and more, I wish my secret superhero parent power was to slow down time. I’d make days like today last forever.

Wishing you and yours a successful school year!

Checking in on our Summer Bucket List

We have one (!!) weekend left before school starts, so I thought I’d check in on how we’ve done with our Summer Bucket List. Perhaps you remember back in June when I put together a list of adventures for my family to do this summer? Of the 15 adventures on our list, we’ve done 10, with three more scheduled. That leaves with two still to do. Here’s our list:

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