Monthly Archives: February 2015


pickl bag

Most people are probably tired of hearing me write about chloe and isabel already, but I am working hard to build up a “clientele” and until I do, I need to saturate my Facebook and blog about it!!  Today’s photo prompt was, Anticipation and I have been anticipating the arrival of this.  My new “Pikle Bag”.  It as small as a makeup bag, but is filled with sturdy plastic inserts that I have filled with smaller pieces of c+i jewelry so that I can have a party on the go anytime, anywhere.  I will just keep it in my purse and pull it out whenever someone asks about it.

I have already been a walking advertisement for the company, wearing at least two pieces everyday everywhere I go.  I am beyond my goal for the month.  I surpassed what I could never could have imagined! Now…I have TWO days left in my “fast start” and am only $200 away from reaching $5000 in sales in less than 2 months!  It is amazing and I am so happy to have such supportive friends and family.

Now… it is time for me to extend my c+i to even more people.  Please check out my boutique.  I would love for you to become a customer of mine.  I offer incentives all of the time!!  If you live close to me, we could do an in person party.  If you are farther away, consider an online pop-up.  If you just want to treat yourself with something special….shop with my direct link,

Like my Facebook page, chloe and isabel with claire sinclair  I post specials there all of the time.

Thanks for letting me get the word out.  Share this and spread the word. 🙂

School Play

ease on down the road

Tonight is the school play at Drew’s middle school. They are performing “The Wiz” and the cast and crew have been working hard for months.  They’ve been putting in 12 hour days lately between school and practice.  Three shows this weekend.  Then a break for all of them.

He is in the chorus.  A “Funky Monkey.” Tonight was a “failed mom moment” for me.  The kids are supposed to show up at school with their faces made up.  I myself wear very little makeup. Other than moisturizer, a bit of concealer under my eyes, some eyeliner and maybe some lip gloss if I remember…. That is it.  Never foundation, blush or heavily made up eyes.

When I went to my makeup bag, (my very empty makeup bag,) to try to find some makeup to use on him, I had very little.  I also have absolutely NO idea how to apply it.  So, I scrounged up some old blush that came in a makeup kit someone had given me.  After applying some tinted moisturizer, I tried applying the blush to his cheeks.  Epic fail.  I couldn’t even swipe his thin lips with my tinted lip gloss without it smudging all over.

He washed it all off in the bathroom.  I tried to do his eyes with some of my eyeliner.  Between his squinting and my unsteady hand, that was just as unsuccessful as the blush so it was wiped off too.  He wears his big glasses all the time anyway…does he really need it?

There will be makeup volunteers at the play tonight helping them get ready.  I threw the blush, a brush and my eyeliner into a baggie and told him to let them all have a go at it! I am sure they’ll have more success than me!

Good thing is he likes his hair, so he took some time gelling it and trying to get it “just right” for the show.  At least we know his hair will look great!



Tonight we have more parent-teacher conferences.  Our district holds conferences twice a year. Two afternoon sessions and one in the evening.  This left me with an “free” afternoon so Dave and I went on a lunch date.  Something I never have time to do on a weekday.

We went to The Cheesecake Factory and had a relaxing, leisurely lunch just the two of us.  As we wandered through the mall, I reminisced about the days I used to spend there with the boys when they were really little. In the winter, when the weather was bad, I would bring them to the mall where they could get out of the house after being cooped up on snowy, cold days like we’ve had this season.

Drew would gravitate to Build a Bear and just watch the animals being created.  We wouldn’t have to spend a dime.  We’d just window shop and toss pennies in the fountains as they skipped through the long corridors.  Like it was their own indoor playground, (before there were indoor mall playgrounds). It was a local meeting place for many moms and dads.  A place to get away from the television, get the wiggles out with a bit of exercise and tire them out before a nap!

I went back to work after having each of them when they were 2 1/2.  So, I didn’t get to do it for a long time, but I remember those days so well.

I miss those days.  Now – my oldest can drive himself to the mall.  Crazy! It goes so fast!

Future Investment


Future Investment, today’s photo prompt.  A bit appropriate at the end of my February sales month for Chloe + Isabel.  I am absolutely loving working for this company.  They are so good to their merchandisers and offer training and incentives and so much support.  I have been with the company for just about two months.  I am still in my “Fast Start” program.  That ends in just three days.  On Monday night’s sales call, I was actually named in the top 10 for fast starters!  That gives me even more incentive to work harder at this business.  This will never be my full time job.  Teaching is my passion and what I am meant to do, but c + i gives me the opportunity to do more of what I love – socializing!

I know that at home selling isn’t the easiest thing, and that I may have good months and bad ones, but the initial investment has seemed worth it so far.  I will have to keep updating my inventory, spending some of my profits, but with each party I have, I earn more “bonus dollars” to spend as well.

I will never make a fortune or strike it rich working with c+i, but it does help with all those little extras.  Once DJ goes to college, I am sure it will be glad to have it as well!

I have three days till the end of February.  There are contests and offers for all last minute sales and parties.  If you are interested, check out my link.  Ask me questions.  Book an in person party if you are local.  Book an online party if you are not.  I know we could make it fun!  The hostess incentives are amazing!


This is one of those weeks that began at 7am yesterday, and goes until late Friday evening.  Meetings every afternoon or evening this week, parent-teacher conferences for three days beginning tomorrow, Drew’s school play which is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  THEN, life might settle down for our family.

Today’s photo prompt is JUMP.   I worked until 5pm have been finishing up report card narratives for an hour and have to leave here to go to a meeting at Drew’s school in a few minutes.  The last two nights I have even eaten dinner at the computer.  There is no time for “real photos” as I am jumping from one thing to another.

So now, as I try to squeeze in my blog before it gets too late, I happened to notice that my blog stats are about to make a big jump today!  As of now, I am at 128,999 hits.  Who would have ever expected my little blog- which is really about “nothing and everything” is still going strong.

The new aspect of adding the photo prompts has been motivating.  Some of the photographers are incredibly talented in the shared photo group I am in. For me, the photo prompts have been more of an inspiration to write than to work on my photography, but perhaps when time allows, I can work more on that.  For today though – a very amateur photo taken with my iphone just to capture the number before it jumps.




Potential, the photo prompt for today. This photo is actually from yesterday.  A small bud under the melting ice after this miserably cold winter. Yesterday, an almost Spring-like day.  Temperatures actually reached 40 degrees and there was a glimmer of hope.

Today, back to frigid weather.  Below zero windchill and that potential doesn’t seem so likely anymore.  I know it is still February, but I am over it. I cannot wait for it to end.

I had to choose this photo of the frozen bud – because it also resembled a ladybug.  Another glimpse of Spring.

24 days to go!!

Girls Helping Girls Period


It is Oscar night and in celebration of the event, I was invited to a “Walk the Red Carpet” party.  A different kind of “pre-Oscar” party.  This one was a part of a friend’s daughter’s Confirmation project.  Emily, is helping to collect feminine hygiene products for women and girls in need.

The project, Girls Helping Girls Period, was started by two local girls, 15 year old Emma and her 11 year old sister Quinn. With the support of their mother Elise Joy, they launched this program, as a campaign to collect feminine hygiene products and cash donations to purchase them for girls and women in need.

GHGP is collecting donations of tampons, sanitary pads, or panty liners which will be donated to a local shelter and/or pantry.  Their goal, is to give a one year supply to 100 girls “to give them one less thing to worry about.”  Tampons and pads often top the list of needs at women’s shelters.

To find out more about this amazing project, visit and like their Facebook Page, or to donate, you can use this link to go directly to their Go Fund Me page.

Several local families have held their own GHGP, including Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, who recently wrote about the project and the dire need of assistance in The New York Times.

Every donation helps.

If you are local, there are 3 drop off points where you can donate items through the end of March.

Fringe Salon, 1874 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood

38 Madison Avenue, Maplewood

38 Glenside Road, South Orange

(or you can always give them to me at school and I can get them to one of the drop off points.)



Cynics and non-believers of “signs” should just stop reading now because I don’t want to know the logical reason behind this. I love getting signs from my mom and they come so rarely that when they do, I just want to keep them as small reminders that she is thinking about me and watching over our family.

I usually keep my ipad on my bedside table but for some reason on Thursday night, I left it downstairs next to my computer.  When I came downstairs, Friday morning, I did my usual routine, breakfast, answering emails, Facebook….and the ipad just sat there idly.  I do all of that on my computer.  I didn’t even look at the ipad until right as I was walking out the door to go to work, and only then because it lit up with a message.

There are always alerts on it, Words With Friends, Facebook messages, texts, but one stood out.  It was from 8:05pm – while I was still downstairs but an alert didn’t come through then. It said I had a “Facetime Call” from Ellie Gianni.  My mom.

I tried swiping the screen to see where the call came from and the message was gone when I went to it.  I put my mom’s name into my contacts and her number came up as my parent’s home phone.  I still have her name in my contacts, but whenever my dad calls me, it comes up as “Mom and Dad.” Never as Ellie.  PLUS, it could not have been a Facetime call from her home phone.

I sent a message to all of my siblings and my dad to see if any of them had been playing around with my mom’s old phone.  My dad has kept it, but it is in a drawer and not charged.  None of them had.  I asked my dad what time he had called me the night before and he told me it was around 9pm.  Still FACETIME??? How did that came up and where did it go?  There is no record of it on my regular iphone either.

My brother told us that on that same night, he had a vivid dream about my mom.  We were all at a restaurant, an old favorite of her’s, and she was telling him something.  He doesn’t know what it was that she was trying to say.

Drew took a screen shot of it.  Just so I could save it.  Still don’t know what mom was trying to tell me, but today’s photo prompt is Indsitinct, which means, not easily seen, heard, or recognized : not distinct or clear. 

Well, this could not be any more indistinct – so even though it is not a great picture, I am using it because it is something I don’t want to forget.


“Popping Up”

As most of you know, I have become a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel Jewelry. Basically that’s a fancy way of saying, I sell jewelry at home parties!!  Although with the internet I also can sell online!  At c+i, we call at party a “Pop Up.”  I have had two small pop ups so far. One with my best friend Kelly for a bunch of her friends.  It was supposed to be huge, but a big ice storm in January kept that from happening.  It still did really well though even with only a few guests. Then, about two weeks ago, a coworker of mine decided to hold a party for the teachers at our school.  Another small party but another success! Tonight, I am doing my first “Big”  Pop-Up.  It is at my house and an open house.  I invited lots of people from all areas of my life.  I am hoping to get a lot of parties booked from it.  My goal is two parties a month. If I can get more – awesome, but I am trying to keep it realistic and start out small. Tonight, the cards seemed to be stacked against me.  First, the party was scheduled to be at my dad’s house.  A much bigger home than mine that could fit many more people.  With him only home from the rehab center for a day, that wasn’t really a possibility anymore so now, we have moved it to my little home.  There may be a lot of us, but we will be cozy.  I will make it work.  It also happens to be the coldest day of the year.  Temperatures were at zero this morning.  Very cold for New Jersey! So, fingers are crossed that tonight is another success.  I have amazing friends and even if no one buys anything, I love that I am getting the word out there about chloe + isabel.  My goal tonight is to book at least one in home party. I’d love to get more, but again….start small. If you are in the area, stop by.  I’d love to show you the merchandise. Get out of the cold, grab a drink and some snacks. Come socialize and look at pretty jewelry.  It will be fun no matter what the outcome. Anyone reading this that is not in the area that would love to earn free jewelry without having to do a thing….contact me.  The stuff is gorgeous and chloe + isabel make it very easy to get it for nothing!!  Plus, there’s not much better than shopping in your pajamas.


Stock the Shelves


This afternoon, I, along with several amazing volunteers delivered over 125 bags of food to two local food pantries.  Our school had our annual 100th Day of School Food Drive.  We challenge every class to collect 100 items by the 100th day of school, (today,) and then all of it gets donated to these two food pantries.

I am fortunate to teach in a community of very supportive families and their contributions helped to fill the shelves.  When I arrived at one of the pantries, the shelves were nearly empty.  There were lots of green beans and tomato sauce, but other than that, the shelves were nearly bare.  The woman who organizes the pantry told me that they weren’t sure what was going to happen on Saturday when people came to get food, because there was so little there to give them.

I am so grateful that our school was able to do a part in getting those shelves filled.  Sadly, that food won’t last long and I wish there was a way to get the word out about how important it is to keep the pantries stocked.

When you see a “Can Can Sale,” grab a few extras.  Drop them off.  They are needed more than most people are aware!!