Tag Archives: girls night out

My Vision Board

vision board.jpg

If you follow me – or my blog – you would know that I “dabble” in a lot of different things. This goes beyond my career of being a teacher. That and being a mom are the two greatest jobs I could have and I love both of them but even with a full time job , (I work summers too,) and part time photography gigs, there isn’t much “fun money” for the extra things we like to do.  With DJ in college and me in grad school those extras don’t happen as often as we’d like.

In January of last year, I became an independent consultant for chloe and isabel jewelry. Their jewelry is really pretty and I love wearing it and selling it. Some months were definitely better than others and I wish I could find more of a demand for it because I know that I could sell a lot more. I found it hard to get hostesses and I know that I am not aggressive enough – and that is something I need to work on this year. It is great “fun money” though and it let me do things like dinners out , manicures, pedicures and that sort of thing that I’d have otherwise felt guilty spending money on.

A friend of mine sells Jamberry nail wraps and recently, we did a small vendor event together. She and the other vendor were pretty successful but mine had only one sale. We talked about it a bit and realized that “consumables” are the reason why. If you like the nail wraps, you will want to order more. With the jewelry, no matter how beautiful it is, there is only so much a person will order. I am not giving up chloe and isabel. I plan to keep working the business but decided to also venture into the Jamberry world and become a rep for them too.  They go along well side by side actually – pretty rings on a well manicure hand!!

One of the first things I was asked to do by my lead consultant with Jamberry was to create a vision board. I didn’t know what that was but it is not much more than making a list of things I hope to get or accomplish in the future. Right now, I am keeping my vision to one year. My vision board includes:

  • Paying for grad school
  • DJ’s tuition
  • A vacation
  • Girls’ Nights Out
  • Date Nights
  • More charity work

So my first step – to hold some parties! They can be in person or online. Hostesses can live close by or across the country (and with Jamberry – around the world!) The hostess rewards for both companies are amazing and I would love to help people earn free stuff – because getting stuff for free is one of my favorite things!

Check out both my sites and let me know what you think! Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!



You can also follow my facebook pages to find out about big sales and specials. Just give it a like!!



Pinot and Pottery


Tonight, a few friends and I went out to celebrate the birthday of a great friend.  Yes, this is the same friend who’s birthday I forgot last month!!  We went to a local art studio in town for a pottery class.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that art is not my forte.  I lack so much skill in this area, that I even apologize in advance to my kindergarteners when I draw for them!!

Spending time with friends is what I was looking forward to, a girls night out..  As for the pottery, well, they turned out pretty nice!!  It wound up being relaxing, almost therapeutic!  The best part of all, was we spent most of the night laughing and that makes me want to go back and try it again!

Giving Back

giving back

Growing up and never leaving the community you grew up in, may not be for everyone but for me, it was what I always wanted.  Other than leaving to go to college in Washington, DC for four years, and a spending a few years right after we were married in a townhouse ten minutes away from here, I have remained in Maplewood, New Jersey.  My hometown.  Married to my high-school sweetheart, we knew this was the place for us to raise our own family.

I am sure it is the same in every small town, but one of the things I love most about my community is how so many small businesses still remain and are thriving here.  There are no big chain stores or restaurants. Many of the businesses are privately owned and run by local families.

I try to support the small businesses in my community to keep the local economy strong.  My dad owns one of these local businesses, which makes me even more passionate about it.  One thing that I love most about living here, is how so many of theses businesses give back to the community.  Through the annual Memorial Day Duck Race and school auctions where merchants donate prizes and services to the Street Fairs and Girls’ Nights Out – the list could go on and on.

This week  it has been “Restaurant Week” in town.

Local restaurants aresupporting Rent Party Pantry, Inc. in its efforts to fight hunger locally so come on out that week and sample the quality, variety and hospitality of Maplewood’s restaurants and food purveyors for less AND help fight hunger on the local level.  

This tied in perfectly with a fundraiser at another one of my favorite businesses, Viva Z.  On the last Friday of every month, the owner holds a dance party.  All classes are free but you are asked to make a donation to the local charity she has chosen for the month.  Last month, it was for the local fire department.  Last night, was a collection for the local food pantry.

Maplewood Karate, encourages its students to give back as well.  Students earn blue charity stripes on their belt for donating food which is also donated to the local food pantry.

There is a saying, “It takes a village,” and Maplewood really proves that is true.  Things like this are happening all of the time here, demonstrating how important community is and how valuable it is to give back.  I think it is part of the charm that draws people to our town.  It certainly makes me want to stay!

Happy Day


I have been writing a lot about “the little things” lately.  Maybe it is because it is Summer.  I am relaxed and work is over for now, or maybe it is because Dave is back to work…but whatever it is, lately I just feel happy and that is a good thing.  We just celebrated our 20th Anniversary.  The kids are healthy and happy.  I love our little dog.  The plans for fixing up the house are starting to fall into place.  Despite our difficult year, we all seem to be moving on – even my dad and brother.  Today, I could not help but smile as a yellow butterfly circled around me no less than six times while I was taking Emmy Lou for a walk.  Whether or not it was trying to tell me something – it made me think of my mom and Francine and even though I miss them, it gave me more happy memories.

Tonight I am looking forward to meeting a group of girl friends for dinner.  I have not seen them in awhile.  We all went to high school together and live fairly locally, but like everyone else, our busy schedules get in the way so it has taken some time to get us together.  When I came across this quote this afternoon, I felt it was perfect to sum up my day.  Lots of little things have really made today a happy day.  I hope you are having one too!

Girls Night Out


Twice a year, my town holds a “Girls Night Out”, where the shops in the village stay open late and offer sales, restaurants have specials and friends meet up to shop, eat and mingle.  Tonight, was one of those nights.  A group of my friends had planned to get together and meet at one of the local restaurants.  The town was bursting with ladies this evening.  I am sure that the beautiful weather encouraged even more women to come out.  The group of women that I spent time with this evening included some that I know well, and others that I just met.  Sometimes those are my favorite types of nights out.  Mingling with different groups of people and finding similarities and links that could eventually form new friendships.

I have always loved my town.  I have lived here for almost my entire life.  Events like these, where so many people are out and about, and everyone knows each other, are one of my favorite parts of living here.  Just walking from the restaurant to my car, I stopped five times to talk to different people that I knew.  It makes me think of that old television show, CHEERS, “where everybody knows your name”.  It gives me such a sense of contentment.

It was so nice to see people out together, talking face to face and actually holding conversations.  In a world of social media, where texting, email and Facebook are so prevalent, it was great to see people, not hiding behind their phones, but actually having conversations with one another and enjoying it!  I admit that I am one of those people who always has my phone out.  I even used it tonight – but it was to show photos to the women I was with.  I did not even realize until I was walking to my car, that I had not heard from my husband, kids, dad… or anyone the entire time I was there…and I didn’t even miss it.



Earlier this week, my best friend Kelly sent me a text message, inviting Dave and myself to dinner on Friday night to celebrate my birthday.  The four of us rarely go out on Friday nights.  Mostly because of work and family commitments.  So at first, I was surprised, but when she told me we had to wait till 8:00, to give Andrew time to get home from work, and their babysitter time to get there, I didn’t think about it again.  I was looking forward to it all week.

Dave and I are known for being early to everything.  I despise being late and would rather sit outside and wait till the right time than show up late for something.  Kelly sent me a text and said they were actually running early…and that they’d be there closer to 7:45. “ Better for us”, I thought.

We got to the restaurant, a great little place that Dave had never been to, and walked in.  It was quite crowded and I told that hostess that we were meeting another couple, and would be four for dinner.   Then I heard, “SURPRISE”, looked over and a table, filled with friends was there, waiting for me.  Dave smiled sheepishly and giggled.  I was completely surprised.  Surprised to the point of tears.  Truly, overcome with emotion.  It wasn’t my 40th, or 45th, birthday, not a “big one” to celebrate but they all told me, that after the months I have been through recently, it was a good reason to celebrate.

Kelly had thought of friends from all different phases of my life.  My best friends from childhood, JoyLynn and Tricia who have been through their own emotional few months, (with their mom suffering a severe heart attack and going through extensive rehabilitation) were there.  Tracy and Nicole, wives of Dave’s friends since childhood, who are now some of my closest friends, were too.  My former next door neighbor Lisa, who I love and wish I saw more often, my cousins Jody and Lisa who I am so incredibly close with and Maureen and Lynn, teacher friends, neighborhood friends and simply just two of my closest friends were there as well.  My sister, who I know was a big part of this, could not be there, as she was still out of state attending the funeral of her father-in-law.

I don’t think I have ever been as completely surprised as I was last night.  Even at my bridal and baby showers, there was an inkling of something that was going to happen.  Some people might wonder if surprises are overrated.  Not me!! Walking into the restaurant and seeing all of these friends was just amazing.  I was speechless at the incredible outpouring of love from these women that I love so much, many who I see all of the time, who went to the trouble to plan and keep this secret from me, just to offer me a night that was finally just about me.  A night where I could focus on nothing else, but the love that they all have for me!  It was truly a night I will not forget and I thank them all with all of my heart.