Sunday, September 29, 2013


There is something about granola that gets me every time. I'm into the crunch. I rarely buy it pre-made because many brands pack their recipes with high fructose corn syrup and sugar. One exception to the rule is the granola made by Healing Home Foods which I discovered at Green & Tonic. The granola is made in small batches, is dairy and gluten free, and vegan. It's divine. The sweet nutty snack had me inspired to try my hand at a new homemade recipe. It's the perfect snack to make in big batches, keep in a jar on the counter, and grab on the go when you are running out the door without time for a proper meal. It's packed with protein and fiber. The semi-sweet chocolate chips make it ideal for those "must have chocolate" moments too. This recipe is so simple even the least culinary skilled among us could pull it off!

Peanut Butter Granola

3 cups instant oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1) Combine oats, flaxseed, peanut butter, coconut oil, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
2) Mix well until all oats are coated.
3) Stir in chocolate chips.
4) Spread mixture on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
5) Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until edged start to brown).
6) Allow to cool, break up big chunks, and chow down!

Pure Maple Syrup from our favorite farm in VT

Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil

Instant Oats

Guittard Chocolate Chips - My Guilty Pleasure

My Favorite Brand of Vanilla Extract

Flaxseed is a great add-in for cereals, baked goods, and smoothies!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Forever in Blue Jeans

Save the Date

Time to shop fall denim...
Wednesday, October 9th

Alcohol sponsored by Le Wine Shop
More informationto come

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dogg Day Afternoon

We all know giving is good. But I must admit that sometimes giving back can be a daunting task. How do we know that the cause we are giving back to is worth the investment? How can we be certain that the monies will get to those who deserve it? Well, one good way to take the guess work out of the give is to ally yourself with non-profits that do the research, build the bridges, and check up on the charities they give to. When I was pregnant with my first child I started Little Wings Foundation with all of those intentions. I am proud to say that Little Wings is still going strong - and I like to think - making a very purposeful impact on this big wild world within which we live. 

Another fantastic non-profit that is changing lives and giving back is the Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation. They too are building lasting relationships with solid non-profits that deserve their help. To date they have given more than $1 million to worthy charities. The non-profit was born from a heartbreaking tragedy. As we've said on The Sent in the past - when we face adversity we have the choice to crumble or climb up and out. AKDF was created as a family rose from the ashes of a devastating loss. They have worked hard to ensure that the all-too-short life of one special person was not taken in vain. I've seen what they do - and I can assure them that they have created quite a legacy. Well done!

Q&A with Nancy Eaves, Founder, Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation

What is the Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation and why was it established?

The Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation is a public foundation established to honor my brother Andrew’s enthusiasm for life and concern for others by helping less advantaged children. The Foundation provides scholarships and a broad range of extracurricular activities while encouraging young people to volunteer their time in support of the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation is of perpetual duration, and has 501c (3) charitable status.

After Andrew’s tragic death (he was one of four Yale students killed in a car accident on Jan 17th 2003) we wanted to create something good, meaningful and ongoing out of this horrible tragedy. We wanted Andrew’s name to outlast us. We wanted to spread his spirit.

Who was Andrew?

It's interesting to think about this ten years later, as I would have loved to see who Andrew grew up to be. The best way I can define Andrew is to say he was loved. You can read all the testimonials on the website, but Andrew attracted people to him. He was good-natured, happy go lucky, extremely loyal, and determined. He had amazing character and intellect, possessed a legendary dry wit, and a contagious joy for life. In addition to being loved, he appreciated life in return: friends, family, a great prank, creative themed parties, intelligence, golf, sports stats and, of course, his sports teams. As a child, Elly (my sister) and I coined him the “golden child” as the sun seemed to shine down on him and he basked in it. We couldn’t blame him; we adored him too.

Ten years later, we all still see all Andrew’s best friends frequently. A group of Hotchkiss guys (and now wives and babies) come stay with us every year in Fishers Island over Labor Day. This is a testament to Andrew and the friends he attracted. At his memorial service, six friends introduced themselves as Andrew’s best friend. Elly and I have both named our three sons after him – Andrew would have loved that. He used to laugh about George Foreman naming his five sons George and theorize about ways he could do the same. I picture him laughing knowing there is a little Andrew, Knox and Dwyer romping around. Andrew was loved.

Why did your family start Dogg Day?

“Dogg” was Andrew’s high school nickname. (There is a testimonial on the website explaining its origins). After Andrew’s passing, we decided to start the Foundation. I’m not sure who came up with the idea of DoggDay, but we wanted it to be our big fundraiser for the charity. The first year was at our old house in Bedford and had over 300 people. It has since moved to the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club. We want it to be a fun family day, where friends can compete playing tennis and golf (two sports Andrew loved) and then have a great family party at night. Obviously, our goal is to raise as much money as possible to give away to our amazing causes. This year the event takes place on Friday, October 4th. Golf and tennis during the day and a fun party that night! Tickets can be bought on the site here

What kind of a person was Andrew and why do you think he would love this cause?

Above all, Andrew was kind. He loved helping others. I know he would have loved giving kids opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Our value proposition as a Foundation is that our trustees are very involved in the charities we support. We actively work with/volunteer at the charities we support to watch how our money is spent. For example, we founded and maintain the Lacrosse program at East Harlem School. We pay for buses, uniforms, field time, and hired a new coach (one of our trustees found him). We organize an annual trip to Hotchkiss School every year with the EHS kids, our committee members and trustees (former college lacrosse players). We  volunteer at the school, and one of our trustees has been elected to the EHS board. My Mom has worked at Waterside School (and also a board member) for the last ten years, and we started their swimming program. I know Andrew would be so proud of all we’ve accomplished. I know he would be so touched by how many of his friends have taken active leadership roles and made a huge difference in children’s lives.

Can you share with us one or two of the most rewarding things AKDF has done in the last 10 years? What is your hope for the non-profit's future?

AKDF currently support 14 scholarships, 2 internships, 2 athletic programs, and has donated over one million dollars to children-in-need. I’m so proud of every child we've supported and what they’ve gone on to accomplish. We’ve made a difference in so many young people’s lives.

We hope that AKDF can continue to grow, identify amazing causes and to help children who wouldn’t otherwise have these opportunities. Its incredibly rewarding and I’m floored by the ongoing generosity of family and friends. The core of our inspiration has always been and will forever be Andrew and the impact he had on all of our lives. Our donors are the heart of our ability to carry on Andrew’s legacy, and we are humbled by the amazing support we have received over the last ten years.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mommy: A Memoir

Once upon a time there was a mommy who was very tired on Sunday because she had a big weekend. Sadly that mommy's husband had to leave for a 4 day business trip that very same night at 7:30pm. That was unfortunate. 

On Monday morning when that mommy woke up with her two children at 6:30am for two different school drop offs Kid 1 was sick with a sore throat. That was unfortunate too. Even though Kid 2 was not sick she was still very cranky from such a long weekend. A lot of whining was done. A real lot. Then Kid 2 was dropped at school. Errands were run and Kid 1 tagged along and played copious amounts of games on Mommy's iPhone. For some reason staring at an iPhone for hours on end seemed to make Kid 1 even more cranky and whiny. Go figure.  

After a morning at school Kid 2 was dropped at ballet and mommy's friend savior offered to bring her home so Kid 1 could avoid spending her 4th hour of the day plugged into digital technology. Phew. Kid 1 dodged a major bullet there. 

On the way home popsicles were bought and Kid 1 was brought home. Kid 2 soon followed thanks to "the savior". Then both Kid 1 and Kid 2 settled in to the sofa to watch a cartoon. (More technology? This mommy sucks.) Kid 2 soon fell asleep and mommy snapped a picture because it was so darn cute to see her sleeping on the sofa. Kid 1 wandered upstairs to "unplug" for a bit. Mommy turned to email to catch up on new job correspondence that had to be replied to. (At this point Mommy sounds like a big slacker but she's not. I swear. She's not.)

Mommy was pulled away from her correspondence when Kid 2 started crying from the sofa. Mommy asked Kid 2 if she needed to use the potty and Kid 2 said "no" but kept crying. Mommy headed over to give her a pat on the back and realized Kid 2 did not need to use the potty because the sofa had functioned as the potty. In fact - two sections of the sofa had functioned as her potty. This was a big bummer for Mommy. Kid 2 was still crying and at this point Mommy felt like crying too. (Silly Mommy. Mommies don't have time for crying.) Instead of crying Mommy bathed Kid 2 and put fresh clothes on her. She then peeled apart the sofa cushions and began hosing/washing all the different elements down. Post clean up Mommy and Kids headed out for a walk since they all seemed to be feeling a little stir-crazy... 

(Gosh this story is getting long. Sorry.) 

After returning - dinner was made and NOT eaten by Kid 1 and Kid 2. Baths were then given and bedtime should have followed soon after. (I think you all know this is not that kind of story.) Teeth were brushed, kids were tucked in, and stories were NOT read as punishment for all the whining. Mommy then made the bad choice of deciding to take a shower. As soon as conditioner had been administered Mommy heard bloodcurdling screams coming from Kid 1. Mommy jumped out of the shower, nearly broke a leg as she staggered down the hall soaking wet, and found Kid 1 in bed with a major nose bleed. Damn it. Mommy realized blood was on sheets, pillows, duvet (cover is still yet to be bought), and even the bed railing. Awesome. Kid 1 was crying. Mommy then said to Kid 2 (who is 3 years old mind you) "Why didn't you come get me?" (Great question Mommy. Very age appropriate.) Kid 2 was told to go to sleep. Kid 1 was bathed again and put back to bed in the guest room (the one with the nice sheets).

Mommy started doing the first of many loads of laundry and was once again interrupted by bloodcurdling screams. She ran to find Kid 1 had now thrown up in the middle of the guest room bed (that same one with the nice sheets). Mommy started to laugh and then held it in when she realized how upset Kid 1 was. Kid 1 was then bathed for the third time that night and Mommy set out to remake the bed that had been soiled by the aforementioned nosebleed. Kid 1 was put back to bed, for the third time, and Mommy was back to laundry. Sheets, duvet, duvet cover, and 5 different sized pillow cases were tagged by the vomit. (That's a lot of washing.) And that's when mommy realized she had a soar throat too. Not a surprise. Poor Mommy. 

* Thank goodness Daddy never called that evening because Mommy probably wouldn't have spoken very nicely to him if he had called. Daddy really did dodge quite a few bullets in this story...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What I'm Reading Now...

Yeah. Wake up and be awesome. I am certainly going to try. Here are the best of what I've been reading on the web. Enjoy!  

Have you been to Whole Foods? Really been to Whole Foods? This comedian's assessment of the "WF Experience" is brilliantly funny...

A recipe shared by one of my children's teacher. Can't wait to serve it up this fall and winter!

What do you tell people you do? This short post made me think about how I describe what I do.

The perfect hair accessories can be found here... Get ready to DIY!

Remember these Sophie Webster shoes I blogged about back in January? I can't even imagine what she will create when she teams up with Jcrew this fall. They will be here in early 2014. Yee-haw!

Ooh. La. La. Sometimes that is all you need to say.

Make-up made easy! Try these tips now.

Decorating your home? Not without these handy apps!

Are your habits making you happy? This article is brilliant. It's a mouthful but so wise and true. Take your time. Read it. Assess. Get happy.

God I wish I knew how to surf. Or at least shoot amazing photos like these of surfers....

Six simple words. One massive impact. This article has changed me. I know it. 

You are only seven ingredients away from amazing cinnamon rolls.

This dance routine made my heart ache a little. I'm a sucker for a love triangle. And this one made me want to jump through the screen and say "WHAT?!" So good. So very good. 

Grilled brussel sprouts and beer-infused cheese? Holy smokes! Find the recipe here

Skip to the bottom of this post for a list of some GREAT face products. Note she's considered to be a real pro and we use the very same eyebrow gel and Jurlique cleanser. Ah yeah.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Move On: A Series on Wellness

No point in holding on to the past if the past ain't working. I have always been one for reinvention. A lot of people say, "I'm not the exercise type." Or "I just don't have time to work out." I myself am guilty of uttering both. But here's the thing - we owe it to ourselves to find out what is our type of workout and to get moving. You can pay to renovate a run down home. A tailor can sew patches onto clothes with holes. But our health is the one thing we cannot buy back once it is in decline. 

Over the next few weeks I am excited to explore the realm of wellness. Each week we will be discussing the things that are out there - opportunities to bring us closer to a life of balance and good health. I want to think about what we do to increase our strength, while also quieting the constant buzz within our minds.  For some it is a cleanse or healthy diet. For others it is upping the ante on the workout front. For me the answer is yoga. For others it is running. And then there is SPIN. 

It's the exercise trend that's sweeping the nation people. My mom swears by it. My friends adore it. I have tried it many times and holy smokes is it a workout! It's all about getting your blood pumping, your pores sweating, and your heart pounding. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. The instructors may push you farther and harder than you're usually comfortable with but I think we have already admitted that sometimes we all need an extra little push. We need that nudge that gets us outside of the box. Get out there and get spinning. You're heart will thank you later. Flywheel, one of spins biggest success stories, is sweeping the nation so be sure to click here to find a location near you.  

Q & A with Jay Galluzzo, CEO and Co-Founder of Flywheel

Tell me a little about your work background and exercise history? 

I have always been passionate about fitness – from team sports to surfing to running marathons. As I started getting older, I began to look for a form of exercise that was low impact on my knees but also allowed me to push myself. As soon as I began indoor cycling, I was hooked.

What finally pushed you to leave a career in law and to start your own franchise?

After years of working in law, corporate management and private equity, I wanted to start a consumer-facing storefront project. As an avid workout enthusiast, the concept of the “next generation” of indoor cycling spoke to me. We knew that incorporating our innovative on-bike and in-studio technology would place Flywheel Sports on the forefront of cycling studios nationwide. Additionally, my business partner and I sought out fitness industry icon Ruth Zukerman very early on as we knew she would be the perfect person to develop the concept, method and culture, and be the “face” of the brand.

What is Flywheel?

Flywheel indoor cycling classes deliver an intense cardio experience in a welcoming and energetic environment. This unique, full-body workout includes challenging intervals, climbs and descents, as well as an upper body workout with weighted bars to provide optimal results in 45 or 60 minutes. Our classes are led by passionate, world-class instructors. Today, Flywheel Sports has opened 20 + studios nationwide, tapping key cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia as well as an international studio in Dubai. Flywheel will be opening seven additional studios in the fall, including a new studio in Boston.

In addition to Flywheel classes, many of our studios offer FlyBarre, a 60-minute body sculpting class that blends the best of circuit training, yoga, dance, Pilates, strength building and stretching. FlyBarre, is the perfect complement to our indoor cycling classes.

How is it different than a traditional spin class at any other gym?

From our interactive technology to curated playlists by our in-house DJ, Flywheel offers an unparalleled indoor cycling experience from the moment you step into any of our studios. All Flywheel studios are darkly lit for comfort and feature stadium-style seating so that all of our riders have an unobstructed view of the instructor - every seat is the best seat. We offer all riders unprecedented amenities including complimentary indoor cycling shoes, towels and Bliss hair and body products.

Flywheel proprietary bikes and custom performance tracking technology have set the benchmark in the indoor cycling world. This technology allows riders to accurately view their resistance (Torq), speed (RPM) and energy exerted. In addition riders can also compete with one another by having their name displayed on TorqBoards, large flat screen displays at the front of every studio that show class leaders. After each ride, comprehensive performance data is stored and made available to riders on their “My Performance Page” at, facilitating individual goal setting and additional performance tracking.

How often should someone take classes? And how will it change your body?

Flywheel is for everyone – we have some riders specifically looking to lose weight and others who have made Flywheel a lifestyle, attending classes daily. You’ll burn a ton of calories, between 500-700 calories and by taking several classes a week, you’ll feel and see yourself growing stronger and leaner quickly. It is this incentive, as well as our amazing and supportive community, that keeps our clients constantly coming back for more, myself included.

What is the toughest thing about owning your own company?

It’s hard to “turn off.” There is always something to work on – whether it be explaining new workouts, refining the experience, or reviewing customer feedback. The whole team is passionate to the point of fanaticism, and we work hard. We always have to remind ourselves, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Definite Ace

Cancer kills. It causes pain. And sadly it can be genetic. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose a parent to cancer and live with the fear that you could face the same fate. You can let that fear paralyze you or you can take it, look it in the face, and say you will battle it. Good things come about when fear is battled and beaten. The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is one of those things. 

Marjorie Pastel lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 1998. Since watching her mom battle this awful disease she has been committed to raising money for research and awareness. Research might some day bring about a cure and awareness means more people will find the disease and treat it before it is fatal. 

Q&A with Marjorie Pastel - Founder, Wall Street Tennis Challenge

What is the Wall Street Tennis Challenge?

This year’s Wall Street Tennis Challenge will be held on Saturday, September 21st. During the day, some of Wall Street’s finest tennis players will compete at the Field Club of Greenwich in a round robin tournament. The two top teams will play in the Wall Street Tennis Challenge during the evening at the Greenwich Country Club. The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an exhibition match and the Wall Street Tennis Challenge doubles final. Guests are invited to enjoy cocktails while cheering on the two top teams as they battle it out. The match is followed by a fun and festive party including dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing.

What is the cause? 

All of the proceeds raised from the event will benefit the National Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program (NOCEDP) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading institutions in identifying and implementing the most advanced screening methods for ovarian cancer prevention and early detection. The NOCEDP was established in 1999 by its director, Dr. David Fishman, an internationally recognized gynecologic oncologist. Since there are no common symptoms and no proven tests, most women continue to be diagnosed when the disease has reached advanced stages and survival rates are poor. Early detection would be one of the greatest breakthroughs in women’s healthcare since it increases the survival rate to over 90%. The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support Mount Sinai’s efforts while spreading awareness about the early detection and screening procedures currently available to women.

Why is it so important to you, the founder of this event? How has cancer affected your life?

My mom, Bette Drymer Shapiro, was my very best friend. She was a talented artist and the most loving and gentle person I have ever known. I feel grateful every day for the relationship that we had. For six years I watched my mom battle ovarian cancer. Her struggle and strength inspired me to create the Wall Street Tennis Challenge where all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research and early detection. She was the inspiration for the entire event! I am proud to honor her and couldn't pull this off without the support and help of many other amazing women. 
None of this would be possible without my four co-chairs - Lori Zych, Kristina Gabelli, Jen Morris and Melissa Hawks. They are incredible!

What makes your event different than others?
It is different because guests come to watch some of the best tennis in New England! We have several former pros and great local players participating. This year we will be joined by former tennis professional, Jimmy Arias. Jimmy Arias was a tennis prodigy who turned pro at age 16 in 1980. His career high ranking was No. 5 in the world in 1984. He won the 1982 French Open Mixed Doubles Championship with former World No. 2 player Andrea Jaeger. He currently serves as a commentator for ESPN International and the Tennis Channel.

How can people attend, donate, or help the cause?
We have a limited number of tickets left so visit our site and buy them now! Tickets can be bought here. If you are unable to attend we are thrilled with any donation big or small for this very important cause.

Over here at The Sentimentalist we think this event is a total ace. Here's to facing challenges head on  - both on the court and off. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Face Time

Face Time

With a new school year upon us Mama has to make sure she gets her face on in time for carpool. I keep it very simple during the day. Elixir, BB Cream, under-eye concealer, chubby stick, and blush. For nighttime I like to jazz it up a little bit more while still sticking to a program that is natural looking and consistent. Here are my go to products for fall. 

1) Clinique Chubby Stick in Ample Amber
  • Swipes on in 2.2 seconds. No brush required. Perfect in the crease and smudged down to the lashes.
2) Stila BB Cream 
  • A hint of color. Broad Spectrum spf. Not too heavy. Not too light. Just right. 
  • I never ever ever leave the house without this on. Guilty as charged. No baggage for this girl! 
  • Kissable lips - great price. I also dab it around my eyes at night for extra moisture. 
5) Nars Blush in Orgasm
  • Don't we all want a little orgasm in our lives? This blush is a mainstay of all make-up gurus.
6) Maybelline SuperStay 10 in Berry Heavenly
  • For those days when simple gloss isn't enough. This is for when you want people to think you don't take yourself too seriously. 
7) Caudalie Beauty Elixir
  • Every, and I mean every, beauty blogger out there swears by this product. It lives up to the hype. Spritz before putting on your face cream.
  • Gets those creepers in line. No messy brows on this girl any more.
9) Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Buff
  • Stole it from my best friend late one night at a keg party. Have been buying it ever since.
10) Mac Shadow in Vanilla and Saddle
  • Saddle goes in the crease and Vanilla is for just under the brow. They're a great combo.
11) Shiseido Eyelash Curler
  • It's all the professional make-up artists use. Enough said. 
12) Laura Mercier Shadow in Gold Dust
  • Gives eyes that va-va-voom! I use it just above the lash line all the way from the inner to outer corner. 
13) Laura Mercier Cake Liner in Mahogany Brown
  • I've never been able to master eye pencils. One too many "Agh! I stabbed myself in the eye and now I will be a drippy teary mess all night long!" moments. For years I have used cake liner and a brush. Easier and safer. 
14) CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara
  • There are cooler mascaras out there. There are more expensive mascaras out there. I'm loyal to this one because it's been loyal to me. It refuses to run. I like that.
15) DiorShow Brow Styler
  • Perfect for almost any color brow. It's an easy fix for brows that are between maintenance.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Favorite Fall Bootie

Favorite Fall Boot

The wedge's moment seems to have passed. Stilettos are wholly inappropriate for kicking around town. This small chunky heel on the other hand is ideal. Brownish-grey is showing up all over the editorial world - and on the feet is no exception. I adore everything Isabel Marant does but $650 for a boot that will likely spend the winter months sloshing through the sleet and snow seems impractical. The Madewell boot has that same cowgirl meets hipster appeal for 1/3 of the price. She'll be perfect with skinny jeans and a fisherman's sweater as soon as the temperature start to drop. 

{Madewell Boot here, and Isabel Marant Boot here}

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Sometimes a deep hole is chiseled into our hearts. A hole that is filled with anguish, sadness, fear, and very deep grief. The hole remains. We ruminate and ponder - seeking answers. Eventually we cover the surface to protect the wound and allow it to heal. The hole underneath remains. The outer space is covered and protected but under the surface bubble the memories, sadness, love, and fear. We are changed, perhaps stronger and wiser and deeper, but the hole remains. Today on the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks we honor what remains. 

On that crystal clear fall morning 12 years ago almost all of us were touched by the enormous tragedy of 9-11. Fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters were lost. Friends disappeared, never to be heard from again. Husbands perished without even a brief goodbye to the wives and children they left behind. That event, that day, changed us all. If ever there was a painfully unbearable silver lining - dare we call it such a thing - it was the love, courage, strength and compassion that came after that terrible day. We, as a people, rose up from the ashes and rebuilt. We gingerly covered holes and allowed new life to burst through the young soil on the surface.

A very dear friend was profoundly affected by the attacks. Their small family was forever changed by that fateful day. And yet - they have gone on. Gone on to honor the one they lost. Gone on to love deeply despite the knowledge that even if we love fiercely we are never fully safe from evil in this world. They've gone on to bring joy and inspiration to those around them. They have built atop the new soil - life blooms from their strong hearts and ceaseless faith. They are my heroes. 

In their honor I ask that you tune in here and watch a dance - done by many - but one in particular in her father's honor. I think it will fill a small space in your heart with love. And that is the point after tragedy. To honor the emptiness left behind while also slowly - day by day - refilling it with love. 

Here in our town - we too shine a light on those lost. I look forward to learning more about the September 11th Greenwich Memorial. In the fall of 2014 it will be completed, a beacon in our midst, honoring the 29 members of our community who were lost on that unforgettable day.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Up Up and Away!

Of all the fall events - The Greenwich Land Trust's Go Wild! family field day is my absolute favorite. It's an afternoon for children of all ages hosted at the stunning polo fields at Conyers Farm. Families have a chance to enjoy food and drinks from a variety of vendors, pony rides, a mechanical bull, petting zoos, face painting, hot air balloons, and a whole host of other fun activities. I look forward to this weekend every year - the chilly autumn air, tugging on boots that have sat dormant all summer long, grabbing my first fall apple, and wandering the polo fields with family and friends.  

In full disclosure I am co-chairing this year's event. I know I talk a lot about mindfully saying "no" on this blog, but I can honestly tell you I was thrilled to say "yes" to taking on this task. I really respect the work that The Greenwich Land Trust does. They own roughly 737 acres of both land and land rights (conservation easements) in every part of Greenwich, from tidal marshes in the Long Island Sound to the woodlands of the backcountry. They are keeping our land beautiful and healthy. That matters to me. I want to know there will be open spaces left for children to enjoy for years to come. The GLT receives no funding from the Town of Greenwich. All funds are raised from private donations and this fund-raiser so please come out and support this wonderful cause! Even if you don't live here in Greenwich - it is well worth making the trek because kids truly love the activities and food. It's a not-to-be-missed event!

This year we have some fantastic new additions. We're thrilled to have the Skinny Pines brick-oven pizza truck turning out piping hot pizza by the slice, Garden Catering serving their town-renowned chicken nuggets and potato cones, and Mike's Organic delivering bushels of fresh picked apples. Scott Kazan, "The Balloon Man", will be there handing out personalized keepsakes, and we've brought in a 4-person Bungee Trampoline. Holy smokes will it be fun!

The Bungee Trampoline

Tickets can be bought here and information about our fabulous raffle items can be found here. There is no auction at the event but the 6 prizes (including a trip to Tryall Club in Jamaica) will be raffled off before the event is over. 

Food, cocktails, animals, games, music, fun. What could be better on a Sunday afternoon? See you there!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Going once, going twice... SOLD!

I've never considered myself to be a gambling lady but our trip to a private back yard auction while in VT had me wondering if all this time I have been wrong... I arrived skeptical and left a believer. I got the fever! 

The day before the big event we previewed rows and rows of furniture, clothing, tableware, and art. I felt certain that the things we liked would go for well outside of our budget but we decided to stay the course and return the next day. I took a seat in the crowd and it wasn't until the auctioneer started his act that I felt the need to get involved. You get someone up on stage yelling things out, a handful of people in the crowd waving their arms, and it is game on.

We started out responsibly - bidding on things we had been interested in the day before. These two chairs (upholstered in the same fabric but slightly different shapes) were our first purchase. Some new fabric, a good re-upholstery job, and one will be perfect in the empty corner of our guest room. At the price we got them for - the second one was just gravy.

Chairs and Ottomans = $90

And then we veered to the more frivolous side of things. This dollhouse had the girls drooling at hello. I myself had been to "The Enchanted Dollhouse" in Greenwich many times and was blown away by the price tags when buying one new. I had a feeling that this old lady - with her strong bone structure and fine details - had a lot of potential. Not to mention she came with 3 boxes of incredible furniture and dollhouse figurines. Each window was dressed with miniature window treatments, chandeliers (that really worked) were hung in each room, one of the walls was hand painted, and others were covered in beautiful wallpaper. We couldn't help it. We wanted her. And we won her.

Dollhouse and Furniture = $300

Such a Sweet Little Bannister

And then John left me to my own devices while he dealt with dollhouse details. Big mistake John. This is when the wheels fell off the tracks. I bought beds. We didn't need them but the price was so low... It felt so good raising that paddle... I had lost all control. Truthfully the person bidding against me was just pissing me off and I wanted to win. It was over before I knew it and we had new beds. And then John returned to rein me in. "You bought what?" he said. "Yeah, beds." I said. "For what room?" he said. "I don't know." I said. It was weird. And then thankfully we got home and realized they actually weren't too tall for the slanted ceiling in the girls' room. By 1 inch. Phew. I think they add a lot to the space. Don't you? 

Bed Frames  = $180

Next up - Barbiepalooza!! This "Lot" was by far the most interesting. There is very little I need to explain except that I can safely say that our daughters have been bitten very badly by the Barbie Bug. This collection is pure retro. The outfits. The perky little boobs. The fluffy blunt-cut bangs. The American Airlines travel bag for Stewardess Barbie. Can I get a what what?!? This win made us all happy. And yes the girls have been playing with them day and night since the auction.

Barbies and Clothes = $80

And then I realized you could get a little funky at a live auction in a back yard in VT. We decided to go rogue at this point and build our own lots. "Building your own lot" entails picking up all sorts of things you are interested in, putting them in one box, and asking the auctioneers to put them up next. I found a big 'ol pile of shoes and started to "pick". I knew God had me at this auction for a reason when I realized they were all my size. Oh, The Ferragamos. 10 PAIRS! I snatched them all and I also threw in 2 pairs of golf shoes, 1 pair of duck boots, 1 pair of snow boots, and 2 pairs of slippers for good measure. John added a big lobster pot because we needed one. And it was there. And the auctioneer thought the combo of shoes and a lobster pot was bizarre. I was glad the crowd got a good laugh out of our lot. 

Shoes and Lobster Pot (not shown) = $85

* Oddly enough it was only after I bid on, won the box of shoes, and went home to inspect them that I realized half the shoes were size 6 and half the shoes were size 6.5. Maybe God wanted to make sure I kept my feet on the ground (pun intended) and didn't get too greedy. I hear ya God and I am grateful for even one pair of these vintage Ferragamos in a size 6.5. Yup. I have issues with shoes. I'm seeking help.

I was feeling pretty confident with my skills by this point in the afternoon - we had literally been there for almost 4 hours. So I figured I would go for the gold. We have wedding china. I adore it. It's expensive. And it keeps getting more expensive each year. That's what happens with inflation. Duh. We have the basics but I fear the serving pieces will never be bought. BUT I found a GORGEOUS set of Limoges china at the auction with an abundance of serving pieces. And it matches (in an un-matchy way) with our set. Yahoo!  

150 Piece Limoges China Set = $160

The last lot was purely just me being slap-happy. I found a parrot here, a few limoges pillboxes there. Two interesting little plates here, and British Beatrix Potter figurines there. All very sweet and somewhat useless at the same time. Ha. That's what you get for taking me to the auction...

Figurines, Pillboxes (not photographed), and Plates = $60

So during our vacation in VT we kind of gambled and dare I say - won? While wandering amongst the goods the girls made friends with the other kids who were also milling about the property. It was a real throw-back to days gone by. No tech gadgets - just a day as a family at a back yard auction. And we left feeling like real winners. Gosh I love VT. Good things happen there. Almost all the time. 

The Girls (Em's in the car), Their New Friends, and Our New Dollhouse

* We drove home with the dollhouse hanging out of the car. It was funny.