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Beach Etiquette Basics

Being at the beach is like sitting on a Hollywood movie set, there are A LOT of characters on scene. To your right is a bunch of college students ready to surf and party. To your left is a family of five with a colossal pile of toy sea creatures, buckets and diapers. In front of you is a retired couple with their summer reads and gigantic umbrella to shield them from the sun. In back of you are a group of girls that remind you of the ones you graduated high school with in their itty-bitty bathing suits, selfie sticks and boyfriend drama. And then there is you and your crew with your own personal stories and beach agendas. No matter what part of the script you fall into many of us bury our beach manners in the sand. From rocking out too hard to leaving a pile of garbage behind, don’t forget every beach bum has one mission in mind, to kick back and relax, BUT we should never forget to respect! Here’s a list of need to know etiquette basics when sitting at the shore.

Don’t play your music too loud.
From hip-hop to soft rock keep your tunes at a moderate volume. Your neighbors may prefer lying in the sun in silence instead of listening to Broadway songs on shuffle.

Keep your PDA and bad language at bay.
Otherwise, earmuffs and blindfolds may become a beach bag essential.

Throwing a frisbee is fun, until it whizzes by another beach goers blanket or worse…their heads.
Best to keep your catches away from the crowds.

Eating sand is as appetizing as it sounds.
Obviously, you can’t be such a stickler if someone gets sand in your space, but watching where you walk will help eliminate messing up another neighbors resting place.

Attention those who litter and think no one is looking…someone is always watching.
Of course, we have all made the mistake at least once, but no one wants trash left by their towel or in between their toes. Please throw out your food, wrappers and gum.

Drinking too much can provide a negative outdoor experience for all parties.
None of us adults need to be reminded about the consequences of consuming too much alcohol, but doing your business in moderation is probably best especially when there are young families around.

We all love to people watch, but most of us have also been watched.
Keep your jokes about the drunk dad dancing to Elvis and eye rolls at the stranger prancing around in a neon sequin string bikini on the down low. It’s never nice to stare or shame others. By the way you never know if the person next to you got the same swimsuit on sale.

Be polite.
It sounds easy, but there are times we have to remind ourselves to say excuse me, please and thank you, even when we are competing to claim the best spot on the beach.



Parenting Tips From The Pearsons

Raising kids is super hard, but the Pearson’s make it look so incredibly easy. At this point, you may be asking yourself one of three questions, “Who are the Pearsons?” “Do they do house calls?” Or “Is she talking about Rebecca and Jack Pearson from the hit show, This is Us?”

Ding, ding, ding! Thankfully, creator Dan Fogelman (a Jersey man himself), has managed to create two perfectly imperfect fictional characters that have all the ideal techniques to raising children in today’s homes. Yes, I know it’s just make believe, but somehow their troubles and triumphs as a family are eerily relatable to modern parenting with the exception of Mandy Moore’s beauty pageant looks and Milo Ventimiglia’s irresistible yet rarely attainable Dad bod. From dealing with serious topics like race, gender issues, and weight struggles to everyday family drama such as sibling rivalry, school grades and teen love these are the top Pearson parenting tips we can all apply in our real family life.

Honor Your Child’s Feelings:
How many times have you had a terrible morning, a busy work schedule or in desperate need of a lazy day at exactly the same time your daughter is suffering from her own life crisis. Most likely, you dismiss it as growing pains and go about dealing with your adult problems. When Jack and Rebecca’s slightly overweight 8-year old daughter, Kate, becomes body conscious of her figure at the neighborhood swim club, her father knows exactly how to drop everything and tend to her hurt feelings. He introduces the “magic t-shirt.” He tells her, “When you wear it your enemies will see you as you want to be seen.” Kate believed her father and chose for her enemies to see her as a princess, but that wasn’t even the best part or biggest lesson for me. After she covered herself he reassured her, “Daddy already sees you that way without the shirt.”

Treat Your Spouse Like A Legend
Spoiler Alert – ALL Married Couples Fight!
A lot of us even criticize our better half in front of friends and family without even realizing it. But praising your significant other in private or public situations creates a stronger bond within the entire family. For example, little deeds such as exchanging love notes, presents, or powerful affirmations let the family know you are team that can’t be ripped apart. Rebecca Pearson’s words to her son Randall speak straight from a protective mother and wife’s heart, “Our marriage wasn’t perfect, it’s true. But none are. Your father wasn’t perfect either, but he was pretty damn close. As close as they come.”

Following Tradition Isn’t Always The Answer.
For those who don’t know the back story of This Is Us, here is your quick recap. Two parents are expecting a family of triplets on the dad-to-be’s birthday. Unfortunately, one baby is lost during childbirth and the parents adopt a baby boy on the same day of delivery, dubbing their blended family as the “Big Three.” Since day one, the “Big Three” weren’t raised traditionally, but individually. Each child looked very different, enjoyed different hobbies and had different personalities. Instead of creating cookie cutter kids the parents pay attention to each child’s cues and deal with each situation in a unique fashion. “There’s no lemon…so sour…that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.” If only the doctor who delivered my kids passed on these words of wisdom to me.

Honesty Isn’t A Character Flaw.
We all have baggage. Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, your neighbor’s dog, but admitting your issues is better than covering them up. Obviously, parents don’t need to tell their children EVERYTHING, but sometimes revealing your weaknesses makes you the biggest hero of all.

Thank you Pearsons for the family therapy.

*Originally Published in March Issue of Community Magazine NJ

He Said What??

imageOne of the biggest payoffs of having kids…their political incorrectness. I took my 4-yr-old to the bookstore. Instead of being focused on the legendary “Purple Rain” performer, he blurted out what most of us were thinking, but couldn’t say. “Mom, is this book about armpit hair?”

What’s the funniest quotes your kids have ever said?

This Mom Is Exhausted From Co-Sleeping

10 Reasons I Want To Tell My Kids to Get Out of My Bed…and it has absolutely nothing to do with what the experts say.

1. Mommy really needs to talk to daddy (wink, wink).
2. Mommy wants to watch bad reality TV without feeling guilty (and a bit embarrassed).
3. I want to read a book without someone looking over my shoulder asking, “What does M-U-R-D-E-R spell?
4. You no longer need my boob or bottle. We can schedule bonding time in the daytime (preferably 7:30 am to 7:30 pm).
5. I want to put my anti-aging lotion on my face without being interrogated with questions like, “Can’t you just use water to wash those dark spots off your face?” “Will this sticky stuff take out the big crinkle in between your eyes?” “Mom, does this really work?”
6. Mommy doesn’t like to freeze while you are sound asleep like a tightly wrapped sushi roll in MY sheets and blanket.
7. I want to speak freely on the phone, shop online or do stomach crunches without being interrupted by you handing me your boogers because you’re too tired to grab a tissue.
8. Mommy wants to have a fucking fattening, sugary snack and doesn’t want to share it.
9. Mommy loves you but is exhausted nursing her fat lip from being kicked in the face due to your involuntarily stretches and accidental backhands.
10. I want peace. I don’t want to discipline, talk, yell or negotiate. I just want complete silence. Even if it’s only for a few hours…minutes…seconds…”Oh, hi pumpkin. I was just keeping your spot warm.”

10 Moms You Are Guaranteed To Run Into This Weekend

The Close Talker: This is the mom who always lures you in closer and closer to her personal space. Not to get verification on how well or bad her breath smells, but wants to make the two of you feel like you are in a more intimate situation where she can deliver some scandalous gossip. She really just wants to tell you that she has a special coupon to get half off your single purchase, but shhhh!

The One Who Can Never Remember Your Name: This is my favorite mom in the whole wide world. You’ve seen her 50 times at school events, she’s invited your children to birthday parties, she’s even half-smiled at you when you held the door open for her once. However, you can be standing in line right next to her at the coffee shop and she won’t even flinch when she recognizes you…Um you think she saw you right?

The Busy Mom Who Is Always Busier Than You: She’ll give you her entire itinerary for the weekend that takes up 10 minutes of your valuable shopping time at the grocery store and then when she asks you what your plans are she doesn’t wait for an answer and tells you she’s just to busy to chat.

The Texter: You’ll never hear her utter a word to you in person. But she’ll randomly text to ask you a question about something insignificant. For example, what time does soccer practice start?

The Know-It-All: For Realz…from the hottest restaurants to eat at to the newest toy your child should own right now- to having a holistic doctor’s number on speed dial to look at your kids rash. She has all the answers. It may make you angry (and a little jealous), but you want her in your circle.

The Complainer: It’s been a while since you’ve seen her, but she’s talking about her lower back pain again! You don’t even remember asking this time or last time.

The Competitor: She is not coy about her agenda. Her first question is, “Is your son talking yet? How many words? Is he potty trained? Does he know all the words to Adam Levine’s Animal, like my little star?”  Enough said!

The Religious Mom: She’s the sweetest most approachable friend who just like some well-known celebrities at award shows always thanks God first for granting her this wonderful life. Then screams, “damn” because she can’t find he car keys.

The Nodder: Probably my second favorite mom. Your conversations are usually kept very short and simple. You get so self-conscious that you start talking about generic stuff like the weather. She offers no feedback except a quick nod to let you know she is half listening, but really she could give absolutely two shits about what you have to say and then excuses herself once her “mom” calls on her cell phone. Sure it’s her mom!

The Apologizer: This scenario usually plays out the same exact way every time you see “Miss Full of Excuses.” Here is how the conversation goes:

You: Hi.
Apologizer: I’m so sorry I haven’t been in touch.
You: That’s ok we’ve both been busy.
Apologizer: I just feel bad that life gets in the way of being more social.
You: No worries. We’ll catch up when we have the time.
Apologizer: Definitely. I’m sorry if it takes me some time to reach out.
You: No rush.
You walk away. Your phone gets a text.
Apologizer: Sorry for running so soon. Kids making me so frazzled. Truly sorry.

Next week, I’ll give you the next 10 mommy friends you will love, avoid or cringe seeing, but guess what friends, there’s no denying we fall into at least one of these categories. Have a great weekend

Seven Names I Like To Call My Mother-In-Law…

Just like an ambiguous fine piece of art a mother-in-law is worth a thousand words. However the words applied vary based on circumstance, comfort level, situation and let’s just say lots of patience and a killer sense of humor.  When I think about my kids nanny, a.k.a their Grammy, a.k.a my husband’s doting mother a.k.a my “you’re lucky to have me” mother-in-law I would like to share a few words I tend to think about her.

The Rotator: On a bi-weekly basis, after I do the laundry, she reminds me to rotate the family’s underwear and socks to avoid wearing the same pair.

The Advisor: Fortunately and unfortunately her rigidity has become a household “bugger.” Through the years, she has attempted to outwit my family with her coy micro managing tactics. She believes stalking, texting, and throwing out the phrase “I strongly suggest” repetitively will help promote her agenda. We’re on to you mom!

The Committed Customer: She is so loyal to the products she uses that she likes to check in with customer service regularly.   She believes it is her duty to inform them when she is pleased or livid with their services. For example if her Wednesday latte is not as sweet as her Tuesday latte, she uses her speed dial to contact corporate!

The Protector: Only she has the right to call me a “Putz” or “Nuts” but she will take anyone down who criticizes my crazies.

The Inspector: If it wasn’t for her my fridge would be off an inch, my couch would be too close to the wall, and my husband would have less closet space.

The Peacemaker: She’s always right.

A Specialist at everything else: Thank goodness for all the years she has mastered watching the news, making random friends at stores and researching the internet because without her knowledge my daughter would have the wrong percentage of cotton sheets, my son would learn to pee upside down and my eyebrows would go unwaxed.

Top Toy Predictions

Moms always want to be ahead of the game when it comes to tracking down cool, creative and educational toys for their kids, but it’s not always the easiest task.  From finding the best blocks that will stimulate your baby’s brain to encouraging your second grader to use his thinking cap when building a top-secret spacecraft, one NJ toyshop helps ease the pressure moms put on themselves when selecting the perfect gizmo.

Margaret Spicer, the owner of Distinctive Toys in Fair Haven, NJ looks at three important features when buying products for her store, “We like toy companies that have won parents choice awards, have long play value, and quality.”
While witnessing the Rainbow Loom craze in full bloom, when asked what is the next big toy trend, Margaret’s answer was simple, “Girls will always love crafts and boys will always want the next cool outdoor game.”  Check out her best toy picks kicking off 2014:

Infant/Toddler Toys

Courtesy of ToySmith

Courtesy of ToySmith

Bristle Blocks from Toysmith
Puzzle Match Memory Game by Wowopolis
Deluxe Build a Road by International Playthings
Discovery Space Center by Hape (also their play kitchen and accessories)
Xylophone Roller by Janod (and their wooden play sets for tea and birthday)
Original Tonka Trucks in Steel by Reeves International

Preschool Age and Up


Speed Stacks with Timer by Speed Stacks
Squishables by Squishable – Distinctive Toy’s Faves: The new pink owl and the blue or pink octopus.
Kinetic Sand by Waba Fun
Demolition Lab by SmartLab Toys
Craft Kits by either Alex or Creativity
Pulsar PowerBalls kit by Orb Factory
Plush Dogs by Douglas
Fastrack by Blue Orange Games
Zingo! Sight Words by Think Fun
Calico Critters by International Playthings

***A New Mom In Town’s Time-Saving Tip:  Buying a gift?  Leave the wrapping to the pros.  The boutique wraps presents perfectly for the occasion.


The Award Goes To…

As award season approaches honoring the biggest and best talent in Hollywood, don’t you think there should be an award ceremony recognizing the most fascinating women you know in Motherwood?  From keeping their cool while their kid throws a tantrum in the middle of the mall to walking with her head up high after her pride and joy reveals all her dirty (and sometimes embarrassing) laundry to a neighbor, there are hundreds of categories moms should be celebrated for.  Here are 15 “MAMAwards” that should be handed out this year.

The Award Goes To…

1.  The mom who didn’t go gangster on a 5-yr-old boy who told her son he’s not cool enough to play with.

2.  The mom most likely to not cry when her toddler throws a remote control at her nose.

3.  The mom who agreed to let her son wear shorts in the winter and her daughter dress in clashing shades of pink for an entire month.

4.  The mom who doesn’t freak out when her son sticks his hand in the toilet and tries to grab his poop.

5.  The mom who cooks five different meals for her picky eaters.

6.  The mom who was determined to breastfeed and stuck to the challenge even with inverted nipples and low milk supply.

7.  The woman who proved to be a terrific mom regardless of her ability to breastfeed or not.

8.  The mom who kept a straight face after her daughter innocently and loudly pointed out a man’s big belly in a quiet theater.

9.  The mom who tells each of her children secretly they’re her favorite.

10.  The mom who rented Alvin and The Chipmunks 8 times in one day for $2.99 each just to keep her baby from crying.

11.  The mom who gave up “binge-watching” Homeland for The Wiggles.

12.  The absolutely understanding mom who keeps getting interrupted from her dinner to wipe her toddlers behind.

13.  The incredible super mom who didn’t crack when her baby cried for 6 hours straight in the middle of the night.

14.  The protective mom who didn’t lash out at her daughter’s teacher when she told her to “cut the cord.”

15.  The ultra calm mom who doesn’t curse her kids off under her breath.


Tiny Tales You Tell Your Kids To Get Out Of 5 Sticky Situations


From mini fibs about Santa Claus to the Tooth Fairy, here’s a list of five unforeseen scenarios and the little white lies you hope your kids will fall for.

Scenario 1:  You are a stay-at-home mom and you just sat down to turn on the television to catch up with your entertainment news.  Your daughter asks you to cut out construction paper hearts with her for the 10th time today.  Instead of hurting her feelings by simply saying, “Absolutely not,” how about saying…

“Mommy has to do research about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s upcoming wedding nuptials for the senior position she holds at her very important job.”

Scenario 2:  Your son brings home a bag of rocks and dirt from school.  When you ask him what it is, he says, “My artwork.”  Instead of throwing it directly in the trash and scarring him from creatively expressing himself ever again, how about telling him…

“Mommy is so proud of your talent that I can’t wait to show it to the garbage men.”

Scenario 3:  Your daughter refuses to go to bed because she is afraid a scary monster is going to come into her room in the middle of the night. Instead of telling her there is no such thing as monsters (she won’t believe you anyway), you might want to make her feel safe by revealing…

“That’s impossible!  Mommy and Daddy checked the box, NOT MY HOUSE, when the town passed out a permission slip asking if we allowed monster visitors.  Now go to sleep…sweetie.

Scenario 4:  Your son’s best buddy, “Stanley,” his stuffed bunny, sadly had a rough ride in the washing machine and is missing his left eye.  You’re afraid revealing the gory details to your son may be too disturbing so you read this note…

“Hey dude!  My mom hopped all the way over to your house and told me I had to come home for dinner tonight.  I promise to stay in touch.  Your best pal, Stanley.”  “PS…don’t forget to eat your carrots.”

Scenario 5:  Your daughter is misbehaving and you tell her if she doesn’t start acting like a good girl then there will be a consequence.  When she asks you what type of consequence, you tell her…

“Mommy arranged a brunch for you and Ursula, the sea witch from A Little Mermaid.” 

Haute Holiday Mommy Style

Block parties, happy hour hotspots and family festivities!  A New Mom In Town turned to a trendy boutique to help busy moms alter their everyday style to keep up with their hectic schedules and holiday soirees.  Megan Mosera, owner of Posch Boutique, tells us the three fashion staples that can take any mom from carpools to cocktails in an instant.

1.  Faux Leather Leggings

”Our faux leather leggings are a HUGE hit this holiday season. My clients love the comfort of a legging, while getting a high fashion look,” says Megan.  For casual day trips, pair the leggings with an oversized comfy graphic tee or cardigan.   At night, slip into a more fitted, feminine top and celebrate.  You just may be this year’s best dressed guest.


2.  Pretty Accent Pieces

“The statement necklace is key,” says Megan.   Moms who run errands all day in a blouse, skinny jeans and flats can change their appearance from subtle to sexy when the sun goes down.  At night, add an eye-popping pendant, mini clutch and booties to your basic wardrobe and you’ll be ready to mingle with the party crowd.


3.  Lace Isn’t Just For Late Night

“My clients are looking for clothes they can get multiple use out of.”  Megan refers to these items as investment pieces.  “I used to stock up more on basics.  Now when I’m doing my buying, it’s so important that every piece has character.”
Lace is a great example.  Hints of the pretty sheer fabric peeking out of a leather jacket adds edge to an everyday outfit.  Taking off the jacket at night and revealing more of the top gives a glamorous festive-fun look in the evening.