No More Brace Face

When I was a little girl I had a gap in between my teeth that you could literally drive a Mack truck through. It was humongous! To make matters worse I fell and chipped my front tooth and I cracked it almost half off. I am pretty sure it was my sister’s fault, if memory serves she was chasing me for a goody bag of candy.

My school picture circa early 80's

My school picture circa early 80′s

Nevertheless there I was with this crazy big gap and a chipped front tooth. I remember the dentist inquiring why my tooth was green. My mother had to explain that green was the color of her k linoleum floor. Apparently I dented the floor with my tooth and took some of the flooring with me. Dentistry is not the fine art is today and my tooth was shoddily bonded which only accentuated the gap.

For years people would try to console me and tell me how charming it was and how it gave me character. “You look just like Lauren Bacall” The problem was I was not a model or an actress so it didn’t really make me feel any better.

The only thing that did make me feel better is the knowledge that one day I could get BRACES. Unfortunately that was never to be. The dentist told us that braces would not fix my gap because my  jaw was set like that way. Of course I cried. I was hysterical I had been waiting forever for these magic braces to fix my smile. The dentist explained that even if he put braces on my teeth they would eventually move back and it would be even more heartbreaking.

It would be many years before I  met my wonderful dentist who fixed my teeth and who is ridiculously proud of himself. He often shows pictures of my teeth to other patients when I am there so they can admire his work.

So naturally he laughed out loud when I brought my children to him and they all had my teeth and gap, albeit not as big. Sometimes heredity is a bitch. He promptly gave me the number of the orthodontist and off we went.

Caroline Christmas Day 2010. First day with braces.

Caroline Christmas Day 2010. First day with braces.

Caroline got her braces on Christmas Eve when she was in fifth grade. Quite a Christmas present for my kid, sometimes I am just an awesome Mom. I believe she also had strep throat which I ignored assuming her complaining was due to the new braces and not strep throat. On a side note I did not win Mother of the Year in 2010.

Yeah they are off!

Yeah they are off!

On our way in...

On our way in…

Many thousands of dollars, hundreds of rubber bands, countless adjustments and three and a half long years later the braces are off!

Worth every penny to see her smile with teeth so straight. She did inherit my gap but now they attach the two front teeth together so her teeth will stay as perfect as the day she got them off.

Before & After

Before & After


And they better after all the time and money…


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A Jar Full of Savings

images-7Life is expensive.

Kids are expensive.

Lets face it everything is expensive.

The question is how do we teach our children the value of money and the importance of saving money. If your kids are like mine they don’t really understand the concept of money. When they were real little and I would tell them I didn’t have money for something they wanted they would tell me to go the bank and get more. The idea being the bank just gives you money when ever you need it. This would be a nice idea considering how expensive life and children are with sports, dance, clothing, toys, electronics, etc.

Unfortunately that is not the case. Thankfully as they have grown they have developed a better understanding of money. Especially my middle daughter who has become very proactive with her savings. She desperately wants to go to sleep away summer camp this year. The price is pretty steep for the week. In order to defray the cost she decided to start saving for camp herself.

Her idea was to create a savings jar. She was so pumped up about saving for camp she broke out the modge podge and personalized it with pictures of the camp and inspirational quotes to help motivate her. Every time she gets money for her birthday, report card, or from one of her generous aunts she puts it right into her savings jar.  IMG_3934

I am so impressed with her initiative. It really gave her ownership over her savings and I know she will love the feeling of accomplishment she gets when she reaches her goal. An added bonus is that her enthusiasm has spread to the other kids. Amelia, too bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique-00young for sleep away camp was so annoyed she didn’t have a savings jar. We had to help her come up with something to save for so she could make a savings jar too.

After much debate we settled on saving up for a visit to the Bippity Boppity Boutique for our summer trip to Disney World.IMG_3933

The savings jar is really a great idea and teaches the kids the importance of saving up for something and the fact that money doesn’t grow on trees. images-5



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#MuppetsMostWanted: Zany adventures, singing & fun!

photo 2Last week I had quite a dilemma. Here I was with two passes to Muppets Most Wanted and no child to take. My two youngest daughters had dancing class and my oldest was away on a college trip- (Which is another topic for another day since I am in complete denial that she may be going to college one day)

I think it has actually happened, my kids might be busier than I am. I had contemplated photo 1taking one of Grace’s friends but was promptly informed, “That would just be creepy.” Fortunately my niece was able to fit the movie into her busy schedule and off we went.

Secretly I was ecstatic because I love the Muppets. I have fond memories of my sister and I as children sitting in front of the tv set so anxiously waiting to see the Muppet Show each week.

Of course Muppets Most Wanted completely delivers in the zany silly style you would expect from the Muppets. In addition to the wild and crazy muppets the cast is star-studded with Ricky Gervais as Mr. Badguy and Tina Fey as Nadya the Warden of a Gulag prison, and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell as the bumbling interpol agent Jean Pierre. And the fun doesn’t stop everyone has a cameo in this film including Lady Gaga, Ross Lynch, Sean P. Diddy Combs, & Selma Hayek just to name a few. For a complete list of cameos click here.Unknown-6Unknown-2

Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the gang on a zany adventure throughout Europe on their World Tour. In the worst case of mistaken identity Kermit is a dead ringer for Constantine, Public Enemy Number 1. muppets-most-wanted-constantineConstantine manages to switch places with Kermit with poor Kermit stuck in the Gulag. The Muppets become suspects when several high-end robberies begin to occur and they are pursued by Jean Pierre and Sam the Eagle.

Lots of crazy antics, silly jokes and plenty of musical numbers ensue as Kermit and Constantine try to live out each other’s lives. Kermit makes some pretty interesting friends in prison most notable Ray Liotta, I am a huge fan and was thrilled to see him have a small part. In the end Kermit does what he does best and directs the prison variety show. Fans of a Chorus Line will appreciate one of the sillier scenes where the prisoners perform a ridiculous version of  “I Hope I Get It”Unknown

According to Bunsen Muppets Most Wanted is the Muppets 7th sequel. Fans of the original 6 will definitely enjoy the show!


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Magical Celebration #DisneySide @Home Celebration

It all began with the arrival of a mysterious box.


With growing anticipation the family and I gathered around our delivery. We were excited to see what was inside. It was like Christmas morning as we emptied the package and marveled at each of its items. So many fabulous things courtesy of Disney.

Now the hard part, how was I going to put all of these items together and pull of  a #DisneySide @Home Celebration?

I realized the way to make it work was focus on my favorite things about Walt Disney World. Those things that make it the magical place it is. Disney’s magic is a special combination of family, fun, and treats. Those themes were going to be the center of my Magical Celebration.

First up was to set the Disney 2

The Mickey decorations created a festive mood at the house just like at WDW where every space is decorated and atmosphere is everything.


Then I set up a pin trading station and asked experienced Disney guests to bring their pins for trading. My kids love to trade pins in the park and I wanted to bring that excitement to my 3 photo 4 photo 5

We also had a face painting station thanks to my talented niece. At the party we played Disney Bingo and Disney Trivia which was a lot of fun.


Next up was treats.

photo 1There is an aroma like no other when you walk down Main Street at

Mickey Knox Blox

Mickey Knox Blox

Magic Kingdom, photothe best way to describe it is a mixture of  sugar and frosting. Using the Mickey Mouse cookie cutters that were provided in my kit I made rice krispie treats which is the closest match to that sweet confectionary smell.

DSCN4223I also made Jello Knox Blox Mickey Mouse Style. Being the baker that I am I just had to include a Mickey Cake too! Just like WDW everything can be a Mickey!

At my house we have a great dress up trunk which includes a huge collection of sparkly mouse ears, princess crowns, and pirate bandanas. I set up a photo booth area where guests could take their picture with the accessories of their choice- Mouse Ears was the clear winner. Each guest left with a HP photo card of their pic!

Together with our friends and family we were able to create our own little piece of Walt Disney World right here on Long Island. Everyone left excited to start planning their next Walt Disney World vacation.

photo 5 photo 4photo 3 photo 2 photo 4 photo 1 photo 3photo 2 photo 1




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What? It’s Lent Again?

All of the Catholics I know need to get a calendar. It seems that every year Ash Wednesday sneaks up on all of us. Everywhere I went yesterday I heard people saying, ” I can’t believe it is already Ash Wednesday!”

Shocking as it maybe, it was Ash Wednesday and off we went in droves get our ashes. Like every other busy mom in the world I tried to find the closest prayer service as opposed to the mass so we could be in and out and on with our busy lives. What I 401-drive-thru-open-right-arrowdiscovered was that some churches were doing literal “drive thru” ashes. People weren’t even getting out of the cars! I couldn’t believe it. Being some what old school I made my kids get out of the car and actually go inside the church. For some reason that seems okay to me even though it’s only a smidge better than the drive thru. What can I say I hate change.

Once we figure out how to get ashes we have to contemplate what sinful thing we would like to give up for the next 40 days.  Twitter compiled a list of the top 100 things people tweeted about giving up for Lent this year.

2014 Twitter Lent Tracker: Top 100 

Things to give up lentSome of the ideas are pretty typical like food items like chocolate, sweets, fries & soda. Food is always the most popular thing to give up. Other top choices were swearing, instagram, selfies & facebook.

Clearly some people were not really paying attention in religious education class because they tweeted they are giving up religion and catholicism. However, since everyone on Twitter things they are hilarious I am sure those were in jest.

images-3I think my favorite tweet was the person who is giving up snow. I think we can all relate to that one.

My middle daughter has decided to give up candy. Too broad of thing in my opinion. I tried to get her to be more specific like detail_cocoa-krispies-cerealskittles or starburst but she is adamant. This morning she wouldn’t eat breakfast because all we had were Cocoa Pebbles, I know, I know not so healthy but not candy! However she refused because they are chocolate flavored and therefore: candy. Love having a heated debate while we are getting ready for school and work over whether or not cereal is candy. If it is chocolate flavored than clearly it must be candy. In the end she won and I think it is going to be a long 40 days.

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Knox Blox Mickey Style #Disneyside

Mickey Knox Blox

Mickey Knox Blox

Growing up my mother always made a snack called Knox Blox. Knox Blox was an all time favorite at my house. Now that I am mommy I have continued the tradition and often make Knox Blox for my girls.

What’s nice is they are different and hardly anyone I know has ever heard of them. They taste just like jello but without all the mess. They are actually hard and you can hold them in your hand. People always think I am taking about Jello Jigglers when I tell them about Knox Blox but they are different. You can’t even find the recipe for them on the box of jello or knox! I always have to call my mother just to make sure I have the amounts correct every time I make them because I can rarely find my recipe cards.

I have been busy planning my DisneySide at Home Celebration and trying to find a unique way to show my Disneyside.

Mickey Cookie Cutters

Mickey Cookie Cutters

I was struggling to find something different when I realized Mickey would make a perfect Knox Blox. make a perfect Knox Blox. Using the Micky Cookie Cutters provided in my DisneySide at home Celebration Kit I was able to make  adorable Mickey Knox Blox.

The recipe for Knox Blox is super easy.


images-3* 3 small boxes of Jello any flavor- I always use sugar free which makes them a great snack for me too!

* 1 box of Knox clear gelatinknox gelatin box

*4 cups of boiling water


Pour four cups of boiling water into a 13X9 pan. Stir in the entire box of Knox, which contains four packages and all 3 boxes of Jello. The key is to stir really well and make sure all the jello dissolves.

Let harden in the fridge overnight or for several hours. When I make it in the morning my kids are constantly testing to see if it’s ready.


Then using Mickey Cookie Cutters cut out your Mickeys. They will peel right out of the pan. One pan made 12 Mickeys.


A great way to show your #Disneyside!20140228-105825.jpg

Mickey Knox Blox

Mickey Knox Blox


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A Jar Full of Memories


Do you remember all the good moments from throughout the year?

Imagine you could keep a record of all the good things that happen to you throughout the year. Wouldn’t you love a running record of all the good times?

I certainly don’t remember all the good things that happen during the year. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to, it’s just life is so busy and I find myself catapulting from one event to the next. I am always trying so hard to keep the house of cards from falling apart rarely is there time for reflection or a look back at the good times.

Even when I do look back I am always my harshest critics and focus on what I could have done better or ways to improve. The bad times seem to stick out in my mind like a sore thumb and the good times kind of melt together and are forgotten.

This is why I loved this idea a “Jar Full of Memories.”images-3

Get a jar, it can be any kind of jar- I prefer the clear plastic or glass kind, and write the year across it. For all of you DIY crafters out there you can even decorate and personalize the jar. My girls are crazy for Modge Podge and they are going to decorate their jars with a picture collage.

Then every day or as close to every day you can get, write down on a slip of paper something good that happened to you. It can be a little random act of kindness like someone held the door open for you or an amazing thing like you ran a half marathon, a niece or nephew being born or even finally being invited to Disney’s SMM Conference.  UnknownIt’s a wonderful way to celebrate the good and focus on the positive instead of being brought down by the negative.

You can get fancy with pretty paper or just use strips of white or loose leaf paper. Whatever suits your style is the way to go.

At the end of the year you and your family will really have a great time going through and reading all the papers. It will be your personal highlights reel from the year. I think you will be surprised by all the good things that happened during the year.

If you want to go a step further you could take all the memories and put them in a scrapbook. I have grandiose plans of my girls and I scrapbooking our memories, but realize that might be a stretch. I still have honeymoon pictures in a box in the basement. However, even if read through the memories and save them in a plastic bag it will be a great memories to hold onto.

I can’t take credit for this fabulous idea I saw it for the first time at my sister-in-law’s house. She saw the idea on a show somewhere and wanted to try it out.

It does remind me a little of my grandmother who cataloged her whole year on her wall calendar. She would write little notes about events that happened on each day. I can remember being a small child and looking at her pretty script handwriting detailing her days. I always admired that she did that but as an adult have never been able to put it into practice.

In homage to grandma I will begin my 2014 Jar of Memories- Yes I know it’s almost March, but better late than never!

Grandma going strong at 94!

Grandma going strong at 94!

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