Monthly Archives

May 2009

Lifestyle

Spotted: Maggie Gray, Green Thumb Mom

May 20, 2009

Even though the Mother’s Day holiday has passed I am still not done “spotting” incredible women who are also moms. Today, I am recognizing a garden loving mom in my life. I had originally planned to feature her prior to Mother’s Day, but as always “better late, than never”.

Green Thumb Mom

I would like to introduce you to someone who is a true Green Thumb Mom and who has used her passion of gardening to create a very special outdoor space for children at the Long Island Children’s Museum. Her name is Maggie Gray and I visited her in “Our Backyard” last fall when they were just getting ready to close shop for the winter. The place is amazing. Each space has a unique quality that allows children to learn something while they are having fun. I’ll let Maggie tell you in her own words a little bit about the museum and how gardening has affected her as a mom.

ME: How long did it take to create this fabulous outdoor space – playground, classroom, sanctuary?
MAGGIE: This project started in 2004. I was working at the Long Island Children’s Museum as an exhibit technician, fixing things the visitors broke. At the same time I was attending classes necessary to become a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension. I saw a need to provide an outdoor space. After receiving support from my directors and with a team of dedicated staff, this project has grown bigger than I ever expected and I foresee it to grow.

ME: What were your goals?
MAGGIE: My goals were to give the museum visitors an opportunity to either begin to or continue to, develop a ‘Sense of Wonder’ through the exploration of the great outdoors. If we hope for the current generations to protect the environment, they must first develop a relationship with it. People will not protect what they do not love. My hope is that ‘Our Backyard’ will help nurture the development of our current and future environmental stewards.

ME: What are you most proud of?
MAGGIE: I think I am most proud of the example that I have set for my children to pursue a worthy cause and that if you work through the obstacles in creative ways, goals can be met and exceeded.

ME: Do your children share your love of gardening?
MAGGIE: My 20 year old son texted me from Haines Point in Washington, D.C. the other day, to tell me about the Cherry Blossom Trees that were raining pink. My 17 year old daughter is graduating from high school this spring and plans on pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering, and my 13 year old daughter still loves to eat the first peas right from their pod seconds off the vine. So I guess my answer is yes, my children do share my love of gardening.

ME: What can children learn from gardening?
MAGGIE: From gardening children (and adults) can learn patience, disappointment, success, failure, love, frustration, anticipation, and understanding of the interdependence necessary for life. Another big one is a respect for life.

Enjoy the pictures of Maggie in “Our Backyard”



Lifestyle

Spotted: Kids in the City Blogger

May 9, 2009

Today I’m excited to spot Melissa Chapman who is a mommy blogger extraordinaire. Melissa writes a weekly column called Kids in the City, which is a news website dedicated to Staten Island, NY and the surrounding areas. Melissa also works as a blogger on NYC Mom Blogs and is a contributing writer for SheKnows.com, iVillage.com and Time Out NY Kids.

Melissa offers fun and helpful advice, such as the best coloring books for children, how to rejuvenate instantly and even dating tips for single moms. Check out all of her blogs and columns! There’s some great stuff…

Mother’s Day is tomorrow!! Make sure to spot all the moms in your life.

Lifestyle

Foodie Mom – Lori, My Wooden Spoon

May 8, 2009

Today I’m excited to spot Lori from MyWoodenSpoon.com. Lori is a mother of three and the wife of a cowboy. This award-winning cook’s food blog is her pride and joy, offering everything from recipes to health and fitness tips. She was recently hired by Kraft to create an original recipe using Velveeta and guess what? She won 1st place!!

In addition to blogging at MyWoodenSpoon.com, Lori also blogs at ACowboysWife.com and is one of WalMart’s chosen “Elevenmoms”. I do have to say myself, Lori is definitely wins the title of Foodie Mom.

Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I will be spotting a Mom tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Have you bought all the moms in your life a Mother’s Day gift? If not, hurry!

Lifestyle

Foodie Gifts

May 5, 2009

SPOTTED! Vanessa Druckman is a French Foodie living in New Jersey with her husband and three kids. Chef Druck Musings is her space to talk about all her passions: parenting, cooking, books, TV, movies, and anything else that catches her fancy. Any mom looking for fun food ideas take a look at Chef Druck Musings!

TOMATO CAN DO!

Almost every memory I have of my friend’s grandmother is of her either making her sauce, or what she called “gravy”, or of us sitting down at her kitchen table eating big bowls of pasta covered in her delicious red sauce. I was making my own sauce recently and thinking about those times and I looked at the can and had one of those AH HA moments. I used the can as a vessel to hold a bouquet of vibrant garden flowers and left it on my friend’s porch as a surprise. As soon as she got home she called me laughing like crazy and we had a nice little walk together down memory lane!

ASPARAGUS VASE

Isn’t this a great look! And it’s so easy to do. Simply choose a container that is about the height of a typical spear of asparagus. You can use an everyday beverage glass or if you want the arrangement to be wider then you can use a cylinder vase in the width of your choice. You could even use a tin can, because the asparagus will hide the container. To create the arrangement, simply put a rubber band around the center of your container and slip the asparagus, one spear at a time, between the rubber band and the container continuing until you have gone all the way around the container. Fill the container with water and create your arrangement. Finish it off with raffia or a piece of pretty ribbon tied around the container to hide the rubber band.

Lifestyle

Spotted: Foodie Mom

May 4, 2009

While I don’t technically consider myself a Foodie Mom, I certainly love food! I love eating out and ordering in! But, I also love reading and trying different recipes. And of course, I love food related gadgets too. Then there’s what I would consider a true Foodie Mom. She’s the one with the real passion for all things culinary.

Today, I’m spotting Jennifer Perillo from “In Jennies Kitchen”. Jennifer is a food editor at Working Mother magazine that adapts recipes to fit busy lifestyles. “In Jennie’s Kitchen” dishes up daily recipes that will to keep you satisfied all day long. I enjoyed meeting Jennifer at the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Spot A Mom event and spending the evening with her at Chic Mom Magazine’s Tweet Up. Jennifer truly is a Foodie Mom!

Gifting for a Foodie Mom has limitless possibilities. Some thoughts would be a gift certificate to a new restaurant she has wanted to try, a subscription to Bon Apetit or Saveur magazine, enrollment in a specialty cooking class, etc. I think that any one of these are great gifts on their own, but can be made so much sweeter when combined with fresh cut flowers! Here are just a few delightful combinations that any Foodie Mom would be thrilled to receive for Mother’s Day or any day.

PRETTY IN PINK

Instead of just wrapping up that new pink enamel colander that you bought for Mom, why not fill it with beautiful pink hydrangea combined with exotic cymbidium orchids. Just find something to use as a liner, such as, a plastic take out container. Fill the liner with wet floral foam into which you can insert the floral stems. You can use almost any variety flower for this type of arrangement so use your imagination and have fun with it.

FRESH HERB BOUQUET

There are so many elements that I love about this bouquet starting with the incredible fragrance of all the different fresh herbs used to create it – lavender, rosemary, spearmint, and oregano. The look is rustic and modern at the same time – very French provincial. When you think of Provence and the French countryside, you’re sure to see lavender fields and bright sunshine. While there are many elements that contribute to the French Country style of decorating, the resulting look is always rustic, old-world, and welcoming.

Your Foodie Mom will adore displaying this arrangement in the kitchen not only to enjoy visually, but also to snip off a few sprigs to add to her latest concoction.

Tomorrow I will share another Foodie Mom and of course, fun gift ideas for her!

How-To's

Family Photo Tree

May 1, 2009

Giving a Mom of a Mom a beautiful bouquet of flowers is a no brainer – she deserves them! Here’s a way to really personalize that bouquet.

Use flowering branches so there are lots of areas to hang photos of all of those precious little grandkids – or lots of photos of that one and only! I cropped my images to 3’ x 3” and backed them with pretty pale pink paper. I hole punched the corner of each photo and attached a ribbon. On the other end of the ribbon I glued a metal word embellishment that is usually used for scrap booking. The word embellishments not only look great, but they make it easy to hang the photo without having to tie the ribbon to the branch – just drape it over with the photo on one side and the metal word on the other. What Mom of a Mom wouldn’t love this “family tree”?!