Monday, January 18, 2010

Importance of Getting Away

This last weekend, my husband and I ventured to NYC and left our baby boy with grandma and grandpa. We wanted to visit two very good friends, attend a Knicks game (because one of said friends works for Madison Square Garden), go to a broadway show, and of course, eat at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants (I've already told you about my Food Network obsession). This trip was a much-needed Christmas gift for us as a couple. We are both very dedicated to our jobs and our family, and sometimes we just need a weekend to focus on ourselves.

All of you who are parents know that once you have kids, there are some luxuries that just go away: sleeping past 7 a.m. (at least until they're teenagers), going out for dinner and drinks ALL weekend, and walking out of the house without packing up a thousand things. Now, those things are of course replaced with: the most amazing laughter you've ever heard, the beauty of discoveries every day, and a perfect cuddling partner.

Despite all the absolute wonders that being a parent brings, it's so important to take time away and have some grown-up fun. When I decided to write this post, I wanted to do an online search to see what other's said about this topic. Surprisingly, very few people are writing about it! This made me wonder if other parents just don't do it very often, or if perhaps people don't want to admit that they NEED time away from their precious babies. One post I did find was on the San Francisco Chronicle's blog called "The Poop." In his post, Peter Hartlaub writes, "even if we had to leave our kids with a close friend or more distant relative, I would still do everything I could to get away. I've become convinced that jettisoning your offspring for a night or two is one of the healthiest things parents can do for everyone involved." - read the full post at

Peter, I totally agree! Even though we missed our boy terribly and talked about him quite a bit, we had a great time exploring one of the most interesting cities in the world. We drank beer with friends, ate delicious New York-style pizza, slept past 9 in the morning (because we were up till 2 a.m.), and watched a Broadway show in Times Square! And, as you've probably guessed, our son was just fine without us for a few days. He had wonderful quality time with grandparents who are more than happy to spend quality alone time with him. When we got home, all we heard about was how much fun they had.

I truly hope that other parents recognize the value in just getting away, even if it's just for a night. It can be hard to let go, but we need to keep in mind that even though we're parents, we're also a part of a relationship that needs a little nurturing now and again. And let's get serious, we all need this for ourselves too (I mean, I really needed that purse from Chinatown!). Where should we go next time?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Love Affair with Food Network

My husband has ESPN, and I have Food Network. We all need that channel we can turn to when we want to escape, and mine is filled with food. I'm enamored by it, and I wouldn't even call myself a foodie. This love affair started my freshman year of college when I started watching cooking shows and all of a sudden decided to try cooking, literally for the first time. Once I started, I realized that I not only like cooking, I LOVE watching people cook, talk about food, compete with food - you get the idea. So, thank God for the Food Network because it has made cooking become more accessible for someone like me, and it makes cooking, baking, and culinary careers seem exciting. Who needs sports when you have Bobby Flay's Throwdown or Iron Chef?!

You're probably wondering which shows/cooks/chefs are my favorite (you might not really care, but I'll tell you anyways). Barefoot Contessa, aka Ina Garten, is amazing. Not only does she have a beautiful life that anyone would covet, - she lives in the Hampton's for goodness sake - but she also has the absolute best recipes I have ever tried. Not once have I not liked one of her recipes...seriously, you should try them. And each time she inspires me to try something new, my husband (who is known for being a strickly cheesy-carbs guy) ventures out a bit and realizes that there are all kinds of wonderful flavors out there. He even eats asparagus now! I'm sure you would agree that Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, and Giada de Laurentis are also fun to watch. Not so much because I love their recipes (I do like quite a few), but they're entertaining and are nice to look at - are chefs really that good looking? Really? One of the best shows on Food Network however, is "Ace of Cakes." I mean, who knew that filming a bunch of creative people decorating cakes all day would be entertaining to the masses?

Those who know me really well know that I could literally watch Food Network all day long every day if I had the opportunity - and if I didn't have a baby, husband, job, and obvious responsibilities to tend to, I would. Truly, what Food Network has done for me is peak my interest in the culinary world. I daydream about becoming a chef and owning a specialty food shop. There are probably thousands of people who have entered the culinary industry just because of the Food Network. But more importantly, watching hours and hours of food TV has shown me the value of enjoying food, which makes family meals, entertaining, and exploring new flavors so much fun. People all around the country are taking more of an interest in cooking, which I think translates to more time around the oven and table as a family. Essentially, food brings all the things we love in life together. Now that's something worth escaping for...don't you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

So I started a blog...

This year, in my quest to dive into social media and understand it a bit more, I started a Facebook page, re-activated my Twitter account, and today I'm starting a blog. Now, I'm a mom, and I'll be writing a lot about my life as a mom (definitely not solely that), but I started wondering if that made me a "mommy blogger." Oh to be a mommy blogger. In my industry (marketing), these are some of the most powerful people in the world. Honestly, we talk about mommy bloggers on a daily basis. We want to know everything about them: how to reach them, how to meet their purchasing needs, how to "engage" with them, etc.

When I thought about whether or not I fit into this category, I started wondering what the true definition of mommy blogger is (some people write it as one word: mommyblogger). My definition is simply a mom who writes about stuff that interests other moms. I certainly don't think the content is necessarily ONLY interesting to other moms, but most of the women in this particular target fit into that category. There's not much to this definition, so I "Google" the term "defining mommy blogger," and I come up with a couple other descriptions. At, this blogger says a mommy blogger is “a woman who writes passionately about her life and life as she sees it, sharing some good ideas, products, and more along the way.” Stephanie Smirnov says it's a "woman with offspring who maintains online personal journal filled with reflections, comments, and hyperlinks, shared chronologically." However you want to describe this incredibly savvy group of women, I love thinking of myself in this light. Not because I can talk about my 13-month-old all the time (I promise I won't), but because I feel like I've joined this exclusive club where I'm now free to express my thoughts on anything and everything that affects my daily life as a mom, which is truly the toughest but most rewarding adventure I've ever been a part of. What great therapy!!

So, I started a blog, and I'm really excited about it.