A Broken Arm and Other Random Ramblings

Sunday, September 29, 2013
When I first started blogging, I would write posts that I called "Random Ramblings". I'd dish about a pet peeve or something that was bothering me.

After the week that I have had, I thought it was time to sit down and write a random ramblings post.

Go grab a cup of coffee and join me as I recount the events of the past week. The good. The bad. The ugly.

Big Plans
Have you ever started your week at the top of your game? Monday morning started out with a to-do list and tons of motivation. I was ready to conquer the world.

By noon, I had knocked off 2 posts for a client, sent out a few emails, tackled my 2 Inboxes, and ran to the grocery store to quickly pick up a few ingredients for dinner that night.

By 4 pm, I had written 2 posts for my personal blog, edited photos from a friend's surprise 50th birthday party, completed 2 loads of laundry, and started dinner. That evening continued in much of the same way.

I was productive, and I was on a roll.

Tuesday was pretty much more of the same, except that I also squeezed in a trip to the gym for an hour. I know! I was on fire.

On Wednesday, I met a friend at Starbucks for about an hour or so, then I came home to work until I picked Emma up at the bus stop at 2:30. She quickly changed, ate a snack, and I drove her to the gymnastics facility for her 3:30 lesson. I turned right around and came home to get Harper off the bus to have her at the same facility for a 4:30 lesson.

Harper's lesson started promptly at 4:30. They both look forward to their weekly lessons and have developed a fondness for gymnastics. Of course, as a former gymnast, I am filled with motherly pride.

Normally, I stay at the facility and watch Harper's lesson. But on this particular day, I had to run to the grocery store, which is a 1/4 mile down the road, to pick up 3 items that the girls wanted for their school lunches.

I hurried in and hurried out. And then I got THE CALL.

If you are the parent of a child who plays sports, you know what call I am talking about. The dreaded "your child has been injured" call.

My heart sank when I saw the phone number. Immediately I knew. You just know.

I was told that my daughter "hurt" her arm. I told them I was on my way back. I'd be there in a few minutes.

As I was approaching the facility, the ambulance was in front of me. THE AMUBULANCE!! Oh God. I couldn't think. I couldn't see. Everything went blurry.

The time from my car to the gym seemed like an eternity. I would soon come to discover that much of the evening would pass in this vein.

I was escorted to where she sat inside. There she was, my sweet baby sitting calmly on the floor holding her forearm. I had to sit down. Otherwise I would have fallen down. I sat next to her. Medics were tending to her arm.

It was an incident on the trampoline. She had bounced too high and panicked, landing on her arm and face.

A Broken Arm
"It's broken. We'll need to take her to the hospital. What hospital would you like her transported to? May we administer pain medication?"

Huh? This was really happening.

Within 10 minutes, we were on our way to the hospital. Harper was in the ambulance, and I was following closely behind in my car. The Hubs had come to the gym to pick up Emma.

I don't remember driving to the hospital. I do remember running through the revolving door to the pediatric ER and seeing her on the gurney with people huddled around her.

20 minutes later, we were in pediatric radiology and she was having her arm and nose x-rayed. Moments later, the attending physician gave us the news. Harper had suffered a compound fracture. Both her radius and ulna (2 bones in the forearm) were broken and had punctured the skin. Surgery would be likely, but the films would need to be analyzed by an orthopedic surgeon.

So, we waited. Not a peep out of my sweet baby girl. Not a single tear shed. Not a single whine muttered.

An orthopedic resident came in to examine Harper. He informed us that she'd need surgery to flush out the open wounds, but we'd have to wait 6 hours from her last meal to administer the anesthesia. Which meant that she couldn't have surgery until 10 pm that night. It was currently 7:00 pm.

My little patient managed to get some sleep.

The next several hours passed at a snail's pace. Finally at 9, we were taken to the surgical unit, where Harper was prepped for surgery. At exactly, 10 she was given her first dosage of anesthesia. I was led to the waiting room.

For an hour and a half, I tried to keep my wits about me. I did manage to read a fascinating interview with Michael Pollan in an old New York magazine. Otherwise, I paced. And paced. And paced.

Finally at 11:30, the surgeon came out to the waiting room to let me know that the surgery had gone well and as expected. She was in recovery, and I'd be taken to see her in 20 minutes.

I think the people on the ground floor could hear my enormous sigh of relief and joy. (I was on the fourth floor). Surgery was over, but the road to recovery would be a long one.

In the recovery room, you can get a glimpse of her bright pink cast.

By 12:15 we were settled in her hospital room, and both of us were ready for some sleep. As if that comes easily in a hospital. She slept well. I was up every hour.

On Thursday morning, the surgeon came in at 9:00 am to check Harper's arm and the swelling. He said she'd need a round of antibiotics at 12 and at 6, and we'd be on our way! That brought a smile to her face.

At 7 pm Thursday night, we were happily discharged.

The previous 30 hours seemed like 30 days. I saw my child's life flash before my eyes, and it was scary.

And here's what I learned as a parent:

You have to learn to appreciate when times are good and know that all the bad stuff will pass.

It's the only way we'll get through it.

{Giveaway} Four (4) Prize Packs to Jenkinson's Boo at the Boardwalk

Monday, September 23, 2013
Apple picking. Check. Pumpkin picking. Check. Playing in fallen leaves. Check.

Boo at the Boardwalk. What? So you think the boardwalk is fun only in the summer? Think again!

You can't miss Jenkinson's spectacular Halloween event!

Put on your best Halloween costume and join Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey for their annual Boo at the Boardwalk Halloween Festival Saturday and Sunday, October 19th and 20th and October 26th and 27th from noon to 4 pm.

Boo at the Boardwalk features Halloween fun for everyone including arts and crafts, trick or treating, facepainting, balloonists, fun and games, and more! Jenkinsons Aquarium and Gift Shop, Pavilion Arcade, and Jenkinson's Sweet shop will all be open in addition to Jenkinson's classic boardwalk games. For more information visit jenkinsons.com.

Jenkinson's is generously offering Pieces of a Mom readers four (4) Boo at the Boardwalk prize packs.

Each prize pack includes the following:

  • Four passes to the Jenkinson's Aquarium
  • a $20 Arcade Play Card
  • Four tickets to Jenkinson's Dark Ride, a 7D Interactive Experience

Note:  40" height restriction on Dark Ride.  No substitutions or cash prize.  No purchase necessary.
Winners will redeem their prize at the Aquarium on any of the Boo at the Boardwalk dates; 10/19, 20, 26 or 27. Only one prize pack will be awarded to each winner.

Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If winner fails to respond within the given timeframe a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter


Fashion Friday ~ The Best Wedge Boots and Booties for Fall

Friday, September 20, 2013
I love wedge-heeled shoes. This summer, I practically lived in a pair of wedge heel sandals that I bought at Banana Republic years ago. I nearly cried when a strap broke on one of the shoes last week. Not kidding. I was beside myself.

Now that the seasons are changing, it's time to switch out wedge-heeled sandals for boots and booties. I love this type of heel because it's comfortable and bit more casual than a block heel or a stiletto-type heel. They can be worn with jeans for a casual day to day look or dressed up for an evening out.

Here are some of my favorite styles and colors.

Wedge Booties - Fall 2013

Tory Burch ankle booties / Karen Millen wedge heel boots / Coach ankle booties / GUESS ankle booties / Ann Taylor black suede bootie / Ankle booties / Lucky Brand ankle booties / Forever 21 hidden wedge heel boots / Tan wedge shoes, $40

I love suede wedge booties. The olive green ones above are a fabulous color although I am not terribly fond of the lace-up booties.

I am dying for those snakeskin booties. How fabulous are they?

I would love to have a pair of animal print booties, but I would eventually tire of the print. So, I am thinking that the pair with a printed heel would be a great option.

As soon as the temps dip below 65 degrees F., I start dreaming of boots. Glorious boots. In my opinion, boots are the only reason to like winter. I love a boot that offers some height and wedge boots happen to be the most comfortable boots of this type.

Here are a few of my favorites, and I threw an interesting pair into the mix too!

Wedge Boots

Marc by Marc Jacobs boots / Via Spiga boots / Boots / Mint Velvet mink boots, $300 / Nine West black over knee boots / ALDO boots / Lucky Brand boots, $170

My favorite pair is the one on the top left. I love the color and the detail on the side of the boots. The are by Via Spiga and the price is right at $110.

I thought the pair directly below those where interesting. I don't think I'd wear something like this, but I imagine they are super comfortalbe. By Marc Jacobs, this boot actually has a sock shaft rather than a leather shaft, making it a super comfortable option to wear under bootcut or flare leg jeans.

I am in love with the black suede pair too. They would love fabulous with a camel colored wool skirt.

What is your must-have boot of the season this fall?

Menu Plan Monday ~ 9.16.2013

Monday, September 16, 2013
This week I am challenging myself to make more of the recipes that I have pinned over the past year or so. This week, I've got 3 on the menu. That's not a bad start.

Monday - Spinach Tomato Orzo soup

Tuesday - Cheese ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce with a side salad. This is my own recipe, but you can find many of them online.

Wednesday - Deluxe nachos (I never made these last week, so they'll be on this week's menu).

Thursday - Spaghetti with tomatoes, olives, garlic, and feta with arugula salad.

Friday - Dinner out

Saturday - Grilled chicken with tomato and avocado salad.

Sunday - Pennsylvania Dutch chicken pot pie. I wing it but this is a good recipe to use.

What's on your plate this week? For meal planning ideas and inspiration, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday.

Click HERE to view all of my menu plan posts.

Fashion Friday ~ How To Wear The Camouflage Trend

Friday, September 13, 2013
The camouflage trend is super hot right now, but if you're not careful, you can look as if you just stepped off the battlefield.

There are a few simple rules to follow to keep your look on trend without going over the top.

1. If you are wearing camo pants, pair them with a brightly colored top.
I love this look from Carly from Thirtysomethingfashion. I would have never considered wearing red with camouflage until I saw Carly's gorgeous pairing.
Photo Source: Thirty Something Fashion
Don't miss more tips from Carly on styling camo with red.

2. Choose a simple camouflage print accessory.
If you can't imagine wearing camouflage clothing, why not try a simple accessory instead? If you do choose to wear any piece of camo clothing, DO NOT pair a camo accessory with it. It's camo overload.

Camouflage Accessories

Charles Albert ballet flat / GUESS pumps / Camo purse, $105 / Charlotte Russe metallic scarve / Charlotte Russe hair accessory / O'Neill Flashback Reversible Web Belt

3. Cover Up in Camouflage
Jackets and hoodies are another fab way to wear the camouflage trend. Again, it's all in the cut and detailing when wearing camouflage. Otherwise, you'll look like a hunter or a soldier.

Carly looks great in this trend as well. The crisp white button down shirt and hoop earrings add the feminine details that this jacket needs. And take a cue from Carly, pair a camo jacket with jeans for a balanced look.
Photo Source: Thirty Something Fashion

I also love a camo hoodie, and these denim style camo jackets are fun too!
Camouflage Jackets

AMOR & PSYCHE hooded sweatshirt, $290 / Camo jacket, $120 / Gap camo jacket / Old Navy camo jacket

Do you currently own any camouflage clothing? I have a pair of skinny capris that I love. I bought them at Urban Outfitters over the summer for just $40. I practically live in them.

If you don't own a camouflage item, are you inspired to buy something after reading this post?

Talking To Your Kids: When Good Celebrities Go Bad

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've most likely heard about or even seen Miley Cyrus' performance on the Video Music Awards a few weeks ago. While I'm not so sure that was fit for adult audiences, I can't even imagine my daughter witnessing Cyrus' gyrating and twerking all over Robin Thicke.

Thankfully, my 11-year old didn't see the debacle, but she did hear about it. All about it.

So you know what that means...I had the distinct pleasure of having the whole "good celebs gone bad" talk with her.

I was pretty certain that I wasn't the only parent having this chat with her daughter. So, I put together a few tips to make that talk go a bit smoother. You can find the full article over at Meridian Momtourage.

Just in case you missed it, you can see Miley in all her gory glory here.


Top 5 Beauty Products Every Woman Needs Now

I usually do a post about the products (beauty or otherwise) that I am crushing on. But I've been so beauty obsessed lately that I thought I'd do a post about some of the beauty products that I've been obsessing over this month.

So, first up. Mascara.

Eyeko London Black Magic Mascara
I have tried LOTS, and I mean lots of mascara in my time, and this stuff is by far my favorite...EVER. The brush is slightly curved and the mascara isn't as thick as many I have tried. Although it's thin, it's not watery. I love the way it goes on my lashes and there is absolutely no clumping. None.

Here's the kicker. The Hubs bought me this mascara when he was watching HSN one night. He thought I'd like it. A husband who buys his wife makeup? Keeper.

Retails for $24.

Kiehls - Supremely Gentle Eye Make-up Remover - 4 oz.

Every good mascara needs an equally good eye makeup remover. I love Kiehl's because it's extremely gentle and that's a must for the delicate eye area. Sleeping with your mascara on causes your lashes to dry out, break and fall out. To keep your lashes in tip top condition, always remove your mascara at the end of the day.

Retails for $17.

Next, onto skincare.

Skin Beautiful Dermaceuticals
I recently tested a selection of Skin Beautiful Dermaceuticals products for Fabulous After 40. I won't go into tons of details here because you can review my full review over at Fabulous After 40.

Basically what I loved about Skin Beautiful Dermaceuticals is that the products are incredibly affordable and equally as effective. The prices are comparable to drug store brands but are as effective as high-end, designer cosmetic brands.

Prices start at $10 for individual products. Skincare sets start at $139.00.

Pond's Luminous Finish BB Plus Cream with SPF 15, 1.5 Ounce
I suffer from the skin condition rosacea, so I am ALWAYS looking for a great way to conceal the redness without using a ton of pore-clogging makeup products.

My current fave is Pond's Luminous BB Cream. Not only does it cover my redness so that it looks natural, but it also gives my skin a fresh, dewy look without looking shiny or sparkly. It also contains SPF15 and is available in different shades to match your skin tone.

Retails for $12.

Now is the time to prep your skin for the dry, winter months that lie ahead. The thought of that weather just fills me with dread. But itchy, scaly skin is even worse.

Arm your skin with Jergens Crema Deep Conditioning Shea Butter. I bought a jar a few days ago and have been using in daily on my driest areas, such as my feet. My feet are nice and smooth after just a few applications. I loved that it was lightweight. Many of these deep conditioning creams can be heavy and very oily. This was not.

Retails for $7.

Do you have any must-have products of the moment?

This post contains affiliate links.


Menu Plan Monday ~ 9.9.2013

Monday, September 9, 2013
This is a crazy week of juggling activities and bad timing, so it's really going to be a challenge to get some good, home cookin' on the table this week. But I am certainly going to try.

MONDAY - Beef sliders and arugula salad

TUESDAY - Grilled chicken Caesar salads. I have a PTO meeting. So I'll feed the kids their salads before I go, and the Hubs and I will eat when I get home.

WEDNESDAY - It's middle school back to school night. We'll have take out from a local Italian deli.

THURSDAY - Beef chili in the slow cooker. I have an event for Meridian Momtourage in the early evening, so we'll eat when I get home.

FRIDAY - Baked chicken cutlets, sauteed spinach with garlic and bacon, roasted new potatoes.

SATURDAY - Dinner out

SUNDAY - Deluxe nachos (our good ol' standby).

What do you plan to munch on this week? For meal planning inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday.

For even more inspiration, take a look at all of my Meal Planning posts.


The Obligatory First Day of School Pictures {and Cupcakes!}

Friday, September 6, 2013
Oh, come on. You knew they were coming. As long as I am blogging, I'll be posting the first day of school pictures.

It was a big day for Emma. She started middle school. As we walked to the bus stop, I kept subtly glancing at her face looking for signs of nervousness. But she was giving nothing away. So, finally, I just had to ask her. She said she was more excited for something new than she was nervous.

It was a bittersweet moment for me. These are the moments you both wait for and hope never happen. The moments when you know that your children are growing up, becoming more independent, and that can make you both happy and sad. But at the end of the day, it's a good thing. She knows she's got to do this on her own, and she's taking control of her situation.

She woke up bright and early at 6 am. Her bus comes at 7:05, and we were at the bus stop with plenty of time to spare. There was no whining, no complaining that summer vacation was over. She readied herself quickly and efficiently.

I could only stand there and wonder how long this will last. I am hoping all year, but I'll take the first couple of weeks of school if that's all I get.

The middle schooler

The second grader

The girls are in different schools now, and that means 2 different schedules. Harper woke up at 6 am to have her picture taken with her big sister and to see her off to middle school.

I still can't believe that I am the parent of a middle schooler.

Sending my baby off...

As a special treat, I stopped by Little Sweet Cakes in Point Pleasant Beach to pick up some treats for my sweets. The cupcakes were the perfect way to top off a great first day for all of us!

How was the kids' first day for you? Did you have any milestones this year, a kindergartner, high schooler, or even sending one off to college?

Crawford™ Smart System and Mesh Storage Organization Products {Giveaway}

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Saturday, September 7th is National Clean Out Your Garage Day. I'm all for keeping the clutter at bay and organizing my items, but our garage is just plain scary. It has become a dumping ground for everything that I can't find a home for inside our house.

Cleaning out the garage has been on my "to-do" list for years. I've been avoiding it because I fear it will be overwhelming, time consuming, and expensive. But when I learned of Crawford™-brand organization products, I became motivated to clean out the garage.

The overwhelming part of any de-cluttering process is all the items that have accumulated. For us, it was loose sports equipment that was literally placed everywhere and anywhere in the garage. There were basketballs thrown in a wagon. There were bicycle helmets in the bin of beach toys. It's no surprise we can never find something when we need it the most.

So, I decided that after I sent the kids off on their first day of school, I'd start tackling the garage. I knew I couldn't do it all in one day, so I decided to make a plan for breaking down the garage into sections and tackling each section one at a time.

I had recently been sent a Crawford™ Smart System and a Mesh Storage Organizer. My first task was to install them so that we could put them to good use. I found the perfect empty spot on the garage wall.

The Smart System came with all necessary screws and the required drill bit. You need to supply the drill. Does it get any easier? In no time at all, I had the Smart System on the wall and I was ready to start using it.

Next up was the Mesh Storage Organizer. It came with 3 large hooks that screw into the wall. Once I drilled small holes into the wall, the hooks were easy to screw in, and the organizer easily hooks over the hooks.

Now that both the Crawford™ Smart System and Mesh Storage Organizer were in place, it was time to fill them up. I started with a pogo stick that most frequently is on the floor of the garage. Whenever I pull my car in, I have to get out and pick up the pogo stick. Now we've got the perfect spot for it.

I also added a snow shovel, a rake, and a bicycle helmet. I would have put both helmets on the Smart System, but I couldn't locate the other one. Imagine that!

I went to work filling the Mesh Storage Organization system. It was easy to figure out what to put into it. There were all sorts of sports and play balls all over the yard and the garage.

Look at the difference! We are now more organized which translates to efficiency.

Sorting and organizing doesn't have to be a tedious and overwhelming chore.If you break it down into steps and specific tasks and assign time frames to each, cleaning out your garage, or any space for that matter, becomes manageable.

Here are some tips for getting started.

1) Sort, sort, sort - Create three piles: Trash, Keep, Donate. After deciding what stays, divide the garage into zones and organize items accordingly.

2) Get vertical - The biggest mistake most of us make when organizing our garages is that we do not take advantage of the vertical space. Use items such as the Crawford™ Smart System and Mesh Organizing system to make the most of the plentiful vertical space.

3) Secure hazardous and toxic chemicals away from children - Dangerous household items should be stored in shelves that are out of the reach of children or better yet, in storage closets that are able to be locked.

Crawford™ offers a broad assortment of storage solutions including tool hangers, hooks, bulk storage, pegboard accessories, and smart systems.

One lucky Pieces of a Mom reader will win the Crawford™ Advanced 16 inch Smart System wall storage system and the Mesh Organization system.
Crawford offers the broadest assortment of bulk storage, hooks and hangers, pegboard accessories, smart systems and specialty storage products. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Smart System and Mesh Organization system to facilitate this review. I received no further compensation to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Fall 2013 ~ Hottest Nail Polish Trends of the Season

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
As we usher summer out, it's time to bid a fond farewell to those pastel colored polishes that were so popular during the warm summer months.

As the cooler temperatures set in and our clothes become heavier, our nail polishes should too.

The hottest nail polish colors of 2013 are deep, vibrant, and bold and are the perfect complement to rich colored sweaters and scarves...and my favorite, BOOTS!!

Clockwise from top:

Blues - You'll see deep blues in shades of navy and royal blue.

Grays - Deep grays will be especially popular, but you'll see light grays too. This gray by Chanel has a hint of green to it giving it a mysterious color just as its name suggests.

Greens - Deep emeralds will be extremely popular this fall. Look to pair them with the popular plaid trend.

Blacks - Not just for goths anymore, black nail polishes look great when paired with camel colored sweaters and jackets.

Reds - Oxblood reds will be in the limelight this fall. Put away your cherry reds and opt for this dark, rich variation instead.

Browns - This orange/brown shade screams "Autumn"! It is the quintessential color for the season and is perfect when paired with dark jeans and neutral tops.

I am in love with the shade "Nirvana" by Marc Jacobs. I can see myself practically living in that color for most of the fall.

How about you? Which nail color do you crave for fall?

Menu Plan Monday ~ 9.2.2013

Monday, September 2, 2013
My vacation has ended, and we are days away from the first day of school. There's no better time than the present to get back into meal planning. This is the perfect week to put my meal plan and shopping list together for both back to school and dinners this week.

MONDAY - We had a barbecue to send off summer. :-(

TUESDAY - Pasta and meatballs (Hubs' special recipe) with an arugula salad.

WEDNESDAY - Deluxe nachos (These have become a family favorite).

THURSDAY - Steak tacos (my own recipe).

FRIDAY - Dinner out.

SATURDAY - Chicken Piccata

SUNDAY - My nephew's Christening is today so we'll be attending a reception afterwards to celebrate.

What's on your plate this week? For meal planning inspiration, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday.

For even more inspiration, take a look at all of my Meal Planning posts.

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