Monday, January 19, 2015

Birthday Thoughts

This week's special at DTWB: Birthday Thoughts

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eating My Way Through Cabarete

In honor of one of our readers who just recently moved to Dominican Republic, specifically to the awesome town of Cabarete, I thought I'd publish this piece today. Congratulations on the move... I think you'll love it there!

My favorite thing about vacation (and island living) besides umbrella drinks is eating. I love the possibility of new restaurants and that feeling I get when I open a new menu and find something delicious to rave about. Even better is when I get to go back and eat my favorite plates over and over... and over and over again.

While Cabarete is best known as one of the Top 10 Kiteboarding cities in the world, it should also be on the map for some of the yummiest eateries on the island. So if you're ever visiting Cab, check out these local spots:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Am I With the Right Person?

"In Yiddish, there's a word for it: bashert. The meaning is something like "intended": the person who was meant for you. We're not talking about a soul mate, though modern usage often spins it that way; the original meaning is more complicated. Your basherter won't always make you happy, and your life together won't always be easy. But there's a sense of rightness, of having landed where you're supposed to be."
- Julie Orringer
Author of The Invisible Bridge

I have these dreams sometimes where Husband and I get into a ridiculous sort of fight, so ridiculous that in the dream I forget what we're fighting about. But in the dream, this ridiculous disagreement becomes so serious that we avoid each other. Soon our relationship falls apart. In my dream state, I know it's wrong- it feels abysmally wrong. Even in DreamLand it feels like a knife to the heart. I cry and tell him that  this is stupid, that we shouldn't give up and he acts indifferent. He shrugs his shoulders. He doesn't care. (Take out knife and stab heart again. Worst. Dream. Ever.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 Steps: How to Take the Worst Holiday Picture with Santa

A picture with Santa is one of those "must do" items on the Christmas check off list along with baking cookies and decorating the tree. For me, it is doubley exciting since my kiddos and my sister's kiddos take the picture together: 4 cousins, 2 laps, and a Santa in a pear tree. 

But take heed: the magical idea one creates in their mind of reliving their childhood Santa pictures through their own children is by no means easy. Last year, I came home early and without Husband to NJ with both kids (both barely under 2) and getting two kids dressed in Christmas attire, coats-scarves-hats-gloves on, in the car, out of the car, in the stroller, to the mall, on line, and on Santa's lap was it's own version of hell; a hell that should be accurately captured by the end product. 

What a crock it would be if after running behind kids in a crowded mall and knocking into people and waiting on line with tantrum-bellowing kids, they got to Santa's lap and smiled gloriously. That wouldn't truly reflect the spirit of Christmas pictures at the mall. By the time you reach Santa's chair, you should hope for a serious-faced kid staring blankly at the camera - or if you're lucky, like us two years ago, we hit pure gold with the trifecta of holiday picture taking. 

So if you too want the world's best worst holiday picture with Santa, follow some of these steps.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Skeptic's Guide to Elf on a Shelf

When I first started seeing this Elf on a Shelf craze unfolding, I admit, I was skeptical. It seemed like something that would totally be up my alley but I thought it was a bit strange. When it began taking over my Pinterest account, I was a bit annoyed. 

And then I read the Elf on a Shelf / Dinovember dad post and the explanation: "how in this world of technology and non mystery this is a little bit of mystery that you can give your kids." That began my change of heart with the Elf. Then I read about the Kindness Elves and I was sold.

Now I get it. And once you get it, the world becomes impossibly huge 
... because there are soooo many possibilities. 

But first... the elf needs an identity 

I found THESE, a great (and super adorable) alternative to the typical Elf on the Shelf and if I'm gonna get Husband behind this, the elf has to look much more traditional and waaaay less commercial.

We also can't call the elf - "Elf"; Elf will need a name. Since our kids, at the moment, speak more Spanish than English, I could go with a Spanish name like Don Miguel or SeƱor Gigante (irony). Or maybe I could use one of the baby names we liked but didn't get to use like Penny. But let's be real, we're a family from Jersey, so this elf will be named Bruce or Tony Soprano. Let's go classy NJ style... Frank Sinatra.

So to get you (possibly a skeptic) started, I searched Pinterest and Google and Facebook and blogs and every other social media you could imagine for far too many hours and I have narrowed down my favorite ideas. And with 13 days left til the big day, here's a great place to start (or end). It's never too late to believe...

The Introduction

Since Frank Sinatra is going to be part of the family, he will need a proper introduction. I love the thought and detail behind creating a whole Facebook page for him.