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Connections and play dates with @coveyapp

The holidays are marketed as being all about friendships and joy, but all the fun that appears on those glittering Instagram feeds can often ring hollow.  The holidays have their way of making you feel alone and isolated.  A family friend, Sarah, and other motivated Pittsburgh moms realized the importance of connections between parents in fostering friendships between children. The Covey app is especially helpful as the holiday madness winds down, and everyone starts getting back into the rhythm of normal life.  The focus of Covey is twofold– setting up convenient playdates between children, and also creating friendships between parents.

covey

Covey is a smartphone app that parents can use to connect with parents and parenting communities. There is a special section for each parenting community. Within that section, there is an open forum where you can post privately without sharing to your other social media accounts. You can use these communities as resources for your parenting questions or simply share your photos & stories.

Covey values positive, productive interactions.  There are built in community guidelines used to ensure supportive interactions in the app. It is somewhat structured like a dating app–You can introduce yourself to other parents by completing a profile with your interests, parenting style, and kid info. Then you can find other parents based on that very same info. The app will become more and more searchable, so you can look for, say, all {moms, dads} who are members of One Mother To Another that have experience with toddlers and are located near Brooklyn, NY.

When you find other parents like you in your area, you can use Covey to easily coordinate playdates and get-togethers. You can also use the app as a resource for family-friendly activities in your area, or become the local resource for family-friendly activities.

As you may know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I do not do advertising. Covey is not paying me anything or offering me anything for me to post about them.  I believe that the app is a positive thing and know that Sarah and her colleagues have worked very hard at it, and I believe Covey is worth checking out.

You can download the app from http://www.coveymom.com

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Pajama Day

After returning from a week at Deposition School in Colorado (sidenote: young litigators, DO THIS PROGRAM. It’s incredible, and while trial skills are great, you’ll be in a lot more depositions than trials, so it’s a lot more practical), and having a week that was nonstop nonstop nonstop, I declared yesterday “Pajama Day.” I’m not good at sitting still and doing nothing. There’s always a to do list forming in my brain, and I’m one of those strange people who feels relaxed by crossing things off that list. In contrast, being idle and letting things sit on that list stresses me out. 

Here’s the list of things I managed to do yesterday on my day of relaxing:

  • Cook breakfast for the family (huevos rancheros & toast).
  • Finish a book that is due back to the library today.
  • Put away 2 clean, folded baskets full of laundry that I’ve been ignoring for the last week.
  • Wash, dry, fold and PUT AWAY 3 more baskets of laundry (you KNOW the putting away is the hard part).
  • Watch Muppets Christmas Carol twice.
  • Sleep on the couch while Baby Beez watched Sword in the Stone.

Return to Oz

  • Watch Return to Oz with the family and live tweet my horror at what a screwed up movie it was and how on earth did I not remember that?
  • Cook dinner for the family (steak & corn).
  • Boil beets and roast carrots and potatoes, all of which had been sitting in the fridge waiting to be used since lord knows when.
  • Read 3 magazines, thereby diminishing the pile of magazines that has been growing and stressing me out because I ridiculously feel like I’m falling behind on something if I let the magazines pile up.
  • Ruminate on New Years Resolutions.

FullSizeRender

  • Eat delicious ice cream.

Alida

  • “Play” with the bird. And by play I mean let her run around the bathroom and bedroom while I did other chores, and make sure she didn’t destroy or poop on anything.
  • Yell at husband to get the fireplace lit.
  • Troubleshoot fireplace when it wouldn’t turn on.
  • Yell at husband some more.
  • Text handyman about fireplace.
  • Praise husband when he figured it out and fireplace was roaring with a lovely fire.

Fire

  • Mutter curses when we realized we have to troubleshoot the fireplace even more, because it shut itself off after 20 minutes.
  • Reviewed contents of fridge and cabinets and wrote grocery list.
  • Picked up a new book and got through the first chapter.

And ridiculously, I feel incredibly relaxed after yesterday.  Today is fairly similar– we aren’t running around to events. This morning I’m doing a couple chores, and then I’m taking Baby Beez to the park so she can ride her bike. Tonight we are having some friends over for dinner, which means that this morning I got to partake in one of my absolute favorite activites: Picking out what we will order from the Kavsar menu (THE BEST!)

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NaBloPoMo Day 30: Peace ahhhht

I was just about to go to bed, because it is now 10 pm and I have an 8am flight to catch. I then remembered that it is the LAST DAY of NaBloPoMo and I have yet to post anything today.

SO HERE IT IS.

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snoopy running

That’s how it is done. NaBloPoMo complete.

Now it’s time for some beauty rest.

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NaBloPoMo day 29: Shopping local for the holidays with @imadeitmarket @apricotandbee @smalltowerpress @goodsandevil

NaBloPoMo day 29: Shopping local for the holidays with @imadeitmarket @apricotandbee @smalltowerpress @goodsandevil

I’ve posted some Pittsburgh-focused gift guides in the past (2013, 2014 pt. 1, 2014 pt. 2). This year I made it out to I Made It! Market for their holiday event on Small Business Saturday. I picked up a number of great gifts for friends and family members, and Baby Beez got to do some shopping of her own with some birthday money she still had not spent. We had fun sorting through the things she wanted, and also working on math as she sorted through how much money she had and what she wanted to buy.

I Made It

In the past, I have found that craft fairs were at too high a price point for me to do much shopping. I do not doubt that an artisan put love and care into their products, but a $60 doll is not happening with me.  I was very pleased to find that not only were there a lot of products I just loved, but that the price points were also very accessible.

I Made It

For my niece and nephew, I got this adorable baby doll from Gingercake, the Gaggles of Giggles book from Apricot & Bee (Michelle personalized and signed the book for them, too!) and a digger from Mama Made them Toys.  Baby Beez also got herself a toy car with little people from Mama Made them Toys as well as her own baby doll from Gingercake. I have to tell you, though, she is obsessed with the baby doll. She’s been carrying it all around the house and won’t let it away from her side. She’s a kid that loves baby dolls usually, and she is absolutely crazy about this baby.  For those of you who are crafty, Gingercake also sells patterns in addition to the toys themselves.

I Made It

I Made It

Baby Beez also got this neat butterfly toy from Peg & Pin. It’s a little caterpillar doll, where you can replace the butterfly wings. They have all kinds of little peg dolls for lots of creative imaginative play.

I Made it

I’ve been moderately OBSESSED with this print since the first time I saw it several years ago in a different burgh-focused gift guide. I even reached out to the artist, Barry Gott, a few years back to ask if I could use the image as the banner on this site (and offered to pay him for the permission) and he graciously said that no payment was needed, he’s happy to agree as long as I credit the art as being his.  Ultimately I ended up having custom art made, but it was incredibly nice of him, and I still appreciate it.  So, I’ve wanted to get this print for ever and ever and I’m not sure why I never got around to it. But he was at the market today and I was like YES I AM FINALLY BUYING THIS!!  And I did. And now I have it. So happy!  Barry sells quite a number of adorable Pittsburgh-themed pictures through his shop, Smalltower Press.

I Made It

Mr. Beez was very excited to pick out this super cool Zombie Capital shirt from Goods and Evil. He’s always on the lookout for a clever shirt, and they had a few that he really liked.

Also, a couple of “honorable mentions” are in order for shops I loved, even though I did not pick up anything from them this visit.

Frost Finery

Frost Finery’s delicate handmade jewelry is just gorgeous. She has a few items that are Pennsylvania themed, but my favorite pieces are the elegant drop bead pieces.

I Made It

Resident Design makes these incredible mounted-animal-head paper kits. They sell the kit with instructions, and you assemble it yourself. It’s a really cool project to do with family members or teenagers.  Tristan also said he is working on a smaller-scale version that would be good for working on with school age children.  I, for one, am absolutely terrible with anything involving spatial skills or building things (or following directions for that matter), but if you are a normal person who can, for example, put puzzles together, these would be really cool and fun to build.

I Made ItFount leather goods makes these gorgeous leather bags that are just, wow. I have been wanting to invest in a chic but sturdy leather bag for work, and prefer something more contemporary than the typical briefcase. These bags are just gorgeous.

The I Made It! holiday event is over now, but many of the same vendors will be participating at the Handmade Arcade next weekend.  As you can see, we found some amazing things and were happy to support small independent businesses. Remember to Shop Small this holiday season!!




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NaBloPoMo Day 28: The Thanksgiving Pile

NaBloPoMo Day 28: The Thanksgiving Pile

I try to keep things light on this blog, but sometimes there arises an issue of such moral and social importance that I am compelled to confront it. This issue on my mind today is The Thanksgiving Pile. Specifically, the fact that the only appropriate way to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner is in a massive, gravy-drenched pile that is decadently disgusting.

Thanksgiving Pile

This is the most disgusting looking food picture I’ve ever taken. That’s the point. It’s wonderfully disgusting. AND THE WAY THANKSGIVING DINNER SHOULD BE EATEN.


There is a school of terribly misguided thought that believes that each of the foods in the Thanksgiving meal should be kept separate and eaten individually. THIS IS WRONG. It is completely impossible to fully experience and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner unless you properly mash it all up.

I feel so much better, now that I have shared this incredibly important information.