Thrifting on my Days off!

I’m off from work until September 3. Yesterday I had an appointment on the upper West side so of course I hit the thrifts in that area. I did so well!  It was definitely worth the extra time I put in to get to the city earlier than my appointment and then time spent after said appointment. Early in the day I went to the Salvation Army and scored some interesting, unique clothes that I won’t see myself coming and going in while at work or anywhere else for that matter. That’s what I love about thrifting, there are so many times that what you find; well there isn’t any others floating around, and if it’s a designer item you pay a very low amount of money for it compared to retail. You have to know your brands though.

I do have certain rules that I won’t break concerning thrift shopping. I don’t buy inexpensive clothes like from Forever 21 or H and M. I was educated by my daughter that those retailers are considered “fast fashion” and the clothes aren’t made to really last more than a season; trend wise and construction wise. I typically only buy things I other wise wouldn’t pay retail for such as designer denim and tops. I love, love scoring Current Elliot, Fidelity, or Seven for all Mankind jeans at the thrift, it’s totally the thrill of the hunt for me. I won’t purchase undergarments or bathing suits…ick, enough said. Shoes have to be same as clothes, meaning shoes I wouldn’t have paid retail for and they must be in very good to excellent condition. Yesterday I scored an awesome pair of suede loafers by Tods and a (new) pair of sneakers from a brand called Linder=never heard of them, I heart google.

I know thrifting isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t have the patience, time and/or are skeeved out by it, and that’s ok: more for the rest of us! I grew up going to yard sales and small obscure stores in Manhattan with my grandfather. We always had a great time with him. Those were the days you could take your car on the ferry and you were then free to explore downtown in your own vehicle. Today: I think not. I was taught by one of the best. My other thrifting mentor wasn’t Aunt Marge, my mom’s sister. She lived 4 hours away Upstate and every time we visited we had to hit the thrift store and yard sales of course. Aunt Marge had a gift for finding gold and sterling silver jewelry, like she could spot a 14k gold chain at 40 paces it was crazy! I did not inherit that gift lol. I remember going to yard sales with Thomas years ago and then calling Aunt Marge on the cell to make sure I was getting a good deal, it was a lot of fun. I’m convinced that Aunt Marge was right that we’re all supposed to find what we find, you can’t be all envious of a fellow shopper’s finds. Because those things weren’t meant for you to find. Today the girl behind me in line found a beautiful Fendi bag that she showed me, I was so happy for her and told her so. It’s bad personally to be all envious/jealous. You find what you find.







And She’s off!

My Lelly has officially moved into her dorm today. Tommy and I and her boyfriend, Viyath took the ride into Manhattan with all her “stuff” to move her in. It went very smooth I must say and I didn’t cry once. I’m glad I went up with her and all her things, that I was able to see the actual dorm room. It’s actually the size of a studio apartment with an area for 2 beds, 2 desks, 2 free standing closets, small kitchen area and their own bathroom.

I think I’d she were further away than Manhattan I would be upset and miss her terribly. But knowing how close she is geographically to us and that Tommy works literally blocks away makes me feel better. The ride home I was thinking back to when Lelly was a toddler. I used to sit out front with the kids when they were all small and they would play or ride their bikes up and down the block. Not Lelly, she would run as fast as she could down to the corner and I would be fast on her heels terrified that she would run into the street; catch her; being her back to the house and minutes later start the whole thing over until I was tired of chasing her and take everyone back in the house. When she learned to ride a tricycle she would ride as fast as those little legs could peddle. One neighbor remarked that Lelly learned how to ride a tricycle so she could get from here to there faster because running had become too slow for her.

When Lelly was born she was my smallest baby at 7.5 pounds. Thomas couldn’t say Daniella, it came out Da-lella and somehow morphed into Lelly. Because she was smaller at birth than Alyssa and Thomas we called her Lelly-bird. Sometimes referring to her as simply “the bird”. Well my bird has wings and I’m happy for her. I am going to miss her living here but I know I will see her often. I guess it’s the best of both worlds for all of us.




Last day!

Today is our last day on this beach paradise, Sanibel Island. The beach is spotless and the water so clear, it reminds me of the Outer Banks in North Carolina but quieter. I like the quiet. This town is very quiet, like there is no “town” just a strip/street leading through to stores and restaurants. Yesterday we visited a sea shell store which was very expensive, IMO anyway. The shells were gorgeous and some huge but not my cup of tea. We then found this hole in the wall antique shop that was amazing. It was wall after wall and room after room of amazing finds. You name it and his shop had it. A whole wall of antique medicine remedies, like God knows what the ingredients were in those days lol!  I found a really nice pair of black stone earrings, I was looking for antique nursing  memorabilia but they didn’t have any.

This morning we hit the outlets again. I wasn’t thrilled with the bag I bought the other day, and had my eye on another that came straight from the retail store. It is gorgeous, it’s a light beige/nude color with burgundy suede interior. The model is called the “rogue”. Beautiful. I also scored a very thoughtful, perfect gift for our good friend Brant who helped us out with taking care of our animals. After the repeat trip to the outlets we were ready to return to the condo and sort out boarding passes for the flight home. I’m a bit excited to go home, I find a week away is enough for me. Plus I have another week off before school starts again in September. I really don’t miss work all too much. I’m glad I worked the summer don’t get me wrong but it’s nice to have downtime and do things you ordinarily wouldn’t do, like go to the beach everyday and spend quality time with your husband. I will be sad to leave Sanibel.




The Outlet Mall!

So silly to get excited about outlet malls, we just had one open where we live but I’ve only been there once. It is really nice and it’s a great place to shop if you’re taking a ferry ride over and are looking to do something before heading back to Manhattan or home if you live in the island.

So last night Tommy, Samantha, Alyssa, my mom and me headed out to a really nice outdoor outlet mall about 40 minutes away. We drove through one of South Florida’s infamous rain storms and even got caught in one while shopping. Of course if you know me that isn’t a big enough deterrent to stop me from shopping. Ha! Some rain…bring it on!

Earlier in the week mom, Alyssa, Samantha and me went to a smaller outlet mall where Samantha scored clothes for school @ Nike and I resisted temptation at the Coach outlet and didn’t buy a bag. Amazing restraint I tell you. Amazing.  Fast forward to last night and all restraint was gone. I saw the Coach store and couldn’t help but go in to see if this store had the bag I was looking at. They did. I had to buy it! Had to. So I did. I crumbled. I have little to nothing that holds me back when it comes to bags. Now before anyone decides to get all better than thou; remember we all have our “thing(s)”that we either spend our money on our time on.

After my score at the Coach store I was happily surprised to see a store who’s clothes I love called Desigual. We don’t have one where I live, only in Manhattan, not sure about Jersey. I practically skipped  into that store and almost fell over when the salesperson informed us that half of the whole store was 70% off!  Score!  I found 3 tops that I love on sale and mom scored a blouse that looked like it was made for her. Happy times! Who doesn’t love a good outlet score?


Vacationing with Family

I haven’t been on vacation with my family in about 10 years. When my mom retired she took us all to Disney in Florida. It was a great vacation filled with wonderful memories. My dad was still with us then and I’m so, so glad to have those memories of him.  Since that trip our summer vacations have been with other families, friends of ours. Renting very large beach houses or most recent, last summer we rented a large house in the Lake George area, more precise; Loon Lake. Those vacations were each wonderful, we had really great times with all the families. We had but one rule: we all were able to decide what each of us wanted to do, no trying to talk someone into doing something they didn’t want to do or get mad if the answer was no when asked if they wanted to do/go somewhere. It has worked out better than I could have ever imagined. No one’s feelings are hurt because you had to return to “the rule” when/if you were rebuked or refused.

This vacation we decided to spend with my mom and 2 nephews, William 24 yrs and Jacob almost 12 yrs at my mom’s timeshare at Sanibel Island, Florida. I asked her back in March how many people the condo would fit and turned out we all would fit yay!

I have to say I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity to vacation with my mom.  My mom is easy going and so are my nephews. Grocery shopping which can sometimes be a chore ended up being fun. Going out to dinner has been great; not one complaint about anything and everyone well behaved. Tonight we’ll be having dinner at the condo, we have a lot of food to go through. That’s ok sometimes you get tired of eating out all the time, I know I do. Maybe I’ll score a trip to the outlets after dinner…

Vacation at the Beach!

Current situation; residing in a beach condo steps from the actual beach and views to make your jaw drop. On this gorgeous beach are an amazing assortment of shells that I haven’t seen in any of my previous beach house vacations. Not to say this is a better vacation than those in the past, just different. I’ve never stayed on the beach like this. It is really nice. Oh and we have a screened in patio with which to take in those awesome views of the beach. It’s so nice here.

The condo is my mom’s time share. Her and my dad bought it about 10 years ago after spending  time here with friends. This is our first time here and it’s beautiful. If one doesn’t care for the beach there’s a pool to go. Samantha and my nephew Jacob made great use of the pool so far. Today I hit the beach and it was glorious! The only exception was this large amount of seaweed present, but we got around it by going further in the water. Oh and we saw a dolphin!  Tommy and I first saw it’s fun and we were like, “oh shit!” And we turned to walk quickly out of the water which is not easy to do. Then we saw it’s tail, whew!!  of course we thought it was the greatest thing ever after that.

After the beach we hit the local outlets, yay shopping!  I didn’t get much just some clothes at the Gap. I was very tempted at the Coach outlet though but I resisted and all was well. I have my new “I worked this summer and this is the bag I bought bag” sitting at home so I really have no business buying yet another bag. Sounds so logical, haha.

Vacation is awesome. You forget what day it is until it’s almost time to go home, shopping is awesome, and there’s the beach!  I could just sit there and watch the water all day and smell that great beach smell.



My last day of summer session was yesterday. Before we left the office we had to unplug all the electronics including the phones and take almost everything off the floor including computers, printers, etc…in order for the custodians to wax the floor. It was bittersweet in a way. The office is pretty organized for our day to day working environment, and to see it with everything piled on top of our desks was like ugh it looked so messy.

I’m so glad to finally be off. I know I shouldn’t complain I’m on the same schedule as the NYC school year and I get plenty of time off during the year. But summer is different. I work summers because I like my job and I really don’t mind being there. But to see beach pics on social media…well that’s the kicker. We’re allowed 2 sick days for working the summer. Last year I didn’t take either, it seemed like an unspoken agreeement between the 3 of us working that no one would take a day and that was cool, the summer was pretty mellow last year. This year however we had 2 extra nurses and the summer was not all that mellow. There was plenty of down time but when something was happening with one of the students it was something that had to be dealt with seriously. 911 seriously.

So this morning I slept in to the late hour of 7:30am. I know I’m out of control. It’s all good though, I don’t mind getting up early to start my day. This morning I’m heading to the Sal Val for some thrifting, I hope it’s a shopper’s sky!

Love You…

There aren’t many “rules” in my house aside from the ones most of us have. Love God, be respectful of each other, clean the bathroom when told, keep your room somewhat clean/organized, say thank you when you receive a gift, say hello back when someone says hello to you, etc…There’s more but I would sound redundant.

We also have an unwritten rule of telling each other I Love You whenever we say good bye, even when we’ll be apart only for a few hours. Every time my older girls leave this house I say, “ bye…love you” and they say it back. We dropped Thomas off at his house last night after spending the afternoon with him and I must have said repeatedly  I love you to him at least 3 times before he said it back, I have to smile at that because he does the same thing on the phone. I know he loves me, yes he has to say it.

I can talk to my husband 3 times a day on the phone and each time we say goodbye we say I love you. Same with my mom and close friends. It’s not that I’m afraid I’ll never see them again and I want those to be the last words they hear from me; that’s a great sentiment and excellent point. My intent is to let that person know how I feel about them. My kids know I love them as they know the sky is blue so do my husband and my mom. However it’s great to tell people how you feel whenever you get the chance no matter how often or not often. My best friend Jackie who lives in Wisconsin; I don’t have the opportunity to talk often to on the phone. We text mostly and always say I love you to each other. I have dear friends I met at church and we often tell each other I love you when we depart.

I remember before my dad died, before he became sick, we would speak on the phone often and I got into the habit of telling him I love you whenever we said goodbye. There was a time I rarely said I love you to my dad. I don’t know why it was that way. I mean I know my dad loved me even when it wasn’t said and I know he knew I loved him. One day it just became very important to me to say it to him and say it often. I’m glad I told him I loved him when I had the chance.

Summer Session is almost Over!!

Tuesday August 13 marks the end of Summer in the city 2019. I have to say I’m not sorry summer session is coming to a close. It’s been an interesting 6 weeks. We’ve had 911 calls for students who had situations that needed more care than we could give at school. It’s going to happen in the school I work where there is a medically fragile population.

We are off on Monday due to a Muslim holiday and back on Tuesday for the official last day. The schedule doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but I’m not the one who made it up so that’s all I’ll say about that. I’m looking forward to my 2+ weeks off before we return the first week in September. I’ve got plans to just “be” the first couple of days, then a beach day with Lelly yayyy! . I wonder what it would be been like to take the whole summer off but meh, that’s ok I’ve had plenty of summers “off” when I was a stay at home mom.

I totally don’t miss those days when I was home full time. I wasn’t a miserable stay at home mom but those days were not easy. I think back lately and wonder what it would’ve been like to work outside the home at that time; working the hours I do now. I know it wouldn’t have been realistic because I had to meet get Thomas on the bus in the morning and be there for Thomas when the bus dropped him home. And I couldn’t have gotten everyone else to school on time and then me to work on time. I think of this when I realize how long I was home for. But back then I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to work as a nurse ever again so the point is probably moot. God planned for me to find the online ad for my job and be hired and He also arraigned for me to be working where I work. I know this as sure as I know the sky is blue. It was no coincidence that I was laid off, looking for another job, hired by the Board of Ed, told to go to my school for “training” and then requested by the principal to be assigned there permanently because I’m a mom of a special needs child. That’s all God’s handiwork and planning. He is mighty to be praised.

God is amazing. He really is. I remember back in the day praying for direction for Thomas. All I wanted was for Him to point me in the direction I was to go with Thomas. The Lord certainly put the best people in my path to help us. Those very people were the ones who gave us direction and guidance. Being that hindsight is 20/20 I know for sure it was God’s plan for Thomas to attend the schools that he did. There are no other explanations. And for that I am so thankful.

I’m still raising our youngest so I still need direction and guidance. That’s the only way to go about things. Prayer, fellowship and keeping an open mind to those that He sends your way. Knowing God is listening and He will answer you. And you have to accept that His answers are given in His time not ours. Also, His answers aren’t always the answers we want but they certainly are the ones we need.


And Now She’s Thirteen!

August 1, 2006 the day my last baby was born. Thirteen years ago. I thought I knew it all being I already had two girls. But Samantha proved me wrong. She broke the mold and showed me and the world she is her own person. She takes after Alyssa in looks, complexion and hair (they both have rediculously thick plentiful hair). Personality wise I have no idea where she came from. In each of my older children I can see where parts of their personalities come from and what side of the family they take after. It’s cool in some ways and eerie in other ways. To see yourself in your child can be frustrating because you know how the issue is going to go down, and amusing too because you know how the issue is going down.

Samantha is not like my other children. Thomas has his own category and the girls are real “girls” and Samantha is not, she just goes along beating to her own drum; video game playing, skateboarding, attends church youth groups and learning takwondo. She is not quite tomboy yet definitely not a girly girl which makes her difficult for my older girls to identify with.

Being that there’s a 5 year difference between Samantha and Lelly, Samantha has characteristics of both a youngest child and an only child. She is cool with me: being that often times Alyssa and Lelly are either off with their friends/boyfriend/working. Samantha and I are together frequently. She didn’t inherit my love of thrifting but she does enjoy a good old fashioned trip to the mall, or if I’m particularly agreeable a visit to Dave and Busters. Friday’s used to be our dinner time, just us. But then she started going to youth group Friday nights so it turned into dinner for Tommy and I. Now that it’s summer, youth group is suspended and we are now a trio on Friday nights.

So my baby is certainly no longer a baby . Today she called from a church retreat to tell me she made the very mature decision to accept Jesus as her Savior. I’m so happy for her, she was very emotional and happy and was so mature when she said, “Mom, I got saved.”  I don’t think her birthday could get any better, even though I’m not spending it with her. Samantha comes home tomorrow so we will celebrate then and Saturday with a family trip to Dave and Busters. Samantha wouldn’t have it any other way.