Thursday, April 30, 2015

billions of stars

When I was in high school, I was heavily involved in music.


So much so that I took any arts class that was available to me. I immersed myself in singing, dancing, piano lessons, music theory and history all because I knew that one day I wanted to have a creative life and I wanted to be surrounded by other creatives to fuel this bright, shiny future I saw for myself.

The desire was so great that at one point I even took a special 5 unit sequence in music that somehow fulfilled my science requirements - NO CHEMISTRY, NO PHYSICS.

Some people gasp when I tell them this. Truth is I didn't need it where I was going and I never gave it a second thought, until now.

Fast forward twenty years, the shine has faded on my ideal star. There have been many twists and turns but for all my creative endeavors and for all the artistic people that I've worked with, the ones that inspired me most were more than their creative selves, they were also mathematicians, scientists and neurologists. 

I have my own neuro-science geek inside me, too.

How to explain the mathematical beauty of a equation or the poetry between time and space? Who knew such creativity existed from the other side of the brain, the one I dismissed so easily in high school. It got me thinking about my choice and the decision I made.

Who was that girl who swore she had it all figured out? She obviously didn't do the math. Was she too busy looking up at the stars?

It's ok, I can look back and smile now because I see the bigger picture.

It's all connected - written in my pages and in the stars.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

i do, take two

Today is our wedding anniversary, 15 years!!!
Where does the time go?

So, how does one celebrate the occasion?
If you're us, you revise your vows and with a little help from your kids,
you say I DO, again with the biggest promise you can make, 
a PINKY SWEAR, and then you eat some cake!!

(Special thanks to Ethan and Reese as our officiant and photographer)

Dear Mom and Dad,

Today we celebrate your anniversary of 15 years of marriage. 
In honor of the vows you once made before family and friends, we wanted to help you renew your commitment to one another and to our family with a very special tradition – the Pinky Swear.

It’s the best way we know how keep a promise.
So please join hands, I mean pinkies, and get ready to say I DO, one more time.
MOM, do you pinky swear to take dad to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward?
Do you promise to love him, all the parts of him, especially his happy whistling like Bing Crosby in the morning and his singing radio hits from the 80’s and 90’s?
When you ask him a question, will you appreciate his one word responses like “Tuesday”, “Brooklyn”, and “Bob”?
Will you love his smile despite his lack of a foreign accent?
Will you support his habit for milk, naps and the weather channel?
Will you cherish the breakfasts he makes on the weekends, especially the bagel runs and the fresh pots of coffee complete with creamer?
Will you hold dear the SNOW he shovels, the grass he mows and the leaves he rakes?
Will you support his playful side in a fierce game of badminton, Othello or Mario Kart 8?
Will you look the other way when he breaks something a little bit more before he fixes it?
Will you forgive him when he says “no thanks” to pizza on some Friday nights?
Will you stay by his side watching Yankee games, building and sorting legos or just hanging out reading the Sunday paper?
And do you pinky swear to hold his hand like the first time, all the days of your life.
 ~ I DO ~
Dad, do you pinky swear to take mom to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward?
Do you promise to love her, all the parts of her especially the ones addicted to the Avett Brothers and listening to the same song over and over again on repeat?
When you ask her a question, will you look kindly on her long, drawn out answers, the kind that take the scenic route to Yes or No?
Will you love her despite all her life talks and have patience with her thinking and overthinking brain?
Will you support her habit of buying and returning things and making multiple drafts of her to do lists?
Will you cherish her week day attempts at dinner and her late night cups of weak tea aka Dippy Tea?
Will you hold dear how clean she makes our house just before a party?
Will you support her romantic side with lots of movie nights and accept the fact that some of these hours you will never get back.
Will you look the other way when she downloads another book on her Kindle?
Will you forgive her when she pretends not to hear your suggestion of doing some weeding in the garden?
Will you stay by her side when she is writing at the computer, watching clouds in the backyard or just hanging out watching House Hunters?
And do you pinky swear to hold her hand like the first time, all the days of your life?   
~ I DO ~
Now let’s cut the CAKE. YUM!!
Happy Anniversary, Love. xo

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Power of One

April 30th, 2015 is National Pay It Forward Day.

Pay It Forward is a simple concept.

You do something good for someone in response to a good deed done on your behalf or a gift you received. When you pay it forward, however, you don't repay the person who did something nice for you. Instead, you do something nice for someone else.

How would you feel if someone you didn't know paid your bridge toll, bought you a cup of coffee or put an extra quarter in your meter?

Pay it forwards can even be as simple as giving someone a compliment or making another smile - small acts of kindness can change the world.

If you are skeptical then watch this video. You will be amazed by the ripple effect of a free slice of pizza.


CLICK HERE to learn more about Pay It Forward Day!!
Happy MONDAY to Ya!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Can you see the math in this painting?

I'm short on time today but I found this fascinating video on Vincent Van Gogh and his famed painting, Starry, Starry Night.

Remember it was Ethan's favorite when I took the kids to the MOMA a few weeks ago.

Just goes to show that ART, MATH & SCIENCE are not separate entities.

Beautiful skies in the forecast - have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Nature by Numbers

Ethan and Reese are taking the New York State Math tests this week. This post isn't about all the wars brewing over State testing but rather about MATH, beautiful, amazing and awe-inspiring MATH.

Take it all in, ooh and aah and be inspired by the everyday world and its numbers.

Nature By Numbers


Sunday, April 19, 2015

half empty or half full, it doesn't matter


"Is this glass half empty or half full?"

Obviously, you know where I am going with this.

At one time or another we've all be asked this question in school. We then learned that our answer revealed whether we were naturally an optimist or pessimist in terms of how we saw the world.

And maybe the label stuck.

But what if someone told you that half empty or half full, it doesn't matter??

That's what Oprah learned with Shawn Anchor on her Super Soul Sunday program. Anchor is an American educator, author and speaker on Positive Psychology. Check out this clip.

I love the concept of a pitcher nearby. POSITIVE or NEGATIVE, it's a temporary state, you can always add more if you can know where to look.

It's a great reminder on those rainy days when our minds gets clouded with negative thought patterns or when we can't see the bigger picture.

Bottom line, half full or half empty, who cares??? Unless of course, you're these kids who had the BEST REALISTIC ANSWER!

Would you believe that Dave and the kids gave the same response when I went around with a glass? I live with a bunch of realists or maybe I should say exact-ists.

Happy Monday to ya - count me in!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


What makes a good story?

Would you believe the answer is a mathematical one? 1+1=3.

Ken Burns can explain. He's not a mathematician, but an award winning American director and producer of documentary films . Listen as he talks about stories, namely what makes a good one.

If you've ever been touched by a story, one that you felt in your bones, you'll have done the math, too.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Cooking with Numbers

Ethan is taking a Home Economics class this semester and has been busy measuring and mixing ingredients in the kitchen. It's been great seeing him interested in meals and offering to make some of his "specialties" for us.

This Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips is a new family favorite and tastes all the more better because he made it, all by himself.

Count me in for a tasty slice!! xo

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips


1 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
3 mashed bananas
3 tablespoons of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup of chocolate chips


1. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Using a large bowl, measure the dry ingredients and whisk together.

4. In a large bow, crack the eggs. With a fork, beat the eggs.

5. To the eggs, add the oil. Beat using the fork.

6. Peel and using a cutting board, slice the bananas

7. Place slices in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, mash well.

8. Add the bananas to the liquid ingredients. Mix with the fork.

9. Measure and add the milk.

10. Measure and add the vanilla.

11. Using a rubber scraper, dig a hole in the dry ingredients.

12. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.

13. Blend until the flour begins to disappear. Do Not Over Mix!!

14. Fold in chocolate chips

15. Place batter in pan.

16. Place in a 350 degree oven.

17. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes.

Yields: 10 slices serve warm of refrigerated, any time! ENJOY!!!

*This recipe can be made into a low fat recipe by adding 1/4 cup of applesauce and reducing the amount of oil to 1/4 cup.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Inspiration Art - April

This month's inspiration art comes from a great story we read on Bored Panda.

"Ben Brucker was tired of the plain, bland walls at the office of the creative agency he works for, so he decided to do something about it. His solution was to cover the office’s walls with a series of pixelated superhero portraits made from a total of 8,024 post-it notes." - Bored Panda

Yep, you heard right, post-its!!!


After reading, we decided to have some post-it fun, too. As a writer, I have TONS of post-its in my possession. They always come in hand to story board an idea.

I started working on the fridge, it didn't take long for the kids to join in.

Reese made a minecraft of many from her collection.

Ethan went for a Mario villian, though our lack of black post-its made it hard to make out the full design.

Me, I went for a basic collage, no rhyme or reason to the pattern.
Then added our April Rule, Count Me In!
Talk about a BIG, BRIGHT reminder.
Post-it tally 1,357...we'll see if this month's rule sticks.
Happy Friday!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Favorite Number

What's your favorite number?

Mine is 16 and Dave's favorite is 23. Reese's pick is a whopper 1,277, while Ethan chooses to be Switzerland, he refuses to pick one.

Sheldon has a favorite number too!! It's 73. Click below and he'll tell you all about it. LOL!

We're not the only ones interested in the question.

Alex Bellos, author of the Grapes of Math, conducted a survey asking the question, "What's your favorite number" after constantly being asked what his favorite was at lectures and speaking engagements.

"At first, I was so annoyed by this question, Bellos says. "I thought, you know, you're trivializing mathematics. Until I said, "Well, what's your favorite number? and I realized that, actually, lots of people feel incredibly passionate about numbers. And more often than not, people, will have an entire story about what number they like."

Bellos yielded responses from over 44,000 participants all across the world and it turns out, the world's favorite number is (drumroll) SEVEN!

It's not just about luck. The number 7 appears across many cultures and religion, as well as through nature and much of our everyday life.
There are seven days in the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas and seven continents. The list goes on and on.
Even the brain likes the number 7.
"Psychologist George Miller observed many years ago that our short term memory remembers in units of 7 plus or minus 2. You can remember an infinite list of words, tasks or facts if you organize it into 5 to 9 (but ideally 7) chunks."
- 7 Reasons We Like 7 Reasons - Psychology Today
So it stands to reason that if our mind is hard-wired to the number 7, we would identify with it in other aspects of our life, too.
Advertisers and marketers caught on...we have 7 Wonders of the World, 7 dwarves, even the famous character Bond was simply known as 007.
Our house may still like 16, 23 and even 1, 277 for personal reasons but now we've got 7 on our radar. I'm curious to see how many 7's we can pick out this month. 
Seventh Heaven!
Additional Reads
 7 REASONS WE LIKE 7 REASONS - Psychology Today


Friday, April 3, 2015


When I talked to the kids about our "Count Me In" rule, Ethan asked if we could share one of his favorite comedy skits by Abbott and Costello.

Everyone knows the famous "Who's On First" comedy routine. These guys are total MASTERS of wordplay. Well, they also know how to have a lot of fun with numbers, too.

In the skit 13 x 7, the numbers don't logically add up except for laughs. Ethan LOVES this one!! In the second skit, 40 and 10, the punch line is a funny poke back at the crazy scenario.

It's all a good laugh at the end of a long week and a silly way for us to ease us into some numbers fun.

Press Play and Laugh ON!!!

Direct Link HERE: