New Jersey has many wonderful independent bookstores run by dedicated bibliophiles that offer children's programs, storytimes, indoor activities, and books galore for mom, dad, the tween, the toddler and the middle school age kid. Stop in during the holiday season to shop local, or year-round for children's birthdays. We know we don't need to tell you, dear reader, but there is nothing quite like a good book.
Sarah Cavill - New Jersey writer
Sarah Cavill has lived in Hoboken and New York City since 2001, and every time she contemplates living elsewhere, she has palpitations about what the pizza might taste like and decides to stay. After having two children in two years, Sarah hung up her laptop, to hang out with them. The last 6 years have been a wonderful, boring, hilarious, bittersweet, happy time of making parenting mistakes (too. much. yelling), and parenting triumphs (I don't waaaaant to go to sleep. My book is tooooo good!). There were bursts of creative energy on her now decaying blog and then Mommy Poppins came along and here she is, sharing the wonders (really) of New Jersey. When not taking her family hiking at South Mountain Reservation, or trying to avoid the giant sneezing nose at the Liberty Science Center, she likes to cook, eat, cocktail with friends, poke around museums, watch lots and lots of movies (the sadder the better), and read every night (I don't want to go to sleep. My book is too good!). She hopes that her children will grow up to be independent thinking, open-hearted adventurers, and that, like one of their literary heroes Paulie Pastrami, they will offer compassion to those in need, work hard, finish what they start, laugh at themselves and cry with others.
Sarah previously worked at Baltimore magazine and the Baltimore Sun and freelanced for Media Bistro, City Magazine and CBSlocal.com, among others.
Latest posts by sarah
Do you have stacks of stories your kids have drawn for you? Does the spelling in all the thought bubbles make you fear for your child's future? (Maybe that last part is just at my house.) If you have a budding Stan Lee, Hayao Miyazaki or Becky Cloonan, there are loads of classes in New Jersey at great studios and arts centers that will teach your youngster the basics of cartoon, comic book and even picture book illustrations and storytelling. Maybe they'll even learn how to spell 'mwah, ha, ha, ha!!" correctly.
Whilst we are busy being thankful, it’s also ok to plan. It leaves more time for thankfulness on Thanksgiving. If you’ve ever cooked a giant meal without a plan, you know that you weren’t as thankful on that day. You were more sweaty and unkempt and feeding people from the stovetop, than filled with gratitude. To avoid any future appreciation pit-falls, we’ve assembled a handy guide to help you get your meal on the table, and be happy about it. And for more holiday how-to's, check out our Holiday Guide.
Well, Mommy Poppins has given you the skinny on birthday parties from ice cream bashes to museum shindigs and now we're chatting about at-home fun, beginning with yesterday's party vendors that come to you. And many moons ago, before I decided that having a party at a bowling alley was the easiest birthday party known to man, I used to throw really fun, theme-y birthday parties for my kids at home and I'll let you in on a few things I learned.
As the weather warms up we all want to be outside, but I've heard tales of April showers bringing May flowers, so an afternoon at the movies is a good alternative. Summer remains the season for the onslaught of family-friendly movies (steel yourself for Smurfs 2), but there are some options this spring, including dinosaurs from the 1990s and another gem from Studio Ghibli. And check out our list of sensory friendly movie theaters in NJ so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the bounty.
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.--Pablo Neruda
The cherry blossom petals flutter like the beats of your heart, racing with the expectation of another season. Spring. The one that doesn't let you forget that it's a fresh start. Brimming with memories of past warm evenings spent around cafe tables, on picnic blankets, in stadium seats, strolling in the city well-past the kids' bedtime, just taking in the heady newness of this, the best season. Fortunately NJ feels the same way, so there are lots of wonderful things to do, like running with your coat off and shedding the winter blahs. And in honor of my dad, who spends winter forlornly waiting for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training: The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball.--Bill Veeck
Sometimes you want to go where no one knows your name, but alas, you have to take the kids with you, so why not have some fun! Going away in the winter is a lovely diversion from the routine that seems all the more routine when it’s dark and cold, and I do love the time away with my sweet family, even if I still have to wipe noses and cut up their meat. The conversations are often more lively, the whining more specific, the happy faces more frequent. It’s a good life.
It’s time to hunker down with calories. Oh sure, some of us might be slipping into a bathing suit over spring break, but that’s ages from now. We need comfort! I’m offering up a mix of slow cooker magic and recipes that require a little more attention, but are worth it for a day of cooking while the kiddies play in the snow. Dig in friends, because soon I’ll be swooning over ramps and chanterelles! And check out last year's hunkering-down recipes as well.