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Nov 15 2012

A Cheap Person’s Guiltiest Secrets

By at 3:01 pm
first day of school

First day of school!

In August, I confessed to being cheap, and wondered if it was messing up my kids.

I followed that up in October with Five Easy Ways to Save Money for Your Family.

But, now comes the deepest darkest confession that an out and proud cheap person like me can make. I am going to talk about the things that I actually will–unashamedly–spend money on:

Item #1: Hebrew School/Jewish Day School Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 6 2012

Photos from Hurricane Sandy’s Damage in Long Beach

By at 2:56 pm
flooded playground from sandy long beach

Magnolia Park, post-Sandy.

On the eve of Hurricane Sandy, I sent my husband to Long Beach to bring my parents to my Northern New Jersey home. The local government was evacuating the island but my parents refused to leave. They said last year, they blew Irene out of proportion and nothing was going to happen. I was livid. So very very worried. And then the storm hit.

My brother went out to Long Beach on Tuesday morning to rescue them. Except, my parents were safe. Their home was one of the only ones that was NEVER touched by water. But for now Long Beach is devastated. The National Guard is roaming the streets. There is no power, no cell service, no sewer system. Broken shards of boardwalk are strewn all over the city.

The following photos were taken by my brother and his Long Beach friends during and after the hurricane (photo credits Jeff Rosner and Matsi Chinskey). Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 29 2012

News Roundup: Straight Talk About Vaginal Birth Risks, Middle School, and Breaking the Breast Milk Bank

By at 8:39 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

Here’s a yucky but important topic: vaginal tears that result from vaginal childbirth. Turns out they may be a lot more widespread than most doctors know or admit, and can cause fecal matter through the vagina, flatus incontinence, and pain. Learn more so you can talk about it with your doctor ahead of time. (Motherlode)

Pretty much everyone agrees that middle school is the worst. But no one is really trying to make it better. Now researchers are discovering that helping middle schoolers have a better time predicts whether or not they’ll stay in school, and how successful they’ll be. (Slate)

As a mom you’re probably taking pictures of your kids and family all the time. But how often do you get in front of the camera yourself? One mom reminds us that someday when we’re gone our kids will want pictures of us, and we shouldn’t be erasing ourselves from our family’s photographic history. (Huffington Post)

A mom in Texas made it to the Guinness book of world records for donating a whopping 87 gallons of breast milk to her local breast milk bank. (NY Daily News)

Oct 23 2012

The Best Digital Cameras for Taking Photos of Your Kids

By at 12:04 pm
stacey ilyse photography

Courtesy of Stacey Ilyse.

Hey, I’m Stacey, a mom to my crazy drama queen little girl, Remy, who is almost (gasp!) 1 year old! I also happen to be a professional photographer. The lovely ladies at Kveller have so kindly brought me on board to share tips, inspiration, guidance, and more during your adventures in photographing your kiddos. I specialize in weddings and also, my passion, lifestyle family/children photography. Feel free to check out my work here.

In the meantime, have you ever wondered what the right kind of camera would be for your photo taking needs? Here are my suggestions, based purely on my preference (i.e. nobody’s paying me to say it).

I recommend two different cameras, both made by Canon. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 27 2012

Five Tips for Making the Snazziest Rosh Hashanah Cards

By at 6:02 am
stacey ilyse family photo boardwalk

Show off those precious faces this New Year.

I remember, growing up, getting cards in the mail for Rosh Hashanah. They were always the normal, generic, Hallmark “Happy New Year” type card.

Nowadays, people are WAY more tech savvy and have the ability to create really fun cards that reflect and show off who they are and their adorable kids and family. If you want to give your Rosh Hashanah cards a personal touch this year, here are five tips plus a few resources for creating and producing the picture perfect photo card. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 4 2011

Mayim Bialik is Not Happy with W Magazine

By at 1:39 pm

w magazine ai wei wei photo shootMost articles I can find on the outrageously disgusting “photo shoot” in W Magazine this month are about the “artist” who directed the shoot from under house arrest in China… how powerful. How meaningful. How profound. What. Ever.

The shoot depicts a set up of a model being arrested in a “protest/riot” scene (ok, fine). Then she is hooded, handcuffed and seen in the back of a cop car (a little weird but I am still on board in theory). Then she is undergoing electric torture, silken hair standing on end, handcuffed to a chair (I am flipping out now both because of the sexual play on torture and also the fact that I am wondering what someone who has God forbid undergone this torture might think of this sexualized model undergoing mock electric torture for a photo shoot in W Magazine). And finally, she is showering naked under the gaze of 2 officers, her exposed back to us, rear end thrust into the air as water trickles down her arched back. (I am now officially done finding this photo shoot interesting.)

Here are the images. How’d I do with my descriptions? Sigh.

Is this fetish and I am just not getting it? Am I an out-of-touch mom who need not concern herself with high fashion? Is this some sort of political statement mixed with fetish and I just can’t discern the lines?

Or is it just another example of society becoming increasingly comfortable mixing women’s systematic abuse and torture under the guise of “art”? I understand fetish culture (I think). I am not condemning fetish fashion, fetish sexuality, or fetishism in general. Or maybe I am? Is this the end of me understanding fetish? Or is it more than that?

Don’t tell me I am taking this too seriously; I have been accused of being “too serious” since I was about 10 years old, so that doesn’t deter me anymore. This is serious. The statistics of physical and sexual abuse, rape, imprisonment, and sexual trafficking of women and girls in this country (in your very own cities, friends) and all over the world should offend us and disturb us greatly. If nothing else, it should not be acceptable for women and girls to be sold as prostitutes anywhere. Nowhere. Never.

I wish Ai Weiwei could have made his political statement in a way that didn’t place women at the center of a prism of the combination of torture, imprisonment, abuse and titillation. If any good comes out of this photo shoot, maybe it will be in making someone somewhere speak out against this kind of obscene excuse for art.

I’m not prudish, out-of-touch, or an old fuddy duddy. I am just deeply disturbed.

In case you couldn’t tell.


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