Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Finds: A worthy cause...can you help?

By Kathy Shaskan

We just heard from Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of the
Associated Humane Societies in Newark. She told us that a printing problem has thrown off the schedule of the group's fundraiser, the Popcorn Park Calendar (from Popcorn Park in Forked River). And even though January is under way, she asks that you still support their efforts by buying this worthwhile item. Order the $10 calendar online or email for more information.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Book Beat: Gwendolen Gross' The Other Mother

By Kimberly Baldwin

I'm a mom. And I blog. So, how did I miss the release of Ridgewood resident
Gwendolen Gross' third-novel, The Other Mother, last year? Booklist calls it " ... an electrifying complex and explosively gripping portrait of contemporary, have-it-all motherhood," and mom bloggers and online book clubs have been fiercely discussing its "mommy wars" since August.

In case you are also late in picking up on the buzz, the Teaneck-set novel documents the strife between stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) and moms who work outside the home (WOTHs). Wrestling with decisions, insecurities, jealousy, and competitions, this book has received much applause from both mom camps. And, though fictional, reviewers consistently praise the author for developing realistic dialogue and believable characters, and inspiring reflection.

I'll be picking up my copy of
The Other Mother today; get yours from a favorite book shop or online retailer like Amazon.

And for moms wanting to tell their own stories, Gross welcomes them on her
blog. So we're clear, this really isn't your typical blog. Gross posts writing assignments (this week, write for 11 minutes about planting, picking, or ruining -- yes, I said ruining -- flowers) and invites readers to post their work under "comments." Think of it as part writer's workshop, part therapy, and a unique way to connect with other moms around the world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fashion Forward: Winter Knitwear

By Leigh Boriskin

As we’re now heading into the long stretch of the coldest months of the year, it is prime time to throw on something that’s cozy, comfortable, and of course, chic. Check out the whimsical and one-of-a-kind sweater pieces from
Free People at either the Garden State Plaza or The Mall at Short Hills.

Perfect to go from day to night is the Balloon Sleeve Tunic (shown above, $118). Complete it with striped tights, knee-high boots, and a long necklace for a casual-cool look.

Wrap up in warmth when you slip into the Day Trip Hoodie ($148), paired with a turtleneck, jeans, and flats.

For a trendier look that will be great with just about anything, the Cool Cat Jacket ($88) will take you from the market to the gallery on your Saturday outings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New & Noteworthy: Sweet Gift for Car Lovers

By Kathy Shaskan

You love him ...
he loves cars.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we've found the perfect gift for the guy (or girl) who likes nothing better than strapping into a high performance automobile. It's called the "Wind and Fire
Tour," it's organized by the Vulcan Motor Club, and here's how it works: You pay $795 to send your car-loving mate on a 120 mile trek with 5 other auto enthusiasts. Six amazing sports cars are provided, and the group stops every 20 miles to switch cars. Each participant has a chance to drive a Ford GT, Ferrari 360 Spider, Lamborghini Gallardo, Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 911 Twin Turbo, and a Dodge Viper. Reservations are now being accepted for the following tour dates: April 12, June 20, September 9, October 4-5, and November 14-15. For more info, call 908-879-7777.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Monday Muse: The Guinness Collection

By Kimberly Baldwin

A clown that loses its head—and gets it back. A ten-foot high mechanical one-man band. A fairground organ that booms out ragtime tunes. A box that teaches birds to sing. All these amazing, 19th century mechanical marvels—and more—are currently on view, many for the first time ever, at the
Morris Museum as part of the Musical Machines & Living Dolls exhibition.

The exhibition features over 150 pieces from the world-renowned Murtogh D. Guinness collection of musical instruments and automata. Largely dating to the 19th century, these ingenious objects once brought animated, musical entertainment to private settings and public places. Now, through video and audio technology, hands-on activities and live demonstrations of select instruments, visitors can see and hear these beautiful and intriguing historic objects and experience for themselves a largely lost chapter in entertainment history.

Steven H. Miller, executive director of the museum, noted that "before there were CDs, iPods, records or DVDs, and well before film, radio and television, there was an amazing age of mechanical invention that brought entertainment to people around the world. The Morris Museum is proud to present the story of this extraordinary epoch.”

The Morris Museum, located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $8 for adults and $6 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for museum members and is free to the public every Thursday between 5 and 8 p.m. For more information, call 973.971.3700, or visit

About the image above: It’s all about illusion! This automaton performs a trick that results in its head disappearing—and then magically reappearing—on a table (complete with blinking eyes). Then, with a gentle wave of a feather fan, the head is back where it belongs! All is done to music, as this automaton contains a two-tune, cylinder musical movement.