A Madison Mom http://www.amadisonmom.net A guide for parents living in and around Madison, NJ. Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:04:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Links for our Local Madison and Chatham Schools http://www.amadisonmom.net/links-for-our-local-schools/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/links-for-our-local-schools/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:07:25 +0000 http://madison.momagama.com/?p=14203 It’s always helpful to have a list of links to the local public and private schools. It makes it easy to find their address, phone number, staff contact info… and to just find out what’s amazing events might be scheduled at the surrounding schools. Madison Schools: Central Avenue Elementary School Kings Road Elementary School ToreyRead More

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It’s always helpful to have a list of links to the local public and private schools. It makes it easy to find their address, phone number, staff contact info… and to just find out what’s amazing events might be scheduled at the surrounding schools.

madison

Madison Schools:

 

chatham

Chatham Schools:

 

Please let me know if you notice a school that’s missing from our list… or any updated linking that might need to occur!

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A Beautiful Night For The Complete Works of William Shakespeare! http://www.amadisonmom.net/beautiful-night-shakespeare/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/beautiful-night-shakespeare/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 03:43:47 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=10444 Several weeks ago, when my family and I were on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth for the district art show, we meandered through the campus to the beautiful outdoor amphitheater for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The set, though only half-way built at that time, was eye-catching and whimsical, with stacksRead More

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Several weeks ago, when my family and I were on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth for the district art show, we meandered through the campus to the beautiful outdoor amphitheater for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The set, though only half-way built at that time, was eye-catching and whimsical, with stacks of giant books with the titles of several of Shakespeare’s works on the spines. We immediately looked up the title of this year’s outdoor show, hoping to plan another date night, like we had done a few years ago, and discovered that this year’s outdoor production was The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised].

Complete_Works

image attributed to shakespearenj.org

About The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]:

37 plays in 97 minutes!  Back by popular demand, three wild and crazy actors will take you on an irreverent, madcap romp through Shakespeare’s entire canon. Featuring some new surprises since our last production in 2008, this is a terrific show to introduce Shakespeare to young people, and a hilarious spoof that appeals to audiences of all ages — from Bardophiles to Bardophobes!  As always, picnicking under the stars with family and friends makes for a delightful evening where art, nature, and the ancient tradition of outdoor theatre all come together!

My husband and I were familiar with the play, as we had seen an off-off- off-Broadway version in NYC about 14 years ago (i.e. pre-kids). Knowing it was a spoof, and full of jokes and slapstick comedy, we figured it might be an entertaining way to introduce the kids (ages 10 and almost-8) to Shakespeare, beyond their familiarity with the movie Gnomeo and Juliette. So, the next week, we ordered tickets for the first Saturday night the play was open. I had a couple questions for the box office (like what size chairs we could bring, more on that later), so, rather than order online, I just called (which, the person at the box office said, is probably better since they occasionally have problems with the online ticketing). I had expected to pay $35 a ticket, but then learned two welcome bits of information – if you have a Bank of America card (which we did!), adult tickets are $25; and, because of an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and a matched donation from Bank of America, all children ages 18 and under to attend FREE!

Next, we broke the news to the kids, who moaned and groaned, and put up a fuss about being dragged to a Shakespeare play. So, we did what we had to do – bribe them with a sushi picnic beforehand. (Wow – Shakespeare play and sushi picnic?!? Now that I type this, it really makes me sound like we are a posh, high-class family! Trust me, we are your typical family, just sometimes we do crazy things!) You are not meant to take food into the amphitheater (though wine glasses were flowing at several groups around us), but you are definitely welcome (and encouraged!) to picnic on the grass above the amphitheater before the show. We got there a bit after 7 (doors open at 7:30; show starts at 8), but I’d suggest getting there earlier to have a leisurely picnic since families start to line up about 7:15 to enter. It is “festival” seating, so you sit wherever there is space. In the amphitheater, we set up our beach chairs on one of the tiers. You can bring blankets and chairs, but the chairs need to be low (not the tall canvas camping chairs) so you don’t block anyone’s view.

Right from the first scene, we were all captivated and in hysterics! I won’t give away any plot details, but let’s just say, when you have only three men performing all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes, you are in for some fun antics! The play had definitely been revised since the last time we saw it in 2002 (thus the [revised] part of the play’s title) with several well-placed references to smartphones and current events. Though all three performers were obviously talented Shakespearean actors who have been with the company for multiple seasons, the kids’ favorite was the one who played most of the female roles – Juliette, Cleopatra, several nurses – and the cooking show host (with a resemblance to Guy Fieri) in the revolting spoof on the bloody play, Titus Andronicus. As expected with any Shakespeare play, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] was filled with sexual innuendo, but, fortunately, our kids did not pick up on most of them (at least, I hope they didn’t!). It was also packed with references to certain male body parts and bodily noises, which is especially what led to my son’s comment as we were leaving the show just before 10pm: “That was the best play I’ve ever seen!”

NOTE: I was not compensated for nor asked to write my opinions about the play by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] is a production of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. It is playing on the Outdoor Stage at The College of St. Elizabeth from June 22-July 31, Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 4:30pm and 8pm. Doors open at 7:30. Picnicking is allowed and encouraged before the show on the lawn. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for Bank of America card holders (use code “BOFA” at online checkout); free for kids 18 and younger.

For more information about The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and for tickets sales, visit their website or call 973-408-5600.

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10 Great Moving Tips from Westy Self Storage http://www.amadisonmom.net/10-great-moving-tips-from-westys-self-storage/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/10-great-moving-tips-from-westys-self-storage/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 19:19:49 +0000 http://madison.momagama.com/?p=13433 As the school year comes to an end our thoughts are on how we’ll be spending the summer season.  Some of us are concentration on relaxing.  Some of us have jam-packed our calendars with activities.  Some of us have thoughts on travel.  And some are thinking about moving.  We are entering the busiest moving seasonRead More

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As the school year comes to an end our thoughts are on how we’ll be spending the summer season.  Some of us are concentration on relaxing.  Some of us have jam-packed our calendars with activities.  Some of us have thoughts on travel.  And some are thinking about moving.  We are entering the busiest moving season of the year.  I know that I’ve seen the for sale signs moving like crazy in the last month.  We personally have at least 2 friends moving this month.  Summer is definitely a time for change.

With friends talking about moving… I was really excited that I was contacted by Westy Self Storage (located right in Chatham, NJ) with their list of tips to organize your move.

I’m not moving.  I hate moving.  I’m trying never to move again.  But… if I ever do have to move… I can tell these tips are worth noting.

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways you can “lighten the load” throughout the entire moving process with just a little planning and some well-timed decisions, ultimately taking your next move from worrisome to worry-free. With that in mind, here are 10 items you’ll definitely want to check off your list the next time you find yourself preparing to move:

2-6 Months Before the Move

1. Begin to Strategize
Moving might seem a bit overwhelming if you’re thinking of packing and hauling every item you own to a new location. Instead, go through each room and closet in your home, one-by-one, making a short written inventory of the items you will be moving into your new home, and those you will need to store elsewhere.

2. Prepare for Storage or Sale
Once you’ve made your list, begin boxing up the items you definitely want to keep, but won’t become part of your new décor right away. Place these items in a storage facility until you’re ready to integrate them into your new home. If there’s anything you no longer have a use for, donate these items to a charity and/or host a garage sale. By donating, you’re helping those who are less fortunate, and you’re also giving yourself something to write off during next year’s tax season. Having a garage sale, on the other hand, lets you make a few extra bucks towards moving expenses by getting rid of the DVD player or Monopoly game you no longer use.

3. Make a Budget
Moving can be costly, but putting aside money for the big day in advance can certainly ease the financial burden. Tight budget or not, saving a few bucks here and there for gas, food and other expenses can build up over the course of a few months. You just might find yourself with more than you need in terms of spending money when moving day arrives.

1-2 Months Before the Move

4. Start Packing
It’s never too early to start boxing up items considered non-essentials, including those things you can live without over the next 60 days. These might include various knickknacks, framed pictures, books and seasonal clothing that won’t be missed right away or you’d prefer be placed in storage. Not only will this free up space while you pack, it will also make the final moving day less exhausting. Often, people overestimate what they want to move into their new home. Now is a great opportunity to mark boxes for home or storage and find a place to store these items immediately.

5. Hire Help
While many people prefer the do-it-yourself method, having movers take care of large and bulky items, in addition to your stack of packed boxes, can really make for a stress-free move when the day arrives. Don’t know who to trust with your precious belongings? Westy offers a free Mover Concierge Service that matches you with professional moving companies that work within your budget and service area. A little help goes a long way.

6. Use It or Lose It
Whether you’re relocating locally or across the country, frozen items and even some cleaning supplies will likely not survive the move. It might be difficult getting through that last bag of frozen organic broccoli at the back of your freezer, but saving money while eliminating waste makes moving away that much more pleasant. Same goes for any other products that might spoil or spill while on your trip – it’s better to use these cleaners now than discover a leaking bottle of bleach after your arrival.

2 Weeks Away to Moving Day

7. Notifications and Transfers
You already likely know the address of your new home, so it’s important to notify your bank, insurance and utilities companies, children’s schools, post office and other organizations on where to forward your mail and any other subscriptions you might have. The list might seem daunting at first, but most of this can be done online, so changing a few accounts each day should have you finished up in no time.

8. Valuables
Some items you own are simply too valuable. These could be anything from jewelry to expensive collector items. If it’s not something you want to worry about during the move, storage is the best option for these valuables. Figuring out a way to transport these necessities over the road securely shouldn’t be added to your list of concerns. Valuables need protection, so make a plan to keep these essentials in a secure storage facility.

9. Final Decision-Making
It’s now time to make some final decisions on what you will be taking to your new home to make the space the most comfortable. You’ve hopefully been utilizing a self storage unit for must-keep items and seasonal belongings you can swap out regularly throughout the year. Storing items is an incredibly efficient way of reducing clutter, offering decorating options down the road, and making sure your possessions are safe, accessible and in a clean environment.

10. Enjoy Your New Home!
With all the hustle and bustle of moving out of your old home and into your new living space, it might be hard to imagine the finish line. Yet, once you’ve unboxed your belongings and finished putting everything away, it’s time to explore the local area, meet the neighbors and spend some time enjoying your freshly decorated interior. You’ve earned it.

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Grace in Small Things – 235 http://www.amadisonmom.net/grace-small-things-235/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/grace-small-things-235/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:07:08 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=10439 5 little things that make me happy The excitement the girls had on their faces when my morning wake up included “Good morning!  It’s the last Monday of the school year!” Celebrating a happy couple at their wedding.  With cake. And champagne. Zoe’s never ending Face-time sessions with her cousin Avery.  I love that they’reRead More

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5 little things that make me happy

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  1. The excitement the girls had on their faces when my morning wake up included “Good morning!  It’s the last Monday of the school year!”
  2. Celebrating a happy couple at their wedding.  With cake. And champagne.
  3. Zoe’s never ending Face-time sessions with her cousin Avery.  I love that they’re such good friends regardless of distance.
  4. The feeling I get at the “last” of all of the activities.  (last softball game, last dance class, last girl scout meeting, last last last) I love the activities… but I love that they’re done for the summer.
  5. Meeting new people and building new friendships online with people from around the world.  I swear the internet never ceases to amaze me.

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An Invitation to Piattino Neighborhood Bistro (giveaway) http://www.amadisonmom.net/invitation-piattino-neighborhood-bistro/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/invitation-piattino-neighborhood-bistro/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:43:26 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=10422 Disclosure: We were invited to visit Piattino to enjoy dinner on them, in exchange for this review post and social media shares.  All opinions are my own. This past Saturday had to be the busiest one I’ve had in a long time.  Possibly the busiest ever.  2 girls, 2 softball games, 1 pool party, 2Read More

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Disclosure: We were invited to visit Piattino to enjoy dinner on them, in exchange for this review post and social media shares.  All opinions are my own.

This past Saturday had to be the busiest one I’ve had in a long time.  Possibly the busiest ever.  2 girls, 2 softball games, 1 pool party, 2 dance recitals, and 2 birthday parties.  But, when we were invited to visit Piattino: Neighborhood Bistro in Mendham… it seemed like the perfect addition to our crazy Saturday.  After dropping the girls off to their separate parties we drove the short distance from Madison to Mendham.  Mendham always seems like it’s so much further than it actually is; just 15-20 minutes.

While the exterior of Piattino was a rather unassuming corner of a strip mall, the interior was impressive.  Not to big, it had a cozy feel, while not being at all cramped.  The bar seated 6 or 7 guests, and had the most gorgeous bar shelving.  They had a small tv available at the bar, but it was nicely off to the side and not at all distracting to the restaurants atmosphere.  While the restaurant isn’t too small… I would highly recommend reservations.  by the time we were leaving there was a line out the door! It’s definitely a place we can take the girls… but it also works for a kid free dinner.  While it was casual… you could easily come dressed up for a date night, or a ladies night out.

PIATTINOS

About Piattino:

Piattino: Neighborhood Bistro– serving up modern twists to traditional Italian fare. Nestled in Historic Mendham, Piattino brings its authentic, new age Italian dining experience directly to New Jersey.  Sourcing artisan ingredients from around the world and our own backyard, Piattino’s scratch-made, chef-driven menu includes a variety of mouthwatering antipasti’s, insalates, pastas and entrees. Piattino is also known locally for its delicious, hand-stretched Neapolitan style pizzas and sandizza’s (our version of a Panini) baked at 800 degrees in its imported Italian stone-fired oven using premium ingredients, ranging from truffled wild mushrooms to 24-month-aged prosciutto di Parma. The menu also features a regional food and drink specialties section celebrating the various styles served across the boot – including current items from the Aosta Valley Region – such as Charred Octopus, White Bean and Sausage soup, Mezzaluna Carbonnade artisan pizza, and much more. For more information please visit their website.

Our waiter was professional but friendly.  He had great recommendations that we had trouble refusing (and were really glad we didn’t).  If there is Sangria on the menu… I have to try it.  I was happy my mom was in town for the recital, because she joined me in sharing a pitcher while Nick checked out their beer and wine selections.  Nick was a little adventurous (for my taste) and ordered the Charred Octopus appetizer.  But after our waiter mentioned how good the Oven Baked Meatballs were, I had no other choice.  Marinara, Herbed Ricotta and Pecorino Romano… perfection really.  I’m a little picky about sauces… and their marinara was good enough to just spoon up and eat plain.  I have to admit… the meatballs were about as close to my Grandma’s as I’ve ever tasted.  I may have to order them every time I go back to Piattino (and spoiler alert: we’ll be going back).

drinksappetizers

The dinner menu had a lot of interesting choices.  Nick tried the Carbonnade (Slow Braised Beef Stew with Fontina Polenta), my mother ordered the Piattino Classic pizza (San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Meatball, Roasted Red Peppers, Onions and Fresh Mozzarella), and I had the Homemade Potato Gnocchi (Fresh Peas, San Marzano Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil).  Like Sangria… if there is Gnocchi on the menu, I must have it.  And I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Everything was absolutely delicious.  There isn’t a single negative I could point out.  I think my delite in my food may have been audible as I “mmmm”ed over each bite.  Nick and I may have licked our plates clean if it wouldn’t have been rude… and we ate my mom’s left over pizza on Sunday for lunch, and I’m not sure how it could have tasted any better the first time than it did as leftovers.  SO YUMMY.  I have to also say, the portion sizes were nice.  While I left with a happily full tummy… I wasn’t stuffed.

DINNER

I also had room for dessert.  And really, what restaurant visit is really complete without dessert?  I was kind of torn… because Nutella Pizza???  But, the Tiramisu won out.  Again… delicious.  If I had one complaint about the entire visit… it would have to be that the Tiramisu could have been 1/2 the size and I still would have been thoroughly satisfied.  Nick and I had both ordered it… and we both brought 1/2 home.  (The girls were pretty excited though.) 🙂

DESSERT

I have to say we were REALLY pleased with our time at Piattino.  The food was amazing.  The atmosphere was welcoming. The wait staff was friendly.  The management was sociable and happy to answer questions about their food and restaurant philosophy.  Even though Madison is home to some of our favorite Italian restaurants… we would highly recommend making a visit to Piattino.  It’s well worth that 15 minute drive.  Let me know if you’re going… I may tag along!

Giveaway:

Piattino’s Neighborhood Bistro wants to invite a reader to enjoy dinner.  Enter below using the Rafflecopter form to enter and win a $50 Gift Certificate to Piattino’s.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Piattino: Neighborhood Bistro

88 East Main Street,  Mendham, NJ 07945

Phone. 973-543-0025

 

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5 Apps Teens Are Using Today – What To Be Aware Of http://www.amadisonmom.net/5-apps-teens-are-using-today-what-to-be-aware-of/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/5-apps-teens-are-using-today-what-to-be-aware-of/#respond Fri, 27 May 2016 12:10:22 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=10405 When we packed away the baby clothes and binkies, a majority of parents assumed that our job of constantly being on the lookout for threats to our child’s well-being were primarily over. Unfortunately, parenthood isn’t that simple. We knew our kids would still need the basics: bike helmets, seat-belts, stranger danger, and the five secondRead More

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teen and phone

When we packed away the baby clothes and binkies, a majority of parents assumed that our job of constantly being on the lookout for threats to our child’s well-being were primarily over. Unfortunately, parenthood isn’t that simple. We knew our kids would still need the basics: bike helmets, seat-belts, stranger danger, and the five second rule. However, for many of us, our parental radar failed to register the possible risks lurking behind our son’s and daughter’s beloved digital devices.

Today, our children hold the world in their hands with Smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming systems, and a host of other devices offering our families the benefits of instant communication. Unlike the days where we could baby proof our homes, the constantly evolving world of social media and apps requiring us to be diligent and hold an understanding of the sites our teens frequent everyday.

5 Popular Apps Today’s Teens Are Using

It’s no secret that our children spend substantial amounts of time plugged in to their devices and it can be daunting to stay on top of the current apps our kids enjoy. Many of us already know about Snapchat and Instagram, but there are a several popular apps favored by today’s teens that we are unaware existed. Especially, when we pause to consider the fact that 70 percent of our sons and daughters take measures to hide their online activity from us.

To help protect our children and stay in the know, here is a compiled list of apps our teens might be frequenting:

Dubsmash. This entertaining app allows users to design short videos that showcase them lipsyncing to movie, sound, or song bytes. Generally, this app is used in good fun, but there have been a few concerns regarding copyright laws. Encourage children to privately share their dubsmash videos and use public domain material.

Whisper. This app features anonymous confessions posted on images to create “memes”. Images are then shared with others, spilling secrets to the masses. It’s amusing to read some funny Whispers, but if used incorrectly this app can become a cyberbully’s weapon to spread hurtful rumors and lies.

MeetMe. This app allows teens to find people located within a certain proximity who share similar interests. While this can be great to find others, MeetMe has been used by online predators to groom and contact potential victims.

Tinder. Yes, our children are using this adult dating app to hookup. Tinder readily admits that 7 percent of the site’s users are between the ages of 13 and 17. Many of our kids register with false birthdates which allows much older and experienced people access to our teens.

Down. Down allows users to sort through their Facebook friends for people who are “down” with having a one night stand. This app was intended to strip the awkwardness away from finding “friends with benefits” and may encourage unhealthy sexual encounters.

dad and son at piano

5 Essential Tips For Digitally Protecting Our Children

Even though the world of social media can be intimidating, parents aren’t completely helpless. Listed below are suggestions to instill a sense of social media etiquette and digitally protect our children:

Teach children how to properly create passwords and choose privacy settings. As an added sense of security, encourage them to never share their passwords with others- even their best friends.

Encourage them to only share items they would feel comfortable with a grandparent seeing and to friend people they know in reality. Catfishing, the act of using fake profiles and identities to lure people into relationships, is common. Cyberbullies and online predators often use this tactic to gain access to their victims.

Know what a child is doing online. This can be as simple as friending them on Facebook, occasionally checking their messages, or using software that allows a parent access to a child’s phone records. Being aware of a child’s activity can help you step in if a child gets in a situation they are not able to handle on their own.

Tell children to seek adult intervention if they witness or experience cyberbullying. Only one out of ten kids will do this! Studies have found that if an adult intervenes bullying often stops within ten seconds.

Create a technology contract for the family. Write an outline of expectations and consequences to get everyone on the same page before a problem develops. By keeping everyone informed, it should prevent future arguments.

How do you keep your children safe online?

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Bottle & Bottega – Not just for ladies night out! http://www.amadisonmom.net/bottle-bottega-painting/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/bottle-bottega-painting/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 18:27:22 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=10395 On a somewhat overcast Sunday morning, my daughter and I ventured out to Bottle & Bottega in Berkeley Heights for a  girls’ painting date. My daughter, a self-professed artist, was super excited about painting with her mom, who never…I mean NEVER paints. Luckily, she had enough energy and excitement for the both of us andRead More

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On a somewhat overcast Sunday morning, my daughter and I ventured out to Bottle & Bottega in Berkeley Heights for a  girls’ painting date. My daughter, a self-professed artist, was super excited about painting with her mom, who never…I mean NEVER paints.

Luckily, she had enough energy and excitement for the both of us and I took a deep breath in as we entered the building. It was quiet, so while my noise sensors were relaxing, my eyes got a 1-2 punch from the vibrant and vivid color all around me. Loads of paintings, created by the instructors, line the walls. Most of them are for sale. Pops of color, like electric light bouncing off the walls, kept my eyes engaged as we wandered in.

bottlebottega

Upon entering the studio, we were greeted by a super sweet gal named Val (our instructor as it turned out) who had us sign in and then gave each of us an apron and asked us to pick our seats. It was a small group, myself and my nine year old daughter, two twenty-somethings, and another mom and her 6 1/2 year old daughter.

Val started explaining what we were going to be painting (an elephant), and how we would go about it. We would start by sectioning off the small canvas, then sketching each part of the elephant with pencil, then the trees, and finally, painting the piece, which involved color mixing and the use of different brushes.

All of our supplies were set up waiting for us when we walked in, with the exception of the paint, which Val divvied out as she told us about herself and the studio.

It was so interesting to watch the blank canvas turn into various shapes, which turned into the shape of an elephant, and then trees behind it, and then sky and grass and lots and lots of color.

BaB

Val was very patient with the kids, and stopped when they needed to catch up or had a question, and let them chat and sing as we produced our mini masterpieces. She answered their questions about the paintings on the wall, who painted them, how long did it take to paint them, which belonged to Val, and many, many more. Val answered every question as she continued instructing us.  She even found the time in-between that to tell us everything Bottle & Bottega has to offer.

Bottle & Bottega began in Chicago in 2009. In 2011 they began to franchise. With locations in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas, they are definitely making a name for themselves.

Their motto is “Art Uncorked”. Bottle & Bottega is a great place for a ladies night out, a couples night out, or an alternative spot to host a fundraiser. You bring the drinks and the snacks; they provide the glasses, paper goods and silverware to make you feel comfortable while you paint.

If family time is more your fare they have family sessions where the family all paints the same piece, but with different colors. They have drop in paint times, as well, or you can register for a class online.

Bottle & Bottega is a great spot for a bachelorette party, a baby shower, or a kid’s birthday party. Or, if you prefer to have them come to you… that’s fine too. They will bring the paint and the party to you as long as you have a minimum of 7 adults or 10 children in attendance.

They even offer a “Paint Your Pet” session where you can come in with a picture of your favorite pal, and paint him or her. They really have something to offer everyone.

If you come in for class or a party but don’t finish your piece, you can come back any time, at no charge to finish it up.

Corporate team building? Bottle & Bottega provides team building for corporations large or small. They can recreate a logo up to 25’ long, that the employees get to paint together.

Most classes are two hours which is just the right amount of time to get your creative juices flowing, but not have you overthinking like you’re the next Rembrandt.

After we finished, we were only responsible for cleaning up ourselves and letting Val take a few pictures of all of us and our pictures. By the time we were ready to go, our paintings were dry.

No surprise that my nine year old’s piece was far better than mine, but that was fine by me. We had a great time together without screens, and by using our hands, something we are doing less and less of these days with technology so readily at our fingertips. It was also really special to sit someplace and just listen. To make something out of nothing, and do it with one of my favorite people by my side.

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Bottle & Bottega is located at 472 Springfield Ave., Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922 – 908.376.6440, or at bottleandbottega.com.  You can also look at a calendar of their upcoming painting dates (including an image of the painting they will be doing!).

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