How to Make a Birthday Hat and other Crafty Mom Musings

DIY cone hat for my daughter’s 1st Birthday Party

In theory, I love to DIY. In reality, I don’t have the patience for reading long how-tos. Consequently, I wing-it, often times making the crafting process much harder. Now, I’m very artist – a gift I acquired from my late father. He could draw anything. (Side note: Let’s just say my elementary school projects were legendary.) But, I digress.

When my daughter was born, I had all these lofty ideas of what to make for her room, what to make for memories sake, what to make for the grandparents, etc. Many suggestions were shot down by my non-DIY loving husband. Many ideas never materialized because I didn’t allocate the time needed to properly create something, anything. This was going to change with Ilana Rose’s birthday approaching April 4th. I was determined to make a 1st Birthday Party Hat.
I spend about $300 on supplies because I couldn’t make up mind mind, and 
I needed basic crafting supplies. Don’t worry, $250 of it is going back. 

With a vague idea of what I might need (see above about winging it), I heading to Michaels. The results are documented below. The memories are emblazoned in my heart. This wasn’t just about crafting, it really was about slowing down for two hours, Friday morning, and thinking about the past year as a new mom. I savored every minute of the cutting, folding, and gluing … and then Ilana woke up for her morning nap. Friday night, after dinner, I spent another thirty minutes wrapping up the project.

SUPPLIES
  • Foam paper
  • Craft paper
  • Ribbons, pompoms, stickers, anything else that catches your eye at the craft store that might work as décor accents (a good return policy is essential, if you like to play with options!!)
  • Faux flowers
  • Glue stick, scissors, staple gun
  • Downloadable cone shape


DIRECTIONS
  • Download a cone hat shape. Print and cut out the shape.
  • Decide on color scheme or theme. Mine was soft yellow, blush pink and Champaign (because I couldn’t find rose gold products). In keeping with our English garden, Tea Party theme, I wanted everything to feel romantic and elegant.
  • Trace the cone shape on the foam and cut out the shape. I used foam as my base for the hat.* You can use it as the main hat and skip additional layering and gluing. (* Next time I’ll use thicker stock paper, as foam is a bit trick and way too thick when you glue one end of the cone to the other.)
  • Trace the cone shape onto the back of your craft paper, but don’t cut it out.
  • Make slip cuts along the curved edge of the cone shape, on your craft paper. This helps make the final look neater.
  • Glue the craft paper to the foam. Press and hold as you go, to get a permanent stick.
  • If you are planning to have pompoms, feathers or other items at the tip of the cone, cut out a small bit from the top of your (still flat) cone hat.
  • I used faux flowers as my ‘cherry on top’. Simply cut off the stem, leaving about an inch to wrap with strong tape and a rubber band.** (**I loved the look of the flowers, but next time I need something lighter. The weight was too much for my daughter’s precious little head. I’ll explain in an upcoming post about the dos/don’ts of baby photo shoots! You live and learn.) 
  • Because my hat was rather thick and the flower ‘cherry on top’ was a pinch heavy, it was easier to warp and glue the cone with the ‘cherry on top’ flowers already being held inside vs. sticking them in after the cone was all glued. (However, I may try that the next time. Much like motherhood, I’m learning as I go.)
  • I couldn’t find a pre-made number 1 that matched my color scheme, so I cut it out (using stencils – which isn’t winging-it, but I could heard my husband’s voice in my head and I knew stencils were the way to go).
  • Decorate away. I purchased beautiful stickers from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection, to make life easier.
  • To make her name stand out, I cut a strip of thick, yellow paper and made a band around the hat. The paper needs to be cut in the same degree as the cone, otherwise you will not get an even strip look. Math hasn’t been my strong suit in years, so eyeballing it/winging it meant this step took longer than necessary.
  • In order to hide the tiny gap created on the back of my really thick hat, I added a bird slip. J Birds = garden = tea party. It makes thematic sense.
  • Rather than use wire, which would have held the hat on my daughter’s head a heck of lot better during our photo shoot (more on that later), I opted for pretty yellow lace. Cut two equal pieces long enough to tie a bow around the neck. Attach one on each end with staples. Hide the staples with décor. I used flower stickers.
  • Marvel in your glory. 

Faux flowers = My version of the “cherry on top” pompom for a birthday hat.
I knew the bird clips would come in handy!! Also, note to other
wanna-be DIYers: any “error” can be craftly corrected.
 

Quick 20 Minute Family Meal, Russian Katleti with Orzo

Allocating time to cooking for my family hasn’t been easy since the birth of my daughter and the extra bun cooking in my oven. I’m constantly looking for easy, healthy and time-saving recipe and nothing is faster than home-made, chicken katleti. It’s kind of like a flat meatball, for those unfamiliar with Russian food. Every woman has her own version and this is mine.

Chicken Katleti 
Ingredients
~ 1 ld ground chicken (buy it ground to make life easier)
~ dd
~ 1 small onion finely chopped (optional)
~ 1 garlic clove minced
~ 1 tsp pepper
~ 2 tsp salt (adjust to your family)
 
Dipping Sauce:
~ 

5 Stylish & Zen Ways To Channel Spring, Happy Spring Solstice

Happy Spring! Wait, it’s actually sunny today and above 40 degrees. I’ll take it! Us East Coaster are ready for the new season and I’m jumping in full force with a little decorating and style changes, and playful R&R.;

Here’s how I’m celebrated spring solstice:

1. Holding my belly and dancing to Pharrell  “Happy” song. I’ll have to have the hubby take a picture tonight.  

2. Swapping out my living room pillows for something a bit more yellow and joyful. I love these from the Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection for JCPenney. This man can do no wrong and these prices make me very, very, sunshine happy. 

Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler for JCPenney = happy living room

3. Making sure the hubby comes home today with fresh flowers. A few more calls to the office should do the trick!

Peonies are such a delicate flower, and a great way to welcome spring

4. Shopping for a pink coat – I’ve been seeing so many and it’s such a mood lifter.

1.ASOS Vintage Cocoon Coat, $207
2.Boss 
Cesinala Wool-Cashmere Coat, $417
3.
CHAREX Wool Coat, $54
1. REISS Regale Mandarin Collar Coat, $500
2. 
ASOS Skater Coat with Zip Front, $141

5. Heading for a walk in the park with my daughter. It’s 5pm and this mama needs to go play with her munchkin. 

Happy Spring. Enjoy and embrace the sunshine, ideally while wearing cute shoes ;-). 

Old Hollywood Glamour Must Be Revived

In some TV interview, I recall Joan Rivers (FYI I love this woman!) saying that as a young girl she was getting into the elevator at Saks Fifth Avenue when XYZ (sorry can’t recall who she named – I’m experiencing pregnancy brain) Hollywood, leading lady stepped out looking the part of a “Hollywood leading lady”. Of course, she wasn’t on set and no cameras were following. Rivers’ comment was that this was how an actress should look at all times.
Lauren Bacall, Audrey Halpern & Liz Taylor out-and-about, and still glamorous 
When did Hollywood glamour die? Sure, the women usually pull out all the stops when they are on the Red Carpet. We’ll see plenty of that this Sunday at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. But, what about in the real world? What about when they run out for groceries, take their kids to school or have a production meeting? Much like a president leading a nation, I expect these women – and men – to lead the nation, by example.
Yes, life has changed over the past fifty plus years. There are more obstacles and responsibilities, yada yada. Why does glamour and female allure have to be stifled in the process? Why can’t young Hollywood look casual-cool in jeans and well fitted shirt, but also slap on a little rouge? And, for the love of g-d, well coiffed hair in NOT an option under any circumstance.
I could show you the evidence of Hollywood run a mock, i.e. women who jet out of the house looking like hot messes, but that’s too TMZ for my taste. And, my mother, who happens to be an etiquette coach, taught be better. So, I’m not mentioning any specific names or showcasing images for your viewing pleasure. I simply want to put out this PSA:
Leading ladies of Hollywood, please get your acts together. You are leading a nation of women that look up to you as role models not only for your entrepreneurialism, philanthropy and artistic talent, BUT your grace and beauty. Being a role model is a 360 job with multiple levels; and, Always Being Your Best You is one of them.
So, next time you walk out the door you don’t need to look like you just stepped out of a movie set, but you also don’t need to look like you just mopped the floor with your head and pulled clothing out of a hamper. Take a page from icons of yesteryear and Never Surrender your style and beauty routine. America’s women need you!
Sophia Loren and Liz Taylor always looking their best

PS I placed this post in “P2 Lifestyle” because style and beauty are full lifestyle choices that women must make on a daily basis to express themselves and set the tone for their lives. It’s how we can live with better self esteem, lead our kids by example and express to the world how we feel about our selves. Hey world I”m hear and I deserve to be seen and acknowledged. 

Pregnant Girls Cocktail, Plus Repurposing Glass Bottles

I’m indulging in a Pregnant Girls Cocktail.

Fine, no alcohol. But, I want a fabulous glass for my drink!

Ingredients:
– Pretty Glass
– Water
– Slice of fresh squeezed lime
– Dash of sparking pomegranate spritz (for added flavor and color)

Sometimes, you just need to have a pretty drink in a pretty glass to kick off the day. 

FYI This glass actually used to contain preserve. I love turning glass containers into unique cups an vases. This particular one contained Braswell’s All Natural Chocolate Raspberry Preserve. Yes, it tasted as good as it sounds! I got it at HomeGoods for about $4. 

Here are some other products that come in glass containers you can repurpose.  

Make the most of your food/beverage purchases, by giving them new life.

Reuse glass jars for drinking, making your own preserve with custom labels (here’s a fun idea from craft store MIchael’s), pencil holders or other office organizing, vases, etc. With the later, I love the idea of bunching mismatched glass containers and placing low cut flowers in them. Place three or four, with flowers, on a mirrored tray for added glamour in your bedroom or office. The littlest details can make the brightest impact on your day. Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Organized & Healthy 2014, Pam’s Picks in BELLA NYC

I’m very excited to announce my new role as contributing columnist for BELLA NYC Magazine. I’ll be sharing my monthly must-haves in Pam’s Picks. First up: six products to help you stick to your health and organizational resolutions for 2014.
(L) Bella NYC’s January/February 2014 Cover with Aviva Drescher;
(R) Bella’s newest style contributor Pamela Pekerman
Pam’s Picks debut in BELLA NYC Magazine
Featured brands in Pam’s Picks for BELLA NYC Magazine:
 
Bestowed.com – monthly nutritionist-in-a-box package, curated by renounced nutritionist and author Heather Bauer
Perrin Paris’ Jet Set Clutch – there’s no better organizer for your bag, plus it’s ready to slip out and make you look chic for an unexpected night out after work
IT Cosmetics’ YSBB Your Skin BUt Better CC Cream – the best cover up I’ve ever owned and my quick fix every morning even when the only people who see me are the baby and the mail man
Pinch Provisions’ Skinny Minimergency Kit – everything you could possibly need is something needs to be fixed, plucked, ticked, etc. 
Clarisonic’s Pedi Foot Transformation System – because your stiletto feet need a pampering break, and mama can’t always get to the spa
Rochelle Behrens’ Icon Shirt – finally a shirt that doesn’t pucker around the lady friends, thanks to a patented dual-button technology 
 
Check out the March/April issue for dazzling accessories from inspirational women who decided to make a change in their lives in order to pursue their inner passion for design. 

Picasso, Warhol and Dali Do Selfies

At some point in college, I thought it would be a great idea to become a museum curator, but I settled on a few art history classes. I fulfill my art craving with trips to museums and flipping through the pages of The Story of Art, which, hands down, is the best art book ever. What Gary Vaynerchuk did for wine enthusiast with The Wine Library, The Story of Art  does for art lovers. It entertains and educates without talking down to you.

While flipping through the pages the other night, I realized Instagram did not create the selfie, it just revitalized the art of self portraits. Here are a few artists that know a thing or two about selfies. I’m fascinated by the different styles, colors and diffusion of reality they use. What does it say about the artist’s mindset at the time? What does it say about the viewer who, likely, is interjecting her own thoughts into the interpretation. Food for thought. Now, off to take a selfie. Check them out on my Instagram page

P2 Lifestyle – Who Created The Selfie? Picasso, van GoghRembrandt 
P2 Lifestyle – More selfies Salvator Dali, Andy Warhol & Frida Kahlo

WTF I Need Folders ASAP, BTW I’m Organizationally Challenged TMI

Right before the baby was born, my husband and I gave up our city pad and permanently relocation to our home in the burbs. With that, I lost my city office and tons of space that was all about me and my business. It’s been seven months and my home office is still, well, a work in progress. 
 
To fully explain the situation, let’s just say my desk overflows onto my sister’s desk (she’s my Event Director) and onto the floor. I have a “Tweet This” table that looks more like a fashion war zone. Personal files, bills, baby paperwork, magazine, business cards, look books …. Arggggggggggggggg. So, you can image why I placed multiple orders for these folders, and other Knock-Knock items. Is it wishful thinking to believe they’ll help?
 
Reluctantly, and with great shame, I’m posting images of my office, because aside from these folders, I believe the first step is admitting I have a problem … I NEED TO ORGANIZE THIS SPACE … ideally before my five-month-old daughter goes to college.
P2 Lifestyle – my office needs help
Wait, first I think I need to go on ShopBop.com and see if they got in any new headbands … Wait, I also want to go check on the baby and give her a big kiss before her evening walk … Hold up, the phone just rang. It’s my publicist calling to discuss post-Emmys TV opportunities. I gotta take that one. And so it goes …
 
Are you organizationally challenged, but willing to change? Let’s try to get help together. I’ll keep you updated on my progress, no matter how slow it is :). I’m committed to getting my pretty office out of my head and into reality. 
P2 Lifestyle _ Honest Acronym Folders, Knock-Knock

Frances Rivera: Stylish Mom, PIX11 Anchor, & MILF Mom Is Looking Fabulous

When you see moms and moms-to-be looking amazing, doesn’t that inspire you to kick it up a notch? Whether it’s a celebrity, a woman on the street or one of my friends, these MILFs “Mom Is Looking Fabulous”(TM) should be put on a pedestal because it is not easy to carry and care for a child AND look the way they do. In an effort to inspire all of you ladies out there, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite MILFs.
 
First up, PIX11 Morning News Anchor Frances Rivera. Frances is a dear friend, a talented broadcaster and one stylish mama. She recently came back from maternity leave, after giving birth to her second child. If you live in NY/NJ, catch her weekdays 7-9am on channel 11.
Frances Rivera
 
Pamela Pekerman: My motto on pregnancy and motherhood is: never surrender! Never surrender you sexuality, style and sanity. How do you embody this motto in your life?  
Frances Rivera: Don’t lose your true fab self!  I’ve seen so many of my most fab friends enter “Mommy World” only to never exit.  You know the type – Mommies who neglect or abandon everything in their previous lives and turn into these unrecognizable Mommy Machines. For them, suddenly the rest of the world no longer exists.  
 
PP: I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s hard to see someone slip away and not realize how they are impacting their husband, their family and of course themselves.
FR: Yes, I’ve lost many a friend to that world even if we both have kids in common. I just think moms can strike a balance.  When it’s lopsided to that extent, I stand on the other side of that “Mommy World” and sadly wave goodbye to my friend as the door closes.
 
PP: What was your biggest beauty issue during pregnancy?
FR: Awful nasty nails. I’d skip manis & pedis and use the time to sleep instead. I was that exhausted! Oh and dry knees and heels. It was pretty much impossible to bend over to slather lotion on myself so I went those last pregnant months with ashy knees, legs and feet. So embarrassing!
 
PP: I’ll forgive you on those two, because you know the error of your ways. Next time, at least with the skin, ask the hubby to lotion you up. It can lead to practice for baby number three!
FR: I’ll keep that in mind.
 
PP: Now, speaking of those adorable kids of yours, as a mother of two, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned to stay stylish and sexy?
FR:  Don’t lose your sense of self and get locked in “Mommy World”.  You can pull out and wear those great outfits you’ve always had – albeit with spit up on them sometimes, but at least you’ll still look great. 
Frances Rivera (L); Frances with her beautiful family (R)
 
PP: What was your go-to outfit/item while pregnant, that made you feel fabulous?
FR: A Maxidress and chic jacket! They give you the versatility to dress for day or night and most importantly they’re so comfy.
 
PP: Sexy and comfy. What a novel concept?
FR: Right?!
 
PP: How do you balance your time commitments as a mother, wife and anchor on PIX11 Morning News?
FR: I’m still trying to figure out that one. It all revolves around sleep – the kids’ and mine. But, I’ve found that once the kids get over one sleep challenge and you think you’re in the clear, then another issue surfaces. Also, the best “training” for me as a mom of a toddler & newborn was a trip to Disney World. It was INSANE, but the best boot camp ever.  After the major juggle you perform throughout that whole trip and travels, doing literally anything with kids after that is easy. 
 
PP: Good tip. Although, just the thought of taking little one’s to Disneyland makes me nauseous. Wait, maybe that’s just my third trimester talking?
FR: Probably a bit of both.
 
PP: Now, many women lose site of the fact that they need to focus on themselves, as well as their marriage. How do you make sure that you are part of the equation?
Frances with PIX11 Morning News co-host Sukanya Krishnan
FR: With my Type A personality, I’ve always gotten so caught up in doing anything and everything as perfectly as possible and now after kids, many times I just throw my hands in the air and surrender to the fact that I can’t do it all.  As a result, I’m no longer the diligent “Thank You” card writer or gift giver. Also at home, beds go unmade and my daughter’s morning hair rarely gets tamed. But hey, it’s the small price to pay to be a more sane and happy mommy!