Family, Shopping

A Crafty Present for Kids

My daughters are destined to be creative. Not only do they have a crafty mom to learn from but they also have two very arty Aunts. Their Aunt Paola (Pablo’s sister) is a graphic designer and artist who always sends birthday gifts from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (How cool is that?) My brother’s wife, Jenn (who the girls call “Auntie”), is an avid scrapbooker and card maker who sent a really creative gift to Lily this year. I knew it would be good when she sent an email saying that Lily’s gift was inspired by something she had seen on Pinterest: this cool idea from She’s Crafty.

Lily was quite content with the idea of getting balloons but was even more thrilled when she realized there was something in each one.

That is, until she realized we would need to pop them to get the surprises out. After convincing her that whatever was inside was better than just balloons, she was okay with opening them. But popping them was out of the question for her (I think an older kid – or maybe just one that’s not as much of a scaredy cat as Lily – would have a blast popping them). So we gingerly opened each one with scissors (this is the Lily way!) and Sophia helped her add up the loot as each bill came out. $10! $15! $20! $25! Quite a haul! Thanks, Auntie!

So, off to Target we went. I let her hold her money for only a few minutes because of my bitter memories of the “Tragic $5 Event of 1978”.  Let me see if I can explain without welling up: I was about 6 or 7 and I was allowed to hold $5 (five weeks of allowance that I had saved up) and I put it down in the store and lost it. Needless to say, I don’t think I lost money ever again.

She perused the bracelets for a bit but decided there was nothing up to her standards.

But when she saw this handbag in the big girl’s section, there was no need to look any further. Until she realized she still had more money to blow! (Yes, she is probably the only person in the world small enough to still fit in the cart but old enough to want a purse!)

Here’s her final count. Glittery purse: $13. T-shirt: $5. Tutu skirt: $5. Two notebooks from the dollar section (she picked out one for Sophia!): $2. Picking whatever you want and learning the value of money: Priceless.

I gave her a little extra to cover the tax (I figured that was too big a concept for age 4) but she loved paying at the checkout.

All in all it was a fun and creative gift. Thanks Auntie!!

(What? You don’t do a little pose outside the store every time you leave Target?)


Sue at Home

P.S. Did you notice my blog has a whole new look? What do you think?

Family, Fashion, Home, Shopping

Starting the Next Chapter

When I graduated from college in 1996 (yes, I’m that old) I had one goal: get a job in the fashion department of a magazine. I was lucky enough to land one right away as the Closet Assistant at GQ. (Explaining what a closet assistant does is another post for another day. But it does involve male models sitting around your “office” in their boxer briefs. I. KID. YOU. NOT.) Anyway, back to my story…

For the past 16 years I have worked as a full-time magazine fashion editor so when I switched to a 3 day/week schedule just a few weeks ago, it was a bit of a culture shock. There are big negatives, like  How the hell am I supposed to get my job done in 3 days? And of course, the cut back in salary that goes with working less hours is not very pleasant either.

But on the flip side, there are positives, too: More time with my girls, S, 7 and L, almost 4. (That’s them in the family pic from Aruba. I swear P and I didn’t intend to wear coordinating ensembles. I apologize.) Oh…and now I’ll only have to do my maddening 90 minute commute from suburban New Jersey to NYC 3 times/week. I’ll also get to take care of life (ie: laundry, groceries, birthday party organizing and whatnot) on Mondays and Fridays so I can spend my weekend enjoying life rather than organizing it. But one of the biggest positives is starting this blog.

I’ve been blogging as an editor for Ladies’ Home Journal for several years writing posts about fashion, parenting and relationships but as personal as it sometimes got (and it did!), it just wasn’t really mine. But this is. I’ve named my blog Sue at Home because it’s just that: My life on these new “off” days. It’ll include lots of the things that make me tick like:

1. Renovating and decorating my small split-level mid-century house. You’ll see everything I’ve done in it and hope to do including all the successes, the happy mistakes, and the epic fails that a novice DIYer like me suffers through. Plus –  how I do it all on a non-existent budget.

2. I’m sure some stuff about my kids will pop up. I know every parent thinks this but my kids are highly entertaining! I’m no child expert but I’ll tell you what’s working in the kid department and what’s not. Plus you’ll see all the crafty, creative stuff that goes into having kids.

3. And certainly there will a little bit of style stuff because even though it’s my day job, fashion is still something I love and think about 7 days a week so it’s not like I know how to turn it off.  BTW – please continue to follow me at for worky fashion posts (I’ll be doing all my “mom” blogging here now) and by god, please subscribe to Ladies’ Home Journal to see what I’m doing there. It’s only $5.99 for a year. I mean, seriously. It’s like we’re giving it away.

And if you know me, you know I’m an open book. So, please tell me what you want to hear about and I’ll do my best to give it to you.

I can’t even put into words how grateful and completely humbled I am that anyone (other than my mom or husband) would have any interest in reading what I have to say, so if you made it this far through my rambling, I can’t thank you enough for starting this new chapter with me. It should be fun!

How to find me before we meet again:

1. If waiting for the next post is just too much to bear, you can follow my personal tweets @sue_erneta. (Work tweets can still be found @lhjfashionlady.)

2. And if you’d like to see what someone obsessed with Pinterest looks like, check out my Pinterest boards here. (Let me know if you need an invite.)

3. Update: I wasn’t on Instagram when I started this blog but I am now. Follow me at sueerneta.

Thanks for reading!


Sue at home