The countdown


The countdown to Christmas has begun. And so has the craziness that surrounds it. I swear Lilly has become a totally different child the past few days thanks to the anticipation of Christmas. We have attended Christmas recitals, holiday parties, and ogled holiday decorations. Lilly keeps adding every toy that she sees on TV to her Christmas list. (Thank you commercials – I officially hate you!) Hopefully we are ready for the big day on Friday.


This week is going to be kinda nutty so we tried to take it easy this weekend but we were not too successful at that. Sunday we took a drive out to Sag Harbor to see some friends. There is just something about the Hamptons around Christmas time. It is probably my favorite time of year out there. The summer is kinda crazy…. Christmas time is much quieter and everything is decorated so nicely. We ate at LT Burger right on Main Street in Sag Harbor. Always a great place to have a burger and a shake. Especially an rated “R” shake! And thanks to them Lilly got an orange balloon that has already been the catalyst to at least 3 meltdowns. I will have to make sure I pop it tonight and blame it on Gary, our Elf on the Shelf.


Tomorrow I have guests coming in and staying with me, so I look forward to hanging out with some old friends and possibly going out to a kid-free dinner. Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days before the Big Day! Have a great Christmas everyone!

Plaid dress is Vineyard Vines

my red cape and dress is from JMcLaughlin JMcLaughlin

My hat is from Pinkpineappleshop






Greetings from Caneel Bay

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As I write this I am sitting on a beach at Caneel Bay in Saint John USVI. Of course we planned this trip months ago so who would have thought it would have been in the 60’s back home in NY. But at least it’s 81 here and the water is warm. This might be my last swim until May so we are all trying to enjoy it. It feels a little strange being away so close to the Holidays and to be honest it’s my first time not being around home for the Holiday season, but I am enjoying some warmth and sun before the mad rush.



To be to be honest I am really dreading how much stuff I need to do in the next two weeks. We have so many parties and engagements and kid’s birthday parties that I’m not sure how to fit it all into all the Holiday stuff I have to get done. At least for now there are donkeys, pelicans, sea turtles and the ocean to distract me from reality for the next 24 hours.


Traveling with one kid now seems like heaven. Traveling with two kids is more like travling with 10…. and for those of you who have more than two, I have much respect! I swear one kid starts to cry and the other one joins in just for fun. We have managed to spend all day at the beach for the past 4 days and no one is sun burned so I call that a successful trip. Hope everyone is enjoying their week!





Thanksgiving week hustle


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (extra long) weekend. The weather could not have been any more perfect this week. I got to ride my horse Sean and Howie got to go paddle boarding. Thanksgiving came and went in a blink of an eye and then poof it’s Christmas time! The day after Thanksgiving we always go and cut down our tree at Lewins Farm. This year was a little extra special because it was Nora’s first time and the weather was wonderful. Some years we go and it is so cold we just cut down the first tree we find. This year we got to wander around and explore a bit before choosing our tree and heading home.


We spent the afternoon decorating the house and the tree. This year Lilly was much more independent and really helped to decorate. I think only three ornaments were casualties. Then to stick with the holiday spirit Lilly and I went into the city. I wanted to see the big tree and visit Santa at Macy’s. But if you ask Lilly what we did in the city all she will say is we went to the American Girl store. We went to do a girls lunch at the store. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. I had pretty low expectations for this lunch but they truly made it a magical experience for Lilly (and I must admit that I enjoyed myself as well). I would highly recommend this to everyone! And just an FYI they do sell wine and champagne there … Just saying!


Overall this weekend was a wonderful start to the Holiday season. Howie and I also shot some photos for a JMclaughlin takeover this weekend. Follow along to see even more photos from this fun filled weekend.


But first here is a little peek into our takeover.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying this exciting time of year. Oh and I’m sorry if there are any typos I am going to bed instead of proof reading! I know Nora is going to be up at 5 so I need to get to bed as early as I can! Night!




weekend excursions


This week seemed to take forever. I had a “to do” list that was a mile long and barely made a dent in it. The girls have both been giving me a run for my money. And with it getting dark out by 4:30 I’m ready for bed by around 7! So lately I find myself thinking about the upcoming holidays. Lilly has been belting out Chirstmas songs for at least the past two weeks since she has been practicing for her recital at school. This has me thinking about when it’s ok to start decorating for Christmas. I usually start decorating the day after Thanksgiving. I love to watch the parade on TV then break out all my decorations after a few mimosas and I see Santa riding down 5th ave.  I mean it’s kinda my tradition. But now with two kids (can’t really believe that we will be a family of four this Christmas!) I find myself struggling with when to start to decorate. Going to try and hold out, but no promises.


I must admit that I already broke out the holiday sweaters!


We decided to take a ride with Lilly and Nora to the Children’s Museum of the East End. Then went up to Sag Harbor and had to stop and take a few photos.


If you are ever in East Hampton you have to stop here. LVIS is a second hand shop where you never know what you are going to find. I have gotten myself beautiful sweaters for $10, clothing for the girls for a few bucks, ice skates, wool blankets…. You name it, they have it!


This is the note I am ending on… My two little monkeys fooling around before bed.


Jana- cape J.McLaughlin.Sweater LLbean. Boots Frye

Lilly- Gap

Nora- sweater LLbean. Tutu Gap.

Full fledged fall


As we enter November and leave Halloween behind us (how was Halloween already a week ago?)  we’re thrown into full fledged fall. We spent the weekend trying to get outside as much as possible knowing these days are numbered. Somehow we have been having this perfect fall weather and I am loving it. We took the girls out for a nice stroll through the woods. It was nice just walking around and spending time together out of the house.  image

I got Lilly the cutest fox socks that I decided to break out this weekend. I mean I kinda want to get myself a pair! I sort of have this obsession with foxes. Everytime I see them on something I have to buy it…. It’s sort of a problem!image

Lilly is a total daddy’s girl. She loves the weekends when she gets to hang out with Howie. These two love the water and could spend the whole day exploring, searching for fish or frogs or whatever they can find.


Since the boat has to be out of the water by next weekend we decided to take a little ride up river. One last hurrah until May.


I think Lilly had fun! A bit chilly but a beautiful day!


Not looking forward to the weather getting colder but I am enjoying this beautiful weather and the colorful leaves all around! Enjoy this weather while it lasts!! Soon we will be bundled up with winter coats.

A Perfect Day in … Bellport, New York

Daily Catch

Howie Guja Paddleboarding in Bellport, New York

Howie Guja is a photographer, real estate specialist, and life-on-the-coast aficionado who lives on the South Shore of Eastern Long Island. This fall, he, along with his wife Jana and two young daughters, are sharing their version of a perfect day in the most charming seaside towns near his home.

In Bellport, life revolves around the water—quite literally. “Looping the dock” is a daily ritual for many residents here in this picturesque village located on the South Shore of Eastern Long Island.

bellport-new-york-dock The docks are a focal point for the community, where “looping the dock” is a daily ritual.

I stumbled upon Bellport 10 years ago purely by accident, for the village is located off the beaten path. I immediately knew this was where I wanted to call home. Time appears to stand still here, with residents fiercely protective of Bellport’s history and culture.

bellport-bay-new-york-sailboat A typical sailing scene on Bellport Bay. Fall offers up…

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weekend randomness


This weekend was a blur…. did we really just have a weekend?! Is tomorrow really Monday? We had a pretty busy weekend between ballet, play dates, and work that needed to get done (on top of all the other fun house stuff like laundry, vacuuming, etc.). We decided that we needed to get out into nature to recharge. Sometimes you just need to take a little walk to clear your head and recharge your battery. I’m a summer girl through and through – however, there is something special about autumn.


Lilly had fun searching for different colored leaves. She also had fun collecting acorns and looking for animals. Of course Lilly had to wear her crown. She wears a crown pretty much daily. She wears it to school, she wears it to the stores, she wears it to the playground, she wears it everywhere! It is kinda cute for now….. I’m just hoping this phase ends before high school.


Both girls left the nature preserve with smile on their face.


Sunday was more work for the adults and more play dates for Lilly. But we found time to finally get around to carve our pumpkins. For the first time Lilly carved her pumpkin by herself. I would say she was proud of herself!

Halloween fever has hit the Guja household. Lilly keep asking if Halloween is tomorrow yet… I told her not yet but we are getting very close. And that leaves me a few more days to go and buy more Halloween candy for trick or treaters since we ate all the candy I bought already! I hope everyone is ready for a sugar driven week that we all have ahead of us.