boom. boom. explosions everywhere.

straight from the sandy beaches of north palm: relaxed, a little tanned, my pockets filled with the greens, blues & browns of the sea glass i love to search for, i was peaceful for what only seemed like a fleeting moment. and then like clockwork: BOOM. BOOM. explosions everywhere.

i was unpacking my suitcase when i reached in and was treated to a soft, silky, handful of shampoo. oh, come onnn. what the f*ckkkkk. it was everywhere. on my sunglasses. in my journal. dripping down the inside of my new running shoes. for the love, why did i not pack it in a ziploc?? ey. as i started removing each item from my suitcase, my phone rang for the fourth time. arghhh. with a palmful of herbal essences, i couldn't quite pick up the first few times but when the voicemail icon suddenly popped onto the screen, i decided to play it as background to my cleaning escapades. not such a great idea.

"erin, it's your aunt jean. i'm going to leave a message because i have tried to call four times (this was said with annoyance, sorry aunt jean, i'm not always available) and i wanted to share my thoughts. i just read your blog from last week. honey, i'm not sure you should be writing all that. i think some people might be, well, how do i say this (then she paused for ten or twelve seconds to decide how to say what no one asked her) 'PUT OFF'

(i could envision the air quotes) by hearing all that. no one really wants to hear about other peoples troubles i don't think. so i know you are having a tough time, but really, i think it would be better for your whole family, if you just kept that to yourself. take care though okay? and if you need me, just shout." oh, i need you alright. i need you to mind ya business and keep your opinion to yourself aunt jean.

i'm not sure which little explosion annoyed me more. a handful of 2-in-1 conditioner or someone poking their nose into my life. i'm gonna say it was a straight-up tie.

you see, i'm a big believer in people being entitled to their opinions. you have a FaceBook page and want to spout on about trump being the next coming. go right ahead. it's a free country, no one should stop you. you want to post 12,000 pictures of your baby in her 47 outfits sitting, sleeping, standing. knock yourself out. that's the beauty of america. it's a free country. you are allowed to be just whatever the hell you want to be. again: AMERICA, SUPER LUCKY.

me? i am having a shitty few months. this blog? my space. the one that has always afforded me enormous leeway to work through whatever madness races around my wacky little head. sometimes it's all happiness about my kids and their kickass achievements. other times, it includes (possibly too many) cool pictures snapped of my catering events where my team of people dazzles guests at their christmases, weddings or first communions. and other times (like now aunt jean), it's where i share how tremendously awful it feels to be sitting in a broken marriage while trying to keep four kids excited about the holidays as their world comes tumbling around them. without judgment. my blog is where i am free to be me: it took me 45 years to get to that place of not giving a crap what others think so thanks for your opinion aunt jean, but no thanks. we are like planet fitness over here: THIS IS THE NO JUDGEMENT ZONE.

so just a holiday disclaimer from someone who's been there, if you have an opinion of someone, perhaps wait to share it. because you never know. someone, somewhere may be having a really tough time and however that presents itself to you, while maybe not the way you might handle it, is saving them just a little bit that day.

go easy on everyone this holiday season folks. this time of year can be tricky whether you are happy as a clam or down in the dumps. and if you need cheering up, plan a party and order some tasty candy bacon. i can't promise anything, oh, wait - YES I CAN. that sh*t will change your life.

we are a toddler!

and so it's begun. december has arrived and we are off to the races folks.

party time.

the swing from thanksgiving into hanukkah & christmas happened so fast we jumped right over december 1st. DECEMBER 1st!! it was the three year anniversary of opening our little storefront on north maple and amidst all the madness of the cafe, catering and four kids running in eight different directions, it just slipped right past me. THREE YEARS!! holy crap! (i'm not going to lie, it's felt like a decade at least). we are a toddler!

i want to say thank you. thank you for coming to our cafe. thank you for referring us (shout out to those facebook mom pages: wyckoff! upper saddle river! ridgewood! allendale! and of course hohokus! oh my lord! so many kinds words!). and thank you for sharing your stories while you listened to mine. you helped me create a little community within my community where i get to celebrate your kids milestones and take part in your holidays. you welcomed us into your lives on very special occasions from baptisms to funerals repasts and i'm so grateful for that honor. i'm not sure where my fledging company would have been without your kind compliments and rave reviews to your friends. when we opened our doors, i was told not to expect to make a dime for five years. you visited us so often and passed along your praise to so many we were out of the red by our seventh month and we haven't looked back since. thank you for helping me make a success out of something that was only a dream in my mind for so many years.

i hope we are around for many years to come and can keep making your holidays and celebrations great moments to remember.

i always loved crunchy peanut butter better...

it's been a busy week. nicely done folks. you listened.

i love when i hear from you guys. i had no less than a dozen you reach out this week about how hard it is to fit in some time for yourselves, how shitty you feel when your sister-in-law's house looks like a martha stewart ad and how you can barely find matching socks for your kid and get your mascara on right. girl, I GET IT. i'm not sure what this business catchy. or i look like from the outside, but on the inside, it is NOT pretty these days.

many of you know (and i'm sure many more of don't) that i am recently separated from my husband. and it sucks. just typing that sucks. waking up each morning to it sucks. looking at my kids and seeing their sadness sucks. and knowing 18 years of love, patience, and hard work didn't quite have the ending we worked tirelessly to create is more shitty than any words i have at my disposal. life right now is ugly. like dropping f-bombs in front of my 8 year old ugly (yup, i said it) and while it may look okay from the outside to some, it's a whole hefty garbage bag full of crappy to those who know me closely. and whether i am passing it off as no big thing or i am letting my ugliness shine right out there (like this morning when i decided to go to dunkin' donuts in the world's most hideous pajamas and ran smack into not one, but three people i knew with a head of hair that can only be described as terrifying) - it's OKAY. no one is judging me and if they are (f*ck you), well i gotta tell you, at 45 years old, i have finally gotten to that place of I. DON'T. CARE.

life is messy. it's ugly and imperfect and everyone just does their best to put their best foot forward. your house doesn't look like a magazine spread? that's cool. mine is looking less than stellar right now with no one to call the lawn guy about the bus that drove over it last week. your kids don't have matching corduroys and they pulled their braids out in the car on the way down to your moms?? no worries. hopefully you got the pictures before you left.

i spent YEARS to trying for the perfect picture, creating the most delicious side dishes, organizing the most fun ladies night and what does it matter? the shit is all hanging right the F*CK out there now anyway so guess what? be kind to yourself and let someone help you. i've never in my life been one to ask for help and in the last three months there isn't a friend or acquaintance i haven't called on for something. a ride. a quart of milk. a sleepover for my kid when i couldn't handle four carpools all falling at the same hour. no one is perfect and you. don't. need. to. be. i had a woman call today asking us to cater her entire thanksgiving because she got in a fight with her mom and ended up changing her entire holiday plan and was so sad about it she couldn't even cook. i loved it. someone was finally asking me for help. finally something i could do for someone else.

so ask. all you gotta do is say the word and i can guarantee someone will be there to help. life's too short to try and make it all look smooth.

i always loved crunchy peanut butter better.


because if you don't, who the hell will??

wow. what a week.

i write this blog almost every sunday night at the same hour. it's generally around 10:15-10:30 at night and my brain gets quiet and the pace slows. my kids are tucked in bed, the house is silent, and i get a moment to reflect on the week that's passed me by. was it positive or negative? did i do all i could to show up for my kids? did i service my customers and make their event the best one possible? and after all that, did take care of myself in some small, meaningful way that filled up my bucket?

it's rare that i can answer each of those questions with a yes. some weeks it just isn't in the cards. my kids? they always get top billing. i grew up in a generation where we were we raised somewhat like feral cats. we went out to play unaccompanied until the light in the sky dimmed and we heard my dad's whistle. we did our homework on our own without much parental guidance as my mom was flying around to carpool five kids to sports, food shop, cook dinner, do the laundry and whip up lunches - i wished for more but there was only so much one woman could manage and i think that determined my parental style to always make sure my kids got a little more than perhaps they actually require. i can make a 24 hour day feel like 36 by just moving a little quicker and getting sh*t done and it's important to me that my kids know when they need me, i'm there even when there may be three different places at once (moms can clone themselves if you didn't know).

work is always the easy show. sailing into my shop each day, i know that while i may be asked a dozen questions and there may be a few fires to extinguish, i have a staff on hand that is so competent, so first world FABULOUS, that no matter the quandary, my intel isn't so much needed as they are just keeping me in the loop. we were approached to cater a wedding just six weeks to plan it and yesterday we just CRUSHED IT (i'm sorry, sounds a little overly confident but i'm just reporting the facts: when three dozen people tell you the same thing, it becomes your gospel, word people). every detail was recorded, every request was met and the celebration, though a tiring 15 hour day, was the reason i got into catering in the first place. pure happiness.catchy. is teamwork, execution, camaraderie. we are about putting people at ease and reassuring them that there is nothing too much for us to handle. it's what i was born to do and i pinch myself each time i find myself flying high after a seamless event.

that third cog is a tough one. fitting in self care for anyone is tough let alone a working parent with a handful of kids who is short on time and long on demands. but even on a weekend cluttered with weddings, lacrosse tournaments and dogs eating headphones (clean up is a bitch: that damn plastic) i'm beginning to see the benefits of staying in my pajamas some mornings, ordering takeout for dinner rather and even just listening a little deeper to the sermon at church and enjoying the message i'm graced with. it doesn't have to be some grand gesture, just buying myself a bunch of gerber daisies at the metropolitan plant center feels like i am putting myself on the calendar. i glance at them and realize "i matter." i didn't get that message every day for the last 45 years but i'm getting it now. no one is going to send that message to me but ME so i've stopped waiting and started doing it myself.

so ladies and gentleman, PUT YOURSELF ON THE CALENDAR. it's the hurricane season. it's busy, life is stressful and we all have a plate so full it spills over onto our unswept floor (because who has time to sweep every day?). if you can order your mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts and pumpkin bread from catchy. for the holidays then do it. no one is judging but YOU. we know you can bake. we know you are a loving mom. don't put yourself in the hospital bc you had to make the appetizers for your mother in law's party when you could spend that time reading to your kids or even better, getting a 10 minute massage at the nail salon and have us do the heavy lifting for you. order your dinner online at www.thecatchycaterer.com a few nights this season and leave the supermarket behind. spend that time in the flower shop picking out some blooms for you bedside table and let those buds remind you that YOU MATTER. because if you don't, who the hell will?


i dare you.

i dare you.

try and figure out how it's possible for catchy. to pump out fresh, delicious salads, soups and sandwiches all day, unique and delicious catering all weekend AND have our chef Laura create our NEWEST phenomenon in her downtime: catchy.'s weekly farm to table specials. did you figure it out yet?? yeah, i can't either.

just when you thought salad was all we did. just when you thought our ridiculous candy bacon & mini bacon bleu cheese sliders were the best we got - THIS HAPPENED!! our kitchen sat down with us last week and suggested we try and wow our customers right before the holiday season. you know, show them a little of what could be ordered and delivered like, RIGHT TO THEIR TABLE (!) for the holidays. you want a piece of this? don't blame you one bit. so do i.

we've got chipotle & orange pork tenderloin over a roasted sweet potato hash. we've got a spinach & artichoke stuffed chicken breast over red quinoa with a parmesan cream sauce. we've got a farm to table grilled swordfish over roasted golden beets & baby bok choy and even some risotto stuffed peppers. i mean REALLY?!? who does that? i fed my kids reheated buffalo chicken pizza last night. i'm ashamed to say i went to cooking school around this crew.

and all this on a week with halloween mayhem in the kitchen pumping out parties, luncheons and events (to say nothing of making halloween costumes and managing their regular lives). my crew are nothing if not astute multitaskers. it's just what they do. ask them to work hard and they will just work harder. that's why i hand selected them for my shop because thrive on making our customers events special, memorable and unique. that's my team's goal and they crush it weekly.


wow. what a week

wow. what a week.

i write this blog almost every sunday night at the same hour. it's generally around 10:15-10:30 at night and my brain gets quiet and the pace slows. my kids are tucked in bed, the house is silent, and i get a moment to reflect on the week that's passed me by. was it positive or negative? did i do all i could to show up for my kids? did i service my customers and make their event the best one possible? and after all that, did take care of myself in some small, meaningful way that filled up my bucket?

it's rare that i can answer each of those questions with a yes. some weeks it just isn't in the cards. my kids? they always get top billing. i grew up in a generation where we were we raised somewhat like feral cats. we went out to play unaccompanied until the light in the sky dimmed and we heard my dad's whistle. we did our homework on our own without much parental guidance as my mom was flying around to carpool five kids to sports, food shop, cook dinner, do the laundry and whip up lunches - i wished for more but there was only so much one woman could manage and i think that determined my parental style to always make sure my kids got a little more than perhaps they actually require. i can make a 24 hour day feel like 36 by just moving a little quicker and getting sh*t done and it's important to me that my kids know when they need me, i'm there even when there may be three different places at once (moms can clone themselves if you didn't know).

work is always the easy show. sailing into my shop each day, i know that while i may be asked a dozen questions and there may be a few fires to extinguish, i have a staff on hand that is so competent, so first world FABULOUS, that no matter the quandary, my intel isn't so much needed as they are just keeping me in the loop. we were approached to cater a wedding yesterday with just six weeks to plan it and we crushed (sorry, sounds overly confident but i'm just reporting the facts: when three dozen people tell you the same thing, it becomes your gospel, word). every detail was recorded, every request was met and the celebration, though a tiring 15 hour day, was the reason i got into catering in the first place. pure happiness.catchy. is teamwork, execution, camaraderie. we are about putting people at ease and reassuring them that there is nothing too much for us to handle. it's what i was born to do and i pinch myself each time i find myself flying high after a seamless event.

that third cog is a tough one. fitting in self care for anyone is tough let alone a working parent with a handful of kids who is short on time and long on demands. but even on a weekend cluttered with weddings, lacrosse tournaments and dogs eating headphones (clean up is a bitch: damn plastic) i'm beginning to see the benefits of staying in my pajamas some mornings, ordering takeout for dinner rather than cooking and even just listening a little deeper to the sermon at church and enjoying the message i'm graced with. it doesn't have to be some grand gesture, just buying myself a bunch of gerber daisies at the metropolitan plant center feels like i am putting myself on the calendar. i glance at them and realize "i matter." i didn't get that message every day for the last 45 years but i'm getting it now. no one is going to send that message to me but ME.


so ladies and gentleman, PUT YOURSELF ON THE CALENDAR. it's the hurricane season. it's busy, life is stressful and we all have a plate so full it spills over onto our unswept floor (because who has time to sweep every day damn it!). if you can order your mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts and pumpkin bread from catchy. for the holidays do it. no one is judging but YOU. we know you can bake. we know you are a loving mom. don't put yourself in the hospital bc you had to make the appetizers for your mother in law's party when you could spend that time reading to your kids or even better, getting a 10 minute massage at the nail salon. order your dinner online at www.thecatchycaterer.com a few nights this season and leave the supermarket behind. spend that time in the flower shop picking out some blooms for you bedside table and let those buds remind you that YOU MATTER. because if you don't, who the hell will?


gray is the new black this week.

gray is the new black this week.

with everything in the news this week, you would think my mood would be in the sh*tt*r. pipe bombs. torrential rain storms causing catastrophic flooding. one more mass shooting that could have been prevented in more ways than can be debated. the world seems to be coming to an end and darkness can certainly prevail if left unchecked. however, while i (and many others it seemed - thank you for reaching out and sharing) struggled last week to find my serenity, i realized that reaching out, as always, helps me feel not quite so alone in the madness of it all. amid all this heartbreak, there are pockets of joy and sunshine and i have found exposing my struggled always manages to bring just the thing i need to me at just the time i need it. thanks to all you readers for buoying me up on a dark day.

sometimes it's just that one thing that can tip the balance and then it all starts to flow again. seeing something bright leads to the next thing and then to the next and suddenly i'm smiling again and can't quite remember what brought me down in the first place. we celebrated my mom's 78th on friday night and while my dad is no longer around for it, the excitement and air of love and laughter was everywhere. we each wrote toasts. the grandkids sent funny/classic/sometimes totally incomprehensible sentiments and seeing the love that has been created in one household brought tears to my eyes. i learned my love for parties, entertaining & celebration from my mom. no one loves a party like her and watching her soak up all the love and joy and allow herself to be taken care of by us for a change was a wonderful thing. here's to many more nights celebrating the family she & my dad made.

so my blog is short and sweet today. i have more pumpkin bread to get cooking, we have halloween parties still streaming in and parties to plan for the weekend so this girl needs to get cracking! don't fault me if one of those loaves of pumpkin HEAVEN above doesn't make it to the shop for sale...that sh*t is off. the. chain. ridiculous and i can be held responsible for that much chewy, sweet, delicious goodness making its way to the cafe. pop by the shop and pick up your loaf or order straight from our website www.thecatchycaterer.com. & have it delivered!

i think that burger is going to be the only thing that gets me through this...

i think that burger is going to be the only thing that gets me through this...

do you ever have those moments where you just can't shake your sh*tty mood? no matter how many gratitude lists you write, how many affirmations you tell yourself, no matter how much damn yoga you fit into your week to get away from your crappy thinking and connect a bit more with your consciousness, you just can't seem feel better? yeah. that's about where i'm at these days. and before you ask, yes, i've tried tequila. it didn't help.

call it my mid-forties. call it a rough patch in my marriage. call it a freakin' dog i was convinced i could handle without missing a beat and was wildly overconfident about. i don't have the answer for what got me here, but i sure wish i could cycle my way out of it. ahhhhh, come on sunshine, send some special lazer beams of light my way. i could use you right now.

thank god for catchy. having a door to walk through that lights me up inside these days is what will get me through. i've been here before. we all have. those momentary dark periods when life just seems to keep handing you sh*t sandwich after sh*t sandwich. but i know what to do, i just have to grab hold of the part of myself that trips the switch back to bright. my love of food & serving people has always been just that for me. thank god for the holidays and the excitement, busyness and fun that radiates from them each year. i could use nothing more than a dozen parties to organize each weekend to remind me who i am and what i love.

i'm so lucky i found the courage nearly three years ago to open the cafe. to take a leap of faith and decide that the catering business i had been nurturing for over a decade and a half had a place in this town, with all you people. cooking for you, bringing you & your families joy was, and is still is, what motivates me each morning (well, after my four *ss-kicking kids of course). and i know that this season and it's typical chaos will help bring me out of my spell and put a smile back on my face again.