GAME. ON.

well that got your attention. sixteen calls since last week's email blast went out and the holiday parties are rolling in. i guess it's here:

GAME. ON.

i'm not sure how it happened. it seems so sudden, but i think autumn is here to stay. the air has turned crisp and chilly, fall sports are in full swing and while i've had enough rain to last me the next six months, i could have used a little more indian summer. i need some more sunshine in my life to keep my flagging spirits from tanking with the approaching holidays. as much as i love kicking thought the colorful leaves while i walk this hyperactive, neurotic puppy every morning, i can't say i'm ready for the change. it's been rough year. lots of changes happening that i'm not quite managing too smoothly and the constancy of the seasons that used to keep me grounded seem to be getting away from me. the late summer/early fall sunshine always managed to get me through that crazy transition from unfocused summer days to highly charged back to school routine but this season seems to bring with it more clouds and gloom then i can remember. is it me or does it seem like gray is the new black? i can't seem to get my droopy mindset on the right track with all this dank, drizzly weather. come on weather gods, bring on some sunshine for me!

so for now i will try and find my sunshine at work. food has always provided me with a framework for managing difficulty. i can't count the number of times people have asked "how (i think they mean why??) do you do it with four kids and a restaurant?" why?? truth be told, food is my way to connect to life. nothing brings me more joy than creating a satisfying, comforting meal for someone i love. it just always has. and with the upheaval i think so many people feel lately (myself included), it's nice to have a medium to show people you care. there are days i just can't manage to get anything right, but at the end of the day, heating up a home cooked meal for my kids after they've navigated their day seems to be the language that connects us. my food tells them i love them. i don't need words. i don't need grand actions. it's that simple. i love you, so i cooked for you - my meals say you matter to me.

so if you are feeling like you've been through the mill lately (pull up a chair while you wait for your sandwich to be made and we can trade stories on how life just seems to SUCK *SS right now), let us show you that wecare. bringing our home cooked, fresh & delicious food to you matters to us.

guess what time of the year it is??

guess what time of the year it is??

yes indeed. the holiday season is upon us!! i know, i know. it's only october 10th, you say. well, guess what peeps? that leaves five weeks until thanksgiving and just ten until christmas & hanukkah....WAIT WHAT?!?! how is that possible?

it just is. calendars are crazy like that. so call the shop, book your staff, pick your menu (we've got some RIDICULOUS new options) and cross this one off your list. because come mid-november, i know just what's going to happen. the calls will start flooding in and people are going to get their knickers ALL in a twist because staff has run out and now they have to have their neighbors kid who is glued to his cell phone and doesn't smile when he says "would you like some lobster salad on endive" serving their party??

seriously folks, we can help you avoid that. i have dozens and DOZENS of amazing servers, bartenders, chefs and coat check kids. but i need to reserve them or they go to another party.

make your life easy. i get it, you like to cook. no one loves baking more than me. and you can decorate your house like martha flippin' stewart with pinecones and cranberries and you even dry your own rosemary for your wreaths. i know, that's awesome. but in no one's judging you for calling in the big dogs to give you a hand during this, the happiest season of all. it's not the happiest season of all. it's the HOLIDAY season and that means too much sh*t to do and not enough time in the day to do it. route 17 is a nightmare, supermarkets are a nightmare, and generally speaking everyone mood is in the tank besides your kids who are anticipating that fly new iPhone, the newest lego contraption or the hottest pair of Uggs out this year.

so do yourself a favor and call this one in. our catering line is 917.721.9217 or just pop by the shop and natalie, erin or erica will take care of planning your event with you. for great visuals, take a peak on our website: www.thecatchycaterer.com.

and don't delay another week. unless you want to get your bake on.

I'M. NOT. HAVING. IT.

well, it's another cloudy, rain-in-the-forecast kinda of day and i'm telling you, i have had it with these weather gods. saturday and sunday were glorious. literally game changers to my mood, and then along comes a day or two of these gloomy clouds and it's like everyone goes under cover. well I'M. NOT. HAVING. IT. i ain't letting this weather ruin my day!

we have a special day at the cafe today. we are supporting a PHENOMENAL cause: the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Today when you shop at catchy., 15% of all proceeds go back to the AFSP for any food purchased in the cafe, by phone or ordered from our website (www.thecatchycaterer.com) when you mentioned AFSP (not when you use UberEats, DoorDash or GrubHub as they already take a large percentage from us and so can't be combined with this offer.

suicide is on the rise. there isn't enough talk about it. my dear friend kelly anderson who is leading the charge to get the word out in hohokus today with this fundraiser asked catchy. to help and we were thrilled to partner with her. there are too many stigmas around suicide. not enough talk about depression and anxiety and in bergen county especially, we have experienced the pain of it first hand. please come join the fight by ordering lunch or dinner at catchy. and mentioning the AFSP to get the 15% directed back to helping spread the word. the menu is below and we promise it will be worth it!!

i'm struggling tonight.

i'm struggling tonight.

it's taken me an extra two days to sit down to this blog because, while typically, i tend to be a fairly upbeat human being who focuses on the humorous things in life, lately, stuff just don't seem very funny to me. i know i am going through my own personal drams, as we all are, but it just seems the state of the world has just tilted so far off it's normally swervy axis that i struggle to get my bearings and understand how to right myself in this confuddled environment. and sister, if I can't figure it out, as a (relatively) intelligent, educated 45 year old woman, how do i hope my kids will understand what is going on??

i won't even touch on the actual topic in this blog. the specifics of the issue isn't really what matters, though it's a topic that both so heartbreaking and close to my heart that i have difficulty separating myself from it at times. what i will say is people's responses to the topic are what have me wondering where the humanity has gone in our world? when did people decide that skulking around behind their keyboards, viciously attacking others for their opinions was the way of the world. what happened to the golden rule people? where has civility and acceptance gone?

i have taught my kids two critical guideposts all their lives. since they were old enough to understand the english language i've stressed two simple values above all: kindness and inclusion. it's that simple. if you are kind and you include people, you can almost never go wrong. do we always want to invite the quirky kid in the dora explorer shoes to sit at our table? no, not always. sometimes we just want to sit and laugh with our best friends and not have to work to bring a stranger up to speed about the jokes we tell. but walk a morning in that kid's dora shoes, the one over there who doesn't have anyone saving her a seat or being their partner at four square or asking her over to their house after school and you will understand why making sure you forfeit an extra 10 inches of picnic table real estate isn't asking too much. it's just not that hard to be kind and show humanity to someone who is brave enough to put one foot in front of the other and show up for themselves.

so what can we do about it? think global, act local. so a little story for you: i ran out of gas yesterday morning after dropping my high schooler to highlands. i had left my other three to get ready and when my car sputtered to a stop, i suddenly thought: holy CRAP what the hell am i going to do now?? when out of nowhere, a tall, kind-faced man walked his dog towards me and asked what happened. i told him and within minutes, he had run home and returned to the scene of my stupidity with a plastic gas tank. he filled me up using all his gas for his lawnmower (he told me i was saving him the effort) and when the car started after a half dozen attempts, he started whooping and hollering and laid a fat high five on me. i couldn't believe it. what a rock star. what did i do to deserve this?? having no money to give him in appreciation, i told him i would be sure and pay it forward to anyone i could before thanking him profusely. it made a deep impact on my recent skepticism and negativity. the littlest things can restore us to believing in the good of people.

i believe the way i can effect even just the smallest amount of change is to pay kindness, acceptance and understanding forward. do what you can: hold a door. walk your elderly neighbor's newspaper up to his doorstep. ask the new kid over to play. wave at the annoying woman who you can't stand (come on, we all know one). be kind. you never know when it's going to make a difference to someone in need.

on that note, catchy. is partnering with the hohokus school and the afsp (american foundation for suicide prevention) next week on october 2nd to raise funds for suicide awareness and prevention. mention the AFSP in the notes section when ordering online or on the phone when you call in your order (or in person) and 15% of the cost of the meal will be donated to the AFSP. another way to stand in the light of kindness and understanding.

go forth and be kind people. the world needs more of it.


i may as well start day drinking...

i literally have no idea where the days go. i'm cruising through my week, getting sh*t done, we make it to the weekend and suddenly both days whiz by and it's monday night and i've totally lost my bearings. is this old age or does everyone else feel like this at the beginning of the school year? how is it wednesday already? this jewish holiday just completely throws me off my game and i feel like it's either saturday night or i'm back on summer vacation these kids are home so much. i may as well start day drinking...uh, i guess i just did.

i don't get september. why is it the month kids go back to school if we are just going to have them home 30% of the time each week?? i mean, wtf? are in you school or not?? you start them on the 6th (a thursday) and then it's the weekend. then you throw a little rosh hashanah at us to make it a three day weekend. today we've got yom kippur and then we walk right into back to school night tomorrow where, of course, they dismiss the kids at 12:45pm so the teachers can prepare. you know what i'm going to prepare for? an early demise if you don't keep my freakin' kids in school for more than 48 hours in a row. come on!

i just want to get into a routine. would just love to hit a consistent two days at the gym or maybe a yoga class or even more exciting, some food shopping without having my crew home searching for something "fun" to do (read: anywhere they can spend $100 to bounce on a trampoline, throw 32 gutter balls or shoot paint guns at one another). i'm over it. i have events to plan, autumn flowers to plant, kids summer clothes to purge and i can't string more than two hours together before they are home again looking to eat (that's a whole other story) and tell me everything that happened in their day. does anyone care what happened in my day? (did they ever?)

the only upsides to this week are we're already at thursday (sorry again for the late blog, my bad) and we made you crispy cornflake crusted chicken with homemade bbq sauce and a corn muffin FROM SCRATCH. that's right, i'm not playin' ya. CORNFLAKE CRUSTED. yeah, yeah i know. i love you too. order your lunches/dinners by phone at 201.445.6400

i may as well start day drinking...

i literally have no idea where the days go. i'm cruising through my week, getting sh*t done, we make it to the weekend and suddenly both days whiz by and it's monday night and i've totally lost my bearings. is this old age or does everyone else feel like this at the beginning of the school year? how is it wednesday already? this jewish holiday just completely throws me off my game and i feel like it's either saturday night or i'm back on summer vacation these kids are home so much. i may as well start day drinking...uh, i guess i just did.

i don't get september. why is it the month kids go back to school if we are just going to have them home 30% of the time each week?? i mean, wtf? are in you school or not?? you start them on the 6th (a thursday) and then it's the weekend. then you throw a little rosh hashanah at us to make it a three day weekend. today we've got yom kippur and then we walk right into back to school night tomorrow where, of course, they dismiss the kids at 12:45pm so the teachers can prepare. you know what i'm going to prepare for? an early demise if you don't keep my freakin' kids in school for more than 48 hours in a row. come on!

i just want to get into a routine. would just love to hit a consistent two days at the gym or maybe a yoga class or even more exciting, some food shopping without having my crew home searching for something "fun" to do (read: anywhere they can spend $100 to bounce on a trampoline, throw 32 gutter balls or shoot paint guns at one another). i'm over it. i have events to plan, autumn flowers to plant, kids summer clothes to purge and i can't string more than two hours together before they are home again looking to eat (that's a whole other story) and tell me everything that happened in their day. does anyone care what happened in my day? (did they ever?)

the only upsides to this week are we're already at thursday (sorry again for the late blog, my bad) and we made you crispy cornflake crusted chicken with homemade bbq sauce and a corn muffin FROM SCRATCH. that's right, i'm not playin' ya. CORNFLAKE CRUSTED. yeah, yeah i know. i love you too. order your lunches/dinners by phone at 201.445.6400

there isn't much i don't love about my job...

there's nothing like a wedding celebration to make me realize why i do what i do.  

 

there isn't much i don't love about my job. developing new recipes. creating special memories for people trying to surprise a husband on his 50th or throw a holiday cocktail party with every one in town invited. talking to people who flood into my store, getting to hear snippets of their daily lives and brings me back to the reality that life is just made better when you share your story, even briefly, with others. 

 

but my favorite thing is the TEAMWORK i get to experience at catchy. i played goalie for my lacrosse team in college and while it was demanding, often grueling, and both emotionally and physically challenging more often than it was fun (holy timed miles i never want to think of again), there were days when you found yourself laughing through the pain of a brutal practice or a tough loss with this collection of crazy personalities. we weren't the brightest superstars in the league, in fact, we were more of a motley, rag tag group of scrappy, but hard working, overachievers. yet somehow we managed to patch together a winning season that took us to the final four my sophomore year and brought home the national championship. there was a feeling of teamwork i felt through every single practice and game on the field that year that was something i wish i could bottle. it was so comforting and right. i have, somehow, had the most wonderful good fortune to have found it again at catchy. my chefs. my managers. my servers and bartenders. every person who works at my cafe and on these events with me makes me smile, has my back, gives me everything they have for sometimes over 12 hours in a row without pause and it brings back that comforting feeling of knowing i have found my tribe. there is no greater feeling to me than knowing someone has your back and the wedding this past weekend, with this team, was just another reminder of why i am so lucky to do what i do. i'm not solving world hunger (well, i am feeding people?) or reinventing the wheel, but it feels good to make people's special celebrations just a little easier by taking care of every last request, stress or concern. 

summer is over. hoo-freakin-ray.

o.m.g. summer is OVER. hoo-freakin-ray.

i know some of you (possibly most of you) find that utterly depressing. and while there is a sliver of me that is saddened that the days are growing shorter, the sand and waves are but a fond memory for the next ten months and the unstructured time with my kids is dwindling to almost none; the anticipation of fall always hold such excitement for me. the crisp autumn air, NY Giants football on the T.V. (whoooo! go Eli!!) and talk of apple picking in my car just this morning made me smile with delight. one of my favorite things about living in new jersey is that we get to experience all four seasons. and though i love summer like nobody's business, i always look forward to getting back work after the lazy summer schedule and bringing you ridiculous new salad ideas i discovered at the hottest little cafes in southampton, incredible apps for your holiday festivities and piping hot dinners that will knock your socks off while simultaneously giving you a break as you settle into your nutty fall carpool schedule (calgon, take. me. AWAY. this year).