Blog Posts by TownVibe

  • The advantages of having your (adult) child move back home

    They never thought they'd be back so soon.

    But for many college seniors planning to finish school this spring, life after graduation will begin with an unanticipated detour back to Wilton. The unwelcoming job market and tough economic climate have forced a rising number of young adults back into the nest, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Columbia University. The study, which used data from the U.S. Current Population Survey, revealed that 52.8 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 lived at home with their parents in 2009, up from 47.3 percent in 1970.

    College graduates returning to Wilton are rediscovering all the comforts of home. Most live rent-free, and remain on family plans for gym memberships and cell-phone contracts. While suburban Wilton isn't exactly a hotspot for 20-somethings, the restrictions parents impose are minimal, and it's easy to get comfortable.

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  • The benefits of a mother/daughter book club

    Most female book discussion groups follow a similar design. Everyone convenes at someone's sumptuous home for gossip and wine, the book discussed for at best 15 minutes before its time for a meal or snacks. Not so with a Katonah mother/daughter book group that meets on the second Sunday of every month as six moms and their young daughters talk about a book for over an hour, in depth and detail.

    This past November the group read Jerry Spinelli's Crash, a coming-of-age YA novel about a cocky, bullying young boy named John "Crash" Coogan who undergoes a powerful transition transforming him into a sensitive young man. At Celeste Potash's home in mid December, amid cups of apple cider and coffee, as James Taylor softly crooned in the background, the youngest members of the group, most of them in fourth grade, offered a sophisticated and thoughtful dissection of the novel's storyline, its characters, the book's affect on them, and even the writing itself, under their mothers' watchful

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  • Pam Nicholas launched her business, Izzi B's, and proved Plato's truism, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Her daughter, Isabella, affectionately known as Izzi B, had been diagnosed with an egg allergy right before her first birthday. While going through the shock and dismay that many parents may feel after receiving this diagnosis, Nicholas focused on her daughter's upcoming birthday party and set out to find the best egg-free cupcakes available.

    Nicholas discovered that the cupcakes had either a dry, crumbly texture, an unappealing flavor, or in some cases, both. While learning to cope with her daughter's egg allergy and continuing her search for tasty options, she connected with other parents whose children had a variety of food allergies. They bonded over stories of raising their children in a world that isn't always receptive to their needs. All agreed some of the toughest times are birthday parties when cakes and other treats are served. "It's not easy to watch your

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  • Is homeschooling right for your family?

    For ten years, Michelle Daniels packed lunches and kissed her children goodbye before they climbed onto the school bus. It was not until her eldest son, now 18-year-old Cameron, was a sophomore that she decided to educate him at home; the results of which were so positive that she followed suit with 11-year-old Justin and six-year-old Ann. "We love it so much, we can't imagine going back," says Daniels.

    Homeschooling goes beyond academics at home. It's about being part of a broader community that nurtures all aspects of a child's life, she says. Many homeschool groups in and around Fairfield County create a social and scholastic network for the homeschooled student. Homeschool Day at local museums, parks, and ski mountains are just some of the ways homeschool children and their families grow, learn, and play in a cohesive and supportive environment. "You can register for lots of classes and programs just for homeschooled kids," explains Daniels. The Connecticut Homeschool Network is

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  • Secrets of a Green Food Guru

    Even when Analiese Paik was working on Wall Street, her passion for food and wine was calling her elsewhere. Paik had always appreciated fresh food and fine wine, and shopped for produce among the farm stands in Union Square's green market, but it was not until she pursued a degree at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City that she learned the intimate connection between how animals are raised-or grapes grown-and the way that impacts both the planet and the taste experience. Once she knew, there was no turning back. "I want the freshest food I can get," Paik says.

    Paik is something of a crusader when it comes to fresh food, and her Fairfield Green Food Guide, an online destination that connects visitors with local farmer's markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, vineyards, specialty shops and farm-to-table restaurants, is her way of introducing the county at large with the transformative experience of eating food grown locally. Connecticut may not

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