Why Every Family Needs an Emergency Go Bag

I’ll never forget the thoughts that crept into my mind when my friend – a former military personnel – described the emergency go-bags she has packed and ready for each family member (including her children) in the event of an emergency.  I quickly realized that not have an emergency plan for my family is, in fact, a plan –  and it’s a very foolish one.

Central Park

My husband and I both grew up in suburbs with ample storage space in basements and pantries.  We also remember the collective fear that rose during the New York City Blackout of 2003 and when Hurricane Sandy hit Queens.  During our Sandy volunteer efforts – we were shocked to see warming stations still present months after the devastation –  and we couldn’t believe the amount of time that it took for some to have their power restored.


Like most New Yorkers, our living space is pretty tight. And while we don’t have the sort of room for supplies like we did during our childhoods we do have reassurance in knowing that an expertly packed VLES GO-bag with emergency supplies is tucked away and ready to go. The bag, designed by husband and wife firefighters and EMTs allows you to leave your home in an instant, prepared with your most important items, fully stocked with first aid and emergency supplies in a water-resistant, multi-carry – functional bag designed for disasters.


One of the most useful tools for me, as a mother, is the included Readiness Playbook which gives me the tools to outline a solid emergency plan with essential documents and personal supplies.


While I can’t succumb to living in fear, with everything that is going on in our world – I can have an action plan in place – providing a layer of security in being as prepared as one can be should an unexpected emergency strike.


Dad Made: Nintendo Samus Aran & Megaman X Halloween Costumes DIY


When my kids decided what they wanted to be for Halloween this year; Metroid’s Samas Aran (Varia suit) for the girl and Megaman X (light armor) for the boy – my husband, a home builder and old-school Nintendo fan ordered stacks of EVA foam to make their costumes.


I wasn’t too sure what to think when our dining room turned into a DIY cosplay crafting station in July and I had no idea that he’d somehow turn piles of what looked like gym mats into pretty cool costumes using a heat gun, spray-paint, and a few other supplies.


Wanna know how he did it? Check out his steps below:


  • EVA Foam
  • Retractable utility knives
  • Heat gun
  • Plasti-dip for priming
  • Rustoleum aerosol paint for color
  • Glue Gun
  • Velcro
  • bodysuits and black iron-on vinyl
  • Caulk gun and caulking tube to close seams between pieces if needed
  • old helmets


He went with EVA foam because it’s dense and porous and can easily be cut with razor blades.  Starting with hand-drawn paper templates for every single piece – he then cut, heated and bent the EVA foam into shape. He primed everything with plasti-dip to close all the pores and get the material ready for painting.  He ordered body suits (AKA unitards) for the kids on Amazon and lined them with Velcro to attach each piece of “armor” to the bodysuit. The Megaman X bodysuit was decorated with hand-drawn designs that were cut and secured with fusible black vinyl. The Helmets – an old Razor helmet, and sports helmet were picked up at a thrift store and modified.  The shoulder “pads” on the Samus Aran costume were made out of styrofoam balls and EVA foam.  The final touches of paint were first coated in color and then distressed using black acrylic paint and metallic paints to create scuffing and scratches.


The kids are stoked for Halloween – and my dining room has almost fully recovered.


I think it’s safe to say that the girl is officially over her Princess phase.

This one builds her own castles (or blows them up if she feels like it).


And their dad could totally have a cosplay side-hustle if the home design business ever gets boring. Check out his fun video here:

A post shared by Bob Marino (@marinobob) on


Happy Halloween!


Welcome Fall + October Printable Calendar


I’ve been visiting my childhood home remembering that completely unplugging is one of the best things that I can do for myself – especially during heavier times.  The above image (featured on the JJ Community Instagram page) is a Reflex-Korelle from my father’s extensive camera collection (that I think I’m finally ready to tinker with). […]

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Halloween Harvest at Coney Island’s Luna Park


The Halloween Harvest officially kicked off this weekend at Coney Island’s Luna Park, and we had a behind the scenes look at all the fun activities and experiences they have to offer. In addition to the thrilling rides and amusement park fun that Luna Park is known for – the Halloween Harvest includes face painting, […]

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On Pushing Limits + KEEN Kids Giveaway


 Sponsorship provided by KEEN Kids. All content and opinions, are my own.  Do you ever feel like those “on this day” reminders from your social media networks and online photo storage have a way of sucker-punching you in the most bitter-sweet ways?  I’m certain that it was just the other day that we tackled milestones […]

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Hello September + Printable Calendar Sheet


I know summer isn’t officially over yet – but the back-to-school season always brings a new rhythm and the return to the sort of structure that I suppose we’re all craving over here.  With a lot of new projects in the works – it’s much easier to work from home without the kids around! And […]

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