Friday, December 30, 2011

friday five

Friday Five minute purge:

It's almost 3 and I'm sitting under a soft cozy blanket in my room at this resort in the Catskills that we go to after the holidays.  I'm so sleepy.  My kids are all over the place with their cousins - a few at the bowling alley, a few swimming - there are kids reading in their rooms, kids playing boggle, kids trying to track down one of the ghosts that supposedly haunt this old place.  My sisters and their families are all around too of course.  I love this part.  Last night we hung out til we were ready to fall asleep, everyone opened Christmas gifts and we sat around in this common room on the third floor and just talked and drank and laughed.  This year it's going to be a little bit different.  Last night was really the only night that it will be just us, like it usually is.  This year, my sister Jen and her husband are celebrating their 20th anniversary, and they're holding a sort-of re-wedding here.  This is where they got married all of those years ago, so they decided that it would be cool to celebrate their anniversary here.  John sort of rented the whole place out for the party.  Right about now, guests are starting to arrive.  So it's appropriate that I am under a cozy blanket in my bed.  Right?  Anyway, the party starts at about five-ish so I have to get dressed all nice in a bit.  Like in a dress.  I hardly ever wear a dress.  The sort-of re-wedding thing is a Monte Carlo theme, so John hired this company to come in and provide all of these casino games after dinner and dancing stuff.  Two nights in a row we'll be up and partying through the night!  I should make my kids take naps.  I think Kar is singing something tonight, and usually she joins the band on New Years Eve, so that will be nice.   John brought this huge TV and the old recording of the wedding/reception and everyone looks like babies, just so young.  Actually, Kara was a baby.  Like two, my tiny little shyish flower girl with crazy hair.  Aw.  Man, my sisters and I all had short velvety dresses on.  Funny, Ty was here and looks like he's about 10.  He and Ali weren't married or even together at the time.  In fact if I recall, he was trying to put the moves on three of John's cousins.  Indi's ex husband was here too.  He had all sorts of hair and now he's bald, and wow, he was wearing some serious Sally Jessy Raphael glasses.  Hm.  Styles sure have changed in twenty years.  Anyway, I'll be posting some pictures of the festivities next week.  I guess it's time to go out there and join the crew, it sounds like I am missing some fun chatter.  Hope you all have a great weekend, see you next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011


So it's Monday. Christmas is officially over.  Sort of.  My family still has one thing going on towards the end of the week, but other than that, we're pretty much done.  My family room looks like someone came in and just dumped stuff all over the place.  Last night I cleaned and straightened up a bit, but I knew that once the kids got up, they'd be digging around under the tree and checking out their new things.  My kids don't usually put their things away right away, it's sort of gradual over the week, til eventually there are only pine needles and random things under there.  This year, since Kara had to go back to the city Christmas night, she packed up as much as she could, so her pile left under the tree is pretty small.

Today I was so tired and was glad to be lazy and calm.  I'm thinking that his week I won't have much time to post anything significant, so I'll just try to hop on here and post a picture or two each day.  Later in the week or next week for sure, I'll post a recap of all of the goings on.

Today I'll post a few pictures of baking Christmas cookies.

Hope you all had a bunch of fun-filled days!

Friday, December 23, 2011

friday eve eve

Friday's five minute purge:

It's 12:35 in the afternoon and I am sitting here thinking that I shouldn't be sitting here.  I still have 50% of my presents to wrap.  I have kids getting home in a few short hours, my sisters coming into town in a few hours, a house to pick up and a party to get ready for.  I have to decide what I am wearing to that party now, so I am not crying in my closet later.  I have cupcakes and amazing frosting to make.  I have to go be a parent helper at Brooke's Christmas party in less than an hour.  Every minute of this day seems to be spoken for, but I just need a breather.  Hopping on the computer for a few minutes is a little relaxing for me.  I haven't read any blogs on my blogroll all week though, which bugs me.  I have been running around every day trying to wrap things up and just haven't had the time.  But I love this part.  I love when everything seems to be winding down and closing in - the kids are so excited and counting the hours til the fun starts.  It's going to be a good weekend I think...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

rambley random stuff

My header is on my nerves.  Actually, I am mad that I changed my blog up, I have to admit it.  Prior to the whole random change up, I had spent hours messing around with html and stuff to do some things that you just can't find in any of the templates.  And shit.  I forgot that I did that!  So when I changed up the template, I lost all of those things that I had done.  Annoying.  Unfortunately that means we have to live with the dumb blog look til I have time to mess around and re-figure it out.  Sorry about that. 

I took Brooke out of school today after her lunch period so we could have a special few hours together to do some Christmasy things.  She wanted to go shopping for her sisters and brother so bad, so we went and did that.  First, we went to this Greek diner that we go to sometimes, and she wrote her idea list out in crayon.   She was so cute when we got to the store, and carefully picked out everything by herself.  Then we stopped on the way home and got a little ice cream cone.  Such a little thing made her so happy, it makes me feel like I need to do that kind of thing more often.  She just kept saying, "This is a great day Mom!"

I can't believe it has been an entire week since I went on a little out-of-nowhere jaunt to Chicago.  That mini two day adventure went so fast and so slow at the same time.  Mostly fast.  Kind of crazy to attempt such a thing a week and a half before Christmas, but whatever.  Chicago was great - misty rainy walks and funky buildings and crazy good food.  I have decided that I love flying.  And I love O'Hare.  If I was going to live in an airport, I would pick O'Hare.  Is that weird?

Is it just me or does everybody's son mention 45 minutes before they need to be somewhere wearing something specific, that the specific thing they need to wear is sitting unwashed in their school locker?  Wtf?  Did I do that when I was fourteen-ish?!  Cod!

Speaking of my son, he might need to shave his upper lip.  I remember being in high school when boys would get that dirt-stache thing going on and I never got why they didn't just accept the facial hair and shave it.  Even though every time I look at Alex thinking he has a light chocolate milk mustache, I feel kind of weird that he should maybe shave. I feel like he is too little...

Morning has been coming kind of fast lately.  It's been dark and cozy and chilly when we have to wake up, and I just cannot seem to accept the time.  Neither can Brooke or Megan actually.  All of a sudden, we've been doing the mad scramble dash thing where somebody runs out the door carrying their shoes under their chin, and with a piece of unbuttered toast hanging out of their mouth for breakfast.  That is not a good thing.  I hate being late.

Did you know that I can get showered, dressed, make-upped and hair done in twenty minutes if I need to?  I don't know why I felt the need to point this amazing feat out, but I am always so impressed with myself when I have to do that, so I decided to share that little bit of info with you.  I'm sure it means as much to you as it does to me.

simple pleasures

                                                                                  Michigan Ave, Chicago
With benediction in her eyes,
Our dearest gods are not surprised.
You better hold your lover down, 
Tie him to the ground.
Whisper "I love you," 

one thousand times into his ear, 
kiss his eyes, And don't you cry girl, 
he won't disappear.
But I know better than to let you down.
With benediction in her mind, 
She'll never get you back in time.
You better hold your lover down, 
And tie her to the ground.
Simple pleasures strike like lighting, 
Scratches spell her name.
Thunder demons swipe her halo, 
And then they run away.
But I know better than to let her go.
With benediction in her eyes, 
Our dearest gods are not surprised.
You better hold your lover down, 
And tie her to the ground.
Simple pleasures strike like lightening, 
Scratches cross her name.
Whisper "I love you my darling, life is just a fling."
But I know better than to let her go.

I know better than to let you go.
I know better.

                         --Thurston Moore

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

things about me

Five things that you probably don't know about me:
1.  I am extremely critical of myself.
2.  I quit wearing glasses when i was 14 years old, and basically ruined my eyesight.
3.  I can drive a stick shift like a mofo.
4.  I love organizing.  But I love it the best in my mind.
5.  I always strongly consider foster parenting again or adoption.

Five things that I'm knowledgeable about:
1.  Parenting a bunch of kids.  What can I say, I've been doing it for about 22 years.  I have a      
handle on it at this point I think.
2.  Computers, for the most part.  Boring, but true.
3.  Laundry.  I am a laundry expert.  It could possibly be my claim to fame.
4.  Spelling and grammar.  I am a grammar snob.  I am not ashamed.
5.  Building materials.  Weird, I know.  But I pretty much grew up (and worked forever) in a Lumberyard.  Go ahead, ask me about wafer board and paint and trusses and 2x4s.

Before I continue, I would just like to take a moment to say that this is a very sad list.  I had to grasp to come up with things that I could consider myself knowledgeable on.  I need to learn some shit.

Five things that I know nothing about:
1.  Cars.  I can drive.  Kind of.  But i don't get how they work besides the absolute basics.  Fill her up?  Sure.  Put in wiper fluid?  Check. What is a carburetor?  Huh?
2.  Football.  I try to l earn the rules!  I do!  I just don't get the downs and things. I pretty much grasp what a touchdown is, and i know that you get a foul if you grab someone by the face mask (right?), but after that I'm lost.
3.  Hard math.  I can totally do algebra til the cows come home, but try to sit me down in front of anything more difficult than that and I am completely out of my league.  I never did take trig or calculus, i was seriously lucky to have passed geometry.  I think I only passed because my teacher's son had a crush on me.  Go me!
4.  Geography.  Ugh with the school subjects.  I am so not geographically inclined.  I get made fun of for it in my family a lot actually.  Don't ask me geography, for real, unless you want to hear me sound like a dumb blond.
5. Hooking up electronic things.  Like TVs and DVRs and stereos and all of that stuff.  I follow the directions!  But all of those wires eventually just make me feel overloaded and I lose it and end up tossing wrenches and just calling Indi.  Indi is the wizardly sister of mine who can do all things electronically.

Five things that I believe:
1.  I believe that it's really hard and sucky and unfair to have to be on a diet.

2.  I believe that you never fully appreciate your great unflawed young skin til you start getting wrinkles.
3.  I believe that once you try rich man's bacon, you'll never want to go back to the skinny fatty kind.
4.  I believe that that the people that are the most judgemental tend to have a lot of skeletons in their own closets.
5.  I believe that it's actually much more tolerable to talk to certain people with a nice amount of alcohol in my system.

So there you have it.  I'm so into fives lately.  This post is part of the Writers Workshop over at MamaKat's Losin It. Head on over to see the other posts too!

Monday, December 19, 2011

old weekend recap

So a few weekends ago we did the old chop down the Christmas tree thing.  It was awesome.  A lot of times, it isn't so awesome.  I have to say I always have these great expectations that it's going to be really fun and then my kids will knock each other into pine trees, whine that it's cold and get pissed that you didn't pick the tree that they wanted.

We didn't have that problem this time!  Well, except the knocking into pine trees thing, but my son can occasionally act like a three year old.  I'm aware of this.  It happens a lot less frequently now that he is a big teenager with a dirt-stache, but you know.  Everyone reverts once in a while.

So we ended up going out kind of late.  I wasn't sure it was such a great idea.  I thought maybe we should just scrap the idea and then go Sunday morning instead, but everyone was excited and wanted to do it.  So we mosied through this huge Christmas Tree Farm and eventually settled on a fantastic long needled tree that really was the perfect triangle.  I love the perfect triangle trees.  We found it when I had almost given up, as it was literally almost dark.  We were the last ones to leave the farm actually.

Alex did the axing and he and little Alex dragged it back.  So then we ran it home quick to get it off the roof of my car, because we were headed out to dinner.  We decided to take the kids to Hibachi, which they had never been to before.  They were so great.  Everyone tried everything - sushi, miso soup, edamame.  It was actually good because we found that they all really liked the soup and edamame.  I'll have to make that.

They just thought the guy cooking in front of us was so cool, throwing his knives around and being silly.  The cook guy threw food in our mouths.  I missed!  Two times!  I used to really be a professional food catcher.  I think I need to practice.  Anyway, it really was very cool.  I love hibachi.

So then we went to the drive through at McDonald's and got hot chocolates because we were going to drive through this huge light display in the park, and it seemed like hot chocolate was appropriate.

The light display was great, and the kids just really liked it.  Lots of oohs and ahs.  Last year was the first time we ever checked out the light displays - I never realized that it would be so cool.  I mean, we always drive around our town at night, looking at all of the lights, but it is nothing like the light display thing.

So we made our way home when that was done and everyone was wiped out.  The girls went to bed, and Alex, little Alex and I did the lights on the tree, just to get it ready for decorating on Sunday.

Sunday, the guys dragged up the buckets and we decorated the tree, which I love doing.  I tuned Pandora on to the Christmas tunes channel and we just spent the longest time looking at all of the ornaments and hanging them.  I get the kids their own ornament every year, kind of like based on what they are into that year, so it's always fun to look at them and reminisce.  And my very favorite ornaments, the ones that the kids made, or that have their old pictures in them.  There is this one funny one that had a pretty bad school year picture of Kara in it, and the kids fight over who gets to hang it every year, to tease Kara of course.  Then she always moves it to the back of the tree when she gets home.  They think that is so funny.  I took a picture of it front and center on the tree and texted it to Kar.  It stinks that she isn't around to help us decorate anymore.  

Later on, we went to Ali and Ty's for chili.  So good.  A bunch of Ty's family showed up, and so did Mom and Steve, so it turned into a little party.  Ty's youngest sister had her tiny little newborn baby there and she was so sweet.  I love holding a tiny new baby.  I definitely miss having a baby.  Also, big news - we discovered that my son Alex is officially taller than my husband.  And dangerously close to being almost equal to me.  Man.  Can't I slow down time for a second?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

reasons why

Where am I today? 
I wish that I knew
Cause looking around 

there’s no sign of you
I don’t remember one jump or one leap

Just quiet steps away from your lead

I’m holding my heart out 
but clutching it too
Feeling this short of a love that we once knew

I’m calling this home 

when it’s not even close
Playing the role with nerves left exposed

We get distracted by dreams of our own
But nobody’s happy while feeling alone 

And knowing how hard it hurts when we fall
We lean another ladder against the wrong wall

And climb high to the highest rung, to shake fists at the sky
While others have excuses, 

I have my reasons why

With so much deception it’s hard not to wander away

It’s hard not to wander away

woo. a change.

So I changed up the color of this blog a little bit.  What do you think, is it too distracting?  Yay?  Nay?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I guess I will stay with it for a little while.  It doesn't offend me too much.  If it becomes irritating though, it's gone.  I'm not sure why I changed it.  Possibly boredom.  Probably boredom.

This coming week will be a little crazy, of course.  I have so many gifts to wrap, so much to organize in my brain.  I really really need to write some lists so that I don't forget stuff.  I feel OK about it actually.  I think I'll be able to get a few posts up here without becoming too stressed about it.  I'll need to carve out some time to catch up on my blog reading.

ANYWAY, a few things that I liked about Chicago:

  • Strolling in the misty rain
  • Being smack in the middle of some great shopping
  • Deep dish pizza and gyros and pizza puffs and dutch pancakes
  • Lounging in a big comfy bed
  • Holiday decorations, lit trees lining the streets
  • The hustle and bustle of the city
  • Getting smiled at
  • Seeing some cool, important art
  • Tasty hot drinks
  • Looking at all of the great architectural buildings
  • Falling asleep during a funny movie
  • Taxi rides
  • Standing in the window, up so high, just looking
  • The airport

Saturday, December 17, 2011


My mom emailed me the funniest picture that she found of Kara and Brooke, who was just a huge crybaby for many, many months.  She did not appreciate being held by anyone but me for the most part, and she had a lot of trouble with her baby formula.  Poor little babe.  I love the fact that Kara always has her huge smile on and ready to go, sobbing baby or not.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Five minute Friday purge, coming up:

It's about 2:30 and  I just sat down to eat a little sandwich and breathe.  I didn't post all week but what can I say?  It's that time of year when it is just so busy.  I dropped Brooke off at school and went out to try to cross off as much as I could from my last minute Christmas things to-do list.  Sometimes it feels so crazy, twisting yourself in knots to find the perfect gift, or to go nuts trying to make sure everyone will be giddy on Christmas morning.  Somewhere along the way, when it's all about the presents under the tree, it seems like something has been lost, don't you think?  Don't get me wrong, I love to give gifts (and I definitely enjoy getting them, hoho).  

I love to have a magical Christmas morning, but I also love to crowd around the appetizer table at my Dad's on Christmas Eve, fighting my sisters for the last bite of whatever was so great.  I love to hop in the car with my kids and steamy cups of hot chocolate and drive around town oohing at aahing at all of the lights.  I love to listen to The Polar Express book on tape with my kids snuggled up beside me. I love to spend some peaceful, non-stressy days with my family, my sisters and parents.  Just playing ridiculous amounts of games, eating lots of great food, making fun of each other, hanging out and laughing.  I love imperfect Christmas cookies, made by happy kid hands.  I love watching the snow fall.  I love waking up to see it quiet and perfect, tree branches heavy and white.  I love the Christmas days when you have to bundle up and you can see your breath in front of you.  

I'm not sure what I am getting at.  Maybe just that I hope my kids grasp that it shouldn't just be about the things we get. I think it should also be about the reasons we actually do all of this stuff.  And those reasons don't have to be the same for everyone, for sure.  My reasons are pretty simple I guess.

Well.  Shockingly, this five minute purge turned into a fifteen minute pensive spew of thought.  Sorry about that. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

friday five

Friday Five Minute Purge:

1:13 pm
Having the worst day ever.  Actually, it didn't start out so bad.  Sometime into the morning though, things got sucky.  So once again,  it seems that I am in kind of an off mood on a Friday.  Not TGIF for me, apparently.  On a good note, I went to see Maggie, my husband's cousin (who was also one of Kara's best friends), in a musical last night, and she was amazing.  She was playing the part of Amneris in the musical Aida, and she was just so perfect in her role.  Apparently, the review in the Albany Times Union said that Maggie pretty much stole the show. The music was great, produced and written by Elton John and Tim Rice.  It's kind of a sad love story, but funny too.  This was Maggie's first role since her mom died last year at this time, and it was a musical that was pretty special to both of them.  I truly felt like she was missing in the audience, and I can't even imagine how it felt for Maggie.  Her mom would have never missed a show.  She was always just there, deeply involved and fully supportive.  So anyway, I was glad to see her dad for a little bit and we chatted for a little bit.  He's always so proud of Maggie and her accomplishments.  He does seem to be doing OK and I'm glad because I've felt worried that he is lonely, especially this time of the year.  Anyway, if I had time this weekend, I'd go see the show again in a second.  Wish Kara could have come up for it, she would have loved it.

Times up.  Here's hoping for a better weekend.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So I was driving home from the mall the other day, and I was thinking about certain fashion trends that I just don't grasp.  Like, the seemingly mis-matched weird things that girls put together that somehow end up looking all hipster and cool.  

Like wearing a funky patterned skirt with textured tights and weird shoes and like a belted cardigan with a vintage pin or something.  And then they do weird things with their hair that oddly enough looks great and man.  I just can't pull off stuff like that.  First of all, I just don't have the vision.  I really don't.  I want to have the vision.  The reality is though, that I could never walk into some vintage store and come up with an outfit like that.  I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to even start.  And I am almost 98.7% positive that none of that stuff would work on me.  Make that 99.7%.

I also think it might be a pre-requisite that you have to be skinny to rock that look.  Skinny and sort of flat-ish in the chest area.  And unfortunately, I am not skinny or flatfish in the chest area.  You may also need to be a vegan or only eat organic or like, definitely someone who eats healthy.  I don't know, that's just my thought process.  I don't claim to know everything.  Just say no to the ho-ho's cool hipster girls!

So yeah, there is this one girl in our town who dresses like that, and believe me when I say one girl.  I live in NY, so yeah, we're on top of trends typically.  In the city.  Not where I live, upstate in this little one light country town.  We're like the last to get the news that tight rolls are so eighties.  Anyway, this girl.  She can pull those outfits together.  And she does.  Every so often,  I see her walking to work and she has this funky little hipster thing going on and I feel a little jealous.  I'm a wannabe.  Most people in town always kind of thought she was an oddball because she didn't dress like everyone else.  I always kind of thought she looked cool.

She could have hairy armpits though.  You never know.  In my mind I kind of imagine hairy girl armpits on funky girl hipsters.  And yeah, I'm not jumping on that train any time soon.  I prefer my nice non-hairy armpits, thank you. 

My look is kind of boring old, plain old average Mom I guess.  I wear jeans.  I wear solid colored sweaters in the winter, and shorter sleeved solid colored shirts in the summer.  Sometimes, I get a little crazy and wear a v-neck!  I wear normal shoes.  I wear yoga pants and sweatshirts.  I wear my hair down, or in a pony when I am working out. I cannot braid my own hair well, or I would sneak a mini braid in there every so often.  I think I look dumb in hair doodles.  Hm.  I just said hair doodles on my blog.  So.  Apparently that is what my kids and I call clips and barrettes and ribbons and all of those other hair things that certain people can wear effortlessly.  Not exactly sure where that came from but there you go.   Hair doodles.  Feel free to use that strange word combo. 

Anyway, I do have trouble when it seems like people try too hard to be original though.  I can't stand that.  Like, I think it would be so obviously wrong if I tried to go out dressed that that. I'd just look fake, vs looking artistic.  I really think it is so apparent when someone has to try to be cool, relevant - and I just inwardly shake my head.  But like I said before, certain people just have it - that imagination, that creativity - that originality. The artistic ability that I envy.  It annoys me when others judge that in someone, actually.  

I hate judgey.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Yow.  It's like, Wednesday and I haven't posted all week.  I actually have written posts, just not posted them.  I'm not sure why.  They might end up being not relevant if I don't get them posted fairly soonish.

I guess I feel like it's been kind of hectic.  I am shocked that Christmas is in two and a half weeks.  WTF?  I feel pretty good about where I am as far as having things done, it's just the little straggling things that always get me stressed.

Tonight Megan told me with a little smirk and giggle that she knows that I'm the tooth fairy.  Then she produced a little baggie with the last tooth she lost that I forgot to sneak out from under her pillow and replace with some cash.  Damn.  I really am a shitty fairy.  Or, maybe not damn.  Because really, she is 10 and a half.  It might be a little goofy if she actually still believed in the tooth fairy.  Right?  I guess I don't really remember when I stopped believing in those kinds of things.

So anyway, she handed me the bag with the tooth in it and said, "Well, since you're our family tooth fairy, you can just give me the money Mom."  And I was like, "Sorry!  But you only get money if you believe."  So she says, "Well you could have told me that before!"  She was being all funny and cute.  Kind of like feeling like a big shot because now we have to be sure to keep Brooke believing in these things.  I need to keep Brooke believing in Santa, because it is so much more fun that way.

Tomorrow I am staying home and not going to any stores.  I am organizing my gift pile and maybe I will even start wrapping.  Because woo.  That can really get overwhelming quick.  I also have to get some things packaged up and ready to get mailed out.

It just so happens to be snowing right now (yay!), so if school gets cancelled (boo!) that will put a serious cramp in my style.  Because I seriously need every alone minute I can get between now and the holidays til I can get situated and comfy with where I am, Christmasly speaking of course.

I also need to read the blogs that I have been falling behind on because that can get overwhelming.  And I can't sit around on the computer too much if the kids are home because then I feel guilty.

Maybe I will go to the store tomorrow.  But only to get stuff for Christmas cookie making.  I am so in the mood to make cookies.  And the snow!  The snow definitely helps me get in the holiday spirit.

I hope we have snow for Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

five minutes

So, it's Friday.  Which means I am going to post a five minute picture of all of the things that are currently bouncing around in my head.  You're welcome.  Or maybe, sorry.  Because I don't have much of substance in there right now. 
1:45 pm and here I sit at the kitchen table.  I just finished eating this fantastic beet and goat cheese salad.  Oh man, it is so good. I picked up all of the ingredients on my way home from the gym today.  All through my workout, I was thinking about making (and eating) this salad.  A while back when I was in California, I had a salad like it that I loved, so I needed to recreate the awesomeness and found a recipe that was similar.   Pretty close and well worth the effort I must say.  OK, I am almost done talking about salad, I swear, but before I move on I will just tell you that besides beets and goat cheese, it has walnuts and craisins and scallions and balsamic vinegar in it.  Mmmm.  I just made my own mouth water.  Somehow this day just got away from me.  I haven't even had a shower yet and I have no desire to do anything really productive.  Tonight I am going to try to wrap up my Christmas shopping and I wonder if that is a bad idea because you know, three weeks before Christmas.  Weekend night at the mall.  Not sure I am going to be digging the crowds... the waiting, the chaos, the no parking spot thing.  Maybe I will just shop in my pi's from the comfort of my own couch.  I love the Internet.

Time's up!  Happy weekend!

Also, I have a new follower!  So yay!  And Hi!  Thanks for following, I'm glad you're here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a list, part 1

So you know I am all about lists, right?  Well, I can't get too deep into December without sharing my personal list of cool and different gifts that will cover pretty much everyone you might need to buy a Christmas present for.  (woo.  run on sentence much?) Mid November is when I start getting the catalogs.  The many, many catalogs.  And when I have some quiet time, I browse.  And I make lists notes of things that I would like to get for people.  And I rip out pages and have clippings all over the place.  My husband loves that, the clippings.  Yup.

-the grownups list-

For a Mom:


This is such a cool, personalized gift.  I bought one for myself last year on etsy and I love it.  Each ornament is unique to your family of course.  You can find it HERE.


I got this Mother's bracelet from HERE  a few years ago. I get compliments on it every time I wear it. These are made so well, and you really can't beat the price.  They are totally customized with a lot of different style options.  You get to choose  the colors, the beads and style.

For a Dad:

 I found this Kodak Digital Frame, and thought it was a perfect Dad gift idea.  It's just right for the office.  It holds around 300 pictures, and it's really easy to use.  I found this one HERE, but these kind of frames are available all over the place.

These Bose noise canceling headphones are pretty expensive, but they are so worth it.  Check them out HERE. They can be used with pretty much every media device - laptops, iPods, iPads, iPhones.  They are super comfy and totally block out noisy little monkey people. 

For a traveler:

This map is pretty cool.  You scratch off the places that you have been to, uncovering colorful countries and facts.  It's fun and a great conversation starter.  You can find this HERE


I found this canvas weekender bag in the Sundance catalog and fell in love with it.  It's the perfect size for a spontaneous getaway.  It has lots of pockets, comfy handles and can be used by a guy or a girl.  It can be found HERE

For a wife/girlfriend:


I think most wives would appreciate a piece of jewelry from Tiffany & Co.  This silver heart necklace is simple and pretty and totally affordable.  I wear mine every day.  You can find it HERE.


I saw this wall art in Red Envelope, and thought it was kind of fun for a personalized gift.  You get to choose your own colors, so it really fits anywhere.  Also, it shows your wife that the day you got married really matters to you.  Buy it HERE.

For a husband/boyfriend:

Guys are all about comfort, and this hotel-style waffle robe is sooo comfy.   There's something about watching your guy walking around in a robe, wet hair and smelling clean from a shower... I found it HERE at Pottery Barn, and it's on sale!

Honestly, I don't know too many guys who wear jewelry.  When I saw this leather bracelet cuff thing on etsy, I thought it looked like something a guy's guy wouldn't mind wearing.  It's handmade with cool hammered silver and leather and totally customizable.  I actually like the one shown in the picture, stamped with the latitude and longitude of a special place.  You can also have a phrase or verse stamped, or just a name - just about anything.  Find it HERE.

For a gadget lover:

Alright, now this is pretty cool.  The Slingbox is a gadget that connects to your TV at home and allows you to watch your actual TV from anywhere via the Internet, a tablet or a smart phone.  You'll never miss a show.  The games, movies or programs that you have accumulated on your DVR?  You can watch while you're sitting in traffic, or on the subway or while you're waiting online somewhere.  My brother-in-law has one and absolutely loves it.  You can get it HERE.  

OK, while we're talking about TV, you have to check out the new Apple TV.  It's a little gadget that streams HD movies and TV shows, plays Netflix, YouTube and Vimeo videos.  You can watch MLB and NBA games live or on demand, and also listen to your music and look at your photos from iCloud.  At $99, it is a steal.  You can check it out HERE.

For a gardener:
This is an inexpensive gift that will make any gardener happy.  I sought out this particular little journal after seeing an ad for it in a magazine. It has 5 themed sections to fill in - 5 tabbed sections to personalize - plants and pots information, hardiness zones, garden log, design grids, plant care records and more.  You can find it HERE.


My Dad would love this.  It's a stool and kneeler that makes it comfy to weed, plant or clip and has pockets for some gardening tools.  You can also get it personalized, which is kind of nice.  Check it out HERE.

For a lover of alcohol:
These are whiskey stones.  I thought they were cool looking, I have no idea if they actually work though.  Since I don't drink whiskey.  Apparently, you just freeze the stones (they're soapstone), then put them in your drink.  Obviously they don't melt, so they keep it cold and don't dilute your drink.  Cool, right?  You can get them right HERE


I've seen these around and always thought they looked like fun.  The kit comes with everything you need to make your own beer - about two six packs worth.  I found it online HERE, but I've also seen the kits in gourmet shops right at the mall.

For the pet lover:

So this is different.  Wall art of your pet's blueprint.  You can actually get cats and dogs, and even mixed breeds.  It's pretty pricey, but definitely unique. It's online here.

My kids would love this, since we have no pets.  And since fish don't usually poop on your kitchen floor, I'd almost agree to get one if it could live in this cool fish tank thing.  Anyway, it's a modern fish hotel, and you can add modules to it to make it as big or small as you want.  It comes in a few different colors. I found it online here.

Alright then!  There you have it.  Part one of the list.  This list obviously is for the adults in your life, and I tried to keep it under $100.  Which wasn't all that easy because for some reason, I am drawn like a magnet to really expensive things.  Anyway, part two of the list will focus on the non-adults in your life, the little monkey non-adults.  Those I will do my best to keep at a more manageable 50 bucks or less.  I'll try to post that by the end of the week. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

nothing exciting

I've been off doing family type things for the last week or so.  Free passes for holiday weekends!  I have a bunch of stuff to write about, but I can't seem to gather my thoughts into a clear little post for some reason.

It may be because I am sick.  Wah.  I have had some sickness or another for the past few weeks.  Crappy people getting me sick... probably my little punks bringing home all sorts of gross school germs.  I hate gross school germs.  That may be one of the biggest reasons that I decided to sell my preschool.  You can practically see the germs in a preschool, let me tell you.  Little kids wiping their runny noses on things that aren't tissues.  Little germ harborers who aren't the best at wiping their buns yet are just touching toys and tables and everything.  Ugh.  And no matter how obsessive you are about cleaning things and having kids wash their hands, it will never be enough.

Ah well, my sister Jen says those things are good for our immune systems, and she's a nurse.  So she probably knows what she is talking about.  Either way it gets me all feeling skeevy.  I know I have issues.

I am that person you see who uses their sleeve to open a door at the store.  Every time I use a shopping cart I feel like my hands are grimy and I have to go use a hand wipe.   I can't help it.  I keep them in my car.

Which incidentally did come in handy this weekend.  In fact, I may have even saved the day with the props for my germ freakishness.  Yeah, I'll toot my own horn.  I was coming out of Walgreen's on Thanksgiving (don't ask), and there was a car parked next to my car.  I could see a little kid throwing up on the ground between our cars, and the mom just sort of standing there looking lost.

So I got my wipes (and a roll of paper towels.  which I also carry in my car fyi) and brought them around to the mom.  She was all grateful because she had nothing to wash him up with.  Poor little guy looked so sick and sad and he was wearing a little suit for Thanksgiving.  Aw.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I made this lemon custard pie and it was so good.  The crust was sucky for some reason, but I could have been happy just eating a bowl of that custard.  I love baking pies on Thanksgiving.  My sister Jen has this monster kitchen with a huge center island thing and there is enough room for several cooks to be comfy in the kitchen.  On the day of Thanksgiving we're all in there together, and it's just really warm and cozy.  I love that.

A huge group of us went to do this 5 mile Turkey Trot run thing on Thanksgiving morning.  It was so great.  Literally thousands of participants there, some walkers, some joggers.  Some woggers.  People of all ages, really.  I didn't run, walk, jog or wog.  I was the photographer.  Because I like to take the pictures and also because I don't particularly like the chaos of a few thousand people mashed together.  Anyway, the kid that won was really a kid.  Like 14 or something and he ran the five miles in 25 minutes and a few seconds, a five minute mile.  Crazy.  He was flying past everyone.  Some people had turkey hats on.  It never occurred to me to wear a turkey hat.  I don't think I would have worn one even if the thought occurred to me.  Also, this guy crossed the finish line and threw up right in front of my face (and the real photographer's face too). I would be willing to make a wager that his finish line crossing professional picture involves vomit coming out of his mouth.  Gross.  Anyway, with all of those people participating, the town raised thousands of dollars for their food pantry, which I think is such  a great thing.

And guess what?  I didn't run into my boyfriend Harry Connick Jr. unfortunately, even though I was in CT for five whole days.  Sheesh.  Where was he anyway?