Category Archives: Uncategorized

Holiday Décor for the Domestically Disabled

The holidays can be stressful, what with families to visit, jingle bells ringing and those domestically disabled divas expected to deck the halls with cheer. But even if you’re not Martha Stewart, there are ways to make sure the only “F” words muttered are “Fa la la” and “fruitcake.”

So put on your ugly sweater and pour yourself a cup of alcoholic pancake batter—also known as eggnog—and let’s begin.

tree2

When it comes to the inside décor, I suggest it’s done in stages:

1) Binge clean, knowing you won’t want to move the crap off the mantle to dust for at least the next month.

2) Find the fragile decorations in the box labeled “Don’t Set Anything On Top Of” at the bottom of a stack of boxes, along with a dozen pulverized candy canes. Sit on the couch with your beverage of choice and stare at the boxes in hopes for a holiday miracle.

3) Hang old socks by the fireplace and then tie foliage—a.k.a. the mistletoe — above a doorway to encourage awkward displays of affection between people who accidentally stop there to ask where you keep the good wine.

4) Procrastibake: Make a batch of cookies instead of doing something else you should be doing, like stashing away the good wine.

 5) If you’re not into baking, do not despair. Simply throw flour on your clothes, spend hours scouring Pinterest for desserts you “might” make, light a sugar cookie candle and call it good.

6) Run out of tinsel for the tree? Thread aluminum foil through a shredder. Need a few quick ornaments? Cut coffee filters into snowflakes, put hooks in wine corks and throw some pine cones from the yard on O Tannenbaum.

7) If the tree is fake, consider leaving it up all year to avoid having to haul it back out and decorate it for various holidays. Use the branches to dry out your socks and bras.

8) Have those cheap foam pool noodles still hanging around waiting to be stored for the winter? Grab a red one, twist in the shape of a candy cane and tie a piece of fishing line around the two parts of the bend to keep it in place. Wrap white ribbon or electric tape around it to create stripes. There you go—fun and functional décor!

9) When it comes to wrapping gifts, it’s lovely to have sparkling seasonal paper, but sometimes you get stuck in a pinch. In those instances, I suggest using “Happy Birthday” paper and writing “Jesus” after it.*

*If you’re not religious, write “Rudolph.”  After being ostracized for the whole year, let the poor little guy catch a break.

10) No paper at all? Grab an empty bag of chips, and search around the house for something you think could work as a gift — things like shampoos, hand wipes, coffee packets and jelly you swiped from a hotel room, for example. Clean the chip bag and turn it inside out to reveal the silver, carefully place your gift inside, twist the bag at the top, find a ribbon and you’re set.

Much like you will most likely be when visiting the in-laws, Christmas spirit will be in the bag.

Take that, Martha Stewart.

As originally published on YourTango, a site I’ll be writing a couple posts for a month. I would be super grateful if you could click over and check out my posts so they think that I have a few friends. Plus, I will be writing stuff there I don’t write on here, so there’s that. Thank you!

Like the blog? Buy the books and cool things!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

GOOP Holiday Gift Guide: Revised!

This is the time of year when everyone publishes holiday gift guides with super practical items like a $345,000 Celebrity Robot Avatar from Hammacher Schlemmer to a $150, 15-pound loaf of bread from Oprah’s Favorite Things.

Gwenyth Paltrow, actress, queen of condescension and creator of GOOP—“an eminent lifestyle publication”— got in on the act with their own GOOP Gift Guide for 2014. I realize that I might not be the target audience, seeing as I save 20 minutes on my beauty routine by not having a beauty routine, but I am in the publication’s demographic.

I am also an editor and decided to rewrite some of the captions they included in the guide to appeal to the more practical anti-GOOPer out there, like:

Easy Health Angel Juicer

$4,739

Caption: Absurd, but awesome.

What it should say: Gold jewelry for your kitchen that will cost more green than it will ever juice.

See where I’m going with this?

Actually, I’m going over to In the Powder Room with this, so head on over and read the other nine “New and Improved” Holiday Gift Guide descriptions.

GOOP Gift Guide_ Revised!Happy anti-GOOPing and I’ll see you here on Tuesday!

Shopping like a normal person? Buy the books and cool things!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, be sure to read the post at the top of my  Facebook page, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Kristen from “Abandoning Pretense” Has Issues

Happy Friday! At least it is over here, as we got about 18 inches of snow and I spent the majority of the week hoping to get plowed—and that’s not an euphemism for anything, unfortunately—and it’s finally stopped snowing for a day or so.

Lucky for all of us, today’s blogger sharing her issues is from Florida and so I’m going to pretend things will warm up here simply by osmosis. Well, that and the fact that Kristen’s a woman, mother, wife, adventurer, humor writer and blogger, among other things.

I liked her from the first minute I read that “The goal of Abandoning Pretense is for me to encourage you (and remind myself) to do away with the mind-numbing (and total bullshit) small-talk, white lies, half-truths and exaggerations that we–as mothers, as women–are expected to feed to one another every day.”

Preach it, sister.

Kristen

Where, what and why do you write?

I write at Abandoning Pretense, the blog I began a couple of years ago in hopes of writing myself out of my disturbing and impractical make-everyone-happy-but-for-god’s-sake-don’t-look-like-a-f*cking-weirdo-while-doing-it unintentional life mantra. I’m also a part of the editorial team at Bluntmoms.com and I write for Nickmom.com.

Usually, I write funny/deep/WTF type pieces laced with equal parts sexual innuendo and debilitating self-doubt. Or sometimes I just write about vaginas or boobs outright and call it a day.

The reason I write is the same reason I run long distance: It’s cheaper than therapy.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

“WHY IS MY HUSBAND NOT TURNING OFF HIS MOTHERF*CKING ALARM CLOCK. Oh, wait, never mind, that’s my alarm. Son of a…

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Oh crap, now I’m going to get all serious on you people. My son has ADHD and is having a difficult time in third grade. He goes to this uppity super-high-expectation school for science, which he loves and is really an awesome school, but he’s a basket case in the classroom and drives his teachers insane. And I yell at him sometimes (okay, daily) and hate myself for it. So that kind of sucks and is constantly on my mind. I write about that sometimes, and it’s the only time I write without sexual innuendo, because it would weird and creepy if I did that.

Three websites you visit every day.

CNN, Washington Post and The New York Times.

Kidding. I’m totally gonna start reading those though, like as soon as Facebook implodes and I get tired of books. I mainly spend time browsing my Facebook feed for interesting articles my friends and fellow bloggers have shared. I know the general consensus is that you can’t get reliable news via your Facebook feed, but I think the people who say that just need to up the ante on their friend list, ya know what I mean? Less cousin-Jim-Bob-because-it’s-Facebook-and-I’m-supposed-to-be-‘friends’-with-my-family, and more that-blogger-friend-I-adore-because-she-too-owns-a-tattered-copy-of-Catcher in the Rye.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

Ugh! I don’t have any! I only have stupid real talents, like drawing and playing the violin and viola. I never learned to tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue though, and I feel like I’ve really missed out on some good times as a result of this.

Oh WAIT! I do have a weird talent: I can move my ears! Yes. I can move my ears. So I am trivially talented after all. Thank god. I almost had a panic attack for a second there.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

Just one: Don’t be a dick.

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?

Health-wise, or taste-wise? Health-wise best would be kale. I juice that stuff because I’m trying to live to be 100. It’s on my bucket list. Like I’ll literally turn 100 then die right on the spot, and I’ll be satisfied with that. Worst would be my husband’s disgusting chemical-laden Mountain Dew energy drink. I can’t even look at it without getting osteoporosis. Taste-wise, the best would be queso fresco. I could eat that shit by the brick. The worst would be olives. I would rather eat a squirming grub than an olive. Blech.

Given the holiday season, what are your favorite and least favorite Thanksgiving foods?

Pie. I am one of those people who will have “a little sliver” of the eight different kinds of pie brought by the various different guests at a potluck-style Thanksgiving. Love that shit.

My least favorite … also pie. My neighbor once made this Shepard’s pie that had some kind of liquor in it and it was so strong I almost threw up when I took a bite of it. I was like, “Dude, that is not what pie is supposed to taste like,” and he was like, “Here, you just need to add some whipped cream.” And because I’m a huge pansy and I hate confrontation, I said, “Oh, okay. Sure, lemme try it with the whipped cream.” And I did, and it was still disgusting. Also, after those two bites, I was drunk. That’s how much liquor was in it. Never again.

Editor’s note: My favorite pie is pizza. Carry on.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

I wish you had asked, “Would you like some cheesecake now?” I would have said yes.

So hide your desserts and go check out her blog and Facebook page, AFTER you answer our question:

What are your favorite and least favorite holiday foods?

 P.S. Because next Friday is Black Friday (eye roll,) I won’t be featuring a blogger seeing as no one will be on the Internet. However, I will still have a new post up Sunday and Tuesday, so come back and visit. Bring pizza.

Like the blog? Buy the books and cool things!

zazzle.jpg

P.P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The 5 Stages of Shopping at Target

Listening to people talk today, Target seems to be the suburban equivalent of Las Vegas. There are no clocks on the wall, no windows to let you gaze outside and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pump oxygen throughout the store to keep you alert.

I’ve heard it suggested they might as well implement at $25 cover charge, as it seems to be impossible to walk out of the store without spending at least that amount. And as aware as I am of the hypnotizing logo and siren song of sales, I still find myself traveling through the five stages of shopping at Target every freaking time.

target

Denial

I’ll only go in for one thing. In fact, just to ensure that I make it quick, I’m going to drink at least 24 ounces of tea and water—not Starbucks from the Target location, as that will simply caffeinate my craziness—and “forget” to use the bathroom before leaving. Given my aversion to hovering above public pissers, this is a fool proof plan.

Plus, if I go at a time in which the store is most likely to be full of screaming children who feel they need ALL THE THINGS when in fact they just need a nap, the constant soundtrack of shrieks will serve as a not-so-subliminal reminder that although the appeal of a discounted chevron towel in the SAME EXACT COLORS as my kitchen—only $4!—my greater desire will be to escape from the ear-splitting screams.

Anger

After finding the one thing I went in there for, I come across bright colored melamine plates that would look great stuck in my cupboard for months—only $2!—and a 3-pack of gel fresheners in a variety of seasonal scents—only $2.79!

What the hell, Target? This wasn’t in your ad and I didn’t bring my 75-cent off coupon! I haven’t planned for these additional purchases! Crap. I also have to pee.

Bargaining

Even though I only came in here for one thing, at least I didn’t grab a cart. I WILL NOT GRAB A CART—or as I prefer to call them, “enablers.” Better to carry what I “need” by hand so that I have a palpable feel as to my prospective purchases. If I can’t carry it, I don’t buy it.

Depression

Crap again. I can carry a lot in my arms.

Acceptance

Fine. You win. Where the hell is the wine aisle? I might as well go all-in. A full-bodied red would look lovely in the two new Room Essentials wine glasses I have perched precariously on top of the Nate Berkus towel I found over on clearance. Next time I’ll stick to the plan, but this is simply too good to miss.

Now where are the bathrooms again?

As originally published on Moms Who Drink and Swear

Like the blog? Buy the books and cool things!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Rodney Lacroix of “Mental Poo” Has Issues

Guess what? We actually have a MAN on the blog today spilling his issues. I know. Craziness. But given the title of his books—Things Go Wrong For Me and Perhaps I’ve Said Too Much—he’ll fit in rather nicely.

Now, I don’t remember how I “met” Rodney other than we have mutual online friends, but as soon as I saw him on Twitter I knew I had to follow this dude. He’s hilarious, and although his blog is currently on hiatus, his tweets and books are still going strong (and yes, I’ve read his book and laughed entirely too much at how not politically correct but completely honest it was.)

So without further ado, let’s crawl into his mental man cave.

rodney

Name: Rodney Lacroix
Blog: Mental Poo (currently on hiatus)

Where, what and why do you write?

I do most of my writing at work where I write about how to look like you’re working but are, in fact, actually writing. This usually creates a wormhole. Also, I’m from the future.

I write because my head is so full of absolute garbage that if I don’t write it ends up coming out in speech. Usually this happens at awkward times like at parties or during my own wedding vows. True story, when prompted for the “I Do” answer at my wedding, I actually responded “I like trains.” This is the direct result of what happens when you promise your children you are going to do something that only they know about and now you look like an a-hole in front of all your friends. Good times.

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now? 

It’s no secret that I actually really hate working and the whole process of earning money that doesn’t involve writing. I’ve actually started a third book (on Romance Tips – I’m not joking) but haven’t had time to get past the first chapter.

Editor’s note: Nope, can’t relate to that work thing at all (twiddles thumbs, looks up, whistles to herself…)

Three websites you visit every day.

1) Twitter

2) Facebook

3) Google – so I can Google my name and see if my photo comes up in any article that also mentions Mila Kunis or Kate Upton.

Another editor’s note: You mean besides the restraining order?

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I can juggle. I learned how to juggle when my kids were little because I thought it would be neat that they could say, “Hey, my dad can juggle.” Who they would tell this to that would actually be impressed, I have no idea.

I also am 7 months in on learning electric guitar. I kind of suck at it so I may resort to just juggling guitars if this shit doesn’t pan out.

Because you’re a Twitter All Star, are there any celebrities that follow you?

Jenny McCarthy follows me which is probably a direct result of her reviewing and giving me a quote on my first book. We still have yet to make sweet sweet love, but I assume that’s coming right after she gets out of this “Donny Wahlberg” phase.

Editor again: Don’t worry, Rodney. You’ve got the Right Stuff

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

Anyone who answers, “How are you?” or “How you doing?” with “It’s <insert day of week here>” would be immediately put to death. I know it’s Monday, asshole. I didn’t just Quantum Leap.

Me again: Yup, you work in an office.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?  

The guy who played Bernie in the “Weekend at Bernie’s” movies because that’s pretty much how I look every single day. Dead tired with kids literally dragging me all over the goddamn place and that guy really pulled it off.

You can only eat three foods for a week. What are they?

Kate Upton, Mila Ku…OH. Foods.

Teriyaki (beef – not the gross chicken one because I’m pretty sure that is not chicken or if it is it’s some weird undiscovered part of the chicken).

Nutella – duh.

Something healthy to even it all out – probably like grilled chicken salad but it has to have bacon on it. You know what? Scratch that. I’ll just have the bacon. Bacon dipped in Nutella and served on a Teriyaki stick. Also, you didn’t mention anything about drinks so I assume they’re included and it’s open bar all week. This is turning out to be the best week EVER.

What would your life be in a tweet?

Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses. Make them all 5’4″ tall and that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.


So there you have it—Rodney in a nutshell. As a bonus, you can take a piece of his nut home with you—in the form of his books, you weirdo—after answering the question below.

What would your life be in a tweet?

Like the blog? Buy the books and other things!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, be sure to read the post at the top of my  Facebook page or follow me on Twitter.

A Good Book and a Big Cup of Tea

There’s nothing quite like being so wrapped up in a book that you feel emotionally let down when it ends, when the last page has been read and you’re cut off from the life of those characters going forward. You’re sad, but at the same time, you feel satisfied—full from the experience, if only for a little while.

book

That’s why I’m a weirdo and end up delaying the inevitable, saving the last few pages for some other time when a) I feel a bit more prepared to move on or b) I have another book waiting in the wings.

Yes, I will actually walk away from a book for a week or so—even if I only have a few pages left—because I don’t want it to end.

But it doesn’t just stop with that, my friends, as I take it one step further.

Money is an issue, which makes the fact that I have the attention span of a manic gnat slightly helpful because I can re-read things I read a couple years ago and find new details that I missed, but I will splurge every couple of months or so on something new.

And although I look forward to having one or two books I can read, I then get stressed out because I am suddenly overwhelmed with quality reading material. It’s like I go from famine to feast and I feel the need to go on a bender and read everything, just because it’s there, or stash it away for those times when I have nothing new.

It’s been like this since the beginning.

As a kid I was the one who read all the time—when we were driving, watching TV, waiting in line somewhere—and going to the store to get a few more books was a reward that I always looked forward to.

And Book It? I was the Queen with my little purple button full of stars to indicate books read and personal Pizza Hut pan pizzas earned.

Of course I went through that adolescent phase were books were replaced with New Kids on the Block cassette tapes and multiple viewings of “Clueless” followed by college years that often required so much studying that any “fun” reading was out of the question.

But I eventually came back to books—a way to distract myself, to escape from the reality of my world and instead get absorbed in the reality of somebody else, if only for a little while.

There are times I think about getting an e-reader — I do appreciate how they get more people to read — but I like the feel of a book in my hands, being able to mark the pages that really stood out and then finding those notes when I read it again in the future. I like the anticipation of an Amazon package arriving in the mail, and as odd as it sounds, I like being able to actually turn the pages myself…until I get to that last page.

Sigh.

All of this could be avoided if my favorite authors would just continually write sequels and ensure that I will always have quality material waiting for me when I finish something up, or at least provide Facebook updates on what the characters are doing now.

But regardless, the ups and downs—the anticipation of starting to read something new, the resignation when that book is read—are worth it. Reading is something that molds you and adds to your character because you often take a little bit of something from every character you meet.

Foe me,  C.S. Lewis said it best:

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

The End.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Alyson of “The Shitastrophy” Has Issues

The name of the blog of today’s blogger spilling her issues should serve as a warning that if mild profanity upsets you, you should slowly back away for today.

(Waits a few seconds for the nuns and toddlers who most certainly read my blog to leave…)

With that said, she’s the shit. No, literally. That’s part of the name of her blog–The Shitastropy–a place she writes about her family, her life and the moments in time that leave her thinking “You can’t make this shit up.”

But another thing she writes about is mental illness, a subject you know that I know a few things about (unfortunately.) However, I’m so excited for her—and jealous, but whatever—because she is working on an anthology, “Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor,” that will be available March 2015.

They’ve compiled 38 poignant and hysterical pieces “to show people that they are not alone. Our hope is to mimic the real life ups and downs of mental illness and let others know that they will laugh again, that there is hope and that as bleak as moments are, there are options.” In addition, each author has selected a charity to support and highlight in their area.

 And that, my friends, is the shit.

alyson

Name:  Alyson, but I typically go by Jillian’s or Jake’s mom to the younger crowd

Blog:    The Shitastrophy

Where, what and why do you write?

Where: In my utopia—my office. This year I waited until my husband went away on a two-week trip (I’m no fool; better to ask for forgiveness than permission) and I had our office completely redone. New floors, painted all the dark woodwork white, new paint on the walls. Everything. It is now my Zen, and it has doors – that I keep shut. It sure as hell beats my old office, which was the kitchen table.

What: I mostly do sarcastic adult humor. I have no problem dropping in a rogue f-bomb if the situation calls for it. Sometimes there is no better word.

Why: Well, if I didn’t I would lose my damn mind. It is very therapeutic for me to let out all these crazy weird thoughts. I swear I am a walking Seinfeld episode.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

How much longer can I sleep before I really really have to get up? Two minutes? I’ll take it.

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

I have numerous unfinished projects around my house that I am paying someone to complete and yet the person is missing in action all.the.time.

Three websites you visit every day.

I’m giving you categories because I am an overachiever:

  1. The big three of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.
  2. The big three of news: CNN, Huffington Post, Bloomberg
  3. The big three of humor: Buzzfeed, College Humor, The Onion

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

Actually I am very skilled at making resumes and often tapped by friends to make theirs. I have yet to design one that didn’t get the person the job they wanted. Oh, and I am really good at organizing. I can look at shit and figure out where to put it like a game of Jenga. You would never know this looking at my house, because, well…kids.

(Editor’s note to self: Send Alyson resume for position of someone who gets paid to blog and taste-test hummus in yoga pants from my couch.)

Favorite place to be?

The ocean. I grew up at the Jersey Shore. I love the sound of the waves, the sea gulls (as long as they don’t sh*t on me – which happened once) and putting my feet in the warm sand.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

I would say any asshat that gets in the right-hand lane and doesn’t turn right should lose their license. Also, I feel very strongly that the speed limit on all four-lane roads should be 45 MPH. I am also going with the law that people who hurt kids should go to jail forever – no chance for parole.

What TV show would you want to appear on?

Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Given the holiday season, what are your favorite and least favorite Thanksgiving foods?

I actually hate, as in despise, turkey. This causes an issue on a day dedicated to turkey. When I was younger there were always pasta options because my mom’s side (who we spent the holiday with) are Italian. Now my in-laws host Thanksgiving, but they have a honey baked ham that I love. As for my favorite, well my husband’s Aunt Diane’s pumpkin bars are phenomenal and I eat like 4 or 5 and take some to go every year.

What superficial thing are you most thankful for?

My car. It’s not fancy, it’s a minivan, but if I had to walk places I would totally hate it. I will search a parking lot for 20 minutes to get a primo spot right up front. Sure, I realize I could have parked in the back nine and walked in five times by then, but it’s the thrill of the quest and the fact that I’m lazy.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

Favorite thing – sleep followed up closely by coffee and beer.

So there you have it. Go check her out and see you back here next post!

Like the blog? Buy the books!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to subscribe here on the blog and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.