Tag Archives: holidays

Let’s Set Lofty Goals!

The New Year is quickly approaching, which means we’ll soon be subjected to hearing about everyone’s lofty goals for the upcoming year.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I figure I don’t need to wait until January 1 to try and change whatever it is that needs changing—unless it’s the furnace filter, in which I stick to a stringent “every three months” schedule.

But in the spirit of self-improvement and goal-setting, I have decided to share a few of my more “reasonable” resolutions for the upcoming year with you guys. Of course, this is excluding the biggest most stressful goal—finding a job—but I can multi-task here (quickly adds that one to her resume.)

shampoo

Throw a plastic bottle into the recycling bag without it bouncing back up and out of the bin and onto the floor.  

Rip bananas off the bunch at the store without feeling like I’m ripping them away from their little banana family, and then returning home without having bruised the bananas.

Take off  my winter boots without also taking off my socks, and if accomplished, step out of my winter boots without stepping directly into a piece of snow that fell on the floor.

Catch the pasta in between al dente and overcooked, which is approximately .84 seconds.

Not only remember to take my reusable grocery bags to the store, but also remember to actually take them into the store before I’m standing in line.

After brushing off my snowy car, open the car door without snow still falling in on the seat somehow.

Put the laundry away the same day that it’s actually washed and dried.

Successfully switch from one phone call to the one on call waiting without hanging up on either of the calls.

Find the right lid to a Tupperware container in less than three attempts.

Alphabetize something without needing to sing the alphabet song in order to actually alphabetize something.

Catch something as it falls off the table without knocking something else off the table.

Open a plastic produce bag in under 10 seconds at the store.

Pump gas and stop on the exact dollar amount instead of spending an extra $10 trying to get it to stop on an even dollar amount.

Try to find the good in every situation. Wait, that was a typo. I meant “food.” Try to find the food in every situation.


I think that last one is most certainly one I can accomplish (said as she walks by the laundry basket full of clean clothes for the third time today.)

Your turn. What’s one “reasonable” goal for 2015, other than not reading about anyone’s goals for 2015? 

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A Writer’s Days Before Christmas

Since most of you aren’t on the Internet this week and my brain is fried, I decided to write you a poem instead. 

(Clears throat, dims the lights and takes a sip of her holiday tea.)

THE WRITE BEFORE

‘Twas the days before Christmas, and all through my place.

Not an idea was stirring to share on this space.

My stocking was hung by the chimney with care,

(Which meant there would be no more dusting right there.)

And then there was me, wearing what I wear best.

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, well you know the rest.

When out from the driveway, I heard something clatter,

And turned to the window to tend to the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But a Lexus that made me ask, “Who the heck’s here?”

The lost-looking driver sped off in a fit,

And I knew those commercials were still full of shit.

Speaking of cars and a holiday ruse,

Those dressed up like reindeer that Santa might use?

The antlers on top and a red nose to boot,

Send mixed messages when drivers give the one-fingered salute.

“Freaking merge!” “Learn to park!” They all shout and they call!

‘Tis the season for road rage for those at the mall.

But back to the story of writing this post.

Even though all the readers are logged off, like most.

I had an idea of where things could be going,

In my head all the words just kept flowing and flowing.

But then in a twinkling, I heard in my head.

The prancing and pawing of something instead.

“Did I put back the Swiffer I used on the floors?

Of course I should check, and then clean out some drawers.

Perhaps now the shower could use a good scrub?

I’ll keep writing as soon as I clean out that tub.

And now the mirror’s streaky, so that gets cleaned, too.

What’s with my eyebrows? Let’s pluck one or two.”

My eyes looked quite tired, my hair still a mess.

My chest most resembling a flat iron press.

A shirt stained with hummus not hiding that stealth.

But I laughed when I saw it in spite of myself.

Then I remembered I wanted to bake,

There were cookies and candies I still had to make!

Once that was over, with treats wrapped up tight,

I had no more excuses to not sit and write.

“Okay, back to work.” I decided right then.

I resolved to see this post right through to the end.

But then laying the cursor aside of my lines,

I somehow clicked over to go back online.

To Facebook I sprang, and of course, then to Twitter.

As long as I’m there, e-mail too. (I’m no quitter.)

My train of thought suddenly derailed again,

I figured that yoga might help me feel Zen.

Down dog and pigeon and side planks galore,

I couldn’t help notice a string on the floor.

Out came the vacuum to suck up that stuff,

And at that point I figured enough was enough.

Clearly this poem wasn’t going that great,

A much better post would just have to then wait.

So I sighed and I shrugged and then turned on TV,

And crashed on the couch for a Food Network spree.

Now where was I going with this rambling spiel?

Oh yes, for you people I like a great deal:

May your holiday bring you much joy and delight,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

See you back here Friday with another blogger sharing their issues!

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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, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Even the Grinch Has Issues

The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of people, but what about the post-holiday season when all the hype has died down? While many settle back into normal routines, there are a few people that find this time of year to be even more difficult.

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Why?

After weeks of being in the spotlight, they’re suddenly erased from the minds of the public for another 11 long months. Needless to say, a round of therapy is in order.


Patient Name: Little Drummer Boy

Session Notes: Possible abandonment issues coupled with concern over money has manifested itself into OCD, as LDB sat on the couch “pa rum pum pum pum-ing” on the table with a pencil throughout the entire session.

Talked of his willingness to follow three “wise” men without parental guidance. Expressed concern over lack of money and having no gifts to bring and asked to put his name on the card of the wise man who brought gold because he “had no idea what Frankincense or Myrrh are.”

Interested in starting a boy band like One Direction and naming it North Star. We’re working through this one.


Patient Name: Rudolph

Session Notes: Self-esteem issues evident by eagerness to guide the sleigh of seasonal employer (who was initially freaked out by his “abnormal” nose) after being told he would never join the flying reindeer team (a team that teased him mercilessly and refused to let him join in any reindeer games.)

This, combined with the fact his own father forced him to cover his nose in black dirt, has also led to a slight alcohol dependence evidenced by a bright red nose in clear weather and a strong smell of Jack Daniels.

Suggested finding a new crowd to hang out with — Blitzen and Vixen are no help—and perhaps seeking employment with Hermey to open a thriving dental practice on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Patient Name: Frosty the Snowman

Session Notes: A bit bipolar, no pun intended. Wavers between overconfidence—“I’ll be back again some day!” with a tendency to hit on married women, “I can do the job while I’m in town!”— and anxiety over the threat of global warming, not to mention the fact that he basically lets children dress him in produce and trash.

Feels people forget about him once it gets warm, which is a valid concern, and tends to overcompensate with streaks of merry mania. Suggested moving to a permanently colder climate and finding a job as an ice cream truck driver. Given his appeal to children, it seems like a natural fit.


Patient Name: Grinch

Session Notes: Physician-ordered session after patient’s heart “grew three sizes” and raised cardiac concerns. Also had a brief charge of theft by police. Seems anxiety has been plaguing patient since whole town has taken to ostracizing him for bad behavior.

Cited a song created about him in which various parts are likened to “a greasy black peel, a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich,” that his heart’s “a dead tomato splotched” and that he has “garlic in his soul.”

To be honest, I tuned him out after “garlic in your soul,” as that sounds delicious. And living on top of a mountain away from the town with only his dog? Seems like a good plan to me. I don’t really see much of an issue.

And now I’m hungry.

I think that my work here is done.

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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, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

How To Stay In Shape During the Holidays

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about people being too busy to exercise and keep up with their fitness routines. While I always find time to hop into the gym—if only to see if Hot Gym guy is hanging around—or throw in a Jillian Michaels DVD for 30 minutes so I can yell, “I’M NOT PHONING IT IN!, I understand that some people simply have different priorities.

Considering I don’t prioritize spending more than five minutes on my makeup in the morning, no judgment here.

But there’s good news! Because just like holiday décor doesn’t have to come from traditional places, neither does breaking a sweat and getting in a workout during the holiday season. I’m here today to let you know that it’s totally fine if the only jogging you do is of your memory while trying to remember where you hid that last freaking gift.

So pull off that ugly Christmas sweater, do a few light stretches and feel the burn doing things you’re probably already doing, my friends!

stayinshape

Dashing through the snow to bring the trash bin to the end of the driveway before the truck comes in the morning.

Doing twisting crunches in bed to reach and hit the snooze again super-setted with kicking off the sheets or blanket in an effort to get untwisted.

Walking around the parking lot looking for where you parked your car (while ticking off the parking spot stalkers that are waiting for you to get in your car and leave, like you’re roaming around in the cold on purpose.)

Pushing a grocery cart through the slushy lot requires lower body strength while upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

When grocery shopping, lifting the overflowing basket you told yourself you would use instead of a full cart is great for building up your arms—be sure to switch from right to left for equal amounts of time.

Loading/unloading the car and then carrying all the groceries/purchases in one trip because you’re cold and don’t want to walk back outside is great for both the upper and lower body. Be sure to throw in a few kickboxing kicks as you try and catch the door before it slams shut.

Forget the stairmaster! Going up and down the stairs to retrieve boxes of decorations, armloads of laundry and gifts you forgot that you hid will get the job done just as well.

Lifting boxes of decorations alternated with moving furniture around—no, that looks better over there. No wait, push it over there.—works both the upper and lower body.

Putting ornaments on the Christmas tree involves calf raises to reach the top, squats to bend down pick up dropped ornaments and tones the shoulders when you take the ball full of tangled lights and throw them across the room.

Running through the stores trying to avoid people you know that you don’t want to get stuck talking to because there are SO MANY PEOPLE in the store and you just want to leave is great cardio, not to mention the plyometrics involved in the starting and stopping each time.

Don’t worry about eating those baked goods, as whisking and stirring ingredients for desserts sculpts your arms, quick squats in front of the oven to bend down and check how things are baking works your legs and lunging to catch the egg before it falls off the counter works your butt.

And finally—and possibly the most important exercise of all—is power yoga, and by “power yoga” I mean lying in corpse pose on the couch for a minimum of two hours a day.

See? You’re pretty much an elite athlete at this point, so enjoy those chestnuts roasting on an open fire and another slice of pie. After all, you’ve more than earned it.

P.S. I have to add that I was overwhelmed by your replies to my last post and on my Facebook page. I’m still trying to deal with everything, but all your support honestly made this ice queen melt quite a bit. I plan on writing about it a bit more in the future, because if nothing else it’s new blog fodder. But today, just…thanks. Now go do your grocery cart glute crunches!

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Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

It’s been a while since I’ve serenaded vegan food in song or questionable rhymes, so I figured a seasonal selection of holiday hymns were in order. So fa-la-la and bon appetite!

songs

Oh Broccoli Tree

(Sung to O Christmas Tree)

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

I steam you every dinner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when it’s cold and drear.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such flavor do you bring me!

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such pleasure do you bring me!

Each fresh floret,

Each diced up crown.

Completes a meal I want to down.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Pizza Pie Rocks

(Sung to “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza with cheese or the toppings you please.

Turn on the oven to preheat the fun,

Now the pizza love has begun.

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza’s sublime at just any time.

Cooking and smelling the oregano there,

Wafting through the air.

What a bright time, it’s the right time,

To snack the night away.

Pizza pie time is a swell time,

To go eating and improve on your day.

Hurry-up, oven, come and pick up the pace.

I want to stuff my face.

Put on yoga pants and kick up my feet.Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie rocks.

Hummus Night

(Sung to “Silent Night”)

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

You’re so smooth, and so light.

Round yon chickpeas and tahini paste,

Add some garlic for that perfect taste.

Eat it any way you please.

Eat it any way you please.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Any time, is pure delight.

Eaten in salad or slathered on grains,

Pita or crackers or just spooned up plain.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Taste buds quake, at the sight.

Glories stream from X above

Those who eat it know it tastes like love.

A snacking savior is born.

A snacking savoir is born.

Have Yourself a Perfect Avocado

(Sung to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

That is ripe and right.

Not too dark,

but also not too hard and light.

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

Make a wrap or dips,

Smashed on bread,

or served along with healthy chips.

Here we are in the grocery store,

Choosing our new fruit and more.

Faithful foods that are dear to us

Will come home with us once more.

Through the years our tastes may change a little,

But I must avow.

An avocado is a food I’ll keep somehow.

So have yourself a perfect avocado now.

Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

(Sung to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”)

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree

At the Christmas party hop,

Tables of food that you can see,

And at which you have to stop.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Let the Christmas “spirits” ring,

We’ll have a glass of red and white,

And screw the caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,

Voices singing, “Let’s be merry!”

Look! There’s bread and cake with berries.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Have a happy holiday.

Everyone eating merrily,

In the true food lovers way!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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, add my  Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.