Tag Archives: books

Kathryn from “Foxy Wine Pocket” Has Issues & a Giveaway!

Here’s what you need to know about today’s blogger spilling her issues—she has two kids, drinks, swears (those things might be related), and writes about suburban life in a way that is anything but crass for all you pearl-clutchers out there. Instead it’s funny and relatable and makes you want to hang out if it meant you didn’t have to put on real pants or makeup.

Oh, and also that she’s giving away something at the end of this post!

So without further ado, I present to you Ms. Foxy Wine Pocket, herself.

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Name: Kathryn Leehane, but I love it when people call me “Foxy”

Blog: Foxy Wine Pocket 

Where, what and why do you write?

Where: I write in my breakfast room. (“Breakfast room” sounds way more fancy than it really is; it’s a tiny nook off of my kitchen. I also call my teeny-tiny backyard a “courtyard” for the very same reason—fancy.) Anyhow, I like hanging out in that room because I can see all of the comings and goings in front of my house and in the neighborhood. I’m nosey like that.

What: I write (sometimes irreverent and inappropriate) humor on my blog and anywhere else people let me spew my nonsense. I also write non-humor essays, and I’m currently writing my first book.

Why: Because people got tired of listening to me in-person. Even my dog is done with me.

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

 “Do I really need to shower this morning or can I sleep a little longer?”

Three websites you visit every day.

Other than my standard social media trifecta (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest), I like to visit The Oatmeal, The Onion, Cracked. I really love to laugh.

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

I can do this with my lips: 

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

Free coffee in the morning. Mandatory mid-day naps. Free wine at night

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

Cured meats, olive bread, and cheese

The last thing you Googled?

“Can you drink alcohol after a colonoscopy” (The answer is you really shouldn’t.)

It’s the holidays–best and worst gift you’ve been given?

Best: A collection of John Hughes movies from my husband.

Worst: A gift card to a men’s clothing store from my mother-in-law. In her defense, she got her stores mixed up (but she did walk into the actual store to buy it).

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

Question: What’s the most ridiculous fight you and your spouse have ever had?

Answer: About eighteen years ago, my husband ate my sandwich.

*pauses for effect*

HE ATE MY F-ING SANDWICH, and an epic argument ensued. We’ve had our fair share of spats and arguments, but The Great Sandwich Tragedy of 1997 is one that has really stuck with me throughout the years. So, naturally, I wrote all about it in a book, “Clash of the Couples.”

Editor’s note: There’s no need to pause for effect. I am as protective of my food as a rabid mother badger, so I feel you 100 percent on that one.

And I have to say that I have read that story in “Clash of the Couples” and was cringing throughout the whole thing because FOOD and also because it was hilarious and relatable. That’s why I’m so happy to say WE’RE GIVING AWAY A COPY OF THE BOOK!!!

*Jumps around like Oprah, waving her arms all around most likely knocking a lamp off the table*

It’s described as a “hits-close-to-home anthology featuring a collection of completely absurd lovers’ squabbles and relationship spats. Think couples fight over kids, sex, and money? Think again! Furniture and the last beer are what genuinely ignite our feuds. And no argument is off limits. This book has it all!” 

This giveaway will be open to anyone in the United States who has a sense of humor and leaves a comment on the question below. For extra good karma, go check out her blog and Facebook page. I will randomly choose a winner Monday night. Good luck, and thank you Foxy!

What’s the most ridiculous thing you and your spouse/partner (former or current) have ever fought about?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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The Tao of Abby

I recently read “The Tao of Martha” by Jen Lancaster in which she attempts to live her life according to the advice of Martha Stewart with everything from closet organization to party planning. It was an okay read, but that’s not the point.

The point is that as evidenced by my issues with sheets and vacuums, I’m no Martha Stewart.

In fact, the only thing me and M-dawg have in common is that she’s an ex-felon and I commit crimes on a daily basis that would keep the Fashion Police busy if they had any actual authority.

But I would like to think that most people tend to lean a little bit more towards “drawer of shame” instead of “bedazzled closet hangers” on a daily basis. As such, I have decided to do a “modified Martha” version of some of her tips for those other domestically disabled divas out there.

They might not exactly be helpful in a “Watch out, Martha!” sort of way, but at least they’ll help you feel less alone.

Cleaning a Mini-Blind

Martha: If blinds are very dirty, remove them from the window and lay them flat on a drop cloth outside. Scrub closed blinds with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Repeat on the other side; rinse. Open and hang outside to dry.

Me: miniblind

Cleaning a Shower Curtain Liner

Martha: A homemade curtain of ripstop nylon works well. Curtains and plastic liners can be cleaned with laundry detergent in the washing machine, on the gentle cycle.

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Me: We’ve been over this before. Cut down the $5 liner from Target and replace it with a new $5 liner from Target. Much like the mini-blind situation, don’t be a hero.

Making a Cup of Tea

Martha: Gather leaves from a Darjeeling bush. Warm your pot first with steaming water, dump it out, refill it and let it boil. Warm your cups, strain your tea and add a lychee nut to the cup before you sip.

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Me: Fill Hot Shot with water, get impatient before realizing you forgot to hit “start.” Hit start, dispense water and tea bag into cup 1 minute later. Use all available methods for not burning your mouth with the exception of actually waiting for the tea to cool.

Readying Clothes for the Laundry

Martha: Empty pockets and turn them inside out, unfurl socks, and unroll cuffs. Tie sashes and strings to prevent tangling. Place delicate items like lingerie and fine knitwear in zippered mesh bags. Turn delicate items, sweaters, and cotton T-shirts inside out to prevent pilling.

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Me: Throw dirty clothes in the vicinity of the laundry basket and congratulate myself if it goes in. Eventually notice that I’m out of socks, gather laundry surrounding the basket and shove it all in the washer. Forget about it, wash it again and then eventually throw in the dryer.

Making a Cake

Martha: Fancy flourishes and pretty piping really are the icing on the cupcakes. Faux bois, or imitation wood grain, is a favorite motif of Martha’s; it can be applied to chocolate using a wood-graining rocker, found at paint-supply stores.

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Me: Go to the bakery. If you ask really nice, they’ll even decorate it for you.

I think her empire is safe.

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Politically Correct Children’s Books & a Giveaway

It’s no secret that I love books, which is why I’m giving two away at the end of this post.

But some of the classics from when I was a kid would probably fall under the “not politically correct enough” category today, seeing as people have evolved to suck the fun out of everything.

So while I read these books and didn’t become the Unabomber, I thought it would be fun to take a cynical eye to some classics. And because I’m all about solutions, I will also propose a more “modern” take on the books.

Green Eggs and Ham

Summary: Sam I Am tries to peer pressure a friend into eating a potentially dangerous substance. (If you ever come across green ham, it’s probably horribly expired. Do not eat it!) While he initially resists, he eventually gives in and realizes it’s not as bad as he thought. So basically parents say drugs are bad, but if your friend likes it, then it’s good enough for you.

Suggestion: In this updated classic, Sam starts a food blog in which he details the merits of eating “green” eggs in the sense that they are eco-friendly, free-range organic eggs grown on a farm where chickens have spa days and sip Perrier. He shares a variety of healthy recipes focused on locally-sourced ingredients that win him fans and friends.

Frog & Toad are Friends

Summary: While this book claims “Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be,” Frog is often a terrible friend to Toad. Toad is embarrassed by his swimsuit, and Frog laughs at him with all the other animals. When they fly a kite, Frog just stands there with the string while Toad runs with the kite, getting constant abuse from other teasing animals. Thanks to Frog, Toad is trapped in a vicious cycle between narcissism and self-conscious insecurity.

Suggestion: Frog and Toad are “Friends,” just as Frog and Toad are “Together” in the sequel, if you know what I mean. Toad was just trying to be “fabulous” in the swimsuit incident and Frog was annoyed that Toad left the seat up at the lily pad again. These books follow in the steps of the first character to ever come out—Bi-curious George—and readers are shown that love and families can take many forms.

Cat In the Hat

Summary: A giant mutant cat shows up at the house while the mom is out and proceeds to touch and play with everything while the kids look on in terror. They try to get this strange intruder to leave without success, and the cat proceeds to release two “Things” that tear around the house, destroying everything. The cat cleans up the house in the end, but this encourages felonious behavior.

Suggestion: Seeing a cat show up at their house wearing a gigantic hat, the kids quickly whip out their iPads and start taping what they see. When the mother returns home, she finds they’ve posted a video to YouTube of the next Internet cat sensation that quickly goes more viral than Keyboard Cat ever did.

Cinderella

Summary: Girl, evil step-relatives, menial gender-stereotypical labor, geriatric godmother, pumpkin, prince, shoe.When the females of the town attend a ball for the chance to marry one man because he is rich royalty, a fairy swoops down, switches out Cinderella’s peasant garb and gives her glass slippers that DON’T EVEN FIT. She attends the ball, wins the heart of the prince and goes back to being “plain” at midnight.

Suggestion: Instead of women being portrayed as shallow, vindictive and sometimes helpless victims waiting to be rescued, in this version Cindy moves out, goes back to school and opens a fair-trade shoe company that produces only comfortable and practical footwear called “Fairy Footwear.” At a fundraiser for her non-profit dedicated to eliminating small rodent labor, she meets a young man who respects her for her brains and not her beauty.

And they all lived happily ever after.

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GIVEAWAY TIME!

I’m giving away a copy of both “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “Moms are Nuts” to one lucky U.S. resident. All you have to do is leave a comment about books–your favorite, the worst, a “politically correct” version of a classic, etc. by Tuesday, June 17. I’ll randomly pick a winner and notify them by email. Good luck!

Words to Your Mother Giveaway!

It has been brought to my attention—by myself—that it’s been quite some time since I’ve given something away, other than all of the content you read on this blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Oh! And the food I put out for the birds and bastard woodland creatures in my yard. Now that I think about it, I’m freaking Mother Teresa! Give me ALL the Nobel Peace Prizes!

Anyway, with Mother’s Day just around the corner and WordPress telling me this is my 500th post, it seemed like a great time to do just that.

So without further ado, I present to you the “Words to Your Mother” book giveaway full of cool stuff you should want. (Because I do, but I’m giving the good stuff to you. You. Are. Welcome.)

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I Just Want to Be Alone

One signed copy—by me—of this collection of humorous essays from 37 of the most Super Cool Lady Writers you’ll find on the Web who let me join in for some reason. Even my 65-year-old uncle loved it. It rocks.

Suburban Haiku

One autographed hardcover edition of Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches From Behind the Picket Fence by Peyton Price. One mom’s journey toward suburban assimilation, told in hilarious cringe-worthy haiku. In addition, you will also receive one Suburban Haiku book club tote bag, perfect for hauling your swag all over the neighborhood (or hiding wine. Whatever. I don’t judge.) 

Something Smells Like Pee: And Other Classy Observations

Humorist/writer Blythe Jewell explores things, life, whatnot through the prism of humor, poetry and illustration. This collection of more than 60 titles includes brilliant pieces like “Hair in My Ass Crack,” “Shut the F*&! Up About Twilight,” “Leave the F*&%$! Cat Alone” and many more.

Mommy Had a Little Flask

One copy of the hilarious sequel to “This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store,” the bestselling “momoir” from A.K. Turner. From preschoolers blurting obscenities in public places to living with her in-laws in Mexico, “Mommy Had a Little Flask” delivers a delightfully raw and honest account of family life in Turner’s latest laugh-out-loud confessional.

Part of My World: Short Stories

In this collection of 21 short stories from the fabulous Kim Bongiorno, you will meet a troubled teenager, fallen princess, reunited lovers, creatures from afar and more. Funny, sexy, macabre, and heart wrenching, there’s something for everyone woven into these tales.

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly True Tales of An Impending Miracle

From the moment her positive test result is revealed in a fog of canine flatulence to the day she’s gently hoisted onto the delivery table by a front-end loader, writer/humorist Paige Kellerman guides you through her pregnancy with twins, careful to only hold one of your hands in case you need to cover your eyes with the other.

Nurse Mommy Laughs

Stacey Hatton from Nurse Mommy Laughs,will make you snort and giggle this Mother’s Day with the book, “I Just Want to Pee Alone,” a classic coffee mug to celebrate your Okay-ness and a Sir Perky (Curly Boner) Corkscrew—a trifecta of fun! 

Don’t Lick the Minivan

As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe becomes pregnant with twins in Asia’s sin city and finds herself dodging deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap. Then she and her husband move home to North American suburbia, where they face hilarious new challenges, such as the funeral she officiated for Stripper Barbie.

Abby Still Has Issues

And to put the cherry on top of this swagaholic sundae, I will also add a signed copy of “Abby Still Has Issues.” This means I have to sign TWO things. Sigh…what I do for you people.  


To qualify: You must be able to read, or know someone who is willing to read, to you, and live in the United States.

Required: There are three ways to enter, so you have three ways to win! First, leave a comment on this post—bad/good advice from a mom, the worst gift ever given/received, why I’m not Mother Teresa, etc.

Second, “like” the Facebook pages of any or all of the above contributors and then leave a comment telling me that you’ve done that (links are included in the descriptions above. One entry no matter how many pages you “like.” )

Finally, share this post via any social media channel you choose—or run around the neighborhood wearing a sandwich board, for all that I care—and leave a comment telling me that you’ve done that.

And if you do run around the neighborhood wearing a sandwich board, please send pictures.

The Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email after the giveaway closes at midnight on Monday, May 5.  And if you don’t win this giveaway, go to Amazon, buy these books, review them and send me a thank you in the form of cash donations.

Good luck!

Measuring Up

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a few years now, which means I occasionally give people the impression that I might know what I’m doing.

Once in awhile I’ll receive an email asking me for blogging tips or tricks to be successful, at which point I spit out my tea in surprise and make sure that the email was actually intended for me.

The fact of the matter is, I don’t really have any clue, mostly because I don’t know what “successful” really means.

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Whenever I see things that other people are doing—publishing books, appearing on the Huffington Post, getting a lot of comments, etc.—I admit that I get jealous and then sometimes a bit insecure, which is stupid considering that I’ve published books and have appeared on the Huffington Post.

But when I do something, I often dismiss it as “no big deal” in comparison to what everyone else is doing. It’s easy to fall into this trap because we keep coming up with new things to measure—Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Pinterest pins, etc.—even though those really don’t have a lot to do with how much impact you actually have or if what you do is actually decent.

After all, you can’t tell if a book is any good by the number of words it contains, even though that’s easily measured.

The fact is that now that everyone can write, publish, etc. there is a lot of noise and poorly written stuff cluttering up the Internet. Some of it “goes viral” and leaves you staring at the computer and wondering, “Why not me? Weren’t those last couple status updates or tweets funny or clever enough? Why aren’t there more comments on my last post?”

The deafening silence can cause you to doubt yourself and wonder where you went wrong.

This, my flustered friends, is where it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and do what seems to be working for everyone else. That’s why it often seems like there aren’t many new ideas — simply new people regurgitating the same things people have said in the past and being praised for reinventing a wheel that’s been rolling for years.

But this just in: If you’re doing what you want to do—not what you think you should do—you’re doing everything right.

It’s unrealistic to assume that whatever you’ve made—art, writing, cooking—is something that everyone everywhere should embrace. And even though it’s hard to stop measuring things that are measurable, the best things don’t measure well by conventional means.

The most popular isn’t necessarily the “best,” and personally I don’t want to mirror what’s around me, especially if it’s mediocre.

So even though I still stress over the silence that I often hear, I’ve come to learn that everyone is different. I write because I love it (most days) and while I’m willing to work hard, I’m not willing to change who I am just to please the masses.

I would like to think that walking away from those that don’t get it unlocks my ability to do different things, to create whatever it is without worrying what somebody thinks.

I guess that’s what I call success.

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