Monday, November 29, 2010

Shopping til I drop is not my superpower

*$25.00 gift card was generously provided by BlogHer and HomeGoods.

I’m not the power shopper I used to be. Back in the glory days of my big haired youth I could go for days without food, water, and comfortable shoes. These days I prefer to have a list, get what I need and get back home. The next couple of weeks will probably have me doing more shopping than I've done all the rest of the year so far and I’m none too happy about it. I prefer to stay in my pajamas and shop online, or make gifts for my friends and family out of things that are lying around the house, like pipe cleaners and coffee filters.

Since it’s Christmastime and inevitable that I’m going to have to shop, at least a little, on Black Friday I try to knock out a good portion of my gift list (and if I’m lucky someone will try to cut in line and I’ll get to knock them out too. ~Just kidding Mom! I haven’t knocked anyone out since 1983 when I rode my bike into that ditch and gave myself a concussion~).

Last week I was lucky enough to receive a $25.00 gift card to spend at HomeGoods. I was also lucky enough to have not even started my holiday shopping….so…..cha-ching!! I added HomeGoods to my list of places we would hit Friday.

I have to admit, things looked a little shaky at first.

I considered this little beauty; she seems to be saying, “I am the white elephant gift you have been searching for.”  Mesmerizing, isn't she?

These fellas would have been an excellent addition to my sparkly virgin display, except my husband wouldn’t let me buy the sparkly virgin (Something about sacrilege and bad taste. Some people, sheesh!).
And well, what can you say about Reindeerville?
It was looking bleak, then I came to the candles. “Hey,” I said to myself (and my husband and my son) “if I were a teacher I’d rather have a candle than another mug that says “an apple a day gets the student an A”” Teacher gifts done! Around the corner I found this great Santa plate thingy, which I bought for…..me! Yay!!
As luck would have it, our HomeGoods store is connected to TJMaxx as long as we were there I thought, “What the heck? Might as well have a look.” That’s when I found this great purse…also for …….me! What? I’ll have you know Friday was my BIRTHDAY! If you can’t buy yourself a new handbag when your birthday falls on Black Friday when can you?
On the way out we picked up these sets of wooden puzzle games which I’m very excited about giving to…someone.
No, I don't consider myself an impulse shopper, why do you ask?
In the end I spent just a tch more than my $25.00 gift card, but HomeGoods gave us these giant shopping bags for FREE, so it all worked out.

Thanks BlogHer and Homegoods!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just when I think I'm ready to rule the universe I find out I DON'T know everything.

Our daughter wants an American Girl doll for Christmas. Normally I don’t go in for nonsense like dolls that cost millions of dollars just because they can, but this is the third year in a row she’s asked for one and soon she won’t want dolls at all anymore. Before we know it she’ll be asking for cell phones and cars and wedding dresses, and then, HOLY CRAP!!, it’ll be time to lock her away in that special room under the house where no boy can ever break her heart and Valerie Bertinelli will play me in a Lifetime movie about a woman who only wanted to keep her little girl safe from the big bad world……

In an effort to hang on to her innocence and my sanity (ha! As if!!), I thought now would be just as good a time as any to beat up my inner cheapskate and buy the stupid doll.

The other night after she was in bed I got my hands on the ratty catalog she’s been drooling over for six months and found that the doll she's circled looks nothing like her. What? Isn’t half the fun of the American Girl doll that it’s made in your image (the other half being the knowledge that your parents once loved you enough to spend an extra $50.00 so you and your doll could have matching Christmas dresses)? My husband and I talked about it, and I told him that I’m going to get her a different doll, one that looks more like her, because she doesn’t realize it now, but she will be so much happier when she gets a baby who looks just like her. Then he asked me why I couldn’t just get people what they want for Christmas and he brought up some imaginary time when his mother asked for something specific but I wouldn’t get it because I had a better idea. I think he’s making the whole thing up, because I don’t remember that at ALL and I why would I do something like that? It’s just mean. But if it did happen, and I'm not saying it did, I’m sure it was because I had a BETTER IDEA. Duh.

Which brings me to this~

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; it is exactly what it looks like.

A pewter bubble wand.  It's a birthday gift from my husband. A perfectly fine birthday gift, but one that he admits he knew would be more exciting for him than for me. My birthday isn’t until Friday but he couldn’t wait, he gave it to me early. You can surely see how the anticipation of giving such a gift would be overwhelming. I suspected I might be getting a bubble wand. Not because I spend a lot of time blowing bubbles or because all of my friends have one and I had mentioned it might be fun to have one of my own, not even because I'm a sneaky sneak, but because my husband forgot to log out of his Amazon account and I saw that he had been looking at them.

You guys, it was just like the year when I was 14 and I peeked at all of my Christmas gifts and my mom had gotten me a whole bunch of pink clothes. There were pink corduroys and a pink button down oxford and a pink crew neck sweater, all things that I wanted, just in colors like Kelly green and navy blue. I mean, for the love of Jr. High, a girl cannot go around the 8th grade all wrapped in pink and come out on the other side in one piece, also, I’ve never really been a pink girl. Sadly, that has never stopped my mom from buying me pink stuff. That year as I opened each gift, already knowing what was inside, it took every drop of acting skill I possess (which is about 1 ½ drops) to pretend to be excited. It was déjà vu all over again when my husband gave me the bubble wand. Maybe worse.

Later he told me that he knew that I wouldn’t love it, but he thinks it’s a nifty thing and wanted me to have one.

Then he asked me if I wanted my other present.

Other present? Hmm.

Normally I would have been all over a second gift, but I was I little worried. What if it was a jug of designer bubbles? I wasn’t sure I could muster up any more fake joy this soon so I told him we should wait until my actual birthday, but he was on a roll and wouldn’t hear of it.

I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to admit this, but I cried. Just a little. The combination of relief that I didn’t have to pretend and the excitement of getting something I really wanted were too much.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go order my daughter a doll that looks nothing like her.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It never fails.....

I always run into something photo-worthy when I don't have my camera with me. These pictures are from my phone and they don't begin to do justice to the festiveness of this pink Chrismas tree. 
Or this~
I don't think anyone will disagree that nothing says "Happy Birthday Jesus" (except one of those cakes from Costco) like a Virgin Mary statue covered in hot pink glitter. HOT PINK GLITTER!! I really really really wish you could see this in person. (Actually, you can, if you run down to your local Borders Bookstore, because nothing says "We sell books" like a nice selection of glitter coated Virgin Mary statues.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is my random italics usage making anyone else dizzy?

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed for the past couple of weeks, I’m pretty sure I’m dying of tired, so we decided to take a real day off yesterday. Yes, I said, REAL DAY OFF, you know, instead of our regular Day of Rest, which anyone with children knows is not so much restful as it is exhausting, frustrating, and l-o-n-g. (Why is it so much more work to get everyone ready for church than ready for a school day? Probably because on a school day, once they're dressed and fed they all leave, but on Sunday I have to get ready too, then sit in a pew with them while they poke, pinch, complain, and snore.)

~Also, I would like to clarify, just in case the devil is reading this (and why wouldn't he be? Hello Satan!), it was all MY idea. Me, me, me. My husband did not want to skip church and run away for the day, at one point he even said, and I quote, “This has been a nice day, even if we are going to go to hell for it.” It’s just as you’ve always suspected. I am the driving force behind all of the sin in our home.

Five minutes into our spontaneous two hour drive this conversation took place.-

N~ “Did you know they’re remaking that Tron movie?”

S~ “They aren’t remaking it.”

N~ “Yes they are.”

S~ “No, they’re not remaking it, it’s a follow-up.”

Me~ “You mean a sequel?”

S~ “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. The guy is the son of the guy from the first movie. He thought his father had abandoned him, then somehow he finds out that his dad has been trapped in the game for all of these years so he goes in to get him.”

Me~ “Like Inception?”

Gaping blank stares.

N~ “That’s not why he goes in, after he gets in he finds out his dad is there.”

Me~ “Isn’t The Dude in Tron?”

E~ “The Dude is the dad.”

S~ “The Dude is not the dad”

N~ “The Dude abides.”

W~ “Tron is stupid.”

I could see this had the potential to turn ugly pretty fast if I didn’t intervene.

“Have I ever told you about my granny’s second husband, Bob Watson?” I asked. I spent the next hour captivating our children with stories of white leather belts, hidden liquor bottles, and false teeth. It was a Sunday worthy of a diary entry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I know you know

1.  As much as I love real books, I'm running out of shelf space.  I'm considering a Kindle. Anyone have any suggestions? Warnings? Will the basic be enough or do I want to go big and get the one with 3G? (Do you love how I make it sound like I know anything at all about features like "3G"?)

2.  Why is Cher everywhere I turn? New album? Vegas show? Tell all book?

3.  Leno or Letterman?

4.  If you could only have one dessert on Thanksgiving what would it be?

5.  What's up with toilet paper commercials talking about getting clean? Everyone knows that's what toilet paper is for, do we really need cartoon bears to remind us? Lets just get back to focusing on soft and strong, k?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seen at IKEA

We're having a debate at our house.  Is it a dolphin? See the spout? (Perhaps it's a teapot.) Or is it a shark? See the many sharp pointy teeth? IKEA you're killing me!

P.S. If Kurt & Anna are eliminated from DWTS tonight I'm going to be VERY annoyed. Probably not annoyed enough to stop watching but definitely annoyed enough to complain for a few days. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

You know, like a Fountain of Youth version of the Pampered Chef Party

Last week I was invited to a Microdermabrasion Party. I know! What luck!? I could hardly believe it myself. You can't go wrong when the party has the word “abrasion” on the invitation.

By way of explanation, because I’m not nearly as worldly as I seem, my friend told me she had invited a select group of suckers friends to enjoy (and pay for) an evening of pampering. The treatment, she said, is sort of like sandpapering your skin, then they do a “peel”, and viola! You can’t believe how much younger you look. “Seriously," she told me "10 years at least.”

Mostly, I’m guessing, because your old face has been abraded and peeled away, leaving a fresh “new” face behind.

I can only assume that it would have been just as much fun as it sounded, sadly, I had other plans (Thursday is the night I watch CSI) and was unable to attend. Though the idea of having my face sandblasted in the privacy of my friend’s home, with 4 or 5 other women who I’ve never met, for the jaw droppingly low price of $40.00, was extremely tempting.

My friend was hoping to get enough paying "guests" to have her face restored to its former glory for free. {“The cost is normally $100.00 for the abrasion and another $100.00 for the peel, but the “technician” is able to give us this great deal because she doesn’t have to rent an office, and she’s doing so many at once!” Bargain City!!}

I really did not know what to say to her. Fortunately, in addition to being quite the hostess, she’s one of those gals who has no problem carrying a conversation alone. I thanked her for thinking of me (because who doesn’t want to be thought of as a person who needs to have some years peeled away?), and admitted (sheepishly) that it wasn’t really my kind of thing.

Have you guys ever done anything like this? At a “party” or in a salon? Am I just a big chickeny stick in the mud? Am I missing out on the beauty treatment of my dreams?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh, it'll drive you crazy alright.

Believe it or not I found this while I was looking for a video of Dustin Hoffman spelling Dahlberg.
I love how Dolly has all of Disneyland dancing in protest of "The Man".

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

And also, teenagers....grrr

My daughter has been home sick (and dramatic) all week. I don’t think I have to elaborate on what that has done to my mental state.

My husband, bless his heart, has gone on an over-night scout thing a ma bob, I plan to make the most of his absence by (finally) watching the last four episodes of Mad Men.

All the President’s Men is one of my favorite movies. That Dustin Hoffman is so dreamy…….I’m KIDDING. I do love when he spells Kenneth H. Dahlberg, D-A-H-L-B-E-R-G, Dahlberg.

You could film and episode of Hoarders in my laundry room. If you throw in the garage you might be looking a whole season.

I guess I should tell you, I’ve been slacking with my Couch to 5k training. And when I slack I really slack, there’s no halfway with me. You could say I’ve been spending more time couching than 5K-ing. Except that’s not entirely accurate. I’m not really spending all day on the sofa. I just can’t seem to get myself up early to run and by evening I’m just not feeling it. The fact that I have yet to develop any sort of affection for running isn’t helping either.

If you’re still reading, thank you. Though surely you have something better to do. Since you’re still here maybe you could take a minute to recommend something good to read. Thanks. Something a little David Sedaris plus Nick Hornby with a twist of Jane Austen would really hit the spot.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tell me....

...is this something I should be eating? Chocolate covered crackers? I'm having a hard time convincing myself it would be a tasty snack.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Post-Election, um, Post

Last night I fell asleep watching election results and I missed all the coverage of concession speeches and victory parties, needless to say, this morning’s headlines were 10 kinds of surprising for me.

Two of my favorite candidates lost their battles to become servants of the public. Christine I’m Not a Crook or a Witch O’Donnell wasn’t able to pull it off a win and poor Jimmy The Rent is 2 Damn High McMillan didn’t make it either.

How could this happen?

But really who can concentrate on politics when important stuff like this is going on in the world?

Have you heard? US Weekly (a reliable source if ever there was one) is reporting that Miley Cyrus’ mom, Tish, had an affair with Bret Michaels. Bret Michaels ya'll?! If true, all I can say is, wow. Wow! I now find myself in the awkward position of feeling a little sorry for Billy Ray for reasons that don’t have anything to do with his hair.

In fragrance news (What? You don't pay attention to Fragrance News?), Taylor Swift will be launching a perfume line next year. Swift said in a statement, "I have always loved how fragrance can shape a memory, the way certain scents remind you of events and people that are imprinted in your thoughts." I’m betting her signature scent will be “smiley, with a hint of something you can’t quite put your finger on but reminds you of being annoyed”.

Finally, not a moment too soon, Lisa Rinna has had a “lip reduction” procedure and issued a warning to young girls….. "Don’t mess with your lips!” Whew. Thanks Lisa! Way to be the face of a cause.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's election day, you know what that means......

.....tomorrow I will get ZERO recorded phone calls trying to sway me this way or that.  WooHoo!

Monday, November 1, 2010

How The Pioneer Woman stole my husband

I have only myself to blame.

It started with a recipe.

Doesn’t it always?

It’s no secret that I’m not exactly what you would call domestic and cooking isn’t anywhere on my list of fun things to do. I know, gasp!! The horror!! I’m a pitiful excuse for a woman. First the hair, now this. It’s a wonder I ever trapped a man to begin with.

We need to eat, so I make food. Usually not fancy food. Or food with lots of ingredients. The smaller the mess the sooner I can get back to doing something important, like trying to persuade my daughter that while technically you CAN wear plaid and polka dots together, it’s not always a good idea. I’m a big fan of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. I'm an even bigger fan of Pei Wei carry out. It’s not very imaginative, but it does the trick. I’m not Martha Stewart, or Ree Drummond. So what? I have many other fine qualities. (Why are you laughing?)

On the other hand, my husband, the Hot Sauce King, loves to cook. He’s never satisfied with a recipe; he thinks everything can be improved. That’s how we got into this mess. For YEARS I've been using the same meatloaf recipe. It’s a fine recipe. I’d even go so far as to say it’s a good recipe.

But, according to my husband, not good enough.

He just knew that somewhere there was a recipe that was just a little better. One that had that special something.

Tired of listening to him complain, I casually said, “You should check out The Pioneer Woman, I’ve never had bad luck with any of her recipes. Plus she’s a huge butter fan.” I showed him to her website and left it at that. Little did I know that my world would never be the same.

Oh, he found a meatloaf recipe all right, and a gravy recipe, a breakfast burrito recipe, a steak sandwich recipe…….Every time I passed by the office he was there, pouring over the Cowboy Cooking section, printing recipes and making shopping lists.

“She’s awesome! Did you know she burps?”

Um, ew!! And duh!! Everyone burps! Some of us just treasure our dignity more than others.

This morning I decided to bake something, when my husband noticed me in the kitchen (making one last desperate attempt to win back his heart) the first thing he asked was if these were Ree’s muffins (apparently they’re on a first name basis now). “No, America’s Test Kitchen” I answered. “Hmpf, I bet she’s got something better, I’ll go take a look”. And there he sits.

I suppose I’m just going to have to accept it.

I’m no match for a woman who makes gravy with real cream and burps.