Teenagers on March Break and Strangers Kissing.

March Break with Teenagers

I was going to share with you what it’s like to have teenagers at home on March break.  And then I saw this video about strangers kissing each other for the first time. So I decided to do both. And then I remembered this video that re-enacts the rain kiss from The Notebook. So I threw that in too.

 

First, what I hear and what I say on March break. You know you’re interested. Just read it. It’s not boring. Don’t just skip to the videos.

 

On constant replay in my ears over March break:

 

Mom, can you drive me to my friend’s house? 

 

Mom, can you pick me up from my friend’s house?

 

Mom, there’s nothing to eat. Can you go grocery shopping?

 

Mom, can I have some money?

 

Mom, leave me alone. I’m sleeping.

 

Mom, there’s no clothes. Why don’t you ever do the laundry? (Ok fine. That one is all the time. And possibly my fault?)

 

Mom, can we have take out today? It’s March break.

 

Mom, I have nothing to do.

 

Mom, leave me alone. I just want to do nothing.

 

Mom, why do you always say you’re working when I WANT TO TALK TO YOU?

 

MOM! You got CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY? Can we play? That game is the COOLEST (Yes, I’m cool. Thanks Netflix Canada. More on that later).

 

Dear, why does the kitchen look like you just had a frat party? (BECAUSE IT’S MARCH BREAK! Go Fark yourself, also.)

 

Dear, why aren’t you dressed yet? It’s 5:30. (Dumb question. I’m honoring March break.)

 

What comes out of my mouth on March Break: 

 

Yes.

 

Yes.

 

NO.

 

Leave me alone I’m working.

 

Do it yourself.

 

Get a job.

 

Clean up the kitchen.

 

Clean up the kitchen.

 

Clean up your room.

 

Clean up the kitchen.

 

Do you want to play Cards Against Humanity? You JUST asked me. What do you mean you’re sleeping?

 

Get off the computer! Why don’t you read a book?

 

Can I DRIVE YOU SOMEWHERE TO SEE SOMEONE AND DO SOMETHING. You’re wasting your life away.

 

No! I can’t drive you somewhere. I’m busy. Find something else to do.

 

I don’t have to make school lunches!

 

The Videos (which is what you really came for, but then I made you read that other stuff first):

 

These videos are completely awkward and wonderful at the same time. Even more awkward than that time my son used the expression ‘circle jerk’, and absolutely far more wonderful (well, wouldn’t anything be?).

 

They’ll really make a movie about anything. This one is entitled, “First Kiss”. Basically, the filmmaker asked a bunch of strangers to come and be filmed kissing each other. For the first time. You can tell by the H.O.T. factor which couples wanted to get it on and which ones were like “EWW. He kissed me.”

 

Inquiring minds want to know: a) would you do it? b) if you did, would you use tongue? c) I want to kiss that first guy. If I wasn’t married, of course.

 

 

Also, have you ever dreamed of kissing in the rain? Or just by Ryan Gosling. Watch this one. (PS dude is a really good kisser. You might need a cold shower.)
)

 

Don’t know why I’ve got kissing on my brain today. Happy March break Tuesday, y’all.

 

xoxo One love.

 

 

45 Ways You Know You’re The Greatest Mother Your Kids Ever Had (and Not a #momfail)

45 Signs You're the Best Mother Your Kids Ever Had

45 Signs that Momfail is Totally Ridiculous

Every day I hear laments about #Momfails. I hate hearing that. I don’t think sending lunch to pizza day or forgetting it’s orange t-shirt day or being 5 minutes late to pick your kid up is a failure. Screwing up is part of being a parent. And contrary to what the Internet says, being an imperfect parent is part of being human. Nobody gets it right all of the time. Not even Beyonce. (Oh, also, google ‘momfail’ and see what you get. I’m pretty sure it’s not what you all have been thinking it is.)   Look. I’ve been a mother for a while. In the good old days of the mid-90s, we were much more relaxed. Or maybe it was just a lack of access to information. You see, when I had my daughter in 1994, the World Wide Web was still a big and exciting new tool that you used to email people and maybe type in a website address to obtain hours of operation. You couldn’t use Pinterest to become sick with envy about someone else’s lunchbox skills or their immaculate home and designer crafted bedroom. Or Facebook and Twitter to give your opinions about everyone else’s parenting practices. We had to stand in the preschool parking lot to judge people. Which was a lot more difficult (you know, and face-to-face) and far less interesting, if I’m being honest.

No More Momfails photo frame

No More Momfail

The expression Momfail is the worst thing that ever happened to mothering. It implies that there is a certain standard (often times in our own minds) to which we are held, and if we falter, we are failures. You know, in case you missed the memo, being a Mom is damn hard. There are a million opportunities to dash our own (not to mention everyone else’s) expectations every day. So, I challenge you to lower your standards. If you can accomplish 70% of the items on this AMAZING MOTHER list at LEAST 70% of the time (do you like that I’m using math?), you’re doing amazing.

  1. You change your baby’s diaper, feed it, burp it, hold it, and basically do all the baby stuff even when you don’t want to like at 4 am.
  2. You remember to strap your kid into the car seat before you drive away. You make your kid sit in the car seat even when it becomes embarrassing because safety first.
  3. You mostly give your baby (toddler, preschooler, child, teenager) age appropriate toys.
  4. You don’t allow your baby to eat dog food or other things that are not food.
  5. You bathe your child at least 3 times a week or when they’re really dirty. When they’re older, you remember to remind them about personal hygiene.
  6. You read to your child. Or you let your baby who is a prodigy read to itself while you read magazines.
  7. Mostly, you let your baby only watch ‘educational’ tv. With the volume off. You know, to protect her ears.
  8. There’s clean underpants and socks that match (45% of the time).
  9. When your child asks for a sip of your diet coke you say no three times before you let them pretend to drink out of the empty can.
  10. You have never forgotten a child at carpool. Or if you did, you went back to get them.
  11. You have never forgotten to drive carpool, and if you did, you covered it up with an elaborate lie that is unverifiable.
  12. You remember to send snacks to pre-school on your child’s birthday.
  13. You remember to send out your child’s birthday party invitations, you write down the RSVPs and you have enough loot bags.
  14. You RSVP for every birthday party (100% efficiency required for this one.) You remember to go, and when you forget, you cover up with elaborate lies that are unverifiable.
  15. You check your child’s bag for notes within 3 days.
  16. You remember it’s a PA Day.
  17. You feed your child meals that include most of the food groups (60% allowable).
  18. You remember to get birthday presents for the birthday parties and you don’t buy them on the way to the party but when you do, you cover up for the lack of gift wrap with an elaborate eco-conscious excuse about wrapping paper and a non-belief in the wastage of birthday cards.
  19. You remember to go to your child’s school performances and holiday concerts and you’re 5 minutes late on purpose because you don’t want to be ‘embarrassing’.
  20. You take your child to the first day of school and when you meet the teacher you don’t hog all of her time explaining the intricacies of your kid’s unique personality.
  21. You fill out all of the first-week-of-school forms and paperwork within 2 weeks of the deadline. Your child only has to remind you three times.
  22. You remember to fill out the homework and reading logs (50% efficiency allowed).
  23. You can locate the brown envelope that comes home with the report card and that is supposed to be returned when you remember to sign the report card.
  24. You attend parent-teacher interviews (at least up till grade 4).
  25. You provide a well-balanced lunch that fits the 5-item profile – main, fruit, veggie, snack, treat. (Forget Bentos. That’s whack. Ain’t nobody got time for that…Plus, sticks are weapons to small boys).
  26. You remember your child’s teachers’ names and know what they’d like for gifts (well, until rotary, then you only have to know the homeroom teacher or the the individual who favours your darling and forsakes all others).
  27. You answer all of your child’s questions about bad words they hear in the playground, INCLUDING explaining how babies are made (AWKWARD).
  28. How do you spell RELIEF? P.L.A.Y.D.A.T.E.
  29. You listen to your child’s problems and retain about 50% of their story that takes at least 150% longer than it needs to.
  30. You remember what time your child’s programs begin and end and if you ‘forget’ to go because it’s cold out and you’re tired, well, you make up an unverifiable excuse like it’s cancelled and then give your kid an Oreo.
  31. You go out at 11 pm on a Sunday night to purchase a bristol board for the child that ‘just remembered’ they have a project due tomorrow.
  32. You vigilantly supervise all playdates and you don’t allow your child to use Sharpies to turn anyone into any kind of superhero.
  33. You always reciprocate playdates (50% efficiency allowed, depending on the child).
  34. You have pictures of your kids. Even that last one.
  35. Your child has the latest gadget because they ‘got a good report card’ and not because they’re annoying.
  36. You buy books because it’s nice to build a library at home and not because you can’t remember to return books to the real library.
  37. You act interested in your child’s education even if you don’t sit with him when he’s doing his homework because independence (and that is SO boring).
  38. You teach your child important life skills like how to use the internet without getting arrested, how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, how to fill out a cheque, and where the bus stop is.
  39. You know where your child is when they’re not at home.
  40. You know who their friends are.
  41. You’re honest with your child. You call them out on their mistakes and praise accomplishments.
  42. You build a culture of trust and respect in your home.
  43. You raise mensches who honour other people.
  44. You make your child feel loved and wanted.
  45. You ignore everything around you that makes you feel like a bad mother. We’re all just getting through the day.

Tell me this. Are you ready to give up calling yourself a #momfail?   photo credit: Mataparda via photopin cc

Where Do the Socks Go? Five Completely Implausible Explanations.

Where Do All the Socks Go? Five Very Implausible Explanations

Where Do All the Socks Go? Five Very Implausible Explanations

 

Have you ever wondered where the socks go? I do. No matter what, no matter how careful everyone is, the socks just seem to disappear. It’s not right that I’m forced to continually buy new pairs of socks while the singles languish in a basket of their own, awaiting the return of their errant partners.

 

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how or why one sock from a set goes missing. It’s not like I find single socks all over my house just waiting to be paired up. Two socks go in the laundry hamper, two socks go in the washing machine, and one sock comes out. My pile of lonely socks just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I’m at a loss. And past caring, I ‘ve just started rolling mismatched socks together. I’m not made of money, you know, and my teen sons don’t seem to care as long as both are white (husband hasn’t noticed. Thank goodness for black.) Me, I’m not picky either. I wear two different socks all the time. I tell people it’s my jam.

 

When I had my old dryer, I knew exactly where the socks were going. They were all in the drum, which had come loose and was eating footwear. There were years of socks back there. But I have a fancy steam dryer now. The only thing it eats is my wrinkles. And so since the only explanation is gone, I have come up with some other theories.

 

Here are some.

 

  1. They go to find their other single stocking friends. Somewhere, out there, there’s a giant singles bar for socks. Called the White Stockings, it’s sort of like Match.com, only for hosiery. When the socks go in the dryer, they find their way out – somehow, I’m not sure how –  called by the promise of ‘More Dates, More Relationships, More Pair-ings‘ than they could find in even the nicest Sorels. I guess even the lowliest pair of Dollar Store crews are entitled to happiness.
  2. The washing machine is magical, just like the cupboard in The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. After they’re roughly shoved into my front loader (I do laundry with great violence and resentment), one sock travels to the back of the drum where it’s transported via the water hose to a fantasy land. There, it joins the other sock travelers (assigned to duties according to their status – dress socks are the brains of the operation, fashion socks perform the strategic planning, while sports socks are the brawn…) in a journey to conquer the White Queen and bring rest to the sock population and glory to the flip flops.
  3. The socks have heard that there is a wonderful place where the candy grows like odor eating mushrooms (oh yeah, even socks like a good gummy bear). While waiting in the laundry basket for their cleansing, they’re randomly chosen to receive a golden ticket. The journey begins as they’re washed away on a river of Tide Pods. However, some are greedy and try to suck up all of the stain remover / whitener all to themselves and are punished by the wizard and doomed to a fate of disintegration. As they  disappear through the tiny holes that are supposedly meant for water, their partners are horrified and tear holes in their toe area (this also explains all of the holes that appear during washing.)
  4. Seeking a life in a new country, the socks draw straws of who has to stay behind and who gets to visit the land of opportunity. Forced to stow away in the bottom of the washing machine, the adventurers sneak up to first class where they try to fit in with the hoity-toity crowd, see Victor Newman of the Young & the Restless in his movie debut, and bring their fancy lady down to steerage to make-out and dance the jig. When the ship hits an ice breaker and starts to sink the single socks become too waterlogged to escape (plus, meant for dry land and shoes, they never learned to swim). They sink to the bottom of the sea, sadly never to be seen again. Their partners mourn the loss but find new happiness with other abandoned hose.
  5. As they’re transferred to the dryer, the odd sock gets hit on the head by the button on a pair of jeans. Suffering amnesia, it loses it’s bearings and somehow makes it’s way into the exhaust tube. Sliding down (whee!) it lands on the ground outside the home. The smells of freedom are overwhelming and joyful but are quickly interrupted by angry calls of  ’Come back here, you sock! I want to wear you!’. The sock runs down the street as it sassily calls back, ‘Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m a…I’m a… I’m a..‘ and then nothing as it gets picked up by the wind and hung over a hydro/telephone wire or dumped in the middle of a mainstreet (see, I’m explaining all mysteries…)

 

Do you have a better explanation?

 

 

photo credit: *¦·sindorella·¦* via photopin cc

I Live at the House Where Everything is Broken (or Lost)

I Live at The House Where Everything Is Broken

 

There seems to be a misconception (in my imagination) that I live a charmed life. In this charmed life, everything goes my way, my house is clean, the laundry is folded, the dishwasher is emptied, I have lots of engaging and interesting work, my clothing is fashionable yet not trendy, every day is a good hair day, one of my eyes isn’t bigger than the other. And everything works.

 

That’s all fantasy.  None of it’s true. None.

 

My house like the morning after a frat party, my laundry ‘cycle’ (sort, wash, fold, put away) takes two weeks, dishes seem to morph into non-toppling towers of Pisa, my clothes consist of sweatpants and things I shrank, my hair well… (it seems my bangs are too short and I look like a Polly Pocket. And they’re not growing. They seem to be getting shorter on their own.). And one of my eyes is definitely bigger than the other (do you want to hear about my health problems? No, I didn’t think so.) And nothing works. The things I can find, that is.

 

I live in The House Where Everything Breaks or Gets Misplaced.

 

Let’s make a list, shall we, of what’s broken or lost at my house.

 

Note: I don’t have an exhaustive list of all that cannot be found because I don’t know I can’t find it until I need it and start looking for it. 

 

  • Globally, everything. Let’s start with anything nice that I got for my wedding. There’s nary an attractive piece of giftware or a glass salsa server to be seen. Also, my garage doors, the windows at the front of the house, and at least one wine glass, a plate, and two drinking glasses per week. And the ligaments on my son’s right hand (they call us a frequent flyer family at the local hand clinic.) In addition, I don’t know where the anythings are.
  • My car. First I broke it and I got it back. Then the roof started leaking. Have you ever had an ice cold shower made of snow melt come down on you while you turned a corner?
  • My dishwasher. Stopped working last week. Which was a non-issue because nobody loads it or empties it anyways. Guess how many olive pits were in the dishwasher filter. Just guess. And then explain to me how that many olive pits got into my dishwasher.
  • My gel manicure. See above.
  • Almost my washing machine. See above. Luckily, when the repairman was here to fix the dishwasher he had a look at my washing machine. Did you know there are little holes in the rubber ring that seals the front of a front loader that can get plugged up with hair and fabric residue?
  • My Fridge. The third fridge we’ve had in 15 years. It has ice in all kinds of strange places that aren’t an ice maker. I’m afraid to have someone look at it. I can’t take any more bad news about my large appliances.
  • My Magic Bullet. The blender attachment melted in the dishwasher (before it broke) so the lid doesn’t fit anymore which doesn’t matter because I lost the lid. I still wear make my smoothies every morning anyways. I look good in purple.
  • My food processor. This one *could* be my fault . Things break when you drop them on the floor.
  • My breadmaker. I am a person who actually uses their small appliances. Luckily, Hamilton Beach sent me a new one. I was very upset when it stopped working while I was making a Challah for company. I called that creation ‘wet ball of sticky mush’.
  • TWO (not one) cellphone screens. Both of my sons have shattered cell phone screens. It’s not teen abuse if they get shards of glass in their ears, is it?
  • The make-your-own K Cups thingies for the Keurig. I have SIX of these little cup things so I can use my own ground coffee. Oh, small tiny accessories, where for art thou?
  • My $50 gift certificate to The Bay. GONE. Baby Gone. I wanted to buy something but the Borrowers took it (The Borrowers are my husband who likes to ‘clean up’ – see the first point about the frat house – and then can’t remember where he ‘organized’ everything.)
  • My corkscrew. This one is a real problem. My wine opener that I know how to use broke. You know, the ones with the arms? Now we only have the one that Sommeliers use (this twisty thing you pull), which I am not coordinated enough figure out. So I have to ask my 14-year old son to open the wine. He’s really good at it.
  • My favourite spatula. I had a really good silicone spoon spatula that was all-kinds of awesome. Unfortunately, I tried to use it for a purpose for which it wasn’t made and the handle snapped. I can’t find it, so I can’t replace it. It’s the small things that count.
  • My built-in double wall ovens. The top oven always thinks there’s a probe in there, and just keeps beeping and beeping and beeping. I don’t even know what the probe is. I think it’s a meat thermometer. I haven’t seen that probe since we bought the ovens 15 years ago.
  • Our old smoke alarm. We have the awesomeness of Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, but our old unit still thinks it has the power. Ever vigilant, it likes to go off when you cook really (insert sarcasm) smoky things like one piece of turkey bacon.
  • My workout shoes. They have holes in them. And I can’t find my size for new ones anywhere. Don’t they make weight training shoes in a size 7? Or maybe it’s that stores don’t order more than one pair in the most popular size.
  • My diamond bracelet that was bought with the insurance money I got for the bracelet I lost. Luckily I saw this one falling off. I think my insurance company doesn’t think I’m a very good risk.
  • My watch. The battery died and there’s a very poky pin sticking out of the side of it.

 

So, yeah. As you can see, all is not sunshine and roses for me. As long as my macbook is good, I’m happy though. (knock wood, throw salt over your shoulder…)

 

Did I make you feel really good about your life?

 

 

 
photo credit: trieu88 via photopin cc

Jimmy Fallon Say Goodbye with The Muppets & a Last Waltz

Jimmy Fallon and the Muppets Say Goodbye with The Band's The Weight

 

I love Jimmy Fallon and I love The Muppets and I love music.

 

While I rarely stayed awake long enough to watch Jimmy Fallon’s show, I do subscribe to his Youtube channel. I love all of his shenanigans. He has a pure and unbridled zest for life, which totally admire and aspire to. His don’t give a crapedness is unparallelled, and he is so much more than a monologue and boring celebrity interviews. In fact, one could say that he wins -the internets, the media, the comedy, the music.

 

And now, my heart.

 

Because when he said goodbye to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to say hello to The Tonight Show he won the everything. Just like when they used to play this song as the last dance at the camp socials, we know it’s not the end, but the beginning of something even better (because the last dance generally led to a Walk-Home and maybe even your first kiss.)

 

This performance with The Muppets is the shizzle, the cool, the bombdiggity.

 

Jimmy Fallon is my boyfriend. And so is Animal. Just click play. You’ll see.

 

PS I LOVE ANIMAL. AND JIMMY FALLON.

 

 

What Jews Do at Christmas Time

What Jews Do on Christmas

photo: istockphoto.com

 

Have you ever wondered what us Jews do at Christmas time? While you’re spending all your dollars on presents, wrapping them for hours, moving tiny elves around to get your kids to behave, untangling blinking lights, dressing up as Santa, attending Christmas pageants, watching Christmas TV specials, cranking the Christmas tunes, and getting shickered (that’s yiddish for drunk) on Egg Nog (disgusting) and pieces of broken Christmas cookies (no calories in pieces), do you ever wonder what WE’RE doing?

 

Well, I’ll tell you. We are not spending all of our dollars on presents, wrapping them for hours, moving tiny elves around to get our kids to behave (we use good old guilt instead) untangling blinking lights, dressing up as Santa, attending Christmas pageants, or getting drunk on egg nog. (Christmas TV specials and tunes and broken cookies to be addressed below.)

 

So what ARE we doing to keep busy between November 1 (the day after Halloween) and December 25th (obviously, Christmas Day)?

 

  • We’re secretly singing along to all the Christmas music, even though we’re as sick of it as you are.

 

bieber xmas gif

 

 

  • We’re eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve (although there seems to be a lot more options these days, we’re sticking with chop suey and chicken balls. You don’t mess with tradition.)

 

Thanks to the Jewish People from Chinese Restaurants Everywhere

  • We’re watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas because you don’t have to celebrate to love that holiday special more than anything in the whole world.

 

Charlie Brown Christmas

 

  • We’re watching Elf over and over and over. We’re also watching Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and all the other Christmas movies ever made.

 

Elf

 

christmas classics

 

  • We’re taking advantage of the holiday promotions and sales to buy all kinds of things for ourselves on discount.

 

source: letsrollforums.com

source: letsrollforums.com

 

  • We’re going to movies on Christmas Day, and we’re showing up 5 minutes before the show starts, knowing we don’t have to line-up.

 

empty movie theatre

 

 

  • We’re chuckling at the frenzied last minute shopping. Sometimes we go to the gas station to watch the men look for ‘just the right thing’ at 6:01 on Christmas eve.

 

Last minute gifts

 

 

  • We’re driving around enjoying the lack of traffic.

 

no traffic on christmas

 

  • We’re wearing reindeer headbands and santa hats, ironically, of course.

 

santa hat reindeer antlers

 

  • We’re being jealous of your pretty trees and all of your presents, but still glad that we don’t have to deal with all that detritus nor clean it up afterwards.

 

Mrs. Browns Christmas Tree

 

  • We’re not decorating our houses with thousands of lights, but we do really want that 20 foot blow up Santa on our front lawns.

 

house with xmas lights

 

  • We’re enjoying all of the holiday treats, chocolates, cookies and parties, because, hey, why not.

 

drunk at xmas party

 

 

  • We’re loving the two-week break we get from life, and the week leading up to it when it seems everyone is already mentally on vacation.

 

Source: Teen.com

Source: Teen.com

 

  • We’re wishing we had Christmas dinner replete with tacky sweaters, family strife, too much food, and cranky children (no, we’re not. We have that at Rosh Hashana, Passover, and pretty much every Friday night. Well, not the sweaters, but everything else.)

 

tacky christmas sweaters

photo source: thedailygreen.com

 

  • We’re happily participating in the the workplace Secret Santa knowing that it’s the only gift we’re getting.

 

Source: Cafepress.com

Source: Cafepress.com

  • We’re confused how underpants and socks are a good stocking present.

 

christmas stocking

 

  • We’re wondering how all the parents get their kids to believe in the improbability of Santa Claus, and where we can get some of that.

 

there is no santa

 

  • We’re spending hours explaining to our young children why they can be as naughty or nice as they want, and Santa is STILL not going to come down the chimney.

 

santa-he-sees-you-when-youre-sleeping-christmas-humor

 

MOST OF ALL, We’re loving the spirit of generosity and giving that seems to pervade everything, everywhere. It’s so jolly. AND SO, We’re wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

HO, HO, HO. Send candy canes.

 

What to Say if Someone Wishes You a Merry Christmas

What to Say if Someone Wishes You a Merry Christmas

 

 

10 Things That I’m Too Cheap to Pay Full Price For

10 Things I'm Too Cheap to Pay full Price For.jpg

 

I’m an oxymoron. I’m both spendthrift and spend-a-holic. I’m a selective cheapskate. When I hear the words ‘shopping spree’, my eyes light up and true happiness enters my soul. However, I am oddly discerning about much of my spending (discerning is an nice word for cheap.) There are things  that are worth it, that I would pay anything for. And there are things that I am completely cheap about. Yes, cheap. Not frugal. CHEAP.

 

Scrooge, tightwad, moneygrubber, (and my favourite, cheeseparer).

 

There’s a difference between cheap and frugal.

 

Someone who is frugal understands the mechanics of penny-wise, pound foolish. They make an activity out of budgeting and finding things that they want on sale, enjoy saving, and actually make a sport out of spending less to get more. Frugal people make money management happen, whether it’s their hobby, or out of necessity because they must stretch their dollars to feed their families.

 

Frugal people do not use coupons as kleenex when they’re driving and they have nothing else.

 

I admire frugal people. Being frugal isn’t something I personally would enjoy, to the chagrin of my spouse, but I can see how it works for others.

 

Cheap is penny pinching. It’s the money version of a scrunched face sourpuss spinster schoolmarm. It’s where flies come out of your wallet when you open it, and you’d drive five extra miles to save 25 cents. Cheap people don’t save money because it’s fun, they save money because it pains them to spend it.

 

That’s me. I’m cheap. But only with certain things. In some situations, I don’t even look at the price tag (BAD!) and in others, I won’t even consider the purchase-even if it’s on discount,-and if I do buy, I count out my nickels (pennies are so last year) with reluctance.

 

So, you might ask, where will I spend and where am I cheap?

 

Well, I’m not going to list all the things that I have no problem doling out the dollars for (a lady must maintain her mystique and sometimes my husband reads this blog) ,  but I will tell you the 10 Things I’m Too Cheap to Buy or Pay Full Price For.

 

  1. Chi Chi restaurants: I love food, and if yours tastes like a party in my mouth, I will cry in gratitude. I just refuse to pay $45 for a steak. I don’t care how good you cook it. I can get a big bowl of Vietnamese Pho for $4.99 just down the street.
  2. Expensive Wine: I’ll drink it, sure, but you’re buying. I know that more expensive vinos sometimes taste better. But, one minute it’s in your glass, and the next it’s in your tummy where it really matters. So, truly, as long as it doesn’t taste like vampire blood, I’m good to go.  In fact, I’ve made it a personal challenge to find the best tasting bottles under $12. So far, I’ve been successful. Glug.
  3. Anything from The Gap: To be honest, I try to buy most of my clothes on sale (or with my PC Plus Points at Joe Fresh)  although if I want it, and I’ve got the money, there’s a good chance it’s coming home with me. But, The Gap is another story. Because every day I get an email with another sale, and if that sweater I covet isn’t 35% off this week, it probably will be 40% off next week.
  4. Certain groceries like Chicken, frozen pizza, or pop: We eat a lot of chicken. Like a lot. So I stockpile it. If it’s on sale, I’ll buy 20 lbs of chicken breasts and freeze them. Because I cannot, I will not, pay $6.99 a lb for poultry. At that price, I may as well go to a chi chi restaurant and then I my husband won’t have to clean up. Same goes for frozen pizza. With the amount of pizza my kids eat, if it’s not on sale, we may as well order it in. And folks, $2.29 for a bottle of Diet Coke? $6.99 for a case? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Just like wine, one minute it’s there, the next it’s in your tummy. It’s not like chocolate cake, which is to be savoured…But, since generic tastes like Carrie Underwood’s Maria, I’ll buy it on sale or not at all.
  5. Toiletries: I’d rather go dirty than pay full price for body wash. My kids haven’t grasped that a tiny bit goes a long way on a puff, but when you pour it over your head (or leave it open, upside down in the shower..) that bottle empties out pretty fast. Sure, we want to be clean, but isn’t that what discounts are for?
  6. Gasoline: This one kills me. I will drive my car almost to completely empty in the hopes that gas will go down one cent, and then if I’m successful in cutting my bill by 65 cents, will rejoice with the angels. I didn’t even consider a car that used premium gas. Paying for premium gas would have ruined me. Just ruined me.
  7. Shoes: I love shoes like I love wine and my children and even maybe more than I love my dogs. This adoration translates into a quantity, not quality thing, so it pains me to purchase shoes that are not on sale. Because then I can’t get two pairs. When I flip a mid-heel chocolate brown bootie over, no matter how much I love it, if it doesn’t have a red sticker, I just put it down. It makes me cry. This is one part of being cheap I actually resent. I made my brother schlep my Uggs from the US to save $20 and the HST. And I still don’t have Forest Green Hunter rain boots. Those never go on sale.
  8. Service charges of any sort: This one I learned from my Dad. Interest, surcharges, extra charges, Interact charges, special fees, $0.75 for dipping sauce. These are just not on my radar. It’s like pouring money down the drain. DOWN THE DRAIN. Did you know that if you use your debit card at another bank’s machine, it costs you $3. THREE DOLLARS! That’s money you could spend on half a bottle of cheap wine. Or 2 litres of gas for your car.
  9. Lattes or other fancy schmancy coffees: $6.44 for a triple shot venti 1/2 sweet skinny peppermint mocha? SERIOUSLY? Thank the lord for the Starbucks rewards program. All I need is twelve gold stars and that baby is in my tummy. Or else, FORGEDDABOUTIT.
  10. School Photos: I’ll take your picture kid. In fact, I’ll take everyone’s picture and then I’ll get richer than Richard Branson (did you ever realize his name is actually Richie Rich?). FYI, the basic package for high school graduation pictures is $195. Highway robbery, I tell you. Highway robbery.

 

So that’s it, folks. My probably non-exhaustive list of where my inner tightwad comes out. As my grandfather used to say, ‘Boy, they know how to charge.’

 

Are you cheap? Or just smart with your money?
photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

My Not Job Description as a Work From Home Mom

The Not-Job Description of a Work From Home Mom.jpg

You want me to do what? Sure, I’m just sitting around…WORKING…
Photo credit: Dreamstime.com © Dmitriy Melnikov

 

I’m such an instigator. I’m about to heat up the Mommy Wars. Or rather, I’m probably just going to start a war in my family, in which I am the Mommy.

 

Let’s be clear. I do not believe in MomFails, or that there is a right or wrong way to conduct oneself or use one’s time as a mother (although, obviously, the way that I personally do everything is the best and you should ask for my wise counsel wherever possible.) What I do object to is how others view the day-to-day work of mothers.

 

I admire all moms. I know a lot of them. I believe there are all kinds of ways for mothers to work, and make things happen, whether they’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-outside-of-the home mom, a work-from-home mom, or any combination of any of the above. I believe in choice or necessity, or whatever works for each mother and each family.

 

I don’t think that women should feel guilt (or be made to feel guilty) for their choices, or how they decide to live their lives. No kind of mother is better than the other, but rather, each one is merely right-er.  I think no matter what kind of woman’s work you do, whether you get paid for that work in money or kisses, everyone is being the best mom that they can be (although, as I mentioned before…well..my kids have turned out pretty well…so.. I’m just sayin’.)

 

What I don’t admire is the outward perception of us Work-at-Home Moms. I’d like to debunk the myth that what we do all day is wait around, in between our little bits of work, manicures, and delicious bonbons, to do favours for people who have other, obviously much more pressing things to do like sit in traffic for 2 hours. I’d like to separate the Work from the Mom, and instead, create a new acronym WAHP (Work at Home Person).

 

I’ll break it down.

 

Work: V. Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result. To practise one’s occupation in or at (a particular place).

 

Home: N. The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

 

Thus…

 

Work From Home: Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result, to practice one’s occupation from the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

 

Note the key phrase, ‘practice one’s occupation from the place where one lives permanently‘. My occupation is Social media Consultant and Community Manager, blogger, and Editor of BrazenWoman.com. I practice this occupation from my home, where I live permanently, often in my designated uniform of pyjamas or for dressy days, yoga pants.

 

My job is not 9-5 and the fact that I don’t have to get dressed or commute also means I seem to work more hours, sometimes at weird times. Since I love what I do, I would work even more hours if I could. But I adore sleeping almost as much as I love tweeting.

 

The nature of my workplace seems to open me up to questions like, What do you do all day? Can you take me to the ________. Why can’t you take the whole day to _________ with me? What’s for snack/dinner/lunch/breakfast?  And, the ultimate treasure, ‘Why can’t you help me out? You just play on your computer?‘ My husband has worked from home before. Nobody asked him to take them for their colonoscopy. (I’m no feminist, and he’s also nice like me..so how do you explain it?)

 

I’ve got news for all of you people who are trying to distract me (you know I’m easily distractable, and you’re taking advantage). When I’m at home, or at Starbucks, or wherever else I may be plying my trade, I’m working.

 

I’m not ignoring you, I’m working. I’m not playing, I’m working. I’m not surfing the Internet, talking to a friend, shooting the shit, or laying on my bed in my pyjamas (well maybe that last one), I’m working.

 

Now, please, don’t think I’m being a total bitch. I still believe in the Cult of Nice, and if you need me, truly need me, I will be there. I adore helping people. It makes me feel good. I don’t mind bringing you your notebook that one time you left it at home. I’m just trying to clarify that, just in case you were confused that I was waiting, bored, for you to text me, I’ve got my own thing going on.

 

Note: I did try to make a Venn Diagram to display all of this using pictures instead of words, but then I started to cry. It was too much like math.

 

My Actual Job Description:

 

  • Email, writing blog posts and fabulous yet somehow never completed novels, attending events, networking, reading, cooking things, testing and reviewing products, talking, laughing, collaborating, communicating, taking pictures, and making phone calls.
  • Exploring the virtual world so I seem smart (Googling/Surfing/Playing on the Internet for interesting things to see, say, and report on ).
  • Using all manner of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest, or whatever else is the flavour of the day, on any of my tools, such as macbook, iphone, tablet. (This category also may include attending or leading Facebook/Twitter parties or chats, generally past 8 pm. No, I’m not ignoring you, addicted to my phone or trying to ruin our marriage.)
  • Other duties as required since there is nobody else do to them (but that do not include anything in the below Not Job Description.

 

My Not Job Description:

 

  • Math of any kind. Diagrams, charts, formulas, or complicated statistics (this one is unrelated, but in case you’re a potential client, I just wanted to put that out there).
  • Waiting with bated breath for you to ask me to do all kinds of random things for you ‘because you’re at the office’.
  • Re-scheduling my meetings to ‘keep you company‘ at your appointment.
  • Picking you up from wherever you are and dropping you (or your forgotten lunch) off at school or wherever you want to go.
  • Delivering / picking up your package (it’s never ‘on my way’, unless it’s in my laundry room).
  • Running your errands or taking care of things that you should be taking care of but you can’t because ‘you’re too busy‘.
  • Doing all the housework, laundry, cooking, and other assorted duties because ‘I‘m at home all day’ (unless they are things that if you did them, would poison children or endanger someone’s life. I do have ethics.)
  • Picking up your slack, doing things you should be doing, or otherwise taking care of duties that are not specified that do not have to do with my job.
  • Cleaning of any kind (I’m legitimately allergic).

 

In summary, I’m very lucky to work from home. It offers me the incredible opportunity to have no commute, be at home when my kids get home, have some level of  flexibility in my day, and move things around so that I can be there for family with a little less stress. It also suits my nature, which thrives less on structure and more on the freedom to get things done on my own schedule. But, it doesn’t mean that I am your flunkie.

 

My name is Mara, and I’m a Mom. I’m also a Work From Home Person.

 

Now, what time did you say you need to be at your proctology appointment?

 

 

 

 

People’s Sexiest Man Alive: Adam Levine. A Photo Retrospective

Adam Levine is People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.png

Adam Levine is People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive

 

Remember my night with Adam Levine? Well, it turns out I have really good taste. Because, Adam Levine has just been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.

 

I think they might be right. In fact, I’m sure they are.

 

adam levine laughing

 

Adam Levine has mass appeal. He is completely honest and seemingly genuine, funny, and humble yet somehow cocky at the same time. Physically, he is muscular but not bulky, and untraditionally handsome in an unassuming kind of way. He stays fit by practicing yoga, and is not shy to say why he loves it.  He is every woman’s man. I know women from 8-to-80 who find him irresistibly crush-worthy (and quite a few men too.) If you don’t believe me, just mention him on Twitter.

 

He’s so unthreateningly friendly, that when he smiles, he makes you feel like he’s someone you’d want to know. Plus, somehow, he makes you feel like he’d want to know you. (Even though he still hasn’t tweeted me back.)

 

I’m not being a stalker. It’s true. Ask anyone.

 

If you’re still unsure about whether Adam Levine is People’s Sexiest Man Alive, watch his episode of American Horror Story, where it’s quite obvious that he knows how to make love to a woman (even in a haunted house), or this video for his song ‘Never Gonna Leave This Bed‘ which shows his talent for pillow talk.  Or google things like ‘Adam Levine girlfriend’ to see how affectionate he is, and ‘Adam Levine dog’ to see how much he loves his puppy.

 

Swooning. All the time. When looking at googled pictures of Adam Levine.

 

The best part of Adam Levine, though, to me, is that he has no airs. He’s not shy about who he is and where he comes from. He is in a ProActive commercial for goodness sakes, which features many pictures of his teenage acne-ridden face. Now that is confidence. He is a strong advocate for gay marriage, and speaks his mind for what he believes in.

 

He’s the total package, you see. Which is truly sexy. Smart, good-looking, talented, nice. Aside from the fact that he doesn’t tweet me back, he might be perfect. Everyone has their flaws though.

 

To celebrate his inauguration into the hallowed halls of People’s Sexiest, I made you this slideshow of some of my favourite Adam Levine photos. You can thank me with glitter and shares on Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Photo credits:

Slideshow: Google. Please don’t sue. I’ll find them all, I swear. They’re from my ‘private’ collection.

Featured pic:

omg.yahoo.com

People.com

photo credit: SpeakerX via photopin cc

I’m Pretty Sure I Have Identified the Reasons for the Global Wine Shortage

Where I Hypothesize the Reasons for the Global Wine Shortage

Where I Hypothesize the Reasons for the Global Wine Shortage

 

Ripped from the headlines…

 

A Global Wine Shortage Could Soon Be Among Us

 

My heart stopped when I read this headline (from this article written by Roberto A. Ferdman, a man with just problems and no solutions).

 

How could it be? How could we mothers possibly live without wine? Have Dance Party without wine?  Have Twitter parties without a glass of vino (virtual* or real) in hand?

 

What would we do on Friday nights (ok fine, and Saturdays, some Sundays, and many, many Wednesdays?)

 

According to Morgan Stanley Research, “It isn’t only France that’s suffering from a growing dearth of wine—it’s the entire world…” The world? Well, that can’t be right, because Canada has lots. I mean,  last month at Blissdom…And how can France be running out of wine? France is wine. Isn’t that why French women are so thin? Because they just drink wine?

 

Further to the same article, “The US and China, in particular, have been drinking more. The US, which guzzles roughly 12% of the world’s wine, has seen its per capita consumption double since the start of the century.”

 

While, at the same time, production has started to decrease (I guess they got cocky thinking they had enough stored up, and who could have predicted the popularity of Youtube and laughing babies? What do I mean by that? Read on….)

 

“Overall, global production has been on a downward trend ever since the early 2000s, when there were still massive excesses.” (And way fewer social media channels)

 

Hmmm.. Why could that be?  But, as I continued to stare sadly at the handy charts included in the article (MATH! made simple), I realized that the rise in wine consumption could be directly correlated to…

 

The Internet. The INTERNET HAS MADE US DRINK ALL THE WINE!

 

The Internet is causing the Global Wine Shortage by increasing our wine consumption (curiously the invention of Viagra started the whole upward trend.)

 

The correlation and coincidences are just too strong. I have evidence!

 

We tweet about wine, we Facebook our wine parties, we Instagram our bottles, we Vine our wine-making sessions. The fact that consumption declined right when MySpace did proves my hypothesis.

 

Hypothesis of the Reasons for the Increase in Global Wine Consumption.jpg.jpg

Where I Hypothesize the Reasons there’s Been an Increase in Global Wine Consumption

 

Dates to note:

 

1998   Viagara is invented, wine consumption starts to rise

2004  Facebook is invented, and consumption continues to grow

2006 Youtube & Twitter

2008 Barak Obama is elected (a high point for many, and the beginning of the decline for others)

2009 Nobody feels like drinking as MySpace disappears

2010 Consumption of wine picks up as Instagram and Vine take hold

 

Reversing the current trend will require more than a single, strong harvest. The US and China alone are projected to consume over 400 million cases of wine a piece by 2016. Who will supply them? They themselves are nowhere near that level of production. (Because they’re busy drinking, that’s why)

 

The biggest problem is that Europe is too busy GOING on the Internet (62% of Europeans regularly use the Internets)  to make the wine to supply the Internet-fueled wine drinkers…

 

Europe, which has easily been suffering the steepest decline in wine production (roughly 25% since 2004) will have to reverse its recent bout of poor harvests well into the century to continue supplying the world—Europe, after all, still makes roughly 60% of the world’s wine. 

 

So, the question begs to be asked: What are we going to do about this sad state of affairs?  Are we going to quit Twitter and start making wine? Are you going to turn your virtual Vines into real grape ones? How are we going to remedy this desperate situation our addiction to technology (and apparently Viagara) has caused?

 

I, personally, am not sure. But, maybe after this glass, I’ll have an answer for you.

 

*everyone knows that some people lie about glass in hand to keep up appearances of being a wine-toting social media mom just whiling away the hours on Twitter parties and being drunken as soon as the kids are out of the bath. It’s all a sham.

 

photo credit: Rennett Stowe via photopin cc