I’m Closing Down My Blog (But First the Naptime Video)

I'm Done Blogging.

 

This is it folks. The ride is over. I’m turning over a new leaf and closing down my blog. This annoying piece of internet real-estate takes up too much of my time and really with so little reward. You guys don’t appreciate me. Nobody even comments anymore. I’m depressed. I hardly smile. And I feel the limited years I have left on earth would be better spent doing other more productive things like growing my own vegetables, cleaning toilets, and organizing my closets. I might take up really Grown-Up Endeavours. Like being a banker or lawyer or serious person.

 

its-over

 

As of today I’m going to become a pillar of society. I may even run for office. After I learn about politics.

 

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In addition:

 

  1. I’m going to start cleaning my house every day. In particular, I’m going to learn how to use the vacuum.
  2. I’m going to get up at 5:30 am every morning.
  3. I’m going to do a LOT of math.
  4. I’m not going to use social media at all. In fact, I’m closing down my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  5. I’m not going to read books anymore. Reading books is boring and useless.
  6. I’m going to start micromanaging my kids. And there will be no more joking around in this house. Dancing will be prohibited.
  7. I’m never going to the gym again. It’s not worthwhile and I’m not accomplishing anything.
  8. I’m going to be very mature. Practicing immaturity is really..well..immature.
  9. I’m going to become rude and mean. Being nice is like being a doormat. Those days of caring about other people are so over.
  10. I’m not cooking anymore. I’m only ordering out or opening cans. With lots of preservatives.
  11. I’m never drinking wine again.
  12. I’m going to use punctuation inappropriately. In fact, I’m going to misuse all the apostrophe’s that I can.
  13. I’m going to get a full triple full senior executive fancy time job out of the house. Working from home really isn’t working for me.
  14. I’m never going to play April Fools jokes on my blog again.

 

GOTCHA! WHAT? A girl has to amuse herself.

 

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You knew I was joking, right? And if you didn’t, then you deserve your panic. Because Option A: you couldn’t honestly think I was going to take up housewifery as a daily activity. Or, Option B: you’ve never read my blog before. In which case you would have had no idea that I was joking and probably think I’m a total knob now. Forgive me yet? No? This bribe should work: what can happen when people misuse quotation marks.

 

I leave your with this additional conciliatory gift which advertises a valuable product integral to successful parenting.

Hopefully, it will make you forgive me for the cruel joke April Fools Joke I just played on you. Or maybe not. Depends if you have a sense of humor. Or if you were actually wishing that I was quitting blogging.

 

 

Back to regular programming tomorrow!

 

xoxo Mara. Stay real.

Are You There God, It’s Me, Gwyneth

Sorry for posting twice today, but I wrote this on a whim on Google+ (do you follow me there? It’s +MaraShapiro) . Anyways, I think it’s pretty funny, and I hope you will too. 

 

Are You There God It's Me Gwyneth

 

Are you there, God? It’s me, Gwyneth.

 

The last few days have been really hard. Even meditating with my tantric master in my carefully curated english wildflower garden hasn’t been enough to relieve the stress of my conscious uncoupling. These kinds of separating from togethernesses are so hard on the heart chi. I don’t know what to do. I developed a stress blemish on the right side of my nose, which you know is connected to the emotional centre. Even rubbing baby caterpillar excrement on it didn’t relieve the redness. My personal eco-esthetician said she couldn’t see anything, but I’m telling you it’s there. There isn’t enough concealer in the world to cover a spot like that. Oh, why can’t they make auto-tune for face?

 

God, people don’t understand what it’s like to be me. Existentially even, they can’t begin to know what I go through everyday. Chris, handsome and talented as he is, truly perfection and kindness in a man, was so hard to live with. I mean, he wouldn’t wipe his shoes on the naturally harvested hemp door mat before he came in to our english manor home.

 

And he ate NON-ORGANIC YOGURT.

 

After I worked so hard singing and dancing on Glee to pay the chef to make his special Buffalo milk kefir for him. He ate a Yoplait. With artificial sweetener. Can you imagine? Truly intolerable.

 

Making the decision to sever the silk cords that bind our souls has been so difficult.

 

After I flew in my hybrid private jet (the germs on commercial airplanes are appalling plus the seats seem to soil my white linen pants) to the Maldives to seek the advice of a Shaman I realized that Apple and Moses would be better off if Chris and I co-parented separately but together. We are still a family, we just can’t be together and together. It has to be together but separate because Chris eats Fatburger.

 

There I said it.

 

I’ve outed the big secret and the real reason why we are rarely seen in public. He smells like greasy meat and it makes me want to vomit up my mango-cilantro Freekeh (recipe on Goop Thursday the 29th! It’s delicious!) When he hugs me, I have to mist essential oils from the deepest deserts to remove the odour. (You can read about those oils on GOOP next week, by the way. I found the most fabulous woman who pounds them out of indigenous plants while ululating.)

 

Anyways, thank you SO much for listening, God. I feel so much better now that I got that off my chest. Oh, look at the time! I must fly. Moses has swimming lessons and I have to remind the 3rd nanny to take him.

 

x0x0x GwynP.

 

PS, if you act fast you can get my how to uncouple e-book at 20% off. Its a good one. Byee.

 

 

 

 

For Mothers of Sons: A Peek into the Minds of Boys

The Confounding thing it is to be a mother of sons

I told my kids I was going to write a post about what it’s like to have sons. According to my daughter, it’s a bad idea. Apparently, there are lots of posts out there for mothers of sons (MoS for short). According to my sons, it was GRUNT.

 

Being a MoS is very different than being a MoD (mother of daughters. Or in my case, mother of one very time consuming and emotionally draining daughter). Sons are different. Many people say that they’re easier to raise, and I have to concur. While they certainly can get up to a lot more ‘trouble’ than girls (this isn’t gender bias, it’s from empirical observation of a woman with 6 siblings, 3 kids of her own and 24 nieces and nephews) their ‘trouble’ seems to arise from a more simple and less complicated place, as does their whole outlook on life.

 

Remember. Boys are just small men (well, not mine. Mine are taller than me now). So they process and think like men. It’s all pretty linear. Or at least appears to be on the surface.

 

Here’s an example.

 

When she was younger, my daughter got in a fight with her friend and was accused of kicking or pushing. I asked her if she did it. The answer was, “Well, first she started to look at me funny and then my bag was slipping down and she said that my bag was dumb so then she said that her friends was going to tell that other girl that my dumb bag hit her and I got cold and I wanted a sweater and then I told her she’s not my friend and then she said…”  at which point I lost interest and started to think about whether 3:30 carpool was too early to start drinking.

 

When he was younger, one of my sons got in a fight with his friend and pushed him. I asked him if he did it. The answer was, “Yes.”

 

Do you see my point?

 

Anyways, since I’m a female, my sons never cease to amaze me with their interesting and colourful outlook on life and man-child way of doing things. While I’ve gotten used to being mooned by a big hairy butt at the dinner table (I do have two brothers after all), I still can’t fathom how someone can eat SEVEN pieces of chicken and still be hungry or drink an entire litre of milk without even taking a breath.

 

Also, while I totally understand the value of a nice big gaseous release (whether from the same hairy butt or by mouth), I don’t know why it a) is funnier while we are eating b) even more funny while I’m trapped in the car with them c) not possible to do in the privacy of anywhere that I’m not.

 

I won’t even get into food dares. Once they thought it would be totally the best to ‘let’ me join in on one of their games and I got unwittingly hot sauced. I still have nightmares.

 

Some other things that just escape me:

 

  • why it’s funny to wave your weiner in your friend’s face or take your clothes off just about anywhere or pee on the side of a building but it’s embarrassing to say hi to your mom at the mall
  • why it’s the best game ever to watch your friend stuff 14 cookies in his mouth at once and then make him laugh
  • how one can feel immense pride at the size of one’s bowel movements (sharing photos, natch) yet blush bright red when the doctor asks to see ‘down there’
  • how one can enjoy the feeling of orange juice bubbling out of one’s nose or refuse to shave the scratchy brand-new caterpillar growing atop one’s lip

 

But the most confounding of all boy things are the attitudes to personal hygiene.

 

Why wouldn’t any person with an ounce of logic realize that their paint-peeling breath is a dead give away for the whole wetting-the-toothbrush ruse?  Or that their pit stink isn’t a tell for the fact that no, they don’t have anymore deodorant or body wash left and they haven’t had any for at least one month*. Or how they can never ever have any dirty underwear to put in the laundry basket, but apparently do NOT go commando.

 

There are things I do understand now, though. The other day my sons explained two of their greatest mysteries to me.

 

1. Shower shits: If you haven’t noticed, sometimes your young man showers at random times of day after spending an extensive amount of time already in the loo. Apparently, these impromptu showers are necessitated by dumps so large that they cannot be dealt with by simple wiping. Who knew?

 

2. Why boys don’t like to bathe at all: because it’s too much work. It’s not that they don’t like to be clean, it’s that they don’t like to expend the effort getting that way. And so it begs to be asked, why stay in there for 30-45 minutes? This analogy was made: it’s like going to bed. You don’t want to do it, but once you’re in there, you don’t want to get out.

 

And that my friends, is a little peek into the mind of teenaged boys.

 

Stay clean x0x0x0 Mara

 

*It’s been requested that I tell you that these two things haven’t happened for approximately two years.

 

Note: At the time of this writing, the one who made me write the disclaimer just above was walking around with a piece of kleenex stuffed up his nose. 

 

P.S. In case you didn’t get the point, boys are somehow gross and disgusting and yet totally endearing at the same time. 

 

 

 

 

 

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