Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Besides cutting back on my meat intake, I have very few resolutions this year. Actually, you can’t even call them “resolutions” since there is nothing to resolve--I’ve said the same exact thing for years. That novel will be finished in 2009, and preferably the first half of it. I’m a whole lot closer to that goal than I was a year ago, so there’s a big fat yippee skippee.

But when I look back at 2008, I can’t get all down on myself for the lack of more progress. (I did finish half+ of it which is no small feat.) I got the unexpected St. Pete Times gig which was too big of a dream to even make it to the original goals list. And there was a whole lot of other nice surprises along the way--Disney, Generation Huggies, even the local stuff. Jessie turned 1, Amy went to preschool, Matty delighted me every minute and Stevie became a teenager. The Intern moved in and became the Graduate. Sean worked so hard, but still managed to take us all on some great trips and poise us solidly for the next adventure. So I’m officially calling it--at 9:29 a.m. on December 31st--2008 was a pretty awesome year.

Welcome 2009...I have a feeling you're going to be a crazy one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Could I have a side of steak with my steak?

I'm a little sluggish today. I think it has something to do with our dinner out last night.

Sean and I went to one of those Brazilian restaurants where all they serve is meat. You know the ones--it smells a little gamy, like maybe you stumbled into a duck blind rather than an upscale restaurant. You have a card next to your plate which you flip 'yay' or 'nay' depending on how much animal protein you can pile on your plate or if you suddenly start mooing.

Now you know me. I don't shy away from a nice filet medium-rare. I likes me some beef. But this was not good. While I appreciated the waiters in gauchos, I thought I'd lose an eye if I had one more skewer of roasting meat placed in front of me. I don't know if my colon will ever fully recover. I have grill marks on my own tongue. I can feel my appendix regenerating as we speak to digest all of the bones imploding in my stomach.

So tonight for dinner in order to restore digestive balance, we're either going to eat that "special" yogurt that Jamie Lee Curtis is always pushing rather ickily, or kelp.

Kelp it is then.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm up

Today I plan on shaking off this post-holiday lethargy. No, seriously. While Sean has been going to the gym and taking the kids on some wild field trip everyday, I've been unable to move from the couch or bed watching the Food Network. It's a little sad. I need to move my limbs and clean something.

If it is even just my limbs.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cutting up boxes on Boxing Day

Post-Christmas post to post a hello.

Like you, we are all worn out with paper cuts from opening so many gifts. It was wonderful with lots and nothing going on. We had a fabulous meal with friends, and all fell asleep without doing the dishes. Just the way Christmas should be.

Sean took the girls to the zoo, and I just got finished mailing off $27,000 worth of rebates. Why can't they just give me the discount in the store where my very presence is proof of purchase rather than 17 copies of receipts and cutting labels from original boxes? Seriously, I could have saved 3 hours of my life today. I really want to get writing--jump start on assignments plus getting back to the novel since my only personal goal of 2009 is to finish it by my birthday. (Which I know is the exact same goal of 2008, but obviously I failed on that endeavor and now I save on stationary.)

So as I clean up 2008 to make room for 2009, I've got to announce our last two winners of the year:

See's Chocolate Gift certificate winner is Susan S. from Oldsmar, Florida and the HP Photosmart Wireless Printer goes to Sharon S. from Middleport, New York. Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all who entered. I hope the New Year brings many more contest opportunities.

Okay, I'm going back to work now. Or a nap.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What else?

Really, what more is there than to say, "Merry Christmas my friends"?

Merry Christmas my friends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ain't technology grand?

First and foremost, Merry Christmas to all! My favorite day has arrived, and shortly I will be signing off to bake something with the kiddos. But rest assured, we'll still have the computer on, because we will be watching this:

M. has been giving us updates all morning. It's the best.

But if I can pull him away long enough, he'll be picking our See's chocolate winner. And there's still time to enter the HP Printer contest...

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 10 signs it was a good party

1) When you get all of your ridiculously complicated party food assembled and placed in chafing dishes before the first guests arrive.

2)The weather is the perfect temperature that all of the doors in the house are open to allow the party to spill in and out and back again.

3) Your dog looks like this thoroughout the evening.

4) You have plenty of adult beverages.

5) No one eats this because of what you served above.

6) You have no idea who the people are in this picture.

7) You know these guests very well, and are so glad they came and celebrated this wonderful evening with you.

8) Your wine cellar is stocked to the brim, yet no one left thirsty.

9) No one was arrested, ended up in the pool, or threw up in my bushes.

10) 150 people doesn't seem like too many people to have in your house at once.

We are exhausted, but pleasantly so. This was one of those special evenings in which you are surrounded by so many wonderful friends, you can feel nothing but blessed. (and just a little buzzed.)

Thanks to all--we'll never forget it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why is my inbox not full?

Did I mention I was giving away a free HP wireless printer and a plethora of HP specialty paper in exchange for just a little holiday e-Cheer?

And yes, I should be setting up and cooking for the 150 people about to descend upon this house, but I need a little love and you need a little help with your printing needs.

It's like the gift of the Magi...or something.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gifts for you, bangs for me

After filling 100 Chinese takeout boxes with sesame noodles and baking up 16 dozen mini Yorkshire puddings for the party-turned-out-of control-tomorrow, I'm ready to get a haircut.

No, of course that doesn't have anything to do with the other, but everything is answered in the order it was received this week.

While I'm deciding on bangs today (what do you think?) you can enter all of my contests and read all of my other posts, and if I survive the next 48 hours, we'll back here on Monday.

Happy weekend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3

Day three of retirement and I still had to go to the store myself to get the star anise.

Oh well, at least we're still both alive and only slightly scathed. (Like when he said, "I'm going to get this place so organized!)

No, really we've been too busy running around and working to get in one another's way yet. I've had to work a lot the past few days, and now that all of the assignments are in, I can focus on getting ready for the party and beyond.

No one say istmas-Cray or they get a star anise shoved up their stocking.


P.S. I came here to post that Lisa C. of Clearwater was the winner of the Children's Place gift card, but you can still enter the See's Candy contest (see below) and next week the mack-daddy contest, which is all I can reveal at the moment.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crunch Time

It’s crunch time.

Crunching nuts for the snicker noodles. Crunching the red tissue to wrap in gift bags. Crunching the pavement to finish the shopping. Crunching the keyboard to get everything written and turned in on time. Crunching the star anise for the marinated olives to serve on Friday (please don’t ask). Crunching time.

I won’t lie to you and tell you I’m at all comfortable with this. Even today--on a Monday--the day of false confidence, I still feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the tasks ahead this week. But somehow, task by task, item by item, marinated olive by mini Yorkshire pudding I will prevail with proper inspiration.


I’ve got a box of See’s candies on the table, and every time I walk past it to change laundry loads, I stuff my mouth like the dining room table is a quickened conveyor belt and I am Lucy at the candy factory. (Don’t tell Ricky I want to be in the show!)

I imagine crunch time is not exclusive around here, so I’m sending you some chocolate inspiration, too. I’ve got a $25 gift cert certificate to See’s Candy to give away to one of my Ethel’s. You can use it for a chocolate gift to yourself, as business gifts or just apply it directly to your soul. It’s up to you.

Divamail me your favorite chocolate candy type--mine is the chocolate-covered cherry--and that’ll be enough to earn a spot in the Santa hat for a drawing next Monday, December 22.

So let’s redefine "crunch time" as a peanut-cluster chocolate candy this week, shall we?

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's an odd day

It's Sean's last day today.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Processing your order....

So I haven't been doing a whole lot of personal blogging lately because honestly, all I've been doing is writing, cleaning and partying and how many times can you write the words, "I've had so much filet mignon and red wine in the last 2 weeks that I'm posting in au jus ink?"

Yeah, not more than once.

So that's what's new: crazy. (Actually, there's nothing new there after all.) But this is Sean's last week of work and so there are many bittersweet celebrations and we haven't even got to next Saturday yet. And there's that whole Christmas thing to do do for 4 kids+intern which is a plethora of baking, shopping, wrapping, and preening. But you're doing the same thing right now and are only reading this while your last minute Amazon order processes, I get it.

And now mine is completed as well so I'll catch you later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great gift for boys

So Matty and I just did the coolest thing--Ridemakerz. Have you heard of it? It's from the folks who brought us Build-A-Bear, so it is that same concept applied to trickin' out some trucks.

Actually, it's even cooler because we just designed his whole Monster Truck online.

The "rides" start at $18, and you can go up from there with all the horns, lights and spinners you can think of. There are noises for revving the engine you can add, too. Pick your colors, tires (there's different treads!) and other really technical things about cars that boys really get excited over and Moms like me don't have a clue.

If you don't have a store near you, you can build everything online, and then within a few days, Ridemakerz ships you the parts per your specifications, and with a little help from Dad, you put it all together and you have a complete custom car.
ridez parts

Matty chose the Monster version (of course) and we added the remote control option for $30 extra. I thought he'd enjoy that more, but it's not required. After I got the right batteries, we were off and running and driving, and he loves his new ride. It lights up and makes all sorts of noise, and best of all, it's a one-of-a-kind Matty creation.

So if you are looking for a great boy gift, this is perfect. Even if you aren’t there to help with the selection, you can still send Ride Money that you can order online in any denomination.

So check out all of the great things on the site--no gas or license required!

ridez 3 car

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Toasty Treat from The Children's Place

If I had my way, we would all spend the month of December in our pajamas. There's just something about an oven filled with cookies, a fireplace filled with logs, and a tree filled with ornaments that begs for a warm pair of p.j's to be filled with little bodies.

However, it's not always easy to find a pair that isn't reminiscent of Ralphie from A Christmas Story--something my older boys are definitely not excited about.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So this year we compromised and found some at The Children's Place that we all love.

This is the pair my son is sporting right now. And because I want to see your family equally as adorable, I am giving away a $30 gift card to one lucky, jammie-loving reader courtesy of the generous folks of The Children's Place.


Be the 10th just kidding. Send me a divamail telling me how you love pajamas and I'll enter you in a random drawing to be drawn on Monday, December 15 to win the gift card.

Warm and snuggly holiday wishes to you!

(And you might want to stay tuned to this blog as well as for some more really awesome giveaways in the coming weeks. Just sayin'...)

Friday, December 05, 2008

An early gift

I've got an early gift for you....



I've got a great prize package from Paramount Home Entertainment that includes Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, The Furious Five and Shrek the Halls (with a Shrek plush doll). Simply email me your interest and if I draw your name from the Santa hat, it’s all yours. Send by Monday, 12/8/08 to be eligible.

Oh yes, and even if you don't win this week (more giveaways through the holidays, I promise) you can pick up a holiday classic, Suburban Diva: From the Real Side of the Picket Fence, by yours truly for the bargain price of $15 which includes a personalized copy, gift-wrapping by a diva elf, and shipping anywhere you'd like. Divamail me the particulars and I'll get you laughing over Sean's Christmas light stories in no time...

Where'd I put the chafing dishes?

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, soccer is over (hockey, not quite), shopping has been started and I've pressed the first load of Mr. Rooney's shirts, I can now focus on the next big event--and no, it's not Christmas.

Sean's retirement party is quickly approaching, because only I would plan such a huge event four days before the year's biggest event to ensure that I will be committed to an insane asylum on December 26th. But when do I ever make things easy or pass up an opportunity to party and make mini beef wellingtons for 150?

But looking at the shopping list and sheer number of trips to retail outlets over the next 3 weeks--I may just be making fava bean canapes with a nice bottle of Chianti.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Please donate generously

Did anyone happen to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday night? Here's the clip if you didn't. Go ahead watch it. I'll wait.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Oops, sorry. You're done? I was just choking back some bile that came up after that shirt revelation.

Seriously, it's Andy-Freaking-Rooney for diddlydarnsakes. Give the man 78 cents to get a clean shirt everyday, CBS. Who is this guy's agent? He should be doing some damned laundry.

He's 89 years old on a bus to New Jersey with stale rolls in his pocket in 3 day old shirts.

I feel the need to start a petition or a foundation for aging humorists or something. I mean, seriously, if I am blogging at 90 will someone please please please come over and make sure I'm wearing clean clothes? Not that I wear them at 38, but I'm not on TV every Sunday night either.

If you'd like to donate, I'll accept some Tide or a Bounce sheet on Mr. Rooney's behalf.

Thank you for your support.

Monday, December 01, 2008

All sorts of media to describe the weekend

By some pre-Christmas miracle, I got a lot done this weekend. We got the house decorated (both inside and out), I cleaned and organized the toy pile, and grocery shopped. This landslide of accomplishments then led to getting the Christmas picture taken 2 weeks ahead of my usual schedule. It also meant I didn't have to Google, "Cute children in Christmas pajamas" and photo shop non-copyrighted photos to the family card this year. Yay me. Here's a preview:

And along with working, (something I notice I have to do everyday now--weird) I ordered the cards and even made a video card chronicling Sean's exploits outside.

You can make your own holiday card on too. For free and they are giving away prizes for submissions, too....