Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 10, part deux...

So, I'm not very good at these kinds of lists truthfully. It's hard to determine categories for things that happen in any person's life, you know what I mean? So I think it's best for me to just have a final Top 10 of things that happened or had impact in this girl's life in 2009. Good, bad or otherwise.

Again, not in any meaningful order -- just how they come to me.

10. Leaving my job. Wow, had I dreamed of when that day would come but nothing prepared me for the reality of it. It wasn't a bad thing -- it was a great thing, but still a little sad. Of course that lasted oh, about a minute. I don't miss it a bit -- being in business for myself and being my own boss is beyond gratifying. Having friends and family work side by side with me is a great thing; I often get tinges of sentimentality when I see things that have to do with the Air Force or the base -- but other than that....nada. I loved my job and I truly made the best of things, but I was beyond frustrated knowing I was capable of doing great things and was held back because I wasn't in the Government proper.

9. My knee surgery. That was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. I mean, you are awake for CSections and that's pretty interesting but it's not nearly the same thing as actually getting to watch what's happening inside your knee surgically. Definitely one of the more fun things that happened this year. Sounds kind of silly I know - but it alleviated my discomfort and was educational and fun at the same time.

8. Finding out my Mother has Cancer. The news itself of her having the disease wasn't all that shocking, only because it is so rampant. What was shocking, was the poor care (in my opinion) that she had received up to this point. Finally, she is going to Dana Farber -- tomorrow actually, and I am going with my parents -- to get what we hope/wish/pray will be a diagnosis (finally!!!) and hopefully a better prognosis than what she received in Florida.

7. Being hardworking, diligent and patient. While this was a difficult year for everyone on so many levels -- it was a good year for us with business. Patience and hard work, with a sprinkle of due diligence really paid off in allowing us to launch a new business. I have to say that over the last year prior to this opportunity I had been so frustrated; we came so close so many times, but timing can be everything and truly while luck only goes so far -- it's all about the work that goes into it.

6. Spending time with my family. Sounds mundane and not necessarily listworthy - but the truth of the matter is -- that it is. This summer while I was not able to take any time off because of the buildout, I still was on a more flexible schedule than being at work and was able to spend a few days with the family at Water Country, Canobie Lake Park, etc. Even just staying at home later in the morning before heading off to the store site -- it was far more enjoyable of a way to start my day than stressing over traffic and what time I might arrive in the office. Again, it's tied to being my own boss -- and while I'm incredibly busy at times, it offers me a luxury of time with my family that I haven't been able to enjoy before.

5. Having to adjust to the fact that my children think on their own. Let me tell you - that's a tough one. Trying to parent firmly, discipline strongly and not be too stifling is a tightrope I've had to walk on all this year for the first time. Princess Petunia was the first one to challenge -- and her boldness has encouraged her brother to express himself as well. This has been a huge event this year in my life and while it was a change that I knew would come -- I still wasn't quite prepared for when it happened.

4. Abandoning Dunkin Donuts forever. I have completely transitioned to Starbucks. After spending probably hundreds of dollars in coffee that tasted so horrible that I threw it away -- I finally smartened up and actually spend only an extra .25 for a cup of coffee that I enjoy every single time. It feels like a monkey is off my back -- truly. How crazy is that? Discovering that I can really enjoy a cup of coffee consistently -- that's a huge happening in this girl's life after months of being disappointed by Dunks.

3. Achieving many of the goals I'd set for myself. I ran the 5K sooner than anticipated; I did a yoga marathon even sooner post-surgery. I continually worked on accepting the things I could not change and actively worked on changing the things that I could - that needed changing. And some things were just fine the way they were.

2. Seeing a Broadway play front row. Wow, did that spoil me forever. G and I going to see David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" at the Barrymore --with Jeremy Piven and cast practically sweating on us -- was amazing. So impressive, that we're thinking of going back and seeing the aforementioned director's new production of "Race" at that same theatre in the next few weeks. It was an event that truly had an impact on me as far as spending quality time with G, appreciating and loving NYC -- and throughly appreciating theatre even more than I already did. It made me long for what I might have done at one time... but at the same time appreciate the choices I made in not pursuing that career as fully as I could've. Because if I had -- I wouldn't be here today. And I'm pretty happy where I'm at....

1. Proving that I'm capable of doing great things. Listen, I knew I could do it -- but let's be honest there were plenty who had their doubts. Building the store was a fun, frustrating, stressful and yet enjoyable process. Our new store is something I'd always hoped it would be...and yet at the same time, I look back at G and I and think "wow, who'd have thought that two kids from nothing and nowhere would do all this...." But again, it just shows what a little hard work, good common business sense and a drive to succeed can get you. Sure it's only in it's infancy, but it's off to a good start -- and I'm so very proud. Aside from my children who are my greatest accomplishments in life -- it's up there on things to be proud of. Some people go through their whole life and don't have much to show for it -- and that's okay; there's nothing wrong with that. But we have built goodwill with a brand; we have actually made history in a community.

And how awesome is that?!?!?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10.... the first of a few (I think!)

So, I thought I'd list a few of my Top 10's for this year.
The first one being the Top 10 Surprises of This Girl's Life for 2009.

Truly, not in any particular order because there wasn't any one surprise that stood out -- and they cover all topics, not just me per se -- and here they are:

1o. Finding out that my torn meniscus - was really a calcified infrapatella plica that was lodged in my knee joint & ACL! That was totally a surprise. But, a better surprise than it having been my ACL being torn, which was initially what he thought when he went in there.
9. The circus surrounding Tiger Woods. Truly -- does anyone really care? Not this girl. Moving on....
8. Manny & David Ortiz testing positive for steriods. I have to say -- yes, I was surprised about Manny -- and disappointed.
7. My daughter's PreK closing. That was a total shock and surprise and out of nowhere. Fortunately, she took it in stride.
6. Michael Jackson's passing. Truly, that was surprising, sad and almost surreal. The best thing about it though was the resurgence of his music -- my kids love him. Which is really fun to see.
5. The big discrimination case that got to Presidential Level from the Harvard Professor who I won't even dignify naming. Seriously -- are you kidding me?!?!! Wasted time on everyone's behalf. It was obnoxious.
4. President Obama receiving the Nobel Prize. Truly -- this girl thinks he should've politely declined with the caveat that he'd gladly receive after some time in office should they reconsider him next year.
3. I have not brought home one piece of cheese from my store. Seriously, my favorite thing in the world and I have yet to bring any home for myself to enjoy. Can you imagine??
2. Not signing Mark Texeira. For just a second, didn't we all just scratch our heads and say "huh?" Sure that was December '08 but the effect lingered into the new year.
1. The finale of this season's Dexter. I have three words for that one, and it's "Oh My God." 'Nuff said.


Sure, there may be more.... but this is the first list - and there may be crossover to come.
Tomorrow will be a new list of "Top 10" something or other...!

Monday, December 28, 2009

...and a partridge in a pear tree.

I need a haircut so bad. It's embarrassing actually.
It's too long to wear down and it's so out of shape that even a pony tail looks terrible.
I broke a nail re-arranging Princess Petunia's room last night.
I'm just a mess.

Which is why I'm really looking forward to the week being over. After New Year's, life settles down into something resembling a bit more normal. I can get my hair cut, my nails done and....I can go to Wrentham!! (Insert choirs of angels singing and rays of sunlight HERE.) I got from one of my girlfriends a gift card to Sephora and I can not wait to use it! (Ah, to have my Cargo Texas Lash mascara and Lip Fusion!!! I've missed you both so much!) I also received a an AMEX card from my aunt which I will happily use at the aforementioned Wrentham (angels singing again) to buy something for each of us -- and I will gladly stop in at all my favorite shops to do a little indulging on myself, gift card aside. Practical indulgence I'll call it -- because I'll not buy a purse or something frivolous - it will be things I truly need.

And this girl, can not wait!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves....

*Yawn*
So very tired today.

It was a nice day yesterday; that being said, it was one of my least favorite holiday meals that I've made. The ham -- was disappointing. I bought a different ham than usual and I will never do that again. The texture, the flavor - it was all not that good, and typically the ham is outstanding. Such a disappointment. The bisque came out nicely - though I didn't make it with heavy cream like I typically do -- I used half and half and while the flavor was nice - you could tell the difference. The stuffed scallops I overcooked because I was distracted....and I didn't like the flavor of my sauce for the lasagna. The chateaubriand everyone loved -- and yet I thought it was just okay; it was super tender but the flavor wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Probably no big deal to anyone else, but definitely a big deal to me since I take such enjoyment out of cooking on this holiday.

I think it's all just truly a testament to how busy I was this season. Next year - I'll be better prepared. I decided I'll be done with my shopping come October/November of next year so I'm not feeling so overwhelmed. And that will help me feel better planned for dinner as well.

The most important thing is that everyone was together for the first time in two years and while it's not for the most optimal of circumstances, we were together none the less!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jolly Old St Nicholas, lean your ear this way....

I wish you all a lovely, healthy, happy, and Merry Christmas.

May your table be filled with delicious food, your homes with loved family and friends - and your hearts full of joy.

And I hope Santa is good to you all....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen.....

I am a rock star.

Why?
Because despite much heckling about my pouring white wine on the red wine spill and immediately sopping it up and washing it --- the stain, has disappeared.

Thank you. Thank you very much....
(said in my best Elvis impersonation.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Or wine glasses clanging as they hit the table....

Today I got my new kitchen set, finally -- and of course, it's got cream colored seats. Fabric, no less -- but I figured I'd scotchguard them after dinner.

Well.... my son was reaching for chocolate that I told him not to get - and while rushing to do what kids do best (not listen) he knocked over my glass of red wine. You know where I'm going with this......

So much for the new kitchen set.
Oh well. Such is life.....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow....let it snow!

1. It was so nice to wake up to the snow today. I left the house early to go to the supermarket -- why go before the storm, when you can go during? C'mon, I'm a New Englander -- what's a little snow?!? So, I went and did the bulk of my holiday menu shopping done - with the exception of the lobster for the bisque because truthfully, I don't want to make it that far ahead. I did however make the lasagna today and promptly froze it. Funny enough - every time I've done that, you know - made it ahead and froze it, people seem to like it better than when I make it fresh. Works for me, one less thing for me to have to do that day.

2. So, Tiger may have gotten his wish. Okay, so I may have mentioned on a sports blog that Tiger is probably praying that a celebrity died or there was some major tragedy to take the spotlight of off him for a change; while Brittany Murphy is by no means Heath Ledger-ish or Michael Jackson-like, she is a celebrity none the less and tragic with a death at 32. There's the breathing room he was praying for.
2a. Brittany Murphy was really only 32?!?! Was she like, 12 in Clueless? I guess she was only 22, but I certainly thought she was closer to 36. Funny how in La La land the ages seem younger and younger. Does anyone ever grow up?

3. Tonight is a marathon wrapping night. Hopefully I have wine in the house because this girl is tired and would love to have a nice glass of wine while wrapping. I don't have a choice -- I have no time between now and Christmas to get it done, so tonight it is.

4. My parents are coming tomorrow. I haven't seen them in almost two years -- and as I mentioned previously in posts over the summer, my Mother is sick and is finally going to see doctors at Dana Farber next week. Finally.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm off to ensure no little people are up so I can get crack-a-lacking.

Hi-ho, Hi-ho....it's wrapping I will go....
(whistles off into the distance.....fade to black.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Been an angel all year, Santa baby -- so hurry down the chimney tonight.....

Tonight I got a phone call from my girlfriend KMD who told me that her husband was at Fenway today and saw Jason for a press op -- and so he went down and has some OUTSTANDING photos that he's going to email to me. I'll be more than happy to share them...

It's funny, sometimes I think "one of these days..." I'll look up - and he'll be standing in the store looking for advice for wine. Of course, that would be the funniest thing ever because he'd never know I was so silly about him -- I can totally pull off being indifferent. Actually, I got a call yesterday for a champagne delivery to an employee of a very prestigious Sports Marketing & Representation company in Boston (many Sox players are in their portfolio) and for a second I thought "what if...???" Ah, but no such luck. The Captain is not in their client list. Oh well.

Anyway -- there's a really great video of an interview with him on Boston.com. I just wish I could get past Heidi Watney in the background. I mean, she's a pretty girl -- but I truly don't love her as a sportscaster. Even during the interview -- it just didn't strike me as she was super interested, or paying attention. Maybe she has her own questions she was waiting to ask - but this girl just doesn't buy her as a bonafide sportscaster still.

Just sayin'....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When it seems that we have lost our way...We find ourselves again on Christmas Day

Where is the time going??

I am well beyond the eight ball this year. I know I said that last year too, but if you browse my older posts -- at this point of the month I think I was pretty well set.

G's presents -- almost done. Kid's presents -- almost done. Niece/nephews gifts -- not even close. But that takes a short time, fortunately. Other gifts -- not even close. Again, they don't take much time, but it's finding the time to actually get it done.

Before the store - I could take a sick day or vacation day and get all my shopping done in one day. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Not this year.... I have no days off. No down time. I'm not complaining -- just an interesting observation. Truthfully, I haven't even finalized my holiday dinner menu -- can you imagine?!?! Not one thing is wrapped yet, and today is what -- December 17th? This is the least organized in this perspective I have ever been. But, I'm on a mission and come the end of this weekend, presents will be wrapped and under the tree. And all my shopping will be done.... mark my words.

So, I've decided not to do the Turducken for dinner... I'm a little sad, truth be told - but I don't have the time this year. This is a big learning curve year for me; next holiday I'll have it all better scheduled. So, I'm finalizing my menu tomorrow and I'll gladly share it at that time. I still have a few details I'm working on.....

If anyone's looking for some wine recommendations for gift giving -- let me know. You don't have to buy with me -- but I'll gladly pass on some great advice! I'm actually sitting here right now with a delicious glass of Honig Chardonnay after a long day at work -- and an even longer week.

But that's a story for another day....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas....

It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot conquer the spirit.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

Life goes by far too fast -- it's important to make all the moments last.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock...




So, this weekend I got out for a few hours -- and went to the annual La Femme Nikitas ornament swap. (Wow, I haven't referred to us as that for some time now!) We used to get together monthly, but now - with everyone's lives being so busy - we're almost lucky if we can do once a year! There was no way, no matter how lousy I felt that I couldn't make it. And, I'm glad I was able to because it was a good time, as always.


I have more photos, but I haven't downloaded them yet - and this one hit the email circuit today, so... maybe I'll share more later.


"Auld acquaintences" are often the best ones.... and they should never, ever be forgotten. No matter how busy life might get at times. Always make time -- even if it's only one day a year. Because at some point in the future -- we'll all be on the same page, and have plenty of time to do all the dinner parties and movie nights we'd like -- without limitations.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today's original post has been postponed due to....

....the most amazing television I have ever seen. Ever.
Last night's season finale of Dexter was....phenomenal. The most fantastic television ending of a season, in the history of television. I challenge someone to come up with a better, more thought out and provoking season finale.

I kind of got a feeling about the ending right before it happened - but I thought it would be a cliff hanger for next season. I did not see the exact scenario and the way it ended -- coming.

Absolutely unbelievable. Every season so far I think "they can't get better than this, can they?" and this season is no different. Truly, I don't know how they can.

If you don't watch this show - you have to get the first season, and start watching.
Trust me, you'll be glad that you did.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

'Tis the season to be jolly....

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I actually don't love either one - but I'd prefer hot chocolate.
2. Letter to Santa?
Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is you....
(Jason Varitek would be nice too. Just sayin'....)
3. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa usually pays someone to wrap the gifts for him.
4. Colored lights on your tree/house or white?
White. Simple, classic.
5. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, I don't. I think I should though!
6. When do you put your decorations up?
The weekend of Thanksgiving. Although I was late this year due to being sick!
7. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Oh, so many to choose! It's a toss up between Goose & Turducken.
8. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
Hmmm. Probably making Play Doh ornaments!
9. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth???
10. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No. I never liked that concept. Except when I was little, then I loved it!
11. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
White lights, burgundy ribbon, and lots of ornaments. Eclectic mix of photographs of the kids, fun "fou fou" furry ornaments, ornaments my Mom made when I was a kid, ornamements the kids have made. It all blends beautifully I think.
12. Can you ice skate?
Yes I can!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Yes, it's a home made cookbook from my parents.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with my family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Probably chocolate pudding pie - but I love it with crushed candy canes on top for a peppermint effect.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My hosting of dinner.
17. What tops your tree?
A teddy bear angel my mother made when I was about 15.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
They both have their upsides... but I love to give gifts more.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Oh, so many to choose -- too many to choose! Celebrate Me Home, Same Old Lang Syne, Grown Up Christmas List, Little Drummer Boy, What Child is This, Oh Holy Night... I could go on.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Yum!

Friday, December 11, 2009

May the merry bells keep ringing, happy holidays to you....

So tonight we're jaunting out, complete with hot cocoa for our first Christmas Lights ride of the season. So exciting!

I'm completely exhausted. This pneumonia has kicked the crap out of me the last two days; it's funny how in the beginning I was still like the Energizer Bunny....but the last two days it's like I hit a wall. I'm tired, exhausted -- and to make things worse, my stomach's all out of whack now because of the antibiotic. I lost 5lbs that I really didn't need to lose over the past 24 hours....and I'm not really feeling up to eating still. I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired....

(Sorry, that's like the third time I complained about it this week. Note to self: must. slow. down.)

So, I've been paying less attention than usual to the Hot Stove this season; it's a rather boring off season, prospect-wise. The last I heard on the local sports radio is that the physical reports are being awaited on Mike Lowell, so....I'm guessing that's close to a done deal, if not done already. (I'm sorry Dawn!). I did however enjoy listening to Larry Lucchino this a.m., on the radio - although I was rather surprised at how rather rudely the portion of the interview went, at least the part I heard. I get that you don't want to pitter patter the person you're interviewing but I thought that the disdain was too obvious, in my opinion. It was almost uncomfortable to listen to at times. But hey - that's the way the morning show crumbles at times...

Well, this girl is off to fill the travelers mugs and hit the road.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings.

So there must be bells ringing all around me right now.

I just agreed to give up my "best possible seats in the park due to being given to us by a very important person" ticket to the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

*sigh*

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....

Tonight would've been a fabulous night to have a fire going. Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up logs so pillar candles are going to have to do the trick.

Can you believe Christmas is two weeks away? I absolutely can not.
Clearly, time is going by far too quickly for this girl.
Holiday cards....still not ordered yet.
*sigh*

I think Friday is going to be the first night of our annual Christmas Lights jaunts; I get home from work, the kiddies get changed into their cozy clothes and have dinner. We pack up hot cocoa for the road, and drive to different parts of our town and other neighboring communities on each time out to admire all the pretty lighting displays. We have Christmas music playing, and it's one of the few times that the kids don't fight with each other and we just have a really great time. It's probably one of my most favorite traditions -- and one that I'll be sad when they outgrow. It's just nice quality time -- and it doesn't cost more than a gallon of gas.

What traditions do you have at the holidays that are really quite simple - but yet so meaningful?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow....let it snow!

Or so the rumor goes.....
We'll be graced with a little snowstorm tomorrow. Pardon my skepticism but I think I'll believe it when I see it. Around these parts, it's truly just guesswork - and so when they say the Cape will get rain and we'll get snow -- I often hesitate at where they determine that whether line truly is. They know where they "think" it might be - but weather changes on a dime travelling across the country, so....we'll just see what happens when it gets here!

If so, the kids will be mighty happy because tomorrow is a half day at school -- and then there will be lots of playing and hot cocoa to go around.

And long commutes as well....!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sleigh bells ring....are you listening?

I can't get over how quickly the days are flying.
It's already going to be the 8th - and my holiday cards aren't even ordered yet, let alone in the mail. I designed them weeks ago -- but figured I'd order them the first week. Well, I suppose so long as I get them out by the 15th I'm still in good shape.

It is time for me to start thinking of the holiday dinner...the only problem is I don't quite know how many people I'm having just yet. I think it's somewhere in the 10-12 adults and 4 children range, but I'm not positive yet. That's actually less than I had last year, and I'm not complaining! We always have an open house for dessert, so that's always fun. Dessert's not my strong suit, I typically make only one - and then ask everyone else to bring something.

I actually think I'm going to make the Turducken again this year; it was a huge hit last year and really would be worth serving a second year in a row. I'm torn between having ham again like I did last year - or possibly chateaubriand as my second main course. I do think I'm skipping the soup....unless I feel like making lobster bisque. I haven't made that in a few years, having made different soups over the past few -- so maybe I'll go back to my classic family favorite. And with chateaubriand it works nicely.

Things to think about....!
I'll keep everyone updated as I finalize the menu....

Sunday, December 06, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

And that's why no matter how sick I am, I still took the kids to get a Christmas tree and restrung the lights on the house. Why? Because I'm a great Mom! No, truly - it's all about them. And it's worth it for me to do it, so long as I am not so sick that I need to be bedridden. They're only little for a short time, and Christmas is so important to them. Last thing I want to do is disappoint them for something so simple....

I have pneumonia in not one - but both of my lungs - I found out last night at the ER. And I knew I was sick with it, of course didn't realize it was that bad. But, I had promised that after a birthday party we were supposed to attend today - that we would do the tree. And while I did not at all feel up to attending a laser tag party (while I do have an "S" on my chest--figuratively speaking of course -- I know my limitations!) I felt I could muster up effort to get the tree, even if we didn't decorate it today. (Truly, could I not decorate it today? Me, Miss "Can't Sit Still"? No. But it was a nice thought to keep in the back of my mind.)
So, the disappointing thing is that our previous tree died last year. Sort of. Half of the lights were out -- and it was a gorgeous, gorgeous life like tree with 1000 lights on it. This year, I went to 4 Home Depots, 1 Lowes, and 1 Sears and I was horrified at how ugly the trees were. Truly disappointing. So, I ended up going with a last ditch resort tree at Home Depot today because I couldn't disappoint the kiddies. They don't care about the perfection of the tree....! They don't have little Type A personalities like their Mom just yet. So, this is the "pretty but obviously faux tree". And it only has 750 lights, and truly - the difference is noticeable. It wouldn't be quite so bad if it wasn't for the big gap between the base and the tree itself. (Once Santa places presents underneath, it should help some.)


Oh, and I did buy new lights to replace the ones that wouldn't work yesterday. I did get them to work today, but they aren't as pretty as the ones I got so -- I used a string of them in my house to outline the patio door. It works, considering I wasn't up to putting garland around the door this year. There was no way I was climbing on the roof to do the top layer, so just around the porch works for this girl just fine!
So now, the kids are awaiting the chocolate chip muffins to finish cooling so they can enjoy their final snack before bed....and this girl is glad to be finally sitting.
And then tomorrow is Monday.....

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Wrapping up the week with some randomness.....

Just a little potpourri of thoughts going around this girls head....

1. What is all this drama about Tiger for? Seriously people, get a grip. Did any of you truly think that this was a surprise? You can't be serious. Unfortunately in the realm of celebrity, it's the rule - not the exception. I'm only surprised that this is such a shock to everyone else.

2. The Sox doin' the Shortstop Swap, yet again. Why there's such an issue with this position is beyond me. I get that Orlando Cabrera was not welcome in the organization - which is so unfortunate given the fact that he's absolutely the perfect fit -- but seriously, can't we get it right just once with this position? Jed Lowrie was never the answer, but I'm not sure that Scutaro is either. I suppose only time will tell... but it's a short time. Call me crazy, but two years in a contract isn't really the answer either.

3. Now I get why stringing up the lights is such an issue at Christmas. I have a prelit tree - so that's not an issue.... and even when I had a real tree, it didn't matter - I never really had a hard time. But this morning, I was out front and hung icicle lights from my farmers porch. Well, hanging them in the store was a breeze so I figured why not? Yeah, not so much here at home mostly because I used different lights. I had bought these last season and held onto them for this season, and so I suppose I shouldn't have been too shocked when I plugged them in just to find.......they don't light up. *sighs*.

4. I get that defense attorneys have a purpose in life, however..... I have intentionally not been following the Caylee Anthony case for months now. Last year, it really had such an impact on me and it became far too emotionally draining to keep up with. Plus there are so many unsolved and heinous crimes against children that while I don't suggest turning a blind eye to them - I do know that I can't get so caught up in it all. That being said.... I find it horribly despicable that the defense for Casey Anthony is trying to malign the person who found her daughter's remains. I don't care if Ray Kronk isn't a good person in life-- it is reprehensible to try to paint a negative light on someone just to save someone else, who (in my opinion) is guilty. How can they know that a client is guilty and feel justified in being dishonest themselves to free them? Just because this person found Caylee, it doesn't erase the fact that she was missing for a month before the mother told anyone - only mentioned it under duress; lied to everyone about who "took" her when she was clearly not taken at all; lied about everything in general and stole money; searched online how to break a child's neck, and how to make choloroform and use it for drugging; her car smelled of a dead body and forensics proved a dead body had been there;the little girl was found wrapped in items that were taken from the Anthony household;and most importantly -- forensics proved that the body had not been moved from its original spot, contrary to what the defense is going to try to prove.

How these people sleep at night is beyond me. In some ways, acquiting a guilty person knowingly is almost worse than the crime they committed.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's true that little girls grow up so much quicker than little boys...

So, those of you who read my blog regularly may recall this past summer when my son told me that it was time for him not to hold my hand at the soccer field. He was kind, sweet and sensitive to my feelings about it. And, truth be told -- he still holds my hand on the soccer field occasionally.

My daughter on the other hand....
Not quite so old, not quite so gentle....not quite so sensitive to my feelings about it.

Every morning, I drop her off at school and before she walks down the hall I, (like all the other mothers) say "give me a hug and a kiss - have a great day!". She tends to be hesitant about it -- good with a hug, not so great with a kiss. Well, yesterday when I said it - she whispered to me when I leaned in for my kiss "why do you always have to embarrass me?".

*enter sound of heart breaking...HERE*

So, I made a sad face and said "give me a kiss and have a great day." Which she did.

This morning I asked her if I embarrassed her -- and she said no. So I asked why she would be embarrassed about saying goodbye to me -- all the other kids do it, and besides I'm a cool mom! I'm funny, and I'm friendly - I say hi to all the teachers and other parents; to which she replied she didn't know why she was embarrassed to kiss me, but she was.

Did I mention she's only 5?

I distinctly recall watching The Sopranos when I was pregnant with her, and seeing Meadow be miserable to her mother and I turned to G and said "I'm so not ready for this. I'm not ready to have a little girl who's destined to hate me".

I'm still not ready. And I don't know if I ever will be.....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas.....

Just thought I'd share a few shots of the new shop -- Christmas style...
Not the greatest pictures - but you get the idea.

It looks so beautiful inside -- it's worth every bruise I have on my body.

You might be wondering why I have bruises? Well, you can't see them in the photos - but there are about 250 snowflakes that were individually placed on all my windows, and I had squeeze between the windows and my racks which is only a 10" wide opening -- in order to do so. Oh, and there is wood framing that I had to balance on and lay against in order to place the snowflakes on the whole glass, not just the top portion. Did I mention it took almost two hours to do those gorgeous snowflakes? They look so spectacular, I'll do it again despite the discomfort.

Oh, and for the record - I got over my fear of ladders pretty quickly.






Now to get my house transformed.....
That will be this weekend.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.”

So, pneumonia is a funny thing.
It doesn't go away too readily.

Think I need to go visit the doctor once again. It's crept back....I can feel it. Of course the fact that I can't stop coughing is a great indicator as well. Pneumonia coughs and discomfort is totally different than traditional bronchial. If you've ever had it - you know exactly what I mean.

Of course, it doesn't help that I've been not having much sleep lately - either due to scheduling, working or social events - or watching that really sad football game last night.

All I can say is that our defense is in a world of hurt. They made many mistakes, and not applying ANY pressure to Brees was just one of them. And this isn't any new topic either -- it's been a weak spot on that team for a few years now. I don't know how quickly it's going to get any better either. Did I hear rumors of salary cap disappearing next year...? Wonder how that impacts the stability of our fabulous home team and it's key players.

Well isn't that just something to think about.....

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Where is the orderly, controlled, effective Dexter? How did I lose him?"

Best show ever -- Dexter, on Showtime.
Hands down.

If you haven't seen it -- I highly recommend you do. Start with Season 1, and I guarantee it will lure you in. Every episode I think "how can it get better than this?!?!" and yet - every episode, every season -- it does. The character quirks, the storylines, the monologues and character development are all outstanding.

Imagine.... who ever thought that a show about a serial killer could illicit compassion and even affection towards a character with the kinds of traits that are reprehensible? It sort of puts into perspective the fact that life isn't black and white....there are always shades of gray.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday....Happy Friday!

You know what the only bummer to not cooking on Thanksgiving is?
Not having leftovers.

I could totally go for a yummy turkey sandwich right now.
Instead, I'll settle for take out - because I don't have the ambition or motivation to cook at the moment. I was supposed to be attending a family engagement party tonight with the kids but I worked late - am tired, and they're exhausted still from last night and being out late - so to get them ready just isn't that appealing to me at the moment. So, takeout and snuggling up with the kiddies it will be.

I went shopping this a.m. before heading into the shop to get my holiday store decorations. I was very pleased with what I got at very reasonable prices! The store is going to look beautiful...at least I hope so. How it looks in my mind on how I want to set it up will hopefully come to fruition on Sunday morning. Later that day, we will be transforming our house to the Christmas mood as well, by setting up the tree. It's one of my most favorite days of the year. Pumpkin donuts, hot cocoa, cookies, holiday music and lots of ornaments. Truly - does it get much better than that?

The only thing about this year that I'm sorry I've missed is the Midnight Wretham run. However, I've already decided that I'm not going to work the day after Thanksgiving next year so that I can be sure to enjoy my dinner, and then head on down for a night filled of happy, happy shopping!

I don't know about any of you - but this girl is happy, thankful and tired.
Have a fabulous, frivolous, black Friday -- and may you be graced with spectacular sales!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charlie Brown: We've got ANOTHER holiday to worry about. It seems Thanksgiving Day is upon us.

(Poor Charlie Brown. Always feeling on the downside of up...)

I'm thankful that I'm not cooking on Thanksgiving. Though truthfully, I enjoy cooking so much that despite the fact that I'm going to be working morning, noon and night tomorrow -- part of me still wishes I was making dinner.

That being said, I don't know that I'll get to post prior to the big day; so I'm presenting my list of what I'm thankful for at the present. Outside of the first one -- they're in no particular order of meaning.

1. Always thankful for the health of my family and friends. That above all means more than anything else.
2. For the fact that despite this economy, business is doing well. Opening a new business is always such a gamble, and so I'm thankful that we're able to pay the bills. Leaving my job was a big decision, and I'm very pleased that right now anyway -- it was a risk worth taking.
3. My children are constant souces of inspiration - and frustration. I mean that in the best possible way, because I'm thankful that they challenge me. In some ways, it allows me to think out of the box in my parenting, and enables me to continually try to be a better parent. While it may be a dictatorship in my house, I've learned that there is more than one way to skin (insert you favorite hunting creature HERE.) And for that, I'm very, very thankful.
4. I'm thankful that my mother's health seems to be settled down. That one's sort of separate from the first one. It wasn't a good year.
5. I've got a fantastic support system of friends. For that, I'm beyond thankful.
6. I'm thankful for my husband and children. So many people go through this life alone; and that's okay - sometimes that's out of a person's control; but I'm thankful that I have a family to enjoy life with.
7. I'm thankful that Jason Varitek will once again wear a Red Sox uniform. (C'mon...you know I had to squeeze a Jason reference in somewhere!!)

I hope that however you celebrate Thanksgiving - and with whomever - your day is filled with laughter, friendship and love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just some random thoughts.....

Do the incredibly cheesey Mohegan Sun commercials drive anyone else crazy?
They almost make my skin crawl.
They're that bad.

Why is it when you are genetically smaller and/or thinner than some people - they automatically assume that you have an eating disorder? I find that just bizarre.

Why are little people so loud?
Really, really, really loud?

Why are some people never happy and or satisfied? You can never do enough, do it right, or even satisfactorily enough for them to not criticize. Seriously, who can be that self righteous and perfect? No one I know, that's for sure.

Why I ever thought that having children of two different genders would prevent fighting is beyond me. Cats and dogs -- my kids give it a whole new meaning.

Everyone has their hand out. It amazes me at how many people expect things for free.
I never question a price on anything - if you tell me the price, I determine whether I want to purchase it or not. Not everyone feels the same way.....clearly. It's very interesting to me.

A positive attitude attracts people, while a negative attitude repels them. So, can a positive person help change a person who's negative become more positive? Or is it inherent, is it learned... is it habit?

These are the thoughts rambling around today....
What are you thinking about?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mmmm, mmmm, good.....

I'm pretty darn tired.
It was a busy day today stocking the store - but then I flew home to shower before jetting out for a private wine tasting at a person's home tonight. I love doing those, they're so much fun - and I love, love, love to get people excited about drinking wine. This one was no different and lived up to my expectations. Lots of laughs, it was a great crowd.

But I'm sitting here now relaxing with a glass of Pinotage, eating the most delicious bread (one that I'm now going to be carrying at the store....I came home to a huge bag filled with delicious varieties sampled for me. Being in the food business isn't so terrible, let me tell you....!), olive oil that I seasoned myself, some fabulous Shelburne Farms 2 yr aged cheddar and a big ol' bowl of deliciously seasoned Kalamatta olives.

I don't think it gets much better than this....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Silent night...holy night.

So, my friends at Seattle Grace are celebrating their Christmas dinner tonight.
What happened to Thanksgiving??
They skipped right over it.

Does this mean that they're already going on holiday hiatus?
Say it isn't so!

This season has surely made up for last season which was.....less than what I had anticipated.
But this season?
Both story lines -- and musical selections -- rock.

But still I wonder.....what happened to Thanksgiving?!?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two thumbs up and 5 stars.....

Let me preface this review by stating that I am not, in the slightest -- a Jim Carrey fan.
I am, however - a huge fan of Gary Oldman, and Robert Zemeckis.

"A Christmas Carol" is by far, the most artistically spectacular movie I've ever seen. The animation is second to none; similar to the "Polar Express" - the technology used in this film was so far beyond where "Polar Express" left off -- it's mindblowing. There are some moments that even in extreme closeups you question whether it's actors or animation that you're looking at.

The adaptation is pretty true to the Dickens story; there's some embellishment of sorts but for the most part it's almost the way I remember the book. Lets face it, England in the 1840s is rather dark and Dickens isn't the shiniest and happiest of authors -- but the magic of Zemeckis brings you right there and for a few moments in time you forget that you're in a theatre, and it's the new millenium.

My only real critique is that there's little interaction between Scrooge and Crotchet; I seem to remember a bit more detail into their relationship so that the connection to he and Little Tim made more sense than it did in the movie. I found that I needed to explain why he was so interested in that family, because to younger children who haven't read the classic yet - there was no true obvious tie between the two people; so I felt that the one glimpse we had of them working together was really outlined as an obvious assumption to those of us who grew up with the story all of these years.

Definitely not a movie for those under 8; Princess Petunia is no shrinking violet and at 5 1/2 - she was definitely startled and scared at times. She stuck it out, but as I said - Dickens isn't shiny and happy so even the prettiest of scenes are dark for little ones. That being said, this is absolutely a fabulous family movie -- and seriously, a great date night film.

We might even go see it again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What to do on a rainy Saturday.....

So, what to do on a rainy and lousy Saturday? Why not make a Gingerbread House?

Presenting the "I'm just a girl" kids and their 2009 creation of Chez Gingerbread:



Monday, November 16, 2009

That one got me.....right....(gasp)....here......

Okay, so last night's football game sucked.
There's no other way to say it.

The Colts didn't beat us, so much as we lost. And now that the day is over, and Bill Belichick has done his press circuit for the day - it's been talked to death. But I'm still going to give my two cents on it.

Personally, I thought going for it on the 4th with 2 yards was a good call -- to me, it seemed like the best choice to make the win. Of course, knowing the possibility of what not making the conversion as well (which unfortunately came to fruition) -- it still seemed like a viable option. Not only was the defense clearly exhausted but to gain two yards surely isn't the impossible. That being said -- had I realized they had no timeouts left, maybe I would've felt differently; I thought they had one left which obviously - they didn't. Additionally, I really thought that it was our fabulous (but in my opinion clearly irritated) quarterback who really insisted on going for it -- it seemed like he plead his case to Belichick who in the end said "ok".

That wasn't the only gaff of the game though -- I think there's far too much focus on that one play. It was just the icing on the cake -- but let's be honest -the main reason they lost the game was that one drive where the Colts scored in under a minute. You can't go soft on any team with a lead, let alone the Colts and that is bigger than any judgement on whether to punt or not.

It's absolutely amazing how quickly people bash decisions. Had the call gone our way -- it would've been heralded as ballsy and brilliant. Yet it's so easy to be Monday morning quarterback.

Seriously, if that was anyone of you -- with only two yards to get first down -- and if you make it - the game is won, wouldn't you take that chance? Sometimes you have to take a gamble on yourself, and a coach took a gamble on his team.

And really now, who wouldn't gamble on the Patriots?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Survey....

It's been some time since I posted a survey on Saturday... so here we go!

1. If you could have named yourself, which name would you have chosen, and why?
Gina. No one messes with Gina.
But other than that, I always liked the name Catherine.

2. If you could relive a year in your life, what age would it be, and why?
I don't know truthfully. They were all great years, with good and bad things alike. I can't answer that one, I can't pick just one.

3. If you could go back and change one friendship in your past, who would it have been, and why?
Now this is a good question. There are a few friendships I'd have liked to have done without.... but the one I'd have changed, probably would've been the one that was the most important to me growing up. It wouldn't have been a change of the friendship per se, but a change of my reaction to the changes that occured in the friendship. I'd have not be so quick to cut every one off and distance myself (Clearly, my feelings had been hurt. Typical defense mechanism, right?) and I'd have been more laid back about it realizing that it wouldn't have stayed that way forever. But, I was young - and these are life lessons we don't always have until we mature, and learn grace.

4. If you could have dated one person in your past that you did not date, who would it be, and why?
Hmmm. I don't know actually. I mean in school, there were boys that I wished liked me - but they didn't. I don't regret not dating them though. (Wait, does Jason Varitek count???)

6. If you had the opportunity to live in another country, which one would it be, and why? If you choose NOT to live in another country, why do you want to stay in your current country?
I would never live in any country other than ours. Never. It does not require an explanation.
I would however, consider dual residency with the following: Italy, France, Grand Cayman Islands.

7. If you could choose your dream job, what would it be, and why?
My dream job has changed so many times over the years. I'd say while I never really knew that it would be this particular field -- running my own store is pretty darn close.

8. If you could wish a wish and it be guaranteed to come true (other than riches) what would it be, and why?
Ah, but if I tell you my wish -- it won't come true......

9. If you could meet two blogger friends (you may choose more, if you wish) who would they be?
Nichole, Suldog, Dawn, Sarah.... and sure, I'd love to meet everyone - that goes without saying.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stewie (at airport): I require a window seat and an inflight Happy Meal, and no pickles! God help you if I find pickles!

Does anyone do their job any more?
Anyone?
Ever...?

Get this, and please - someone correct me if my expectations were too high.

I ordered my labels for the store, on October 8th.
A simple order; 1 gold label squared, 1 gold label oval, 1 clear label oval.
All black ink.

I was told they'd be ready and in my store the day after I opened -- the 20th.
So, on the 24th when I hadn't received them I called the company and they said that I had been misinformed, and that they would be at my location until the 28th of October.

So, on the 28th when they didn't arrive - I called. Just to find out that they claimed they were awaiting a proof approval from me via email. Yet, I never recieved a proof. Oh yes, I asked for one - but when I didn't receive it, I didn't think much of it and truthfully I had far too much on my plate to open so I didn't think about the proof. I bring up that little fact to the rep from the company and he says "oh, I see they emailed it to...." and the email he says -- is wrong. Mmmyeah, that could be an issue. So, I said give them the correct email and have them send it ASAP. Which they did......

To my surprise (why was I surprised? I'm wondering this now....) I receive a proof of three labels that are of my other store in Boston -- not the new store. All the info is wrong, there's artwork on it -- I just wanted plain, black text. So, I write them back and tell them unfortunately the proofs are all wrong and that I hope they have my order. So, I call customer service who reiterates the order I want over the phone -- and then proceeds to tell me that it's not THAT art department who would do my labels - it's the OTHER one (like I know the difference? I'm the customer, what do I know..?!?!) and then he apologizes and sends my order to the OTHER department. I receive the proof via email and they look terrible - so my being the background of designer - I relaid out the label and sent it back. I approved the proof, and asked for when they could be sent.

No reply.
I call Customer service, and express my interest in overnight delivery at their expense because this is just ridiculous - and they agree and say they'll get back to me.

They never get back to me.
Funny thing is, I receive yet ANOTHER proof the following day for me to approve. Of course I respond and say I already approved the day before, what am I receiving this for? So I get an email back saying it was an error, not to worry.

Except.... I never heard back about the express shipping. So, I call customer service on Monday to ask about it, and I get told that the labels were expected to ship on the 19th of November. You can imagine my response.... (You've GOT to be kidding me?!!?!?!)

Needless to say, I got my labels today. Oh yes, I got them.
But......
They're wrong.

Wrong color ink. Wrong spacing on one of them. And one that should be clear, is gold.

Seriously?!??!!
Was I setting the bar that high?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You know what I'm really in the mood for right now?

(A phone call from Jason Varitek celebrating the fact that he's staying in Boston? Yes, that too...but that wasn't where I was going with this post, truth be told. I knew he was staying -- there was no doubt in my mind, but that's a story for another day....)

Oreos.
That's one of the great things about being sick....when the fever breaks, I am hungry.
And typically, I'll eat things I wouldn't normally indulge in.

Like Oreos.

Interestingly enough....I think we might actually have some in the cookie jar!
See, when I go food shopping - I barely buy junk, like Oreos. Not that they're the worst thing in the world, but I just don't typically buy cookies and sweets. But when G goes -- we're stocked with not only cookies -- but Doritos which, we all know is Crack for this girl.

In my Snugglie no less. Can I just tell you? This is like one of the greatest creations ever. You can even use a hair clip to close it so when you wrap it around you, you're completely ensconsced in a blanket.

Love it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scratchy, Raspy, Rough and Sassy....

That would be my voice.
I totally have that laryngitis but now it's really deep and fading in and out - sort of like when you have a really bad chest cold.

Which, I do believe I have now.
That "laryngitis but I have no other symptoms" has evolved into a definite chest cold, complete with fever. Nothing a little Tylenol, Motrin and some good soup and tea can't fix, right?

I almost think that to a certain extent, at some level - because the store is doing well enough that for most shifts, outside of my calling to see if they're busy -- I don't necessarily need to check on them quite so much. Which is such a relief; so subconsciously I think I may have let my guard down and relaxed so that I actually can get sick. You know, the whole "mind over matter" for the past three weeks of my running on excitement and nervous energy, always keeping in the back of my mind that I have to be there, have to be always available. (of course, sampling 15 different wines yesterday, maybe not eating enough over the last three weeks because I'm too busy, staying up a little too late this past weekend... hmmmmkay, maybe that had a little something to do with it.)

Of course, with everything under the sun going around -- it's no shock I've caught some semblence of germ/bug/flu. But it's not going to keep me down.

Not going to keep me down.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Whistle while you work....

Can I just tell you -- even when I know I have a long day ahead of me (though, I just found out that tomorrow is not nearly the day I envisioned it to be...) I don't mind.

Customer service is something I love..... and to have the immediate gratification of seeing people's faces light up when they walk in the door, is invalueable. To be able to give advice and suggestions - and have people come back and say they loved what I suggested -- is beyond exciting.

And they physical labor of it isn't so terrible either; it's like going to the gym without actually having the time to do so. Is the result the same? No, of couse not - but it sure beats sitting down all day.

I have job satisfaction now.
And I love that.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

And the stalkerazzi photos are in.....





Well, some of them anyway! (That's me with my hair up, not to be confused with the oh-so glamorous B in front of me! She's a rock star. I, am not... )




That's us with the cast after the show.
Definitely a great night!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Baby cried the day they took the big top....down.

I am exhausted today.
Completely wiped out.

Partly because I had a really great but busy week; and partly because I was up way past my bedtime going out with my girlfriends last night. It was a much needed and long overdue time out, and when I tell you there were tons of laughs - it was really good medicine. (Note to self: How do you know when you're getting old? When coming home at 11:30 is "way past your bedtime" and you're "exhausted" the next morning.)

We went and saw a show called "Girls Night Out". It was sort of like an ongoing Saturday night skit but with everyone in the audience singing and dancing along to all girl anthems like "I Will Survive", "It's Raining Men"....and of course, my favorite -- the epitome of any thirty somethings childhood, singing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush to the classic Melissa Manchester song, "Don't Cry Out Loud". (Yes, I think I totally cracked my girlfriends up with that one...) Seriously, I think we all could audition for this show and do our own version of it - it just looked like a blast! Except of course -- they all can sing incredibly. I can't answer for anyone else but me, and truly - I don't think anyone wants to hear me sing anyplace outside of karaoke with the most minimal of expectations!

I've had this laryngitis thing going on for about 3 weeks now -- well, after last night, I really have no voice. (Of course in my head, I've got this totally hot Demi Moore thing going on so I'm embracing the raspiness. Though I'm sure it's really not quite that fabulous sounding.....)

Pictures will follow shortly....the stalkerazzi was there in full swing. (Code for lots of picture taking by the some of the girls -- even shots of us with the cast.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It takes 32 muscles to frown, and 27 muscles to smile....

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching? ~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. ~Oscar Wilde

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. ~Ancient Persian Saying

If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~Cavett Robert

Don't henpeck everyone all the time. Not everyone may be as good at what you do, but you may not be as good at what everyone else does either. Life is a balance and patience, tolerance and understanding are the keys to a successful life. -- Rebecca, I'm just a Girl

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I hate to be a cat, but.....

(No offense to some of my favorite furry felines...)

Listen, I love my girl Mariah Carey. She's one of the most phenomenally talented singers of our era. And I know that she's not the brightest bulb in the box, or at least doesn't put any effort into trying to appear relatively intelligent (not judging, if that's who she is - cool beans.), and I also know that she doesn't really need to work at keeping a fabulous image because, well....she can sing like nobody's business, so the truth of the matter is - she can do whatever she wants because she is tried, true and the real deal in the music industry. A diva, with staying power and the pipes to back it up.

But.

Did anyone happen to catch her on the Jay Leno show last night?
?!?!?!?!?

She looked terrible. I kind of always suspected she had her breasts enlarged but my God, she looked bigger than Pam Anderson at her biggest! And she was in this skin tight dress that looked like she was stuffed into it, and the word sausage - would be a compliment. Even more surprising -- I think she got her nose done! Which I would think as a singer, that would be a surgery one might opt not to do. Just sayin'...

Anyway, I wanted to rush through the television and give her a sweater and say "honey, you don't need to look like this.... you're amazing no matter what!" She just looks like she's oozing insecurity, on a physical level. Of course, I'm sure it's the total opposite and she's just enjoying herself - but it's not a good look.

It's just not workin' for you Mimi.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or treat... give me something good to eat!

So, I think one of the things I love about trick or treating with the kids - is that they don't like to do it for very long. After about a half hour, they would rather go back to my aunts house, and pass out the candy to other kids. I love hearing my son greet them, and then compliment them on their costumes! And my daughter who's too shy to really hand it out, hangs behind him and echos his words. Really, it's too cute.


Of course, they are really great about sacrificing all their Peanut Butter cups for Mom. It's too funny, if they have one - they give it to me - then I tell them no, they should keep it but they insist. How can I break their hearts and turn them down? Far be it for me to do that! So, I ingest a few, four, five -- okay, maybe six of them. Good stuff.


Here I present to you the "I'm just a girl" kids, Halloween style. We have the handsome Heavyweight Champion of the World; and the prettiest little Rainy Day Duck I've ever seen. (If I do say so myself... though I might be just a teensy bit biased.)





Happy Halloween!






Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday's final thoughts....

*She sighs as she rests her tired toesies on the sofa*

Yes. I wore heels again today. I know, I know....I'm a glutton for punishment.

So it's Friday, and it's Halloween weekend -- and I've got a swirl of thoughts going around in my head and I figure I might as well set them free. Let's get started, shall we...?

1. Who doesn't love Halloween? Seriously. It's so much fun, even if you don't get dressed up it's a blast watching all the kids in their creative costumes. Today at the store - I blew threw 1800 pieces of candy to all the kids who came in to trick or treat at the local businesses and I was blown away by the creativity of some costumes. Loved them.

2. My daughter's costume however - is the most creative of all. I've come to realize just how artistic my little Princess Petunia is these days. Both of my kids are very imaginative and creative - both very artistic -- but she can make something out of nothing. She'll take a juice box that's empty and poke pencils in it, hang things from it - and come up with a brand new creation. So this year, she came up with her own costume idea: A rainy day. (I'd prefer sunshower, but she ixnayed Mommy's idea...). It's her favorite yellow rain slicker with a duck head for a hood, her yellow umbrella with light blue strands of plastic hanging from it to look like rain -- and slickers. Seriously, how cute and out of the box?!?! Love her...

3. Two weeks into the store and it's abundantly clear that staff needs to be rotated. Some, while maybe wine savvy just aren't cut out for retail. At least not fast paced retail.... and if anyone knows G, then they know he's a bull in a china shop on speed. He's got NO patience for anyone not working at his level, and while I'm high speed low drag myself, I've got a little more patience in that arena than he does. So, I've got to rework the scheduling a bit to see how we can't get more snazziness on weekends than we do at the moment. Love everyone there, but the speed isn't quite there... Ahhh, but such is the life in retail.

4. I'm convinced I won't be able to recharge any time soon. Running, yoga, massages, retail therapy...any or all of the above are more than likely a vision in the not so near future. But that's okay, after the holidays it will be appreciated and valued that much more because I'll really, really, really enjoy it....

Really.... !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I never thought I'd utter these words....

I just can't wear heels to work on a regular basis anymore.
?!!?!?!

It must be because I'm on hardwood floor all day long - but let me tell you - my toesies were killing me today! I've always worn heels -- always! And while it wasn't a huge delivery day today, I figured I'd break out my fun boots and not be dressed like I'm taking in deliveries, you know what I mean?

Big mistake. Huge!
(Little "Pretty Woman" reference for you, btw. One of my fave scenes in the movie...)

They're still hurting me.
I think I may have to change to Madden Girl boots -- if I can find a pretty pair that isn't too clunky looking. His heels, no matter how high - are the most comfortable shoes ever. And I'm sorry, but this girl can not give up the heels.

Refuses to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Postscript to "overheard at the checkout counter..."

So, today I discovered my thoughts regarding the checkout dilemma were shared on one of my very favorite blogs to read - Universal Hub. (Great site, if you love to read whats going on in Boston from different bloggers perspectives - as well as news items, check it out if you don't already!)

I don't typically respond when a person comments - but this one sort of irked me a bit.
The commenter went as follows:

"More to the point...
By anon (not verified) Tue, 10/27/2009 - 1:16pm
...why is this blog even here? I thought Universal Hub was about important/amusing things that happen in and around the city, not the inane, outdated rantings of a bridge-and-tunnel Mom. I mean, really, worried about what junior's going to think when he sees Cosmo in the checkout line?

Unless... unless Adam's making a sly comment about the overall inanity of the burbs. That's it, isn't it? We're onto you."

(Well, Anon - aren't you the witty one. Not even using your name? Seriously now.)

Like I said, I don't typically let posts that are critical bother me. But, this one got under my skin. Maybe it's the Mother Hen in me protecting my young? (Or is it the pitbull in me that's covered in lipstick? Pick your analogy, I'm not fussy.)

Hence my response:
More to the point -- and for the record
By Rebecca (not verified) Tue, 10/27/2009 - 6:12pm
Just to clarify - I couldn't be any further from being a 'burban "bridge & tunnel mom". I'm an entreprenuer, multiple business owning city girl, owning two liquor stores (Not exactly a prudish business....) in both Boston proper AND a city North of Boston.

That being said, I'm not concerned about "junior seeing Cosmo" but was more expressing curiousity about why Cosmo is mixed in with Martha Stewart and Cooking mags in the checkout aisle, unlike other magazines that are grouped together. It's not about him seeing the magazine per se, it's more about my having to explain to him at an age far too young for me to have to explain about pleasuring a partner 12 ways to Tuesday in the bedroom.

Let's be honest -- a beautiful woman half naked on a cover with the words SEX in bold letters is far more appealing to young eyes than anything the Star, Enquirer or World could ever put on the cover. Is it damaging to the kids? No, of course not. But as a parent it's difficult to discuss such a big subject to such a tender age.

Clearly, you aren't a parent. Burb or otherwise....."


Hmmmph. Take that.

(she says flipping her non-suburban city chick hair while sipping a glass of wine.)





Saturday, October 24, 2009

Overheard at the checkout counter....

So, as promised - the following is the story that really made me think about how supermarkets need to remerchandise their magazines.

My son and daughter were with me at the market while I was shopping - and as I'm loading up the register area (you know, that scrolling black thing that pushes your food up to the scanner -- what's that called??) my son says to me "Mom, look at this..." in that "I see something I know I'm not supposed to see" kind of way.

So me, being very blase about it all says: "Oh, right - Cosmo - that's a woman's fashion magazine. You know, perfume ads - clothing ads, advice on what "not" to wear".
T: Fashion, huh? No it's not...it's about sex.
Me: No, of course not! It's a Fashion magazine, truly...
T: Um, okay so then why is there an article about "12 ways to please your man"?
Me: Well, grown men like their women in pretty dresses! (feeling pretty proud of the quick response, might I add - but knowing he's so not buying it.)
T: Okay, well what about "the sexy (stressing the word "sexy" ) ass workout?
Me: Don't say that word!! (*thinking of a good answer...coming up with nothing....* )
T: Why does a person's butt (again, stressing butt) have to be sexy?!? That's disgusting! See, I told you it's about S-E-X.
Me: (Thankful that he loves pretty girls but still loving that he thinks that they're kind of disgusting at the same time --and at the same time defeated because he won. It's clearly about sex.) "Honey, honestly - that magazine shouldn't be here - I think someone filed it incorrectly -- it's about fashion, but there's dating advice too, you know? Just let it go, it's a grown up magazine..."

Seriously though -- why Cosmo is at the counter for impressionable 8 year olds to read -- is beyond me.

Anyone have any insight into this? Anyone....?

Cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudel, Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles...

Key Lime Tea Cookies. "To Die For" dips - any variety. A very good and emollient hand cream, just lightly scented. Really good chinese food, like the kind I grew up on. Cinnamon Toast scented candles. A fabulously delicious Zinfandel, say "Sin Zin". The feeling of my floors when they've just been washed. The smell of my daughter's hair after a day outdoors. Seeing, touching, feeling when I shop. A perfectly made Spicy Tuna roll. Feeling proud and accomplished. Anything pumpkin. A dinner made by anyone else but me - for me. Watching home videos of my children. Spending time with my friends who are working with me. Missing yoga and running, but knowing I'll get back to it. A strong, deep tissue massage. Living life, laughing and loving every moment of it -- the good, the bad and everything in between.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fridays Final Thoughts...

1. I've been so involved in business -- I've not been able to watch any sports! Well, I saw part of the Pats game, but seriously - since the Sox loss, I've yet to watch tv or listen to sports radio. Thank goodness for my Twitteratzi friends, otherwise I'd never know what was going on!! But even with them, I know what's going on in current sporting news -- not so much the baseball back office kind of "stuff". (Code for: what's the skinny on the Captain for next year?)

2. Tonight was our first Friday night - with minimal advertising. I have one word: wow. I don't know if it's because it's new - if it's because this was previously a dry town, or if this is going to be the norm, but we're doing numbers that resemble our Boston store. Insane.....

3. Did I mention we've got a ribbon cutting ceremony? Yup. Tuesday, we will have a photo op that will forever be chronicled within the history of the community. I am finding it hard to believe that me -- a girl from the ghetto on the North Shore (if you know me in real life - you know where we're from and totally get the joke! Not truly a ghetto, but still...) and a boy from the "Ville are responsible for this. See what a little ambition and elbow grease can get you...?

4. Busy weekend as always on the agenda - but wow, this is a different kind of busy. Tonight, the kids and I had a Taco Dinner night with my aunt; tomorrow, the kids and I will hang out - and then they have a play date with their cousins while I work for a few hours; then tomorrow night hopefully we'll just snuggle with a movie. Sunday, we have a birthday party for our Grandmother - and hopefully G and I will switch off watching the shop with the staff that day. Truly, Sunday staff is seasoned and capable with retail so I think they'll be okay. But we'll see....

It's been an interesting whirlwind of a week. Once we can get a decent amount of staff on per shift for end of the week - I think life will once again have a semblence of normalcy.

I think.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pretty things....pretty things...everyone loves pretty things....

You know what this girl needs?
A good Sephora visit.
My long, lost happy place.

Actually - the downtown community where I opened the store -- really could benefit from a cute little cosmetic and perfume boutique, ala Beauty Mark. That would make a fortune....

If I was to open a second business, unrelated to what I already do -- that is what I'd do.
How fun would that be?

I'd call it Pretty Things.
(Who doesn't love pretty things?)

This girl is always full of ideas.
One just never knows....

Monday, October 19, 2009

If a picture paints a thousand words....

Be the master of your own destiny. If you do your research, and take risks that are calculated - anything is possible.



Opening day....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Who needs a little sprucing up? And other random thoughts for Friday....

This girl does.

I've so neglected myself. Before our opening in the next few days, I must get a haircut and my nails freshened up so that I don't look like a homeless woman when we open. Pretty haggard I'm looking. Pretty, pretty, pretty haggard. (A little humor for all you "curb your enthusiasm" fans. How great is this season thus far?! Seriously - love that show. But I digress...) Truly, I'm mortified when I see anyone I know out and about these days. I'm so emotionally spent, I may make a total rash decision and cut major length of my hair. Maybe....


So the store is on its way to being completed. I'm a little overwhelmed, I have to admit.


My artisan cheese won't be approved for selling until next week, and truthfully - I'm okay with that. I think that's a huge undertaking and truly I need to ease into it. It might be disappointing for some, but honestly -- I'm so good with it.

Here's a little question for you... why do supermarkets have Cosmopolitan at the checkout counter where 8 year old boys who are bored with shopping with their mothers can read it? Oh, I promise, that conversation is going to be a post very, very soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Every day is another day to have a good day....

And unfortunately, while the day before yesterday -- or yesterday -- wasn't one of them -- today is a far better day.

I got some of my Italian specialty items and cured meats and panini rolls -- my pastas and such. As well as the fun cheese mixes, and spreads/salsas and other fabulous goods. What was even better than that - was the reaction I got from two people today when I loaded the frozen pasta. I have pumpkin ravioli which they both expressed that a local specialty shop sells for more than double mine. Love to hear that kind of thing.

Friday, the cheese is coming!! I'm beside myself over that. And of course, the fresh olives and stuffed cherry peppers that I can't wait to display. How to keep myself from snacking all the time is the issue....

Displaying everything is going to be the most challenging aspect - and the most argued thus far -- but it will all come together beautifully. I'm sure of it. My mother in law is an amazingly talented designer and so for her to stage the store with me and some of the people who are helping out and retail oriented -- is really going to be fun.

But in the meantime, onwards and upwards and hopefully in very short order - this stressful time will be behind me. It didn't have to be so stressful, and I wish it wasn't....but hey - it is, what it is.

Time to move on.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brought to you today by the letters "F" and "U".

What is:

Stressed, stressed and more stressed.
Angry. Frustrated. Disappointed. Saddened and unfortunately, not surprised.

Drama. Chaos. Tension.
Irritating, irritated, irritable.

Unnecessary.
**************
What should be:

Stress, stressed and more stressed.
Teamwork. Communication. Respect. Dignified conversation.
No drama. No Chaos. No Tension.

Grown up.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me....

I am so digging Lady Gaga.
Fabulously artistic, she makes Madonna look like she tried too hard all of these years.

Interestingly enough, she's adorable. At first glance, she's rather Amy Winehouse-ish looking but the truth of the matter is, she's actually quite adorable. When she doesn't have overly dramatic makeup or crazy wigs (or just one or the other), she's really pretty. But I think what I like even more about her is the fact that she doesn't try to let her appearances matter (okay, she does flaunt her body which is fabulous, so maybe she does just a little....) but it's not in that superficial Britney Spears kind of way. It's more in that "I am an artiste" manner, and daring to live outside the box.



I have such respect for talent.
Is she the greatest singer in the world? No, not at all.
But she's different, she's unique -- and while I don't love all of her songs, I do really like her style.

Rock on sistah.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Holy Smokinoli...

It's already Thursday.
Wow.

Okay, let's see -- it's going to have to be a random thought kinda day.

1. I am psyched for the Sox game.... though truthfully, I don't know how much of it I'll actually get to see tonight; I may have to DVR and play catch-up tomorrow (or catch-er... kidding. The little Jason reference sounded funnier in my head. Clearly.... ) because God knows I'm not going to have time to listen to sports radio or watch NESN tomorrow.

2. Speaking of tomorrow.... it's a 10 year benchmark for me and the Mr. It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're having fun. Kids, houses, businesses.... can't imagine what the next 10 will bring! Hopefully just lots of health and happiness. We have nothing planned - with the store opening, there's really nothing we can do since we're so busy getting it ready. Tomorrow night (if I can get a sitter and truthfully, it's not looking very promising!) is going to be just he and I in the store, stocking. Maybe a glass of champagne while we're at it. Actually, that's not such a terrible way to spend it -- this store is after all, part of our life's venture.

3. I am absolutely loving the buildup and excitement towards our opening; I am however, hating the effect that touching all this cardboard is having on my hands. Must. Get. Gloves.

4. Have I mentioned how much I'm out of everything? Lotions, perfumes and the like. I am so out of touch with my hair as well. I have to make an appointment for a good cut and subtle highlight before the store opens. I really, really, really need a pick me up.

Really!!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We have so much time, and so little to do - strike that! Reverse it.

Okay, so I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.
It's a good thing, but still.... of the 8 components that run this business, I'm responsible for 6 of them. Eventually, it may be all 8 - but for now, even the 6 is enough enough to make anyone's head spin.

I very rarely dream, and even more rarer is it for me to remember them; but while I don't remember my dream per se from last night, I know my teeth were cracking and falling out. (eewww.) According to the dream dictionaries it basically means that it can be representational of subconscience feelings of insecurity about undertakings.

I think if there wasn't such anticipation regarding our opening, it wouldn't matter so much -- but to be the first real wine shop in a previously dry community -- there's definitely anticipation and expectations. I'm sure we'll meet them, it's really just feeling that our processes are ironed out that hangs over my head.

Speaking of expectations... please tell me that wasn't the Captain's last regular season game in uniform this past weekend?!?! I haven't been able to keep up on my sporting news with all of this, but I did see him tip his cap and he received a standing ovation which truly, got me a little faklempt thinking this was it. Say it isn't so!!!

Actually, we were offered playoff tickets right on the first baseline for this weekend and I'm so disappointed we aren't able to take them. We were supposed to have been at Foxboro for this past Sunday's game actually - but as a result of the timing of the opening... no such anniversary soiree is happening. That's okay... it's a small time in life to sacrifice.

So that's where my head is at today. We're potentially two weeks out from opening, and there's so much to do to get ready yet we are so close.

So close....

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sparse. sporadic.... Saturday

So, while I'm trying to stay diligent on my blogging - with the new store getting ready for opening, I must admit - it's going to be difficult. But I will try to not miss more than a day or so; partly because it's a therapeutic and fun thing for me -- and I don't have much fun these days (only temporarily, I know...) -- and partly because I really want to share the excitement and tribulations of opening the store.

We received our first wine shipment yesterday -- 80 cases. That's alot to receive in one day. But, that was the largest and they'll get smaller each time until we're full - which is great. I placed my first food order yesterday, and this week I'll be pulling the trigger on the other ones I have lined up so that we can start getting the store merchandised - and most importantly, everything into the register properly. My last food shipment will be the fresh cheese and frozen products; they've got a different shelf life so it's important to do them last, and quite honestly - they're a breeze to merchandise.

I do want to share one tip with everyone -- and to no one's surprise, it's a cleaning tip. I bought some of those Mr Clean Magic Erasers; I'd seen them but figured - seriously, what can that do that I can't with a little Fantastic and a nice cloth? Let me tell you -- it's awesome. I went over my walls with it this morning and I was most definitely impressed at how it cleaned without ruining the finish, and with such little effort. When you have tan hallways and little hands in your house, you'd be amazed at how dirty the walls get -- and I was equally amazed at how easily it cleaned and almost made the paint look brighter! Love them - and if you haven't tried them yet yourself, I highly recommend that you do.

So that is my personal endorsement for this rainy and yet very comfortable Saturday afternoon. Our soccer game was cancelled (clearly!) and we have a birthday party to attend today, but it was a last minute invite and truly - this girl doesn't feel up to going to a party at the moment, but who knows - maybe that will change.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Life is but a dream....

I'm going to give a peek at the new store.

I'd been toying with doing a blog, and showing the progression - but I've been trying to keep an element of surprise to the whole effort.

The windows have been covered up - and will stay that way, until the weekend prior to opening.

You see, we're going to be the first liquor store to open in a previously dry community; there's another store that is going up as well - but they're 3 miles or so down the road from us and not anywhere near the center, so we are truly in the heart of it all. And so I'm hesitant to let too much of the cat out of the bag, however....

I can't resist since Nichole asked.




It's just a tease; the store's not finished -- and there's still much more to do, but at least the guts are in.

The next time I show photos -- it will be stunning.
Truly stunning.
And I will show before, during and after photos to really capture the progression.

(And Nichole, now you have to come in and visit us next time!)