Archive | March 2012

MARC ANTHONY, WILLY NELSON ‘N I WANNA KNOW: DOES UNCLE SAM SPEAK PRADA?

I confess I have never done my taxes…not as in didn’t file them which will have the IRS  knocking on my door in about 30 seconds ‘n moi perhaps learning how to knit with my cell mate a la Martha Stewart‘. Nope, in years past I chose to have ‘professionals’  figure out how to give Uncle Sam his fair share of my hard earned income.

And, when you think about it many famous folks like Marc AnthonyWillie Nelson; The Osbornes; and Ja Rule  Slide10.aspx have tried to decide what they think is fair and have not faired well. But, as one of my all time fave performers James Taylor reminds us “You can run, but you can not hide” : 

And, though he was talking about love, the IRS -damn them-eventually finds us whether we’re in New Jersey, Beverly Hills or sippin Pina Coladas on a beach in the tax-free Caymans.

Anyway, this year I’m doing most of the work since like 99.9% of us, I’m trying to cut back on my expenses.  So no more lawyer like accounting firm with 15 partners letting the meter run even when they’re boasting about THEIR kids. Yup this year it’s mostly me.  As a result, I now understand why so many accountants are bald as I’m pulling my hair out and rubbing my head simulaneously trying to  figure out where the hell my money went and how to organize all this s…t 🙂  

It’s truly a humbling experience and made me feel a bit like Rebecca Bloomwood from the best selling book and fun albeit silly movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic which I coincidentally watched last weekend.  The movie starred Isla fisher.  For those who’ve neither read nor seen it, the title pretty much says it all…’cept for girl meets very rich handsome boy whom is her boss, they fall in love, girl lies to him then joins Shoppers Anonoymous, and boy recounts cause afterall love conquers all particularly in the movies…The End.

Anyway, trivial as the movie was it did make me realize how we can easily let things get out of control with our finances…And, in her case with her credit cards which launched her path to becoming a shopoholic at the ripe ole age of 7…

Fast forward 20 years she takes a job at a place where she is asked to help other people save money by writing a financial column.  Clearly in over her head, she decides to relate buying investments to buying shoes…quite an analogy but one that works and her column becomes a huge success…as i said this was a silly albeit fun movie/book.  So as I have been working on my taxes all well and about to loose it, I decided to take to writing this blog hoping it will help me sort through all this stuff.  And, in the spirit of Rebecca’s debut column, I am going forth and approaching doing and organizing my taxes as I would do my closet:  One line item and one pair of shoes, pants and shopping bags at a time labeled: ‘Drop 10’ (as in pounds and bills); Discard (cut the excess) and Donate (an always tax deduction)!    So there I confess and hope Uncle Sam speaks Prada too!  Spread the glove! 

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LIFTIN’ N LIGHTIN’ UP WITH LONG LOST DEBBIE BOONE

There I was earlier today, lying in bed not having to rush off since it was Saturday and my son’s at his father’s for the weekend so no ‘mom’ what’s for breakfast nor business calls to make.  Nope ‘twas just my remote and me.  So after watching the news, which is always filled with uplifting stories NOT, I decided to surf the channels and find something to lift my spirits given my ‘free’ time.   And, who’d have thunk that I would stumble upon a cable show called Lifestyle Lift!  Seemed like just what the doctor ordered since I’ve been going through some challenging times lately, re-examining what I want to be when I grow up and where since this fall my son’s off to college and for the first time in my life I will be truly all by my lonesome.  Just ‘lil ole me to tend to 24/7 since sadly my parents passed away in the last few years as did my pooch…Yup, I’m gonna be an empty nester which actually is very exciting and given me a new lift on life.  In fact, I’m making a major lifestyle change:  this Momma bird is flying South and into a new nest once I sell my hacienda up yonder…that or I’ll be driving a taxi at nite to pay two mortgages.

Anyway, back to the scheduled paid program Lifestyle Lift…I thought it was going to share how to deal with life changing events like mine or things like a new baby, divorce, financial stuff etc. No sirree!  There on the screen was a pix of a woman that looked like those always flattering driver photos we take that make us either look like a convict or 20 years older.  And, to really create the mood, in the background was this familiar oldie but goodie song playing that I couldn’t quite remember.  That was until I saw the host whom looked faintly familiar and then her name below:  Debbie Boone!  I thought she had gone into Witness Protection.  And, now there was Debbie, front and center asking me “Do you want to turn back the hands of time” …Hell yes! She had me; so I raised the volume up a bit to listen as she talked about wrinkles, frown lines, chicken neck and all things in between.  Then there was that song again only this time she began belting it out live: “You Light Up My Life”. 

I felt like I had tuned into an evangelical meeting! And, to complete the scene, sitting next to Debbie smiling from ear to ear was the woman in the pix, with a halo like glow about her looking 20 years younger (of course).  I was sure any moment she was going to jump off the couch and embrace Debbie shouting, “I believe! I believe! Look at me! Look at Me!

I gotta admit the ‘believer’ looked amazing as did the other woman and men who had what they claim is a non-surgical, no anesthesia required, affordable procedure (does that mean they have an easy payment plan like the As Seen On TV stuff I buy plus shipping and handling of me J).  So I took down the number 1-877-512-6665 (btw not sure it’s toll free) and as soon as I lift myself outta bed I’m gonna call it (yes I’m still in bed writing this!) and will share what I learn…Hmm I wonder if when I’m put on hold they play “You Light Up My Life” or they’ve changed it to “You Lift Up My Life”… could be a comeback for Debbie whom by the way looks terrific…. wonder if she’s seen the ‘light’ and had it done too.  I’ll also let you know if they do butt or boob lifts LOL. Spread the glove!

“ME TARZAN, YOU JANE” MEET WE HOUSEWIVES :)

As the legendary  comediene Phyllis Diller once said, “Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?” Brilliant words indeed.  And, it’s how i approach the level of attention I give to it which in part led me  to embracing and admitting that i am an accidental housewife vs. Martha Stewart or Suzie Home-maker. I’m all about doing just enough to keep my son from starvation; my home looking terrif with minimal upkeep; health inspectors away and lest we not overlook: my sanity and manicure in tact.   That’s why whenever I discover something that also saves me time, money and the environment it’s a tri-fecta and I’m all over it…

Which leads to a new carpet that my buds at Carpet One Floor & Home sent me to try out.  It’s called Tigressa…love the name-somehow conjures up images of ‘me Tarzan you Jane’ lying on the carpet getting wild…or in their case lyin on a Leopard skin:

Okay well maybe that’s a stretch , must be my imagination going wild with a mild case of heat stroke courtesy of the record-breaking warm weather here in the NorthEast!  So forgive my di-gressa from Tigressa 🙂  

Lots of companies send me products to try out, and having worked with Carpet One a few years back and their commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness, I was happy to oblige when Terri Daniels, their head public relations guru, all around terrif person and fellow Dirty Martini lover reached out to me.  That, and two other reasons:

1. I am a humongous slob and notorious/repeat red wine spiller…another reason for my ‘accidental’ moniker!  And, why God created my favorite carpet cleaning service Stanley Steemer whom i now have on speed dial!

2. I am thinking of refinishing my basement and want to be sure I put in carpet that looks good, is soft on my feetsies, durable, affordable and mega stain resistant for my many ‘accidental’ spills…( a reason i am thinking of drinking only clear libations …long live my ‘Tini LOL!)

And, dare I say Tigressa is the besta:

  • Looks terrif-love it’s black since it doesn’t show most any dirt or stain!
  • Soft on my feet and comfy to lie on solo or …
  • Passed the Accidental Spill Test: Though i didn’t do this accidentally, I did spill my fave dirty tini on the rug and to my delight it pooled up making it a housewifely dream to blot and quickly clean up.   That also means moisture won’t get trapped below and possibly cause mold to grow–major sanity saving plus!  

    Look mom! No gloves required...Love that! Back to 'tini time!

  • And, just in case that glass of red leaves a  mark, Tigress comes with  a Lifetime Stain Warrantee (20 years) which means they’ll replace it gratis…love that!
  • Oh one more thing too–it’s eco-friendly!
So my friends, if you’re in the market to do some Spring Freshening of your floors that is also terrif if you’ve got messy kiddies (duh! is their any any other kind) and pets,  visit a Carpet One store (www.carpetone.com/tigressa), take your shoes off, spill some water (or wine if you have your sippy to go cup but don’t tell ’em i told you to!) and see all the 1000 colors and textures Tigressa’s avail in…Not to mention it’s on sale now….BTW, imagining yourself as Tarzan ‘n Jane will be your call…of the wild. Meow!  Spread the glove!

CELEBRATING ST. PADDY’S DAY ‘N YOUR FAVE BREWS MANY USES

Top of the morn ‘n Happy St. Paddy’s Day!  

Lucky's St. Paddy's Tip!

Another stellar day here in New Jersey for a parade, bike ride, finding a four leaf clover, and indulging in some corned beef ‘n cabbage, shepard’s pie, and/or beer of any shade! So in the spirit of the day, I wanted to share some unusual ‘n money-saving uses for that ole pint of brewsky should you not trade it as “Lucky’ has or have any left over tomorrow!

1. Brass Pot Cleaner- Use an old soft cloth and rub some onto the pot.  Let sit ‘no have a brewsky if you like then return, rinse and buff with another soft clean cloth.

2. Wood Furniture Polisher-Actually this is perfect for any flat beer you have left from celebrating. Dampen a microfiber cloth and gently rub some on your wood furnture to bring back the luster.

3. Gold Cleaner-If you were lucky enough to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or have some dull looking gold jewelry just put it in a bowl with enough beer to cover it.  Let sit for a bit, rinse then polish with a dry micro-fiber cloth. 

4. Red Wine Stain Remover: If red wine is your drink of choice and ye miss your mouth, first sop up as much as you can with some paper towels then dab with a light colored beer.  Steam clean when finito and then switch to white 🙂

5. Skin Softener: Rub a dub dub not as in have someone pour it over your head but in chilling and taking a real bath in your tub.  The yeast and other ingredients in beer are terrific for softening, exfoliating and cleansing your skin.

6. Hair Lightener  & Conditioner – Simply soak your hair in beer and lay in the sun to both lighten and condition…think of the money you’ll save vs going to your hairstylist!

7. Stuff the Bugs Us Trap-With springtime upon us and for those who love to garden just put some in an empty jar and ‘plant’ the jar leaving the open rims at ground level.  Slugs ‘n snails love the smell so they’ll ‘drop in’ for a cocktail 🙂  BTW also works to get trap mice who will simply get drunk and then you can set them free outside.  Roaches too, but you’ll have to put a thin coat of Vaseline around the rim so they so they can’t escape.

Spread the glove!

FROM NYC TO NO PLACE TO GO BUT MARS ‘N BETTER TV

Been a ‘better’ few days…so to speak…this week.  For one, i ppeared on BETTER TV with my bud and it’s co-host Audra Lowe.  

home–amp–garden2-home–amp–garden-cleaning-secrets

I always love ‘spreading my glove’ of housewifely wit ‘n wisdom  because of the folks on and off camera and particularly  Audra.  She and I bonded a few years back when she was having her first child and who is THE MOST adorable baby girl.  Audra is one of the real peeps in this world, she is incredibly genuine, always has a welcoming smile and put’s being a human being before anything else.  And, though we see each other half a dozen times a year, when we do it’s like seeing an old friend you’ve grown up with and  seems like no time has passed when we reconnect.  

The other ‘better’ part of the week was that my buds at MamaDramaNY once again invited me to see a quirky yet incredibly timely one man show called “NO PLACE TO GO” at the Public Theatre in NYC…It’s a clever and irreverant musical journey starring Ethan Lipton who is also the show’s creator, writer and chief bottle washer (kidding).  The show’s premise is that Ethan’s company is relocating from New York to Mars…yes Mars and Ethan really doesn’t want to go…can you blame him? But what I enjoyed most about it aside from the scruffy Woody Allen meets Dylan with a better voice Ethan and the amazing base, guitar and sax trio behind him, (forgive I know this is a run on sentence and my college English professor would kill me!) was how he balanced the woes of the economy, politics and personal angst in an entertaining and uplifting way with lines like “Anxiety is just excitement in disguise” to lyrics/songs like “Three Tear Plan” which literally is about his plan to ‘cry, weep, then go to sleep”….

to LOL songs like “Shit Storm Coming”.  

Both funny and philosophical, No Where to Go was tons ‘better’ and far more original then many shows I’ve seen on THE GREAT WHITE WAY so please make your way to this limited run production and support Public Theatre in NY at Joe’s Pub if you’re in town…Food and drinks were terrif there too! Spread the glove! 



I LOVE LUCY, ELLEN DEGENERES, ‘N JCP’S NEW ADS!

I am a huge fan of Ellen Degeneres and have been since her days right before, during and after her ‘coming out of her closet” TV show “ELLEN’ ran from 1994-1998.   She’s funny, bold, smart, sexy in her Ellen D kinda way and I love the joy she gets out of doing her second fave thing ‘dancing’!  

Unfortunately, as a working mom i don’t get to tune in to her current afternoon talk show unless my son or I am home sick, but I did catch her new spots for JC Penney which are a hoot!  They’re really clever and not your same ole retail store ads. For those who haven’t seen them they take Ellen back in time to Ancient Rome to return a toga, to Edwardian London to buy a hat a la My Fair Lady and my personal favorite is when she finds herself in a Lucille Ball like 50’s bedroom setting talking about having to get to store sale at 6 am.  

As much as I’m a huge Ellen fan, I am a huge Lucille Ball fan.  I love how she was always trying to find ways to improve her life while trying to balance home, family, marriage, friendships and a career …sound familiar!!   Thought clearly much funnier then I, I have often been compared to her particularly by my X for my ‘off the wall’ housewifely antics. . . hmm and which in retrospect might have been one of the nicest compliments I got from him 🙂  That said, my accidental housewifely antics and the pink with black ‘n white polka dot gloves I wear in particular are my way of paying homage to her. Any way, seeing Ellen’s spot reminded me of an I Love Lucy excerpt from my book “The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean Enough House” which I thought i’d share with you as we begin to think about spring cleaning or have a sloppy man or child (who doesn’t!) in your home:

In one episode called “Men are Messy”, Lucy decides to teach Ricky a lesson since she’s tired of him constantly messing up their living room.  

She starts by divindng their apratment into his messy half and her neater half. Then, she takes it a step further by turning their home inta a real pigsty.  What she doesn’t know is that Ricky was bringing home a photographer from LOOK magazine to do a feature about their home and them! Ricky and the photographer enter their home to discover clotheslines hanging in the living room, chickens flying around and garbage everywhere.  And, to top it off, Lucy and her best bud Ethel are dressed in flannel shirts and overalls preparing to  ‘hunt’ for a black bear in Lucy’s bedroom. The photographer took pictures of all this and the good news was, Lucy made it on LOOK’s cover.  The bad news was it showed a shot of Lucy with her bear!   I guess the moral of this story is ” Men are messy so you to bear with them”…LOL! 

By the way I think the next time travel spot JC Penney should have Ellen spoof  is the Doris Day classic “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” …

That’s fair and square” don’t you think??

Spread the glove!

GETTING INTO THE GROOVE WITH SPRING ALIVE AND ABBOTT ‘N COSTELLO

Last eve my best bud Marla, Franky, Doug and  I ventured into NYC to see an Off Off Off B’way musical called Spring Alive starring Spring Groove (I know quite a name!) which I learned about and saw thanks to Mamma Drama NY’s co-owners Erin Leigh Peck and Holly Fink.  

The show is a one act, one person terrific musical  of one Jewish woman’s journey/evolution from a typical NY gal to a rasta haired Yogi ….Or as the booklet described, its the ‘sing, pray, love’ version of  the wonderful book, “Eat, Pray, Love“.  Marla loved it and could relate totally as she’s a certified Yoga instructor.  I on the other hand am not a Yoga person and though I have dabbled in it my idea of doing The Sun Breath or Crouching Dog Position(forgive me if I’ve got the name of that pose wrong) is to crouch on my couch breathing in the bouquet of a fine wine..But i love theatre and particularly entertainment that elevates and inspires which is exactly what Spring did…along with an ensemble of dancers who brought another level of calm, grace and energy to the production.

o

Spring de joie...love those pants want a pair

But part of the fun of the eve was simply trying to find the theatre after eating at a hip enough restaurant called “Inoteca” located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not only was the food and wine terrific but Marla and I agreed that the lighting was perfect too:  as in low enough to make one look good no matter how tired or over 30 you are!

Anyway,  pleasantly stuffed and with a slight buzz on ’twas time to find the theatre…As you may be aware NYC is filled with theaters all over the place and peeps trying to make it here cause as  Liza Minnelli has sung time ‘n time again if “You make it here, you’ll make it anywhere.  It’s up to you .New York. New York”. And, while most of us are familiar with Broadway shows and some off broadway hits like “The Fantastics“, there are lots of hopeful gems like Spring Alive which are Off Off Off Broadway.  And, for we New Jerseyians who were off, off, off our beaten path, we couldn’t find  the theatre since it had a dual address: Dawson Place and 179 A Christie Street. So as time tick ticked and we walked up and down the street again and again, each of us taking turns asking ‘where’s dawson”, “who said it was on Christie” , I felt like we were somehow living a version of Abbott & Costello‘s famous baseball routine “who’s on first?”

Now, past 8:00 and curtain time, we decided  to call for help. Marla buzzed her son  Zach whom lives nearby and is, I might add, the coolest twenty something year ole, successful hard-working hipster living the NYC dream that I know and have known since he was five. Well, within seconds,  Zach quickly pointed us in the right direction which was  right across the street from where we were standing!!!

But we weren’t home free yet since being late we were directed to the back stage entrance.  As we went down the stairs, I began to get that ‘something’s not right here’ feeling, and did my own version of crouching dog laughing when I saw that the next door said “Stage Members Only”.   At this point, my wine buzz now a distant memory, we decided to throw caution to the wind and hope the door didn’t lead us to Spring on stage and our Off Off Off Broadway debut.  Well, the good news is it didn’t.  Nope it led us onto the balcony and we took our seats without disturbing anyone.  Within seconds we settled into the calm and got into the Groove with Spring. And, the rest as they say is Namasta…Spread the glove!