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CARLY RAE JEPSON PLEASE HAVE MY SON CALL ME MAYBE:)

Well, here I am almost 24 hours into my first official day as an empty nester and in addition to  Carly Rae Jepson’s hit single “Call Me Maybe” ringing through my head ad nauseum since   it was the official ‘move in the dorm’ song yesterday, I  found myself dealing with my new EN status by organizing my jewelry.  Twas that or imbibe mimosas to quell my pangs of this healthy moving forward period and the plethora (love that word just rolls off the tongue so nicely) of tears.  Cause yesterday we drove Luke to college to begin his freshman year.

We began our day packing (i.e. stuffing our car!)

How did we get all that in there!

  

Good thing i didn’t eat breakfast!!

 Then when we got there we went directly to the amazing golf facility to see his coach and look at his locker, golf bag, shoes etc. (and yes I’m a proud moma as he was recruited to play Div. One golf for his new home away from home)

 

all in the bag!

If the golf shoe fits . . . 🙂

Next we went to his dorm and met his roommate Nick who’s from the Chicago area and is a delightful and adorable young man whom personality wise may have been separated at birth 🙂

The Roomies!

Unpacked….Cleaned…Organized….Made his bed…(note “call your mother pillow!)

Thank god for those Sterilite rollin storage bins from Walmart!

Set up the rest of his room with Luke’s dad and Nick’s folks, Diane and Grant…

Dianne was brilliant wirin thru the ceilin…luke used his putter to help!

Made sure his ATM card worked, and once set with cash and his new life, we were given a not so subtle hint that it was time for us to as he tossed the pillow i gave him into the trash….and smiled that smile that always melts mom’s heart…

Trashin’ mom 😦

So the hugs, kisses, tears, I love yous followed by more hugs, kisses, tears  and I love yous and then our prodigal son said, ” Ok , mom you can go now, I love you but you’re starting to annoy me’….Ouch!!! Do you think our children say those kind of things to make our leaving easier…I wonder….NOT!

So off his father and I went quietly and tearfully into the sunset (actually it was pouring) to lament, have a few cocktails, and believe that all of us will be fine and individually live happily ever after.  THE END or rather THE BEGINNING!  

Which brings me back briefly to why i decided to organize my jewelry,  Actually  it’ was a great way to balance doing something tedious ‘n  simple with my inconsistent attempts of  bringing some Feng Shui into my day to day life.   But I’ll share how i did that in my next post…Meanwhile, time for a poor me, crying break.  And, Luke if you’re reading this, PLEEZE CALL ME MAYBE love u!!! xoxo

Spread the glove!

HALLOWEEN TIPS ‘N TREATS TO SATISFY ANY BOY’S OR GHOUL’S SWEET TOOTH

Halloween is a holiday packed with scary goblins, spook-tacular activities and lots of our child’s favorite treats (and ours too!).  And, half the fun of the day is the time spent going door to door seeing how many treats they can collect. The trick as parents is making sure that our children wait until they get home to go through and enjoy their bounty.  Allowing your children to enjoy their candy in moderation is ok and don’t get too concerned with the type of sugar in the candy (sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup) as experts agree i’ve learned from research and partnering with the Corn Refiner’s Association, that it’s all about balance and moderation as sugar is sugar and all sugars are nutritionally the same.

So here are a few tips and treats to help you balance the sweets they eat and satisfy their sweet tooth:

TIPS

  • Don’t send them out hungry
  • Satisfy their ‘sweet tooth’ pre trick or treating
  • Instruct them not to eat ANY items before they arrive home
  • Compromise ‘n remember you were a child once too and Halloween was a day  for eating a few more candies then usual J

TREATS

YUMMY MUMMY Makes 4

What You Need:

  • 1 8 oz. can of refrigerated crescent roll, seamless if available
  • Cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil to fit sheet
  • 4 slices of American or cheddar cheese
  • Plastic knife
  • 4 Pre-cooked sausages
  • 1 raw egg, scrambled or cooking spray
  • Mustard

How to Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Unroll dough on tin foil
  3. Use knife to cut 4 even sized squares
    1. If not seamless dough connect two crescents together to create four mummies
    2. Place cheese slices on dough before cutting ‘wrapping’ strips and cut at same time as ‘dough’.
  4. Place cheese slices on dough before cutting ‘wrapping’ SP from center
  5. Place ‘mummy’ i.e. sausage in center and wrap strip over strip
  6. Brush with egg or cooking spray
  7. Bake per dough package instructions or until brown:  approx. 10-12 minutes
  8. Use mustard to make the eyes and mouth

TRICK OR TEETH:

What You Need:

Pear or Apple cored and sliced in approx. 1/4 inch slices width-wise

How to Make Them:

  1. Cover the ‘jaw’ i.e. fruit slice with a thin layer of ‘gum glue’ i.e. peanut butter or Nutella
  2. Place the ‘teeth’ i.e. mini marshmallows around the edge of the ‘jaw’ (fruit)
  3. Open your mouth wide and enjoy!
  4. Optional:
    1. Make an upper ‘jaw with teeth’ and place on top
    2. Dye one or several of the teeth using food dye

i.     Red for blood

ii.     Black or blue for rotten

 SPOOK-TACULAR SPICED TEA-Makes a Quart

What you need

Gummie worms

Ice cup trays

2 cups water, boiled

2 caffeine free, apple cinnamon spice tea bags

8 ozs. Apple cider

8 ozs. Ginger ale

4 tsp. sugar

How to make it:

Put a gummy worm in each ice cube compartment and cover with water.  Freeze 2-3 hours.

  1. Dunk the tea bags in the hot water (which should be in the measuring cup) until it turns dark.  About three minutes, and, then, throw them out.
  2. When the tea has cooled, pour it into the pitcher.
  3. Add the apple cider, ginger ale, and sugar.  Stir with the wooden spoon.  Pour over ice, and get ready to enjoy a spook-tacularly spiced drink.

BLACK CAT CUPCAKE CONES Makes 12

What you need:

1 box (1l.25 oz) cake mix

12 flat bottom ice cream cones

12 cup muffin pan

1 16 oz can vanilla frosting

Black gel coloring

Decorative icing tubes in assorted colors

Assorted Candies:  red gum drops, twizzlers, Reeses Pieces, Red and Black shoe laces; Candy cones; M & M’s

How to Make Cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325
  2. Prepare batter per box instructions
  3. Fill each cup 3/4 way up with batter
  4. Stand cones straight in muffin pan
  5. Bake 25 mins on center rack…use toothpick to test doneness.. it should come out clean
  6. Cool for 10 min.

How to Make Cat’s Face:

  1. While cupcakes are baking make ‘black paint’ for face with frosting and adding black gel per instructions
  2. Spread on black paint with a plastic knife
  3. Suggestions on making CAT face:
  • Ears:  Candy cones
  • Eyes: White icing to draw slanted football shaped eyes and use colored M & M of choice for pupils
  • Nose:  Red round sugared gum drops
  • Whiskers:  Red shoe lace candy or icing color of choice
  • Mouth: Red icing or red twizzlers torn into 1 “ pieces.

 Goes purr-fect with big glass of milk! 

HI HO HI HO TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY GLOVES ‘N I GO!

They say one pix is worth a thousand words. Well I have many pix to share with you which will speak volumes for four words in particular:  Community, Empowerment,  Women and Humanity.  And, together these words speak volumes on how Women coming together form an amazing and Empowering Community that truly (and literally) makes a difference building better lives for all Humanity…What can I say :“WE WOMEN ROCK”.

Ok, so why am I so personally jazzed?  See last weekend I had the honor of spending two amazing days hosting events in NYC and NJ/Paterson for Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s Fifth Annual National Women Build Week.  It’s an initiative they’ve partnered on that takes place the week leading up to Mother’s Day.  The 411 is it challenges women to pick up a hammer and join fellow women at construction sites across the country to help build affordable homes alongside  the local family for whom the home is being built.  So here are some of my 1000 plus word pix-

PLEASE NOTE; Doug my trusty photographer aka Beau the Builder took many more pix which will be posted later in the week so if some of you terrif peeps who participated aren’t seen here you will be and deserve to be!

 Day One:  I was in Paterson ‘spreading the glove’ with hardhat, hammer and fellow jersey gals:

Just like a Chorus line!Go ladies…wall’s up!

Giving New Meaning to Hitting Nail on the Head!

Givin’ new meaning to hitting the nail on the head!

Joinin’ hammers w/BUILD GENERATION-gals 18-24! Love her red locks!

Day Two:  I was in NYC at the New York city Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Taft Houses Youth Chorus Center celebrating a ‘brush with kindness’ with paintbrush, shovel,  Lowe’s Heroes, local volunteers, 

And my new best BFF WNBA”S five time Olympian/gold medalist, Teresa Edwards… whom I challenged to a 1 on 1 match and beat gloves down…NOT!

My new BFF, wonder woman Teresa Edwards

OOPS! Accidental me 🙂

NYC fam partner Dimitrea Tokunbo, Hab-by volunteer, moi ‘n Teresa brushing it up!

Hi ho! Hi ho it’s off to dig i go!

She gave me one…backwards LOL!

That’s all for now…just want to say thank you thank you thank you to all my Habitat for Humanity Paterson, NYC and national buds for inviting me to host…gloves are packed and ready to go whenever you need me xo 

PS;  One mo’ thing that I’ll just tease here…at the NYC event I was blown away by the NYCHA Youth Chorus who gave an amazing and inspiring performance. 

Joyfull Noise from NYCHA Youth Choir that made us all smile:)

And, they ended it with my new fave song SMILE by Kirk Franklin…but that’s a blog for another day…But for today remember “you look so much better when you smile” 🙂 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!

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! 



“THE ARTIST” AND :-), # AND OMG!!!!

My son came home from his date last night after seeing “The Artist’ .  

At first I was a bit shocked but impressed that my17 year old son would take a date to this kinda movie though my son is an incredibly talented albeit reluctant artist (though he poo poos it when complimented) and very sensitive young man well beyond his years at times.  But like most of his peers, rap, texting and FB rule his world not silent, artsy movies.  So when I said ”wow…that’s cool’, he looked at me as anyone who has a teenager knows all too well, as if  I were an alien and shared: “You gotta be kidding me! It was the only movie playing and THE MOST boring thing i’ve ever seen “…” And went on without further hesitation “I don’t get it…it was black and white and nothing happened…what’s wrong with these people (he actually went on-line to see what all the fuss, acclamation was about i.e.Academy Awards/movie critics etc). Really, mom I don’t get why they thought it was so great!” I tried to probe further but he had finished his rant and movie critique having spent far too much time trying to explain this to his lame mom, grabbed some donuts and dismissed me with his loving “Stop bothering me’!

I laughed …sorta…Luke and his peers have grown up where silence in a way has become extinct since they can communicate in any  number of ways …sorta…though in my mind they speak silently more then verbally.   Think about it they write texts, FB, email, rarely speak on the phone so instead of seeing reactions and facial expressions that help give us so much more meaning they see 🙂, !!!!!, xo’s, # etc.  

Believe me I’m not saying we need pictures to give meaning nor that writing doesnt ignite our imagination…from “Gone with the Wind”  to “Good Night Moon” to “Love Story” to Harry Potter, the Twilight Series‘ to ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood“,  “The Color Purple“, and “Eat, Pray, Love” to the newest bestselling phenomenon “50 Shades of Grey”…writing at any age opens our minds and imagination in amazing ways where we can direct and create our own movies silently  …But most of our kids are not writing pros that ignite imagination, they’re writing acronyms like TTS, OMG, LOL etc ….And, a silent movie, no matter what language we speak enables all of us to connect in some way with our own feelings, opinions and others.  

I suspect (and hope!) one day when for a brief moment I’m the mother he loves vs. the you’re so lame mom, Luke will share some scene, facial expression or OMG moment from “The Artist” that had an impact on him other then “nothing happened” cause as ye ole expression goes ”one picture is worth a 1000 words”.  Or in “The Artist'”, a million give or take a 100,000.  Time for me to go silent now…Spread the Glove:)


OH THE PLACES WE’LL GO W/DR. SEUSS, JIM CAREY, ZAC EFRON ‘N DANNY DEVITO

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss‘s birthday and for most of us, both as parent and child, Seuss was someone to be celebrated for bringing so much joy, imagination, insights and special moments whether it was bonding with our children, our parents or simply ourselves. Personal faves for me were The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Skeetches, Horton the Elephant (loyal 100%), Green Eggs ‘n Ham; The Lorax (now a new animated must see film starring Danny Devito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift which shows how Seuss was an environmentalist way before it was trendy) and Yertle the Turtle.  

Whatever your fave, Dr. Seuss took us through our childhood with life lessons and an imagination that just won’t quit and stands the test of time.  For me, as a young new reader I could read and look at his illustrations over and over, but Yertle the Turtle was one that holds a special place in my heart.  It was about Yertle the Turtle who went from King of the bees and trees to King of the Mud due to a turtle named Mack whom brought him down to earth with a burp.  

Written in 1958 it was about power and freedom.  But when I was little I had a special kinship with Yertle since the only pets my mother allowed me to have were those that didn’t run nor have any chance of doing their business on her pristine beige living room rug . And, god forbid we did cross that line…my mother’s wrath we would incite.  But one fateful night when my parents went out my big brother Rick and I decided to throw caution to the wind and enter the DNC zone.  For that moment in time it was exhilarating and the carpeting beneath our feet was sooo soft since no one that we could remember had ever stepped foot on it…We made designs, played tic tac toe and then my bro decided to get really wild.  He jumped on the beige satin couch which like the carpeting we were sure had never had any human interaction.   Ahhhh what fun, what freedom and the cushions didn’t even show a dent since they had indeed never been sat on!   Time ticking before mamma would return, we needed to erase our tracks.  So i raced to get the trusty Hoover out to replicate my mother’s up and down perfect nap design…Then off to bed we went sure we’d restored all to their pristine state….

Next morning as Rick and i munched on a bowl of cereal smiling betwixt ourselves that we had gotten away with our ‘escapade’  my mother asked how our evening was.  Rather then ragging about how he had to sit for his little sis vs being with his friends, my brother said “great”!  The cat so to speak was out of the bag as my mother confronted us on our trespass.  See though we thought we had done a great job emulating her perfect vac design we had missed a spot.   And the rest how we say was misery. You see my mom at times was a cross betwixt Joanne Crawford in the classic  movie “Mommy Dearest” and Bride of Frankenstein so we were doomed.  

Dare I say never  again did Rick nor I venture into the Living Room until she finally replaced that beige carpeting with area rugs that didn’t show nuttin…And the couch still looks the same as it did 30 years ago and is in the Guinness Book of Jerry Seinfeld Records since no one other then my bro has sat on it still. Now back to why I loved Seuss’ tale of Yertle…

Since i couldnt have pets that pooped nor peeed anywhere then in their own space, I had ‘Goldy’ the goldfish who lived a record four years, and the closest thing to a pet i could walk, Mack…my pet turtle.  I named him after the turtle that ‘burped’ and brought Yertle the Turtle back to earth.  And though i didn’t put him on a leash for fear of ”accidentally’ strangling him I did take him out of his tank for walks on my green and white shag rug (which didn’t show footprints nor dirt LOL).  I would also read to him this Dr. Seuss tale and share why I named him Mack…Hey as an 7 year old I believed Mack understood what I said whether his head was in or out of his shell.  My kingdom was Mack and all he could see.  And, when Mack and I were together we were free that and much later in life free thanks to 3 years of intense therapy 🙂 

“And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, 
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. 
And the turtles, of course . . . all the turtles are free 
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss and thank you for making my early years and those with my son special!  Spread the Glove!