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2013 HOLIDAY GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING! Click it Forward!

What better way to be in the spirit of the holiday season then to give gifts that give back!  So this year I’ve teamed up with five outstanding organizagions where you can do just that for as little as 25!! So on your mark get set. . .  click it forward!

KIVA: GIVA KIVA GIFT CARD and HELP CHANGE A LIFE
Kiva Gift Card_NEWwoman in store

Here’s one that truly speaks to passing it forward  and it’s so simple because you can do it all online. For the past eight years, Kiva, a non-profit organization, has been using the internet to connect people through micro-lending to help alleviate poverty in 70 countries around the world, including here in the U.S. Purchase a $25 Kiva gift card online for your family or friends and give them the opportunity to Make a Loan NOT A DONATION that can Change a Life. Your gift recipient will then choose whom they would like to lend to – from a banana farmer in South Africa to a seamstress in Detroit – there are thousands of borrowers. And, once that loan has been paid back, your gift recipient can choose to take the money back or re-loan that money to a new borrower, essentially doubling the power of your loan money! Simple, meaningful and fun! Truly the gift that can keep on giving!

PETSMART CHARITIES: PAW-FECT FOR THE PET LOVER

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I am a huge love of PetSmart Charities not only because I love pets but because it’s rated in the top 1% of charities by Charity Navigator:  receiving their highest 4-star rating for ten consecutive years! Best of all, just $25 will save a shelter pet’s life by giving them shelter space, food and crucial veterinary services. And ninety cents of every dollar goes directly to help pets in need, one of the highest percentages among all charities. Also, if you’re in a PetSmart store you might see these adorable Chance and Lucky dolls. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these cute critters will also go to PetSmart Charities to help save homeless pets.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: ADOPT A TIGER…IT’S GRRREAT!

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Here’s a novel and critical gift idea for the holidays from World Wildlife Fund.  Make a donation to WWF at Donatewwf.org for a symbolic tiger adoption. Tigers need our help more than ever before.100 years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 tigers living in the wild. Now, there are less than 3,200. 97% of the population has been lost. Tigers have also lost more than 90% of the forests they call home. And your donation will be put to work helping reduce threats to majestic species like tigers, and other species in the wild like elephants, rhinos and polar bears threatened by poaching, habitat loss and climate change. And, you’ll get something too! For your donation, you’ll receive a thank-you gift of a cute tiger plush, photo, fact sheet and certificate that you can send to a friend or family member. World Wildlife Fund has an entire Gifts That Give Back catalog with more than 200 thank-you gifts to select from to share your commitment to conservation. For more than 50 years, their vision has been to build a better future in which people live in harmony with nature. WWF works around the world to reduce the most pressing environmental threats to wildlife, wild places and people.

MeeGenius:  WILL MAKE YOU A GENIUS…JOIN THE CLUB!

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one and wish it were around when my son was young! Check out MeeGenius, it is an incredible library of interactive books for children that works on computers at home, iPads, and iPhones!  I think of it like ITunes for literacy since the library includes over 700 classics, best sellers and MeeGenius-original children’s titles that are hand-picked by editors and educators.  Every single book is beautifully illustrated and includes optional “read to me” narration so kids can have a book read to them while each word is highlighted, promoting their own reading comprehension. And for the first time ever MeeGenius is launching their brand new Reading Club which parents, grandparents, whoever can give as a gift.  You get three months of unlimited access to their entire library for just $19.99 or a year for $59.99 – And, MeeGenius will donate 10% of all sales to PBS KIDS. A genius boredom buster idea too for holiday travel and chants of ‘are we there yet!”

Carpet One Floor & Home:   YOUR SUPPORT MAT-TERS

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This is the second year that the folks at  Carpet One Floor and Home asked me to partner with them to design a welcome mat  of which 25% of  the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  And, this year we took a ‘graphic’ twist on my signature cocktail…the dirty martini! A terrific holiday gift for the hostess with the mostess that not only looks good but giving one does so much go0d! The mat is a terrific holiday hostess gift  that looks good and does so much good!

Happy giving holidays all!

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SPILLIN’ ‘N CHILLIN’ AT BLOGHER12 NYC

Happy almost  first friday in August Happy Hour 🙂 Can’t believe it’s already August though i always feel once the Fourth of July passes the summer flies by…and so does the time before my son leaves for his freshman year! Yikes only TWO WEEKS…a blog or two or three about that is coming to a laptop near you in the days ahead!

But this blog’s about the amazing fun I had hosting a private soiree  for Carpet One Floor and Home where pomegranite martinis, pedicures (with or without your stilletos on!),

Life is good!! Cheers!

a  SPILL ‘N CHILL BAR showed how their Relax it’s LEES carpet is the perfect accidental housewife way to go since all you need to clean almost any stain is with good ole water whether it’s grass, mud, pee pee or red wine.   And though you know i like to use and have had great success with some everyday household items like white vinegar, Arm & Hammer baking soda, vodka (Of course and no not because if i drink some the stain doesn’ t look so bad LOL! it really works but use the cheap stuff 🙂 ), shaving cream and so on some stains just don’t come out…which is why i rearrange my furniture every few months to cover those stubborn ones up!  Kidding aside…i like my other gal pal bloggers were amazed.  

I’ve got more pix and things to share from that in the next day or so ..having some tech probs so apologies, as you’ll see by these fuzzy pix:  One of a very appealing fellow I met there!  And the other of me trying out a new vacuum to replace my good ole broom and fly home on from Samsung 🙂 Come to think of it maybe it’s not my camera but the person whom took it who may have had a few too many ‘tinis at the Spill Bar 🙂  Spread the glove!  http://www.juliestips.com  

Trying out a new ‘travel’ vac-broom 🙂

Goin bananas 🙂

SCUZZA ME THAT ‘S AMORE: MOONSTRUCK IN LEWES, DE

WOW! Where does the time go? I can’t believe it’s May 7th and in two days my baby boy is going to be 18….yikes…pictures to follow!! Today, though i’m finally getting back on the bloggin trail having been quite remiss due to an incredibly busy/whirlwindy kind of month…So let’s see, where doth this accidental one’s month retrospective start….

In Lewes, Deleware where on a unusually warm April Day my loving matey and I set sail on the Cape May/Lewes ferry with bubbly in hand to help calm the somewhat choppy Delaware Bay seas Arrrrrr 😉 We were on our way there for a few reasons:  1) we love Lewes.  2) we love Lewes 3) we love Lewes 🙂  It’s a quaint town that unless you take the ferry from Cape May might never stumble upon as it seems to be the forgotten sister to better known ReHoboth Beach, DE.  Lewe’s main street, Second Street,  is about 1/2 mile long but on it you’ll find just about everything one needs/wants…A great Mexican restaurant -Agave, a continental one- The Buttery; a fab jewelry store: Chatelaine’s and Doug and my fave place TOUCH OF ITALY http://www.touchofitaly.com/ which is owned by Joe and Bob the Builder (not to be confused with Bob of Nickolodeon fame!).  It’s a spot where we have spent much wine (and no that is NOT a typo!) and time.

We discovered it a couple of months ago as we were walking along Second Street and spotted what looked like those good ole fashion Italian delis you saw in The Sopranos, Moonstruck (one of my top ten movie faves)

or imagine in Italy.

So we went inside and if our eyes could eat we would have devoured everything in sight …Italian cheeses hanging from the ceiling, fresh mozz in the case, an array of heart don’t fail me after eating those fatty, yummy italian meats and sausages, marinated artichoke hearts on stems, seafood salad complete with squid that had their tentacles in tact (love them!), authentic Italian desserts and on and on..

Mama Mia…That’s Amore! Yum!!!

But our delight and surprise didn’t stop there when out of the corner of my eye I saw folks sitting at tables eating these incredible italian sandwiches and brick oven pizzas that i would soon forget watching my girlish figure for! And, it got even better:  set in the far back corner of this cozy epicurean oasis I saw a bar… now that’s amore!

Doug and I immediately planted ourselves on two stools and per Henry’s suggestion (Henry runs the place and I am thinking of kidnapping him to take care of us) we ordered what he considered to be the best white wine in the world; a true antipast,  meatballs, then a bottle of red wine and 3 hours, 3 pounds, one major buzz and one pair of early anniversary diamond and sapphire earrings later  from my amore D we exito-d.  Now you know why we love, love, love Lewes. Spread the glove!

MARTHA STEWART, MARC ANTHONY ‘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! 

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! 

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!