trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “shopping”

30 Days of Thanks: Days 8-11

This month I am participating in “30 Days of Thanks” with my friend and fellow blogger CC at A Working Mom Today.¬† Hope you can check us out ūüôā

Happy Monday afternoon friends out there in the great blogosphere. I apologize for not getting this posted in the morning but better late than never right?

As I mentioned last Thursday in my Day 7 post, weekends are difficult for blogging since I reside in Casa Chaos with my 4 boys. This past weekend was no exception since I attempted to potty train the almost 4yo (not to self: hire Supernanny Jo next time).

I didn’t want to skip days of thanks so instead, I thought it would be fun to summarize Days 8-11. Here we go:

Day 8:

It was Friday and I had my annual appoint at my ob/gyn. Ladies, this may not seem like ANYTHING to be thankful for BUT keep in mind that my children were ALL HOME FROM SCHOOL last Thursday AND Friday so this doctor appointment allowed me 2 hours of FREEDOM!!!!

Wait there is more. I have gone to this practice for 10 years and was a regular there for probably 5 years (back to back pregnancies will do that to you). I know everyone in the office so it surprised me when a new nurse called me back to check my blood pressure.

As she looked through my humongous file, she paused at my birthday and said OMG, is that age right?? I would have sworn you were in your EARLY 30s.

Needless to say she is now my new BFF and I am thankful for the compliment.

Day 9:

This was a tough day to have thanks for anything since potty training was not going over well with L. I have NEVER seen a child be so stubborn about peeing!

Seriously, I spent over $50 on “big boy underwear” AND a stupid Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle car¬† AND¬†a potty chart AND stuffed him with candy and the kid would not pee!

This went on for hours and hours until I heard a little voice say Mommy…look it’s coming out.

O-M-G I have never in my life been so excited to see someone pee in a potty before!!!! Me and the other boys all cheered and told L how great he did!

Well all that has worn off and L is still being stubborn about the potty. However, I am thankful for the brief period of unconditional joy I felt Saturday afternoon.

Day 10:

I was able to go to the mall ALONE for an entire hour AND The Loft had additional 40% off sale.

Day 11:

Hmmmm what to be thankful for on a cold Monday morning?????

I was going to post something serious about sympathy and compassion but quickly remembered  the trouble I got myself into last winter. So instead I am thankful that the sweater dress I bought yesterday (for $25) fits!

Hope you have a great week!


30 Days of Thanks: Day 7

This month I am participating in “30 Days of Thanks” with my friend and fellow blogger CC at A Working Mom Today.

Nov. 7:

Wow, today is already Day 7 – how did that happen??!

Time really does fly which is surprising since¬†the work week has TOTALLY dragged for me. I am not sure if this week’s¬†lack of “umph”¬†is a result of¬†the weather, old age or my reintroduction to the treadmill.

So what am I thankful for today???

I have been thinking¬†since I got to work about what I am thankful for¬†and I just can’t¬†come up with¬†one thing. Hmmm, do I¬†flip a coin? Nah, it’s my¬†blog and I can write whatever I want. Therefore,¬†I can be¬†thankful for as much as I want today and no one can stop me – muhahahahah. So without further ado here are my 2 thanks for the day:

1) Coffee – speaks for itself.

2) Online promo codes
I have a tiny problem addiction with online shopping every once in a while. It’s not my fault really. My¬†“friends”¬†at the Gap, The Loft, Old Navy email me daily to alert me to sales, new trends and things they have selected “just for me”.

What is a girl to do? It would be rude to ignore them right??

Well this week was a good week because everyone was offering a promotional code which gave me an extra percentage off my total order INCLUDING SALE!!

Can you say no brainer??

Finally I will¬†be able to try the boyfriend cords from the¬†Gap¬†(my friend at work¬†has been bragging¬†about¬†them)¬† AND snag¬†a pair of black suede wedges.¬†All for a fraction of their retail price¬†AND with free shipping (and free returns when said merchandise doesn’t fit)!!

Enjoy your day everyone!

ps – Due to time constraints (i.e. the 4 kids that live with me at Casa Chaos) I will not be providing daily thanks for the next few days. However, I promise to post a weekend summary on Monday ūüôā

Random thoughts on a Monday morning

Happy Monday everyone, don’t you just LOVE a Monday morning?? LOL!!

It is raining here in the beautiful Garden State, it is actually supposed to rain the next couple days, ¬†so that makes this Monday all the more merry. The weather¬†should not surprise me¬†since I spent 2 hours yesterday doing the semi-annual (and dreaded) “clothes switch”.

Last night I was texting with my mom when she, passively aggressively, mentioned that I have not been blogging regularly. My first thought was Ummmm…no kidding but somehow I didn’t think¬†she would appreciate that¬†response. I toyed with ignoring her comment but what fun would that be. No, instead I came up with this witty lame response I’m in a slump with the blog. I don’t know why. Eloquent right?

Mom, being Mom, wouldn’t drop it and came back with …just write like you used to no? no funny stories?…

Ugh, that¬†totally annoyed me. What, did Mom think funny stories just “POP” into my head randomly? Is my life SO humorous that blogs detailing¬†the adventures at Casa Chaos are in abundance???

Moms words stuck in my head long after the texting conversation ended. Of course she was right, I have made excuses for months about my lack of daily posts. Truth is I started over-analyzing my blog ideas.

I became WAY too obsessed with stats and “likes” and comparing myself to¬†other bloggers¬†in WordPress¬†and Tumblr¬†(yes, I strayed from WordPress¬†but shhhh don’t tell). I forgot that we are all just one, big blogging family, and instead turned it into a competition that I knew I would NEVER win.

Anyway, I guess the pity party has gone on way too long and now it’s¬†time to kick out the last guest (me),¬†clean up the mess and move on.

Driving into work today, my mind was a blur. I was belting out Pink songs (LOVING the new duet with the guy from Fun), trying to sort out all the random blog ideas in my head.

While sitting in traffic on George-Davison Road (damn school buses), a thought occurred to me. Hey, instead of picking just one “thing” to blog about today, why not just post about a couple random things????

So friends in the great blogosphere, I bring you “Random Thoughts on¬†a Monday Morning”

1) Shopping with almost 7yo boys is an experience.
This should not have surprised me but yet I had¬†high hopes for taking the twins¬†shopping. It’s not their fault, their¬†attention span is just nill. One minute they are looking a t-shirts and the next they are hiding under rounders.

I would pick out cute shirts and plaid shorts just to be told  No thanks or Mooommmmy that is for girls.

Somehow I was able to get them to focus just long enough to get what we needed. Apparently, M is an impulse shopper because as we were headed to the check-out he talked me into this

Mr. Cool

Mr. Cool

2) I embarrass very easily:
On May 18, 2013 my family and I are participating in Children’s Specialized Hospital’s 7th Annual Walk & Roll to raise money for the hospital. We have been a part of the CSH family for the past 2 years and they have helped to make our journey with J a little easier.

So the point of a fundraiser is to obviously raise funds. Sounds easy enough right? Well it should be except I get totally embarrassed asking for sponsors. My face turns red just thinking about it.

I thought a good way to raise funds, and awareness, was to advertise the event at work. The marketing guy at my office was kind enough to make up some amazing posters that I hung in the kitchens and coffee stations.

However, as I was taping up the posters it hit me Holy Crap my face is blown up on the poster!!! OMG now co-workers would be forced to see my HUGE face as they get their morning coffee. Yikes.

I hid in my cube, mortified of my face, and prayed no one would vandalize my posters – my friend N reminded me we work in a law firm not in a junior high school.

Well the posters have been up for 5 days and so far they are intact. I even had 2 people ask me how they can give. I am hoping by the end of the week I won’t even notice my huge head when I get coffee or water.

Here¬†is the link for our¬†page if you are interested¬†in making a contribution¬†(it’s tax-deductible!!)

3) Nothing beats a good book:
I love reading. I don’t really have a particular genre that I am fond of, really, ¬†I¬†like a good story. One that holds my attention and makes me temporarily¬†forget¬†my problems. A story that when it is over, makes me sad and wish it wasn’t done.

Last week I finished reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and I LOVED it!! It was the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 …and is rekindled¬†in Hollywood fifty years later.¬† Mr. Walter transported me to Italy and its beautiful coast and made me sad that I have not been able to experience the sights and sounds of Italy for myself.

I did not want this book to end and was sad when I had to say good-bye to Dee and Pasquale. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a sucker for a love affair.

4) Mrs. Jeter thinks I could write a novel (LOL):
Jeter and I were texting last night when she asked me if I would be interested in participating in National Novel Writing Month with her in November. At first, I thought she was kidding. Write a novel?! I am not a writer, I am a semi-novice blogger, what was Jeter thinking??

But Jeter¬†was serious, said we could be each other’s moral support and that I would be good at it. Honestly, the thought of this both intrigues¬†and terrifies me. Jeter¬†and my blogging mentor CC are always telling me that yes, in fact I am a “writer” but I don’t know.

I thought I would run this idea past you guys and see what kind of feed back I get. Do you think I could write a short novel? If so, about what???

Thanks for letting me share these random thoughts with you today. Enjoy your Monday.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Notice the animal print cardigan??????

Notice the animal print cardigan??????

I always wished that I could be a true fashionista. Someone on the cutting edge of style who always has just the “right” outfit on for any occasion¬†and always¬†accessorizes perfectly¬†–¬†never too much or too little and just the right pop of color.

Sadly, I was not blessed with fashionista genes in any way, shape or form. This is not to say that I dress like a homeless person (well, maybe if I am just running in Shop Rite on a rainy day)¬†or a throwback to the 1980s. I think my style is just average. I don’t always embrace a new trend, but I will usually give it a try in some way.

A couple of years ago I embraced scarves and can even tie them in several different ways. Last spring it was colored jeans (raspberry capri jeans anyone?) and for fall/winter I have given in and bought some things in an animal print.

However, one thing I have noticed about myself is that I tend to sort of “copy” the style of a person I am friendly with or hanging around with. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad but at least I can admit that I have a problem.

I guess it started more in college (high school doesn’t count). A northern, New Jersey girl plunked down in the middle of preppy Newark, DE (it was the 90s) what choice did I have????

Slowly I began to incorporate¬†pegged-leg jeans, braided leather belts and the obligatory JCrew Barn Jacket into my wardrobe attempting to “fit in” to the U of D¬†campus look.

After college came the obsession with Coach bags (thanks to my friend L) which has still stayed with me thanks to the many Coach outlets in the tri-state area. My orange and tan coach bag can make me smile on even the gloomiest of days.

Just when I thought my copycat/fashion stalker tendencies were behind me, I started to become friends with the other paralegal at work N. I have written about N before as she is one of those people who always looks perfect. She is VERY tiny (despite have a baby) and EVERYTHING looks good on her. I swear, this girl could rock a potato sack AND pair it with just the right shoes.

N and I had always been friendly in the hallways but over the years we started to actually become friends. We have a lot of things in common (nail polish, make up, shopping addiction, etc) and she hates being a para as much as I do.

In addition to her vast shoe collection, N is also owner of about a gazillion bangle bracelets. She has them in different sizes and colors and they always look (and sound) great. Slowly my copycat tendencies started itching at me thus starting my new stalker-like obsession.

N was all about me copying her and would even send me links to various online¬†bracelet¬†sales (Rue La La and became my new “favorites”). I became OBSESSED very quickly and soon my collection grew.

When the bangles had taken over all available space in my drawers and jewelry box, I knew it was time to stop and find a new obesssion hobby. Gee, what could it be?

Shoes would be an obvious choice but I am too cheap to spend a lot on a great pair. I will admire from afar but can NEVER get myself to spend more than $50 on shoes (gasp!!).

Anxiously I flipped through magazines and fashion blogs searching for something to copy try out but nothing was appealing to me. Sweater dresses were too form fitting, skinny jeans too boring and leather and me did NOT go together.

I had just about given up when I began to notice how often N wore a skirt to work. She always looks SO cute in her skirt ensembles that it got me thinking. Hmmmmm, maybe I could wear one?

I am a little pear-like so skirts don’t always work on me but one day in the Loft I decided to bite the bullet and try on a pencil skirt. For years I had read the these skirts were flattering on “everyone” and figured if¬†Kim K could cram herself in one I may as well give it a try.

Well that afternoon in the dressing room I experienced a sort of shopping epiphany – the skirt fit AND it didn’t look that bad – SOLD!

Needless to say, I went a little bit skirt crazy in the weeks and months that followed. I went from being a person who never wore a skirt to wearing one 2-3 times a week Рit was madness (and only possible thanks to my bff Spanx).

It’s been a retail frenzy for me¬†(Xmas sales did not help) but I think I am finally done for the time being. Winter stuff is starting to look drab and boring compared to the newer looking fashions entering the store fronts.

I have no idea what spring will bring. Maybe my copycat-ness will go dormant for a while and I will just embrace my style and what makes me feel good and happy?? Anyone who knows me is probably laughing at that last sentence but hey, it’s a new year and who knows what can happen!

OMG I’m NOT a girly girl?!


Belle (Photo credit: Valerie Reneé)

I have always considered myself a girl’s girl and at times I guess a girly girl. I LOVE to shop and get my nails done and nothing makes me happier than a new lip gloss (you should have seen my smile¬†when Bobbi Brown changed the size of her shimmer glosses).

When I was growing up I assumed I would have 2 kids –¬†a boy and a girl.¬†My husband would play with the boy while me and my girl would shop and get manicures¬†and have lunch together. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would have a daughter, it was a given.

Imagine the complete and total shock I felt on June 27, 2006 when (at about 1:19pm) I was told I was the mom to not 1 but 2 baby boys!!!!!!!!!! I was in a state of shock for hours afterward (that and the drugs from the c-section and high blood pressure) and could not comprehend how I would be able to raise 2 boys. What the heck do boys play with and OMG there are NO cute boy clothes!

The years went on and 2 more boys joined my brood. After L was born I accepted that I was never going to have a girl and that God must have a reason for blessing me with 4 boys. It’s ok, I have a niece,¬†I will¬†make her my pseudo daughter.

When my niece was born (2 months before the twins) I was thrilled¬†and couldn’t wait to shop for her. Baby clothes, especially for girls, are SO much fun. I loved all the little hats and accessories too.

As my niece Belle got older though something changed. I would talk to her and go to stores and I realized that I had no idea what little girls liked. I would walk into Gap or Gymboree¬†and be clueless about what was “cool” and what Belle would like.¬†OMG what¬†was happening??

Who knew that little girls wear leggings under EVERY skirt or dress and that purple NOT pink¬†was their favorite color. How the heck was I supposed to know that pjs¬†for girls came with little frilly tutus that went over the pj¬†bottoms –¬†at my house all we cared about were monster trucks and Spiderman.

I would see little girls at the mall and be shocked at how they dressed (how old are you?) and sometimes envious of their Ipod touches with designer cases and Coach handbags. Wow, girls are not what I thought.

This past Saturday was Belle’s 6th birthday, the theme was Monster High Ghouls – wtf¬†is that?! She was having girlfriends over to her house to decorate cupcakes and make jewelry and said my boys could come over AFTER her friends left. The boys were happy with that since they had zero desire¬†to make jewelry and hang out with a bunch of “burls”.

Friday night I went to Children’s Place to get Belle a gift card and outfit. Should be easy enough right? WRONG. I walked in and went to the girl section and just stood there in a state of shock and wonderment. I have never been on acid but after being on “that side” of the store for over 30 minutes I could only imagine that is what it feels like.

The music was blasting and everything was pink, purple or turquoise and covered in glitter or lace. There were leggings and bike shorts and tunics and tank tops. Everywhere I turned there were headbands and flip-flops¬†or lip glosses and let’s not forget the jewelry.¬†I walked around in a daze until finally I managed to put together¬†turquoise bike shorts with a tee and headband.

At Belle’s party the next day me and the boys walked into a sea of purple, silver and black balloons with pictures of the Monster High Ghouls all over. Everywhere we looked there were mini Belles dressed in leggings with sequin¬†or lacy tutus over them. The girls all giggled and ran around occasionally whispering something to their friends.

¬†As we ate our Hannah Montana birthday cake I realized how far removed from girls I am and how I can no longer in good conscious call myself a “girly girl”.¬†

A true girly girl would have known what Monster High dolls Belle had and what is new in the world of Barbie. A girly girl would know that jewelry making is fun (really?) and that all the bike shorts and flip-flops  in the world can not compete with a Justin Beiber nightgown (ugh!).

I guess there is a reason God gave me boys. After all, my boys think I am the girliest girl they know and hopefully I will never have to worry about them stealing my lip gloss or borrowing my favorite earrings.

Funky Blogger Girl

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been in a bit of a funk this week. Not sure why. The weather has been nice, the kids are healthy (knock on wood) and Nick (the missing contractor) stopped over briefly the other day (no, he still is not finished).

I tried my usual funk remedies, chocolate (check), red wine (big CHECK), chocolate covered jelly beans (double-check) and take-out (check). None of them worked.

I thought blogging would help clear my funk. But last night as I sat at the table with my laptop my mind was blank. Usually an idea will just pop into my head but last night I had NOTHING. O-M-G I have blogger’s block already??!! How can this be? Could I have already reached my blogging peak 40 posts in?!!!

I consoled myself with Ben & Jerry’s Frozen Greek Yogurt (I ignored the fat content telling myself it was greek yogurt after all) and caught up on Mad Men (ahhhhh Don Draper is SO dreamy).

Today I decided it was time to use the big guns to clear this funk. No more torturing myself reading “friends” happy Facebook posts or peppy tweets (why is it that EVERYONE is always happy when I am not). No, today I would take matters into my own hands – I would shop at lunchtime.

A new shirt, cardigan or even a cute pair of earrings can always get rid of a funk. YES! I should have thought of this sooner. At the stroke of noon I grabbed my keys and headed for the mall.

I walked into the mall with purpose, I was on a mission – a mission to buy me some happiness (on sale of course). I started off in White House Black Market. I looked through the sale racks and quickly found a couple tops to try on (I was avoiding pants, no need to depress myself further). Into the dressing room I went and out I came with NOTHING.

Ok, not a big deal it was just the first store. Next stop Anthropologie. I always find something I like at Anthro. I studied the racks in the back sale room, gathered my finds and headed to the dressing room. The excitement was building as I stood in line for a dressing room to open (apparently others were also feeling funky). Hmmm, how will I pick just one thing, I thought ssurely I will love everything!

Those thoughts were short-lived. Nothing was working. I toyed with buying an orange t-shirt, for the sake of buying something, but thought better of it at the end (thank god).

My need-to-end-my-funk shopping spree was a complete bust. Slowly I drove back to work thinking I should have bought a lip gloss at Lord & Taylor (mental note: lip gloss always brings happiness)

Mrs. Jeter told me to think of happy things like our movie outing tomorrow night (Hunger Games). Watching kids fight to the death should definitely wipe away any funk I have (Mrs. Jeter has also promised adult beverages afterwards). If that doesn’t work there is always Easter (baskets full of candy) and a long weekend. Ok, I am done babbling away. Thanks for listening I promise to be in better spirits next post.

ps – what are your funk remedies??

pps – I was greeted after work by all 4 kids wearing bike helmets in the tennis court, definitely got me to laugh


My First Ikea Trip – Wow.

I have never been to Ikea before. I think it is safe to say that I am in the minority on this one. I have passed it on the NJ Turnpike hundreds of times but never felt the need to go. I assumed it was just a place you went to furnish your apartment with a futon or entertainment center. Over the years I never really thought much about it and added it to  my list of other never-beens which included things like sledding or seeing Cats on broadway.

Today all that changed. Today was the day the husband and I decided we would not only go to Ikea but take all 4 kids with us. We were on the hunt for reasonably priced bar stools for our soon-to-be created breakfast bar and it was off to Ikea we went.

We piled the kids in the van and headed for the Turpike. Armed with snacks (juice boxes and goldfish) and a Team Umi¬†Zoomi¬†dvd¬†for the car ride we were ready. After a minor setback (taking the wrong exit) the husand and I¬†were excited to see the big blue building with yellow letters. Look where we’re going! we shouted to the kids (who thought they were going to¬†Wal-Mart).

As we approached the building the twins¬†started yelling about the¬†huge revolving doors at front. Stay close by us and don’t wander off PLEASE we instructed. Okay, okay¬†the twins answered (with just a hint of annoyance). No sooner did the words come out of their mouthes when they became¬†stuck¬†in the revolving door, with us on the other side! Not only were they stuck, the door was now¬†jammed¬†so the husband, I¬†and the little kids are trapped outside with 20 or more other Ikea customers. O-M-G.

Finally after screaming coaxing the twins through the doors we were able to start our Ikea shopping spree. We got a map and a little pencil (everyone else was taking one so they must be important) and headed to the nearest elevator. When the elevator doors opened it suddenly became obvious that we were not in Target anymore. People and furniture displays were everywhere and me and my crew stood out like a sore thumb. It was clear that we were Ikea virgins and everyone else knew where and what they were doing.

We started following the arrows on the floor hoping bar stools would appear. After 2o or so minutes of looking and repeating:

Don’t¬†touch that! Stay together. Where is J?! Why did we bring the kids on a Sunday? M you need to keep up, don’t walk away from me. Yes J¬†I know you are tired, we¬†are almost done.¬†

I spot an Ikea employee Рit was like seeing a mirage in the desert. The employee instructs us to take 2 lefts and we would be in the bar stool area. 

Two lefts later¬†there they were, bar stools of every color and size. You would have thought we were at a park the way the kids took off trying out all the stools. It is now VERY crowded and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. I make the husband pick the stools and now it’s off to find “self-service¬†furniture”. Weaving in and out of the crowds, trying to keep track of 3 kids and the husband was not easy so I was happy to see an arrow for Kid’s Ikea – big mistake!

Somewhere in between stuffed animals and lights that look like stars L started to have a meltdown.¬† Usually these¬†are stopped¬†with a juice box or binky¬†but when the binky¬†went flying down the aisle I knew we were in trouble. Let’s stop and get something to eat at the food court, maybe they are hungry? the husband suggested. I strategically pick a table in the far, back corner as the husband goes to get food.

The meltdown has progressed to what I can only compare¬†to something out of the movie¬†“The Exorcist.”¬†¬†All eyes are on me (clearly no one here has taken the Mommy Oath) and M is telling me that the floor (on which L is thrashing) is dirty. I stare out the glass window at the dozens of winding staircases and feel like I am trapped in some sort of maze from a sci-fi movie.

Once L’s¬†exorcism is over we try to navigate our way to pick up the stools and get the hell out of Ikea. After what seems like an eternity we have managed to pay (only having to get¬†in line¬†2 times due to the receipt tape being empty and the husband not scanning 1 stool) and now have to get the boys back to the van. I am carrying L, pushing an empty stroller and constantly screaming looking to make sure all 4 kids are in tow. As the van door opens, and a red soccer ball goes flying across the parking lot, I am done.

The ride home was quiet, the husband and I don’t have much to say. The little kids slept and the twins argued and took in the scenery of the Turnpike. Overall the kids were good (except for L). What did I expect from 4 kids at Ikea¬†on a Sunday? Did I yell too much? Maybe, but there is no sense in beating myself up about it now. Live and learn! Wow is all I can say of my first Ikea experience.¬†I hope to go back there someday and I can promise you I will go without kids!!

English: Logo of Ikea.

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