Category Archives: Awesomeness

SHOPPING IN BULK. SQUEE!!

Oh, honey! That ain't gonna be big enough!

I love me some shopping in bulk.

Shopping in bulk makes me go boom. Yes, I’ve already established my first love is, and always will be, Target—my life, my passion, my love! Shopping warehouse style is not the light, bright, “cheap chic” social hour shopping experience of Tarjay. Still, something about buying in bulk puts some bounce in my butt. Something about cradling a 36 pack of individually wrapped cookies in the middle of a suburban concrete shopping jungle makes me wanna shout, “SNACKTASTIC!!!”

The warehouse club? It’s momma’s playground.

Warehouse “clubbing” (Yeah, new rules. New definition of clubbing. What? People call me ma’am now. I can’t go into a real club anymore. Come on, you know I’m more Irish pub anyway.) is pure shopping A.D.D. Or is it A.D.H.D.? Either way, it’s sensory overload in the biggest, most funtabulous way. It’s awesomeness in a box. A big, big, biggity big ass box. Everything is bigger. And better. And did I mention bigger? How do you not get sucked into paying a few bucks more than you would at a regular store to get a much larger quantity of something? This is to speak nothing of the vast range of goods and services all housed under one ginormous warehouse roof for your shopping convenience.

Leather furniture purchased in conjunction with a 200 pound drum of pretzels and a 30 pack of beer is what I call EEEE-fficient? And well? The ability to test out the sofa with beer and pretzels in sight? Now you are singing my song! Take THAT Ethan Allen!

Like Tarjay, there’s a $100 cover charge–$200 if you don’t keep your head down and your wits about you. When you walk in the door and grab two supersize boxes of diapers and a box of wipes (Sorry environment, I double pinky swear I’m so getting you back when everyone in this joint is potty trained!), you’re pretty much there. And that’s before you sample the jalapeno/artichoke/dip/spread on the new!/flatbread/toasty/bread/thingys or spy the 500 count daily mega vitamins for women–totally worth the price. (Health before wealth!) Speaking of 500 count? Give me summa those 500 count thread count sheets! (Oh, you’re dead to me Bed, Bath and Beyond, you’re so dead to me. But thanks for playing!)

 “I just know if I get some cute new workout pants it will really inspire me to get my Richard Simmons on,” I whisper out loud. “But, build me up butter cup! Is that a vat of olive oil the size a gallon of milk? A must have for a gourmet chef such as myself!”   Barefoot Contessa? You better put some shoes on woman, because I be coming for you! Fresh herbs? Bring it. I have  a year’s supply of EVOO and cumin for $14.99! And Giada, watch your back, girl–you and your beloved pancetta (I’m sorry, I mean, pannncheeet—ttaaaahh.) Yeah, me be getting some of that in bulk. So suck it!

30% off books? Should we take one more whack at the crock pot? I mean, 1,001 crock pot recipes for only $9.99–there’s gotta be something good! (Yeah….probably not..remember? Nothing good comes out of a crock pot!) 50% off cards? Oh squeeeee! Happy birthday to meeeee!

Need new tires? Have them put on while you snack on a  jumbo dog or ice cream while you shop for…face cream? Ray-Ban polarized sunglasses? Small appliances? Big appliances? And more! Oh, so much more! Deeeep breaths….deeeep breaths. Wait! I know! A yoga mat!

Every day could be a party at the warehouse club. With all the free tasty treat samples, they’re halfway to margaritaville!  Just uncork some of that wine in aisle 12 and call momma a cab! Who needs a club? Crank up the Bose in aisle 7 and we’ll get this party started. Sorry Pauly D, we’re beating up the beat without you, bro!

The worst part is, I’m so club crazy I have memberships to two different warehouse clubs. Costco I love for produce, meat, antibacterial wipes, and diaper wipes. Their frozen fish and wine is fab too, and last time the hubs got “lucky” there….no really, he did. But why do I have on dork jeans from Kohl’s today, but my husband is sporting Lucky jeans? Costco! Over the years, we’ve bought….a swingset.. a fridge.. a tv, too… oh, Costco, I’m just sooo in love with you! (But seriously? Selling fridges? That is kinda akin to a drug dealer selling you a container for your stash, no? I mean, I ended up buying so much meat, frozen fish, and drinks at Costco that we needed another fridge for the basement to store said bargains and OH, LO AND BEHOLD, crafty Costco happened to sell just the perfect one….I believe that’s called entrapment!)

But BJ’s, sweet BJ’s, I love you, too. So I guess I’m all about the two timing and some might even call me a warehouse ho. (Harsh, but true. I will slut around for the best deals.) But BJ’s is closer to my house, and carries diapers, food, and drinks the kids like. It also takes coupons. They send out their own every month–good ones too for like $1 to $10 that really add up–not these piddly ass buy five and save .35 cents nonsense—BJ’s plays to win on the coupon front. They also take  manufacturer coupons (but we all know how well those coupons usually turn out for me…remember?) But seriously, last week BJ’s sent me a friendly email saying based on what I purchased last year, I saved over $1,000 on grocery items alone. Whoa. If I saved a grand, what the hell did I spend? I know they thought they were being all smarty pants sending me that, but ho’ing it up big ain’t cheap apparently! Perhaps I should re-examine the thrill of buying in bulk?

And I will say I’ve figured out the hard way a bargain ain’t a bargain unless you really need it. I’ve been “Costcoed” and “BJ’ed” before. Have you? You get home and realize it’s not really cool to have two giant bottles of salad dressing that you don’t end up loving or 4,000 of the wrong size garbage bags. So I guess the lesson is, “caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware. Or I should say, bulk buyer beware! But… as long as you know the rules going in, oh what fun you’ll have playing the game!

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Filed under Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing!

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE OLYMPICS FOR A SEC?

Can we talk about the Olympics for a sec? Please?

Something’s been bugging me all week and I need to get it off my chest. First, you should know that I always look forward to the Olympics. No, not because I’m some fab athlete—if you know me you know I sometimes (read: frequently, and often while as sober as a Duggar) trip when I walk. Over my own feet. I really don’t know what it feels like to fly through the air on skis or flawlessly execute a double axel (or even badly execute it, for that matter). And I’m okay with that— because I’m pretty sure attempting either of these would lead to my untimely demise. Usually a basic mastery of walking is a prerequisite to the aforementioned activities.

I don’t know what I could do (nothing responsible, anyway) or what it would be like to inspire a crowd to erupt. I can’t imagine having the entire nation pulling for me. (Although that? I think I could handle. “Muffintopmommy in da houseeeeee.” Yeah, I know. Ridonkulous.) I can’t help but well up when an American wins gold–glorious gold– and they play our anthem as the athlete stands tall on the center podium. And I’ve shed many a tear watching someone give it their all, yet fail spectacularly. (If you’re gonna fail, do it going for the gold. Seriously. “Going for the gold” has become a cliché, but damn, it means something when you see someone skate or ski their heart out and they crash and BOOM—just like that, it’s over. How do you not respect the effort and yet, feel the pain?) It’s hard not to be moved hearing about the personal sacrifices many athletes and their families have made all around the world just to get one shot at one medal. Sure, much of it’s about natural ability and skill, but like anything in life, so much about it is perseverance, mental fortitude and work ethic. In any nation, in any language, that translates.

But dayum. Something else is making me cry at these Olympics. And never mind cry, the something “else” is downright distracting.

I’m just gonna say it. Some of these Olympic fashions are flat out crazy.

They’re just….bad. No. BAD. Teh-ree-bley. Honest to God, I try to steer clear of sounding off about fashion. Who am I, a desperate hausfrau from the burbs of New Hampshire, to comment? A gal who readily admits to rocking the muffin top and outfitting herself in duds purchased in a red plastic cart with generic Tostitos? Who am I to dispense fashion commentary or gasp (!) advice? At any minute, Stacey and Clinton could be knocking on MY door. (One can only hope. Feel free to nominate me. I dare you. No, beg you. Seriously. How many hints, in how many posts, do I have to drop to get you to hear my cries for help? Are you gonna help a sister out or not?)

In the past week, I’ve seen snowboarders in grungy looking jeans (eeehhh) with holes (Shut up. I do not sound like my mother.) and bad plaid coats. How is that comfy? Are those jeans waterproof? Are they warm enough? Do they have enough padding if they, God forbid, fall?

I know how it sounds!

But..are they going right from the mountain to the bars? (If so, I’m all in with the outfit strategy because that’s just smart planning. See. I’m not my mother. Yet.) What up with the ginormous gold prep school gone wrong crest on the bad plaid coat? Yo, I’m a fan of plaid but I’m just not feeling it with the grungo jeans.

But Seth Westcott rocked the gold in it, and since I don’t know squat about squat, I’m gonna totally drop the snowboarding thing. Except to say…I’m relatively certain one of the women snowboarders had on my son’s Power Ranger mask yesterday.   

The skiers all look like I’d expect. Bode Miller? In his spandex number? Spandex=speed. It’s all good. And if, in the process, we catch a glimpse of “BB” (Bode butt), that’s no crime. Lindsey Vonn? She looked a-dorably, All American stylish in her cream Olympic hat after clinching gold with her bum shin in her boy skis! YEAH! The Canadians have been all about the style with fun maple leaf mittens and quilted red coats.

But wow, I’ve seen more than a few figure skaters who’ve lost the good fight with bedazzlers and puff sleeves this week. Feathery, flowy materials and glitzy garb reigned supreme. But really, there’s nothing new about that. I’ll grant that figure skating is about style and substance and you need some drama and flair. It is, at times, theatric. A little bedazzlin’ never hurt the likes of Big Papi from the Sox and it’s certainly not going to take down a figure skater. You can’t be showing up to light up the ice in jeans. You just can’t. Or…can you? 

And Johnny Weir? He had an interesting number on the other night. He takes some, ah, chances with fashion. But the dude can skate! He’s got the ‘tude to match the skating to match the duds to match the drama. He could bedazzle himself from head to toe and you’d have to just shut it. Cuz he’s got the goods. He had nude hose on his chest? Pfft. Whatever. Hot pink zig zags whatever they were? He works it. He owns it. It’s him. It’s just Johnny being Johnny–and honestly? I love a person who’s true to himself.

Drama? Flair? It’s all good—that’s what it’s about. But what about the Ukranian couple decked in blue tin foil? I’m envisioning a really badly decorated function hall right now—blue foil, streamers,  platters of beef jerky and Cheez-Whiz—you feeling it?  Either that or the blue foilers were gonna get beamed up–whatever, bad party, outer space—it presented a tremendous distraction. Whoever told them to wear that shit should be rightly beaten with a Ukranian stick, straight up to Sunday.                               

Seriously. And dude, if you’re gonna dress like that you better BRING IT. You want people to remember your skating, not your duds, no? I recall nothing of their routine, because all I remember is royal blue Reynolds Wrap. And for the mom or dad who schlepped them to an ice rink at the crack in the Ukraine somewhere, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, who probably scrimped and saved for ice time and lessons and coaches, I feel for you that your son or daughter, your biggest investment, your pride and joy, had to step out as a metallic Smurf on the world stage. Wrong. So wrong.

Other pressing questions for which I want answers? When did the whole Italian dirty country bumpkin/stock car mechanic look come into play? Just…..what? You’re talking about a guy from a country that produces some of the best tailors, organized crime figures (who we know are, if ethically dubious, impeccably dressed) and the Pope, dude, THE POPE (if you pray to the Holy Father or not you gotta give it up to his stylist—never a hair, thread or crucifix out of place). And this guy glides out looking all redneck Dukes of Hazzard meets Jiffy Lube. What what? Vito Corleone could not have approved to speak nothing of the Situation and Snooki down at the Jersey Shore. (Here is where I insert an apology to my Italian husband, but even he can’t deny the truth!) 

The Russians brought blonde mullet boy out of retirement and he worked the crowd in Mr. T- esque bad gold bling. His whole person was a clash of 80’s culture right there. I have nothing else to say on that. You be the judge!

Belgium put up a dude clad in a skeleton costume who looked like he should be holding a toddler’s hand on Halloween in suburbia gunning for a Snickers, not a Gold.

Trick or treat!

Trick? Rock on. Can you hold my treat bag? Okay…lemme show you my triple axel-lutz-twist-fast-spinny-skate-routine-program-Olympic-thing! I’m a champion! Didn’t you hear? Bel-gium! Bel-gium! We’re not just about the chocolates.

Some scary ass German clowns totally haunted me and ruined my sleep the other night. I’m not being disparaging—they really were dressed as freaky ass clowns, complete with shiny black triangle eyebrows. I swear when I was a kid, a rumor circulated bad clowns in windowless vans would try to snatch up innocent kids with the promise of free candy. In my mid thirties, I’ve now visualized what I vaguely imagined they’d look like as a kid. I think I was shaking during their routine. Which, incidently, I’m pretty sure kicked some clown butt. The guy might have fallen one time…maybe? But see, see, the duds were so bad I forget now!

I know when you get to the pinnacle of your sport, when you’re one of the best in the world, the world (!), all that matters is the “way you play the game”. I know that. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t distracted by all the fashion bad.

And? I’d be lying even more if I didn’t say I loved to hate it!

See you in 2014 beatches! I can hardly wait!

 

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A VALENTINE’S DAY ODE TO THE HUBS

Okay, so listen, before we jump into my super romantic poem, if there are ANY fellas in the muffintopmommy house today (Be not afraid! You are totally welcome along with women with flat tummies. I’m a lover, not a hater. We are the world.)…what I say in the poem reflects only the opinions of ONE sassy woman who may be prone to eschew certain societal romantic overtures. (Unless done randomly and without prompting!) What? I am not a pain in the ass! Whatever, it ain’t worth getting into here. Just know, not every woman shares my opinion on roses and gifts for Valentine’s Day. It is up to YOU to figure out what makes your woman tick—so, good luck with that! These are just the romantic ramblings (!) of one random, red rose hating, woman. So, unless your name rhymes with trick or pick or thick, take the poem with a grain of salt and in the spirit in which it was intended! Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! (Just wanted to publish a few days early in the hopes my sweets has time to meet my demands. I mean, polite requests. I mean, unsolicited, loving overtures. I mean. Um. Never mind.)
 
 

NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO. Just, NO!!!!!!

 
 
Roses are red.
Violets are not.
Bringing me flowers on V Day
Just ain’t that hot.
 
Lemme sleep in,
Take the kids at witching hour.
Bring me some gin.
But keep yo damn flower!
 
A sweater, a scarf, even a purse I can do.
Of course, you know me likie shoes, too.
And don’t spend 8 grand on some huge sappy card,
Just say I love you–don’t make it that hard.
 
Save your cashola to feed the muffin top.
Some seafood or steak?
But please , no lamb chops. (BAA!)
 
If you show with even one stinking rose,
I swear to God I’m gonna break your nose.
Oy, do you know the mark up on V Day?
And seriously, could it be any more cliche?
 
If you really want me to swoon?
                    
Bring me a 12 pack some random day in June!
The only “Buds” I wanna see from my man?
Come in a lovely glass bottle or can.
 
Oh, don’t be afraid–I’m not starting a fight.
You always *mostly* get it just right.
And if you can’t find that perfect gift for me?
I know of one that is perfectly free!
 
You can *for once* just replace the TP!                                                
It’s already bought and wrapped in clear plastic!
It’s so super soft and perfectly round.
Under the sink is where it is found.
And when you need it, it sure is fantastic.
What? I’m not even being sarcastic!  
 
I love you, dear.
I love you so much.
You’ve nothing to fear.
Your gifts, always clutch.
 
If my demands seem mean or even nasty,
You knew when we married
I’d be bringing some sassy!
 
I must confesss now, I don’t care what you do         
As long as you read this and still love me, too!
 
 *Props to the very funny wendiaarons.com for teaching me how to make that bitchin’ heart! Check out her site!
 
Well, ladies? What say you?
 

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REUNITED…AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!

 

Isn’t she a thing of beauty?

Never stop believing.

 

Dreams do come true! They do. And I’m living proof. Something really big happened last week. No, huge. 

My Lands End catalog came. No, that’s not the huge…stick with me! 

I like some good Lands End garb as much as the next suburban hausfrau, but I stood in my kitchen, preparing to be underwhelmed by my typical fleece and khaki wardrobe staples. (Let’s be honest, Lands End is the steady, not the flash.) So I flipped through it, simultaneously admiring and scoffing at the carefree faces of the catalog peeps. (Please refer to a post from last week, “I want to live in a catalog. Wanna come with?)  So, my blasé tude rendered me totally unprepared for the awesomeness that waited inside. 

Lands End, I will never take you for granted again. 

Wait for it……Tretorns! 

Yes, Tretorns! 

Holy mother of cool, old school kicks. Tretorns! 

Just let it sink in a minute. 

If you’re a woman who came of age in the 70’s and/or 80’s you know just what I’m talking about whether you loved them or not. Tretorns from my girlhood are ba-ack. Dude! I NEED them ahora! Is this just my 80’s shoe geek busting out? My repressed inner pink and green prep screaming to be heard? Lands End might have unleashsed a firestorm of repressed 80’s fashion memories. 

My world has been turned upside down. Right side out! Wrong side in! Old is new! New is old! 

What? It is THAT exciting. And if you disagree you don’t know from exciting! 

So, confession time. To put this in perspective on the outside chance you don’t share in my shoe crazy, I’ve had a shoe problem since the third grade. This is when I beat my mother down (not literally…hello!) into buying me some Nike Cortez sneaks. Do you remember them? Oh, they were the bomb! They were white leather with the red swoosh and kind of a semi pointed toe. I can still hear the woman, “I can’t believe I am buying you $33 shoes right now!” 

Totally worth $33! In today's dollars maybe....

Frankly, I can’t believe it either. $33 was a lot of money then. (Back in the stone ages…. I mean, the early 80’s.) I don’t pay much more for my sneaks NOW—sometimes even less. All I can remember is her muttering that I would one day be destined for a career in sales (who knew?) because she was buying them for me and didn’t even know why. Oh! And that I better not tell my father! (If my father ever reads this… mum, I’m so sorry I busted your cover. We had a good run though, didn’t we? And no, I really don’t know who hit the garage. Seriously.) 

After the Cortez came the Tretorns. And after the Tretorns? The Adidas Gazelles— sophomore year in high school. Rumor had it you could only legally buy them in Canada (High school urban legend?). Eh, that made them all the more alluring though. My friend and I couldn’t drive so we ended up taking the commuter train into Boston after school and then the “T” to South Boston aka Southie (If you’re not from Boston, three words… Good Will Hunting.) to score our green contraband. My mother was rather unmoved by my rabid shoe needs by then, and I know I bought them with my own money I made schlepping clothes at Frugal Fannies Fashion Warehouse. The floors were concrete….I needed good footwear to pound that minimum wage pavement! 

I would totally still wear these!

And no, they were not the last green shoes I’ve had. I have, in my closet right now, a pair of green old school Sauconys that I bust out on St. Patty’s Day. And, other days when I just feel like going green. (Kermit was right—it ain’t easy being green—I’ve suffered some slings and arrows over my kicks! Bring it! I apologize to no one for my rainbow coalition of old school footwear!) Converse Chuck Taylors? I have me summa them. And retro New Balance? Yes, please! 

It’s safe to say, next to my family, I live for shoes. It’s the little things—life is too damn short to not embrace footwear fun. And I never pay full retail.  Don’t you wanna know how I scored some Tretorns for $16.50? (6pm.com. HOLLA! I’m all about sharing the intel but if you buy up all the size 8’s I’m coming for you! !) I knowwww…was that a little McMeanie to find out about them from Lands End and then go carousing elsewhere? Um, $38.50 in my pocket says, ha-ell no!!! 

The shoe fetish is hard to shake—but of all my best shoe memories, Tretorns were my longest running fave. And why I feel compelled to share the love. Now, I usually like to write my own stuff, but I’m not so much into the lovey dovey stuff, and couldn’t articulate it any better than Peaches & Herb…so sing with me now.(Um, maybe in private. You at work? Just hum along, lest someone misunderstand. That’s how rumors get started you know!) 

“Reunited and it feels so good.
Reunited ’cause we understood.
There’s one perfect fit,
And, sugar, this one is it.
We both are so excited 
‘Cause we’re reunited, hey, hey..”
 

Peaches & Herb must have been clairvoyant to produce this hit right when Tretorns came into favor. Coincidence? You decide. Did they sense that a random girl would one day rediscover one of her first shoe loves? This song has depth. It has meaning. It speaks to me.  

No, I do not hear voices in my head, why do you ask? 

But Tretorns, my love, um…this is awkward, but I have to wonder, where have you been the past two decades? 

Okay, no, no. I’m not going to go there. The past doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. It only matters that YOU CAME BACK! You came back for me! I don’t need to know the details of who you’ve been with or why. Bygones! 

When something so fantabulous happens, you want to sing from the rooftops, right? Well, I’m sort of afraid of heights, and honestly, we’re in the midst of a really crazy cold snap, so yeah, no. I did what any other modern day, fraidy cat, clutzy, cold hating whinybag would do…and I went on Facebook (where else?) to sing it, and to find out if others shared my undying decades long Tretorn devotion. I put out an APB on the muffintopmommy page on Facebook and hell yeah, there’s plenty of Tretorn love to go around. I knew this blog had fun readers who would totally get it! 

But wow, my question opened a Pandora’s box of 80’s pride. (And in a few cases, loathing. I cannot explain that which I do not understand. I am sad for the few Tretorn haters. I really am. They know not what they do. Some of them are my very best friends and I hold out hope they will see the light. It’s not too late!) So I have to ask…..do you share the love or don’t you? And don’t worry…this poll is totally and 100% anonymous (I think. I just figured out how to make one like thirty seconds ago, so you know, it also might not be. So watch your back just in case. I’m just sayin….this could get heated).

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Filed under Awesomeness, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Things that make you go....awwww, Yo! It's a girl thing!