Thursday, December 31, 2009

20 Questions for 2009


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Getting married!

2. What was the most challenging thing that happened?
Dealing with illnesses of family and friends.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Getting a new kitten! And having Laurie and John let us use their vacation home so we could have a honeymoon.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Losing my job.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.
Exciting, Challenging, Long.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2009 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
I think he would say the same.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2009 (again, without asking).
I think he'll say, It was good." lol

8. What were the best books you read this year?
The Red Tent; The Russian Concubine; The Girl from Junchow; Abundance; Pope Joan; I, Elizabeth. I was really into historical fiction this year.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Jeffrey, of course, and my mom.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I got married!

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I have become stronger.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I am still working on that!

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
lol, I gained a lot of weight!

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I became closer with my in-laws.

15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?

16. What was your most challenging area of home management?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
wedding planning... not that it wasn't worth it, it just took up lots of time!

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Spending time with family & friends.

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
I can survive a lot of stress.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.
Life will challenge you in many ways, but there are always blessings to follow those challenges.

Our first Married Christmas


Christmas 2009 was so much fun!

It started with a Pollyanna at my parents' house. (I recently learned that "Pollyanna" is a regional term. It's a Secret Santa). Not only was this more budget-friendly than standard gift-giving, it was super fun. My parents, my brother, my sisters, my sisters' boyfriends, my dad's best friend "Uncle" Jimmy, Jeff, and I were all there. Seeing everyone's reactions to the gifts was great fun. I also made my siblings photo albums of childhood snapshots that I painstakingly went through and scanned into Shutterfly. I am the most sentimental of the four of us, so I was so pleased when they really seemed to like and appreciate them. Even RJ!

After Pollyanna, I went to church with Jeff's family.

When we were children, my parents dressed all of the kids in matching Christmas pajamas for Christmas Eve. It eventually evolved to my parents getting the pajamas, as well as the kids' significant others and Uncle Jimmy. (His birthday is Christmas Eve, so he always spends it with us.) I was so sad that this tradition ended last year, but Jeff and I have carried it on and get each other Christmas pajamas. (Non-matching).

Christmas morning, Jeff and I made the awesome hot chocolate that my best friend alyssa sent us from Vermont. Then, we exchanged gifts. My favorite gift was a poem that Jeff wrote me about spending our first married Christmas together. (Awwww!)

Then began Italian Christmas '09.

Round 1: Go to Jeff's parents. Exchange gifts with MIL, FIL, SIL, and BIL.

Round 2: Jeff's godmother and her daughter visit.

Round 3: Mom-mom time!

Round 4: Uncles, aunts, cousins, and their pals.

Round 5: Food. Lots of it. Tons of food.

Round 6: More food.

Etc, etc.

Overall, it was a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas party at a college hangout when you're too close to 30


The other night my sister-in-law Gloria and I went out for dinner and some holiday, sisterly fun. There was an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at the bar/restaurant Jeff and I used to eat at all the time in college, and I was dying to go (and in need of the prize money).

First objective: Where to find Christmas sweaters without having to buy them
Our dear mother-in-law is a teacher and wears a different Christmas sweater to work every day from December 1 through January 6. She's always encouraged us to borrow anything we need from her, so I asked to see her vast collection of knitted holiday goodness. She began showing me her newer, cuter stuff, but I told her I needed her oldest, most interesting sweaters. Done. I left with a fuzzy pom-pommed number for myself and one with demonic-looking teddy bear soldiers for Gloria that belonged to our great-aunt's 97-year-old friend. Awesome.

Second objective: Food, of course.
We met up at my apartment and proceeded to Landmark. We got there at around 9pm. Of course, I had called ahead to see when the best time to arrive for the contest was, and was told 9pm. No problem. They charged cover, which makes me mad when all I want is a cheeseburger and fries. We were seated in the waaaaay back, where they stash the old people. Behind the wall. So the young college kids can't be frightened by the sight of us.

Dinner was yummy and fun. It was interrupted by a former patient who spotted me and came over to say hello, and some fans of our awesome sweaters.

Third objective: Survive the bar.

Around the time that my food arrived, I realized it would be an ordeal not to choke to death in the fuzzy sweater. I rolled up the sleeves and resigned myself to the fact that I might choke up a hairball later. It is also around this time that I was itching beyond all reason and sweating.

After dinner, we asked the waitress when judging would be for the sweaters. she said around 11 pm. No problem. We can do this. I of course have no job to go to in the morning, but Gloria did. Did I mention this was a Thursday night?

We leave the table to walk around and intimidate the competition. There were some seriously lame Christmas sweaters. Only two guys came close to our magnificent outfits.

Meanwhile, I am still itchy and overheating. I can't even get a drink because believe it or not, nobody wants to serve a girl in a fuzzy sweater. Water. I need Water! We're tired. It's late. We're dying. And Itchy!

At this point, it's 11:15. where is the contest? We keep asking. Then the DJ announced that "Voting will take place in the Spot at 1am."

What??? I leave it up to Gloria because she has a long commute in the morning. she's a trooper and wants to stick it out. "We've made it this far!"

We proceed to nurse our drinks that we finally got and laugh at all the little girls who dressed up to go out. Not dressed up for the contest, but dressed up like... I don't even know what. Lots of them were wearing little tank tops. I was overheating in my Polyester, but it was freezing outside that night. Some of them were wearing long-ish shirts with no tights or pants. Odd.

Third objective: Survive the Spot.

The Spot is a silly, tiny "club" attached to the Landmark restaurant. When it first opened it was an abysmal failure because nobody at college was interested at all. They closed it, made some changes (added a "VIP" section, LMAO), and reopened it. I guess the kids liked it, because it's more popular now, I think because it's the only place to dance since the college knocked down all the frat houses.

After people-watching for way too long, we reluctantly go to the Spot to see where voting is. It's a dense, gyrating, hormonal, loud, 90's rap blur. We squeeeeeeze our way through the crowd to the back. Whew. We ask Giant Bouncer Man where we need to be for the contest. He grunts back that he doesn't know and tells us to ask the DJ.

At this point, I think my core temperature is about a million degrees. Game face. We're here to win! We squeeeeeze our way through again, but not before I get stopped by someone who wants to dance. I give him the, "Sorry, no thanks," shake of the head and flash the wedding rings. Did someone seriously just hit on me in this sweater?!

We make it back by the DJ. He has no clue what's going on. I see the VIP section (LMAO), and some glorious space and seating, so we camp out there.

Objective four: Stay awake.

Hilarity ensues. There is one of those dance-floor/stage thingies where girls can dance. we're sitting right behind it, front row seats. Still more girls scantily clad. One girl has a homemade "bling" necklace which is, not exaggerating, a foot wide and six inches tall. It read, "Mill St." I guess it's a really neat place to be. Another girl was wearing a lace black shirt with black panties and a black bra. That's it. Another was seriously checking herself out in the mirrors on the dance floor and taking pictures of herself for a good 20 minutes.

I am so tired at this point. I feel bad for Gloria, but she seems to not hate me yet. Watching the kids is keeping us awake. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a kid drinking champagne, complete with bucket of ice. I mentioned to him that I have never seen anyone drink champagne at Landmark before. Next thing I know, he sends over a glass, complete with head nod. Awesome.

It's finally 1 am! We line up with other sweater (sweating) people. There are some lame ones, and I feel really confident. After all, I was born to be on stage. I really think it's going to be between me, Gloria, and these two guys in granny sweaters. (One had doilies!) Gloria gets eliminated immediately because her sweater was too "cute and festive." huh? I last a little longer, but ultimately we lose to some guy in a plaid suit, which is annoying because it was not a Christmas Sweater!

We got hosed, but the memories last forever. : P

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mixed Blessings


I lost my job last week. It is a really crappy situation, and I am scared about the future and how we're going to make ends meet. Jeff has been wonderfully supportive. I know that in order to get through this, I have to remain positive. Here are a few good things that have happened in the last six, jobless days:

~ My job environment had become really stressful. I know being unemployed is stressful and that I haven't gotten to the hard part of it yet, but things at work were starting to become unsafe for staff and patients.

~ I have spent a lot of time with my husband. Jeff and I have been able to see each other, have dates, and even have three home-cooked dinners in a row together! Unheard of.

~ I have gotten to hang out with friends and family! Like seeing my husband, my weird work schedule had been keeping me away from my friends to the point were I had forgotten how much I loved them. I've had dinner and laughs with college friends, I've gone bridesmaid dress shopping with friends/family, and I have had long-overdue phone chats with my best friend Alyssa. Alyssa lives in Vermont and I had become so busy and stressed/depressed with work that I had really lost tough with her, which felt totally crappy. I even have plans for a Thursday night out with my sister-in-law! Unheard of in my previous world.

~I'm catching up on cleaning. I even started to go through stuff at my parents' house. I found old pictures (which again made me appreciate my friends and family), got together a huge bag of clothing to donate, and got the Christmas decorations up (with Jeff's help, of course!)

~ I've been able to reconnect with myself. I have gotten involved in many old hobbies, and I am having fun. As soon as I finish a project, I'll post about it.

~ I am truly enjoying the holidays. With little money but lots of heart, I am trying to make my first Christmas as Jeff's wife memorable, for him and for the whole family. I am so sentimental. I hope everyone enjoys what I have been working on.

I am sure that when I run out of money and am unable to keep busy (even I can only re-alphabetize our DVDs so many times), the stress of being unemployed and looking for a job will hit me. Hard. Until then, I can't help but count my blessings.

Thanks for all of your support, friends. Oh, and if anyone has job leads, please send them my way.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What am I wearing?


I haven't posted in a while because the shorter days make me feel unmotivated. Blah. I needed something fun to write about, so I stole this idea from a friend...

These are my most-worn/used items.

Lip product
: Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE lip gloss. My favorite brand is C.O. Bigelow, which you can get if there's a C.O. Bigelow Apothecary near you but are more readily available at Bath and Body Works. I love their creaminess and minty goodness. They have non-mint varieties, too. They have tinted, non-tinted, you name it. My go-to is Plum Tint, and at night I wear the balm.

Jewelry: I am pretty boring in this category. I usually wear plain white gold hoops. Earrings don’t interest me too much because I have sensitive ears. My mom got my ears pierced when I was two weeks (yes, WEEKS) old, so I didn’t have much choice in the matter, and my chubby earlobes look silly with no earrings. I am waiting and hoping for a pair of small bezel-set diamond earrings to match my wedding and promise rings (which I wear every day of course). Bezel-set earrings are proving difficult to find. I can't find a good close-up of my promise ring. It's a quarter-carat diamond bezel-set in white gold.

Nail Polish: Right now, my favorite is O.P.I.’s Midnight in Moscow. It’s a deep brown. So delicious.

Shoes: I love my Steve Madden Ribbon Bees flats so much that I wore a hole through the sole and need to get them repaired. I even bought knock-offs at Target and wore through those, too. The target version is on the left, the originals are on the right:

Hair Products: Aussie’s Cleanse and Mend Shampoo and Conditioner. I don’t love the fragrance, but it cleans the roots and conditions the ends in a nice balance.

Perfume: My favorite is DKNY Be Delicious. I love the apple and cucumber notes, and it somehow doesn't smell too fruity. Next on my list to try is Bvlgari's green tea.

What are your favorites?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little monsters


I was combing through Jinx's fur today, and I found a dreaded flea crawling around! I am freaking out. I immediately flashed back to when I was a child and we had to give away my beloved Burmese cat Sheba because she had fleas. We couldn't get rid of them, and I am highly allergic.

We have had Jinx for a few months now. I checked her right away for fleas when we adopted her, and didn't find any. I check through her fur often and never saw any evidence until today, plus she has been to the vet three times since we have gotten her for regular check ups and shots. I haven't been bitten at all. All of this makes me think that the fleas came recently. Both of our cats are indoor cats, but we have a lot of friends with pets, and Jeff is in and out of people's homes a lot with his job. This makes me think that one jumped onto our clothing and hitchiked back to our apartment.

Jinx had been a little itchy and I found scabs on her head in the past couple of weeks, but I thought it was from sparring with Piper. Like I said, I check through her fur often. I feel so bad! I checked Piper immediately after I saw one on Jinx, and of course, poor Piper cat has them too.

I went to Pet Smart and got some of the smear-it-on-the-back-of-the-neck medicine and a flea comb. I couldn't bring myself to get a shampoo because Piper has never had a bath in her life and at 9 years old I don't want to have to put her through it.

I hope our apartment isn't infested and we can take care of this quickly. Last time Piper picked up fleas after she went on an overnight adventure outside in Riverside, they all lived in her ears after I put the medicine on them. It was awful!

Any tips? Thanks!

So Proud of Hubby!


On Friday (11/13/09), Jeff and his EMS partner Beth Anne (who did the beautiful centerpieces at our wedding) competed in and won the gold medal at NJ's first annual METI games. Each EMS team was introduced into a scenario and had to treat a patient for three minutes until a paramedic team that they had never worked with before came to assist. The two teams had to work together to save the patient within 20 minutes.

I am so proud of Jeff and Beth Anne!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our 2nd Honeymoon


I mentioned before that Jeff and I were going to Disney in October. We had a great time! It was super hot and humid, but we had a blast. The staff there is amazing and reallytook the time to always make sure we had everything we needed. I highly recommend the dining plan. We saved a lot of money and were never hungry. We were there during the food and wine festival at Epcot, which was really neat. We got to try a lot of different dishes from all over the world. Tip: If you have the dining plan, save up your "snacks" to use at the food and wine festival. So worth it! We went to Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Hollywood Studiod (MGM), Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. It wasn't crowded at all, and we were lucky enough that a few of our friends and relatives were there at the same time. We met up with Jeff's cousin Jim and Jim's girlfriend Trish one day, and spent a lot of time with our friends Matt and Bridget and their 4-year-old daughter Erin. It was amazing to see Disney through a child's eyes, as I never got to go there when I was little. Here are some pictures (Jeff had the camera and was a little stingy with snapshots):

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Have you ever just dusted around things to save time/out of laziness?

What other shortcuts do you take in cleaning or everyday life?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the Red


I'm feeling really good today. I think it's my sassy combination of the following:

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have found Heaven, and it costs $144.00 a pound


I was having a rough week a while back and Jeff and I happened to be in the Cherry Hill Mall runnig errands. I was cranky/depressed/all over just not right, and then I saw it. It called to me. It said, "Stacy, come in, and we will melt your stress away." Ahhh.

Teavana. It is indeed a heaven of tea. When I walked into the store, it was sensory overload, but not in the Times Square, I-have-to-get-outta-here kind of way. There were lovely, friendly, tea-making people offering me samples of yummy warms elixers. Just go there if there is one near you. I can't even describe it. They even found a tea that my tea-hater of a husband liked.

I could have gone totally crazy in the store, but I tried to limit myself a little bit. I ended up with Moroccan Mint Green Tea and I splurged on Silver Needle White Tea, which is a special blend that is only harvested two days each year and was until recently reserved for the Chinese Imperial Family. The Silver Needle was very dear at $18.00 for two ounces ($144.00/lb!), but it is Bliss.

There are so many different blends at Teavana for every taste and need. The health benefits of tea are almost never-ending. I definitely recommend checking it out. And sending me some. ; )

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We never know what tomorrow will bring


My best friend sent this to me a few years ago, and I thought it was beautiful and worth posting... I'd like to extend the thought to all of my friends/fellow bloggers.


i'm sending this e-mail to a lot of people. some of you i haven't spoken to in a very long time, while others i've managed to keep close. but i have something that i really need to express. it's taken me a little bit to put all my thoughts together, but it's important. so here it is
last weekend, bobby & i had to attend a memorial service for a friend of his, matt boattini. bobby grew up as friends with matt & his older brother, chris (who is bobby's age). they met through lacrosse, and found a lot in common. for example, both of their mothers were rasing 2 boys alone, and the boys were very close in age to each other. mrs. boattini (theresa) & bobby's mom (diana) got to be very good friends, and the two families became almost like one for many years
of course, we all know what happens when childhood friends go to college - we lose touch, but not love. the coles & the boattinis grew physically apart, but kept in touch. than that started happening less and less as well, but the love was always there. bobby & all of his friends (he has a lot) stayed in touch through a sort of network - and still do. this one is closer to that one, and they talk more. then this one talks to that one, who talks to someone else more, and news of friends gets passed around that way
but anyway, matt's story is like this... he had a hard time with college at first, being more attracted by the pary scene, and was eventually kicked out. he struggled with goals & directions for a while, and made his way out to california, where he started "hippie school" (they teased him about it - it was actually an agricultural school). he graduated (!!!) and got a job on an organic farm in hawaii (not bad for a hippie)
the first weekend of february (almost 2 weeks ago), matt went with a bunch of his friends from the farm on a hike to a waterfall. along the way, matt was being his usual goofy self. apparently, he touched a rock in such a way that it caused it to dislodge. matt was pinned there, and all of his friends had to run for help (apparently hawaiian hippies don't carry cell phones). they got back 40 minutes later to find matt barely conscious. he was dead before they got to the hospital
matt died in paradise, doing what matt loved, being in nature. if anyone had asked him if he could live to be 80 in new jersey, or die at 25 on a hike in hawaii, he would have chosen hawaii
when bobby found out, he was, obviously, tore up. he said that around christmas time, he was looking through his e-mail address book and saw matt's e-mail. he wasn't sure if matt was still using that address, and thought about sending a msg. to test it out. needless to say, he didn't send the e-mail. it was really hard to go through that realization with him. i think it finalized it in his mind
we never know what tomorrow will bring, if it will come at all. i'm taking this oportunity to send out that msg. to friends who have been close over the years, from whom i have drifted, but who mean so much to me still, or are still very close to me. i'm sorry if i don't get to write as often as i think about you all. we made a connection somewhere along our travels, and i still feel it. why is it so difficult to stay in touch with people? is it because the ones that we care about most are the ones who will understand & forvgive? or is it just that life is too fast-paced? how long can there be no words from friends before you stop counting them as friends? i want to reach out now, to let you all know that i still care, i'm still here, thinking about you, wondering what life has given you since we last spoke/wrote. and if i don't have to wonder, i'm wirting to let you know how important you & your friendship is to me
so if you're going through your address book one day, and you come across my e-mail address, try it out, write to me. even if you just say "hi." i'll write back, and i'll do it a lot sooner than i used to. never pass up that oportunity. someone may be thrilled to hear from you again


love, a

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Today I made chicken noodle soup for the first time. I didn't have a recipe, but I figured I didn't need one. This also marks the first time I ventured into the kitchen with a "eh, it'll work out," attitude. It went something like this:

I splashed some olive oil into our giant All-Clad stock pot. I heated it up, and got some minced garlic going. Once that was happy, I added about half a diced onion, about 5 ribs of celery, and about 5 carrots. I let them work out their feelings and added a generous splash of dry white wine because they looked like they needed a drink. I popped the lid on to let them simmer nicely, then took the lid off for the alcohol to evaporate. I threw confetti into the party in the form of dried basil, black pepper, oregano, and bay. In went two giant cans of chicken stock. That got to a nice simmer for quite a while, so I added two cut up baked chicken breasts (I don't like meat with parts). I was looking low on liquid so I added two more little cans of broth I had in the cupboard and improvised with some water and bouillon. It worked out nicely. I let the carrots and celery get even more tender while the chicken soaked up some goodness from the pot. I finished it off with a whole bag of egg noodles and a handful of chopped fresh parsley for color.

It ended up being so rich and delicious. I think Jeff was impressed, or shocked, or both.

Now we have tons of soup, but it will be really good as leftovers and I will freeze some. We shared some with our downstairs neighbor and we'll probably continue to do so.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Today, I channeled my mother-in-law.


My mother-in-law can make a meal out of everything and never lets anything go to waste. While I don't think I can aspire to do half of the things she does in a kitchen, I channeled her today.

I am home sick from work and feeling like crap, so I went a-searching through our cupboards for chicken noodle soup. I looked and looked, and then remembered that I married an Italian who scoffs at the mere mention of canned goods and would have a stroke if he saw any in the apartment. Sigh. I assessed my situation. I noticed in the refrigerator two blocks of cream cheese whose "sell-by" date was today (eeek! I live and die by these dates, my MIL lets them slide...and slide), a half an onion left over from the Penne a la Betsy mentioned below, and fresh parsley.

Single Stacy would have shrugged and made buttered noodles (I am still allowed to have boxed pasta, but only Barilla). Married Stacy snuck out to Shop-Rite (observing universal precautions so as not to get others sick). I built my list from my soon-to-expire ingredients and got the makings of cream cheese chili dip and mostly-home made chicken noodle soup.

If you have never had cream cheese chili dip, go to the store, get the ingredients and make it now. You need 1 block of cream cheese, 1 15-oz can of chili, an 8 oz (1 bag) of shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. Spread the cream cheese out evenly in a small casserole dish. Spread the chili out over top. likewise with the cheese. bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Dip. Send me gifts, because this is oh-so-good. Perfect for football season. Well, I don't watch football, but I am assuming it is perfect for football parties. i will rephrase: Perfect for hockey season.

I have never made chicken noodle soup before, but how hard can it be? I will let you know later...

Product Review: Scotch Fur Fighter Pet Hair Remover


While Jinx, our kitten, isn't shedding yet, Piper is. You can imagine how 10 pounds of fluffy calico gets fur all over our furniture and eventually our clothes. The fabric on our couches is like a soft corduroy: perfect for collecting and trapping pet hair. Since most of our friends are allergic to cats, we've been long searching for something that works to pick up the fur.

Lint rolls? Ha! A wimpy piece of tape does not cut it. Even our hot rod vacuum with spinney attachment of goodness won't get it all up. What's a crazy cat lady to do?

Enter: Scotch Fur Fighter Hair Remover (cue angels singing). This device, which resembles a cross between a sanding block and a giant sheet of velcro, traps all of that embedded hair so your friends can sit down without hives, asthma attacks, and anaphylactic shock! Plus, it's fun to use. You can get it for free here to try out, just pay $2.00 shipping. I did not know about that swwet deal. I got mine at Target for $9.99, which included the handle and five refill sheets. Eight refill sheets are $4.99. It works really well, so I do not mind the cost.

You're welcome.

Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy


I needed a new recipe to cook for my husband, and I found this: Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy. It's easy to do and delicious. She even has step-by-step pictures for beginners in the kitchen like me. It was my first time making shrimp, and it was perfect!

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More from the old blog: Getting Old


My boyfriend (now husband) dragged me to a frat party a few years ago because he wanted to stir up trouble undergrad style. A little boy tried to hit on me. The end of the conversation went like this:

Boy: So, uh, what year are you?

Stacy: (laughs) Class of 2004

Boy: Oh, that's cool. I graduated in 2003!

Some guy named Kyle: No, dude, she means college.

Boy: Oh.

Nice, huh? I asked him if he was allowed to be out that late.

A Comedy of Errors


This is also from my old blog, but totally hilarious and worth passing on:

At the end of work today, I happily shut down my computer and trotted off to my car, looking forward to an exciting, action-packed evening of laundry. I reached into my purse for my keys to find that, alas! I had locked them in my car.

I called my mother to ask her is she would bring me my spare key. Sure, no problem... but she called me back five minutes later to tell me...

Her keys were locked in her car, too... After some time, we finally got hold of my father, who was working. Could he bring my mom her spare key so she could bring me my key? No problem...

Not so fast! When my dad walked out to his car, he saw...

He had a flat tire.

I Used to Believe in the Theory of Evolution


This was written my first year of grad school when by some freak accident of the universe I, at age 24, was housed with five 18-year-olds. My roommates would try to use their hairdryers every day in the same, which EVERY day would cause the power to go out. For a whole year, they never thought to plug their hairdryers into a different outlet. Not once. Even when I suggested it. Arrrrghhh!

I have been a Darwin supporter my whole life. I used to think evolution worked. Survival of the fittest makes sense, right? Well, not always. Some people are destined to do the same stupid thing, several times a day, every single day, with the same stupid results, and not learn their lesson. And these people with procreate and have stupid children.

For example, let's say that every day when you stepped out your front door, you fell down and got hurt and everyone else in your house fell down and got hurt too. Eventually, don't you think you'd catch on and start using a different door? That's classical conditioning, people.

That's not the actual situation, but really... people should learn faster. B.F. Skinner, I'm sorry, all of your research on conditioning has been rendered useless because there is a subspecies of humans to whom basic behavioral theories just don't apply.

Stupid people annoy me. Don't be stupid. Yay, evolution!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rant: Ed Hardy


I despise Ed Hardy products. It looks like a tattoo shop on acid threw up and spray-painted graffiti on clothes. I just don't get it. He uses traditional tattoo designs, all with specific meanings and history... for what? Profit? To mae my eyes bleed? I particularly dislike it when people without any tattoos and who have no idea what the tattoos they are wearing on their shirts mean wear his products. They are so ugly!

Today, a short, hostile New Yorkian came into my work to argue about how his sweet, precious child could not havepossibly broken the rules, etc. He was enraged, the girl was crying, and all I could do was look at his ugly shirt. It was white, a size 300XXL, and also stained. I could not stop staring at his ugly shirt with some other guy's name on it. (Giant logos are a whole different rant!) At least it wasn't glittery.

If you love Ed Hardy, by all means, express your style, but I just can't get into it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

We've adopted!


Our family has adopted a new baby! She is approximately 9 weeks old, very energetic, happy, vibrant, has green eyes, and is black. Our new kitten, jinx, was found in a CVS parking lot by a high school classmate of mine. She (Jennifer) couldn't keep her because she has 4 dogs and 7 cats of her own.

When we got her one week ago, both my husband and 9-year-old cat Piper were very cranky, and I was in the doghouse for sure. (pun! ha!) Since Jinx was so little, she has no social skills and doesn't speak English. (Ideally, kittens should be 12-14 weeks old when separated from their mother to ensure proper kitty social skills). She is a tiny thing, and I suspect Jenn dosed her with caffeine before giving her to us, because I have only seen Jinx sleep 3 times in the last week. She is a biter, but she is teething and we are teaching her not to bite. It seems to be working (A puff of air blown in the face is a good, "No, no!" to a kitten.) She was litter trained and able to bathe herself when she was found, so that is excellent. She chases and tries to play with Piper relentlessly. at first, Piper was growling and hissing (as is appropriate to set boundaries), but was more submissive than I would have liked her to be. A good swat creeps in occasionally Now, Piper even shares her favorite toys and her food with the kitten without protesting. I'm not sure if this is maternal instinct or learned helplessness, but I hope to see kitty canoodling soon.

We originally tried to do the proper introduction by isolating the kitten for two weeks and allowing Piper to get used to Jinx's scents and sounds before a direct introduction. This lasted about three minutes with our ADHD kitten. We did try to keep her isolated in the bathroom when we were at work or when she kept Jeff awake, with plenty of toys, food, and a litter box, until she grew out of it 4 days after we got her. How, do you ask? I arrived homw from work to hear more baby screaming than usual. Typically, I would play with Piper alone for 15 minutes or so before letting Jinx out. This night, I let her out right away because she seemed so agitated. I opened the bathroom door to find the toilet paper all unrolled. Hilarious and adorable, but for the fact that the end of it was in her water bowl and had soaked up all her fluid, and she had made herself sick from being so upset. She's free-range now, and doing fine.

Pics to follow when Jeff uploads them. Baby Jinx has her first dr.'s appointment next week.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My new favorite thing


I love to read. LOVE it. My mom taught me how to read before I could walk, and I've never stopped. And I read FAST. I read books like they are oxygen.

Unfortunately, books are really expensive. I realized that in June, I spent over $150.00 at Barnes & Noble. Not good. I know that I could go to the library, but I like to own my books to re-read them. Inevitably, I have a lot of books that I purchased and ended up disliking, so they just sit, unloved, on the bookshelf.

I thought about organizing a book swap with friends, but I don't really know a lot of readers besides my husband, so that would be pointless.

Enter ("PBS")

You join for free, post books you are willing to get rid of, and you automatically get two book credits. Each credit is good for one book on the site. You can request specific books that are available or make a wish list so that you are notified when they become available. When someone requests one of your books, you are notified by PBS email. You print out the label/wrapper, affix your postage, and pop it in the mail box. When the other person gets the book you sent, you get a book credit.

Holy papery goodness, Batman!

A new book costs around $14. Postage to send a paperback is $2.38. that's a whole lot of savings! I can't wait to get my first book!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stacy vs. Wild


On Saturday, Jeff and I went canoeing with some friends, Matt, Bridget and Melanie, ad some of their friends. (That is such a strange-looking word.) The expert outdoorspeople that we are, the first leg of the six-mile journey was a bit like bumper-boats. Before Jeff got good at steering and I got good at powering the canoe, we kind of bopped from bank to bank. Due to the number of storms this summer, there were many fallen trees along the path. Some had to be limbo-ed under, others avoided, and most we bumped into.

Enter Tree Of Doom. It was sitting upright in the cool cedar water. Its breanches had been broken off, leaving innocent-looking branch stumps. We were meandering through the snake-like waterway when we realized we were going to hit it. It proceeded to jab one of its branch stubbies into my thigh. Hard. It hurt to the point of making me nauseous, but I knew if I physically reacted, I'd tip the canoe. I took it like a man. We couldn't get ice on it right away, so I have an epic bruise. Picture to follow when Jeff loads in onto the computer. It's deep purple and about 6 inches in diameter. It looks like I was beaten, or like All The Way Mae from A League of Thier Own.

Injuries aside, it was a pretty great day. Beautiful scenery and great company. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

May Brides in NYC


Becca, Lisa Beth, Jackie and I met while wedding planning. We all got married this May. When Becca in Queens invited us to her housewarming party, The Tri-State girls, Lisa Beth from PA, Jackie from DE, and my Jersey self went to see her. After much reassurance that I wouldn't get mugged/raped/murdered and getting a fake wedding ring to wear (neurotic!), I rose at the crack of dawn to prepare for our day of fun. Jax and LB met me at my apartment, and after a quick Wawa run, we were off. Jackie expertly drove her just-12-hours-old new SUV, and we arrived safely in Queens. I never knew a city could be so beautiful! Becca's neighborhood is gorgeous, and her building looks like a castle. We said hello, and travelled to Manhattan via subway, ew, icky, gross. We wandered around Times Square, ate at Ellen's Starlight diner (with the singing wait staff, super fun!), and visited Central Park. It was the first time I had been there, and it was less terrifying than I had anticipated. I'd even like to go back someday to the fun part of it. Our day ended back at Becca's, where she fed us amazing food and we enjoyed great company. Good times!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Falling Again


My husband and I have been to two weddings in the last two weeks, two months after we were married. These events triggered many nostalgic, gooey, mushy, lovey feelings. It's weird, I never fell out of love with Jeff, but I feel like I got a love energy boost, kind of like the way I felt around our wedding. I almost feel silly. Or stalker-esque. Getting all teary watching him sleep is a little crazy, right? Maybe there has been to much love in the air, or maybe it's hormones. Who knows?

: P

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jeff hasn't changed much since '91


My mother-in-law gave us Jeff's baby book (aaawwww!), and in the back was a self-evaluation that hubby filled out for school in 1991. It's hilarious. Some of it still applies:

1. I think I do my best in school: Yes AND No
If you said no, how can we help you? Teach me how to draw.

2. I try to help the class by: getting ready

3. Do you think you get along with the other children in your class? If not what can you do to change this? Stop talking and growing up

4. Working in groups can be fun. What do you do to help the group? giving pepol jobs (sic)

5. In what subjects to you need help? math

6. My favorite thing about second grade is Miss Cambell

7. My best subject in school is PE

Ha! Stop talking and grow up. Too cute.

Other highlights include a detailed record of all of Jeff's various accidents and emergency room visits, the fact that he turned over at 24 days, climbed stairs at 7 months, and walked on his own without coaxing at 8 months. Yeah, I can't believe I am going to have his children! I'm really in trouble..

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I have Lime Disease


I woke up feeling so sore- my abs, my back, my shoulders, and I couldn't figure out why until I remembered squeezing all those limes last night to make limeade.

How sad. I am so out of shape!

: P

When life hands you limes...


...make limeade!

A few weeks ago, Jeff asked me to pick up "one or two limes" for something he was making. They were on sale, so following in the footsteps of my deal-crazy father, I bought ten. Those little guys have been calling to me from the fridge, and right before their demise I got inspired.

I don't even think I have had limeade before, but I did a pretty good job. Here's what I used:

8 limes, juiced. I got about a cup and a half of juice.
1 cup simple syrup. Just dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water on the stove.
Enough water to fill the rest of our 84-ounce pitcer.

Results: Yummy, summery refreshment!

Bonuses to making limeade: The lime rinds clean and freshen the garbage disposal, and the citric acid from squeezing all of the fruit exfoliated my cuticles!

This is a domestic adventure I will be sure to repeat.

Tip: To get all the juice out of the limes, roll them between your palm and the counter. Then, microwave them for 20 seconds. After juicing (I picked up a cheap hand-juicer from Target), I took the pulp and squeezed that through a fine mesh colander to get every molecule of limey goodness.

Happy squeezing!

Monday, July 20, 2009



This story is not related to Jerseymooning, but it's worth mentioning as it is giggle-inducing:

A man in NH was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars for a pack of cigarettes at a gas station.

Even better: it took him over two hours on the phone with the bank to contest the charge and get his $15 overdraft fee back.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (no spoilers)


Sigh. The Jerseymooners saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but overall I was disappointed.

One the plus side, I thought that the acting was very good, especially from the "bad guys." Helena Bonham Carter creeps me out. Seriously. The kids are evolving with the material. There was only one character (a new one) that over-acted, but that was accceptable since the character is for comic relief. The humor is key to this installment, and the kids especially do a great job with it (with Rupert Grint being the funniest, of course).

On the negative side, I thought the movie missed some very key points. It barely skimmed the importance of the Half-Blood Prince and what it/he meant to Harry. Harry spends a good part of the book wondering who the Prince is and even entertains the idea that he is related to the Prince. The end of the book, the giant climax, the turning point in the whole series, was skimmed over and rushed in the movie. It really frustrated me. The movie also adds a scene that wasn't in the book and doesn't need to be in the movie. If it wasn't added, more time could have been spent on stuff that was important from the book. The Deatheaters were also given a feature/skill that they don't have in the book series at this point.

It was still better than Prisoner of Azkaban.

Let me know what you think of it when you see it.
PS- The picture is from Halloween a few years ago.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Wedding-Related Events and a Baby


This weekend was a lot of fun! On Friday, I visited my mom as usual to do laundry (since our apartment's dryer is lame). I ran a lot of errands, but afterward, we did some serious crafting.

On Saturday, Jeff & I visited the Haddonfield craft fair, which was fun. I didn't get anything because it was a lot of the same vendors as the Manayunk Arts Festival that I go to every year, but it was nice to look around. Then, we went with Jeff's brother Steve and his fiancee Gloria to North Jersey for our cousin Katie's engagement party. It was fun to have the family all together, and it was great seeing Katie so happy!

Sunday was Gloria's bridal shower in Pennsylvania. I have never seen Steve so nervous, but he did a great job with arranging the surprise! Again, it was fun to have family around, especially Katie and Aunt Pam, who we don't see often enough.

Today was a regular icky Monday but with one highlight: My coworker Nicole brought in her tiny, one month old baby! Holy Hormones, was he adorable! It rounded off the wedding-related weekend quite nicely. Two years or so and I get to have one of those little guys!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy to Serve You


I love when I get great customer service, and today was a day overflowing with courtesy and good-natured, helpful people, so I'll tell you all about it!

My first stop was Collision Max in Pennsuaken to get an estimate on my car repairs. The Geico representative, Joe, was so pleasant. I felt really comfortable leaving my car there. I was picked up by the Enterprise driver and representative to get a rental. Matt, the rep, and Andy, the driver, were a lot of fun. They called me with the damage, and there was more internal damage than I thought, but they'll get it fixed soon, and it's all guaranteed. I'm currently driving some really fast, black car that I hate because it's so powerful it scares me, but I look hot in it. : ) I'm really comfortable having Geico on my side.

Next up was David's Bridal in Maple Shade, NJ. I know, David's Bridal gets a really bad rap, and even I have had my problems with them. (I was in a wedding last year, and my DB shoes broke in the middle of the ceremony. It took several calls to corporate to get a refund.) I went today to get a few things for upcoming events, and I had dropped the ball to get shoes. I needed dyed shoes asap, but the fastest they were expected to get to me was in one week. The woman who helped me, Irina, did them on the spot! On a Friday evening in the middle of wedding season! I was so grateful that I almost teared up. Thanks, Irina! Also worth mentioning is the latest line of bridal gowns that Dabid's had. They were better quality with much better attention to detail than I have seen in years. they definitaly didn't have dresses like that when I was gown shopping! Some designs were reminiscent of Grace Kelly and Jackie O. Swoon!

Next, I went to pick up a dress I had ordered to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding this fall. I got distracted on my way into the store by Toes 2 Toes in Maple Shade next to the bridal shop. I don't even like shoes usually, but they had a sidewalk sale of really cute stuff outside. cute enough for me, the flip-flop/ballet flat-wearer to take a look inside. I was in that little boutique for an hour, chatting with staff for almost an hour. It was like I had known them forever. I tried on some cool stuff, most of which I would never wear in real life, but all high quality with great prices. I ended up getting two pairs of shoes (tally 3 pairs of shoes for the day, more than I buy in a year usually!), one to wear to the fore-mentioned wedding and another for fun from Opposites Attract, which are super fun because they have interchangeable accessories.

My last stop was to finally go back to Kay Bridal to pick up that gown. I bought my wedding dress there and had a great experience, so my mom got her gown for the wedding there as well. I can't stop going back! They remembered me and asked about the wedding and about my mom's health. How sweet! The dress fit perfectly (except the hem, but that's to be expected).

All in all, a day of great service. Research by the Disney company states that for every bad customer service experience, the consumer tells three friends or associates, but for every good experience, they tell 7-10 people. When is the last time you had great service?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Transportation Frustration


On April 15, I was driving home in the rain, taking the ramp to get on the Ben Franklin bridge. As any good Philly driver would know, there are three lanes there. I was in the righmost lane, and there was an 18-wheeler in the middle lane, to my left. We were going very slowly due to the weather and the deep curve of the road. I guess Mr. Truck driver decided he liked my lane better than his, because I felt and heard a bump. He rear-ended me! He could have killed me, but luckily he just tore off my bumper.

Here's the kicker: he told his insurance company that I hit him!

(mental forehead slap!)

My insurance company is dumbfounded and they're being really great, but long story short, Mr. Truck Driver's insurance won't pay for the damage, even though he clearly rear-ended me. Did they think I was driving backwards on the ramp? Grrrr!

I don't get it. All I want is a new bumper (or my old one reattached!) In the litigious society we live in, any other person would have sued them for whiplash, but I just want a bumper.

Anyway, tomorrow, I have to get up super early and fight traffic to get an estimate for repairs. Yuck. Send me happy bumper thoughts!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Honeymoon: the sequel


Jerseymooning keeps getting better! Jeff, the excellent husband that he is, wanted a flat-screen TV, so he took on a part-time second job to save for it. He decided instead that he'd rather go to Disney World this fall! So, off to a second mini-moon! He's the best! We're hoping for good weather, since it rained every day but two on our honeymoon.

Other good news includes our cousin Katie's engagement party. It's a long time coming, and she deserves a great time! It will be exciting to see her, and her mom, who married us.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Life is Average


It's the end of a beautiful holiday weekend! I hope everyone had a nice time.

On Friday night, I reorganized my bathroom cabinet. It needed it. It made me very happy. My life is average.

Saturday was fun, though. I went to the pool with Jeff's family to celebrate Independence Day, my brother-in-law's30th birthday, and his pre-bachelor-party dinner. Yay Steve!

How did you spend the holiday? I bet it wasn't as cool as my Friday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good mommy news!


My mom had her check-up yesterday, and everything was free and clear! This is always such a relief to hear, a huge weight lifted off of our collective shoulders.

I will concentrate my good-health vibes to my friend Kelly, who is currently in treatment.

Lots of love to both Mom and Kelly for being strong women.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009



You may have noticed that I deleted some content and comments from my first post. The reason is that they were about/from a person that I used to be friends with, but due to personality clashes, we no longer speak.

It is really cleansing to get rid your life of toxic people, but as anyone who works with people with personality disorders knows, they always manage to eek their negativity back in. It's frustrating, and I played right into her hands at first, but this is my blog, so I will set the boundaries necessary to keep it a positive and safe space for me and my friends. This is why I chose to delete the comments.

This person in particular was way fun to hang out with, but a friendship on anything more than a very superficial level didn't work. I expend enough energy at work with women who have a strong sense of entitlement or who maniupulate and twist things around to fit their perception of life, and it was just too taxing to maintain a relationship like that in my personal life.

In short, isn't it fun to be an adult and be able to make these healthy decisions for yourself, rather than to play games and get involved in sneaking around with he-said/she-said nonsense? I think so!

Back to my mental vacation....

: )

What a beautiful day!


Happy July!

It finally feels like summer today, after all the rain we've gotten. I'm working this evening, but I am taking a daydream vacation. You're all invited! We can pretend to be at the beach.

Sigh... that's nice. It's also economical and cuts down on travel time.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thanks to Monica


... for helping me figure out how to make the blog prettier!

The honeymoon is over


Ahh, wedded bliss! The wedding is over (thank goodness) and we're a month and a half into married life. I've started this blog to document the hikinks of a broke South Jersey newlywed couple, as well as to pretend there are people who like to listen to me. I will throw in some social commentary because I have no filter, as well as the occasional book and product review from time to time because I was That Kid in school, the kind that liked assignments.

I have already learned so much about marriage! For example:

~ Getting married does not magically teach your husband where to put his dirty socks.

~ Nor does it teach a new wife how to cook. I have cooked a total of one meal for my husband since being married. It's something I will work on, but I am truly hopeless in a kitchen.

~ Husbands are really neat to have. Mine has kept a crystal vase that we got as a wedding gift filled with fresh roses since we returned from our honeymoon. I think his dad taught him this trick. It's not something Jeff knew how to do as a Fiance, but Husband Jeff is pretty good at it.

~ Having a new name is strange. It's like wearing a new pair of jeans or shoes that need to be broken in, except you can never take them off. I still feel strange around my family when I have to say or spell my married name.

~ Perfect strangers will congratulate you! I learned this in the name-changing process. It's fun, like winning a prize every time you fill out a form.

~ Wedding rings are Man Repellant. It's a very cool trick. Proudly wearing your shiny new wedding band, venture in to any public place where previously you practically had to go incognito for sheer volume of time wasted from guys hitting on you. It's magic! Nobody bothers you. Fabulous! It cuts errand time in half. An even more fun game is when the poor souls belatedly notice the rings. They wince, then sheepishly exit. Excellent. Disclaimer: This trick does not work with the kiosk people in the mall trying to sell hand lotion. Please email me if you have a solution to this pesky problem.