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Well the countdown has begun! In six days my immediate family, all 16 of us, will arrive at Walt Disney World - the happiest place on Earth! To say that we are excited would be an understatement. We booked the trip last November. For the last seven months we have been pricing dining plans (we decided against), scheduling character dining (a princess lunch and a lunch with the Little Einsteins), booking appointments at the Bippity-Boppity Boutique (Monday afternoon), watching videos of all the rides via YouTube, planning our packing, and most importantly watching the promotional DVD every single Sunday after lunch (I am not exaggerating, we have watched it about 50 times). This will be my children’s first trip. We told them that as soon as my son was out of diapers we would go. Well he is now three years old and has been diaper-free for about nine months. My daughter (five-years-old) cannot wait to ride Space Mountain. I do not ride roller coasters for fear of literally falling right out, but I’m sure she’ll have a great time with her dad! Check back next week as I breakdown each day. It’s sure to be eventful!!!


baby texting

I try to pride myself in being a cool “hip” mom (wait, do they say “hip” anymore), however I am having a little bit of trouble with the new technology-age vernacular. I guess my background of being an English teacher runs deeper than I thought, because the new verbs are causing me a lot of trouble. Example number one - texting. Every time I hear a group of kids talk about “texting” my grammatically correct nose twitches. A text is a noun or an adjective. They should say, “I sent you a text message.” And what about “friending” on MySpace and Facebook? Really? To an unknowledgeable observer the comment, “She friended me,” sounds absolutely ridiculous!!!  How about - She sent me a friend request? Oy! The ultimate in weird is “tweeting.” I don’t use Twitter, but the thought of telling someone that I just tweeted makes me laugh out loud - seriously!!! I suppose the gauntlet has now been thrown. Will I resist these crazy verbs or will I cave and join the crowd. Stay tuned!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In these current times of economic crisis I have a suggestion for moms and dads trying to come up with new toys for your kids. Go check your parents’ attics! Yesterday, my kids and I went to visit my mom and dad. Late in the afternoon I noticed that the kids were being very quiet upstairs. When I went up to check on them I was surprised at what I found. They had gotten into an old box of my brothers’ and my toys and found tons of things to play with!  My daughter had gotten out My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and even Barbies. My son had discovered my brothers’ endless supplies of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were having a blast. The thing they were excited about was that these were the same toys they play with at home, just older versions. Sure enough, retro-toys are back in style. Thanks Mattel, Hasbro, and whoever else thought to bring back the toys from the 80s. Even though my daughter couldn’t understand why Barbie was wearing leg warmers (hey they were cool in 1986) and the lead paint was chipping off Optimus Prime, they had hours of fun.

T-Ball Girl

Well, last night marked a big night at our home - it was my daughter’s last t-ball game. For those of you who have not been inducted into the t-ball club, let me give you the Cliffs Notes version. T-ball is played by 5 & 6 year olds. In our city, there are approximately ten players on each team. When we go to a game, there are two innings. Each player bats. They can swing as many times as they want, there are no outs. We do not keep score. When the last batter is up, the umpire calls, “Last batter,” and the kid playing “pitcher” stands at home plate and tags any of the kids who were on base. When it is over the kids have absolutely no idea what they have done or who has won. It is INSANE!

My husband and father are vehemently against it (due to their competitive natures) and began “unofficially” keeping score during the second game. Needless to say, I was not sorry that the season was rounding to an end. All day long my daughter has gone on and on about how sad she was that the season was going to be over and how excited she was about her big game. At about 5:00 I went to her room to get out her uniform. It was gone!!! I couldn’t find it anywhere!!!  After fifteen minutes searching (with her pacing along behind me), I called my husband who was on a business trip in Miami. “Do you have any idea where her uniform is???” I shrieked into the phone. “Yes, it is in the trunk of your car,” he answered calmly. “But you drove my car to the AIRPORT!” I screamed (the airport is three hours away). “Hmmmm,” was his reply.

So I pasted on a fake toothy grin and called my daughter to the room. I asked her if she’d like to go eat pizza and go swimming tonight. “What about my game?” she replied suspiciously. “Um, your-uniform-is-in-the-car-at-the-airport-so-you-aren’t-going-to-play,” I rattled off as quickly as possible. “Thank goodness,” she answered, “I am so tired of pretending to have fun!” Then she skipped out of the room.

Well my spring 2010 just became wide open!

Katie Holmes

Well in T-minus 25 days and counting I will turn the big 3-0! Oh sure, I’ve been fed the whole 30 is the new 20 garbage, but bottomline is that anything that has to be “the new” anything else is just plain OLD. As I sit and try to come up with some positives about turning 30,  I am plagued yet again with the trendy mom debate.  Last week I was bathing suit shopping at Old Navy. After winning a tug-of-war battle with a blonde who looked like she might have a good left hook, I snatched up my cute orange bikini and headed to the dressing room to try it on.

After a quick look I decided it would do. I sashayed out of the fitting room just in time to see that cute blonde hand the same cute orange bikini to her fifteen year old DAUGHTER. My jaw dropped. There was no way that I, a mother of two, could possibly wear the same swimsuit as a girl with her learner’s permit. I tossed the bikini back on the shelf and began my search for a practical one piece tank suit. So here is my question, at what age do you start looking silly if you dress young?

You all know of those women that people whisper, “she’s too old to wear that”...or “she’s too old to have that hair cut”... When do you have to stop shopping at GAP and Old Navy and start shopping at… I don’t know….mom stores? While I am not particularly interested in being a trendsetter, I do like to look nice and cute, but appropriate. Will there come a time when all of the sudden cute clothes are not appealing to me? Will my brain suddenly decide that the knit vest with apples on it is exactly what I wanted to wear today?  I really don’t know how all of this works?  If anyone has any insight I would truly appreciate it!! Lol!

Tooth fairy

So last week we had a rite of passage in our home. My five-year-old lost her first tooth. It was a little bit traumatic due to the fact that she swallowed it, but I convinced her to write a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what had happened and everything would be fine. That evening after she went to bed I snuck in her room, grabbed the letter, and left her a dollar. The next morning at church some of our friends heard her talking about getting a dollar. I swelled with pride, well, until I noticed the posse circling around me. All of a sudden the tooth fairy patrol began to cross examine me.

Apparently two of our friends gave their daughters twenty dollars for the first tooth and one friend gave her son forty dollars. Forty dollars!!! That is insane. Why in the world would anyone give a five-year-old forty dollars for a tooth?  So I started to feel guilty. I began to poll all of my friends and apparently the average amount of money a child received from the tooth fairy was ten dollars. I don’t know about you, but ten dollars is a lot more precious in our household these days.

Nevertheless, two weeks later when my daughter lost her second tooth (thankfully we rescued it from the sink before it went down the drain), the tooth fairy left a more generous gift of five dollars. Suffice it to say I was a bit chagrined when my daughter yelled for me to come to her room. Upon seeing her prize she sighed wistfully and said, “I wish the tooth fairy would quit leaving me these useless tickets. I would much rather have some crayons or bubble gum!” From the mouth of babes…

Dear American Apparel,

How’s it going? How’s everything? Are you still busy fending off those sexual harassment charges? I’m sorry. But hey, I have a bone to pick with you.

Here’s the thing… you know those awesome V-neck shirts you sell? The one that’s super soft, super comfy, and makes every girl looks instantly babe-a-licious? I love them. Thank you for that, really. But the thing is, I don’t understand why you have to make ‘em unisex. Seriously? Yes, some guys can pull it off. Mega hotties like Ewan McGregor, Javier Bardem, Gael Garcia Bernal, yes those guys work those v-necks like nobody’s bizznizzz. It’s pretty delicious.

But you see, 99% of the male population do not look like Ewan McGregor, Javier Bardem, or Gael Garcia Bernal. Most of them do not possess the natural, yet serious masculinity that is required to pull off those shirts. So they end up looking, well, icky. Even creepy. And slightly girly.

You started a trend I do not wish to ever see again, seriously. It’s gotten worse too.

Let’s take a look at the journey, shall we?

Click to continue reading Men’s Fashion Turn-Off #1: The Deep-V (Thanks American Apparel)


As I’ve said before, guys just aren’t allowed to ignore Valentine’s Day.  First of all, it’s advertised everywhere in every store you could possibly shop in. Secondly, the retailers make it ridiculously easy for men to pick something up for us.  Whether it’s a heart shaped box filled with chocolates, some silly stuffed animal, or a bouquet of flowers, guys have it easy.  But what about us? What the hell do we get for our husband, boyfriend, or friend who is male? Candy?  Sure, but that’s not very original and maybe you’re like me and have been buying Valentine’s chocolate all week.  If I do buy Husband a cutesy stuffed animal I can’t expect that to be the only gift.  He’ll take one look at it and toss it to the cat.  And flowers?  For men?  I don’t think so. We may as well buy ourselves the bouquet of our choice.

So we know, for the most part, Valentine’s Day is really a test for men to see how romantic they can be.  But I still like to return the gesture.  I may be a taker but I love to give just as much.  And as cheesy as Valentine’s Day really is, I think men want to be romanced just as much as we do.

Here are some “gift” ideas that I think men will appreciate this Saturday.

1. Be Sexy

Ok this one is obvious and probably the one thing he really (really) wants.  If you’re like me, you have a drawer full of sexy lingerie that pretty much stays there most of the time. Maybe I’ll buy something new but then again, will he even notice if it’s new?  Probably not.  If you wanted to actually buy a gift to offer while looking hot, a basket of intimate “bedroom” products is a sure thing.  Sex is really all men want most of the time so giving him what he wants is your best bet.

Click to continue reading 5 Ways to Romance Your Man on Valentine’s Day


No matter how silly and ultimately meaningless this “hallmark holiday” is, every girl hopes that someone will acknowledge her on Valentine’s Day.  When I was a single girl, I dreaded Valentine’s Day (and most holidays for that matter). But like most single girls, I still hoped and prayed that some secret admirer would send me flowers, candy, or some cute stuffed bear wearing a red tee shirt with some cheesy phrase like “be mine” on it . Hey, I’d even settle for a card.  I just wanted something that day. Just to feel loved, appreciated, alive. And sometimes I would get something. There are some sensitive gems out there that are willing to play along.  I had a male boss who always brought a single pink rose to every woman in the office as a gesture of appreciation. And of course there’s Dad.  Even a Garfield or Snoopy card from Dad could cheer me up on a day that depressed the hell out of me.

I think the majority of men think Valentine’s Day is just plain stupid.  But the bottom line is no matter how cool the girl plays it, she is most likely desperate for some offering on this day. She’s actually waiting and waiting for that moment to happen. When the delivery man comes to her desk at work with a huge monstrosity of roses, instead of passing her by and delivering to her neighbor, she is completely elated. Having flowers delivered may seem overboard for some guys but if she works in an office environment with a ton of women, you best be sending flowers.  And mind you they don’t have to be roses.  If you ask a woman what her favorite flower is chances are it’s not a rose.  Whatever the flower arrangement is though, the worst thing that can happen is being surrounded by bouquets that aren’t for you.  Even if you have a night out planned, send the flowers!  You’ll have a much better evening if you do. (In order to make this even easier for you, here’s a ProFlowers coupon for 20% off any order + free vase - or you can enter to win one of five $70 ProFlowers gift certificates we are giving away, just in time for Valentine’s Day.)

Click to continue reading Why Guys Can’t Ignore Valentine’s Day


In these times of economic crisis, people everywhere are looking for ways to cutback.  This week, Netflix reported their highest sales growth in years.  Could it be that those ridiculously high movie tickets are just too much of an expense these days?  Last week Husband and I spent $30 on a trip to the theatre.  Now while it’s not something we ultimately want to cut from our budget, signing up for a DVD rental program is a great way for us to save some cash.  It’s also a really great way to spend an evening.  Making a good dinner, putting comfy PJ’s on, and curling up on the couch to a good flick can be romantic and relaxing after a hectic work week. It’s also an excellent way to finally watch those movies you’ve wanted to see but never got around to. We’re renting some classics now like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Lawrence of Arabia (which will take up your entire evening).

There are tons of ways to create “cheap dates” besides succumbing to the all you can eat buffet or the Mickey D’s drive through.  For example, going to lunch instead of dinner is a great, cheap way to try a new restaurant. Or, how about taking advantage of the local scenery?  We headed to the big Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago last weekend and it was fun and inexpensive.  Museums, zoo’s, etc. in general are usually priced pretty low.  Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with each other, get out of the house, and experience cool things right in your own backyard.  A friend of mine just told me she and her husband toured the Anheuser Busch brewery in Jacksonville, FL for the first time even though they’ve lived there for at least 8 years.  It’s amazing how we sometimes overlook our local attractions.

Click to continue reading Easy Ideas for Cheap Dating