The last post...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The last post of 2013 that is! 

First of all, thanks to all of my readers. I know that there are a lot of you out there that read but don't comment and I appreciate the clicking over almost as much as I appreciate the commenters.  

Tonight will be spent with my three main men. This is the very first New Years that we are all spending it together. Every single year, my parents host a New Year's Eve party for the grandkids where the soda and junk food flow freely. 

This year, my kids feel that they are too big. They were trying to make plans with friends but somehow that does not seem likely to happen so the four of us are going to do something together.  My sister warned that this may be the last New Year's Eve that my teens actually want to spend with their parents. Ever. :(  I'm going to try to enjoy every single moment.

2013 has been a really good year for my family. I have high hopes for this year to be even better.

I hope that every one of you that reads this has a happy and healthy 2014!

Today, my son  and I ran out to Mojo Donuts. It is far away (thank g-d) and we picked up some deliciousness before they sold out.  These were supposed to be for tonight's dessert.  Guess how many are left?


Kids Stuff to Keep...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My sister insists that I give very good helpful advice and suggested that I should blog some of my words of wisdom. I'm not sure that I agree with her but here goes…

At the end of the year, full of food and fun, I always find myself in a purging mood (not bulimic) but purging of the closets etc.  I think it is the mental part of out with the old and in with the new that sends my car full of stuff to goodwill at least two to three times between Christmas and New Years.

There is a fine line between a border and a smart, thrifty homemaker and throwing vs. keeping is the distinction.

Today's post is about Kid's Stuff.

 When you have little kids, there is an overabundance of stuff. Toys, clothes, supplies, etc.  It gets overwhelming. It gets messy. HOWEVER, it is expensive to replace.  You can look forward to  the fact that even though teenagers are moody, their stuff is much smaller and does not require a whole playroom to keep it in check.


  • If you are thinking of adding more kids to your brood, save anything unstained. You'll need as much money to keep the older siblings occupied while you eat up a new baby.
  •  If you are 100% certain that you are done having children, pass most of it on. Give it to charity, a school,  a homeless shelter, a neighbor or a friend.   Saving every little sock and tiny hat seems darling and sentimental , but it is really hoarding.   
  • Save the outfit he or she came home from the hospital or a couple of other little pieces that you remember something special about but seriously, unless it is a family heirloom, no one is going to want your carter's onesies in 30 years.
  •  If items were super expensive or fabulous, consider selling them on eBay or at a consignment place.   Then you can buy more cute stuff with the cash.


  • If something is great but the kids are bored with it, stash away for a raining day. My middle school kids were still pulling out the magnet toys, legos and board games up until they got laptops and iPads. Then we turned the playroom into a man cave.
  • If it is loud and annoying, eats up batteries or makes the kids nuts in a bad way, give to goodwill (Schools don't want them either). All of those carnival type stuffed animals, party favors, etc should go in the goodwill bag in the trunk of your car or outside garbage can as soon as your kids are not looking. They tend to multiply and are really not enjoyed for more than the first five minutes that they are in a child's hand.   
  • EXCEPTION: save that special teddy bear or cool toy that will stand the test of time . I'm talking one or two sentimental things per child (not a closet full) 

  •  NOTE: If your children have any tendency to hoard, do not involve them in the purging of the toys. Teach them charity in another way. My kids do not want to give or throw anything away. In fact, when cleaning out their room, if they are asked about any item, even a pencil, they become instantly re-enamored with it and cannot agree to part with it.  They stop caring about the orphan that will use that lint-covered pencil to become a nobel prize winner. They will fight with you for an hour over that thing that they forgot ever existed.  Get the stuff out of the house when they are not looking and put it in your car for later distribution. 


  • If it is in good condition and you are thinking of having more kids, store it. If your high chair or stroller are gunky and dirty, pitch them. You're going to want the latest and greatest anyway, so pitch them or send them to Grandma's house. My mom and mother in law both had strollers, cribs, pack n'plays etc at their houses which always cut down on the amount of crap that I had to haul there when dumping them off there dropping them off for a visit.

  • If the gear-ish item really never got used with the first baby (wiper warmer, diaper genie, etc), I can guarantee that you will not use it with the second.    The stuff you should get rid of would be the parent convenience types of things. If you did not have the patience to use them with the first baby or two, you definitely won't with the next kiddo. The exceptions would be items like swings, bouncy seats. One of my babies loved all of those things and the other hated them


  • One of my girlfriends has a storage unit full of every single item that her child produced. I'm not just talking about artwork, but every single test, book report, etc.   She obviously has issues but anything more than a small tote of your child's work seems like overkill to me.   Save the especially cute  or meaningful pieces  (I have a piece framed in my room from pre-school!) but every scribble is going to dilute and clutter it up.   

  • Trust me, your children are not going want any of it when they have their own homes.  My Dad texted me a photo of the plaque that my sorority big sister made me when I pledged in 1985 that he found the day after Christmas. I forgot that it ever existed. If I saw it at a flea market, I would have never recognized it. I did not want it. It was taking up space in their closet for almost 30 years! Here it is...

  • The exception would be if your child is destined to be the next Romero Brito, Pablo Picasso, etc.  If little Johnny is a phenom, you may want to save his finger paintings because they will be worth some serious bucks someday at Christies. Otherwise, display for a while and then pitch most of it. 

  • HOWEVER, don't let your kids see you throwing it away as you may need to pay for therapy later on.


  • This is where I err on the side of hoarding.  Even though my youngest is an uncrafty boy  in 8th grade, we are still doing those horrible class projects on a regular basis.    The projects always require lots of supplies so Avoiding a trip to Michaels is like adding $50 to my IRA. In fact, I always stock up on school and art supplies when I see a good deal (such as after the start of school). I have a whole (small) closet dedicated to art and office supplies.

  •  Make a costume box.  Put hats and other dress up stuff in there.  I'm not kidding.  If you don't and you are trying to put together a Christopher Columbus Costume in May (long before and after any store has Halloween supplies) you will thank me.  You would think that this would have ended for me by now, but Cinco De Mayo, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Famous Book Character Month, etc etc are still alive and well in Middle School and Homecoming Spirit week is still a big thing in High School. Once again, the money saved by having to pay to  Fed Ex an Albert Einstein wig to make sure that your son gets the "A" will help you when you retire (or buy a really nice bottle of wine to deal with the stress of these stupid projects)

What are your hints for throwing vs. keeping kid's stuff? I'd love to hear them.

Some Housekeeping..

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First of all, the winner of that gorgeous scarf in the color of the year courtesy of Fresh Produce is VODKAMOM.  Thanks for all who entered. Vodkamom, e-mail me your mailing address and I'll get it right out to you so that you can wear it on your next hot date, which I'm certain is coming soon.

For those of you who did not win AND who did not get anything fab from Santa, treat yourself and buy one on They are only $29 and really, really nice. (Fresh Produce must know me and sent me one to  keep and one to giveaway which was really really nice of them)

My Christmas was great. Lots of extended family getting together in my mom's waterfront home and eating bagels and lox while getting up.  It's our family tradition. It happens every Christmas. It is always fun and the time flies.

I am sick of food. Seriously. The giant, fresh bagels (yes, bagel shops are open and baking on Christmas Morning!) pushed me over the edge. It is lettuce from now until New Year's Eve for me.

I don't consider myself new-agey but my one and only favorite guru is Marianne Williamson. Her message for today was something to think about. Here it is…

The worst gift and the best gift

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We all know that family, friends and health are the best gifts for the holidays but let's just put aside that serious stuff and let me tell you what the worst gift is..

These tacky calendars that businesses mail to you.  Yes, my mother taught me that you should always be gracious etc. Yes, it's the thought that counts. HOWEVER I received a few of these this year and they go right into the goodwill pile where goodwill will probably throw them away.

When I had a business I would get at least 10 paper calendars in various forms.  Send me a pen. My bank gave me a cute little spray hand sanitizer.  But an old-school calendar, please save your money Mr. Insurance Broker. A card would have been just as nice.

The best gift that I received from a business this year was from Like Twice. is a website that buys and sells gently used clothing.  They send you a bag. You fill it up and send to them at their expense and they pay you in store credit or cash!  I've sent them a bunch of stuff that I couldn't sell on ebay and they sent me a lot of money. This was stuff that I would have donated so it was like a gift.  On top of that, they sent me this yesterday.

Way better than a calendar!

Be sure to enter my contest for the gorgeous Fresh Produce Scarf before December 26th!

Merry Chritmas. Hope it is great!

Checking in..

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hi Dear Readers: 

I've been busy eating, shopping and doing other Holiday activities (mostly eating). It is not even Christmas yet, and I'm full of junk. I started a diet today. Yes, two days before Christmas. Setting up for failure OR just getting a jump on the much needed food detoxing? I'm a positive person so I  think I'm getting a jump on things. For example, I ate a lot of this cookie Sunday night for no reason other than it was cute. You can't tell from the photo, but it was bigger than my head. I'm not kidding.

It's not too late to win that gorgeous scarf that Fresh Produce sent me to give to one of my readers. Just leave a comment on the link below
Click here for my Fresh Produce Scarf Giveaway

Sadly or happily, depending on how one looks at it, it is too darn hot to even wear that gorgeous lightweight scarf here in paradise (Fresh Produce sent me one to keep and one to giveaway!)

 Seriously, I rode this morning at 7 and it was already 82 degrees!!!  Here are some photos...

 That one was taken at Sunrise. See how they wrap the poles for Christmas. That is as Christmas-y as it gets.

This one was taken about 20 minutes later (without a filter). Gorgeous huh?

You'd think that this gorgeous weather would make everyone happy but the rudeness is at an all time high around here. After my ride I ran into the drug store and the supermarket for a couple of things and, in both places, people tried to cut me in line! And the road rage is abundant. There is a lot of traffic because the town is packed with tourists, snowbirds and everyone home for the holidays but everyone is so impatient.

Peace, Joy & Love?  Peace, Joy & Love!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fresh Produce was kind enough to send me a scarf to giveaway.

No, not the  winter-y kind but a gorgeous, lightweight, wear-any time scarf in the color of the year for 2014, radiant orchid. This scarf is fabulous. How do I know, because Fresh Produce sent one for me to keep and one for me to giveaway.

This scarf is not only a gorgeous color it is the perfect weight and length. It's made of 100% modal…so soft!  It is called the Wanderlust scarf and at only $29 bucks, I'm really considering buying it in a few more colors.

Here is the link in case you want to just buy the scarf instead of waiting for the contest to end! 
Wanderlust scarf

Okay, here are the details…. Just leave a comment below.   Easy right? I'll pick the winner by random, old -fashioned, name -in -the hat on December 26th, so be sure to leave a comment below by Christmas! Sorry, but this is open to my readers in the USA and Canada only :(

Tell your friends! 

A Pain in the neck...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Doctor put a band-aid on my neck yesterday. (No, it was not botox or anything super fun or glamorous like that ).  When I took the band aid off last night it was a little red.  When I woke up this morning after having slept all night without a band aid, look at what I saw…

How disgusting is the band-aid mark on my neck??? The boo boo being covered is gone. That red is just the band-aid. What the heck? I think that I'm allergic to the adhesive.  Ugh. 

Ok, that is gross. What can I do to bring you back to a happy place and get that out of your mind???

How about some Florida Christmas Photos? 

Miami Peeps…Here is a fun thing to do with the kids this weekend….

The Kendall Ice Arena is having a Holiday Spectacular Ice Show on December 22nd at 5:30.  The cast of Hitstreak will be performing a special concert during the show.

Tickets start at $10 which is cheaper than a movie!

Check out  for more information.

My computer's visit to the Hospital...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My computer was in the Apple Hospital.  I was without my beloved desktop for three days. It was torture.  My iPad will never replace my giant desktop.

I bought my iMac exactly 3 years ago come December 27th. It was expensive. Probably 2 or 3 times more than a non-apple computer would have been.   I was smart enough to fork over even more money for "applecare" (I think it was $169 but don't quote me). 

Applecare extends the customer support and warranty on the computer for  another 2 years on top of the first year. During the three years that I have had my precious, I had to lug it in one other time as there was a wifi issue and they replaced whatever in the computer makes it talk to the wifi modem (You can tell I'm really technically savvy).  I also called the nice Apple phone people several times and they were always able to help. They are located in the US and don't tell you to turn on and off the computer ten times and then say that they can't help like PC support had done to me in the past.

The Apple Store is about 5 minutes from my house which is a plus as I had to schlep my big baby in this week as everything was sluggish and they couldn't diagnose it over the phone. This computer is big, bulky and heavy. Luckily I brought it into the store before my warranty expired because when the sweet genius Cory plugged it into a little gadget and ran a test, a huge red banner went across the screen saying "FAILED". They replaced the entire harddrive and because I had AppleCare, it was all FREE! They had the computer for three long days but it is good as new now!

When I purchased this computer I also bought an external hard drive for about $100 at Costco. Using the apple program called Time Machine, it automatically backs up my entire computer on a regular basis. When I got home from apple, I plugged in the external hard drive and clicked enter and within 3 hours, my entire desktop was restored. Exactly how it was before! If you did not know that the hard drive was replaced, you wouldn't have noticed one difference.

I love a bargain more than anyone but I would never buy a PC ever again. Apple is worth the extra money when it comes to computers!

Another Giveaway from BowTie Kids

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tis the season! Last week I hosted my very first giveaway. This week I have another.

This cool company called The Bowtie kids has offered to giveaway a cute item to one of my readers.  This is the easiest giveaway ever. Just leave a comment

Bowtie Kids has adorable little clothes for your little ones PLUS they give 10% of their profits to Austism Charities  which just rocks!

Grandmas, Moms, Dads and Aunties, leave a comment and we will pick a winner by a random old-fashioned pulling a name out of hat.
US addresses only :(

Contest ends Friday 12/13 at noon (EST) so comment away!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Thanks to all of you who entered. The winners of the camjmr webcam covers are



and Bee

Emails have been sent to the winners asking for shipping info.

Don't fret if you did not win because I have another, great giveaway this week!!!!

I'll post it soon!

Contest! Giveaway! Yipeee

Monday, December 2, 2013


     A couple of weeks ago, I was watching "The Good Wife" (one of the best shows on tv right now!) and Alicia's daughter's webcam was hacked and creeps were posting photos of her in her bedroom on the internet.  I keep my desktop iMac in my bedroom and this reminded me of my ugly, homemade webcam cover (a business card)   and I googled a better solution.  I found this cool company called   CAMJAMR. The sell cute little reusable webcam covers. You can stick them on your desktop, laptop, tablet and even your phone.  This little solution helps keep your business private. Webcams can be hacked and who needs that.  This little reusable sticker won't goo up your camera and is much nicer looking than a business card!

My cute little sheet of these removable stickers showed up quickly and my computer looks so much better without the big card over the webcam. See...

     They come in different designs and are quite affordable.  I loved this product so much, that I wrote to CAMJAMR and they were cool enough to offer a giveaway to my dear readers!

CAMJAMR has agreed to award three of my readers a set of CAMJAMRs !  All you have to do is go to and come back here and comment as to which set you want if you win.  I'll choose the winner by pulling out of a hat and then Camjamr will send your set directly to you.  Contest ends at noon(EST) on Friday December 6th, so please enter now and tell your friends.!!!!

This is a great gift for yourself or the perfect stocking stuffer for your kids, grandkids or any techie in your life! 

(Disclosure: I purchased the camjamr myself and then asked them to donate a set for a contest. I did not get paid to advertise for them and all opinions are my own)

Our one and only Thanksgivukkah...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgivukkah, that rare day when Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collided is over.  It won't come again for another 70,000 years.  Last night we wondered if there will be an earth in 70,000 years or a human race and , if so, will there still be organized religion.  That was the only heavy moment in an otherwise fun and festive night.

This year, it was just my side of the family. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew were in from out of town so it was extra special.  My food was delicious , yet heavy (Jewish food is heavy and we all know how you feel after a Thanksgiving dinner). I served Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, potato latkes (pancakes), corn soufflé, Kughel (Jewish noodle pudding), and my mom brought her famous and fabulous beef brisket (another Jewish tradition).  Desserts were pecan pie, red velvet cake and Jelly Donuts (a Hannukah food). I wish that these to holidays were always celebrated on the same day! So many calories, yet soooo good.

Everyone got a along (we always do) and it was just a great night. Lots to be thankful for. 

As I woke up this morning, for the first time, in a long time, I had nothing that I HAD to do. I was so grateful for that.

Today my husband's creative brother is coming over to finish up this year's handmade menorah.  I will post photos after Saturday night's big reveal during a Hanukkah celebration with my husband's family.

In the meantime, here are a few shots of our crazy, mixed up holiday. I think that the decorations that I concocted (other than Etsy, there were no Thanksgivukkah decorations being sold) were tacky but they won't be used again so it is okay.

Jewish Pilgrams????

 A turkey filled with dreydels???
 Gourds and Gelt (Hanukkah chocolcate coins)
 Latkes (potato pancakes)
 Truly a mishmash! Martha Stewart has nothing to fear!

Things I'm thankful for….

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This time of year, we are all supposed to be thinking about what we are thankful for.  As I sat in Temple the other day watching my friend's son become a Bar Mitzvah, I thought about the real things that I'm thankful for. (Family, Health, etc) But The Super-funny Jen at The Suburban Jungle cracked me up this afternoon when she posted the 27 things that she is thankful for and it got me thinking, what are the things that I'm truly thankful for besides the obvious ones.

Here goes:

1. I'm thankful that I have built in manual laborers in my house..  Well, they talk back and I have to yell a lot but I do have two giant teens who can unload groceries and a dishwasher, carry laundry up and down stairs and do other various choses for free. Sure I have to feed, clothe and drive them around, but the extra help is kind of nice.

2. I'm thankful for my giant flat screen television in my room. It is 2 years old. Is a smart tv (internet connection) and is crystal clear. Yesterday, I told my son that if I could, I'd marry it and I was not kidding.

3. I'm thankful for text messages. I don't always give good phone and I love being able to get my message across without having do do the whole phone call thing and it's niceties.

4. I'm thankful for Amazon Prime.  Seriously. It is the best $79 a year that I spend.  I order things like printer ink or books for school or vitamins at least two or three times a week and it is always delivered in two days. For free!   It is the lazy girl's best friend

5. I'm thankful for Air Conditioning. Sorry but everyone in Florida should have to say thanks for that at least once a year.

6. My bangs and I are very thankful for flat irons. I can't remember what life was like before them but it was uglier for sure.

7.  I'm thankful for Checking into to gross hotels are a thing of the past for me. I once had to wear shoes in a hotel room in NYC because the carpet was sticky. Thank goodness that website posts real visitor reviews so surprises are minimal

8.  I'm thankful that my mother made me take typing class in High School even though I did not want to. I can't imagine hunting and pecking

9. I'm thankful for good lighting at parties.  Last night I was at a Bar Mitzvah and the lighting was so perfect, me and my other young (middle-aged) friends all looked so soft and wrinkleless!

10.  I'm thankful DVRs and on-demand television.  I look back on those days when I did not want to go out on Thursday night because I'd miss my shows are absurd!

11. I'm thankful for Magic erasers.  Those little sponges get marks off of walls. Who came up with that?

12. I'm thankful that my kids have great senses of humor.  Laughing may save my entire family from going insane.

13. I'm thankful that the internet has recipes for everything and that I don't have to have cookbooks anymore.

14. I'm thankful for that once in a lifetime holiday THANKSGIVUKKAH.  Here is our turkey menorah. Yes, its more on the tacky side but it will be used for one night only.

Happy Thanksgiving Day. What are the untraditional things that you are thankful for right now.

What I've been up to...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I have not been blogging much lately. I've been extra, extra busy. Besides getting my house as company ready as possible for Thanksgivukkah, I've been doing a lot of freelance legal work. I've also been eBaying like crazy (I guess my clients are getting company ready by purging)

One of my clients gave me a shopping bag full of jewelry from her travels around the world. It is all so gorgeous. I guess the mini-hoarder in me can't believe that someone would want to give up such prettiness like these pieces

Another client gave me a carload full of Chinese pots and other home decor items. So pretty…

And another small footed friend (Size 5!) gave me these pretty Kate Spade shoes. I'd wear those to Publix every day if they fit me!

 Here is the link to my ebay store in case you want to check out the details of the above.

In the meantime, my husband informed me that his office was having a potluck pre-thanksgiving fest and I'd need to provide my famous corn soufflé for 70 this week.  I decided to try to make it in muffin tins instead of a casserole dish. I made samples in mini and regular tin sizes.  Both were delicious.  I actually just ate them for dinner on Thursday night when I was baking them in lieu of grown up food.

This is the jiffy corn muffin recipe. (jiffy mix, corn, creamed corn, sour cream, eggs.  Totally fattening. Totally delicious.

 I'll try to post some photos of my crazy Thanksgivukkah table decoration that I'm concocting.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

This year Thanksgiving collides with Hanukkah in Jewish Houses. The good news is that we kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

 Hanukkah is the easiest Jewish Holiday around here. We usually eat fried foods (to remember the miracle of a little bit of oil lasting 8 days) and light a menorah.  There is no temple-going, no traditional meals,etc.  

Thanksgiving in my family is more traditional and rigid. I have hosted it for many years. One year my husband and decided to bbq instead of making the traditional meal and it went over like a lead balloon (Any dinner party that I host where my husband bbqs is so much easier for me and so much tastier as I am not a good cook!)

This is the first time that these two holidays will be occurring on the same day and it won't happen again for 70,000 years! I have no idea what to make or how to decorate.

I'm going with silver and blue as my color scheme for decorating. I've spray painted some traditional thanksgiving items silver and my table decor will be unique and funny.

I'm thinking of this menu…Please give opinions.

Beef brisket (made by my mom and totally delicious)
Potato latkes (pancakes) with apple sauce
Cranberry sauce
Noodle kugel (It is sweet and delicious)

Mini peacan pies and mini jelly donuts (a hanukkah thing)

Lots of alcohol.

Is it okay if I don't serve anything green?
Is it okay if I don't have sweet potatoes?

Opinions please blogging friends?

Russell Crowe…Noah's Arc…Hmmm...

Friday, November 15, 2013

I've been asked to plug something. (I'm not getting paid but I may get some stuff to give away to my blog readers) I would never advertise something that I'm not interested in so luckily this involves Russell Crowe.  

Russell  Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson (Herminie!) are starring in an upcoming film called NOAH. We all know the story so it will be interesting to see this version of it! 

Here is a glimpse...

Here is a link to the trailer for the film!

I, for one, can't wait to see this. I love a movie that both my husband and I will want to see!

My yummy Anniversary Dinner

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I seem to be writing about restaurants a lot lately. I would make the worst restaurant critic. I'm easy to please.  I'm a horrible cook so I'm usually happy at a restaurant BUT my dear  Miami readers (Even though you're not big commenters, I know that you're reading because I see it in my blogger stats) you must check out Trattoria Il Migliore
Sorry that I don't have any photos of the food. I was too excited to eat it and forget to snap photos! 

My sweet husband and I celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss yesterday.  He had a long hard day and we just wanted to go out and eat something good in a nice, quiet place.  We had been to Il Migliore once before a few weeks ago and I suggested that we go back.

Il Migliore is one of those places that you probably have passed by a bunch of times. It is in a little strip center on Miami Gardens drive right before you get to Aventura.  Its a cute little place but the food is amazing.

The Chef/Owner is named Brett. He is not an absent owner.  He is walking around and making sure everyone is happy. This is probably one of the most important things that a restaurant owner can do.

In our two visits there we've tried the Kobe Beef Meatball appetizer, the chopped salad, the fettucini with mushrooms and truffle oil, the ceasar salad, the Rigatoni Butarra (spicy sausage in a pink sauce), the Chicken Butarra (A chicken park with the butarra sauce), brussel sprouts and the ricotta cheesecake.  Every single bite of every single thing was outrageously delicious and fresh.

As I walked out, I told Brett, "This is my new favorite restaurant" and it is.  I urge my Miami Peeps to check it out.

They are located at 2576 Miami Gardens Drive and the website is

Black Friday just got worse….

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

For several years, I owned retail stores located inside a local mall. One of the best and worst days of the year for me was Black Friday.  I had to think about it on Thanksgiving. I could not overindulge because I knew that I was opening my business myself the next day at 6 a.m.  This was when the mall opened.  I don't mind getting up early and the craziness that awaited me every year when I walked into the mall was always amusing.

Photo from

The mall did not require any stores to open until 6 a.m. but the department stores, at least most of them, opened at 4 so by the time that I made it to the mall around 5:45, the parking lot was starting to get filled up.  Once inside, despite most of the stores being closed, it looked like a busy afternoon except for all of the shoppers were wearing sweats and sneakers. There was not a stitch of make up or hairspray on the early morning crazies.  I always cracked up to see friends of mine dashing through the snow  marble tile to grab a bargain on a coffee maker or cashmere scarf.

This seemed crazy enough for me.  Luckily, I'm out of the retail arena (even though black Friday was always a great day for sales and the Holidays were my "bonu$" time of the year).  It seems that some retail stores (and even some malls) have decided to say "F black Friday...lets start on Thanksgiving"!

Wal-mart has decided to start the craziness at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. I'm sorry, but I'm certain that the someone will vomit up their huge turkey dinner while dashing to try to grab one of those cheap tvs. Someone will slip on it and sue Wal-mart which probably serves them right for opening on Thanksgiving.

Other stores, for fear of missing any of those precious black Friday dollars, are following suit. Target (8 p.m. Thanksgiving), Best Buy (6 p.m. on Thanksgiving) Sears (8 p.m.), Macys (8 p.m.) Kohl's (8 p.m.) JC Penney (8p.m.)

Old Navy has decided to open at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. I guess you will look better in their cheap clothes if you skip dinner all together in order to grab some cheap acrylic sweaters. Same with good Old K-mart. They are opening at 6a.m. on Turkey Day.   And purgatory (otherwise known as Toys R Us during the holidays) is opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Some local malls here in Miami  including the Dolphin Mall and Sawgrass Mills are also opening on Thanksgiving.  

Even if you love to shop on Thanksgiving, the thousands of workers who are ,no doubt, grateful to have jobs this year,  can't spend the holiday with their families as they have to show up and sell all the crap to the shoppers.

This is sad and there is probably no going back after this.  This year I will be thankful that I can go to the beach on Black Friday or just sit around my house cursing myself for eating too much the day before. I'm thankful that my husband won't have to work either.   I will not be shopping.   

By the way, while Black Friday may have a few "door buster" deals, I did learn from my years of living working at the mall, that the better bargains actually occur in the weeks afterwards.  The week before Christmas usually has great deals, especially on sweaters, etc.  If you go to the mall when it first opens (exceptions are Black Friday and the days before and after Christmas), it is not crowded and you can get your list filled before lunchtime! 

A Restaurant Called "Crazy About You"...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last night was my husband's birthday so I drove him to work and then we went out with the boys to a restaurant right around the corner from his office called "Crazy About You".  How could you not like a place with that type of name?

Crazy about You is located on the water in the Brickell Bay Area of Downtown Miami.  It has a gorgeous view when it is light out but we should have gone before the time change as it was pitch black when we arrived.  Regardless, it has a nice view of part of the skyline at night and the interior has a chic, modern vibe going on.

On each table was a cheeky little pot with a dare for everyone to put their cell phones in the pot. The one who takes his or hers out first, has to pay the bill. Guess who lost? The Birthday boy! To be fair, his phone was buzzing all day and night with birthday wishes and his money is my money  and the kids have no money so it was not really a game at all.

We have been to a sister restaurant nearby called "Dolores but you can call me Lolita". I blogged about it.  Both restaurants have the same concept.  You pick an entree and a appetizer for a set price. Prices range between $18 and $30 for the combo. The price is based on which entree you choose.  We all chose different stuff but the best thing on the table last night was the appetizer called "Calamari al Pepperoncini Flatbread". It was fried calamari with hot peppers, a ranch-y type of sauce on top of a thin pizza/flat bread.  Fried anything is hard to mess up and this was delicious.

The only downside was that I asked for birthday -something when I made the reservation and the waiter verified that something was coming but it never did. Just as well. We were full from all of the food and had a Birthday cake after the drive home.

I would definitely go back to Crazy About You ! 

Book Review…"The Atlas of Love"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

    I was an English major. I love to read. I have read a lot of literature despite my youngish age.  I find that these days, I don't read as much as I used to as my busy life and tired eyes seem to make me bore quickly if a novel does not catch my attention right away.

     I recently read "The Atlas of Love" by Laurie Frankel. 

While I would call the genre of this novel "chick lit", Frankel's writing is really, really good.  The book read like a friend is telling you her story. The premise for the book is that a graduate student becomes pregnant and she and her two closest friends decide to raise the baby together and share the work.  It is sweet, funny and smart. It is not upsetting. It is not confusing. It is just what a busy girl needs in a novel at this time of year. I read it in two days.

I loved it so much, that I emailed the author to tell her so. (I never do this but will doing it more often). Guess what? She wrote back!  

If you want a well written, easy read, I would highly recommend this one. 

A girl and a bike...

Monday, November 4, 2013

     No matter how long it has been since you last rode, it is great to jump on a bike.  For the past six months, I have been riding a bike for exercise on the beach.  In all the workouts that  I've ever done, this is the most mood altering one.

 I think it is the combination of the amazing beach views, the smooth riding path free of cars, the youthful feeling that you get when riding a bike along with the usual endorphins that come with some cardio that makes this a great workout.    

 I have yet to regret any of my biking workouts. Even when I'm tired, I am always in a much better mood once I breathe in the sea air. An unlike going to an indoor gym, there are all types exercising at "my outdoor gym". Young, old, fat, thin, athletes and tourists all walk, run, skate and bike in harmony.   No one tries to pick me up. There are no lululemon fashion shows.  It is just me and the beach and my bike. 

 The best part about this workout is that I don't have to haul a bike to the beach.  I have been doing "bike sharing".  All over South Florida, there are bike sharing stations popping up. In Broward County, where the amazing Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is located, there are B-cycles. 

You can either rent by the day ($10 an hour) or pay $45 for a year-long membership. With a membership, the first 1/2 rental every day is free and it is $1 for every half hour after that. You just swipe your credit card if you are not  a member. With membership, you walk up to a bike, place your membership card on a sensor next to it and off you go.

     I love not having to lift a heavy bike on and off of a bike rack. I love not having to worry about maintaining a bike.  I just walk up, ride and then put it back.  The bikes are in great condition and feature huge baskets with funny signs on them.

     Even when it gusting 30 m.p.h. and it feels like you are riding against a brick wall (like today!) it is always a good, fun workout.  If you are near Hollywood Beach, I'd highly recommend it. Just save a bike for me!


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