Happiness is a grocery store

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To fully comprehend this picture and the impact that it will have on my life, I have to tell a short short story.
We moved into our lovely neighborhood in 2006. It’s a charming little nook. A little gem lined with big Oak trees and regular sized homes all in a row. There’s a great walking/running/dogging/biking path that goes all the way through and is used often. We loved it immediately.
It’s full of kids and friendly neighbors that have become some of our closest friends.
There’s even a small little cluster of stores in walking distance.
When we first moved in, the cluster consisted of a Blockbuster Video(!), a pizza place, an ice cream place, a Kohls, a supermarket, a Starbucks and some stores in between. Some Friday nights were spent going from Blockbuster to pizza to ice cream. What can I say, we are easy to please.
But the true jewel to that center was the grocery store. It wasn’t special. But it was good. Good and close. Good and convenient. Good and easy. And then it was gone.
Since it left, our community has been reeling.
Blockbuster folded soon after. Coincidence? I think not. Yes, we still have pizza and ice cream and Starbucks. We’ll always have Starbucks. Once one of those opens up it does not shut down. In case of natural disaster, just run for the nearest Starbucks. It’ll survive anything (and there’s free wifi).

In the dark times since then, we’ve had nothing. Well, truthfully, we’ve had lots of things but really-close-grocery-store wise, we’ve had nothing. In our close community there have been rumors and rumblings about a Trader Joe’s. And then we heard some buzz about Whole Foods. But those things were a pipe dream. A fool’s wish. And let’s be honest, I’m not fancy. I just want a place to go get some emergency supplies (“I forgot I need to send grapes to school today” or “We’re out of milk. Again.” type of emergencies). A CVS drug store opened up down the road a few years ago. I remember walking in for the first time and seeing that they had a refrigerator section. I almost cried. Do you see how desperate I am?

About a year ago, maybe less, we found out that all our…ok my… dreams were coming true. My grocery store dreams were coming true.

Now we are just a few weeks away from the grand opening of a beautiful, new store. I bought a dress.

The whole center is a buzz. New paved parking lots. New crisp paint on the walls. A reason to get up in the morning! Just kidding. Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

checking in…

So whatcha been up to? Hope you’ve been having some Christmas fun.  Here’s what we’ve been doing – non sequitur.

  • Started my Christmas shopping in September hoping to get ahead of the game, but the game won. I am still not done and it’s 2 days after Christmas.
  • Went to the ER the day before Christmas Eve (long scary story with a happy ending, all is good).
  • Made 12 dozen cookies. 12. Dozen. 144 cookies. Know what I learned? Even after making 144 cookies I still want to eat cookies.
  • Headed to NYC on Christmas Eve and came home with tons of great gifts and happy memories (and saw a truly ugly sweater, thanks Aunt Stacy).
  • Hosted a neighborhood gathering at our house a day after finishing my first week at a new job. It sounds stressful but it was so much fun. It was the perfect way to kick off our holiday fun – and I learned how to make eggnog. And I also learned that you can only drink about 2 cups of eggnog before wanting to throw-up!
  • Had some killer Chinese food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fa ra ra ra ra, ra, ra,ra ra.
  • Decided to cave in and get the kids a trampoline for Christmas. Look for future posts titled, “Why did we buy a trampoline?” and “Were we nuts when we bought the kids a trampoline? Yes!”.
  • Dropping off my girl for a session of winter camp today, sniff…sniff. It’s only 4 days but I really don’t like it when she’s gone.
  • Went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Don’t listen to all those Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sweet, visual, musical movie. Does it have anything to do with the short story? Nope. But it does make you want to visit Greenland and Iceland – so there’s that.
  • Only watched A Christmas Story 3 to 8 times, much less than last year.
  • Santa brought our son some more inappropriate Xbox games. What can you do, that Santa is a crazy mofo.
  • My girl wanted a saxophone for Christmas and we decided to go for it. Instead of buying it outright (incase she changes her mind like the guitar. or the ukulele. or the harmonica. or the…) we decided to rent it from a music and arts store. What happened next was a tragedy of errors that resulted in us going to that store 4 times. I have only one thing to say to the 8 dudes that work there,” dudes, wearing a skinny tie and having a hipster beard only makes you look smart if you aren’t completely incompetent and stupid. You morons.” Sorry. That is all.
  • After we drop off my daughter at camp, we head directly to my parents house for Christmas Part Deux. Time to push aside the figgy pudding and make room for the garam masala.

To go with the bullets that make no linear sense – here’s some random photos from the past few days! I’m sorry the boy has no shirt on – but that’s how he rolls in the house. Just keepin’ it real. xoxo

 

Here’s me wrapped up in a blanket reading my new cookbook (Pioneer Woman!) and my son looking like an angel playing a killing game. I have guilt. Can you tell?

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Can you guess which plate of food is mine? Hint: it’s the one that burns going down.

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Even in her “ugly” sweater she looks beautiful!

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Here’s my two favorite men. I think next year they can switch places in the picture :-).

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She loved her saxophone, no thanks to the dopes at the music store. Sorry.

 

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This is my kids exchanging gifts they bought for each other. Is there anything better than that?

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Good Pain

What would be your last meal? Steak? Lobster? Caviar? Nope. Not me. This would be my last meal.

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Cheese. Bread. And a long, hot, pepper! It’s very ethnic of me. I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. It’s of my people. I went out shopping this morning and rewarded myself with this beauty for lunch. Do you know how happy I get when I see a pepper like this? The kind that’s so big it doesn’t even fit in the frame. The kind you find in a pizzeria, laying on top of a pile of garlic knots and waiting for a lunatic like me.  Waiting to be sprinkled with sea salt. Waiting to be devoured.

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I’m hard pressed to find something that I love more than this combo.

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Happiness is a slow, salty burn after your meal. Really.

Loose Moral Compass

 

I saw a lady litter.

I was at a stop sign around the block from my house.  She was pushing an expensive baby stroller and wearing a cute outfit.  She finished a bottle of water and then threw it behind the sign for our neighborhood.

I couldn’t believe it.

She must have seen me see her.

I was right there. She didn’t care.

She just threw the empty bottle and kept walking. I should have honked my car. Or shouted out to her.  But I’m a chicken shit and I just sat there. Watching.

I imagine her doing all sorts of awful things and not caring.  Not tipping enough. Not recycling.  Returning outfits that she already wore. Never washing her hands after she uses the bathroom.

She’s probably a liar too.

On my way home I stopped and picked up the bottle.

It was a Fiji water. Now I’ll be thinking about her every time I see a bottle.

That poor baby.

 

 

mi frizz es su frizz

It’s hot here.  It’s so hot and sticky and uncomfortable that when you’re in the shade and it’s a cool 99 degrees, you think you’re happy. You are delusional my friend. It’s still awful. I’ve made thinking about, complaining about, whining about the weather a full-time job.  That’s probably because my kids are both away so I have to fill my days obsessing about other things. Although I’m doing so much better than last year – here’s my camp tale from last year incase you missed it!

http://wifemothereventplanner.com/2012/07/22/hello-muddah-hello-faddah/

Anyway – back to the present. Because my nights aren’t spent bossing kids around or driving kids around or driving them crazy – I’ve been doing fun stuff. Stuff like not doing the laundry. Do you know how much fun you can have when you don’t do laundry? I’ve also been not cooking, not cleaning, and not leaving the house. It’s been a hoot.

I’ve also gone totally nuts and started using my kids’ bathroom. Note to self: add “having your own bathroom” to your list of things to look forward to when the kids move out. Ofcourse part of the fun of using their bathroom is using their products. Truthfully it’s my daughter’s products. My son uses whatever bottle he finds to wash everything from his hair to his toes. He once used just conditioner for a whole week. True story.

So while plundering her products – I discovered this little beauty.

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If you have sleek, smooth, frizz free hair – don’t use this product. But if you, like me, dream of the non-brillo head without a straightening iron – this is for you! If you read this blog regularly (thank you so much if you do) – you know that I have been trying to go “free” with my hair. No products. No blow-outs. No nothin’. It’s been rough. I’ve been wearing a lot of headbands. And hats. And paper bags.

After one use of this amazing, great smelling product, here’s what my hair looked like. Air dried. No products. I swear on my blog.

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Come on! Where’s the frizz??  Not here baby!!

Only Boring People Get Bored

Here’s a random list of all the things I’ve been doing/seeing/eating/buying/worrying about/disliking/loving/wanting in the last few weeks:

  • Every year, in prep for the Oscars, my husband and I try to see all the nominated movies (we’re crazy like that).  This year we’re almost there – minus his absolute resolve to NOT see Le Mis.  I saw it. I started crying during the first scene and haven’t stopped since. 
  • I’ve wanted a nutmeg grinder for a long time. Many a day I strolled into Williams Sonoma, coveted and then walked out. It’s not expensive. But then you start thinking about how much nutmeg you actually use in real life and how absurd it is to have a special little grinder for it – and then the $30 may as well be $3,000.  Long grinder story short – my secret santa gave me the damn grinder for Christmas. And I haven’t used it once. And I probably won’t touch it until next November. But I LOVE it and it makes me insanely happy. Insane being the key word. Picture below.
  • My sister-in-law hurt her leg and spent some quality time with us in the begining of January.  She was trapped on our couch with a giant bag of ice  and looking for a new show to watch – we asked if she had ever seen Breaking Bad – she hadn’t. You know what’s better than finding a good show to watch on Netflix? Watching a good show again with someone who hasn’t ever watched it. It’s like tv philanthropy.
  • Downton Abbey started again – oh happy day! Recent favorite Maggie Smith line, “Don’t mistake vulgarity for wit.” I vote for a Lady Grantham spin-off, who’s in?
  • I went formal dress shopping with my teenage daughter. This should be the name of a new horror movie. Just kiddin’…anyhoo.
  • Tried a new hummus recently. Bobbi’s Hummus. It’s basically 3 parts garlic to 1 part chickpea. Lots of lemon and freshly ground pepper. I love you Bobbi, and your heavy garlic hand.
  • I got a pedicure last week for the first time since hurting my foot – which is still a bit sore.  I went to my favorite nail place. Esther runs it. She’s a nice Korean woman who I’ve gotten to know well enough for her to tell me that her real name isn’t Esther and the other two girls aren’t Anna and Tina. Last summer her son came to work in the shop. We call him Tom but you get the point. Tom does all the pedicures. Just thought you should know.
  • I tried giving up bread for 2.5 seconds on Thursday, January 3rd. Epic fail.
  • Legos are the devil.
  • The end.

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Things that make you go….f**##%@!

Not a post. Just a thought.

Unless a store runs out of gifts (aka merchandise) – they should not run out of gift boxes.

To all those stores who try to “sell” me a box….for shame. FOR SHAME!!!

(I know many sad things have happened in our world and this is nothing. But I need to focus on something or else I’ll go mad!)

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