Friday, June 24, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings.

I'm ready to move after...
...a real life, living bat decided to make the window above my front door it's home.
After two days of sneaking out the back door, I finally called animal control.  This is NY, not the woods!

I covered each and every crack in our house with...
...duct tape!!  I don't how or why these bugs keep getting in but I WILL stop them!
Ever wonder what makes my man angry?  Coming home to a house covered in duct tape does...

I'm currently searching for...
...a safe and secure place to store my pictures and erase them from my phone.
It's filled with 3 years worth of memories, but I'm out of room for more!

I'm getting ready to cook... baby girl's first harvest!!  We got home grown raspberries, peas, and broccoli.
You can't get much more organic than the back yard and she really enjoys it!

I realized that I became a 24/7... guard protecting my furniture!!  Keep all dirt, sharp objects, and wetness away !!
My husband rolled his eyes when I yelled stop because he was going to sit with his keys in his pocket!

I'm sick to my stomach from...
...watching the news.  I don't want to hear about the alligator attack or the Orlando tragedy.
Call me an idiot, but I just want to live in my bubble where we are all safe.

I found a new bribe in...
...cookie monster ice cream!!  The baby girl will do almost anything for it.
It's bright blue ice cream with little pieces of cookies in it.  So cute!

I'm really, really nervous about...
...applying for a promotion at my job!  It's a big time gig with lots of day trip travels.
The travel part makes me conflicted on whether or not I want to actually get it!

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

List: Ten simple signs that you're getting old.

***I'm away for work the next couple of days so I decided to do a fun re-post.  I'll try my best to stop by my favorite sites.  Just in case I get tied up, have a fabulous weekend!"


I know what you are all thinking.
“You are only 27 years old.  How can you call that old?”
Well, let me tell you about my epiphany.

I find the song “Jealous” by Nick Jonas extremely s e x y.
He is also pretty yummy himself…
After admitting this to myself, I felt a little bit like a cougar.
There is something about being attracted to a Jonas Brother that feels very wrong.

ten signs that you're aging, feeling old
Source - For the love of god, he's beautiful.

Other epiphanies that make you feel old.

1.  The songs you listened to as a child are now “oldies”.
Since when have the Spice Girls been classified as an oldie?  Ug!

2.  You can no longer lose 5 pounds in one week.
I know the not eating diet is very unhealthy, but at least it used to work in emergency situations!

3.  You develop a sudden appreciation for real lipstick.
Goodbye clear lip gloss!  I’m not sure when you became tacky, but you did!

4.  You host dinner parties.
...and you actually cooked…and bought a bottle of wine…and put out real dishes…

5.  Brand name china actually impresses  you.
I mean, I love my Dooney & Burke bag, but is that tea cup Royal Albert?

6.  You actually care about politics a little bit.
Who do I need to vote for to make the taxes coming out of my pay check to decrease?

7.  You have a favorite brand of everything.
Dove sensitive skin bar soap and Clinique foundation make for a zit free Jax!

8.  …and you get really pissed when they discontinue or change your favorite product.
Why did Neutrogena add sunscreen to my favorite facial moisturizer?  Ug!

9.  You are suddenly really aware of your breath.
I’ll save the Cheetos for when I’m walking distance from mouthwash.

10.  Being tired now always wins.
One more episode of Prison Break?  Um, no, unless you want to be real cranky tomorrow.

What made you realize that you’re getting old?

Monday, June 20, 2016

List: Ten myths about gay people that need to be squashed.

By now I'm sure that each and every one of you heard about the tragedy in Orlando.
For those living under a rock, last week was the largest mass shooting in US history.
I'm not going to talk about the event or even comment on it.
To be honest, if I see an article or post about it, I scroll by as quickly as possible.
Reading about this tragedy makes me beyond sick.
Especially now in the world of SnapChat and texting.  It brings the tragedy to life.

For me, the root of any hate crime is the hate behind it.
Whether it's a prejudice against a skin color or a stereotype about sexual orientation, 
the hate needs to stop.

Many of my closest friends and family members consider themselves part of the gay community.
As a result, I've spent the majority of my life dancing in clubs that you may refer to as a "gay" club.
I'm being completely honest when I say, those make up some of the best memories of my life.
A night of carefree dancing without the constant jerk trying to rub his ding dong on you?  Yes, please!

I was in the middle of a group text with my best friends and my cousins.
These four people are currently in gay relationships and took this hate crime personal.
The topic of "gay myths" came up and they shared some of the cruelest comments they've endured with me.
In an attempt to end the hate, I'm going to share ten of these comments with you all.

Ten myths about gay people that need to be squashed.

1.  "You chose to be gay."
To say someone chooses they're sexual orientation is not ignorant, it's flat out dumb.
Did you choose to be straight?  Did you choose to be asexual?  Of course not.  So why would they?

2.  "I get gay.  I get straight.  But being bisexual is just being a slut."
To say bisexuality in itself is a myth is ridiculous.  But to word it in such a hateful way is crime.
Kudos to my girl who resisted the urge to punch this hateful person right in the face.

3.  "Gay people want to make me gay too."
To say someone wants to change your sexual orientation is insane.  Refer to #1  to see it's not a choice.
I mean, who do you think you are?!  A Hemsworth brother or something?  SMH!

4.  "You can't be gay because you're not feminine."
A man coming out doesn't mean he wants to be a women.  It means that he's attracted to men.
My BFF is a man that likes men and doesn't act feminine.  Consider that dumb myth debunked!

5.  "Same sex couples put a strike against their kids."
An abusive relationship may harm children, but not a gay relationship filled with love.
This ignorant comment ruined a relationship between a mother and daughter in my family.

6.  "Same sex couples will teach their children to be gay."
Once again, please refer to #1 where I state that being gay is not a choice.  It's not a learned behavior either!
At the end of the day, does it matter if your child is attracted to the same sex?  I would hope not!

7.  "Gay people have less success in relationships."
Fact:  In 2013, the divorce rate of same sex couples was significantly LESS than heterosexual couples.
Yes, I totally resorted to Google to squash this myth with factual statistics!

8.  "You can fix that."
Imagine building the courage for years to tell your parents that you're gay to only hear that stupidity.
You can not "fix" your sexual orientation.  Furthermore, being gay is not being broken!

9.  "The gay scene is all about drugs."
First of all, what exactly is a gay scene?  Secondly, any person can become a victim of drugs.
What may drive a person to drink is all the hate in this world, not who they love!!!

10.  "Being gay is just a trend."
This is one myth I hear frequently.  It's not that gay people didn't exist years ago.  They were scared!
Imagine the amount of people forced to living unhappy lives during less accepting time periods.  So sad!

I'll let you all ponder on that for a little while.
Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for the day that the headlines read "CLUB" instead of "GAY CLUB".
In the words of a very wise family member, labels do nothing but stamp you to be hated.

What myths about gay people would you like to squash?

**This list came from the heart of my closest friends and family.  Any hurtful comments will be deleted.**

Friday, June 17, 2016

Life: DIY Patio Set

At least once a week I have to hear a story from a co-worker about their current DIY project.
I usually laugh in my head  and belt out the brutally honest truth, that I don't DIY.
...not because I'm too lazy or because I'm too good for it.  It's because this girl ain't got NO skills!

That being said, I do have an unrealistic expectation that my husband can DIY anything.
The electric isn't working?  No worries, my man is on it!
The roof is caving in?  That's no big deal because my hubby can fix that real easy!
Get the picture?  And, yes, this does aggravate him but I'm totally working on fixing this mentality.

All of the above was true up until about three weeks ago.
I decided that I wanted a patio set so I started shopping around.
Once again, I had another unrealistic expectation. I assumed patio sets were cheap.  Um, wrong!

The people who owned the home before us left behind a wooden patio set that was shot.
I thought my husband tossed it until he told me he stored it in the garage just in case.
We dragged it out and learned that the set is actually made from teak wood which is super expensive.
Don't believe me?  Google it and see that they're forgotten set is about 3 grand!

That's when my hubby looked at me and said "you're going to restore this".
After a week of protest, I busted out the electric sander, a staining brush, and a new can of teak oil.
The protest settled when he agreed to make teak wood benches for my restored table!

My husband pulled out the patio umbrella that the previous owners also left behind.
He set up the back yard with our new, beautiful patio table and hosed down umbrella.
He put his arm around me, looked at it with pride, and said "Didn't that feel good?".
I immediately responded with "No!  My body's so sore that you need to get your arm off of me!".
Although I did go to work that following Monday and totally bragged about my first DIY!

Have you ever or will you ever DIY?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

List: Ten pieces of advice from my grandmother to remember for life.

That good looking couple also happens to be two of my favorite people, my grandparents.  Nanny and Papa are the essence of stability that keeps our family together and our lives in order.  Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren owe them everything.

That being said, today is my nanny's 75th birthday.
I'd like to wish my grandmother many more years filled with health, happiness, and love.
Happy birthday, Nanny!

grandma's advice, grandmother's advice, nona's advice

In honor of nanny's milestone birthday, I'd like to prove that I have been listening all of these years.  Here is a list of my grandmother's greatest advice.  As in, I'm about to expose my family's secrets!

grandma's advice for happiness; grandma's advice for a good life

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten valuable pieces of advice for life.

1.  If you ever feel like you need to hide something from me, then don't do it.
I can tell my nanny anything, so chances are if I need to hide something, this would be true.  She may have been referring to a love love toy part I threw, but the words couldn't be truer.  When in a bind, ask yourself "Can I tell my grandmother about this?".  If the answer is no, then back away.

2.  A man that knows how to work with his hands will never starve.
When people were hard on me for marrying "below my status", my grandmother was the one supporter.  It's crazy to me how brutal people can be when it comes to income and status.  A blue collar worker is not a bad thing.  You'll always be taken care of.  Then, of course, there's this thing called love..

3.  Don't be afraid of the dead.  Only fear the living.
Growing up I was consumed by a fear of ghosts.  My grandmother would always tell me that you never have to fear the dead.  It's the people that are alive that you should be afraid of.  It couldn't be more true.

4.  Don't ever lay in a bed without checking the sheets.
I'm not sure what she's looking for, but I've witnessed her find bugs and even sometimes crumbs.  My papa endearingly calls her Inspector Clueso, but he knows that he always got clean sheets!

5.  Don't fight with a man.  Use those mistakes to persuade him in the future.
Obviously she means this to avoid a fight over those relatively insignificant things.  Lord knows she'd fight if necessary.  It's funny though that papa don't make many mistakes.

6.  Don't fear the truth.  Whatever it is, you can deal with it.
Every time I have a hypochondriac meltdown she responds to my "what if"s with this nugget.  I find myself saying these words to myself often.  We can't change what happens, but we can react.

7.  Never allow yourself to be addicted to anything.
My grandmother despises anything that can control your life, including any type of addiction.  She even frowns upon a caffeine headache.  The only one who can and should control your life is yourself.

8.  Don't allow something minor to ruin something great.
She'll always revert back to her wedding when the florist brought the wrong flowers.  Her uncle told her, "If this is the worst thing that happens today, you're one lucky lady!".  This piece of advice survived decades.  Now I find myself saying it to my own children.

9.  You have your entire life to do anything.  Do what's important to you now.
Surprisingly, she always tells me this when I stress over my degree.  Maybe she feels that at this point that I don't need it.  I have a career, a family, and a good life.  It's not worth it to stress over a degree that will do nothing for you other then leave you in debt.

10.  When your sauce is watery, turn up the heat.
This is true figuratively and literally.  I mean, who likes a watery sauce?

What piece of advice do you repeat?

Monday, June 13, 2016

List: Ten unique Father's day gift ideas.

**Updated August 2020**

Father's day has been a complete circus the past few years.  We have so many rocking dads in our family that we feel the need to acknowledge them all!  We usually do breakfast with my father in law, lunch with my dad, and then dessert with my papa.  Luckily my husband is perfectly fine with sharing the day.  He never complains about sharing the spotlight.  This year will be the same circus act that is every year.  We'll spend the day rushing from place to place taking out our favorite fathers.  Except this year I'll be swapping my cute sandals for my best running shoes!

gifts for him; gifts for dad; creative gifts for dad; special gifts for dad; gifts for him on a budget; what to give dad for a gift; father gift

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten unique &  Father's day gift ideas.

Most men strangely think that bats are real cool.  Fun Fact, bats eat over 7,000 mosquitoes a night.  You'll be giving a special man in your life a natural way to exterminate these dangerous and disgusting bugs!
Can be bought here.

John Pinette (RIP) is the definition of hilarious.  Give your dad the deserving gift of laughs!
Can be bought here.

One thing the men in our Sicilian and Cuban family share is their love for espresso.  This espresso maker is a traditional stove top.  It makes the best coffee and is something that an older generation would really appreciate.
Can be bought here.

My husband, father, and FIL, enjoying sitting in the yard puffing on a cigar while drinking some scotch.  This humidor is the perfect gift for them so that it protects their surprisingly expensive cigars in style.
Can be bought here.

The scent is manly and the message written on the bottle is absolutely perfect.  This gift says we want you to smell good and not be as stressed.
Can be bought here.

He will feel super manly serving his favorite whiskey from this decanter adorned with his family crest.  You'll love it because it's pretty enough to be displayed for all to see if he so chooses.
Can be bought here.

Perfect for the beer lover's man cave, office, or maybe the garage.  Just not the living room..
Can be bought here.

A t-shirt with the name and number of their favorite NFL player will be a definite hit.  After spending a fortune on a jersey only to have the player trader the following year, I vowed to never buy an official jersey again.  A t-shirt will now have to suffice.
Can be bought here.

I have some fond memories playing bocce as a child.  This is a great gift as a way to remember times past and to create new ones.
Can be bought here.

Many people don't know this, but pizza made on the grill can be really delicious if done correctly.  Invest in this set and save on delivery for years to come.  & what dad doesn't like to save money?
Can be bought here.

What are you Father's day gift ideas?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings

I'm totally in love with... summer hair!  My hairdresser/goddess perfected the shade of red and the shorter style.
I always loved being a red head but the upkeep is brutal!  The effects on my skin tone make it worthwhile.

I'm beaming with pride because... baby girl is out of pull ups!!!  She's been rocking her Frozen and Little Mermaid big panties.
Not only is this less work for us, but BUH BYE unreasonable expense of diapers!!!!!

I feel so much lighter now that...
...we consolidated the majority of our debt into one loan with 0% interest for 18 mos.  Yes!
How frustrating is it to make a large payment only to see 3/4 of it go right to interest?!

I made an unbreakable promise with... husband that we would be more frugal so that we can enjoy life more than we pay off things.
I do have a weakness for pretty things.  I need to close my eyes and think of future experiences.

I'm constantly surprised by...
...the powers of Windex!  It cleans without streaks, takes the itch out of bites, and removes dye stains!
 I got hair dye on my blouse and soaked it in Windex.  The stain disappeared.  Yes, ladies, like gone!

I'm totally appalled by...
...the amount of solicitors that somehow find out we're new home owners and try to take advantage.
Screw you chimney random people that tried to play the biggest scam on me when my hubby wasn't home!

I can't stop eating...
...the new chicken stir fry recipe that I kind of, sort of made up.
I put my own healthy twist on a recipe and it's yummier than ever!  Even mushy says so...

I finally ate my pride and...
...allowed my hubby to install the AC window unit.
Only because he agreed to the duct tape perimeter to stop any creatures from sneaking through!

I almost smooched...
...our exterminator!  He found 3 hornet nests, a yellow jacket nest, and way too many other bugs in our home.
He spent TWO hours making sure our home would be bug free for the rest of the season.  #inlove

What are you Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

List: Ten ideas to save your barbecue leftovers from the trash.

I love to entertain.  I love barbecues.  And I love me a good celebration!  Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise that we're planning for multiple BBQ bashes this summer.  As much as I love to throw a good party, I hate to throw away money.  This could be a problem because any good barbecue is going to come with lots of leftovers.  ...and when the leftovers go in the garbage, so does your hard earned cash!

I try not to serve an insane amount of food, but I always feel the need to make more.  It's impossible to gauge other people's hunger and you always want your guests to have options.  Not to mention, you always need to be prepared for unexpected guests and the occasional spill.  No matter the reason, in the end leftovers will appear despite all of your meticulous planning.  As long as you have a plan for those leftovers, this is totally OK.

ten ideas to save your barbecue leftovers from the trash, ten ways to save leftovers from the garbage

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten ideas to reduce waste from a BBQ.

1.  Barbecue as you go.
Let's start with the basics.  Don't throw too much meat on the grill.  Barbecue as you go and throw the remaining meat back in the freezer.  Certain meats taste best when eaten right away which is the perfect excuse.  Additionally, most barbecued meats aren't really something you'll want to have the next day unless you like dry, dead meat.

Idea:  Instead of asking "who else is hungry?" which may imply that you don't want to cook anymore, try saying "How do you like your burger?".  This is eliminates the possibly on unintended implications.

2.  Keep the dessert menu small.
Guests typically will bring a dessert to the party.  Keep this in mind, and only prepare one or two desserts to put out.  I typically go with one sweet dessert and one fruit salad.  Another favorite dessert for a BBQ is Friendly's Wattamelon Roll.  It's the perfect dessert to end a hot, sunny end.

3.  Start the next morning with an omelette.
Save your leftover vegetables for a delicious omelette the next morning.  I love doing this with leftover peppers and onions or my famous sauteed mushrooms.  Leftover beans?  That would go great with a cheese omelette.  The possibilities are endless.

Idea:  Do you love the idea but not the extra work?  Invest in an inexpensive omelette maker like this one for a perfect egg every single time.  Just scramble some eggs with your leftovers, pour it in, and wait for it to cook through.  It also makes a great gift, just sayin..

4.  Serve the salad with dressing on the side.
Serving a salad with the dressing on the side does two things.  First, it's more likely be eaten by guests since you aren't limiting consumers to those who like the dressing.  Second, your leftover salad will be more likely to last another day for an easily prepared lunch.

5.  Store leftovers in portioned containers for lunch.
This one is a triple savings.  You're saving your leftovers,not spending extra cash for lunch, and you're saving time meal prepping your lunch for the week.

Idea:  I use these Rubbermaid containers almost daily and they've lasted over three years.  They survive microwaving, heavy cutting, and being washed in a dishwasher.  This 42 piece set have already paid for themselves ten times over.

6.  Double them up for a dinner.
Do you have 5 burgers left but need 10 for a family meal?  Pick up 5 more on the way home.  I'll never forget the day my father tossed out some leftovers because it wasn't enough for a full meal.  All he had to do was make a smaller portion to eat along with the leftovers.  I mean, I get it takes time, but what about your money?

7.  Serve leftover dessert buffet style at work.
Anytime coworkers leave their extra dessert in the kitchen at my job, it disappears in minutes.  Aggravated that you aren't eating it?  Be grateful that at least someone is enjoying it and you were saved from those empty calories.

8.  Utilize your freezer.
There are so many things that can be frozen including vegetables, cakes, and breads.  If you can't or prefer not to eat the leftovers right away, you'll be surprised at how many things can be stored in the freezer.  I love to freeze cheesecakes that way I have a dessert that defrosts quickly when I get unexpected guests.

9.  Make creative meals with leftover fruit.
Mix your fruit salad into your morning's oat bran.  Bake it into a pie or fruit tart.  Blend it into a smoothie.  Stir it into plain yogurt for a parfait.  Get creative, but there are lots of nutritious ideas that you can use or fruit for.  Or, just eat it plain like I like to do.

10.  When all else fails, hand out doggy bags.
If you know there is something that you absolutely will not use, just give it someone who would.  There's no point in wasting valuable fridge space on something that you know will end up the trash.  Pass it along to one of your guests so that they can enjoy it.

Idea:  This pack of 50 food containers is cheap enough to give away with your leftovers.  You don't have to worry about missing containers and they don't have to worry about returning it.

What do you do with your leftovers?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Blog Hop: Question of the Month

The very entertaining and talented Mike from A Life Examined has graciously decided to host a party.
Well, it might not be a party exactly, but it’s at least considered a gathering!
He has initiated a bloghop called Question of the Month and I’m honored to a part of it.
It was open to the world, but Jax can pretend that it’s an exclusive “gathering”, right? RIGHT?!

Of all the places in the world that you haven't yet been to, where would you like to go next?
The #1 answer is going to be the one place I've been begging and pleading to visit.  Can you guess it?

10.  Switzerland
I've heard so many fabulous things about this country that I can't help but want to visit it.
Besides, my husband has close family there.  Excuse much?  Yes, please!

9.  Montreal
My nanny swears this is her favorite place to visit.  Proof of this is hanging in a frame in her home!
If my nanny loves it this much, then it's definitely a place we'd like to visit.  She's a great judge.

8.  Australia
Word is this country is surrounded by good beaches, hot men, and real nice people.
Besides, I took a pole once on R&W and the Aussies have the sexiest accent!

7.  California
Word is that Cali and New York differ from each other in the best ways possible.  I need to experience it!
I need to see LA, Hollywood, and SFO for myself!  Especially if Cali is anything like a Jack's Mannequin song.

6.  Sicily
I know that Sicily isn't the richest or most famous of places, but I'm dying to see my roots.
Last year my family went and was overwhelmed by how much of one town shared our blood!  

5.  Chicago
As a full bred New York Sicilian, I know pizza!  Life won't be complete until I experience Chicago's deep dish.
The furthest I've ever ventured past the east coast is Ohio.  I've been dying to do a quick trip more west!

4.  Italy
One day I'm going to be a total tourist and spend two weeks venturing throughout all of Italy.
I want to experience a week with tourists and week like a citizen.  The real experience is away from crowds.

3.  Barcelona
I've always dreamed of spending a week in Barcelona with periodic adventures away from the city.
Luckily, this is one fantasy that my husband and I share.  One day we'll get there!

2.  Santorini
While I've been to Greece, the mainland is nothing compared to the island of Santorini.
It's famous for the gorgeous beaches, yummy food, rich culture, and history.  Let's go!

1.  Paris
I've always been infatuated with all thing Parisian and French!
...and I'm pretty sure that my husband is real sick of talking about it.  Just sayin...

Where is the one place you'd like to visit that you haven't been to?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Let's Discuss: To follow or not to follow some friendly advice.

I spent a few hours the other day browsing through my old entries at R&W.
Don't judge!  I had an extra cup of coffee and I just couldn't fall asleep...
I was all smiles reminiscing on things I've long forgotten about when I stumbled upon this gem.


I have this habit of dating blue collar men.
My exes are typically maintenance men and electricians.
There's just something hot about a man who knows how to use his hands!

I've tried dating accountants and financial advisors but it never works out.
They were always boring and talking about boring things such as IPO and the stock market.
Ok, so I totally had to Google IPO the first time I heard a guy mention it...

I was discussing this with my girlfriend recently.
She went on to lecture me about "limiting myself" and "being able to do better".
While I get that money is important, blue collar workers are still capable of bringing it in.
Maybe I am biased.  My father, The Viking, is a shoe repair man that always pays his bills!

The bottom line to this little story is that everything comes down to money and social class.

To me, only dating men that have high paying jobs would be limiting oneself.
To others, dating men without a 6 figure income is an immediate limit to oneself.
How about eliminating both and just date a bum that doesn't work at all?  No?  Ok...


My first reaction was to scowl remembering this conversation.
My second reaction was a beam of pride knowing that I didn't allow a good friend to sway my judgement.
My husband, the love of my life, does grounds maintenance.
 It's a fancy title for the man who fixes the boilers, sprinklers, and all sort of mechanics on a building.
Guess what?  I'm proud of what he does!  He supports our family AND is useful around the house.

Have you ever caved to peer pressure?


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