Friday, February 28, 2020

Life: Friday Ramblings

cinderella's royal make over announcement; the new cinderella's castle walt disney world; cinderella's 70th birthday

I'm really disappointed with...
...Disney's most recent announcement!  They will be changing Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney World.
The change is in honor of Cinderella's 70th anniversary, but it doesn't scream "Cinderella" to me.
You can find the announcement of the "royal makeover" by clicking here.
Cinderella's all about a pale blue hue.  The pink make over just doesn't make any sense to me.
The pale pink isn't an awful color, but it seems to clash with the bottom half of the castle.
To make the matter worse, the construction will most likely interfere with our trip in early May.
The article says that events won't be effected, but you're castle pictures may not be the same.
What do you think of the unexpected royal makeover announcement?

I'm a little angry that...
...the brand new dishwasher that we replaced around Thanksgiving is already broken!
Luckily, the appliance is still covered under the one year warranty period, but it's still an annoyance.

I'm getting more impatient by the day waiting for...
...the Easter decorations to be taken out of the attic.  Believe it or not, it's a month and a half away!
It's totally not too early to decorate.  Besides, this house needs some Spring flare in here.
The heart decor just isn't doing it for me anymore.  #TeamSpringDecorNOW

My brain has been unofficially brainwashed by...
...the cat!  He's trying to infiltrate my mind and admit that a certain nice guy is a stalker.
I mean, so what if he showed me random candid shots of myself on his phone.  It's totally normal.
Besides, this is obviously a habit of his that he does to everybody.  If it wasn't, he wouldn't have showed me.
Get out of my head, Cat!!  I will never admit defeat.  Never!!

I'm getting concerned for... lemon tree!  Remember when I was really excited that baby lemons popped up on the tree?
Well, those baby lemons bloomed.  Apparently lemon blossom buds look like baby lemons.
It's been two months and I have watched almost every blossom bloom and then fall to the ground.
I'm getting nervous that I never will actually have a baby lemon, let alone a harvest.
Bonus points for whoever can help me get my tree to produce pretty lemons!

I'm being driven crazy by...
...a strong scent similar to that of a permanent marker!  I've been searching everywhere for the cause.
I checked each and every Sharpie that I have & I have a lot to ensure that they were capped tightly.
Then I got on my hands and knees to check everywhere for the mysterious, lost marker.
It wasn't until I went to water my lemon tree that I realized she was the root cause of the stench.
Lemon blossoms smell identical to Sharpie markers.  Or are Sharpies scented like lemon blossoms?  Hmm..

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Recipe: How to make traditional Ricotta Cookies.

It's tradition for me to make boxes of ricotta cookies each and every Winter.  As the years progress, the amount of cookies I have to make grows along with the people requesting them.  ...and I totally don't blame them because they are  d e l i c i o u s...

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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.

Ricotta cookies are plain cookies covered in a light, sweet glaze with a hint of almond.

They are yummy on their own, but perfect to pair with a cup of coffee or espresso.  This cookie is a holiday favorite in our family along with fig cookies, struffoli, and anisette cookies.  Call me an old soul, but I love that I now own this holiday tradition for my family!  While they're a holiday staple for us, they are yummy enough to eat all year round.

Below is the exact recipe that I use which has been passed down to my from my great aunt.  I double this recipe, but use two separate bowls because I don't know of a bowl big enough to hold it all!

Ideas:  I've always been a big advocate for recording your family or favorite recipes in a book or box to be passed down to a loved one.  I'm not talking about an impersonal web page.  I'm talking about a handwritten journal in your own handwriting.  Check out this cook book journal to start today for the ultimate gift years down the road.  & then add this cookie recipe!

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Traditional Ricotta Cookie Recipe


(4) Sticks of salted butter or (1) pound
(3.5) Cups of sugar
(4) Eggs
(32oz) Polly-O Part Skim Ricotta Cheese, or a similar brand
Tip- Opt for a brand of ricotta that is light with visible water on top.
(4) Tablespoons vanilla extract
(8) Cups of flour
(2) Teaspoons baking soda

(3/4) Cup of milk
I substitute with almond milk and it works well.
(2) Teaspoons of almond extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Blend both mixtures together to make the dough.  Knead together using additional flour as needed so that the dough doesn't stick.

Prep your baking sheets very lightly with butter so that the cookies don't stick.  Scoop out a teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball.  Place on the baking sheet with room for growth.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Ensure that they are similarly sized for even cooking.

While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze.  In a bowl, mix together the milk, confectionery sugar, and almond extract until smooth.  Spoon over the cookies while they are still warm and top with sprinkles.

What are your favorite cookies?

Monday, February 24, 2020

List: Ten things that I hope to never try.

We recently hosted a small dinner party with my husband's good friend and his wife.
The menu was relatively simple.  We had glazed ham, baby potatoes, brussel sprouts, and salad.
His friend helped himself to everything on the table except for the brussel sprouts.
I tried to not take personal offense since his problem was with the veggie itself, but I failed.  Miserably.
I encouraged him to try at least a small bite of one since everyone compliments my sprouts, but he refused.
After I maybe got a just a little tiny bit annoying, he made a loud and very stern announcement.
"I have never eaten a brussel sprout in my life and I want to die that way."
This took me by complete surprise.  How can you hate something to that extreme without ever trying it?
What about a brussel sprout offends you so terribly that you're life goal is to die without eating one?
I could keep going because I was left with many questions at this absurd statement, but I won't.

Two weeks passed, and I am still bothered by this brussel sprout incident.
I keep catching myself thinking about his grand announcement and how absurd it was.
That's when I started mentally noting all of the things that I hate enough to strive to never experience.

hating without trying; brussel sprouts

Ten things I hope to never try.

1.  Mashed Garlic
Years and years ago, I traveled to Greece with an old boyfriend to meet his family.
Whiling dining at his grandmother's, she served us each a large portion of mashed garlic.  
Picture mashed potatoes, without the potatoes.  Bleh.  Gag.  Barf.
I prayed to God for something to happen so I would not have to gag down the mashed garlic.
That's when God delivered and I experienced my first and only earthquake.
It was strong enough for his Yiayia to forget about the mashed garlic and the agita of a lifetime.

2.  Fried Tarantula
A high school friend recently posted a video of her trying new foods while in a foreign country.
One video was of her chowing down open mouthed on a freshly fried tarantula.

3.  Surfing
As previously posted, I have fears of drowning, sea creatures, sea creature poop, and large bodies of water.
I may get hot enough on vacation to dip my toe in the ocean or wade in a pool, but it's at low risk.
Surfing is probably great exercise, but it's something that I'd never want to try.
Yes, this includes surfing in a pool with the simulated waves.  No thanks!

4.  Scuba Diving
Please see #3.  The only exception is, I think I'd rather take my chances surfing than scuba diving.

5.  Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers
I recently saw a cooking video on this and wanted to throw up right then and there.
...and I didn't even get to the cooking part!  
She was just cleaning them with water, because you clean grasshoppers before you eat them.  Obviously.

6.  Drink a White Russian
Milk alone skeeves the crap out of me.  I always use almond milk to substitute when cooking.
The combination of vodka and milk or cream makes me want to gag, let alone take a sip of it.

7.  Sky Diving
As much as I hate water, I dislike flying.  It takes pills and alcohol to get me on a relatively safe flight.
There's nothing in the world that can get me to jump out of a plane to free fall back to planet Earth.
...AND pay for it??  Imagine!!  Here's $300 for you to drop me really high up in the air.  No way!

8.  Pierce a Nipple
I don't consider myself a prude, but exotic piercings make zero sense to me.
I don't understand why people go out of their way to deform their body.
 Especially something as sensitive as their nipple!

9.  Balut
My buddy is from the Philippines and they take pride when they serve balut.
Balut is a fertilized duck egg that is boiled before being eaten directly from it's eggshell.
They eat the unhatched duckling whole.  That includes the eyes, bones, and feathers.  They eat it all.

10.  Pig Eyes
Going back to my days in Greece, for large holidays they feast on a roasted pig on a stick.
They fillet the pig and eat it whole.  They then wrap the intestines around a second stick to eat too.
I'm kind of, sort of ok with those two.  What kills me is that one lucky person gets honored each feast.
That lucky person gets to eat the pig eyes. 
My ex told me that they taste like cheese.  Excuse while I go hurl at that memory..

What is something you hope to never try in your entire life?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Life: Friday Ramblings

We had so much fun on...
...Valentine's Day!  The day was filled with love and fun from morning to night.
They each had a fun, cupid themed Valentine's Day party at school.
They came home to some surprises from Cupid and a rare McDonald's treat from Nonno.
Am I really the only mean mommy that doesn't let their babies have happy meals?  Bleh, gag, barf..
They spent the night watching Coco, eating snacks, and driving The Viking crazy.
Mommy and Daddy enjoyed their biannual date night with a sushi boat and fried ice cream!
There may not have been any flowers, but it was a great day filled with lots and lots of fun.

I was all smiles because...
...I won the class party again by printing out paper BINGO boards and sticking them in page protectors.
The kids enjoyed the game so much that you'd think we were playing for thousands of dollars in prizes!
In reality, they were playing for 5 cent stamps of silly shapes and animals.

I'm still cracking up at...
...the stock of pad wrappers (the part that covers the wings)  that I found in my daughter's closet.
Real confused, I confronted Mushy and asked WHY she was stealing these from the garbage.
That's when she said, "Mommy, I pretend that they are dollar bills for my toy cash register."
She said this in a tone like I'm a total and complete idiot for not realizing this, so I walked away.

I almost barfed when...
...I found a moldy lemon sitting at the bottom on my fruit bowl.
When I tossed that disgusting, moldy lemon in the garbage, a mini cloud of mold dust erupted.
I immediately held my breathe for dear life while gagging at the same time.
Don't ever say that I'm not talented.  Like, ever.

My hubby and I been laughing hard at...
...the squeaky toy scene from the movie Game Night.
I won't go into details and ruin the scene for you, but every time he mentions it, we laugh like dumb dumbs.

I've also ditched the cinnamon for...
...preparation H!  My doctor told me that this over the counter med has lots of uses.
If you have a problem area that fat likes to sit, rub some preparation H on it and wrap.
I've been rubbing it on my back and wrapping myself in cellophane to make it work better.
Apparently you'll have the ultimate effect if you rub, wrap, AND do some cardio.
The cardio could be as simple as cleaning your house or any common chore that leads to a sweat.
The sweat helps the preparation H melt away the fat.  At least that's what I'm told.
Now if only they made a similar product without the awful smell.  I'd even rock that at work!

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Travel: The Crayola Experience in Easton, PA

The past few posts have been dedicated to spoiling our sweethearts with a holiday treat.  But what if your sweethearts are under the age of six?  They deserve a treat too!  Staying true to my motto, we try to spoil them with a day trip or activity instead of more toys.

Last year's treat was a trip to The Crayola Experience in Easton, PA.

Our special day ended with a walk across the street to The Bayou restaurant for an early dinner.  While The Bayou was yummy and unique, it was Mushy's choice thanks to The Princess & The Frog..

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A honest & detailed review of The Crayola Experience

What is The Crayola Experience?

The Crayola Experience is a three story building filled with interactive activities 
geared towards younger children.  Both of my children, at the age of six and just under a year, enjoyed themselves.  Each floor has multiple attractions, many of which leave you with a mini souvenir to take home.  There is also a cafeteria where you can purchase snacks, light meals, see an interactive show as you eat, 
and get a visual pleasure of the world's largest crayon!

What are some of the attractions that you experienced?

There were many experiences and they were all unique, colorful, and lots of fun!
My children really enjoyed the Meltdown attraction.  This attraction involved boiling hot, crayon wax which made mommy really nervous that you were able to control and drip into a picture.  Our creations are pictured above.  Another favorite was the Melt & Mold attraction.  My daughter melted a crayon into a ring and my son melted a crayon into a car.  A year later and my kiddies still treasure these creations warning me that they aren't for use!  We all really enjoyed the attraction that turned our faces into a coloring book page.

What was your children's favorite attraction?

My daughter said her favorite attraction was the Wrap It Up station.
Upon entrance you receive two tokens per person to use at this station.  Each token can be used in a machine to "create" your own crayon and label.  My daughter picked the pinkest color that they had big surprise and named the crayon after herself bigger surprise.
Like their molds, these are treasured items that are for looking at only.

As an adult, what was your favorite attraction?

Being the lame mommy that I am, I really enjoyed reading the signs on the wall.
This place was full of history!  It was interesting and educational to see how things changed from the early 1900s to now.  I had no idea that Crayola could be so interesting which was a pleasant surprise.

What was your least favorite part of The Crayola Experience?

The gift shop!  The gift shop was gigantic and filled with lots of attractive, brightly colored things.
My kiddies, like most children, wanted everything in the store.  Unfortunately, everything was priced disgustingly high.  We walked out with minor damage, but I wish they would put blinds up or something as it was the first thing that caught their eye.
I still get mad every time I find her $30 stuffed crayon thrown under the bed without use!

Is there anything else you think visitor's should know?

If you purchase your tickets ahead of time, they are reasonably priced at around $19 per person.
Children under 3 are free and sometimes you can find a Groupon!
With participating in the majority of the activities, you will need about 4 - 5 hours to get through the whole thing.  It took us almost four hours and we missed time consuming events such as visiting the cafeteria, watching the show, and the crayon character meet & greet.
Note - We did look at the cafeteria and opted to spend the same amount of money at a real restaurant.
This really was a special day and a great Winter outing with our younger sweethearts!

I would recommend a visit to The Crayola Factory with your children ten and under.

Do you love Crayola?

Monday, February 17, 2020

List: Ten special date ideas to surprise your sweetheart with.

I've mentioned this before, but I feel that it's worth mentioning again, repeatedly.
Spend money on experiences and memories instead of material things.

With Valentine's Day just passed, many of us were left to choose between the two.  Most of us are left scratching our heads pondering the right solution to our conundrum.  Do we splurge on flowers, chocolates, keepsakes, and maybe even a piece of expensive jewelry?  Or perhaps we should skip the gifts and go on a quiet date night with our sweetheart?  ...or maybe you're rich and can afford to do both.  No worries, we won't judge!  

If it was up to me, I'd pick an experience and memories over something material any day.  It doesn't have to be a fancy, extravagant night on the town.  It just has to be memorable.  Note- A PB&J sandwich on a blanket in your own backyard could be memorable with the right person!  In honor of our favorite cherub, here's a list of experiences to surprise your person with.

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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 date ideas to surprise your sweetheart with.

1.  Visit your local bookstore.
There's something so welcoming and romantic about a book store.  Maybe I watched too many rom-coms?  Recently I've seen an article about a bookstore scavenger hunt fueled by each person picking out a favorite.  Examples- Find a favorite recipe, find a funny joke, find your favorite kid's book, find a dream vacation spot.  This sounds like a fun and different way to learn new things about your partner that never came up before!  You may even find a new read.

Idea:  Invest in this One Sentence Journal from The Happiness Project and fill it out together.

2.  Have your fortunes read.
As long as you both agree not to take it too seriously, it could be fun and different to visit a psychic.  You can have solo readings or do one together.  Either way, you'll at least have something to talk about.  ...assuming the psychic doesn't predict your relationship's doom...

3.  Plan a romantic spa day.
I'm not a fan of spa days or having strangers touch me, but this could be a fun, "at home" activity.  Whether splurging on a day out or staying in, spoil yourself with some serious pampering.  Have you feet rubbed, clean out your pores, indulge in a mud bath, and just  r e l a x  for a few hours.

Idea:  To help with your spa day, get this 10 piece spa mask set that comes with face masks, hand masks, feet masks, and cuticle masks for both of you.

4.  Have a fake "camping" night in your backyard.
While February in NY isn't the best time for a picnic, you can still enjoy the outdoors.  Bundle up, light up the fire pit, and snuggle up to make some s'mores for dessert.  This is an inexpensive and romantic way to celebrates!  Plus, you won't need ice to chill the champagne..

5.  Bond over a charitable experience that you both support.
Since multiple sclerosis has had many painful impacts on my family, I like to participate in their walks.  I'm also a big supporter of anything with children like Make A Wish or St. Jude's hospital.  Whatever the cause, volunteer and participate in something that will make a difference.

6.  Book an instructive horseback riding lesson.
We moved near an equestrian center which means I get to see the horses during my daily commute.  It's not uncommon for me to see couples trotting around with an instructor in the lead.  This could be an adventurous experience to bond over, your new favorite hobby, or the story of how you broke your leg falling from a horse!

7.  Get dirty together with garden prep for the upcoming season.
Get a babysitter, turn off your phones, order take out, and bust out your flower pots, seeds, and soil.  This is the perfect time of year to plant your seeds so that you have small plants for the Spring.  Surprise your lady with pretty gardening gloves or a manicure appointment.  I vote for the mani!

Idea:  To save money on expensive seedlings later, start with this vegetable garden starter set that comes with seeds, soil, pots, trimmers, and more for an unbelievably inexpensive price.

8.  Have some fondue for two.
You can make homemade fondue or reserve a seat at The Melting Pot.  Either way, there's nothing more romantic than dipping your favorite desserts into melted chocolate.

Idea:  Invest in this fondue set for regular fondue date nights wherever you choose!

9.  Spend the day with your favorite couples and host a pot luck.
Some couples thrive in a group.  There's no shame in that.  Embrace it and have a party!  Everyone can bring a dish or dessert, get some good bottles of wine, and play a game of Battles of the Sexes.  One of my favorite double dates was with wine, chocolate fondue, and a tipsy game of Just Dance.

10.  Play tourists for the day in your local city.
There's so much history and things to learn in our hometowns that you'd be pleasantly surprised.  Play tourist for the day and book a local tour or two for your sweetheart and you to enjoy.  After the tour, eat at a tourist hot spot, take touristy pics, wearing tourist clothes, and buy souvenirs.  Bonus points if you pull this off while talking in a fake accent!

What was your favorite date?

Friday, February 14, 2020

Life: Friday Ramblings

My daughter and I had a ball at...
...her school's Sweetheart dance in honor of Valentine's Day.
She was so excited to dress up and spend the evening dancing away with her friends.
I was happy to volunteer as a chaperone so I could see her smiles & chase away the boys.

I'm still laughing at... daughter's quick shift of personality over the course of four photos.
She spent extra time getting done up with a dress, a braid, and make up.  Mommy just wanted a picture!
With each click of the camera she got less enthused and by #4 she was totally done.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw this.  Sorry for making you suffer twice!

I completely panicked when... daughter went MIA at the end of the school dance.  The room emptied and she was gone.
A few dads, myself, and her friends looked everywhere for her but she was gone.
As I went to ask the DJ to call for her on the mic, one dad grabbed me and said he found her.
Turns out baby girl snuck into the teacher's lounge in a failed attempt to spy on the school staff.
I went from near tears to fuming mad.  It's also the first time my daughter got grounded!

It feels like my life is over because...
...the coffee machine broke at work.  How are we supposed to be expected to work in these conditions?
A job like mine requires at least four coffee fueled recharges a day!

I eep-ed real loudly when...
...I got an A+ on the marketing project that I pouted about for two weeks.
I'm not sure what I did right, but apparently all that pouting paid off and is reflected in my grade.
Or, maybe it was the extra research I did to delay actually writing the thing..

We are finally giving in...
...and will fix the step to the den/office ourselves!
After attempting to contact the contractor that disappeared for (3) months, we finally deleted his number.
I enlisted my hubby, The Viking, and my uncle to help repair the step and finalize the construction.
Luckily, we only paid the guy half the price of the job because of the incomplete work.

I'm totally fuming at...
...the self entitled brat that I had to put in her place several times this week.
It came to my attention that my team wasn't working their full shift.  They were sneaking out early daily.
To resolve, I sent out a simple e-mail asking them to stop and reminding that it's unacceptable.
Not to mention, falsifying a time sheet is stealing and a fireable offense!
Instead of heeding the warning, this chick had to fight back with every excuse in the book.
I don't care about increased traffic or what other people are doing.  My team works their full shift.  Unreal!

I want to wish you all a...
...very Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope that you feel just a tad bit more special today.
Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, embrace Cupid on your own.
Have a date night with yourself, a bottle of wine, and a romantic comedy.

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Let's Discuss: Name a cockroach after your sweetheart.

With Valentine's day fresh in our minds, I thought I'd share this new trend.  Somewhere along the line I got signed up for this gross unique Valentine's day gift promotion.  Every time I get the ad, I can't help but wonder WHY is this a thing?!  or, better yet, WHY is this being sent to me of all people?!  I hate bugs.  Bleh..  
This unique gift is being sold by the Bronx Zoo.  It's called
Name a Roach for Valentine's Day
..and it's exactly that.  It's giving a roach a name in honor of your sweetheart..

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The Bronx Zoo advertises their Name a Roach campaign as such.
You don’t always have the right words, but you can still give them goosebumps. Name a Roach for your Valentine, because roaches are forever."
Well, they aren't exactly wrong.  I'd surely remember that gift for life.

There are several different packages to pick from.
The basic package is inexpensive at $15.
It includes naming (1) Madagascar hissing cockroach and a digital certificate.
There are (2) upgraded packages that sell for $30.
These include the cockroach naming plus either a cockroach candle or cockroach socks.
If your really feeling this theme, there is the ultimate package that sells for $55.
This package includes everything.  That means the name, digital certificate, socks, and the candle.

While this gift idea totally creeps me out, my research brought up one that I this is genius!
A zoo in Texas will name a cockroach after an ex and then feed it to one of their meerkats.
Now that's an idea that would get the Jax seal of approval...

What would you do if you got this?

Monday, February 10, 2020

List: How to differentiate between a nice person and a stalker.

There seems to be a large group of people out there that have lost faith in humanity.  It's become assumed that people aren't nice just for the sake of being nice.  Many believe that people may appear to be nice, but it's only to benefit in some sort of long con.  By people, I mean cat.  A certain rhyming cat is under the impression that nice is extinct.  In an effort to restore the faith, I presented a real life example to be dissected.  The proposed result - That person isn't nice, they are a stalker.  Well, wasn't that a bit of a leap!  Just saying..

Luckily, I'm here to tell you all that nice people do exist.  People do good deeds all the time without expecting something in return.  Furthermore, people do nice things without anyone ever knowing because they don't even want recognition.  I've seen my dad lend thousands of dollars to someone that could never repay him.  & I was sworn to secrecy..  I've personally saved someone desperately in need of a job from getting laid off without even their knowledge.  A friend of mine recruited several of her family members to help me move when I couldn't afford a fee.  Neither she nor her family let me do anything for them more than a thank you card.  I could list hundreds of more examples, but I'll save you all the headache.

Long story short - Genuinely nice people that are nice for the sake of being nice do exist.
Even shorter story - Genuinely nice people aren't always stalkers.
Peep the "always", because sometimes they are.  Be aware.

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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.

How to tell if someone is a stalker or just nice.

1.  Differentiate between special treatment for one and nice to all.
If an individual goes out of their way to be nice to only you, there's a chance you may have a stalker.  If they are nice to everyone, then there's zero need to worry because no one has time to stalk all that!  If they are stalking everyone, hide immediately.  That's a serial stalker which is very bad..

2.  Take note of what type of pictures they ask for, if any.
A person taking general interest in something like your babies, cosmetics, or hobby can ask for a pic.  A person asking for pictures of your pajamas, feet, or bathtub are definitely creepy and possibly a stalker. 

3.  Observe general conversation for inquiries on your daily routine.
General conversation and common pleasantries are nice.  This includes asking about weekend activities.  Except if they take notes.  If they are taking notes during your conversation, please run!  Inquiries on your daily routine and schedule are an obvious cause for concern.  Unless they are your life assistant, there is zero need to know where someone is all the time.

4.  Be aware of their awareness of you.
My nice guy takes notice when I change my shade of lipstick or get my hair done.  This is nice.  A stalker takes awareness in a change in my daily routine - such as parking spot or route home.  There's a difference between someone letting you know that you're noticed and someone acting like a spy.

5.  Wave a red flag if they request very personal information.
This could include your social security number, bank accounts, and your brother's MIL's sister's address.  With the exception of you birthday for a cake and your address for a card, I see no need for anything extra.

6.  Keep track of the times that they open their wallet for you.
A coffee here and a lunch there is all acceptable in the world of nice people and friends.  Tiffany bracelets, jewel trimmed crowns, and fish net stocks are all gift items that scream stalker.  It's up to you if you accept the gifts.  A gift giving stalker may not be all that bad.  We won't judge.

7.  Observe how well they allow you to keep your privacy.
A nice person will turn away when you get a text instead of trying to get a peak of who said what.  A nice person will turn a deaf ear or allow you to walk away during a private phone call.  A nice person would never, ever go through your things or try to peep through a bathroom stall.

8.  Heed the warning of lies and exaggerations meant to impress you.
Sometimes people will make an excuse to speak to you with casual conversation.  This is nice.  Other people will fake a heart attack in the Costco parking lot in the hopes that you'll give them attention.  No, that's not a random line.  It's something that actually happened to me in real life..

9.  Think about what they have to gain by your friendship.
A nice person is nice without anything to gain from it.  This could include things, popularity, or opportunities.  If they make a habit of asking for favors, looking for job opportunities, or rummage through your panties..  chances are that your nice person isn't all that nice.  In fact, they could actually be a stalker.

10.  If a rhyming cat says so, then it must be.
The last and final test is to run it by the rhyming cat who thinks he knows all.  He will ask you a few specific questions and ask for additional, supporting examples.  Before you know it, he will tell you all that you need to know.  Be warned.  The result is almost always "stalker"..

Idea:  If you're looking for a classic book that describes a relationship that went from love to obsession, then you need to read Wuthering Heights.

How do you tell the difference?


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