Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 21 - Still having fun!

Its not too sweet, it's a cool refreshing treat, Canada Dry...oops, sorry, I was singing old commercial jingles! Up this week for the CONTEST, Canada Dry ginger ale, it's not too sweet....

Dear Bubble Brewers,

Canada Dry ginger ale was a staple at my grandparents' house when I was growing up. We weren't fair-weather, use-it for-an-upset-stomach reachers for that green and gold label. No, we enjoyed that not too sweet, cool refreshing treat flavor any old time. I think part of my satisfaction with your product comes from the fact that it tastes just like I remember.

I cannot ignore the other benefits of your fine beverages. When our house was hit by a particularly unpleasant round of the stomach bug, I consulted our neighbor, the pharmacist. (I was happy to hear from anyone in a white jacket who would tolerate my whining.) Flat ginger ale was prescribed. I was concerned because I only had two liter bottles of brand new ginger ale on hand, but was relieved to find out that stirring or shaking a smaller quantity would yield the fizzless results I was seeking. I started to make sure there was always a two liter bottle of Schweppes or Canada Dry in the garage. Eventually the kids caught on to my stash and began drinking the soda whenever they felt like it.

When I first thought about writing to your company, I knew I had a great story to share. However, I soon remembered that it was not actually my story. I called my friend to ask her if I could share her tale, and she agreed as long as I described the state of affairs accurately. She and her family were staying with her in-laws for a visit, many hours from home, when the stomach bug struck. Here is where she would like me to clarify: This was not any sort of mild, nor one-directional affliction. The contents of her stomach was rushing to the nearest exit. As her mother-in-law left for the grocery store, my friend made one request...ginger ale.

Sadly, none of the grocery bags held any made with real ginger relief. Her mother -in-law announced that ginger ale only came in two-liter bottles, and that was just too much. She did not know what they would do with all of that soda. Upon hearing this tale, I was at first stunned at the thought of someone not enjoying a nice glass of ginger ale on any random afternoon. I was also struck by her mother-in-law's optimism that more than one person was not going to need some flat Canada Dry. We also had a good chuckle over the fact that we have never really seen a full bottle of stomach settling soda sell for more than two dollars. She was provided with no relief later when her husband was sent to the corner store to "please, get some ginger ale". He returned with Sprite, which is absolutely not the same thing. No lesson was learned, as during a subsequent round of the stomach virus, this same friend sent her husband to the store for ginger ale and saltines only to have him return with Sprite and Ritz crackers. (While both of these are fine products, they lack anti-nausea value.)

I am typically disappointed when I grab a swig of any of the pop flavors I enjoyed as a kid. As I mentioned, Canada Dry and Schweppes ginger ale are still refreshing though. I enjoyed the new flavors that hit the shelves as well, but then was faced with great disappointment when I could no longer find them. The Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale was yummy! Schweppes Grape Ginger Ale was a hit in our home, but I was told it was a holiday/seasonal flavor. I am not sure when it comes back in all of its festiveness. I understand why cranberry is considered a seasonal flavor, and now know enough to stock up. Raspberry seems to be a regularly available item, but I just feel like I can never be too sure. Any information you can provide for me to mark on my calendar would be greatly appreciated.

Effervescently yours,
Andrea Casarsa

Did they bubble over in response to my letter? Well, since this was only the third response I received when this mayhem started, I was pretty excited that my letter had actually been read by another human being. Bethany even had a sense of humor.
I might've shaken the envelope a few times checking for a coupon, but still...ONE POINT for me!
Current total =  46 POINTS

Stop by to check out the competition!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Today I get to do what I want. I arranged my week so that today was free. I tried to keep the house tidy all week so that today I would not find myself in complete squalor. It is quiet in the house, as everyone else has left for the day. I have been sitting on the couch for over thirty minutes now...because I can. Without the distraction of clutter, I can really focus on just how distracted I actually am.

I have ideas for things I would like to do, but they seem to get a bit tangled in the notions of things I ought to do. I am on a stationary bicycle, peddling like a lunatic and getting nowhere, but at least I am getting some exercise. If my wheels were to hit the ground, I'd be unstoppable! Luckily I'd have the capes for some wind resistance. Make no mistake, the issue is not necessarily how many things I actually have to do, but rather all of the things I can think about that have to be done. 

College applications for my son are not technically my responsibility to complete, but they are looming out there in the wind with the college visits and part-time job quests (yes, you should wear pants for an interview my son) and several other things I have probably not even stopped to consider. I just sort of stand nearby waving a butterfly net trying to catch what I can, afraid if I look away something gigantic will get past me. There is no question that my vision is flawed. I am fully aware that thinking about things does not get them done any more so than putting something in a file called "to be done at a later date" means it will never happen.

Today is for me, and I am trying to make my sole responsibility to appreciate and enjoy my life. I am freeing my hands from grasping at straws, and instead will fill them with peanut m&ms. Yes, today I will eat more than my fair share of candy in the name of joy...and will be sure to save some for tomorrow when I will go back to eating it out of stress.

Happy Birthday to me, and thank you for being part of my incredible life!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

600 + a bit of random

Wow! So this is my 600th post? I should've ordered balloons...and CAKE. I am not sure this necessarily means I have had something fabulous or important to say 600 times, making me even more appreciative that you keep coming back.

Some of you even come out of the computer to visit. Yes, the red carpet and a makeshift raincoat were rolled out this afternoon for Flat Lillian! Even the rain couldn't dampen her spirit! There was so much awesome in her first class travel compartment envelope with her, I had tears of joy, then laughter, then just overall giddiness. I will share each item eventually, but do not want to overwhelm you with jealousy.

I retrieved my parents from the airport this morning returning from their European vacation. I think they fared better than Chevy Chase, but still had tales to tell. My mother gave me some "emergency" Swiss chocolate for my daughter, to tide her over until the suitcases actually get unpacked. I was alarmed as I thought the magnets were trickery...
Seriously? They highlight the fact that there are magnets? Swiss magnets? Are those a thing? It is SWISS CHOCOLATE under that scenic paper! That cow and flag are not distracting me.

And now, this week's random from the coupon circular. Do not fear the sock goblin...
...actually, go ahead! In fact, be terrified!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Superhero Sunday - Saucy

And aPEELing! Yes, it's applesauce day!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week 20 - Near East

Twenty weeks! I wonder if any of you have tried any new products after seeing our rave reviews? That was not the original point of the CONTEST, I was just curious. Up today is another weekly staple around here...

 Dear Near,

Thank you for helping this, sometimes uninspired, mom find a way to add some pizzazz to Taco Tuesdays with your Rice Pilaf Spanish Rice. It matters to me that my family truly prefers the taste of your products, but also that the ingredient list consists only of recognizable items. I think there may even come a day when certain people stop picking out the red pepper pieces. I’m a dreamer.

I have been able to use your familiar branded box to get my family to try some other side dishes. My teenage daughter is a huge fan of your flavored couscous mixes, and being able to make them herself adds to the appeal. I  tried the recipe for the salad on your regular couscous box and found that delicious as well. Suffice to say, I have not hit on a variety I was unhappy with.

Thank you for making dinner time easier on some nights, knowing the side dish is taken care of!

Working up to Tabouleh and Falafel,

Mother, blogger and more adventurous eater than her family

Did they show up in my kitchen for Taco Tuesday? Well, no, but they did send a letter...

One point.
Current total = 45 POINTS

Stop by to check out what Marianne is up to this week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Assorted random

Hey, you're just in time, there's still some fudge left...
Seriously? Who leaves this much? My daughter, princess of the long good-bye.

OK, this tidbit (Ooh, Tidbits! Remember those thin oval shaped Cheez-It type things? Can you still buy those?) was hand delivered (hence the absence of the red carpet). My dear former work friend, then facebook and blogger friend, and most recently jewelry making and lunch friend, Gina presented this bit of wonderful to me last week.
It was like an early Christmas gift! How is this only $9.95?! Maybe the lack of odor keeps the price down.

Sometimes kids like to cuddle baby dolls, and apparently sometimes baby dolls like to cuddle...
 ...oh for goodness sake! Keep looking away dolly! Somebody tell my nephew to keep track of his stuff! Thank you to my sister for not only sending, but allowing me to share this fabulous window into her life with three kids - 5, 3 and almost 1.

Time to get back to the to-do list, and possibly add some things that I already did...and put "bake cookies" on it!

Carry on with the random...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Superhero Sunday - Brand

It has been quite some time since I shared the story, and first draft, of Pedomemom's logo. Here she is again...
There has been a bit of talk recently about branding and logos and other technical terms that I can only pretend to understand. I kept trying to decide if I should let Pedomemom be part of that dialogue. She has been sort of lurking in the background these days (and believe me, she is not happy about that). I realized that I never shared the results of her second pass through hair and makeup (aka the desexyfying chamber). Here is how she ended up...
I remember back when her file arrived, I sort of got focused on how her pedometer didn't really look like mine. Then I got my hair cut and wondered if she needed a trim as well. Yes, THESE are the sorts of things that keep me from forward progress. 

The other day, when I forced myself to reconsider these logos for a few minutes, I wondered if version one should win just for simply being the more amusing of the two. As someone who not only wears a cape here and there, but also has a weekly habit of pointing out the ridiculous, isn't she kind of perfect? Plus, if you are going to have an alter ego, why not go big (and sexy, and impractical)? Of course, then I had to find some arguments in favor of version two. She is more practical, and at least has a pedometer. She may have better ideas for how we spend our time and powers. Yes, she is more of who I would aspire to be.

Get your rally cap Pedomemom and prepare for a comeback!
Any thoughts?