Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roxiticus Page Turner: Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle

Now my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers all know what a sucker I am for an embarrassing page-turner. "The Tenth Circle" was my first Jodi Picoult novel, and it really got me hooked.

"The Tenth Circle" is a metaphorical journey through Dante's Inferno, told in the voices of each member of a small Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence. While I've never been a huge comic book buff and would need the Comic Price Guide to help me to find the classic comics with true value, I was intrigued by the dramatic comic illustrations woven throughout the novel. Each image pays homage to the family's patriarch (comic book artist Daniel Stone) and adds a unique twist to this gripping tale of Dante's nine circles of hell....plus a new, tenth circle. The comics interspersed among the chapters neatly parallel the storyline.

In what I've come to learn is typical Jodi Picoult, "The Tenth Circle" preys on every parent's fear of what we don't know about our teenagers. Trixie Stone is an imaginative, perceptive 14-year-old. Her life begins to unravel when Jason Underhill, Bethel High's star hockey player, breaks up with her, leaving a void that she fills through shameful self-mutilations in the girls' bathroom and teenage sex party games like "Rainbow." Trixie's dad, Daniel, turns a blind eye to the changes in his daughter's demeanor, just as he does to the tawdry affair with a grad student that his wife Laura, a college professor, is barely trying to conceal.

When Trixie allegedly is raped at a friend's party, her parents are forced to deal not only with the consequences of their daughter's physical and emotional trauma, but with their own transgressions as well. For Daniel, that means reflecting on a childhood spent as the only white kid in a native Alaskan village, where isolation and loneliness turned him into a recluse, only to be born again after falling in love with his wife. Laura, who blames her family's unraveling on her selfish affair, must decide how to reconcile her personal desires with her loved ones' needs.

If you're getting ready for a summer of beach reading, Roxiticus Desperate Housewives highly recommends this one.

Sponsored by iTaggit.com

Sex = Exercise for Grownups

Since my girls are still quite young and apparently not very curious relative to their peers, I've had the good fortune so far of not having to address questions about the birds and the bees. My friend Hope, on the other hand, has a nine-year-old boy. He asked her the other day what sex is.

Her answer? "Oh honey, sex is just exercise for grown-ups!"

Until they're old enough to really need to know, especially if they catch me in the act, I'm gonna use that one...

My Crush on Don Johnson

I just finished the Eight Random Tidbits About Me Meme, and realized that I left out a good one. I suppose I could have included this one under #5 about my teen heartthrobs, but Don Johnson was no teenager. I know I've mentioned that I'm a huge Miami Vice fan, and I've been catching up on the box set of every episode ever made. I just loved it when Crockett and Tubbs would burst in on the bad guys, usually by kicking the door down, then pull their guns out of their Galco holsters, and win the day.
Was it supposed to be an embarrassing fact about me?

Crazy Eights

Julia tagged me hard a couple of weeks ago with an Eight (8) Random Facts Meme. Apologies for the delay, but here are the rules:

  1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment on their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged, and to come back and read your blog for the whole story.
Here goes, Julia, I'll give it my best shot:

  1. I firmly believe that mushrooms are the work of the devil.
  2. 2. I don't think Jackie Warner from Work-Out (on Bravo) is so hot. I read a New York Times article about (straight) suburban housewives getting crushes on her, so I watched the show. The Times emphasized how part of her allure was her presence, how she carried herself. I have to say I saw none of that; in fact, as a small business owner, I found it a bit sleazy how she seemed to encourage indiscriminate hook-ups among her employees. ("All the new girl trainers have to kiss Jackie!" or "Two of my male trainers are hot and gay. One has a boyfriend, but why not throw them together and see what happens?") Maybe there just isn't a little bit of lesbian in each and every one of us.
  3. I'm neither desperate, nor a housewife...I'm a happily married investment banker.
  4. I have never seen a single episode of Seinfeld or Friends. I don't watch much TV, never have. So when I worked in a big office where others were talking around the water cooler about Jerry and Kramer, I asked if they were new employees in our Maryland office.
  5. I'm still a sucker for my teen idols from the 70's: Andy Gibb, Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, the Bay City Rollers.
  6. I buy a lot of well-regarded literature, but I really like to read trashy page-turners on the beach.
  7. Rex does all of the cooking in our household; I do the spreadsheets. It's not that I can't cook, I'm just not very good at it and don't enjoy the process. By the time I finish preparing a one-star meal, I am too exhausted to eat it.
  8. The Roxiticus Valley is really a very small place, but I have expanded my definition to include all of Mendham, Bernardsville, Chester, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone, Basking Ridge, Randolph, Morristown, and the rest of Morris and Somerset Counties. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll take over the rest of New Jersey which, by the way, is a really nice place to live.

I'm tagging eight (well, ten) new friends from SocialSpark: RibbonRockStar, Nessa, Sweet Paradise, Deb (Surviving New Jersey), Caramel Corn, Sassi, Spice, KCee (Barefooted Me) , The Raging Tech, and BethG (The Sassy Southerner).

However, I am too tired to run about the Blogosphere tagging them at the moment, so I will put up the links now and post comments on their blogs after some zzzzzz's.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Miley Cyrus: "I'm Going to Britneyland"

So here's the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives celebrity scandal of the day: Miley Cyrus, better known by my two little girls and the rest of America for her role as Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel (and related pop songs), posed in a revealing photo shoot with Vanity Fair. The 15-year-old star expressed regret, hinting that Vanity Fair had exploited her. Of course, not only did she and her parents sign off on the photos to be published...it's not too late! They could give Vanity Fair their money back and pull the photos, replace them with a nice sweater set and a skirt down to her ankles. Or not.

It seems like Disney is getting nervous about yet another one of their previously wholesome teen stars going the scantily clad hot pix route. As Hannah Montana might say, Disney wants the Best of Both Worlds...they (and stockholders like me) have been happy to see the big bucks generated by her good looks since they launched her TV show when she was thirteen (13), and no one at Disney complained when those same hot looks sold out concerts around the country. I took my little girls to see Hannah/Miley at the Prudential Center just after Christmas. It was a great show, and I had hopes that she'd "stay wholesome," but I'm afraid she's goin' to Britneyland.

Maybe it is time for teen stars like Miley Cyrus to try The Sedona Method as a way of grounding themselves. The Secret works with A New Earth to bridge the gap between getting what we want through the Law of Attraction while not creating greater attachment to the ego. Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears, as well as my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers....you can all get a free DVD and CD that will help you to understand why The Sedona Method is at the leading edge of the peaceful revolution in consciousness that is sweeping the planet.

Desperate Housewives Last Night: Roxy vs. Roxy

Carlos got a seeing eye dog named Roxy...I don't know how to think about that! For sure, I liked Gabi's concept of a Seeing Eye Monkey: "It can toast a bagel!"

I just snagged this Desperate Housewives photo widget, let's see if they have a shot of "the other Roxy" from last night's episode. I think you can also catch up on recent episodes right here:

Equal Time for Dr. Mel Levine

Click Here for the August 5, 2008 New York Times Update.

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives wanted to let you know that we haven't dropped the Mel Levine civil suit story, but there hasn't been much of an update in the news since the original reports in the Boston Globe in the first week of April. I did find one April 15th article ("Claims Shock Doctor's Backers") in the News & Observer (Raleigh.Durham.Cary.Chapel Hill), which got me thinking about providing equal time for Dr. Mel Levine here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. There are a handful of bloggers "taking sides," but we're going to try to remain neutral and report the facts as the case unfolds.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the case, here is a brief summary. You can find more details in my earlier posts about Dr. Mel Levine.

Physician accused of sex abuse of children; At least 7 men say they were victims

Dr. Mel Levine, a renowned pediatrician and bestselling author who served for 14 years as chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston, is accused of sexually abusing at least seven boys in his care, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Suffolk (Massachusetts) Superior Court on March 31st. The lawsuit, filed by an unnamed plaintiff who was 8 years old when the alleged abuse began, said Dr. Melvin D. Levine "sexually assaulted, battered, and abused" him between 1980 and 1985.

"Levine, during his treatment sessions, under the guise of performing repeated but unnecessary physical examinations, sexually assaulted John No. 5, including numerous acts of genital fondling, masturbation, and other attempted and threatened acts of assault," the lawsuit asserts.
In a faxed statement, Levine's lawyer, Edward Mahoney of Boston, said the doctor is innocent. "Dr. Mel Levine has provided pediatric care to more than 15,000 children over 40 years and categorically denies that he has ever been abusive in any way toward any patient," said Mahoney, who questioned the motives of the lawyer filing the suit. "He adamantly denies these claims. Dr. Levine is distressed about the distorted or misinterpreted memories from decades past and questions the motivations."

Previously, I've provided contact phone numbers and/or web sites for the Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina attorneys who are representing those who believe they were victims of sex abuse under the care of Dr. Mel Levine. In the interest of equal time, I wanted to add a phone number (617-227-3240) and web site for Dr. Mel Levine's Boston attorney, Edward Mahoney. I am sure they are seeking former patients who are willing to come forward and discuss their positive experiences with Dr. Levine.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

All Night Passion....or Blogging (Your Choice)


In making my rounds of the blogosphere in the wee hours of the morning, I found a tasty treat that will help night owl (or is it round-the-clock??!!) bloggers like Lady Java and Mariuca (and myself) stay all revved up and keep going even longer. In today's fast-paced blogosphere, everyone is looking for a little extra energy. Now MAXXED Energy Pops are the first of their kind to combine a convenient go anywhere product with the nutrients to maintain alertness and reduce fatigue.

Since I started blogging in earnest back in late January or early February, and even more recently when I've gotten more involved in traffic and/or social networking services like EntreCard, BlogExplosion and SocialSpark, I find that my bedtime has moved from a steady 11:00pm night-night to 2 o'clock or even 3 o'clock in the morning. I don't think I have to tell my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers how important it is to have the energy to keep going, especially when blogging, battling, dropping, making (and keeping up with) friends all around the Blogosphere.

How long has it been since you've sucked on a lollipop? The good news is, once you pop a MAXXED Energy Pop into your mouth, you don't even need to take your hands off the keyboard to slurp up the energy to keep going.

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If you'd like to stay up all night and party with the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, please click through my Energy Meter below and give me some energy!

Good Luck and Keep Going...I'll see you out there in the blogosphere!

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Let's Go, G.N.O.P.J. (Girls' Night Out....Plus John) Part II

Sunday morning after the Big Night Out in Red Bank, New Jersey. Had a good time, but went home embarrassingly early. Can't tell whether it is the beer or the blogosphere taking its toll on me, but by 11:00pm, I was too tired to stay out any later and make the long drive home. I remember the days when Melissa and I would stay out drinking and writing haiku, close the Jersey Shore bars and move on to a diner for more girl talk.

As "always" (Susan reminded me that John showed up for last summer's G.N.O. when I was "out sick"), it didn't really make much of a difference that John was there, we had our girlie/mommy talk about the usual stuff, and having him around seems to make Gabrielle happy. I just don't understand why he'd want to come out with us... every time! None of you guys stepped up last night to comment yay or nay or why...maybe each and every one of you boybloggers was out on your own Girls' Night Out, so feel free to comment here while you nurse your hangover.

Only My Fellow Bloggers Would Understand Quote of the Night:
When I asked her why she never reads my blog, Melissa said, "I did. I read it once a couple years ago!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Let's Go, G.N.O.P.J. (Girls' Night Out....Plus John)

Almost three years ago now, in August 2005, just as I was starting to blog for the first time (and before my 2.5 year hiatus), I posted about a Girls' Night Out in Red Bank. It went something like this:

So the girls went out in Red Bank on Saturday: Me, Melissa, Susan, and Gabrielle plus a male guest, John. Upon learning that Gabrielle was bringing her new love interest, PostBoy suggested that I should behave as if John weren't there, feeling free to ask questions such as "So, Gabrielle, how does John stack up in bed compared with Carlos?"

Gabrielle did indeed bring her new/old love, John, which distanced her from us a bit. I guess she ran into him at her 20th high school reunion last year and they sort of picked up where they left off. And when I asked the key question, she said he had wildly improved in the bedroom since the old days. Poor Gabrielle is still living with Carlos, sleeping in her son's top bunk bed, and trying to figure out her life until and after a divorce. It is hard to imagine the life she lives with Carlos just to keep her family together...cooking for him, keeping up the house, lying to her children about "business trips" and Carlos' snoring as the excuse for not sleeping in the same room with him, and putting up with Carlos' insulting treatment. So it is no wonder she's been looking elsewhere for love, and I guess I'm glad for her that she can find refuge with John.

Tonight all the same players are coming together again at the same restaurant in Red Bank, New Jersey. And I do mean ALL the same players....Gabrielle has since left Carlos and is still (seriously) involved with John. When Melissa told her she was flying "home" from California and wanted to get together for a Girl's Night Out (G.N.O., as Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus would say), Gabrielle actually said, "Gee, I don't know, John is down in Delaware today but I hope he'll be back in time to meet us for dinner!"

O.K., is it me, or what do my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers think? Guys, would you even want to go out on a Girls' Night Out? Remember, we're not talking about a steamy bachelorette party here, these are mommies we're talking about. Let's hear it in the comments section....I'm off to Red Bank wearing the Naughty Tink shirt in the picture and will post an update on Sunday morning.

I Need A Lover That Won't Drive Me Crazy!

Nah, that wasn't any sort of complaint about Rex...it was just my way of saying we got our tickets to John (Cougar) Mellencamp at PNC Bank Arts Center! Psyche!

The opening act is Lucinda Williams...sultry, raspy, sexy on songs like Essence and her better-known Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lucinda Williams, take a listen (look) to the YouTube video from PJVARV1 that I've posted below. You'll be glad you did. In fact, you'll probably want to join me at the concert....can't wait!

Bree's Spring Shopping Spree...

My ongoing e-mail chat with Wedding Girl about venues for her wedding reception reminded me that spring has swooped into the Roxiticus Valley. In spite of my impatience for the warmer weather during the cold winter months, spring has taken me by surprise yet again, caught me unprepared in a fashion sense for school fundraisers, engagement parties, and all the spring and summer entertaining Rex and I like to do. My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers are surely asking, "Bree, where's a gal to go for affordable dresses and chic accessories?

Ladies (and cross-dressers), look no further than the OhSoChicBoutique! Browse online in your jammies to your heart's content, then you'll be ready to step out in a little sumpin' slinky with give-me-some-lovin' pumps to match.

The OhSoChic Spring Event (15% off and free shipping) is still going on, so use code "SpringFling" at check out and let them know Roxiticus Desperate Housewives sent you...

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Knew Him When He Was Johnny Cougar....

Rex reminded me this afternoon that tickets for John (Cougar) Mellencamp at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, go on sale tomorrow at 10:00am EDT...actually it is a pre-sale for American Express cardholders, so maybe I'll have some tiny shot at getting in ahead of the scalpers.

We'll take the girls to see John Mellencamp with Lucinda Williams, even if we can only get lawn seats, on Friday, July 11th. I hope he'll do some of my old favorites, like This Time and Ain't Even Done with the Night.

Ah, the Days of Candy's "Sexy Peek of Shin"

While it is no secret to my loyal readers that I make money blogging and that I'm hoping to create real enterprise value one day for Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Roxy's Best Of, a couple of my blogging buddies have reminded me that not everyone is in it for money. My Bestest Pal wrote a post entitled "No One is Paying Me to Write This" about his happy customer service experience with Apple replacing his crashed 160 gig mofo iPod, and my good buddy Matt (aka Michigan Rafter) posted about EntreCard that he likes the traffic, but doesn't worry as much as the rest of us about his rankings since he's not in it for the money.

Separately, I saw my niece, Candy, on television today and harkened back to a time when she tried to start an online business, customizing jeans with embroidery, patchwork, or cutting and sewing to create a "sexy peek of shin" (before capris were the "in thing."). Since those early days as an entrepreneur, Candy has become the pretty face for a highly successful (unrelated) online venture, but I picture her about eight years ago, setting up shop in her apartments in Brooklyn and on the Lower East Side (again, waaaay before it was trendy). She would order wholesale products in bulk at discounted prices from online wholesale retailers like DollarDays.com. Then Candy would sit at her sewing machine for hours, staying up all night on many an occasion to customize each piece to meet her deadline for an e-mailed order. I think that, in the end, Candy sold about 15 pairs of custom jeans, with stacks of them leftover in her apartment, but she did get her picture in The Daily News, met some new friends (possibly even her current bosslady), and had a lot of fun starting an online venture.

Sponsored by DollarDays

My Shameful Confession... I Stole New Jersey Life Magazine from Rex's Doctor

Due to Rex's recent knee surgery, I have spent quite a bit of time in various doctors' offices over the past month or so. During a quick visit to Chester Medical Associates (Dr. Alan Chanin and Dr. Glenn Davis) on Monday, I started reading New Jersey Life magazine. While I had never taken much interest in state and local magazines before, since I've been developing local New Jersey content (focused for now on Morris and Somerset Counties) for my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog and its family-friendly spinoff, http://www.roxysbestof.com/, I see everything as a source of "material.

I pulled out the subscription card and would have sent away for my very own copy, but then I read the fine print: First issue mails within 6-8 weeks. Now I ask you, in this Internet age, who can wait that long?? So, while Dr. Chanin was writing up Rex's prescriptions and the lady at the front desk was taking our $15 co-pay, I slipped New Jersey Life into my large red purse and made away with it.

According to their promotional materials, New Jersey Life is a regional luxury lifestyle magazine that looks and reads like a national magazine. It provides compelling editorial and photographic coverage of the state's best experiences. Hmm...I thought that was what Roxiticus Desperate Housewives did. No matter. I found some intriguing local restaurants, stores and services in New Jersey Life that I will share with all of you in future posts.

Thanks to an Amazon e-mail I received the other day offering me New Jersey Life for the low, low price of $15.00 per year (6 issues), I was all set to subscribe that way and post an associate link to Amazon in case my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers were interested, but then I noticed the subscription card inside the magazine: 7 issues of New Jersey Life for just $7. Bree loves a bargain...I'm there!

I'm going to return their copy of New Jersey Life on Monday, before they even miss it, but I thought the least I could do was to give the good doctors a promote here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. If you live in the Roxiticus Valley area (Mendham, Chester, maybe as far as Bernardsville), need a good general practitioner, and don't want to travel into Morristown, give these guys a try:

Chester Medical Associates:

Dr. Glenn A. Davis

Dr. Alan H. Chanin

385 State Route 24

Chester, NJ 07930

(908) 879-6277

Here's a link to the Patient Ratings on Dr. Glenn A. Davis' HealthGrades Profile.

Here's a link to the Patient Ratings on Dr. Alan H. Chanin's HealthGrades Profile.

Now, I wouldn't want to stake my life on a sample size of 3 and 5, respectively, but people seem to like both doctors and they rated well above the national average on all questions.

A Hot Shower Story

A few years back, before we had children, there was this hot summer Thursday night in our apartment in New York City. After a long day of investment banking, Rex jumped in the shower to rinse off and wind down for the night. I finished up the spreadsheets I was working on just in time to see him getting wet under the shower head. I knew that shower was the place I needed to be...and quick.

I stripped off every stitch of clothes in ten seconds flat and slipped into the shower behind him. Our NYC shower was very small, not quite big enough for two people. So we were very close and frequently rubbing against each other while we were in there together, if you know what I mean.

Rex massaged me with bath gel and shampooed my hair while I let the water run down all over my body. It was so hot to have him massaging my head with his fingers, while I closed my eyes and pressed against him and started to enjoy myself. The water and his hands were running all over my body and I grew more and more excited.

You are not going to believe what happened next, hold your breath, yes, yes, yes....

NO! NO! NO! The sticky shower curtain with colorful little fishies all over it swooped into our intimate shower, wrapped itself around both of us and clung to our wet bodies! That was the end of our intimate evening, and the beginning of our search for the perfect shower, a search that ended here in the Roxiticus Valley, as Rex will be happily tell you as he takes you on our ten-cent home tour.

Got Curtain Cling? I wanted to tell you all my story so you would know that you are not alone. Shower curtains cling 43% of the time (eew!), but if you can't find a house with the perfect shower like Rex and I did, Roxiticus Desperate Housewives has a happy ending to your shower story. ShowerBow creates more space, instantly! ShowerBow installs in seconds. It just snaps onto your existing rod (yes, I did say that, Wally). It is a simple counterweight that tips out (without lifting the curtain from the tub) and holds the curtain away to create more space at elbow and knee level for whatever might be going on in your shower. Then, it tips back with just a nudge, so unlike curved rods (yes, I did say that, Wally), it won't crowd the rest of your teensy NYC bathroom. Because ShowerBow works inside the curtain, it is practically invisible from the outside.

Weighing less than two pounds, ShowerBow safely expands any standard curtain on any standard rod, even tension rods. Just be sure that your current rod is properly installed (yes, I did say that, Wally)...

Sponsored by ShowerBow

The Somerset County 4-H Fair is Coming! August 13, 14, and 15, 2008

New post with updated information on the Somerset County 4-H Fair -- August 13, 14, and 15, 2008 -- Click Here!

My older daughter had a 4-H Prep Club meeting tonight, where ads were due for the 4-H Fair Directory. I actually placed an ad for my family-friendly spinoff of Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, Roxy's Best Of. More on that another time...this post is dedicated to the Somerset County, NJ 4-H Fair.

What began as a dairy show in a farm field has become one of the marquee events on the Somerset County cultural calendar and the premier free fair in New Jersey...

I have been going to the Somerset County 4-H Fair for over 35 years, since before I was even old enough to be a 4-H Prep Club member. Despite the fact that we live in Morris County, as soon as my older daughter was old enough to join last September, I started taking her over to the Prep Club meetings at the Ted Blum 4-H Center in Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County, about five minutes from the house I grew up in). Somerset County 4-H is the best 4-H experience in the surrounding area. The Somerset County 4-H Fair, rather than going commercial with rides and games, focuses on the kids and their achievements. Our whole family loves to see the dogs, cows, sheep, rabbits, goats, horses and alpaca. In the chicken tent, there's always an incubator full of eggs with chicks being hatched before your eyes.

This year's Somerset County 4-H Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever, attracting tens of thousands of visitors with its wholesome mix of arts, entertainment, agriculture, animals, science, food, fellowship and just plain fun.

The 2008 Somerset County, NJ 4-H Fair runs Wednesday, August 13th through Friday, August 15th. 10am-10pm all days. Don't worry, we'll be reminding you here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives many times in the upcoming weeks. And you can look for me in the 4-H Prep Club Cotton Candy Tent!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Top Down Day!

Oh, yeah!! 78 degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny in the Roxiticus Valley. Rex has a doctor's appointment to follow up on his knee surgery over in Morristown, and it is a Top Down Day!!

I wasn't anticipating that spring would come so quickly and perfectly, so my baby (see photo above) has been waiting in the garage with a dead battery. I called Triple A yesterday to get the battery charged, so we're good to go. I haven't given our 1996 Celica Convertible the car wax he truly deserves, but Rex and I will be cruising to the doctor with the top down this afternoon!

When I get home, I'll go online to Lane's Professional Car Products to get that car wax. They're professional auto detailing experts who have offered an exclusive line of professional auto-detailing products online since 2001. The Lane’s Professional Car Products web site offers safe, easy and secure online ordering with 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

And believe me, my baby deserves the very best. He's getting Lane's Top Edition Wax Package in time for the weekend!

Sponsored by Lane's Professional Car Products

An EntreCard Refresher Course

(Subtitle: Huzzah, Tricia Got an EntreCard!!)

One of my very favorite bloggers, Tricia, just got started on EntreCard and was kind enough to give me the heads-up to let me be her FIRST! If you head over to Tricia's Musings, you'll see me, Bree, smiling at the world from Tricia's EntreCard!!

Since Tricia has been my mentor on most things blogosphere, I was surprised that she was seeking my advice on EntreCard, and thought many of you could use an Introduction to EntreCard, or an EntreCard Refresher Course. So here goes.

If you're looking for more traffic for your blog, EntreCard will help your traffic explode. You can sign up with any or all of your blogs (I have three so far), and (hint, hint, BlogExplosion members) you don't have to wait for anyone's "approval." You'll need a separate e-mail address for each blog you'd like to register with EntreCard, and it does get a little hectic to keep up on EntreCard requests and drops and advertising for several blogs.

To sign up for EntreCard, just click on any of the EntreCard text links in this post or on the yellow "Get One" in my EntreCard widget in the sidebar to your right. You can sign up and get started with the EntreCard quick tour.

Once you've got your widget up and running on your blog, you'll want to earn credits and start to "advertise" on Other People's Blogs. To earn credits, make sure you are signed in and go to Other People's Blogs to "drop" your card...you can start with mine. There are lots of "strategies" for how to do it quickly, but I just start with a favorite blog and "daisy chain" from there. Click the "drop" button underneath the widget (it should change from drop to "Thanks!" or "Go! Go!"), then click again on the widget and it should take you to the next site. The better organized bloggers choose blogs that fit nicely with their own to advertise on their EntreCard widgets, so you may find several books/writing, cooking, making money online or cute furry animal sites all in a row. You can only "drop" once per day on each widget, 300 drops per day per blogger (unless you have 2 EntreCards, then you can do 600 drops per day per IP address) so if you see a familiar widget it probably doesn't pay to go there again in the same day, at least not for EntreCard purposes.

You can use EntreCard at the same time as BlogExplosion. So if you’re surfing Other People's Blogs (OPB) on BlogExplosion or voting on a Battle of the Blogs, watch for the EntreCard widget and “drop” your EntreCard there, then click on the widget to open the next blog in a new window, while continuing whatever you were doing in BlogExplosion. You’ll earn one credit each time you drop, so you can turn around and use it for your own advertising.

Once you've earned a bunch of credits, it's time to "Campaign" and place your advertising on other people's EntreCard widgets. Do watch for bargains (64 credits or less for your favorites, and under “Campaign” you can browse by cheapest and get some new blogs for 8 credits), as I haven’t found the click-through rate on most blogs corresponds well with the high credits paid (I’ve paid 128 credits for a hot site, only to find that I get 18 click-throughs). I’m sure you’ll discover your own strategies for “dropping” as you go along.

Once you get the basics down, you'll want to pretty up your EntreCard square...after all, it is your Blogosphere Business Card and more people will click on it if it is more attractive than the basic orange stripey offered by EntreCard default. If you have my level of graphic design talent, you'll want to reach out to the EntreCard Design Shop by Matt Urdan...because life's too short to "drop" with an ugly EntreCard.

If you've listened to me in my exhortations to Join SocialSpark! and you're an EntreCard member, follow this link to the post on my site that helps with the BenSpark Social Cardsters Blogroll. The idea is to add the Social Cardster logo attached/under your EntreCard widget and link it to Ben’s (actually his name is Drew, but who am I to talk about nom de plumes?) Social Cardsters blogroll. I finallly got it right on my own widget and have provided a couple of info links for newbies like me on how to link an image.

That's all the tips I have for now. You'll find that EntreCard is a very helpful and friendly community interested in helping you become a more effective blogger and marketer of your blog. Many resources and tools are available on the site to help you take your blogging to the next level.

Enjoy EntreCard, it’s another great way of wandering around the blogosphere.

An Ounce of Fish Oil...a Pound of Ezekiel Bread?

Just toasted up another one of those crazy Ezekiel muffins for Rex and was struck by what a difference the right combination of exercise, healthy eating, and nutrition supplements have made in his life. Not only do I have to work to stay 75 pounds lighter than he is (in the "good old days" it was 100 pounds); thanks to his nutritionist, Rex has his blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol under control.

If you don't live in the Roxiticus Valley, though, you probably won't be dropping by to see Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy for your nutritional guidance. Browsing on the Internet last night, I discovered that you can get much of what you need to stay healthy by shopping online. In fact, I found many items that are either unavailable or much more expensive in our local area.

Choice Nutritionals has a vast selection of health supplements, including high quality vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements, from brands like Garden of Life, Mt. Capra, Sovereign Silver and Natural Calm. For example, the Garden of Life category starts with books and videos and includes digestive health, foundation nutrition, immunity support, living foods (I'm pretty sure that muffin I toasted for Rex this morning was... alive) and living nutrients, optimal wellness, The Maker's Diet, and Jordan Rubins Perfect Weight America products for weight management.

When Rex's nutritionist starts asking Rex to dehydrate his food, I can order an Excalibur Food Dehydrator with four drying trays...I might get one right away to use to dry my delicate laundry until the Whirlpool people can fix my special drying center!

To take care of your body from the outside as well as the inside, Choice Nutritionals also offers organic skin & personal care items from Miessence.

Just another step for me in starting a healthier lifestyle and fitting into that bikini...

Sponsored by Choice Nutritionals

Hwingin' and Complainin': Your Patriot Media Internet Service is Going to Be Comcastic!

Mariuca tagged me a couple days ago with the following "Complaint Meme," and now I have just the rant for her, so here goes!

The following message from Comcast and Patriot Media showed up in my e-mail last Thursday, April 17th.

You might be asking yourself, "What is going to happen to my Internet services?" Oh, no, I don't have to ask myself, I know it is nothing good.

Be on the lookout for your invitation to transfer your Patriot e-mail account(s) to Comcast. Please keep an eye out for this email--it will inform you when the change to Comcast has begun and provide instructions for you to begin the email transfer process. Yes, in the last two months, you've signed up for thirty-seven (37) blogging-related services with your @patmedia e-mail address, so now we're going to change it to @comcast and stop forwarding your mail. Just Comcastic!

We are working to make the transition to Comcast High-Speed Internet as smooth and easy as possible. However, during this transition, you may experience some temporary service interruptions. You will have to completely re-boot your computer over and over again to restore your annoyingly intermittent Internet access. Your Internet will shut down every time you attempt to post to your blog, or leave a comment on Other People's Blogs (OPB). Should this occur, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We know you're getting madder and madder; however, we know where you live and you don't know where we live. Please be assured that we will act quickly to fix any problems and minimize your inconvenience. We don't really care one bit.

Should you encounter connectivity issues, you may be able to resolve them on your own by following these simple steps:
If you are experiencing connectivity issues with your high-speed Internet service, you will need to reset your Internet modem. To do this, simply unplug the modem for a minimum of 60 seconds, plug it back in, and then restart your computer. If a router is connected to your high-speed Internet modem, please follow the manufacturer's instructions to reboot it.
Shut down your laptop. Get out of bed. Go down two flights of stairs to cable modem central in the basement. Stub toe on children's craft project left out on the floor by the stairs. Turn modem off, name the capitals of all 50 United States, then turn modem back on and start on international capitals....or whatever they call them DownUndah (hi, Buffy!). If any of the green lights turn on and stop flashing wildly, count your blessings and go up one flight of stairs to the office and turn the router off and on. Watch for more encouraging green lights. Go back upstairs, get in bed, turn on laptop. Still no Internet? Go ahead and use those words, your kids have been asleep for hours.

Your world is about to be Comcastic! Brought to you by the same Comcastic people who shut your cable service down in Bay Head, may never turn it on again, and keep asking you to return your modem (which was purchased online at Circuit City) to the local Comcast office in Brick, NJ.

Ah, I feel much better now that I've shared with you. Now, it's your turn. I'm going to tag Matt, Rache, Buffy, Berryvox, and If I've tagged you, or if you'd like to tag yourself, here are the rules to play along:

  1. Compose a "Complaint (serious, funny, or even a shameless plug for your own site).
  2. Choose a graphic from HERE or HERE or use your own. I had the good fortune of receiving a graphic from the Comcastic people who caused this complaint in the first place. Any standard graphic format can be used, including a "gif".
  3. You can either place your "Complaint" into a graphic using a graphics program of your choice, or place your "Complaint" as a caption to the graphic, your choice. BE CREATIVE! A graphic is requested but not mandatory. The good people at ComplainComplainComplain.com will post just the "Complaint" if you wish.
  4. Send your "Complaint" to the following email address: Complain (at)ComplainComplainComplain(dot)com or post your complaint on your site and email the link to that e-mail address. On e-mailed statements, please include: your complaint (unless it is embedded in the graphic), creative title to your complaint, graphic (if you have one) as an attachment, your site name (Anonymous will be be accepted), your site's URL, Country / State / City where you live (just the country will be okay)
  5. Your "Complaint" will have its own URL with a direct link back to your site, if you have one. It will be indexed on the ComplainComplainComplain sidebar by date, number, subject and your site name/your name/or Anonymous. Send in as many complaints as you'd like. If you choose to remain anonymous, no identifying information will EVER be disclosed to anyone.
  6. You are encouraged to post the "Complaint" on your own site and please copy the following statement at the end of your post, if you would be so kind. This does come with a generous helping of "link-love," and tagging is completely optional.
*Start Copy*
In order to be able to achieve and maintain happiness we need to, actively, be able to do two things:
1. Complain and then let go (Dump the baggage, the roadblocks to happiness.)
2. Express Gratitude (The open expression of gratitude promotes happiness.)

After all everyone has something to be grateful for and/or something to complain about

If you would like to participate, please follow the appropriate link and do so: "Are You Grateful?", "Complain Complain Complain."

Contributors to "Are You Grateful?" & "Complain Complain Complain.": 1-Attitude, the Ultimate Power 2-Max 3-DianaCA's Metamorphoses 4-Mental Poo 5-My Thoughts 6-Baba Doodlius 7-Wake Up America 8-Life is a Roller Coaster 9-Life is Beautiful 10-pinay mommy's love blog 11-My Happiness Haven 12-And Life Goes On for a Filipino Mom 13-Blessed Sanctuary 14-Expressions And Thoughts 15-Memories by Jenn 16-Reminiscence of My Adventures 17-In the Life of Mne 18-Juliana's Lair 19-Pinay Wahm 20-Lucid Creativity 21-Winged Words 22-Irresistible Fascinations 23-A Little Time 24-See Me For What You Will 25-Greatest Reviews 26-ETC ATBP 27-Gandacious 28-We Are Family 29-Journey to this thing called LIFE 30-http://www.rajeshrana.net/ 31-http://www.rajeshrana.com/ 32-BaReFooTeD Me 33-Uncomplicated 34-Points of View 35-Pride & Prejudice 36-Colorful World 37-Nora's Notes 38-A Daily Walk With Bill & Gina 39-Strange but True 40-Everything Under The Sun ( Beth Rebokon ) 41-Kaleidoscope 42-Fil-Oz Blog 43-http://oscar-vg.blogspot.com/ 44-Comedy Plus 45-Blogging by Sandee 46-Soul Meets World 47-Mae's Memoirs 48-Beyond the Rave Reality 49-Amori, poesie, arte, chat by Hanna 50-Attached at the Hip 51-Carver's Sight or is that Site? 52-Empress Reviews 53-Simple Pleasures In My Heart 54-Lourdes' mia 55-A Grateful Heart 56-Majorsleepyhead 57-Scrappy n Happy in Ohio 58-CHOC MINT GIRL 59-Extraordinary Things 60-ZOOROPAZOO 61-BeNolSatuEm 62-As The World Turns 63-Your Caring Angels 64-Life Is Wonderful To Know Everyday 65-Sugar Magnolias 66-Little Peanut 67-Creative In Me 68-Me and Mine 69-Pea in a Pod 70-the diary of the Pink & Brown Wedding 71-good thoughts, good trades, good life 72-My Blog - all things me 73-Rainbows 74-Little Corner of Mine 75-Me, Myself and I 76-My Planet Purple 77-Amel's Realm 78-A Handful of Surprises 79-A Detour 80-Something Purple 81-Vanity Kit 82-Are You Grateful? 83-A Simple Life 84-BlogTips.Com 85-Balitang Kalye 86-Mariuca 87-Emila Yusof 88-A Total Blog 89-My Life in this Wonderful World 90-MommyAllehs 91-Things That Suck 92-A Mother's Stuff 93- Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 94 - YOU!

*End Copy*

80 Degrees in the Roxiticus Valley, and Bree is Not Ready for a Bikini

Another amazing summer day in April here in the Roxiticus Valley...I was working (the real, investment banking, job) and blogging (hey, SocialSpark came out of beta today and I had to let you all know) out on our deck in the sunshine. The girls are on Spring Break and went to the park with our nanny, my friend Hope and her four kids. Couldn't be too much nicer....but then I start to think about what I will look like in a bikini in Bay Head this summer. Uh oh...

As I've mentioned before, Rex looks great. Before his knee surgery, he was working out every morning, and he's been eating right since he started seeing a nutritionist back in August. Yeah, I have to fix him weird breakfasts (Grape Nuts with flax seed on top, Ezekiel muffins that might be made of alfalfa sprouts), but it sure beats the results I've been getting with coffee and Pop-Tarts.

I don't think it has reached the point that I need a B12 injection for weight loss, but I started looking online for the best weight loss program, both short-term (Memorial Day!!) and long-term. At MyDietSolutions.com, Dr. Gates prescribes weight loss shots, cellulite creams, and diet supplements based on your personal medical history. I found something called "Cell Press -- The Fill Pill" that surpresses your appetite, kinda like those magic crystals Rex mixes into his lemonade, only in a pill form that I can stomach. I may have to give it a try, and get back to exercising while Rex does his physical therapy in the gym downstairs. I'll add in a Walk 'n' Roll Pedometer (with FM Radio and earbuds) and be on my way!

Sponsored by My Diet Solutions

The New Season at NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center)

Just got a brochure in the mail for the 2008-2009 season at NJPAC (the New Jersey Performing Arts Center) in Newark, and it looks like they've got a lot of great events. The "must-see" list for my family:

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia is performing Giselle on Sunday, March 2, 2009 at 4:00pm in Prudential Hall. Using the choreography created by Marius Petipa in his definitive revivals, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs Adolphe Adam’s beloved ballet about betrayal, revenge, and unrequited love.

I'd like to go to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (with special guest Sweet Honey In The Rock) in May 2009, but I'll wait until after Mother's Day 2008 to order my tickets. Rex and the girls are taking me to see this year's Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance at NJPAC, and I want to make sure they enjoy it before I sign up for a second time.
Join the celebration as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, America’s cultural ambassador to the world, marks its 50th Anniversary of bringing African-American cultural expression and the American modern dance tradition to the world’s stages. The genius of Alvin Ailey changed forever the perception of American dance; today, the legacy continues with Judith Jamison’s remarkable vision and the extraordinary artistry of the Company’s dancers. Beauty, spirit, hope and passion know no bounds. That is the power of Ailey. The powerful Sweet Honey In The Rock will join the company on stage in a new work co-commissioned by NJPAC.

The girls are most excited about Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Cats, which is coming to NJPAC from Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 through Sunday, November 23rd, 2008. This theatrical blockbuster, one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, is an enchanting spectacle for all ages, fueled by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s soaring score. The London Times calls it “one of the most exhilarating and innovative musicals ever staged.

NJPAC makes it so easy to order tickets with reasonable prices instead of having to go through scalpers. You can select a pre-designed series, securing the same seats for every show (Rex likes a seat on the aisle). Or, create your own series of any three, four, five, or more events -- based on your interests and schedule. Either way, you'll enjoy all the benefits of subscription: savings of up to $10 per ticket, guaranteed discounts all year, and the convenience of a flexible exchange policy if "something suddenly comes up."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Support Mendham Township Elementary School (or Your Kid's School)....Shop Online at SchoolPop Today!

Mendham Township Elementary School's Home & School Association (HSA) has just finished up its big Tabletop Luncheon fundraiser for the year, and I have to confess that I didn't attend. Excuses, Excuses...I had to work that day, we were getting ready for Rex's knee surgery, blah, blah, blah...but the honest truth is that if you want to open my purse strings in a silent auction fundraising environment, there better be men and booze involved, not Ladies Who Lunch. I do support Mendham Township Elementary School in many other ways, and I was reminded today of one easy way to make money for schools.

Schoolpop provides a non-traditional school fundraiser opportunity for institutions of all sizes. By shopping at your favorite stores, you can dedicate a portion of the funds to your school's fundraiser programs. You can shop at your favorite online merchants today through Schoolpop!
Schoolpop’s name-brand online merchants (like Macy's, Nordstrom, and Victoria's Secret)contribute up to 20% of every purchase you make to your chosen school fundraiser or tuition crediting program. You must simply start your everyday shopping at SchoolPop online and click to your favorite online merchants, that way your school is sure to receive contributions.

I'm going to get started right now in my pajamas...and I'll also see you at the Mendham Township Elementary School Strawberry Festival fundraiser.

Sponsored by SchoolPop

Speaking of Weddings....You Need a Cake Lady: Carol Falcone, As You Like It Cakes

Here's another tip for Wedding Girl. No matter where she and her fiancee (or you and yours) decide to have their wedding reception, there's only one person to trust for your wedding cake.

People are always asking us about our "cake lady" -- Carol Falcone, who does all of our fancy (and delicious) birthday cakes. So here's a link to her web site, As You Like It Cakes, in Far Hills, NJ: http://carolfalconespecialtycakes.com/.

Her phone number is 908-626-0693. I have now given you one of my best-kept secrets. Just remember to tell her the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives sent you.....

Mother's Day is Coming to the Roxiticus Valley: Sae Cheese!

My girls have the best nanny in the whole world (and so do I). Every year, when Spring comes to the Roxiticus Valley and the flowering trees are at their peak, our nanny sneaks my two beautiful girls out into the yard and poses them in their prettiest dresses as the cherry blossoms pop. She truly has a gift for capturing our daughters' smiles in a photo or two or three, and then turns those photos into the most spectacular personalized picture gifts for me on Mother's Day and Rex on Father's Day. Every year, when I ask our nanny where she creates these perfect memories, she says, "that's my little secret."

But this year, I think I'm onto her. Sae Cheez Images has been providing our nanny (and lots of other customers) with a variety of ways to personalize gifts for friends and family. By adding your photo to any of their items (mugs, key tags, can coolers for mom's beer, candles, tote bags, snow globes, mouse pads, pillows, and real U.S. postage stamps to put on the package when you mail your gift), you can create unique, personalized gifts that express your feelings or the interests of the special recipient. I also don't have to worry that our nanny was spending a week's salary on my Mother's Day present. Personalized photo gifts from Sae Cheez are an affordable way of adding a special touch to any item....now that I know our nanny's secret, the girls and I are going to make something special for Grammy and Grandmom this year!

Sponsored by Sae Cheez Images

Wedding Girl Follow-Up: Weddings in the Roxiticus Valley...or in the Vicinity

Roxiticus Desperate Mail Call!

I was right on my hunch about Wedding Girl... Pierre's is too small for her wedding, so please start thinking about other venues, and post a comment here if you have an idea for her reception. As you'll see from Wedding Girl's latest missive, she's prepared to have her reception outside our beloved Roxiticus Valley if our readers can help her to find the right venue and she doesn't have to bus her guests to Florida or Michigan...

Wedding Girl writes:

I actually walk through the West Village on the way to work everyday! I work in the Meatpacking district (where you used to live) and I plan on continuing to work in the city when I move.

Not sure where I will live - I love the entire Roxiticus Valley! My fiancee's family and my sister's families live out there (which is why we are out there all the time). We are thinking of looking in Bernardsville, Mendham (although I hear the taxes are nuts!) or maybe Far Hills. But first I'm concentrating on the wedding... then the house! I'm a little hesitant to move out of my comfort zone, though. I'm worried about making friends, etc since I wont know anyone!

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Pierre's looks great - but it only holds 60 (I am looking to have about 125 or so). Where I end up doesn't have to be right in Bernardsville or anything - just something close enough to the area so I can prove to my NYC guests once and for all how gorgeous New Jersey is (but please don't head down towards the Jersey Shore, Bree, that's your other blog)!

Thanks again,
Wedding Girl

Bree has a brainstorm (or two or three!)

Dear Wedding Girl,

Why didn't I come up with these great wedding venues before?
  • The Pluckemin Inn in Pluckemin, NJ -- ooh la la, we took the girls there for New Year's Eve, what a fabulous chef!
  • Gladstone Tavern in Gladstone, NJ -- I think of it as a bit more casual than any of my previous suggestions, possibly too small, but nice outdoor space is available;
  • Bridgewater Manor in Bridgewater, NJ. Head South on Route 206 after the wedding in Peapack, and you'll find it on the right. A bit larger, probably less expensive, with nice outdoor space.

I hope you'll find one of these to your liking. If not, we'll hope our loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers present some attractive alternatives by posting a comment here.

Enjoying the spring weather,


Shameless SocialSparkPLUG Redux: Come Join SocialSpark and PROP My Blog!

Let's call this post a SocialSparkPLUG!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I had joined SocialSpark... kind of a combination of social networking (a la Blog Catalog or MyBlogLog or Zimbio, to name a few) and PayPerPost. Since then, I have really been enjoying the SocialSpark experience. While I have frequently joked here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives that I have "no friends" (if you're looking at MySpace or Friendster or Facebook), I have made all kinds of blogging friends at SocialSpark (over 300 and counting!), not to mention "faving" familiar faces from BlogExplosion like Mariuca, Tricia and Lady Java. Check out SocialSpark by clicking the picture or one of the text links in this post, then swing by my profile and give my profile and my blog a PROP! I'll do the same for you.

Now is the time! There are lots and lots of new opportunities available for verified blogs. So get yourself over to SocialSpark and start the process! Or take a moment and read the steps I have outlined below.

To combat the problems other paid post services have had with Google PageRank, SocialSpark has a solid code of ethics:

  • 100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
  • 100% Transparency
  • 100% Real Opinions
  • 100% Search Engine Friendly

So joining SocialSpark and starting to post paid opportunities shouldn't cause Google to spank your blog....but if they do, IZEA, the owners of Social Spark, have created a new ranking system called RealRank to save the day. See my badge smiling at you from the sidebar??!! Go ahead, click on it and get a RealRank of your very own.

Now, let me take you through the steps for joining and getting to know Social Spark:

FIRST: Click any of my SocialSpark screenshots or text links in this post to sign up.

SECOND: Create your SocialSpark Blogger profile (I also have a SocialSpark Advertiser profile, but we'll get to that later). First, you'll choose a profile display name. This name should represent you as a Blogger, no matter how many blogs you have, but you can change it later if you decide your name no longer suits you. My name is Roxiticus Desperate Housewives since that's really my identity as well as my most popular blog. Then you'll fill in some basic demographic stuff, which you have the option of keeping private. After you enter the basics, it's time to upload an Avatar (of course, you'll see that my large avatar is Bree, but due to a funny cropping issue with SocialSpark, in my small square avatar only a glimpse of red hair shows up...just a little tease for all of my friends).

Bigger Social Spark Screen Shot

THIRD: It's time to register your blogs. As I mentioned to Mo in the comments section of my earlier post, you can add as many blogs as you have, even if they don't qualify for paid post opportunities. I have four blogs up on Social Spark (Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, Roxiticus Best Blogs, Makin' the Bacon Online, and Bay Head New Jersey Blog), but only Roxiticus Desperate Housewives currently qualifies. Later, after you've met SocialSpark's criteria for your blog, there's a button you can hit to re-submit your blog for verification.

That's it...you're ready to go explore SocialSpark! Once you join, I'll send you a message asking you to be my friend, you'll say yes, and then you can click on that little glimpse of red hair square to hop over to my profile and give me a PROP! Leave me a comment on my profile, and I'll scurry right on over to your new profile to check out your blog(s) and give you a PROP!

I'll post more later on how to explore and get to the goodies once you've signed up. You'll want to check out the opportunities and sign up to take them (you'll only have six hours to finish each one). Look for me out there and....Happy Sparking!

Sponsored by SocialSpark

More Options for Wedding Girl

I have a feeling that Wedding Girl is going to find Pierre's too small for her wedding, so please post a comment here if you have any ideas on a venue in the Roxiticus Valley. I will put on my thinking cap as well.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Come Join Social Spark and PROP My Blog!

Let's call this post a Social SparkPLUG! A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I had joined SocialSpark. SocialSpark is kind of a combination of social networking (a la Blog Catalog or MyBlogLog or Zimbio, to name a few) and PayPerPost. Since then, I have really been enjoying the SocialSpark experience. While I have frequently joked here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives that I have "no friends" (if you're looking at MySpace or Friendster or Facebook), I have made all kinds of blogging friends at SocialSpark (over 250 and counting!), not to mention "faving" familiar faces from BlogExplosion like Mariuca, Tricia and Lady Java. Check out SocialSpark by clicking the picture or one of the text links in this post, then swing by my profile and give my profile and my blog a PROP! I'll do the same for you.

Attention Hotties!!

Since we're cross-promoting today here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, I thought I'd tell the beautiful people about a beauty contest we're running over at Makin' the Bacon today. $10,000 prize. Check it out if you want to strut your stuff (your real stuff, not your blog stuff this time) as a gorgeous model and attract the attention of an international modeling agency.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wedding Girl, This Post's For You!

Roxiticus Desperate Mail Call!

Wedding Girl writes:

Hi Bree,
I am a big fan of your blog and although this is an odd question to ask a blogger, you seem to be very "in-the-know" about the area! I've got one red hot fiancée, we've found a church in Peapack, and I'm ready to get hitched and move out to the Roxiticus Valley. One small problem: where should I have the reception? I have looked at all of the golf clubs (Hamilton Farm, Roxiticus and Somerset) but none of them seem to fit. Any advice you could give would be so helpful! Thanks again and keep up the great blogging!
Wedding Girl

Bree responds:

Dear Wedding Girl,
Congratulations on your engagement! Without a question, I would recommend The Bernards Inn, in Bernardsville NJ, for a wedding reception. They have great “ballrooms” for your reception, as well as rooms where your out-of-town guests can stumble upstairs afterwards. If The Bernards Inn is not available or it doesn’t seem right for you, let me know and I’ll give your question some more thought.
Do let me know how it turns out!
All the best,


Wedding Girl Reacts:

Dear Bree,

Thanks so much for getting back to me! I looked at The Bernards Inn and thought it lovely, but they don't have outdoor space (except that little balcony). I'm totally drawing a blank despite the fact that I'm in that area every weekend (I actually live/work in NYC - will be a Roxiticus Desperate Housewife soon enough, lol).

I've looked at Somerset Hills Country Club and Roxiticus Golf Club (both too small) as well as Hamilton Farm (too $$) and Fiddlers Elbow (a little outdated, no?). Thank you so much for your advice...it's very much appreciated! You're my go-to person for things in the Roxiticus Valley - I love your blog!


Wedding Girl

Bree Will Not Give Up!

Dear Wedding Girl,

Thanks so much for your compliments on my blog, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. You (and others like you) are just the audience I had in mind when I got started in earnest back in February. I remember having so many questions when we moved here, everything from where to find a butcher (Louie at the Chester Meat Market is tried and true, Perrotti's just opened in Far Hills) to things for the kids to do, and now that I know the answers, I decided to answer the questions for anyone who came looking.

As you may know from my blog, I moved out here in late 2003 after 8 years of living in the West Village. I loved it there, it was a walk to our office, but I couldn’t stand the thought of raising my kids in NYC. If September 11th hadn’t started us looking in Bernardsville, seeing the neighbor’s kids playing baseball in the middle of West 12th Street eventually would have!

Where will you live when you move out here? Will you give up working in New York, or will you be my kind of Roxiticus Desperate Housewife?

On the wedding front, how about Pierre’s? They’re not nearly as big as The Bernards Inn, but the food is terrific, and they do parties/weddings. Pierre's is not “downtown” in Bernardsville (in fact they have a Morristown address, headed out of Bernardsville towards Harding). Pierre's has a nice large porch, far back from the road, and you might be able to set up a tent outside as well. If Pierre’s doesn’t work for you, keep asking, we’ll come up with something! And I’m sure you won’t be the only Roxiticus Desperate Housewives reader to benefit from the information.

All the best,


Monday, April 21, 2008

Life's Too Short to "Drop" with an Ugly EntreCard...

It all started with the BreeSquare. My friend Matt Urdan over at Meltwater. Torrents. Meanderings. Delta. made himself a brand new EntreCard Square (bottom right) a couple weeks back and I was envious. As one of the nicest bloggers in the blogosphere, Matt couldn't leave me with my boring orange stripey, so he made me the BreeSquare for use on my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog. When he learned about my newest blogs, Roxiticus Best Blogs and Bay Head Blog, these gorgeous Entrecard squares just showed up in my e-mail over the weekend.

Matt's EntreCard Square designs are fun, creative, and personalized. If you're looking to replace your generic black or orange-stripe EntreCard, or if you're looking to update your current square with a new one, leave Matt the Michigan Rafter a comment on Meltwater. Torrents. Meanderings. Delta. He'll create a square you'll love, and he'll work for food (see his FOHBOH social network)...or EntreCard credits.

If you haven't tried EntreCard, and you're looking for more traffic for your blog, EntreCard will help your traffic explode. If you're a BlogExplosion user (and if you're not, click BlogExplosion here or in my sidebar to register), you can surf other people's blogs (OPB), or vote on a Battle of the Blogs and drop your EntreCard at the same time. You can sign up with any or all of your blogs (three of those squares are for my blogs), and you don't have to wait for anyone's "approval." EntreCard is a very helpful and friendly community interested in helping you become a more effective blogger and marketer of your blog. Many resources and tools are available on the site to help you take your blogging to the next level. But don't take my word for it, visit EntreCard now and take the quick tour. If you're serious about blogging, it will be the best five minutes you've ever spent.

Then you'll be ready to reach out to the EntreCard Design Shop by Matt Urdan...because life's too short to "drop" with an ugly EntreCard.