Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pssst.... Don't Tell London and Maddie

I know it's only Halloween, but I'm doing a little bit of online Christmas shopping. I have one of those 10% Target Rewards certificates that expires next week, and I wanted to get a jump on shopping at a discount (unfortunately, I have learned through a call to their less-than-helpful customer service that Target doesn't really mean it when they claim "free shipping on your $50+ order"...unless you're buying "specially marked items"...their message seemed to be "go shop in the store... who cares whether you'd rather spend the time with your kids?").

Just until the end of today (Halloween), Amazon is running a special offer where you buy $80 of video games (including either of the two Disney Sing It bundles) and get a $40 promotional credit for your next Wii, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 video game purchase.

London and Maddie are hoping Santa will leave a Wii under their tree, so I've been looking into games they might enjoy. Since they love to practice singing and dance moves with their Butter Bites band, I want to find singing, dancing and musical activities. I saw a clip on the Disney Channel promoting their Sing It games, so I tracked down the song lists for two of the games.

The "original" Disney Sing It features the following favorites:
Aly and AJ – Potential Breakup Song
Aly and AJ – Chemicals React
Aly and AJ – Like Whoa
Camp Rock – Here I Am
Camp Rock – Hasta La Vista
Camp Rock – Play My Music
Camp Rock – Gotta Find You
Camp Rock – This Is Me
Camp Rock – Start The Party
Camp Rock – We Rock
High School Musical 2 – You Are The Music In Me
High School Musical 2 – What Time Is It?
High School Musical 2 – Fabulous
High School Musical 2 – Bet On It
High School Musical – Start Of Something New
High School Musical – Get’cha Head In The Game
High School Musical – Breaking Free
The Cheetah Girls 2 – The Party’s Just Begun
The Cheetah Girls 2 – Dance With Me
The Cheetah Girls 3 – One World
Everlife – Real Wild Child
Everlife – Find Yourself In You
Jordan Pruitt – Outside Looking In
Jordan Pruitt – Jump To The Rhythm
Jesse McCartney – She’s No You
Jump In – Push It To The Limit
Vanessa Hudgens – Say OK
Billy Ray Cyrus – Ready Set Don’t Go
Hannah Montana – Rock Star
Hannah Montana – Nobody’s Perfect
Hannah Montana – Life’s What You Make It
Hannah Montana – Best Of Both Worlds
Miley Cyrus – Start All Over
Miley Cyrus – See You Again
Miley Cyrus – G.N.O. (Girl’s Night Out)

Sing It Pop Hits continues the fun with:
Colbie Caillat - Bubbly
Colbie Caillat - Realize
Coldplay - Violet Hill
Demi Lovato - Don't Forget
Demi Lovato - Get Back
Demi Lovato - La La Land
Duffy - Mercy
Duffy - Warwick Avenue
Hannah Montana - Let's Do This
Hannah Montana - Let's Get Crazy
Jem - It's Amazing
Jesse McCartney - How Do You Sleep?
Jesse McCartney - It's Over
Jonas Brothers - Burnin' Up
Jonas Brothers - Hold On
Jonas Brothers - Love Bug
Jonas Brothers - SOS
Jonas Brothers - When You Look Me In The Eyes
Miley Cyrus - 7 Things
Miley Cyrus - Fly On The Wall
Miley Cyrus - Hoedown Throwdown
Miley Cyrus - The Climb
Mitchell Musso - The In Crowd
One Republic - Apologize
Steve Rushton - Emergency
Taylor Swift - Change
Taylor Swift - I'm Only Me When I'm With You
Vanessa Hudgens - Sneakernight
Love and Theft - Dont Wake Me Up
Hatching Pete - Let It Go

Just until the end of today (Halloween), Amazon is running a special offer where you buy $80 of video games (including either of the two Disney Sing It bundles) and get a $40 promotional credit for your next Wii, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 video game purchase. Let's get shopping!

Not for today, but once I get a better understanding of all the musical options out there (and when I get my $40 promotional code from Amazon for the games I bought today), my friend Susan and I are intrigued (for our daughters or ourselves??) with Guitar Hero World Tour. There's a "Complete Band Game" bundle that appears to come with a microphone, guitar, and drum set, so the whole Butter Bites band could play at the same time. Have any of you tried it?

The other game I've heard of that I think my little Butter Bites would enjoy is Dance Dance Revolution, but there are several options to choose from, including bundles with different songs and multiple dance starts to get confusing to make sure we have enough remotes, mats and...nunchuks...what kind of crazy word is that??!!

My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that I haven't had a lot of time to spend in the blogosphere lately, but if Santa delivers the Wii and we get all the pieces hooked up properly, I will commit to explaining to all of you just what you need to get started having family fun.

Happy Halloween from the Butter Bites (and their Pirate Parents)

London, Maddie, Rex and Roxy wish you a Happy Halloween!

So far, we're just relaxing around the house, eating Rex's famous chocolate chip pancakes... later we'll head out trick-or-treating with friends. Be on the lookout for that girl band, the Butter Bites (and their Pirate Parents).

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Simple Pumpkin Seed Recipe

After school today, London, Maddie and I are off to a pumpkin painting and carving party with London's Brownie troop. We've already carved one set of pumpkins, but we are looking forward to more pumpkin good fun. Since our family loves to bake and eat pumpkin seeds this time of year, I thought I'd share the following recipe, passed along to us by our good friend and former nanny:

Wash all the pumpkin goo off the seeds. Make sure the seeds are completely dry. Put the seeds on a cookie sheet (I usually line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil) and cover in vegetable oil. Don't saturate the seeds, but make sure they are completely covered in oil. Salt the seeds. Bake in a 400 degree oven. I am not sure how long, it probably depends on your oven and how crispy you like them. Let them bake for 20 minutes and check them. They are done when they are golden brown and crispy, and your house wil start to smell good like Halloween should.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ready for Halloween? How 'Bout Christmas?

Now I know not everyone takes Halloween as seriously as London, Maddie, Rex and I do... we started our week long celebration of the spooktacular event with an Honorable Mention trophy for the Butter Bites in the annual Bay Head New Jersey Halloween Parade. On Friday, the girls will participate in another Halloween parade at Mendham Township Elementary School, and maybe wear their costumes to Randolph Gymnastics as well. Saturday is the real deal: trick or treating around the neighborhood with ghosts, goblins, and other friends in Drakewick, filling our plastic pumpkins with candy.

Others have already moved on to Thanksgiving and Christmas plans... new "wish list" catalogs are coming every day in the mail, and we're being asked to make plans for Garden State Ballet's annual performance of the Nutcracker. While our family may travel no further from the Roxiticus Valley than our traditional pizza at Otto with our old neighbors from West 12th Street in the Village, my former co-worker and good friend is making plans to celebrate an Ozark Mountain Christmas "back home" with her family in Missouri, with exclusive packages at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. With Hilton packages like "It’s a Wonderful Life," starting at $329 per night and running from Nov 15th thru Dec 23rd, Diane and her family will gather for the holidays and enjoy shopping, rest and relaxation and entertainment. Instead of just playing another round of Old Maid or Go Fish by the fire with Aunt Irma and Uncle Edmund, Diane and her husband will check in and receive a Branson Landing passport loaded with discounts at dozens of shops and restaurants along with a treatment at Aspire Medical Spa. Her brother's little ones will enjoy Story Time with Mrs. Claus in the lobby of the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, and Santa himself will deliver presents, milk and cookies to guest’s rooms with the Santa’s Coming to Town Package, which starts at only $189 per night.

Makes me think I better start making a list, checking it twice, and being good for goodness sake!


Butter Bites Bring Home a Trophy in the Annual Bay Head Halloween Parade

Pictures on the way!

For now, here's the crowd pleasing "set list" that London and Maddie performed along the parade route from Mount Street to the Bay Head Firehouse:
  • Taylor Swift's "Our Song"
  • Demi Lovato's "Who Will I Be?"
  • Taylor Swift's "Fifteen"
  • Miley Cyrus' "The Climb"

and on the way home, they wrapped up with

  • Taylor Swift's "Teardrops On My Guitar" and "Love Story"

We also have to keep our eye on our local newspaper, the Ocean Star... a photographer stopped me along the parade route and alerted me that she had a great shot of London... wouldn't it be cool to see her on the front page?

Visiting Mariuca?

While I visit my blogosphere buddies, Mariuca and LadyJava, on a daily (or nightly) basis via the Internet and online world, we often "threaten" to visit each other in person. Right now, the Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific -- with over one million hotel rooms available at amazing rates -- is making it awfully tempting for Roxy to plan a whirlwind tour of Malaysia and Singapore to see my friends. Asia Pacific travelers will enjoy significant savings when we book a holiday visit (stay period from December 2009 until April 2010) online between today (Tuesday, October 27th) and Friday, October 30th. The unbelievable rates start as low as US$30 per night.

The country list for available rooms at amazing rates includes Thailand, Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore (Lady Java!!), Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia (Mariuca!!), Australia, New Zealand (Mary Alice's in-laws!!), Fiji, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, and Bali. Accor's various brands -- including Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons and Ibis Hotels -- are participating, with different great rates providing a vast range of affordable options. Lucky for Roxy and my fellow travelers, the Accor 3-day Super Sale is planned to coincide with record low airfares across the Asia Pacific region... a fabulous opportunity to enjoy some of the world's most exciting cities at bargain rates.

So, a special request for Mariuca and LJ... please make a list of all of your favorite restaurants, shops and tourist attractions for Roxy... Rex, London, Maddie, and I are planning a visit!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Music Monday: The Butter Bites Led Off the Bay Head Halloween Parade with Our Song by Taylor Swift

There's a long story about Roxy bringing the wrong video recorder with a dead battery down to our beach house in Bay Head for the annual Halloween parade, so I have to give you the following YouTube video of Taylor Swift singing "Our Song," instead of London and Maddie performing it along the Bay Head Halloween Parade route as their all girl basement band, The Butter Bites... I did bring my camera, so I'll have some photos of the trophy-winning singing sisters soon.

I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car
He's got a one-hand on the steering wheel
The other on my heart
I look around, turn the radio down
He says baby is something wrong?
I say nothing I was just thinking how we don't have a song
And he says...


Our song is the slamming screen door,
Sneakin' out late, tapping on your window
When we're on the phone and you talk real slow
Cause it's late and your mama don't know
Our song is the way you laugh
The first date "man, I didn't kiss her, and I should have"
And when I got home ... before I said amen
Asking God if He could play it again

I was walking up the front porch steps after everything that day
Had gone all wrong and been trampled on
And lost and thrown away
Got to the hallway, well on my way to my lovin' bed
I almost didn't notice all the roses
And the note that said...

[Repeat Chorus]

I've heard every album, listened to the radio
Waited for something to come along
That was as good as our song...

Cause our song is the slamming screen door
Sneaking out late, tapping on his window
When we're on the phone and he talks real slow
Cause it's late and his mama don't know
Our song is the way he laughs
The first date "man, I didn't kiss him, and I should have"
And when I got home, before I said amen
Asking God if He could play it again

I was riding shotgun with my hair undone
In the front seat of his car
I grabbed a pen and an old napkin
And I... wrote down our song

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Parade in Bay Head This Weekend... London and Maddie Are the Butter Bites!

My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that our family takes Halloween very seriously, particularly our participation in the annual Bay Head Halloween Parade down at our beach house. Last year, London, Maddie, Rex and I won the "Good Sport" award for grown-ups who dress up in the best costumes and march in the parade with their kids. The photo on the right shows us in costume, from left to right: Maddie (as Sharpay "Golf" from High School Musical) Rex (as Ken), Bay Head Mayor Bill Curtis, Roxy (as Barbie), and London (as Sharpay "End of Year" from High School Musical).

This year, I don't want to give too much away to the competition in advance of the event, but London and Maddie are dressing up and performing along the parade route as their girl band, the Butter Bites, and we've prepared a special "float" to march in the parade. And Rex and I will be in costume as you've never seen us before... pictures on Monday!

Roxy On Demand

I'm pretty good with technology, but sometimes I just don't have the time to hook up all of my own equipment (and please don't get me started about Dominic C, the electrician who tried to rip me off by charging $50 per connection -- that's $100 to connect each speaker and input or output device to the stereo, so I think he had several thousand dollars in mind before I threw him out of our house). London and Maddie can't believe that we have a huge Sharp Aquos HDTV and seven speaker surround sound in our family room, but that our HDTV DVD recorder and player isn't connected correctly, so we have no sound for movies... we end up watching movies via a portable DVD player plugged into a small screen old fashioned TV in our bedroom.... but the girls are able to use the PVR to tape (and view) all the Hannah Montana and Suite Life with Zack and Cody reruns right there on the big screen in the family room. One day, I'll have the time to reconnect our high end equipment properly, but in the meantime, I'm going to learn more at apparently, if you have Charter digital, you have free access to On Demand: over 6,000 movies and shows to watch anytime you want... there's no waiting, no scheduling, and it comes right in through your cable box to the big screen! If you miss one of your favorite shows like Heroes, 30 Rock, or The Office, many favorites and hundreds of HD shows are available On Demand the day after they air on TV. Free! You can get updates and fun extras on Charter’s Facebook page... hit the button and check it out.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: November Rain by Guns N Roses

It isn't November yet, but here in the Roxiticus Valley, we've been chilled with cold November rain (mixed with snow and slush) since Thursday, and it shows no sign of stopping until Monday afternoon. My little weather girl, Maddie, reports that today's forecast calls for rain, rain (go away), possibly over one inch. So I'm going to jump the gun on November Rain with today's Music Monday pick... a classic by Guns N Roses.

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this
Such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come
And lovers always go
And no one's really sure
Who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time
To lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
Then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain

Do you need some time
On your own
Do you need some time
All alone
Everybody needs some time
On their own
Don't you know you need some time
All alone

I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you

Sometimes I need some time
On my own
Sometimes I need some time
All alone
Everybody needs some time
On their own
Don't you know you need some time
All alone

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain

Don't ya think that you
Need somebody
Don't ya think that you
Need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one

Don't ya think that you
Need somebody
Don't ya think that you
Need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one

Don't ya think that you
Need somebody
Don't ya think that you
Need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one

Don't ya think that you
Need somebody
Don't ya think that you
Need someone
Everybody needs somebody

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sadly, everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Thankfully, my 84-year-old mother is a breast cancer survivor, and that part of my family history makes me acutely aware of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now is the time to remember to do your own monthly breast self-examinations (ask your the perfect time to learn more about Cryo-cell and the benefits of their stem cell research, and perhaps make a contribution to the Susan B. Komen Foundation in the process. Here's how:

Cryo-Cell International, Inc is partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore the potential utilization of menstrual stem cells to treat breast cancer. Women's menstrual blood has proven to be a rich source of stem cells. These stem cells are the subject of extensive, aggressive research and development, and industry experts anticipate that C’elle stem cells will be the next great frontier for diagnostic and regenerative medicine.

Cryo-Cell International, Inc recently launched a special campaign to support “Breast Cancer Awareness” month. During the month of October 2009, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cryo-Cell is making the following contributions to the Susan B. Komen Foundation: a $50 C'Elle Breast Cancer Donation for each purchase of their “Protect Baby, Protect Mom” service and a $25 Cyro-Cell Breast Cancer Donation for each purchase of the “C’elle Menstrual Stem Cell” service.


Hot Wet Women at the Far Hills Races on Saturday, October 17th

Got your attention, didn't I? Turns out the forecast calls for rain, rain, rain... starting tomorrow (Thursday) and continuing right through the Far Hills Races on Saturday, October 17th.

Our family was on the verge of making "the Hunt" an annual tradition... we went two years running:

  • in October 2007, when the sun was shining, the horses were running, the beer was flowing, the kids were playing in the mud; and

  • in October 2008, when the weathergirl delivered more clouds than sun, with highs in the upper 50s. We wore our layers, and everyone was plenty warm in the afternoon sun.

More than 50,000 spectators converge each Fall on the rolling hills of Moorland Farms in Far Hills, New Jersey, for the Garden State's biggest social event of the season -- The Far Hills Race Meeting. This year's race -- on Saturday, October 17, 2009 -- will mark the 89th running, and the Far Hills Race features some of the finest steeplechasers in the world competing against a backdrop of autumn splendor in the Somerset Hills (and the Greater Roxiticus Valley). While I've already wangled another invitation from our good friends with the perfect parking spot, I'm not sure I want to wear my mud boots and rain slicker. We may have to leave the thrill of The Hunt to those who came to visit Roxiticus Desperate Housewives the other night by Googling "hot women Far Hills races" and wait to hear all of the stories...

Tickets are now on sale online (ONLY in bundles of 10 general admission tickets for $500) and in many local stores, including:

  • Bamboo Grill in Basking Ridge, NJ

  • Far Hills Pharmacy in Bedminster, NJ

  • Kings Supermarkets in Bedminster, Berkeley Heights, Bernardsville, Boonton, Chatham, Florham Park, Fort Lee, Hoboken (2 locations), Livingston, Maplewood, Mendham, Morristown, Short Hills, Summit, Upper Montclair, Warren, and Whitehouse Station, NJ

  • Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Bedminster, Bernardsville, Bridgewater, Califon, Chester, Clinton, Far Hills, Gladstone, Green Village, Hillsborough, Long Valley, Mendham, Morristown, Oldwick, Pottersville, Summit, Warren, and Whitehouse Station, NJ

  • Willie's Taverne in Bedminster, NJ

  • Gary's Wine and Marketplace in Bernardsville and Madison, NJ

  • Monterey Gourmet in Bernardsville, NJ

  • Roman Jewelers in Bridgewater, NJ

  • F. Gerald New in Chatham and Morristown, NJ

  • Chester Country Furnishings in Chester, NJ

  • Chester Wine, Spirits & Gourmet in Chester, NJ

  • Butler's Pantry in Far Hills, NJ

  • Joseph D'Apolito & Son Tailor in Far Hills, NJ

  • The Garden Gate Garden Center in Flemington, NJ

  • Beval Saddlery in Gladstone, NJ

  • Gladstone Market in Gladstone, NJ

  • Petrocks Liquors in Hillsborough, NJ

  • BMW of Roxbury in Kenvil, NJ

  • BMW of Morristown, NJ

  • Braunschweiger Jewelers in Morristown, New Providence, and Warren, NJ

  • The Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ

  • Audi Manhattan on West 54th Street in New York, NY

  • Oldwick General Store in Oldwick, NJ

  • Mannion's Pub in Somerville, NJ; and of course,

  • Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ

Slipped on a Banana Shpeel and Tickled My Funny Bone

Have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show? I saw them live in Montreal about twenty years ago, and again with Rex a few years later when one of our wealthy clients hired them for a private performance for a few hundred of his closest friends. Since London and Maddie were born, our family has only seen televised performances. I would love to take London and Maddie to see them for the first time in person. Their latest act, Banana Shpeel, is touted as a roller coaster ride, propelled by crazy humor and intense choreography, that blends tap dancing, hip hop, and eccentric dance styles with slapstick comedy, all held together by a hilarious narrative that ignites a succession of wacky adventures.

Join Cirque du Soleil to enter the world of Shmelky, a cruel and irritable producer who dangles fame and fortune in front of Emmett, an innocent and romantic actor who has come to audition for him. Our hero, Emmett, soon finds himself trapped in a flamboyant, anarchic world where the evil Shmelky sows terror and reigns supreme. Along the way, Emmett falls in love with the beautiful Katie and meets a bunch of absurd characters, including the strange Banana Man. London and Maddie can't wait to find out, who is this mysterious Banana Man? Will Emmett be able to escape the clutches of Shmelky and his henchmen? Maddie thinks that Emmett and the Banana Mn will turn out to be best of friends, working together to win the day.

Sound like fun? Check out the video below to learn more about the Cirque du Soleil Banana Shpeel show!

Doesn't it make you want to run off and join the Cirque?


Monday, October 12, 2009

Roxy's Birthday Music Monday: Lightning Crashes by Live

We're down at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ, celebrating my birthday with a long Columbus Day holiday weekend... London and Maddie have off from school, so it takes me back to my elementary school days, when I often had a long weekend celebration for my birthday.

It looks like the weather will be warm enough to settle into our beach chairs with our books and let the sound of the ocean soothe us. I've just started to re-read Erica Jong's memoir, "Fear of Fifty," which I first read back in 1994 as I was approaching thirty...long before London and Maddie, and around the time when I first met Rex at work but certainly did not consider him to be the possible love of my life. Maddie is reading one of her favorite Goosebumps series: "Say Cheese and Die... Again" for her second grade haunted house book report. We read the first "Say Cheese" out loud at bedtime a few weeks back and London and I had nightmares, so Maddie has to read her scary thrillers to herself from now on. London has a teen beach read called "Mates, Dates, and Cosmic Kisses," and I picked up the latest issue of New Jersey Life magazine (which includes an interview with Clarence Clemons and the annual A List) for Rex.

I'm feeling a bit introspective this weekend, with life and death weighing on my mind after our dear neighbor passed away last week. For my birthday Music Monday pick, I wanted something that would convey the depth of these emotions, but at the same time give us all an uplifting message. "Lightning Crashes," by Live takes us back fifteen years to 1994 and the album "Throwing Copper." The band dedicated the song to Barbara Lewis, their 19 year-old friend who was killed by a drunk driver who was fleeing from the police after a robbery. Barbara had many of her organs donated, including a liver to a 10 month old baby, and the song lyrics reflect how her death enabled others to continue living.

Lightning crashes, a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes, the confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door

Lightning crashes, an old mother dies
Her intentions fall to the floor
The angel closes her eyes, the confusion that was hers
Belongs now, to the baby down the hall

Oh now feel it comin' back again
Like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
I can feel it

Lightning crashes, a new mother cries
This moment she's been waiting for
The angels open her eyes, pale blue colored iris
Presents the sun and puts the glory out to hide, hide

Oh, now feel it comin' back again
Like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
I can feel it

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hot Women Far Hills Races

Every now and then, I'll peek at my blog statistics, particularly how people came to find Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. Tonight, someone came here by Googling "Hot Women Far Hills Races" -- yay, me!

P.S. -- The Far Hills Race Meeting is next weekend, and I'll be posting about it this week.

If Only We Lived In Canada... Do You??

Attention all Canadian resident readers of Roxiticus Desperate Housewives... this post is for you! As all of you know, Rex does most of the cooking in our family, and I would love to give him a kitchen makeover in our Bay Head, New Jersey beach house, where we are celebrating my birthday over the long Columbus Day weekend here in the United States... if I recall correctly, our Canadian friends are celebrating Thanksgiving. While my double chocolate sand castle birthday cake was in the oven, London, Maddie and I were just checking out the new Maple Leaf Market experience... we met the Butcher, the Baker and the Pasta Maker, and found some easy-to-make (even for Roxy), meal ideas. No matter where you live, you'll find useful tips, recipes, and coupons, but for Canadian residents only, they're giving away a $32,000 Dream Kitchen and twelve (12) Frigidaire® refrigerators to celebrate the launch of the new site.

Rex has owned our beach house for thirty years, and hasn't made many changes to it over time. He's been spoiled by all of the luxury appliances in our Roxiticus Valley kitchen, so if I were eligible to win this contest, I would give our beach house the kitchen of Rex's dreams: all new appliances, including a Viking stove and a huge fridge to keep a couple bottles of California Chardonnay and all of my summer ales cold. The other key element to our beach house kitchen makeover would be floors and cabinetry... we re-did the kitchen floor a couple of years ago, but due to structural requirements (our house is more than 100 years old) we didn't get the ceramic tile of our dreams.

Check out the Maple Leaf Market and, if you're lucky enough to be a Canadian resident,enter your email every day until December 15th, 2009, for your chance to win your dream kitchen!


Beach Reading On My Birthday: Erica Jong's Fear Of Fifty

It's my birthday weekend, and we spent today at the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey... as our newly appointed weather girl, Maddie, discovered this morning, it was almost 70 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. I have started to re-read Erica Jong's memoir, Fear of Fifty, whichh I read when it came out in 1994... long before I even had thoughts of children, and right around the time I met Rex at wok, but well before he was anything moe to me than one of the many managing directors at The Firm.

According to her memoir, Erica Jong celebrated her 50th birthday at a spa with her daughter, Molly, who was 13 at the time. When I turn 50, London will be 15 and Maddie will be 14. I don't really have a fear of fifty, or of any age, though sometimes it is hard for me to picture my life too fa out into the future. I see how fragile my mother has become at 84, falling and breaking or dislocating her bones and joints, and I hope I'll be healthier when I grow old, perhaps to a combination of both parents' genes and more exercise, if not necessarily a better diet.

As I re-read Fear of Fifty, I found myself disagreeing with the same passages/points I disagreed with fifteen years ago. Although I can't articulate my disagreement as well as Erica Jong makes her liberal, liberal points, I just don't believe that the world is as stacked against women as she would lead us to believe. While she must be correct with her "facts" about the "relentless double standard," I just don't think women accomplish anything by whining about the unfairness of it all. Just do the best we can for ourselves and our families.

Although I am not always happy with how my career seems to be going, I don't think I can point to a single time when I've believed I was discriminated against because I was a woman. I'm frequently the only woman in the Board room, but I feel so strongly that merit is all that matters. Jong's well-articulated arguments for sticking together, uniting in sisterhood, just fall on my deaf ears. In school, I never learned to debate, so I do not feel strong enough to dispute her points. Perhaps I am a misogynist, the worst kind of successful woman, who doesn't hold out a hand to other women to help them to reach the top.

Lately, my struggle is with my own level of success, to overcome my fear of failure in the current economy... and maybe that means I should be looking to Napoleon Hill instead of Erica Jong for inspiration. I brought Hill's Think an Grow Rich to the beach as well, but if I remember correctly, if I keep going in Fear of Fifty, Erica will quit the self-pity and move on the the intriguing story of her life.

At the Beach, Looking Back On My Birthday

Today was a glorious Sunday afternoon in October, the perfect day to celebrate my birthday on the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, along with Rex, London, and Maddie. As I said to Rex as we sat side by side in our his 'n' her blue and white striped beach chairs, as much as I have enjoyed each of our birthday getaways, there's really nowhere I'd rather be to celebrate my birthday than on the beach in Bay Head... with my happy, healthy family with me to share the milestone.

Before we left for the beach this morning, Rex received an invitation on his Blackberry to connect with our good friend Deb over on Jersey Bites dot com, and it was nice to connect with her online. While I was accepting her invitation to connect, I took the opportunity to search for some old coworkers and college buddies. Do you ever wonder who is searching for you online? An ex who might be checking on you? Or an old friend? At MyLife, you can find everyone all in one place AND they can tell you who has been searching for you online!

Now that London and Maddie have mixed up my double chocolate sand castle birthday cake and we put it into the oven, I think I'll take the 28 minutes while it bakes to do a little "online research," including a peek into the ever intriguing Ex Files. Why don't you do the same and come back to Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and share your story?


Friday, October 09, 2009

Birthday Weekend

We're celebrating my birthday this weekend, so Rex and the girls and I will head down to our beach house in Bay Head, NJ sometime tomorrow for sun, fun, and a Sunday night dinner of 100 steamed clams. On Wednesday, we celebrated with lobsters at Grandmom's house (after all, where would I be without my mom?). Tonight, Rex prepared his famous pistachio encrusted rack of lamb with a perfect double rack from Louie at the Chester Meat Market.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rest In Peace, Carol

Our dear neighbor has passed away. She was always so full of life. When we were new to the neighborhood, she made our family feel welcome.

Goodbye, Carol... rest in peace.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together...

Back in the Spring, Rex and I were lucky enough to score two sets of four tickets to take London and Maddie and friends to see Miley Cyrus on Saturday, November 7th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Today, I've wrapped up our plans to include a mother-daughter pair of friends for Maddie and me, and a father-daughter pair of friends for London and Rex.

Now, I know there are those who frown upon Miley and her Hannah Montana alter ego... in fact, at our recent family reunion I heard Grammy whispering about the upcoming concert in a way that suggested that Rex and I had made plans to take our daughters to a strip show in Vegas. However, all four of us really enjoy her music (with Rex and me shedding a few Disney tears during the Hannah Montana Movie), and I believe with sufficient "parental guidance," our girls are smart enough to understand the difference between a "normal teenage girl" and trashy behavior that points us towards the next Britney Spears.

Cooking with Rex

Rex just returned from a short business trip to Texas, and the girls and I are looking forward to having him back to cook for us... he's already started planning the weekend menu to include lobsters, a simple (or at least my husband makes it look easy) chicken dish, and salmon with basil cream sauce. If Rex weren't already so talented in the kitchen, I would look into the
Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel’s Cooking School Weekend, coming up in Branson, Missouri, on Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th. Guests for this special Cooking School Weekend will be welcomed with a sumptuous Wine Tasting Reception upon arrival, followed by a cooking demonstration the next morning featuring the hotel’s very own Chef Nathan Read. Nathan will teach participants how to prepare the appetizers they enjoyed at the Wine Tasting the night before:
  • Smoked Rainbow Trout with capers, cornichons, hard cooked egg, and diced red onion, served with grilled flatbreads and herb goat cheese dip
  • Brimstone Cheese Fondue, served with grilled potatoes, baby carrots, zucchini, apples, pears and baguette

On Saturday evening, participants will experience a lavish four-course dinner paired with appropriate wines. The Shrimp Fritters with Green Chile Salsa sound like an appetizer I'd like Rex to prepare for me, while Chef Nathan can keep the wild mushroom risotto that goes along with his Smoked Newman Farms Pork Loin. On Sunday morning, it's time to wake up and learn how to prepare the entire meal from the night before. These menus will prepare the chef in your life to be the perfect holiday host or hostess instead of stressing out about what to serve for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

For just $398 plus tax, the one-of-a-kind Cooking Weekend package includes deluxe accommodations for two at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel on Friday and Saturday night. When you're not sipping fine wine or honing your cooking skills with Nathan Read, experience the pampered luxury that Hilton has to offer, and enjoy easy access to local boutiques and shops, a river walk and other area attractions.