BlogExplosion

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon, White New Year's, Happy New Year 2010 to All

Rex, London, Maddie and I are relaxing by a roaring fire after a perfect New Year's Eve dinner at Ninety Acres, the new restaurant at Natirar in Peapack, New Jersey. It is snowing here in the Roxiticus Valley...not expected to create much accumulation, just pretty puffy snowflakes falling and hiding the blue moon.

Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve will be on in a few minutes, but we may wait until tomorrow to post our New Year's resolutions. Maddie would like to share one now: her first resolution is to stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop. She's been up since six in the morning, so it may also be the first resolution to slip through the cracks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Music Monday: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Christmas Day has come and gone, but our family is still celebrating here in the Roxiticus Valley, as we get ready for the New Year 2010. London, Maddie and I are watching Rudolph & the Misfit Toys while we stuff and stamp envelopes full of New Year's cards.

One of the songs that moves me every year during the Hilltop Presbyterian Church Christmas pageant comes from a poem penned on December 25, 1864 during the American Civil War by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I found a video of a recent version by the Casting Crowns.



I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men



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!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Still Celebrating!

Santa was very very good to us yesterday... he brought London and Maddie a Wii, and Wii Fit Plus for Roxy...should be a big help getting started on my New Year's resolutions.

On the day after Christmas, we're working on a jigsaw puzzle in front of a roaring fire, and Rex will be out shopping for our second big Christmas celebration tomorrow, when we'll have 15 for a crown roast of pork from Perrotti's butcher in Far Hills, NJ.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tracking Santa As He Makes His Way to the Roxiticus Valley, New Jersey

One of Maddie and London's favorite Christmas Eve activities is to track Santa as he makes his way to the Roxiticus Valley. So far, we've tracked him from Russia to Korea... as we're heading out for last minute holiday shoe shopping before the Hilltop Church Christmas Pageant, I believe he was headed for India.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Music Monday: White Christmas by Bing Crosby

I've got Elvis singin' Blue Christmas over on my Bay Head Blog, but here in the Roxiticus Valley we just shoveled/plowed out of our driveway after almost a foot of snow on Saturday night and it looks like we'll be having a White Christmas. Here's my dad's all-time favorite Christmas song by Bing Crosby, taking us all back to a simpler place and time with a wish I'll share with all of you:



I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
with every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
with every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

And may all your Christmases be white (All your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be white (All your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be
(All your Christmases be white)
(All your Christmases be white)


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!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Miss My Dad

The photo on the right, London and her Grandpa, was taken on Christmas 2001, the year before he died. London was almost one, I was (very) pregnant with Maddie.

Mostly joyous around the holidays, but I do miss my dad.

Finally Starting to Relax

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Just before Thanksgiving, things got really busy for me at work, and I started to stress out about meeting deadlines and keeping two of our most important investment banking clients happy. It was particularly frustrating as Advent began and the holidays got closer and closer... I wanted to spend time with Rex, London and Maddie, but even on the weekends, I was worried about work. On Tuesday, I met my deadline and sent a draft Confidential Information Memorandum off to our client... he read it on a flight home from San Francisco and wrote back last night that he was pleased with our work. Yesterday morning, we met with the other key client, two really strong partners who finally feel like we're on track with their project. Rex is flying home from Washington, DC tonight, and with just one week until Christmas, I am finally, finally starting to relax.

During my weeks of stress and anxiety, I was starting to fantasize about disappearing from the office one day, jumping on a plane and escaping with my family to the warmth and comfort of an Ozark Mountain Christmas at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing or Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, where no one would find us. With packages like It’s a Wonderful Life, starting at $329 per night and running through December 23rd, we would hide out in Branson and experience the ultimate holiday getaway for relaxation and entertainment, then come home ready to celebrate with all of our holiday shopping complete. I dreamed of getting a treatment at Aspire Medical Spa with my Branson Landing passport, which is also loaded with discounts at dozens of local shops and restaurants. London and Maddie could settle in for Story Time with Mrs. Claus in the lobby of the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, and if we chose the Santa's Coming to Town Package, starting at only $189 per night, Santa himself would deliver milk and cookies and gifts, right to our room.

Click on any of the links in this email to share my Branson Winter fantasy!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Music Monday: The Nutcracker (Dew Drop Fairy)

Rex, London, Maddie and I are decorating our Christmas tree, trying to stay warm by the fire...I'll post a photo of our Christmas tree as soon as we finish decorating, but it may not be until next weekend, since Rex has to get the big ladder out to put our tree topper on. We're listening to holiday tunes... one of our favorites from the Nutcracker ballet, which we saw yesterday, is this one...



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!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Garden State Ballet Youth Company Performs the Nutcracker Today

The Nutcracker will be performed by the School of the Garden State Ballet's Youth Company on Saturday, December 12th at Holy Family School in Florham Park, NJ. There will be two performances: 3pm and 7pm. Tickets for the 3pm performance are $5.00 each (family maximum of $25); tickets for the 7pm performance are $7.00 each (family maximum of $35). For tickets contact: Ruby Sanchez: 973.462.6402 email: rub1 at optonline dot net or Amy DeFranco 973.216.0626 email: defr1234 at aol dot com.

Additional Garden State Ballet Youth Company Nutcracker Performances are scheduled as follows:

  • Secaucus High School on Friday, December 18th at 7:00pm

  • Rutherford Public Library on Sunday, December 20th at 3:00pm.

London and Maddie take ballet and modern dance lessons at the Garden State Ballet Randolph Studio. Although our girls won't be performing in this year's Nutcracker, Rex and I wanted London and Maddie to see their friends dance, and determine whether they'd like to make that serious dance commitment next year. We're going to see today's 3pm show, and will report back.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hacked!

Apologies to those of you who have tried to visit and been blocked over the past day or so... I just found out that my site was hacked and contained some code that was causing browsers to block my blog... even from me!

Thank you to my good blogosphere buddies, Mariuca and LadyJava, who got to the bottom of the problem. If your site is going blank when loading, check out LadyJava's post here and Mariuca's post here for some help finding the problem... check your blog's XML template for hacked code from a site called Paying Post. I should also be clear that I do not participate in "Paying Post" and did not, intentionally or inadvertently, add their code to my blog. I was HACKED!

My first repair was to go back to my old Blogger template from May 2008, but with the information about the paying post code that was hacked into my header, I was able to restore my most recent template and put my site back together again.

Roxy

Ozark Mountain Christmas

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Even though the Mendham Township Schools were open today after a two hour delay, the snowy sleety weather caused Rex and me to work from the home office and keep our girls, London and Maddie, at home today and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... "home schooling" in front of a roaring fire instead of struggling up the driveway to the bus stop against the elements. Somehow being snuggled inside with my family got me thinking about country songs... isn't there a country song (Johnny Cash? Kenny Rogers? John Denver?) about an Ozark Mountain Christmas... and if there isn't, there ought to be one... a song that celebrates the warmth and comfort of holiday season at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. With their special holiday packages like "It’s a Wonderful Life," starting at $329 per night and running from now through December 23rd, you and your family can travel to Branson to experience the ultimate holiday getaway with something for everyone: shopping, entertainment, and a little rest and relaxation. Get a Branson Landing passport loaded with discounts at dozens of restaurants and shops, as well as a soothing treatment at Aspire Medical Spa. Or, choose the "Santa's Coming to Town" package, starting at $189 per night, and the 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, cookies and milk to your room.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Music Monday on Tuesday: Dean Martin's Classic, "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!"

I'm getting a bit of a late start on this week's Music Monday post... we had our first Monday of the month staff meeting at the Firm and it feels like the meetings were non-stop until our holiday party tonight. Now Rex and I are on the train home, and I'm catching up with a classic Dean Martin tribute to the snowstorm that may be on its way to the Roxiticus Valley overnight. There's nothing I'd like better than to get the early morning phone call from Mendham Township Superintendent of Schools Kris Harrison letting us know that London and Maddie can sleep late and we can spend the day by a roaring fire... Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow!



Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn't show signs of Pauseping,
And I've bought some corn for popping,
The lights are turned way down low,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I'll hate going out in the storm!
But if you'll really hold me tight,
All the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we're still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!


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!

Holiday Party at the Firm

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Bidazzled. All opinions are 100% mine.

Rex and I are on the 86 minute train ride home from Hoboken to Peapack, NJ after our office holiday party at the Katwalk in midtown Manhattan. We left the party early (around 10 o'clock) to get home to our girls before the snowstorm... the Jagermeister shots had just begun, and no one had gotten particularly wild yet. Instead, a bunch of us were talking about who in the office was most active online, with "professional" networking sites like Linked In, "young" social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, and other online activities like blogging, Twitter, and auction sites including the new Bidazzled tbat was just launched in early November.

Since I keep my online identity as Roxy the Roxiticus Desperate Housewife a secret around our investment banking firm, I didn't let on that I'd be blogging and about the holiday party on our way home....and tweeting all about it since I just added a Twitter widget to my sidebar (though I can't seem to sign in and tweet using my AT&T Wireless tethered Blackberry connection).

The new Bidazzled site is redefining the online auction market by offering savings of up to 90% on name brand merchandise while all bids help to fund a lung cancer charity -- The Ruch Foundation, online at Ruch Foundation dot com. Commonly called Penny Auctions or Pay-Per-Bid auction sites, Bidazzled bids are purchased in advance and then used to bid on merchandise. With each bid placed, the price increases a few cents, and a few seconds are added to the countdown clock to give others a chance to bid. The auction ends when no other bids are placed. So if a new laptop ends at just a dollar, you could win the laptop for a dollar... as my loyal readers know, a dollar is about all my broken laptop is worth, and I sure could use a new one for just a dollar.

Bidazzled auction winners usually save more than 80% off retail, and nobody loses because even if you don't win, you receive up to 50 Bonus Bids as a thank you for participating, and you can purchase the auction item less the investment you had in the auction. If you do win, Bidazzled typically makes an offer to buy the item back for either cash (via PayPal or check), cash and bids, or lots more bids.

Bids cost $1 at Bidazzled and are available for purchase in bid packs as low as $25. Every time you purchase a bid pack, you also receive free bonus bids. When you dilute the cost of your paid bids with the bonus bids you receive, the highest cost of a Bidazzled bid is only sixty-seven cents ($0.67) per bid and can often be much lower with their lucrative viral referral program. If A refers B, A receives 5 Bonus Bids; if B refers C, A receives 4 Bonus Bids; if C refers D, A receives 3 Bonus Bids; if D refers E, A receives 2 Bonus Bids; and if E refers F, A receives 1 Bonus Bid.

In the first month, there have been two winners of Nintendo Wii systems who won the Bidazzled auction using only their five free bids. There's nothing to lose, and if you'd like to check out the new Bidazzled auction site, I have an exclusive offer for my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers: if you enter the code "BBP1202A" on the Bidazzled registration page, you'll get fifteen (15) additional free bids, with no obligation or cost of any kind.

And if you run into one of my coworkers on Wall Street, please don't tell them you know who the real Roxy is.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town...Saturday, December 5th at the Mendham Junior Women's Club Winter Carnival

See Santa arrive on the big red fire engine at the Mendham Junior Women's Club Winter Carnival on Saturday, December 5th from 10:00am until 2:00pm at the Brookside Community Club. Proceeds from this family fun event will benefit vital programs and services within Morris County.

  • Bring your camera to take a picture with Santa in front of fireplace in time for Holiday cards - arriving at 11:30AM, visiting till 12:30PM
  • Several Girl Scout, Brownie and Daisy troops will be there for a singalong... I know Maddie's troop will be there, and London's troop will be caroling at Kings
  • There will be games (Cupcake Walk, Christmas Tree Ring Toss, Lollipop Snowman, Bean Bag Toss) with prizes
  • Crafts: Make a Tree Ornament or Necklace
  • Activities: Face & Nail Painting, Tattoos
  • 50 / 50 Raffle
  • Baked goods, bagels, pizza and drinks available for sale
  • No Admission Fee – help MJWC help others, and have a fun time with the family while doing so!

For more information contact www.mendhamjuniors@gmail.com.

Lifetime Love of Learning

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is no secret that Rex and I try hard to instill in our daughters, London and Maddie, a lifetime love of learning. They're off to a terrific start at Mendham Township Elementary School, and what better way to be a role model than to continue our own education as adults? As investment bankers, Rex and I are both preparing for the Series 79 exam, so for the next few months the girls will see us studying right along with them as they complete their second and third grade homework. Once I pass that test, I found out that I can earn my Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Southern California (USC) without ever leaving the Roxiticus Valley!

The USC Rossier School of Education School of Education, ranked #22 in the United States and #9 among all private universities by US News and World Report, though its MAT@USC program, offers current educators and aspiring teachers the prestige of earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from an elite research university with the convenience and flexibility of studying online. The program combines highly interactive online learning with field-based experiences in the student's local area, includes a groundbreaking tuition reimbursement program specifically for MAT@USC graduates, full USC student status and benefits, participation in commencement ceremonies and free lifetime Alumni Association memberships. Click the link for more program information.

With the accelerated program, I could complete my degree in as little as twelve (12) months...what a great opportunity to become a part of the USC Trojan Family, all without leaving the Roxiticus Valley... if only USC could send a little of their weather my way over the winter months...

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Off to the HSA Meeting at Mendham Township Elementary School

Now that I'm working for someone else, and particularly as the mergers and acquisitions market is warming up after a long cold year, I don't often have the time to attend the Home & School Association events that are scheduled during the day at Mendham Township Elementary School.

However, this one seemed important. Here's the email note about it:
The next MTES H.S.A. General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 2nd at 9:30am in the Elementary School Staff Development Room. School Board President Mark Ford will be present to announce a new program coming to Mendham Schools. Superintendent Kristopher Harrison, Principals Dr. Ciccone and Ms. Allen and Special Services Co-Ordinator Mrs. Elaine Lombardi will also be in attendance to share what is happening in their areas.

Sounds like a lot of heavy hitters, and since I'm working from home on two client projects while Rex has a full day of meetings in New York, I plan to attend. I'll fill you in tonight!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

On the First Night of Advent

On the first night of Advent my kiddies gave to me... some finger knitting, my very first clue, and a handful of confetti. Rex and I gave London their first Advent gifts, which didn't fit in the little pockets of our calendar: matching poufy sponges for their bath.

They lit the first Advent candle this past Sunday at Hilltop Presbyterian Church in Mendham... and presumably at churches all around the world. Christmas is coming... good cheer!

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Yamaha. All opinions are 100% mine.

Rex, London, Maddie and I all enjoy our iPods... each of the girls has a little pink Nano with headphones, and Rex and I share a black iPod Classic that moves around the house with us for various activities... we each have our own workout playlist (Shakira! Shakira!) for sweating on the elliptical trainer in the basement, and various five star playlists for entertaining in the family room.

Now, with the Yamaha PDX-60 Speaker Dock, our whole family can enjoy our iPod music, games, and movies wirelessly from anywhere in the room. Featuring the easy to use exclusive Yamaha yAired (TM) wireless technology (unlike bluetooth, no pairing is needed), London, Maddie, Rex and I can get instant connection, no sound delays and quality sound with the deep, rich bass going boom boom boom. With the wireless remote, we can quickly turn down the volume when Grammy or Grandmom call on the phone. Thanks to the magical convenience of dual charging, we'll never have to stop rockin' around the Christmas tree when our iPods run out of power... we can charge two separate iPhones or iPods at the same time, so London can use the dock on the speaker for her pink nano and Maddie can use the included charging cradle for her pink nano. And did I mention... the sleek, elegant Speaker Dock comes in PINK!

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