Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Can't Say My Friends Didn't Warn Me...

This post brought to you by TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband got an email from our wireless service provider, letting him know that since someone in our family had been enjoying their data plan soooo much during the month of July, perhaps it was time to upgrade to a plan that included more data for that special someone.  I grabbed my daughters' phone, and saw that they'd taken 28 photos and videos of their bedrooms here in the Roxiticus Valley and sent them from their phone to their Bay Head beach buddies...and it's gonna cost them.

If we were real TracFone customers, London and Maddie might not be in trouble.  It costs very little to get both of the girls their own Tracfone so we can stay in touch. TracFone offers the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America.... no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancelation fees. Best of all, no surprises!

London and Maddie can choose from brand name simple "Candy Bar" phones for under $10, or "Smart" phones with so many features from leading manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Kyocera, Samsung, and Nokia.  We can pay as we go, online or with cards we can pick up at thousands of retail stores around the country.  With a 1 year service card, the girls get so much more...double minutes for the life of their TracFone, and 800 minutes for only $119.00.  Other monthly plans include 200 minutes for under $30.00, or pay as little as $9.99 for 50 minutes.

Check out the video about some of the cool phone features:

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With terrific nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity, London and Maddie are going to be real TracFone customers real soon!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Neighbors!!

Rex, London, Maddie & I have been spending a lot of August at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ, but we drove back this morning for a bunch of errands...we're waiting for a delivery from Wine Library, Maddie has a pitching lesson with Kristyn at RBIs in Randolph, NJ, we need to pick up our Summer Stars DVD at Annie's Playhouse in Far Hills, NJ, London has a munchkin rehearsal tonight for Hexagon Players' Wizard of Oz, and we're hoping to have a swim in the pool and dinner with our NEW NEIGHBORS!! They moved in across the street last month and have THREE GIRLS...yippee!

Meeting our new neighbors got me thinking that I really, really need to update this blog and all of my Roxy's Best Of... local sites so that our new friends will have the latest information on all the cool things to do in the Greater Roxiticus Valley (Morris County and Somerset County, NJ). As London and Maddie have grown up and their interests have changed, I realize I should be posting a whole new set of recommendations....and reminding everyone about some of our old favorites with staying power.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Maddie's Found a Home at RBIs Baseball (and Softball) Academy in Randolph, NJ

While it has taken my tomboy, Maddie, a little longer than her older sister, London (the dancer), to find her passion, she's found it in softball and just can't get enough. This spring, Maddie pitched for our 3rd and 4th grade rec league team, the Mendham Minors Mets, who went 13-0 in the regular season only to lose a heartbreaker to the A's in the championship game, 12-11 in the 9th inning...she used a highly accurate slingshot delivery, earning the nickname Maddie "K" for all of her strikeouts. After seeing the 10-year-old all-stars and some of the local travel teams play ball, however, we quickly realized that Maddie would need to learn how to throw windmill to speed things up enough to be competitive. Through a friend, we found pitching coach Kristyn Depasquale at RBIs Baseball Academy in Randolph, NJ...and along with Kristyn came so much more...we signed up for a family membership at RBIs and have year-round access (one hour per day) to air conditioned, indoor batting cages (with a softball pitching machine) so that I don't have to try to throw 60mph to give the girls batting practice. So let it rain, let the temperatures heat up over 100 degrees, Maddie won't stop pitching...batting....fielding....and when it comes time for Fall Ball with the Branchburg Blaze, she'll be ready.

You can join Maddie for RBI's Fall Ball Baseball and Softball Workouts coming up on August 23rd, 24th and 25th. Continue reading...

Music Monday: Any Woman's Blues by Bessie Smith

This weekend at the beach, I started reading an old favorite from 1991, Any Woman's Blues: A Novel of Obsession by Erica Jong, which fits in nicely with last week's Billy Falcon "Power Windows" post on Roxy's Bay Head Blog. The first page takes me back in time:
"I listen for the sound of his motorcycle spraying pebbles on the curving driveway path. I imagine his body, his mocking mouth on mine, his curving cock, and I am a ruin of desire and the fight against desire. I don't know which is worse -- the desire or the anti-desire. Both undo me; both burn me and reduce me to ash."

Today, I smile because the heroine of the novel is 44 and I've now reached the age of 44, having long ago outgrown my obsession and moved on. Though the novel came out 20 years ago when I was in the midst of my own obsession, until today I had never listened to any of the compelling Bessie Smith music whose lyrics introduce most of the chapters, and from whom the novel draws its name. I'll apologize in advance that YouTube didn't really offer up a video, but you'll get the sound of it.

My man ain't acting right, he stays out late at night
And still he says he loves no one but me
But if I find that gal, that tries to steal my pal
I'll get her told, just you wait and see
I feel blue, I don't know what to do
Every woman in my fix
is bound to feel blue too, 'cause
I love my man better than I love myself
Lord, I love my man better than I love myself
And if he don't have me, he won't have nobody else
My man's got teeth like a lighthouse on the sea
My man's got teeth like a lighthouse on the sea
And ev'rytime he smiles he throws them lights on me
His voice sounds like chimes, I mean the organ kind
His voice sounds like chimes, I mean the organ kind
And ev'rytime he speaks his music ease my troubling mind

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge 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, August 04, 2011

London and Maddie Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Upromise: London's Dream

This post brought to you by UPromise. All opinions are 100% mine.

If my baby girl London can really be ten years old, then Upromise must be celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, too.  We had a spa resort themed slumber party and a birthday cake for London back in January, but is going all out, giving away $20,000 to members who share a story describing how a parent has supported a child's dream.

We joined Upromise right after London was born in 2001, and our family has saved over $10,000 for Maddie and London's education through the Upromise program.  In total, Upromise members have received more than $600 million in college savings through their rewards program, and it doesn't cost anything.  We just take advantage of Upromise savings everywhere we can, from a few pennies every time we go to Shop Rite in Chester, or going through the Upromise site when we shop online... we even refinanced our mortgages in the Roxiticus Valley and our beach house in Bay Head  through Upromise and Washington Mutual.  As one of my cheapskate ex-boyfriends used to say, a dollar here, a dollar there, it all adds up.

Now Upromise is celebrating all of the ways the program has helped to fuel those sparks that made children into the people they are today and the adults they will become tomorrow.  Upromise users can participate in the sweepstakes by submitting their stories online, and can vote on their favorite stories by “liking” them. Upromise will give away $1,000 to ten winners and a $10,000 grand prize winner will be selected from the participants.  Click on the link to the dream wall official rules, join the Upromise movement, share your experiences and give a spark to help fuel the flame of your own child's dreams for the future.

I'm going to submit one dream for Maddie, and one dream for London.  I'll talk about Maddie's dream over on Roxy's Bay Head Blog, but here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives we'll feature her older sister, London.  I don't know where London got the graceful, leotard and tutu genes, but London is my dancer, my ballerina. She's been taking ballet lessons since she was three years old, and in September she'll join Ballet Forte in Chester, NJ, for Division II ballet, pointe and modern dance classes four or five days a week. When Rex and I see London perform, it moves us to tears...when she's on stage or at the barre, she's found her home. At 10, she already dreams of Juilliard, and I'll hope she continues to work hard to make her dream come true.

Click on the link to the Upromise dream wall, and leave a comment here on my blog post to share your dreams.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

London Ready for Fall Dance Classes at Ballet Forte in Chester, NJ

Through dance and softball, my two daughters, London and Maddie, have found their respective passions. I've always believed that having that kind of passion is a positive for everything in life. For me, it was radio stations. I dreamed of becoming a disc jockey and owning radio stations, and always found a way to write about radio for my school assignments...from high school through graduate school...and it truly shaped my life to where I am/who I am today. As their dance rehearsals and softball practice involve a greater commitment (four or five days a week), I hope that London and Maddie's non-academic pursuits will enhance, rather than hinder, their success at school. So far, so good...our family just doesn't have time to watch much television, which none of us really miss.

I don't know where London got her graceful genes, but as she's grown up she's only become a more beautiful, confident dancer. The closest I get to dance is the audience when London is performing, or reading about it, most recently revisiting Martha Graham's Autobiography, Blood Memory:

"I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God."

"To practice means to perform, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired."

So in September, London moves on to begin Division II classes with Ballet Forte in Chester, NJ... a pre-professional dance conservatory dedicated to the development of each dancer as an individual. For the past seven years, Ballet Forte has offered dancers ages 5 to 18 a place to grow, focusing on personalized attention....they look at the whole dancer as an artist whose instrument is her body. When London joined Ballet Forte for a trial lesson this spring, I saw her at the barre and knew that she was home.

Ballet Forte at Wings Conservatory, 338 Main Street, Suite 2, Chester, NJ. Phone: (908) 879-8717.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Straight Up

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

From time to time, my friends and loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that I can't help but draw comparisons between my professional (investment banking) life and my personal (family) life, and there are some things that shouldn't cross over from one to the other.  For example, I expect to be tough in negotiations to sell a client's company, but I feel like I shouldn't have to be ready for a fight with other parents when it comes to our children's sports. As another example, I deal with contracts all the time for work, but I'd have to be crazy to sign a cell phone contract for London and Maddie when you can get everything you need without one by going with Straight Talk. No contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks.

Once I cut my cell phone bill in half with Straight Talk, I'll feel so much richer I can treat my family to dinner out more often at some of our favorite restaurants...soft shell crabs and ribeye steak at Sammy's, here we come!

With great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity, Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Nokia, Kyocera, and Samsung, all free from activation, reactivation, or termination fees. Reconditioned phones start at $10...great choice for kids who are tough on their toys. Or reward responsibility with a wide selection of amazing smart phones. There are several monthly plans to choose from...tthe “All You Need Plan” with 1000 minutes, 1000 texts, and 30MB of web data, meets even the needs of heavy phone users. Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web.  Imagine unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499.00!

Straight Talk International Long Distance Service is a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to call a friend in another country from your home, cell or office phone at low rates.

Check out the funny Straight Talk commercial in the video below:

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Straight Talk had me -- hook, line and sinker -- at hello.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Music Monday: "Heaven's Highest Hill" by Billy Falcon

This weekend, we were down at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ (Billy Falcon theme week at Roxy's Bay Head Blog, too), and while the rain came down on Friday night I was listening to some 80s/early 90s classics on the iPod and looking back... for a bunch of different reasons: Saturday would have been my mom's 86th birthday, and I've been cleaning out the garage here in Mendham, digging through my family's old paperwork...I found the $35 receipt from 1972 for the beloved beagle-terrier mutt I grew up with, and the program from my college graduation. So when Billy Falcon's "Heaven's Highest Hill" came on, I knew that would be my theme for this week's Music Monday. In 1987, Billy Falcon's wife passed away at the age of 29 (breast cancer). He wrote this song in her honor.

How do I tell my baby, "Mama's not coming home"?
How do I tell myself I'll be staying alone? Oh, I...I can't stop crying.
She'll say,"Daddy, I wanna hold her...wanna see her again.
I wanna kiss her..wanna touch her." Oooo, what can I say? So do I.

Oh Mama, I'm missing you real bad.
But, it don't do me no good sittin' thinking 'bout what we had...

Love don't goes on forever.
Love don't stop...and it never will.
Love don't day we'll be together.
Love don't stop...and I'll sing this song to you someday from heaven's highest hill.

How 'm I gonna look into those big brown eyes
when she wakes up crying out in the middle of the night for the Mama?
How will I make it better?
The house is full of people but nobody's home.
Everybody's here and I'm all alone calling out your name
but, there's no answer.
Oh Mama, last night she told me not to cry.
I swear I see you every time she smiles.

Love don't goes on forever.
Love don't stop...and it never will.
Love don't day we'll be together.
Love don't stop...and I'll sing this song to you someday from heaven's highest hill.

I don't know if you hear me. Sometimes I'd like to think you do.
All the things we been fightin' for, I'm gonna make them all come true.
And these arms, they ache to hold you-and I know one day I will.
I'll meet you in the tall grass up on heaven's highest...

Love don't goes on forever.
Love don't stop...and it never will.
Love don't day we'll be together.
Love don't stop...and I'll sing this song to you someday on heaven's highest hill.
(love don't stop)
(love don't stop) one day we'll be together
(love don't stop) on heaven's highest hill
(love don't stop) our love goes on forever
(love don't stop) and it always will
(love don't stop)

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge 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!