I just read “Not a Cracker” on my to-do list instead of “Nutcracker”.

And yes I was the one who wrote my to-do list. Like an hour ago. I should add “writing lessons” to my list (but I may not be able to decipher it). And maybe I should eat some crackers because I’m starving and I obviously want them.

Kurt Adler 16-Inch Wooden and Polyresin Gingerbread Nutcracker
Wooden and Polyresin Gingerbread Nutcracker $37.99

For the past three years we’ve taken our children to see The Nutcracker and then they each get to pick out a nutcracker from the gift shop to remember their day. We then we make them put their over-priced crackers on a high shelf and threaten them not to play with them or they’ll break. Yay.

This year I’ve decided to embrace the concept Experiences > Things. So instead of random Hanukkah gifts that they’ll only play with for a few hours, we’re taking them to The Nutcracker, buying the excessively expensive nutcrackers that they’ll get in trouble for playing with and then spending the night in a hotel for the perfect staycation.

Mother of the year, right?? Yes? Now where can I find me some crackers?

Nutcracker Sugar Cookies from Sugar Me Desserterie
Nutcracker Sugar Cookies from Sugar Me Desserterie

My Arden’s Garden Two-Day(ish) Juice Cleanse Experience

So my friend convinces me that it will be an amazing idea to do one of those two-day juice cleanses. I’ve never been of a fan of them but figured that after raiding my kid’s Halloween bags for the last five nights, I could use some health in my life.

The cleanse involves drinking one gallon of water and one gallon of Arden’s Garden premade juice PER DAY. That’s a lot of liquid. The following is my experience.

Day One:

9:07AM My friend texts me to say he decided to start the cleanse tomorrow. I decide I hate him.

10AM  Hour two of the cleanse. I’m alive. The juice isn’t bad—a grapefruit citrusy situation.

10:22AM Hunger is starting to set in. Probably should have skipped Crossfit this morning.

10:55AM Feeling a little sad as people are starting to discuss lunch around my desk. I like lunch. Can I talk about lunch with you?

11:09AM While in the restroom, I do a sideways in the mirror look to see if I lost weight yet. I’m estimating I’ve lost 10 pounds this morning.

11:40AM I go to get more juice. I’m pretty certain someone in my office is refilling the two-gallon jug while I’m not looking. I’m onto you.  How could it possibly still be so full?

1:12PM I go to Target for lunch. Big mistake. Halloween candy is 50% off.  Cruel and unusual punishment.

1:50PM Is that bologna I smell? I think I’m hallucinating.

5:00PM Did you think I’d given up? No. I’ve just been ignoring the world. Because I hate the world.

6:10PM Oh look at that, I’m in the bathroom again.

6:15PM Is it possible that my skin is clearing up before my eyes? I literally think that’s happening. I found the fountain of youth! Again this could be a hallucination like the bologna.

7:00PM Hi bathroom.

7:54PM Having a stare down with the juice.  I’m afraid no one is winning.

8:57PM My husband arrives home after working late and finds me standing by the refrigerator gulping the juice down straight from the carton. He just shakes his heads and walks away.

9:23PM My husband is snacking on the couch next to me. I start googling divorce lawyers.

9:45PM I finish the gallon of water and don’t quite get through all of the juice. I’ve reached the end of my rope so I give up and go to sleep. Let me rephrase that, I go to the bathroom, then to sleep, then to the bathroom, then sleep….you get the idea.

Day Two:

6:05AM I’m awake and I’m hangry (hungry + angry). This is not a good start to my day. While packing my kids’ lunches I catch a glimpse of the fresh new gallon of juice that is waiting for me today. I slam the refrigerator shut and start making kissing noises and gestures towards my daughter’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How you doin’?

6:07AM My kids think I’m crazy. I actually believe that I am.

8:30AM I arrive at work. Barely. I see a banana on a co-worker’s desk. Helllooo there Mr. Banana, you look so fine you blow my mind.

9:03AM I receive an email reminding everyone that today is the office chili and baked goods cook-off. I slump down in my desk and give up my will to live.

10:21AM I’m in the bathroom because where else would I be. They really should have desks and outlets in there.

10:47AM Is it me or is everything on the world wide web about food? I receive an email for a recipe exchange. Don’t you people know I’m cleansing???!!!

11:23AM My coworkers don’t believe me when I say I remember when gas was just .99 cents a gallon. Man I’m old. And old people need to go to the bathroom. Again.

11:47AM Lunch talk is in full swing. I fear death is near.

12:00PM I smell food. Sweet, sweet food. I hear the angels singing.

12:02 I’m knee deep in vegetarian chili, baked brownies and a cold Coke. Someone tries to talk to me and I shove my hand in his face to move it along. This girl is done with her cleanse. Amen.

In summary, liquid cleanses are not for me. Like at all. I understand (not really) that some people swear by them but I just don’t see the health benefits in making myself miserable. The body isn’t supposed to survive on liquids alone. It needs chili and baked goods!crazy sexy diet, kris carr, 21 day cleanse, etsystalkers.com

Now I did do a 21-day clean eating cleanse back in the spring based on the  Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse and it was amazing. You can read all about my experience right here.

My Email Exchange With State Farm About Jake. Jake From State Farm.


With Halloween around the corner(ish) there’s been an ample amount of conversation about costumes with my kids. My 4 year old has adamantly decided that she wants to be Jake, Jake from State Farm this year—not a princess, ballerina or Frozen character. She wants to be Jake wearing khakis and a red State Farm polo (this gives all of you a little insight into my daily life). And to get into character she now has us calling her Jake throughout the day. It’s going to be a loooong 6 weeks until Halloween.
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Of course, I love how independent and clever my baby girl is and will do anything to support her dream of becoming Jake. So yesterday I did what any mom would do and I went straight to the source. The following email exchange occurred between State Farm and myself. You can’t make this stuff up.

From: Julie
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:04 PM
To: Orders
Subject: State Farm shirt


My hilarious 4-year-old daughter wants to be “Jake from State Farm” for Halloween. I can’t find any red State Farm Polos for kids on your website. Is this something I can order? Thanks!

From: Orders <Orders@thecorporateshop.com>
To: Julie
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:53 PM
Subject: RE: State Farm shirt


I’m sorry that we do not carry children’s polos on the site.  We could get it through a special order but there are minimum quantity requirements for special orders.  If this is something you are interested in, please let me know and I can forward your e-mail on.
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The Corporate Shop


From: Julie
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:08 PM
To: Orders
Subject: Re: State Farm shirt

Thanks for responding. We only need one though. Do you sell iron-on logos by any chance?

No, we don’t.  I’m sorry.



Do any of you out there have any ideas?

Red polo shirt is a must
Red polo shirt is a must
And of course she’ll need khakis

This morning Taylor woke me up with a tattoo on her forehead and a snickers bar in her mouth.

Etsy Handmade wall tooth brush holder Etsy Stalkers
Black Forest Cottage | Handmade wall tooth brush holder | Etsy
I think it’s time to hide the Halloween loot.  I mean it’s sort of hard to reprimand them when there may or may not be candy wrappers hiding under my pillow. Oooops.
Gymboree Gingerbread Cookie Footed One-Piece Pajama Etsy Stalkers
Gymboree Gingerbread Cookie Footed One-Piece Pajama 

Because my house can’t get the sugar consumption under control, I’m insisting on excessive tooth brushing after getting into their cozy pajamas at night. And then again in the morning. And possible five more times during the day.

Etsy Toothbrush Cup Holder Forked Up Art Etsy Stalkers
Forked Up Art | Toothbrush Cup Holder | Etsy
And as for me, I think I’m going to turn into one of those lunch brushers. You know the ones at your office. It’s always a tad awkward walking into the bathroom only to find a coworker flossing her back teeth.
Yep, that’s me. Judging you lunch brusher.

And just so you know, I’m also picking up some new pajamas from Layla Grayce.  Hey, they’re offering 15% off site wide through 11/8 with promo code HAPPYDAY.

I’m going to try to capture the most perfect weekend with words so bare with me.

I feel so extremely lucky that my parents felt it was important to send me to overnight summer camp for 10 years of my life. Those who have had the opportunity to attend anysummer camp for even one summer can most certainly relate. And while it’s nearly impossible to put my emotions into words (even for a writer), I’m going to try because I want to catch this emotion in a jar, close the lid so tight and hope it lives forever.
Camp is the place I became the person I am today. It’s where I was given silent permission to find myself beyond my family unit. It’s the place where I made life-long friends that to this day remain some of the best people I’ve ever known.
This past weekend my camp held it’s 50-year reunion. It was the first of it’s kind being that past campers and staff were invited up to sleep in cabins, eat in the dining hall and canoe in the same lake.  Children were invited up for afternoon activities but I, along with most of my friends, decided that we would leave our spouses and kids behind for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become bunkmates once again and live out the ultimate fantasy of being able to go back to camp again.
It turned out there were 9 of us from our age group that attended, many of whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade. Even though we’ve all aged (except for me of course), been through happy times and times of tremendous sadness nothing had changed. There we were sitting side by side on the lake dock at 3AM laughing so hard that we convinced ourselves we would most likely wake up with six-packs. 20 years has passed since we all sat on that dock together, but it literally felt like we hadn’t skipped a beat.
Yes we’ve changed, but not really. We’re all the same people who grew up together, talked about everything under the sun and moon, and (hardly) ever passed judgment on each other. These people were and still are my family. My camp was and will always be my home. I’m so glad and humbled that I was given the opportunity to remember that.
We talked about old memories and made new ones. We created arts and crafts, ate in the dining hall and attended Shabbat services. We skipped programs and we went for midnight walks around the lake. We caught up on how our parents are doing and we bragged about our kids. But most of all we laughed. And laughed. And laughed. And laughed.
It seemed like the past 20 years were all bottled up, aged to perfection and then opened for this past weekend.  We were completely our old-new selves.
Driving down the dirt road on our way out of camp yesterday, I felt the same mixture of joy, sadness, satisfaction and longing that I used to feel all of those years ago. Of course I did, because why wouldn’t I? Even if there are hundreds of camps just like it, there is literally no place that could compare.
I want to say again how fortunate I am that my parents sent me to summer camp.  I don’t know who I’d be today without it. And the first thing I said to my kids upon returning home? One day, you’re going to summer camp.

Note to self: Do not show your five-year-old a video of what’s going to happen when he gets his cast off.

Thanks for the suggestion Dr. Doom. I get the idea—to prepare him and all. But I now understand that watching a video of a scared kid having a saw come toward his arm is not so comforting. I think his exact words were, “I’m never getting this cast off. Ever.”

Since he plans on wearing this thing for the rest of his life, I’ve decided I need to buy some cast flair from Claire’s Cast Creations.
Sure his arm may start to decay from the inside out after a few years, but the cast will remain handsomely pretty. And truth be told,  appearances are all that matter in this world 🙂

Guess what? Proceeds from Claire’s Cast Creations will be used to donate kits to local children’s hospitals. Look good and feel good? Wednesday is lookin’ up.

Taylor just informed me that “Peanut Butter “is a potty word because it has the words “Pee” and “Butt” in it.

Sign this three-year-old up for Law School because she has a point. Let’s just hope she gets a full scholarship to Harvard. No pressure. Heh.
To reward Taylor for her innate ability to spot potty words within non-potty words, I gave her this awesome Nutcracker art from The Artful Bumblebee. Actually The Artful Bumblebee gave this gorgeous hand-created design to me and then I gave it to Taylor but no need to tell her that info.
Guess what? One of you will WIN one too. Yep. The winner gets to choose a print of your choice (and wouldn’t it make the bestest Valentine’s Day gift for the little in your life?)
Sooooo, here’s how to enter:
(1) Visit The Artful Bumblebee on Etsy and make her shop a favorite. Then march yourself right back here and comment on your favorite item.
(2) ‘Like’ The Artful Bumblebee on Facebook. Yep.
(3) Like Etsy Stalkers on Facebook if you don’t already.
(4) Join Etsy Stalkers blog (you know, over on the right hand side. yeah, right there).

Contest ends SUNDAY JANUARY 6, 2013 at 5 PM EST!!

I Doooooo…Want One of These

When I got married, I HAD to have 12 margarita glasses, 9 spatulas and 1 lemon zester, among other ridiculous items that I absolutely, positively could not live without. And I have used these a total of zero times. OK, I’ve used the margarita glasses (me likey the alcohol) but they literally take up an entire cabinet in my kitchen. But enough about me. What I’m trying to say is I found the perfect wedding gifts from Elm Studios. You must, must, must check out these AMAZING pieces of pottery personalized for any couple (or baby, or house or whatever).

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Now back to me. I think these are the perfect gift for any couple. So great, the newlyweds may even write you a thank-you note (and actually mean it).
Do you want one? Check yes, no or maybe.
I checked yes.

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You Say Potato. I Say Just Give Them To Me.

OK so maybe you gals (and guys – hey, I don’t judge) can’t relate to this but I HATE wearing heals. Hells yes I’m a material girl, but I’m also into shoes that won’t give me bunions (sorry grandma, but your feet ain’t right). Enter super awesome shoes from ONSTAIL.

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These little pieces of comfort and awesomeness make me want to wish away summer and bundle my feet up today. Maybe I’ll turn on my air conditioner and sit in the cold so I can wear these shoes.
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And the purses? Hello. Pleasure to meet you. I’m officially in love with everything ONSTAIL has to offer. All for me. None for you. Too bad. So sad.

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