A Very Gosling Christmas

IMG_0005Even though my days of getting fancy gifts are on hold right now – there were no diamond studs under the tree this year – I still got some pretty amazing presents for Christmas.

And because, according to my therapist, I am to view all challenges, hardships and difficult people in my life as gifts – here to help me learn about myself and grow – receiving less-expensive items has taught me a lot.

First, the people in my life know me really well and give me amazing presents. And second, great gifts don’t need to cost a lot of money (first witnessed last year with the amazing deck of cards my daughter made me).

Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t say “No” to a Cartier watch. But for now, I’m happy to settle for opening amazingly-thoughtful things.

There were definitely some themes to the gifts I was given: Of course, it was a Very Gosling Christmas this year and I got not only the probably-soon-to-be-best-selling book 100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling (I am partial to #29: He can do the Dirty Dancing body lift and #99: It is biologically impossible not to love Ryan Gosling) from my daughter, but a pair of earrings from my BFF featuring the young actor’s scruffy face and giving new meaning to the term “stud earrings.”


Only on Etsy can you find such treasures.

Who thinks to make these things?

I got lots of stuff with my name or ‘A’s on them, like notecards and pillows, a makeup bag and not one but two cool bracelets.

And speaking of makeup bags, this one from my gal pal was pretty funny:


My kids totally nailed their gifts to me.

I got the Walking Dead version of Monopoly from my older daughter that I’ve already played twice and a sticker of the cover illustration from The Giving Tree to put on the back of my laptop and makes it look like the boy is plucking the apple from the tree.

My oldest son gave me a stuffed zombie that you can pull apart and see its guts. Sweet.

My little guy gave me a pair of silver heart earrings, which I was told he hand-selected and I am tempted to make a joke about what a stud he is, but think that might come off as really creepy.

And my younger daughter gave me a fleece cheetah-print onesie so that I could now work from home without the annoyance of pesky yoga pants waistbands digging into my muffintop. I spent about 36 hours wearing it after Christmas and can attest to its comfort but am concerned that it seemed to raise my body temperature 10 degrees, leaving in a bit of a perpetual sweat during its wearing.

I liked pairing the outfit with a scrunchie atop my head and am concerned that if I started eating Cheez-Its in bed with the suit on and drinking wine, I just might be single forever.

So for now, it’s hanging on the back on my bathroom door. (I thought about posting a picture of me wearing the suit, but decided that no one, especially potential love-interests, need to see that selfie).

But I loved how thoughtful my gifts were and how much the people I love really “got” me.

And that is really the greatest gift of all (besides the Cartier watch). Right?

When I wasn’t opening presents or running around in my onesie this week, I was busy blogging about my fondness for dudes and that sometimes the Elf on the Shelf inspires kids to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Check it out ..



I ♥ Dudes

Dear Men of the World,

I learned an interesting thing about how it seems I am perceived by you fellas – as a divorced lady – when I hosted a party the other night. (READ MORE … )



photo(86)Sometimes, Elves are Okay

I went to my annual cookie exchange the other night and as we sat around the hostess’s kitchen island eating the salad she prepared to balance out the fondue and Trader Joe’s wontons we’d been feasting on earlier, someone pointed to the elf perched high atop the cabinets.

“That’s Steve,” out hostess said brightly and picked up her iPad. “Wait, you’ve got to see this.” (READ MORE … )






The Gos and Me

My neighbor Susan came over the other day and handed me this:


And I was like, “That’s weird, cuz I already have this”:


“I had to,” Susan told me, explaining she saw it while shopping at Francesca’s. “I knew you’d love it.”

And she’s right, of course, I do. That book cracked me up when my oldest daughter gave me the first one for Mother’s Day and I loved Susan’s copy, too. But what’s even funnier is that I have become the unlikely recipient of all-things Ryan Gosling.


I don’t know when it started, but as with so many things these days, I’m guessing it was on Facebook.

Maybe I mentioned in a post that I had just watched “Crazy Stupid Love.” For, like, the umpteenth time.

Or it’s quite likely that I then went a bit further and described how my heart skipped a beat when he took his shirt off before the Dirty Dancing scene.

And then maybe I continued to make jokes about how hot he was until the gifts of the Gos started to trickle in.

So now, much the way some people have a theme that folks tailor their gift giving around – like I knew a guy who had an “apple” theme in his kitchen and folks gave him dishtowels and oven mitts with the fruit printed all over it, or my sister-in-law has a thing for elephants so whenever I see a notepad or necklace with the pachyderm on display I want to buy it for her – I, too, have hit upon something that folks can’t stop giving me.

The Gos.

Well, not the real Gos – I actually don’t know if I could handle that. But I’ve got pictures galore of the actor Ryan Gosling on my Facebook wall, my bookcase and even taped to my refrigerator. And I’ve never seen a Gos meme I didn’t love.

Which is hilarious, really, since I’m not the boy-crazy type. None of us here really are, which is probably why my daughters in particular seem to get a kick out of gifting me the Gos whenever they can.

So now I am the proud owner of two copies of a book featuring The Gos making dreamy feminist statements (and he just knows he can get me by mentioning The Gilmour Girls).


My other daughter designed her Valentine’s Day card to me this year based on the Gos.

DSC_0007 I’ve gotten the most beautiful Gos collage for Mother’s Day from my niece, Emily.


Birthday wishes from the Gos, via a meme my gal pal Kathy created for me, that included my top three favorite things of all time.


This nifty notebook where I can doodle, compliments of my girl Jamala.


And even encouraging words for the writer in me.


I’ve even got a big, like life-sized picture of the Gos’s face, ripped out of a magazine, that we’ve taped to the frig and it’s kind of creepy but he always seems to be looking at me now matter where I’m standing in the room but I’ve taped him right at eye-level so if I ever needed to give him a smooch I don’t have to work too hard.


And the funniest Gos gift I got was a heavily edited photo that shows him standing with his arm around me, but I am actually a mixture of my own head and torso glued on top of Jennifer Aniston’s skirt and legs. A dream come true.


At this rate, I’m going to have to hire a curator to tend to all these treasures, valuable not only for their Gos-iness but also because they’ve been bestowed by women who really know me. They know I love zombies and “The Gilmour Girls” and have a weakness for super-cute younger guys.

And frankly, if I have to have some kind of a theme, I’d rather have the Gos than apples or elephants.

He’s just so cute.

Mom, You Are No Jennifer Aniston


Sometimes cabinets need to be used to contain bulletin board spillover.

I have always had a penchant for collecting and pinning random things that caught my fancy to a bulletin board and later, as a grown up, on a refrigerator.

You’d think I’d be really into Pinterest because of this but if you’ve clicked on the cute little icon on my blog that urges you to follow me there, you’d be greeted by chirping crickets. I just can’t spend any more time on anything else right now (I have an acute case of Netflix Fever).

When I worked in an office out of college I took to collecting and cataloging strange hairs my coworkers and I would find around our cubicles and created a Hair Musem, pinned to the bulletin board above my desk alongside important memos and pictures of my dog.

It all sounds really weird now but at the time, this is what helped take the edge off of being low-level and underpaid workers at a women’s magazine trapped in a windowless space for 8 hours a day.

Then I became a mom and had the whole expanse of a refrigerator to work with and let me tell you, I had a lot of magnets and sometimes, even they were the star of the show. My favorite was a crying wooden baby sitting in a highchair with its little arms raised in the air. It perfectly captured that moment in my life.

The frig would be covered by photos that struck my fancy, invitations to weddings at first, then birth announcements and later, birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Then I’d add postcards the grandparents would send from their annual excursion overseas or a few-odd Baby Blues or Family Circus comics cut right out of the newspaper.

My frig canvas fell apart in 2005 when we redid our kitchen and got ourselves a big, fancy number sheathed in cabinetry to match the rest of the kitchen, which was beautiful but alas, not magnet friendly.


This just makes perfect sense.

It wasn’t long though before I was Scotch taping crap onto the frig instead and now, there’s an ever-evolving collection of Honor Roll certificates, a panoramic image of the inside of the 10-year-old’s mouth (showing teeth trying to emerge at odd angles) and my favorite New Yorker cartoon.

Lately, I’ve also taken to taping photos of celebrities on the refrigerator, as if I was a teenaged girl. And I guess because I live with a few of that breed, I get confused sometimes.

Anyway, this is a very long-winded way of explaining why there are a bunch of Ryan Gosling pictures taped to a 47-year-old woman’s refrigerator.


He is always being a creep and staring. Anywhere you go in the kitchen, the Gos is watching. I kind of like it.

He’s just become, like, this ongoing jokey love-interest around here, so when any one of us comes across a good Gos picture — or one of the kids makes me, say, a Valentine’s card featuring the young actor proclaiming his love for me — it is immediately taped to the frig.

There’s also one photo of Jennifer Aniston up there, she of the fabulous legs. It’s some red carpet shot and it is complimentary to both her upper arms and shapely gams. Traits I admire and envy.

So yesterday, it seems my 10-year-old son noticed the photo of Jen, who has been hanging there at his eye-level for about five months, for the first time.


Does this photo have a 100% success rate in preventing me from grabbing the Ben & Jerry’s out of the freezer drawer? I’d say no. She does look fab, though.

We were standing in the kitchen and he asked me why I had hung the picture on our frig as he started reading the caption beneath the image, which included her age.

I said, “Well, I think she has amazing legs and I’d like to remind myself of what I’d like my legs to look like every time I go to the refrigerator to look for something to eat. You know, like, inspiration.”

“Whoa, she’s 44?” he said, obviously shocked that this woman was a mere three years younger than his own mother.

“She looks so young,” he continued, looking up at me. “You should use her, like, tips.”

Well, thank you, little boy. I’m so glad I spent all that time breastfeeding you and taking you to Disney World.

I could have been working on my legs instead.


The kids know I am crazy for the handmade cards and ones that star the Gos need special attention.