10 Things I Won’t Miss About Winter 2013-14

DSC00412I didn’t need Al Roker, shivering outside in Rockefeller Plaza this morning, to tell me on this last day of winter that this has been one of the snowiest seasons on record for those of us here in the Northeast.

I’ve got the five extra pounds and tight jeans to prove it.

According to USA Today, this has been one of the 10 snowiest winters for the New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston areas, and I will be happy to hang up my trusty shovel and bid adieu to the wretched season.

I did find it interesting that this has not been one of the coldest winters on record in the region, given that I’ve spent most of the last few months cranking the thermometer up to 72 degrees in the house and curling up in a chair next to the fireplace to work. Perhaps I am becoming a cat.

But overall, it’s only the 34th coldest on record, with Winter 2009-10 averaging even colder temperatures. I guess last year’s balmy winter made us all soft.

And so, even though it means we are one step closer to summer break and all of its ensuing implications — like no school and bathing suits — I am not very sorry to say good-bye to winter this year.  Herewith, a list of things that can kiss my ass:

  1. Snow
  2. Shoveling said snow.
  3. Fighting with my children about shoveling said goddamn snow.
  4. Snow days.
  5. Delayed openings.
  6. Phone calls at 4:30 a.m. regarding said delayed openings.
  7. College winter break.
  8. Entering a room to find college kids on couch watching Criminal Minds/Breaking Bad/Dr. Who/Arrested Development/Walking Dead/The List Goes On.
  9. Skin the color of my kitchen moulding.
  10. The Polar Fucking Vortex.

What won’t you miss when we officially say “hello” to spring tomorrow? Tell me in the comments section below.



S’no Joke

IMG_3773Get out your onsies, kids, because it sounds like those of us living in and around New Jersey are about to get socked in once again by snow.

I don’t even care. I’m, like, waving the white flag and telling Mother Nature, “I give up.”

I mean, what’s the point? Especially now that I’m not working.

When I was, my job was to cover the news and newspeople — not necessarily me, mind you — get hard-ons for snow storms. We’d have higher ups urging us to post articles about when it’s coming, how much is coming, whether the local police and DPW crews were prepared. We’d cover it as it started to come down and then the aftermath, with our own photos and tried to get readers to post photos of their own — which usually meant pictures of patio furniture covered in snow. That always seems to be people’s go-to for illustrating the amount of snow that has fallen.

But now I can just sit in my house, in my onesie, all day long and play Walking Dead Monopoly while watching the snow fall outside my TV room window.

Now, if only this weather pattern would shift to take place during the midweek, when everyone’s already done all their food shopping because sadly, I’m still on a weekend hunting and gathering schedule. Which put me in my local Costco Saturday at about 2 p.m., which also happened to be the exact center of Hell on Earth.


And I needed stuff you can’t get around, like kitty litter and toilet paper.

I would have tended to all this earlier in the week but my high school girl and I decided fairly last minute to haul ass to the center of Pennsylvania on Thursday to check out Penn State as a potential college choice. And while it’s known to many as “Happy Valley,” as it’s the “happiest place on Earth,” on Thursday at around 2 p.m. it might also have qualified as the “coldest place on Earth.”

The college kids leading the tour, bravely walking backwards across icy paths through the sprawling campus, lacked the good sense to bring us into buildings rather than just standing in front and talking while the bitter wind whipped and snow obscured our vision while we stared longingly at the warmth of the library before us.

Anyway, that’s about as exciting as my life has been this week: Costco and college road trips. No accidents and all my teeth remain in my head (although I did have another dream this week about all of them just falling out, which I thought was a fairly common dream but have yet to find someone else whose had one).

In between, I squeezed in some of this stuff, in case you missed it:


IMG_0496 220 Days Unemployed

Greetings from Day 20 of my unemployment!

I am here to report to those of you still working that aside from the paycheck and insurance benefits, having a job gives one a sense of purpose each day. Being employed generally keeps one showering regularly and a reason to get out of bed in the morning besides coffee. (READ MORE … )


Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.25.41 AMBounce Your Muffintop

My friend Tara, who lives in Connecticut, and I have shared many of the same life experiences.

We both fell in love with boys at a certain military academy and the four of us found we had lots of fun, perhaps too much fun, together.

We attended each other’s weddings not long after college and then the babies started to come. (READ MORE … ) 



This photo of a model, presumably well under 40, is sadly taped to my frig for inspiration/agitation.

This photo of a model, presumably well under 40, is sadly taped to my frig for inspiration/agitation.

Bikinis After 40: Good or Gross?

To wear or not to wear?

That, my friends, is the question I struggle with lately at the start of each new swimsuit season.

Twenty years ago, wearing a two-​​piece wasn’t even an issue. In fact, it was 20 years ago this year that I put one on over Memorial Day weekend after having my second child that March. But back then I guess my body was a lot more elastic than the thing I’m working with today. (READ MORE … )


While the kids are out playing in the snow, don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AMyNameisAMy, subscribe to my blog (look over to your right) and hand me a glass of wine — not necessarily in that order.

Snow Kidding

photo(102)My cell phone, positioned on the nightstand next to my bed and about three inches from my head, rang at 4:40 this morning and because I have this deep-seeded aversion to answering any calls coming in from 1-800 numbers, I let it go to voicemail.

I figured it was The Gap calling to tell me my payment this month is like, three days late. I could understand if I was three months delinquent in paying something. By all means, give me a heads up and maybe a little attitude. But The Gap gets snippy when you forget to pay within the allotted pay cycle and starts suspending your card and calling to strong-arm you and shit.

Don’t they know I’m well-intentioned? I just tend to put things off, like paying bills and getting things fixed. It’s a character flaw, to be sure. But I’m very friendly.

I would like to know how some people handle the stress of not paying their mortgage for like two years straight. I’ve got straight up PTSD from being a month late to pay The Gap.

Anyway, as I probably should have known had I not been dreaming about getting on an airplane (my go-to dream theme) seconds before the piano ringtone began to trill by my head, The Gap doesn’t begin its strong arming tactics until more traditional business hours and it was instead one of those Code Red calls from the middle school to say that school would have a delayed opening this morning because of the snow.

Wait, what? Snow?

Has it gotten to the point this winter that an impending couple of inches of snowfall doesn’t even register on our radars any more? That it’s snowed so much this winter that we only take note when legit blizzards are bearing down on us? That even the media takes a ho-hum stance and not its usual, “IT’S SNOWMAGEDDEN!! GET TO THE SUPERMARKET NOW AND BUY ALL THE MILK AND BREAD YOU CAN AFFORD.”

Well, that seems to be the case, because I had absolutely no idea that snowfall was imminent and I’d be enjoying the kids’ company a little later than usual this morning.

And for maybe the thousandth time, I am thankful that I work from home. I’m glad I’m not supposed to be up and dressed for a meeting in an office 45 minutes away, and can instead have a proper conference call in the comfort of my leopard onesie while cooking up some French toast for my stragglers.

Of course, it could be worse. I saw a post on Facebook yesterday from my college girlfriend who has been trapped inside her Brooklyn apartment this week with her two little guys because of the wickedly-cold temperatures here in the Northeast, unable to let off some five-year-old steam at the playground. Or another mama I know in the Chicago area whose kids have been home from school for days because of the weather, coating her living room floor in dress up clothes and stuffed animals.

My guys will gone by mid-morning and I’ll be able to return to my regular routine of checking my e-mail and Facebook every 8 minutes and wiping the kitchen counter.

I’ll still be rocking the onesie, though. There is snow on the ground, after all.





The Divorce Diet


Credit: Duncan Hines

Looking for a sure-fire way to drop 5 to 10 pounds fast?

Forget what you read in all the magazines or the ads you see on TV.

My advice is to get a divorce.

You’re never hungry, could care less about food and find yourself fitting into pants that haven’t felt right since you gave birth to your second child.

When I was in the thick of ending my 18-year marriage, I looked great because I lost about 10 pounds in a week and saw a number on my scale I hadn’t seen since 1994.

Like, even my running pants were hanging off me.

The secret is that you become anxious and jittery about things like whether you have to give your ex the TV out of your bedroom or the backyard dining set (issues that seem ludicrous a few years later) and not where your next meal is coming from. And that was weird for me because I am like a Golden Retriever and pretty focused on what and when I’m going to eat next.

So for a few months, I was able to subsist on Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and a handful of baby carrots each day.

But then it started to snow.

For some reason, it seemed to snow more in the year or two after my husband — and default shoveler — moved out of the house than during the course of my entire marriage.

And like a bear needing to bulk up for its hibernation period, I would head to the supermarket every time Al Roker announced another storm was on its way and stock up on pretty much everything I loved to eat: Whole Foods guacamole, a baguette and cheese (preferably the Fromage D’Affinois from Wegman’s), and maybe some peanut M&Ms.

I’d stock up on ingredients to make meals requiring a crockpot, like chili or pot roast, and of course we’d whip up some brownies or chocolate chip cookies to help take the edge off all that shoveling.

And then, I blame the Internet — or maybe my mother who finds and sends me all the good things from the Internet — for what happened. I came across a recipe from a food blog for a coffee cake that has a box of yellow cake mix as its foundation, and the photos of this thing were so compelling I had to try it. I needed to bite into that crumb/cake/icing combo.


Wait. Shhhh. I think it’s talking to me.

And it was good.

Then I shared the recipe with my neighbor, Susan, and she thought it was pretty good, too.

So the Winter of 2011 was spent sending coffee cakes back and forth to each other every time it snowed. Whenever I heard a storm was in the forecast, I’d go out and buy a box of yellow cake mix. It got to the point where I just always had some Duncan Hines on hand, like it was ketchup or something.

And all this coffee cake making and eating proved detrimental to my waistline. I expanded quickly back to Old, Normal Amy size and spending most days in yoga pants and leggings.

So, when I started hearing about the big, coastal storm coming to New Jersey this week, I started to think about that coffee cake recipe. But nowadays, I work out with a guy who’s all: Don’t eat sugar. Sugar is the devil. Blah. Blah. And I don’t have the energy to fight with him and tell him why I need to eat coffee cake.

So I thought I’d blog about it instead.

I texted Susan and asked her if she had the recipe, which she dug up and sent over, and then I asked her if she ever took any pictures of cakes she made a few years ago.

“No,” she answered, “But I’m making one later or tomorrow.”

My little guy trudged through the foot-high snow last night to sleep over her house but she handed him something at the door to run back to me.

An entire coffee cake.

“Just helping your blog with a good visual,” she texted.


Cinnamon Roll Cake (Adapted from 3B’s: Baseball, Baking and Books)
Box of Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream
Mix by hand and pour in 13 x 9 greased baking pan.
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix and pour over cake batter. Swirl into batter with knife.
Bake @ 325 for 39-40 minutes. Let cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before icing.
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk (You can use heavy cream for a thicker consistency.)
Pour over warm cake.

Pass out from sheer bliss.