The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorite Presents this year!

I finally got sea glass jewelry and I was floored, who knew my family read my blog???    I've wanted a ring made by Tara at Scarborough Seashells for oh, years now.  And this year I got it, and it's the most beautiful tiffany blue.  

Atomic aqua sea glass ring!

Look, I did my nails to match.   I got a pendant to match and pictures of that will be forthcoming!   Check out her etsy shop and her blog.  She does amazing work, beautifully finished.  I couldn't be happier! Thank you, Tara!  

And Ventura's favorite was this...


It's called 'The Dog Brick' by Nina Ottossen.  There are other toys to choose from but this one looked like something he'd enjoy and he does! 

And I gave my son the Universe...

Slooh is a subscription website where you can witness eclipses, transits, comets, and newly discovered supernovas... And control robotic space cameras which AMAZED HIM TO NO END!  It's very cool.  Ben is very into astronomy and ALL things like this, he is forever watching one science channel or another.  This was a way fun thing for him.   


Friday, December 30, 2011

Ms. Finch and I take umbrage to the word chunky

I found something unexpected today.  While doing a look-surf  for new posts by my favorite Filobloggers; a news story goggled into my lap .  Petula Dvorak, a columnist, published  Gadgets got your schedule scattered? Maybe it’s time to go back to paper in  The Washington Post.

While the slant of the story is Pro-Filo (et al) there is the sarcastic giggle of paper-prejudice bubbling  just below the surface:  "It isn’t the fear of technology that is driving us back to the chunky Filofaxes we stored away in a box also marked “shoulder pads” and “beepers,” writes Petula Dvorak.

FYI  Washington Post.... The word 'chunky' is never  flattering  and neither were/are/or will be at any time in the future,  shoulder pads.  

Ms. Dvorak's goes on to theorize that paper planners, or to use her term, "a brick of calendar filler papers"  "...could be a woman thing."  Ouch, Ms. Dvorak. Just ouch.

The " A woman thing"  is a nod to an article in The Telegraph she references that described the Filofax as among other things " the latest relic of the 1980s to enjoy a resurgence, following big hair [...] shoulder pads,"  categorizes smart phones as "quite masculine" and ends with "Taking out a Filofax is quite a fashion statement [for women]."

The all but buried  point of the article is that paper planners work, and work well -- But this positive message runs chaotically through a maze of shoulder pads,  big 80's hair,  and the cringe-worthy phrase, a woman thing.

I wish this story articulated the positive points about Filofaxes and  followed up with a period before it got to shoulder pads (no one needs to revisit those).   To quote the article on using paper, "It is simply the way some people are wired organizationally.  The way we understand the order of our lives."  

 Yes, Washington Post... Yes  It's not a woman thing, it's a brain thing.  We girls have them you know.  

Brains, I mean ...


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Julep Maven Giveaway and get your first box for $5

I recently tried two Julep Maven  Polishes.   They call it Nail Vernis which works for me because seriously -- You can't describe it's wonderfulness with only one language.  They are, wow! Great!  And in French, Julep Maven est fabuleux!

Julep Maven boxes  arrive monthly as a subscription ( $19.99) but if you want to try it out you can get the first box of Nailicious Love for only $5 using the code  CRAZYSUBURBANMOM at checkout. 

In person Whitney's  a schoochy bit warmer (but just a schoochy bit), she rides the neutral fence like a champ.  Whitney's described as  "mushroom grey-beige," and I think she's a year-round choice and appropriate for any occasion.  The little black dress of nail color as it were.

I have similar colors to Whitney and trying to do a quick one coat with any of them would be a streak-fest.

This is ONE magical coat.

I can't think of another cream with coverage like that.

Now, say "Hi!" to Nicole...

Hi! Nicole, you coppery-red darling, you!


Can you see the depth of the shimmering shebang that is Nicole?   I love this color (in fact, I have it on again).   I'm a total sucker for Ruby-Red Slipper nail colors because they remind me of an endorphin-inducing pair of  Mary Jane's my mother wouldn't buy me when I was eight.    


Childhood trauma and polish color aside, the Julep Maven formula is impressive.  I'm very hard on my nails (I use them as tools) and my polish can look beastly before it's dry.  

I wore Nicole for five days before I took these pictures.  I did have a chip.


One. Single. Small.... 

...hardly noticeable chip after almost a week is, well, crazy talk!  And I'm sure I tried to take a screw out of a wall or something with that nail...  There are times in  like a day and a half I have to redo everything; here I was almost a week-in wearing a deep, saturated  red and it still looked good. 

You really should try this polish....   It goes on like a dream and you have a bit of play time; the polish takes to reworking.   I really liked that.  Seems with many polishes I get one shot with the brush and that's it.  

  The consistency is great and the drying time was fine.  I like the square bottles, I know some people don't but they look beautiful and the shape makes storing them SO much easier.  

Score:  ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ out of five hearts

Oh, besides the polish...

Another thing that came in my "Classic with a Twist" box was the Facial for Hands Glycolic Scrub .  It's the middle of winter and my hands feel baby-butt soft and did after one use, which is why me and my scrub are going steady.  I love instant gratification. 

 In the monthly boxes you get over $40 worth of Nailicious Love in the form of trendsetting polish colors and cutting-edge treatment products.

 Julep takes pride in the fact that they offer the most exciting runway colors and the most effective (For real, wow!)  and innovative hand, nail and foot care products. Unlike many traditional brands, all of our polishes are free of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin- but beautiful and long lasting nonetheless. 

Julep Maven is “Powered By Girlfriends“ meaning they value and support all the girlfriends in their lives and they are proud to donate $1 from every Julep Nail Vernis sale to organizations that empower women.

For the giveaway, one reader will win a Julep Maven box to love for ever and ever.  

Open to US and Canada.  

There are TWO Mandatory entries : comment here and like Julep on Facebook.

Let me know if you follow Julep Maven on Twitter, that will be another entry.

....And if you'd like you can comment once a day.

 Please include your email address in your comment so I can find you and maybe tell me your favorite Julep Maven Color, too... Or pass along your best nail tip.   Or how about what you do for dry winter feet?  

I'm always working on those awful  feety things.

Giveaway will end January 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm eastern time.

 And don't forget, if you want to try your first box of Nailicious Love for only $5  use the coupon code CRAZYSUBURBANMOM at checkout.   

*Julep Maven provided me the products for me to review.*


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two pens straight from the penmanship gods

Recently Philofaxy  inquired  "...which gel pens and roller ball pens work with ordinary Filofax paper?" (And the supplemental question of, which ones fit the pen loop?)

 It's at  28  comments and still getting responses because it's a great question ( The number of paper/pen combinations alone are kinda dazzling and best left to the mathematical).

  Now,  to people who don't give a day-glo patootie about writing in a Filofax to begin with, the question of which pen to use is as a bit like asking, Prior to shredding papers should they be face up or face down? And I get that....   But to someone who writes in one everyday, and more importantly, intends to go back and reference it, the pen and paper combo  is critical. 

 The pen slash paper choice will either produce a zen-like experience or a giant pain in your day-glo patootie.  

The wrong ink can ruin an important list (and the page behind it).  Pick the wrong pen to set the date for a critical meeting and the next time you look for it you may find it had dissolved in a (n) erasable poof.  Ink can be temperamental that way.  

And rail against the penmanship God's all you want but it's hard to match a fountain pen with a Filofax; many leave you not with sentences but a Rorschach test.

 Writing with a lousy pen is as much fun as texting on an iPhone. 

 Check out the ' What's in my purse' photo below.

Thought I'd change my purse so snapped a pic first

Mid-rightish-bottomish are the pens I had high hopes for:  The Pilot precise zing, Pilot parallel calligraphy, Pilot G2, Lamy aqua Safari, and the Cross Edge.

I thought I'd love them all, I only love two and really only use one.

Plus one more.

Morning: Coffee and a Filofax

The Lamy Joy.

So aptly named.  I have a thing for calligraphy pens because it makes my sub-par handwriting prettier and Joy does a great job for around $30 (At Goulet it's $28 Check them out if you haven't).  The ink doesn't bleed and feather on Filofax paper.


todo lamy

As you can see from the back side of that page, the shadowing in non-intrusive. 

lamy flip side

Here's a close up of a calendar page.

Lamy ink

and the back.

Not much aggravation coming through the back.

pilot g2 07

The Pilot G-2 07 is the one I reach for most often.


That page has Joy words on top G-2 words on bottom.

The Lamy words are more flowery, the G-2 words more practical.  If I want to highlight the Lamy words I need to give it an excessive amount of some time or I have all manner of smearage.  With the G-2 I can highlight willy-nilly.     I also have about six colors for the G2, with the Lamy I'm a bit stuck till I'm done with that color.

The G2 fits in the pen loop (A5) the Joy doesn't.  They both shadow on the back about the same.  

Both are really fun to write with.  The Joy is a great pen and it's doesn't feel scratchy or obnoxious.  The G2 is smooth, it writes like a dream on some pretty darned pedestrian paper. 

I've tried a lot of pens but keep coming back to these two.  I love them both and no, the Lamy doesn't fit into the pen loops but I still find a way to schlep it around with me.  

Now that's love.

P.S. The pen that comes in third is the $40 Cross Edge, and it writes very nice and feels very nice.  It just doesn't write quite as nice as the G2 which is much cheaper.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry, Merry

From my family to yours, love and best wishes!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Stuck on my Filofax

All you really need to plan your day is a pen and a Filofax...

lined todo

... but...

...a Filofax, pen, colored pencils, highlighters, and an obscene amount of stickers makes mundane chores tolerable.  Perhaps dare I say, fun?

The girly falala and bits of glitter make me happy.

A5 filofax to do list

I've always needed an Office-Supply 12-step program but getting a Filofax kicked that chestnut into orbit.

I've seen a similar obsessiveness about Filofaxes and stickers slash pens slash office supplies slash ad infinitum amongst others who do Filoblogging so figure I'll do my part and show a little sticker porn  for the Stationary Addicted. 

urgent sticker

The urgent sticker is from this little booklet.

The stickers are graphic and attractive (no glitter or tiaras or anything), functional I'd call them.  I got them locally but they are available online from See Jane Work.  They cost $7.50 for 288 stickers


These reinforcements are by Girl Of All Work, in Frolic.  They are called page dots and you get 144 cheerful ooops-fixing cuties in a little box, 3 designs.   They cost $5.25, a total bargain.


Recently, I changed my top tabs from words to puffy stickers. The tabs were small and hard to write on; I did it anyway and then it was unreadable.  The stickers work really well for me and it's fun.  These stickers...

came from Kawaii Tokyo.  She's in Japan, is so nice, and the shipping is really reasonable! And QUICK!  The shop doesn't have those exact stickers but similar ones are $4.50


These came from here too, I ordered three sets of those.  I'm obsessed with them.  She doesn't have these up at the moment, I think I cleaned her out!  


These stickers (and the one's in the next two pictures) came from Sugar B. Supplies.  Love  her stuff too and she ships from the US so it's even quicker!  Sugar B. has a lot of items to choose from!


Cute! 9 sheets of adorableness, seven bucks!  And she sells the Masking sticker set (below) too.

masking sticker set

I got my washi tape at Le Box Boutique 

to do list malden a5

What I love about that seller is you can pick lots of different small samples instead of paying a lot for one large roll.   I'm going back for more very soon.   

And the tape comes on these adorable, teeny wood spools.

The first step in recovery is admitting you're powerless over Filofaxes and stickers; the second is buying more.

At least that's my theory and I'm going with it.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nutrisystem SUCCESS Yum. Just yum!

I've been on   Nutrisystem   for a while now and it's been the most wonderful thing I've done for my body in ages but no kidding...

Janet Jackson is the new face of   Nutrisystem   and no, I'll never sing as good as her but now maybe someday we can share clothes? 

The   Nutrisystem  ® SUCCESS™ approach is designed to help take the weight off and keep it off through frequent, portion-controlled, balanced nutrition and low Glycemic Index eating. The SUCCESS program offers the Company’s largest ever assortment of signature artisanal fresh-frozen meals including new Chef’s Table™ dinner entrees, developed by Nutrisystem’s Celebrity Chef Culinary Council using revolutionary advanced steamer technology; new chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and coffee advanced protein shakes; the introduction of a personalized “My Daily 3™” physical activity program; and increased personalization and flexibility through transition and maintenance plans that help consumers manage their weight on their own.

I've tried some of the new food and the Chef's Table™ Whole Wheat Ricotta Crepes are the best thing I've eaten in, wow. I don't even know.  And I'm including the food I had at the she-she Christmas Party I went to last week.  

It's funny how after dieting you expect an elegant buffet to be an exciting even sensuous experience.  Nope, it wasn't.  

The food was definitely not sensuous okay.  Some good, most very standard  and not nearly hot enough.

While I was in line I considered all my options and came to the conclusion there is nothing about slopping piles of lukewarm Fettuccine Alfredo on my plate that makes me feel good. I did good and was happy with my selections.

Being on Nutrisystem has given me a new perspective on buffets and I realized it was the VOLUME of food that got to me in the past; how much I could eat and how many times I could go back.  I was never oh! How delicious everything is! 

That night I picked carefully what I thought I really wanted and as I tasted (something I've never done before).  The food was -  Like I said, okay.

Back at my table, I stared at my plate for a while just thinking, How many times in the past have I stuffed myself to busting at a buffet because I was trying to get my money's worth?  Lots of times.  Lots and lots of times.

People around me were eating, chatting and laughing - Some were dancing. The Christmas party was in full swing and there I sat staring at the choices I made, deep in thought and reflection; asking myself rhetorical questions about buffets and consumed with party-pooperism about my plate of food.

Now that I think of it, this might explain why I don't get invited out much...

Check out Janet's Nutrisystem commercial here, it's fabulous!

If you want to lost weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem click HERE! or call 1-888-853-4689

*This post was sponsored  by Nutrisystem who is providing me with the food and program materials in exchange for blogging.!*


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dragging out my Filofax

A Filofax is perfect sitting untouched in the box, surrounded by tissue.

A5 Finchley, Imperial Purple

But like Marilyn Monroe said,

"Diamonds are a girls best friends and glittery stickers are bangin' on a Filo."

Okay well, Marilyn said the thing about diamonds and I added the sticker part but it's all good because Miss Finch without  bling is like Marilyn without tons of the big D.

Not wanting to deface Miss Finch I defaced the ruler instead.


My recent  Filoquisitions netted me three rulers; not one being a nice clear one.  Those are pretty great the way the are but the black ones are pure cheese so I didn't mind bejeweling it to within an inch of it's flimsy life.


I have lots to choose from.


And chose lots.

Filo ruler

How perfect are the  tiaras?

Were the tiaras.


Follow me to my notebook shelf.

I listed them for you and you can see Miss Finch is up there because her rings were too dainty to carry the kitchen sink that is my life.  I'll finish the shelf tour for you.

 more shelves

My craft, button, and zakka books.  And vintage buttons, oh! I love those things...

bottom shelf

The bottom shelf has a container with random papers.   My dog sleeps below the shelves.


Pardon his package...


Remember I changed to Mr. Malden recently?

Mr. Malden is working out great but now my  Filostud is studded with glitter, sparkly girlyphernalia, and housing random Hello Kitty erasers.

I do confess to feeling guilty about turning him into the betiared, drag queen version of a Filofax but I hope one day he comes to accept it and who knows perhaps one day he will even suggest we go shoe shopping together....


Friday, December 16, 2011

Get a Filofax and tighten up your loose ends

A Filofax keeps my propensity to be a giant loose end in check.

Flat out, I'm scattered.  I thought I was unorganized for the longest time but after giving this (way too much) some thought, what it really feels like is my brain is a minutia-sieve; dribbling out the small but essential details like pasta water from a colander.

Hence my notebook obsession.   It's comforting to have a place to drop tidbits that one second are firmly planted in grey matter; the next floating near the ceiling.

Over the last few (decades) years I've logged tons of mileage on notebooks.

But I always come back to Filofax.

V2cig and filofax

In large part it's the customizableness of rings and inserts (and that I can add whatever with the punch of a hole) but there's something else I can't quite define; there are other binders with rings after all.  I think it works better for me because I want to use it.  I want to carry my Filo with me always, hold it, open it in the morning, give it it's own baby mini, and I want to discuss these things with other people who feel the same way.

Because who else would?

Filofaxes, for whatever reason and I've stopped trying to figure it out, tug at their users in a way that other binders don't. Period.  

 It's this quirky affection for the Filo that assures I make time to plan my day.   And a sheet of A5 paper assures room enough for all life's loose ends.

A5 filofax to do list

To be thorough in my post, and not leave a loose end, the sheet that's working is this one.

But here's the thing about that perfect sheet. It must have come in the Finchley because they are available on Filofax Sweden, not Filofax USA.  I'll need to pay considerable postage to keep me in to-do lists which could sound refreakingdiculous.

 Only look how great they are!

There's lots of room, a date or subject box at the top, and tons of little squares for me to color in because everyone knows that's a critical element for a to-do list.  

I use them for more then one day; anything undone I continue on the same sheet (below the washi tape).  I just redate.

And I keep the sheets between week on two pages calendar pages.

That works for me.  If I don't do it this way I don't look at the calendar pages and miss appointments.

This works for me and Mr. Malden brilliantly; I haven't missed a Doctor's appointment since starting this. Perhaps ordering to-do sheets from Sweden sounds nutty but it's not really and I have a feeling  someone who has their own love affair with a Filo going, won't think this is the least bit nutty either.


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