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November 2018
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January 2019

I just can't with Danielle! #RHONJ

If I wrote the current season of Real Housewives of New Jersey as a novel, it wouldn't be plausible. Danielle as a bride is not plausible. Especially when you see that Dolores is wasting her energy on her ex-husband. Girl, get out there! If Danielle can find a man (or 20-something) to propose, there are guys out there.

Granted, I know we see an edit, but I cannot understand how Danielle's behavior at the bachelorette party AND on the trip to Bimini didn't set off huge red flags for everyone. If you're a middle-aged woman with daughters and you think it's okay to have a stripper -- well, I won't go into it -- I fast-forwarded through that scene.


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There's drama that is interesting and there's drama that makes you want to run for the hills. Danielle is that kind of drama. She's like the yeast in the dough that affects everyone around her. She triggers me big time because she reminds me of someone I know. I call it the "Jezebel Spirit" and that kind of person creates chaos and strife wherever they go and people never end up seeing it's them until after the fact.

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It's also hard to watch a wedding on television when you know the marriage is already over. But you can't say the guy didn't have one THOUSAND red flags. Not getting along with your kids is the biggest issue, but actually badmouthing your kids? Dude, you deserve her if you don't stand up for your kids. (Eric on "90 Day Fiance" should take note.)

I did love the scene with the new gal explaining Turkish culture. As an Italian Mama, I may want to get her kids in line, but otherwise, I'm enjoying her talk about her sixteen bathrooms. You go girl. And go, and go...

Kacey Musgraves knows...

Anyway, I didn't finish the episode of RHONJ last night. I cannot watch Danielle. It is not entertaining to watch a grown woman act like a spoiled child. Kacey Musgraves has met someone like this too.




Daily blogging and BIC (butt in chair!) as a New Year's Resolution:

I didn't blog regularly in 2018 and I lost writing focus. The fact is, blogging keeps me at my desk and that keeps my word count up. So I'm committing to blog again in 2019. I'd love to have you join me for the ride and let me know what you're up to out there. What are you reading? What are you watching?

CHRISTMAS 2018

I'm going to be honest, this Christmas was not my favorite. It was filled with drama. I don't know about you, but I only want drama in my books and my reality shows. My sons bought me an Amazon Firestick and I was so excited to use it, but the remote doesn't work and my son threw away the receipt. If that doesn't sum up 2018 for me, I don't know what does.
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This is from my boss and I love that she knows me so well. Essential oils, homemade body scrub and Starbucks. Doesn't get much better. My BFF also was on the mark with a box of candy from Sugarfina that read, "You had me at tequila!"

2018 Highlights
I got to go to Italy with my dad. (I start Italian lessons in January.)

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I went to the ACFW conference and met up with old friends and received an award for selling over 75,000 of one novel and another for publishing more than 25 books (40 if anyone is counting -- I never did until I got the award, so I doubt that anyone else did.) Numbers are not my thing.


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I got to go to La Jolla and fly a drone with my son who is stationed at Miramar in San Diego. I also got to go out on the Tarmac at night and sing, "Highway to the Danger Zone" so that was pretty exciting. But I didn't take any pictures of that, and I regret this. No doubt, my son does not.


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All in all, the good overshadows the bad, but my big takeaway from 2018 is that I need to write regularly. I'm a better person when I write. I have a four-book series called "The Wentworth Heiresses" about five, modern-day heiresses in San Francisco with plenty of money and family dysfunction. So my goal is to release at least three of them in 2019.

Is 2018 a year you're happy to leave behind? Or are you sad it's ending? Let me know if you have New Year's Resolutions -- it's always good to write it down somewhere because then, you're more accountable. It's in writing, darn it!


Christmas Shopping is the Ultimate in Self-Restraint #Burberry

My son's fiance loves to eat. I mean, like seriously loves to eat -- it's their hobby. So we went to Tin Dai Fung the other night when he was home on leave. If you don't know what Tin Dai Fung is, it's a place to get Chinese dumplings (Xiaolongbao) and it's the bomb. But you have to wait hours to get in there. They don't take reservations because people were getting reservations and selling them. So now, you just have to shop and wait. (It's in the Valley Fair mall.) So we shopped. For three hours, we shopped. (And we didn't buy anything, yay us!)

Tin Dai Fung is in a very dangerous place for me. It is in handbag alley. You can buy the following there: Prada, St. Laurent, Versace, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Givinchy, Ferregamo, Tory Burch, Michael Kors and my personal favorite, Burberry.

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Naturally, we had to shop all of them, but Burberry had three black handbags in the style I want, on sale, and I wanted this handbag so much! I won't tell you what it cost, but suffice it to say, half price is still more than most people will ever pay for a bag. And I wanted this bag. It was black (I usually like color) but it had a strap that was the Burberry plaid and the interior was a Burberry plaid. I wanted it. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

There were three black bags and I loved them all. My future daughter-in-law Alyssa didn't care for the one with the green straps, she thought it was tacky. She's a basic black Chanel girl. I am a bring-it-on, let's-party-with-the-Coco-colors, Italian kind of girl. So Alyssa was not happy when the Engish saleswoman told her, "She doesn't need to match. She's making a statement."

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YOU ARE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE! This is the purse I was carrying at the time. Does it match anything I wear? Rarely. But I LOOOOOVE it. I felt this connection with the saleswoman immediately. You get me. You really get me. Let's box up this bag and go get a drink already!


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My mom used to call me Veruca as a child. (I took it as a compliment -- I'm a girl who knows what she wants!)
Anyway, I did not buy the handbag and I have regretted it ever since. In fact, shopping for Christmas presents may have caused a little post-traumatic stress disorder as I wandered through the mall yesterday. Burberry! I wanted to cry as I passed.

We all have that urge for something we want that makes no practical sense. My son has a $1,000 drone. Does that make sense? It does not. Does he need it? He does not. But what is life if not to have a little fun in the midst of all the drama. What's your impractical desire?


Pearl Harbor Day!

It's the 77th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. My bestie's mom was on the beach playing as a child when the planes came in and attacked. Her mom whisked her back into the house. My daughter just went to the Pearl Harbor museum for the first time this year. It's such an ominous experience and it reminds us of the ultimate sacrifices that so many have made to make this country great (no political leanings in that statement FYI!)

Anyway, if you want to pay homage to this day's importance, may I suggest you watch "From Here to Eternity." Naturally, it's a Hollywood classic with iconic scenes and lines, but it's also a great storytelling of the people who were there that day. How every one of us has a story and they interweave. I'm sad that people don't watch the classics any longer. I forced my kids to an anniversary showing of "Casablanca" but it is one of my great mom regrets that NONE of them have sat through "Gone with the Wind."

Do yourself a favor, put this one on your watch list:


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John Denver is Haunting Me...

Okay, don't shoot me, but I am not a John Denver fan. Once, in a high school, this stalker guy wrote out the lyrics of a John Denver song and left it in my car. Let's be clear, I wasn't a fan in the first place, but that pretty much ruined it for me. Now, as if I'm God's favorite punchline, my daughter LOVES John Denver. Listens to him constantly. Immediately gets in my car, plugs in her phone and out comes that Rocky Mountain High. ARRGH!


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It relaxes her. She listens to it as she flies over the Rocky Mountains to see her beau. As she drives to the great outdoors with her father and when she does homework. It has the opposite effect on me. He makes me want to hurt something. HIs voice drives me BONKERS and it's like he's trolling me. It comes on my radio stations now and just seems to be everywhere. Including in this amazing video by all of the top country stars. Why THAT song? But at least it's got all of country's best (except Chris Stapleton) -- I loved seeing Randy Travis in this video. And can we have a moment of silence for how hot George Straight STILL is?

If you haven't seen it, watch to the end when the queen gives us a showstopper. But seriously, why a John Denver song? What did I ever do to him?




Office Supplies by Kristin

We ran out of staples in my office. Ironically enough, I had a difficult time finding the staples in the office store. We don't go through many staples in my office, so I didn't want to buy a pick package. Well, the smallest package was ON SALE! I'm like, "BRILLIANT!" So I bring them back and install them in our trusty pink stapler only to discover that the "on sale" staples are purple. Now you might thing, how bad can a purple staple look? I mean, it's so little. However, you'd be wrong.

When you get into a business environment, and you hand someone a report with a purple staple? It's literally all you can see. It's like you've attached rhinestones with a bedazzler. On a happy note, we will run out sometime in this decade. And purple isn't my favorite color as I had to wear it every Friday in high school. Now I usually avoid it like the plague.


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Just a word of helpful advice to those of you buying office supplies. Pay extra for a standard staple.


New PBS Adaptation of "Les Miserables"



I can't think of a story I enjoy more than "Les Miserables." The only time I ever went to the movie on Christmas Day was when the new version came out in 2012. That was disappointing. Although I loved Eddie Redmayne in it. This one is not a musical, which is fine. The story stands on its own. It's the best prodigal story there is. Anyway, this wasn't isn't due until April of 2019, but I'm stoked! This is a movie they cannot remake enough for me.



"Old people are weird."

Last night was my company's annual Christmas party. For those of you who don't know, I work part-time for the apartment complex where I live. Every year, my bosses throw a fabulous Christmas party at the beach and we get to stay overnight in a luxurious room. We've been to the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, which is to-die-for gorgeous. And they have a bagpiper at sunset. I mean, can you get much more elegant than watching the sun go down over the Pacific ocean while listening to "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes? I'm going to say no.


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Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

This year, we were at Seascape in Rio Del Mar. We had these wonderful suites and a magnificent steak dinner with polenta. I mean, they had me at polenta.
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After dinner, my boss loves a good karaoke night. The fact that none of us can sing does not seem to bother anyone. So while some of us sang, some of us danced. My son saw my SnapChat and commented, "Old people are weird." Okay, old people are also a wee bit liquored up, so there's that. But also, we were having fun. The only difference between "old people" and young kids in a club is we have better music with lyrics you can understand, and maybe more clothes.

After karaoke, we headed to the beach for a bonfire and S'mores. It was FREEZING out, hence the fire and the hot chocolate beverages. It was such a great time. It's like I got the best parts of camping (the starry sky, the thunderous roar of the waves and S'mores) without actually camping. Incidentally, this is my makeup bag:
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Anyway, as if being called "old" and "weird" wasn't enough for my kids before I left I came out in my red dress and my daughter actually groaned. "No, Mom. You are not wearing that."
I looked down at myself, "What's wrong with it?"
"Oh my gosh, do you really need to ask?"
Apparently, I did. So she went into my closet and pulled together an outfit for me. All of my shoes were wrong, so she gave me her boots. Anyway, this is her finished product.

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I'm almost like a Real Housewife. Got any plans for your holiday parties? Do you need a daughter/stylist?