Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Archive for the category “Events”

A (Parent’s) Night Worth Getting a Sitter For

I didn’t read many baby manual type books when I was pregnant and a new mom.  A pediatrician told a friend, “You may read all the books BUT your baby has not.”  When it comes to children, you will quickly discovered that nothing is ever really “textbook.”  The one book and video we did pay attention to is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp.  I credit our listening to his advice regarding swaddling to why Baby I was sleeping through the night at only 6 weeks old.  For that, I will be forever indebted to Dr. Karp.

I was excited to learn about this Parent’s Night Out:  The Happiest Baby on the Block with Dr. Karp happening at various movie theaters nationwide on Friday, June 21, 2012.  I think it’s the perfect date night where new parents don’t even have to feel guilty about getting some much needed ME time.  The invaluable tips you will receive will be worth the price of ticket admission, not to mention the baby-sitter’s fee.

THEATERS:  Click here for a list of participating theaters.

TICKETING:  Tickets on sale now! Click here and enter your zip code to purchase tickets for this event. Limited seats available.

More specifics provided below:

 Happiest Baby on the Block, BabyCenter and NCM Fathom are excited to bring America’s top pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp, and his revolutionary parenting techniques to movie theaters nationwide in a Live One Night Event on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 PM (local time) in Parents Night Out with The Happiest Baby and The Happiest Toddler Starring Dr. Harvey Karp.

This LIVE theatrical event will be hosted by Ali Landry, actress, entrepreneur (founder of Spokesmoms.com) and mom of two. Ali and Dr. Karp will bring to life Dr. Karp’s best-selling parenting guides – The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block. And, that’s not all! Dr. Karp will share many surprising new solutions to #1 complaint new parents have – exhaustion – from his highly-anticipated new book The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep (which was just released on June 12th).
Weaving modern science and ancient wisdom, Dr. Harvey Karp reveals stunningly simple, super-effective tips to help new families get the rest they need …and raise happy, patient, cooperative children. Woven with live demonstrations, footage of techniques in action and a hot-topic Parenting Q&A, the event is sure to make thousands of parents the Happiest Family on their Block!
Parents Night Out with The Happiest Baby and The Happiest Toddler Starring Dr. Harvey Karp on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 PM (local time) is an extraordinary opportunity to learn the parenting tips and tricks and wise insights that have helped guide millions of parents, from regular moms to superstars like Madonna! Join thousands of parents nationwide in movie theaters for this exclusive, one night event!
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June 1 is National Doughnut Day

It’s the time of year where gyms are marketing in full force to get bikini ready.  Ironically, June 1st is National Doughnut Day.  Many doughnut stores offer free doughnuts on National Doughnut Day including:

Dunkin’ Donuts: Free donut of choice with purchase of any beverage.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: One free doughnut (any variety) per guest. No purchase necessary.

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to help the hungry during the Great Depression and to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.  National Doughnut Day honors the Salvation Army “Lassies” of WWI.

The original Salvation Army Doughnut was first served by Salvation Army in 1917. During WWI, Salvation Army “lassies” were sent to the front lines of Europe. These brave volunteers made home cooked foods, and provided a morale boost to the troops. Often, the doughnuts were cooked in oil inside the of the metal helmet of an American soldier. The American infantrymen were commonly called doughboys. Salvation Army lassies were the only women outside of military personnel allowed to visit the front lines. Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance is considered the Salvation Army’s “first doughnut girl”.

There’s actually a DonutUSA website devoted to this special event.

To celebrate National Donut Day, pick up a freshly baked donut or buy a box to share with friends, family, and coworkers!

Trying to Find the Words

My husband Scott attended the following on my behalf last week and is reporting on it below: 

On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, I attended a gala hosted by The Stuttering Foundation at the beautiful Lotus Club in New York City. The gala reception was thrown in celebration of National Stuttering Awareness Week and the Foundation’s 65th Anniversary honoring John Stossel, Fox News Channel and former 20/20 co-anchor;  Scott Damian, Author/Actor/Playwriter; Francois Goudreault, Jr., Lead Singer of Hello Kelly and Ellis Lankster, Cornerback, New York Jets, all /have overcome a stuttering problem to excel in their chosen professions.  The night even featured a live “unplugged” performance by Hello Kelly (lead singer Francois Goudreault, Jr stutters.)

“In their song Communication Breakdown, Francy and his bandmates have set to music the struggles 68 million people around the world live each day,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “Francy’s message and achievement amplify hope for a new generation of people who stutter.”

The Stuttering Foundation has been in existence for over 65 years.  The mission of the organization is to fund research into why people stutter as well as provide educational assistance to those who suffer from the affliction.  The foundation’s website has been visited over 45 million times by those seeking information.

While the Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech provided much awareness of the problem of stuttering, the fight to understand all the causes of this disorder continues under the leadership of this wonderful foundation.

Here’s to another 65 years and finding a cure.

Take Good Care of Your Skin –Early Detection Increases Survival

I am not a reckless person.  I never even tried a cigarette.  For the most part, I’ve always been a “good girl.”  And now that I’m a mom, I am definitely going to emphasize that for the sake of my son.  Although I will admit that I was not always the best at applying sunscreen.

And statistics are just that – numbers- until you personally know someone who has experienced it.  I do have a few special people in my life that have had to battle melanoma and for that reason I must blog about this important topic as .

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. This month is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the  importance of prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer, including basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. More than  3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually in more than 2 million people.

Skin Cancer Facts

  • In 2012, about 76,250 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 44,250 in men and 32,000 in women). Incidence rates for melanoma have been  rising for at least 30 years.
  • Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma has a wide age distribution. It occurs in younger as well as older people. Rates continue to  increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one  of the more common cancers in young adults. Early diagnosis is the key to curing this potentially deadly disease, and diagnostic tools are  playing a crucial role in aiding dermatologists to spot melanomas at earlier – and more curable – stages.
  • Melanoma is more than 10 times more common in whites than in African Americans.
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the United States. BCCs  are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States,  resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
  • Between 40% and 50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.
  • Who survives skin cancer?  The survival rate for patients, whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is  about 97%. The survival rate falls to 15% for those with advanced disease.

 

With the incidence of melanoma drastically increasing, theAVEENO® Brand is pleased to support The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour in its fifth year, providing free full-body skincancer screenings, samples of AVEENO® products and educational materials. Since its start in 2008, the Road to Healthy Skin Tour, staffed with local volunteer  dermatologists, has made approximately 330 stops, screening more than 13,000people and detecting 239 suspected cases of melanoma. Screenings are firstcome, first served.  I’ve listed the information for the New York City Free Skin Cancer Screening below but the tour will be happening across the country.  For More Information: www.SkinCancer.org/Tour  212-725-5176 www.Facebook.com/Aveeno

When:   May 9th, 2012 11am -4 pm

Where: Lincoln Center 62nd St between Broadway and Columbus, New York, NY

Who: Dr. Ritu Saini will conduct screenings 11am -1 pm

Dr.Joshua Zeichner will conduct screenings 12pm -2pm

Dr.Rebecca Baxt will conductscreenings 2pm -4pm

Holy Guacamole, It’s a Cinco de Mayo Celebration Fit for a Derby

As a former tequila publicist, you didn’t really think I’d let Cinco de Mayo come and go without a special post to toast the day!

The only way I will drink a margarita is this recipe for the Partida Margarita.  And what ever you do, absolutely no salt rimming the glass.  If you use a premium, high-quality tequila like Partida, you do not need salt to cut it.

Here´s for cheering twice! Both the Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo happens to be on may 5th this year.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage to commemorate the French army’s defeat at the hands of the Mexicans at Puebla by the end of the 1900s. And with that goes cheering with tequila. The Derby Day is as we know – a day of never ending mint juleps – and since both are on the same day this year- why not try a new thing and make a Tequila Julep?

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup in a glass or julep cup

Add mint (6-8 leaves) and muddle very lightly, only lightly bruising them to get the oil out – not too hard because then you will release bitter stuff.

Fill up half with finely crushed ice and add your tequila of choice – I took 2 oz of Partida Reposado.

Now stir, add more ice and stir again until the glass is well frosted and heap plenty of ice on top! Garnish with a nice sprig of mint – and don´t forget to slap it to release the fragrance in the air.

Finally ….sip and dream…

I do not recommend drinking on an empty stomach so……

Gaby Dalkin is a private chef/recipe developer/food stylist/photographer and food writer specializing in simple  and sassy recipes for the home cook, who doesn’t make it a secret how much she personally loves eating avocado.  She’s even having a guac bar at her wedding this summer!  So anytime I am seeking a recipe involving guac, I go straight to the source!  These sounds like the perfect treat to whip up for Cinco de Mayo—or any time a craving strikes.

Goat Cheese Guacamole & life changing Grilled Guacamole

For a sweet, fun and colorful ending,

Cinco De Mayo Pinata Cookies

Eat & drink up!

If you happen to be so lucky to bet on the winning horse, celebrate with Partida Elegante.  Buenos Suerte!

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I heard plenty of interviews of Don Imus talking to Anna Quindlen while driving in the car together with my Dad. Good memories! Although I don’t recall ever actually listening to what they had to say. I was in my early twenties, so who could blame me? (Anna wouldn’t and you’ll understand after you read Part I’s “The Laboratory of Life” which made me teary-eyed) Now I understand full well what makes a Pulitzer prize author.

Unfortunately, Mom duty called and I was not able to attend the Anna Quindlen book event at Talbot’s on Tuesday, April 24th that was hosted by the fabulous Liz Gumbinner, editor of Cool Mom Picks.

“One of my literary heroes has always been Anna Quindlen. She’s not only an amazing columnist, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, hard-working mom, and now incredible author, she’s an all-around very cool, very inspiring woman,” said Liz.

Booked by Harriet described the event as “a lovely evening of shopping, champagne, cupcakes and LOTS OF CANDLES.”

Through my connections, I was able to arrange to get my hands on an autographed copy of Anna’s latest.

This book which has been beautifully described as “a warm, humorous take on motherhood, marriage, girlfriends, our bodies,” is a welcome break from ME continuing to read the 50 Shades trilogy. Apparently, attendees were asking Anna her opinion of the 50 Shades sensation. I so wish I was there to hear her response.

As a 34-year-old mom with two sons, her readers would respond, “You are writing my life.” I am envious that she was “fridgeworthy.” How I dream of hearing that about my writing. Her prose is so vivid and filled with such beautiful imagery:

“…You dream yourself a life out of bits of fantasy and imaginings, like cotton candy, pink and mostly airy.” (page 17)

The ending of the introduction is so powerful. “The fridge looks different now. The college calendar, the kids’ buisness cards, the number fo my Dad’s cardiologist, the invitation to the bridal shower for the daughter of a friend….What comes next? Who knows? it’s a long story, the story of our lives-the friends, the families, the men, the jobs, the mistakes we made and the ones we avoided, the tedium, the drama. Somethings I took a long time to figure out, and others I’ll never understand. All I can say for sure is that I want more.” (page xiii)

Other lines that struck a chord with me:
•”When I first married, I expected my husband to be all things: sex object, professional sounding board, partner in parenting, constant companion…” (pages 19)….”We’re two strong-minded people who have divergent talents and habits….He’s not the least bit interested in celebrity gossip; it’s a really bad habit and I’m sticking with it. He balances his checkbook…”(page 20)

•Sometimes I tell my children —well, frequently, I tell my children — that the single most important decision they will make is not where you live, or what you do for a living, it’s who they will marry.” (page 25)

•”…The thing about old friends is not that they love you but they know you. They remember the disastrous New Year’s Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment, and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don’t really think you look older, because they’ve grown old along with you, and like the faded paint in a beloved room, they are used to the look….” (page 162)

•Scarlett O’Hara had a seventeen-inch waist, but she couldn’t eat anything at the barbeque, and at the end fo the book, she’s alone. What’s so great about that?” (page 97)

One of my favorite chapters is “Push.” It’s about motherhood.

•”We live in a perfection society now, and nowhere has that become more powerful – and more pernicious-than in the phenomenon of manic motherhood. What the childcare guru D.W. Winnicott once called “the ordinary devoted mother” is no longer enough. Instead there is the overscheduled mom who bounces from soccer field to school fair to music lessons until she falls into bed at the end of the day, exhausted, her life somewhere between the Stations of the Cross and a decathlon.” (page 113)

I could go on and on and recite more and more quotes. But I must stop myself. Get a copy of the book and let it speak to you the way it did to me.

Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.

Did you know distracted driving is the number one killer of teens in America?

Despite this very risky behavior, a new national Ad Council survey published today as part of the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” campaign found that sixty percent of young adults (age 16 – 24) said they have texted while driving and fifty-eight percent will continue do so knowing that thousands are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured every year due to distracted driving.

The survey also found that friends, followed by their parents, are the people who would be influential in encouraging young adult drivers NOT to text while driving.

In light of these findings, today is the first nationwide “Stop the Texts” Day to encourage friends and parents of young adult drivers to educate them on the risks of texting while driving.

Beginning Today (Tuesday, May 1) at 9:00 a.m. (EDT), go to http://www.facebook.com/stopthetexts or twitter.com/stopthetexts and share status updates throughout the day to help spread the word about the risks of texting while driving.

App4Drivers is a revolutionary new $4.99 App available for Android and iPhones that helps improve driving behavior by tracking texting, excessive turns, excessive speeds, quick accelerations or sudden braking.

App4Drivers can document answered texts or phone calls during a drive. The program will even alarm and notify the user, or a car owner, or fleet manager, some distance away, if that happens while the App is active.

App4Drivers creates a trip report and a map showing where driving performance exceeds desired set levels for speed, braking, turning, and for cell phone use. The map can be automatically transmitted to any desired location.

The Distracted Driving feature maps any answered texts or phone calls. Good driving habits are documents and get better scores.

This handy program downloads and installs quickly and uses complex mathematical algorithms. The advantage of the internal GPS locator systems and accelerometer, combined with the incredible speed of the 3G network, provides the instant real-time analysis of motion. The phone then documents whenever and wherever the smart phone carrying person (driver or passenger), exceeds whatever speed or acceleration set points have been programmed.

The App4Drivers program has touch screen driven menus that document Acceleration, Braking, Cornering and Speed.

Once desired set points are entered, the program records the speed and calculates the g forces experienced by the driver. Phone application device owners can choose to protect all driving and vehicle information with a password. This will limit access when adding or editing a vehicle type or setting, as well as prevents data from being deleted.

Text, E-Mail and E-Alert Notifications allows whoever with access to the app to be informed of driving behavior on all covered vehicles, provided the app is active during their drive. Text messages can be sent whenever a vehicle crosses its G force parameters. E-Mail notifications are sent only after a recorded trip and provides all the data gathered for that trip. E Alert notifications are sent when a vehicle crosses the G force boundaries, alerting vehicle owners of any dangerous driving being performed in their vehicle. And, one can change which measurement system (English or Metric) to use with their app; providing a better understanding of driver statistics across borders.

When a violation occurs, the program will automatically send either a text message or an email message identifying the vehicle being used, the time the program started and stopped, the set point exceeded, the time of the infraction, and the duration that the set point was exceeded.

App4Drivers also provides users with the added capability of receiving a detailed trip report via Email that displays a map with drop pins indicating location of the vehicle when application was initiated and shutdown, a list of the set points, summary of violations and peak speed reached if speed set point were exceeded, the ID of the vehicle driven and a detailed list of any violations for that trip.

To encourage users to stay compliant, both versions also provide color visual and audio sound alarms when a driver comes within 95 percent of any set point limit (e.g., 55 MPH) identified by a user.

Designer Chet Karella says the program can be used by parents who want to monitor teen drivers, by truck and automobile fleet managers seeking assurance of employees safety, and by insurance companies who want to reduce costs of driver non-compliance and inattention.

The program which was developed and patented by Chet Karella of Dangerous Decisions LLC and Henry Decook of Adapto BV, can be tailored to allow drivers to specify driving parameters to multiple vehicles.

An educational video about how it works is available on You Tube at http://youtu.be/nO_ETapwrG0. To dowload for $4.99, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/app4drivers!/id481601744?mt=8

Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.

Drive safely. Set a good example. Save precious lives.

You MAY Want to Add Some of These Events to Your Calendar

The month of April literally flew by. It feels like only yesterday that I was pranking my husband. Guess the April Fool’s is really on all of us.

So here are more upcoming May events I have compiled to keep mommy and families busy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Bring Your Baby Matinee Showing The Lucky One (changed from Mirror, Mirror)
It didn’t get good reviews, but it is a Nicholas Spark adaption. Who didn’t bawl through The Notebook. And it stars Zac Efron
It’s playing at the Kips Bay Theater on Second Avenue at noon for my fellow NYers and everyone can find out more in their states at http://pregnant.thebump.com/bring-your-baby.aspx

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
http://mommybites.com/newyork/mommybites-summit/agenda/
An evening of learning, socializing, & shopping at The New Yorker Hotel. Enjoy wine and delicious food, mingle with other moms, win incredible prizes, and take home fabulous goody bags! Hear from The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin. Learn from parenting experts at our new speakers corner. Experience the ultimate moms’ night out and sign up now at http://mommybites.com/newyork/mommybites-summit/agenda/
(I’ve attended the past 2 years and can’t wait to return for the 3rd time!)

Wednesday, May 2- Friday, May 4, 2012

To celebrate the launch of Red Tricycle NYC, From May 2nd through 4th, 10:00 AM till 5:00 PM, New York parents and caregivers should look for the Red Tricycle Party in the Park Tour to arrive in their neighborhoods. A bright red vehicle will tour a myriad of playgrounds and parks in Manhattan and Brooklyn offering local families the opportunity to enjoy free ice cream treats and other fun surprises. Location stops will be revealed by following Red Tricycle on Facebook (Red Tricycle New York) and twitter (@RedTricycleNYC).

Saturday, May 5, & Sunday, May 6, 2012
Shop Lucky Finds
Join us for great prizes and the best selection of clothing, toys, and gear for your kids. The Museum of Motherhood, 401 E. 84th Street & 1st Avenue from 11am-4pm.

Sunday, May 6, 2012
The Shops at Target
Items from boutiques such as Boston’s Polka Dog Bakery, Miami’s The Webster and San Francisco’s The Candy Store will be priced from $1 to $160 and be sold in Target and on its website for six weeks starting May 6th. For The Shops At Target, the store teamed up with small-business owners to create a hand-selected line of goods for Target, while recreating each business’s unique aesthetic with personalized displays.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012  POSTPONED & WILL BE RESCHEDULED
First ever “Me, Myself & Baby I” event!
Pamper Me Pretty
Molton Brown
1098 Third Avenue (between 64th & 65th Streets) NYC
7-9PM
Start Mother’s Day early! Enjoy mini facial treatments featuring Molton Brown’s new anti-aging body care collection and spruce up your look with make-up artist Amy Ernest. Mingle with other fabulous females/moms, enjoy cocktails and enter to win raffle prizes.
***Please note: You must be a follower of this blog and RSVP that you are planning to attend by commenting to this or any future post***

May 9th, 2012 11am -4 pm
Free Skin Cancer Screenings
Where:
Lincoln Center
62nd St between Broadway and Columbus (NYC)
Who:
Dr. Ritu Saini will conduct screenings 11am -1 pm
Dr.Joshua Zeichner will conduct screenings 12pm -2pm
Dr.Rebecca Baxt will conductscreenings 2pm -4pm
For More Information:
http://www.SkinCancer.org/Tour
212-725-5176
http://www.Facebook.com/Aveeno

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Me, Myself & Baby I will be hosting its first-ever reader give-away of The Mommy Diaries. You are not going to want to miss my review of this hilarious book and the chance to win your own copy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Just a reminder that today is Mother’s Day. It’s also the 16th anniversay of my college graduation which took place on this day because alma mata means other mother. (There’s your trivia/fun fact too) If you haven’t already done so, make sure to check out the Mother’s Day Gift Guide I compiled for BabyGizmo at http://blog.babygizmo.com/2012/04/what-mom-deserves-this-mothers-day/

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
National Chocolate Chip Day
Great day to try Sweet Loren’s if you haven’t already done so!
http://sweetlorens.com/see-our-products/

My segment with the fabulous Amy Capetta airing on The Nate Berkus Show (NBC-TV)
2PM-3PM EST

Pregnant in Heels Season Premiere
10PM EST on Bravo

Friday, May 14, 2012
What to Expect When You are Expecting Opens in Theaters Nationwide
(My movie review to follow soon)

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Connect as selected me as one of the sexiest and sassiest mama bloggers! They have designated May as Sexy Mom Bloggers Month and will be featuring me and my recent post on May 24.

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Sunscreen Day

Today’s An Acceptable Day to be SALTY & CRUSTY

Today (Thursday, April 26, 2012) is National Pretzel Day! Pretzels are a favorite snack in my household. I always make sure to have a bag on hand for my husband and son.

One of the necklaces I own (which is quite a conversation piece) is my gold pretzel salted in diamonds. I saw it at a jewelry trade show shortly after admiring the one Carrie Bradshaw wore on Sex & The City. People are constantly asking me about the significance to which my dad had come up with this response: “It represents my twisted life.”

On a tour of Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, America’s first commercial pretzel bakery (located in Litiz, PA) last summer, I was excited to learn that the term “tying the knot” has special significance concerning the pretzel. It seems pretzels were introduced into the wedding ceremony. The couple wished upon and broke a pretzel like a wishbone, then ate it to signify their oneness.

I have been craving Pret a Manager’s monthly sandwich special – the roast beef & horseradish on PRETZEL bread. Only a few more days to get it. I wonder what next month’s special sandwich will be and hope it’s just as delicious.

If I have you hungry for pretzels now, here’s a delicious recipe my sister-in-law makes which happens to be one of my husband’s favorites:

Break up a bag or box of big, fat Snyders beer pretzels and put in a bowl. Add 1 cup oil, an entire packet Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix, and 1 tsp of each of the following seasonings: garlic, salt, garlic powder, dill weed and lemon pepper. Mix all the seasonings with the oil right in the measuring cup and then pour over broken pretzels and stir to coat. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 for 10 mins. Stir and cook 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

Now excuse me while I go be a good wife and make some for my husband.

Grey Is Starting to Remind Me a lot Like Chip

Book two starts, “I have survived Day Three Post Christian.”

My faithful blog readers don’t need ME to explain my fling with Christian Grey. (See several past blog entries under “books” category)

I devoured 50 Shades of Grey or more specifically getting to know Christian Grey. Yet, I did breathe a small sigh of relief and wasn’t devastated when I came to the end of book one. Of course there was no doubt I would be continuing the trilogy (which I had preordered on Amazon before I started book #1) but I did welcome a short break.

As of April 17th, there were more reprints of E. L. James’ trilogy and now the three books are easily accessible on all bookshelves.

Picking up Fifty Shades Darker made me think back to a Hallmark card one of my best friends (you should know who you are) sent me in college which I liked so much that I framed it and proudly displayed it in my dorm room. Unfortunately, I no longer have the image of the card, but I was able to track down the wording to “He Was Only a Chocolate Chip Cookie, But I Loved Him.” You can read it at http://www.dwlz.com/Humor/comic2.html

Like a lot of women, I am really into the whole chase and admit I usually want what I can’t have. This had a lot to do with my initial appeal to Christian. But now that everyone can have him and he’s not in such hot demand, he’s kinda cooled off a bit in my eyes. (Sorry but I’m being totally honest) As I commented to the friend who lent me her copy of 50 Shades of Grey last month, “It loses some of the allure/attraction now that the books are so readily attainable everywhere.” She completely agreed.

Like Anastasia, I didn’t want to be sucked back in and was trying to remain strong and in control without him.

“Torturous memories flash through my mind-the gliding, holding hands, kissing, the bathtub, his gentleness, his humor, and his dark, brooding, sexy stare. I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity.”

Less than 100 pages into Fifty Shades Darker, I am getting turned off by Christian. His once charismatic, charming take-charge attitude is becoming quite annoying, unattractive, controlling and possessive. Maybe it’s because Anastasia feels this way as well.

I glower at him, my blood boiling, Mr. Damned Control Freak. Angry is good. Angry is better than tearful.” (page 25)

“What a difference a day can make…..It’s the Christian Grey effect. A little email sparring with him will do that to a girl.” (page 52)

I’m questioning how I’m going to get through another 300+ pages of this book and then read the last 575 pages (Freed) Maybe E. L. James should have quit while she was ahead. Why did it have to be a trilogy? I’d rather it have ended on a high note (although I didn’t particularly care for the ending of book 1) I reaffirm that this trilogy is like a soap opera with its ups and downs.

Page 99: “What am I going to do? I am so angry, but I’m not even sure what I am angry about – there’s so much.” (See mental list)

“Realization dawns. Something’s changed. What could that be?”

The cliche, “There’s a fine line between love and hate” is so true.

I keep reading…..

“Why, of why, have I fallen for someone who is plain crazy – beautiful, sexy as f-ck, richer than Croesus, and crazy with a capital K?” (page 104)

“I am not going to let you dazzle me with your sexpertise.” (page 107)

“You have no reason to be jealous, Christian. You own my body and soul.” (page 232)

My issues/annoyance with 50 Shades Darker is that they have only known each other a total of 5 weeks. Talk about rushing into something, getting swept away and caught up in the newness and excitement. The handwriting is on the wall that they are going to crash and burn, especially with such passionate, head-strong, desirable, captivating and challenging personalities.

Another disappointment I have with book 2 is that there is very few email exchanges (which was my sister’s favorite part of Fifty Shades of Grey)

As a side note, I find it very fitting that each time I try to type “fifty,” “filthy” appears on my screen. Subliminal maybe? Also, is it purely coincidence that the first time they are intimate again in Fifty Shades Darker is on page 69?

As the first dance song at the Masquerade balls plays, “I Got You Under My Skin.” (page 155)

Without providing any spoilers or giving anything away to those who haven’t read it yet, their relationship is different in Darker. In fact, Grey even gets Anastasia a different set of wheels – one that none of the other subs were given.

This post seems like a very appropriate time to mention that National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is happening on Tuesday, May 15th. I will be devouring these as I tune in to my segment on Nate Berkus at 3PM (after all I don’t have to put on my wedding dress again now!) I will also be reviewing Sweet Loren’s all-natural, ready-to-bake cookie dough as National Cookie Dough gets closer (provided that I finally get my hands on the samples Lauren has been promising me since last Holiday season)

Lauren and I both love a sweet ending! Will we get that with Fifty Shades Freed?

“With all the f-cked-up stuff, I am losing sight of his simple, honest journey with me.” (page 188)

Sooner rather than laters, baby©.

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