December 27, 2012

Blanket Wars

It's winter.  It's cold outside and snowing.

You hate it.  We do too.

Fighting to get to work in 25 degree weather (don't forget to subtract for wind chill!) while it's sleeting is one of the worst battles a person can face. Even if you finally get there, yay, time to work for 8 hours!  But there is another, more discrete battle that winter brings.  It is the Eternal Battle of The Sleeping Blankets.

Let me explain: each night, my wife and I go to sleep in the same bed. Then the fighting really begins. We fight over the blankets. We do this while we are both completely unconscious. We go to bed with covers neatly tucked in, as if the hotel maid just finished tidying up. When we awake, it's like a heard of water buffalo took a nap on our bed. Covers, sheets and blankets are strewn everywhere. Most of the time they are on the floor, but sometimes they actually do remain on the bed, albeit crumpled up in a ball or under a pillow. Nicole, you see, is always "freezing." In the winter, she usually wears slightly more clothes to bed, than Shackleton exploring Antarctica. She goes to bed with more layers than an apple turnover. She then proceeds to put every blanket we own on top of her as if we were sleeping outside in January.

In the snow.

Throughout the course of the night, while Freezy McIcicle is asleep, she gets "hot" (shocking, really, as she is wearing enough layers to essentially stop bullets) and throws the covers off her, one by one. I, on the other hand, do not like to go to sleep with a lot of blankets, but tend to get cold during the night, and grab them in my sleep. You can see the conflict. The cartoon below encapsulates some of the many many Blanket Wars we have had. Nicole is partial to the "Grab and Roll" (what I call "The Burrito") and the "Diagonal". Sometimes, the Full Fetal. I tend to do the Fold Over, and the Glacier. Then we awake, hours later, confused and bewildered, and most often, without any blankets.

Click to Enlarge

Can't wait for summer!

December 24, 2012

My Christmas Wish

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown-up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up christmas list

Lyrics by Linda Thompson-Jenner


December 23, 2012

Oh what fun!

Do you know your elf name?  It's very simple to figure out:

Now how about a shiny new photo to go along with your brand new moniker!  Interested?  Elf Yourself!

For even more fun with elves, check out the present drop game over at Santa's Village:

I'm not big into video games myself, but this one was fun, even for an amateur like me!!

While you're at the North Pole, ask Santa to place a call (or email!) to someone on your "nice" list.  Who says fun and reindeer games are just for kids?!  ;)

And speaking of calls... if you can't be in the same geographical location as your loved ones for Christmas, why not hang out with them?  It's easy AND free!

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas from Buddy Monkey-Buns & Elvis Superplum!


December 22, 2012

Santa's Workshop

With only a few days left until Christmas, Santa's been quite busy up at the North Pole, and I've been helping him!

We are getting ready to... Ho, Ho, Ho!

How about you?  Has your shopping and wrapping all been done since you finished the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, or are you a last-minute elf?

December 21, 2012

Our Holiday Home

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!  Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

Typically, Shep and I don't get our holiday act together to Christmas-tize our home until much later in the month.  In fact, I'm pretty certain we've at least once (or twice, or three times, or maybe twice) bought our tree on Dec. 20-something.  Last year, we didn't decorate at all because we moved in mid-December.  Boooo...  Well, not this year!!!  This year -- thanks to a holiday party we had earlier in the month {more on that later!} -- ours halls were decked in the first week of December!!!  {Shocking, we know!}

Without further ado, I present:

Our Home for the Holidays

Mantle & Christmas Card Display

Master Bedroom Christmas Tree

I love my berry vase!

I'll have a bluuuuuuuue Christmas...

December 17, 2012

Holiday Carols

Here's some holiday arithmetic for you:

Michael Buble + SNL holiday duet skit = HILARITY!

When Shep and I first saw Michael Buble's SNL holiday duets skit last year, we laughed so hard we actually cried. I almost needed CPR! We love SNL and Michael Buble (he did sing our wedding song after all!) so we may be biased, but if you haven't seen it, you're missing out! Even if you have, do yourself a favor and watch it again. :) Merry Christmas!

My favorites are Taylor Swift & Lady Gaga. What are yours?

Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha!!

December 16, 2012

Sympathy for Sandy Hook School Victims

This weekend, my prayers go out to the victims and families of the shooting that took place in Newtown, CT.  Like many of you, I was horrified when I heard the news.  My first reaction upon hearing the news was fear -- my best friend and her beautiful twin daughters were occupying kindergarten classrooms in CT on Friday morning.  The name of the school and the town reported on the news alerts sounded vaguely familiar to me, so I frantically searched to find out whether they could possibly be in the line of fire.  After learning that Newtown was far enough away from where they live that I needn't worry for their safety, I was relieved for a brief moment, and then terrified on behalf of all the other families out there who unfortunately couldn't say the same.

This kind of senseless tragedy would be incredibly difficult to deal with at any time, but it's especially heartbreaking to see this happen during the holiday season.  Those 20 children should have been writing out wish lists to Santa, leaving snacks for reindoor, singing carols, ice skating, drinking hot cocoa, and opening holiday presents.  Instead, parents are planning to lay their innocent children to their final rest, before they've even had a chance to live their lives.  It is disgusting to know we live in a world where this could, and did, happen.

I am praying for all the victims and their families, and hope they find the strength to deal with what has happened in their lives.

As for me, I am very selfishly looking forward to seeing my best friend and her two cuties in January.

December 14, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree!

You know the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words"?  Well, I'm going to let the photos do the talking in this post.  Now presenting... our Christmas tree!

Here are some of our sentimental ornaments...

Stay tuned for more photos of our holiday decor -- we have lots of little Christmas vignettes scattered throughout the apartment and we love sharing our ideas and photos!  For now, I'm going to sit and gaze at our tree...

November 20, 2012

Free Shutterfly Wall Calendar!

Hi readers, I have a pre-Turkey Day treat for you!  Use code CALENDAR2013 at to get a free* 12-month wall calendar!!!


* Offer valid for one-time redemption per billing address and valid for one 12-month wall calendar only. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Offer ends November 23, 2012 (11:59 P.M. PST). For more details, please click here.

I am not receiving any perks for passing along this discount code; I merely saw the code in my inbox and wanted to share the savings!  I haven't personally used Shutterfly for calendars before, but I have created and gifted several photo calendars from another site for my grandma for Christmas the past couple years and she's loved them!


November 15, 2012

Recycling Day

November 15th is America Recycles Day!!!


Do you love the planet?  If so, join me and take the pledge to recycle!  Did you know:

The national recycling rate has increased every year since 1980.  The current recycling rate is 34%.
For America Recycles Day 2012, I pledge to:
Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community at

Act. Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will recycle more.
For more information on recyclable materials and to find recycling locations near you, please visit:

Contrary to what Kermit says, it IS easy being green!  ;)


Do you???

November 5, 2012

Election Day

Tomorrow is Election Day!


Once the waters that invaded our city as a result of Hurricane Sandy subsided and we were able to evacuate our apartment safely, one of the remaining concerns Shep and I had was where and how we would vote.  Our apartment was slated to be a polling site for this year's election, but as of Thursday was still without power.  During a press conference we attended at our local City Hall that afternoon, residents without electricity asked our Mayor how our city was going to be able to vote.  Unfortunately at that time, the Mayor had no answers.  I briefly wondered what would happen if the power wasn't restored and they couldn't develop an alternate plan in time.  After all, due to the destruction Sandy caused, our local, state and federal governments were preoccupied with keeping residents alive, healthy, warm and fed.  Thankfully, by Saturday, arrangements had been made and we were confident we'd have the chance to vote -- we received messages from our state senator's office informing us that arrangements were made for paper ballots to be cast early at County Clerk’s office during the weekend and that displaced residents would have the opportunity to vote electronically.  Luckily for us, power has been restored to our apartment building and we will vote as we normally would, tomorrow morning on our way to work.

Voting is a right, but it's also a privilege.  This year, I was reminded how lucky I am to have the right to vote and I am so relieved and excited to exercise that right tomorrow!  I urge all registered voters to please, please, please get out there tomorrow and exercise your right to vote.  I know voting is going to be difficult for some people.  Some of our neighbors and friends are still suffering and devastated from the storm.  But if at all possible, please take the time to cast your vote at the polls.

On this Google site, you can type in your home address to find your polling place, ballot information, links to candidates' social media sites, and voting rules and requirements:

You can also check your state voting information website.  Click here for the New York state site and click here for the New Jersey site.

And if you live in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota or Washington, please vote for equality!

October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm: Tracking Sandy

By now, many of you East Coasters are already feeling Sandy's effects.  Flooding, power outages and hurricane-force winds have been hitting the tri-state area for hours now.  I'll admit it, when talk of the hurricane first started, I was skeptical that we'd get hit hard.  Yes, our Caribbean vacation had been cancelled due to Sandy, but I was convinced that the storm would simmer down before it hit the coat.  Nevertheless, while we were grocery shopping on Saturday, we picked up a case of bottled water and some non-perishables.  Knowing our luck, I figured if we had the supplies then we wouldn't end up needing them.  ;)  Even until yesterday when they actually shut down NYC mass transportation, I wasn't too worried. But since this morning when meteorologists began reporting the storm as worse than predicted, I started to get a little nervous.  I've been keeping a watchful eye on Sandy since I woke up and I can tell you right now, I'm not a fan.

According to this side-by-side comparison, Sandy is going to be much worse than Irene:


If you're without a television but have internet connectivity, you can view live coverage from The Weather Channel on YouTube:

The Google Crisis Response Team has set up a site to track the storm.  Details about forecasts, public alerts, traffic conditions, evacuation routes, emergency shelters and more can be found right on one page:

I hope everyone stays safe!!!  Keep tracking the storm, follow instructions from emergency personnel and stay inside!  Good luck to all...

October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm: Preparing for Sandy

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."  ~Alexander Graham Bell

In preparation for Sandy's arrival we:
  • Brought in all items from our balconies.  Since we live on the top floor of a high rise apartment building, the wind is especially strong which means that any items left outside could turn into dangerous projectiles.
  • Closed and locked all external doors, and inserted towels into the tracks to pick up any water that may seep in.  We've had issues once or twice with heavy rain filling the tracks of our sliding glass doors, so we plan to keep an eye on them during the storm.
  • Filled our car's gas tank.  It's unlikely they we would/could evacuate by car since the roads surrounding our apartment complex often flood to form what I like to call a moat around our building, but a full gas tank doesn't hurt, just in case.  We also parked our car on the 6th floor of our parking garage in case of flooding.
  • Purchased an additional flashlight {which brings our total to 6 of various sizes}.
  • Checked our candle + match supply = plentiful.
  • Bought a case of bottled water.  {On sale for $3.33, woohoo!}
  • Gathered and bought extra non-perishable foods.  {I'll take any excuse to eat Nutella!}
  • Are keeping our cell phones on their chargers in case the power goes out.

I hope all you readers out there in blogland have your storm supplies ready, too!  Good luck and stay safe!!