I’ve tried to sock away some money to help with upcoming holiday shopping. I tried. I really tried. But I failed. I really failed. Something always seems to come up and I need to dip into our Christmas fund to pay for something I didn’t have available cash for: a school trip (mom, the money is due tomorrow), Girl Scout cookies from the girl down the street (Thin Mints, please. Make it two, ok three, boxes!), a birthday gift for the kid in the class (wait, the party is tomorrow?) or the occasional bottle of wine (Pino, please!).

If you are like me, the holiday fund is never enough to buy gifts for your family and friends, let alone for your children’s teachers (and any other important people in your life who you want to show appreciate to with a holiday goodie). And, at Christmas time – perhaps even more so than any other time of year – many people feel the importance of giving to those who need a little extra help.


I have teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to offer you a cool holiday giveaway – and the best part is — not only do you score shopping cash for yourself (HOLLA!), but you get to give a donation to a charity of your choice as well (it’s kind of like a 50/50 raffle, but you don’t have to pay to enter. Read on!).

Right now, the amount is set at $125 for one winner, with a matching $125 for the winner to give to a charity (Big Brothers Big Sisters, the SPCA, Tabitha, Red Cross, or World Wild Life) but this amount may – and hopefully will – increase! (Fellow bloggers, e-mail budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail.com if you are interesting in participating. Contributions are still being taken through 11/20/14.)

FOR YOU, THE ONE WHO WANTS TO WIN, this means that you should enter now through the Rafflecopter below! AND make sure to come back after November 20th to see if there are even more ways to enter to score the prize. The giveaway runs now through Nov. 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.

A single grand-prize winner will be chosen randomly and WILL TAKE HOME $125 (again, this may increase. Score!)

That grand-prize winner will also get to choose one of the following charities to receive the rest of the pot of $125 (may increase) – Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Red Cross, World Wild Life, the SPCA or Tabitha.

Come play along and increase your entries to win some cold hard cash for yourself and also give to others – it’s a win-win! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Today is the day Clash of the Couples hits the shelves.  I can hardly believe that something I wrote is included in a book.  A real, printed book.  With my name attached to it.  Today is a good day.

A bit about the book (ya know, just in case I haven’t mentioned this before):

Clash of the Couples is a new anthology featuring a collection of absurd lovers’ quarrels and… relationship spats. Couples just starting their journeys and those who have been together “forever” will relate to dozens of short stories running the “one said, the other said” gamut—from disagreements over furniture, to who gets the last beer, to where to store the placenta (yes, you read that right).

The book has been endorsed by a number of humor and publishing heavyweights, including Josh Blue, comedian and winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and Abby Heugel, popular humorist and blogger at Abby Has Issues. Check out what they had to say:

“If you’re looking for a fun read, check out Clash of the Couples. I could relate to the couples in this honest and hilarious collection of modern relationship tales. Clash of the Couples bursts with the real stuff that couples fight about and will make you laugh while shaking your head at the ridiculousness of it!” said Blue.

Heugel shares his sentiments. “Married, single, destined for spinsterhood—it doesn’t matter what angle you come at this book from, you will find something that you can relate to. And you will laugh, because even if you can’t relate to that particular situation, you’ll just be glad that it happened to somebody else.”

Please check it out on Amazon.com (my three favorite words: “Add. To. Cart.”)!  It is also in good old-fashioned bookstores (like Barnes & Noble).

As always, thank you for your continued support. #ClashoftheCouples



My son has been going through a tough time over the last few months – a little bit of typical kid stuff and a little bit of other stuff you hope your child won’t have to typically deal with.  That said, surprising him with a “just because” wrestling figure or slipping a Tropicana orange juice – his favorite – in his lunch box (instead of water) goes a long way when you see the smile on his face or get a extra big “you’re the best mom ever” hug.

It gives me so much comfort that he considers me his best friend and feels he can tell me anything (his words, not mine) … the happy and the sad; the good and the bad; and all his hopes and dreams – no matter how “reach-for-the-stars” they may seem.

As a mother, my hopes and dreams live in the happiness of my children.  Of course, I have other goals and measurements of my personal joy, but there are those moments we make possible for our children that are simply priceless.  This past weekend I was able to give my son, Joey, the opportunity to sit front and center among his heroes – The Harlem Globetrotters.

Allow me to take a few steps back to set the stage.

I never thought Joey would be the “traditional” team sports kid – especially since he would do cartwheels up and down the field when he was briefly on a town soccer team.  And, he lasted one day at flag football.  One. Day.

At the time, team sports just weren’t his forte.  And that was perfectly fine.  (Truth be told, I wasn’t too keen on early morning weekend games anyway!)

Tae Kwon Do has been “his thing” for the last several years.  It’s an individual sport and has been incredible for him in terms of teaching discipline and respect as well as building up his self-confidence.  Joey is well on his way to earning his Black Belt, and I am impressed and proud of his dedication and commitment to the martial art.

Last fall when the flier came home from school, I was surprised when Joey expressed interest in joining a basketball team.  We registered.  He practiced.  He was part of a team.  His coach was determined to make the season fun, teach the boys sportsmanship and teach them the skills that are needed to play.  His coach was the coach you hope your child is lucky enough to have.

Then, it happened.  The it that would become everything.

Since I was a kid, I had always heard about the Harlem Globetrotters – all I knew was that they were a bunch of red, white and blue wearing basketball players who put on a funny game/show.  Fast-forward a whole lot of years and Joey and I were watching the famous basketball players at Nassau Coliseum one Sunday in February 2014.  Since we saw them play, Joey has lived, breathed, and slept everything Globetrotters.

He knows the name of every player and just about everything about every member of the current team roster.  He has the uniform.  He has self-taught himself all most of the tricks (he still has a few feet to grow before he can dunk!).  He wakes up in the morning and is spinning a basketball within minutes.  Same thing in the evening…basketball, basketball, basketball.  He aspires to be a Harlem Globetrotter.

Last weekend, we were lucky enough to sit courtside at a Harlem Globetrotters game which took place at Stony Brook Arena on Long Island.  We arrived an hour early and were able to rub elbows with players and team staff.  Joey was even chosen for an on-court dance contest prior to the beginning of the game.  He rocked the whole place.  The kid has moves!

The game was awesome – truly an entertaining family-friendly experience…one I highly recommend for all families.  From the Harlem Globetrotters website (www.harlemglobetrotters.com): With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime.


After the game, the players graciously and happily signed autographs and posed for pictures for young and old fans alike.  The Harlem Globetrotters are true class acts, and I would be proud if Joey were a member of the team one day.

For now, we will continue to attend the games. You may even say we are groupies.  Mom and Joey – the Harlem ‘Groupie’trotters.

The current roster includes: Ant, Big Easy, Buckets, Bull, Cheese, Firefly, Flight Time, Flip, Hacksaw, Hammer, Handles, Hawk, Hi-Lite, Moose, Scooter, Slick, Stretch, The Shot, Sweet J, Thunder, TNT, Too Tall and T-Time.  Players change depending on the game – but they are all fantastic, so you are guaranteed an awesome show.

Now, we just have to come up with the perfect Harlem Globetrotter name for him…any ideas?