Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!

My red and white bulls-eyed world has been rocked not once, not twice, but three times in the past month.

This is how we Target.

I should think it could go without saying I am a willing drinker of the kool-aid that is Target. I mean, duh…I breathe, and Target exists. It does not take a genius to deduce anything here. Besides, the Target kool-aid is hard to resist, seeing as how it is always attractively arranged on end caps alongside clearance candles, brightly chevroned decor by designers I couldn’t otherwise afford had they not decided to slum it with “exclusive” “bargain” collections, and cleaning products that seduce me into thinking that if I use them my house will finally be rid of that stagnant faint smell of dog, kid sweat, and week-old bowl of leftover cereal and milk that I know is somewhere, under something, but I can’t find where the stench is coming from for the life of me. I dare anyone to resist that kool-aid.
Continue reading “Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!”

Thank God for the Caramel Apples

As I pushed my wobbling cart through the sliding doors of Walmart yesterday, the heavens opened and a phosphorescent glow pulsated from the display that stood to greet me…

happy apples caramel apples

YES!!!! The caramel apples have arrived! “Happy Apples” indeed! As you can see, I was very quick to snap up a package and place them directly in the front seat of my basket, a place reserved only for the most precious items: your baby, your purse, and your Happy Apples.

I love caramel apples. I crave the combination of sweet, salty, and tart, and how the juicy crispness of the apple mixes in my mouth with the smooth, sticky caramel and tiny crunch of the peanuts. From the moment they populate the seasonal display at the grocery store to the depressing day they disappear from the produce section, I will add a package of Happy Apples to my cart almost every week. And I ALWAYS buy the four pack, never the singles…usually with the intention that I will share them with the kids. But usually I end up hiding them in the back of the refrigerator and hoarding them all for myself.  At the very least, I snag two of the four: one for Grace, one for Michael, two for Mommy. None for Daddy. He knows better than to get between this woman and her Happy Apples.

But even more than eating them, I love caramel apples because of what their arrival signals: the best part of the year. It whispers to me that autumn is on the heels of summer, meaning jeans and sweaters, all things pumpkin, and a lot more evenings of eating dinner on the deck enjoying beautiful weather. And Halloween. I am addicted to Halloween. Let us also not forget that the advent of caramel apples also means the advent of school. Ah, school. Otherwise known as a stay-at-home mom’s vacation.

Don’t get me wrong; I really do love having my kids home for the summer. And we had a good one this year full of relatively outburst-free outings, a lot of pool visits, and “hey let’s go do this today,” just because we could. Sending Grace and Michael back to school is always tinged with some sadness for me because, more than any other time, it hits me square in the face how quickly my kids are growing. How all my attempts to hold onto their childhoods are in vain, and soon they will be packing up their cars to move to their own apartments instead of packing up their backpacks to head off to just another day of school.

So yesterday was the perfect day for the Happy Apples to arrive, because yesterday was Michael’s first day of school. Grace started last week, and yesterday marked the day where I dropped off both kids and then had the nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. And this could very well be Michael’s last year of preschool (provided we don’t hold him back due to his late birthday), so yesterday also quite possibly marked the beginning of the end of an era in my parenting life. Whoa. I just got a little lump in my throat even typing that. But there the Happy Apples were…to make it all better…

…and to remind me that now that school is back in session, I have an ample amount of kid-free time to devour the entire four-pack without them even knowing.

Andy Cohen Meets The Real Housewives of St. Louis

It’s official. I am 2-2 when it comes to saying absolutely ridiculous things to celebrities. My first moronic blubbering happened when I met Micky Dolenz of the The Monkees last summer. My second just recently occurred at a book signing with Andy Cohen, Bravo television executive and champion of The Real Housewives franchise…who also happens to be a fellow St. Louis native. Because of this, I have decided I should cloister myself away with my computer and only interact with the public via my blog. Apparently, I am really lame in person.

Cohen’s new book, “Most Talkative”

Cohen made an appearance at the St. Louis County Library last Friday to publicize his new book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, and my friend Catherine and I thought it would be fun to go see him. We are both guilty of being Real Housewives fans after all, and I have a little soft spot for Cohen. Aside from marveling at his grace under fire during every Housewives reunion special, he is also responsible for bringing the shows Top Chef and Project Runway into my life. One sparked my interest in sewing, leading me to spend precious bonding time with my grandmother learning her tricks of the trade for pillow shams…the other sparking my interest to gain five pounds. There’s also a sense of pride that comes along with seeing a likable homegrown boy make it in the big city. But mostly, I was hoping to get some Housewives dirt. I was sorely disappointed on that front. But “bravo” to Cohen for being smart enough not to bite the obnoxiously blinged-out hands that feeds him. That’s some good old Midwestern common sense.

After I took this photo, I looked at Catherine and said, “This is SO Andy”…because, you know, we’re pretty close and I know this stuff.

I like that Cohen is a proud St. Louisan. He often references being a native of The Lou on his live late night talk show, Watch What Happens Live. And he was just as appalled as I when, during a game of Pictionary with a couple of the Real Housewives, Kyle Richards had no idea what the St. Louis Arch was. He is a loud and proud Cardinals fan. And a recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch relayed his feelings on his place of birth: “When I tell people I grew up in St. Louis, their first reaction (is sometimes) ‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ (…) Here’s what: Apology not accepted — or needed. I loved growing up there.”

Wearing my “Housewives of St. Louis” tee-shirt. Cohen did acknowledge it when he signed my book: “Kelly! RHOSTL!”

Given the props Cohen routinely gives to his roots, Catherine and I thought it would be funny and perhaps (not so) clever to make The Real Housewives of St. Louis tee-shirts to wear to the book signing. (Cohen did make clear during the interview with McGraw Millhaven prior to the book signing that there will never be a St. Louis Housewives…for purely selfish reasons. As he put it, he doesn’t want to be home for a relaxing Thanksgiving break and run into the “Ramona of St. Louis.”) So I took a little trip to Walmart (because that’s where any good Housewife gets her apparel) for some $4 tee shirts and printable iron-on transfers. I spent a good thirty minutes or so recreating the Real Housewives logo with our esteemed city name and icon of choice: Orange County has the orange, Atlanta has the peach, New York has the apple, Beverly Hills has diamond-studded sunglasses…what better to represent St. Louis than the Imo’s pizza logo! Not only does it have the Arch, but it is also the symbol of the square-beyond-compare of delectable provel cheese…the cheese to which Cohen confessed to loving, though he touted it as the cheese they put on salads at Cafe Manhattan, not mentioning Imo’s once. What???? I have to admit I doubted he was REALLY from St. Louis for a moment.

Anyway, Catherine and I were totally digging our shirts, despite the fact that we were surrounded by women who were dressed as if they were auditioning for Real Housewives themselves. It’s all good, we thought. All the more reason we’ll stand out. Catherine even dared to hope that maybe, just maybe, Cohen would love our shirts so much he’d give us a “mazel” on his talk show. That was stretching it a bit, but surely he would love our playful sense of humor, right?

So our turn came to get our books signed. I walk up to Cohen and immediately thrust my hip to the side, point at my chest with both hands, and say in a somewhat cocky manner, “Like my shirt?” Oh…my…God. He smiled a little and said “Aw, cute.” But it was totally in the tone someone uses when she first sees a friend who has just gotten her hair butchered at the salon. Really? I spent a good thirty minutes on this tee-shirt buddy! Perhaps to make up for my failed attempt to win his friendship with my shirt, I go on to say, “Thanks for always representin’ the STL.” ……………??????????????? Yes, that was “representin'” minus the “g” and “STL”…not “St. Louis.” I actually used the letters S-T-L preceded by the word “the.” I will no longer comment on this for there really are no words. What I SHOULD have said was, “Please tell Alexis Bellino to stop reminding people she’s from Missouri, because it’s giving us a bad name.”

Totally adorable?

One of the librarians quickly snapped a photo of Catherine and I with Cohen. I was excited to see it since the librarian kept saying how “adorable” the photo was as she was taking it. She very obviously loved our shirts and found them very clever (aHEM, Mr. Cohen). However, either she was in need of a new prescription for her glasses, or she just thought Catherine and I were more “adorable” if our faces were blurry, because the photo was a pretty big fail.

But all in all, I give the experience two thumbs up. Sure, I wish we had gotten a better reaction about our shirts, but really, it’s not like it was this crazy original idea. And we had fun with it, so that’s all that matters.

In honor of Cohen I will end this post in a similar fashion to how he wraps up each episode of Watch What Happens Live…with my “Jackhole of the Day” and my “Mazel of the Day.”

My “Jackhole of the Day” goes to the crazypants woman from Iowa who expected Cohen to recognize her voice since she had called into his show three times, and who both asked to be his wife and wanted to know what her chances were of becoming a Real Housewife. His response? A very honest probably not that good. Honey, if Real Housewives of St. Louis doesn’t have a chance, I wouldn’t hold out any hope for Real Housewives of Des Moines.

My “Mazel of the Day” goes to Cohen himself for giving me something fun to do with my good friend on a Friday night. Then again, the rest of my day consisted of a trip to Walmart, making an unappreciated tee-shirt, and cleaning up my dog’s barf off of our living room carpet…so he really didn’t have all that much competition. Now THAT’S the life of a Real Housewife.