Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Friday, June 19, 2015

BlogU15, Gift Cards and Charity...

Happy Friday, Snarklings. I'm so excited to let you know that I survived BlogU15 and came home with a brainful of knowledge that I will probably sit on until I have some free time to put all that knowledge to use. For example, I took a class on SEO that sorta made sense to me and I will attempt to use what I learned. If I can remember. That was taught by the always hot and sexy Lynn Morrison of The Nomad Mom Diary.

I also took a Pinterest class taught by the amazing Anna Luther of My Life & Kids. I learned about Rich Pins and putting descriptions on all of your pins and using images instead of just text. And then my brain exploded.

Once I was able to pick up all the pieces, I partied like it was 1980 (my middle school years) at the NickMom MiddleSchoolAwkward Dance Party. TREMENDOUS fun was had by all and as much as I'd like to say that I danced my ass off, sadly, when I woke up Sunday morning, it was still there.

Slow dancing with Alyson of The Shitastrophy

I had the pleasure of recreating one of my very favorite photos from the previous year's blogging conference with my sexy girlfriend Kerry Rossow of House TalkN. 




It was an absolute blast to get to meet new friends and hang out with old friends. Plus the always amazing Joy from Evil Joy Speaks spent Sunday at my house! We went for a run together on Monday and had an obscene amount of fun as roomies.

You can read about last year's BlogU14 recap here!

One REALLY cool thing I'd like to mention is that Giant Foods generously donated a swag bag filled with all sorts of yummy foods to all the attendees who stayed in the dorms at the university. Also in those bags were $20 Gift Cards which could be used at any Giant, Martins, Pea Pod or Stop & Shop. Now, Giant is a regional supermarket in my corner of the states but it's not nationwide. The attendees of BlogU15 WERE from all parts of the country and even the world!

This means that some of those $20 Gift Cards would go to waste. And you know I'm not having any of that nonsense. So I contacted many of our BlogU15 attendees who do not have any of those grocery stores where they live and offered to collect them to donate to charity. I'm pleased to say that right now, at least a dozen of those awesome and generous bloggers have come through and are right now as we speak sending me their unused gift cards.

I'll be donating them to my friend Siobhan who works at the Catholic Charities in Martinsburg, WV. In her words this is Catholic Charities:


....a non profit social service organization. (No, one need not be Catholic - or any religion, for that matter, to receive services and there is no proselytizing either.) We provide emergency assistance for people who are about to lose electric, gas, housing, etc who are already living well below the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $24,300 for a family of 4 to give you an idea of how many are living. We also, as you know, have a personal care closet - again for those who can't afford the basics and are struggling. In conjunction, we offer case management and programs for those who come in need. Our goal is to provide the resources to help those in need work towards a better life, without having to rely so much on others. The gift cards would be wonderful because we are updating our personal care closet guidelines beginning July 1, we will begin to automatically distribute toothbrushes and toothpaste to clients who need to access the closet. There's a limit to how many items they can request and can access twice a year. But dental hygiene is so very important as a health issue, so being able to keep these items well stocked is imperative. The other thing they would be awesome for is this: as clients move through case management and learn how to better themselves. For example being able to provide a small gift card to a single parent, trying to raise children, work and make ends meet on minimum wage can make a tremendous difference!! 

 We are not a shelter, but we work closely with the existing ones. We provide a place for those in need to take a shower/do laundry. The cards could also help pay for prescriptions at Martin's, which is a challenge for some of our older clients. So many great things could be done.
Here's what I'm hoping may happen. The folks at Giant were kind enough to donate these gift cards, and for each gift card that is donated to Catholic Charities, I'd be THRILLED if Giant would match the donation. So right now I've got 12 gift cards coming my way to give to Catholic Charities. That's $240. How awesome would it be for Giant to match that $240 so that Catholic Charities could receive $480? No pressure, Giant folks, I know you were awesome enough to donate all those gift cards and all the yummy treats to the swag bags, but $480 would go a lot farther than $240. Just saying.

And just so you all know, I was not paid or compensated at all to write this post. I just want to say how awesome my fellow bloggers are for donating the cards they cannot use to this awesome organization, and how even more fantastic it would be to see Giant match these donations.

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EDIT: Here's where I tell you that it PAYS TO ASK!!!! Giant has been in touch with me and they are offering $260 in additional gift cards to bring the total donated from the BlogU15 gift bags to $500!!!! THANK YOU GIANT for your generosity. The folks at Catholic Charities are very grateful to you and to the other bloggers who are donating their gift cards!



Monday, June 15, 2015

9 Things NOT to do at a Concert

Here are 9 rules to follow the next time you go to a rock concert (or country, or rap, whatever shit you listen to on the daily). Trust me on this. I’m almost 48 and have been to about a million concerts and have seen behavior that would make Pope Francis want to throw a punch.



    1.  Don’t get piss-eyed, falling-down drunk. I went to the Eagles Hell Freezes Over tour back in the nineties and there was a woman so drunk she threw up on the people in front of her and had to be carried out in the middle of the second song on the playlist. I don’t know about you but when I spend over $300 on concert tickets, I don’t want to get thrown up on, and I certainly don’t want to get so shit-faced drunk that I have to leave the show.

    2.    Don’t be an asshole to those around you. If you don’t like the opening act, don’t verbally abuse the singer (here’s a hint: you don’t have a mic, they can’t hear you complaining). Know who CAN hear your bitching? The folks sitting in front of you. Maybe they LIKE that opening act. Keep your negativity to yourself.

    3.     Don’t buy the pirate merchandise outside the theater. Don’t be a cheapskate. Pony up the $40 for an authorized and genuine concert t-shirt. My friend Karen and I went to see Def Leppard during the Hysteria tour in 1988 but I was too cheap to buy the official merchandise and instead bought a pirated t-shirt from some dude in the parking lot. It had an extra sleeve and it was from the Pyromania tour from 1983. Lesson learned. And if I ever grow an extra arm, that shirt will FINALLY be cool.

    4.    Don’t scream through the whole fucking show. Just don’t. You’re not 12, dude.  Screaming’s for 12 year old One Direction fans, not 40-something chicks who like their hearing. Trust me. Scream when your band comes on, then scream before the encore. But for crying out loud, not during the whole show. Some of us want to be able to actually HEAR what’s going on onstage.

    5.   DO. NOT. RUSH THE STAGE. Seriously, if you bought a ticket, that seat is YOURS. Do NOT try to squeeze your ass into my row. There is nothing that pisses me off more at a concert than some douchebag with a seat in row 19 coming up and trying to push me out of the way when I actually bought a front row seat. Just don’t do it. It’s cases like that where it should be legal to stab someone in the neck with a pencil. And I always bring pencils with me to concerts….just in case.

    6.    Don’t give me a contact high. I bought my ticket with my goddamn hard-earned money and the last thing I need is to get high off your smoke. It’s not cool. Do it in the parking lot before the show. But just know that if you do it anywhere near me, whether it’s pot, tobacco or crack, I will totally pour my beer on your joint, cigarette or pipe. Trust me on this. Nobody wants to smell like your smoke. And I really hate wasting my beer.

    7.    Don’t try to get on stage. It’s embarrassing. And if you get your ass thrown out, your friends will feel obligated to make sure you are okay, and that means they will probably leave the show early. If they do, then make no mistake, they are well within their rights to kick you in your stupid ass for being a dick. Do yourself and all your friends a favor and just stay put, okay?

    8.   Don’t fart. Just don’t. It makes everyone around you miserable. I don’t know which is worse, smelling a fart or smelling a cigarette while I’m trying to enjoy my jams.  You concert farters know who you are, don’t try to pretend it was the guy in front of you, own your smelly ass. Leave the seat, go into the aisle, do your thing and come back. Because damn.

     9.    I know this is probably a bit hypocritical, but don’t start a fight. Yes, I’ve been threatening in this post, I’ve come down pretty hard on the offenders, but trust me on this: I have been kicked out of a concert for laying hands on someone.  Ok it was a Dan Band concert but still, we were right at the stage and I did something dumb and had to eat the cost of the ticket. So keep your hands to yourself. 

I'm sure there are a ton of other offending actions one can do when at a concert, but these are the 9 that spring to mind, that piss me off and that I will call you out on for doing. You have been warned. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

BLOGU15!!!!!!!

So remember last year when I attended the blogging conference in Baltimore? BlogU14? Remember I was tweeting and Facebooking about it ad nauseam, trying to win back my registration? And I won?? Remember?? Sure you do.

How could you possibly forget the fact that I got stuck in my Retro Prom Gown???

Well I'm going back again! BLOGU15!! This year I'm on staff. I love this conference so much and can't wait to go back and do it again! The friendships that I made continue to this day, and the blogging connections have helped me to have so much more success than I ever dreamed I could have as a blogger.



I've written for sites like Mamalode, In The Powder Room and HuffingtonFREAKINGPost!!! Never would've happened had I not attended BlogU14 last year. So yeah, I'm going back for more this year. I hope to learn what the hell metrics are, how to understand SEO, what the hell I'm doing on Pinterest and how to become more comfortable during live appearances.

I spoke before our local Rotary Club yesterday and was so nervous I almost threw up the free breakfast they provided. So yeah, I may need help.

Of course there will be some down time in addition to all the learnin' that'll be happening. The party Saturday night sponsored by NickMom will be #MiddleSchoolAwkward! There will be lots and lots of pictures coming after this weekend so stay tuned....