Category Archives: shopping

I’ve been syndicated!

Afternoon, Mamas!

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. I spent mine hanging pictures, painting a bedroom, and buying area rugs on which Gertie peed as soon as they were unrolled. Nothing says home like that new rug smell plus puppy pee!

It’s been almost three months since the moving truck pulled up to our new house, and I’m beginning to understand that like potty training, unpacking takes between three days and three years (under the best of circumstances). This realization has helped me CTFD about the boxes that are still stacked up in the dining room as well as the fact that I don’t have a dining room table. It’s also allowed me to get back to writing without obsessing about what’s inside all of those boxes (I have no clue, by the way). Sadly, I can’t say the same thing about the dining room table, or lack thereof. Here’s an excerpt from my latest bio:

“When Jennifer’s not writing, begging her boys to brush their teeth, or scrubbing dog pee from brand-effing-new area rugs, you can find her bookmarking dining room tables she can’t afford on websites like Wayfair and Joss & Main.”

I’m so excited to announce that my recent essay, Muscle Memory, has been syndicated on Sammiches and Psych Meds, a “community of candid and often humorous writers using the keyboard as a form of therapy for surviving the trials of parenthood, politics, teaching, marriage and relationships, and life in general.”

I’m really proud to be a part of this kick-ass group of bloggers, and I’m equally proud of this essay. It wasn’t easy to write as it exposed some pretty deep flaws in my parenting, but if I’ve learned anything on this journey – as a writer and mother – it’s that honesty, vulnerability, and failure move mountains. I couldn’t have begun the process of reigniting my motherhood spark unless I admitted I’d lost it in the first place.

Even if you read Muscle Memory here, please (OH PLEASE!) click through and check it out on Sammiches and Psych Meds because: (1) it’s a great read (just sayin’), (2) you might discover some other talented, funny, and thought-provoking writers while you’re there, (3) I’ll be compensated based on unique page views for a period of 30 days, and (4) I’ll be compensated based on unique page views for a period of 30 days!

Imagine this, my friends. Imagine me getting paid for doing what I love. Imagine me getting paid for doing what I love, and, as a result, affording a dining room table…preferably a round, pedestal, extension, distressed wood one that seats up to eight people. As long as we’re fantasizing here, imagine me (someday) affording eight chairs to go with it!

Here’s the link:

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Thank you from the bottom of my (#shopaholicmama) heart for clicking through, reading and SHARING!

Talk soon,



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Filed under moving, shopping, writing

Two Mamas At Target

I went to Target this morning to pick up a few random things. A birthday card, a few bottles of wine, paper towels, a box of tampons, and a Mega Bloks Halo minifigure that I pinky promised I’d buy for Riley because Gertie ate the one we bought yesterday as a reward for surviving a throat culture at the pediatrician’s office, which thank God was negative.

Gertie’s been driving me batty lately. She climbs on tables and takes the boys’ toys hostage. Last night, she peed in the bedroom and pooped under the computer desk. I think she needs a paper chain! This Gertie rant has nothing to do my trip to Target, except that it helps explain the wine in my shopping cart.

In the toy aisle, I came upon a woman with a baby in a stroller and a toddler who was exploring. You know, running all over the place. It was a little tricky to get my shopping cart through the chaos, and eventually the mom said, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” I said. “I get it. I have two of my own. They just happen to not be here right now.”

She laughed a little bit and said, “You’re lucky.”

I laughed a little bit, too.  She was right.  I don’t often think about all of the catastrophic shopping outings I’ve had with my boys over the years, but – oh man – I’ve had them. We’ve all had them. These days, I take for granted all of the places I can go alone with no whining, needing to go the bathroom RIGHT NOW, or fielding questions I don’t want to answer, like, for instance, “What’s a tampon?”

When I finally reached the end of the aisle, she said, “Enjoy yourself.”

As if I were at the spa or something! I was at Target, for Pete’s sake, but damn it if it wasn’t just a little bit peaceful.

I looked back at her and said, “Thank you,” and then I added, “You’ll get here eventually.”

And that was it. She continued to chase after her little boy, and I headed toward the front of the store to buy my wine and tampons. Our conversation was brief, but it was profound. There was no judgment, and there was no envy. She was genuinely happy for my present solitude, and I was genuinely hopeful for her future solitude. We were two Mamas at Target on the same wild ride but at different stops on the journey.


Filed under aha moment, motherhood, shopping

The Shopaholic Mama’s Guide to Back to School Shopping


It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time to go back to school. As such, I’ve drafted a special guide for anyone striving to get their shopping done as inefficiently and expensively as possible. Anyone looking to spend way more than necessary on school supplies this year has come to the right place. Follow these eight simple steps and you’ll be broke just in time to start your holiday shopping.

1. Do not cut coupons.

2. Do not wait for your local Back To School Tax Free Weekend.

3. Take your children with you on all shopping excursions to ensure maximum overspending.

4. In an unexpected fit of panic on a random Sunday morning in early July, buy uniform shorts and pants online (because they might run out!). Do this irrational and impulsive shopping before back to school sales start and prior to Back To School Tax Free Weekend (obviously). Also, pay for shipping.

5. Ignore the annual “buy a backpack and get a lunch box for free” promotion at Toys R Us. Instead, go to Dick’s Sporting Goods and buy uber-pricey Nike MAX AIR backpacks. Be sure to leave your $20 Dick’s reward coupon at home, and, it goes without saying, make the purchase prior to Back To School Tax Free Weekend. While you’re there, buy each kid absurdly colored, knee high basketball socks that cost $18 each – yes, $18 per pair or $36 dollars total (plus tax) – because they really want them. Justify the unintended purchase because Crazy Socks Day is coming up at camp.

6. Go to Target and buy two full-price lunch boxes prior to Back To School Tax Free Weekend (of course). Make sure the lunch boxes have blinking LED lights and sound effects because surely their teachers will appreciate how awesome it is that lunch boxes have transformed into toys. While you’re there, buy three lunch box ice packs that you don’t need because they’re shaped like a puppy, a monster, and a ladybug (so cute!). On your way to the front of the store to check out, grab a 5-pack of Lego Movie underwear and a 3-pack of super hero boxer briefs because the 999 pairs of underwear and boxer briefs at home are probably not enough. Also, give each kid a five-dollar budget in the toy department because they were so well behaved in the lunch box aisle. That, and neither of them made you take them to the bathroom. In the end, say yes to the $9.99 Lego City police motorcycle kit and the $11.99 Trashies Trash Pack because, let’s face it, it isn’t easy to find a toy that costs less than five dollars these days.

7. Miss the private “Buy One Get One 50% Off” promotion at your local mom & pop kids shoe store. When the public (and insanely crowded) “Buy One Get One 50% Off” sale begins, pay full price for one kid’s sneakers at Footlocker instead because that’s where he sees the ridiculously bright powder blue Nike high tops that he really, really, REALLY wants. Take the other kid to the mom & pop store and buy him sneakers that he doesn’t need because his current sneakers are in great shape and his shoe size hasn’t changed, but he really, really, REALLY wants new sneakers just like his older brother. Also, buy him a pair of navy blue Crocs to match the navy blue Crocs he has at home because you need to buy a second pair of shoes to get the 50% deal.

8. Purchase brand new uniform shirts for both kids because even though you have old ones that will fit your younger child, giving him hand-me-downs makes you feel guilty. You, too, were the second child and know how psychologically damaging it is to constantly get someone else’s old and used crap and be expected to amount to anything in life.

You’ll be relieved to know that I prepaid for my kids’ classroom school supplies through a PTO fundraising initiative at their school. Thank goodness because if buying pencils and glue sticks were my responsibility, we’d need a second mortgage on the house.

Stay tuned for upcoming guides on (1) how to overschedule your kids, (2) how to coordinate extracurricular activities that require you to be in two places at once every night of the week, (3) how to make everyone in the house cry over common core math homework, and (4) how to prepare a different dinner for every person in your family daily.

Parenting is hard. I’m here to help. Read other helpful guides here.


Filed under list, school, Shopaholic Mama, shopping