Monday, September 30, 2013

Big, Huge, Gigantic Fall Reading Giveaway! Enter Now!

This giveaway is now closed.
Big, huge, gigantic congrats to the winner, Sandy!

Do you love reading? Enjoy free stuff? Did you miss the boat on summer's GIGANTIC, multi-blog reading giveaway and you want another chance to win?!?!

We've delivered, except for one tiny difference - this time, it's EVEN BIGGER! Even more of your favorite bloggers have joined together to bring you the hugest giveaway on the innerwebz - you are not going to believe this prize package. Seriously.

Now that the kids are back in school, maybe you find yourself with a little extra free time for reading grown-up people books with grown-up people words in them. Maybe, as the autumn air gets chillier, you're looking for an excuse to snuggle up inside under a blanket. Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: you need some great stuff to read. Thus, we bring you...

First off, we've collected practically an entirely new library for you - nine (9) (NINE!!!) new books to make you laugh, cry, and forget that you were supposed to turn on the crockpot because you're just plain having too much fun.
You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, the long-awaited first humor anthology from In The Powder Room, is the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for good reason - it's packed with 39 (mostly) true tales by women, for women, about being women — bodily changes, relationships, careers, motherhood, aging, illness, and more —written with the humor and grit that proudly sets In The Powder Room apart. The winner's shiny new copy will be signed by none other than Lipstick co-author and editor, Leslie Marinelli of The Bearded Iris!
Do you have a copy of the hilarious best-selling collection of hilarious essays, I Just Want To Pee Alone, yet? Well, I bet you don't have a copy signed by four of the co-authors - Amy Bozza of My Real Life signed one with Kim Bongiorno, Kim Forde and Anna Sandler (that's me!), and she's willing to part with it JUST FOR YOU! It covers every parenting topic from planning for your baby, to being driven insane by your children, to... wait, are there other parenting topics? Yes, don't be silly, of course there are. I'm pretty sure.
From Abby Has Issues, you'll get a signed paperback copy of Abby Still Has Issues, the 5-star rated second installment of award-winning humor writer Abby’s compiled blogging neurosis - everything from the drama of a cab ride with Aunt Mable to her quest to become a naked sushi model.
Carriage Before Marriage has two stories in the hilarious, irreverent anthology What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories featuring essays from Carrie Fisher, Sex and The City producer Cindy Chupack and more. Romantic disasters spun into comedy gold for your entertainment!
Janie Emaus is offering up a autographed paperback copy of her smart and compelling young adult book, Mercury In Retro Love - a story about crushes, conflicts and astrological confusion.
Kim Bongiorno, of Let Me Start By Saying, has generously added an autographed paperback copy of her 5-star rated "Part of My World: Short Stories", a book that allows the reader to escape into 21 unique, exhilarating worlds.  To boot, she's including a "How Being a Parent is Like Being a Rock Star" note card, based on her hilarious graphic (blank inside, with envelope).
You'll also win an autographed copy of Not Your Mother's Book...on Being a Parent, co-authored by Stacey Hatton of Nurse Mommy Laughs. These new anthologies are edgy "poultry for the chakra" books and will have you laughing instead of crying.
Of course your library won't be complete without a signed paperback copy of the best selling debut of humorist Paige Kellerman, At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles - a touching story of cankles, gestational diabetes, and one woman's quest not to pee her own pants while carrying twins.
Still want more parenting laughs? Parenting Gag Reel - Hilarious Writes and Wrongs (from the popular Life Well Blogged series) is for moms and dads who've fought to get little ones down for a nap, worn their pajamas to drop off the kids at school or can name at least ten shades of poop. If that's you, you're in the right place for an afternoon of laughter, thanks to some very funny bloggers, including Snarkfest.
But wait - that's not all!
Because we love you and we know that just WANTING to read doesn't always get you the time, setting, and accessories that make it possible, we're also including all of this:

Because it's hard to concentrate on reading while the kids are awake, we'll set you up with the customizable kid's photo clock of your choice from ZAZOO KiDS! In addition to allowing you to upload your own photos, video and music, it has pre-programmed image alarms to show a child visually when they can start the day or when it is time to rest. Brilliant! For maximum reading time, we recommend setting bedtime to 4 PM.

Because they might still need a little help staying in bed, there's Duck Tape. Everyone can find a fun and creative use for Duck Tape, from crafty tweens to practical DIYers, to mamas who just want to read for a minute, for Pete's sake. We're giving away an awesome prize pack of Duck Tape in assorted colors and patterns.

Because sometimes Mama needs a little glass of something while she reads, you'll get a monogrammed Vino-2-Go (Wine Sippy! Right? RIGHT? Awesome.) for those special times when you need to be the classiest bitch at a party, or when you're just afraid you might spill some precious vino on your precious book.

Because you need to be comfortable while you read, we're bringing you your choice of one throw pillow from Sewn, Inc. Sewn is a small design atelier in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in dressmaking, custom Halloween costumes for children and more.

Because you might be out and about while you're reading (hey, it could happen), the winner will also get a $30 gift certificate to the Jennifer Ladd shop on Etsy, which is chock full of gorgeous handbags and change purses.

Nostalgic Graphic Tees Elizabeth Horton

Because you'll need something clean for your kids to wear if you hope to put off the laundry one more day, let us introduce you to Nostalgic Graphic Tees by Elizabeth Horton. Brushed for softness and screen printed using multiple layers of environmentally friendly ink, you'll be happy when this becomes your child's favorite shirt because it'll stand up to life and washings and still look good enough to hand down to a little brother or sister. Winner gets to choose any in stock tee from the Etsy site.

Because you'll need something cozy to "borrow" from your husband's closet while you read (or because you're the husband whose cozy stuff keeps getting "borrowed," or because you just happen to like reading and comfort), Cool Dads is providing one of their tees. They work hard to make tees that their kids would dig, and that they would be proud to wear too. They feature a tailored fit, custom stitching, and high quality bamboo viscose material that makes their shirts softer than the softest cotton, keep you degrees cooler, and even repel sweat to keep you dry.

Because people are always trying to take the few things around the house that aren't made by Fisher Price (like your new fantastic book collection) and claim them as their own, label them in style with Name Bubbles. These sturdy, water-resistant and dishwasher safe labels come in a variety of colors, sizes, and fonts so you can personalize them just the way you want. We're giving away a School Labels Pack, an assortment of over 80 labels!

Because we know you'll get interrupted while you're trying to read, you'll get a $40 gift card to Snappin Studio, where they make unique hand stamped metal keepsakes like beautiful copper bookmarks. What a stylish way to keep track of where you left off, until you're finished getting the kids just one more glass of water at 10:30 PM!

Also, because we know we're all just barely holding it together ourselves, we're including a canvas I Just Want To Pee Alone tote bag so YOU can hold all this stuff together - super rare and totes adorable, you'll be able to carry all this incredible loot in style.

And finally, because we know we might have forgotten something (Who, US???), the lucky winner will also get a $175.00 Amazon gift card, to spend however he or she wants, although we strongly suggest using it to buy the giveaway hosts something pretty. That's almost $700 worth of fantastic prizes!


To qualify: You must have a deep, burning desire to own all or part of the stuff mentioned above, and live in the United States. (So sorry, non-United States friends - we love you big time, but we don't understand your sweepstakes rules and don't enjoy serving jail time. Also, POSTAGE. Gah. It's, like, more than college tuition.)

Required: Do the little Rafflecopter thingy. Winner will be chosen at random and notified after the giveaway closes on Saturday, October 5. If there's no response from the winner within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen and so on until I decide just to keep everything for myself. (I'm kidding, of course. OR AM I? Yes, I'm kidding.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halloween Decorations: When is Too Early, Too Early?

When, ideally, should Halloween decorations festoon our homes?

I say October 1 at the very earliest, and really more like October 15 is ideal.

And yet, my neighbors seem perfectly fine having their Halloween flair out while it's still September.

Which just seems way too early to me. What do you think?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sponsored: Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice -- A New Head Lice Resource for Parents

The below content is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur’s Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Did you know that at any point, one to three percent of children in elementary school may have head lice? During an outbreak, that number may be as high as 25 percent. As the school year begins, turn to for tools and tips on finding, treating, and talking about lice. The Headfirst! Expert panel has the information to arm all parents should they have to battle head lice!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

School fundraisers: what do they really teach our children?

I've been thinking a lot lately about "wants" vs. "needs" and what we really teach our children when we have school fundraisers.

Last year, my kids' public school was raising funds for iPads for the classrooms. And while I'm sure there are benefits to having iPads at school, did the kids really need them? Like really, really, need them?

Would it not be an okay lesson for the kids to learn that while having iPads would be a great (amazing!)educational resource that they were also an expensive educational resource, and their school just didn't have the funds to purchase them?

Are we not supporting our consumer culture and further solidifying the entitlement of the next generation by giving kids the message that even when you can't afford something, you still try to find a way to purchase it? That you just "have to have it."

And while I might begin by pondering the somewhat small question of if my kids "need" iPads at school, I end by asking what I think is the bigger question: should I really be contributing to this fundraising initiative at my kids school, when I know that the school just one town over doesn't even have basic supplies - y'know like books. Should we not teach our kids that we help all the kids get books, before we start raising money for some kids to have extras like iPads?

I don't know the answers, but I do know this year I am going to think more about what it all means before just sending in my check. And who knows, maybe this approach will even teach my kids more then they'll learn from having an iPad in their classroom.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guess How Many People Follow Duane Reade on Twitter?

#shop #DR1MM

Do you know how many people follow Duane Reade on Twitter?
Wanna make a guess?

Do you think 10,000 people do?

Or 100,000?

How about 1,000,000? Or, precisely (as of this writing) 1,140,836. That's right, well over 1 MILLION people follow Duane Reade on Twitter.

#shop #DR1MM

In fact, Duane Reade went from 10,000 followers to over 1 million followers in just one year.

Duane Reade celebrated this amazing achievement last week, and I was honored to be part of the party which was a great time with wonderful people, and I even got my eyebrows shaped by a RAMY-trained consultant (Ramy himself pictured below). How many parties can you say that about?

#shop #DR1MM

#shop #DR1MM

I am also incredibly proud to be part of Duane Reade's VIP Blogger group, which was recognized for contributing to this incredible social media success story.

#shop #DR1MM

 In addition to being an example of smart and savvy social media use and of how to attract and retain followers by delivering quality content, it was inspiring and gratifying to hear Duane Reade talk during the celebration about the contributions of the VIP bloggers to the social media efforts overall, and towards reaching the million follower mark on Twitter. Duane Reade's VIP blogger program is a perfect example of how brands and bloggers can work together to do amazing things.

I'm so glad to have joined in the celebration for Duane Reade hitting the 1 million Twitter followers milestone.

Congratulations, Duane Reade. I can't wait to celebrate when you reach two million!

#shop #DR1MM
If you aren't one of Duane Reade's followers already, go join the million+ folks over at @DuaneReade on Twitter.
You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via the hashtags #cbias and #DR1MM.
To see other posts I've written about Duane Reade as part of the VIP Blogger program, click here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bye, Summer.

I realized that today is the last (official) day of summer. So to say goodbye to what is by far my most favorite of the seasons, here is an amazing video from mon chere Liz, who came all the way from Paris to share in a summer that was much too fun, and much too short.

And because the director is missing from her film, here's Liz:
Bye summer 2013. Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Talk Like a Pirate Today!

Today, September 19, is National International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Invented by two (possibly three) presumably bored and inebriated guys back in 1995.
My kids love pirates.

So, on their behalf, we'll be celebrating today with plenty of arrrs, avasts, costumes and the always festive meal of hardtack.


Need help talkin' like a pirate? Check out this handy pirate-english translator. Now if I could just find a woof-english translator...

I just read the original Dave Barry column that started it all, and aye, that be funny, matey.

Will you be talking like a pirate today? My husband has assured me he'll be yelling "Shiver me timbers!" as often as possible not only while at his office, but also on his way there via the New York City subway. Should be good times.

This post is a re-publish from 2011. I guess I forgot to be pirate-y in 2012.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where's Ziggy?

Can you name this toddler hot spot?


This post title inspired by the current Where's Waldo addiction at our house.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Erev 9-11

Tomorrow is 9-11. More than a decade has passed since the horrible events of September 11th. An anniversary that matters very much here in New York City, and an anniversary that I sometimes get the feeling matters much less in other places.

Here, anyone who lived in or near downtown Manhattan remembers the day. Like it was yesterday. I have my own tale of September 11, though it is more a story of where I wasn't than of where I was - Stamford, CT. Oddly enough, even though we live in New Jersey now, my husband will be in Stamford for a meeting tomorrow.

I remember waking up in my Upper West Side apartment to the sound of a lone bagpipe in the early morning on the first anniversary of September 11th. We knew it was coming from the firehouse on the next block over, which had suffered terrible losses on September 11th. My husband and I recall that chilling sound every year on the anniversary, and tomorrow will be no different.

Four years after September 11th, I was full-term with my daughter. My doctor had my due-date recorded as September 10th, but at my prodding, admitted it was September 11th, but that she thought it was best to move it a day for reasons she wasn't quite willing to articulate, but which I clearly understood. And I won't lie - I was hoping the baby would wait a few days past that day to make her appearance, as she did.

This year, marks twelve years since September 11th. Twelve years. That fact alone leaves me in disbelief. But so does everything else. How has so little changed since that day?  The global issues that brought us to that point our still here, probably worse, and definitely not better. I would have thought more would have changed in a dozen years, in international relations, in progress towards a greater tolerance of cultural and religious differences. That all these years later the mere thought of a mosque near grand zero would not be thought of as a "slap in the face."

And as much as tomorrow will be a day of horrific sadness and remembrance for many - way too many - I hope it will also be a day when we all think of what we could do to make the world post-September 11th a better one than it was pre-September 11th. And, perhaps, that is the best way we can honor those whose lives were lost, or forever changed by loss, on that day.

The photo above of the World Trade Center towers was taken by my brother. He has more amazing images of the towers here.

This post originally ran on September 10, 2011.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The last night of summer vacation

It seems like just yesterday it was the last day of school.

And yet, already, another summer is now in the family history books.

The kids go back to school tomorrow.

And as it does every year, the summer just went by much too fast.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Rosh Hashanah

For the Jews reading this: L'Shana Tova!

For the non-Jewish audience: today is Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the new year on the Jewish calendar. In case you're wondering, we're ringing in 5774, and we're doing so earlier than usual which means this year Hanukkah falls over Thanksgiving which should mean some fun holiday blending to look forward to in a couple months.

A few years back I made a Rosh Hashanah video, and I'm sharing it for the third year in a row.

'Cause listening to the sounds of a young child repeatedly blowing on a plastic shofar never grows old.

Wishing all celebrating a sweet year of health and happiness!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Finding the Funny - Join the Fun and Link-up a Post!

"You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth" is an Amazon Hot New Release - and I'm In It!

Congratulations to Shannon S. the winner of a copy of "You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth!" Email me: anna at for details and to claim your prize!

I'm in a book. In a book with some of my most favorite bloggers.

And as if that wasn't enough - and it's totally enough - the book is a Hot New Release on Amazon.


You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth is an anthology of 39 hilarious, mostly true essays compiled by the folks from the website In the Powder Room and edited by the one-and-only Leslie Marinelli - who you might know better as The Bearded Iris.

My contribution to the anthology is "The Last Nice Jewish Boy in Boston" which tells the story of how I met my husband. It takes place in the 1990s, a simpler time when the Internet was just a bitty little thing and texting was something you heard about people doing in Europe but were pretty sure was never going to catch on in the U.S.

For those who watch Princesses Long Island, my story is pretty much Season 1 condensed into 1,500 words without the Long Island accent.

"You Have Lipstick on your Teeth" is available on Amazon for Kindle and in old-school paperback.

To purchase from Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Kobo, Diesel, Apple, Sony Reader, Nook or wholesale quantities... click here.

AND IF YOU'RE LOCAL IN NEW JERSEY...  we'll be holding a book signing for "You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth" and I Just Want to Pee Alone at Kidville Westfield on Thursday, September 12.  Come join us for refreshments and lots of laughs and fun.

Last but not least, I'm giving away a copy of "You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth" to one lucky winner!

To enter, just leave a comment with your favorite shade of lipstick! Giveaway closes on Monday, September 16 at 8:00pm EST.  {Giveaway now closed.}

And if you want to know how things between the Nice Jewish Boy from Boston and me turned out, head over to Facebook where I chronicle the joys of marriage to my beshert at Instructions for My Husband.

Winner announced on Tuesday!

{Keep Reading}

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