Monday, October 27, 2008


Talent abound

My neighbor, Michele, is a photographer. And she's not just any photographer, she's a genius. Her ability to catch a moment is incredible. I called her up this morning and asked her if she wanted to go for a walk with the boys and I. A totally spur-of-the-moment-guess-I-should-get-out-of-my-pajama-pants-at-eleven-o-clock-in-the-morning kind of thing.
Like any good photog, when she met me outside, she had her trusty camera in tow. I didn't think much of it until she sent me these:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Frugal Ain't The Half Of It.

I'm the ultimate in cheap.  Back in my old life, it was primarily driven by my need to "stick it to the man".  

I remember the first time I encountered the concept of "arbitrage".  Find something that's selling for less than it's worth.  Buy it.  Sell it for what it's worth.  The prospect made me drool.  I wasn't about adding value, creating benefit or being productive.  I just wanted to manipulate the system for my own gain.

And thus began my empire of "free after rebate" items.  I wasn't happy unless I was buying an item on sale, applying a coupon and then sending in a rebate.  I still remember that guy who bought a crapload of Healthy Choice puddings and got enough flyer miles to fly his family to Europe.  That guy's my hero.

I troll the deal sites.  My favorites?   and    (just for bragging, I scored a Canon SD1100 last night for 120 bucks.  I know that means nothing to you, but you have to trust me.  It's pretty stinkin' awesome.)

But I have a deal for you that's even better.  Hop on our Facebook page and sign on as a fan.  When Carol hits 50, she'll send everyone a coupon for a free card.  

No rebates or pudding required.  Sweet.  

She's HERE!

Here's a link to our calendar on Etsy. I'm slaving away on the website to get it added, but that might not happen before the day is over. So, I wanted to give everyone a chance to get their mitts on one before they sell out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

HateMail 365 ::: Sneak Peek

I have a March birthday, so I thought I'd show it off first. I'm still tempted to circle the '13' on all of the calendars - just to remind everyone to send me presents on my birthday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

HateMail 365

Wanna know a secret? The HateMail 365 desk calendars are HERE!!!
They'll be ready for purchase on Monday, October 27th.
I'm only doing a limited release initially, so make sure you snap one up before they sell out.

What better way to keep a little HateMail in your life 365 days of the year....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So. It's Not A Hobby Anymore?

Before we had the second kid, my sister came over for a visit.  She warned us that having two kids was going to be way more work than we thought.  People seem to think that having two kids will be twice as much work at *most*.  But if you factor in economies of scale, logically we would assume you might be able to get away with like 178% of the work, if you were good.

Not true, she warned.  Two kids is like three or four times as much work.  Because now you're doing twice as much work, but you're trying to do it all at the same time.

Now, if you had come to me three years ago and imparted this piece of wisdom, my reaction would be "yeah, yeah" and I would tuck it away with all the other cliched pieces of advice that I've received in my life.  But then I had the kid.  And all of the cliched things came true.  ( Why, yes.  I *do* love the little bugger so much it hurts, and even though he is soooo much work, he *is* totally worth it.  I'm just taking it day by day, trying to see the forest for the trees.  After all, I believe the children are the future and that we should teach them well and let them lead the way.  Show them all the beauty they possess inside.  Y'know?)  

So now I listen.  And she was right.  6 diapers a day is a chore, but 12 diapers a day is a lifestyle.  Chasing a two year old is infinitely more difficult with 15 wobbly-necked pounds strapped to your chest in a Bjorn.  And we won't even get into the time spent "guarding" the little one from the big one.

But there was also something else my sister said that day that resonated.  She mentioned that with one kid, you could still pull off a semblance of being young and fun, whereas with two kids, you were firmly ensconced in parenthood.  And it seems true.  To the point where when you see multi-infant/toddler parents, you feel that little bond.  They understand.  They won't judge you if you're wearing two different shoes or you don't know what day it is or you missed the Obama/McCain thing because Backyardigans was on.

They know.  

After all, we decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows.  That the greatest love was happening to me.  And you can't take away my dignity.

Geez, I could use some sleep.

It's gettin' viral up in here...

The past week has been interesting. Tiny baby has had some kind of cold-ish/flu-ish bug that has kept his temperature at a toasty 99.0 to 102.3 and kept his poo at an unmentionably disgusting consistency. As you can clearly see, this infection has affected the whole family,

even me:

That nasty flu bug will just stick wherever the hell he wants to.


I'll have some store updates, new designs to unveil and more info about the National Stationery Show coming this week, too. Also, stay tuned for our GIVEAWAY.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Black Hole Thumb

I can't keep things with leaves alive. It's taken a VERY long time for me to admit this fact. I have dreams of having all kinds of beautiful, oxygen-enhancing greenery throughout my home.


When I realized that I was incapable of watering a plant, I decided to look around the house and see just how many fakey-fake plants were occupying space...

Virtually every room has its own little faux foliage collection. Lee reminds me intermittently of the dust collecting on all of them, but they still bring me a bit of joy.

And alas, the only living plant in my house:

Isn't she sad? I've had her for so many years.... She used to be gorgeous and full of flowers and large, waxy leaves. Now, she's just tired.

Too early to give the two-year-old some household chores? I think we'll start with watering plants.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's in...... National Stationery Show application, that is. As soon as I find out the booth assignment, I'll be sure to let everyone know so you can come visit me and bring me lots of presents.

Another piece of exciting news is that we've just signed on with another distributor! I was hoping to add a few more salespeople to my current lineup and this seems to have fit my goal quite nicely.

And for those of you looking for a sample of what's in the pipeline:

I should be able to get the bulk of these items on the site by the end of the week, but historically, that usually means that you'll be lucky if you see it somewhere in 3 months.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In case you haven't noticed...

.... I've decided to give the website a much-needed update. If you experience any difficulties or issues while I hack the site to bits, please let me know.

Oh, and if you hear soft sobbing in the distance, that would be me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Everything These Days Is Either "Too Big" or "Go, Go, Sucker!"...

My mum is one of those ladies who goes to church every morning. 

Now she's not one of those church ladies who wears black all the time and mutters with a rosary in her hand.  But she can't rightly start her day without churching it up a little.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of her morning masses with her and oddly enough it reminded me of how old I'm getting.  This might seem weird, since I was probably very safely under half of the average age in the building.

But allow me to walk you through the thought process:

The morning mass is very low budget.  There's no instruments and no choir.  So the only source of music is the voices of the twenty-some retired people in the mass.  As they sing, I'm reminded of people twanging saws and shaking gravel in tin cans.  I think of what a great run some of those people must have had with cigarettes.  Then I think of how twanging saws was such a phenomena back in the 80's and how it's totally died now.  They were all over; sitting in chairs with one end of the saw between their knees, hammering on the steel with their hammers and playing tunes.  Showing up on "That's Incredible!" because, well, that's incredible after all.  Then I think of That's Incredible!, how we used to sit on the carpet and watch guys shove 36 cigarettes in their pie-holes while simultaneously making a bee-beard and spinning plates.  Maybe a little chainsaw juggling for good measure.  And we would sit there slack-jawed and amazed and try to jam pencils in our mouths, because obviously at the age of 10 we counted ourselves blessed to get our hands on one smoke, let alone 36.  And I thought of that sense of amazement, which gradually lessened as time went by, until it comes to the day where we watch Blaine hang upside down and the first thought that comes to mind is, "What a loser.  Go get a real job, pretty boy."

And the lack of amazement makes me feel old.

But then later that day, the kid looks at decent sized rock in a parking lot and says, "Wow.  Too big."  And it brings just a little touch of it back.