Monday, December 19, 2016

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Oddballs

It's the holiday season, folks! And naturally, that means that bloggers are out in full force with our annual holiday gift guides! (Insert eye roll here.)

I've never done a gift guide before. And lucky for you, I will NOT be making this an annual thing (or at least I'm not planning on it at the moment). But in the spirit of doing things my own way, I give you my 2016 Top Ten Holiday Gift Guide for Oddballs (Dave Letterman style). Drum roll please...

Gift #10 (for parents everywhere): How to Traumatize Your Children, $11.03
I mean, all of our kids are eventually going to blame us for something we did wrong as parents, right? Why not beat them to the punch this holiday season by purchasing this book with "seven proven methods to help you screw up your kids"? You're welcome.

photo courtesy of

Gift #9 (for the bike enthusiast): Bike Tail Lights, $7.96
My husband happens to be a cyclist. And what is better than a pair of balls...for your bike? These would be great for someone who is into cycling...or balls...or both.
photo courtesy of Delomo

photo courtesy of Delomo

Gift #8 (for your pets): The Pet Umbrella, $9.99
How many times has your poor dog taken a dump in the rain while you hog up all of the umbrella? I mean, can you imagine doing your business while a monsoon drenches you? lovers, rejoice! There finally is a solution! Buy Fido the coverage he's been dreaming of!

photo courtesy of

Gift #7 (for the traveler): Travel Belt Hitch, $17.95
With long lines, hordes of frustrated people, and full body scans, airports are nightmares come to life. But the real problem with airport travel is that you never get to stand around with free use of your hands, right? Enter the travel belt hitch. You want to text while drinking coffee? No problem. You want to wash both hands at the same time without having your luggage be deemed as suspicious?'s the answer.

photo courtesy of
Gift #6 (for the beer lover with a sweet tooth): Draft Beer Jelly Belly, $2.59
Beer and candy? Well...I guess it would depend on how drunk I am. But if you need a gift for a beer lover, I'm sure purchasing another boring beer mug is not an option you want to explore again. So, why not try these beer flavored jelly beans? 
photo courtesy of
Gift #5 (for the dreamer): Bag of Unicorn Farts, $10.99
In the land of the dreamers, unicorns, rainbows, elves and fairies live in a very real place - right here on Earth. And if they are Earth dwellers, then I imagine these mystical creatures also have bodily functions. But because they are so much more impressive than the human race, their farts get massed produced and sold in bags for profit. I'm not sure what the bag will smell like, or what the benefit of owning this would be, but I'm sure if you have a dreamer in your life, he/she will figure it out. 

photo courtesy of
Gift #4 (for the neat freak): Nail Capsule Fingernail Catcher, $8
Do you know someone who would rather die than find a nail clipping on her floor? Neither do I. But just in case, check out this little contraption that keeps all of your nail clippings tidily in place.

photo courtesy of

Gift #3 (for the poop lovers): Doody Head Game, $11.48
Poop paraphernalia is everywhere. I can't get away from it. My nine year old daughter thinks poop emojis are "cute". And because my husband always says, "If you can't get out of it, get into it", I have a feeling this game will be under our Christmas tree this year. If you know a poop obsessed kid (or adult), this riveting poophead game is the way to go.
photo courtesy of

Gift #2 (for the crazy cat lady in your life): Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure, $14.99
I don't think this gift needs any explanation whatsoever. Although, I take issue with the "action" figure description. I'm not sure what type of action this doll would attempt to maneuver. Does she climb trees in her robe, searching for a cat in need? Does she gallantly tear her robe open, unveiling a giant cat symbol that shines in the night sky, allowing all of the cats in the neighborhood to know that she's the lady with the food? I'm baffled by her superhero merchandising status. But if you know a cat lady who needs a reminder of why she's so awesome, this is the perfect gift!
photo courtesy of

And the #1 oddball gift of the 2016 holiday season goes to...

Wash Your Nuts Soap on a Rope, $14.99
If you like sex as much as I do, then you know that your hormones want what they want when they want it. Even if your man recently finished a two-hour workout, you want Though your hormones may not mind schweddy balls, your mind is a different matter. And as said best by Margaret Cho, "Wash EEEEET!"

Which is why Wash Your Nuts is the perfect friendly reminder, as well as the perfect nutty stocking stuffer for your man!

photo courtesy of

And once again, thanks for being randomly amused with me! Happy holidays and happy shopping!

*This piece was published on Sammiches and Psych Meds on December 19, 2016.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Why I Don't Go To Office Parties

As a society, we tend to spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Americans have even adopted phrases like “work-wife” and “work-husband” to describe our co-workers who have become alternatives to our actual families. And with the holiday season approaching, there are sure to be bigger year-end projects, longer nights on the job, and, of course, holiday office parties.

As a mom working in the corporate world, my calendar is already bursting with holiday fun like ugly sweater parties, cookie-swapping parties, the school holiday choir concert, pictures with Santa, and holiday bake sales. So you’ll understand if I’m not exactly thrilled about squeezing an office party into my schedule.

You would think that because I have been working from home for quite a few years now, I would have successfully dodged the torturous bullet of office functions. Nope. I’m not that lucky. The hubs has already received a heads up about his company’s’ holiday dinner. And now, all we need is a tactful but firm way of saying “absolutely not.”

Before raising your pitch forks, you’ll be happy to know that we made an appearance at last year’s gala. But it is my opinion that if your office holds a corporate event at a buffet-style restaurant with the word “corral” in it, you should automatically be excused from all extracurricular work activities…forever. Of course, not everyone shares this view, which is why, this year, crafting the perfect holiday excuse was our first priority.

Though I have been blessed with a husband who prefers a cordial RSVP, politely declining an invitation has become a challenge. Admittedly, if it were up to me, I would just say no. I mean, why do people always feel the need to follow a “no” with a justification of the “no”?

I’ll tell you why. Because nowadays, if you don’t give a reason, people are nosey enough to ask for one. And some bosses are so dedicated to your attendance, they even come up with solutions to your elaborate excuses.

Example #1: Have Granny’s 70th birthday to attend? That’s okay! You can just come to the office party for a little while! (Disclaimer: This one can backfire, as my husband’s boss once refused to give him his holiday bonus for leaving the party early.)

Example #2: Have concert/game tickets on the same night? Worry not! Stop in for a quick bite to eat before the event! Those things never start on time anyway!

Example #3: Having oral surgery the morning of the party? No problem! We love seeing your face, no matter how swollen!

Some of you may be asking, “Why not tell the truth?”

We tried.

When my husband attempted to respectfully decline this year’s shindig by straightforwardly saying, “I would really like to spend that time with my wife and kids,” his employer’s rebuttal was, “Well…bring them”!

I know what you’re thinking. This is a generous offer. But think about it. Bringing your spouse to a work soiree, where she gets to spend a night with your acquaintances making small talk, all while smiling with clenched teeth, quietly scolding your bored and uncomfortably dressed kids who are naturally misbehaving, is not a good idea. As all parents know, bored kids at a function that really should be “adults only” is not beneficial to anyone involved.

As you can see, finding ways to avoid a holiday office bash can become a full-time job. And I’m sure there are plenty of people who truly love the networking opportunities, free booze, and drunken karaoke duets that come along with an office party. And that’s fine. Really.

But during the holidays, when the majority of us are feeling overwhelmingly stretched too thin, I think it’s important to spend our free time AWAY from work, with the people who calm our hearts.

Even though your boss may feel slighted if you successfully find a way to escape the annual celebration, try not to feel bad too bad about it. Obligation should never play a role in determining how you spend your time. So, go ahead and enjoy this holiday season your way. No excuses.

*This piece was published on Sammiches and Psych Meds on December 16, 2016.