Sunday, November 30, 2008

Too cute

Mr. News Readin's godson is turning four this week. I am in charge of finding a suitable gift for the little guy. Hmmmph.

I doubt he will appreciate these, but how cute!

Image courtesy of Royal Highnies

From the makers of Royal Highnies, 400 thread count boxers for the little man in your life.

Tiny Highnies - taking tots to a whole new level of
luxe living.

I dare not show these to Mr. News Readin' for fear he'll add them to his Christmas list and 400 thread count boxers are not in this year's budget.

He's not sitting in Brian Williams' chair....yet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Yankees are coming

The Yankees have in fact, already breached the City K limits...

My parents arrived on Wednesday evening to celebrate Thanksgiving below the Mason-Dixon with me, Mr. News Readin', Putter and Pearl. My younger brother, otherwise known as The Prince, arrived Thursday morning.

This is my family's first trip to City K and I'm not sure what they were expecting.

More than once my mother asked if we had a department store. Ummm...yes. We actually have two malls with a couple of different ones. A Bloomingdale's? No. Ya' got me! City K minus five points in mom's book.

My father quizzed Mr. News Readin' incessantly about our house. Do we have termites? What was the pressure of our gas line? And the holiday highlight - what do you pay in city taxes? However, he was very impressed with the close proximity of public parking to our downtown area. City K picks up five point from Dad.

In a stunning turn of events, City K was deducted ten points when my father got lost going through a detour for some interstate construction. He said there were no signs. (Then how did he know it was a detour...hmmm???)

The Prince enjoyed our temperatures in the mid-50's and even pounded out a three-mile run in a t-shirt and shorts. He became downright giddy when he saw gas for $1.61 a gallon. City K earns five points.

I'm not positive - but I think they were surprised that our floors weren't dirt and our neighbors didn't have a pop-up camper parked on the front lawn. If only I had picked up some moonshine for an after dinner drink...just to lend the trip some sort of stereotypical authenticity.

T-minus 12 hours until everyone makes their way back to the Empire State, leaving Mr. News Readin' and I to bask once again in our solitary Southern serenity.

Dinner was great. Loved having y'all.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is recovering nicely from any stuffing induced hangovers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Domesticated help

Or the lack thereof...

I went to change our bed linens the other night and this is what I found:

That would be one Lazy Dog and her partner in crime, Sneaky Cat.

I know they lack opposable thumbs, but the least they could do is tidy up before hopping in for a nap.

We have paid hundreds of dollars over the years for beds with fleece liners, with bolsters, with microfiber covers...but they all pale in comparison to our bed and the couch in the den.

At least Putter humored me by looking pitiful. The damn cat didn't even open her eyes.

Stay tuned. Part II of our ongoing in-depth investigation of the Mommy Mafia is up next.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A letter to Mr. & Mrs. Wentz

Dear Ashlee and Pete,

Congratulations on the arrival of your baby boy, Bronx Mowgli!

I realize that as artists, creativity and expression are integral to your very being. However, is the naming of your first born really the best way to channel your artistic inspiration?

Perhaps I'm making a hasty call. As a New yorker, I should be bursting with pride...

Maybe Pete is related to Jonas Bronck, the Dutch sea captain, for whom the Bronx is named. Maybe Ashlee is a descendant of Siwanoy Indians and has a deep connection to her ancestral lands. Maybe you felt it was your duty as Americans to cast light on our nation's poorest Congressional District - the 16th.

Or maybe you just forgot that you're child had to attend the third grade and having C-list celebrity parents just wasn't enough baggage.

Seriously. Have either of you ever been to the Bronx? (Yankee Stadium excluded.)

The borough hasn't seen this much celebrity endorsement since Jenny was On the 6 and claimed her from the Block roots.

I expect Adolfo Carrión Jr., Bronx borough president, will be contacting you shortly to see how the borough can capitalize on this fragment of spotlight.

Perhaps, young Bronx will get a key to Co-op City? It's lovely this time of year.

Either way, go ahead and enroll that kid in martial arts. He'll need it.

If there is a next time, let's really use that nine months to weigh our options and think it through.

And no, Staten Island is not an option.

Warmest regards,

Mrs. News Readin'

One gift down. Thirty to go.

It's fairly easy to find a Christmas gift for Mr. News Readin'. He will always be in need of additional:

dress shirts
pocket squares
festive pants for UGA game days

In short, he enjoys gear. Problem...when whisking off for a weekend to Athens or elsewhere with all this gear, he carries about 25 items on hangers without a garment bag. It drives me insane. For long distance traveling he has luggage - but that's an aggressive approach for a few hours in the car.

This year for Christmas we've decided on one "big" gift and then maybe something for the News Readin' abode.

Guess who is getting a garment bag?

Here are a few options:

The T. Anthony comes in a few different colors and can be monogrammed, making it my first choice. The Colonel on the other hand, never disappoints and can be personalized with a small engraved brass plate. Love that!

Do you think he'll be disappointed when there isn't a massive high definition flat screen under the tree?

Oh, good! Neither do I...

More at 11.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Ahhh...winter. Nothing we love more than the shroud of darkness falling before Jeopardy airs and being so pale we could glow in the dark. Throw in dry skin and it's a damn party.

In as much as I would love to trot over to the local Electric Maldives (tanning salon) for a little color, I would prefer to not look like the alligator bag I am desperate for by the ripe old age of 35.

The alternatives, by and large, leave you orange-y and oompa loompa looking. Unless you are working in a magical chocolate factory - or are the corporate face for said magical chocolate factory, orange-y skin - not so much.

Imagine my joy when after courting many a bronzer (Guerlain, Trish McEvoy, Benefit, get the picture) I found one that is ...gasp...natural looking.

Because I am kind and generous - or at least today - I'll share my weapon of choice to banish winter pastiness:

(image courtesy of

Word to the can be a little sparkly. Which for a girl with gypsy blood - like yours truly - is a plus. It also means the other member of the News Readin' household, who is equally concerned with pastiness, is less likely to swipe it while I'm not looking for a "Special Assignment."

From the bronzed trenches,

Mrs. News Readin'

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


What would Brian Williams eat?

If you believe his interview in Parade this past weekend, he eats Arby's, Cinnabon and Cracker Barrel. And other sundry Food Court anchors...Wok-n-Roll perhaps?

Yikes. Embarrassing. Whoever his publicist is should be dismissed. Stat.

We all know how much the News Readin's love a little BW. But, are we really supposed to believe that fair Brian frequents the Food Court or better...Arby's? (Note to non-Northerners...there isn't a Cracker Barrel, Waffle House or Arby's in Manhattan.)

Brian inhabits a rather swanky pad at a very tony address in New York. His neighborhood restaurant is Le Cirque. That's not an exaggeration. Le Cirque is located on the ground floor of BW's building. You can read all about it being "better than having an Applebee's in the lobby," according to Brian, here.

Let me guess, you're favorite meal at Waffle House is waffles.

Briiiaaannn...the answer is grilled cheese and hash browns - smothered and covered. And Arby's over Chick Fil A?! Blasphemous.

So, let's recap B-Dub. Comparing Cinnabon to crack is bad for business- yours and theirs. (I agree with the comparison...just sayin') Posing with pizza on the cover of Parade reeks of phony.

Stick to rockin' the purple power tie, going heavy on the self tanner, humorous banter on late night talk shows and being a good news reader. Although, if you keep up the pr missteps that chair might be empty sooner rather than later.

And that's good for the News Readin's business. Hmm...err...keep up the good work B-Dub.

Mrs. News Readin'

Monday, November 17, 2008

West Coast Swing: Part II - Sonoma

After enjoying the incredible weather and all night seal sounds of Monterey Bay, me, the News Readin' Husband and our friends - Anne & Lee from Nashville, headed up to Sonoma for two nights.

We stayed at the Hotel El Dorado on the square in Sonoma.

The view of the square from our balcony

We were really excited about all of meals during our West Coast trip, but our dinners in Sonoma were anticipated gastronomic highlights.

The first evening we ate at the El Dorado Kitchen, conveniently located in our hotel.
Check out their menu here. We ate outside on the patio and it was perfect.

Our second day was completely devoted to seeing the fine Sonoma wineries and tasting wines, of course. We hired a driver - which was a little expensive but well worth it. We only had one vineyard that was an absolute must-visit and the rest of our itinerary we left up to Lou, our chatty driver.

First stop, Rodney Strong for a private tasting arranged by Anne. (Ooohhh...fancy.)

We then walked about 100 yards over to J Vineyards, where I fell in love with their 2006 Vin Gris. Amazing. And I really don't care for white wine...The best part about J Vineyards was our server, who was young, fun and not intimidating. We were so at ease, we walked out with 1/2 a case.

Next stop, Martin Ray Winery.
Martin Ray had a few different wines that Mr. News Readin' and I both liked. We also brought home this for a casual barbecue dinner or because it just looked cool:
They had the most amazing flowers lining the driveway at the vineyard. (Made me cringe to think about my leggy impatiens, still in my window boxes.)

Next stop, Sunce Winery & Vineyard, a recommendation from our driver. Funny how, after we purchased a few bottles - they "gave" him a few bottles to try. Hmmm...
They had a really cute dog named Obie. It made us miss Putter.

Tipsy, we ventured over to the Kunde Family Estate to get a tour of their caves and you guessed it - taste some more wine. Buzz kill...the caves were closed to tours. So, we just drank more. I loved hearing about how some of the vines were over 100 years old.

Pretty water feature at Kunde Family Estate

LinkTo think - it all starts with a bunch of these...

Last stop, Ravenswood Winery.
We enjoyed our full tasting in Adirondack chairs overlooking the mountains. Ahhh...finally totally relaxed.

Wait. What the hell does that say?!

Bottoms up! Quick exit of the rattlesnake sanctuary.

We were exhausted from all our swirling, sniffing and sipping. Nap, please.

We headed to dinner at The Girl and the Fig, located directly across from our hotel. I took the picture below while standing on our balcony.

Aside from being wedged between two tables of Howard Dean liberals (much to the dismay of Mr. News Readin'), we enjoyed a yummy brasserie-style dinner. Anne had the most amazing grilled cheese and I had a delicious arugula and fig salad.

I'm surprised we didn't leave Sonoma with gout.

We dropped our wine off at a bead store that doubles as shipping agent - illegally. Yay for us!

On to San Francisco...

Say it ain't so, Domino!

In this economic climate, seems there is a little too much shelter...
Could Domino be next in the shelter mag shake up?

Read this piece from the New York Observer.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed...Domino is a highly anticipated delivery to my mailbox every month.

More at 11.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sneak Peek

On Thursday night I had the opportunity to attend a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. (Thanks Paramount!)

Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is born as an old man and lives his life in reverse - physically.

Set in New Orleans following World War I, it is chocked-full of sugary, sultry Louisiana moments. Mmmm...divine.

Cate Blanchett might be one of the most stunning women in film today. I was mesmerized every time she appeared on screen.

But, Tilda Swinton stole the movie (for me) in a 1940's black gown with fur stole - swilling vodka and savoring caviar. It gave me chills.

It was totally engrossing for nearly three hours. I laughed - I cried...and Mr. Pitt did not disappoint. I'm calling it now...Oscar nomination.

See the trailer here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Campaign trail ends in a cabbage patch

This is old news- but I just heard about the Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin Cabbage Patch dolls that were auctioned off on eBay, to benefit Marine Toys for Tots program.

Presidential Candidate Cabbage Patch Kids? Is that what kids are asking Santa for this Christmas?

Probably not. These things only appeal to weird adults, who probably have an impressive Beanie Baby collection. But I digress...

Palin, complete with glasses and sausage legs stuffed into little black pumps, seemed to draw the most bidding action. And why not? She comes with a $150,000 wardrobe - according to all the anonymous wardrobe spies. (Take that Barbie.) Seems like a good deal at nearly $10,000.

Do you think she has a typical Cabbage Patch middle name, like Esmeralda, Ertha or Ailene?

The President-elect Obama doll, was a close second - with over $3,000 in bids.

Cue the Debbie Downer music...poor McCain and Biden, seemed definitely less cuddly. Biden didn't even fetch $1,000.

Back in the day, I would have given every sticker in my prized album for a Cabbage Patch Kid.
Not sure if I would have wanted this Sarah...she may have wanted to use my Koosa for a rug or worse - chili.

We now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When bad ideas happen to good people.

Wedding montage videos make me - in a word - nauseous.

It starts off as a sweet sentiment, but let's not kid ourselves. Aside from the bride and groom's parents, no other guests care.

The very least one can do is keep it to a limited viewing at the rehearsal dinner or pre-wedding day festivities.

This video below should have been kept a secret - like identity of Deep Throat - type secret.

My friend attended a wedding where the below video was shown. I have it on good authority that the bride's family thought this video was so brilliant it would have been wasted on the rehearsal dinner crowd, so they showed it to the 300+ guests at the reception.
(Wonder if they are re-thinking that move?)

A few things to note:

1) This is not a joke.
2) If you are going to do something like this - know the words.
3) She must be new to the world of "receptionist" long the hands.

Now it's on YouTube and the whole world will know that they hooked pinkies.
Those are some tough first steps for any marriage...

More at 11.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring those who serve

Today we honor the many who have served and are serving this country, protecting and preserving our rights.

A few months ago I became involved with an incredible program called Honor Air. It flies WWII veterans and a loved one to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial at no cost to the veterans or their families. Most are men in their 80's, who went off to war as boys (practically) and without this organization, might never have the opportunity to visit this national memorial built in their honor. For a more detailed history click here.

Honor Air provides this experience only through the generous donations of corporations and individuals. I simply cannot put into words the joy and excitement of these service men, some in wheelchairs or on oxygen, boarding a commercial flight surrounded by throngs of cheering people waiving American flags. It brings tears to my eyes.

Being saluted as they board.

A hero's welcome in D.C.

Posing for pictures at the WWII Memorial.

Many cities have localized Honor Air programs, and I encourage you to check them out. Monetary donations are helpful but there are other ways to support this program. Encourage your local news organizations to cover the flight. See how you can volunteer to help their efforts - picking up a participating veteran and transporting them to the airport or waiving a flag in their honor as they touchdown back home.

These members of the greatest generation are pristine role models to both civilian Americans and those who currently stand tall under our flag keeping us safe.

God bless them all. We are eternally grateful for their service.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The end of an era

This day was inevitable.
I've been dreading it for months.

Martha, I'm not renewing my subscription.
Stop that - there's nothing you could have done...It's not you, it's me.

We've had some great times...the brined turkey and gingerbread cake that were the shining moments of the first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked...introducing me to the beauty of chrysanthemums...

...the most adorable 4th of July decorations...

...and the inspiration to throw on my wellies, a large brimmed straw hat and head out to snip roses. (So what if they weren't my roses?)

But to reach the peaks, one must travel through the valleys. The long arduous valleys.

My own nuptial madness fueled by your Weddings magazine...the failure of Blueprint...and your borderline insulting - simpletons cooking manual aka Everyday Food - to name a few.

I wasn't even sure how to pronounce quince - let alone find a quince or quinces (?) in Western Nebraska. Glitter Easter eggs? Great idea in theory - but I sparkled like Dorothy's slippers until Flag Day. And surely my Labor Day luncheon would have been pedestrian, since my family doesn't own a vineyard in Northern California complete with an 18th C. farmhouse table and Scandinavian chairs crafted by sailors.

I know it all comes from a good place - full of good things.
But, with each passing month, Living has become a glossy reminder of what I am not achieving in my home and moreover, in my life. There's enough of that type of content in my own internal publication to go around...without paying $12.95 a year.

Should the day arrive, when I no longer care about streamlining my domestic operation and really want to pursue growing the perfect lacecap hybrid hydrangea or feign waspiness at an Olympic level, I will know where to turn.

For now, I will be ripping up my renewal notice and moving on to find homemaking inspiration among mortals.

We'll always have your website.

Take care,

Mrs. News Readin'

Friday, November 7, 2008

On the road. Again.

We're headed to Lexington to see our friends Amanda & Troy and watch the Dawgs take on Kentucky.

I'm secretly hoping to bump into le petite blog, because she has an amazing brunch tailgate planned including some delicious cinnamon rolls AND cinnamon loaf bread.

She had me at rolls.

Here's a little Friday funny for your enjoyment...

(click image to enlarge)

Stay tuned weekend sports is up next.

Mrs. News Readin'

Cleaning up

The search for a good cleanser can be frustrating and costly. (The graveyard of cleansers underneath my bathroom sink and crazy amount of Sephora beauty rewards are a testament to that...)

Being a glutton for punishment, I rolled the dice and purchased this:

All-in-one? Sign me up.

Love it.

Shhh...don't tell Mr. News Readin' or else he'll start complaining about his Clinique makeup remover not being up to par.

Sometimes it's tough being married to a man who has a working knowledge of skincare.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holiday Frock Watch 2008

Call me girly - childish - even silly - just don't call me after the open bar ends.
(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

I like getting a Christmas dress. Growing up, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving my grandmother would take me shopping for a Christmas dress. We would have lunch and spend all day trying on pretty, frilly dresses. Without fail, I always ended up with something that had a velvet sash, peter pan collar and was never very frilly. (At the end of the day, what grandma says - goes.) Those were the days...

So, every November I start hunting for a cute holiday dress. The dress needs to be somewhat versatile based on array of audiences and venues. (Sometimes crossing state lines to drink egg nog and hang with friends has an upside.) True story. Last year we were invited to more out of town holiday parties, than in town.

I'm sorry...what was that? Yes, we are that freakin' fun and friendless in the city where we currently reside. Their loss.

The search has begun a little early this year due to retailers forcing Friends & Family discounts, Free Shipping and all the commercialized glory of the holidays on us a wee bit early.

Note: this dress will also serve as my Christmas Eve dinner dress. This year, being the in-laws turn to put up with me for three days, will require a fancy frock.

In the running are:

The Nanette green dress may make me look like I should be standing next to an impostor Santa handing out candy canes. Hmmm...maybe a leetle too holiday.

The black and white BCBG is in the lead, although I L-O-V-E the color of the DVF.
If it only had a peter pan collar...

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election '08 Hangover

Election night for media is like New Year's Eve, Christmas and prom all rolled into one crazy, exhilarating night.

Mr. News Readin', being a hard hitting political reporter, spent the night doing live cut-ins from City K's GOP headquarters at the Crown Plaza - well past midnight.

It turned out to be a good night for Republicans (around these parts) and the Johnnie Walker was flowing, but our poor reporter was on the clock and unable to partake.

Until - he finished his last live shot. Then he borrowed $10.00 from the head investigative know the guy people call after their contractor bails and the new toilet is in the den...and Mr. News Readin' enjoyed a JW on the rocks to celebrate a job well done.

Speaking of drinking for a good reason - two counties in this fine state are no longer dry. Phew! Flasking it to Chili's was getting old.

To the amazement (read: disgust) of yours truly, after working late he loves a snack usually reserved for football watching. Which explains what greeted me this morning as I grabbed milk for my coffee:

Not sure how he doesn't replenish toothpaste, but he'll make a pit stop after working a 14 hr. day to enjoy this on the couch with a couple bottles of the king. Real mystery.

Oh, and this bad boy:

Business in the front and apparently (Democratic) party in the back.
Classic. Fear not, no partisan reporting here...he also scored four McCain/Palin buttons that are just not as funny. (Guess the Republican mullets weren't as organized.)

More at 11.

Doppelgänger Alert

This is the cover of Britney's new album:

Is it me, or is someone looking a little Heidi Montag-esque?

Not a girl, not yet a woman - or human looking for that matter.
Resembling something closer to a plastic...No?

Just an observation.

We now return to Vote '08 Election Hangover coverage.