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Give the gift of a Musician’s Friend Gift Certificate for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up fast (June 21st, for those of you not keeping track), and if you’re still not sure what to give as a gift to the father(s) in your life, for those men who are into music — and more specifically making their own music — why not give the gift of a Musician’s Friend gift certificate? You can choose any amount between $10 and $5000, and gift certificates are delivered electronically for the utmost in convenience (tip: deliver it to your own email account so you can then print it out and wrap it up as a gift!).

What will your gift recipient purchase with his gift card? A korg rack? Perhaps a new guitar? Maybe more power equipment for the sound room? Whatever the buy, he’s sure to be thrilled with such a great gift.

Filed under Commercial Break

Sometimes, parenting is about bargaining

Kids: can we go to the park?
Dan: only if you eat this meal comprised of meat and vegetables you don’t like
Kids: [hooverize everything]
Me: Bye! ;D

Filed under Parenthood

Pugs and summer don’t mix

Summer may not officially be in session for another week, but as far as Leah and Dan and I are concerned, it’s been summer in terms of heat and humidity for well over a month now. I always know when Leah’s heat tolerance has reached its max: when it’s warm enough outside (usually about 80 degrees) that she’s sprawled out like a starfish on the kitchen floor.

This should go without saying, but in addition to not leaving dogs unattended in vehicles, make sure you don’t leave them unattended outside, either. Certain breeds, including Pugs, Bulldogs, and Mastiffs are especially heat-intolerant, but no dog should be left out in the hot sun or heat for a long period of time.

As for Leah, at this time of year we’ll put her out first thing in the morning, again around 9 or 10, and then she won’t go out until 6 or 7 in the evening, and then later at night, when the sun has completely set and the temperature has dropped to a more tolerant level. And when she is out in the morning, and the few occasions when she can’t hold it and must go out in the afternoon, she isn’t left out for more than five or ten minutes – and she has access to shade and a fresh bowl of water.

Considering how Leah huffs, puffs, pants, and wheezes even on “cool” 75 degree days, I bet she is as thankful as we are for the existence of air conditioning!

Filed under General

Spend Less on Top Prom Dresses in 2016

girl in red prom dress

image by Jessie Braun via Flickr

Everyone knows that planning ahead helps you save. For example, airfare only goes up, the longer you wait. But unless you are a Manhattanite fashionista, you probably aren’t concerned with only wearing clothing from the current season, off-the-rack or designer. And, let’s face it, if you’re going to prom, the majority of you are not going to be gals who inspired “Gossip Girl” or “Cruel Intentions” or “Clueless.” The percentage of private/elite-attending girls is going to be very, very, very small. That said, you have the world at your leisure.

This means, don’t wait to start thinking about how you’re going to get one of the top prom dresses 2016. Start now. Most proms are over and shops are selling some seriously gorgeous gowns at a discount. Do your research and you may be very surprised. There is nothing wrong with last seasons’ (or the one before its) dresses. Stores need to make room for new merchandise, so they’re shifting and putting a lot of their stock on sale. And we say, better you wear it than the style becomes so dated, it’s obvious.

Look for stores that specialize in formal wear – and not bridal shops which only have samples available to try on and make their big coin when customers come in to order the obligatory bridesmaids’ gowns for the invariably full retail price. Instead, focus on shops which have the niche of formal attire. This means, dress shops that not only have the top prom dresses 2016, but dresses for confirmations, quinceaneras, debuts, and parties of all kind. If you live in the Midwest, you’d have to be living deep in your family basement to not have heard of Chicago’s famous Peaches Boutique, which boasts, literally, thousands upon thousands of dresses, formal wear geared to every size and shape. If you start with a store like this one, which has a huge inventory and is always acquiring new and fresh stock, you know that clothes don’t have to be (literally) hanging around for too long to be placed on special, on sale, and best of all, clearance. There is a caveat – clearance clothing is usually non-refundable so please make sure you try on your potential prom gown for 2016. Make sure it fits, flatters and, critically, that you LOVE it.

If actually shopping for top prom dresses 2016 just isn’t in the cards for you, you’ll need to look for viable information on where to find a pretty prom dress. There are a lot of alternatives, so do not fret. As with anything that is a big event, do lots of planning. Look into dates, costs, and venue locations. There are a lot of elements in prom planning – for the prom committees, as well as the prom attendees.

  1. Check if you have any friends with older sisters, older friends, family friends and neighbours to see if there’s a gown you might borrow.

  2. Go to your local thrift store. Before you shout out in protest, you may be surprised at the formal dresses that make their way through prom planning without even being noticed. Many thrift stores are known for having a bevy of brand new (with tags attached) formal gowns. Many, we’ve discovered are discarded from prom stores who are making room for new stock (as mentioned, above), or belong to hapless bridesmaids who purchased the non-refundable dresses at the bride’s behest and whim. If you don’t like the color, consider dying the dress a different color. Even a white wedding dress can be died a new color. Of course, before you buy such a gown make sure you check the fiber content and that material will take dye.
  3. Can you or a family member sew? The great thing about being able to sew is that you can cobble together a dress (say, a bodice and skirt) that might not be intended to wear together, but will be what you want and suit you well).
  4. Rent-a-dress – yes, there are services that do this. Be careful because underlying costs may actually make this pricier than shopping in the clearance section.

Good luck and party-on, promsters!

Filed under Articles

He has a heart after all

Leah is currently flopped on her side next to me, with one of her back legs in my lap. This is a good sign, as she has spent the past several hours panting, pacing, and scratching and biting herself. What I initially thought was and treated as anxiety was much more likely to be an allergic reaction to something, because a feline dose of Valium did nothing for her, but within ten minutes of giving her Claritin (aka Loratadine – and yes, this is safe for dogs, provided you follow the recommended weight guidelines) she stopped heavily panting, pacing, scratching, biting, and generally being a restless, neurotic mess; she is now sleeping comfortably next to me, with nary a twitch. Yay! Poor girl. Even Dan, who normally teases me for having such a neurotic idiot for a dog, said he was a little worried.

So yesterday was my 31st birthday, and I did absolutely nothing, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I slept until 10am, had a bit of ice cream (thanks to a neighbor dropping off a tub of it!) as a late lunch, Dan made me bacon & cheese quiche (something I’ve been craving for weeks!) for dinner, I binge-watched the first half of season 3 of Orange is the New Black, and then went to bed at 10pm. Totally rocking the Old Lady thing…

The only downside to this weekend is the shoulder pain is constant, my back is twingy off and on, and tonight the filling for the root canal I had done last year fell out. No pain so far…hoping to fit in an appointment to the dentist before anything bad happens.

Tomorrow I have a 9:50am appointment with the orthopedic doctor I saw last month for my shoulder, and I can’t wait! Because of Surprise! You Need Surgery! all of my ortho and neuro appointments got completely thrown off track, so this week and next I’m playing catch-up. And this week the sproglets are attending a STEM camp where they’ll be building miniature replicas of amusement park rides (and of course learning about the engineering that makes them work), so that’s pretty damn awesome.

How was your weekend?

Filed under General