My boys are addicted to 'The Cake Boss' and love watching Buddy create cakes that defy gravity (and sometimes don’t). But they especially loved the spin-off series where Buddy had a competition to find a new baker for Carlo’s bakery. Each week Buddy threw new challenges at the ten contestants as they vied for a chance to win $50,000 and work at the famous bakery.
*This* has spurred on a new activity for my kids.
Cake Boss: The Play-Doh Edition
I wish I could take credit for this, but hubby came up with the idea when the kids brought out their mounds of play-doh after dinner one night. Essentially, one of us is The Boss and we tell Son No. 1 and 2 what kind of cake to make.
i.e. We’d like a cake that represents Lego. It needs to be layered and able to feed 20 to 30 people. You have one hour.
Then we set the timer and let the boys create. The bonus factor in this activity is hubby and I have one hour to do other things while they’re at the table stretching their play-doh and imaginations. Once I was able to dye my hair while they made Valentine's inspired cakes. And just the other day I managed to vacuum the entire house, including under the couches.
Which, ironically, is where I found half of their missing lego pieces.
I wonder how many pieces our central vacuum system can suck up before it actually explodes.
So the next time your kids are bored and need something to do, grab some play-doh and go show them who’s the boss.
A while back, Lisa a.k.a. Party Mummy, wrote this blog about feeling left out of the party and ten things you should take into consideration before going to any party – whether it’s live and in person or online.
Two things happened to me recently which made me realize one more tip should be added to her list.
But before I tell you the stories, you need to know this, I’m socially awkward in large crowds and have a bad memory. Not a good party combination.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m great one on one, but in a crowd I feel overwhelmed. There are times when I am so panicked, my fight or flight instincts kick in. And since smacking around someone I just met is not only awkward, but illegal as well, I tend run away. I’m not even being metaphorical. If you ever meet me at a party and I start to panic, I’ll make some ridiculous statement “Wow….I'm just about to pee my pants, I better go find a washroom” or “I’m going to grab myself a glass of wine with this drink ticket I found on under the food table” and walk away. The fact that I’m panicking and am having an internal dialogue to try to calm myself down probably plays a role in my bad memory and lack of remembering people I’ve met previously.
So here I am, socially awkward and with a bad memory, and yet I’m now in a job where socializing is a big part of it.
Welcome to my world.
Thing That Happened No. 1
I won a contest where the prize consisted of Laurie Gelman showing up at my house with Coke products. If you’re not familiar with the name, Laurie is married to Michael Gelman, Executive Producer of Live! With Kelli and Regis, and was also a co-host on the Canadian daytime series - The Mom Show, of which yours truly appeared one time as a guest. A story in and of itself that I won’t get into. Suffice it to say I don’t follow instructions well and was never invited back.
When Laurie showed up at the door she was all smiles, engaging and “It’s nice to meet you”. And me being the moron I am, blurted out “We actually met once when you were hosting The Mom Show”. The truth is, in a million years I would never have expected her to remember me – she met hundreds upon hundreds of women while taping. Also? I look completely different.
And it was six years ago.
Me telling her we had met previously? Not coolio. But we did end up having a good chat about what to do when you meet people you've met previously but don’t remember and all the awkwardness that ensues. She also gave me a great tip which I will use from this point forward.
Thing That Happened No. 2
I was at an event where there were people I knew in real life and people I knew through twitter. Even though it would be way easier to stay within my comfort zone just hanging with the people I know, I always try to make an effort to put myself out there. So I was chatting away and saw someone at the outskirts of the circle. I leaned over, put out my hand and said “Hi! I’m Sharon” and she responded, “We’ve met before”.
On the outside I kept smiling, but on the inside I felt about two inches tall.
It turns out we really had met previously the year before and I hadn’t remembered. And yes, I felt/still feel awful about it.
*insert socially awkward here*
So this is what I want to add on to Lisa’s ten party tips.
The inter-mingling of twitter and the real world can make for some awesome-tastic moments where people who’ve connected online meet face to face. But with twitter avatars of logos vs. faces, and twitter names that are different than real life names, it can also make for some awkward-tastic moments.
So the next time you're at a party with your fellow tweeters or even someone you’ve met previously in real life, please grant them some grace.
If you’ve chatted with them on twitter and they don’t recognize you in real life, grant them grace.
If you’ve met someone previously in real life and they don’t remember you, grant them grace.
If someone doesn’t remember your name, grant them grace.
There are so many reasons any of the above could happen, none of them personal.
And a little grace can go a long way.
Plus, just imagine how awesome the party will be.
It's competitive out there in the world of newsletters. You want people not only to subscribe, but to be interested enough to open them. How many times have you gotten a newsletter you've signed up for only to delete it without even nary a glance.
Then there's the clean up/clean out. Once or twice a year, when my inbox is becoming unmanageable, I go through the newsletters I subscribe to getting rid of those I don't ever read and subscribing to ones I think I'd like. There's a lotta interesting information out there and I'd rather have it come to me than having to hunt it down.
I had been getting Oprah's newsletters for years now. There were three of them - Oprah Show Daily, Oprah Show Weekly and Oprah.com - I never opened them. Ever. So early in January I decided to unsubscribe.
It's now March and I'm still receiving them. In fact, just this morning, I unsubscribed again.
I used the "Unsubscribe To All Oprah.com Newsletters" option (Your unsubscribe request has been processed. If you change your mind, you can re-subscribe at any time by updating your subscriptions in your profile.) and to each individual newsletter (You were already unsubscribed.).
This isn't the first time I've done this, nor is it the first time I've seen the "you were already unsubscribed page".
Ya. *shakes head*
For me, that's someone who's doing it wrong. The newsletters never grabbed my attention and now I'm pissed off that I don't want the newsletters and yet I'm still getting them. Oprah is not on my good side right now.
I subscribe to a bunch of daily deal newsletters because who doesn't like a good deal, right? Then yesterday I read this blog by Sara Deveau who recommended a website that compiles all the daily deals into one email newsletter. Lots of deals, one email. Perfect.
This morning I set about unsubscribing to my plethora of daily deals. I clicked on unsubscribe link in the Groupon newsletter and it brought me here.
Uh....Punish Derrick? We won't even get into the psychology of what type of person I am that I actually clicked on that button but let's just say curiosity killed the cat and leave it at that.
When you click on the button, a video starts playing and another person enters the screen and proceeds to berate Derrick (no sound on the video but lots of arm gestures and contorted facial expressions) and then throws a cup of water at him.
And then this screen popped up.
And I did want to make it up to Derrick. So Groupon now has one more subscriber again.
Groupon thought outside the box, was creative and ultimately, made me laugh out loud. Not an easy feat on a Saturday morning when my kids have started fighting before I've even have a cup of coffee.
Thank you Groupon for making me laugh. I look forward to receving your emails for a long time to come. Oh, and I hope Oprah reads this.....she could learn a thing of two from you.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on email newsletters. Have you had a good/bad experience with e-newsletters? What makes you subscribe? What types of things compel you to open it. And what stops you from unsubscribing.