Wife 22

Have you ever wondered if everyone goes through the same marital problems as you?  Let me ease your mind, they do.

Everyone at some point in their marriage feels like a “roommate”, everyone feels at some point that they made the wrong choice, that they should have chosen “the one that got away”, and everyone (yes, everyone) flirts with someone other than their spouse. Don’t shake your head like you never have, because you know you have you just have to be brave enough to admit it.

None of these feelings mean your marriage is doomed, nor do they meaning you are “doing it right”.  All they mean is that you are married.  How you handle all of these instances and how you come through them in the end, that will be the definition of your marriage.

This is the message given to the reader in the new Melanie Gideon novel Wife 22.  Alice Buckle feels her life and marriage slipping away from her, so when an opportunity arises to participate in an anonymous survey from an accredited University, she readily agrees.

It’s when that survey goes to another level and Alice has some real life decisions to make that the book gets very interesting.  From the back of the book:

Maybe it was the five pounds I’d gained that I couldn’t seem to lose. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, down loader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

I found it interesting but a bit lagging.  I was interested in the characters including the peripheral ones, my only concern was with the layout.  A lot of the book is done in “dialogue” format, i.e. Face Book status updates, survey answers (FYI the questions are listed in the back of the book, wish I had known that when I was reading it) and text messages (using horrible text slang).  But the story is very good and I look forward to future novels by Ms. Gideon.  perhaps something following one of the peripheral characters or one of the Mumble Bumbles so we can also keep tabs on the Buckles along the way.

 

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Milky Way and the Big Bang

I was invited to a launch event for the new Milky Way Ice Cream Bar last week.  There was an ice cream truck with yummy samples of full size bars that were passed out to the hundreds of children milling about the Los Angeles Natural History Museum lawn.  I don’t know who was more surprised, the kids that the truck was there, or the PR reps who didn’t realize there would be so many kids on field trips even tho school is out.  Not only children were enjoying the cold treat on a hot day, a group of LAPD officers on bicycles stopped by and even the field trip bus driver got in on the fun.

 

Me, my coworker/videographer Sheila and her cousin Christine

Additional stops on the tour will include other “out-of-this-world” locations such as:

  • June 18 – Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)
  • June 22 – Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL)

New MILKY WAY® Chocolate Ice Cream Bar MILKY WAY® Chocolate Ice Cream Bars are made with delicious chocolate ice cream, a layer of creamy caramel, and then covered with a smooth milk chocolaty coating – delivering that unforgettable MILKY WAY® Bar taste. MILKY WAY® fans can find the new MILKY WAY® Chocolate Ice Cream Bars in the refrigerated ice cream case in most grocery stores nationwide.

The highlight for me (besides the fact that I actually like the bar) was that I was given the chance to interview Kunal Nayyar, Raj Koothrappali from Big Bang Theory.

 

By the way, I wasn’t paid a penny for this opportunity, I received free parking and some coupons for free ice cream.  I feel as tho I should have paid them for the interview (HUGE fan of BBT!)

 

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Nibbling

A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.

Image via Wikipedia

I have a tendency to nibble All. Day. Long.

I prefer to have a bag of chips or M&M’s nearby which for obvious reasons are not good choices.  Today I stopped at the grocery store and purchased a HUGE box of Cheerios.  Dumped the entire box into a gallon ziplock bag and placed it next to where I sit when working on the computer.

A handful of Cheerios is enough to hit the spot when you just need to munch on something.  Although they are neither salty or sweet they seem to satisfy both cravings.

I know this little move is not going to make the weight melt off but I am hoping it is a small step in the right direction.

I received no compensation for this post, but I am a member of the Yoplait Swap Team and will be blogging about Swaps I am making in my life.

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#31 Days as a Lean Mean Eating Machine

Ok, so I resolved that I was going to try a different veggie every two weeks.  It doesn’t actually mean I am committing to eating healthier or even changing my life style or trying to lose weight (hence the box of donuts I consumed at 11pm last night).

So when Collective Bias offered to compensate me for a Whrrl and a blog Post (suckit FTC) regarding Lean Cuisine how could I resist?  I initially thought I could kill two birds with one stone and get something with veggies in it and be done with this week, but none of the A meals appealed to me.

I did buy an Avocado while I was there, but more on that another day.

Anywhoooo, I have seen teachers eat a plethera of Lean Cuisine meals over the years, it is something simple and easy to pop in the microwave in the lounge and eat for lunch.  But I have never been enticed to try them.  Whenever I would see them in the grocery store there wasn’t much variety and the ones they had were swimming with veggies and other things I won’t eat (aka anything green).

This time when I went shopping specifically for Lean Cuisine I found a bunch that I would try, I guess having no luck years ago, I just stopped looking.  Now thanks to CB I will be looking more closely!

I tried the Chicken Fettuccine (which used to always have broccoli or mushrooms added but this time was mercifully plain) and I have to say it was really good.  Not enough for a “dinner” but definitely it would be ok for a lunch.

I was also able to buy a Skinny Cow dessert product.  I have been a fan of fudgsicals (how the heck do you spell that word?) forever, it was something my mom used to really like as well.  So when I saw them I knew that was going to be my choice.  Each one is only 50 calories, for those of you who keep track of stuff like that.  Me, I just know they are yummy.

If you would care to see my entire shopping trip, feel free to click on the Whrrl presentation below.

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Gifts

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of FriendGiftr. All opinions are 100% mine.

There is no longer an excuse for not knowing what to give someone as a gift.

The implementation of gift cards some twenty plus years ago has blossomed or maybe exploded within the past five years.

Now, not only can you get the gift card of your choice at the specific store but more recently you can get them at your local grocery or drug store.

And now even better?  Through FriendGiftr you can buy them online, different stores, different amounts all in one simple place.  Heck you can even do it from your Face Book account!  The picture to the left is just a sampling of the over one hundred stores to choose from.

It really is that easy, you specify the store and the amount and an email is sent to your recipient. They can then go to the FriendGiftr website and confirm that gift card, or switch it for a store they would rather have.

Now, I hear all you naysayers out there saying that gift cards are impersonal and thoughtless.  Poppycock.  I would much rather have a gift card to my favorite restaurant or the movie theater than another bottle of perfume (allergies and/or stank) or some little glass bowl.  I think a gift card is even more thoughtful than some gift that was bought because YOU thought the recipient would like it or SHOULD like it.

To me a gift cards says “Hey, I know you like to eat here, so go and treat yourself”.  Or, “I know this is your favorite store, so go buy yourself something you will really like”.

Now, you no longer have an excuse, go buy me a gift!

Visit my sponsor: America's Favorite Gift Cards

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Commercial Break

I am excited to share an exclusive promotion from my friends at BlueAvocado. Their gro-pak is revolutionizing the shopping experience and they are sharing a 20% promotion of goodgift20 at check-out to friends and family which I am excited to share with you.

home_rotating_plumBlueAvocado is excited to announce new products and kits now available  that are more green (higher recycled content), more fashionable (kiwi wildflower, plum doodle designs) , and more functional (veg kit, easier collapsibility, and new online kits). Even Hollywood A-listers like Jenna Elfman, Kate Winslet and Tina Fey are joining the ranks of BlueAvocado fans.

You can now be the ultimate gift-giver this holiday season. Whether you are looking for gifts under $19.99, teachers gifts, or even to treat yourself – check out BlueAvocado: http://www.blueavocado.com and don’t forget your promotion code at checkout: goodgift20!

About BlueAvocado:

BlueAvocado is a mission-driven lifestyle products company that makes it easy to do good while getting it done. The BlueAvocado gro-pak system is designed to replace environmentally harmful plastic and paper grocery bags, features five separate component bags made  of recycled materials. The system replaces 15 plastic bags per shopping trip. Durable, compact and stylish, the gro-pak system meets all your shopping needs – ventilation (for fruits and veggies), insulation (for hot/cold), and collapsibility (for easy sto-n-go).

The three Austin women creators of the gro-pak system, Melissa Nathan, Amy George and Paige Davis have made it shockingly easy to “go green” in style. “Our customers are proving that the gro-pak really is the perfect gift and share their pride in giving to  their mom’s, sisters, friends, bridesmaids, and even those special men in their lives” said Paige Davis, co-founder and “Chief Inspiration Officer” of Austin-based BlueAvocado, Co.

The BlueAvocado gro-pak system features two “Veg” bags – lightweight, ventilated produce bags; a “Pod” – a collapsible, ultra-light, all-purpose grocery bag; a “Gro” – a sturdy bag with an adjustable strap for shoulder or hand carrying; a “Chil” – an insulated bag that keeps groceries hot or cold for up to three hours; and a “Pak” – a cute carry-all tote that holds and folds the entire system neatly together. All together, the gro-pak system holds up to 100 pounds of groceries. Each BlueAvocado gro-pak component bag also features the world’s first audited “Carbon Impact Label” detailing the carbon emission reduction associated with each trip to the grocery store and plastic bags avoided which can total up to 1000 plastic bags annually.

BlueAvocadoow available at over 400 retailers nationally including Sur La Table, Whole Foods, Amazon.com, Cooking.com, and specialty boutiques across the country.

Though their partnership with KIVA.org they invest 1% of their income in loans to fund micro—entrepreneurs around the globe.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I got NOTHING for posting this, other than their heartfelt thanks!

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