Friday, November 30, 2012

Favorite Things-The Keurig

About a year ago I went into a period of boycotting Starbucks.  This year it's not a boycott.  I just don't bother and my  mornings are so much better because of it.

I never really needed it anyway because I have a Keurig.  A Keurig is an amazing invention bought to us by the country who brings us the Mercedes and hot dogs, Germany.  I think it's from Germany I don't really know-it sounds German.

The Keurig is the most amazing invention.  Pop in a little pod of the coffee, tea, or hot chocolate of your choice, press a button and presto your cup is filled and ready to go in less than a minute.  

Keurig B40 K-Cup Brewer from www.wholelattelove.comI have a cheap model and I love it.  If I'm drinking tea I just run hot water through without a pod-cheaper.  I stick a glass with ice underneath-presto iced coffee.  

If you are having company it's like a coffee bar, no grounds, no filters, nothing.  Life couldn't be easier.

So for your coffee loving friends on your list -the commoner suggests to you the Keurig-German engineering at it's best!    

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Commoner's Favorite Things

That's right commoners, Oprah isn't the only one with a list of favorite things.  So sit tight and at the end of the month you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car...I'm kidding-you don't get anything...I'm a commoner.

This year I didn't have to look far for one of my favorite things of the year.  I had to turn my head slightly to the left and there it was-my adult style sippy cup-right next to me on my desk.

You are thinking to yourself-this is not in keeping with your pledge to live PDiddy style this is very...common.  

I only drink a few things (on a daily basis)  Coffee, green tea, and water.  I have found a way to drink all of these in this wonderful invention-iced versions of course.

For some reason sipping out of a straw is so much easier than sipping from a bottle. It never spills either and fits in the cup holder in both of our cars.

I have 2 of these.  One of them I got as a Christmas gift.  It says Starbucks and has a candy cane shaped straw-which I use all year long.  The other I picked up at Old Navy.  I use one all day -throw it in the dishwasher and use the other the next.  

I can now easily drink bottles of water in a single sip if I need to, get my caffeine fix, on ice, and drink my green tea with honey and it's simple and easy.

So for my first favorite thing this year I offer to you the adult sippy cup. 
It will help you stay hydrated and save the earth.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Commoner and Hugh Hefner

What on earth am I talking about you are thinking.  I've always said my goal is to live P-Diddy style-which means go big-with style-and perhaps have your own clothing line at Macys.  But some how the commoner has found her self channeling her inner Hugh Hefner.

Before you get yourself in a tizzy-I'm not posing nude, and neither did Hugh.  Nope -I have found myself fulfilling a need a lot of women, and some men, on my friends list have been -ahem-longing for-My Facebook status updates-Beefcake of the day.

It happened innocently enough, and I think it started during the Summer Olympics-but like with most hot trends-you never really can be sure when something like this begins.

It started I remember with swimmer Ryan Locke.  Then there seemed to be a plethora of other Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps and various runners, and some divers.   

Before I knew it it was training camp time for the NFL and there were pictures of Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain.  

It wasn't just athletes however.  Sure there was David Beckham but those were always advertising campaigns.  He was joined by Daniel Craig.  Adam Levine was a regular and so was Brad Pitt.  Channing Tatum was a big favorite by many people even though I don't know who he is.

Next it became anonymous fire fighters, mail models, waiters, you name it.  They were coming from all walks of life.  By now people began thanking me for making their day, or they would submit pictures to me to be  posted.  If I missed a few days I would get requests or people asking for them.

My daughter asked me to stop, people protested that.  My one friend insisted that he would make a great beefcake, although he never submitted a picture-but it was one friend who in particular followed up on a threat to start posting women.

Not everyone loved the beefcake postings.  There was pressure from my children to stop embarrassing them, and pressure from Facebook friends who threatened to start posting pictures of women.

There were suggestions to blog them-which doesn't really fit in with my commoner postings -plus what can you say about them really?

So I posted one last picture of Brad Pitt and quietly, unceremoniously retired the Beef cake from Facebook.  

But not too fast people.  I will not forsake you.  I will not disappoint .  We all still need our daily eye candy don't we?  Just to liven up our days?  You can now find my daily beefcake on my Pinterest board  User name Theresephillips.        


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Commoner is Thankful the Squirrels DIdn't attack her

It's amazing that I run outdoors really-given my general distaste and fear of most things nature.  But I like to run outside-I actually like to be outside when I run.  I never run on a treadmill and I even run on a trail in a state park.  Go figure.  

This weekend we raced the 10K Awesome 80s race in Golden Gate Park-in one of my favorite cities San Francisco.  This was a laid back event where most people were wearing neon of some sort but I didn't care, because I got to run and spend the weekend in San Francisco.

When we do these events here we always get there super early so that we can nail the free parking.  Laugh if you want but parking fees in San Francisco are crazy-and this is the equivalent of a lot of coupon clipping-get there early sit in the car-make a play list.  It pays off. 

Finally it was time to find the start of the race (although fun this was a really unorganized event) so we gather our things and get ready to leave the car,  which is one of 10 cars in the free lot and really close to the finish.  

I turn and notice that there is a squirrel looking at me.  He's right near me and he's looking right at me with his cute squirrel eyes and hands and I'm like squirrel with possible rabies, you are very cute, what are you doing?  I say shoe and Rob throws something at it but he doesn't move and he has friends.  None of them move but they are very cute.  I felt like a Cinderella -if Cinderella were a runner.

I forgot about the squirrels.  There were other things to take my attention.  Costumes, confused start times  (we actually started the 5K by mistake), a confused DJ who acted like a race official, 6.2 miles of running and a coconut water booth.  (I love coconut water).

When the race ended and I got my coconut water and I looked at the Delorean and some more costumes.  Rocked out a little to an '80s cover band and decided I was getting cold and it might be time to go.  At this point I had still forgotten about the squirrels.

I have quite a process to unpack all my stuff into the car and change into some warmer clothes without actually changing in public.  I have a touch of OCD remember so there's lots of things to take off and put on and put away with out losing and things I need to get ready for the ride home.  I'm still not thinking about the squirrels.

All of a sudden i look down and scurrying between the 18 inches of my feet and the car is the killer squirrel and his friends.  Those rabid beasts weren't afraid of me at all, inspite of the fact that I screamed and jumped 3 feet into the air and into the hatch of the car.  They still didn't move.

These killer squirrels had no fear of me, my jumping, screaming, OCD, or anything they were just standing there.  Rob at this point is screaming at me that I was going to break the fender I was sitting on like a frog.  Yes I was in a position like a frog, I was a leap frog.

I could not get into that car fast enough.  I'm sure that the squirrels stowed away in our car.  I'm also sure that these rabid creatures take over Golden Gate Park with their pigeon like aggressiveness

So if you're going to San Francisco, forget the flowers in your hair, carry some nuts to throw at the crazy squirrels so you can make a mad dash away from them.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Commoner and Rachel Ray Part 2

Last week I told you I planned to take the Rachel Ray Challenge and take on 178 ideas for the holidays that I would love.  I am a stickler for a goal with a schedule I can stick with.  

So I sat down and opened the magazine and planned everything out on my Apple calendar.  If I split the 173 things into different categories and triple up  I can get this done.

So I sit down and start going through Rachel's suggestions for fabulous gifts!  Who wouldn't want a pitcher that looks like an owl for 30 dollars.  Surely Meghan would want that.

So I turned the page and came to 18 appetizers to try.  So far so good.  Then 18 ways to decorate-okay what else?  You know what else?  Nothing else.  There were no more counts of anything-simply a magazine full of cooking and the usual Rachel Ray fare.

What?  Where are the other numbers of ideas I will love this holiday season?  They are not numbered.  First reaction?  Okay let me start by counting all of her 'things' in her magazine.

  Well okay what counts as an idea?  Every recipe?  Every city?  What?  This will take me forever to catalog and plan.  You can't just hodge podge jump into 173 ideas you will love without planning when you only have a month to get them done.  

So now what?  Well I go to the part in her magazine where it says contact us and I ask them on their facebook page-Dear Rachel-you are awesome-I want to use all of your ideas-all 173 of them but I can't find them.  Can you give me a list?

I'm still waiting....I have no challenge for the holiday season-no 173 ideas I will love.   Rachel Ray-I told you about her...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Commoner Takes on Rachel Ray's 173 Idea Challenge

I have to admit-I may have liked Rachel Ray for the first month she was on tv.  I liked 30 Minute Meals even though I never liked anything she made.  The fact you could make dinner in 30 minutes left me hopeful.

I soon began to not like her-I soon began to detest everything about her, the ugly kitchen, the cutesy smile, the food, and above all the made up words.  I hate delish, and yummo, and evoo-I hate them all.  I hate most made up words like ginormous

I will say there are very few women tv personalities I actually like.  I don't like Katie, and I don't like Oprah (I do like Robin Roberts though).  I do like aspects of these women however.  I love Oprah's choice in books and I do like Rachel's magazine.

So I'm eating my salted bagel this morning and I start reading the magazine which came yesterday and proudly boasted on its cover -173 Holiday Ideas you will love.  My first reaction-I don't 'love' very many things-my family, my very good friends  and of course people who love my blog (that's you!).  But 173 ideas?

So I've decided to take that challenge weather it kills me.  I don't know what they even are but I'm going for it.  I'll keep you posted  on them because this will be very interesting. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Commoner is Thankful for an Uncommon Class

The commoner has a pretty common job-I'm a teacher.  My class always tends to be uncommon.  They are always the kids who have no problem going with the flow of whatever idea comes my way.  Of course I'm teaching the standards at all times-I'm very creative that way.  But I don't like boredom, I can smell it, and I'm usually there 10 minutes before the kids so I keep things hopping.
 Photo: NY skyline -paper clip project

My class tends to like projects-so for the monthly homework project I gave them an item and told them do what ever you like with it.  Build something! Make a movie! Write a poem!  And boy did they.

I have a paper clip Eiffel Tower, A candy corn, lots of jewelry, a headless horseman, an ode to the paper clip, paper clip math problems, and a paper clip Empire State Building  (which I may ask to keep).  The most amazing was a chandelier complete with power.

So today I am thankful for an extraordinary class-one that keeps me on my toes and I hope I do due justice for. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Commoner is Thankful for Epic Parties

Last year I made a resolution to live my life P-Diddy style.  You know big-with a cool name.  I never came up with the cool nick name-no RG3 or JLo found it's way here.  But looking back I noticed a trend.  About once a year I throw a really big party.  Italian Style-huge!  Lots of people lots of food and in an ode to the irish lots of drinks.

Last year I had a great Super Bowl/Lesli's 40th Birthday Party.  It was fun and the NY Giants won.  In addition there were so many people there some of them I never knew before.

Well this year I turned 49.  I loved the 40s they were my best decade yet.  So I decided I would celebrate the whole entire year starting with a big huge bash at my house.  (If you didn't receive an invite check your inbox you probably did).

So I may have talked about this party already but I was really lucky to have so many great friends there and most of my kids and husband of course.  I'm lucky to have made a life here in California that includes so many fantastic people.

So today I'm thankful for all of my friends who keep my life full of fun and love!   

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Commoner's Month of Thanksgiving

Apparently, on Facebook, someone gave the order to list something you are grateful for every day of this month.  I don't know how I missed it-and not sure I could have kept up.  I'm busy you know-working, shopping, running, watching reality tv, and keeping up with the Kardashians  (not really but I'm mildly interested in the Kim/Kanye relationship).

I'm generally a thankful person anyway-I'm always thankful for simple things and since I love Real Housewives -Thank You Melissa Gorga because I say Thank You Jesus a million times a day!

But Alas I'm behind the times and so here is my list of things I am thankful for-commoner style

1-all the serious stuff-my family, our health, our home, our jobs.
2-A house with 3 closets that fits all of my clothes  because you can't really buy anything without leaving town.
4-Estee Lauder for her fabulous, timeless, skin care products
5-Bill Maher because even though I don't always agree with him-he makes more sense than any other political analyst/ccomedian out there.     
6-television-because I love it
7-Facebook/pinterest/instagram/twitter-so I don't ever have to have an original thought and can obsess over all the cool things people are doing that I'm not-and the hide button which let's me take the most annoying things off of my screen
8-The San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series
9-The NY City Road Runners for rejecting my entry to the NYC marathon.
10-My knees for letting me constantly pound them into the pavement.
11-My dog for being really cute.
12-Nike for making really cool running clothes.

There you go -I'm all caught up.

Have a great November everyone