Monday, December 20, 2010

The Best Gift I Ever Gave

SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.

For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) , up to $125,000.

Clever Girls Collective and SWAGG are sending a pair of movie fans to the Sundance Film Festival! Download the SWAGG app and then visit the Ultimate SWAGG Getaway Sweepstakes site to enter to win a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival. Entry deadline is January 3, 2011, 11:59pm, PST.

* * *

The best gift I ever gave was mostly stolen.

Well, it was sort of stolen. I did steal the box of old photographs from my mom's house. I did, but I bought the photo albums.

My parents would never have even noticed the box was missing. When I got married in 1999 and my mom developed pictures from my wedding shower there were photographs on that same roll of film from my brother's prom in 1994.

This was back before digital cameras were reasonably priced.

What I did for evenings over the next five weeks was sort through 30 years of photographs. I picked out the best ones and put them in chronological order. Then I took forty or so pictures from my own collection and I added them at the end.

The box of pictures was just this thing that sat up overflowing on a shelf. I was the only one that ever really looked at it.

But that Christmas I gave my mom two and a half photo albums filled with memories starting from her childhood and ending with her first grandchild.

The whole family spent hours together looking at the pictures.

It was magical.

And now my parents can keep them out and look at them anytime.

They could also throw away that old box.

It was the best present I have ever given anybody - I mean, not including the time I gave four people twin grandbabies all at the same time. They seemed to really like that too.

I'm sure if you asked my mother she would tell you that she liked the twins better, but (and don't tell her this) I made them for me. The photo albums, I made those for my parents.

* * *

Learn more about the coolest new app that revolutionizes the whole shopping, gifting, and gift card-organizing experience and Download the SWAGG app to your iPhone or Droid. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sarah Reviews BATTLE OF GIANTS: DINOSAURS - Plus a Giveaway!

As a member of the Clever Girls Collective, I get to do some pretty fun stuff. This week I threw a Battle of the Giants: Dinosaurs Wii party for my kids and some of their friends.

The kids all loved it.

Of course the kids that came over ranged from ages 4 - 9 and most of them were boys, so really, what was there not to love? Fighting? Dinosaurs? Head to head battles? This game has everything!

When I asked my friend Tyler what his favorite part of the game was I believe his exact words were "DINOSAUR FIGHTING IS AWESOME!!! RAWR!!!!"

And I have to admit, it did look pretty awesome.

The coolness is as follows:

1) You get to pick what kind of dinosaur you want to be and as you go along you can earn the rights to choose from even more really cool looking dinosaurs.

2) Head to head battles. Even little kids know that video games are about 100 times more fun when you get to trash talk your friends.

3) This game tricked the children into cardio - especially Jacob, who thought you had to kick.

4) Once again, I look super cool in front of the neighborhood children. Now I will know all of the second grade gossip.

Also, my friend Eric who is in 4th grade and wasn't even at my party, but he heard about it from other kids, told me that he has the Battle of Giants: Dragons game and it is so awesome that I wouldn't even believe it.

Then he asked me if I had a copy of Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs I could give him for his DS.

Well, I don't, but I do have a copy of Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs to give you. Or really Ubisoft and The Clever Girls Collective have a copy of Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs for Wii to give you.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite kind of dinosaur is.

I'm not telling you mine because I am ineligible to win and my answer is embarrassing anyway.

Leave a comment! Tell me your favorite dinosaur! Win a free game! Be awesome!

I will choose a random winner by the end of the year. Make sure you leave an e-mail address where I can notify you if you win.

Ubisoft provided me with a copy of Battle of Giants and sponsored my BOG party. The opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Ubisoft, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sarah Should Just Stop Watching Woody Allen Movies

You know what I hated about the movie "Manhattan" - you know besides the statutory rape and Woody Allen?

Wait. No, Woody Allen and statutory rape are exactly what I hated about "Manhattan".

Why is this man not in prison again?

Sarah Should Just Stop Watching Woody Allen Movies

You know what I hated about the movie "Manhattan
" - you know besides the statutory rape and Woody Allen?

Wait. No, Woody Allen and statutory rape are exactly what I hated about "Manhattan

Why is this man not in prison again?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sarah Reviews Wendy's Pick 2 Value Menu

Wendy's has this new Value menu where you get to pick two things for $4.99

You can get one of four salads and a side (water, a frosty, a soft drink, a baked potato, chili, a jr. bacon cheeseburger or a chicken to go wrap) for $4.99.

Wendy's (through The Motherhood) was kind enough to host a lunch for some local bloggers and they let us try the Pick 2 Value Menu.

There a four salads: a BLT Cobb Salad, an Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, a Baja Salad and a Spicky Chicken Caesar Salad.

I chose a Baja Salad and a baked potato for my side.

To be fair and honest, I only picked the baked potato because 1) fries were not an option and 2) I didn't realize I could have chosen a drink.

According to Wendy's website the Baja Salad has "rich and meaty chili with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips and creamy Red JalapeƱo dressing."

Now, I did not use the dressing because honestly a salad with chili on top does not require extra moisture. It didn't need it. I also didn't eat the guacamole because I don't like guacamole. Other than that it was pretty tasty. As far as fast food salad's go, this one was quite good and I would eat one again.

Overall, I would say that it is a pretty good deal. The other salads looked good too.

And it is always nice to have lunch with friends.

Photos via Vicky and Kristen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sarah's Ultimate Family Vacation

Sponsored By

Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

My Ultimate Family Vacation

What is my dream family vacation? There are so many ways I could go with this - last year my husband and spent an amazing week in California's wine country and I would do that again in a second, but that isn't really a family vacation. I dream of seeing an opera at La Scala in Milan but I'm not so sure my kids would think that is as awesome as I do. My husband wants us to all go skiing in Colorado, and that sounds great even though I've never downhill skied in my life, but is that my dream vacation? No.

My dream family vacation involves a beach - a nice sandy beach that leads to an ocean. This ocean has water that is about 88 degrees and is aquamarine. This beach resort is not crowded, but is has more than one restaurant (at least one fine dining option and one place where he kids can get burgers and chicken nuggets), multiple bars and a place where the kids can go play when the adults go to the fancy restaurant and/or bar.

I'd like a cabana that has air conditioning and two bedrooms.

I'd like wireless internet on the beach.

I am envisioning an infinity pool.

I am envisioning a pina colada.

I'd like a pillow top mattress on an over sized king. I'd like a view of the ocean from my big bed. I'd like to sleep until 10:00 am and then I'd like to roll out of bed to eat brunch on my deck.

I'd like to start this vacation tomorrow.

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Make a Difference Day: October 23, 2010

Do you want to make a difference?

I think a lot of us would do a lot more community service if we knew where to start.

Well, I can tell you where to start. Or at least when.

October 23.

October 23, 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. Held annually the fourth Saturday of October, Make A Difference Day is sponsored by USA WEEKEND and HandsOn Network, a business unit of Points of Light Institute.

HandsOn Network invites you to Get HandsOn for Make A Difference Day. This site will equip you with templates and toolkits to launch your own project or volunteer for an existing project in your area.

Earlier this year I participated in a "Do Good" day. It was one of those experiences where it only takes a few hours of time but the good feelings last for much, much longer. The Hands On Network can help you get started.

Right here in Washington D.C.:

The generationOn launch event will take place on Saturday, October 23, 2010 (9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.), Make A Difference Day, at the Extra Mile Point of Light Volunteer Pathway in the heart of Washington, D.C. Steps outside of the White House, the Extra Mile Point of Light Volunteer Pathway is the only national monument dedicated to honoring service leaders and the spirit of service in America. Hundreds of kids from across the nation will participate in a Service Walk on the Extra Mile followed by service projects where kids will be able to make their mark on their world to impact social issues. Kids of all ages will find ideas, tools, and hands-on opportunities to help them get involved and understand the issues in their communities—and to become part of the solution.

This is going to be an amazing event. If we can get our kids involved in volunteerism early we can ensure that this is a part of their life that can carry through to adulthood.

You can register here for the GenerationOn Launch and the first 250 kids that register are eligible to win an iPod shuffle!

We can change the world with service.

So can our children.

* * *
This post was sponsored by The Points of Light Institute.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Me and Ubisoft, Ubisoft and Me

I totally forgot to tell you guys about my new friends at Ubisoft.

That is me and a Raving Rabbid.

My new friends make video games (probably why we are so close). I finally got a chance to meet them at BlogHer in New York.

We spent the entire time playing a video game where magical creatures frolic and can earn accessories.

I made the mistake of telling my daughter about this video game. She wanted me to run out and buy her one right away. Of course 1) it hasn't been released yet and 2) I can't remember the name, but I assure you (and Claudia) that it was awesome and she is going to love it.

These are the same people that make Just Dance 2 (you know, the one that hosted the MamaPop v. Cool Mom Picks dance off at BlogHer '10?).

Ubisoft makes a ton of awesome games including "Press Your Luck" (Big Money, no Whammies!) a crazy Dragon game for the Nintendo DS that my son stole from me and several games for Wii and PlayStation 3 that my husband ran off with.

He didn't really run off. He just put them somewhere in our house that I don't know about.

This was one of them.

This was another one.

Anyway, I'll be back with more on these games and more about Ubisoft once one of my family members decided to let me play.

* * *

I was selected by Ubisoft and Clever Girls Collective to be part of the Ubisoft Champions social media program. I am compensated for my participation in this program, but my reviews are solely my own and represent my honest opinions. Ubisoft and Clever Girls Collective promote Blog With Integrity.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Do Witches Make Fishes?

Do Witches Make Fishes?

Do Witches Make Fishes?

My friend Jason Mayo, who is a really great person wrote a lovely children's book called Do Witches Make Fishes? Not only does this make a perfect Halloween gift, but all proceeds from the sale of this book go to The Garden Of Dreams Foundation.

Please consider helping out a worthy cause and getting a wonderful book at the same time.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Makes Me Happy Now

The DivaCup has a Happiness Blog Project and they wanted to know how my view of happiness has evolved over time.

What makes me happy now that I am older?

It is sort of a loaded question isn't it? It reminds me that I am, in fact, older.

I'm not old. I'm only 37. But I'm not 16 anymore. I'm not 21 anymore. I'll never be 30 again. Sometimes I get random back pains and my eyesight is going to hell in a handbasket. I don't heal as quickly as I used to. I cannot subsist on 5 hours of sleep a night and gravity has started doing what it does to my body.

That being said, there are some really wonderful things that go along with being a grown up.

I don't have a curfew anymore.

I can afford good beer, the mid-priced olive oil and the soft toiler paper.

I never have to go to middle school again.

What makes me happy now that I am older? Some of the things are the same. Chocolate ice cream still makes me happy. I continue to love football games. Even though I am a parent, I will inevitably be deeply amused by a little kid saying a curse word. I have never stopped loving to sing - opera, folk, choral music, karaoke, whatever. It all brings me joy. I have always loved reading a good book on the beach. My friends and family still make me happy. I have never stopped liking commission checks. I savor the moment when the airplane wheels first leave the ground. I love finding the perfect pair of jeans - the ones that fit just right.

The most shocking thing of all is that I still enjoy going to loud ass heavy metal concerts all these years later. I thought I would grow out of that, but no, they still make me happy.

There are new things too. I love going out to dinner at a nice restaurant and eating whatever is on the chef's menu. Years ago this would have freaked me out. I used to be such a picky eater. Now I will try anything once.

Except snake.

I love the feeling I get when I just took a really great picture.

Since my twins were born I have learned to love silence. I don't get to experience it very often, but I can now get great pleasure out of my moments of peace.

The last thing, the thing that snuck up on me is writing. Writing used to be something I did to pass classes. I wrote because I had to. I have always loved words, and I was giddy the first time I opened up a thesaurus. Now I write for pleasure, as an exercise, for release and because I think that with my words I can make other people happy.

I guess I am a pretty easy target. Many things make me happy.

You want to know what makes me happy now? All of these things and the word "Zamboni".

Part of bringing happiness to your life is simplifying things so you can enjoy it to
the fullest. What makes you happy? How has your view of happiness evolved
over time? The DivaCup offers a simple, worry free, eco-solution to women
worldwide every month. Not a tampon, not a pad, finally a better way! The DivaCup is donating $100 to Choralis
in the honor of "Sarah and the Goon Squad".

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nintendo Enthused

When I signed up to be a Nintendo Enthusiast I had no idea it would be so cool.

Last week I got a package from Fed Ex. I had no idea what it was.

It was this.

I had no idea what it was.

A huge copy of "Pride and Prejudice"?

Oh, it was huge. See it here next to a regulation length pencil.

I love the novel, but... weird. But wait! This was no book. It was a clever packaging. This was awesome in a box.

With slightly larger than average cat.

With two slightly larger than average cats.

My cats love this for some reason.

Anyway. The DS was awesome, but it was so much more than that. Here is what I was expecting:

I was so happy about this. I've been reading e-books for years. I probably started reading books on my Palm Pilot in 2000, maybe even 1999. From there I eventually moved on to e-reader on my iPhone, to kindle on my iPhone, to an actual Kindle.

When I found out Nintendo was releasing the "game" "100 Classic Books" I thought it would be a fantastic way to finally get around to reading all of those classics that I haven't read yet.

This is no joke. I've been on a quest to read classic literature. Since The Goon Squad was born I've read "Moby Dick", "Pride and Prejudice", "Anna Karenina", "Wuthering Heights", "A Tale of Two Cities", "Emma", "Crime and Punishment", "The Metamorphosis", "Dune", "Lolita", "A Light in August", "Ulysses" and "Heart of Darkness". This allows me to do that and make it fun.

The thing is that I thought they were going to send me the game and I would have to fight my children to use their DSs.

But Nintendo and Brand About Town had my back.

I had no need to worry. They send me a special DS. This is no DS Lite - oh no. This is a DSiXL.

Plus this one is red. Or purple. Whatever. I love it.

But that isn't the coolest part. Check this out:

Cool huh?

I am going to start with "War and Peace".

Now you see why I am enthused.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sarah Reviews Wolf Trap's Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods

This morning I took The Goon Squad to Wolf Trap to see the Maryland Youth Ballet do a performance of "Caroline Goes to the Zoo".

Outdoor theatre is a fantastic way to introduce your kids to the arts, and my kids really enjoyed watching other kids performing. We especially enjoyed the question answer period at the end when the children got to ask the dancers questions and it came out that the Maryland Youth Ballet had a "Men's Program". My son was very excited that there were men in ballet and male ballet teachers.

I've been telling him for years that ballet isn't just for girls and now he finally believes me.

It was a cool venue.

I was fairly disappointed in the other parents. People were coming in during the entire performance and talking. At least five people showed up so late that the show was already over, but the dancers were good and it was a cute show.

Some people stayed for a puppet show, but as much as we would have enjoyed it, there were 45 minutes between shows and it was just too much time for my kids to sit still in the heat, with the bugs, with no food or drink.

We'll go back, but next time I will come prepared. They say no food or drink, but 80% of the other parents had snacks in their bags and their kids were doing really well. Check it out, but wait for a day where it is under 90 degrees.

Photography is not allowed (not that it stopped the other mothers) so pictures courtesy of Wolf Trap.

Friday, July 23, 2010

‘DC Cupcakes’ Sister Blog Contest

Do you like cupcakes? Do you have a sister? Would you like $500?

TLC has the contest for you.

It is easy - TLC would love to hear about strong sister relationships.

If you have a great memory of you and your sister together, write a blog post about it, follow @TLC and tweet a link to the post with the hashtags #DCcupcakes and #TLCsisters by July 23, 2010, and you’ll be entered into our sister blog contest. The best entry... will receive a $500 VISA gift card — great for a present for (or maybe even a visit to) that wonderful sister!

So go! Enter! Win money! Tell them I sent you.

Okay, you don't have to tell them I sent you, but if you win the $500 you should at least buy me a drink. Or a DC cupcake.

[photo: TLC]

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Look What I Can Do!

In my life long quest to make everything I like to do all part of the same thing, look what I made for my friend Kim for BlogHer.

ClumberKim Coffee Sleeve

Cool, huh?

If you find her at BlogHer she will probably grace you with one - assuming you use your manners.

It was my very first order in my new line of business. I am very proud.

Of course, my second order was me stepping up one level.

Sarah and the Goon Squad Corkscrews


I know. Now I can drink wine when I travel too!

Fear not. I still have plenty of beer openers left over if you are in need. I will have those too.

I can also sell not beverage related items, I just haven't had a reason to do so yet.

Wait until you see what I got for Draft Day Suit.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Snuggie Choice Film Awards

No I am not making this up.



...As evidenced by the thousands of fan-generated videos on the internet, Snuggie, America’s favorite blanket with sleeves, has never been camera shy. That’s why Snuggie brand maker Allstar Products Group issued a call for the Snuggie Choice Film Awards, a contest to find the best Snuggie movie shorts. Entrants have the chance to win $5,000 and the opportunity to produce one of the next Snuggie brand commercials.

Aspiring film makers can visit for complete entry details. Videos must be no longer than three minutes and can cover a range of genres, such as comedy, drama, action or documentary - wherever your cinematic genius may take you! All entries must be received by midnight EST on September 1, 2010.

Submissions will be narrowed down to six finalists, and America will determine the winners in a public voting period in September. All six finalists will be flown to the Snuggie Choice Film Awards premiere in New York City in October. Also, all finalists will win the entire 2010 Snuggie blanket collection...

For more information on how to submit and the official rules, visit

Step 1: Go get your Snuggie.

Step 2: Make a clever video.

Step 3: Profit

Step 4: Buy me something nice.

How simple is that?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wii Have a Winner!

The winner of the Wii Fit and the Wii Fit Plus is Erica Vorhees!

Congratulations Erica!

I know I said I would draw the name out of a hat, but that was before I realized I was going to get well over 100 entries. Erica you can thank the random number generator. I think it likes you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sarah Gives Away a Wii™ and a Wii Fit™ Plus

This is super awesome. You can win a Wii™ system and a Wii Fit™ Plus game! Right here, on my review site!

That's right. You heard me. I have been selected as a Nintendo Enthusiast and received this Wii console and Wii Fit Plus game (including balance board) from Nintendo to give away.

Simply leave a comment in the comment section on this post that answers the question “How would you fit some fit in with Wii Fit Plus from Nintendo”? (Also acceptable How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?)

Entries will be accepted until April 29, 2010 at 11.59pm.

Legal Disclaimers: You cannot win if you are in my immediate family. This means you, Mom.

You must be over 18 and be a resident of the United States. Sorry Canada. Sorry everyone else. You cannot win if you are a Nintendo employee.

There will be no disputing the drawing. It will be honest. The winner is final.

FTC Disclaimer: I did not buy the Wii console or the Wii Fit Plus game, in fact they will be sent to you directly via Brand About Town if you win. I did however get a Wii Fit Plus game, a Wii Fit Plus Party and a jacket for free. I also got a DSi, but don't tell my children.

Nintendo is providing the Wii system and the Wii Fit Plus game and the prizes will be sent directly to the winner. I’m just hosting the giveaway on my site.

I will have The Goon Squad draw a name out of a hat on April 30, 2010. The winner will be notified by email and the prize will be sent in 2 - 4 weeks.



· Nintendo

· Wii™

· Wii Fit TM Plus


· One Wii™ system and one copy of the Wii Fit™ Plus game for the Wii™ system

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And the Winner Is

BEYOND. Congratulations. You won the See's Candy.

Please e-mail me your address at goonsquadsarah (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet as Chocolate - A See's Candy Giveaway!

See's Candy has asked me to share my sweetest love story with you for a pre-Valentine's Day giveaway.

At first I wasn't sure what I would share with you. My husband and I aren't very romantic people. When we were first dating I told him that he shouldn't buy me flowers, they cost a lot of money and my cat would eat them and then they would die. I would rather him buy me a six pack of beer.

He has remembered that and he must love me very much because he buys beer a lot.

We do go to dinners that happen to be romantic, but really as much as we enjoy each others company we're mostly there for the food.

One time my neighbor pointed out to me that we are the only couple that she knows that call each other "dude".

Of course that doesn't mean we aren't sweet to each other.

In 2004 I was very, very pregnant with The Goon Squad. I went into labor at 28 weeks. It was scary. If they were born when I first started having contractions they would have been three months early. On April 5th I was admitted to the hospital where I was put on bed rest indefinitely.

Five weeks later I was still there. You cannot even imagine how terrifying it is to spend weeks and weeks and weeks knowing that any minute now you could have two premature babies who may or may not make it. Most of the time was a complete blur of doctors and nurses and shots and extraordinary boredom mixed with fear, but I remember this Sunday very clearly. It was May 9th. It was Mother's Day.

My poor husband was still working 50 - 60 hours a week. He spent as much time in the hospital with me as he could but he still had to do things like laundry, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, and taking care of our pets. He was stretched pretty thin. I don't know how he took care of everything and still spent four nights a week with me in my hospital room. I really don't know how he found the time to buy me a Mother's Day present.

On Sunday morning he handed me a little red box. Inside the box was a pair of emerald earrings. One from each baby. The earrings were their birthstone.

Three days later the babies were born. My husband gave me an emerald necklace to match the earrings. This one was from him. It was for having his babies.

If that isn't sweet I don't know what is.

Happy early Valentine's Day to all three of my Valentines - or Valentimes if you are one of the children.

Now for the giveaway part!

Just leave a comment telling me YOUR sweetest love story or leaving a link to one you posted on your own site.

Extra Ways to Enter:

Do you really, really want to win? Here are some opportunities for extra entries, in addition to your comment with your Sweetest Love Story:

1) Visit the See's homepage (link: and sign up for the newsletter.

2) Tweet about this contest using the #seescandy tag (you can Tweet daily and post the link in the comments below!)

3) Blog about why you want to win the Share Your Sweetest Love Story with links back to this post, as well as to the See's homepage (link: and post the link it in the comments below.

Enter Now!
Deadline for entries is midnight, PST, Friday, February 5th and we
will notify you by email.

Legal Disclaimer:

I am being compensated to run this giveaway by See's Candy via The Clever Girl Collective. They are giving me a gift card and candy. Mmmmm. Chocolate.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sarah Reviews Woodburners Two

Four years ago I bought two gas fireplaces from Woodburners Two in Falls Church, Virginia.

I love my fireplaces, but from day one I have had nothing but trouble from the people who work there.

The word clusterfuck comes to mind.

After months of trying to get my gas inserts installed I vowed that I would never deal with this company again.

But oh, I am a glutton for punishment so when my pilot light went out in my downstairs fireplace the other day I called Woodburners Two.

They told me to relight my pilot light. That there were directions online.

They said if I couldn't figure it out they could come service it in 11 days.

11 days! It is winter!

I went on their website and after 20 minutes of searching (I work online. I am on the internet at least six hours a day, I know how to navigate a website) I finally found the "instructions".

My husband, who has an engineering degree and builds buildings for a living couldn't make sense out of their directions.

I called Woodburners Two back and left a message that I would like to make an appointment for service.

Nobody called me back. It has been three days. THREE BUSINESS DAYS.

This morning I called again. A woman answered the phone like this (I am not making this up):

"Is this Woodburners Two?"

I said "Oh, I am trying to call Woodburners Two."

She said "Oh, we're not open yet."

I said "Okay."

Then she said "Fine. What do you want?"

I said "I'd like to make an appointment for service."

She said "Service isn't open today."

Yes people, Woodburners Two doesn't have Saturday service. They don't even take calls for service on the weekend.

I said "Well, I left a message on Wednesday and nobody has gotten back to me."

The woman said "Well, yeah. She is busy and she is getting back to people in the order they called."

I said "Oohhhhhkayyyyy".

And then she didn't say anything!

I said "I am very disappointed in your customer service."

She said "We're very busy."

I said "I'll call another place that can service my fireplace."

And then I did.

Woodburners Two has given me no compensation for this review. In fact, they have given me nothing but grief for four years.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sarah Reviews the Nikon D90

A couple of months ago (okay, a lot of months ago, like six) Nikon let me borrow a D90 to take on the Mom Road Trip.

I was excited. I had wanted a DSLR forever and just months before my husband went out and bought a D60 which we loved.

But the D90 took video.

The very first picture I took was out of the window on 495 (The Beltway to anyone not from around here). Devra was driving easily 65 mph and my picture came out crystal clear.

The 270 Split

I couldn't believe it. I honestly took the camera out of the box, removed the lens cap, turned it on and pushed the button. That is all.

The D60 is an amazing camera. The D90 is an entirely different animal.

A way better animal.

A faster, cooler, more evolved animal.

The D90 is Marsha to the D60's Jan.

Love, True Love

I could rant and rave and tell you how I call the camera "My Precious" or how when I have to return Precious to her rightful owner I will have to take to my bed and draw the curtains for a fortnight. I could get technical and tell you all of the Nikon D90's qualifications.

Instead, I want to show you some of the pictures I have taken with the Nikon D90 since July.


Devra in Giant.

Laurie and Sarah

Laurie Smithwick took this of Laurie White and me with the D90 at BlogHer.

Claudia Swimming

Claudia before her swimming lesson.

Leaving Chicago



My husband took this one.

Iowa Sky 2

He took this one too. Also out of a moving car window.


My son

Ian - Forlorn

and again


At MiniBar

Last One

Philadelphia sunset

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

I Should Shoot Heineken Commercials

Beer Represented

Kitty Through the Window

My Cat Through the Window


The Beastie Boys Pose

More Sid and Klaus

Sid and Klaus

Joe Flacco's feet aren't touching the ground

The Ravens (I was way up in a lower level box here)

Pre-Sledding Injury

Pre-Sledding Injury


Stella (my husband took this one too)




Nikon was actually pretty smart to let me borrow the D90. I mean, assuming they can pry it out of my hands, I'll probably end up buying one of my own.

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Full Disclosure: Nikon let me borrow the D90 and a lens. They did not give me anything to keep nor did they give me any money. These are my words, my photographs and my opinions. Every picture posted here was taken with a Nikon D90.

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