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.

* * *
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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