Tag Archives: holidays

memorial day 2014 bigger is better

Confession–deadlines are looming and I’m supposed to be writing. What am I doing instead? Getting distracted by an ad for, of all things, giant lawn dice, because, you know, who doesn’t need a set of those? So as long as I’m in my crazy place I figured what the hell, let’s blog about giant things to supersize your Memorial Day gatherings this weekend.

Here we go. First up, the product that started me down this path of insanity…

GIANT YARD DICE

giant yard dice

Next, you’ve probably seen this on The Big Bang Theory, but it seems it actually exists…

GIANT JENGA!

Giant Jenga

And finally, what barbecue would be complete without these…

JUMBO GARDEN DOMINOS

JUMBO DOMINOS

Wishing everyone a safe unofficial launch to summer 2014! And if you’re looking to fill up your eReader or beach bag with hot summer reads, I had a new release this week (hint, hint). You can check it out at my site at (shameless plug) www.CatJohnson.net.

             Cat Johnson
 NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

my favorite things: christmas gifts 2013

It’s kind of disturbing that Christmas is a mere three weeks away. There’s no time to wait. Love it or hate it, it’s time to shop for those gifts! Here are my favorite gift giving ideas for Christmas 2013. The best part? You can get them all without leaving the house.

GIFTS FOR THE BOOK LOVER

Wicked Witch Bookmark

An Etsy find, I’m giving these fun bookmarks this year along with a copy of the Wizard of Oz

GIFTS FOR THE MANLY MAN

Hand Grenade Paperweight

I own one for myself but what man wouldn’t appreciate such a unique desk accessory?!

GIFTS FOR EVERYONE

Joe Boxer Kmart Christmas Ad

Young, old, male, female, many on my list will get Joe Boxer PJs in support of the daring and controversial choice KMart made in airing my favorite ad this season! Watch it on YouTube.

Happy shopping!

Cat Johnson

gifts for dad

Father’s Day is nearly upon us, and procrastinator that I am, I haven’t bought my gifts yet. But that’s not to say I haven’t seen a few doozy ideas fly by on the internet. Here’s one or two that might appeal to the dad in your life.

Remote Control Beer Opener

A Remote Control Beer Opener. Bet Dad doesn’t own one of these!

 

BBQ Branding Iron

A BBQ Branding Iron-because what man doesn’t want to play cowboy once in a while?

 

Remote Control Cooler

For the truly lazy, a Remote Control Cooler

And there you go, 3 suggestions I’m betting you hadn’t thought of for Dad this year. You’re welcome! 😉

Cat

 

a new year

New years resolutions

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Of course, it’s a time for bubbly (check out Amy’s post on the best bottles HERE). I’m thinking of going healthy this year and maybe splashing some pomegranate juice in my champagne on Monday night. Can’t have enough anti-oxidents, I always say!

New Years is also a time for resolutions. Are you staring at a blank piece of paper now trying to come up with some? I’m not big on resolutions, myself. Yes, I’ve unofficially tried making them in the past and yes, as expected, all I did was set myself up for failure. So this year I’m taking a new tactic. I’m looking back and seeing what I did successfully accomplish over the past year, and I vow to try to continue that success.

Like what, you ask?

#1 Well, for one I actually said no last year. To quite a few people actually. Work wise I said no to: Publishers (yes, more than one) who wanted me to write for them. An agent. And a special project. Why? I’m busy enough now I have to choose what projects are best for my career.

Saying no personally is pretty freeing too. Just last night I was too tired to drive to have a casual dinner with friends, the same friends I will spend all New Years Eve with just days from now, so I said no to last night. I was in bed and asleep by 8PM and slept until 7am. My body knew I needed it. My mouth finally had the nerve to agree out loud.

So yes, for 2013 I will resolve to continue saying no, when necessary, so I have the time and energy to say yes when it’s important. It’s scary, this saying no, but I’ve proven I can do it already.

#2 Last year I gave up the powdered creamer and the splenda artificial sweetener and started drinking my coffee with half and half, a spoon of real sugar and a little bit of all natural stevia. Quite the concoction I know, but guess what? I didn’t blimp up the way I feared I might from the change.

I will resolve this healthy change will continue in 2013.

#3 I also finally moved my “office” (and I use that term lightly). I no longer work in bed. I get up each morning, go to the spare room and sit in a chair to work on the laptop. No, it’s not by any stretch of the imagination an ergonomic office chair, but at least it’s a chair. And you know what? I’m sleeping better now that I’m only in the bedroom to sleep, not to work. All the electronics–cell phone, iPad and laptop live in the spare room, not next to the bed any longer. My brain must know this.

I resolve this too will continue. No more working where I sleep, though I have been known to sleep where I work. Authors perogative–napping in the office. Don’t be jealous.

Anyway, give it a try. Recycling small victories as New Year’s resolutions is way better than trudging into the great unknown with new ones. Trust me.

gifts for the writer

Deadlines wait for no man. Neither do holidays. So yes, I am one stressed writer as both loom before me, which inspired me to blog. Well, the stress did, as well as a blog post by the brilliantly irreverent Chuck Wendig “25 Gifts For Writers“.

Do you have a stressed writer in your life? Or hell, anyone who works from home. Here is my quick and dirty list of what my personal experience in this area has taught me they would love to receive.

A new mug. It must be big. Giant. Huge. Because I am too lazy to keep going to the coffee pot, or the tea kettle, to refill it. I will however, walk down to the microwave to reheat the contents–hey, I need some exercise, right? One year I saw a mug that said “What deadline?” on it. I didn’t buy it. I have regretted that decision every day since then. Just saying…

A fun new wine glass, perhaps holiday themed, because when it’s too late in the day for caffeine, this particular writer switches to alcohol. Of course, it goes without saying, that a nice accompaniment for the wine glass would be a fabulous bottle of wine to go with it. Possibly with a very fun name. My friend once bought a bottle of Writer’s Block wine. Brilliant gift, if you can find a bottle of that send it on over.

Daytime PJs. You know I’m not getting dressed just to sit in the house alone with the cats and write. Who has the energy or time for that? I will however change from my nighttime PJs to what I call my daytime PJs–some sort of comfy pull-on lounging pants with a big warm cozy sweater. That way I can be comfortable to sit and write all day, but if the man in brown comes a’knocking at the back door bearing gifts in his UPS truck, I can answer the door without feeling embarrassed. Oh, and an update for those who were following the saga of my writing sweater–I bit the bullet and threw out my very favorite holey black writing sweater. But, lo and behold, and thanks to a Black Friday miracle, the store where I’d bought it years ago had a sale and free shipping, and I replaced the sweater with one the same style but in a lovely soft grey. That’s the good news. The bad news is that since getting it, I have spent far too much time and money online buying new lounging pants and a tank top to match it. But hey, it is my work uniform, right?

A throw. While in my chair trying to write, I get hot, and then I get cold. Then I fall asleep. In any event, the perfect thing is a nice BIG soft throw that I can wrap around me when I need, use just to cover my feet if they’re cold, or toss it completely off me if need be–you’d be surprised how much heat 2 cats and a laptop can generate.

And finally (I’m almost embarrassed to write this but I will anyway)–a fake fireplace. Now, if you have a natural gas hookup in the house and a few thousand dollars to hire a plumber to run a gas line, you can install a lovely gas one. If you are cheap, as I am, you can buy this gorgeous electric one at Walmart for $129 with 97 cent shipping. I have to say, my writing lair is so lovely since I bought this thing that I never want to leave it! Yes, we have a perfectly nice real fireplace in the house. It’s downstairs and requires wood like every hour, and cleaning every week, and I’m too lazy for that, hence my totally portable fireplace that turns on with a flip of a switch. It makes me happy. Don’t judge.

So there you go–my suggestions for the writer or any other type of shut-in you may know. Have a wonderful holiday!

Cat

city sidewalks, busy sidewalks

The city most famous for its giant Christmas tree, skating rink and holiday windows has now brought Christmas to Broadway in a huge way. Three shows, on limited runs for the holiday season, bring three of my personal favorite Christmas stories to life. A Christmas Story, Elf, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas–all a must-watch for me, usually more than once, every single year.

It’s no secret I don’t love the sunless, godless city of Manhattan, but for Christmas I will venture down. There’s something magical about New York during the holidays. The shops all decked out, inside and out in greens, bows and lights. Though my friends like to drive in and valet the car at the theater, I prefer taking the train into Grand Central. That way you can walk past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the amazing window display at Sak’s, past Radio City Music Hall and the big tree and ice skaters at Rockefeller Center, on your way to Times Square and Broadway.

You have to do the city on foot so you don’t miss a thing. None of the little gems sparkling in the window of Cartier or Tiffany’s. Or the aroma of the nuts roasting in the vendors’ carts. The sounds of the bells on the carriage horses in the streets and the park. Or the thrill of haggling with a street vendor over the purchase of a scarf. Yes, it’s cold. The wind whips through those concrete canyons like nowhere else, but it’s all part of the experience to bundle up and have a cold, red nose. It makes you even more appreciative to duck into a restaurant and enjoy a hot meal and glass of red wine.

This is the city at its best that even a die-hard suburbanite like me can appreciate, and if you’re in town, don’t you dare miss it.

Cat

A Christmas Story on Broadway

Elf the Broadway Musical

Grinch the Musical

how many sleeps til christmas?! part 2 -gifts for the foodie

I had so much fun putting together the post with the list of gift ideas for the writer in your life last week, I decided to make another, but this time for the food/drink lover in your life. So here you go…get out your Christmas lists and credit cards!

Bacon KeychainBACON!

Everyone loves bacon, right? And I heard a horrible rumor that there may be a shortage due to weather and failing crops that were needed to feed the pigs… I don’t know, it’s all too horrible to think about, so let’s move on to the gift for the bacon lover! How about a key chain proclaiming your love for both that someone special in your life, and bacon? Courtesy of Etsy.com and WhiteLilieDesigns.

Lobster Print~

LOBSTER, anyone?

How about framing this print for a unique item of kitchen decor?

A beautiful antique lobster image, printed on a vintage dictionary page from Black Baroque on Etsy. They have tons of other designs as well.

~

Trader Vic's Book o Food & Drink

TRADER VIC

I’ve just recently read about Trader Vic’s history and it’s pretty amazing. More than that, so is his famed dark rum which I also just tasted for the first time.rum_dark

Buying this cookbook for my husband was a no brainer and I’m at this very moment holding in my hand the original 1946 printing of Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink, available on Amazon, and it is totally cool.

Imagine how happy a gift of a bottle and the book would make the rum/food lover in your life.

Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Cat

there’s how many sleeps til christmas!? gifts for the writer

I keep seeing these Tweets from @santa_claus, things such as the below…

Santa Tweets…and quite honestly, it’s giving me anxiety.

Didn’t we just have Christmas? Wasn’t I just stressed out over having no time to put up a tree like a month or two ago? Apparently not since October is upon us, and then November and Thanksgiving, and then it’s all downhill from there. So in an effort to stay ahead, I already have gifts falling out of my closet where they are dangerously stacked on top of my boxes of promo for next year’s conferences.

So in the spirit of holiday giving and keeping my sanity, I bring you this year’s edition of Christmas gift idea for writers, all found at Etsy.com

My Pen Is Huge print

Typewriter print

Pencil Scarf

Drink Quote Coasters

Writer's Banner & Prompt Dice

Book Purse - Shakespeare

things that make me tingle

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means across America there are some men spending much too much on flowers, and some men who are in trouble because they didn’t. There are some women who are celebrating the gifts from their mates, and others who are bemoaning their lack thereof (either the gifts or the mates).

Here’s a little secret… Flowers wither. Chocolate is fattening.  Here is what really makes me tingle–

  • A new book contract. Seriously, heart-racing, hand-shaking tingles. Read the tale about my most recent contract offer HERE
  • Finding my titles on a bookseller’s shelf and turning them all to face cover out! Feel free to do that for me as well in your local bookstore. You might want to not let the clerk see you though.
  • Sticking my book promo inside the books of my fellow authors who write similar books to mine. Hey, no one of us can write as fast as our readers can devour our books so why not share? Again, I try not to let the salesclerk see me doing that.
  • Typing THE END after working to complete a new work for weeks, sometimes months. The adrenaline rush is amazing.

Maybe it’s an author thing. Who knows? Sure, I’ll take take the flowers, candy and cards, and I’ll enjoy them and be very grateful. But give me a good book contract and some kick-ass sales figures and then you’ll see some real happiness, and as an erotic romance author I can be very creative in my gratitude, believe me.

Cat