Tag Archives: shopping

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

my favorite things: the beach edition

Getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to the beach in Rhode Island and I thought what a perfect time for another favorite things post–the summer beach vacation edition.

Reef Bottle Opener Flip Flops

In case you’ve doubted it before, yes, I am one cool chick to have around. I can even open your beer on the beach with my shoe with these Reef flip flops! The bottle opener is built right into the sole.

IPhoneCase

A waterproof iPhone case! And it comes in pretty pink for girls. No, I’m not going swimming with my brand spanking new iPhone, no matter what the manufacturer says, but for sand and spill protection, I think this case will do just fine. Picture it–the iPhone stashed safely in the cup holder in the arm of my folding chair. Ooops! Oh no! I spilled my drink in the cup holder! What will I do? Never fear, the phone is safe in the waterproof case. And yes, I’m guilty of stashing my phone in my boobs, and sweat happens to the best of us in the summer…so this will be good for that too! 😉

Limeritas

My new favorite summer drink in a can, perfect for the cooler when you don’t want a beer on the beach. Try a Limerita! Made by Bud, it’s literally a margarita in a can! Comes in original Lime or Strawberry. 8% alcohol.

That’s all I’ve got for you right now. What’s your favorite things for the beach?

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

 

the writing chair – an update

Last I left you, I was sitting in a holey chair with no support and little time or energy for finding a replacement. Well here is a happy ending update for you. We have this building on our property, probably from the late 1800’s, and when we first moved in over 10 years ago, I got it in my head to furnish it and turn it into a ‘playhouse’–bar, bar stools, antique collectibles, big screen TV, chess, cards, books, stereo, and–wait for it–a chaise lounge. So I started thinking, would that fit in my writing room? Would it be comfortable? I made the mistake of thinking out loud and the next thing I know I hear a strange noise outside, and go downstairs to find the husband dragging the chaise from the playhouse, up the stone path to the back door of the house, because, you know, why ask for help.

Anyway, since it was here I thought I might as well try it in the room. Between the two of us we got it up the stairs and lo and behold, I love it. It’s big enough I can fit on it with a few cats (always a consideration in this house). I can sit upright, or lay down. I can work or I can nap or I can watch TV when I’m supposed to be working. And it is finally a chair befitting a romance author. Everyone thinks we lie around on chaise lounges eating bon bons and drinking champagne in our negligees anyway, at least now I’ve got one thing right–a leopard chaise! And I didn’t even have to leave the house and go to a store to find it! Let’s see if it inspires any good stories, shall we?

Cat Johnson's Leopard Writing Chaise

Cat

chair-ity

Those of you who read the saga of my writing sweater know I keep things until they are in such bad shape they need to be thrown out. I wore my last sweater until it was so holey it embarrassed even me. I drove my last car until the mechanic refused to fix it again and told me to buy a new one. You know it’s bad if a mechanic won’t even take your money. Well, today’s item that I am trying to reconcile parting with is my writing chair.

The cats will miss it too, but look close between them and there's the hole :(

The cats will miss it too, but look close between them and there's the hole 🙁

It is about 20 years old…maybe a little more, but things should last! Okay, there are holes in the bottom cushion, so I flipped it over and now there are holes on that side too. And the cushion’s foam doesn’t quite fit because years and years ago there was an unfortunate cat pee incident and I had to wash the foam insert and it wouldn’t dry so I leaned it near the woodburning stove and …well, let’s say foam doesn’t burst into flames, it more like smoulders and melts slowly–hence the new insert.

There isn’t exactly a back cushion any longer, either. I washed that and it fell apart in the washing machine. So for a few years I gathered up the pieces, stuffed them into a plastic bag, and shoved it back into the zippered cushion cover. That eventually got too lumpy and horrible so now I’ve shoved an old bed pillow in there.

So yeah, this is what I’ve been working in. Only now I need to put 2 throw pillows behind my back, and I’ve noticed my left leg going numb. I think it may be time, as much as I hate to say it.

I really don’t like change. Obviously. And searching for a new chair is going to take time. It’s nothing to be entered into lightly. It could be with me for the next 20 years. I’ll have to try it out. Get a feel for it and how it will be after sitting in it for a full day of computer work. That’s hard to do in a store. Even harder online, which is where I prefer to do my shopping.  But as I hear the mournful strains of “Taps” being played in the background, I know it must be done.

I go bravely into the search. I’ll keep you informed on my progress.

Cat

giving thanks

Warning- I’m here to bitch.

So I’m listening to the newscasters report, over and over, on every channel, how folks are up in arms that Walmart is opening at 8PM Thanksgiving Day for their Black Friday sale. Why is everyone upset? Because they think Thanksgiving should be a sacred day spent with family, not shopping.

Let me give all these people a little dose of reality as I see it. Not everyone has a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. Here are the people who don’t:

Deployed military work every day. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. They get something extra special in the chowhall, and sometimes they get to wear civvies rather than the cammies they’ve been in for six months straight, but there’s no day off. No family either.

Policemen. My uncle was a police officer and he worked nearly every holiday, leaving my aunt home alone, or with us, on holidays.

Food service workers. I was a newlywed but still had to work on Thanksgiving Day because back then I worked as a bartender to pay my mortgage. While I served strangers, my new husband was at home. I also worked Christmas Eve catering a private party . . . while I had the flu. Moving on…

Loners. I know a few of these. No family nearby. No spouse. Friends always invite these loners to spend the holidays with them, but often, for whatever reason, they choose to stay home alone.

Here’s how I see this Walmart Black Friday situation–by 8PM the turkey has been eaten, the leftovers are put away, everyone is laying around on the couches feeling bloated and sleepy and already bored of looking at each other and watching whatever is on TV. Family time is over. Be grateful and go shopping. Get a jump on your holiday gift buying or take advantage of the sales and get yourself something. Work off some of those calories so you don’t feel like a slug.

And all those Walmart employees people are worried about? Well, they’re simply joining the ranks of all those others already thanklessly working that holiday. And I’m not sure but I can bet these employees will get paid time-and-a-half for holiday pay, and they get to be part of a new American tradition.

So get over it and, newscasters, move on.

Cat

holy, wholey holey sweater, batman!

Confession- I guess I can get a bit obsessive. Such as my need to wake up each morning during the colder weather and put on my writing sweater. It’s a comfy, cozy black cashmere hoodie. It goes with everything. It’s warm. It’s comfortable. Most importantly, it requires no thought on my part. I can throw it on with fleece pants, or jeans, or my pajama bottoms and if someone comes knocking at the door, I feel mostly dressed when answering it.

Well, I’ve worn it so much over the past few years that I now have holes in both elbows. Big ones. And I just noticed yesterday one starting under the arm. I’m heartbroken, and now torn. The husband strongly suggested I throw it out. Immediately. I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m trying to figure out how to patch the elbows–that’s a fashionable look, no?

Meanwhile, yeah, I guess I could replace it, but the child in me, the one who carried around the same baby blanket until it was also holey, doesn’t want to.

Right now I’m trying another one of my sweaters out, taking it for a spin to see if it’s worthy of becoming my new writing sweater. So far, not so good. It doesn’t match my PJ bottoms, it’s cut too slim to be uber-cozy comfy, and I haven’t written a word yet today except for this blog post.

I guess I’ll give in eventually. Suck it up and just buy a new black hoodie, but until then I’ll wear my holey sweater, look like a hobo, and mourn the day when it’s gone, thereby proving that writers are indeed a little bit nutty.

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

coffee!

dreamstimefree_148418I laughingly joked last week on Facebook that I should be able to deduct a new coffee maker as a business expense on my taxes because any writer knows caffiene is a tool of our trade. I was only half joking, and I definitely wasn’t in a good mood after yet another coffeemaker bit the dust.

So there I stood in my kitchen with one Grind-n-Brew which ground the beans just fine, but refused to drip, and a slightly older Grind-n-Brew which would drip fine but wouldn’t grind. Thank God my hoarder tendencies made me keep my half broken coffeemaker. Little did I know I’d need it for my counter-coffee-maker lineup. That’s when I decided I was done with both Cuisinart and with the combo machines.

So I took my coffee, once I finally got it made, and I googled and I found what I hope will be the Cadallac of coffeemakers and provide me with years of caffeinated bliss–I bought a Viking. They make great stoves so I figured why not?

I also ordered a separate burr grinder and so far, so good. Yes, we’ve had two mishaps. I’m so used to my Grind-n-Brew that I keep forgetting to actually take the grinds out of the grinder and transfer them to the filter basket in the coffeemaker. But I’ll get over that eventually.

What sold me? The Viking’s claim to fame was that it heats the water to what experts say is the optimal brewing temperature–195 degrees fahrenheit. The longevity of this machine as compared to the short-lived Cusinarts has yet to be proven but I have hope…and now, nice hot coffee…and a pretty new maker. And I’m going to need it too, since tomorrow is new release day for FLANKED, and as you know there’s no rest for the wicked.

Cat