Welcome to Holland


I came across this piece and found it to be very uplifting.  I don’t know if you have read this before, but it is called “Welcome to Holland” and was written by a woman attempting to explain what it is like to have a disabled child.  I wanted to share it because I think it is really important and profound.  I also think it can be used to address any of life’s “disappointments” or difficulties we deal with daily.  Be thankful for everything you are given.


c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved 

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…… 

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. 

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.” 

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” 

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. 

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place. 

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. 

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” 

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. 

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

I have HOOKED IT UP! PART 1: 20 Great Gifts List 2009!


Hi all!  In hopes of exploring for myself and helping you all out 🙂  I have researched and researched, thought and thought…and created the following “great gifts for 2009” list.  Most people will agree that I am a pretty darn good gift giver.  NOW, open your mind people and think outside the box.  OK, so while some of these ideas came from my creative brain, others came from www.gifts.com!  In no particular order:

1.  FOR ANYONE- ANYTHING personalized picture-wise from www.snapfish.com or any other picture storing website OR personalized letterinig from www.thingsremembered.com

2.  FOR THE SOPHISTICATED DRINKER- these are really cool!

whiskey stones- set of nine

Whiskey Stones (at only 20 bucks!) are natural reuseable rocks that act as ice cubes but WON’T melt or dilute your drink!  Find them at www.uncommongoods.com

3. FOR ANYONE!  Slipper booties like the ones below from Victoria’s Secret- toooo cute!  LOVE THESE (they are called mukluks)! $39.95

  Victoria's Secret Pink Fairisle mukluk

Or a more traditional slipper from www.uggaustralia.com (also more expensive)

Women's Dakota

And for those on a budget, Old Navy has many cute varieties as well like these: ($12.50)

4.  FOR THE YOGI- A personalized yoga mat!  love it!  you can upload any picture to be used for the mat and your Yogi will LOVE it! www.yogamatic.com These babies will run you 85 buckaroos but SUCH a cool idea!

5.  FOR THE GIRLIE GIRL- I LOVE these Juicy Couture Personalized inital necklaces!  They are only 48.00 and can be found at Neiman Marcus.

Juicy Couture A Initial Wish Necklace Y Initial Wish Necklace

6.  FOR THE READER IN YOUR LIFE- The Amazon Kindle!  OK, so this is a BIT expensive, but this electronic reader is like the IPOD of books!  Check it out! www.amazon.com  The Sony Reader is comparable as well and can be purchased at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc.

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, U.S. Wireless, Latest Generation)

7.  FOR THE ELECTRONICS LOVER- The Sanctuary Charging System.  Retailing for 129.99 at www.redenvelope.com this charging station can charge all of your “chargeables” at once!  No tangled and unsightly cords!

the sanctuary charging station

8.  FOR ANYONE (especially someone long distance as this gift “travels” well)- a magazine subscription!  My friend at work got me this last year and it is SO cool becuase it is the gift that keeps on giving throughout the whole year!  Go to www.magsdirect.com

9.  FOR ANY LUCKY PERSON- Any Ipod or Apple product.  I just love the brand becuase of a few things…

ONE- free engraving at the site 😉  www.apple.com (obvs I LOOOOVE personalization, but am somehow lacking anything personalized of my own!)

TWO-Items ship within 24 hours

THREE- Service is unmatched!  Those “geniouses” are for REAL.

10.  FOR ANYONE- THE SNUGGIE!  Don’t even get me started!

www.getsnuggie.com DO YOU KNOW THEY HAVE DOG SNUGGIES NOW?!?!?  OMG dying!

11. FOR THE STRESSER-OUTTER IN YOUR LIFE (aka ME!)- this looks really cool- I cam across it on-line and have no idea if it works, but I am all about Gaiam the brand, so I would DEF give it a try!  It retails for 199.99 at the www.gaiam.com and is supposed to do the following…It is called the STRESS ERASER

This take-anywhere portable biofeedback device trains you to regulate your nervous system for increased energy and improved clarity. Stress Eraser lets you see the impact of your breathing on your heart rate, establishing performance benchmarks. You can even use it with your eyes closed witht its sound feature. Includes two AAA batteries, carrying case and instructions. 3¾”L x 2½”W x ¾”D. China.

Gain Control Over Stress With The StressEraser

12.  FOR THE FOODIE IN YOUR LIFE- I am all about X-Food of the month clubs.  For instance, you can do a wine club where that special someone will be send a new bottle each month for the year.  I also found this cool salsa of the month club

and there are even more at www.amazingclubs.com

Apon visiting this site, I see that the top 5 clubs are:

1.  beer club

2.  wine club

3.  chocolate club

4.  flower club

5.  hot sauce club (HUSBAND would DIE for this!!!)

We did a cheese club for my in-laws and brother/sis in law one year and it went over well!

13. FOR THE ALWAYS CHILLY PERSON IN YOUR LIFE-Lisa from www.pamperedwithpaige.com would FLIP!  The infinity scarf!  So you can go cheap with this (see my previous posts from H & M) OR… Banana Republic has a CASHMERE infinity scarf!  These scarves are not only the latest trends but the biggest “duh why didn’t I think of that” of the year?!?!?

Banana Republic Cashmere infinity scarf

Retails for 98.00 at www.bananarepublic.com

14.  FOR THE FORGETFUL ONE ON YOUR LIST- (again, aka ME!)  This awesome wireless remote key finder is a necessity for those like me who are constantly misplacing their stuff!  I wish they had one of these for everything I lose!  Find it at www.brookstone.com for only 49.95

Brookstone Wireless Key Finder

15.  FOR THE GRILL-MEISTER on your list- another great site for personalized items is www.personalizationmall.com  I found this awesome meat brander that is personalized!  It retails for 57.95 and allows that special someone to “mark their meat!”

Meat Branding Monogram Iron In Wood Box Gift Set

And I bet if you are veg, you can even brand portabellos!

16.  FOR THE NUTRITIOUS JUNKIES on your list- another one I think Lisa from pampered with paige would like, and I think Lindsay from www.goodiesgalore.wordpress.com would get in on these babies too!  They are customized nutrition bars!  First it was trail mix, then cereal, then these babies!  Pick them up at


You Bar Gift Box

They retail for 38.87 a box and even come with custom labels!

17.  FOR THE VIDEO GAMER IN YOUR LIFE- get a custom/personalized skin (retails for only 29.95) for any game console at www.gelaskins.com such as

Create your own GelaSkin! Removable art prints for Nintendo Wii

18.  FOR THE WINE LOVER- we actually got my in-laws this lovely wine chiller and it is sooo great because it is portable (for those outside shin-digs you might have) and convenient.  It also cools wine QUICKLY and keeps it chilled!  It retails for 99.99.  Find it at www.brookstone.com

Iceless Wine Chiller

19.  FOR THE NEW MOM or MOM-TO BE:  The Snuggly Stroller Sack.  These fleece lined, waterproof baby pouches allow you to tote your baby in comfort and style!  Get it at www.thelandofnod.com for about 115.00

Cotton Fleece Baby Sac

20.  FOR THE COFFEE-LOVER (definitely dropped this hint to Santa), there is this really cool one-cup coffee maker that comes with a portable cup that the coffee is deposited into.  It is also only about 30 bucks, so if it sucks, oh well.  Again, www.brookstone.com

Brookstone Stainless Steel Single Cup Coffee Maker

So this is NOT making my top 20 list, but HILARIOUS!  you can actually buy a replica of that absurd lamp from A Christmas Story!  hahah

Christmas Story 20

OK, so if you ar STILL stumped about what to get that special someone, DEFINITELY go to www.gifts.com! you can search by age, male/female and even PERSONALITY!  How great!  I will also be submitting a part 2 (and maybe even more?!?!? post soon!)Happy shopping!  WootwooT!

Goodbye pumpkin…hellooooooo pomegranate!

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O.M.G. People.  This is for real.  I am currently wolfing down indulging in pomegranate fro yo from PHILEO. So, I was DEFINITELY looking forward to my pumpkin treat (i’ve been tryingo to do every other night :-)) that Husband (best ever!) went to get me us.  I was making dinner and…the phone rang. I felt it in the pit of my stomach.  I couldn’t answer the phone- I knew it.  THERE WAS NO PUMPKIN!  After briefly hyperventialting (and answering the phone the second time), I chose pomegranate tart-there are two types there tart and plain so a flavor is either tart (like pineapple) or plain (like peanut butter).  YUM!  Anyway, it is AMAZING!

So long

Come to mama


So here is some info on PHILEO (for those New Yorkers, it is comparable to Pinkberry) and then I gotta get to eating!

215-873-8361, 416 South St.

The Skinny: South Street’s fro-yo joint boasts 16 different flavors and a DIY toppings bar.

The stats: Phileo kindly gave up all their info, including an ingredient list. This fro-yo is sweetened with corn syrup and a four-ounce serving of their plain yogurt will run you 70 calories, 15 grams of total carbs, and 9 grams of sugar; A four-ounce serving of flavored runs at 40 calories more, coming in at 110 calories, 24 grams of total carbs, and 20 grams of sugar.

Topping tips: Toppings like mochi (Japanese rice gummy candies) pack more than 360 calories in a one-cup serving; one ounce of cheesecake has 90 calories; and one ounce of cookie dough has 130 calories. So do your best to avoid them or use them sparingly.

(from PhillyMag.com)