Sep 27, 2011

Ain't No Silver Lining in Going Gray

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, September 27, 2011 3 comments
By Anna

“Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional.” ~ Bob Monkhouse

My 30s have brought gray hair, crow’s feet and bad hangovers. I was always told that a woman’s prime is in her 30s. I didn’t know that my prime would be so high maintenance. Hair dye, expensive face wash, and staying properly hydrated. Geez, it’s like a part time job trying to keep appearances.

I noticed my first gray about 3 years ago. I told my mother that I was going to give it to her to put in my baby book but she informed me that it was not the first gray hair I had given her. Ha, ha, Mom. Don’t know what you’re talking about. From what I’ve read about graying and heredity, SHE’s the one who has given ME gray hair!

One gray hair 3 years ago. But now I look in the mirror and see lots of little silver hands waving, “Hello, we’re dying over here!” Taunting me, the little f*#kers. It seems like I’m turning gray as fast as President Obama. So I pluck them - which is not good because then my trichotillomania starts to kick in. Some of the hairs I pull aren’t even gray but they are so shiny that I convince myself that they are. I know that bald is supposed to be beautiful now – but I think that is supposed to be for men, not women.

I mean, what gives? Have I partied and stressed my youth away? What a rip-off. Is this even normal? I’ll tell ya what’s not normal - not having a widows peak because I’m not sure if its gone gray or my baby blonde hairs have been singed from the sun. Either way they have been plucked away.

So what do I do? Got. To. Go. Buy. Hair. Dye. I even have to cut the coupons because now I must do it more frequently - or I will have a bald spots in addition to an absent widows peak.

My grandma used to say, “Growing old ain’t for sissies.” And in honor of my grandma growing old gracefully, and mostly without complaint, here is a blow pop martini recipe dedicated to her playful spirit…..which my mom, sister and I have inherited, in case you can’t tell! Enjoy at your next girlfriends’ get together with it!

Blow Pop Martini

Combine and shake:
1 part frozen lemonade concentrate
2 parts bubble gum flavored vodka
2 parts water
.5 part sour watermelon or sour apple liqueur

Rim martini glasses with pop rocks; pour drink into glasses and stick a blow pop in them. Totally delicious and fun!

Sep 20, 2011

My Other Life

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5 comments
By Tonia

 “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” Katharine Whitehorn

Unless you’ve read my bio you probably would never guess that my day job is teaching at a university. Yep, even have one of those PhD things. Allow me to share with you my life in academia …

First of all, my office in no way resembles faculty offices in the movies - which are the size of small libraries with comfy leather chairs, beautiful volumes of books lining the walls, and a window that overlooks the loveliest part of campus.  Oh, no. My office is the size of a small closet. Boxes of notes and articles are hap-hazardly thrown around so that finding anything on my desk is like an archeological dig. And the view? The parking garage.

Aw, yes, and speaking of parking….unlike the real world, parking permits on university campuses do not guarantee you a parking place – they’re simply a license to hunt. I usually park illegally. This tends to get my car booted. Unlike cute car bras, car boots are ugly ball-and-chains that impair auto mobility. I don’t recommend them.

When you teach for a university there is also this thing called tenure. Highly desired, tenure creates the difference between being jr. faculty and sr. faculty –- kind of like the difference between being a Brownie and a Girl Scout. Well, not really, but close enough. Actually, there is a lot of pressure to get tenure because, if you don’t, you’re fired. The reality is that even God Almighty probably wouldn’t get tenure – after all, He only had one publication. And it wasn't even in a refereed journal.

As a rule professors are known to be a bit narcissistic and temperamental. You’ve heard the joke about how many professors it takes to screw in a light bulb? “Just one – he holds the bulb up to the socket and waits for the world to revolve around him.” Fortunately the faculty in my department are delightful – and have great senses of humor. We have a mechanical dinosaur that we send into each other’s offices with obnoxious messages in speech bubbles taped to its mouth. We have a skeleton that makes a Halloween appearance on the toilet in one of the women’s restroom stalls. We’ve even used crime scene tape to cover teaching podiums. And once someone (**whistling and looking away**) sat a life size blow up doll in a colleague’s class.

We even have ongoing theoretical discussions about why the chicken crossed the road. Yes, this is important research - I worked hard on my degree to be able to ponder such things. I’ll share a few of our thoughts with you here:


The chicken crossed the road because her Id said "Whoa, cool, go for it, Baby" and her Superego was on vacation.......


The chicken crossed the road due to her irrational belief, “I am unlovable if I do not cross the road.” Ironically, becoming road kill was what made her truly unlovable.


The chicken wasn't really sure why she had crossed the road - she just heard a bell and had to go......

So what does all this have to do with a girlfriends’ party? I have no damn idea, but here is Anna’s fabulous chicken salad recipe in honor of our research on chickens’ road behavior. Enjoy your girlfriends and no fowl moods allowed!

Anna's Chicken Salad - serves 2 generously or 3 skimpishly

2 small thawed & diced chicken breasts  
1 tbls minced garlic
1/4 tbls cracked pepper
1/4 tbls sea slat
1/4 chopped red onion
Saute in pan until chicken is cooked & onions are carmelized. Let cool.

Chop 2 celery sticks (rinsed with head & butt cut off)
Dice 1 large roma tomato
Dice 4 large strawberries
Put in bowl & mix in 4 tbls of real mayo & 1/4 tbls of celery salt. I mix with a fork to avoid any smooshing. 

When chicken mixture is cool, add to fruit & mayo mixture. Do not drain the chicken; there are favors in the juice. Stir thoroughly with a fork & chill in fridge.

When ready to serve you can top with green onion or nuts or both :)

When building your sandwich add iceburg lettuce for a cool crunch. Enjoy!

Sep 17, 2011

Gone to the Dogs Part 2

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, September 17, 2011 1 comments
By Rachel

I bet I spend more money on my ONE dog than many of you do on several dogs!!

Truly, my dog is a financial liability. By the time I pay for her medications each month (for hip dysplasia, eye issues, incontinence, and some disorder that only occurs in 1 out of every 200,000 dogs) I could send my kids to private school AND to Europe for the summer. The latest medical emergency was her ears. She was shaking her head so hard I thought she was going to give herself shaken baby syndrome. Took her to the vet and heard smothered giggles as bystanders watched me break a sweat trying to drag my 80 lb dog out of the car. And let me say right here to that lady who was holding her phone up like she might be video-taping: I DO NOT WANT TO SEE MY BUTT ON YOU TUBE!

I finally got the damn dog in and had to endure my hundredth lecture on her weight. I let the vet know that she will NOT eat the green beans he suggested I use as “treats.” Hell, I can’t even get my husband and kids to eat green beans! The truth is that I bake chicken and mix it with her medicine. Yes, I cook my stupid dog chicken every morning. I’m pretty sure she eats better than we do - especially when I’m serving ramen noodles or pork and beans. I think she kind of shows off munching on her baked chicken.

So while we were at the vet, my daughter ratted me out and told the vet that I have given the dog table scraps for the past two days. Hey, I’ve been a busy lately and haven’t gotten to the store to buy fresh chicken – therefore, using table scraps with her medicine. My vet glared at me and told my daughter he was glad she was there. (Note to self: leave children at Tot Spot – or bus stop - when going to veterinarian’s office.) He then proceeded to lecture me for another 10 minutes on my dog’s diet and how I need to help her lose weight (my eyes are rolling to the back of my head).

FINALLY he checked her ears (the reason we were there) and informed me she has allergies. I now have to take her off all dog food with food dye and discontinue the baked chicken/turkey/beef products as it could also be causing the allergic reaction. Her “treats” are now supposed to be lamb or venison. Yup! Now I have to buy her expensive dog food AND feed her lamb or venison. I don’t remember the last time I ate lamb or venison. Guess I’ll take up hunting. But, we love her and think of her as our third - and most expensive - child. 

So, the next time you have a get together with your girlfriends’ to discuss the financial liabilities in your lives, make sure you whip up some Baked Parmesan Chicken to serve. It has been tested and approved by our dog, Coco!

Baked Parmesan Chicken
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
 ½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons oil
½ - 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a bowl, mix the oil and garlic. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Place the coated chicken in the baking pan, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Sep 13, 2011

Gone to the Dogs

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2 comments
by Tonia
"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow." - Jeff Valdez 

Remember when families had a family dog? A single dog? What happened to those days? Americans now have family dog packs. A friend recently had a house-warming party—she didn’t even specify “pet friendly” and somehow there were more dogs than people in attendance. What is that about? We need more tail wagging in our lives? More holes in the yard? More shit? 

I have two dogs. Their names are Vodka and Cognac - aka Dumb and Dumber or Demon and Devil. They’re sisters but I have to admit that their IQ points did not get equally distributed: one is semi-mentally handicapped and the other is too smart for her own good. They are Siberian Huskies, but they high-tail it inside in the cold weather and shed like Mother F#*kers in the heat. You cannot imagine the billows of dog hair that dance across my floor like Texas tumbleweed. If I ever find a marketable purpose for dog hair I’ll be a rich woman.

Huskies are terrible watchdogs. For one thing, they don’t bark. And for another, they love everyone. A stranger is just a very, very new friend. If someone broke into our house, they would wag their stupid tails and bring toys.

Huskies also love to run - think Iditarod. Anytime the front door opens and we're not blocking their exit with all four limbs they take off like bats out of hell. They have explored several neighborhoods, parks, schools, shopping malls, banks, and convenience stores in our time zone. They even ended up on the World Wide Web when someone found them and posted ‘Lost Huskies’ on Craig’s List. They weren’t lost. They were just out socializing. They know the area so well they could give tours to the new dogs in the neighborhood.

One of our dogs loves chocolate. Loves it more than most women love chocolate during PMS. Yes, I know it's not good for dogs to eat chocolate. But this dog can find chocolate better than a chocolate GPS system. And she has discerning taste. One time we had some Hershey’s chocolate and some Neuhaus chocolate on the counter. Did she take the Hershey’s? Noooooooo…..she knew her chocolate. Ate all the Neuhaus – paper and all. 

So if a dog is man’s best friend what is a woman’s best friend (besides her fabulous girlfriends, that is)? Tell us what you think.

And, at your next girlfriends’ get together, order some DOG GONE WINE – a portion of the profits go to support a dog non-profit organization. Check out their Poodle Pinot, Basset Hound Blackberry Wine, Pug Pear Wine and Pomeranian Pomegranate Wine HERE.

Sep 8, 2011

The Honeymoon Period and It's Inevitable Demise

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, September 08, 2011 2 comments
By Anna

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford

My experience is that after a zillion I-would-rather-be-having-something-waxed first dates, I eventually find someone and have some chemistry. Hooray! I didn’t drown in the dating pool!

So then comes the honeymoon period. You know it. It’s when everything your partner does is smart, adorable, and perfect. It’s hilarious the way he leaves the toilet seat up; it’s  fascinating the way he talks about himself.

Relationship experts tell us that in early attraction our brains drug us with phenylethylamine (PEA) and oxytocin … impressed that I know these big words?  PEA is like methamphetamine, and oxytocin is like heroin.  I figure this means the best of both kinds of high – vigor/energy combined with dreamy/drowsy. Hell, I’m in! 

But, sadly, we build a tolerance to these brain-flooding “drugs” and start to “sober up.” Here’s how you’ll know you're sobering up: 

- You used to wear lacey thongs. Now it’s cotton briefs.
- You used to wear Victoria's Secret push up bra. Now it’s a tankini.
- You used to get the Brazilian wax job. Now you’re sporting a 70s bush.
- You used to call into work so you could stay in bed with your sweetie. Now you make excuses to work late.
- You used to make out until your face was raw.  Now you say, "Go shave!"
- You used to go to the gym several times a week. Now you’re stopping by Braums twice a week at 11pm.
- You used to quietly pee with the door shut. Now you're having full-fledged conversations from the toilet.
- You used to quietly sneak out of the room when he snored. Now you beat him with a pillow until he wakes up.
- You used to gaze into his eyes and hang on every word. Now you just roll your eyes.

My drink for you – The Upgrade

The Upgrade

1 part Bailey's
1 part Butterscotch Liquor
1 part Jagermeister
1/2 part Cinnamon Schnapps

Shake well w/ice & strain into chilled rocks glass. Drink up. You deserve it.

Sep 5, 2011

Labor Day is Really for Moms

Posted by Tonia at Monday, September 05, 2011 4 comments
by Tonia
"Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." - Carol Burnett

Labor Day. I’m thinking it should be a second Mothers’ Day. A day to acknowledge the labor exerted to shove children out of vaginas – not to mention the labor exerted to raise them. It certainly felt like labor to me - the overwhelming urge to crawl out of my body to get away from my uterus; pushing seven-pounds through an area that had formerly only held a one ounce tampon and a six ounce penis.

I remember my very first Labor Day. I had stopped by my obstetrician’s office to inquire about some “cramps” I was experiencing. The doctor informed me that I was almost fully dilated and needed to get to the hospital ASAP. I was in labor.  I thought, “Well, damn. This is not the day I planned to do this. I have too much work to do.” But no choices here – today was my own very special labor day.

The impregnator drove me to the hospital. After hitting several bumps and seams in the road I told him he’d better f#%king slow down. Well, I may not have said it that nicely. He knew it was better to listen to me and deliver an infant in a car with no leg room than to get to the hospital and have to live with a crazed wife for many, many years.

But, despite the 10 mph snailmobile ride, we did make it to the hospital in time to do paperwork. The admissions folks wished me good luck as I was whisked away to Labor and Delivery. Now, why would someone wish a laboring woman good luck? It’s not Las Vegas, for God’s sakes. It’s labor. I don’t want luck. I want a holiday – and drugs.

And while labor is laborious, delivery ain’t no picnic either. All that pushing and pushing and pushing to get a basketball size head to emerge. No mood for humor. No sireee. This is labor. Pushing that baby out is hard work and, when you finally get it out, your baby tunnel looks like a crime scene and feels like a bomb exploded. But what lies in your arms is precious beyond words. A human life that you made. A miracle. It’s good to savor the moment….because it’s going to be at least 18 more years of labor. Happy Labor Day, Moms.
Tell us your stories!

Sep 2, 2011

Martini Madness Contest

Posted by Tonia at Friday, September 02, 2011 3 comments
I love martinis - for lots of reasons - the glass, the vodka, the effects... Just about any martini becomes a Panty Dropper for me. But that's another blog. In celebration of martinis, we would like to offer the game, Martini, as a prize for the funniest martini story. Simply:
(1) LIKE us on Facebook - Click HERE
(2) Tell us your martini story as a COMMENT below

Entries accepted through Sept. 15th. One entry will be selected as the winning entry and the winner will be notified through Facebook on Sept. 17th. You may enter as many times as you wish but each entry must have unique content.

Sep 1, 2011

YIPPEEE!!: International Women's Friendship Month

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, September 01, 2011 2 comments
By Tonia

“A really good friend,” she said, “Makes you SNORT when you laugh, and will still hang out with you when do it in public.” Curly girl design

September is International Women’s Friendship Month. And while men and women certainly can be friends, it is our female friends who know us the best; they are the ones who we share our most intimate secrets and moments with - things like PMS and sex and childbirth and shoe sales and spanx and hot flashes and the black hair growing out of one of my boobs (oops, TMI)…… Our girlfriends get us. That’s why it’s hard to get together with girlfriends for more than five minutes without some kind of exchange of personal information and laughter.

In celebration of International Women’s Friendship Month we at Estrofests have a three question quiz for you to find out what kind of girlfriend you are, along with a list of our favorite ways to celebrate women’s friendships. (Click on the links and it will take you to the blog that described the game or recipe.)


(1) If you and your girlfriend were having lunch in an expensive restaurant and you noticed that she had lettuce in her teeth, would you… (a) just ignore it and hope to God it’ll slide down her throat soon, (b) reach over and pick it out yourself, or (c) offer her more salad to go with it?

(2) If your girlfriend was in the hospital recovering from surgery, would you… (a) bring a shaker of Martinis, (b) grab a wheelchair, sneak her out and go get some decent food, or (c) change into a matching hospital gown so that the two of you can moon the doctors together?

(3) If your girlfriend asked you to go with her for a 2-for-1 Botox special, would you… (a) ask, “When’s the appointment?” (b) accuse her of entering the two of you in some kind of Joan Rivers look-alike contest, or (c) suggest that another wrinkly friend go with her?

PUT THE ZEST BACK INTO FEST: Party ideas to make memories

Bad Girl Charades
One Step Forward for Womankind
What Would Girlfriends Do?

The Pale Pussy
The Dildo Drop
The Raging Hormone

Chocolate Cupcakes
Party Dress Veggie Pizzas
Chocolate Addiction

Tell us what you are doing to celebrate your girlfriends this month!

Estrofests: Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare