the one where the internet ruined a perfectly nice day

Saucy decided to enter Loopy in the GARAGE Model Search online. She found out about it when they were in the store last week. There was no in-store search in this city so small, so entering online was the only option.

Saucy's been so busy. Today Loopy wore her Garage clothing to school and after the bell rang Saucy dragged her over to the park and rattled off some shots before running other errands.

By the time she sat down to look at these shots after supper, Saucy was thinking Loops might have a good chance! The balloons had since been dropped over to a friend for a treat along with some other goodies. This was one of those days when productivity reigned supreme and even though Saucy had lots to do, she just kept getting more things done!

They required one full length shot, so here it was.

Cute, right? Super cute! Loopy-Doopy cute! Loopy likes to wear clothes from Garage because if Saucy goes in the store before Loopy does and explains to the girls who work there that she has Asperger's, they understand and they help her put together entire outfits, without lots of decisions and hassle. Plus, if you ask really sweetly, they will turn down the music if you find it overwhelming and confusing, which happens if you have Asperger's.

Saucy just adores their return policy. Some days Loopy is so overwhelmed she is unable to try things on in the store... even though she thinks they have the cutest change rooms ever (and they do!). So Saucy can buy her jeans in two sizes, she tries them at home and the ones that don't fit can be returned. The clerk even suggested to let her wear them for a half hour each before making her decision, as long as they weren't worn outside and had the tags attached we can take them back. Now that's some excellent customer service, don't you think?

Back to the story...

Saucy came home to find the Safari message "could not be completed because you aren't connected to the Internet"... no problem!

Problem! The contest must have closed at 10:00 PM EST! When Saucy reconnected to the Internet, she wasn't able to upload. The contest page changed: now it says to come back and vote for the winner starting October 6th from the finalists! Gah.

The Internets broke over here and let Saucy down.

It's so, so sad, isn't it? After she went to all that trouble. And on such a busy day, too.

Oh, well. These are still some lovely pictures... and Loopy has a cute outfit. Maybe next year!

Reader, don't be a victim of waiting until the last minute to enter online. Check out the post below for your chance to win one of my fabulous Halloween charm bracelets. The contest closes as midnight on Friday, October 2. Midnight makes so much more sense for a contest to close, don't you agree?


winners, winners everywhere

The winner of the Build-A-Bear JONAS Dog is:

Naomi from Down Under! Shoot me an email Naomi so our friends at BABW can send the newest member of your family all the way to Australia! I'll ask them to pack treats for traveling in the box. It's a long way to go for a tiny dog.

Of course, we took Miami with us to the VIP Jonas Mania party at our local BABW on Friday night. She got dressed up for the occasion in her poncho. Check out the lineup!

Here's Loopy, operating the pedal of the giant stuffing machine. Don't you just lurrve the fact that even though she's a teenager in high school, she still gets excited about things like this and spent her Friday night with The Fan and I at the mall standing in line for a stuffed animal? 

She's so awesome. She came home with her stuffed dog and made chocolate chip cookies for her weekend study group:

She packaged them up for the trip to Alexis's house. Aren't you glad I asked the girl at Anthropologie for an extra box last weekend? 

The baking! The winning! It never ends around here. Time to venture out wearing my sassy new cupcake apron that The Fan got me from Booji Boo, and deliver the cupcakes!

Gah. If you think I didn't totally Photoshop the giant wrinkles off my face in these pictures, have another drink. It was horrifying to see these shots. I'm having a drink as I blog it.

I took Cheryl rich chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream topped with marscapone buttercream frosting and a fresh sugared strawberry.

I made a quick stop at Heather's and met her family... the sweetest bunch of boys she has under one funky retro roof. I took them some kid-friendly hamburger cupcakes:

Want a better view? Here's a single. These are a variation of the ones from Hello, Cupcake! but I decided they'd transport better if instead of being removed from their paper and cut in half to assemble, I lopped off the top and put the brownie on top of the whole base to reassemble... do you follow that logic?

I also met cute Jade and her boyfriend at Starbucks to present her with a batch of Red Velvet Elvis cupcakes. One more delivery, but first I had to get ready for the Sunday Charm Bracelet Togglin' Party!

I made a little goodie for my pal KAGS who attended the event as a "teacher helper"! Do you recognize that little cupcake box? They were at Micheals a while back in the dollar section. I repainted the base orange and plucked off the ghastly fake cherry on the top. I glued on the snazzy Halloween cat from Pier One and added the ribbon, pom pom and some bat confetti... that's better! Do you totally wish you'd stocked up on those crazy little dollar boxes now?

But every party Saucy throws needs real cupcakes, right?

Mmmmm! Chocolate with buttercream and these amazing sprinkles from Williams-Sonoma. The cupcake papers are from Crate & Barrel. I snagged everything on my whirlwind tour of Detroit two weekends ago... basically I hauled home a carry-on full of baking supplies.

The last batch of cupcakes looked like candy corn! Thankfully, sweet Leica took Janna her winnings after the charm party.

Sunday afternoon was spent chatting, sipping on cold drinks and charming away...

... everyone was so into their crafting! The end result was beautiful:

The best part? I'm giving away this bracelet I made at the party to one of you. Loopy and I each made one last year and we just haven't got enough arms for all these bracelets. You want? Are you signed up as a follower yet?

Just leave a comment and tell us what you think Loopy should be for Halloween... and it could be yours. It should be yours, don't you think? We need more winners around here. You could be a winner.

blogging with integrity

Have you noticed some funny business happening around blogland over the past year or so? 

We're not the only ones who've noticed unsavory practices: stealing ideas and photos, not providing links or credit, leaving anonymous, hateful or hurtful comments.

In July, four bloggers got together (Susan Getgood, Liz Gumbinner, Kristin Chase and Julie Marsh) to create the Blog With Integrity Pledge "to provide bloggers with a tangible and collective way to express our commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct."

You can view the pledge here. You can sign it here. It was brought to my attention as I was preparing the Build-A-Bear JONAS Dog Giveaway. The Blogging With Integrity Pledge lets my readers know that I was in some way compensated for offering them the giveaway (in this case, Build-A-Bear Workshop provided Loopy with her JONAS Dog), thus making it a form of advertising, as well as a fun and interactive blog game. You see?

I think now would be a good time to tell you that I often get solicited for giveaways and prizes here on the blog... I turn many of them down. For instance, I was approached recently by a jewelry company that wanted to give my readers a chance to win a $200.00 gift card and in return, they would give me a diamond ring. After investigating, I realized nothing on their website was remotely within the $200.00 price range, meaning that the winner of the gift card would have to find at least $1400.00 in order to use the card. That's a bit sketchy, don't you think? Yes, I'd have liked that ring, but in times like this I didn't think asking a "lucky reader" to feel pressured to spend money in order to claim their prize. I have to tell you, here and now, my giveaways are with companies that I feel confident in "endorsing" or sharing with you. You are my peeps, after all. Saucy takes care of her peeps.

Only a few of my giveaways are compensated endorsements. Sometimes, I just like giving things away for the fun of it. Remind me of this as I attempt to bake cupcakes in the ninety degree heat this week to deliver to the winners of my local reader cupcake draw this weekend.

And sometimes, I just like telling you about a cute place to go or to shop, because, that's what girlfriends tell each other, right?

Aside from keeping my readers aware of my endorsements and blogging practices, by displaying the pledge button, I am also stating publicly that I will do my best to cite sources, provide links and give credit for ideas. I will do my best. I may miss something by accident, but I promise to do my best. If you notice a mistake, please email me. That's one of the reasons I keep my address in the sidebar.

Let's take this one step further... I have seen (and been the recipient of) some pretty hurtful comments. The cloak of anonymity provided by the internet makes it easy for us to attack each other. We should respect each other's blog as we would each other's home, don't you agree? If you respectfully disagree with me, please say so. But please own it. Sign your name. Allow me to respond in a respectful manner. For more thoughts on blog comment practices, take a look at my post about it during Build a Better Blog Week in July.

Reader, what are your thoughts on this? Has another, big-time (or small time) blogger stolen an idea from your blog and claimed it as their own? Have you been the victim of an anonymous blog "flamer?" It's happened to me, and it hurts. We need to be kind to each other. 

Go ahead, take the pledge. It only takes a moment. Integrity lasts a lifetime.

jonas dog giveaway

The fine folks at Build-A-Bear Workshop made Loopy and I an offer we couldn't refuse! 

Would you like, they asked, if we gave Loopy and one of your lucky readers one of the new limited edition JONAS Dogs?

Would we like? We would lurrve. We already RSVP'd to the launch event at our local Build-A-Bear store... now we can share the fun with you, too - no matter where you live!

Leave a comment on this post Dear Reader, and on Friday night when we are at the Jonas Mania VIP Party at our local Build-A-Bear Workshop, we'll draw the name of one lucky, lucky peep! Could that peep be you?

Our JONAS Dog will come home to live with our menagerie of Build-A-Bear friends. Have you ever met Miami? I have a little story to tell you. With a picture.

Regular readers will remember that life got off to a rocky start for Loopy. After her stay in the "plastic house" in neonatal intensive care, she blossomed - but she was a late sitter, a late crawler, and a late walker. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and some of the doctors even suggested that perhaps Miss Loopy would never walk.

No matter, we all know how that turned out *door slamming, Loopy running down the steps calling goodbye*.  But Loopy's early years were a blur of tiny wheelchairs, walkers, braces on her legs and back, and sometimes she had little casts.

In 2000, we visited our first Build-A-Bear Workshop while on a family vacation in Florida. Loopy was thrilled, and she stuffed herself a new pal, who she named: Miami.  Miami was her constant companion. 

Miami at physical therapy. 
Miami at occupational therapy. 
Miami at speech therapy. 

The doctors even put a little cast on Miami's left leg, just like Loopy. See? She's still wearing it.

One day, The Fan and I had a horrible thought: what if something ever happened to Miami? We decided that a backup was in order. With no Build-A-Bear Workshop near us, we decided to call the store in Miami (oh, the days before internet ordering and shipping!). The kind girl had no more curly bears like Miami left in her store but she made the arrangement to send an unstuffed bear to us from the Orlando store when I explained the situation to her (they never send friends unstuffed). The new, backup bear was named: Orlando. 

Of course, we never let anything happen to Miami. She lives safely on Loopy's pillow, along with Orlando, Callie (from the Calgary store), and Navy (from Navy Pier, Chicago). I guess we started a little tradition. Loopy has gifted a few friends along the way naming them Eddie (from Edmonton) and even a Canadian Moose named Toonie for our Japanese sister Yoko! They can hardly wait for the new JONAS Dog to come home on Friday.

Friends, Miami and crew want you to have a JONAS Dog, too.  Just leave a comment and say hello to Loopy. She and Miami will make the draw on Friday night.

where saucy is just like the informant!

Dear Cascade,

With regards to your letter dated June 12, 2009:  Thank you for sending an impersonal form letter in response to my complaint about the horrible performance of Cascade with Dawn Grease-Fighting Action.

I especially enjoyed the part where you said, "hearing from you and other consumers helps us toward our goal of delivering top quality products and services worldwide," as you so artfully sidestepped the issue of  your product destroying the interior finish of my new dishwasher with a skill set that would make any husband jealous - should his wife ask him the unfortunate question "does this make me look fat," to which, of course, there is only one truthful and undeniable answer. Bravo!

I am still in possession of the coupon that you attached, good for one Cascade product, any size. For weeks now I have mulled over the question in my little blonde head, what size could possibly be miniscule enough to ensure no further damage to a major appliance? The answer is of course, nil.

I contemplated returning the coupon to you, enclosed in a carefully worded letter outlining my concerns, but alas, I had already sent you a carefully worded letter outlining my concerns, and since redundancy is my sworn enemy, I decided it best to address the situation here today. My good friend Pepper can attest to the fact that I do so enjoy crafting a complaint letter. Why, it might just be said I have a bit of a knack for it!

As we near the expiration date of said coupon, I am at a loss as to how to proceed. Clearly you choose not to engage in the easygoing, chatty discourse we previously enjoyed. The fact that your most recent letter to me was not signed by a person but rather imprinted by laser ink indicates that perhaps you do not understand the gravitas (a word you do not understand) of the situation. Did you not peruse the plentiful comments left by readers on my first post to you, many of which indicated that why, yes indeedy, Cascade with Dawn Grease-Fighting Action must be at the root of this groundswell of dishwasher inhumanity?

But I digress.  Back to the coupon. For an instant, I considered offering it up here on the blog as some sort of sacrifice to the cleaning gods. A symbol, if you will, of goodwill and a testament to my suffering. I realized that if chose to share the coupon with one of my readers, I would perhaps be inflicting the same outcome upon them, and in unleashing the Cascade with Dawn Grease-Fighting Action, would such heinous damage to their dishwasher occur I would be mortified and perhaps, in some roundabout way, feel responsible (another word you do not understand).

Thus, I have decided to simply offer my readers this piece of advice: use Electrasol tabs instead. It took multiple cycles over a period of weeks to eventually reduce the discolouration left by your product, but the Electrasol did the trick. Thank you to all of the readers who suggested it. Even the clouding and etching that was beginning to appear on my drinking glasses appears to be lessening!

Lastly, I would like to suggest to you that if, in the future, someone complains about the quality of your dishwasher detergent (and it is quite likely they will) you might not imply in writing that that someone is somehow incapable of operating a dishwasher properly or possibly that that person has really, really dirty dishes and no detergent could get it clean. Especially do not use this as your argument after claiming in a previous letter "these things just happen sometimes and we haven't figured out why."

It might possibly be that that someone could presume you have some sort of credibility problem. That someone might blog about it, thus negating all of the advertising that you have done for say, the last week. Let's just say, for argument's sake,  just the last week.

Yeah, just the last week. Let's just leave it at that.

No lurrve lost,


With that, Saucy feels like a regular informant! Not only did the family attend an Islanders/Flames game this weekend, they saw Matt Damon in The Informant! Matt Damon is so very likable but it occurred to Saucy that Matt Damon always appears as Matt Damon, just sometimes he wears a fake mustache. The story is interesting enough, and it gets more captivating as it unfolds. The same cannot be said for the Islanders/Flames hockey game.

The Informant! was not without its charm, but ultimately it was only slightly more satisfying than Cascade with Dawn Grease-Fighting Action and NHL hockey, natch.

Three out of five cupcakes. Please do not rinse the plate before dishwashing.

emmy dress rundown

Dear Reader, did you watch the Emmy Awards last night? What did you think of the dresses? The red carpet is always the best part, don't you agree? Saucy has compiled another list for you, filled with her opinions.

For the anonymous reader who asked after the Academy Award post wondering who died and made me the fashion police... it's a self-proclaimed title, dig? I try to be fair.

Toni Colette: Was this red or fuschia? No matter, it looked nice on you. The deconstructed skirt is a little three-seasons-ago-Project-Runway, but Tim Gunn was nowhere in sight and Heidi Klum was in no condition to proclaim you "out," so you are "in."

Hayden Panettiere: The red is nice for your skin tone, your gold clutch is quite nice and the overall look is very mature, but then again, you're dating someone about twelve years older than you, are you not? I suppose this choice goes with the territory. If you keep this up, next year you can come dressed like Shirley MacLaine.

Blake Lively: I know they do things like this on Gossip Girl, and you certainly have the figure for it, but the J-Lo neckline is for someone much older, or Hayden Panettiere.

Hi there: I have no idea who you are and what you are doing at the Emmy Awards, but I suppose people said that about me the year Veto and I attended the International Emmy Awards, so I will be nice to you and say that you got a really nice outfit at the Dress Barn for the occasion.

Debra Messing: You are obviously back to your Will & Grace weight. I always thought you looked a little gaunt but you certainly wear this haute couture look well with your frame. And you always, always pick colours that compliment your hair and skin tone.

Again, I apologize for not having the slightest idea of who you are, madam, but there is entirely too much going on in this outfit of yours. The straps, the belt, the slit, the train, the peplum... I have no idea where to look so I will let my eyes rest on the red carpet to which you might be attempting to stand out from but unfortunately, you are blending into.

Melora Hardin: So after filming The Office, I guess you took in the Disney on Ice production of Beauty and the Beast?

Jennifer Love Hewitt.... or are you Jennifer Garner? You have the same problem. Your assets are popping out from above your bodice. This dress looked much nicer close up on my high definition screen, which is more than I can say for the almost-exact version I wore of this to a wedding in the late 80's.

Jessica Lange: I suppose you tried. The teal colour was a little harsh and you could have lost the sunglasses. I know it must be bright out there in the California sun, but wearing sunglasses on the red carpet is a perk reserved for the cast of Entourage.

Vanessa Williams: You always look like a beauty queen! The colour, the fit, the hair, the earrings... Wilhemina would be proud!

Dana Delaney: You were one of the first who showed up on the red carpet in the big colour of the night, purple. Because so many people wore it, you sort of got lost in a sea of grapery. You looked really nice and I just thought someone should let you know.

Mary-Louise Parker: Short and purple! How utterly cute you looked. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Mary Hart: Please, just go home and watch from the comfort of your family room like the rest of us. You're starting to annoy us. Plus, every year your hair just blows around all helter-skelter.

Shar Jackson: I liked it! Kind of mauve with black but the too-purple bag could have been swapped out to black, gold, silver or even a smokey grey would have looked better than that purple snake skin.

Elizabeth Perkins: I always get you mixed up with Mary-Louise Parker, sorry about that. You still looked nice in this age-appropriate eggplant number. I bet you didn't feel like tugging or pulling at your neckline or sleeves all night long.

Ginnifer Goodwin: Me likey. Hot colour, well accessorized, and maybe, just maybe, I should dye my hair to be as dark as yours for the fall. Will you get back to me on this?

Padma Lakshmi: Obviously you don't eat one-quarter of the food produced on Top Chef. I like the purple with the red. If you add a floppy hat, you can join one of those clubs for retired ladies that meet at the mall food court once a week for lunch.

Lindsay Price: I really hope that Eastwick works out for you, after Pepper Dennis, Coupling, and Lipstick Jungle. The purple with black is inspired, one of my favourite dresses of the night.

Joely Fisher: May I be so bold as to ask what you are doing here? Obviously I have been to engrossed in American Idol, Mad Men, Project Runway and The Tudors to see if Zoey Busick Wild Card is still in production. Can someone please enlighten me?

Nancy O'Dell: You have a real knack for not upstaging the talent. As I mentioned at Oscar time, Mary Hart could take a lesson from you.

Sarah Silverman: I know you don't take yourself too seriously, so I was shocked when you appeared in this somewhat tasteful and yet unflattering gown. The fake mustache made it work for me.

That was a fake, wasn't it?

Christina Applegate: You can do no wrong. This is perhaps my number one favourite look of the night.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: This is how a dress should fit at the bust, around the waist, at the hips and in length. You have a very good stylist.

Lisa Edelstien: I am positively torn about this gown, and apparently, so is your train.

Dianne Weist: The blue serves you well. The shine of the fabric does not. Hello, every lump and curve. A nice necklace might have drawn the eye upwards and away from all those folds.

Mindy Kaling: You never look this good on The Office, because your character wouldn't know what to do if a decent outfit landed in her inbox. This looks very nice and it suits you. You don't look one bit overdone, perfect for someone who is not nominated nor making a presentation.

Sharon Lawrence: Don't underestimate the power of navy! Not quite black, but not as colourful as blue... this is very classy. The neckline is stunning and your hairdo is just downright sassy!

Kristin Chenowith: Who couldn't find you just absolutely adorable! What a good idea to tuck your tiny frame into a short dress as not to overwhelm. I would really like it if you could get a job on my new favourite show, Glee. Is that asking too much? They've only aired three episodes but you would be perfect for it.

Kate Walsh: This also looked very comfortable but when you were on the stage and I noticed that the back was all cut up and strappy it suddenly looked uncomfortable. I like it when the back of the dress makes sense when compared to the front of the dress. That said, don't turn around and you will be fine.

Jane Krakowski: Ummmm.... the jury is still out. Party gunny-sack, part sheath. The hair and makeup were the bomb, however.

Sandra Oh: This was flattering and understated, even though it was gold, like a statue. The belt slung around your hips was a nice touch.

Phoebe Price: Who are you and what did we do to deserve this?

Kyra Sedgewick: While I have no concerns about the dress... the hair was a little severe at the back and were those the only shoes you had on hand? Black pumps? Really?

Holly Hunter: You just get cuter and cuter, and make better choices every year. If you know Kyra Sedgewick personally, could you mention the nude heels to her?

Drew Barrymore: I like you more and more every year. You grew up so nicely after such a rocky start. These dresses you produce for the red carpet make me green with envy.

Alicia Witt: Perfect dress... now here is an example of how black shoes can be worn with a light coloured gown. They are strappy and light and there is still black on the bodice of the gown, so it all relates. Are you taking notes, Mrs. Bacon?

January Jones: I suppose you could have gone all 50's retro on us and we'd have eaten it up, but here you are looking modern and sleek... just to prove that being Betty Draper is about acting, dahling. I half suspect some critics will eat this Atelier Versace number alive and leave you torn to shreds over it, but it's quite different and unexpected. It does appear, however, to be constructed out of mylar and acrylic sheeting. How uncomfortable is it?

Kara Dioguardi: Way better than anything Paula would have come up with. 'nuf said.

Kim Kardashian: You just lurrve the camera, don't you? Every angle, every turn, every minute. It was all very Greek-Goddess gone reality. The Fan would say "she just eats that camera up at every opportunity, doesn't she?" It's like you wanted us to inspect you for the panty lines that were never coming.

Leighton Meester: Nicely, nicely done. It draped so nicely and I didn't cringe when you appeared onstage.

Olivia Wilde: A little ice-skater competition for me, but the fashion critics are eating it up already, so what do I know? This is not a science, it's opinion. My opinion: too much. Oh, and I saw the backside. It was really, really bad. Like a big old zipper slapped on a nude bodysuit. Please don't do a Kardashian and turn around for the camera.

Jessica Lowndes: From 90210 to the red carpet, looking sweet but the shoes were a little too strappy! They made your legs look short. You girls lurrved your black shoes this year.

Kathy Griffin: D-list celebrity, B-list dress. Not bad!

Chloe Sevigny: For once, you won't have people's tongues a'waggin tomorrow about how you just can't get it together for functions like this. Not the strongest look on the red carpet, but not the most embarrassing for once, either. Good for you!

Tina Fey: The winner, dressed in black and finally looking comfortable in evening wear. This dress just does wonders for you. But, what's with all the black, girlfriend? It's so very morose.

Sally Field: You look radiant and positively youthful in this gown! Better than you've looked in years! Must be the Boniva.

Patricia Arquette: Maybe you need some Boniva. Talk to Sally. You need to make up your mind: sleeve or no sleeve. There is no compromise. I meant to mention that to Kim Kardashian (above) as well but I was hypnotized by her provocative poses. You do not have that skill, so please, I emplore you, cut off that left sleeve.

Plus, I see that you are now sporting the Kate Gosselin haircut. Have you no pride?

Glenn Close: Are you and Jessica Lange seeing the same optometrist? Was there a 2-for-1 sale on Lasik eye surgery? Please ditch the sunglasses on the red carpet. There is no female equivalent for the word douchebaggery.

Other Kardashian Sister: Please go home.

You: I don't even want to know who you are. The car with the Kardashians is leaving and there still might be room if you hustle.

Jenna Fischer: Aren't you just lovely, all dolled up like this? I think that if people saw you like this more often and not like your character in The Office, you could star in a romantic comedy!

Christina Hendricks: Thank you for bringing curves back to Hollywood. Please, please, please, let them catch on.

Chandra Wilson: The pattern was a stroke of genius and so was that neckline. Good work. Again... hello curves! Welcome.

Amy Poehler: There are a few shots of you that are less than flattering in this gown, due to the placement of the beading, it looked like you might have a bit of a baby bump going on. Regardless, it is a nice dress and all dresses don't look perfect at all angles. And it would be hypocritical of me to bash your curves given what I said above.

Alyson Hannigan: I have to say that I love this dress, because I wore something very similar to the International Emmys in 2004... honestly, you look better in it anyway. I concede.

Heidi Klum: Are you in or are you out? This is the look that will get the most attention tomorrow. Reminiscent of a guppy fish? Yes. Are you still absolutely beautiful no matter what you wear? Yes? Love it or hate it (and I haven't decided), kudos to you for not being planted on the sofa with a gallon of ice cream and a jar of Vlasics.

That being said, there may be some room in the Kardashian ride if you sit up front with the driver.

Reader, did Heidi get this right? Saucy is exhausted and cannot make one more fashion proclamation. This one is up to you.