Saturday, December 29, 2012

When I Grow Up

After crying through Les Miserables for the second time this week... I started thinking about dreams.

I think I was eight when I saw Les Mis on broadway for the first time.  I have vague memories of having my Barbie and Ken be Cosette and Marius.  I was a hopeless romantic from the start and for as long as I can remember, I have been in love with the stage.

As a toddler, I used my parents' fireplace as a stage and made my family watch me dance and sing on it at holiday gatherings.  I would call out anyone who tried to leave the room.  Oh yes, I was that kid.  "Look at me!  Look at me!"  (Only child much? )

Jenny Caccamo circa 1989?
In loving memory of George Lon (aka Mr. George)
At four, I started dancing.  At five, I decided I was going to be movie star.  I was in more shows than I can remember, president of the Thespian Society, did an independent study in acting my senior year of high school and even contemplated a theatre major.  My father said he wasn't paying for four years of college so that I could be a waitress.  And he was probably right.  I was a great dancer and actress, but I couldn't sing.  I tried.  Gosh, how I tried.  Voice lesson upon voice lesson did no good.  If I had that triple threat I might have had the guts to give it a go, but at about 17 or 18, the practical girl inside of me decided to major in English instead.  I would teach.   I mean there was always community theatre right?

The truth is I never did community theatre.  The last time I was on stage was 2001.  I ended up with that English degree and then went on to get a Masters in Elementary Education.  I HATED teaching elementary school.  I'm still kicking myself for not enrolling in Columbia's dual masters/PhD program for English Lit, but as they say hindsight is 20/20.  C'est la vie!

My rekindled love for Les Miserables seems to have sparked something in me.  The same something I feel in the pit of my stomach every time I go to the theatre.  It's a heart pang.  I look at these actors and actresses and I KNOW what they are feeling.  I know the rush.  The adrenaline.  I get so jealous, because I want to be them.  I miss the lights, the applause.  I miss the makeup, the sweat.  I miss hell week and cast parties.  I miss who I was when I was on stage.  Worst of all I know that I let that dream die.  My other dreams came true:  I'm a wife and a mother - my two biggest dreams of all - and in the words of Meatloaf:  "two out of three aint bad."

But I still feel that tug every once and a while and I know I'm not done yet - that one day I'll make it back.  I haven't felt my last spotlight or had my last curtain call.  I may be a mommy now, but that little girl I used to be is still inside shouting: "look at me, look at me" and I don't think she's going anywhere any time soon.  I still am an only child after all ;).

I'd love to get back to acting.  I'd love to write a book.  I'd love to teach a Literature and Film class.  There are so many dreams left in me: dreams for my children, dreams for my husband and me, and dreams for myself.  The more and more I think about it, I realize that I didn't let my dream die.  I just took care of the important ones first... and those other dreams are still there just waiting for the right time and the right spark to ignite once more.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird 
That cannot fly. 
Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

                               Langston Hughes

Keep dreaming,



Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Link Love

Just a quick one today kids...

Got a few things I'd to share and not a lot of time...

So you're going to have to click to get the skinny on the following:
This was sort of fun...

Kind of like a treasure hunt...

Until next time, 



Thursday, December 27, 2012


I have this problem with movies.  It goes back as far as I can remember.

I get obsessed.  I get a favorite movie and I watch it over and over and over again.  I just can't get enough.  I'm like an addict.

The first movies I remember getting addicted to were The Ten Commandments (with Charlton Heston) and Gone with the Wind.  I was five.  Yes, five.  And I wondered why I couldn't relate to the other kindergarteners.  What can I say?  I'm an only child.  Don't get me wrong I still watched Today's Special and Mr. Rogers, but I loved me some AMC.

My movie obsessions changed through the years.  There was my Legends of the Fall phase (when I first fell in love with Brad Pitt), my Titanic phase (saw that 9 times in the theatre my sophomore year of high school), and my anything British and/or a period piece phase, which still hasn't ended.  I'm guessing that means it isn't a phase...

And now: Les Miserables.

Oh Les Mis.  I love you.  I've loved you since I saw first saw you on Broadway as a little girl.  I loved you the two times I went back to see you on Broadway after that.  I know every word to your original Broadway cast recording CD.  I secretly wish I could read you in the original French because I am just that much of a geek.  I've watched your PBS anniversary special countless times.  And now you're on the big screen.  I just knew I had to see you on opening night.   You break my heart over and over and over again.  Then you trample on the pieces.  And I love it.  Every single second of it.

Hugh Jackman, you are a great Valjean.  Are you the perfect tenor that Colm Wilkinson was?  No.  Did I care?  Not really.  Maybe during "Bring Him Home," but I got over it real quick.  Russell Crowe,  not bad buddy.  You might have been the weakest voice in the cast, but it worked and I didn't hate your Javert.  I felt bad for him.  Well done.  Anne Hathaway was flawless.  FLAW.  LESS.  Who knew Amanda Seyfried could hit those notes?  I have no idea where Samantha Barks has been hiding. And Eddie Redmayne - I'm in love with you now.  And guess what - you're British.  But, then again, of course you are.  I could go on and on about how much I loved this movie.  How the casting was perfection, the cinematography beautifully done - but, alas, I am no film critic - so I'll spare you all the details.  Just know that it was everything I hoped it would be.

When I saw it Christmas Day you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre.  The audience broke out into thunderous applause at the end even though there were no curtain calls to clap for.  I left the theatre captivated, emotionally exhausted, and contemplated watching it again immediately in the next theatre over.  I pulled it together and went home, but it looks like I'm obsessed.  Again.

How could I not be?  What musical theatre loving, broadway actress wannabe, hopeless romantic wouldn't eat this up:

So, who wants to go see it?  I'm dying to go again.

Love you like I love Les Mis,



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Swing of Things

I'm not going to lie, I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things.

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I seem to be in a post-holiday funk.  I've got e-mails backing up into oblivion, posts to write, products/books to review, and a novel to edit (among other things) and I haven't done anything.  Not. One. Thing.

Today I got caught up with cleaning and laundry, hooked up our Xbox with kinect, and tried to find homes for all our new toys.  It is ridiculous the amount of toys these two got!  We need to build an addition just for toy storage purposes!

I'm going to try to sneak away (read: saddle husband with kiddos) tomorrow to get back into fashionista mode.  I have really been struggling with finding the time to do/write all that I want to.  I need to get a schedule worked out and stick to it - with a more probable goal of 3-4 posts a week (in addition to any local happenings that I post on Flower City Fashion).  I think trying to post every day just isn't feasible at this point in my life.  With no more naps, special needs, and a crazy travel schedule these next two months - time just isn't on my side.

I also can't help but be impacted by the tragedy and loss that seems to be everywhere I turn.  It has made me realize how blessed I am.  That life is too short to sweat the small stuff.  We're healthy.  We're together.  I'm so thankful to be home with my kids, to have my family safe and sound, to be able to provide the treatment necessary for Colt (and potentially Cooper too).  Those are the important things.  Sometimes its the most important things that we tend to forget.  I don't want to take those things for granted any more.

As this year comes to a close, I think one of my resolutions should be to go easier on myself, to know that sometimes simple is best, and to remember that the people I love are most important.  Everything else should just fall into place...

Hope you had a very merry Christmas with all the people you love best.  And to those of you who are are grieving, sad, and lonely this holiday season - you're in my prayers tonight and always.

See you tomorrow!



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bad Blogger

Sorry guys.  I've been a bad blogger this week.

I've just really been struggling with time management now that Christmas has been thrown into the mix.  That hour I could steal at some point during my day to write is now spent wrapping presents, doing last minute shopping, planning menus (hosting Christmas Eve and Day), decorating, etc.  I feel like I'm on an episode of "Minute to Win It" all day long - rushing around like a maniac.

This makes for one worn out fashionista, a few hundred unhappy readers, and a heaping pile of guilt to boot.  (I'm Italian, raised Catholic - guilt just goes with the territory).

So before I disappear (again) to celebrate Christmas, I wanted to let you in on the "big reveal" for my family room remodel project.  It's done!  Aside from hooking up the TV so that it actually works (right now it's more like a $1200 picture frame) the project is complete!  I even ordered HDMI cables off of ebay last night that *might* be delivered by the 24th.  We might actually be able to WATCH the tv by Christmas!  Keep your fingers crossed!

Well, without further ado, let me take you through the process:

This used to be the view from sitting on the couch.
This is after rearranging furniture and taking everything off the walls.
Getting ready for the contractors...

Building the window seat.

Progress at end of Day 1

Progress at end of Day 2 

Yay for overhead lighting!  This room used to be so dark!

Picking Paint

Choosing Stain

Coming Together

New Paint and White Trim

Almost Done!


Handles On.

Curtains and Blinds Up


It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
And this is my view right now from the kitchen table at this very moment.

Can't wait to enjoy the holiday in my new room!  

Have a very merry Christmas!  

Exciting things happening around here in the next few weeks.  The blog is getting a facelift, giveaways are coming from Dr. Scholl's and Acoustic Jeans, annnndddd I might even write something!  Ha!  Joke. 

Love you!

Mean it!

Hope Santa brings you everything on your list!



Monday, December 17, 2012

Made in America Mondays ~ Volume 6

First off, my apologies for not posting last Monday.  Last week got a little hectic: home remodeling project, I got sick, had to coordinate getting my kids back from grandma and grandpa.  You know how it goes, sometimes life just seems to get in the way.

In honor of Christmas, and my ever-growing wish list,  I'd like to introduce you to a fabulous line of couture handbags that I can't afford, but wouldn't mind if Santa left one under my tree.  Of course they are Made in the USA, the highest quality leather, and worn by celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Rhianna.   If fad labels aren't your thing and you're looking for gorgeous, high quality bags that are Amercan-made, BAGSTIL Couture is for you.

Here are two of my favs:

Hey Johnny $275
Shoulder bag hand made in dakota leather.
Chain strap or ajustable shoulder strap, top zip closure, 
front zip pocket with long pull, custom solid antique brass hardware.
size: 9" L x 8" H
Rhianna $725
Convertible shoulder bag hand made in lamb skin.
Two top handles with key lock and clip detail, top-zip closure, inside zip pocket.
 Removable, adjustable shoulder strap.
size: 12." L x 16.5" H
color: black lamb skin with brass hardware

Alternate view

You can save 10% ($27.50-$72.50 savings) with the code:  FASHIONISTA.

I just read the other day that if every American spent $60 on something made in America this holiday season it would create about 200,000 new jobs.  (PS- I also read somewhere that the average American spends about $700 on Christmas - so imagine if all that money actually STAYED in America).  Mull that over a moment. :)

Happy Shopping!  And remember, buy American this holiday season!  Together we really can make a difference!



PS- If you're name is Ashley you just won some OMG Nailstrips.  Congrats!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Three Steps to Simple Style

Despite what you may think, looking put together doesn't require a ton of time and energy.  Today I am  going to show you how to put together an outfit in three simple steps using items you already have in your wardrobe.  Who's excited?

Before we get started, let's get one thing straight.  I'm going to assume you have pants on.  If you don't, put some on.  Pretty much any pants will do aside from sweats pants, other lounge pants, pajama jeans etc.  We're talking actual pants, with structure, and maybe even a zipper.

Ok let's begin.

Step 1:  Put on a graphic tee.  (You can wear a plain tee if you're boring.)

Remember my uber-talented artist friend?
He designed this shirt.
It's called "Remember the Day Before."
You can buy one here.
I'm wearing a large.
Step 2:  Slap on a cardigan - maybe in a bright color.  I chose emerald green, which happens to be Pantone's color for 2013.  (What can I say?  I'm cool like that.)

a.n.a. jeans via JC Pennery, RLoArtwork tee via Society 6, Forever 21 cardigan

Step 3:  Add a scarf

Is anyone else singing this blog post like the Special Agent Oso song?  (If you have a preschooler and the Disney channel you'll know what I'm talking about)

For those of you who are clueless, watch this:

You'll be singing that all day.  You're welcome.

So there you have three easy steps to a casual, comfortable, and put together look.   And, if you watched the video, how to wrap a present (just in time for Christmas!)

Tee + Cardi + Scarf = simple, easy style.  This isn't rocket science people.  

Have a fantastic weekend!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Complete Opposite

You'd think that with my children gone for almost a week, I'd have tons of time to write and get caught up with blogging right?  WRONG!

It's the complete opposite, I'm trying to cram in everything I can before they get home.

For example:

I'm co-running (is that a word?) the ladies advent tea at my church and almost everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, so please pray it goes off without a hitch tonight.

My poor kids are sick down at grandmas house, so I'm worried about my little peanuts and poor grandma.

Finishing up family room - which means I've been cleaning sawdust and sheetrock for two straight days.

Almost finished Christmas shopping.

Began wrapping.

Baked for advent tea.

Went to spa.

Went to chiropractor.

Went out to dinner with the hubs EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

General housekeeping/laundry.

Ran a million miscellaneous errands that would have been 180x's less enjoyable with children.

Made a million phone calls that I can never make with kiddos here.


Ad Nauseum.

So blogging?

Eh, not so much.

I still love you though...

I'm just hoping that one day I stop feeling like a hamster on a wheel - but maybe thats just what being a grown up feels like...

Gosh I hope not...

Ok time to get back to cleaning.

I should probably proofread this...

But I'll just pray and hit publish instead.


Love ya.

Mean it.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Can't Paint My Own Nails

It's true.

I can't.

I'm pretty sure I have an undiagnosed fine motor issue.  It would explain why I always sucked at art, why I currently have craft anxiety, and why I can't paint my own nails.

I mean, I'm thirty years old.  I should be able to cut in a straight line, draw simple items, or slap a little nail polish on for that matter.  Can't do it.  Any of it.

Which is why I was thrilled when OMG Nail Strips contacted me and asked me to try their line of nail polish strips and nail foils.  Finally do-it-yourself nails for the artistically challenged.

Nail Polish Strips in "Cheetah."

I'm obsessed with these nail polish strips.  I tried cheetah and it looks adorable, even on my little nubs. Applying these babies couldn't be any easier.  If you can peel and stick a sticker than you can do this.  Peel, stick, push down along the end of your nail and rip off the excess.  The end.  It took me less than five minutes to do this people:

I love leopard.
I guess what they say is true:
"You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl."
This is my attempt at the "Blogger Nail Polish Pose"
I look part orangutan don't I?

Now the nail foils need to actually be cut, so while they looked cute, I (being the spaz that I am) had a hard time cutting them to fit.  Granted I can't really cut anything so I'm not blaming the product.  I'm pretty sure if you have 3rd grade level artistic capabilities and reasonable intelligence, you should be able to apply these no problem.

Me and scissors just don't mix.
And this photo is upside down.
Clearly me and cameras don't mix either. 
End Result:  cute and festive (Christmas Lights)
And the gorilla hand pose returns...

So what have we learned today?

Even I can apply OMG Nail Strips Nail Polish strips, and I'm sure 99% of you can apply the foils.  These are a great value at  $4.29 - way cheaper than you can get comparable products at the drug store and boatloads cheaper than the nail salon.  Did I mention that they offer free shipping on all orders over $20?   They do.

For value, easy application, and an adorable end result,  I give OMG Nail Strips two gorilla orangutan thumbs up.

And since I love you all so much, I am giving away two sets of Nail Polish Strips to one lucky reader.

The winner will receive both the floral and zebra patterns.  Want to enter?  It's easy.  Simply follow this blog with GFC and comment below that you do.  Want an extra entry?  Tweet about the giveaway and tell me about it in a comment below.  To lazy to write your own tweet?  Copy and paste this:  "@jennysanzo is giving away @omgnailstrips on her blog" and then link to this post.  You're welcome.  

Deadline to enter is Saturday December 15th.  US residents only.

Best of luck chickadees! 



Disclaimer:  Nail strips courtesy of OMG Nail Strips.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 10, 2012


So before my home became inhabitable and my parents whisked my kids away to New Jersey we had breakfast with Santa at our church.  Colt was in awe.  Coop wasn't so sure about the whole thing.

Scoping Out the Big Guy
My big boy was so happy to see Santa!
He asked for Rescue Bots and Jake and the Pirates.
Oh and cars and choo-choos of course!
While Colten was perfecting his angelic pose to ensure placement on the Nice List,
Cooper was checking out Santa suspiciously.
Three seconds later Cooper burst into tears.

I think this is the first Christmas that Colten really gets it and it is so exciting to watch.  It's hard to believe that one day he'll outgrow Santa, but when he does, I found this unbelievably sweet note on Pinterest from parents to their child when he questioned whether or not Santa is real.

Are you crying yet?  Because I am.

I love this.  Definitely keeping this for the future, but hope my adorable little boys believe in Santa forever.  They grow up way too fast!

Hope you're on the nice list this year,



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh... hello... are you still here?

I am soooo sorry!  In the words of Ricky Ricardo:  "Let me 'splain."

We're remodeling our family room.  It never occurred to be when the staining, painting, and polyeutheraning began we would have to vacate our home because of the fumes.

Well, we did.

My poor parents drove up for a family weekend that was supposed to include baking Christmas cookies and getting our tree, but instead they couldn't even go in our house and we all had to check into the Hampton Inn.

They just took my kids back to NJ with them because my contractor doesn't think the air will be safe for the kids until Wednesday.  I can't leave in the middle of a home remodel project and I'm co-chairing the ladies advent tea at my church this week.  Ugh.


So yeah... no real blogging happening here.  Just vacating, fumigating, and vacillating between staying in a hotel for a week or spending the week kidless.   Looks like no kids for me until Thursday.  A rest will be nice, but boy am I going to miss those little boogers.  I must be PMSing, because I cried when they pulled out of the driveway.

Be on the lookout for actual content soon!  It's coming!  I promise!



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Potty Training Edition

Tomorrow marks one week in underwear (pull ups at night).  All in all I think he is doing really well, but we have managed to have accidents in two public places.

1.  The Chinese Restaurant

This photo is from my bachelorette party circa 2007
But I'm holding sushi so I decided it could work.
What can I say?  I needed a photo

Now for the story:  He's sitting there, mowing some lo mein noodles, watching rescue bots on Steve's i-pad when BAM!  the biggest pee I've ever seen in my life soaks the booth, his pants, socks, sneakers etc.  We had to carry him out barefoot.  I'm pretty sure we're never allowed back.

2.  The Liquor Store

Pick him up at school, grab a happy meal, and run to liquor store for cheap bottle of red wine that I forgot to buy for the beef stew I was making for dinner.  I walk three steps away from the child and hear:  "Mama..pee-pee."  There he is standing in a puddle on the mat next to the cash register.  The lady working was less than pleased.  I offered to clean it up, but made the mistake of asking for carpet cleaner.   Apparently this is the first time someone urinated in her store and she never had use for carpet cleaner before.  She made sure she told me that (twice) and proceeded to give me a look that said "you shouldn't have your snot nose kids in my liquor store anyway."  I asked if she wanted me to spray her carpet with the windex she put on the counter and she said: "you better spray it with something before it stinks to high heaven."  Ok I get it, you're pissed (no pun intended) but it's not like I just peed in your store.  The kid is three and he is adorable and accidents happens.  I guess I'm going to have to start buying my booze somewhere else.  Her loss.  They might go out of business because this mama drinks a lot of wine - I mean if this incident proved anything its that I need my booze more than anyone else.  When we got to the car I said to Colt: "boy that was embarrassing huh?"  To which he replied, "no" and smiled that cute little chicklet tooth smile at me. Super.  I'm going to need a new liquor store.  Stat.

Hope you're having a terrific Tuesday and that no one pees on your stuff.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Made in America Mondays ~ Volume 5

I had the craziest weekend.   It was crazy busy in a good way, but I'm still exhausted.  Between holiday parties, birthday parties, my first ever book signing, holiday shopping, making brownies with strawberry and icing Santa hats on top, and a family room remodel,  I'd really just like to snuggle on in for a long nap.

Book Signing at Fairport Library on Saturday
It boggled my mind how many women over 65 bought my book -
I guess I was wrong about that whole 30-40 year old demographic...
Santa Hat Brownies 
Sadly with a blog to write and a baby blob ready to wake up from his morning nap at any given moment, I don't think there are any naps in my future.  So let's just carry on with business as usual, shall we?

Today, for my fifth installment of Made in America Mondays, I'd like to show you some beautiful jewelry from I Choose American (all made in the USA of course).

And because I love you all, you can save 10% off any jewelry purchase from I Choose American with the code:  FASHIONISTA!

Happy Shopping!
Saturn Ring
Sterling Silver
Falling Star Necklace 
16" Sterling Silver
Saturn Threader Earrings
Sterling Silver

Thin Ice Necklace
Sage Glass (from wine bottle) and Sterling Silver

Which one is your favorite?  Do you know of a great jewelry line that is made in the USA?  I'd love to write about it!  



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