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Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category


Being a blogger has introduced me to so much.  I’ve made good friends, used my social media influence to help raise money for charities like K.I.D.S, R Baby, The Lamp, Mothers2Mothers, and Women in Need. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how bloggers give back, like Jennifer James and her initiatives for women in Africa, or Elena Sonnino, and her work towards encouraging kids to use social media for social good.

Sometimes, being part of the blogging the community really is about making a difference in this world.

And sometimes, it’s all about the swag.

There are times when, yes, I admit it, I go to an event just because I know there will be awesome swag there.  I’m not proud of it – but there you have it.  Confessions of a swag hound.

Here are some details of last week’s swag-a-licious events!

BirchBoxFirst, I went to the beautiful roof garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel (I went to the Bryant Park Hotel first, by mistake, but let’s not relive my embarrassment, shall we?) for a BirchBox event co-hosted by the always lovely Amy Tara Koch.  BirchBox, for the uninitiated, is the original Beauty Box Delivery service.  Pay a fee, and each month, BirchBox will send you a box filled with sample products tailored to your specific needs.  Go online, and the Birchbox editors will have detailed info on how to use the products in your box, and links to purchase full sized versions.  It’s the super-fun version of try before you buy.

BirchBox’s co-founder, Katia Beauchamp, was there, and she told me that what separates Birchbox from its many imitators is their editorial staff. “We have a bigger editorial staff than Allure (magazine) she told me.”  And I will say, that the full-sized products in my special Mother’s Day BirchBox bag, (they do full sized curated boxes you can purchase throughout the year) did have some awesome stuff in it.  I’m especially fond of the Cynthia Rowley liquid eye pencil. Even I can’t mess it up!

chaise 1My next totally self-indulgent blogger event was Fit, Fab, and Fly at the 92Y on the Upper East Side.  Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City invited me to try a new exercise class, Chaise Fitness, and then to get pampered for my efforts by Priv, a beauty-on-call home service, Blue Print, the famous cleanse, Zen Home Cleaning an upscale, organic home-cleaning service, and Elemental T’s the t-shirt company started by two moms who make shirts so cute I wish my twins were still 4 years old so they could fit into them.

Chaise Fitness was not easy – but the eerily-reminiscent-of-Cindy-Lauper co-founder of the exercise system, Lauren Piskin made it fun.  Basically, Chaise Fitness involves a sort of spring loaded chair/bench thing with bungee cords hanging above it.  You do exercise on, over and across the bench, many of them including working against the springs in both the bungees and the chair (chaise) itself.

If doing the workout will make me look even 1/10 as fit and toned as it founders, sign me up.

Once I was sufficiently sweaty, I headed out to find Priv.  It’s a genius idea: beauty on demand.  Why should celebrities be the only ones with make-up artists and people to do their hair?  The folks at Priv send the beauty professionals to privyou –on short notice. Hair, nails, massage, make-up – you name it.  They’ve got a roster of professionals ready to make you beautiful.

And as if that weren’t enough, Brianne et al also thought to make sure our homes were beautified, too.  Zen Home Luxury Cleaning was there, showing off their all-organic, super elegant cleaning service. Yep, you heard that – elegant cleaning service.  Custom uniformed, fully screened cleaning personnel will come to your home and do everything from re-arranging to downright scrubbing.  All with organic, specially made products.  So your home is clean and safe.

After all this beauty and fitness it was hard to resist the last bit of swag that arrived this week: a case of pop-chips!  Did you know they now come in sour cream and onion, sweet potato, and bar b q flavor?  Good thing I got some free Chaise Fitness classes to help me work them off.

 

 

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Yup.  The title of this post is my tagline.  And sadly, it’s now become 15 pounds. Although when I wrote that tagline I probably only needed to lose seven, but the line sounded funnier with ten.

Now — not so funny.

I’ve written about how I’m going to accept that I’m never going to accept my body. I’ve talked about how important it is that my daughter not worry about her weight.

And yet I worry.

I worry that I’m looking old and spotted.  That my neck is crepey.  I worry that I’ve put on a few.  I hate my thighs. I loathe my back fat.

So why aren’t I doing more about it? (more…)

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In Brazil, this counts as a one-pieceI love Brazil.  On my vacation there years ago, I saw beautiful countryside, sophisticated cities, and rockin’ nightlife. I love Brazilians.  They are warm and loving.  They are awesome plastic surgeons, and they are singlehandedly reviving the NY Real Estate market. Some of my best friends are Brazilian. No, really. Bruno and Elizabeth.  I love them.

In fact, I like Brazil so much, I’m hoping that, lexicographically speaking, “Brazilian” bikini wax is kind of like “French” Fries. No one really knows why it’s called Brazilian. But I’m guessing it’s more like French Kissing. Anyone who spent her Junior year abroad in Paris knows where that came from.  And it ain’t lexicography. Trust me on that.

What I don’t love, is the Brazilian Bikini Wax.

Remember that episode of Sex and the City where the girls all go to LA and Carrie gets waxed?  She’s surprised by what the waxer leaves her: nada.  nothing. zip.

It’s called a Brazillian, she tells Samantha and Miranda. Out here in LA, everybody’s doing it.

Well, here in NY everybody is, too.  And the other day, not on purpose, I came close.  First of all, ouch. And second of all, I don’t think so. Why am I so opposed? Here goes:

1. I am not a porn star. (more…)

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Yesterday I got a new very short ‘do. Not on purpose…but there you go. I kinda like it. But it is SHORT!

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The First Annual Swaggy Awards

Blogging makes you beautiful in so many ways: you get deeper through your self expression, you get more compassionate through blogging for a cause. Your inner self shines…ah, who am I kidding?   Blogging makes you more beautiful because you get a free beauty products. Of course, if the number of free beauty you got made you beautiful, I’d be Gwyneth Paltrow by now.  But every little bit helps. (I hope)

Hey, I’m over forty. A lot over.  I need all the help I can get.

Companies, however, don’t give me free stuff so I’ll look better, so I’ll stave off the inevitable end of being even remotely appealing to anyone under the age of 80, so I don’t look at my wrinkly knees while in downward dog and think “why yes! Yes I am a dog.” No, they give me free product in the hopes that I will write about it.

So I’m going to.  I’m awarding the Swaggies: Best Blogger Swag. (more…)

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One of My Arty Farty Photos

I am never going to love my body just the way it is, and that’s OK.  Let me explain:

Yesterday, I read this post about a woman struggling with her post-baby body.  What struck me about the piece was that this struggle is new for her. She talks about how she never had body image issues until she had her second child.

Wow.

I cannot remember a time when I did not have body image issues. Well, maybe that’s not completely true – I distinctly remember a time in fourth grade when I was sashaying up the school steps in what I thought was a fashion-model way, when I realized to my horror that I wasn’t alone – my teacher, Mrs. Richardson was there watching. “You are quite the fashion plate!” she said. And while I had no idea what that meant, I knew it was good.  And I sashayed even more.

But that was it.  The last moment in memory when I wasn’t embarrassed by or self-conscious about my body. (more…)

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The day before yesterday I left my parents’ country house and drove into the city where the first thing I did, as usual, was weigh myself.  Way to ruin my day.

At least it’s blog fodder, I thought.  I can write about how everyone always talks about how easy it is to lose weight in the summer – but I gain.  I can talk about how everyone says living in the city is unhealthy, but the second I get to the country I stop exercising and get my very own suburban sprawl.

And then I paused – because something about it rang a bell.  I felt like I’d written it before.  You know why?  I had.  Twice, as a matter of fact.

Yes, it’s true.  This is the third year in a row that I’ve been out in the country for the summer and gained weight. And it’s the third year in a row that I’m shocked, I tell you.  Simply shocked! That such a thing could happen.

In a post called “My XL Problem with Suburban Sprawl,” I wrote about how much time I spent that summer sitting on my every-growing ass.  In another post,(and another year) I wrote about how my parents meal-time extravaganzas had taken their toll.

And here I am, year three.  Still surprised that it’s happening all over again.

What’s really shocking is my stunning inability to recognize the reality that driving everywhere whilst sitting on my ass + eating big meals + not owning a decent scale = Love handles and a lovely double chin.

Oh.  And back fat.  Gotta love the back fat.

You know the funny thing?  I went shopping yesterday and bought a pair of pants…in a size eight.  Size eight?  ONE of my ass cheeks is a size eight right now.  Vanity sizing is NOT helping me.  It is just deluding me into believing that I am still  – 7.5 pounds later –  a size eight.

Ha.

Maybe I should put on a bathing suit and look in the mirror.

That should be a reality check.

And if I faint from the reality – don’t wake me up.  Maybe I’ll lose a few pounds if I stay unconscious through a meal or two.

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-10 I am old.

Not because of  my saggy knees, or brown spots, or my elbows that look as if they’ve been crumpled up in the back of a drawer for a few decades.  No, I am old because I am horrified by what “young girls” are wearing. (plus, I refer to anyone under thirty as a young girl – I’m old for sure!)

With summer-like weather upon the city, (though this week things seem to have cooled down) everyone is letting everything hang out.  Manhattan is suffering from TMI of the body: and frankly, I don’t want to see it!

I mean, is there some rule that if you are female and possessing of a bustline you must display it so prominently one is tempted to insert a coin, grab your arm, and go for the jackpot?

Did I miss the memo that said your skirt must be so short that when you raise your arm to wave to your friend across the street, you reveal a thong so deeply wedged in it reappears on the other side?

Did someone forget to mention to me that tank tops must be worn below the bra line, so that all you need is a glass of mead and some rotten teeth to accurately approximate a Medieval serving wench?

Did I neglect to read the e-mail about displaying one’s love handles at every opportunity? Or the one about how the low-hanging pants once exclusively associated with plumbers have somehow become a fashion trend?

What ever happened to keepin’ it covered? If you’re twenty-something, well, OK.  I don’t love it, but at least you’re twenty something. It’s the thirty, forty, even fifty-somethings wearing belly shirts that really get me.  Here’s a newsflash:  I don’t care how fit you are:  unless you’re a supermodel, a movie star or a porn star, once you’ve given birth, nobody wants to see your stomach.

Plus, the flesh on display is not always taut – even when it is young.  I suppose I should think it’s great that these girls feel confident enough about their bodies that they don’t care that they’re muffin’-topping it around town.  But I don’t even like seeing the svelte ones so scantily clad the mother in me wants to run across the street and hand them a robe.  Why on earth would I want to see the pudgy ones busting out of their hip-huggers?

When I was a teenager, Preppy was in.  We must have looked ridiculous, a bunch of frizzy haired Jewish girls in multiple polo shirts with the collars turned up, as if we thought the real Wasps might not notice we were poseurs if we piled on the polos with aplomb. Our look was Wasp-wanna-be.

Today, Preppy for men is still in, but for young women, the look, evidently, is now “hooker with good highlights.”  For example, the other day in Zabars I saw a polo-wearing college boy with his short-short wearing, bra displaying, tummy flashing, $400 haircut sporting girlfriend. It looked like a casting call for a new movie: Preppy and the Parentally-supported Porn Star.

I know it’s judgmental.  I know I shouldn’t care what others wear.  But I do care.  I care because I don’t want my daughter thinking that objectifying herself is a good thing.  I don’t want my son getting the idea that women are adornments, or sex objects, or are there for his viewing pleasure.  And in case you think that sounds like I’m abdicating responsibility for raising him right, think about this: pit a mother’s admonitions to respect girls against an actual, buttocks flashing female…and guess who wins.

Look, I’m all for women reveling in their sexuality. But reveling and revealing are two different things. This physiological TMI offends me as a woman.  It sets a bad example for my kids.But mostly, it makes me hope and pray that the fashion cycle keeps turning, and the Preppy look returns to prominence by the time my daughter hits puberty.

Because by then, if she tries to go out of the house looking like a runaway who’s fallen in with a bad pimp…well I’ll be too old to do anything about it.

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The crazy blind dates. The long curly hair. The constant wondering when (and if) I would find Mr. Right. The cosmos. Other than the shoes and the rampantly indiscriminate sex, I could relate to Carrie’s life in the HBO hit series Sex in the City.

Of course by the time the show aired I was already married, and by the time it ended I already had two kids, but still, her life was close enough to what my reality had been – the glamorous, better dressed version of my reality – that even with its excesses, the show rang true.

But here we are, on the cusp of a new Sex and the City movie, and I can’t help but wonder….why is it that my life now centers around organizing my synagogue’s High Holy Days, cleaning up after the dog, and packing up the kids for sleepaway camp, while Carrie and the gang still have lives that include gallivanting across the desert in designer duds?

Read the rest of this post on New York City Moms blog by clicking here.

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I think I’m having a midlife crisis.

Why else would I have cut off my hair, gone Pole Dancing and and taken a trapeze class all in the last month? Yep, that’s me on the trapeze…though not me (I mean , seriously) on the pole.[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=pole+dancing&iid=3013396″ src=”5/0/f/b/Sydney_Contestants_Prepare_291a.jpg?adImageId=12854904&imageId=3013396″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]

I think it all started with my 7th annual 39th Birthday. You know, one birthday nearer to “closer to 50 than to 40.”  One birthday closer to “invisible to men under the age of 70.” Closer to a serious debate on whether or not to get Botox. Closer, let’s face it, to the complete demise of my face. Is it just me, or is it true that every year, the day after your birthday, you develop a new physical flaw?  The day after my fortieth, I noticed my first age spot. The day after my forty-first: two little creases between my brows.  Forty second? Wrinkly knees.

Hair cut?  It’s a wonder I didn’t shave my head like Brittany Spears. (more…)

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