Ch Ch Changes

It’s October 3rd. September has been quite a month – full of surprises and change. Nothing new for us. The end of last year was full of changes for our family too. I quit my job after 8 years and started with a new company right before Christmas. My husband was offered a work-from-home gig and jumped on the chance to not commute after decades of trains, planes and automobiles.

Then January through July were a haze. I was traveling a lot for work, which was perfect because my husband and kids were getting into their new “being home together all the time routine”. I was all, “good luck with that, I’ll be in Newport Coast for the week. It’s you, the kids and Common Core. Bye!” It all worked out – no one died. We made it through the winter and spring and then summer was a lot of fun.

We were just hitting our stride and then boom. This is how our life works. For as long as I’ve known my husband, and well before we had our kids, this is our life works. We like to shake it up – or things get shaken up for us. Every change we’ve ever made has come from a small seed of an idea that we can’t let go of. Wanna get hitched and then have a baby in our 20s? Sure. Wanna move out of the city to a town we’ve never heard of? Why not! Wanna have another baby even though I’ll have to quit my job? Let’s do it!

Some changes were our whacked out decisions, and some changes were out of our control. We just had to roll with it.

For the past decade or so (this is not an exaggeration) – I’ve heard my husband say that he’d love to get out of his profession. That the world of finance isn’t making him happy. But because he’s a workhorse, and because it’s been good for our family, he would never walk away. He went from one stressful job to another and made the best of it. But then September started. And slowly a get-away plan emerged. His group was being shuffled and his position would now be based out of NYC. But the kids and i had gotten used to him being home. And he was loving the freedom of not being in an office. Not spending his life on a train. He was going to karate practices, doing pick-up after band rehearsal – getting to know his kids (and they got to know him) in a completely different way. Good, bad and ugly.

It was very much like my childhood. My parents had actual 9-5 jobs for a very short time, then my dad started his own business and never looked back. My mom was either helping him or home with us – actually they were both home with us. I don’t remember a time when my dad was out of the house for more than a few hours a day. It was unusual and wonderful. They were also risk takers. My dad was a pharmacist who could have made a very safe living his whole life, but he tried something different. He took a chance. The irony is that my entire childhood I thought of them as the most boring, risk-averse people – they drive their cars slow and live their lives quietly. Now I think they were absolutely bohemian (I feel my sister rolling her eyes). But really, they marched by the beat of their own drum. And it wasn’t all good – there were failures along with the successes – but they tried. They moved us around. They uprooted our schooling. Money went up and down – but it wasn’t boring. That’s for sure.

Maybe that’s why I’m not afraid of change. It doesn’t really rock my world. Not because I was unhappy before, or looking for the change – but because I know it’s not always bad. Or maybe I’m just dead inside. Just kiddin’.

Because I am my parent’s daughter, I’m constantly thinking of businesses that we can run. After my son was born and I decided to stay at home, I even started one of those businesses. A wedding planning company that did pretty well for three years. I loved it. I only stopped doing it because of another change that came out of nowhere. A phone call from an old colleague who had a job for me. A good job. The only caveat – it was two states away. A job that would force my husband to quit his well paying job if we took the move. Normal people would have laughed and said,”no way”.  But my husband and I,who wouldn’t know what to do in a casino if we tried, took another gamble. We said yes. And it worked out really really well. We loved our new town. The kids loved their new schools. My husband found another job right away, and I was happy with my new job. For a little while. But in the back of my mind, I was always thinking of what “we could start”. Even though my husband is the total opposite of my wandering nature, he got into it too. We would look at empty store fronts and imagine what we could do. We would have hour long discussions about the kinds of things that would work there. Then, like the lunatics we are, we’d even call the renters and ask how much the space cost. You know, normal stuff you do on a Friday night. While you and your husband are out at fancy restaurants and enjoying life, we’re researching franchise options and coming up with company names.

So last month when his job location shifted, we jumped on our chance. Well, I jumped and dragged him along. It was Friday night, we were doing our usual “this is a business that could work” routine – and he left the room to order pizza for the kids. That’s when I pulled the trigger for him and applied for all the legal paperwork for his new company. No joke. He came back into the living room and I said,” it’s done. You just started a company”. Instead of divorcing me like a normal person would do – he sat down and started a business plan. The only thing that saves my crazy is his crazy.

A month later, he’s ready to launch the website and dive in. And I would tell you what it is, but it’s not my gig. It’s his. I’m pretty sure he’ll go postal that I’ve even talked about it at all. But as always, I’ll take the gamble.

S&M Skin Care

Exfoliating is life. We’ll, family is life – but for me, exfoliating comes close. I’m a pretty disloyal product person. I find something good, I fall in love, then there’s a general malaise where we drift apart – and then in the words of Jay-Z, I’m on to the next one. I cannot sustain a meaningful relationship with my beauty products. I’m not like that with make-up, I’ve committed to the same bronzer/blush for over 8 years now. It’s the one for me.

I know I’ve told you before, but I like a rough cleanser. I like a rough facial. I love me some chemical peeling action. If layers of skin could fall of by using this product, it’s the one for me. Ironically I don’t like a rough massage. The kind you have to medicate to recover from, I also don’t like rough-housing. Please don’t tackle me, shove me, or push me. I wouldn’t enjoy that. When my husband and I had just started dating, he once threw me into a big pile of garbage in NYC and started laughing hysterically. There had been a blizzard so it looked like a mound of fresh, clean snow. But he knew what was under there. Garbage! I didn’t talk to him for a week. Now that I’m writing this I’m getting angry again. My point is – my skin is more laid back then me.
Last week I splurged and bought a pricier cleaner than I would normally. But I couldn’t help myself. The back of it said,” Caution, may cause skin to tingle and flush. Stop using if you have sensitive skin.” Shhhhh you had me at Caution.

Here’s the product – Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate. A harsh cleanser with a sense of humor. I tried it. I’m in love. For now.

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Picture Imperfect

We finally had another book club meeting tonight. It’s been a long, bookless summer. Because why would I read a book if I’m not getting credit for it? Duh.
We read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. If you read my post yesterday you’d know that I straight up crammed the book in about 24 hrs. I’m so happy I did. It was LOL funny. How can you not love a book that waxes poetic about taxidermy, miscarriages, and blogging. You don’t think they belong together, but they do. Did I mention that the author curses more than a truck driver? (And can we change that expression? I’ve never heard a truck driver swear. Maybe it should be “she swears more than the Kardashians).

Instead of meeting at a member’s house, we were invited to The Artist’s Cellar. You’ve seen these right? You wine, you paint, it’s all good.
We had a blast. Babes with Books (BWB) rocked it. Here’s me and the beautiful woman who created BWB (I think. I mean I KNOW she’s beautiful but I’m guessing about the other part). We took a selfie. It was her idea. Or mine.

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We had adorable instructors named Cayla, Cameo and Jessica and the place was awesome. Booze, loud gals and detailed instructions – what could go wrong?!

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Here’s my masterpiece in the making.

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As always with this group, we talked about the book…oh…for a hot second. And then we talked about psychics, grandkids, medication and other miscellaneous items of urgency. A good time was had by all.

Here’s the painting we were supposed to draw:

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Here’s what I drew:

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You don’t see four trees you say? That’s called creative license! It doesn’t have anything to do with four trees merging into two blobs that I had to make into trees. Stop judging me.
We had a blast.

And here’s some pictures I took while I should have been painting.

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BWB!!

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Cramming.

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I feel like I’m 16 again. Or 17. Maybe 19.

I have to read this book before 7pm tomorrow night. No, it’s not for a class I’m taking. There’s no exam or final that I need to prep for. Just a fun book club meeting. A meeting in a wine and paint shop.

So really, this book will be like, the 3rd thing we pay attention to. In my mind it’ll be Wine, Paint, Book. Or maybe Paint, Wine, Book. It totally won’t be Book, Paint, Wine – I know that much for sure! But I still want to read it. It’s about a saucy girl’s childhood and it’s full of bad words and bad deeds. Aren’t you jealous of my book club. My book club is better than your book club.

So it’s not really like college. Or like being 16, 17, or 19 – since I didn’t have wine until I turned 30…ahem.

All my free time before and after work will go to this book. As soon as I’m done with this blog. And except the time I’ll spend watching my recorded shoes. And then ofcourse I need to go to bed by 10. But other than that – I’m all over this book.

Instagram insomnia

It’s 10:38pm. I have to wake up and go to work in about a minute. I should be tucked in and sleeping, deep in my REM cycle. But I’m wide awake, going into the rabbit hole known as Instagram. It’s evil. It’s wonderful. It compares only to the black hole of time known as Pinterest.
Lately I’m knee deep in NatGeo on Instagram. You know those annoying magazines that were all over your elementary school library? Turns out – it was full of the coolest stuff ever, photographed by even cooler people. Who knew?
Here’s a blue whale in Hawaii with a local diver, the Grand Tetons in their glory, a stare down by a young bear on the Denali mountains, a sea walrus tribe waiting for a baby to be born, a turtle in French Polynesia and an original point of view of the Pope. Take that People Magazine!
Ok. I need to go to bed. Right after I look at 1,000 more photos. All photo cred goes to the gods at Nat Geo.

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This land is your land…

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Sometimes happiness is a giant pinecone.
Let me explain.
We went to a local flea market today and I came home with three of these beauties. I am told that they are from the Redwood Forest. Just saying Redwood Forest makes me want to break out in song. Thanks for nothin’ Woody Guthrie. So how do I know they are really from CA? That they are real? I don’t know. Maybe they are real.
Maybe.
Or maybe they are from China. Or from Pottery Barn.
I dunno. Truthfully I don’t care. I like them. They make me happy. Look at the cute little East Coast pinecone next to it. A midget compared to it’s West Coast – pumped up cousin.
Hope you had a great weekend full of giant pinecones too.

Lotions and Potions/2014

I know I haven’t done a product post in a bit but wanted to share what I’m into lately. I’m a coconut freak – always have been. I love to eat it, drink it, smell it, you get the point. I’m the Bubba Gump of coconut.  It started when my mother used to slather my hair in coconut oil when I was little. It’s all the rage now, but back in the 80’s in Harrisaburg, PA, I was a freak show. She only made me do it at night and would let me wash it out in the morning, but it still felt strange. Back then all things from the East were foreign. Chicken Tikka Masala wasn’t the National Dish of England and Mindy Kaling wasn’t on TV making Indian girls look funny and cool. We were on our own.

Now I think my mother was a revolutionary. Did she know then that she was paving the way for stylists everywhere? I don’t think so. There’s a ton of cool things you can do with coconut oil. I hear people are even swishing it in their mouths to get all the bad juju out. I’m not so sure about all that. I do think it makes a really great skin/hair softener. And I’m obsessed with it as a make-up remover.

A few months ago my girl asked me to buy a jar of pure coconut oil. She had heard it was good for your hair (yep) and she wanted to try and use it to take off her waterproof mascara. It worked so well, she was hooked. Then I started sneaking it from her bathroom too. I use it every night to “take off my face”. I love that saying. It makes me feel chic. As if I’m a 50s starlet unveiling her night-time routine. One of my favorite scenes in a movie is Fay Dunaway taking off her make-up and cleaning her face in Mother Dearest. I know the movie wasn’t about make-up removal rituals, but this is what I remember people. This is also why I can’t write movie reviews. My focus is off.

Coconut Oil! Try it. Just remember, it’s oily. Didn’t want you to be surprised. It also works on dry heels. Just put a towel under your feel after applying so you don’t ruin your fancy sheets.

Next obsession of late: Roc everything. But especially Roc Multi-correction creme. I’ve been using this stuff under my eyes and on my lids (which is what it’s meant for) and around my mouth because I have skin discoloration there (which it’s not meant for but it works so why not. I may grow an extra limb later, but dems the brakes).

Here’s visuals of what I’m using. Any brand oil will do as long as it’s “pure”. I liked this one because it was the only one in the supermarket the day I was trying to buy it for her. It was either this or go to another store. I decided right there and then that this was one of the best coconut oils on the market!

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