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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Cupid is stupid

I’m just coming back from a week long work conference, physically and mentally just coming back.
I got home in time to see all the beautiful Valentine’s posts, read all the tweets of love and devotion, and see the Instagram shots of flowers and gifts. I love seeing all the love – but I could care less about the day. This got me thinking (in a Carrie Bradshaw kinda way)…
Am I dead inside because I don’t care about Valentine’s Day?
I know my husband doesn’t believe me, but I really don’t want to go to dinner tonight. Even after all these years he thinks it’s some sort of trap. I love flowers but I love them all the time. Not just today. And Forrest was right – life is like a box of chocolates – except you know exactly what you’re going to get today.
You know what I’d like for him to get me? Those bags from IKEA. The big blue ones that hold everything and cost 50 cents? I’d post pics of them all over the place.
Know what else he could do? Put the new shower liner on in the bathroom. If he did that I’d tweet a love sonnet to him (ok, a haiku).
Does that mean I don’t love romantic gestures? No. I just don’t want them or need them today – I’d like a rain check for a really crappy day in March if possible.
Cupid isn’t stupid. I’m sorry I said that. He’s just not my kinda guy.

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Domo Arigato NYC

Maybe it’s because I love it so very much that I have guilt. Yesterday’s post about how NYC can sometimes stink has me feeling bad. And because some folks reminded me that I sounded like a spoiled baby…waaaa….it smells bad. They said,” You know what smells bad? War torn Africa! Crime riddled Mexico! And small American towns with no good bagel shops. So chin-up! Get over it!”
So – like a cheap suit I’m folding today and telling you the good parts of my commute.

There’s this ridiculous view at the front of my building. Beautiful.

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Across from the pee block (ahem) is a little place called Underground Pizza. It completes me. Know why? Because it makes this…

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It’s the most amazing slice ever. On a side note, in college, my friend Maureen and I would go to this kick-ass pizza place called Broadway Joe’s. It was the best pizza in the city (they burned down and rose from the ashes in Upstate NY, but that’s another story for another day) We’d always get the same thing – a Sicilian slice. Then we’d ask the very Italian dude to scrape off the cheese and add more sauce. He’d do it – but he wasn’t happy about it. Then we’d load it up with red pepper and black pepper. Sigh. Good times. My college memories are of pizza not keg parties. I know you’re not surprised. (Tell me you remember this Maureen?!)
What was I talking about?

Last but not least – this is the Geisha that rides the subway with me every morning. We’re on the same schedule. She gets off at Fulton Street to go about her Geisha day. The first time I saw her I snapped a pic. Now I just pretend it’s normal like everyone else.

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Putting my marriage at risk for you

I’m going to get in major trouble for posting this pic. But I can’t help myself. In real life, my husband looks like a serious dude. Sometimes his frown does not turn upside down – know what I’m sayin’?

But I think deep inside – he’s always smiling. Look at him doing karaoke with his aunt. Not only did he belt out a tune (Sinatra I think), but then he busted a few moves to make her laugh.

The pic is blurry so I’m hoping he won’t be too angry. He’ll be smiling on the inside when he sees this. Ahem.

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Best Decision Ever.

Ummm…can we just skip over my explanation of not writing during the last 15 days? Ok. Thanks. More importantly – I couldn’t wait to write this post. 

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. Really we did. Swear on June and Johnny we did.  And when we made that decision it was filled with worry and anxiety. Are we doing the right thing? Yes. Are we too young? Yes. Will we make it? I sure hope so. But once we were married and living our little life in NYC – all that worry went away. We had a great first year of marriage. Lots of traveling for work and for pleasure. Lots of painting the town red. Not a care in the world. If we wanted to eat out at 2 AM, we could. If we wanted to leave at a moment’s notice to hop a plane to a tropical island, we could. But in reality we never did. We were pretty tame. But we were happy.

Right after the holidays we decided that this would be the year we had a baby. Unlike the wedding/marriage/decision to stay together forever thing- this was an easy one. I loved kids. He…didn’t hate kids. It was perfect. We talked it through. We made a 6 month plan. We’d get our finances locked down. We’d figure out if we could stay in the apartment. We’d figure out if we needed to buy a car. We’d take part of the year to really sort it out. But we forgot something important.

I am a fertile myrtle.  My body was made for baby bearing, and I’m not just talking about my hips. Just looking at babies could get me pregnant. And indeed, just thinking of having a baby was all it took. Well, not ALL it took. I’m not magic, but you get the point. I got pregnant quickly. Supersonic preggers. Look Ma, I got skills!

We were so excited. I won’t brag about how easy breezy the first months were. No morning sickness. No nothing. Just happy little butterfly flutters in my belly. We found out what we were having, because, well, you know. I’m nosy. I need to know things.

A girl!! Exactly what we wanted.

After that, instead of a Friday night movie – we’d head to Barnes and Noble and look up baby names. There must be an Irish/Ukrainian/Indian name right? Not so much. We knew the middle name would be Anne, because 1) Indians don’t really have middle names so I was open to anything and 2) My husband’s family has a long line of strong, beautiful women with that middle name. She could have no other middle name.

But there was an Indian first name that I loved. Asha. It means wish. Not just a small, penny-in-a-fountain wish – but a deep, burning, full-of-love wish. Asha Anne? It could work. I began working on my husband, trying to convince him that this was the name for our little one. He wasn’t loving it, but I think I would have talked him into it. Eventually.

2 months into my “Asha” obsession, my husband came home from work with a deeper than usual frown on his face. Then he proceeded to tell me about a woman who’d just started in his group that was making his life miserable. Anyone care to guess what her name was? Anyone? Bueller? No? It was ASHA. What? Come on!  In the words of Vizzini in The Princess Bride – inconceivable!

Long story short, we didn’t go with that name. But we found something even better. There are so many other details about that time that fill my head.

I could tell you about my doctor (I’d never met a Hasidic Jew before and the first time we were introduced he said,” you don’t ask me why I have curls and I won’t ask you why you don’t wear a dot, ok? Loved him). I could talk about the raging postpartum depression I had that lasted for months, and then one day, just turned off like a light. I could talk about how we painted a hallway yellow and called it a baby room (it was beautiful).

I went into labor at 5am. We hopped into a cab and my water broke. The driver didn’t act surprised, #cabsaredirty. I was in labor for a bit and then she was born. I remember my husband clearly saying to me, in the midst of my epidural haze, “we’re a family”. The next few hours, days, weeks, months were a blur.

I’m sure a lot of people assumed she was a “surprise” because we were so young. None of our friends were even married, let alone parents. We lived in a city where it was normal to see a twenty year old strolling around with a baby – because she was the nanny, not the mommy.

But we were unapologetic. She wasn’t Asha, but she was. Because she was a wish. A plan. A purpose.

That was 15 years ago. There’s a ton of words I could use to describe her. She’s funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, stubborn, careful, sarcastic, passionate, loyal – I could go on and on.  Every time someone from the outside world tells me how amazing she is, I try not to do what I naturally want to do – which is to say,” I know right?”. I just say thank you and go cry in a corner.

Happiest Birthday to my first-born. Here’s what happens when you blink.  Your baby goes from this…

Kera3

To this…

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Babes With Books (BWB)

Last night I hosted the monthly meeting of a book club I joined this past year. I know I’ve told you about it before (This ain’t no Oprah’s Book Club ). Did I mention the name of our club? BWB. Oh roll your eyes all you want, it’s cute.

Each month the host of the meeting also picks the book we all read. For October, it was my turn. I picked, “Where’d You Go, Bernedette?”

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Have you read it? Did you love it like I loved it? Here’s the Amazon blurb:  Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

It’s funny. It’s quirky. It’s heartbreaking. My three favorite things to be. I adored Bernadette. She and I would be fast friends. Who doesn’t love a woman that outsources her daily life? Here’s some of my favorite quotes from the book,

Your mission statement says Galer Street is based on global “connectitude.” You people don’t just think outside the box, you think outside the dictionary!

…And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s ON YOU to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.

…I’d say I never considered myself a great architect. I’m more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.

I’m seriously adding the last line into my resume, “I don’t consider myself an event planner. I’m more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares”.  You should steal it too.

In the book, Bernadette gets derailed from something she was passionate about, and it almost destroys her. Without being overly dramatic, I can say that I totally relate. I’ve moved further and further away from everything I loved about event planning.

It’s natural, I guess, to become a bit more cynical as you progress in your career. But it’s been a bummer. I spend more time on conference calls debating headcount than I do debating flower or menu choices. Actually I spend zero time on the latter. I blame the corporate environment! I blame the economy! I blame the man! Just kidding. There’s no man to blame. It’s marketing after all. It’s an island full of amazon women who look normal on the outside, but inside – they’re trained mercenaries trying to outdo one another.  Just kidding again. That’s the island Wonder Woman is from.

What I’m trying to say is… I love event planning and I miss my old event planning self. Where’d you go?

So in honor of Bernedette – I pulled out all the stops to last night’s meeting.

Individual appetizers were served in a ridiculous but awesome tray/cup contraption. There were enough chips and dips to make an 80’s housewife proud. There was even a cheese platter with cutesy little ceramic signs and decorative table coverings. Decorative table coverings!! Who’s got time for that? Not me. But I did it anyway. And it made me so happy. (If you are wondering how I had all this stuff – a good friend who knows the buried planner inside me gifted them to me last Christmas)

Here’s a picture of the lovely ladies. This was taken about a minute before we pulled up twerking videos on YouTube and one of these BWBs, not sayin’ who, got up and tried the move. Take that Diana Prince.

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and now it’s dead.

Years ago, I worked with a hysterically eclectic group of women (actually I work with an equally hysterical group now but that’s another story)

When you work in events, there is no 9 to 5 work day. There is work night and work weekend and work holidays. I think I had more meals with this group of ladies in the early 2000s than with my own family.

We worked together in small, connected cubicles. There was no privacy. We didn’t even pretend to not listen. You fought with your husband, boyfriend, mother? Everyone knew about it. You messed up a meeting, an event or a call? It was office news. This sounds like hell – but it wasn’t. These women weren’t going to use this info to take you down at work. They were going to use it as material to roast you at the next meal.

I’ve written about this before …https://wifemothereventplanner.com/2013/05/07/the-lunch-table

We were all so..ummm…unique.

Anyway – I’m at the airport again today. This time heading to Charlotte. I grabbed a quick bite before boarding and thought of this and had to share.

One of the ladies in the group covered her food when she was done. No, she didn’t just throw a napkin on the plate – she ceremoniously covered it with a napkin as if she were covering the dead.

It didn’t matter if it was take-out or gourmet. Once she was done, it was ready for burial. So here’s to you Babbas!

One day I’ll tell you about the Brit who ate only cherry tomatoes one week in the name of weight loss and “raped” our lunch with her eyes. It was sad and funny. Sad for her. Funny for us. Which was all that mattered.

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