The bearded lady wants to give you some advice…

I was just going to write this to my daughter, but I’ll share my thoughts broadly – you’re welcome.

Thanks to Ulta, Sephora, and YouTube stars like Jeffree Star (RIP his relationship to Nathan) – we all think we are skin/make-up experts. Believe me, I’m the leader of that group. I’m all about knowing and trying every single product that comes out. I’ve written many many blogs on my love of all things that can smooth, flatten, brighten, tighten, etc. I’m for all of it. I also love getting a good, violent facial. Scrape it, squeeze it, laser it…bring it all on. But I’m really nervous about something that’s been creeping up everywhere.

Dermaplaning. At home. With expensive or cheap tools you can buy online or at a local store near you. The benefits they tout are vast. Remove peach fuzz and have more radiant, glowing skin! Make-up goes on easier and lasts longer! Skin feels and looks smoother and softer! Sounds like a revelation. But it’s not. It’s shaving your face. Just plain old shaving your whole face. The razors look different than the ones we use on our legs, but the concept is the same.

Listen ladies, I get it. I’m hairy too. If you saw me with my natural eyebrows and upper lip, it wouldn’t be pretty. I mean I was a junior in high school before I detached my unibrow. As a mom, I was ahead of the pack letting my daughter know we could wax, shave, peel anything she wanted whenever she was ready. I think that was in 4th grade. Believe me, I get it. And, if I’m honest, I’ve had days where I didn’t have time to go get a quick wax when I reached for my razor and took care of my upper lip issues. There’s no shame in that game. You do what you need to.

But this idea of shaving your face …no no no. Just don’t do it. Remember when they told us that pencil thin eyebrows were cool? Or that fat free bread would help us lose weight? All lies. Don’t buy into it!

Your peach fuzz is fine, leave it alone. Your uni-brow and mustache are not, take care of that now. Please people. Let’s go back to our face masks and charcoal treatments and put the face razors down. I love you.

New decade, who dis?

Don’t worry. I’m not going to go through everything that happened to me in the last 10 years. But I thought it would be fun to do some non sequiturs. Fun maybe over promising…. but here goes:


  • At the beginning of this decade I had an 11 and 6 year old. Next week that 11 year old leaves for her last semester, senior year in California. The 6 year old is learning how to parallel park. The dingo ate my babies
  • Chickpeas love olive oil. It’s true. Alison Roman taught me that. And Brad from Bon Appetit taught me more than I ever wanted to know about fermentation. Yes… kimchi… we get it we get it. In the last year I’ve nearly stopped watching Food Network (except Ina ofcourse). Who needs it?! NYT Cooking and Bon App have YouTube shows that actually show you how to cook! It’s a revelation. Everything I’ve made this year that’s impressed anyone came from those two places. Closely tied for third… King Arthur Flour Instagram and Smitten Kitchen Instagram. Do yourself a favor and carve out 5-9 hours to dive deep into those sites. It’s worth it
  • I went to far too many funerals.
  • But went to plenty of weddings too
  • I met some really good people
  • And met a few shitty ones too
  • We lost a cat. Santa brought 2 more. That bastard
  • My sister finally let the calendar go! What’s the calendar you ask?? Oh. I’ll tell you. In 2010, my sister made a calendar for the whole family as a Christmas gift. It was genius. No buying ridiculous things for people who will never use them- everyone gets a calendar. Through the years we’ve asked, no begged her, to rotate who gets to do the calendar. And every year she holds it hostage (yes it was her idea, what’s your point?). So imagine my extreme surprise when she said she no longer wanted to do it. Admittedly it was during a highly stressful time in her life. Juggling a newborn, job, life, etc. She was probably exhausted and tired when she said it. We should have said no… that’s your gift, you don’t really want to give it away…But guess what?! We didn’t. It was ours for the taking. I think we did a coin toss. I don’t remember. My cousin won it. I was devastated. But in a turn of highly fortunate events, she passed on it too! I was the winner! Or whatever you call the last one standing. Doesn’t matter. It’s mine. At least until 2030
  • I love to have people over. It’s a known fact. I’m always up for it. When I met my husband in 1991, he was… shall we say… slightly less social. It took a long long time to convert him. I’m proud to say that he’s almost more social than I am now. It’s a hosting miracle. I’m pretty good at it. I feel confident in my abilities to feed and welcome. But there are two people in my life that are freaking ninjas at it. I’m talking to you Katherine and Marcella! Holy moly. Next level hosting. That’s the badge they’d get. It’s not just about WHAT they put out. It’s HOW they put it out. And it doesn’t feel contrived or pushy. It just makes you feel taken care of. I’ll keep having people over and keep trying to be as cool as them. Trying
  • The girl gang was born. Our family welcomed the coolest, cutest, most savage set of girl babies in the last few years. Norah was first, followed by Reya, then the power twins – Jane and Catherine, and finally came Lila. Boys drool. Girls definitely rule. I’d show you pics but then I’d have to kill you
  • Speaking of girl gangs…no list of things that have happened to me in the last 10 years would be complete without mention of our annual, and now that our kids are older, biannual girls weekend! Two Aprils, lots of booze and non-stop laughing. It’s the best medicine for all my ails
  • When I picked my career and my life partner years ago, I had no idea both would take me to so many cool places. From Oktoberfest in Germany, or sitting in Grand Place in Brussels having a Leffe, to The Secret Lagoon in Iceland. It’s been a trip. Literally. What’s next? Can’t wait
  • Giving is better than getting. Liz K taught me that. She also made it ridiculously easy to do good in our neighborhood. Let me explain. All my life I’ve given to big causes. St. Judes, Unicef, etc. When there’s a major disaster, who gives? This guy, that’s who. But it felt… distant. Transactional. Which isn’t a bad thing. But 2 years ago I saw a Facebook post for a group called Neighbor in Need. A local mom had begun galvanizing help for women and families who lived in our surrounding area and who were having a hard time. It was/is everything from meal trains and small donations, to a holiday drive this past Christmas that helped hundreds of children. Here’s the beautiful thing. She makes it so easy. Don’t have time to cook? Venmo some money. Don’t have extra money? Offer to deliver one of the meals or pack supplies. It’s genius. We live in a really nice town. Most of our issues involve dog poop left on lawns (there’s a Dateline special coming up). But we have people among us that have real problems. Not enough food. Not enough resources. Invisible problems if you drive around town, or check out the town Facebook page. But Liz sees them. And she’s helped me see them too
  • Oh gel manicures. Why did you come into my life?? You’re easy. Fast. And you’ve destroyed my nail beds. I used to be a Ballet Slipper, short and square gal. Now I’m wearing Como Se Llama on long ovals! Who even am I? Well this past month it happened. My nails revolted. They’ve had enough. Now my nails look like they belong to a 3rd grade boy. Short. Nubby. Naked. It was my own fault. I have no one to blame but me. And OPI
  • Finally, I’m ending my decade with the same haircut that I began it in… except now I wear reading glasses. On top of my contacts. Joy

So there you go. Decade down. New one up to bat. This year holds big things for us too. A couple of weddings (so far), a graduation (my baby girl), and a few more laughs I hope. I started this blog because it made me happy. I hope you are still doing the things that make you happy too. Here’s to the roaring 20s! Peace and love, peace and love