Thursday, November 20, 2014

My favorite new site...


One of the good hings about getting older is that you know what looks good on you and what does not.  I know what style dresses that I like but it is not always that easy to find them.  This is why I wore the same cocktail dress to at least 15 Bar Mitzvahs before I had to retire it but that is another sad story for another day.

That is why I was excited when Eshatki.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in customizing a dress that they would then send to me for free! How could I say "No" especially when they made this offer with no strings attached. They said that they would send me the dress that I chose and customized and if I liked it, I could blog about it but there was no obligation.

Eshatki looks like a regular clothing site but you can customize any of the clothing. You chose the garment that you want and enter your measurements and they make it for you! In addition you can add sleeves, etc

I chose this mullet/hi lo dress.  I put in my measurements which I took by myself with a tape measure and it showed up within 10 days. 
High-low hem stretch crepe maxi dress


It fits perfectly and is really cute.  The best part, under a 100 bucks! A true bargain. I promise you, it is really cute and looks great on! I wore it for my 20th anniversary (I'll blog about that soon!) I will defintely be ordering from them again.


Disclosure: Sometimes companies send me free stuff. If I like it, I'll tell you. If I don't like it, I'll either tell you or won't blog about it. I always tell the truth and I will never sell outt. Eshatki sent me a free dress with no strings attached. I promise you that if I did not like it, I would have not have blogged about it. Trust me, this happened recently with a company that sent me some flowers for free and wanted me to blog about it. It was a horrible experience so I did not blog about it. I only tell the truth her at Japolina! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

We are now those parents..

  I was having dinner with a bloggy friend of mine, Rachel of Silverunpolished.com , last week. I've known her since I was a million months pregnant with my first son. Her kids are 7 & 9. Mine are almost 15 & 17.  We have much in common in terms of mothering such as our agreement that sleepaway camp is mandatory and that toothpaste in the sink left by children is very annoying. However, we are worlds apart when it comes to how our kids feel about us.  Her cute boys love when she talks about them in her blog.

  On the other hand, my boys have reached the point where my husband and I are completely embarrassing to them. Not just in public but on the world wide web too.  I'm not allowed mention them in my Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. (They won't show me how to use snapchat) In fact, the mention of the toothpaste in the sink above may get me yelled at   after school today.

   A few days ago, at 5:45 a.m.,  my husband and I were goofing around while we were both making breakfast for the kids (yes high school starts disgustingly early around these parts). We had these funny tabasco things left over from a Houseparty.com Tabasco party that I was selected to host and we were just being silly.  I posted on Instagram because we look exhausted and ugly and stupid. 
Photo has been disguised to protect our children from further humiliation

   During the school day, I got this first text from one of my children   "I think that your instagram is inappropriate and that you should take it down"  I ignored as I do not think that texting this during school is appropriate either. 


   Later that day my other son explained that one of his friends was making fun of our instagram to all of their other friends. He was mortified that I had accepted a follow request from one of his friends and by our ridiculous photos. I responded by telling him that his friends were just jealous that his parents were so fun, especially at 5:45 a.m. I added that he was lucky that his parents even get up and make breakfast (and school lunches) at that ungodly hour. I'm certain that some other mothers don't even get out of bed and just let the kids fend for themselves. I also blocked the kid.

    When did we go from being cool to being totally embarrassing? Were we always totally embarrassing but the kids did not know it? We were ever cool? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY!!! Free Blu-Ray/DVD of Beethoven's Treasure Tail!

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is getting ready to release a fun kid's movie on Blu-ray/DVD on October 28th and one of my lucky readers can win a copy! How exciting! This will make a great holiday gift  (if you can wait that long to actually watch it! The film is called Beethoven's Treasure Tail and stars that adorable St. Bernard!

All you have to do is leave a comment below! That is it. Could not be any easier. A winner will be chosen on October 27th by a good old-fashioned name in the hat pull so make sure you leave your name below! Universal will Fed ex you a copy directly! (US addresses only)


Get ready to howl with laughter in this all-new family comedy starring America’s favorite St. Bernard, the one and only Beethoven! After a doggone disaster of a movie shoot, the big-hearted pooch and his trainer, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman, Beethoven’s Big Break), are heading home when they get stranded in a small coastal village. When Beethoven befriends a local boy (Bretton Manley, Ted), he helps him find a pirate map to lost treasure and together they em-bark on an adventure that brings the whole town together. Co-starring Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), it’s a heartwarming “tail” about finding fun wherever your nose leads you.



Don't forget, leave a comment below by 5p.m. EST on October 27th!

Tell your friends! 



Sunday, October 19, 2014

A trick for Costco Shoppers....

    


     If you shop at Costco, you know that one of the best, albeit unhealthy, deals  is their hotdog special . The huge hotdog plus a soda is still only $1.50.  The other food in their café is also very inexpensive and if you're like me, you spend a lot of time, energy and cash shopping at Costco which can be very hunger-inducing.

    My Costco generally has a huge line at the Café which is often a deal breaker after doing a major shop. You can imagine my shock when I learned that there is a legitimate way to cut the line.  I often hate to share these types of secrets because, as the saying goes, you tell two friends and they tell two friends and before you know it, everyone is doing it.

    However, I'm in a giving mood today, so I'll share this amazing secret with you... Order while you are paying for your regular Costco stuff.  Tell the cashier what you want and pay for it at the same time you are buying enough toilet paper for a year. Then you just walk right to the front of the café line and show your receipt and they give you the food!

    You will thank me for this one day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Letting them be Pizza

Pizza 
       I spoke to my sister yesterday while she was in the midst of costume shopping with her five year old. He wanted to be a slice of pizza for Halloween. She thought it was a dumb costume. 

     "Should I just give in and let him be the slice of Pizza?", she asked. "Of course you should", I answered. It seemed like a no-brainer to someone with 10 more years of mom-experience more than she.   "He should be able to express himself however he wants", I smugly added.

      Remember that I have two teenaged sons. We are pretty much past the days of me telling them what to do. There are certainly family rules but I am mile away from telling them what I think that they should dress up as for trick-or-treating. Like really far. 

      I'm in the middle of high school parenting and all  that this brings. They pick their wardrobes, hairstyles, friends and activities without any input from me. 

     I figured that where to go to college was going to be a joint decision but I think that I am wrong. The college fair was coming to my son's school this week. Before we went, I highlighted the schools on the list that I thought he should visit at the fair. He made his own list. I think that there was one school that we both had on our lists. 

       Obviously I'm older and wiser. I know more about college than he does. I'm the one who will be paying. I will be the one wiping away the tears or holding this biggest party once those rejection or acceptance letters start appearing during his senior year. However, I have to let him be the pizza.

     Other than nagging and coaxing about what he has to do this year to get ready to send out applications next fall , the work is really up to him. He has to study for his classes, study for the SAT, fill out the applications, write the essays, etc. He has to try to figure out where he can get in and make a plan about the next few years of his life. He is the type of kid who will be happy wherever he lands. Where you go to college is not an irreversible decision but a pretty big one, especially in the life of a teenager.

  Letting them be pizza is easier said then done. Will someone pass the parmesan cheese?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

What do I do with my Wedding Dress???

         Approximately twenty years ago I was engaged.  I was terribly excited to be marrying the man of my dreams. I was not that excited to be planning a wedding. I had just started my career as a trial attorney and the stress of my heavy case load took precedence over whether I wanted a dove or a heart stamp on the invitation or what color tablecloths I preferred.

         In terms of wedding planning, I  left almost everything up to my parents. My mother was excited to be planning a wedding. My father was happy to be footing the bill. Maybe not happy but whatever emotion fathers have when their daughters are marrying a great guy and they have to pay for the party. The only thing that I was truly concerned about was my wedding gown.


         In the mid 90's many wedding dresses looked like big poofy marshmallows like Mariah Carey did in the 90's.  I was having none of this…


I was more inspired by the 1986 wedding of Caroline Kennedy seen here:



The big day came when my Mom and I decided to head out around my hometown to look for a dress. She was teary. I was determined.  The very first dress that I tried on was by Vera Wang. It was simple and elegant. Exactly what I wanted. I was done. This was "THE DRESS".  Of course, my mother made me go to five other stores and try on a million other dresses that day but we realized that the first one was the dress.



 After the big day, my mother used the last of her wedding budget to get the dress preserved by the cleaners. It has since sat in the humongous box in her guest closet taking up almost an entire shelf. Every year or so, she asked if I wanted to take it yet. I explained that I had no room. 

My parents are now moving. Their new place has no room for the giant box.  My mother demanded that I take it off her hands. I have two sons. I don't think that they will be wearing this dress. Even if I did have a daughter, I am 100% positive that she would want her own over-priced wedding gown. Seriously, if a daughter wears her mother's wedding dress, she is a saint. I must hang out with brats because I do not know one single person who wore their mother's dress for any of their weddings!

So what to do with this beauty? Wedding consignors only want current dresses. Even though mine is Vera Wang, it is 20 years old.  I tried to donate it.  Organizations that actually give dresses to brides (rather than sell them at their thrift shops) either want dresses less than five years old or demand a donation along withe dress. Shipping was going to cost me at least $50 alone. I really did not want it to cost me money to get rid of this dress.

I considered local charities. I checked out the wedding dresses at my local thrift store. Imagine my horror when I saw these dresses all squished together getting manhandled and look at this one all over the floor!  I did not want my lucky dress to suffer this tragic fate. I'm certain some, if not all, of those dresses are going to get so dirty that they will eventually go unsold and thrown away. 



What to do? What to do? I had a brillant idea. I asked the drama teacher at my sons' public high school if she could use it for her plays. Of course she wanted it! Now my dress may get used for many faux weddings! It won't get thrown away by Goodwill.  It is helping the arts in school! Best of all, it won't be taking up precious closet space any more. 

I'm not entirely unsentimental. I did keep the veil. It fits in a shoe box. Perhaps someone will play dress up with it someday! 



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Never underestimate the power of a good hair day….

     Having a bad hair day can really make life a little bit darker.  When I am having a good hair day, my disposition is just a tad bit more sunny.  

    I live in South Florida. Hair here frizzes and goes limp one second after you step out the door most of the year.  We Miami girls are always looking for a better way. We buy fancy blowdryers and flat irons and tons of different products that promise better hair days. I think that I found the next great thing.

     I'm not a regular QVC shopper but I did stop one day on the channel when pretty hair stylist Maria McCool was demonstrating her Calista Tools Pro Grip Heated Round Brush.  The girls on the QVC show were running it through their tresses and quickly smoothing, lifting and curling their hair.  

     Despite always trying to explain to my children the difference between "needing" and "wanting", I screamed out " Honey…I NEED this!" A few weeks later, this showed up on my doorstep via UPS…
Calista Tools Perfecter Pro Heated Round Brush at QVC

      My hair is below my shoulders so I got the 1.5" barrel version but they have a 1" barrel for shorter hair.  The Perfector Pro is a hybrid between a brush and a curling iron. The bristles stay cool to the touch but inside, the barrel heats up.

      It can make your hair have volume or curls but I use it instead of my flat iron. I run it through my bed head or after I blow dry and my hair instantly looks straighter and shinier. It is quick and does not seem half as damaging as my flat iron is.  An added plus is that  it does not make my hair too flat or straight. It is also  great on bed head, a quick run through and I am ready to go.  Better than a regular brush, it definitely adds some shine.

    The Perfector Pro runs around $100 shipped at QVC and many girls I know would love this as a holiday gift! 

*This is not a paid blog post, just my community service for the week!