Yesterday morning I went to the Bar...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

No not a regular bar, a blow dry bar.  It is hard to believe but my chic little city with all of our fabulous girls with fabulous hair did not have a blow dry bar until now.

Lucky for all of us in Aventura, a new one just opened. It is called SoBlo and they only blow out and style hair. No cuts. No color. Just blowing (and updos)

It was their grand opening and I happened to be in the plaza where it is located yesterday and I wandered in. They were giving free samples! I would have paid because I had a big, fancy party at the Fountainebleu hotel last night so I needed some stylin.

They have about 10 chairs and they were all filled.  The hairdos coming out of there looked great.

The styling seemed a tad bit slow.  My regular stylist blows out my hair in less than 15 minutes and my blow out took about 35 minutes.  It seemed like everyone was sitting in the chairs forever getting their blowouts.  My results were good.  Way better than if I had blown it out myself.  My hair is pretty straight to begin with so I'm not a tough customer.  The lady in the chair next to me had poodle-like hair which looked amazing after they were done with her.  Like a before and after ad!

SoBlo charges $35 per blowout which isn't the best bargain in town (my regular salon charges about $40) but SoBlo does not take appointments so that means you can just walk in when you want and walk out looking pretty.

SoBlo is located in the Promanade shoppes on Biscayne Blvd.

We can pretend the leaves are changing....

Friday, September 27, 2013

If you are in Miami, you should stop by the Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch next weekend.

It is being held on October 5th & 6th in Grove.( If you haven't been to the grove in a while, it is still great! )

Sure it is still a zillion degrees but perhaps the 5000 pumpkins to choose and decorate, the dress-your-own scarecrow village, the hay bale maze and rides or even the beer garden will make you forget the heat and remember that it is actually autumn.

Use coupon code FALL 2013 at for 25% off a family pack of 4.

Report on my new car...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

     As you may recall, I just turned in my gas guzzling SUV for a brand new Prius.  I drove an SUV since 1993 and I was excited about the prospect of going green.  Besides the fact that the Prius gets about amazing gas mileage and is very earth friendly, it is also allowed to go in the Carpool lane on the highway for FREE. In Miami we also have something even more evil than the old fashioned carpool lane, we have 95-express. The two furthest left lanes of the biggest highway in the county are paid lanes.  You have an electronic pass on your car and when you drive in the express lanes, it charges you anywhere from a quarter to $7 or $8 depending on the traffic.  Hybrids and electric cars can drive in these lanes for FREE any time.  

    I drive in those lanes once or twice a week but mostly I burn tons of gas in local traffic and spend hours in  school carpool lines.  Hybirds are perfect for this as they don't burn gas at all when they are sitting still.

    I've NEVER driven a car as small as this one. I have to say that I LOVE it. I feel like I lost 50 pounds. It is zippy and quiet.  So far, so good.

   The Prius give you a little report when you turn it off.  I think it is bragging.  Here is an example...

I drove 3.1 miles in 17 MINUTES the other morning. At least I got 56 miles to the gallon. Good thing my new little baby has all the gadgets like bluetooth and satellite radio so I was not that bored. But seriously, 56 miles to the gallon. I'm about to say the dreaded words "ROAD TRIP!

Driving Miss Japolina....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

     When my  son was learning how to swim, it seemed like the hardest parenting thing ever for me. Living in South Florida, it is a necessity to teach kids as early as possible. 

    From age one and a half  on,  he took swimming lessons each spring.  I put him in group lessons at the community center. I put him in private lessons at the community center. I had a swim teacher come and teach him at our house. My husband tried to teach him. Year after year, he would cry, puke, almost drown and then finally start to swim just a little bit and only in the shallow end. 

    Native Floridians like me think anything between the end of September and April as "too cold to swim months" so we would stop swimming and by May, pretty much be at square one all over again.  I watched his friends start swimming and become little fish.  It was not until he was 7, when we were on a cruise, that he jumped in and never stopped swimming.  He is now a strong swimmer and has no fear of water at all so I guess it all worked out  fine.   

   My point is  that I thought that teaching him how to swim was really important for his safety and independence AND really, really hard.  What could be harder to teach than swimming to a kid who did not want to swim? Maybe potty training but that was accomplished way before the swimming was. 

     We are now at the driving stage. Well, the learner's permit stage.  It is totally terrifying.  I know why it is biologically very difficult to get pregnant after a certain age. It is because you should not be sitting in the passenger seat of your car with your 15 year old driving if you are older than 50.  I can't even imagine if I was 10 years older trying to sit in traffic with a child learning how to drive without having some type of coronary event.   As it is, I am trying to yoga breathe and not scream while he is behind the wheel.   I've considered offering a cash incentive to forget the whole driving thing and eventually apply to colleges in cities with great public transportation options like NYC.  I am down to the six month wire and now feel like I need to let him drive as much as possible before he gets his real license.   

    In my "mommy career", I've always found that having mom friends a year or two ahead of me, has always been valuable. "Don't worry about fifth grade math, they will get it" or "they will stop that biting thing when they are 3" was always much needed and wise advice.  

   Unfortunately, my mom friends that have kids who are now in the beginning stages of driving on their own are terrifying me. Once friend's' son has already been in 2 fender benders after only having his license for a couple of months. Another says that she is terrified whenever her 16 year old pulls out of the driveway and only calms down after he returns home.  I see another friend's sweet little daughter speeding around town like hell on wheels quite often.  None of this is comforting.  

Is there anything harder than this? Please let me know because I could use a heads up.

A new trend in parenting?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

When I went off to college, my mom drove in my car with my stuff and my dad followed in his car with more of my crap.  They  helped me haul my tons of junk into my dorm room and then headed off to the cocktail lounge at the Holiday Inn where they stayed one night and then went back home to have a "we have one less kid in the house" party. When they drove away, there was money in my newly opened bank account so that I could get what I needed for my college life.

 My husband's parents may have waived goodbye to him in the driveway when he took off for his freshman year, but they definitely did not drive his crap up there for him. Their party started before he reached the expressway because he was the last of four kids to head off to University.

Moms today seem way more involved in the college drop off.   Last month my Facebook feed was full of photos of  nicely decorated dorm rooms put together by moms. One friend posted a picture of all of her hard work and noted that the sleeping figure in the dorm room was her son who napped the entire time.   Another friend could be the editor of Beautiful dorms and Gardens Magazine if they had one. She was certainly going for some type of award with her amazing hard work for her son's temporary room.

I can see going up to school with your freshman and moving him in and all, but according to my very scientific research (Facebook), this pattern seems to be repeated during every fall of the college experience.  One friend's daughter started school in the summer and had to change dorms again for the fall term. Her parents and siblings all went up to school and moved and re-decorated for her again.  Another friend spent days setting up her son's  junior year apartment. 

Still another friend who has a daughter who is at a college here in Miami but lives in the dorm told me "I can't meet for lunch today because I  have to figure out how to hang a flat screen television in my daughter's sorority dorm room". "Isn't that what fraternity boys are for?", I thought to myself.

After my initial move to college, I moved from dorm to dorm to apartment to apartment.  My parents would visit once a year during parent's weekend but they never helped me move and I certainly did not ask them to help. (Isn't that what fraternity boys were for?) I'm sure that they checked out my living arrangements during those yearly visits just to make sure that said fraternity boys were not living in my apartment, but they were not involved in much more than paying for the places. I'm positive that my roommates and I had to find out who to call to get the power and phone turned on without mom's help. We had to  write checks for rent and expenses (even though Dad was paying).  We had to figure it out. 

I'm wondering if this is the new normal. Are the people I know just a little nutty or is this nationwide?  My friends seem normal and their kids are all gifted/talented/genius so it's not like their children could not figure this all out themselves. Is this just a continuation of the "helicopter parenting" that I keep trying not to practice? If I send my son off to college someday and don't decorate his dorm room, is he going to think I suck or is he going to actually be glad that I'm letting him fly off on his own? 

Luckily I won't have to deal with this for a couple of years but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or opinions.

Surviving Car Buying...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I knew the car that I wanted. We arrived at the dealership when they opened on a Tuesday morning. Silly me, I thought that I would be done in time for carpool.   Luckily I was smart enough to bring a fully charged iPad which ran out of battery juice right about the time that I decided to troll youtube for videos about the latest episode of Breaking Bad which neither my husband or car salesman could talk to me about.

I was with my husband who used to work at a car dealership (not this one). I did not think to eat a big breakfast. We sat around "negotiating" for hours and hours.  Why did this take so long? 

After a while, I went to the vending machine. I've been trying to avoid the brown monkey (diet coke) but given that they don't serve wine at car dealerships, I had to go with the contraband.   I also ate some vending machine cookies that tasted like they were 3 to 4 years old. "Honey, these are disgusting. Do you want some?", I graciously offered.

 At one point I was contemplating crossing the  major four lane highway in front of the dealership to head to a Little Cesar's pizza place which I consider the low point of my thoughts all day. I may write a new diet book called the "Buying a car diet".

Hours later I was calling my trusty back up friend to pick my son up from Carpool and texting my oldest son telling him that he better not miss the bus.  We were still there.  

I learned my car salesman's entire history including the fact that he totally hates living in South Florida. 

 As we signed more paperwork than one does when buying a mini-mansion, the business office of the dealership smelled faintly of  chicken noodle soup. I'm wondering now if it was some type of olfactory mirage.

Finally after hours and hours, I pulled away in my new car.  I love it and the 50 miles per gallon it gets!  I felt as exhausted as if I had just passed a kidney stone but I think that it was  just passed a new milestone. No more mommy SUV !

I've promised myself that no one will be eating anything in this car and that I will get it washed every week.   It was like New Year's Day, car-style!  How long will these new car resolution last?

The Japolina Week in Review...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

   Since hitting age 40 a few years ago, my vision has gone on a downward spiral. It is almost as depressing as the sensible shoe recommendation that I always seem to be bitching about on this blog.  I had not been to the eye doctor in two years so I went this week and he said that while my reading vision is a little worse, my distance vision is the same.  He blamed part of my issue on my severe dry eyes. I did not know that I had dry eyes, much less severely dry  eyes so this was better news than I expected.

Here is a shot taken from the beach on Friday morning during my bike ride.  Look at how flat the Atlantic Ocean is.  It is barely ever that flat and truly looks like a lake.  It is even more peaceful than watching it when the waves are rolling in. You would be amazed at how many people were hanging out in it on an early weekday morning.

On the flip side, the lack of any ocean breeze is making it crazy hot here. I did not cool down from the bike ride all day.   When I got into my car at 9:30 a.m., the temperature gauge said 99 degrees. On September 13th!  That is Florida in the fall!  I prefer hot over cold any time but a little bit of autumn might be nice.

I've been spending more time than ever in my car, carpooling my sons around.  It is killing me.  On top of that, it is time for a new car and my sweet husband dragged me to the car dealership one night during the week.  I'd rather go to the dentist.   We still are not sure what we want so after hanging out there for hours, I drove home is my own car! 

 I'd like this...
but I'm not getting a Porsche.

Because a Porsche is not in the cards for me right now (I have two kids who will both, g-d willing, be in college in the next 5 years!),  I'm trying to convince my husband to get me this...

Yes, it's a prius. 50 miles to the gallon. Earth-friendly.   I really think it is what I want. I've been driving an SUV for the past 15 + years and I feel like a bus driver at this point. I'm sick of the horrible gas mileage that you get in carpool lines and stop-and-go traffic.  A small, easy car that you have to fill up once in a while sounds so relaxing.

We'll see what I end up with. Probably something in between.

This week ended with the holiest Jewish day of the year, Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the end of the Jewish New Year. It is the day that most Jews fast to ask forgiveness for their past sins.  

The holiday started on Friday night where we at a giant meal. Then you are supposed to fast for 24 hours. (my men fast, I never do) . We then headed back over to the grandparent's house for another giant meal. There is a lot of eating involved when you are Jewish.  I feel gigantic today and need to seriously take it easy this week.

To all of my blogging readers , whatever religion that you practice, I wish you peace and joy during the next 12 months (even the many, many of you that visit but don't ever comment!)
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