Gwyneth in those itty-bitty black shorts. Don’t even get me going. Seriously, do not get me going.

I want the bag, too. And maybe the shoes?

I want the bag, too. And maybe the shoes?

FYI, if you’re a Gwynnie-hater, you might want to move right along, little lassie. Because I most certainly am not.

Do I love everything that comes out of La Paltrow’s mouth? No. But then again, I don’t love everything that comes out of anyone’s mouth. Including my own. Especially my own.

Anyhoo, I’ve blogged in admiration of this fair creature before…

RELATED: Hot-Mama Appreciation: Gwyneth Paltrow 

And on the eve of Memo Day Weekend – the official start to summer for those of you who don’t live, as I do, in Florida, where it is always summer – I thought I might try to investigate exactly how our hero Gwyneth got these rawther spectacular gams.

Because here’s what these legs are saying:

I work out extremely really very hard, all year round, so that I’m forever – at any moment – in a state of itty-bitty black shorts readiness.

Unlike GP, however, I am most definitely not in a state of itty-bitty black shorts readiness.

And I don’t really know why I’m not. In fact, I’m borderline shocked that I’m not.

Faithful readers might recall that toward the end of last year, I slipped off to a starvation spa for a magazine assignment.

I was being cage-y at the time as to the exact spa, and the exact magazine. I work in a brutally competitive business and one must be discreet about these things before actual issues hit newsstands.

But now I can reveal that the spa was Deer Lake Lodge, just outside Houston. And the magazine was Town & Country, which I’m kuckoo krazy about.

(I’m a tech spazz, so I can’t figure out how to link to that story here. If you visit my portfolio site, you’ll see it in the Showcase.)

So the net-net is I basically didn’t eat for three days while I was at Deer Lake. And even though I didn’t lose any actual weight on that trip, it did set me up, quite nicely, for avoiding sugar and just generally not eating everything that wasn’t nailed down. That was pretty great, considering it was the holidays.

Then, because I was in “fasting head,” I started reading a lot about IF – intermittent fasting – and even downloaded an entire a book about it onto my Kindle. (It’s called The 8-Hour Diet, if you’re interested.)

I then followed THAT up with an extremely gruesome medical procedure (psssst….don’t tell anyone…it was a colonoscopy) that dictated abstention from food for 24 hours.

Between the spa-ing, the IF-ing and the gruesome medical procedure-ing, I lost several unwanted pounds.

And when you’re Olsen-Twin tiny, as I am, losing several pounds is a biiiig deal.

Lately, though, I’d gotten into a groove of just eating willy nilly and (theoretically) balancing that out with buckets of tennis, a teensy bit of running (happily I haven’t fallen lately) and the Cougar Workout. (I actually need to really get into the Cougar Workout. That could be a game-changer if I fully commit…)

But even with all that activity, I managed to pack back on the five lbs I’d lost earlier in the year.

Clearly, I am not someone who can just eat, willy nilly. Not if I want to forever – at any moment – be in a state of itty-bitty black shorts readiness. And I kinda do want that. Who wouldn’t?



A handful of wildly helpful ways to create a great habit (hint: it might involve the word “om”)

The über-hottie gets crunchy in Cali. Swoon.

The über-hottie gets crunchy in Cali. Swoon.

Whoa, back from my New York trip with a few suitcases overflowing with mixed emotions….

In the last year down here in the (Too Much) Sunshine State, I guess I’ve just gotten really soft.

Not my bod – I’ve been playing tons of tennis, and I’m slooooowly getting my sea legs with the Cougar Workout, which I have no doubt will eventually tighten my shizzle right up.

But mentally, and emotionally, I think I’ve lost a good chunk of my urban-warrior armor, because Manhattan felt utterly totally completely cray-cray to me.

More like Manic-hattan.

Ooh, did I just coin a new phrase?


Trademarking that right now, and you are my witness:


I spent two days in NYC and then scooted up to Connecticut for the weekend. And by the time I made it to CT, I so desperately needed a woodsy, barn-y, bucolic 180 from the insanity of the city.

Let’s do the math, shall we? I lived in Manhattan proper for 27 years. Then I hightailed it across the Hudson River with Hubby and the Wee Lass to Jersey City, which is basically still Manhattan. Jersey City was another 5 years. So that brings us to a total of 32 years either in or right next to New York.



So how could my steely toughness just melt in the 11 months that have elapsed since I hit the bricks for FLA?

It was weird. And uncomfy. But I soldiered on, even happily, for two reasons:

1. My friends, who are unbelievably fantastic people. I’m sorry, but my friends are the best friends in the whole wide world. Nobody else’s friends even come close to my friends. End of story.

2. My medivisualizing.™ As I’ve blogged before, I’ve medivisualized™ for forever, but it is only this year that I’ve made it a daily habit that’s actually sticking. I made it my New Year’s rez (there was something else I made as my New Year’s rez, but it escapes me now…oops, I guess that one didn’t work!), and I’ll be damned if I haven’t done it every day of 2015 except one. You can read all about my microscopic relapse here, if you’re so inclined:

RELATED POST: Round of applause, pls. Since New Year’s, I’ve meditated* every day except one. Holla.

I’m convinced that my daily medi-visualizing™ helped me find nice little pockets of Zen in my sunrise-to-midnite days in Gotham, even when I felt my head my explode a little from all the traffic, and all the people, and all the difficulty of just trying to get from one spot to another.

Granted, I packed my days way too tight; there were a lot of people I wanted to see, and I was determined to make it happen.

But with a quick snap of my fingers (not an actual snap, I’m not turning into Samantha from Bewitched, although, hello, she was gorge), I could calm myself down.

One afternoon, I fake-snapped my way right up to the Met. I had a window between a late lunch and early drinks, and I used that time to rush up there to see some of my all-time fave paintings, including Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 

SIDEBAR: The docent-in-training Art Nerd part of me wanted to jump for joy when the curator on my audio-guide said Harvesters was one of – if not the – most important landscapes in the Met’s entire collection. Pieter Bruegel the Elder is my favorite painter, by a Netherlandish country mile.

For those of you too lazy, or otherwise disinclined, to click on the link above, I’m including a tiny thumbnail of Harvesters here:

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.50.49 AM










Anyway, I can tell that I’m happy again, and more relaxed, because this blog post is getting rambly and riff-y, and veering off into IMPORTANT DUTCH PAINTERS territory.

So I simply must rein myself in and add a few tips about creating – and sticking to – a meditation habit.


1. Commit – even if it’s just for five minutes a day. Heck, on some days, it might even be fewer than five. Just be sure to do it every. single. day. No BS excuses. There isn’t a person on the planet who can’t carve out a few minutes of his or her day. If you must, lock yourself in the bathroom.

2. Be flexible – and I’m not talking about the lotus pose. The one time I skipped my medivisualizing™ this year, it was because I’d forgotten to take my CD player on a weekend golf and tennis outing with the fam. I listen to the sounds of crashing ocean surf while I medivisualize™ and I’d gotten just teensy weensy too attached to that CD. I can now, if I have to, medivisualize™ without the crashing ocean surf CD. I’d rather not, but I can. My point here is that it’s important that you not get dependent on trappings, or the precisely perfect conditions, in order to get started. You don’t need any of that.

3. Know – really know – that there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to meditate. There just isn’t. Every person’s practice is different. Every person’s results are different. You are you. Om.

4. Don’t expect a shazzam moment. I wish I had a dolluh for every time I asked myself: Wait, am I actually meditating? If you keep at it, you’ll start to see how quickly you’re slipping into your own particular blend of Zen.

5. Use the rando moments of pure bliss to reinforce your commitment to your practice. What in the name of god is Momover Lady talking about? I’m talking about the fact that, once you start meditating, you will start finding these nice pockets of calm in the middle of very, very stressful situations. (Like me willing myself up to the Met to chill-out in front of Harvesters, despite the manic-ness of Manic-hattan.) You’ll then realize that that calm-in-the-storm feeling is the direct result of your meditation practice. And then you’ll also realize, hopefully, that you need to keep on trucking.


Time flies when you’re not having fun (aka throwing yourself a massive pity party)

Sometimes life is a thorn in my side. (Get it? Cactus?)

Sometimes life is a thorn in my side. (Get it? Cactus?)

First, let me be clear: I have literally nothing to complain about. People-persons misuse the word “literally” all the time, but trust me when I tell you that, in this case, I’m right on the money.

Having naturally frizzy hair doesn’t count as a real problem. Even Mommy Barbie moi knows that.

Still, it can be quite cathartic to kvetch upon occasion, non?

As long as you keep it brief, and super-duper specific, whinging lets you move on. You speak your whiny piece and then you get right back to soldiering through whatever it is you’re soldiering through.

So what’s the occasion of my own personal pity party, you ask?

It’s the 95 work projects piled on top of a whopper of a take-home test for my Docent training class for the Dali Museum – all due before I head to New York next week for the first time since we flew the coop for FLA last year.

But in the simple act of writing that growly last sentence, I’ve made myself feel better.

How? Three ways.

1. Because I’ll get through the 95 projects, and then I’ll receive money to spend on all manner of Momover Lady foolishness. Because I very much wouldn’t like to not have 95 work projects. Because having 95 work projects is, in fact – objectively and actually – way better than not having 95 work projects.

2. Because I point-blank love all the reading and take-home test-taking I have to do for my Docent training at the Dali Museum. When I think about it, I get freaked-out. When I jump in and do it, I have a blast.

3. Because it will feel très excellente (aka trèxcellente™) to get all my chores out of the way before I go to New York next week for the first time since we flew the coop for FLA last year. Because. I’m. Going. To. New. York.

Thank you for letting me vent. The pity party is officially over.



My sister and I are doing Joyce Vedral’s “Cougar Workout” and it’s extremely, very, really hard

How do you write that sound big cats make? Rawr?

How do you write that sound big cats make? Rawr?

If it weren’t for super-scary 3-way fitting-room mirrors, I’m sure I’d probably lay around on my couch all day, eating bon-bons and flipping through fashion mags.

I’m sorry, but for une femme d’un certain age, there is nothing more frightening – or galvanizing – than a 3-way fitting-room mirror.

Humbling, my friend. Very humbling. Even if you’ve been playing so much tennis your fake-blonde head is about to crack open, as I have.

I’ve blogged about my fitting-room come-to-Jesus moment at J. Crew, and I recently had an eerily similar experience while hunting for a frock or two at the International Mall in Tampa.

I texted my sister, aka Jan, in panic mode:

“I’m shopping for clothes right now and just want to shoot myself. I’m officially in my 50s!”

She texted back:

“Isn’t it fabulous? NOT.”

I’ll spare you the rest of it, which involved much pinging back and forth about body parts heading south and crepe-y skin.

Tellingly, my iPhone kept wanting to auto-correct “crepe-y” to “creepy.” And after a certain point, I gave up correcting the auto-correction.

Because – let’s be frank – crepe-y skin is creepy.

Since my sister and I are not take-it-lying-down types (even when there are bon-bons and fashion mags involved) we resolved to tighten our shizzle right up.

“Gonna Google your old friend Vedral & see if I have a revelation,” Jan texted. “Ugh.”

I want to be clear that fitness guru (and prolific author, which I’ll circle back to in a sec) Joyce Vedral, aka JV, is not my actual friend.

Rather, she is my imaginary friend, the one I’d like to have living in my closet for crisis moments such as these.

Though I’ve long been a fan, and collector of her books and DVDs, I somehow missed my one and only opportunity to meet JV.

This was back in the 90s, and she was coming up to my office for a “deskside” (Beauty Editor-speak for a face-to-face chat) to promote a new fitness product.

But for some reason I wasn’t there, so my assistant hosted her.

Sidebar: Where the hell was I that couldn’t be at the office for a JV deskside? It better have been somewhere good, like the Yucatan Peninsula.

Anyway, back to the Cougar Workout. Obvi, as the title implies, it’s targeted to older broads.

But please, isn’t JV the best possible billboard? She’s in her 60s and her bod looks easily half that.

And speaking of easy: This routine isn’t. At all. I mean, it’s easy to follow. But it isn’t easy to do. JV believes in powering through weight workouts quickly and efficiently, so you are moving. And the floor exercises – for the tush, tummy and thighs – are a killah.

But her chatter and patter as she’s going along, coaxing you through the workout, is unspeakably charming.

And it’s super-inspiring, especially when she talks about her motivation to work out, and why she wants us to just go on auto-pilot with our fitness routines and “get it out of the way” so we can “go be creative and intelligent.”

I think JV has written close to 20 books, not all of them on fitness. If I remember correctly, she was an English professor before becoming a best-selling author, and her interests are wide-ranging.

In searching the scope of her work, I see that she even wrote A Literary Survey of the Bible (I may need to track that down), as well as a self-help tome – Look In, Look Up, Look Out! – that I use to own, and probably still do, hoarder that I am.

And before I met The Man Who Would Be Hubby, I also had a dog-eared copy of her Get Rid of Him! book, which was chock-full of tips for extricating yourself from less-than-awesome relationships.

Clearly, JV gets her fitness routine “out of the way” so she can “go be creative and intelligent.”

She’s a role model. With a banging, 60-something, Cougar bod.


Happiness: The ShelfGenie guy is coming in the morning to measure the kitchen cabinets

Getting organized, slowly but surely.

Getting organized, slowly but surely.

Ever since I started paying attention to new moons, which are a très excellente time to put new plans in place, I feel like I get a fresh start every month.

Which is pretty awesome, non? Knowing you don’t have to wait around for the “biggies” – New Year’s and your birthday – to turn your little ol’ life on its ear?

Even though – hello! – I’ve actually stuck like glue to my New Year’s resolution.

Yes, I’ve medivisualized™ every day of 2015 except one. 

I feel pretty stoked about that, as a bad actor in an equally bad surfing movie might say.

But back to the new moon, and what this might have to do with the ShelfGenie guy coming to Casa Moi in the a.m. to measure my lower kitchen cabinets.

In a nutshell, my April horoscope (I’m a Scorpio, hisssss….) tells me that this past weekend’s new moon was a stellar time to start putting the hyper-organizing wheels in motion.

To pare down, clean up, put some systems in place.

Soooo…I booked a consultation with ShelfGenie for kitchen help.

And next week, my Closet Whisperer, who tricked-out seven spaces for us last summer, is coming back to help me turn our garage into a thing of sheer beauty.

But back to the kitchen, and Project ShelfGenie…

Now that I’m cooking for the first time in my life, I want it to go as seamlessly as possible.

Translation: I don’t want to have to lift up this and that, rearrange my entire surroundings, and turn myself into a bloody contortionist just to get at the one pot, pan or gadget I need to make one of my epic masterpieces.

And right now, that’s what I’m doing.

I have lots of cabinets, but they’re deep and cavernous.

Which is why I want the rolling, slide-y tray configurations that ShelfGenie can help me with.

(Wait – I just ended that last sentence with a preposition. Someone call the writing police.)

Okay, it’s the end of a long Monday and I have to put the Wee Lass to bed.

Night-night, my lovelies.

To be continued…


I did all the heavy Disney lifting so you won’t have to

Major Epcot topiary cuteness.

Epcot topiary cuteness. I don’t even know what those are.

NOTE: This post is about Disney World in Orlando, FLA, not Land in Anaheim, CA. 

Even cursory readers of this blog know I frigging love Disney.

Wait – is ‘frigging‘ considered cussing? If it is, I’d like to retract. Momover Lady gave up swearing for Lent, and now she’s pretty much a cuss-free zone.

Anyhoo, I’ve written about my love for Disney on many occasions. I went there several times before the Wee Lass was even a twinkle in my eye, including an 8-day(!) trip with my sister during which Chip – or was it Dale? – took advantage of his costumed status to get totally handsy with me over breakfast at the Land in Epcot.

My point is that I’m a very good Disney customer.

And so is Hubby; we’ve taken our tot-lette three times, including this most recent trip, and have stayed at their premier properties (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom Lodge) for lengthy stretches.

“Lengthy stretches” is code for serious coin, btw; we don’t zip in and out, and we don’t stay off-property.

But while the previous jaunts with our little missy were quite fun, this one….wasn’t.

Let be more specific: Our trip was eventually fun.

But we had to work so hard to make it fun that it didn’t feel like a vacation, and I returned home utterly knackered, as the Brits say.

And I’m sorry, but I don’t think a trip to Disney should feel like work. It should be fun right out of the starting gate – and stay that way until you head for home.

Partially, this was our fault, which I’ll get to in a moment.

But mostly, it was Disney’s fault, which I’ll also get to in a moment.

And I’ll bundle all that finger-pointing in the form of tips to make your trip to Disney easier, and – gasp – fun.

But before you read any further:

These tips are aimed at first-timers and visitors from outside the States. Seasoned park-goers, especially Floridians, might read this and think, “Duh.” Consider yourself warned, Floridians.

On y va. Allez-y. Let’s go!

6-Tip Newbie Guide to a Less-Stressy Trip to Disney

1. If you book on the telephone – with a live human being – make sure you ask that live human being to disclose ALL restrictions.

Hubby is one of those rare individuals who still picks up a landline to actually speak to people. And even though it took literally HOURS for him to book our most recent trip (one call got dropped, by Disney, about 60 minutes in, and he had to start all over again), we still got hit with major sticker shock at the gates of Magic Kingdom. There were “blackout” dates around Magic Kingdom that we weren’t warned about, and it cost $800 – on the spot – to upgrade to “Park Hopper” tickets that would enable us to bounce around everywhere, unrestricted. Hubby thought he’d already bought Park Hoppers, so that was a rude, costly awakening.

2. Don’t even think of entering Magic Kingdom without Fast Passes for rides your tots most want to go on.

Because we like to be “spontaneous” and hop on rides as whimsy strikes, we aren’t Fast Pass People. But let me be clear: There is nothing even remotely spontaneous about standing in line for north of an hour. On our second night, the Wee Lass and I stood in line for Space Mountain for 90 minutes, only to get to the top and have the Disney operatives say the ride was shut down – temporarily but indefinitely. The indefinitely bit really threw me. It was hot and stuffy up there and packed with wild, hooting Space cases. Suddenly, I got claustrophobic, and panicky, and pulled the Wee Lass out to exit.

She was heart-broken, especially when, as we were exiting down a long, dark tunnel, we heard the ride crank back up again. She started crying, I started yelling, and it was all really, really sad.

The happy ending to this Tragic Kingdom Tale? When we got back to our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Hubby got right on his iPad to suss-out the Fast Pass sitch. And the Wee Lass and I went on Space Mountain, stress-free, at 8 am the next morning.

We are now Fast Pass People.

3. Dial your dining expectations way back.

Food is the (very) weak link in the Disney chain. Even if you pay handsomely for it, as we did at Chefs de France at Epcot.

On our two previous trips as parents, Hubby and I dropped the Wee Lass off at the Neverland Club for the evening and headed to “Paris” for romantic dinners at Monsieur Paul. The ambiance was lovely, I used my bad French to order, and Champs was part of the equation.

I realize Chefs de France isn’t Monsieur Paul.

But for $170 for three people (one of whom is 9 years old), I don’t want paper placemats and napkins. And I very much don’t want chicken nuggets for my daughter. The last time I checked, chicken nuggets weren’t French. Step it up, Disney! Get pretentious on us! I want that in “Paris”!

And, bonjour, I want to be able to order Champs. A frosty, sparkling glass of Champs can go a long way in mitigating the sadness generated by a mediocre meal.

Even the (not cheap) simple stuff can be pretty bad in Disney.

I seem to recall the following exchange with my betrothed in Frontierland:

Moi to Hubby: How can you screw up a corn dog?

Hubby to Moi: I don’t know, but somehow they did.

Okay, I’m getting mean now, and I don’t want to. Moving on to other helpful tips…

4. Know that the newer roller coaster rides are far, far scarier than the older roller coaster rides.

Because Hubby’s back is prone to flaring, and he gets extremely “hurl-y” after bumpy rides, I got stuck going on all the coasters with the newly emboldened, thrill-seeking Wee Lass.

Thus I now have an informed opinion that I’d like to share with you to help you figure-out which, if any, of your kids should partake:

Space Mountain @ Magic Kingdom = Not Scary (Though it was renovated in 2009, it was originally built in 1975. Coasters just weren’t as death-defying back then.)

Expedition Everest @ Animal Kingdom = Pretty Scary (But so scenic and experiential, it’s worth it.)

Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller Coaster @ Disney Hollywood Studios = Incredibly Scary (And utterly pitch-black inside, which ratchets up the terror.)

5. Give the less-famous parks a chance.

I understand completely that Magic Kingdom is the focal point for many families. And for good reason; it’s incredible. And so storied. It’s a Small World just might be the best ride of all time.

Still, there’s so much to see and do outside the Castle walls. The water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach – are adorbs, not that crowded, fun for all ages, and boast some of the best food (and beer) in the parks.

In addition to an excellent safari, and Expedition Everest, there are other really good rides in Animal Kingdom. We loved DINOSAUR, for example.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios was another low-key, pleasant surprise.

6. Do everything in your power to plan your trip for the off-seasons (i.e., not “spring break” in the U.S.)

I actually almost never yank the Wee Lass out of school for any type of vacation or otherwise festive activity.

However, I think that – especially if you’re coming from outside the U.S., and traveling a very far distance, and this may be your one and only trip to Disney  – you should try reallllly hard to avoid going in March and April. In particular, Magic Kingdom is uncomfortably packed during that time-frame.

In the three years that elapsed between our last visit and this one, the crowds have grown exponentially. And Hubby and I very much feel that Disney doesn’t have your back on this.

As great as it is – and I still, despite this last trip, want to go back some time – Disney is in the business of making money.

Make sure you get all the bang you can get for your bucks. Or your euros.





Beauty Armoire Monday: For me at least, the no-makeup look requires tons of makeup

Complexion-perfection in several easy steps...

Complexion-perfection in several easy steps…

Back from a gruuuuuueling trip to Disney. Oh my lordy. I’ll be writing about that in a separate blog post because I feel it’s my civic duty. Much has changed since Momover Lady + Co were last there…

So yesterday, at the Spring Bonnet Luncheon at the St. Petersburg Woman’s Club (that isn’t a typo, btw; it’s “Woman,” not “Women”), I received a super-nice compliment:

“You have great skin,” said my table-mate (and new fave person). “I thought you were in your 30s.”

I thanked her, of course. Who wouldn’t? But then my table-mate (and new fave person) pressed, oh so politely, for more intel.

“I actually write about beauty,” I said. “And I’m pretty obsessed with really high-quality skincare, so I use a lot of excellent products.”

While all that’s true, I didn’t disclose Part B of my great-skin game-plan: Buckets of complexion products layered under bronzing powder and blush.

I actually didn’t realize exactly how very many complexion-perfectors I relied on until recently, after I’d misplaced my heavy-rotation makeup bag for 10 days and was positively adrift.

In a typical stoner move, it seems I’d tucked my macquillage inside the Wee Lass’s backpack before chaperoning a trip to Lowry Park Zoo. Then she was on spring break, and said backpack was flung in a corner of her bedroom for a week and change.

After clapping with joy when I stumbled upon my beloved navy blue Completely Organized Sonia Kashuk bag this morning, I decided to dump it out and see exactly what I was freaking-out about. What was in that bag that I needed so desperately to feel polished and pulled-together?

Yes, there were a few items for eyes and cheeks that I’d sorely missed: In particular, my precious MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Stormy Pink and my Milani Baked Blush in Berry Amore.

But mostly, it was stuff that evens-out my skintone.

On any given day, I rotate among:

1. Pond’s Luminous Finish BB+ Cream

2. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Compact

3. Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector

4. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream 

5. Covergirl + Olay Concealer Balm (Not shown here because it was too abused and grubby-looking, and would destroy the artsy beauty of my still-life pic.)

Although I used to wear proper, grown-up girl foundation to my office gigs in New York, ever since I hightailed it to Florida, I’ve mainly been relying on CC creams and tinted moisturizers. They’re lighter, a little breezier, and usually loaded with SPF – a mega-must down here.

I don’t know that I agree with my Spring Bonnet Luncheon table-mate (and new fave person) that I look like I’m in my 30s. Most days, I definitely don’t.

But it’s nice to try to turn back the clock just a smidge. And if you can do it with the contents of a well-stocked makeup bag, all the better.




How can one Momover Lady be this bad at packing?

Yay! New vegan Birks for Disney!

New vegan Birks for Disney! But why silver AND gunmetal?

Yesterday morning circa 0800 (yes, yes I know: there’s nothing remotely “circa” about 0800), right before tennis, I thought to myself:

“Maybe I’ll blog about what a terrible packer I am. And maybe in blogging about it, I can figure out why I loathe it so much.”

And when I got back home, I plunked my brandy new Birks on the pavers and snapped the artful pic you see here.

Then I started checking emails, and my world blew up a little.

I realize that not everyone is a binge-reader of, and that many peeps land here via Google searches for all manner of stuff.

So for me to reference yesterday’s blog post about the suicide of Dr. Fred Brandt – a man I loved and admired very much – in today’s blog post, which was meant to be a happy little riff about packing (badly) for Disney, is probably ill-advised.

Because now, for all of eternity, anyone who just Googles “packing” might come to this page expecting to read about packing, and here I am not only writing about Dr. Brandt, but crying, too, one hour before we hop in the SUV to head for The Happiest Place On Earth.

But here’s what I really hate about the world now: everything big and horrible that happens gets exactly 24 to 48 hours to live in the news cycle, and then we all move on to the next big and horrible thing.

So I’m sorry that I didn’t write about packing (badly) for Disney - I had really good intentions! I bought lots of new shoes and bathing suits and scarfy-shawly things I wanted to tell you about! – but I’m just not feeling it.

Please poke around the archives until I get back on Friday. There’s so much to read – ALMOST 600 BLOG POSTS, miraculously.

Peace out mamas. Be extra-kind to someone today.


It’s official: The world is too horrible a place for a person as nice as Fred Brandt

I genuinely loved him.

I genuinely loved him. Me, and 3 billion other Friends of Fred.

I was happily off the grid yesterday, and woke up to the horrifying news that one of my very, very favorite people in beauty is no longer with us.

Even worse – so much worse, so unspeakably worse – is the conjecture (although it certainly doesn’t feel like conjecture) that Fred Brandt may have committed suicide because he was so devastated by a new TV character possibly (again, it doesn’t feel like “possibly”) based on him.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that front.

I know I’m just one of many, many people who really loved that guy.

And in the coming weeks, and months, I’m sure there will be oceans of ink spilled on the circumstances surrounding his death.

An early piece – a goodie – is this one, written by Joan Kron for Allure.

In my opinion, Joan, with input from Allure EIC Linda Wells, really toplines Fred’s sweetness, his impact on the industry, the seriousness with which he took both his work and the field of dermatology.

Hopefully Joan, who really knew Fred, will write a longer story down the road.

I’m super-sad right now.

And for once, I’m speechless.




There’s a dermatologist named Dendy Engelman, and she wants you to wear your magnesium.


Dendy: A derm with drop-dead gorge skin (and hair!) 

TGIF, my lovelies!

May we all find oodles of eggs (not Cadbury though, soooo bad for your thighs) on our hunts this Sunday.

Since my day is jammed, I’ll get right to the point of this post:

Magnesium, a mineral, is über-good for you.

In a nutshell, a deficiency in magnesium (extremely common, btw) can trigger our stress responses.

And because I’m not always the best sleeper in the world, I try to remember to sip a tumbler of magnesium-laced Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink before bed. Especially if I’m feeling tense and wired, which thankfully doesn’t happen as much down here on Planet Palm Tree as it did in New York.

Still, I often forget about drinking my Natural Calm, and then get depleted.

Please don’t follow my haphazard lead; to gain the most benefits from magnesium, it really should be incorporated into your life on a steady basis.

Manhattan-based Dr. Dendy Engelman‘s preferred method for incorporating magnesium into her life is to spritz it on her skin – in oil form.

“As a board-certified dermatologist, the promise that transdermal magnesium oil holds for safely and effectively aiding in cutaneous ailments is exciting and is a world that has yet to be fully discovered,” she says. “In addition to calming sore muscles, improving sleep quality and replenishing low magnesium levels, magnesium oil has been shown to improve numerous skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Magnesium is absorbed transdermally (through the skin) much more readily than when taken orally, so start spraying!”

I’ve chatted with Dr. Engelman on many occasions, and in addition to having such an adorbs name, she kinda has a killer head of hair, non? And she’s a surgeon, which requires all manner of magnesium-fueled nerves of steel.

Also smart and beautiful: My pal Jenny Ruff, Dr. Engelman’s publicist. I’ve blogged about Jenny before, because I soooo admire her flawless grooming:

RELATED POST: In praise of my friend Jenny’s tasteful spray tan

RELATED POST: My friend Jenny is concerned about my MIA eyelashes 

Back to Dr. E…

Though her fave brand of magnesium oil spray – BetterYou - is based in the U.K. and not readily available in the States, she also likes LifeFlo, which is nabbable on Amazon.

On my next trip to Rollin’ Oats Market & Café, my local indie health food store, I’m gonna check out their magnesium oil stash.

Until then…