Clap your manicured paws if you’re into clichéd, overworked marketing-speak like “re-branding.”
Neither am I.
And yet, here I am, using it.
Because that’s what we’re doing here at Momover Central. We’re getting a fresh design and a content re-think.
I’ve hired a UK-based creative company to help with the visuals, and they pinkie-swear promise they’re on it.
(See how I’m using this post to publicly prod the UK-based creative company into moving my project to the front burner? Momover Lady is sooooo damn clever.)
Anyway, I’m traveling for the next month – heading to New York in like five minutes, then onto London and Paris in the next few weeks after that.
So I wouldn’t be posting really anyway.
And now with this – gag – “re-branding” underway, I just think it’s smart to officially go away for a bit.
I’ll be back in September, if all goes as planned.
(Right, UK-based creative company? September?)
Until then, poke around in the archives. I’ve written 659 posts on this here itty bitty website. Every time I beat myself up for being a massive slacker, I try to remember that I’m actually not a massive slacker.
I’m just – like you, my lovely reader – a busy mommy with a lot on her plate.
Bonjour my lovelies.
I hope everyone had a delightful weekend, and that you were all able to cheer Novak Djokovic on as he finalement clutched the Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros.
If not Rafa, then Novak. Novak is a really good guy, a champion of under-privileged children. I don’t like the way he pummels Rafa in most of their matches, but I have to give him props for his philanthropy.
Okay, onto the topic at hand: Avon Skin So Soft Bug Plus With Picaridin towelettes, an extremely kick-a– insect-bite repellent.
Since moving to Florida two years ago, I’ve become somewhat of an authority on what does and doesn’t work, bite-wise. Jesus, I was such a frigging rube when we first landed here from New York. It was June, and I would sit out…
BY OUR POOL.
WITHOUT BUG REPELLENT.
Is it any wonder why I would wake up in the morning covered from stem to stern in red, angry welts? I was basically handing those gnarly mosquitoes my body on a silver platter and saying:
“Go ahead, eat me.”
I wised-up in a hurry, and spent the next few months trying every anti-bug brew on the market. Some were good, a few were epic fails. But after much trial and error, I landed on one that’s both effective and lifestyle-friendly.
Before we dive into my fave, I just want to FYI you that there’s an excellent piece in this month’s Consumer Reports mag that rates 16 popular repellents.
With Zika in our midst, this isn’t the summer to be wussy about preventing bug bites.
Although my beloved Avon towelettes weren’t rated by Consumer Reports, the aerosol version – clocking in with the same 10% picaridin – nabbed an 8 ranking out of a total of 16 tested products.
And before I move on to what I like about them, I did want to give a shout-out to Consumer Reports’ top three picks for blocking Zika:
There, I’ve done my civic duty.
Until I’m a little more worried about Zika, I’ll be using these towelettes. I bought 10 packs of 8, so even a math moron like me knows that’s 80.
Provided Hubby or the Wee Lass don’t break into my stash – they aren’t as delicious to bugs as I am, so they probably won’t – my stash should last me straight through the summer and into the early part of fall.
A) I don’t need to use one every day, because sometimes I’m (sadly) stuck indoors welded to my computer.
B) I’ll be out of Florida for at least three weeks this summer. First, New York, then London and Paris. As far as I know, bugs won’t be a major issue in any of those cities.
Anyhoo, here’s why I’ve landed on this particular bug repellent as my fave:
1. I prefer to avoid DEET whenever I can in favor of picaridin. For more information about both chemicals, visit this patch of the EWG website.
2. I prefer a towelette to a spray. Not only is it a much faster application, because it’s wet, I know exactly where I’m putting it. That’s important, especially for hard-to-reach spots like your back and shoulder blades.
3. They’re super-handy. Individually wrapped, so I can pop ’em right in my tennis bag or purse. Easy peasy.
Just now, as I was returning home from drop-off (unless there’s a storm brewing, we’re walkers; it’s one of our key bonding times), I ran into my neighbor, her daughter and the daughter’s insanely adorable, fantastically chubby baby.
OMG, it was all I could do to keep my mitts off that meaty little guy. Immediately upon making his acquaintance, I asked him:
“Tell, me, how many perfect strangers try to pinch your thighs on a daily basis?”
Rather rudely, he didn’t answer.
Of course, the fact that he doesn’t speak yet may have something to do with his callous disregard of good manners and neighborly interactions.
I may – and yet I may not – cut him slack. I haven’t decided yet.
In the meantime, I’ll be turning my attention to the state of my own chubby thighs.
Trust me when I tell you that no one is longing to pinch them.
Well, maybe my husband.
Maybe my husband.
Remember my Lent sugar embargo? Total bitch, but man was it good for my bod.
I don’t think my waist, tush and legs have looked that svelte in decades.
Yet despite that, I’ve stupidly started eating sugar again. Whyyyyyyyyy????
Why would I start doing something again that makes me both look and feel terrible?
Time to get back to dessert-ditching and diving into my I Quit Sugar book.
(Not the I Quit Sugar Cookbook, though; I bought that too and found it completely militant and overwhelming in a “make a hearty stew out of every table scrap and mystery ingredient in your pantry!” kinda way. Momover Lady is a beginner cook; for now, mystery is not her friend in the kitchen.)
Although I’ve fallen off the sugar bandwagon, all is not utterly lost.
Why? Because I’ve also started working with a personal trainer – Matt Gardner of BodyRush Fitness – and he’s helping me firm up the jiggly bits and pieces that all my tennis-ing is getting to.
I’m very fit because of my tennis, and the occasional running I also do.
So that helps me with endurance when I’m training with Matt.
But it doesn’t jack to prevent me from massive soreness post-workout. The first time I trained with him was on a Friday, and by Saturday evening, I could barely walk.
Seriously, I was wincing as I was standing, sitting down and kneeling during Mass. And later at dinner, I had to lower myself almost sideways to hit the banquette at the restaurant.
I would have laughed if I weren’t in so much frigging agony.
Wait: I just realized that I’ve lost the entire point of this post.
Here it is:
1. Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner.
2. We’ve been invited to a paddle-boarding party, and swimsuits are involved.
3. I’m panicking because I’ve been eating sugar again and I feel chubby.
4. Chubby = Cool for babies. Uncool for supermamas.
5. Life isn’t fair.
In all honesty?
Despite the fact that it’s a new week and I should be going guns-blazing on my “career” (gag), I wasn’t very work-y today.
First I played tennis with three other broads from my Racquet Club.
Then I watched tennis with no other broads from my Racquet Club.
(Roland Garros, aka the French Open is on – and will be – for a very long time. As in a fortnight. I kinda slip down a two-week rabbit hole when a major tennis tourney is up and running.)
So right as I was starting to get a huge case of the guilts for being such a frigging slacker and not working or blogging, the UPS dude pulled up in his little truck bearing a box with my name written all over it.
When I spied the IT Cosmetics label, I was psyched.
Then I opened it to find the teensiest, weeniest, Munchkin-sized versions of IT stuff, many of which I already use and love. Even more psyched.
Asterisking the ones that are currently in heavy rotation chez Momover Lady.
Will tell you more about those heavy-rotation items after this list of the adorable minis in my new Memo Day Weekend “IT Kit”:
Now for more intel on…
1. Confidence In A Cream: While it’s true that moisture isn’t really an actual, bonafide problem down here in Florida – the humidity hovers at roughly 1000 percent much of the year – I still find that I need, and very much want, a pretty intense moisturizer. Must be … cough cough… my age.
Confidence is my new go-to. It’s loaded with several key “retexturizing” ingredients, including the mega skin plumper hyaluronic acid.
You probably hear about hyaluronic acid all the time and think: Wait, isn’t it an acid? How does it plump? Don’t acids peel, not plump?
Agreed, the name of this wonder ingredient is misleading. I dare say it’s a misnomer.
But trust me about the plumping bit. Hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in our bods and acts as a joint lubricant, can hold 1000 times its weight in water.
Thus it’s a moisture-magnet. Thus it’s great for tennis ball-whacking femmes d’un certain age. Moving on…
2. Your Skin But Better CC Cream With SPF 50+: If some lovely people-person of the female persuasion were to ask me whether she should try a BB Cream or a CC Cream, one of my first choice-criteria would be that lovely people-person’s age.
If you’re under, say, 35, and haven’t accrued a lot of sun damage, go for a BB Cream on days when you want to skip foundation.
If, like moi, you could benefit from a bit of color-correcting and evening-out of your skin tone, nab a CC Cream instead.
The IT CC Cream is one of my faves because it both A) adds instant polish in a low-key way and B) contains a hefty dose of non-chemical, paraben-free sunscreen. My preference is absolutely for non-chemical sunscreens.
Vive les non-chemical sunscreens!
3. Tightline Full Lash Length 3-In-1 Eyeliner, Primer & Mascara: Truth be told, I skip mascara about 350 days a year. It’s just not my desert-island must-have. Mostly that’s because it inevitably ends up as smeary mess on my mug. And then it’s kinda a bitch to remove. Grrr….
Still, I actually really need mascara. My lashes are totally going AWOL lately, and since I also forget about using my Latisse about 350 days a year, I need the definition mascara provides.
Enter Tightline, with its microscopic wand. You can’t go wrong with such a miniaturized mascara applicator. (Even I can’t go wrong with such a miniaturized mascara applicator.)
Smeary mascara messes don’t happen with Tightline. I should use it more often.
Deuce Box: Hubby Recently Served Up Some Great Tips, Which I Will Now Kindly Share With My Fellow Newbies
TGIS, my lovelies!!!
I hope we all have bitchin’ weekends planned.
Although I’d intended to spend a good chunk of my Saturday and Sunday welded to the couch watching the Rome Open 2016, Rafa’s loss to Novak in yesterday’s match took the wind out of my proverbial sails.
I know I need to get braver about watching Rafa lose, but it just isn’t happening yet…
Okay, on to winning! Or at least improving!
As Hubby merrily trots out the door for his weekly guys’ sesh at the Club, I was reminded of our recent hitting outing.
He gave me two unfussy, easyish-to-execute tips that I will in turn share with you:
TIP 1: At the Top of Your Serve, Make Damn Sure Your Racquet Isn’t Tipped Backward
I’ve mentioned earlier that I’m deploying a serve my tennis coach calls the “backscratcher.” This is a big departure from a traditional serve in that there is no windup whatsoever. I just get into all sorts o’ trouble with a windup; I don’t know if it’s an attention-span thing, or a total-spaz thing, but it ain’t good.
But the backscratcher, which entails merely holding the racquet upside down over your shoulder blade and then bringing it upright to meet your ball toss, really works for me because it’s a much quicker motion.
Although the backscratcher is a far less complicated gesture, it still needs to be executed well. And as Hubby watched me the other morning, he noticed that as I was bringing my racquet up to meet my ball toss, I was allowing the face to tip backward.
It was only an angle of maybe 20 or 25 degrees, but it was still too much. I have a weak serve to begin with; the last thing I need is to further compromise my power by not connecting with the ball at the right time.
Hubby’s quick fix? He had me focus on two things:
A) Tossing the ball just a teensy weensy bit in front of me rather straight up or a backward a few degrees.
B) Meeting that toss with a racquet that’s also tilted forward a smidge.
That generated an immediate increase in power.
Of course it’s all relative; I still serve like a wuss. But there’s Überly Wussy and Minorly Wussy, and I’m now – happily – in the latter camp.
TIP 2: N-E-V-E-R Take Your Eye Off the Ball
Even if it’s winging its way toward you at warp speed, and you’re about to pee your tennis skirt because you’re so scared, suck it up, be brave and look as your racquet (hopefully) makes contact in return.
“If you watch YouTube videos of Roger Federer,” says Hubby, “even if the ball’s coming at him at 130 miles an hour, he never takes his eye off it.”
So until I get back out on the court again, that’s my homework assignment: Tracking down those vids of jolly Rog doing his eyeball action. I so want to see that unfold on YouTube. And maybe I’ll try to watch him at the Rome Open, too. Unlike my beloved Rafa (sob), I’m pretty sure Rog is still in the tourney.
Yesterday I broke the news that Cindy Gorgeous Crawford was packing not one, but a few(!), itty bitty bottles of her husband’s Casamigos tequila in the clutch she carried at the Met Gala on Monday night.
There was other intel in that post (about a new facial oil from her Meaningful Beauty line), and I also mentioned that hair god Ward Stegerhoek crafted her sleek, center-parted look.
Well, just a few minutes ago, I received full details about Ward’s Met Gala handiwork, as well as the exact Living Proof products he used to get her hair looking so mighty fine.
I figure that for mamas of a certain age (cough, cough…me), who may be utterly stuck in the ’90s (me again), reading about Cindy’s beauty secrets never gets old.
So I’m happy to share Ward’s step-by-step process.
But before we get rolling, how about a cute pic of Ward himself?
Btw, in addition to all his editorial, runway and ad-campaign work, he’s also the co-founder of Living Proof. A key reason the products are so, so, so good.
Now onto the process and the products…
How to Get Cindy’s Met Gala Hair Look
1. Step One: Part hair pin-straight down the middle. Then, blow-dry wavy hair straight using Living Proof No Frizz Weightless Styling Spray. Use generously as this product is king to smooth the cuticles and create slip on the hair that blocks humidity 100%.
2. Step Two: Spray Living Proof Straight at a distance to keep the look dry while flat ironing. Flat iron in small sections starting at the nape of the neck. Finish with Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield all over. Shake out hair and alternate between brushing out with a flat brush and spraying Humidity Shield throughout.
4. Step Four: Spritz Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray on a toothbrush and use as a touch-up for flyaways at the part, behind ears and at hairline using little brush strokes for that extra-sleek look.
Then, like Cindy, go have yourself a wee little drinkie. Cheers!
What Does Mommy-Hottie Cindy Crawford Pack In Her #MetGala Clutch? Meaningful Beauty + Hubby’s Tequila.
My inbox has been pelted with Met Gala beauty recaps all morning, but this – this! – is the one that really floated my boat: Mama-of-two Cindy Crawford looking like a billion euros.
Please. How old is she? 50, right? Doesn’t she look incroyable? She is still, decades on, seriously hot.
According to the PR whizzes behind Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty line, she tapped makeup artist Jo Baker and hairstylist Ward Stegerhoek for the event, which, unless you were sleeping under rock, know was held last night in New York.
(In case you were wondering, Ward is a god…)
Back to Cindy.
In keeping with the evening’s “Manus x Machina” theme, La Crawford wore a Space Age-y silver frock by Balmain, which was simultaneously covered-up and curve-hugging / sexy as all get-out. The press release describes her look as “polished and radiant,” and I absolutely concur with that assessment.
So what are some of the components – the key pieces, if you will – of this polished and radiant look? Well, a cursory glance tells me about 10 gallons of bronzer were involved. Neutral, rosy lippy. Buckets of black liner, perchance.
Underneath all that, she may or may not have been wearing her new Vitality Oil, which is laced with vitamin C and orchid extracts:
Of course I want to know Cindy’s beauty secrets.
What woman in her right mind wouldn’t?
But I’m even more intrigued by the contents of her clutch.
According to the PR operatives, her stash included:
1. The aforementioned oil
2. Rimmel London lip color
3. Pressed powder
4. Dentyne Pure
5. Several teensy bootleg bottles of her husband Rande Gerber’s Casamigos tequila
Despite the “liquid courage,” I’m guessing Cindy keeps her boozing to a minimum. There’s no way she could stay so hot if she was hitting the sauce on the reg.
Still…the proof is in the proverbial pudding:
Good little Catholic that she is, the Wee Lass made her First Holy Communion yesterday.
Although I knew I’d see some seriously decked-out young dudes and dudettes at the ceremony (Florida is actually pretty damn Southern, once you get right down to it), I kinda wasn’t prepared for all the veils and taffeta.
And for a hot minute I second-guessed our sartorial game plan of just low-keying it with a cotton dress and shrug that she could wear anytime after.
In the end, it worked out fine. Of course it helped matters that Hubby gifted her with a diamond cross necklace right before we left for church. She was so taken aback – it’s her first piece of fine jewelry – that she promptly burst into tears. Awww…
Okay, onto the topic at hand: My outfit.
In this pic, I’m sporting an entire ensemble from Target’s Who What Wear collection.
Basically every time I go now, I rifle through the WWW racks. And while I’ve rejected plenty of styles outright – it’s a really big collection – and tried on other pieces only to decide they didn’t flatter my bod or fit my current WAHM lifestyle, I’ve also nabbed a number of items.
I have this peplum tank in ivory and black:
I have this silky peplum top (sensing a peplum theme?) in black:
I just got this layered ruffle skirt in peach:
And these ruffled shorts in khaki:
And I almost bought this frock in peach, but wobbled at the last minute:
I think I still want it, but maybe in black.
I like the way it’s styled here – off the shoulders:
All in all, I think this WWW merch is a keeper. So fingers crossed Target rides the wave for a while. I need to remember that the tops run large but once I do that, the coast is clear.
P.S. Can we pls discuss my DIY blowout here? I’m getting good, right? I know it’s my spendy T3 Proi dryer, along with Pureology Smooth Perfection Intense Smoothing Cream. But still, ya gotta give a gal props.
Faithful readers know I totally worship Rachel Zoe.
If you don’t believe me, read this ‘Hot Mama Appreciation.’
And then read this post about how much I admire her psychotic level of over-packing.
And, finally, read this post in which I gallantly defend her from Internet trolls hating on her for wearing Eiffel Tower-height heels while preggo.
I can hear you now:
WTH does all this have to do with laser hair removal?
I’m about to tell you.
Rachel Zoe – my Rachel Zoe – is building a big ol’ beauty empire.
It’s called Hudson BLVD Group.
She started with the DreamDry blowout joints which are sooooo glamorous, and efficient, and I go every time I’m back in New York.
Then she scooped-up Pucker Makeup Studio.
And now she’s added Spruce & Bond, which endeavors to make hair removal a beauty-maintenance must “you actually look forward to.”
Lol…I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I can at least provide these great laser need-to-knows from Kelann Roberts, Spruce & Bond specialist.
Just in time for the big spring leg-reveal, here are…
Ten Things You Need to Know About Laser Hair-Removal
1. You have to shave pre-appointment so the technician can place the laser directly on the root of the hair.
2. At Spruce & Bond, the lasers adjust to not only your skin type, but your hair type as well. They fire a concentrated beam of light that’s directed at the pigment in your hair follicles. This kills the follicle at its root, preventing hairs from growing back.
3. You need to avoid waxing for up to 4 weeks before your first appointment. The laser targets the pigment of your hair follicle, and the follicle actually has to be there in order for this to work. Shave, yes. Wax, no.
4. It takes at least 5 to 6 sessions to achieve perfection. (You want that, right? Perfection?)
5. It’s important to stay consistent with your appointments. Space them out every 4-6 weeks so your hair has enough time to cycle. Everyone has their own specific growth cycle.
6. Some hair and skin types might be a little harder – but still possible – to treat. Dark hair follicles are usually easy because, again, the laser targets the hair’s pigment. This is also why gray, white, blonde, and red pigments can be tricky. Spruce & Bond uses a “color blind” Gentlelase Laser, which has the ability to target any color hair on any skin tone.
7. During your treatment, the sensation will feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin. Each session is about 20-30 minutes.
8. Post-treatment, avoid direct sunlight on that area and always use a moisturizer with SPF.
9. During the next day or two after, it’s normal for your skin to appear a little red. Avoid excessive heat and apply aloe vera to relieve redness.
10. It’s worth the time and money. Why? Because it’s permanent. With hair-removal, permanent is good. Permanent is awesome.
I’m not even remotely proud of this, but I got so enraged by a business call earlier this week that it destroyed two entire nights’ sleep.
Given that I already have major slumber issues, and anxiety that ebbs and flows depending on my work load, it wasn’t a total shock that this could happen. Still, I feel really sad that a single conversation could send me so fully over the edge that I was left with no choice but to hit the Xanax.
I’ve blogged about this before – several times, in fact – but Xanax is horrible for you.
Well, it’s all the “benzos,” really. I just happen to take Xanax. They’re ultra habit-forming and Harvard Medical School even recently linked them to Alzheimer’s.
I don’t want Alzheimer’s. And I don’t want to lay awake seething because of a single, stupid phone call.
So I’m putting together these anger-management tips for myself and all the other Mama Ragers out there. The hope is that we can learn to defuse it enough so we can at least get some shut-eye.
FYI, my sources for this little listicle were:
This massive anger-management section from the American Psychological Association website
This piece on the links between anger, stress and anxiety from the U.K. National Health Service
On y va. Allons-y. Let’s go!
FIVE FAIL-PROOF WAYS TO SHORT-CIRCUIT ANGER
1. Cool off, then express yourself in straightforward terms. The trick here is in the timing; you want to address the situation while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind, but you also need to be sure that you can communicate calmly. Try to remember that if you go ballistic, you’ll end up getting more angry, not less. Not to mention the fact that you could easily destroy a relationship if you’re not careful.
2. Go running. Or do something else of an intensely physical, heart-pounding nature. Kick-boxing? Soul Cycle? The goal is to get an endorphin fix; a casual stroll around the block ain’t gonna cut it.
3. Build your toolbox of on-the-spot relaxation techniques. These can include deep breathing, visualization, even repeating a goofy mini mantra to yourself, à la: “I’m in control of my emotions,” or, my fave, “I’m not letting this bitch throw me off my game.” Lol…I’m a monster when I’m pissed.
4. Deploy what shrinks call “cognitive restructuring.” Essentially, this is just positive self-talk and re-framing a situation in less the-end-is-near terms. For example, rather than saying to yourself: “This is the biggest nightmare project I’ve ever worked on in my entire life,” reframe it to a more reasonable: “Yes, this is baaaaad. But it will be over and out of my life on June 15.” In my Momover book, I wrote an entire chapter on positive self-talk and re-framing. But did I remember all that this week? No. No, I did not.
5. Recognize that anger is often anxiety in disguise. This is a deeper idea, and will take more explanation than I have time to do right this minute. But I promise to come back to it, because it’s important. Hubby is rushing me out the door for an impromptu date night, and after the week I’ve had, I desperately need to chillax.
TGIF, my lovelies!