Rinse and Repeat

June 26, 2012

Your new fav hair care product

I’ve gotten my hair cut by the same guy in the West Village for over a dozen years, maybe more. And so I was surprised when last time I went he said I had deposit on my hair. He asked if I was trying something new and I told him I had been using the same shampoo for several years, and he said to switch, it wasn’t working on my hair anymore.

Now, this is where you probably think he tried to sell me something, but no, he doesn’t sell shampoo in his salon, because, as he has told me many times, “I didn’t get into cutting hair to sell shampoo.” (Love that!) So I actually believed him about my hair. His remedy? White vinegar. It doesn’t mess with color, and it takes the deposits off of your hair, leaving it shinier and somehow fresher. Just get a plastic squeeze bottle, fill it with white vinegar and douse your head while you’re in the shower. Rinse it out and then shampoo and condition as normal. (One note — maybe do it on a day where you don’t care if you smell a little vinegar-y. I did it on a Monday and all day long I felt like I smelled faintly of salad dressing.)

It really worked, and I’m think every couple of months I’ll do it. As for my shampoo, I’m in the process of finding a new one that cleans, isn’t too drying and is easy on the wallet. So as soon as I find one that’s worth recommending, I’ll report back!

P.S. I also recently read an article that says anethesia can have an effect on your hair. This is weird because I did go under for my knee surgery on March, so maybe that had an effect. But the real effect I guess most people experience is slower hair growth. Weird!

Summer Protection…

If you’ve gone to the store lately to buy sunscreen you know how intimidating it is with all of the different brands, SPFs, consistencies, etc. There’s a new one on the market I love that’s specifically for the face: L’Oreal Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen Liquid Silk Sunshield for the Face — 50 SPF. (Note to L’Oreal: That’s a mouthful.) It really is different — it’s lighter, doesn’t clog pores, is packed with antioxidants and really protects well. This would be good to layer under makeup, and I like it for the beach. At $10.99 (although it’s on sale at Target at the moment) it’s a good investment for your face. They do sell a bottle for the body, but I’m not sure you need a formulation like this for the whole kit and kaboodle.

Summer Treat

When the days hit 90 degrees, what better thing to grab than some sort of frozen treat? I am really liking the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. They’re tasty, 140 calories, and just the right size so you feel like you’re actually treating yourself. They come in a bunch of flavors but I think vanilla ice cream with the chocolate outsides is classic for a reason. Enjoy!

Etc.

My son still has a couple last days of school, but it does feel like summer has arrived. We were on the beach all weekend and it was just gorgeous, although today I see how pathetically awful I am at putting on sunscreen. I think I really have to do it before I put my bathing suit on to make sure I get everywhere.

Tonight the Empire State Building is red and blue for the new Spiderman movie…it really must be summer!

Enjoy…

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Bittersweet Memories

June 17, 2012

Guest blogger Denielle shares some thoughts as the school year grinds to a halt.

I don’t know when it happened exactly; it must have been when I became a mom and first sent my girls off to school. That was the moment I turned into a complete sap as soon as June rolled around. The idea of saying goodbye to my daughters’ teachers would instantly cause my eyes to fill with hot tears that sometimes – if I thought about it too long – would start to roll slowly down my cheeks.

I’ve been fortunate that my girls have had really wonderful teachers, but given that they’ve all gone and/or are going to the same preschool, I have not yet had to really say an official goodbye to any one of them. It’s just a, ‘have a great summer; see you in the fall,’ or in some cases, ‘goodbye for now…little sister will be in your class in 2 years!!’ But no matter. I still begin to weep as I write the end of year thank you notes.

As much as I love to see my girls grow up, acquire new skills and accomplish new things, I feel a sense of loss at the baby they left behind. The irony is, when they were really little, I looked forward to each new day because it meant that I survived the last. And things really did get better with each passing dawn.

Now each new day means we’re closer to an unchartered, self-reliant future than our warm, cozy past. Sometimes when my 2 year-old wakes up at night, says she’s scared and asks me to sleep with her, I do because I’m not sure how long she will make those requests. Never mind the neck cramps and dark circles and general crabbiness I will suffer the next day!

My oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher didn’t help matters by sending home lemons the last week of school with the following note:

In case you are wondering why your daughter has a lemon in her bag today:

I said… “Saying goodbye is bittersweet, just like the lemon you are holding. You came to me not perfect, like your bumpy lemon, but I do not expect you to leave perfect either. We grew and keep growing and inside each of you is a juice that has the potential to become sweet and flowing, just like the lemon. I tried to fill you with as much juicy knowledge as I could this year. So, take this lemon and squeeze it over the summer, or just let it be… but always think of me “.

Yep. You guessed it. I lost it.

Tea with the Queen

June 9, 2012

Not quite, but we’re just back from London and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! We didn’t really plan it that way, but it was a nice backdrop for our trip. Between that and the remarkable weather we had — not any rain! — London seemed incredibly vibrant. If you want to plan a trip, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

If you plan on traveling by train, and you have kids, get yourself a Family Railcard. You save 1/3 off every trip, including the Heathrow Express train from the airport. It’s 28 pounds, and it paid for itself with the purchase of our roundtrip tix on the Heathrow Express, where we saved over 30 pounds. (And that really is the best way to get to and from the airport. Yes, you can take the tube but it takes forever and is difficult with suitcases. This gets you to Paddington in 15 minutes and you can get a taxi to anywhere.)

Kids under 5 ride free on all trains; kids under 10 ride free on the tube. And if you get an oyster card for the tube, make sure it registers when you tap in and out! Otherwise there’s a 5 pound surcharge.

Usually we go to some of our favorite restaurants from way back (Wagamama, Ping Pong, Le Caprice) but we found some new ones this trip — Jamie Oliver’s Union Jack’s and the Italian restaurant Zizzi’s. If you want something on the go, nothing beats Marks and Spencer. Their selection of prepared foods is fab. I really wish they would expand to NYC!

We also took the kids to see the newly opened Making of Harry Potter tour, just outside London. They essentially kept all of the sets and costumes and, frankly, just about everything from the HP movies and opened up a tour to the public. Die hard fans will just, well, die, and even those who only have a limited acquaintance (that would be me) can appreciate the craft of movie-making and the sick attention to detail that really showed the level of devotion to the books. My son had just finished the first book and he found it all intriguing and said it’s his favorite thing he did in London; my sister had read all the books and seen all the movies and completely loved it. Worth the short train ride and shuttle bus to get there, but definitely buy your tickets in advance.

I have to say, we found London incredibly kid-friendly. In fact, we were there about 6 years ago with a 15 month old, and found it incredibly not kid-friendly, so it was amazing to see. Kids meals everywhere with actually decent food. Special family bathrooms. They even let us cut the line at customs since we had little ones.

The only thing I fear for the 10 million people about to descend on London for the Olympics is the lack of air-conditioning. Especially on the tube. Good luck with that!

Call Me Maybe

Perhaps you’ve seen the over abundance of remakes of Call Me Maybe — everyone from the Harvard baseball team to Justin Bieber to a masked Romney and Obama have posted them. But I thought this one by Jimmy Fallon and the Roots with Carly Rae Jepsen was super cute, using only childhood instruments like the xylophone we all had growing up. Check it out here.

Etc.

Party people in the house! I’ve got my daughter’s party today (even though she doesn’t turn 5 for a few weeks) and my son’s party next weekend. After that I feel like I need to let summer start and try to relax!!

Have a great weekend!