Dry Me

August 18, 2012

The winner!

Today let’s talk towels. I never really think about towels, and I bet you don’t either, but when you have a good towel, you can really tell the difference. Here are my requirements for a fab toweling off experience:

It has to be absorbent! Don’t you hate when you have to go over things a few times to really get dry? That’s a sign of bad fibers — probably synthetic. Next, please.

It has to stand up to multiple washings! No one wants faded towels or ones with pulls, and since  you use a towel every dang day, unless you’re Pigpen, that’s a lot of washing machine time.

It has to be soft! Since you do use it daily, and sometimes many times per day, you want it to feel good against your skin. Only cotton will do!!

It needs to come in good colors! It’s 2012 Mr. Manufacturer, and people don’t have bathrooms in the colors that were prevalent in the ’60s and ’70s (avocado green, anyone?)…wake up and smell the shower gel, only modern, muted beautiful shades will do.

I recently threw my dilemma out to my towel guy Tom at Bloomingdale’s, and he told me that the store gives him one of every towel to take home and try out, so that he can give advice to customers like me who clearly overthink these things. (Ha! Those were my words, not Tom’s.) He recommended 2 kinds of towels to me, and I bought both to try, but only one came out the winner…

Runner Up: In second place, I put Calvin Klein towels. I got a bunch for our wedding — which is over 10 years ago already — and I originally picked them just for their colors, which were the most modern at the time. They have held up well.

And the winner is…WATERWORKS! Tom did recommend these, and he did not steer me wrong. They stand up well to all my criteria and they have been a welcome addition to our household. We’ve been using them for the past year and I highly recommend these towels.I’m partial to the Perennial style (pictured) which is 100% Turkish Combed Cotton.

One last word on towels: do not pay full price! Bloomingdale’s and other department stores have home sales at least twice a year, and the towels are usually 40% off, which makes them much more affordable.

Happy drying!

West Village Comfort Food

I recently had a lovely dinner with my friend Kitty here from San Francisco, and her friend Barbara. There’s always a little bit of pressure picking a place because Kitty is a foodie. I had wanted to go to Tremont in the West Village for a while, so I decided to book it for us, and it did not disappoint. It’s the perfect restaurant for the West Village, and just what you want for an adult dinner where you want good food and wine with the ability to layer in good conversation. We had a lovely table by the front window and the scallops were terrific. (We sat next to Annette Bening and her daughter and they seemed incredibly normal and I have to applaud Ms. Bening because I don’t think she’s had a stitch of work done to her face, which seems unheard of in an actress these days.)

Anyway if you want a truly nice night out with friends and family, this is a good spot. It’s not too large, and the staff is friendly, And there are some cozy booths in the back. There is one, I think it’s table #2, that Barbara was already checking out for her next time back. (Tremont is located at 51 Bank Street, NYC)

Etc.

I was able to get to the beach for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and it was gorgeous. I love when I read and fall asleep, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The sound of the waves just puts me out. Today there’s some rain but we have friends coming for the weekend with wine so I am sure that will be fun!

 

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Skin Deep

August 12, 2012

I’m a little late to the towelette party, I guess, but they have seemed a bit environmentally unfriendly if you ask me. I have used them for travel (especially with the 3 ounce liquid limit for carry-ons) and there was the time I forgot all of my toiletries in London and got to go hog-wild in Boots, but I digress…

I had heard about Yes to Tomatoes’ towelettes with salicylic acid, which is an excellent ingredient for those who tend to break out once in a while. It keeps your pores from getting clogged. So I decided to try them. I have to say I get a bit of a thrill seeing all of the makeup and dirt come off onto the towelette, and it has a very light, refreshing scent. My only caveats are that I would not use them every night — both because we don’t need to be clogging up landfills and the fact I think it would dry out my skin if overused. But a couple of times per week seems good to help cell turnover and keep things looking clear. I have to say I like the “Yes to” lines as a general rule and their attempt to be as organic and natural as possible.

And I can’t stress enough that if you have really bad skin, skip the drugstore aisle and head straight to a good dermatologist who really can help and then will point you in the right over the counter direction when things are under control. (Yes to Tomatoes blemish clearing facial towelettes are $7.99 for 25 at Target.)

Jersey Boy

I enjoyed David Remnick’s recent profile on Bruce Springsteen at 62 in The New Yorker. If you missed it you can check it out here.

Olympics Adieu

I am going to miss having the Olympic results spoiled for me during the day, only to be toyed with by the awful NBC coverage at night. London put on a fantastic games, by all accounts, and I am excited for the closing ceremonies this evening, which are rumored to feature The Who, One Direction, Take That, Jessie J, George Michael and the Spice Girls reunited atop London black cabs, to name just a few. Fabulous, no?

By the way I was not aware until yesterday that NBC cut from the opening ceremonies a tribute those killed in the London subway bombings, saying it wouldn’t resonate with the American audience. Are you kidding me? Ever heard of September 11th? I can’t imagine the reaction from the U.S. if the Brits cut an American tribute.

Like I said, awful NBC coverage. See ya next time, Bob Costas.

Etc.

We took the kids miniature golfing in the rain, which was kind of fun, and then we hit the arcade yesterday. We had friends and family here for both lunch and dinner and some quality playtime in between, so it made for a very fun, very busy Saturday. Now the sun is shining so I’m going to get myself to the beach, pronto.

Ciao!

Summer Book Club

August 5, 2012

Well, it’s happened again. It’s August already and I have a whole long list of books that I wanted to read on the beach. So I’ve got less than a month to make it happen! I did read Joan Didion’s Blue Nights, which was great writing but incredibly depressing and thus all wrong for summer reading (note to self: never select anything about a child’s death over the summer, especially non-fiction). Then my sister got me hooked on the crack that is the 50 Shades trilogy, which is so poorly written and empty and wrong and yet you cannot stop — the literary equivalent of bad potato chips. (Funny story:  I was in Three Lives bookstore in the West Village recently, which if you’re in NYC you must stop by and browse — it’s the most perfect little independent bookstore — and I was teasing them for carrying the 50 Shades books. And the owner said, “That paid all of April’s rent! Once that happened, I was like, ‘I’m on board!'”)

So what’s on my August reading list? I’m all about paperbacks:

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron — I had read excerpts of this in various magazines, but with her recent passing, I was reminded that I wanted to read the whole book. It’s like sage advice on aging from your mother, if your mother were a famous writer and film director who was married three times and had lots of famous friends and a fabulous life in NYC. Funny women are often overlooked for the male comedians, so I like to read a good funny female book, which brings me to the next entry on the list…

Bossypants by Tina Fey — I was waiting for this to come out in paperback, and now it has. The excerpt I read in The New Yorker about what she wishes she could tell her daughter Alice about the internet was hysterical. As a 30 Rock fan, I am excited to read her other musings.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan — I need some good fiction too, and this Pulitzer prize winner should do the trick. I’ve heard an awful lot about it, especially the chapter that’s written in Powerpoint, so let’s hope it lives up to the hype. She’s a fellow U Penn grad so we have to support one another!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — This one was given to me to read by my mother. I believe technically it’s a Young Adult book, but in the Hunger Games tradition, it’s a story for all ages set in 1939, Nazi Germany.

I also want to read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but it is only in hard back so it may have to wait…

That should keep me going til Labor Day.

A Cappuccino and a Laugh

Jerry Seinfeld started a new internet series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I had high hopes for it, but after watching the first two installments, I wasn’t bowled over. But there were some gem moments and with each episode being less than 15 minutes, it’s not a major time investment. Check it out at comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com (go figure). I thought the Larry David one was the best so far.

H&M Home

Apparently H&M Home is about to hit stateside, which means you can get some cheap accessories for your home. It’s good for all the extra knick knacks you need to make your room that much more designed.

Lounging Around

We went to a very good restaurant last night, Labrador Lounge. (3581 Route 35 North, Normandy Beach) It’s got an extensive menu and a hippie vibe, and the food is tasty. If you find yourself in Ocean County, NJ, make a reservation (it gets packed) and indulge in dinner. Some standouts were the lobster mac and cheese, the jersey blue salad with grilled peaches and vidalia onions, the tuna, shrimp and mango ceviche served with tortilla chips, grilled corn and the sesame-encrusted tuna. My kids loved the sushi. And for dessert the bread pudding was tasty. There were so many good things on the menu we probably over-ordered, but that’s a good problem to have.

Etc.

The humidity is really starting to get to me, I must say. The air is just oppressive. I wanted to go for a walk this morning but it was too hot so I will wait for the air conditioned gym tomorrow.

I bought lobsters and for the first time I am going to attempt to grill them for dinner. Lobsters, tater tots and zucchini. And probably an Angry Orchard hard cider, which has become our unofficial drink for this summer.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!