Believe the Hype

April 1, 2014

color-wow-root-cover-upWell, the sun was out for a little bit today, teasing us. One day spring will really have sprang, and when that happens, your hair will look fantastic with what I have discovered: Color Wow Root Cover-Up.

If, like me, you can’t get to the salon often enough and your roots start to show and then keep on showing, this is the stuff for you. My hair grows pretty quickly, and I have dark brown hair, so any grays feel like they stick way out. (Yes, I realize it is probably most pronounced to me, looking in the mirror under harsh lighting in the bathroom at work, but…) I just can’t get commit to getting to my hair guy any sooner. Not to mention the expense.

So I had seen different products over the last few years, specifically for root touch up. Long-time readers of this blog will know that I am a tough critic, and if something doesn’t work as promised, I am all over them. There was a Clairol one that I bought and then was afraid to use. It somehow looked…sketchy. (Seriously, this may still be in my closet.) Then I was not lured into buying anything until I went to the Rita Hazan salon for a mani-pedi and decided to try her spray-on root touch up. She does Beyonce’s hair, so I decided to trust her. It did get me out of a jam — we were getting a family portrait taken and needed a touch up, so I sprayed a little on some grays up front and it covered it for the photo. The problem I have with it is the spray colors your scalp a bit too, so it just feels fake to me. Not to mention that it you happen to rub your head, some comes off. Not the greatest.

Then I saw this Color Wow Root Cover-Up on TV — one of the morning shows where they were demonstrating it. And I read about it in some magazine. And then Space NK, who really edits their collection of beauty products down, started selling it. I asked the woman in there if it really worked and she said, “Yes, absolutely.” So I bit!

Lo and behold, this stuff actually works, with minimal effort. My only beef is that it only works on completely dry hair. But essentially when your hair is dry, you take it out (it’s like a compact), and use the brush to brush the color on any gray roots. It’s like blush for your hair. And then, within minutes, your gray is gone. Fur reals. It looks natural and it stays in until you wash your hair, at which time it all comes out and you’re back where you started.

It comes in a bunch of different colors to match your shade. Sephora, Ulta and Space NK (who also has stores in Bloomingdale’s) all carry it. It sometimes sells out but check another store if that happens. It’s about $35 and it lasts awhile.

Etc.

Even though the temps are still chilly, it is nice having it lighter in the evenings. Makes me feel like I still have some time to live a little even when I get home from work on the later side. Baseball season starts this weekend for my son, and of course the MLB season just kicked off, so I guess spring is actually, finally here. Let’s hope Mother Nature agrees. Hope all is well with you!

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Embrace the New!

March 9, 2014

Delicious pici!

Delicious pici!

Blink and another freezing cold month goes by! But I’m here now and ready to pass on some new, new, new — because you need something to keep it interesting as the last days of winter squeeze every last bit of our ability to cope out of us. Make it stop! A girl can only wear her parka so many days…

Kefir! It’s my obsession. A nutritionist told me that so many health issues are tied to the bacteria found in the gut, and that she recommended trying to incorporate some kefir, packed with probiotics, into your diet. It’s a good alternative to yogurt. I like to mix a cup of plain, nonfat kefir smoothie with a banana and 1 tablespoon of Quik chocolate powder with some ice in the blender to make a delicious breakfast drink. I also keep some cups of strawberry and coffee kefir in my mini-fridge at work, for an afternoon snack. I like that it doesn’t have anything artificial vs. those light yogurts that are packed with artificial sweeteners.

Pici! We were just in Tuscany, and my son fell in love with this pasta, which is essentially thicker spaghetti. They use a slow-drying method, which somehow leaves the pasta more flavorful than that brittle stuff I typically buy in the supermarket. I wasn’t sure if I could find it here but I did in the Italian store at Chelsea Market, toward the back. You cook it longer — 22 minutes — and it comes out al dente and tasty. It’s great with any type of sauce. (Eataly also seems to carry this.)

Truffle Honey! I was first turned on to this delicacy by my friend Liz, who served it with some sort of cheese and told me it was even better with bleu cheese. She was right! Then, in Italy, we got some and had it with pecorino. Even tastier! It’s kind of hard to find. I ordered it on Amazon and can’t say that I am loyal to any one brand. You just need a little, so while a small jar may be $15, it will last through a lot of noshing.

Malin & Goetz Detox Face Mask! I like that you only have to put this mask on for 5 minutes. (Who has 20 – 30 minutes to sit with a bunch of gook on your face?) And I like that as soon as you put it on, it starts bubbling. Even if it’s not really working, it feels like it’s doing something! And then when you wash it off, lo and behold, your skin does feel super clean, without getting dried out. It’s got oxygen in it, which seems to make all the difference.

Vitamin C for your Eyes! I got this vitamin C eye serum in a gift bag, and it is the bomb. The brand isn’t available to the public so I can’t recommend it, but look for an eye gel or cream with vitamin c. I like the gel for night time — creams tend to make my eyes too puffy in the morning. It seems to make my eye area firmer and I don’t wake up with any extra fluid around the eyes.

Oh, I have so much more, but I will leave it at that for now…enjoy!

 

Customer Service or Bust

January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!!

I feel like people are so quick to slam companies that get it all wrong, so I am going to praise some companies who get it right. Let’s start the new year off on a positive note!

Nordstrom – People always talk about Nordstrom taking things back, but I had 2 things happen recently that have truly cemented them as a top-notch customer-service oriented biz. First, I headed to the after Xmas sales and happened to find 2 Vince sweaters I liked. One of them I was sure I had seen cheaper online, so as I slowly walked out of the fitting room, I did a quick search on my phone and found that yes, Neiman Marcus had the sweater $30 cheaper. So I went up to the register and asked if they did price matching. The saleswoman said yes, as long as you had a picture of the item online. So I showed her it on my phone, and without hesitation she matched the price. I headed home, and the next evening, I wanted to wear one of the sweaters. I took it out and — EPIC FAIL — the security tag was still attached. So I went to the other and there it was, plastic and ivory and ANNOYING. Especially because I don’t live near a Nordstrom. I grabbed the receipt and called from the car to express my displeasure and see if there was anything I could do besides schlep back out to the store. Vanessa, the manager of that department, listed to my tale and said she would call me back with a potential solution, and apologized profusely. Within 10 minutes she called to say that they would send someone to my house to take the security tags off. Fur reals! She gave me the number of who to call to arrange it, and I am happy to report that Juan came to my apartment building this morning and removed both security tags. Couldn’t have been nicer.

Sephora – Receipts get lost. But sometimes you regret a purchase. Sephora will take back their product without a receipt and give you store credit, no questions asked. Well, they may ask you why. But I like the peace of mind that the tinted moisturizer I bought, but then found a much better formula, can go back at any time. Keeps me loyal!

Space NK – If you’re into high end beauty products (and who isn’t, really? 🙂 Space NK’s N.Dulge rewards program is for you. You get $5 back for every $100 you spend on the well-edited collection. But here’s where you can get crafty: do it in the Space NK boutique in Bloomingdale’s and you’ll get N.Dulge points AND double Bloomie’s Loyalist points. Bonus!

Keepin’ it Positive

And what’s more positive than Happy, Pharrell Williams’ catchy tune from Despicable Me 2. (By the way, are my kids the only ones completely obsessed with this movie? We bought it from itunes and they watch at least part of it EVERY DAY!) Anyway, Pharrell has put together an amazing 24 hour music video for the song. Yes, 24 hours, shot in real time. You have to see it to comprehend how cool it is. Check it out at 24hoursofhappy.com.   You don’t need to watch the whole thing to get the gyst. It will start the video at exactly what time it is on your computer at that moment…you can stay there or jump around. There are celeb cameos, one of my favs being Magic Johnson, who danced at 5:36 am in his house, and shows off his amazing trophy room at his house in California! Pharrell shows up at the top of every hour. Enjoy!

Etc.

I was all set to be back into my routine and then blam! The snowstorm keeps my kids home from school and throws a wrench into things. What can you do?! Just go with it…we had an amazing, relaxing break, and I actually got lots of sleep. So much so that when I went back to work, a woman said, “You look refreshed.” And I responded, “Imagine that! The cure for dark circles is getting enough sleep!!” We should all throw out all of our useless creams and serums and just hit the hay. Word.

Chop Chop

September 9, 2013

Iced coffee -- one of my fav summer treats that I will take into fall!

Iced coffee — one of my fav summer treats that I will take into fall!

Well, summer is really over, my friends. My kids head back to school tomorrow and it is back to the jam-packed routine of life, and don’t forget to pack a lunch! Here are some things I will take away from this summer:

Making an effort for breakfast really can change the day: I am such a creature of routine, and I like to fit my workout in in the morning, pre-breakfast, which on the weekends can push brekkie back pretty late. But my daughter is a huge fan of breakfast on the beach, so a few times I ditched the routine, stopped at the bakery and hit the sand way early. And it was great — we beat the crowds (one day we had the beach to ourselves for almost an hour!), we had a chance to chat in a new venue, we gained more time to get things done in the afternoon…in the city my husband will sometimes take the kids for bagels before school, breaking out of that rut. And they seem to have more meaningful conversations. I am going to try to use this time wisely and break out of my routine now and again.

The food processor is your friend: I’m not sure why, but I avoided this kitchen gadget like the plague. Until I decided I couldn’t anymore. And it is fantastic. Have a bunch of tomatoes? Cut them up, throw them in with some cilantro, garlic, onion, lime juice and 2 jalapenos. Pulse a few times and you’ve got salsa for everyone on your margarita list. I also made this smoky eggplant dip from the NY TImes. I did not make the homemade pita chips, but more brownie points for you if you do. The multigrain pita chip from Trader Joe’s worked well. And if you are in the market for a food processor, check out Bloomingdale’s one day home sales which they seem to have fairly frequently. They typically have a nice-sized Cuisinart on sale for under $100.

Moisturizing does make a difference: I never thought I would regularly put oil on my face, but I still love Tata Harper’s Replenishing Nutrient Complex. And for body, especially after sun, Sun Bum’s Cool Down smells just about as summery as you can get. (My daughter walk around with it, asking people to sniff it. “Doesn’t this smell good??”) I will use it well into winter to keep my skin soft and to remind me of these sun-soaked days.

Get everything done so you can take time to relax: With everything going on, except for the few minutes when I typically read before I hit the hay, I rarely will just sit and chill. But this summer I actually read every single magazine I had in my possession (trust me, it was a lot) and read Gone Girl (pretty good — I can see why they are making a movie)  and Mark Bittman’s VB6 (I love Bittman and I think so much of what he says makes sense, but I just cannot see myself cooking every meal — breakfast, lunch and dinner — completely from scratch and so while I will take a few tips, I do not think I will be vegan before 6.) There were times when I was reading that I had this weird sensation that I should be getting things done, but I would push it aside and give myself permission to chill.

Trying something new always has rewards: This summer I made a key lime pie from scratch, tried out TRX, made steamers at home, created leather and metal bracelets — all for the very first time. And whether they stick (I now have a new exercise in my repertoire, every Wednesday) or not (it’s probably easier for my husband to buy himself a key lime pie), the journey teaches you things you may not have even thought about. And it’s just plain fun.

Bring on the fall!

Etc.

I am giving myself Origins’ Charcoal Mask right now to clear out any last summer impurities!

Congrats to Serena Williams — pretty amazing.

Hope you have a great week!

You’re My Obsession

August 6, 2013

Do you know how hard it is to find fast, healthy recipes that correspond to the food restrictions in this house? My husband doesn’t eat cheese or eggs. I don’t eat beef or pork and I try not eat too much pasta or rice. I am sick of my same old recipes! I’m into this bulgur wheat and peach recipe lately — I will have to share it soon…

Anyway…Tonight I’d rather talk about 2 new beauty products in my repertoire that I am loving. Loving!

Love.

Love.

The first is Hello Sailor! lipstick from Lipstick Queen by Poppy. First off, it’s blue. That in itself is cool. But it goes on kind of berry color — purplish/red. It’s sheer without being too sheer, and definitely gives you more color than a lip balm, yet it feels more like a balm than a gloss. Ya with me? I love it on it’s own, and one night I layered it with another pinkish color lippy I have, and it was even better. It’s definitely mixable with other colors to give them a little more pop. I think it’s supposed to make your teeth look whiter. Not sure about that, but in every other way I am down with it.

It’s a Barneys exclusive. And since their site has free shipping in the US, it’s a no brainer. You don’t even have to get up off the couch. $25.

Next on my list is something for the hair. I really like the look of my hair apres swim in the ocean. The sand and saltwater make it a bit wavy, relaxed and somehow sun-kissed. Apparently I am not

Does as promised!

Does as promised!

alone, because there are a rash of products that promise to make your hair look just like that. I decided to try Sachajuan Ocean Mist, and from the beautiful blue color to the bottle that looks like glass but isn’t to the most important thing: it works, well, this is another winner. I should say that my hair is pretty thick to begin with. But I think this would add some body to any thickness. I wash my hair, towel dry it and then spray a few spritzes all over before I head out the door. It dries fuller and with a bit more wave. Score! They carry this at Sephora, but they are out, so I ordered this from Barneys too. $28.

Finally, nails. I think i have mentioned that I am all about clear polish on my hands. I just cannot bear to look at obvious chips, and I can’t set aside time between manicures to take off the polish. So clear lets me ignore the inevitable glitches. So I was intrigued by Dior’s Nail Glow. It over promises a bit in that it says it will make your nails look like you have a french manicure with just one coat. It doesn’t. But it does make the pink of your nails pinker and the whites whiter, and somehow just one coat makes your nails look more well-kept than just plain old clear. Plus I’ve had it on for almost a week now and there are no visible chips. And I applied it myself! That is crazy. i would say if you like the look of clear on your nails, you’ll like this even better. I ordered it from Nordstrom online. Any beauty orders from there let you pick 3 free samples, and they have free shipping too. $24.

That should keep you occupied for a while…my work here is done!

Etc.

The weather in NYC has been glorious. Yesterday was just about as perfect a beach day as they come, and we took advantage of it! Over 7 hours of sand and surf. Makes coming back to reality that much harder, but I was off today so that helped. Re-entry tomorrow. At least I have my new fav products to help me face the day! Ha ha.

Long time readers of this blog know that I am always on the lookout for affordable products that actually work. Because let’s face it, while you can buy a beauty cream for $250 that works, what’s fun about that? The sport is in finding something great that works for $20. And then you can spend your savings on a nice pair of shoes…

Anyway here are my recommendations for summer 2013:

cg_natureluxe_glossbalm_lipgloss_1CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm in Coral: Summer calls for sheer lip color and spf, and this deliver both. There are several colors, but this coral complements a light tan and feels summery in a lightweight, sheer way. It’s billed as a “gloss balm,” which is pretty accurate. It’s got spf 15 so it’s great for the beach or walking around the city in the sunshine. And it doesn’t have a cloying fragrance, which is the kiss of death for me with a lot of drugstore makeup. My only beef with it is that it doesn’t last too long, but I guess having to reapply more often ups the sun protection. For $6, a bargain. And if you can find one of CoverGirl’s coupons that are floating around different magazines, you can get it for even cheaper.

C. O. Bigelow Mentha Foot Tingling Foot Cream: I am constantly fighting dry heels, probably because I typically pay $24 for a manicure/pedicure and they don’t do the best job scrubbing away dead skin. And I am not very good about consistently slathering cream on at night, probably because by the time I hit the pillow I am out. But these last 2 weeks on vacation I have been putting this foot cream on pretty much every night, and I see huge improvement. Plus it really does tingle when you put it on. $14 at Bath and Body Works or Bigelow on 6th Avenue. (Bath and Body Works typically has some sort of sale going on. When I was there a month or so ago it was buy 2, get 1 free.)

L’Occitane Hand Cream: What I said about being neglectful with foot cream I repeat here about hand cream — typically I can’t be bothered. But the sun and sand takes its toll and so I have been putting this hand cream on every night, which has a lot of shea butter in it. I like it because it’s not too greasy or smelly, and it comes in a nice silver tube, perfect for your purse, gym bag, or night stand, which is where I keep mine. Apparently one is sold every three seconds around the world, so they must be on to something. $12 at L’Occitane stores or online.

300Nivea Lip Butter: Nivea is huge in Europe but I notice it is trying to make more inroads in the US. Their lip butter goes on smooth and not too slick, which makes it perfect to put under another lipstick that might be too matte, or wear it on its own. I swear by putting some on before I go to bed and when you wake up your lips aren’t parched and flaky. I go for the Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss flavor. $3.19 at drugstore.com.

It’s Downton, Not Downtown

After hearing over and over about how much people LOVE Downton Abbey, I left for vacation with DVDs of all 3 seasons and finally started watching. (I am up to episode 5 in the third season so no spoilers please although I think some magazines already have ruined it…) Anyway, yes, the hype was justified, I must say. Season one is just about flawless. I’m finding season 3 a bit too maudlin but still very good. Maggie Smith’s character is brilliant — she really gets the best lines. She’s the Roger Sterling of Downton. Highly recommend, but be warned: you’ll be hooked and will truly binge watch!

Etc.

Next week will be a tough reentry to real life as vacation, though hectic on some days, was a nice break. Hope you are enjoying the summer!

February Blahs

February 14, 2013

Winter_Imagery_Wallpaper_vkhaoIt has been a cold winter here in the Northeast, which is good and bad: good because frankly I was starting to get worried I would never again wear all of my lovely heavy coats and sweaters, and bad because, well, it’s freakin’ cold. And though I am heading for warmer air for the next week (hello sunny Arizona!), it has been a long sludge and just about everyone has the dreaded February blahs. So besides imbibing copious amount of vino, here are some tips to get you through:

Dry Skin Is The Enemy: Nothing makes people look more zombie-like or older than their years than dry skin and hair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unless you live somewhere temperate where there are no seasons, you must change up your skin routine between summer and winter. (And newsflash, the older you get, the more this is so, I’m afraid.) I do my regular moisturizer with spf every morning but then morning and night I add some of Tata Harper’s Replenishing Nutrient Complex, which I’ve recommended before on this here Family Favs. It’s light enough to layer but definitely has kept the dry away. I’ve been following the cult product argan oil for a while, and this winter I jumped in by buying Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Hair Serum. (Another recent recommendation from this here blog.) I put a squirt or 2 on each morning after towel drying my hair, and I like that it doesn’t weigh down my hair or mess with my style. It looks healthy without feeling greasy.

Supplements Can Help: I was talking to my dermatologist recently and she told me she was always skeptical about supplements (as was I), but that she really believed there were a few that could make a difference: Fish Oil for skin and heart and lots of other things; Biotin for hair; and Vitamin D for vitality and bone health. (Vitamin D is especially important in the winter given the reduced exposure to sunlight.) She also told me to get them at Trader Joe’s — cheaper than the drugstore!

Head To The Gym: If you can’t get outside to work out, nothing boosts your mood like a good sweat. If you don’t want to lay out the cash for a full on gym membership, there are so many places that offer great classes that you can pay as you go. Yoga, Pilates, Spinning (apparently Soul Cycle recently had a shirtless Bradley Cooper taking part — there’s some motivation for you) — pick your poison and make it a priority. I have become intrigued by TRX, and am going to try it out one of these days. I’m still obsessed with the Precor True Stride, but a girl needs a little variety! I tried a Zumba class a couple of weeks ago, which was fun and a good alternative. Even if the rest of the day is crap, if I can get a workout in in the morning, I feel somewhat productive.

Embrace The Chill: You know what? Sometimes the weather is a great excuse to curl up inside and do things you never have time for. Put that photo album together, watch a movie, read a book, bake a cake. Take a break from running around like a crazy person and get something off your to do list.

Try one, try all — for me, whatever works to keep the winter blues away, I’ll take it! Spring is coming soon…

Etc.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you lovely and wonderful Family Favs readers! Big hugs to all of you, today and always.

Tasty and Friendly

January 26, 2013

logoI don’t know that I would call myself a Francophile but I do love a lot from the French. So when a new cooking school opened downtown, I thought I would try it and I invited my friend Suzanne to come along. Cook & Go Culinary Studio’s premise is simple: you sign up for a three course meal and you show up at your appointed time to prepare all 3 courses, all under the watchful eye of a real chef. The catch is that while you prepare everything there, they wrap it all up with explicit instructions for how to cook it at home. We did an Indian meal and there were about 18 students in our class. They give you a glass of wine while you cook (but of course — it’s French!) and are happy to refill. You can ask as many questions as you want to the chef but otherwise he leads everyone through, one step at a time.

The space is bright and airy and most importantly, very clean and new. The people working there were very nice. We made a seafood tikki masala with prawns and mussels, spicy curry meatballs with a side of coconut infused spinach and for dessert a pineapple-lime and mango chutney cake. Classes are about 90 minutes. We took a 7:30pm class, which meant we were too hungry at 9 to go home and cook so we made a pitstop at nearby Chelsea Market. I did cook everything the next evening and I can report that it was all tasty. The cooking instructions were easy to follow (one snafu was that things were underdone by their given cooking time but it could have been my oven). The best part was that the food was out of the ordinary of what I would usually cook, which is what you want in a one time cooking class, I think. Most menus are $39 – $49 and you can bring home an extra portion for $15 more. Worth grabbing a friend and giving it a go! (443 West 16th Street)

Beauty By Boots

300I love when I find a reasonably priced beauty product that actually works well so I don’t feel like I am compromising anything to save a few bucks. (I’m talking about you, cheap lipsticks!) Those of you who read this blog know I am also always on the lookout for organic and natural products, as the more studies that come out, the more disheartened I am about the all the crap I probably have absorbed over the years through my skin. Boots Botanics Organic Face Rosewater Toner feels high end all around, from its faint scent, all natural ingredients, gentleness on the face yet seriously strong ability to get off every last trace of makeup. Keep it in the medicine cabinet as a makeup remover or just a general pick me up for your skin. (About $9 at Target or Drugstore.com)

Etc.

It snowed a bit last night and it’s just downright freezing, so we had to come up with an indoor activity today, so Dave & Buster’s it was. Now, we had about $60 in game cards already, and it still was expensive to go! That place is a freakin’ gold mine. They get you coming and going with not cheap mediocre food and then the games…and then the prizes are not exactly of premium quality!

Anyway, hope you’re staying warm!

Flu-rious

January 12, 2013

I’m not sure why I’m making a bad joke about the flu in this headline, except to say that I hope you all have gotten your flu shots. And if you haven’t, right about now would be a good time to go. It is no joke this year.  I spend a lot of time washing my hands and even when I’m not I think about all the ways germs can be transmitted…subway poll, handrail, door handle, money. Ah! The possibilities are endless. And I don’t even have OCD! Not even close. It’s just the thought of the flu knocking me on my ass — or worse knocking out one of my kids — for 10 days or more is a nightmare. If any of you out there reading this are sick, I am so sorry. Drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest, and thank goodness you can’t transmit germs through a blog. As far as I know…

If you do feel like venturing out and risking the germs, we went to Mission Chinese, the restaurant on the Lower East Side by the guy from San Fran that has been on everybody’s 10 best of the year list. If you’ve heard about it, you know there’s a keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon which you can partake in while you wait for your table, assuming you’re over 21. (My 8 year old son tried to partake, but failed miserably. Go figure.) And wait for a table you will…we went for lunch right about when it opened at 12 noon and we were told the wait was 90 minutes. In the end it was closer to 2 hours. But we were off work that day and hanging out so we took the kids to Economy Candy around the corner to kill some time. (If you haven’t been there, it’s worth a trip even just to browse at all the candy from your youth that you forgot about.) The good news is you can leave your cell number and they will call you. The bad news is that even when they call you and you rush back, you’ll still wait about 30 minutes more.

The place is small and, well, I won’t sugar coat it, it’s kind of a dump. (“It’s ironic hipster” is how my husband tried to justify it.) The people who work there are perfectly nice. The schtick is spicy and the food is very good. We had the Kung Pao Pastrami (my son loved it) as well as the Cumin Lamb (which my daughter couldn’t get enough of). So two thumbs up on the food, the prices are relatively gentle, but I honestly don’t know if I can say it’s worth the wait. They do take out so that might be the best way to do it next time. Although Zac Efron was there a few days after we were…can’t get that at home!

s1226760-main-heroHead Hydration

I may have mentioned last post that I cut a lot of my hair off, both because I was looking for a change and my hair seemed damaged and was acting strangely. It definitely feels healthier, and I’ve added Argan Oil Hair Serum into my routine. Made by Josie Maran (I bought it at Sephora) a little dab’ll do ya. I just take a small squirt and work it through my towel-dried hair. It doesn’t really do anything style-wise, but it does seem to keep my hair better conditioned and softer. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t make anything greasy, also a bonus. I don’t blow dry my hair and a lot of products have to be put on dry hair, so this is good for me because I can shower, get dressed, put on my makeup and this hair oil and I’m out the door. All natural too!

Etc.

The Golden Globes are on Sunday and I am looking forward to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosting, as well as a possible Ben Affleck win for Best Director where he can stick it to the Academy for snubbing him. (Don’t those voters like a good comeback story? So Hollywood!)

We’ve got birthday parties, touch football games, a massage and a family dinner at Sushi Samba…sounds like a good one to me. Hope you’ve got something great planned for the weekend!

New Year, New Ideas!

January 5, 2013

Happy New Year Family Favs readers!!! I can’t believe this is our 4th birthday here on the blog. And we’ve got lots of recommendations for you, so I hope you had a great holiday and you’re ready to get out there and try something new!

PAA_Ann_Hamilton_JamesEwing-4794Unless they extend it, you’ve only got til tomorrow to check out Ann Hamilton’s “Event of a Thread” at the Park Avenue Armory. Grab the kids and go. To try and explain, it’s a series of large wooden swings connected to huge billowy white sheets. So when you take your turn on the swings, it makes the fabric move in mesmerizing ways. Plus there’s some pigeons and people reading into microphones. Really. You can also lie under the sheets and create your own form of meditation. It’s definitely a happening (in a good way) and worth seeing before it goes away. Kids 10 and under are free; adults are $12 and I would say you need at least an hour to hang out and experience it. More info here.

Beauty’s Where You Find It

I like the idea of using the new year as a marker to get out of your beauty rut. I actually chopped a lot of my hair off because I felt like it had gotten so dry and damaged. Now my hair feels a lot healthier and manageable. I also went and had my makeup done over at the Nars store on Bleecker. I like Nars makeup, and the staff in there is incredibly nice and helpful. In addition to putting makeup on you, they really explain what they’re doing and how you can recreate it or modify it at home. I have brown eyes and the makeup artist really encouraged me to go with plum shades around the eye. I have to say I have been liking it. (A woman at Clinique once told me this too but I guess you need to be told something twice!) They make an eyeliner that comes with its own sharpener in the cap (semi-genius) and once it’s set, really stays throughout the day (or night). Only issue is that you’ve got to put it where you mean it! And though I’ve been obsessed with a nude lip for quite a while, I probably look half dead in the winter so she convinced me to try some color. Flair is a nice red that’s not too red or heavy. And she had the best advice, which is that whatever makeup you feel comfortable in, that’s what you should wear. So where someone may feel great with heavily made up eyes and severe blush, you may feel more comfortable in a more natural palette. And both are ok!

Cinefiles

We took the time over the break to see 2 movies, which is a lot for us in a 10 day period. Django Unchained has a good script and great acting, especially from Christoph Waltz. There is a great scene with Don Johnson (yes, Don Johnson) and a bunch of hooded racists. But the violence (Quentin Tarantino’s calling card) was tough to take. My husband thought it was cartoony, but given what has happened in the world I don’t think i can write any of it off as cartoony….we also saw Silver Linings Playbook. This was a nice little movie — a respite in a world of action and event flicks. Jennifer Lawrence is excellent in the film; Bradley Cooper is fine. (My husband thought he was too weak an actor for the role.) Our takeaway? In a relationship, everyone always thinks the other person is more crazy than they are. And yet still there is love…

Etc.

I keep writing 2012 on everything…because it is hard to believe that 2013 is upon us.

Due to the fact that our house at the beach is still damaged from Sandy, we had a staycation in the city. And it was fun! I think the key to a good staycation is to plan at least one thing for every day so that you don’t revert to your routine. We saw lots of friends and family, visited museums and tried new restaurants. All fun!

Hope yours was equally enjoyable!