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!

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Who can stop the rain at MoMA? You can.

Who can stop the rain at MoMA? You can.

There really is no better time to be in NYC than the springtime, even if it has been a little chillier than normal. With the sun shining, birds chirping and the flowers blooming in every park and window box, it really makes a stroll to do just about anything that much more pleasant. (And — always look on the bright side — the chillier spring has given me a chance to wear more spring jackets!) Anyway it has given me the chance to get out and do a bunch of fun things around the city.

If it’s a really nice day out, head to Madison Square Park to see the Orly Genger sculptures in the park. She dyes fishing nets and molds them into interesting large shapes. This installation is red, yellow and blue, and the curves are oddly hypnotic and definitely cheery. You can grab lunch at the Shake Shack if the line isn’t too long, or head across the street to Eataly for some tasty takeout to eat in the park.

The punk exhibit at The Met is worth a look, if only for the way they use a/v to create a full sensory overload. My favorite room is the one showcasing high fashion made from mundane objects. It’s amazing what can be done with a plain ‘ol plastic bag. Go early to avoid the crowds — we were there at 10am on a Sunday morning and we sailed through. Check out the gift shop at the end of the show, if only to browse the safety pin rings and the Radarte t-shirt that Rodarte designed for the show. (I liked it but had a hard time justifying the $115 price tag, so I skipped it.) The main Met gift shop has a really good selection of note cards if you’re in the need, as well as an interesting kids section.

MoMA has the rain — literally. The Rain Room lets you feel what it would be like if you could stop the rain. Located in the lot adjacent to the museum, there is water falling and it stops whenever it detects a human. The effect is rather breathtaking and definitely worth a wait in line, as the exhibit only accommodates ten people at a time. If you’re a MoMA member, you get priority access at all times, or, one of the better developments in recent MoMA history, every day only members get access to the museum between 9:30 and 10:30am. Between that and the discount at the store, membership is a no-brainer.

La La Liberace

I saw a preview copy of HBO’s Behind the Candelabra and I will say it is one of the more gutsy performances — from both Michael Douglas and Matt Damon — that I have seen in a while, and yet another example of the quality of content being produced for television. I’m too young to really remember Liberace, except as a punchline for over the top excess, but you don’t really need to remember him to get into the film. The story focuses on the showman and his boyfriend of several years, Scott Thorson, and all of the trials and tribulations of a very flamboyant performer who was in the closet and spending tons of money on cars, furs, jewelry and drugs. At its heart it’s a love story, and it goes there. If Matt Damon doesn’t win an Emmy for coming out of the pool in a rhinestone encrusted thong, then just call the whole thing off. And don’t miss a truly freaky turn by Rob Lowe as a creepy plastic surgeon. (Premieres May 26 on HBO.)

In Case of Emergency

My son has Little League all spring and many weekends just my daughter and me have headed to our house outside of the city. I never like to eat all of our meals out at restaurants — it feels like too much food and you can’t control how everything is cooked. But preparing dinner for just the 2 of us can be a little tricky. My daughter is a good and semi-adventurous eater, so I’m good with a green salad, pierogies (Mrs. T’s frozen ones are the best) and some sort of protein. I’m tired and rarely have time for a massive production, so I keep this Ken’s Steak House Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce on hand. I take salmon or chicken breasts, throw it into a glass bowl, cover it in the sauce, put a lid on it and put it in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or so. When I’m ready I take it out, put it into a glass square pan sprayed with some Pam, and cook it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The results are juicy, and tonight my daughter told me, “This is the best chicken I ever had.” High praise! Best of all even if I use a little of it, I can leave the rest in the bottle for the next time.

Etc.

I was hoping it would be sunnier today. We headed out for a walk and it started raining, so we had to turn back, not knowing if it would turn into a full on downpour (it didn’t)…When the sun started to go down I needed to put the heat on and start a fire! I’m hoping I get a good night’s sleep tonight. My allergies have been acting up something fierce and I think it has been affecting my slumber. I need the beauty sleep!

NYC, End of Winter

March 4, 2013

It's usually more crowded than this...

It’s usually more crowded than this…

Well I had wishful thinking that the worst of winter was over, and that I could put my parka away, but no such luck. It’s still cold! (And I love how people say, “Stand in the sun, it’s fine.” No, it’s still cold! I actually threw a cardigan over the dress I’m wearing today, and it doesn’t look great. So when I sacrifice fashion for warmth, you know it’s cold.

Anyway, let’s make the best of it, shall we? This weekend I took my daughter ice skating with a couple of her friends. We were going to head to Chelsea Piers but went to The Standard Hotel instead. It’s a cute little rink and for kids it’s $6 for ice time; $3 to rent skates. (Adults pay $12 for ice time.) You can also get a 30 minute lesson for $25. It gets a little crowded but it’s manageable. They have penguins for the newbies to hold onto as they make their way around the rink. Afterwards you can head towards the tables in the back under the heat lamps for super rich hot chocolate and nutella and strawberry crepes at the Apres Skate Kaffeeklatsch. Be prepared for sticker shock — the hot chocolate is $7 a cup, and it’s so deeply chocolatey that most of the kids don’t like it. (Which leaves it for you to imbibe, so maybe that’s not such a bad thing.) You can also order more real food from a menu and a waiter from inside the hotel — the fries are quite tasty.

Sunday was their last skating day of this season, but put it on your list for next year. Even without the skating, it’s worth taking a walk over there with the High Line, the shops and many restaurants. It’s a nice afternoon spent doing nothing, but something, if you know what I mean.

Another One Bites the Dust

I’m very bummed that Mxyplyzyk has closed, the 20 year institution on Greenwich Ave. I loved that place for gifts and home accessories. Apparently they have a place in Jersey City if any of you are over that way.

Dinner in a Flash

If you’re having one of those nights when take out just won’t do and you haven’t got time to fuss, go the market and buy fresh potato gnocchi, a container of basil pesto and some frozen green peas. Boil the pasta according to the package directions, drain. In the same pot, put the frozen peas and cook a little to thaw. Spoon in the pesto sauce to heat through, Put the cooked gnocchi back in, stir together, serve with a side salad and voila, in less than 20 minutes and for less than $20 you have a tasty, healthy dinner for all. And if there are leftovers, someone can bring them for lunch the next day!

Etc.

I will say it is nice that the days are getting longer. I am headed to Texas this weekend so once again I will escape the chill — and maybe then when I return spring really well be poking its head!

Healthy and Tasty

September 17, 2012

During the week it is all about a quick breakfast, with all the lunches that have to get made, kids to get off to school and adults to get to work on time. But on the weekends it’s nice to linger a bit with friends or family. Here’s an easy recipe that gets rave reviews every time I make it. I got the recipe from my mom and I think she got it from one of my uncles. So I pass this on from my family to yours:

Baked Oatmeal

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar (1/4 white and 1/4 brown)

3 cups oatmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the eggs, oil and sugar together in a bowl. Add in all the other ingredients and mix together.

Grease a rectangle pan. Pour mixed ingredients into pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve in a bowl with some milk and berries — blueberries or strawberries work well.

This recipe is good for a family of 4. If you’re having guests, I’d suggest doubling it. Enjoy!

When you finally watch a movie…

You want it to be good. I’m not sure why I picked Contagion. My husband thought I was crazy knowing how freaked out I can get. (I am still depressed when I think about I Am Legend. No one needs to see what their exact neighborhood will look like in a post-apocalyptic world. And we watched it on Valentine’s Day, no less…) Anyway Contagion didn’t really freak me out because it wasn’t a very good movie. Lots of good actors, I typically like Steven Soderbergh’s work, but this was a miss.

Sweet and Creamy

I was getting a decaf hazelnut iced coffee every morning and spending about $3. Which doesn’t seem like a lot until you start to multiply it out and realize if you make your own ice coffee at work for free with the Flavia machine that is there for the using, you can certainly find other ways to spend that $800 every year. To give the free iced coffee a little more oomph, I was bringing in some Hazelnut creamer from the supermarket. I was trying to ignore all of the junky ingredients until I couldn’t anymore. So I switched to the Natural Bliss line from Coffee Mate. It’s lighter — 20 calories per serving — but more importantly there aren’t any artificial ingredients. I am partial to the sweet cream flavor.

Etc.

A happy and healthy new year to all the Family Favs readers who are of the tribe. My daughter wanted to know if those were raisins or blueberries in the challah. So there’s a new idea for next year: blueberry challah.

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!

Elect More Women

July 27, 2012

I went to a cocktail party that Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, hosted last night at their home on the Upper East Side. (More on that later…) The cocktail party was for the Women’s Campaign Fund, an organization that encourages and helps female candidates to run for office at all levels of the political spectrum, on both sides of the aisle, as long as they are for reproductive choices and options (i.e. pro-choice). Right now in the U.S., Congress is made up of 17% women. 17%! For a constituency that makes up 51% of the population! So to say the work of the WCF is needed is an understatement. And it isn’t just women who need women in office. On issues many people care about, male or female, women representatives have a better voting record — things like the environment and wage parity. And they call people out for sexism instead of letting it slide.
Their She Should Run program lets anyone nominate someone to run for office, whether it’s a school board position or a Senate race. WCF supports women early on in their races, and tries to remove barriers to them being elected.

As for Mayor Bloomberg’s house, it’s not my taste, and very decorated, if that makes sense. Lots of 19th century artwork and chairs and sofas I would never dream of sitting on. Vases that must be expensive because they are there, perched elegantly on marble tables. Bowls of fresh flowers everywhere, and a billiards room with what looked like an antique foosball table. I described it to my husband as feeling like you’re walking into the rooms at the Metropolitan Museum where you think, “Who lives like this anymore?” Well, Mayor Bloomberg, apparently. It was interesting to see, and it was incredibly nice of them to open up their home to the organization.

As for Women’s Campaign Fund, check out their website wcfonline.org and see for yourself why you need to support a female candidate…or nominate yourself to run!

Greek Yogurt Goes Frozen

I’ve already jumped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon, so when I saw Ben and Jerry’s has a new line of frozen Greek yogurts, I had to check them out. They are a bit tangier than their regular frozen yogurts — the Peanut Butter Banana one was quite tasty. Thumbs up for this new addition to the Ben and Jerry’s family!

Olympic Fever

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, here’s the US Swim Team doing “Call Me Maybe.” Ryan Lochte even shows up to blow a kiss. But where’s Michael Phelps? Oh yeah, probably practicing…swimming.


Etc.

This wacky weather is starting to freak me out. I never remember so many harsh storms where so many people lost power. The lightening in NYC last night was crazy.

Hope you’re all doing well…enjoy the weekend!

B.B…Beautiful!

April 26, 2012

Have you heard about B.B. creams yet? If not, you soon will. Short for Blemish Balm Cream or Beauty Balm Cream, they’re the latest rage in makeup/skincare. Super popular across Asia, they have just started to make their way stateside, and just about every line has one of their own. Basically it’s an all-in-one cream, with tinted moisturizer that actually turns to the color of your skin, so it evens out your skin tone, brightens, minimizes lines, deposits vitamins, minerals and spf, and it will organize your closets. (If only.) I was slightly skeptical that one thing could do so much and I have never had much luck with anything matching the color of my skin that didn’t come in a bunch of shades, so I wasn’t looking to shell out big bucks for this. But Garnier just came out with the first drugstore B.B. cream, Skin Renew B.B. Cream, and for $12, why not try it? I bought the light/medium color. (It also comes in medium/dark.) I have to say, I like it! It has a good consistency, it definitely evened out my skin tone without being too heavy and cake-y. I can’t vouch for the vitamins and minerals, but I do feel like it’s a great alternative to tinted moisturizer. My only quibble with it is that it is only spf 15. I’m a big believer in at least spf 30. But I can use it over the winter months, when the sun isn’t as strong. Or I can use it layered with sunscreen at the beach, which I think is what I’m going to do.

Worth a try! (I got mine at Target, but most drugstores should have it.)

HBO Go or No Go?

HBO has some new shows debuting. So I decided to give 2 of them a whirl…Girls, which is the story of 4 Gen Y girlfriends, and Veep, which puts Julia Louis Dreyfus into the role of a hapless Vice President. I’ve seen 2 episodes of Girls, and my issue is that these characters are just not likeable. Get a job! Stop having unprotected sex! Don’t be such a dick! I mean, with that range of emotion, I don’t need to watch TV. The thing about Sex and the City was that you actually liked the characters, and could relate to their situation and friendships. These girls, not so much. But maybe that’s very Gen X of me…For Veep, I’ve seen one episode so far. Julia Louis Dreyfus does a good job in the role, and there are some very funny moments, but the staffers around her are so incompetent that it made me incredibly irritated…because that’s probably the way Washington really is. I give them points on going for smart humor. I’ll give it another episode or 2 before I decide to commit.

More NickMom Fun

Here’s Top 9 Things Moms are Totally Unable to Explain to Their Kids!

Etc.

Sorry I was absent with a post last week — my daughter was hit by a car and we have been dealing with that…I won’t say too much but we are dealing with a broken leg and she is completely immobile, which is a major drag.

Anyway, I am hopeful for sunnier skies ahead. Hope they’ve already come your way…

Bling for Babes

March 21, 2012

Typically the stuff one gets in gift bags at events is pretty perfunctory — maybe a copy of a magazine, a few discount coupons, etc. Not that I’m knocking them, but it’s rare to get something in a gift bag that you’ve wanted to try or actually will use. Recently I received one of the most chock-full gift bags I have ever seen, and I’ll admit I was in a little bit of heaven, not least because it gives me a whole bunch of stuff for me to try out and review for all of you Family Favs readers!

One of the things in there were Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, in leopard and zebra prints. Now, this is something I can honestly say I wouldn’t have thought to purchase. But as soon as I saw it, I knew my kids would love it. So this weekend I gave my son a couple of fingers on each hand in leopard, and my daughter wanted all of her fingers covered. They’re easy to apply (in fact with kids’ nails being so tiny, one of them covers at least 2 nails) and they lasted all weekend through rough and tumble kids play, Which was good because my daughter couldn’t wait to show her friends at school. With no drying time, there’s little down time when applying. And they come off with nail polish remover.

And you never know, with the right pattern, maybe you’ll want to use them too!

You can find them in a drugstore near you, and they run about $9. Pretty good for an afternoon of fun!

Another way to keep ’em occupied

A great way to keep kids occupied in a drugstore, Sephora, at the makeup counter or even Target? Testers. Kids love to try new lotions or perfumes, and as long as they’re not making a mess and there’s no allergy issues, let them! I feel like if a few drops of lotion mean you have a few minutes to actually examine the products on the shelf and take a moment to think about what you’re buying, it’s win-win for you, for the store, and for your kids’ sweet smelling hands.

Game Change

Did you see the movie on HBO? It was well done and worth watching — if only to be frightened at how grossly cynical our political system is. Julianne Moore is very good as Sarah Palin, and the script is based on the book written by 2 insiders who talked to just about everyone who was involved in the campaign. So I tend to think they got it pretty close to reality. (In fact I read an interview with Moore this morning who wouldn’t say things unless it was absolutely well sourced.) Beyond marveling at the fact that one of our major party’s VP nominees had no idea what the Fed was or that the Queen wasn’t the head of government in Great Britain, they had a Prime Minister, you sense that she herself was so far in over her head with a new baby, a son in Iraq and a pregnant teenage daughter, and then add onto it the fact that she really had no business being the nominee, well…it’s an interesting character study, if nothing else. And hopefully some sort of wake up call. Worth checking out!

What Would Snooki Do?

Here’s my latest piece for Nick Mom…because we all need some parenting advice from Snooki, no?

Read it here.

Etc.

Every day is a little better with my knee. I just want to snap my fingers and make it all better but that’s not really possible. (But I sure do wish it was.) The amazing weather is making me want to get out there and just enjoy it. It’s hard to believe how mild the winter was here in NYC. They say that means allergies and bugs are going to be awful come spring and summer. I hope they’re wrong, whoever “they” are. It’s nice that it’s staying lighter, later. Last night I took the kids out for frozen yogurt, because that’s what you do when it’s such a nice night out and your husband is having a board meeting in your apartment.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Stir Crazy

March 14, 2012

Well, I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus on Friday and I have had enough of being cooped up! Especially when it has been so incredibly beautiful outside. Too nice for March, frankly. I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom, but this super mild winter has made me feel like the apocalypse is coming. But maybe that’s the pain meds talking.

The good news is that I have been able to catch up on some TV that I never get to watch. I’m up to date on Gossip Girl. I’m up to date on Glee and honestly, it’s not very good. I think that one needs to go from my DVR list. But I watched the entire first season of Homeland on Showtime on Demand, and it is very well done. Claire Danes, while she’ll always be Angela Chase to me, shows she’s a really great actress in this complex role of a bi-polar CIA operative. In this day and age of extremely dumbed-down media, it’s refreshing to find a show where you think you know how it’s going to go, but it doesn’t. Mandy Patinkin also fills out his role very well as as Danes’ character’s mentor and protector inside Langley. If you haven’t watched it yet, check it out. Season 2 comes back on Showtime in September, so you have a little time!

Courage

Is that how Dan Rather used to sign off? Well, it’s what my good friend Bret Parker has, among other positive things. On Monday he bravely revealed to the world that he has early-onset Parkinson’s, which he has kept to himself for the last 5 years. (Some of you may remember Bret from his guest blogger posts here at Family Favs.) To read his essay, click here.

Etc.

Being stuck in the house immobile is highly over-rated, I must say. I’ll be happy when I can ditch the cane and go about my normal days again. I miss my workouts! But I am taking the long view and hoping a few days stuck home will payoff in feeling much better. On the plus side, I’ve tried to get a lot of things done that I never have time for. Think about things I never get a chance to think about. You know what? Maybe all of us need to take an immobile day every once and while, watch a lot of TV, put our feet up with some ice on our legs and just…chill.

Soap Opera

February 10, 2012

Well the Giants fans were out in full force this week, with the parade and all. Most of them seemed to be in good spirits, although I did run into a drunk one on the subway at 8:30 am! Pace yourself, my brother…

We went to see Jay-Z in concert at Carnegie Hall — fun (but late!) night. Chris Rock, Josh Groban, Russell Simmons, Beyonce and a bevy of models were in the audience, and Jay brough Alicia Keys and Nas out on stage to help entertain, along with a 30 piece orchestra (and Questlove on drums!).

The next night we headed out to a dinner party for Josh Bazell and his new book, Wild Thing. I haven’t read it yet, but I did enjoy his first novel, Beat the Reaper. That’s out in paperback and is a good read. And now the author/medical school grad may go back and finish his residency. It’s a shame when people just aren’t motivated in life! Ha ha.

Let’s talk about soap today, shall we?

Hand soap can be so blah, but I really love Savon de Marseilles. The packaging is great, and the scents are clean and fresh without being too overpowering. The last few times I have been to France I have filled my checked suitcase to the brim with all kinds of soaps, lotions and scents. And you know what? Every time I use it I think of those fabulous trips…and I want to go back!

It used to be hard to get their stuff in the states, but now they’ve got a website with everything, and the added bonus that things ship free with a $50 purchase. Check out the Compagnie de Provence here. You can use them to add a splash of color to your bathroom. All the ingredients are natural and you can choose from glass or plastic for the bottle. I have the brown glass bottle of the incense lavender olive oil hand soap, and I buy the huge refill bottle to keep it filled. The Mediterranean Sea Hand Soap is perfect for a beach house. I love these as hostess gifts if you’re spending the weekend with friends. If you already have soap dispensers, you can just buy the more economical refill bottles, but the bottles themselves really are a good decorating tool!