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!

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Royal Scrutiny

April 29, 2011

I felt like I had to wait to post to comment on the biggest event of the year: the royal nuptials! I started out my day explaining over and over to my daughter about how these were real prince and princesses and Sleeping Beauty was fiction, and just when I thought she grasped the concept, she pointed to Kate and William riding to Buckhouse in the carriage and said, “so are they the main characters?” It is all a little unbelievable I guess.

So, to the dress! When I first turned it on this morning, she was sitting and I thought it looked pretty matronly. But once she stood, it grew on me, and she was clearly trying to channel Princess Grace. For Sarah Burton, who took over the Alexander McQueen mantel, to have done it seems at once “of course” and “really?” She is one of the hottest Brits designing at the moment, but there was none of her stunning avant garde on display, which in the end was probably a good thing for Middleton.

I liked that she chose a simple Cartier tiara (that was a joke)…I actually can’t believe people are taking her to task for wearing a tiara as a “commoner.” Give me a break — I wore a small tiara at my wedding. every bride wants a little sparkle and shine up top.

I think the Maid of Honor wearing white was a HUGE mistake. Weird choice. That dressed would have looked fantastic on her in any color, and I really do think it detracted from the bride. For those of you getting married, do not make this mistake. I also wasn’t bowled over by the flowers.

I remember sleeping over my friend Sue’s and waking up at 5 in the morning to watch Charles marry Diana. This time around I almost forgot it was on but I do enjoy the pageantry. Once my kids woke up they were into it — my son wanted to see them kiss before he left for school. I promised them I’d tape the highlights tonight. Unfortunately I haven’t watched in depth to see all the little moments I like — the few I did see were when Harry turned around to get a glimpse of her walking down the aisle, and he said to his brother, “Wait til you see her,” Elton John and Victoria Beckham singing the hymns from the pews, William holding her bouquet so she could exit the carriage using both hands…supposedly a lip reader said that he told her she looked beautiful, which is nice.

How could you watch and not think about Princess Diana, who for all of the craziness surrounding her seemed like a very dedicated and loving mother to both her boys. It’s definitely a shame that she couldn’t live to see her boys become men.

Let’s hope this one turns out better than the last Wedding of the Century…and to be fair, better than half of all marriages in general. Good luck suckahs!!

Katie gets the Hillary treatment

While everyone feels all warm and fuzzy with the wedding we all weren’t invited to, I have to sound off of what I see as supremely unfair treatment of another prominent female: Katie Couric. Why is it that a woman has to constantly prove herself as a serious journalist, and gets taken to task for doing things like Glee and People magazine, but Brian Williams, who I love, can host Saturday Night Live, get drunk with Hoda and Kathie Lee and guest on 30 Rock and no one bats an eye? Come on, it’s so blatantly sexist! In my eyes, anyone who can go from serious to lighter topics and be genuine about it should be applauded. And her takedown and exposure of Sarah Palin was as serious as it gets.

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:
Britney Spears is the voice of a new generation. I’m sorry, new generation, but she’s it, whether you like it or not. Perhaps you’d like Jon Stewart, Dwayne Wade, Angela Merkel or Tobey Maguire to be your voice. But that ain’t how it works. People were nominated, people voted and Britney came out on top. And by a pretty wide margin, I’ve been told. So embrace her. Find solace in her. She’s light on things like national debt, healthcare, Libyan unrest and high cholesterol, but when it comes to sweaty, sexy dancing, she is the TRUTH. But don’t take it from me:

Etc.

Oh, the weekend…how I love you so!

Have a great one — see you next week!

Recovery

January 7, 2011

You may have noticed there was no post yesterday — I don’t know if I had a migraine or what but I was incapacitated last night, big time. I thought I was getting a stomach virus but I went to bed at 9pm and luckily woke up ok at 8am. Anyway, what this means for you is that Washington DC recs will come next week.

For now feast on this:

— Next collection up for Target? Calypso St. Barth’s…could be good, just in time for summer.

— Jennifer Lopez is so overly retouched on the new cover of Entertainment Weekly. Why is it that men can have forehead lines but women have to go all Nicole Kidman?? (I’m totally curious if anyone is going to watch this iteration of Idol. Paging Simon Cowell!)

— Reading the sanitized Constitution is just one big colossal waste of everyone’s time. Here’s a novel idea: Stop with the theatrics and get to work actually making things better for Americans.

— Elton John and his partner just had a baby boy, which is great. But when you have to release a statement saying that you don’t want your son to be raised by servants, maybe you need to re-examine things.

— Dear Johnny Weir: Everyone knew, but thanks for clarifying.

Single of the Week

Ken wasn’t sick, so here he is, getting all geeky on us:

A piece about Renaissance polyphony in this week’s New Yorker got me thinking about one of my favorite liturgical choral works – Bach’s Magnificat. It’s based on a canticle pulled directly from the Gospel of Luke and written in the New Testament language of Koine Greek. It was eventually translated to Latin – thankfully, since my Koine Greek is super rusty – and then composed to an orchestra and choir by Bach in the 1700s, when the seed drill was the iPad of its generation. He originally wrote it in E flat major, but for reasons unknown to me and the entire population of Dallas Cowboys fans, he transposed it half a step to D major. This composition and ham sandwiches with mayo – makes me wistful for my Christian days. Check out my favorite movement of the Magnificat here:

Etc.

The first week back is always the hardest…just one more day til the precious weekend. Hopefully the snow won’t be too bad. Get out yer boots!

What’s the Big Idea?

December 8, 2010

You may have noticed that I have been eerily silent on politics (in this blog, anyway) over the last few months. Truth is, I find the whole scene in Washington so depressing, I spend most days blocking it out. But there’s an op ed in today’s Times that kind of crystallized for me what I’ve been feeling — I like Obama, I think he’s smart and has his heart in the right place, but something is off. He passes all of this historic legislation and then can’t get any traction from it. When I read this article, I agreed with the writer: Obama needs a big idea. You can read the article here. For those of you who are too tired to click through, this paragraph is what I think many people wish they could say to President Obama if they had the chance:

“What may have lulled Obama into his thoughtful stupor was the historic magnitude of his election. Yet being the first black president is not an idea. Hope is not a theme. Change We Can Believe In is not a governing principle.”

There are real problems in this country, and one can only hope that everyone inside the Beltway gets their act together to try and solve them.

Run Forrest, Run

When we were in Italy we did a lot of walking up hills (these were hilltop medieval towns), and I was happy with my fitness level. My running program paid off! Which has inspired me to keep it up. As the year winds down and everyone gets ready for their new year’s resolution, think about adding in a little cardio to your life. (Except if you go to my gym — I always get annoyed when it gets super crowded on January 2nd with all the people who will be gone by January 15th…) I’ve been so busy lately in the mornings, but I give myself permission to just do 20 minutes if that’s all the time I have. I can do 2 miles in 20 minutes and be back out the door, feeling like I accomplished something, and the day just started.

So True

Jimmy Kimmel: “It’s amazing. We freak out if a TSA agent touches our pants, but on Black Friday we’ll hump each other and climb over each other at Walmart to save eight bucks on a PSP.”

Etc.

Holiday shopping was on tap for today. My friend Suzanne and I make a day of it and head to the Short Hills Mall together annually. I find it makes it much more bearable and we have a great time catching up. I would recommend taking a day off during the week so it’s not so crazy crowded. We get there right when it opens and get a prime parking spot by the front door so we can leave our coats in the car and go, go, go! There was an appearance from the Barefoot Contessa — I couldn’t believe the lines.

Hope your week is going well!

Election Night 2010

November 3, 2010

Well, the Republicans have taken the House. OK, wow us with your genius ideas on getting us out of this mess. Or should I say messes. Good luck!

Denielle sent in something to get us out of our doldrums:

“Given that the temperature just plummeted in NYC and fit’s the season of giving [germs], I thought I’d share a link to some free samples of Emergen-C. Good stuff for preventing colds!!!!”
http://www.emergenc.com/free-samples

Thanks Den — I agree, it is good for preventing colds and for providing relief if you get one. My son likes it too.

And here’s some other advice: if you have any sort of sickness that lingers, go to the doctor. I have a cough that has not gone away for almost six weeks. I finally broke down and went to the doctor this morning. Long story short, I have a version of bronchitis and needed a Z pack…I took the first day’s dose this morning and already feel better. See, people: this is why we need universal healthcare for all!! 🙂

More

Lots of mail this week — reader Jeannie wrote in to tell me she employed my suggestion for having her kids trade in their candy for a toy of their choice. “The kids just picked their items and loved the idea. Thank you!” You’re welcome! Isn’t it great when you can find a solution that’s win-win for all?

Even Steven

I feel like more and more places are closing. On Sunday Austin and I tried to go to Johnny Rockets for lunch, and it closed! Then I read that Cafe Spice, a reliable favorite of ours, closed. But, rather than a Sleepy’s mattress store moving in, Jackson Diner, a great Indian restaurant from Queens, is moving into the space on University and 11th. So that’s good news.

As they say, when a door shuts, a window opens…or something like that.

Etc.

CNN has way too many pundits shooting their mouths off.

We have new voting machines here, scanners, and I just think they are rife with potential problems. the type on the ballot is small, everyone I know (including my husband) forgot or didn’t realize there were initiatives to vote on on the back of the ballot, and there isn’t much privacy. It’s almost 2011. Can’t anyone figure out a better way?

Oy.

Lettuce by Any Other Name

September 22, 2010

Arugula.

For a long time I never contemplated the difference between arugula and the rest of the lettuce family. Arugula, radicchio, endive…it was all the same to me.

But then I became enlightened. And now arugula has emerged as the clear favorite green in my house. Tastier than iceberg, fancier and more special than romaine, we keep a huge container in the fridge and whenever the urge for salad strike, bam! We toss a handful in a bowl with some Newman’s Own Parmesan Dressing and instantly have some delicious ruffage. It really takes all excuses out of “I’m too tired to make a salad tonight.”

And half a cup has all of two calories.

If I’m feeling really ambitious, I mix it with some halved cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese.

As with anything, the fresher the better. So arugula in a bag isn’t great. But Whole Foods sells a big container from the farm, or you can scoop it yourself from a bin. I’ve also gotten it at farmer’s markets straight from the farmer, and that is best of all.

Communication 101

Former President Bill Clinton was on Letterman last night and once again he reminds us how poorly our current leaders communicate with the American people. He made the case for why we should be investing in clean energy in about 3 minutes, and I have yet to hear anyone currently in office coherently explain the need. Seriously. He really has a gift to distill complicated topics into explanations that the average American can comprehend and get behind. Somebody give this guy a consulting gig. My fav part was that after Clinton gave this incredibly persuasive, well thought out, impassioned argument, Letterman goes, “Come back when you’ve given all of this a little thought.”

Etc.

Having two kids in school now has already confused me. There was a permission trip for a field trip on the front hall table and I thought it was for my daughter, but it was for my son. Same with the Scholastic book order form. I guess we need a better system. I did make my spankin’ new chart for the kitchen of the kids’ schedule with all of their after school activities!

The weather has been spectacular. I love this sleeping weather. Tomorrow is supposed to get hot again, which is kind of a bummer. But we’ll enjoy wearing our summer clothes for a little while longer…

Ouch

September 20, 2010

The only thing more annoying than getting blisters from some new shoes is getting blisters from shoes you have had forever. It’s like an old friend screwing you over.

Used to be that I would throw a band-aid on and grin and bear the inevitable pain that would happen for another week or so, no matter what other shoes I put on. But then the geniuses at Band-Aid’s labs came up with these Advanced Healing Blister cushions. Better than a band-aid, they cushion the area and take the pressure off, allowing the wound to heal and relieving any friction-based pain. They really are essential to have in the house in case you end up tearing your heel up. They are a bit pricey (I paid $5.99 for 6 at Duane Reade; most places outside of NYC sell them for $4.99), but I find they’re the only things that actually work.

Two things to note: they say they last 7x longer than regular band-aids. I do not find this to be true — I get a day out of them. I have also tried the store brand of these blister adhesives and did not find them to be comparable.

They make them in two sizes: for your heel and for your fingers and toes. I tend to only get blisters on my heels so those are the ones I keep stocked.

We All Need Some Sanity Sometimes

I just had to laugh when I saw that Jon Stewart was having a “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the Mall in Washington, DC on October 30th. The Million Moderate March is, as Stewart put it, “intended to spread the timeless message, ‘Take it down a notch for America.'” Finally, a rally for people who don’t have time to go to rallies!! You can get what little details there are so far here. Once again I applaud the genius of The Daily Show for shining a light on the craziness that is our political news cycle. And let’s not forget Stephen Colbert’s competing rally the same day, the rally to “Keep Fear Alive.” Hilarious.

Etc.

A stunning weekend, weather-wise, here in NYC, and an equally fantabulous birthday weekend full of treats large and small. One of my favorite gifts I received was that after two years of having an ipod sit unused, my husband ripped every single CD I own and set the whole thing up for me. That is love, I tell you. And I am psyched to have it locked and loaded with all my tunes. He even made a “My Super Favorite Wife” playlist.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Beautiful Beauty

June 14, 2010

The TONY Awards are seriously on crack — everything feels a tad off, perhaps because it’s live TV (but aren’t they used to live theater?), and they just introduced Mark Sanchez of the NY Jets as “theater aficionado Mark Sanchez.” What???

I really like the makeup line Paul & Joe, but it has become increasingly difficult to find. I think I’ve recommended things of theirs before. The colors are good, it applies nicely, and, the best part, it has some of the most beautiful and interesting packaging around. This is probably due to the fact that Sophie Albou, the woman behind it, is a clothing designer, and that she is French.

I found this site beautyhabit.com that stocks a lot of Paul & Joe. I think these emery boards definitely take the “bored” out of filing your nails. And aren’t these the most gorgeous blotting papers you’ve ever seen? I think so. And at only $5 each, you probably need them in your life.

I’m also big on their lipsticks. The site has free shipping if you spend $100, and there’s a lot more than Paul & Joe on the site, including an outlet of beauty products. Worth checking out!

Bizarro Land

Until Mark Sanford, I didn’t really think about South Carolina politics. This article from the Times kinda makes you sit up and take notice. This world is crazy, people. Read it and weep here.

Etc.

Regular readers of Family Favs may have noticed there was no post on Friday. This was due to technical difficulties, meaning that the whole internet connection went down in our apartment.

Or so I thought.

Ken told me that he had checked the main router and there wasn’t a problem. So I assumed it was just busted for the night, closed up the computer and had no other option but to spend more time with said husband. (Note: Tongue kind of in cheek.)

The next morning, it still wasn’t working and I went to check it myself and the router was in fact turned off! So it wasn’t busted, it had been tampered with. Ken swears he didn’t do it, but the jury is out, considering he thinks I spend too much time on the computer and he benefited from my new-found time, if you know what I’m saying.

Hopefully we’re back to normal now!

Brownie Points

May 24, 2010

I was at a birthday party with Austin today and one of the mothers in the class came up to me and asked if my husband was very serious. “No. Why?” Apparently, according to her, he never says hello. So basically she was coming over to tell me that my husband is unfriendly. Can’t I just enjoy the birthday party!

Speaking of parties, today let’s talk about treats. As in brownies, as in really easy ones to make from a box that don’t have a lot of crap in them but still manage to taste pretty darn good. They’re called No Pudge Fudge Brownies, they come in a pink box, and all you have to do is add a 6 ounce cup of Vanilla yogurt. Really. You dump the packet of mix into a bowl, add the yogurt and stir, until it becomes gooey and chocolatey. (At first you will think it’s not enough yogurt, but keep stirring and you’ll see it is.) The simplicity factor makes them a great cooking project for kids.

I think they make it in several flavors, but I’m partial to the original. They’re fat free and there’s nothing artificial nor any hydrogenated oils. I usually buy it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

One last tip — they can be hard to cut nicely, so your best bet is to make sure they cool fully, and even then you may want to put them in the fridge for a bit to make sure you can cut through easily with a sharp knife. Enjoy!

Just Say No

We use our car about once a month and so we fill up with gas less than that (love NYC living!), so this weekend was the first time I had been at the pump since the oil deluge started in the Gulf. And not that he was going to, but I told Ken not to go to BP. As we’re driving by, I couldn’t believe people were buying gas there. Hello?! They just caused one of the worst environmental disasters of all time. Why in the world would you willingly give your money to them? They have screwed us all. God only knows what that spill will do to our water, our fish, our air, etc. If you’ve read or seen anything about it, it’s clear that they had no regard for safety — it was all about doing things as fast as possible to save and then make more and more money. So speak with your wallets, people, and send a message that we will not tolerate the madness.

Etc.

They called for rain today but it has held off. Which is a bummer because they postponed our building’s rooftop cocktail party, but they didn’t need to. Oh well…

We were at MoMA yesterday for family morning — if you’re a Family Member, they open the museum at 8am and give the kids breakfast and activity booklets. It is something to see your kids lying on the floor in front of a Picasso, drawing. I’m not sure they know how good they have it! But maybe that’s just as well — I guess to them it’s normal.

Chillin' at MoMA

Hope you all had a nice weekend. The official start of summer (Memorial Day weekend) is almost here, so get ready!

I would like to take this time to point out that if Elena Kagan is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, she will be the third member of the current court who is a product of the NYC public school system, joining Justices Sotomayor and Scalia. Holla! (I did not attend NYC public schools, but my children do, so maybe there’s hope for the future.)

Things of Beauty

Neiman Marcus has an exclusive on the 10th anniversary of Balenciaga’s bags, which have become somewhat iconic. I’m not that into the bags, but I do like the flats they’ve made to go along with them. Check them out here.

Deal With It

Speaking of Neiman Marcus, right now on NeimanMarcus.com, you can get free shipping at any price with the code NMSHOP. I needed to replace this Bobbi Brown lipstick that I love, but haven’t had time to hit the store to get it, so I ordered it online and it shipped for free. Genius!

Over at Starbucks, until May 16th, all Frappuccinos are half price from 3pm – 5pm. Happy hour! So when you’re at work and you’re feeling exhausted post-lunch, perk up around 3:15 and treat yourself!

Nordstrom Rack has come to Union Square in NYC! Apparently it is stocked with over 25,000 pairs of shoes, 2,000 pairs of denim and 2,400 handbags, so there’s got to be something good, all at 30% – 70% off. Something tells me it’s like every other discount chain: hit or miss.

Etc.

Went out to a CMT event down the block with my friend Suzanne. We caught the tail end of Laura Bell Bundy’s set — she has a lot of personality !I’ll be paing for the late night all week!