Friday, July 27, 2012

Smokin Body

Who doesn't want to look better or have a smokin' body? I assume most people do. Unless you're Gisele or Heidi and genetically blessed, anyone can use improvement. But HOW? Yeah, a lot of people can just take a class- be it yoga, spin, zumba, etc. But some of us are not coordinated and can't always make a class. Or just aren't motivated enough.

I've tried it all. I joined Health Spa 2 in Paramus when I was seventeen. I didn't know what I was doing and I can admit I was really there to meet guys. And I met guys- skeevy guys. But I guess that's another blog. Anyway...So that was kind of a wash. I went to college and didn't work out. I didn't even know the school had a gym. I gained way more than the "freshman 15". Then I'd lose in the summer working at day camp and start the cycle all over again every year. I've since joined a bunch of different gyms, all over, and never lasted more than a few months. I went the personal trainer route before my wedding and that was the only thing that stuck (besides Stroller Strides, but again, another blog). I loved having a trainer. I had done it one other time in my life for at least a year when I was in my early 20's. It was awesome but it had a shelf life because the training came attached to my romantic relationship at the time (he worked in a gym). When the relationship ended, so did my awesome deal on personal training. So sad.

So, it was pretty cool to find Volt Fitness, right in Glen Rock. I'd noticed before on my way to countless children's birthday parties at My Gym next door. But I'd never gone in till the other day. And what I found was really cool. It's not a fancy-shmancy gym where you put on a full face of makeup and make sure you're in your Lululemon best. This is a place where it looks like you get results. And THAT is what you're paying for. It's personal training, personal attention, and unique approaches. I admit I hate working out. I hate it with every fiber of my being. My exercise regimen consists of walking my treadmill in the morning for 30 min going only as fast as I can still hear the tv (about 3.8 mph on average. I think 80 yr olds move faster). But this place seems very appealing to me.

First- it is personal training. But the first session is free without having to buy a package first. Now most gym memberships give a free session but it's WITH membership. You're already locked into being member before you can try a personal training session. It's also more interesting than your average personal training, which is because of the second part...

They have therapeutic programs for individuals with ADHD, ages 5-18, and it is covered by participating health plans. There is a circuit for them with video games attached to exercise equipment. If the kid stops rowing or pedaling, the game stops. It's the coolest thing ever. There is also a special needs program which is a one-of-a-kind program. It is also covered by insurance. They specialize in working with children with a variety of challenges including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and developmental coordination disorders. I saw all the equipment and they're things *I* would be interested in doing for fitness and that's the cool part. When there aren't kids in that section, the adults use it as part of their personal training sessions.

They have different training packages. They have group sessions and private sessions. The group ones are at set times and you go with what works for you. AND, if you pay for a group session and there is only you in your group, you just lucked out in getting a one-on-one at that time. They don't make you pay extra if there is no one else showing up for your group. You aren't responsible for putting a group together, Volt is responsible.

Also, I know there are a lot of exercise bootcamps going on right now and they're great. It's just that for some, like me, it could be totally inconvenient timing. I can't be anywhere at 4:30, 5:30, six in the morning. It would totally disrupt our whole morning routine. (If being somewhere at 4:30a is right up your alley, I can recommend a great bootcamp but that isn't for me!) Volt's groups or personal training is mostly on your schedule.

Since I know a lot of people, the owner, Tom, gave me $50 gift cards to give out to anyone interested in possibly buying a package. I think that's a great incentive. They aren't good on just one session- you have to use it to buy a package. You could also give it as a gift- they are totally transferable. So, even if you aren't going to use it, you may know someone who would. Especially if you have a kid going off to college- you may want one for you AND you may want one for your college kid, for winter break when they've gained THEIR freshman 15! I would have LOVED if my parents gave me $50 toward personal training when I came home that first year because they could have rolled me back to school after that first semester. Or if you have a little one (or ones) finally in pre-school and can finally dedicate some time to working on yourself, this is the perfect place to start. They have plenty of parking too so it's not like going to some of the big gyms where you've basically done your workout just by parking in another time zone and walking to the joint!

If you're interested in a gift card- email me at or leave me an email address in the comments here or on my blog Facebook page-

Right now I have 40 cards to give away, but only contact me if you're serious about starting your fitness regime and reclaiming your old skinny clothes. I have to assume that's many of you since my recent "Aimee's Story" blog (about her weight loss journey) was my highest viewed blog since I started this blog some 100+ entries ago.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sales With a Side of Art

Englewood is having it's annual sidewalk sale this Thursday-Saturday. In support Englewood is allowing free parking for the sale and it's the first time they're offering this. The sidewalk sale is going on from 10a-6p. I haven't been to this sidewalk sale since 2008 but I remember it being good. Problem was parking. But they didn't have that parking garage on Dean St like they do now. So it's probably easier to park.

There is also a new art school, One River School, that's opening and showcasing at the sidewalk sale.

This is about One River School from the Paramus Patch:

One River School is proud to present Art in the Park as part of Englewood's annual Sidewalk Sale. The innovative new art and design school with classes for all ages will introduce its differentiated art experience to the Englewood community with free art lessons and interactive art-making activities. The three-day event will take place at Veterans Memorial Park located at the corner of Dean St. and Depot Square from Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, July 28, from 10 am to 6 pm. Visitors will get a chance to nab one of many free giveaways and have access to special discounts on classes. As a bonus, Saturday will also feature live music in the afternoon and an all day street art installation by Brooklyn based artist Eric Inkala.

Veterans Memorial Park - Thursday July 26, Friday July 27 and Saturday July 28 - 10am- 6pm - FREE

About One River School of Art and Design
One River School of Art and Design is a new direction in creative education. Focused on the importance of lifelong creative learning, One River School offers a wide variety of creative classes and programs for adults and kids. One River School will launch this August at 49 N. Dean St. Englewood, NJ. Contact: , or 201-266-5244

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Launch this!

So our website launched. I've told you all it's live and amazing. But I'm not sure you'll getting the scoop of how cool our stuff really is...

I've said we're the "anti-Pottery Barn". And I know to some people that's total blasphemy. What it means is that we're actually unique and not a big box full of beige. I get that some people are just inherently beige and that's ok. But I don't get why you want people to walk into your house and say- OH, I just saw that at Jane's house! Billy has those! Don't they have a similar one at Crate and Barrel or West Elm? When you have our lighting in your house, all you're going to hear is oohs and ahhs and, "WHERE did you get THAT?!". Personally I'd much rather have that then the former, but that's just me.

The appeal of our lighting is that it's a collaborative effort between you and us. If you want to change the color of the shade fabric, great! You want different shape or color crystals, awesome! You want to make a fixture flush instead of hanging low, we're on it. There is pretty much nothing we can't do. To be honest, people have been bringing us mercury glass from Pottery Barn and we've been making these vases into lamps for people. I can't tell you how "in" mercury glass is right now, yet apparently it doesn't seem to be coming in lamp form so we're happy to take the business and make you your coveted mercury glass lamps. We feel that even if you take inspiration from the big box store, you can still express and infuse some of your own personality into it. Get the Pottery Barn vase, have us make it into a lamp, then put an awesome shade on it and at least there's a little bit of you in there!! We encourage you to take some risks!

Antique lamp that came in that had a plain
off-white shade originally. We made this to
match the lamp. Customer was thrilled!
Or raid your parents or grandparents attics and make old stuff new again. We've made Delft candlesticks into lamps, tree bark, and a wooden foot in an ice skate (don't ask). B has rewired really old, antique chandeliers and the most delicate crystal lamps. We've made stunning new shades for lamps that someone was going to throw away. They couldn't believe how awesome the lamps looked just by changing the shades. I've had people send me photos of the lamps in their house, telling me how much they love the new, fresh look. I get that the lamp I have pictured may not be your "style" but you have to be able to appreciate how it went from an old lamp to a piece of art by just replacing the shade with something beyond "just a plain white shade". That is what a lot of people are tempted to do- plain, white, beige, boring. Just because they need light, are afraid of color and don't know what is out there!

I had customers come in the other day that brought me antique navy and white oriental lamps. Amazing condition but definitely needed better shades. They didn't want to bring the lamps at first and only brought me old, white plastic shades. When I saw those shades I had NO idea what they went on. They went home and got the lamps and I was shocked at how beautiful they were- they just TOTALLY had the wrong shades. We're making new ones in a pagoda shape that complements the style and shape of the lamp tremendously. I can't WAIT to get those in. I also happened to have just gotten the PERFECT navy oriental finial in that finished it off. I LOVE when I get those perfect matches that seem like they were made for each other. It happens more than you'd think. The finial is like the lamp jewelry. If you wear earrings, bracelets and necklaces to finish off your outfits then you should understand.

So, like I said, our site has launched. Now you don't even have to be in the NJ area to get our coolest stuff. Our new lamps and chandeliers are so awesome because they are a twist and an edge on a classic, traditional look.

We have two stores- one in Glen Rock, NJ. and one in Norwood, NJ, if you need to see us in person!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lites for cancer

I don't normally share these "party" sales thing for two reasons. One, I don't want to "endorse" things I don't use, which is most of them. Second, if I don't know 100 people selling stuff from Pampered Chef, Scentsy, PartyLite, Tastefully Simple, Thirty-One Gifts, Avon, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Silpada, Stella & Dot, etc then I don't know one. But in light of a friend's recent diagnosis with cancer, I figured it couldn't hurt to send this on, this time, since it is for a great cause.

No worries- I won't be spamming up my blog with sales stuff. But when it's affiliated with causes that are near and dear, I want to do my part in making some kind of difference by sending the deals on since it seems most people's lives has been touched in some way by cancer.

PartyLite has teamed up with the American Cancer Society to create the GloLite Jar in Strawberry Rhubarb. It is only $25 and a portion of the sales goes to ACS. My friend Tanya Quirk is taking orders for them now-July 31st and donating an additional $2 per candle sold to St. Jude's. Her goal is to sell 50+. To order go to and use the name Tanya Quirk as your host. Share this on your wall, tweet it, blog it, email it, etc. and she will pay your shipping and handling. Please make sure you let Tanya Quirk know if you shared it so she knows to take off your shipping and handling.

This is a great gift to give someone who is a survivor, going through treatments, or remembering a loved one! Lighting the candle will be a ray of light shinning to brighten up the spirits of those who are affected by this terrible disease.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Farm Day Recap

E and I went to Farm Day at Abma's this past weekend. He had swim lessons first and it seemed a little cool out for the town pool. I figured it's rare to get spring weather in the summer so it was a good day to be at a farm. Plus I just wanted to do something different.

I don't really know where to start. I love Abma's Farm in Wyckoff. We go there a lot in the spring and fall to feed the goats and sheep and get some great food. But this Farm Day thing was total chaos, kind of for no reason.

We got there at 11:30. I already had to park really far away. I didn't really understand that the hayride was to get you from the far parking to the farm. I'm still not really sure if that was the sole purpose. I think there should've been someone at this far parking lot handing out their flyer that they had up by the actual activities or just explaining everything.

Then, we got up to the "event area" and you had to buy tickets. The tickets were for food, the pony rides, and some other things. I didn't know how long it was going to take on the pony line or I probably wouldn't have bothered. This was where the hold up was going on. The line at 11:45 was already long. They were only using one pony. But there was another in there. Halfway through my wait they started using the second pony. I don't know if there was a reason they weren't using it before that but these pony rides were taking FOREVER. And then of course there was that asshole mother with three kids who had to get the perfect photos of each of the three kids when it was their turn so that made it longer. I get the picture thing. But really? When there is like 50 hot, whiny kids on the line this isn't photo-op time. I highly doubt it's the last time Precious #1, #2, & #3 are going to be a on a pony. Or do what I did- try to sneak a candid while he's riding. The boys running it were super nice. It just would've been nice to tell everyone why only one pony was taking riders for the majority of the time.

Because it was only 11:45 when I got on that pony line I figured we'd eat after. WELL, I didn't finish with the line and the ride until 12:45. Yup. A QUARTER TO 1:00p. I waited an HOUR. So then I was starving, E was punchy from having waited on that line so long, and I look by the food and see the line was so long I couldn't even see the end. Well, I didn't think to buy more tickets because I just wanted to secure my place. I'd so wished I'd eaten BEFORE the pony ride. I only had three tickets left so I was able to get 2 ribs and a cupcake for E & I to share. I was just praying he'd try the rib. He did. And he liked it. But that may just be because he was starving. I will say the food was delicious. They also gave vegetables for free. We had a tomato and cucumber salad and some raw peppers. Everything was awesome.

I understand why they did the ticket thing but I waited FORTY-FIVE minutes on that food line. And the problem was, you couldn't change your mind and just order whatever. It all depended on how many tickets you had. So I would've liked to get more food but I wasn't getting out of that line to buy more tickets. Maybe there could've been a ticket booth right before the food so if you saw there was more you wanted to buy you could've easily gotten more tickets. Or a girl walking up and down the line with a roll of tickets asking if anyone needed more. They also should've had three different food lines. One for the lemonade, one for dessert and one for food. Instead, it was all together with the lemonade and desserts first. It was had to carry everything together too. Now, had there been three separate lines, they would've moved much faster.

I know the flyer or online description mentioned they'd be roasting a pig. But I've never actually seen that so I didn't really know it would be so out in the open and look like a roasting baby. It was SO gross. I just found it odd at a place where you have children really into animals and feeding live ones, they'd have a dead one just roasting out there like it was a normal everyday thing to see. Hey- I ate the ribs. It's not like I'm a Vegetarian. I get it. But it was totally disconcerting to see it just splayed out there. I just steered E away from it and he never saw it.

Lastly, we went to feet the sheep and goats and they must have been so overfed by the crowd, they weren't even hungry. E didn't get it and was bummed they wouldn't eat the crackers but I assured him we'd come again. The un-hungry animals is obviously no fault of Abma's but it just added to the meltdown E had when I tried to leave.

Other than that, I think it could've been a really great even had things been a bit more organized. I'm sure the rest of the food was awesome- they had chicken legs and pulled pork sliders. I would love to try it when there isn't a line of 50 people ahead of me. I left after the food because I was just tired of being on line and we'd been there two hours and only did two "events". Since of those events was just eating, E wasn't really thrilled but I had just had enough. I'll be back soon though since I have a bag full of goat crackers.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


If you haven't had enough rides and fried dough-

From the Westwood-Hillsdale Patch:

The Westwood Volunteer Ambulance Corp. is hosting its annual carnival this week at Westwood Plaza. Residents are encouraged to attend the event and support the organization.

According to the Ambulance Corp., nearly 30 percent of the annual operating expenses are paid for with proceeds from the carnival.

"Your support of our carnival allows us to continue to respond to your calls providing the finest service possible, without being a burden to your property taxes," the organization's website reads.

The carnival will include rides, games and food. You can pay one price Tuesday through Thursday. The carnival begins at 6 p.m. each night.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's a PARTY!

I was part of Stroller Strides from when Ethan was around six months old till he was about 2.5 and in school. I even went sometimes without him! I loved every minute- I met great new friends, got in great shape, and spent way too much money being in the mall so much!! But it's totally worth the commitment. It was really awesome to be able to work out without having to find childcare, hang out with other moms, and know about sales and other mall happenings before anyone else (just by virtue of being there so much!!) I attended both the grand opening party and the 2nd birthday party last year. This years sounds like the best of all!
We're Turning 3!
Join us for our
Birthday Celebration
July 25th 2012
(upper level bloomingdales wing)
9:30 am
FREE Stroller Strides Class
10:45 am Party!
(all children 6 and under are welcome at our party!)
What will Be There -
Our Goodie Bags Will Include -
Our Raffles Include -
  • a BOB Revolution - Stroller Strides Edition
  • A Baby Jogger City Elite
  • Baby Bag from Vera Bradley
  • a FREE Session and 6 FREE Sheets from our friends at Portrait Simple
  • A $100 Gift Certificate to The Little Gym of Englewood South
  • A Gift Certificate to the Melting Pot courtesy of our friends at Macaroni Kid!
  • Books from Chronicle Books
  • Stroller Detailing (yes you read that right!) from our New Friends at Hallak Cleaners!
  • Organic Stroller Cleaning Kit from our friends at Buggy Love
  • A MONTH Supply of popchips and a MONTH of Stroller Strides classes to go with it!
  • A Tutu and matching hair accessory from former Stroller Strides Member, laQuitea and her new "One Stop Tutu Shop"
  • Gift Certificates from McCormick and Schmick!

Our Activities Will Include -
  • A FREE Stroller Strides class at 9:30 am
  • FREE Lunch Courtesy of Our Friends at Maggianos Litte Italy
  • FREE Music Together Demo
  • FREE Play Courtesy of our friends from the Little Gym of Englewood South
  • FREE Pre-walk AND Toddler Yoga with our friend Adra from We Play Yoga
  • FREE Art Creations with the Help of our friends at Abrakadoodle
  • Lunch Courtesy of our Friends at Maggianos little Italy
  • Chocolate Covered Fruit from Stroller Strides Member and PLUM Moms Club Captain, Tanya Quirk and Dipped Covered Smothered Chocolates!
  • Cake by Former Stroller Strides Founding Member, Cailtin Smith!
  • FREE Chair Massages and Hand Dips from our Friends at the Fountain Spa!
And That's Just SOME of What You'll Experience! But if you miss the'll miss it!
2012 Baby Jogger City Elite
(retail $399)
Includes 3 Months of Stroller Strides Classes

See here for how to claim your raffle tickets!
Come to the Party and register at the Stroller Strides table from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm to receive a FREE Raffle Ticket for each Stroller.
If you're NEW TO STROLLER STRIDES and are coming to the PARTY & FOR
Register for the Party AND attend the FREE class that morning to receive a FREE Raffle Ticket PLUS2 bonus tickets for each Stroller.
Register for the Party, to receive a FREE Raffle Ticket PLUS 4 bonus tickets for each Stroller.
Register for the Party, to receive a FREE Raffle Ticket PLUS 3 bonus tickets for each Stroller.
*please note that the t-shirt order has already been placed so you will not be

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Taste of the Farm

I love Abma's. Their food is awesome. Before B and I went on Jenny Craig I used to go their just for their side salads. I would take E, he'd get to see all the animals, feed the goats, etc. Then we'd get a cookie and sit on the benches and just enjoy sitting on their grounds. This looks like a really fun event:


10th Annual Taste of the Farm Day

Join Us July 21 for Abma's Farm's 10th Annual Taste of the Farm Day. Ever wonder how food gets from the farm to your table? Learn what it means to be a locavore, visit and feed the farm animals in the petting zoo, get a tour of the hen house to see how the farmers collect eggs, and enjoy an old fashioned children's craft in the greenhouses. Plus, hayrides, ponyrides, crafts and plenty of local grown food.

The menu for Taste of the Farm Day includes a Pig Roast, BBQ Pulled Portk, Ribes, BBQ chicken, Wyckoff-fresh veggies, grilled corn, tomatoes, salads, potatoes and more. Plus homemade lemonade, artisan ice cream and our famous cider donuts.

Abma's Farm Market & Greenhouses is Bergen County's only produce, poultry & pork farm. In addition to fresh-picked, locally grown produce, cage-free eggs and hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken and poultry, the market sells homemade salads, soups, sandwiches and dinner specials and fresh-baked pies, breads, cookies and other treats made from scratch using wholesome ingredients.

The event is free, with a minimal fee for all food products.
For more information, visit or call 201-891-0278.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Out & Proud (ly) Shameful

I don't usually get too political on here. Not because I don't love a good debate or expressing my opinions but because I usually just save it for Facebook. But in light of this being ginormous douchebag week in the media, I have no choice.

So first- hello, the Boy Scouts?? I never thought E would be a Boy Scout. I don't remember the Scouts being big when I was a kid. I never really thought about them before.  It's not like it was the thing to be in that made someone popular. Or not. I vaguely remember one or two guys I knew wearing the uniform but that could be my mind playing tricks on me. And that was the early 80's anyway when we weren't as progressive with gay rights. I don't know how much it came up then- I was under 14 in 1989 and below. But NOW? They have to come out (pun intended) and be anti-gay. No, sorry, I'm not buying your shitty popcorn to support your bigoted group. Kids- unfortunately, your parents aren't educated in bigoted groups or they don't care and that isn't your fault but I am conscious of where my hard earned money goes and the Boy Scouts aren't getting a dollar. Not even a penny. Shape up and get into this century Boy Scouts or I have a feeling you're going to be left with a lot of extra popcorn.

I've seen people respond to this by saying, the Boy Scouts teach good things and I don't want my kid to feel excluded, etc. Well, all my friends went to CCD and it sounded like fun that they were all together. Yet, my parents didn't send me there and I was fine. My friends were on the cheering squad and I wasn't- I lived & found something else to do. I'm sure there are a million other activities he could be involved in that have no anti-gay stance. Maybe he'll want to be president of PFLAG. I'd be totally cool with that. He already waves that rainbow flag at the PRIDE parade every year like a champ.  No, the Boy Scouts may not actively TEACH kids to be anti-gay but they actively & openly exclude people who are. That's NOT ok with me. I'll learn how to tie those fancy knots and how to survive in the wilderness myself and teach him if I think he'll need it. Somehow I've survived 38 years without knowing that though.

***Want more ammo to decide the Boy Scout organization is horrifying from the top- Check out the mom who was ousted as den mother to her son's Tiger Cub pack because she's a lesbian. Good for her for fighting but good luck having them give a shit. Because they won't.

Second- What the clucking cluck?!? Their anti-gay stance is why I don't get how people support Chick-Fil-A. Every time I see people liking their clucking page on Facebook, I'm scratching my head and embarrassed. THERE IS OTHER CHICKEN. BETTER. CHICKEN. I used to eat their chicken sometimes when I worked in Paramus Park as a teenager. I never thought it was that great. Apparently I was on to something. Even if it was the best clucking chicken around, I just can't support them. Go cluck yourself, Chick-Fil-A!!,b=facebook

I'm so riled up today, I can't take it. Sure, these are private organizations/companies and they can do whatever they want. But we're basically saying they have the right to bully and exclude. That's how I take it. And people just keep swallowing the popcorn and the chicken with their mouths wide open and their eyes closed. It's shameful.

STOP GIVING THESE DOUCHEBAGS YOUR MONEY. And Chick-Fil-A ain't shrinking your waistline either so I'm sure you can find something else to eat. Is there gay chicken anywhere? Let me know- you can have all my money.

Monday, July 16, 2012

WGIRLS NYC: Redneck Riviera

My favorite girls are at it again. Another awesome event for a great cause! If you can get out and support it looks like it will be awesome weather for a "cruise". Tickets go up at midnight tonight so get yours NOW-
Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 7:30pm to 10:30pm
Ain't Your Average Booze Cruise!
The WGIRLS NYC presents..."Redneck Riviera" benefitting "Children of Promise"
Please join us for the biggest party of this summer and help raise funds for "Children of Promise". The evening features 3-hour open beer & wine bar, DJ & dancing, corn holes, flip cup tournaments, great raffles, live music by Blue Sour, and of course the opportunity to mingle with the WGIRLS and other young professionals in the city.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Boarding at 7:00 PM
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Open Bar (Beer & Wine) from 7:30 - 10:30 PM

$60 per person | $200 per package of four
Grab your tickets before they sell out:
Live Performance of All Your Classic Favorites and more by: Blue Sour:
Dress Code: Jorts and Camo not required...only recommended

See y'all on board!
**Must be 21 years of age or older**

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Tutoring

This is my personal friend Nicole. Her kids are smart so I have to assume she can help yours out too! I can't imagine a better tutor- she's quick-witted and funny so she can make learning interesting. E is only three so he can't really benefit from her expertise yet, but I'll be calling her when I don't understand his 3rd grade math.

Here's the info from her flyer-

Nicole Cohen

(917) 363-0574

Private Tutor

·      Holds a Masters in Elementary Education from Columbia University

·      Currently a Literacy Staff Developer working in schools in Bergen County

·      Taught in the Gifted and Talented program at a top-ranked Manhattan public school

·      Offers Reading and Writing support and enrichment to students K-12

·      Works closely with classroom teachers to ensure consistency of goals

·      Summer tutoring available in order to prepare students for 2012-2013 academic year

Monday, July 9, 2012

Botox Madness!

I love Botox. Been getting it since 2006- right before my wedding. Usually I go to Dr Elan Singer. After to going to other people for Botox, I have to say, he really IS the best. And I'd go to him every time if I could. But he stopped working at a practice in Montclair and is just at his own practice, EBS Plastic Surgery on Park Ave in NYC. Yeah, I just don't know when I can get to NYC. I plan on it, eventually, when E is in school full time, but right now, I'm not dragging my 3 year old into the city for Botox. He's also probably traumatized enough by having to come to my Brazilian wax appointment. Whatever- don't judge. We do what we have to do. If I have to bend all over the kiddie pool, waxing is a necessity and I don't always have a sitter!

So, my friend Nicole has been going to this Dr Park Ave doctor in Franklin Lakes for awhile and she looks great. I'm trusting it. The last time I had it done an OB who was just starting to do injectables did it. While it wasn't exactly painless like it is with Elan, my face didn't fall or anything at least.

$99 is a great deal for 20 units. I normally get 20 units, even though this last time I had 30. I can't say the 30 really made more of a difference than the 20 so I'm sticking with that. I saw the SAME deal, ON Living Social for NYC Upper East Side- 20 units for $167! What a difference just going over the river makes. I'll stay in Jersey, thanks!

BUY IT! You won't be sorry.

But if you do live in NYC, go to Elan-

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sunscreen Safety

I'll keep it short and sweet. Want to know if you're using the most or least toxic sunscreen on you and/or your kids?

Here's the website to check your lotions-

Of course, some of the ones I've used on E in the past are rated a "7", which is most toxic (all those easy sprays we love? Yeah, those).

Happy shopping!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Aimee's Story

When I met Aimee, we were 18 years old and going to be college roommates. We were almost the same height- I think I'm a little taller by a hair, or at that time, really BIG early 90's hair. We were close to the same weight- she was maybe a few pounds lighter than I was at the time. She'd been a cheerleader in high school and I'd been more of a...non-cheerleader. I wasn't the most active. For some reason, I remember her telling me she was 138 lbs when we got to school, just in random new roommate conversation. I thought she looked great and we both rocked those ridiculous adult "bodysuits" or what I call adult onesies, that were also popular at that time, and we looked HOT (haha).

While it's definitely easy for me to gain weight as I've written about before, I always was boy crazy. And since I'm not married to any of the boys I crazed after during college or after, it's safe to say I was one of those girls who could completely abandon food in the wake of heartbreak. So, I've managed to maintain not really going too much above 165 lbs at 5'7 since I was a freshman in college. I'd gained here and there and fluctuated between 125 and 165 in the past 20 years but not like the struggle Aimee has had.

I sort of remember her gaining weight when she was able to go to bars by school. I was never into drinking myself (too busy chasing boys) so my calories never came from that. But you know, when you drink, you stay out late, you eat, you eat fries with cheese and gravy at the diner...alot, etc. And I wasn't with Aimee at the bars because we had different friends at this point and I also didn't have a fake ID (sorry to out you Aim!). So I'm not sure where the bulk of her calories came from then. But like she'll tell you- she got heavy. And I know it didn't make her happy.

So, here is her story....I'm having her tell it here because I know people are always interested in motivating weight loss stories. She doesn't want the pressure of her own blog but I want her to be able to have a place to share. Aimee is one of my favorite people in the entire world- we shared time together that makes up some of my most cherished memories. We've had those laughs only someone you've lived with can have together. I don't get to see her often because we have lots of miles between us, kids, and that busy you get from having kids, but I'm looking at her FB pictures and I'm just so happy and proud of how hard she's worked and where she is today.

After/Before pic at the bottom!!!
From Aimee:

I wanted to look good for my 20-year high school reunion. There are so many other reasons I could give for what ‘clicked’ this time for why I wanted to lose weight – avoiding disease, setting a good example for my children, overall health – but I have to confess, it was vanity this time around. I wasn’t fat in high-school, and I refused to be “Severely Obese” (as my BMI said I was) when I went to my reunion.

Like many people, I have been yo-yo dieting for years. When I was younger – in high school and college – I would ‘diet’ to lose 5 pounds, when I probably didn’t need to lose anything. I could eat Doritos (my favorite… Cool Ranch!), pizza, McDonald’s shakes and 7-11 Nachos without gaining. I was active, but not an athlete, and was a cheerleader and ran track. Things changed, fast, and after my daughter was born when I was 23 years old (she’s 14 now) I could never seem to get my body to a comfortable and manageable weight. I did Weight Watchers (several times) and it worked (kind of), but I didn’t follow the plan close enough or long enough. I tried LA Weight Loss for a short time and lost a little. I did it on my own, and lost. But each time, I’d fall off the wagon after a short time, gain even more back, and feel even more miserable about myself and my weight. There are many years where there are few pictures of me because I didn’t want to be in them. I wore clothes that were stretchy and although I never bought larger than a size 18W, I know I was bigger than that… I just couldn’t face the fact that I had gotten to that point.

In June of 2011 and at 240 pounds, I didn’t want to gain any more. I just wanted to weigh less than 200 pounds. I joined Weight Watchers on-line and lost 20 pounds in 8 months. It was something, but not enough.

I had looked at Take Shape for Life almost 2 years prior and thought it cost too much and doubted it would work. It consists of the Medifast Diet - 5 “Portion Controlled Meal Replacements” and 1 “Lean & Green Meal” each day… plus working with a Health Coach and learning Habits of Health. At that time, I had said I was doing Weight Watchers and thought that would work for me. I actually gained weight in those 2 years! After 14 years, a second child (my son is now 8) and on the verge of my high school reunion I started this new program in February 2012. I had nothing to lose, had just gotten some Tax Return money, so figured I’d give it a try… just for a month, I said.

In the first week, I lost 7 pounds… in the first month, I lost 14 pounds! So I kept going. After month 2, 24 pounds was gone… people were noticing, and I was feeling great! The scale moved each and every week! I am obsessed with the scale – I typically weigh myself every day. I’ve read different things about this… good or bad, I don’t know… but it works for me. Seeing the number go down is the best motivation to stay on track and stay on plan… and I did.

It wasn’t easy. The diet is restrictive. You can’t eat pasta, bread, rice, high starch veggies, or even fruit during the weight loss “phase”. Well, I wanted to lose weight! (Remember… the High School Reunion!) I was motivated. I said “No” to a lot of things and I was worried that people would think I was weird. But as the pounds came off, I didn’t care what people were thinking. And, after years of struggling to lose weight, I finally realized that it wasn’t supposed to be easy. I was making sacrifices in what I was eating – but I was getting the results I wanted in return. I still enjoy meals with my family – dinner every night together is important to me. I eat the same thing they do – chicken, steak, pork chops and veggies – but I don’t eat the other sides (macaroni & cheese, rice, potatoes) and I don’t miss them.

I set small goals (5 pounds by a certain date, 10 pounds by a certain date) and I was reaching them. Then, I got active… and it didn’t seem like such hard work anymore. I started walking on my treadmill (the dusty one in the basement), doing some weight workouts (moves I got from magazines) and it only improved my weight loss results. More motivation! I’ve even gone to Kickboxing!

I won’t take you week by week… but when I shopped for my reunion dress, I brought all size 14s in the dressing room. Guess what? They were TOO BIG! I tried on size 12s, found a dress I felt AWESOME in, and on the day of the reunion I was down 60 pounds from where I was 1 year before. I felt normal – not fat, not skinny… but great. I cheated on my diet that night… by drinking wine (way too much!)

The cost doesn’t seem to matter anymore either. I buy the Medifast meals, but I’m not paying for Weight Watchers, unused gym memberships, tons of fat-free yogurt and other “healthy” snacks. That other stuff is in the house (unhealthy snacks – for my kids, and ice cream – for my husband… they make their own choices) but I don’t eat it. When I’m tempted, I think of how far I’ve come… then grab a glass of water, some sugar free Jell-O, some almonds, or some cheese. When I reach my goal, I’ll start eating more ‘regular’ food and less meal replacements. But I’m not there yet.

People ask often what I’ve been doing to lose weight. When you lose 60 pounds (66 as of today!), it’s noticeable. I love to share what I did - it feels like anybody can do it if they are ready to make a change. The worst problem I have now is that I need new and smaller clothes… not a bad problem to have. There are people who have told me I should stop now (everybody has their opinion), but I’m not at my goal yet. I don’t actually know what my goal is, but I’d like my BMI to say I’m “Normal” and not overweight. That’s about 20 pounds away. If I get there and it’s too hard to maintain, I’ll pick a new number. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished now. I know I can do more and am confident in my motivation. There are lots more pictures of me now!

Next week is my family vacation (and my birthday) and I’m not sure what I’ll eat. I plan to enjoy myself, but eat smart and continue to exercise… and whatever happens, I’ll get back on track when I get home… and continue to work towards my goals.