Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Ultimate

I had a facial today. The "Ultimate Fountain Facial". This is only the second time in my life I've had a facial. I remember when I worked for SpaFinder we received a $100 gift certificate to any spa in the SpaFinder network. I went somewhere in Edgewater- I think it was called Koi. I got a facial and it was ok. It wasn't anything special. I remember being cold. But that was in 2005.

B got me a gift certificate to The Fountain for Mother's Day in 2012. I just never had the time to use it and it expires May 8th of this year. I made sure to get in right under the wire. I love massages and I'm sure that's what B bought it for me to do there. But I'm not paying $100 for a fifty minute or hour massage when I can run up to The Healthy Way for half the price. I love massages mostly when I have a headache. The Healthy Way is walk-in. I can go when I really feel I "need" it. The Fountain is more fancy-schmancy. Need an appointment, whole robe and lemon water thing. I don't need all that for a "please help my headache before I chop my head off" headache day. But a facial...that could be good. I *am* turning forty soon, I *do* have fine lines and wrinkles, and I have old acne scars I despise.

I picked "The Ultimate Fountain Facial" because it includes microdermabrasion, which I've wanted to try for a long time. It's expensive but it includes all the extras you'd want to add on so it seemed worth it. It's $240 and I had a $170 gift certificate. And as an aside, I went there last week for my appointment that I'd confirmed the day before I showed up. Yet, the appointment wasn't in their book for that day, but it was for today. They told me I'd be compensated. I didn't know what that meant- I assumed like $25 off my bill, which was good enough for me. I didn't ask. Any money off would be better than nothing.

My appointment was with Gina. I didn't request her and didn't know her but I was looking forward to meeting her. I got there early. I had about twenty minutes (for me to be there fifteen minutes before my scheduled appointment) so I sat in the car listening to David Spade on Stern. Totally worth the listen, by the way.

I checked in and went to the locker room where they gave me a robe and a strapless towel thing you wear for a facial. The girl who gave me the robe/towel told me that underwear was optional. I figured since it was just a facial, I'd wear them. But I still had fifteen minutes to kill so she told me I could sit in the steam room if I want. I'd never been in a steam room before for the same reason I'm not big on hot tubs. I get dizzy and hot. I thought I'd just check it out because I was kind of cold. I couldn't SEE anything it was so foggy in there. I went to sit on the tile bench not realizing it was soaking wet. Of course I decided to wear my underwear! Obviously it got soaking wet, along with the robe and the towel thingy.

I didn't know what to do. There was no one around so I decided to try to dry my underwear with their hair dryer they had affixed to the wall. It wasn't really working, I didn't have much time left and those dryers can be temperamental. It looked like it was sparking so I just thought better of the whole scene and hung the underwear in my locker like a flag. Because these weren't just any regular cute bikini underwear. No, no. They had to be the VS-semi-annual-sale-whatever-was-in-the-bin-highcut-granny-style ones. So when I say they looked like a flag, that's no exaggeration. They're huge. Flesh colored and huge.

Now, for the facial. Gina was great. Pleasant, friendly, gentle and explained everything before she did it. The microdermabrasion didn't feel like kitten licks at first, but it didn't hurt. I felt it less as it went on. She did extractions, paraffin on the hands, lotion and warm booties on the feet, cleansed, exfoliated and massaged my shoulders. I was thinking, while she was doing it, "Now I understand why people need to make large amounts of money. This is it. It's quite lovely and if I had a lot of money, I'd be doing this kind of thing all the time. Instead of once every ten years or so."

It took like ninety minutes I think. I can't be sure because this whole underwear debacle took up time and I wasn't really watching the clock. I came back to my locker when it was done and of course I couldn't get it open. I didn't want to get someone because I didn't want her to open my locker to my dangling wet underwear. But I had no choice. I tried the lock like ten times to no avail. She opened it but she had trouble too. I felt better about that.

At that point there was a ton of people in the locker room, with a woman sitting directly in front of my locker, having a whole involved conversation on her cell phone. It was annoying in general because I wanted to change and she was like, my audience. Just watching me and talking. But it was doubly annoying because I needed to get my pants on without underwear and without flashing her. I could've waited for a dressing room but at that point I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I balled up the underwear and put it in my coat pocket. I didn't want to put it in my small cross-body bag because I just knew I'd go to pay and it would come flying out on to the counter or the floor.

I got to the check-out counter and while I can't say the woman *I think* was in charge was particularly nice (she just had that air of annoyance at everything about her), she was helpful in my appointment snafu and making sure I was compensated. They made sure I had 20% off my whole facial. Well, that was SPECTACULAR. Because at $240, 20% is no $25 off like I'd expected. So with my gift certificate, I only owed them $22 + gratuity. Yes, I paid her gratuity on the full $240- just for the record. Anyway,  I was thrilled. It's not like I have money growing on trees and April and May are expensive months for us. But more than that, owning a business myself, I am always pleased when a company makes sure the customer is happy and takes care of mistakes. They didn't have to- I mean, even if I wrote a bad review, that isn't killing their business. But they did and I was very pleased with the whole experience.

As far as the underwear, I tried drying it on my dash as I drove home. It kept flying off so it was a challenge, but it was dry by the time I got to my next destination. If I was just going right home, I wouldn't have bothered with all this drying and whatnot. But I had a lot of errands to do and I'm not really a commando kind of girl.

I got to work and my husband said my skin looks great so all in all, I think Gina did a great facial. Just the fact that I'm not red, don't look like Goldie Hawn in First Wives Club and was able to just go to work like nothing happened is a testament to Gina's handiwork.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thin & Thick

I've been noticing my hair thinning in the front since I was around twenty-one years old. Back then I grew my hair out really long. It was before people were using straightening irons. My friend Julie had me buy some Conair blow dryer/brush combo thing and that was the best I had. I also had product but my hair was always slightly frizzy anyway. Straightening balms were better than nothing but they were tricky and just not that great. If you used too much you looked like you dipped your head in Crisco, so you had to be REALLY careful. Any the serums were expensive also. I was just at the end of college and had no money for fancy hair stuff.

By the way, I had my introduction to Eufora about ten years ago when I was given Eufora Pure Polish drops at the hair salon. I don't know why it's different than stuff you can get in a drugstore. But. It. IS. Compare to BioSilk or any of those other expensive salon formulas, but the Eufora drops are levels above. I couldn't wash my hair if I didn't have that to put in. They're amazing. So I already knew the Eufora brand wasn't just BS.

My lessening hair spot was merely something I've watched. Over time, it hasn't gotten worse but it hasn't gotten better either. It's like nineteen years later and it's pretty much the same. I just don't like it. And I don't want it to get worse if I can help it.

I have this area in the front, where I part my hair, that it's noticeable - at least to me! My hair is naturally a little wavy. But a frizz wave, not a nice wave. When it's straight, I feel like you can see right through my hair to my scalp. I have thin hairs but a lot of them. If I want my ponytail holder to stay in, I have to wind it three times. I have a skinny tail. Which unfortunately, is the only place I'm not happy to be skinny.

Awhile back, I wrote about a Eufora hair product I was going to try. It was the Eufora Thickening Scalp Treatment. I was wary of it because you're supposed to use it one or two times a DAY. I don't wash my hair that much and it seemed weird to put in unwashed hair. I didn't know if it would make it wet looking or hard. I also have been told that there are only two things that grow hair. I forget what they are but they are not things previously found in over the counter products.

Some of that stuff is over the counter now, like Rogaine, but you need a prescription to take something like Propecia. And I tend to think of that stuff as for men. I'm not sure what it does or could do to a woman but it isn't bad enough that I would go those routes first. I figured, let me try this and see what happens.

I also ended up buying the thickening shampoo as well. So armed with both, I had hope. They both felt good on my scalp, so if nothing else, that was a plus. They're not priced any higher than other salon formulas.

I found that I didn't need a lot of the shampoo. It's not a big bottle for around $29 but it lasted me three months. I wash my hair two or three times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but that's the average. Before you get all grossed out- I have very long hair and the ends get dry and split when I wash my hair too much. Ask any hairdresser worth their salt and they'll tell you not to wash your long, processed hair daily. So shut it. Don, my hairdresser, also told me that I don't need to wash the ends. The ends don't get dirty and they'll be fine with just the rinse through of the shampoo from my scalp/roots running down. I'm probably still using too much shampoo and it could last longer. He's obviously not trying to get me to overuse product so I buy more. So I trust him.

I used the products together for three months. I went to get my hair cut and colored the other day and asked Don if he saw a difference. He showed me the growth of the hairs. I thought I just had broken hair. It was the NEW growth. So while it's not like I became Teen Wolf, it's slowly but surely coming in. Which is fine- I don't need fast or even thick, because that's not my hair. I just want to feel like my scalp isn't visible.

I also want to add that I got colored last week too. Regular blond-ish highlights and pink/purple. Don used something from Eufora he didn't previously have and I totally feel like my hair is softer and less dry feeling.

There were some amazing before and after photos on the Eufora Facebook page with people who re-grew a whole bald patch back. A woman was able to get rid of a wig. I don't have any pics of me doing a Before & After because I just didn't think of it. Stupidly. But I did find the lady's photo I was just referencing. So see below. I feel like anyone with a thinning hair problem needs to know about this stuff. I get it at Salon Azano in Norwood. I like to support Don and his salon as much as I can. I have no idea what other salon might sell it.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Jewish Standard Readers Choice


The Jewish Standard is having their Readers Choice awards and we'd like to win! But we need your help so give us your vote!

Shades of Soho, Glen Rock in the Lighting category.

You only need to fill in 20+ categories if you want to be eligible for a prize. Otherwise you can just for one or all of your local favorites. It's always a nice boost for small businesses when we win. There are a lot of really diverse categories in this one- doctors, accountants, shopping, food, arts & entertainment, banking, you name it.

We appreciate your votes!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reality Spin

After a "heavy" post about E's health, even though it was good news, I'm just going to be frivolous today and do a reality TV musings thing today.

Let me start with the housewives. That would be OC and NYC. Monday and Tuesday are power-packed. I've given up trying to keep myself from the Dancing With The Stars spoiler of who got kicked off because I watch on the treadmill in the morning- never when it's on. Now that they're down to dancing and kicking off in one episode, I can't even try to watch before I read the news somewhere. So I'm just doing housewives Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

It's just that they're SO BORING. I hate to say it but I think all the old-school ones we loved, loved to hate, and just hated on have all jumped the shark. I think if they want to keep people interested, they need ALL new people! And I despise change. But they had surfing on the OC AND in NY! When you're resorting to major segments on surfing, you're telling us you're tapped out on interesting story. But I'll give some of my thoughts anyway.

NYC: I didn't get to watch all of this past Tuesday yet, but I watched enough. I watched Aviva go to crazy-town and tell Kristen to "Shut the Fcuk Up" in a KIDS activity place! Who DOES that? Look, I have a terrible mouth. I curse like a drunken sailor (do people still say that?!). But come on. I don't walk into The Little Gym and just drop F-bombs. There is a time and a place. And this was not it.

Aviva: I was a little interested in her when she first came on. But now, I'm way over her. She's psycho. I get that she had the accident and it affected her. She seems put together on the outside yet she's a mess on the inside. She can't do anything without her husband there and it's weird. Reid had to go find wifi in a barn because she couldn't go alone to meet that woman.

As far as "Book-Gate", whether Carole did or didn't have help was irrelevant. She didn't need to spread anything. She didn't KNOW anything as fact. If you don't know if something is true, you just keep it to yourself. It's ridiculous. Carole is a writer. Aviva is not a writer. At least for a living. That's Carole's actual job. Of course she's not going to like when someone makes it sound like it's as easy as swiping on some mascara. I've stayed home with my kid and now I work. I've done both. Both are hard. But Aviva does live a privileged life and she has a husband who basically holds her hand through every single step of her day, let alone her life. Carole does not. Let Carole have her writing and stop trying to tarnish her reputation. And please, with the "verbally raped". She plays the victim way too well and it's grating as hell. She really does have a sick temper that goes 0-60 in seconds. She's definitely scary because she can be super sweet and go nuts all in one sentence. I see we're going to be treated to her lecherous father sometime in a future episode. Goody.

Carole: She can be condescending. Okay. Her memoir was okay. I read it and I liked it. The beginning chapters about her early life- I found boring. But it gained momentum. I don't doubt she wrote it. She lost it when she grabbed Aviva's face. Totally in the wrong. I could see she was pushed to her breaking point. She should've just declined the invite to the party then though. She didn't need to go. It was a recipe for disaster and I assume that's why it happened. Bravo ain't stupid and we know the scenarios are staged. I've been at parties where they've filmed RHONJ- I've seen the staging first hand. As far as cast members go - she's interesting still. She's single so her dating is something to explore. Her writing, in a general sense, is interesting. As a career. She just needs to take her high horse down a peg or two. There is a difference in being confident, proud of your accomplishments and just being an ass. I feel like she acts that way to cover up her soft inside. Maybe she does have some doubts about never becoming a parent and it comes out when someone like Aviva tries to come off as having it all. I don't think she's jealous. Definitely not jealous of Aviva. But just has some lingering doubt or regret about some of her own choices.

Heather: I can't decide what I think of her. I find her two-faced. I like that she stands up for Carole. I mean, she got ridiculously "street" when she started throwing mother-f'er around at the Countess's Hamptons fete. I had to curl up in fetal and watch through my fingers, I was so embarrassed by her whole scene- body language, words, etc. She is like...faux-ghetto. I don't know how else to describe it. It seems like she has a good marriage though and my heart breaks for her son's health struggles. I want to like her, but then she says something ridiculous.

Kristen: I feel bad for her. She seems nice. But she didn't know what she was getting into with this husband. She's so pretty and it just goes to show that it doesn't matter how pretty you are- there is always going to be a guy who thinks it's okay to be a dick to you. She's insecure because her husband doesn't make her feel cherished. That's the perfect word. She wants to be cherished. She tells him. He just basically refuses. I don't see that marriage going well. So far she hasn't been two-faced. She's been trying to be honest and be cool with all the girls. Then Aviva went batshit on her. She should just walk away before it's too late!

Ramona: I'm over her pot-stirring and her trip to Africa. I don't care that her daughter is going to college. We're not going to see the cracks in her marriage on the show- as per what she said on WWHL with Andy. So what good is she? I never liked her though.

Sonja: She is fascinating. I find her annoying but I also am obsessed with her house of interns and how cheap she is. I get being frugal when you're having money problems like she is but she's using a Sharpie on Chanel bags. She has a house full of young kids, presumably getting some kind of college credit? for this? For stuffing her into "caburleque" wear? I'm interested, somewhat, in her divorce and money issues. And whether she's seriously getting with Aviva's ex-husband.

I have to include Harry Dubin. What is his story?? He isn't good looking. He doesn't seem all that interesting. Yet, he's banged everyone. With more on the horizon. It's so weird. There is also no rhyme or reason to who he picks to marry or sleep with. Aviva and Sonja couldn't BE more different. Yet he married and had a kid with Aviva and he's...hanging out...with Sonja now. Hmm. Harry Dubin. I can't even, with the name Harry. He really must be some kind of rockstar in the sack? Or he's loaded? I don't know.

Edit: I watched the rest of this week's show. Oh. My. God. I should've waited to write this till now. Whatever. I'm not sure who is the most batshit crazy! Aviva, Ramona & Sonja are all TIED. Sonja must have some kind of drinking problem. She was out of control. As was Ramona! Sonja is a comedian? For 20 years? What now? How did she amass her fortune? Not by being a comedian. Or selling toasters. She married a wealthy man. She didn't get a big settlement but she lived a certain lifestyle and she must have gotten assets she was able to sell. A normal person probably could've lived off what she had or has. Kudos for always hustling but she sounded like a nut.

And Ramona. She can't remember what she said two seconds prior. She called Heather a hypocrite in one breath and then said she didn't. Come again? And she's going to get socked in the mouth the way she keeps putting her hands on people. I was actually surprised at her restraint with Sonja though. Sonja threw DOWN and Ramona kept her cool. ONLY with Sonja but I thought she was going to go nuts. I'm not even going to discuss the convo with Kristen because both Ramona and Aviva have just been straight up assholes to her. Lastly, Aviva pulling that book out and kissing Carole's behind makes her seem even more manic than she already has come off. Just. Wow.

On to the OC....

It's so over. Heather looks to be the targeted villain this season. She's so prissy and boring. I don't care about her ginormous homes. She always talks about what we do and don't do on the East Coast. Yet, I don't know anyone that uptight here. Certainly not in the land of Jersey Shore and Teresa of table flipping notoriety. Add in Jerseylicious and whatever other sad reality shows we have going on here. There is no way I'd call Jersey the land of high etiquette. And judging from the NYC housewives, I don't see an abundance of class going on there either. Mother-f'er. I just don't know why she wants to come off that way. Sure they edit, but you are who you are. She has to want to be that character in some way. And, so pompous. I liked him at first but now, I just think he comes off so stereotypical Jewish plastic surgeon. It's bad. Bad for the Jews. Like we're not hated enough.

Tamra: I feel for her with her Simon mess. But really, trying to force Eddie to have a kid because you don't have yours full-time?? Hello, trainwreck. Eddie doesn't even seem to like kids, let alone want to have one, at however old he is and with you in your 40's. With four kids already. You had your kids. You have your hot younger man. It may be sad and it may suck sometimes, but the silver lining of Simon having the kids sometimes is that you can really make this the marriage you want it to be. You can pay attention to each other, your new business, and yourself! You're bored or lonely without the kids? Take a class. Get a hobby. Work on your business. Have sex with your seemingly gay husband. You don't just throw in a baby like it's a new Louis Vuitton. IT'S A BABY. A PERSON. Heather was actually CORRECT that it's a huge life decision. Tamra- don't take advice from Shannon who looks on the brink of divorce. She says to have a baby because her head is up her ass about her own relationship. Or she wants you to be as miserable as she is. We don't know enough about her yet besides the Feng Shui of her bejeweled mouth. Who does she think she is- Madonna with her grill??

Vicki: same old, same old. Her daughter needs to go and see what real life in Oklahoma is like without mommy picking up your slack. Brooks again? Why can't she quit him. I'm sure she could visit NYC and have Harry Dubin take her for a spin. Although, he's probably a Jew and that would sacrilegious to her probably. The ignorance too- ugh. When she asked Heather if tarot cards are against the Bible? What? If you're that Christian then I think you should know the answer to such questions. If you don't know, then just go with the flow and have fun. I'm pretty sure they weren't courting the devil. Into Shannon's oh-so-green environment....

Speaking of Shannon. Oy. What to say. Like Kristen in NYC, she obviously came on as "the one with a troubled marriage" story. Totally not on the same page as her husband. In reality land, that just spell trouble. Again with a husband that comes off as just not cherishing her. She may be annoying, and a hypocrite (with all her green/not-so-green stuff) but you can see- she's hurting. She wants her husband to make her feel special and he's just not doing it. No good. All I could do while Heather swooned over Shannon's décor was look around at the lighting and want to re-do it better. And all that wood paneling....

I miss Lydia's mom at this point. And Gretchen. I thought it was a real dick move of Andy to let them talk trash about Gretchen without her being there to defend herself. There was no natural ending for her either- she was just gone. At least she was fun. Funny, trashy, over the top, self-centered. She was great. And Slade was her grotesque side-kick. They made good TV. I'm glad Lydia is gone. There isn't enough space for me to type all that disliked about her. I'd like to see a cage-match between a high Lydia's mom and Psycho Ryan (Brianna's husband).

Lastly- we have True Tori. Oh Tori. What are you DOING? This show is going to live on forever on the Internet. Your kids are already having a hard time. I know you're a mess right now but this isn't the way to do it. I'll give it to you- this was the only way you were getting me to watch a show with you and that husband. And I did watch. But it was just...not good!

The kids are being exposed during their difficult time. It's opening THEM up to being judged too by stupid people on the Internet. They post vile things as if the kids aren't real people, but characters in a TV drama. The same way they post about her weight, her complexion, her general appearance. Her kids aren't untouchable with that!

And face it, many people were just waiting for this. Society doesn't take kindly to adultery. They've been judging this marriage since they both cheated on their spouses and basically shouted "SUCK IT! WE'RE SOULMATES!" to the world. He cheated while in the MIDDLE OF AN ADOPTION! She didn't have kids but it was all very public. They really made no apologies either. It was like sorrynotsorry people got hurt! But we're happy! That's all that matters! I'm thinking many a cheated on woman was just praying this would happen with Tori & Dean.

She said she needed to put HER story out there because it was going to be told anyway. There ARE stars that are able to keep their personal life somewhat private. It CAN be done. How many times have we heard about stars tipping off the paparazzi for press? We don't hear much about Jessica Alba's marriage. Even Jessica Simpson. There was talk in the beginning when she got with that guy- I don't even know his name. But no one knows what's going on with them. She courts the press.

The show itself...she seemed like she was letting it all hang out. The best/most "real" part had to be in the fabric store with her friends. When no one wanted to bend down lest the paparazzi get shots of their asses. I could totally see that being my friends and I. The worst/saddest was when Tori stopped to put on make-up/lipstick before visiting Dean in the rehab. When she said- "he's still my husband and I want to look good. Don't judge me". I think we've all been there. Cheated on and feeling like somehow we should've looked better. That maybe it wouldn't have happened if only we wore lipstick more often. But the rest...the rest was no one's business. I'm creeped out by Dean's Sasha Fierce alter ego ("Deano"- what the F?).

I found myself hating Dean. I've never seen him in ANYTHING. I know he's supposedly an actor but I haven't seen anything he's been in. And I follow pop culture. Of stuff I'm actually interested in. I guess he doesn't make TV or movies I want to watch. Neither does Angelina Jolie but I know she's an actual movie star. So he's just some schmucky guy who hooked up with Tori Spelling- he probably thought she was worth millions. Then he found out she wasn't. But she was banging him all the time, had his kids, and he was working steadily in these kitchy reality shows, not having to strain himself too much. She's writing books, making children's clothes or whatever else she does. He got himself a real worker bee. Seeing him on this show, acting like he has the right to ask to come home, for her to tell him he'll be allowed to come home, to ask to hug her...I just wanted her to kick him in the nuts. And I'm not usually that juvenile but seriously? He's a real douche.

It's going to take him YEARS of intensive therapy to work through his issues. His alter ego madness. No, Tori, you didn't sign up to raise four kids alone but you've said in your books you never fully trusted him. No one made you have four kids. There are people who are single moms of four kids or more, with much less and slim opportunities that just figure it out. She at least has the means to get some help with childcare. I wanted to shake her and ask what she thinks she's teaching her girls to accept that kind of treatment.

It's a sad situation for sure but if I had to rank people I feel awful for in this world, she's just not at the top of the list. Not because she's a star, does or doesn't have money, etc- but for how she's going about the whole thing. Her angle, her motivations, her's all in question and murky.

So I'll keep watching. Tori, the housewives, all of it. The housewives don't make me feel icky though. There are so many of them on each show, it's like no one's serious stuff is really super-highlighted like it is with Tori. The whole premise of Tori's show is the downfall of her marriage and what will or won't happen next. It's like spying on your neighbors. The housewives are more...fluffy. Embarrassing in a different way but you don't get to the end and feel bad. Just dumb. With Tori, you feel kind of sad and dirty. It's not a nice feeling.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Day We Got Our Kid Back

E's Story- Part III (Hopefully the END of this saga)

 I haven't been able to write much since Passover started because E has been out of school. ....And still is not back in school yet. Tomorrow....

BUT, I have fantastic news and I want to share.

We got our son back. No, he wasn't physically missing. But he lost his "mojo". He got it back. On Easter Sunday. Kind of funny seeing as if we were celebrating Easter in a traditional sense, like with egg hunts and big dinners we wouldn't have known he got his mojo back. But since we chose to spend our day at a "spring carnival" with RIDES we were able to get our miracle.

Every year since E was like two years old, he LOVED rides. Rides he wasn't even really supposed to go on but that his tall hair and fat-soled Gymboree sandals helped him achieve the height requirements. He loved the dragon roller coaster the best. The summer he was three, he must have gone on it twenty times in a row. Last year, we missed a lot of the local carnivals somehow in April and May. In June, he was having his tonsils & adenoid surgery so we missed the Glen Rock carnival because he wasn't really allowed out of the house. We'd gone to the DARE carnival in the parking lot of Garden State Plaza every year but they didn't do it last July at all. So we hadn't seen him in action on any rides prior to surgery. And there was so had to cram in before being quarantined in the house for ten days, carnivals just weren't a priority. His doctor was being extremely conservative with E's recovery instructions because he was starting camp on the eleventh day of a ten day recovery.

Surgery and recovery went off without a hitch and we were just thrilled that the 2-pack a day smoker's cough was gone. We didn't think there were any other problems...

*Just an FYI- usually doctors say if you make it to ten days without a bleed, you're good to go. Healed. But a bleed is very dangerous and requires a trip to the emergency room, stat.

He still seemed like he had some seasonal allergies so we were just giving him 24-hour Zyrtec and it seemed to work. He'd sniffle a lot but nothing was coming out. But THE COUGH WAS GONE and we were still basking in the glow of that.

E goes to camp full time. That's eight weeks, five days a week, out of the house about nine hours a day. So we weren't doing anything during the weeknights. We started going down the shore on Sundays, which is over an hour in the car. Depending on traffic, sometimes two hours. E started complaining his stomach hurt. But it was only in the car. We thought.

Somehow we ended up at the Renaissance Fair one Sunday for the first time. We put him on a very basic back and forth swinging log ride thing. He FLIPPED out. Said his stomach "feels crazy". We had to have the operator stop the ride. We were stymied because this was a kid who freely and with reckless abandon and joy went on roller coasters. Without issue. Next was a merry-go-round kind of ride at a child's birthday party. Made them stop it. Next was the regular swing at the playground. We were so puzzled. And a little worried. But summer ended, the rides and long drives stopped. And we had a new problem. The whole tic situation.

See: for the whole tic situation story. Happy to report, now, the tics are 100% GONE. No thanks to that OT.

Once the tic thing was resolved, we had to figure out what this belly thing was, why the motion sickness or whatever, and what to do about it. On our own. Not paying $150 a week to a therapist who is guessing. We made plans to go to Hershey Park in June with three other "only" parents from school. It will be the first time ever for all of us. But we needed to get this handled before we end up at an amusement park where he wouldn't be able to go on any rides with us or his friends. And really, he couldn't even swing on a park swing. It was a problem that HAD to be solved.

Enter Easter Sunday and by chance seeing an ad for the Spring Carnival at New Overpeck Park. I'd never seen a carnival on Easter Sunday but since we're Jews, we'll take it! Perfect time to push through whatever is going on. B was admittedly nervous and thought it was a bad idea. But I just ignored that. We went. It was small but just big enough. A Ferris wheel, giant slide (where you sit on those burlap things and catch air on your way down), the twirling strawberries, a dragon ride that goes round and round and up/down, a kid bus, and....the Tilt-A-Whirl.

E approached the Ferris wheel with trepidation. It was going to be our first ride of the day. We all got on and he was visibly nervous. It started going and he relaxed. As it kept going he just got into it. Said his belly was ok. Just "a little crazy". But you could just see the change in confidence when he got off. He immediately ran to the strawberry ride. That would be really telling because those giant strawberries spin. He went on with B and rocked it. Loved every minute. Did the rest of the kid rides, passed with flying colors, and then, asked B to go on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

I'm sure you can look that ride up but it's no joke. It's FAST and each chair spins FAST. E was in HEAVEN. B not-so-much. E asked him to go on two more times and time number three, B hurled. But he rallied. He was taking one for the team. Because THIS, the ride/belly thing, was SUCH a hurdle. A year's hurdle. E just wasn't himself in this respect. He lost his awesome confidence, and worse, I think the new fear was making him physically sick.

We stayed at that carnival from one-thirty until FIVE o'clock. We could've stayed longer but we were cold and starving. Well, B and I were.

There was no better feeling that watching E just do his thing like he used to be able to do, and LOVING it.

So to recap- the cough? GONE. The tics? GONE. The motion sickness? GONE. We don't know what exactly caused the motion issues. It could've been a combination of his equilibrium being off from the infection that caused the tics, the nasal drip that was going down his throat, combined with the fear of getting motion sick from when it was real. I don't know, but I don't care.

We have our boy back. It was the best Easter miracle we could ask for.

**From the beginning:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lancome Star

I usually don't buy make-up from a counter in a department store. Make-up is not really my thing. The regular drugstore brands usually suffice. Except for a few select items. I use Lancôme liquid eye liner, powder blush, the pencil eye liner when I don't feel like using liquid and I love their face and eye crèmes. They're on the pricier side but I don't really need to purchase that often so I can justify it. I've also tried other liquid eyeliners, other blush, and other pencils and they're just not the same. Some things you just need to go to the counter for!

I only go to Bloomingdale's to buy my Lancôme stuff and that's because of Suzanne Zisfein. She's my consultant there. I know if I go there, I should expect to be there awhile, but that's because she's fun. She is always smiling, always ready to help, and has a good story.

I tend not to buy from counters because I always feel like I'm getting the hard sell. I don't like that. I'm in sales, I know sales, I own a small business that depends on sales. But no one wants to feel like they're just a dollar sign to the person behind the counter. That's why I love my hairdresser. He understands my budget and he doesn't push items on me that I don't need. Same with Suzanne. She'll show me what's there or what's new, let me know about a gift promotion, and remind me to do pre-sale, but she doesn't push product on me that she knows I don't need, don't want, and/or can't afford.

You also want to buy make-up from someone who looks good themselves. She always has her make-up done impeccably, her skin is really pretty, and she always looks put together. It makes you feel good doing your purchase there. Like she knows what she's talking about. She talked me out of one crème that was wasn't really for me and found me one that was definitely more suited to my skin type.

It's hard to find sales people you trust, especially when it comes to women's vanity. I highly recommend going to see Suzanne for all your Lancôme make-up needs. Whether you buy a boatload of make-up and skincare products or not, you're going to enjoy your experience! Even my five year old son asks to go see her when we go to The Shops at Riverside (or Riverside Square for us old-timers).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bergen Health & Life

It's VOTING TIME again! This time for Bergen Health & Life.

We REALLY want to win. It helps us a lot when we do.

There is no Home Décor category so just fill out Shades of Soho, Glen Rock in any spot under the "Home" (3rd) section and put it in the "other" category. Also, fill us in under that section in the spot "for any company you love that doesn't fit a category" and just put "Lighting" next to our name as the category. THANKS!!

And PLEASE share!!

Support small local business! Vote for us and all your other favorites!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seminars on Heroin

This is an important message from the Upper Saddle River Police:

It is no secret that opiate addiction and overdose deaths have become all too common these days.... Nobody is immune from this growing trend, and the opiate/heroin addiction problem crosses all socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. Based on my professional experience, I would say that truly, there is no community in New Jersey and other parts of our Country that are not affected by this and other drug issues. The numbers speak for themselves. Fatal drug overdoses have more than doubled, nationwide, from 2000 to 2010, with heroin-related deaths, in particular, increasing by more than 60%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Jersey, fatal drug overdoses in Ocean County have doubled between 2012 and 2013, from 53 to 112 deaths. 

The problem of opiate abuse has become so bad over the last couple of years that the Upper Saddle River Police Department, as well as others in the law enforcement and substance abuse communities, feel that it has reached an epidemic level. There is probably not a day that goes by that you open a newspaper or turn on the television to read or hear something about prescription painkiller abuse, heroin use or, other dangerous designer drugs, such as ecstasy. You will find that these news articles cover all aspects of opiate addiction, including the arrest of users and sellers, stories of families trying to help loved ones overcome opiate addiction, and even worse, stories of those who have died from a drug overdose.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office recently conducted a Public Awareness Ad Campaign in an effort to make Bergen County residents more aware of both the heroin epidemic and also the consequences of those who distribute/manufacture narcotics, which subsequently cause an overdose death. These messages inform the general public that Prosecutors are taking an aggressive stance to help curb the fatal drug overdoses in Bergen County communities. The use of the "Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death" law allows Prosecutors to pursue first-degree homicide charges against those persons involved in the distribution or manufacturing of narcotics that ultimately, cause the death of another. Copies of these messages have been posted on the Police Department Facebook page.

Over the course of the last few years, the Upper Saddle River Police Department has held a number of seminars for parents regarding drug and alcohol use within our Community. It has been our objective to make parents more aware of the drug trends being seen in our area. Furthermore, it is important for parents to know what to look for, as well as the signs and symptoms of someone who potentially is using drugs. Parents who attended the last couple of seminars were provided packets containing information about different drugs. These packets also contained photographs and pictures of the drugs and how they are packaged. 

Residents should not think for one minute that Upper Saddle River does not have drug problems similar to those that you read or hear about occurring in other communities. Over the last 12 months, Upper Saddle River Officers have arrested individuals, either living in or passing through our Community, for possession of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMAs, (aka Ecstasy and Molly), prescription pain killers, steroids, and methamphetamines.

In an effort to combat this epidemic, Law Enforcements Agencies, Drug Alliance Organizations, School Districts, Drug Treatment Centers, and even recovering addicts are working together to educate, prevent, and hopefully, stop the use of these very dangerous and highly addictive substances.
To assist our residents in learning more about the Heroin Epidemic in Bergen County, I would like to make you aware of the following presentations, which are coming to our area.

Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 7pm
“The Faces of Addiction A Family Portrait”- Hills Valley Coalition

Where: Pascack Valley High School, 200 Piermont Ave., Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Presenter: David Sheff, the New York Times author of Beautiful Boy
Resource tables open at 6pm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 7pm
"The Perfect Storm"- Battling the Prescription Drug & Heroin Epidemic

Where: Northern Highlands High School, 298 Hillside Ave., Allendale, NJ 07401
Presenter: Doug Collier (former DEA agent)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:30 pm
“The New Dangers of Heroin”

Where: Midland Park High School, 250 Prospect St., Midland Park, NJ 07432
Presenters: Bergen County Drug Task Force and Prosecutor’s Office

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gift Me

Isn't is great when you need something and can just easily fill that need? To me, who has little time to mess around, it's the best feeling in the world. Knowing I don't even need a car to get what I want. What am I talking about? Shopping, of course.

But I didn't do it online. I did it in a brick & mortar store. It was quick, painless, and exactly what I was looking for. Imagine that.

I realized I needed a birthday gift for a treasured friend who is like family. I wanted something unique, within my budget, and pretty. This person is a has-everything-doesn't-really-need-anything-but-loves-pretty-things kind of woman. I didn't have any idea of exactly what I was looking for- I just really needed to browse and let it hit me. It was finally a nice day so I got to work, put my stuff down, and took a walk to Verdi Blu on Rock Road in Glen Rock.

I'd been in there previously, but really just to look around. Since I wasn't in the market to purchase anything at the time, I didn't REALLY look. Just superficially walked around, checked some prices and left. Today I really examined because I was trying to find the perfect item(s).

And I did find them!

Lori immediately greeted me when I walked in, asked if I needed help, and was very friendly. I didn't need help, I told her, and she was cool. She totally backed off. No hard sell. I was able to just roam around, pick things up, and get my bearings. They have a lot of really great stuff for all price points. And stuff I didn't know existed- like one of the items I ended up buying. It's a pad with a full item checklist of anything you could possibly need if you're going away on a trip. I don't go anywhere now. But I used to travel for work. And even when I did travel for pleasure, I'd inevitably forget something. Something important like my toothbrush, hair products, shoes, you name it. This list is organized by category, leaves nothing out, and would've been great for me any time I went away. The person I bought it for travels a decent amount and is going away again sometime soon. So it was the perfect personal small add-on kind of gift.

They also sell really pretty light spring/summer scarves in various colors. The prices are very reasonable and the quality is nice too. I don't really wear scarves because it just doesn't work with my generally unshowered, roll out of bed kind of look that I exhibit on the daily, but in my mind, I'd be a scarf girl if I had better time management. The woman I bought one for is totally put together looking and looks great in scarves. And Verdi Blu also just had her color. It made for a very easy purchase.

There was also a lot of very interesting jewelry, some clothing, some housewares, knick-knacks, handbags, books, and more. It's a very eclectic mix so that there is something for everyone. I don't think anyone, including teens, would be priced out of getting something- especially for Mothers Day. What I liked is that it looks high-end in there but there is a real range of styles and prices. No hard set demographic.

I was done shopping in maybe ten minutes? Everything was easily accessible to see and touch. I can make a quick decision and this was no different. I know what I like. It's really great to have them in the downtown. I'm usually at work down the street from them and it was so nice not to have to drive into Ridgewood just to get a terrific gift that wasn't just grabbing something because it's there and I was out of time.

Good luck to you Verdi Blu! Hope you stick around a long time.

Verdi Blue
227 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452
(201) 857-4330

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

G.L.A.M. Pledge

Great Cause!

For Just $5 You can Provide a Young Woman in Need with Everything She Needs to Feel Confident, Beautiful and Proud at her Senior Prom! Grant a Lasting Amazing Memory Today!