Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Whether you're celebrating Eid, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwaanza, or Festivus for the Rest of Us this holiday season, here's to wishing you all have a good one. We've been busy having our family over and the kids have been having loads of fun with their cousins. It's so cute to watch them play with each other. The girls have all been up in the twins' room playing dress up, while the boys have been having a non-stop Wii playing marathon. This Wii thing is amazing, I get to play too when the kids take a break from it. You may not know this, but I used to be quite the Nintendo expert when I was younger. I played so much Nintendo, I could solve Mario and Legend of Zelda blindfolded. (Yes, I had no life outside of school.) But now, everything is super advanced and I'm finding it much harder to get through the Mario game on the Wii. My five year old can figure it out better than I can. The husband, meanwhile, has a preference for the Sony Playstation, and has been playing some game called Assasin's Creed downstairs in the basement with his brother. I can't even begin to understand the Playstation, and judging by the amount of gore in the game, I don't really want to right now, but it's fun to watch him play. The graphics are so real, it's like watching a movie unfold before your very eyes, with you in the director's seat. Suffice it to say, our holiday weekend so far has been full of gaming. Tomorrow, when the malls open, we'll try to get out of the house a little more.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! And don't forget to check out this video greeting by Jib Jab highlighting the biggest headlines in pop culture for 2007.

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Testing.....Testing....I'm still here...

No, I didn't run away (yet), I'm still here. Sorry it's been so long since I last updated. I think you all probably guessed I've been extra busy with the kids. It's really hard managing them at this age because they're old enough to voice their opinions and fight with each other, but not old enough to go to school for a full-day. I actually did start a search over the summer for a part-time babysitter to help me out a few times a week, but I stopped after I realized everyone was charging the same exorbitant rate: $25 an hour to watch three potty-trained, self-feeding toddlers. Umm yeah, that's so not gonna happen. I'd rather put on a Disney movie on the tv and go hide in my closet for a while to get some "me-time" than pay someone $25 an hour to watch them. [In fact, that's what I'm doing right now ;)] I went through pre-screened, reputable nanny agencies to save myself the trouble of doing the background checks myself, so I'm wondering if that's why the rates were so high. I didn't expect to pay more than $10 an hour, because after all, the job I need the sitter to do only entails watching a movie with the kids, playing with them, serving them dinner, and making sure they brush their teeth and go to the bathroom before tucking them into bed. I don't believe it should cost more than $10 to do that, and if it does... hey, I should start working as a babysitter myself and start making some money. What's a few more kids, if I'm getting paid money like that to watch them?

My friends keep telling me to put up an ad in the local high school for a babysitter, so I'm going to check there next. I just have to get over my trepidation about hiring a high schooler to watch my kids. My parents did that when we were young, and the babysitter ended up having a schnapps party with her friends after my parents left. Even her boyfriend came over. My parents were so furious when they found out, they refused to leave us alone with a sitter until I turned 15, when I became the official babysitter for my little brother and sister. I think they gave me $5 for the whole time they were out for the night, child labor was cheap back then.

Other than that, we had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving. My parents are touring the world these days and were out of town, so we ended up going to Philly to show the kids historical landmarks and such. They didn't really care about Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell, but they sure did enjoy the Please Touch Museum. The museum was hands down their favorite part of the whole trip, I don't know why we wasted our time at the other stops. For once, they could touch everything, and it felt good not to have to tell them "No... don't touch" or "You can't......" Plus, there's a pizza place that serves authentic Philly cheesesteaks right across the street when it's time for lunch, so it was an ideal place to take the family.

I want to write more, but my time is running out, I hear a fight breaking out downstairs, but before I go, I have to tell you I met THE Clinton Kelly, of "What Not to Wear" at Macy's. I didn't get to speak to him or ask him my fashion disaster question, mainly because I looked like a totally grungy "Before" when I went to the mall that day, but I did get to hear him speak. The focus of his workshop was style tips for Petites and Moms, both of which applied to me, I'll let you know more about it in my next post.

Hope ya'll had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

When Bed Hoppers Attack

To say I'm exhausted and tired of being a mom would be an understatement. I'm so tired of this 24/7-thankless-cleaning-mess-all-day job, I wish I could run away for a few days like Ashley Judd did in the "Ya Ya Sisterhood" movie and sleep in a hotel with no phone, no computer, no communication with the outside world. There is just always something to clean around here. Always. And I want to get away from it.

Yesterday, I did eight loads of laundry and washed the waterproof mattress pads and bedsheets for every bed in the house except the guest room bed. All because my youngest, who I now call The Bed Hopper, came into my room at 4 am and peed all over my bed. Under normal circumstances, this would not have warranted washing four beds, but of course, everything that happens to me seems to happen exponentially. In her attempt to find a drier place to sleep, she wound up leaving pee stains on every bed in the house, I think she even peed on her brother because he woke me up in the morning wondering why his clothes felt damp when he swears he didn't have an accident. The Bed Hopper didn't try to hide it at all, in fact, she confessed first thing in the morning saying, "Accidents happen. Can you give me a bubble bath?" I ended up having to give all three of them a bath because everyone had been tainted by The Bed Hopper's pee.

It took me all day to wash and change the beds, in addition to doing all the other laundry I had been procrastinating. I got done around 10 pm last night, watched Fantastic Four on DVD (the highlight of my day), and went to bed only to wake up to another round of chaos. It just doesn't end. Most of this morning was spent arguing with the kids about why they can't wear summer clothes to school anymore (because it's freezing outside, that's why!), dressing them, trying to make them eat at least a graham cracker before going to their 2-hour schools, and trying to find my damn cell phone. I didn't even notice my cell phone was missing until I got in the car to take the kids to school. I was so furious, we were already running late and now this. But I had to find my phone because I never drive without it. I finally found it under my bed after calling it five times and playing Follow the Ringtone around the house. Thank goodness the phone was switched to "ON" when it was lost.

Today, I'm just tired. I wanted to come here and write about something a little less whiney, but I just couldn't muster anything else. I hate that the kids don't nap anymore, and when I ask them to do something, like clean up the mess they just made, they act like they didn't even hear me. I could be yelling at them with a megaphone and they still wouldn't hear me. I have to repeat myself over and over again just to be heard. I'm trying hard to keep it together and "enjoy this time" like all the older mothers I run in to keep telling me, but I'm finding it hard to do when most of my day is spent cleaning up after them. One mess after another. The only reason I'm even enjoying this blissful moment to complain is because I'm letting the twins TP (toilet paper) the family room. And spread goldfish crackers all over the carpet. It's worth it though, because I figure vacuuming crackers and picking up tp shreds is a piece of cake compared to doing a mountain of laundry.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Would You Like Astroglide With That?

It's amazing how much useless, but interesting, trivia I've acquired by reading old magazines in the bathroom. My most recent find is discovering that the concoction known as Cool Whip, one of my favorite dessert toppings since childhood, is actually just one step up from eating condom lube. Gross, and here all this time I thought it was a version of real whipped cream. I've even eaten it on it's own right out of the box with a big spoon!

According to the article in the April 2007 issue of Wired magazine (yeah, the magazine's been sitting in the bathroom that long!) Cool Whip is nothing but air, water, and sugar, rolled in with wax (yummy!), and a lubricant called Polysorbate 60, better known as a sexual lubricant and a key ingredient in Astroglide.

What else is in there besides this? Here's a list of the main ingredients in Cool Whip, as detailed in the article:


Natural and Artificial Flavorings (more artificial than natural, I'm guessing)

Corn Syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (refined sugars guaranteed to make you fat)

Hydrogenated Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil (trans fats, not good for you)

Polysorbate 60 (hello astroglide)

Sodium Caseinate (a milk protein found in non-dairy creamers, not real cream)

Sorbitan Monostearate (sometimes used as a hemorrhoid cream)

Xanthan and Guar Gums (to keep it fluffy, like it was just whipped fresh when it really wasn't)

Umm, yeah. Aside from the water, not one ingredient on this list is something I'd like to consume on it's own, especially the hemorrhoid cream part. Ewww. I kind of regret having this newfound knowledge of Cool Whip, ignorance was bliss. Now that I know what it can double for, I'm going to have second thoughts before I ever make that "Pudding in a Cloud" recipe again. I think I'll just stick with Reddi Wip from now on. Even though Reddi Wip comes out of an aerosol can, at least it's made out of real cream.

photo credit: Thomas Hannich, Wired Magazine

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Rant about Abercrombie and Fitch

If there's one store I absolutely loathe at the mall, it's hands down Abercrombie and Fitch. What is up with this crazy store? The one in my mall has all the faux windows boarded up and darkened from all sides, and plays music so loud you'd think there was a night club in there. What irks me the most is the pictures of all the nekkid teenage boys wearing unbuttoned shirts (or no shirts at all) exposing their hairless chests. That just seems inappropriate on so many levels. And don't even get me started on those low-rise jeans the models barely wear, jeans hung so low, they looks like they're about to fall off. Can this store scream "gay teen pron" any louder?

I know alot of teens think this store, and it's bastard son Hollister, are the shiznit, but I for one think the clothes at A+F suck. Point blank, the jeans look like they've been shot at with a rifle and all the shirts are frayed and worn looking. The price they charge for these rags is ridiculous too. I mean, who in their right mind thinks a pair of jeans that look like this are worth $80 bucks? I could get two pairs of jeans for this price that are far better looking at American Eagle.


So I finally found out what that smell is inside the stores. I walked up to a humor tee-wearing cargo pant-clad coed at the store this weekend and just asked him, "Excuse me, what is this smell in the store?"

"It's fierce." he replied.

I didn't know whether this was an adjective or a noun. Fierce?

Afraid of appearing not in the know, I used a little tact and asked, "How can I make my house smell like this?"

He still looked at me a little weird, but pointed me to the right direction. Fierce, I discovered, is the name of their cologne for the hardcore A+F man. The sales pitch for it goes like this:

"FIERCE's scent is an immediate attention getter and rightly so. Its fresh citrus aroma is the first aspect she'll notice because of its clean, poised attitude. However, it's FIERCE's warm musky subtleness that will naturally draw her curiosity because of its seductive nature."

Seductive? Yeah, right. It makes me wanna hurl.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Budda Call

This is a video you just have to hear. Priceless.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Drama at the Bus Stop

Sometimes you don't need to go looking for drama. Sometimes, it comes straight to you, at about 30 mph in a blue Mercedes. Yup, it's time to talk about my freaky neighbor again, Mrs. Gellar.

Get this, it was 80 degrees outside and humid when I was waiting at the bus stop this morning with my kids, Ross, Ross's nanny, and a few other moms and children from the neighborhood. I had dressed my son in just a t-shirt and jeans, appropriate clothing for weather like this. Most of the other children were wearing similar clothing, but not Ross. Poor guy was wearing a t-shirt, a sweater vest, and another long sleeved t-shirt over the sweater vest, with corduroy pants. Alot of clothes for a day that was only going to get hotter, don't you think?

Before I go on, to make a long story short, I got to know Ross and his nanny really well over the summer. I found out that the poor old lady is working as a live-in nanny to avoid being a burden to her children, and Ross is actually a pretty nice kid. We, meaning me and the nanny, often have playdates in my backyard when Mrs. Gellar is at work. Secretive, yes, but it's all good, and the kids have become great friends.

Anyway, I asked the nanny why Ross was wearing so many layers, isn't he going to get overheated?

She told me that his mother demands he wear all these layers to school everyday, because she's always cold herself. (I think my new nickname for Mrs. Gellar is going to be "Ice Queen" from now on.) The nanny said that she's actually thankful that the Ice Queen allows her to dress Ross in layers, because Ross can take the layers off once he gets to school. But he has to put them all on before he gets on the bus to go home, because if his mother happens to be home and catches him without his layers, he's toast and the nanny gets an earful.

Anyway, next thing you know Ice Queen is speeding down the road towards the bus stop in her blue Mercedes. The nanny sighs and says, "Oh, no!"

Ice Queen pulls up to the curb and yells to Ross, "Ross, get over here! NOW!!!"

The nanny replies, "Madam, I put his spring jacket in his backpack because..."

"You stay out of this!" the Ice Queen shouted, as Ross started walking towards the car. Make that running towards the car.

Ice Queen opened the door, and then THREW a winter coat at him!

"Wear it!" she screamed, and then sped off around the corner.

I couldn't believe what I had just seen. All the other mothers couldn't believe it either. The nanny shook her head and said, "This is what I have to put up with everyday, she's just temperamental." I think the word 'temperamental' was a little too kind. I believe the term 'fucking nuts' would be a little more accurate.

The other moms and I asked Ross if he was okay, and he said, "Yes, my mom just wanted to give me my jacket," after which the nanny ushered him to keep the jacket on until he got on the bus, because the Ice Queen was known to take a drive around the block and come back to check if he was still wearing it. This was obviously not the first time she had done this, as I learned from the other moms, but since I'm a newbie to the neighborhood bus stop scene, it was new to me.

Lucky for Ross, the bus arrived before Ice Queen did, and he got on with my son and the other children to the safety of school. As I walked back home with the nanny, I lent her an ear while she told me about how hard it is to be a nanny at her age, but she has no choice. She wants to be independent in her old age and doesn't want to have to live with her kids, or in a nursing home. But, she gets paid well to take the abuse, so she's dealing with it.

Cut to..... the screeching sound of a car behind the corner. Ice Queen was back! The nanny scurried home to face the music while I went back into the house with the twins. I was running as if I was the one in trouble, but it was actually the poor old nanny. All for trying to keep her little charge from overheating in the humidity.

I know no mother is perfect and we've all wigged out on our kids at some point (or several times a week) but in public, at the bus stop, where the entire neighborhood is watching? All because you wanted your kid to wear a winter coat in 80 degree weather? I don't even think PMS could justify that.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So Hot for Fall, the Bebe Trench

I saw this trench over at Bebe a few weeks ago, and regret not purchasing it when I had the chance. They were having a special sale on it for $98, but as usual, I spent too much time contemplating the purchase and missed out on the deal. The main reason I was ambivalent about getting this was because I didn't think I would wear it much, or it would be too hard to maintain. I mean, my everyday clothes are more of the "machine washable" variety like jeans and t-shirts. Where exactly would I go wearing a trench and jeans outfit like this? A playdate? The park? Uh, no. That's not exactly how I roll.

But it's so cute, and of course, now I can think of nothing else but owning this. This will always come in handy to wear on those days I need to look a little more polished but have no idea what to wear. It's such a simple outfit to put together, and I like how it looks both dressy and casual at the same time.

The trenches at Bebe comes in several varieties, such as pleated, double-breasted, etc.. but I personally like this style shown here, because it's single-breasted. If you're top heavy like me, stick with the single breasted trenches like this, they're more slimming and minimize your bozangas. This Belted Trench, and others like it, are currently available at Bebe for $129.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I have seen the Anti-Christ and his name is Muno!

My kids are crazy for this new show Yo Gabba Gabba, and I've gotta admit, I really like it too. The music is hip and my kids love dancing along to the songs. At times, the show reminds me slightly of a Hampshire College rave from the 90's, but I won't tell my kids that just yet.

However, there is one character on this show I find particularly creepy: the red cyclops named Muno. Why? Because I believe he is a symbol of the occult.

Just look at him. Doesn't he just scream "OMEN"? He's red, like the devil, and he's got one eye in the middle of his forehead, just like the "dajjal"/anti-christ is theoretically supposed to have. And then there's the name of this character itself, "Muno". Did you know Muno is a city in Belgium notorious for the Castle of Darkness, where demonic rituals against children are reported to have taken place? (Google it for yourself, if you want to get freaked out.) Seriously, I didn't even know about this whole Castle of Darkness shit until I googled the words "Muno is the anti-christ", and well....what do ya know, Castle of Darkness and devil worship links appeared, further confirming my suspicion that this freaky red cyclops is indeed the anti-christ personified.

I know it sounds silly and conspiracy theor-ish, but the similarities between the Yo Gabba Gabba "Muno" and the symbols of the occult appear too close for comfort. Especially that eye of his, it's eerily similar to the notorius "all-seeing" eye of Satan printed on the back of every U.S. dollar bill, you know, the one hovering over the pyramid announcing the "Birth of the New World Order". It's beyond creepy.

photo via funnygarbage.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Consequences of Insomnia

What do people do when they can't sleep and watch TV late at night? They end up watching infomercials.

And for some reason, the 12 AM - 3 AM time slot is full of nothing but infomercials about fitness products. Have marketers determined there is some direct correlation between overweight people and late night TV watching?

I don't know for sure, all I do know is that I was one of them last night. And I ended up buying this.

I hope I don't regret it like the other 10 products collecting dust in my basement.

cartoon via stumptuous.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meet the iLover

What more could you ask from Steve Jobs after getting an iMac, iPod, and iPhone?

Why, an iLover of course.

I like how he says, "The battery lasts 8 hours....for all you freaks." :) LOL!

Oh and uh, one more thing: In case you didn't know, that's not really Steve Jobs, it's the guy who plays "Office Jesus" on Attack of the Show . iLove that show!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Clinique's New Lip Glosses are Like Botox in a Tube

I first heard about Clinique Full Potential Plump and Shine lip gloss over at Beauty Marked, a super site for beauty news. According to Clinique, these glosses not only make your lips look plumper, but also, if you use the gloss consistently over a period of a couple months, your lips will actually become (or appear) more smooth and plump on their own, with or without the gloss on. It's like getting the effects of Botox without the cost and painful injections.

It's all the rage in Hollywood right now, and every celeb has a favorite shade picked out. Nicky Hilton and Rosario Dawson have nabbed Cherry Bomb, a golden pink, as their favorite shade, while Michelle Trachtenberg (a.k.a "The Key") went for a deeper shade with Voluptuous Violet. New mom of twins Marcia Cross picked Glamour-Full, a gingersnap shade to complement her red hair.

After seeing all these celebrities endorse these glosses, of course I had to check these out for myself. The colors are all made to suit any skin tone , you can't really pick a wrong shade here. My favorite of the bunch is Braisin, a gorgeous blend of bronze and raisin colors. It's perfect for summer and I love how easily it makes me look awake (which by itself, is a difficult task these days). I don't even need a lipliner or any other lipstick underneath it, I just swipe it on, put on blush and mascara, and I'm ready in two minutes. If you're a fan of plum lip colors, you've got to try this shade.

Now, the test. Does it really make your lips look plumper? Well, for the first 10 mintues, it feels like you're wearing Blistex or Burt's Bees balm on your lips, there's a light tingling feeling you get from it. To be more accurate, it's the feeling you get after eating really spicy chili peppers (been there, done that, the food was so worth the pain). Then the tingling disappears and your lips swell up, making you look like a smooth lip gloss diva.

The magic is over once you wash it off with soap and water. So far, I haven't used it long enough to see if it will make my natural lips look like Angelina Jolie's, but for the time you wear it, it does make your lips appear to be big and glossy. Check it out at Nordstrom for $17.50.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

He's All Growed Up

My son graduated from preschool last week. It was a cute, and very informal ceremony. The children made their own hats out of construction paper and prepared a few songs and dances for us to hear before the main event began, the handing out of diplomas.

One by one, each child walked up to the teacher to receive their diploma, and then posed with the teacher so their parents could get a picture of this momentous occasion. Everything was going fine until I saw Johnny's mom turn around after she snapped a picture of her little darling. Her eyes were all red, and she was in tears!

Gosh, I thought, why is she crying? It's just a preschool graduation. It's not like, his wedding.

Then it hit me.

My BABY is graduating from PRESCHOOL!

The same baby I brought home five years ago. The one I had no clue how to take care of, how to feed, how to change. Scared of the responsibility that was suddenly thrust upon me because I didn't think I was competent enough to even raise a plant. And now, there he was, wearing a graduation cap he made himself out of construction paper, happy, smiling, and singing a song about growing up and going to kindergarten. Part of me was patting myself on the back for having made it this far without screwing him up, and the other half was wondering, where did the time go?

Suddenly, I saw all of my son's next big graduations flash before my eyes. Kindergarten, Grade School, High School, then College....this preschool graduation really WAS a big deal. It marked the beginning of my son growing up and eventually leaving home.

I looked around the room and realized not only was I holding back the tears, all the other moms (and a few dads too) started sniffling and dabbing their eyes too. Johnny's mom, why did you have to remind us how important this day was??? And when did my colicky baby grow up to be a happy little boy? Is there a "pause", "rewind", and "slow motion" button I can press somewhere to remember how this happened?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angelina Jolie Wore a $26 Dress to a Movie Premiere

Check this out. Angelina Jolie wore a $26 dollar dress to the premiere of "A Mighty Heart". I've nabbed a few good shopping deals in the past, but never one this good. How lucky is this hot mama? She gets the perfect man and the perfect bargains.

photo via Just Jared

Pretty in Pinks

Rosario's not wearing a lot of makeup here, but still manages to look party perfect with light shades of pink. Steal the look by using the following colors:

MAC Pink Apertif lipstick topped with MAC's Lusterglass in Little Vi.

MAC Breath of Plum blush

MAC Jest and Vanilla eyeshadows

photo via

Katie Leads With a New Do

It's nice seeing Katie lead Tom for a change. Usually it's the other way around.

photo via US Weekly

Steal Katrina Kaif's Look

Okay Saniya, this one's especially for you. After looking through several photos of Bollywood stars, this one popped out as a well polished look for a night out. And it helped that I could also find a close-up of the look.

All eyeshadows are by MAC. Use Electra all over lids, and Scene in the crease. Vanilla to highlight. It looks like she's got liquid liner going on the top lashline too, but honestly, I've found it easier to use Smashbox Creme Liner in Caviar. Once you've drawn the line on top, you tap it into the lower lashes as well to balance out the eyes. If you want, once you've lined with the creme liner, you can trace over the line on the upper lashes with a liquid liner. The one I like the best is Lancome's Precision Point ARTLINER ($27.00). It's like using a fine point Sharpie to line your eyes, and it's much easier to use than those feathery wand type things you have to dip in a tube and carefully draw over your lashes. I hated those things. I always ended up drawing the line too big or too crooked. Oh, and top ONLY the upper lashes with MAC Prolash Mascara, the best hands down mascara I've ever used. Putting mascara on lower lashes is unnecessary if you've already lined them with eyeliner.

MAC Taupe Lipstick (this is a staple shade among Bollywood actresses), topped with Luxuriate Tinted Lipglass. Lipliner is optional, depending on how pigmented your lips are, but I think it's nice to use one just to seal in the color and get that creamy-glossy look you see here. If you're on the fair side, use MAC Spice Lipliner, if you have a little more tan and color to your skin, use MAC Half-Red Lipliner.

MAC Blush in Pinch Me. In addition to a blush, add a luminizer to highlight the apples of the cheeks. Try the "Icy" shade from the Laura Gellar Beauty Dews ($21.50) face palette (this is a good buy, because it gives you three color options in one kit, all for around $20 bucks).

Katrina pics via SantaBanta.com

Abhishek Needs to Drop the Lip Biting

Aishwarya's new husband, Abhishek Bachchan, has a terrible habit of biting his lip when he dances or grooves to music. It drives me nuts. Even Will Smith in the movie Hitch said doing the lip biting thing is just not cool.

Here's Abhisheks's most recent offense at the 2007 IIFA awards.

Oh no!

....and again!

Who knows how many more times he did it, I didn't watch the show and this is all I could gather from the pictures. But if you really want to see how unnerving it is, take a look at what he does in this Motorola commercial. Focus on his face near the end, ewww....please, somebody make him stop!

photos via santabanta.com

Celina Jaitley Scares Me

Her message is serious, and her outfit is fierce. And if you stare at her face long enough, she just may possess you. Right through your computer screen. No really, it's been known to happen.

photo via santabanta.com

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I See Myself in.....Black Leather

I've been wanting to color my hair jet black like Salma Hayek's for a long time. For years, every time I've gotten my hair colored or highlighted, it's been for a shade lighter than my natural dark brown hair. I've had caramel highlights, red highlights, I even had it colored J.Lo blonde once with disastrous results. I don't know how the Beyonces and J.Lo's pull the "tan skin with blonde hair" look off, I can't do it.

But black I can do. I asked my hair stylist just how much it would cost to get a pro dye job to match Salma's jet black hue, and nearly fainted hearing the cost. It was way over my budget. Then she leaned in and whispered in my ear, "But you could get the same results for $9.99 using a box of Loreal Feria in Black Leather." This is why I love my stylist, she's always got a cheap style tip up her sleeve.

So $9.99 later, I got my hair color from CVS. The application was a little drippy, and I permanently stained my bath mats with spots of black dye, but after two days, the color finally came through in my hair. This stuff really works, and most of all, it's made my hair less dull and more shiny in appearance.

I'm still a little fascinated with playing around with different shades of brown though. I think once this color wears off, I'm going to try the shade Keri Washington wears, Espresso. For under $10 bucks, it's cheap enough to try without breaking the bank. Although next time, I'm going to remember to cover my bath mats with some newspaper. The dye may be cheap, but the mats, not so much.

photo via

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Karma's a Bitch

We had a big wedding in the family this weekend. It was for a relative I had never met and will probably never see again, which makes what I'm about to tell you so much better than if this was someone I actually knew well. Before my parents came over to my house, my mom had called to ask me if I had a gift for the happy couple. I told her I was going to give them an ivory Lenox picture frame someone had given me a long time back. (Don't judge! I kept it in great condition in the original packing in the "regift" section of my linen closet.) She said, "Hmmm, why don't you save that for another wedding? I've got something nicer. Don't worry about the gift, I'll bring one for you."

Guess what she brought? A crystal vase. A giant one. In a giant gift bag that looked like it had seen at least one other home before it landed in mine.

Clearly, my mom just wanted to get rid of that thing. There was nothing wrong with the picture frame I was going to give, but it definitely took up less space than that giant vase someone gave my mother. I asked my mom why she wasn't giving the vase herself and she said, "Because I know them better than you do. You can give this gift, I can't. I have to give them jewelry." Great, she was giving the bride an elegant jewelry set, and I was giving them a useless vase. Oh well, I thought, at least it'll be out of my hands soon.

Now here's the best part. In our hustle and bustle to get to the reception on time, I forgot to take the crystal vase with me to the wedding. No big loss for the bride and groom. I'm sure they won't even notice that the relative they never met didn't give them another piece of crystal to add to their collection. It's me who is the unlucky one. I can't exactly go over to the bride's house now and say, "Hey, remember me, your long lost aunt who you never met until your wedding day? Well, I forgot to give you this obviously regifted crystal vase!" That would just be even more tacky than regifting the crystal itself.... not that there's anything wrong with that!

Now, not only am I stuck with a Lenox picture frame waiting in queue for regifting, I've got a giant-ass crystal vase sitting in my house (which my mom, by the way, conveniently "forgot" to take back with her. She regifted this crap to me!). To top it off, this was the last wedding I was going to attend this summer so I'm stuck with this thing until at least November, when the winter wedding season kicks in.

I think this is cosmic payback for all those years of regifting crystal to unsuspecting newlyweds. Bad karma finally caught up with me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cool Sale on Clear Baubles at Bluefly

I was happy to discover that Bluefly.com finally has lucite and other crystal clear jewelry in stock and on sale. Ever since I saw Vanessa Williams wear this clear chunky necklace on Ugly Betty, I wanted to get one of my own. I checked out several online stores at the time, but anything that resembled this item was way over my budget.

Luckily, thanks to post-season discounts, not anymore. With the sale going on at Bluefly, I think I'm finally going to scoop this piece up. This necklace by Viktoria Hayman seems to resemble the one Vanessa's wearing in the above screen shot, and it's only $63! I think with shipping it will probably set me back $70, but it's still a great deal for jewelry like this.

Ugly Betty photo via ABC.com

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Disappointing View

I was eating pancakes with the twins last Wednesday when I accidentally became witness to the biggest bitch fight ever to be seen on live television. We all knew a fight like this was coming when Rosie was first hired to co-host The View last fall, we just didn't know when.

Man, was it a show down and it took me completely by surprise. I thought it was going to be another usual show with the ladies talking about American Idol (that's all anyone talks about these days), but it started to take a different course when Joy pulled out a long list of the top reasons why George W. Bush is the worst president in history. As Joy was trying to read her list, that damn Republican half-brained twit Elizabitch just would not shut up. She kept interrupting, wouldn't let Joy finish or speak, she looked like a time bomb waiting to go off. How dare Joy insult her favorite person in the whole wide world??? Doesn't she know Elizabeth kisses Dubya's picture every night and tucks it under her pillow before she goes to sleep? Then, all it took was for Rosie to ask, "Do you believe I think the troops are terrorists?" and Elizabeth lost it. She never answered the question but instead started talking nonsense like, "Poor little Elizabeth is not poor little Elizabeth." WTF? Joy's list was forgotten, and now Elizabeth and Rosie were fighting about Elizabeth not being the true friend she claimed to be.

I know I'm probably in the minority when I say this, but I think Rosie showed more composure, and more maturity, than Elizabeth. Elizabeth has no manners, she cuts people off when they are trying to speak, finger points and low balls with comments that have nothing to do with the argument. She doesn't let others complete their sentences, yet demands that everyone let her speak. Stupid biotch, if there was anyone who should have quit the show it should have been Elizabeth, not Rosie. So what Rosie's outspoken, I admire her for it, she challenges people to think differently, and doesn't blindly believe what is fed to her by the gov't controlled media outlets.

Let me make it clear, it didn't bother me that Elizabeth had a different viewpoint and was so staunchly defending the Iraq war, (maybe a little, but not a lot) it was the fact that she wasn't fighting fair. If you see the video clip of the fight, you can see at one point, Rosie is holding back tears in her eyes and is about to cry. That's not right. If Elizabeth really is the friend she claims to be, she should have stopped and showed some restraint, but she kept right on going with the insults.

Now that Rosie's decided to leave due to the fight, I think the ratings on The View are going to plummet. The only person left on the show that I like to watch is Joy. I might still tune in to watch her, but if the show starts taking a turn towards becoming The Elizabeth Hasselbeck Show, I'm out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The New Volvo S80 has a Psycho Killer Detector in the Keychain

I can't believe car companies are now resorting to scaring the shit out of women to sell cars, but I guess if you have a car with a lousy security system, banking on urban legends and fear is probably your best bet. It's sad, but it's true. I recently saw the Volvo S80 commercial, the one where the young, Asian, female executive is walking towards her car across a deserted parking lot, really late at night, but turns around and runs the other way when her key chain tells her someone is sitting inside her car. Yeah, that one. It's totally freaking me out.

Commercials like this prey on every single urban legend I’ve heard surrounding cars and driver safety. I’ve heard them all. There’s the one where the psycho killer waits under your car to slash your ankles as you’re trying to get in. There’s the one where he’s waiting behind it on the other side to jump you as you come near your car. And finally, there's the one played out in the commercial. That there is someone waiting in the backseat, ready to strangle you and other horrible stuff once you sit down in the driver’s seat. And you'll never even see it coming until you see his reflection in your rear view mirror holding the copper wire between his hands.

Even though I've never heard of these attacks happening to anyone I know in real life, I’ve seen enough horror flicks, including Urban Legends and all its sequels, that my mind automatically scans the car and does all the psycho killer checks as I walk towards it in a parking lot. Who says you don’t learn anything from watching scary movies, I’ve learned a lot. So far, I've done pretty well by just using common sense and using the windows to check for backseat weirdos, but the ad wizards at Volvo want me to believe otherwise. They want me to think that there is something seriously lacking in the car I currently drive if it doesn't have a heartbeat sensor. It's the latest in car technology I never knew I needed.

My question is, how bad must the alarm system and the security features of the Volvo S80 be that some psycho killer can get into the car without activating the alarm, and wait patiently in the backseat until you show up to be murdered by him? Screw heartbeat sensors, I'd rather have a car that will prevent Mr. Psycho Killer from getting into my car in the first place.

To view the commercial I'm talking about, click on this link and you will get to Volvo's promotional site for the S80. Then click on the little arrow that says "Discover the Volvo S80", and then the "PCC: Personal Car Communicator" box on the bottom to "watch the PCC commercial".

UPDATE: I've been doing a little more reading on this heartbeat sensor, and it appears that it was originally designed to help prevent moronic parents from leaving their children in the car.

Here's how the article on Autoworld.com describes it:

The heartbeat sensor registers the vibration of a beating heart - both human and animal. The sensor is activated if, for instance, a sleeping child has been left in the child seat and the driver locks the door. A signal is transmitted to the remote control unit, which alerts the driver via a combination of audible signals and vibration pulses.

The heartbeat sensor is also activated if anyone enters the car and hides inside it. In such a case, the driver is not alerted automatically; instead, he or she must manually request this information within a distance of 300 feet from the car.

If the sensor is activated, the remote control unit transmits a quiet signal so that the driver can withdraw without being detected, so as to avoid a more threatening situation. The alternative is for the driver to press the "panic" button, which activates the car alarm to scare off the intruder.

I've heard some tragic stories on the news, where parents were "so busy" thinking about getting to the office or the shopping mall, they "forgot" they brought their children along with them, and consequently left them to die in the car in 100 degree weather. In all these tragedies, I blame the parents 100%. I mean, how moronic do you have to be to forget you brought your child with you? Is it that hard to look in the back seat of your car before you lock the door and go inside the mall? Seriously, how can you forget or not know your children are in the car with you? Do they have to make a noise for you to remember they are there?

Interestingly enough, Volvo doesn't promote this angle in the commercial for the S80.
Columnist Mark Morford, in his article The Key Chain Of Your Doom, puts a more humorous spin on this when he writes:

Strangely, Volvo chose not to advertise the alternative use of this technology, the holy-crap-I-left-the-baby-in-the-car situation. "Are you a horrible mom? Like to go out shopping and partying till dawn but you've got a kid you have to haul around like a sack of wailing, needy meat? Let your key fob save the day! Our blinking red light will tell you if your kid is still alive in the backseat where you left him four hours ago! But beware: If that blinking light stops, Britney, you're totally screwed."

Yeah, Volvo S80, The Car for Negligent Parents is not exactly a slogan that will sell vehicles. But fear.... fear works well.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It Happened One Night at the MET

Some of the women at the latest MET Costume Institute Gala in NYC looked really elegant. Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, and Christy Turlington were among the best dressed ladies there.

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Unfortunately, some celebrities confused the fashion gala with a Halloween party. Behold the best of the Festival of Fright.

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Trick or Treat! Mary-Kate Olsen is my favorite serial goth dresser. The girl just can't seem to get enough of dressing up like Morticia Addams, and once again, she did not fail to disappoint us. It looks like she killed Cousin It, dyed him black, and turned him into a scary dress. Yikes!

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Want a dress like Parker Posey's? Here's how you can steal the look. Take a very insanely expensive haute couture dress and throw it into a tank full of piranhas. Remove with a wire hanger (careful, you don't want your fingers eaten!) and let drip dry. Then wear it to the red carpet and call it....fashion.

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Ditto for Shalom Harlow. Except instead of feeding the dress to piranhas, run it through a paper shredder. Then take it outside and run over it with your car a couple times to give it that "vintage" look. Finally, attach a nice big fugly bow at the neckline for a splash of color. Tres Chic!

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This is what I call, "nice try but no, sari". If this dress was floor length, and if Jennifer Connelly had worn a little more makeup to balance out the color of her dress with her skin tone, this would have looked much nicer.

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And the Award for the Most Hideous Dress of the Night goes to....Karolina Korkova. I think there's a pretty dress hiding underneath there somewhere, but that ugly shawl and roadkill she's wearing around her neck is preventing me from looking at anything else. I'm seriously scared of that stole. It looks like it was alive just five minutes ago.


Monday, May 07, 2007

How to Safely Remove a Child Stuck in the Staircase Railing

When I was about 12 years old, my mom told me that if I ever see a baby get his head stuck between the spindles of the staircase railing, I should NEVER pull the baby back out by his legs. Instead, I should push the rest of the baby's body forward through the spindles to get him out. I can still remember her exact words:

"Always remember," she said, "the head is the largest part of a child's body. If the head can get through the opening, the rest of his body can too. You should never pull the baby back out by pulling his head back through the slat. You could break their neck or cause serious damage to the baby's brain and skull."

I think she must have seen this happen to a child once because she used to repeat this story at every opportunity she got until I told her, "Okay, I got it." At the time, my brother had just been born and I think she was telling me this as a preventative measure. So that in case I found my brother with his head stuck between the staircase railing, I would know what to do to get him out safely. Luckily, my brother never pulled such a stunt, and as I grew up, I filed this information away in my mind as "Good to Know Info I Will Need to Use......Never".

However, after what happened today, this information is now pushed up front to one of my "Top Things To Know About Kids."

While I was getting ready to pick up my son from preschool, the twins were playing out in the hallway. All of a sudden, I hear Zee say, "I'm stuck." I didn't rush to her immediately because I thought she was playing a game with her sister. Then she started to cry and kept saying, "I'm stuck! I'm stuck!". I walked out into the hallway and saw...

Her head was wedged between the staircase railing!!!!!!

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After freaking out momentarily and yelling, "OMG! Why did you do this?!", I calmed myself down and thought quickly how to get her out. It was then, as if in a flashback, my mother's words came back to me. I remember at the time, she had even demonstrated to me with a doll how to get a child out from this kind of situation. She pulled the doll sideways from the front of the railing.

I'm glad she gave me the visual because it really helped me figure out how to get Zee out of the railing today. I got in front of her and turned her body to her side so her shoulders and arms were almost parallel to the floor, and then gently pulled her out. It took less than one minute! I couldn't believe her entire body slid right through that narrow space! And with such ease. Mom was right. If the head can fit through the opening, the entire body can too. (It kind of reminds of how a baby is born. As long as the head gets through first, the rest of the body slides right out. Conversely, if a baby is breech, natural labor is near impossible and you need a C-section to get the baby out. All of my babies were breech and I had to have a C-section every time. My kids couldn't give me a break even during labor. )

Now that I got her out and she's perfectly fine, I'm a little worried about our other stair railing, the one that overlooks the family room and has a 10 ft. drop.

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If she had gotten stuck in there, I swear I would have ripped the spindles to get her out. There would have been no other way to get her out of the railing if her head was facing that huge drop below. Well actually, now that I think of it, a better option would be to call 911 and have the fire department come over and get her out. They've got the ladders and the training to do this more safely than I would, and I probably could prevent ripping out a spindle and leaving a gaping hole in my railing.

I thought my baby-proofing days were over, but clearly, this was a wake-up call for me to get some protection on my staircase. Not to protect them from falling down the stairs (they're already expert on going up and down), but to prevent them from falling through the railing. According to Colorado Childproofers, nets are not safe enough, I have to get rigid plastic sheeting installed to make sure this doesn't happen again. Even though I doubt the other children will try it, or that Zee will try it again, I never know what these kids are thinking. Knowing them, they might give a repeat performance just to impress their friends. Especially now that they know Mom knows how to get them out of the predicament. (I gave my son a lesson on how to remove a baby stuck in a stair rail with his Curious George doll. At age five, he's the oldest, and I think he probably knows by now that sticking your head through a railing is not safe. He and I took pictures, see below).

So, just in case you find yourself in a situation like I faced today, here is a step-by-step visual guide on How to Safely Remove a Child Who Has Gotten Their Head Stuck Between the Staircase Railing. This is how I safely removed Zee today, and I hope it can help someone else.

(Note: Curious George will be filling in for the RE-ENACTMENT.)

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First of all, if you ever see a child in this situation, the first thing you need to do is relax and remain calm. Yes, you're probably angry that your child got themselves in this predicament in the first place, but trust me, yelling will accomplish nothing. I'm saying this because regretfully, that's what I started doing when I found Zee in this situation and I feel terrible about it. All she wanted was for me to get her out of the staircase, and instead, the first thing I did was start yelling at her for doing something so dangerous, and didn't she know we had to leave in five minutes to pick her brother up from school?!?!? It was completely uncalled for and I feel terrible about it. Please don't make the same mistake I did. Keep your cool.

Next, tell your child everything will be okay. She's more petrified than you. Then, turn her shoulders and her body to the side so that her body makes about a 45 degree angle with the floor, or almost horizontally parallel with the floor. Shoulder and arms should be positioned to slide out between the spindles.

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Place your hands around her neck and butt and gently start pulling her out, sideways through the bars.

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Remember to use both hands. Most of these pictures show me pulling George out with one hand because the other hand is taking the photo. My son was supposed to do all the photography for this demo, but he was impatient and made the pictures blurry. But this one turned out decent. The main thing to remember is to protect the neck and the lower back (and bum) at all times.

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Voila! The child is free and happy to be out. Give her a big hug and tell her never to do this again. Nicely.

I alway thought my mom was a crazy loon for always repeating advice like this to me, but I now realize she was just trying to teach me a life lesson. After what I experienced today, I'm really glad she did.

Is your staircase railing safe for your toddler? Here's how you can check.

Measure the space between your staircase railing spindles (a.k.a. balusters). The space should not be more than 4 inches. Anything less than 4 inches is safe, anything more than this measurement is dangerous and requires baby proofing. I measured between the spindles on my railing and it's 4 3/4 inches, which explains how she got her head through it and got stuck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Weekend at the Movies

My son turned five this weekend, and to celebrate his birthday, we took him to see Spiderman 3. It's been nearly five years since I watched a movie in a theater, I was resigned to watching films on DVD since I had kids. But now that all of them are potty trained, it's becoming easier to go out in public and do the things I used to do.

I'm usually a fan of chick flicks like The Notebook, I didn't think I would like Spiderman 3. I saw the first two at home, and I couldn't understand why these films were such a huge hit. He's Spiderman flying around the city shooting webs, big deal. But yesterday, I figured it out. To fully enjoy a Spiderman film, you have to see it on the big screen. It's a whole different experience in there. You don't have to pause the film to go change a diaper or put clothes in the dryer, you actually see the entire film in one sitting! (Something I haven't done in a looong time.) The girls did need a bathroom break mid-film but it was okay, the husband filled me in on what I missed.

I'm not going to do a full review of the film, but I must say this film is great for lovers of both chick flicks and action films. The MJ-Peter-Harry love triangle is blended superbly with the action scenes, and the special effects were awesome. I don't think I've had this much fun watching a film since.... I can't remember when. We had attempted to see Curious George in the theater a few years ago when the girls were younger, but had to leave 45 minutes later when they started screaming and running up and down the steps on the side. This time, even they were captivated and sat still during the movie, and it wasn't scary at all. Well, a little bit, but not enough to give them nightmares. I especially liked the scenes where Spidey is flying from building to building, and James Franco who plays Harry is just the cutest thing. He's a real scene stealer.

I don't think we'll be able to do this every weekend, I still think the majority of my movie watching is going to remain on DVD, but it's good to know that we're able to take the kids to the movie theater now without having meltdowns. In fact, we had such a good experience, we're planning to go see Shrek 3 when it comes out. This time, however, we're going to make sure we buy two giant tubs of popcorn instead of one. The kids scarfed down the entire box between them, my husband and I barely got to eat the crumbs at the bottom.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Exclusive Pics of Aishwarya Rai's Wedding

I just received these pictures via e-mail, and thought I'd put them up to share. These "leaked" photos are unlike any other I've seen and actually show Aish smiling and happy. Check 'em out!

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(click to enlarge)

Aish brought her sexy back to the wedding by wearing this ornate hairstyle. Her hair is braided, and covered with flowers (jasmine?) and 22 karat gold jewelry. She's wearing an arm band made of 22K gold and emeralds as well. In the background, you can see her mother-in-law, Jaya Bachchan.

Below are more images from the wedding ceremony and reception. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Here they are walking around the fire, as part of the Hindu marriage ceremony.

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More photos......

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Okay, I just have to interrupt here. I'm all for brides blinging out at their wedding, the more the better. But a blinged out groom? Abhishek is wearing what looks like a multi-strand necklace made of emeralds AND a giant pearl-pendant and matching crown dripping even more emeralds. I know they say "if you've got it, flaunt it", and perhaps the theme for the wedding was maharaja-chic, but still, it seems like a bit too much bling for a groom.

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This photo of Aish's BFF Preity Zinta (with Karan Johar) was also included in the set I received. I put it up mainly because I love the way Preity looks here. Everything from the highlights in her hair, to the yellow sari, to the rocking necklace she's wearing looks gorgeous. A little tidbit I learned about Preity and Aish, they both call someone close to them "Junior". Aish's nickname for Abhishek is "Junior", and Preity has a puppy named "Junior". Really.