Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Little Ladies with Pierced Ears

I hadn't planned on getting the twins' ears pierced until they were at least six or seven years old, mainly because that's when I got my ears pierced and I wanted them to remember the experience. Many of us don't think about it much, but ear piercing is a huge rite of passage for little girls. So much so, that the girls had to beg their dad to even let them get pierced. They're only three and a half years old, and surprisingly, they are the only girls in their nursery class who don't have pierced ears, and hence, don't wear earrings. The first couple times they asked me to get it done for them, my husband vetoed the idea, saying once they get their ears pierced, all of the rest of the things that make dads get premature heart attacks are going to follow. He was like, "What's next, makeup? School dances? Why can't we let them be babies for just a little longer?" I could see his point, but in all reality, makeup and school dances are a topic at least 12 years away and aren't the same thing as pierced ears. (As much as I love to play with makeup myself, I'm not going to allow my girls to wear it until they're 15, that's the magic acceptable number I have in my head, and I'm sticking to it.)

Anyway, back to the ear piercing thing. This issue became such a huge deal in our house that we finally started asking some of our friends at what age they got, or allowed, their daughters to get their ears pierced. Can you believe a good majority of them said 6 months? Some as early as 3 months. And yes, we didn't notice it before, but we found that out of our entire circle of friends, our girls were the only ones who didn't have pierced ears! I figured, the baby girls who got their ears pierced at 6 months probably didn't have much say in the matter, but if my girls are asking me for pierced ears themselves, and this is something they really want, why not? It's gotta be done sometime anyway, so why not now?

So off we went to the mall, to our neighborhood Piercing Pagoda, where a team of two technicians made the twins' very first ear piercing the most pleasurable and memorable experience. My husband didn't want to see it happen and hung out at Best Buy instead, so it was just me, the twins, and my son Riz, who was curious and wanted to watch. I propped each girl up to the counter and let her pick out her own earrings. Honeybear chose simple princess cut CZ studs, while Zee chose earrings that looked like little flowers (white zircon middle surrounded by pink zircon "petals"). Great picks for both of them.

I let Honeybear go first, because I know she has a higher tolerance for pain and doesn't cry as easily as Zee. I sat her down on my lap, while the technician used a magic marker to make holes for where the earrings would be punched in. Then I told Honeybear that if she looks straight ahead, a magic bunny is going to pop out from behind the kiosk in front of us, just some random story to distract her from what was about to happen. Then the technicians counted together, "One, two, three" and viola!, they pressed down on their piercing guns and both ears were pierced. Since both ears were pierced at the same time, Honeybear didn't even have time to process the pain, and the next thing you know, the technicians were showing her a mirror and telling her "Look how pretty you look!" and she was just smiling, admiring her new earrings. Cut to Zee, who was standing in front watching the whole thing and was jumping up and down, "Me too! Me too!" The techs did Zee's ears the same way, quickly and efficiently, and I was very surprised that the girls didn't cry one bit. They said it pinched a little, but it didn't hurt after that. Then the techs gave them both lollipops.

It's been a few days since they got their ears done, but they're doing great, and are starting to notice the earrings on other little girls their age more. Whenever they see another little toddler with earrings, they point it out to me and say, "Look, that girl has earrings" followed by "just like me." The husband also seems to be adjusting to the fact that the girls now wear earrings. Like I said, he wasn't too keen on the idea in the beginning, but seeing how happy they are now, he's getting used to it.

In hindsight, I'm actually glad I got it over with. I remember even though my ears were done with a piercing gun, they were done one at a time. So after the first ear was pierced, I realized this kind of hurts!, and got nervous anticipating the pain of the next ear piercing. I would have preferred a simultaneous piercing the like the twins got done. Still, it was better than the way my mom got pierced in Pakistan way back when. She said, back then, there was no Claire's or Piercing Pagoda you went to to get your ears pierced, there were people who used to just walk the streets yelling "Get your ears pierced! I pierce ears! Only X rupees!" You called them into your house, and the guy would just ice the earlobes before shoving a gold earring right through it! One earlobe at a time. Manually. And yes, unlike with a piercing gun, when the earring is shoved right through the earlobe manually, it bleeds like bloody hell. Ouch, can you imagine? I'm so thankful for technological advancement.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Steal the Look: Angelina's Diamond Studs



I've never owned a pair of diamond studs, but seeing Angelina wear them from everything to a walk in the park to the red carpet makes me wish I had a pair. I've been doing some research on these beauties and it seems Anglina's earrings are most likely a minimum of 4 carats of flawless diamonds set in platinum. Something like that would cost well over $10,000, perhaps even more depending on the quality of the diamond. I don't think I'll ever have the money to get the real deal, especially since all my savings are going to hell in a handbasket in the stock market, but I think I've finally found a faux pair online that would pass for studs just like Angelina's.


Check these babies out ladies, 4 carats (2 carats per ear) of simulated diamonds set in 14K gold. For me, the 14 K gold setting is key, because my ears are allergic to the nickel/metal plating done on most costume jewelry. I don't care if they're not real diamonds, I just want the sparkle and the look of real ice, without breaking into a rash or going broke. Besides, when Marilyn Monroe said diamonds are a girl's best friend, she didn't say they had to be real diamonds. For me, faux friends will do just fine.

I actually ordered these, and ended up returning them soon after because I found the size of the studs too big for my ears. There's no question these were beautiful earrings, but I think my earlobes are too small to accommodate 2 carat stones. They ended up looking fake and over the top instead of subtle and glamourous. I think faux studs in the 2 or 3 carat range would have been a better choice.

Angelina pics via Just Jared.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Check Out the $5 Dollar Bling at Amrita Singh

I love how all the fashions of South Asia have slowly been merging in with Hollywood. First it was the lehnga-style skirts (remember those crinkle skirts from Express in the early 90's?), then the kurtis, the sari-style dresses made popular by J.Lo, and now more recently, the jewelry.


Everything from bangles, pendants, to the chandelier earrings, desi style is in. Wearing lots and lots of bangles on one arm, or both, is one of my favorite fashion trends of the moment, and the designer who I think is bringing us the the most practical way to achieve this look, in the US anyway, is Amrita Singh.

Her costume jewelry line, Bangle Bangle, represents everything I look for in everyday wear jewelry. The style is the perfect blend of east meets west, practical, affordable, and very well-made. And right now, you can get a whole mess of it for only $5 bucks!

Here are some of my fav picks from the $5 sale:


I love this bangle mainly for the color, orange, which is so in right now. The flower detail and the fact it's made of kiddie-proof wood doesn't hurt either. (If you've ever had a flimsy metal bangle or even 22kt gold hoop earrings squeezed into a D-shape by a curious child's hands, you'll know what I'm talking about here.) I really love wood bangles for how practical and durable they are. This is a great piece to add color and interest to any outfit, especially if you're wearing a white t-shirt and jeans.


I like thin bangles like this for layering. The green ones are sold out, but the red ones are still in stock.


Isn't this piece just stunning? This is actually a 3 piece metal bangle set, which you can wear alone, or layer with others. Whichever way you wear it, the sparkle in this is sure grab attention. I could even wear this with my desi clothes. And it's such a steal for only $5 bucks!

There's a few other pieces I'm eyeing at Amrita Singh too, mainly this beautiful wood cuff:


Scalloped Edge Bangle, $24

and this stack of bangles.


11 Piece Bangle Set with White Stones,$30

It's a tough choice choosing between the gold and silver bangles in this design, but I think silver is the more wearable color for me. It's better for casual, everyday wear.

photo source: drew barrymore,

Cruisin' With My Homies

Again, sorry for the much overdue update, but we just got back from a much needed, and quite possibly the best vacation I've ever taken in my life, a week long trip to the Bahamas on a Disney Cruise. This was our first time on a cruise, and I'm glad we chose the Disney line over any other. We were looking for a family-friendly cruise, and Disney definitely fit the bill in every way. Plus, the kids loved it too because they got to interact with characters and themes they were already familiar with and adore. (The girls are gaga over Disney Princesses and my son loves anything to do with Playhouse Disney). We had done the Disney World tour thing in Orlando last year for vacation, and although we all really enjoyed walking around the parks and seeing the shows, we were exhausted by the end of the trip. Standing in long lines all day for 3 minute rides, bathrooms, food, etc.. really zapped the energy out of us. This year we decided to try something different by going on a cruise, and I'm glad we did because it was the first time we went on a vacation and all of us actually got to relax and have fun.

I think the best part of the vacation, aside that I didn't have to cook or do laundry for an entire week, was that I didn't have to watch the kids for a good part of each day. All of them were enrolled in The Oceaneers Club, a playgroup for kids ages 3-7, where they got to hang out with children their own age, make crafts, dance, play, and meet the Disney characters face to face, even the girls' favorite, Belle! The Oceaneers Club was such a fun place to be, the kids would beg us to drop them off after breakfast each morning, and usher us to just "Go! Go!" after they got signed in. The supervisors were great, and even hooked me up with a pager in case somebody wanted to be picked up early, but that rarely happened. The staff in the Club took care of everything, from making sure they ate their lunch and dinner, to reading them a story before naptime, and most importantly, making sure everyone took frequent bathroom breaks. It was perfect, and just the kind of break all of us were looking for.

I'd like to say that with my kid-free time on the ship, I went to the ship's spa and got one of those fancy stone massage treatments, but they were damn expensive, so I didn't. Instead, I used my free time to do a little shopping on the island with the husband, eat, drink, and roam around aimlessly. It was the best fun ever.

Now we're back, about 5 lbs. heavier from overindulging in all the awesome food onboard, and slowly settling back into our normal routines. I spend a good part of last week helping my son catch up with all the homework he'd missed in kindergarten. Who knew kindergarteners had so much work to do? And you know, the homework really is for me. If I don't keep track of all his assignments and make sure he gets them done, it's me who gets in trouble with the teacher, not him, because I'm the one who the assignments are given to. I'm usually up-to-date with all his homework, but with all the hustle and bustle over the holidays, I came this close to completely forgetting about his Flat Stanley project. Luckily, I had left a giant Post-it note on the fridge with the words "Don't Forget To Mail Flat Stanley!" to remind me. My original plan was to take Stanley with us to the Bahamas and mail him from there, but he was accidentally left home alone. When I got back, I overnighted the paper dude to my sister in Pennsylvania with a note to please send him back to school with a picture of a tourist attraction in PA. It's so crazy. My son, all he did was color Stanley in rainbow colors and bring him home with the instructions. I'm the one doing all the work, and yet I'm taking a most unusual interest in it. I hope I..... I mean, my son gets an A.