Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Turtleneck

My mother hated her long neck but she loved turtlenecks.  Not for herself, but for me and my 3 sisters.  They covered us up well.  We even wore them under our ghastly school uniforms when it was cold enough.  No need to show your arms, neck, chest or midsection when you’ve got a turtleneck.  We had them in all colors, ribbed, smooth, wool and synthetics.  Single folds, double folds and even triple folds where part of your face could be hidden too.  And when paired with pants, or a long skirt, it was hard to distinguish whether we had skin at all.  I guess when you’ve got 4 daughters, the turtleneck is a form of “boy” protection.  I wonder how many dates we lost simply because our necks were in question.  My sisters and I wondered about the turtleneck phenomena too.  Our mother didn’t wear them.  Why must we be subjected to these body cover-ups????  They were even masked as Christmas presents.  We’d tear open identical-sized boxes to discover – whoopee, another turtleneck. They took over our lives! BTW--have you seen those scarves that wrap around the neck forever and a day?  I want two in every color.  Dysfunction lives.  I’ll say no more.

And no matter what your neck looks like, keep your sunscreen handy.  Yeah, baby!
All natural, flirty soap.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Short Stack

It was an overcast Saturday morning and we were going to a cousin’s birthday. Not sure why all the cousins were invited since there were so many of us, but there we were at a local breakfast hangout. The kids were on their own sitting haphazardly next to whomever they wanted. In my family, that was a fascinating and new concept. Not only did we sit at a kitchen counter when we ate, we had specific seating arrangements that NEVER wavered. I digress. The ordering was chaotic with at least a dozen kids under 10 trying to figure out what they wanted from menus we could barely read, adults oblivious that their children were present. Pictures of pancakes were enough to get the ball rolling. And that’s what I wanted. A stack of pancakes. And what do you know, it came with a bonus. I’ll never forget it. A small stack of very large pancakes with a big scoop of ice cream right on the top. OMG. It was a good thing I wasn’t sitting next to an aunt or uncle, let alone my mom, who would have immediately scolded me for ordering a dessert with my breakfast. But I was innocent. I was just the lucky recipient of some short-order cook gone wild in the kitchen with the ice cream tub. Before anyone could get a glimpse of my fortune, I took a huge, I mean HUGE spoonful. OMG. Who in their right mind serves a massive scoop of butter resembling vanilla ice cream on top of pancakes to a kid!? Especially a kid not sitting next to an adult who could supervise and prevent a kid (me) from doing stupid things? I was so embarrassed that I quickly and quietly swallowed the butter. I’m not sure I even got to the pancakes. My morning was ruined. Thinking back, it was probably margarine. OMG. I’m sure there are traces of it still bunged in my arteries.

You can find a few recipes for healthy and delicious versions of your soon-to-be favorite short stacks without a glob of butter or ice cream at Just look under Healthy Pancakes!
All natural, flirty soap.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Peep Show

It was a hot July afternoon in 1962. The twist was bigger than life and so was Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind. Marilyn Monroe was still alive and The Beatles had not yet arrived to consume our days. We were just kids riding our bikes and my sister, that lucky devil, was running around with Keds. But, too bad for her, she had outgrown them and since they were in pretty good shape, I would get them as hand-me-downs. Finally, something good. A pair of KEDS for Pete’s sake! When you wear white saddle oxfords every day during the school year, a pair of RED Keds was like hitting the jackpot. Ding. Ding. Ding. The heavens had opened up with a sweet, sweet prize for the middle child. I would protect and honor them with my life. But then my mom decided to cut the rubber toe caps off to give my sister’s feet more room at the top. I was mortified. She was going to CUT those perfect shoes, and I wouldn’t get my hands (or feet) on them. What a stupid idea! Not to mention that NO ONE WEARS PEEP TOE KEDS!!! H-E-L-L-O – they were called the shoe of champions for a reason! I knew it wouldn’t work. Maybe I prayed that it wouldn’t work. But it did. With a little determination and heavy-duty scissors, my mom single-handedly redesigned the iconic brand, the brand worn by Audrey Hepburn, and my sister, who didn’t really care about her Keds beforehand was now happy to model the new style with her goofy little toes sticking out. So, Keds, if you’re listening, peep toes will work. And my sister, who likes shoes now, will probably buy several pairs.

Peep toes or not, here’s a fun little recipe for an all-natural foot bath.

Black Tea Soak
Tannic acid, a component of tea, is thought to have astringent properties that prevent feet from perspiring, thus eliminating odor. To make a foot-tea soak, brew 5 bags of black tea in 1 quart boiling water. Let cool and add ice cubes (during those really hot days). Soak your feet in this iced tea bath for up to 30 minutes.

You’ll be ready to twist and shout now, baby!
All natural, flirty soap.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Does she or doesn't she?

When I was about 7 or 8 I tricked my little sister into thinking that if she put chicken grease on her hair, it would make her hair blonde. My mom had been preparing a whole chicken that night and – bingo – my sister grabbed the little tags that were on the chicken legs and proceeded to rub them all over her cute brunette pixie cut. She didn’t bother going to the mirror, as I pretended to react in astonishment at her new look! My mom was not amused, but thankfully, my sister is still talking to me. Not sure why it was so enticing for a little kid to want blonde hair. Maybe it was because we weren’t. Maybe it was all those Clairol commercials and their questions. Is it true blondes have more fun? If I’ve only one life to live, let me live it as a blonde. My sister was able to live as a real blonde (in her head) for a few minutes on a weekday night in the 60’s around 5:00 pm. A chicken-greased blonde, but a blonde, none-the-less. In case you missed all the vintage excitement, here’s a taste.
All natural, flirty soap.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's a bon bon day!

If you're a mom, today is the motherload of all days! This is the day you can ask to be pampered and taken out, or request a bon bon and actually eat it on the couch, feet up, with no one questioning.  And if they do, just point to the calendar or the many notes you probably have posted all over the house reminding EVERYONE that this is Mother's Day. Not that you expect anything grandiose, just SOMETHING, however small, as a token of their appreciation for your countless sacrifices and nights without sleep because they failed to call you, again. Or to thank you for not going ballistic after the little trashcan fire, or when you found your favorite lipstick broken, and strategically hidden under the couch cushions.

If you're a new mom and your precious child is still laughing and smiling at you because you just appear or merely look at them, relish this moment. Remember it and store it deep within your being with all that you have, because sometime in the not-so-distant future, you will need this happy memory as strength and guidance and as a strong reminder that you love this child more than anything else in the world, no matter how they managed to put that big dent on your brand new car and who gave them permission to take it, anyway?      

So, here's to moms everywhere, and that includes stepmoms and grandmoms and auntie moms and neighborhood moms, a toast to your enduring energy and boundless love for the children in your lives.

And when the party is over, later than you expected and you indulged a little more than you ever dreamed, fear not. Here are some tips to help reduce those beautiful, but now puffy eyes.

Oooo, la la! You still got it, baby!
All natural, flirty soap.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All That Glitters...

Many years ago, two pairs of the most coveted shoes on the planet were just quietly sitting in my mother's closet.  One pair was a glittery silver number with towering six-inch heels.  Okay, they probably weren’t six inches, but they were high.  And they weren’t just glittery, they WERE glitter.  Glued on, sprayed on, stuck on…who knows?  But they shone in the dark and were a breath of fresh air compared to her regular just-plain-ugly shoes.

The other pair was a Cinderella-esque open-toed sling with rhinestone embellishments on the clear vinyl band, a beautiful ivory color on the kitten heels.  I couldn’t walk with the glitter shoes, but I could click-clack my way around the house with these babies.  The funny thing is - I don’t recall my mom ever wearing the Cinderella slippers.  I would have.  I would have worn them every day, including Sundays.  I would have given anything to click-clack my way around the neighborhood with EVERYONE wondering how it came to be that this little girl could be so lucky as to own such a fancy pair of shoes.  Of course I would have made sure to wear the socks with the little ruffle.  See-thru vinyl Cinderella slings with white cotton socks.  Yeah, well, let’s not picture it, shall we?  I’m pretty sure I was just into the clickety-clack. 

If you find yourself with a super cool pair of open-toed slings, skip the socks and keep your toes looking and feeling sweet with a homemade foot paste of banana and honey.  After soaking them and before the pedicure, of course!  

You'll be ready to click-clack your way through anything, baby!
All natural, flirty soaps.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Go Go, Baby

When you’re going to a private school with a very strict dress code, and you really want to fit in and follow all those rules because you’re a goody-too-shoes and that’s what you do, it’s hard to figure out why you end up with a little sister who goes to school wearing go-go boots.  Okay, they were white, the right color of the “code”.  Okay, she was in second grade and the school dress code was not on her radar.  Okay, she adored those boots and would have worn then to bed if she could.  Apparently, she was in-between shoes and there was nothing else for her to wear.  We’d all have to pile in the car over the weekend to get the regulation shoe—like that was on my mom’s top 10 list to do with four fidgety kids.  But then, the following weekend mysteriously got booked and another week went by.  That’s 2 weeks of having the more popular girls quiz me about the crazy boots.  It was way too much and I couldn’t bear to stand next to the go-go-boot girl in the carpool line.  Who did she think she was?  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha? Then Sister Jane couldn’t take it.  OMG, not Sister Jane!!!!  There was the note.  My mom was told that my sister had to comply with the uniform and stop wearing the boots.  The go-go boots that were not appropriate for a young girl in a black and white jumper with a peter-pan collar and a blue cardigan sweater.  Nope, the boots, with their white shiny luster, the boots that caused a minor controversy within the fenced gates of the schoolyard, the boots that previously were only worn to church on Sundays, would have to go-go! 

Boots or not, your feet will thank you if you pamper them with these easy foot soak remedies.

All natural, flirty soaps.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Love Fest

I missed you!  Did you miss me?  Ahhh...the love fest continues.  Spring is here and ready to go wild.  The sun is finally starting to peek through the clouds that have stubbornly stayed with us for awhile.  But no fear, baby.  You can have a spring day no matter what.  Why not try a little oatmeal and banana remedy for your cutie pie face?  

Oatmeal is a gentle (and we like gentle) and effective natural skin cleanser that removes surface dirt and impurities. It can be a soothing facial scrub and skin exfoliant too. Here's an oatmeal facial mask recipe that's easy and fun!  And using organic ingredients is always best!
Oatmeal Facial for Dry Skin/Exfoliation
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup of oatmeal
milk (as required)
Mash the ripe banana, add the oatmeal and mix well. Then add enough milk to create a nice paste. Apply the oatmeal and banana paste to the face and leave it on for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Rinse off  with warm, clear water. 

You're looking pretty good now, baby!
All natural, flirty soaps.