Friday, January 20, 2017

18 Cool Things to Click On This Totally Normal, Average, Non-Special Day

Hello on this perfectly normal, nothing-to-see-here, Friday-that's-just-like-any-other-Friday day! Got any fun plans for this average day? I'll be spending it on deadline, furiously writing a story and not turning on my TV. (Well, until 10pm when my bae Bill Maher returns from hiatus).

As for the rest of the weekend: Tomorrow, I'm taking my kid to soccer. Then I'm meeting a few thousand friends to march through the streets of New York City. I may carry a sign and shout angrily. You know. Just a typical Saturday. Then on Sunday we have swimming class.

Can you tell my go-to defense mechanism is denial?

So, whether you're spending the weekend crying, cheering, marching, denying, or just living it like any other weekend, here's a few fun links to check out before the world blows up. Enjoy!

• This top is kind of perfect. Love the color, love the shape, love the subtle ruffles, love that it goes with jeans or could be dressed up for work, and LOVE that it's on sale for $41.

• These Alexis Bittar earrings are so cool. And they're on major sale right now--62% off!

• I love the new Tory Burch Gemini Link bags. I want a gray one!

• I know it seems early to think about bathing suits, but now is really when they have the best size selection. I have my eye on this J.Crew one-piece, which manages to hit that rare combo of being both a bit more covered and sexy.

• This video features a guy rapping about his cat (Ravioli!) while giving him a bath. It is one of the best things I have ever seen. I posted it on Facebook the other day and it is probably one of my most-shared posts ever. People have actually thanked me for bringing this simple joy into their lives. I am now giving the gift to you. You're welcome.

• Did you guys hear that Bobbi Brown is stepping down from her company? In honor of the moment, I wrote about her for Town & It may just be one of my favorite things I've ever written. 

• During the tail end of the election, I became obsessed with the Keepin' It 1600 podcast, which was produced by (smart, hilarious, and adorable) former Obama staffers. It's now been morphed into a new version (Pod Save America), and it, too, is just so, so good. In their most recent episode, they interviewed Barack Obama in his very last interview as president. Highly recommend.

• Loved learning about the beautiful way that Japanese women grieve a miscarriage.

• This spiralized Greek salad sounds soo yummy (and healthy!).

• Or, if you prefer to eat your feelings this weekend in a less nutritious way, might I suggest this cinnamon roll breakfast bake? #yum

• I have watched this video (featuring a guy in a polar bear costume slipping on an ice rink) about 15 times so far. And I laugh until I cry every time.

• In this crazy story, a girl randomly found her doppelganger. And then she found another one. And another one. And another one.

• I love this artist's rendition of what George Washington would look like as a hipster with a man bun.

• I thought I knew a lot about Planned Parenthood, but I learned a lot more about it in this piece by my friend Hitha. It's a good primer for people on both sides of the defunding debate.

• This essay by a mother who lost her 22-year-old son is absolutely beautiful. Whatever you do, though, do not read it in public. Because you will be ugly-crying.

And in case you missed it, I...

• Showed 9 ways to have a good hair day.

• Shared how I'm teaching my daughter to love her wavy hair. (Along with some pretty darn cute photos of her!)

• Revealed my holiday card.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Hair!

Well, 2016 sucked. But at least my hair looked good? Ugh. Seriously though, I'd gladly take four years of permanent frizz in exchange for an electoral do-over. Who's #WithMe?

Until a miracle happens, I guess let's keep striving for health, happiness, and that #goodhairlife. 

Thank you for following along this year. It means so much to have you reading and I'm looking forward to spending 2017 with you!

Have a wonderful, relaxing New Year's Day. Talk to you soon!

(And in case you're so inclined, here are my Happy New Hair posts from 2016, 2015, 2013, and 2012. Damn, that's a lot of blowouts.)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Teaching My Daughter To Love Her Hair

Photos by Raquel Langworthy, owner of Raquel Bianca Creative (She does lifestyle-focused family photography in New Jersey and she's amazing!)
As the mother of a six-year-old daughter, I worry about her self-esteem. She has a lot of it right now, which is a good thing. She loves her wavy/curly hair, she loves her full lips, she feels beautiful. She is beautiful. But because she is a girl--and because I'm one, too--I know there is likely a point coming down the road when she will look in the mirror and see herself differently. She may not see the beauty that I see now and that I will always see. 

And I know that I play an outsize role in making sure she continues to love her appearance. In fact, a recent Dove study found that positive role models can significantly affect a young girl's confidence, and that 82 percent of daughters learn to care about themselves from their mother. So, I'm on it!

And, like many other things, it starts with hair. This is a particularly fraught issue for me as I've had a true love-hate relationship with my own hair for as long as I can remember. Like my daughter, my hair is curly/wavy, but unlike my daughter--who has soft, perfectly-formed curls--my hair is also really frizzy. So if I'm being honest, I don't love--or even like--it in its natural state. I have long preferred my hair blown out, smooth and straight. 

But I am determined that my daughter will love her own hair. I tell her all the time how beautiful it is, and I always want her curls to look even curlier. When we get her hair cut, we ask the stylist to trim it with layers that encourage the curls, and when I blowdry her hair, I twist it in a way that coaxes those curls out. Sometimes she wears it straight, too, but in those moments, I'm very careful with the language I use to describe her hair. Her straight hair isn't better, it isn't more polished, it isn't prettier. Straight is an option, not the ideal. 

And I'm working on me, too. I may not be ready to wear my hair completely natural yet, but I've been experimenting with some curlier and wavier styles. (And I've been loving them!) And I never complain about my hair in front of her. I'm learning to love my hair, because I love my girl.

Because this issue is so close to my heart (and head!), I've partnered with Dove on their mission to help moms inspire hair confidence in their girls and teach them to love their hair. If you're a mom, you can start by creating an adorable custom #LoveYourHair animated message right here and then sharing it on social media. (That's mine above. They're cute, right?) Then, tell your daughter how beautiful her hair is. And keep on telling her. 

Because she's listening.

This post was sponsored by Dove.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!

christmas cards

Just popping in to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" to those celebrating today--and to show you our finished holiday cards! As you may remember, we recently did a holiday photo shoot with my kids, and here's the final result...

Once again, we went with Minted for our cards this year, and--once again--I was so, so happy with the results. I love that Minted offers so many cute designs, that they can print the return address on the envelope (lifesaver!), and that there are really cool ways to customize your cards. I went with the "Whirlwind Christmas" design, and chose to personalize ours a bit further by including two more photos on the back, plus a short update about what my kids are doing these days. (If you're interested, here are some past holiday cards: 2015, 2014, and my "work" card from 2015--still a favorite!).

Whatever you're up to today, I hope it's amazing! Have a wonderful holiday.

Disclosure: Minted--a brand I have long used and loved--gifted me these cards, so that I could consider them for coverage on this site. As always, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gift Guide: My Holiday Wish List

gifts for women
leggings // blowdryer // sneakers // antelope-print bag // hair elastics // ring // necklace // Beautyblender set // book // makeup-palette clutch // malachite tray // snow boots

I'm at the point in my life, when I really don't need much. But it's still fun to look and dream, right? From beauty essentials to the coolest-ever boots, these are a few of the things I would love to see under my tree this year. 

{top row}

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings - I've wanted these forever. They're so flattering and so comfy--and (obviously) much cheaper than real leather. And the wine color (my favorite!) is on sale now right here.

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer - It's so expensive for a dryer, but everyone I've talked to is obsessed. Supposedly, it cuts down your blowdrying time significantly and it weighs practically nothing.

Vans Classic Slip-Ons - They're shearling-lined! Would be so cozy for winter.

Barrington The Savannah Zippered Tote - I love me a good antelope print. 

{middle row}

David Yurman Green Onyx Ring - Like a subversive little jeweled gumball, it's a total luxury, total fantasy gift. But so gorg, right? Fantastic Elastics - I'm forever in need of hair elastics and I love the pink and gold color scheme here!

Lulu Frost Proxima Tassel Necklace - I wear my gold Lulu Frost tassel necklace to an almost embarrassingly-frequent degree. This one would be great for silver-jewelry days.

Beautyblender Fab.Five Set - I am obsessed with my Beautyblender, but I am in dire need of a new one. This set comes with five full-size blenders--one in every color. (Also love this set with one Beautyblender and a mini solid cleanser.) 

{bottom row}

18 and Life On Skid Row - I loved the band Skid Row--and its lead singer Sebastian Bach, in particular--as a teenager. In fact, that's actually a major understatement. I was obsessed. Now, he's out with a new biography and I'm dying to read about all the crazy backstage stuff you just know they did back then. It even comes with a poster! Be still my teenage heart...

Kate Spade Makeup Palette Clutch - Omg! A clutch that looks like an eyeshadow palette! This is the cutest!! Best part: It's currently on sale, plus you can get an extra 30% off with code SPRINKLES. (Also love this one, which is less expensive and also on sale...)

L'Objet Malachite Tray - I'd love to put this pretty piece in my (newly redesigned!) entryway.

Sorel Joan of Arc Leather Snow Boots - Hands down, these are the chicest snow boots I have ever seen. That gold hardware!! (h/t Girls of a Certain Age for this one)

What's on your holiday list this year? And what's your favorite item here? I'd love to know!


Monday, December 19, 2016

The Best Stocking Stuffers for Kids (That You Can STILL Get In Time!)

gifts for kids
Shopkins socks // Matchbox cars // tights // Shopkins ornament // Star Wars ornament // Mickey Band-Aids // brick silverware // Beanie Boo // Spiderman // superhero underwear // Goody elastics // Whiffer Sniffer sno-cone and banana // Lip Smackers // crazy straws // Trolls blind bag

Okay, slackers, I'm talking to you today. (And believe me: I include myself in this group!) If you still need to buy stocking stuffers for your kids, I've got you covered. Pretty much everything below will get here by Christmas for free. (Target has free two-day delivery if you order by 12/21. And then, of course, Amazon has two-day shipping with Prime.) 

I also tried to include a mix of items that are practical-but-fun and just plain fun, which is what I do with my own kids' stockings. (Personally, I am not into putting totally useless junk into stockings that will just get thrown away.)

Happy shopping!

1) Socks - I got my son this Spiderman set. There's also TrollsHarry Potter, and more.

2) Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars - I got my son this set. I'm planning to open the package, put two or three in his stocking, and then save the others for future gifts or plane trips!

3) Tights - Cat & Jack (Target's new-ish kids brand) has great ones. I got my daughter this LOL pair and this smiley face pair.

4) Ornaments - Each Christmas, I get each of my kids an ornament based on something they're really into that year. I figure it will be fun to look back on these as they get older! (It's also an easy stocking stuffer!) So here's some ideas if your kids are into Star WarsShopkinsSpiderman, or Disney princesses.

5) Band-Aids - I never seem to have enough Band-Aids in the house--and my kids get super bummed over a plain one. Go get a few cute ones! There's MickeyMonster HighStar Wars, and so much more. (These look like strips of bacon!)

6) Cute silverware - Fun flatware is such a simple little thing, but it makes meal time more fun and they get really excited about it! Here's some cute pairs with Star WarsMinnie Mouse, and Minions. My favorite is probably this Lego set--it's really cute. (This one, too!)

7) Mini stuffed animals - Cuddly, cute, and always welcome. Beanie Boos are huge with boys and girls; my son is getting this round Spiderman.

8) Underwear - My son actually asked for new underwear this year! He's getting Thomas, but onviously there's zillions of other characters and designs out there. And a multi-pack is pretty cheap.

9) Hair elastics - Useful and fun. And they don't have to be expensive. Just grab a pack of colorful elastics from Target or Amazon. My go-to brands are Goody and Scunci.

10) Whiffer Sniffers - Both of my kids are so into these now. They are cute little plush food-shaped characters that smell like whatever they look like. (So cookiebananasnow cone, etc.) Kids clip them on their backpacks and they are all the rage right now! 

11) Lip balm - Little kids love it--and they need it, too. The flavored ones are super fun. For kids, I love Lip Smackers or Pucker Pops. 

12) Crazy straws - Always fun!

13) Blind bags - These are little mystery bags that have a single toy inside. You know the type of toy that it will be (i.e. SplashlingsTrollsPlaymobil), but you don't know the specific one until you open it up. Kids love the surprise. These cute Shopkins blind "bags" are shaped like ornaments.

For more stocking stuffer ideas, check out last year's post on stocking stuffers for kids--that aren't a bunch of junk! And then, don't miss my other 2016 gift guides featuring the best toys, beauty gifts, gifts under $50, gifts for girls, and gifts for boys

Friday, December 16, 2016

15 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

Our first (and last) visit to Santa at Macy's. The line is insane. We waited an hour and a half; when we left, the line was up to three hours! #neveragain

We're just over a week away from Christmas, you guys! I'm going to spend this last week in massive prep mode. I've got a few last-minute presents to buy, a house to clean up, freelance stories to wrap up, and lots more. But I'll get to relax in 2017, right? (Haha!)

Whatever you're up to this weekend, make it great! Here's a few fun links to check out in the meantime. Enjoy!

• This $69 sweater is as cozy as your favorite sweatshirt--but looks way more put together. (And even kind of sexy!)

• So pretty! These greeting cards double as gifts with actual pieces of jewelry worked into the designs. 

• Anthropologie is having a sale right now! 30% off all clothes.

• J.Crew has the cutest ever bags for girls right now. They're expensive (for a kid's purse), but a few of the cutest ones are on sale right now (30% off with code HOLIDAY). I got this glitter pizza bag for my daughter for X-mas. I also love this glitter heart-eyes emoji and the sparkly birthday cake slice.

• Remember those light-up makeup mirrors everyone had back in college? This JUNO mirror is the updated, 2017 version and it's so cool. (It doubles as a selfie light!)

• Spencer Pratt (of The Hills fame--duh) shares his beauty routine. #hilarious

• My two favorite podcasts right now: Keepin' It 1600 (a funny, smart political show hosted by former Obama aides--I'm obsessed) and Making Oprah (a behind-the-scenes look at Oprah's show. So interesting and well-done!)

• I need a Cindy Crawford Barbie doll!

• Get your tissues ready: This little boy's letter to his dad in heaven is absolutely heartbreaking. 

• First glimpse at the spawn of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds! Their daughter's curls are just beyond.

And if you still need presents, check out my gift guides for...

• The Best Gifts Under $30

• The 15 Best Beauty Gifts

• The Best Gifts for Little Boys

• The Best Gifts For Little Girls

• The Hottest Holiday Toys