Last week, I took a trip to the Apple store. Oh, the Apple store. It’s like a Dylan’s Candy Bar for adults. Like it’s namesake, in the Garden of Eden, or in the hands of Snow White’s evil stepmother, APPLE was so inviting… so enticing. There it was, in all of its overcrowded, 8 gazillion watt minimalistic splendor. Continue reading
Nearly a decade ago, I moved to the suburbs from NYC (it’s the sole reason I started my blog). In that time I’ve learned some pretty important things to ensure my survival, nay, my sanity.
If my ‘burb sent out a handbook it would look something like this. Feel free to use it as a mini-survival guide. Good luck and in the words of that guy on Hill Street Blues, ‘Hey, let’s be careful out there.’
- All children must be signed up for multiple sports and extracurricular activities, to ensure that no family can plan anything on a Saturday until their kids are too old to want to spend Saturday’s with their family.
- Do NOT be alarmed if you try to enter the wrong minivan or SUV, this is common. Try to lessen the confusion by putting fun stickers on your back windshield representing each of your children performing their favorite activity.
- You can paint your house one of 477 shades of tan. Other colors will be categorically denied, so don’t even try it!
- If your child has strep or hand foot and mouth, be aware that the entire town will know about it before you get his/her prescription filled. PS this same urgency in passing news applies to affairs as well!
- As a suburban mom you are expected to start some kind of craft business immediately. Your choices are: hair accessories, jewelry, embellished clothing, or things you can print on card stock — anything else must be cleared through the Chamber of Commerce.
- If you already have a job, you are expected to purchase these crafted goods, in bulk, at the myriad of local holiday boutiques that celebrate everything from Ramadan to Flag Day. Like PTA meetings, being absent is frowned upon.
- If you do not find a grocery store or Starbucks within one mile of your current position, you’re lost and have entered an inferior neighborhood! Please stay calm and return to your suburb immediately.
- You are required to join a gym. There, you must take spin classes with disco lighting, pretzel yourself into a reformer, and learn the art-form that is Zumba.
- You will be expected to pressure clean anything and everything from your sidewalk to your dog. Be prepared.
- Make sure your dog is cute, as neighbors will constantly stop to pet it. Be warned, the same neighbors will turn you in to the association the first time Rufus barks after 9PM. (Don’t name your dog Rufus)
- Make an immediate trip to lululemon/Athetica/GapBody/Target … and pick up workout/athletic/golf/tennis gear that’s trendier than simply wearing sweatpants. Wear these goods at least 50 -100% of the time; in the winter, simply wear your athletic gear with Uggs.
- You will need to attend a mind-numbing amount of birthday lunches/dinners for ladies turning anywhere from 30-50. Get there early, as who you sit next to (or don’t sit next to) can make or break your day.
- Cut back on sex ASAP, as you will find yourself in conversations where moms discuss their infrequent, and unsatisfying sex life regularly — at lunches, parties, dinners, play-dates.
- And stop giving blow-jobs! People in the ‘burbs are only expected to give them on birthdays and anniversaries (it’s one of the perks).
- Living in the ‘burbs is a little like reading Us Weekly: Everything is sensationalized. It’s fun to discuss “who wore it best,” but not as much fun as playing Fashion Police. You will find yourself looking for cellulite/wrinkles on young skinny moms. And gossip is treated as gospel.
I hope this helps you fit into the suburban life you’ve chosen. Maybe I’ll see you at the next boutique sale — I’ll be selling picture frames with random findings glued on to them!
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BE “AWESOMER,” TAKE ME SHOE SHOPPING!
How many moms are stuck in the “Mom Uniform” rut: Grabbing the first pair of comfy sweats/jeans, throwing on a quickie tank/sweater, tying your hair in a pony, slapping on a little gloss, and darting out the door?
The answer: Too many.
Which is why I’ve made a conscious effort NOT to fall into that “mom trap.” OK I’ll admit, I have donned workout wear simply to get out the door when I had no intention of coming within 100 yards of a gym or treadmill. I’m only slightly ashamed of that trick, as I feel it makes me seem motivated, gives me an excuse for not putting together a trendy outfit, and I look a hell of a lot better than I would if I’d actually worked up a sweat! We’ll call it workout glam!
Listen, I’ve given up many things since becoming a mom: perky boobs, solo trips to the restroom, an enormous amount of hair (I had no idea how much hair I would lose after pregnancies) … but the one thing I refuse to give up is being glam.
If that means my stilettos dig deeper and deeper into that weird rubber mulch you find at new playgrounds, so be it. I don’t care if someone has to siphon me out of that veritable quicksand, that little bit of glam is all I have left!
This week, on my show, I get to be the expert! Yes, I impart some of my favorite tips to get a little extra glam (don’t worry, no stilettos are involved). I simply tell you how to enhance your look and glam yourself up, whether you’re “snack mom” at a soccer game or you’re spending Saturday night out with the hubs.
I’ve listed my absolute favorite products below to coincide with the video and my best tips. ENJOY! PS you’ll get to see all my phases of trying to emulate hair-styles of the celebs from “The Dorothy Hamill” to …
1. A girl’s best friend – “Chicken Cutlets” AKA boob enhancers. These are great whether you want to go up a size or fill in volume loss and sagging … plus they bounce baby!
Takeouts silicone bra inserts ($48 Bare Necessities)
2. Loooooong lashes – Kim K is not the only one who likes the look of falsies! Lashes enhancing is a must. Yes, I’ve written out how to apply the fakes, but for a quick and easy “I’m a mom, I don’t have time to glue lashes on, ” fix — try Too Faced Better than False Lashes system ($35 Sephora). OK, you’ll need to make 3 passes, but the extra 15 seconds is worth it.
3. A good foundation is the key to many things (younger looking skin, included). My best secret EVER: Purchase the Temptu foundation ($25 Sears) that’s used for airbrush make up machines and apply it with a regular makeup brush or your fingers. It’s amazing because it’s meant to spread super thin via airbrush, plus it’s silicone based, which means it won’t clog pores, and lasts all day. You used to only be able to get it at professional makeup artist stores and sites, but now they’re selling it at Sear! Makeup and a power-drill in the same place, how convenient!
4. Accentuate the positives – a quick highlighter at the top of the cheekbone (like seen in the video) can help make you look more glowy and alert, even if you were up with the baby half the night! I love Moon Beam by Benefit ($26 Sephora)
5. Hair enhancements – EVERY celeb has these, whether it’s a clip on set of bangs, some strips of color, a braid to accentuate their whimsical side, or extra mane for length or volume. I loooove the clip-ins because they don’t damage your hair and they’re shockingly easy to do! I recommend the virgin human hair. I got mine at Aztig, Sheila (the owner) specializes in extensions. She can ship them to be matched and cut by your stylist of she can do a color match for you with photographs.
The bane of suburbia… the teenage wannabe gangsta. Beware their 8 Mile lingo, tee-shirts with moderately offensive sayings, and fro-yo addiction. They’re hoodlums alright. Well, they wear hoodies and they live in the hood, well, the middle class suburban neighbor’hood.
So the last two days I’ve taken my son to the skate park at the Kirshberg YMCA in middle/upper class USA. Be careful with the bigger kids, I warned my son, I don’t know if they’re so good.
“What, those kids are bad? How do you know?”
“Well, for one, none of them are wearing helmets or pads.”
“Plus, none of them is lucky enough to have his mom cheer him on from the sidelines.”
“Oh, aaaaand I saw one of them smoking!”
“No way. No one was smoking” my little innocent said, aghast. (Kids are really anti-smoking these days. If only they knew what chimneys their grandparents were.)
“Yo G, I got 4S” one of the older kids yelled to the others.
“No way, Seri is my bitch, yo.” Another yelled back… through his braces.
Wow, you know who thinks these kids are baaad? They do. I mean, really? Is this what happens when you’re so bored of suburbia? Can their parents stop laughing long enough to tell them how ridiculous they sound?
“WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE LITTLE KIDS?” inquired one of the white suburbanites, who got dropped off in his momma’s Beamer.
“I know, yo. Is that one on a rip stick?” The one wearing the unfortunate fashion statement of a tee-shirt, which said, “Smell my Bag,” asked… referring to MY little kid.
My ears perked up, ready to jump in with something like, “You got a problem with my son biatch???” Oh, I can do “thug wannabe” just as good as these pishers. Plus, I’ve actually lived in a city, that’s street cred, G… Props.
“Shit, that kid is bad ass, that’s hard to do.” One marveled.
Phew, he’s lucky he called my kid “bad ass,” ‘cause homie was about to get a beat down. Plus, he IS bad ass. I wonder if he knows it?
“Mom, mom watch me do this… mooooooooommmm watch! Are you watching???” Jake yelled, unaware.
Well, that answered that question.
Frankly, Jake had no problem with these boys. He climbed up to the highest ramp and chilled at the top, as all the suburban gangsta’s tried to decide where to go next. (Hollister, Starbucks, Jamba Juice?) I know, you wouldn’t want to run into them in a dark alley. It would look like this (insert squiggly dream sequence lines here.)~~~~
“Yo bro, where do you think you’re going, BIATCH?”
“Umm, I was going to Abercrombie, but take what you want…”
“F@ck that, we were going there too! I got a sick coupon, G.”
As I contemplated the irony of this scene a new playa‘ walked up to me and asked, “Are my eyes ridiculously dilated?”
Oh, this one’s the real deal, huh? Doing drugs at the park and flippant enough to ask an adult about his “tells”?
“Um. yep, kinda.” I answered, “Why do you wanna know?” I followed. Look, if he’s insolent enough to ask, I get to ask back.
“Oh, because, I just went to Dr. Rothberg, you know the ophthalmologist? He did those drops and I don’t know if I should skate in the sun before they wear off.” He replied like a kid debating whether to wait the full half hour after eating, to go into the pool.
“Well, sure sure not a great idea.” I said, trying to squelch my laughter.
“Ok then,” he said as if I had given him sound parental advice. Then he walked into the ramped- up hockey rink and yelled to his boyz, “F@ck this shit, I’m gonna get a f@cking smoothie, yo.”
“Yeah f@ck this, let’s get smoothies,” Smell my bag, concurred.
“No way, bro, I want fro yo, yo.” piped another…
And they were gone, those crazy hooligans arguing off into the sunset about toppings and calorie counts, and spoiling their appetites.
If you liked the post push “like” up top. If you loved it, please share at the bottom and if it didn’t float your boat … let’s keep it on the DL!!!
I was nominated for Circle Of Moms — please please — Simply click and vote!!! XO
–Dealing with a lost pet can be extremely daunting… even if it’s a ladybug.
I can still hear the faint murmurs of my son Jake’s 40-minute meltdown when his pet ladybug, “Lady,” flew away. We kidnapped this 4 year old (or 4 day old bug – whatever the spot things mean), at the top of Mount Aspen. Jake loved her, cared for her, nurtured her, taught her to ride a bike, and started a 529 plan in her name. About a quarter of the way down the mountain, Lady flew to the ceiling of our gondola and made a mad dash for freedom.
Jake jumped out of his seat and bounced towards the door. This caused the gondola to start swinging. According to the warning sign that pictured a man falling out of the gondola to his unexpected demise, wild swinging was strictly forbidden. “Jake, you can’t jump around. Do you see what happened to the unfortunate man on the sign?”
Jake continued searching, intensely focused on the whereabouts of Lady. “Hey, do you guys hear her? I can hear her. Do you hear her?” he said desperately, like someone who could put a straight jacket to good use. Continue reading
My shampoo experiment is over! You thought you knew me, but did you know I have been doing a test to see how long I could go without buying shampoo or conditioner? Probably not. Sheesh, some readers you are. The answer, by the way is 2 years.
Oh, relax I didn’t say I went that long without using it. Continue reading
Okay, if you wanted more of me, you finally get it. I am doing a daily post for Nick’s ParentConnect.com on how to find time to do stuff for YOU. Yes, I am their Celebrity host for the month of November. Either they are seriously hard-up or I am getting “awesomer.” What a fitting turn around from my last post… Humiliation on the Roller Rink, Circa 1984! I read on Page 6 that Patrick Star was slotted to host this November, but was forced to decline after an unforeseen jellyfishing incident. Also, he is illiterate, though reading was not a prerequisite for the job. I will be toiling away at my keyboard all month, so you can get stuff done. If you have had just about enough of me at one post per week, I must warn you, you will be getting an annoying update every morning that links you to that day’s Me Time problem and solution. I hope you stick around, read some… and even comment or join the site!
Jenny From the Blog
I don’t have time for my Hubby:
Remember when you first met your honey? That look of love in your eyes? The way you could just go to a restaurant or a movie without having to call anyone but the reservation line? Do you remember when you could “get it on” in places other than your bedroom… with the lights off… while trying to catch an episode of The Amazing Race… and praying no one wakes up hungry, wet, or scared? It seems like forever ago, right? The idea of a date seems arcane, and the thought of uninhibited sex is nostalgic. Well, you’re together now, so you need to make time to enjoy yourselves.
How to find time for your mate: MORE
I don’t have time to work out:
There used to be a time before kids and before my 30’s when I ate chicken wings, nachos and burgers freely. Now I can trace the outline of a single Cheeto in my belly. Even worse, my thighs seem to be having a love affair with one another, which makes walking in corduroys a very noisy endeavor. If you want the bod you had pre-babies, you have to work at it. So, I will help you find ways to work working out back into your schedule.
How to find time to work out: MORE
I don’t have time for a hobby:
Since I loooove writing, this is one challenge I have a lot of experience with. I can tell you that it’s not easy to find the time. Our hobbies, crafts, and other creative endeavors get left behind by feedings, diaper changes and helping with homework. But whether you like to write, draw, knit, crochet, paint, sculpt, take pictures, play an instrument, scrapbook or make crafts, you don’t have to let go of the things you enjoy. Here are some creative ideas to find time for your artistic side.
How to find time for a hobby: MORE
You know when you’re feeling a little big for your britches? (Using that phrase alone should nullify anything I’m about to say.) Then you get a flashback, a glimpse of some past experience that is earth shatteringly embarrassing and the universe puts you right back in your place?
Well, here I am trying to parlay this “CBS Expert Mom” thing into a piece for a national magazine. I am at my laptop touting myself as an “expert,” and trying to seem way more important than I am. Just as I am rambling on about my amazing qualifications to a senior editor, whom I shouldn’t be writing directly in the first place, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” comes on the radio. I am immediately transported to Cockeysville Skateland circa 1984. Its Girl’s Skate, the disco lights take over the floor.
Now, if you are unfamiliar with roller skate culture, “Girl’s Skate” is the precursor to “Couple’s Skate.” During “Girl’s Skate,” your job, as a girl is to look as cool as possible. You have to rock your shirt with the iron-on decal, those jeans with a comb sticking out of the back pocket, and those leg warmers you shoved up over them to add a “Flashdance” effect. The boys watch from around the rink and if they likes what they sees, they put out a hand for you to slap. The hand out also implies that they would like to Couples Skate with you. If you think they’re cute, you slap their out-stretched hand. Yes, it is an exercise in self esteem. Years of this did quite a number on my psyche.
On one particular day, I had my eye on a very cute older boy; he may have even been a preteen! I spotted him from across the crowded rink, as my dad laced up his skates trying to catch up to my speedy entrance. Oh, I didn’t mention that my dad skated with me every week? How could I forget that detail, this story is about how cool I am right?
Here I am doing my best tricks: The speed up and glide, the crouch down and stick one leg forward, the professional leg cross weave around the corners. I look around at the outstretched arms, More than a feelin, should be my background music. As a sensitive kid, I am an equal opportunity slapper. So, I slap the hand of anyone that puts it out there, unless they’re really dorky and everyone else is avoiding them, obviously! Those poor kids go home and make “kill lists,” or comfort themselves with their Star Wars figurines.
Then I spotted him, that cute preteen, he looked bad. I mean good bad. He probably drove here on his motorized dirt bike with his skates hanging from the handle bars and a switchblade hiding in his pocket. He was definitely from the other side of the tracks. You know, like Matt Dillon was in Little Darlings. I noticed that he wasn’t really offering his hand to too many girls and in a defensive action started to skate towards the middle. As I got closer, he did it. He eyed me and then threw out his hand. Holy crap, that’s for me and now I’m so far on the inside I’ll never make it, and then we won’t get to couples skate. I won’t be able to hold his hand, which I’m sure will be cool and big, not small and sweaty, like the other boys I always couples skate with. He may even be good enough to do the envied backwards hands on hips skate! My life is officially over…Move Jenny, move. I weaved through a few slow girls and reached as far as I could to touch even a fingertip. Then in a crushing blow he pulled his hand back and pretending to slick his hair… Shit, he gave me the “psyyyyych.”
To add insult to injury, or in this case injury to insult, my arm had overstretched to meet his teasing gesture. I felt myself going down think slo-mo in some cheesy 80’s film. Ohhhh Nnnoooo, I grabbed at the wall to pull myself in and slammed straight into it, then ricocheted off, and slapped to the ground. I am SO COOL! I got up quickly and ran to the bathroom to cry in a stall, while reading about who is ez, and who loves whom 4-ever. “Couple’s Skate” started without me, as if the most horrifying incident had not just occurred on that concrete slab of rejection. I remember the song perfectly, it was Air Supply’s, “All Out of Love” or maybe Journey’s “Open Arms,” or some ballad by Foreigner or Styx. I also remember the pain, oh the pain and the uncoolness. Apparently, you can’t get too cocky in Cockeysville, cause someone will put you right back in your insecure, struggling, awkward place… where you belong. Unfortunately, I’ve been put in my place too many times than I care to remember. Even as an adult, a simple song can bring back an experience that sends you to rock in a corner.
Dear Senior Editor- I am a lowly writer, eh forget get it.
Leo: “Hello I’m Leo here with June of the Little Einstein’s and welcome to the Red Carpet for the annual Toony Awards. Unfortunately, my sister Annie is with Rocket and Cooper Anderson in the Gobi Desert. I’m told they’re singing baba waba Osama to Beethoven’s 9th, in a bunker that strangely resembles Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” picture of melting clocks.
Quincy is not here because he is attending a rally for “Out” magazine. Not that an effeminate black male who is scared of the dark and plays multiple instruments including the flute, piccolo, and triangle has to be gay, he’s just exploring his options.
But, we are on a very important mission right here in Orlando Florida, cartoon capital of the world. Let’s check in on June who is with the cast of Blue’s Clues.”
June: “Hi Joe, I want to ask what is on everyone’s mind… What are you wearing?”
Joe: “I have on an green on green striped tuxedo by Ralph Lauren purple label. Side Table drawer is wearing a runner from Isaac Mizrahi for Target and a vintage Tiffany lamp.”
June: “Well she is truly glowing. Teehee. Let me ask you Joe, is your acceptance speech written in your handy dandy notebook?”
Joe: “It actually is, and the notebook was encrusted by Judith Leiber to look like a handbag.”
June: “Fabulous may I see it? I see a crying boy in a monochromatic shirt, a can of gasoline, and a pack of matches. Hmm, these clues can be so hard to decipher. Leo back to you”
Leo: “Well it looks like another banner year for the Latinos. Regretfully, Handy Manny will not be able to make it due to a citizenship issue however, he did build the stage. Dora is up for best actress in a Series Over-Using the Word “Aaabre”. She appears to be solomente. This is a smart call after last year’s awkward celebratory french kiss with her cousin Diego and that highly disturbing make-out session with her pet monkey, Boots. June do you have any celebs over there?”
June: “Yes, I am watching the Mystery Mobile pull up, and what an entrance! Shaggy, Scooby and what looks like the 1976 Harlem Globetrotters have appeared like magic out of a huge puff of smoke. They seem to be heading this way however, it may take some time as there legs are spinning, but they are actually not moving…Ah, welcome fellas today must be very exciting.”
Scooby: “Reah, reah, rexciting.”
Shaggy: “Hey, like do you have any snacks, we’ve like got the munchies.”
Scooby: “Reah, runchies.”
June: “I actually do not, try the E! booth they don’t pay that vampire Seacrest the big bucks for nothin’. Hey Leo, getta load of that clown walking down the carpet.”
Leo: “Yes, June there’s JoJo and right behind her are the Disney princesses, who as you probably heard spearheaded a recent movement forcing cartoonists to draw underwear on all female characters. This of course is in response to circulating internet pictures of a fully plucked Daisy Duck exiting a limo on her way to Minnie Mouse’s “2 Weeks Jack Free” celebration… Monterey Jack, that is. Let’s ponder that while I send it back to June and the cast of Rugrats.”
June: “Hi, Tommy and Angelina Pickles, your show is up for it’s holiday special “Santa Woks” is that a cooking show?”
Tommy: “No, I have a wittle twouble tawking… I’m 1.”
June: “I see, well as you probably know you are one of the only Jewish cartoon families ever drawn aside from the short lived series “Moisha and the Shiksa.” And here you are nominated for a Christmas special. Angelica, don’t you feel it’s your responsibility to be role models to young Jewish children and to break stereotypes?”
Angelica: “We took our image very seriously as we calculated the estimated earnings of ‘Santa Woks’ vs. our original script ‘2000 years of Bondage.’ Which by the way we are producing, but in another film genre. We just signed Ron Jeremy on to play Moses’s staff”
June: “Well I’m sure Quincy will want to check that out. Leo back to you.”
Leo: “Everyone is still waiting to see if Barney will walk the red carpet. He has been rather elusive after rare footage was released on YouTube of him purveying fire whiskey to minors and singing “I love you, you love me” to Callou, Little Bear, and Oswald during a raucous sleepover. This ended in the wee hours of the morning after they allegedly took turns riding Thomas the Train.”
“Well that’s our time…Enjoy the show! Leo OUT!”
I’m not gonna name names, as I would certainly be one of them, but there are distinct qualities that describe most Facebookers.
The Over Sharer -This person seems to think that a trip to the store, a traffic jam, or the weather is worth repeating. They give updates like a minute to minute log. “Sitting in traffic.” “When will it stop raining?” “Just left SB, grande cap, mmmmm.” The Over Sharer is also the most enabled of all personalities. Other Over Sharers are constantly responding to their minute to minutes with fascinating epiphanies like “LOL” or “Rain makes me sleepy” or “Love Starbucks J” (Yes, let’s not forget the smileys, winkeys, and frowneys.)
The Workout Addict and the Closet Alcoholic -These people are actually the same, personality-wise. They feel the need to tell you what they’re drinkin’ or what they’re doin’ in the gym… and the stats. I think they’re both sending signals that require intervention. “20 mile jog, 500 sit-ups and feelin’ it.” “5 mojitos, ahhh” Not only do they flaunt the accomplishments of their pastimes, they like to question their friends as to whether or not to do it. “Do I climb a mountain, or go to the 10:15 spin?” “Drinks with the boys at Lucky’s, or sit on the couch with a cold one?” 😉
The Just “is” – At first I thought these people were publishing this status by accident, but then I realized certain people do it more than others. Either they have sausage fingers and can’t work the keyboard or they just “are.” What does that mean? Is that a call for sympathy a cry for help? A Buddhist feeling of zen? You people are too profound for me. ):
The Gibbrisher -Everyone knows a Gibbrisher. This person speaks in code. Code that at least one friend understands, while the other 500 hundred friends are wondering what the hell, “is so $ due MJ explosion!” means? LMAO
The TMIer -This person is like the Over Sharer in that they have too much time, but takes it one step further by including info about last night’s sex, a bout of diarrhea, or an overly itchy rash. Anytime you talk about your own genitals in any fashion, you fall into this category, BEWARE. TMI
The Self Promoter –Don’t waste your time thinking, “Oh, the irony,” I know this is me. This person thinks that their business is of the utmost importance, TO YOU. They don’t want you to miss a single sale, review, TV spot, story, or promo. They ask that you join the 50 fan clubs, groups, and subscription sites that they have spent valuable work time setting up. Don’t think we, I mean they don’t check to see if you join every one of those clubs and sites! IMHO
Honorable mention: The Quoter and The Lyricist.
BTW-There will be a sequel. I would love to hear about your experiences with these personalities and the other personalities you have encountered.
OMG I almost forgot please join my fan page on FB , seriously!
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I am now freelancing for iVillage, which is an amazing site for women. They cover enough issues to give me work and let me keep the humor in my essays. Those pieces will not be printed on my site as it is against my contract. I will give you the links as I get them and I am so happy to share the news with you all. The first article is
Do You Have a Case of Nanny Envy? I hope you read it, tweet it, FB it, email it, and continue to enjoy me here at Suburban Jungle!
Thanks for your unwavering support!
J from the B
PS- if you haven’t read iCan’t iStand the iApple Store, do so. It set new records on my site!!!