Daily Cookie

July 30, 2007, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Fierce

I feel like I have finally shed my winter coat.  I am not talking about a fur or a Montcler, but rather that little extra roll that gathers around your midriff over the holidays and winter months. Mine came out of hibernation a bit later this year, but I feel like I am now at my summer weight.   

I honestly don’t want to come across like one of¬†those stick thin girls who is always complaining she is fat.¬† I eat healthy and am a fitness fanatic.¬† But I am also¬†a victim of liking my wine and penny candy.¬† I swear if I cut both of out of my life I would be killer, but life is way too short and¬†I crave my Skittles.¬† And I know there are alot of you out there who can relate.¬† We know our own bodies to the point where it becomes an obsession.¬† And that extra 2 – 3 pounds we gain each month just puts us over the edge.¬† Suddenly even our “fat jeans”¬†don’t sit as well and everything in our closet just seems a bit snug in all the wrong places.¬†¬†¬†Yes,¬†I wear my cranky pants about once a month –¬†however now they don’t feel¬†as tight.¬†¬†

This summer I have been determined to overcome these feelings both mentally and physically.¬† I have always been a fan of working out.¬† I can’t function if I dont have some sort of physical activity in my life to balance out the stress of my job.¬† Sweat, listening to my all time favorite rock songs¬†(I have a playlist “Dirty Rock Songs“on my iPod just for working out) and those sweet little cuts you get on either side of your stomach are my saving graces.¬†

Which is probably the reason why I am also obsessed with pilates.   Pilates is both a mind and body exercise.  I have been practicing pilates for years now.  Okay you got me, sometimes consistently and sometimes not.  I started pilates seven years ago with private lessons three times a week.  I used to think money grew on trees.          

Coincidently, this is also the same time I started working with that guy who was just nominated for Best Actor in a Drama.  So Sarah (my instructor ) became my personal trainer and my therapist at the same time.  I truly believed she changed my body and my life.  She is now one of my best friends.

What I love about pilates is that it strenghtens and tones without bulking.¬† I hate the word bulk.¬† It’s an amazing work out if you give it the time and devotion it needs.¬† You learn how to isolate and use muscles you never knew you had.¬† It cuts inches of your problem areas and elongates your muscles giving you¬†a celebrity physique.¬† Your posture improves, your core¬†becomes flat and sexy minus the six pack look and¬†your legs look longer and leaner.¬† Hello gap shot.¬†¬†

Think about it.  Instead of always contracting your muscles, you elongate them.  Long, lean muscle without the bulk.  I am in!

I also like to run.¬†¬†I know I am contradicting myself, but can’t help it, I¬†love the rush and the sweat.¬† So pilates helps me that much more.¬†¬†And for any guys out there who may be reading this, it’s all about your core.¬† Think hockey.¬† Think baseball. Think golf.¬†

Recently, I¬† took this whole strengthen and stretching concept one step further.¬† I tried Gyrotonics.¬† Ever seen any of these machines?¬† The look like they have guest starred¬†in a¬†Hannibal Lecter¬†film.¬† They are scary and intimidating, but again the results are fierce.¬†¬†I have tried a few times now.¬† We end our pilates routine about 15 minutes early to stretch even more and gain flexibility.¬† Let me tell you, when¬†I get step off one of these contraptions I feel like I don’t need my heels.¬†¬†I swear I grow¬†2 inches each time.¬† Now I know what Bobby Brady¬†was thinking when he used to hang from the swing set.¬† Same effect.¬†¬†

If you haven’t tried pilates, I urge you to give it an honest¬†shot.¬† Not once or twice, but for an extended¬†period of time.¬† Buy all the classes in advance.¬† You will feel obligated to go.¬† Try privates at first to learn the exercise philosophy, the routines and to find the best instructor for you.¬†You can introduce duets or trios into the mix later.¬† This will save face with your checkbook.¬†¬†You will feel destined¬†to go after you see the results.¬†¬†¬†

I have decided to invest in a great new winter coat this year.¬† To quote my friend Mo, “The kind that when you have it on,¬†it doesn’t matter¬†what you are wearing underneath.”

Until then, my only other major purchase is a renewed membership to my pilates studio.  This morning after a great workout, I bought another 10 session card. 

Aahh. . .summer thinking weighing in.  You better believe it matters what is underneath. 

July 14, 2007, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Fierce

photo3.jpgMy friend Nance was laid off from work this week.  We all knew it was pending but the reality of it still hurt. Luckily, we had already planned this girls weekend.  In my opinion, its a great way to cheer anyone up.  Spending time with friends, shopping and some great wine always does the trick for me.  (See picture) But when suggesting my possible remedies to her woes, we realized that now retail therapy (one of my all time favorite excuses) became a question rather than a solution.   Was it a luxury or a necessity?

Let me start by telling you that Nance is also my friend who coined the phrase major purchase.  We do pilates duets every week and most days she would leave the studio saying she needed another MP.  Her last break up she bought a Me and Ro necklace she just had to have (the bracelet to match too) and just told us that ironically enough, she found it when cleaning out her desk at work.  She brought it to the Cape.  It is dull and rusted. Her necklace, like her life, needs a major shine up. 

We have spent the morning munching on a yummy spa breakfast that consists of papaya and mixed berries.  We plan on making egg white omelettes when we return from the fitness center at the club.   Nance and I are lucky enough to belong to a club that feels like we are vacationing at the Four Seasons every weekend.  Sometimes this is taken for granted.  But truth be told, it is a luxury.   

We tried listing all the other “luxuries” in her life that she could possibly eliminate or at least cut back.¬†¬†We concluded¬†that ¬†most everything from communication (she is thinking of getting the new iPhone) to maintenance (she needs the bod and the clothes to get a great new job) has become a necessity in both of our lives. We are simply babes in medialand.¬† So funny that I am writing about this again.¬† It was the title of my thesis in grad school.¬†

Bottom line, now that we are watching it, is that it is hard to distingiush an “L” from an “N.”¬† Everything we see, read, watch and absorb tries to persuade us to be¬†better, do more and live in excess.¬†

My Aunt Jubes (who again ironically enough is on her way to down to join us)¬†always told me that if something made¬†me happy,¬†I should have it.¬† Of course back then, I¬†applied it to¬†new¬†shoes or a boy.¬† Now¬†I realize that happiness¬†isn’t about a pair of heels or some guy.¬† Happiness is a luxury.¬† And¬†it is a major necessity.¬†¬†

July 12, 2007, 1:11 am
Filed under: Fierce
I am not the type of girl who has a signature scent.  My mom wore Chanel No. 5 for years and I was into Coco Chanel as a teenager (the double C’s were also my initials so I thought I was way cool) but that has all changed now, including my initials.
I tend to find fragrances and wear them for a long time.¬† It becomes my ‚Äúall-time favorite perfume right now.‚Ä̬† I just started laughing out loud on a train because this title also applies to my music.¬† I have quite the list of my all time favorite songs right now too.¬† Guess it‚Äôs just a character trait.¬† Anyway I just drained my third bottle of Velvet Rope by Apothia and before that I was really into Bond No. 9 Nuits de Noho.¬† Both scents so appropriate for my profession but I assure you purely by coincidence.¬† I have been spraying and sniffing for a new summer scent for weeks now as I feel they are both a bit¬†heavy for New England‚Äôs heat and humidity.¬†¬†¬†¬†
Really not a fan of major brands either.  They can be too perfumey and honestly so predictable.  I like the boutique perfumes if there even is such a thing.  Last week, after spraying numerous paper wands, my wrists and my friend’s wrists, I finally found my all time favorite summer scent right now. 
This week was a test drive of both its scent and sensibility.  The heat and humidity in NYC was unbearable at times.  The temperature reached well over 95 degrees and I swear it just radiates off the pavement, my sunglasses and just about everything else on my body.  There was no breeze and all the wonderful aromas found on the streets of New York just linger in the air.  Note W 56th St is a pretty stinky street.  I found myself constantly reapplying the perfume and it never got too heavy and always got a reaction.  It’s a keeper. 
Yesterday in one of my meetings a woman stopped mid-sentence to ask me what fragrance I was wearing.¬† Now girls just don‚Äôt outright compliment one another unless they are one of your BF’s.¬† Then today when checking out of my hotel the man behind the front desk told me that I smelled ‚Äúamazing‚ÄĚ (as you know this is one of my words) and was very flustered by my presence.¬† He continued to tend to his front desk duties but was grinning ear to ear.¬† He looked up and finally said, ‚ÄúWow you really got to me.‚Ä̬† Remember from yesterday‚Äôs post when I was saying to myself how I really love this hotel and how this could be my new midtown hotel?¬† Good lord I have a new all time favorite mid town hotel right now too.
Another man stopped me as I exited the hotel.¬† He followed me out the door to tell me he liked my style and that I smelled good (not quite like amazing, but I‚Äôll take it).¬† He then gave me a boxed tasting set of Pravda Vodka.¬† All I could think of was that old drugstore body spray Impulse.¬† Cheesy product, great tagline.¬† ‚ÄúWhen a man suddenly gives you flowers, that‚Äôs Impulse.‚Ä̬† That just happened to me but I got vodka instead of flowers.¬† Okay maybe he was pushing his product, but he followed me out the door. And it worked I mentioned his vodka here and I italicized it! We girls are such suckers for ego snacks.
So here is my two cents on summer scents and sensibility.  Trade your heavy perfumes and thick lotions for products that are more climate friendly. Your summer scents should be light and fresh, refreshing and alluring.  And your natural scent should come through in a soft, yet powerful way.  Let them try to get a little closer to breathe you in. 
Its common scents and the nose knows.      

July 3, 2007, 3:29 am
Filed under: Fierce

Now that we are better acquainted I feel comfortable telling you all it’s been¬†almost four weeks since my last bikini wax.¬† I am scheduled for some pruning later this week, but have been dealing with the little pesky renegades all weekend.¬† I am always tempted to try and “maintain” the nether regions while waiting for my next appointment but know its only a quick fix and ends up presenting more irritating problems.¬†¬†Plus I had a horrendous experience with Nair two years ago, which I wont go into now,¬†(if you ever meet Mo or Denis¬†ask them) that emotionally scarred me for life.¬† And you certainly can’t go in for a wax too early.¬†¬†Honestly,¬†who really knows if the hair is a quarter of an inch or not?

So whats a girl to do between bikini waxes?  Or as I so affectionately call it now. . .how does one cope with the tweeners?

Here is what helps me and what I am hoping will assist all my other non blonde fans. . .well let me rephrase that. . .my wonderful friends whose carpet does not exactly match the drapes. 

Taking care of the precious pudenda (just for you Soos) should be a part of your daily routine.  Here are the tools and ingredients of my bikini cocktail.  I am a big fan of exfoliation.  And have finally found the perfect thing to buff the muff (Nance that was for you babe). First go to your local drugstore and buy a pair of the cheap plastic exfoliating gloves (thank you Callie).  Next find a shower gel that you love.  I adore Fresh Lemon Sugar or Hesperides (great scents for summer too).   You will also need some sort of a bodywash with a glycolic or salicylic acid in it (Neutrogena makes a gentle one) and an antibacterial cleanser like Hibiclens.  Soak in the shower or tub, fully wet the gloves, mix all three ingredients on the gloves and start to scrub in an up and down motion (never circular).

¬†Scrub is the key word here.¬† I mean really scrub.¬† Sometimes I swear I catch myself clenching my teeth as if I am scrubbing and saying, “take that you bastards!”¬† I am also a big fan of elimination.¬† Once dried off, you will need some sort of an ingrown hair eliminator.¬†¬†I buy the¬†bliss ingrown peeling pads in bulk.¬† The last trick up my sleeve, ha ha or skirt,¬†is a great moisturizer.¬† I love either the matching Fresh lotions¬†or my good old Palmers Cocoa Butter.¬† I have been using this since I was in high school.¬†

So now I trust you are better equipped to deal with your incoming stubble.  And whether you are a fan of the basic bikini or the full monty,  this is a must between your waxes.   Or as you can so affectionately call it now. . .tweeners.

June 28, 2007, 11:40 am
Filed under: Fierce

The expression “high maintenance” has always had a negative connotation.¬† If someone is described as being high maintenance, it sometimes means that she or he (how true it is) is somewhat of a pain in the neck.¬† This may be¬†hard for you to believe but I have been described this way on several occasions. Shocker!¬†¬†I like to think of it meaning more on the lines of having high standards.¬† And therefore truth be told, I am¬†high maintenance by choice.

In my business you have to be Рboth personally and professionally.  Would you want to hire someone to plan your event if they showed up dressed like a slob or worse yet, with bad roots?  Events require attention to detail and your personal appearance is always the first impression you make on a client.  A girl once showed up in my office for an interview with fuchsia colored Lee Stick-On Nails (almost as bad as feathered, Aqua Net reeking hair).  AND they were chipped to boot!  Needless to say she did not get the position.

I am getting ready to¬†take¬†a vacation¬†and then¬†home for a day and heading away again¬†for a week of planning meetings.¬† Honestly, it took me a good half hour plus to schedule all the “beauty maintenance” treatments I am going to need to get me through a week away with my husband¬†followed by an immediate business trip to NYC (which of course means double duty maintenance).¬†All of the scrubbing, buffing, waxing, plucking, polishing, shopping and my weekly blow outs are taking over my schedule.¬† These words are staples in my vernacular.¬† Effortless style is not.

But it is what it is.  I am an event producer; time management is what I do best.  Got to run. . . I’m off to my mani-pedi!  That’s high maintenance by choice to you and me, girls.

June 26, 2007, 11:29 am
Filed under: Fierce

The hazy, hot and humid days of summer are here.¬† Personally I love the heat, but totally understand the toll it can take on our daily beauty regime.¬† Bad hair days pop¬†up on a weekly basis, and let’s face it, they put everyone in a cranky mood.¬† I have long, thick and somewhat wavy hair (thank you Dad).¬† I have always wanted the kind of hair that you just step out of the water, shake, style and end up with Kate Hudson¬†boho waves.¬†¬†Yeah right, thats not happening anytime soon so here are my easy solutions.

First, let me start by saying and admitting that I rarely do my own hair.¬† Rarely being the operative word.¬† I am addicted to weekly blow outs.¬†¬†I would take a regular hair stylist over a cook, driver, butler (never a cleaning lady though, would love to find one that did both) anyday.¬†¬†And in fact would only need said person once or twice a week depending on my event schedule.¬† Anything more would be overkill and end up drying the¬†shine¬†right out of my hair.¬† Once again, less is more and I can milk a good blow out for up to 5 days (sorry Mom). So no worries¬†my three D’s of hair (Dominick, Darlene and the latest addition to my team Dean) I¬†will always need you.¬† For the times I am styling solo, I take your advice and willingly pass it along.¬†¬†¬†

Everyone loves¬†a fresh blow out.¬† It turns any outfit into a “look” and gives you that extra confidence only great hair or a killer pair of Manolos can deliver.¬† But for summer and when the living is easy (or a little easier) LET IT GO!¬† ¬†I tend to relinquish control of my mane on the weekends.¬† My Boston hair stylist Darlene swears by these products and I finally tried them.¬† They work ! For soft, easy waves – shampoo and condition (but no conditioner¬†on your roots if you want this to last). Right now I am using davines – nou nou ¬†products.¬† ¬†¬†The smell is amazing and they make your hair¬†feel like silk.¬† Squeeze out the excess, do not towel dry.¬† This, I was told by my NYC hair stylist Dominick, makes your hair cuticle coarse.¬†¬† Spray your entire damp head with Wella Color Preserve Leave In Conditioner.¬† Saturate it.¬† ¬†Comb it.¬† Then apply about a nickel size amount of Aquage straightening gel (yes straightening – its an oxymoron of sorts) by scrunching it in.¬†¬†I recommend styling and drying the front only.¬† Bangs never look right when left alone.¬† But the rest just, shake, style and think Kate Hudson thoughts.¬†¬†¬†

I also have tried the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.  But I warn you, it works better on finer hair.  Mine has come out looking frizzy and sticky.  Two adjectives that definitely make me cranky.  But if you are blessed with easy hair and are a fan, try adding the whole Hot Mama line to your summer hair equation.  

You will also find Frederic Fekkai products in my bathroom.  I like their glossing sheer shine mist and most recently my friend Sarah (who by the way has the kind of hair you dream about. . .soft, gorgeous and a color every colorist in the world wants) gave me a super cool FF travel kit.  I am excited to try the whole line. She, and you of course , will have to wait until I venture somewhere where there are no hair salons so I am forced to let go and do it myself.   

Until then, I wish you luck with your trusty blow dryers, urge you to retire the straightening irons and hope you too will be almost famous the rest of the summer.