Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More of Maximizing My Assets

So, I may have reached an all time low.  Or, perhaps I've figured out the secret that every woman should know.

If you are trying to fit into a dress that just needs a little bit more room you don't need to diet.  Don't juice cleanse.  Just learn from this modern day tale.

Once upon a time I had a gorgeous sweater dress to wear.  The dress was just a wee bit clingy.  Who am I kidding?  It was totally clingy.  So, I decided to call in reinforcements, my favorite friends Spanx and Assets.  Yep, both of them.

To achieve the desired look I wore Spanx (the kind that go from below the bust to mid thigh) with Assets slimming tights (basically with 'control top' also starting below the bust and going to mid thigh) over them.  This was double duty.  Now, if anyone had seen me in these undergarments they would have had a good laugh!

I looked like a hybrid scuba instructor cyclist who favored black over the colorful uniforms that most road bikers sport.

But what really mattered is that to the general public I think I looked Pretty. Darn. Good. Received a few compliments in fact. 

People I hadn't seen in months told me how great I looked.  Asked if I had lost weight.  I had not lost a pound. Just stuffed myself into two slimmers. So, I just smiled and said thank you and mentally praised Spanx and Assets for doing their job.

Thank you, Spanx.  Thank you, Assets.  Thank you for slimming me into a smaller size!  I felt smaller, svelter, slimmer.  And sometimes it felt like it was hard to breathe but whatever...I looked good!  And felt lovely in my clingy sweater dress.  Hallelujah!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mommy Mondays

Hello friends. No, this isn't my (not so) subtle way of making an announcement of a pending baby due - gasp! Or, the announcement of my adoption of a new, furry puppy.  It's the announcement of a guest blog starring my dear friend, Laura.  LJ for those of you know her from other times in our respective lives.  Laura has two adorable darlings who are known to do some pretty funny stuff.  She shares this with me via phone and email and I always laugh and laugh.  And I thought you needed to hear some of it too.  This may happen again.  Or, maybe not.  Just depends on how often her kids do silly, funny, blog-worthy stuff.  And, how often it's Monday.  And, how often I can get my act together to post her fine, clever prose on a Monday.  So, welcome to Mommy Mondays!!  And, welcome Laura.  Okay, your mic is on...

My son, Grayson, is three-and-a-half. He attends preschool one block from our house, and we walk there three mornings a week. We love his school and plan to send his one-year-old sister, Harper, there when she's ready, too. It happens to be a Jewish preschool. Our family isn't Jewish, so we think it's pretty cool that Grayson teaches us things about the Jewish religion/culture ("Hamen is a bad guy!"), new vocabulary words ("Mom, did you eat matzo/hamantashen/challah when you were a girl?") and brings home fun projects (like a "Plague Bag"--including, among other things, a locust, lice, blood, and a dead cow--all faux, of course) on a weekly basis.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Grayson requested ham in his lunchbox. I told him that ham isn't allowed at his school and that I'd send turkey instead. He proceeded to ask me at least a hundred questions about why he couldn't have ham at school, and I did my best to explain. I said that some Jewish people don't believe in eating pork, and that he should ask his teachers if he wanted to know more. OK, maybe that wasn't the greatest explanation, but I really just wanted him to stop asking questions about ham!

Out of the blue at school that Wednesday, he declared to his teacher, "I'm not Jewish, because I like ham!" Fabulous (insert my red face here). We had lunch at home the following day, and (surprise!) we had ham. At some point, Harper started throwing hers on the floor. Grayson, momentarily glancing up from his iPad screen (mom of the year), wanted to know what she was doing. I told him she was throwing her ham on the floor, and he asked, "Does Harper not like ham?" I said that sometimes babies just throw things. He watched her for awhile, then shrugged and said... "Maybe she's Jewish."

From now on, I'll leave the teachings of Judaism to the experts.

Happy Passover to Harper and all my Jewish friends! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just Plane Inappropriate (3rd edition)

If you are joining us for the first time..welcome and let me give you some background.  I travel for work.  Fairly often.  Not all the time.  But, often enough that I've seen some crazy things. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who take their shoes off on the plane. 

I was telling my boss about this the other day and he acknowledged the he will go sans shoes on International flights.  That gets a pass.  They give you booties to cover your feet.

Domestic flights keep your shoes on.

Anyway, here's another pet peeve, people who eat weird, smelly or sloppy things on the plane.

So, the other day, we're in flight.  I look over and there is a man sitting there with his work spread out across his tray table.  He is working diligently.  Scribbling feverishly.  He must have really had some good thoughts burning through him.  Then he paused.  Reached into his lap and pulled out a bag of cereal.

No, not a baggie.  Not a ziploc.  The bag.  That he removed from the standard size box of cereal.

The bag was nearly empty.  There was probably enough in the bag for a kids size bowl of cereal.  I couldn't believe he was going to stick his hand in that bag and snack on handfuls of cereal during our flight.  Seriously? 

So, he unrolled the top of the bag, positioned the bag to funnel the corner and leaned his head back.  Opened his mouth as wide as it could go, lifted the bag upside down above his head and dumped in some cereal.

I was dumbfounded.  So much so that I paused mid-conversation and shook my head.  Then he started scribbling his notes again.

He repeated this two or three times until he got every last crumb of cereal out of that bag.  It was one of the funniest and oddest things I've seen someone eat on the plane.  A grown man.  Graying beard and all. In 20D.  Dumping cereal in his mouth.  I hope he got all of the crumbs out of his beard.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

You gain weight?

As we all know, I love getting manicures and pedicures!! And, I am generally a very loyal client once I find someone who perfectly polishes my elegant fingers.

I found a gal I loved. She went by Katie because I, along with many others, couldn't pronounce her Vietnamese name. Katie was sweet and kind. She would sing and hum quietly when I was tired. Ask how I was doing. Ask about Sam and what puppy antics he had been up to. She asked about my boyfriend and work. I think she genuinely cared.

I was Katie's client for years. I would rearrange my schedule to make sure she would be the one clipping my cuticles and shaping my nails into perfect squovals.

CC Calgary Review
Then one day everything changed. This was the day Katie looked at me slightly confused during my pedicure and said, 'You gain weight?'

I had. Probably 15 pounds. I was happy and in love so I ate and drank whatever I wanted. And, yes, I had gained weight. I was not happy about that but before I could answer she quickly followed with 'what you eat?'

I was mortified. Embarrassed. Red-faced. I already knew I wasn't happy with the extra 18 lbs I had put on. And, I certainly wasn't happy with Katie pointing it out either.

For  my next manicure I took my money and my extra 21 pounds elsewhere.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Just Plane Inappropriate (part deux)

Yep, it happened again.

Someone took their shoes off on the plane.  In the seat next to me.   Here's the proof.

Why. Do. You. People. Do. This?  What on earth makes you think it's okay to remove your shoes on a plane?  This is not your house or your car.  Do you take your shoes off when you are shopping? 

When you are at school?  Or, walking around at work?


I mean, if your feet hurt that bad, acknowledge what you are going to do.  Apologize and explain.

Don't just slip off your sneakers.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Maximizing my Assets

So you might be wondering where I've been.  Why I haven't written in a bit.  See, I've been busy.  Busy working.  Busy traveling for work. Busy buying the appropriate undergarments to wear to the work functions that I have to travel for to attend.

Undergarments are an interesting thing.  Whether granny panties or hanky panky's we women are loyal to the things that touch our most delicate of parts.  At the same time we also do what we can to maximize our assets. 

I'll tell you a little story about that.

I am a curvier girl.  Even curvier than I used to be. Particularly on the bottom.  I've got some hips.  I don't love them when I notice the dimples that I had hoped would be on my face are actually on my thighs.  But, I do like having shape.  I like having what Sir Mix A Lot calls an Oakland booty.  It's mine and it's cool.  I just wish it was sometimes a wee bit smaller.  To achieve this desired state I have become good friends with an undergarment called Spanx.  I've become even better friends with her wallet-friendlier sister, Assets. 

These Assets flatter my assets.  Everything is sleeker, smoother and better looking.  Gone are panty-lines, bumps, jiggles and lumps.  Everything is lifted, sucked in and I have a perfectly shaped lower half.  Love it.

Over the holidays I found a new dress that I am In. Love. With.  It's knit.  It clings.  It requires the incredibly slimming action of Spanx or Assets. I wanted a full body tube that would slim my tummy, slenderize my thighs and round out my derriere.  I hit Tar-jzay (this is how you say Target when you are buying fancy things there i.e. Assets not toilet paper).  I found exactly what I wanted in Assets.  Probably saved a good $40 bucks vs. her sister, Spanx.  Victory.

Fast forward to my work function. Left the hotel at 6:30. AM.  Planning to be gone until 10 something. PM.  Hair coiffed?  Check.  Make-Up Applied?  Check.  Tights? Check.  Assets tube slimmer? Check. Darling knit dress? Check.  Knee high black boots? Check.  I. Looked. Awesome!

About 2 hours later, I felt like an idiot.  Every step I took Assets slipped up a notch on my body.  She was no longer slimming my thighs.  She was now bunched up at my waist.  Literally.  She worked her way up my thighs the minute I would pull her down.  She just wasn't having it.  I toyed with taking her off mid-day.   Maybe putting her in my bag.  But, there was never an opportunity.  What was I going to do, walk out of the bathroom carrying my undergarment in my hand?

So, instead, all day, I adjusted whenever I thought no one was looking.  Which probably meant everyone was looking.  Oh well.  I just had to laugh.  I have to laugh now.  Here I was, trying to look better.  And, instead I looked like the poor girl who had ill-fitting undergarments.  My sophisticated cover was blown.   I should have just let my tummy out.  No one would have noticed that.  I'm sure the entire party saw me stick my hand up my dress to yank my black tube 'dress' down from my waist to my knees.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happiest of New Years

There are a number of traditions around celebrating the New Year.  Some are fun like getting dressed up and wearing silly hats.  Others are said to bring love, fortune, success.   Listening to Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight and making a champagne toast (be sure to put a gold ring in your glass). Wearing white on New Year's Eve yields health and internal peace.  Also, eating pork, black eyed peas and doughnuts on New Year's Day is custom for a good year ahead.  Top it off with 12 grapes for 12 good months.   Supposedly you are also not to remove anything from the home or clean on New Year's Day.  And, don't pay a single bill or wash dishes.

One tradition I am particularly hopeful about is First - Footing.  This tradition states that the first person to enter the home after midnight will determine the type of year ahead.  And, according to everything I've read on this tradition, the key is for the “first footer” to be a tall, dark and handsome male.  Even better if they come bearing gifts.

I am patiently waiting for said man to show up on my doorstep, gifts in hand.  Hopefully my sitting and standing 3 times while writing this post will also encourage this dark haired Adonis to marry me in 2013 as well.

While I wait for his arrival I will spend the day doing a little bit of work, to ensure a good new year in that aspect of my life.  I also will avoid the dishes or taking out the trash.  I'll try to find a Chinese place for pork and I'll be happy and joyous all day (to set the tone for a happy 364 days in front of me).   2013 is going to be my year!! 

Regardless of the tradition or ritual I am going to enjoy every minute of today.  I am blessed with wonderful family and friends.  I have a good life and good health.  I am fortunate and grateful.  I am accomplished and loved.  I hope that you are too.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

U Can't Touch This..

CC by Witches Falls Cottages

I'm just here for relaxation apparently translated to the massage therapist as 'please be very aggressive in tending to my muscles'. 

Literally in pain at points.  I didn't go in for that.  I wanted a nice gentle massage.  Maybe a little aromatherapy.  Soothing and relaxing. Instead I was battered, kneaded, rolled, stretched and rubbed with an intensity I didn't see coming.

As I was lying there, trying to avoid whimpering when she hit the 'hot spots', my mind started to wander.  And, I wandered down massage memory lane. 

Here are my top massage moments:

I had been to this massage therapist before so I kind of knew what to expect.  Unfortunately, she had literally just survived a fire.  Amen.  Seriously, that's scary stuff.  She was very fortunate.  Unfortunately for me, her clothes smelled of smoke.  And, she had a terrible cough.  It was awful, she would try to breathe and start hacking.  It was so bad!  Glad she survived, wish she had taken the day off to recuperate.

But, not as bad as the new age man I had recently.  He wore a hemp necklace and mandals.  And, every time he went in for a stroke he took a huge deep breath through his nose and then exhaled loudly through his mouth.  I'm not kidding.  I think his breathing technique is also used in Lamaze.  Deep breath in through the nostrils..  Rub Liz's back and exhale.  Repeat.  The whole hour was spent with him focused on his breathing.  It was completely awkward.  Then he bowed when we parted ways.  Weird.

And, moving on to another winning massage moment. This was early in my massage life. I wasn't sure whether I should leave the underwear on or off.  When the man came in to talk with me before my rub down he rubbed me the wrong way. Seemed kind of creepy. So, I left the underwear on.

He returned when I was comfortable under the sheet, face in the doughnut. Everything was wonderful.  Just as I liked it.. The he moved down to my legs. At this point he apparently thought my underwear was impeding his work. So, he yanked them in between my cheeks giving me the worst wedgie I've ever had. Worse than jumping of the platform dive at the aquatic center. Worse than Hanky Pankys.  It was suddenly like cheerleading and 'pinching a penny'. Then he went in for the kill and started massaging my bare bum. Seriously. There is a reason you leave underwear on. That means stay away.  In the wise words of MC Hammer, U Can't Touch This.

Out walked a small man. I could have squashed him. I didn't know how he was going to have enough oomph to make a difference in my Swedish massage. Probably for the better considering the massive hangover I was rocking. I had been in Chicago for a bachelorette weekend and the night before was a crazy, late night, shots, champagne and not enough dinner kind of party. Anyway, my Swedish massage started off lovely. Soothing. Perfect pressure. Relaxation station.  Thank you!

Then he asked me to turn over. At this point I am face up and he moved the sheet for access to my legs. Then he lifted my leg and bent it at the knee. Then slowly straightened it. He repeated this motion several times puppeting my leg as if I was riding a bike. When the bicycle riding came to a stop he straightened my leg and began rolling it around at the hip creating giant leg circles in the air. Then he combined the two. Bicycle ride leg circle. Over and over and over again. The he pulled my leg, shook it vigorously and did it all again. Moved on to the other leg for the same amazing (sarcasm) experience.. I was in shock.

After all was said and done, he left, I changed. When I met him outside to receive my bottle of water I asked him what techniques he applied and mentioned I had never experienced anything like it before.  I had a straight face but was laughing hysterically inside.  His reply..Asian BodyWork.

Make a note ladies and gents, if you ever have a massage with Asian BodyWork I suggest leaving your underwear on.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reply To All

The Reply To All option has a purpose.  And, in most instances it is helpful.  When you are having a conversation amongst a group of people.  Maybe it's about a business decision.  Or, maybe it's about where to go to lunch. Maybe it's about an upcoming trip and what the group wants to do while you are out of town.  Maybe it's coordinating the weekend's plans. In these instances Reply To All is the key to success at group organization!

The Reply To All button is also sometimes misused.  Occasionally I receive an email response (so does the entire office) telling me something that was really only intended for the person who sent the email.  Often, it's just annoying.  Nothing I need to worry about so I roll my eyes, shake my head while muttering 'Reply To All' and delete the email.

The worst is when someone sends out a mass email and someone replies to all with something completely inappropriate for the audience.

Case in point.

Several (many,many) years ago a co-worker sent out an announcement that they were having a baby!!  This exciting email was sent to everyone on our team, our boss, our boss's boss, our President, the receptionist.  Plus all of his family and friends. You name it they got it.  In actuality, they were adopting a dog!   I sent him a 'reply' note of congrats along with several reasons on why I love dogs.  No surprise that I went on and on about how much I cherish my pooch, Sam.

Twenty minutes later a 'reply to all' came through.  His friend wished him well and then went on to explain that often the manner in which the baby was conceived plays a huge impact on the personality of the baby.  He then proceeded to highlight that in this case it must have been...

Doggy Style.

Holy Crap!  I still can't handle it when I think about it today.  I could not believe that his friend literally just sent this to our entire office.  For me it was one of those loud, eyes-watering, stomach-hurting laughs at my desk.  For my co-worker, it was probably one of those moments when you hang your head in embarrassment, look back and wish you had sent it to your intended distro list under a BCC so Reply To All was never ever ever an option. 

I wonder how the baby dog is doing now?  And, I wonder if my former co-worker ever made that mistake again? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pay It Forward

I've been overwhelmingly fascinated with the Newtown tragedy.  I have been interested to learn about what happened.  How it happened.  Who was there.  Who wasn't there.  Why it happened.  I want to read about every person who is now gone.  Even if they lived a very short life, I want to know about it.  I want to hear what their parent's have to say, what their children think and what their brother or sister will miss.  And, in doing so, I will take a moment to honor them.  Even when I can't finish the article because I feel sickened with sadness, I will honor them.  I want to hear the stories of selflessness of the teachers and administrators. I want to know that the first responders have the support they need to work through what they saw.  I want the world to offer prayer, empathy and support for everyone touched by this event.

I am amazed at the outpouring of support immediately shown from people around the world.  An athlete who acknowledged his biggest fan.  A man who took his dog to offer up hugs to anyone who needed one.  A woman who donated to a local charity just because she wanted to do something to support children.  The newspaper that left out haunting images and simply and graciously listed the names of the victims on the front page.  A flash sale site that changed their daily email sale announcement to instead honor those who have been lost and provided a link so that you could donate to the United Way of Western Connecticut.  The countless people who are posting on facebook in support of all those who were lost. The sports teams that offered a moment of silence in honor before their games.  The President who shared heartfelt remarks.  The religious leaders who come together to pray for all people.  The person who hugs a child just a little tighter before sending them off to school or practice. And, I commend the woman who wrote the article about navigating through life with a son who seems to possess one too many similarities to many of the young men who have recently committed unfortunately comparable and disgusting acts of violence just so that we may better understand.

While many of these acts are simple in their nature, together they represent a community of people all over the United States and the World who are thinking of and praying for Sandy Hook and its' village of people mourning their unbelievable loss. Some of these acts are grand and others simple.  All heartfelt. 

We all can do this.  And, it doesn't have to be a an extravagant gesture.  But, take a moment, and find the good in the world and in your heart.  Once you find it, share a little bit of it with a person around you.  My kind actions may not reach the people of Newtown directly but if everyone one of us pays it forward eventually it will get there.  And, the warmth and love we feel for them now will be magnified tremendously.  And, that same love and kindness will benefit everyone around us as well.