Sometimes all it takes to get me out of a rut, beauty or otherwise, is buying a new lipstick. It all started years ago when I got my hands on my first Bonne Bell Bubblegum Lip Smacker. One swipe of that sticky sweet gloss and I was never the same.
It’s the cheapest fix I have for being in a bind. Easier than changing husbands and cheaper than buying shoes (or is it the other way around.) And even if my dress size goes up or down, I never have to worry if it fits. One size fits all. It’s a one second mini makeover. A swipe of pinky beige lipstick on my pale pout and I go from awful to awesome. Just like that.
Oh, the colors are so pretty, and the names are so alluring and full of promise. Who could resist Clinique’s flirty “Adore U”, “Blushing Nude” and “Luscious Lilac,” or Mac’s zesty, “Ravishing,” “Naked Paris,” and “Sassy Spice.” What’s a girl to do?
The funny thing is that I keep buying a half a shade lighter or darker of the same shade pinky-beige of lipstick every time. (It’s pathetic, but I do this with eye shadow too). Though from what I hear, I’m in good company. Every makeup counter I’ve shopped or drooled at, say most women usually pick a similar shade every time they buy too, even when desperate to tweak their routine.
A few times I’ve made the mistake of going out of my best color range (I think it was the fluorescent lighting). I keep those winners at the bottom of my drawer. Those colors run the gamut from marshmallow fluff to tree bark. I can’t bring myself to throw them out. There’s always Halloween.
Do you have a lipstick fetish too?
Parenting is a messy job. Definitely not for the faint of heart. So instead of making a list of New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to make a list of when I really shined or didn’t shine as a parent last year. However, in an effort to protect the innocent (and the not so innocent), and the fact I can barely remember what happened yesterday, I’m sticking to a few things that seem glaringly apparent to me today.
Not so shiny:
1. OK, I’m saying it out loud. I’m too overprotective! Not scary overprotective, because I’ve seen that, but close enough, as far as my kids are concerned. I used to tease my kids that I’ll get an apartment near where they choose to go to college. Of course, I’m joking (but if you’re asking, I prefer someplace warm and near a big city). I’m sure they know I’m kidding, but then that could explain why my California boy choose a small mountain town in the Northeast. I’m also a nervous wreck (bad choice of words) every time one of them drives out the driveway, especially the youngest and newest driver. Parents living near a subway system, don’t know how good they have it.
2. Not making my kids go to sleep-away-camp (again!). Alright, we tried it once. The letters that she sent home sounded like they were coming from Guantanamo Bay. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I did both. I called the camp to see what was really going on and from that moment on, they held my daughter’s letters hostage (like the Keebler Elves in my icebox) until camp was over. Though my daughter was right about one thing: there were no ice sculptures or chefs in fancy hats in the mess hall. The photo in the camp brochure made mealtime look like the Midnight Buffet on a Princess Cruise.
3. Too involved in too many decisions and a tendency to micromanage. Helicopter parent, anyone? I know, I know, how will they learn to think for themselves? I just can’t resist the urge to fix things. Now that my college boy is four thousand miles away, I encourage him to figure things out for himself, after I, ahem, give a few tips. It’s an addiction I’m trying to kick.
1. Having breakfast with them everyday and dinner most nights during the week. I love our conversations. They’re lively, funny, and sometimes loud, but we’re sharing and connecting. Putting them ahead of our social life (isn’t that what lunch and weekend nights are for?). Soon they’ll be off to college, and my husband and I can go out as much as we please. They’re here now and we’re making the most of it (I have the gray hair to prove it).
2. Ok, this is the flipside of #2 in my parenting “not so shiny” list. Since, they didn’t like to go to sleep-away-camp, they traveled with us, and miraculously, at 17 and 20 still love to travel with us! Traveling with our kids from an early age, taught them how to sit (behave) on an airplane, in a restaurant, and left them with a deep appreciation for their experiences and a sense of adventure. Besides, my daughter figured out a way to get more shoes than is humanly possible into a carry-on bag. Now that’s something.
3. Making education, good work habits and ethics a top priority at an early age (light snack, then homework, then playtime). We learned this the hard way, when we tried playtime first, then homework, which resulted in meltdowns (mine and theirs) when it came time to hit the books. Now the house has less stress, and I don’t need a cocktail at 3:30.
Please don’t make me feel like I’m the only one! What are your shiny and not so shiny parenting moments?
Photo courtesy of Celebutopia.net
Navy is my new favorite color to wear, knocking it’s rival black right out of the coveted top spot. I used to rely so heavily on black that almost half my closet is filled with the ebony hue. I love how black slims the silhouette, matches practically everything (except for navy!), and adds instant glamour and sophistication. Navy achieves that too, but it softens the image without lessening the impact. And you don’t have to look like Salma Hayek to look good in it, because it’s flattering on just about everyone. Another bonus to navy is it doesn’t look as harsh against your skin tone, giving you a chance to show off a healthier and younger glow. What more can you ask for from a color?
What a bizarre concept…To begin finding time for me, when its been all about them. For the last 20 years, 21 if you count the pregnancy, (and my body was clearly not my own!) it’s been all about my husband and kids (and not necessarily in that order). Read More
Christmas, Spring, and Summer break are when many parents of college age offspring, look forward to their student coming home with hope, excitement and a little trepidation. You hope you don’t say too much, ask too much, or commit the worse crime of all, give unsolicited advice.
It is such a strange and awkward dance that many parents find themselves in when their child/young adult comes home for vacation. The college kid has been used to making decisions for themselves about what, when, where, and with whom, they eat, drink, sleep, study, etc…
Hopefully there will be some lively discussions about politics, or some other intellectual pursuit, and less wanting to fill in all the blanks (like, what have you been eating? have you been drinking? who are your friends?). Things we’re better off not knowing.
And then they come home to rules, and really, it’s as if practically nothing has changed since they left. Often, little has changed, other than a lighter food bill and less laundry. There may still be younger siblings at home, so there is a need for keeping the status quo.
The goal is that your college kid enjoys your company and would like to move back home one day. We hope! So there is the delicate balance of enforcing rules and not being the ultimate “buzz kill.” You don’t want to scare them off, so he/she won’t want to come home next time.
Here’s some things I’ve learned in the trenches:
1. Let them sleep as much as they want the first few days (they’re sleep deprived from dorm living, late nights and just noise), because cranky isn’t fun for anyone. Staying out till the wee hours of the morning sounds awful to adults who have to get up early the next day, (and don’t take naps), but to kids it’s the norm in college.
2. Have lots of good food in the house, you know this is 100 times better than the stuff they eat at college…this can be good leverage. If you can slide food under the door (especially during the first few days), so much the better. Fresh baked goods are premium.
3. Don’t be completely available. It puts too much pressure on them if they think they need to be with you every minute. Don’t feel guilty about it either. They probably want some time to just chill, see friends or just walk around the house or hang out in the pantry.
4. Spoil them, but don’t do everything for them. Don’t underestimate the thrill of letting them get their own snack from the refrigerator. Helping out too much can make them feel like a guest in their own home.
5. Did I mention give them space? This is so hard, since you might not have seen them in months and it goes against the nature of being a parent, but you have to do it to keep the peace.
6. Try not to speak too much or ask too many questions. You’ll be amazed at the snippets of information that come your way, when least expected.
7. When the time is right, sneak in lots of hugs and kisses.
Have any of your own tips for surviving college holiday breaks?
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Six Things I Would Tell My 20 Year Old Self
What To Put In A Care Package
One More Thing Before You Go: Having “The Talk” Before Your Child Leave For College