Author Archives: joleslieaaron

The Ice Queen Arrives…No, This Is Not A Biography.


When we took our family to Disney World in February, a guide in the park told us in a hushed voice that the Frozen Princesses would be arriving in Hollywood Studios on Friday or Saturday of our trip.

We were elated! Ok, I was elated. To be honest, I’m not sure I would want to be married to a man who gets excited about the Frozen princesses, but that’s a different topic.

So there I we were psyched that I we had the DL on where the hottest princesses would be the weekend of our trip. After all, these ladies are like the Kardashians of Disney World. We were ready to stalk like paparazzi.

But sadly, nothing was going to get us pictures with these girls. Not press credentials, not insider info (which were bunk as those snowy beotches never made it to Hollywood Studios), and not even standing in line.

Because the line was 6-hours long at Epcot and that’s where I draw my there’s-nothing-I-wouldn’t-do-for-my-babies line. Yeah. My selfishness runneth over. I’m not standing in a 6-hour line for any princess…not even my own.

Sorry toots.

However the silver lining for families about to slap down the massive amounts of cash it costs to take the kids to Disney to see the Frozen chicks?

AN ENTIRE FROZEN WORLD IS COMING TO HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS! And it’s not just the princesses, but their friends too, starting July 5th.

Finally, they’re opening up the gates and it all sounds really cool…

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Gets Frozen This Summer!

Frozen, Elsa, Anna, Disney, Let It Go

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It’s My Hair And I’ll Wash If I Want To


hairstyle, blowout, mom, parenting, working

Who needs sleep when there’s hair to do?

I’m growing out my bangs. I know, alert the media!

Like it or not, I have the infuriating task of having to wash and blow-dry my hair everyday or risk looking like I ran a marathon. And considering I’m still working on the early stages of the Couch-to-5K app, I assure you, I have not run a marathon. However, the bangs play a big role in that annoying bit of daily grooming and I’m hoping without them, I’ll get to skip washing my hair every day and move to every other day–or at least to dry shampoo.

Ladies, you know you get where I’m coming from–especially those of you who “have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine” (I love the Bangles!) or those who are racing to get kids who move at a glacial pace to school on time every morning.

So maybe this piece that I originally wrote for Elizabeth Street will explain why I’m doing what I’m doing, and the next time you see me and my clean, yet way-overgrown bangs, but can’t see my eyes, you’ll understand.

Why I Wash My Hair Everyday, And You Just Have To Get Over It!

I wash my hair everyday. Now I know what you’re going to say, because I’ve heard it before…

But it’s so bad for your hair!!!

Yes, I know. And yes, I know there are a million things I could do to avoid washing my hair everyday. And YES, I KNOW that you don’t have to wash yours everyday which means you save the 30-minutes I spend washing and drying every morning. And, oh yeah, I’m totally jealous of you for that!

That said, when it comes to my own hair, it must be washed daily and you are going to have to get over it. So why does it bother you so much to hear that?

I swear I’ve tried everything–the dry shampoos, just washing my bangs in the sink, baby powders, hair powders, silk pillowcases, and washing the night before. I’ve put in the legwork and it always ends the same way—me futzing with my hair for hours trying to make it look clean, ultimately, giving up, and showering and blow drying, like I should have in the first place.

Please know that I’m not complaining about my hair. I actually really like it, despite the upkeep. But it requires a good washing everyday for a few reasons:

  • I have bangs and anyone who has bangs knows that they get nasty after being slept on. When I was a little girl, my mom used to put a piece of hair tape across them each night, so they didn’t have to be blown out each morning. That may have worked on the 6-year-old me, but not the 38-year-old one. Plus my poor husband has already gone from seeing me come to bed in silky nighties to old t-shirts…the man’s been through enough.
  • They say women’s hair gets drier with age, but I swear mine is getting oilier. By mid-morning, I need a good brushing to redistribute oils through my hair so I don’t look too like a pre-teen, so you can imagine how I wake up. Washing is the only thing that does the trick.
  • I don’t mean to sounds cruel, but most of the time, I can tell when you haven’t washed your hair for a week. I know you think no one can tell, but friend, you ain’t fooling anyone. Sorry, but dirty hair is extremely hard to pull off and only works on people like Johnny Depp, a few 90′s super models, and, um, that’s it. 

After all, friends don’t let friends walk around with greasy hair. That’s the saying, right? Or friends don’t let friends’ tresses be messes? How about, friends don’t let friends’ do’s look like don’ts. I could go on, but I have to save my strength for my wash and dry.

 

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Go See The Wizard of Oz–The Play, Not The Man, Silly…


Broadway, Chicago, Wizard of Oz, theater

I’ll admit, there are some fabulous perks to my job. One of them? Invites to lovely going-ons in the city and beyond.

Such was the case on Thursday night when I was invited with a guest to view Broadway in Chicago’s latest show, The Wizard of Oz at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

My obvious plus one? My Dorothy-obsessed 4-year-old daughter, of course! Since my son isn’t a fan of musical theater–or theatre for my fellow drama geeks–he was happy to stay home with his Legos and let us have our mommy/daughter night out.

We started off the evening at a fancy dinner for 2 at Hugo’s Frog Bar. Our reservation was set for 5:30 and we were running on JST (Jewish Standard Time)–which is code for never on time. Everyone knows this, right? We had about five minutes to get at least 10-minutes away, and three minutes into that trip, I realized I didn’t have my iPhone with me.

So I gave my daughter a choice–we could go home, skip the fancy dinner, grab the phone so we could take pictures (and I could social media the crap out of our night together) and we could eat at Rock-n-Roll McDonald’s (one of her favs) OR we could be phoneless, yet, fancy at Hugo’s.

She opted to be fancy and out of touch. After all, she was decked out in her Dorothy costume, complete with lipgloss. And the girl NEVER gets to wear makeup outside of our house. N.E.V.E.R.

Once we arrived at the restaurant and I apologized profusely for being a few minutes late, they seated us at table number such-and-such…I heard them say something about, “she’ll love it”.

They couldn’t have been any righter on-er.

Turns out the booth is actually in an old-fashion elevator. How I’d been there a million times and never noticed this booth, I’ll never know, but it was awesome. And then they overdid the awesomeness. To top off our delicious meal, the waitress brought out an enormous hot fudge sundae and said that the restaurant wanted Dorothy to enjoy her special evening. She followed up the explanation with an apology for the sugar-rush that was sure to follow. Hey, no one has to apologize for giving my family free ice-cream. Especially free chocolate-covered ice-cream.

Fortunately, we ran into a friend of ours on the way out of the restaurant who was eating dinner at a normal time and offered to take our picture. So here’s what my mini-Dorothy looked like:

Wizard of Oz, theater, Hugo's, Chicago

Mommy Daughter GNO

Next, it was onto the Cadillac for the show. Our energy was high, potty breaks were taken, and we were ready! The lights went down, the music started and my daughter jumped onto my lap and BEGGED me to leave…

PLEASE MOMMY, I WANT TO GO HOME!!!

I had to stay strong. I knew she was going to love the show. So Mean Mommy put her back in her seat, held her hand and rubbed her leg as the show started.

And you know what? She absolutely love it. The entire thing. So much so that she asked me if we could watch it again the minute it was over. I had to explain that the play wasn’t like a DVD.

So here are some things you need to know about Broadway in Chicago’s The Wizard of Oz if you are going with young kids:

  • Take snacks. You can bring food into the theater, so throw a few easy snacks in your bag and avoid spending a fortune at the lobby bar. My friend suggested lollipops–after all, your little munchkin might enjoy one too.
  • Use the bathrooms downstairs at the Cadillac. Don’t bother standing in the line on the main level for the two single washrooms. That’s an accident waiting to happen.
  • The show is funnier than it is scary but if you have a child who scares easily, you might want to think it through. The wicked witch was very funny–I made sure to tell my daughter from the get go that her hair looked like an onion to make her laugh, in an effort to take away any fear, and it worked–but there are some scary parts like when the Wizard of Oz sings a song on a giant screen. My daughter didn’t seem to mind it but I was wishing that my husband wasn’t out of town that night.
  • It’s not an adult play or a kid’s play. There was something for everyone. My daughter laughed so hard, I actually had to tell her to reign it in a bit so the ushers wouldn’t ask us to leave. Ok, I didn’t do that, but she was hysterical. And I loved the friend of Dorothy jokes and the witch’s digs, so it was all good.
  • You may need to explain that some actors play dual roles in the play. For instance, my daughter was wondering why the farmhands came out to bow at the end but the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion didn’t. It led to a good conversation about Dorothy’s dream, but just be prepared.
  • If you wear a costume to the see the show, everyone is going to call you by that character’s name. My daughter didn’t understand why everyone was calling her Dorothy, however I can promise you, it will not keep her from leaving the house in full costume the next time the opportunity presents itself. Like when we go out for Mother’s Day brunch. Or to the park.

 

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Oh No! Like Mother, Like Daughter?


Bono, U2, One Tree Hill, music, song

When Bono sings, we listen.

Why do kids think that moms and dads love being in the car? Don’t they know how much we dread driving? At least they can kick back and watch an iPad in the backseat. We can’t take our eyes off the road for a second.

So we were pretty psyched when U2′s One Tree Hill came on the radio when we were driving back from the burbs on Sunday. For the next 3-ish minutes, my husband and I rocked out to the awesomeness that is Bono and the gang.

*However our 4-year-old daughter wasn’t having it. She sounded off in her normal voice, calling me with that mom, mommy, mama-nagging that makes mothers want to change their nickname to almost anything else.

Then came the shouting, because if I wasn’t answering her, clearly it was because I couldn’t hear her calling me from the backseat.

Next was the questioning, you know, the why aren’t you listening to me’s.

Still, we continued to bop with big, goofy smiles on our faces. I think I even grabbed the stubby lighter from the car ashtray and waved it above my head at one point, but that must have really set her off because she bellowed this out like Real Housewife of New Jersey…

“I’m about to lose my SHIT!”

We stopped car dancing right there and then. My husband looked at me and I looked right back at him. After we finally stopped laughing, I couldn’t help but wonder where she heard that one? What horrible people had she been hanging around with who speak like that?

Of course, I’m putting my money on the little girl at the park in the pink faux leather jacket who looks like she could be part of a neighborhood scooter gang, because it certainly is NOT me.

No fucking way.

It is not me.

*Just to be clear, she didn’t actually need anything and was just calling me because I was having fun dancing and singing in case anyone wants to question my parenting skills. Actually, go for it. I’m too exhausted from all that car dancing to fight back. 

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Come On, Lego My Husband!


Lego, toy, game

My husband leaves me at night to play with toys.

Yes folks, I am a Lego Widow.

Tonight, as we sat at dinner, my son excitedly showed off 5 out of the 300 sets of Legos that he received for his birthday that our nanny was kind enough to put together for him today. He was so into it–showing us who each character was, how he or she moved, what each vehicle could do, yada, yada, yada.

My husband, who stayed home sick for the first time in forever because he could barely swallow, turned to my son and whispered the following…

“Go downstairs to the playroom, pick out a Lego set and I’ll put it together for you tonight.”

What an asshole a sweetheart!!! Here are my reasons why:

#1. The man is sick. He needs to not be sick. He needs to not be playing Lego. (Fun fact: The plural of Lego is Lego.)

#2. The man is a fantastic father. He has nothing to prove. Putting together a Lego set wouldn’t have furthered his cause. He’s already won the Father of the Year Award by changing diapers, getting thrown up on, rubbing backs, driving carpool, making up silly songs, playing tag, trying really, really hard to braid pigtails, and spending hours upon hours building Lego sets. Some call it overachieving. Others, showing off. The kids and I know we’re super lucky, but sometimes, I wish the man would just take a break.

#3. Selfish mommy/wife really wanted to watch one of the DVR’ed shows but if he doesn’t finish soon, I’m going to watch something without him…and I might be annoyed enough to delete an episode of The Following “by accident.”

Here’s the deal. He claims playing Legos* is relaxing, but honestly, with all the f-bombs he’s dropping, does this look relaxing to you:

lego, dad, instruction, game, toy

 

Lego, dad, instructions, game, toy      lego, toy, dad, game, instruction   I suppose at the end of the day, or night in this case, if it makes my boy(s) happy, there are worse things I could lose my man to than Lego, like ultimate frisbee or those people who act out Game of Thrones in real life. They’d probably make me sew costumes in that case and then my night would be ruined too.

At least I’m not doing any manual labor for this Lego thing, and even I can admit the end result is kind of awesome…

lego, movie, awesome, will farrell

 *Because I’m a megabitch, I insist on calling it “playing Legos” because it annoys my husband endlessly. He feels that by referring to it as something you play, it diminishes the skill that goes into building the sets. Whatever. I think it’s hysterical!

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President Obama and I Shop Together


Obama, the Gap, shopping, minimum wage

Daddy bought presents at the Gap. I’m going to score SO many points with my family when I get home!

Considering my daily uniform is typically running pants and a workout shirt and Obama’s is usually a gorgeous custom-tailored suit and tie, I have to admit, I was a little surprised to find out we both shop at the Gap.

Ok, fine. POTUS probably doesn’t binge shop regularly for 1969 broken-in skinny jeans and GapFit long sleeve Motion shirts with the little thumby holes like I do.

However, on Tuesday, March 11, President Obama stopped by one of their Midtown NYC stores to promote a minimum wage campaign that’s designed to inspire business owners to increase the minimum wage for U.S. workers. So he was there. Just like I am often sometimes.

While the President basically posed for photo ops and offered up one-liners for the media, he did manage to pick out a few super-duper conservative pieces for the fam (He refused v-necks for his daughters in case of slippage. I smell a post-presidency teenage rebellion…), including a light blue workout jacket for Michelle and two button-down sweaters for his daughters, one in coral and the other in light pink.

Obama, shopping, Gap, minimum wage

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

Obama, Gap, minimum wage, economy

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

So you can pretty much expect all three items to sell out right… about…now.

My favorite part of the whole show?

The relentless salespeople who drive me nuts explaining the benefits of the Gap credit card each and every time I shop there, who refuse to accept my respectful rejection, which usually sounds something like, “Oh, no thank you, but my husband will divorce me if I open another credit card,” apparently had the balls to ask the President of the United States if he wanted to open one too!

His answer? “I’ve got one card. In fact I don’t always carry my wallet. I brought it specially for you.”

Way to stay strong! I bet the APR alone is a killer (I literally have no idea what that means…)

Although I’d never go for it myself, I can’t help but feel a little bad for the checkout clerk. I bet the commission for getting the President of the United States to sign up for a Gap card is huge.

*In honor of the President stimulating the economy at the Gap, I’m sharing my friends and family Gap online discount code that will save you 40% off of your entire Gap purchase–enter FAF40 at checkout. 

See, you shop because you’re saving, the Gap makes money, they hire more workers, they can pay them a higher hourly rate because you shopped, and all is right in the world.

It’s like the Lion King but with clothes, so I like it even more than the movie. And that’s a good movie! 

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A New Job?


job search, dream job, stay at home mom, work,

Today I was thinking of the different jobs I could do if I wasn’t driving my kids around all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom, but after braving the winter weather and streets paved with snow, slush and ice, maybe it would be nice if I could be:

The front desk clerk at the Boulders Spa in Carefree, AZ.

I might not make a killing in terms of my salary, but first off, I’d live in Carefree, so I can’t imagine I’d have much stress, and second, my whole job would be to lead people to their spa treatments. Telling people to walk down the hall to an afternoon of massages and flute-y spa music has to be better than circling a neighborhood for 35 minutes in my car, trying to find a parking spot so I can run into a building for 45 seconds just to drop off the kids. I should mention that I just returned from the Boulders, and if you don’t book a trip for yourself, you’re a fool. No, sorry, a DAMN fool. There, I said my peace. Namaste, third eye and all that other relaxing BS.

Performing as Elsa at Disney World.

Or any Disney princess for that matter, except for Pocahontas. No one was looking for her, so I don’t want to be her, but I’d be any of the other really popular princesses. Ok, so I’d have to hug other people’s kids all day long–or night depending on my shift–but that would be ok, because my whole job would be to dress up like a drag queen in full hair and makeup, get my picture taken like a celebrity and have people wait hours and hours to meet me. Would I love that? Um, hello, have you met me? The only thing better in my world would to actually BE a celebrity.

Since I wasn’t smart enough to come up with Über myself, I’ll be an Über driver.

The only thing that sucks about being a carpooling mama is that no one pays me to do it–and having to listen to the Frozen soundtrack over and over and over and over…But those Über dudes know a thing or two about carting people around town. They glide about town in stylish black SUVs that are always totally spotless, unlike my own black SUV that is completely covered in crumbs, tiny toy pieces, ripped up artwork, stickers, and anything else my kids can think to leave in the backseat. And guess what? If someone pukes in an Über car, there’s an additional charge. And guess what? If someone throws up in mine, it’s just tough shit for mommy. And 9 times out of 10, it’s all over mommy, so there’s that too. Yeah, Über is definitely something to consider.

Become an online grocery delivery person.

Hey, I have to the store a few times this week anyway, so again, I might as well make some dough. Actually, I go to a bunch of grocery stores a million times a week anyway, because g-d forbid should I be able to get my family everything it needs in one place. Stop me if this sounds familiar: Our produce and dairy comes from Whole Foods because we only eat organic (wouldn’t want to stunt the kids’ growth) but I can’t get the crappier food from the seemingly healthy store, so it’s off to Jewel or Mariano’s for canned soup, ketchup, maybe some Splenda (OMG, wouldn’t the Whole Foods baggers with the piercing in their cheeks just totally HATE me?!!!) and fishy crackers (whatever, the kids are Jewish and most likely to be short anyway) and then onto the fish market because if it doesn’t come from a fish-specific market we’ll get Jeremy Piven-poisoning and finally, it’s off to the tiny local food shop down the street that has 4 items in it that makes me feel like I’m supporting the neighborhood and that I’ll eventually be able to sell my house because our area will be desirable because I bought $10 bread. So see, I should deliver groceries to people, right?

Those are just a few off the top of my head, but I think for now, I’m going to stick with the mommy thing and freelance writing however I’m definitely considering that Elsa gig…

What would be your ideal job if you had to pick one?

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Blazin’ Up Some ‘Za


Pizza, fast food, individual pizza, chicago pizzaI would love to be able to be a big fast foodie but then I’d literally be a HUGE fast foodie, and I wouldn’t be able to wear the clothes I love and that would suck. I’d rather be a medium-ish fashionista than an extra-large taco poorly-dressed belle. However…

cheese pizza, Chicago pizza, thin crust, healthy pizzaEvery so often, a terrific food fast (instead of fast food) restaurant comes along that I have to try.

It doesn’t mean that it’s unhealthy. Actually, the one that my family and I ate at recently was neither unhealthy, nor derailed my quest to become invisible in the Neiman Marcus mirrors.

It’s called Blaze Pizza on Belmont in Chicago and it’s awesome!

Where else can you get a thin crust pizza with exactly the toppings YOU want on it, with the amount of sauce, as well as the type of sauce, the amount of cheese (as well as the TYPE of cheese), meats, etc., etc. in 180 seconds?

Honestly, I can’t think of much I can get in 180 seconds. It takes 45 minutes to get a no-chip manicure. It takes a lifetime to get psychotherapy (probably 2 lives for the amount I need!) And regardless of how much I say, “please, for the love of all that’s holy, HURRY UP,” it still takes my children at least 15 minutes to get out of the house for school every morning.

So to say that I was excited to see my pizza be prepared and baked in just a couple (and I mean a couple—not an exaggerated Jewish girl’s timeframe) of minutes, it was like being in dinner nirvana for this constantly-trying-to-rush-everything-mom.

I just needed the win, you know?

My kids didn’t even have enough time to ask for their iPads before my husband got to the table with piping hot, individual pies, which we also put down in a matter of minutes.

And I have to give Blaze Pizza major props—they are not all about speed—my pizza tasted delicious too! I had the spicy tomato sauce, which I learned is made with jalapeño peppers and garlic, and mozzarella cheese, which is shaved into ribbons so it lays properly atop the pie (trust me, it makes a difference), as well as mushrooms, black olives, and fresh spinach. Here’s the best part—don’t like my picks? Calm down! You can get yours just how you want it and no sharesies.

spinash pizza, mushroom pizza, fast food, chicago pizza

This was my pick…yum!

Another gold star? They offer vegan, vegetarian, and allergy safe options*, so you’re really going to have to search for a good excuse to skip this place, unless, of course, you simply don’t like pizza, and then, I simply don’t get you.

Oh yeah, and we were told that a typical cheese pizza is approximately 600 calories. Not too shabby for my flabby!

Finally-and this my is by far my favorite part-as you walk down the assembly line, the people who work at Blaze are actually polite. Yes, I’m serious.

They have a company philosophy that is based on being kind to their customers. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true…they actually value the people who come through their doors. And they actually love regular customers, diverse crowds, kids—everyone and anyone.

And did I mention that they also have s’mores pies? No, I didn’t. Because I’m selfish and I don’t want them to run out before I get back there, so save a few for me. After all, marshmallows are fat free. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it—regardless of what the mirrors at Neimans say.

*Contact Blaze about potential cross-contamination if you have allergy concerns before eating as I am a blogger, not a medical researcher.

Disclosure: I was offered a meal at Blaze, however the opinions and calories are my own. 

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Damn, And I Had Planned To Take Life Lessons From The Bachelor!


Guess I’m gonna to have to keep looking for a new spiritual leader. I was really counting on following the genius that is Juan Pablo–you know, this season’s Bachelor. After all, he’s on TV so he must be smart! But then he opened his mouth and said this…

THE BACHELOR, Juan Pablo Galavis
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelor’s Juan Pablo Galavis offered a very candid answer when he was asked his thoughts about the possibility of a gay bachelor starring on the ABC hit reality series.

“I respect [gay people], but I honestly don’t think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV,” the former Venezuelan soccer star told The TV Page on Friday, Jan. 17 at a network party in Pasadena, Calif.

“Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up,” Galavis says in an audio recording. “Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples. Two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed. It is confusing in a sense.”

The single dad to daughter Camilla added that he “respects” gay couples and their desires “to have kids,” as well as they are “more pervert in a sense.”

“They want to be parents,” the first Latino bachelor added. “So it is a scale. Where do you put it on the scale? Where is the thin line to cross or not? You have to respect everybody’s desires and way of living. But it would be too hard for TV.”

In a joint statement, ABC and the show’s producers said: “Juan Pablo’s comments were careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show’s producers or studio.”

—Additional reporting by Kristin Dos Santos (Taken from E! Online)

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as he did say in a follow up statement that English is his second language, and that he may have used the word “pervert” wrong.

Juan Pablo, I think you’re an asshole. Wait, I may have used the word “asshole” wrong. Nope. No I didn’t.

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I Love A Good Sale, But Does The Gap Really Need MLK Jr. To Sell Jeans?


I’m pretty sure when Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about his infamous dream, it didn’t have anything to do with up to 50% off on select styles from the Gap. However, this is what I got in my inbox today:

Martin Luther King Jr, Gap, jeans, sale

I can’t say I knew the man, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t his dream…

Because everyone knows that MLK Jr. was all about great deals on sexy boyfriend jeans and cropped sweaters. I’m just saying…

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