Author Archives: joleslieaaron

New Naked Eye Palette–Now S*%$’s Really Gettin’ Trivial

Urban Decay makeup

Yo, Kimmy from Maine who asked in a comment on my last blog post if my life was trivial, you’re going to LOVE this one…

Guess what’s coming out next month? The newest eye shadow palette from Urban Decay!!! (I’m giving eyeshadow three exclamation points because I don’t have anything to do today!!!)

Yep, Naked Smoky coming’s to a store near you.

You hear that Kimmy??? Lives are going to change.

Because Urban Decay knows that (wo)man cannot be expected to exist on only 3 palettes–namely Naked 1, Naked 2, and Naked 3–they are coming to our rescue with Naked Smoky, and I for one, am waiting on the edge of my well-worn-in couch.

So while I might not lead the most exciting life, as mentioned by my new friend, I will look damn good, with my new smoky, sexy eyes, waiting in line for the bathroom at Starbucks (see my last post.)

Naked Smoky Urban Decay is available on July 8.

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Bathroom Etiquette


Ok, I know you’re used to me writing about totally important things like world events, politics, Nepal and shoes, but today is going to be different.

Today, we’re talking about bathroom etiquette and not of the parent-child training variety.

Here’s the deal:

I spend about 85% of my life at Starbucks. You might think I’m embarrassed about that but I’m so not. It’s warm (in Chicago, I need a place to take shelter from the freezing temps of May), it’s friendly (the SB I work/live at is about .02 miles from my kids’ school, I know every third person who comes through the door), and they have coffee.

If I have to explain that last one, you clearly don’t know what it’s like to live with a java-addiction. Get down with your big, bad caffeine-free self. Go you.

The other thing they have at my favorite Starbucks (besides a free parking lot, which is EVERYTHING!) is a relatively clean bathroom. Ok, do not start posting comments that you sat on the seat and something bad happened to your downstairs area. I do NOT want to hear about it.

What I am saying is the Starbucks staff keeps the bathroom nice and tidy. Said washroom also requires a key. Thankfully.


To the woman who rolled her eyes at me when I said no thank you when you offered to return the bathroom key to the wall where it hangs, as I walked in to the restroom after you came out, let me explain why I refused your services.

If you return the key while I’m in there, it is as if the bathroom is unoccupied and available for someone to just pop on in as I squat over the seat. Now, I don’t want that happening in front of a stranger, do I honey? Even my 5 and 7-year-olds understand that.

However it took you, a 30-something woman, what I felt to be extensive explanation about why it wasn’t really a big deal for you to do it…as I stood with my legs crossed and my bladder filled to the brim with a gigantic Venti blonde roast.

I just wanted to make in peace. Honestly, I get to go to the bathroom by myself so rarely, that I kind of cherish the hours that my kids are in school to do so and don’t expect that I’ll have to spar with a grown woman about how to accomplish that. Just let mama pish, umkay?

So to recap, a hanging key on the wall means that the bathroom is available for anyone to enter. No key, no pee. Got it?

Seriously, do I have to potty train everyone?

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: You binged it. Now what?

I Love Netflix The people have spoken: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is frigging awesome! But now that “the people,” aka. you, have binged it within a matter of days, what’s next? Here are a few of my Netflix Picks (Netflix Pix? It’s almost annoyingly cute.): If you love Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it’s probably because you were a Rock 30 fan, so you’ve already watched that, right? RIGHT?! OK, if you haven’t, please do before we meet again. If you have, terrific, and check out Portlandia, Shameless, Californication or Undeclared. If you are desperately missing the ladies from Orange Is The New Black like I am, check out the Australian version called Wentworth or my favorite biker soap opera (and most likely the only) Sons of Anarchy. Want a drama? Yes, I know Scandal and Parenthood are everyone’s everything, but there are tons of dramatic series that are soooo worth blowing off your family for! For instance, try House of Cards, Lilyhammer, The Riches, or Twin Peaks (because it’s returning on Showtime in 2016, so you’re going to a refresher on who killed Laura Palmer.) I L.O.V.E. a good horror show, which is why I heart Sundays, cause that’s when the zombies come out! Yay Walking Dead!!! I even watch Talking Dead so I can get a recap immediately following each episode. Talking Dead is like Watch What Happens Live but thankfully Jax will never, ever be on it. I’m truly jealous of people who haven’t watched the series yet, it’s that incredible, however if zombies eating humans isn’t your thing (weirdo! You, not me,) try The Following, Dexter, or The Killing. Of course, those are all people killing people, but everyone likes their horror served up differently and I say, to each their own. Check out what’s on my must-watch list:

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Marco Polo Parks and Recreation The League Bloodline (So excited about this one!) Peaky Blinders

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Binge It. Now.


Here are a few bad things that happened to me today…

  • I raced to school to drop off my kids so I could get to my doctor’s office on time for my early appointment this morning. Turns out my appointment is tomorrow.
  • I bought an oatmeal raisin cookie but it was really an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chips?! I couldn’t even count it as my fruit for the day.
  • The neighbor’s cat left a sweet little present at the bottom of the front steps of our house. That is, if you consider a dead mouse to be a sweet little present. I happen to prefer diamonds.

However, throughout all of this trauma (dramatic much Jo?) I managed to find a light at the end of the tunnel: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

In a word, this show is freaking awesome–ok, that’s two words, but you’ll forgive me the minute you start watching.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is Tina Fey’s comedy series for Netflix starring Ellie Kemper (The Office), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), and Tituss Burgess and it’s nothing less than totally delightful! Even Jon Hamm, one of my favorite people, Jerry Minor, and Tina Fey make guest appearances to up the funny factor.

Trust me, bad moods don’t stand a chance against this unavoidably binge-able show. Not even chocolate chip-raisin mix-up ones.

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New Shape: Studio Lagree

workout, exercise, pilates, reformer, chicago

Forget religion. I’ve recently accepted exercise into my life. Ahhhhhhh…

It’s not completely my fault. I wasn’t exactly raised on fitness. In my family, walking the dog was consider a major calorie burn, so “sweating it out” was something I thought you did when you didn’t know the answer on a test, not something you did with free weights. Sorry mommy* and daddy, you’re perfect in every other way, and you’re both incredibly smart and beautiful inside and out.

We’re good, right?

So, when I was invited to check out Studio Lagree in Lincoln Park, I jumped at the chance.

Ok, I’m lying.

I actually procrastinated and I’ll explain why. I started running not too long ago. I’m not that good at it, but considering my lungs once put me in a coma, and there was a time when my legs didn’t work that well, I’m pretty proud to say that I ran (/walked) my first 5K this November for the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation and there were plenty of people who came in after me. There were many more people before me, but still…

Despite my so-so running and over-all exercising abilities, I was a little nervous to try Lagree. Why? Well, I always do my research–look over the company’s website, talk to people, etc.–and on their site were testimonials. I LOVE testimonials!

I especially love celebrity testimonials because I’m fascinated by celebrities, so when I read Courtney Cox’s that basically said the class kicks her wonderfully-toned-and-constantly-worked-out body, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how the f*&% I was going to get through it!

I’m just Jo. I’m no Cox. (Kind of thank G-d because that nickname is the worst!)

Then I thought, if Monica Geller-Bing, the former Big Fat Goalie, could do it, I could do it too! I went to class, fueled by Starbucks, the drink of pro athletes everywhere, prepared to do my competitive best, which is pretty darn competitive. I have this thing where I am determined to be the “best” person in any workout class. I can’t tell you what the “best” is–maybe I was hoping that Sebastien Lagree, creator of the Megaformer, would pick me out of the crowd and give me a lifetime contract as the face of Lagree because I could do every exercise perfectly? Maybe he’d tell me he was quitting and handing over the entire business to me because he couldn’t compete with my form? Considering I have,

1. No interest in owning a fitness company…

2. No interest in putting the man out of business…

I’m not sure what I was competing for, but in my mind, I wanted to “win” whatever “it” was.

BTW, it was an #epicfail, but #whitegirlgaveitherall.

Walking into Lagree was a bit intimidating but exciting because they showed me to this lovely machine, a M3 Megaformer that tricked me into thinking that the class might not be too hard because it had so much comfy padding.

Lying exercise machine!

Despite the deceptive contraption they put me on, the staff and owner couldn’t have been kinder and they had more than enough trainers in the class to make sure I was always in the proper position, using the machine correctly and feeling stable during the reformer/cardio/core strengthening exercises. They also provided a stability bar for peeps like me who can get a bit wiggly in the beginning. The moves weren’t too difficult to get into, and while you could determine the level at which you wanted to perform each exercise, you really couldn’t coast thru this class. But why would you want to?

Every muscle was used, even the ones I didn’t know I had in underneath the ones I was using! Or maybe they were behind some of the ones I use on occasion but whatever. I felt it the next day…and the day after that…and the day after. And then it didn’t hurt anymore. And strangely, I actually craved the classes the minute I left. That doesn’t happen to me with exercise, but I can’t wait to go back. Maybe because it was a challenge that I know I have to work up to and that I know I’ll get without a doubt, but mainly because I know that after a short period of time in this class, I’m going to look killer.

And with a body like Court’s, I’m kind of looking forward to showing off come summer.

*A hearty mazel to my mom who has recently also accepted exercise into her life. She’s praying to The Bar Method gods in Highland Park and is already looking amaz-ing. Keep it up, Mama Yo!

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Play-Doh And Other Inappropriate Kids’ Toys

toys, kids, parents, games


What’s worse than losing your job right before the holidays? Losing your job right after the new year. And if I were a betting girl, and I do love Las Vegas, so I am, I’m going to guess the person in charge of creating this toy for Play-Doh,

Play Doh, toys, Christmas, penis

Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset

might not have a position with the company post-holiday season. Why you ask? The Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain looks innocent enough, you say? Check out the left corner of the picture above…the purple shot-looking device. Well, one mom claims it “ruined” her Christmas when she gave it to her child, and here is why…careful, Play-Doh comes out:

Play-doh, toy, kids, parenting

Photo from Twitter

Personally, I think this is the funniest thing is the world. Personally, I’m about as mature as a junior high schooler. I’m ok with it. Penises are hilarious, especially when they are plastic and come in a playset for your kids that they are supposed to, get this, pack Play-Doh into and then squeeze Play-Doh out of the tip. I mean, you can’t make this shit up! So in honor of the PR nightmare aka. the Play-Doh Penis in the Sweet Shoppe (I mean, I can’t stop!), and the new year that I can only imagine will bring many new PR nightmares for a whole bunch of inappropriate children’s toys, let’s look back at other not-so-appropriate toys for kids from years past…’cause they’re so damn funny! The Balzac toy, game, kids, parents         It’s a ball, balloon thing. Yo, toy manufacturers, here’s a little secret. These days, schools are allowing kids to learn how to spell by sounding out words and not correcting them. So if they want to spell ball sack, Balzac, than so be it. But do you really want your kids kicking it around on the playground? Harry Potter’s Nimbus 2000 Vibrating Broomstick

kids, parents, toys, games, Harry Potter

Photo from TIME

When girls of all ages starting spending a LOT of time in their bedrooms with their new favorite vibrating toy, parents wondered if the plastic broomstick was the best money ever spent or if their 12-17-year-olds were really that into the little wizard boy? Oh cute, mom and dad accidentally bought their sweetheart her first vibrator. That’s special. To all you Potter freaks, it’s no longer on the market, so you’re out of luck. Barbie Sweet Talking Ken Doll

toys, kids, parents, games, dolls

Photo from Amazon

Can we call this one, Pervy Pervert Ken? I mean, you can record up to 5 seconds of anything you want and he’ll repeat it back. Ewww. Gross. Here’s the deal, when I was really little (confession time) I sat in my dad’s office and swore for about 20 minutes straight on a tape recorder. I said every single swear I knew and some poor secretary probably found it in his drawer and thought his daughter had major issues. There is no doubt in my mind, any child who owns this disgustingly creepy Ken will do something similar. Please don’t let me be the only one.

As I look forward to 2015, I can’t wait for what toy drama the year promises to bring…will it be another scrotum-like kickball? A don’t-let-your-daughters-near-this-doll Ken? A penis pushing Play-Doh? A mom can dream, can’t she? Here is the whole Play-Doh penis story at E! Online

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Traveling With Kids To New York City


I go to New York often. Not like all of the time. But enough that I have “people” in NYC, like the woman who does my laser hair removal, a manicurist, and a hairstylist I actually trust to cut and style me up. In Girl World, that basically makes it my second home.

So when my kids cried because I was leaving for another trip to the Big Apple without them in September–for fun–I decided it was time to plan a trip for them to come along in October. It would be their very first time in New York and my mom was coming too.

People asked me how the trip went down with my kids, who are 5 and 6-years-old. Well, it was AWESOME! Here some reasons why…

Where to Stay

Hotel. We stayed at the Langham Place Hotel. If you get an opportunity to stay at a Langham Place Hotel, you must stay at a Langham Place Hotel. The New York Langham Place Hotel is on Fifth Ave. It’s gorgeous, located right smack dab in the middle of the city, and the entire staff, from the lovely greeters at the door, to the wonderful folks behind the front desk, to those in the restaurant, went over and above to make sure our visit was perfection.Langham Place

I’m not talking clean sheets and extra towels.

I’m talking chocolate milk and candy bars upon check-in, high-fives for my kids every time we walked in and out of the hotel, quick (and very appropriate) games of tag in the lobby with my antsy kids while I checked in, and “of course,” “what can we do for you,” and “is there anything else you need” as regular vocab. Add that to the beautiful decor, spacious room (seriously, shockingly huge for NY), and delicious restaurant and in-room dining for the meals when my kids just couldn’t deal with another restaurant, and I honestly couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else. Ever. Again.

Also, for the holidays, they are hosting a special brunch called Tunes with Tina-Holiday Hit Parade featuring acclaimed musician Tina DeVaron, during which kids are welcome to decorate Xmas and Chanukah cookies. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is festive.

Oh yeah. And they have a spa that you will NEVER want to leave, but you’ll have to, because you’ve brought your kids with you and you have to go back to them at some point.

Where to Eat

Because I am who I am, eating is a big part of my travels. But because my kids are who they are, we have to negotiate all food options. I have one kid who loves to eat and another who won’t eat that much. That being said, we still hit some tourist goodies, such as…

Serendipity 3. Everyone knows Serendipity 3. The lines are long. I’m not going to lie. But we had a secret weapon, so my kids walked in like Disney Channel celebrities and sat down at a nice round table in the back. The place is a fun ol’ pile of

IMG_7493kitsch and my kids couldn’t have enjoyed themselves more. Especially when they brought out the frozen hot chocolate. And the french fries. And the foot long hot dog. And the chili. Let’s just say we had to do a little rearranging to get all of the plates on our table.

Max Brenner. If you hate chocolate, do NOT come here. Because this place is hands down the best place to PMS. The drinks. They’re chocolate. The breakfast. It’s mostly chocolate. Lunch? You got it, chocolate. You can order eggs, and somehow, they manage to slip chocolate into the dish somehow. And you know what? I think it’s genius. But that’s probably because I freaking IMG_7535LOVE chocolate. Even my son, who eats almost nothing at all, ate close to an entire bag of chocolate chunks, so everyone on Team Aaron was happy! We were also with our cousins, so that ruled. Excellent pick, cuzzies!

What to do for Play Time

Now, you’re probably thinking, ok, Jo, once you’ve slept and eaten, you’ve taken up a very short period of time in NYC, but what else are you supposed to do with your kids in the Big Apple?

Well, let me tell you, there’s plenty! Of course, when I’m with my lady friends, we shop. We spa. We eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon. These are not things that kids are willing to do, right? Well, maybe the shopping, but in very different stores. So let’s start there. My mom, who was the main event of this trip as we were celebrating her BIG birthday (I won’t give you up Mommy, don’t worry!) and I decided to hit the stores with the kids first thing.

Toys-R-Us. We walked into Toys-R-Us in Time Square, and I only wish you could have seen my kids’ faces. See, the store IMG_7480is 110,000 square feet and they have a 60-foot Ferris Wheel right in the middle of the store, so it’s pretty amazing. They also have an entire LEGO area–perfect for my LEGO-freak son–a life-size Barbie Dream House, a wandering magician who my kids couldn’t get enough of, a woman giving sparkle tattoos, a huge Willy Wonka Candy Store, and so much more. We probably spent 2 hours there and I’m not going to say how much money but it was worth every cent.

Disney Store. I know these stores are everywhere, but there’s something pretty awesome about being able to walk into the Disney Store after seeing those characters who wander around TimeIMG_7477 Square, charging parents to take pictures. We didn’t pay to take pictures with anyone, but we did hang at the Disney Store for a bit because they have a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that you can climb in and out of…basically, they made the place a little interactive and our local one is not.

Broadway. My kids happen to enjoy going to theater and for months, my daughter had been begging me to take her to see Wicked. So when a friend who is actually in the Broadway IMG_7578production offered us the opportunity to come backstage before the performance, I jumped on the chance. It was a highlight of the trip. We showed up a little early and got to sit inside the area where all of the actors enter before theIMG_7597 show. So of course, as each actor came inside and checked in with the manager, they were also made to check in with my daughter who asked each and every person, who are you and who do you play in Wicked? Gotta love a 5-year-old with no shame! The backstage tour was an experience of a lifetime, especially for my mom. Special doesn’t begin to describe watching her with my kids IMG_7636in her element–she was an opera major who should have go onto Broadway. Her voice was that good.

Plaza Hotel. Although there’s not much that could have topped our Wicked experience, we went to the Plaza Hotel to see Eloise. My kids adore the Eloise movies, so we thought it would be so much fun to see her house. We would have loved to have done tea at the Plaza, but we didn’t have time. IMG_7648Instead, we did a little shopping in the perfectly pink store they have in the basement of the Plaza Hotel, after walking through the lobby, checking out all of IMG_7652the sites of the movie–our favorite is Eloise at Christmastime–we split up.

Central Park and Akiko Hair and Nail. My son, mom and best friend went for a walk through Central Park where he played on the big rocks and had the greatest time, and my daughter and I went down to the village for mother-daughter nail art manicures. If you remember my crazy-amazing nail art from Akiko Hair and Nail in the Village, then you’ll understand why my IMG_7512daughter insisted that she needed to have a mani just like mommy’s when she got to New York. And when you see what they did on her nails, you’ll understand that her nails were totally worth IMG_7522skipping a walk in the park. I’m sorry, but they just were. She sat for 2-hours. I’m not kidding. My 5-year-old who can’t stop for anything for 5-minutes, sat still for 2-hours straight to get Alice In Wonderland nails on one hand and princess themed nails on the other. She’s just like her mama. Anything for beauty.

How to Get Around

We took cabs and walked everywhere. If you really feel strongly about boosters, bring along one of those blow-up boosters, if you don’t mind carrying it with you. Or you can avoid pain-in-the-butt carseat issues altogether and take the subway or do like we did, and use those things below your ankles…you know, your feet! New York is a fantastic walking city, so you can drink your frozen hot chocolate and eat foot longs without one ounce of guilt.

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It So Cold, You Can’t Tell How Hot I Am!

Polar Vortex, Winter, Coat, Freezing, Cold

This Is How I Feel All Winter

Yes people, it’s officially winter.

Well, not according to the calendar, but if 12 degrees outside means fall to you, then we are not on the same page. You’re going to have to face reality–it’s freezing and that means two things:

1. All anyone will be talking about until about Memorial Day will be how freaking cold it is outside. 

2. No one will know how adorable I look because my carefully curated outfits will be hidden underneath a huge winter coat that makes me look like the little brother from A Christmas Story.

It’s so sad, it almost makes me want to wear pajamas everyday from now until no-coat-weather. My husband would be so happy to hear that, I can almost imagine his eyes lighting up when he thinks about saving all that money on me not shopping for winter clothes. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN HONEY! I said it makes me want to do it. I didn’t say I was going to do it! Jeez. I’m cold, not stupid.

But back to the subject of Chiberia. Or the Polar Vortex. Or whatever the weather people are calling it this year. It’s already the only thing everyone can speak of, and I mean everyone. The check out woman at Target. “It’s cold out there, isn’t it?” The check out man at Whole Foods. “Can you believe this weather?” My favorite barista at Starbucks. “How you handling the weather?”

Well, I’ll tell you how I’m handling the weather, Mr. Barista.

I’m freezing my tush off. I’m having daily brawls with my kids to try to get them to put all of their winter gear on to get them out of the house on time for school. I can’t find a winter coat that covers enough of my body so I don’t freeze to death without looking like I never lost my baby weight after finally losing my baby weight. I worry everyday that my kids are going to forget to put their gloves on at recess and get frostbite and end up in the hospital and I’ll end up in jail for that or in the poor house because they’ve already lost two pairs of gloves each and it’s only been one week of cold weather so I’m thinking of investing in a glove company so at least we’ll get them for free. I wonder how long it will be before there is a massive snowfall and my kids make me go outside to build a snowman which I totally hate because playing in the snow sucks but I live for my kids and I like being fun mommy.

Does that answer your question? Just give me my fucking coffee.

However in the meantime, after working through all of that, the sad truth is that I’m still semi-dressed up under my snowman-esque coat, not that you can tell.

That’s because I’ve become addicted to Talia Hancock’s Camille LeggingsYoga Pants, Leggings,

When a friend teased me a few months ago that all I wear is workout clothes everyday, my friends at Talia Hancock helped me make a wardrobe change. I had seen Kourtney Kardashian wearing their Michele Leggings and she looked awesome, so I tried their Camilles. I wanted a one-piece, full length legging instead of a convertible capri because unfortunately, it’s chilly where I run errands unlike in Kourtney Kardashian, pregnancy, maternityKourt’s hometown. The fold-over waist on the Camille can be pulled down to look like a skirt and the zippers at the ankles are perfect for freezing cold winters (if we must still talk weather) so they can easily accommodate boots or, someday if there is ever grass on the ground again, normal shoes.

When I tell you that I’ve gotten more compliments on these super-soft leggings, I am not lying. And because my big ol’ coat only hits below my behind, these compliments have come even when I’m all bundled up. As the K-Krew would say, “Bible!”

My favorite shoes to pair with my Camille leggings are the Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedge Mid Waterproof City Boots. Actually, my own crew (spelled correctly) will tell you that my Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedges are my favorite boots towinter boots, sorel pair with just about anything anytime of year. I think they are good looking, comfortable, and man, oh, man are they warm. I’ve own other Sorels, and these unlined booties kick my mannish, heavy boots butts. I’m just saying.

They aren’t easy to find because they are awesome but nothing worth owning should be easy to find. Just remember that. I just tracked down an Alexander McQueen coat in my size in London because there wasn’t one in the United States. Desperate? Totally. Worth it? Absolutely. Except it didn’t fit, it was super expensive, and I didn’t keep it. Ha!

So the moral of the story? Maybe you shouldn’t listen to me and leave all of the good Sorel boots in my size for me to buy. Oh, jeez, stop rolling your eyes, husband!

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Jason Segel Says I Can Be 39 For 5 More Years. So I Love Him Even More Now.


I interviewed Jason Segel on the phone today. You know, Marshall, the adorable guy from How I Met Your Mother. Of I Love You, Man. Or the sweet, child-at-heart man who wrote and starred in The Muppets. The one who voices Vector in Despicable Me. The trainer in This is 40, aka. Jason, who played the same role in Knocked Up? One of my favorite freak and/or geek in Freaks and Geeks?

You know who I’m talking about. And before you ask, yes, he was just as sweet and smart and funny and adorable as you’d imagine…and yes, I know I’m married.

I also recognize that Jason is most likely not interested in a middle-aged mom with two kids who drives carpool and wears Gap jeans, even if they are the skinny jeggings and paired with Fendi boots. As far as Jason’s concerned, all of my jeans are mom jeans. This is my truth.

But I have a movie star-crush on this particular actor and it took everything not to come out and tell him. That would not have been professional.

Ok, maybe I did kind of gush a bit but more in an yenta way, than a Tiger Beat way, so I know for certain I did not freak him out.

I can say this much, Jason Segel is not sitting at home writing a blog post about me right now. I am actually willing to bet money that Jason Segel hung up the phone after our interview and immediately forgot my name. But that’s ok, because he’s busy (and handsome and tall) and I got to interview him. For work, of course. I’m not a weirdo, people. My job required me to speak to Jason on the phone and ask him all kinds of questions. I know. My job freaking rules.ilovejason-250x250

I learned a lot about Jason that you’ll have to read about in my article on RedTricycle when it comes out in a few weeks but here’s a teaser…after telling Jason that I’m 39 during some pre-interview conversation, he told me that he’s learned that I can be 39 for as long as I want.

I mean, how sweet is that? My husband, who is the love of my life, would definitely tell me to own my 39 years–and to gracefully admit to the next one that’s looming. “39 is 39, and you can’t escape 40,” I’m going to assume he’d say.* (You know you would, my sweet love. Who are we kidding?)

However my pretend boyfriend, Jason, feels like if I never want to hit the big 4-0, I’m not hurting anyone. I’ll admit, I’ve never run from numbers before, but Jason makes me feel like I might as well and considering I had to buy reading glasses this week, I think I’m going to stay 39 for as long as Jason said I could.

So it just felt right when I asked him…

“Are you trying to make me like you more than I already do, or what?”

He laughed. Jason Segel laughed at my joke.

Talk about a meet cute!

ilovejason-250x250*For the record, my husband is the only person I’d ever make up pretend quotes for. All other persons are quoted with complete accuracy. As my husband would probably say, “I’m pretty sure I never said that.” Oh, I love him so much!

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I Love New York!


I was lucky enough to go to NY to celebrate my best friend’s birthday. I packed up and left the fam at home (sorry, loves!) from Thursday thru Monday. Yes, it was Rosh HaShana, but they say G-d doesn’t care where you pray from, even Bergdorf’s, so stop judging.

And speaking of shopping, I may have done a little. I didn’t buy that much (no, seriously husband, I didn’t) but I did spend an entire day in SoHo weaving in and out of some of the most glorious boutiques in NYC.

However before shopping, we made a quick, relaxing stop by White Tea Med Spa for rejuvenating facials. Because when you’re about to do a day of couture-ial damage, you have to either have a full face of professionally applied make-up so you can get the complete vision or be able to say, “I know, I look awful. I just had a facial,” so that the salespeople can tell you that you’re crazy and that you look amazing without a stitch of anything on your face.

To set the record straight, I only fished for those compliments in the stores with obnoxious, florescent lighting. Honestly, if they’re going to install elementary school lighting in a dressing room, they need to be prepared for sad shoppers who need ego boosts, even if it’s coming from a 40-year-old hipster sales dude with a mohawk, wearing skinny pedal pushers and a flannel shirt that would fit my kindergartener.

Hey, I’ll take sweet talk where I can get it, right ladies?

I really hit the jackpot at Proenza Schouler. Unfortunately I didn’t purchase anything there (yet, I didn’t buy anything yet…they can always ship to Chicago), but the adorable salesperson had these awesome designs on her nails that matched this season’s dress pattern. I freaked over them as she told me where to go–some random market in the Village–I feel cool just saying it–called Akiko Nails.

Ok, I have to say, they did such a stunning job on my nails, that I’m struggling with giving out the name, just in case the next time I’m in NY I am unable to get an appointment. Yeah, it was that amazing.

nail art, manicure, fingers, polish

The nail tech did the whole thing freehand. I know. Your mind has been blown.

Back to shopping. Staying away from all of the stores we have in Chicago, I always limit my shopping experience to stuff we can’t get here–or that I can only see online but never try on aka. Kirna Zabete where I found an uber-fab Veronica Beard blazer that I will be making a statement in all fall, winter and spring as soon as it arrives at my home.

I’m too cheap to pay United for overweight luggage, so I had everything shipped. Shockingly, or embarrassing–however United wants to view it–it was still cheaper to ship from a bunch of different stores than try to sneak them aboard, so I’m just saying…

The topper on the weekend of “mommy NEVER gets to do this at home” came on Sunday night, when my friend and I attended a taping of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. I’ve heard the urban legends that you have to come to studio blindfolded or that they pick you up from one location and drive you to the studio so that you don’t really know where it, or you, are. However, I can assure you, Andy Cohen doesn’t give a boo-ha if people know where the studio is because you are NOT getting through security if you are not specifically invited to be there. That being said, I’m not telling you where it is. I will in no way jeopardize my new best friendship with Andy. Not for you. Not for no one.

Once we stepped into the office that leads to the studio where the show is shot, we were greeted by a handsome and energetic bartender. Immediately. You could tell that they were very pro-alcohol at this taping. And I was happy to do my part to be the best audience member I could be by sipping a Mazel (something, something and vodka-check the menu) Anything for my Andy:


Like other tapings I had been to, we were ushered in by “party,” as in the Beth party and let me tell you, if you are going to make an appearance at WWHL, you want to be a part of the Beth party. Um, we were seated in the first two seats smack dab in the front of what would soon be Rita Wilson and Jacqueline Laurita’s guest seats.

Look how close I am!

Look how close I am!


Oh, did I forget to say that Andy was about 8 feet away from me? And he talked to me? They might as well have walked me out of the studio and onto the airplane to go home after that. My trip was complete.

Of course, after coming down from my WWHL high, I did manage to do some unselfish shopping following two days of SoHo and almost 3-hours in Bergdorf’s (which, by the way, has a delish cafe on the basement level when you finally remember that you’ve been running in and out of stores for 48-hours and probably should put something in your system that doesn’t have a Starbucks logo on it) for my kids.

We hit up Economy Candy on the Lower East Side which was any kid’s dream come true. Just a fantastic wholesale candy store with everything. I even found vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trading cards for my son who is a TMNT freak! Yes, the gum was stale and yes, I’m calling them vintage because to admit that they are from my elementary school years just makes me feel crazy old. Actually, calling myself vintage, which sounds nicer, actually makes me want to hightail it back to White Tea Med Spa to see what those geniuses can do about turning back time on my face without getting doctors and needles involved, you know?

Check out some of my favorite NYC spots:

Chelsea Flower Market. Ever go down there? If you like flowers, actually, if you like anything pretty, just get up early and take a walk around there even if you’re not in the market for a bouquet of your own. The whole street (28th) smells amazing–ok, you can still smell NYC gutter–but step foot into one wholesale flower shop and you’re instantly swallowed up by gorgeous scents from all over the globe. It’s not to be missed but the early bird gets the worm, so don’t sleep in because the good stuff’s pretty much gone and some shops even close by 11AM on Saturdays. You would too if you started getting shipments in at 1AM.

Kirna Zabete. Sure, I was spending money which is the best kind of customer to have, but this store is one incredibly curated mix of high-end and up-and-coming designer clothing, shoes and accessories that actually makes you feel welcome. As far as they concerned, acting like customers aren’t good enough to browse their goods might work for fancy-smancy stores in the neighborhood, but it’s just not their bag. And baby, they have good bags! Ask for Everest. He’s super excellent and will style you up like a Hollywood starlet even if you’re just a plain Jane mom like me.

Toys-R-Us-Time Square. But Jo, it’s just a Toys-R-Us. Oh, you’re wrong. You’re so wrong. I mean, unless your local TRU has a 60-foot Ferris wheel in the middle of the store, a million floors of almost any toy your kids could possibly want, and so much more. I’m just saying. It’s not the same.

Eloise at the Plaza. Ok, she doesn’t really live there. The 6-year-old me finally got over that. But the Plaza certainly figured out how to make it seem like she does. With a fabulous all-Eloise, all-the-time shop on the lower level, complete with a party room if you feeling like spoiling your child and her friends with a Rawther Fancy Tea. For super fans, they even sell the Eloise costume. I have a feeling my daughter is going to force that one on me next week when I take her to the Big Apple for the first time, but it’s so cute, she won’t have to twist my arm.

Balthazar Restaurant. I always eat there. Always. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is romantic yet energetic, and I love checking out the street art while I wait for a table because you always have to wait–no matter how important you think you are. I went there on my first business trip to NY from LA in my 20’s and I still go back almost every time I’m in town.

More pics from the trip…you might see a famous face or two:


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