The Money Issue Money Matters:
How shifts in financial power can affect your marriage.
Deal Breakers: Are online sale sites thwarting your financial goals? The temptation in scoring a “steal.”
One couple’s true story of recession woes and redefined family roles.
Steamy city style, simple looks and weekends in the country.
Tips from the Pros:
Over 30 pages of insider tips and links for clothing, beauty, home decor, cooking, fitness, books, the arts and more!
16 8 9
10 12 14 16 18 20 22
Essentials Summerâ€™s essentials by blogger Cassandra LaValle.
Letter from the Editor
In Every Issue
Coverings Swimsuit picks by Denver dilletant May Wilson.
Vanities Makeup artist, Ann Marie Laurendeau, selects the latest products to look your best this summer.
Vanities Hair stylist and salon owner, Patrice Vinci, shows us how to create easy, sexy summer curls.
Vanities Beauty Expert, Andrea Ducharmeâ€™s tips for the best in anti-aging skin care.
Furnishings The latest trends in home decor by shop owner and blogger Annie Crowninshield.
Eats Real estate broker and part-time foodie, Michelle Mckenna, shows us how to cook in season.
sloane / summer 2010
15 Charles Street Beacon Hill Massachusetts www.therubydoor.com 617.720.2001
In Every Issue 90 92 94 96 100 116
READS Book Reviewer, publicist and journalist, Jocelyn Kelley, recommends what’s new in print.
Rants Amber West tells it like it is. This issue she takes on a tall drink of a certain warm obsession...
SWEATS Mariel MacNaughton reports on what’s hot in fitness. This issue, running a half marathon.
Profile Licensed Psychologist Randy Kamen Gredinger, reports on JILLIES, an inspiring company with a heartfelt mission.
Health Functional Health Coach, Luis Hernandez, reports on the latest news in whole body wellness.
LUSTs Publisher, Dana Córdova’s lusts of the season. Because, well, we all want things...
Features 26 30 34 38
Money matters How shifts in financial power can affect your marriage.
Deal Breakers Are online sale sites thwarting your financial goals? The temptation in scoring a “steal.”
Home Fires One couples true story of recession woes and redefined family roles.
the art of falling apart A lighthearted look at how to keep perspective and learn to love your body in the face of aging.
sloane / summer 2010
Publisher / Editor Dana Córdova Design / Photo Editor Dana Córdova Assistant Editor Colleen Reilly Marketing Rachel Texeira Technical Advisor Luke Peters Special Thanks / Unofficial Advisory Board: Raul Córdova, Casey Hatchett, Vanessa Peck, Ben Tregoe, Adam Wynne Advertising Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org Interested in Getting Involved? Please send your idea pitch to email@example.com with the subject line: Ideas for the urbane. Join the Mailing List! firstname.lastname@example.org © 2010 sloane Usage, mention or reproduction of any content within this publication MUST link back to: www.sloanemag.com (basically, this means: we’d love for you to talk about sloane, but just be courtious, give us credit and a link.)
Usage License: Attribution-NoncommercialNo Derivative Works 3.0 United States, Creative Commons. To Share: to copy, distribute and transmit the work under the following conditions: Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes. No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
40 60 74
Red/hot No cash for a vacation? Still look like a million bucks with these hot and affordable ensambles.
summer simplicity Easy cotton florals and effortless one-piece outfits. Simple day to evening looks.
From Russia, with love Inspired by the lush countryside outside Moscow—a fresh mix of European, Slavic and American styling.
Arts, Interviews, Essays
102 108 109 112
Arts Behind the scenes with New York arts writer, Jennifer Guinn. Pictures by Women at the MOMA + Summer Music Festivals.
Reflections Bye, Bye Birdie: the lessons of a dog. by Ginna Christensen.
Reflections Take a breath—quietly, please. The art of the yoga sigh, by Marique Newell.
Motherhood How I Make it Work: two mother’s offer their real-life experiences.
sloane / summer 2010
As a communications consultant, Dana Hurley has spent the past 10+ years in the US and Australia helping organizations communicate more effectively with employees, leadership and the outside world.In addition to her “day job”, she’s also the Marketing Director at Mobile Meteor, an aspiring writer, magazine junkie, food and wine enthusaist, wife and mom. She lives in Brooklyn.
Aaron Richter is a photographer who grew up in the Midwest but now calls Brooklyn home. A displaced writer and magazine editor, he has seen his photos appear in the pages of such titles as Ponytail, Rolling Stone, Paper and Paste. Aaron enjoys kissing his girlfriend, reading Norman Mailer, rewatching DiG!, and the words rad and satiate. www.aaronrichter.com
An accomplished member of the fashion and entertainment industries, Carrie Mitchell enjoys a diverse career as a writer and producer, spanning New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Shanghai and Paris. She currently covers all things style, while photographing and travelling whenever she can. www.stylegroove.com
Natasha Klimchuk is a 29-year-old photographer based in Moscow, Russia. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and became interested in photography 6 years ago. She is also the owner of illustration agency Bang Bang Studio: www.bangbangstudio.ru. She claims her favorite work is portraiture because “she likes people and is a little lazy.” Klimchuk shoots with a Hasselblad. www.natashaklimchuk.com
Alyssa Noches was born and raised in portland oregon, where she currently lives. She is the Co-editor of photography zine, NO THOUGHTS, co-founder of, wearenowinspace. com, and a freelance photographer. She spends her time creating intimate photographic portrayals of her life and those who surround her. www.alyssanoches.com
Caletha Crawford is a veteran writer who has covered fashion and retail for consumers and market insiders for more than 10 years. In addition to being the editor in chief of Earnshaw’s magazine, she is a New York shopping correspondent for Examiner.com and a contributor for AtlantaPost.com. Read more of her writing at calethacrawford.wordpress.com.
sloane / summer 2010
letter from the editor
Michelle Thompson has been at the forefront of illustration since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1996. She has worked successfully in publishing, editorial and design. Her work has been featured in Creative Review, Communication Arts and Graphics International and can be found in numerous design books. www.michelle-thompson.com
Megan Johnson is a writer in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. She chronicles her simultaneously entertaining and massively embarrassing life on her website, Down and Out in Beacon Hill. www.meganjohnson. tumblr.com
sloane / summer 2010
With sloane’s second issue I found there is a lot of truth to the sophomore jinx: you spend your entire lifetime creating your first masterpiece, but only a very short time creating your next. To be honest, the fuel that pushed me onward was a mixture of positive feedback, strong stats, a boatload of self-doubt, but even more personal gratification. Publishing is not easy. But the talented individuals who work with me, and who offer up their talent, fuel the late nights. Reflecting on the past year I decided to make the summer issue The Money Issue. A somewhat weighty topic for summer, but despite all the sunshine, its looming presence seems to be everywhere. Not only for me personally but for everyone around me. In Money Matters, Megan Johnson explores how financial power for women can change the structure of a marriage. Whether that means you find yourself in a traditional situation or a more modern, dual-income union, it seems the key to success is finding a mate who possesses the same view as you. No one can speak to this better than Dana Hurley whose personal account in Home Fires, tells a story of role-reversal so many have experienced this year.
In true sloane fashion, we hope you find an equal amount of brains and beauty. And, despite all the headiness, we are still reminded to look our best, be inspired and laugh whenever possible. From smart shopping picks to heartfelt health advice, beauty tips to cultural events— we hope you’ll find lots of useful information. As always, please note that, wherever possible, we have created useful links for shopping resources and background information on articles. If, like me, you’ve recently picked up a fun iPad, or other e-reader, be sure to visit Scribd.com to download a pdf you can read and refer back to offline. I thank you for your continued interest in, and support of sloane as she continues to grow. Dana Córdova Editor/Publisher
Blogger, Cassandra LaValle, picks the season’s top essentials. This year, summer seems to have a distinct bohemian ethnic vibe for me. Perhaps I’ve been reading to much lately on the way Marrakech influenced YSL, not to mention dreaming of heading back to the warm beaches of Mexico where I just returned from vacation. Either way, mixing brights with earthy neutrals is where my wardrobe and home will be heading in the coming months... 1. Day Birger Tunic $180 Every bohemian spirit needs a tunic to suit their style. I love this piece by Day Birger for its fabulous fit and pop of neon against that deep grey. Can you imagine how good it will look against a nice deep tan? Hot, hot, hot! 2. Michael Kors Yellow Sandal $140 Picking the right summer sandal is key to accessorizing. While I usually prefer neutral metallics, it’s time to step things up a bit with this bright yellow and cork creation. It strikes a perfect balance between natural and luxurious. 3. Blu Bijoux Bangles $45 Heavy summer heat means a switch in accessories. Instead of chunky rings and necklaces that feel weighed down, I like to opt for stacks of bangles. Collect them over the years so you have plenty of colors to play with when you’re ready to line them up and down your arms.
4. Urban Outfitters Throw Rug $18 Outdoor patios rarely deserve nice rugs... unless they’re so affordable that you just don’t care! I would pile these ethnic pieces all over the deck to turn my outside quarters into a comfortable space for guests to lounge. Just add some floor cushions and you’re set!
5. Moroccan Beach Tote $32 The perfect beach bag should be effortless and appropriate for your final destination. So, why not go for something classic like this woven Moroccan basket? After all, there’s a reason these have been used in the desert for years. They just work!
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6. Stripey Straws $6 Talk about attention to detail. Straws in bold stripes add the finishing touch to a refreshing summer drink, and they make you look like the hostess with the mostess. Perfect summer? Done and done. 7. Forever21 Shorts $15.80 One mini trend to pick up on this season is the return of shorts... patterned shorts to be specific. While most of your friends are probably flaunting stripes, why not go for something a little more tropical like this blue and white linen pair in a zebra inspired pattern? 8. Anthropologie Juicer $24 Freshly squeezed orange juice on a warm patio in the morning is just as luxurious as anything else on this list. I love the detail on this ceramic pitcher, and the design makes it oh so convenient to whip up OJ for mimosas! In fact, you should keep it on the bar all summer long.
Cassandra Lavalle began her career in event planning in 2002, moving into interior design in 2007 when she began her then blog (now business) coco+kelley. Exploring trends in fashion, decor, and entertaining, coco+kelley has received praise and recognition from publications like Martha Stewart, Lucky Magazine, and the New York Times. Cassandra lives in Seattle, WA where she also works as a Home Merchandiser for Anthropologie.
sloane / summer 2010
Denver dilettante May Wilson’s top swimsuit picks for summer.
1 1. Emilio Pucci $420 When I get down to 5% body fat and don’t care about tan lines this is the bathing suit I will rock for poolside cocktails in Vegas. This suit has “bad ass chic” written all over it...very rough for Pucci, but I am loving it! 2. Michael Kors $243 There is nothing I love more then being tan and wearing white—especially in a bathing suit. The gold detailing on this suits lends itself to a pair of gold Ray Bans and big gold earrings or bangles. Accessories is a must for bathing suits this season. 3. Eres $550 I have made the Eres investment once and I still have that suit and it is in tip top shape. I also realized why I love this line so much...Mr. Karl Lagerfeld is a consultant. This is suit is a gorgeous transition for the girl who longs for her days in Miami, but is lucky enough to lounge in Cannes. We all have to grow up sometime!
4. La Perla $540 I think a little bling in the summer is necessary. If there is anyone who knows all the nooks and crannies of the female body it has to be La Perla. I bet this fits like a glove and its best accessory is a glass of champagne! 5. Vix $74 This bathing suit line is one my favorites, but it comes with a warning label—they run small. It is not fun to kick off bathing suit season and take a medium into the dressing room only to be asking the sales person for an XL. With that said mix and match your tops and bottoms and you will love your new summer investment.
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6 6. Target, Xhilaration $29.99 What did a girl do for cheap thrills before Target. I am big into finding the “sexy one piece” every season. Either my abs never found me or I never found my abs so a one piece feels nice during the water retention season. I think this little number shows off a lot of assets while still leaving a little to the imagination.
7. Juicy Couture $183 This two piece brings a little flair to the pool. I am loving vintage inspired pieces this season. A pair of Jackie-o shades and a great big hat is tres chic. 8. Undrest $165 This line is blowing me away. I introduce to you this gem of a bikini, but get on their web-site and start shopping. I think the nautical stripes say it all—I swear I would by nautical stripe underwear if I find them—so get out your nautical accessories and a boat tote and hit the beaches!
9. Lisa Marie Fernandez $180 I am so in love this with look. A black bikini never goes out of style, but this little number gives it an up to date look that will definitley turn heads. I would say this suit would work out on friends with a little less padding in the bust. There is something out there for everyone.
May Gardner Wilson currently resides in Denver, CO working on decorating projects ranging from pillow fluffing to home re-models. She also is involved with a variety of local and international charities. Prior to Denver, May worked as a designer with Charlotte Moss in New York City. Her pride and joy is her pug Lola who patiently observes her constant desire to look her best!
sloane / summer 2010
Makeup Artist, Ann Marie Laurendeau, selects the latest products to look your best this summer.
Summer is a time to make your daily beauty regime
become effortless; the welcoming warmer temperatures allow us to minimalism the amount of products we apply to our faces. This season is all about gorgeous glowing bronzed skin, nude lips and sexy beachy hair waves. All of which can be attainable in minutes with the help of these must-have products. Enjoy! Beachy Hair Apply Aquage Beyond Body Thermal Spray to cleansed wet hair. Blow dry with a diffuser, before hair is completely dry twist up into one inch sections, securing each section with a hair pin. Remove pins when hair is completely dry. To create waves, finger separate and tousle curls then apply Chi Enviro Flex Hold Hair Spray 1. Aquage Beyond Body Thermal Spray $17.99 2. Chi Enviro Flex Hold Hair Spray $11.99
Bronzed Skin Forget basking in the sun, applying bronzer or self tanner is a much safer way to mimic the color you get from hours at the beach. It’s the best choice for warming up your skin and leaves you with streak-free natural healthy glow. For lasting color on your face, apply powder bronzer over a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer. 3. Laura Mercier, “Bronzed’ Pressed Powder $32 4. Maybelline, Bronzer Shimmer Loose Powder $9.49 5. Bobbi Brown, Bronzing Brush $50 6. Hampton Sun, Sunless Tanning Gel $32
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Nude Lips One of the biggest makeup trends this summer are sheer glossed nude lips in colors of beige, pink or champagne. These shades look gorgeous against bronzed skin. To avoid having your lips look too pale, select a shade that compliments your natural skin color and the bronzer you are wearing. The other trick to a sexy pout is to be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips regularly; pale colors tend to emphasize cracks or dryness. Applying a matching nude lip pencil prior to gloss or lipstick will shape lips and keep color in place for hours.
7. Smashbox Cosmetics,The Nude Lip Pencil $16 8. Lord & Berry, Ultimate Lipstick Luxury in Nude $6.50 9. Nars, Satin Lipstick in Promiscuous $24 10. Iman, Shimmer Gloss, in Blushing Nude $9.99
sloane / summer 2010
Ann Marie Laurendeau is a makeup artist, hair stylist, educator, and writer with more than 20 years experience. In 1995 she founded Anemone Makeup and in 2006 launched her own line of allnatural, mineral-based cosmetics which includes makeup and skin care products. Throughout her career, Ann Marie has provided makeup and hairstyling for many well-known corporate clients, celebrities, and public figures. Based in Boston, she frequently travels throughout New England, New York and beyond for media, destination weddings, and events.
Hair stylist and salon owner, Patrice Vinci, shows us how to create easy, sexy summer curls.
I’m a blonde. I’ve always loved summer—warm sand, bleached tones, but training as a stylist, I realized summer hair is for everyone: cut, color and style options are endless in the warm weather months. For 2010, we’re working with new services and products designed to maximize your summer look. I’m happy to report you can wave goodbye to your blow dryer thanks to Keratin treatments and use a finishing product like ANTIDOTE to tame curly hair. Add to this mix our exclusive natural hair extensions which bond to your hair and can be layered and colored to customize your look, and you have an endless summer of style. Beach curls/no frizz Having beautiful curls at the beach is a challenge for many, but product advancements are bringing soft waves to replace frizz for the perfect look at the beach. To achieve this look, I apply a small drop of MOROCCANOIL (size of a nickel or dime), working it through wet hair away from the roots. The hair is then twisted into two buns (one high on crown of head, the other rests lower on the head), and I secure the hair with elastics. Let hair air dry and when still slightly damp let hair down and leave the rest to the wind – instant beach hair! Summer Nights For soft flowing curls a la Gisele Bundchen, I blow dry hair completely before applying Rene Furterer Soft Hold Mousse, which I distribute throughout the dry hair avoiding the roots. This is followed by blow drying the hair again in a free form, “messy” manner, allowing the mousse to absorb into the hair. After these steps, use a medium barrel curling iron, separating the hair into 2” sections all over the head while leaving the ends out of the curling iron. This step, combined with the mousse application, delivers soft, flowing, natural curls – perfect for a summer night on the town. (see step-by- step process/3 photos here) On the go? Pinched for time? Dry Shampoo! For those beach babies who are out and about all day long, hair care time is challenging, but don’t dampen your social schedule due to a lengthy blow out! Try Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray or Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo. Apply directly on the roots of dry hair, holding the spray about a foot away from the hair, and follow with your customary hair dryer and brush for a far speedier finishing touch which removes dirt and oil from the hair while creating volume. Round two: out for the evening!
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Keratin Treatments Bye Bye Blow Dry. For the person with curly, wavy, frizzy, unruly hair, Keratin— which is applied to hair followed by flat ironing “bakes” the hair shaft and offers a natural finish (Keratin itself is found naturally in the hair shaft). Unlike permanent relaxers, Keratin washes out of the hair in about 4 months—so wave goodbye to your blow dryer for a full summer season of lustrous, full and frizz- free hair.
Great Products for Summer Hair
The long and the short of styles and products for 2010 offer summer looks for everyone—whether taming hair into sleek submission or adding extensions to lengthen your own summer style. Time to hit the beach and the parties!
MOROCCAN OIL For healthy, smooth hair and immediate absorption, MOROCCANOIL creates instant shine and long-term conditioning without residue. Fully Seamless Hair Extensions Healthy hair extensions which are virtually weightless and can be cut and highlighted to a client’s individual requirements. Lasting 8-12 weeks, our seamless hair extension application is undetectable in your hair. Oribe 24 Kt. Gold Pomade Sleek back your hair with super rich gold highlights for instant, lustrous glamour to compliment your sun kissed skin. Summer is the perfect season to finish your hair with Oribe’s golden shimmer and shine. Oribe Anti-Humidity Spray A perfect summer hairspray by Cuban-born, Miami- based hairstylist, Oribe, who caters to clients in Miami’s warm, humid climate. We use this spray before AND after a blow dry for ultimate hold. A summer staple – combining staying power with the scent of Cuban Lilac. ANTIDOTE: A finishing spray which delivers silicone to maximize the look of Keratin treatments for a smoother than smooth finish for any summer style challenge.
sloane / summer 2010
Patrice Vinci Since opening her eponymous salon in November 2008, Patrice Vinci has attracted a team of top hair stylists recognized by local and national press as the best in their field. She styles Hollywood stars in Los Angeles and New York or when they come to town: Ellen Pompeo, Jay Leno, Kate Burton, as well as many film and stage actors who pass through Boston while doing theatre or shooting a film here. Today, Vinci is well known as the “go-to” colorist for blondes. She brings her expertise of working on the red carpet in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto to all her clients.
Beauty expert, Andrea Ducharme’s tips for the best in anti-aging skin care . Let me first say
that I am a member of the class of ‘87. Our summers consisted of lying out in the sun, drenched in baby oil mixed with iodine (don’t ask) and checking our tan lines while planning how to get our hair really big. I know I’m going to pay for my sun worshipping, but I have spent the last 17 years trying to reverse the damage. When my clients find out I am turning the big 40, they always ask me what I use for skincare. First, I should say, I do spend time and money on my face, but I figure it doesn’t matter how nice my shoes are if my skin looks dull and tired. Here is my anti-aging recipe to keep skin looking firm and even-toned well into your 60’s + 70’s:
Vitamin C, Retinols and Resveratrol I alternate using serums with Vitamin C and either Resveratrol or Retinol-based serum forms, the formula’s ingredients make a HUGE difference in the results you will see. I love Cellex-C and Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serums and for the Resveratrols and Retinols, Glotherapeutics Super Serum or B.Kamins C-Resveratrol Serums have top-notch ingredients, and Neutrogena makes some really good Retinol creams too. The Eyes Have It Use a really good creamy eye makeup remover, no tugging and pulling, then 3 times per week I use a retinol-based eye cream, followed by a really rich eye cream. During the day I use a lighter weight eye cream that won’t interfere with makeup. My faves are Caudalie Cleansing Water for light eye and face makeup removal, Aquaphor for heavier eye makeup days. B.Kamins or Neutrogena Eye Creams, and MD Formulations Vit-A-Plus Anti-Aging Complex for eyes (for the Retinol). Cleanse, Exfoliate and Hydrate Remove all traces of makeup and sunscreens every night with a gentle cleanser, Cetaphil or Caudalie Foaming Cleansers are two of my favorites, they are great on all skin types. In the morning exfoliate with a gentle polish or the Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brush. Follow with a good moisturizer loaded with antioxidants, preferably with an Spf 15 for the day, maybe something richer for night to layer over your serum. Your skin will glow, and your makeup will look better too.
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Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen During the day I use at least an SPF 15 moisturizer and glominerals foundation. Caudalie Vinoperfect 15 Day cream is lightweight and loaded with anti-oxidants, and the glominerals foundation has a titanium dioxide based sunscreen and vitamins C, A, K, E as well as green tea. For the days I am outside with the kids I wear Coola Spf 30 (this is certified Organic and smells like cucumbers) or Neutrogena Healthy Defense Spf 30. And don’t forget to protect your pucker too!
Shopping List for Great Skin:
Omega-3 fatty acid I swear by this supplement, I love the Trader Joe’s brand, and it is inexpensive and no fishy taste. Omegas have been shown to be beneficial to heart, brain and skin, I am a true believer!
Boutiques and Department Stores • Clarisonic: Facial Cleansing Brush • B.Kamins: Eye Cream and C-Resveratrol Serum • Coola: Organic Sunscreens • Caudalie: Vinoperfect Day Spf 15 Moisturizer, Foaming Cleanser and Cleansing Water • Darphin: Hydraskin Essential Moisturizer • Mario Badescu: Enzyme Cleansing Gel and Vitamin C Serum Drugstores • Neutrogena: Sunscreens, Eye Creams, Retinol- based night creams and Eye Makeup Removers • Burt’s Bees: Sun Protecting Lip Balm SPF 8 • Aquaphor: Skin Ointment • Cetaphil: Cleanser
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In Andrea Ducharme’s 18+ year career in the makeup industry, she has had the pleasure and honor to represent Clinique, Estee Lauder, Trish McEvoy, MAC and Rouge Cosmetics. She has received many awards and acknowledgments, including being named one of Boston’s five top makeup artists by Fashion Boston Magazine. Andrea works several celebrities to ensure they look their best at their personal appearances and on television.
Shop owner and blogger, Annie Crowninshield, suggests the latest trends in home decor. Dating back to the gardens of Pompeii
, the creation of patio furniture extends our living spaces beyond 4 walls. From Contemporary cast aluminum to weathered wood Adirondack chairs the style of one’s outdoor seating speaks volumes about their lifestyle. Whether you’ll be summering on the coast of the Cape or in the labyrinth of Puget Sound you’ll need a seat to enjoy the view..... and if a man’s home is his castle than in warmer weather, his lawn chair shall be his throne!
1. Ammero Chair by Ikea $129 In general I’m opposed to the disposable furniture trend this company has made so popular however, there is no denying they hit a home run with this simple outdoor collection. For a fraction of the price of the Riviera Armless chair it is the perfect choice for the budget conscious garden enthusiast. 2. Maia Relax Armchair by Kettal, starting at $1904 I love the graphic pattern and scale of this frame. Dramatic alone but brought to life with the addition of colorful cushions. This is one spider web I would happily get caught in for the long lazy dog days of summer.
3. Cruz Chair by Room & Board $299 This modern chair is simple in design without skimping on comfort. Balcony friendly but substantial enough for the backyard! 4. Brisbane Swivel Chair by Room & Board $1299 You will melt into the deep frame and soft weather resistant upholstery. Being nice enough to move indoors in cooler months makes this the most versatile option. 5. 1966 Collection Single Rocker by Richard Schultz $1950 Bring Palm Springs to your backyard! If you are buying furniture to last a lifetime these coveted classics are a favorite of modernist collectors, including myself. 6. Riviera Armless Chair by Century Furniture $1216 An elegant chair that epitomizes “Hampton’s Chic”. With five finish options, you can bring a splash of Sky blue, Jet black, or Crimson to your emerald green outdoor oasis. 7. Framura Sun Cot for De Padova-Contact Dealer Vaguely reminiscent of summer camp quarters this style lives up to its name. Departing from the expected military green, this striped “cot” could mingle on even the chicest of camp grounds.
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Links >> Extras 5
Flooring: Maze Rug by WS Home. The foundation of any room starts with flooring. GARDEN: Woolly Pocket Vertical Gardens. Cocktail: It isnâ€™t a sunset without the Lillet.
Annie CROWNINSHIELD is a Boston native who was born into a family of pioneering modernists. Trained as an artist in France and Mexico, she eventually entered the world of interior design. After starting her own online sofa company in 2005, she became partner of Empiric Inc. in Los Angeles, CA where she dedicates her time contributing to their growing line of new and vintage home furnishings. She also writes the lifestyle blog relishsmallpleasures.blogspot.com
sloane / summer 2010
Real estate broker and part-time foodie, Michelle Mckenna, creates the ultimate summer gift basket. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken into large bite-size pieces. (Tip: Save the left over meat and bones to make chicken stock, may be frozen until ready to use.) For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews and serve at room temperature. I serve as an open sandwich on Tuscan Wheat. (Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa http://www.foodnetwork.com)
A few friends have recently had babies and I thought what a better gift then a basket of healthy snacks for quick meals and a few treats for the late night sweet tooth. Most people usually bring casseroles because they freeze easily and can feed a crowd, but tend to be heavy in the summer months. I thought I’d do something different for the summer moms to be. After talking with a few moms, it seems like the hardest meal tends to be lunch when they’re home alone. Although, all these recipes are great for anyone, anytime. I picked up the basket, dish towel, and clear bags at AC MOORE for under $15 dollars. One new mom mentioned that breast-feeding made her dehydrated
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and thirsty so I also picked up some fun sparkling all natural fruit drinks at whole foods. Curry Chicken Salad Ingredients 2 rotisserie chickens 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 1/3 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup chutney 3 tablespoons curry powder 1 cup medium-diced celery (Tip: For a more tender bite, peel the back side of the celery to remove the ribs and then slice) 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions) 1/4 cup golden raisins 1/4 cup halved seedless red grapes 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
My Mom’s Broccoli Soup This is one of the simplest soups that has so much flavor and is low in fat with no cream. Blending the veggies thickens the soup and using evaporated milk adds creaminess without the calories. Ingredients 1 medium onion chopped 4 celery stalks chopped 1 cup chicken broth (I keep more on hand to thin out the soup if needed) 2 tsp. butter 1 bunch of broccoli 1 can of evaporated milk 1 cup milk (I use 1%) salt and pepper Melt butter in a large pot, add chopped onions and saute until soft over medium heat. Add celery. Add half of the chicken broth, cook for a few minutes.
Add the rest of the broth and the broccoli. Cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked and green but still crisp. Blend everything in the pot until smooth. Tip: If you donâ€™t have a hand-held blender you can use a regular blender, blending in batches and then return to the pot. Once all blended add evaporated milk on low heat, then add the milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve, garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Healthy Apple Muffins Ingredients Cooking spray 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
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1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup canola oil 2 large eggs 1 cup natural applesauce 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt 1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray. This recipe makes about 18 muffins. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk together
the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack. Serves as is or cut in half and grill on a buttered non-stick pan until golden brown and heated through.
Why eat local? People all over the country are realizing all the benefits of eating locally. More nutritious and flavorful fruits and vegetables plus you support your local farmers. Find out where there are farmers markets near you: www.localharvest.org
(Adapted from foodnetwork.com) Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint Pull together your favorite fruits and cut to similar sizes then toss in a bowl with lime juice and chopped mint.
Take Note: Seasonal Vegetables Winter Chestnuts, Grapefruit, Lemons, Oranges Tangerines, Kale, Leeks, Radicchio Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips Spring Apricots, Avocado, Mango, Pineapple Rhubarb, Strawberries, Artichoke, Asparagus Carrots, Celeriac, Chives, Collards Fava Beans, Fennel, Fiddlehead Ferns, Morels Mustard Greens, New Potatoes, Spinach Spring Baby Lettuce Mixes, Sugar Snap and Snow Peas, Vidalia Onions, Watercress Summer Blackberries, Blueberries, Nectarines, Peaches Plums, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon Beets, Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans Summer Squash, Zucchini
Need help with your cooking techniques? Go to Gourmet.com and check out their library of videos of how to’s.
Fall Apples, Cranberries, Figs, Grapes, Pears Pomegranate, Quince, Acorn Squash, Belgian Endive. Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Celeriac Garlic, Ginger, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Potatoes Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard Source: www.hubpages.com
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Michelle Mckenna currently lives in Boston, working at a real estate firm selling high-end residential homes. She has always thought of cooking as a way to bring people together and considers it a form of expression, not a chore. Her love of food began as a child cooking with her mother and grew after a semester abroad in Venice, Italy while earning her BFA from Boston University. Most days you will likely find her reading a cookbook on the “T” rather than the Wall Street Journal.
Money Matters By Megan Johnson Illustration by Randi Antonsen
ike many little girls, I grew up singing, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage.” But seeing as the famous playground chant is a bit outdated, the lyrics never mentioned mommy cashing out her 401k to start her own business, or becoming the president of a fortune 500 company. In the shift from the Puritanical age to women taking the work force by storm during World War II, to post-war domesticity of the 1950’s, America has seen all types of marriages in its short history. We have stay-at-home moms, part time employees, and 60 hour a week career women with unemployed husbands. In the whirlwind transition of marriage that has resulted in our modern-day mixedbag of “’til death do us part,” I began to wonder how, in our modern culture, does the amount of money a woman earns, or doesn’t earn, shape her marriage? We know that half of marriages in America end with a contract of divorce that reads “irreconcilable differences.” But did you know that the number one reason for marital breakdown is financial conflict? Sure, money makes the world go round, but it can also send
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your relationship into a devastating tailspin. In the 1950’s, mothers who eagerly jumped into the work force during World War II found themselves sent back to the kitchen. Domesticity reigned supreme for women in America, and an existence outside the prescribed way of life resulted in ridicule from modern society. In the popular AMC channel television show Mad Men, the character of Betty Draper is a beautiful, intelligent housewife stifled by the restrictions of her domestic role. In addition to an emotionally unavailable, cheating husband, the professional opportunities Betty seeks are quickly squashed. Betty worked as a fashion model before she met her husband, Don, and she is excited about the idea of returning to work despite the commitments of her home and family. When the deal goes awry, she is quickly ushered back into the kitchen to put on her apron. We see Don is threatened by his wife’s pursuit of independence. With money comes freedom, and that’s a frightful thought for many men. While the
single-income family is still prevalent in society, many stay-at-home mothers don’t feel threatened despite not contributing financially. Jane, 43, is a stay-at-home mother of 3 with no desire to work while she raises her kids. Her husband controls all of their money. “I feel like I have 100 percent input. He knows if he does anything before asking me, I will kick his ass. Oh, he dreams of the day I get a job. But it’s 100 percent about being home with the kids.” “But do you still have a lot of disagreements over money,” I ask? “No,” Jane answers. “Well, hold on. Yes. He thinks I spend too much. But he doesn’t pull the ‘it’s my money’ thing…. It’s ‘I don’t know how we’re gonna pay the bills in September.’ And he always says if ‘we’ keep spending the way we do…He never says ‘you.’ “ Nancy Pelosi is the mother of five. Jill Biden has raised three kids. Married, working mothers are all around us in modern day America. In the decades after the 50’s, particularly following the Sexual Revolution, America saw an intense influx of women into the workplace. It was
“...when it comes to money, the truth of your relationship often peeks its head out from behind closed doors...” then that we finally saw the new representation of female independence: The Career Woman. But do they battle their husbands for financial input? Or does the fact that they earn a salary warrant them equal control? Do many dual-income families have constant power struggles? Leah Hanson, Vice President and director of Harmoney at Lantern Financial, teaches couples about money and how to communicate in loving and effective ways. “I am definitely aware of my female clients concerns about being an equal partner in the relationship. They are very conscientious about their financial contributions. When income is different, especially when the female is earning less, she is concerned about that 50’s standard. She doesn’t want to be that homemaker wife that doesn’t have a say in finances.” Even in the 21st century, the domestic roles of the 50’s lurk behind us like the old ladies in a casino waiting to snatch your slot machine. Many husbands welcome (or rely) on their wives’ salaries in order to provide for their families. Wendy, a public relations professional and mother from Boston, says contributing to her household income puts her on a level playing field for making financial decisions with her husband. She tells me, “I think being a working mother has had a positive effect on my marriage, because it is balanced and we’re both contributing. I have a number of friends getting divorced and most are stay at home moms who felt controlled and stifled. Many women feel they lose their identity if they don’t work.” Stephanie, a 25-year-old married law student who is pregnant with her first child, says, “I think my hus-
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band is comfortable with the idea of me becoming a lawyer because he knows that if something happened to him, I would be able to take care of myself and our children.” There is no singular experience for women concerned with finances in their marriage, particularly due to the world-changing influence of the recession. The stereotype of the high-earning father and housewife mother may be the norm for some, but for many: it’s a highly outdated representation of marriage. Many husbands and fathers who saw their careers hit a wall with the downturn of the economy now remain home to care for the kids, while the mother takes to the board room to support her family financially. Heather Boushey, senior economist at the
Center for American Progress says, “Women are now bearing the burden—or the opportunity, one could say—of being breadwinners.” With such a high level of females in the workplace at the moment, the dynamic between husband and wife may shift. If money equals power, and the woman is now the source of money, some men are threatened by the loss of financial control, and as a result, the loss of power over their wives. “I do think that those types of things exist,” Hanson tells us.
“Power struggle is often associated with income difference. It’s always very subtle. I’ve never had one person come in and say, “I make more money.” They believe “our money is our money.” But there is evidence of
chopping block from their high-powered jobs so much faster than women? Simply put, it’s because women still don’t make nearly the same amount of money as their spouses. Sure, lucrative fields like finance are
from behind closed doors—and it isn’t always pretty. Leah Hanson has seen hundreds of couples in turmoil over money, but she also sees a possibility for change. “I believe there is a movement coming where
“For the many men who truly view marriage as an equal partnership, this shift in financial control isn’t uncomfortable. ” a power struggle. He wants her to feel that he has total access to their accounts, but at the same time he doesn’t understand why she feels so much concern about it. Why are you so concerned that you’re my equal partner? It’s the cavalier attitude that’s concerning.” For the many men who truly view marriage as an equal partnership, this shift in financial control isn’t uncomfortable. Darcy, who is engaged to be married, has lived with her significant other for 3 years. “The man in my relationship doesn’t control our finances. I do. And with the rising cost of maintaining a household, healthcare, even things like groceries, we look at my income as a necessity, rather than a bonus.” In the transition from single-income families to our modern methods, it becomes obvious that for many Americans, the amount of money we require to live comfortably has increased. “In our society, because of cost and what we want to have, it’s almost a necessity for two parents to work,” my own mother once told me. Wendy, the working mother previously mentioned, feels the same. “My working allows us some extras that we’d otherwise have to give up,” she says. “He would happily do without some of the extras, but I don’t want to do without them!” But why are men landing on the
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heavily populated with men, but it’s incredibly insulting that women control 2/3 of the world’s wealth, yet still see blatant discrimination in their paychecks. “I do have a client who makes significantly less income than her husband,” Leah Hanson says, “She doesn’t feel second class, but they are both concerned about her feeling that way. The husband makes 6 times what she does and she has been very modest about it.” But the division between a woman who makes less than her husband, and one who makes nothing at all is clear: If anything were to happen to him, or their relationship were to fall apart, a woman with a trained set of skills has something to fall back on. Amanda Recupido, known as the Undomestic Goddess, says “It’s simple. Women don’t have to be dependent on a husband. That, itself, offers a world of choice.” And choice is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Whether you believe women without careers are a blatant reversion to 1950’s isolation, or you despise single-minded career women for their lack of traditional family values, the truth is that the women who laid the bricks for our liberation were fighting for our right to choose our own path, rather than blindly following down our mother’s. But when it comes to money, the truth of your relationship often peeks its head out
people consider the emotions of money,” she says. “It’s not just number crunching.” S
Megan Johnson is a Boston-based writer who chronicles her life on her website, Down and Out in Beacon Hill: www.meganjohnson.tumblr.com
The recession is supposedly over but is sale shopping thwarting your attempts to regain financial footing? By Caletha Crawford In a scene from this summer’s “Sex and the City 2” movie, lead character Carrie Bradshaw proclaims “Shoes for everyone!” after learning the footwear she spots on a trip to Abu Dhabi is only $20. For a girl who’s known as much for her mountain of pricey Manolos as her sex life, it’s no surprise that she can’t resist scooping up multiple pairs of these discount darlings. A deal’s a deal right? Right, if you’re married to a millionaire and living in a fictional wonderland. If, on the other hand, you’re the average woman living in the real world, it would behoove you to consider whether that cheap item might cost you in other ways. For instance, unlike Carrie, you’d have to think about whether you genuinely need the shoes, where you’d wear them, how you’d get them home and if they’d fit in your already overflowing closet—not to mention whether the fabulous footwear purchase would lead to strife with your husband who has been recently laid off and spending his days reviewing the statements for his decimated stock portfolio. But even when we know better, it can be so very hard to keep a clear head when presented with a desirable object at an unbelievable price. And retailers know it. That’s why every where we turn these days our computers, phones, televisions and radios announce a new low price on this and a rock bottom deal on that. It’s like a game. They know we know we should be saving. And we know they know we can always justify a purchase if the discount is deep enough—even in the face of shrinking bank accounts. “[Sales are] very much along the
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lines of low-fat diet foods, which give people the idea that they can eat as much as they want because they think it’s healthy,” stated Pam Danziger, founder of the market research firm Unity Marketing. “When I hear people say ‘I bought it only because it was on sale,’ that points to some significant problems with this discount shopping mindset.” For some, a scary job market and nonexistent raises aren’t enough to snap them out of their want/need confusion, according to April Lane Benson, Ph.D. and author of “To Buy or Not to Buy.” While some people reined in their expenditures due to the guilt associated with still having the means to spend and others have breathed a sigh of relief now that everyone is in the same economic boat they’ve been floating in all along, another group is charging full speed ahead, unable to resist bleeding their wallets dry. “There are about as many reasons to over shop as there are people who do it,” Benson stated. “Some people do it to repair their mood, feel better about themselves, feel in control or put forth an im-
age of wealth and power,” she said. “For some, it’s the lesser evil. If they weren’t buying so much, they might be gambling compulsively or doing drugs or alcohol.” Unfortunately—and somewhat counter-intuitively—the spiraling economy actually makes people who are predisposed to using shopping as an emotional outlet spend more. If stress and depression can be triggers for compulsive behavior, it stands to reason that a dwindling savings account or a foreclosure could trigger a shopping spree. “Because the economy is bad, it causes more stress and depression,” said Reef Karim, a psychiatrist and executive director of the Control Center for Addictions, explaining the vicious and costly cycle. “So people who are vulnerable to shopping addiction then feel lousy [and want to shop].” Of course, you don’t have to be an addict to fall into bad habits or to allow a temporary funk to cloud your better judgment. Beth Fahey, a 34-year-old technical development
“...it can be so very hard to keep a clear head when presented with a desirable object at an unbelievable price. And retailers know it.” specialist in New York, said she has been pretty good about sticking to the self-imposed spending moratorium that was necessary after her salary was cut, but no one is perfect. “Every once in a while, there will be a certain impulse purchase,” she said.
the boutique-lined streets of New York’s Soho neighborhood. “I go wandering into stores and check the sales racks at my favorites for markdowns. I’ve found that browsing leads to buying. That’s where I get into trouble,” she said, adding that even though she’s
es and qualifiers are quickly proffered. For others their spending history comes out in a rush like they’ve been waiting to unburden themselves of their secrets. Often the outcome isn’t some big economic reveal, just a realization that if they were more disci-
willing to spend less per item these days, she’s probably buying more. For instance she is now the owner of a brand new bathing suit. It’s her ninth and she rarely goes swimming, but it was $20, marked down from $100. “About 50 percent of the time, I find something to buy,” she admitted.
plined, they would have more money tucked away for the tough times that could be closer than any of us would like to imagine. “I could definitely be saving more if I weren’t buying things I don’t need,” stated Adrienne Dorsey, owner of Magnolia Public Relations in Los Angeles. She admits to falling prey to the price-drop notices that flood her inbox, the Twitter updates touting discounts and the Facebook fan page announcements about new price adjustments. Her nemesis: handbags. The most recent infraction: a Marc
Botkier handbags on sale at Gilt.
Though she doesn’t think most of her spending is pegged to her moods, she will admit that every now and then a shopping trip will coincide with feeling vulnerable. But mostly she just likes getting a deal. “I’m a sucker for stores that say something is $100 off regular price,” she said. “It hits some psychological button for me.” It’s easy for Iris Johnson to pinpoint her shopping motivation: boredom. The 34-year-old art director likes to get out of her office during her lunch hour, which means she’s free to roam
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Recession Economics No matter their motivation, try to pin women down on how much they spend and you’ll get a feel for what it must be like to be a therapist or a priest. For some, words falter, excus-
“The brands are what pull me in. If it’s a great brand at a great price, it’s like how can I pass that up?” by Marc Jacobs bag from Shopbop, which was on sale, had no added sales tax and was offered with free shipping. “I do love the bag,” she said, “though I have tons of bags so I really didn’t need it.” She says she’s guilty of picking up things she doesn’t need about once or twice a month, which flies in the face of her recession-related spending plan. “I was trying to stick with the basics, but I was always tempted to buy more and still kind of spent money.” To keep things from getting out of hand, she tries to restrict herself to only spending “extra” money received as gifts or in payment for freelance jobs. She’s also found that the web can help her save as well. “I try to look at my credit card statement online every week to see what I’m spending so I’m not overspending too much.” Deanna Hernandez-Arza can definitely relate to being seduced by yet another pretty purse. She recently purchased a diaper bag accessory that, though useful, she stops just short of calling a necessity. Her favorite haunts are the web-based sample sales like Haute Look and Gilt Groupe, which offer designer goods at eyepopping prices. And she loves the ones that allow her to get cute gear for her toddler daughter. “The brands are what pull me in. If it’s a great brand at a great price, it’s like how can I pass that up?” she said. “There are brands that you really don’t see on sale [elsewhere], especially at half off.” Though Hernandez-Arza, who works in entitlements for an investment firm considers her spending under control, she admits that she’s pushing it, especially given that there’s no raise in her future and her husband, though working now, was laid off at the end of last year. “I don’t think I really go out of my realm, but
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I am cutting it very close,” she said, adding that things like her rent and car note are her obvious priorities. “I try not to leave my bank account empty. Luckily I have overdraft protection… though I used that a little bit too much this past month.” To keep her spending in check, she stays out of the stores, knowing that she’s capable of doing enough damage online. She also relies on her debit card for purchases so she can’t spend more than she has. So far these tactics seem to be working though her biggest motivator is past experience. “I really try to control it because I know I can get myself into trouble,” the 35-year-old said, referring to the debt she accrued in her 20s. Self-control was also a hard earned virtue for Estelle Spiegel, a 36year-old recruiter at TD Ameritrade. “There was one point where I put myself into really bad credit debt,” she recalled. “It just felt like it was getting a little bit out of control.” Now debt free, she’s a careful consumer. “I’m much more conscious than before when I’d just throw [a purchase] on my credit card. Now I think, if I buy this, what am I giving up? I’m finding myself having that conversation in my head, and I’m much more likely to buy less.” That more levelheaded approach to shopping doesn’t mean Spiegel can’t partake, it’s just made her the ultimate bargain hunter. “I’ve become obsessed with Gilt Groupe and Rue La La. Every day at 11 everything stops because I need to go see what’s on Rue La La, and then everything stops at 12 because I need to go see what’s on Gilt,” Spiegel confessed. Though she used to be much more likely to order from these sites, stringent return policies have convinced her to stick to goof-proof items like home goods. Her best score to date has been Michael Kors linens
that she first spied a few years ago. Though she fell in love with the set, she refused to shell out the hefty sum it required. Then one day they popped up on Rue for a third of the price. “I was in heaven,” she said. But for every long-awaited acquisition, there’s the occasional unnecessary spend like the Donna Karan sheets she just couldn’t resist last month. “I totally didn’t need them but I fell in love with them,” she said. As a reformed spendthrift, Spiegel only does things like that a few times a year, she said, primarily when she’s feeling flush around bonus time. These days, Spiegel is more concerned with the future than immediate gratification. “The economy was just kind of a kick in the butt but there are bigger issues,” she said. “I look at the fact that when we’re old, social security is not going to be there. Health care will be a mess. We’re going to have to figure out how to take care of ourselves.” Danziger said Spiegel’s shift from youthful monetary indiscretions to more mature ponderings is typical. “The whole idea of more stuff is better is something very characteristic of young consumers,” she said. “As people age, their spending shifts and they have new priorities. It’s not about quantity of stuff, it’s about quality of life.” Valuable Bonds Quality of life also usually includes a happy home front. That could be an impossible achievement for men and women who live together but have different ideas about how money should be spent. To avoid uncomfortable situations, it seems savvy wives find ways to keep their shopping secrets to themselves. Many times separate credit cards and bank accounts keep married women insulated from any disparag-
ing money-related comments from their husbands. For instance, when asked if her husband ever sees her credit card statements, Fahey replied, “Oh god, no!” She also has her online purchases sent to her office. Though it’s primarily because there would be no one home to accept them during the day, she admits that it’s nice that
the month. And I do too… theoretically.” Hernandez-Arza said her husband is resigned to her shopping habits though it wasn’t always that way. “My husband is not a shopaholic. He really hates that I am,” she said. “He used to give me disapproving looks.” To avoid any marital fallout, she admits
Caletha Crawford is a veteran writer who has covered fashion and retail for consumers and market insiders for more than 10 years. Read more of her writing at calethacrawford.wordpress.com.
Giuseppe Zanotti shoes on sale at Rue La La.
her husband doesn’t see the boxes as they’re delivered. Johnson is equally happy to keep her husband in the dark about the debt she’s accruing, especially since it would be impossible to justify any of her purchases as necessities. “I think he would be unhappy that I have a balance on my card,” she said. “He believes in paying it off at the end of
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you should get it.’” Whether the little voice that’s telling you to shop is coming from inside your head or the other side of the bed, Benson, who has treated the shopping addicted for 16 years, said the first step to financial freedom is determining what drives the impulse. She has her patients carry a shopping diary that they’re instructed to whip out before they reach for their wallets. In it, they’re asked to assess their physical and mental state and determine what they’re really looking for in that moment. The questions are designed to make the person think, but answering them also provides a time out. “They create space between the impulse and any subsequent action,” she said. Karim calls it “hitting the pause button.” “Essentially you have this crazy urge—it could be for sex, gambling, shopping, whatever—so you have to move yourself out of the behavior,” he said, offering options like calling a friend, working out or repeating a mantra. “There’s something you need to do to interrupt that cycle.” How ever you create that moment, Danziger says use it to reflect on what’s really going on. “My advice is not to let the excitement of a discount overwhelm reason,” she said. “If I wouldn’t buy it at full price, I don’t think it makes sense to buy it on sale.” s
to blending new purchases in with her existing wardrobe so as not to raise any red flags with her spouse. Spiegel’s situation is a bit different. Her boyfriend encourages her spending, so in her relationship, she’s the level head. “He’s worse than I am when it comes to shopping. He loves designer clothes and shoes,” she said. “He says, ‘if you really love it,
How a husband and wife manage non-traditional roles without getting burned By Dana Hurley
Sydney was a surprise in the true sense of the word. My husband, Denis, and I found out we were pregnant five months before our wedding. Needless to say, things happened fairly quickly: We got married six weeks later (so the rest of the world found out). Then I turned 30. It was a big year. It took a while to adjust to the new reality that we were about to be parents, but once Sydney made her debut we slipped into the fairly comfortable roles of a doting mom and dad. Now, before I get too cliché I can assure you it was not always “a walk in the park.” In fact, we could barely go outdoors let alone to a park because it was below freezing and snowing for what seemed like forever. Much of my three months of maternity leave were spent in
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our 500 square foot apartment, with weekly forays to the Mommy & Me yoga class where I paid $16 to have Sydney scream nonstop and spit up every five minutes. (Seriously: the girl was known in our Brooklyn neighborhood by her cry.) Despite this craziness, Denis and I were happy.
I felt guilty no matter where I was, but I was lucky. Denis was an incredibly hands-on dad from the start, and a great partner, too. He changed diapers, sang and rocked Sydney to sleep, and stayed up all night while she slept on his chest. And he did all of the cooking (to be fair, that started well before pregnancy). Three months later, my company asked people to take a voluntary reduction in hours, and I jumped at the opportunity. Four days a week left me one day to be I grudgingly went back to work in a mom, and the weekend April, assuring myself that I’d be a for us to be a family. Three better mom if I had some adult con- weeks later the second surprise hit versations to balance out the baby us, only this time it wasn’t a happy talk. I wasn’t ready—and at three one. The start-up Denis had been months old it felt like Sydney wasn’t working for folded the day before either. But to live in Brownstone his first Father’s Day. That Monday, Brooklyn, and to eat, we needed two I went back to five days a week. A incomes. So back to work I went. couple of months later we let our nanny go. Denis has primarily been a stay at home dad while he starts his own internet business. In conversations with new parent friends, and Denis’s days at the playground, we’ve found that we’re not alone, and that many families are grappling with similar role reversals in terms of who’s the main bread winner, who does the cooking and who stays at home with baby. This last role is one of the last frontiers of the “gender equity battle” because it’s still viewed as primarily the mom’s job to take care of the kids. The tides are changing, and not just because we’ve all raised our consciousness collectively
Illustrations adapted from: dryicons.com
The day President Obama was inaugurated was an extraordinary one for our nation and the world. For our little family it was extra sweet: our daughter, Sydney, arrived at 3:18am. Her eyes were open and alert for the entire first hour, almost as if she too didn’t want to miss a thing.
but in large part to the economy. There are simply more and more stay at home dads out there. More people seem to be realizing that it’s hard for anyone to stay at home, regardless of gender. As one woman in Brooklyn shared with me, it can be just as difficult for a mom who’s been career-focused to make the choice to stay home as it is for a dad who’s been ‘trained’ by society to find his self-worth in his work rather than as a parent. As someone who cheers the many movements that have redefined society’s notions on what constitutes a family (nothing’s “normal” anymore - hooray!), I’m horrified to find myself in somewhat of a funk because somewhere, deep down, I’m trapped by my own preconceived traditional notions about the role I thought I’d play as wife and mother. I thought I’d have the choice to stay at home. I looked to my three sisters-in-law and my own sister, all of whom stayed at home for at least the first year (and most of whom took an extended career leave) and couldn’t help but feel jealous. I saw moms out with their kids while on my lunch break and cried. I ran to the “pumping room” at work (aka the bathroom stall) in between meetings, and sometimes was so stressed that nothing would come out. I rushed home to see Sydney for 15 minutes before she went to sleep, and would be crushed when I didn’t make it in time (who leaves work at 5:30 in NYC?). On weekends, I’d try to focus on the positives and relish the time I did have with Sydney, but living in the present has never been one my strengths. I’d leave the house with Sydney, forget half the things that she needed, and then berate myself that I wasn’t fit to be a mother. I’d get upset that she wasn’t saying
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“mama”. Sunday nights I’d put Sydney to bed and cry, feeling sorry for myself because I was missing out on this time in her life, and worried that I was abandoning her and surely sending her straight to therapy. More often than not these types of fears got the better of me. I erupted into fits of rage, which affected my interactions with friends, family and even work. My manager called worried, saying I seemed to be on a “short fuse, distracted and angry.” Most of it, however, was directed towards Denis. Although I knew our situation wasn’t anyone’s fault, in some ways I did blame him and resent the time that he was having with Sydney. It wasn’t rational, and it wasn’t fair, but there you have it. (This realization came recently, during an argument on the Southern State Parkway. If you haven’t been there, it is not a good place for a screaming match. Wall to wall traffic and few opportunities to exit.) Turns out I wasn’t alone. Several working moms with stay at home husbands have expressed similar feelings of self-loathing and doubt because they aren’t around as much. Some of us take it to the next step and blame ourselves when our children aren’t walking, clapping, and even pooping (I kid you not) like our friend’s babies. And all of us expected to have the choice to stay at home or go back to work, or do some combination of the two. Funnily enough, none of us thought about whether or not our husbands wanted the choice. Surely it’s also hard for dads to leave for work when their babies are screaming and lunging for them to not leave. Or do we all secretly heave a sigh of relief when the door closes? (I admit, I have.) I know the past year has been equally hard on Denis, even though the difficulty has manifested itself
in different ways. Being out of work initially impacted his sense of self, but starting his own business seems to have reinvigorated him. However, he’s physically and emotionally wrecked. He basically puts in a full
sions, hurtful arguments, guilt, guilt and more guilt. Thankfully, I’m reminded each night as I peak in on my sleeping toddler, it can be amazingly beautiful and full of good surprises (don’t worry mom, I’m not
work day around a packed schedule with Sydney that includes trips to the zoo, playground, swimming and the grocery store. To make it work, he’s up at 5am and in bed around midnight and working all weekend. All the while, he’s worrying himself sick about being able to provide for our family and make me happy. However, as Denis’s business takes off, we’re finding that we have to share more of the household chores and caring for Sydney. I have now taken to rising early to get work done so that I can help on days I work from home. I’m trying to run – albeit not as successfully as I’d like – to destress. I treat myself to good books to go on journeys in my mind. As for Denis, he’s getting better at asking for help. He’s trading babysitting with other dads in the neighborhood, and we’re looking to send Sydney to day care for two days a week. If I’ve learned anything during the past year, it’s that no matter what role you play in your family, life is hard. It’s full of tough deci-
pregnant again!). And if you’re lucky enough to have found someone you love whom you can share the good, the bad and the ugly—and make it through it all without killing each other—all the better. S
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Dana Hurley currently works nights and weekends with her husband as Marketing Director at Mobile Meteor.
The Art of Falling Apart By Carrie Mitchell Illustration by Michelle Thompson
have experienced a series of moments over the past year where when passing a mirror, I have caught a glimpse of myself only to not recognize one body part or another. That doesnâ€™t belong to me, does it? Why is that there? When did that move? It is not as though I am consumed by vanity, nor am I particularly vulnerable to the onslaught of magazine articles telling me how to better my physical self. I am a healthy, active, well kept 30-something who can no longer ignore the fact that my body keeps changing on me whether or not I choose to acknowledge it. This is inevitable for all of us, and so like millions of other women I feel like I spend a substantial amount of time getting into shape, from exercise to vitamins to beauty regiments, just to have some more physical adversity surface. I liken it to the carnival game â€œwhac-a-mole,â€? where you aggressively use the mallet to pound the pests back into their holes, just to have another surprise pop up somewhere else. Our relationships with our bodies are indeed a succession of disasters and triumphs that are sure to provide further fodder for your friends if you choose to share it, because as I have discovered, almost everyone is harboring dirty
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“Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five.” – Nora Ephron little beauty secrets. It stands to reason: other relationships may come and go, but our bodies are always with us. For all the confidence I have in feeling “fabulous” in my thirties, I recently had second thoughts about my cocky attitude after I threw my back out (Thanks a lot, yoga. I thought we were friends). This was then exacerbated by spending too much time resting, thus making my mind idle, which allowed me to discover various other superficial ailments and falling victim to a selfimposed downward spiral of judgment. In my head, my body can bounce back from anything like it did when I was twenty, but in reality, my bad back, the lines around my eyes, the random renegade facial hairs and sudden shift in skin texture and body dimensions, beg to differ. They stand as a testament to the last ten years of wear and tear, mocking me for my naïve assumptions that things will stay relatively the same if I moisturize them to death. The tyranny of personal maintenance becomes so entrenched with your every day routine, that it acts like an old trusted friend, beckoning you with facial cream, teeth whitener and tweezers. It seems our “maintenance” and the subsequential myriad of annoying, repetitive actions may indeed have larger implications for women in general. But who am I to rally against thousands of years worth of beauty rituals or the billions of dollars the beauty industry claims off of us every year? I submit, though my inner intellectual and open-minded Self (who is far
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too busy from such trivialalities) rolls her eyes and shakes her head, obviously annoyed at my own superficial absurdity. But then I think, psychologically speaking, if you feel confident in how you present yourself to the world, doesn’t it have a positive affect on your mental health? Perhaps this is a stretch, but even Chanel was quoted as saying, “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little…you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” Shallow? Maybe. But is it so wrong to take pride in oneself, creating some beautified armor to take on the world in addition to your intellectual savvy? I don’t pretend to confuse this with self-esteem, but I do believe there is something to this, as apparently millions of you do too. I began to commiserate with friends, to make sure I alone wasn’t coming apart at the seams, and wondered what was physically changing for them as well. I was frequently greeted with laughter followed by the longest list of upkeep regimes imaginable, and I concluded that this was a conversation we will be updating for decades to come. Common beauty battles included everything from wrinkles to random hair growth, adult acne, cellulite, back/ feet/joint problems and thinning hair, among so many others that it began to read like a television commercial for a product with bad side effects. It is of little wonder that our parade of hairstylists, estheticians and trainers become like our therapists, guid-
ing us through various remedies as a quick fix to our often hectic and frazzled lives. Apparently, we are all bonded by our self-conscious behavior that manifests in our cyclical beauty regimes to hide any number of issues. No one said the truth to attaining beauty would actually be pretty, but it sure is funny. At a certain point, all you can do is laugh at all the upkeep, do what makes you happy, and stop obsessing about it. Somewhere, someone else would gladly trade their beauty woes for yours, or perhaps are struggling through the exact same battles, which nobody actually notices except for you. Like it or not, your body has its limitations, so treat it well because you have a long life together, and the foreseeable series of changes that will happen are followed by periods of adjustment. So the next time you are all dolled up, but then catch a glimpse of a random chin hair, pluck that sucker immediately and remind yourself, “In ten years I will yearn for the body I have now.” Give yourself a break, book yourself into a spa, and pay someone else to deal with the things you cannot control. I just did. s
For more on Carrie Mitchell, visit www.StyleGroove.com
Photographs by Alyssa Noches Photographic Assistant, Zachary Schauer / Styling by Claire Francesca Anctil Hair by Brianna Stephenson / Makeup by Rachel Hightower Model: Renee Lilley
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Seven Year Switch, Claire Cook Legend has it that every seven years life renews itself. For Jill Murray the seventh year has come and her life is about to undergo some major changes. When her ex, the man who walked out on her and her daughter seven years ago, comes back into their lives begging for forgiveness, Jill has no choice but to hear him out – if for no other reason than for the sake of their daughter. What Jill cannot predict is exactly how much her life is about to change. Claire Cook writes with such humor, grace and warmth that reading her novels is as comforting and satisfying as visiting with your closest friends. Her stories give readers the greatest gift a writer can bestow, inspiration and hope. Cook is able to tap into the power of the human spirit and she shines in this story of reinvention. Every time you finish a Claire Cook novel you will look at your own life with renewed hope, optimism and an “itch” for change. Seven Year Switch is destined to be one of the hottest and most inspiring summer reads. Backseat Saints, Joshilyn Jackson Joshilyn Jackson writes real, raw and emotional stories about flawed women and the powers of faith. In her latest novel, Backseat Saints, Rose Mae Lolley has lived a bleak life. Abandoned by her mother and raised by an abusive father, Rose has become hardened and tough. When a gypsy tells her that she is go-
Book reviewer, publicist and journalist, Jocelyn Kelley, recommends what’s new in print.
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ing to be killed by her abusive husband unless she kills him first, Rose has no choice but to act. When her plans backfire, Rose is forced to run. As the saying goes, women are like tea bags, you don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water. This is exactly what Jackson does with Rose Mae. The strength of Jackson’s characters lie in their ability to overcome obstacles, rise above difficulty and hardship and stay true to themselves. Her novels are riveting, emotional and passionate and this one is not to be missed. Insatiable, Meg Cabot No one is more readable and entertaining than Meg Cabot. Known for her enormously successful young adult series, The Princess Diaries, Cabot is one of the busiest and most prolific writers today. Producing multiple books a year and updating her wildly successful blog on an almost daily basis, people have to wonder when this phenomenon sleeps. Her latest release is a gift to the world of adult readers. Insatiable is about Meena Harper, a soap opera writer who is plagued with the annoying ability to know how and when people are going to die. Did that grab you?
Well it should because this is where Cabot excels, her plots are as exciting as a roller coaster ride and her dialogue and pacing are fast and furious. With Insatiable, Cabot tackles the supernatural while tapping into our nation’s current obsession with vampires in mainstream media. This is a perfect addition to your over-stuffed beach bag. Promises to Keep, Jane Green The queen of women’s fiction is back with her most emotional and powerful novel to date. Jane Green’s Promises to Keep is the story of Callie Perry, a successful family photographer in upstate New York. Callie’s younger sister Steff is a free-spirited city girl who has yet to land (in life, in love, or in work). And to complete the trio is Lila, Callie’s best friend who has finally found love (and unfortunately her love has a nightmare of an ex). The heart of the story comes when Callie is given a brutal diagnosis and must come to terms with the finality of life. This is a novel about surviving, about love and friendship and the enduring power of the human spirit. Promises to Keep is an emotional journey that is well worth the trip. It will give readers a renewed appreciation for the life we live, the friends we make, and the promises we keep. A truly wonderful story. s
Amber West tells it like it is.
“...there is still a good percentage of the population that doesn’t go screaming their unsolicited opinions in other people’s faces.” I’m a fan of technology, particularly its application to communication. I spend more time on my phone answering emails, texting, and updating my Facebook status then making phone calls. I get the majority of my news online and keep up with the latest through Twitter updates. I’ve even been known
But was he really being sensitive? Or was he just responding the way anyone would to an unkind remark? The woman felt she was just humorously stating her opinion. What’s the harm in that? After all, there are people out there that are known for doing that and that alone. So let’s think about it. When you choose to communicate via social media, email, or text using all CAPS, the assumption is that you are yelling. That, or you are my Aunt Clara. Since Auntie isn’t on Twitter, it can be assumed that this person was yelling AT the actor that their current work is awful. His reaction was to virtually walk away.
to tweet, albeit occasional and somewhat mundane. (“Eating spaghetti. Yum.”) This very article is being formulated on my iPhone in the middle of a sleepless night. Despite my affinity for the instant gratification technology has provided, I am beginning to fear that the same technology is making us forget basic manners. In short, it’s making us mean. This struck me upon reading an actor’s tweet recently, blocking a woman because of what she tweeted to him. The gist of the post, in all CAPS, was that the actor should stop assaulting the public with the show he currently stars in. When the actor responded by blocking the offending tweeter, she was surprised that he would be so sensitive.
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Somehow I doubt that if this woman was ever face to face with the actor she would yell in his face that she hates his show. But this is precisely what she did. Why the difference? Generally, we keep uncomplimentary opinions to ourselves when there is a person standing right there in front of us. That’s because we would be face to face with the consequences of our statement. The fallen face of the person we’ve insulted. Or a punch in the throat. Whichever result, the fear of consequence keeps us in check. Technology has given us the ability to ignore the consequences. We are able to dehumanize the people behind the usernames and avatars, celebrity or
otherwise. Sitting behind our computers and iPhones all the time, we dehumanize ourselves as well. Not having to see or feel the fallout of our actions means there is no sting to our conscience reminding us to be kind. To be human. Now, I won’t give the impression that I’ve never been guilty of such meanness. (If you trip, do I not laugh?) I am part of the generation of snark. A large part of my education was ensconced in sarcasm and witty repartee. But that is what worries me. When did our remarks, often in the name of wit and humor, spill over into a total disregard for other people? Shouldn’t there be a line somewhere? It’s a free country. Even if such a line existed, that freedom dictates that anyone can choose to cross it if he/ she chooses. Maybe it’s naïveté on my part to believe there is still a good percentage of the population that doesn’t go screaming their unsolicited opinions in other people’s faces. Maybe it’s even more naïve to believe that maybe, just maybe, those percentages could carry over into our status updates, tweets, and blogs. And maybe you are tweeting about me right now. About my ridiculous rant and lack of talent. And that’s ok. All I ask is that you think of the consequences you don’t see. And be prepared for a punch in the throat. S
Mariel MacNaughton reports on what’s hot in fitness. Feature: Half Marathon distance run and some fresh air: listen closely. Running provides boundless perks to its fans, including putting a burn on calories because of its demands on the whole body; improved cardiovascular health; and muscle and bone strengthening. Did I mention the runner’s high? But is a marathon the only runner’s goal out there? It seemed a bit excessive.
Image: Chick Speak
Call it an exercise excuse gone right, but many begin their journey towards one of the most fulfilling athletic accomplishments of their lifetime because they don’t want to run a marathon.
I had never contemplated a half-marathon until local options popped up in my search for distance races. As it turns out, half-marathons have the fastest-growing popularity in the sport of distance running and have been called by Runner’s World “the hottest race distance out there.” Halfs provide an attainable balance between pushing your body and mind to go beyond their normal boundaries and setting an achievable goal that will inspire and fulfill you physically and mentally.
Most training schedules are anywhere 26.2 miles seems an ungodly from 8 to 10 weeks and provide surdistance—often proving more pain- prisingly easy plans for preparing your ful than pleasurable for participants. body for the big race. Schedules balMarathon runners who cross the ance long distance runs with shorter, finish sometimes look like the liv- faster runs, hills, and (sweet relief!) ing dead. Even the limping finalists rest days. Oddly enough—and my wrapped in those metallic pashminas final selling point —you only need to don’t fool us. And, if it’s hard enough take a few longer runs, of 8 to 10 miles to get to the gym for an hour after in length, to be properly prepared for work, why would we sign up to run for the final race. Adrenaline will get you up to five consecutive hours of exer- through the final miles on race day. cise in one day? Setting a goal is often the best way to accomplish a month’s (or more) worth If you enjoy running and persist, day of consistent physical activity. The after day, hitting the pavement for a excitement of working towards some-
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thing will inspire you to do more and do more, better. By the time your race shows up on the calendar, you’ll have built up your stamina, personal strength, and a daily and weekly commitment to exercising. Finally, the success of your first race will gratify you in a way that no treadmill or elliptical ever can. Knowing that you can achieve a set goal is a powerful personal high matched only by the flood of endorphins you’ll feel when you finish your first half.
ING Half Marathon, Miami
Here are a few of our suggestions for taking on the half-marathon challenge: Run, run, run for the home team. The Boston Athletic Association’s 10th
“...many begin their journey towards one of the most fulfilling athletic accomplishments of their lifetime because they don’t want to run a marathon.”
annual half-marathon takes place October 10, 2010. The course is a beautiful winding loop starting and ending right next to Fenway Park. It’s a perfect close-to-home option that will allow you to invite plenty of friends and family to see you finish—and the only thing better than the race will be the well-deserved brunch together that follows. Bienvenidos to the half. There’s something so luxurious about vacation that, after a few days, makes you want to get out and do something.
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What better place to try a destination run than in Miami? ING’s annual halfmarathon takes place next year on January 30, 2011. Plan an extended weekend trip to Miami, take advantage of your usual stop at the Delano on South Beach, but show up your fellow daquiri-drinkers when you run off that extra guacamole with a 13.1 mile jaunt. You’ll return home tanned, refreshed, and guilt-free. The Wino’s Run. If warm weather or the promise of adoring friends and family cheering
you on can’t sway you, what if we promise some libations as a prize? Try the Wine Vine Run Half Marathon, taking place November 14, 2010 in Paso Robles, California. Runners tackle a course that weaves through the vineyards and back roads of this wine country on California’s stunning coast. The course ends at Meridian Winery, and we’ll bet a glass of Riesling and a dip in one of the nearby hot springs will fix you right up. s
Jillies: A unique approach to dignity for women undergoing breast cancer treatment. By Randy Kamen Gredinger, Ed.D.
Great ideas often come from life’s most difficult experiences. JILLIES, a company founded by two women dedicated to making the experience of women undergoing breast cancer treatment and recovery a little easier, came to light from personal experiences with breast cancer. Lauren Zirilli was diagnosed at age 41 and Margie Lipshutz is the daughter of a survivor. Margie’s Personal Experience with Breast Cancer While working as a professional in the non-profit cancer research field, Margie’s greatest fear came to fruition when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1980’s, “My mother was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer
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when she was 46 years old, when breast cancer was considered a disease of the aged. She discovered it early and fortunately found a surgeon who was one of the pioneers of breast conserving surgery. My mother was one of the first women to have a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy instead of a mastectomy. At that time illnesses, such as cancer, were rarely discussed so there was very little conversation regarding what my mother was going through. Professional support for my mother’s or our family’s emotional needs was nonexistent”, Margie explained. Her mother managed her treatment and recovery alone, remaining stoic and silent about her experience. “The emotional part of having cancer was not in the fore-
front back then. The focus was on the science. Even with my knowledge of the research, I had no idea of how my mother would fare both physically and emotionally during her treatment” said Margie. “Fortunately, ongoing research and dedication by physicians, scientists, and patients have led us to where we are today. The good news is that great strides have been made over the past 25 years in the early detection, diagnosis, and treatments for breast cancer. Women are living full and happy lives despite their disease. My mother is a 27 year survivor and going strong!” “Currently the number of women living with breast cancer is unprec-
edented. The emphasis of research and care weighs heavily on the medical side, which of course, is of the utmost importance. However, there are emotional, physical, and daily life issues that women, as patients, have to deal with. The information available to assist in these areas is often sparse and hard to find. This is where JILLIES comes into to play,” Margie said. Lauren’s Personal Experience with Breast Cancer Lauren noticed a lump in her breast when she was 41. Her doctor reassured her it was nothing worrisome. A month later she went for a mammogram and was told that they needed to biopsy the small mass. “I knew something was wrong. I had a lot of experience dealing with cancer. My mother is the survivor of three different types of cancer, including breast cancer. She’s a very strong woman and has been through the trenches. As a teen and young adult I watched my mother deal with each diagnosis and treatment with strength, dignity and complete resolve. Although I worked out, ate well and tried to live a healthy lifestyle, I wasn’t able to avoid the disease. Thankfully we caught the cancer in an early stage.” “I felt so out of control during those months between the realities at home and now breast cancer.” Telling her story, Lauren’s face flushed. She fought back the tears and sat quietly until the wave of sadness passed. Margie too sat in silence. Lauren then shared that she needed to feel some semblance of control through this process. When she learned that the radiologist would be tattooing her to map out the sites that needed radiation, she decided to use her voice.
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She explained, “You can have a say in your treatment and can choose to chart your own course.” In short order she found a radiologist that was willing to map out the sites using ink that could eventually be removed without invasive procedures. In another instance, when she questioned the size of the field being mapped out for radiation therapy, the doctor agreed that the site did not need to be so large and re-mapped the treatment area. The treatment went remarkably well, even though Lauren was forewarned about numerous potential side effects. “The only time I felt sick was when I entered the hospital for treatment and had to put on that Johnny.” Lauren chose to change in the treatment room, refusing to sit in the waiting room feeling like a cancer patient. She said, “I needed to do this for my own dignity and sense of self. Sitting in the co-ed waiting room wearing a Johnny made me feel uncomfortable and exposed. I knew this was a time I needed to take care of myself and listen carefully to my inner voice. The doctors were surprisingly cooperative.” Margie and Lauren often talked about some of the indignities and frustrations a patient often endures. Lauren knew for her recovery, she had to reclaim her life and follow her own instincts. “It was my nature to challenge the status quo that led me to take action on behalf of other breast cancer patients. Margie shared my vision. In our small way, we believe we can make a difference,” Lauren said. Inspiration turns into a mission and the creation of JILLIES Their mission became helping women feel more empowered as
they went through treatment. One wintry afternoon they came up with a design for a garment women could wear during cancer treatment. They met with people in the fashion, fabric and medical worlds and came up with the “JILLIE.” the antithesis of the “Johnny.” The JILLIE is a beautiful, luxurious, feminine garment, made of 100% natural fibers in a pale blush color. They are perfectly suited for women undergoing breast cancer treatment, post breast surgery recovery, and mammograms. They provide privacy, comfort and dignity when it is needed the most. Lauren and Margie have been introducing and donating JILLIES to breast care facilities around the New England area. They sell them on their website and are trying to promote these beautiful garments nationwide as well. Lauren offered, “Of course finding a cure is paramount. However we feel we can help women in the midst of this tremendously challenging time feel better during their ordeal. Feeling good in the face of treatment helps the healing process. JILLIES are one tangible way of allowing
women to feel more dignified, comfortable and feminine.” Lauren and Margie both faced their own struggles, but came together in their inspired mission to make a difference in the lives of women dealing with breast cancer. Margie added, “We’re challenging the medical community to do a better job, to understand the woman attached to those breasts. The concept and realization of JILLIES is just the beginning.” We are hoping to launch a
Their website is filled with resources and information to help women with breast cancer. Margie and Lauren are two extraordinary women making a positive difference in the lives of women as they face a breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond. They both know from witnessing the impact of breast cancer that medical care alone is not enough. Women need support, and a sense of empowerment and dignity. Margie and Lauren
help make living with the disease a bit easier,” stated Lauren. s JILLIES was created from a passion to stand up and conquer issues around breast cancer. This is not about what happens with medical care, but what comes up in daily life, the day to day routines that may be altered because of breast cancer. Learn more about Lauren and Margie along with their mission and products by visiting their website at www.jillies.com
Dr. Randy Kamen Gredinger is a psychologist, life coach, speaker, and author living in Wayland, Massachusetts.
breast health educational program to Boston area colleges this Fall. We feel strongly that college aged women can benefit from learning about breast health and the lifestyle choices they can make to minimize their breast cancer risks. We also hope to host group support for women who have undergone treatment and are waiting for their six month follow-up visit with their oncologists. Margie and Lauren both agreed that this is a particularly difficult time for women. This lull between treatment and follow-up can be a time riddled with questions, uncertainty and anxiety.
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are committed to helping women gain balance and feel better as they forge ahead during this challenging time in their lives. They are, however, only two in number and the needs are great. They have used personal funds to establish this non-profit organization and to manufacture the garments. “We hope to find individuals and corporations who see the value in our mission and are willing to provide the funding necessary to outfit all breast cancer patients with their own JILLIE and to offer support programs to
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Luis Hernandez, Functional Health Coach, reports on the latest news in whole body wellness.
Serotonin: The Happy Hormone Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin and Your Mood tonin levels are in balance, one is able to sleep deeply and peacefully, enjoy food, and think rationally. When serotonin levels are low or out of balance, individuals can experience a wide range of symptoms including:
Photo: Colleen Reilly
In 2008, 164 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written1. That represents more than 27 million Americans taking some form of antidepressant medications. Many of these individuals are suffering depression at the hands of serotonin deficiency. Antidepressants are designed to bring a balance in brain chemicals and for the brain to increase the level of serotonin. However, there are natural ways of achieving this.
ing it a gut neuro-hormone. So in addition to the brain, the gut plays an important role in a personâ€™s overall mental state of being. This is why scientists often refer to the gut as the â€œsecond brainâ€?. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that provides a healing, nourishing, satisfied feeling to the brain and body. When sero-
What is Seretonin? Most neurotransmitters are produced in the brain. Many people are surprised to learn that serotonin is actually made in the gut flora, mak-
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Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome eating disorders, weight gain sleeplessness, insomnia vaginal dryness delayed sexual response mild or severe PMS, excessive menstrual bleeding, night sweats depression learning disabilities allergies obsessive-compulsive disorder confusion and memory loss Causes of Serotonin Deficiency Poor diet Genetic factors Overworked immune system Excessive alcohol consumption Long-term depression, stress or anxiety
How to Test Your Serotonin Levels There are a number of ways to test your individual serotonin level. The Edge Effect by Dr. Eric R. Braverman, M.D.offers a questionnaire that helps determine your levels of neuro-transmitters including serotonin. For a more accurate assessment you can purchase a saliva tests offered by a diagnostic laboratory. These tests are available online. Finally, you may wish to seek the medical advice of a qualified Functional Medicine doctor. Keeping Serotonin Levels Balanced There are a number of natural ways to boost the serotonin production in your body. These include diet, supplementation, fixing your gut and lifestyle changes. Diet: Diets rich in the amino acid Tryptophan have been shown to boost the â€œhappy hormoneâ€? serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in protein rich foods, such as turkey. This is the reason you feel so satisfied and tired after Thanksgiving dinner. The following are foods high in tryptophan: Avocado Cheese Chicken Chocolate Cottage cheese Duck Egg Granola Pork Turkey and Wild game Yogurt In addition to eating foods rich in tryptophan, you should avoid sugary foods and carbohydrates that boost the blood sugar levels.
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Supplementation Vitamin B and C, magnesium and zinc can convert the tryptophan amino acid into serotonin. Additionally, herbs such as burdock, ginseng, and dandelion (which comes in the form of an herbal tea) can help boost the levels of serotonin in the brain. Fixing Your Gut Reducing your intake of sugars, processed foods, and carbohydrates will help to fix your gut. Adding probiotics will also support a healthy gut. Many yogurt products on the market today have contain probiotics for this very reason. Lifestyle Choices Get acupuncture therapy Engage in anti stress activities such as yoga, tai chi, and walking Expose yourself to a healthy amount of sunshine Drink plenty of water, (1/2 your body weight in ounces) Get plenty of sleep Serotonin plays a key role in supporting a healthy mental state. Lifestyle choices, diet and supplementation, and stress relieving activities all contribute to maintaining optimal serotonin balance. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of depression or not, it is wise to make choices that help produce serotonin in the body. s
Luis Hernandez is a Functional Health Coach who has helped hundreds of clients increase athletic performance, improve overall movement and manage pain and physical ailments. He is also a consultant for JILLIES.
Through Her Lens: Pictures by Women at MOMA by Jennifer Guinn
A new and important exhibition of works by female photographers entitled, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, opened May 7 and runs until August 30, 2010, filling the Edward Steichen Photography Galleries at New York’s MOMA museum with over 200 works by 120 different
modernity in the works over the decades, while allowing for interplay amongst the works’ stylistic differences, diverse subjects and artistic experimentalism. Particularly strong are the featured photographic series within the exhibition, which highlight specific artist’s motifs, style, influences and contribution to the
tifaceted narratives about identity, beauty, history and politics. Portraiture of self- and others figures in many of the strongest works in the exhibition. Turn of the century highlights are found in the series by Gertrude Kasebier, featuring solemn, light-suffused scenes,
Barbara Morgan, Martha Graham, Letter to the World, 1940
artists, with selections of the most contemporary remaining on display through 2011. The show progresses chronologically through the six interconnected galleries, and heralds both technological and sociological
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medium in more detail and breadth than single pieces can alone. In its entirety, the show portrays images of women and motherhood, family, cities, and culture and through them communicates era-spanning, mul-
the platinum prints’ luminosity and soft focus lending an almost lyrical grace to the images of women with children. A bit later comes one of the most striking photographs, the dancer Martha Graham performing
the piece Letter to the World, immortalized in Barbara Gordon’s gelatin silver print from 1940. The Diane Arbus 1960s selections offer distinct personalities engaging their photographer and implied audience: a NYC widow dwarfed and haunted-looking surrounded in her overstuffed apartment; a New Orleans woman posing, the lines of her bouffant hairdo echoing in the ruffles of the skirted toy poodle perched on the table beside her; a caped and costumed circus worker standing in a still moment outside the show; a young waitress at a nudist camp, barefoot, armed only by her headband, coif and half-apron. Sally Mann’s Untitled from 1982 is a telling portrait of adolescent awkwardness: the girl turned sideways in her chair, her flowing hair, lithe body and gracefully entwined legs contrasting her forlorn and clunky expression. All are definitive and unusual representations of beauty, age, metamorphosis and femininity. Experimentalism within the medium may be found throughout the installation, from the room of 1920s-30s pictures forward. One of the earliest examples comes in Ilse Bing’s SelfPortrait in Mirrors from 1931, showing the artist posing with camera before a vanity of mirrors, her image, the camera and the picture playing off the different vantage points. Toshiko Okanoue, a little known Japanese artist, has a photocollage from 1953, In Love, in which she forms a composite from American magazine scraps to create a surreal interpretation of Westernization. Collages from the 1950s-70s by Jay DeFeo, Yayoi Kusama, Martha Rosler and Mary Beth Edelson manipulate flat imagery to construct everything from modern abstractions to feminist narratives about post-war idealizations and stereotypes. The pinna-
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cle of this collage experimentalism is found in Annette Messager’s My Vows, the overlapping circle of relics from self and lovers forming a narrative of intimacy, memory, touch and self-exploration. In these, as well as the film still inclusions from such artists as Maya Deren and VALIE EXPORT, one finds these artists
of the century selections from the Hampton Album, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, show students at the Virginia school in various scenes from their domestic and scholastic life, commissioned and shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900 to translate what “modern life” was then like for African Americans. Dorothea
Diane Arbus, Lady Bartender at Home with a Souvenir Dog, New Orleans , 1964
deftly adapting photography to posit redefinitions of themselves and their environments and to stretch the medium to new effects whose fragmented imagery underscores the conflicts and complexities inherent in modern life. The most articulate and resonant photographs are the series included which are photojournalistic and documentary works in nature. Turn
Lange’s Depression-era and postwar photos of women from the 1930s50s chronicle the solitude, resilience and strife which characterized urban and rural American life over the course of those decades. Helen Levitt’s NYC street scenes from the 1970s show a host of characters, all animated, humorous, full of individuality and reflective of their era and the city’s multiplicity. Alternatively, Nan Goldin’s photos of herself and
her social circle tell a personalized account of the NYC 80s downtown scene, like pages ripped from a diary: the artist, her apartment and city, lovers and friends, the damage of drugs and illness on her solipsistic world. In each series one feels the passing of time, bears witness to our collective history, considers the different experiences and gains intimate insight into these perople/eras to a greater penetration than merely reading historical accounts can afford. Overall, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the contributions made by women photographers to both art history and modern culture. Because of the span of the works displayed and their stylistic differences, at times the show feels episodic or lacks cohesion but the standouts included compensate for this and definitely merit consideration and further study. While there are more obvious and familiar contemporary choices, the older and lesser known artists here presented lend gravity, diversity and depth to the linear development of the show. This, along with the symposium organized at MOMA and the release of the book: Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, published in conjunction with the exhibition and made possible by the Modern Womenâ€™s Fund, presage a new concentration on these generational and sociological offerings by women. These worksâ€™ particularity, vividness and sensitivity is hard to ignore but until these artists are commonly integrated into such large and renowned institutions, they are still being done a disservice by the art world and society at large. s Images: Museum of Modern Art. RIGHT: Helen Levitt, New York 1977 & 1978
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Summer Music Festivals 2010 by Jennifer Guinn
With everyone decidedly more conscientious about vacation planning and disposable income, one of the most fun getaways to book for yourself and your friends and/or partner is attending the stateside summer festival or concert of your choice. While some of the smaller and farther flung have fallen off, affected by the recession along with the rest of the country, this has allowed for other fests to step up and fill the void, solidifying their status either as more selectively curated niche lineups or by encompassing a broad range of musical interests in order to attract the largest and most diverse audience. There really is something for everyone now, many offer a variety of performances and showcases such as comedy acts, are spread throughout the country with some taking place in multiple locations, and have a wide range of ticket prices, offering day- and multi-day passes, as
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well as VIP badges, lodging options, even full packages inclusive of hotel and airfare to and from certain locations. Obviously, with the biggest names come the biggest prices, but with even Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza multi-day passes costing about $250 for general admission, it’s hard to feel like you’re not getting what you pay for to gain entry to these music marathons. Below, my roundup of the standout shows and their artist highlights for Summer 2010. Eight years in and Bonnaroo has become one of the US premiere music events, with the event spanning 4-5 days on a 700-acre campsite in Manchester, Tennessee. This one is definitely the most user-friendly, economical in its full-service daily costs, and showcases the most varied overall lineup and innovative approach, aiming to be more than just a concert.
This is concert as destination, music summer camp, and this year’s event takes place June 10-13, with the full general admission pass for the four days running about $250 plus fees, including parking for regular size vehicles. The fest also offers VIP passes, RV rentals, full facilities, food by TomKats, plus you can pretty much build your package to suit your particular wants and needs then pay it off with their payment plan. Headliners include: Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Weezer, Flaming Lips, The Dead Weather, Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, She & Him, Diane Birch, Damian Marley and Nas, Les Claypool, Ozomatli, LCD Soundsystem, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Jimmy Cliff. Plus, the comedic acts include the irrepressible Margaret Cho and the reigning king, Conan O’Brien.
Next up: Summerfest, which prides itself as the “world’s largest”, and not undeservedly as it features 11 stages and 800+ bands over its 11-day run from June 24 through the Fourth of July. Set against the backdrop of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Summerfest is the festival with a small-town vibe, drawing in loyalists from year to year, including families and return fans, due to its inexpensive daily ticket price, easy accessibility for those in the north and central parts of the states, and lineup offering both
names: Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Kool & the Gang, Tokyo Police Club, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with ZZ Top, 311, Public Enemy, Thievery Corporation, Gavin DeGraw, BB King, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Eric Clapton with Roger Daltrey, Cypress Hill, Usher, Santana, B-52’s, the Roots, N.E.R.D., Rush, Counting Crows, and Carrie Underwood.
old and new favorites as well as some surprises. If you are a radio-friendly person who would say you like a bit of everything, this is your best bet, and the low daily fee--adults daily, $8 from 12-4 PM, evenings and weekends, $15, with lot parking adding another $20--means that you can commit to as much as you want, or only shell out for the pricier headliners’ events at the Marcus Amphitheater, for which individual tickets are sold. This year’s big
in mid-July and Lollapalooza making its home here the following month. This year, Pitchfork will take place July 16-18 in Union Park, and though the all-festival passes have long since sold out, the $40 single-day passes are still available. This fest is for the indie, more obscure college-rock audience, looking to catch hot new bands on their ascent. Some of the more familiar names on the bill include: Modest Mouse, Broken Social Scene, Wolf
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Chicago, Illinois has inarguably cornered the indie- and alternative-rock markets with Pitchfork Magazine’s fest
Parade, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Raekwon, Pavement, Big Boi, St. Vincent, Local Natives, Beach House and Panda Bear. Lollapalooza, August 6-8 in Grant Park, gets you less street cred but you’ll probably feel more like you wandered into the right tour if you remember when this one originated or at least have been to it before; headliners this year: Soundgarden, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Phoenix, The Black Keys, The National, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Grizzly Bear, Gogol Bordello,
Stars, MGMT, and the Dirty Projectors. General Admission 3-day passes will set you back $215, Lolla Lounge VIP jump to $850, and the travel packages start at about $1100. Everyone’s favorite estro-fest, Lilith Fair, returns this year, with traveling dates across the country and slightly beyond over the course of the summer, kicking off June 27th in Calgary, Alberta and finishing up August 16th
in Dallas, Texas. This tour markets itself as the “celebration of women in music” and it certainly is, with the Sarah McLachlan-founded tour drawing in rotating rosters of very talented female artists and this one comes to you with coast-to-coast dates, ticket packages at varying price brackets at the multiple dates and locations, and even includes meet and greets with the artists and other interactions and events which fit in with its overall positive, inclusive spirit and intimate approach to these somewhat overwhelming mega-concerts. This year’s list of ladies varies from one location to the next, but comprises: Beth Orton, Cat Power, Corinne Bailey Rae, Emmylou Harris, Erykah Badu, Go-Gos, Gossip, Jill Scott, La Roux, Martina McBride, Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Tegan & Sara, the Bangles, and of course, Sarah McLachlan, herself. Finally, NYC and surrounds still offer a plethora of outdoor concert options, many of which are free other than expensive bottled water and subway or other transportation. Williamsburg Waterfront has picked up where McCarren Park left off and dates so far: 6/20 Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear, and Karen Elson, 6/25 Silversun Pickups, 7/2 & & 7/5 Faith No More, 7/16 Weezer, 7/23 Modest Mouse, 7/30 Primus and Gogol Bordello, 7/30 Nas and Damian Marley and 8/6 Keane, with the tickets ranging $35-50. Governors Island shows currently named: Fourth of July’s She&Him show, plus later shows with Passion Pit, M.I.A’s NYC Hard tour date, and the Local Natives. Prospect Park’s Bandshell season opens with Norah Jones in June and closes 8/7 with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, with the summer lineup between filled out by Allen Toussaint, Buena Vista Social Club, Kid Koala, Rufus Wainwright, the Swell Season, Sonic Youth, the Dead Weather and
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Metric. While most of the shows are free, plan to get there much earlier if you want to get in and the same goes for the tried and true Central Park SummerStage, whose eclectic list of artists features: Gil Scott-Heron, the Flaming Lips, the Black Keys, Hot Chip, the xx, Public Enemy and the Specials. So, even if you missed out on SXSW back in March or Coachella in April you can still make it to one of these music showcases and have something fun about which you can rally your friends or make them a little envious, while maybe reliving some of your high school or college musical tastes, or checking out some current favorites while learning about some new ones. More festivals continue to sprout up from year to year and this list focuses on the big names, but many states have also spawned their own smaller fairs to draw in more tourism, boost state economies and give press to their cities, local businesses and musicians. Odds are there are at least a few by you, wherever home may be, and if you already booked your big summer vacation and are now kicking yourself a bit for not bearing one of these options in mind and recruiting friends to join you, fret not because the fall music roundup is just around the corner and with festivals like Seattle’s Bumbershoot, Monticello’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, and Austin City Limits, the lineups are sure to be solid when the temperatures come back down, too. s —Jennifer Guinn studied German and Austrian fin de siecle art and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She lived in Germany for a few years after her studies and is now back in the US, living in Brooklyn. She may be online anytime via her blog, The Vagabond and is currently at work on her first book of essays.
reflections Bye Bye Birdie by Ginna Christensen
When I was eight years old, I hated getting up in the morning. My father would come into my room every weekday at 7:30am,. singing, “C-h-i-c-k-e-n!” as he walked down the hall towards my room. This was my signal to pull the cover s over my head and pray for invisibility. “Are you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning?” he would playfully ask as he pushed my mattress up and down, turning it into a carnival ride. But I would just grunt in his general direction and turn over on my side, pulling the covers more tightly over my body (a move that did little tp deter dad from his mission). Some mornings he would tickle me, singing, “How’s my chicken? How’s my chicken?” Other times, he would just sit on the side of the bed asking me over and over again, “Did you sleep like a dog, a mouse, or a log?” I always felt like I was being tortured and most of the interactions ended with me storming out of the room muttering, ”Leave me alone!” under my breath. My distain for waking up early stayed with me through my teen years and even through most of my twenties. That is, until a small miracle came into my life: Her name is Winnie. I adopted Winnie the Westie when she was five. I was living in Brooklyn and spent most of my days feeling anxious and depressed. 911 had occurred just six months prior, and I was stuck in a bad relationship, which had just turned into a bad marriage. Winnie and I first meet on Easter weekend. My husband and I were spending the holiday weekend in the Hamptons with his family. At 4pm on Friday, Winnie arrived.
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Her foster parents brought her to the house. Her real parents (in their late seventies), were both ill and could no longer care for her. “We are leaving for France on Monday,” Ziggie told me. “We would love to take her with us, but we can’t.” I listened to Ziggie tell me more about the little white dog, my eyes on her as she sniffed around room as if on patrol, securing the perimeter. I had never had a dog before and I was not sure that I wanted one now. Dogs scared me, actually. Their loud barks made my heart pound like I had just run the 50 yard dash, and the sight of one running towards me made me feel as if an attack was about to be unleashed. But Winnie was different. I could not stop watching her. She finally settled in on a spot in the sun. She layed flat on her stomach, her front legs stretched out in front of her, her back legs behind her. To me, she suddenly looked like a SUPER DOG, giving me the feeling she was there to protect me. I sat down next to her on the wood floor and put my hand on her back. “So what do you think?” I said. “Would you like to come and live with me?” Almost immediately, Winnie started following me everywhere. If I walked into the bathroom, she walked into the bathroom. If I walked into the bedroom, she walked into the bedroom. After a few days, I got so used to my new shadow, I found it hard to leave her. Winnie had been sleeping in the kitchen on her red plaid bed that came with her from her previous home. She never protested or begged as I kissed her goodnight and shut off the lights, but after a week, I did. “Okay, Miss Winnie,” I said. “How about coming to bed with me?” She followed
me dutifully into the bedroom, and she has slept with me ever night since. In the months following my divorce, she would press the length of her body against mine, and seeing her face first thing in the morning brought a smile to my face no matter how bad things got. Morning became a special time for me, no longer wanting to pull the covers over my head at the sign of first light. I wanted to sing. My wake up song is borrowed from a tune in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Singing it wakes me up more gently and quickly than 10 cups of coffee. I can feel all of the cells in my body dance along as I sing, I love you, Winnie. Oh, yes I do. I love you, Winnie, and I’ll be true. When you’re not near me, I’m blue. Oh, Winnie, I love you. Winnie is much like I was as a teenager. She does not much care for waking up before 10am, but as soon as I see her face lying next to mine, I cannot help but sing. I now wonder about my father and realize that he was not trying to torture me at all. He was just starting his day looking at the one thing that could make him feel invincible no matter how stressful or difficult the day before had been. He was starting his day the same way I do now, singing to his little girl. s —Ginna Christensen is an organic foods aficionado, avid cook, blogger, and the founder of 27ground.com, a custom rug manufacturer based in Los Angeles, CA.
Take a breath—quietly, please. by Marique Newell Maybe it’s just me, but nothing quite eases the pain of a long meeting, an exasperating commute, a weary body, or a cluttered mind than a long, deep, soul-clearing sigh. Go ahead—try it. One or two well-timed clearing of the lungs, and you’ll feel an immediate ease of the shoulders and spine; you’ll notice a calming, cleansing airiness. I am sure of very few things in the world, but this is one certainty: letting go of tension, stress, pain, anxiety, and discomfort can all be done through a hearty, healthy exhale. Ahhhh… My yoga practice has taught me this valuable lesson—that slow, steady breaths really can calm me down and settle my racing heart and push me through a grueling yoga class, a high-pressure work function, or even the butterflies of a first date. The simple, but effective, phrase “just breathe” is a daily mantra I tell myself over and over, on and off my yoga mat. Time and time again, those two words have worked wonders. Yes, just breathe, just breathe. Unfortunately, though, sometimes I hear this lesson a little louder than I’d like. Literally. Enter the unruly breather: That person on the neighboring yoga mat who is huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf outside the little piggy’s house, that woman who sounds as though she just might be giving birth rather than doing sun salutations, those people whose exhales sound like humpback whales breaching across the surf.
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Breath is, of course, one of the fundamentals of yoga. You can’t get through a class without it. Depending on what type of yoga you practice, a teacher might guide you in pranayama breathing or talk about the importance of ujjayi breathing while pushing you through a vigorous vinyasa series. In the Baptiste classes I’ve taken, the teachers always encourage us to release loud, guttural, “Aaahhhhhhs!” at various
points throughout class. But regardless of style or method, the premise remains the same: harness and connect to your breath, always. What happens, though, when you can’t even hear your own breath because the yogi beside you is breathing loud enough for an entire roomful of practitioners?
reflections In a recent Bikram yoga class—in which all breathing is done through the nose, except for the two breathing exercises, pranayama and kapalbhati, that bookend the series—I managed to place my mat between two of the loudest breathers I have yet to encounter in a yoga room. The men to both my left and right wheezed like old, clogged vacuum cleaners, from the time class began until the minute it ended. And I spent the entire 90 minutes seething with irritation. It didn’t help that the room that evening was particularly crowded, brutally hot, and very, very humid. It also didn’t help that less than one inch separated my mat from the mats of my noisy neighbors or that the teacher was new and unfamiliar. Not wanting to let the uncomfortable room or the yogis alongside me disrupt my practice, I kept telling myself to breathe, to ignore the sounds and sighs, to focus on nothing but me working through my yoga, diligently, carefully. The teacher talked of confronting discomfort, of healing the body with the body, of patience. She told us to stand still, to inhale and exhale slowly. I tried to listen. I tried to stare only at my own two eyes in the mirror. I tried to match my movements to the teacher’s words. At one point, I even tried to match my breathing to the man on my right— admittedly, that didn’t last long. And then, at class end, as I laid in savasana, spent and soggy and sullen, I wondered whether my triedand-true mantra had, finally, failed me. Throughout the entire class, I couldn’t once wrangle in my breath to calm my fraying nerves and my dizzy head. My lungs hadn’t cooperated at all. I was unable to “just breathe” past
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the loud noises bursting like geysers out of my neighbors. My breath—it simply failed me. Thing is, usually, we fail ourselves— and then try to point the finger elsewhere. I stayed on my mat for 10 minutes more, listening to the easing sighs and shallow hums of those around me. My own heart began to settle as I sipped cool mouthfuls of air. The men on my left and right rumbled to their feet and stumbled about as they gathered their towels and mats and water bottles, before shuffling out, still wheezing. I kept very, very still, smiling a little, finally finding the humor in the last 90 minutes. And then it hit me. I remembered another lesson learned in the hot room, and that is this: yoga teaches you to note life’s distractions and pains and hurdles, to acknowledge and accept their inevitable presence, but then to move past them, to focus on self, and to let go. Oh, yes, and to breathe, each step of the way. s —Marique Newell is a writer, blogger, and yogi based in Boston. An avid fan of live music, literature, local designers and artists, and the hot yoga studio. Read more on her blog: hannahjustbreathe.wordpress.com. Image: padmakshiyoga.com
How I make it work.
How do I make it work? by Liz Rees Illustration by Michelle Thompson
I am baffled by this question. My first thought is “A working mom who is making it “work” doesn’t have time to write about how she makes it work”. Ha! When I asked my husband he said “You just bloody do it, you haven’t got a choice!” Ah, the simplicity of the truth from my very British husband. He continued to ask if I thought I was going to reveal some secret unknown pearl of wisdom to the women of the world about parenting. I had to stop and think about that, “do I have any pearls of wisdom?” probably not. At first, I just did what my sister and my mom told me to do. People have been having babies forever and this is how everyone learns to be a parent, right? There are definitely things that every mother does to make her life work and there are probably general tips that will work for anyone but the real nitty gritty of parenting is going to be specific to your lifestyle and needs. Finding a balance between, work, family, friends, and time for yourself is the challenge and doing it well is no small fete. When I really think about it and by “it” I mean the 9 million little things I do all the time, its amazing to me that I am able to keep it together from day to day. Maybe it’s all the drinking I do? Ha, I wish that were true. What I know is that I am a relaxed person, as is my husband and we have taken most of the changes and adjustments to parenthood in stride. We struggle, like all parents do, but we always come out on the other side. While pregnant, I spent a good portion of each day worrying about giving up my wonderful lifestyle. I divided my worrying between the health of the baby and the lifestyle I was giving up.
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I really worried nonstop about how I would change, how my social life would change, would I be one of those annoying people who never stopped talking about their kids (sorry people
like this, I’m sure your kids are super) and if I was one of those people, when all was said and done, would I have any friends left in the world. I know all of this makes me sound a little self ab-
sorbed and you would not be wrong to have pegged me as such. I was anxious about what was going to happen to me when I became a Mom. As I watched my friends planning vacations, weekends away or even going for drinks after work, I thought, those days are gone. It was scary. I was right to be anxious but not all is lost when you have a child. Your friends, the good ones, get it. They will be there to support you, cook dinner one night and listen to you talk about baby-related topics. In turn, you will get to live vicariously through them. They have a captive audience for rehashing of nights out, dates and social drama. Your family will be so excited to help you they will be at your door wanting to hold that baby. That’s when you run out and gets your nails done; spend money you should be saving for daycare and buy a new bag that you are calling a “diaper bag”. It all comes together nicely. Lastly and another worry that was on my list was work. I was so pleasantly surprised that work became my little haven. A saving grace when you are just about to lose your mind singing the wheels on the bus. Suddenly, sitting at a computer, taking calls, answering emails and knowing the answers felt good. It’s a shocker but it happens. What I have found is that I like being a mom, I like my baby and most of my days are happier than ever. Another huge relief was how much I enjoy the mothers I’ve met in my neighborhood and through daycare. I have gained a whole new community of people that I have a lot more in common with
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than just being a mom. I was delighted to find that I stayed me and all the aspects of myself that I loved are still there plus now there is a new part of me that I never knew existed and it’s a great, wonderful thing. Tip: I am not a journaling kind of person. I love the idea, I would 100% start a journal and write in it for a few days, then maybe once a week, then it would be in a drawer or a pile or a hamper until it was lost. The day my daughter was born and given a name, my husband, a computer programmer, immediately got her a Gmail account. This was more for him than her, he wanted to ensure that she had her name on an email account so that when she was ready, she could email away! A friend gave me an idea which has been a wonderful way to keep memories for my daughter. I, along with family and friends email her when something happens, like she claps or we visit the park. My iphone helps make this incredibly easy and fun because I take pictures of her and email them to her right then. When she went on the swings for the first time a few weeks ago, I emailed her the picture and now she has the date, time and a photo of her first time on the swings. I highly recommend this for moms and dads on the go. My favorite part of it is that anyone can email her. My mother, Carys’ Mimi emails her all the time telling her about what’s going on with our family. I hope it will be a great keepsake for my daughter. s
How I make it work.
The Second Shift by Kelley Brady Smith There have been so many times in my professional life where I’ve had that “come to Jesus” moment with myself where I ask that fateful question. You know the one I’m talking about; the “what the hell am I doing with my life” question. Typically it’s been about 9 o’clock on a Tuesday night, towards the end of a glass of wine, when I’ve vested just about enough of time into the work week to realize that it’s not yet half over. You know that feeling; the one where you contemplate the pros and cons of going into work the next day and proudly marching into your boss’ office with your head held high, ready to speak your mind and tell her that as of noon you will no longer be her indentured servant , no longer his punching bag? So fast forward to, oh I don’t know, the wake-up call of the monitor three inches from your wine glass to the realization that “Oh wait…I’m somebody’s Mother! There’s no quitting this boss!” And that’s because this boss, completely unlike any previous, current, or future boss, is my son. I try to remember the exact moment when my world changed. Most women might say it was the first time they held their own flesh and blood brand-new beautiful babe but I have to honestly say it was when my husband had to pry me away from my son as though he was the jaws of life when my maternity leave had run its course. Now, as a matter of full disclosure, I have to be up front and tell you that I absolutely adore my job. I
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rid myself of those hateful Tuesday nights with the wine years ago when I decided to shirk the corporate world and follow my real dreams. Yet, when it really hit home that I could no longer be devoted full-time to my amazing little boy, I dreaded the return to another responsibility, my job. And it wasn’t because I didn’t love that responsibility, it was because I felt that there was nothing left in this world that I could imagine in my wildest dreams ever being more important than raising my son. However, reality can be a hard bite to swallow can’t it, and if any cliché adage is true, the one that tells us money doesn’t grow on trees hits the bullseye. But, I returned to work and what I thought would start to become the bane of my existence became my outlet, my “second shift” you may say. I looked at work from an entirely new perspective; one that was from a woman that had accomplished the most amazing feat that life could ever present to a person, that of bringing life to another human being. I looked at work as an extension of who I was now; I was a person of greater depth, eons more compassion, and more love than my heart ever could have imagined, and those traits could do nothing but transfer over to my clients. Work became not just an outlet for the obvious stresses that come with a newborn, but as an expression of my newfound identity. Nothing will ever rise above the importance of being a mother to my son, but what I realize now is that I am a better, more complete person because of my baby and for those reasons I am better at work. s
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