Monday, December 17, 2012

Butternut Squash--2 ways

Today, my friend Nina and I were discussing how much we love Butternut squash. She was commenting on a dish she planned on making this evening for dinner and I was telling her about my favorite fall soup recipe. She excitedly informed me that she now gets the squash pre-cut which saves her because she has a fear of cutting the squash.  Turns out she has a fear of using big knives and since Butternut squash is a large vegetable and has a pretty tough exterior, the best - and probably only - way to cut into it is with a big 8 inch chef knife.  The irony is that Nina happens to run a very successful recipe website called and is constantly trying new recipes to post to her fans.  So in her honor I decided to post my soup recipe and try her vegi/quinoa recipe.  I am hoping this will inspire her to cut her own Butternut Squash, especially since you can get a 3 lb. squash at Trader Joes for $1.63 and I cannot even imagine how many $3 bags of cut squash you would need to make this fall soup (have you seen the bags? They are tiny!)

     This recipe has become a family and friend favorite. I  found it one Thanksgiving on and used it for my annual NYC Thanksgiving meal. Even though we moved to LA and our Fall and Winter seasons are not that cold, we still love this soup during the holiday season.  I paired the soup this evening with a cheese and kale quesadilla, the quesadilla was buttery and crispy and turned out to be a wonderful addition for dipping into the soup.

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger:
Serving 6

2 Butternut Squash (about 4 lbs. total)
2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Cups thinly sliced onion
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 Cups chicken or vegetable broth Or half broth and half water

Preheat oven to 375, cut squash in half and discard of seeds. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet for 50 minutes until it's soft.  Let cool so it is comfortable to the touch and discard of peel. Cut squash into pieces.  Heat oil over medium/low heat, add onions, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 15 minutes till onions are tender. Add squash and broth bring to a boil, then let simmer for at least an hour. Take out cinnamon stick and Puree.

I love using the same ingredients for two back-to-back dinners. Since I am already peeling and chopping, I tend to take some of my ingredients and put them aside for the next night and then half of my dinner is already done. I wanted to try the recipe Nina was talking about so I took some of the cooked butternut squash, chopped onions and ginger, put it in a tupperware and tucked it in the fridge to be used the next day for my Vegi/quinoa dinner.

  Cooked butternut squash, chopped onion and ginger all ready for my vegi quinoa dinner.

Vegetable quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Garbanzo beans.

Here is the recipe Nina sent me. I tweaked the recipe a bit. I added the butternut squash and used fresh ginger instead of powder. I also skipped the coconut milk -- I would suggest using it because my dish was too thick for my liking.

Sorry there is no picture of the finished dish. I was so hungry that I ate my dinner before I could get my camera out of my purse.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Being in the beauty world has many perks. Some of them are working backstage at Fashion Week, meeting celebrities, and going to parties, to name a few. But my all time favorite perk of being in this world is that I get beauty products for free! Being a self proclaimed product junkie this brings an abundance of  happiness to my life and skin.  I have a make-up closet that friends and sisters alike come to delve into every once in awhile (I can already hear the phantom knocking on my front door of all my friends, acquaintances and neighbors who did not know this closet heaven exists).  I get lucky enough to test, at no charge, many different products to see which ones I want to use on my clients. The importance of this system is that I and many other make-up artists can recommend to their clients what really works as far as anti-aging moisturizers, glowy foundations, and lipsticks that last all day. I know many beauty product junkies who would benefit from and love this system.

If only there were a way that everyone who buys beauty essentials could have the ability to try the products first, before they decide what to spend their hard earned money on. Imagine if all the women of the world could see if the eye make up remover they are purchasing burns their sensitive eyes or not.  If the body moisturizer the sales lady convinces you to purchase really absorbs into your skin right away so you do not have to wait an extra half hour before you lay down on on your sheets! If only the real clientele out there had something close to the perks that beauty experts have.  And then it happened! As if the beauty gods heard the collective plea, the New Beauty Test Tube appeared.  Well not so much appeared, as... I just found out about it!

Those lucky ladies who live in LA can go to the Fred Segal Santa Monica store and head to the New Beauty section and find a wall with all the test tube goodies displayed (see exhibit A below).  For $30 you can go and pick out which products you would like to try. The best part is that most of these "sample" products are full size so you can really try them for a while and see if you like them enough to purchase.

For those of you who love living elsewhere, you too can get the perk of trying out these beauty "samples" for $30.  The only difference is that the New Beauty, beauty experts will pick which products you will receive in your Test Tube. This amazing offer is available every 3 months and it comes with a magazine (see exhibit B below) that has an enourmous amount of information from the world of skin, weight-loss, hair, nails, and more. It is a huge magazine and could possibly take you 3 months to finish is most definitely taking me that long (having a 9 month old boy may be the cause of that).

For more information you can visit

I am very excited about the SuperSmile whitening toothpaste and I am using the sunscreen daily. See exhibit C below for my picks...what will yours be?!

                                                                      Exhibit A

                                                                     Exhibit B

                                                                      Exhibit C

--It's hard to see the picture clearly so here are my picks

-Supersmile whitening toothpaste
-Klorane eyemake-up remover with cornflower water
-Ahava intensive nourishing body cream
-YonKa anti-age intense moisture time release mask
-Pur-lisse spf 30 essential daily moisturizer
-Moroccanoil treatment
-Dr. Ci:Labo Aqua-collagen-Gel Super moisture

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sleep F***ing Training

   This blog is named sleep f-ing training because I don't believe the words "sleep training" adequately express this process. I have been meaning to write this blog for 3 months now and I keep telling myself as soon as I am finished with the "training" I will write.  But then the day wanes and a new moon comes and alas the sleep "training" is never done. There is nap training, (which I am rather lax on) and then the teething comes and messes it all up. But because Kol has officially been going to sleep beautifully (most of the time) and sleeping through the night (again, most of the time) for 3 months now I wanted to write this before it gets away from me.

   I am not sure which is worse, having to let your child cry it out  during sleep "training" or having to listen to negative remarks from peers, friends and even other moms. Although I am sure they all mean well, I hear "you are doing it all wrong", "he's too young" and my personal favorite "you are torturing my grandson" (yes, that was my mother's remark, granted she is a hippie and all of her kids slept with her till age 12, fine age 2 but really!!!)

   For me, the crying that happens when you teach your child how to sleep is 10 times worse, but the negative feelings that surround this part of parenthood is something we could all do without. In every other aspect of motherhood everyone loves to give their advice, and still somehow all  moms come together to support one another. It is this unspoken pact you make when your child comes into this world, this unspoken feeling of supporting your fellow sisters in child rearing, that no matter your thoughts and feeling at the end of the day, at the end of expressing your opinion,  at the end of your sentence you will always say...but whatever works for you. Except, somewhere along the line someone decided to break the damn pact, and decided it was alright to not be supportive when it comes to Sleep Training and many of the moms followed suit.

   Trust me I understand the fear and heart ache that goes along with letting your child cry themselves to sleep.  Hearing your baby - your blood and soul, your ultimate creation - cry as hard and as long as he can for you, and knowing if you just went in and picked him up, if you just held him close to your body, if you just...if you just...he would calm in your arms and probably even fall asleep. All you have to do is go into his room lift him up and hold him close to your heart where he belongs; where his journey began and where he would be happy all the time. He would be so happy against your heart every day and every night and every moment of every day. And there in lies the rub. If I could function on no sleep, and function with having no time with my husband or myself, then I would never sleep train. But, at 5 months old Kol was still waking up every 2 hours to nurse. I was a full time mom with outside help only 5 hours a week and even though Dov was ever so helpful, he was working full time and needed his sleep at night to function. It was up to me to be a good mom but I wanted to be a great mom and to do that I needed sleep! I needed to have some evenings where my dinner or conversation were not interrupted by unnecessary nursing. On top of all that my active fun child was getting more tired and cranky during the day. And so I did it. I read 3 books and found the method of sleep training that worked best for me.  I am sorry to tell you all but whichever method you choose there is always a measure of crying involved.  Some kids take fewer days to work out their sleep habits and some take more but in the end most of them get it and when they do there is a sense of relief in the home.

   After all the nights of crying - on your end, sometimes more than your child's. After all the negative remarks you hear from other women  how they could never let their babies cry ( I have a couple of choice words for those ladies that I will leave out of this sentence).  After all of that, you emerge 2 weeks later having barely survived and then there is the light...if you are lucky. The quiet after the storm. Your child sweetly lays his head down to sleep at your designated time,  you leave the room and there is no crying.  You sneak back to peak in because surely there is something wrong, after all the nights of praying for some peace and quiet, it is too quiet! So you hesitantly peak your head in and true bliss hits you in the face; your baby's eyes are closed and his breathing is soft and rhythmic. The feeling of pride that creeps over you is like no other. You are fiercely proud of your child and even more proud of yourself for sticking to it and being able to enjoy this huge step forward for you, your child and your family. With that pride comes a whole lot of fun. You have your nights back to do as you will. Catch up with your girlfriends that you have not seen in months! Get a babysitter and go out with your husband. Or my all time favorite, just hanging out with your significant other in your home, enjoying each others company with no interruptions.

    Even though my big 8 month old has been sleeping well since 5 months there are still bumps in the road. You have to sleep train and retrain your baby sometimes. As if he can hear the words that I type Kol a.k.a. Murphy (as in Murphy's law)  is crying out from the other room right now. Sometimes he cries out in a bad dream and my heart leaps and my mind goes back to all my original fears of what ifs -- what if he's cold, or what if he's hungry. Sometimes it's longer and I have to go back to doing check ins, where I let him know we are here, we love him and he is not alone. We will be here every step of the way guiding him in his sleep habits, in his life habits through the hard times and good.  Even if sometimes in life we will not be able to sooth him our hearts will leap with him in his pain and joy and we will be right beside him cheering him on step by step until he learns how to do whatever he set out to do all on his own.

    So let the naysayers say and let the people talk as they will, but know that once again, you always know whats best for you and yours and do not let anyone convince you otherwise.


These two books below really helped me understand how and why I should Sleep Train.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child By: Dr. Marc Weissbluth
This book really educated me on the importance of good sleep habits for your  baby, toddler and child.

The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5  By: Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack
I followed this book exactly when I was sleep training. It is a very easy book to understand, especially when you are running on no sleep!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mommy Hair

The phrase “mommy hair” brings unparalleled horror to fashionistas worldwide. But, even “mommy hair” is better than the alternative of being a “mommy mess”. Until recently, very recently that is, I was one of those moms. I finally seemed to get my clothing situation under control and managed to grab enough time in the morning to brush my teeth AND put on earrings, which is a feat not to be taken lightly with a seven-month-old underfoot. I mean literally underfoot, Kol is crawling, sitting and taking his baby escape artist skills to a whole new level. (More about that on another blog.) So here I am trying to keep my love for fashion and style alive but I was having a major set back - my hair.  Since about age three months, Kol has been grabbing at everything and anything in his immediate grasp, and the hair grabbing came into the picture at about five months old. Up until now I have actually used it to my advantage, I dangled my long hair in front of my baby’s face while changing his diaper and magically he stayed on his back letting me put on a new diaper and put his clothes back on all in a seven second time span.  Anyone who has a baby that moves as much as mine knows how accomplished I feel every time this happens.  

Then it happened. The hair trick stopped working. Whoever said women with long hair always stop boys in their tracks, need to extend their research to include seven-month-old baby boys.  So my hair turned into a blob in the back of my head. Day in, day out, it got tied in a little bun low at the base of my neck. Even that much out of reach, Kol Monster (yes another nickname) managed to constantly pull my hair out. My little low bun that started out chic in the morning, slowly but surely turned into a straggly blob of hair by midday.   That is when I realized I didn’t have a choice but to cut it all off! I believe it is at this moment in time when many moms give in and get the short "mommy haircut".  

So I smartly asked a very cool friend of mine to cut my hair and I got a really fabulous short cut.  I am feeling like a 1920’s flapper girl meets french chic meets 80’s power woman; Not a bad combo at all. My two favorite things about this haircut are; 1) it takes me three minutes to wash my hair, and 2) I do not have to unravel my long hairs from around baby Kol’s little fingers.  

To all you fashionistas worldwide, name it what you will, but I feel fresh and sexy and fun!
chic hair = mommy hair

                                                                      we <3 hats

                                                              always on the go


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Listening Love

“The most wonderful thing about Tiggers are... Tiggers are wonderful things.” I love that line! It’s the song that the Tiger sings from Winnie the Poo. What is so great about that line is that just being Tigger makes him wonderful.  
That’s how I feel about my husband Dov. Just being Dov makes him wonderful!
Last night I suggested we do some date night-ins. I read about these on some website. It’s a night, once a week or whatever your schedules allows, and you make a plan with your significant other to be at home. You can have a nice dinner, hang out and listen to records or watch a movie.  The idea is to separate time so you and your loved one can have some time alone without the little ones interrupting. I love this because between the two of us being freelancers, and having a new baby, I am feeling like we are not getting enough time to talk. You may not know this but I’m a big talker. I love conversation and discussions and hearing about each other’s days. I like to talk about our ideas, thoughts and goals.  And I love how Dov listens even when said ideas, thoughts, and goals, are disproportionate to where I am in life right now. I always used to say “we need to catch up” whenever we were apart for half a day, but it’s true, we did.  Now we really need to catch up!!
Because raising a 5 month old saps all your energy and is very time consuming, I brought up the idea of a date-in last night.  Today our wonderful housekeeper came; she is warm and lovely and makes our house shine, and as a side note, we thank her on google translate because we can not speak Spanish, but we appreciate her very very much and like to let her know.  
Well today, Dov suggested we leave Kol with our lovely housekeeper and sneak away for an impromptu lunch date.  It was perfect! We ate a great lunch, drank some coffee and got to “catch up”.  There was no baby crying, phone ringing, or computers distracting us from our discussion.  
Amongst all the hubbub of our life right now, it is still so great to know that when you speak, someone is listening. Thanks for listening love.

                                 Loved this photo I found on the internet.

written during week 23

Monday, July 23, 2012


His face is bright red. I try to ignore the sounds of his cry as he throws his head from side to side.  I am trying to move as fast as I can, but he is strong and his nostrils are so tiny. I hold his head in my hands and he is mad. I stick the blue thing in his nostril and he gets angrier, there is a change in his cries and in the strength in which he throws himself around.
“I am just trying to help,” that thought bounces around my brain as I wonder how many mothers before me have used those exact words with their babies, toddlers, teens and adult children. And then I am done, he can breathe easily again. The crying ceases immediately. His  skin goes from cherry red to silky white. He looks up at me and within seconds he is smiling at me, his coos are loud and solid. He keeps going till I smile back and then as we have a conversation of what just happened, he forgives me and moves on to his toes, the toy of the moment.  I’m amazed it has taken him less than 10 seconds from crazy intense emotion to happiness.  

                                                    crying baby Kol
                                                 laughing baby Kol

 If only I can bottle that up. Save it for him so when he is older I can show him how easy it used to be to forgive. What a wonder to have someone do something you do not like and then be over it so fast that it leaves no mark on your memory, no mark on your heart.  As we grow in life it seems to take us longer and longer to forgive. I see my sister’s children get upset, they hold onto the feeling longer than my baby but after awhile they are easily distracted and they move on. And then we are teenagers, we can harbor pain and resentment for weeks/months/years.  I believe that our hormones and changes in our bodies all contribute to the way we prolong forgiveness for what seems like an eternity--especially to our mothers. By the time we start to come into our true selves, by the time we start to figure out who we really are, we have forgotten how to forgive easily.
Imagine if we moved on like our babies move on, if we could somehow remember what it feels like to forgive easily. To know it’s ok to make your feelings heard but then to smile just as quickly. To let your spouse,  parents, and friends know within minutes of being angry with them that everything will be ok, that you will not be holding a grudge, and that you still love them.  Imagine how freeing that would be!

Monday, July 9, 2012

In Flight

      Most people I know have a ritual when it comes to flying. I used to have one. I always wore very comfortable clothes just in case I wanted to stretch or sleep. I always brought my ipod, a magazine and a good book (for options of course!), and without fail there was my bag of treats. At 10,000 feet above ground my sweet tooth always seemed to activate so I usually brought an abundance of goodies. All those lovely accessories fit beautifully in my perfectly-sized-stylish-travel-bag.

     Then life changes, the magazine gets replaced by "Goodnight Moon", the book becomes a sleep training book, and who has room for a bag of candy when there are diapers, wipes, and changes of clothing that need space in your diaper bag? Oh, did I forget to mention there is no more perfectly-sized-stylish-travel-bag, just nicely designed diaper bags (Thank you Jonathan Adler--he made a line for skip hop.) 

     Recently,  we took our first trip on an airplane with our baby. The idea of flying with a child was so nerve racking I called all of my friends to discuss their experiences of flying with their children of all ages.  I got mostly decent reviews and all liked to add "but don't worry, Kol is at a great age to travel, you can always just feed him if he's crying". Little do they know how active my darling five month old is, if there is action in any form Kol's head is whipping around back and forth to see what is going on.

     There is a TV show called "Up All Night". It is one of my favorite shows of the moment and is about a couple dealing with life after having their first child. In one of the episodes, they experience the challenges of flying with said baby. While watching the show I was laughing so hard tears came to my eyes. Needless to say I watched this show before I found out we had to fly with Kol, otherwise the tears might have been from crying.  In the episode, the mother decides the only way to make it through the craziness of flying with a baby is if they follow the plan she creates for them. At all costs she must stick to the plan and then their flight will go smoothly.  Of course nothing works out as planned!  The show inspired me to have a plan before we started our trip, and then I figured if it would all go to hell, if things did not work as I planned,  i.e. crazy lines at security, baby crying a lot,  I would not be so stressed out.

     I over thought everything and so the stress built up. Then the deadline came and we got ready to leave on our trip. At the airport everything went smoothly until...we boarded the plane, took our seats, settled in and waited, and waited, and waited.  And there it was, our flight was delayed. My perfect feeding time was about to become a problem. We were delayed an hour, I couldn't starve my child but Kol does not just eat cuz the food's there. I decided to feed him on one side so he calmed down and then I waited until we took off to feed him on the other side. All the scary flying-with-a-baby thoughts and anxiety were for nothing.  My baby boy Moshe Kol was the most well behaved child on that flight!  He did not cry once! He cooed and played and laughed with me, with his father, with the one year old across the aisle. He sat in his chair and played so we could get some reading in (yes I snuck my novel into the diaper bag at the last moment).  Kol slept for a 2 1/2 hour nap, I think the sound of the engine were very calming, and you can be sure there is a sound machine in my Amazon cart as I type this. After all the days of being nervous and planning, and all the anxiety,  Kol was an angel!  We could not have asked for a better, more relaxed flight!

                                                   Making faces with Daddy.

                                                        chilling while I read


 I flew back to LA last night; it's been 2 1/2 weeks since we got to NYC. It is amazing how much a child can grow in such a short amount of time. Since we left Los Angeles, Kol has started scooching forward. He can get to a toy across the room. He gets up on all fours and lunges himself forward happily banging his head against the floor in his determination to get to whatever object catches his fancy in that moment. 

     I flew home with my baby brother Cobe as Dov had to go home early, and I was thankful to get on Cobe's flight. The idea of flying alone with Kol was too frightful. I was not lucky enough to get an extra seat the second time around and Virgin America's leg room seemed to have shrunk since the last time I flew on that airline. Cobe sat at the window, I sat next to him in the middle, and a sweet 14 year old girl with the biggest lady bug Pillow Pet sat next to me in the aisle seat. The lady bug print was bright red with black polka dots. The first hour of the flight Kol squealed as loud as he could and kept twisting his body to grab the pillow. After the first 3 attempts at holding him back I let him grab the furry pillow and try to pull it as much as he wanted. The girl was kind and let him play with it until he fell asleep. And then by the grace of g-d Kol slept for the rest of the flight. He slept on me for 4 hours straight and halfway through I could not feel anything from the waist down, but it was quiet, and peaceful. I got to doze on and off and watch a little TV, a simple pleasure I can't seem to find time for these days. I tried to force Kol to eat while we were landing but in his sleep he insisted on throwing his head back and continued to sleep with his ever-hopeful expression. His eyes opened as we landed and he looked curiously about, observing the people and the airport happenings.

                                         Cobe giving me a much needed break

     Finally, after a happy reunion with his dad, our little seasoned Jet-setter settled in his crib and I went out to have a much needed Jacuzzi dip for my aching limbs, a definite addition to my Flying Ritual list.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Nail polish has always been one of my favorite beauty products! When I graduated from 8th
Grade one of my dear friends gave me 3 nail polish bottles for my graduation. The colors of the nail polish were blue, green and purple. The summer of 1996 I did my nails every other day. I just could not decide which color I liked best so, on an average week I had all 3 colors on my nails at some point during that week.

Since I am older, wiser and busier I do not have time to spend constantly changing my nail polish color. Yet, the idea of having the colors of the rainbow on my digits still excite me.  This summer I decided to stick with one color. Orange/Coral nail polish is the color of my choice for the summer of 2012.


OPI 's Cajun Shrimp is hands down my favorite Coral polish. This color is the perfect blend of color and brightness. You can purchase it and bring it with you to your favorite nail salon or you can probably just find it at your local  salon since Cajun Shrimp is a popular color.

For a more cost efficient approach you can go with Sally Hansen Xtreme wear in Sun Kissed. This nail polish option is more Orange then Coral, it is a lovely color choice for the summer and looks very pretty on toes in flip flops.


This last color, Essie nail polish in Cantaloupe has been one of my summer favorites for the past 10 years. The softness of it's hue and the fact that this color is peach makes this nail polish wearable for most skin tones.

Whichever shade you choose know that all of these colors look lovely with a sweet summer dress or with your favorite new swim suite. Happy pickings!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shop My Closet

     At this point in time I have not worn any of my real clothes for almost a year. I have a 3 month old, and I was pregnant for 9 months before that (technically 10 but who’s counting...umm I definitely was).  I felt good in my pregnancy clothes. Everything I wore, whether it was jeans and a t-shirt or a pretty black dress, was accessorized by my baby bump. It was round and cute. It didn’t really matter if I was up on the newest fashion because baby bumps are always in fashion..just read your current US Weekly if you don’t believe me.  So now it’s 3 months post-delivery and I have been getting away with my one pair of jeans, one stretchy skirt, and 2 t-shirts that I wear daily. (We won’t even talk about my shoe situation.)  
     Today I decided enough is enough. I am a cute just-turned-30 yr. old new mother, who loves all things beauty and fashion and I need to start enjoying getting dressed again like I used to. There was one minor bump in this new revelation. (See what I did there?) All my clothes were pre-pregnancy which means they were basically a year old, plus, I don’t exactly have the budget for a new wardrobe. Since giving birth, I have bought exactly one lime green sweater from Target and one summer type belt from Forever 21. Armed with my 2 new pieces, I decided to re-evaluate my wardrobe.  As Kol napped and I once again decided to forgo a nap against my better judgement, I got to work, taking every last piece of clothing out of my closet, drawers and storage boxes. I tried on every piece. Whatever did not fit or I didn’t like anymore went in the giveaway bags.  All of my dresses that were not conducive to nursing nor good for a date night with the hubby, went into my closet in the guest bedroom. I tried on dresses with sweaters, put tops and scarves together and skirts with some blouses.  I made sure to pop my boobs out of every dress to make sure I can nurse while wearing said dress before it went back into my closet. It’s amazing what a new (and old) sweater and new belt can do to your wardrobe. Voila, my new summer of 2012 closet of the new nursing (just-turned-30) mother of one adorable little boy.

Below are a couple of outfits I plan on wearing this summer.

Websites to shop:
Sam Edelman
Forever 21
MICHAEL Michael Kors 
Brandy Melville
Karen Michelle

 written during week 12