Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To Love is to Serve

Every year Valentines day passes with a flourish of pinks, whites and reds. The world around us starts raining roses and chocolates and cards with little hearts and teddy bears holding little hearts and balloons with little hearts as well. We are assaulted in grocery stores, in book stores, in pharmacies, by many and more products silently yelling at us to hold me, buy me, love me. Whether we believe in this Hallmark-iday oops, I mean Holiday or not, the colors, cards and sweets start seeping into our psyche and we think 'yes, yes, someone shout to me that you love me with cards, flowers, sweets, more sweets, more balloons, more, more, more.'

Although the above paragraph might give you the impression that I am a hater of Valentines day and that I do not believe in the hallmark holidays, I would like to make it quite clear that this in fact is not the truth.  I am a great lover of flowers, chocolates and sweet hand-written-notes. I just believe that all those wonderful things should come at many different intervals during the year. And for me great love is not hidden in flowers, cards etc..  For me the greatest display of love is hidden in the everyday.  

Dov waking up with my son every...you heard correctly,  EVERY morning at 6am because he knows how hard that ungodly hour is for me. Dov doing all of the dishes that filled the sink without me mentioning anything to him.  When I'm sitting at the computer working and I'm surprised with an-eyes closed-Trader Joe's licorice popped in my mouth (have you tried the TJ licorice? I am obsessed!)

When I was younger in previous relationships, I often felt like those cards, flowers and teddy bears.  I would be standing in front of my date, boyfriend or prospective date/boyfriend and be silently screaming 'love me, see me, love me.' Most of the time in some of those relationships my silent screams never ceased because their showering of gifts never completed my need of what I really wanted, which was to not have to question where I am and who I am in my relationship with another.


A couple of years back, on our road trip to California from NYC,  Dov bought a t-shirt that had "to love is to serve" written across the front of it.  We both understood the meaning of the shirt and loved it because we felt its truth. Words are beautiful and abundant and we can use them to express love if we so choose. But the true test of love is not in our words but in our actions....

 I would truly like to write more on this subject but at this moment I simply cannot. Dov just walked in with a glass of wine, chocolates and a beautiful card. He came to wish me Happy Valentines day. He had no idea I was even writing this blog.  The timing is perfect and the card is sweet and has Dov's signature of writing little comments on the card's picture.

'To love is to serve' can be interpreted in so many ways. To me it is knowing your partner. 
While I am (almost) not in need of Valentines day, Dov is not in like of it though he still surprised me with all these goodies tonight because he knows my love of chocolates, wine and sweet-handwritten-notes.  Because I know that his love for me is not solely based on his needs. It is also balanced with what I need in terms of love and affection.

'To love is to serve' is found in the everyday mundane activities and the not so every day little unexpected surprises. 'To love is to serve' is unique to us all as individuals and our particular needs bring new meaning to the overall interpretation of love. Though poets and novelists through the centuries may beg to differ...to love truly, to love wholly, to love unselfishly is hard work and if "serving" my love, serves our greater love, I will gladly be the first in line to work for it.

And on that note I am going to hang out and watch some much awaited episodes of House of Cards with my very patient husband (I have been working for a while this evening).

*Even though we did not go out on Valentines day, I squeezed in some time between the Spa and dinner to do a Valentine's day date night look inspired by Naeem Khan's Fall 2014 show...oh, did i mention I went to the spa on Friday? I went during Kol's nap time with Dov's blessings, because that's what I needed.

Mac Eye Pencil in coffee
Mascara wand!
Stila shimmer powder (discontinued)
Use Stila Eye Shadow Trio in gold glow
Mascara CoverGirl LashBlast 24 Hr. in very black
Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in fire down below
Nars Lip Liner Pencil in amazon
Mac Eye Pencil in coffee (link is above)

Friday, February 7, 2014

My week as a Grammy artist.

The Grammy's are one of the most exciting award shows of award season. The Grammy ceremony is heavily sprinkled with some of the top musical acts in the business.  It makes for a very entertaining evening.  It also means that there are many people watching this televised event.  Many women who are watching, observing, taking notes and generally judging how the artists are looking in their Grammy get-ups.  We "oohh" and "ahhh" at the clothes and shoes knowing that most of the items being worn are completely out of our league.  Or, even if the gowns, dresses and footwear are in our financial league, honestly, when on earth will we ever have an opportunity to wear any of them?!

But the make up...the make up is something that not only can we afford, we can most definitely find an opportunity to wear!  We can always find an occasion to try the beauty looks influenced by the ladies parading down the red carpet.

As I watched Lorde perform her hit "Royals," I was saddened that her beauty team had made her look so mature. After all, part of the thrill of her success is that she is only 17 years old and her music is so exemplary for such a young artist.  I understand their need for not wanting her to look too 'pop,' but there should have been a balance, in my opinion, to her intense dark lipstick look with heavy foundation.  So the next day, I decided to do a lighter version of Lorde's look, or what I called a "night-to-day look." I tried to portray how you could wear a heavy deep burgundy lip in a fresher fashion; a bit of peach/pink blush on the apples of the cheeks and a lighter foundation did the trick.  I had so much fun experimenting with the "night-to-day look" make-under that I decided to try a new artist each day for the rest of the week.

Using the amazing app Picstitch - I know, last to the party - I was able to capture the Grammy artist inspired look along with my own before and afters, and a pic of the products used...all in 1 framed pic!
[In tears...] All of your likes on Facebook have truly kept me going and have made my dream a reality! ...and that's me working on my acceptance speech...

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in nude
Revlon Cream Shadow in not just nude
Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in aigle-noir
Cover Girl LashBlast 24 hour mascara in very black
Nars Blush in orgasm
Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Cover Girl Lip Perfection in euphoria
(Unknown color in container received from Gucci Westman at one of the fashion shows)

Cover Girl Concealer truBlend Fixstick in light
Cover Girl truBlend Liquid Make Up in classic ivory
Stila Eye Shimmer (discontinued..sniff sniff)
Cover Girl Bombshell Intensity Liner in pitch black
Cover Girl Bombshell-Volume-Mascara in black
Cover Girl truBlend Mineral Bronzer in golden sunrise
Mally Beauty Melted Lipstick Duo in punch/mauve (I only used punch)

Chantecaille New Stick in ivory
Cover Girl truBlend Liquid Foundation in classic ivory
Lancome Color Design in gris fatale
Mally Beauty EveryColor-Shadow-Stick in gun metal
Cover Girl Liquiline Blast Eye Liner in black fire
Cover Girl LashBlast  24 hour mascara in very black
Nars the Multiple in laguna
Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in cruella

Chantecaille New Stick in ivory
Cover Girl truBlend Liquid Foundation in classic ivory
Revlon Cream Shadow in not just nude
Lancome Color Design in gris fatale (only the black shade)
Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in aigle-noir
Cover Girl Bombshell-Volume-Mascara in black
Cover Girl Clean Glow Blush in peaches
Cover Girl truBlend Mineral Bronzer in golden sunrise
Nars Lipstick in Promiscuous (discontinued)
Substitute: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in belle de jour

Monday, February 3, 2014

Carrying The Weight of a Miscarriage

As posted in Hello Giggles on 2/19/2014

I started the lucky #9 blog many moons ago because I felt there was not enough word on the street about the difficulties - and often muted truths - of parenting, specifically mommying.  Everyone spoke about the joys of being a new mom, but the exhaustion, stress, loneliness, post-partum, (and did i mention exhaustion?) was rarely talked about. And so I did what I've been doing since I was a little girl... I started spreading the word.  This word was not a warning to unsuspecting soon-to-be moms to stop in their tracks and run far away from children.  It was simply a warning from an educational point of view. Just a "heads up soon to be parents you may have some really shitty days but don't worry we have all been there or are still there and we feel you." I sincerely hope that my blogs accomplish this goal.

So in true lucky #9 form I want to broach another subject that is not really talked about...miscarriages.

Having just had one quite recently the pain and sadness of it was difficult for me.  I was early, yet my excitement at growing my family was huge. My husband and I were so joyful to be adding another soul into our family, a sibling for our son Kol.  I was bursting with happiness and couldn't control myself so I told some family members and shared the happy news with our parents.  After all,  I felt that if anything bad were to happen I would probably tell them anyway, of course thinking in my head that is just something you say because nothing is really going to happen.  I already have one beautiful, healthy boy with no complications so I believed that of course this go around will just follow suit.  But it didn't.

I went for an ultrasound and there was just no heartbeat, no movement on screen, the emptiness of the picture on the monitor stared back at me. I went into crisis mode. I didn't cry, I simply asked the doctor what this meant, what should I do, how do i move forward.   He gave me all the right medical answers, we made schedules and booked procedures and moved forward.

Finally I got home and could hear my thoughts. All my thoughts, my visions of pregnancy, labor, early motherhood, siblings, it all seemed to empty out like the picture on the monitor. And left behind was nothing but an ache, a sadness for what could have been, a sense of loss for this soul inside of me that was no more.

What do you do with this kind of loss. It is understandably private for most people. Most women I have talked to have had one or more miscarriages. Only several weeks pregnant, one might not have even shared the news yet. But people were telling me I was glowing, my skin, my hair was sparkling. And now, I have broken out, my hair is shedding as it did after I gave birth to Kol, and once again I am reminded about loss. Move Forward. Move Forward.

This is what I hear in my head.  Move Forward.  Take the time the doctor says to take and then try again. Move Forward.

I believe strongly in the mantra "dust yourself off and try again" but I have never just moved forward. I have always taken time to acknowledge where I am emotionally and how I feel internally.  I dissect things until i am comfortable with them.  So I thought about my loss, the week I found out about it, I bought myself a couple of bouquets of my favorite flowers in honor of the soul that was not to be ours, in honor of the soul that I was lucky to house for a couple of weeks, in honor of the soul that brought a glow to my skin and a sparkle to my hair.  I set the flowers around the house in every room and as I passed them over the next couple of days I smiled and greatly enjoyed the scent of them.  After the week was done and my blood finally started flowing, I placed the flowers in the bin.

I am starting on a vitamin regimen my doctors are suggesting for me. I have learned that a good way to go about taking care of yourself after a miscarriage is to make sure you are sufficient in your vitamins.  You need plenty of Iron since you lose a lot of blood (recommended is 2 to 3 25mg of Iron capsules) Take a pre-natal vitamin so you make sure to get all the good stuff that comes in that little bottle (speak to your doctor to find out which brand is good for you). Eat healthy food, exercise when you are ready and the best advice I received so far was from none other than my mother, who suggested to do something nice for myself.  I am thinking a day at the Spa is in order.  I will do all the things I am supposed to while I wait a couple of months for my body to heal.  And then,  I plan to move forward.