Friday, July 27, 2012


Those of you who know me are aware that I have a serious love/hate relationship with a little four letter word.


Food has been my boyfriend since, oh I don’t know, pretty much birth.
I started drinking milkshakes from the soda fountain at Woolworth’s at three months and haven’t stopped since.

Just give me back the milkshake Aunt Ray.
Too many milkshakes among other delectables unfortunately led to a lifelong struggle with food. See, I was never the girl who has an insanely quick metabolism and could eat whatever I wanted. My friend Susie could eat a bag of Cheetos for breakfast, cheeseburgers for lunch and half a pizza for dinner while snacking constantly throughout the day and stay thin as a rail. People would marvel, “Where does she put it all?” “She must have a hollow leg!” “Let her eat, she’s a growing girl!” I had to listen to all this while Susie ate her ice cream cone as I sat next to her - eating my miserable cup of "ice milk."

Another strike against me growing up was my complete and total lack of athleticism. I liked to attend Yankee games with my aunt because she bought me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. My dad coached a softball team and convinced me to try it out. I was good at standing in waaaay out in the outfield, looking around aimlessly, and I was really good at sneaking bites of my Reggie candy bar that I had tucked in my knee high sock. I needed energy, to stand there looking around, right? One-two-three strikes you’re out at the old ball gaaaaame.

I also was never and will never be the girl who “was so busy I forgot to eat.” WTF? Who IS that girl? Let me explain something to you about how my brain operates; I will forget how old I am, what I did last night, how long I’ve been married, and what my children weighed when they were born (seriously, I have no idea) but I will never, ever forget to eat lunch - that I can guarantee.

Many a diet has come into my life from the age of seven (yes, seven) to thirty-something. Here are a few stellar standouts that will be ingrained in my head for eternity, each so healthy and nutritiously sound in their different ways…you gotta wonder why they didn’t work out for me:

Lose Ten Pounds in Three Days.
Why wouldn’t I try this? I mean, the name of the diet says it all. Ten pounds? Three days? SOLD. I did this diet several times growing up along with my mother (thanks, Mom) and it pretty much ruined hot dogs for me for a while there. Mom kept the diet in a manila folder on a legal-sized sheet of paper. She used her secretarial skills to type it out, all professional-like. When I would put on a few pounds, I would see the sheet of paper sitting out on the kitchen counter, and I knew I better get all the Mr. Salty pretzel sticks in me that I could - fast - because here is what the next three days had in store for me:

Hot diggity dog.

For reals.
I remember holding my nose as I choked down beets, wondering why I wasn’t allowed to mix in any mayo with my tuna, and packing that measuring cup as full as I could get it with vanilla ice cream, pressing the metal spoon down hard into the metal cup so I could get the most bang for my buck. My stomach growled at night as I lay in bed - angry and hungry. What is this, like 500 calories a day? Jesus, no wonder I was always so dizzy when I did this diet.

Let’s start by saying that the name of this diet was not the big selling point. Was it a diet? Some form of plant life? An insect? Who would know what this was?

There was a Med-Nutra Centre (That’s Centre with “re” – all European-like) in a strip mall next to a Kentucky Fried Chicken where I liked to stock up on those “Chicken Little” sandwiches. Remember those? They were like two-bites, all little with creamy mayo and one pickle slice? Anyway…the Med-Nutra diet consisted of shakes for breakfast, pudding for lunch, and a sensible dinner. My mom would "doctor up" the shakes with a spoonful of peanut butter and a banana (at least I got a whole banana this time; not half like in the last diet.) But there was no doctoring up that "pudding-lunch." Dry, gritty, medicinal tasting, blech - I choked down my lunch as quickly as I could. Wouldn't a salad have been better? This picture was taken after I hit my goal weight - I think I wore this bathing suit like twice but I was all jacked up to wear a two-piece like all of my girlfriends to the beach in Florida. But those Chicken Littles came a callin' and then just like Oprah, well, you know the rest of the story.  

My Oprah Winfrey "Little Red Wagon Full of Fat" moment.
Except I am standing in front of a lit fireplace in Tampa, FL.
Also like Oprah, I think ten minutes after this
photo was taken, the weight was back on. 

Jenny Craig.
Hello, 1-800-Jenny? Hi, yeah, my name is Lori and I am getting married in two months. Listen, I need to do two things, fast – drop a ton of weight and drop a ton of money. You can help me? GREAT!

My Jenny Craig consultant, whose name also happened to be Jenny ("No, I'm not that Jenny, isn't that a funny coincidence?!?) was baffled by me. After I lost all my weight and got thin I told her she better enjoy it now, because post-wedding it was all coming back baby.

She carried a gi-normous water bottle with a scruchie wrapped around it. I never saw her put the scrunchie in her hair and that bothered me. She also wore a gold necklace with a cowboy boot on it that had a big 'ol spur that spun around. That bugged me too.

After the wedding, as predicted, well, you know. It was like I had been let out of prison on my honeymoon. Chinese food - I've missed you so! Pasta, I'm sorry I've neglected you. And cookie dough, how can I find the words? There are no words...
And I still wore a girdle under this.
Mid-reception it was ripped off and
thrown somewhere. Never saw it again.

Today I am happy to report that I am currently not on any sort of a diet. I eat a ton of fruit, try and squeeze in veggies, and as much as I loathe it I do exercise a few times a week. But I'm not as fanatical about the whole thing as I used to be. If I want cake, I eat cake. I eat ice cream instead of ice milk, and I friggin' love it.

The whole eat sensibly and exercise thing is true.

I did pull out that old Lose Ten Pounds in Three Days diet a few months back and seriously thought about it - an easy, quick, albeit temporary fix. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't risk losing my love of hot dogs again.

It's summer for the love of God.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer lovin'.

As a kid summer meant several good things - really good things, like:

No school
The ice cream man
Lightning bugs
Looooong days
Bike rides on my sweet yellow bike with banana seat/rainbow tassels
Slush puppies

As an adult, that list is kind of hard to top.
I mean come on...lightning bugs?
How am I supposed to compete with lightning bugs?

Adult summer is not as fun.
In adult summer, there is:

Considering my workout for the day chasing down the ice cream man
No lightning bugs (I live in Portland)
Looooong days
Torturous spin class on painful, evil bike seat
Looking at myself in a three-way-mirror as I try on bathing suits

So I have to find some treats to make my adult summer fun!
Hang on - the more I say "adult summer" the more I realize how much it sounds like a Cinemax movie that would be on late on a Friday night.


Here are some summer loves/obsessions that are causing a heat wave at my house:

Lush bath balm MMM Melting Marshmallow Moment bath bomb.
Who loves s'mores? I do! Who loves soaking in a fizzy tub of pink candy marshmallow fluffy goodness? I DO! I love LUSH products and I especially love this bath bomb. It is shaped like a cupcake, it fizzes and melts slowly releasing softening, skin soothing cocoa butter and almond oil into the water. Have you seen those Campfire marshmallows at the store lately that are gi-normous? Like as big as a softball? That is what this reminds me of. It's like dessert for the tub.

Cupcake in the tub? Check.

eos Lip Balm in Summer Fruit.
Move over Suzy Chapstick. Why does this lip balm make me happy? I don't know - maybe because it is the easiest lip balm EVER to find in the bottom of my big 'ol bag! And it's cheap, like $3.50 and when I pull it out people always gravitate over to me to ask, "what's that?" A sweet juicy little ping pong ball of balm that smells super fruity - that's what!
Ball of balm? Check.

Sonia Kashuk - A Powerful Punch Mini Nail Set.
How fun are these summer colors? You get four cute little mini bottles which for me is perfect, as I seem to buy a nail polish and get halfway through it before I get bored - especially with these trendy brights. You get a bright summer red, a sassy gold, pretty plum and my fave of the fab four – a brilliant turquoise. And for $9.99 at Target?  If you’re like me you’ll go there for the polish and come out with a frame from the clearance section, some Ziploc bags, and a big ol’ Rubbermaid container.

Turquoise toes? Check.

Summer Boardwalk Candle by Bath and Body Works.
This candle makes my house smell like cotton candy and a caramel apple had a baby. 'Nuff said.

Coney Island in my living room? Check.

Wanna drag out the blue plastic kiddie pool and go for a dip?
I'll put on my new suit in the privacy of my backyard and make us vodka Slush Puppies. summer.
Not so bad, really.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Not your average joe.

There are certain stores that I am happy to mindlessly wander in. I may not be in need of anything or have cash burning a hole in my pocket to spend, but they are places I enjoy going to, just to hang out. I kind of think of these places as an extension of home - simply because I enjoy the atmosphere, the products, and the fact that the people that work there are super-nice to me.

I could live at Nordstrom, right? It has everything I need! Work clothes, going-out-with-the-girls clothes, make up, undies, pretty bras, fragrance, shoes, fancy lingerie to sleep in and a café to eat in. And hundreds of salespeople to tell me how great my bag is, how cute my hair is, and how fantastic that outfit looks on me!

There are three places that I especially enjoy doing a mindless-lunch-hour stroll in:

Nordstrom for a lovely appetizer.
Trader Joe’s for my meat and potatoes.
Sephora for my sweet dessert.

I know...I know, one of these things is not like the other…

Health food.
I love Trader Joe’s so much I applied for part time work there a few years ago when I was in need of a little extra cabbage. I never ended up working there but I fantasized about how great my life would be if I got to put on that crazy Hawaiian shirt and ring the big brass bell at my checkout stand everyday. And samples! They have samples!

I love their products and I love the cheery atmosphere there – everyone is so happy at Trader Joe’s! And I love their big bags of salted almonds, falafel chips, and Joe-Joe's cookies (or as I like to call them, “Healthy Oreos”)

Recently I found an unexpected love at Joe’s – something that is non-food related – holy guacamole, right?

Nourish All in One Facial Cleanser is my latest steal/deal that I can’t stop talking about. I had to really seek it out, sitting there on the shelf looking all natural and unassuming in its blah packaging – it looks more like hand soap than the amazing take-off-your-day facial cleanser that it is. For a measly $5.99, I gladly threw it in my cart along with the Naan bread and Mediterranean hummus that I was excited about…now I was even more excited!

I love a facial cleanser that:

A) Is all foamy.
B) Has no perfumy scent.
C) Allows me to open my eyes when I am using it without getting the feeling that they are going to burn out of their sockets.

This little treasure has all that, and did I mention it was $5.99? I think I did.

When it passed the I-can-open-my-eyes test, left my face feeling squeaky clean, and caused no irritation or breakouts after a few weeks of use I was sold. It was formulated by a dermatologist, so…it’s all good.

Nourish, where have you been hiding? You have been right there at one of my favorite places all along.

It's like that cute guy friend, who was always fun to hang out with, and nice, but you never thought of him “that way.”

Appearances can be deceiving – fancy and flashy on the outside can stink on the inside.
The guy in the Hawaiian shirt would never leave your eyes stinging and burning like Mr. Fancypants would.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Hey you guys!

My mother always tells people, “Lori learned to read watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company” and it’s totally true.

This was back in the mid-seventies when it was totally acceptable to plop your toddler in front of the boob tube for hours on end without wondering whether or not they were going over the acceptable TV viewing hours that the pediatrician had recommended. Pediatrician, schmediatrician. These were the good old days - stand as close to the glowing box as you want, everythings fine!
How do you down your fiftieth piece of pie?
Eagerly. Eagerly. Eager...LY!

The songs from Electric Company are the ones that have really stuck with me throughout my adult life. For example, today I can be typing out the word “eagerly” and will always sing the ditty “eagerly, eagerly, eager-LY” in my head – an educational short with a little cartoon blob-man involved in a pie eating contest describing how he downed his fiftieth piece of pie-eagerly. Electric Company taught me how to properly use “ly.” It also taught me a myriad of other things…

This cautionary tale about not touching, looking at, or going near poison was a mini rock-opera and scared the crap out of me. With a creepy skull and crossbones, scary, jarring music, the giant word POISON across the back of the room, and questionable talent singing and dancing frantically about what could happen to you if you go near the stuff, how could I not be scared? Who did wardrobe on this thing? The talent all wore what seemed to be McDonald’s uniforms. You gotta wonder how the guy second from the left ever got the gig, he must have been somebody’s kid - and the girl next to him on the far left played Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! And way over on the right…guy? Girl? Yeah, I’m not sure either - it was the seventies, anyone could have that haircut. But the breakout star of the show is right where she should be front and center - long dark hair, clearly the most talented of the bunch – arms flying from her stomach to her neck to her head while singing the word “POISON” over and over – she of course ends up getting the tag line at the end, that every kid wants to nervously have stuck in their heads, “IT’LL KILL YA!”

What is creepier than adults dressed up in old-timey children’s clothing licking gi-normous lollipops? The answer is…NOTHING! In this song we are learning about the way two L’s go can go together, like in the word lolly, or in the names Billy, Molly, Lilly, and Solly (Solly? Ok, kind of stretching it with Solly, doncha think? What about Olly? Or Holly? Wally anyone? Oh well.) The “little boys” in this produce a far greater creep-factor than the girls. At the beginning when Billy comes marching out with a crazed look on his face and grabs that giant lolly you know you are in for something special. Short-pants, big floppy bow around his neck, straw hat and looking like he smokes a pack a day he licks the hell out of that fake candy, rolling his eyes to the back of his head in ecstasy as he does so. Eww. Billy is really excited about that lolly that is on a stick so big he could use it to pole vault. Then Billy gives a lolly to Molly and Molly gives a lolly to Lilly (who comes in galloping like a filly) who gives a lolly to Solly…you see where I’m going here? I bet the prop person didn’t care for Billy too much, seeing as how they probably had put on rubber gloves and use a jug of bleach on that lolly to get all of Billy’s DNA off of it. Again, eww.

Admit it - you were as fascinated as I was with this learn-your-numbers-disco-pinball-extravaganza, right? The song, as performed by the Pointer Sisters, was the epitome of funk and sounded like it belonged on Soul Train as opposed to a kids show. The different segments each focused on a numbers between one and twelve – you would learn which number was the star of the show as the animated ball in the pinball machine was pulled back and sent into play. The psychedelic/pop art/trippy animation of the inner workings of the coolest pinball machines on the planet followed your big silver ball through carnivals, the circus, the farm, and medieval times. If only pinball was this cool – I would have been the pinball wizard of Park Avenue in Ossining, N.Y. And I dare you to try and get the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 out of your head after watching this.

So television is not all that bad for kids, just look at me! Or ask my mom! I learned to read, write, count, and developed a lifelong fear of anything resembling a skull and crossbones, all thanks to children’s programming.