Providence has a certain industrial beauty that gets me every time…

I’m going to tell you something that will aggravate you tremendously.

Then I’ll tell you a story that may cause you to reach through your screen, snuggle me close to your breast and tell me that these things happen to everyone, one day I’ll laugh about it.

First, the dagger throwing comment: I was one of those fortunate people who was blessed with acne-free skin. There has never been a period – high school, pregnancy, stressed out work situations – when I’ve gotten a pimple. It’s really nothing to brag about since I suffer from sub-Saharan level dry skin which comes with its own challenges. The silver lining though is that despite the occasional dry patch, skin blemishes have eluded me almost completely. So there you go, I hope your blades aren’t too sharp.

Now, before you throw them, hear me out on the rest of my story.

I traveled to Providence over the Memorial Day weekend to attend my 15-year reunion at Brown, and a few days beforehand, the spot directly underneath my nose became sore. “Strange, what is this thing?” I asked myself and willed it to heal with a combination of Cosmos-directed prayer and some cleansing turmeric tonic. Sensing a zit that was attached directly to my brain stem, I may have also used a few other techniques including toothpaste, baking soda paste, rubbing alcohol and raw cider vinegar.

Despite my efforts, the Cosmos didn’t hear my prayers, the baking soda was completely ineffective, and I woke up the next day to a spot that had doubled in size, developing a large white head. It seemed to mock me. I could practically see its little arms waving at me, telling me that it was likewise looking forward to seeing everyone at our reunion in a few days.

I searched for YouTube videos that would give me the desperately-needed advice to shorten my new friend’s lifespan. I also started to lurk on group boards where teens with cystic acne commiserated about their plight in life. The most common advice I came across was to do nothing – “don’t pop that sucker” they warned. It will lead to infection and scarring and a host of other tragedies.

So I left it, confident that in 3 days, the whitehead would get reabsorbed into my body and swallowed by a colony of white blood cells.

That evening Rodney came home from work and I put on my Wolf Blitzer hat, relaying the situation, and asking smart, probing questions about where it might have come from and how to best remove it. He agreed that things were looking desperate and told me to pop it.

Damn, now I was second guessing my strategy. Back to YouTube, where Dr. Oz told me that if I MUST pop it, at least use a sterilized pin. He then walked me through a technique too graphic to mention on a food blog. My kids, who were watching the clip over my shoulder, reacted with the kind of horror normally reserved for cicada invasions.

Out came the pin (which, of course, I did behind closed doors).

Long story short, just like the acne boards warned, I woke up on Thursday morning to see something under my nose that looked like a moldy pomegranate seed. It was angry and red with flabby skin surrounding a hard yellow seed. As a test case, I tried covering it with Bacitracin and concealer. Which just looked like a pomegranate seed covered with face paint.

I could only imagine my reunion conversations. “Oh, so wonderful to see you! Wow, you haven’t changed one bit!”

At this point, I was wondering whether I should cancel my reunion plans altogether, or if 24 hours was enough time to arrange for a cosmetic skin graft.

I emailed Rodney in one last plea for mercy.

“Questioning the reunion at this point.”

His response was that it wasn’t that noticeable…”and you have another full 48 hours until Sat morning when daylight is up on that piece.”

Having not seen “that piece” since he’d told me to pop it, I sent him a picture, subject line “You liiike your wiiife” (channel your inner Borat).

He did not.

At this point we both decided that my Friday night eveningwear for Campus Dance should be one of the following:


The obvious choice being Cara Delevingne in that sassy football outfit. I would probably wear that regularly if I looked like her and had a wardrobe full of football apparel.

I decided to go, independent of where my face would take me on Friday morning. And by some miracle (maybe the Cosmos were listening), it healed just enough overnight for me to look like a version of my former self.

And wouldn’t you know that all of that stress and self-pity became pointless when I drank a little too much red wine at dinner and passed around the picture that I’d sent Rodney. “Two days ago!” I hollered to my friends at the other end of our steakhouse banquet table.

Not my finest hour. Or the most mature…About as mature as strapping bottles of Gin & Jack to my shins with medical tape to avoid detection at our reunion event.


But I think that’s what college reunions are for, am I right? To leave the kids at home, let your behavior regress a little, and slosh around the old stomping grounds with good friends?

This place brings back so many fond memories, one of the defining experiences in my life. A few images that I took from my visit back to campus….

The Van Wickle gates

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Living in New York has its sacrifices, namely indoor space and a backyard. Yes, I know, the world’s tiniest violin is playing for me right now…the horror, such noble sacrifice. But we do get a whole lot in return – including two of my favorite pastimes, food and art.

The Museum of Natural History and The MOMA are the museums we visit the most, but the Met is also great for kids. It’s across town from us, which is why we don’t visit as often. But when we do, we try to spend at least a few hours exploring. Here are a few pictures from our visit last month:



We always hit the Egyptian gallery first so that the kids have a chance to walk through ancient tombs. On the way out of the gallery, Sam thew me his best sourpuss face. There is nothing that strikes fear into the hearts of parents more than seeing sourpuss in the early stages of a museum visit. Thankfully he was making it because he wanted to hold the map, not because I was about to drag him through a collection of ancient artifacts. And at least the kids could both agree on one thing: our next stop would be the knights.



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Last week, we were invited to a friend’s birthday dinner, usually cause for celebration, but this time it resulted in a mild panic attack. While getting ready for the evening, I started to question what to wear, something that’s been happening with increasing frequency. Somehow, when I made the decision to leave my corporate job last year, I got sucked into the mom wardrobe vortex of cords, chunky sweaters and other items that can best be described as “comfortable”. Any sense of style was promptly diverted to the unused part of my brain that’s responsible for random childhood memories and bad first dates.

So these days, instead of embracing an evening out, I look through my closet, and think….“Will this outfit look good with these shoes?”


The answer of course being “no”. These heels were bought circa 2009 when gladiator sandals became the shoe of choice for people whom I will kindly refer to as “those who remove their clothes for a living.” Emma modeled them on Saturday morning to remind me that I’m no longer 25 with a questionable taste level. To the Salvation Army they went and I’m at least happy that the worst offending item in my closet is now deceased.

Arrest-worthy outfits aside, the dinner was fun. I sported a sizable headache on Saturday morning, my barometer of a good time. Rodney & I dusted off a family size bag of Thai chili-flavored potato chips for breakfast and hit the road, lake-bound, for what promised to be a beautiful weekend.

Warm weather meant a few firsts for the season…

First dinner outside on the deck….


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April is a special month, my husband and I share birthdays 10 days apart, and 10 days later we get to celebrate my dog Jackson’s birthday.

I’ll be honest, I know that a multibillion dollar pet industry sells treats, clothes, and raw/paleo food to our favorite companions, but I’m a bit stingy when it comes to pet gifts.

Because as much as he seems human, he does in fact eat frozen goose poop, which leads me to believe that these gifts would generally go unappreciated.

That being said, I do like to celebrate his birthday, and give him a better day than normal (normal meaning a long walk in the morning, unfettered access to my face for kisses and breakfast crumbs, and the ability to sit in my lap while I attempt to work).

Just like Kim & Kanye might opt for a lavish birthday weekend in place of a simple celebration on the day of, we likewise decided that several days of festivities would be more suitable for our furry friend.

We started our Saturday with a leisurely walk along the Hudson.


Lauren wanted me to take some pictures of her with Jack, I obliged. The problem was that ungluing him from my side was upsetting, and it was his birthday after all, so I let him do what made him feel comfortable. Which was howl at the moon and beg for an escape…


…and then pin me against the barrier for what I would imagine to be a pretty serious make out session. But as much as I love him, I can’t always give a brother what he wants.

Poor Jack had to settle for some companionship of the less frisky variety.


Even Sam and Lauren got caught up in the moment.


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A Sunday or two ago we faced a big wet blanket of a day. Soggy weather that alternated between pelting rain and damp cold. Not the kind of weather that makes you spring to your feet, sweep your arm around your troops and yell “let’s all get outside for some fresh air!”

But the flip side of an ugly day is something so wonderful, you might just wish for bad weather every weekend. What is this thing, you ask?

That would be leisure sports.

It’s a family specialty. So much so that my brother-in-law started and soon-after folded a side business selling Leisure Ball, a lawn game where you drink beer with one hand, and toss balls at a ladder-type contraption with the other.

With no lawn, no leisure ball, and of course, no balmy July weather, we were forced to consider our next option: bowling.

This was my husband’s idea of course, he being the one who took an actual bowling class in college. That counted for course credit. Yes, it’s a real school with Gothic architecture and the works. If you’re confused, join the club.

Before we could get moving, I was forced into my new role as chief executive hairstylist. Anyone recognize the Elsa braid? Elsa being the She nymph from the movie Frozen, sung by the beautiful Idina Menzel, aka Adele Dazim? Aha, bells are ringing!


Emma hopped on her scooter in 4-sizes-too-big cowboy boots, which made the absence of wipeouts some kind of modern day miracle.

Processed with VSCOcam with m2 preset

Speaking of footwear, can we talk about these shoes? When I’m sitting on Santa’s knee in December and he asks what the kids would like for Christmas, I may whisper “bowling shoes”.


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