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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass


Author: toni

~ 06/29/11

I feel guilty.

Yeah, I know it’s nothing new. After all, my whole website is based on guilt. Working mom guilt. Tired mom guilt. Cranky mom guilt. As mommies, we are world-class guilt feelers. And at the moment I’m steeped in it. Why? No, I didn’t get tied up in traffic and miss my kid’s piano recital. Or forget to slather her in sunscreen for her field day at school resulting in a spray of freckles beneath her right eye in the shape of the Big Dipper. (although I HAVE been guilty of that one).

I cheated on my hairdresser. (Sorry Patrice). Well, I didn’t exactly cheat. I mean, I didn’t pay someone else to touch my hair. I didn’t even let them touch it for free. But I did have a meet and greet with someone who touches hair for living. A celebrity stylist in fact! His name is NICK ARROJO. And I’m now going to write about it on my website.

MAMMAKAZE got invited last week to a VIP event at a hair salon called RITUALS. I know, cool huh?

It’s one of those high-end, fancy places where they use razors instead of scissors to cut your hair. And then your head ends up looking like a work of art… or January Jones during one of her “walks of shame”. How does her hair look so fabulous after her wild nights? Does she have a stylist on call who tracks her via lojack (because you know Jan has no clue where she is in the morning)  who comes rushing over to floof her for the paparrazi who are waiting by her car that’s parked caterwonky on someone’s lawn? Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s the result of a razor cut and fine hair care products.

Speaking of FINE HAIR PRODUCTS. That’s why I was invited to Rituals. The salon has gotten into bed (figuratively, not literally as is January’s M.O.) with celebrity stylist NICK ARROJO – he of WHAT NOT TO WEAR fame (click HERE to read all about him).

Nick was touting his line of haircare products, which will be carried at Rituals and other such fine salons around the country.

A group of us bloggers got to sit and chat with him about his hair care line while noshing on lovely finger foods. He gave us his background – which was quite impressive – and I asked what I felt was the most important question of the evening.

“What would you do with my hair?”

No I’m kidding. Everyone asks him that and I didn’t want to be one of those hair groupies. Besides, I was way overdue for my hair appointment and so I was afraid of the answer. I’m nothing if not fragile when it comes to criticism – real or perceived.

No, the question I asked was this:

In a world of hair care products and recessions and moms on budgets who have to be careful how they spend their money – why should they buy YOUR products?

To which he replied (and I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t have one of those fancy recording devices that true reporters carry and I don’t know how to use the memo function on my phone):

According to him, most  high quality hair care products will do a good job with your hair. The differences are in the ingredients and the price. His products:

1) DO THE JOB

2) have organic ingredients and are sulfate and sodium-chloride free (which Patrice tells me is pretty amazing for quality haircare products)

3) Smell FABU – it’s the Verbena.

4) Are NOT tested on animals and…

wait for it, wait for it…

5) Are priced between $12 and $18 – whereas other high-end products are $25-$35.

 

I gotta say, 5 very good reasons to use his products.

And as a mom who aspires to “greenness” and “chemical-free”, I was especially impressed with his standards. I mean, the guy refused to jump on the Brazilian Blowout bandwagon because he knew the formaldehyde was unhealthy for his clients and his stylists who would be exposed to it all day. At $200 a pop, he passed up some big $$$$$.

Forget six-pack abs. Being socially and health conscious are the new SEXY! Me likey!

At this moment, my complimentary Arrojo products are being tested by a non-biased MAMMAKAZE. One who didn’t benefit in the form of fancy finger foods and signature vodka drinks.  I’ll keep you posted – although I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be great.

Meanwhile, to purchase his products online (so you can have fabulous “walk of shame” hair without the shame) click HERE

THANKS MY MAMMAKAZES!

 

NOTE: Coming soon, a link to a fabulous skin care product created by a fellow mom blogger who uses her ad budget to support an orphanage in Africa and a website where your kids can ask tough childhood questions… to a dog!

 

 

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Author: toni

~ 06/16/11

 

Our lives have changed a lot since we discovered Julia has a sensitivity to gluten and refined sugars. Most notably are the multiple weekly trips we take to Whole Foods. It’s one of the only places we can get the food she can eat.

I’d never been there much. I was always a Trader Joe’s gal because it’s cheaper and I found the extra two mile drive to Whole Foods to be pretty daunting. And all those Priuses! Jeez! Yes, I know I drive one. But I don’t buzz around acting like I’m single-handedly saving the planet. I mean, I still haven’t totally figured out the recycling codes on the bottom of those plastic containers. And can’t for the life of me remember if construction paper and milk cartons go into the green trash can.  And anyone who tells you they have it figured out is LYING!

Anyway, I ran across this video. It’s really true. Especially the part about the lady in yoga pants. It’s a required uniform for perusing the gluten-free aisle. Which is why I get dirty looks. I don’t have yoga pants because I don’t have a yoga butt to go in them. But that’s a different post.

Enjoy this music video. Heads up though. If you don’t know what Quinoa is, you might not get it.

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Author: toni

~ 03/04/11

Of all people, Randy the perfekt husband shared the link to this video with me. He knows how I feel about that show TODDLERS AND TIARAS which showcases the world of child pageants where these moms dress their preschool daughters up like tarty dolls and parade them on stage in front of people in desperate attempts to get attention for themselves.

Judgemental much, you ask? Yep. When it comes to the exploitation of kids. Yes, I am.

Anyway. Tom Hanks did a spoof of this show when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel. You may have already seen it as, as usual, I am the last to know.

Enjoy. Or be disgusted. It kind of evokes both emotions.

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Author: toni

~ 02/18/11

Those of you who follow MAMMAKAZE read all about the over-the-top Harry Potter party I threw for my kid’s 8th birthday last year.

Well, not to be outdone by myself, we followed that extravaganza with a Pirates of the Caribbean party for her 9th Birthday this year. And while Pirates don’t hold the same charm for me as kid wizards, I still (with the help of MAMMAKAZES Jennie, Angelica, Zadrina and Gloria) put my heart and soul into turning our garage into a pirates’ lair worthy of any Disney imagineer (on a mommy budget that is).

Though some of the pictures are brightly lit, imagine the whole party in low light, which is how it actually was!

ARRGH! JULIA, TONI & RANDY THE PERFEKT HUSBAND

 

SETTING THE MOOD WITH A PIRATE TABLE FULL OF JEWELS, COINS, GOBLETS & OTHER ILL-GOTTEN ITEMS

 

SKULLS, RATS, GOBLETS, COINS & JEWELS, OH MY!

 

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

 

OL’ UNLUCKY LUKE IN THE PIRATE QUEEN’S CHAIR. HE’S HOLDING THE BASKET OF PIRATE SKULL NECKLACES (EACH MATEY GOT ON INITIATION) & A BASKET OF PIRATE INSULTS FOR THE PIRATE INSULT GAME!

 

ALAS, POOR YORICK! OH WAIT. WRONG TALE… 

 

EACH TABLE REPRESENTED A DIFFERENT SHIP:

DAUNTLESS, INTERCEPTOR, FLYING DUTCHMAN &  BLACK PEARL

 

TABLE SETTINGS: OLD NETTING, BATTERY-OPERATED CANDLES, COMPASSES, COINS, JEWELS, RATS & MAPS

 

PLACEMATS. I DOWNLOADED A PIRATE MAP, PERSONALIZED IT WITH THINGS LIKE “TESORO DE JULIA” & BURNED THE EDGES TO MAKE IT LOOK AUTHENTIC. YEP, MY HOUSE SMELLED LIKE  A FIREPLACE FOR DAYS!

 

THE PIRATE QUEEN & HER BOOTY. PROPS COURTESY OF AL & ZADRINA!

 

THE CAKE. I DOWNLOADED THE PICTURE FROM ONLINE. ADDED THE WORDS IN PIRATE FONT. EMAILED IT TO A CAKE PLACE FOR THE CAKE ART. AND HAD COSTCO PUT IT ON TOP OF ONE OF THEIR CAKES! A BARGAIN!

 

 

MATEYS! Thanks for getting into the spirit of the party Wayne, Cheri, Cathy, Claire & John! (Jennie too but I have no pic of her!)

 

COMING SOON. A STEP-BY-STEP ON HOW TO THROW YOUR OWN PIRATE PARTY!

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Author: toni

~ 02/04/11

 

What is it with kids and their infinite ability to annoy their parents? Why do they do it? Is it learned behavior? Are they hard-wired? Is it part of nature’s evolutionary drive to prepare parents for the eventual empty nest? You know, so that we feel relief rather than grief when they finally leave home?

Whatever the reasons. It’s FREAKING ANNOYING!

Just today Julia – who is rapidly approaching age 9 which seems to have kicked her annoyance creativity into high gear – was repeatedly rubbing the flat side of an emery board against a blank 3×5 notecard!

How she came to be in possession of these two seemingly disparate and unrelated items is a mystery. What compelled her to continually rub that card with the board resulting in one of the most  irritating sounds since fingernails on a chalkboard or metal pans scraping together  – is also a mystery. The end result, my heightening irritability – was a foregone conclusion.

And it’s not just this. It’s a series of things. Why, just last week I was made to repeatedly listen for the almost imperceptible squeak of air exiting her tear duct as she held her nose and blew.

Again and again she wanted me to hear it. Not because she was proud of it or fascinated at discovering new things her body could do…. No. I’m convinced it was simply to annoy me.

A few weeks back it was the DORKY FACE. This was where she would contort her face into a really dweeby expression and do a thumbs up gesture. Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal. I mean, it’s a free country. Look like a dork to your heart’s desire. It’s what the founding fathers intended. HOWEVER….  

 How many times I had to LOOK MOM LOOK! I can’t even tell you. But if I had a nickel for every time. Well, I’m sure I could have purchased a $20 Starbucks card…minimum.

Yes, I tried the “your face will freeze like that.” I’m not opposed to lying in dire situations. Like when irritating behavior (hers) meets hormonal fluctuations (mine) in what could potentially be a China Syndrome situation. But she’s too smart for that. She would only smile and do the dork. AGAIN! Thumbs up for the try, mom!

Sometimes the torture takes the form of Britney Spears. Yeah, I know. Horrifying, huh? But it gets worse. Julia actually shrieks the words to “Toxic” at the highest range of her vocal chords while I’m drying her hair. To make matters worse, this usually occurs around 8 pm after 12 hours of cumulative small annoyances. As you can imagine my tolerance by then has worn thin… very thin.

Am I a bad mom because I  don’t find absolutely everything my child does to be delightful and worthy of kudos? Am I a bad mom that sometimes I want to yell at the top of my lungs STOP IT! YOU’RE DRIVING ME FREAKING INSANE!

I don’t do it. Know why? Because I remember that in college I was famous for a little thing called THE SAILOR CHICKEN FACE. So famous in fact that I almost did it on live TV once… But I begged out.

And when I look at my kid, contorting the left side of her mouth so that it almost touches her ear, sticking out her tongue in an attempt to reach her nose, crossing her eyes in opposite directions while making a sort of  “bastard child of a thousand maniacs” sound — ALL AT THE SAME TIME… I remember, I was like that too. And it didn’t stop until I was WAAAAY past legal drinking age. In fact, I think it got worse around that time.

So maybe she’s doing it to annoy me. Or maybe it’s genetic. From her mamma. Like her astygmatic brown eyes and her love of carbs. And well, I can’t blame her for being who she is… can I? Then I WOULD BE a bad mom.

 

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Author: toni

~ 02/03/11

 

A friend called me the other night. She was crying. She had just heard that another friend of hers was in the final days of his cancer battle. She said she wasn’t sure why she had called me. I had never even met her friend. Still, she said, she just wanted to hear my voice. Then she said she was sorry she called and bugged me.

To this I say… Friendship means never having to say you’re sorry. 

 

Yeah. I know  the REAL saying is “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. But to me, friendship and love are the same.

There are few things in life that can’t be made better simply by the sound of a good friend’s voice. It’s not a cure-all. But it’s a balm. A salve for an aching soul.

Unlike family, we CHOOSE our friends. And if we choose carefully, these relationships can really help us traverse the rocky road of life. And as we all know, it can get pretty rocky at times.

My friends have helped me through some of the bigger bumps. Heck, in some cases they have held my hand as I crossed a tightrope over a bottomless crevasse. All the while encouraging me to not look down. To keep my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when that light was nothing but a pin dot.

They’ve been with me through good times too. That’s the easy part. Okay, maybe it’s not always so easy, like the times when I force ask my friends to karaoke on my birthday. But that’s just once a year. I’d do it for you!

The true test of friendship is when the difficult times come. Not everyone can handle those. Not everyone is true friend material. 

I hope that I am a true friend to my friends. I try to be. I try to give as good as I get. 

And offering up some soothing words or just listening is the least I can do. 

So NEVER apologize for taking my time in your time of need. Know why? Because…

Friendship (and by that I mean LOVE) means never having to say your sorry.

It DOES, however, mean that you will occasionally have to karaoke.

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