Our Christmas Letter Is Better than Yours 2, Electric Boogaloo

clife thu Rockettes 1118_1165.JPGBefore I sit down to shop online for cheap, plastic items for Biggie’s birthday goodie bags then address 1,000 holiday cards, I thought I’d repost a piece from last year and provide a photo of my close, personal friends The Rockettes for your entertainment. Thank you so much for not mutinying against me for the stale content! I promise, when my brain returns to working condition, I’ll be all over that writing shit. xoxo

http://mommyennui.com/2013/12/23/our-christmas-letter-is-better-than-yours/

I Have Decision Fatigue! What Should I Wear?

carolina_herreraI recently read an article about successful people who have chosen to wear the same thing every day in order to avoid a psychological condition called “decision fatigue.” Decision fatigue refers to the declining quality of the decisions a person makes after a long session of decision-making. As you can imagine, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes thousands of decisions daily, virtually all of which are more important than choosing his or her outfit du jour. Why not take that one decision off the table permanently?

Developing and sticking with a personal uniform is a compelling idea even for non-CEOs. Imagine the time you’d save if you no longer had to decide what to wear every morning, let alone shop for each item of a typical wardrobe. However, the author of the article cites not one woman among his examples of highly successful people who have chosen personal uniforms.

I, myself, have a personal stay-at-home-mom uniform consisting of a faded Everlane v-neck t-shirt, Hudson skinny jeans and Vans leather slip-ons (because I also can’t be bothered to tie my shoes). Unfortunately, I don’t think my current level of success quite measures up to that of Steve Jobs or Karl Lagerfeld.

I can think of only a handful of extremely accomplished women who have perfected a “look” they return to time and again. Carolina Herrera is known for her crisp, white button-down shirts and you’ll rarely see Fran Lebowitz deviate from her menswear navy-suit-and-white-shirt uniform. However, I can’t think of one successful woman outside of the creative fields who wears the same thing every day.

What do you think? Do you wish you could avoid wardrobe decision-making every morning? Could you see yourself wearing a personal uniform? If so, what would it be? Do you think a female CEO could get away with wearing a t-shirt, black hoodie and jeans å la Mark Zuckerberg to the office every day? How about the same navy or gray suit like decision fatigued Barack Obama? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday Favorites: Polar Vortex Edition

Welcome to Friday Favorites, the Polar Vortex edition! I never imagined I’d be writing about the damn Polar Vortex in mid-November, but alas, here we are. So here, dear reader, are a few items to help you get through the fall-turned-dead-of-winter this year:

sweatshirtThug Life Shirts ‘I Am Freaking Cold’ sweatshirt
This sweatshirt is high on my Christmas wish list. I figure it will save me tons of time since I won’t have to spend every day of the next few months whining about how freaking cold I am!

hot_cinn_spice_tea

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea
There are many winter days when the promise of a cup of Harney & Sons’ Hot Cinnamon Spice tea is the only thing that will pry me out of my warm bed in the morning. Hot Cinnamon Spice is a blend of black tea, cinnamon bark and other spices, and orange peel. It’s so naturally sweet, it’s hard to believe there’s no sugar in it. Harney & Sons supplies tea to Caribou Coffee, so you can also find it packaged under the Caribou label.

navy_leather_Uggs

Ugg Australia – Women’s Classic Short Leather in Peacoat
Maybe it’s the former Californian in me talking, but I will give up my Uggs when someone pries them off my cold, dead feet! I don’t care if they’re uncool and I don’t care if they’re ugly. They’re just so damn cozy! My only qualm about Uggs has always been that the suede ones aren’t waterproof…not so much a problem in LA, but definitely an issue just about anywhere else in the winter. That’s why I’m giddy with excitement over this waterproof leather version. The “Peacoat” and “Oxblood” colors are particularly lovely. And, just in case anyone out there is looking for the perfect holiday gift for me, I wear a size 8.

enviro-logEnviro-Log Fire Logs
I love Enviro-Logs. They’re made from 100% waxed cardboard and burn cleaner than firewood. (They emit 30% less greenhouse gases, 80% less carbon monoxide and 86% less creosote.) Enviro-Logs light easily and the 5 lb. firelogs burn for about 3 hours. I usually buy cases of Enviro-Logs at Whole Foods, but they’re now available on Amazon and ship for free using Amazon Prime.

turquoise_hootyHooty Microwaveable Plush Owl
Hooty is one of Biggie’s and Smalls’s favorite things. This little guy is stuffed with millet grains and dried lavender and can be warmed up in the microwave or chilled in the freezer. We’ve never tried chilling it, but we warm up the girls’ owls every night before bed in the winter. Hooty is super soft, smells wonderful and stays warm for about 20 – 25 minutes. We warm our Hooties for about a minute and a half because they tend to get a little “sweaty” if warmed much more than that. (OK, that just sounded all kinds of wrong!)

20 Benefits to Catching a Stomach Virus from Your Kids

V0010485 A young Viennese woman, aged 23, depicted before and after

Things have been a little rough here at MommyEnnui headquarters since Halloween turned into a horror story. The girls were adorable in their costumes and both were in high spirits, until Smalls started complaining of a tummy ache. Being closely attuned to my child’s needs, I first suggested she lay off the candy for a while. When her stomach ache worsened, I assumed she had to poop. Smalls denied it, but the child has been known to stare me straight in the face and lie about having gone to the bathroom with pee running down her leg.

It wasn’t until she started vomiting all over the place that Ad Man and I realized we had more than a little Halloween candy-induced tummy ache on our hands. Ad Man took barf-clean-up-duty while I bathed Smalls and began a long night on bucket duty. A few days later, when Smalls was finally back to school and feeling better, Biggie came home complaining of a stomach ache, but insisted it was from reading on the bus. Oh, how I wanted to believe her!

Not surprisingly, Ad Man and I have been the most recent victims of the virus. When I woke up this morning to a migraine brought on by dehydration and caffeine withdrawal, instead of wallowing in misery for the fourth straight day, I challenged myself to come up with some benefits to having a stomach virus. Yep, I’m going to glass-half-full the shit out of this nasty bug! So, here is your list of 20 benefits to catching a stomach virus from your kids. You might want to keep this list handy. I hear it’s going around.

1.  Fewer dirty dishes

2.  Your boyfriend jeans fit like sweatpants again

3.  Good excuse to drink Gatorade instead of green smoothies

4.  No more stealing the kids’ Halloween candy

5.  Newfound appreciation for plain bagels

6.  Teaches the dog to entertain her own damn self

7.  Alcohol intake gets dialed back to zero

8.  Things that haven’t been cleaned in a while get scrubbed to a shine

9.  No judgment for wearing the same pajamas for days on end

10.  Perfect time to binge-watch a new show

11.  Teaches your children to forage for meals

12.  Lessens your attachment to material things, like white flokati rugs

13.  Running a fever makes you track down sweaters and flannel sheets before the end            of February

14.  Kick-starts your pre-holiday cleanse

15.  Housekeeping standards are significantly lowered

16.  Strengthens your resolve to never be pregnant again

17.  Your life of routine and monotony gains a renewed sense of the unexpected

18.  Can’t feel guilty for not going to work or volunteering. You are not wanted there.

19.  Gives you a chance to try out that new no-shampooing trend

20.  You get to go to the bathroom alone again!

Checking In

Hello, my lovely readers! I just wanted to take a minute to check in and let you know that my posting is going to be a little spotty for a while. Alas, life gets in the way. Needy children, a needy puppy and a husband who has been working late most nights are requiring me to put MommyEnnui on the back burner.

I’d also like to take some time to try my hand at writing a few pieces for publication elsewhere. Unfortunately, magazines and other websites often accept only work that has not previously been published, even on a personal blog. So my plan to kill two birds with one stone by submitting pieces I’ve written for the blog isn’t working out as I had hoped.

I promise I’m not disappearing though. I’ll continue to post here and on the MommyEnnui Facebook page. If you’re not following on Facebook, please do. I occasionally post short pieces and things I find on the web that I think you’ll find interesting or funny only on the FB page so the MommyEnnui blog doesn’t get too cluttered.

To thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin, I’ve dug up some WTF Halloween costumes from the internets just for you. It is WTF Wednesday after all!

preg-fairy

I know, I’ll be Tinkerbell. No, wait! Pregnant Tinkerbell…that’s even better!

ham

In case you couldn’t tell.

yellow_guy

Is there a pun here that I’m not getting? A reference to a movie I never saw?

sexy_bert_ernie

Sexy Bert and Ernie, of course.

werewolf_and_cat

Someone call PETA, immediately!

apple

Sweet Jesus…no!!!

unicorn_with_baby

Unicorns prefer classic, camel jackets, and eating babies.

bloody_preg_baby

Um, this CAN’T be good luck.

creepy_bunny

Yes, this appears to be an Easter costume, but if there was ever a photo that belongs on my blog, this is the one.

WTF Wednesday

Well, my feelings of health and well-being were short-lived. I now have a miserable cold. I also have a husband who’s worked late every day this week and two daughters who have been, shall we say, challenging. So, this WTF Wednesday, I’m going to let the photos do the most of the talking.

I’ve been saving these inexplicable celebrity photos in MommyEnnui’s “Random Awesomeness” Pinterest file for an occasion such as this. Celebrities…they’re just like us, only infinitely more strange!

keanu_on_the_rocks

“Bartender, I’ll have an ‘Introspective Keanu’ on the rocks.”

arnold_and_friend

Arnold’s manager clearly misunderstood when he was instructed to bring “a beautiful doll who won’t talk back” to the bodybuilder’s dressing room.

leo_and_daniel

Not sure what’s going on here, but I think it’s clear that Leo, Daniel and the animal actors nailed the choreography!

ziggy_terrorizing_children

Iggy terrorizing a couple young glam rockers

glenn_and_sweaterboy

Glenn and Woody looked in their closets and thought, “Hmmm…what outfit will best express that I’m creative and stylish, yet likeable?”

nimoy_xmas_sweater

And, this is photo of Leonard Nimoy in a Bigfoot Christmas sweater is why I have mad, phat love for the internet.

Back and Forth: A Tale of My Spine Told Through Photos (Blatantly Stolen from the Internet)

As you may know, I’m just emerging from a week away from the computer during which I took a complete break from writing. After months of dealing with worsening back and neck pain, enough was enough. In an effort to heal my gnarled spine, I had to do something drastic. How did I get to be such a pathetic physical specimen? Easy. I spent far too many hours doing this…

hunched-posture-computer

Which left me feeling very much like this…

old_lady_hunch

So, I set aside the computer and spent some quality time with my chiropractor who tried just about everything to get me back in line, including some of this…

brunette_woman_adjustment

…and a little of this…

huey_lewis_chiro

…except that my chiropractor doesn’t look like Huey Lewis. In fact, mine is actually the perfect blend of this…

Concentrated male doctor looking at x-ray picture of spine in th

…and this…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And when I say he tried everything, I mean everything. Neither the tiny pogo stick…

chiro_pogo_stick

…nor the laser gun seemed to do the trick. I left the office feeling defeated.

chiro_jackhammer

The next morning though, I awoke feeling quite a bit better. And, after a blissful afternoon of this…

blonde_woman_massage

I felt like this…

flying_baby_pool Hopefully, that wonderful feeling will remain after I return to doing this…

bikram_yoga

I won’t hold my breath that I’ll be able to do this though…

woman_ponytail_yoga

And, let’s be honest, in hot yoga I actually look more like this…

makeup_after_yoga

Now, I can finally get back to doing this…

woman-writing

…and all is right with the world.

R & R

birdie_5_months_1014Dear readers, I’m a mess. I know it goes without saying that the inside of my head is an untidy place, but this time I mean I’m physically falling apart. My neck and back are tweaked and I haven’t been to yoga in longer than I’d like to admit. I have a hunch (get it…hunch?) that much of my problem derives from being bent over a computer all day. Well, actually, it’s more than a hunch seeing that both my chiropractor and acupuncturist have pointed to my far-from-perfect posture at the computer as one of the main culprits causing my back issues.

Another major culprit is the furball pictured above. Miss Birdie has quickly gone from cute, little puppy to big, strong puppy with places to go and people to see. I take her for a couple walks a day, so that’s a lot of being yanked along by a leash. Me, that is, not Birdie. She has a magical new harness that has lessened the pulling significantly, but I still bear the wounds of her less civilized days.

This is a very long way of saying I’ve decided to take a leave of absence for a week to rest and rehab my aching back. When I’m done writing this post, I will tuck my computer away in a safe place, (or better yet, have Ad Man hide it from me) and not pick it up again for seven whole days. Instead of spending hours every day draped over a glowing screen, I will check in with my chiropractor, actually use the massage gift certificate Ad Man and the girls gave me for Mother’s Day, and drag my sorry ass to yoga. If I really, really need to check email or Facebook, I will do so on the tiny, uninviting screen of my iPhone.

So, ta-ta for now, my friends! I shall return in a week a changed woman, or at least one less dependent on anti-inflammatories and heated neck pillows.

Friday Favorites

Party Down 2009 Key art

Party Down, Starz Network Original
Party Down, a half-hour comedy series that ran on Starz network from 2009-2010, is the funniest damn show you’ve never seen. Sadly, though it was a favorite of television critics, Starz cancelled the show after only two seasons due to low ratings. The series features an oddball group of aspiring actors and screenwriters in Los Angeles who work as catering waiters to pay the bills. The cast reads like a “who’s who” of some of the best comedic actors working today. It includes, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Lizzy Caplan and Megan Mullally along with an assemblage of amazing guest stars. It is laugh-until-you-cry funny. And, lucky you, Party Down is streaming on Netflix.

L'Occitane_shower_oil

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil is heavenly! Like so many of L’Occitane’s products, this stuff smells divine and the light, almond scent stays with you all day. It’s darn near magical as well. When you pour out Almond Shower Oil, it has the consistency of a thick body oil, but mix it with water and rub your hands together, and it transforms into a foamy body wash. Amazing, I tell you! It moisturizes like an oil, but doesn’t leave you feeling slimy. This shower oil is the absolute best thing for keeping your skin from getting dry and flakey in the dry winter air, so stock up now.

Vidalia_Chop_Wizard

Vidalia Chop Wizard
OK, I’m not one who falls for “As Seen on TV” gadgets and I probably would have pooh-poohed this one if a friend hadn’t recommended it to me. I love my Chop Wizard! As the name indicates, It’s wonderful for dicing onions quickly and easily, but you can really use it to chop virtually any vegetable or firm fruit. You should see how fast I can whip up a batch of veggie chili using this baby! I like to chop up a couple onions all at once and then freeze them in separate zip-lock freezer bags. That way, I always have diced onions ready when I’m trying to throw together a quick meal on a weeknight. The Chop Wizard can be thrown in the dishwasher and all the parts pack up together for storage. Good lord, have I officially turned into a housewife, or what?

BedtimeMath

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck
I never thought I’d see two children fighting over who gets a book of math problems next, but Biggie and Smalls both love Bedtime Math (and will argue about any damn thing, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised). Biggie is an avid reader with simply no time for math. The sight of a math worksheet is enough to throw her into an instant homework tizzy. Smalls, on the other hand, adores math and could do word problems all day long. Amazingly, I found this series of books that’s perfect for both girls. The problems in Bedtime Math are humorous and the illustrations are fun and colorful. Also, each “story” is followed by three different levels of problems, so the books work well for a range of ages.

jeni's_ice_ceam_9

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
I consider myself a bit of an ice cream aficionado. Hell, the amount of it I ate during my two pregnancies alone gives me the right to judge. And, in my humble opinion, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are the absolute best. They’re insanely creamy and chock full of the world’s freshest, yummiest ingredients. (Sorry…I’m prone to hyperbole when it comes to Jeni’s ice cream.) Jeni’s has some amazing year-round flavors like my two favorites: Salty Caramel and Brown Butter Almond Brittle. Jeni (yes, there is a real, live Jeni) also does a range of seasonal flavors that you sure as heck won’t find in your usual grocery store freezer section. The recent “Late Summer Harvest Collection” included Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk, Backyard Mint, Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam, and Sweet Corn and Black Raspberries. I mean, come on! Jeni’s, which is based in Columbus, OH, has opened a handful of “Scoop Shops” in the US, but can also be found in gourmet stores and ordered online from Jeni’s website.

It’s ‘WTF Wednesday!’

It’s another new MommyEnnui weekly feature! On WTF Wednesdays, I will present to you a random assortment of things that make you say, “What the f**k?!” Today, we cover ridiculous vintage paperbacks. Next week, it could be something mind-blowing from nature, an asinine quote by Sarah Palin, or a review of a shockingly bad sitcom that somehow made it onto network television. The possibilities are endless.

** Click on any paperback below to launch a slideshow with larger images.