A text, a smile
Stay a while
Books and food
In the mood
Around the bend
Feel the scend
A text, a smile
Stay a while
Books and food
In the mood
Around the bend
Feel the scend
Once there was an old lady
Who looked like my grandma maybe
She’d take a bite
Of children’s toes
And a nose
If it’s past your bedtime
And you hear a chime
It’s old Mrs. Creet
Looking for something to eat
Don’t let her catch you
Awake or she’ll chew
Your toes and maybe your nose
So hurry and doze
Off to deep sleep
And as you count sheep
Out will creep
Old Mrs. Creet
Happy Valentine’s Day
I wouldn’t have it any other way
Second holiday of the year
With our son, our newborn dear
Magical forest your dark hazel eyes
Who knew we’d have an angel in disguise
You’re his and mine
Our stars have aligned
So thankful I am for you
There’s nothing I won’t do
So eat and sleep, sweet love
There’s nothing I’m more proud of
For you have made this holiday
Surpassing a thousand bouquets
For those of you who plan on taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to shop for gifts, here are a few ideas to get you started:
(1) Aromatherapy–Pregnant or not, many people appreciate a soothing scent. Great for the office or home, male or female, this gift is perfect for just about anyone. Ideas include diffusers, candles, and/or soaps.
(2) Philanthropic Causes–Donate to a worthy cause in honor or memory of someone important in your life and/or help create awareness of a charity.
(3) Food–Food has always been my favorite things to receive as gifts. Whether it’s a hearty batch of soup, a dozen boxed cupcakes, and/or a basket of trail mix, food is a sure crowd pleaser.
(5) Activities–Recent studies show that money can buy happiness: it’s better to spend money on experiences instead of things. Ideas include a cooking class, gym and/or workout class, art class, museum exhibit and/or event, etc.
(6) Cold Weather Accessories–Many people I know (including myself) tend to lose gloves, ear muffs, and/or scarves every winter so it helps to have an extra set just in case. Ideas include ear muffs, scarves, gloves, and/or hats.
It occurred to me last night that I should come up with a list of pregnancy must-haves to help those who might need some (fashion and beauty) tips. Of course, every pregnancy (and woman) is different so bear in mind that these are things that have helped me through the third trimester (to get the best deals and selection, start shopping as soon as you start trying to get pregnant; but keep all tags/receipts until after you get pregnant):
(1) Maternity clothes and shoes. No need to go crazy here–just a few pieces to put into rotation are fine. Suggestions include a couple pairs of leggings (great for every day and for all seasons), two to three wrap dresses (easy to wear and, again, for all seasons), hosiery (for fall and winter months), cocktail dress (nothing too fancy–just something to wear for more formal occasions [i.e., weddings, holiday parties, etc.]), rain jacket/windbreaker, winter coat (for fall and winter months), nursing tanks/camisoles (again, great for every day and for all seasons), and comfortable shoes (Nordstrom.com has an excellent selection of wide sizes).
(2) Maternity underwear. Bras (go without saying) are definite must-haves. If you don’t want to stretch out your pre-pregnancy underwear, get maternity panties ASAP (you’ll need them before you realize you do).
(3) New skincare routine. Since the first trimester, my skin has gone into overdrive in terms of oil-production. It’s high school all over, again. Whether your skin is changing for the better or worse (oilier or drier), it’s time to re-evaluate and change your skincare routine. Basics include a cleanser fit for your skin type NOW (versus pre-pregnancy), toner, moisturizer (if you need it), and SPF protection. My favorites include Dr. Weil’s Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cleanser, Christian Dior’s Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract, La Mer Moisturizing Cream (yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way; there’s something about that sea kelp formula that WORKS), and Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 (great for all seasons–if you have dry skin, you can use moisturizer underneath). Also, your nails will likely grow quite fast so keep a good set of nail clippers on hand.
(4) Prenatal Vitamins. This one is self-explanatory. Of course, use per your doctor’s instructions/directions. Same goes for your diet.
(5) Aromatherapy. Have a scent and/or scents on hand to relax you (especially if you’re prone to pregnancy blues, anxiety, and/or depression). Whether it’s candles, perfume, lotion, soaps, and/or shampoo, it’s nice to have something that smells pleasant around you. My favorites include Origins Smoothing Souffle (body cream that smells like mint), pine cones, and Nature’s Own Essence Peppermint Essential Oil.
(6) The book, What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway). Even if you already have other baby books, this is a great resource that offers some interesting perspectives.
(7) Simple and/or streamlined makeup routine. Even though I’m less of a makeup fiend than I was during pre-pregnancy, it still helps to have a set of go-to items for days when I want to glam it up a bit (but not take two hours to get ready). The three main areas that need coverage are face, eyes, and lips. Basics include a foundation, mascara or false lashes, and lipstick or gloss. If you’re blessed with flawless skin, all you need on your face (in place of foundation and/or powder) is a good SPF (and maybe moisturizer). My favorites include Christian Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation (pricey but a little goes a long way; wear a shower cap and apply with your fingers to get the most natural look; great if you want an air brushed and I-just-walked-out-of-a-magazine look [with every little effort]), Ardell’s Natural Lashes (Demi Wispies), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (favorite colors are Caviar, Espresso, and Ivy Shimmer), Estee Lauder’s Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, and Christian Dior’s lipstick and fluid stick (CD’s selection of color is amazing; this stuff glides on and has a subtle shimmer; there’s something for everyone). If you need makeup brushes, nothing compares to Chanel’s brush line. Nothing.
(8) Jewelry and/or accessories. At a time when you’re feeling nostalgic for your pre-pregnancy clothes (and shoes), I find that there’s nothing that some makeup, nail polish, and/or jewelry can’t fix (and, cake, too–but that’s another topic). A simple but eye-catching piece of jewelry can do wonders for your outfit (and your mood). If you’re shopping for jewelry, try to look for something that you would consider passing down to your child and/or children. This makes wearing (and buying) jewelry all the more meaningful (not to mention fashionable).
Half the Sky is a book (and now documentary) by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that explores the some of the biggest atrocities of our time (sex trafficking, gender violence, etc.). The documentary is available on Netflix and I highly recommend that everyone watch it (makes it a great Friday night movie). Violent crimes against women and children have always brought out a visceral reaction within me and the book and the documentary do a good job at not only creating awareness of these issues but also highlighting ways that we can help the situation.
Bottom line: the book and documentary are a must-read and a must-see!
I love running errands in the morning. And, now that fall is finally here, I love it even more. There’s a sense of renewal, nostalgia, anticipation, and reflection in the air. Fall has always been my favorite season.
We’ve been traveling for the past couple weeks. We went back to San Francisco to unwind and then to Portland for a wedding. It was our first time in Portland and, yes, it is a bit like Portlandia. If I were to describe the city to someone who’s never been there, I’d describe it as a very clean city for the wash-and-go set that has a fantastic public transportation system. The uniform of choice of many there is cargo shorts or jeans, tanks, and T-shirts (all with no makeup). In other words, you can roll right out of bed, head out, and you’d blend right in with the crowd. There’s a Nordstrom (which meets my minimum requirements for a “real” metropolitan area–there are exceptions such as New York City) but no Saks or Neiman’s. Although Portland isn’t exactly my kind of town, I fell in love with its public transportation system, TRIMET. It’s a tram or above-ground electric train system. A hybrid between a city metro bus and subway (but so much cleaner [not a whiff of exhaust fumes] and smoother [didn’t get motion sickness even once]). Every major city should have a tram system like TRIMET (it is worth every tax payer dollar).
As for the wedding, it was beautiful. My first Sri Lankan wedding. It was full of traditional customs, colorful grandeur, and rich culture. Perhaps I’ll wear a sari for my and D’s renewal of vows in a couple decades :).
In other news, I recently joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Horror Writers Association. Are there many (successful) writers out there who write in two (or more) genres? Many of you know that I have such a blast writing thriller and horror works. As for the children’s stories, it’s still fun but it’s more to leave a legacy for my son (and, fingers crossed, subsequent children). The children’s book is still in the works and the scary stories are still on the way. And, as I head into the third trimester of my pregnancy, I will likely be doing even more writing. So stay tuned!