The UN-Holiday Gift Guide

Instead of coming up with a list of the latest must-have gifts, I thought I’d approach gift-giving in retrospect, with my UN-Holiday Gift Guide. These are the things that I love and use daily, and honestly don’t think I could have gotten through the year without them!

Of course, I fumbled with a few slideshow formats (how does Babble DO that??) and finally gave up and put it in my Amazon Store. Might as well, as you can buy just about anything there, including OBGYN supplies. Truth.

There were a few things I COULDN’T find on Amazon, so I’m listing them here. They make my life worth living. Good example: I couldn’t get Guy on Amazon. Perspective.


 And now, the things I couldn’t find on

  1. Lo & Sons bags. I am almost afraid to look, because they may not be making the bags I have anymore. Especially because I got the second one for a steal as they were getting rid of the old line. I cannot say enough about how well constructed, pocket-thoughtful, and useful these bags are. I use The TT computer bag as a purse, and if I have to travel, I use The O.G. I especially love that it has a zippered slot for a pair of shoes so they don’t touch your clothing. Genius. OMG I just looked and they have added all sorts of new bags, including one called The OMG. OMG!
  2. Marie Antoinette cotton nightgown. You heard me. Order in white. Your man will not be able to sit still around you.
  3. Gap underwear. Yummy , comfortable, sexy, and they last. LOVE. Order one cup size down, fyi.
  4. Big Pharma (price and mileage may vary). Self-explanatory.
  5. Malibu Beach RV Park Hoodie & tShirts. My kids each brought me back something from the RV Park when they went to Disneyland with Dad. I love them.
  6. Warby Parker Eyeglasses (frames and lenses included for $95, plus they donate a pair to someone in need for each pair you buy. I have four.
  7. Epiphanie camera bag. I have the Clover in pink, and while pricy, they are a perfect solution for those who want a camera bag that will keep everything compartmentalized and SAFE, while looking like anything other than a camera bag. Just ask Karen Walrond.
  8. Camera straps. I can’t find where I got mine, but I’m a braces and belt kind of girl. I use both the wrist strap and the shoulder strap, and the kids know they’d better be well and truly strapped in if they want to touch my camera. I always support Etsy, so that’s where I’m sending you!
  9. Physicalfix. I could devote whole posts to this (and have), but I can’t stop raving about it. Physicalfix is an online exercise/training program that constructs workouts tailored specifically to your body, strengths, goals, equipment handy, and time to devote to exercise. The best thing is that you can do it without leaving the house or having anyone watch, which for me is the single biggest barrier to exercise. I never exercised until this fall, and I’m down 14 lbs and am growing a six-pack. I have a waist again. Guy is chasing me around the coffee table. I no longer think that lipo is the only way for me to get my pre-baby body back. I’m a believer. And I pay for the program, not the other way around. I’m a paying member, and fully recommend you check out the food logs, weight trackers, and the bangin’ bod on this guy. Pfix President Josh Zitomer is a former strength trainer for the NY Jets, and a celebrity trainer (no, he won’t tell me who), and a lot of other things I can’t list to do him justice. He is sincere, hardworking, supportive, and dedicated to all his clients. That’s right, he WILL check in on you. He’s also a little bit crazy in that he does Triple Iron Man competitions and is training for the Death Race (HOLY SHIT, watch the video describing it. Only THREE people finished last year.). He has become a great friend, and I will support what he does as much as possible.

Next post: my favorite books from the year. There are a LOT of them.

Boot Camp: Can you get extra credit when no one's watching?

I’m asking because my physicalfix workout froze when Crome crashed four minutes in. FOUR MINUTES. That is a lot in Zitomania. I told him afterward a) because I can’t let that slide, and also b) I didn’t feel so bad giving him the ole salute during Mountain Climbers and Speed Jax because I did extra Thumbs and abs. That’s right, I started all over again!

Picture this going at a blur:

Yeah. I don’t think so.

Boot Camp, Day 6

Dear Josh,

I did it, I know you’re checking!

Oh, could you please explain to Guy why I haven’t been able to bend to shave my legs this week? They look good, I’ll give you that, but they are stubbly.


Boot Camp, Day 2

Lost 2 lbs!

Day 1 went pretty well—actually, really well once I realized I only had to do one workout a day, not all three. It’s just that three are on offer for this week, so I can change it up.

Guy sniggered at me this morning when I sat up in bed and yelped, and then when I sat down in the bathroom and felt my quads go OWOWOWOWOW, he busted out laughing. Problem is, I can’t really throw anything at him because he’s accomplished more, fitness-wise, that I will in my whole life. Seriously, who LIKES to swim six miles a day? Four hours of head-down-switch-head-up-breathe? Jeebus. He was once all-state for the butterfly. Of course now he won’t run unless chased, and won’t work out unless it involves waxing his car. He’s still got that low resting heart rate, the same rate that kept me in recovery for shock after Daphne’s birth. Core temp of 94 degrees and low blood pressure… come to think of it, that sounds a lot like swimming at o-dark-thirty. I choose life.

I kept my promise and logged everything I ate, even the second glass of wine after my son remembered he still had MORE homework at 8:30. I consider that hardship pay. Still, I was surprised at how easy it was to stay within my marks… Here’s yesterday’s log for example:

And then I also got credit for the workout—it’s pretty specific, too:

I’m going to let that smoothie digest for a while so I’d better hop back in bed and curl up with my Dane Maddox mystery. I have all day to face the workout video again, am I right?

7-Day Boot Camp (insert laugh track)

I’ve decided to accept a challenge. Josh Zitomer of sent a friendly note after he read the juicer post. Josh runs an online physical training service that tailors workouts to you according to how much time you have to work out, what equipment you have, and your current level of fitness.

He made me laugh, which is pretty much the only kind of PR pitch I’ll actually read unless it also offers actual payment for whatever work they want me to do. (yardstick: mentions, tweets, reviews, and ESPECIALLY giveaways are work. See Client vs. Graphic Designer. Yes, I do web sites, if you’re interested.)

So, I saw him one friendly note and raised him one week to get a 43-year-old mom of three to look smashing at her little brother’s wedding. He accepted, which is going to make for some awesomely frantic blog posts. I’m doing this in public, which is pretty much the only way to get me to man up, appearance-wise.

Follow along as I fill out the profile:

  • Age: 43
  • Height: 5’9″ (rounded up)
  • Sex: yes, does that count as workout? I have that equipment.
  • Weight: three numbers
  • Target: three numbers minus twenty. (not in seven days, but before my AARP card arrives)
  • Equipment: a flight of stairs (w/a landing and turn!), a manual elliptical still wound up in moving tape, children that weigh 65 and 95 lbs, a desk chair, and cans of baby clams and Diet Coke (not mixed).
  • How difficult would you like your workouts? Hard. (Didn’t seem fair to check “easy.”)
  • Pick the type of workouts you’d like to receive: All Levels-No Equipment (love that this was the only option given the algorithm.)
  • omg: I would have eleven more choices of workouts if I had any actual equipment.

Okay! My workouts have been delivered! I’ll get right on it after the ninety-minute round trip school run. I’ll also be using the food log, the first I’ll ever be truthful in filling out.

Stay tuned!