Spend a Couple Hours »Salon at Kids Club

skc2630 NE University Village St, Seattle

Well. Sigh. The day had to come. We always promised we’d get Van his first haircut once he wanted it. I love his long locks, but it was starting to really annoy him getting in his eyes and mouth all the time. So I mentally prepared for a week or so and gave the local Salon at Kids Club a call.

With car seats, boxes of toys and murals, they do their best to make it a fun environment for kids. From what I could see, some hairstylists were better and more friendly than others and we lucked out with  who not managed a squirmy two year old with ease, but adored his long hair (not even once mistaking him for a girl!) and had no desire to buzz it – which was my nightmare scenario.

Van likes the new do a lot and I get a keepsake lock of hair along with a pleasant if bittersweet memory instead of a heartbreaking one.

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Posted on June 18, 2013

Personal,Spend a Couple Hours »The Parlour

photo-272 Greenpoint Ave

I’ve actually recommended The Parlour salon before on Jim’s word as he gets his beard trimmed there regularly.

I however, am a much less frequent visitor to salons (two plus years since me last trim) and usually find them over priced, weirdly snotty and mediocre.All of those negatives are no where to be found at this inviting, friendly (yes, friendly!) Greenpoint spot.

You are offered water, given a choice of lovely vintage robes to slip into for your wash and cut and given a soothing scalp massage in the process.

I had intended to get a major trim, but not much more when I walked in. Together Cynthia and I decided to chop about fifteen inches to give to the charity Locks of Love.

My hair was still past my shoulders and it felt somewhat anticlimactic, so somewhere between our chat and the end of my shampooing, I decided to just cut the rest of it off.

Inspired by the signature cut of Kate Lanphear, I went for it, and Cynthia, with excitement and a deft hand took me there. She managed to give me a cut that was what I wanted without being impractical for my lifestyle and all for a very fair price (so if you go, tip generously!!).

I left feeling elated. It wasn’t a haircut, it was an experience, and a joyous one.


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Posted on January 13, 2013

Spend a Couple Minutes »Tattly

tattlyGreat Temporary Tattoos

“After applying many bad-clip-art tattoos on her daughter, swissmiss decided to stop complaining and take matters into her own hands. Tattly was born.”

Tattly is not only inspiring in a DIY business sense, but their temporary tattoos are fantastic. Not cheap, exactly, but fantastic.

Design super star Tina Roth Eisenberg has asked artists to contribute their art to fun, inventive, beautiful images you can wear on your person (and the quality is equally impressive too).

Van has had a great time with the Menagerie Set designed by Amy Blay and while it is currently sold out, new designs are added often.

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Posted on January 6, 2013

Spend a Couple Hours »Ria Nailz

141 India St., Greenpoint

With Maria’s of Ria Nailz eye popping, jaw dropping nail art that calls to mind the most fun styles of the late 80’s and early 90’s (think Stephen Sprouse, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Keith Haring), you half expect her to greet you Betsy Johnson style – cartwheeling out of the back room.Instead you find a young stylish entrepreneur who’s professional, soft spoken, sweet, and immensely talented.

I discovered the Greenpoint artist via instagram and couldn’t wait to book an appointment. She recommends you call at least a week in advance. I assume as word of mouth spreads, you might need to wait even longer.

It would be worth the wait. I look at my hands and feel happy and awesome. This could possibly be my coolest manicure ever??

Watching her work – quickly and deftly is fascinating. She has a wide range of styles to choose from and the salon, which is nestled within a family run unisex hair salon is adorned with murals for additional inspiration.

Comparatively, she’s cheap – my art with gel top and base was only $36. So tip generously!!

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Posted on June 10, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Marie Nails

155 Prince Street

Hooray for neon gradient calgel manicure from Marie Nails!

Just the break I needed from weeks of difficult sleep with the little one.

It’s a luxury but a much more affordable one than other spots in the city.

The trade off is a no frills, no AC environment but that didn’t bother me at all.

The nail technicians are very talented and polite while the possibilities endless.

Few tips though:

First, book early especially for a weekend appointment. (I booked myself for next month at the end of my visit.) They fill up quick and have people coming one after the other.

Which leads to tip number two. Research and ask for exactly what you want when booking. Some nail art takes much longer than others and they won’t be able to accommodate for trickier stuff with the tight schedule.

Third, cash only.

Fourth, some elements to a manicure like cuticle care may be additional small costs… just chill! It still ends up being a relative bargain.

I plan on getting a reverse French manicure next and can’t wait. I really love this place.

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Posted on September 22, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Pure Qi Regimen Spa

26 Driggs Ave, Greenpoint

I’ve long been a supporter of the local absolutely no-frills Chinese massage salons.

After all, a cheap massage is worth a little bit of inconvenience, like the pungent smell of the massuses’ lunch and an old man next to you grunting, right?

Well, what if I told you that you could have a totally reasonably priced massage ($35 for 30 minutes) in a clean, soothing private room (pictured, sort of)?

What if I included a very courteous and friendly staff that is excited about their place of business and a very tempting menu of spa packages, body wraps, reflexology, and facials?

The place I speak of is Pure Qi Regimen Spa, and I am so happy I found it!

I am already planning my next visit.

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Posted on September 5, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Norman Dental Center

98 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint Brooklyn

Weary of local dentists (and with good reason it would seem based on the yelp reviews of Manhattan Ave Dental Associates and especially Greenpoint Dental Center, yikes!) I was thrilled to get a glowing recommendation from a trusted friend for Norman Dental Center.

After a clean, courteous, informative visit there myself after a filling mishap, I am passing the recommendation on to you!

Rarely do you leave a dentist excited to tell people about it, but Dr. Teague was fantastic and the nurse and receptionist were incredibly polite (something I find strangely lacking in most Doctor’s offices).

If you’re in the area and in need of nearby dental care, look no further.

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Posted on August 26, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Braids of Paradise

Awesome Hairdos

If I were rich, like really really rich where money was just there to be spent, I’d pay someone to brush and braid my hair every day. Ever since I was a kid, with hair as long as it is now, I was designated as the girl who’s hair was played with – and I loved it!

Well, I’ve not suddenly come into wealth, but for an afternoon I did get to pay someone to play with my hair again.

Megan Pflug is a RISD chum and her side project, Braids of Paradise offers awesome braids (as you can plainly see). I felt like a science fiction queen for a couple days.

You can find her at the Backyard Bazaar at the great local shop In God We Trust (where I found a travel razor kit that could be hand engraved for a wonderful birthday gift). I believe it is held every Saturday and features many vendors of cool stuff.

Speaking of cool stuff, she and friend Katie Wright will have their lovely Cairo hand painted silk scarves for sale there as well.

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Posted on July 25, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Hair

1008 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Hair is truly a neighborhood gem. Kim has earned a great reputation and devoted clients based on word of mouth. I, myself made an appointment after seeing her handiwork with a friend’s mane.

I only got a trim (so now my hair goes to my waist rather than past my butt) and it looks much healthier. I beat her record for longest hair she’s cut – but honestly I don’t even remember when it grew so much.

She was reminded of her own business card (pictured) which features an old photo she uncovered in an old apartment. At the time, she didn’t see hairdressing in her future but it must have been a pretty strong portent.

While my trim was a relatively simple task, it was done with care and precision. Plus, I’ve seen her work wonders with more complex layered cuts and color.

Unlike many salons that treat you like you’re butting in on their hanging out looking cool time, Hair is intimate, friendly and inviting.

She only takes customers over the phone via voice mail, which may sound old school, but adds to that local charm.

She does men’s and women’s and is more affordable than many places I have tried in the past.

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Posted on April 6, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

from Urban Decay

The idea of blue eye makeup no longer conjures up images of unhip but popular girls in the 80’s nor moo-moo house-dress wearing old women stuck in decades past.

The bold eye trend is seen everywhere and personally, I’ve continued to do it regardless for years (no indication of my hipness, mere stubbornness).

Yes, you can be as loud and vibrant as you want and the best way I’ve found to do it is with Urban Decay’s super matte, super saturated 24/7 Eyeliners.

They hold their position, seriously don’t wear off and are offered in the best bright shades of cobalt, purple and turquoise.

Plus, if you have about a hundred dollars just burning a hole in your pocket, an excessive 15 eyeliner box set is now available at Sephora… I kind of really want it.

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Posted on March 7, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Caribou Baby

272 Driggs Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

When we first took Van home, neighbors Adriane and Greg were awesome. They brought up home cooked lasagna, took our trash out, and offered helpful encouragement on our new adventure. As Van’s gotten older, Adriane has become my first and best source for all things baby.

She took a master course in baby wearing and can weigh the pros and cons of all carriers (saving my back from Baby Bjorn pains) and is up on the most organic and baby safe products on the market. Who better then to open a baby store in our neighborhood than she?

I am so excited for her new Greenpoint boutique and activity spot, Caribou Baby. The space is beautiful and evokes the feel of a lived in ski lodge – featuring vintage plaid wallpaper, rustic wooden floors, antler chandeliers (that Van took a shine to) and the best looking bathroom changing table you coudl find.

From a vast option of carriers, adorable toys (including those oh so cute rabbits pictured), bottles, vintage clothes, and health and beauty products, anything you could need for mom, dad, and baby is found inside. One of my favorites that I couldn’t leave the opening without purchasing? Baby friendly nail polish – which will put my worries of chemicals to rest.

Aside from the store, there are two activity spaces that will hold classes and events. Some that are upcoming are Birth Education, Infant CPR, and Breastfeeding. The clubhouse back room was home to a dance party opening night where some good tunes were spinning, including some sweet disco era Cookie Monster.

Whether you’re a parent or a friend of a parent to be, this is an amazing resource that’s come to Greenpoint. Congrats Adriane and Greg!

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Posted on March 6, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Organize Your Jewelry

from Brylane Home

I have literally been dreaming of this jewelry organizer – there I was, at my old, old job – the one in Midtown and the sassy women I used to work with had bought it for me. I woke up ecstatic in that fleeting moment when you don’t know you’re dream isn’t real. Then – as reality set in – I knew there was really nothing better or even feasible to ask Jim for for Christmas.

I love it, despite its old lady guest bathroom fixture appearance – because finding one to fit my mammoth costume jewelry collection is near impossible (basically this is it). Those wispy tree branches you usually find under “jewelry organizer”? Ha, it would be like trying to contain all this snow of ours in a snoopy sno cone machine. This was honestly the only one I found of this size and sturdiness – a lifetime of Brylane Home catalogs is a worthy side effect for the purchase.

I am still in the process of adding all my earrings, but I love that I can finally find all my stuff without having to wade through a drawer or a box – and the days of tangled threads of faux pearls and beads are over. Now. looking at those empty hooks, I just need more huge statement bracelets it would seem – good thing I have a birthday coming up.

Slightly off topic, I’d like to mention that this little collection of mine is an ode to the idea that expensive is not always better. Every time I am glancing through the jewelry section of Vogue or some similar publication, I balk at the “real” jewelry out there (of course there are significant exceptions) but most of it is so yucky and so expensive. I always think how one ugly gemstone ring would cost more than buying out an entire Claire’s.

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Posted on January 28, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Flu Shot

For Your Health!

Everyone over 6 months old is recommended to get the flu shot this season. So if you’re reading this, you should be finding the nearest location (many companies offer them, I went to my local Rite Aid) if you’re reading this and under 6 months, I am very impressed.

PS. If pregnant make sure to ask for the non-mercury shot.

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Posted on October 6, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Mix Your Polishes

Fun Color Combos

It’s certainly not a revolutionary one, but the idea of mixing up my nail polishes just occurred to me and makes for an easy way to all dazzle to my razzle. First go I tried neon pink and true red (colors I have always loved together) next it might be grey and florescent yellow, what do you say to that?

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Posted on August 22, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Honey Spa

592 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I am not a regular manicure pedicure customer. I treat it as an indulgence so am always open to other’s opinions and reviews for the service. Honey Spa received glowing reviews compared to the many slightly cheaper nail spots that dot my neighborhood, so I gave them a call. Cleanliness was a particular concern (especially while pregnant) and Honey is spotless, pleasant and relaxing. It fits someplace between a super high end (and high priced experience – I spent as much on just a pedicure in the city) and those hole in the wall cheap spots, which makes it just right for so many local girls, myself included. The staff is friendly and very professional. Natalia, an expert with the polish, was even kind enough to fix a toe smear before I left. They also offer other spa services like facials, messages, and waxing. Be sure to book ahead of time. They were getting phone calls all day and booked until closing.

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Posted on July 11, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Pre Natal Massage at Greenhouse Holistic

88 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, NY

Years ago I had memorably amazing hot stone massage at Brooklyn’s Greenhouse Holistic so when recently, I was itching for a prenatal massage, I thought of them. Comparatively affordable (100 for 90 minutes, 80 for 60), this is an incredible experience and a day later I feel wonderful. Muscle aches and pains are alleviated and I am as relaxed as I get. Of course, if you’re not pregnant, the traditional massages are sure to be just as wonderful. For those that are pregnant and curious, a prenatal massage works like a regular one (which here included the incredible hot stone therapy), except there is a special cushion that eases any pressure on your tummy and breasts. Later in your pregnancy you may opt to get the massage on your side.

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Posted on May 2, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Pixi Lid and Line

Perfect Smokey Eyes

Smokey eyes were always an elusive trick staring up at me from the pages of magazines. How to’s in everyplace from Sassy to Vogue would promise the ease of the effect, but it never proved quite as simple as i hoped. I bought the Pixi Lid and Line a long time back during the Target pop up shop with reserved excitement. I’ve had easy, flawless smokey eyes any day I want it ever since. It’s not the cheapest drug store eye product on the market, but it’s one I’d never go without again.

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Posted on May 2, 2010