Jun 23, 2012

Swap is the New Shop

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, June 23, 2012 0 comments
Estrofests is thrilled to host guest blogger, Cynthia Marshall Shore. Cynthia is a writer and happy mother of two beautiful daughters. She blogs about her adventures in parenting girls to women at http://growingmygirls.com

By Cynthia Marshall Shore

I just threw my first clothes swap and now I’m hooked. I’ve got some new-to-me clothes and a more organized closet – what could be better? No clothes in a landfill, wonderful free duds, and that all-important itch of discontent now scratched. Life is good! Good food and drinks, great friends, new outfits - the urge to organize a husband-swap has now disappeared. Strange how that works.… 

When throwing a clothes swap, it’s important to set the scale to your comfort level. At my first swap, a birthday potluck, women burrowed through wrinkly clothes in tattered paper bags, tossing unwanted things aside, leaving me to scrounge around on the floor. (Which yes, I did. I love new clothes.) Even so, I came home with something I still wear – but I did wash it first.
The second one wasn’t technically a swap. It had racks filled with our elegantly hung and low-to-moderately priced contributions, many of them from labels I only dream of. There were tables laid out with rows of high heels and bags and a local knitwear designer came to sell her wares at full price. It was held in a beautiful, high-modern house and champagne was served. The floor was carefully avoided. Very fun, but didn’t come home with much.
My friend, Molly (her blog as a wannabe DIY superhero can be found here), and I modeled our clothes swap on the third swap I went to: an appetizer potluck. Clothes were laid out carefully on couches, tables and (recently vacuumed) carpets. Guests provided the good food; we provided the good wine (well ... ahem ... at least it was chilled). Husband was banished to his office; oldest daughter was permitted. In fact, she made the first score – a pair of patchwork pink Converse high tops. The grown-ups were shy at first, clinging to their plates of crackers and cheese, until Molly and I broke the ice, picking out pieces and bringing them to people. Soon, we were all stripping down in the living room, seeing what would fit. We watched each other try things on, gave advice, talked about foundation underwear and made boob jokes whenever someone squeezed into a low-cut dress.
Of course, there’s always one – be prepared – always one woman who looks great in everything she tries on and takes home more than anyone else. Sigh. She looked fabulous and the rest of us went back for a second round of dessert.
But everybody found something. All unwanted leftovers were taken to a thrift store except those grown-up pieces that got snapped up during my daughter’s end-of-swap scrounge. Her style theme in the last few days is now “elegant and baggy.”
A cleaner closet, a virtuous sense of thrift, new clothes to enjoy; not many parties can promise all that. We’re looking forward to doing it                                                   again in the fall. 

Cynthia Marshall Shore is a 53-year-old writer and happy mother of two. A former columnist, her work has also appeared in the New York Times and other magazines. She is currently blogging about parenting at http://growingmygirls.com Go check her out!

Jun 20, 2012

Good, Good, GOOD Vibrations

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2 comments
by Tonia
"Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." - Mae West

I recently saw the film, Hysteria, a romantic comedy and somewhat fictionalized history of the vibrator’s invention. I like to think of the movie as a tribute to vibrators - and the women who love them.
In the 19th century a woman’s “hysteria” could be cured if a physician gave her a “pelvic massage” until she had "hysterical paroxysms" – aka orgasms. Needless to say, repeat business was quite good for this treatment (I wonder if my medical insurance would pay for this. Hmmmm….) but doctors often complained that it took women too long to achieve relief. So, with the invention of the vibrator, treatment dropped from one hour to ten minutes. Think of this as Minute Rice for the doctor’s office.

But I did a little more research on the topic and it turns out that the very FIRST vibrator may have been invented by Cleopatra. Apparently, she had the idea of filling a hollow gourd with angry bees (not to be confused with Angry Birds). The violent buzzing caused the gourd to vibrate and then ... well, you know. This gives a whole new meaning to ‘bee’ing stimulated or getting the heebeegeebees.
Since their introduction, vibrators have been credited with billions of orgasms. And, I must admit, they certainly work better than hopping on the washing machine for a long spin cycle. (Do NOT do this at a Laundromat.) In fact, here are some perks of using a vibrator:
- A vibrator doesn’t care how long it takes to satisfy me.
- A vibrator won’t turn off before I’m finished.
- A vibrator is ALWAYS hard.
- A vibrator won’t kiss and tell.
- I can have multiple vibrators and no one gets jealous
- No matter how old and saggy I get, I can always find a willing vibrator.

But you can get overwhelmed by the choices in vibrators. In selecting one, be sure to know if you like strong or mild stimulation, if you need vaginal or clitoral stimulation (or both), if you'll be using it solo or with a partner, etc. 

A fun (and useful!) girlfriends party would be to get a vibrator demonstration by going to a sex shop or hosting a home party like Passion Parties® or Fantasia Home Parties®. A nice intro to vibrators (video clip) by sexologist, Dr. Carol Queen, can be found by clicking HERE 

And, while you are having this party, here is a cute idea for Margarita Shots served in lime halves which look like Os! Now go and enjoy YOUR Os!

Jun 7, 2012

The Hapless House-keeper

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, June 07, 2012 3 comments
by Tonia

“Always keep several get well cards on the mantle ... so if unexpected guests arrive, they will think you've been sick and unable to clean.” – Erma Bombeck

I have never been a very good house-keeper.  Don’t like it and don’t do a good job at it. It must be some kind of genetic defect because I come from a family of OCD house-cleaners. My mother shopped for cleaning supplies like I shop for shoes. Even both of my daughters (co-bloggers) keep lovely, tidy homes. I tend to clean only when I’m having a party – or when I’m broke and hoping to find loose change. I mean, for goodness sake, why did God create doorknobs if we weren’t supposed to hang clothes on them?

My poor house-keeping has created a few tensions with my daughters, however. Rachel refuses to eat anything out of my refrigerator until she checks the date on it. Anna threatens to wear a helmet when she opens cupboard doors. Both of them have suggested that I have guests sign liability waivers when I entertain. Brats. They probably wash their WHOLE panty hose and not just the feet and crotch.

Personally, I think the layers of film and dust on my windows help filter the harmful (and aging!) rays of sunlight. AND, if I should get lucky and get laid during the daytime, they help create a more romantic ambiance. Besides, at my age, the low lighting helps.

But I DO like to entertain, so here are my top three house-keeping tips:

(1) Eliminate kitchen odors by eating out
(2) Stash loose items in your oven and dryer. Just don’t use those appliances later!
(3) Stretch caution tape across the door to any room where you wish to discourage visitors from entering (biohazard tape and police crime scene tape also work)

Tell us about your housecleaning adventures. And, for your next girlfriends’ get together, try this fabulous margarita recipe. We call it Cleaning Naked Margarita.

Cleaning Naked Margarita

12 oz frozen limeade
12 oz of 7 up
12 oz of tequila
12 oz Corona
Slices of lime

Mix together the liquids, put a slice of lime on the side of the glass and serve. I like salted rims, but then I like salty guys…..I mean, salty drinks.

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