Sep 22, 2012

Estrofests: The 21st Century's Baubo

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, September 22, 2012 0 comments
by Tonia

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." - Yiddish Proverb

I was recently challenged about the appropriateness of this blog. There were 'concerns' about its message.

Yes, I know that we are bawdy and irreverent. Yes, I know that we talk a lot about sex. And, yes, we do drink alcohol on occasion. But there is a deeper purpose in our writing; there is a point to our obnoxiousness.  

Estrofests promotes women’s connections through parties. We want women to have close girlfriends and to spend LOTS of time with them! All of us (men and women) thrive in affirming relationships but, for women, connecting with others is vital. It gives us zest/energy and increased self-knowledge and self-worth.

Humor and Mirth
Estrofests promotes humor and mirth – finding hilarity in women’s everyday experiences. Laughing is fun (duh) and improves mood. More and more research is verifying the benefits of humor and mirth. It reduces pain and stress, increases creativity, enhances problem-solving and inspires hope. Humor is also a wonderful glue in relationships.

Shame Resilience
Estrofests promotes women overcoming shameful perceptions about their bodies, their sexuality and their aging. We especially support women's sexual expression in opposition to our culture's oppression of female sexuality. Sharing our experiences (often humorously) normalizes them and reduces fear, shame and disconnection. We are sexual beings. There should be no shame in that.
I think these three principles are best represented by Baubo, the fun-loving, jesting, sexually liberated Greek goddess who brought great wisdom and healing to the other goddesses. She represents the POWER that comes from women's laughter, joking, and sexual banter. If you’re not familiar with Baubo, here's her story:

Story of Baubo

According to mythology, Demeter was in deep mourning over the loss of her daughter, Persphene, who had been kidnapped by Hades. So deep was Demeter’s grief that she had given up her goddess duties of bringing fertility to the land. Everyone tried desperately to cheer her up but she was inconsolable. Enter Baubo. The two women began chatting with Baubo making lots of humorous, risqué remarks. Demeter started to smile. Then Baubo, out of the clear blue sky, lifted her skirt and showed Demeter her vulva. Laughing heartily, Demeter was able to get herself out of her funk and take action to get her daughter back. Baubo saved the day.

We hope that we are a type of Baubo for 21st century women - bringing connection, humor and healing.

So pull your girlfriends close and teach each other how to live joyfully. Estrofests will be here to help by making you laugh, giving you party ideas, and reducing your shame. Peace and laughter.

Sep 7, 2012

Spanx Ain't for Sissies

Posted by Tonia at Friday, September 07, 2012 0 comments
Estrofests is excited to host guest blogger, Mary Sullivan Lounsbury. Mary is a stay-at-home Mimi and an old high school friend of Tonia's. Mary and Tonia recently reconnected through a high school reunion Facebook page poking fun at aging.

by Mary Sullivan Lounsbury

Menopause has had its way with me and I'm now past the size 14 I said I would NEVER grow beyond. Grrrrr. I wasn't supposed to be this size. So now I’m an overweight-sizing / weight-control-garment shopping virgin. Let me tell you my story.

I walked into “a Fat Lady Store" but was too ashamed to ask a sales person for help. Let's see,1X, 2X, 3X…. Where should I begin? I decided to just grab one item in every size. I quickly realized 1X is the smallest of the jumbo clothes. I put on some pants and a top but made the mistake of looking in the mirror. Holy s..t!!  I had a huge growth on my middle!  It resembled a tire but I guess it’s known as a "muffin top." I love muffins, but NOT on my body!

Later my husband's company was having a mandatory event and I didn’t want to be seen as the boss’s FAT WIFE which meant shopping again. This time I asked the sales associate for help. She told me about Spanx - said they were the most wonderful invention since the push-up bra. Hey, I'll buy anything that gets rid of the muffin top and shows off my newly acquired weight-enhanced big boobs!

I decided on a pair that went all the way up to my boobage but I couldn’t make myself try them on in the store. In fact, I put off trying them on until I needed them the day of the event. I opened the package. "OH NO, how am I going to squeeze my jumbo self into these little things? These were meant for Barbie, right?” But I had no time to waste.  I jumped in with both feet.  Pulling, sweating, grunting and cussing, I considered going downstairs for some Crisco or WD-40, but, like those mothers who find the strength to lift the truck off their child, I FINALLY got the Spanx all the way up! 

Then I had to reapply my makeup because all that sweating made my face look like I had just worked out at the gym in full make-up. That or I had had some crazy kind of kinky sex. Anyway, I was exhausted, but I had no time to spare. 

I jumped into the car with the hubby and thought all was well. But sitting down caused the Spanx to roll down to my waist and my muffin top exploded out from underneath. NOW what was I going to do? I could "adjust" the situation in the car, but how would I keep this from happening again?  I had it!  DON'T. SIT. DOWN. 

But then later that evening Problem Number 2 arose. I needed to pee. REALLY needed to pee. I looked for a "trap door" and there wasn't one. Crap! It took me a LONG TIME to get those Spanx up. I didn’t have enough energy to do it again. So, I did what any other self-respecting, overweight woman would do - I ripped a hole in the crotch and took care of business. 

You'd think this experience would be enough to make me lose weight, but I found another way to go.  Move up to a 2X and forget the Spanx!  The clothes drape nicely covering the bits that spill out and I'm COMFORTABLE.  No need to give up my ice cream.

So, the next time you get your girlfriends together, serve this unique and fabulous ice cream dessert. It's super easy and only uses two ingredients. And don’t worry about the calories!

Ginger Snap Ice Cream Dessert

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (must be real ice cream)
1 box ginger snaps

Place the ice cream in a large bowl and allow it to melt. While it is melting, grind the entire box of Ginger Snaps into crumbs. Place 1/2 of the crumbs in bottom of a 13x9 Pyrex pan, spreading evenly. Carefully pour melted ice cream on top taking care not to disturb the Ginger Snaps. Gently spoon the remaining Ginger Snaps over the entire top. Freeze for several hours until ice cream is hard. Cut, serve and ENJOY! 

Mary Sullivan Lounsbury, aka MiMi to her grandkids, lives in Southern Californa and has been married to the love of her life for 39 years. She is the proud mother of two grown children and grandmother to four of the most brilliant, beautiful grandbabies in the world. She is currently a stay at home MiMi so that her daughter and son-in-law can improve the lives of children as educators.   

Sep 1, 2012

Bridal Bender

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, September 01, 2012 0 comments
by Anna

"I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury." ~ Groucho Marx

I work in a bridal shop so my life is centered around weddings. Not only do I outfit brides, their families and their wedding parties, I'm a family therapist and sometimes, a babysitter.
I've been to over a 100 weddings. And, let me tell you, I've seen it all. I've seen grandmas grinding on groomsmen; I've seen divorced parents sneaking a quickie; I've seen fist fights … and the ultimate challenge … I've seen plastered brides.
I bring this up because, at the most recent wedding I attended, the bride was plastered before she even sat down for hair and makeup. In front of her FORMER mother-in-law she was shouting for refills of champagne and asking if anyone had any weed. (Is this how one enters matrimonial bliss?) Fortunately, she had several girlfriends to come to her rescue. Two of us raided the buffet line early to get some food and water in her. Not sure that sobered her up but it may have prevented her from getting really sick.
About an hour before the ceremony was to begin, she wanted to move the whole ceremony outside. Girlfriends to the rescue again! Convinced her to keep it inside since everything was already decorated so beautifully.
Then, thirty minutes before the ceremony, we learned that there had NOT been a rehearsal. (Guess you don't need those if you've been married before!) The THREE flower girls started fighting and crying about who would go first. Girlfriend to the rescue! Pulled them aside for a “secret girls meeting” to problem-solve. That one didn't work so well. As some random, nine-month pregnant wedding guest and I opened the doors for the staggering bride, the flower girls went flying down the aisle, pushing and shoving - and chucking flowers at each other. Oh well.
At the altar, the tottering bride handed off her bouquet to the oldest girl who proceeded to pluck the heads off of every single flower. Couldn’t save that one either.
At the reception the bride dedicated a song to each of her children and requested a dance ... and by dance I mean she dragged each child around by the head, lip-syncing every single word of the song. The new adult stepson simply left her alone on the dance floor mid-song. Girlfriends to the rescue! We joined her on the dance floor and ballerina-danced with her until the end of the song. I'm hoping that there is no video of this on You Tube.
After a few more drinks and major inappropriate remarks by the bride, I decided to call it a night. The girlfriends decided that the intervention could wait until after the honeymoon.
Who has stories of funny/awful/embarrassing weddings you've been to? Perhaps your own? Share them with us while you drink one of these:

Blushing Bride
1oz peach schnapps
1oz grenadine
4oz champagne
Pour peach schnapps and grenadine into a champagne flute. Top with champagne. Throw in a cherry for fun. Cheers!


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