Get Glitter Sneakers. Ideally, These.

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Not to gloat, or anything- but...I scored the most insane deal on the most awesome glitter sneakers. (Okay, maybe that was a gloat. Sorry.)

While I feel silly even typing the words "glitter sneakers" given that I am a grown woman, the truth is, they are a very handy shoe to have in your closet. They dress up jeans and t-shirt- either in a whimsical way if you just keep the rest of your look simple, or in an actual dressy way if you layer on jewelry and a cropped black blazer.

Also, I have seen so many women perfectly pull off sneakers with a cocktail dress- I know it sounds crazy, but I am serious- I had major style envy at this cocktail party a few months back when one of the women chairing the event was darting around, happy as can be, clad in a super cool cocktail dress and glitter encrusted Golden Goose sneaks. 

So anyway- back to ME. 

I was shopping for back to school clothes from my daughters when I spotted THESE at Gap Kids. My first instinct was to get a pair for Alexa- which I did. As I searched for her size, I noticed that the last pair way back in the rack looked kinda big. So, while nobody was watching, I slid off my Golden Goose sneakers and popped my foot in.

The shoe was a size 4 and it fit perfectly (I am somewhere between a women's 6.5 and 7). 

The price? $54.95. But they are currently on sale here for under $40! 

You can probably fit into these shoes if you are a size 7.5 or below (figuring a Gap Kids size 5 would fit a 7.5 women's foot- and the size 6 is sold out, so for all intents and purposes, size 5 is the largest option). 

And if you are looking for other sizes or styles that make the same overall style statement, may I recommend one of the below? 

 

 

The Best Finds To Extend Your Summer Glow, As Seen On "TODAY"

Because you want to keep that summer glow going for as long as possible, and you may not have not been glued to the TV on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I wanted to make sure to share my latest "TODAY" segment with you all.

Here is the deal- when I have a tan, I feel like 20 pounds more svelte. And after the amount of alcohol and ice cream I consumed this summer, I can use all the help I can get. Watch the video for the full rundown of products that will get the job done, and in case you want a short list cheat sheet of what I am now using on the reg after testing tons of stuff for the segment, see below:

1- St Tropez One Night Only Body Gloss: Gorgeous glossy finish without any of that strip-club sparkle (because come on, people, I'm a mom now...)- it instantly re-ups a fading tan, doesn't come off on clothes, and gives me the illusion of triceps even when they are hidden under layers of vodka and french fries. 

2- Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette in Summer Solstice: So, get this- purple is one of the best hues to enhance a tan look- it works on every skin tone (especially darker skin tones) and never looks orange. Dust the purple Mykonos shade on your cheekbones (it goes on way more sheer than it looks)- and just try to resist dabbing the Poured Melted Strobe in shimmering gold St. Tropez over, well, every inch of yourself. 

3- Nars Laguna Body Tint SPF 30: The smartest way to show some skin- I tested this on the tennis court a few times and my whites remained unscathed- impressive. Plus, it smells freaking incredible. 

4- Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss: A tad glittery, but it dries down into a powdery finish and gives this glimmery effect to your lids that brightens up your entire being.

Oh- and not featured in the segment because, well, you only have so much air time :

5- Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer: It's affordable, and it's amazing. I use it pretty much every single day, and you should too.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, An Essay.

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Here is a hint: I just opened my trusty "to do" notebook and realized that the majority of tasks I listed for myself in June were not only still incomplete, but I had totally forgotten said tasks even existed. Because I don't think I even opened the notebook since the last day of school, which was somewhere around June 22. Oops.

But not really oops. I knew what I was doing. I acknowledge that, by giving myself permission to mentally check out of most extraneous adult responsibilities for two months, things would fall through the cracks. However, I decided to test the catch phrases that many have espoused (and I never believed because I am so not that girl) which state things along the lines of: don't sweat the small stuff/if it is truly important, it will get done/enjoy the moment/etc. 

So- this summer, sure, I worked a little. I did a couple Today Show segments, a few Facebook Lives. I blogged a bit. I still made sure all the bills got paid on time and we had toilet paper in the house and there were healthy snacks in the pantry. I tested beauty products, read up on trends, and stayed current on all the marketing, retail and social media blogs that I love to devour daily.

You know what I did a lot, though? Planned fun activities with my daughters. Took them to the beach as often as I could, spent afternoons with them swimming, let them go to bed way later than planned. Ate too much ice cream. Skipped bath night a few times. Played a sh*tload of tennis. Cooked dinner. Worked in my garden, and learned recipes to use all the veggies we grew. Spray painted our adirondack chairs orange. Found the perfect accent pillows for our outdoor sofa. Perused 1st Dibs and Chairish endlessly in an effort to furnish our living room. Took the girls to New York City. Ventured to Quassy Amusement Park. Visited cousins in Cheshire, CT. Enjoyed every second of a visit by my cousins from Alabama. Went out for some impromptu date nights with my husband. Hosted college friends for a Sunday Funday. Planned my 20th High School reunion. Hopped in the car on a whim with a friend and went to the Elephant Trunk flea market. Learned to make pom poms. Got the shelves that had been sitting on the floor of Goldie's closet since before she was born put up on her wall.  Let our full time nanny go (heartbreaking as it was) and welcomed an au pair into our home.

I finally allowed myself to realize the power that comes with being a wife and mom, and instead of hiding from it, owning it. And as such, vowed to become a more active determinant of the energy within our family. It's all a work in progress, but you gotta start somewhere, right? Right.

I spent so much time doing so many things that used to make me feel so guilty (there are emails to be replied to! segments to be pitched! content to be written! meetings to set up!), and it was awesome.

Yesterday, as I packed Alexa's snack for her first day of school, a sadness washed over me. And not for the reason I would have expected. While I- like every other mom I know, pretty much- said many times over the past few weeks "I CAN"T WAIT FOR SCHOOL TO START!"- I wanted one more week/month/year of the carefree, barely-scheduled summer situation. Even though I still have 2 more weeks before Goldie starts class, the energy in the air changes once public school begins. Everything feels different- and perhaps the reason I notice it more this year than in the past is because I am different. I guess 9 weeks floating in an alternate universe I like to call "Summer in a Suburban Beach Town" can do that to a girl. 

Which is probably a good thing.

Okay- off to figure out why our Flex Spending credit card isn't working, book flights for my cousin's November wedding in Florida, pitch fall trend segments, list 10 ideas for live video broadcasts, and start that pesky 2016 Falik Family Year In Review photo album. The 5 things which I asterisked like 6 times on my list- apparently to indicate urgency.

Clearly urgency is a relative term. And that, my friends, may be the best lesson learned of all. 

The Best Skirt I Have Ever Owned- Commute Tested & High School Reunion Style Approved.

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This skirt is EVERYTHING. And, I scored it on ASOS for $32 (here is the link).

Why is it worthy of being called- in all caps, no less- EVERYTHING? Well, in order of importance:

1- The "scuba" material (actually polyester, feels like neoprene) is so durable- it withstands what I call the "commute test"- 70 minutes on a sticky Metro North train into Grand Central- without a wrinkle in sight.

2- You can pair it with anything to make it appropriate for everything. In the photo above, I wanted to look all professional- hence the pointy-toe stilettos and that denim jacket you guys know I love so much (yeah, I know- torn denim isn't so professional in most professions, but luckily in mine, it works). The photo below is from my 20th high school reunion this past weekend (next to me is my best friend/reunion planning partner in crime/next door neighbor, Miryha). I wore the same skirt, with a bodysuit and open-toe metallic sandals. 

3- The band at the waist sits high enough that you can wear a fitted top with it and not worry about things pinching and rolling when you sit down. 

4- The pleating makes for a very dramatic effect- without making it look like you are all puffy and potentially pregnant with a food baby underneath.

This print is on sale- hence the $32 price tag- but there are many other versions to choose from. I LOVE this sophisticated navy version (amazing with a silky black cami for a cocktail party). The bright red would be awesome with a blue and white Breton stripe shirt. This layered version is super flouncy, yes- but the muted blush layer keeps it from feeling too precious.  And there is literally no reason I can think of to NOT buy this classic black one. 

So click on over, and shop away. You won't regret it one bit. 

 

 

That Time We Went On A Disney Cruise...

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Everyone thought we were insane. They wished us luck. They gave us pity-filled half-smiles. 

They- and we- totally had it all wrong. We had a really amazing time on a DISNEY CRUISE (aboard the Disney Dream, 5 nights leaving from Orlando.) Yup, I said it. And, for any readers that don't know me personally, let me set the stage: My husband and I are NOT "family vacation destination" people. We have really only done one major family trip with both kids- and that was to the Four Seasons Anguilla, which is not at all similar in any way, shape or form. When we do vacation, it is usually adults-only, complete with ZERO activities, a cushy lounge chair by a pool, a stack of books, and copious amounts of cocktails. 

And since nobody thought it was possible to not only make it through 5 nights on a Disney-themed cruise ship without catching some sort of virus and/or seriously contemplating plunging overboard, let me share 5 key points that I think are quite relevant to making it a positive experience, in the event you ever want to consider this for your family.

1- We stayed on the Concierge Level. Yes- the Concierge Level is probably significantly more $$$ than other options. But lucky for us, my (very generous) mom took us on this trip to celebrate her recent birthday and she was taking no chances that it wouldn't be perfect. (Yes, she opted to celebrate her birthday by sharing a room with my 2 kids on a cruise ship also inhabited by Mickey Mouse and the Frozen princesses.) It is a GAME CHANGER. Not only are the rooms beautiful, but you have a team dedicated to helping you navigate the overwhelming array of activities and such on the itinerary. These specially designed rooms also happen to be located right near the pool deck, making it really easy to pop into your room and change between swims, etc. You have your own lounge and private deck area as well where you can enjoy snacks, drinks, and a comfortable distance from the crowds when you crave that kind of calm.

2- There are 2 screens you need to know about. One they call Funnel Vision- it plays movies on a giant screen overlooking the swimming pool 24/7. So Alexa watched Lion King while swimming and eating popcorn in the middle of the ocean. Seriously?! The second- which may only be in certain rooms- is a hidden tv screen inside the bathroom mirror. The girls got in the tub (with pillows and blankets- because heaven forbid they actually BATHE on vacation) and watched tons of Disney classics (they have every Disney movie and show for free on demand, which is actually kinda cool- we watched the original animated "Beauty & The Beast"- then a ton of "Liv & Maddie", natch). 

3- You can eat healthy. I know this sounds like a lame point- but I mean, you know the kids are going to have a blast. However, you may be horrified by the thought of a cruise because it conjures up visions of greasy, gross food. Nope. I mean, yes, those options are plentiful- BUT- every dining venue has a plethora of clean eating choices as well. Veggies with a protein, salads, fresh fish- I had the easiest time sticking to my current health kick. (Well, until the second to last day when I started taking advantage of the free soft-serve, old school ice cream- but, hey- I could have been MUCH worse.) There is also a great gym on board, and I did the Boot Camp group class they offer every morning several times. Granted, out of like 3,000 people on board, the only people in that class were my cousin and myself, so...

4- The entertainment is entertaining! We went to 2 of the "Broadway Style" shows- which I rolled my eyes at initially- I mean, if you have to say you are "Broadway Style", doesn't that mean you are most certainly anything but? Apparently not. The shows were really well done- and the Walt Disney Theater has the feeling of a sweeping, vintage venue while still being cozy and well-appointed so even the smallest guests can see the stage.

5- The characters are always around, without being weirdly so. I had this idea in my head that we were gonna be bombarded with characters every time we turned a corner- but we weren't. They make appearances daily- but at specific times in specific places, so you can take your kids to see them if they want to, but if they are freaked out by them (which Goldie, we quickly discovered, definitely was), you can easily avoid it altogether. And pretend you are just on a regular cruise- which you think you would want to do because it seems "so not me" to be pumped about your cruise having the name Disney attached to it, but, newsflash- you will find yourself totally loving the Disney-esque elements. 

So- there you have it. 5 random details that, to me, played a major role in making our experience incredible. Yes, there are things to be wary of- the one that stands out most to me is that there is aggressive up-selling (we almost lost it when some guy came over to our table one night at dinner, and started in on a sales pitch to the kids about a $13 plastic drink cup they just had to get), and when they promote "nominal fee" next to certain activities, they clearly have a different definition of "nominal" than most ($69 per kid for a mani/pedi party in the spa, as an example of one "nominal fee" option)- but I get the feeling that is common on most cruise ships (or "all-inclusive" vacations, for that matter). 

We had a blast- so much so that I was actually depressed getting off the boat yesterday, eyes filled with jealousy watching the new guests arrive, picturing all the fun things they would get to experience with their kids, through their kids eyes. That is probably the most special part, come to think of it. Getting to revel in their excitement and innocence, while also reveling in strong cocktails and a few stolen relaxing moments as they entertained themselves on board. 

For more details on the Disney Cruise options, click HERE.