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Sorry (not sorry) about my cellulite

Here we go again. It’s ‘bikini season’. Otherwise known as, let’s shave all our nether areas and expose them to strangers while romping at the pool or beach with our kids wearing a strip of fabric to cover our butts.

I know it’s occurred to some that wearing a bikini is pretty much like wearing a bra and panties, but in public. I think I would prefer the 1920′s swim fashion of bloomers and long shirts, but that’s just me. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a bra and panties in public. I like coverage. Is this because I jiggle and have pooches? I don’t know. Maybe.

All winter long as I stuff myself with scones and donuts, I think of how I should be drinking green tea and sipping watercress soup if I want to look good in a swimsuit come June. And let’s be honest, I’m stuffing myself with scones and donuts, not just in the winter, but all year around. The fact that I’m NOT a size 1X is pretty much due to genetics. I have my father’s side to thank for that. Although, back to the watercress, who the hell eats watercress?

So then here comes June. Actually, here comes spring break. April. And I put the swimsuit on for the first time in months but I don’t look at myself in the mirror. I just put it on and head out to the pool with my swim cover on and sit in my chaise.  I am thinking, why didn’t I work out more? Why is there so much cellulite this year than last year? What is that weird looking vein cluster? Was that there before?

But then I look around. And not to get too uppity, but there’s a few of some other moms with cellulite too. And I start to feel better. I relax a little as I’m shoving Pop chips in my face. What’s pool time without snacks? If you don’t bring chips to a pool, you’re dead to me.

Okay, then there’s one mom. There’s always THAT mom. The really fit one with like, 4 kids, to make us feel bad. If she works out, why don’t I work out? And she’s wearing a two piece she bought from Athleta. Heck, she’s probably one of their models. And I put the Pop chips away.

I take stock in the fact that I try. I do. And even though I keep seeing magazine cover after magazine cover (Us Weekly, I’m looking at you) of “Kim’s Wedding Workout” and I’m sick of seeing it. But I have to admit that even though she’s got curves, she’s looking fine. OH WAIT! She spends thousands upon thousands of dollars zapping her cellulite in some plastic surgeon’s office.

Ha! So there you go. If I spent thousands of dollars zapping my cellulite, I’d look like Kim too. But I don’t. I put that money in a college fund. Or family vacation. Or a woman I sponsor in Rwanda. (I’m not bragging or anything.)

My point is- WE ALL HAVE CELLULITE! (Except Athleta mom. You just go back to your paddle board, lady, I’ll deal with you later.)

You have cellulite. And you have cellulite- and YOU and YOU and YOU!

If we surround ourselves with real women, moms and grandmoms, sisters and friends, NOT magazines, we will appreciate what we have and not worry about the extra.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m planning on working off those winter scones and donuts. But it’s not because I want to fit in a bikini. It’s because I need to climb the ladder to my son’s loft bed each night. It’s the case of wine from Costco I want to be able heave into my minivan without throwing out my back. Use it or lose it baby. And I plan on using my quads and arms for good. Not just at the pool.

Sorry, not sorry about my celllulite by Frugalista Blog

My Skincare Routine- featuring Kate Ryan Skincare {DISCOUNT CODE}

I have had a number of comments over time on what I use for skin care. Let me tell you- a lot of stuff. That’s what!

But until last year, I have been very loyal to the kind people at Kate Ryan Skincare.

Since reaching out to me last summer, I have used their products consistently. Even though they send me stuff to try,  I still buy my own from them sometimes too! I think that’s a good testament right there to know how much I like the products. Have you seen my bathroom? It’s like a Sephora store in there.

The thing I like most about Kate Ryan is their philosophy. They believe in quality ingredients without fillers. And they offer these products at a price you can’t beat. Most ‘natural’ products either don’t have the sophistication or results and some are way too expensive. This is why I find the best of both worlds with Kate Ryan.

They have online skincare consultants if you would like more information or how to customize a system for your skin.

They truly are the nicest people!


Here’s my skincare routine in a video. I try to keep it short and sweet and give you a run down of all the products that I use from their collection that are good for aging, dry or sensitive skin. Which are all of my concerns!

Keep in mind the lighting in my bathroom is so awful. I wish I had a studio to do this kind of thing.

After you watch the video, visit their website and shop for a few things using this exclusive discount code for my readers only! Enter FRUGALISTA20 at checkout and receive 20% off your purchase from now until June 1, 2014. Perfect for Mother’s day!



Birthing a teenager

When you have a baby your thoughts are surrounded by this little bundle of joy. Wait. Scratch that. Bundle of joy? Bundle of crying, pooping, difficult to latch on toothless beast. That’s more like it.

Emma is 14 today. I remember when she was born and the soft skin on her back felt like I put my hand in a vat of warm butter. I had no idea what to expect. I could barely wrap my mind around the number of cells that divided and divided over the 39 weeks bringing me this fleshy, peach fuzzed, pink child.

The sense of overwhelming duty to feed this human was daunting. Everything hurt. My boobs were sore beyond imagine. I couldn’t get her to latch on. Her cries of hunger brought me to tears. Like Pavlov’s dog, her squawks sent chills straight to my nipples. I wanted to run away. But I also wanted to love her and never let her go.

Then a thought occurred to me, somewhere in that first week of having a newborn. What if I don’t like her when she becomes a teenager? What if we clashed and hated each other and didn’t speak? Maybe she would rebel against me. Maybe she would slam the door in my face every time I attempted to connect with her.

When babies grow to be 3 year olds, everyone says, “Wait until they become teens. Then you’ll really have your work cut out for you.”

Guess what? Everything I feared, hasn’t come to fruition. Yet.

I find myself loving and growing with Emma more and more as she enters womanhood. We bond over gross things like tampons and body hair! She tells me about her friends. Her fears and her loves. We still ooh and ahh over Disney princesses.

We have frank discussions about sex. She asks me questions, and I answer. Always trying to wrap it in a context her young mind and heart can relate to. But trying not to sugar coat things to unrealistic proportions. I want her to be a strong, sexually independent adult female. I want her to gain her own claim on her boundaries, intimacies, and relationships.

Radical? I don’t think so. I think one of the greatest hardships we face as parents is letting our children actually leave the nest. I don’t want her to leave. But I want her to. You know what I mean?

She has the spirit and poise and intelligence to do wonderful things. Could she be a UNICEF ambassador to developing countries? Sure. Could she travel the country in a Broadway production? You bet. Do both of those scare the shit out of me? ABSOLUTELY.

But I can’t let her know those fears. I think what scares me most, is if she DIDN’T try those things. If she limited herself and succumbed to her own fears and shut herself in to just stay close to home, and follow the simple path.

Don’t get me wrong. Her happiness is based on her choices. If she goes to junior college and finds a nice job, gets an apartment nearby, and is happy- then perfect.

If she decides to live in Belgium? Then perfect also.

Where am I going with this? All of a sudden I’m breathing in a paper bag realizing I have four more years before she is emancipated in the eyes of the state.

Back to the little girl I’m raising. None of the things I feared have come true. Her door is open, our conversations flow. We’ve had words, she’s rolled her eyes at me. She’s stomped up the stairs and looked at me like I had two heads. But in the end, we connect.

And that’s all I can ask for.

Dearest Emma, I truly want your heart and mind to soar to its fullest potential. To find love and content within yourself and the people you surround yourself with. God bless you and keep you.



You and me girl. Let’s keep it goofy always.

What happens when you put old boobs in a new bra?

They’re still old boobs. But hey, they are somewhat perkier.


James was hinting that my old togs and under things were somewhat dreary. Really? We need to go down this road? I need comfort. I need flexibility. Watching Downton Abbey is hard work. I need the most accommodating wardrobe possible. I am no Victoria Secret model.

You’ll have to click on over to Bonbon Break to read if I gave in to James’ lingerie wishes. And what exactly happened to the ‘girls’.

A guide to married sex in your 40s

Twenty somethings- listen up. Twenty years from now, sex is going to be really different. Especially if you get married and have kids. I don’t know what single person forty something sex is like. You’ll have to ask someone else.

But almost middle aged sex (forties count as middle aged right?), is really different. Some might say lazy and infrequent. I say, simplified and comfortable.

First there’s foreplay. There are two kinds of foreplay. The Race Track and the Camp Fire Starter.

The Race Track is when you’re laying on your side away from your husband. You ask for a back rub. He reaches out one arm and traces what feels like a figure eight. He continues with this pattern for about 10 times and then says, “there, how’s that?”

Wow. That’s, uhm, excellent. I feel SO relaxed. It was just like the spa.

The Camp Fire Starter is when you’ve both gotten in bed on each prospective side. I call this, the safe zone. I lie on my side, he lies on his. He decides to explore the slight possibility, we’re talking slim here, that I might be ‘interested’. He ventures out of the safe zone and daringly puts his hand on my pajama covered knee and rubs back and forth. It’s a random kind of thoughtless motion. Nervous back and forth, back and forth. The friction starts to cause heat and sometimes sparks fly. Not those romantic sparks. But actual static electricity emitted from the flannel.

I then joke, “are you trying to start a S’mores cookout here, or would you like to get busy?”

Next. Lube.

I don’t know what else to say but you will need it. Peri menopause makes your lady box like a beach. A sandy and dry beach. Even when you think you might be raring and ready to go. It’s a dehydrated box of fruit leather.

Now let’s move on to position.

Not positionS plural, no. Position. There’s really only one. I like to call it the side by side. It’s a way I figured out how for both of us to be on the bottom.

Sad, huh?

He’ll say, “Dontcha want to get on top?”

I’ll say, “Uhm not really. How about you?”

Him, “I’m kind of tired. It’s good, you go.”

Me, “I think it feels better with you on top. You get up.”

Him, “I’ll lay here and you turn to the side.”

Me, “Oh, this is genius. We can BOTH lay down and do it!”

There’s an actual part of me, the part that is from the neck down, that wants to just have sleep sex. I think it would be awesome if we could just have intercourse with our minds. I’m sure some evolved person like Sting, or Gwyneth Paltrow has come up with a way to do this.

It would be the perfect lazy person sex. Mind sex. Didn’t the movie Judge Dredd with Sandra Bullock have them do that? Or am I getting my 80′s pre-Speed era movies confused?

So let’s review-

Race track and Camp Fire are the two kinds of foreplay.

Lube is necessary because your lady business is like a food dehydrator.

One position is all you need. The side by side.

And there is your Guide to Married Sex in your 40s. Don’t get too excited now.

Oh, and after you’ve copulated and are enjoying a cigarette, be sure to read your copy of I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE.

What? You didn’t expect me not to plug the book did you?



Buy the book and I will show my pasties. I mean pastries.

It’s come to this. Bribery. Yep. Or mutual favors. Either one, you be the judge.

Like Mama Morton says in the musical Chicago,

“They say that life is tit for tat
And that’s the way I live
So, I deserve a lot of tat
For what I’ve got to give”

So yeah. Reciprocity.

Buy. The. Book.

You heard me. Did I whisper? No.


Here’s why. We are working our balls off to get on the New York Times Best Seller List. It’s a big flippin’ deal.

Self-published works just don’t get there. So we want to sell a bajillion more copies than Danielle Steel or that smutty E.L. Whatsherface James.  Because we’re super lady writers.

It’s a bit like the little engine that could. Or David and Goliath. Or when Laura beat Nellie Olsen in that horse race in Walnut Grove. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, but the point is to buy the book. How about several and give them as gifts. And then spread the word for everyone to buy the book.

What’s in it for you? Geeze people. It’s like you’re never satisfied. Not only do I give you a truly juicy book of stories, but I guess I need to sweeten the deal. Huh?


If we get to the New York Times best seller list:

I, Frugalista Blog, will create a video of myself ordering in my local Starbucks Drive Thru while topless.

You heard (read) me. Topless.

Okay, in order not to get arrested, there might need to be some nipple coverage. We’ll figure that out.

Deal? Deal.

So go on. What are you waiting for? Order it!!

Click here to order via Amazon



Barnes & Noble

Frugie goes commando to get on the NYT list

*commando (sort of) but not arrested.

March Beauty Box 5 Review

March Beauty Box five Review by Frugalista Blog

Here it is. Time for my monthly peek in to the Beauty Box five- box.

That’s redundant. Sorry. It’s really a box that I’m peeking inside of though. Actually, I didn’t just peek, I dove in and dug into all the goodies that were in there this month!

Ready? Here goes.

My favorite of the five,

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter

Anyone else have the scales of a dragon’s egg from Game of Thrones? Winter has been a bitch. Let’s admit it. So this ultra buttery body butter that’s paraben free, smells like the tropics and deep conditions your skin, is just what my parched skin needed.

Jane’s Pick All Natural Soaps

You’ve seen those funky bars of soap at natural and health stores, or gift boutiques that have bits of stuff in them, are different colors, and kinda see-thru? Well this is like that too. Super gentle, rich and latherful and all different aromatherapy combinations, this will gently cleanse and nourish your winter-parched skin. Also- they told me it doubles as a shave foam. Whoopie- double duty!

H20 Plus Hand & Nail Cream

Silk in a hand cream? Yes please. Marine botanicals? Sure thing. I’ll take it. I’m washing my hands like a surgeon scrubbing in for Grey’s Anatomy. I might be a little OCD for fending off the cruds going around. So I NEED hand cream. Any time I get a tube the perfect size for my purse, I squee a little. This one is no different.

Swissco Dual-sided Facial Pad

I admit it. I was dubious to this product at first. A loofah for the face? Are you kidding? Loofahs bother me on the bottom of my feet. Why would I use one on my delicate visage? Well, was I surprised. Call me loofah-ed, because this baby was super soft. I will still be careful and not use it too frequently. But gee whiz, did it gently scrub my skin.

And last, but not least,

Bellapierre Cosmetics Makeup Base

A little pot of something magnificent is what this is. Holy cow. Was it a concealer? A foundation? An eyeshadow primer? IT’S ALL THREE! I know. I know. I’m still getting used to all its magical powers. I’ve used it to cover blemishes and conceal under my eyes. It’s so convenient and compact, I might pop this in my purse for emergency touch ups.

There you have it.

The Beauty Box 5 round up. Have you subscribed yet?




My Concealer Routine (includes video!)



My Concealer Routine by Frugalista Blog

Do you suffer from dark under eye circles? Has age, motherhood and life in general sucked all the liveliness from under your peepers? Do you wake up and wonder if the Louis Vuitton fairy came and left suitcases under your ocular vestibules?

Well, have no fear. I am here to help. I’ve narrowed down a quick and easy concealer routine, complete with products I used, to show you how to minimize all that dark shadows business going on. And not the funny movie kind with Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Now, keep in mind, I still look human after this makeup routine. I don’t have fillers, Botox or a magic airbrush wand to carry with me wherever I go. So I’m not going to look like a 21 year old. Or a magazine cover. It’s still just me. Slightly less tired looking though.


Take a look and tell me what you think. If I’ve confused you or forgotten to explain any detail- please let me know!

Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer

L’Oreal Visible Lift Foundation in 144

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim

L’Oreal Visible Lift CC Under Eye light

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Light

MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension Blush Auto Erotique (limited edition)

Tarte Angelic Nude Lipstick

Celebrating milestone birthdays in a special needs family

50th birthdays are a big deal. You plan trips to Paris with your spouse. You make a party for you and all your girlfriends to whoop it up in Cabo. Wouldn’t that be nice?

But what do you get when you’re the mother of a 50 year old disabled child? Where’s your medal?Where’s your party?

My sister turns 50 today. A milestone birthday. But for the disabled, the developmentally challenged, a big birthday is sometimes a bitter sweet reminder of the years and years of struggle and toll it’s been on a family.

We honor my sister today and all her life means to us. As well as we remember the medical hardships she’s endured.  The two brain surgeries. The hysterectomy from rampant endometrioses at age 20. The fact that she lives at home with my sweet parents who look after her. My parents are in their 70s and 80s. They could use some looking after themselves! But they keep on keeping on. Rising each day to help each other, making sure Leslie takes her medications, monitors her time she needs to shower. She can do it on her own, but her unsteady arms and legs mean someone should be near by just in case. Driving her to countless doctor appointments.

Leslie can be a little stubborn. She is a 6 year old trapped in an old woman’s body. She likes movies and games and candy. My mom has found stashes of cookies and candy in her room before. Leslie can be petulant and insist on not leaving her room or wanting to change out of the shirt she’s worn for 4 days straight. Like I said, she’s stubborn.

Her medical file is as big as a phone book. Psychiatrists, Neurologists, ear nose and throat specialists, orthopedic specialists. The list goes on.

I think of the burgeoning special needs community we have in our society today. The statistics of those living with Autism are 1 in 100. Not that Autism  is always debilitating. So many are independent and on their own. But my point is, it will make a difference for our future as a society. We need to prepare ourselves for that.

And the caregivers growing old as well who are looking after them will need help too. If you’re a parent of a special needs child, you must think ahead to your next move as much as you can. You need to be proactive and an advocate for your child’s well being at all times, well past the age of their adulthood.

The exhaustion of today’s battles with a special needs child doesn’t yield to the forms to fill out for tomorrow, or the worry for the next round of therapists needed. It’s a constant.

And as blessed as you try to feel, honestly, you know that sometimes you wonder what life would be like if all the little birds left the nest. If your Golden Years were spent traveling and lounging, what adventures could you do, if your child wasn’t sitting at home unable to leave the house without assistance.

Bringing home a baby swaddled from the hospital is the most fulfilling and promising act you can do as a human. And when that bundle doesn’t grow and develop like their peers, it’s devastating. Having a bird with broken wings, unable to fly, is not what you dreamed of as a parent.

What would life be like if your kid was ‘normal’?

You push that thought out of your head. How selfish of you! But wait. You’ve been SELFLESS for 50 some years as a parent. Giving and giving.

When do you get your reward? In heaven? That’s what so many tell you, isn’t it? And that might be. I’m sure it is. I just wish I could give my parents a reward now. Something that is lasting and takes the burden from them.

To all of you parents out there celebrating the milestone birthday’s of your special children, I salute you with all my heart. I hope as a community we can be here for you. To lessen the load when it comes too heavy for you in your senior years.

So as I wish my sister a happy 50th birthday today, I wish my parents a blessed ‘birth’day greeting on them too. They deserve it.

Celebrating milestone birthdays in a special needs family

Ahh the 1970s. Were they good to anyone looks-wise? That’s Leslie on the left, me, and my bro. A picture of sibling harmony.

The privileged child parent’s lament


It is a world of Starbucks, iPhones, YouTube and Uggs. Or not the whole world, just ours. The middle suburban class of North America.

The privileged child parent's lament by Frugalista Blog

I don’t know exactly when this awkward transition of our culture started that went from cool novelty gadgets, to advanced science fiction at our fingertips on a constant.

If you’re like me as a parent in this time of ours, you might sometimes think you’ve created a monster. That all the things you said you’d never do as a parent, you do now without even thinking twice.

Do you feel like you’ve given in? Or did you just give up years ago and not realize? Maybe the fight is already over and there isn’t anything to give in to.

Like the Starbuck’s drive-thru, for instance. It absolutely irks me when my children get grumpy over the fact that I won’t get them Starbucks for breakfast. There’s a number of reasons why I don’t just hop in my car and drive the quarter mile down the street to the drive-thru and get them their favorite cheese danish and vanilla bean Frappuccino every morning. Cost. It’s $10 a pop for both kids every time I do that. Logistics. Maybe I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t want to leave the house. Scruples. I feel absolutely awful for going the easy and expensive route at every whim my child has.

But how did we get to this point? If I demanded McDonald’s as a child and expected my parents to administer to my beck and calls as frequently as my children do, I’d a had another thing coming! When I was a kid, McDonald’s was a treat. It wasn’t a staple.

On some mornings I have gotten Starbucks for my kids because I wanted it too. Because we already were in the car. Because maybe, it had been a busy morning and it’s a nice treat. There- a treat. Trust me kids, mom wants a pecan tart and caramel macchiato every morning too, but we just have to deal! You can’t have Christmas every day. So you can’t have Starbucks every day. My rules.

The way we’ve created much of our convenient drive through food establishments as staples because we spend the majority of our time in our cars, isn’t really our fault. Or it is because we’ve made that bed for ourselves with our schedules, and now we have to sleep in that proverbial bed?

And I don’t mean to just pick on Starbucks. Let’s talk about smart phones. We have smart phones in our family. All three of us. Owen hasn’t gotten one yet. It’s an 11th birthday right of passage. Once they’re off to middle school, life is easier when your child has its own modern day honing device, complete with GPS and messaging. That’s pretty much what it is in my opinion.

Emma has had her cell phone for about 3 years and has used it for the greater good and not evil. Thankfully. She has had a smart phone for the last year of those 3 years. Does she spend a bajillion hours on that thing? Yes? Do I do on mine? Guilty.

So until I set mine aside, I can’t really expect her to ditch hers, right?

And then when you do get your kid a smart phone, it’s not like their FRIENDS’ smart phone. Or it doesn’t have unlimited data, or it’s not the upgrade like little Jimmy got. Waa waa waa. Call the whambulance.

Oh for Pete’s sake!! You got a smart phone dammit. Stop your bitching!

Maybe this isn’t just a problem from this era. Maybe long long ago, Cassius was upset because Antonius got a better abacus. Maybe Fauntleroy teased all his friends over the gold pocket watch he got. And little Abigail always got the fanciest curds and whey before heading off to school while the other kids just got regular old porridge.

It’s just that fine line of making things nice enough for your kids, but keeping them from over indulging.

Remember the scene in This is 40 when the parents are telling the kids to limit electronics? And they tell Sadie the 13 year old, to build a fort with her friends, and Paul Rudd says, ‘go find a hoop and beat it with a stick down the street.’

Oh if only our kids just played with rocks and sticks again.

I guess we’re just going to have to actually PARENT the little buggers. Set boundaries, tell them no. Even when they hate us for it. God parenting is hard.