Hello there!

If this is your first visit here, please go to my blog's new home, here. You will find more updated posts and if you are lucky, I might just be running a giveaway :-)

If you have been here before, welcome back! I have moved to self-hosted Wordpress, so now you can find me by just typing www.theunlikelyhousewife.com in your browser. I hope to see you there!

XO, Elisa

P.S. This blog's comment are now closed. One more reason to visit me on WP ;-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here's some cool stuff for you. Wanna buy me something pretty?

BlogNosh: no, I'm not going to start including my blogroll in my "cool finds" posts, silly! BlogNosh makes the cut because it's a blog of blogs. Or rather, it's kind of like a "best of" of the blogosphere, except it only publishes great posts that have already been archived. So if you find yourself wishing that new bloggers and visitors could see some of your favorite old posts (from your own blog or someone else's), look no further - just submit your entries to the BlogNosh editorial team, you'll get a heads-up when they are about to be published. So you have time to doll yourself up (and your blog) for the new visitors.

Amazon.com's Universal Wishlist feature: can I get a Halleluja, brothers and sisters? Because I LOVE the Amazon wishlist thing and I have been waiting for years for them to come up with a way to add stuff from stores they don't have a contract with. Finally!!! Now just add the link to your Links folder and click on it when you find something you like. Then just add the price of the item and any comments... et voilĂ ! There you have it. So now people only have to check one wishlist to buy you the right present. Which means I can stop doing this. (Oh, don't look so shocked. I told you I'm an organizing freak. And maybe a control freak. And a bit spoiled, too.)

This is for you, Harry Potter fans: J.K. Rowling's new book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, including the beautiful Collector's Edition - I have never read the Harry Potter books (I can hear a collective gasp - they are on my list!!) but the Collector's Edition is so beautiful that I am tempted to give in and order it! Both editions will be released on December 4.

The Human calendar: many of you are probably already familiar with this, but for those who aren't check it out. I think it's kind of dorky but also cool at the same time: a calendar to add to your blog where the day, month and year are written on piece of paper shown by people. No, seriously, this description just doesn't do it: go see it!

If you are one of those who have a drawer full of takeout menus but keep adding more, you will love this: SeamlessWeb is a website that allows you to order your food online. They have over 2,000 delivery and takeout restaurants in New York and other major cities across the US (plus London, UK). They also started adding places in the NY Metro area (yay!). All you have to do is input your name and address and you'll be shown a list of restaurants in the area that will deliver to your address. When you click on a restaurant's name you can view the menu and prices, the delivery time and reviews from from previous customers.
I am kind of picky about food and rarely order in, but I have to say that this is a really cool idea!

An award? Little me?

Hey, cool! Got tapped for my first blog award *beams with pride* (don't kill my buzz, ok?)

Thank you Willow!

But apparently this award comes with strings (just kidding, I love it!). So here are my nominations:

1. The Fashion Paramedic
2. Burgh Baby
3. Okay, Fine, Dammit
4. Mom 101
5. Formerly Fun
6.Because I must Blog
7. Sarcastic Mom

So there. Now let me find a place for this :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Multi-event Alert!!!

Ok ladies, grab your calendars because I'm going to tell you about 3 different events that will be taking place this fall. Ready? Here we go:

HERE COMES THE SUN yoga festival

What is it? An event revolving around yoga, but with lots of other stuff. They usually have a famous guest teacher or two (last year it was Sara Ivanhoe and Kristin Mc Gee) plus several other yoga teachers from the area. They have a variety of yoga classes, for all levels and for all tastes. They have more physical types of yoga, like Yoga for Athletes, but also more mind-body classes like Ashtanga. Last year they also had a corner separate from the event, where the noise didn't carry, called Meditation Hill (cheesy, I know, but kind of cool too) and a separate section for Pilates Classes, some of them lead by Kristin Mc Gee.

There's also a live musical performance at the end (between 3pm and 4pm) - last year it was Joan Osborne.

Where is it? Central Park, New York

When it it? Saturday, September 27, 2008

Price of ticket: $25 online, $30 on site. I got a coupon to save $5 dollars but it's reserved to last year's participants so I cannot post it here. I will, however, give it to the first person who e-mails me :-)

More info here.


What: A night of pampering, cocktails, chatting with friends and trying new beauty products.

Where: La Venue, New York NY

When: Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3, 2008

Price of ticket: $10 for general admission, $30 including Shecky's Deluxe goodie bag (which I am expecting will be better than the GNO bag)

More info here.


What: As the graphic says, a night of shopping, browsing emerging designers, free drinks. See my review of the Summer edition here.

Where: New York, Charlotte, Atalanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego

When: The first one, in New York, will be every evening from Monday, October 13 to Friday, October 17, 2008 - the others will follow (some dates are still to be decided)

Price of ticket: $10 for general admission, $30 including Shecky's Deluxe goodie bag.
Note: There is an offer right now to get tickets to both the Girls Night Out AND the Beauty Night Out for $45, including Deluxe goodie bags for both events!

More info here.

Are you going, Elisa? So far, I only got a ticket to the yoga festival. I might go to Shecky's, not sure. If you are going and want to meet, drop me a line! If you want to take me to Shecky's as your guest, call me ;-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stella's productive week (from the "Stella the Charming Terror" series)

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that my 2-year old, Stella, is a child who looks absolutely angelic and (as Mary Poppins would put it) "absolutely perfect in every way" until you actually live with her for a few days, and then you realize you can't relax, turn your head or close your eyes while she is around, because she will get into stuff. And when I say "get into stuff" I mean "make a total mess or your most prized possessions".

This is Stella:

And this is a chronicle of what Stella accomplished on the first week after we got back, taking advantage of mom (me) being kind of out of it from the suffocating heat and the jetlag:

On Monday she wrote in pen and pencil on our new flat-screen TV, which we have only had for a few months. She has done it before and I have been doing my best to keep all pens, pencils and other writing utensils away from any area she can reach but somehow (how? did she learn conjuring spells from Harry Potter? I'm starting to wonder) she manages to find some, and unfortunately sometimes she gets into a cretive session right there on the TV monitor.
This time it was really bad. So bad that I pretty much started hyperventilating when I saw it - DH is pretty mellow, but who know what can happen when you threaten a man's treasured possessions? (especially electronics?) And the stupid stuff won't come off. DH just found instructions on the web on how to handle writing on flat-screen TV monitors so we are going to try those. Meanwhile I am watching TV with writing on it and crossing my fingers that the tips work.
Hey, maybe I can use this to get that console I like from Pottery Barn ("Honey, we need to put the TV somewhere higher but still safe. Oh, look! This would work." he he) On second thought, it doesn't seem sturdy enought to survive an attack from my toddler. So I'll have to find another excuse to get it (darn).

On Tuesday she somehow managed to open the sliding door in the kitchen and go out into the patio and down the steps in just a couple of minutes. Luckily I was quick enough because I could hear the silence (moms of toddlers will know what I'm talking about) and went to look in the living room, then her room, and then ran into the kitchen. I just about had a heart attack when I saw the door open. I ran out in my pjs (luckily I wear cute pjs), barefoot, and was soooo relieved to see her right away. I brought her in, told her why she coulnd't go out without telling me, while mentally kicking myself and vowing to always lock the door and place a chair in front of it so I can at least hear her if she ever tries it again.

On Wednesday she locked herself in the bathroom. (Early privacy issues, I guess.) I was drawing her a bath, and stepped out for a second to grab a fresh towel from the linen closet, which is literally right next to the bathroom door. In a second she had closed the door and locked it before I could turn the knob. One of the things I hate about this apartment: the 70s touches. Our bathroom door only has a turner lock, which is much easier to turn than an actual key, and can't be opened from the outside. This happened once before, only it was the weekend and my husband was home, so he got a kitchen chair and climbed into the bathroom window from the outside (which I can't do because I'm too short). This time it wasn't as easy to handle. I tried to bribe her to come out of the bathroom, with ice cream, pizza, toys (not one of my proudest moments)... nothing. So I ran upstairs and knocked on my neighbour's door to see if he could help me or lend me a ladder. Not there. Then I called my husband and asked him how far from home he was - he was he was stuck in traffic. At which point I had no choice but calling 911. Thankfully they arrived quickly, and the young policeman climbed in through the window and unlocked the door.
Stella got scared and started crying, I was just about there myself when I picked her up. Then another cop came through my (messy) kitchen with a face like he was looking for something (I'm guessing they thought I must be either high or a complete idiot - and I wasn't high). So I showed them exactly what happened, where the linen closet was, and when they saw how close I had been to the bathroom door and how quickly the stupid lock works, they went "oooh, ok".

They were actually laughing when they left the apartment.

I am not laughing. I am now completely paranoid and don't ever leave Stella alone in a room. I close all doors (lock some) and keep her in the same room with me at all times. (Yes, at ALL times. Moms really have no privacy whatsoever.)

I was actually not going to post this, because I am still kicking myself that ANY of these things could happen. And the fact that they happened all in consecutive days, well, I realized I deserve the "Dumb mom of the month" award. I am usually so careful! But sometimes we underestimate our children, and all these things happened because I did that. Well, I get it. Believe it or now, I'm not normally this slow.

P.S. Is that laughing I hear? Is my misery amusing to you? Well, that's just... ok, really. I would be laughing too if it wasn't happening to ME!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Super-makeover anyone?

I remember a scene of Judging Amy I watched several years ago, that keeps coming back to me every now and then. It went like this:
Lauren: Grandma, what is anorexia?
Maxine: A disease women get from reading fashion magazines.

Ok, I will likely be condemned now as non-PC, but that scene was funny and sad at the same time - it rang true, and I still think about it. I thought about it today because I came across this YouTube video on Postpartum Body, and I was shocked an awed at the same time, and then a little angry. I felt I had to share it, so here it is:

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm back! and more opinionated than ever

Home sweet home. Or in my case, home messy home. After a weekend of unpacking while fighting the urge to go to sleep in the middle of the day (lovely jetlag) all our stuff has been sorted and put away, and the laundry is in progress (courtesy of my lovely dh), but somehow the place is way messier than we found it when we got back. I say somehow but I actually know how: Stella is so excited about finding her toys again that she keeps pulling stuff out and showing it to us or leaving it around, so now there are toys in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the office and of course in Stella's room - but hey, I'm thinking that for a 2-year old 2 weeks are actually a pretty long time, so the toys probably feel almost like new to her, so she has a right to be excited! If I got home after 6 months and found several boxes of new shoes I would be pretty excited too!

But I got home after only 2 weeks, didn't find any new shoes but got lots of opinions to share. So without further ado, here are my DOs and DON'Ts for this summer:

- the sale at ShopBop.com: of course, because I am... well, ME, I went straight to the shoes. Check out this L.A.M.B. Gaia sandal, also available in bronze, and this sexy sandal by Michael Kors, it is practically a crime not to get them with those prices! Now, let me see if I can fit them in somewhere on my overworked credit card...

- Netflix: yes, I admit it, I love Netflix and I am not embarassed to say it! Thank you, Netflix, for coming up with a way to watch our favorite shows or any movies we might have missed without having to brave the heat to go to the DVD rental place, and for filling what would have otherwise been a boring summer of re-runs and blah reality TV.

- taking care of our skin before it's too late: and no, I don't mean yet another "put on your sunscreen, stay out of the sun" spiel. Read one of Dr. Nicholas Perricone's books: I swear the man is a genius. Sure, his products aren't exactly budget-friendly, but you might find, like I did, that following his nutrition/supplementation recommendations plus just one of his products is more than enough. Try following his 3-day Nutritional Face-Lift and if you want to take it one step further, maybe take advantage of the introductory kits available at Sephora, so you get to try an entire line for the price of one full-size product. My favorite product is the Amine Complex Face Lift - don't let the fact that it's now included in the Age Correct collection turn you off: this is a great product! I'm 31 and I LOVE it.

- making a few efforts to make our lifestyle more eco-friendly: I don't mean you have to now go vegan and start composting (though you may do so if you are so inclined), but I do think that everyone should really make an effort to be a little more respectful of our planet so that our children and granchildren can enjoy it too instead of being left to handle the mess. Being half-Swiss and having lived in Switzerland for almost 10 years, I have some things down pat, like recycling, taking public transportation whenever possible, using "green" cleaning products. But there's always room for improvement. I found the book Gorgeously Green very helpful for tips on being more eco-friendly without radical changes - she includes info and tips about anything: household, beauty, day-to-day life, clothing, and more. And now it's fashionable to be "green", so noone will tease you ;-)

- harem pants: seriously, these look like a joke that got way out of hand. I saw a few people wearing them while on vacation and they are possibly the most horrifingly unflattering piece of garment I have ever seen. Just don't go there.

- Madonna's latest album: oy. I used to be a big Madonna fan... but I firmly believe that Ray of Light was her best work and it's been going downhill since then. Music was still good, American Life was sort of hit and miss, Confessions on a Dance Floor included several catchy tunes but the lyrics were pretty blah, and now Hard Candy... oh my. This would be ok if it was just another pop princess trying to make a name for herself, but for Madonna, who is 50, basically a legend and really should know better and do better, this is just awful. It comes across as if she is trying way too hard to show she's still young and hip and she's still got it... which only shows that unfortunately she doesn't. And no matter how great her body looks (though she might want to stay away from pumping iron for a while) I have seen her half-naked on way too many covers and videos. Enough already - you look good and don't look like your age, we got it. Now get dressed. In something nice possibly.

On the fence about:
- Botkier for Target: I got home to find that Target had released the collection before the 21st, and I wasn't happy. Then I saw the photos, and I wasn't entirely mollified either. Some of these look cute, some look cheap. But many reviewers say that the photos don't do the handbags justice, so I'm reserving judgement for when I get to see them live (now don't you all rush to Target and buy everything or I'll have nothing to look at this weekend!).

And now tell me... what are your DOs and DON'Ts this summer?

Monday, July 14, 2008

A postcard for you!

(Click on it to see it full-size)

Hey everyone! Looking for something smart to say. Any functioning thought has been (accidentally? maybe) drawned or has evaporated in the heat. So here's an uninspired (but pretty!) postcard from where we are staying in Sardinia. Back to blogging in a week or so!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Procrastinators of the world unite!... tomorrow


Hi, my name is Elisa and I'm a procrastinator. *Hi, Elisa*

Example: a couple of weeks ago we celebrated my husband's birthday - the big 4-0. His birthday was on a Saturday; so on Friday I decided I'd clean the house.

I admit the place tends to be kind of disorderly, what with Stella's talent for making a mess and my lack of talent for keeping up with it. It's very organized though. *wink*

Anyway, DH said he didn't want a party, so I thought had to put more effort into the celebration, and I decided to clean the house in his honor. A little voice in my head said "Yeah, good luck with that" but I shushed it, confident that I could make it. Here's how that went:

11.09am: on the pc, blogging. Decide to visit blogroll before I get off the pc. Just quick.

1.38pm: look at the clock, feel a pang of disappointment. Still, got lots done. Got an e-mail reminder for Shecky's Girls Night Out (like I would forget!), looked up exact address and marked it on my NY map guide (told you I'm neurotic), then Yelped restaurants and coffee shops in the area, got mail (yay, Netflix envelopes!), made lunch, ate lunch, watched Will & Grace during lunch (season 4, from one of the Netflix envelopes). Plan to start just as soon as this episode is over.

3.04 pm: still haven't done any cleaning. Must do menu & shopping list. I'll just check my e-mail quick.

5.08 pm: started cleaning kitchen and living room - no small feat considering I have just received several boxes of stuff I ordered online (I can get kind of carried away with the excuse that I'm prepping for a trip overseas). Office is still a mess but hey, no birthday party takes place in an office, right? Or in the kids' bedroom, for that matter.


I procrastinate. Especially when it has to do with house chores. It's not that I'm lazy (ok, maybe a little sometimes), it's just that I already despise chores enough without the added deterrent: nothing remains tidy, clean, or otherwise "done" for long. It's different when I have time to do it as well as I like. I guess I'm a closet perfectionist (or maybe I'm half-way out already, if this is anything to go by).

But sometimes procrastinating is good. For instance, I mentioned the boxes of stuff I ordered online. It could be worse. See, for some reason I just don't "do" moderation. It's always either/or with me. But in the past several years I have gotten much better at avoiding impulse buys, and procrastination has been the main tool.

For instance, I went to check out the Bakers sale (sorry ladies, the best stuff is gone now). Since I love shoes, my first impulse was to order 5 pairs ("they are so cheap, I'm actually saving money" as Rebecca Bloomwood would say). But when I waited until the day after to complete the checkout process, I realized that most of those models I have already and never use, mostly because they make it hard to run after Stella.

See, so it's not just a vice or a bad trait, it can actually come in handy! And there you were, thinking "oh, so she does have flaws!". Ye of little faith.

In fact, I was just reading how procrastination comes in handy when sticking to your diet. Jana Klauer, Nutritionist to the stars and author of "How the rich get thin" recommends using procrastination (ok, she calls it "patience") and a healthy snack to get over cravings. If a craving hits, she recommends setting a timer for 15 minutes, take some fiber and some protein and know that by the time the timer goes off your craving will be gone.

Ah, if only. Ok, maybe I'll try it. I got the gift (curse?) of procrastination, might as well put it to good use, right? And I will... just as soon as I finish checking my e-mail. Just quick.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer time

Ok, not her best song, but I love this video. Though I think that if she had come out with this song this year she would have been crucified for "promoting unhealthy habits" or some similar nonsense. Yeah, we got it, we cannot "soak up the sun", we need to stay in the shade and slater on sunscreen!

Well, my sunscreen is packed. So is my leave-in conditioner (salty water = dry hair = ouch). Yes ladies and gentleman, I'm going on vacation! Every summer we go home (my home, not DH's) to Sardinia, Italy. Before you start saying "You are so lucky" remember that:
a. I will be on an 8-hour flight with a 2-year old and an 8-year old
b. once there I will be surrounded by an Italian family reminiscent of the bride's family on My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Let me guess... not quite as jealous now? Thought so.

See you in 2 weeks!

P.S. Posts will still be coming, courtesy of your truly and Blogger's new scheduling feature; but I won't be able to visit my blogroll, drop Entrecards etc. I'll be back :-)
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