Because Swimsuit Season Always Sneaks Up On Me

bathing suit 2
Close friends were coming to California and invited us to spend the day with them at the Montage in Laguna Beach. My first thought was, “Yaaay! Good friends, a pool AND the ocean, and cocktails during the day. Life is good.” My second thought was, “Oh this could be bad. I am so not ready for a bathing suit and ‘Julie’ looks phenomenal after 4 kids. FOUR!” Starvation was not an option. Neither was liposuction. I debated looking into extreme Christianity to justify a full body bathing suit, but that was just weird. I decided to go for an old school glamour look where curvaceous women were celebrated. I self tanned like crazy, pulled my hair into a high bun, wore gold dangling earrings, bright lipstick, and of course high heels. I had never worn a one piece before until I had the tiny one, but with a bright pink color and sweetheart neckline, I am really into it. My glamorous front was sort of thrown off when I casually tried to move my lounger, only to find it stuck and I had to get into a deep squat sans cover up to try and move it, but I choose to focus on the positive. (Or, it’s too embarrassing to relive.)

katie swim

Here’s what I have learned about the glamour of the one piece bathing suit, because I am now so on board.
1. There is a fine line between glamourous and trashy. If it is labeled as a monokini, it is trashy. No ifs ands or buts.
2. The print and/or color can make a difference between sporty and glam.
3. Strapless tends to be more glam, but an unusual strap can be also. Avoid a regular strap if you’re going for a sultry look.
4. Ruching/shirring is not just for hiding a belly. It can draw attention to an hourglass figure, which is always the goal for glamour and sex appeal.
5. No bathing suit can make your thighs look thinner, but they can make you look feminine. Go up a size from regular clothing for the best fit, if you are a curvy girl.

They are not inexpensive generally, but a great bathing suit can improve your pool day immensely. Here are fun and innately feminine one piece styles to try this summer season.

My swim suit!!!  LaBlanca $109

My swim suit!!! LaBlanca $109

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Camilla and Marc $240

Camilla and Marc $240

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Zinke Starboard $132

Zinke Starboard $132

Old Navy $20

Old Navy $20








Otto Titsling


“Otto Titsling, inventor and kraut,
had nothing to get very worked up about.
His inventions were failures, his future seemed bleak.
He fled to the opera at least twice a week.

One night at the opera he saw an Aida
who’s t-ts were so big they would often impede her.
Bug-eyed he watched her fall into the pit,
done in by the weight of those terrible t-ts.

For Otto Titsling had found his quest:
to lift and mold the female breast;
to point the small ones to the sky;
to keep the big ones high and dry!

Every night he’d sweat and snort
searching for the right support.
He tried some string and paper clips.
Hey! He even tried his own two lips!

Well, he stitched and he slaved
and he slaved and he stitched
until finally one night, in the wee hours of morning,
Otto arose from his workbench triumphant.
Yes! He had invented the world’s first
over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Hooray!”

-Bette Midler in Beaches

This song was completely inspiring for a young actress.  The lyrics were dangerously outrageous, but I could get away with singing them for 2 reasons: 1. My mother loved Bette Midler and 2. I used the song to practice both my vocals and my performance techniques.  To sing the word “t-ts” was so liberating and deliciously bad.  I sang it a lot and at the top of my lungs while running around my bedroom, pretending it was the stage.

As you grow older, a titsling becomes increasingly important.  Luckily there is an absolutely fantastic one on the market, the “Bra-llelujah” by Spanx.  A front clasp bra is so dang hard to find these days, and this one is fabulous.  Their claim to fame with this one is that it eliminates the appearance of back fat.  I can assure you this is not an empty claim.  It is also the most comfortable one I have ever worn.  They run a little big, so you may want to go down a back size in them.  Today, has them on sale.  They only go on sale in department stores during major sales.  You can get them during Friends and Family at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom runs a great deal on them during their Anniversary sale.

Let me warn you, however, that they are not sexy no matter what the model looks like.  My husband often complains about this.  My answer, and the one I suggest to you, is that my innate sexiness shines no matter what my over the shoulder bolder holder looks like.


Well Hello Dolly

There are times in the year when there aren’t many auditions for shows.  During these times, I auditioned for shows that I normally would not attend because I had promised myself I would not be lazy.  This particular audition I was preparing for was a musical version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that a village theater was producing.  They wanted rock song auditions.  I should have skipped it.  I did not.  I went to my vocal coach’s apartment to do my final preparations.  She suggested adding simple choreography to my rendition of “It’s Raining Men.”  In my heart I knew it was a bad idea, but I went along with it.  After my rehearsal, I applied my silver glitter eye shadow to rock it out, and went down to the village.  Simply put, the audition was terrible.  I forgot the choreography and stood there swaying with jazz hands.  I cannot sing rock and was uncomfortable the entire time.  At the end of the audition, one of the lovely casting people said, “I like your eye shadow.”  Bless her heart for finding a positive in there.

I have moved on from that moment, but I still love a compliment regarding my makeup.  My favorite category is lip makeup.  I am giddy in Sephora about trying new kinds, yet slightly paranoid about contracting Herpes Simplex 1 by trying everything.  So far, luck has been on my side.  I have received numerous compliments when I wear a certain combination and that is my little luxury for today.  I kiss the tiny one so often that I do not get to wear lip gear very often, but I did this weekend and felt smashing.   My secret combo is MAC whirl lip liner followed by Buxom lip gloss in Dolly.  Dolly is hands down my favorite neutralish lip gloss.   It makes your entire face a little glowy, and it tastes good.  I love the entire Buxom line, but Dolly is my favorite color.  At the end of the day, a compliment is a compliment, but I really prefer the kind that is spontaneous instead of someone trying to find a positive inside a huge disastrous moment.  Muah!


Your Summer Wardrobe Saver

I am regularly convinced when I am in wardrobe crisis mode that I will open my closet and something perfect that I have never seen before will be casually lounging on my closet door, waiting for me. This has yet to happen, but I still fervently believe it will. The closest I have come to this coming true is when I pulled out my skinny clothes that were in storage and found items I had forgotten I owned. While I am waiting for my wardrobe Prince Charming to appear, I can always count on a dress to do the job for me. Women who do not wear dresses are missing out. I believe a great, casual dress is the singularly most important piece you can own for summer. A dress multitasks like your boss on Starbucks. As I write this, I am wearing an animal print jersey dress that is hiding the fact that I am beyond tired due to insomnia not induced by the tiny one. It is allowing me to be dressed for the day, but the jersey fabric feels like the pajamas I wore less than an hour ago.
The perfect dress is a jersey fabrication or extremely soft woven. It is not form fitting, but follows the line of your body. The simple silhouette guarantees years of wear in style. It hits right above your knee, or right below. You should be able to easily dress it up or wear it casually. It should be a second skin for whatever occasion you need it.

Here are some that I recommend:

Part 2, or the Thrifty Girl’s Guide to a Healthy Tan

In the wise words of my favorite Pi Phi sister, “tan fat looks better than white fat.”  Here, here!  While I am below my pre-baby weight, I’ve got a shake with my fries and a tan body fakes what is not quite back yet.  I have tried most self-tanners available and always have a complaint about them; be it the color, application, or price.  My husband has had a universal complaint about all of them.  See, I like to put it on before I go to bed.  When I wake up, it’s kind of like Christmas.  I run to the light to see if there’s something shiny and new on my legs.  My husband’s complaint is that I come to bed smelling like cat urine after I apply it.  He has a point, but I like a J Lo glow.  Another issue….lotion that is tricky to blend.  I tried a new kind before a trip to Las Vegas and I ended up looking like I had leprosy on my ankles and wrists.   The only reason I even remotely enjoy Vegas is for the pools, and it took a new kind of confidence to waltz around a communal watering hole looking like I had a contagious disease.

Now that you know more than you wanted to know, I get to the exciting part.

I have found the PERFECT self-tanning foam.

tanning foam

It is Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan.  It goes on weightless, stays weightless, and blends into your skin better than ANY other kind I have tried.  It has a natural brown and not orange color, and the best part?  IT DOES NOT SMELL.  There is a slight scent to it, but it dries without the terrible cat urine odor.  In theory, you could put this on in the morning before work, and go for cocktails at night with a fantastic glow.  I’m in love.  Because there is a Debbie Downer at every party, the price on this beauty is not wonderful.  It’s $24, which is average for a higher end brand, but with shipping and handling (what even is handling in 2013??), it comes out to $38.  I got in on a flash sale where I got 2 for 1, so it was price friendly.  Even at the higher cost, it is much more economical than airbrushing, and the product is simply the best.  I am finally satisfied.  Why I did not take these pictures standing up is befuddling, but here are before and after pictures.

pale leg leg

If you too would like a J Lo glow with a fool proof application, here are a couple of reps who can get you going  with it and some of their other favorite products!

Ali Buckley:

” Sign up as a PC (preferred customer) and pay a one time $19.95 fee, get free shipping for life and 10% off your regularly scheduled orders (min $80 every 60 days…but it can be ANY products at all.  You don’t have to get the same thing auto shipped every 2 months).  I recommend the micro derm jar (under essentials).  I’ve really never used anything like it.  I also use our Redefine regimen daily and I used Reverse for several months and it got rid of my sun damage. (PS these products are GREAT for men too).”

Monica Higgins (Kingery for any WHS readers):

Tanning foam is here:

My favorite products are the Redefine Regimen (,

  Night Renewing Serum (,

and the Multi Function Eye Cream (

“The Redefine Regimen reminds me of getting a facial. I miss facials!  Now I feel like I treat myself to a mini spa-facial every night and morning in just a few minutes. The Night Serum is seriously liquid gold. I’ve never put anything so luxurious on my face. It’s amazing. AND it fights the aging process! The eye cream is really light and smells amazing.”

Can I Conceal This Morning??

This has been my last 12 hours: I couldn’t sleep very well and when I did, I was negotiating visual space in a store to remerchandise their floor.  If you have worked with me, I know you have had this dream.  Teeny woke up at 4:45 a.m. and after feeding him, I walked into a wall.  It has been a while since I have done that.  I couldn’t sleep after that so I got up to make coffee and could not, for the life of me, figure out why I was only pouring water after I had clearly been signaled that the coffee was done.  It turns out, if you do not pour the water from the carafe into the machine, coffee doesn’t happen.  I redid my effort and then put Splenda into my coffee.  With cream in hand, I was confused as to how the top of the Splenda container got on top of my coffee cup.  Yup, it’s that kind of morning.  Teeny is sleeping and I am still awake.  Needless to say, I have circles under my eyes that are terrifying and I should not drive a car today.

When I was little my mom used to tell me how she hated dark circles under her eyes.  I remember being very afraid of this condition, as if it were a disease.  I am so happy that it is not a disease, or painful, because I too suffer from it.  I have found a miracle concealer that I get very excited to use, and even better, it’s a total bargain.  I have tried so many concealers; Lancome, MAC, YSL, Kat Von D (huge fail), and none of them work as well as….Cover Girl.  Yep.  Cover Girl Concealer Balm, with Olay.  It comes in a lipstick shape and goes on incredibly smooth and creamy, but not oily.  My dark circles magically disappear for at least 6 hours.  Now, with the way my day has been going so far, I am hoping I do not confuse this magic balm with real lipstick under my eyes.  Wouldn’t that be pretty?

cover girl concealer

Fetal Pretzel

I am afraid of chest wrinkles.  (Cue an eye roll from my mother and a fervent desire for the ability to quit reading her progeny’s inane ramblings.  She can’t, as a side note.)  I tried to think of another word instead of afraid, but none hit the mark.  I am afraid of them because there is nothing you can do about it.  As far as I know, fillers don’t go there and there is not a chest lift available.  All you can do is wear high necklines and sweat during the summer.   The only thing worse for your chest than worshipping the sun sans sunscreen is side sleeping.  I sleep on my side in what is best described as a fetal pretzel position and this is where the fear begins.  I am not alone in my fear.  I have a friend whose brain works similarly to mine and we decided to brainstorm solutions.  She thought of having her husband duct tape her to her back at night.  I had come up with finding a way to duct tape my skin so it didn’t move while I slept on my side.  I was very impressed that we both thought of duct tape independently.  Clearly, these weren’t sane options so we decided to train ourselves to sleep on our backs.  It was simply terrible.  I would lay there in the middle of the night while Patrick was happily asleep on his side, reminding myself why I was doing this and how I would be thankful for it in 10 years.  An hour later, I would be in full panic mode about how tired I was going to be the next day.  An hour after that, I would give in and turn into fetal pretzel position.  This went on for about 2 weeks until both my friend and I were delirious and had to quit the effort.

While I quit my back training, I did not quit my fear and accept the inevitable.  Google is an amazing tool.  I googled “prevent chest wrinkles” and found this, the Décolleté Pad, correct and prevent chest wrinkles.  Aside from my disappointment in another invention opportunity gone to waste, I was intrigued and ordered one for about $28.  It is an ageing miracle!  I may still wake up looking like the Bride of Frankenstein with my crazy hair, but this keeps my chest wrinkle free through the night!  It sticks on and does not move.  It stays sticky for one month.  I was slightly embarrassed the first night with this, but my husband is used to my quirkiness, and is more preoccupied with finding a way to get me to agree to sleep with the windows open, so it went over pretty well.  I highly recommend this.  I buy mine on Amazon and proudly wear it, despite my mother’s horror at raising a child who spends time worrying about chest wrinkles.  I am not the only one either.  My friend is embracing a wrinkle free chest with this wonder pad as well.

chest pad

I Stole Out of an Easter Basket

I am on videotape stealing out of my brother’s Easter basket. I was not 2 or 3 stealing out of my teenage brother’s basket; that would have been cute. I was in the 7-9 range, stealing out of my 2-3 year old brother’s Easter basket. I am honestly not sure which bothers me more; the fact that I did it, or that I did not notice a giant 1980’s video camera recording my every move. There isn’t any verbiage on the tape either. It’s like one of my parents was recording an animal in the wild doing what came naturally. I am fervently against stealing, as a side note. Whether it is physically stealing goods or stealing ideas, it is not ok. I do not know what came over me. I am an honest person; I know my flat spots and thievery isn’t among them. I blame the excitement of the goodies in the Easter basket after a mean, competitive hunt for the most eggs. Maybe I was actually just counting his eggs?

Next year the tiny one will get to participate in Easter and I cannot wait. I already talk to him about the true meaning of Easter, but for all children, the egg hunt and basket really are what make it an exciting holiday. The reverence comes later. In honor of the commercial side of Easter, here is what I would stash in my own Easter basket.

MAC lip liner in Whirl.  They are recognized for their Spice color, but I swear it is secretly an eye liner. Whirl is incredible. It is like the color of your lips after a high school make-out session. It enhances red lipstick and is the perfect base to a nude gloss.

Nails Inc Feathers Effect Nail Polish.  It looks like an Easter egg.  This should only be worn on grown up toes or little girl fingers. The only thing creepier than an adult woman accessorized like a child is a child accessorized like an adult.
nails inc

Kai Body Butter. This smells exactly like California in Spring, and it is fantastic. January through April is by far the best part of a Southern California year and this embodies it. I like the idea of smothering my body in the scent.

A Fantastic Statement Necklace, like this one from Anthropologie ($68).  These have always been my signature style. I cannot wear them with the tiny one’s curious fingers, but in a year or so, I will again. When you have a basic, flat outfit, all you need is a wow piece of jewelry to off-set the boring. Costume is usually even more baroque and fabulous than real.
necklace $68

Target Champion Sports Bras.  I need the motivation and I love the colors and fabric. They last forever.

Coffee from Koffi in Palm Springs.  I had a malted mocha latte from there recently and I DREAM about it. So, so fabulous.

Baby Gut

“Come on Baby Gut, get going!” This was the inspirational phrase my Pilates teacher chose to use mid class after I had shared with her my concern over my lack of hard abs 2 months post T’s delivery.  While I was not in the least bit embarrassed, it did create an interesting desire to pull my shirt up and ask for thoughts on the supposed baby gut amongst my classmates.  Relying on a phrase from childhood, I remembered that it isn’t always about me and continued on with class.

I have no patience for yoga, other than prenatal yoga where you are encouraged to not work too hard and stretch a lot.  Pilates, however, is a life and ab saver.  I love Pilates mat classes.  Most gyms and many yoga studios offer this class and it is energetic enough to keep me occupied, and definitely challenging enough to whittle the middle.  If you have not tried Pilates before, give it a go.  It is less embarrassing than doing Zumba for the first time, and is the best thing I have found for toning.

What to wear to class?  My current favorite tees are the GapFit Motion tees, which are a total knock off of Lululemon’s cult favorite, yet overpriced tees, but with a less delicate fabric and a nicer price of $34.95.  The fit is snug, but not clingy.  It’s long enough to not have to worry about flashing while bending, and it covers the upper arm area.  I find I am more inclined to attend class when I am wearing a cute outfit.  I never claimed to be deep.

gap tee