Archive for June, 2009

WE HAVE A 23andMe WINNER: (And a discount code for 10 lucky others!)


Act fast and get $50 off!

Act fast and get $50 off!

Thanks to all of you for your comments — but there is only one winner — Judy A. from North Carolina has won a DNA Testing service from 23andMe! I’ve put her in touch with the folks at 23andMe and they’ll take it from here.


But don’t despair if you haven’t won! If you click quickly, you could get $50 off your own kit from, by using this coupon code at checkout: HBXP84.  The code is only good for the first ten people, and it’s only good for two days from today — so go on, click, buy, take the plunge, and find out all kinds of cool stuff about yourself. 

It was fascinating to read all of your responses to my questions, and very interesting to see how few of you felt that you might find  out “too much” information about yourself, or that if you found out something scary – it would be a bad thing.  Then again, I guess that if you’re interested in the service, then you must already be ready to know as much about yourself as possible. 

My 23andMe gig has come to a close with this post, but I have had a great time, and I will continue to visit the site, participate in the community, and learn as much about my genetic self as possible.  23andMe has a great mission: to make DNA testing services available to more people through excellent pricing, to effect change in health care, to empower people with information about themselves, and to serve as a research bank to scientists around the globe.  Sounds good to me.

And to Judy: Congratulations!  Find me on 23andWe  (the community part of the site), and let me know how you are doing.  I’d love to know how it works out for you!


June 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

23andMe DNA Testing Kit Giveaway


Here's the Kit. Cool graphics, huh?

Here's the Kit. Cool graphics, huh?

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been writing a bit (!) about 23andMe for the past few months. I’ve contemplated the difference between my jeans and my genes, I’ve wondered why my family (who all have kits) won’t spit, I’ve worried about how much to share, how much info is too much. But mostly, I’ve spent the last several months amazed at both the plethora of information you get from having a DNA Test at 23andMe, and the incredible generosity of the 23andWe community where someone always seems ready to answer my questions immediately. (And every time – as this time – I have full disclosure, I am a paid freelance employee of 23andMe. And if you think that means I can’t be unbiased about the service – you’re just WRONG.!)


Now, the fabu people at 23andMe have given me a chance to offer you the chance to win the DNA Testing Service for yourself. It’s worth $399 and gives you access to detailed information about your traits, family background and health predispositions—to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering one of the following questions:

Is there anything about your family background that you hope genotyping might help you figure out?
One of the main goals of 23andMe is to further research into the genetic aspect of our health. How do you think having more information about your own genes might help you manage your health?
What would you do if you found out you were predisposed to something…let’s just say scary. Would you freak out, or feel empowered?

I’ll use to pick a winner. Now the legal mumbo jumbo: The contest is open to legal residents of the USA, ages 18 or older and the winner is responsible for any applicable taxes. Here’s a link to the official rules:

Comments will be open until 11 PM on Sunday, June 28, and will contact the winner sometime on Monday, June 29. Make sure you leave your email (it won’t show up in your comment online) so I can let you know you’ve won. 

Good Luck Everybody!

June 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm 35 comments

Ageless Body? Yeah, right.

Long ago, I discovered the secret to buying (passably) flattering bathing suits: the worse you look the more you pay. (Hence, the Karla Coletto bazillion dollar(and worth every penny) bathing suit.)  I then learned the secret to feeling young and attractive: hang out with the septaugenarians.  I’ve bemoaned the new fahion-math: in Hollywood, size six is the new size twelve. I’ve questioned the new age-math (not new-age math, mind you, but new age-math) which tries to tell us that 40 is the new thirty, and 80 is the new sixty.  By that logic, I’m actually getting younger every year.

Still, nothing prepared me for my recent beach-side discovery:  post-forty, bodies age exponentially.

Think about it: what was your body like at 20?  Was it so different at 25?  At 30? Probably not. As a matter of fact,  I was actually in better shape at 32 than I was at 22.  At 32 I was working out, jogging, eating right.  At 22 I was living in Paris, smoking, drinking wine, and thought exercise was something I only had to do in America, and only then when some oversized PE teacher was forcing me.

Now think of your body at 38.  Then at forty.  Then at 42. (If you haven’t reached this milestone, don’t read on: you might not want to know what’s next).  Still the same body?  Not so much, huh?

Last year, I noticed that my knees were wrinkling. Knees!! What the hell can you do about that?  This year, my quads have joined in.  Mind you, I weigh less (thank you Weight Watchers) this year than I did last,  and the muscles are still under there: yoga and Nia, and weight training, and even ballroom dancing sees to that.  But my skin doesn’t care.  My skin is aging.  Fast.

So is the rest of me.  Today, I went to Tip Top Shoes to try to find stylish shoes that don’t bother my back or my bunion. There, I said it.  BUNION.  If that doesn’t say “your body is aging” well, what does? (By the way stylkish shoes adn bunion really don’t go together. I don’t care what Mephisto says.)

Then there’s the fact that I can no longer drink alcohol.  I was never much of a drinker.  Maybe a few glasses of wine once or twice a month.  But now?  ONE glass, and I’m out of commission for three days. Jeez.

It isn’t that I don’t want to get older (well, I don’t, but that’s not the point) The point is, why is it happening so fast?  I pretty much looked the same from the time I was 20 until I was thirty.  There were little changes – maybe my skin wasn’t quite as vibrant – but overall, the changes were just a difference – not a decline.

So all this leads me to one thing:  should I change the name of my blog?  Let’s face it, is quite a mouthful, quite a thing to type in, and awfully hard to remember, from what I gather. (Does no one get the Deepak Chopra reference?  Anyone? Anyone?)

I have been working on a manuscript for a while now, it’s called: From Hip to Housewife in Two Kids Flat.  So I’m asking here — should I change my website’s name to  Or just keep it as is.  Because, let’s face it, despite my best attempts, I’m not exactly ageless here.  

Votes welcome.  Vote, please, and fast.  I’m not getting any younger.

June 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

I’m packin’ up!

Oy. For those of you who have never seen a Woody Allen Movie, gone to hear Barbra Streisand perform, or had grandparents who remind you of Billy Crystal when he does his old man schtick, “oy” is “oh boy” with a Jewish accent. It pretty much describe the way I feel right now. There are lots of different kinds of travel. Family trips with our kids or romantic rendez-vous without them, business trips and girlfriend getaways. I am on a different kind of trip. I am entering the full-fledged land of the grown up.

Read the rest of this post at Traveling And while you’re there, check out some of the articles about planning your summer vacation, saving money on trips, and lots lots more. I know I write for the site — but I’m not just saying this – there is A LOT of good info at TMOM.  Check it out!

June 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

NYC Moms Blog Post: My Daughter Thinks She’s Fat and It’s all my Fault

Swimsuit season is upon us.  And with it the onslaught of diet ads on tv, magazines with pics of celebs caught having actual cellulite, and me, bemoaning my post-partum, post-forty, past passing for anything but middle-aged body.

Though I am, if I am completely, intellectually honest, neither truly fat, or particularly unattractive, I have made a life (and something of a writing career) of comically dissecting my physical flaws.  I’m the self-appointed Queen of Bad Body Image, chronicling on line and in print my twenty year quest to lose the same ten pounds.  I’ve joked about the fact that my belly button seems to be frowning, that the only men who find me attractive are septuagenarians, that I’ve chosen to paint my daughter’s room the same lavender color as my newly acquired varicose veins.

Ha Ha.  Nudge nudge.  Wink Wink. Very funny.  Until this morning, when my daughter refused to eat breakfast because, she told me through her tears, the boys in her class had told her she was fat.

Want to read the rest of this post?  Click here to go to NYC Moms Blog. (and while you’re there, leave a comment, wouldja?)

June 4, 2009 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Youngening: It’s true! We’re all getting younger!

Forty is the new thirty.  Fifty is the new forty.  Twenty one is the new eighteen.  In fact, my hormones are skyrocketing to adolescent levels even as I type.

It’s the new math.  And Lord knows, I’ve never been much good at math. Funny.  I’m not much good at getting younger as I age, either.

This  new math is everywhere.  It also applies to clothing: What used to be called a size ten is now called a size eight. (Though at Old Navy, they call it a size six.  God bless vanity sizing.) In this economy, it also applies to shopping: what used to cost $30 now is a 50%-off fifteen bucks.

Everything that can have a numerical value associated with it seems to have gone down.  Except, of course, the size a woman is “supposed to be.”

Seems to me that the only value moving backwards the “optimum” size for a woman, as portrayed by TV, magazines, movies, and runway shows.  Because according to them, size six is the new size twelve. In other words:if you’re wearing a size six, you’re big.  Excuse me?  I mean, I’m pretty pleased when I’m in my vanity size 8’s, thank you very much.

Maybe it does make sense. After all, if we’re all getting younger, shouldn’t we all be getting thinner too? Shouldn’t we all be careening towards pre-pubescent hips, flawless skin, and the ability to be out in the freezing cold without a jacket? I don’t know about you, but I’m not “youngening.”  I’ve said it before and I”ll say it again: if forty really is the new thirty, somebody forgot to tell my thighs. And my knees, and my eyesight. I’m not getting thinner and tauter any more than I’m getting younger and more interested in The Jonas Brothers.   My brain may say thirty, but my ovaries say “I don’t think so.” (more…)

June 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm 3 comments

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