6 Tips for Throwing 3-year-old’s Birthday Party at a Theme Park

DSC03410Last weekend was Frida’s third birthday! You know what I’m going to say: I can’t believe she’s been in our lives for three years already! But my wonderful yoga teacher Wini Linguvic put it into perspective during possibly the only moment of calm amidst the frenzied party activities: “What a year it has been!” And she went on to detail the many milestones that had occurred: babies Georgie and James were not even in the picture yet. Baby Lexi’s adoption was finalized! Several jobs were lost and acquired. Wini had opened her own private yoga studio that her wife Kim built herself. Their daughter Morgan with her gorgeous blue eyes was talking up a storm in full sentences. Frida is now the big kid at daycare who “helps” Marta, her caretaker. And she is ALMOST potty trained (argh).

All of that is worthy of a proper pony party, right?? We had been to a couple other pony-riding parties at Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, and Frida had so much fun that we wanted her to have her own. So we made it happen, and she had a blast—we did, too, after working out a few glitches.

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Here’s what we learned:

1. Make sure you can enter the party area a good hour before the party starts. We planned to get there 30 minutes early (plenty of time to set up for a party, right??) got stuck in traffic, and ended up at the site with about 20 minutes to spare before guests would arrive. And 10 of those minutes was spent signing in! I don’t have to tell you its super stressful when you’re laying out tablecloths, lighting charcoal and simultaneously greeting guests.

2. Make sure the area is self contained. We love Lemos Farm and there are so many fun things to do there: pony and choo choo rides, a petting zoo, bouncy houses and multiple play areas. However, the only party area available when I booked (#8) turned out to be spread around the farm. So in addition to trying to set up and greet people as the party started, we were also wrangling Frida who was running across the park into the jumpy house, trying to hop on the choo choo, and bolting to the opposite end of the park to the petting zoo. [Read more…]

No Toxins, All Science: Restore Your Hair to Its Youthful Color and Luster

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My hair has gone quite gray in my 40’s, and I hadn’t seen its natural color in more than a decade. But now I have. My hair (the non-highlighted part) is currently the color it was when I was in high school—I mean the EXACT color. Like, scientifically the exact color.

I posted an Instagram and Facebook photo of the process a couple months ago, and many of you were curious what I was using. Was I transitioning to my natural gray state of affairs? No. I’m not that brave yet.

About the get the most high tech and least toxic hair color of my life #hairprint #haircolor #youcaneatit

A photo posted by Kristen Philipkoski (@stylenik) on

So here’s the scoop: it’s not a dye, it’s a product called Hairprint. It’s called that because, like your finger with it’s fingerprint, your hair has a unique identifier associated with its original color, even if it has turned completely gray. Hairprint accesses that color and brings it back to the surface of your hair.

My husband declared snake oil when I first told him about this stuff, but I’ve had two treatments now and I can tell you it’s real.

It was invented by a scientist named Dr. John Warner, co-founder of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, who’s known as the father of green chemistry. His background is not in beauty or cosmetics, rather he’s worked on treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and new ways of creating semiconductors. Here’s an excerpt from his bio:

He has published over 200 patents, papers and books. His recent work in the fields of semiconductor design, biodegradable plastics, personal care products, solar energy and polymeric photoresists are examples of how green chemistry principles can be immediately incorporated into commercially relevant applications.

Just in case you were wondering if he’s legit. He wasn’t looking for a way to rid the world of gray hair, and I kind of doubt his own white hairs really bothered him much. But he stumbled upon it and realized he could help thousands, (millions?), of women avoid dousing their heads in toxic chemicals. Studies have shown a link between traditional hair color products and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So Hairprint maybe be a beauty product but it may also save lives.

Warner was experimenting on gray hair extensions, but couldn’t get consistent color. A thought occurred to him: He asked the manufacturer if the hair all came from the same donor. When the answer was “no,” he realized Hairprint was morphing and customizing to turn each strand of hair back to its original color.

Here’s the science in a nutshell: the plant-based, odor-free product mirrors the hair’s natural pigmentation process by replacing eumelanin, the stuff in hair that creates color (like the melanin in your skin).

You can even eat it. The company’s general manager, Paul Jackson, did just that while I was getting my first Hairprint treatment at their headquarters in Sausalito.

That was my first treatment—it was a first for both of us! I was Philippa Shenendoa’s first guinea pig client, and I almost fled without getting the service because it turns out highlights can be a problem. If Hairprint gets into those chemically lightened areas, the light parts can turn pitch black. And as you may have seen, I have a pretty major ombre.

I was willing to risk going all-dark to try out the product—it was too intriguing not to. But I have to admit I breathed a sigh of relief when my ombre remained intact. Philippa loaded up my highlights with conditioner, then wrapped them in a plastic bag before rinsing the color through and all was well.
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The product changes from pink to nearly black after you mix the wet and dry ingredients together (see above). For the application, Philippa very gingerly brushed on the mousse-y goop as neatly as she could. I loved the color but and the coverage was a bit spotty, and it faded fairly quickly (see photos—sorry for the variations in lighting and distance from the camera!).

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May 13 (before treatment), May 14 (day of treatment), May 18

I was intrigued enough, though, to try it again. It turns out you need to really douse your hair and it can get a bit messy. The thicker you goop it on, the better it works. So the second time Philippa applied it, this time at her salon in Sausalito, she laid it on thick, and the results were amazing (see photos!).

There is one more hitch: it only works on dark hair. Sorry blondies! But don’t worry, Warner and his team are working on a solution for you. They started with dark hair because more than 90 percent of the world has dark hair. You really can’t blame them.

You CAN highlight the hair once it’s been treated with Hairprint—and since highlights don’t usually touch the scalp, they’re less worrisome in the toxicity department.

One more thing: you have to apply the product in three phases, so it’s for sure time consuming (worth it though, to me, for the lack of toxins and natural look).

Loving my toned down ombré, thank you @pippaflip!! #hair #beauty #ombré

A photo posted by Kristen Philipkoski (@stylenik) on

For my second treatment, after the third and final application, Philippa removed the protective plastic bag from my ombred hair and rinsed Hairprint through so the product could act as a toner to my brassy-looking highlights. Again, I was a little nervous, but I’m over the moon happy with the results. It looks so natural and reminds me of that time when I was 8-years-old and my neighbor stopped me in the street to say: “My goodness, girl, your hair is shiny!”

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June 26 (really getting gray!), June 27, June 29—obsessed with the chocolate-y color. And hey it’s my natural hair color!

Healthy, shiny hair seems to be another, somewhat unexpected, bonus of Hairprint. African American women in particular are reporting that their hair is stronger and better able to withstand straightening and ironing after they use the stuff.

You can buy Hairprint online and apply it yourself for $49. I have to say, though, I’m glad I Philipa has been doing it for me, at least the first few times. I imagine there would be a bit of a learning curve, but it could certainly be done at home successfully.

June 29, July 2, July 14—a few weeks later, a gray or two is popping through but the color is still good.

June 29, July 2, July 14—a few weeks later, a gray or two is popping through but the color is still good.

Lastly, this stuff is amazing for men. It’s a sad fact that men always look weird when they color their hair, but not with Hairprint. Since it really is your natural hair color, it doesn’t look alien. And—call it a glitch or a feature—Hairprint sometimes has a hard time covering the baby hairs around the hairline, which can actually give men a natural, salt and pepper look. Watch this video to see how good it looks on Dr. Warner!

Keep an eye on my Forbes page for another report about the science behind Hairprint. I’ll be interviewing Dr. Warner and will get into more detail on how this magic really works. In the meantime, check out the loads of info they have on their website. Fascinating stuff! Let me know if you try it!

Full disclosure: this is not a sponsored post! Philippa provided the service to me for free in return for being her guinea pig. But she paid for the product and is not affiliated with Hairprint. Check out her Instagram!

The headline of this article has been corrected. It originally said that Haiprint does not contain chemicals, which of course it does!

Howard Stern (and Robin!) Said My Name (NSFW)

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 4.24.36 PMIt’s true. Howard Stern of the radio said my name, and he pronounced it perfectly (the first time). An old friend who has been a die-hard fan of the Howard Stern Show since we were in college at Penn State together in the freaking eighties was thoughtful enough to create this video clip and email it to me. Warning: this is not for the meek, mild, or minors among us:

 

If you’d rather not listen to something potentially offensive, I’ll just let you know Howard is discussing this article about bestiality I wrote (sorry) for Gizmodo back in 2011.

Of all the things I’ve written about, it’s mostly the articles about sex that have been the most popular (I realize this is not shocking). This necklace-slash-vibrator article received the most pageviews of anything I’ve ever written. This one, though depressing, did OK, too.

Then there was the article about the guy who got sued by FedEx because he made furniture out of their shipping boxes—that one had about 500k pageviews last time I checked, which was about eight years ago. Well, FedEx does rhyme with sex doesn’t it.

Anyway, Howard Stern said my name!

 

 

 

Get a Sweet Nutrition Boost and Enter to Win a Spa Day!

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This post was sponsored by Olly.

Even though I live at the beach, my doctor informed me a couple years ago that I have a vitamin D deficiency. Bummer! I’ve purchased vitamins several times since then but, unsurprisingly, I always forget to take them. That means every year when I get my check-up, I still have a vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to brittle bones and depression—not cool at all. But I have a feeling the next doctor visit might be different, because I pretty much never forget to take my Olly vitamins—a recently-launched brand of delicious, chewable vitamins. They sit on the kitchen counter next to the coffee (which I obviously never forget to make!), and as soon as I catch a glimpse of them, I start salivating like Pavlov’s dog—that’s how yummy they are. They’re a nice little sweet jolt of nutrition and sweetness first thing in the morning.

When I found out they also made a product with melatonin, I snapped that up too. I have a teenager now, and his sleeping habits are all over the place. When he needs to get up in the morning for school or basketball camp, he HAS to get a good night’s sleep. Melatonin, since it’s natural, makes me much more comfortable as a parent than another type of sleep aid. And the bonus is it tastes like a grape gummy bear.

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I tried the citrus and the berry versions of the women’s multivitamin (I think berry is my fave!). Until recently, my diet was pretty atrocious, so I figured I would cover all of my bases with a multi. But now that I’ve gotten my eating and health a bit more under control, I’m going to try the vitamin D3-specific Olly product.

With its beautiful packaging and revolutionary concept—how did no one think of this sooner; kids chewables have been around forever!—it’s no surprise that one of Method’s co-founders is behind Olly. Read more about it here.

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To celebrate their official launch, Olly is throwing a Sweet Bliss Sweepstakes! The grand prize is a Day Spa package for a lucky winner and a friend, a 6 months supply of Olly Vitamins, and a personal wellness consultation with Olly’s resident nutritionist! Plus, 100 runner ups will receive an Olly product of their choosing. Check out the link for more details and to enter!

 

After One Month of Using the Jawbone UP MOVE: Progress!

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Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany
This post was sponsored by Jawbone UP MOVE.

I described previously how the Jawbone UPMOVE was already changing my behavior in a significant way, specifically when it comes to sleep, exercise, and diet. The device continues to affect my life in those categories, with one additional benefit: it doesn’t look out of place with an all-black outfit!

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I wore this to my teen’s junior high graduation and I felt good in it—and not just because all-black is slimming. The last time I wore these pants on the blog, I was demonstrating how to attempt to camouflage a seven-pound weight gain over the holidays. After using my UP MOVE for a month, I’ve lost more than half of that extra weight—four pounds! I have to say it’s great to feel in control of body again. I’m addicted to logging my sleep every night, which means more sleep and better metabolism. Same with recording my food and exercise—seeing my stats, as well as the UP App’s advice to eat more fiber and get to bed earlier, have proven to be key in getting me on the road to a weight I’m more comfortable with.

I’m particularly impressed with the workout logging function of the UP MOVE because if I forget to click my device beforehand, when I log on to the UP App, it greets me with: “It looks like you were really moving.” I’m like: “Thanks for noticing!” I can then let the app know what I was doing and how hard I was working and it estimates the number of calories I burned.

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I do believe the UP MOVE and I have a long an meaningful relationship ahead of us!

Wearing: Hayden Harnett pants, Pickwick + Weller (RIP) t-shirt, Surface to Air blazer, Freda Salvador shoes

Take the Stress Out of Father’s Day Gift Giving

Compensation was provided by T.J. Maxx and Mode Media

One reason my dad is awesome: he will chase down a toddler to get the shot.

One reason my dad is awesome: he will chase down a toddler to get the shot.

Everyone’s dad is the hardest person in the world to buy a gift for, right? I’m pretty sure it’s not just me. But I’ve found a tactic that works for finding great surprises for myself as well as for dad: Go to T.J. Maxx with an open mind, and see what goodies you find.

The merchandise at T.J. Maxx is always changing, and that’s one of the things I love about shopping there. There’s always a sense of discovery. My local T.J. Maxx is right next to the grocery store I visit weekly, so I make it a habit to stop by whether I have something in mind to buy or not.

Last week, I made my regular visit with a vague idea that I needed a Father’s Day gift. I was secretly hoping for some T.J. Maxx magic, but I didn’t want to jinx anything. I casually passed through the men’s clothing—that’s one of the many things he does not need—and headed to the tech gadgets. He loves his iPad, and is a master photographer. He’s got tons of accessories for his DSLR, but he hasn’t experimented much yet with the camera on his tablet. So when I spotted a fish-eye lens made for a mobile device, I snapped it up. Then I spotted a five-piece “task master” tool set, which included a magnetic pick-up tool, carabiner, light-up screwdriver and leveler. It was inexpensive, would be easy to ship to Pennsylvania, and since my dad is doing some kind of odd job around the house pretty much every day, I’m pretty sure he’ll use it often.

Mission accomplished! But no visit to T.J. Maxx is complete without a visit to the home section. I scored a ceramic frying pan—my latest cooking obsession.

I'm so serious: these were a score.

I’m so serious: these were a score.

On my way out, I also grabbed these tortoiseshell sunglasses for myself, plus a white polo shirt in my dad’s size. After all, clothes aren’t always about “need,” right? As usual, T.J. Maxx magic helped me make it work.

maxx savings. maxx style. maxx life.

Three Ways Jawbone’s UP MOVE Taught Me to Get Healthier

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Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany

This post was sponsored by Jawbone UP MOVE

I mentioned a few months ago that I gained some weight over the holidays. Somehow that’s half a year ago now and I still haven’t lost the pounds. In fact, to my chagrin and astonishment, I have gained a little more. I weigh more than I ever have before in my life, including post freshman-15. I think I’ve officially hit that age when losing weight has become ridiculously hard.

Or, maybe it’s the fact that I have zero willpower, and now that we have food in the house requested by our teenager—Cinnamon Toast Crunch,  Nutella, cheese crackers (you know the delicious, ingrediently ambiguous sandwich kind)—you can imagine what’s happening when I come home famished after a dance class. Especially when no one else is home to witness my immoderation.

Or, maybe it’s because I tend to only get myself out the door a couple times a week to exercise?

Who knows? Actually, I do, now. The mystery is being solved  by Jawbone’s UP MOVE. The timing was perfect for a collaboration with them, because I really didn’t know what to do about the continually rising numbers on the scale.

Now I know exactly what to do, because I’ve been wearing the UP MOVE watch-like device for a few weeks, and the corresponding UP App let’s me know where I’m killing it health- and fitness-wise and where I need some work. So far, here are the top three things I need to do to get healthier and finally lose that weight.

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1. Move more. On days when I go to dance class (usually Monday and Wednesday), I get all the movement I need. UP MOVE helps you count the number of steps you take every day, and my goal is 10,000. On dance days I get there easily. But on other days, I barely get to 3/4 of that. But, as UP MOVE has suggested, all I’d need a 20 minute walk and I’d reach my goal.  That’s easily done, and getting outside has lots of other benefits including helping me think more creatively and granting a dose of much-needed vitamin D.

2. Sleep more. I started using UP MOVE on a weekend, and thought I was a rockstar sleeper. The UP App was congratulating me left and right for sleeping more than most other women in my geographical region, as well as for getting some good sound sleep. But then Monday struck, and I discovered I stay up way too late and get up way too early Monday through Friday. Some nights I’m sleeping less than six hours, and I’m not going to bed at a consistent time. The UP App tells me that women who get more hours of sleep and go to bed at a consistent time have less body fat. That’s enough motivation for me to make a concerted effort to get more Zs—plus I’ll be more patient and in a better mood, which I’m sure my teen and toddler will appreciate!

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3. Eat smarter. I’m a calorie counter, so I tend to focus more on quantity than quality of food. But the UP MOVE device and app have taught me that’s not the best approach. After logging all my meals for the past few weeks, my score has been consistently around 5 or 6 (10 is the best), and the cause seems to mostly be BREAD AND SUGAR. But seeing that number go down from 9.5 to 6 because I added sugar to my oatmeal is helping me make better choices—i.e. now I put mango chunks in my oatmeal instead. Another favorite tip from the app: use avocado instead of mayo. I like avocado better anyway, I just always forget to buy them!

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I’ve only lost a pound so far, but I FEEL like I’m on a good trajectory. My goal is not to be skinny, just to be healthy so I’m around for these two kids for decades to come. I’d also prefer not to outgrow all of my clothes, you know? Stay tuned for my next installment in a couple weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A ’70s Denim Jumpsuit and a $100 Giveaway

IMG_7910Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany

We’ve got a lot to cover in today’s post so let’s get started. Isn’t it funny how pretty much every instructional video begins that way? Anyway, I have been wanting to shoot photos at Shelldance Orchid Gardens since the moment I laid eyes on it about four years ago when we first moved to Pacifica. It’s a magical place with long, steamy greenhouses packed with flowers and succulents, plus event spaces that are crying out for the kaftan party I’ve been contemplating (who’s in?). The woman who owns the nursery, Nancy Victoria Davis, is amazingly patient with toddlers who run around screaming, and, even better, she can help you keep an orchid alive indefinitely.

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Next up is this denim jumpsuit straight out of the ’70s that I bought recently at Wallflower, my current favorite vintage shop in SF. I got myself 100% ready for the Governors Ball this weekend with items I found at that beautiful place.

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Last but certainly not least is the ocean clutch I’m carrying in these photos, which was designed by Protland-based photographer and illustrator Leah Flores. It’s the reason for the—drumroll—$100 RedBubble giveaway! RedBubble recently launched a new street style line of apparel and accessories, including skirts, scarves, leggings, pouches, drawstring bags and tops. The “Art in Motion” collection features original art transferred onto clothing, and it all looks pretty amazing. Want $100 to snap up some of these goodies? You could win just that by simply following Stylenik on Instagram, and entering their raffle below. You have until June 9 to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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See, I told you we had a lot to cover! Here are a few more photos from the gardens. It’s such an amazing spot to shoot, and Nancy not only tolerated us but offered to help with props. Love her and this place.

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Come On-a My House!

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Since Mode published this video of my hippie beachside home the other day, I can’t get that Rosemary Cloony song out of my head. Somehow the miracle-working Mode crew edited around my stuttering, tripping (don’t wear heels on shag carpet) and looking in the wrong direction to put together this amazing video. If you’ve been following my “closet confidential” posts, you know I’ve had a lot of work to do recently to get things in order around the house. So if I look tired in the video, you know why!

A few shout-outs that didn’t make it into the final cut: A huge thank you to the folks at NousDecor, who gifted our teenager the custom wallpaper in his room, as well as the design of the room, which was laid out by celebrity interior guru Mark Cutler. Read more about that here.

Big thanks to Danny Montoya for making my beautiful clothing rack—check out the massive redwood feet! Also check out his recently-launched woodworking studio for kids, The Butterfly Joint. Sign your kid up for a summer camp! Can’t wait until Frida’s old enough!

Also thanks to Linda Fahey of The Yonder Shop in Pacifica for loaning me the cool plant you’ll see on the bar in the room formerly known as the man cave. The ceramic pot it’s in was also supposed to be a loaner but I couldn’t bear to say goodbye so I bought it. 

My crazy pants are by Amour Vert, my top/jacket is from H&M’s Conscious Collection, and my shoes are Shoes of Prey.

Last but not least, Frida’s dress (which I think is actually a tunic) is by The Podolls‘ kid’s line, Podots!

Thanks for watching and happy weekend!! I’ll be hunkered down in my sunken living room catching up on work and getting ready to head to NYC next weekend for the Governors Ball Music Festival—stay tuned for more about that!

How to Get Free Tickets to the California College of the Arts Graduation Fashion Show!

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Photos by Stevan Nordstrom

It’s one of my favorite times of year. Not only did some amazing cruise fashion presentations happen in far-flung locales around the world, but here at home in San Francisco, the senior fashion students are putting on their graduate fashion shows. They’re always a ton of fun, and not what you might imagine when you picture a “student” fashion show. We have serious talent in this city, and some of the best will be on display this Friday when the California College of the Arts Fashion Design Program sends their hard work down the runway.

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The CCA campus at 1118 8th Street will become a full-blown runway tomorrow night, and as you can see from these photos taken at previous years’ shows, you won’t want to miss it. You can support the school by purchasing a ticket to attend the event for $40, or $100 for VIP entry, which includes wine and hors d’oeuvres at our a pre-show party from 6:30-7:45. Show starts at 8pm!

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Or, you can win free entry by commenting on this post! Just say hi, or tell me your favorite color, or if you’re feeling creative I really like poems. I will announce the randomly selected lucky winner tomorrow morning! I hope to see you there!