Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Vidal Sassoon Pop-Up Salon is coming!

Once in great a while my blog and my job intersect, and this week is one of those times. I've been helping work on the relaunch of Vidal Sassoon hair care, and one of the ways we're bringing the brand to life is by bringing actual Vidal Sassoon pop-up salons to unexpected places—like your local drug or grocery store—and surprising women with a transformative hair styling experience.

We're doubling down on the Chicago event this Thursday to make it extra special, and to help get the word out I was able to engage my friends Sara and Caitlin from 2 Moms Media (both of whom I met through this here blog). They are helping Vidal Sassoon throw a VIP preview party and promote the event. Follow along on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #VSChi or better yet, come to the flagship Walgreens at the corner of State & Lake between noon and 7pm this Thursday and get your hair done by a genuine Vidal Sassoon stylist.

UntitledUntitledI'm so excited for this event because I feel passionately about hair and its power to make women feel good about themselves, and this pop-up salon has really dramatized that for so many women. Discovering the Curly Girl Method made me love my hair for the first time, and cutting my curls super short a few months ago still garners me near-daily compliments (thank you Sonya!). But whether or not anyone says a word about my appearance, how I feel about my day is closely tied to how I feel I look. And how I feel about my look is at least 50% related to my hair.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oliver! review -- It's like Annie with boys!

I've written before about my girls' obsession with musical theatre. It hit fever pitch this year after I took them to see OPRF's 110-person production of Les Miserables and Fenwick's The Wiz.

But after treating myself to The Book of Mormon (not for kids!) I wanted to check out more professional family-friendly fare in addition to our steady diet of high school and middle school productions.

So last Sunday Ada and I attended Oliver! at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrance (near the mall). "Why are there so many grandmas and grandpas here?" asked Ada, as we entered the sparkling, Vegas-like lobby. Indeed, the matinee audience was at least three-quarters retirees, with the rest composed of families with elementary-aged children.

Within the theatre, we found plush seats, great sight lines and well-calibrated sound. And when the lights went down, we were captivated by a very solid, very professional production. Oliver!, as you might surmise, is based on the story of Oliver Twist. Even my five year old identified the parallels between this story of a poor young orphan from long ago who discovers his real family quite by accident and that of a certain red-haired orphan and her "Hard-Knock Life." While I'd never seen the musical before, I recognized songs like "Food Glorious Food" and "Consider Yourself."

Ada and I were both impressed by the kid actors. Oliver is played by a very talented 11 year old from Wisconsin, but the Artful Dodger and all the boys from the workhouse and Fagin's gang were great and ranged in age from 7 (maybe younger?) to 14.

In addition to all the young talent, this production of Oliver! is a family affair. The show is directed and choreographed by Berwyn resident Rachel Rockwell, whose son Jake Helm plays one of Fagan's orphans and whose mother Glory Kissel has the role of the grandfather's housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin. And that's not all: the director's husband is the sound designer and her son's godfather is an actor and associate director.

As much as we enjoyed it, Oliver! ticket prices start at $35 and no kids under 5 are permitted, so if you're looking for a specifically child-friendly, low-cost show, you're better off waiting for Suessical, which opens at Drury Lane on April 24 and features $12 tickets and $22 character brunch + show packages.

Friday, April 05, 2013


This isn't a post about Roger Ebert, may his memory be a blessing.

One of Ada's Montessori classmates--the younger sister of one of her best friends--has leukemia. She was diagnosed a month ago and the chemo is already working. It's not my daughter, but it hit so close to home. To know she's virtually guaranteed to recover--something we learned yesterday--I can finally exhale.

Mostly. Because one of the risks of getting older is that mortality sneaks up around every corner. I've had 3 friends experience stillbirth. Another one's baby died of SIDS. Brain cancer claimed a colleague. And a heart attack took my dad at 55. And while Aria is going to kick cancer's butt, I have another friend whose child's brain cancer may prove incurable. It's awful and terrifying and heartbreaking, and all I know how to do is send food and the occasional awkward message of support.

Ada, Grandpa and his beloved cat
And then there's my father-in-law. He's been diagnosed with  posterior cortical atrophy, a variant of Alzheimer's disease. He's only 70, but suddenly seems much older. We visited with him--and over a dozen other relatives--last week for spring break.

Josh with John, 23
And while it was sad and  frustrating to see such an accomplished physician requiring sticky notes to remember the day of the week and his favorite TV channels, life marches onward and upward. The cousins I cradled as babies are enrolled in college. One's graduating next month!

Playing "rich people" in a creek
Josh's cousin, whose bar mitzvah I attended a decade ago, is working in finance and living with roommates and seems like such a nice, well-adjusted grown up. My mother is semi-retired. And perhaps most importantly, my children are potty trained book readers who can buckle their own seat belts, carry their own suitcases and disappear for whole hours in a land of make-believe.

Does this mean I'm a grown-up too? And if so, why do I still feel like an impostor half the time?