Paperspine Blog


Don’t We All Have An Inferiority Complex In Some Way? by lipstickblogger
March 16, 2009, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I think that most women can relate to feeling pretty good about ourselves at times. You know those days when the hair is vibrant, skin glows, and you just haven’t been as hungry lately so a few extra pounds melt away. For me, I know I can pretty hard on myself, but there are days when I think yeah, I don’t look so bad for having two kids. A couple of weeks ago I had a pretty good day when I attended an Oscar party for the Starlight Foundation. It was a charity benefit and one of the items auctioned off was lunch with Josie Bissett from Melrose Place. She just came out with an adorable children’s book called “The Tickle Monster”, so the highest bidder would get a copy of her book and lunch with her. Enter Josie Bissett and enter my inferiority complex – big time. She is really beautiful in person. I could never be so catty and say well, they just airbrush the heck out of her – no way.  Oh well, back to feeling average. 🙂

paperspine My most recent read, Exes and Oh’s by Beth Kendrick is a fun and entertaining read that deals with the sort of inferiority complex I described above. Meet child psychologist Gwen, who has just been dumped by her fiancée the day before the wedding. She is in a fragile state when she meets the handsome, successful and intelligent Alex. Gwen is over the moon and thinks that she just may have found the ultimate Mr. Right.

All seems swell until Gwen meets her new patient, Leo a precocious five year old whose stunning soap opera star mom, Harmony has come to Gwen to help with her son Leo’s tricky behavior. Coincidentally, Alex and Harmony have quite a history together, which causes big problems for Gwen and threatens her ethics as a child psychologist. Not only is Harmony stunning, causing Gwen to wonder what on earth does Alex see in her, but she is rich and famous to boot.  Gwen soon finds out that Harmony is just a little demanding, self-centered and completely absorbed in all things “spiritual” leaving her in the middle of a messy, awkward and ethically challenging love triangle.

The book is very entertaining, however there were couple of places where it was a little far-fetched. If I had to express one grievance about the book, it would have to be that there are a lot of coincidences that keep up the twists and turns of the plot line.  Nonetheless, this was a fun and entertaining read with an illustrious set of characters. Try it out, I am anxious to hear what you think.

All the best!
Lipstick Blogger
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Can we really have it all??? by lipstickblogger
January 30, 2009, 11:23 am
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Ah, the ultimate question… Does having it all include a successful career, happy marriage, happy children and a guilt free conscience?   For me, I suppose so, but most days I feel lucky to get my kids to preschool on time, have some sort of extracurricular activity to keep their active bodies entertained and have something nutritious & edible on the table for dinner.  All I have to say as to whether or not I really succeed is, well nothing, because although I have my days where I think I can do this, more often than not I just have to laugh at myself.    Thankfully my boys love me regardless and actually might even like me a little more on the days where I give them McDonald’s for dinner.  At the end of the day, those sweet little kisses and happy faces remind me of how much I really have accomplished.  As for my husband, I think that the best perk of the large company he works at is the 1 month paternity leave all new dads receive.  Not only did this put in perspective how much work it is to have children, but it also gave him a pretty good idea what stay at home mom’s do.   Which, and I will quote him, “Is something I could never do.”  Makes me gush….

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In the most recent book I read, “Wife in the Fast Lane” by Karen Quinn, the heroine is faced with this very question.   Meet Christy Hayes, a former Olympic medalist who has launched her own athletic line, Baby G and definitely has the successful career part down.  Building Baby G up from nothing, she is now the CEO of a thriving athletic company.   Christy, who once swore off men, choosing to focus on her career finds herself swept off her feet when she meets the wealthy and super-successful Michael Drummond.   Michael who survived a nasty divorce and struggles with the fact that his teenage daughter despises him, finds his soulmate in Christy.  The two have a fairy tale relationship and decide early on in their relationship that children will not be a part of their future.  However, the unexpected happens when Christy’s confidante and housekeeper dies and leaves Christy her granddaughter, Renata.

Can Christy convince Michael that raising Renata will be good for them and not harm their marriage?  Can Christy deal with the absurdity of Renata’s new private school? (The head of the PTA and Christy, have a history.) And, amidst all the chaos Christy finds that she is being backstabbed by one of her most trusted allies. Oh, and I can’t forget about the cunning reporter out to steal Michael from Christy.  There is no shortage of twists and turns, however Karen Quinn does a remarkable job of seamlessly making this a fun and easy read.

“Wife in the Fast Lane” is an entertaining read from the first page.   Many of the struggles Christy faces are the very ones moms and wives encounter in our everyday life.  I found myself laughing, shaking my head and unable to put this fun and delightful read down.  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did.  After all, don’t we deserve it!  🙂

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger

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The Unexpected Is A Pleasant Surprise… by lipstickblogger
January 18, 2009, 11:21 am
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Ah, 2009 is here! I am so, so excited. Al l the plans I have and lets face it – who doesn’t love a fresh start. Resolution #1 – make more time to read, resolution #2 – get my sons skiing and figure something clever to bribe them with so they don’t stomp off the slopes (have you looked into how expensive skiing is for kids?) and resolution #3 – be a better person, volunteer and use the extra time my kids are in preschool to make a difference. Things are scary right now and I thank my lucky stars for everything I have.

Now bear with me when I recount this tale. I do have a reason….Earlier this summer my husband and I were out with the kids on a warm sunny day. He went to get us all ice cream and came back holding a delicious vanilla cone for me. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this luscious cone, however when I bit into it I realized it was coconut ice cream. Now I love coconut and once I got used to it I thoroughly enjoyed it, however the initial shock took me by surprise and it took a minute or so to get used to it. I had a similar experience with my most recent read, “Miss Match” by Erynn Mangum.

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Miss Match is the story of Lauren Holbrook a twenty-three year old woman with a knack for setting people up – everyone except herself that is. From her best friend Brandon, her co-workers Ruby and Hannah, Lauren is good at working her magic. Lauren is a lovable, wholesome character who left me wondering why is she so anti-relationship?

Now, the one thing that threw me initially about this book was the high presence of religion. Instead of going out to clubs or restaurants, characters in this book socialized at Bible studies and there are several Bible verses that are referenced as well. Again, I enjoyed this book, but it was different than many of the other books I have read. I later did some research on Erynn Mangum and she sounds like a lovely 22 year-old writer with tremendous talent. I wish her well and recommend this book to those whose interest has been piqued. 🙂

Happy New Year!
Lipstick Blogger

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Private School Anyone? by lipstickblogger
December 22, 2008, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Before I had children I never really understood what love was. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my husband. He is a wonderful guy and I can’t imagine my life without him. But if push came to shove, my husband and I could stand on our own and survive. My boys on the other hand, need me and there is not only this intense love I have for them, but the feeling that I must help them flourish and help steer them in the right direction in life.

Living in the suburbs of Seattle, where there are excellent public schools with plenty of stay at home moms, lots of private money being put into schools and lots of parental participation in schools, I haven’t had to worry much about the private school saga that I have heard about. And thank goodness, because I am not sure if I would cut it and my little darlings can well, let’s just say speak their mind, not always at the most opportune times.

paperspineMy fears regarding private schools and the mess that can come with going through the admissions process was all the more heightened by my most recent read, “The Ivy Chronicles” by Karen Quinn.  While reading this book I was not thinking about the characters as real people, but more as entertainment. If I did, I would be mortified by not only the parents, but the shenanigans these parents let their kids go through to get into these schools. As purely entertainment though, this book was hysterical! I could not put it down and I was rooting for the heroine throughout the entire book.

The book begins when Ivy Ames finds herself being downsized by her current company. As a successful Vice President of a major bank, she is used to the good life and all the fruits of her labor. Ivy’s world continues to crumble as she finds out that her husband has been having an affair and her entire Upper West Side Manhattan life – complete with housekeepers, nannies and cooks is immediately gone. Unable to afford the mortgage on their current apartment, Ivy is forced to move out of her pricey pad, remove her children from their expensive private school and figure out a way to support her and her two kids. Since Ivy knows first-hand the ins and outs of getting her own two girls into the highly sought after private schools, she stumbles into the world of the wealthy and super-demanding as the premier private school admissions consultant in Manhattan.

The crazy and obnoxious supporting cast of demanding parents makes this book part irresistible and part despicable. (I mean despicable in a good way, kind of like how reality show rejects are hard NOT to watch.) From Maria Kutcher, whose mafia father is often referred to as “Kutcher the Butcher” to Winnie Weiner, a Jewish girl from the Upper West Side who becomes the African-American WaShaunte Washington in order to snag a “diversity” spot at the top schools, there is no antic that Ivy won’t stoop to in order to help her clients out.

I admire Ivy’s strength and tenacity to take on all the challenges that are endlessly thrown at her, however as the antics get more and more outrageous I began to wonder how far will she go and if she goes much farther could I actually still be her cheerleader?

I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did and am anxious to hear what you think!

I hope that all of my blog readers have a wonderful holiday season and an amazing 2009!

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger

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Friday Nights Develop Friendship and Family at the Friday Night Knitting Club… by lipstickblogger
December 14, 2008, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

It has been a while since my last post and honestly, there are two reasons for this…first, is the holiday season is just so, so busy! The second reason is this book was good, but lacked the “oomph” that kept me up reading into the wee hours of the night.

lipstick The book I am referring to is, “The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs. The main character, Georgia Walker owns a small, New York knitting shop in Manhattan. Georgia is the single mother of twelve year-old Dakota, a bi-racial daughter who Dakota has raised almost completely on her own since she was born. Georgia’s knitting shop is also run by her long-time friend, Anita. A lively widow in her seventies, Anita is like a second mom to Georgia and like a grandmother to Dakota. With the help of Anita, Georgia creates the Friday Night Knitting Club. This becomes a place where women come together to knit and becomes a place where unlikely friends become confidants and a sisterhood develops. There is Lucie, 42, a television producer who is about to become a mother for the first time – without a man in her life. Darwin Chiu, a feminist grad student who believes knitting is outdated, but is drawn to the club as her young marriage begins to unravel. KC, a tough and driven career woman who finds her career has stalled unexpectedly and Peri who works at Walker and Daughter by day and designs handbags at night. 

The story of Georgia and the Friday Night Knitting Club has a shocking conclusion as tragedy is faced by one of the club members. The women of the Friday Night Knitting club come together as a family and help support one another through their harsh ordeal.

This book had me taking stock in my own life – of what matters most and more importantly who matters most to me. I am eternally grateful for the family and friends that I have and love celebrating the holiday season with all of them.  This is without question, my favorite time of year. From eating endless amounts of comfort foods, spending time with loved ones and celebrating holiday traditions. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season and an amazing 2009!

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger

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Second Chance deserves a chance from Jane Green fans… by lipstickblogger
November 11, 2008, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I am pretty sure that I have read all of Jane Green’s novels so when I came up on Second Chance it was a natural choice for my next read.  Jane Green is a chick-lit staple in my literary world and although I have found some of her novels to be predictable, they are always fun, her writing is seamless and they always provide an entertaining read.

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Second Chance is the story of four friends who are reunited after a terrorist attacks kills one of their closest childhood friends, Tom.  The once tight knit group have all gone their separate directions and are reuniting after almost 20 years apart to reminisce and to mourn their loss.  The friends reunited include Holly, a former free spirit now stuck in a loveless marriage with her workaholic, social-climbing husband; Olivia, a lonely director of an animal shelter, who recently had her heart broken by the love of her life; Paul, a writer whose blissful marriage with his fashionable wife is marred by their inability to conceive; and Saffron, a recovering alcoholic actress secretly involved with a married Hollywood megastar.  Not only does Tom’s death reignite their friendship, it causes them to reevaluate their lives and ultimately find true happiness.

It’s funny, although hindsight is 20/20, there isn’t much in my life I would do over again.  Sure, in the heat of the moment I might wish I would have done or said something differently, however I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and thankfully in life, we almost always have a second chance.

All the best!
Lipstick Blogger

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If you are in the mood to laugh and don’t mind a narcissist, then I may have something for you… by lipstickblogger
October 13, 2008, 11:40 am
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Narcissistic people are by definition (according to Dictionary.com anyways J) “self-centered, smug and egocentric.”  Not exactly the most fun people to be around – at least I used to feel that way until I read Jen Lancaster’s memoir, “Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office.”  To say that Mrs. Lancaster is a narcissist would be putting it mildly, but what made her book fun to read and had me laughing out loud at times was the fact that she knows it and she owns it.  The entire book surrounds Jen and from time to time there might be a smidge of her husband Fletch and every so often a crumb of one of the other supporting characters.

Mrs. Lancaster was once a high-powered force in the business world, earning big money and spending that big money on highlights, handbags & a ritzy apartment, she finds herself going from being untouchable to unemployed post 9/11.   The people she once loathed, she now became.  Forced to sell her prized handbag collection one by one so that her husband could afford his depression medication and so she can buy food.  Her memoir follows her from self-righteous, super-brat to a more docile, yet still narcissistic woman who finds what her real passion is in life and also learns a thing or two about how one shouldn’t blow their money entirely on indulgences.

Throughout the book I went from not liking Jen Lancaster, to hating her, feeling sorry for her and then liking her again.   I am very passive aggressive.  I hate confrontation, just ask my poor husband who is forced to listen to me complain about a beef I might have vs. being more outspoken.  In some ways Mrs. Lancaster  reminds me of one of my favorite sitcom characters of all time, Elaine Bennis from Seinfeld.  I loved Elaine’s gumption, I loved that if a bakery sold her a cake she would come back to them and say, “You sold me a hair with a cake around it.”    This straightforward, unapologetic personality is shared by Mrs. Lancaster and if you are like me, you will likely find her tales entertaining.  Now, I must throw in the caveat that you might be flipping though some chapters thinking, “Why does this woman think she is?”  Just remember, that is what keeps this book interesting!

A fun, easy read.  I hope you enjoy it!

All the best,
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