Summer Muchness- The unexpected side effects.

I feel like I haven’t posted here in so long. Whenever I go for a streak without posting I get all up in my head, wondering if it’s cuz I’m losing touch with The Muchness, but in reality, I’ve just been so busy! I have been meaning to share so many Muchness Moments that happened this summer but I can’t seem to find the time, between, ya know, MAKING Muchness Moments and um, sleeping. and also, my computer died. That was a drama. Now, it’s mostly all fixed. Mostly.

But anyway, I wanted to share with you two things that I did this summer in the name of Muchness. Things I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do. Things I would NOT have done in years past. Behold- Two Muchness Highlights of my summer:

Me, jumping as high as I can at a trampoline Center.

What to me, is most compelling about this picture is what is NOT in the picture. That would be all the other moms, sitting on the benches with their shoes on checking their phones. Pre-muchness, ya know who would have been on the bench next to them? Yes! That’s right! Yours truly!

This next one is even better, because this is something I haven’t done since, um, Maybe sometime in the 1980’s. No Kidding.

Yes- That is a diving board, and yes, that is me jumping off of it.

Why am I showing you this stuff? Because pre-muchness, there was no muchy little elf sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear “Go on, do it! Who cares what those other people think? Who cares that only teenage boys are jumping off the diving board? Who cares that all the other moms are sitting around the edge hanging their feet in the pool? Who cares if water shoots up your nose and the water is cold and you flop on your ass? Go for it! I dare you! Be Muchtastic!”…. but that is what The Muchness has brought to my life. I’ve spent the summer pushing myself to enjoy the days. I’ll admit there were some that overwhelmed me, and I even spent a bit of this summer wearing unmuchy flats… But overall, the side effects of The Muchness were really visible in my days. As we head into the Muchness meets photography Challenge I am excited not only to share it wuth others but also to participate myself. I want to get back to blogging my Muchness Moments, Daily. Because when I look, I see them, and when I see them, they multiply… I’m thinking next year? Parasailing. Ha!


The path may lead us where we never expected

I remember, as a kid in jewish sleep away camp, we had a 45 minute “learning” session each morning where they taught us about the scripture of the week, or some life lesson that we should apply to our camp experience. In all honesty, I never paid attention. Ever. I’d sit on the lawn and pull out the fattest pieces of grass from the earth and them split them lengthwise down the center. Or, I’d find little bits of tree bark and branches and pick off the outer layer of bark bit by bit till the hard wood insides were exposed. OCD much?

I went to sleep away camp from the time I was 5 years old (Not a typo) until I was 16. 11 years of 45 minute daily lectures and I remember just one. One. Perhaps I should not be bragging about that fact … but alas, it’s basically true.

So what is the one lecture I remember? Well, actually , I don’t remember. Pathetic, I know. Of the 45 minutes I remember just one- but I remember it well. The person giving the lecture said, very emphatically,  that “We are all put on this earth for a reason. We all have a gift, a talent – SOMETHING – that makes us special and we should find that thing and live a life that honors it. It is the reason we are born.” I think when I heard this I was about 10 or 11 years old. I clearly remember thinking “My thing is that I can draw and make artsy stuff. I am an artist. I know this. That is what is my thing. I am very lucky that I already know what it is.These girls around me probably don’t know their thing. But I know mine. And that is just one reason I don’t have to listen to this lecture. It has nothing to do with my life’s purpose.”

And that is pretty much, the path my life took. At 12 years old I started my fashion portfolio and set my sights on studying Fashion Design at FIT, like my mom, and my dad’s mom. And at 17 I did just that. And that has been my career and I am and have always been really good at it. (Toot. Toot. That is me, and my horn.)

But these last few years have changed me. I still love art and creating and still want  need to do it in my life. But I have also found that I have other passions, other skills, and an overwhelming desire to bring joy to other people’s lives. This desire used to be met through my art and design. When, in my 20’s, I started my own company designing unique and inspired handbags, I truly felt like I was using my talents to bring people joy. And I was. I remember the names of my two biggest fans. They wrote to me all the time and always wanted the next, newest bag I would be designing. People would email me to tell me how perfect the bag they’d bought was, how it was the reason they’d had an incredible evening. Stuff like that rocked my world.

Now, it is my family and it is this- this Muchness- that rocks my world. Talking to people – connecting with them and helping them feel joy again, see light again, appreciate themselves and their individuality, this is what lights me up. This is not a gift I knew I had. It’s not what I would have thought at 11 years old sitting on the grass. It’s still not a gift I’m sure I have, but it’s a calling that I have to answer. The fact that I have somehow managed to create a space in this tiny little corner of the internet where I have combined my artistic talent with this new passion, blogging about the pretty little sparkly things that that make me smile, and know that it is bringing a smile to someone else’s face and inspiring them to bring a smile to someone else’s face… I feel like it’s no accident. I believe this message is one I was put here to share. I believe it’s the message my girls were brought here to help me find. I believe it is the reason they were born, and it is my mission to fulfill their purpose.

I want to thank every single one of you who reads or comments on my posts, who writes on your Muchness blog, tags me with pictures of your pretty sparkly Muchness Moments… Your support and encouragement remind me and inspire me every day that though this may not be the path I expected my talents and gifts to take, and though I often feel like I am stumbling and fumbling to follow that path in the way I am meant to, it is an amazing path and I am excited and humbled to be on it. Thank you for being here with me.


Have you seen your new Member Homepage?!?!

I’m terribly excited to share with you the new member area homepage!! Ever since I started this project, the thing I loved the most was watching new members join and make the commitment to find their Muchness by documenting their Muchness Moments. If you’ve been a long time reader, you know that I have been through so many iterations of this site trying to make it just right. I’ve had so many ups and down, the biggest down being The Great Server Crash of 2011, where I lost some incredibly beautiful, inspired and healing Muchness Challenges. In a panic, I hastily moved the site to a whole new “pre-designed” platform with lots of bells and whistles, but it just never felt ‘right.’

So now, I’ve been slowly building and rebuilding the site and community to really represent what The Muchness has grown into.

We are a community of support, sharing, healing, fun and sparkle, but ultimately, we are and have always been, about YOU and YOUR journey to find YOUR Muchness. 

We just give you a give you a place to explore, create, experiment and push yourself into bigger, brighter, more colorful and joyful places in your world. Creating that space for you is truly my joy and that’s why I put So Much energy into creating a safe, encouraging and easy space for you to blog and document your Muchness Moments!

I know what you’re saying… You’re saying “Yes! I love that! But every time I sign in I’m still confused by what to do!” and I am here to say NOT ANYMORE!!! Check out your new member page:

That’s all the groovy muchtastic stuff you can do when you’re a member– all easily laid out for you!! I have put so much thought and heart into creating this site and I want it to be a spot of joy and comfort for you to come back to, time and time again. For that to really come to fruition, I knew that making it easy and pretty was an important step.

As with all technology, there may be some bugs getting started, and I am counting on you to let me know if you come across any!! Please let me know your thoughts, questions, likes, dislikes in the comments below. Go LOGIN to your membership area to check it out for yourself! If you like what you see and want to join the Muchness Community, Click here!

Like what you see but not ready to make a commitment yet to Get In Touch With The Much? That’s OK, sign up for our Free Weekly-ish Newsletter to stay up to date on all the much going’s on! When you’re ready, we’ll be waiting!

Oh, and one more thing- Beryl and I have been working on our big plans for the Muchness Meets Photography Guided Group Challenge and I am getting so stinkin’ excited!! If you haven’t signed up, GO! Do it! Even if you can’t make it to the August 28, live virtual event, you will receive all the info via email- inspirational tidbits, photography tips, creative, joyful challenges… I promise, it’s TOTALLY worth the price of admission!! (Did I mention it’s totally FREE?)  

Can’t wait to see you on the flip side!


5 Reasons Muchness on the outside = Muchness on the inside

It’s no secret that when we look good, we feel good. We’ve all heard that before, but honestly, just writing it gives me the feeling that I’m talking in clichés that mean nothing and it kinda gives me the icks. I mean, in my mind the only people that put “looking good” that high on their to-do list are obviously people with too much time on their hands, right? And they probably all have their plastic surgeon on speed dial, or, they live at the gym and loooove building up a sweat.  Not exactly the person I see when I look in the mirror, ya know?
But here’s the secret. It’s not about those things. I mean, if plastic surgery or loving the gym are your thing- more power to you! But if you’re just who YOU are, doing YOUR thing- working, chasing kids, running errands, going to school, dealing with the crap life sometimes throws your way- there is NO reason you can’t also be an individual that proves the sentiment “When you look good, you feel good.” Really. It’s actually easier than you think. As one of our current Muchness challengers recently wrote “…now I see the difference between being selfish and just simply being nice to yourself.” 

Here are 5 reasons why something as small as happy nail polish can actually enhance your mood- on the inside:

1- You can make your Muchness Meter Ding like mad!

Ya know that feeling you get when you come across a picture or color and you instinctively go “Oooh! I like that!”? Well, that’s what I like to call your Muchness Meter, and it’s going “DING!”   Here’s the thing- you can actually recreate that little jolt MUCHNESS dozens- if not hundreds of times throughout the day just by wearing toe nail polish in a color you love! Every single time you look down at your toes it’ll be like “ding-ding-ding-ding…” (this same concept holds true for fingernails, and pants, even cute little colorful under-things- though you’ll see them less frequently. 😉 )

Imagine your Muchness Meter Dinging 300 times a day when your toes are this color!!!

2- People are judging you.
I’m not talking about the kind of judgements that we imagine in our heads (those nasty gremblins of insecurity- were gonna work on kicking those to the curb with the help of Muchness too!) but I’m talking about the subconscious conclusions we draw about a person based on the energy they emit. When you walk around wearing dull, frumpy, sad looking clothing, guess what? People are going to assume you are dull, frumpy and sad, and consequently, they’ll treat you as such. Can you really blame them? But, if you make the active choice to wear bright, fun-loving colors and accessories, people will organically treat you as if you’re joyful and fun-loving! Now this is Very Important: you can feel like absolute crap on the inside- like the happy bus just ran you over and left skid marks on your ass- but if people are treating you like you’re joyful and fun-loving, it will always make you feel a little bit less like crap… and possibly even joyful and fun-loving. Trust me on this one.

I mean, would it ever occur to you that the person wearing these pants feels like crap? See? I didn't this so. 🙂

3- People will compliment you.
That’s right! When you wear something fun and cheerful, people will notice it! And since they assume you are fun and cheerful, they won’t shy away from offering you a compliment! And you will graciously accept their complement. Because you made them smile, and that will make you smile— it’s just a glorious cycle of muchtasticness!

A sparkling smile. The other thing you'll be wearing after someone compliments you.


4- You are giving yourself something muchy to think about- namely, what MUCHNESS are you gonna wear tomorrow?
When we get stuck in a thought loop, the same ideas and words can toss around in our heads for hours, or days- even months or years. Early on in my grief I’d spend my time letting really sad and upsetting thoughts live in my head. In truth- I needed to deal with those thoughts and I needed to allow them to work their way through my brain so could move to the next stage of healing. But at some point I was ready to start setting those thoughts free. But what else was I going to think about while walking to and from the bus station and my office? During that walk, I was so used to entertaining thoughts about my sadness and grief – I didn’t even know what else to think about! So, I thought about sparkles. And nail polish and tutus and cute shoes. And those things made me smile. Simple, but true. Ask yourself what makes you smile? Then think about those things more.

Me- Feeling Muchtastic. 🙂


5- And the number 5 reason why wearing something Muchy on the outside makes you feel good on the inside?

Because You are taking care of you.
Oh, I know— another chiché about women… we put everyone else before ourselves. Funny thing about clichés… they’re often so true. So, maybe you don’t have to time to go to the gym on a regular basis, Maybe you’re not interested plastic surgery, and maybe you ate the kid’s leftover chicken nuggets for dinner because that’s all you had time for… that’s life and we do what we can. Taking a moment each day to focus on your own muchtasicness will benefit you and everyone around you! You will feel better, happier, your kids will benefit, your husband will benefit, your job will benefit.


Here’s what I want from you- In the comments below name ONE thing that you KNOW will make you feel muchtastic if you wear it, but you just haven’t found the “right” time, and then tell us how you plan to wear it- SOON – even if you need to invent an occassion! Imagine what you will feel like when you wear that item and put that energy into the universe. And then Do It. Don’t own an item like that? Imagine what that item would be and then describe it and I’ll go Muchness Hunting for it!! Woohoo! I Just Love Muchness Hunting. 🙂

Yeah Baby— We’re Back!

GREAT NEWS!! Hey guys! It’s Tova here and I want to tell you, we’re growing. It’s totally exciting (and kinda scary) that I’m starting to really see how this passion project can transform and take flight and how so many more people can be touched by The Muchness!

So many of you have been with me since day 1– when I slapped on a sequin top and, on a whim, challenged myself to wear sequins for 30 days. Watching how that random idea has blossomed into a beautiful community of Muchness seekers amazes and humbles me on a daily basis.

In order to make sure our site has the power to keep growing and new members could keep joining and blogging their Muchness Moments, my web developer has had to do some pretty fancy footwork behind the scenes. What was supposed to take a few hours has turned into a week of headaches and learning experiences.

But I am happy to announce that we are finally back up!!

***If you have posted in the last week and your posts are not showing up, I have many of them on backup ..Just let me know they’re missing and I’ll send them to you!

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding!! You guys are amazing and I can’t wait to see your Muchness Moments keep popping up on the site!

Muchtastic ABC Chart – DIY – (And Day 22 of My Headshot Challenge! :) )

So here’s how it began, back in 2011,

I was in the dollar store, that place is like a 7th heaven.

I’m always finding stuff that others might see as trash,

For me it looks like tiles to redo my backsplash!

Sitting on a shelf looking really quite distressed

were these wooden cubes with photos, I was really not impressed.

But then I saw the sticker, it was 3 frames for one dollar!

“you cant just leave them here!” I heard my brain a’hollar

So I took a set of three, and put it in my cart,

but I couldn’t just stop there, had to listen to my heart.

So I took another set, then another and one more

And when I turned around, I had cleaned out the whole store!

So I brought my purchase home, and stacked them by the treadmill,

Where that sat, and sat , and sat.

(Clearly, the threadmill got no use either. But anyway…)

And then one day it hit me, just clear out of the blue

I would make an ABC chart that sparkled and was cute!

Glitter paper I selected that everyone would want

and by computer I designed it, it’s all about the font!

I printed out the letters, backwards and to size.

then spray mounted them to cardstock, and I can tell no lies-

that cutting it was tedious, I had to use a blade,

but in the end I love  it, though my fingertips were frayed.

The frames I put together with a staple gun and tape.

it held it all together and I’m pretty sure it’s safe.

I laid out all the colors and arranged them out just right,

did I mention when I did this it was always past midnight?

But finally it was complete, I will admit I’m proud.

Sharing it on my website is the closest to a crowd.

That I can show and ask “You like?” and hope to get some comments,

(I have nothing to rhyme with “comments” but am leaving it there anyway, hint hint.)

My kids they love it and they point and sing the ABC’s

And in the daytime all the glitter brings me to my knees. 🙂

So thanks for reading all about this project I completed.

If you wanna, I’d be happy, just to know it’s tweeted!



Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 15!! Some introspection on Muchness…

“Omg!!! Did u really chop ur hair ??? It’s sooo cute!!! Is that a wig?”
….this is a text message I received from someone I’m really close with after I posted my haircut pic on fb.
My reply: “If u tell me it looks like a wig I’ll kick ur ass. :)”
Her response: “No it doesn’t at all but its such a change didn’t think u had the guts (I know I wouldn’t)!!”
…and it got me thinking, “Did I have the guts?” I mean, clearly I did cut it, so I did find the guts, but two weeks ago, when, on a whim, I decided to start a headshot Muchness challenge, and I stood at that bus stop and took that first picture of my tired face, did I actually anticipate that two weeks later I’d have the balls to chop all my hair off?
Honestly- I thought I’d probably get a haircut. I needed a haircut. And I figured this challenge would give me some incentive. But I NEVER anticipated I’d have the guts to go this extreme, nor do I know exactly where the confidence to micromanage my haircut and (politely) refuse to leave until I was happy with the results, came from. I’m usually one to cross my fingers and leave crestfallen with a fake smile on my face.

What is it about The Muchness that helps people (not just me) build this confidence? I honestly don’t even know if that’s the right word for it— in fact, I know it’s not. Because Muchness is such a hard thing to describe, and confidence is a result of feeling in touch with your Muchness. But Muchness itself?  That’s  yours. It lives inside each of us and some of us, sometimes we just don’t even realize, we forfeit it. And other people have it ripped from them when their worlds are turned upside down and just standing upright becomes a challenge. And ya know, it’s especially hard to actively hold onto your Muchness when you don’t know the word for it. And there really is no other word for it. (Which makes my marketing materials a challenge to write, briefly.)  Muchness is that thing that sorta lives in your gut and makes you feel in touch with yourself. Makes you feel that the things about you that make you you are strengths, joys to be celebrated and shared with the world, not ‘damages’ that need to be filed down so you can fit your square self into some round hole.

Anyway, If you are thinking about taking the Challenge I SERIOUSLY want to encourage you to start. JUST START. Don’t intimidate yourself with some idea about the end result and how you are going to reach it. Just think about today. Think about what can make you smile today. Think about what feels like YOU. Is it reading, is it cooking? Is it simply looking at beautiful colors in nature and appreciating that they exist. Those small, tiny moments are the things that make you, you. They are the things that color your world and your perception of it. Just Pay Attention to them. Keep them in a theme so your creativity can go narrow and deep and you can stay actively in touch with the moments of your day and how you can chose to see them as Muchness Moments.

Still not sure? Contact me. I WANT to help you figure out how to start. I WANT to see you explore your Muchness and connect with your happy moments.  Because we all have them. We all deserve them. And we could all stand to be a bit muchier!!

Todays picture is me with my lipstick kissed hand. One of my ideas at the start of this was that I’d like to at least try to wear at least a little makeup more often. Three days ago I was thinking “I don’t know if that’s the way this challenge is gonna go… I’m just not feeling it.” Honestly, I just didn’t feel it was high enough on my priority list.

Then today I realized that since my haircut I’ve been wearing makeup without giving it much thought. I just feel more invigorated with life so I am naturally just doing things that reenforce that feeling. People are funny that way. Kinda like, it’s hard to start a boulder rolling but once it starts it’s sure gonna kick up some dust.

Here it is! My pic of the day!

Tovas Muchness Challenge-Day 13 -Muchness Haircut!!

Boy did I have a plan for today’s pic!…. No. That’s a lie. I had no plan. I woke up feeling like crap and basically that feeling followed me through the day. So much so that I decided to ask the girls favorite babysitter to bring them home from school because I just needed some time to myself. My plan? Head over to a local artsy coffee house with my laptop and work on all things Muchness.
As I drove the sitters car (she needed the carseats so we swapped) I “felt” young again. I imagined myself sitting in the cafe just pretending to be young and carefree once more. That, I thought, would be my picture. As I walked towards the coffee shop, I passed a hair salon.

Quick history of me and haircuts. When I was 9 I got my first real salon haircut. I hated it. It made me want to cry. It’s possible I did cry. My feelings have pretty much never changed. Back when I was young, muchy and fearless, I’d cut my hair, on my own, on a whim. Literally. In ninth grade my hair was halfway down my back. After seeing one picture in one magazine and deciding i “felt like it”, I wrapped a belt around my head above my ears and cut everything below the belt. With a razor. This travesty of haircutting/celebration of ‘because I can’ continued through college. I’d grow it long and chop it off. Grow. Chop. (dye it pink) And every time I tried to get it cut by a professional, I’d feel like I did that day when I was nine. Yucky.
And then, when I was 24, I went into a supercool salon in Brooklyn and this supercool chic cut my hair into a supercool style and I LOVED it. She sculpted my hair into a perfect cut for my face and my hair and my personality. She was truly a hair artist.
For the last 11 years I’ve thought about that cut.
Today, I decided I want that cut again.
I walked that salon and told them about the cut that lives in infamy in my mind. I asked if we could recreate the magic. I don’t know if she thought I was serious. I was.
And then I micromanaged my haircut. I talked about this haircut from 11 years ago like it was an old lover that had made me feel something no-one else ever could. I talked about how the stylist, 11 years ago, moved around my head. How she twirled and chopped and how the cut made me feel peppy and cute and quirky, but sexy.
Three times the stylist told me she was done and three times I told her she wasn’t.
And then, slowly, it took shape. The cut that didn’t look like a nj housewife, but an artsy, confident college chic. My waves fell around my eyes the way I remembered, drawing attention away from my jaw. The back felt full and healthy, crunching in my fingers.
I micromanaged that cut until I had what I was looking for. And that would be a smile on my face.


Is it perfect? No. Honestly, it’s not perfect. But it’s close. Close enough that if I grab some scissors at home I’m sure I can make it just perfect. 😉

Bonus- I came to that coffee shop after wards to write this post and as I tap on this phone like a pigeon, I think the cute 20 something barista is checking me out… Elie will be so proud. 🙂

Have you ever done something super drastic with your hair just, ya know, because you can??