Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 21- Sparkles always help.

I’m not gonna lie. Today kinda sucked again. I don’t know… It is definitely related to the twins and the grief… I have come to expect an occasional “off” day where the grief just floods back in, but it usually subsides within a couple of hours. It’s already been 2.5 days of feeling ‘griefy’ and I can’t seem to shake it. I know it’s because I’m going through personal transitions. I was talking to a new friend a few days back and I was explaining how this loss truly reached so deep into me- to the most buried layers of who I am, and changed me almost on a molecular level.
Now, my goal is to figure out the future for this new me, in a way that exploits the talents and gifts I have always had, while honoring my twins, teaching my daughters, and being true to myself- the new me- a woman I’m still getting to know.
Anyhow, today… I lost it. At my job, something happened that really highlighted the internal conflicts between the new me and the woman doing my job. (ie: the old me)
I went into my boss’s office and did something I am loath to do. I cried.


What am I? Lisa Lampinelli?

What I told me boss is irrelevant but it did help me feel somewhat better.

Then, as I waited for him to finish a phone call I spied some sticky back rhinestones on his desk and decided to bedazzle my phone.

It totally made me feel just a little bit better!

Then, I went out for lunch and passed Claire’s… which is sorta my achilles heel. I’d been spying those stupid nail stickers forever, thinking they area  huge waste of money, but also kinda muchtastic. 

So, I bought some. After all, what’s the point in having a job that steals so much of my muchness if I’m not gonna use the money I am earning to replace it with sparkle?

Ya know what? I kinda LOOOOOVE them!!!!

I really hope they stay on a while. They really make typing a whole lot more muchtastic for this keyboard (rather than screen) watcher…

Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 20!! – New People

I almost didn’t go for lunch today. Almost. But then, I had to get out and breathe some air. I was feeling kinda down. Just sentimental about the twins and dealing with one of those days that just come and knock you on your ass.

Anyway, I went out and bought myself some baked ziti (comfort food) at the pizza shop and then I sat on a chair in the middle of broadway and perched my food on my lap, debating if I’d eat it there or just check my email and then go back into my office and eat at my desk.

And then, I heard someone call out “would you like to sit here?” and it was a dude at a little table eating his lunch. Hmmm. OK. I joined him and we started chatting. He works in my industry and we had a bunch of stuff to talk about and it was such a nice break in the repetitiveness to just talk to someone new! I am really thinking I need to do that more often… maybe it’s a 30 day challenge theme!!

Well, I wanted to ask him if I could take a picture for my blog but couldn’t muster up the courage so instead I google stalked him when I got home and recreated the scene with a snapshot from google maps and some third rate photoshop work.

Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 19- small details…

Work days can sometimes leave me uninspired and without a Muchness Pic. So…. I bought myself some colorful sparkly earrings at Claire’s. Because with short hair, earrings make a major difference.

For the last few years I’ve really wanted pink Sapphire studs. Pink Sapphires are the twins birthstone. And they’re pretty. Maybe one day I’ll get ’em. For the time being, these cheesy little claire numbers will have to do the trick.

Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 18 – Yet ANOTHER surprise post opportunity

I really should have posted this photo at 3am. Because that is about the time it was taken.

My friend Esther, whom I almost never see, came by at 11PM last night with a  friend of hers. That simply doesn’t happen to this NJ Housewife and mom. The only thing that happens at 11PM is sleep, TV, showers, computer time. So that was a nice treat. We After chatting for an hour they said they were heading into Manhattan for drinks at a swanky bar downtown. Did I want to go?

Um, I had already been wearing my PJs for 5 hours so…. Why Not??

I ran upstairs, threw on a little sexy dress, a sequin jacket and a bit of lipstick… (and a ton of deodorant) and 4 minutes later I was out the door! Heading into the city in a mini van at Midnight. Hot stuff. 🙂

I REALLY should do that more often. Of course, getting home at 4:30 AM can be a little exhausting…


Tova’s Muchness Challenge -Day 17 – if you create it, it STILL works!

Today’s Muchness Moment is brought to you courtesy of the playground.
This, my friends, is a completely manufactured Muchness Moment created for the sake of having a pic of the day.
And yet…
I climbed that crazy contraption and felt awesome doing it!!
Ya know how today would have been different if I wasn’t completing this challenge?
I’ll tell ya how.
I would have sat on the nearby bench with my iced coffee and I would not have climbed that crazy contraption. And I woulda missed out on that easy opportunity to make myself feel awesome.
See where I’m going with this folks?
Yeah. I thought so.

Tova’s Muchness Challenge – Day 16 – It’s a happy headshot…sorta

So, I did not win a scholarship to Marie Forleo’s B-school. That kinda bummed me out and I was gonna post a headshot of me making a bummed out face, but all of them looked really, really unattractive, and totally not cute. So I decided I need another picture. Hmmmmmm…..Anyway, I made a decision to invest in ME and The Muchness and I paid my tuition and joined the program!!! The classes don’t even start for a few weeks and already I’ve been empowered and excited and today I was SOOOO productive and last night I skyped for an hour with the founder of Still Standing Magazine about an AMAAAAAAYZING contest idea that I’ve been tossing around in my cluttered head for a year that now may WILL actually happen for real and it’s totally getting me all pumped up!!!

OK, so, when you join B-school you get access to these private little areas online where inspiring women (and a couple of dudes) who are all business owners who want to change the world for the better get together and encourage and empower and I am like a 7 year old and totally need the encouragement and positive feedback of others or I lose steam, and you know NOTHING gets me pumped more than knowing that The Muchness resonates with someone and that they “get it” right off the bat….

So,a woman on the site wrote how she saw this site and is “OBSESSED” with it and needs to find her Muchness and she’s totally gonna do the challenge and I got so happy and took a picture of my happy face.

Not the bestest pic, but A LOT better than my bummed out face.

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??

Tova’s Muchness Challenge -day 12 – My Brooklyn Roots Love a Bargain!

Anyone who’s heard me speak would likely say with some confidence that it’s clear I’m from New Jersey. But that would be because they’ve likely not heard me speak while tipsy or angry. Because when I drink and when I get pissed off, that’s when the Brooklyn in me comes out. See, I’m a Jewish girl from Bruklin. And as such, if there is something I like more than sequins and heels, it’s that I love me a baw-gin. (that’s “bargain” to the rest of yous.)
So, on Friday I took a trip to Christmas Tree Shops to buy a hamper (sorry hampah) and to my bargain hunting delight found a rack full of sweaters from New York & Co. that were marked at…
Wait for it…
You ready?
That’s like, undah 3 bucks.
These were probably meant to be $50 or $60 sweaters but they had terrible hanger appeal. (which is likely why they ended up in Christmas Tree Shops.) You had to look at them through muchy glasses to see that they could be cute on an actual person. And they came in 5 great colors. So…. I bought one of each. BECAUSE THEY COST LESS THAN MY CAWFEE!!! … and you know I’m totally gonna muchify those suckers! Yay for Muchy Makeovers!!