GUEST BLOG POST: "FORWARD" – by Gigi Garner, author, Girl Talk; Celebrities and Other Extraordinary Women Share Their Secrets
I am not a professional interior designer, teacher, nanny, travel agent, cook, housekeeper, gardener, or beauty consultant. I am probably just like you and every other woman out there who must rise to the occasion and be all things to all people, but we seem to crave enlightenment anyway. Women have found that we can be experts on a lot of subjects that have to do with life in general. We can be surprisingly resourceful when we need to be. We know what we like and why we like it. Through trial and error, we gain a sense of what works, what’s great, and what we are crazy about! We love to share these little tidbits of information that we have acquired with our girlfriends, and we are always anxious to hear the benefit of our friends’ hard-earned knowledge as well.
Some of us are particularly guilty of cruising the “superhighway to Betterville.” Our close friends always notice what’s new, what we’ve changed or what we’ve moved. How many times have you been in a ladies room, doctors office or just minding your own business when one of ‘your tribe’ blurts out, “Where did you get that?” When women get together, either stranger or friend, we are compelled to exchange ideas and share our knowledge. And there are always tons of questions floating around our heads like, “Does that no- ironing spray actually work? Do you know of any antibacterial soap that doesn’t smell like medicine? How do I keep ‘critters’ from getting under our outside hot tub? How do you put your makeup on in a dark motel room without looking like a cast member from Cats?”
I decided to go on a grand scale fact-finding mission. I asked as many savvy women as I could find, “What little secrets do you have locked away that make your life better? What are your tricks of the trade? What neat little confidences have you learned over your life that you will share with the rest of us gals? How do you make your home your sanctuary and haven?” Well, I ended up with a whole slew of interesting answers and decided to write a book to share my discoveries. The book features everything from makeup secrets to good advice, travel tips to reading recommendations, quality pet supplies to motivating techniques and household hints to traditions…from one woman to another. I interviewed, investigated, researched, surveyed and just simply picked the brains of the most together women I could find. Everyone from the famous, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Kim Alexis, Lucie Arnaz, Joan and Melissa Rivers, June Lockhart, Naomi Judd, to the just ‘famous at home!’ They allowed me to delve into their intimate space to uncover the details that make their lives better, more enjoyable and truly wonderful!
“DO THE MATH” by Joan Rivers, Mom & Grandma
When my daughter Melissa was in her terrible teens, my husband and I decided to give her a little lesson in freedom and some learned responsibility. We did not give her an official curfew like the rest of her friends. The only stipulation was that she had to be home eight hours before she had to leave the house again. So, if she had a game the next day, she would have to figure out how long it took to get to and from where she was going and count back eight hours. It gave her a false sense of having no formal time to be home but she really did. It worked beautifully. No rebellion here!
“THE SECRET DISH” by Mary Oberstat, Busy Mom of Three Boys
When my three boys were little, they hated vegetables like most children. I had a very difficult time trying to get them to eat anything healthy. One night, when the twins were about three and our oldest son was about six, we all sat down for dinner and I placed one of those covered metal Chinese compote serving dishes in between my husband and myself. Well, the boys’ eyes grew as big as saucers, and they all asked,”What’s in there?” I replied, “Oh, that’s adult food, and you can’t have any until you are older.” They cried, “We want some!” Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. Child Psychology 101. They were putty in my hands!
I didn’t give them any food from the dish that night, but their curiosity about the covered secret dish, and what was in it, ran rampant! Finally, I let them try something (a vegetable) from the dish. They loved it and wanted more! So gradually, I would put more and different healthy foods in the secret dish, until I could get them to eat virtually anything out of it! It worked like a charm! I recommend this to all new mothers.
Near the end of my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, she asked me if I could go with her to the grocery store to help her do her weekly grocery shopping. Of course, any excuse to shop is good for me so, I picked her up and we went to a market that I had never been to before because it was close to her house. Well, lo and behold like a beacon in the night and an answer to a prayer, right in front of the store there was a special parking space saved for expectant mothers! We almost couldn’t believe ours eyes when we saw the pink sign with the stork on it.
I asked the store manager, “Whose great idea was it to put that sign there?” and he told me it was a woman named Ashley Caldwell and she is the owner’s daughter. He also told me that many of the elderly customers hated the idea and had complained, and that I was the only person who had said I liked the idea. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Excuse me but, don’t any of these people have children? Don’t they remember what it’s like to try to walk, breathe, shop and sleep with a whole baby in your belly? Are charity and sympathy completely lost? I realize and respect the hardships experienced by the handicapped and elderly but, they still have some twenty odd handicapped parking spaces left.
All I can say is that I believe that every self respecting woman should ask the management of their supermarket or grocery store to include one of these parking spaces in front of their stores! They have made two customers for life!
Most kids are fascinated by magic, and when I was a year old, I was no exception. Like most children, going to grandma’s house was a real treat. My grandma was and still is a very creative person. One of my fondest memories when I was a child was going to grandma’s house and playing a game she made up for all of her grandchildren. It was called “The Magic Box,” and she would keep it high in her bedroom closet. She would take the magic box down and secretly put all kinds of things inside of it, and then we would stick our hands inside and touch and feel the objects to try to identify them. The real magic was that it was just a simple box with a hole in the top, various little objects, and a piece of black felt over it, but grandma made it mysterious and fun! Obviously, this was before the invention of video games, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There is something to be said for good old-fashioned fun and ingenuity! Fun things to put in the box : A toothbrush, a jelly bean, a cotton ball, a wishbone, tweezers, a nickel, a troll, a bobby pin, a spoon, a coffee bean, a thimble, a rose petal, a rubber band, etc.
Her first title “THE COP COOKBOOK” was on a best seller list!
To order “Girl Talk”, visit.. http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Talk-Celebrities-Extraordinary-Secrets/dp/158985052