Saturday, October 25, 2008

Small Town Mommy Has Moved

Hello my faithful readers, Small Town Mommy has moved. That's right, the fun, excitement, minutiae and tedium that is Small Town Mommy can now be found at Please come and visit us there. We would love to see you. Everything is new, except the writer. I am traveling with Small Town Mommy to its new home. So come see our cool new design, our latest posts and maybe even a picture of me. Remember, the new URL is

I hope to see you there!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

More Awards for Me

My chum Lydia from On the Verge has given me 2 more awards. Yes, those of you who are paying attention are correct, most of my awards have come from Lydia. Either she is extremely popular or she is my only friend (I prefer to think that she is extremely popular). On the Verge recently had its 100th post. You wont get that type of excitement here. I don't know when my 100th post was, but it has already passed (yes, I missed it, I wasn't paying attention). I could probably fib and make up a hundredth post, but knowing my luck, someone would go back and count and discover that the 100th was actually something exceptionally silly.

Anyway, back to the awards.

The first award is I Love your Blog

I have seen these all over the place so I am honored that I have received one as well. Since I love On the Verge, it means a lot that Lydia gave it to me.

The second award is the butterfly award. This is my kids' favorite. They love butterflies.

I am going to actually pass these awards on to a couple of people (they may ignore it, but that is ok).

Stacy and Elle at Blue Monkey Butt

Mrs Bear at Outnumbered 2 to 1

Daisy the Curly Cat

Frank at Small Town Daddy

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Hong Kong Clothing Comes to NY

When I was in high school and college, my father lived in Hong Kong (yes, that foreign country on the other side of the planet). I haven't been there is years, but in the 80's, I spent a lot of time there, visiting my parents and enjoying the city (oh my God, you had to see the shopping, I still can't buy retail).

Another thing that was unique to Hong Kong was the low cost of labor (that is also why Chinese toys are so cheap). Because employees are so inexpensive in Hong Kong, custom-made clothing was extremely affordable. My father's wore custom-made suits because they cost the same as off-the-rack suits in the U.S. The only people in the U.S. who could afford custom suits were the extremely wealthy (Donald Trump or those who were big screen, movie star, wealthy).

Now, anyone can afford a custom-made suit. Even you (or your husband) can dress like Donald Trump. A new Web site has developed a way to craft made-to-measure suits at off-the-rack prices (not sure how they do it, maybe Santa's elves got laid off in the recession and they snatched them up).

It is pretty cool. Rather than going to the store and choosing from the selection that the store people like, you get to create exactly the suit that you want. They measure you in like 30 different directions, making sure every part of your suit fits perfectly. You get to pick whatever style you like and whatever fabric you like which is perfect for those of us who look best in certain styles and fabrics (have you ever been shopping and found that you love the purple, but the cut of the pea soup green outfit looks so much better on you, who can wear pea soup green anyway?).

Every since I have had children, I have found shopping for clothing to be extremely demoralizing (you moms, like me, who never got your pre-children shape back know how I feel). Custom-made clothing solves that problem and custom suit allows you to buy custom clothing at an off-the-rack price.

Unfortunately for many of my readers, custom suit is only available to people in my area. You need to be able to travel to NY city to get measured (although, if you have a trip planned to NY, check it out, it might be worth the trip, also, let me know, maybe we can plan something).

For those of you who, like me, are reluctant to deal with online retailers you dont know, custom suit has a midtown NY location, right on Broadway (smack in the middle of everything). Check out the photo.

Look how fabulous, it makes you want to go in and buy something, but, you have to have an appointment so make sure you schedule in advance (although, if you call them they might be able to fit you in).

If you are located near NY or if you are planning a trip, check out custom suit. Yes, even those of us who live here in the Small Town, like to dress nicely.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Will DCF Take My Children Away?

My Joanna, is a drama queen. Because of that, I fully expect that someday, at bedtime, DCF (department of children and family) is going to break down my door. Every night, brushing her hair is a huge and painful ordeal for all involved. Not only does it hurt her to have her hair brushed, but the screaming hurts everyone around her (and since the dog annoys the neighbors, I can only imagine their reaction to the ear piercing screams every night). She yells about how mommy is hurting her. I think it sounds like she is being abused and I am in the same room as her.

I can't stand to see her hurt, but we can't allow her to develop dreadlocks (which is what would happen if we let her brush her own hair, we tried it for a while). I have tried detangler, brushing it wet, brushing it dry and even cutting her hair (which she hates even more than the brushing). So I will continue to brush it and torture the entire neighborhood (all 6 houses) with her nightly screams. If anyone has any suggestions for things that might make it easier to get a brush through her hair, I would love to hear it.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 Photo Tips for You

Many of you may not know this, but I spent five years in the work world with Nikon as my main client. I lived photography and wrote more photo tip articles than you can imagine. I thought I would let my readers benefit from my vast photographic experience and provide you with some photo tips.

Now I know a lot of you are probably moms who take a lot of pictures of your kids. And at some point, I may share my photo tips for kids (if I am in the mood). But this time, I am going to share tips to help you, the mom, look better in photos. No, I am not going to suggest losing weight, getting a haircut, working out or anything like that. These are simple camera tricks that can help you look younger, thinner and more like you think you look.

1) Never let a photographer shoot up at you. On TV, you often see paparazzi crouching down to take a photo (how do you think they get all those unflattering celebrity photos). No, no, no! The photographer should ALWAYS be higher up than you. The bottom of your chin is not your best side, I promise. My father-in-law used to be a wedding photographer and he would bring a footstool with him to shoot weddings. Ideally, the photographer should be a little higher than you are and shooting slightly down. It cuts down on the number of chins that appear in the photo and you will be very pleased with the result. No one has ever been happy with a photo that was taken from below.

2) Fill Flash, Fill Flash, Fill Flash. This is a mantra for anyone who has worked in the photography industry. If someone is taking your photo, make sure the photographer uses a flash. Even if you don't think you need one. Flash will help darken the background, making the colors brighter and will help erase those shadows and lines that make you look ten years older than you actually are.

3) When having your photo taken outside, stay out of direct sunlight. The gut reaction of most people outside is to stand in the sun to get the most light. But the sun is harsh. It makes shadows and lines on your face (shadows and lines are nobody's friend). Don't go deep into the forest, but stand under a tree or in slight shade (photographers call this open shade). This will also avoid the unattractive squint that can't be avoided in sunny photos.

4) Dress Comfortably. One thing I always tell my clients before a television appearance or photo shoot is make sure you think you look good. If you feel comfortable and feel like you look good, you will appear more confident, happier, and even look better. Also, of course, stay away from busy patterns (that may be good advice for every day too). Try to avoid all black and all white outfits. It makes the color balance difficult for the camera.

5) Most point and shoot cameras (camera lingo, probably the type of camera most parents have) these days offer telephoto lenses. Have the photographer move back and use the zoom lens to get closer. Wide-angle lenses distort (and in just the way you would expect from something with wide in the name).

I hope these photo tips will help you feel more comfortable with having your photo taken. Your family will be pleased to have these memories of you and you will be pleased to look so good in your pictures.

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