Archive for 2010

Dreary Days with my Boys

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I have called in my “best boys” to help take the damp chill out of this dreary November day. Here is the line-up:

Vince, James and Donald. My “A” team — here is the plan: Some cozy comfort from Vince in the form of yummy cardigan in the richest of browns. Then some James to show some love (and create some illusion of length) to my tush and legs. And, we can finish the whole thing off with Donald (Pliner that is) and my absolute favorite boots of the season. They are as rocking as boots can be, yet completely comfortable. All in all – the perfect trio for my Saturday hang.

Vince (drop needle wool shrug)

Vince (drop needle wool shrug)

James Jeans in graphite

James Jeans in graphite

Donald J. Pliner Dalilia Boots

Donald J. Pliner Dalilia Boots

Forty Weeks World HQ

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

A day long strategy session with some of the best brains in the business…Nothing like the ping and the pop of great thinking!

Early AM, DC

Monday, October 25th, 2010

And so begins another week — coffee, gym, and a GIANT to do list…looking forward to Gina making her way to town tomorrow!

The Road From Here to Support

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I am lucky – I say it all the time.  I have the great luxury of working on projects I feel passionately about and with clients who allow me to test  the boundaries and push convention a bit (sometimes more!).    I have been working tirelessly on one such project for a few years.  Last November, my client Bravado Designs and I launched the Bravado Breastfeeeding Information Council.

Together, we set out to hear from real women.  Bravado’s customers openly shared their experiences as breastfeeding women. We had 80,000 women who were eager to connect and communicate their personal stories good and bad.  We had 18 years worth of experience to draw from. We asked and then we listened.

Next, we layered in the wisdom of a broad range of voices – Chris Pagula  (Diaper Dude) shared with us the male  point of view and helped us shape and make sense our important finding: The Man Behind the Milk. Lindsay Lebresco, who had personally advocated for, and then architected  Graco’s nursing policies brought candid insights to our Pumping at Work Findings. Lisa Spiegel  integrated her deep seeded understanding of the psychology of new mothers and couples, shedding amazing light on the topics at hand. Heather Kelly and Kimberly Seals Allerscontributed to our findings on First Generation Breastfeeders and finally, Bravado founder and IBCLC Sherry Leeder layered in her priceless wisdom on topics including breastfeeding in public. Our advisory board had a great deal to ante up  – bringing an in depth understanding to the raw data and fueling the exchange.  The launch of the BBIC was an important step in the process of gathering and sharing real time data on women’s experiences. And also in advancing the goal of openly communicating  with all communities about nursing – without judgment but rather, encouraging acceptance, understanding and yes – support.

We shared our findings last year. You can watch the footage here.

 The reaction to our inaugural event and research findings from those on-line, in the room and in all around us in the subsequent twelve months, has been not only powerful, but also breathtakingly candid and passionate. The buzz it has not quieted.  The conversation continues and the data underscores for me the biggest lesson most base lesson of all:

Successful women have support

In work

In relationships

In play

In friendship 

In all of our journeys, adventures and dreams – successful women have support

And yes (pay attention)

In breastfeeding

And it is not just a middle class mother that needs support– it is all mothers. At risk women, middle-class women, ALL women thrive though the support, care and nurturance of others. 

Simple enough, YET…

I continue to read on and on about the WHO code  as the issues– and how the many violators should be hunted down, drawn and quartered. And all I keep wondering – is why don’t we focus less on the WHO (violations) and more on HOME (opportunities)?

And so, not as any sort of activist but rather as one who simply loves, respects and personally stands  for the advancement of women – let’s take on a new perspective and a slightly modified mission.

Let’s please commit ourselves to the women in our own communities. Whether they be our sister or a stranger cross town – let’s agree that this must be our promise and use our energy towards the opportunities closest to home. We will  help and make a real difference where we truly can -closest to our home – in our families, or work-place our communities.  Let’s grow confidence, skills and commitment to nursing in those that we know and love.

Today,  Babble’s Heather Turgeon  spoke of this critical concept as she explored why women quit breastfeeding. Kimberly Seals Allers did the same last week while considering the Michelle Obama’s remarks.  I hope this is just the beginning of a new conversation…one that we will all have together.

Ye Old Lexicon, Updated!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

New to Forty Weeks?  Hanging with us for-ev-vuh? Not sure if keeping company with us is the best idea?  Good to know. Well, here is the deal — you are going to need to know a few things before you make this decision.

First, we really love food — food is necessary for all meetings, events, etc. Dinner is near ritual with some clients (you know who you are Bravado).  And with others, the art of savoring a bottle of great wine is a near art form (Pink Lining). Also, truly skinny people need to earn our trust, we dont’ start there with anyone with a size 25  jean. Next, we like making friends. We  live to meet to new people and tend to find connections wherever we go. The entire team is like this – I am the fearless leader of picking up new people and of course, connecting them with people we already  know. Finally, we have an  (how do you say?), interesting way of communicating. You will see a lot of acronyms, which are obvious but not at first. And also a few words. Here is a sampling of what is often heard in the hallowed halls of Forty Weeks-land:

The Nasties– corporations with deep pockets from whom taking funds or partnering with is a dangerous (albeit tempting) mistake.

Shooting Your Load – just like you’d think — you want to avoid that with any campaign – pacing is key

Brand BFFs – like-minded brand partners — first call in good times and bad

Eloise – what they call me at the W, Union Square

WUS – W, Union Square

CB – City Bakery – YUM!

Iced-Double Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte– my afternoon drink if you insist on Starbucks (I prefer Irving or Quartermaines see “Indy” below)

Fresh - where to call for gifts

DVF – where to call for a wardrobe pick-me-up

Jules - the best path to me – not really my alter-ego — that would be amazing actually!

Back in an Hour – yeah – more likely two

An appointment- could be a mani, blow out, therapy, trainer, or other beauty (inner or outer) necessities habits services.

A meeting- actual work, will invovle food

High-floor, Away from Elevator – hotel room request, though not at W, US they know!

IRL, BFF - Lisa Jordan Helms, publishing Goddess

Casa Loco- my house

The Inmates – my kids

The Mister – Bob, he’s dreamy!

The Bitches – you know who you are, and back off!

Dreaming out Loud- The best way to start any ideation session

Tweeting to the Converted - how most brands spend their day – wooing their existing fans, not cultivating new ones (we do it differently)

Indy- the way we go – deeply devoted to the Davids- be it mat fashion designers or coffee houses – j’adore!

So now, on your way…talk to us!

Back Home!

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

It was a long, wonderful and thoroughly exhausting time in Las Vegas…happy, happy to be home (and LOVED seeing all of you)

Forty Weeks, HQ

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

What I wouldn’t give for a latte from Quartermine’s right about now. There must be a hero out there, no?

Finding Holden…

Friday, September 24th, 2010

I went to my second back-to-school night this week. And good news for those of your rooting me on from home, I only have one more to go (two if you count parent’s weekend at Penn State where I return to the Beta Sig house no longer ISO of a party and some cute Jewish boys but  now as a Mother of a Freshman boy – insert prayers here)…whew!

Last night at Back-to-school night, I made my way through Rebecca’s 9th grade schedule – the usual suspects where all there – French, World Studies, Geometry and more. It was the usual too, in terms of the rhetoric:  we can’t operate without your money or your time and oh yes, we are a community and we are superior and did we mention we have set the annual fund goal higher than your life insurance policy, etc.  I was holding it together just fine though – small talk, smile, knowing nod, repeat. Then came D block English and with it the announcement that Rebecca would soon be reading A Catcher in the Rye. And then, only then did I get excited. And from that moment of giddiness,  came the decision that I would read it along with her – despite the fact that the 20+ years since I last read it have moved me well out of coming of age status – I would take the journey back and see what the years have netted.

I started thinking about Holden.  When we first met I was young, impressionable and full of frizzy hair (see horribly embarrassing photo which I will insert when I get up my nerve). The world was full of possibility. I spent my days madly in love with a long-haired brilliant musician boy (Tim Kostar, are you out there?). He and I were above notes – instead we would pass a notebook of “important” lyrics between us. Typical entries including the Pink Floyd Classic:  “we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year…” you know the drill. We were deep….or something.

The years passed. The next Holden I came across was Holden on As the Word Turns – we only met because my friend Brooke had a role on the soap as Carrie. Being the ever proud and good friend, I would go well out of my way to catch her on the tube. Time passed and there was not a Holden to be found. Not until 2002 when I declared that my unborn son should be named Holden, I was sold on this as both a strong an independent name not to mention the mark of a literate and engaged child. My Mother killed that one – Holden Bromberg was ironic she said – more like an example of “what not to name your kid” than a mark of greatness….ok then, no Holden (Hi Sam!!!).

And so here we are, it is 2010 and I am taking a big leap into the way-back machine with Rebecca. We will both read A Catcher in the Rye(and we will both use styling product to reduce frizz) and I am eager to see what we glean from it. Is there enough there to move a 14 year old in the reality show-laden, technology saturated, it’s all that easy world? Will she long to evolve, see the world, make her mark?  Will I read it still crave something bigger than me,  some elevated version of the reality I know,  or I have  taken to long and hard of a journey to “go there” ? Time will tell. The good news is that Rebecca and I are turning this page together;  we are reading what I still consider to be one of the most important volumes of our time together. And, of all I’ve shared here today, that is the most important truth!

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Forty Weeks, HQ Baby Blake comes in for a visit. He is simply delish (I could smell him all day long). Eventually, Jules takes him home – likely a smart move!

A View from Today

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Lila and Rebecca 9/9/2010

Lila and Rebecca 9/9/2010

Today marked the Jewish New Year. It was a clear and sparkling fall day – reminiscent of so many sunny days in which I journeyed to temple with my family.  I was struck by how the years have defined the very concept of family and the concept of me for that matter. I can remember being a little girl, walking to into the large and powerful sanctuary (in suburban Philadelphia) with my very young and attractive parents, leading the way with their three girls in tow. They knew the world it seemed, they owned it for that matter – I was as in awe of them as I was the pageantry and power of the holiday. I can remember growing older, confident and independent – making breaks for the bathroom to meet with friends, flirt with boys, sneak outside (we cooler than all that). Later, in my adopted hometown of Washington, DC, I was in a new congregation first as a single professional, and then as a young wife, a young mother, young divorcee and single mother. And finally, here today as the (not so young anymore) matriarch of a blended family, the second partner to the truest, gentlest and most loving man I have ever known. I am now the keeper of so many lives.  I notice of course that despite of the many colorful iterations of me, they all land here.  Open and committed to observing these sacred days. This year – despite the overwhelming challenges of the summer, and despite being “one man down” with Matthew away at college – I am still here.

 As the morning wore on, I dressed myself and my children.  And as I made my way towards ready, I eagerly opened my jewelry box. The sheer thrill of it never eludes me! As picked out the pieces that would warmly connect me to my past, filling me with the power of those who came before me – I am stopped somehow. In a wave, I realize this year of crashing down bumps and hard-earned victories has left me not broken but full…and grown in a way.  And suddenly I know it is time.

 I begin to pull out (smaller) memory-laden shiny objects from my youth – considering carefully where to begin because it is time to take one more leap into adulthood (and funny how obvious that chasm was this morning – a clear reminder that we are never really where we think we are).  On this Rosh Hashanah, I gave my daughters each a piece of my jewelry – not to borrow – but rather to keep. For Lila – a bracelet that I had designed with my grandmother in high school- a reminder to Lila that her stunning creativity was hers to access as she desired – she should continue to fuel her creative flames and bring herself joy. For Rebecca, the very first bracelet I purchased through my own hard work and income. A reminder that she too should set her sights on goals and make them so – never wait, rather define and then go after her dreams and desires. They looked at me in amazement as I handed them each a piece of me complete with back story and love. Funny how they only noticed the shiny pieces when really, I have given them each so many pieces of me already. Or maybe, they already know…