Forever Young. Want Her to Be Forever Young.

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Wanted to share my Huffington Post piece about the bittersweetness of my beautiful daughter turning five. Thank you to everyone who reached out with such wonderful feedback!

Published February 10, 2015.

Forever Young. Want Her to Be Forever Young

One beautiful afternoon in Central Park, my husband and I sat and discussed having a child. Today, that child turned five. Though I’m not quite sure how that happened.

The other night, as we sat giggling in her bed discussing how much fun her birthday party was, I realized this is such a big moment.

This is her last year of little girlhood.

This is her last year of pretend.

This is her last year of innocence.

Next year starts kindergarten, riding buses, meeting kids whose parents I won’t know and won’t meet. Of her being on her own.

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I was thinking of last year when she was three, dying to turn four and telling her to enjoy being young. To enjoy being three. Four would come soon enough. Somehow those 365 days were a mere snap. Three to four was a marginal transition. Four to five is huge.

Now, as I sit here thinking of her turning five I think of all the things that begin with school. Real school starting. Five, the age in which you leave your littleness and become simply “a kid.”

Will she still want to snuggle with me as much as humanly possible?

I hope so.

Will she still look at the world with giant, sweet, innocent, sparkly eyes?

I hope so.

Will she still know there is nothing bad in the world?

I fear not.

Maybe it’s that impending loss of innocence that makes me sad.

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That first time she will hear a curse word on the bus or learn what flipping her middle finger means.

That first time someone tells her not liking a parent is an option.

That first time — as a girl — someone makes her feel ugly or fat or less than the perfect, sweet, thoughtful, caring little person she is without even trying.

I think about that a lot. How girls — at some point in their lives — are made to feel less than. I’m not sure when that moment comes or how, but I fear it is inevitable. I would LOVE to have one of you respond and tell me that moment never happened to you because, sadly, I feel it is a horribly evil rite of passage.

It’s hard enough to be a girl without someone making you feel bad. I don’t want my baby to ever feel bad. I don’t want my baby to ever think she is anything but fantastic. I don’t want her to ever cry because she feels her arms are too hairy or her tush is too big or her hair is too frizzy.

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Photo Credit: Blink Photography

I think of all the things adults care about and judge each other on and then I think about it through her eyes and how none of it matters. When do we ruin these children to think these things matter?

I stare at this miracle human being I grew in my belly and want to bottle her happiness, joy and innocence today so I can serve it to her on that day she comes home crying to make her feel better. Because my “Mama-magic” and special hug just won’t cut it anymore.

I think and wonder how do all these kids who I watch make picture upon picture for each other and beg each other for play dates become mean girls.

Is it jealousy?

Is it boys?

Someone tell me so she doesn’t ever have to feel hurt.

Someone tell me what to buy her so she can slide through school unfazed. Unhazed.

So she doesn’t ever have to feel sadness.

Or hurt.

So she doesn’t ever get made fun of because one part of her body pops out one way while another part pops out another. Both completely out of her control and completely confusing to her.

So she doesn’t ever have to do something she doesn’t believe in because someone is pressuring her into it.

So she can remain happy. Every day.

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My baby. My beautiful girl. It all starts at five.

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Seriously Spoiled – A Pampering Haven for Little Girls

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Dix Hills Location: Facebook

One of the reasons I love having a daughter is that I get to live vicariously through her. This could mean having a blast on rides at an amusement park (which now make me dizzy & nauseous), seeing a show for the first time, and of course, getting pampered.

When we moved to Long Island from Manhattan last year, my daughter – who had never gotten a hair cut before – decided it was time. Naturally, as the biggest girly girl I knew, I wanted her gateway into the world of primping and pampering to have a lasting impression.  My vast search led me to Seriously Spoiled in Dix Hills.

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We entered Seriously Spoiled and immediately knew we hit the jackpot. It was pink and pink and pink and pink. There was fun stuff to smell and fun stuff to touch and fun stuff to make and fun stuff to buy. I was in love! I mean, my daughter was in love! It was literally the place that if you looked up in the dictionary for where the best place to take a little girl is, there would be a picture of Seriously Spoiled.

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The hair stylist proceeded to give my daughter one of the most thorough haircuts I’ve ever seen followed by a decadent, indulgent pedicure. I sat there jealously looking at my stringy overdue locks and gnarled nails. Alas, vicarious.

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Her hair looked fantastic. So much so that we’ve only taken her to Seriously Spoiled for subsequent haircuts. Why not? It is awesome and reasonable – if not cheaper – for a kid’s cut than most other places. Add in the fact it is the most adorable dream come true place for a little girl, add in the cotton candy scented hair spray, and you can’t go wrong.

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What sets Seriously Spoiled apart from similar places is they actually do haircuts, not just hair styles.  Besides these fabulous haircuts and pedicures, Seriously Spoiled is a full service salon and spa for ladies under 18. They offer manicures, facials, massages, updos, glamour services, celebrations, theme events (including their triple sold out Frozen event), after school play dates, parties, Girl Scout events, American Girl hair styling, and all kinds of pampering combination packages.  If you want to think even bigger – they have a 19 passenger pink limo on call and ready to glam up your special occasion!

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Each time we’ve been there a different age group was enjoying a party. I was a little sad I couldn’t join, despite my continuous begging. Sadly, my over 18-ness negated my pampering invitation. Plus, I didn’t know them…

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In addition to all the fabulous things they can do to you, they have a ton of options in their “Create Your Own” station for the budding cosmetic executive. Your little lady can make her own sugar scrub, lip gloss or shimmer lotion. She can even design her own “scoop” of ice cream (body scrub) – toppings and all – that will make her body smell delicious (yes, my daughter chose Mint Chip without prompting!).

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Seriously Spoiled also offers a full retail space carefully curated with not only soft, cozy lounge wear but interactive creative play and pampering products that continue the spa experience at home – with a friend or parent.

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Seriously Spoiled has three locations in New York – Dix Hills, Patchogue Village, and Middle Village. All locations are open Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm. They are also a completely nut-free facility (one of the owner’s daughters has an allergy so they are on high alert). Next time your favorite little girl needs a cut, or you are celebrating something special, check them out. You will not be disappointed!

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*GIVEAWAY* Seriously Spoiled has generously offered to give away a Mint Chip Mama Spa experience to one lucky reader! This includes a haircut, mani/pedi combination and a “Create Your Own” of your choice!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What is your favorite way to live vicariously through your daughter?

Winner will be chosen Friday, February 20, 2015.

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Here is a little more on Seriously Spoiled because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:

Two sisters – one a hair stylist and one a nail tech – wanted to take their little girls to a spa. Since there were no “kid” spas out there at the time, they went to a regular “mom” spa. Once there, they got less than stellar feedback from fellow patrons.

Little did they know this experience would change their lives! It prompted them to open Seriously Spoiled, their own under 18 full service salon and spa, with the goal of offering your daughters the spa experience they would want for their daughters.

Snow Days Should Be Covered in Chocolate

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Thanks to the inspiration from a junior chef class at Williams-Sonoma we spent our snow day making chocolate bark! It was 33.5% easy and 66.5% delicious. Naturally we used Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. For toppings you can add in anything. For this first batch we used Mint Oreos.

I present to you my lovely assistant who shall demonstrate.

Put topping in bag if it needs to be broken up. Make sure all air is out of bag as you seal it. Have your lovely assistant use a kid hammer to break it up into pieces while you microwave the chocolate and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Alternately, if it is your second snow day and your kid is whining this would be a good way to get out your aggression with your meat tenderizer…

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This was about 1/4 bag of chocolate chips. I microwaved it for 2 minutes on 50% power, stirred it and heated another minute on 50% power.

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Stir it and the heat will melt the remaining chunks.

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Dump in 3/4 of the bag of topping, leaving the last 1/4 to sprinkle on top so it looks professional.

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As Bob Marley said, Stir it Up.

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Empty your delicious melted mix onto your parchment paper.

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Spread it out with your spatula like you are painting a beautiful chocolate portrait.

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Find a cute baby in pajamas who also wants to help.

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Spread into a rectangle or whatever shape makes you happy and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.

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Let lovely assistants lick off the spatula.

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Presenting your delicious, solid chocolate bark!

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Let lovely assistant break into pieces.

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A very productive and delicious result!

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Eat lots more pieces once said assistant goes to bed….