Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lifeline for the Elderly ... Yad Lakashish

Last year while visiting Jerusalem my friend Sandy encouraged me to visit Yad Lakashish, a workshop where elderly immigrants spend several hours a day making beautiful crafts, tallit, wall hangings, mezzuzot and other beautiful decorations for the home. The items are sold in the Yad Lakashish shop. It is so touching to see these elderly people sitting together in the workshop working, socializing with each other and just having a place to go for a few hours each morning. Last year we were fortunate to be there in the morning and take a tour of the workshops and see the people and all the beautiful crafts they were making. Immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia etc etc... The people are given a stipend towards living expenses and money for medical and dental expenses which certainly is a huge help to these immigrants. Please visit the website at www.lifeline.org.il and when in Jerusalem please visit Yad Lakashish at 14 Shivtei Israel Street.

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Security Tags on my Clothes

I like to dress very comfortably when I travel and tour. So before departing for Israel I purchased some of my favorite cotton knit drawstring pants and some tees at The Gap. The Gap has installed new security measures on their clothing. First as I ripped off the $24.99 price tag on my pants I noticed a large sewn in tag which said remove before wearing.. Cut off.. What a pain. Being on vacation and with the new security travel measures I didn't pack a scissor. I bought a nail clipper the other day (thankfully) and had to work my way through this hard big tag. YUCK!!! What a pain in the ass!! Then I go to take the price tag off my $16.00 tee and again one of these tags!! So trying not to massacre my new tee shirt I gently tried gnawing through the label with my nail clipper.. Not fun and not easy.. What was The Gap thinking??? I am sure the thieves out there will get wise to this very quickly and bring scissors to cut the tags off the things they want to steal.. But here us innocent folk have to deal with the pain of getting rid of these nasty tags! Why persecute the innocent?? Well just another day dealing with the little nuisances in life :-)....

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not Sleeping at 35,000 Feet

I have never been able to sleep on an airplane. I have tried and admire all the people who can. Right now most people sitting around me including my husband and kids are sleeping as it is 2:20 AM. I even had a cocktail!! YIPPEE!! No help in the sleep dept. So while everyone around me is sleeping I am surfing.. That is the "net". Caught up on email. Read a few magazines. Passed on the dinner that was served at 1:30 AM... The corned beef wrapped around prunes appetizer sounded pretty bad and I didn't think eating prunes on an airplane at 1:30 AM was a very wise choice :-) !! Its also a little hot on board!! So those of you who know me well know I love air conditioning. The colder the better!!! Doesn't everyone sleep with the air conditioner on in December?? Well when it is 60 out it is a must for me!! What would I have done in the times before AC?? I can't even imagine. My father (he should rest in peace) would tell me of those days before AC. It didn't sound too pretty!! I had company over on Sunday night and had the AC on. I got a few complaints to turn the heat up and then a chuckle when I said I had the AC on. Needless to say some thought I was nuts!! Going to try and join the sleep club although I am not holding out much hope I will be successful!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Favorite "Food Related" Websites

For all of you "foodies" out there here are some of my favorite food websites. I have ordered from all of them and have always been very satisfied!!!

http://www.rickiscookies.com

The chocolate chipsticks are truly decadent! I promise you cannot just eat one!!

http://ponziwines.com


The Pinot Noir from Ponzi is delicious. Highly recommended by my friend's Samantha and Mike!! We have gone through many bottles!!

http://drbobsicecream.com

I saw Dr. Bob's as part of a story on the Food Network.. I said hmmm ice cream by mail?? Why not?? So I ordered one of their assortments for my ice cream loving twins and boy was this a big hit! Scrumptious!!!

http://opentable.com

Online dining reservations all over the world!! So easy to use and
great details and menu's online too!!

http://zagat.com


Nina and Tim Zagat and their faithful participants give reviews for restaurants, nightlife, markets etc. all over the world!!

http://barneygreengrass.com

Did you say Lox and Bagels?? You will get the most delicious smoked fish here. The delicacies at this famed NYC establishment are scrumptious. The best LOX, Eggs and Onions you will ever have!!! Great Bagels.. All can be delivered overnight to your door. When in LA visit Barney Greengrass "The Restaurant" at Barneys in Beverly Hills.

http://kronchocolatier.com

Delicious chocolates!! Stunning Gift Baskets.. The chocolate dipped fruit is to "die for"!! Chocolate covered popcorn!! YUMMY!!!

http://manhattanfruitier.com

Stunning fruit gift baskets and hampers. Gourmet food baskets. All decadent and delicious!!

http://hhbagels.com

Delicious NY Bagels!! We are spoiled in NY and can get great bagels easily. For those of you outside of NY or even in NY these are amazing bagels!!

I hope I haven't made you too hungry!!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Monday, December 18, 2006

More Favorite Websites

As you already know from my earlier blog posts I love to shop on the web. I certainly am not giving up "in store" shopping and nothing beats seeing something fabulous in person.. touching it... feeling it.. for a lot of things the web will never be the ideal venue but for many it is...

Here are some of my favorite e-commerce sites by category...

Silver & Leather

www.billwallleather.com
www.kingbabystudio.com

Designer Brands

www.eluxury.com

Hip Clothing & Accessories

www.shopkitson.com
www.netaporter.com
www.shopintuition.com
www.girlshop.com
www.bluebeeonline.com
www.neimanmarcus.com
www.vivre.com
www.gucci.com

For Your Pets

www.trixieandpeanut.com
www.quintessentialpet.com

Kids Clothes

www.polo.com
www.tuesdayschild.com
www.nordstrom.com
www.tuttibella.com

Miscellaneous

www.replacements.com

Happy Holidays!!!

Have fun! I always do!!

RISA






Saturday, December 16, 2006

Rudeness

Rude people never cease to amaze me!! I was at a friend's daughter's Bat Mitzvah today. During the entire service two women sitting behind me talked non stop throughout the entire two plus hour event... the bat mitzvah girl's speech and haftorah.. the rabbi's speech etc etc. At most points you couldn't hear a pin drop except for these 2 very rude women!! Are people so self absorbed that they don't even realize what is going on around them?? That is so hard to imagine for me!! Don't they realize they are in a spiritual place... at a very important occasion?? I guess NOT!! because you would think if they did they would just SHUT UP!! So I was trying to hold back and not say anything but I just couldn't take it anymore and gave them the "SHSSSHH" much like when rude people talk in the movies. Of course I got a "dirty look" from them.. Who me?? What did I do?? How clueless could they be? VERY CLUELESS!!

Everyday I am in situations where I observe the rudeness out in the world.. people slam the door in your face.. instead of holding it open for you.. is thank you a foreign praise?? It amazes me how often people forget to say thank you... Trying to change a lane.. people intentionally speed up and then if you cut in give you the finger... Not giving pedestrians the right of way...

I was in the city yesterday buying some holiday gifts and while the salesman was ringing up and wrapping my purchases a woman barged in front of me with a $12.00 book demanding that he ring her up and wrap it. Was I invisible?? Did she not understand that she should wait her turn?? I kept my mouth shut but boy did I have a few choice words for her and believe me they weren't Merry Christmas :-) ...

My wish for the New Year is that people would take a moment to realize that there are a lot of people living in this world together and we need to learn that being aware of others and learning some manners would make this world a much nicer place!!!

Have fun!!! I always do!!

RISA

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chrome Hearts at Hirshleifers

Tonight Hirshleifer http://www.hirshleifers.com/ at The Americana in Manhasset http://www.americanamanhasset.com/ celebrated the opening of their new Chrome Hearts boutique http://www.chromehearts.com/ with a benefit for Project A.L.S http://www.projectals.org/ . A portion of sales from this fabulous event were donated to the organization which was started by Jenifer Estess, her family, and friends in 1998, when Jenifer was diagnosed with the fatal brain disease at the age of thirty-five. Upon discovering that there were no effective treatments, Project A.L.S. set out to put medicine into place. The mission today is to bring the best science to ALS patients in the form of effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Project A.L.S. has raised over $30 million, directing 81% to research programs. The majority of fundraising proceeds goes to support investigations in Genetics, Drug Discovery, Stem Cells, and Disease Pathways. The hallmark of Project A.L.S. research is collaboration. Researchers who were competitors now play on the same team, meet regularly, share data openly, and work rationally, constructively, and aggressively toward shared goals.

Chrome Hearts is a company that specializes in handmade silver, gold and leather accessories. It is renowned for its jewelry (rings, ID bracelets, pendants, etc.) which feature fleur-de-lys, dagger and floral cross designs. A number of its products are branded with the phrase "FUCK YOU". Trendsetters, particularly in Los Angeles and Japan, have adopted this among other "it" items to have. Chrome Hearts manufactures jewelry, furniture, and clothing. In their showrooms you can even purchase Rolex watches with one of a kind Chrome Hearts bracelets in place of the stock band or strap. Karl Lagerfeld is always seen in his fabulous Chrome Hearts jewels and his signature CH silver belt buckle that literally weighs a "ton"!! I am an avid fan of Chrome Hearts!!! Some of my favorite pieces are my "Conasse" bag... I'll let you francophiles figure out what that means!!! Then my "F**K" in diamonds bracelet... My leather fur lined black bag for my golf shoes... It is Uber chic and wickedly decadent!!! Lots more ... but I can't reveal all my secrets :-) ....

I must tell you about a new product that was showcased at the event tonight... It is called "Betty" http://www.bettybeauty.com/ and it is a hair dye for "down there" ... Yes you heard me right!!! I was a bit shocked when I saw it earlier today on the shelf at my local hair salon. They say they are selling like hotcakes... Then to see it again at the event tonight... WOW.. Gee I'd love the 411 on whose buying??? Maybe it can be published in next week's Great Neck Record newspaper... HMMM we need a good juicy story every now and then:-) You'll have to click on the link to the website for further details about BETTY...


Have Fun!!! I always do!!!!

RISA

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Charity Auctions

In the past you could only bid on auctions for charity at the actual event. The Internet has made it easy for charities to reach out beyond their limited group of the people attending and attract a whole new audience. EBAY was one of the first to offer auctions for Charity now seen under their Giving Works area. Several new websites are offering Celebrity Experiences.. VIP Experiences... Gift Certificates... Power Lunches.. Autographed Memorabilia... Sports and Entertainment Experiences.. Jewels and much more....
Checkout www.charityfolks.com and www.charitybuzz.com ... Support some very worthy causes while picking up some truly "impossible to get on your own" experiences... Will it be Lunch with Liv Tyler... Tickets to the MTV VMA's... A Fur... A Tour of the South Park Set.. A Walk on Role for Desperate Housewives?? Tickets to Oprah... Check out the many priceless offerings available now!

Have Fun! I always do!!

RISA

Monday, December 11, 2006

Exploring Chasidic Jewish Neighborhoods

Today was certainly an adventure through the various Chasadic neighborhoods of Brooklyn. My mom celebrated her birthday today so since her and I both really enjoy doing this "trek" she decided it was a perfect day for it. My sister a "newbie" joined us on our adventure. First we drove through Williamsburg my mother's old neighborhood.. now it is a bastian for chi chi hippie types... diverse ethnic groups and the Satmr Chasidim who populate the areas around Lee Avenue. Then we made our way to Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights the home of the Lubavitcher Chasidim. I had never been to Eastern Parkway. It was very interesting especially to see the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch http://www.chabad.org/ The it was off Flatbush... and then to Midwood and finally to Boro Park. As luck had it we found a parking spot right on the corner of 46th Street and 13th Avenue in the heart of the Boro Park shopping district which goes on for about 15 or so blocks with shops on each side catering to the local chasidic and or ultra orthodox crowd. The street was bustling with busy shoppers.. young mothers pushing their children in carriages... lots of traffic on 13th Avenue... Things for Chanukah were all over.. Menorahs.. Candies.. Dreidels.. Books.. We found several great music shops with a huge selection of Jewish related music... Cantorial.. Israeli.. Chasidic.. Yiddish... and many others.. Then we picked up a few good books at Eichlers... http://www.eichlers.com/ ... Off to a yummy lunch at Kosher Delight and then some more shopping.. Our day was truly enjoyable. I would encourage you to visit these interesting neighborhoods.. Explore..

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

EBAY

I have been buying "stuff" on EBAY since 1997. I can't believe it has been that long. EBAY is truly extraordinary!! From fabulous designer finds to $1.00 Yu-Gi-Oh cards that my kids have found to complete sets they needed. EBAY has something for everyone. For the collector it is your entree into the world of people buying and selling from all over the globe. In over 300 purchases in the last 10 years I have only had 1 ill experience that was quickly remedied by the seller. The key to using EBAY effectively is to read the feedback profile of the person you are buying from or selling to. My favorite purchases from EBAY over the years are Beautiful Antique Quilts, Vintage GUCCI Handbag.. (never used from the 70's) .. PULVER Chewing Gum Machines from the early 1920's... and anything that is hard to find in local retailers and hot in demand. I was able to score a Nintendo WII for my kids for the holidays.. OK I did a pay more but I GOT ONE!!!! Isn't it all about Supply and Demand??? I can pretty much guarantee you can find almost anything you are looking for on EBAY. From the tough to find.. to the bizarre.. even Hermes Birkin bags :-) Cars.. Jewels.. Watches... I did an experiment several years to prove that you could pretty much sell anything on EBAY.. Jeff was horrified when I told him I listed and sold a 1/2 empty bottle of CREED Spring Flowers Perfume. I said it was to prove a point and some nice lady in Tennessee paid $35.00 for it.

Have fun! I always do!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

COFFEE has become extremely complicated

Back in the day when ordering a coffee was simple... life was easy... I remember when you could say "Regular, Light with Sweet n Low... That meant a regular coffee with lots of milk. Simple... Easy.. Then the small paper cup that we all know.. the Blue and White Parthenon... (also noted on the cover of Wendy Wasserstein's book Shiksa Goddess) was "NOT BIG ENOUGH"!!! So along came another size. Great for those of us who need more than that small cup!!! But what has happened to the world of buying a simple cup of coffee over the last ten years is revolutionary!!! Small and Large are no longer easily understood.. Its Tall, Grande, Venti, Super, 16 oz, 20 oz, and many others I am sure.. Then its not just "Milk"... Its Skim, Low-Fat, 2%, 1%, Half n Half, Half Milk and Half N Half, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Fat Free Half n Half, Flavored Non Dairy Creamers (HORRID STUFF).... WHEW... Thank Heavens they still have Regular and Decaf but add to that list.. Cap, Espresso, Latte, Au Lait, Chai, Mochaccino, Mocha, Frappaccino.. The list goes on and on... So I had to be in a Starbucks a few weeks back to bring my friend an iced coffee that she was "dying" for and wanted it BLACK!!! So I ventured into the Starbucks on Third Avenue and 61st Street. Listening to all the orders gave me a headache.. Pumpkin spiced Latte Vente Skim Milk etc etc... SOUNDS Gross!!! All the while I was trying to figure out how to order a Large Decaf Coffee??? I was starting to feel very stupid... Then paying for this "liquid gold"... So 2 large coffees (with no Bells and Whistles) came to almost $6.00 ... Amazing... Interesting for some of these Starbucks addicts to keep a tab on what they spend in a month I am sure it is shocking!!! I'll stick to the good ole "back in the day" stuff....

Have Fun! I always do!

RISA

A Day in my Life.....

Now at 12:04 AM I decided to recap my day's events.... Hmmm... Pulled myself grudingly out of bed at 9:20 that is after waking at around 6ish and hitting the snooze a million times... Went to meet a friend at IHOP for breakfast.. That coffee and diet coke was just what I needed and the Harvest Nut and Grain Pancakes too!! Then drove up Northern Blvd. and stopped at Lesters.. otherwise known as Designer and All that is Fab clothing and stuff for Midgets.. Oh I meant kids... When I say stuff I mean accessories.. From pillows made to resemble candy bars.. to lots of chachkas... and oodles and oodles of little girl jewelry... A must shop and "stop" for the fashion conscious toddler :-) Then I realized I was driving on fumes so I decided to stop for some gas... Self serve gas in 20 degrees is NOT fun!! Hmmm then onto to CVS... Then pickup "kids" at school... Go Home... Stay home for 5 minutes and then head to NYC for an orthodontist appt... Well after about 10 minutes at the orthodontist we leave with Teal and Metallic green braces.. At each visit you can choose a new color... Boy... when I wore braces we had no colors.. no choices.. just lots of wax... Then we go to mid town and visit our friend Joan... queen of the most fabulous jewelry shops in Westhampton Beach and Aspen. We schmooze... then its off to the "Underground Apple" store on Fifth Avenue... As we make our descent in the cylindrical elevator I can't help but notice the crowds below.. Every IPOD and Computer station is taken.. People are swarming around like flies.. Buying everything in sight.. Then off to Barneys... I am still in love with Target but Barneys was calling me... I mean it was just around the corner.. How could we just pass by... Dylan found a few of his favorite Trunk Ltd. tee shirts. www.trunkltd.com Hmmm time for a late late lunch at the Viand Coffee Shop on Madison Avenue. There is nothing better than a greasy grilled cheese and fries and of course a diet coke in what has to be the smallest coffee shop I have ever been in. You and your dining companions are up close and very personal!!! How could we leave the city without some "sweets"... So around the corner to Teuscher chocolates went... Teuscher is hands down the best chocolate... Decadent...delicious and discustingly expensive.... But worth it!!! Well maybe not?? But it is so good :-) Back to car... Back home... Hang out at home and then drive 65 miles to spend weekend in the Hamptons... Eat dinner at local restaurant 10PM... Time to sleep.... I hope I have cured your insomnia after reading this...

Have fun!!! I always do!

RISA

Thursday, December 7, 2006

DIscussing Weight

I have never understood why women find it so interesting to discuss weight and diets. I can't tell you over the years the number of friends, acquaintances and strangers who routinely get around to the subject of weight. Is it really that interesting? Especially when you are eating a meal.. at a party... having cocktails?? I cannot think of anything less interesting than talking about weight or dieting. Over the years I have run into people and the second sentence out of their mouths after saying hello was "Wow you lost weight" or "Gee how much weight did you lose" or "Wow you are losing weight". Most of the time quite honestly I haven't lost a pound. I have been within 5 or 10 pounds of the same weight for the last 10 years. I know most people have the best intentions and genuinely think they are giving you a well deserved compliment... Yes would I like to lose some weight?? Sure.. But really gals lets find something new to talk about!!

Have fun! I always do!

RISA

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Strange Comments Today

I was surprised but not shocked to read of The Conservative Jewish movement's decision to ordain gay rabbi's and bless same-sex unions. The comment below from a story on www.nytimes.com was bizarre though.

"The ruling accepting gay rabbis is itself a compromise. It favors ordaining gay rabbis and blessing same-sex unions, as long as the men do not practice sodomy".

HMMM are the governing Rabbi's going to be in the bedrooms? Secret spy cameras? Will the Temple Board of Trustees make surprise home visits? Is this all just absurd? Decoys? I see a covert undercover operation in the making.

Have fun.... I always do....

RISA



My Favorite Websites

I am a big proponent of buying online from Stamps to Groceries... to stuff I don't need to touch and feel and just by seeing a photo is enough for me..... The UPS and Fedex people know me well and usually come to my door on a daily basis!!! Saving time is very important for me.. Time is precious and not having to walk the supermarket aisles most weeks is a dream!!!

For groceries.... Enter your zip code on their home page to see if they deliver to your town. Great products!!! Excellent service!! Stop schlepping those heavy items NOW!!!!
www.freshdirect.com

Shoes.. Sneakers.. Amazing Brands!! HUGE selection... Great and Very Easy Return Policy!!! You will love this site.. For the whole family!!!
www.zappos.com

Beautiful Personalized Cards..Invitations..Stationery..Design it right online!!!
www.finestationery.com

The US Post Office... Stamps delivered right to your door!!!
www.usps.com

Drug Items.. Health and Beauty Aids!!! Great Makeup from Beauty.com
www.drugstore.com

You MUST use this restaurant reservation website... FREE and fantastic!!! A must for NYC dining and other major cities and countries. Each day more and more restaurants are added!
www.opentable.com

Have fun!!! I always do.....

RISA

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Charity Events of the Week

The last few weeks have been busy with lots of charity events......

We attended the American Friends of Bet El dinner on Sunday night at the Marriot Marquis honoring our friends Gail and Michael Weisbrod. There are almost 10,000 people in the West Bank of Israel in the Bet El settlement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bet_El

If not for a bad sore throat today I would have been at the fabulous NYC showroom of Helen Yarmuk for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding's Fall benefit http://www.ffeu.org/ . My dear friend Rabbi Marc Schneier is the co-founder along with Russell Simmons. I am sure it was a beautiful event especially from Helen's fabulous showroom with a terrace overlooking Central Park for miles and miles. I wonder if Kimora Lee was there again?? She was honored at the last event and read her acceptance speech from a swarovski bejeweled Blackberry. How fabulous can one person be???

Thursday night is a benefit for The Jerusalem Foundation at Eden Art Gallery in NYC. http://jerusalemfoundation.org/english/home.php

Time to walk the dog and go to sleep......

My Favorite Skulls

So most of you who know me well know I love Skulls.... I've been wearing skull jewels... tees etc.. for years. Getting the stares from the "less than" fashion conscious crowd. Hmm I remember a "soccer mom" telling other moms at elementary school pickup years back... "I never knew Risa Pulver was into stuff like that"... gee what did she think I had a broom and a crystal ball..... SIGH....

Well guess what??? Skulls have joined the mainstream world!!! Whew Knew???

So check out the latest in the fabulous world of "rock and skulls"......

http://couture.zappos.com/n/p/p/7283492.html

http://couture.zappos.com/n/p/dp/15829742/c/3.html

http://loreerodkin.com/

http://www.trixieandpeanut.com/apparel/137438.html

http://shopkitson.com/index.php?pageId=2&product_sku=096152

http://shopkitson.com/index.php?pageId=2&product_sku=089668

http://shopkitson.com/index.php?pageId=2&product_sku=86940S

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_1/602-3273510-5620661?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=B000GFIAV0

http://www.polo.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2407129&cp=1760785.2147192&SMR=1&parentPage=family

Have fun!!! I always do...........

Risa



Target

While spending a lot of time out in the Hamptons I discovered Target or as some say "Tarjay" in Riverhead. Hmm having never been in a Target my first reaction was "Where have you been all my life"? Needless to say we (Jeff and the boys) have spent many Saturday nights shopping at Target. It is very relaxing at least for me!! In my Target travels I found my new favorite lip gloss by Karma in Cappucino (tastes and smells like it) for $3.99 and bought about 20 of them to have a readily available supply. If you like 2 piece Tankini style swimsuits or bikini's Target is your store. You can walk out with a very fashion forward suit for a whopping $40. I think I bought 10. The suprise of this all is that the fabrics, colors and styles are all very forward and the quality is great. Or course I am not giving up The Americana or Madison Avenue anytime soon but you cannot beat Target for its choices for the fashion conscious customer...