Friday, February 27, 2009

Still Hot in New York City March 12th

The Still Hot Ladies will be in New York City for a fun-filled women only evening. Please Join Us!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
7:00 PM
at the JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Stret
New York City

to register, call 646-505-5708 and ask for program #JFOHOT00W9, or register online at

Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After

When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt? Join Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing, authors of Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After, for a women's-only evening of wine and cheese and dating tips. The authors will read from their book, take questions, and explore the lighter side of life after divorce. Still Hot is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek romp through the journey women take while processing divorce. Bring your questions, share your stories and hear priceless tips on how to meet new men: "Get a job in a urologist' s office!"Learn first-date don't's: "Never call your divorce lawyer from the dinner table." Then spend an uproarious evening marveling at how far you've come. For women only.

Thu, Mar 12
7 pm

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Single Mom's Savings Tips

I just got back from having coffee with my newly divorced friend Bettina. She is totally excited about sharing her latest moneysaving tips for single moms.

She wanted me to remind our readers that you may be single again for now, but you’re not dead to the adult world--you are a grown up human being who needs to be in adult company at least sometimes. If you want to maintain your sanity and continue to enjoy your children, you’ll need to get out of the house on occasional evenings. Instead of letting prohibitive babysitting costs ($15 or more per hour!) turn you into a stay-at-home hermit, Bettina advises starting a babysitting co-op. She started her own by organizing the families in her building to take turns sitting for each other’s kids entirely free of charge. The couples and single moms in her building and in buildings close by are enjoying their evenings out,feeling safe and secure. Each new co-op member family is informally interviewed by current members be sure that everyone is generally philosophically on the same page. And,the best part is that not only are your kids with neighbors you trust, but when you’re out to dinner,you're not obsessively checking your watch imagining that babysitting meter ticking off the accumulating dollars.
Bettina, a paralegal in a high-pressure law firm, is very organized so she finds it easy to track her co-op's babysitting requests, assignments and hours banked on a spreadsheet. If you need a sitter on Saturday night from 7 to 11 pm, you e-mail Bettina who then sends your request around to the co-op members. Once a member signs up to watch your kids, you work out the details with that member who then earns four hours of babysitting time.
Last week Bettina racked up major hours. Her sons are 7 and 9 and are friends with the son of a co-op member who lives down the block. Bettina hosted a sleepover for her two kids and the other little boy from 5 pm on a Friday until Saturday at 2 pm. She’s now got 21 hours of babysitting credit to use at her convenience.

Her second savings tip was one we hear over and over again--the clothing exchange. Women all over town are hosting clothing swaps. Bettina's babysitting co-op members have two kinds of swaps going. In addition to"shopping" at occasional mom's clothing swap evenings, they also swap out gently used baby and kid equipment such as high chairs or tricycles, as well as clothing, snow suits, boots, skates and sporting gear.

Bettina estimates that she’ll save over $4,000 this year in babysitting exchange and swapped items.Time to start your own co-op!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Upshot of Valentine's Day Singles Party

Here are the results of the Feb 14th party, in which my son's friend Amanda attempted to play Cupid by inviting all of her single girlfriends plus a bunch of single male friends, including my son and his pals. (See previous post, Feb 13th.)

I called my son the following day, thrilled that he had gone to the party and excited to hear how it went. He offhandedly remarked that he and his pals decided not to go at the last minute because the party was "too far away" -- i.e. in a different borough. Is that not like men, or what? These guys are 22 years old, but apparently they're all the same. I hope that the girls had more fun without them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day: A fun opportunity for singles

Here's another great idea for the unattached on Valentine's Day. My 22-year-old son, as well as many of his male pals, don't have girlfriends at the moment. Their friend Jon has a girlfriend named Amanda, who has a number of single female friends. So Amanda is throwing a party on Saturday night, February 14th, which she has dubbed "Single Ladies Night." She invited all of her single girlfriends, and Jon invited my son and all of his single guy friends. The odds are good that a few guests will actually hit it off, and no matter what, it promises to be a fun Saturday night and a swell way for singles to spend Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best Valentine’s Day Gift Girlfriend to Girlfriend

The best Valentine’s Day girlfriend to girlfriend gift we know of is a copy of Still Hot: the Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After. First order a copy of Still Hot on Amazon. Then, sit down at your kitchen table with your favorite kindergartener, some scissors and art supplies and make your best friend an old fashioned home made valentine complete with glitter and glue and the works. Just ask the kindergartener- nothing is too over the top on a valentine. Include an IOU for the book. She’s your best friend and she already loves you, but this kind of thoughtfulness will reaffirm what makes your friendship so special.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day: How not to break your budget

Valentine's Day gives many of us a welcome excuse to do a little stimulus spending, but it can also be a ripoff. In researching restaurants for a dinner that evening, I noticed that in my vicinity most are replacing their regular menu with a special Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner. The typical cost per person: $70. But further investigation revealed that the more ethnic restaurants -- for instance, Greek or Asian -- don't pull that little scam. So go Greek for Valentine's Day!

Another recession-proof tip: Instead of buying an expensive Valentine's gift, give your partner a small bottle of scented massage oil and deliver it with a full-body massage. It's less fattening than chocolates, lasts longer than flowers, and is cheaper and sexier than both!

Valentine's Day: How Not to Wreck Your Diet Just Because You're Lucky Enough to Have a Date

For those of us who are lucky enough to have a dinner date with someone we love, or even like, for Valentine's Day- here are 6 easy Weight Watcher's tips on how not to wreak havoc with your diet plan:

1. Relax
Don't approach the dinner with trepidation. Watching your food intake does not mean denying yourself anything-- you're just making choices about your life. And the really wonderful part is you're sharing a meal with those you love, whether it's your honey, or a group of girlfriends.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
Scan the menu to create your own dinner. If you want the fish, but don't want the cream sauce, ask for it to be served with the salsa that comes with the chicken. The same goes for the sides: that shrimp dish you want might come with potato gratin, but the roast chicken comes with grilled asparagus. Just ask for the shrimp with asparagus.

3. Order simpler food prepared light
In terms of calories, grilled is better than fried; baked is better than braised.

5. Cut things out during the meal
• Forgo the cocktail, which can be loaded with sugar, and have a glass of red wine instead.
• Ask for lemon juice or vinegar on the salad.
• Ask for cocktail sauce or chutney on your baked potato, rather than butter and sour cream.

6. Share
You can split an appetizer or a dessert, or both. It's very romantic to share a dish with someone you love-- and in these recessionary times, it's likely he will appeciate the savings when the bill arrives!

Single on Valentine's Day

Men and women who have experienced being single on Valentine's Day know that it can be even harder than being dateless on New Year's Eve. Let's start the dialog with 7 Valentine's Day Tips from Dr. Laura S. Brown, professor of psychology at Argosy University/Seattle:

1. Do not define yourself by your relationship status. Your relationship status is not your identity.
2. If you are single because of a recent loss, allow this to be a day of grieving. Do not pretend that it’s not a hard day. Get support and sympathy.
3. Realize that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not about love and relationships; it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. Think of all the money you are saving.
4. Plan well in advance to do something that will not place you in the path of billing and cooing couples. Even if you usually like dining out alone, do something else on Valentine’s Day.
5. Get together with people who do love you -- friends, family members, the people who already have relationships with you.
6. If you are single and you don’t want to be, start now to think about what is in the way of you creating the relationship you want. Find ways to work on becoming the person your dream partner would fall in love with. Start therapy. Take up yoga. Begin to volunteer. Create art. Make meaning. Act to change the world. It is into the fullest lives that love is most likely to fall.
7. If you are single and you like it, now is the time to affirm your choice. People who never marry or partner have close, loving, emotionally intimate relationships and lives worth living. Do not let a couple-driven culture define your choice as something wrong.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Divorce deal affected by Madoff scandal

Here's a new twist on Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi fraud. Not only has he wiped out the retirement dreams of many married couples, but he has wreaked havoc with the settlement agreement of at least one divorced couple.

In 2006 Steven and Laura were in the process of divorcing and agreed to evenly split the $5.4 million they shared in an account with Madoff securities. Steven held onto the $5.4 million account and gave Laura $2.7 million in cash to compensate her for her half.

Fast-forward two years later: Steven discovers that the account isn't worth the paper it's printed on, plus he's out the $2.7 million he paid to Laura. He is now suing her for its return; his ex has no comment. If he loses, she may turn out to be the only Madoff investor who realized a hefty profit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Choosing a Divorce Attorney: Take a Close Look At Her Office

Ah, the clarity of hindsight. Lucy wishes she had been more on target in predicting her divorce lawyer’s winning potential by observing the attorney’s office d├ęcor. In fact,the attorney had no office. She worked out of the dining nook in a high rise apartment she shared with her two adolescent daughters, and a snarling little dog. Clouds of cat hair coated every surface and a rather odiferous litter box made its presence known in the "office rest room." But come to think of it, actually it wasn’t so much her office or lack thereof that was the major problem. After a preliminary four-way meeting between the divorcing parties--Lucy and her then-husband, plus the lawyers for both parties, her attorney followed Lucy into the courthouse Ladies’ Room where she burst into tears in memory of the angst of her own divorce several years before. Lucy ended up comforting her attorney and handing her tissues. None of this was subtracted from her bill. In the divorce settlement, despite poor representation, Lucy miraculously ended up with only a mildly bad deal.

A decade later, Lucy’s sister, Joy, went through her own divorce and obviously had learned nothing from Lucy’s prior experience. Joy signed on with an attorney whom she chose for the lame reason that the office assistant kindly offered her a choice of herbal tea or fresh brewed coffee and that the coffee was served with real milk, not Cremora. Never mind that the attorney’s office was strewn with stacks of files and loose papers stamped CONFIDENTIAL,and that a couple of unmatched high heels were kicked into various corners. Once, the attorney gave Joy a ride home from a negotiation meeting and the car was so cluttered with old diet coke cans, sweaty gym clothes and piles of coffee-stained paperwork, that Joy couldn’t even squeeze her size 4 self into the passenger seat. Needless to say the attorney was no more organized in planning Joy’s case than she was in they way she kept her office and car. Joy was lucky she walked away with the shirt on her back(barely).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Judging divorce lawyers by their office decor

Before I settled on an attorney to handle my divorce, I visited three prominent matrimonial lawyers in New York city and took note of their similar, professionally decorated offices: sleek black leather sofas, steely gray carpets, contemporary, posh, and spare, with a current Architectural Digest in the reception area so you can ogle the gorgeous homes of happy couples as you contemplate the imminent loss of your own. The offices were designed to convey the attorneys' success rather than put anxious clients at ease.

But this past weekend I saw the opposite: the Bethesda, Maryland office of a family-law attorney who handles high-profile Washington DC divorces as well as less celebrated custody cases and property and custodial agreements for "divorcing" gay couples. As clients enter the cozy reception area, they are immediately greeted by Daisy, a happy, friendly mutt who belongs to one of the partners. If a little pet therapy doesn't cheer you up, you turn your sights to the bright, playful Mexican folk art that festoons the office: whimsical, hand-painted animal sculptures, bold-colored throw rugs, and in the conference room -- where opposing sides hash out settlement agreements -- the walls are decorated with colorful metal and beaded fish. Best of all, in the reception area the attorneys display a stack of our book, Still Hot -- a freebie for any client who needs a good laugh!