Showing posts from January, 2009

Dry be gone

It's pretty much criminal how much winter takes a toll on your skin. I've wanted to cry, my legs are so itchy and dry. So dry that it stings when I put lotion on them.  Ditto my back, my arms, my get the picture.  I prepared myself for the snow and the temperatures so cold that you can't take a deep breath, but I somehow blocked out the nasty dryness of winter. Out of necessity, though, I have developed a combat strategy, mobilizing seven, yes SEVEN moisturizers (actually, make that eight because I'm trying a new one) to keep the hounds at bay. And so far, we seem to have reached detente. Here's what I'm reduced to, simply to survive the winter: AM:   Shower. Don't dry off, but immediately slather Vaseline Intensive Rescue moisture-locking lotion on skin. Then towel off (This, of course, means washing one's towel every day or two.)  Now coat face with Avon's Anew 10% Vitamin C Serum. Then apply Kiehl's Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturize

Ways other than Paul Blart and lipstick to combat economic depression

They say that, when the economy tanks and you can't see any way through your pile of bills and are wondering who you'll look wearing one of those barrels with shoulder straps, women buy lipstick and everyone goes to upbeat, escapist movies to take their minds off their troubles. But I'm here to tell you that any lipstick worth having is nigh 'bout $20 or more and you'll just end up regretting it, and Hollywood has not caught up with the times yet. Plus, it's Oscar season, so once you've seen Slumdog Millionaire your choices are sexy Nazis seducing children, attractive suburbanites mourning the death of their dreams, and nuns and priests talking about child abuse. (That said, I hear Gran Torino is a good diversion with a message, and if you don't hate Brad Pitt as much as I do you could probably sit through that Owen Meany movie where he ages like he's from Ork .) And while I'm as big a Kevin James fan as the next person, you can't ask him

Unsolicited product endorsement - Dorset Cereals

Food is a part of daily life and, especially as someone who treats cooking and eating like a hobby, it's a fundamental part of my memories of people, places and events. Pigs-in-a-blanket remind me of eating at a table where my feet didn't touch the floor, and my mom making a special meal just for my brother and me. Grilled fish reminds me of my friend Pam or of the time our friend Kip tried to make us salmon it took about seven hours. Muffins remind me of Uptown Espresso in Seattle, because they made a killer rhubarb one that was the size of your head. Grilled chicken reminds me of my dad, especially if it's a little over done. Dim Sum reminds me of Tom and George. In every stage of my life, I make food memories that follow me, and when I want to really cuddle with that part of my history I simply find that food and savor it, and it's as close to being there as it gets. In England, one of my favorite things was Dorset Cereals . They were an entrepreneurial group who

Unwittingly a Fashion Maven

In these times of economic trouble, one has to find a few luxuries to make one feel special. For me, this usually means fat free, sugar free chocolate pudding and a glossy magazine. Specifically this week, I went for the Jello-brand Dark Chocolate and a copy of the February Lucky. The pudding is delicious. And Lucky? It has revealed that I am the epitome of February style. I didn't even make it past the table of contents before I saw a picture of a sexy black lace cocktail dress. Lo and behold, on page 41 executive editor MK Rollins tells us about how lace is what she wants NOW! And while their stretch dress is from edressme .com and mine is not, it looks surprisingly similar . (Mine comes in chubbies .) I flip the page, and senior associate fashion editor A Brady is on about Navajo-inspired designs for a dose of relaxed chic. Look at my clearance sale sweater . And the hits just keep on coming. Their market editor loves braiding to add interest to understated pieces, and I h

Mini-blogging is more fun

I'm sorry for my absence. I've been preoccupied by twitter. I like the mini-blogging format - I mean, ultimately, I'm not saying anything different than I do here...I just have to limit my irrelevant ramblings to 140 characters or less. And if you're following me, you can request that my tweets be sent to your phone so you never have to wait for my pithy observations. Lucky, lucky you! And sometimes you can tweet to win things. No one ever gives me things for this. Wait. I take that back. Madame L sent me delicious caramels last year and is knitting me a hat, so I HAVE actually received things from this blog. Not that I'm in it for the money. Just saying. I just finished reading Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster. (I believe Marni's book group was reading this, as well.) It was an amusing chronicle of one woman's weight loss journey, and it made me think that maybe I should try writing as a career. If I tried, I could be as funny as her. Stuff happens to

Unsolicited product endorsement - Boots No7 Lash 360

Ladies (and gentlemen who wear mascara), if you're looking for full, beautiful eye-popping lashes, get yourself down to the Target and make a beeline to the Boots No. 7 cosmetics.  Lash 360 is the mascara for you! I became quite a fan of other No. 7 products while living in the UK. It's all really Chanel makeup and skincare repackaged for Boots the Chemist as a way to expand their line into a non-department store price point. In fact, it's still a bit of a premium price, but the products I have are well worth it.  I LOVE their liquid liner, and their lipsticks are divine.  With mascaras, though, I've always been a believer in the makeup artist tip that you're wasting money if you buy anything other than the cheap pink-and-green Cover Girl. Over Christmas, however, I brought the Lash 360 sample with, and the magic it works on my lashes has shocked even me. I don't have especially long or thick lashes. In fact, they're only acceptable because they are brown

My own personal heavenly bed

As most of you know, I've just come off of a ten year career planning corporate events around the world. This means I've slept in some pretty nice beds, and some pretty crappy ones, as well. If you are also one who travels for work, you'll remember about eight years ago or so when Westin started the bed revolution with the Heavenly Bed. Their theory: If you're traveling on an expense account you don't care as much about cost as you do about getting a decent night's sleep when you're away from home. So they invested in a branded package of high-quality, all white bedding on a perfectly firmsoft mattress with big, sumptuous pillows to suck you in and make you weep with joy. Their reps started hyping the Bed months in advance of the roll out , and they promised us it would be revolutionary. It was. The first time I stayed in a Westin with a HB , I was in Seattle on a high floor in a suite with views of the Sound. I remember sinking into the fluffy comfor

Get-to-know-you-questions, vol 1

We all need ice breaker questions. Things to jump start conversations when they hit a seven minute lull, or to ask on a speed date to vet the crazies. Here's one you can use, plus when you ask it you'll have time to come up with a really clever response when they ask you, "how about you?" (And please answer the question. Not that many people read my blog. Heck, I'll even turn off the no-anonymous-comments button for a week or so, just so readers who don't have google accounts can play. But it would be nice if you'd give me some clue to who you are so I can, in fact, get to know you.) You're going to the Oscars and you know there is going to be a five minute tribute for some lifetime achievement. Whose tribute would you least like to sit through?

Two movies you should see, and other Golden Globe opinions

I haven't seen that many movies this year. But two of the ones I have seen are exceptional, and while I'm sitting here watching the Golden Globes I thought I'd endorse them. One you've likely heard about - Slumdog Millionaire . I had high'd gotten excellent reviews and the plot sounded intriguing. But my expectations were nothing close to how good this movie is. Don't get me wrong. It is at times brutal to watch - I mean, it's about a kid growing up in the slums of India, after all. But Danny Boyle and his cast manage to find exactly the right path through the madness, blending honest sadness and atrocity with humanity and humor. There is a scene early in the movie set in an outhouse that sets the pace and tone, and from that point forward you know you can trust Boyle with the story he's telling. And it's a doozy . Go see it. Pay full price. Don't miss out on this film. The other is a bit of a sleeper. In Bruges . Perhaps

GI distress on steroids

There's a stomach bug going around and, never one to miss a trend, I caught it with a vengeance. I woke up about 3AM Friday, and I felt like there was kind of an electric charge in my system. I was almost twitchy. It didn't make any sense. And then I realized that it was an adrenalin surge to get me up and running across the hall. Thank God for adrenalin. This has been a flu of biblical proportions. Friday I actually considered just sleeping in the bathroom, but opted to just stay in bed and hope my sprints to the bathroom got further apart. Yesterday I made it to the couch, but that was an effort. Bethany tells me I have to eat something, anything...and so I've managed some applesauce, a half a packet of saltines and some dry toast. And some Squirt. I'd make jello, but I can't bear to be in the kitchen. I haven't answered my phone because my voice is weak and it hurts to think. I started tweeting again yesterday, but it takes too much thought to respond to o

Great moments in my history

God help me. Is it the eyeliner, the John-Hughes-film-wannabe wardrobe or the Schlitz in my hand that makes this so regrettable? Thanks to my friend GF, I can now worry what other photos might be lurking out there.

I so missed the trend

I just read an article about things that are now "out". Cupcakes are one of them. This is so not fair. Cupcakes ROCK. The whole giant-luxury-cupcake-as-impulse-buy trend never hit the UK, and outside of that one Sex and the City episode, I didn't even know there was a cupcake revolution happening back at home. So now, just when I discover the joys of a Red Velvet cupcake, or a S'more cupcake with homemade marshmallow on top, THEY go and declare cupcakes obsolete, passe, the Furby of the pastry world. All I'm saying is apparently THEY have not recently had a delightful treat from Bleeding Heart Bakery or Angel Food . Perhaps they should give them another chance. Killjoys.

Reverse psychology

Here, for public display, are my New Year's resolutions. 1) Stop exercising. I mean, why walk when you can ride? Plus, if you take deep breaths in the cold it kind of hurts, so I'll start smoking a pack a day effective immediately, then up that to two packs by my birthday - I'll never be able to fully inhale again. 2) Gain 15 pounds. And start eating more fried foods. There isn't enough grease in my diet. 3) Swear more. 4) Stay unemployed. Instead, I'll start watching daytime TV and selling Amway on the side. Or maybe Shaklee . 5) In fact, watch more TV full stop. Can you believe I haven't caught an episode of Mama's Boys yet??? 6) Buy a deeply discounted SUV and burn as much fossil fuel as I can. 7) Sit home a lot. Socializing sucks. Plus it's more fun to drink alone. 8) Start a Ponzi scheme. 9) Go whoring. Who needs a real relationship? 10) Start volunteering for the RNC .

Chores suck, vol 1

Man, I hate making my bed. You'd think I'd outgrow that.

Movie review in 10 words or less - Slumdog Millionaire

Memento , City of God and Awara on steroids. It ROCKS.

New year, new beginning

I've not been myself the last few months. And now that's going to change. So I've deleted my posts since I moved back (except for christmas memories, which are timeless,) and I'm starting with a clean slate. Thus, I am reborn. Happy New Year, folks!