Friday, December 30, 2011

Now bring us some figgy pudding.



One of my favorite music videos from the 80’s is “The One Thing” by INXS.

First of all, Michael Hutchence is at his peak, looking like a cat out on the prowl with his pouty lips, foxy, intense stare and Jim Morrison swagger.

Yowza.

Secondly the video has that 80's video burnt-out-blinding-white-glare, a catchy guitar riff that sticks in your head and sexy lyrics like, "Well you know just what you do to me, the way you move, soft and slippery..."

Wowza.

But the reason I really, really love this video is because of the dinner party - this is the kind of party I would love to attend. One where cats crawl on the table, guests feed each other grapes and tear apart large hunks of bread, and where a woman with giant earrings erotically eats a fig like nobody’s business.

That scene in 9 1/2 Weeks, the “Bread and Butter” scene? That has nothing on this ridiculous, over the top, dra-ma-tic video.

Since then, I have always associated figs with that big-haired 80’s woman at the INXS dinner party. Until now.

Bite Beauty’s Luminous Crème Lipstick in Fig is the star of my makeup bag this week. Why? It is a lush, long-lasting lip color in the perfect shade of pink – but not a special occasion pink – more of an everyday pink. It is moisturizing and matte at the same time – how do they do that? Thank goodness for science.

On top of all that, each Bite lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine. Now I have no idea what resveratrol is, from what I could gather it is some form of antioxidant. I assume I should put down my fifth glass of wine and apply more lipstick.

Let me crawl down from the table and grab my makeup bag.

Take a bite!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…oil dripping from your chin.


Tavern on the Green?
When I was little, Christmas Day was spent at my Grandma and Papa’s house.

They had a finished basement with wrought iron and wood paneling. For Christmas dinner they would haul out borrowed folding chairs, long card tables covered with white tablecloths (and when they ran out of linens - bed sheets) and candlesticks - in my ten-year-old eyes, suddenly the basement was transformed into a five star restaurant.

Grandma and Pops would host around 30 people for Christmas dinner, which consisted of pans and pans of baked ziti, meatballs, beef, pork, sausage and braciole all simmering in my grandfathers Sunday gravy. Whenever I am asked, “If you were on death row and could have a last meal, what would it be?” I don’t even have to think twice, this is the meal I would have – my kick-ass 1970’s Christmas dinner.


Although I was much too young to partake at the time, Christmas also warranted lots of jug wine, beer, and various other spirits, which made it all the more fun, and all the more loud.

We are Italian, so we are naturally that way, but load us up with presents, booze, food, and the birth of our savior and oh boy, just wait for the volume to go up.

My cousin John-John could play any musical instrument that you handed to him; he would usually play the organ while my mother accompanied him on my flute. We would sing Christmas carols and other holiday classics like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.” If we were really lucky my Grandma would bust into a rousing tipsy version of “Stormy Weather.” Merry Christmas!

John-John, me attempting Silent Night, and Mom showing off her flute skills.

My grandfather did most of the cooking, Grandma was his sous chef. There was one dish she did make, an extra-special dish that was only brought out at Christmastime. It didn’t have a name - we simply referred to it as what it was - “oily oranges.” It was sliced oranges on a platter doused in olive oil, sprinkled with black pepper. I thought it was a holiday dish that everyone enjoyed on Christmas Day, but I have never met anyone else who as a child simultaneously had orange juice and olive oil dripping down their chins. Hey...at least I was getting in a serving of fruit.

The hosts with the mosts.

It was the typical big family gathering, everyone talking, nobody listening, songs being sung and presents being furiously unwrapped. My brother Mike and I would make out like bandits with all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins that we had. And when a gift wasn’t given, a five or ten spot was sneakily palmed off to one of us.

I owned a tape deck, the kind with a microphone that plugged into it so you could make recordings – on Christmas these tapes got really good. Usually I would just record myself singing “Tomorrow” from Annie but now I had a basement full of worthy subjects wanting to talk, sing, and be interviewed by yours truly.

Between courses of endless food Mike and I would play in my Aunt’s room with our cousins JJ, Michael and Melissa. Missy and I would sneak up into the attic and try on all of my grandma’s old fancy duds, fur wraps, hats and gloves. Heaven.

Topless Tree.


Grandma and Pops had a weird little fake tabletop Christmas tree. It was weird because this tree had no top; maybe that part had been lost throughout the years, I’m not sure. The tree was the same, year after year with giant red balls and blinding gold garland. Grandma made up for the lack of a point on top with one of those pointy red tree toppers. It is weird to put a tree topper on a tree with no top, but she made it work.


Dessert was platters of cookies and cannolis from the bakery on the corner, along with a sticky, sweet dessert called struffoli which was gooey balls of fried dough in a honey-like glaze with sprinkles on top. This would of course be the dessert that would go along with my death row meal.


My Christmas memories revolve around the things that are still important to me today. Family, tradition, and of course - food. If the oranges didn’t have olive oil on them or if the Christmas tree had a top to it, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same.

Time to go open up the jug wine and eat a meatball – Merry Christmas.

Totally remember this Christmas Day outfit.
And getting this Rubik's Cube - hell yeah!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sugar...awww honey, honey.

Everyone around me is cutting things out of their diets.

Gluten…
Dairy…
And even…(gulp)
SUGAR.

So what did I tell my circle of friends when they started eliminating certain foods from their diets?

I told them they were crazy…nuts…asked them what the hell were they were going to eat now - rocks?

And then I decided to become a vegan.
Well, a kind of unofficial vegan, because I am not very good at it.

Last night after I had polished off a cup of soy milk ice cream (which by the way is gross) I tore apart my freezer like an animal going in for the kill. I knew there was a Milky Way candy bar in there somewhere that I had thrown in on Halloween night. And not one of those “fun size” bars (which to me are no fun at all because they are small) but a full size candy bar. Success – I devoured the full size sweetness in record time, almost chipping a tooth on its frozen goodness - it would have totally been worth it.

I didn’t look at the ingredients but I am pretty sure that Milky Ways are not vegan, with the word milk being in the name and all.

Like I said, I’m a bad vegan – but I am pretty good at enjoying sugar, and I ain’t giving it up.


lip smackers.
Speaking of sugar, I have another sugar obsession – Sugar Lip Treatment is the yummiest, zero-calorie, fat-free, vegan, gluten-free, organic, non-dairy, vegetarian sweet you can treat yourself to this holiday season. This stuff is like heaven in a tube. Why? Because it has sugar in it, mixed with reparative oils that make your lips not only look delicious, they taste delicious too. I have to resist eating it off my lips after applying it. Gross, I know, but true.

The scent reminds me of something from my childhood that I can’t quite place my finger on, but I think it involved my grandma’s house and eating some sort of dough.



Sugar comes in a clear delicious balm as well as some lovely tinted colors like rose, plum, and honey that give your lips a sweet treat along with a tint of color. This stuff is addictive.



So next time you want to look and taste delicious, get
yourself some Sugar.

Tonight, post soy ice cream, I will coat my lips in this heavenly scent, hoping it will block the open can of frosting that is in my fridge out of my mind.

Pray for a Christmas miracle.

I don't see "vegan" clearly listed on the front of the can, but I'll be sure to double check the label.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ba-da-bing!

On my lunch hour yesterday I was on a mission.

I was making my way through Macy’s fast and furious, heading toward the elevators. I needed to go to the fourth floor to check out party dresses, to find something I could wear to my office holiday soiree.

I was hoping to find the perfect dress in sixty minutes, use a coupon, get a great deal and check this task off of my list of things to do when I breezed past the benefit counter and heard these magic words:

“Would you like to take a break, sit down for a few minutes and let me touch up your make up?”

The dress shopping was going to have to wait.

I love the look of the benefit line, 60’s inspired, kitschy and fun. My make up artist, Shelly, tried several products on me and I liked all of them a lot. But there was one very stand out, one star of the show.

It's true.
They're not false!
They’re Real – this mascara is beyond belief and may be…ahem…this is a bold statement, the BEST DAMN MASCARA I HAVE EVER USED.

There, I said it.

This mascara makes my puny lashes look so crazy long and thick, it seriously looks like I am wearing falsies. Now, this is not the first time I have been accused of wearing falsies, I have told you before that I developed at an early age - but guess what?

They’re real…on all fronts.

I loved batting my eyes the rest of the afternoon in the office, feeling like I was an extra on Mad Men.

And the dress? I’ll have to find a flirty little retro number to go along with my new falsies. We’ll see if I can make it past the cosmetic counters today at noon.

Maybe I should go in a different entrance.


Good Lord - what wouldn't you buy from this woman???

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Six hours.

The week of Thanksgiving my family and I would take a trip up north to Rochester, New York to visit my mother’s family and stay at my grandparent’s house.

We did not go by plane or train, oh, no...no...no.
We went by automobile.

The days leading up to the big six hour drive were super exciting. Yes, I was excited to see Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bob, Uncle Tom and Bee-Bee the wonder dog; but I was also excited as hell to sit in the "big brown bomber" - aka our family car.

I had to get organized – I had six hours to kill in the giant couch-like backseat with my brother, Mike. Here are some provisions I remember thoughtfully packing for the big trip:

Hello Kitty Friendly Diary – where I could write about how excited I was! I was going on a trip!
Colored Pens and Pencils – for writing about my trip in various colors, in said diary.
Smelly Erasers – I vividly remember my “Little Twin Stars” erasers that smelled like bubble gum.
Nancy Drew Mystery NovelsSecret of the Old Clock and Curse of Blackmoor Manor  were feverishly read on these road trips.
Afghan – bright pink and green, made by my other grandmother, to keep me toasty warm.
Handi Snacks – compartmentalized crackers + “cheese,” + red plastic stick = YUM.


The car trip in itself was like a vacation. My dad would smoke in the front with all the windows rolled up (naturally, it was the late ‘70’s, and it was November) we would listen to The Doors and The Eagles on the 8-Track player, my mom would cross-stitch or write down the menu for Thursday’s big meal.

Mike and I would divide the back seat in half, with his apartment next door to my condo. It was seriously so big back there we never got in each others way. And nobody even thought about wearing seat belts, I could lay down with my afghan and take a nice nap after being exhausted from reading, writing, and eating nine Handi Snacks.

Every year on the way we would make stops at two very important places:


Stop #1: Stuckey’s Truck Stop.
Stuckey’s was famous for their pecan log rolls, soda fountain, and clean bathrooms. But my favorite part of Stuckey’s was my dad would buy Mike and me one of those invisible ink mystery books. This marked the half way point to Rochester, so helping solve a mystery with invisible ink was just what the doctor ordered. That and an egg cream.

Stop #2: Howard Johnsons.
Howard Johnsons was famous for their sea foam green walls, soda fountain, and clean bathrooms. Favorite part of Howard Johnsons? Getting a soft serve cone with the little cookie in it that read HO JO TO GO. Because there is nothing like trudging back to the car in knee-high snow with a soft serve ice cream cone in late November. Yeah!

Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family was always wonderful and special – we saw them all twice a year, so it was a treat. Mike and I shared the pull out sofa (or “davenport”, as Grandma would call it) in the living room – I remember Grandma in her housecoat (or “duster”, Grandma would call it…Grandma called normal things by different names) coming downstairs at five in the morning on Thanksgiving to get the turkey ready to put in the oven. I would get up and she would make me Cream of Wheat with lots of butter and brown sugar. I called that damn good.



Me and Grandma's wax fruit.
Mike and Uncle Bob's cap gun.

The Thanksgiving meal was delicious, Grandma and Mom worked furiously to make everything from scratch. There was a small television that my Uncle Bob and Uncle Tom would roll in halfway through the meal so they could watch football while we ate. Grandma tolerated this.

The centerpiece on the table was the same every year; it consisted of one of those felt turkey heads that you stick onto a pineapple (grandma had a bowl of wax fruit, we used the pineapple from there), along with various ceramic pilgrims, Indians, and turkeys. My twenty-something uncles would crack us all up by taking the pilgrims and making them commit suicide into their glasses of water, pools of gravy or jello molds. I remember an Indian getting chipped after Uncle Bob catapulted him across the room with his fork. Grandma was not amused.

Turkey, pineapple, and suicidal Pilgrim.

During another Thanksgiving Uncle Tom knocked Uncle Bob’s tooth out. This happened during a big Thanksgiving Day boxing match in the basement. Again, Grandma was not amused.

After five days or so it was back in the car – a sad goodbye to Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bob, Uncle Tom, Bee Bee the wonder dog, the suicidal pilgrims and the pineapple turkey.

Until next year.


Girl pilgrims wore socks. 
Boy pilgrims wore really long khaki pants.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A picture worth framing.

What did you have for lunch today?

Ham on rye?
Slice of pizza?
Cuppa chowder?

Today on my lunch hour instead of eating, I decided I should go and get some hair ripped out of my body.

I quickly ate at my desk and then rushed in my car to see Julia at Ethereal Day Spa. She is a master waxer and all around cool person. You want a cool person pouring hot wax on you. Especially when the hair is on your face and you are in a hurry and on your lunch hour.

For my main course today I decided to go with the eyebrows – what did you expect? I wasn’t about to go with the full-meal-deal then have to come and sit for four more hours at work, if-you-know-what-I-mean.

I wanted a little pick me up, something cheap, so I thought what the hell.

Once and a while I have my brows tended to, I don’t know why I don’t keep up on them. Because I always love the way it looks, it’s almost like getting a mini face lift, or a little Botox, but a lot cheaper and without the botulism.

So...I fly in my car across the bridge to get to Julia, I lay down on a heavenly downy bed, bing, bang, boom, I have new sassy eyebrows. I struggle to get up from the comfort of the heavenly bed, fly back across the bridge, rush back to my desk and notice that I sit a little bit taller and feel like a million bucks.

Totally worth the fifteen I paid to have it done.

Lunch Special.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just another mascara monday.

Get excited people…I got another tube of mascara in the mail today.

This is my third surprise product that I have so graciously received from a reader and let me tell you…it does not get old.

Once again, it feels like Christmas morning!

I tore open the package, excited to see what could be inside.

To quote the dad from A Christmas Story as he lifts off the top of the fra-gee-lay box containing the leg lamp, “There could be ANYTHING in there!”

I get giddy pretty easily.

This package was from my old friend from high school, Jocelyn.
Jocelyn is a goodie.

At Gaither High School in Tampa Florida, Jocelyn and I loved the following:

• Cruising for boys in my dad’s convertible
• Being thespians (that’s THESpians…with a TH)
• Making our hair super-gigantic:


Thespian Awards.

The envelope included:

L’oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
• Two pieces of Laffy Taffy (sour apple and banana)
• The best damn review for a mascara ever:


Jocelyn, thank you for the mascara, and for your review…I do love it.
But based on your letter I do have two tiny pearls of wisdom for you:

Please don't sleep in your make up; this kept me awake last night.

And...

Please don't let Drew Barrymore's cuteness talk you into anything anymore. Back in the day she got me to buy some Guess? Jeans, see a movie multiple times called Poison Ivy, and in 1995 she made me pay for a Playboy Magazine. She has some secret power, I think.

You always did have beautiful eyes and eyelashes, and just so you know, whenever I hear “Circle in the Sand” by Belinda Carlisle or “The Flame” by Cheap Trick, I totally think of you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I’m a belie-ber.

When I am in need a shopping buddy - I call Laura.

Among a million other things that Laura does for me, here are two important things shopping-related things that she can do:

• Justify what may seem like a ridiculous purchase.
• Talk me out of buying something I may regret tomorrow.

She’s just good at that stuff.

We have known each other for over sixteen years and have shopped the world together. Laura and I met while performing for the troops on a Department of Defense tour – we spent most of our down time shopping or trying to figure out where the good shopping was in whatever country we were in. I ended up lugging home some great purchases (wool peacoat from Korea that I still wear today) as well as some crummy purchases (tea pot from Japan with sleeping cat on the lid.)

Last Friday Laura and I had lunch together but we never got to the eating part – we were too busy scouring the aisles of Sephora, where we are like kids in a candy store. A candy store…full of MAKE UP!

We are in our element, I am showing her sparkly eye shadow and she is showing me Tarte lip gloss sticks. We mosey on to the back of the store to take a stroll by the fragrance section.

I am looking for Fendi, which I wore in the tenth grade, just to take a whiff to see if it is as stinky as I remember it being when I am distracted by a purple and hot pink flowery bottle.

I pick it up, jokingly, and show it to Laura.

“I heard that stuff actually isn’t too bad”, she says.
“Seriously???” I am shocked.

We spray it on the paper testers and take a whiff.

Kind of yummy – it passes the initial test and we spray it on our wrists.

Really yummy.

I put the bottle down and continue to wander around the sore and continue to smell my wrists. Oh Lord, I like this perfume.

I LIKE THIS JUSTIN BIEBER PERFUME.

Someday by Justin Bieber is fruity and delicious, just like The Biebs himself. No wonder I like it, it’s all creamy and food-like with notes of vanilla, mandarin, wild berries, and juicy pear.

I spent eighteen bucks and got the roller ball perfume, I really wanted the full size bottle that came with the “crystal-encrusted heart shaped charm that can be removed and attached to a keychain or zipper pull – so I can carry Justin’s heart wherever I go.”

But...

Beliebe it - I bought it.
I was having a hard time throwing thirty-five smackers Justin’s way…knowing how he really needs the money and all. Then I found out that 100% off the proceeds of Someday go to charity. Now I have no idea what charity it is, none whatsoever. But when the salesperson told me that I was up at the counter getting my debit card out, I was doing something good. For humanity.

As I walked out the door with Laura I was all buzzy and happy, because of my new purchase - but also felt a little dirty - because of my new purchase.

I looked over my shoulder at Laura as I sniffed my wrist again.

“Don’t judge…” I said, seeing a smirk on her face.

“I’m not judging you,” she said, “I’m giving you warm support and nodding approvingly.”

Now that’s a good friend.

This child knows what I like to smell like.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm bringing sexy back.

Remember Stiff Stuff?

If there would have been a Stiff Stuff Fan Club back in the mid-eighties I could have been the President.

Stiff stuff was more than a hairspray; it was an industrial strength glue, a varnish, a shellac. Stiff Stuff was my drug of choice; I used it religiously to achieve...well...this:

Four of my mom's heads = one of my heads.

Stiff Stuff allowed me to survive Hurricane Elena in 1985 in Tampa, Florida while still looking fabulous. My father dubbed my hair “hurricane-proof.” It was so stiff thanks to the stuff, it could have stood up to a tornado, a monsoon, and a tsunami. Golf ball sized hail bounced off of my helmet head thanks to the protection of Stiff Stuff.

Remember the can? So…perfectly…80’s. Big yellow cap, and a white can with those turquoise, lime green and hot pink cool new-wavy graphics? Makes me feel like I am back in the third row of the Information Society concert just thinking about it.

Removing Stiff Stuff from my hair was a bit of a process – before getting in the shower to wash my hair I would have to take a pick and pull through all of the dried goo. You know how shampoo bottles say, “Rinse, Lather, Repeat?” With Stiff Stuff you actually had to do the “repeat” part.

Today I think I have found a modern day Stiff Stuff, that isn’t quite as…well…1985.

Big Sexy Hair - The All Nighter is like a good man – strong, not tacky, and lasts a looong time. It resists humidity and provides really good hold while adding shine. It is my go to spray for dramatic up dos, it keeps my hair big, sexy, and secure.

I’m not so sure if The All Nighter makes my hair hurricane-proof, which is probably a good thing.



David Coverdale from Whitesnake???
Oh, no, wait...that's just me.


Stiffy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If not now, wen.

I am a sucker for buying things off of the TV.

Like I love to watch infomercials, especially those half hour ones totally devoted to one product. Ones that involve “characters” can suck me in even more, like that one for the Magic Bullet. I stop on that puppy anytime it’s on and let me tell you, it’s on A LOT. I love watching Hazel in her housecoat sitting at the kitchen counter with a ciggy dangling out of her mouth and seeing surly Berman take a sip of that smoothie that includes vegetables…and liking it!

Yay Berman!

"Yuck, I hate broccoli!" ~ Berman

Right now I am secretly pining for the Ahh Bra (just shop your top!), Pajama Jeans (pajamas you live in, jeans you sleep in!), and some Oxy Clean (It’s not clean unless it’s OXY CLEAN!)

When I was home on maternity leave I started ordering things off of QVC; that was a turning point in my life. I knew it was time to put on some clothes, (that were not Pajama Jeans) some make up, air myself out and go shopping at an actual store.

Then along came Chaz Dean and his wen haircare system…and I was once again, a goner.

What had I been thinking, using regular shampoo all of my life? Up until now, it has been stripping my hair and scalp of their natural oils. Wen claims to take the place of five (yes five) products that apparently I should be using everyday:

• Shampoo
• Conditioner
• Deep Conditioner
• Detangler
• Leave-In Conditioner

I was so happy to have one product to take the place of all of these other pesky products but was a little confused; I was currently using only two out of five of these products - and not on a daily basis.

So thank God this infomercial came into my life, right?

Chaz Dean and his piercing blue eyes
that make you buy things.
What made me want wen was of course, the infomercial – Chaz Dean (celebrity-stylist? I had no idea) takes sixty minutes to walk me through his showcase showdown of pretty girls with a variety of hair types, testimonials, and “but-wait-there’s-more” incentives. And the whole shebang is hosted by none other than Laura Ingalls herself, Miss Melissa Gilbert.

Watching a childhood icon and Chaz banter back and forth about hair care set off an explosion in my brain that forced me to pick up the phone and buy now. Now. NOW!

I love getting shit in the mail - it’s like Christmas! Even if I paid for it, it's like getting a present - even though I paid for it myself and I totally know it’s coming, it’s still like a present.

Wen my wen arrived (tee-hee) I could hardly wait for the morning to take my shower and experience my new, favorite product. It even came with a free comb - thank you Chaz Dean! I was mentally planning what outfit I would wear to work the next day that would best go with my new fantastic looking hair!

So along comes the next morning, and, well, ummmm...

My hair is thick and curly and the only time I am ever able to comb through it is wen (ugh) I comb through my conditioner in the shower. But I wasn’t able to get through the tangles in my hair…not even with the free comb.

Wen (enough already) I got out and dried my hair, instead of feeling moisturized and healthy it felt weighed down and heavy. And it looked a little frizzy. Not shiny and lustrous like the girls wearing the wen t-shirts in the infomercial.

I think I have used this product before and it has another name - Pert.
That was another shampoo/conditioner in one that didn’t really work for me.

Sorry Chaz Dean, that wen went under my bathroom sink to the graveyard of products that don’t work for me but cost too much for me to just throw away. Have fun under there wen, along with the blush that was too orange for me, the face wash that burns my eyes, and the vanilla lotion that gave me a rash.

I did keep the comb though.

It’s a nice, wide toothed one that I use to comb through the conditioner that I use in my hair – BECAUSE MY HAIR NEEDS CONDITIONER.

So if you’re looking for the girl with the fanciest $29.95 comb on the block in her shower, that would be me.

And for some strange reason I still stop on the infomercial wen (kill me) it comes on, and I have to stop myself from picking up the phone and ordering it…again.


"free"


Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday, I'm in love.

You know the giddy feeling you get when you are seeing someone new?

You go to bed thinking about them and you wake up thinking about them.
Everything is new, exciting, you love everything about them and you just feel overall…sparkly!

That is how I feel about my new boyfriend, Stardust Eye Shadow by Urban Decay.

Don’t feel bad for me because an eye shadow is my new obsession, because it is totally awesome and makes me feel like a million bucks.

I tried Stardust on at Sephora, admired it throughout the day, and was still thinking about it twenty four hours later. That’s the big test for my friend Laura and I – with clothes, shoes, and makeup. If you’re still thinking about something the next day, you should go back and buy it - unlike that dumb sweater that I bought from Anthropologie just because it was from Anthropologie that makes me look like a Holly-Hobbie-Poet. It cost me money that I didn’t have and I used my credit card to buy it. Now that stupid sweater hangs in my closet and mocks me every time I go in there, with its ruffly pink seventy-dollar sleeves and big buttons.

That was an unwise purchase – this however, was a wise one.

Glitter for everyday use you may ask? Why yes! This is like an explosion of prismatic sparkle along with a wash of color – not costume-y at all. Minuscule bits of sophisticated glitter give you sexy, twinkling lids. This ain’t your teenagers glitter; this is the R-rated adults only stuff.

Stardust comes in nine shades; I am in love with one called Diamond Dog, which is a chocolate brown shade with iridescent sparkle. I was going between that and a very pretty light shade called Bobby Dazzle, which has a lighter, vanilla-sparkle but the David Bowie reference sealed the deal.

I love this shadow because:

• It looks fantastic alone.
• It looks fantastic layered with other shadows.
• IT IS SO DAMN SPARKLY!

So fall in love like I did, treat yourself to some icy, glistening, eyelids. This eye shadow will not mock you in the morning, I promise you.

Quit mocking me, Hobbie.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Work it.

I work in an office.

A bit of a “conservative dress” type of office.
Blah.

I miss the days of working at a staffing service where on Halloween I could come to work dressed as Wednesday Addams.

Or when I worked at the real estate office and came to work as a bag of jelly beans. That year I had to stand most of the day – every time I sat down I would pop another balloon.

That wouldn’t really fly here.

But there are some fun things I can do, that are acceptable, in a sneaky way.

Because it is the most wonderful time of the year – the month of October!

Nail it.
Who loves dark nail polish?
I do! I do!
I can wear my OPI polish in Lincoln Park After Dark or my Chanel Vamp without getting flack from anybody. When my boss asks, “Is that for Halloween?” I can answer with a resounding yes, while looking down and admiring my near-black fun and funky fingers.

paint it (almost) black.

Stocking up.
You can totally wear fishnet stockings to work on Halloween. I think it is written into the Constitution somewhere and is totally acceptable. You can say you are “dressing up” for the holiday while secretly just feeling sexy and sassy about yourself. HAH! If you’re not into fishnets, how about the black and white Wicked Witch stockings, that is acceptable too. Extra points for adding a witch hat. Total admiration if you paint yourself green and add a wart.


True or false.
False eyelashes also work on the 31st. I will be wearing my funky bat ring and batting my eyelashes as I talk to clients. It’s Halloween for the love of God – leave me alone.

Bottom line, do something on the 31st. At least sport some black and orange, please.

I already I feel like I put on a costume everyday, donning a blazer and playing an Executive Assistant for eight hours a day Monday through Friday. Give me one day a year to put on some falsies and fishnets.

My two secretary costumes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The way-yay-ting is the hardest part.

Immediate gratification – ain’t nothing like it!

We want things fast…now…yesterday!

When I was young, I yearned to be 13 (because now I am a teenager!), then 16 (because of the whole sweet sixteen thing!), then 18 (because now I am an adult!), then 21 (because now I can drink…in public!)

In my twenties my morning routine was much easier than it is today. I worked at a staffing service, in the office, and spent my days interviewing people and sending them out on temporary jobs. I could pretty much roll out of bed, put my hair up, throw on some mascara and some presentable “work costume” and head out the door. Somehow I managed to make it through an eight hour workday on three hours sleep, after drinking, smoking, and exhausting amounts of flirting at a Blind Melon concert with no problem.

Looking back, I am shocked and appalled at the state my work hair was in at that point in my life. There was just no time to wash and blow dry – I was running on fumes and had to get to work on time.

What type of position are you interested in?
Can I see your resume?
Do you like Blind Melon?

Seriously, how did I not get fired based on my I-don’t-have-time-to-wash-my-hair-so-I’ll-look-like-the-Bride-of-Frankenstein every day thing I had going on. I’m sure potential employees that I was interviewing were wondering the same thing.

I recently discovered a product that would have made my morning routine a little easier back on “Hangover-Wednesday.”

KMS makes a product that (get this) you spray on your hair and it actually makes it dry faster.

I know, you’re thinking what is this, some kind of voodoo magic?
How can spraying something wet help make my hair dry?

Now I’m no scientist, but I do know a thing or two about wet hair and blow dry time.


Free Shape Quick Blow Dry works. I have A LOT of hair and it can take A LONG TIME to dry with the old blow dryer and diffuser. I just spray it on my towel dried hair, and abracadabra, it cuts my drying time by like 50%.

Just like any good magic trick I don’t need to know how it’s done…it’s just done.

I can slap that snooze button once more knowing how quickly I’ll be able to dry my hair.

I'll save the hangovers for the weekends - I'm a grown up now.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The miracle worker.

It was my senior year of high school – something had to give.

As you know from past posts I had tried out for (and failed at getting into) the following groups:
  • Starettes (dance team)
  • Showcase (glee club)
  • Starring role in the senior musical Funny Girl (I was cast as one of Fanny Brice’s mother’s friends, Mrs. Henry)
  • Student Council (even bribery with candy for votes did not work)

I could go on and on but I am starting to get depressed.
Obviously I wanted to be a part of something, pretty bad.

Cue auditions for the senior play, The Miracle Worker.

Now this was more up my alley, no singing involved, no choreography, and virtually no lines!

I auditioned and nearly fainted when the cast announcement was made and yes, yours truly was about to play Helen Keller.

I was the biggest haired 1989 Helen Keller you had ever seen, but I was thankful, and happy, and relished and mustarded my starring role.





I got so many flowers.
I'm jealous.
I'm tired.
I want a PROM DATE.

A new miracle showed up in my life recently and I couldn’t help but think back to that production.

miracle worker dark spot corrector by philosophy is truly that - a miracle worker. The product claims to visibly improve the appearance of dark spots and skin discoloration associated with age spots (hooray!) acne scarring (yippee!) and sun damage (wa-hooie!)

I had pretty bad acne in high school that left me with some lovely scars. I have been using this miracle worker product for about a month now and I can see a noticeable difference in the nasty marks that were left behind.

Boy, does this make me happy.

Now it’s not a complete miracle, the spots aren’t gone, but yes, they are lighter. How do I know for sure? I used to put concealor on one particular spot everyday and guess what…I don’t anymore.

As Boy George would say, “It’s a Miracle.”

If I could rub this stuff on my brain I could easily erase the memory of not making the dance team.

Results would take just four-to-six-weeks.

Miracle on 34th Street
and on my street too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ghosts of Halloweens past.

Halloween is my Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong - I love Santa Claus as much as the next girl, but there is something extra special to me about Halloween.

Growing up in Ossining, New York our house was aglow with orange the month of October. My mom went all out for every holiday – making them all special, and Halloween was one of the most special times of the year, for many reasons:

• My dad loved horror movies and had my brother and I both watching them way before we should have been. I remember watching Creature Feature hosted by Dr. Paul Bearer on channel 32 with him when I was little. Paul was like Elvira, except with creepy eyes instead of big hair and giant boobs.


He would host bad b-movies on Saturday afternoons and Dad and I would veg out on the sofa watching The Brain That Just Wouldn’t Die and Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster. This was quality time.

• It was a holiday that was not only for kids, but for adults too. My parents would have crazy Halloween parties in the basement (or “bar” as they liked to call it) of our house. The bar was right next to the laundry room, you could smell the Downy as you downed your Tom Collins. My parent’s friends would go all out, dressing up in incredible costumes. My mom would take a picture of each couple by the front door as they came in. I remember sitting on the stairs and watching them parade in and pose to get their pictures taken, like they all were going to some demented prom. I totally wished I was one of them and prayed that someday I would be as cool as them.

My parents cool, ghoul friends.


Those curtains were not put up for the holiday - they were year round...

• And finally, costumes and candy – hello…what is better than those two wonderful things? Some of my favorite costumes included:
     Clown
     Gypsy
     Go-Go
     Leopard


Even back in the day, I was into make up - nice gypsy mole.

Favorite treats included:
     Milky Way
     Bazooka Gum
     Bottle Caps
     Pop Rocks
     Charleston Chew

My parents love of costume parties, all things orange and black, and horror movies helped shaped who I am today. My house is now aglow starting on October first and we have costume parties every year. My kids are Halloween fanatics and start planning their costumes in July. I have raised them up right.

The guy in the Devil costume would also dress up like Baby New Year at my parents New Years Eve parties.
AWESOME.

Monday, October 10, 2011

High roller.

This is totally how I dress to go get my hair done.
I would have loved to have been one of those glamour-puss ladies back I the late ’50’s – early 60’s who went and got her hair done weekly at the beauty parlor. I would have sat under a big warm dome, my head filled with gigantic rollers while getting my nails painted “Jungle Red” all while smoking a ciggy in one of those fancy holders.

Since I have curly hair I have never had the pleasure of using rollers, although I did experiment with my mom’s hot rollers she used to have when I was a kid. No better toy for a little girl than scalding hot spiky pieces of plastic! I loved rolling those little logs into my head, securing them with a giant metal u-shaped clip – I would put a shower cap on over the rollers, puff on one of Mom’s not-lit Virginia Slims and pretend I was in the movie The Women with Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell.

Ahhh, youth.

Today I can still get close to that beauty parlor in my mind by using Liquid Rollers Curl Balm by evo. My hairdresser introduced me to this styling balm that holds my curls together and protects against frizz. It has a really nice, thick consistency and doesn’t leave my curls crunchy or sticky.

I feel fresh from the dryer – my hair is soft - not painful to the touch, which is good.

I’m gonna go and put on my cat eye sunglasses, paint my nails red and rest my elbows in two halves of a lemon.

Oh, and can you buy one Virginia Slim at the 7-11?