Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Higher learning.

As I watch people around me going back to college or go off to college for the first time it brings to mind an exciting, heartbreaking, sobering time of my life.

When I was eighteen my father got a job transfer from Florida to Oregon. When I was thirteen, we moved from New York to Florida also because of his work - another prime age to pack up your life and leave.

But now I was in my senior year of high school and my parents God bless them, decided the right thing to do was to let me finish out my senior year with my friends and wait until the week after graduation to haul my slappy ass across the United States. My dad left for rainy Oregon while my mom held down the fort with me and my brother in sunny Tampa.

Now I didn’t know anything about Oregon. All I knew was it sounded boring in comparison with Florida. I was an east coast girl, what was there to do on the west coast I knew they had a lot of trees there – but did they have good malls? I needed to know important facts.

We arrived in Oregon and just as I suspected it, I hated it. I was only giving this state a trial run, knowing that I was now an adult and that if I wanted to and could figure out how to make it work, I could pick up and leave and go back to Florida, New York, or wherever else I wanted. But honestly, that was scary. I wanted to be with my family. I just didn’t want to be with them in Oregon.

Even scarier was the fact that I was about to be dropped off at the dorms to begin college. My parents thought it was important for me to leave the nest and I agreed, but as the drop off date got closer I wasn’t so sure…I would be attending a two year community college, since my grades were not worthy of a university. A community college with dorms? This should be interesting.

From palm trees to pine trees.

I had fun shopping with my mom for things like new bedding (black and white color scheme, very late 80’s) posters (REM, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), a giant bulletin board, and pallets of ramen from Costco.

Mom and Dad drove me the three-and-a-half hours from Lake Oswego to Bend, Oregon where I would be attending Central Oregon Community College for the next two years. So there I was, eighteen years old with gi-normous mall hair, tons of makeup, and the tannest skin you have ever seen.

This was in great contrast to the nature-loving, Birkenstock-wearing, bike-riding, snow boarding people who surrounded me.

Mom and Dad unpacked me, helped me make up my bed and hang my posters, gave me a roll of quarters for laundry, had dinner with me, and then we said goodbye.

Not one hour after my parents left I ran down to the student union and plugged those quarters into the payphone. I knew they wouldn’t be home yet, but this was before the time of cell phones.

“Mom, Dad, please come back, I hate it here. Please come pick me up, don’t make me stay here. I want to come home. I want to go home to Florida. Or back to New York. Please turn the car around and COME AND GET YOUR DAUGHTER.”

I think of how devastated they must have been, coming home and listening to that message on the answering machine. I know my mom cried most of the car ride home so that message must have been the cherry on her misery cake.

I skipped breakfast the next day to avoid having to go to the cafeteria and have a meal by myself. But by lunchtime I knew I had to eat eventually, and it had to be something besides ramen. So I went down and got myself some delicious, fatty dorm food (I could have cake with my lunch? Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad) and sat down at a table by myself, ready to eat as quickly as possible and get the hell out of there.

A girl approached me and asked if she could sit with me. She also had giant hair and wore makeup. Her name was Wanda and she was my new roommate.

Note: Kip Winger poster.
Wanda was also alone, feeling nervous and isolated. We connected immediately and as the days went on we became friends. She was a total butt rocker and had posters of Cinderella and Skid Row on her side of the room, a nice contrast to the alternative-skateboarder-indie feel of my side of the room. We were so different but we complimented each other really well. Wanda was seriously into studying; she was there on a scholarship and was a straight A student. She taught me how to be a good student and how to go to class. If I had ended up with any other roommate I seriously would have partied and skipped school, since there was no one there to watch me! But I saw how well she did and knew I wanted to do well too. I wanted to eventually go to a four year school, maybe even back to University of Florida. But I knew I had to get good grades in order to do that.

I earned my associates degree and transferred to the University of Oregon. Ultimately, I didn’t hate Oregon. I just hated leaving my friends behind. I went back to Tampa recently for my twenty (gulp) year class reunion and wondered how I ever stood the heat. I was now that annoying tourist who kept saying, “Hot enough for ya?”

Stepping out of the muggy wall of heat and into the snow and the relentless rain helped me grow up.
That and a girl named Wanda.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Straight jacket.

Like most girls, I adore my hairdresser/stylist/hair-man/whatever you want to call him. A visit to Jeff every six weeks makes me a little giddy. When I get that reminder call from him it puts a huge smile on my face, knowing I am going to get a much needed haircut and some quality time with my man Jeff. We tackle heavy world topics, like who was kicked off of Dancing with the Stars and what Kim Kardashian is wearing (or not wearing).

After he cuts my hair, Jeff always asks me the same question, “straight or curly?” Now as you know I am a curly hair girl at heart. I do not own a flat iron, curling iron, or even a hairbrush. Obviously I never ever tackle the task of straightening my hair at home, since it would take too long and I would need to work out for weeks to develop the arm muscles needed for the task. So when Jeff asks, I take advantage of his offer, and his muscles.

Poor Jeff, he has to use a cocktail of multiple products, multiple brushes, and practically put his foot on my back to pull the long, unruly curls straight. It’s quite an undertaking, and when he is done he looks like he just ran a marathon.

God bless him, the end result is I am a new woman. Seriously, I feel like I am wearing a wig. I like to call myself Lola and run my fingers through my hair without getting stuck. So shiny, so smooth, so straight!

Her name was Lola,
she was a showgirl.

But there is a downside to getting my hair straightened…the endless questions from people who are stupefied by my new look. These questions are asked repeatedly any time I have straight hair, usually by the same people:

• Will your hair get curly again?
• Is that a new hairdo?
• How did that happen?
• Why did you do that?

It’s almost enough to make me not do it, having to explain over and over that yes, when I get it wet my hair will be curly again, and YES it is a new hairdo – and by the way, who says hairdo? The same people who say they went to the “beauty parlor.”

Jeff used a cocktail on me today from a brand he loves called evo. They are adorable like philosophy with their use of lowercase letters only, and cutesy names. Today he used a volumizing product called “root canal” and a smoothing fluid called “easy tiger.” Again, adorable.

I will sleep tonight propped up with pillows, on a satin pillowcase, praying for no rain or humidity so I can keep the straight hair as long as possible. Wish me luck. Actually, wish me more luck in answering all the questions tomorrow about my "hairdo."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You must be my lucky star.

Holy Moly was I into Madonna.

Seriously into Madonna, not just the music, but the whole Madonna lifestyle.

The clothes, the big bow in my hair, the fake sexy mole and for the love of God - the accessories.

Here are some Madonna-inspired accessories I remember – I still own most of this stuff stashed in a bag under my bathroom sink:

• Gummy bracelets up the wazoo.
• Giant black star earrings.
• Fishnet stockings.
• Crucifixes, crucifixes, crucifixes.
• Black lace gloves (sometimes would wear one, sometimes both depending on my mood).

I keep this stuff around, just in case.

I am certain this made my parents lose a little piece of their minds, considering that their daughter was dressing extremely “mature” for a thirteen-year-old.

When I would come down for school in the morning in a tank top covered up with my father’s shirt that I had torn the sleeves off of and knotted daisy duke style, a skirt with leggings and little booties my mother would take one look at me and send me marching back upstairs to my room to change.

No worries though, I just shoved my Madonna-costume into a paper bag and changed in the back of the bus while my friend Stacy held her Members Only jacket up so no boys could see. That’s what friends are for.

So lace was a big part of the whole look, from the aforementioned gloves, to black lace shirts over tank tops (or over black bras…classy), to black lace stockings I was all about the lace.

Today I am not so much into the lace clothing, well, maybe a sassy lace camisole here and there, as I am into the “lace” body lotion.

Victoria’s Secret Garden Vanilla Lace Hydrating Body Lotion is a mainstay on my bathroom window sill. It is one of their best-sellers for a reason, I have been wearing it for years. Rich, and dare I say sensual? That is the word that comes to mind when I smell this lotion. Vanilla, orchid, amber and musk make up this hydrating yummy bottle of goodness. This isn’t your grandma’s vanilla, unless you have a super-sexy grandma.

Okay - get that image out of my head.

I’m not usually into the “mall store” scents, like from Bath and Body Works or The Body Shop, too overpowering, too flowery. But this one is an exception for sure, and one I keep coming back to.

It’s one of the few items I go into Victoria’s Secret for, with their unacceptable over-use of the word “panties” and all…

Kind of like changing on the bus, I’m still into the groove and causing a commotion - minus the armful of gummy bracelets.

Shine your heavenly body tonight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brown eyes go green.

I started buying organic apples when I found out that the coat of waxy stuff on the outside of my Golden Delicious was...not so delicious. After the apples, I moved on to other veggies, fruit, and milk.

Yes it is more expensive but I feel better knowing I’m not eating a bunch of chemicals, and that the cow whose milk is on my Frosted Mini-Wheats was leading a relatively happy life. As far as happy-cow-lives go.

Physicians Formula has a line of organic make up that is good for your skin and good for the environment. This has always been a line that my contact lens wearing friends rave about because their products are free of harsh chemicals and don’t irritate their peepers like other products do. People with allergies also rave about Physicians Formula blush and foundation since it is so gentle and free of synthetic stuff.

But I am going to be honest when I tell you that what really drew me to Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara. It wasn't the long as hell product name - it was the packaging! I don't usually stop and look at the Physicians Formula, I am fine with the parabens and the red dye #5. But this Birkenstock-wearing mascara tube stopped and called my name.

And yes, like the organic apples vs. the chemical-waxy apples, the mascara was a little more expensive, but still rang in under ten bucks - not bad.

Like a stalk of fresh asparagus, I plucked it up and took it home to try. A nice, big, thick brush put a coat of super rich, black mascara onto my puny lashes, with no flaking or clumping throughout the day. This stuff rules! And again, how adorable that I am holding onto a leaf to apply my eye make up. A-dorable.

Just like the happy cow that gave me my milk for my cereal, I imagine that my new mascara came from a happy mother earth scientist, creating this organic product just for me.

This mascara can be recycled;
It also doubles as a magic wand for my three-year-old.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What's for dinner?

What has happened to family dinner time?

I mean seriously, what really happened? In the 70’s, we ate like crazy people. We were not looking at labels or thinking about trans-fat and partially hydrogenated oils. Nope, we were thinking about beef, beef, and more beef. And cream sauce. Oh, and beef.

Below are three family dinners that I vividly remember from childhood:

Beef Stroganoff
The thing I remember most about beef stroganoff is the way mom prepared it. She didn’t make it on the stove top, instead she would lug a giant, heavy, counter-top electric frying pan out from the cupboard and plug it in. Why? I have no idea. This fry pan was synonymous with the meal. When we saw that ninety pound pan set up on the counter we knew it was stroganoff night. Tender strips of beef, mushrooms (canned, naturally), and globs and globs of fatty sour cream served over big wide egg noodles. Who could ask for anything more? Why would you want a vegetable served with this dish? Like I said, there was a four ounce can of sliced mushrooms in there. Plenty of vegetables to go around for the whole family - done.


When other kids complained about meatloaf, I played along to be cool but honestly, I have always loved my meatloaf. Mom made it with a ketchup glaze that you shouldn’t look directly at unless you were wearing sunglasses. Her meatloaf was kind of a meat/candy combo. And what was better than a cold meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day? On Wonder Bread with lots of mayonnaise and ketchup? If we were really lucky, Mom would bust out her hamloaf recipe. Yes, I said hamloaf. Hamloaf was meatloaf, but with, um, ham? I don’t really know what was involved with the hamloaf but it also had that shiny candy glaze that I liked. I was never a big ham fan, but I have to admit in loaf form, it was pretty awesome.

Tomato Noodle Dandy
The beefiest, cheesiest, most delicious casserole dish EVER. And if you are a Velveeta hater, I don’t want to even know about it. This dish consisted of ground hamburger (or “chuck” as my mom called it, “ground chuck” – what the hell is that about?) green bell pepper, onion, tomato soup, brown sugar, a plop of mustard, and a shitload of melted Velveeta. Mom didn’t need any help from Hamburger Helper, this was the real deal. You would do that all up on the stove top and then transfer it to a casserole dish and bake it and serve it (just like the stroganoff) over those 70’s egg noodles. This dish was hamburger-cheesey-goodness. And it was patriotic - with the name and all.

Screw bringing sexy back - I’m bringing the family dinner back.

Time to lug out the counter top fry pan and get cooking. What could be sexier than a woman slaving in front of a counter-top fry pan with ground chuck and Velveeta?

Nothing comes to mind.

I also enjoy this Meat Loaf. But we'll save that for another day.

Screw you cheddar, Velveeta melts better!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


When I was in elementary school I was a pretty good student. My middle school and high school years that followed were not so hot, but as a kid, I was pretty on the ball.

I was a “Brookside Superstar” for the love of God! From what I can remember, Brookside Superstars were kids who did well in school and were rewarded with an assembly, a certificate, and a mention in the local newspaper.
I felt pretty important.

"...Don't you know that you are a shooting star, and all the world will love you just as long,
as long as you are, a shooting star..."

My teacher loved me and would rave to my parents about how smart and well behaved I was, and go on about how well I was doing in class. Which makes why I engaged in the following scheme all the more confusing…

Whenever my mom would take me to the doctor, dentist, or anywhere with a waiting room, there was Highlights Magazine. In Highlights there were two sections I really looked forward to; reading the cartoon Goofus and Gallant (naturally) and the poetry in the back, written by kids who read the magazine. I loved to write stories, make little books, draw, act, and sing, but poetry…this was unexplored territory. I sat down and tried to write a great poem that I would be able to submit to Highlights, so I could see my name in print and check “poet” off of my kid-list of things to do. Maybe I would wear a beret while I wrote.

Guess what? I was not a good poet. My poems were no good, and I knew it. My roses didn’t smell sweet, they stunk. I knew this was something I wasn’t good at and that crushed me, mostly because there was a big poetry contest coming up at school, and the winners would get their poems published in some big, national poetry magazine! Eat it Highlights, I was going to be a published poet after all, even if I wasn’t any good at it.

I decided to copy some poems that I had read in Highlights and submit them to my teacher. Seriously, in my mind, I thought I could pass somebody else’s stuff off as my own, no problemo.

So…I handed over “my" poems to my teacher. She went on and on about how amazing they were. My poor teacher even called my poor mom and went on about how brilliant I was. My teacher thought my poems were so worthy of being seen that she posted them in the classroom for all to see.

You would think this would send me into a panic, since my lies were hanging on the stucco walls all around me, but instead I was secretly pleased, that “my work” was so creative and meaningful and on display.

Of course this world came crashing down…how could it not? I’m sure some kid in the class was like, “Bullshit! That poem is in my most recent issue of Highlights, Lori didn’t write that” and turned me in, rightfully so! If I had a beret, I would have been asked to turn it in to the poetry police.

I had to get up in front of the whole class and apologize. I also had to apologize of course to my teacher and my parents, for lying and forgery. I was devastated, it was all very dramatic in my nine year old mind and I didn’t know how or if I would ever recover. Thank God I wasn’t stripped of my “Superstar” status.

Maybe today that’s why I don’t care for poetry so much. I ruined poetry for myself by trying to be something that I wasn’t.

Today, I bet I could write a damn good poem about that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A stressful little nutcase.

When people I know come back from vacationing in Hawaii it is inevitable that the following things will happen:

• They look all bronzed and relaxed.

• They tell me stories about how they got so bronze, sitting on the beach, relaxing.

• They hand me a over box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Macadamia nuts, have never been my fave but covered in chocolate and given to me, I am destined to eat them. Then I feel bad for eating them, not liking them so much and all, what a waste of calories...then I will look at the back of the box and lose my mind after seeing that one chocolate covered macadamia nut has like 900 Weight Watchers points. Then I will go on a three mile run, in the unbearable heat, trying to work off half a box of nuts that I don’t even like. Then I will come through the front door all sweaty, look at the box, and eat another one, deciding I deserve one, after the three mile run and all. Then I will silently curse the co-worker who decided it would be a kind gesture to give me a box of those miserable things. Then I will watch a Real Housewives of New York marathon on Bravo and feel better about myself.

I have recently discovered a product derived from the macadamia nut that I enjoy much more than that heartless box of chocolates someone lugged home for me.

Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray is an ultra fine mist that instantly absorbs into your hair. It provides tons of moisture and shine, and it really helps to tame the frizz of my sometimes unruly curls. I make a cocktail with it and my curl cream when my hair is wet, or spray and scrunch it into my dry hair on non hair wash days. It really helps with the frizzies on my dry hair. And the shine is a bonus!

It also has a yummy, island smell that makes me wish I was doing a hula dance at a luau in Hawaii. I imagine a pig with an apple in his mouth, lit torches, big buff guys with leis on and some crazy drum music. Maybe we would all blow into a conch shell like the Brady Bunch did when they went to Hawaii.

Oh, and two other things, my hair would look fabulous, and I there wouldn’t be any chocolate covered macadamia nuts around.

It’s just too stressful.
Blow Bobby, blow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Words not to use when we play scrabble.

Everybody has a word that makes their skin crawl, right?

I’m lucky - I don’t have one - I have two.

Now I have had an intense hatred for these words since, well, forever.

Upon hearing them, I physically twitch. And now I am telling you all what those two words are, which is pretty dumb. But it’s also, therapeutic, and I love you. So here we go:

Word #1: MOIST.
I can at least trace back to where my hatred of this word began. My grandmother didn’t like the word moist - she didn’t say it. When she needed to convey that she thought something was moist, Grandma made up her own word – merst. She wasn’t going to let the fact that she didn’t like the word stop her from saying the word. “Try this cake Lori, it’s so merst” or “The meatballs weren’t dry like last time Ricky, they were merst.” Things could also be “merster” or “merstest” in Grandma’s book. I grew up saying things were merst and I still say things are merst today. It ‘s nearly impossible for me to say the word moist, my mouth just doesn’t like that giant “OI” in the middle. Trying to convey something is moist when around people I don’t know very well is always fun, as clumsy sayings like, “This banana bread is so not so dry” or “it’s almost wet” come out of my mouth, which makes me sound super smart. Thanks Grandma!

Word #2: PANTIES.
Why does the word panties exist? My beef with panties (heh, heh) was always that it was just a stupid replacement word for underwear. You want a cute word for underwear? I got one. Undies. Panties always felt silly, like something a ten year old girl could say but a grown woman shouldn’t. Victoria’s Secret loves to give me a free pair of panties on my birthday and you know I’m not gonna turn that down. But I’m not going to go in and ask the saleslady where the panties are either, I’ll just grab my sexy free undies and go. And no, I don’t need five for $25, I just came in for the free ones, okay? Leave me alone, it’s my birthday.

Word(s) #3: MOIST PANTIES.
Hooray! The two words I despise so much go together so well! Anytime someone wants to torture me, this phrase comes out of their mouths. I am not kidding you when I tell you one time upon hearing it over and over from a not-so-nice person it brought me to tears. (I think I had a lot to drink and was a little out of my mind at the time, but it did happen.)

What are your words? I’d love to know. And don’t follow me around saying moist panties. It’s so not funny.

Merst Undies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Scent of a woman.

Last week I wrote about the new maxi-pad madness that is apparently sweeping the nation. These pads have funky/cool designs on them and supposedly will make you feel better about having your period. Because you need to feel a little bit more like Monet or Picasso with your monthly visitor, right?

So now, I am off to another product that wants to take extra special care of your cookie.

Summer’s Eve is revamping the hell out of their ad campaign with their new slogan “Hail to the V.”

V is for vagina, in case you didn’t know that.

Right next to the food court!
Now I am all about hailing the V. I think that is pretty awesome, it’s about time we hailed it properly.

Everyday of my life I walk by a Victoria’s Secret store that has a giant framed picture of a vagina in the window. I look at, it’s pretty, but it does kind of boggle my mind that a gi-normous framed picture of a vagina is hanging in the mall. Can you ever in your life, imagine that same shot of a man hanging in a mall store window for passers by to look at and admire? Blech.

Summer’s Eve new website is full of v-esque vines and berries that I have decided represent nipples – how could they not? There are cute little icons, a quiz to “ID your V”, a vagina owners manual (no joke), and of course, information about their many V friendly products.

Keep this manual in a safe place - maybe along with the
users manual for your '86 Honda and instructions on how to use
your new ice cream maker.

We’re not talking about douche here; we’re talking about a special wash, like a shampoo for your nether regions. For when soap and water are not good enough for your business.

Summer's Eve wants you to walk right down the feminine hygiene aisle of the grocery store loud and proud, their website states, “choose the checkout lane where the hottie is working and get your flirt on.” Because you want that hottie to know you want your V to smell like a melon for him.

Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash comes in the following…um…flavors?

Simply Sensitive – If your V is shy, enjoys a good book and the movie Steel Magnolias, this is the scent for you.

Delicate Blossom – If you worry about your V shattering into pieces, because it is so delicate, and you want it to smell like a giant lily.

Morning Paradise – This V is an early riser and enjoys long walks on the beach, sunsets, and travel.

Naturally Normal – This is for the V that is…not mental? Normal, I guess.

The website asks, “how many cleansers do you have in your bathroom right now?”
Jeez, where do I begin? My mind races, um, I don’t know, 42?

The next question was easier, “Now, how many are specially formulated for your vaginal area?”
Okay, that would be zero.

Then in the same paragraph it says, that “two kinds of doctors have give the green light to use this product every day.” Is that a good thing? TWO KINDS of doctors? Only two? And what kinds of doctors, like a vet and a dentist? If it was an actual V doctor giving the green light, don’t you think they would be telling us that?

I think I’ll stick with my soap and water.
My V can be naturally normal without having to use any Naturally Normal on it.

I'm sure Cleopatra would have totally appreciated having these products available to her.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ebony, ivory, living in perfect harmony.

Whenever I see a black and white cookie I buy it. I just bought myself one at a bagel shop and it is 7:15 in the morning. You just don’t see black and white cookies around much here in the northwest. I swipe them up like the Hamburgler swipes up burgers at Mickey Dees.

Here is what I love about black and white cookies:

• They have crunchy icing on the top – in TWO colors.
• They are soft and sweet.
• They are massive in size.

What’s not to like about all that? And they remind me of course of New York and being a kid, two things that are awesome.

Black and white cookies are simple, like childhood. A big, round piece of sugar with some more iced sugar on top. And let me mention again that they are the size of a steering wheel. The last one I had was last August at the Juniors Cheesecake in Grand Central Station – screw the cheesecake, I wanted the cookie. And let me tell you, August to now is way too long to go without having one.

Rimmel London makes an eye shadow quad that upon purchase, made me think of my precious black and white cookie.

I wanted to wear black eye shadow without looking like someone who would be in a Cinemax movie at 1:00 in the morning…not that I would know anything about that.

Glam’Eyes Quad Eyeshadow in Beauty Spells is all about nighttime black and white drama.

The Rimmel shadow has one of those teeny-tiny guides on the back of the package so you know where to place the four different colors on your lid. I bought this because I was going out and was wearing a sassy gunmetal gray little number and wanted my eyes to be as sassy as my dress.

It went on perfectly, giving me some drama, but not too much. Not Cinemax-y or raccoon-like at all, just sexy and fun.

Because that is what I want to be – sexy and fun - and eating a black and white cookie.
Is that so much to ask?

7:18 a.m.
It's the most important meal of the day and all.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Five steps to help your teen take care of their skin.

Hey gang! I'm guest blogging today on an awesome website called Radical Parenting. 
Remember how bad it was having those teenage breakouts?
Click below for some tips to keeping your teenagers skin happy.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Hello, my name is ____________.

What’s in a name?

Apparently, A LOT if you are seventeen years old and trying to meet some boys on the beach.

My name is Lori, and that is a fine, lovely, 70’s name. I like that I am a L-O-R-I not a L-A-U-R-I-E or God forbid a
L-O-R-I-E. Whew, I hit the Lori jackpot in that regard.

But again, at seventeen, Lori was not a cool enough persona to be attracting the boys, especially the older boys. I needed a new identity if I was going to nab myself a new boyfriend.

So I did what any normal teenager would do - I started telling boys that I met that my name was Bianca.

Of course I loved the name because of Bianca Jagger who I simultaneously worshipped and was insanely jealous of because she was married to my man, Mick.

I was always obsessed with Bianca Jagger and the name Bianca. So growing up, I had a Barbie named Bianca, a hermit crab named Bianca, a fake sister named Bianca, and now, I had morphed into Bianca. A natural transition, don’t you think? Barbie/hermit crab/fake sister/self?

My new name and personality worked great – it was a great lead in, boys dug it -  “Wow, Bianca, that’s a pretty name.” My new name was pretty so I was pretty too!

Bianca, ready for a night on the town.
Sometimes much to the dismay of my girlfriends I would spice it up and talk with a bad British accent.

Yes, I was visiting from “across the pond” and was here on “holiday.”


Of course I was handing out Bianca’s phone number left and right, to anyone that would have it. When gentleman callers would ring me up at home and my parents would answer, they were in on the game.

“Bianca, telephone”, they would scream up the stairs to me.
My parents were pretty awesome sometimes.

My main worry, besides the whole lying about who I was thing, was my friends slipping up. Susanne and Jocelyn did awesome for the most part, but would understandably sometimes and call me Lori by mistake.

British Bianca & surfer friend.

“Lori…I thought your name was Bianca”, the cute blond with the surfboard would say.
“Um, yeah, sometimes I go by Lori”, I’d respond, in a nervous English accent.

They usually were pretty disenchanted at that point, but not disenchanted enough to quit making out with me.

Bianca made her mark on Clearwater Beach for a while, but then I realized I had to go back to just being Lori. As with any lie, it was just too exhausting to keep it up. But it was fun to pretend to be someone else.

I'm pretty sure Bianca made out with this waiter.
Sorry Mom.

I mean, what was I going to do when I met the man of my dreams, and he thought he was with British Bianca, and he had already introduced me to his parents as Bianca, and nicknamed me “Sweet B”? What then? He would have to see my birth certificate eventually when we went to apply for our marriage license, right?

Bye-bye Bianca.

My family got a cat and it was a boy. No one in the family would allow me to name it Bianca.

I always swore if I had a little girl I would name her Bianca. I have two boys.

Again, bye-bye Sweet B.

Maybe on our next girls night I’ll let my friends know I’ll be bringing along a friend. A friend with a really cool name and a bad cockney accent. Should make for an interesting night.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twizzlers or red vines?

I never knew a war existed between these two licorice brands until I was living in the dorms at college, standing in front of the vending machine at 3:00 a.m. with a friend in search of a late night snack. Because that was necessary.

Twizzlers and Red Vines were right next to each other in the machine, apparently duking it out when nobody was looking.

I put my change in the machine and as always, plugged in C3 for my pack of Twizzlers, which sent my friend into a rant on why Red Vines were the superior choice. We sat on the couch in the rec-room and chewed and chewed our strawberry goodness. We debated back and forth for an hour or so - she tried mine and I tried hers, but there was still no question in our minds as to which one was better. I guess it’s one of those Coke vs. Pepsi (Coke) or Yankees vs. Mets (duh – Yankees) arguments that has no real right or wrong.

Black licorice, however, that’s a whole different story. As a kid, my palate was not sophisticated enough to appreciate it, so I stuck to the bright red stuff. Good ‘n Plenty was gross ‘n nasty to me back then - but not anymore.

Yummy, strong yet soft, chewy black licorice? Yum, yes please.

I was in the market for a new perfume and I wanted to try something different, something shall we say less…typical. Oh, you know what I’m talking about, something that didn’t smell like it may have started out as cake batter.

I wandered over to the Jo Malone counter and began to experiment with their layering scents - Orange Blossom, Lime Basil and Mandarin, Nutmeg and Ginger, okay, so far I wasn’t doing too good at staying out of the kitchen. Then I spotted something that sounded super delicious – Vanilla and Anise - Vanilla from Madagascar mixed with the rich, delicious, licorice-y anise scent.

Again, Yum, YES PLEASE.

Vanilla and Anise Cologne by Jo Malone is light, pretty, and kind of un-cookie like. It is weird for me to even say I enjoy this vanilla perfume, with its not-so-fresh-from-the-oven scent. It’s more of a true perfume scent. Pretty…warm…sexy!

Anise makes me think of black licorice, Ouzo (more college memories), Sambucca, and those Anisette Sponge Cookies that Stella D’oro makes that I long for but can’t get here on the west coast. Soft and lightly sweet, and kissed with that hint of anisette flavor.

Maybe that’s why I love this Jo Malone scent so much - it’s also soft, lightly sweet, and kissed with that hint of anisette flavor.

Whew - so maybe I do smell like a cookie! Just a fancier, more expensive cookie. I feel better knowing that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Feeling brew-tiful.

I am one of those people who HAS to have their coffee in the morning. It is my kick start to my day, my boyfriend, my warm morning kiss - basically it is what gets my mouth turned on and working. Without it, I am mush, nada, nothing.

A few months back I had posted some pantry raid ideas, using items in your kitchen as beauty treatments – sugar and olive oil on my face, mayo in my hair and avocado all over my bod and all over my tub. Blech. In response to that post a reader had suggested massaging used coffee grounds on myself to help out with cellulite.

So…my boyfriend coffee and I had a whole new experience together last night.

I have to admit, it took me a while to experiment with this one because I am not a girl that is overly-concerned with cellulite. Not because I think I don’t have it, I’m sure I do, I just don’t go searching myself looking for it. Like if I pretend it doesn’t exist, it’s probably not there. I don’t wear daisy dukes or mini-skirts either, so I don’t think people are talking.

When I got home from work I noticed the grounds from the morning’s pot had not been tossed into the garbage can yet. Usually this would make me unhappy but yesterday I was thrilled. Why? Because I couldn’t wait to get down with some grounds!

I went up to the bathroom, stripped down, and got in the tub, adding a layer of warm water so I wouldn't freeze my ass off like I did when I had the date with the avocado (again, blech.) I knew my grounds would be cold from sitting all day – but I thought that would be good, adding to the caffeine-jolt-cellulite-blast-process. In my mind I pictured the caffeine smoothing and tightening up the dips and valleys on the road map that are my thighs.

I stood in the warm water and rubbed the grounds in a circular motion into my legs – it felt good, like it does when I use an exfoliating scrub. It smelled good too, like my kitchen does in the morning. It didn't look so pretty though – it was all brown, clumpy and streaky. But what did I expect? I was basically rubbing something that usually goes in the garbage on myself.

After my scrub down I stood there for a while - kind of with a “now what?” feeling – so I sat, soaked, and relaxed.

I brewed myself for about ten minutes. Just so you know, I am an Italian Blend – dark and nutty with some bright, floral notes. I wished I had some steamed milk to plop on top of myself.

I rinsed off and felt good, refreshed and my legs felt like they wanted to go-go-go. I worried that I would have temporary restless leg syndrome, but no, the feeling was not that intense. But they did feel buzzy, jacked up from the caffeine, and tingly!

So I got out and looked at myself and realized I had never given myself the once over prior to getting in the tub to have a “before” image in my mind, but I thought my “after” looked okay. My legs felt good and they smelled delicious.

I would totally do this again in preparation for a night out with a short skirt. Maybe for the daisy dukes I could soak in a tub of Jolt Cola and Red Bull.

I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Gee, your thighs smell terrific.