Monday, April 27, 2009

Advice from a Higher Power

Wow, I mean wow! I just heard and met Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, read several short stories to a warm, receptive audience of high schoolers, parents throughout the community, and others. She was so real and so approachable. She stood at the podium wearing a lime green Mexican muu muu dress adorned with colorful embroidery, and delivered her goods with a soft, sweet voice like honey dripping from a spoon. Long, thick, black hair that parted in the middle and hung down her back, and so shiny she looked like a modern day Breck girl. She spoke with her soul and could've offered me dirtballs from the palm of her hand and I would've believed they were diamonds already cut and polished. She was that good. There was one part, however, where she read about her lost cat; and boy did she get long winded. Went on for days.......but she still had me hanging on every word and remembering the days of being read to by my own mother. I didn't want the experience to end. Then she started taking questions from the audience and someone asked her what her advice to young people would be. Even though this patron, fan....whatever you want to call her in the literary world..... was a shadowy silhouette in a dark auditorium, she couldn't have shone any brighter. The answer rolled off Sandra's tongue as if it were practiced and prepared. And her advice was quite clear. Sandra spoke to all the young ladies of the South, and the rest of the world, and said: Be economically independent, ladies. Do not depend on anyone to bring you a paycheck or your happiness. Delay marriage for as long as you possibly can; and delay children for even longer. She didn't mean this in a bad way like some hard core butch lesbian avenger at a Pride parade swearing off men for their evil ways. She reiterated the fact that when you settle down you are taking time away from you to get to know yourself and fall in love with life and living through adult eyes because once the ninos come, well.......ya know......your life is never again your own. Never, ever, ever again. You have traded in freedom, travel, easy living, and TV dinners for little league, gas sucking SUV's, a permanent place on the PTA, and worry 24/7.
Girls, I sure hope ya'll were listening. Glean the knowledge and hear her advice. Life is nothing to rush; everything will unfurl in due time just like that budding leaf in the spring. It may sound cliche, but you need to take time to smell the roses and linger a little longer while doing so. Stay forever young in spirit and absorb and learn and grow. Don't be afraid of the road less traveled, for your fate will be your ultimate destination. Okay?
Enough of dishin' the dirt. Just thought I'd share...........

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Summer Product Picks..........

Okay, ladies. Even though it's been rainy and unseasonably cool this spring in Atlanta, summer is sneaking up on our heels, and you need to be prepared to wrestle that bull by the horns. I've been dying to share my favorite product picks with ya'll for the season, so take note and write this stuff down. We'll start with the crown of our head and work our way downward, shall we?

For your mane....... which, come on ladies, is our crowning glory. I highly recommend deep conditioning once or twice weekly. If you have thick, natural wavy hair then Redken All Soft Heavy Cream will be your new best friend. It has avocado oil, proteins, and amino acids for the deepest conditioning treatment. Your hair will feel and look like spun cornsilk and everyone will want to touch it, feel it, and stroke it. You'll go to your next high school reunion tossing your hair around shamelessly with the secret buried in Al Capone's vault. Now, as far as shampoo, I have to admit I keep it simple. I'm a Dove girl through and through, and even with regular conditioners. To me, and believe me ya'll, I've tried everything under the sun, the main importance is your deep conditioner and what you put in your hair as a prep before you blow it out. This brings me to my second product pick, Moroccan Oil. Recommended by my hair guru stylists, Patty and Constantine, they swore to me this orange oil holds magical powers. And ya'll......they are RIGHT! A dollop of this oil on wet hair is enough to transform anyone's bad hair situation into something better.
Just blowdry normally and if you follow my plan (if you have thick, wavy hair), your hair will be the envy of all; the smooth, perfect after picture without the salon blowout price. Happy hair= happier wallet, which means the more you can save for that Botox treatment.

Next item I love (and every woman should have one of these in her make-up aresenal) is a fabulous bronzer. Nothing with glitter, ever. Save that for preschool art projects and NOT your face. Natural is key here. My favorite bronzer sans any glitter is Hoola by Benefit. Ladies, listen up. Even though the box is a bit bulky and cumbersome, get over it. Maybe they'll change the way it's packaged. But until then, you need to purchase, stuff it in your purse somehow, and roll with it. With a swipe of this bronzer you can fool all your friends into thinking you've just arrived from St. Tropez. No's THAT good....and natural. As far as a blush to accompany, try Coralista by Benefit, too. Wow, the color is so believeable. It gives your cheeks a wash of warm sunshine as if you've just had a sweet nothing whispered in your ear, and no one in the room heard, but they can see the glow spread across your cheeks. This is exactly what blush is supposed to do.......remember Scarlet pinching her cheeks in Gone with the Wind? My sentiments, precisely.

Mascara. I know, I know, I hear everything about all the expensive ones out there on the market. But sometimes you've got to travel to the trenches and drugstore dive, ya know? Somethings are worth a higher price and others are not. Simple as that. Maybelline Great Lash in black paired with the Shu Uemura eyelash curler will be enough to draw anyone's attention to your fluttery, doe like eyes. Shu Uemura.......twenty four bucks at Sephora, and there's a reason it's won the awards, ladies.

Next essential, if you like a pop of color on your lips then MAC Venetian is for you. Don't be fooled by it's scarlet appearence in the glossy tube. When you put it on the color fades down so your lips look like you've just bitten them. I wore this out one night and a guy stopped me at Birds in Los Feliz and he told me he wanted to take a bite outta my juicy lips. Now if he had the chutzpah to say it, think how many thought it. Ya catch my drift? Or, if you prefer more of natural look then go with Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Raspberry 02. If this ever gets discontinued I'll have a major hissy fit right in the store, write the company, and maybe even have to boycott the Clinique counter altogether.

Girls, it's time to shed the winter alligator skin. Shed it all! Every gal needs a great salt scrub for the bod. I always opt for salt vs. sugar for one main reason: Salt extracts your impurities naturally and sugar does not. God didn't create sugar oceans, did He? Ya know how it feels when you get out of the ocean? Your skin feels tighter and your cuts heal faster. Salt is nature's way. Leave the sugar for your morning latte, and run to Origins for a Salt Rub salt scrub. Origins has great scrubs in Ginger OR Mint, and loaded with essential oils which are the best for ailing, thirsty skin. I like to use the scrubs at night as I don't like all my scents commingling into one big, unsolveable mystery.

After you've scrubbed and buffed, you must moisturize. I've discovered, well I really must credit my mother-in-law for this one, Bliss Vanilla + Bergamot Body Butter. It's $35, and I kinda scoffed at the price, too. Until I used it, that is. It will forever hold a place in my heart and on my vanity. One tiny dot and you've got your whole arm covered! It will last a lifetime, practically; so go ahead and spend the cash on it. You won't be sorry. The fragrance is gentle, almost baby like, and it blends well with any perfume you choose. But I'm gonna tell ya, this cream will make your skin forget it ever had a dry day in its life. BEST stuff on the market, hands down.

Deodorant. A weird product pick to share, right? It's so confusing nowadays to pick the right deodorant for your underarms. We used to have a few scents to choose from, but now when I scan the shelves I feel bumrushed by the selection. Aaargh! Why can't some things just remain simple? And the last thing I want to smell like is some cherrybomb explosion suitable for a twelve year old. However, I have found one worthy of blogging. Secret makes a Vanilla Chai scent, and I swear every time you lift your arms overhead it's an intoxication of sheer delight; I've even had friends say,........"Gee, your armpits smell terrific!" Okay, well, not really. But I'm not lying to's pretty darn noteworthy. Can you tell I'm a vanilla fan? The scent is just so can blend with anything beautifully.

Finally, we've worked our way down to our feet. I know, ya'll ; we can't pass up a good, classic French pedicure. But in light of the changing economy I've made another wonderful find that will stretch out your visits to your local nail salon. Bliss, again, has a cream called Foot Patrol. It has salicylic acid and peppermint, and you'll want to load it up, cover your tootsies with socks, and cozy up in bed. Boy, does it get the job done. If it can work miracles on my runner's feet that sometimes rival Godzilla's, then it'll work for you, too. It's a great exfoliant and has a nice fragrance. Let's face it, people, we're busy. Who has time to whip out the pumice stone to grind away dead skin? Not me, and besides I'm not that skilled with the caveman tools. I'll leave it to the pros. But in the meantime, use Foot Patrol. This cream will get you through your bad spots...............ahem, no pun intended.

So, stay tuned amigas for more noteworthy product finds. I'm your make up maven, your cosmetic Queen, and it is my pledge to you that I will NEVER steer you wrong. Together we will keep the world a more beautiful place. Okay, Southern Belles? So, take note and look for more fun finds later.......

Love to All.........

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Day Before Earth Day

Today is the first day I'm gettin' into this blog thing, and I'm super excited about it!

Let's begin with the litterbug I encountered yesterday that set me into launch like a loose cannon. First of all, you must know how much I hate, loathe, despise, and detest the act of littering. It doesn't get any more redneck than that, I can promise you. after a long, grueling day dealing with middle schoolers and a headache the size of Texas, I couldn't see beyond guzzling a couple of Sweetwater Blues at the local watering hole. At school we've been creating a rainforest in honor of Earth Day in our atrium. It looks really beautiful.....a totally enchanting paradise created out of butcher paper and some really talented artists........birds, butterflies, exotic animals, the whole shabang. Anyway, after dealing with this project for two days, I'm able to wrap it up, get in my car, and meet my hubby at the bar (and no, I'm NOT an alcoholic!). I'm sitting in traffic, bumper to bumper, of course (welcome to Atlanta, right?) when this woman in a black Audi proceeds to throw her cigarette butt out the window like she owns the street. At first I shake my head in disbelief as I race through my thoughts of how incredibly HARD we've all worked to make the production of the rainforest come alive, and how we recycle at my school, and how littering is just plain UNcool. I sit behind her and I stew. Then my headache overtakes any rational thought and completely turns them inside out, and before I know it I follow her in to the Publix lot where she parks and I assume is planning a grocery trip. Maybe she went for more stoagies? Who knows. Anyway, she gets out of her car and I roll my window down and say, "Hey.........why don't you go back to Pleasant Hill and pick up that nasty cigarette you just polluted our earth with?" She stares at me like I'm from Mars. I say again, "Didn't you get the memo that Earth Day is tomorrow?" She replies, "Fuck you!" I retort, yes very childish I'm aware, "You too, litterbug!" Then I drove off to more traffic delays. And this is exactly why my hubby and mother are terrified to ride in the car with me.
So every housewife exiting Publix with their kid saddled into the front of their cart saw the whole show go down. They were probably on my side because if you have a child then I'm sure you're teaching them NOT to litter, smoke, or cuss; OR not to accost random strangers for the fear of having a Glock pulled on you. I may have accosted from afar, but this beast of a woman committed the other three no-no's.
I know how pathetic this may sound, and you just have to understand the kind of day I was having.......I was in no mood to play; plus I'm really harmless. I even told my hubby when I called home that I had pirhana teeth and the will of a cougar, and I would rip anyone to smithereens who double crossed me. Then when I arrived home I saw the guilty culprit staring me in the face on the countertop. Some may say blame it on the rain, or blame it on the a-a-a-a-a alcohol, but I took one look and I blamed every bit of my mood swingin' craziness on those evil birth control pills. My hubby said, "Hmmmm........look where you are in your packet. No wonder you were nuts-o!! How about we keep them out so I'll see this coming next time?"
Bless his sweet Yankee heart. What would I do without my levelheaded man to put life into perspective for me?
So, I have three final thoughts here: Don't litter, listen to your man.......if you have one, and stay the hell away from women who are on their last row of pills. We're maniacs, but we can't help it.

Goodnight to all!