Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Chronicles of Kennedy: The Lion, the Ditch and the Chivas Regal

In case you missed it, The Liberal Lion of the Senate, Senator Edward 'Ted' Kennedy died of cancer, he was 77 years of age. Sen. Kennedy played hardball, but I suppose that's normal when you're the youngest to a boot-legging Irishman, add a couple of bright, competitive older brothers and you get a perfect storm of sorts for someone like Teddy.

Kennedy was spirited and driven. While, I may question his motives and sincerity to the causes he seemed to hold so dear (except abortion, I believe he was really, really in favor of that one) I cannot question his determined and willful demeanor.

Kennedy will be remembered by all. Some will remember the 300 Bills he lent his name to that were enacted into law, others have personal stories of his kindness, some may think of his infectious laugh. But, for others, like me...Kennedy was a spoiled, all-in politician. He loved women, scotch, and Chris Dodd. Oh and also, he was responsible for Mary Jo Kopechne's death at Lake Chappaquiddick.

Apparently it is frowned upon to speak (or tweet) unfavorably about the recently deceased, factual or otherwise (unless you are the Daily Kos). Air America decided to post a few distasteful tweets from conservatives on Twitter regarding the passing of Uncle Teddy, they included one from little ole me. My father would be so proud.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Ten Products That'll Make You Say...Bienvenue, Gorgeous!

Beauty products can either be the egg in one's beer (which believe it or not, is a good thing) or egg on your face. Celebrity endorsements, online reviews posted by strangers, millions of dollars in advertising paired with our own flaws, hormones and self-esteem struggles lead to an endless cycle of the love-hate relationship between women and the cosmetics counter.

Allure magazine and Sephora have annual surveys for patrons to vote for the best beauty items. I find these two surveys to be the most helpful and useful of their kind. has also added a review option for users to post their recommendation or lack there of for each product sold.

I prefer to shop online for most of my makeup and skin care merchandise. This way I avoid any pushy, overly made up, lab coat clad, cosmetic counter lady, the horrible department store lighting and the dreaded, unavoidable, magnification mirrors that will make you buy anything with the words pore minimizer printed on it, no matter what the cost or benefit. Also online shopping allows no-hassle returns ( offers free shipping on returns).

Another benefit to shopping online...airline miles. Yes, that's correct. American Airlines offers mileage for participating retailers when you shop online. If you have an American Airlines AAdvantage are set to go...if not, go to and sign up. Once assigned a number you are ready to earn miles while you shop. Just visit click the 'See All Merchants' tab on the left...type in your AAdvantage number, first and last name and you will earn at least one mile per dollar that you spend.,,,,, and are all eligible; each offering between two and four miles per dollar spent. Think about the money you spend on beauty maintenance items alone- you'll be on a trip somewhere fabulous in no time, just for buying these products online via the AAdvantage eshopping website.

Below is a list of my top ten fave products, in no particular order. I recommend that you use these items with your preferred foundation or foundation primer formulated with a minimum of SPF 15, as the products listed below do not offer this protection.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment: $155 - This miracle serum brightens and tightens your face. It's expensive, but it works. Serves as a mini-facial for the morning after a long night *wink, wink*.

Almay oil-free eye makeup remover pads $4.99 - Gentle and effective, even on waterproof mascara, it's cheap, but it is the best.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich eye cream $28.50 - I've tried at least ten different kinds of eye cream, this one is the best. Moisturizing, line diminishing and gentle enough for your lids.

Clarins High Definition Body Lift $65 - Not only does this formula smooth out your trouble spots, it makes your skin, sinfully soft.

Clarins Bust Beauty Firming Lotion $54 - Specially formulated for your decollete, this gentle lotion is non-oily and quick to dry, leaving behind a smooth and toned bust.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion $24-$35 (depending on size) - This everyday moisturizer is lightweight and scent free.

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel $21 - Leaves your face feeling clean and fresh without drying it out. Perfect for all skin types.

Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion $13.50 - Grown women aren't supposed to have breakouts. But, if you do, just put a bit of this magic cream on your unwanted visitor and within 24 hours you will see a dramatic improvement. Don't squeeze or me, this stuff works!

Tweezerman Tweezers $20 - These stainless steel slanted tweezers are great when you're in-between an eyebrow wax. They make the plucking process as painless as possible.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler $19 - Use before you apply your fave mascara for a sexy, bright eyed look. You've tried other eyelash curlers, now try the best.

Feel free to leave comments about your fave beauty products. Caring is sharing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Don't Feed the Animals...(Me)

Okayyy, I've eaten my way out of my size 27 jeans (technically, some of them still fit, but I can hear their screams when I put them on). I'm not a size queen...y'know the type of girl that wears a smaller size, because she can physically get in them. Not I...I prefer to look as if the pants are not an optical illusion and well there's that whole 'toe' thing.

Like many women I have tried every diet out there and even made up one involving a shit load of sugar-free Jello and a slight addiction to Xanex (just kidding, Mom). This time I'm on my version of the low-carb diet: meat with veggies, Cool Whip Free and vodka club sodas with an occasional handful of nuts or a spoonful of extra chunk peanut butter.

It's been nine days, I haven't tried my jeans on yet...but...I did weigh myself. Early conclusion: Scales are evil and they lie. I've lost four lousy pounds, but I think my butt is smaller (or perhaps that's just the result of distorted vision from being hungeeee).

After avoiding my arch-nemesis aka the grocery store for nine days, I braved the journey today, because let's be honest the supermarket is no place for a person in my condition. I spent about an hour at the store (mostly reading nutritional labels). I made it outta there without sitting in the bakery department abusing an overly frosted cake. Success.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure: Grown Up Edition

Women are magnificent creatures. They give you life, bathe you, teach you, discipline you, wash your underwear, kiss your boo-boos, answer most of your questions and make sure your dad gets the abridged version when you get caught being naughty. However, your existence alone does not define your mother as a person.

It doesn’t matter where you live or what type of home you were raised in. The beauty of being an adult woman in the Western World is choosing your own path to the crypt. A couple of days ago, I read this article (h/t Allah Pundit), about a young lady living in New York that doesn’t want children. Do women, like this author, really lack the mom-gene or are they just successful, stylish women threatened by the idea of kids in their seemingly hip and uncomplicated lives?

When I was a little girl, there was a lady at my mom’s office named Penny. She was the only daughter of the company’s CEO. She was a beautiful, elegant, ageless thirtysomething with impeccable taste. Penny had been married and divorced, she was somewhat career oriented, but I could tell she was looking for another husband. Penny did not have any, nor did she want any children of her own, which was very good news for me. I was the beneficiary of all of her unwanted jewelry, handbags, scarves, perfume and makeup. Penny introduced me to Saks and Neimans, taught me about the importance of ordering a salad with the dressing on the side and took me to my first play at Ford’s Theater. I never wondered why she didn’t have kids. The last time I saw Penny was in 1999, at my father’s funeral. It had been over a decade since our previous visit, but I recognized her right away. She hugged me tightly as she offered her condolences; I wondered then if she regretted her decision to never be called ‘Mom’. I hope not.

Like Penny, that young New Yorker may never have children, but she’ll likely have other things that complicate her life, I hope those things are as fulfilling as the joys of a child. Resentment is a bitch and contrary to what some may think motherhood is not where fabulous women go to die.

If you know my story, maybe you’re wondering if I would go back and let’s just say…do things differently. The short answer is no. I am not someone who looks back and wonders what if. While, of course I have things that I wish I hadn’t done and people that I wish I hadn’t hurt, there isn’t a moment that I would ‘do-over’. Every gut busting laugh, every painful memory, every what the hell was I thinking (never mind I wasn’t) moment…all mine, located on a special place along my timeline…all parts of the person I am today…and I like her, a lot.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Warning: Maintenance Ahead

As women we are grouped into one of two categories, ‘low-maintenance’ or ‘high-maintenance’. Neither seems particularly flattering. Are we people or cars? What do those terms actually mean? And, why would a lowly maintained woman be a good thing?

I’m not what you would call a scheduler, planner or organizer...which I suspect is a high-maintenance trait…unless we’re talking vacation…then I’ll throw one of those hats on long enough to book a fabulous hotel and a flight that lets me sleep in as late as possible (high-maintenance?). But in terms of the everyday blah, blah, blah…I’m pretty easy going (and therefore low-maintenance, right?).

O’course, ‘easy going’ in wifespeak means…if I don’t wanna do whatever it is that you’re doing, I probably won’t…but I also won’t complain about you doing it without me. I just like to be asked, if you don’t ask me along, I’m going to be upset…unless you’re going out for sushi…then don’t ask me…I don’t care (maintenance level uncertain).

After some light internet research I learned that high-maintenance refers to a shallow, emotionally needy, label whoring, drama queen...I know some of those. The low-maintenance woman is a bit harder to define…but by all accounts, she’s basically a dude with a vagina…I know one girl that I would truly describe as such…picture a white Whoopi Goldberg sans dreadlocks and an opinion.

Personally, while I find both labels equally irrelevant and silly…I’ve been called much worse so being categorized as either low or high maintenance neither describes nor offends me…in fact come to think of it…very little offends me…ma’am *cringe* I don’t like being called ma’am…oh and Becky…there is little that I hate more than being referred to as Becky.