Saffron Gets A Bad Rap

March 8, 2013 at 8:15 am | Posted in Beauty, Honey Pony, Horses, The Real Housewives | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A dear friend from down south once told me that the following is a very “Yankee” exchange:photo

Friend: “Ooooo, I love those shoes!”
Me (the Yankee): “Thanks!
(hushed whisper) 9-West. Marden’s Factory Closeout Store. $19.99!!”

Apparently we frugal Yankees are extremely proud of a bargain and not only seek them out, but then proceed to tell everyone who will listen what a steal we got. Apparently this does not happen in other parts of the country. I did notice Lisa Vanderpump giving Kyle Richards the business about showing up to an event in identical shoes and insisting that Kyle must have gotten them “off the sale rack”. Kyle looked none too pleased about this accusation. I would have been like, “Yeah, I did, bitch. Are you really stupid enough to pay full price?” Yankee.

And recently, I read an article about spending habits that put forth the following hypothesis: One’s idea of “expensive” is directly related to the first thing they buy that day. So, if you go online and buy a $200 bathing suit (Ahem, Spanx with tummy control and lots of DD boob lift.), then you’ll think that the $180 pair of jeans they try to sell you at check-out (“People who bought this also bought…” The ultimate keeping-up-with-the-Kardashians/Joneses ploy.) is not really all that expensive after all. But if you pop into T.J. Maxx for a quick browse and stop first at the $5.99 tights rack, well, you might not drop $149.99 on that Michael Kors bag, even if you CAN compare it to the MSRP (that’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, for those of you who are not rabid bargain-hunters) of $289.00.

So all this got me thinking about my own spending habits and what I consider expensive. A little look into my spending psyche:

Beauty Bucks

– Getting talked into spending $60 on foundation that is not the right color or texture for your skin by the adorable and heart-breakingly hip make-up store girl with the perfect cats-eye eyeliner = face-too-dark-from-spray-tan-21396414[1]EXPENSIVE

– $20 self-tanners that leave giant brown stains on the couch in the precise shape of your bodacious booty = EXPENSIVE

– Spending just about any amount of money on anything (short of plastic surgery) that will make you look even 5 minutes younger = NOT EXPENSIVE

 

Travel Tariffs

– Spending $65 to have a car service meet you at the airport when you could easily grab a filthy, smelly cab complete with bullet-proof glass between you and the driver into town for $25 = NOT EXPENSIVE

– Thinking those leopard-print spandex pants the cocktail waitresses at the Jungle Bar in Miami Beach are wearing are super-duper cute and rushing right out the next day to buy yourself a pair = EXPENSIVE (I don’t care what they cost. You don’t look like she did in them and you will never, ever wear them out in public when you get home. Let’s just agree that you got caught up in the moment. And the mojitos.)

– Anything you buy at the hotel gift shop, mountainside ski shop, surfside cabana or in-room amenities bar = EXPENSIVE x2

 

Equine Expenses

– Spending $400 on fancy schmancy full-seat breeches that are just going to get dirty the second you put them on anyway (you know your horse is going to rub his snotty nose on them, right?) and probably won’t keep you in the saddle during your new green show mount’s inevitable spook/swerve/buck at the judge’s booth = EXPENSIVE11235[1]

– Spending $60 on a double-hot-pink halter with your cute-as-a-button pony’s name stitched on the nose when a $19.99 one would do the trick just fine = NOT EXPENSIVE

– $5.00/bag for pine shavings that sawmills otherwise consider trash = EXPENSIVE

– $150 for chiropractic work, $80 for acupuncture and a $50 massage (this is for the horse, not you!) so that Lightning won’t flip over on the crossties the next time you slap a saddle on his back = NOT EXPENSIVE

 

Food Fares

– Paying $45 for the most amazing piece of Kobe beef you’ve ever tasted in a charming and elegant restaurant setting without anyone climbing under the table and squirming into your booth because they “need to snuggle you” or standing on their seat to stare at the poor old lady sitting behind you = NOT EXPENSIVE

– Spending $8 on clearly pre-processed meatloaf in a place that is supposed to be making everything from scratch. At least they have microbrews to get you through the meal. But of course they’re out of the one you really like = EXPENSIVE

Best SaffronSo what is truly expensive, anyway? The first time I heard that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, I thought it must be really outrageous and who in their right mind would pay for it? Then I went to the Hannaford and there it was: $14.99 for a small jar of saffron threads. I mean, I suppose compared to the Cream of Tartar that’s a little steep, but I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper than an organic cucumber. I guess it’s all relative, especially if you’ve just been to the Dollar Store.

So the next time I’m feeling down and need a little treat, I think I’ll go splurge on some saffron and live like the rich people do. Care to join me?

xo

Advertisements

Top 10 Reasons Why I Can’t Finish My Books

January 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Honey Pony, The Real Housewives, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Last winter, I embarked on a potentially misguided journey to write and illustrate a series of Roundpen Standingchildren’s books about my pony, Honey. Before I adopted her, she had fallen into the wrong hands and suffered severe neglect. My idea was to create books for very young children that introduced the ideas of animal neglect and rescue in hopes that this would plant the seed for future adoptions of abused/shelter animals.

Well, this experience has left me frustrated, flummoxed, and (to quote Lisa Vanderpump) flabbergasted (say it with a British accent: “flah-buh-gahstud”). It’s not that it’s so hard to do, it’s just so hard to find the time to do it. My ideas flow like wine (but really, what doesn’t in this house?) and the words to three books are already written. But actually sitting down, pulling out the paints and creating – now that’s the hard part. It takes not only time, but creative energy. And I just don’t have much of that left after spending each day coming up with ever-more imaginative ways to keep two little boys entertained, enthralled and even-keeled.

So here, I humbly submit the Top 10 Reasons why I just can’t seem to finish illustrating even the first book in the series:

1)      I’m too busy writing this stupid blog.

2)      The pony has chronic diarrhea.  (Just try dealing with this during a freezing-cold New England winter. Frozen tail poopsicles anyone?)

3)      I have to re-heat my cup of tea for the 450th time today.  (No, I don’t know where I left it last, either, so I have to find it first, ok?)

4)      I’m checking my blog stats. Again.

5)      Somebody’s butt needs wiping.

6)      FaceBook.

7)      There’s a Real Housewives of Anywhere-on-Earth-That’s-Better-Than-Where-You-Live-and-Don’t-You-Forget-It marathon on Bravo.  (I cannot help it, I’m addicted.)

8)      That text message from my newly divorced girlfriend about whether or not the guy she thinks is cute thinks she’s cute and if maybe he’ll pass her a note in Algebra today.

9)      I have to blowdry my hair. And you know what that means. It means I actually have to take a shower first.

10)   I’m too busy writing this stupid blog.

Any suggestions on how I can get out of this funk and make these books happen would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone wants to come over and wipe the kids’/pony’s butt, that would be great, too. Thank you for your support.

xo

Bedazzled

October 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Beauty, Kids, The Real Housewives | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I wore sparkly, bedazzled jeans to school drop-off, gymnastics, karate, and the grocery store today.

I know they were completely out of place in those venues. I realize they might have been a bit over-the-top. Even 6-year-old Brady, after rubbing my bejeweled butt for a minute, proclaimed them to be “weird”. But I just got them and I love them, so shut UP!

I also love make-up and hairspray (raised in the 80s, anyone?), and those things are hard to love here in Maine. There’s a whole juggernaut of plain-Janes running around. A regulation-sized soccer field full of Sporty Spices. Hey, I’m sporty. I mountain bike. I ride horses, and that is a dirty-ass sporty sport! But I still like spangled jeans and sparkly eye shadow.

This is probably an ongoing surprise to my Mom, who had to fight me into every dress I ever wore as a little girl. They were mostly reserved for Sundays at church, and I can still remember asking her why God cared if we were dressed up or not. Could He even see us? “Of course He can,” she replied, “It’s HIS HOUSE!” And now I’m appalled at what I see in church – spaghetti-strap tank tops that show your titty tattoos and short-shorts that would make Daisy Duke blush (are you even wearing underwear??).

But I digress.

The thing is just that… I love BEAUTY and everything that goes with it! Putting on make-up every day is like my own personal art project. Can I wear green eye shadow with this purple top? Does this shade of lipstick make my skin look grey? Will I ever be brave enough to wear those false eyelashes out in public?

I guess the real question is: How much is too much for a stay-at-home mom?

This is probably very dependent on where you live. Those babes on The Real Housewives of Orange County/Beverly Hills/NYC/New Jersey are always dripping with double-decker glam. Whether it be for a trip to the opera or a quick jaunt to the grocery store (as if they actually EAT), it seems sequins and 5-inch heels are never off limits. How do they tend to their kids in those get-ups? With small children, I have to bend over constantly, and this is no small feat in low-slung jeans (hello, butt-crack), short skirts (um, other crack) or low-cut tops (that’s technically not a crack). And try doing that while maintaining your composure (and dignity and modesty) while wearing platform wedges! Of course, if you’re lucky, your kid will throw a fit in whatever public place you happen to be and you’ll have to pick up all 38 pounds of whirling, writhing, screaming child in your razor-thin stilettos and carry him out. Meanwhile, you were wondering if those shoes could actually hold YOUR post-baby poundage, never mind you plus the butterball that is your 3-year-old. Good luck with that.

It’s tough being a Mom who still wants to look hot. Or at least human. I was recently at a 5-year-old’s birthday party that was held at a gym. I thought I looked cute and somewhat appropriate in my embroidered sleeveless top and white capris. Then in walked a mother ‘from away’ (Mainer talk for ‘you don’t live here’) wearing a tight black top and jeans with carefully placed rips all up and down the front of them. And in the rips were…. wait for it… GOLD BEADS!!! Rows and rows of them!! I scoffed and turned away. Clearly this woman did not know what to wear to a child’s birthday party! But on the inside, I died a little. I wanted to wear jeans like that and get away with it!!

So how to marry the two? Here is what I propose:

– The false eyelashes and red patent-leather handbag make the cut when you’re going out to dinner, not to the soccer field.

– Save the heavy glitter eye make-up and over-the-top lipliner for drinks with the girls, but don’t be afraid to dust on a little shimmer here and there on a daily basis.

– If you’re going to wear high heels of any type with your kids in tow, make sure you have the hubs with you to handle any “Pick me UUUPPPP!!!!”s that come your way.

– Bouffe (I think I made that word up) up your hair like crazy for weddings, evening parties and trips to the big city, but let’s keep it casual for the girls’ softball team, ok?

– And never, ever, under any circumstances does mascara make your butt look big. So slather it on, girls. Every day, all the time.

xo

What is Wrong with My Mirrors?

April 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Beauty, The Real Housewives | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

Is it just me, or does everyone get dressed, look in the mirror and think they look pretty good leaving the house, only to be shocked by their later reflection in a door or window that gets them thinking, “Do I really look that fat today?” or “My pants are too short!” or “These shoes totally don’t go with this outfit!” or “Why does my hair look frizzy?”

What is wrong with my mirrors?? Why don’t I see that before I leave the house? Is there some “thin magic” in my mirror that prevents me from seeing that those pants paired with that top make me look like a kumquat? Do I think that just because I can see the bottoms of my pants that this means they are actually falling below my ankles? And does it really take just a whisper of wind to completely destroy my carefully coiffed hair? I just don’t get it.

I suppose trying to keep up with the looks of the ladies of the Real Housewives of You-Name-the-Place isn’t helping my self-image, either. Those chicks must spend 40 hours a week in the salon/spa/dentist/plastic surgeon’s office. It must be a full-time job to maintain it all. I think I’m high-maintenance, but I can’t hold a candle to those girls. I even got some veins done in my legs last year (I just couldn’t stand the look of a large varicose vein on my right leg – thank you pregnancy – so I had it removed along with a few smaller ones) and the damn things are coming back!! Those ladies must either slather their legs in make-up (spray-tans appear to be mandatory in California) or they are seeing their vascular surgeons on a weekly basis.

It’s disheartening. We’re all supposed to keep up with the Kardashians but really, who has the time? Besides, those girls give new meaning to the term “falsies”. Fake eyelashes, lips, hair, boobies and both sets of cheeks. How are the rest of us supposed to ‘keep up’?

All that said, I’d like to share a few of my favorite beauty products – some new finds, some old stand-bys. Not that I’m so fabulous, but I do work hard at this stuff and hey, I’m always looking for new ideas and recommendations, so perhaps you are, too. Feel free to add your own tips in the Comments section 🙂 .

  • I always love a good Spanx foundation garment. They are the savior of many a dress and pair of pants in my closet. But let’s face it, you can’t wear those puppies every day, and sometimes not even all day. But I have finally found a Spanx product I can wear all day and love. It’s called “Bra-llelujah”. And it is. A wonderful, stretchy, yet supportive full-coverage bra that actually holds the girls up while feelin’ fine and lookin’ good. Love it. Getting some more.
  • Bare Minerals Make-up. My love affair with this mineral foundation and eye shadow began 6 years ago when I was up in the middle of the night nursing my first-born and watching infomercials. By the way, that’s also when my love affair with the Real Housewives started, as the OC was in its first season and there were midnight and early a.m. re-runs. But I digress… It takes a little time to learn how to apply this foundation, but once you get it right it is flawless. And GOOD for your skin! So many make-up products have so much artificial and harmful junk in them, but not Bare Minerals. I am also in love with their eye-brightening eyelid foundation product called “Well-Rested”. Makes you look wide awake and alert, even when you’re not. And we all know that those of us with small children and/or high-octane careers more often than not, are not.
  • Vitamins, fish oil, and other healthy stuff you put in your body. Ok, I’m a junk-food junkie, I admit it. It is a daily battle for me not to live on Double Dutch chocolate muffins and pizza washed down with diet soda. I try to put the good things in as often as possible, but I still eat way too much sugar, salt and melted cheese. SO, I try to balance this out by taking excellent vitamins and other supplements, among them MSM (joint health and inflammation – too many falls of my horses over the years!), Coenzyme Q10 (heart & cell rejuvenation), fish oil (Omega 3’s, etc.), and spirulina (a blue-green algae with TONS of health benefits).
  • While it is important to work on beauty from the inside out, don’t skip the sunscreen and moisturizer, ok?

    This looks good, right?

Try a few of these things and I promise you’ll look even better than you already do. Or at least my magic mirrors say so.

xo

My New BFF

April 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Posted in The Real Housewives | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Can I just say, I totally love Heather. You know, HEATHER, from the Real Housewives of Orange County. That girl has class. And balls. And great taste. And, it appears, a great relationship with her husband. Kind of amazing for this group! She’s my current favorite. But that could change at any moment if Bravo decides to use their editing magic to suddenly make her appear to be the biggest bitch since Camille Grammar. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

And does anyone else have a little crushy-poo on Brooks? I know he’s no spring-chicken and probably has the saggy-man-boobs thing going on underneath his Tommy Bahamas (I have only HEARD about this from my 40-something friends currently in the dating world, thank God), but I just LOVE his southern accent (always been a sucker for Texans, too), and he seems so incredibly wrapped up in his infatuation with Vicki. The cards and the way he looks at her. It seems genuine. But Tamra thinks that he’s too perfect and can’t be trusted. So far I’m not seeing it, but then again, the accent is really getting to me so perhaps my judgement can’t be trusted!

Interesting episode tonight. Tamra almost looks good without make-up. Better than Gretchen, who I always thought was so gorgeous until I saw her going to a shoot early in the season without ANY hair or make-up done. I was really shocked – that girl is NOT a natural beauty, but she does clean up nice. And very photogenic, which is more than I can say for myself. And Alexis really surprised me with how pretty she looked without makeup when she was going in for her nose job. Of course, all the hair extensions were perfectly in place and what with the lips blown up like that, well, I guess it wasn’t a completely natural look. But she did look pretty good. I was impressed.

So now the re-run of the episode I just watched is on, and a year ago I would have been tempted to stay up even further past my bedtime to watch it again, but this year I’m just not feelin’ it. I look forward to the new episode each week, but then I have no desire to see any of them again. Is it only me? Or is the show just not all that interesting anymore? Except for my new BFF Heather? What do we think, ladies?

xo

The Real Housewives of Anywhere

April 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Posted in The Real Housewives | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Ok, let’s discuss my fascination with Bravo’s Real Housewives of (you name the location) TV shows: basically, in a nutshell, I used to have a LIFE. I mean, I have a life, but I used to have a life filled with clients and business meetings and beautiful clothes and high heels and GOSSIP. Sweet, sweet gossip. Now I have a life filled with lunch-making and juice-pouring and toy-fixing and fight-breaking-upping and horse brushing (I’m ok with that part, really) and basically, outside of “He took my toy!” “Did you?” “NO!!” “Well, he says you did.” “I did NOT!” there is really no intrigue anymore, so in desperation, I turn to these wonderful, juicy, bitchy, gossipy shows. When my husband tries to talk to me during any episode of pretty much any Real Housewives franchise I stop him with a “SShhhhh!”, a talk-to-the-hand gesture, and a “I’m watching my girls!” This completely baffles him and he generally leaves. On bad days he sits down and tries to watch and wants to know why everyone is yelling and who’s mad at who and “What’s wrong with these women?” but really, how can you explain this to a man? So I don’t even try. He just gets another “SSShhhhhhh” followed by, “My PROGRAM is on!” and so eventually he leaves. Poor thing. But I digress…

Since this week’s episode of RHOOC was a re-run, I’m just going to resort to general questions about some of the darlings on these shows. Perhaps someone out there can help me understand some truly perplexing concerns:

  • Why doesn’t anyone tell Lisa (RHOBH) that her false eyelashes are much too big – you can totally see where they begin and end – and make her look ridiculous?
  • Why does a gay man who appears to be in it just for the fame want to marry Tamra? (Ooooh, wait, I might have just figured that one out on my own a la Kim Kardashian. Hmmmmm.)
  • Two words: Lip Implant.
  • Two more words: Tinsel Hair.
  • Is Kyle the mean girl or is it Camille? Seems to me one of them simply got a better publicist.
  • Is “Smiley” really his last name??
  • Does Vicki only employ her children and friends of her children? How much is she paying them in Kool-Aid and Ring Dings, do you think?
  • Is Heather a freak in the bed?
  • Is Phaedra a freak in the bed? Oh wait, I think we already know the answer to that one…
  • Is Nene a freak?
  • What Would Jesus Barbie Do?

If you can help feed my addiction in any way, that would be great. As always, looking forward to the next episode/re-run/marathon. And by the way, it’s very important that we get my BFF, Paula, to start watching these shows. It’s KILLING me to not be able to discuss all this with her. See what you all can do to help me out.

xo

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: