My Not-So-Stange Addiction

Pinterest.

Yep, I’m addicted.

I resisted for as long as I could. I was turned off by having to “request an invitation” to participate. Got over my snarky self, pressed the request button. Got my “invitation” shortly thereafter and my addiction was instantaneous.

For me, Pinterest is like this amazingly magical treasure chest. And I can’t control my addiction because there are so many beautiful images, great tips, hilarious words … well, something for everyone. Creativity and beyond …..

Oh my, I must go back there right this minute. Might miss exactly what I’m looking for. Even though I have no idea what I’m looking for which is par for my course.

You can follow me there – Izzie Darling, duh. Check my boards. You might find something you are looking for. Or not.

Happiness is a choice.

Later.

Don’t Want to Know!

Noise makes me nervous. Noisy nonsense makes my hair hurt. In an effort to retain a few strands … here is a list of what I don’t want to know about:

  • Anything that has anything to do with Snooki, The Douchebag Bachelor, and The Real Bitches Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County, Pinot Noir, etc.
  • How much political candidates spend on their campaigns. Here’s a novel idea – what if you people led by example?  Announce your office intentions, take the grillions of dollars you use to attempt to get that office and spend it on all sorts of programs that will help your fellow citizens and make this country a better place? Swear you would get more “coverage” than you are paying for, more votes, and you’d sleep better. Just a thought.
  • “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”- there was a time when I enjoyed hearing all the juicy details about EVERYONE. Sick, I know. Thank God, life changes can happen. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t sit next to me.
  • Another story about a woman/man overboard. Just this morning, a new report about a woman mysteriously disappearing while on a cruise. With her boyfriend. In a last-ditch (no pun intended, really) effort to patch up relationship. Note to people in relationships spiraling downward: NO VACATIONS. Tragic.
  • The end of the world. When it happens, it happens. Not worth a millisecond of worry. Live Big each and every day you find yourself on this side of the terra firma.

A solar flare is currently headed our way, threatening to wreak temporary havoc on all things electrical.Must shut this puppy off before it goes up in flames. And clear my head.

I wish there was a vacuum cleaner for the brain.

Later.

Happy Sundry Sunday

Weekend adventures in menus, bargain hunting, fashion, and vitamins. Finished book and found some great sayings. Sharing …..

Menus

Each week is more kookadoodledoo than the last so it is necessary for me to cook on Sunday. Here’s what’s on the menu for next week:

  • Portobella mushrooms stuffed with three cheeses and topped with pancetta
  • Collard greens, slightly braised in garlic, lemon olive oil, and chicken stock, topped with prosciutto
  • Chicken fillets, stuffed with pesto cream cheese, then wrapped in turkey bacon
  • Tuna nicoise pasta salad
  • Potato chips, Fritos, Peeps and caffeine (requires no cooking)

Bargain Hunting

Less than $50, including pashmina. Rah!

After donating most of my closet to Goodwill, I was in a bit of a pickle re: upcoming events. But I am a determined lass (long in the tooth for a lass, but determined). Some of bargains above might go with my favorite bargains below:

Maxi colorblock dress, $78, huge scarf/wrap, $6

Needed yet another outfit, so while at work at Cheeky Vintage, I found a severely cool short black top from who knows where. Then I put it with a Chartreuse raw silk tea-length skirt from the closet of a Parisian or it was made in Paris – whatever! It’s smashing! The photo below does not do the skirt color justice – it is outstanding!

Aucon de vos affaires, mes amis

Vitamins

My dad has been having more back issues, bless his bones. Saint ShayShay suggested Pantothenic acid, which is a big fat word for B5. She swears it unclenched her neck and made her dad jump up and dance a jig after a skiing injury. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR MOUTH WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. That being said, the best price for B5 was at Whole Foods!?! There’s also a whole thing going on (so late to this party) about taking collagen in the form of gelatin pills; supposedly, this activity provides good hair, strong nails and less rickety joints/joint pain. Gelatin (see Knox Unflavored Gelatin), by definition, is made from the proteins derived from the bones and skin of animals (not a veggie situation). All the info I could find said no animals were killed for gelatin. Jury’s out, as far as I am concerned. I mean, the animals weren’t alive when the proteins were derived. Need to take ADHD vitamin and keep nose out of this.

Rules of Civility

Finished this and have changed my mind. Maybe. After finishingThe Paris Wife, set in the 1920’s, it was hard for me to jump into Rules‘ Manhattan of 1938. Places so different, themes so similar … jazz, art, and lots of booze. Please put more emphasis on first two; these books are very good.

Favorite New Sayings

Last Friday, OneKingsLane.com featured all sorts of art. One section, Typography & Letterpress, caught my eye. Word art. These were my favorites:

“The only zen you find at the top of the mountain is the zen you bring up there.”

“Breathe in the future, Breathe out the past.”

“I do believe there is time for another adventure.”

“Go and wake up your luck.”

Off to shake up my luck. It’s already awake.

Later.

Booking It

Better get these on the books before I get bored and start … handfishing with hillbillies. Not really. I don’t hang with hillbillies. And my relationship with fish involves cooking and a fork. But I digress …

Just read, am reading, will read:

  • The Other Tudors, Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards by Philippa Jones. My obsession with all things Henry continues. Jones was/is a historian, and a good one at that. Each page is so full of information, I might finish when I’m 75, but this is a good book.
  • An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer. The story of a 62-year-old widower thrust back into the world of women. Not a snore. This is a  good read and full of surprises. Brava, Hilma!
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. At my bedside, ready to read next. Great reviews for this “jaw-dropping” portrait of modern India.
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Stylish portrait of the higher life in 1930s New York. Still reading … really like the narrator but the lifestyle makes me want to go to AA and the characters make me sad.
  • The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons 
  • Gone With A Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West. Have always been a huge MLW fan; this would be my least favorite of all her book. Whining.
  • Rules for Virgins by Amy Tan. This one is a Kindle Single – a 40-page story that may or may not be part of future book. Shanghai. 1912. Former courtesan advising aspiring one. Fascinating.

Later.

Self-Medicating with Words

I will go to great lengths to make a day that feels “less than” feel “more than”. Today, I’m rolling around in the following quotes:

  • “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in a tent with a mosquito.” Regina Brett
  • “What motivates you more: a correction or a compliment?” Jenny Dintzler
  • “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” Goethe
  • “A belief has no power other than what you give it.”
  • “Happiness happens when you least inspect it.”
  • “Stay open all hours for miracles.”
  • “We are born at peace.”
  • “Happiness doesn’t always make you happy.” Gretchen Rubin
  • “It is better to sleep on what you intend doing than to stay awake over what you’ve done.”
  • “I’ll sing for my supper but I won’t audition.” Kaminsky & Penney
  • “Change happens slowly, then all at once.”
  • “What looks like an anchor may be wings.”
  • “Instead of treating people the way you want to be treated, treat people the way they want to be treated.” Regina Brett
  • “None of us have a crystal ball. We may feel like things are hard and we are stuck with a lemon today. But tomorrow could bring many beautiful things if our hearts are open and willing.” Divorced Girl/Vibrant Nation
  • “If you see a red flag, don’t try to make it magenta. What you see is the way it is. Believe it and act accordingly.” Magnolia Miller
  • “The best test of a person’s character is how he/she treats those with less power … the way you act when you can’t be held accountable, how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”
  • “All you need is love.” The Beatles

Now.

Later.

Now and Later.

Blame it on Eve

I’m talking about clothing. While I wouldn’t call Eve a style icon, her curiosity and that damn apple did present us with the need to “cover up”. Don’t know who decided to make dressing an art form, but God bless him/her/them.

Did you know that any clothing over 20 years old is considered vintage? I didn’t, but am all over vintage clothing for a number of reasons. First and foremost …..

My Grandmother

My grandmother was born with style. I think this photo is 1930’s but her outfit looks like Norma Kamali was around at that time. Luckily, I have some of my grandmother’s jackets and other accoutrement which I wear frequently. Because it was so well made and way cool. I LOVE vintage clothing. The fabrics, the craftmanship … oh, I feel a case of the vapors coming on.

Before I take to my fainting couch, I must tell you why I’m double lucky regarding vintage. My city has the very best treasure chest of vintage clothing, shoes, hats, handbags, and other accessories in this hemisphere. IN ONE SPOT! Cheeky Vintage! Just the name makes me swoon.

The owners of Cheeky Vintage, Denise and Tina, are brilliant and have a serious love and eye for vintage perfection. But don’t just take my word for it; Lucky Magazine calls Cheeky one of the country’s best vintage stores. And the positive press goes on and on. Go to cheekyvintage.com to drool.

Chanel, anyone?

Treasure Chest

Just fainted.

Later.

My Trees Have Faces and Other Stuff

No, I’m not writing from the psych ward. All my trees do have faces.

Smiley McStump

See? He’s the happiest of the lot. It is too early in the day to show you the others. September was  a month of observations – and not blogging. Climbing back on the wagon, I’ll share lessons some observations. Shocking, right?

  1. GMA  reported that men adore beautiful women – specifically women with big eyes, full lips, and a small chin. This info comes from a Harvard study. I get the eyes and lips but a small chin? Have you ever been complimented on your chin, period? Good grief, the only reason a woman even looks at her chin is to check for scary hairies.
  2. My neighbor. If you saw him on the street, you’d think he was a hunk of burning love. LOOKS ARE DECEIVING. He hates everything and everyone except dogs, me, and penis replacements. He’s just traded his ginormous Hummer for a Monster Truck. Said truck does not fit in garage. He is way scary … especially when he throws a ball or something – repeatedly – against my bedroom wall from what must be his bedroom. Ewwwwww!
  3. The two funniest shows on tv, in my opinion, are Saving Grace and New Girl. Zooey Dechanel is HILARIOUS!
  4. BARGAIN ALERT: If you have a CVS card, you can purchase a case of water for $1.11 this week.

If you want the secret to good hair – buy this:

Suave Dry Shampoo

You can find it at grocery and drug stores, it is usually under $2 and it IS a game changer in hair land. After having a pixie cut for 20 years, I decided to grow my hair out. Channeling a younger Anna Wintour, I am. While there is much more hair than I remember, it is straight as a board and needs a bit of volume. Enter Suave Dry Shampoo. You can use it however you wish. For some serious volume, here’s what you do: wash your hair, dry your hair, then spray the roots with the dry shampoo. Massage it in and wait about five minutes. Then fix your major hair bomb. Trust me on this one; I’ve had disbelieving friends test the method and they are converts.

Am big into bargain hunting  and latest finds came from Old Navy and Marshall’s.

Old Navy cardigan and turtleneck
Laundry tweed sheath/Marshall’s

The cardigan, under $20; the turtleneck, under$18. Lots of colors and variations on both.

The Laundry sheath (bad photo) is awesome and will work until spring. With opaque hose and great heels, not bad for $59.
Last but not least, if you want a really good laugh, check out http://whenparentstext.com/
Later.

A Three Hour Tour and Other Stuff

Helloooooooo!

In the Good Grief category of the day, we have my sister, cruises, and the saying, “Some people never learn.”

The first time she went on a cruise, it was a day-long affair. The festive ship advertised bountiful buffets and gambling amid a luxurious environment. The boat would sail out in the morning and return at sunset. The ticket price was crazy low (huge red flag but she must be colorblind). She and her husband boarded the ship and took off for a lovely – and possibly profitable (if you think gambling is profitable; see red flag above) –  day at sea. Cutting to the chase: it was beyond Gilligan’s worst nightmare. The accommodations were anything but lovely. Once aboard, it was a hostage situation. After the boat limped, chugged, and coughed its way out to sea, the engine blew. Along with the engine, so goes air-conditioning, ice cubes, and electricity. The pig trough buffet featured the irresistible combination of boiled toilet paper cabbage and a pan of old weenies. Yum! Every ounce of alcohol was served at room temperature and the supply was deleted after one hour. A male passenger died in the middle of this; the staff lovingly placed him on a pleather sofa in the center of the galley and threw a sheet over him. All the passengers were herded inside where they remained while the piece of shit war canoe was towed into port. Which took hours. My sister is still convinced the man died from a combination of cabbage, weenies, and body odor. All the passengers had plenty of time to contemplate this as they were in one room with him, the weenies, and the body odor for hours. Lord ‘A Mercy, what was the lesson here? Well, she didn’t learn it.

My mother called yesterday to report my sister and her husband boarded a cruise ship in Miami on Monday. She is the eternal optimist and he is a not the husband she “cruised” with before. A wonderful week of beautiful seas … in the Bahamas. Woo Hoo –  the same place that is being destroyed by Hurricane Irene right this minute. My parents and I are not worried one minute. Surely the ship was diverted. If she survived the first experience, this will be a walk in the park. Although she has an international phone, my mom has not heard from her. Maybe they are in Germany. How do you say, “whatever” in German?

Under the Thank You and Godspeed tab, I’ve placed Steve Jobs. I want to personally thank you for quite literally changing the world for the better and hope the rest of your days are the best of your days.

BE HAPPY! It’s a choice, you know.

Later.

Hilarious Kids on Hores and History

Teacher/Daughter entertained us the other evening with an email she’d received. It was a third-grader’s “essay”titled, “I Like Hores“. Sharing ….

“I like hores. Hores have other hores friends. Hores like carots. You wouldn’t think they coud but they can put their legs strait up. Hores make you feel good. My dad wants a hores but my mom says no. When I am 16 or 20 I Will buy my own hores.”

This reminded me of something I read 15 years ago. Richard Lederer put together a compilation of history essays written by kids. The entire piece was/is wet-your-pants material. In an effort to keep you high and dry, I’ll just repeat my favorites:

  • “The Greeks had myths. A myth is a female moth.”
  • Regarding the Olympic Games – “….Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.”
  • “Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.”
  • “Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak.”
  • “Martin Luther … died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.”
  • “Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.”
  • “Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years.”
  • “Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.”
  • “… George Washington had big balls and everyone enjoyed them.”
  • “Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. His mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.”
  • “Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards…Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.”

Ha Ha Ha! Have a great day!

Later.

Milestone Playlist in Three-Part Harmony

This is a story in three-part harmony.

Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist.  My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.

One: BeforeWoke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing.  Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.

Two: During –  Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.

Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns,  sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.

Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.

The Playlist, in no particular order

  • “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
  • “Stronger” – Glee Cast
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
  • “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  • “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
  • Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
  • Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
  • On The Floor”Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
  • Someone Like You” – Adele
  • “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
  • “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mercy” – Duffy
  • “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

As for the three-part harmony ……..

Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz

 “A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Blessed two times over, I am.

Later.