V-day thoughts and Brow Love!

Hello to all my Internet (secret and not so) Admirers!

Probably not going to be you if you try to go to a nice restaurant on Feb 14.

It’s already February – how did this happen?? Next week is Valentine’s Day!  You either are like “woo” or “boo” although a few of you are “WOOHOO!!!!” – much like the house I passed on my way home from dinner with Captain Wentworth last night that had a full-on Christmas level lighting scheme and major heart shaped décor going on!!  I’m going to be sexist and assume that’s a female who decorated that house and by GOD her mate better deliver next week or she’s totally gonna craft them a noose with raffia and glitter, that’s all I’m sayin’.

My current thoughts on Valentine’s day are summed up thusly.  All is well with Captain Wentworth and we have exchanged those three little words (“You are cool.” No, wait. “Like your butt.”  No that wasn’t it either, hmmm…) so 2019 Valentine’s day by default is a big thumbs up.  It’s also fun when you have kids because you get to put together vday cards or bake cookies and make them little presents and they are super happy which is cute!  Last year I was single and I have to say – folks, if you are online dating right now – GET OFF THE GODFORSAKEN APPS!  It was like the proverbial singles club meat market of days of yore when people actually used to meet without electronics involved!  I’m talking you’d exchange 2 sentences with someone on an app and they were like “…this app sucks – GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER!!  Let’s be REAL – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF????????”  You.  You sir.  You sir are *exactly* what I am afraid of!

So I repeat, shut those profiles *down* for the next two weeks people – It’s hell out there!

Speaking of hell – try going to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day!  You’ll be lucky if the you can get into Denny’s or the 99! Better to do dinner at home the night of then do dinner out a few days before or after – although the Saturday after will also be pretty slammed. In any case, whether you are in romantic love with only yourself (which you should be in any case, cuz you rooooock!) or also in love with a significant other, or even a wee one, I wish you a very lovely Valentine’s Day full of beauty, joy, and awesome take-out cuz I’m telling you the restaurants are fucked, don’t even do it. ❤😃

Product Review: L’oreal Paris, Unbelievea Brow Gel, Light Brunette = 5 stars

Joan Crawford. Terrifying.

Yes, yes, I know the name is ridiculous but guuuuuuuurl (and you 2 guys reading this part!!!) it is AWESOME.  This is hands down the most perfect eyebrow product I have used so far, and I’ve been filling in my brows at least a little bit for at least 12 years, I think. Why fill your brows?  Well see for yourself below.  I personally feel it lends a certain youthfulness to the face to have a fuller brow, as long as you don’t go crazy with it and look like Joan Crawford (who had completely normal eyebrows when she was younger if you go back and look at older pics!).

Left brow = before gel, Right brow = after.
Yes, this picture sucks, I know.

I love this product because it’s a doe foot applicator so it doesn’t drag on your eyebrows like a pencil or brush with wax, and then there is a little mascara brush AND little make-up brush so you can comb thru and set your brow with precision. Plus it’s more or less waterproof although I’d have to do a swim test to really know for sure as I’m not hopping in the shower then taking a selfie for you guys – my beauty blog dedication only goes so far!  But I will say after I wash my face it’s still halfway there, which is handy if you are on vacay and don’t have all the time needed for your normal toilette! 

I used the Light Brunette shade and it is absolutely perfect for my dark brown hair and again, fills smoothly without giving you the ubiquitous Joan Crawford-type look you see going around! I wholeheartedly recommend!

And with that! Time for a coffee…  Maddy ❤

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Hello 2019!

Holiday Wrap-up & Coconut Oil Fails

Dear Superior Subscribers and Righteous Random Readers,

You have survived the holidays! Have your credit card statements arrived from last month yet? (OUCH.) A local radio station here is giving away “4K a day” to help people pay for their Holiday spending bills. Is this really what the early Christians had in mind when they started celebrating the birth of Jesus? Everyone going into debt for the holidays? The utter commercialism of a holiday based on the birth of a man who really just wanted us all to be good to one another in the most basic, loving, and humble ways? Am I starting to whine like Charlie Brown? Maybe.

There is a store in California called Daiso (originating from Japan). Everything in Daiso is $1.50 an item. I shit you not — there are like 100 things at any given time in Daiso that I would be super psyched to get as a cute little gift. They are incredibly adorable things! Stationary/art things. Kitchen things. Little wacky doodads. Friggin’ wasabi peas, whatever! I’m not that picky! Just don’t give me a box of smashed secondhand candy like I received one time as an emergency gift back — I’m good, thanks.

I just don’t think we should all be going into debt when the true measure of your philia for each other, to me, is the following:

  1. How good were you to each other this year? Did you make a positive impact in the lives of those around you? Or an indifferent, or worse yet, a negative one?
  2. When you saw that your loved ones (or even just that old lady at CVS struggling to find the right sinus medication!) needed help — did you offer to help? Maybe not every time, but when you could?
  3. Did you smile and compliment someone randomly when you honestly felt they deserved a compliment, even though you were perhaps in an airport security line in the middle of the night because your ex husband is an asshat and booked your kid’s flight back from California for 5AM? Too specific? Just me???

Anyway! You know, stuff like that!
Let’s all be nicer, and more considerate to and understanding of one another for 2019. Let’s spend quality time together. Let that be a better measure of our love for each other over the things we can buy. Give it the inherent value it deserves.
Then go ahead buy me those $1.50 bunny shaped post-its and pens from Daiso, ‘cuz I got you the cute little sushi plates, and everyone’s happy! ;-p

*********

Gift-giving Note: Captain Wentworth got me some reeeeeeeally nice stuff for Christmas as noted in my last post. And I got him… a bottle of wine! ARGH!!! :-O However! I gave him my gift first and we hadn’t even discussed exchanging gifts, and blah blah, back pedal, back pedal anyway! I’m not saying I will match the expense level (‘cuz am pretty sure the expense level exceeded the entirety of my 2018 xmas budget, eek!), but next year, as a conscientious gift giver, I will certainly find something profoundly more meaningful than a tasty bottle of vino!!! However, at least I can say, that if my appreciation for him and his qualities as a person could be measured, boxed, and put under the tree, I’m pretty sure it’d take him at least a few hours to finish unwrapping it all.
🙂  

Coconut Oil: Use with Caution or Risk the 80’s “Wet Look” (which was only really ever sorta hot in a Robert Palmer video, let’s be real)

So recently at my Writer’s Group, a certain curly haired colleague of mine arrived and pointed out her new hairdo. (You said I could use this in my blog, P, haha!) I thought her hair was wet, like, freshly showered, still damp — wet. She told us how it was in fact, not wet, but it was a coconut oil conditioning treatment fail, and she had already washed her hair once or twice to remove, to no avail!

A similar look to leftover coconut oil!
https://www.pinterest.com/brttnyta/my-hair-experiments/

Yipes! I have put Argan oil in my hair and it was great, not greasy at all! But Argan oil is not quite the same as coconut oil as far as application as a conditioning treatment in your hair. Argan oil melts right in and does not have to be washed out. Coconut oil is a different animal (eeeer, plant. eeer, plant based derivative? whatever!). I discussed this with Katie Abdou
— author, friend, and beauty maven extraordinaire, as she had an excellent, and not 80’s at all experience with coconut oil conditioning.

Coconut oil saved my hair after a bleach disaster in my dreaded, and very brief, red hair phase. It’s extremely nourishing to the hair, but also extremely heavy. I usually soaked my hair in it, wrapped it in plastic, then a towel, and left it over night or for a few hours while cleaning the house. After, it took a good two to three, or sometimes even four shampoos to get it out. When it was at its worst, I did this treatment to my hair once a week. You definitely have to wash your hair VERY thoroughly after using it, especially if you have fine hair like me, but it can be hugely beneficial to dry or damaged hair.


— @KaitlynAbdou (Twitter)
This curly soft hair. YAS!

So P!
Keep on scrubbin’ that head, girl! You were on the right track, just a few more washes to go!

And with that, I wish you all a fabulous weekend ahead!

Time for a Coffee,

M!

Confessions of the Mother of a Picky Eater

5-29-mom

“OK, OK, stop being cute. I’ll make your damn flavorless butter noodles and 7 lettuce leaves with no dressing.” (sigh)

Before I had a child, I used to roll my eyes at the issue of kids who are picky eaters.  BK(Before Kids) I also liked to try and apply my dog training skills to child rearing.  “Well, if they won’t eat it just leave it out and eventually they’ll get hungry enough to eat it! You don’t want to spoil your dog…er, kid.”

Well, I have come to see that this tough love method doesn’t really work on humans.  Whereas a dog may abstain from eating their dog food temporarily in the hopes of eating table scraps, kids apparently abstain from eating particular foods because they inexplicably find them abhorrent and disgusting. While I am digging into a delicious pot of creamy gourmet crispy bacon-topped mac n’ cheese at a restaurant, my child is looking at me like “Barf!”  The same applies to all meat besides chicken legs and steak, any pasta that has more than butter and salt on it, salad dressings, and sandwiches(and the list goes on).

How did this happen to the once super well-adjusted eater that would happily eat a salad, chicken strips, salsa and hummus all in on sitting?  What happened to the chubby toddler who would eat a bowl of bean salad, a cup of minestrone soup and a ham and cheese sandwich?  Somewhere around pre-school foods started dropping off her previously wide open spectrum of edible delights.  The things she loves previously were now “gross.”  We hadn’t done anything differently at home — it just seemed to be a spontaneous thing.  Along with the food aversions came the weight loss.  She is a “normal” weight per her pediatrician, but when my child was always around 80-90% weight and drops down to 30% — it’s troubling, even if it’s irrational on my part.

Hence my inability to enforce the “tough love” and just let her starve one night when she rejects the pasta because I put too much parmesan cheese on it or whatever. The thought of her losing a couple pounds when she is already so slim is just not OK with me.  When I was growing up, my immigrant mother thought I was round and beautiful when I was clearly overweight in middle school, God bless her.  In fact I was called a picky eater growing up, but that certainly didn’t effect my weight, unless it caused me to eat more Chicken in a Biscuit crackers than whole grain breads — but who are we kidding — no one was taking about whole grains in the 80’s.  Well, no one that reached the middle school demographic anyway.

And so 5 days a week my cooking nights involve the meal for my husband and me, and the meal for the little Miss.  We will be eating homemade chicken curry over brown rice and she will be eating one of her 12 approved food items, and that’s acceptable, because counting the ribs on my 7 year old would not be, so there it is.

Mani of the Month

5 random compliments in a  week is pretty darn good!

At least 5 random compliments in a week is pretty darn good!

 

I can not tell you how many compliments I got the week I did this manicure.  Seems like everyone really likes the gold shatter over teal.  You can do this look with any teal/aqua polish and any of the gold shatter/crackles out there (if you can still find them!). Make sure you load the gold on there so it makes a nice constrasty pattern.

 

Books

You can check out my Goodreads to see what I’m reading right now.  I think I’m in a Regency phase right now — Navy SEAL theme goes right into Regency — obviously.

I am also wrapping up another Lux novel tonight I think.  I totally read the last page first, because I am naughty.  Another cliffhanger!  The next book isn’t even out until August — bah humbug!  This has been a fun series though, but I have a ton of series to finish so this will force me to get back to those, at least until August .  😉

And with that…

Time for a Coffee,

Mmmmmmaddy

 

 

 

January Wrap-Up

…So Dear Readers, when I say “follow up shortly” — sometimes that means in 3 weeks.  Just FYI.  o.O

I hope you’ve all been well and have been avoiding this horrible flu that is going around the country.  Speaking of the flu, and of following up shortly, I give you…

The Teenage Girls in Starbucks

Excuses, excuses...

Excuses, excuses…

So while waiting for my daughter to get out of an after-school class, I was whiling away an hour reading in Starbucks with my Caramel Flan Latte keeping me company while I attempted to enlighten myself with some Confucious.  At first I was just minding my own business and reading, but the incessant chatter and strangely nasal, lispy, almost valley-girl-like tones of my female, teenage neighbors finally broke down my concentration.  I started eavesdropping — I mean, if I’m going to be disturbed by them, they should at least afford me some sort of amusement, right?

Oddly I never actually looked at them — they were sitting too close for casual scrutiny — like 2 feet away from me, plus I was still pretending to read.  So I am judging them by their words alone, which really, is as it should be no?  In any case,  they discussed many silly things but the first thing that disturbed me was their discussion of the New Years Eve party some of them went to.  The most nasal and lispy of the bunch (I will call her Lispy for short), was upset that some girl at the party seemed to be judging her for underage drinking at the party.  She was really, really upset by this — which I thought was hilarious.  If you are such a rebel that you’re going to drink illegally, why should you care what your classmates think?  Were you drinking to excess?  Were you maybe embarrassing yourself?  Are you really upset that this other person does not approve of your underage drinking, or did they just make you feel guilty?  The Mom in me says “You go judgey classmate!”  I don’t want my daughter underage drinking either.  In fact, my own judgey inner highschool prude is also on the bandwagon with the judgey classmate, because my friends and I did not drink in highschool either.  I knew plenty of girls that did drink.  I also knew plenty of girls that got sickly drunk, and taken advantage of, and some who earned festive titles like “BJ Queen” and “Partytime.”  In fact, my judgey prude’s high-horse grew to Clydesdale proportions by graduation just from all the cautionary tales I observed in highschool.  But I digress.

So Lispy is still ranting about being upset about being judged and her friends are like “Oh totally, what else are you supposed to do on NYE — come on!”  When Lispy’s cell phone rings and she answers, “Oh God, hold on it’s my Mother.” And it went a little something like this:

Yes.  What?
Mom
Whyyyyy?
Mom
No I don’t want to. Why can’t we do that on Friday?  (it was Tuesday, BTW)
Mom
I really don’t have time for this right now.
Mom
No, I don’t see why it’s a big deal.
Mom
Well then I just don’t care.
Mom
Well you’re overreacting.
Mom
OK, whatever I’ve gotta go, byeee. CLICK

That was a simplification of the conversation obviously, but you get the gist.  So her friends asked what her Mom was saying and Lispy, in her huffiest voice relays that her Mom is insistent she gets a flu shot ASAP, and how she’s a total pain in the ass, etc.  The best part of this entire episode was that one of her friends (in a slightly less annoying voice) tells her in all seriousness, “Ohhh, aaaactually, there are like a bunch of people dying from the flu and stuff right now.  So your Mom actually has a point — you should totally get a flu shot.”  Lispy was stymied and they all left shortly thereafter.  I guess the revelation that your Mom’s not a blithering idiot kind of takes the wind out of your sails.

I sat there after they left quietly praying, “Oh please, please, please don’t let my daughter treat me like Lispy in 10 years!”  Ah, God.

Let’s not reflect on a potentially cruel future  —  let’s talk about happy thing — like books!
So I am currently reading Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.  Again, how did I escape private school and college without reading a classic like Frankenstein?  I don’t know.  So far so good — this is another vocab builder that makes me glad I have that handy dictionary feature on the Kindle!  I love learning new words — it’s actually retaining them that’s the hard part these days!  For example, I knew a chimera was a mythical Greek monster, but I did not know it also meant “a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve” — which I found out when I looked it up because I was wondering why the character kept talking about chimeras all the time.

Last night I just came upon the part where the main character finally discovers the secret to reanimating living tissue — which is amusing because the character (who is recounting the story) is like “Oh no, I won’t tell you how I did it because I don’t want your life to be ruined like mine.”  Sneaky way to avoid that description, Ms. Mary Shelley! Hah!
Anyway, I will let you know my review once I’ve finished.

And now, time for a coffee,

Maddy

 

 

Why Witchcraft is Best Left to the Professionals… in Fiction

Witchcraft is definitely more fun in books!

Witchcraft is definitely more fun in books!

Tomorrow we usher in my old childhood favorite holiday and preceding 30 spookiest days of the year: October/Halloween. In honor of the impending creepiness, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane to the one, I repeat, ONE time I tried to cast a love spell on someone back in college, and the wackiness that ensued (and by wacky I mean unpleasant and ironically bad).

I’m a big fan of cautionary tales.  Some of life’s greatest lessons I have learned without having to live through them, but by watching others of my acquaintance do so and by storing the happy (or all too often unhappy) consequences away in the old memory banks for future reference. Now, unfortunately for me (but not for you), this lesson I’m writing about was learned the hard way.

So back in college, maybe around the time I saw that classic of modern cinema called The Craft, I had a huge crush on this guy in one of my English classes – we’ll call him Mr. X. Looking back I can’t even fathom why I liked this guy except that he seemed witty in class, was tall, and my college was 70% female, so cute, single boys were about as easy to get as a snitch on a quidditch field.

So I pined for him for almost an entire semester but he never spoke to me and he seemed to be oblivious to my existence. It was the final week of the semester and I felt it was time to take drastic measures. Enter the witchcraft!  OK, now no, I did not have a spellbook, or even a spell, but I’d seen every episode of Betwitched and Charmed and I really felt like I could make something happen if I put my all into it. So I bought a candle (the student bookstore was selling wiccan candles – how convenient!), but I don’t remember which color, they all claimed to have different meanings though. I wrote my intention on a piece of paper(“Please make Mr. X like me!”), lit my candle, and I suppose “meditated” on it is a good choice of words.  I did this for some time, maybe half an hour, til my wish was good and cooked, then I burnt my slip of paper and crossed my fingers.

Well readers, let me tell you, it worked, and it worked way too easily.  It could have passed as sheer coincidence if Mr. X had not merely immediately started speaking to me of his own accord the very next day in class, but by the end of the same week, he had asked me out on a date. Whoever (or whatever) was the recipient of my paper wish was certainly not messing around.

However, I was naïve and not really believing in any serious witchcraft and/or The Rule of Three, I happily accepted this mysteriously inspired date, when I should have stayed home and washed my hair. The date was not what I expected. Here are a few reasons why:

1)      After 3 months of being completely ignored by this guy, he suddenly thought I was the prettiest, most hilarious, and most charming girl in the world. Twenty minutes into the date he even told me “jokingly” that he loved me because I knew what Captain Kirk’s middle name was (which is admittedly some good trivia to know, but still).

2)      Then, over the course of the evening (movie and coffee at café I think) he tried at least three times to take me back to his apartment. You like that book?  He’s got it at his apartment. You need a phone?  He’s got a phone at his apartment (imagine that!). You have a headache?  He’s got aspirin at his apartment too! He’d say anything to try and lure me back there.  This was a first date – so not my style – so I kept refusing.

3)      So of COURSE, after the café, when he was supposed to be on the freeway taking me home, he took me to his apartment. I cannot stress how upset I was.

“Where are we going,” I asked in dismay. “I want to go home.”

“Oh I just need to pick something up at my place first,” he smiled, lead-footing it over to his apartment. [Note to the young single ladies – never let a first date pick you up!  It’s always good to have a getaway car at your disposal, especially if your date has been coerced by supernatural forces to ask you out. (!)]

So back to the car. I attempted to wait in the car for him to get whatever it was he claimed he needed, which in retrospect could have been cable ties and duct tape.  However no need to fear what he could have gotten alone, as he was not alone, because he did in fact beg, beg, beg me to come inside and see is place. Fearing that he was never going to take me home without seeing his damned place, I went in.  I went in, in fact, and stood near the door clutching my purse the entire time. He tried to make me a drink – tried to get me to sit – tried to get me to admire his roommates snake (?), but I just hovered by the door until he gave up and took me home. Upon arrival at my Mom’s house, I tried to scurry inside and wave goodbye – I even got the screen door closed when he said, “Wait – no goodnight kiss??”

Now, have I recounted anything so far in my behavior that seemed like a signal for romance?  I should think not.  So I think I opened the door and gave him a half-hug and told him goodnight(way too nice in retrospect). Either the guy had a serious lack of understanding of social cues, or we can blame the hocus pocus, because he then began to phone-stalk me for a couple weeks. When I finally mustered up the courage to call him and give him the old “it’s not you it’s me” and “let’s be friends,” he snarled “F— being friends,” at me through the phone, and hung up, never to be heard from again. Thank God.

So the moral of the story is, if the object of your affection does not know you exist, you may feel free to go up and say a cordial “Hello,” but for heaven’s sake do not light any candles and burn any paper wishes as you may be soundly slapped with some unsavory paranormal results, in triplicate.

Let’s leave the witchcraft to the fabulous literary professionals, where we can close the cover and take a break when things get dicey.

My three favorite series of wizards and witches are:

9-30-13-Dresden

Harry Dresden: a wizard with quite a chivalrous streak — unlike my date!

1)   The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling

2)   The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

3)   And as I’ve mentioned before, the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane.

And for those of you keeping track, I am now 68% through with Fifty Shades of Grey, so stay tuned for my scathing review in the coming weeks…

Now, Time for a Coffee,

Maddy