I’m Baaaaaaaa-aaaack! Happy Holidays 2018!!

Hello and Happy Holidays to my dear Spectacular Subscribers and Ravishing Random readers!  Soooooo you may have noticed I took a WEE little tiny 4 year hiatus here!  Can I just say a HUGE thank you for you 29 subscribers who forgot you were subscribed to me and didn’t clean me out of your subscriptions!!  ❤  You are double the population of my twitter followers for the book I just published last month! (#sadirony). And yes!  I wrote a book!!!  I think it’s lovely but no one is buying it (see woeful 2nd half of today’s blog below).  If you would like a link to see my book on Amazon, please feel free to message me and I will supply it! It’s really quite an entertaining read (I say not humbly whatsoever)! 

So, for my blog reboot I am going to continue along the same themes of books, beauty, homelife, food, and of course writing. Some of you will notice from previous articles I am no longer married, but did in fact, after almost 4 years of being single, trade up for a far superior man I will henceforth call Captain Wentworth.  (You Austenites out there know what I’m talking about, right?)  {{Sly gangster style nods of appreciation happening towards phones and laptops by book nerds everywhere in cyberspace.}}  In fact! Captain Wentworth just gave me a beautiful 1869 first edition of Northanger Abbey/Persuasion for Christmas.  The awesomeness of the gift is only comparable to the even MORE lovely, “kindest and best of men” himself.  And with that, you can now wipe all the vomit off your phones and keyboards.  I will gush no more. I think.

Christmas 2018
DIY mani

Anyhoo! If anyone has any requests of things for me to discuss or review coming up, please feel free to comment down below, as I’m always looking for new items to discuss! I’m thinking the next post will be a holiday wrap up! And I really need to get back to documenting my diy manis.  I did a great one for Christmas and only one finger is still nice so here it is!  As always, I used Sally Hansen base + top coat, and in this mani I used a basic red OPI polish and the new “Resting Grinch Face” China Glaze glitter polish that just came out for the holidays! Also, very nice over black or a pewter shade if you wanted to work it into NYE!

Now see below for my new Author rant!

I bid you all adieu until the next installment!  I hope you all had the very Merriest of Christmases / a Happy Hanukkah, and that we are all looking forward to a most fabulous and prosperous New Year 2019 filled with love and fun!

And with that…

Time for a coffee!

–Mmmaddy

Confessions of a Nom de Plume

December 2018

I wrote a book! HUZZAH!!!

No one is buying my book! Boooooo. Hiss.

Aaaah the aching, empty, anticlimax of the (mostly) unread published author. For why do we write if not to be read? I suppose there is still the joy and catharsis in reading your own writing — in exercising your own demons and living your own fantasies spawned from the myriad facets of your subconscious self. But, damn it all to hell, I want the public to read my 20,000 words! My lovingly crafted, very much edited, painstakingly translated from my brain to the page over years and through much procrastination — 20,000 words. I don’t care if it’s just free at the library!  Someone read it!  I can’t even tell you right now the many reasons I want people to read it beyond the basic gratification of being read, because then I might expose myself, as I wrote the book under a (gasp) pen name. There goes the glory! You wrote a book, and NO ONE EVEN KNOWS YOU WROTE THE BOOK. You are published, but it pretty much feels like it didn’t happen.

Which begs the question — so why did I use a pen name? Why a pen name when the days of female authors being unread and discredited simply for a female name are long gone? Did I write some scandalous or salacious novel that would shock my friends and acquaintance? No.

Some embarrassing topic? Maybe? Sort of?  Not really.

Did I canvas a subject that may potentially get me sued for defamation of character and spawn entirely misguided Puritanical conclusions about my behavior? Yeah, it’s pretty much that last one there. Aaaand thus was born the pen name. So, what do I do about this? How can I market myself without exposing my identity? The answer is basically, I can’t really. Well, that’s not true. I tweet about my book using my pen name.  I even wrote a tweet that had over 5,000 impressions on twitter!  Sadly, of the 5,000 twitter streams being penetrated, it only got 3 likes. And 7 info clicks. And no sales or additional page reads whatsoever. Read as: viscerally, totally, and painfully — anticlimactic.

By the way, did it weird you out that I used the word “penetrated”? ‘Cuz if it did — right there, there’s the Puritanical thing surfacing from the deepest recesses of your mind — feign to deny it!  See. That’s why.  No negative personal assumptions garnered = pen name. Were I 23 instead of 43 and didn’t have a daughter (who’s friends, and moms have library cards and whatnot) this would be a different story.  I am not one to put my aspirations above my family’s domestic tranquility.  Domestic tranquility is a damn fine thing!  Anyone who has been divorced and has kids can back me upon this!

Thusly, my author self, on this one occasion, languishes in anonymity. However, a goal was completed.  Personal pride was won, and new lessons have been learned. First and foremost of those being: do NOT use a pen name.  :- p

Fin

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

 

 

 

Health & Beauty Bytes

Baksshi Botanicals: Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

I recently had the chance to test* the new Baksshi Botanicals Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask ($6.99 for 1 mask). Baksshi Botanicals is a relatively new brand to the U.S. but I am told has been selling in Asia for years. I was interested in trying it because the product has organic ingredients and is paraben and artificial preservative-free. It’s packed with goodies for your face like Sodium Hyaluronate (4th ingredient!!), Ascorbic Acid (aka Vitamin C), and Niacinimide.

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa...

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa…

I actually was not sure what to expect with a sheet mask as I’ve only used traditional paste/cream/clay masks before that you apply with your fingers.  As you can see from the photo, the sheet mask was super easy to apply!  It had little precut eye/nose/mouth holes making application a snap.

Before application I washed and dried my face as usual and placed the unopened pack in a bowl of warm water to warm it up.  In the meantime, I could feel my skin tightening without my usual post-wash application of moisturizer.  However I didn’t have long to wait as soon it was warm and I carefully pulled out the mask and applied it to my face, tapping it down everywhere to make as much contact as possible.  I was happy to discover that it clung well to my face and did not require me to lie down/still to keep it in place (i.e. – perfect for catching up on your favorite shows on the sofa!).

Five minutes after application, my face felt cool and tingled slightly, but not unpleasantly. I waited the full 20 minutes and then removed the mask, spritzed once with rosewater (my favorite toner) and massaged the remaining mask liquid into my face and neck as suggested.  My face felt completely hydrated and a little plumped.  I could have skipped my nightly serum but I applied it as the packaging suggests. My face felt happy all evening.

The next day my skin still felt hydrated but I didn’t notice much difference in the clarity/brightening of my face, but a rep from the company told me they suggest you use it at least once a week for a month for full effects.  If nothing else it was a pleasant little in-home spa experience I’d be happy to try again.

Bakkshi Botanicals can be found at www.bakkshibotanicals.com (coming soon), or baksshi@gmail.com.

*Note: Product was supplied free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Fun with OPI Liquid Sand  <——————————————————————————

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

Liquid Sand is just one kind of the many textured polishes out there right now.  My favorite thing about textured polishes is that they are super-forgiving when it comes to touch ups, and therefore ideal for a pedicure, which you can keep looking fresh for up to 2 months, or however long you can tolerate your toenails to be!

Here I am mani-modeling OPI’s Magazine Cover Mouse – this was 2 coats over a clear base coat, and no top coat.  After a week it was still looking good but, getting bored (as I usually do), I decided to do some color blocking with 3 other Liquid Sands colors: OPI Jinx (orange on tips), OPI Alcatraz Rocks (blue) and OPI What Wizardy is This?(bronze). I think I liked it with the blue best, but making straight lines on textured polish is kind of rough (pun intended), so it’s a little messy, as you can see.  Fun to play around with though.

Color-blocking with textured polish

Color-blocking with textured polish

Is anyone planning any exciting Halloween manicures or pedicures? I’m going dark this week, as you will see in the next Health & Beauty Bytes.  I will also be dipping into the world of vitamins and minerals in that article – with some unfortunate side effects of prescription heartburn medicine, and easy ways to combat them that your doctor (most-likely) did not tell you about.  Until then…

Time for a Coffee,

Maddy