29 February 2008

Fighting the Frump for Fat Girls - Exfoliating and Moisturizing

Pull up a chair and have a seat, ladies. Today we are going to talk about skin. Fat girls not only have more of it, but glowing skin is certainly an area in which we can excel! (Did you know that many of the advertising close-up head shots you see for cosmetics are of plus size models? Probably because we don't look like our cheeks are sinking like the Titanic)

First of all, you need to stay hydrated. Drink your water. Don't whine about it. Don't wait until you are thirsty. By the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Steer clear of too much caffeine and it is no surprise to anyone that smoking is bad for your skin, is it?

Get your sleep. It's not called beauty sleep for nothing. Don't make excuses. Turn of the damn TV 15 minutes earlier each night until you have added an extra hour. Trust me - you need it. AND you deserve it.

Moisturize and exfoliate. Regularly. Daily if at all possible. One super fun way to do that is to use a scrub. By scrubbing off the top layer of dead skin cells your skin will feel smoother, your moisturizer will penetrate easier and you will help prevent annoying ingrown hairs and body breakouts. The act of rubbing in circular motions, towards the heart also increases circulation. Scrubs come in so many wonderful yummy smells or you can make your own! Now - I have not done this yet, but I have been gifted with some very nice homemade scrubs. I think we should all give it the ol' college try. What do you think?

You need to choose your exfoliant first - you can use sugar (any kind), salt (again - any kind) or even coffee. Interestingly enough, Coffee is granular and feels nice on the skin but the caffeine has added benefits. Apparently the caffeine is bad for skin when taken internally, but when used topically it is a whole different ballgame! Applied topically coffee helps to redistribute fat cells and decrease the formation of cellulite. It also acts as a vasorestrictor, tightening and shrinking blood vessels thereby helping eliminate varicose veins.

Then you need to choose your moisturizer - (use enough to make a slushy type consistency). You can use something as ordinary as olive oil or vegetable oil or you can go nuts and use jojoba oil, safflower oil, apricot kernel oil or grapeseed oil. I have read, however, that mineral oil and baby oil will clog your pores so you probably want to avoid that.

If you are so inclined you can add essential oils, but they are not necessary to achieve the smooth, cleansed, soft luscious skin we are looking for here. In the shower, you need only apply to skin and gently rub in - then rinse. This is just a wonderful treat for your skin and you will be well on your way to showing the world what a goddess you really are.

So, Ladies - please give a scrub a try and let us know if you stumble on a combination that is amazing or if you buy one that is a favorite!

Shannon Marie shows us what a beautiful peaches and cream complexion can do for us:

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28 February 2008

Exiled Wysteria

This week's Poetry Stretch from Miss Rumphius Effect asks us to compose an apostrophe. I decided to write about our very aggressive wysteria that plagued our flower beds in spite of its beauty - I have often referred to it as simply "The Diva" - so it seemed appropriate to have her be the subject of a poem...

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Exiled Wysteria

Oh, winsome wysteria -
So beautiful in bloom,
Diva of the garden,
You must have your way.

Those around you
Are weaker, somehow less
And your long tendrils
Choke the life from their limbs.

We exile you
Away from them all.
You fight us along the way,
Gripping tightly to the soil.

In the end, we win.
Your new home alone, along the fence
Awaits your tender blooms
To cover its stark,industrial self.

27 February 2008

Welcome to Well-Versed Wednesday!

This week I am going to start a new feature called "Well-Versed Wednesday". Each week I will post three words and I would like you to please comment using one, two or all three of the words! Be creative!

Where will I get my words? I am so glad you asked! Each week my son's second grade teacher gives three additional spelling words that are very advanced for them (sometimes they are advanced for me too)- just to challenge the students and expose them to words they aren't likely to encounter in typical second grade lit. (They are extra credit). So - for now, I shall use Mr. Moore's challenge words.

Here are this week's words: monotonous, humanitarian, awkwardly

I Love BJ's!

Not THAT kind of BJ you pervs. The store... And I finally figured out why. It is the feeling of abundance you have when you come home. You are the Queen (or King) of the universe... You look over the counter and say "I have more raisins than any person will ever need!" and "What's that? You need a tissue? I have 18 boxes! Help yourself!" It is a wonderful feeling.

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I went this past weekend to buy ingredients to make a sweet snack mix... you can read more about that folly here (click)...

24 February 2008

Happy Cows come from California?

Okay - I finally understand the official reason behind this recall. Supposedly, if a cow is to weak to walk to its death (down a narrow shoot to a "kill box") the slautherhouse is not to force the animal - they are to get an inspector who may say the cow can not be used for meat. Apparently the weakest cows are the ones most subject to eColi and other disease - making them dangerous for human consumption. You can read more about the undercover investigation of the Humane Society here (click).

The thing is - aren't slaughterhouses by nature, cruel? At the end of the day - the animal ends up - well - dead, right? Sounds pretty cruel to me. They have caught these folks in the act - doing probably what all slaughterhouses do. I am sure at some point they have all poked and prodded a weak animal to its death - after all - that is quicker and more efficient than calling the inspector, right?

Look - it is no secret. I don't eat beef. I don't eat pork. I would like to claim that the reason is because of this sort of bullshit that goes on behind the scenes, but the truth is I just can't digest it. I still eat chicken and fish. It is just easier to get protein that way. I will say that coming in Summer of 2008 is Meat-free Mondays here in our house. Like it or not - those who eat at my counter will not be having meat on Mondays.

I'm upset about this whole situation but feel like a colossal hypocrite at the same time. I want to work harder to get meat out of my diet. I can tell you that aside from chicken nuggets, William rarely eats meat. He doesn't even like it. He eats veggie burgers with me when the others have hamburgers here, So it will probably be William and me going veg...

23 February 2008

Snow Day Cake

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William and I decided to make a snow day cake yesterday, instead of cookies. Turned out reasonably well - too bad I don't have a cake saver. The leftover cake resides in the microwave. (William, who is a huge fan of the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" said to me the other day "Hey, Mike Rowe... wave! - Get it mom??? Mike Rowe... wave???" Where DOES he get this stuff?? LOL...

22 February 2008

Fighting the Frump - For Fat Girls

Okay - I am going to "go there". There being, of course, down the body-positive path. Let's get something straight. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. In any one woman's lifetime she may be asked to embrace a few different sized versions of her - the important thing to remember is that they are all her!! Special, unique and beautiful.

I came to the realization not all that long ago that what I have right now, may just be as good as it is going to get. And you know what? That is okay. It really really is. I am healthy. I am strong. I don't fit into any nice neat little weight charts, but guess what? I no longer care! I want to take the me I am right now and package it as well as I can. And THAT is the focus of this blog post.

Even if you want to lose weight (hey - you want to fight the fight - go for it - I am over it, but you may still want in on all of that) you should do everything you can to pamper the body you have right now. None of this "I have to lose five more pounds" B.S. Listen up... if you do not like your body, you will only struggle to take good care of it. Did you hear me?? It is critical to your mission to take good care of what you have right now! No delays! This means manicures, pedicures, daily make-up - all of it! DOn't read these frump-fighting posts and think you are off the hook until you loose ten more pounds - no ma'am! As a matter of fact I believe it to be even more critical for those of us more zaftique women to look our best. Face it - if you are a perky little size 6 you can get away with a sloppy t-shirt to run to the grocery store. If a fat girl tries to pull that stunt - well it doesn't bode well for her, does it?

So - do this. Go to your closet and find everything you have that fits you today. Right at this minute. Not things that are too baggy or too tight. Things that make you look like the goddess you are right now. Pull together one good outfit. Put some makeup on. Do your hair. See how you feel. If you can not find one outfit I want you to go buy one. Just one.

Need to learn more about how to dress your beautiful figure? Our friends at Igigi can help there - they have wonderful clothing too - check it out while you are there. is also great. Kiyonna, and old standbys such as Avenue and Lane Bryant.

Fighting the Frump for the Fat Girls... Be kind to your body, love what you have, be the best and most beautiful you you can be. Right NOW!

Come on - try it!

The lovely-as-always Barbara Brickner:
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Snow Day Rhyming Chant

JUST under the wire with this one! Newly inspired by our cold good fortune today! Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect asked us to write a rhyming chant this week...

Hmmmm - stumped I was until this morning... so here is my rhyming chant...

Snow Day

We got ourselves a snow day.
A cold-wind-doth-blow day.
A cheeks-all-aglow day.
A snowball to throw day.
Moving-snow-to-and-fro day.
Chocolate-chip-cookie-dough day.
A nowhere-else-to-go day.
We got ourselves a snow day!

Snow Day!

Well... it finally happened. We got a good old-fashioned snow day! No school - I am working from home today - Hot chocolate - homemade cookies later no doubt...

So I wanted to shovel a little before everything switches to slush and gets heavy. William fussed at me so much - HE wanted to shovel. I have to make a deal - I shovel out front, you shovel out back. Daddy will plow the driveway when he gets home. Trust me. I realize that I will no doubt have to beg him to help me shovel in a few years... so I thought I'd best let him have at it now...

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Here are some random pics from around our house... and yes. I am aware that the umbrella should have been brought inside. I think I am secretly hoping it is no good come spring so I can justify a new one? I don't know - lame - but, well - I have no excuse.

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21 February 2008

In need of some assistance -

Being culinarily challenged - I have to ask for some help with some rather uncooperative potato pancakes... Please visit Our Kitchen Klatch if you are willing to give it a go...

Never say never...

I always used to say - I will never make mashed potatoes from scratch - what a colossal waste of time!

WRONG - the last time I bought refrigerated mashed potatoes, the were not edible - they were icky and grainy and gross. I decided right then and there that I would make my own. Aside from the fact that I need a new peeler (I am thinking Pampered Chef, of course) it was not bad - even Ron liked them (he is the pickiest eater on EARTH). They were fluffy and yummy and CHEAP!! Hello!!!! SO very cheap - and made so many - we will have potato pancakes with supper tonight we had that many left!

My aunt used to tell me all the time I was crazy to buy mashed potatoes already made. I used to think the was crazy to bother to make them. I was wrong. She was right. If you love mashed potatoes like I do - it is definitely worth the effort!

19 February 2008

Chris Botti

Okay - for those of you who do not know this, my seven year old son has me hooked on Smooth Jazz. I am not entirely sure how it happened, but he loves wjjz and listens to it exclusively. Has for about two years now. Resistance to my son's charms is futile - eventually if you stick with him long enough his infectious enthusiasm will get to you.

Anywho - as a consequence to my new love for Smooth jazz, I have developed a bit of a "crush" on Chris Botti. Yes - he is easy on the eyes but "Looks don't concern me, Maestro. Only talent interests a woman of taste. " (Spontaneous movie quote - anyone care to guess??)

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I especially love "Venice" from his new album "Italia". This music just seems to pour from his heart - his trumpet is truly his voice and it is just amazing when you really listen how you can hear sentiments without words. I strongly recommend you give it a listen! If you are local to me, you may want to switch your radio dial to 97.5 once in a while - or log on to their site...

18 February 2008

You remind me of... well... ME!

The social scientist in me finds the concept of social mimicry fascinating. This article in the New York Times talks about the use of mimicry to persuade another to, say, try a new product. This is something sales people seem to instinctively know - and it makes me wonder how many times I have been so easily "played".

Psychologists have been studying the art of persuasion for nearly a century, analyzing activities like political propaganda, television campaigns and door-to-door sales. Many factors influence people’s susceptibility to an appeal, studies suggest, including their perception of how exclusive an opportunity is and whether their neighbors are buying it.

Most people are also strongly sensitive to rapport, to charm, to the social music in the person making the pitch. In recent years, researchers have begun to decode the unspoken, subtle elements that come into play when people click.

They have found that immediate social bonding between strangers is highly dependent on mimicry, a synchronized and usually unconscious give and take of words and gestures that creates a current of good will between two people.

By understanding exactly how this process works, researchers say, people can better catch themselves when falling for an artful pitch, and even sharpen their own social skills in ways they may not have tried before.

I think I will have to be more alert to this practice in the future - but I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be trying it out the next time I am trying to convince someone to see something from my point of view... What about you??

17 February 2008

Fighting the Frump

FussyPants talks a bit about not allowing ourselves to fall into that trap where we look like the next best candidate for "What Not To Wear". Oddly enough, along those lines I went for a stroll around Kohls yesterday and found some great stuff! Such good deals there too - if you haven't been lately - go now - HUGE sales!

I bought a sharp little jacket that regularly sold for $42 for $9! This is a beige corduroy jacket that is fitted and fits me very VERY nicely. I also bought two tops with an empire waist (probably the best look for me) for $3.80 each - these tops listed for $40 each originally. THAT, my friends, is just good shopping!

Fighting the Frump doesn't have to be pricey! You just have to learn what looks good on you and search for those styles on pretty much every sale rack you can find... If you look pulled together you will ACT pull together - and you will FEEL pulled together and confidant.

And THAT is a good thing, Ladies. A very good thing...

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By daisybugnj

Down with Plastic Bags...

I am trying to do what I can to be kind to our planet. One thing that I have done is purchase reusable bags to use instead of plastic grocery bags. I have done so only after extensive research - naturally. So - I believe I have found the ideal bag. Now, understand this: these bags are NOT the cheapest. But the have some excellent features which I think make them worth the money.

First - they fold into a little tiny square when not in use. This allows me to keep one in my purse at all times - I can use the bags at convenience stores too because there is always one available to me. I love this!
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Second - they are designed to fit over the bag rack at grocery stores - this makes them extremely easy to load.

Third - they are strong. Really strong. You can fit more in these bags than you can in plastic bags - and while one would assume that you could over-pack them, make them too heavy - they are astonishingly comfortable to carry, so they don't seem so heavy, This one, I can't explain - you would have to try them yourself and see.

Fourth - you can wash them. If they get icky - you can just throw it in the wash. So far, not relevant but in this house it is only a matter of time.

So far - since receiving them on Wednesday - we have avoided briging 12 plastic bags into this house. He even used them when we went to Kohls!

I ordered mine from, they are ACME bags (not THAT Acme, LOL). And come in three colors!

16 February 2008

Photo Booth Fun!

William and I have been playing with Photo Booth again (Such a fun program this is! Apologies to windoze users who read here - it is a MAC-ONLY application!)

If you have some Photo Booth Pics that you would like to share, we'd sure love to see them! Post them on YOUR blog and link it here, in a comment! I will post your link riiiight here!

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Recipe Blog...

Wanna help??

I thought I would start a blog in order to share recipes with friends... If anyone wants in, let me know - I will make you a co-author.

For now, I have entered my first recipe: Baked Grapefruit (click)

Sum it up - in six words... one sentence.

This week's Weekend Wordsmith challenges us t write a six-word memoir. So - I shall share with you what I have always believed best describes the way things work in my universe... It fits here perfectly.

"Two steps forward, one step back."

This is not actually a negative sentiment. It expresses that things are always challenging for me. And I wouldn't have it any other way. If everything came easily, I might not have a full appreciation for what I achieve.

15 February 2008

Crash and Burn

Okay - here is the thing. I am NOT a night person. When something in my schedule makes a demand of me in the evening/night hours I have to do something to help myself along. Usually that is a SMALL SF RedBull.

Last night was Bunco Night. There were no SF RedBulls at the mini mart where I ordered supper (Old Nelson's for anyone local to me - WONDERFUL sandwiches etc! I hightly recommend it!) so I grabbed a diet Rockstar. Woah. BIG mistake.

I drank it fast, first of all and immediately felt almost buzzed. That did wear off pretty quickly, but then my heart raced and felt all fluttery. This uncomfortable sensation lasted pretty much all night.

I got home late - about 11:15 (my bed time is 11:00, although I am usually asleep on the couch by 9:30 or so). We went straight to bed. And in spite of feeling absolutely whipped, I could not fall asleep. I tried breathing, I tried lying perfectly still, I repositioned, I put in earplugs. Everything I could think off. It took a very VERY long time but I did eventually fall asleep only to have the weirdest damn dreams.

I think that I have had my last energy drink. I don't know why it affected me so strongly, but I don't like how I felt. I have even less appreciation for how I am feeling today. I am just exhausted and uber-crabby.

RedBull. RockStar. Just say no.

14 February 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing all my friends a very happy Valentine's Day! I received a box of candy and a card from the guys at work yesterday. That sure was nice. Ron and I are going out to eat on Saturday.

Do you have any special plans for V-Day? Anything nice or special happen to you? Share!

13 February 2008

Glimpse of Stillness

The Poetry Stretch at Miss Rumphius Effect asks us to use metaphor in a poem this week. Here is my stab at it:

Glimpse of Stillness

The eyes - a window to the soul,
A calm dark sea, still and strong.
Your mystery envelops me,
A warm blanket of calm.
I am safe.
Feeling still.

11 February 2008

Can you see it?!?!

Can you?? The days are getting longer and longer - spring is coming!!! I KNOW it is wicked cold here in the Garden State today - but I assure you... spring IS coming!!

Oh! A little late!

I meant to post this for the Lunar New Year and I forgot! Have a fortune to welcome in the year of the Rat!

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09 February 2008

A Cabinet Full...

Of Girl Scout Cookies.

Why? Why oh WHY must these cookies haunt me? It is the weirdest thing - I really don't have that big of a sweet tooth - my biggest temptation is any kind of potato: French Fries ad Mashed Potatoes right at the top of that list. But there is something about a box of Caramel Delights that just calls my name... like a beautiful Siren, I can hear them from all the way in the basement. How rude of them to disturb me while I practice Tai Chi!

Ron knows - only buy me one box. I must make them last. They have been here two weeks now and I still have one row left - then no more until next year. This is the deal I cut with myself. So I savor them. I eat only one at a time - one maybe every other day - but sometimes I just open the box for a sniff.

Does this make me crazy?

07 February 2008

Election day at school

I spent the day on Tuesday at my son's school. The whole day - directing voters to the proper location to vote. I ended up there because I have a big mouth. I was upset that school was open on election day - I called the superintendent of schools who is a very kind man and always so concerned about safety. I expressed to him how odd I thought it was to just leave the doors wide open when we are always getting letters from him about the perils of basically everything.

I pressed him - what plans did he have in place to ensure me that my son would be safe that day? He mentioned that they had tried to move the voting locations but the township wouldn't have any of it. He mentioned that the police were not sure they could man the schools the entire day. I said to him is it a hollow gesture for the officers to bring pizzas to the kids and talk to them about drugs if they aren't even willing to ensure their safety for one day. So - everyone started talking some more and the police were there all day - and in order to be part of the solution and not part of the problem I put my money where my mouth is and volunteered to do whatever they needed me to do that day.

So, I spent that day stationed in the main hall, along with three different police officers who rotated shifts to alleviate boredom. We directed voters and kept anyone from straying. The day went without incident. And while it is fair to say that it likely would have gone that way without us there, well - true. But I am happy that we didn't have to risk it. Everyone did the right thing that day to make sure those kids were safe.

It is really sad that we have to live like that - always worrying - but it is a fact so as parents, we worry. We act. We do whatever we need to do to protect our children. It feels good when we have the community support we need - like that of the police officers. To me - that was a day well-spent.

03 February 2008

No Movement.

The prompt this weekend fromWeekend Wordsmith was "A car breaks down. Here is what I came up with:

No Movement

It's more personal than it should be.
This hunk of metal and rubber on the side of the road.
Steam billowing like an old freight train - only -
No movement.

A source of self-identification, pride
This hunk of metal and rubber on the side of the road.
Remembering how cool you felt before...
No movement.

The key of course is to not care about
This hunk of metal and rubber on the side of the road.
Enjoying instead a disimpassioned response to
No movement.

Your friends will tell you what you should have bought instead of
This hunk of metal and rubber on the side of the road.
And you will have to listen with feigned interest and
No movement.