Makeup and Beauty Focus: Eyelashes

I am devastated by the sudden death of George Michael, one of my idols. I must distract myself with something amusing to take my mind off sad things. I am getting into makeup and fashion. Suddenly I am interested in mascara, eyelash curlers, and false eyelashes. I instantly go looking for a guide for beginners and I found this one. These are a makeup beauty focus that takes you beyond blush colors and types of lipstick. Most women limit themselves to a touch of foundation and a smear of lip color, but I think the eyes get short shrift. When you see before and after photos with and without eyelashes, it is amazing how good the model looks. Women say they worry about their eyelashes falling out with too much brittle mascara, but I know for a fact that the newest products are gentle and nourish these little cilia.

For everyday wear, mascara can be enough. If you like drama, two coats are requisite. But for really amazing results, put on a strip of eyelashes. If you don’t mind taking an hour to make yourself look good, you can apply the lashes one by one. That is a labor of love for sure. I stick with simple tricks and they work well enough. Maybe save the individual lashes for special events. If it is really a big deal like a wedding or special occasion, they can be professionally applied to last for up to two weeks. For some women, this is a requirement in their lives. More and more eyelash specialty salons are popping up.

If you are going to want to remove the lashes right away, get a good remover that is for sensitive eyes. You should worry about an allergic reaction to some products. I like the solutions that also nourish your natural lashes. You don’t want them to fall out because you are torturing them with too much adhesive glue. The glue is another story and must be the very best. Use only a product designed for false eyelashes. I made the mistake of using something sitting around in my bathroom and the next morning I unexpectedly awoke with raccoon eyes. What a disaster! I should have known better. Now I am in a position to give advice so I can tell you what I say is true from experience.

If you are having your picture taken to commemorate an event or to give to a loved one, false eyelashes will shift the focus nicely to your eyes. After all, they are the windows to the soul. Make them look deep, dark, and exotic with a simple strip of lashes. They will make you look very special. I personally like the glamour idea from time to time and not every day. Then when you wear the eyelashes, you will stand out. If you have a new outfit, power it up with the right makeup.

Take care of your eyelashes and they can be used more than once. Why not be economical if you can. If they start to stick together, toss them in the trash.

Getting Fit, Getting Equipped

There are big decisions to be made in life. They have to do with milestones like getting engaged, becoming married, having children, selecting and changing careers, traveling, relocating, and so on. On a smaller scale, there are decisions to be made in between that pertain to the quality of life. Not that mine isn’t good. It is. It’s just that I want it to be better.

So what did I decide to do for myself? It wasn’t to take a trip or a new job. It wasn’t to commit to someone new or move. It was the big mind-blowing decision to exercise on a regular routine basis – without fail and with specific goals in mind. It’s not about being fat or even a pinch overweight. It’s not about following a fad or doing something at the suggestion of a nagging mom. It is all about fitness and health in and for itself. It is about starting young to make sure it is easier later on when it really counts. It is about planning my life with some future orientation. Wow. That is so mature.

I know that young people, as we are called, don’t often think like this. I did read a few articles and I did start to ponder the subject of personal growth—a great euphemism. The next step was getting some good home gym equipment. (My gym is the spare room by the way but I like the idea of the name “home gym.”) I was very particular about what I acquired since the last time I did this a few years ago, it all ended up unpacked in the closet.

Some three to four years later, I am now equipped to get fit. I envy celebs with all that muscle tone and I know how much work it takes—and money if you want to hire a trainer. I am on my own, but I have some good examples to follow. I am not naïve. I know there is a certain regimen to it and you have to know how to use the simplest gear properly. You can’t just read the diagrams and go wild.

I am doing my homework to set forth a program tailored by me for me. I will involve some 8 pound weights, a set of the best resistance bands for stretching, a large plastic balance ball, and a yoga mat. A mini trampoline is flitting through my mind as are some boxing gloves just because they are so cool. So much can be done on the mat if you like the spare approach: sit ups, pushups, the plank, scissor kicks, and so on. I won’t run out of exercises on my bare bones fitness plan. I wish I had room for a treadmill. To me that is the ideal way to keep in shape and feel productive. Maybe some day.

Let me tell you that exercise gets addictive! I like to listen to some music and use the rhythm to set me on a course to my fitness destiny. I plan to keep toned and taut for all the world to see.

A Christmas Gift for Dad (but really for Mom)

It’s hard to find a novel Christmas gift for dad after you are done with ties, wallets, backpacks, shirts, and sweaters. If your father has a hobby or favorite sport, you are in luck. There are loads of golf gadgets not to mention football and baseball team gear and memorabilia. You can’t go wrong with a logo hoodie. Again, after you have saturated this category, you have to get more creative in the long run.

It’s a little easier to buy for moms who like cosmetics, perfume, candy, flowers, clothing, jewelry, and almost anything else. They are more sentimental and appreciate the gesture. You don’t have to rack your brain quite as much. But again, been there, done that. You could combine gifts one year and get something that is of value to both parents.

I have an idea for the upcoming season that is a bit different. I saw it on the Internet, although this is certainly nothing new, and it caught my eye. It is an electric power washer for home use. They make large, more costly units for commercial purposes, but there are some great light-weight, portable options for residential needs for a few hundred dollars. I don’t think people think of power washers as the ideal gift, but I definitely had a personal reason behind this choice.

Mom is always complaining about the outside pavers and driveway. The landscaping can be crisp and neat, the paint on the house pristine, but the rest looks a bit disheveled. She nags a lot about it but knows it is major toil and won’t go there personally to do something about it. I suggested the gardener, but she said “it’s not his job.” Why pay for something dad can do. Mmmm.

So I thought I would make this task more appealing. If dad got a power washer for the holidays, it would also be a gift for mom, who would reap the benefits more than he in actuality. Since he hasn’t addressed the problem as yet, no doubt he doesn’t much care. The property looks lived in, so he says. What an excuse. I have to give it to him!

Will he use the pressure washer? If he cares about my feelings, he will. I found the best electric pressure washer I could online. I expect same day attention to the matter. He will have to test it out right away with mom spying quietly through the kitchen window. I will be out there cheering him on. I think he might get into all the gadgets like brushes, hoses, and nozzles. I will be sure the spray is adjustable in case he wants to tackle the car—or maybe the filthy dog. I will read up ahead of time and position myself as coach. That should go over well! It will be a true father/daughter enterprise. I might start a new tradition.

So consider this suggestion yourself if you are stymied at gift-giving time and have exhausted all possibilities. Set a budget and you will find a suitable item. Almost everyone has a task that can use the device for cleaning assistance.

My Mom and Grandma Used to Sew

I am not much good at it, but mom and grandma were whizzes at sewing and all things handmade. Mom used to tell me that nana used to make a lot of her dresses when she was little, which was what she wore in school most of the time. She would get very creative by adding embroidering, trim, and appliques. They were little gems from what I can see in old photos. As she got older, the skill was passed on and mom would fashion great tops and jackets to pair with her jeans (store bought of course). She had dozens of them. She would fold and stack them in the cupboard—neat as a pin. She could even make a scarf with rolled edges.

I did not inherit this sewing gene; and from what I can tell, it is a good one to have. I don’t even have the fashion habit. Throw on what’s lying on the chair and I’m gone. But I do have great admiration for what these two were able to achieve however. They looked good, saved money, and got lots of kudos to boot. Clothing, especially imported, is very, very costly. Just a simple silk blouse can cost a couple hundred dollars.

Grandma had this old Singer without many bells and whistles. It did the basic work of seaming, buttonholes, reverse stitching, and even zigzags. You could make a few adjustments manually. Mom was pretty excited about her state-of-the art Brother with a computer inside that could produce dozens of options within seconds. It was easy to change the size of the stitch, adapt for stretch fabrics, and create super cool designs. She often made baby clothes for relatives that were first rate. One pleated two-year old dress with collar can set you back $100. People really looked forward to her birthday gifts.

Christmas was another world altogether. Of course, we had home-made stockings and special hand-knit sweaters. But the crochet table cloth with holiday flowers was just stunning—and with matching napkins! Way beyond the simple doily phase many women acquire. Easter outfits were no problem and Halloween was a fun challenge each year. Winning the best costume prize in school was a no brainer.

After looking at a few sewing blogs like She Likes to Sew, I’ve been thinking about taking it up as a hobby too, and see whether I am actually any good at it. I doubt that I’ll ever be as good as grandma though. She could even make sequined evening clothes like a veritable professional seamstress. One by one those little circles get applied with painstaking love. I wish I had an occasion to wear one! Mom wore a pretty strapless silk ankle-length beauty for her high school prom fashioned by this couture genius. It was right in style, not retro, and very sexy.

So I have some pretty nice memories associated with sewing. At this moment, the subject is nostalgic since I have not ventured a stitch; but the more I think about it, the more it starts to do its magic. I have been looking at photos online of recent runway shows and have made a few notes that just might come to fruition in the near future—with mom’s help of course.

Toilet Miracle

Miracles should happen in exotic places, maybe while traveling and visiting a foreign land or a city like Jerusalem. They don’t happen in fast food joints while looking at a cheese burger or a movie theater bathroom wall. I don’t care how many people think they have seen the head of Christ in a tree, and it seems like there have been one to many.

I just don’t expect miracles anywhere. Why would they happen to some average guy, or even me. Well guess what? Believe it, one did.

I go about my daily life, sometimes in a fog when things get routine enough (except maybe driving the car). I don’t always pay attention to every little thing. No one can. The brain filters out most stimuli anyway. If you do notice something, it stands out for some big reason—a special smile on my mother’s face when she gets the perfect birthday gift or the sudden exquisite appearance of a rainbow. How about the first blooms of spring or morning dew on a new rose?

You can imagine my surprise when my “miracle” happened in the toilet – at home in my own environs. How mundane, ordinary, and just plain amazing it was. I would Rate My Toilet experience as a divine miracle – I was primping for a while in the bathroom one morning and approached the bowl with the usual mindlessness. Expecting it to be clean, I was aggravated to see a rather large wad of paper floating inside. The swirling finally stopped as I stood aghast. There was the face of Sean Connery in all his manly Scottish glory. Don’t ask how I knew. It was Sean, that’s it. I stared and stared and he didn’t depart. (Don’t ask if it was the bald version.)

I got a little panicky and flushed. As much as I adore him and love his looks, I don’t want him staring up at me from the privacy of my own toilet. It is not a celebrity experience I crave. I don’t want to see anyone or anything: male, female, young or old, animal, vegetable or mineral.

So who left this lovely legacy? I was alone. No friends had been in the house. No family had visited. Did that make it more of a miracle? Can I be sure I had not done the deed? These are questions not worth asking. You don’t need credit for weird things, but you do get a bit curious. It’s not a matter of “who done it” but why you think Sean Connery is even there. (I think I see too many photos of him on the Internet…or something.) I put back the DVD I was going to view that night, reserved for a calmer day.

So a word to the wise. Don’t look in your toilet. If you glimpse a bit of paper, or whatever, flush it fast and go on with your life. You don’t want visitors from beyond, images of the surreal, phantoms of non-reality. They may seem like miracles, but they are not! Get a grip and get a life.

Showering into Adulthood

We all get a bit nostalgic now and then. I was watching a TV movie about a mother and daughter whose lifelong bickering wasn’t resolved until the latter was in her late 20’s. This kind of rang a bell with me and I started to remember some very good times (and a few bad). Mostly my thoughts were a paean to youth and what life was like when I was still in the parental embrace. Or cocoon I should say. You don’t miss it until it’s gone.

Moving out was dramatic for sure. It was a landmark point in my life and the beginning of true independence. Young adults make more out of it than it merits. Freedom at last! It was pretty heady stuff given the arguments and ersatz fights that defined my teen years. (Nothing special, typical of the nature of the beast.) Now in retrospect, I can admit that I miss those home cooked meals, a nice clean bedroom, loving listeners whenever I needed it, and a friendly canine greeting whenever I returned home. You don’t realize how charmed life is as an adolescent. You need distance to see it in its true surreal perspective. (Having your laundry washed and folded, and placed neatly on your bed. Aah!)

My apartment isn’t bad, but it isn’t like the abode of my childhood. In fact, my parents had just done some remodeling when I was fifteen and I got a brand new bathroom. New toilet, sink, tile décor: the works. They even let me choose my showerhead thinking this was a safe enough project for a flighty female. And choose I did. I had to visit at least ten hardware stores and high-end appliance outlets before committing. It took weeks. Why? Because I had no idea how complicated this decision was going to be.

First, what finish: chrome or brass, shiny or matte? The look: ultra-modern, space age, traditional, faux antique? Did I want to conserve water, make soft water, have a million choices of sprays, and/or a twist neck design? Whew! It was too much for a girl who couldn’t decide what lipstick to wear that day. I found out about flow, temperature settings, ease of manipulation, height requirements, hand-held models, and lots more. It all became so important! After all, it is very important for a girl to have A Great Shower!

Actually, I was pretty proud of myself when my pride and joy choice from Kohler arrived for installation. It was a mid-range product, but the best rain shower head that I could get with the budget that my parents had allocated me. It was befitting our nice middle class suburban bungalow but good enough to feature everything a growing girl could want in a luxury shower. I would spent hours deluged by warm pelting water, listening to music, humming alone, and just being young and happy.

I think my parents instinctively knew that decision-making was maturity-making. Without risk, they gave me my first real adult contribution to the household. They set something in motion inside me that I will never forget. They said they agreed with my perfect choice–who knows. All in all, I was pretty proud of my entrance into adulthood.

Jessica Simpson – we’re waiting…

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Debbie at Home…….

Jessica is due to get/supposed to get married this year is still going on and after two kids maybe she shouldn’t.

She’s had many chances to tie the knot and hasn’t maybe it’s him or maybe it’s her. I think maybe she should stay single. She is making enough money now and she doesn’t have to worry about where the rent money is coming from like yours truly. But I really don’t care about her personnel life that much.

I like her music and I want to know if/when you is going to do another song.

My favorite is her music video “These Boots were Made for Walking” and that’s what I did about that time when I divorced my husband when I found he and ……….… were …..… You know the rest.

She hasn’t had an single out since 2010 and she had 2. Her Album release for that year was a compilation album. So what is she doing? It’s been 4 years and nada.

I sound like a disgruntled fan I know but…I miss her voice.

She is such a talent, business, Singing, Movies and TV.

Her album “In This Skin” one of my favorites and I wore out one CD and had to buy another (actually I scratched it). I’ve since downloaded it and I listen to it at work as part of my stress release during lunch where I do Yoga and listen to some music and calm myself before the afternoon rush at the office.

She has done so much since she first hit the world spotlight in 1999.

From the Dukes of Hazard to feature Films. Dukes which was is a favorite of both my daughter and I could still be seen on TV up till 2010 then it was renewed in 2012 and again this year on CMT which is where you can still see it and some of Jessica’s Country music videos she made after her switch to country music in 2009.

I like country and CMT is where it’s at.

So, I sometime look at her fashions and a perfume. Though, it is more for my daughter than for me. I read her perfume empire alone is worth a billion dollars. Wow, that’s a lot of perfume to sell.

My daughter has a bottle of “Fancy Nights” Which I snitch a dab or two before I go to work sometimes.

I am not that old and I do look good in boots or heels.

Her website seems to be just showing screensaver images and a note saying a new one will be up soon. So if you want any current info, you have to go follow her on Twitter.

She did some “Employee of the Month” which reminded me of some of the antics that goes on around at my office.

So, Jessica When are you going to do something? Get married, another song, movie or TV series? Or are you just going to leave us out here hanging and waiting?

Debbie XOXOXO

When I’m in a bad mood I…

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Debbie at the Office……..

I am just so pissed today. Some reports and presentation material got fouled up at the printer and now we are scrambling to meet a 5 pm deadline.

When I am in a bad mood like this I have to step back take a deep breath and same my mantra “We will get through this” over and over.

It worked pretty well today; I didn’t snap anyone’s head off at the printers.

I also have a good supply of calming tea blends like green tea and chamomile tea. Trust me they work or maybe it’s the art of, and time spent, making the tea that has the calming effect.

At lunch I practice Yoga and meditation and for the last few months I’ve been doing Nishino breathing which one of our Japanese sales reps taught me when she came into town for one of our yearly meetings.

I like the Kriya Yoga system and the idea of developing my Kundalini energy is a fascinating goal and I feel better. For my mediation I practice Yantra mediation and I have the Sri Yantra on my wall and I slow my breathing and stand sit on the floor and practice the sitting form of Nishino breathing and after a few minutes I feel refreshed and ready to open my door and face the rest of the office.

I also sometimes listen to special music by Steve Halpren or Michael Bolton and Jessica Simpson. I also have some rock music if I want to get more upbeat.

When I am uptight at home I curl up with a galleon of Hagen-Daz Rocky Road. Maria my daughter often comes down from her room and we can finish it together in an evening.

After work on Thursdays I go to the gym for a Pilates work out. I prefer the mat exercises as I don’t have all the paraphernalia at home just a small meditation rug and a yoga mat.

On Saturdays I go to practice Aikido and I am almost ready to take my Brown belt examination. I don’t do it for self defense or anything I do it because I like to feel the movement and the joy of working out in a fast yet calm manner.

My Sensei says I am making good progress and in a year or so will be able to go for my Black belt.
My daughter is thinking about taking it up too. But, time will tell.

If I’ve had a really bad day Maria and I eat out and the local Thai restaurant where we pig out on the appetizers like Crab Rangoon and the Thai spring rolls before diving into some spicy curry and Tom Yum Goog (Hot and Sour Soup).

I love the Thai Iced Coffee. but it keeps me up at night. So Maria and I curl up and watch old Black and White Bogie flicks like “Casablanca” or “To Have and Have Not” or my personal favorite “Key Largo”.

Debbie XOXOXO

Michael Bolton – Oh Yeah!

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Debbie at the office………

Last time I talked about one of my favorite Artists. This morning I was thinking about another on the train going in to work. I am on my lunch hour. Michael Bolton is another favorite of mine. My daughter doesn’t like him. But then we seldom see eye to eye on anything except clothes and food.

I heard Michael Bolton was over in Azerbaijan, which is in Asia. He is giving concerts there. I haven’t seen When is will be touring again But he is releasing a new album in May. I can hardly wait. I have preordered it on CD from Amazon and if you want information on it or where Mike is you can go to his website at: http://www.michaelbolton.com/

The name of the new album is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Which I recall is the name of a song by Aretha Franklin done in the 60’s.

My daughter thinks my taste in music “sucks” a direct quote I might add.

Mike is another singer who started in the 70’s and made the transition form Heavy Metal to contemporary and easy Listening where he has been a mainstay there for years.

He’s released 19 Albums and 35 Singles Which shows he’s always working on new projects.

In the last 10 years or so he’s released 9 Albums. Which is about one every year to year and a half.

Plus he travels all over the world giving concerts when he’s not writing music for himself and others he’s in the studio. He still finds time to be with his daughter.

He has worked many other vocalists and his Charity work is known worldwide. I think that’s why I like him so much, he is so versatile and his voice no one else has that. And My favorite song “When A Man Loves A Woman” need I say more.

He is going out on tour this year and maybe if I can get the time I will try and take some time off and go to one of his concerts. Maybe I can convince my daughter Maria to go to(Especially if I spring for the tickets).

We may rent a van and make it a summer getaway and go to Georgia I have some cousins down that way and Peachtree is in the south metro area of Atlanta which is a beautiful city with some great restaurants and of course shopping.

I haven’t been there in years. Last time was for a business convention in 2006. I toured Ted Turner’s CNN headquarters. which is owned by AOL now and after Time Warner dumped him in around before they merged with AOL in 2000.

But, Michael will be performing in July and I will see if I can get tickets and see if Maria wants to go.

I think it would be good to get away from the city for a while and maybe try to do a little bonding, as I know I am not at home as much as I like and it’s hard on her.

We’ll see what happens……

Debbie XOXOXO

George Michael – Wake Me Up!

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Debbie from the office.

Last night the Rockumentry “A Different Story” was the life story of one of my favorite male singers, George Michael. My daughter Marie heard the music and came down and for one we didn’t argue or disagree.
She actually got into it. I am glad I have a collection of vinyl albums. I know that is passé in today’s DVD/MP3 and download it to your iPad or smartphone. I am a purist I think the old way of listening to records and they put out better sound than digital. Personal taste or good ears I think I have both.
So I guess I can safely leave them to my daughter and she will continue to enjoy them and not sell them at the flea market.

My favorite Album “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1”. George has a new album CD out called “SYMPHONICA” and it is for his 2011-2012 tour. If you want to find out where he is going to be doing next go to http://www.georgemichael.com/ and you can find where he will be appearing. His web site was shut down for a while and there were rumors he was going to retire. I guess there is a method to his madness.

Has it been 30 years I start listening when I was..… Well I was much younger than I am now.
He started recording songs back after the Disco craze in the 70’s. (Before you ask NO I am not that old). I started listening back in the early 90’s. By then he was already the hottest thing around. I missed out on his Wham years. in the late 80’s. Though later I bought them for my collection.
Like I said my favorite album is ” Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1″. But, my favorite song is “Don’t let the Sun go down on me” The duet version he sang with Elton John in 1991 I was still in braces but I loved that song.

I still bought his albums during his problem years problems with both drugs and his public sex scandals. They didn’t bother me then or now for that matter either. Now with same sex marriage being legalized all over being gay doesn’t bring on the stigma it once did.

I thought his career was coming to an end when in 2011 his health started going downhill. Everyone was thinking AIDS and this is the end.
But, he made it through it. Viral Pneumonia is no joke.

In 2013 he suffered a head injury after being thrown from his car. That is why when the red curtain was on his website I thought this was finally the end.

But you can’t keep a great singer down and now he is on he just had a new video out and new concert documentary “George Michael At The Palais Gamier Paris” is being aired on AXS TV.

So, scandals, drug problems, pneumonia and car accidents can’t keep George Michael down. He keeps rising to the occasion. That’s probably why he is still one of my favorite singers. We could all learn from his example.

Debbie XOXOXO

My name is Debbie and I still love Sean.

SirSeanConnery

Sean Connery may be retired now but I still remember him as Bond. When I was a teen I used to think one day I would be a Bond girl. Not so much because they were James’ girlfriends. Every girl who was in a bond flick became world famous and their careers took off. I wanted that more than having said I was in a bond flick.

Not that playing opposite him wouldn’t be divine and all. His Scottish accent still gives me shivers when I hear it when they have one of his movies on cable. That face and especially his eyes.

I am afraid I was more pragmatic and would be in it for the boost to my career would get.
But is nice to dream once in awhile what might have been. Since I have to work my you know what off every day at an office. Yep I am not an actress or glamorous. I am an office manager. A pretty good one at that.

I am a divorced single mom with a daughter in High school and I hope she’s not reading this and seeing how silly here mom is.

I have his website in saved in my web browser’s favourites and I check it every few weeks to see what’s up. Try http://www.seanconnery.com/ and see what he has to say. The artwork on display at the site is done by his wife Micheline. I am sorry too girls he’s married. Had to be.

Born in 1930 and left school at and early age to work to help make ends meet for his family as the eldest of 3 sons. He really was in the Navy he went in at 16. He even got two tattoos to prove it. One says Mom and Dad and the other says Scotland Forever.

His career only lasted 3 years before an ulcer got him out. He went through many menial jobs but he always stuck with his hobby he was fascinated by bodybuilding and finally placed 3rd in the 1958 Mr. Universe.

He spent 8 years doing modeling and even was in a chorus line until his big break staring opposite Lana Turner in “Another Time Another Place” in 1958. I know because I have a copy.

It took another 4 years before he landed the role we all know and love. The boys love Bond because of the guns, gadgets, and girls, me because of the brogue and the bedroom eyes.

Of his non-Bond movies I think I like “Rising Sun” with Wesley Snipes where he played a police consultant and a master of Japanese culture and politics who did have to carry a gun to get things done.

He used diplomacy and his head and was always ahead of his Kohei Wesley.
But, one of his favorite roles was that of the troubled detective in “The Offense”

I think He did the Indiana Jones movie more for fun and I think he had a great time doing them.

At 60 years he was voted the world’s sexiest man in the world and at 83 to me he still is.

Debbie XOXOXO