Curiosity got the best of me this morning. I simply HAD to do some Facebook stalking of some very nasty family members (related by marriage, not blood, thank God)! Just the thought of these “meanies” can reduce me to tears. It really is true what they say: mean people actually do suck!
What shocked me was that there was nothing on their updates about anyone else. Every update—for months—was about only THEM. Specifically, how they were smarter/better/more educated than every other person they met. I shook my head, grateful that there were no nasty posts about me (yes, that has happened in the past), and it just hit me: it’s all about them.
What’s all about them? Well, everything. Just ask them! While I worry and wonder about my family and the world and people and especially homeless puppies and kittens and old friends and the greater universe as we know it and, just everything and everyone, these people think only of themselves. I’m not even sure how to do that, and I don’t think I want to learn.
It reminds me SO much of my short-lived first marriage to a very nasty and troubled guy. I spent years thinking things were “my fault” (as in, he kicked my little dog down the back steps, but that must have been “my fault”; he cheated, but clearly that was “my fault”, if only I’d been thinner, prettier, made more money, “better” somehow—then I would have been worthy of his love). I know exactly how I came up with these ridiculous thoughts, because these are the exact things he said to me; but, why did I listen and accept it as my personal truth? It seems crazy now. I remind myself of that when I think of the “meanies” and how they have hated me, seemingly from the very day they met me. I spent countless nights, endless bottles of Prosecco, and ridiculous amounts of my time feeling awful about it. I tried SO HARD to get them to like me—and now I realize: it’s not me. It was never me. It is THEM.
This is the path to self-love and forgiveness—this ability to see it for what it really is. Sure, I’ll always wish that my ex-husband marries someone “just like him” and/or contracts a nasty, incurable, sexually-transmitted disease, but that’s okay. It’s okay to not like mean people. What’s NOT okay is to let them rent space in my head. What’s NOT okay is to give them my power. Lest we never, ever forget how powerful we really are, ladies. At the end of the day, whether it’s a nasty ex or a nasty relation by marriage, one thing is for sure: WE ARE, and will always be, better than that.
Live well. Be fabulous!
After nearly twenty years of acrylic nails, I’ve finally done it: entered a self-imposed “nail rehab.” No more plastic extensions covered with toxic white powder and stinky “activator” liquid for me! I’ve stuck to nail rehab for three weeks now (nearly a lifetime for a fluff chick from the ’80’s like me)! I’ve been taking Biotin supplements daily and really trying to make it this time. I’m determined to reclaim my digits!
I keep thinking of the ridiculous nail salons I found all over the country, as I moved for work and immediately searched out a nail tech in my new town. There was the lady on the North side of Pittsburgh who smoked WHILE she did my nails. Sure, I was afraid of blowing up, but my nails looked great, so I prioritized, in that way that we all do in our twenties.
I had a favorite nail tech during the year I lived in Canton, Ohio. I walked into the salon one day and was told they fired her for “sanitary reasons.” I have no idea what that meant, but I never went back to that salon!
There was the extremely cool Vietnamese guy nail tech in New York. He dressed in a suit and flipped those acrylic brushes through his fingers like a magician! It was impressive, but (like all nail salons) just a little weird. He wanted to take me to dinner and wouldn’t take money for doing my nails. I finally gave him a twenty dollar bill and never went back! Sure, I loved my nails, but who wants to enter a life of acrylic nail prostitution? Not this girl!
Even the place I once frequented in Old Town Alexandria was odd, in its own way. My very talented and sweet Korean nail tech wore a surgical mask over her face with a drawing of Snoopy on it, and a caption that read (in what was apparently a poor attempt at English), “Soopy swet drems.” I took this to mean ”sweet dreams” because Snoopy appeared to be sleeping on his house in the drawing—but really, who can be sure?
Like Elaine from Seinfeld, I know darn well that they say crappy things about me in their native languages, but I always tip big, so I like to think that they primarily insult the cheap girls! (Denial: not just a river in Egypt, but a place I like to call home!)
My stubby, sad little natural nails (with hardly any nail bed left, given decades of abuse) taunt me with their current ugliness, but I am determined to keep taking my supplements and stick with it. I recently started seeing a manicurist at a local Aveda salon, and I have to admit that I feel like a princess when I’m getting my private mani/pedi with fabulous Aveda products (rather than dipping my toes into a practically public pedicure tub and having my manicure done by a woman wearing a mask and drilling on my nails with a Dremel drill)!
I wonder if men have any idea what we go through, and if they would have the guts to do it themselves? Yeah, right! “Soopy swet drems,” indeed!
“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” ~ Dom Perignon, at the moment he discovered champagne
December is one of my absolute favorite months. Glistening snow, holiday lights, decorations, shopping … more shopping! It’s all better in December! That said, I know it is a stressful time for many people. I keep reading these “ways to de-stress” articles, with suggestions like “waking up 3 hours early every morning to go jogging” or “not eating carbohydrates, sugar, or salt until the new year”—umm, sure—but … What can normal humans do to enjoy December? These are my favs (in no particular order of favoritism, as it varies depending on my current mood, clothing size, and happiness with my hair):
Prosecco: There is just something wonderful about having a bubbling glass of Italian Prosecco in your hand at the holidays! [I realized recently that I always capitalize the word Prosecco, and I’m alright with that. It must be capitalized. It means that much to me.] Don’t get me wrong: too much Prosecco leads to weight gain, acne, and a glut of poor choices (I mean, that’s what I’m told). A little bit of Prosecco, though—in my world at least—is a fabulous thing! That said, ALWAYS remember to never drink and drive—never, ever, ever. Take a cab, ruin your husband’s evening by forcing him to drive, or do what I do: walk! There are so many fabulous bars and restaurants in the Old Town Alexandria area; there is no reason to drive! (What’s that? You don’t live in the Old Town Alexandria area? By all means, abandon all else and move! It really is that great!)
Shopping: Shop locally, anytime you can. The Old Town Boutique District (http://oldtownboutiquedistrict.com) includes some of the most amazing little shops you will ever find! I like spending my money at small businesses when I can, and I think better service and supporting a person and a community over a discounted price is well worth it! Check out Zoe Boutique (130 South Union Street, http://shopatzoe.com) for amazingly gorgeous clothing and accessories! For those not living in the area, Zoe Boutique even offers online shopping via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shopatzoe! (Special Note: Zoe is hosting an AMDK Trunk Show on Saturday, December 8! More details at http://shopatzoe.com/2012/11/30/amdk-trunk-show/
Watching holiday movies with a good-looking man who treats you like you are a princess: Studies show that if you can pair this with Prosecco, you are already luckier than ¾ of the world’s population. (Okay, I just made that up—but really, count yourself lucky—I know I do!)
Pets (small dogs are preferable): I adore dressing my poodle and yorkiepoo in matching holiday sweaters and dresses each year. I suggest shopping for pet clothing on King Street at The Dog Park (705 King Street). While you’re in the area, do yourself a well-deserved favor and stop for a yummy snack and a latte at the wonderful Bittersweet Café (823 King Street, http://www.bittersweetcatering.com)!
Anything else that YOU like: What makes you happy? What eases your mind? Whatever crazy thing makes YOU feel good—do it! Life is too short. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Do it for you.
Today is day two of my official “break” from Facebook. (As many others have mentioned, I only wish I had thought of this before the election!) That said, now is better than never! I’ve heard of many people disconnecting—either for a weekend, the holiday season, or forever– and I never thought I would be one of them. Perhaps it is just due to the relative popularity of Facebook, but I find that it has been the breeding ground for (let me get technical here): bad ju-ju! People get nasty on there! I like to think that the Twitter world is nicer, because you have to be quite witty to make a quip in 140 characters or less! Anyone can write a long “Uni-bomber-esq” letter on a Facebook post, and I seem to be seeing more and more of them! No, thanks! I’ll take sharing pictures of pies and recipes and fashion on Pinterest over nasty diatribes on Facebook! At the end of the day, I think I realized what the real appeal of “Facebook detox” is: making a personal choice to be happy, walk happy, talk happy, and share my personal space (be it actual or virtual) with only those who bring value and happiness to my life. It took me a very long time to figure it out, but I’m so glad I did.
It’s holiday time in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and I love it! The trees along King Street are all lit at night and it never ceases to amaze me how it just looks magical! This is definitely my favorite time of year! Each year, I seem to start earlier in my celebration. It just seems such a shame to only celebrate the holidays after Thanksgiving. I’ve already started preparing for Christmas (decorations, holiday music, recipes, etc.)! Next year I might start before Halloween–who knows? I love it that much!
Also on my mind: shopping (of course) and great cosmetics products! Case in point: It Cosmetics (www.itcosmetics.com). I had the privilege of sampling these products recently, and I absolutely adore them! Available for purchase on both the It Cosmetics website and QVC (www.qvc.com/ITCosmetics), these products contain anti-aging ingredients, such as collagen, silk, and vitamins A, C & E. My absolute favorite product is the waterproof Eyeshadow Trio, containing an ultra-hydrating age reverse and preventative complex. Bottom line: this eyeshadow feels like absolute ”butta” going on, and stays on all day! Do yourself a favor and use the IT cosmetics brushes. The “no tug” eyeshadow brush is the best brush I’ve used in years! I noticed that QVC is offering a 6 piece set of IT brushes in a travel case for $39.50. A fabulous deal and definitely on my Christmas list this year! Other must-trys from IT Cosmetics include no-tug silk anti-aging eyeliner and “Hello Lashes” mascara (at $20, this is a steal)! I recommend checking the QVC site regularly for deals on IT cosmetics. I’ve found over the years that QVC is able to offer gift sets (such as those amazing brushes!) at prices that are just way below what you can find at department stores or on the company website. Take advantage of QVC’s buying power and 30-day return policy. You really can’t go wrong!
I’m off to find more holiday music to play in my office all week. Happy holiday season, beautiful!
Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season! Unfortunately, the temperatures here in the Washington DC metro area are still in the 90′s and just feel yicky-humid. I think the best way to handle this horrid weather is my own favorite coping mechanism: denial! (Not just a river in Egypt!) As such, I am drinking warm lattes, focusing on only cool weather, and baking pies! I absolutely love pumpkin pie, but I certainly did not want the sugar and carbohydrates that go with it. I found several low carb pumpkin pie recipes and several sugar-free pumpkin pie recipes, and combined my favorite aspects of both to create a low carb, relatively sugar-free version. (There is a small amount of sugar in the pumpkin and the light cream, but very little.) Here’s the recipe:
Holly Gofabulously Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup Splenda granulated for baking
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup light cream
1 15oz. can Libby’s pure pumpkin
Combine all ingredients. Pour into a pie pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Enjoy (without the guilt)!
Tips: You can vary the amount of pumpkin pie spice used, based on y0ur taste. I found that this recipe needed more spice than I’ve used in the past in regular, “chubby” pumpkin pie (you know, the kind with the crust and the sugar–yick)! You might want to start with less spice and adjust it to your individual taste.
If you are using fresh pumpkin, rather than my beloved Libby’s canned pumpkin, you should use 1 1/2 cups.
I am an unabashed Splenda lover and find the granulated Splenda for baking to be fantastic in all recipes. You could certainly substitute another sweetener, based on your taste.
I loved eating this warm (like a warm custard), but it is also great after being chilled in the refrigerator.
What’s even better than living in Old Town Alexandria? You guessed it: shopping here! As a proud resident of Old Town Alexandria, I am thrilled to be attending our first Fashion’s Night Out (FNO)! On September 6, 2012, from 6pm – 11pm, businesses throughout Alexandria will host fashion-themed events, such as cocktails, restaurant specials, music, fashion shows, trunk shows and exclusive style events. To learn more go to http://www.fashionsnightoutalexandria. See you in Old Town!