Friday, January 30, 2009

Step Up to the Plate

Recently, I've been soaking up some fine blog fodder about January health regimes and juice fasts. I mean, the only thing I love more than "advising" people how to eat (without any accreditation, as you know), is learning about the food habits of others. I mean - she says with melodrama - it is the thing that connects us all. (Well that and a visceral hatred of telemarketers.)

Bel and I managed to continue the discussion via email. One topic of conversation led to another and another, whereupon I presented her with a (long and overblown) primer on my preferred style of eating. After that, Miss C emailed to ask me about hunger and blood sugar, two things about which I have masses of first hand experience!, and finally it twigged. I mean, why not inflict provide you with the fruits of my eating experience?!

You can just click off now if that makes you want to bang your head against a wall. Because I don't do food posts brief-style.

What I want to explain is not a recipe or even a style of cuisine. It's not a diet or a gimmick. I like to call it a methodology. Just to make is sound fancier. I should also disclose that there is no conceivable way that I have devised this; I've simply discovered it for myself. So, if y'all know about a book or culture that maxes out on this concept, I probably borrowed it unwittingly .

I introduce you to: The Stoner Plate.*

*drugs optional

Of course, in my house we use the term affectionately to describe:
  • A beautiful dish or plate (one that completely aesthetically appeals)
  • 3 - 6 beautiful and complementary, simple foods (or food combinations) which are generally, but not necessarily, cold or raw
  • A good blend of healthful fat, protein and carbs...
  • ...Which must also be completely delicious (or what fun is life?)
  • A lovely beverage (not sweet) and/or a glass of wine (5 oz ish)
  • A peaceful frame of mind.

We call it a stoner plate because (and of course we have no knowledge of this from personal experience) it appeals to the mindset and appetite of the, ahem, herbally engaged. I can only hope that my daughter - who enjoys most meals in this style - doesn't someday mention to a friend's mother, when asked if she'd like some lunch, that a stoner plate would suit her just fine.

Some great benefits of the SP include:

  • Mindful eating
  • The option to eat many different complex but complementary flavours
  • A beautiful, aesthetic food experience (food as art)
  • The ability to easily moderate portion size - and, if this is a concern, calories. Even if you don't count them / or count them euphemistically (i.e. Points), they are fundamental to the fitness and nutrition equation.
  • The opportunity to see the building blocks of nutrition and nourishment in the simplicity of the arrangement of the food
  • Ease of preparation.

It also works very well for fussy kids who don't like things to touch or "hidden" veggies they hate.

From the time I was a baby, the one-two punch of Italian relatives (portion size, bah, eat!) and a mother who was determined to control me with food (cuz nothing else worked), has left me easily overwhelmed by meals. For years I could only eat soup and half an appetizer in restaurants, even as my parents goaded me to ingest more. Of course, they weren't evil. Simply a product of their own backgrounds and inexperience.

When I had my own child - whom, ironically, I could not breast feed - I knew that it was of paramount importance in my transition to healthful nurturer to make organic baby and toddler food and to give it without expectation. I aimed for beauty in presentation and small portions because that appealed to me as the caregiver. And, though it might not appeal to every child, it certainly worked for my own.

Ironically, post partum trauma mixed with acute anxiety (and other peripheral things) led me to eat compulsively for a some time. The rise and precipitous fall of blood sugar was escape by mood alteration. Even as I nurtured my real-life baby, my inner child rallied against external control: being trapped by parenthood. Being subsumed by its demands.

Disordered eating comes in so many guises. And, obviously, it is never about the food. I like to hold myself up as a reformed food "user"/ paragon of healthy eating, but of course, I bring my visceral desire for order into everything.

For my daughter, the SP is a comfortable style of food presentation. Something she can relate to and enjoy. It's the same, but different every time. For me, the SP is a way to bring mindfulness and choice to the experience of eating. A little salty (almonds) with a bit of sweet (bananas and table cream with a dash of vanilla). Some bitter (watercress with lemon and olive oil) with umami (wasabi rice crackers and brie). All my urges are at once satisfied. All my needs. And yet my mind is unassaulted by the compulsion to force back volume and articficial complexity.

Remember this, if you can tease it out of my insanely bloated (ha ha, food pun) ramblings: The way you eat is a metaphor for the way you relate to yourself, and by extrapolation, a metaphor for your relatedness to everything around you.

The SP may be just the ticket to inspire conscious eating. Or you could use it for ill effect, I suppose. Maybe you'd prefer to incorporate any of millions of other methodologies to accomplish happy, healthy nourishment. One thing's for certain, you're employing some methodology, conscious or not. Happy or tortured. Free or entrapped.

Whatever you do, be mindful. In my view, when you bring art, nutrition and ease to food, you are bound to be satified on all levels. Give it a go, why don't you. Then let me know if you agree.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Which K Discloses that She Can be a Total Bitch Sometimes

Believe it or not, I have not always been the magnanimous and delightful creature all of you in the 'sphere have come to know and love. I know that shocks you, so just play it cool.

Time was, I used to be rather snippy with people when they didn't meet my (entirely unknowable and/or unreasonable) expectations to a T. For example, if you said you'd, um, sweep the floor and then you did but you did a totally crappy (IMO) job, I'd complain that you had sucked out because you couldn't be bothered. And then you might retort with "But I did you a favour and, in my universe, this floor is clean." And I'd have come back with something like: A floor's not clean till you can eat off of it.

Occasionally, I was even extreme. You know when high expectation meets snitty entitlement? I kind of excelled at that...

So, just such an event occurred about 3 years ago when my husband (he of giftaphobia) decided to surprise me with this Canada Goose parka. Or one that looks more or less like it. In fact, the guy didn't just give me an $800.00 coat, he gave me 5 - one for each of my parents, one for himself and one for my daughter. We were all going to Quebec City (aka Santa's Village) for Xmas and he wanted to be sure we'd all be adequately warm to romp in the snow (between stops for booze and hot chocolate).

You'd think I would have swooned with love and gratitude at its receipt. Instead, the pre-Xmas handover went something like this:

Scott: I have a surprise for you. You're going to love it. One of my clients got me this excellent deal on these coats and were all going to be so toasty warm in QC. It's going to be fabulous.

Me: Are you talking about those insanely expensive puffy coats your client distributes?

Scott: Those are they.

Me: Um, ok. Let's see.

Scott: (With presentation fluorish) Voila!

Me: (Gasping) Um...

Scott: You like?

Me: (Blanching and sputtering) Do you honestly think I'm going to wear something that makes me look like a lifesized parcel? A fat parcel? Are you aware that this thing is actually fattening?? It makes me look, ah, fat. Take it back. I will never wear it. (Long pause, withering tone) Oh, but thanks. I appreciate the thought.

You should note, it was just at the advent of the puffer coat phenomenon we all take for granted now. So in fact, Scott was ahead of the style curve.

What happened after that is that he called me a total bitch - and some other words that aren't fit for a family blog - and threatened to pull out of the trip (albeit half-heartedly) and suggested divorce so that he could live a life with a woman who'd appreciate him (less half-heartedly) and - while I couldn't undo the past - I more believably apologized and actually brought the coat to QC. Like, to wear for the entire trip. 20 extra pounds be damned.

And, what I discovered on our magical, and miraculously non-conflict laden holiday, was that the coat was the warmest fucking thing on the entire fucking planet. Not that it should have surprised me, what with the brand's claim to fame being the production of parkas for all expeditions to the arctic. Next time you watch a documentary on seals, notice the parka that the scientist narrator is wearing...

I mean, I spent hours outside, loving the frigid cold air, taking in my surroundings with warm ears, oblivious to wind. And some cute French guys even checked me out.

Now we all wear puffers. You are looking as laden with faux 20 extra pounds in yours, as I am in mine. Of course, the skinny jean phenomenon has helped us all to retain some chic under the cirucmstances. And some chunky boots are practically de rigeur. But let's face it, the style is jolie-laide at best.

I haven't removed mine in approximately a month. It allows me to walk to work and back (2 hours a day) in whatever the weather (my La Canadienne's assist greatly). I am never chilled. I am not unduly laden by the weight of a full fur (heretofore my best alternative) or insanely bulky wool coat. I am truly grateful for the freedom it provides.

I owe my husband an eternal apology. I mean, even if the thing had sucked, my behaviour was hideous. So thank you Scottie for your foresight and generosity. I guess the coat has warmed my heart. Even as the wind kicks my ass.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not Anatomically Correct

This guy gives a whole new meaning to the term "mannequin" :-)

It's truly amazing what kind of shit you see walking through the Annex on a Tuesday afternoon. Sorry for the photo quality; cell phones at dusk don't really do things justice.

(PS I realize my posts have been less than fulsome lately. I figure it's better to communicate with minimalism than not at all, and between the lingering cough and a crazy work schedule, it's going to take me a few more days to realize some nascent - albeit juicy - ideas.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Animal Magnetism 2

More Lookbook fabulousness:

Could this woman have put herself together more elegantly? The drape of the sleeves, the swing of the skirt, the knit vest a nod to this beautiful woman's obvious modernity... And can you get over the lady-bow?

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Gotta Read This

For those of us stymied by nostalgic melancholy, this is an apt and spectacular piece of writing. You will thank me.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I may be sick but I'm not dead and I really couldn't resist sharing.

A church in the west end (right at the top of the street I grew up on, as it happens) had this to say of the new prez:

Thanks to Blog TO for posting...


I have been really under the weather the last few days and my pre-posts have finally come to an end. I think I'm going to take a few days away from the blog, to rest and clear my mind of sickness clutter. I will be reading what you all have to say though! Please don't forget me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be My Guinea Pig?

I just discovered that 4 of the last 5 US presidents have been left-handed - including Obama. Which is interesting given that only 10% of the general population is.

Of the 10% of lefties, only 1% of those is female. I happen to be in that 1% of left-handed grrrrls. And let me tell you, we rock.

Alas, study after study comes along to advise about the statistical relatedness between left-handedness and premature death, accident, learning disabilities, migraines, mental disorders such as schizophrenia and now, autoimmune disease.

We are also more likely to be presidents (though not prime ministers), artists, athletes, high earners (if male) and synesthetes.

Apparently, lefties think broadly, using a method called synthesis. This tendency lends an ability to multitask. Given that I am also a woman - and you know how we get shit done - I like to think of myself as a frickin' machine. A yellow one. :-) By contrast, our right-handed sisters and brothers are more strictly analytical, performing one concrete mental task at a time. How old school :-)

I'm doing a little experiment - really, I'm just curious. Often when I meet someone, I can tell if he or she is left-handed just by talking - occasionally, just by looking. As you know, I read a lot of blogs. My mind sometimes wonders about the handedness of the authors. Is that outrageously strange?

So tell me, who out there is left-handed? I'm super curious. With both sides of my anomalously dominant brain. Please do tell.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Have Travel Kit. Will Travel. Soon, I hope...

I'm going a bit bonkers here lately. Work has been rather non-stop (though interesting). Parenting is an ongoing marathon - and I feel like I'm staunchly holding off some kind of metaphoric stress fracture. The weather, well you know how that's been. The flu, recently departed from our home, has left us all feeling down. While I did not succumb, I appear to be struggling against a sore throat and achies. Which is why I slept till noon. Despite all the things going on at work. (Stress, go away!)

And you know that Jan. 19 is considered to be the most miserable day of the year. Apparently, Jan. 19, 2009 may go down as the most depressing day in history.

That seems a little harsh, yes? Especially since Jan. 20, 2009 was the most hopeful day I can remember in a long time...

So here's the thing. I want a vacation. (Odds are, I actually need a vacation, in that soft, middle-class, bourgeois way that people like me need costly idle time.)

I want to wake up in a beautiful boutique hotel. I want gorgeous breakfast and awesome espresso and booze at noon and 3-hour sex and temporary parent-free living and shopping without concern for the next responsibility or a care about how much something costs. And a great concert or exhibit or restaurant. I want to spend 40 bucks on artisanal chocolate and then eat it all in 20 minutes. I want a few hours to download new tunes onto the iPod.

I'm fucking sick of the weather and hardship and snow that hovers on slush until it freezes again and becomes a safety hazard. And pleasing people. And staving off stupid winter sickness.

So, I bought this:

More to the point, I exchanged the very reasonably priced glass necklace my husband gave me for Xmas (too heavy, after all) for this obscenely expensive makeup bag by Stephanie Johnson.

But look at how modular and practical it is! Everything detaches and reattaches so incredibly intelligently. And the photos don't show it, but it's a beautiful mint green and brown and orange combo called Tribeca.

It's an official sign to the universe that I've got to have a vacay soon. One that sees someone else looking after my kid while it happens. Now all I've got to do is watch and wait. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As the world grows smaller our common humanity will reveal itself....

President Obama is an orator of another age. He makes language so beautiful, so meaningful. I feel like words are dancing when he speaks.

One Skirt, Two Looks - More or Less

Remember this?

I know, you haven't been able to get it out of your mind...

Well, Lovelies, here it is in action:

Club Monaco skirt with Franco Sarto flats and Tneck from Wal-Mart @1999

Yeah, the Tneck was bought in a moment of financial restriction, many years ago at the (then less reviled) Wal-Mart. Like, it predates H&M and Zara and I still wear it 3x a month. And when it's dirty I throw it in the machine and dryer! Sometimes you just can't get too-judgey with the disposable fashion.

If I wait for the pink tights in which I threatened to debut this look, it's likely you won't see it till next year. So I'm working the pale leg.

Oh, and I decided to get "experimental" with this Space FB boyf cardi I bought for a third of the regular price, off-season, last summer in Mtl. That means I'm wearing it backwards like the kids.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This Was the Deal of the Century

Be assured, I'll wear it into the ground!

I got this shirt dress a couple of months ago at Club Monaco for $18.00 (on mega crazy sale plus 30% off plus 30% off things that were already on sale and 30% off). Originally it was $120.00. Of course, it's summer wear - hence the amazing discount - but, honestly, I couldn't wait till spring to premier it. This fucking winter has been so depressing and bundled. I feel the need to remind you all that I have upper arms...

I feel a little antipodean doing this crazy summer-like post!

The dress has actually got excellent drape, which isn't coming across fantastically in these shots and it's very curvy-girl slimming. With heels, as shown, or my red gladiator flats, it will go from work to play, day to night. And it's practically a Skye-style bargain.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I thought that pun was cute, no?

You asked to see a couple of the new gifts in action, so here you go:

Friday, January 16, 2009


You know how if you're in, say, Australia, and you get into an elevator with someone, you might say "G'day mate" and slip into a little chit chat about the beach till you get to your floor? Well we in Canada have our own brand of small talk: mindless discussion with strangers about the weather. It's like a cultural sickness, actually, to which only a small subset are immune (you can recognize them by their meanie-faces).

For example:

Canadian A: Crazy weather we're having, no? I mean it's incredibly cold / hot / wet / humid / dry out there. Insane. I don't know how we're going to make it up north this weekend if this doesn't let up. I mean, the traffic is going to be impossible.

Canadian B: Oh, I know. But really, I think it's that much worse because of the strong wind / relative humidity / barometer/ high pressure system. You know, Regina is having the worst of it. I suggest, don't leave till Saturday morning because they're saying it's going to be better then.

Yes, we are a people of meteorologic buzzwords. A climatologically superior people. By which, I mean that if we're in an elevator in Canada with Canadians, see above for conversation we're going to have. However, if we're in your country, and you decide to talk about the weather... well, we'll just look at you smugly and give some wan, stock response. Unless you're Russian. Because, after all, we do know our place in the pantheon of bad weather.

All this is just the preamble to my real story. The story of how the power went off last night. And how it's still off. And it's January in Canada and it's minus 20 right now without a wind chill. And it was even colder last night. So when we woke up this morning it was 9 degrees in our house. You could see your breath, is what I'm saying. Oh, and how it might not be fixed till - well, they can't really confirm when. So we had to bleed the pipes before we left the house this morning. And I don't know if we're going home tonight.

I'm trying to look on the bright side: there was no wind chill in my bedroom / it won't cost me any money to fix this / I have friends I can stay with tonight / I don't have an infant to worry about. But really, last night, in the back of my mind all I could do was imagine death by freezing and frozen pipes and, for some compulsive reason, I really wanted to open the fridge. Just to make sure everything was still in there. Scott and M were all snuggly under the duvet, laughing, pretending they were winter camping and joking about how the glaciers can't get you if you stay cosy in the covers. I was contingency planning.

But make no mistake, as I write this - frozen fingers on the thaw (did I mention the power-requiring subways also weren't working and all the buses were too packed with peeps to stop so I ended up starting out from home merely cold and walking - I mean, jogging - to work) I am feeling superior.

Urban princess does scary power out and still manages to make it to work on time. Footage at 11. (If you have electricity, you can watch it.)

Happy / Sad

When I was a young child, I spent much of my time with my paternal grandmother. She was my most formative influence, the person I trusted and needed most. My mother was very young when she had me. She was an ambivalent parent. She struggled against my grandmother's huge personality. But my grandmother was not ambivalent about me. We lived in different units of the same triplex. We'd make dinner together, watch cartoons (and soaps), hang out. She'd had four boys. I was a daughter for her, finally. We were comfort for each other.

She was - and is - particularly fond of daisies, mums (her fave flower) and pussy willows. In fact, sometimes she still sends me cards with pussy willow buds in the envelope. Just to remind me of our shared experience. (Memory is so bittersweet, no? In some ways, my childhood was a sacrifice; my magnetic attachment to my grandmother its most substantive casualty.)

Every time I see a pussy willow bush, or stems at the florist, I must touch their gorgeous, furry little buds. I feel happy. Then sad. I don't know how to reconcile this conflict. I wish someone could tell me how.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

They're Called Beauty Marks, OK?

This is a post for all the mole-y girls.

It won't surprise you that this is a shot taken at Sandra's recent NYE party in Paris.

At my next dinner party, I'm so going strapless with a Find the Brie Treasure Map.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Post Contains Photos of Me Wearing Fur...

Thanks for disregarding it if fur is not your thing.

My husband suggested that the lewd shot of my chest might distract you from the dead animal. Unless you like the vest, in which case, please ignore my tits...

My friend Sandra - the one who buys fantastic gifts - has a great eye for things that go together without matching. She's the one who suggested neon yellow with the fur...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I love The crazy styling, the crazier captions. This photo, recently made my heart skip a beat:

He's so bad ass. So effortless. So seriously hot. Now, M calls himself a "drug dealer from Brooklyn". Not sure if this is the case but, if yes, he sure is fearless too. And if yes, let's hope it's just a little homegrown. Shall we?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too Much Snow

Three weeks ago, this would have amused me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Model Citizen

Model Citizen in Kensington Market is a terrific place to get lost for an hour. Vintage meets avant garde. Excellent Canadian design is representin'. But they don't have a website?! so you'll have to take my word for it, and check the photos below. Oh, and here's a little profile from NOW. Or you could just head over and see for yourself.

Seriously, I've been looking at a fantastic Véronique Miljkovich architectural, bias-cut, shirt-meets-tunic thing for months. Hoping and praying that its $170.00 price tag might begin to reflect the current, post-Xmas economy.

On Thursday, happily, I did negotiate a bargain - $136.00 - though the argument has been made that I a) can't justify the need for a new top for the next decade, given my current crop and b) should be saving my pennies like everyone else - if only to pay off the frickin' bathroom (I mean, the gorgeous bathroom I love).

The point has also been made, by me time and again, that I love to support small Canadian business and Canadian fashion and for that privilege, my friends, one has to pay a premium. So be it. The piece is so beautiful, drapes so perfectly and looks so flattering that I will love it for years to come.

And here are the money shots:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Last One For A While

Last gift post, I mean.

Here's something super luxurious my husband bought me - another necklace! It's made by glass designers Phuze.

I am absolutely smitten with its modernist, sexy sleekness but - and maybe you can predict my proviso - this piece is very heavy. And by heavy I mean it's a huge chunk of glass. It weighs quite a lot for my hair-trigger, princess-y shoulder muscles.

So I'm trying to decide what to do. Do I keep it and wear it very occasionally (as if I'm some kind of special-occasion jewel lady)? Do I return it? I just don't know... Thoughts?

Friday, January 9, 2009

More, From Istanbul

Don't you love this?? It's woven silver and it fits beautifully. Again, there - but not heavy! Thanks again, Sandra, for such excellent gifts!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No Comment

Hey all: So sorry I've been slow in responding to your comments over the past few days. I've got so many things on the go, there just hasn't been time. I love everything you've got to say, so pls. keep on! I will aim to do comment replies this evening. Kxo

So Good, It's Twisted

My shopping phobic husband really stepped up to the plate in purchasing this GORGEOUS end table for me:

Of course, there's a back story. I've wanted this piece for at least 2 years - believing it would make a perfect coffee cup table in my family room. We haven't really "done" this room and it's very much a work-in-progress. That is to say, I don't know how we've improved it at all (not having thrown money or time at it), but it's much more functional now than it was 3 years ago, when I divested it of it's original function: child playroom.

Anyway, we have our coffee there on the weekends - when we stick the kid in front of TVO cartoons in the front room - and I've lamented the lack of suitable coffee holder, well, forever.

My husband has been telling me, since I saw this table, that he doesn't like it, that it seems contrived, that it's just asking for a knee to bang against. It's also pretty expensive. At least by my standards. So, you can imagine my incredible surprise when I received it!

Note: Technically, I guessed - don't ask me how, you know I have a knack - but that's just between you and me. OK?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This Was An Early Gift

A while ago, the most stylish and instructive blogger, Sal, sent me a beautiful care package. Among other fantastic offerings, she managed to send me one of my fave necklace/earring sets ever:

What you can't tell from the photo (which really doesn't do it justice) is that the silver pendant sits perfectly below my collar bone and the clasp - the amazing clasp - is magnetic! I struggle with heavy necklaces because my shoulders tend to respond by seizing up and giving me neck pain. But this one is light as a feather, and yet very "there". I rarely wear earrings because I find them busy next to my small face and glasses. These, however, are just right. Not overwhelming but nicely noticeable.

Of course, it doesn't surprise me that Sal owned these beautiful items. But that she would have intuited how well they'd work on me is further proof of her excellent stylist-abilities. And I am so grateful she sent them so that I can feel beautiful every time I put them on. Thank you Sal!

Christmas came early, this year.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Turkish Delight

My world-traveling friend Sandra brought me a couple of unbelievably beautiful gifts back from Istanbul for Xmas.

Look at this tremendously luxe silk scarf:

I feel practically as glamorous as Niotillfem, posting about it. It looks perfect with my fur vest and a bright yellow vneck I've been wearing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Warned You

Welcome to Holiday Loot Theme Week, the latest in my highly-entertaining, if gimmicky, series. If you are one of those people who hates to be forced into looking at other people's new stuff, I can only ask you why you are reading this blog in the first place :-)

Since I'm approaching 2009 with an aim to be ever-more conscious about acquisition, I may not be able to continuously bombard you with "this week's new such-and-such". Don't worry, this is not a ban and I have no pre-conceived notions about how it will progress. Point is, I feel the need to maximize my gifties for the eye-candy they are, IMO.

So let's debut with my new Ralph Lauren bedding, courtesy of my parents:

It's a bit hard to tell in this shot but the sheets are sage green and the duvet and some pillows are white. It's the same colour bedding I've had for 10 years, to be honest. But I really like the gentle tone. And it goes well with the walls which are - gasp - vaguely pink. But not ugly, I swear.

Interesting things to note: Those throw pillows are the same ones my parents had on their bed 30 years ago. They're vintage! And the lamps, which come on when you touch any of the metal, were bought 10 years ago at Home Depot. For 10.99 each! Fuck Elle Decor. That's what I say. :-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Oooh, space-aged:

As I was saying, L'Oreal kindly sent me this new product - debuting on the Canadian market about now - with the hopes that I would try it and love it. I received the European version, the CDN being as-yet unavailable, along with:
  • 1 x L’Oréal Paris Cosmetic Bag
  • 1 x L’Oréal Paris Cosmetic Brush
  • 1 x L’Oréal Paris Eye Shadow Quad in Grey
  • 1 x Carbon Black Liquid Liner
  • 1 x Guide to Smokey Eyes
Hence, the experimental NYE look.

Here are my thoughts: It's not a bad product and it will retail for a very reasonable $14.99. It's got two steps, like other mascaras I've tried, a white base coat and a black top coat. I like the system and the product is easy to use. But with mascara, the wand is everything. And these wands didn't do it for me. The mascara created a long lash, not a thick one. I have long lashes already. I'm interested in width. So I don't know if I'd buy it.

It shouldn't stop you though. If you're into it. A propos of this, in a few short weeks, I will receive an HTML email and unique web-code to pass onto friends, so they can sign up to receive an exclusive discount coupon for their own Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara.

See how influential I really am? I'll be passing this along to y'all, natch.

Now just cuz the mascara wasn't so my thing, I have to say I was very impressed indeed with the L'Oreal Carbon Black Liquid Liner. And I quite enjoyed the L’Oréal Paris Eye Shadow Quad in Grey. I would totally buy either of these, my novice status notwithstanding. So you may also want to give them a go.

Now if only they would send me some lipstick!

Friday, January 2, 2009


It's scary, but I've done the research and I'm 99% sure my parents and Scott have the flu.

Just a little recap on this bug - which is known in the biz as a respiratory disease:

  • The incubation period is woefully short. 1 - 3 days after exposure to a symptomatic or non-symptomatic but infectious person may cause infection.
  • But, don't feel so lucky if you've made it 3 days. Because it can incubate for 5, or even 7 days before you become symptomatic.
  • This year's model comes with a mind-numbing headache and a non-productive cough.
  • It also comes with a terrible fever (even though you can't sweat it out) and insane exhaustion. Getting up to pee can do you in.
  • But you HAVE TO DRINK A LOT. It will help this potentially very serious disease to leave your system.
  • It's the cough that spreads the virus. For up to 7 days! So go to bed and don't breathe on anyone.
  • It can take 3 weeks for the cough to go away and for the flu-d out person to recover energy.
  • The older you are, the more serious it is. And if you are diabetic or asthmatic it's also pretty serious.
  • Complications (such as bacterial pneumonia) aren't common but they are insidious, so you need to pay attention to how you're doing day to day.
Yes, I am a hideous hypochondriac but I've also been sick with some freakin' nasty things in my time and, still, this one is scary. I mean, I've had pneumonia 2x and flu a couple of times and I thought I was going to perish. Mercifully, it's been a while and I'd really prefer not to go there again.

Or see any of you go there either.

So listen to me. I'm somebody's mother:

Take care of yourselves. Drink lots of water. Sleep. Take some Emergen-C (this stuff rocks!). Get some oscillococinum and keep it in your cabinet. Just in case you need it. It really cuts down the symptoms and duration IMO. Eat well. Sugar lowers your immunity dramatically for up to 4 hours after you eat it.

Dress warmly in the cold. Keep your neck covered. Even when you sleep. OK, wear cashmere scarves to bed.

See, when it's all said and done, you just can't take the fashion out of this blog :-)

Giving You the Smokey Eye

OK, I meant to show you some "real pictures" of my NYE forays into the world of makeup, but my husband is horrendously sick and was not up to being my photog last night. Turns out, my father got - and still has - this really, really terrible bug and then my mother got it and now Scott has it and it's actually rather scary. I've never seen my husband like this... (Update: He just advised that he believes it is the flu. Flu is serious, you know.) It's like 2008 had to get in one last dig.

Of course, if you know me and you know anything about my legendary germ-phobia, you might imagine I'd be paralyzed with fear right now. I mean, I am forcing my child to put on hand-sanitizer (organic lavender, thank you) every 10 minutes and no one is allowed to touch knobs of any sort, but I'm holding it together. I'm sure you're very relieved for me :-) What a strange holiday it's been.

But I can see this post is going to be like an episode of the Simpson's, starting out on one topic and meandering to 12 others before the denouement.

For starters, meet the smokey eye:

My hands really are that huge, in case you were wondering.

Let me say that it took me 15 minutes to put on the eyes - it was my third time ever, the other two having occurred in the last 10 days. Theretofore, I had only ever worn mascara, when I can be bothered, which is either all the time or never. I actually think I have talent. Just putting on liquid eyeliner is hardcore. When I revealed my look to my friend, Sandra, with whom I was spending the evening outside of the zone of sickness (yes, I left a sick person at home. But you have to understand it was free babysitting on NYE!), her first question was: Why didn't you do the bottom lid?

Um, I didn't know you're supposed to do the bottom lid. I skip over the makeup part in fashion mags.

So she advised that you need to put shadow on the bottom too - and mascara?!? - and she lent me her Dior palette, which I would ordinarily never share but I'd had a glass of wine and I was feeling bad ass. And I updated the bottom lid and I looked smokier!

Update: Sandra called me this morning to advise that she's got an eye infection in both eyes. Seriously. And I don't know if I gave it to her. But so far I'm good. Could 2009 be the year I dodge the flu and makeup-sharing induced eye inflammation???

I told you this post was going to be all over the map.

The punchline is about how I came by the makeup. Well, peeps, I'm an influencer. As I'm sure you know, this means I've been contacted by a third-party agency to "try out and speak about" a particular product. In this case, the product is L'Oreal Paris Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara. BTW, I am under no obligation to talk about it. And, should I decide to talk, I can say whatever I like.

I've decided to talk. Influentially. But I think I should save it for the next email. Cuz if I were you, still reading this, I'd probably need to make dinner by now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This, I Have to Share...

Um, don't mean to seem ungrateful, but I was kind of hoping for the personalized "Thanks, Kristin, for doing our 2008 viral marketing campaign for free" e-card.

But this is fine.

The Whirlwind

For starters, Happy 2009, y'all. I hope you went to some great parties and looked terrific in new holiday gifties. I'll be writing about my New Year's as soon as I finish with another dozen posts on Christmas :-)

To wit: Xmas went off as it often does. I indelicately forced my pinchy, neurotic need for perfection onto everyone around me. Which is why I imagine my parents are glad to be home again.

And, it seems, my ongoing computer problem is the transformer. Which is why I am currently writing in the weirdest and most convoluted fashion - holding the cord precariously while typing. Not fun.

But let's relive the recent past, shall we? Imagine everyone is very relaxed (especially me!). Note that I will torture you with - I mean generously share - closeups of some very cool gifts over the next few days...