Time for Changes

I’ve been mulling over what to do with my boxes and boxes of moments captured from decades of magazines.

I have decided to feed those moments of inspiration and fantasy and whimsy to this blog.

So, once I get my scanning underway (SO much scanning)…

I’m going to start sharing the images and words that have stood out to me from all those years of magazines – Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, People, US, and even catalogues.

So I hope someone out there finds them and enjoys them. I’m already enjoying the flashbacks from flipping through all my cut outs!

All the Candy

One of my favorite parts of holidays is….the after-holiday sales.

In particular, the post-Valentine’s Day, post-Halloween, and post-Easter sales.

I like to peruse CVS two-three days after the holiday passes. Candy, and some toys or gifts, are usually 50% off. Today, I picked up Hershey’s chocolate eggs, a Russell Stover bunny (already lost his ears, poor guy), Reese’s for M, and a variety bag of chocolate.

But even more exciting – I found a set of 16 eggs that have stickers in them for $2.49 for Little Baby’s Easter next year! Plus, scannin my bonus card gave me $1.00 off, so I could have gotten them for $1.49 if I wasn’t a greedy candy hog.

The after-holiday sales are usually great for stocking stuffers, hang-around gifts, and work gifts. Hang-around gifts are those that you keep handy in case of a last minute birthday. Wine, gag gifts, that sort of thing. The work gifts are for Secret Santas or White Elephants – we like tacky gifts for these.

I also have picked up a lot of my holiday decorations atthese types of sales. Pier 1, Target, and Big Lots have been pretty decent sources. I think the vast majority of our Christmas decorations came from Target the first year we bought our house, and most of our Halloween knick-knacks are PIer 1.

Anyhoo….I like candy. I like saving money. And I like knowing I have something for Baby’s Easter Basket next year, already!

RHONY!

They’re back!

HURRAY!

I love the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo!, and the New York cast was definitely a top favorite. I wasn’t a fan of the last season or two, when Jill Zarin, Bethanny, and Luann kind of disappeared.

But they’re back! I’m watching tonight, and LuAnn really looks fantastic. I’m thrilled she’s back – sh offered interesting perspectives on things, plus the great Countess-ness. The preview for the season implies she may have gotten a little raunchier since we last saw her.

And hello! Bethanny Frankel has returned. Glory and hallelujah! She should really shake things up. She’s gone through so much in the last couple of years, and I hope she’s not going to be a villain.

Better Call Saul

This week’s episod had a great point for discussion – White collar criminals facing 30 years, whereas rapists and murderers can face much shorter sentences.

What’s that about?

Personally, I think white collar criminals should be penalized financially. Dissolution of assets to reimburse the swindled, absolutely. Bankruptcy, probably. But yes – take away the money they’ve swindled!

But 30 years in jail for embezzlement? That seems absurd. Mainly when you consider that pople who kill people, or rape people, or pedophiles, or other violent criminals….can face much, much less time.

So….violent criminals should have more time in jail. Non-violent crimes should have less time in jail. I realize sexual crimes may not be considered ‘violent’, but they should be. Animal abuse should be considered a violent crime as well.

Anyhoo….there’s my controversial post for the week!

You had a Baby, not a Lobotomy

I say this fairly often. Officially “trademarking” the phrase for my future baby book! or something…

Before Baby was here, M and I talked a little about our expectations for our lives after Baby arrived. We both agreed we planned to continue being socially active. Why would we suddenly turn into hermits?

We had a baby, not a lobotomy. Who we are, and what we enjoy, is still fundamentally the same. We like seeing our friends. We like trying new foods and going out for a drink.

So…we still do it. We bring the little one along with us. It was super easy when she was still teeny-tiny. She’d sleep through anything in her car seat. Now that she’s older and more active, it’s definitely more work to keep her happy and safe. But it’s worth it.

Our friends are one of our happy-makers. For me, seeing them, catching up on the happenings, and laughing with our friends recharges my batteries. As a stay-at-home Mom, I also enjoy the experience of speaking real words and sentences to someone who will not respond with “pbbbblth” or “bahmnmamnanana”.

It’s the little things like coherence.

M and I also went to two craft breweries on Saturday. We would have also gone to a winery, but 95 was completely shut down for hours, so we postponed. We went to Rusty Beaver, in Ladysmith, and Center of the Universe near Ashland. M is the beer fan, so he did his tastings while munchkin ate puffs, waved at strangers, and clapped to herself. At COTU, we met up with an old friend I have not seen in 20 years. Munchkin proudly grabbed Friend’s beer glass and dumped it all over Friend. She’s generous and giving in that way….

The trick to going out with babies is to know your child and your own limits. If Lil Miss starts acting up and I suspect a meltdown, I take her for a walk around the room or to a quieter spot and tell M to get the check. We try to leave before she loses it. She usually only loses it if she wants to nurse but is too distracted, or has been fighting naps all day.

M and I also know what we’re comfortable with her doing in public. Chewing on a straw or occasionally squawking? Sure. Screaming, throwing food? No.

We also make sure we communicate ahead of the outing. Who’s driving? How are we going to juggle the meal? I remind him sometimes – if you get X, you need to wash your hands as soon as you’re done eating so you can hold her while I eat. If you get Y, we need to alternate back and forth so we can both eat while the food’s hot.

I’m always befuddled by people who say “Oh, forget having a social life! You’ll never go out again! 18 years before you can have fun!” Really? Why is anyone locking themselves up and becoming a hermit? To each his own, of course. There is no benefit in judging others, but I freely admit I do not understand the logic.

Anyhoo….If you enjoy being social and going out before baby, you can continue to do so afterwards. You just make adjustments. More Happy Hour, less (or no) late nights. More casual locations, less formal restaurants. More 1-2 hour outings, less 4 hour events. Less fabulous sparkly clutches, more big roomy bags capable of holding toys, puffs, and diapers!

It’s a baby, not a lobotomy. You can be Mom and still be You.

Walking Dead

I believe the reason Walking Dead is so popular is because people enjoy envisioning themselves in all of those “what if” scenarios that populate the show’s storyline.

Would you survive? Or how long do you think you’d survive?

What would be your weapon(s) of choice?  What do you actually have available, right now, in your home?

We have samurai swords, daggers, other weird knives. None are sharp, though. We also have guns. And a chainsaw. We’d have to sharpen the blades. We have at least one holster. We’d have to stock up on the ammo.

Would your family members make it with you?   Would you make it without your family members?

I’d like to think they’d survive with me. The baby child and husband would obviously be going with me to the refuge at my parents’ home. My parents’ place offers a lot more protection and refuge, just by its remoteness. The trick would be getting down there through the embattled I-95 that would be grid-locked. M has a crazy jacked up truck…but it would still get stuck in the traffic jams. Maybe we should keep that thing’s 50+ gallon tank loaded at all times…I also need to convince my parents to get solar panels. And we have MREs, thanks to M’s bizarre habit of obtaining things that normal people don’t live with.

In tonight’s episode, you suddenly realize how much Rick’s group has gone without …the things we take for granted. A razor blade to shave. A shower. A haircut. Not to mention running water. The smooth feel of a granite counterotp underneath your hands. A clean, dry, comfortable place to sleep. Or just to sit.

The baby, Lil’ Ass-kicker…growing up with no mom, no warm happy playtimes (that the show features, at least), no cuddly toys and fun finger foods. No playdates.

Carl, way too mature and hardened for his age.

Would you take the view Hershel and his family had, in the earlier days? That these are just ‘sick people’, not monsters? Would you immediately go into that full-fledged fight or flight mode?

Oscars, continued!

So I thought I was done with the Oscars notes…then I got the babychild to bed early and started googling again. Rejoice!

LOVE, love, LOVE Diane Kruger’s pantress. Dreants? Paness? Drents? Anywho, I’m convinced part of the reason this works so incredibly is because of the color. And the draping. And, of course, Ms. Kruger’s slim frame. Well done, Donna Karan!

People.com, D. Kruger

Case of the Ewwwww-ies from Christina Aguilera. Is she slipping back into that awkward Dirrrrrrty/Xxxtina phase? Her dress here looks like she has an unfortunate skin condition. Or like a Project Runway ‘abstract’ challenge where they had to use edible seams, and hers were made of whipped cream that withered away.

People.com, C Aguilera

Confused by Emma Stone’s afterparty dress. Was her afterparty in a library? At her grandmother’s home? Maybe it was 20’s themed – this would look lovely doing the Charleston.

People.com, E Stone

Oscars Roundup!

Dislike

Gwyneth Paltrow..boring, washed out. The sleeve screams 80s, and not in a good way. I will admit I am biased as I don’t particularly care for her in the first place, but I do believe she shines in darker shades that highlight her pale skin and hair. Why not a deep sapphire blue, or a burnt ruby?

People.com G Paltrow

Julianne Moore – I think she was trying to do something new? But again, she’s washed out. I also don’t like the embellishments on the dress, and the dress seems kind of shapeless overall.

People.com, J Moore

Overrated

Lupita Nygon’s dress really didnt do anything for me. I’m not sure why it’s being so raved over?

People.com, L. Nyongo

LOVE:

Rosamund Pike. Glamorous, gorgeous color, great styling.

Reese WIherspoon – a totally modern ake on My Fair Lady!

Cate Blanchett – cool, simple, sleek…but glamorous and a great pop of color. My only question would be whether this was too..simple for the Oscars.

Jessica Chastain – her navy and black combination reminds me of a dress Serena Van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) wears on gossip girl. A brilliant combination, with the perfect amount of sparkle.

Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about friends and friendship so far this year.   banana

Last year, around New Year’s, I remember telling my husband I did not want any more friends. I meant it. I was pregnant, three of my friends were pregnant, and my ‘main’ social circle already consisted of 20-30 people. That means 20-30 people invited to all the main events, birthdays, etc.

M was mentioning a friend’s friend, who had a ‘rough year’ and I should make an effort to be her new friend. This was someone I’d known casually for years, who had never reached out to me, and was only a topic of conversation because of a friend accidentally invited her to my NYE party. I felt odd about saying that. It was true, but it seems like a terrible thing to admit. “No, I do not want any new friends.”

Now, here in 2015, I can look back at 2014 and realize I actually made several new friends who I really enjoy. One, E, is probably my favorite new friend. She’s single, has a medical-related job that involves travel, is stylish, smart, and always up for an adventure. If I wasn’t married, I would probably demand she be my BFF immediately!

So I am thankful that, even though I wasn’t looking for new friends I have in fact made some new ones.

And, in that same note, I am also …conflicted? about some old friends…

Back in high school, when I was being bullied (and basically prehistoric cyber-bullied, since the internet was still ‘new’), I decided to not pursue one-sided friendships. I reinforced that decision later in college, but added a dose of ‘Love the person for who they are’, meaning some people are worth the extra effort and truly don’t mean to be one-sided in friendships.

But where’s the line on effort? When do you give up? If a friend rejects your attempts to get together 10 times and never bothers to reschedule or get back to you or acknowledge the pattern of cancellations or ignoring…it’s clearly gone beyond the ‘absent-minded forgot to reply’ scenario. But what about the years of friendship, and the intensity the friendship once held? It seems like a tragedy to ‘throw away’ all those memories and adventures and good times. But are they being thrown away, or are they just…The Past now?

learn

I’m glad for the friends I have, in all their different forms. The ones I see every week, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. The ones I see once a month, or every two months. Those I keep in touch with via email now that distance has separated us. The effort is on both sides, and I like to believe both sides are equally fond of the friendships.

Then there’s the new element of being a parent and watching my daughter grow up. She’s only 8 months old but I find myself wondering about her future. Will she struggle to make and keep friends? Will she be accepted or rejected by her peers? Is she going to become hardened or jaded in the ways that I did during my struggles as a lonely adolescent and young adult?

But