Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

The Ally McBeal Era

17 Apr

Sometimes, when I need a good laugh (or 20), I go a private place on “the FB” (that’s Facebook for those of you who don’t have an early 20-something around to keep you hip to lingo) that houses many embarrassing photos of my childhood friends.

Thankfully, the photos are not visible to anyone who could bribe us with them.  The true mark of a friend is their ability to be loyal, and lucky for us, we all know far too much about each other to even consider the alternative.  (Because no matter how old I get, if my mom found out some of the things I did back then, I’d still get grounded.)

The photos contain your typical embarrassing elementary, middle and high school moments – things like – shorts that came down to our knees, bubble suits, bow belts, braces, teased bangs, acne and skorts (I’ve never understood them, and I never will – but I rocked ’em circa 1994-1997).  One thing, though, struck me as unusual, and I had to ask my friend Anna Beth just what in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks we were thinking.  Allow me to present the style choice in question:

20040_883085307850_836043_nI have, of course, blurred the faces of my innocent friends above.  (The small one in the middle would be me.)  Take a long look, folks.  Whilst we look to be 45 and headed to some sort of business luncheon in clothes we found at Goodwill, we were, in fact, at our class ring ceremony during our Junior year in high school.  And, sadly, this wasn’t the only time we wore suit-like outfits to school.  In a few of the photos, we look as if we were about to swing by a corporate interview after work.

It wasn’t until my conversation last week with Anna Beth that I received clarity.  Without missing a beat, she said, “Mandi, it was the Ally McBeal era.”  Aaaaaaaah.  Indeed it wasLucky us.

ally-mcbeal-cast

On Good vs. Evil

16 Apr

Sometimes it amazes me how much our world has changed in the last 10-15 years.  Yesterday, like most of you, I found out about the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon on my Facebook newsfeed.  Information is disseminated so quickly in this day in age.  Almost immediately, people began to update their status as “Praying for Boston” or hashtagging #bostonlove, etc.  There is no doubt that we, as Americans, have our differences – but when the chips are down – when there is a tragedy amongst our people, we have long before and will forever continue to stand together as one.

Republican, Democrat, Black, White, Gay, Straight, Atheist, Christian…we all have one thing in common.  We are from the greatest country in the world.  We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.  A place where good will always outnumber evil.

I love borrowing the words of others much more eloquent than I, so I’ll close with a quote from my friend Kate:

“I will never understand why – when you have the choice to touch the world through love, service, and compassion – you would choose to leave your mark through hate, violence, fear and destruction.”

Does Anyone Else?

10 Apr
  • Does anyone else wish the weather would stay this way all year long?
  • Does anyone else wonder why Kim Jong-un’s high top fade hair is so aggressive? (Take it down a notch, would ya?)
  • Does anyone else have pollen on every inch of their porch and house?
  • Does anyone else love the JC Penny commercials? (Especially this one – being a marketing gal myself, my hat’s off to ’em.)
  • Does anyone else miss news (like the death of fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer) and blame their friends for not telling them?
  • Does anyone else miss small town gossip and blame their friends for not telling them?
  • Does anyone else have a strong affection for the color green at the moment?
  • Does anyone else wish they had worn more sunscreen as a teenager and 20-something?
  • Does anyone else think that snap-chat is stupid? (If someone wants to capture the image, they will just screen shot it, people.)
  • Does anyone else like the Arby’s turkey salad as much as I do?
  • Does anyone else think it’s sweet how often Bubba Watson (2012 Masters Champion) cries?
  • Does anyone else have a knack for remembering where they put things? (I can visualize it, even if I put it there years ago. It’s my hubby’s favorite thing about me.)
  • Does anyone else look at their closet and wonder if they could be classified as a hoarder?
  • Does anyone else threaten to stop watching the Today Show but can never bring themselves to do it?
  • Does anyone else wish it were Friday?

Judgements

5 Apr

A friend of mine is judging a Hooters “bikini contest” next week in Augusta.  (Oh, Masters week, how I love the traffic and scantily clad waitresses you bring to this city for a week.  I mean that, sincerely.  It’s all part of the fun.)  Upon learning the news, a question immediately popped into my head.  If their regular waitress outfits look like bikinis, what must their bikinis look like?  I’d be willing to bet that they cover up about as much as dental floss does.  I’ve begged her to send photos, and to vote for the one who is working at Hooters to pay for law school.

Speaking of judging, I judged a pageant in my hometown last night.  I wasn’t sure it was a good idea at first, since there was the potential that I might know a few of the kid’s moms…but my own mom assured me that it would be fine, so I said yes.  When we arrived at the school’s auditorium, I told my mom that they had saved her a seat near where I was judging.  Her response?  “Oh, no, I don’t want to be seen with you in case people get upset with your winners.”  Gee thanks, mom.  That’s sort of like taking me to the ocean, throwing blood on me, pushing me in and saying, “Good luck!”

Quotes I Fancy

3 Apr

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
― Gilda Radner

Get Your Rent On

26 Mar

I found out about Rent the Runway from a friend a while back.  Had I been watching Gossip Girl when the show was in its prime, I would have known about it years ago.  Note to self: Don’t jump on a bandwagon so late that you miss all the trendy things that go with it!  Anyway, my dear friend Rebekah (who is younger than me and thus keeps me hip) told me about it when I was searching for a dress to wear to her formal wedding – so, I went on the site a few times but never got a “rental” because honestly…it seemed a little weird.

After biting the bullet and finally trying the dress rental process for a wedding last weekend…I’m totally hooked!  I rented a dress that would have cost me almost $500 (so I never would have purchased it because I’m not, like, a brain surgeon or a nuclear scientist) for $25.  The dress would typically have cost me $75 to rent, but with the help of an online coupon code (Google is this gal’s best stalking partner), $40 was my total after I added rental earrings (I cleaned them with rubbing alcohol – don’t panic!) to the order.

After receiving numerous compliments on my cute rental, and experiencing first-hand how easy they make it to rent and return a dress, I can’t say enough positive things about this company.  (Did I mention that they send you a “back up size” at no additional cost? Hello? Genius!)  If you have champagne taste on a beer budget like myself, it’s a perfect fit.  I wish I could own every Milly dress ever designed, but that’s not feasible for me.  And, truth be told, unless it’s a work outfit or a “little black dress” – I rarely wear the same dress twice.  Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, everyone sees what we’re wearing to a special occasion, and while this is going to sound incredibly materialistic of me, I’m willing to admit that I don’t really want to wear the same dress in every picture.  However, at $300 a pop (or more) – you kind of have to…or you have to have a lot of disposable income or credit card debt.  (I don’t have either, mom!)  Rent the Runway could be the solution to my current closet problem.  Because buying a house with a bigger closet would cost way more.

Check it out the next time you have a wedding or cocktail party (or, horror of all horrors, a gala) to attend.  It’s well worth glancing at, since it’s free to browse, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much you love all the choices (and cheap price tags).

Oh, and you’re welcome.

This Just In

21 Mar

There’s an entire generation of people out there that I want to punch in the throat.

Why, why, why, are they so self-obsessed?  Why do they take 600 “duck-faced” photos of themselves and post them on Facebook?  Why can’t they form complete sentences?  Why are their haircuts so dumb?  Why do they begin conversations with “um yeah” and end them with “k?”

I think the planet needs a do-over.  Can we zap ’em and try again?

Product Junkie

13 Mar

There are many times in my life when I take a moment to acknowledge I am exactly like my mother.  This is one of those.

I remember being a little girl and marveling at my mom’s hair and makeup product collection.  She has always been a collector of all things “beauty” – neatly organized and mostly unused, of course.  That’s why it’s no surprise to me that I, too, am a beauty product lover/hoarder.  I’m usually loyal to my beloved brands, but every now and then a sample (from Birchbox, of course) or a tip from a friend will have me roaming Sephora or Ulta for a new item to add to my bathroom drawer.

Some of my favorite items should be shared with the world, so without further adieu, I give you this listing of my “must-use” products:

Skin:  My favorite cleanser is made by Obagi.  My dear mother turned me onto it, and it’s the perfect face wash.  Gentle enough to not cause break outs or drying, but tough enough to cut through this gal’s makeup.  To keep wrinkles at bay (or attempt to), I use Dr. Brandt’s Glow retinol products.  It’s the best retinol product out there, y’all.  Not too harsh, no flaky pink skin to deal with.  It smells decent (retinol products usually don’t) and I don’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to afford it.  I combine that with Sephora’s Age Defy Eye Cream, say a prayer and hope for the best that completes my anti-aging routine.

largeview_ObagiMedical-Gentle-Cleanser-212-1141_1Dr. B

Eye cream

Makeup:  I’m a Mac junkie, so it’s all I use as far as makeup goes.  I do, however, prime my face with Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.  It feels like velvet and helps my makeup stay put.  Plus, it has SPF 20 in it.  I never let the bottle get more than halfway gone before I stock pile another one.  I’m that in-love with it.

s1478007-main-hero

Hair:  I have God-given curly and fine hair.  All I wanted in life was thick, straight hair (and, ok, to be 5’8″) but that wasn’t in the plan.  Most people don’t realize that curly hair is super dry – those of us with curls can’t wash our hair every day, or it will break off as quickly as a celebrity couple.  To keep my strands hydrated, I use Biolage Ultra Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner.  Over the years, I’ve tried many shampoos/conditioners and they could never compare.  This stuff moisturizes like nobody’s business, but doesn’t make my hair limp or greasy.  On the in-between hair washing days, I trust Oscar Blandi Volumizing Dry Shampoo.  It’s the only dry shampoo that I’ve found that doesn’t have that white powder in it – white powder on a brunette = grey.  And, that’s not the look we’re going for.  On a straight hair day, I can’t blow my hair out without Moroccan Oil (I use the “light” for fine hair, kind).  It makes my hair soft and shiny, and it smells delightful.  Lastly, on the days that I go “natural” and wear my hair curly, I use a combination of Tweek and Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.

matrix-biolage-hydrothérapie-conditioning-balmoscar_blandi_pronto_invisible_volumizing_dry_shampoo_spraymoroccanoil_lightTweek0068804713006_500X500

And, there you have it – my “product must-have” list.  If you have products you are obsessed with and want to do your girl-obligation and share the knowledge, holla at ya girl.

Unwanted Affection

8 Mar

Runkeeper (an app on my iPhone) just sent me this message: “Let’s work out!  You thought this was the perfect time a while back…remember?”

Dear Runkeeper,
While I appreciate your efforts to stay in touch/stalk me, I need some space.  It’s not you, it’s me.
Love, M

p.s.  No, really, it is…I threw my back out bathing my dog. Because apparently 33 is the year that your body falls the ___ apart.

Masters Fever

7 Mar

It’s official, folks.  I have Masters fever.

This time of year brings a certain buzz to my city, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get into it like a kid gets into Christmas.  With the tournament comes crazy traffic, crowded restaurants, national news crews, and a mass exodus of locals who rent their homes to excited golf patrons.

As a child, my “spring break” was always Masters week, (schools still do that, of course) so I think my anticipation of the tournament is fairly deep-rooted.  I went to my first Masters Tournament as a kid in 1990, on a Sunday with my dad.  He insisted I wear my Sunday dress and take a hat, and he donned a spring sport coat and slacks.  I’ve been lucky enough to attend the tournament many times since then, but I’ll never forget that first visit to the Augusta National with him – eating egg salad sandwiches, watching Nick Faldo win the green jacket and falling asleep on the way home.  A perfect Masters Sunday.

In a few short weeks, the flowers will be blooming (and pollen will be everywhere), the temperatures will rise, and we’ll all start to change out our winter wear for tournament worthy attire. All Augustans will feel the spotlight that the Augusta National brings to our city.  We’ll walk amongst those lucky enough to have the “badge” that gets them inside the gates.  They will experience our southern hospitality – our polite nature.  On their way to “the course” they’ll see the manicured lawns of Summerville, a neighborhood known for its historic stately homes and charming bungalows. We’ll show them why Augusta is special and why we love it here.  And in just a few short days of visiting, they’ll love it, too.  (Heck, even Sherman, who burned most of the South, left Augusta be.  If we could win him over, we’re pretty much good-to-go.)