Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Girldom; A Paradox

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am as girly as the day is long. I loooooooooove all things girly. Make-up, nail polish, shoes, purses, clothes, jewelry, perfume...

What's funny is that people who only know me from my blog or other internet locales are often surprised to find this out. I guess I am perceived as someone who would eschew such frivilous things; someone who views pursuits which do not edify as pointless and indulgent.

Conversely, those who only know me in real life, are often surprised to find that I am capable of abstract thought and that I have interests other than interior design and fashion. Occasionally, when I venture to express an opinion on something more cerebral, I am met with looks of thunderstruck amazement.

Why is that? Where did this stigma come from? Why do people think that smart girls can't be attractive and attractive girls can't be smart? Why are girly looking girls assumed to be superficial dullards?

I rarely leave the house without make-up and hair done, and I've never been a t-shirt and sweats kind of gal. I always accessorize, even if I am dressed casually. Usually, it's minimal; gold hoops, my wedding band, a favorite bracelet. I don't wear athletic shoes unless I am exercizing.

Also, I am reserved in social situations, which is quite common where I come from. Northerners are less effusive by nature, though no less freindly, really. But here, I am either percieved as being "aloof", or socially and intellectually maladroit. Slow. Simpleminded.

I was recently discussing this with a friend who lives in Texas. She and I are definitely kindred spirits and sometimes think so much alike that it's almost frightening. I remarked that she, however, is much more outgoing than me. She expressed the belief that Southerners seem more outgoing, even if they are not, because it is deeply ingrained in them to be friendly, polite, and garrulous.

So, with all of those things combined, that it is often thought that I must not be terribly bright; at least by Southerners.

So I like that here, I am perceived as someone who thinks. I'm tired of being cerebral. I want to talk about something fun and frivilous and girly today. If you come here for highbrow stuff....I apologize. But everybody needs a change of pace now and then, no?

Inspired by Flutter's post yesterday, I am going to share ten of my favorite frivolous things.

1. The color orange.

Or any variatioin thereof; coral, peach, terracotta. If you look in my closet, it's almost comical how much my love of this hue is reflected in my wardrobe. I recently splurged on a pretty spring sweater at Coldwater Creek along with a matching necklace. Husband laughed at me when I modelled it for him. Why?

Well because...


By the way, I bought this sweater two sizes smaller than I would normally wear because it was incredibly...voluminous. Like, Mrs. Roper voluminious. I bought it so the hem sits just below my natural waistline, skimming my hips. Things draped over my plentiful behind only create the impression of tentiness, which I like to avoid at all costs. Also, I painted the button with about 47 coats of coral nail polish because I didn't like the brown. I felt that it limited my accessory options.

2. Smelly stuff; household

My tastes change frequently. But right now, my favorite household scent is Vanilla Lavender. I use Tide Vanilla Lavender laundry detergent and fabric softener. Febreeze makes Vanilla Lavender fabric refresher which I use with abandon. Yes, I know it's probably poisoning my family and the environment, but what isn't? Suave makes a very affordable Vanilla Lavender body wash, which I buy in bulk for fear it will be discontinued before my obsession wanes.

I am completely in love with Vanilla Lavender tarts, which are wickless wax patties that you melt in a tart burner with tealights. It infuses the scent throughout your entire home. Yummy.

The more I look, the more products I discover. I am not one who does things halfway, and obsession is no exception.

Recently I found this, and of course, I shall have to posess some of that delightfully purple soapiness soon:

3. Smelly stuff; personal

Again, my tastes change frequently. Not long ago I was completely besotted with Vera Wang Princess, but I'm over that now. It was nice, but a bit too...timid. It just wasn't me. It didn't last very long on me anyway.

Then I discovered this:
Launched in 1995, Burberry Classic posesses a blend of peach, apricot, amber, sandalwood, cedar and musk. It is recommended for Daytime Wear.

And this...

Launched by the design house of Aquolina in 2004, Pink Sugar posesses a blend of cotton candy, caramel, raspberry, bergamot, licorice, fig leaves, orange, strawberry, and oak.

And this.
Pink lotus petals enveloped by a golden piece of precious amber. Seductive. Rich. Beautiful.
Fragrance Top Notes: Bergamot, Wild Berries, Succulent Plum.
Fragrance Mid Notes: White Rose NP, Orange Flower NP, Lotus Petals, Iris.
Fragrance Base Notes: Amber, Creamy Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Praline, Musk Captive.

The Burberry, rather than being timid, is subtle. It's a lovely, soft, daytime fragrance and it is unique. The Pink Sugar will make your husband or significant other want to eat you. Literally. It sounds very sickly sweet, but it isn't. It is deeply warm and sensually sweet. The Sensual Amber is sex. Period. If you can wear this and not want to crawl between the sheets and roll around, you are clearly olfactorily challenged. The same goes for the person smelling you. I wear this when I need some serious bowchickabow-ow.

4. Make-up; lips.

I love lipstick. I am never without something on my lips. That's partially because I am very pale and though my lips are full, they don't have much natural pigment. I tend to look somewhat cadaverous without lipstick. But also, I just hate the feel of bare, dry lips. The other day, a bottle of water that was not capped tighly leaked all over my purse. I had to take everything out to let it dry. Husband picked up my little see through pouch of lipsticks and said in bewilderment, "Baby, WHY do you have that many lipsticks? You only have ONE pair of lips!"

Believe it or not, this is about a quarter of the number I actually posess. This is just what I carry with me. But you girls have to have your pinks, your corals, your nudes. And every gal has to have at least one perfect red. Then you have to have your glosses, your creams, your mattes, your frosts, and your liners. One must have a suitably versatile lip wardrobe. But I can't expect a man who owns three pairs of shoes and who thinks that any two shades, if they are in the same color family, match, to understand this.

5. Make-Up; Eyeshadow

I love eyeshadow almost as much as I love lipstick. However, I don't wear as many different shades. I stick with about 5 or 6 color combinations, most of them pretty natural and/or neutral looking. I feel kind of silly wearing a smoky vampy eye to the grocery store. But I have about a billion shadows, just because I can't resist a gorgeous shade.

My most coveted brand of eye shadow hands down, is Bare Escentuals mineral eye shadow. The thing I like about BE shadows is their versatility. You can apply them wet (called "foiling") or dry to change the intensity. You can use them as liner by creating a paste and applying with a fine liner brush. There are several shades that I use as blush, eyeshadow and lipcolor for a very natural look.

Most of my mineral shadows last at least a year. Some pots I have had for 3 or 4 years and are not yet even half gone. The nice thing about mineral make-up is that because it has no binders, fragrance or preservatives, it will not spoil or harbor bacteria if stored properly.

My most favorite shade of all time is Vanilla Sugar. It's the only shade that I've used multiple pots of, because it is my base shade for all others. It can also be worn alone on days that you are going for a minimal look. A little Vanilla Sugar, a quick swipe of eyeliner and some mascara, and you are ready to go. And, you can use it as a highligher wherever you want a little extra glow. Sometimes I even use it beneath my eyes to brighten as well. I have horrible dark circles and sometimes they need a little extra camoflage.

It's a very pretty neutral peachy shade that is like skin, but better. It has a pearlescence to it, but is not a frost or a shimmer. This is an amazingly versatile product, and one which I cannot live without. It is definitely a staple in my make-up wardrobe.

6. Make-up; face

About five years ago, I discovered mineral make-up and now, I cannot wear anything else. I've strayed a time or two, only to find that I can no longer tolerate the heavy, masky feel of liquid foundation. Not to mention that my skin, which is very oily and prone to breakouts, stays clear and fresh when I use mineral make-up. The moment I put liquid foundation on my face, I break out.

It used to be that Bare Minerals was my brand of choice. However, though I've always considered it very high quality, I have been less than pleased with the "glow" that it imparts. For some women, this is the very reason they like it. But for an oily skinned gal, it was not a selling point. I usually solve this problem by purchasing a shade darker than I need and mixing it with equal parts cornstarch. This really increased the volume as well and gives you much more bang for your buck.

Recently, however, I discovered Everday Minerals. They have several formulations so that you can customize your look; Intensive, which is a full coverage finish, Matte, Semi-Matte and Origianl-Glo, which I imagine is very similar to the glowy finish of Bare Escentuals.

I am always skeptical of mineral knock-offs, but this brand received very good reveiws on Makeup Alley (I never buy anything without checking there first).

They sell samples and starter kits for a very reasonable price, so I decided to try them. And to my surprise, found that this is a very high quality product.

I did not like the Intensive formulation. It's very heavy coverage and didn't do well on my oily skin. The Matte was very nice medium coverage, but buildable. However, I didn't like the completely flat finish. The Semi-Matte turned out to be absolutely perfect for me. The coverage is natural, but hides what I need it to hide. It is not flat, but really has no discernible glow either. Just a nice, fresh, dewy look. I will be ordering a full size just as soon as I finish up what I'm using now.

Mineral make-up has a definite learning curve, but you don't need all the potions, primers and creams to "prepare" your face as they purport. I'll tell you a secret. I have very large pores in my t-zone, and they do tend to stand out more with mineral make-up because it doesn't fill in like liquid make-up does. don't have to spend $35 for half an ounce of Photofinish by Smashbox. Go to the feminine care aisle at your local drug or grocery store. There you will find a product called Monistat Chafing Gel. It has the EXACT SAME ingredients as Photofinish, but costs....$6.99. I have a tube that I've been using for 2 years.

Some people have had good luck with Milk of Magnesia, applied very sparingly with a cotton ball. Another option is a layer of pure cornstarch applied with a flocked sponge prior to application.

Okay, on to....

7. Purses

For years, I carried a diaper bag, and so, gave very little thought to my actual purse. I just carried a large wallett type thing that I could stash in the diaper bag. But, as happens when children grow older, I suddenly found myself freed of all the trappings of infancy and toddlerhood. And I rediscovered my love of purses.

I like big purses. I carry a lot of crap.

Sadly, I do not have a lot of disposable income with which to indulge this love. I have no Coach or Kate Spade in my collection. But I find that Target is great for a purse snob on a budget. Except for those dumb little Isaac Mizrahi handbags. I mean...all his handbags are four feet long and two inches high. Now those are great if I need to carry my dildo collection with me, but for most other practical purposes, they just don't make the grade. Plus, most of them are ugly.

For Christmas husband bought me this wonderful Ralph Lauren Tote:

As you can see, it is a fairly sizeable bag, and yet, it is bulging at the seams. As I mentioned, I actually cleaned it out fairly recently. You sure wouldn't know it, would you? Shall we take a look at what is in my purse today?

-Portfolio (also bulging at the seams)
-Package of Handisacks
-Orthodontic Rubber bands
-Lipstick pouch
-Two pairs of sunglasses
-iPod, monster cable and headphones
-Tylenol, Pamprin
-hand lotion, hand sanitizer, hairspray, Carmex
-Cell phone
-The belt to my son's baseball uniform
-Camera (in use)

Not included in photo; four feet of coupons and receipts from recent trip to grocery store, one granola bar wrapper, one banana skin in a ziploc bag. Five Starbuck's napkins.

8. Cake; Beef

I have a definite "type". Dark. Swarthy. Brooding. Mysterious. I rarely ever develop infatuations with blondes. Well, unless you count Shaun Cassidy when I was 7. These days, my tastes run more to this:

And, this...

And, this....

And, this.

Delectable, no? Of course, none of them can hold a candle to my own dear Husband, who rocks my world. He is the total package.

9. Cake; Batter, Birthday

Actually, I'm not much of a cake person. Baked goods aren't usually my thing. However...Bruster's Birthday Cake and/or Cake Batter Ice Cream can throw me into a hedonistic frenzy. Seriously, this stuff is like crack. I don't even need a cone, just give me a trough and a spoon. Right now, it's my absolutely favorite indulgence.
10. Outlander Series by Dana Gabaldon

Now, I don't consider books in and of themselves to be frivolous. But these particular books are just plain fun. There is no deep thought required. There is no heavy philosophical or theological message. It's just pure pleasure. This series is about a woman; Clair Randall, who inadvertantly travels from post 1943, to 1743. In so doing she encounters Jamie Fraser; a Highlander. Of course, they fall in love, leaving Claire in a bit of quandry, as she is already married to Frank Randall in 1945.

The rest is your standard bodice ripping, bosom heaving, member throbbing romp, complete with a damsel in distress, who is smart and beautiful, but tough as nails, and a white knight in the form of a brawny but senstive Highlander. However, it is slightly more highbrow and erudite than your average Harlequin. There is history, culture, political intrigue, battle, discovery, adventure, and of course, romance.

And there is some damn good sex. There are several notable scenes that will leave you decidedly...amorous.

Husband finds Jamie to be a highly implausible albeit undeniably likeable character. Well of course he is. That is why he makes us swoon. He is perfect.

I love everything about these books. I've read the entire series twice through already and I will probably do so again soon. Husband is currently reading them at my insistance, and discussing it with him is giving me a hankering to travel back to Inverness ca. 1743.

Dana Gabaldon sure knows how to spin a yarn. I've heard talk of a movie, but I don't know how they could ever fit 7 books (new one out next year, YAY!) into a bearable time frame. And I don't know how they would ever find anyone perfect enough to play Jamie.

Here's a fun video mock-up that someone did, but I can't say I agree with all the casting choices. I quite like Kate Beckinsale as Claire, but Jamie is much more handsome than the gent in this little production. I doubt there is a face in existence that can do the character of James Alexander Malcome McKenzie Fraser justice.

There now, wasn't that fun? Screw the environment, the presidential race, the war in Iraq, NCLB, religious dogma, and people being nasty to each other.

I needed that.


  • At 1:05 PM, Blogger Foofa said…

    The photos aren't showing up! I need a serious makeup lesson. I am relatively girly in the sense that I typically wear heels and rarely wear pants and cross my legs at the ankle but I have NO idea how to put on makeup. I am so bad at it that my boyfriend has forbidden me to wear it (although I can occasionally sneak past with lipstick). I'm not going to be young forever and I'm going to need some help to keep this natural beauty thing going. It will be a disaster.

  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger KT said…

    i can't see the photos either. I am sad.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I can't see them either, love and I NEED TO!

  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    I enjoyed seeing all of that. Really. :) My equivalent is hair color. That's my point of absolute vanity.

  • At 1:54 PM, Blogger Green-Eyed Momster said…

    Am I the only lucky one today? I saw the pictures and I thought I was a girly-girl. We have the same likes and I used to be a sweats and t-shirt girl but I'm a jeans and accessories girl now. I will wear skirts in the summer and I love, love, love sandles. Have you tried Tommy Hilfigers new scent Dreaming? It sounds a lot like Burberry. Peach and an inviting bouquet of white petals, white woods and sensual iris. I haven't tried it yet but I want to! My all time fav was Cotton Blossom by Bath and Body Works but the discontinued it. That's my luck, but I can see the pictures! Maybe my luck is changing!

  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger Green-Eyed Momster said…

    I meant to say sandals. Sorry.

  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    Being girly is just too complicated for me. I own zero lipsticks and three tinted chapsticks...and the smell of lavender literally makes me retch. Most colognes give me a headache. I cannot walk through a perfume department without suffering for hours afterward. And Diana Gabaldon - when Jaime started spanking Claire in the first book, I stopped right there.

    But despite our many differences, I still think you are incredibly cool. I would love to be able to be girly/smelly etc but I just don't have it in me.

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Will you still love me when I tell you we have nothing in common? Except that abstract thought thing.

  • At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Makeup Alley...added to the bloglist. Thanks, cause it wasn't long enough!

    Re: undereye circles - have you tried Bare Minerals' "Well Rested"? I have wicked allergy-related dark eye circles and this stuff is miraculous. Especially since I also have mom-of-infant related dark eye circles, and the two together are...substantial.

  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Alison said…

    Thanks for the recommendations--I've written down all of them and I think I'm going to have to get the eyeshadow right away.

  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    Loved Flutter's. Love yours. For exactly the reason you state...sometimes, girls just need a little fun. I'm a girly girl too.

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger Amie Adams said…

    I completely agree re:

    Lips-LipFusion in Smooch is my current fave. Though expensive it lasts a long time and provides the best sheer color.

    Cake, Beef--oh yeah dark, brooding. Joaquin and Goren (though I would have added Patrick Dempsey)

    Eyes--check out Kitten by Stila. I think you'll love it.

    Fun post.

  • At 10:36 PM, Blogger Rositta said…

    I'm not much into makeup or perfume, absolutely adore Lavender and Vanilla, have a passion for purses and loved all the Dana Gabaldon novels. Beautiful post...ciao

  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger anne said…

    ... taking notes, taking notes ...

    I could really use a crash course in girly. My hubby told me he had a dream the other night that he took the $600 rebate check from the government and made me buy girl pants.

    But I do have leopard print muck boots... so maybe there is hope.

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger NatzG said…

    Awwwww....I love this post! And of course you're girly, all the pink on your had to be!
    Now, I like makeup, but don't wear it all the time. But when I do, I like the nice stuff. I have never used mineral makeup before though. Will definitely check that out.
    What do you use for skin care...that is one indulgence I will spend a lot on. But I get bored with different brands and have to change every now and then.
    Thanks for the fun post!

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Sarahviz said…

    You are now officially my makeup guru!
    I just ordered a starter kit from Everyday Minerals since I've never tried mineral makeup before.

  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    Well, well, well. This was so refreshing. So girly. So right. (especially that picture of Goran - two-timing bastard, buy does that really matter when you look at THAT FACE!!!)

    While I'm no clairvoyant, I could certainly tell from the context of your posts that you're more than a fine brain and a wonderful mom.

    I'm pleased to see that you share my love of lip products. I will ascertain until my last dying breath that even if you feel like a bag of doggy doodoo, the second you throw on some lipstick, you feel better. And when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look great. Truer words.

    I also have a love of purses, but have scaled down the size slightly (loved the Isaac Mizrahi shot - and yes, he probably does think that's what women carry in their purses. At least that's what he would carry if he was a woman.) I try not to tote anything too large; I think I earned the privilege of not being anyone's sherpa anymore. More room = more of your crap. That had to stop.

    Thanks again for showing another facet of BA - we're all the better for knowing, girly girl.

  • At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wait! Not ONE comment about Outlander???? OK, I'm not girly, I guess, because makeup really doesn't do it for me. But, your pics of Clive Owen - yes! AND, Outlander? Absolutely!! Thanks for the little video. You're right about Kate Beckinsale, she definitely works, and "Wilson" from House is fine as Frank. But I'm also quite ambivalent about the guy playing Jamie. Who IS that, anyway?? :-)

  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    This was great! I love learning about this side of you... And I love that you are a girly girl. I think girls can be girly and smart ~ and I think these kind of girls are the best :)
    Oh, and your beef cakes? Joaquin is my all time favorite of them!

  • At 4:15 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    About two years ago I went to see Diana Gabaldon speak at our university (she grew up in my state). And I wore heels.

    We would be great IRL friends, I just know it.

  • At 6:23 PM, Blogger Day Dreamer said…

    I'm not exactly a gurly girl. I do wear makeup and jeans, sneakers too. Love the sheer lipsticks....

    Most everything in your collection above is most likely something I love to use/have/wear/carry.

    Bare minerals, check.
    Sensual Amber, check to death. I have a supply for ten years. Christmas sales bring out the horde in me.

    Bigger purse, check. (Dooney at the moment, however it's the only one I'll buy for...say...six years because that's how long it will take to pay off the first one. Stoopid...I know, but just beautiful.)

    Swear, the monostat gel will be in my bathroom by the weekend, thanks for the fun post and side advice!

  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger Daisy said…

    "Target is great for a purse snob on a budget" -- Oh, geez, I just bought a new purse/tote at Target two days ago! I claim it's planning ahead for our summer vacation (the first in almost five years) and I need to have just the right bag for the trip.

  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Sensitiva McFeelingsly said…

    As you can tell from the tribute on my blog - I LOVE THIS!

    Husband regularly teases me about not being able to have my creams and make-up when the apocalypse comes - whatever, my backpack will just have one less canned good and one more ziploc bag full of necessities! :)

    Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate the comments - since I get embarrassingly few. :)

  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I'm just not into makeup or bags or all. I think I'm missing a girl gene or two. BUT...while for some reason I cannot STAND Joaquin Phoenix...Goran/Luka and Mohinder (can't think of his real name, but love Heroes), those two are just...YUM.

  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Awesomely fun post!

    I want my house to have a great scent! I find that anything that is lit or melted works the best at blanketing my entire home, but since I once had an almost deadly mishap with a candle, I avoid them like the plague. But, sprays and those infuser things don't cut it; and incense just makes me want to smoke pot. Not exactly good for a mom of three.

    Thanks for the eyeshadow idea (did I ever tell you I copied your hair color?). And, holy moley, you are lipstick lady! I have ONE that I wear day and night. I need to expand a bit, dontcha think?

  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger Jaelithe said…

    I am in love with Everday Minerals semi-matte, too!

    And Mohinder.

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger Kimberly said…

    Love love love the Outlander series! Books like hers are my guilty pleasure. I have read them completely out of order, and only own one or two of them, so I have no real idea of the order, actually.

    If you want to zip into the 21st century, Nora Roberts has a good series, the "Death" series, which is a murder mystery series, unlike her Irish romance series. Of course, the tough lady cop is married to a bagillionaire, who is irish, and devestatingly handsome, and smart, and and and. Oh, and he appears to only have one name, a la Cher. Doesn't have the whimsey of the Outlander series, but still....

  • At 3:42 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    A girl after my own heart. I, too, face the stigma of being attractive and girly, yet smart. People see me with my outgoing, brilliant hubby and think I'm just his dumb arm candy. Little do they know we have the same IQ ;)


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