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Not Ready for Granny Panties
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A Friday Wish for Everyone on Your Not-So-Favorite List

Sometimes you just don’t feel like telling someone to “Have a nice day!” Here’s another option:

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Usually, it’s a good idea to let karma do what karma’s gotta do. Happy Friday!

–Mary Fran

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Seductive Scents of Summer–Right Now!

beach pixBy: Chrysa Smith

Warm weather can’t come fast enough this year–especially on the East Coast. So, I do whatever I can to usher in those summer senses. You know, the smell of the beach, the balmy air, sunscreen and tanning lotion.

While I’d love to know about more products to give me that kick start that I desperately need when pulling up the shades and finding more white and gray, I’ve got a few staples to share. If you haven’t already, check these out:

Shampoo: While my very favorite scent is Angel Wash from the Kevin Murphy Collection, that’s a special holiday treat (@ something ridiculous like $30/bottle). It does, however, keep it’s beautifully light, feminine fragrance going all day long (which is more than I can say for most shampoos). But I’ve recently found a rival. Not only does it wake me up with beachy fragrance, it does linger longer than many (though not really all day). At less than a quarter of the price of Mr. Murphy’s concoctions, I’m there. ‘Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo’ from Orx–or Organix Spa Collection. It comes in an aquamarine colored bottled, and can be found in drug and grocery stores. It’s from a company that produces many fragranced shampoo for all different hair types. You’ll recognize it when you see it.

Tanning: I cringe when I get dressed. What a pale, white, dry body! While moisturizers do what they can to keep the flaking down, there’s nothing like some golden color. I’ve tried the slater-on lotions from the drugstore, but no matter how well I seem to blend, I always seem to find a line. So I have discovered ‘Tan Towel.’ They are in towelette form, like a baby wipe. Only this towel provides you with slowly growing color. And because it’s wipe on rather than spread on, I have no tan lines. It is a little more expensive than the drug store creams, but I think it’s worth it. I buy it from Amazon.

Fragrance: A few years ago, while at the shore, I stumbled upon one of my favorite fragrances from Crabtree & Evelyn. It’s from the ‘India hicks Island Living’ collection, and it’s called ‘Spider Lily.’  To me, the fragrance is pure summer. And India Hicks happens to be a real woman who of course, comes from a well-to-do family–which explains her own fragrance line. But kudos to her, for I love it and still use it, winter or summer.

Home: About this time of year, the florists are whipping out their spring bulbs. Treat yourself to a fragrant Hyacinth or a bunch of daffodils and tulips. The colors alone bring life to the house—and fragrance? It’s something we sorely miss during winter. Next month, I also begin putting away the stark branches and winter colors I use for pillows and throws, in favor of some seashells, sea grass (well, OK, it’s fake, but looks nice) in containers. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re at the beach, even if you are about 1 1/2 hours away—well, for me.

Do what you can to keep the future in mind as these short-light, long winter days wind down. And if you’ve got any products of your own to share, do tell. I always like to keep up on what keeps my spirits up.

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The Oscars–Recap and Ruminations

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

oscars-2013-promo-posterAs usual, I loved watching the Oscars on Sunday night. Until, also as usual, I started to complain about pretty much everything around 90 minutes in. Here are a few thoughts….

1.  Neil Patrick Harris: Awesome Tony host, super Emmy host, meh Oscar host. I’m pretty sure you need a comedian to host this show, not someone who needs to have his words written for him. The best Oscar hosts were all comedians–Billy Crystal, Ellen Degeneres, Johnny Carson, and the legendary Bob Hope. ‘Nuf said.

2.  John Travolta is really weird. Given the chance to redeem himself after last year’s name-flub with the glorious Idina Menzel, Travolta pawed the poor woman’s face while slobbering over her, making the potentially funny bit again really awkward. Stop talking, John. Just stop.

3.  Sean Penn can always be counted on to be obnoxious. While presenting the show’s most prestigious award for Best Picture, the permanently scowling Penn looked at the winner’s name and promptly blurted, “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” Classy. Can someone please ban this fool from, well, everything?

4.  Lady Gaga can actually sort of sing. Who knew? And for once, she wasn’t wearing some variation of a meat-suit or some other outrageous outfit. The combination yielded her most shocking public performance to date: genuine singing and appropriate clothing.

5.  I’m sick of seeing Marion Cotillard at the Oscars. This is going to sound horrible, but she’s French, and I sorta, kinda want to see Americans nominated and winning. That said, Eddie Redmayne was outstanding in The Theory of Everything, even though Bradley Cooper is way hotter.

6.  Michael Keaton is still adorable, even at sixty-three. To close the show with, “Look, it’s just great to be here. Who am I kidding? It’s great fun.” –well, I just wanted to give the guy a hug.

7.  Jared Leto looked as though he was channeling the guy from Dumb and Dumber with that blue tux. Well, that guy and Jesus, if Jesus ever wore a powder blue tux. Dude, you have money now. You don’t have to get your clothes at Goodwill.

8. Neil Patrick Harris going full frontal in his tighty-whiteys? No, thank you. I mean, really, no.

9.  Rosamund Pike and that red dress–stunning. Scarlett Johansson and that green dress–ew.

I could go on, but that’s enough. Any time I can end a column by saying the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson looked “ew,” it’s time to quit before I get myself in trouble. As for next year’s show, I’m sure I’ll love–and hate–that too.

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This Sunday–It’s the Oscars!

By: Mary Fran Bontempo

oscarselfieThe Oscars will air this Sunday, February 22nd, starting at 7  p.m. on ABC, and I’ll be on my couch, glued to our new 50-inch TV. (A gift from our kids at Christmas, and can I just say that we rarely leave the house anymore.)

I’m an awards show freak, not always because of the medium being honored, but more for the fashion and star watching. Yet all of the awards shows have amped up their game in the past several years, and the programs themselves are generally entertaining, at least for the first 90 minutes, after which a stint in a dentist’s chair begins to look like a viable option.

Hosting will be Neil Patrick Harris, who has done an amazing job on the Tonys and the Emmys. He’ll have some big shoes to fill after Ellen DeGeneres and her Twitter-breaking selfie last year, but I’m pretty sure he’s up to the challenge, or at least he’s implied that he is. We’ll see.

I’ve only seen one of this year’s nominees for Best Picture–Michael Keaton’s Birdman. It’s a quirky movie; one of those pictures you see and then spend the rest of the day trying to figure out. But it was memorable, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I actually liked it. My husband, Dave, not so sure. Keaton’s performance, though, was unquestionably brilliant, and I’d love to see him win Best Actor, due in no small part that it would be a validation of a lifetime of work from a talented guy, not much older than me. (I’m getting more sensitive to that kind of stuff as I age. In fact, I think everyone should win some kind of an award just for making it past fifty.)

Check out the trailer for Birdman, below, and click here to catch up on other Best Picture nominee trailers. Happy viewing!

 

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Rx for the Winter Blues

By: Chrysa Smith

atlantis

For as long as I can remember, I’d  dread those months following New Year’s. I know I’m hardly alone, except for those nutty ski bums who love embracing the cold and the snow. And for as long as I can remember, my husband and son, who love to ski, have planned and taken their ski trips—that is, following the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

As you might imagine,  I’ve felt left out–shunned, if you will. So once again, I suggested a diversion from the frosty trips—one to someplace warm. One where I, a beach bum, could enjoy some warmth, color and sun.

So this year, thanks to my son, we actually bit the bullet and took a trip to the Bahamas. Four glorious days of sun, palm trees, tropical breezes and no coats—smack in the middle of winter. And it was just what I needed as an Rx to the winter blues.

This past week, we jetted off to Nassau, with Paradise Island as our final destination. You see all of those commercials for Atlantis—with the gorgeous beaches and water slide that takes you right through a shark tank. We spent much time by one of the many pools, hit the beach and watched the glorious aqua water ebb and flow. We strolled through downtown Nassau, where most everyone tried to sell us a ‘Cuban’ cigar, some woven straw bags or some woven bracelets and trinkets.

Not only was the climate new–so was the culture. It was just the thing to pop one out of winter for awhile and give the ability to once again cope with one more month til the official start of spring. I’m not even phased about today’s snowy forecast.

Ror me this year, in the middle of winter, I can honestly say (like the commercial) that it was indeed, better in the Bahamas.

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Celebrity Jeopardy on SNL–Hilarious!

I was going to write an original post, but who can compete with Celebrity Jeopardy on the SNL 40th anniversary show? Enjoy this hilarious sketch!
–Mary Fran
 

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Simple Test Predicts Longevity

Well, isn’t this a cheery topic? This simple sit/rise test was invented by a Brazilian doctor and claims to be a good indicator of longevity. Deceptively simple, it presents a pretty accurate picture of strength and flexibility. Like it or not, we have to start thinking about that stuff, gals.

If you do manage to get down and up without assistance, bravo! Repeating the exercise is good for you as well. If you need a crane to get you off the floor, well, you might want to do something about that….

–Mary Fran