Monday, August 30, 2010

From the Archives: 60s & 70's TV Actresses I Used to Wish I Looked Like

Originally posted April 24, 2008

I was not a beautiful junior high school student. Let's just say I went through a severe awkward stage. I can vividly remember watching TV shows in the 60's and 70's and wishing I looked like some of those actresses. Here are 13 of them:

Marlo Thomas--"That Girl"

Barbara Eden--"I Dream of Jeannie"

Tina Cole--My Three Sons

Peggy Lipton--The Mod Squad

Maureen McCormick--The Brady Bunch

Barbara Feldon--Get Smart

Sally Field--Gidget and The Flying Nun

Mary Tyler Moore--The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Elizabeth Montgomery--Bewitched

Meredith McRae--Petticoat Junction

Linda Kaye Henning--Petticoat Junction

Lori Saunders--Petticoat Junction

Donna Douglas--The Beverly Hillbillies

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vlog: Things I'm Loving Right Now

Yes, I'm doing a vlog...basically, a video blog.


I do have a couple of disclaimers, though:

--I'm new to this, so forgive the fact that I haven't mastered the art of editing. Read: I don't know how to edit.

I did at one point edit out the very end where you see me shutting off the camera, but for some reason, my computer wouldn't let me upload that version!

--This is definitely going to be of more interest to the ladies than the guys.

That said...hope you enjoy! (It's pretty short.)

Things I Love 1 from Cindy Swanson on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From the Archives: 13 Great or Funny Quotes

(This was originally posted July 16, 2009)

OK...these start out seriously, but they slowly spiral down into outright silliness. But enjoy!

1- America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.--Abraham Lincoln

2- Beauty in not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.--Kahlil Gibran

3- A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.--C.S. Lewis

4- The issue is clear. It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side.--G.K. Chesterton

5- Spiritual joy is: The settled conviction that God sovereignly controls the events of life for the believers’ good and His glory. Spiritual joy is not an attitude dependent on chance or circumstance. It is the deep and abiding confidence that regardless of one’s circumstances in life, all is well between the believer and the Lord.--John MacArthur

6- Forgiveness is not that stripe which says, "I will forgive, but not forget." It is not to bury the hatchet with the handle sticking out of the ground, so you can grasp it the minute you want it.--D. L. Moody

7- I don't find slashing and blood flying everywhere to be scary. I just find it repulsive.--Dean Koontz

8- A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband and wife together.--James H. Boren

9- "Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."--Principal in "Billy Madison"

10- Prince Humperdinck: [sincerely] "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped."
Count Rugen: "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything."--From "The Princess Bride"

11- "Over the years I got to be quite a connossieur of soap. Though my personal preference was for Lux, I found that Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heavy, but with a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand... YECCHH!"--From "A Christmas Story"

12- I can't stand cheap people. It makes me real mad when someone says something like, "Hey, when are you going to pay me that $100 you owe me?" or "Do you have that $50 you borrowed?" Man, quit being so cheap!--Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

13- If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.--Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From the archives: What I have in common with Cindy Sheehan

My brother with Iraqi children, circa 2005

(I wrote this post in 2005--and I'm not even quite sure what Cindy Sheehan is doing nowadays--but many things in this post still resonate.)

Now, wait a minute. I'm not saying I agree with Cindy Sheehan. It seems to me that she's being used by liberal groups to push forward their own agendas. (Read Margaret Carlson's The Co-opting of Cindy Sheehan, Grieving Mom).

Even her family members have reportedly said that she's dishonoring the memory of her soldier son, who died in Iraq. And she appears to be pretty inconsistent in her comments about President Bush.

I'm a conservative, pro-Bush, God-fearing, patriotic American woman. But I admit, a small part of my heart grieves every time I hear about another American soldier being killed in Iraq. I'm not about to go out and join the candlelight vigils, although the war is in my prayers every night. I'm not like Cindy Sheehan in a lot of ways.

However, we do share something in common--besides the fact that we have the same first name and we're about the same age.

Cindy Sheehan had someone in Iraq that she loved, and she lost him. I have someone in Iraq that I love, and I don't want to lose him.

I've mentioned here that my brother David is a cop and former Marine (Desert Storm veteran) who is in Iraq voluntarily, training Iraqi police officers. Frankly, I'm terrified for my brother. I lost my dad a year ago, and I don't want to lose my only brother.

I said as much to him in an e-mail the other day. David had sent out a bulk e-mail, letting all of us know about the death of an American man in his unit.

When I responded, expressing my fear and wishes that he would come home, I hit "reply all"--so everyone on David's list saw my stark, raw emotion.

And David also hit "reply all" when he sent me this response. Strong though some of his wording may be (remember, once a Marine, always a Marine,)I think it shows the mindset of people like him who think they are in Iraq for good and necessary reasons,

David's response:

"_______________ [the American man who was killed] risked his life, knowing the risk, in order to train Iraqi Counter Terrorist Special Forces. My intent of passing the news on is to let everyone think about the fact that there are thousands of Iraqis who are putting their lives on the line every day to see democracy flourish in their country.

" So while France, and Germany have stood aside in helping the war on terror, America has found an ally in many of the Iraqi people who like the Americans, brave any risk to fight the war on terror. Let the liberal think of the American and Pro freedom Iraqi blood that still stains the soil of this country before thinking of stopping before success.

"Now is not the time to stop the fight. Let us not walk away from those we have given a taste of freedom, the promise of democracy, and the hope of a better future for their children.

"This is a noble cause. Just as our country's founders didn't shy from the unpleasantry of war to forge freedom in our country, neither should our country back down to the Muslim Extremist that bombed our country, hate our Christ, and our freedom. Let them all come here, all the Jihadist and Mujahadeen, the unholy warriors and suicidal fanatics of Muslim extremism. The haters of Christianity, Judaism, peace and freedom Arabs and Democracy. Come to us O enemies of freedom, come to Iraq and let your rat-like blood spill in the streets on the ground of Iraq so that the seeds of freedom and international security can be watered by it, and the dogs can be made fat by your flesh.

" Let them come one and all here to Iraq, the arena, the field of battle, rather than to my homeland. Let every American warror that loves freedom come and stand alongside the American military, police, security professionals and Iraqi Nationals that are ready shed their blood on this soil fighting terrorism. The Muslim extremist come from countries far and wide to kill the guardians of freedom here. Let us as Americans reach for the indomitable courage and intestinal fortitude that has made our country great, and unlike the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, the Kurdish uprising against Saddam, carry out the mission we began.

"Semper Fi"

David closed with this quote:

Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure since we wish not to die in that mans company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely wiil rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories will teach his son, and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for who has shed his blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together." --Shakespeare's Henry V

Will this rhetoric, although eloquent and heartfelt, be any comfort if my brother dies in Iraq? Frankly, probably not. But at least I will know that he believed very strongly in what he was doing there. And I would not dishonor his memory by protesting what he believed in so passionately.

In the meantime, I pray daily for God's shield of protection on his life.

(Originally posted August 18, 2005)

Monday, August 23, 2010

(From the archives:) My Interview with Drop Dead Diva's Brooke Elliott

Brooke Elliott dishes about body image, working with icons, and NOT being pressured to lose weight

(Originally posted 9/3/09)

Television being what it is, I never give a blanket endorsement to a TV show. However, I've seen "Drop Dead Diva" several times now, and I've really enjoyed it so far.

OK, it's one of those someone-comes-back-to-life-after-dying premises. We all know you have to suspend disbelief there, so just enjoy the show for what it is: light-hearted fun with some occasionally serious things to say about the weight issues that most women live with.

The best thing about the show? Its star, the delightful Brooke Elliott.

Deb is a slim, air-headed woman brought back in the body of a brilliant but dumpy and overweight lawyer, Jane. Somehow they merge--with Deb getting Jane's overweight exterior and brilliant mind, but keeping her own ditzy personality. Plus, Deb can't seem to remember that she doesn't look like a babe anymore, so she still acts like one.

The lovely Brooke Elliott is absolutely convincing portraying this paradox, and as I told her, it makes me believe that all overweight women should just act beautiful...then maybe it would become a self-fulfilling reality!

I asked Brooke about having a job in which she feels NO pressure to lose weight...what it's like working with famous guest stars like Delta Burke, Paula Abdul and Liza Minelli..and what about the guardian angel, Fred--will we ever see him again?

You can listen to my 8-minute interview with Drop Dead Diva's Brooke Elliott here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Perfect E-Mail Forward--A Must-Read!

Delving into the archives of my blog, I found this gem--a parody of an e-mail forward. It's a tongue-in-cheek response to those bothersome forwards we ALL get. Read on, and chuckle:


Thank you everyone.

I must give my thanks to whoever sent me the one about roach eggs
in the glue on envelopes because I
now have to get a wet towel with every envelope that needs
sealing. Also, I scrub the top of every
can I open for the same reason.

I want to thank you who have taken the time and trouble to send
me your chain letters over the past
12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed,
and wealthy. Because of your
concern, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make
these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could
be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell
like a water buffalo on a hot day.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me
with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are
actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't
support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer date the opposite sex because they will take my
kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

I no longer have any sneakers -- but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now
have their recipe.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels
looking out for me and St. Theresa's
novena has granted my every wish.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I
receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking out for me that I will now return the favor!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM(CST) this afternoon
and the fleas from 1,000 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I review the YouTube beauty gurus!

Top row: Emily Eddington and Kandee Johnson
Bottom row: Lauren Luke and Lolamarie7
You know, I've known for a while that you can find just about anything you need to learn on YouTube. How to grill a perfect steak? There's a vid for that. How to tie a tie? There's a vid for that. How to kiss? Yep, apparently there's even a vid for that.

But it wasn't until recently that I discovered there's a vast community of "beauty gurus" on YouTube. Searching for a tutorial on how to use velcro rollers, I stumbled on Emily Eddington's Beauty Broadcast channel, and was instantly hooked. You may remember that I recently did an e-mail interview with Emily.
She remains my favorite YouTube beauty guru, but I've recently had a chance to check out a few others. Here's my evaluations...starting with Emily.

Emily Eddington
With the screen name emilynoel83, Emily does tutorials on make-up techniques, evaluates make-up products and even gives you glimpses into her life as a TV newscaster and young wife.

I really enjoy her friendly, down-to-earth but professional approach. Her television experience serves her well in that regard. As I said in my previous post about her, Emily's beautiful face serves as the perfect canvas for the techniques she demonstrates.

(By the way, there's a British make-up artist whose videos I've checked out, but I find in singularly offputting that he demonstrates the make-up on himself. Call me old-fashioned, but I really don't like seeing make-up on men. I'm just traditional that way.)

Things I really like: Emily has a definite pattern to her routine, which is orderly and easy to follow. Also, she frequently demonstrates relatively inexpensive and sometimes VERY inexpensive products. It was through her that I found out about E.L.F., of which I'm now a huge fan.

Emily remains my favorite YouTube beauty guru. You can check her videos out here.

Kandee Johnson

Kandee is an L.A.-based make-up artist who has apparently styled movie stars and other celebrities. I can totally believe it. There seems to be no look Kandee can't achieve.

Besides her own drop-dead-gorgeousness (which is almost discouraging, because while you're watching you have to say, "No way I could ever look THAT beautiful!"), Kandee's bubbly personality is her calling card. She's fun, humorous and engaging.

Things I really like: As I said, Kandee's personality is effervescent, and she is obviously very knowledgeable and professional. She totally knows what she's doing.

One of the videos I really enjoyed was when she did her mother's make-up--partly because her mom is much closer to my age than Kandee is, and partly because it was just fun to see her interact with her mother, who she obviously adores. Check out Kandee Johnson's YouTube channel here.


"Lolamarie7" is this young woman's YouTube screen name, but I understand her real name is Jess, and she's a hairstylist somewhere in the midwest. Right now, she's pretty much my go-to girl for anything hair-related.

Things I like: Jess has a great personality, is lovely, and has a terrific head of hair on which she demonstrates all kinds of gorgeous looks. She will take you step-by-step through every technique or process she demonstrates. She's also very knowledgeable about make-up.

Some people have complained that the hair products she uses are all the expensive, high-end ones, but as a professional hairstylist, those would naturally be the products she would use. (I've actually found that as I've gotten older, hair products are something I have to spend a bit more on to insure I get top quality. Younger women can get away with the less expensive stuff.)

You can check out lolamarie7 here.

Lauren Luke

I just recently checked out this young British single mom who has apparently parlayed her YouTube popularity into a career--even launching her own make-up line.

A couple of things set Lauren apart from some of the other YouTube beauty gurus.

First of all, she's neither thin nor naturally gorgeous. This is a young woman who is obviously using everything at her disposal to be the most attractive person she can be--and that, frankly, appeals to me. Few of us have been gifted with the natural beauty of an Emily Eddington or Kandee Johnson. Lauren Luke shows how you can look very pretty despite that!

Another thing that sets her apart: her VERY strong Northern England accent. It's almost Scottish. Some people might find that offputting, but I happen to love it.

Things I really like: Lauren is very down-to-earth and appealing, and again, she's absolutely doing the best with what she has.

Things I'm "meh" about: Sometimes her eye make-up looks are a little over-the-top for me. The girl uses really lays it on thick.

Also, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to how she applies her make-up. She'll be doing eyeliner one second and suddenly she'll be doing her lips...then back to the eye-liner...and so on. I prefer a more orderly approach, but that's just me.

You can check out Lauren Luke's videos here.

So there you have it...
...four YouTube beauty gurus who will teach you innumerable nifty tricks and techniques that will help you look your absolute best. And who doesn't want that? :)
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