Friday, September 30, 2011

I Mustache You a Question....

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Colin Farrell you like mustaches on men? (Hopefully you don't like them on women. I know my 4-year-old grandson Payton doesn't--see his assertion here.)

Anyway, with Chicago recently being named America's Most Mustache-Friendly City, I thought we'd take a look at mustachioed men.

(For the record, I do like mustaches on men, IF they're kept clean and neat. Those that aren't neatly trimmed and look like they have food in them are just disgusting.)

Matthew Fox

Source: via

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Orlando Bloom

Zac Efron

Val Kilmer in "Tombstone"

Source: via

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Sam Elliott

and my personal husband!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Biggest Loser Update: Those pesky donuts

(Note: My "update" of The Biggest Loser is really more about my impressions than an actual retelling of everything that happened in the show)

Listen to my 4 min 25 sec podcast, or just read the post below it!

Well, it's Week 2 of this season, and all the participants are slowly starting to come into focus for me.

Early standouts were Antone, the fearful former NFL player, and Ramon, the young tattoo artist with the handsome face and sweet spirit.

Now I'm also recognizing Sunny, the schoolteacher who (rightly) took such offense at Black Team-mate John calling her "dumb as a box of rocks"; Jennifer, the gorgeous brunette who found out last night that she has a ton of health problems looming; and Jessica, whose jealous boyfriend helped sabotage her into gaining over 100 pounds.

Some random thoughts:

--John apologized to Sunny for the obviously false slurs on her intelligence, but I'm not sure how I feel about him right now. I always cringe when BL contestants go ahead and eat like pigs to win a challenge. The 37 donuts he consumed ended up not hurting his weight loss, but...I'm going to have to see more of John being a nice guy.

--Bonnie. I like her--she seems like a sweet lady--but I have to question why the producers would let someone on the show who can barely get around, thanks to a bad knee. Maybe they're trying to make a point that there IS hope for weight loss after knee surgery?

I hate to say it (since I would actually be part of the "old" team if I was there), but the slowness of the old team just makes me sigh. (With the exception of Becky, who doesn't seem that old at all.)

I feel bad for Anna Kournikova, who was stuck with a very low-achieving team that is now dwindling in numbers. I like Anna--she's shown herself to be very caring and good-intentioned--but I'm still not convinced she's the caliber of trainer that needs to be on the show. We'll see.

The ghost of Jillian Michaels haunts the gym. (No, don't worry, she's not dead--but I fear her spirit is there feeling awfully frustrated because she can't take some of these people, royally kick their behinds and whip them into shape.)

Still loving Bob--he can pretty much do no wrong in my book.

Still loving Dolvett, whose brilliant smile and caring spirit go all Jillian once he hits the gym. Honestly, I think he's the best addition the show, when it comes to trainers, that I've seen since I've been watching--and I first starting watching when that obnoxious Kim was on.

Two-hour workouts

The premise of this week's episode was to allow each team only two hours of work-outs a day, with the idea that when they get back to "the real world," that's probably the maximum that most of them will be able to manage.

It was good to see that the participants still lost weight--and remember, the 2nd week is usually the time when they don't lose much, thanks to their often-huge first week loss.


The producers always try to stir up a little drama, which isn't necessary at all, because that's not what we watch the show for. We watch (or at least I do) to be inspired by a group of people who are transforming their lives.

The John vs. Sunny thing was quickly resolved, though, and as I said earlier, we'll have to see if John is on good behavior from here on out.


I'm sorry, but I wasn't sad at all to see Boston Johnny go home. It annoys me like crazy when I see contestants get on the show--a chance thousands of people would give a LOT for--and whine and moan and constantly talk about quitting.

I'm truly glad that Johnny was able to successfully lose weight at home--I'm really happy for him. But I'm not going to miss him.

What did you think? Let me know in my comments!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashion Friday: Some "Pinteresting" Clothes

As I've mentioned, Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration on everything from decorating to crafts to cooking to, yes, fashion.

Like most people who use Pinterest, I have a board especially designated for pinning and re-pinning fashion inspiration, and I have found some gorgeous clothes on Pinterest.

As you can see, my style tends toward classic styles and flattering lines. I don't know if I'll ever own any of these exact clothes, but they certainly serve as an inspiration board for things I'd like to add to my wardrobe!

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: None via Cindy on Pinterest

I'm participating today in Fashion Friday, hosted by Blonde Episodes! Click the icon for more info...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biggest Loser Update: Off and Running!

(Note: My "update" of The Biggest Loser is really more about my impressions than an actual retelling of everything that happened in the show)

So, one of my favorite shows ever is back! Here are some of my thoughts:

Dolvett (one of the new trainers)-I think I love him. Not only does he have a smile that would light up Dallas, he seems to be the perfect mixture of tough and caring. I'm looking for good things from him.

The age factor: I'm not sure how I feel about the teams being divided up according to age.

I know Survivor did this before, but I just don't see how older people can compete with younger ones...even morbidly obese younger ones. Maybe they'll prove me wrong. They didn't seem to slack off in the weight loss department last night.

And--I know this is terrible, because I would actually be IN the oldest group--the older ones just kind of bore me a little. Not necessarily because of their age, but their personalities just don't appeal to me very much, at least at this point.

And one more thing. It never ceases to amaze me that some people come on the show and are surprised by the intensity of the workouts. Do you not WATCH THE SHOW???? I can clearly see how hard the work-outs are, which is one reason I would never try to go on the show!

Anna--Put me in the jury's-still-out category. Sure, she's a great athlete, but possessing skills and abilities doesn't always equal being able to parlay them to others. She is definitely no Jillian.

She does seem sweet...but her attempts at being hard-nosed and tough came off a bit lame, at least for me.

Bob, of course, is still wonderful Bob--a mainstay of the show. His talk with Antone--the former NFL player--was classic Bob, clearly indicative of the way he can motivate people with a combination of tough love, genuine compassion, and belief in what they can accomplish. No wonder people love him so much.

Do you have a favorite yet? I don't...I think it's going to take at least one more show before everyone starts to gel and you really see what they're like. I must say, I'm rooting for Antone to succeed.

What do you think about the new season? Any thoughts on Anna and Dolvett? Let me know in my comments section!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Melange: What's Going On in My Corner of the Blogosphere

Actress Lea Michelle at the Emmys

So, yeah, I'm bringing back (at least for today!) an old feature called Monday Melange, in which I give you some cool/interesting links to check out at your leisure.

--No, I didn't watch the Emmys last night, but I always like to check out the fashions the next day. Above, actress Lea Michelle, whose look I thought was really pretty. (Oh, and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men"? We know you have cleavage. We get that. Dial it back a notch, please.)

Anyway, here's a link where you can browse all the looks, "best, worst and wackiest."

--Biggest Loser winner Olivia Ward is asking the question on her blog, "Is Big Really Sexy?" Prompting her question is the TLC show, "Big Sexy." Says Olivia:

"I have to admit, I watched all 3 episodes and I could not for the life of me figure out how I felt about them. My initial reaction was “You GO girls…flaunt those curves”….I was so moved by how brave these women are to really encourage people to be comfortable in their own skin...

Another part of this is how do I justify supporting people who want to continue to stay in an unhealthy state? It’s one thing to be overweight and working on it…it’s quite another to say that it is healthy to stay overweight and being proud of that."

--The Ink Slinger, my favorite brilliant teen-age blogger, has a list of Books Every Guy Should Read. (And this is just Part One.)

--As you know, I'm a big fan of YouTube beauty gurus, but I've noticed there are not many who represent women of "a certain age" (don't you love that French expression!). It seems most of the beauty gurus are very young.

However, Judy Chapman of Modern and Mature is not only my age, but she's gorgeous. She doesn't talk about make-up much--she leaves that to her daughters, make-up artist Samantha and Nicola of Pixiwoo. But she gives marvelous fashion advice, and she looks AMAZING. Always appropriate for her age, but fashionable and attractive.

With scarf-wearing weather on the way, check out her tutorial on many ways to tie scarves.

(Not the least of my favorite things about the Chapman ladies: their lovely British accents.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some practical ways to make your life less stressful...

We all talk about trying to cut down stress in our lives, but with today's fast-paced lifestyles, how in the world do you actually do that?

I found this "poster" that offers some concrete, practical, doable ways to do so. I would add one thing: make prayer a regular part of your life.

(Can I say, I really love "learn a new doodle"? I'm a chronic doodler, but my go-to doodle is bunches of little flowers. I do need a new one!)

Check this out:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday 13: Thirteen Things to (Hopefully) Make You Grin!

Source: via Alli on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: None via Cindy on Pinterest

Go here to participate in Thursday Thirteen!

Oh, How Pinteresting!

So, yes, I've discovered Pinterest. How do I describe it? Basically, it's one big inspiration board, where people "pin" or post things that they like--recipes, craft ideas, fashions, inspiring thoughts, lovely images, you name it.

I've seen so many things on Pinterest that inspire and/or appeal to me in the short time I've been on it! Today, I'm participating in Oh, How Pinteresting! hosted by The Vintage Apple.

Here are just a few of the cool things I've found so far on Pinterest...

Love this---the color and the grouping!

Simple but beautiful idea...spray-painted mason jars

How brilliant is this--sheets stored in their own pillowcases!

I know, right!?

I'm definitely trying this Mexican Lime Chicken recipe--sooner rather than later!


Monday, September 12, 2011

What I did last summer

(Click on the image to see it larger)

Well, summer's essentially over...and this kind of encapsulates my summer of 2011.

--Books...I did a LOT of reading this past summer! That's one thing about an empty definitely have more time.

--Storms--Our area of Northern Illinois seemed to be wracked with storms this past summer, several leaving people without power for long periods of time.

--Pools--Honestly, I didn't get to spend as much time in pools as I would have liked to, except for when we were in Texas. I wish I had more access to pools here, because of the...

--Heat--which was often brutal, especially for our area in which we can normally count on a fairly mild summer.

--"Fringe"--After my husband got the first season for Father's Day, we were hooked, and spent the summer watching all 3 seasons so far. Yes, it's often weird and sometimes disturbing, but it's never less than fascinating, and I love the characters.

--Family picnics--What can I say? I love getting together with extended family members for delicious food and fellowship.

--Sonic Diet Cherry Limeades--I seriously could not have made it through the summer without these ambrosial tonics of refreshing deliciousness.

--Texas--Of course, people thought we were crazy for going to Texas in August! But we went because of the many people we dearly love who live there, and that trip and...

--My 33rd wedding anniversary...

...ended up being the highlights of my summer.

Farewell, Summer of 2011! May the autumn be a good one.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guide Us With Your Grace...

Verizon's beautiful tribute to 9/11--"The Prayer," Josh Groban and Charlotte Church

Friday, September 09, 2011

When I went to a British school

As I've mentioned before, my parents were missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon, for a couple of years when I was a little girl in the mid-60s. I recently dug up some things I wrote reminiscing about my time there. Here you go:

Manor House School

Manor House was very near our first home--in fact, in clear view of our balcony. It was situated in a building the color of manila paper, with green trim. I was once told that the bulding had formerly been a nunnery.

It had about four stories, and was very plain inside, with small classrooms and none of the bright artistic decorations I was used to in my American schools.

The students wore uniforms--the girls my age dressed in gray pleated skirts, gray V-neck pull-overs, and white blouses. All I remember about the boys' uniform is that they wore short pants, which seemed to me very strange.

Portrait of the queen

I remember my first day. I sat in the lobby with my parents, facing a large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. I was nervous, shy, and disoriented.

In time an older boy with a British accent escorted me to my classroom, with its teacher, a stout, dark-haired, middle-aged lady named Miss Diamond.

Gradually I became accustomed to Manor House School. the books were plain but not dull, with absorbing stories about people like Robin Hood and Little John. At Miss Diamond's instruction, I used a British accent when reading aloud in class, and became quite "fluent."

Miss Diamond was not unkind, but she was annoyed by my habit of saying "OK," and taught me to always respond with "Yes, Miss." She found my little Americanisms annoying, and did her best to rid me of them.

A large, jolly lady named Madame Augustine taught us French, which I learned to love. Arabic I found less fascinating, but I applied myself and learned the rudiments.

Miss Gardiner

My second year at Manor House started out calmly enough--until our new teacher from England arrived--Miss Gardiner.

Miss Gardiner terrified and awed me. She was stern, strict, overly puritanical in my opinion, and unkind. My classmates shared my terror of the large old lady with the iron-gray hair worn in a braid encircling her head and a round, bespectacled face.

I remember how it annoyed me when, after lunch, she would clean her teeth with her tongue. How she terrified me when she hit my best friend, Nadia Nash, for cheating!

Nadia was part Lebanese, part British, and spoke with a delightful French accent. Her mother was a popular French and music teacher at Manor House, and we were the best of school friends. I shared her tears over the humiliating corporal punishment Miss Gardiner had administered to her.

I was fond of reading books, which I kept on my lap away from Miss Gardiner's eyes. So you can imagine my horror when she punished Serena McClelland for doing that very thing! Serena was the beautiful child of Scottish missionaries. I admired her silky blond hair, fair skin, pink cheeks and blue eyes, and it hurt my very soul when she cried.

Math--what awful memories that word conjures! The students were far ahead of me in that area, and it seemed I couldn't grasp any but the simplest principles. Most of the morning lessons were devoted to math, so after lunch I could more or less relax.

Reading time

At this time I could sit in my class and listen to Miss Gardiner read. She was constantly reading aloud to us, and it was the only part of her teaching that I enjoyed.

She read to us of the history of Britain, and I was fascinated by the kings and queens--a fascination that continues to this day. She read Greek mythology and classic literature.

So I profited from Miss Gardiner's teaching after all. She helped instill and nurture in me a love of literature that grew steadily.

Manor House seemed like an odd school to me, but I know that much of what I am today was influenced by my time there. I've no doubt that my Anglophilia--love of all things British--took root at that time, and has never left me.

My fifth grade was spent at American Community School, almost an exact replica of a Hometown USA school. It was fun and interesting, but not nearly as much of a really different experience as was Manor House School.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Hair

Check out these luxuriant manes!

Taylor Swift

Rita Hayworth

Zoey Deschanel

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)

Jane Fonda

Rachel McAdams


Keira Knightley

Greta Garbo

Do you have a favorite???

I'm participating in Semi Wordless Wednesday, hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls!


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