Friday, March 30, 2012

Fashion Friday: A Kate Update

It's been a while since I linked up with Blonde Episodes' Fashion Friday.  However, I actually have a board on Pinterest devoted to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge (I still want to call her Kate Middleton).

I love her style, and her clothes are just amazing. (Although I do wish she'd put back on a few pounds. I think she'd look een more beautiful!)  Enjoy some of her (mostly) recent looks!

I'm linking up with Kori at Blonde Episodes for Fashion Friday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Boomer Quiz: A Trip Down Memory Lane

(A goodie from the archives of Notes in the Key of Life--this was earlier posted May 201.)

Remember "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony"?

Remember reaching into a huge cooler of pop bottles chilling in ice-cold water? Remember taking a long swig of Coca-Cola that was so cold it had slivers of ice in it? Remember paying 20 cents a gallon for gasoline? Remember listening to top 40 AM radio?

If you do, you're probably a baby boomer.

My radio co-host when I was working at 101QFL, Darren Marlar, gave me this quiz several years ago on the air, and it was a lot of fun so I thought I'd share it!


Look at the items below. You'll know that you qualify as a true Baby Boomer if you remember...

1. "Cruising" on a Friday night, listening to the Top 40 on your AM radio.--(Oh, yeah! I don't even remember being aware of FM radio until I was a sophomore or junior in high school...and it definitely wasn't top 40.)

2. How much popcorn you made when you got that first microwave.

3. When there were only 3 TV channels -- and it was so hard to choose what to watch!--(At least you didn't need a remote!)

4. Where you were when JFK was shot...(or RFK)...(or MLK, Jr.)...


5. When the "Domino Theory" meant something other than planning to have pizza for dinner.

6. Who shot J.R.?

7. How scary it was to open that first Apple II...(or Tandy)...(or Commodore) add a card to increase the RAM from 16K all the way up to 64K.

8. When your teenage son or daughter first told you about the Internet.--(I'm on the young side for that one--my kids weren't teen-agers yet, but I remember when news stories were trumpeting the soon arrival of what they kept calling "the information superhighway.)

9. When the Beatles sang "I want to hold your hand" to Ed Sullivan.--(Yep.)

10. The unbelievable taste of good ol' Ripple wine.--(Have to pass on that one.)

11. How "neat" it was to hear the Beach Boys actually sing surfing music at the beach, on your transistor radio.--(Transistor radios! Loved 'em. My sister had one that looked exactly like a Coke can. My mom said she almost threw it away a million times, thinking it really was a Coke can.)

12. When you bought your first car that actually had seatbelts installed.--(Not really...I always remember seatbelts being there.)

13. When you said that you'd never trust anyone over 30.--(Nope...that was the "hippie" era. I was still pretty young then.)

14. What a TV test pattern looked like, when the channel went off the air at midnight.--(Yep, and the national anthem playing which meant it was time to go to bed. That was actually a good thing--a point at which you could NO LONGER WATCH TV.)

15. When we gave up trying to win "hearts and minds" and settled for "peace with honor".

16. When the price of gas jumped up to 50 cents per gallon.

17. When everybody did the "bump" in their leisure suits at the disco.--(I never frequented discos, but I sure do remember that era. Eeesh...leisure suits. How could we have ever thought those were cool? I bet they take hundreds of years to decompose in the landfills...)

18. Making love, not war, on your way to Woodstock in your flowered VW van.--(Again, too early for me.)

19. Watching the first man walk on the moon with "one small step..."--(Yep, I was glued to the (black and white) TV when that happened.)

20. When Carnaby Street came to Main Street, and everyone wore mini-skirts and platform shoes.


How many of those items do you remember?

Add up your score and compare with the grade levels below:

16 - 20 remembered: You qualify as a true Baby Boomer -- you were there and remember it all.

11 - 15 remembered: You're probably old enough, but they say that "memory is one of the first things to go..."

6 - 10 remembered: It's nice to have you youngsters join us here today.

Less than 6 remembered: Either you're real young or you once were a friend of Timothy Leary's -- wasn't he the one who said "If you remember the '60's, then you weren't really there?"

I have a few to add to the list

Remember when every girl wore their hair long, straight and parted down the middle? You could look at your high school yearbook and it would be rows and rows of girls with that look (except for the black girls, whose Afros were so big they sometimes didn't fit in the picture.)

With my naturally curly hair, oh what pains I took to obtain that look. I spent every night with my hair in a pony-tail on top of my head, rolled into two enormous rollers bigger than orange juice cans.

Remember, years earlier than that (circa 1968, '69) when everyone wore fishnet hose? The really cool girls had different colored ones to match with every outfit.

Remember when yarn ribbons were the must-have accessory for hair?

Remember Dippity-do?

Did you have a crush on either of the guys on Alias Smith and Jones? (Read about my crush on Pete Duel.)

Which Monkee did you think was the cutest?

Got any to add to the list?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

My son Jonathan on his first birthday

Thirty-two years ago, on March 27, 1980, my firstborn child was born.

I was 23 years old, excited and scared, and there was so much I didn't know before my labor began and my husband rushed me to the hospital.

I didn't know that I was going to have a little boy.  Very few people knew the sex of their child in those days; ultrasounds weren't as common as they are now, and doctors often made mistakes when guessing the gender.

I didn't know I was going to have a C-section.  We had taken Lamaze classes and thought we would have a completely natural, non-medicated birth, because that was what was expected.  (To this day, I don't know if I could have gone through with that! I have a pathetically low pain threshold.)

I didn't realize how much a baby would change my life--how everything would now revolve around this little person, his needs and his demands, and how that would take some adjusting to and maturing on my part.

I didn't realize how much a baby would change my life--I didn't know how much joy Jonathan would bring to me and my husband.  I didn't realize how immense, how ineffable, how unconditional your love can be for this person that lived inside your body for nine months.

I didn't realize how fast those early years would go.  I'm sad because--although other people did--we didn't have a video camera to record priceless moments, only a cheap camera that failed to capture what a fun, smart, precocious, adorable and incredibly beautiful little boy we had.

I didn't realize how Jonathan would grow up so quickly into a teen-ager, then a young man.  I couldn't look into the future and see how proud he would make us with his intelligence, his love for God, his creativity ,his character, his work ethic, and later his wonderful qualities as a husband and as a father to his own sons.

I didn't know (although I prayed it would be so) that he would meet a beautiful girl and marry her--the perfect wife for him, and mother of the two little boys I love most in this world.

I didn't foresee how often Jonathan would make us smile, make us laugh, and bring us joy--not only for the few years he lived in our home, but to this day.

I didn't know he would be a person of real empathy and sensitivity. That he would be like me in many ways, loving all kinds of music and loving to read.  That he would introduce me to books, movies and TV shows that would become my favorites, like "Lost" and "Fringe."

(I admit, I could have easily guessed that he would be like his father in loving sports.  That would have to be a given in our home--my daughter does too!)

I would be lying, of course, if I said that being a mother was a path of unalloyed pleasure and happiness.  There is plenty of worry and fear along that path as well.

But if I had realized on the eve of March 27, 1980, just how much love and joy being a mother (to Jonathan, and later to Justin and Elizabeth) would bring, my heart just might have burst.

Maybe it's a good thing we can't see into the future.

Happy birthday to my wonderful firstborn son, Jonathan Douglas Swanson! I love you more than words can say!

"Once Upon a Time" appeals to the fairy-tale lover in me

From the show's website:

Once Upon A Time is, at its core, a story about hope. "For us, that’s what a fairytale is. It’s that ability to think your life will get better... Adam and I just wanted to write about something hopeful that for one hour a week allows one to put everything aside and have that feeling that your dreams just may come true."--Edward Kitsis, Co-Creator/Executive Producer

Note: If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I never give a blanket recommendation to a TV show.  Very rare is the show that contains nothing that would be offensive to someone or completely family-friendly.  With that caveat, though, I have to say:

I'm loving "Once Upon a Time."

I've got to admit, it had me at Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the creators of the show.  Both were among the writers of "Lost," my favorite show of all time, so I was pretty sure "Once Upon a Time" was going to be special.

Source: via Adrian on Pinterest

If you're not familiar with it, here's the premise of the show (from the show's website):
Emma Swan’s life has been anything but a fairytale. A 28-year-old bail bondsperson, she’s been taking care of herself since she was abandoned as a baby.

But when Henry—the son she gave up 10 years ago—finds her, everything changes. Henry is desperate for his mom’s help and thinks that Emma is actually the long, lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. Yes, the actual Snow White and Prince Charming.

Even stranger, Henry believes that Storybrooke, the sleepy New England town he calls home, is really part of a curse cast by the Evil Queen, freezing fairytale characters in the modern world with no memory of their former selves.

Of course, everything is headed for a showdown between the good represented by Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), and the evil represented by Queen Regina (Lana Parilla).

And of course there's the enigmatic Rumpelstiltskin/Mr Gold (Robert Carlyle)--who we think is one of the baddies, but sometimes we're not quite sure. Let's say he's a character you love to hate--and his Irish accent is awesome, by the way.

Source: via Pia on Pinterest

In the meantime, we're getting to know a host of characters from our beloved childhood fairy tales and even from Disney movies (the show has Disney's permission), both as they were in fairy-tale land and as they are in modern-day Storybrooke.

And the stories going on in the present day are just as fascinating as the ones in fairy-tale land.

I would not recommend this show for little children--there may be things that would be too disturbing for them. But if you love the romance and wonder of fairy-tales, as well as a story rich in imagination and adventure--along with excellent acting and fine writing--Once Upon a Time may be for you.

Source: via Irene on Pinterest

Are you liking "Once Upon a Time"? Let me know in my comments!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How do you handle your curly hair?

What I WISH my hair looked like! (actress Debra Messing)

I've had curly hair all my life, and although my mane was once the bane of my existence (clever, huh?:), I've now made peace with it.

But after reading my friend Ashley's post on curly hair, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned in my years of dealing with curliness and ask if you have any advice to share.

Not long ago, I blogged about the complicated hair routine I had to go through in the 70's.  Thankfully, excellent modern products and styling tools now mean that I can have straight hair, too.

I would have to say I divide my time about 70/30 with 70 being wearing my hair at least somewhat straight, and 30 allowing it to dry naturally, with the help of styling products that make the curls look prettier and less frizzy.

Here are a couple of products I really love:

Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray by John Frieda:

Believe me, I've tried all the high-end products for curls, and this works as well or better than most of them and at a fraction of the price!

I spray this on after washing my hair, then either let it dry naturally or partially dry it with a diffuser.  (If your blow-dryer doesn't have a diffuser, you can get a cheap foam one that looks like a microphone shield at Sally's Beauty Supply that fits on most dryers.  They are a boon for curly hair, cutting down on the frizzies considerably.)

Three things I love about this product:

  • It gives your curls SOFT definition, not crunchy crispiness!
  • The next day (if, like me, you're not one who washes your hair every day), you can spray it on again, scrunch slightly, and the curls are magically back in place.
  • It's inexpensive, and you can buy it almost anywhere.
Sleek and Shine Anti-humidity Smoothing Milk by Garnier

My sister actually just introduced me to this product when I was in Texas, and I made sure to get some for myself right away.

This is a terrific product whether you intend to wear it curly or straight.  If you're wearing it curly, work it through your hair BEFORE putting the Dream Curls in.  If you're wearing it straight, work it into your hair AFTER blow-drying and BEFORE using a straightening iron.

Other than these two mainstays, I'll try most products.

Lately I've begun to use Velcro rollers when wearing my hair smooth, but not completely straight.  I will curl each section with a large curling iron before putting a roller in and spraying it.  I totally use the technique demonstrated by Emily Eddington of Beauty Broadcast in this tutorial.

I rarely wear my hair completely straight--I prefer a full, voluminous look with some teasing and body.

Here are some pics of some of my hair looks:

Curls when my hair was a bit shorter

All-out curls

A flippy look (loosely) based on LolaMarie7's "Texas Barbie"

One of my straighter looks

Trying Kate Bryan of The Small Things Blog's "Loose Waves"

By the way, I have both a large curling iron and a straightening iron, and often use them interchangeably.  I'd like to invest in a very small Hot Tools curling iron to add scattered ringlets when I wear my hair curly.

What do YOU do with your curly hair?  Have any products that you can't live without?  Any techniques that have worked well for you?  Let me know in my comments!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting! 3/21/12

A quick tour of some of the cool things I've seen on Pinterest lately! (Participating in Oh, How Pinteresting! hosted by The Vintage Apple)

Does she ever look less than gorgeous?

Feeling a lot of Texas love since I just returned from a visit there

I love this...prayer before the ceremony

So true!!!

I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple for Oh, How Pinteresting!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easing Back into Blogging with Miscellany Monday

Wow, I feel like I haven't blogged in ages!  If there's anyone out there still reading this blog, well, I'm back after a wonderful week visiting loved ones in Texas.

I decided to ease back into the routine by participating in a bloghop I've enjoyed in the past...Miscellany Monday, hosted by Carissa at lowercase letters.

Texas was wonderful, as always.  I got to spend time with my family members who live there, including my two sons and daughter-in-law and precious grandsons, my mom, my sister and her family, and my brother and his family.

Thanks to an extremely wet winter, the bluebonnets were already in bloom, and beautifully so!  I had planned on taking some pictures of them but never got around to it.  The lovely purplish flowers brighten everything from fields to overpasses with their beauty.

Of course, one of the joys of being in Texas was spending time with my two precious little grandsons, Payton and Josiah.  They are so much fun and so adorable.  Really, they are my heart!

My grandson Payton shows off his "Mario" costume

A true Texan, Josiah enjoys chips and salsa at Chuy's

Me with my beautiful mom and sister Lisa

So now it's back to reality and work!  Hopefully I'll step up my blogging game too.  Have a great week, everyone!

I'm participating in Miscellany Monday:

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting 3/7/12: Pretty in Pink

Pink is my very favorite my display of Pinterest pins this week will definitely have a pink theme going!

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

I'm participating in Oh, How Pinteresting! hosted by the Vintage Apple

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