Connection is contagious. When I see it, I smile. Monday #beautynearme is brought to you by my parents (their connection with each other) and my grandson (his connection to his creativity). It evokes gratitude. So much gratitude.

When we intentionally look for connection, even if looking on from a distance, our hearts are warmed.

The cold of the season cannot chill a warmed heart.

 

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Braids

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Today, I got to spend some one on one time with “little bit”, Lennon Jane. As I was getting her dressed, I thought I’d try a little braid in the front of her hair where it’s longest.

I braided a little strand and stood there with tears in my eyes. Her first little braid seemed to signify a passage out of babyhood and into girlhood. Yes, braids are cute, but they are also sturdy, making place for passion and focus in this wild and beautiful life.

Braids are perfect for her.

A Time for Gray

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It’s a chilly morning, but not frozen

 It’s “in-between” world where I feel neither “here” nor “there”

-a place where nothing is completely anything

Few leaves, colored and clinging remain, still hopeful in the breeze

All the others are swirling down on the ground, free, unattached and forgotten

My thick skin hasn’t emerged for the season

so I place my my fingertips over the heater

I start to wonder as I watch the leaves, ‘which am I’?

Have I fallen already? Or am I still clinging?

This melancholy settles in with the blanket I wrap around me

I see pumpkins discarded from porches, replaced with the lights we need at night

Though it’s morning, grayness settles comfortably in the sky as if there is no sun in the east

That dreariness in the sky against the fieriness of the trees  grate on me

And yet if I’m honest, I admit I both love and hate the contrast

Why does gray have a place? My artist brain works for an answer

Opposites and gradients of color highlight each other

Is this how I make sense of the newness of sadness? Is this the comfort of change?

And then, as if on cue, I hear you outside my window

Yours melody is so free. No expectation. No restlessness in the gray

Like a dance

Your happy “in-between” gray cadence

trails effortlessly and fearlessly, leaving me mesmerized between longing and belonging

comfortable and inviting in the in-between

For the first time in a long while, it makes sense

You’ve gifted me, little feathered one,

with such a truth: gray “in between” moments belong, as do I

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is a “time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…”

There is always a time for gray

 

Food Fads Through the Decades

Oh my, I’ve been scream-laughing reading the Vintage Recipes Ads. I grew up in the 70’s and this article has my sides hurting from laughing so much. Take a look at these pictures!!!!!! Did you eat any of these?

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Thankfully, my mom is a really good cook and is also health conscious. But some of these make me question how my generation even made it past the 70’s!!!!

So, let’s take a look at the FOOD FADS and diet fads through the decades.  These were listed in bon appetit magazine as follows:

1920’s
Fruit cocktail. According to Fashionable Foods: Seven Decades of Food Fads, when Prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920, it dramatically shifted dining habits in addition to drinking rituals. Fruit cocktails garnished with marshmallows or sprinkled with powdered sugar came into vogue, though not as dessert. They replaced oysters on the half shell served with Champagne as the dinner party opener. Hmmmm. who knew?

Diet Fad: Smoking

1930’s
Gelatin everything! Salads that contain the world “gelatin” or “congealed” make me gag a little. The “in” crowd began serving these architectural marvels (that jiggled!) at social gatherings during the Great Depression. Cooks were not shy about sticking any old ingredient into the cold molds: chicken, hard-boiled eggs, grapes, grated carrots. EEEEEWWWWWW

Diet Fad: Grapefruit a day.

1940’s
Canned meat. The lingering effects of the Great Depression and rationing for World War II dictated culinary trends during this time period. Enter SPAM. The canned meat marvel became a staple of soldiers’ diets and caught on among civilians, both as a buffet option (fruit cocktail-SPAM loaf please!) and eventual punchline. The only thing more lasting than SPAM’s “indefinite” shelf life has been its popularity. To date, Hormel Foods has sold more than seven billion cans. Can you believe that?

Diet Fad: They Cayenne Cocktail. (Yes, Cayenne pepper infused juice.)

1950’s
Casseroles. The Middle America staple goes by many names–casserole, hot dish, funeral potatoes–but it has always been defined by one key element: It is traditionally made entirely from processed ingredients, including canned tuna, tater tots and the quintessential binder, cream of mushroom soup. The end result often takes on the characteristics of glue and mush, yet this comfort food starred at picnics, family reunions and church receptions. Still does, in fact.

Diet Fad: Cabbage is where it’s at. Eat cabbage all day. eat as much cabbage as you want! 😉

1960’s
Instant and Imitation food. Despite the proliferation of hippie home cooks experimenting with ethnic cuisine, food companies flooded the market with NASA-inspired just-add-water products, such as instant mashed potatoes, freeze dried coffee, powdered cheese mix and scientifically-engineered Tang. The introduction of Easy Cheese, Bac-Os bacon bits and Cool Whip cemented these science project foods (some of which we still turn to every day) foothold in society.

Diet Fad: The point system (weight watchers). Forget health conscious. Let someone else decide the necessary magic system .

1970’s
Fondue—This idea is great in theory–crusty bread dunked in melted cheese; strawberries drowned in chocolate–and yet horrible in execution. Concerns of double dipping, spillage and the communal hot pot turning into a petri dish of germs all raised red flags. Then a Canadian design company decided to market the same concept, except as a chocolate fountain, making it all but impossible for one to dip his banana into the waterfall without staining his shirt.

Diet Fad: The little magic pill- Ephedra (ephedrine and caffeine). Pharmaceutical mania in full swing.

1980’s
Pasta Salad. In 1982, Florence Fabricant made a sweeping declaration in The New York Times by proclaiming, “The pasta salad, that darling of the carry-out shop, is here to stay.” That was an unfortunate reality for anyone who believed that mixing cold noodles with vinegar or mayo and sliced canned olives was a wise decision. The trend took a turn for the worse when salad dressing companies entered the game. Just pour a bottle of Wish Bone over those tri-colored tortellini’s and–voila!–a summertime favorite.

Diet Fad: Slimfast- ready-made meal replacements.

1990’s
Fat free. Bags of Frito-Lay’s WOW Chips fat free potato chips advertised “All the Taste 1 Gram of Fat.” Wow indeed! The secret ingredient was Olestra, a calorie and cholesterol-free fat substitute. Sales skyrocketed to over $300 million in the first year alone, which meant that plenty of folks discovered the side effects of Olestra: an urgent and unanticipated need to run to the bathroom. Not surprisingly, sales slipped to $200 million two years later. The product is still around today, however, it has been re-branded as “Light” chips. Olestra is still listed as the second ingredient. Bathroom, anyone?

Diet Fad: Anti-carb movement & Fat free everything.

2000’s
The Atkins Diet. Nothing about this diet made sense. As long as people cut back on carbs, they could gorge on all of the marbled steaks, cholesterol-friendly eggs and robust cheeses they could stuff down their gullets. At the height of this weight loss fad, 10% of Americans followed the starch-averse nutritional plan. After carb cravings returned in 2005, that number fell to 2%, Atkins Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy and bakers everywhere breathed a sign of relief.

Then, Energy Drinks. Yikes

Diet Fad: Atkins followed by Juicing for weeks at a time followed by the SouthBeach diet.

2010’s
Bacon everything. Don’t blame the bacon bacchanalia that has swept the country on the delicious pork product. Point the finger at the cooks who have taken the cultural obsession about 12 steps too far and put bacon in places it never should have been in the first place: donuts, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, cakes–the list of sugary snacks runs out the door and around the corner. Hardee’s and Burger King are now selling a bacon sundae, which seems to be a good sign. Usually, once Corporate America gets on board, the trend is on the way out.

Also, Frozen yogurt shops. Gluten free eating,

Diet Fad: Paleo- (Dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee were taken off the table in favor of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, and fish.)

As we embark on the close of 2017 and welcome 2018, I wonder what food fads will emerge this year. Any ideas? Happy eating.

 

 

 

 

How to Expand Your Wardrobe Color Selections

Most people have a warm skin tone or a cool skin tone. This means certain colors will look best on you. We tend to find ourselves wearing the same colors a lot! But what if we want to break into a color tone/family that really isn’t our “go-to” color? Is there a way to do it? Yes. There certainly is a way! Here’s an example.

Take a look at the color wheel:

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You may wonder if your skin has cool tones, how you can “Pull Off” wearing warm colors?” Me too. Here’s a tip

Instead of thinking either/or, think compliment/expand.

For example, as you can see on the color wheel, a blue tone will look fabulous opposite a warm Orange. On the color wheel, they are complimentary (opposite each other). Similar to the idea that opposites attract, color combos that are opposite, highlight the hue.

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So if I’m wearing burgundy-ish plum, gray and black (cool hue) sweater with cool (bluish) undertones (as seen above), how can I incorporate a color with warm (yellowish) undertones? Take a look at the color wheel for ideas. I paired this cool sweater with warm golden brown and black pants and a warm golden brown scarf. (This golden hue is on the warm side of the wheel). Note that the color doesn’t have to be completely opposite for it to “work”, but that is a great place to start playing around with color combos. This allows you to expand your look. You will probably not go ALL warm if you are cool toned, but you can definitely incorporate warm tones as your complimentary color.

When you add a little of the opposite tone, it allows you to expand your accessories as well. Sometimes you can then mix gold and silver jewelry. You may even be able to wear more golden hues in your eye makeup. It works. Why? Because adding a complimentary shade opens up your options.

Let me know what “opposite color” you have added or would like to add. Happy Fall!

 

I Promise, Both Stories are True!

This was a great reminder for me today.

Beauty Near Me

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There are many ways to tell the stories of our life. We are more than facts and circumstances. Our story also contains our perspective and this gives all the color.  We get to decide that crucial element.

WE GET TO DECIDE.

I’m going to tell a little piece of my story-twice.

My story- take 1:

I am a twin, born premature, weighing 2 lbs and 14 oz. I have always been “sick”. Allergies, asthma, bronchitis, medications, steroids, allergy shots were all part of the routine of my childhood. At one time I couldn’t eat chocolate. I know, so awful huh? The dr thought I was allergic, so I watched from a distance as everyone ate my Momma’s fudge. Oh, that was as difficult as you can imagine.

I grew up in Georgia where it didn’t snow, but one winter it did, just a little bit. I was sick and couldn’t go out…

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Family Reunion Musings

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I had the privilege to go to my family reunion this weekend (my mom’s dad’s side of the fam). I have not seen many of these relatives since I was a teenager. I’m almost 50, so in some ways I was re-meeting some cousins. I have one great Aunt still living. She is precious and seeing her smile is as endearing as it gets in this life. Her impact (along with the others) impacted my life greatly, mostly for their love and care for my mom.

Being with relatives in person gave context for snippets of things I remember. Memories seem more solidified somehow. In some way it feels like missing pieces of a puzzle were found. We gathered mostly from all over the state of GA– Savannah, Athens (Commerce), Atlanta. One from TX, My mom from FL and me, the “gypsy wanderer from everywhere”.

I noticed some similar family traits—skin, eyes, expressions. Those are the obvious visible things. It made me wonder about the invisible ones. Do we each share some propensity for a certain perspective? Are we equally as vulnerable in a certain way? Do we battle the same hurdles and obstacles in our mind?

My cousin Tina is working on info for the family tree. As we chatted about birth dates, marriage dates, birth cities etc, I imagined my Grandad, Aunts and Uncles as part of the mighty roots of a this huge Red Cedar Tree. Looking into the eyes of their offspring made me feel something good. It’s a grand thing that the goodness of them remain among us. When my 2nd cousin Willis hugged me, I immediately felt like my Uncle Wit was right beside me. When I chatted with my cousin Julie, my great Aunt Ruth seemed to be within reach. Over and over again, like a beautiful deja vu, I felt connected to someone from my past. Goodness remains in our memory. The not-so good we let go with the wind. We’re a blessed bunch to have each other.

I came away from an afternoon with these dear ones encouraged and connected. Afterward, we walked among the cemetery where our departed ones are buried. We brushed the red dirt from the top of the stone to read their names with reverence. We miss them.

I left with red dirt on my boots and also on my heart.

#beautynearme