Saturday, June 28, 2014

I have a dream of a jargon-free world

This wonderful article in Forbes describes perfectly my pet peeves about the corporate world. Lots of people "drinking the jargon Kool-Aid." Why? Why isn't plain talk good enough for business people? And why am I worrying about this stuff on a Saturday morning? I need to go to the farmers' market and leverage some low-hanging fruit.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dear Restoration Hardware: Stop it!

Right into the recycling. Do not pass go. Do not collect $100.
In 2012, I purchased one piece of furniture from Restoration Hardware. It was a discontinued (read: on sale) sofa that was almost destroyed by our then-dog, the day after it was delivered.  That transaction put me on RH's mailing list, making me the reluctant recipient of "The Source Book," a 12-pound library of monochromatic catalogs that's so pretentious, it's offensive. Attention RH: Do you really think this is a good idea in 2014? Seriously? This is what websites are for. You just added 12 pounds to my recycling bin and God only knows how many tons of shiny slick paper to the landfills of America because, even in this day and age, some people still don't recycle. But, that's another rant.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Best swag ever...except for Santa Monica.

I like swag as much as the next guy. Wait. That's not true. I love swag WAY more than the next guy. Cut me loose in a trade show and I'll come back with a bag full of cheap tchotchkes and a big smile. Sometimes, I'll judge an entire city based on the swag in their welcome kit. The best press kit in memory? Santa Monica. It included a beach towel, beach ball and Frisbee. Most swag, however, is pretty much forgetable, which is why I was so excited about the swag the hubs brought home from work the other day.
It's a sweet Tervis 24 oz. water bottle with a hinged lid (and handle) that locks for spill-free driving. The lid stays open and doesn't slam into your nose when you drink AND it's narrow enough to fit easily into my cup holder. My boating friends would love these for margaritas on the water. (Because why not have a 24-ounce cocktail?) Where have these been all my life? Everywhere, apparently. You can find them here, here and here at a cost of around $20. Finally, sippy cups for adults!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Move over, Madonna. Meet Donnalou!

I thought this was going to be a lame Beyonce parody ("All the Older Ladies") but it was so much better than that...especially when it takes a "Sound of Music" turn. I'd like to be friends with these gals.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dr. Oz: Is the wizard really so wonderful?

Here's the short list of "miracle" products I have purchased after watching a Dr. Oz show: Green coffee bean extract, forskolin, Chia seeds, capsaicin, resveratrol...and those are the ones I remember. (Suggestible much, BG?) I stopped watching the adorable doctor a few months ago when I grew tired of the lame amusement park demos...
and all the fawning women in the audience who made me cringe way too many times per episode: "Oh, Dr. Oz...I love you, by the way....why is it that every time I'm intimate with my boyfriend, I have flatulence?" "Not to worry, dear, I found a miracle cure for that. But first, let's play a little game called "Sex and the Lower Intestine. Now, slip on your rubber gloves and pick up that jack hammer." Yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill called him out.

I have to admit, I felt sorry for the affable doctor, but it seems painfully obvious that the problem is ratings vis-a-vis money. Why else would a respected doctor stoop to such undignified antics and false claims?

He is a cutie, though. I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating gluten.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Costco: The good stuff

I'm not a strict Paleo Diet follower, but I am a fan of Costco. That's why I appreciated this list of 'real' foods available at the super store. Like the blogger, I prefer to shop locally - particularly at the farmers' market during the summer - but it's nice to be able to stock up on large quantities of healthy staples once in a while.  And there's no beating Costco prices. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to all the fun dads!

One of my favorite childhood memories is swimming with my dad. Whether it was in a lake on vacation or at the pool on a hot summer night, when my dad got in the water wearing his swim trunks and "mohair sweater" (he was a very hairy individual), we knew we were in for some fun. My dad was tall and strong with broad shoulders. We would stand on them and dive into the drink or make him throw us into the deep end, over and over and over again.  Pretty soon, he was hurling his own kids plus our best friends plus kids we didn't even know. This went on for hours. He was a real trooper. Once in a while, if we begged him enough, he'd climb the high dive and perform a cannonball so huge, the lifeguard in the chair would get drenched. I don't have any photos from those days, sadly. But, I do have plenty of these...
I'm lucky to have had a great, hard-working, exemplary dad who loved to play. And, so are my kids.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Samsung score!

Our mission: To find a decent new washing machine in the least amount of time and for the best deal possible. Visited preferred, semi-locally owned Store A in search of machine comparable to our old one in size and color and decided on the Samsung (a brand recommended by the repairman who fished the bra wire out of the dead washer - he would know, right?)  I took photos of the $999 price with my phone. Saleswoman said: "If you find a better deal out of there, we'll match it."  Went to national chain Store B and found the exact same model for $849 and no delivery charge. (Store A's delivery fee was $59.) Moseyed over to national chain Store C for confirmation that Store B's was the lowest price. Called Store A and gave them Store B's price. Price matched for a savings of $209!! AND, the thing has steam and a self-cleaning feature, so no more smelly washer. Boom! This almost makes up for my Friday the 13th from hell. 

Whew! Glad that's over.

I wasn't even thinking of the date yesterday....until my 6 year-old washing machine bit the dust due to an errant bra wire. Seems the wire got loose from the bra, slipped through one of the holes in the drum and pierced the pump. (This was not a small underwire, folks. It was a fairly miraculous occurence, in a bad way.) Later, a series of miscommunications and technology fails left me even more frustrated and I wondered 'what the heck is going on here?' Ah, yes. Friday the 13th, the radio announcer said.  Moving on....

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's like IS buttah!

"Churning" butter
The other day, I bought a quart of real cream from Iwig Dairy (now in North Lawrence, for local readers). I do this, on occasion, as reward for sticking to my Atkins-ish diet for more than a couple days. (Set the bar low, people. That's the key to success.) I prefer to buy pints, because I use it only for coffee and the occasional cream sauce. Problem is, Iwig rarely has pints available. So, I bought a quart and quickly found myself with a surplus of cream. What to do? A brief Google search turned up this amazing solution: Make butter in the food processor.  Whaaaat??!??!  Here's a brief video showing how....

The process took me and my 20-year-old Cuisinart about ten minutes, not five, but the results were the same...
 a lovely container of delicious butter, lightly salted by me afterward, and some fresh buttermilk to use in salad dressings. It's a messy job (you'll want to rinse and squeeze the butter several times) but fun, in a modern pioneer woman kind of way.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Water, water and more water. And, then, MORE water.

Here's something that caught my eye on Facebook this weekend:
It's a story about a reporter who increased her daily water consumption to 3 liters and discovered all kinds of wonderful, including a much younger looking face. Wondering how many 8 oz. glasses three liters translates to? 12. Yep, a dozen glasses of H2O is what we all need to be adequately hydrated. That's doable, right?  Especially if our 'after' picture looks like that. Wow!

My new addiction

For the past week, I have been communing with nature from the allergen-free comfort of my living room, breathing deeply and twisting my spine into a spiral stairway to heaven.  Do I sound blissed out? I am, thanks to this old yoga DVD I dug out of my drawer the other day. Maybe that's why I forgot to blog for a while....I'm that relaxed.  I highly recommend "Yoga for Weight Loss."  It offers 4 versions of the same yoga poses, is challenging but won't lay you up the next day, and it features beautiful scenery and a calm and reassuring voice-over.  (I think the 'Weight Loss' part is just a marketing hook because these are simply standard yoga poses.) After only four sessions, I feel stronger and more limber than I have in years. And I can't wait to do it again! Namaste.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

elf: The make-up, not Will Ferrell.

Besides being a jewelry artist and photographic miracle worker (see pics below), my new BFF Sarah is a make-up expert, too.  When she was doing my face for my glamour shots, she told me about e.l.f. (eyes. lips. face.), a high-quality, low-priced line available in Target, Wal-Mart and online. Prices around $3 for most items, and most of them made by the same companies who manufacture big-ticket cosmetics.  Am I always the last to know about these things?
I love make-up, almost as much as I love office and art supplies (and when you think about it, they're all kind of the same thing). Today, I went online and ordered 11 e.l.f. products for just $35. Can you imagine? Before I knew e.l.f. was an acronym, I had a hard time remembering the name. Until I thought of this guy.  Now, I'll never forget it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

You're never too old to play dress-up

Last night, I acted as jewelry model for a very talented artist in town, Sarah Stalker of Foxy Hardware. Unhappy with a professional model she deemed "too gaunt," she is recruiting "real" women locally to spend an hour or so wearing her jewelry and letting her take their picture on her front porch. She put out a call for women in their 50s and I jumped at it. I needed some new head shots for my semi-nascent acting career, and what is more fun that getting made up and putting on jewelry? Less than 12 hours later, I woke up to these professional looking glamour shots I didn't have to pay for. The woman must have been up all night Photo-shopping because - let's be honest - my skin hasn't looked that good since 1974, if ever.

If any of you lovely readers are local and mature... by that, I mean in your 50s, 60s or 70s ...and want to have some girly fun, contact Sarah through her Foxy Hardwood Facebook page. I guaranteed you'll have a blast and come out looking good. (And the jewelry is fab, to boot.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Soda or pop? Who cares? It's a new margarita mix!

The other day, I wandered into the new-ish downtown soda shop (a business concept I'll admit I was skeptical about) to see if there was anything for the sugar-free crowd. I hadn't had a pop/soda in so long, I couldn't remember when. (I do remember the day - I was still working at the newspaper - when Diet Coke started to taste like chemicals, which is the day I bid goodbye to Diet Coke.) Anyway, the place was teeming with customers (this was on Saturday) and I couldn't believe how many flavors of pop/soda existed! Fortunately, there were two shelves full of 'zero sugar' and 'low sugar' pops/sodas. I picked out four different ones to take home and my hands-down favorite was this one called Immune from Nutrisoda....
Not the poppiest/soda-esque name I've ever heard, but it tasted great - tangerine and lime flavor - and contained all kinds of vitamins and minerals, many at 100% recommended daily values. Delicious and sugar-free, to boot! So, what did I do? Mix it with a little tequila and lime, of course. Highly recommended.

Monday, June 2, 2014

What?! Not ONE Cathy with a 'C'?

This fun little  GIF from the The Atlantic is a little "young" for me since I was born in '55, but it's still a fascinating look at popular girl names from 1960 on.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June is bustin' out all over!

I'll never forget the time Dean Martin sang his version of that song from "Carousel" on his TV show:
    June is bustin' out all over... June better get a bigger dress.
Oh, that Deano. I rolled around on the floor, laughing. That was probably fifty years ago. My humor wasn't as, ahem, sophisticated as it is now.
   But, I digress. June really is bustin' out at Chez BoomerGirl and every day, the show is spectacular.
The view from my home "office." Two weeks when dish washing is actually a joy.
Bloomin' lavender, gov'nah!
Our weird but colorful landscaping
Pale pink double impatiens in little pots by the front door.
   So many people go away this time of year. Not me. I like to wait until my yard is scorched brown and there's not a bloom in sight. It hits around late July to mid-August when I cuss every time I have to venture into the heat to water. I catch myself saying things to the plants like, "Die, damn you! Just go ahead and die!"
   June, you may need a roomier frock, but you're a-okay by me.

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...