Getting home

The goal was to get home for Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend.

Standing in my way was a monster blizzard that seemed intent on sitting over Winnipeg, Manitoba, and blowing two feet of snow upon it.

But, sitting with my snuggling dogs in Kentucky the night before my trip, my flight still showed on time. My brother was flying in from Edmonton with his wife Jennie. My Tante Denise was flying in from Montreal. And my mom was excited, desperately excited, to have her family finally assembled together once again.

So, the next morning, I set out for Cincinnati. By then, the snow had been falling in Winnipeg for 24 hours. When I texted my Australian stepdad Peter how things were looking, his response was, “Quite shitty.”

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Tilly and Fitz get buzzed

I knew there was a problem when I heard the second yelp.

I had just come back from Lexington, and Tilly the Brave, our youngest Boston Terrier, had run gleefully outside along with Fitz. While they ran into the grass, I began carting the day’s purchases inside.

When I heard the first yelp, I figured Fitz had maybe bulldozed Tilly a little too hard while they were playing.

But when I heard the second yelp, I looked over and saw that my two dogs were spinning in circles. Tight, fast circles.

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Game on in the kitchen

A few minutes ago, I found out that the three-course dinner I will be hosting Wednesday has grown to 30 attendees.

I was expecting 15.

Which was already a little ambitious.

Because: chairs.

And: plates.

And, for that matter: forks.

But, in this life, we all get adrenaline rushes in different ways. And I can tell you that cooking either for a lot of people and/or preparing a crazy number of courses is how I get myself amped up to supersonic level.

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Going skin deep

We’ve come to the fourth and last week of the Makeup Monologue, and I think I’ve saved the best for last. Or I should say the worst for last since, if misapplied, this kind of makeup can really make you look like a clown.

I’m talking, of course, of skin makeup, that vast panoply of products meant to make you look like your skin is flawless and, thus, you are too. This can include, but is not exclusive to: foundation, powder, blush, highlight, contour and coverup.

Some of these are meant to make you look dewy. Some rosy. Some sparkly. Some unshiny. But always, always smooth.

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Mirrors of the soul, all dressed up

Our makeup discussion continues, which I hope makes you as happy as it does me. This week, I want to focus on eyes, a treasure trove of discussion points given the galaxy of makeup options that are available to dress up your orbs.

Now, in discussing lipstick last week, I got a little personal, sentimental and even confessed my career in shoplifting. This week, we’re going to talk about eye makeup in a general way, in a “you know what I mean” way. Because there are some universal truths here that don’t need to be clouded by personal narrative, amIright?

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The lipstick lowdown

If we’re going to talk about makeup for the next three weeks (and — squeal — we are), I feel like the most logical place to start is with lipstick. In my opinion, there is no other cosmetic that can so immediately give you a perky pickup and not require a lot of skill to apply. It can make you feel fancy. It can make you feel stylish. It can make you feel elegant and light and fun.

Unlike with contour or highlight, this is an area where I actually know my stuff. This because I am a red lipstick girl through and through.

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Exploring the makeup purge

In an effort to live a more uncluttered life, and possibly put off writing this column, I have just gone through my makeup drawer. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m feeling particularly decisive or particularly ruthless today, but I am about to throw out about three makeup bags’ worth of creams, sticks, pencils, glosses, shadows and mystery balms promising to accomplish incredible things.

I don’t consider myself a makeup addict in any way (most days, it’s just me and my sunblock), but I have to admit that this stuff has added up over the years in a shocking way.

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Just a trim, please

A funny thing happened on my way to growing my hair out. About halfway through, I realized I was already where I wanted to be.

As a recap, waaaaaaaaaaay back in February, against the advice of my hair stylist, I decided to cut my hair super-short in an effort to look more sophisticated and European. About 12 hours after the chop, I badly regretted my decision, a regret that deepened when I was called “sir” during a purchase of a panini in Detroit’s airport.

Operation Grow Hard began in full force.

The plan was to primarily stay in the house for the next 10 months until my hair could grow its way back into a short bob. I figured the plan was fairly secure, since:

  1. I don’t have to go to the bank anymore as my bank has a check-depositing app (praise!).
  2. I wouldn’t need to get gas because I wouldn’t be driving anywhere.
  3. We have an Amazon Prime membership and can’t you, theoretically, get everything delivered by Amazon?

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To butter, my love

“I shouldn’t think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” ― Dodie Smith

My dearest Butter,

That I am only just writing my first love letter to you is a source of excruciating pain and embarrassment to me. How, alas, could I have been so remiss in expressing my fathomless dedication to you before now? Why, indeed, did my judgment lapse so?

I can only proceed by first submitting my sincerest of apologies. In truth, you’re always on my mind, always in my heart. In fact, I long for you, my dearest, dearest spread, and I renounce, irrefutably and absent of compunction, all weak imitations of your yellowy greatness. I’ll even state for the record: Earth Balance is a ditz; margarine is a harlot. Who, I ask, can’t believe she’s not butter? No one, I tell you, no one at all.

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The joy of cartoons

For about seven years now, a door in our kitchen has been slowly getting coated with New Yorker cartoons. It is possibly my favorite work of art in our house, in part because William, Gabrielle and I have each contributed to it. Sometimes we clip out a cartoon every few weeks, sometimes a few months go by, but now, the door is nearly entirely covered with scotch tape and clippings.

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