Tag Archives: frivolity

Holiday Sanity in Five

Holiday Sanity in Five

Holiday Sanity in Five

The holidays haven’t always been happy for me. It’s the stress, man! My wallet and I are pulled in so many directions. Thanksgiving groceries. Décor. Cleaning service. Number one daughter’s birthday (and you know children are never inexpensive no matter how old). Christmas gifts. Tree. Ornaments. And lest I forget, I have to purchase plane tickets for myself, my daughter…and my dog. See what I mean? Stress, man!

I know you can’t combat it by saying “f@#$ this” and sit on your ass sipping Bailey’s until January 4, but there are definite ways you can significantly reduce stress and its SOB cousins—headache, anxiety attacks and back pain. I tried all of them and they really work. It all begins with an attitude adjustment.

  1. Focus on the reason for the season. No, seriously. Hear me out. Thanksgiving is a holiday developed for us to give thanks for our blessings. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. That’s it. Nothing more. Nowhere in those two descriptions is the crafting of the perfect tablescape or getting your kid’s teacher a gift that puts all other parents’ gifts to shame. Have you ever really shed a tear (thug or otherwise) because you didn’t get a scarf from your Aunt Sylvia? I doubt it and if the recipients/guests/whomever don’t give a damn just like you didn’t, why should you as the giver? Tell somebody you love ‘em. Go to church and bring someone with you. Volunteer your time. Change your focus and get your merry back.
  2. Between November 1 and January 3, plan some out-of-the-home activities that are purely for your enjoyment. It can’t be a service project, a “required” holiday party or involve people under 21. This Thanksgiving Eve, I went to City Winery for a performance by Musiq Soulchild. It was only a couple of hours away from the kitchen but it felt like I was miles away. I’m not a super fan but I love live music and I felt the weight lifting off my shoulders as he sang some of his old hits and transported me to back in the day. Whether it is a concert, ice-skating at the park or a night at the movies, do something selfishly fun outside.
  3. If you work a corporate gig, under no circumstances should you use your vacation time for the holidays. Work straight through and schedule off time after the holidays when all of the relatives are gone. While everyone else is back at the grind on Monday, you’ll be walking through your house buck naked and fancy free. But how do I get everything cooked/bought/done? Go back and read number one. Anything that can’t be cooked or picked up the week before, after work or before a reasonable bedtime, doesn’t need to be. I stuck by this rule this Thanksgiving, despite my propensity to always do way too much. My blood pressure thanks me.
  4. Take care of yourself. Get a massage or mani/pedi. Gift yourself some lash extensions. You don’t have a lot of cash? Take a bath with pretty, smell goods at least twice a month then. Give yourself a facial while listening to the music you like. Actually read your fashion magazines that are collecting dust. Self-care is how you ensure that you are around to take care of others. Find a way.
  5. Say no. I know it’s popular nowadays to say yes. I love Shonda Rhimes and I get it, but I would adjust her Year of Yes to Ten Months of Yes. “Say yes” January through October and then “shout no” for November throughout December. No, I can’t make it to your party. No, I’m not buying everyone with a pulse a gift. No, I’m not cooking a turkey, a ham, a duck and lamb chops. No, no, no. Say yes to self-care. Say yes to your sanity. Say yes to your savings account.

Implement these tips and watch your holiday cheer return. That usual harried pace will be transformed into a very zen stroll. Last, but never least, champagne!

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Farewell, old friend. I go with Champagne now.

Drunk in Love with ChampagneThere comes a time in every woman’s life when she realizes that everything that’s good ain’t good for her. For me, that time came not so long ago. On a cold Thursday night, I met my girlfriend at our local watering hole as I often do. I ordered and consumed my two vodka neat cocktails. That’s it. I had only two cocktails. I woke up Friday morning so sick that I almost thought of missing my 9 a.m. conference call. I didn’t miss my call (because I’m a straight G and G’s don’t participate in that weak shit) and suffered through the day convinced that this was some sort of aberration. Maybe I was just coming down with something anyway. Maybe I didn’t eat enough. I’ll do better next time.

Next time came a week or two later and I had exactly two cocktails at a different, snazzier spot. This time I rolled with one of my absolute faves, the Sazerac. I could tell by a few sips into the second one that I was in trouble. How could I have possibly gotten this drunk from two drinks without being roofied? I woke up at 2 a.m. unable to open my eyes and once I could, my eyes wouldn’t focus. I was down for three days this time. THREE DAYS. I have entirely too much going on to waste three whole days popping Advil and hanging near my toilet.

But, as you can imagine, what I was coming to realize was very difficult for me to accept. I tried one last time, but this time I couldn’t even bear to try liquor again. I just stuck with champagne and guess what? I woke up the next day as fresh as a freakin’ flower. I tried again a few days later with just wine. Again, I felt great the next day.

Champagne Line UpHallelujah! All was not lost.  It’s not all alcoholic beverages; it’s just the hard stuff. I love champagne anyway! I always make an effort to try different bottles. I even buy it by the case just for everyday consumption sometimes. (Note to self: Time to make a Binny’s run to re-up.) Right now, I’m really digging Bollinger La Grande Annee to keep around the house.

So instead of mournfully humming Lisa Fischer’s “How Can I Ease the Pain,”  I will focus on all of the good things and look back on my boozier cocktails with love. Besides, I can always switch it up sometimes by building my repertoire of champagne cocktails. Naturally, I’ve already perfected a few.

Some tips:

When I go all mixologist on my champagne, I tend to stick to inexpensive to mid-range champagne. Why waste the really expensive stuff? Also most recipes are at least 75% champagne. With the lowered alcohol content, there’s no way I’m mixing any more than that.

The Good Life

This is by far my go-to champagne cocktail. Something about it makes me want to celebrate.

Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Peach bitters (I prefer Fee Brothers)
  • Peach liqueur
  • Lemon peel garnish

This is a quick and easy one. Just shake a few drops of peach bitters into your champagne, splash in a little liqeur and garnish with lemon peel. P.S. I used to add a touch of vodka to this one. I can’t now, but by all means.

South of France

South of France

I got this one from Mastro’s (best bone marrow ever, but I digress). I make this one a LOT. Using liqeurs to bring the flavor actually ups the alcohol content (but not so much that I get all loopy) giving more bang for the buck without watering it down like juices would.

Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Esprit de June Liquer
  • Combier Créme de Pamplemousse
  • Lemon twist

Fill your glass with champagne and splashes of both liqeurs. Drop in a lemon twist for garnish. I try to curl the peel to the best of my ability when I’m feeling extra.

 

Kir Impérial

We go waaaay back. I’ve been fancy for a long time.

Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Chambord
  • Lemon bitters

Add a couple of drops of the bitters to your champagne flute. Fill the flute with your favorite champagne and top off with Chambord.

 

D’Sizzle

I love this one when I have time to prepare my sugar cubes and I’m feeling extra sweet, but spicy.

Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Sugar cubes soaked with a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Fresh jalapeno ring

Dash each sugar cube with a couple of drops of bitters, drop in the glass and fill ‘er up with champagne. Add the jalapeno ring. Yeah.

 

Posted in Gluttony, Restaurants, Taste, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Minute Vacation Planning Tips for Procrastinators and Everyone Else

Him:         Hey Babes.Keisha's roadside spot

Me:           Yeah Babes?

(Yeah, we call each other Babes with an ‘s.’)

Him:         I think we should get outta town for New Year, maybe something tropical.

Me:           Babes, do you know it’s December 18?

Him:         Yeah.

Me:           Do you know people usually book New Year’s eve vacays a year ahead?

Him:         You can do it.

Planet-tails!Him was right. I can and I did. I’m an odd combination of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and anal-retentive-nosey AF-planner-extraordinaire. So although I found this task to be daunting, I was up for the challenge.

As I spent every waking moment between December 18 and the day we booked our accommodations searching and planning, I couldn’t help but learn a few things:

1) Bring sand to the beach. Or nah. I prefer to know the person I’m going to kiss at midnight. I don’t want to share my hope and plans for the new year with a random. I enjoy the excited usies and bottomless champagne on the flights. I love basking in the shared afterglow on the flight home. But hell, if you like strange, you know I won’t judge you.

2) Don’t get stuck on a certain location. If you only have two weeks tops to make a New Year vacation come true, you can’t afford to be rigid. Expand your horizons. Watch Anthony Bourdain. To be perfectly clear, read on for #3.

3) Think outside the Caribbean. Like I said, don’t get stuck on a location. Americans often act as if the world just drops off after the Caribbean islands. It doesn’t. I know the islands are close and that you won’t have to use as much vacation time from work to travel there. When I began my hunt for vacancies, I started in the Caribbean for that very reason. I got lucky and found a lovely ocean front condo in Jamaica. However, it was the ONLY accommodation I could find that was up to my standards on the entire island. Repeat. The ONLY. I just got lucky. Don’t rely on luck though. I was open to Colombia, Argentina, and I’m always open to Thailand, but like I said… I. Just. Got. Lucky.

4) No room at ANY of the inns? Go rogue. An alternative to the resort is the vacation rental market. Websites like homeaway.com allow you to rent beach houses, condos or whatever you require all over the world. The site has photos, reviews, maps and more – everything you need for due diligence. My accommodations were in theory part of a resort with its own private beach. In reality, it was just an upscale condo that we rented from the owner. I used the site for the first time for this trip and it was a lifesaver.Michelle!

5) When you snooze, you sometimes lose. So you are successful with lodging, but what about the rest? Anybody who’s ever waited until the last minute to try to make NYE party or dinner reservations, even in your own town, knows it can be close to not happening never. Try booking a local chef. I employed the services of a true gem of a lady, Michelle. She cooked a couple of meals per day while I gallivanted on the beach. I’d come home to authentic Jamaican food and a clean condo. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

6) Lounge. Thank me later. Holiday travel is too unbelievably exhausting and the entire airline industry hates you. Seek comforts wherever you can even if you have to just throw money at it. If you aren’t already a member of some airline’s lounge club thing, entry is usually extended with the purchase of a business or first class ticket. You can also buy one-day passes. Do whatever you can. Did I mention the “free” drinks?

Since you’re reading this, I know you’re in a hurry and have no time to waste. Let me know if any of this helped. Also, do you have any tips? I’m sure this last minute trip won’t be my last.

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debauched decoupage | twerk

I am in the process of redecorating.  Frankly, I am OBSESSED with decorating my home.  As you might imagine, my decorating philosophy is a play on scorched earth.  Translation: try to cover every square inch in quirk, kitsch and a little sophistication.  It should truly say daphne to all who cross my moat.

So one day while enjoying a kiki (surprise, surprise), I was discussing the empty space above my dueling coat closets with a fellow kiki-er.  What should go in those matching blank and rectangular spaces? Wall décor emblazoned with the words “live,” “laugh,” or “love?”  GTFOH.  No, what would be more daphne?

We poured ourselves yet another when I decided that I did want some sort of graphic art.  daphne loves the words. My name?  Although my name rolls from the tongue, the idea is not groundbreaking.  A fancy quote? Done and over.  Then, it hit me.  What words would both make me laugh and confuse and then enrage my mom every time she saw them?  “TWERK SUM’N!!!!”

Debauched decoupage was born that night.  It was my first attempt at decoupage and it was surprisingly fun and easy.  I added 3-D elements and it became an amazing collage/ debauched dream board /source of laughs.  What more can you ask of your home décor?  Dust off your acrylic heels, crank up the 2Chainz and take a look.  Whatcha think? Oh and let me know where I can find an apostrophe.  JoAnn’s didn’t have any.

 

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Botox is for feminists

If your face is cracking and there is a way to stop it from cracking, why would you continue to let it crack?  That is the millennial equivalent of the if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest question.  With plastic surgery being as ubiquitous as fashion people using the word ‘everything,’ I am surprised by my waffling opinion.  Some days I’m down with it.  Bring on the Botox!  Fire up the Fraxel Laser!  Other days I am flying the flag of feminism while angrily deriding all who seek to marginalize women with their limited, fantasy-based pablum.

Bring on the Botox!  Fire up the Fraxel Laser!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2011, women underwent 8.4 million cosmetic procedures.  We spent 10 billion smoothing out wrinkles, pumping up breasts and sucking out fat.  See, everybody’s doing it.  However, as a feminist who was raised by a feminist who was raised by a feminist who didn’t even know she was a feminist, I understand that the pressure on women to be beautiful and remain young at all costs is a tool of misogyny.  However, knowing this gives me no comfort.  I don’t want my nurtured need to fight the power to have me looking like the Crypt Keeper.

Men are never pressured to believe that their worth is for a large part determined by their beauty.  In 2011, only 9% of cosmetic surgery patients were men.  If a man is not beautiful, hey that’s ok.  Just make enough money or be really good in bed or be able to fix stuff.  Some woman will want you, dawg.  If he can make a lot of money, the world is his oyster and nothing else matters.

Sure, she may have conquered global media, educated the kids and made a billion while doing it. But have you seen her without makeup?

Although less than model beautiful woman can and do rise in stature and esteem through their business accomplishments, the public will still try to compartmentalize and diminish.  Remember all the Oprah bullshit?  Sure, she may have conquered global media, educated the kids and made a billion while doing it. But have you seen her without makeup?  She needs to lose weight.  Oh and Stedman doesn’t want to marry her.

And still I waffle.

And still I waffle.  I see the beginnings of fine lines on my forehead.  Is it so wrong that I want to Botox the shit out of ‘em before they become deep furrows?  I have a pleasant face.  I don’t wanna a perma-scowl.  I can say now that I would never get a facelift with my skin currently tight and its right place.  Would I say the same thing if my chin and neck were sitting on my chest?

The thing is that our youth and beauty obsessed culture isn’t changing any time soon.  I can protest against the misogyny for a month of Sundays, but will that change the fact that the visible signs of aging are the death knell?  As a woman ages, she is paid less attention.  You begin to not count, to be less important than, less valuable than.  Who would knowingly sign on for that just to prove a point no matter how valid?

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Five deep breaths. In through the nose…

If you are currently in the midst of a day full of soul-stealing tasks that you have no desire to complete, please take a moment to gaze upon this beautiful photo of a fabulous resort in Phuket.  Imagine yourself rising from the daybed on the right and walking naked into the private pool.  Take five deep breaths.  Smell the saltiness of the sea that surrounds your private suite .  Along with the coconut goodness of  your Nars Body Glow (mixed with sunscreen) that you have luxuriatingly rubbed into your skin after your post-coitus shower.  Take five additional deep breaths.  DO NOT QUIT TODAY.  YOU MUST SAVE UP.  Jetsetter awaits.

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