Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Only Needs 10 Pieces of Jewelry

Classic jewelry is like a wardrobe. Whether it be fabulously faux, gorgeously authentic or heirloom family pieces, the following 10 pieces of jewelry will carry you through weddings, funerals, cocktail parties, baby showers, soccer games, birthday parties and even a barbecue:
  1. One pearl necklace
  2. One pearl bracelet
  3. One pair of pearl earrings
  4. One pair of silver hoop earrings
  5. One silver cuff bracelet
  6. One pair of diamond stud earrings
  7. One diamond Broach
  8. One Black Jet Necklace
  9. One gold Bracelet
  10. One gold necklace

Today's column topic is inspired by a good friend who possesses only a few, yet fabulous pieces of classic, show stopping jewelry we all love to drool over every time we see her at any occasion! With a few tips, you too can be like her.

The design and style of these pieces are up to you. Art Deco, Jackie O., Art Neauveau, Paloma Picasso, faux or fabulous. Do your homework and prioritize as per your own likes, dislikes and lifestyle.

Generally, larger pieces of jewelry are worn as one ages, after 40. For example, a graduated single strand of pearls is usually a young woman's piece of jewelry. A triple stranded pearl bracelet or necklace with a diamond clasp while ageless and classically beautiful is usually worn after the age of 40. Diamonds (other than one's engagement ring) can now be worn before 6pm and diamonds are now acceptable under 40 years of age.

Nice faux pieces of jewelry can be found in vintage shops and at estate sales. Older classic pieces even if out of style now, do not fret, will always eventually come back around in style.

If one is fortunate enough to have any family pieces of jewelry, or talented enough to make one's own costume jewelry, it is always a good conversation starter and fills one with confidence to wear a piece to any outing. And one can wear these little treasures over and over again, because, who doesn't want to admire classic, drop dead gorgeous jewelry!

The first piece of authentic jewelry I bought at 21 years old to begin my jewelry wardrobe was a 35" single strand of Jet Black beads at Bloomingdales. Last year at 47 years old, I had the strand made into a 16" style double strand with a simple gold clasp. Clasps can range from simple gold plated or sterling silver, to ornate semi-precious stones or diamonds. All personal preference.

Start your jewelry wardrobe today and enjoy updating your old pieces and collecting new finds.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't Twitter your Own Facebook Out of a Job.

Today, I heard that one Fortune 500 company now requires its applicants to write their Facebook password on their company applications. Surprising? Also, I keep reading stories about people babbling along on Twitter, thinking no one else is paying attention, and getting in trouble either personally or professionally .
So, for these Twittering twerps and public babblers on Walls, I have a few questions: Would you attend a cocktail party with a Mr. Microphone and broadcast every word you say? Would you include wild partying photographs in your resume? The next time you dine in a restaurant, look around. Notice table manners. You will be able to tell who has been places, and who has not.
For some reason, some people think they are so insignificant, no one else is paying attention. For some other reason, other people think New Yorkers never listen while reading their papers on the subway because they have seen it all. Just a hint to all y'all out there: we're paying attention.
Do not ever say anything that you would not want the town gossip repeating. Do not ever write anything you do not want published in the local newspaper. The Internet and cell phones are public domain. Things you say in real life matter as well. If you never say anything negative or cryptic to give the skeptics fodder, no one will be able to honestly publicly criticize you. Those in the know, know. Pay Attention, please.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Greatest Unintended Consequence of All: Freedom and Eventual Democracy!

When will these old, outdated Dictators learn. Governments cannot indefinitely legislate morality or control minds. Neither did it work for the US Government during Prohibition in the 1920's, nor will it work for the Iranian Government during this age of technology and Twitter.
Gone are the days of total control by men over the masses. The Internet enables the young population of Iran to inquire and inspire others to unite against government corruption and control and move towards freedom.
For those who have never known the concept of freedom, it must have been hard to conceptualize life with it, but the Iranian citizens have had a taste and glimpse of Western freedoms through technology. They can read about freedom on the Internet and speak about it on Twitter.
The old totalitarian regimes of yesteryear best get ready for a new generation of tech savvy, informed minds. This emerging generation of young people possess the skills to search for themselves the rules of etiquette and protocol in a free government, the manners of a civilized society, freedom of religion and acceptable behavior within family life and love.
Knowledge is still power, but technology has emerged as a window of hope towards freedom for all souls when a controlling government slams their doors on free speech and freedoms.
Sign petitions for the UN and keep the dialogue streaming towards a free and fair Iran for all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vegetable Gardens Are Very "In Vogue"

Have you planted your vegetable garden yet?
Growing lettuce, cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, hot, red, green and butter peppers, and cherry tomatoes are easy and quick to grow and will save on your grocery bill all summer long.
Lettuce will start growing in the early Spring, and on into the Fall and early winter. After harvesting your lettuce, soak it in cold salt water, then rinse. Dry the lettuce thoroughly and place in large Zip lock plastic bags with paper towels layered throughout. Replace wet paper towels with new, dry paper towels as you use up the vegetable. This will keep the lettuce (and most other vegetables and some fruit) longer. I also use paper towels with onions, grapes, carrots, and mushrooms.
Butter peppers go well with tuna fish for lunch. Save your bacon grease all year long for Fried Green Tomatoes. Melons are good for breakfast and go well with prosciutto ham for a healthy hors-d'oeuvre. Tomatoes are good any time loosely chopped with a dollop of mayonnaise on top and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!

Recipe for: Fried Green Tomatoes

1 Medium green tomato (per person)
2 eggs, beaten
White Cornmeal
Bacon grease drippings
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Dip in eggs, then in cornmeal. Season again with salt and pepper. In large iron skillet, heat up enough bacon grease to cover bottom of pan. Fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides. Dry on paper towels until warm, then eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

International Travel Tips for the Summer Vacation Season

Bonjour! Ca va? When traveling through domestic or foreign lands this summer, remember to be a good traveler. The following tips will help you and your family travel well, travel safely and get the maximum benefit out of all your planning.
  • Do go to the local library or book store and check out or purchase a simple paperback book on your travel destination. Research it on the Internet. Do your homework. Learn a bit about the local population, religion, language, customs, cuisine, lay out of the land, hotels, restaurants, museums and historic points of interest.
  • Do dress up just a bit when traveling. Some people today look as if they are cleaning out their garage. Comfort is nice, but not that comfortable. One never knows where one will end up. My husband and I happened upon the 21 Club while walking through New York City with another couple. We all decided to go in for lunch. My husband had on jeans, thus denied entry. The only item on the 21 Club's dress code was "No Jeans." Embarrassing. If only my husband had worn khaki pants. He wears khaki pants now and forever more. Comfortable enough.
  • If in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America or the Middle East, Do not wear jeans, shorts, sweat clothes or tennis shoes. Also, gentlemen: do not wear shorts to dinner. Traditionally, gentlemen wear long pants to dinner. Europeans dislike the American casual "look" of jeans, shorts, sweat clothes and tennis shoes. Also, you will stand out as an "Ugly American" tourist. A great way to get ripped-off or robbed.
  • Do immerse yourself in the local culture. Local cuisine, local haunts. You can eat at Fast Food restaurants when you get home. Safely walk or drive around. Check out the side streets, not just the main tourist traffic areas.
  • Do think of traveling as a fun discovery adventure. Your visited foreign land is not and will not be like America. Do Not expect a foreign country to be like home.
  • If in a foreign land, Do learn your magic words in the local language. Please, Thank You, May I, No Sir, Yes Mam, and a few phrases regarding restrooms, transportation, hotels, Hospital and menus in English, etc, will be useful and appreciated by the locals.
  • Do learn the local customs regarding tipping and tip well (20%). My husband and I were on the Island of St. Barth's at a very fine French restaurant and heard a couple from Texas ask the waiter if the tip was included. The waiter answered "No." At the bottom of the menu, it clearly stated in French: "Service Compris." This means the tip IS included. That waiter was very dishonest and that poor couple was probably broke the next day after paying for an expensive meal and then leaving a tip on top of their "Service Compris." If only one of them had known a few phrases in French.
  • Do speak softly. Americans are known for being too loud.
  • Do walk like you know where you are going. Wandering around with a map in your hands looking up will target you as a tourist. Sit down at a cafe and have a cup of coffee, enjoy your surroundings and look at your map.
  • Do try to blend in with the local citizens.
  • Do put your wallet into your front pants pocket or pinned to your unmentionables, or inside your shoe. My husband puts 2 rubber bands around his wallet and puts his wallet inside his front pocket.
  • Use an inexpensive travel wallet. Only put in your travel wallet the documents you need for travel. Take only 1 credit card. Leave at home all your wallet photos and documents you do not need. Thus, if you do have your wallet stolen, you will not loose everything.
  • Do Not wear a fanny pack. You may as well just put a sign on yourself saying: "I am a tourist. Rip me off and rob me."
  • Only pack for 6 days wherever you are going and for ever how long you are gone. You can always hand wash items yourself, or send out for laundry/dry cleaning.
  • Do pick either a brown/cream OR black/jewel tone wardrobe and stick with it. Two pair of shoes will do. Ladies: one kitten heel and one loafer. One sweater or Jacket. One medium all purpose purse will do for travel items only (maps, comb, pen, first aid). Remember, keep your money separately from your purse and "on your person."
  • Only travel with jewelry you can afford emotionally and fiscally to loose. Always keep any jewelry on your person.
  • Check out the opening counter hours of the local airport. My husband and I usually check in and check our luggage in after Breakfast on our return travel day. Then we have the rest of the day to relax before our flight and do not have to lug around and worry about our heavy luggage.

Be aware, do your due diligence and enjoy your travels. Bon Voyage, a bientot et Au Revoir, y'all!!