Daily Dish

f Woman Looking in Mirror_Man in Background

Becoming Someone Else

Becoming. It's the word my mother frequently substituted for "attractive" or "pretty." "That's not becoming behavior," she would say. Or: "That dress is not becoming on you." Criticism came easily to my mother. The words we hear early in life, especially when they are repeated, make their way into our consciousness, our language, our inner dialog. I heard "not becoming" far more often that its positive alternative. As I consider that realization, sifting through the deeper meaning behind those words spoken by an exceptionally articulate woman, it's as if "not becoming" was a carefully positioned obstacle, an interdiction … [Read More...]

Cultural Musings

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f Woman with a bone to pick

Thumbs Up to Multi-Generational Advertising

I keep returning to the full-page spread in The Sunday Times that startled me a few weeks ago: the quintessential American family in a Land's End ad. Great ad. But I have a bone to pick. What caught my eye: Three generations were represented. And that begs the question: Whatever happened to multi-generational ads? … [Read More...]

f Clock_Time Running Out_spiral

Tic Toc, How Goes Your Clock?

September already? Seriously? How crazy is it that months can seem to speed by in one respect, yet each and every individual day can feel 34 hours long under certain circumstances? The way the human psyche processes time has always fascinated me. Varying cultural approaches to time and in particular, notions of 'on time,' … [Read More...]

f Closeup of Makeup Brushes

Midlife Makeover: Shake Up Your Makeup!

Love your makeup? Me, too. It's entertaining, it enhances our appearance, and for some of us it boosts self-esteem. But we need to "make over" our makeup as skin and hair change with age. That means updating our products, tools, techniques and more. So just how do we shake up our makeup and … [Read More...]

f Young Man Cleaning the Floor

A Summer Like No Other

"How I spent my summer vacation?" This isn't quite that, but... When a parent can spend extended time with an adult child who no longer lives at home, that is a rare privilege. Or, it can be -- if you get along, if your habits are compatible, and if the reason for sharing time together is a good one. This summer, I was able to do exactly that … [Read More...]

f Woman Juggler Many Balls

The Juggling Job

Wearing an array of colorful hats. Playing the jester, the joker, the juggler. Smiling through it all. This is my life, quite possibly yours, and the lifestyle that too many of us will recognize. A few years back, I would've said this is solely a woman's challenge. While there may be more women than men who persistently juggle … [Read More...]

f Weekend Reading 1

Makeover Musing: Tempting Trends for Fall

While I may not typically follow trends, I adore the arrival of the August issues of my favorite fashion magazines. And of course, I avail myself of the online versions that allow us to view runway clips, slide shows and more. I may have no plans to "make over" my wardrobe, but I couldn't resist sharing some of my weekend (style) reading … [Read More...]

f Ideal Woman_Blonde and Big Boobs_Pouty Lips

The Ideal (American) Woman

The ideal woman. Is there such a thing? We have media prototypes of course -- blonde, busty, pouty lips. Oh, right. Perfect whiter-than-white teeth. And let's not forget that bountiful booty is part of the picture. I'm uncertain why the subject of beauty ideals would be … [Read More...]

f Two Women One Bar of Chocolate

Judging Unusual Taste

Orange shag carpets? Not my taste, though I imagine I would've been fine with them in 1975. Pink hair? Well... I had my fuchsia streak in graduate school, designed to elicit laughs but otherwise, not my taste. Zany, zig-zaggy patterns mixed with paisley, plaid and polka dots? Definitely for … [Read More...]

f Essays

Essays Explore Our Truest Stories

As a fan of the essay in all its variations, I take great pleasure in spending time with almost any of my favorite essay collections. As a means of musing on a specific topic with a personal slant, or relating an experience in eloquent language, the essay's short format is an element that makes it especially … [Read More...]

f Vegan Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

Improvised Oatmeal Carrot Pancakes

Certain there was some sort of activity taking place in the kitchen late last night -- the open cooking area is barely eight feet beyond my bedroom door -- I had no idea that oatmeal carrot pancakes were in the works... the latest culinary adventure from my 22-year old son. Once I realized the sounds were neither mice nor intruders … [Read More...]

images design pic living room

Room Makeovers: Four Design Tips From a Pro

In a week that seems to be all about the pleasures of interior design, I am delighted to host a guest post from Kristy Woodson Harvey with room makeover tips for any space and any budget. Kristy is an accomplished interior designer, and … [Read More...]

Sharon Santoni_My Stylish French Girlfriends Book Cover

Sharon Santoni’s Stylish French Girlfriends

Sharon Santoni's new book, "My Stylish French Girlfriends," is pure pleasure for every lover of authentic French interiors, every admirer of creative passion, and every woman who cherishes her friendships. In profiles of twenty exceptional women, readers are treated to an insider's peek at … [Read More...]

f Classic Wall With Barcelona Chair 3

Midlife Makeover: Update Your Space!

One of the best ways I know to make over my mood is to change my space. A quick makeover to one or more rooms is easily accomplished and doesn't require a big budget, a renovation, or an old friend coming for a two week visit. When I need a lift -- no, not the face … [Read More...]

f Disgruntled Woman

Admitting Setbacks

It's one thing to admit a setback or even a series of setbacks, but I will never admit defeat. At least, not in personal battles where the adversary is some aspect of myself. In this case the setback that I need to admit is my personal Battle of the Bulge. That weight loss plateau I hit on my diet sometime back? … [Read More...]

f Surprised Woman 2

Pinpointing Our Pleasure (and Other Emotions)

A bite of toast with just the right drizzle of honey, followed by a sip of steaming French Roast. Mmmm. Now that's what I call pleasure... A thriller brought to life on the screen, with all the emotional twists and turns I hope for in the genre, and … [Read More...]

f Oops

Oops! Don’t Leave the House Without…

Don't leave the house without your keys. (Especially if the door locks behind you.) Don't leave the house without your driver's license. (Especially if you're cruising through the neighborhood speed trap.) Don't leave the house without washing your hair. (Especially if you're going shopping where … [Read More...]

f Happy Mature Woman With Shopping Bags

Midlife Makeover: “Dress Your Age”

"Dress your age!" Have you been on the receiving end of that remark? Have you said or thought those words about someone you know? Maybe you've heard or used this variation: "That isn't age appropriate." How many of us wonder if the "dress your age" rules we once grew up with still apply, and if so, exactly what that means and when? I have … [Read More...]

f Business Team Thumbs Up

The Pros and Cons of Expecting the Best

"Expect the best, plan for the worst." It's an expression I like, especially in business. Yet while I see logic in these words, I don't find them to be motivating counsel. If anything, I'm more likely to be wary of expecting the best. And while that sounds like a negative attitude, as it turns out, it may be anything but. When our expectations are … [Read More...]