Monday, May 31, 2010

A Memorial Day Story...

A Memorial Day Story (shared with me by FlyLady Laura, a dear friend)

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time...

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.'

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base.. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A US military veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

May God give you the strength and courage to pass this along to everyone on your e-mail buddy list....

Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How to Avoid a Makeup Meltdown

Dear Missus Smarty Pants,

Your style advice and service has improved my self image and I am so deeply grateful for that. I do not have a perfect shape but now I know I DO deserve to feel wonderful just the way I am. Learning this was a huge “aha” moment for me.

I loved your tip about the Nars makeup awhile back. Wearing a lighter color made me look years younger and when I cut my hair shorter... well, everyone could not believe how nice I looked and it was all thanks to you!

Now that it is getting hot and humid in the south, could you pass along a couple of tips about wearing makeup in the summer?

Again, I owe you a great deal for offering this weekly style help and at such an affordable price!

Fondly, Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for sharing your style success with me. It is so true; a couple of appearance changes for the best can make a huge impact on how you feel about yourself! It amazes me every time, and it is why I love doing what I do!

First, realize heat and humidity make wearing makeup a challenge so you have to “lighten” up and not wear as much.

Here are seven ways to “lighten” up your makeup in the summer so you won’t have a complete makeup meltdown:   

1. Make time for primer. You won't regret the few seconds it will take to smooth on a primer, which goes on after moisturizer but before face makeup. It can help hold makeup in place on a hot humid day (that is if you plan to wear a foundation that day). Primer really do ROCK!!!
2. Lighten your makeup just like you do with your clothes; wear less when it's hot. First step: switch from thick foundation to tinted moisturizer or use a light face powder in areas where needed (like around the nose and "T" zone).
3. Consider a bronzer. A bit of color makes every face look more alive in the summer months. Apply bronzer ONLY to where the sun naturally hits you: forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look.) Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply—and remember less is more when it comes to bronzer application.
4. Try wearing one lively color. Vivid colors can brighten your face and bring a youthful glow to your skin. Try either a bright lip color or eye color (only one area at one time) to brighten up your look since you aren’t wearing as much makeup.
5. Lose thick lipsticks. Heavy lip colors are too much once the weather gets hot. Go for tinted lip balms and get a pretty touch of color instead!
6. Stay-proof your eye makeup. Use a cream shadow with a powder over the top. This will help keep eye makeup in place during hot weather. Try it, it really works!
7. Go sheer. Rich, deep colors have their place, but they can look heavy in summer. To lighten up, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye hues.

Here is a link to the Nars makeup I previously suggested (called Orgasm...yes, that is really the name!) It comes in a lipstick, gloss and blush:   Nars Makeup 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do you have "LBD"

Do you have "LBD"?

Do you have “LBD”? Is it contagious? Should you take something for it? Nah, it’s not a bad thing, or a disease…actually it is a good thing that MissusSmartyPants wants you to catch! “LBD” is fashion lingo for the timeless classic…a “Little Black Dress”.

Any modern day woman who finds she’s always short on time and cash for clothes-- will find she needs a “Little Black Dress”. It can be an essential part of her wardrobe that comes to the fashion rescue in a pinch! It’s a “wild card” that can be played again and again when you find yourself saying, “I have nothing to wear!”

The popularity of the “Little Black Dress” was credited to the fashion icon, Coco Chanel back in 1926. That year she created a new “flapper” dress that debuted in Vogue Magazine. Back then, her design was considered flashy and shocking because it was a short dress out of a slinky black jersey fabric. A jersey knit was considered underwear fabric and the color black was reserved for funerals and nuns! Thank goodness times have changed!

The instant slimming qualities of the “LBD” alone are enough to make women want an "LBD" in their wardrobes. Black is a wardrobe color many women rely on, and the “LBD” can make you feel sexy like Audrey Hepburn in “A Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. What woman doesn’t want to feel desirable and like a goddess?

With its classic styling, you can never be under-stated or over-dressed. The LBD can rescue you when you find that your “fashionista ways” have taken a back seat to everyday havoc of kids, schedules and a busy life…not to worry!  When you pull out this perennial favorite, your style is saved once again! Think of your black dress as a blank canvas, and you are the artist. With the selection of colors in your accessories you can create your own loo.! This is very very important! Accessorize with colors…have fun here! You can almost never go wrong!

Here’s are ways you can change the look of your “Little Black Dress” for various occasions. Wear it to the office with a cardigan or blazer over the top, add some pearls and classic pumps and you have a conservative, polished look. Then, as quick as you can snap your fingers… you can change the look for an after work cocktail party. Simply change into some strappy heels, lose the cardigan, add dramatic earrings and pull your hair up. Your look has completely changed with the same dress! You will look amazing and no one will ever know it was the same dress!

Do you have a "LBD" (perhaps another color---but a solid color basic dress) in your wardrobe that you can go to in a fashion pinch? Tell me about your "go-to" basic dress and how you make the same dress super-casual to dressy for various occasions....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Giving up on capris...

I've given capris more fashion chances than they deserve. It's like a footstool that you keep stubbing your toe on and you never move it. When do you finally DO something about it? 

So I'm moving capris (the footstool) out of my closet once and for all! Why are they so bad? Well, after telling women to wear them carefully...I've had enough of this hard to wear proportion in my own closet. SO OUT THEY GO!

Last week on my radio show a young woman asked if she can wear capris. The caller was 5'4" and an average hourglass shape. Instead of explaining how they can be hard to wear because they hit mid-calf and make it harder to balance your shape...I told this woman to go to the mall and sit. Watch women walk by in capris. Do ANY of these "capri wearing" women look good? Really...does anyone look good in them???

Capris have a way of sabotaging our wardrobes. They make it hard for you to look great. The proportion hits usually mid-calf which is bad if you are bottom heavy, have thick legs, are short, have a long torso....isn't this enough? Did I leave anyone out? How about the fact that they make your legs looks shorter, heavier--even if you are on the slender side? 

I understand the "comfort" factor of capris. They cover a multitude of sins. Spider veins, white legs, cellulite and anything else we don't like about our lower extremities. They are cooler than long pants and cover more than the average short. However....THEY DON'T LOOK GOOD!

Why not wear a short or skirt? Capris have become such a "go to" summer staple that we forgot they are OTHER choices we could wear in the summer. Capris are in every store, every price point because they sell! But why not wear an attractive short? Or a pretty floral skirt? A short around the knee is much more attractive because it gives you more leg length! I'm sure you can handle showing 6" more of your skin! You'll look so much better for it.

I'm kicking my capris to the curb this season. (Actually I'm shortening most of them to shorts or purging them from my closet). How about you? Are you with me? Are you ready to give up on capris?

Bad proportion: Capris

Good proportions: Shorts
Again, bye bye capris that make my legs look short and stumpy....
Do you agree with me? Capris don't do us any fashion favors.

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...