Finishing School Friday

Beauty tips. Fashion tips. Etiquette. Open forum.

*Audience Note* As usual, I’m mostly going to sit back and listen. Please feel free to talk among yourselves.

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87 Responses to “Finishing School Friday”

  1. SS says:

    To fight inflammation Dr. Oz recommends combining a teaspoon of garlic salt, turmeric and black pepper in a half a glass of water. My mom and I have been using it for a few days and we have discovered a nice side effect. It takes away your food cravings. It is so effective that we don’t use it before breakfast due to the fact that we may feel to forgo it.
    Just a little feedback, someone recommended Crystal Body Deodorant as an alternative to traditional deodorants (traditional deodorants have Aluminum) and it works wonderfully. I tend to need a strong anti-perspirant so I was shocked at how well Crystal Body Deodorant worked for me. I have been using it for over a month. Thanks Ladies.

    • Joyousnerd says:

      Is this mixture a spoon of each of the 3 ingredients? Or does the total of them all add up to one spoonful?

    • Sisterlocgirl says:

      I have found Tom’s of Maine deodorant to be extremely good as well. I have SERIOUS perspiration issues, and I had gone as far to use Certain Dri which has uber amounts of aluminum. I was getting leery of all the aluminum so I tried Tom’s on a whim. Guess what? The natural deodorant does a better job of keeping my perspiration down, it doesn’t burn and it smells pretty good. You can find it at Target, and sometimes its on sale.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Good tip SS. I have been having major cravings lately. Mostly for chocolate and its driving me crazy.

  2. pat says:

    I know that cinnamon has been discussed on this site. Almonds, and black beans also decrease your blood sugar. I am one who checks my blood sugar on a regular because my mom is diabetic. Almonds, if eaten before a high carb meal (pasta) has been shown to prevent the blood sugar from spiking too high. I can personally tell you that it is true. I was starting to be insulin resistant even though I am not overweight and now my blood sugar is very normal. My A1C will probably be about 5.5 the next time that I get it checked… which is normal.

    I dont let that take the place of eating healthy and exercise. I just use the almonds when I indulge in my guilty pleasures (cake). I have learned to control my urges to just eat sweets all the time and I eat a lot more fish and salad these days. I have a job that requires me to travel a lot and it is pretty fast paced so I used to just do fast foods during the day. Then come home and fall out because I was too tired to work out.

    It takes discipline…God knows it has been challenging but I am doing it. I have tried the cinnamon but the black beans I cannot speak of although I love them. I have not tested my blood sugars after eating black beans…

  3. Sylvia says:

    A few hodge-podge items:

    When responding to a person calling you, please refrain from using “uh huh?”, “yeah?”, or “what?” A “yes?” is more acceptable. The same with “what did you say?” Replace with “I beg your pardon?”

    I am amazed when calling businesses how discernable a person’s ethnicity is by how they speak on the telephone. Hire a diction/voice coach if necessary.

    Ladies, if you must purchase a vehicle, have it be a “feminine” vehicle, no truck. Not very lady-like to have to climb out and jump down from those monster trucks. 🙂

    Invest in a set of good pearls. They go with everything!

    Invest in a nice writing pen. (I’ll follow this with a more in-depth comment later this evening.)

    • Anilia says:

      Sylvia, do you have any recommendations of where to buy quality pearls? The only suggestion I received was Mikimoto, which is not within my budget…

      • Sisterlocgirl says:

        I would try Smart Bargains or Overstock.com. My hubby got me a string of Tahitian Black pearls and standard white pearls for quite a bargain. I can’t remember the price, but far better than Mikimoto.

        • MsMellody says:

          Hi I totally second Sisterlocgirl’s recommendation of Overstock.com’s prices and selection of better merchandise at the best price!!

          Their jewelry in particular is amazing!!

    • Natasia says:

      On the subject of diction, also pay attention to what you read, watch, and listen to! I’ve found that, by listening to a lot of low-brow music and media, my grammar and style of speaking has deteriorated tremendously.

      No need to fear!
      It’s nothing a few Jane Austen novels can’t fix, LOL

      • Faith Dow says:

        Jane Austen’s novels are in the public domain! You can download one of the e-book formats like Kindle for your smartphone or computer if you don’t want to buy the device. Pride & Prejudice comes preloaded.

        • tertiaryanna says:

          Also, if you want to listen rather than read them, some public domain books are in the librivox.org catalog (Austen is there.) They’re cross-tracked with the Gutenberg project, so you can load the text as well.

  4. medley says:

    Book Recommendations:

    ” Having Our Say – The First 100 Years” by The Delany Sisters

    Article form 1993 about Bessie and Sadie Delany, both of whom
    lived over 100 years and were trailblazers in their own rights.They share their philosophy on longevity, health, women, etc.:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Z8EDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=black+sister+centenarians+the+delany+sisters&source=bl&ots=WH3_PSBlmk&sig=2OXxEJsCAXA-aVutnmhSHS0FyfQ&hl=en&ei=Cnx6TcCwJ9SP0QG8mqjVAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=black%20sister%20centenarians%20the%20delany%20sisters&f=false

    ***
    Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
    Cane – Jean Toomer
    The Lathe Of Heaven – Ursula LeGuin

  5. Sharifa says:

    I hope these tips aren’t redundant. I’ve been trying to use more natural products over the past few years. The Burt’s Bees and Yes! Brands are good go-tos. Burt’s Radiance spf 15 day lotion with royal jelly is good-absorbs well. Rose water is a good natural fragrance. The book Dying to Look Good is a good reference for info about chemicals and GMO’s in personal care items. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website is good too. Other tips: once you start to use various concealers and highlighters, you have to step up the level of coverage of your foundation, or you’ll look washed out or un-blended. To whiten/remove nail stains, soak nails in hydrogen peroxide and then scrub them with a nail brush. Be sure to care for your cuticles-your nail health is determined by the health of your cuticles since the nail grows out from them. I’ll post more tips as I remember them.

    • Sharifa,

      I wouldn’t worry too much about possible redundancy. There are always new readers arriving who haven’t read through the earlier Finishing School Friday conversations.

      Expect Success!

  6. *A Word To The NON-Regular Commenters Who Try To Con And/Or Bogart Their Way Past The Boundaries I’ve Set About My Premium Content*

    I’ve mostly held off on giving public comments or responses to the many emails I’ve gotten regarding the premium content from NON-regular commenters, perpetual lurkers, and folks who have revealed themselves to be trolls. I did so because I wanted to see what people would do without hearing me editorialize about access to premium content. The most accurate observations are made when people don’t realize they’re being observed. Frankly, I’ve been mostly disgusted by what I’ve observed.

    A small number of previous perpetual lurkers CHOSE to catch the unspoken hint about what RECIPROCITY means in connection to the premium content. Those among this group who were interested in receiving the premium content in the future perked up, and started participating in the blog conversations. Without any prompting or editorial comments from me. I respect that.

    Unfortunately, a far larger number of people displayed various types of entitlement mentalities. There were the angry folks who revealed themselves to be trolls by demanding access to the premium content. Of course, they’re crazy but at least they’re upfront with their craziness.

    What has finally managed to anger me are the folks who are trying to be sly by playing dumb. Playing dumb by pretending that they can’t figure out what the phrase “regular commenter” means, or why that’s important to me in this context. Playing dumb by arguing that they somehow won’t be able to make regular comments unless they are granted access to the premium content. Playing dumb by trying to get me to—without calling it that—give them the same information that was given in the confidential posts.

    I don’t appreciate it when people try to disregard boundaries I’ve set for myself.

    I don’t appreciate it when people try to impose on my time by emailing me with questions about the premium content that I’ve already explained during public comments on the blog. At first, I felt bound by manners to respond to these sorts of emails. To cut down on how much of my time was being wasted responding to that mess, I came up with a standard email reply to those type of inquiries.

    But no more. Stop playing dumb. Stop trying to commandeer and WASTE my time like that—as if I have nothing better to do than to repeat to you in a private email things that have already been made perfectly clear on the blog. And things that readers who are acting in good faith understood without any special explanations.

    If this description of folks who are playing dumb does not apply to you as an individual reader, then you should let it roll off your back because it doesn’t pertain to you.
    _________________________________________________

    *A Word To The Readers Who Want To Give Me (And Other BWE Blog Hosts) Additional Work To Do*

    Let me repeat a recent comment I made over at Halima’s blog:

    Part 1

    [Another Commenter],

    You quoted another reader who had said, “You have some great ideas there, so which one do you plan to make happen?”

    “What’s stopping you from implementing some of the things you’re suggesting? Other women need to step up and do their part”

    And then you said: “I’ve seen this response since I started reading the blogs, and I wish it were differently handled. To me it always reads like “if all you have is talk, then shut up.” It always reads like heckling to me.

    I’ve noticed that, when I read any other issue-related blogs and a reader comes up with an idea, or a recommendation, the comment is filed away and used (or not.)

    I’ve noticed that in the BWE blogs, that’s not always the case. When readers make suggestions, it’s taken almost like a personal attack against the blogger, and the response is very defensive.

    I don’t understand why this is happening, but I wish that all of us can understand that not everyone with an idea about a topic can or will implement it. That’s not just in BWE areas, but just in life.”

    Here’s my 2 cents about that:

    I believe the different reactions to “Why don’t YOU do X, Y, Z” suggestions is rooted in different behavior patterns between different groups. Non-AAs and nonblacks in general have an established pattern of following through on, and actually supporting, what they SAY they think is a good idea.

    Non-AAs and nonblacks tend to put their time, energy and other resources where their mouths are. Nonblacks generally don’t use up, bleed dry, and sometimes ultimately destroy the people from their collectives who try to serve them.

    By contrast, this is what AAs usually do with/to the sincere workers among us. AAs have an established pattern of using and then discarding and then totally forgetting about the other Black folks who act in service to them. We use up the Black folks who are idealistic (perhaps naive?) enough to try to serve our collective interests.

    Part 2

    Let’s just recall how many AA activists from the 1960s that we collectively and completely forgot about. We allowed many of them to languish in prison for their activism while we totally forgot about their sacrifices on our behalf.

    Let me mention an incident from law school that made a deep impression on me. I deciced to attend a National Lawyers Guild meeting about political prisoners in the US. Needless to say, most of the activist-prisoners from the 1960s were Black. And from what I could tell, the only people who had bothered to remember them and organize support on their behalf were White leftists!

    White leftists appeared to be the only ones writing letters to Amnesty International on their behalf, etc. Meanwhile, they had been totally forgotten by the masses of AAs and by AA/Black activist organizations. AAs were more interested in following the exploits of rappers.

    AAs didn’t just forget about the now-obscure AA political prisoners from the 1960s, we forgot about and ignored “big names” like Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer in their later years. Aside from AAs invoking their names during Black History Month, Rosa and Fannie Lou (and many others) were for the most part (if not totally) on their own in their elder years.

    AAs forgot about and left Dr. King’s widow and children (and Malcolm X’s widow and children) to fend for themselves.

    I learned from all of that. I learned that AA/Black activists have to VERY careful to not let Black folks use them up. And bleed them dry. And leave them flapping in the wind as an empty husk. And to be very careful of folks who might be following the AA/Black tradition of leaving Black activists hanging after making a lot of suggestions about what extra things these activists should do (in addition to whatever they’re already doing).

    Speaking for myself, after seeing how Blacks used and then discarded previous generations of Black activists, I’m very skittish of folks who want to give me what feels like additional homework assignments while they’re doing nothing themselves. If the historical context was different, and if AAs didn’t have the established pattern of using up our activists, then my reactions would be different (and less skittish).

    To my way of thinking, some of the activist reactions to suggestions (from nonparticipants) you’re describing aren’t about defensiveness or hostility. It’s about self-protection, self-care, and self-love.

    Imma do some REAL TALK here:

    If you as a reader truly value the BWE activists who help lift up AA women, then you should STOP trying to heap more work onto the backs of the handful of BW who are already doing this work.

    If you are sincerely concerned about BWE, then you would do some of the work you try to push off onto BWE bloggers. For example, if you truly want to see a fund set up to support the victim and victim’s family in the recent atrocity committed in Cleveland, TX, NOTHING is stopping YOU as a reader from:

    (1) contacting the local prosecutor’s office to find out about the nearest Victim’s Assistance Program ; and

    (2) setting up an account where donations can reach the victim and her family.

    {really letting some of my irritation show through} I’m not impressed by elaborate, convoluted excuses for why you’re not doing anything at all. I don’t care that you’re oh-so-busy with your life—I’m busy with MY life, but I MAKE time for the things I sincerely care about.

    Nevertheless, I’m not anybody’s mule—I set my own boundaries for how much time and effort—if any—I contribute to any endeavor. I do what works for me. I’m not going to let anybody (especially folks who refuse to lift a finger to do anything themselves) throw additional work on my back.

    Once again, if this description of folks who want to bleed BWE activists dry, use them up, and leave them as empty husks does not apply to you as an individual reader, then you should let it roll off your back because it doesn’t pertain to you.

    And this now-irritated “ant” went back to her own daily life activities…

    • Zoopath says:

      I noticed the playing dumb entitled behavior, too and I think it has a lot to do with AA’s lack or inter and intra racial boundaries. We allow all and sundry bad-faith busybodies to tell us how we should set our group boundaries or define ourselves and what’s best for us. Within our group it’s the little red hen over and over again. People are invited to do the work of sowing but only consistently show up just in time for reaping. I don’t know where I was introduced to the boundaries book but (When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend) it really dovetails beautifully with the BWE message.

    • Zoopath,

      I already knew that many AAs were sick people; I just didn’t realize how widespread this sickness is. To borrow a concept from one of Evia’s comments during that same thread over at Halima’s blog, exploitation is the only “language” most AAs speak or comprehend. All they understand is exploitation—either from the perspective of the user or as the person being used. They DON’T speak or understand the language of reciprocity.

      I think you’re right about AAs’ overall lack of healthy boundaries has a lot to do with this user-type behavior toward any Black person who’s idealistic (naive?) enough to try to be helpful.

      I believe another large part of it is a deep-seated disrespect (and often full-blown hatred) for other Black people in general. A slave-plantation-based disrespect for other Black people’s very persons, their time, their work, their property, and their honor.

      Well, I’m not the one. I’m not like some of the other helpful BW that AAs have gotten over on. Or used up until there was nothing left.

      I’ll end by paraphrasing another one of Evia’s comments from that thread. When exploitation is the only language you speak, exploiters are the only people you will attract. It’s karma AND the practical effect of your own behavior.

      As she explained, when a person says things in a particular langugage—oh, let’s say Spanish—then generally only other Spanish-speaking people will respond to what was said. And generally only other Spanish-speaking people will start to gravitate toward that person. Other people who might be present, but who don’t speak Spanish, generally won’t respond to the Spanish-language statements.

      It’s not complicated.

      Expect Success!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Khadijah,

      Oh! So that’s why you didn’t respond to my email! LOL! I first began posting with the Moonshine email from Yahoo. I thought that’s what you might be doing.

      Never fear here. I fully respect the rules of this blog. I don’t have much free time on my hands to read through all of the past posts, but I’ll respond and participate when I can. When you think I’ve participated enough, I’ll be happy to receive the premium content.

      Thanks for all of the work that you do.

      • Hi Chris,

        You’re welcome!

        You said, “Oh! So that’s why you didn’t respond to my email! LOL!”

        Offhand, I don’t know what email you’re talking about when you say I didn’t respond. Today was when my patience finally became exhausted, and today is the first day I decided to stop responding to that stuff. I’ve been so swamped with responding to garbage emails about the premium content that those emails are all one big blur at this point.

        Folks don’t realize (and in many cases, don’t care about) just how much of my time they have already imposed upon—and wasted—by engaging me with those garbage emails seeking the premium content.

        Now, yes, I could have (and in retrospect perhaps I should have) ignored them all. There are emails that I ignore, such as ones from obvious haters and trolls, or user-type emails, or anything else that doesn’t feel right. I generally try to respond to courteous emails that don’t give off those bad vibes.

        But too many entitlement-mentality perpetual lurkers and non-regular commenters abused my policy of responding to most emails. So, for the sake of protecting my OWN time from being wasted, I’ve stopped responding to them. (When they’re trying to con or Bogart their way into getting access to the premium content.)

        It’s good to hear that you understand boundaries. It’s a refreshing change of pace from what I’ve been bombarded with…

        Expect Success!

        • Chris says:

          I sent a message through your Contact link on the top of the page. If you didn’t receive the note, no biggie.

    • Karen says:

      Dear Khadija,

      This is a teachable moment in that it no longer serves any purpose to “explain” to people who refuse to recognize what time it is. The days of explaining that the house is burning is over. The days of explaining to “takers/users” that the buffet has moved to private quarters is over.

      As I stated at Halima’s blog:

      “…Generosity is unfortunately too often abused when it comes to Black women. There is an “inherent” sense of entitlement from the BC towards black women (i.e. we are only supposed to give without any expectation of reciprocity).

      Therefore, it is important that when any of us seek out the help of others, we come with something to offer. No one likes to assist people who only take.

      One of the key messages of BWE is for Black women to have self-determination and that includes the right to set boundaries and to say “No”.”

      and this:

      …”The reality is that “the many cannot expect to continue to ride the backs of the few.”

      Frankly, with the way things are, I hope the BWE bloggers focus more time on the their own lives and those who are willing to step up to help support the message should do so.

      If not, then it is confirmation that the BWE bloggers should focus their time and energy on the few that do sincerely want to change their lives.”

      The lifeboats are leaving…the rest are left to their chosen fates.

      • Karen,

        You said, “The days of explaining to “takers/users” that the buffet has moved to private quarters is over.”

        {gales of laughter} I 100% cosign. {laughing some more}

        Expect Success!

      • Melissa Q. says:

        BW need to remember that “even the haters serve a purpose”. People wouldn’t be trying to get us to serve without reciprocity and use us if they believed that we were worthless and have to talent/skill to our name.

        BW need to learn to guard their talents and be discreet, because the world isn’t just some ‘open book’.

  7. About the Cleveland, Texas atrocity:

    I’ll briefly mention that atrocity and other atrocities within Black residential areas during the next blog post. These ongoing and ever-increasing crimes against humanity are yet another reason why functional fitness is especially important for the BW who persist in living in Black residential areas. And for the Black girls whose parents condemn them to the peril of living among the legions of savage BM brutes who reside in Black residential areas in the US.

    Expect Success!

    • Neecy says:

      K,

      Everytime i hear a story like this, i think of all the warnings you give to BW still residing in these areas. EVERRRRYTHING you have warned us about in the past regarding the Black community hell holes & why BW with any brain matter left, need to flee is happening before our eyes EVERYDAY. EVERYTHING.

      Not even adult BW in those areas will protect other young Black girls. If that is no reason to jet and flee immediatley I don’t know what is. If not even the female ZOMBIES in these communities are willing to fight against children being brutally violated then my God those BW with daughters that still reside in these areas are doomed.

      Its disgusting what Black folks have become.

      • Neecy,

        You said, “EVERRRRYTHING you have warned us about in the past regarding the Black community hell holes & why BW with any brain matter left, need to flee is happening before our eyes EVERYDAY. EVERYTHING.”

        Oh, yes.

        You said, “Not even adult BW in those areas will protect other young Black girls. If that is no reason to jet and flee immediatley I don’t know what is. If not even the female ZOMBIES in these communities are willing to fight against children being brutally violated then my God those BW with daughters that still reside in these areas are doomed.”

        Yes, again. And the rape-enabling BF Zombies’ reactions are a factor in a recent Chicago-area atrocity (involving yet another 11-year old girl who was *cough* allegedly *cough* raped by some Negro males) that I’ll briefly mention in tomorrow’s post about one form of functional fitness.

        Expect Success!

      • Natasia says:

        Seriously.
        I was considering moving back home after graduation to save some money on rent, but after reading that post, I realized – safety is one thing that I simply cannot take for granted. I almost forgot how hard it was to go from place to place (during the DAYTIME) and not worry about my safety at each passing moment.

        If our community cannot even defend an eleven-year old against rape then yeah- I’ll pay the extra few hundred bucks to stay where I’m at! I encourage other undergrads to do the same!

  8. Truth P. says:

    I am currently subscribed to “Losing it with Jillian Michaels” @jillianmichaels.com She’ll get you started on a free weight loss plan tailored just for you.Of course,it is necessary to go to the doctor first before starting any new diet.She advises you on the kinds of food you need to eat given your specific individual health issues.I am also currently subscribed to everydayhealth.com They give tips on how to be healthy physically, as well as how to develop healthy relationships with others.
    All this info is free btw.

    On the Everyday Health site I came upon a link leading to
    Dale Carnegie.com I don’t know much about them but apparently they are a company that does seminars and webinars, for pay, where they give tips on how to improve your business relationships.I will be checking into it.
    They are also offering some free tips and an e-book on their site.They appear to be an accredited organization.

    • Faith Dow says:

      Dale Carnegie was an early 1900’s proponent of networking and self-improvement. “How To Win Friends & Influence People” is still by business leaders to this day.

  9. NijaG says:

    I know for many of us, clear and smooth skin is one thing we are concerned about. For those who need help in that area, but can’t afford to go to the dermatologist for peels, I have found a really good alternative that seems to be working well for me and the prices are reasonable.

    The brand is Alpha Hydrox and they have a line of facial and skin products. The most popular product is the
    Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic

    There are over 400 reviews on drugstore.com (link provided)
    http://www.drugstore.com/alpha-hydrox-aha-souffle-12-glycolic-aha/qxp141163?fromsrch=Alpha+Hydrox

    This is their main website. They’re offering free shipping for the month of March.

    http://www.neotericcosmetics.com/alpha-hydrox/products.html

    • marielle says:

      Well here’s one more endorsement. This product completely changed my skin for the better. I’d tried all kinds of expensive skin care regimens before this, and all I needed was Alpha Hydrox, a mild cleanser, and sunscreen to have fabulous skin.

    • 9jatruth says:

      Does this product help remove dark spots and discoloration? If not, do you know a product that does?

      • NijaG says:

        Alpha Hydrox has various products under it. I know they have a product for dark spots and such, but I can’t say much about it since I don’t have that issue.

        Check the links, they have reviews on their various products. Amazon also sells it, so you can find reviews there.

    • Melissa Q. says:

      When using products like this, you need to be careful. The removal of dead damaged skin gives a more smooth youthful appearance, but it puts the skin at risk of dryness. Eucerin cream or Vaselene are good moisturizers in the market.

      Also make sure to never over-exfoliate, especially if you have a pre-existing skin condition. Ever-exfoliation can cause hyper-pigmentation, not a good look.

  10. MsMellody says:

    I found this very interesting/thought provoking article;

    9 Ways to attend College for free – over at msnbc dot com.

    Here is the link. Although it may not be a “beauty” tip…I thought if someone here has teens about to graduate from high school – or even any adult considering a change in their life and may want to just go back to school, that this might be of help.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41876218?gt1=43001

  11. Sylvia says:

    As promised, the in-depth comment about the pen:

    The importance of demanding quality.

    TRUE STORY: My introduction to Mrs. “I”. When I first met her, I thought she was the most snobbiest woman that walked the earth. Could not stand the woman. High- falutin’ is what came to my mind. Little did I realize at that time, the magnitude of her calculated actions. She became my greatest teacher.

    At that time, as the case paralegal, I was required to work with her on her retainer agreement and answer any questions she might have. I met with her in our office conference room and when it came time to sign the retainer agreement, I just grabbed the nearest pen at hand – a Bic pen, and handed it to her. She stopped and stared dead at me, not taking the pen. Letting the severity of the moment sink in. I was in my 20’s what the heck did I know. Me thinking: Come on lady, just sign the darn thing so I can get on. (SMH – yeah…my attitude, SO glad I have outgrown it.) She literally paused for several minutes and since I still wasn’t “getting” what she was trying to convey, she quietly and sweetly said to me: “Dear, I am giving you a $200,000 retainer check for your firm to represent me. Is a Bic pen the best you can do?” Me thinking: Darn, what do I do? What do I do?!!! I excused myself and went directly to the managing partner’s office. He ordered me to go out and buy the most expensive pen I could find. As luck would have it, we had an office supply store two corners down. I bought a Mont Blanc pen, to the tune of $350. One pen, $350. Giddy with my find, I run back to the office and find Mrs. “I” patiently waiting on me. She sees my bag and warmly smiles. Over the course of our years representing Mrs. “I” I believe she paid our law firm over $2.2 million dollars, could have been more. Mrs. I then warmly says while patting my hand: “A lady demands quality and excellence in EVERYTHING.” That was an Aha! moment for me.

    • Zoopath says:

      Wowee! What an awesome lesson. What an amazing woman. I hope that you were able to glean other gems because she sounds like one of the outliers we would all do well to emulate.

    • Lakshmi says:

      Now that’s my kind of bedtime story! lol.

    • Duchy says:

      Ha! I love this anecdote. I am working on being more lady-like but honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be as pernickety as this.

    • Duchy says:

      Actually, thinking about this a bit more I would have to revoke my ‘pernickety’ comment. I just imagined being in her position, about to sign a contract for that amount of money.I would honestly expect there to be more of an occasion to it, than a just Bic moment. That sort of cheapened it.

      Wow! That really was a lesson to learn, I must say. And it’s one that could be extrapolated to to a lot of everyday situations. I will hark back to this when I am faced with instances where I’m pressured into feeling I shouldn’t be so picky or demanding. I’m a Lady, afterall! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Dear Ladies,

      This statement should be internalized:

      “A lady demands quality and excellence in EVERYTHING.”

      I am probably not as young as many of you but in that statement is an all encompassing lesson to be learned. It extends to everything you do and how you treat yourself.

      With regards to the pen story, when I paid cash for my car and had to sign the papers for the title, the sales person began to hand me also a rather inadequate pen for the occasion.

      I instead pulled out my own pen (yes a high quality, but no, I did not pay the above mentioned price in the story as frugality is also important).

      When the salesperson saw this, he immediately regretted his faux pas.

      Another side effect of always carrying your own pen is the fact that you avoid the transference of germs of other people. I ALWAYS have my own pen and never use anyone else’s.

  12. MissASP1993 says:

    For bw interested in dating abroad in Europe, I came across a new, interesting blog:

    swirlaroundtheworld.blogspot.com

  13. IRockIRoll says:

    I’m heading out for a minute, but I wanted to contribute to this post. I’ve been using a (new to ME) brand of skin care lately, and have been pleased with the results, Yu-Be (Japanese skin care line). I follow the Yu-Be up with virgin coconut oil at night, and I can see a difference in how my skin looks. If you have a Sephora near you… TAKE ADVANTAGE of even just going in to see what products are out there. And don’t SLEEP on those sample/beauty kits! Also, if you would like a regimen to help you sleep, get a night mask to block out light, and make a lavender misting spray with lavender essential oil and distilled water (you boil the water (about 2.5-3 cups) and add 6-8 drops of oil and place it in a spray bottle. Just a few sprays are needed, no wet sheets or anything. On freshly washed sheets right after you place them on the bed, and before you go to sleep at night. It is very soothing. Might I add… I’ve never had a boyfriend who hasn’t complimented my sheets (I’ve been doing this since high school, and no one was in my bed until college). Apparently, having a homemade bed ritual is seen as VERY sexy. Even men like knowing that they’re coming home to a fresh smelling bed.

    I’d also like to recommend yoga for those who may be stressed. It is relaxing, firms your muscles, and can allow one to center themselves. If you feel intimidated by all of the fancy stuff (it can be tons of fun, but a bit overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with gym culture), try the simple poses before you go to sleep at night (on your lavender scented sheets). Downward dog can help to relive tensions in your back and is an achievable pose for most to go into for starters, even included modifications. Or just try sitting Indian Style on a nice looking towel or mat in your room (and you should feel free to close the door and just sit, put on the eye mask if too many visual distractions). For a good starter for relaxing music (as a mood setter, and I believe that beauty can have different moods), Yanni and Enya are good places to start. For the morning, I listened to Enya sometimes on the way to practices in the morning. Sail Away is a nice one for a gentle uplifting beat to start your day.

    • Miss S says:

      I love the idea of spraying down your sheets. It’s a very cute and feminine routine. I picked up a linen spray a couple of weeks ago, but would like to make my own.

      On another website, I read that instead of using distilled water, you can use distilled alcohol (like vodka). Does anyone know why? Does it last longer if you use alcohol?

  14. marielle says:

    Fast pedicure tip: Paint your toes quickly, without worrying about getting polish on your skin. Use a top coat if you want one and wait for your nails to dry completely. In the shower use a washcloth to rub the excess nail polish off of your skin towards the end of your shower. It should come off easily. Give your heels a quick scrub with a pumice stone if needed. This looks almost as good as the pedicures that I pay someone else to do, without the cost or the time investment.

  15. Chris says:

    Hello everyone!

    For those of you who live in Northern California, there are two organizations you might not have heard about.

    The first is the “Commonwealth Club,” based in San Francisco and San Jose. Founded in 1903, it is the oldest and largest public affairs forum in the country, hosting hundreds of annual events such topics as the economy, politics, society, and culture. Politicians, entrepreneurs, actors, artists, public policy thinkers have all given speeches. There’s social activities, mixers, language instruction, and local, regional, national, and international travel options. This organization has A LOT – too much for me to list here. It’s membership based, so go and explore the site. You might find something you like.

    http://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/default.asp

    The second organization is “The Long Now Foundation.” Founded in 1996, this group fosters long-term creative thinking and responsibility for the future. This group hosts those types of thinkers you only see on National Geographic Society (another organization I strongly urge people to check out. These seminars are fantastic, and memberships starts as low as $8, so there’s going to be a fit for everyone. Here’s the website.

    http://longnow.org/

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

    Hope all of you are well. Let’s keep these good suggestions coming. Have a great weekend!

    • Faith Dow says:

      The Commonwealth Club is a great organization! There are a few offices as it’s a national organization but only in a few select cities. Their speaker series are excellent.

  16. SweetIslandGirl says:

    Water, water, water!! Its one of the best kept secrets out there. I gave up junk food for lent. I saw it as a great opportunity to cleanse my body for 40 days and hopefully create a new lifestyle for myself. The plan is to detox by eliminating junk food and exercising 3 days per week.
    Ladies its been a few days (I started monday a few days ahead of schedule) and I feel a huge difference in how I feel. I’m not as bloated after eating and my body is eliminating the excess stored skinny fat and water.

    I’m going to look up that hydroxy peel. Sounds interesting.

    • becomingGiselle says:

      I agree, I had breakouts and horrible skin before I started drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. A lot of people are not drinking enough water.

  17. Sali says:

    Investing the time to research professional services now can save you a lot of money later.

    Several weeks ago I paid $100+ for a facial. I researched price, reviews and qualifications of many spas in the area before I decided on a professional. Although I felt uncomfortable spending that much money on my facial skin, the information I got from my chatty and *very* knowledgeable esthetician was so valuable that I consider the actual facial a bonus. Not only did that one treatment work wonders for my skin for weeks afterward, the information she gave me enabled me to use my own products far more effectively and saved me hundreds of dollars worth of professional facials.

    After what I learned from the esthetician, I now give myself weekly facials using the Radiance Peel from Makeup Artists Choice. http://www.makeupartistschoice.com/
    I have sensitive, dark-chocolate brown skin that is very prone to scarring and hyperpigmentation. When used as directed, this peel (along with my clarisonic and some inexpensive face wash and lotion) has been powerful enough to smooth and even my skin without causing irritation.

    This is also the reason why I won’t see a manicurist that doesn’t speak and understand English very well. I’m willing to pay well and tip very well for quality service, but I want to gain as much knowledge as possible during that time. Good advice is worth it’s weight in gold, sometimes more.

    Khadija: your comment about setting boundaries and reciprocity was so valuable, it deserve sa post of its own. It was also very timely for me as I’m starting to reap the benefits of politely and firmly setting boundaries. It’s amazing how well people treat you (and how well vampires are repelled) when you respectfully demand excellence.

    • Sali,

      You said, “Khadija: your comment about setting boundaries and reciprocity was so valuable, it deserve sa post of its own. It was also very timely for me as I’m starting to reap the benefits of politely and firmly setting boundaries. It’s amazing how well people treat you (and how well vampires are repelled) when you respectfully demand excellence.”

      Thank you for your kind words, but I’m seeing that this reciprocity and boundaries issue is something that you can’t really teach most of these folks by using words alone. The words “vetting,” “boundaries,” and “reciprocity” bounce off their heads without ever penetrating. OR, a lot of these women learn how to parrot saying these words without any real comprehension of what they mean. And without any intention of acting in conformity with the values expressed in these words.

      That’s part of why I switched to some overt ACTIONS in terms of enforcing some standards, and demonstrating what the words “vetting,” “boundaries,” and “reciprocity” look like in action (in the context of this blog).

      I’m not going to use words to preach about reciprocity anymore. Because a number of these women have been nodding along and/or parroting these words for years without ever acting on these words. It took the discomfort of having their faces rubbed in the fact that they were being excluded from the premium content for them to even consider the idea of offering reciprocity in exchange for the value they’ve gotten from the posts and other readers’ comments. That was why I originally did the “tidbit,” partial premium content in public—so these folks could know that they were being excluded from some things. Because they don’t respond to words alone.

      Well, that fact has been communicated. There’s no need for me to continue alerting these folks to when premium content is being sent to the regular commenters. [Oh, and I’ve added some people to the regular commenter list this month. They know who they are. :-)] So, as I said earlier, from now on I’m just going to send out the premium content without doing the extra work of creating a public, “tidbit,” partial premium posts.

      And yes—as you noted, in addition to setting the stage for good treatment, setting firm boundaries also has the happy effect of repelling vampires. {smile}

      Expect Success!

  18. Miss S says:

    For ladies on a budget, like me: If you can’t afford the Clarisonic right now, Sephora has a manual facial brush for $5. I picked it up last week and it works pretty well.

    Now that the weather is getting nice in some places, and some of you may be starting to wear sandals, I want to recommend Amlactin for feet. It makes my feet really soft. I also use avocado oil.

    Someone posted a few weeks ago, suggesting that black women don’t need sunblock. This isn’t true. Why do white girls lay outside in the sun? To tan. The sun makes your skin darker. That means any blemishes or hyperpigmentation you have will absolutely get darker if you go out without sunblock. For those of you taking antibiotics or using a retinol cream for skin, sunblock is an absolute must, because those products make your skin very sensitive to the sun.

    • I just got the face brush from Sephora last week (great minds think alike 🙂 I’ve been using it on days where I wear makeup so that I can get my skin as clean as possible. It’s been working well-I dry my face after using the brush and my black soap, and I don’t have a trace of makeup anywhere.

  19. APA says:

    For those looking to get in shape, I suggest that you read Oxygen Magazine b/c it does a really good job of laying out exercise plans to tone different parts of your body. It’s especially good for ladies who are interested in weight lifting, but don’t know where to start. I’ve been reading the magazine for the past three years and base most of my exercise regimen on articles from the magazine. Women’s Health is also another magazine that I like a lot, but I read it more for dieting ideas.

    On another note, please take the time to clean your house, apartment, office, etc. As a lady, your living and working area should be pristine. Recently, I had to do health and safety checks since I work as an RA at my school. The assumptions that people will make about a woman whose living area is messy, cluttered, or smelly are not good. The dorm that I work in houses mainly freshmen sorority girls since it’s directly across from sorority row. I was shocked how dirty some of their rooms were b/c most of these girls are so prissy. I’m talking dirty clothes on the floor, horrible smells, dust, etc. Although these girls may look cute, they have poor hygiene, which is what folks will assume about you if you’re house or apartment is dirty b/c a person with good hygiene would not feel comfortable in all that filth.

    • MesaATLien says:

      Oh my gosh! We just had health checks at my school too!! I cannot tell you how messy some of my friends keep their rooms…ain’t it funny that some of the prettiest girls out here have the worst hygiene. One of my suitmates doesn’t like to shower or clean up the bathroom! And when she uses the bathroom, she doesn’t flush her tissue down the toilet. She instead throws the tissue into a small trashcan, and she will let the tissue fall out of the bin all on the floor!!! Me and my roommate put an end to that last week! 🙁

      Ladies, I know I don’t have to tell Sojourners this, but to all the new folks out there, please bathe, please shower. B.O. is not cute or attractive if you hadn’t realized. Thanks. 🙂

  20. Natasia says:

    In this Information Age, there is no excuse to not learn at least one new language.

    For example, if you want to learn French:
    – Coffee Break French: learn French in 15 minute increments per day (via iTunes)
    – Walk, Talk, Learn French: learn French as it is commonly spoken in Paris through video podcasts (via iTunes)
    – SBS French News: Practice your comprehension by listening to news podcasts (via iTunes)
    – YouTube: Practice your pronunciation by learning French songs (my favorites for now are “Je Danse” by Jenifer and “Que Veux-Tu” by Yelle)
    – Meetup.Com : Find French speakers in your area and practice!

    All these resources are FREE and accesible!

    • tertiaryanna says:

      To piggyback on this – colleges like MIT have open courseware, so you can learn the same information that their students do, for free. The lectures are online, so you can listen to them while you’re doing other things. It’s an easy and free way to become well-rounded, on your own timeline.

    • Faith Dow says:

      I saw Yelle play at a club while on her tour 2 years ago. I had soooo much fun as she insisted the entire audience jump up and down during at least half her set. I was – ahem – one of the older show attendees but really appreciated her enthusiasm.

  21. Evia says:

    @ Khadija re:

    That’s part of why I switched to some overt ACTIONS in terms of enforcing some standards, and demonstrating what . . . “reciprocity” looks like in action (in the context of this blog).

    ACTION is the clincher and the critical piece because without reciprocity, nothing good can continue for long. The giver will simply run out of resources (since quality resources are finite) if they’re receiving nothing of comparable worth in return. ACTION separates the ‘talkers’ from the ‘walkers,’ so it’s COMMON SENSE to insist for people to “put up or shut up.”

    And if a person is a mere ‘talker’ and can’t or won’t “put up,” they need to go and find others like themselves. For ex., if a person can’t afford diamond stud earrings, they usually buy CZ studs. There’s no point in hanging around the diamonds if you can’t afford to ACT and buy them.

    So why try to mingle among the ‘walkers’ if you’re a ‘talker’ and are not ready to ‘walk’ unless it’s to get something for nothing? My grandmom used to say that “a person is either going to work, beg, borrow, or steal.” (I know y’all may get tired of hearing about my grandmom. LOL! I could write about her forever and may actually write a book about her plain common sense that is still so apropos.)

    The point is that everybody CAN act IF that is their intention. If that’s not their intention, then they need to cut the cr#p and stop thinking that we’re stupid.

    The old folks on my grandmom’s porch referred to the practice of reciprocity as the “door swinging both ways.” In any situation in which the door didn’t swing both ways, they advocated cutting the cord or to somehow demand better treatment. I mentioned on Halima’s blog that when physically abusive bm had a pattern of beating their wives, those folks in my small rural community supported her if she threw hot grits or hot oil on him. That’s reciprocity because often, women couldn’t afford to financially leave their husbands and in some cases, her family couldn’t interfere. (It was very hard to get welfare money in the deep south where I grew up.) When and if a bw took all of that abuse, she was considered stupid and people looked down on her. So bw usually DID something.

    I think I mentioned also that I was one of the 3 architects who formed an intentional community about 15 years ago. We knew at the outset that we would have to set up ACTION criteria to screen out the ‘talkers’ from the ‘walkers.’ So we used money as the criteria. It was an affordable amount of money because everyone who would have wanted to join our progressive IC was educated and/or employed AND they were individuals and families who could contribute other essentials to the IC. It was NOT a pity party IC.

    I didn’t come from a ‘pity party’ background, so I don’t speak ‘pity party’ language and I’ve never had a relationship with a ‘pity party’ man. I was never attracted to that type of man and I don’t care how he physically looks or anything about silly ‘swag’ or even his other assets–because a ‘pity party’ man is not going to actually capitalize on his assets or not for long.

    • Evia,

      I 100% cosign. And your grandmother sounds a lot like my grandmother (God rest her soul)! {smile} Frankly, I don’t care if new school colored girls are tired or bored with hearing about Big Mama and her old school ways. Judging from the degradation in which so many new school AA women are living—with their majority oow rate, single parenting, etc.—they would do well to learn from some of Big Mama’s common sense ways.

      Big Mama was typically materially MUCH poorer than new school colored girls, but she did NOT accept living under the sort of voluntary degradation that new school colored girls accept as “normal.” As you noted, Big Mama would pour some boiling grits or oil on a domestically violent Negro’s head while he slept. Didn’t Al Green learn that lesson? For all we know, those boiling grits might have helped him “come to Jesus.”

      From what I can tell from talking to older relatives, prior to the 1970s, Big Mama would not have no-working, able-bodied, adult sons or nephews—or any other such no-working Negro male—sleeping on her couch. Or sitting up at her table eating her food. I’m not sure what happened that led Big Mama to start thinking sometime around the early 70s that it was now okay to have no-working adult male sons and nephews laying up in her house.

      Before the shift in the early 70s, when a boy in her family was about to finish high school, Big Mama started asking him what he planned to do with himself. Such as what job he was going to seek, or if he was going to join the military, or what… Because his plan could NOT be to lay up on her couch and eat her food as a no-working adult male.

      Unlike modern AA women, Big Mama had standards, expectations, and lines that could not be crossed without a HEAVY penalty being imposed.

      Big Mama’s husband “Pops” had the same way of thinking. And Pops was not gentle in how he posed these sorts of questions to the teenage boys in his family. I notice that most AA men in my father’s age group still have that Pops mentality. And that Pops mentality carried through at least until the 1980s with my Dad’s peers. One little episode from when I was still in high school in the 80s:

      During our summer vacation on the East Coast that year, my father took us to visit with one of his old friends and this (AA) man’s family. The man and his wife had a son who was a year ahead of me in high school, and the boy was going to enter his senior year that fall. So, of course, the dinner conversation drifted to questions about my and the boy’s college plans. [But of course we were grilled at length by the opposite set of parents about our various interests, aspirations, and plans. {chuckling}]

      I can’t remember which private university the boy said he wanted to attend. But when my father went on to jokingly ask his friend who was going to pay for that private university tuition, his friend barked out, “Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines!!!” {chuckling at the memory}

      In other words, his son was expected to assume the responsibility for his own higher education. And the assumption was that he was going to do like his father did, and enlist in the military to get GI Bill-type college money.

      As far as many Big Mamas and Pops were concerned, the umbilical cord of parental financial support was CUT at age 18 or graduation from high school (whichever one came first).

      Now, my parents didn’t adhere to that particular aspect of old school thought. I was blessed in that they paid for my undergrad education. Not only because they weren’t as harsh in their parenting style as some of the old school ways. But also because they wanted to maintain heavy-duty control over what I did until I graduated from college.

      The downside (from a parental control point of view) to that Y’alls Totally On Your Own Financially At 18 paradigm is that people who are totally financially self-supporting ARE essentially grown. And you can’t dictate to them anymore because you don’t have any financial leverage over them. If you have a good relationship with your child, you still have emotional leverage over what they do. But that’s not anything like the level of control you have (or should have) when you still control the purse strings.

      You said, “The point is that everybody CAN act IF that is their intention. If that’s not their intention, then they need to cut the cr#p and stop thinking that we’re stupid.”

      THANK YOU for saying that! Too many AAs take kindness (as well as manners and diplomacy) as weakness. Like I’ve said recently, all of this is why my attention is shifting away from the talkers and toward the walkers. What’s the expression—every shut eye ain’t sleep. Just because I haven’t bothered to say much about it, does not mean that various folks’ behaviors have gone unnoticed.

      Expect Success!

  22. Duchy says:

    Does anyone know how to even out whole body skin tone. I seriously look like three different shades of people from head to toe. I have tried various creams including Bio-oil with no visible improvement.

    My face is prone to painful breakouts (especially when I eat junk) which then result in hyperpigmentation no matter how I treat the spots. I’ve never had acne, but my days of smooth facedness seem to be hazy history and I’m not happy about that. I currently use Clinique facial moisturiser and whlist I love the feel of it, it is not really dealing with the issue.

    Any ideas please?

    • Miss S says:

      I said this above, and on previous posts, so I’m sure some are tired of hearing it 🙂

      Subblock. Sunblock. Sunblock.

      My face is lighter than my hands, because I always use sunblock on my face, and often forget the rest of me that’s exposed to sun.

      Amlactin is an alpha-hydroxy lotion with lactic acid. It smoothes skin and evens skin tone. It’s gentle enough to use on my face, and I also have sensitive skin.

      If you can, see a dermatologist. They can recommend a retinol cream gentle enough for your skin, or an antibiotic. I’m currently taking Tetracycline.

      One thing I’ve discovered is to keep my face moisturized. I use jojoba oil, and I use a blend of jojoba, avocado, and olive oil as a makeup remover. I read that when your skin is dry, your face produces more oil to keep it protected. Again, a dermatologist will be able to determine what kind of breakouts you have and how best to treat them. I have hormonal acne, which means I break out around my menstrual cycle. The problem is, I have awful hyperpigmentation as a result. Using jojoba oil, retinol cream, amlactin, and taking antibiotics has helped tremendously.

      Be careful with anything with bezoyl peroxide. It can wreak havoc on sensitive skin.

      • SweetIslandGirl says:

        Thanks for the tip. I recently invested ina skin brightening cream to help even out my skin tone becuase I have hyperpigmentation. I am going to look into these products.

        Thank you

        • Miss S says:

          If it has hydroquinone, please be very cautious. It can be harmful to sensitive skin, and has been banned in some countries.

    • Karen says:

      First, skin reacts to external and internal environmental changes. I would highly recommend avoiding foods that cause breakouts, incorporate drinking plenty of water if you are not already doing so.

      Externally, one of the ladies here mentioned about the use of oil. I have combination skin (oily/normal) and have been on this regimen about a month now. I use at the moment Olive Oil/Castor Oil. It has worked to minimize my oil production, it is not completely normal but has done wonders in that direction.

      I no longer need to moisturize as my skin is not have periods of dryness from the cleansers that I was previously using. Before my “normal” areas were prone to dryness.

      Once my current batch is done, I plan to try jojoba oil/castor oil and later sunflower oil/castor oil to see if there is any difference in results.

      Of course my disclaimer is that every person may react differently.

    • Zoopath says:

      Did you happen to stop taking oral contraceptives? I thought that my skin was naturally flawless until I stopped taking them and discovered that the situation was quite to the contrary. I use clarisonic, facials and Rx retinoic cocktails and it’s still not as clear as when I was on the pill. Sigh…if only there were a way to conceive without stopping birth control 🙂

  23. Chloe says:

    This is my first post. Thank you for all that you do and to all the wonderful women who contribute great and life changing information.

    Create a great day,
    Chloe

  24. Chloe says:

    I wanted to add another element to the conversation of Windows, window coverings, and thermal long underwear but was not able to do so and I hope putting it here would be acceptable. Four out of five AA women are obese. Could the warmth of AA homes play apart in the obesity epidemic? Here is a link to mull over:
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/central-heating-may-be-making-us-fat/

    Namaste,
    Chloe

  25. Shesthedifferencemaker says:

    For those looking into (re)learning to play an instrument, you have several options.

    I haven’t picked up my clarinet in almost 4 years so I am a bit rusty 🙁 Take advantage of classes at community colleges and universities. There are plenty of grad students willing to give lessons at affordable prices. A quick search will bring up a list of music schools in your area that cater to children and adults of all skill levels.

    I used to work at a music store so I know how affordable it is to rent an instrument if you don’t want to buy them. We even offered lessons for most instruments we sold/rented at our business so you could get everything you needed in one place. You can even rent/borrow them from some of these schools, so NO excuses.

    I have been practicing with free sheet music from various sites.
    I like: http://www.8notes.com and http://www.free-scores.com

    I found so many clarinet lessons on YouTube as well!

    Speaking of music, I remember one of my gf’s was taking voice lessons as a hobby from a grad student. Long story short, the women and my friend started hanging out and eventually introduced my friend to her (well-established)friends and in particular one of her guy friends, who was getting his masters in chemical engineering at the time, and they ended up dating. Not only was she investing in herself by honing her skills, she was able to expand her network and meet her now bf who is absolutely crazy about her!

    These are all great tips ladies!! You have all been a great resource these past few months, especially you Khadija!

  26. Miss S says:

    Khadija, please let me know if this doesn’t belong in Finishing School Friday.

    Ing Direct is offering a $25 bonus for opening a savings account, no minimum balance required. They are also offering a $50 bonus for opening an investment account. If you don’t know a lot about investing, there is plenty of research on the internet. I opened a new savings account a few days ago, and will open the investment account shortly.

    Yoga is a great way to relax and get a nicely toned body. 20 minutes a day can make a very noticeable difference.

  27. I recently read a great etiquette/style book written by Clinton Kelly (from the TV show “What Not To Wear”.) The book, Freakin’ Fabulous , covers a little bit of everything-how to dress, correct grammar, good manners, information about food, drinks, and proper dining, home decor, and more. Not only is it chockful of good informaiton, but it’s a hilarious read-if you’re familiar with Clinton’s personality, you know what kind of humor to expect. It’s a really good book that you can refer to time and again if you want to brush up on your fabulousness.

  28. Sali says:

    Sometimes it can be very difficult to engage in dignified, feminine behavior if you’ve never really had it modeled for you. I was watching The Cosby Show with my children a few days ago I realized the big impact Claire Huxtable had on my life. I did have dignified, feminine behavior modeled for me by a number of women in my life, but I adored Claire when I was a child.

    I think studying characters like Claire Huxtable, Julia Sugarbaker (Designing Women), and even watching Asian historical dramas (Memoirs of a Geisha and many Bollywood films) can be a fantastic way to enhance one’s understanding of how a woman who values her self and her womanhood behaves in the world.

    • Melissa Q. says:

      Another thing I suggest it take partner dancing lessons. Partner dances when the males lead and the woman follows really help refine your movements. The job of the man becomes to make the woman look beautiful and ‘flow’ while dancing. There are many style of partner dances from bachata, ballroom, merengue, waltz, tango, to salsa. If you search on youtube, the woman always is supposed to look graceful and beautiful and draws the attention of the viewer.

      You just need to invest in some good shoes, and usually at each class the women switch with several men, so you don’t need to have a partner. One of my fiends commented that my walk seems a little more graceful, lol. The toned calves seem to help also.

  29. Sali says:

    Okay, I’m kind of on fire today: I keep thinking of stuff to share! If you are not already familiar with Groupon and Livingsocial, then get acquainted! These services are great. You sign up and receive daily emails with huge discounts (often 60% or more), on everything from facials and massages to vacation packages and trendy exercise classes.

    The quality of the offerings vary geographically, though. I get much better offers in California than I did in Texas.

    • SweetIslandGirl says:

      YES! I co-sign on the groupon thing. I signed up for a prestigious dance school through this program and its great! Thank you for bringing this up. I too am thinking of things to share with you wonderful ladies.

      Th eonly thing I can think of presently is shapewear.

      I have been thinking about it a lot lately and I came across a great site called vedette shapewear at http://www.vedetteshop.com.

      I’ve read a few great reviews on the “Nadine” garment firm compression. I think all great wardrobe looks starts with the right foundation. We feel and act our best and most confident when we look good. I plan to invest in one such garment to train my body while I exercise.

      This garment doesn’t replace exercise and healthy eating but I think it helps you as you journey towards your goal.

  30. Lorie says:

    Hi,

    I am a dog lover and recommend those willing and able to take on the responisibility of a pet to consider dog ownership. Besides being great company, dogs can enhance your life by keeping the owner active (you’ll have no trouble, or choice, getting out of bed to exercise or just to start your day). Dogs can help you make new friends such as other dog people. Some single ladies go to dog parks in affluent neighborhoods to meet men. Also, many single women have dogs for protection. In fact, I recall a security expert advising single women who don’t have pets to put a big dog bowl, in addition to a huge pair of men’s, near the entrance of their home to discourage bad guys… (off topic: This makes me think about the disadvantages a lone woman faces…)

    However, I know this is not for everyone, as not everyone loves dogs and even those that do must first consider the time, expense and energy they are willing to devote to the endeavor. But, dogs are wonderful.

    • Lorie says:

      correction: the security advice was to place a large dog bowl in addition to a huge pair of men’s SHOES by the entrance of the home to discourage bad guys…

  31. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    @ Dutchy

    I heard that hemp seed oil used topically was good for severe acne conditions.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      I also wanted to add that you can look into your omega- 3,6,9 balance. When those are out of whack it can cause inflammation and acne. You would need to supplement to get them in balance.

      Also you can consider sulfur/msm/zinc soaps and acids.

  32. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Re alternative to Clairsonic and other powered cleansers

    I am a bit hesitant to try this as I use other exfoliants and my skin is more dry/normal. The reviews from those who have skin on the dry side gave me pause.

    I think a good alternative could be microfiber cloths for the face and ayate fiber cloths for the body. I have been trying these for about a month and the results are pretty good – especially for the ayate fibers for the body. My feet are perfect just from simple washing.

  33. YMB says:

    I’m all out of tips but I just wanted to share that the importance of building reciprocal networks is a lesson of even more significance for my lately. A dear friend of mine from high school has a critically ill young son in the hospital. Many people find themselves abandoned in such circumstances but my friend and her family have an army of people volunteering their time and money to make sure they stay fed with their bills paid, and to keep their younger child occupied and shielded from the unfolding medical drama. In the 20+ years that I have known my friend, she has always surrounded herself only with quality people and it has paid off.

    If any of you are ever, heaven forbid, in a situation where your personal network needs to come together for you, the website <a href="http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/"Lotsa Helping Hands", is a free resource that will allow you to communicate with every one at once, and to organize and schedule efforts.

    Also, two recent news articles about the new iPad reminded me of the the sojourner mindset- especially pertaining to mindless consumption. While lemmings waited in line for hours to be the first to buy shell out hundreds of dollars for the latest Apple gadget, one woman waited in line to make $900 selling her place in line.

    Another article detailed how much money Apple product addicts would have made over the years if they had invested the money they spent on gadgets into Apple stock instead. It is not chump change. There is always opportunity for those looking for it.