Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wishing You A Happy New Year

Get ready for 2015! 

Enjoy this gorgeous version of Auld Lang Syne, sung so flawlessly by Mindy Smith. Mindy's fans sent her their family photos to make the video. Watching the images along with the song is very touching! Who hasn't sat down to look at old family photographs of days gone by? Stills capturing unscripted moments in life as time steadily marches on.

Auld Lang Syne is Scotland's gift to the world. Look how the song has changed and stayed the same. 

So grab someone's hand, hit "play" and reminisce about how swiftly the years pass ... while giving a hopeful nod to the future. 

Happy New Year Everybody! xox

--------------------------------------

From Wikipedia: Complete lyrics by Robert Burns - 1788
Burns’ original Scots verse[4]English translation
(minimalist)
Scots pronunciation guide
(as Scots speakers would sound)
IPA pronunciation guide[10]
(Burns' own Ayrshire dialect)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin' auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin' auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an nivir brocht ti mynd?
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an ald lang syn?
CHORUS:
Fir ald lang syn, ma jo,
fir ald lang syn,
wil tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.
An sheerly yil bee yur pynt-staup!
an sheerly al bee myn!
An will tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.
CHORUS
We twa hay rin aboot the braes,
an pood the gowans fyn;
Bit weev wandert monae a weery fet,
sin ald lang syn.
CHORUS
We twa hay pedilt in the burn,
fray mornin sun til dyn;
But seas between us bred hay roard
sin ald lang syn.
CHORUS
An thers a han, my trustee feer!
an gees a han o thyn!
And we’ll tak a richt gude-willie-waucht,
fir ald lang syn.
CHORUS
ʃɪd o̜ːld ə.kwɛn.təns bi fəɾ.ɡot,
ən nɪ.vəɾ brɔxt tɪ məin?
ʃɪd o̜ːld ə.kwɛn.təns bi fəɾ.ɡot,
ən o̜ːl lɑŋ səin?
CHORUS:
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin, mɑ dʒo,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin,
wiːl tɑk ə kʌp ə kəin.nəs jɛt,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin.
ən ʃeːr.li jiːl bi juːɾ pəin.stʌup!
ən ʃeːr.li ɑːl bi məin!
ən wiːl tɑk ə kʌp ə kəin.nəs jɛt,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin.
CHORUS
wi two̜̜ː heː rɪn ə.but ðə breːz,
ən puːd ðə ɡʌu.ənz fəin;
bʌt wiːv wɑn.əɾt mʌ.ne ə wiːɾɪ fɪt,
sɪn o̜ːl laŋ səin.
CHORUS
wi two̜̜ː heː pe.dlt ɪn ðə bʌɾn,
freː moːɾ.nɪn sɪn tɪl dəin;
bʌt siːz ə.twin ʌs bred heː roːrd
sɪn o̜lː laŋ səin.
CHORUS
ən ðeːrz ə ho̜ːn, mɑ trʌs.tɪ fiːɾ!
əŋ ɡiːz ə ho̜ːn ə ðəin!
ən wiːl tak ə rɪxt ɡɪd wʌ.lɪ wo̜ːxt,
fəɾ o̜lː laŋ səin.
CHORUS

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stylish Baby Essentials

OMG, look at these adorable baby basics for boys! (Finding things for girls is easy, in my experience.) A big black bib from Frenchie Mini Couture. Thank goodness, it doesn't have a big green couture price tag. With this bib, a baby can stay neat and posh at the same time.
A Baby Aspen blue terry, spa shark robe. How cozy in 100% cotton. What cute eyes and big teeth, it has!
A Chill Baby mustache pacifier. It keeps a baby calm and cool. Hey little man!

These baby items are not just an introduction to humor, they make fun practical gifts. Nowadays a baby born without a silver spoon can do just fine.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This Is My Wish - Jordin Sparks

Let there be peace on earth.
All faiths try to answer the same basic questions about life. Why do we exist? What is our purpose? Why is there good and evil? How do humans stay on the right path? What gives our lives meaning? Even athiests ask these questions.

We are a global community, according to the blog's stats. Yet despite many cultures, people are more alike then different. Each and every one of you is valued here. Everyone has something to give to the world, and we are stronger for it!

Be kind to one another. "Let it start with you. Let it start with me." And as Jordin Sparks sings so melodically, "Let peace find its way ...."

video

May the goodwill and joy of the holidays last beyond the season.

Photo: Karen Elizabeth
Love to all my readers. Good Tidings and Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Czechoslovakian Cookies

Photo: © Barbara Rolek on About.com, Inc.
Years ago my Mom clipped this recipe out of the newpaper, and thereafter made them for Christmas and special occasions. We have no idea how they got their name, but everyone seems to love them. It's a luscious dessert for a dinner party or afternoon tea. Easy to make too!

Czechoslovakian Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, soften (= 1 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks (Unless I'm also making coconut macaroons, I just use one whole egg.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopper walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 cup strawberry preserves

Directions:

1) Add and mix the first four ingredients (one at a time) in a large bowl using an electric mixer until a dough forms.
2) Fold in the nuts.
3) Spread half the batter evenly into the bottom of a greased 8 inch square cake pan.
4) Spoon the strawberry preserves on top, avoiding the edges.
5) Top with the remaining batter, covering the preserves.
6) Slide the pan into a preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour or until lightly brown.

Take out of the oven. Allow to cool before cutting into 2 inch squares to serve. I like to sprinkle the top with confectionery sugar.
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Seven Rules For Holiday Dressing

Fearne cotton clutch purse; photo from TotalBeauty.com
Recently Paul Fredrick, a company which makes a full line of men's business attire, but is best known for its affordable dress shirts, contacted me with a request. Could I share tips for sharp holiday dressing? My advice is very straightforward and applies to men and women equally.

1) Select classic pieces that never go out of style. Chanel's little black dress is as chic today as it was at the turn of the 20th century. A tailored man's suit with a cotton oxford shirt and silk tie is always dapper and current.

2) Stick with natural fabrics. Cashmere, lambswool, silk, cotton and linen are fashion-forward investments, because they wear well, lasting for decades.

3) Embrace your personal style. Wear what makes you feel like a million bucks, and you will not only pull it off, you'll sparkle and shine! 

4) Dress for comfort. Anything that is too tight, or ill-fitted, or hurts to don should not be in your closet. How can you party like it's 1999 if your clothes are trying to pinch, blister or trip you? If you can't walk in shoes, don't buy them. And, replace your mistakes; in the spirit of the season, take those to Goodwill!

5) No need to buy special holiday outfits unless you walk red capets. You might do it once in a while, but try to look your best all-year-a-round by sticking to well-crafted and well-fitted classics that you can wear time and again.

6) Add pizazz with accessories. Glitter with silver and gold jewelry, or cuff links. Drape a velvet or faux-fur stole/jacket on your shoulders. For women, rhinestone ballet flats or heels look festive. A shimmering clutch purse also works. Men can achieve the same effect with a fine watch.

7) Don't be afraid of playful accents: For men, a neck tie with a holiday motif, a polka-dot bow tie, or two-tone shoes complement an understated suit. A bright red tie and handkerchief make a dark suit pop. Colorful scarves do the same for a woman wearing neutrals.

When styling for holiday events, always be yourself ... but, be your best dressed, polished self. Have fun celebratng!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater ... Not!

ASOS Christmas Fair Isle Jumper
Many jokes are made about wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, but I understand why people do it ... to show their Yule time spirit. You don't think of a person who has on a Christmas sweater as taking himself too seriously. He (or she) must be a fun person, right? Not only is it practical on frosty days, a festive themed sweater is playful and screams, "Lets celebrate!" -- resulting in a new holiday tradition, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.

ASOS has a stylish selection of Christmas sweaters. They are affordable and a far cry from ugly. The textured Fair Isle design above -- available for him and her -- is adorable! In matching sweaters, a cheeky couple can sing a few bars of Ho, Hey ... "You belong with me. I belong with you. You're my ... sweetheat!" 
 

The Chunky Cardigan by ASOS has textured knitting, ribbed shawl collar, button placket, raglan sleeves and twin patch pockets.



An ASOS Christmas Cardigan has a soft acrylic knit with a v-neck, button front closure and patch pockets.

This ASOS Vintage Look Christmas Jumper is busy and chic, with a tree, presents, oraments, and bows.

As the North Pole knows, these Christmas sweaters from ASOS are fit for a fashionista.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ben Silver For Classic Style in Menswear

Clothing, shoes and accessories.
Within historic Charleston, South Carolina sits the self described "epitome of the elegant fine haberdasher that once could be found in the main streets of America, but now exits only on London's Seville Row." FittinglyBen Silver's 19th century flagship store is located at 149 King Street.

The shop is known for its tailored clothing, designed for "sophisticated tastes" and "understated style" ... combined with a touch of "boldness."  In other words, rich but never boring.

Although Ben Silver makes apparel for women also, it's the men's tailored suits, handmade silk ties and signature cuff links that catch the eye and make the heart flutter. The fabrics and craftsmanship that goes into the pieces are gorgeous!

If you decide to save up for one good, upscale suit, you can't go wrong with Ben Silver. Your suit will be expertly made of the finest material ... and last forever.
A set of suave cuff links, fine leather wallet or chic brown-and-tortoise eye frames make an excellent gift. Is there anyone on your Christmas list this year who was naughty or nice? 

'Tis the season to splurge on someone special with a gift he is sure to love.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

A Serving Of Indian Pudding

Hmm, how about adding nuts and dried cranberries?
Indian pudding is a dish I tasted for the very first time over the weekend when I tried making a batch. It's a New Englander comfort food, but I grew up elsewhere. Made with cornmeal, it derives from British hasty pudding, a wheat flour porridge cooked on a stove top. The American colonials lacked wheat, but had plenty of cornmeal, which they called Indian meal. So thus, hasty pudding became Indian pudding.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups milk
½ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses (Didn't have it. I substituted a squirt of maple syrup.)
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
a sprinkle of nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins

Optional: A scoop of vanilla ice cream as a topping.

Directions:

1. Put the ingredients, one by one, into a saucepan. Whisk thoroughly until smooth.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and slide it into a 325 degree F preheated oven.
4. Bake for 1 ½ - 3 hours. Baking for a longer period of time at a low heat turns the grainy porridge into a smooth pudding.

Eat the Indian pudding while warm, topped with the vanilla ice cream, if desired. The pudding, alone, is light and wholesome without too much sugar.

I can't say I dislike it; it's good. However, I like cornbread better, and cornbread takes less time to bake. But now ... like our forebears, I have eaten Indian pudding. To me, it tastes more like hot cereal than dessert.

You often perfer the foods and textures you are accustomed to eating. Perhaps a New Englander likes his Indian pudding as much as I like cornbread. Try it once.
This is James.


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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winterize Your Lips With Fresh Sugar Holiday Tints

Fresh Sugar Legends Lip Collection
In winter I like to replace lipstick with nourishing lip balms tinted with just a hint of color. Fresh has come out with two holiday lip collections that are hydrating and very flattering. So you can treat and color your lips simultaneously.

The Fresh Sugar Legends Lip Collection has seven shades in petal, tulip, rose, honey, cherry, passion and berry, while the Sugar Cravings Kissing Trio offers the cherry and berry hues, plus one untinted lip balm.

Each set is formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates, and they have SPF15 to guard against the sun's harmful rays.

Either moisterizing set with natual-looking, sheer lip shades makes a lovely stocking stuffer (which I mention for um, no particular reason.) The limited edition colors can be worn all year around. Available online and at Sephora.
Sugar Cravings Kissing Trio
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Monday, December 1, 2014

The Tarte Away Oui Go Palette


Usually, I don't buy myself a Christmas present, but oh my gosh, take a look at this amazing Tarte Away Oul Go Palette ... all wearable colors and for $48, a good buy. (Go to Sephora for the best price right now.) You get lots of rich Parisian pigments for the buck.

The special holiday collection includes:

1) 16-full size clay eye shadows in neutrals, nudes, browns and cream
2) 4-full size clay 12-hour blushes in sheer melon, coral, peach and rose
3) 3-lip glosses in raspberry, pink and plum
4) One 4-in-1 mascara
5) an elegant, portable blue compact case 

The 4 separate shadow-blush palettes ingeniously snap in-and-out of the blue compact, so you can slip it into your purse. All the makeup you need fits conveniently into a suitcase for trips too.

Ideally, the holidays are a time to think of others. They are not about buying gifts for yourself. So tell me, why does this palette exist? It has quality, value and cuteness. Did you notice the pearls on the quilt-pattern case? 

Oh, for heaven's sake, lead me not into tempation! I can find it all by myself.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Have A Happy Thanksgiving

Be Thankful (Author Unknown)

"Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Photo: Pop Sugar
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings."


Thank you, dear friends and readers for stopping by today. I am grateful for you! Keep a positve attitude thoughout life, count your blessings; and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Turkey


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Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Affordable Christmas Gift Ideas

New at The Body Shop.
The number one rule for selecting gifts is always give people things they can use.

I live in a small Manhattan apartment. One Christmas I recived a fake fireplace with a fake log from relatives who live in a big beautiful house in the suburbs. There was nothing special about it, nor do I recall ever wanting one. And, since it didn't function, out in the trash it went a short time later.


Why spend money on items with no purpose? How disappointing to unwrap! Better to give nothing at all. I don't know, perhaps my relations were regifting? ... or just made a mistake. Judging by their possessions, they seem to have the means and good tastes to select a nice gift. (By the way, they don't read the blog, but maybe they should. :)

A thoughtful holiday gift isn't always expensive; however it should be something you'd be happy to get. Here are ten ideas to consider:


1. The Body Shop Color Crush Nail Polish for her - Enriched with Community Free Trade marula oil and safe ingredients. Long lasting, bright nail color in over 24 shades. Plus, The Body Shop has attractive holiday skin care and grooming kits for men, women and the entire family.
2. Razor Kick Scooter - Perfect for kids of all ages. A sleek design and sturdy construction. I see at least one adult rider on the city streets each week, and it sure looks like a fun way to get around.
3. The Art of Shaving: The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave - A unique blend of 100% essential oils for him. Great for sensitive skin. The kit includes pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after shave and a shaving brush. Travel and full sizes are available.



4. A BasTexWireless Case for a smart phone - The above Hard Knuckles Bumper model in metallic silver for an iPhone 5 sells for $4.99. There is a design and color to fit most every personality and cell phone.




5. A Craft Beer Brewing Kit - Everything a person needs to begin making beer at home. It's rewarding to learn a new hobby. A chance for the giftee to impress friends with delicious homemade beer. Who knows? You, the giver, might get invited to a beer tasting.

6. French Girl Organic - Lip Tints - A nourishing lip balm containing organic oils, butters and wax to keep lips moist and chap-free, in subtle earth tone tints. 
7. Pearl jewelry - From earrings, rings, bracelets or necklaces, there's a price point for every budget. A forever keepsake. You can't go wrong with pearls and silver or gold. Freshwater pearls are lovely just like their flawless siblings. Do your research before choosing. Macy's, a department store with knowledgeable buyers and a wide selection, is a good place to start.


8. Shea Moisture Soap - This whole product line of skin, body and hair care is the best kept secret in the beauty industry. Fabulously budget-friendly and available at Target, Walgreen and Bed, Bath And Beyond. Made with certified organic ingredients. The huge-sized soaps are excellent for pampering dry and sensitive skin. None better!


9. English Toffee - Chocolate, nuts and butter toffee, not to mention a mouthwatering crunch! Lots of sizes and brands are packaged in holiday boxes and tins. Makes a festive presentation.

10. A gift certificate - To a favorite store is always a thougthful present, in my opinion. 

Normally, adults get fewer gifts, so make yours count! What are your gift ideas?Emoji

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