Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Southern Woman, totally charming...



What is it about a Southern Woman’s voice.  It just soothes, like slow dripping honey.  When we saw Jeanne Robertson a couple of weeks ago, I once again was struck not only by her grace, but by her voice.  I think I may have lived in the deep south in another lifetime.  I like to think I’m southern, but actually my Heavensville twang is not exactly attractive, it grates rather than soothes.  

I have a daughter-in-law from North Carolina who is the quintessential Southern Woman.  It’s a lovely thing to witness, and even if you aren’t from the south, you can certainly adhere to the wonderful traits in this excerpt from Southern Charm’s website.

1. Create warmth wherever you go. Be warm and inviting in relationships, with family, at the office, in your home, in the rooms you enter. Be open and enticing rather than cool and aloof. Shower those in your presence with engaging smiles. Make everyone feel welcomed into your world. Southern hospitality is the standard by which the rest of the world is judged. That special brand of hospitality begins with tremendous warmth, openness, and the giving of one’s self.

2. Always notice everyone around you. As you walk through the mall, down the aisle at church, or along the hall-way at the office, acknowledge everyone with a nod, a smile, and a word. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in your own world, oblivious of other people – even if they are strangers. This kind of openness is a very important part of charm. People mirror your treatment of them. If you are warm, you receive warmth in return. Coolness is reciprocated with aloofness. People respond eagerly to warmth, which enables you to get more of what you want from life because people are more willing to help you. 

3. Establish instant rapport. When introduced to someone, lean toward the person (out of your personal space and into theirs) to establish immediate intimacy. Stop a foot or so from the other person’s face, smile, establish eye contact, and say a few kind words. In the South, we hate instant potatoes, but we love instant warmth!

4. Treat everyone with equal kindness and respect. From cabdrivers to waitresses to your boss to your prospective mother-in-law. Shower them all with smiles and courtesy. Everyone, regardless of his or her position in life, deserves courtesy, respect and kind words. 

5. Be gracious, thoughtful, and always considerate of others and their feelings. It is possible to be both tough and nice. You do not have sacrifice one for the other; you must only know when to use each one. However, 98 percent of the time, nice works best.

6. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar. End of story. 

7. Be utterly feminine. Men cannot resist a feminine woman – personally or professionally. In business, men become mentors to these women, enhancing their careers and professional knowledge. Personally, they become protectors, never suspecting that the woman is the true backbone of the relationship. In the South, our secret motto is “Let him think he’s the boss, but we know who the boss really is!” Men love strong, but soft, feminine women. They are enthralled by them. They are not personally or professionally attracted to women who conduct themselves like men – especially for long-term relationships.

8. Flaunt your femininity. But don’t overdo it. 

9. In the business and social worlds, femininity is a plus, not a minus. Boldly use your femininity professionally and personally. We socially flirt at the office, wear feminine, soft clothing, and shamelessly use our feminine wiles to get what we want professionally – plum assignments, raises, and promotions. We never cross the line into inappropriateness, but we have been known to stretch it to the limits. 

10. Sassy self-confidence requires faith in yourself and your ability to achieve. Remember: Faith is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Use that strong faith to chase away the insidious doubts that threaten success and self-confidence. Do not forget that it is within your power to succeed or to fail. Southern women are fiercely proud and therefore staunchly geared toward success in all they do. 

11. Be spunky, not aggressive; assertive, not brash. Southern women are not timid in going after what we want, but we do it in a charming, self-assured manner, not in a rude, win-at-all-costs mode. When we get what we want, we don’t step over the scattered bodies as we make our victorious exit. We walk out with heads held high, knowing that everyone was treated ethically and respectfully. 

Read the entire Southern Charm entry here



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Candace Bergen on Weight Gain


Isn’t it refreshing when a celebrity owns it.  The woman is sixty-eight years old, she’s a real woman with a real body and she stands up and says she’s fat and she loves food. She’s put on thirty pounds and she’s healthy looking, not a slave to dieting and she isn’t making excuses.  She quite simply looks her age, and that’s okay.  Good for you, Candace!

People Magazine has an article about her, but it’s the comments that are interesting, so much support for this lovely lady.  Of course there are  critics, that’s to be expected, but so many people only have positive things to say.  Every woman has her day and eventually age is going to get all of us.  Sometimes we just need to enjoy the ride and not spend every waking moment obsessing about what we do or don’t eat. I just thought it was courageous that this lovely lady has the guts to address an issue that dogs all of us.

I especially like what this woman has to say:

"Don't think she really qualifies as FAT, but good for her! She's 68 for pete's sake. At that age, why spend the rest of your life counting every calorie and fretting over what other people think. I've never heard of anyone on their death bed saying "I'm sure glad I didn't eat the ice cream......."

Here’s the article and more importantly, scroll down for the comments...

Friday, March 20, 2015

John Boos Butcher Block


Fifteen years ago I bought a John Boos Butcher Block, just like the one above but smaller (18x18”).  When we moved to the condo  I decided we didn ’t have room, but that was before I took down my wall of upper cabinets. (link to that post here).  I loved that butcher block, thought it was the coolest thing ever and I’ve regretted many, many times that I got rid of it.   

Hubby and I both are in the kitchen cooking, since we share duties, and I have so much crap all over my counters that space is really limited.  Oh what I wouldn’t give for a center island, but there is just no room.  So on a whim, I had him take a bar stool, build a mock-up butcher block around it, and we left it in the kitchen for a few days, worked around it and decided that it just might work for us since we don’t have all those upper cabinets anymore and our kitchen doesn’t seem so closed in.  We measured and calculated and determined that the 18x24” size would be much better, we had the required three ft. of space needed to open the stove and the dishwasher, and so the search began.

Now all of you know that I love a deal, and there was none to be had for these butcher blocks. John Boos is the Cadillac, the best of the best with a price tag to go along with it.  Prices ranged all the way for $699 to $800, websites threw in free shipping, but it was still a major expense.

I finally found a place in Rapids City Iowa called Rapids Wholesale that offered the same butcher block at wholesale price for $388, and their site said free shipping except for furniture.  So I called them up, knowing it was too good to be true, and sure enough it was, they considered the butcher block furniture and the shipping charges were atrocious, $150 to ship, and an additional $50 to drop ship to residential addresses.  Grrrrr, that good deal was now going to cost me $588, still a lot cheaper than the other websites, but…..

So hubby got online, realized that John Boos manufactured these blocks in Effingham, Il, a mere two hours drive from Heavensville.  Boy Howdy, that was doable, so I called Rapids Wholesale back and asked them if I could pick it up.  “Sure” they said, that’s not a problem.  And then I asked them if I had to pay tax.  “Nope” since I paid online, it was tax exempt.  I whipped out that credit card faster than a New York minute and ordered it for $388.  They had to build it, it took a few days, and they called me and told me when  we could pick it up.

So a couple of weeks ago on a bright, sunny Friday morning we took off for Effingham.  We had the nicest day, picked up the butcher block, stopped at antique shops, went to a great little lunch place, it was all good.  And in the back of my mind I’m wondering how that butcher block is going to work in my small kitchen.


I aso bought this cutting board, it works great for my measuring spoons.  I really like this idea I found on Pinterest of separating your measuring spoons in small Ball jars, it’s so much easier to grab what you need that rummaging around for the right size spoon.


My buddy V has been eyeing up this 18” beauty.  Pioneer Woman gives it away occasionally, but it’s really spendy, $179 on Amazon.  Ouch, I only had to pay $20 for mine.  I wish I would have known, I would have checked prices in their store, I’m thinking it would have been a lot less than they sell them for on Amazon.  But back to my story...

We’re back home, LC had to call his buddy, Juzar, to help him unload this because it weighed 160 lbs., they brought it in, set it up, I angled it because I angle everything, and you know what, it’s perfect!  I love it!!!!

I rubbed it down with Beeswax and Mineral oil cream that John Boos gave me, refrained from decorating it, except for the tomato cutting board.  I know, it’s a butcher block, why don’t I cut on it?  I don’t want to screw up that nice finish, and we use it constantly.

We got quite an education at the John Boos retail store.  They’ve been making these butcher blocks since 1887, they had one in the showroom from the 1930’s and they still look the same.  Mother had a round one that she bought from an old grocery store years ago, it was always in my kitchen when the boys were growing up and now it’s in Ryan’s basement.  John bought a large rectangle one years ago, it’s in his garage, it seems that the love of butcher blocks runs deep in our family.  Someday I hope they will be able to use theirs, at least they are hanging on to them.  


John Boos has expanded their line greatly, now even Williams-Sonoma sells them.  When Deanna and I were shopping in Nashville a couple of months ago, we saw this Gathering Block at their Williams-Sonoma, except with  mustard yellow legs.  Oh my, it’s fantastic, I loved it but it’s too big for my kitchen.  

I’m really a happy girl with the one I got,  just had to share this, and if anybody is in driving distance of Effingham, Il, you can order from Rapid City and get a heck of a deal.  And I know, I know, I can’t cram one . more . piece . of . furniture . into . my .  house.  ~ Jan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gardener's Supply Deep Seat Garden Kneeler



Spring has sprung in Evansville and the warmer temps last weekend made me realize that I really needed a new garden kneeler.  My old one bit the dust, last year I used a bucket and it was quite a feat getting on and off the darned thing.

This isn’t my first rodeo with garden kneelers, some have wheels, which are good in theory but they don’t work in flower beds and they roll when you’re just trying to rock, so that was out.  My last one was too narrow, it wasn’t stable and easy to tip over, and yes of course I tipped the darned thing over, more than once I might add.

So I did the research online and was instantly smitten with this bright purple beauty.  It’s from a reputable company, and best of all it’s deep seated, which is perfect for the mature derriere, oh for Pete’s sake Jan get real, it accommodates big butts!  And best of all it’s purple, bright, vivid, glorious purple!!!

So I ordered it Sunday evening, it arrived today, folded into a cardboard box with no assembly required.  Whoa doggies, hubby was excited about that.  

It’s perfect, it really is, it’s nice and wide and stable, easy to get on and off of, and I also coughed up an additional $10.99 for the pouch that slips over one side to hold my gardening tools.  


Of course the cart is available in green, but why would anybody want green when they can have purple!

And the cost, not bad,  $49.95, plus $10.95 for the tool pouch, plus shipping.

And in retrospect I probably should have ordered their gloves, too.  Gardener’s Supply Company’s online catalog is just chocked full of amazing things, I have a feeling I’ll be ordering those gloves plus a few other necessities.


Okay all of you gardeners, I can see your wheels turning.  I know you like this spiffy purple cart, too.

Here are the links, go for it!  Just cruise their whole site, you’re gonna love this!

Deep Seated Garden Kneeler

Deep Seated Tool Pouch

Nitrile Gloves

And then there are the purple clogs.  Overkill, Jan, o.v.e.r.k.i.l.l, I don’t need purple clogs to match my purple cart.  Just fuggedabout it….

Garden Shoes Women s Classic Garden Clogs | Gardener s Supply

But you might like them, they come in lots of colors, too.

Garden Shoes Women s Classic Garden Clogs | Gardener s Supply 1

Here’s the link

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


The grandkids are all ready for St. Paddy’s Day, such a cute picture, just had to share.

I’m baking corned beef and cabbage this afternoon, it’s a blustery St. Patrick’s Day in Heavensville.  This isn’t the normal year for sure, March 17th is always my marker, usually the crabapple trees are in bloom, my  neighbor’s Mary Jane Magnolia is starting to pop, but not this year.  

I do have crocus blooming, and my daffy’s are budding.  Temps down to 25 degrees next week, that should nip everything. Grrrrr

Mother would have been planting peas today if she were in her prime.  She always had a big garden and planted her peas on the 17th.  Peas and new potatoes, oh my, what a treat that was.  So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, Happy St. Patrick’s Day...


Monday, March 16, 2015

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade


Thinning brows, just another problem for old(er) women.  I’ve been a fan of Anastasia products for awhile now, and have regularly used their Brow Wiz pictured below.  It’s a great product, a retractable pencil with a spoolie on the other end, it’s worked well for me.  


But I do like to try other products so I bought this Dipbrow Pomade ($18) at Ulta even though I was skeptical because it’s kind of a gooey consistency.  It wasn’t love at first try, either and I didn’t cough up the money for their brush/spoolie combo.  I already had a spoolie on the end of my Brow Wiz, and I had a thin angle brush, in other words, I cheaped out!  Well, that other angle brush didn’t work for so well, and after a few tries I was starting to get the knack of using the pomade, so I coughed up another $18 for the darned brush.  So worth it, if you’re going to do this, buy the brush!



I’ve used it for a few weeks now, and really like it.  The trick is to use it lightly and brush it out with the spoolie after you put it on.  What’s the big attraction?  It fills in your brows really well, looks good and it stays on all day.  I finish it off with Anastasia Clear Gel Brow Gel to keep everything in place, and I’m good to go.

If you think you might be interested, watch this video, this girl explains how to use it perfectly.  The only con I’ve found is that the blonde shade is dark.  I wish it went more toward golden blonde instead of brown, but it doesn’t so I deal with it.  If you try it, just give yourself some time, it’s a bit of a learning curve.  I think I’m making it sound harder than it really is, the trick is to have a light touch.

It’s a good product, I will buy it again, probably not for a really long time, though because you use so little of this it will last forever.  Watch the video, see if it’s for you, it really is a good thing.  ~ Jan


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Pioneer Woman's New Product Line



Ree is in Chicago at the Housewares Show. and this is her booth showcasing her new product line.  I’ve pointed arrows at some of my faves.  The Charlie the Cookie jar is a winner, also love the polka dot mixing bowl, the ramekins, just look at the arrows, you will get the idea.

I just bought the cow pitcher in a robin’s egg blue when we were in Franklin, TN. I’m sure there are other goodies in here as well, I need to zoom the image and check it out further. 


Here is her cookware line.  I’m a fan of the flowered covered casserole top left under the horses.  And I love her cast iron dutch oven with her signature butterfly on the lid.  Oh, the possibilities...

So here’s a first look Pioneer Woman fans, the line is debuting in stores this fall.  I’m sure you all can find a few goodies you like, as well...

Photo Source: Facebook

Friday, March 6, 2015

Vintage Aprons, a blast from the past...




When I was a girl, women wore aprons every day.  I seldom saw my grandmother without one, my mother and aunts all wore them, it was just what you did.  Aprons were great for gathering things, their pockets held treasures for kids, it was warm, homey, it was comforting thing seeing a woman at a kitchen stove wearing an apron.

So why don’t I just dig out aprons and wear them?  BECAUSE, I have no waist, that’s why.  All I need is something emphasizing my past middle aged waistline.  Oh, vanity thy name is Jan.

But if you’re crafty, or know someone who is, you might take a chapter from days gone by and sew this.  Here’s the link to the pattern.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pioneer Woman's Kitchen, Cooking & Dinnerware Products





Pioneer Woman’s new kitchen line debuts soon, how exciting is this?  Well it is, quit rolling your eyes!  I’ve always been such a fan of Ree Drummond, and yes, I know, I have enough kitchen products to last me beyond this lifetime.  But how will I be able to resist snapping up some a lot of her goodies.

Well, I won’t resist, I just won’t.  I’ll be at the head of the line!  That is all.  ~ Jan

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

C'mon winter, give it up!!!!


What a horrid day we’re having in Heavensville.  Snow is piling up, they’re forecasting 10-12 inches before this storm moves through.  The temps are in the high twenties, Mom always said we get the biggest snowfalls at these temperatures.  That’s the bad news, the good news is the weather forecast is in the 50’s for next week.  

Hubby braved the ice this morning to fill the bird feeders. I have a tree full of grateful robins, at least that’s making me smile.

We’re so over this winter….

Beauty Blender, is it really worth $20


You bet your bootie it is!  It’s worth every penny.  If you’re not familiar with a Beauty Blender, it’s a makeup sponge, and you’re thinking, "Jan, you’ve lost your mind, no way am I going to pay $20 for a little pink egg sponge."  Okay, hang onto that $20 but you’re missing out on something really great, you know I always share the good stuff, and trust me, this one is a winner!
I researched this extensively, cause that’s what I do, the majority of the reviewers say to not even try buying a knock-off, the foam isn’t the same, the knock-offs are hard and stiff and don’t absorb the makeup like the Beauty Blender, so you don’t get the same results.  C’mon ladies, it’s like going through Starbucks four times, just cough up the money for this.
What it doesn’t do is turn back time.  There is no way that we are going to take our aging skin and make it look young again.  You still have the sags, the wrinkles, oh aren’t I Miss Merry Sunshine this morning.  But what the Beauty Blender does is blend your makeup flawlessly.  I’m attaching Kandee’s video below, I did just what she did.  Got it wet, squeezed it dry with a towel and got started.  The only thing I didn’t do was apply the foundation directly to the Blender, I think you get more control by putting it in your palm and then dabbing the blender in it.
So I stippled on my foundation like she did in the video, wow, it did to go on smoothly, just like she said, no lines of demarcation, no unevenness, it worked amazingly well.  But did I quit, oh heck no, I just kept going.  I dabbed my concealer in it, put it on, went on smooth as silk, then I dabbed my loose powder in it and did the same.  And I still kept going, I used it to apply my powder blush and I actually dabbed it in my beloved MAC eyeshadow and applied my eyeshadow with it.   Smooth, smooth, smooth, totally blended, easy, fast, it’s a winner.  This thing rocks!  I didn’t spend more money for their cleanser, I just used baby shampoo to rinse it in, and yep, it immediately stains, but  who cares.  The reviewers also say it works great to rinse it in Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.  They also sell it in white and red.  White, I don’t think so, and I’m not a fan of red, pink works for me.
This thing is a staple from now on for this old makeup junkie.  Do you want one and not leave your house?  Get it from Nordstroms, free shipping, it will arrive in a few days.  Why not Amazon?  Because reviewers say that sometimes they are knock-offs from Amazon, and I didn’t want to chance it.  I didn’t want to wait, so I got mine at Sephora, don’t try Ulta, they don’t have it. But it’s a cold day,  it’s snowy, it’s winter, just order the darn thing.  You can get it from Beauty Blender’s site, too, but they don’t have free ship like Nordie’s does.
Here’s the click to order, take a deep breath, fork over $20 for a sponge that’s hideously overpriced and you too can have flawless makeup.  Some things are just worth the money.  Know what I mean, Vern...
Oh, you can email me and thank me after you buy it, you’re gonna love this one, trust me.  ~ Jan

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