Singing "Be Italian" in My Head

It’s been awhile since I went to the movies. Yesterday afternoon, I met up with a good friend and after indulging in Mexican food (my favorite), we went to see Nine. When I first saw the ads for this movie, I wanted to see it. And I finally got my wish!
Let me just say, I am a big fan of musicals, and of course I love a good dance number too.

I was impressed with the entire cast and loved the cinematography as well. I can’t wait to get the soundtrack. In fact, I’ve decided I think I am definitely in need of a musicals playlist. So many favorites to include – Glee, Chicago, Wicked, you name it!
Of course, last night was the Golden Globes as well. So, after getting home from my movie I settled in to watch the red carpet coverage. I love award season, and movies are such a big part of my life (I need to work on that…I’ve been missing my movies with school getting in the way). There were several best dressed I found, and a lot of misses on the red carpet. My absolute favorite color of the night (although the jury’s still out on the dress itself) was this gorgeous purple.

Love that color! I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and was glad to see Nine come up several times. Oh, and the Scorsese montage (I love a good montage), so awesome. I love how they opened with the music from Last Temptation of Christ. And of course, there were scenes from one of my favorite films, Age of Innocence. Love that movie! And Scorsese used a phrase that I just love, and it’s one of the reasons I love movies so much, “cinematic experience”. For me, movies are just not about the actual movie, but also about the entire experience: the anticipation, sitting in the darkened theater, the shared investment and reactions with the rest of the audience, the lights coming up and the credits rolling. For me, I have to see all the previews (that’s part of my experience), and I stay through the end of the credits. I want the WHOLE thing. And it is one of the reasons that no matter how many DVDs we have, no matter how easy it is to order through Netflix or watch something in the comfort of your own home (with no screaming kids, phones ringing, people talking, etc.) – it is the essential cinematic experience that I love so much. So thanks, Marty, for reminding me of that.


Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize



As I mentioned in my Jan 4th post, one of the things I want to focus on in 2010 is taking better care of my skin. I’ve always had pretty good skin, so I can’t really complain. But, I do find that as I get a little older, I am noticing that I’m growing frustrated with my skin. The biggest issue I struggle with is dry skin. I have dry skin on my face, which often precludes me from being able to wear any sort of foundation because it ends up looking horrible. I also have super dry skin on the rest of me. Of course, this problem gets compounded in the winter. The past couple of winters my hands have been in such bad shape due to all the hand-washing that I end up doing.

So, this year, I decided that I would finally do something about it. The biggest concern for me initially, is my face. I needed to take a look at my skin care regime. For several years, I had a good friend that sold Mary Kay products. I used their line and was very happy with it, until they started making changes to it about three or four years ago. I decided to go back to my tried and true Origins. I’ve been very happy with Origins products in the past, and so it was a natural inclination to go right back to them after being unsatisfied with M.K. But, that’s kind of where it ended. My skin care regimen for a while now hasn’t consisted of much, I’ll be honest. I kind of got into a rut of not really caring and then I was tired at night, and well…you know.

Beginning Jan 4th, I’ve religiously followed my skin care regimen every morning. That includes washing my face, applying toner and then using my eye cream and high-SPF moisturizer. Plus, after emerging from the shower I’ve been using lotion on my entire body as well. Before slipping into shoes, my feet get a good lathering with the high-test lotion. I feel really good about having done this every morning for almost two weeks. While the habit hasn’t had time to fully set in yet, I am seeing a difference.

I plan to add in a night routine once I get the morning routine fully embraced. Baby steps, and all that.

I don’t know much about different skin care options, but I was a bit intrigued by some of the recommendations Slynnro gives here:

  • Bliss Body Butter Lite
  • La Mer The Treatment Fluid Foundation
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick
  • Kiehl’s Acai Damage Correcting Moisturizer

So, I may have to give some of those a try. Kiehl’s products have actually been on my radar to try out for awhile now. So, maybe as a reward for taking care of myself, other than the reward of taking care of myself, I’ll splurge on some new product?

I also found this post interesting. Ok, maybe I’m a complete moron, but I had no idea that exfoliating was the key to helping dry skin. I love the idea of this body buffer bar, and may have to try one out sooner rather than later. In the meantime though, I thought I might give my old salt scrub a try and see what happens. I make this myself, but it’s been years since I used it. Why not try it out and see if the whole exfoliating thing works? Then, I can buy a special bar that buffs my body. I promise to report back.

So, I’m feeling very confident that my new skin care resolution is working out. And the title of this post refers to a conversation I had at my last book club. The woman leading our discussion was a tiny little thing, and one of the other clubbers leaned to me and said, “do you know she’s like in her 70s?” Of course, she didn’t look it, not at all – part of that being how vibrant and excited she was about what she was talking about. And we pondered on this for a moment, and then my fellow clubber said “how do you think she does it?” Of course, me, being the smart ass I am, replied “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”.


Holiday Entertaining

Snow - Christmas Eve

There may be a part of me that feels like you’ve finally reached adulthood when you start hosting holidays at your home. While both our families are nearby, it is nice to begin our own traditions too. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the past few years Eric and I have been hosting an Eggnog and Dessert Party before Christmas each year as a way to get both our families together in our home. With our fourth wedding anniversary coming up in April of this year, it feels like we are really starting to count on the new traditions we’re creating together.

Setting the Table

Christmas Eve dinner has always been a very important part of Eric’s family traditions. Last year, we took this over from his mom and we continued it again this Christmas Eve. What I love about it is that it is a wonderful opportunity to use our wedding china, crystal and silver. This year Eric had such an elaborate meal planned, consisting of so many courses, that I was forced to turn to the internet for help in my place settings. Be assured, I think Ms. Post would be proud.

Setting the Table - Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Dinner

Bruschetta on Rosemary Bread
Two kinds of Olives
Fresh Mozzarella
Two kinds of Hard Cheeses

Antipasto - Christmas Eve

Dinner in Five Courses
Steamed Clams
Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Bow Tie Pasta with Plum Tomato Sauce
Tuna or Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Sauce
Warm Bean Salad
Roasted Vegetables (Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant and Tomatoes)

Roasted Chestnuts

Pizza Dolce
Three-Color Cookies

Dinner was really lovely, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Eric really makes a stunning meal, so no one went away hungry!

It snowed on Christmas Eve, which lasted through the Christmas morning. It’s the first white Christmas I remember having.

Wreath with Snow


Week’s Photos

12/27/09 – 1/2/10

My Christmas gift to myself, a quilt kit for a quilt called Winter Trees. The way they packaged it up is so pretty, I’m hesitating to break into it.

Winter Trees Quilt Kit

And a Christmas card from my friend, Kim, came with this little note on the envelope. She knows me too well.

Vampire Nutcracker

And I spent some time quilting the baby quilt, and finally got to sewing on the binding.

Sewing on Binding

I love peaceful nights where I can sit in the dark and just enjoy the lights on the tree.

At Night

New Year’s Photos here.

And on New Year’s Day, I always like to start a new project and watch the Rose Parade.

Rose Parade


Welcoming in the New Year


I can hardly believe it’s a new year. I’m not entirely sure what happened to 2009, but there you have it. I took off work from the 23rd through the 1st, which was heavenly. Eric and I took a break from the gym and I got a break from work and school. I can’t begin to tell you how nice it was to spend so much time with Eric. We also spent some time with both our families, as you can see from my previous post about the Eggnog & Dessert Party.

But, now here it is Monday – back to work, back to the gym, back to school. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle what’s next for me. Eric and I have been watching Season 4 of The West Wing, and I just love this show. I never watched it when it was on tv, but I am loving watching the seasons on DVD. But, one of the things I love about the President, is he always says “what’s next?” and he says it with such enthusiasm and energy. I am going to add that attitude into my life in 2010 – to always be excited and enthusiastic about my next challenge. It keeps the momentum moving forward rather than allowing me to worry or analyze the past or stay stuck in whatever I’m stuck in.

The big things on my agenda for the beginning of the year are finishing school and ramping up my fitness and health program (ie – losing weight and getting healthy). Although I did lose weight both at Thanksgiving (2.4 pounds) and at Christmas (1 pound), I am now up from where I’d been hanging out. So, first things first is to get back to where I was before all the eggnog. I go to see my doctor next week and I’d like to have some progress to show.

I’d also like to see some greater attention to taking care of myself this year – that means taking care of my body, my skin, my stress levels, etc.

And as for reading and writing – both of which fall under the category of taking care of myself, I’d like to see more entries in my journal this year. And for reading, I made it to 20 books in 2009, so I’d like to challenge myself to 30 in 2010. I think that’s a reasonable goal, and it will be enjoyable getting there. Here’s a list of what I read in 2009:

The God of Small Things*
Two for the Dough
Giovanni and Lusanna*
Dead Until Dark
Pillars of the Earth
Three to Get Deadly
Old Masters: A Comedy*
Dark Lover
Bitter is the New Black
The Man Who Loved China*
Lover Eternal
The Elegance of the Hedgehog*
Vampire Diaries: The Awakening
Vampire Diaries: The Struggle
The Lovely Bones
The Host
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
The Leopard* (did not finish)
Drums of Autumn
The Hunger Games

*Read for Artful Readings Book Club.

So, although I kind of hesitate to make New Year’s Resolutions, because we all know the stigma attached to that, I’m going to go ahead and set my intentions for 2010.

1. Finish School
2. Recommit to my fitness and health program (resulting in reaching my goal weight)
3. Take care of my skin
4. Journal
5. Read 30 books

And of course, my mind this year will be focused on “What’s Next?”. Happy New Year!

Champagne Corks