Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bling helps moms; fills stockings

Bling that helps moms can stuff your stockings
Her are some ideas for holiday shopping, and the gifts could be for yourself:
A purple-beaded lanyard can hold your work ID by day and your funky charms by night. I’m a sucker for purple beads like Kimberly Martinez is a champion for helping people. A Mother’s Promise is a fair trade product of BooJee Beads, part of Bonitas International. After a trip to South Africa, she thought of promises she’d made her children about safety and food. Some mothers live in places where these concepts are sketchy at best. Now she’s working with Guatemalan artists who now have wages that can be applied to food and education for children. Think of that when you’re wearing your bling at work. By the way, there are other colors besides purple.

The skinny
It couldn’t have been a coincidence I got two compliments on my skin after using Envy Medical Inc. Skin Clarifying Acne Treatment Pads with aloe vera and witch hazel. Makers say SilkPeel gives a quick glowing complexion to celebs like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. It’s the salicylic acid formula designed to exfoliate and cleanse the skin of excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria.
Here’s another site: is proud of its Elemental Mineral Mist and I’m a fan of a spritz that feels good and offers a chemistry lesson in beauty. Copper reduces wrinkles; potassium is restorative and anti-aging; and silver is an antibacterial mineral. Their Anti-Oxidant Infusion Balm has Omega-3, Argan oil and Vitamin B-5 to do its cellular restoration thing. All this info comes just in time to prepare for drying winter winds.

Get the power
So it’s not so much trouble to keep your phone charged, right? Have you ever been to a conference where grown people were hunched in corners on the floor vying for the last outlet? PowerBar 4200 holds enough battery power to charge any mobile phone, smartphone or iPod device twice. Twice? That’s cool.  Well, just the one time I tried it sold me. When you need it, you need it. Keep PowerBar 4200 in your purse or pocket and you’re ready to go. If I could figure it out, you can. You re-charge your re-charger at your computer. Fatcat sells this pre-charged for your convenience. Can’t beat that.

Gaiam Living
I confess I used to have a drawer full of shabby “weekend” clothes, subscribing to the very common notion that a few holes and tears are good enough for around the house. Men in particular seem to have entire wardrobes of back-up clothes, should they feel the need to paint the house, work on the car, etc. Oddly, the gear stacks up but those projects never develop. It’s not just good marketing that has made me realize after-work togs should feel, fit and look good. It gives you energy for those odious tasks. Gaiam Living’s latest catalogue features a blast of color in high-performance movement clothes that fit the bill. Years ago I wondered how those young things on TV could work out in tank tops without a visible bra. As I began to work out myself, I discovered the secret: the oh-so-necessary shelf bra, built into Gaiam’s new Streamline Tank, with moisture-wicking fabric made from, get this, 90 percent recycled polyester and 10 percent Spandex. I don’t know what life this polyester had before, but it is reincarnated into something better and bright violet and we are having the times of its life. The line’s movement pants are equally motivating and good from the yoga studio (which in my case is sit-ups on the living room floor) to the market and mall. Making the commitment to move more is a step toward better health. If you’re moving in the saggy pants and old T-shirts you wore sizes ago, go to for ideas that will race your heart.

Games night
With clues like Graceland and two-ply, we easily guessed the answers were Elvis and toilet paper. It turns out my guest was reading the clues from the opposite order of difficulty. When she read the 10 clues on Kwizniac cards in the right order, the game got a bit more challenging. . .  and funny. This is the perfect kind of game for me, because the clue cards fit in a nice small box and you don’t have to do a lot of dice throwing and token moving. In fact, you don’t really have to keep any kind of score, except for the tally of laughs from all your guests. Visit

Monday, October 22, 2012

Barbara Lynn's a show stopper

If someone gives you free tickets, try to take advantage. I got to spread a beach towel on the hill at Ford Park for the Salute to Industry concert. The stars in the sky put on a show even before the stars hit the stage, and it was fun to watch kids roll down the hill. My big treat was to catch local legend Barbara Lynn singing on stage. It was my first time to hear her and she ruled the stage.

Playing games
The best way to play Encore is with a group representing a wide range of ages. Then you can laugh and learn some new songs. The cards give you a word and you have to sing a song with that word in the title. Amazingly easy and very fun. What would you sing for the words “Walk,” “Fine,” Plane,” Pray” and “Rhythm?”
Anger Management is a game that’s kind of like confession. The very first card challenged players to tell a story about hurting themselves during a tantrum. I told one on myself. I was complaining about how much something cost and my mood made my passenger yank down the visor so that it broke, costing even more money to repair. Characters on the board include Heather Hissy-Fit and Road Rage Ronnie. And the whiner is. . .

What’s new with Poo-Pourri
She will remain nameless, but I’ll never forget the woman who first announced the product Poo-Pourri, essential oil scents to freshen the bathroom. What’s new with them? Shoe-Pourri, which boasts “Just a spray takes the stink away.” It destroys, not masks odors. Scented toilet paper unrolls to spread a little joy each time you unroll it. Because “even Santa has to go,” there’s a holiday scented spray. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lights! Camera! Action!

Lights! Camera! Action!
They had me at free popcorn, but Museum of the Gulf Coast has so much more to offer. “Lights! Camera! Action!” shares roles Southeast Texans have played in the film industry. Over the years the museum has hosted cool former locals who have made their mark through acting, animation and costuming. See their stories through posters, memorabilia, photographs, costumes and films. It will be on view in the Museum’s Dunn Gallery Oct. 13 – Dec. 30, 2012.
View free movies with popcorn at 1 p.m. Saturdays and get admission to the Museum’s permanent exhibits. The schedule is:

Oct. 20 – Back to the Future (1985) in which Port Arthur native Leanne Moore worked as a production accountant
Oct. 27 – Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) directed by Beaumont native J.D. Feigelson
Nov. 3 – Gone with the Wind (1939) starring actress and Port Arthur native Evelyn Keyes
Nov. 10 – Silkwood (1983) based on the mysterious life and death of union whistleblower and Nederland native Karen Silkwood
Nov. 17 – The Adventures of Don Juan (1948) featuring the Oscar-winning costumes of Port Arthur native Leah Rhodes
Nov. 24 – Gnomeo & Juliet (2011) directed by animator, illustrator and Beaumont native Kelly Asbury
Dec. 1 – The Rose (1979) loosely based on the life of Port Arthur native Janis Joplin
Dec. 8 – The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) featuring the animation of Beaumont native Kelly Asbury
Dec. 15 – Arizona Days (1937) starring singing cowboy and Nederland native Tex Ritter
Dec. 22 – Police Academy (1984) starring Port Arthur native G.W. Bailey and Beaumont native Bubba Smith
Dec. 29 – Titanic (1997) starring Orange native Frances Fisher
For information or to schedule a tour, call 409.982.7000 or visit

“The Diaries of Adam and Eve”
Adam calls Eve “the new creature.” She’s appealing, though he has to make adjustments in his man’s world. She has her thoughts about this Adam guy, too. Apples and a “serpent” adorn tables at “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” the Act1 Scene 1 production. Catch the final show at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at First Christian Church. I love that John and Ann Holland are husband and wife in real life and playing Adam and Eve. Their characters mesh, and disagree, as much as any couple throughout history. Call 790-6782 to get your tickets to this two-person show. Mark Twain wrote it, so there’s lots of seemingly “current” references. I wonder, if written now, they’d be Tweeting their diary thoughts to future generations.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Will work out for pancakes

Temptation or payoff? Whoever left info on about a pancake breakfast all over YMCA of Port Arthur tables must think like I do: I work out to stay fit, and have extra calories to enjoy. United Methodist Men of the Temple’s fall pancake breakfast will be from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the temple, off Texas 73. Love offering proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. They’d love to have you.

Dessert report
Pam Trosclair of CavOILcade said Beau Reve desserts at the festival style show were a hit.
Not only were the desserts fabulously presented, they tasted wonderful,” she said. “Individual red velvet cakes, banana split cake, bite sizes pecan tarts, crepes and so many more, it was hard to pick just a few!  Of course the chocolate cake was the first to go, and the fresh fruits tasted like they had just been picked.  Beau Reve definitely outdid themselves” Trosclair said.

Holiday Dinner Conversation Landmines
Debra Fine, the author of “The Fine Art of the Big Talk,” has a few conversations to avoid this season. Here are a few:

 "Are you two ever going to get married?" Most of us mothers along with the rest of the planet presume that long-time dating results in marriage. It ain’t necessarily so! And for those young people at the table already blissfully wed: "When are you two going to make me a grandmother?" is another conversation landmine. Back off! If they wanted you to know their intimate intentions, they would be sure to send you a press release.

"Aren't you full yet?" or "Why aren't you eating anything?" Leave us alone about what we eat or don’t eat, and worry about what you put in your own mouth. Just because eating at the holiday dinner table is a marathon of gorging for some, it may be an Olympic feat of discipline for others. Also, just because you slaved over the pumpkin pie or prepared grandma’s traditional stuffing does not mean we are required to consume it. Eating is a personal decision!

"Did you cook this yourself, or did you just thaw it out?" You may be asking because you sincerely wish to know how you can create this dish yourself, but you are putting the host/hostess on the spot. Instead, ask for the recipe after the meal. If it was not homemade, she will let you know at that time, or maybe she’ll be coy and say that the recipe is a family tradition that is not shared outside the family!
Visit for information on: “The Fine Art of Small Talk:
How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills - and Leave a Positive Impression (Hyperion).”

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Singing and walking in PA

Singing and walking . . .

David Joel and Band
I just met Carolyn Horn Motl, who has taken up a new career, promoting the Texas country music of David Joel and Band. They’ve been playing  at The Grill, Starvin’ Marvin’s, Goodfella’s and Tequila’s, though Joel still keeps his International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s card and puts in a hard day’s work in a hard hat.
She pointed anyone who wants to hear their music to a YouTube search for David Joel Band Demo that proves what she says is right on: He’s talented, seems personable, and cuts a fine figure on stage.

Alzheimer’s Walk along the seawall
This walk falls at a great time. You can walk off some Thanksgiving abundance and prep yourself for the rest of the holidays. Join the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s at 8 a.m., Dec. 1, along the seawall. Start or join a team at
The past two times I’ve run into Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, she has been talking up this walk as a good thing in Port Arthur. Sharon DeJohn, with Order of Eastern Star, is a Port Arthur contact.

Best season of the year
What have you done with our precious days of just-about-perfect-weather? Walk in it, garden in it or take a walk along the seawall. It’s just too glorious to spend inside.