What Would Coco Do?

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." Coco Chanel

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

I love the finer things in life, and I love writing. That's why I'm here. Want Coco to review your product? E-mail me at cococares@gmail.com!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Coco Digs Classic Movies

Friends - if you solely rely on the AMC channel for old movies (uhhhhh this channel has shown Speed as a "classic") then you are missing out on some great classics. Here's a list of some of my favorites. It is certainly not all inclusive, or in any particular order, but they are just great movies.

To Catch a Thief - the combination of Cary Grant and Grace Kelley in this movie is just irresistible. Edith Head, the grand dame supreme costume designer created some absolutely lovely gowns for Grace Kelley, and the French Riviera locale is breathtaking. Oh yeah....and it's a Hitchcock movie....they don't disappoint.

The Black Swan - This is a swashbuckling movie about pirates in the Caribbean, starring the dashing Tyrone Power (who cares if he doesn't have much range - he's pretty to look at) and Maureen O'Hara. This is not a dark and scary movie, in fact, in this day and age it's pretty campy and fun.

How to Steal a Million - a youngish Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn (how can you not love her) star in this delightful flick. It is about just as the title suggests, and it is non-stop fun. Hepburn was devoted to Givenchy for most of her life, and she is dressed solely in that designer's super mod offerings for this film. Fun fun fun.

Laura - My favorite film noir by far. Directed by Otto Preminger, it stars Gene Tierney (so pretty and real-life crazy) Dana Andrews (hott), and a young Vincent Price (way before he looked macabre). It's a murder mystery that has some great twists!

So go to your local library, put it in your queue on Netflix or buy from that behemoth Amazon. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Coco has Cards!

Do you know someone that is void of class? Or perhaps you see some tragic fashion victim on the street, and want to help, but don't know how? Maybe you just think my blog is super cool, and you want to spread the word? Well I have a solution for you!

Coco has printed business cards, and is happy to mail a quantity to you if you provide your address via email. You can present a card to a friend in need of style, and simply say "hey....this is a fun blog I thought you'd enjoy." Or, if you see someone wearing white bermuda shorts with VPL (visible panty lines), you can simply say, "hi, you don't know me, but this lady can help you." Whatever. I have a bunch of cards, and I want to help the people. Community service is a good thing folks.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Coco in Chicago

Coco and Dear Husband were in Chicago this past weekend. Lamentably, it was a short trip, but I am consoled by the fact that I will be back for a longer, pretty time this coming weekend. We shot a Polish Catholic wedding, and I have the following observations and suggestions for anyone ever getting married at any time.

1. If you are getting married in August, in a church, in a town known for beastly humidity, please be sure that said church has air conditioning.

2. It's super great if you are on time for your wedding. For example, the wedding this weekend was set to begin at 1:00 p.m. The bride arrived around 1:10, with church decorations in hand. I could not bear to look at my watch once I saw that the church was about to be festooned in plastic flowers. The procession might have started around 1:30.

I must tell a "Coco is a badass story" now. After the wedding, we took the bridal party around Chicago for pictures. We stopped at a park by Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, and da Bean in Millennium Park. Coco was driving so that Dear Husband could egress the car in an expeditious manner. Coco kept pace with the old skool Chicago limo drivers. I bobbed, I weaved, I did just as the limo dewds did, and was not on the receiving end of any honks or flip-offs. Once we got to the reception, the limo driver congratulated me on my driving skills. Coco is one badass mambajahamba.

And now on back to the wedding list.

3. Don't have an outdoor reception in August in Chicago EVER. This couple did. Not only was it mad humid, but naturally the bugs found me delicious. I have been hosing myself in benadryl creme, but still feel like I need to duct tape oven mitts to my hands.

4. The only time it is acceptable to wear black pantyhose is in the late fall or winter. Friends, I saw not one, but TWO guests wearing black pantyhose at the reception. One lady even had open toed shoes on.....I almost swooned from the gruesome sight.

5. On the brighter side, I did see a few absolutely lovely outfits. One young woman in particular looked just stunning. She was wearing a sort of 70's Pucci inspired print dress, very long with a halter top. She complimented the outfit with a fabulous pair of espadrilles, the upper portion being an orange leather. The dress print was black, orange, and white mostly. Her hair was long and brown. I don't recall seeing any accessories, but with such a strong print they were not necessary. She was just stunning. I wish I had a picture to share with you. She looked absolutely perfect for the event.

6. Polish disco music is not good. Just trust me on this one. Don't go there.

We said our goodbyes at 12:30 p.m., and passed out in our hotel room shortly thereafter. We have another wedding in Chicago next weekend, and both the wedding and reception are outdoors. I am so hosing myself in Deep Woods Off for that one.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coco Goes to Chicago

Dear husband and I are leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning. We have a wedding to shoot at a mid-19th Century Polish Orthodox HUGE church. I love doing ethnic weddings, and we've done all sorts. Off the top of my head, I remember doing a Persian wedding, Greek, Chinese and Orthodox Jewish. Each one was special and fun, but I remember the awesome sense of family, and togetherness. They were all such fantastic experiences, and the food was incredible. We've done Polish weddings before, but not in a city where there is such a big ethnic pool, and certainly never in a church comprised solely of a Polish congregation. I'm really looking forward to it, and of course, the reception and whatever lovely food will be served.

The husband and I make a point of going to Chicago at least once a year, usually during the Christmas season, when Michigan Avenue is absolutely teeming with holiday shoppers. I make a point of visiting The Mother Ship, also known as Neiman Marcus. They just don't design department stores like the ones you can find in Chicago and downtown New York anymore. It's a shame, so naturally I go when I can.

Not only do I get my shop on when I go to Chicago, we also seek out excellent restaurants. It is a sin not to enjoy deep dish pizza whilst in Chicago, and we like to go to Pizzeria Due. It is just down the block from their other restaurant, Pizzeria Uno, but Pizzeria Due is more charming. We have also had memorable dining experiences at Bice, The Chop House and Cafe des Architects. The list could go on forever. It's pretty much impossible to get a bad meal in Chicago, unless you go to some vile chain like the Hard Rock Cafe or Rainforest Cafe. Gag.

So, as I've said, we have a wedding there this weekend, and then ANOTHER in Chicago during Labor Day weekend. So we'll have lots of pretty memories of an excellent city.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Coco's Birthday Fun

So yesterday was my birthday, and I met a dear friend for drinks at Cabana. Super fun place. We enjoyed $5 martinis, and munched on white bean hummus and "Tennessee Sliders." Everything was delicious, the conversation was fantastic, and the people watching was excellent.

We had a celebrity sighting. Before I go on, I need to ask any and all fans of Sex and the City to please sit down.

We saw John Corbett, also known as Aidan.

He's in town doing his music thang, and was rocking some serious sideburns. Oh yeah.....he's really cute too.

Good times!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yay it's my birthday!

Yep...today is my birthday.

The other night I was watching a rerun of Sex and the City. Miranda said that 42 was "her scary age." Today I am 35. That is not a scary age for me. In fact, I don't know that I have a scary age. In my opinion, age is just a number. A number does not guarantee happiness, wisdom or class. What you do with what you have is what will give you rewarding experiences in life and happiness.

Some people long for the party days they had in their 20's. I would not want to go back there, even though I had my share of fun. I was just a kid back then, and not the super classy lady you know and adore. Every day I learn something new, and I would not trade the experiences I have had (the good and the bad) with anything. I love where I am in my life right now, and I know that being able to say that is a great blessing.

So, let's see which super cool women share my birthday:

Giada De Laurentiis. Excellent chef. Isn't she pretty?

Singer Tori Amos.

Writer Dorothy Parker.

And last but not least, Cindy Williams. Yay Shirley!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Out There

This week I got up at 6:00 every day except Thursday, and got out into the morning air and walked two miles. Thursdays are tricky for me, because I can’t stand the thought of walking with the garbage cans at the curbs in my neighborhood like sentinels. Not quite sure what to do about that day, but I’m still proud of myself. I feel better, I have improved muscle tone, and I’m able to climb the hills with a bit more hop in my step. It’s a great feeling.

I love the action of walking. I don’t think I would be happy in a gym on a treadmill. The action of leaving your house, and walking (or running in the future) far away feels liberating. Not that my situation at home is bad, it’s really quite the contrary, but I feel that walking gives you space from whatever cares in life you may have, and you have time with yourself and your thoughts.

I can’t wait until the Fall. The humid morning air has been something to overcome, and I really look forward to a crisp Fall morning. We have tons of mature trees in Crieve Hall, and I can’t wait too see what they want to show me.

I haven’t reached my goal of 10,000 steps in one day, but I’m absolutely less sedentary than I was, and I’m proud of myself. So yeah, I’m giving myself a pat on the back. Go me!

There is always an excuse not to improve yourself. I’m tired, I drank too much last night, the planets are not in perfect alignment, etc. The Thursday garbage cans is the one excuse I’m going to get around. If you are sedentary, overweight, uninspired, I challenge you to dust off your sneakers, and get out there. You will feel better, and you will gain clarity of thought. Don’t be a spectator in life – be a participant!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

People Have Cooties

It's summer cold season, and I'm being attacked on two fronts. My excellent boss has a head cold, and now my dear husband is sick. Does this mean I am Typhoid Mary? I hope not.

What would Coco do when people all around her have cooties?

1. Take a multi-vitamin every single day - especially when people around you are sick. A body that has vitamins and minerals is going to be better prepared to fight off a cold.

2. Wash your hands all the time, or use hand sanitizer, especially if you work with someone that is sick.

3. Drink water, water, water. This is going to sound gross, but if your nasal mucus membranes are dry, it is easier for cold germs to invade. People just don't drink enough water. Keep a bottle on your desk and/or in the car at all times. Keep that body hydrated!

4. If you do start to feel malaise, take Airborne. I absolutely love this stuff. The product was a developed by a school teacher. Let's face it...a class room is like a giant petri dish, and kids get sick all the time. It is an effervescent pill that you place into 8 ounces of water that contains antioxidants, electrolytes, medicinal herbs and vitamins. It is not gritty at all, lightly sweetened, and refreshing. I'm telling ya the stuff is great.

5. In the event you do catch someone cooties, I am a big believer in Puffs Plus with Lotion. The person that created this product is a genius. Tissues start to feel like sandpaper after a while, and your poor nose gets all raw and red. Best to prevent that for as long as possible.

Be well!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The King is Dead

Today marks the 29th anniversary of Elvis’ death. My firm has an office in Memphis, and we just had a “Dead Day” breakfast. There were life-size cutouts of him, one in his Jailhouse Rock days and the other in his rhinestone jumpsuit. There were copious amounts of peanut butter banana sammiches. I had never had that combination before. It was delicious.

I’ve never been a big fan of Elvis’ music, but last night the husband and I watched a program on PBS about Elvis’ gospel music. It was fascinating. They showed footage of Elvis, resplendent in rhinestones and polyester, singing classic gospel songs. Even though he looked wasted and tired, you could tell that he poured his heart into every note. Then, after performing two shows nightly, Elvis and his backup singers would sing gospel songs until the wee hours of the morning. I felt truly sorry for him, there he was, listening and singing this beautiful music, with a shot glass in his hand, stumbling about, and looked like he was trying to find some semblance of peace. He seemed absolutely tortured.

I remember the day that Elvis died. I was 6 years old, living in suburban Long Island. It was a typical Levittown sort of neighborhood. All of the houses were very close together, and you really knew your neighbors. My across the street neighbor told us of Elivs’ death. She had tickets to see him for a performance in a couple of weeks.

Rest in peace Elvis...rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


What separates the lovely from the lame? Accessories my friends.....the perfect outfit has just the right balance of accessories. My favorite accesory for making an outfit ever so smarter is the ubiquitous scarf. My husband is not a fan of the scarf, and that's just fine since he does not wear them (tee hee). Yep, you can find them in every store, but the material is what makes the scarf. Do not buy anything polyester. It will feel awful against your skin, and who knows if those colors won't wind up on your neck if you perspire. Always choose 100% silk. I am a big fan of Stein Mart. You can always find silk scarves there at a reasonable price. Don't be afraid of bold colors....you can always balance out the bold colors and/or patterns with muted or solid colors on the rest of your outfit.

Coco's favorite outfit for a weekend lunch:

1. Solid tee shirt (of nice construction and shape - nothing ratty)
2. Capris
3. Fun sandals or espadrilles
4. Scarf tied around the neck
5. Smallish hoop earrings

And there you have it. A perfectly lovely and smart outfit for lunch with a friend or whatever.

Everyone should have a dream, if you are a reader of my blog, and I guess if you are here the answer to that question would be yes, you know I have a fondness for purses. Although I cannot afford a Hermes Kelly bag yet,

I would reeeeeeaalllllly like to at least have one of their gorgeous scarves.

The black version of this one has caught my eye. I cannot believe I have not visited this website before. It is super fun. You can scroll over the scarf to see it in finer detail, there are other colors to choose from for a particular pattern, and you can see how it looks knotted. So, I have decided that the next time I go to Paris, I am going to go to the Hermes store, peruse and touch all of the sumptuous scarves, and walk out of there with a scarf in that signature orange box with a Hermes orange shopping bag. Every girl can dream and should!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Yay birthday time

My birthday is next week, apparently on the day that some people think stuff is going to start blowing up. I certainly hope and pray that this is not the case, but I'm not going to worry about what might be. Worrying just wastes brain energy.

Anyhoo....this time of year I get birthday discount postcards from my favorite places. I have one from SteinMart (yay purses!), one from a shoe store (I got a lovely pair of black mules), and one from Aveda.

So I visited Aveda this past weekend. My gift was a choice of one product from their Purefume Personal Blends Collection. So much fun! I decided to go for the body scrub, and then I got to choose from a variety of essential oils, one of which would be mixed into the item. I don't remember exactly what mine was, but I do remember gardenia and lime being two of the scents. I love the citrus.

Then I signed up for their Pure Privilege program. Great idea for people like me that love to spend money on their products. For a $10 one-time participation fee, you get four travel sized products and a cute little bag. From the time you join, you get 10 points for every dollar you spend, and you can redeem those points from a special a catalog of items. I'm going to need foundation pretty soon, so I a very excellent excuse to frequent the store again soon.

So as I said, next week is my birthday. I'm having my family birthday on Saturday, the 19th (one of the very few Saturdays we don't have a wedding), and my dear husband has ordered my favorite cake. It's a strawberry cake from The French Confection. I know the owner mostly for her work with wedding cakes, all of which are inventive and creative designs. The thing that distinguishes her cake from other bakeries is that it is always moist and well flavored. Her strawberry is my all time favorite. I can't wait!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Coco Recommends

A good Friday morning to all of my readers. I find myself thinking of France. My dear friend is vacationing in the Riviera right now, and I can't wait to hear about the pretty time that she had. I am so very thankful that that terrorism plot was uncovered. My boss' daughter is returning from Paris today (via Charles de Gaulle Airport), and she was told to arrive five hours before her departure time. I pray that their return trips are smooth and uneventful.

My dear vacationing friend turned me on to a very clever website. It is called Bag Borrow or Steal. The concept reminds me of a sort of Netflix for couture accessories. Basically, you are able to borrow designer jewelry and purses for a rental fee, and keep them as long as you like. When you want your next one, simply return the borrowed item, and the next one is shipped to you. What a fabulous idea! Not everyone can afford the latest designs, and this way you can pay a greatly reduced fee (from the retal price)and enjoy those items that some ladies (like me) drool over. My heart skipped a beat when I viewed the Chanel offerings.

On Nashville is Talking yesterday, there was a discussion on scents, and what scents NIT readers and bloggers prefer. I mentioned Chance by Chanel for the Fall and Winter, and Cerisier en Fleurs by Fragonard for the Spring and Summer. It occurred to me that most people have never even heard of this company! Please let me aquaint you with Fragonard. I found their store when I visited Eze Village during a trip of the region.
The shop itself is lovely, and they have many different scents to choose from. I did not want to leave!

Scent choice is a very personal thing, and I think it is silly to buy popular perfume. I'd rather wear something that no one has never heard of, and keep people guessing. It is very safe to say that I will not be purchasing anything "created" by Brittney Spears or Marilyn Manson. Lamentably, I am almost out of Cerisier en Fleurs, so I guess I'll just have to go back to France! They also have a shop in Paris, not far from the Opera House. I am so there. The husband and I have a dear friend that married a French citizen, and now lives in the Acquitaine region of France, not too far from Biarritz. He has extended an invitation for us to visit. We will have to take a train there from Paris, so I will visit my favorite shops before our journey into the country. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Female Awesomeness

Of course you know that I think Coco Chanel was a super cool lady, but I want to share with you some other examples of female awesomeness that you might not be familiar with.

Have you ever heard of Nellie Bly?

Back in the late 1800's, when most ladies were tending to house and home, she was an early investigative journalist, and pioneered undercover reporting. She was eventually hired by Joseph Pulitzer, and got herself committed to the Women's Lunatic Asylum in New York to write about the horrible conditions. She also traveled around the world, unaccompanied (which was unheard of), mimicking Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days. She completed her journey in seventy two days. Her adventures were of course covered by the newspaper, a song was written about her, and there was a contest to see who could come closest to her finish time. She was an inspiration to women everywhere.

I will be extremely impressed with your grasp of women's history if you say you have heard of Maria Mitchell.

She was an American Astronomer in the mid 1800's. In a time when women did not traditionally receive the same level of education as men, she did, courtesy of her parents. She was a librarian by trade and also had access to her father's observatory, and discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet" in 1847. Her pursuit of a career in science progressed unabated. She became a member of various academies and associations, and eventually became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College. I love this.....taken directly from Wikipedia: "After teaching there for some time, she learned that despite her reputation and experience, her salary was less than that of many younger male professors. She insisted on a salary increase, and got it."

Rawk on Maria!

I have only highlighted the history of two women. There is a ton if history out there to discover. What will history say about you?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Brains over Boobs

It's all over the news today that a Texas school board has banned cleavage in high schools. I am fine with this, and so very glad that I am no longer in high school.

I was in high school during the late 80's. It was a time when big poofy permed hair reigned supreme - it was not how much of your decolletage showed. Kids wanted to look like Siouxsie Sioux, Molly Ringwald, or a combination of the two. I was the same. The fashion of the time was oversized tops and skinny jeans or tights. We may have looked somewhat silly, especially looking back, but at least we did not look like hookers.

It's really about parents knowing what their kids are wearing, and supervising what it bought. If the parents are controlling the source of money for these skimpy garments, they really need to lay down the law. Seriously....who wants a creepy older person looking at their daughter in an inappropriate way? No one with any sense that's for sure. Parents need to remember that they stand even taller if they are on top of the checkbook.

Now I am not a parent, and I applaud those out there that are up to the challenge. I know it is extremely hard to monitor your kids, but with the schools coming down on these inappropriate fashions, it certainly helps during clothes buying battles.

This might sound a bit Pollyannaish, but there are other ways that kids can express themselves. Perhaps if the focus is off of fashion (I cannot believe I just typed that), they will concentrate on their studies. They can express themselves through the written word, through art, by excelling in sport. School should not be about how skimpy young women can dress at an already difficult age.

Remember ladies ...... brains over boobs!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Paying Sales Tax is Fun!

Coco paid sales tax all weekend. It was only right since I had to take a stand against purse discrimination.

Anyhoo...I had a lovely weekend. As I have said before, my dear and darling husband is a photographer by trade, and a very fine one indeed.

He shot this one at a wedding in Scotland....yep, the one on the other side of the Atlantic:

His job does not suck. But, because of the fact that he does travel, and is in great demand, we don't have a lot of down time. When we do have the occasional weekend off, we have to make it count.

Coco is a big believer in frequenting chef-owned non-chain restaurants, but I totally caved on Friday. I went to Outback. Sorry. I'm totally addicted to their filet covered in horseradish. So very excellent.

Although it was supposed to be beastly hot on Saturday, the sky on Saturday morning was overcast. Perfect time to clean out the garage. Cardboard was cut up in preparation for recycling, and many an errant peanut was swept up off the garage floor. It felt good to get that done.

Then we went to that shopping Mecca known as Cool Springs. We did not dare go to the mall, and I would have refused anyway since I loathe crowds, but we did go to Costco. We got solar landscaping lights. We installed them that afternoon, and they look pretty in our front flower beds. The only bad thing was that some mosquitoes decided I was delicious, and I really would like to scratch these bites down to the bone. God bless the person that made Benadryl cream.

We then took in a matinee of Pirates of the Caribbean 2. It was extremely entertaining, but I still think the first one was better. Every time Jack Sparrow did that foofy running style of his I laughed out loud.

That evening we went to mAmbü. We had a lovely meal. I started with the lobster sushi, and then had sesame encrusted tuna, cooked medium rare, accompanied by wasabi flavored rice and stir fried vegetables. Said entree was accompanied by a lovely glass of Pinot grigio. Heaven.

Sunday morning we went to church and did a bit more taxed shopping (kitty litter is also non-exempt. Bastards.). That evening I painted.

All in all, it was a good, relaxing weekend. I think the next weekend we have off is September 9. Boo.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sales Tax Schmales Tax

So this weekend is supposed to be busy for the retailers. The sales tax holiday here in Tennessee begins today. Whoopdeefreakindoo.

I am a conscientious objector to this holiday, and for good reason…..rampant discrimination.

Here is a list of taxable and exempt items.

The powers that be are discriminating against accessories friends. THEY ARE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PURSES! I cannot participate in a holiday where purses and accessories are excluded in such a snobbish way. Don’t the powers that be realize that we need purses to hold our various little items? Do they expect us to walk around with our hands full? This cannot be tolerated.

Further examination of the list reveals that they are also discriminating against cosmetics. The powers that be are fine with the masses being clothed, they just don’t want us to be colorful and pretty. Nice way to be.

Jewelry is also not exempt. Don’t those fools realize that Tiffany’s opened here in Nashville this past week? Tragic.

So what am I doing instead? On this rare Saturday that I have off, the husband and I are cleaning out our garage, and then we are going to treat ourselves to a dinner somewhere very pretty. I will wear evening attire, there will be accessories, and dammit there will be makeup!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coco's Cocktail Advice

Reader Aurelia sent me the following e-mail:

Dear Coco,

I cannot tell you how many times I have been to a reception, and saw women dressed to the nines in cocktail party/evening wear…..chugging on a beer bottle. What advice can you offer as far as drink selections at fancy parties?


Oh honey....I have seen this too, and am so glad that you brought this up. Coco is fine with beer, but not at a fancy party or reception. First of all, chugging on a beer bottle makes you look like an easy sorority girl that just turned 21. Trés gauche.

So what looks classier to you?


I'm not telling, but I hope you know what the answer is by the end of this post. Coco has the following recommendations.

1. If you are a beer lover, and do not like liquor, try a glass of wine. A wine glass will look elegant in your hand....much more elegant than a beer bottle wrapped in a cocktail napkin. For the calorie conscious out there, remember that a glass of white wine has FAR less carbs than a glass of red, and white wine won't stain your teeth.

2. Mixed drinks are also very classy...as long as you order something simple. Do not ask the bartender to make you a Vulcan Mind Meld or a Sex on the Beach. This rule also goes for any drink that requires whipped cream. Daquiris are not classy folks. If you are new to mixed drinks....try a vodka tonic. It is Coco's drink of choice. Scotch is an acquired taste. If you do indeed aquire a taste for it, that would be a nice alternative too. Martinis are also a good option, but don't ask for anything foofy or girly. Chocolate martinis might be tasty, but the original martini is far more classy.

3. Being able to hold your liquor is also important. I don't care what sort of dress you are wearing...if you are bombed out of your mind people will remember your state of inebriation and antics rather than your couture. Be sure to have some appetizers whilst imbibing. Your head and sense of dignity will thank you later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Your Epidermis is Showing

That's right. Skin. Your biggest body organ....so it needs to be taken care of properly.

So let's say your skin is like mine. That would mean you do the following things:

1. Avoid the sun like a vampire.
2. Drink tons of water.
3. Take a multivitamin every day.
4. Remove makeup every night and moisturize.

We've already talked about makeup, but if your skin isn't well taken care of, your makeup will not go on or stay on as nicely as you would like. Just like in painting, it is best to start with a canvas that does not have flaws. So let's take care of those flaws shall we?

I start with a gentle makeup remover. If the remover you are using stings your eyes....it's not gentle. I recommend Aveda's makeup remover. Yes....it is $15.00, but it goes a long way, and it is gentle, which means you won't have to scrub your eyes to get your mascara off, and that alone will help the delicate skin around your eyes. Well worth the $15.00.

Then, I use soap....nothing fancy. I like Aveeno. It is gentle, and has light exfoliation courtesy of the oatmeal, which is great for getting rid of those dead skin cells that can dull the complexion.

Regarding face moisturizer....it depends on the season. For the summer months, I prefer Cetaphil daily moisturizer with SPF. It's very light, has a sunscreen which everyone should use anyway, and it is very gentle. For the winter and fall, when my skin tends to be dryer, I prefer Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF. A little bit goes a long way, it is light, and gives my face the moisture it needs during those dryer months.

Caring for your skin should not be about slathering as much product as you possibly can. Too many products, especially those with tons of additives, can do more harm than good. Keep your regime simple, and your skin will thank you.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

So How Do You Coco?

Perhaps you are wondering why I would choose the nickname Coco. There are many reasons.

Read about Coco. Coco came from poverty, and made herself into something fabulous on her own terms. How wonderful is that? How many can say that?

She scoffed at the trends of the day and made her own style, based on what would be best suited for her frame and lifestyle. Although I do not agree with the practice of sunbathing, she was the person responsible for making the appearance of tan skin fashionable.

She was smart as a whip, extremely quotable, and intelligent. There is nothing more boring that a woman that can only hold conversations on a limited number of topics.

So how can you Coco?

1. Don’t ever settle. Life is too short to think that you have reached a glass ceiling. Break through that ceiling, or find a path around it. If you are bored to distraction in your present line of work, it’s time to rethink your goals, and change them. There is nothing more exciting than knowing that anything is possible.

2. Examine yourself. Do you have an attractive style? I don’t care what size you are – that does not matter. There is stylish….not trendy….clothing out there for you. There are hair stylists that can change your coiffure, and beauticians in department stores that can give you different makeup ideas (even though they will try to sell you the moon). You do not have to emulate anyone. Make your style your own, but please make it classy. Coco once said “Dress shabbily they notice the dress, dress impeccably they notice the woman.” Word Coco.

3. Take every opportunity to learn. Intelligence is power. Intelligence creates confidence. Get or use a library card. Read fiction and non-fiction. Volunteer in your community. You will learn valuable communication skills.

Here's a true personal story. Before the Frist Center for the Visual Arts opened, I learned that they were in need of docents. Basically, a docent is a tour guide/teacher, that takes patrons on a tour, and engages them in conversation about the exhibition. I didn’t know anything about art history, but I knew that they did not require that, and I would be taught everything. What a fantastic opportunity. Yes, it was scary. I was doing something completely out of my comfort zone. I loved every single minute of it. Talking in front of groups (sometimes as big as 100 people) gave me poise and confidence. I also learned an extreme amount of art history and art analysis. I gained greater understanding for art that I used to consider uninteresting. I was a docent for two years. I would probably still be there, but I became president of a professional organization, and did not have the time to do both.

Without the communication skills from my docent training, I would not have had the confidence and poise necessary for my presidential stint. Now, I am considering taking Coco on a tour of sorts...perhaps arranging speaking engagements on etiquette, fashion, etc., with a dose of humor thrown in for good measure.

So how are you going to Coco?