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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Task and Treat

I just got back from Walgreens so that the 100 or so kids that usually ring my doorbell on Halloween get their sugar fix. I stood in the long line, forked over too much money for delicious processed sugar, and will have to lug candy home. Let's not forget that tonight I will have to get up at least every two minutes to answer the door, and my dinner will be extermely interrupted.

I think the kids should prove their worth for the candy I will provide.

Perhaps they should perform feats of strength, like on Festivus. One piece of candy to the winner.

My car interior could use a good vacuuming. I'd say two pieces is a good wage for that chore.

My front flower bed needs weeding, I would give at least three Snickers Minis to the industrious goblin that takes on that task.

If the doorbell ringer is an older kid that has computer skills, they can come in and do data entry. We have tons of business receipts that need to be input for upcoming tax purposes. That's worth at least four pieces of candy.

If the Halloweenie decides not to do anything meritorious for the candy (I mean come on....it's not like anyone makes costumes anymore - creativity and personal craftsmanship would merit candy), then Dear Husband and I will be in candy for a good long time. It's all the kinds that we dig anyway.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paris Syndrome

This article just blows my mind. It says that approximately a dozen Japanese tourists to the city need psychiatric treatment after their visit because romantic visions of what they think Paris is clashes with the reality once they get there.

I have been to Paris twice. Before my first visit, I read books on Paris and the culture. I scoured the internet for etiquette, what to wear so that I didn't scream "tourist," restaurant reviews, seasoned traveler insider tips, etc. Knowledge is your best tool when it comes to travel anywhere. Plus, knowledge will help soften any culture shock you may experience.

Here's a quote from the article:

"In Japanese shops, the customer is king, whereas here assistants hardly look at them ... People using public transport all look stern, and handbag snatchers increase the ill feeling."

Now I have never been to Japan, so I can not opine as to how shoppers are treated, but I can certainly tell you something about the shops and the Parisian Metro. My favorite shop to visit in Paris is Fauchon. I have never been treated rudely, and I think that is because I don't make assumptions. Don't assume that you can paw the merchandise, don't assume that you have the run of the store. If you learn the a few key polite terms (for any country you visit) they will go a long way in softening the sales assistant, and they will be more inclined to attempt speaking in your language. I always leave Fauchon happy and with chocolate.

The metro in Paris is absolutely fantastic. The musicians that perform in the tunnels (for the most part) have permits. They have to perform before a panel to get the permit, and the music is great. It is far superior to using one of those tourists buses to get around - you won't see real Parisians there. Granted, people will not make eye contact with you, but that's just like New York. You don't make eye contact with someone you don't know, because they could be crazy. Duh!

Parisians think that adherence to customs and formality in conversation with strangers is a sign of courtesy. On the other hand, Americans for the most part think a friendly "Hey, how are you doing?" is just fine. Not in Paris baby! They will not answer you, and probably think you are a freak, or just a gauche American. I'm just telling you what I know people, I'm not saying that it's right. When you are a guest in someone else's country, it is in your best interest to research customs and etiquette. I have never had a bad experience on any of my travels, and I know it is because I arm myself with facts beforehand.

So I guess the moral of this blog is arm yourself with knowledge before going on any trip, and maybe you won't go to the loony bin.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Things I Love:

Really big trees
The sound of rain on the roof
My car
Peanut butter
Roller coasters
The music of The Barenaked Ladies

Places I Love:

My house
My church

The Person I Love Most In This World:

My Dear Husband

This October 22, we will celebrate our 12th year of marriage. I cannot believe it has been that long. It seems like just yesterday we were dancing at our wedding reception. I love our life together, I love the adventures we have, and I love you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Umbrella Etiquette

The sky was overcast this morning. Right now, it is raining cats and dogs.

My umbrella is in an extremely logical place. In my car. Great.

This brings to mind umbrella etiquette in general. I present the following observations and tips for your entertainment.

1. The sidewalks of downtown Nashville are not wide. Yet people still insist on using those huge golf umbrellas. If you are not made of silk, and don't go by the title of Wicked Witch of the West, such a huge umbrella is unnecessary and a hindrance to others on the sidewalk. Scale that umbrella down please. You look like a fool that is scared of rain.

2. Have fun with color! Everyone and their brother has a black umbrella. Granted, it is the classic, but ever so boring.

3. Invest in an umbrella of good construction. It does not have to be Burberry, but it should have a durable infrastructure so it does not turn out in a strong wind. Plus, if you spend $$ on an umbrella, you'll probably be less likely to leave it in a restaurant or movie theater.

Notice I made no mention of leaving it in the car. Yep. I am going to get soaked.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Coco Might Be Loco

I just got off the phone with my younger sister. By the way she was talking, I knew she was setting me up for something big. She said she was on board, Mom was on board, and she was going to call my other sister next Her question you might ask?

"Do you want to do the Music City Half Marathon?"

My first answer: "F*cking hell."

My second answer: "I'll do it."

I've got the gear. I have legs, sneakers, workout clothes, an exercise step and exercise DVDs, and loved ones that will be with me. I don't know if I will walk, jog or run, but I will do it. A goal is a great thing, and I'd love to be involved in something so big that is so excellent for your health and well being.

Saturday, April 28, 2007. My date with destiny.

Plus, if I keep up the exercise I will look so hot.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Coco on Self Care

So Coco has been a bad blogger.....I know I have said this at the beginning of many of my posts, but I'm sorta giving myself a vacation from things. I'm a busy gal. If you read my blog, you know that I have three jobs. As that commercial from the 70's said "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan." Besides that, I also work with Dear Husband on the weekend with weddings.

We do a lot of weddings y'all. That means Coco has zero downtime.

So I've been giving myself some mental and physical downtime. I am too hard on myself sometimes, and I know that some women out there feel the same way, because I have heard from you. I am on a big self-care swing right now. Self-care equals selfish to some, and that's just wrong. Mr. Webster defines the word "selfish" as follows:

Main Entry: self•ish
Pronunciation: 'sel-fish
Function: adjective
1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others

I'm pretty sure the fabulous women I know that have a problem with the definition of "selfish" never took the time to look it up. The definition is polar opposite from what they truly are. They are caring, lovely, nurturing people, but when it comes time to turn that care on themselves, they feel like they are being "selfish."

As my dear friend from Lewisburg, Tennessee would say, "that ain't right."

Girl.....it's your time. Who can you care for if you don't care for yourself first?

Self care can mean whatever makes your heart smile. It could be a massage, or a manicure perhaps, but it doesn't need to be anything that costs money if you do not have the means. Take a walk. Enjoy a long bubble bath. Read that book that has been sitting on your bedstand. Take 20 minutes in your morning and meditate. I promise you will feel better.

So what am I doing? I'm listening to music, I'm knitting, or I'm doing nothing at all, and it feels great!

I'd love to hear from some of my dear readers - I know you are out there ;-). Please leave a comment in the opinion area, and tell me what you do for yourself that is "self care." If you find that you are drawing a blank, it's time to change something!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Beauty Tips

I received the following as an e-mail from a dear friend.

Below is a wonderful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her "beauty tips." It was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness....
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair , let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone...
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed,
And redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Audrey was just lovely inside and out!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Promise of a New Week

The sky is sunny this Monday morn.

I saw a squirrel, it was merry.

The drive to work was easy thanks to the Columbus Day holiday. Tonight everyone will hit the bars sporting 15th Century clothing, and drinks copious amounts of liquor out of novelty Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria ship mugs.

I scored a great parking space.

But my happy spirit was dashed when I saw a lady of fine figure and face in a fashion tragedy.

The young lady got on the parking garage elevator right after me, so I was able to inspect her outfit with great detail. She was wearing a tight sweater, exposing her midriff, a casual (too casual belt), and a pair of tweed pants that should have been lovely.

I say should, because even though there was a cuff created by the garment manufacturer, said pants were still too long, so she just rolled them up one more time.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

She got of the elevator in front of me, so I watched her walk for half a block before we parted ways. One cuff came undone in that short distance, and was dragging on the concrete. Lame to the max.

Here are the lessons we need to take away from this sorry person.

1. If the garment does not fit in any way, take it to an alterations place. Comfort is essential, and if you constantly have to adjust yourself or your clothing because the garment is ill fitting it is not worth it.

2. Exposing your midriff is unacceptable in a work environment unless you work in a strip club, or work at Hooters. She would have looked much better with a lovely sweater twin-set.

3. Don't leave the price tag on the bottom of your shoe. This girl did, and that was the first thing my eye went to. I don't even remember if her shoes were cute.

This girl obviously suffered from Lazy Dresser Syndrome. She could not even take an iron to the newly formed cuff that she made. If she did, it would have had more of a chance of staying in place, but not much. It would have taken a minute, maybe less, to take that price tag off of her shoe.

Don't be a lazy dresser people. Details count!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Coco Knows! Answer to Question from Rachel

Greetings gentle readers. I apologize for my lack of entries....I managed to get another head cold, and the sinus medicine makes my feel loopy!

I received the following e-mail from dear reader Rachel:

I have a slight, but obvious problem. I am 95% sure that I am allergic to make-up, or at least foundation. This causes a problem because as a teen, I had a bad case of acne and now have major scaring on my face. I don't think that you have to wear make-up to make you who you are, or even to be beautiful. I've tried all kinds. Oil based, non-oil based, natural types...everything! And they all, after a few short hours (I can't even make it a full work day) - my face breaks out and hurts.

But being a recent college grad, I'm looking for jobs and don't feel professional without make-up. By any chance, is there anything I'm missing? A certain makeup? Maybe a cream to put on as a block between the face and the foundation? Anything at all?

Check your makeup's ingredients. Don't believe a product because it claims to be "natural." Does it contain lanolin? I too have sensitive skin, and if I use a product on my skin that contains lanolin, I have an allergic reaction. Lanolin is bad stuff people. Don't use it. Basically, you are putting animal fat on your face.

Say it with me people ... ick.

Makeup companies like to use this ingredient because it is cheap, and your makeup will go on smoothly, but at what consequence? Try to buy make-up that is as natural as possible. Personally, I find that powder-based foundation is more gentle on the skin. As my readers know, I love Aveda's products, and am a big fan of their powder foundation. I have been told that Bare Minerals is also a great product.

Rachel, you also mentioned that you have tried products with oil in them. If that oil was mineral oil, that is also bad stuff. Mineral oil is a petroleum product. It is a cheap ingredient, and the user thinks their skin feels baby soft. Wrong wrong wrong. It actually closes off the pours, and moisture cannot get through. It suffocates the skin. Avoid lotions or potions with mineral oil as an ingredient. Again, look for oils that are plant derivatives instead.

If you skin does not improve, I would recommend seeing a dermatologist. Perhaps the dermatologist can prescribe something to soothe or protect your skin. Best of luck!

Dear readers, feel free to e-mail me anytime with your questions!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Coco Knows! Answer to Question from Kelli

Good morning all! Dear reader Kelli posed the following question:

Dear Coco, I am a poor college student at Lipscomb University who wants to take better care of her nails and cuticles. I play piano (for my major), and I hate the way my hands look when my nails do not look nice. My nails are not really the problem, but my cuticles are horrible. They pull away from my nails, and I get hangnails all the time. Do you know what I could do about them at an affordable price that I can do myself (I have no time or money to have them done professionally)? Also, I use a nail file (cardboard - Revlon brand) that has four different parts to take care of the tops of the nails. It smoothes out the ridges in my nails and buffs them quite nicely, but I hate having to buy the whole file (because I use a metal file to file my nails), and it wears out easily. I've used other buffers (the kind that has three different boards), but they fall apart just as easily. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks! Kelli

Kelli - I completely understand and sympathize about the problems with your cuticles. As a worker drone that types 95 words per hour, I need to make sure that my nails are short in good condition, and there's nothing worse than painful fingers due to hangnails and dry cuticles. This is what Coco would do:

1. Be sure that you drink enough water during the day and night. That is the best form of hydration for your skin.

2. Take a multivitamin. Not only will you get essential vitamins and minerals for your overall good health, but the condition of your hair and nails should also improve.

3. I have three products to recommend:

(a) Buy a cuticle cream for use in the daytime. I prefer Sally Hansen. It is not at all greasy, a little goes a long way, and you don't have to worry about any cuticle oil making a mess in your purse. I use this every single day before I begin typing.

(b) Follow that up with a hand moisturizer. It doesn't have to be anything pricey, just something that will do the job. I personally like Lubriderm, because it is unscented and will not compete with whatever scent you might be wearing.

(c) Here's the grand slam for lovely hands. Buy and use olive oil! Now, you don't have to buy anything extra virgin, imported from Italy....any grocery store variety will do. Rub the oil on your hands, especially your cuticle area at night, and then follow that up with some thin cotton gloves. You should be able to find some gloves in a drug store near the loofahs and bath things. In the morning, your skin will be soft and hydrated. You should be able to toss those gloves in the washer when necessary. Olive oil is great for many areas. It can be used as a general moisturizer, or even a hair conditioner if used in moderation and rinsed out well.

If you follow these steps, the appearance of your nails and cuticles should improve. I personally don't have an issue with ridges in the nails, but the taking of a multivitamin may make the ridges in your nails less visible, and keeping your nails and hands more hydrated should make you run through those emery boards buffers with less frequency since it will take less effort to get them into a pretty condition.

Thank you for your question Kelli. If there are any more readers out there that have questions, please feel free to ask!