Posts Tagged ‘women’

Sleeveless: The New Micro Mini?


The right to bear arms.

Absentmindedly, while giving myself a pedi, I was watching a show on Fashion Television, where Jeanne Beker was interviewing two sisters, who I believe were writers – forgive me,  for I only caught the show well into more than half of it. In the interview, she asked if, in their opinion, people, specifically women, ought to dress their age. This question was met with dead silence, which seemed to have lasted forever, but I’m sure in reality only lasted a couple seconds. The writers looked at each other with a bit of a puzzled look, followed by a smirk, and then a huge grin.

Indeed, a controversial topic, if ever there was one.

Should we dress our age?

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In the end, it seemed that the both writers agreed that it would be recommended, although one was more emphatic about that view than the other, expressing utter shock and horror at women ‘of a certain age’ wearing sleeveless tops… or exposing their necks.

Poor Jeanne, who was visibly shocked at the response, or perhaps I should say more so disappointed. In light of the fact as, in light of the fact that she revealed that, though she was currently wearing a turtleneck, she is, in fact, a lover of the sleeveless. It was evident that she didn’t share the same view, though, though she was aware that, in some circles, this may be considered a major fashion “don’t”, as she recalled commenting on her arms – on camera, during one of her shows. See for Jeanne, she sees fashion as more of a mindset than an age thing.

Or should we dress our minds?

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Maybe there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps we ought to dress how we wish others to perceive us, or at least dress in what we feel most comfortable and powerful in, – outside of sweats *cough*.

“Dress your lifestyle, and you’ll always be relevant.”

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If one’s clothing doesn’t match one’s lifestyle, there will never be balance, and so, perhaps the problem is bigger than the clothes.  Just my opinion.

I’d be the last to condone dressing to please anyone else, but there must be the acceptance that there is a generally understood concept – how you present yourself to the world, is one of the factors which help communicate to the world exactly which point of view you are coming from.  It’s all a part of the ‘body language’ conversation really, and less so rocket science. Though complex as individuals, as a species humans are simple – It the end, it’s all about vibes.

What vibes are you giving off?

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Side note: The writers threw out an interesting statistic – That one in three (3) things we purchase, is a mistake, i.e. it either is not flattering, or is not the best look for us, aka it’s just wrong. E. Gad, say it ain’t so.

Perhaps the whole notion of dressing your age may be related to that. Logically speaking, the older we get, the more in tune with our personal style we ought to be, and so the less mistakes we are likely to make. But of course, it’s never that simple, is it. That high-waisted, fuschia, American Apparel leggings for example that I purchased with a matching navy one, and standard black long tank comes to mind – Yeah, about that statistic, I get you.

Having it all

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Something else that caught my attention was a conversation about “Having it all’. One of the writers said that she found it interesting that at every graduation, at every turning point in young woman’s life, there is a well accomplished woman who, by all appearances has it all, (which is why I suppose she was asked to address the young women in the first place), who is usually the greatest advocator that it’s not possible to have it all. Funny. She later concluded, less often regarded fact to this discussion is that to have it all requires a great deal of hard work, sweat and perhaps more than a few tears. That, perhaps that it’s less so that it’s not possible and more that it’s not a path for the weak willed, or lazy among us.

Right about here the sister of the first writer offered her two cents – that having it all simply means that you are at a point where

“…what you want, and what you currently have are in balance.”

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Simply, it does not necessarily reflect the balance on your chequing account, the number of kids you have, or if you are married or in any sort of committed relationship or not. She then recounted a time when she had just gotten a divorce, was living in a tiny apartment, and was a struggling writer, but at that moment in her life she felt like she had it all – that is to say, she was in a place where she was happy. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do, at that point in time, and felt that she was well on her way to success on her terms.

I’ve read that success is not the key to happiness, but that happiness is the key to success. So ya, I get it. I get it now.

In the end, it always seems to come down to balance, doesn’t it?

b FiercelyFabulous

Photo Credit

Colour-Blocking 101

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Image: Denim Magazine | Aug ’11

Tips on working on of my fav. Summer trends ever.

1. One trend at a time.

Either Colour-Block OR Animal Prints. Not both. The end is never good when two divas are placed in the same room. Opting for the color-block look is eye-catching enough; Having one trend compete with each other just screams trying too hard.

My two cents would be to choose colour for now and save your animal prints for Fall – it’s right around the corner.

2. Choose your colour battles.

Keep colour in the same family, (oranges with reds, pinks with purples, use the same colour in different shades) …  or not, if your personality would allow you to get away with it. Pair fuschia, orange and light-but-bright blue as Malinda Williams does on the cover of Denim Magazine here, but remember to ground your look elsewhere.

“Either boldly coloured clothing OR accessories OR shoes.”

The “Nicki Minaj” fashion statement only works on Nicki Minaj.

If you choose to wear boldy coloured clothing, keep accessories to a tasteful minimum, and ground the look with nude shoes/ sandals. to pair black shoes with such a multi-coloured, get-up would be a tragic, amateur mistake.

If you choose boldly coloured shoes, let that be the focal point of the look and go with a more neutral or mono-toned clothing choice. The same goes if you choose to wear bold accessories.

P.S. – Neon nail colour also counts as accessories on Grown folk.

Taking heed to this either, [either], or, will be the difference between looking skillfully put together, and looking a saucy mess. It’s a razor thin line, but the results are worlds apart.

3. The Fit-&-Flatter Concept

Bold clothing will attract some level of otherwise unintended attention, so this concept right here is key. With so much going on, colour-blocked items usually work best when worn in a body-conscious silhouette, meaning that the clothing fits very close to the body. Be sure to wear the right underwear/ shapewear if necessary. the tag may say “One size fits all” but all what? All models? All size 2-8s? Definitely not all human beings on this planet. That is physically impossible. What is it made out of? Ballon plastic? Even that has a breaking point. There is a reason why even condoms come in different sizes.

The hotter the trend, the less room there is for mistakes. Know your size and the tensile strength of the fabric that you are wearing. And oh, Spanks don’t catch everything eh, especially if the brand is “fanks”.

4. Tone down the makeup

Another secret to pulling off this bold trend is to keep makeup to a minimum. There is never an excuse to wear red lipstick with this trend. Please and No.  No neon-clothing-with-fuschia-lips-and-blue-eyeshadow combo.  At least not for normal daytime activities for you will look like a 0.99c special. Clown days are over. Less is more.

5. Confidence

As with all other statement trends, the real clincher is here genuine confidence. The kind that emanates from the depths of your soul. The kind that is reflected in the pep in your step, and not store-bought, or BS kind – that’s not substantial enough. It’s very important for you to be comfortable in whatever you are wearing. Pick your peonie and ROCK. IT. HARD.

Carry on.

b FiercelyFabulous

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Spring Clean Your Sunscreen.

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To be brutally honest, yes, I am aware that this post maybe a tad late – about a month or two. If I knew exactly how late it was, I probably would have uploaded it on time. BUT, to my defense, I was actually waiting for Spring to arrive; A concept that worked a lot better penned in my journal than executed. I was sitting idly by, all freezing, awaiting Spring. Seeing that I am now sitting, idly by, all …misty… , with umm… *mist* beading down my calves, awaiting Spring, I figured that, perhaps, it would be a good idea to discuss it now.

People watch me funny when I say that it’s hot outside. I can only imagine that is because, of course, being a child of the Caribbean, I should be accustomed to the sun. But, dare I say, there is a difference between the Caribbean sun and the sun a country where the mere presence of it indicates a change of season.

For starters, there is no sea breeze. There is no sight of beachy paradise, and there is, on average, 14+ hours of it, everyday. My grandmother used to tell me that “Too much of a good thing is good for nothing”, and I do believe that that phrase can be applied here.

I will preface this by saying that that, I am in no way complaining about Summer. I love Summer in TO, at least the concept of it. My Prince gets a [welcomed, no doubt] break from the Velvet Hammer, and gets an all-expenses-paid vacay with his dad and grandparents, who he, quite politically, loves equally. “No favourites” he maintains. With any luck, I too will posses said tact one day.

There’s lots for a girl to love about summer in TO too. She gets to eat on patios with people whom she’s never met, and probably will never see again in life, so any fear of being judged because of any preferences regarding, eating with fingers, enjoying the taste of well-seasoned bones, or that fact that she may find people-watching, for hours on end while sipping herbal tea, entertaining. She can eat, or be otherwise entertained for free, go out on weekends, [or week-nights] and not have to be back before 6pm. Hell, she doesn’t have to be back, period. Why? Because apparently these are just some of the many options available to single folk. Or so I’ve heard. How novel.

So ya. Summer does have it’s perks.

But, right now it is rass hot, Period. When the weather man said this morning “a high of 32, but feels like 42″ he wasn’t lyin’. Then, you blink and it is too rass cold for that strapless-frock-and-thong-sandal that you decided to don because it is actually above zero today.  HOLLA! Made sense, at the time sure. I mean, 32 degrees? How often does that happen? Just the thought transports one into a state of orgasmic euphoria. Must be, because some of the things that I see Grown people wear because it’s ‘Summer’ blows my mind. Three words when considering your kit:

  1. Size
  2. Disposition
  3. Age

The phrase “You’re as young as you feel” is misleading, don’t believe the hype. Please dress responsibly. Just because you feel like a 10 year old girl doesn’t mean you should dress like it, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.  There’s enough fodder in that thought for another post - probably why I can sit on a patio all afternoon and “sip herbal tea”.

But back to the sunscreen. In all of our spring cleaning efforts – too warm or too small clothing, too dark or too long hair, too much extra weight, too flabby muscle, too much idiot or stupid people, do remember to renew your sunscreen.

If you purchased the sunscreen that you are currently using this time last year, REPLACE IT.

Chemical sunscreens, sunscreens that list active ingredients such as Homosalate, Oxybenzene, Octisalate, Avobenzene, Octocrylene or anything of the sort, are considered drugs, and as such, have an expiry date – usually 12-18 months after opening.

Indeed, exposing such products to summer heat, for example when stashed in beach bags, or in cars, can cause a chemical breakdown of the product, which may result in a shortening of its shelf life; In other words, the product spoils faster. Applying expired sunscreen to your skin can result in anything from increased skin sensitivity/ breakouts to sun burn.

For further explanation on the difference between a physical and a chemical sunscreen, see previous post, Sun and Skin type.

It is said that ‘one shot glass’ (1 oz.) of sunscreen is needed for a full body application. However, well, my body and your body doesn’t necessarily equate to the same ‘body’, so If you think that your body is a “little bigger than average”, then apply a little more. If you think your body is “more bigger”, well then apply more still. That’s all.

Regarding the face, a quarter sized amount of sunscreen should suffice. And yes, your foundation or loose powder may contain sunscreen, great for you. However, it’s not nearly enough in terms of real time protection from UV rays, especially during summer, so… gets to squirting.

Think sunscreen isn’t for you? See some common myths regarding sunscreen are discussed in the post Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Photo: Africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Body Concious | Rocking Ruffles

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S2011| Emilio Pucci

Ruffles, much like the graphic prints of the season, add detail to a garment, but more than that, they also add volume.

They are dramatic, and bring attention to the area. With this in mind you can use ruffles to your advantage, by incorporating them in areas that you may find, well, lacking.

The size of the ruffles that you don should coincide with how much drama you wish to attract to that specific area.

How to Make Ruffles Work for You

Generally speaking, the placement of the ruffles will depend on your body shape – Pear, Inverted Triangle, Apple, Hourglass or Athletic – As ruffles, along with other embellishment trends like as feathers for example, work at attracting attention to an area, which, as a result, then removes the focus from other areas that you’d prefer not to play up as much.

The basic rules that apply when working the ruffles, feathers or embellishment trends on the above body shapes are as follows:

1. PEAR

Shoulders, chest and waist proportionally smaller than hips and thighs.


S2011 | Valentino

Focus ruffles in your top half, and keep lower half simple.

Ruffles located along interesting necklines like boat, and cold shoulder styles, draw attention away from lower half.

2. INVERTED TRIANGLE

Proportionately larger top half. Wider shoulders, little or no hips, slim legs


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Balance broad shoulders with ruffled volume on lower half. Create the illusion of a waist by adding a belt.

3. APPLE

Proportionately larger waistline. Smaller shoulders, chest and hips. Slim legs.


S2011 | Alberta Ferretti

Whereas adding a belt a tied waistband will draw attention and add weight to the midsection,  ruched fabric in the the midsection area works at both camouflaging and minimizing waist.

Intricate necklines, and asymmetrical hems will also help divert attention away from midsection

Horizontal ruffles placed off center gives the illusion of an elongated torso. Alternatively, ruffle detail may be placed along V-neckline and/ or along hemline (either at knee or floor grazing, not in-between).

4. HOURGLASS

Proportionately smaller waist, chest and hips are wider and somewhat balance each other.


S2011 | Prada

This body shape naturally has volume in the desired places. Add ruffles in areas that do not put the flow in imbalance, like at the hem of a knee length pencil skirt ala Prada.

5. ATHLETIC

No areas are particularly wider, or narrower than the rest. Negligible difference between chest, waist and hip measurements.


S2011 | Jill Sanders

A blank canvas – add ruffles wherever there is desire to add more volume

  • Up top to enhance cleavage
  • Around waist to make a statement or
  • Around hips to add curves.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

1. A smart way to wear ruffles is to wear small ones horizontally on a sheath dress silhouette – considered to be  universally flattering. This way, like stripes, the ruffles elongate rather than widen.
2. Ruffles, like feathers or jeweled embellishments, are noisy beings.  So that you do not start answering yourself, at least not in public, keep accessories minimal and  makeup natural.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Dodging Fashion Roadkill | The Maxi Dress



S2011 | Micheal Kors

As long as there are women, there will always be the Maxi dress. Designers must find this fact annoying because, perhaps in an effort to relieve their boredom, they’ve decided to inject different textures and structures into this spring/ summer staple. The possible result? An epic miss, with some of the most unflattering combinations known to man… or in this case, woman.

The word “Maxi”, as it applies to a dress (or skirt), refers to either length (usually floor grazing) or fullness  (voluminous) – either way there is a whole lot of fabric. The goal of a Maxi dress is to create the illusion of easy sophistication, but this punchline can easily get muddled when designers run with such wild abandon in the park of imagination,  that they miss the mark  totally.

Most of trends for this Spring/ Summer 2011 (S2011) may be seen somewhere on a Maxi Dress near you. Beware of the pitfalls.

1. The See-Through-Maxi

S2011 Trend: Lace/ See-through Fabrics


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

The issue: Visible underwear, isn’t Sexy. [Visibly] going without underwear, tramp style, is worse.  No-one is interested in seeing your ‘titillating’ ‘assets’. This dress will flatter noone with an ounce of flesh. Much more than the sheer fabric will be… bouncing… in the wind.


S2011 | Givenchy

The solution: Go sheer without going bare. Printed sheer materials can offer less translucency that plain coloured ones. Also, well placed detailing can detract, or conceal, areas of perverted interest. Depending on the dress, you can wear a (modern) slip.

2. The Bright, Boxy, Structured, Maxi

S2011 Trend: Bold Colours/ Menswear/ Suits



S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Your waist called. He misses you.

May be laid back,  but this look is definitely not sexy. All that’s missing here are the potatoes, which is ironic because that’s probably the last thing that’s available  on that menu.

Proportions. Proportions. Proportions. An hourglass shape, or the illusion of one, is the key to classic style. Also,tThe overly structured look of this dress defeats the purpose of a Maxi dress.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: The bold colour rocks. Keep the structure to an asymmetrical neckline and a belted waist.

3. The Retro Maxi

S2011 Trend: Retro/ 60s Ladylike/ Red carpet glam


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: More like 60s/ Ladylike Prom, and looks like the dress equivalent to helmet head – Untouchable.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: Switch up the fabric. Interpret the retro ladylike, rather than raid your mother/ grandmother’s closet. Similar silhouette, different reaction.

4. The Graphic Maxi (I)

S2011 Trend: Floral Prints


S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Large prints, like this floral overwhelms petite frames. The dress’s voluminous nature around the waist area also does not complement a woman’s figure.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: Choose a floral print that is proportional to your size – larger frames are better able to carry larger prints. Add interest to a floor grazing floral number with a contrasting detail in a complementary colour at the waist. Peek-a-boo skin, unveiled through a v-neck, gives balance to a potentially, visually dizzying number.

5. The Graphic Maxi (II)

S211 Trend: Bold Colours/ Geometric Prints/ Asymmetrical hems


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The Issue: An effort is made to highlight the waist with a twist-tie, but the  over-sized vertical stripes + no structure + peculiar dress length + bold colours+ excess fabric = Please Stop. My head hurts.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: One voice at a time. Keep silhouettes, to dresses in busy fabrics, simple. The ruching detail in the right places breaks the monotony, and gives a flattering look to even the no-no horizontal stripe rule.

6. The White Maxi

S2011 Trend: All White/ Minimal/ 60s Ladylike


S2011 | Chloé

The issue: The abundance of fabric on the top half, in white no less, coupled with a gathered waist would make for an excessively commodious, unflattering look on most humans.


S2011 | Chloé


S2011 | Chloé

The solution: A wrap dress, or one that mimics it, is universally flattering, even in white, as it breaks up the details, as well as highlights the natural waist.

Tip: A V-neck works better than a round neck for fuller and/ or curvier figures.

7. The Unfinished Maxi

S2011 Trend: Asymmetrical Hems / Metallic/ Sheer/ Unfinished Detailing


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: The first issue is the trend itself – Unfinished garments. Unhemmed garments, unclipped trimmings. A frayed, fuzzy look with thread dangling everywhere. Why? I’ll file this in the juvenile section, right next to destructed jeans.

More than the hems, the statement is undone in this crinkly, scratchy, bed-head looking kit, the draping of which also makes for an unflattering profile. Besides, if you are going to tote all of this fabric, and still have a peep show, why not just don a fitted, loosely crocheted dress instead? Oh yeah, that’s also a don’t.


S2011 | Micheal Kors

The solution: Just because the fabric has a metallic finish, doesn’t mean it has to look like it will cut you. Switching up the fabric to a touchable knit, (one that is also less sheer), and tightening the silhouette a touch, gives the still-asymmetrical look an easy-going, figure-enhancing flow. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

8. The Body Concious Maxi

S2011 Trend: Body Concious/ White/ Lace/ Sheer Fabrics


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The issue: The combination of the above trend may make for a body conscious, but not a body flattering combo. Perhaps this would be better worn as resort wear, in the form of a beach cover-up.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The solution: Emphasize your curves in one trend. Either in lace/ sheer fabrics OR a body hugging silhouette.

OTHER USEFUL TIPS

1. DO give unexpected skin via a high slit or an asymmetrical hemline to give overly voluminous , or excessively lengthy dresses a modern edge, as Emilio Pucci does here.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

2. DO play with the Military trend with ‘sober’ colour choices – e.g. olive green, navy, combined with subtle masculine detailing.


S2011 | Lanvin

Whoever said that Power can only be unleashed in a pant suit must have never experienced the Power of a Maxi.

b Freakin’Fabulous

The Science of Valentine’s Day Gift Giving


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For some of us, the only thing more challenging than making it through Saint Valentine’s Day (V-Day), is getting the gift correct. Let’s face it, when it comes to V-day gifts, there are the OOOOOOOOOH!!!!“s, the “Oh….“s, and the “OH.“s.

Yes, V-Day is commercialized (what isn’t), and perhaps a bit overrated. We can go on forever and ever about that, but, if, at the end of all your boo-hoos and wha-whas, you are still going to give your special someone something, it has to make the grade.

A lot of pressure? Absolutely.
Especially if you only remember to get a gift the night before, and the only thing that is open is the pharmacy.

There is a science to V-day gift giving. Saint Valentines Day is a very unique day of the year. Though, like a Birth day or Christmas Day, it occurs every year, it carries a different sentiment. altogether There are no norms or customs. There is no onslaught of gifts from family and familiar faces. There is no expectation from anyone, but one, and that one, is YOU. Therefore, it is important that your gift does not flop.

That sad, solitary rose broadcasts that you forgot, and so do gift cards. You are better off getting a blank card, and filling it with all of the things that you don’t find yourself saying on a daily basis.

Gift cards are impersonal, and scream that you either didn’t have time to get a real present, or that you don’t know the person well enough to figure it out. There is a reason why the gift card business makes money – It is only useful if you remember that you have it. I have a Sephora gift card floating around for the last 4 years, and I’m a Beauty-product Junkie. Let’s work that math out.

A friend recalls her best V-day gift.

“… the biggest, fluffiest, white and red teddy bear, a bunch of 24 long stemmed red roses, and the most beautiful pair of gold earrings….‎​was sent to me at work…delivered by 3 [uniformed] guys, all dressed alike…”

I cannot begin to count the fantasies in there. The 3 uniformed guys, showing up at the right time, could have been a present enough. “Heeeyyyyy!”

To date, the best V-day gift I’ve ever received was a heart-shaped, diamond ring, ambushed by long-stemmed roses. It was the best gift not because it was the most expensive thing that I’ve ever received, it was the best gift because I didn’t expect it. I was in high-school,  he was as hot as Hell itself, and it was the first possession that I can recall actively hiding from my parents. Now that I have had some experience with men, I should have probably kept him around.

All that to say, the key to V-day gift giving, is that the gift need not be expensive, nor dramatic, It just needs to be memorable.

So what’s hot for 2011?

TECHNOLOGY

Technology is the new bling. The best thing about this gift idea is that it works whether your partner/ significant other/ FWB, is male or female.

If you are running low in the cha-ching department, Apps are good idea. There are millions to choose from.

Another cool yet manageable tech idea getting upgraded phones. And why not? You don’t have to measure for size, wonder if s/he will like the scent or colour as you would if you were buying cologne, a tie, jewelry or of course, the guy’s fav… socks.

Already both have smart phones? Get an unlimited data plan so that you can sexy bbm whole day, or perhaps ones with video talk options *blink*. What you do with those options is your call.

Reading is Sexy. It is especially if you are reading from a Nook, Kindle, or, Helleeeer, an Ipad. An eReader is a good option if you have a little extra cash to spare.

CLASSIC MENTIONABLES

These take a little more thought, and may require more planning time. However, there is more mileage on the impression left.

A wellness service for two.

Gift cards for wellness services seem to be very on trend. Yes, we do all need to de-stress, but very few of us like to leave our house to de-stress alone. Whether your significant other takes you, or a bff, a couples massage, for example, will go a lot longer than one meant for… well, one.

Magazine subscriptions.

For a magazine that s/he actually reads, of course. Inexpensive but appreciated, s/he will be reminded of you for at least a year.

Entertainment for two

Tickets to a show that s/he likes, or to a sports game for a team that s/he is a fan of. Or what about ones to that jerk Trey Songz’ concert, because she’s been dying to see him for like… forever. So what if you think he’s gay?

You may not be a fan of the activity, but suck it up, get them, and go anyway.

You really shouldn’t do something because of the kick-back, but you never know how that favour may be repaid.

I’m just sayin’.

The Romance Option

For a real mojo igniter, how about a romantic overnight stay at a hotel, with a dinner for two, and a breakfast in bed option for the next morning? Or perhaps a weekend getaway to a city of your choice. Feel free to insert a Spa in-room couples massage here as well. You’d get at least a couple free passes out of the dog house for this one right here, let me tell you. Oh, unless you are aiming for company in 9 months, be sure to walk with your family planning kit.

Jewelry, with a customized twist

Up the jewelry ante by getting something with a special date or name inscribed in it. *Dark Vader’s Pookie Bear* on the back of that beautiful Micheal Kors Baguette-Bezel, Rose Gold, Watch. No judgments, just suggestions. Do you.

His & Her Clothing

His and her leather jackets. Fab.

Switch it up guys.

Take a walk on the wild side and visit your local Victoria’s Secret, or similar store, with your significant other. Again, go with her. Please, do not play hero and try to figure out the fit based on your sizing up of the sales person’s figure/ size. Yes, it’s a great thought, but doing so may very well result in a great thought that flopped, epically, in its execution.

The possibilities of this novel idea flopping are endless.

1. Since she has to wear it, it would help her mood if she likes what she is wearing, and of course if it fits well. There are very few things as uncomfortable as ill-fitting, non-stretch lace. I’d wear shoes that are too small for a day and a half, over doing that.

2. The last thing you would want to purchase for a woman is any clothing that is either overly big or overly small. This can result in an awkward silence, questions, or worse, just one question, the answer(s) to which you will never, ever be qualified enough to answer.

“You really see me as THIS BIG???”

or the thought…

***Wow… I guess I’m bigger than he thinks…***

They both suggest an issue with weight, which is, of course, not the response that are looking for. You shall be sleeping with yourself that night… on the couch. Not fun.

3. Regardless of what porn tells us, not all women feel sexy in lingerie. For these types of women, lingerie is then more of a present for you than for her, so maybe you can save this gift idea for your birthday. VS sells a myriad of things. Going with her enables her to get something that she actually wants – pampering beauty essentials, or even swimwear. Yes, I it may be still winter outside. A jump start on fashion on someone else’s dime? Always Fab.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Please Make the Stupid People Shut Up.


One of the most challenging things about parenting  for me is that, invariably, I have to deal with people who, in my individual life, I would not in a million years choose to associate with in any way, shape, form or manner whatsoever. As a matter of fact said folks would not so much as be identified on my human radar.

You see homo sapiens in fine form when they are dealing with their kids, especially when their kids are in a group with other people’s kids.

How we deal with ‘challenging circumstances’ that we never saw coming, like when you feel like your kid is has a personal vendetta against you, and so tries to embarrass you  by telling the parent of one of his friends that you are having a ‘playdate’ with  that s/he “doesn’t eat kind of food, no thanks”, how we deal with ‘other people’s kids’, who, as we deem it, have no broughtupcy, or my personal favorite, how we as parents, deal with those issues that we are again faced with; the same said issues that perhaps we didn’t get over as a kid. After all, just because you stretched out of your uncoordinated limbs and managed to escape the nightmare that you may have experienced in elementary or high school, doesn’t mean that you’re over it.

Regardless of what the retail stores are trying to tell me, it is winter. I live in the northern part of North America – A human refrigerator for most of the year, a freezer for the other few months. So hell, you need to learn to do something with all that white stuff – whether it’s shaved or frozen. There’s a rink on the other side of the road, so I decided that the Guy and I would pick up ice skating. I figured, whether it’s recreational or for that dangerous looking sport that they call ice hockey, what’s the use of being a boy in these parts if you can’t hold your own on the ice? So… ice skating here we come. As it turned out, the ice skating classes that you can sign up for are all full, but so what. I was never one to accept that I couldn’t do something because the most obvious path was under construction.

Now, as a child of the 80s, I donned the white-and -red roller skates with the mismatched florescent bobby socks, complete with matching hair ribbons, and my half-and-half,  bikini-cut, panty-looking, acid-wash, denim that was  precariously attached to a pouffy, white, cotton fabric, like no other, with matching moves of course. Just call me the Roller Skating Ninja.

Then came the Roller Blade. Not as comfy as the Roller Skate in my opinion, but it was new and my aunt got a pair from one some family that lived in NY, so I of course took a borrows from time to time and got the hang of it.

Conceptually, the Roller Blade and the Ice Skate looked similar to me. I could at least manage to hold my own on the ice, and the Guy, just like I did when I was his age, will practice and practice, (i.e. fall and fall) until he can figure out how to hold his own,  I thought. After all, in this activity, more than anything else, balance is key. You can do almost anything if you know how to recover, if not maintain, your balance I mused.

In my desire to just “shoot the breeze and bond” on the rink, I realized a few things,  one of which was that his activity ain’t cheap. Helleeeer!

One hundred plus bills later we hit the rink. That was funny in so many ways I can’t even count them.

I fell once, and I’m proud about that, if only because my shins and knee caps are living proof of months and months of learning to skate by any means necessary. A couple of those scrapes resulted from scaling chain linked fences and climbing mango and guava trees -survival of the fittest when you grow up with only boy cousins in Barataria, but I digress.

The state of my knees is always a topic of conversation with guys I meet. They try to non-nonchalantly comment on it, and then I glance over at their silky smooth, hairless gams, and well manicured nails and a customary awkward silence follows. Pretty predictable but always amusing.

Maybe that’s what you get for growing up in the Caribbean back then, or maybe I was just a tomboy, who was never impressed by the fact that I was  born a girl  [the latter I know for sure]. Either way, I saw roller skating on TV, but I never had any cool roller skating parties to attend, so I learned it the only way I know how – on the everlastingly long, red, concrete, walkway with  a  pair of matching  concrete embankments with an uncanny affinity for my shins, that led to  the front door of my grandmother’s house. I think these days employers lump that under ‘The ability to use your available resources wisely’. So, after picking up a similar contraption some 20 years after, dammit yes, I’m proud that I fell just once this time.

Day 3 at the rink, the Guy sees a fellow Grade-mate and, of course, is  excited. I cringe a bit after seeing who the kid is – a whiny, know it all  who always finds the need to highlight what’s wrong with all the other kids- but relief soon follows as perhaps, I think, this means that I can spend less time on the ice, and more time on the side banks with the other parents. The class that I missed the sign-up date for, was about to start shortly so there was some time for the boys to kick it on the ice before they parted ways.

It’s all going skatingly well. I’m about to leave for the sidelines when I overhear the kid whisper:

“My dad thinks you’re a pretty lousy skater and that you can’t glide well… but I think that you’re doing pretty well… for your 3rd time. This is my 13th time skating”.

.

..

….

Because, of course Dad, your kid is Wayne Gretzky. What a nosebleed.

Ohh! It’s YOU who is the idiot Dad, for picking on a kid. That’s where the kid gets it from.

Truth is, I’ve realized that Guy is a whole lot tougher than I will ever be. I suppose part of it can be attributed to going to a public school in a Big City. I’ll just leave it at the fact that Guy handled the situation a whole lot better than I did on the rink. At school the day after, Guy and the kid swapped ice skating war stories, how excited they are to meet up on the rink again, next weekend.

I, however, am dreading seeing the Dad again, because the good Lord alone knows how I was able to hold it together to walk past him on the way out of the rink without clobbering him the first time.

If practice makes better, Guy will be better by the end of Winter.

However, that also means that, when Guy is running things in this world, the Dad will continue to be an even better Idiot, because the habit of practicing doesn’t discriminate between constructive and not-so-constructive behaviours and/ or outcomes.

“Dear God,

Please continue to give me the serenity, strength, and wisdom to deal with other parents.

Amen.”

Freakin’Fabulous.

Dominatrix and Dollar Store Hooker Steez


Boo.

Two blinks and it’s halloween y’alls. That special time of the year where people who don’t have the “good fortune”, (whatever it takes, be it finances, circumstances, or just plain “no-clue”) to experience Trinidad Carnival, a celebration that’s dubbed the greatest show on earth, “let loose” and let their fantasies flow.

Now… some fantasies should be lived out and some should just be imagined. Really.

Issue at hand

Choosing a costume.

As usual, guys are normally covered, pun intended. Their costumes tend to be funny, original, thought provoking and even if it’s boring its usually, just that… “boring”. Not “obscene” or cause grievous visual harm to the casual unlooker.

My fellow X-X chromosomes? Wow. Another story altogether.

Ladies, let’s try to keep it together this rounds okay?.

For starters, not everyone was meant to be a Dominatrix or French Maid. Or better fete, a whore. At least we aren’t meant to walk the streets in that get up. If you have bills to pay sure, I’m not judging, but I’m saying. To walk around looking cheap[er] than you already are just for kicks and giggles? I mean, really. What’s the motivation?

I’ve overheard acquaintances and frenemies alike speak of their costumes and it just sounded like a broken record. Granted I’ve never really done the Halloween partying thing though, so .. maybe you have to be there to understand the appeal of going out of your way to just look like the cheapest, trashiest, hooker on a dime, but… I don’t get it. I understand that we’re going for the ‘Sexy‘ look, but ‘Sexy‘ and ‘Cheap‘ aren’t synonyms yo. I never, ever get it, but then again, I’m never, ever in the majority.

The dollar store isn’t a destination my lovelies.

One or two picks from there but not head to toe.

“Goooooooosh” (furnished with a Hills accent).

How about Grecian Goddess?

Sounds like a stretch I know. But is it? Not as half as trashy looking and a kazillion times more attractive than a dollar store ‘hoe. Even better, any size can organize a lil sum’n sum’n and look on point in that.

Real life or fantasy, never underestimate the power of dressing your size, and your ambition. That never goes out of style. Just because you’re a closet freak does it mean that you have to put your alter-ego on display come October’s end. Because guess what? You’ll no longer be a closest freak, you’ll just be a cheap trick in denial the morning after.

The draped fabrics. long or mini. Your choice. Leather bands with the feathers in the hair. Drop waist beaded dresses with the sequined head bands a la the early 20s singers. A long cigarette holder in your hand with a long glove, and a beautiful fan in the other.

Create the fantasy dammit. Drag it on. Get fabulously chic.

We’re grown for Goodness sake. Not much of a longing fantasy is created with a dominatrix costume.

If you need to parade in high heels and a dress with your butt cheeks and mammaries hanging out to feel sexy, then that’s sends a blinding red-light to signal that you just might have some deep, deep rooted issues which altogether spell ‘I-N-S-E-C-U-R-E’ and ‘D-R-A-M-A-_-R-I-D-D-L-E-D’. Either that or your play-date life isn’t as half as exciting as you’d like everyone to believe that it is. Either way your business, just like your mammaries, is in the road.

As I was discussing with one of my man friends the other day, the biggest freaks in the party will never be seen dancing on the club tables.

Underglow freaks ahead; Keep the pilot light on.

We know our moves. We ain’t got *ish to prove, cause trust that everyone who’s experienced it ain’t complainin’. That’s half the reason why our business isn’t in the damn road cause nobody want to mess THAT link up. No advertisement necessary. The right people know exactly where to find it. Hellleeeeer!

So get it right.

Dressing like a $2 hooker only makes you look like a freebie. Halloween or no Halloween.

Get Grown. Stay Sexy.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Photo: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Frog Prince | Is that YO’ man?


Sitting in a car stuck in traffic, my attention is caught by a small, but noticeable brawl happening in the car next to me. The driver of the car was being verbally whipped by his female companion.

Chick: “Wa yuh watching she so for eh!?

Dude: Baby, I wasn watching nobody.”

Chick: “Yes! ah see yuh! yuh was watching that skinny Bi-atch. Yuh fine she nice, eh?”

Two slap pelt.

Chick: “Eh? eh? whey she is? lemme firetruck she up.”

I have to admit the ish was funny, I mean who doesn’t like a little gridlock drama to break up the monotony of the red-light that will not turn.

But  when their car pulled up level with mine and she started cursing ME? Well that was a different set of laughter altogether. Why was she angry with me? What did I do? Driving off, the last I saw, chick was jumping out the car to get over to the driver’s side.

I didn’t think about it much, until I was forced to remember the episode when I was at dinner later that same week.

Now, first things first, you know this diva. She don’t leave her house looking like no VIT [Vagrant in Training]. Skinny Jeans, nice shirt and, since I really liked the fella who was taking me out, he was worthy of me bringing out the big guns –  SLAMMIN’ heels.

Oblivious to anyone other than my my date, I take my seat, and the night begins on a lovely note.

Enter twenty minutes, and I become conscious of not one but two pairs of eyes glaring at me. Two ladies, both on their own dates, are giving me LEVEL cut eye. They’re strangers to one another and they are unaware of each other, but from my vantage point I can see that this is not going to turn out well if I am not careful. Simply because, try as they hard as they could, their male counterparts are trying not to look as if they are looking at me, and one idiot just gave up the fight and stared at me without any thought for his companion.

Now, please do not think that I am standing on a corner toot-toot-tooting on my little rusty horn. I am by no means a pagent queen, and would be the first to tell you that I ain’t no exotic beauty. I should have known that those shoes would have that kind of effect on men. They were my CFMs/ FMPs, [if you are unsure about what THAT is click here] and NO MAN can resist.

But I get away from my topic.

I am wondering why it is that we ladies are quick to attack another woman, an innocent woman, just because she exists, when the problem is clearly the fault of the toads we sometimes try to turn into princes?

How is it my fault that their MAN (temporary or not) does not respect them. I have been there too, sitting in the front seat of a car and my companion is distracted by a pair of long legs or a buxom beauty. Out comes the tongue, looney tunes style, eyes bug out on springs, and the hearts fly above the ears. The brave ones (or the stupid ones – you pick) may even go so far as to say:

“Pssst, O lord gyal, yuh sexy too bad! MMM! Ah HONG-gry!

If I am out on a date, or its my BF, then I find some way to politely remind him that I am still breathing beside him, and then I either let this disaster take its course and remind myself that I am quite capable of taking a taxi, head for the hills, never again to return.

Ladies: Life Lesson # 456.

.

Never tolerate your date/boyfriend disrespecting you in any way whatsoever.

Take into consideration, however, that if he takes a peep, without hurting your feelings. He’s trying. After all he ain’t dead or blind. But at least he has taken into consideration that you are there beside him and he is  aware that you have feelings. Never make a scene. You are just opening the door for him to disrespect you some more. Possibly to give his card to the lady he was oogling when you leave to go to the bathroom, having just written you off as drama he could do without.

And, # 678,

Never EVER blame the other woman.

Unless she sashays brazenly over to the table where you are sitting enjoying your meal, looking at each other all googly-eyed, drinking your champagne, all arms curled, you know honeymoon style, Unless she offers her self to him and makes and holds eye contact with your stallion, inviting him to mount, Unless she takes out her boob and flings it at him thereby catching and keeping his attention, you need to be taking out whatever vexation you have on your man.

Rinse and Repeat.

YOU accepted the responsibility of training a toddler, didn’t you?

You, my friend, are the one who chose this poor excuse for a human being, and let him share the divine castle that is your life. You saw the signs; you know how he do. What you fretting with the innocent for?

In fact, I’d even go so far as to say: It’s YOUR issue. Take it up with yourself.

Because you are the one who is sending the message that you are not worthy of being treated like the ‘princess’ that you obviously think you are. Wake up! If you have kissed this frog a thousand times and he still doesn’t go POOF! and turn into the handsome, gallant prince – smoke, mice and footman included – see him for what he is, a toad, gather him up, and take him back to the sewer where you found him. *splish!* He’s home now, and believe me he’s happy.

But if you keep him *smile* and he treats you the only way he knows how being a toad from the sewer, i.e. like ish, then who’s fault is that? The hot W.O.W. wearing the killer heels, sitting with her own Prince, who incidentally is not looking anywhere else but at her object of affection, who couldn’t be bothered with the chicken heads.

“No ma’am sorry but I don’t feel like chicken today. How about a rump roast, medium rare, sauce on the side please and thank you.”

And resumes staring lovingly at his companion? My fault? NOOOO. Its YOUR fault baby, for not reading GC more often, and applying the tips we share every damn day for cleaning out your closet.

Trust me, these dramatic displays of emotion never do anything but paint you as the needy, emotionally unbalanced, grasping, human being you are, [or are not].

Try this instead:

In carefully modulated tones, and with the sweetest smile that you can conjure up on your face, say:

“Um, hey hun – are you about to go give her your number? Cause if you are, let me give her for you. I was just thinking that you two would make a lovely couple. She is so your type.

Sooo…  Should we order now?”

And then make a mental note to call your friend when you get to the ladies, and see if they still wanna hit the club after this dinner is over, cause if homeboy don’t realize that you are Fabulously Fierce, then he deserves to be left behind, sitting next to his sewer waiting for his next victim to come along and mistake him for a Frog Prince.

Let someone else handle that mess.

Forward ever.

Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

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I have always felt that in order for one to achieve true happiness, one must follow one’s life path, while stepping on the least  number of toes possible, or causing hurt to anyone around you otherwise.

I have been privy to many ideas and notions of what makes a man, a man. The alpha male. The good man. The elusive one as I like to call it.

There is the physical attribute bit – tall, easy on the eye, strong shoulders, shoulders straight not rounded, generally fit … My  ideal man does have a resemblance to a certain shape-shifting wolf, in a certain series of sunsetting of movies…

Back to the point at hand, there are lots of ideas of what a real man should look  like, and how he should act. I overheard an idea this week, which spoke of men as powerful creatures,  who ruled the world with just a hint of a smile and charisma, with firmness, and of course people follow him every where like slaves, or mice stumbling after the pied piper.

The true male – at least by society’s standards – is without fault, and without failure.

Hmm. Good luck with that.

I find that hard to believe. In fact I will go so far as to say the Alpha male, as was just described, does not exist.

I’ve had a lot of interaction with the male species of human being, but first let me give you some insight into who I am as a woman.

I am not lacking in intelligence. I am not in the habit of allowing situations that occur in and around my personal space to colour my feelings – ( that all men are horrid, horrid creatures), though I will admit to having used it at one point or another,  in a natural fit of rage, for example when the child’s father insists on not purchasing the stuff for the child like he said he would.

In my experiences, it would appear that men can swing either which way when it comes to being a good or bad one. But this isn’t limited to only men – each person has the potential to become either the best that they can be, or the worst  being mankind has ever seen.

The notion that men are these invincible beings, at the top of the food chain, who possess the power to screw with my life as they see fit is the part that I don’t subscribe to. This is real life not “Twilight” dammit.

What we have is the Individual Man, the one who does not fit in to any mould cut out for him by any society, but tries to live his life as best he can without consciously hurting anyone that he may meet – male or female

Now we talking.

I could care less whether a man displays Alpha male tenancies, from what I read these are easy to imitate, so easy  I see an entirely different species – women – imitating it quite convincingly.

What I’d rather see is a man who has the guts and the gumption to own his actions.

Trust me when I say that I don’t want to hear the excuse,

” Well I was hurt by another woman long time ago ,and so I just going to do the same thing to every other woman I meet until I feel that I have squeezed out of life what is due to me.”

That doesn’t make you a Pretend Alpha Male, or an Alpha Male who’s been hurt and isn’t really like that , that just makes you a vindictive douche.

And I don’t want to know that you “have respect for every woman” as an Alpha male, because you and I know that is also a load of crock. Ish on a stick. If you can drop your pants and share some sugar stick without having feelings for your lady friend that doesn’t make you a bad person, that just means that you are taking what is being offered. What defines you is whether you are being HONEST about it.

I believe in the actions of the Individual Male.

I believe that each person should do what is right for him/her without actively causing pain to another by their actions. What I hate most about any man is the justification for their actions.

“Well I didn’t tell you I loved you back because I was taken off guard”…

“Well yes I did cheat on you, but you never give me attention anymore.”

“Well, I was hurt by another woman that you don’t know at all, and that is why I acted how I did, treated you how I did, I’m really a swell person and you should love me now, I’m all better…”

“I respect women across the board, I love and cherish women, what? Relationship you say? um nah – lets just have some quick sex – but doh tell anyone eh? I don’t want my friends to know that we are having sex. It would complicate things and people would know that, well… we’re having sex.”

“I hit you but you made me do it, no honey I wasn’t listening to Chris Brown or Eminem at the time.”

When I do my wrongs and I’m found out, I accept that I’ve been caught ,and I brace myself for whatever the consequences may be. I won’t say I’ve never told a lie, or ever hurt someone by my actions – that would be an untruth. But, when presented by the irrefutable evidence of misbehaviour as I would see it – I always judge a person by themselves – Never with the weight of their predecessors on them. Its oh – so tempting but really? What good would that serve?

I cannot and will not allow society to corral me into what they think  should be as a “Woman”.

So what if I’m not married at 32, and so what if I didn’t go to college? So what if I am not a Beauty Queen, or have life handed to me on a silver platter, So what? If they think I don’t fit the mould of what they think I should be – then they missing out on a great person. Their loss.

Likewise, I refuse to buy into what society thinks is what a man should be, or how he should act. The only thing I want from a man is that he be honest with him self and me.

Yuh like plenty woman? Say so.

Yuh like to party at the night club? Say so.

Yuh just want to have a sexual relationship – no feelings or emotions involved? Tell me.

Tell me up front and then let me make the decision whether I want to deal with that isht or not.

Who knows maybe I might say - “yeah ok… cool” or perhaps “Nah I’m on a different path right now.”

But don’t lie to and make people think, by word or deed, that there is a chance, for something greater, or  (the best one) that the other person is at fault, To me this is what defines a man as a man.

We all know that some people may think that its ok to subscribe to this kind of nonsense. I’m not judging them for that, but I refuse for anyone to think I am less for my choices , because my choices are not their choices.

Everyone is always quick to point fingers, to judge, but I am a strong advocate of fixing what is in your house first before you lend me your hammer to nail down meh roof.

All of us are human. We all have to deal with our choices in life. But there is not one rule that states that we have to be silent about it – just because society does not agree with what they believe is right.

Men to me are just that. Men.

Capable of fault, and making mistakes. And choosing that path to where ever it is they need to go. Equipped with the knowledge of right and wrong. What makes you a better MAN is not your animalistic tendencies. What makes you a REAL man is not whether you display societies definition of the Alpha male.

Its your compassion for your fellow man. Your Ability to lead despite what society says about you. The knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and the implementation of this into your everyday life.

The ability to say:

“Hey there. I made a terrible mistake. I do think you are a swell lady. But when you were ready for love I was not. its not that I didn’t feel the same way, its just that i wasnt ready for any kind of feeling at all…”

The presence of mind to say – “This is me.  You may not like it but here I am. Take it or leave it.”

And of course the ability to see when you have a good woman who loves you. Chances are she won’t be your ideal woman either (not every one looks like Aishwarya Rai).

Its so NOT you talking about your fellow man, behind his back, trying to make another man look small, pointing fingers at someone because their choices are not your choices. Its not you trying to make them look a certain way in the eyes of the lady who used to be in love with you but now has fallen in love with someone else. Someone you may not consider worthy of her. Someone you may think is not society’s  idea of a Real Man.

But look at it this way.

If she were so great, and worthy of a good man when you had her in your sights? What stopped you from showing her off to the world? What made you let her go?

A real man would say: “I had a good woman. I messed it up. She’s happy now. I want her to be happy.”

A real man would concentrate on making himself better. He would not think that he is above reproach, he would try to make him self better for the next lucky lady who happens to choose to be in love with him.

A real man is just that -REAL.

Forward ever.

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