Here’s To You, Just for you!

Happy Monday, Divas!

This weekend I had the chance to see an “oldies” group perform. The Ladies of Skyy performed at a shindig I recently attended and all I can say is wow. They put so much energy and enthusiasm into their performance and their voices sounded every bit as good as I remembered from, well let’s just say a few decades ago. And y’all know ladies that hold it down hold a special place in my heart.

I remember many Friday nights at home with my mom and her friends where a hand of Bid Wisk was being dealt as SKYY played in the background or riding in my uncle’s lime green ’98 when I missed the bus to school and SKYY provided the background music. What, you don’t remember SKYY? Well, they were around during those SOS Band, Cameo, Roger featuring Zapp, GQ days, thigh-high boots, space costumes and all.

Some of their hits included Here’s to you, High (that was the jam), Let’s Celebrate (not to be confused with Kool and the Gang’s Celebrate Good Times, Come on), When You Touch Me (can’t forget that one), and Call Me. Come on, you remember. It goes…

Though your girlfriend is a friend of mine
Here’s my number and a dime
Call me anytime…
Call me
If you need someone to talk to
Call me
Satisfaction guaranteed
Call me
If you need someone to talk to
Call me. Call me.

Yeah, I know you are about to do the Spank right now.

Years after their initial success they still bring vitality and fun to their performances. Just the fact that they still perform says a lot. To engage in something that still brings a smile to your face and others…that’s a good thing. When you find that thing that brings a smile to your face, don’t let time, trends, or naysayers take it away. Don’t be stingy. Share your joy.

Stay Tuned (pt.3)

Okay, so I crossed another movie off my list: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This one was all I expected it to be and then some. Beautifully told, well written, a classic. Now it was almost as long as the Titanic, but it was worth it. All the actors involved did an exceptional job, especially when you consider that they all did quite a bit of aging (and un-aging) in their roles. For some reason I was under the impression that Taraji P. Henson had a much smaller role, but I was glad to see her on the srceen for as long as possible. Bravo! Cate Blanchett was exceptional as well. And while I don’t want to take away anything from Brad Pitt as an actor, did I mention that he is about as handsome as they come? I might have to include him in the next chocolate break…What, you never heard of white chocolate?

This is a must see. I didn’t cry, but this movie definitely gave me a lot to pause and ponder, and depending on your mood, you just might need some kleenex.

Okay so let’s recap: that is one classic, one make you smile and cry movie (with a dog that should win an Oscar), and one weird (what should I be feeling now) movie. Comedy, anyone?

Farewell Eartha.

On Thursday, December 25, 2008, legendary actress, dancer and singer Eartha Kitt passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. Ms. Kitt is survived by her daughter, Kitt, grandchildren and adoring fans worldwide. She was 81 years old. I was always inspired by Ms. Kitt’s life story and her work. During her lifetime she overcame her childhood struggle, abandonment, poverty and acceptance. She also paved the way for so many women in the entertainment industry. Her voice was so distinct and she sang live and recorded in many languages. She refused to deny any part of herself.

In her book, Rejuvenate!, she explained her commitment to health, exercise, and vitality. I had the opportunity to see Ms. Kitt perfrom live in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in 2002. That was just six years ago and I was amazed at the kicks she did, her sassiness, her energy. Ms. Kitt was a class act. In 1967, at the age of 40, she played the role of Catwoman in the television series, Batman. You may remember her in more recent films as Boomerang, Holes, Emperor’s Got A New Groove. Eartha Mae. She will truly be missed.

Oops! One More Thing

Your look may be timeless, but your makeup is not. So while you’re cleaning up and clearing out for 2009, don’t forget to get rid of your old makeup. Bobbie Brown offers a guideline on makeup expiration dates in her new book, Bobbie Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro. This is one you should add to your collection. But for now, here’s the skinny on expiration dates:

Liquid and cream foundation 2 years
Concealer 2 years
Powder 2 years
Mascara 6 months
Lipstick 12 to 18 months
Lip and eye Pencils 12 to 18 months
Eye shadow 2 years
Powder Blush 2 years
Cream Blush 2 years
Moisturizer 2 years
Eye Cream 6 months
Sunscreen 2 years
Face cream 2 years

Okay. I’m back from the movie theatre and the results are in. Let me say first that Will Smith…I just love him. His acting is superb and I just know that he is going to get that Oscar one day…I can feel it. Having said that, I enjoyed Seven Pounds, but I still don’t know why it is called Seven Pounds. It should have been called Fifty-Seven Pounds, ’cause it was heavy. It was touching and sad. I didn’t give way to tears but my eyes welled up. It was deep and thought provoking, although I had figured it out pretty early on (can’t fool me, Will). I definitely enjoyed Michael Ealy. Love him. Miss him. Want to see more of him on screen. So it’s definitely worth seeing, not necessarily one you want to have as a mainstay for your DVD, unless sadness is your mood of choice.

Now, about Marly. *sigh* Where do I begin? I think I was low on tears in Seven Pounds because I used most of them up in Marly & Me. Your kids will want to go because of the dog antics shown in the commercials. But this is for grown folk. It’s about life, love, career, parenting, and yes, Marly. The theatre was a chorus of sniffles and you could see rows of people (it was packed) making sweeping motions over their cheeks–men included. I mean the guy next to me came undone.

It touched me personally as a writer and dog owner. But I think this movie will speak to anyone over 25 who is trying to figure it out or has ever wondered if you were getting it right. This movie made me reflect on how precious life is. And yes, it made me want to appreciate being a pet parent even more. Even when your dog gets off the leash and gets lost in the rain, or when I have to march around in the snow because he can’t find his spot, and being a little more compassionate when those thunder storms come…*sigh* Definitely take your Kleenex. Actually, I used a Bounty paper towel–it’s more absorbent. Gotta go. Somebody is ready for their afternoon walk.

Stay Tuned

At Last!! A day off from the corporate Kool-Aid. I’m on my way to the movies. Actually, holiday time is when I have my movie marathons. So many good ones are out this year, too. But since the snow storm kept me from seeing Seven Pounds last week, I think that is where I’ll start. So, when I return, I’ll provide you with a movie review.

My other pics this week are:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. There is so much Oscar Buzz about this film. I am expecting a love story, excellent cinematography and I can’t wait to see Taraji P. Henson’s performance. Do your thing Taraji! I will have a box of Kleenex with me.

Marly and Me. A dog movie, with my girl Jennifer Aniston and funny man Owen Wilson. Can’t pass this up.

Did I tell you Jennifer is an honorary Rainy Day Diva? She doesn’t know it but she is. I mean, she managed to thrive and keep her head up, while going through one of the most trying, difficult, and emotionally gut-wrenching experiences publicly and didn’t gain an ounce of fat, lose a job, add a wrinkle, host a multi-year pity party, start a maternity competition or develop an addiction. Oh and did I mention that she did this while being just a few years shy of a 40th birthday (which rocks a lot of people’s worlds when smooth sailing on an ordinary day)? When you handle that without giving up, going off, or going under…You are a Diva, for real. As much as I believe in dignity and grace, I wouldn’t have blamed her for hurling a blackberry at somebody–and I don’t think I’m alone. No community service, no time in jail, nada, zip, zero…whatever, you should have ducked. And if you saw her recent interview on Oprah, when she was asked about that whole fiasco, her reply was “It was a hundred years ago”. Tell ‘em Jen, It’s over and done, keep moving forward.

I am a fan of the work of all parties involved, so there’s no “hate” going on here and I don’t pretend to know all that was said and done behind closed doors. But too many women fall off after a relationship evaporates, so her example is still applicable.

Just remember this, I don’t care how fine a man is, he isn’t the last one. God made plenty. The next time a good, fine, sexy man walks out your door, say “Bye”. And believe this, there is no one woman on this planet that corners the market on sexy. You want to see a sexy woman, go look in the mirror. I promise you, she’ll be standing there looking right back at you. Now, she might need a trip to the salon, a vacation, and a drink, but she will be there, she will show up. Don’t slink off into a corner because of someone else’s shine. You keep shining and keep doing you!

Whooo. Deep breath. So, uhm, Marly and Me gets a high five and two thumbs up!!! Go Divas!

Today’s Recipe for Success:
Eat half of everything that you want and work out twice.

Style Prescription

I know that it’s the day before the holiday and many of you are in a flurry of activity. Still I’m sure that whether you’re writing it down (which I highly recommend) or are just reflecting quietly in your mind, you’re thinking about all you want to fly towards in 2009, right?

So I want to remind you to add your style and glamour goals to what you want to accomplish next year. That’s right, style and glamour. I was going through my fashion files and found a style prescription that I had written for myself: to add more heels to my shoe collection, add more color to my wardrobe and my day face for makeup. And guess what? RDD has made that a part of who I am. Seriously, if you get the promotion, start the business, learn a new language, work out until you have the body to die for, and still look like the sea hag, I mean really, what is the point? Start looking like the person you want to become. Create that fashion file. Be authentic. Have one for your self and your home.

I also had a note to add more music to my home. I bump it in the car, but when the background soundtrack in your home is always CNN, CSI, or Law & Order, what type of atmosphere are you creating. Remember how happy you were as a child when you can remember the music that was playing on Saturday morning in your home? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Set your table, even when no one’s coming over. Who should enjoy the beauty of your home more than you.

Here’s a quote:

Life is what God gives to you. Style is what you do with it.

I can’t remember who said it, I promise to tell you once I remember, but it’s so true.

And whatever you do ladies, and this is huge: Don’t wear pain or anger–ever!!! Not even as an accessory.

Last but not least, I want to thank all of you for your e-mails about yesterday’s post. I was wondering how receptive you’d be to a talking bug with fulfillment and self-esteem issues, but I write children’s books so a story was bound to make it to a post.

Straighten Up And Fly Right

Once there was a fly who went about her daily business as a fly, jumping from refuse to window sill, disturbing naps and dodging newspapers. One day she looked around and noticed how daintily the butterflies flitted from one sweet flower to the next. She studied the grace of their wings as they tasted each flower like a delicacy. Then she noticed the dragon fly and how their metallic wings and slender bodies hovered over flowers silently, gathering sweet nectar with speed and precision. Then she looked up and saw a beehive dripping with honey. She could hear their rhythmic buzz fill the air, bright yellow bodies dancing, celebrating their prized possession.

Then she looked at her own reflection in the window and she began to hate her life, her self, and all flies. Every day had been filled with excrement and the noisy buzz of her own wings. She became sad, frustrated, and angry and flew smack into the window. She spun around buzzing loudly in confusion, not realizing that she was being watched. A delicate bug with red wings and black dots asked if she were alright. The fly, explained her observations, how every one’s life was filled with sweetness while her own life was filled with putrid smells and garbage. The little bug flicked its wings, admired its reflection for a quick second, then turned its attention towards the fly, “Well that’s easy to fix. You’ve got to fly towards something different”, she said and glided away in the afternoon breeze.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Often, we forget that we create our own experiences. We make choices that betray our happiness and delay our success. We move around in circles, mired in confusion, nurturing resentment and growing bitter instead of searching out the sweet nectar that could be ours. The subtitle of this site, is Carry Your Weather With You. But are you carrying sunshine and warmth that result in joy or destructive storms that bring chaos to your life? As 2008 draws to a close, and you decide what you want to do in 2009, make sure that you are aware of what you usually move towards and if you don’t like where it’s gotten you so far, fly towards something different.

Denise Anquenette © 2008 All Rights Reserved

Chocolate Break!

Okay. So, it’s after lunch and I don’t know about you, but I need a little something to help me make it through the afternoon. So I thought a little chocolate wouldn’t hurt. Low Calories and Gorgeous!

I will be checking out his new movie Seven Pounds this week! Can’t wait!

He has a new film opening in January–Not Easily Broken with Taraji P. Henson

Low Calories and Gorgeous!

Let me know who you’d like to include in our next chocolate break. I’ll be happy to indulge you.

The Brows Have It!

I have been a fan of make up since I can remember. In fact, I remember seeing Snow White as a child and being fascinated by the evil stepmothers make up. Her brows were the bomb! Yes, I noticed way back then. Still, eyebrows always catch my attention and well groomed brows are just as important as a haircut. I’ve shaped my brows in every imaginable way, razors, wax, and thread. I still prefer waxing, because I’ve mastered it myself.

Such a small change in your brows can make a major impact on your look. As Damone Roberts (for those of you who don’t know, he is the eyebrow king) says, “Your brows frame your face. Now, if you’ve never been to his salon, I must say it is an experience. A pricey one, but still an experience none-the-less. My brows are naturally sparse and still I think my Brow Diva spent more than 30 minutes crafting the perfect arch.

Now in these tough times if Damone is not in your budget, add a visit to his salon to your possibilities book (yes, I watched Last Holiday this weekend…I miss Queen Latifah) and ask your stylist or local brow expert to help you shape your brows. Look in magazines, and find the shape that most appeals to you, but be realistic.

Warning!: Whatever you do, do not take a razor to your eyebrows and carve two arches over your beautiful eyes. The golden arches belong to Ronald and we should only see them at the drive-thru!

By the way, isn’t this picture of Eva Marcelle stunning. She’s come a long way since Top Model. You go girl!

Check out Damone’s salon Here!