Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Notes From The Bunker


Hunkered down inside my house with the wind blowing and the snow still falling, I have become a news junkie. When I am home, the TV is a constant companion, but usually Bravo is streaming live on my TV. Due to today's "historic storm" the TV has been left on the local news channels that have been bellowing emergency information and snow fall totals all morning long. As of now,12 noon EST, in my part of the state we have recieved over 20" of snow with no indication that it's stopping. 

I say bring it! I just made a beef stew in the crock pot and I'm about to make some spiked hot chocolate! We are lucky because we still have power so the play list is qued up and the backgammon board is at the ready. Even Buddy has his storm provisions. He's got a gorgeous bone that he's been happily devouring at my feet for the past hour. 

The govenor has issued a state of emergency warning as well as a driving ban. It's a winter wonderland and I'm curious, so maybe later this afternoon I will venture out into the majestic surroundings. It's not so bad here. In fact, it's a quite cozy sense of community with all the neighbors checking in on each other. With the entire state is virtually shut down, it puts us all in the same boat if just for a day. It is a uniquely New England experience, and one that brings us together. A safe, warm feeling, so I can't resist but state the obvious:

While the weather outside is certainly frightful, my fire is definitely delightful! And yes, we've no place to go, so why not let it snow? 




Monday, January 26, 2015

The New England Experience



A major snow storm is predicted for these parts later today, all day tomorrow and into Wednesday morning. Forecasts predict up to two feet or more of snow dumped into our area in the next 48 hours with close of 32 hours of heavy snowfall.

And that means it's time for the New England experience.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts, so I've seen my fair share of snow storms. I even survived the Blizzard of '78 as a kid who was out of school for over a week. Yes, it snows a lot here and yes, we always manage to survive it. This time they are predicting a blizzard with 24-28 inches of snow with potential flooding and strong damaging winds. OK-so that means a few things to us:

  • Check the salt, sand and ice melt in your garage. I can't even imagine what Home Depot looks like today, but I'm pretty sure its got SOLD OUT signs everywhere. 
  • Buy batteries, candles, matches and flashlights. These are essential storm preparedness items.  Also-charge all essential electronics, cell phones, lanterns, lap tops and Ipads. 
  • Food and Water-It's insane how crazy the region gets over food and water. We have known about the severity of this storm for just about 24 hours and our local markets are already bare bone! I took these pics this morning at our local major supermarket. 
                                                 


  • Test the generator. Power outages will be a reality this storm and we don't know for how long. Because of the severity of the weather challenges in this region, most people I know have invested in hard wired generators. It's just smart business for most of us who live in older towns where the power lines are still above the ground and the investment comes back two fold on storms like this. 
  • To me-the snow storm means people will home SHOPPING ONLINE! Why not take advantage of this fact and have an ONLINE SALE?!!! Go to www.candybarcosmetics.com this Tuesday, Jan 25th and Wednesday, Jan 26 and use the code SNOWDAY at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase. 
It's like this: we bitch and moan about the big storms and yes, it can be dangerous, inconvenient and bad for business but the one thing we all know to be true is that it is uniquely New England. I was talking to my mom today in who is in Florida and she told me that this snow storm is the lead story on every newscast down there. She then told me that she's a wee bit envious. She said that despite the nuisance of a snow storm, it's that warm and endearing feeling you get while hunkering down with your family that she will miss.  

I gotta agree with her on that. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

A Press Conference With Candy


Friday, January 23, 2015, 11:00AM EST

*With the hordes of media surrounding the bright pink podium at The Daily Dandy headquarters, Candy steps up to the podium clutching a sheet of paper. The sound of camera shutter clicks and reporters shuffling for a better view can be heard  throughout the room as Candy prepares herself to address the media.*

" I'd like to read a prepared statement addressing 'Deflategate' and then I will take questions from the assembled media."
"As a ride or die New England Patriots fan and an even bigger Tom Brady fan I feel the need to address the allegations against My Tommy and my home town team. I first need to state that my silence on this issue on Candy's Daily Dandy in the previous 5 days should in no way be construed as  "disappointment, anger or distress" by me, but simply a circumstantial issue. While I was in NYC moving my daughter into her new apartment over the past week, I had been paying close attention to the daily developments and the reports."


"What I do know is that the NFL's silence on this issue has not clarified any of the facts on 'Deflategate', so we are all left with the Herculean task of Monday morning quarterbacking this controversy. While ESPN has cited a 'report' that 11 of the 12 game balls for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game were found to be 2 psi's under what the rules state they should be inflated to-the NFL has yet to confirm this fact. We also now know that there is an NFL game official assigned to inspect and deem appropriate for play, those 12 balls."


"Media speculation has been such that there may have been some foul play in regards to Tommy's balls. Tommy's balls foul? I have to defer that answer to the professionals in charge of balls. It's the ball official that deemed Tommy's balls appropriate for play and therein lies the crux of the investigation. The question begs to be asked, were the balls presented to the official by The New England Patriots for play in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 18th, 2 hours before kickoff within legal league specifications? If the answer is yes, then the next question that needs to answered is what happened to Tommy's balls between then and the beginning of the third quarter."


"Conspiracy theories about what happened to the balls are abound and hard earned reputations are being called into question. Until I, like countless others, have all the facts and answers concerning the deflated balls, I am unable to decisively form any opinion regarding Tommy's balls or Deflategate. I will now take questions from the media."



Q:"Candy, will this controversy alter your personal opinion of 'Your Tommy' or his legacy in any way?"

"What I know about My Tommy is that he is a guy who works extra hard day in and day out to maintain his elite status as an NFL quarterback. His maniacal work ethic has been well documented and I think his exemplary record stands as testament to the kind of success he has had throughout his career. It's highly unlikely that I will abandon that position after this controversy has been resolved."



Q:"So are you saying that you don't think Tom Brady is a cheater?" 

"I don't think My Tommy cheated or has to cheat to be Tom Brady. I think people who excel at sports are always subject to naysayers or haters who love it when the mighty fall. It's part of his job as a professional athlete, but it's how people like Tom handle adversity that really sets them apart. Tom Brady didn't get to be Tom Brady by cheating. Tom Brady works hard and loves and respects this game."

Q:"If the NFL confirms that that this was cheating, what will you say then?"

"I hope that none of us ever have to address that issue. What I think we may have to address is the issue of what's commonplace in the NFL as far as the rules are regarded and what isn't. For example, if the national speed limit is 55 and your are caught driving 57, should you loose your license forever? Or should you be fined and given a ticket or even let go with a warning for a minor infraction? Rules of the road are rules of the road but what's an appropriate response for a breech? 

Q: "Do you think the Patriots are being unfairly targeted because of their history with scandal?"

"Yes, but I also think the rules are the rules and no one is above them."
"Thank you for coming today."





Monday, January 19, 2015

I've Got The Music In Me


I have made it no secret in the seven years I have been writing this blog that I suck at music. There is even a category in the archives of The Daily Dandy that states just that, "I suck at music" with two posts to date. To say that is a bit overstated may be more accurate, but by calling myself out with the generalization I mean that I have never really been much of a music collector through the years. Even in my prime teen music listening years, I was happier listening to the radio than collecting albums. Then Apple and Steve Jobs changed the way the world listened to and purchased music, yet I still seemed content listening to my radio.

I listen to music all day. I listen to the radio on my way to work and all day in my store. At the store I listen to Pandora and can tailor my music tastes to suit the environment, but in my car I am at the mercy of the radio station of my choosing. Yes, I have an iPod and yes, I have a bit of music I have bought in these "iTunes" recent years. I even know what a playlist is but I never really had much of a need to create one. Really.

Well that all changed on Saturday night.

After a fab dinner with 5 of my favorite people, on the ride home in our Uber car, we got stuck in over an hour of unusually heavy traffic. One of my friends asked the driver if he had an AUX cord to which he obliged. She plugged in her phone and we listened to her playlist on her phone. I explained to her that I wasn't sure how all that "worked" with the phone and she explained it to me quickly.

A light went off.

Of course I knew how this worked! I had bought music sporadically here and there on my phone, but I never had really organized it or realized the power I held in the palm of my hand. I started organizing and setting my previously purchased music into playlists! "I don't suck at this!", I thought to myself and I immediately wanted more. I then downloaded the app Shazam and began purchasing songs I liked in the iTunes Store. When the traffic had ended and I was safely encsconsed at home I had already purchased 63 songs.

A monster has been created and I LOVE it! As of today I have purchased over 100 songs and find that during down times I am shuffling and organizing my music on my devices. It's beginning to get a bit pricey and I know the novelty will wear off soon, but for now I am making up for lost time! As a matter of fact as I type this I am listening to some of my favorite songs on my phone.

And this whole experience has helped me to realized that I have pretty good taste in music. Eclectic, yet classic and edgy at the same time and distinctly me. Music makes me happy and you know what?
I don't suck at music!!

In fact, I'm quite good, really. Who knew?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sweep Away That Winter Grey



In my business, I talk to both women and men about their appearance multiple times every day. Even when I'm not working, people tend to ask my advice on a plethora of beauty questions much to my delight! So it is with some acquired authority that I tell you that come January in most of the North East, we are all flaking and cracking our dry skin.

And it really freaks people out!

Even I get caught dry and flaky from time to time, but the biggest mistake that we make, I have learned in my experience over the years is this:

Women tend to mistake SURFACE DRYNESS and DEHYDRATION for wrinkles. 

In doing so, they also adopt a defeatist attitude and therefore neglect to treat the issue accordingly. Sometimes it's an easy fix, like a 15 minute at home mask that delivers hydration.Poof! Like magic, those "wrinkles" that you conceded to as bad genetics are suddenly smoothed, plump and dare I say it? GONE. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get results, like using products containing Vitamin C and hylauronic acid regularly. The one thing I know for sure is that during the Polar Vortex season, we need to work a bit harder taking care of our skin, hair, nails and any and all parts of us exposed to the elements.

My sure fire favorites for combating the dry and flaky dehydrated look are as follows:


  • Serums

This is most certainly serum season. If you are not adding a serum UNDER your moisturizer, you are leaving your skin vulnerable to dehydration. BKamins has one of the best products on the market to help your skin to garner an immediate result after just one or two uses! The first two ingredients are Vitamin C and hylaronic acid, exactly what your skin needs to shed dead skin cells and bind moisture to you skin's surface, while giving you a brighter all over skin tone.  




  • Exfoliate
You have to exfoliate. I will state that again because it's super important, you have to exfoliate. Especially during this season. Twice or thrice times weekly (depending on skin type) exfoliated skins soak in beauty treatments 20-30% more effectively. Rodial's Super Acids Extreme Acid Rush Peel is an amazingly easy way to slough off all that unwanted dryness while leaving your skin with a gorgeous glow. This power packed mixture of fruit acids is so easy to use! Apply twice weekly for 10-15 minutes and feel it working with that telltale tingle then remove and apply serum and moisturizer immediately. Your skin is left with a gorgeous radiance that will a noticeable difference to everyone.



  • At Home Masks
Targeted for your skin's concerns, an at home mask can make a huge difference in the surface texture and appearance of a dull and dry complexion. Eve Lom's Moisture Mask is my go to for instant hydration and a dewy appearance. This water based mask with it's gel-like consistency is like a drink of water for today's dehydrated faces. No need to remove this mask when applied to just cleansed skin, it's a treat that leaves you skin supple and hydrated. 


  • Moisture
Moisture is the most important element in any beauty regimen, in my opinion. Replacing moisture equates to smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and protecting skin against anti-aging free radicals. Rodial's Bee Venom Moisturizer is a rich, creamy, highly moisturizing cream that delivers instant hydration.Created to compete with rich creams like Creme de la Mer, the venom from bees acts like an invasive injectable to blur the look of fine lines and wrinkles.Simply said, it's a rich, yummy cream all year but especially right now.




It's a matter of maintenance.When the outside world is harsh and damaging, we need to work twice as hard at keeping our skin hydrated. Keep in mind-out with the old and in with the new-new skin, that is.
It will be well worth it.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Hometown Townie



If you grew up in these parts, like I did, there is one thing we know to be true, yet it never ceases to amaze me. We, Bostonians, are true "townies". What I mean by "townie" is that deep down inside we are true to the place we grew up, the culture and the local traditions. And in this town it's all about sports.

Rooting for the hometown team is so much more than a past time around here-it's a passion but what really amazes me is that it knows no boundaries nor age bracket. Take for example our beloved New England Patriots. Saturday was the first game for the home town team in the NFL playoffs which was at home at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. The streets, shops, malls and restaurants everywhere were a sea of  red white and blue Pats logos. Everybody was talking about it, preparing for it and anxiously waiting for it, like a little kid on Christmas Eve. The Patriots playoff game was a huge event for everyone in New England.

The funny thing is people who never follow football instantly become armchair experts, glued to a televised game that they never would have watched previously. Brady, Edelman, Amendola and Gronkowski become like family and even old ladies can tell you that My Tommy threw for over 300 yards, AGAIN,  in Saturday's game. The short pass from Brady to Edelman who launched a 51 yard bomb to Amendola to tie the game? A complete game changer and people are still talking about that one in the grocery store checkout line and at the post office. It just never gets old. Even little kids are talking about the legalities of the Patriots ineligible plays. No one in this town is safe from Patriots fever.

And I guess that's the way it should be. Shouldn't it? Something special uniting people of all kinds and bringing them together, if only for a short time? Whatever the reason may be; the fever, the passion for a game that is uniquely American and a team that is distinctly ours, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I doubt I could ignore it.
It's a way of life for us townies.
All of us.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Planes, Stains and Television


So I left for sunny Florida yesterday on a Jet Blue Flight from Boston to Fort Meyers. I couldn't wait to get the hell out of the cold! Since New Years Day I have been traveling nonstop. Frack and I went to NYC to find her an apartment (which we did) and then came home for a day but left the next day for Florida. Now safely ensconced in my week's vacation destination with my family, I have a few observations to share with you on travel.

Rolling luggage, cross body bags and Uber-Wow! Who invented rolling luggage? I would truly like to meet them and thank them. Rolling luggage has become a commonplace thing for travelers today, but you don't really appreciate it until you have to walk around NYC looking at apartments before going to Penn Station to board your train home. Life saver, really. Shuttling through the airport with a heavy roller makes life so much easier. 

And speaking of easier-I recently received a FABULOUS cross body purse for my birthday and it is quite possibly the best travel companion. Not only does it free up your hands, but because it is securely hung around your neck and slung across your body, you need not worry about the bag slipping off your shoulder or being "ripped" off your shoulder. Secure and easy. 

UBER? If you are not familiar with the Uber car service Ap for your smart phone, let me tell you this is the epitome of travel convenience. You download the ap, punch in your location, call for a car and voila! You get a map with the exact location of your driver, the time until your pickup and a phone call from your driver to let you know they have arrived! The best part? No money is transacted-all rides and tips are charged to your credit card stored to in your Uber ap. Uber is not yet in all locations in the US, but I can see why the cab companies hate Uber. They have made it ever so easy to get a car. Especially if you are in a major city.

Jet Blue- First let me state this unequivocally-I love Jet Blue! Again, I love Jet Blue, but even Tom Brady  throws a pick in the end zone once in a while (God forbid) Lets just say that my latest Jet Blue experience was not the best. Let's start with the stains in the bathroom-on the floor, on the walls and most definitely on the counter. I'm usually not that skittish when it comes to airplane bathrooms but even I didn't want to touch anything or even breathe in there. 

Then there were the wheelchairs-which isn't really Jet Blue's fault. I'm sure the airline provides wheelchairs for all of their elderly patrons, but I have never seen so many elderly people in wheelchairs at the gate who miraculously were able to get up and walk on to the plane, no problems. I suspect better screening would alleviate the wheelchair traffic congestion at the gate. 

Takeoff was brutal! Again, not Jet Blue's fault really, but let's just say that the wind in Boston caused the takeoff to be prayer inducing and sigh/scream worthy from more that not of the passengers on board. I definitely spent the first 10 minutes of my plane ride with God. 

But the TV's? Here is where Jet Blue has it figured out. Sit me in front of my very own, personal TV set for 3-6 hours and I am a happy girl! Funny thing, I find I watch shows I wouldn't normally watch at home when my TV time is limited. It's like I have the best excuse in the world to watch any kind of TV show that strikes my fancy. I watched a lot of Food Network this trip and I'm sure it won't surprise you at all that I am cooking a feast for my family tonight. Inspiration comes from all places! 

Who am I to complain, really? I am blessed to be able to enjoy time away in the warm weather with my family. Trains, planes and automobiles and all-life could be far worse.