Friday, April 22, 2011

Miss Shasta

I honestly believe that surrounding yourself with good people will promote goodness in yourself. This is, of course, why I married Brandon. [not the only reason, of course! haha] He is truly the best person I've ever known. I also have a few friends that are just good people. These are the people I want to always have relationships with.

My attraction to "good" people hasn't always been active. I actually prided myself a long time ago in dating bad boys or having friends of questionable motive so to make myself look better. [what the hell, right?] When I look back on those years, I realize that I had no idea who I was. I used to always joke about people who say they're "finding" themselves, but there is definitely a time in every person's life that they can look back and say "wow, I really didn't know who I was back then." I don't believe there is a magical age in which this happens, I just believe that once you get through some shit, you know ... stuff that makes you make decisions based solely on what you know and how you feel, then you're a little closer to knowing who you truly are.

With most of my friends, I can remember a time when they were lost, or confused or rampantly stupid ... you know, "finding" themselves. But there are a few friends that have just always been exactly who they are meant to be. When you know who you are at an early age, you tend to be able to do great things in the world. There is no break-out phase or lashing-out phase. I have at least one such friend and her name is Shasta.

In the few short years that I got to spend with Shasta at Centenary, she gave me countless one-liners [anyone ever heard me say "I'm sweatin' like a whore in church!"? ... yep, Shasta] and mini life lessons that I of course didn't realize then. I guess that I can tell the difference in a friend of convenience and a truly dear friend by how often I think about that person now, at nearly 28 after not seeing them for years. I can't remember my suite-mates or even most of my sorority sister's last names, but I remember nearly everything about Shasta and I think about her more than any other person from that time in my life.

After college, Shasta decided to help people [see? not like me at all ... I love it!] and so she joined the Peace Corps and began teaching abroad. She's been at it for a few years now and I am so proud!! I selfishly want her to move back to east Texas so we can make day-trips to see each other and I can have some of that goodness rub off on me again, but I know that there are kids who need her elsewhere at the moment. She was in South Korea for awhile, now in Honduras and will be moving to Japan [ah!?] sometime next year I believe. Then, like a good Southern woman, she promises her mother [and all of us Shasta groupies] to come home for a bit.

 Yes, she is also beautiful. She's hoggin' all the good human qualities!

She was recently written about and interviewed for ... please read! I'm so proud to know and love Miss Shasta and I can't wait to see her again!! Also, I sent her a little Zombee, so now there are Zombees loose in Honduras!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stud Muffin

I never wear brown! I'm so excited to do a post about brown shoes, finally. My general rule is when brown is in order, wear navy. I just don't think my coloring is right for brown, so I stick to black and navy. But, today, I'm wearing a grey skirt, white tank and purple top, so I was digging around for some nude shoes when I came across these bad boys. That is the great thing about buying shit-tons of shoes for years and years .. sometimes you forget about them and it's like finding a $20 bill in your winter coat!!

These are too cute. I have a black pair of studded, pointed toe flats that I wear nearly twice a week, but I guess I just had to have these as well. I plan to wear them a lot this summer. The color is perfect; not actually too brown, but also not nude. They're a really pretty camel color and the studs are bronze rather than gold or silver, so they'll go with all my grey, white, cream, army green, navy, etc. really well. I actually have a great safari style dress [you know, cotton, 3/4 buttoned sleeves with a drawstring at the waist] that these are going to go so great with! I just have to find it. They'll even go with black, but let's face it ... I've got plenty of black to go with my black. ♥

Yes, I need a tan ... I'll be sunning at the beach soon, so my pictures won't be so abrasive!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grammar Lesson

Stop labeling photos "Becky and I" ... it's incorrect! Are you trying to be classy? Do you think using "I" sounds fancy? It doesn't, so stop it! Ugh ...

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's talk about why the rampant use of "I" in Facebook/Twitter [is there MySpace anymore?] photos is incorrect. Let's use Marley ... since I'm pretty sure the people who rape the English language are the same kind of people that would go see that dumb-ass movie. [I actually would have seen it, except I read the book and I know it is sad as hell ... I didn't need that played out for me.]

Look at the DVD cover ... it's Marley & Me ... now apply that to your pictures. If you're showing a picture of yourself, you wouldn't label it "I" would you? No, you would label it "me," so add on your buddy and you've got "Marley and me."

Moving on ... if you were to show a picture of you and your beloved/friend/slam-of-the-month kayaking, you could say "Meranda Raven and I went kayaking this weekend!" but you could not say "Here is a kayaking picture of Meranda Raven and I!"

Now, besides the fact that the latter is incorrect ... IT SOUNDS AWFUL! Do people really not hear how awful that sounds? We all went to elementary school, right? The rule is ... if you take out the other person [Miss Raven], the sentence should stand alone. Por exemple, "I went kayaking this weekend." is a perfectly acceptable sentence. However, "Here is a kayaking picture of I." is wrong.

My blood pressure cannot handle your inability to grasp the concepts we were taught to us at least 15 years ago. Let's try another ... let's say you and and your brother/husband/doctor/local redneck took a picture you'd like to show everyone for some reason. You could label it as such ... "Landon and me." Just like Marley, girl! You may not, however label it "Landon and I" because that doesn't make any damn sense.

Why is this important? I've Googled the shit out of this subject and apparently most people think "well, it's just talking, who cares?" Or, "well, it's Facebook, so you don't have to talk right." To which I say, "WHAT!?!?!?!?" But, while I understand that not everyone cares as much as I do, I still believe that it is imperative to teach young people [and old people who have been taught incorrectly] how to effectively communicate on paper as well as in conversation. I went to McAlister's in Alexandria this weekend and they had a sign on their door that said "Are computers are down, sorry for the inconvenience." My head almost exploded in disbelief and anger. You see, auto spell-check allowed for their correct spelling of inconvenience, but there is no "dumb-ass filter" to help them decide whether to use "our" or "are" ... what is happening!? Sure, "there," "they're" and "their" sound the same, but they're not the same and people should know that! We should not let "ur" be a replacement for "you're" and "your" simply because it is easier to type and sounds the same when spoken. Stop the madness! Educate yourselves!

I honestly think that reading regularly, in any capacity or discipline will help people achieve grammatic enlightenment. I read everything from non-fiction books about religions of the world to ridiculous, Halloween themed cozy mysteries about little "bitties" solving local murders. If you are constantly exposed to correct word usage, it will rub off on you and you'll recognize incorrect speech or writing when you hear it or see it. I promise. Everyone makes mistakes [I constantly put about 15 more commas per paragraph than necessary and often misuse "less" and "fewer"] but lets get the very basic stuff taken care of on a wide scale, then we can start picking at people who don't know whether to use "affect" or "effect."

I've included a PowerPoint presentation to this blog in case you need to make copies and throw it off of rooftops. That is my afternoon plan. Good luck.

[plus 10pts if you get the Meranda Raven reference.]

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Brother

Baby brother on drums ... Louisiana Jazz Trio, Lafayette. Enjoy! 

Friday, April 8, 2011


Why hasn't anyone ever sampled this for a rap song? This jams ... hard. I kind of want to have it play on loop while I get ready every morning ... like when Cinderella's birds and mice help her get ready for her horrible daily life. I'm not oppressed like Cindy, so I guess Matlock will do, I only need something that makes me feel like a champ ... this is it.  Not only is it indubitably catchy [+10 for indubitably, right?] but it is a genuinely Southern trademark. Andy Griffith practicing law in Georgia in a big powder-blue suit? It's like seersucker, sweet tea, fried chicken and white guilt rolled into one! Who never watched Matlock at their grandparents house ... LIAR!! Stop denying it, you love it.

There are few things that can motivate a person like me [crazy] to do their taxes, work out, make and ship little Zombees and properly document said errands on the internet all in one day ... the Matlock theme is one of them. So, listen up, jam out, and get some shit done this weekend!

I love that it really starts to get funky when the black guy shoes up. Awesome. I had such a crush on him when I was a kid. That guy and Panthro ... I think I see a pattern! I think I'm going to start doing an "Inspirational Video of the Week" thing. It will be great, because it won't be awful stuff like "MattyBRaps" [how awful is that kid!?] but hilarious and relate-able stuff like ... jamming to Matlock for your common don't-wanna-get-out-of-bed blues that I seem to get every 72 hours. Yes?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tallstrunt Tea

I was in the kitchen makin' some pigs in a blanket for Brandon's "poker night" [what a wife, eh?] when Lucas asked me if I'd ever had pine straw tea. Um ... huh? He read about making tea from pine staw in a pioneer cookbook! We have pine trees all around, so we decided to give it a try. After a little research, of course. Apparently there are incorrect ways to do this, but I think I got it just right on the first try, luckily. [before I get started, sorry about my QVC nails ... I give myself a manicure on Fridays and so I haven't painted over them yet! I usually don't wear them so blindingly white!]

The Swedish call this "tallstrunt" tea and it is made with the "ripe" green straw found still on the tree. The cookbook said to just throw it in with some water and boil it down, but I'm pretty sure that when you do that, you're "boiling down" the nutritional value as well. Ancient Romans used pine needle oil to treat a number of ailments including muscle aches and the scent of pine has been an aromatherapy favorite since ancient times as well. Pine straw is packed with vitamins C and A! These are both really important vitamins that we often find ourself scrounging around for in any form. The purest form is always my favorite, so this is definitely going to be a new favorite for me!

You'll need about this much pine straw ... 

... slice off the ends and cut the needles in half ... 

 ... if you place your needles in a glass jar [other than a Pyrex] make sure you use a metal spoon to absorb some of the heat so your jar won't break! [thanks, YouTube]
... pour hot [not boiling] water over the needles and steep for about 10 minutes ...

 ... use a strainer if you don't want needles in your teeth!

... this is how you know you're getting the good stuff! Before and after ... 

... for sweetness, add a drop of honey into your mug, or drop an orange slice like we did. It really is delicious without it, I just enjoy citrus flavors in any tea I drink ...

If you're a hot tea drinker, you will absolutely love this. It is smooth and delicious and really versatile! Getting a ton of vitamin C and A while using the aroma to de-stress is the perfect combination. If you're just warming up to drinking tea [pun intended] you could definitely start with this pine needle tea! Cheers! ♥

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yummy Flowers! ♥

Brandon and I shared a bittersweet anniversary on April Fools Day this week. Brandon lost a dear family member on the same day. As well as dealing with his grief, Brandon wanted to celebrate our anniversary with a little gift. I am so lucky to have him! He likes to celebrate our dating anniversary because we think its pretty fitting that we went on our first date on April Fool's Day. I seems like forever ago!

So sweet and yummy! ♥

New Zombees! ♥

I have so many new, bright and fun scents! I'm loving Pineapple Burlescapade and Sweet St. Charles the best, I think. I'm planning a Friday the 13th Candles & Cocktails party for May. I'm really excited! I'm not sure if it will be in Shreveport or Alexandria, yet. It really just depends on who shows the most interest.

I'm also gearing up for the Maker's Fair here in Shreveport. Tell everyone! I participated last October, it was so much fun. Live music, food and crafts for sale of many varieties. The great thing about the Maker's Fair is that to have a book ... you have to MAKE your items. It isn't commercialized crap. I bought a lot of art and some jewelry, too. My Zombees did really well, too. The date is April 30th and it takes place downtown. You can find more information at

 I'll definitely be giving free Zombee Kisses to anyone who makes a ZC purchase! I've made some little hearts, too. [above] I just realized I haven't really given a description of the new Zombees, so here is a list of my newest scents ...

Sweet St. Charles - powerful, bright and citrus-y! This is a really strong scent that is great for the Spring and Summer. It is mostly lime scented, but I've added a few extra oils to sweeten it up! I've made this one a bright, Springtime green.

Pineapple Burlescapade - [best name ever, my sister thought of it!] super-duper sweet! This scent is really fruity, pineapple, cherry, a little vanilla and some lemon & lime. Kind of smells like a summer cocktail! It is bright orange, too which is so fun.

Charme de Lune -I know I will keep this one around all year 'round. "Moon Spell" smells like patchouli and geranium. I'm not a big lover of patchouli by itself, but I like the base it provides for smoky, sexy scents. This one is a winner! This one comes in a gorgeous navy blue color.

Betty Bleu - I love, love this one. Oddly enough, it is a blueberry scent and I still love it. I'm not a huge blueberry fan [unless in muffin or pancake form!] but when I added some sugar and vanilla scents to it, it smells just like blueberry cobbler! Ah! This one is also dark blue.