Was Jennifer Aniston REALLY a Bitch to Benedict Cumberbatch?

Last night, in a blaze of dueling tweets, those of us who thrive on celebrity stupidity were glued to our televisions AND our fingers were SMOKING to offer thousands of unwanted opinions on all topics Golden Globes-related.

(This is one of the few activities that I thoroughly enjoy when my tugboat man is out to sea. I can watch and tweet without hearing his snotty, sarcastic complaints and girly-like whining and whinging.)

The following are some of my observations of last night’s show, in no particular order, just as I’m remembering them.

One moment stood out for me right at the beginning of the show.

When Tina Fey asked for someone to volunteer to announce the first award with Jennifer Aniston, Benedict Cumberbatch was chosen. What followed was either a poorly thought out and executed skit OR Jennifer Aniston is an ungracious, selfish, self-centered BITCH.

I choose the latter.

In my opinion, Cumby was genuinely excited to be chosen – he was a bit nervous in a totes adorbs way, and seemed to have no pretense about him.

On the other hand, JenASS was dismissive, rude to him, short-tempered, and even made a comment sotto voce about “doing it by herself”.

If it was pre-planned, and I don’t think it was, it fell flat.

Like I said in a tweet. “Cumberbatch rules, Aniston drools.”

What do you think?

Similar to the overkill with Margaret Cho as a Korean dictator. It was kinda funny the first time or two, but we got message, OK?

More relevant and eloquent was the speech by the foreign press guy (can’t remember his name) about free speech and the horrific tragedy in Paris.

For me, even with the anticipation of Tina Fey and Amy Pohler, the Golden Globes was simply “Je suis ennui.” (I am bored.)

I wasn’t wowed by them this year, sorry everyone!

The Cosby jokes were cringey and kinda in bad taste, ‘cos I don’t think rape is at all funny, and certainly not a topic to joke about.

I love love loved Michael Keaton tearing up about his son. That was beautiful.

I was never a fan of single George Clooney (I actually bet my tugboat man he was gay a while back) so married GC doesn’t really bother me. I’m not getting the marriage to an obviously brilliant international barrister, though. It seems to be a weird match — down for her, up for him – and THAT Fey/Pohler bit was funny AND great observational humor.

What else…trying to remember. Oh yeah. Then there was Kristen Wiig. Girl, PLEASE don’t wear my bedroom drapes and matching pillow to an awards show again. Thank you. It was hideous on so many levels.

And then there was Prince. Totes cray, right?

Fashion-wise, there lots of double-sided sticky taped boobage every where you looked. Kate Hudson looked amazing, JLo did not. Kate Beckinsdale is so gorgeous I have a girl crush on her. Poor Melissa McCarthy and Lena Dunham. Sad.

But the very best surprise of the night is that I’m now being followed on Twitter by the brilliant, insanely snarky comedian, Carolyn Rhea! I’ve always admired her wit and ability to cut to the heart of a situation. I wish she had her own show!

Like to follow me? I’m at: https://twitter.com/EnchantedCshel

carolynrhea2 carolynrhea1

 

Silver Shield: Graceful But Hardy Native From Australia

A long, graceful spire of lilac-hued florets.

silvershiled2

Multiple flowering spikes.
silvershield
silvershield1
Jagged sage-like leaves.silvershield4 Lovely for height and texture.silvershield5silvershiled3

I cut this one back severely, and it’s just starting to grow again. Look at thick trunk; it almost looks like a tree.silvershield6

More fence-line plantings. The leaves of the mulberry tree are turning yellow and falling.
I need to rake them up and add to the compost bin.

silvershield7

Native to Australia, drought-tolerant Plectranthus argentatus.

I found this plant in our neighborhood on one of our walks to the beach. I surreptitiously snapped off a small piece to experiment with propagation. Lo and behold, it started to grow immediately. That was about ten years ago, and now my entire yard is ringed with Silver Shields, and I’ll share a cutting with anyone who likes them. They are super hardy, beyond easy to grow, and just need to be cut back because of a tendency to spread and get leggy,

It’s raining now and the garden is loving it. Happy Sunday!

Studly Porno Obsession. WHAT? Sparkly Pink Morganite Earrings.

I love big studs. Hee hee.

It’s time to shake it off just like my girl Taylor Swift, and lighten up the content/mood here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

There’s no better way to accomplish this than by sharing one of my bestest prezzies this year.

Studs on a  seashell.
morganite1

My erstwhile tugboat man again departed for a smallish portion of the vast seas and that means that I need to return to my (ab)normal life as a part-time single lady.

Single and ready to mingle — with aisles of shoes and racks of clothes, that is…

I spent the better part of last evening attempting to capture the exact hue and sparkle of my new three carat oval morganite studs.

With American Idol droning on in the background, I posed (wasted three hours) these guys in every position, under every light, with every background, and have come to the conclusion that photographing jewelry is a most difficult task.morganite2

Shooting porn with two willing adults would prolly be easier, ‘tho I’ll never know, THAT’S for sure.

Anyway, here’s my jewelry porn.

morganite3Sparkle.

Pink.

Studs.

Three of my most favorite words in the English language.

What is MORGANITE?

Have you ever heard of it?  Just after graduating from college, I worked part-time at a posh jewelry store in La Jolla and that’s where I gained a lot of knowledge about gems and all that sparkles and shines. If you’re thinking that most of my time was spent trying on all the jewels and parading around the store like a princess — you’d be right!

Like emeralds and aquamarines, morganite is one of the better known gemstone from the colorful group of the beryls.

The enchanting soft pink to peach color is produced by trace amounts of manganese.

Morganite found its name in 1911 when it drew the attention of one of the world’s most esteemed gemstone experts, George Kunz of Tiffany & Co, He named it in honor of millionaire banker and mineral collector John Pierport Morgan.

Legend says that beryl was once used to ward off demons and evil spirits and that it can protect the wearer from danger while traveling.

Other legends also state that beryl can be used to bring good luck, cheerfulness, energy, and eternal youthfulness.

Morganite is believed to nurture feelings of love and to increase tenderness in a relationship. Morganite can enhance one’s communications skills and provide patience to help focus during times of stress.

Enchanting, gleaming, illuminating,…PINK!

morganite4

I don’t often purchase jewelry online, but these three-carat studs set in a basket of real gold caught my eye.

I’ve been obsessing about pink stones for a while, not that I don’t love my sparkly white diamonds, but I’m one of those girly-girls who LOVES pink.

Pink diamonds are way out of my price range, but for their size, these morganite studs are perfect.

They have a huge presence and sparkle. I’m in love.morganite5What’s YOUR obsession?

Three Weeks Old. Kidnapped, Killed, Stuffed in a Trash Bag, and Tossed in a Dumpster

This is Eliza Delacruz. Or rather, this WAS Eliza Delacruz.

(family photo)

(family photo)

On Sunday, a transient found the body of this ten-pound girl in a plastic bag stuffed in a dumpster behind an Imperial Beach strip mall, one hundred-twenty miles from the girl’s home.

Only twenty-one days.

Only 30,240 minutes.

Eliza Delacruz was only able to take about twenty breaths a minute times twenty-four hours times twenty-one days.

No more pretty dresses adorned in sparkles with a matching bow for her hair.

No more goodnight kisses.

It’s beyond senseless…beyond comprehension.

A beautiful three-week old infant girl, who, up until the moment she was torn from her mother’s arms and kidnapped, had been living for nine months in a safe womb, growing and maturing until she was born into a world she will never know.

Can you even imagine the pain her mother and father must feel?

I remember how my breasts ached if I didn’t nurse my son every couple of hours or so — Eliza’s mom’s body will respond to hormonal messages but there’s no baby to nurture and feed — nothing but the constant pain of a broken heart.

What hope is there for this world if someone could do this to an infant?

How can I be continually surprised at the dreadful cruelties perpetrated on animals when human life can be tossed in the trash?

I’m disgusted, disheartened, distressed, and depressed.

Are we so blasé about the deaths and murders and abuses and cruelties we’re bombarded with on a daily basis that this horrific story hasn’t stopped us in our tracks?

Have we become so desensitized to pain that we just say to ourselves,  “tsk, tsk, so sad” — and move on?

This should be an event so overwhelmingly tragic that nothing else should matter.

But we turn the page of the newspaper, click to another channel, scroll down to read about another crime or shooting or rape and one horror pours into another horror on top of another horror and you know what?

We’re drowning under the weight of the terribleness of this world we inhabit.

From Long Beach to Imperial Beach, the killer probably drove down the coastline, maybe even some of us passed him on Highway 5 or Highway 101 and we were totally unaware.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Los Angeles County supervisors offered a $25,000 reward Tuesday to help catch an attacker who shot and wounded three members of a family and kidnapped a 3-week-old girl who was later found dead in a trash bin near the Mexican border.

The award for information leading to a capture and conviction comes a day after police said they had no leads and no motive for the Saturday attack in Long Beach that wounded the parents and uncle of Eliza Delacruz.

Detectives had only a vague description of a man who may be black or Hispanic and were trying to discover whether surveillance cameras in Imperial Beach may have captured any images.

The time and cause of the girl’s death had not been determined.

The girl’s father was released from the hospital but her mother and uncle remained in critical condition.

At a Monday news conference, Police Chief Robert Luna said the lack of direction in the investigation was frustrating.

“Somebody had to have seen or heard something,” he said.

The baby’s parents and uncle have spoken with police, but it was too early to know if the family was withholding clues, Luna said.

Detectives do not believe the crime was a random act, and the FBI is assisting in the investigation, Luna said.

The chief said nothing is being ruled out at this point, including that the gunman has fled to Mexico, or that family members or a drug cartel are involved.

In Imperial Beach, mourners erected a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers outside a pizza shop at the mall.

Aaron Cruz, who lives next door to the victims’ two-story stucco house, said the baby’s father is a veterinary technician who worked six days a week and was thrilled to be a dad.

Cruz, who described himself as the man’s best friend, said the family often hosted large barbecues on their front lawn after moving in a few years ago.

The baby’s parents and uncle lived there with another uncle and the baby’s grandparents, but no one else was there when the shooting happened, Cruz said.

Information sourced from KTLA/LATimes

Super Easy Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

veganchocicecreamBeyond easy. Very chocolately.
My tugboat man’s sweet tooth is satisfied, so we’re all happy.

Chocolate Mocha Vegan Ice Cream with Amaretto

Three cups unsweetened original almond milk (or any combination of non-dairy beverages, including coconut or a little coconut cream.)
1/4 cup cold coffee or espresso
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
One tablespoon vanilla
One tablespoon Amaretto

Sift cocoa, add all other ingredients. Whisk to combine. Chill for at least four hours. Pour into your favorite ice cream maker; I have a Cuisinart. 

That’s all there is to it; easy, easy, easy!

The texture is a bit more sorbet-ish than creamy custardy dairy ice cream, but no one around here is complaining!

The addition of coconut milk or coconut cream will definitely smooth out the texture but I didn’t have any in the pantry, so I used what I had.

**For a fancy decadent treat, spill Amaretto over a fresh scoop in a pretty cup, garnish with mint, and enjoy!

Have You Tried Kombucha?

Do you know kombucha?kombucha

Tugboat man and I have been drinking it for a while, ever since my son introduced us to this fizzy fermented beverage.

People in Asia and Russia have been drinking kombucha for thousands of years; those who drink kombucha regularly say that it aids digestion, detoxifies the body, and enhances immune response.

With a fresh and shiny new year and all those great resolutions to make healthier choices, how about trying Kombucha Wonder Drink for your January detox?

Kombucha Wonder Drink is a non-alcoholic sparkling fermented tea beverage, certified organic. It is naturally uplifting while low in sugar, caffeine and sodium.

Steve Lee, founder of Kombucha Wonder Drink, is the co-founder of two successful tea brands, Stash Tea and Tazo.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAW AND PASTEURIZED KOMBUCHA?

Making kombucha requires a starter culture very similar to a sourdough starter or yogurt culture. Current kombucha cultures come from Nepal, China and Russia, some dating back thousands of years. This culture creates a cellulose fiber mat that is included in raw beverages, but that is actually indigestible.

Kombucha Wonder Drink products are pasteurized, ensuring the absence of alcohol and safe beverages. While pasteurization results in the absence of a live culture, the beneficial organic acids resulting from the fermentation process remain.

Start the new year with a bubbly that inspires overall physical and mental well being — along with being a great mixer in festive cocktails.

As always, i was provided product by the company for sampling and review; I was not compensated, and all the opinions are my own and those of my family who also enjoyed this kombucha.

Ten Things of Thankful: 2015 Edition

At midnight, one year fluidly poured into another just like that first and second and last drop of champagne.

Before the whisperings — the chimera in my brain — wander too far to recover, I’ll participate in the Ten Things of Thankful.

I’m not very good at this gratitude thing; it feels all scratchy like a wooly sweater that I can’t wait to take off.

HOWEVER, I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone for just a second – read quick before it’s gone forever, ‘cos I’m way better at whining about ten things than anything else.

I’m thankful for…

1…my son’s miraculous recovery from a hellish and freaky tragedy that left him without three feet of intestines (TMI?)

2…the fact that he didn’t need a colostomy bag!! (TMI again?)

3…my tugboat man being home for the holidays

4…being married to the nicest and most patient human EVER

5…living near the ocean

5…sunshine, rain, and snow

6…winning at Scrabble not one, but two times!

8…vegans

9…animals

10…the promise of a fresh new year

Angel Boy at ten months with his favorite toy, 
jasonsailorsuit

 Ten Things of Thankful hosts: A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) WallAmycake and the Dude,  ConsideringsFinding NineeGetting LiteralI Want BacksiesThe Meaning of MeRewritten,  Thankful MeThe Wakefield Doctrine

 

 

Snow…Snow…SNOW! In Southern California!

Reflective
like the nacre of a million
perfectly pristine pearls
A confection of frosted pines
                                                           (by Princess Rosebud)


SNOW

It might not be a big deal to a lot of you who experience snow every winter, but snow falling to around one thousand feet in the foothills of our valleys and mountains is a big deal for this Southern California girl!

An arctic storm brought a lot of snow down to almost record breaking levels; of course my tugboat man and I needed to end 2014 with a snowball fight. The snow was amazingly light and fluffy.

jeffsnowball copy

A winter wonderland  and only about twenty minutes away!

snow8LOOK!! A REAL BISON! Blurry ‘cos we were driving…snowbisonPhoto gallery of all my pics. Very nice special effects from WordPress with the snow over snow but then I’m easily amused.

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Scars. Life. Love. Goodbye, 2014

All I ever wanted to be was a mom.

There’s a half moon shaped scar on my left leg where I slammed my shin into the sharp serrated metal step of a shuttle bus.

Out of breath from running, dragging my suitcase, frantic after a six-hour flight to the East coast, my tugboat man carrying everything else, and thank goodness he was able to function in a time of crisis.

I was pretty much inconsolable and incoherant but determined in my resolve. All the way across the country, I said over and over, “I just need to get to him. I just need to get there.”

I was literally running out of time.

I didn’t even know I was injured until the next day.

It was sliced to the bone and I never felt the pain, never felt the warm blood dripping down my leg, sticking to my socks, drying hard on my jeans.

I’m sure it needed to be sutured, but that constant pain, like the pain of the C-section that brought my baby into the world, is a wound I’ll always associate with birth and life.

You see, my life almost ended on April 29, 2014.

When I think of 2014, there’s really no other moment in time that so defines my year. Or my entire life.

Up until April 29th, the sun would rise and the sun would set; my tugboat man was either home or out to sea. I shopped, went to the gym, shopped some more. Life was pretty much uneventful.

Six months later, from the perspective of time, I can see that my life was split right down the middle; before the phone call and after the call.

In early April, tugboat man and I had an amazing road trip that culminated at Zion National Park; hiking and camping and revelling in the magnificent beauty of nature.

But that one particular day stopped me in my tracks.

It was one of life’s pivotal moments. What if we had been out of cell range? What if we hadn’t made it in time? What if he hadn’t had the surgery in time? What if?

It could have gone either way.

The path not taken probably would have caused my disappearance from the world of blogging, of social media, and maybe you’d have thought to yourself, “I wonder what happened to Princess Rosebud?”

I wouldn’t have survived. I’m not being melodramatic; I’m stating this as a simple truth. I would not have survived.

All I ever wanted to be was a mom. 

I was one of those little girls who always had a doll. I didn’t so much want to play house as I wanted to be Mommy. I wanted a baby of my own one day to love and nurture and care for and take care of — and protect from all harm.

It didn’t matter how smart I was or how well I did in college; it was is my calling.

My passion.

Lucky for me that my dream came true when I had my Angel Boy. From the very beginning, he was my amazing joy. His smiles, his bright eyes; they sustained me like no food ever could.

Even now, a phone call or an email from him makes the sun shine a little brighter, my day a little happier.

Oh, he was sick from time to time with the normal childhood illnesses; he broke a bone or two from skateboarding, but he grew strong and tall and his mind was a whirl of shiny brilliance and creativity.

No one clipped his wings.

I always told him he could do anything. He has no limits.

He was limitless.

The Boy Who Was My Heart 

You know how you think you’ll be when you’re a mom, but no one prepares you for the reality of it; the limitless love, the fierce primal desire to protect from harm and pain and sadness — and most of all the fact that none of those feelings end when they’re grown up and on their own. 

That’s still how I still define myself. I’m Angel Boy’s mom.

That 3:00 a.m. call that propelled us to the airport for a six-hour flight that caused me to run and trip on the metal step of the shuttle bus so we could rent a car for the final hour-long drive to the hospital to see my Angel Boy’s face before his emergency surgery was the most horrible moment of my entire life.

Nothing else mattered. Nothing else matters.

We were all thrust into a vortex of a limbo world. Waiting to get to him, waiting for the emergency surgical team to assemble, waiting by his side as he was prepped — watching his body contort in agony that I couldn’t do anything about, his eyes filled with pain — but I could feel each spasm in my own belly — and finally waiting for the surgeon to appear. Not really talking, not watching the TV that was mounted at an odd angle on the wall in the waiting room; a desolation of uncertainty.

For three hours I was stationed in the hallway, the first to hear and then see the elevator doors open, my eyes fastened on the surgeon’s face.

He wouldn’t even need to speak; I knew his face would reveal everything.

And the huge smile on the surgeon’s face lit up the universe. No words were needed.

Everything was going to be OK. He survived. It was tricky, worse than we thought, but he was fixed.

He was whole.

My Angel Boy made a complete recovery. He’s healthy and happy.

And alive.

I see the scar every day and it’s a constant reminder to not take anything for granted; that I almost lost everything — but I didn’t.

All I ever wanted was to be a mom.

Goodbye 2014…
Cheers to a healthy and happy 2015!

POSTS ABOUT THE SURGERY:

1. That Dreaded Call at 3:00 a.m.

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/01/that-dreaded-call-at-300-a-m/

2. Time To Exhale

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/06/time-to-exhale-hospital-update/

3. Full Circle From Hell to Happiness

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/10/full-circle-from-hell-to-happiness/

4. What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma, Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/11/what-does-a-cosmo-the-trauma-unit-and-mothers-day-have-in-common/

 

 

Zesty Veggie Hummus Pinwheels

FINALzestyCrowdsourcing is an awesome method to gather fresh ideas and to spark creativity.

I needed to prepare a couple of dishes for a party and my Facebook friends didn’t let me down. Jen from Driftwood Gardens and Lizzi from Considerings (I reblogged her yesterday) and Becky Bell came to my rescue.

Veggie Hummus Pinwheels were the perfect choice. I added the “Zesty” part, not only because a few squeezes of lime juice adds a fresh and sexy pop to almost anything, but because —  well, I can’t explain. You’d have to be there, or at least you need to read my post from yesterday, which was reblogged from Lizzi Rogers. She said it far better than I could paraphrase.

There’s a method to my madness; always bringing vegan eats to any gathering so I can watch their faces when they tell me how tasty it is whilst I use any and all opportunity to climb up on my little soapbox and ruin any party atmosphere by ranting on and on about becoming vegan and cruelty-free living. Hmm…maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to many parties.

Back to the recipe…

Hummus is so easy to prepare from scratch that it’s a staple here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. (Recipe below.)

It’s mostly all prep work. Organizing your ingredients makes it easy. Because I was bringing this to a party, I didn’t include onions, but the addition of a thinly sliced red onion would be a wonderful crunchy flavor enhancer.

veggie roll up 4I used a handheld mandolin to thinly slice the veggies. Carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, cucumber, and freshly steamed, chopped spinach. Make sure you squeeze out all of the cooking juice and save  for soup stock later in the week. SEE THE LIME…

I had some leftover guacamole and used that too. Organic pea shoots and cilantro (coriander to you all from across the pond) rounded out the healthy deliciousness.

**For a really low calorie option, use a large lettuce leaf instead of a carb-filled tortilla.veggie rollup5Simply spread, layer, roll, and cut.

Spread with hummus, guacamole, spinach (this one doesn’t have spinach, but I used a slice of veggie cheddar cheese. The important part is to layer all the veggies on the side of the wrap or tortilla closest to you. Sometimes I heat the tortilla to make it a little more pliable.

vegroll1 Start rolling, keeping it tight. That’s the secret to a successful roll up. If you’ve ever made sushi, it’s the same principle, without using a bamboo mat. vegroll2 Tah dah! A fat little cigar shaped roll of yumminess.vegroll3 Cut in half with a sharp knife. At this point, you can stop. If I was making a wrap for me and my tugboat man, this is how I’d serve it, along with a lovely fruit salad and a wheat grass smoothie. 

vegroll4But we’re going fancy schmancy for party eats, so keep cutting…eating the ends as you go. Well, at least that’s what I did.
veggie rollup3 Turn them up so they’re smiling pinwheels, choose a special serving platter, add a little garnish: here I used cilantro, pea shoots, and thinly sliced LIME.  

Beautiful, festive, healthy!FINALzesty


BASIC HUMMUS:

One 15 oz. can unsalted garbanzo beans (or your own from scratch)
Four garlic cloves
Six tablespoons lemon juice
One-third cup tahini
Salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce

Drain beans, but save juice. Toss it all into a food processor and blend until desired consistency. Add a little juice from the beans as needed. Season to taste.
That’s it! Couldn’t be any easier, right?
Options: Add chopped, drained spinach, jalapeños, roasted red peppers, etc. Use your imagination and experiment. It’s all tasty. Especially if you add a squeeze of lime…