Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Mele Kalikimaka!

Since my Angel Boy has flown off to England, we’re going to the Anza-Borrego desert for a day hike where temps will be in the eighties. 

Can you believe it? On Christmas Day?

I‘m going to attempt to take pics with my new Canon Rebel  – wish me luck!

I hope Santa brought you all everything you wished for…he brought a new surfboard for hub and yes, I got that Chanel 2.55 I’ve been DYING for, spoiled girl that I am.

tugpearlschristmas

Enjoy this little Bing Crosby tune and have a safe and happy day from our home to yours.

http://youtu.be/hEvGKUXW0iI

 

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–’cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Cleaning Naturally — A Review of #Earth Brite

EarthBriteFlipping though the stations, this product caught my eye on HSN — ShopHQ, as it’s now called. A little name change, a branding re-do — to confuse the armchair consumer and blur the lines with another shopping network, QVC. Is that playing fair? What do you think? I’m not sure how I feel about it, or if I even really care — but as a marketing professional, I’m always fascinated by branding and new directions in marketing from an established company.

I don’t often purchase from these TV shopping shows: first and foremost, I’m a natural skeptic, and unless it’s a VERY GOOD DEAL like the Canon Rebel camera (that I’m impatiently waiting for),  I normally bypass this method of shopping as I’m a touchy-feely kinda gal; I want to see it, touch it, smell it–before I buy it.

However, on this day, two very excited and animated hosts were scrubbing and smiling, telling me all about how Earth Brite’s natural, clay-based all-purpose product cleans, polishes, and protects everything from silverware to tile to boats and RVs, while the XR51 degreaser helps remove grease and grime.

Intrigued by the spiel; I thought I’d spend twenty dollars to test it out myself. I checked out the product information online and this is what I learned:

Earth Brite’s natural, clay-based all-purpose product cleans, polishes and protects everything from silverware to tile to boats and RVs, while the XR51 degreaser helps remove grease and grime.

When it arrived, I put on my trusty yellow rubber gloves to see first-hand if those claims are true.

  • I used it instead of Comet on my porcelain sink. Earth Brite did indeed work, but I had to scrub a lot harder to get the same results.
  • In the bathroom, I scrubbed the shower floor and glass doors, which is a big test here in SoCal where we have SUCH hard water that it sometimes takes a chisel to get the shower clean. The results were OK but not “earth” shatteringly better than plain vinegar or any of the other array of products I have around Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
  • The final test was an old Revere copper-bottomed saucepan. Again, Earth Brite shined and polished the copper, but with additional elbow grease, and it wasn’t as easy to shine as the TV hosts told me it would be.

Not a spectacular shine, right?earthbritepan

Product Review:
In the final analysis, I was hoping that this all-natural product would replace most or all of my chemical-laden cleaning supplies, and it has not done that. I’m happy that it contains ingredients that are healthier for my family and for the environment, but I was disappointed that it did not live up to the live on-air demonstrations that initially compelled me to make the purchase. However, the companion product, XR51 Power Cleaner & Degreaser Concentrate turned out to be a wonderful surprise and it’s become part of my daily cleaning — and it smells great, too.


Here’s What I Received:

  • (2) 10.5 oz. Earth Brite All Purpose Cleaner
  • 2 Round applicator sponges
  • 8 fl. oz. XR51 Power Cleaner & Degreaser Concentrate

What The Website Wants You to Know:

  • Work All Purpose Cleaner into wet applicator sponge before applying to any surface. Failureto thoroughly wet product may result in scratched surfaces.
  • Always use the application sponges included.
  • Apply light pressure and increase pressure only as needed to clean surface.
  • Rinse thoroughly to avoid possible clay residue after cleaning.
  • After each use, let the All Purpose Cleaner paste dry before closing the container.

When a Zygocactus Blooms, It’s a Sure Sign the Holidays are Coming!

Whether you call it Christmas Cactus or Zygocactus, it’s really a Schlumbergera hybrid.

Christmas Cactus1Today at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, we’re packing up to drive the eight hours it takes to get to Sacramento so I can testify at the Fish and Wildlife hearing  on Friday to protest the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species List.

I’m so happy (and relieved) that my tugboat man is going to be able to attend the hearing with me and I’m sure that he’s REALLY looking forward to keeping me out of jail.

FYI — Princess Rosebud and hunters do not mix. It’s a recipe for disaster. Cue the tugboat man, a voice of reason versus my ghetto mouth that has no impulse control!!

However and whatever…

I’ve got a new black suit, AMAZING heels, and a speech that I hope will make a difference, ‘cos that’s what it’s really all about.

While we’ve been getting ready, I noticed a magnificent plant blooming and crying out for attention.

My bright little pot loves to sit in our kitchen window for most of the year; when I see the red buds at the tips of the leaves, I know it won’t be long before the massive butterfly blooms emerge. 

(There’s an x-rated overt clitoral resemblance when the buds start to swell…just saying’.)

I love to say “zygocactus” like ten times in a row cos it feels so good as it rolls off the tongue, plus it’s really easy to grow!

You try it. It’s neat, huh?

zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus

Schlumbergera truncatus blooms closer to Thanksgiving while Schlumbergera bridgesii blooms closer to Christmas, but through hybridization there is a certain overlapping of blooming times.

This is the most intense pink; the flowers feel kind of waxy or fleshy.
Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera are epiphytes (tree-dwelling) originating in the mountainous rainforests of Brazil.

It’s excellent as hanging basket plant on a sheltered patio, or can be brought indoors in a bright area with excellent airflow.

Think about how lovely a blooming plant will be as a gift to bring joy for many years.

I’ve had pretty good success propagating these beauties by snipping a cutting at the natural “joint”, letting it dry out for a couple days, and then planting in sandy soil, keeping it only slightly moist until roots appear.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did by letting it get too wet or it’ll rot and die.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Sacramento, meeting other wolf advocates and giving my two cents worth to a panel of Fish and Wildlife members who have blood on their hands from the senseless deaths of hundreds of beautiful wolves.

However, they have yet to hear from Princess Rosebud.

Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh YES, They DO.

Kate Spade glasses2

Newsflash: Eyeglasses are the new aphrodisiac.

Sasssy and sexxxxy in a slightly beeyotchy way.

That describes both me AND my new Kate Spade glasses, don’t you agree?

Can’t wait for my tugboat man to see the new me. He loves the sexy librarian look…

Aren’t those polka dots TDF?

And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.

And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.

Kate Spade glassesIt’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.

I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as,  “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”

Not so funny to be the target of mean girls. 

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear contact lenses.

But now, wearing glasses is just another important fashion accessory, not a signal to the world that the wearer is a bookish nerd, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

If you live in the San Diego area and need new frames, come to Carlsbad and check out
Andrews Optical on Grand for a huge selection and great customer service.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

Lesson #1. Never do this to your daughter-in-law. Ever.

Or anyone else, for that matter…

I write a lot about THINGS.

Things I collect.

Things I like to acquire.

Seashells. Rocks. Driftwood. Sand.

Treasures discovered in little out-of-the-way shops.

Other things…gifts, presents, prizes, surprises…rings and necklaces and bracelets and trinkets from my tugboat man’s travels around the universe.

Chanel south coast plazaMy first Chanel handbag and wallet — ad nauseum.

Why does Princess Rosebud’s tugboat man give her so many THINGS?

Have you asked yourself that question?

Why does SHE rate all that loot?

Really, why DO I?

One of the reasons, I mean, besides my specialness, of course –hold on — I’m taking a breath here.

I’m gonna reveal something personal.

It’s deep.

Hubs feels that he needs to make amends for the way his parents treated me –uh, er, I mean Princess Rosebud.

THE FOLLOWING IS A CAUTIONARY TALE.

Never do this to anyone, especially your DIL. It’s the meanest thing EVER. EVER. I mean, like EVER.

My wonderfully sweet tugboat man EXORCISED the demons.
In a big way. Again and again.

Here’s the story: We had been married for only a year, perhaps two. I’m not sure exactly because I’ve tried to block the pain of that Christmas. And yes, I’m Jewish, and yes, I have a Christmas tree and a menorah, and yes, I say “Merry Christmas”. What. Ever. Haters gonna hate.

If you’ve been reading my confessions for a while, you prolly have gathered by now that I loves me some designer labels. Whether it’s a new ChaCha or treasures from that secret consignment shop, I have a deep and abiding love for all that is beautiful. And Valentino, too. (Click on the link to read about my vintage find of all finds.)

Take a look at these Lanvin and Jimmy Choo shoes. Aren’t they TDF fur realz?Jimmy Choo and Lanvin Yup, that consignment shop again.

During that particular holiday season we were still seeing hubs family which means it was pre-2001, ‘cos we haven’t seen them since. (That’s a whole other chapter, and not the subject of the MEANEST GIFT EVER, but a story about the worst family ever.)

We received a package of gifts from the captain’s family and arranged them under the tree for Christmas morning. I was sooo excited because the one that had my name on it (misspelled again, dammit) was a huge bag from Versace.

In fact, here’s the bag.

versace bag I’ve kept it as a reminder of something to NEVER EVER  do to my DIL–or anyone else. Look at it! It’s Versace! All glossy white with the iconic golden lion head.

OMG, I thought it was prolly a scarf–I love scarves–and I was having a hard time not sneaking a peek.

Christmas morning…in front of the fire with a fresh cup of coffee–one present for the captain, one for my son, and then it was my turn… I plunged my hand into the bag and pulled out something encased in white tissue paper.

What could it be??? A scarf? Jewelry?

Alas, NO to all that wishful thinking. pencil and pad of paper

It was a muvvverfluffing pencil and pad of paper from a muvvvvverfluffffing dollar store.

This is MAJOR. Let me repeat that.

IT WAS A MUVVVERFLUFFING PENCIL AND PAD OF PAPER FROM A MUVVERFLUFFING DOLLAR STORE.

I turned the bag over, shook it, peered inside, felt all around the four corners and even under the little flap on the bottom, and then  – nothing, nada, zip, birds could fly in and out. Empty.

No Versace ANYTHING.

Which means my darling hub’s evil bitch of a stepmom must have gotten something for herself from Versace and used that bag to toss in that cheapass idontgiveashitaboutyou pencil crapass crap in the bag. BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH. Yeah, I’m talking to you, MOTHER-IN-LAW.

A vicious calculating diabolical mean-spirited deliberate intentional act. There is no excuse for that behavior. None at all.

I “get” the whole subtext of that little THING. 

Not that I wouldn’t normally like a little gifty like that as a stocking stuffer because I’m a very apprciative recipient, but for all that is holy, don’t set me up to expect something from Versace only to be brought to tears by your passive aggressive ultimate unkindness.

The message was crystal clear; this was no accident. I’m not being overly sensitive but I always had the feeling that she didn’t like me; before this occurred, I never had an overt sign.

How do I know that there was no other reason for this cruelty?

She’s a muvvverfluffing PSYCHOLOGIST.

She knew full well what she was doing. She has all the mind screwing tools at her disposal. Way to go, hateful bitch!

I was gonna take that pad of paper with the cheapass pencil and fill every page with a long list of all the ways she was a total bitch and how it hurt my feelings, and how it wasn’t a very nice way to treat the woman her husband’s son loved, but then I decided not to (which isn’t like me cos I don’t have much impulse control); instead, hubs and I ceremoniously burned it in the fireplace.

My amazing hubs could see how distraught I was, not because I didn’t get an expensive gift, but because she set me up, and because it was proof positive that she didn’t like me, because everyone else received nice and thoughtful gifts. (Like I said, there’s much more to this story.)

And for all these many years later, he’s still feeling guilty and ashamed of the way his family [still] treats me, and that’s why I get a lot of prezzies. Well, one reason, anyway! Wink, wink.

But I kept the Versace bag so I’d never forget. Lesson #1 about how to NEVER treat my own Angel Boy’s DIL.

marc jacobsRight, S?

Don’t you just love your Marc Jacobs handbag “reward” for achieving that extraordinary work-related goal? My pleasure.:)


Related articles

In which Princess Rosebud embarks upon a magical journey

mermaid “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!

It always has been intended that a proper christening and the accompanying ceremony ensures good fortune to the lady and her crew throughout the life of the vessel.

Please join us for the (virtual) christening of our New Haven rowing dory. Champagne and hors d’ouvres will be served.

My tugboat man spent his six weeks home (between surf sessions) restoring a neglected and dilapidated vessel who just needed a little love to sparkle and shine.
(Don’t we all…)

This New Haven rowing dory benefited from a much needed facelift. He sanded and sanded and sanded every day, patched holes, went to Home Depot–alone, thank goodness–and constructed new railings (or whatever they’re called.) And varnished.boatbefore boat during restoration

Why yellow? Hubs chose the color because it’s one of his favorites (it’s our kitchen color, too)  and because he says it’s an appropriate choice for this type of boat. He saved the best part for me; declaring that every girl should have a boat named after her…paintedboatnoname

What’s her name? Here’s a hint…
princess rosebud in the sand

The makeover is complete…THE FINAL REVEAL!

bestpicboat
mermaidboat

We took her out for a splash–a sea trial–in the lagoon that’s about three blocks from our house. I won’t even try to pretend that I did any rowing, but I did pack a nice lunch. He insisted that I remove the little mermaid (look closely and you’ll see that she’s wearing pearls, too) but if I find a really cool figurehead in an antique shop, he’ll mount it on the prow.

(I’m laughing–I said mount–I’m really never gonna grow up!)

Here I am in an appropriately nautical outfit: Joe’s skinny jeans, striped shirt from Banana Republic, and a cashmere/silk sweater from Barney’s. I took off my Captain mandated life vest for the pic. Check out my nautical Hello Kitty hat hkhatand the string of pearls. I’ll be the first to say it–hair’s gone a bit frizzy, oh well, everything can’t be perfect all the time. I used a new conditioner from Chi–one I won’t be using again, that’s for sure. Ignore the hair, those are Chanel sunglasses, beeyotches!

meonboat

Our lagoon and a very weird sky…

beautifullagoon

My wonderful captain rowed us to a secluded beach for our romantic picnic. I’ll NEVER tell where it is!

boatonbeach

The seagull who ran off with part of our lunch.seagullateourfood

My hero! He didn’t dress for the part like I did, but then, he did all the work, and I just had to sit there and look pretty.my rowing captain

A white egret in the marshwhiteegretlagoon

Raccoon prints!raccoonprintlagoon

Coyote prints!coyoteprintlagoon

At sundown we invited our neighbors over for a christening party.
I found Princesa champagne! Very appropriate, no?
partytable2

meatchristening

Hi, wish you all could have joined us!

We read this as everyone gathered around (and yes, I made everyone follow the script, raise their glasses, and toast ME!)

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate Princess Rosebud.” “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO PRINCESS ROSEBUD!”

Everybody takes a sip.

“The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this vessel be given the strength to carry on. She is strong and will keep out the pressures of the sea.” Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!”

Everybody takes another sip.

“Today we come to name this lady, Princess Rosebud,  and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for her family. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of the sea to accept Princess Rosebud as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ” Again with the raising of the glasses, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO PRINCESS ROSEBUD!”

A last, long sip by all.

Finally, we sprinkled a few drops of  champagne over the bow to appease King Neptune, and laid a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns.boatwithcandle

And thus ends another day in the life of Princess Rosebud.

A Grateful Monday

As part of my 2013 resolution to release my inner beeyotch, Helen Reddy‘s inspiredI am Woman helps me stay on track!

I would like to thank three awesome women for their creativity and imagination, especially since it’s all about ME!

1. Rarasaur’s delightful interpretation of ME! Check out her incredible blog and just try to figure out how her mind works! She’s another SoCal girl and she loves cats! And she’s only 60 inches tall just like me! I love her a lot and you will too. Rarasaur doodle enchanted seashells

2. IB DesignsUSA banner in nautical flags, because sometimes the best answer is “Meow”.  Kathy loves all things nautical and is a lovely lady with a great business. International maritime navy signal flags are a colorful way to spell names, messages, or to decorate your home. Give a personalized signal flag banner or wall hanging as a nautical wedding decoration, an unusual boating Christmas gift, or just for the plain fun of it!

Meow banner

3. In response to a tweet of mine bemoaning my lack of mail–no packages, no invitations to a ball, no requests to attend a movie premiere with Tina Fey–wonderful, awesome Red Dirt Kelly sent me a t-shirt!! I was so excited to return home (from my all day torture of my tugboat man as I dragged him from store to store at South Coast Plaza in the OC until he was so exhausted that he was at my mercy and he begged me to buy something, anything from Chanel so he could go home) and find a package to open and it was this t-shirt! Everyone needs to read the Red Dirt Chronicles!

reddirtkelly

Don’t miss Tuesday’s exciting blog! I’ll share an in-depth reportage of our day at South Coast Plaza, a day of torture and retaliation, culminating in a new Chanel acquisition!
Beeyotches RULE!

Our nautical Christmas 2012

My tugboat man brought back some treasures and cool marlinspike seamanship projects he worked on while he abandoned me was away for two months.

What do you think of the captain’s welcome home signs?

whatever

This picture frame is huge–2 ft. x 3ft.

Marlinspike seamanship picture frame

This is a close-up view of his masterful work.

close up frame

My mariner found a float in the harbor and crafted a delicate netting in black.

netball

And then we worked together to make it into a lamp! The base is a piece of driftwood. The captain’s making some fancy knotwork to embellish the shade.

lamp

Princess Rosebud was spoiled with a necklace from a craft fair somewhere near where Santa lives.

Sparkly!

Sparkly! Shiny!

 He fashioned a pretty little handmade tray with copper tubing sides and handles and filled it with shells and driftwood!

tray

We had welcome home festive cocktails of cranberry juice and vodka with a fresh cranberry in our antique champagne glasses.

cranberrycocktail

And yummy ginger cookies…

gingercookies

Our Downton Abbey-inspired dinner table.

xmasdinnerHis mess, which has since been cleaned up!

suitcases

Now he has a new project–when he’s not surfing– refinishing a rowboat and making it seaworthy.

rowboat

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife! I’m a happy girl, that’s for sure!

Where was your first “I love you”?

Aside

Christmas
Wednesday, December 25, 1991

This was our first holiday together after I figuratively walked to the edge of the cliff and jumped off by telling my tugboat man I loved him the first time we shared a cup of coffee.

I was positive he was going to break up with me.

My son was with his dad for the day. The captain and I went to the gym in the morning for a little holiday workout before they closed at noon. The house was freezing when we got home. I remember going to the thermostat to turn on our central heating.  It’s rare that we need the heat on continuously here in SoCal; we use it briefly to take the chill out of the air.

It was (like it still is) a sad home when my son’s not here.

On the way home from the gym we stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Jagermeister250px-Jagermeister_bottle and a bottle of Rumpelmintz.rumplemintz

I was in the bathroom when I heard him. He very quietly said, “Rosebud, will you come into the family room? We need to talk.”

Oh NO, NOT the dreaded we need to talk. This did not sound good. Not good at all.

That’s breakup speak, I just knew it. But on Christmas DAY??? Who would do that? I know we had kind of fast tracked our relationship after that first cup of coffee–he even had been introduced to my son during a  work-related event or two and things were moving along great-or so I thought. Maybe things were moving too fast and he was getting cold feet. All kinds of doomsday scenarios were floating around in my head. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to come out of the bathroom; I stayed there, heart pounding, tears welling up in my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror.

Why today of all days? What did I do wrong?woman_crying_m

I was still wearing my workout gear with an oversized plaid shirt. Nineties grunge, ya know?

At some point I steeled my nerves and came out of the bathroom to get it over with and figure out how to endure a breaking heart.

He was sitting at the small dining table we have in our family room where we eat informal meals. There were a couple of shot glasses filled with Rumplemintz (peppermint schnapps). He looked very serious. I mean, like he planned to deliver really bad news. He pulled out a chair and said, “Have a seat.”

tablechair

I said, “No. I don’t want to.”
Nice guy. He was going to get me drunk, break up with me, and run out the front door. This could be the worst day of my life. Seriously. He was going to do this before I could get a Christmas present from him? Seriously?

“Oh, come on. I need to tell you something. Come and sit down right here.”

Oh. Shit.

I forced my sad little plaid covered self over to the chair and looked down. I looked anywhere but at HIM. I didn’t want to see him for the very last time.

He wasn’t saying anything. I could feel him looking at me. At that point, I was thinking to myself, oh hell–just get it over with already! I gotta get myself a gallon of ice cream and start on it asap.

Finally, he reached over, took my hand and said, ” I need you to know that I love you.”

WHAT? You set me up for a break up scenario and you were planning to tell me that you loved me? WTF? 

I had anticipated the worst possible outcome. Instead, once again–he surprised me.

Crap. I can’t go any further with this story! He just told me that I can’t write the rest of what he said ‘cos it’s private–not for anyone to hear but me is what he said–but I can tell you it was lovely and sweet, and I’m so glad he’s here now–home for Christmas–because I’m always reminded of that first year.

If you don’t have to drive anywhere, try our special holiday tradition cocktail, the Reindeer: mix equal parts Jagermeister and Rumplemintz. Very potent!

Where did your most memorable “I love you” take place?