Gym Bag Beauty Essentials

gymbagessentialsreview1It was just like Christmas when I opened the bulky envelope chock full of girly toys to sample and review.

I’m a work out junkie; I go to the gym pretty much every day or do some kind of extreme physical activity and I don’t always go right home and take a shower.

I like to go to the gym first thing in the morning and usually do all my errands after; I might be a little sweaty and my hair’s a mess and I definitely need to freshen up before I head to Target, Trader Joe’s, Marshalls or TJ Maxx. (But if I’m going to Fashion Valley or South Coast Plaza, I’ll head home, shower, and change clothes.)

So, do what I do, and keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go with these beauty necessities, which are just as useful for traveling or camping.

1.       Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in Energize: Keep up with your active lifestyle with ease. Try Ban® Total Refresh® Cooling Body Cloths to instantly cool the back of your neck and décolleté or use for an all-over refresh during any transitional moment day or night. I don’t go anywhere without them, for reals!

2.       KMS California HAIRPLAY makeover spray:  Dry cleansing and instant style renewal. Split-second style refresher. Absorbs oil and builds bulk to refresh limp or day-old styles. Great for quick style touch-ups and in-between shampoos. This is total genius for us curly heads who don’t wash their hair every day.

3.      Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Mini Deodorant: The perfect deodorant to throw in your gym bag! This all-natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment. Because we always need to be fresh, right?

4.       Rimmel London Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil in Waterproof: You can now get the Moroccan Argan oil your hair loves in a Rimmel mascara with new Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil. Condition lashes and break through clumps for full, smooth volume. The unique brush’s super-soft bristles hug and coat each lash, perfectly separating them from root to tip. Even small corner lashes are dramatically transformed for an effortlessly eye-catching look. Lashes are left smoother, sleeker, and more defined than ever.  Have you heard about the wonders of Argan oil? Now it’s been added to mascara. Awesome!

5.       Scunci Everyday & Active™ Need I say more? My FAVE!!

6.       NYC New York Color Smooth Skin BB Crème Instant Matte: Refine your skin instantly with this long-wearing crème with an effortlessly matte finish. Smoothing and hydrating, this crème leaves skin looking healthy and silky-smooth without even a hint of shine. LOVE!

7.       Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser: Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness, this cleanser, infused with Daisy extract, helps reveal a more even skin tone in as few as 4 weeks*. Formulated with a multifruit complex, our cleanser effectively removes dirt oil and makeup. Make it part of your daily regimen for a brighter and more even complexion, naturally. I love everything BB!

Beauty tip: Be prepared!

(I was provided product to sample and review; the opinions are my own.)

Lilly Pulitzer at Target: Bringing The Hamptons To The Common Folk

LillyPulitzerforTarger

I confess to showing up bright and early at Tar-zhay for some of the other designer brand marriages like Missoni (not to be confused with Target’s own brand, Mossimo) and TTTT I was less than overjoyed.

I picked up a “Missoni” scarf, but it was a bittersweet moment. While the tag proudly proclaims it to be MISSONI, in really tiny letters you read “for Target”.

missoni for target tag

It’s a feel good/feel bad moment to be considered “less than”, like a second-class citizen, not quite good enough to play with the big kids.

And it’s scratchy. Several negatives.

Do you think it dilutes the brand?

I do.

Isn’t the whole point of “designer” to be elitist and aspirational?

(Don’t worry, I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek here. Or am I?)

If everyone has semi-equal access, how special can it possibly be?

I own a pretty (real) Missoni top; one of my treasures from a local consignment shop before they changed management and no longer carry any designer brands. The fit is awesome, the fabric is textural, and it’s well constructed –a  high quality item.

Check out the angle of this selfie; it makes me look thinner and narrower. WINNING!

missoni

Not that I don’t love Target in all of its unique brand of Target-y-ness.

Wandering through each and every aisle is a wonderful way to kill a few hours while the tugboat man’s away.

From bleach to bathing suits, Target definitely fulfills the term “one-stop-shopping.”

But there’s something a little off-putting about creating a sub-line for the masses.

For example, I was excited to see what Jason Wu would offer, and was disappointed.

Some of the clothing was poorly sewn and poorly designed with cheap fabrics and I didn’t get a thing.

It was the same with the Neiman Marcus collaboration. Nada.

I don’t mean to sound snobbish; for the most part they were a big let down.

Now there’s Lilly Pulitzer.

Here in SoCal, we may have beaches, sunshine, and palm trees, but we’re a different breed than Miami and the Hamptons.

However, I kind of love the colorful LP designs.

There’s always a place in one’s wardrobe for pink and green and yellow and white eyelet…

I’ve visited the LP store at Fashion Valley in San Diego and it’s not outrageously expensive; it’ll be interesting to observe the price points at Target.

So I’ll be there bright and early on Sunday morning, but when I see the tags say Lilly Pulitzer for Target, I’ll be a little less than happy.

What’s next for Target? A partnership with Chanel? Tags that say Chanel for Target?

OHGODNO.

Coco would turn over in her grave.

LillyPulitzer quote

Imperfectly Perfect

perfectly imperfect“All right, all right, all right!”

Time to shake it off; ENOUGH of the stroll down memory lane.

This empty nest mom needs a little therapy.

And SUH-NAP. *snapping fingers*, just like THAT, back to what makes me tick, what gets me all excited.

And I don’t mean tugboat man…he’s still chugging and tugging toward that remote destination…

I’m talking about RETAIL therapy.

SHOPPING!

I’ve been on a roll lately, finding lots of amazing treasures, can’t wait to share them with you!

Everything from Vitamin C cream, trendy little t-shirts from Ross Dress for Less, and that elusive black pump.

And a sparkly bracelet and seashells, too!

It’s not always about thousand dollar Chanel shoes; I get just as excited for a $6.99 shirt!

For the gym with a sports bra; LOVE the message!

We should always do more of what makes us happy, right?

DoMoreshirtAlso from Ross, Vintage Paris tee with red sparkles. I paired it with white skinny jeans and a cherry red cashmere/silk sweater.

Parisshirt

Minus a weirdly shiny face, this is now one of my fave outfits.ParisVintageselfie

A couple miles down the road, I stopped at Marshall’s and loaded up on my FAVE Vitamin C cream by Dead Sea Minerals from Israel. (Make a note: if you can find it, stock up. It’s GREAT.)VitC

Like a magpie, I was attracted to the shine and sparkle of this adorable little bracelet at White House, Black Market. How could I resist?newbraceletsparkle

Since things were going so well, it was time to drive down the 78 to Nordstrom Rack where there are more shoes than anywhere else I’ve shopped. This pair doesn’t hold the same magic as those Chanels, but with an on sale price point of $49.00, they’ll do for a while until the even more perfect shoe appears.blackshoes

They’re not vegan, which gave me pause —  I obviously had a weak moment — which is why I titled this post, “Imperfectly Perfect”.

It’s a constant struggle to follow a cruelty-free life. Some things are easier than others.

blackshoes2Finally, I stopped at my favorite enchanted garden shop, PlantPlay Nursery, came away with a couple kangaroo plants, a butterfly bush, and how could I NOT bring home this AMAZING seashell wreath?

seashellwreathNow if I only could figure out where to hang it…

 What makes YOU happy today?
How are YOU perfectly imperfect or even imperfectly perfect?

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for six weeks or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And so hot. August hot. Record-breaking hot. Drinking ice water all day.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask. 

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Hairy Hanukkah Harry and The Story of Hanukkah 2012

Hannukah candles

Forget elf shaming, try a little Hanukkah Harry Guilt! (Not gelt).

This post is a time machine back to the year twenty-twelve, but it’s the only one I have for Hanukkah.

That year I was all alone. Again. 

Happy Chanukkah or Hanukkah or Hannukah or Channukah 2014!

However you spell it, it’s eight days of prezzies! 


…or the continuing saga of my life.

As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

“WHERE. WERE. YOU.”

‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ’em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.

HE’S GOING TO BE A MONTH AND A HALF LATE!

HE WON’T BE BACK UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT JANUARY 201THREE!!

I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.

OKAY?

Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money.

Hannukah candlesForget elf shaming, try a little Hanukkah Harry Guilt!

Marriage: Sweatpants or Babydolls?

There’s a time and a place for everything, right?

A BALANCE between sexy and comfort.

But I was really blindsided when my tugboat captain called a couple nights ago.

Even after twenty-plus years, that hub of mine is continues to be full of surprises.

For those of you who are curious about what a merchant mariner thinks about when he’s out to sea, this conversation is quite revealing.

I figured all the thought about was guy things like distances between ports, how much fuel does it take to get from A to B, knots per hour, weather, towing big stuff and trying not to break a tow line, and what the surf forecast would be when he came home.

So, I almost choked on my wine when he said,

“Hey, we’re tied up at the dock for a while and I walked into town to buy you some presents.”

“YAY! You know how much I love prezzies!”

What did you get? No, dont tell me, surprise me.”

“OK, just give me a hint.”

“Nope, not gonna tell you.”

“But…I went into a shop that had a lot of silky, see-through stuff, and I didn’t get any ‘cos it was too hard to choose, but I think you should go out and buy yourself some SEXY LINGERIE.”

He even said words that have never been spoken by his lips EVER…

He said “baby dolls”.

Baby dolls. I had no idea he even knew what that was.

BUT with the caveat that they need to be classy and of a silky-type material. He’s a detail man, my captain…

I asked him if he wanted La Perla ($$$$$) or Fredericks of Hollywood (stripper pole-ish).

Once I explained the cost of La Perla, he said “somewhere in between”.

This is La Perla $450.00!! NOT GONNA HAPPEN. This is proof that my tugboat man has been away far too long if he thinks my body would look good in something like this.

Not even with all the lights off. NOT EVEN.

laperla

I guess the years decades of sleeping next to a someone wearing Hello Kitty pajamas has taken its toll, don’t you agree? Aren’t I ADORABLE?hkpjAgent Provocateur is something I can do. I think. In the dark. It’s not Hello Kitty, but it’s animal print.  It’s the least I can do for my wonderful hub. A sacrifice, but isn’t that what marriage is all about?babydollagentI’m on a mission, first to see what Victoria’s Secret has to offer before I expand my search to other areas.

In this season of giving, I love to shop for ME.

Life is tough for this tugboat captain’s wife.

Wish me luck!

 

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 get ready for my son and DIL who are visiting for a couple of days and my tugboat man who’ll be home on December 23. 
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

Don’t HATE…EMULATE!

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

What’s Your Point?

I mean PRICE POINT.

Do you know the price you’re willing — or NOT willing — to pay for a specific item?

And what factors affect your decision?

That tipping point between purchase or walking away.

If you paid proper attention, you remember that my tugboat man owed me a pair of Louboutin shoes because of his (ahem) transgressions. CLICK TO READ

I. Am. Officially. Crazy.

I wouldn’t allow hub to buy a ten dollar mop from Target ‘cos I knew i could get one at the dollar store for a dollar (which I did), but I can spend a mortgage payment on a pair of shoes.

Who wouldn’t want to save NINE DOLLARS, right?

My tugboat man flew home last week for a brief respite and our reunion was a whirlwind of shopping for new deck furniture, repairing a broken washing machine — it needed a new tub seal ‘cos it was leaking —  hub’s a GENIUS at fixing things, especially since there is NO surf ‘cos the Pacific Ocean is a LAKE so he had a lot of free (not surfing) time. This turned out to be an all day project because he decided to take it completely apart and do all sorts of maintenance while he replaced the broken part.

We put our old deck furniture out on the street and it was picked up within minutes, which was awesome as it saved us a trip to the dump and then the universe rewarded us by our discovery of an amazing outdoor coffee table also on the street just a couple blocks from our house that should complement our new furniture perfectly, and only needs to be refinished — another one of hub’s many talents.

See, I’m a girl who can appreciate the finer things in life as well as bringing home the detritus ( I mean the treasures) others discard.

I wasn’t at all naggy or anything — hardly even reminded hub of his duty to fulfill his penance with a pair of Loubies ‘cos we were uber busy — and then one day — UNPROMPTED — he asked if I had changed my mind about that certain trip to South Coast Plaza.

Quicker than you can say, “are you f***ing kidding me” I hopped in the shower and threw on a casual but California cool ensemble. Perfect for a day of trying on shoes.

I am horrified by what I’m going to say next, but I’m all about keeping it realz.

Louboutin

See the little piggies? Ick. From Pinterest

I don’t like the way Louboutins look on my feet.

This style is NOT foot or leg-flattering. That whole TOE CLEAVAGE thing that Christian Louboutin’s all about is NOT sexy on me. To me, it looks like a whole bunch of butt cracks and then I start thinking about plumbers and no. can. do.

Not even for those red soles that I had obsessed about for a while. Not even.

Plus, not comfortable at all. Not at all. I have a really high arch, so a tall heel is no problem — but after trying on almost every shoe in the store, I had to accept defeat.

My tugboat man was SO patient, he actually ENTERED the shop and sat with me while I modeled shoe after shoe. He didn’t like the way they looked either, but it was like pulling teeth to get him to offer an honest opinion — we’ve been married way too long — but I needed him to be brutally honest  At $650 and up — there’s a lot of considerations that don’t arise with a purchase from Ross Dress For Less.

Which brings us to PRICE POINT.

We tried all the shoe stores — Jimmy Choo, Dior, Prada, YSL, Roger Vivier, Stuart Weitzman, Bloomies…and then there was CHANEL.

I mean, we were right there;  it would have been so wrong NOT to see what they had, ya know?

It was all his fault. I tried on this shoe and he FORCED ME TO BUY IT.chanelshoes1

 

I didn’t want to. I said, “Let’s go and eat some lunch and think about it.”

So we did. We shared a salad and a veggie panini at the Corner Bakery Cafe and strolled back over to Chanel where I tried the shoes on again and walked all over the store. Yes, they were comfortable, more so than the Loubies. The heel wasn’t too low nor was it too high. There was none of the dreaded toe cleavage.

BUT they sorta kinda gapped open just a bit at the arch, ‘cos of the whole ballet dancer high arch thing. They didn’t hug my foot. They weren’t perfect, but pretty darn close.

My tugboat man waxed poetic. They were elegant, sexy, classy, timeless (his words.)

In all honesty, I bet he was really thinking to himself, “she’ll never bug me about buying another pair of shoes ever again so in the long run, this’ll save money and I’ll come out of it smelling sweet and looking like a hero and I’ll never have to watch her try on a thousand damn pairs of shoes ever again.”

OK. Here goes. The price point…They were $850. EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS, not including tax.

Way more than I’ve ever paid for a pair of shoes. The most I’ve ever spent was about $200 or so for boots.

Practically $500 PER SHOE.

This was well above my internal price point, but my persuasive husband exerted influence and FORCED me get them.

“You deserve to have them.”

“You should have had shoes like this twenty years ago.”

WHO IS THIS GUY? (And no, he doesn’t have any brothers, he can’t be cloned, and his dad is/was a selfish jerk, so I don’t know how he became so awesome or I got so lucky.)

So I caved. Against my better judgement, I slapped down the plastique and made the purchase.

But something was bothering me.

I was afraid to wear them. What if they got scuffed up? What if something happened to the little bands of gold and the CC charm on the heel?

And that gap issue bugged me; shouldn’t they fit like a Cinderella shoe? Shouldn’t they be BEYOND perfect? I could have a custom shoe handmade by a cobbler for less than $850.00.

All my “what if” worry issues were stimulated. 

The shoes sat on display on our dining room table for a few days.

I tried them on, walked around the house, but it was like an itch, a burr under my saddle, a nagging sense of something NOT QUITE RIGHT.

I even woke up from a deep sleep worrying about those damn shoes.

I was afraid to wear them. They were beyond my price point.

There’s a fourteen day return policy.

My tugboat man left to go back out to sea on Veteran’s Day.

What a dilemma!

On one hand, I loved the shoes A LOT, because Chanel, HELLO!

On the other hand, they weren’t 100000% perfectly fitting my foot. And on a third hand, they were ridiculously expensive, and I’m not sure I would enjoy wearing them because I’d be too frightened to walk outside.

I am fully aware that these kinds of shoes are not for hiking in the Anza-Borrego Desert and are much more akin to a hothouse flower that should only walk on a red carpet at a Hollywood premiere or the lush marble floor of a cocktail party in Rancho Santa Fe — but I’d be waiting YEARS for those events to occur.

And it’s also not that I don’t LOVE to be pampered with pricey prezzies (Chanel handbag #1 and #2, diamond anniversary band, opal ring…) but somehow these shoes triggered a deep emotional hesitation.

Know where I’m going?

I mean, literally, do you know where I’m going?

Yup, as soon as my tugboat man was safely on a vessel in the middle of a vast ocean, I packed up my beautiful but not perfect shoes and drove an hour back to South Coast Plaza and returned them.

*Sigh*

More than anything, I didn’t want to hurt my hub’s feelings — he really and truly derives so much joy from buying me nice things — but I just couldn’t keep them.

And I didn’t want to let him know in advance that I was driving to the OC ‘cos it’s a hundred-mile-plus trip roundtrip and he’d worry about me. The last thing I want to do is to cause him to pay less attention to his dangerous work, pulling and pushing barges and winches and towing lines and all that.

AND since we have a policy of full disclosure, I would never NOT tell him, because that’s not how we roll,

So.

Last night when he called to say goodnight like he always tries to do, I gently broke the news to him that I had returned his lovely gift, but more so than the actual purchase, I loved him for wanting to do whatever it takes to please me and make me happy, and THAT was priceless.

He was disappointed, but understood that that the whole “gap” and “fear” thing took the joy out of it for me.

Now here’s some questions I’ve been thinking about:

Do you think it was all a ploy by my tugboat man? Reverse psychology? He knows how cheap I really am, and perhaps he did this so he’d come out the generous knight in shining armor and I’m the undeserving scullery maid?

It’s possible…it is. He’s a clever one, that tugboat man of mine.

However, all is not lost. I have a $20 discount coupon for DSW. Hmm, maybe I’ll see what they have to offer.

Do YOU have a price point?  Especially for items that are not necessary like food and shelter. What factors enter into your purchase decisions? Is there a point at which you say no? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on shoes?

Here’s a photo gallery of South Coast Plaza all dressed up for the holidays and one last look of me holding a Chanel bag…

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My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for a month or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask.

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Burning Down the House–The Story of My Tugboat Man and Fire Drills

pier-1-scented-seashell-candlesI love candles. I have candles covering virtually every surface in every room of our home.

I don’t light candles while my tugboat man is gone.

Not anymore.

There’s a very good reason for this.

I almost burned our house down and my husband’s firefighting training was the only impediment to potential disaster.

One very tranquil evening last spring after dinner, I lit every candle in the bathroom adjoining our bedroom and proceeded to take a leisurely shower. There were candles on the countertop, candles on the bamboo shelf above the toilet, and candles on another floor shelf unit.

Normally I extinguish them when I’m finished, but this time I didn’t because the room looked and smelled so lovely.

Wearing a black silk kimono and feeling quite frisky (if you know what I mean) I went out to the family room and snuggled up on the sofa to watch the Daily Show with a glass of merlot and hubs.

After a bit, he took the remote and muted the sound.

He cocked his head like he was listening for something (he looked very puppy-like and cute LOL) and said,

“Do you hear that?”

Me: “Hear what?”

Him: “I think I hear something in the bedroom, or wait, did you leave the water on?”

Me: “No, I didn’t. What do you hear?”

Him: “You’re not making popcorn, are you? Do you smell anything?”

Me: “Nooo….no popcorn, I can’t really smell –wait, I do kinda hear something, I wonder what… ”

Suddenly, he takes off running toward the bathroom and I stand up but I swear, I’m totally paralyzed, I can’t move a muscle to follow him or anything.  (I’m not a real take charge kind of girl in any emergency. I’m the one whose limbs turn to stone. I don’t react. Don’t count on me.)

So…the next thing I hear is a lot of “Oh sh***t” and “F**k F***K F***K F***K!!” and things crashing, and for a split second I think someone broke in and they’re fighting.

It was soooo crazy.

I’m still standing two rooms away and my feet are like in cement; I mean I know I should DO something, but I just can’t. I can’t even move to the phone to call 911 or anything.

Then I heard the sound of the shower being turned on and sizzling sounds. I was finally able to triumph over my fears and pry my feet loose, and tiptoed toward the bathroom.

OH -EM-GEE.

What I saw was a disaster. The bathroom was filled with smoke; smoke was beginning to fill the house (later we figured out that the smoke alarm’s battery had died.)

My personal fireman hero was soaking wet — apparently the noise I heard were his huge biceps ripping the engulfed in flames bamboo shelf off the wall and tossed in the shower. What a hero! He had the presence of mind, not to mention the strength, to prevent a major tragedy.

As you might imagine, fires on boats are a potential catastrophe, and professional mariners constantly train and drill in the event of a fire in the engine room or anywhere else on board. I know that my mariner takes it very seriously, and I am SO glad.

Watching him in action was very reassuring (and VERY sexy).

Here’s what happened…

One of the candles was on the bottom shelf of the bamboo unit above the toilet and next to the shower. The heat from the flame ignited the shelf right above it, which also had a candle going, and that in turn ignited the shelf above that and finally the whole thing was ablaze with foot-high flames, searing the ceiling, coating it in a horrible black smoky sooty mess. The ceiling stayed too hot to touch for hours, and it was just plain luck that the attic didn’t explode in flames; it was that hot.

The burning bamboo set off little flaming arrows of fire all over the bathroom, burning the floor, the rug, and everything it touched. Cleaning the bathroom was a nightmare. There was congealed candle wax covering every surface, including the shower and the countertop, the sink, the mirror, and even the ceiling. It took forever to scrape it off.

The burnt bamboo shelf

burned shelf

This wasn’t my first brush with a candle-related disaster, however.

We have an entertainment unit in the family room that has beautiful glass shelves.

entertainment unit

I lit a candle on the bottom shelf (déjà vu, right?) and left the room (déjà vu again, right?) and we heard a sound like an explosion, ran in, and found shattered glass everywhere. The shelf must have heated up and cracked. Wow.  Everything on the shelf crashed and broke, too.

The replacement shelf had to be custom-made, and the expensive lesson learned that time was not to light any candles under glass shelves.

But I guess I didn’t learn the ENTIRE lesson or I surely wouldn’t have walked away from a roomful of candles!

I am ever so grateful that hubs did not bring up the previous incident as I felt bad enough without being reminded of my carelessness.

So…it’s no surprise that I avoid any candle lighting until my personal fireman is here.

Before he leaves to go out to sea, he forces me to perform –fire drills. (Head OUT of the gutter, people!) I think it’s more to make him feel better about leaving and hoping that I have the tools and knowledge to act appropriately  in an emergency.

Well, that’s probably not going to happen.

The fire extinguisher is in the garage, and I know he’s shown me a zillion times how to make it work, but I don’t remember a single thing he says. Considering that my response time isn’t so good, the darn thing is heavy and unwieldy and it’ll be next to impossible to react at all when my feet are pinned to the floor, unable to move — I guess I’ll have to be content with a picture of a candle until he comes home.

candle