Barb@Cafe Today | MONDAY…….Dreaded, Feared and Loathed

 Just because it’s Monday, doesn’t mean it should be a day of dread for you. I am with you on the horror of going back to work.  Hopefully my meager attempts to brighten your Monday will lift your spirits, add a spring to your step and put a smile on that face.   I believe it is rude to work more than 4 days a week.  Don’t you agree!  We should have Saturday  for decompressing.   Sunday is for rest, church and being with family.  Monday is the feel good day!  Here are a few suggestions for a Feel Good Monday.   

   1.   Call in work.  Do this straight away.  Do not think about it…. Just do it!

Your Loved One

 2.    The day is all yours.  Go back to bed.  Sleeping is up to you.  Spending time with your loved one.  Yeah!  I know I would.

  3.    Brew a fresh pot of coffee.  A nice omelette, waffles, muffins?    If cooking is not realistic, then toast or whatever you might have.          Just go with it.

 4.     Presentation is everything.  Serve breakfast on your best china. Use sterling if you have it.   If it looks good, it usually tastes good.

  5.    Linger over breakfast… make playful, positive, polite conversation.  More Flirting? Optional.

 6.   Your loved one may or may not go to work.  You support him either way.      

7.   You now have the day to yourself.   Seeeee…… Mondays aren’t so bad.

A couple of cute bookends

8.    Time to make your place look quite smart.  Tidy up one room and move on, making your way through the rest.  C’mon move quickly.

9.   Time to tame those unruly books?  Get a couple of cute bookends.  Amazing how 2 little things can make your day brighter.  

10.    Shower, dress and get out.  Do the errands you have been postponing.  Duh!  It’s Monday, do not waste it!    11.    Treat yourself to a nice lunch.  Not too much.  Something a tad bit decadent.  :)

12.     Now for the real fun!   The must haves of the season.  Select a sweater, a Jacket and Sharp Boots.   Mmmmm!  Nothing like spotting a great pair of Manolos or Louboutins to stop a girl cold.  Hope you have your fashion journal handy.  Buy what you need to add to your wardrobe.

Manolo Blahnik

13.    Remember the Book Shop or your local Library.  Reading expands your mind and vocabulary.  Not only will you look sharp, your mind will stay sharp.  Not to mention, always having intelligent conversation material. Pick up something for your loved one as well.

14.    What’s for dinner?  A quick stop at the grocer or grab a few deli items and voila!  A lovely Monday style dinner for 2.  Do not forget the candles and flowers for the table.  Use your best china and silver for an elegant table setting.

15.    Spend a lovely intimate evening at home.  Relax!  You have earned it.  So much accomplished in one day.  You have only to wait until next Monday to do it all again.  The week will rush by in a blink.

I do hope my suggestions and tips help in surviving Mondays will help you.  Until the powers that be change those wretched work week laws,  we will continue to strategize our game plan for Mondays.

If you have tried it, let me know how it works for you.       

UPDATE!    I no longer have Mondays off. It is by design.    I now have Wednesdays off.  Work 2 days. Off a day.  Work 2 days.  Off 2 days.  It’s a plan that works for me.  A few more years and I will be working 2-3 days tops.  Now that’s a plan!

Movie Monday! May God Help Us all…….

“I read the news today oh boy!”   The Beatles had it spot on.  Jackass is the #1 movie and that says sooooo  much about our country.   What!  Are we nuts?   I cannot for the life of me, understand how this could possibly happen.  And do not say escapism…..!   The appeal of this movie is beyond me.  OK!   Going to the movies is terribly expensive.  Tickets, Popcorn, Soda and candy if you have kids, oh my.   I love movies and I am a bit picky about which movies I see.   I had noticed for the past 2 weeks, Johnny Knoxville was pimping, I mean promoting  himself and his movie on every, I mean every TV show possible.  Not just late night TV. 

Jackass in 3-D

  Get this.  Johnny was even on Martha Stewart.  What?  Yeah, like he watches her on craft day!   “Oh, Martha , I loved your Squash Soup and the Pea Pesto was divine.”   Sure!    Martha Stewart and Johnny were carving pumpkins like  normal people.  Woooh!  Full body shiver on that!  Not only is this movie taking your hard-earned money, it is taking even more  than usual.  TA.. DAAAA!  It’s in glorious 3-D.  Ka-Ching!  Paying even more bucks  for stupidity and frightful behavior.  Would love to know how many at the theatre, were between the ages 12 and 18.   Our future leaders.  Should I be worried? 

Allow me to speak on 3-D  movies.  I have watched many 3-D movies with and many without my children.  I must say, overall I did not feel that the differences in the movie experience itself , was worth the up charge.  For a total of 2 to 3 minutes of special effects in an entire 2 hour movie.  Remember Jaws 3-D?   I’m just not sold on it yet.  I watched Avatar both ways.  Not a huge difference, it was still great!     Still, there is nothing like the experience of watching a movie on a gigantic screen with THX sound.  That is my favorite part of going to the movies.  As a young child, I had always walked to the theatre and would sit through 2 showings.   Not possible today.  Going over every scene in my mind, the wardrobe of both men and women, how cute the guys were and if the story was plausible.  Even then I thought I knew how to make the picture much better!  Just the physicality of being immersed in a great story is the draw of the Big Screen presentation.  I loved it!   One of my dream jobs would have been becoming a Movie Critic.  


My favorite movie not in 3-D is   INCEPTION.  WOW!  This movie did not need anything else to set your mind reeling.  It was a tangled story and believe me it was thoroughly enjoyable.  Action, adventure, ensemble cast.   This was my favorite movie of the year.  Inception will be out on DVD on December 7th. 

The Town     If you can catch this flick before it goes away, please do.  Everyone who saw this movie really liked it.  Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner,  Jon Hamm.   

Up Coming Movies: 

SKYLINE      Be careful who you invite to visit  earth.  They just might come.   Whether you like it or not.  And you know how  Family Get- Togethers can be!     

DUE DATE        is in the vein of  The Hangover, but not as vulgar.  It is a road movie concerning a soon-to-be father (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and his cross-country trip to make it back in time for his baby’s birth — with the only roadblock being the dubious passenger (Galifianakis) who’s along for the ride.    Should be very, very funny!  Robert Downey Jr.  Nuff said.


I cannot end without giving special mention to the movie    The HANGOVER.   No way was I going to see this movie.  You know, another Men behaving badly movie with the usual scantily clad women and more crude language then necessary.  Well, I got over that!  I watched it at home and instantly became unglued.  Not easily done for me.  OMG!  The crude language is a bit much as well, but I got over that as well.   The over the top script was so bad, I felt guilty for laughing.  Thank goodness for rewind on the DVD player.  I never missed a scene.   This is sooo not the type of movie I ever watch, there is just something……   I put the movie in when more bad news seems to find me.  My friend and I exchange movie lines from The Hangover just to get us through the week.   I must pray for forgiveness


And Then…..The Holiday Movies are coming, The Holiday Movies are coming!

Shop Your Closet For The Best Bargains In Town!

 I first published this article back in October.   Recently, my BFF’s  have asked me to post a new one.  Not sure if I want to do a new one.  This still stands the test for the Holiday Season.  My first re-post!

Ralph Lauren $1098.00

The Jacket is Hotter than ever!  Possible even surpassing the Jacket, is  THE SWEATER .  Sweaters are back and, Are They HOT!  Shrugs, Open Style or Sweater Coats.  Beautiful Textures, luxurious yarns and spectacular style.   The sweater pictured is from Ralph Lauren $1098.00.  It is beautiful!  Oh, Yeah, Like that’s coming home with me.   You can achieve trendy looks and high fashion style for a few bucks and a little time.  Take what you have right now and make it great.  Give yourself the opportunity to change-up that satin top or much-loved blouse.  You can be hip and more importantly, on trend.  God Forbid you are not!!  Do not get me wrong.  This is not only about fashion, It is about how we feel when we Look Good!    When women can save Big Bucks and Look FABULOUS, we are Happy People!   We all know that fashion dressing is an emotional journey. We experience this little “trip” every morning in front of the mirror.  And this journey can be had, for a boat load of dollars less, than you think. 
  I love looking at Designer Trend Lines and Haute Couture Fashion.  And, sure enough, other “Fashion Folk” will eventually  plagiarise these styles and sell them at 10% of the designer price.  Today’s Style Savvy Woman or Man, can take what you already own and just by adding a few touches of your own, turn out a look, that is nothing shy of  Simply  Fabulous!    I cruise the Designer sites and troll for fashion ideas I can steal, I mean utilize every month.  After numerous trips to cyber  “Fashion Worlds”, I begin to shop my closet!   When I am Finished there, I move on to Consignment Shops, Goodwill Stores and Garage Sales.   This you must do with an Open Mind.  Do not become timid now.  You can do it!  Here a few of my guidelines for saving hefty bucks.
1.  Shop Your Closet:     A few days before, call your best friend or sister or mom.  You will need someone riding shotgun on this.  Plus, it’s just more fun.  Okay, Okay!  You can do a trial run by yourself if you feel the need.  On “shopping” day, turn on some feel good music,  what ever gets your groove on.  Put out a beverage or two or six, maybe some tasty snacks for later.  Take everything out of your closet.  Everything.  Shoes, Purses, all accessories.  Have your  jewelry case on standby as well.  Unless your bedroom is a gigantically huge room, in which case I will hate you forever, by all means display everything in the living room for example.  Preferably on a day or an evening when you can take your time.  The decisions you make in this process are not to be rushed.  Dollars, $$$,  at stake here!  Have a Garment Rack?  Bring it out.   Look over the pieces you have and put aside those that may be stained or looking too worn or even the dreaded, “why did I buy this”.  DO NOT THROW THEM OUT!  Trust me! Put them aside.  They have a use.  Display like items together as a store would do.  Dresses together, shirts, blouses, you get it.  Add at least 1 full length mirror.  2 or more is better : )   Next, grab your camera or video camera.  Just trust me.  You will want to remember  which pieces you put together. 

MotorCycle Jacket $249.00 (on sale)

SHOPPING DAY!     YEAH!    Time to have Fun!  Start by dressing in separates that  you have never worn together in your life.  Throw on a leather jacket and belt it.  C’mon just start.  Remember as a child when you put on 3 shirts, a frilly skirt, donned 12 necklaces and paraded for hours in 5 inch heels from mom’s closet?   Do it again.  NO RULES!  When you have a few NEW outfits lined up, make sure you take photos or video to remind you.   Search your stack of catalogs or the  magazine rack  for style ideas  while rummaging thru your clothes.  Try replicating a few ensembles with what you have displayed.  Play with your clothes.  If all you are missing is a belt or a sweater to complete a look you wish to achieve, put those items  on the ” I need this” Shopping List for another day.  A small spiral notebook or class it up with a small journal.   Just keep a list.      
CATAGORY:     Take all the pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories and “what the hell was I thinking” stuff and sort all of them.   If a shirt is beyond all hope, cut it up for cleaning towels.  For goodness sakes, don’t buy cleaning towels with your hard-earned money.  I know they can be oh so cute!  They are free in your closet.
 1)     Law Of Fabric:    Think of all the shirts, skirts, dresses and blouses as “Fabric”.   Just like purchasing fabric at Fields Fabric or Joanns.  Even old sweaters are”fabric” of sorts.   Sweaters can be used for re-covering a dog pillow.  Also, look at the beautiful buttons.  Buttons definitely have a new purpose.  People collect them.  Again, if you know a sewer, she may want them.  A dress is merely a couple of yards of fabric.  Once you start to think of clothing this way, your mind can come up with dozens of ideas.  So, change your thinking.  Any decent minded sewer knows you NEVER THROW ANY FABRIC AWAY.  It is a LAW.  OK!  Now this is where the buddy who sews comes in.  Any piece of clothing can miraculously turn into a “trendy bit of stuff”.   In the blink of an eye,  Poof!   Another stylish ensemble.  After all, Cinderella had her friends, the mice,  who sewed and sang their way to quite a lovely frock.  And look how she turned out!!  Just sayin.
2)    Creative:   Have lots of belts in your closet?  Turn those skinny belts into bracelets.  Chain belts are soooo easy to re-invent.  It’s jewelry.  Add a few metal brads or add beads, put on a few stones from old jewelry. That belt can transform into hot looking bracelets or what ever you want them to be.  It is so  Cool.  Any crafty person can help you with this.  Voila!  A one of a kind bracelet that you can say, ” Oh, I picked this up at a cute little boutique in New York” .  Well that’s what I would say.   You do not have to over-share these little re-invented treasures with anyone.  However, If your friend spills the beans.  Just Remember, you probably know DIRT on her as well, and not afraid to use it.  : )    Me, I Love Pearls.  So I just had to show you this photo.  Love it!  There is a bracelet to match.

Pearls on Woven Belt $450.00

3)   Exchange:   Purses and shoes.  Same applies.  Re-Invent them, sell them or another Barb’s Super Saver Tip is:   Have an  EXCHANGE PARTY!   Yes, that’s right.  Call your friends and neighbors and have an “Exchange Party”.  Everyone brings items they no longer need or want.  Drinks, Snacks, Lots of Laughs.  I always like to have a few “Where Did That Come From” items to kick it up a notch.  Conduct the exchange in Freestyle or as an Auction with play money.  Remember!  Leave your wallets at home.  We are here to save money and go home Gorgeous.    The Exchange Party also works with household items.  A lamp, desk, Vases, bar-ware, you name it.  Just have fun with it.
4)      Consignment Shops- 2 ways:    The quality is usually very good, lots of recognizable names.  The prices are a fraction of the department stores.  Again, look at each piece of clothing in 2 ways.  Questions to ask:   Can I wear this off the rack as is or, can I tweak it?   Perhaps re-invent it into something even more stylish?  As is or remaking  your purchase is still going to save big bucks.  Your budget will love you.  And, you will love yourself.  Bring your  “fashion needs” notebook or journal.  See, this is why I said to write it down.  What pieces do you need to complete a “look” you were going for?  The Notebook or Journal is a  great idea for department store shopping as well.    Carry it with you.   Mine is well-worn and loved.  Saves time and money on returning items.    Having trouble finding a consignment shop you like.  Ask around.  Check local ads.  I have my favorites.  One of which, the proceeds go to the cancer society.  Sometimes I might pay a bit more, but it’s all good.   Once you find the store you like.  Let the staff know you are looking for certain pieces and certain sizes.  They want your business.  They will keep a watchful eye and ring you up when a stylish bit of stuff comes in.  Networking at it’s finest. 

Fashion Journal


5)   Goodwill or Salvation Army:     Have you been lately?  Everything from computers to lace bras.   I found 2 tall bookcases in excellent condition for $20 bucks each.  They accompanied my friend  home.  Cool!   Finds include, lots of prom type dresses, wedding dresses,  some career clothing, it all goes fast.  Do not forget the  fabric rule.  If it’s a nice piece of fabric, it can be transformed.   Jeans, jeans and more jeans.   Have any ideas for jeans?  These stores have tons of jeans.  Need pots for your plants.  They got ’em!  Just take your time and look with an open mind.   An old leather vest came come to life again with new buttons, a zipper  and a few stitches to give it more shape.  Alterations at a local shop would be minimal $$.  Tip to remember:  These stores  have  Sales  on certain days and the last day of the month is usually 1/2 off day.  Even better!!  Check for any flyers at the front desk as you walk in.
6)     Garage Sale:  I know, I know!   A garage sale or yard sale does take time to prepare and set up.  I am an old pro at garage sales.  No comments please.   It is Fall where I live and temps can be quite cool now.  I had a sale a few weeks ago.  Did pretty darn well.  Once your items are prepared and marked, the battle is over.  It’s Money Time.  Spring and Summer is the best of times for this.  To me, I do not care.  I have a ball anyway.  Coffee and  donuts with my friends and lots of really cool conversations with my “customers”.  Having a sale is sort of like being a BarTender.  People will say anything  and they do.  All the while making money in your own driveway.  Who knew.  Best time to start thinking garage sale?  January!  You have lots of nice lovely gifts from the Holidays, right?  Plus, you get snowed in any way and the Cable keeps going out so, what to do?  Gather the family and start going thru your STUFF.  Sort it out and mark your items to sell. At the very least, sort it and mark later.   Fold and pack the items away in bins or boxes.  Voila!  come the Spring, you are good to go!  I know you will find even more items for this sale.  **Do not forget, rule # 1,  look at the clothing pieces as a possible re-inventable item. **  Household items can be re-purposed in new way as well. 
Just ensure he has a pair of great fitting jeans, when you find them, buy several.  Same goes for most men’s clothes.   I love the look in the photo.  Please do not buy bulky sweaters.  Soft, luxurious fibers are best, such as a cashmere blend.  Check out Macy’s, Kohls and J C Penney.   Simple. Stylish.  Good Looking!  Who could ask for more?   And you get to take him home!  Look for men’s clothing at consignment shops and garage sales.  I see great pieces all the time. Again, make friends with the staff of those shops. 

Ralph Lauren Cashmere $397.50

Alas, I would never forget the guys.  They make us happy, so  we must take care for them.  Some men are really good at choosing a style or already have their own “look”.  Throwing on a week old t-shirt, jeans that would stand alone if not for the rips and thinking your scruffy beard is hot look, does not work!    It is a sure-fire way to repel the opposite sex.   Girls, we need to lend a hand.    For some, this is a process and cannot be completed overnight.  There is not enough spackle and duck tape in the world to accomplish this overnight.  Men are simple to dress.   How many accessories does your guy wear?  See?   They are simple.  Follow the same principles as you did with your clothes.  First:   Ply them with liquor and make promises of a future date night.   Always keep your promises though!  Second: Now that you have their attention, they will play along.  Do not worry.  Just make it fun.  Well, not that much fun!  Whatever you do, DO NOT BE MEAN!  It is a RULE.    Penalties will be assessed.   So, If your fella has 87  T-Shirts, ranging from pristine to thread bare.  You need to talk.  I know some t-shirts have special meaning.  Save them or display them.  It’s OK!    Unless your guy works at home depot, or Meineke Muffler, he does not need 10 t-shirts with their logo.    Again, think cleaning towels.  Free!   Third:  Buying 5 shirts made in a distant country may be cheap, but rarely will they last.  Since he already owns 87 t-shirts , go ahead,  save up for a well made $50.00 button down shirt like the one in the photo. Cashmere sweaters can be found for under a $100.   He’s gonna look so handsome and you can parade with him all over town.  As ZZ Top sang ” Coz’ every girls crazy bout a sharp dressed man”.  Amen!


Happy Endings:    You have now cleaned out the clutter from your closet.  Emptied those bins in the basement and made money.  WooHoo!  Rule:  Save money and time by thinking about what you already have in your closet and how  you can re-invent those pieces that need a little help.  Don’t tell me you do not have the time.  You make time to spend money, how about making time to save money.  No excuses.  Find the friend who sews or look up a tailor.   Be carefull  and shop smart  when you make purchases.  If you buy quality fabrics, they will serve you well.    You will end up with a great style which will make you feel like a million $.  Priceless to be exact!  You will exude confidence in the knowing,  you did not spend un-wisely.  Not only are you stylish but you are Brilliant!  Look at you.  You are Fabulous aren’t you?  I knew it all along.

Another Priceless Moment:   Lastly, the money you save can go directly into the savings account.  Use it for what you need.  Take a vacation.  How about a much-needed kitchen remodel?   Or, better yet,  just savor that peace of mind, always knowing you have cash in the bank!  You did it!  Just think, if we were guys we’d Chest Bump!!
Until Next Time……..Thanks everyone.