Friday, July 29, 2011

Things Beauty and Such – Body Lotion

I am obsessed with and addicted to lotion and I never leave the house without being moisturized from face to toe. I have different lotions for my face, my eyes, my body, my hands, my feet which I use in the daytime and at nighttime. I am obsessed with moisturizing myself, but today I will be focusing on body lotion.

Occasionally, I can be easily influenced when it comes to beauty tips. I say ‘occasionally’ because sometimes I just don’t listen as I feel like I know what works best for me. After watching an episode of Oprah, which featured women who aged incredibly well, (one woman in her 70’s easily passing for her late 40’s) I learned that the secret to their youthful appearance was moisturizing.

From that moment forward, I’ve slathered my body with lotion each and every time I stepped out of the shower.

I’ve always been serious about lotion, but my addiction intensified after I turned 18. With 14 years of lotion loving under my belt, I definitely have some favorites

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion: My very first lotion and probably the first for many of us, is Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion. This has a timeless, light scent and every time I smell this lotion it takes me back to being a child again. How can a lotion be timeless? Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion is like Jesus; the same yesterday today and forever. Lol. This is a lotion that you could use as a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult and a senior citizen and still smell appropriate. (Who knew there was an appropriate way to smell?) The only reason I don’t own a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion is because I got distracted by the variety of other lotions available to me.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter: When I was 18 years old, I noticed a few stretch marks on the back of my calves. I don’t know how I was able to look back there and notice this, but I was horrified at having stretch marks at such a young age. Due to a case of the chicken pox, which took place shortly after I noticed the stretch marks behind my calves (unnoticeable to anyone else), I began using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter rigorously. I love the smell of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. I’ve tried cocoa butter by other brands, but none have really smelled as good as Palmer’s.

St. Ives: Before I began my relationship with Bath & Body Works (Yes ‘relationship’ and it’s a serious one), I swore that St. Ives Cucumber Melon and Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon lotions were one and the same. I’ve since stopped liking fruity scents, but at the time, I was cheap; okay, cheaper than I am today and I wouldn’t buy Bath & Body Works’ Cucumber Melon because it was more expensive and St’ Ives was more affordable. St. Ives is a great lotion, I just prefer the softer scents. I have the St Ives Vitamin E on my nightstand for pre-slumber hand moisturizing. (Hand moisturizing is another category of obsession for me which will be saved for a separate blog). I also love the St. Ives Swiss Vanilla and St. Ives Aloe Chamomile, but I don’t have any room for them at the moment.

AVON and Mark: I’ve been an AVON Representative for six years, and I’m proud to say, that even though AVON is a bad influence on me, I have been able to narrow my lotion purchases down to two…. Okay three. My favorites are: Mark’s Lemon Sugar Body Butter, Pumpkin Spice Hand and Body Lotion and Skin so Soft - Soft and Sensual. I never thought I would like a pumpkin scented lotion, but the scent isn’t overwhelming. I keep this lotion in my kitchen, because pumpkins belong in the kitchen.

I like SSS – Soft & Sensual because the scent is light enough that it doesn’t overpower my perfume. I used to do double moisturizing duty in the summer mixing SSS with baby oil on my arms and legs to avoid dry knees/elbows. The moisture doesn’t last all day if you use either by themselves and the added baby oil is for moisturizing insurance.

Johnson’s (again) Baby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E: After I was introduced to Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, my morning double duty moisturizing routine became much easier and less time consuming. No more mixing lotion with baby oil, this baby oil gel does the work of both.

Laura Mercier: Gia and her posh friend, M. Soto invited me to be a member of Gilt Groupe, a website that sells expensive ish at discounted prices. The sales that happen on this website are stressful and to be taken seriously. The sales are so serious that I could only handle being a part of one. It stressed me out. This one sale, which began at noon, involved a Laura Mercier Crème Soufflé Sampler Set including Almond Coconut Soufflé, Crème Brulee Soufflé and French Vanilla Soufflé Body Creams.

You wouldn’t think that other people are also waiting eagerly at their computers, counting down the seconds until noon arrives, but once noon hits, you’d better add your items to the shopping cart and hit ‘checkout’, FAST! Because if you hesitate on your purchase even for a second, you will be wait listed. WAIT LISTED!! For lotion! It was too fancy for me, but not so fancy that I couldn’t spend $35 so my body could smell like soufflé when I go to bed. Was it worth the $35? Hell yes! Would I purchase it again? I won’t if I am unaware that there is sale taking place.

I hate clutter, but I’m having a hard time parting with the Laura Mercier lotion containers. I keep trying to think of how I could use them for storing…something. They will end up in the garbage one day, but for the time being, I love them.

Victoria’s Secret: I use my $10 Victoria’s Secret coupons to buy their $16 lotion. I would like to say that I wouldn’t pay $16 for lotion, but I just proved that I would pay much more if you catch me at a weak influential moment in the day.

My favorite lotions from Victoria’s Secret are from their Naturally Hydrating Collection. I love the Vanilla Sandalwood which I use at night in the wintertime. I also have the Violet & Jasmine on my bathroom sink and the Hibiscus Yumberry on the bookshelf in my hallway so that I can lotion my hands as I’m walking out the door.

Bath and Body Works: (Last, but certainly not least) I shouldn’t blame anyone else for what happened to me after I made the mistake of following Gia into a Bath and Body Works store one New Year’s Eve many years ago, on the last day of their semi-annual sale. Madness is what happened to me. Imagine someone buried by bottles and bottles of Bath and Body Works lotions and creams; rolling around in the nude giggling with insanity. That’s not what I did, but I might as well have. Rice Flower and Shea, which was discontinued AND THEN BROUGHT BACK, was my gateway Bath and Body Works Lotion. I’ve tried almost all of them, but my favorites for the summer are, White Tea Ginger, Lemongrass Sage, Cherry Blossom, and Sweet Pea. My favorite for the winter is Warm Vanilla Sugar. For some reason I like Cotton Blossom and Green Clover & Aloe as bedtime scents.

It didn’t help that my job used to be located a block away from a Bath and Body Works shop. Once we moved away from that location, I thought I would be in the clear. I really should have more control over myself.

Just as I was returning to normal levels of lotion appreciation, I had the nerve to throw caution to the wind by smelling the Aromatherapy Sleep - Lavender Chamomile and Aromatherapy Sleep - Lavender Vanilla; I bought both, but my heart skipped a beat for the Lavender Vanilla so I also bought the hand soap, which I keep on my bathroom sink. I wasn’t the only one who felt a special bond with the Lavender Vanilla Hand Soap, because once I ran out, I had to go to about four different Bath and Body Works shops before I was able to find one that had it in stock.

Every time I think that my relationship with Bath and Body Works might be at its end, when I’m down to the bottom of one of their bottles of lotion, I receive a coupon in mail. A little reverse psychology to remind me that they have not forgotten about me, when all they really want is my money. And my dumb-ass always falls for it.

And there you have it. All of the lotions that I have had a relationship with at one point or another in my life. Eventually, I plan on narrowing down my favorites to a few signature selections. This is always my goal, my resolution, but then there is always one that I still haven’t tried…

To smooth, soft skin!!

~Louise C.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Undies in a Bunch Giveaway

Hello everyone,

The hours are ticking away. You have until 11:59pm tonight to win a signed copy of Undies in a Bunch, by visitng Danfredo Rivera and commenting on her Sponsor Spotlight & Giveaway: Louise Cazley blog post.

~Louise C.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Restaurant of the Month – Tequillaville

My fifth featured Restaurant of the Month is Tequillaville:

12 Vanderbilt Avenue
(Between 42nd and 43rd Streets)
New York, NY 10017
Cuisine: Mexican

It wouldn’t be right for me to have my Book Sign & Mingle event at without including Tequillaville as one of my Restaurant of the Month posts.

Gia introduced me to Tequillaville and what I love most about this restaurant is the Cheers atmosphere as the staff is familiar with us and most of the patrons who are regulars.

I happened to be there the Friday before Halloween last year and the entire staff and some customers were decked out in Halloween costumes. Music was playing, people were dancing and laughing; there was just a good time jovial vibe. And even when it isn’t a Halloween, I always have a good time at this place.

The manager, Nestor is very nice and accommodating and Jorge, the bartender, always remembers what we like to eat and what we like to drink. He always comes around for last call before happy hour ends, which a lot of other places won’t do.

Tequillaville’s Happy Hour, which is in the bar area and sometimes extends to the upper level, is Monday-Wednesday from 11:30am – 8pm; Thursday-Friday from 11:30am – 7pm and Saturday from 1pm – 7pm. I find it interesting that their happy hour starts so early during the work week, Lol.

The happy hour special varies from day to day, but it’s usually ½ price margaritas, beers, potato skins, nachos and wings.

I can’t give a review on anything besides the margaritas and the potato skins which is mainly what I go there for. Lame, I know I should try something different, but as I said, I am loyal and my loyalty also extends to food.

I have yet to taste better potato skins anywhere else. Some places make their potato skins with bacon that is still a little soggy. At Tequillaville, the bacon is baked until crispy on top of cheese covered baked potatoes.

There is a stereotype that black people are known for liking chicken, and I do, but I do not like wings. I feel like they are a waste of time and energy for that little bit of meat. So it’s potato skins for me all the way.

There is a juke box is the bar area of the restaurant so it can get a little loud, but because I feel so at home here, I don’t mind the noise at all. It is a bar, so I expect it to get noisy. And the bathrooms are clean. He-he!

If you are free tomorrow, at 6:00pm, please visit me at Tequillaville to purchase a signed copy of Undies in a Bunch. Have a drink, and stay a while.

Visit Menu Pages for more of their menu options.

Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow and maybe I won’t. Either way, happy eating!


PS: Don't forget to visit Danfredo Rivera, for a chance to win a signed copy of Undies in a Bunch!

I've Been Featured!!

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was busy as I spent a lot of time obsessing over myself by creating jobs for myself that have to do with my upcoming book signing. More about that later.

I would like to share with you all that I have been featured on another blog today!! My new friend (I’ve only known her for about five minutes, but I don’t care she’s my friend) and fellow blogger, Danielle of Danfredo Rivera, is giving away a SIGNED COPY of Undies in a Bunch on her blog.

Please visit her blog and follow her rules for a chance to win this fabulous giveaway!!

~Louise C.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Restaurant of the Month – Neely’s Barbeque Parlor

My fourth featured Restaurant of the Month is Neely’s Barbeque Parlor:

1125 First Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(Between 61st and 62nd Streets)

The friend whom I visited Neely’s Barbeque Parlor with, has been following the Neely’s (a married couple) on the Food Network Channel.

Just thinking about the ambiance inside of this restaurant gives me a dose of warm nostalgia.

When I was little and still living in London, my mom and I frequented a park called Clissold Park. There was an ice cream parlor (emphasis on the word ‘parlor’) in the park, where my mom always took me to get ice cream. This was no ordinary ice cream shop. The windows stretched from floor to ceiling making the interior sunny, bright and cheery. The ice cream parlor had a porch front entrance/exit with umbrella covered, café seating; and was surrounded by the flowers that were growing all over the park

I haven’t been to that park since I was about six years old, but whenever I smell roses, it always brings me back to the ice cream parlor inside Clissold Park.

The design in one section of Neely’s Barbeque Parlor was reminiscent of the ice cream parlor I used to visit in London with my mom.

Depending on where you are seated, there is a different feel in the atmosphere for each separate dining area at Neely’s Barbeque Parlor; as the design is different in each area, but also unified.

With black and white photos hung throughout the restaurant, which may or may not be family photos, I really felt like I was walking into a home.

I and my friends were lucky enough to be seated in a private, carpeted room with dark red damask wall paper, adorned with gold frames and chairs covered in velvety softness.

The room was lit by a chandelier which was suspended above the dining table. Stepping into this room, I didn’t feel like I was dining at a restaurant. I felt like I was down south in the dining room of a big breasted woman who only referred to me as “Baby”. I felt like I should have worn a big fancy hat, gloves and carried a hand fan in my purse for this affair. I felt like I should have a French-Creole accent and speak in a passionate tone of voice as my friends and I passed the food around the table to each other.

There was also an iPod dock in the room so that you could control your own music, but we weren’t able to figure this out.

Now to the food. Sorry, no happy hour special here, but the food is still very affordable.

See their menu:

If you are a Muslim or you are depriving yourself from sweet, succulent swine for another reason, this might not be the restaurant for you as there will be fewer dinner selections. But for me it was heaven! I learned that Mrs. Neely’s favorite animal is a pig so most of the dishes are made with pork. Sigh, a woman after my own heart.

From the appetizer menu, I had the Pulled Pork Hushpuppies with spicy Carolina dipping sauce; I’m not much of a saucey girl, I tried it, but I ate my hushpuppies sans sauce. Everyone else loved the sauce, though. I also tasted the Cornmeal Fried Mississippi Catfish. YUM!! A little crunch on the outside, soft, flakey fish on the inside.

For my entrée I had, the Memphis Style Baby Back Ribs (Dry) with Sweet Potato Fries. I couldn’t finish it, but it was just as tasty when I gobbled up my leftovers the next day.

For dessert (I ordered to go. I wasn’t gonna miss out on this!!) I ordered the Red Velvet Cake. The huge slice of cake they served me, with filled me with joy because I knew that I wouldn’t eat a slice of cake that size in one sitting. (I LOVE cake) I ate half that night and throughout the night, I took just one more bite; just one more bite; just one more bite…until the cake was gone. That slice of cake never stood a chance.

The service:

Our waitress was a little bit of a space cadet, but she was pretty and very nice. See, I followed up one negative with two positives. I will give her a free pass because the restaurant had had its grand opening only three days before.

There were fancy plates and napkins that were set on the table which we weren’t supposed to use for eating. I guess they were just placed on the table as a display and were supposed to be removed before our food arrived, but that is not what happened. I began to feel un-special as the waitress walked around the table to remove the plates and napkins after our appetizers arrived and one of us had already started using one of the plates to eat; because what are plates used for if you can’t use them to eat. I felt like the plates and napkins were only to be taken out and used for the ‘good-company’ and we were not one of the good.

See the "Good Company" place setting:

The waitress forgot to bring some dishes, brought duplicate dishes and added dishes to our bill that we did not order, but all can be forgiven if the issues are resolved, and they all were!

The bathrooms:

I always have to go there. In more ways than one. (he-he). Everything I drink goes right through me, so the bathroom being on the lower level of the restaurant, away from the dining floor wasn’t fun. But that’s only my opinion; people with normal bladders might not mind this at all.

The stalls in bathroom, although clean and good smelling were dark. So dark, that you could hardly find the lock on the bathroom door because you couldn’t see.

All in all I had a fantastic time at this restaurant and I cannot wait to go back again!!

I kind of get the feeling that us being seated in the private room was a one time deal. I think that as the place becomes more popular, you might have to reserve that space and place a deposit before you can be seated there. But that's just my thought. The restaurant could very well stay the way it is, with its lovely, southern charm.

Visit their website to view more if their menu options.

Enjoy, and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.
Photos by Neely's Barbeque Parlor

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introducing Things Beauty and Such – Proactiv

Sometimes I feel silly writing some of the things I write. I wonder who the hell would be interested in this topic or that topic. But this blog is a reflection of me. My blog is also for you lovely readers, of course. Danielle of Danfredo Rivera inspired me to be myself in the blog world, so mucho besos to her. I don’t plan to write half of the things I write about. They just pop into my head and I then feel an urgency to write it down and share it. I don’t know where this blog is going, but I’m just going with it. With that said I would like to introduce my latest topic: Things Beauty and Such.

I’m introducing one of my besties Gia in this blog because she has been my pusher over the years by introducing me to different items and beauty products. She encourages me to try new things and spend my money. Gia is responsible for the monster that I have become and she is the reason that I have two large baskets of lotion in my bedroom. She is the reason for the bottles of perfume permeating my bedroom and cluttering my dresser top. She is responsible for so many of my dollars going into bottles, tubs and tubes of things that make your skin soft and your body smell good.

A little bit about Gia: Gia is not her real name. G-I-A are her pre-matrimonial initials. Gia is my sister from another mother…and father. Well God is our father so we have the same father, LOL. Gia and I met in elementary school and we have been friends for 22 years and counting; making this the longest relationship that I have ever been in with anyone besides my mother.

As we have become women, Gia has grown into one of those hoity-toity heffas who likes to spend money on the finer things in life. She is a Condoleezza Rice hair-do having young woman who does not paint her own nails, but always has them done as she pays people to paint them for her. She also walks around with expensive bags from France and shit. She wears pearls (the earring and the necklaces) and sometimes dresses like a lady from the LL Bean catalog.

Some of the items that she gets into are just too expensive for my taste (like the French bags) and although I make fun of her, she knows about some good stuff. So when my skin began breaking out, probably due to the hormonal change of no longer taking BC Pills, she suggested that I try Proactiv.

While taking BC Pills, my skin was smooth, glowy, clear and flawless and although I didn’t have enough of an acne problem to need Proactiv, clear-skinned Gia assured me that I would never have another breakout again if I used Proactiv.

First I tried the regular formula. The pamphlets warn you that you will experience breakouts before your skin clears. My face EFFING hurt!! Even as a teenager I’d never broken out that way. But I still gave it a chance waiting two months before throwing in the towel and getting a refund.

I was left with acne marks and a worse acne problem than I had before I tried Proactiv. Gia who is a damn know-it-all suggested that I might not have used Proactiv correctly. Yes, because I don’t know how to read “Don’t use any other products while using Proactiv.” Or “Use all products twice a day.” I did everything that the pamphlets said to do. I even tried using it once a day just in case it was too strong, which the pamphlets also suggested. I had followed the directions like I was supposed to, thank you very much.

After giving up on Proactiv, I went into overdrive trying to correct the flaws on my face, because your face is everything. Your face is the first thing people see and it is the first thing that you are judged by.

I bought so many facial products trying to correct my face but it just kept getting worse. My bathroom floor could compete with pharmacy shelves, as there was no room left on my bathroom shelves to house all of the facial washes, astringents, benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid products I’d purchased.

I’ve never worn makeup, but now I went hunting for a foundation that would cover up yet not irritate my already bothered skin. I tried Bare Minerals, but it made me look too made up. I tried Clinique’s Even Better, but the breakouts got worse. I tried Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, which I was so, so sad to have to return as I loved this product, but the ingredient that absorbed oil wasn’t good for acne prone skin. 'Acne prone skin’ wasn’t even a term that has ever pertained to me.

I forgot that my skin is sensitive and if I put too many products on my face I will break out in a rash in addition to the acne. Foundation just made the situation worse. Thank God for places like Macy’s and Sephora who have forgiving return policies.

Frustrated, I took myself to the dermatologist and she gave me samples and a prescription for four, FOUR! products that I should use on my face. After using them for one day, hard growths developed under my skin.

When Proactiv announced that they now had a sensitive skin formula, I decided that I would try it again. Proactiv has such a high success rate so I gave it another shot. I knew that I would face the whole breakout initiation period again for the first few weeks, so I was mentally prepared for it. But even after their supposed initiation period, my face never cleared up. I became a slave to my face, anally following each and every single step outlined in their pamphlet. I prefer for things to be simpler and this began to feel like work. There would be a slight glimmer of clear skin, but my skin never got anywhere near clear at all. Instead my face erupted into painful breakouts in places I’d never ever broken out before in my life. Between my eyes, on my eye lids, under my nose. Once again, my face HURT!

I am very loyal so I stuck with the product for three months this time. I gave it a real fighting chance to convince me that it was worth my money. I am a believer that when a company has a good return policy it’s because they believe in their product and they don’t expect you to want a refund. I cut my loses with the first round of my $50.00 spent on Proactiv, but I WILL be getting a refund for the second and third billings.

Three weeks ago I admitted to myself that Proactiv was not working for me. I turned to my selection lined up on the floor against my bathroom wall and chose the Neutrogena face wash, astringent and benzyl peroxide. This would be my new skin regimen. Nothing special. Just wash, swipe, dab and moisturize before going to bed.

Wouldn’t you know my skin is beginning to resemble the skin of BC Pill popping Louise. Last week my skin was 75% better than it ever was on Proactiv and this week it’s 85% better. I don’t know where I get these percentages from, just go with it.

I’m getting compliments again instead of “What’s wrong with your face? You never had acne before.” The sun might be responsible for the glowiness, but I can’t deny that my face looks so much better. And I feel free. I no longer have to stick to a strict list of instructions or wait weeks for my products to be shipped. I AM FREE!

The one Proactiv product that I think is great is the Refining Mask, other than that I wouldn’t touch Proactiv again with a ten foot pole.

So the lesson here, which I already knew, but got hoodwinked by Gia: Less is more. What works for others doesn’t always work for you; in beauty products and in life.

Who knew I could write so much about acne medication.

To clearer skin!!

~Louise C.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

These Mean Streets of Hungry Men

All your life you are told not to talk to strangers. But what do you do when strangers are always talking to you?

Men; tall, short, ugly, fat, handsome, kind of handsome, drunk, sober, homeless - they ruin everything for me. A simple stroll down the street, a trip to the supermarket or the Laundromat, my quiet train ride; all of these activities become an opportunity for men to bombard me with unwanted approaches. Some of them sweet and uplifting, others downright insulting and offensive.

Men are always on the prowl so I am full aware that I am definitely not the only woman privy to this behavior.

It doesn’t help that my body is of the voluptuous making. I exude sexiness even when I don’t want to. In an attempt to remedy and repel these unwanted advances, I used to wear larger clothing to cover up my body. Life is too short and I like fashion way too much to be walking around in frumpiness. So I had to let that solution go, embrace my body and accept that men are always on the hunt. They will never cease in offering women their penises multiple times during the day. Because that’s all this is really about. If men can manage to hold a woman’s attention and the woman agrees to go out with them, the end result is always to get us into bed.

I have a gangsta face reserved (although I am very un-gangsta) for when I am walking down the street to deter men from trying to talk to me; but my gangsta face doesn’t work. It actually has the opposite effect of men feeling compelled to speak to me. Telling me to smile and stop looking so mean.

One thing I’ve learned while walking these mean streets of hungry men, is that eye contact of any kind, even the mistaken eye contact of a man who is in your line of vision, is an invitation for an approach. For example, I could be looking into a store window at some shoes and a guy who just so happens to step into that space, will turn his attention to me because he has convinced himself that I am looking at him.

I could be standing at the street corner waiting for the light to change and there is some dude on the other side of the street giving me the eye. Or some old, pot-bellied guy across the subway platform giving me the 'come hither' glare. Like seriously. Do YOU really think you have a chance with ME? And it’s not even that I’m God’s gift to men, just I’m so different…out of the age group or, dare I say, league, of some of these men.

Some men slow their cars down and yell out of the car windows at me as I walk down the street. Driving alongside me as I walk is not flirtatious, it’s creepy. I feel like they try this method, because it has worked for them with a...different type of woman in the past.

Other times, if men are walking towards me, they edge themselves into my walking path in an attempt to box me into a conversation. Standing in my way does not make me want to give you my phone number. It makes me want to knee you in the balls.

The worst is when someone tries to hit on me in the morning. I am not a morning person so I have no desire to spend my hour long train ride being harassed by someone who decided to invite themselves into my personal space. I WILL switch train cars if the dude doesn’t read body language very well.

Men try all different kinds of tactics to begin a conversation with you. One man hovered around me waiting for me to end my phone conversation and one stopped me in the Arts and Crafts store to ask me if I knew a place where he could find cheaper needles. Seriously?! Needles?! He followed up by telling me, “Um, you have nice eyebrows.”

Some men even have the nerve to get catty with you when their egos get bruised. I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend when a man approached me and said hello. I said hello back, but because I was already in the midst of a conversation, which he rudely interrupted, maybe my words blended together and he thought that I didn’t address him. So he interrupted my conversation again. This time to reprimand me.

“You don’t speak when people speak to you?”

“I SAID, hello!” I replied. I actually felt a very, tiny bit sorry for him at my cutting reply which was a simple sentence, but was delivered with venom. Conversation over.

On these mean streets of hungry men, there have been outbursts of obscenities in what I could call an uncontainable passion for the female species. There have been many, many nasty-ass comments screamed out pertaining to my flashy bottom. “Tig-ole-bittiesss!” (Big old titties) was yelled at me as I was walking in Central Park. And “My cum will fill you up.” is a phrase that was delivered to a friend of mine. Some men seem to have absolutely no respect for us and this is what angers me.

Going out dancing can be a nightmare within itself. I love music and dancing and when there is a good beat that gets into my limbs I like to let loose and sway, shake and shimmy freely to the beats. My friends know this about me so on one occasion, when I became stiff, dancing an unenergetic two step, my friend asked what the hell was wrong with me. I was surrounded by a group of friends, but outside of that group, men were circling like vultures.

My friend reminded me that we were there as a group and that no one was going to get through the group to me, so if I felt like dancing I should dance. But two vultures managed to slip through anyway.

One vulture proceeded to rub one of his butt cheeks on me in a failed attempt at getting me to dance with him after I’d already told him thank you, but I did not want to dance with him. I mean just because you want me to rub my butt on you doesn’t mean I want yours touching me.

There is butt, as in buttocks, and there is ass. I have ass. Ass like donkey. And sometimes, my ass gives men the impression that I want to talk to them. Black men love the ass and they cannot lie. The sun rises and sets on the ass. As with the wild kingdom where animals stick to animals of their own species, most humans are usually attracted to those who are of the same race. With that being said, the majority of the men who hit on me are black men. Latin men come in at a close second.

The second vulture of the night followed me outside of the club as I was leaving to remind me that I promised to dance salsa with him. I made no such promise and I almost (unwisely) pointed out to him that I wasn’t there with him in the first place so I didn’t owe him anything. Instead I kept walking and thankfully he didn’t continue walking with me.

Men can get downright creepy as I have been followed on more than one occasion. Some man even pulled his penis out for me on the train. I mean, I’m flattered that he felt so strongly about me in his loins, but I wish he would have kept his hard-on to himself. I’m kidding; flattered is not what I was feeling as that disgusting event unfolded before my eyes.

I should be thankful that men are even trying to talk to me in the first place because one day when I’m old and saggier than I am now, no one will even turn to look in my direction. But with the way they come on to me, sometimes I can't help but wish they would leave me the hell alone.

Men can be so aggressive in their approach, and what they don’t realize is that they could get so much further by toning it down a little...a lot. I mean, I can’t knock these men for trying. What I’ve learned in life is that if you never try, you never know how far you could get. If you don’t ask the question, you will never know the answer. This is the positive message that I am going to take from having my breasts and ass talked about as if I am not present and for being undressed by the eyes of the hungry men.

~Louise C.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Restaurant of the Month - Jin

My third featured Restaurant of the Month is Jin:

252 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002
(Between Orchard and Ludlow Streets)
Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi

Jin wins my award for having the best happy hour special.


Yes, the word above is their award.

Jin’s happy hour is Monday – Friday from 3:30pm – 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm – 7pm. Everything on the happy hour menu is $3.00.

See the menu:

Jin’s sushi is the best sushi I eaten anywhere. Their sushi is made fresh at the sushi bar, an island in the middle of the restaurant.

You might suffer from “Eye’s Bigger than Stomach” syndrome, on your first visit to Jin, due to the fact that there are so many items on the menu for such a small price. Although the sushi and dumplings are top quality, I do have one con. I feel like the edamame could be left in the steamer for one extra minute. Maybe someone else enjoys a hard textured soy bean. I prefer mine to be on the softer side.

The drinks also being $3.00 only add the contented bliss at finding such a satisfying inexpensive meal.

This is another cozy feeling restaurant, housed with the exposed brick walls that I love. There is one unisex bathroom, which is always clean, at least when I have been there. They get an A for this.

The service is…Eh. It’s hit or miss. Some nights they are on point and others, you have to be a little aggressive. You could sit there for a good fifteen minutes waiting for the staff to check on you if you miss your opportunity to get their attention.

For $3 I don’t mind sitting there and taking the good with the bad.

Visit their website to view more of their menu options.

Enjoy, and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.
Photos from NY Restaurant Guide

Laundry and Prostitution

One of my stories in Undies in a Bunch, titled Laundry and Prostitution, was based on an experience I had getting picked up by a young girl while doing my laundry at the Laundromat. She was also doing her laundry with a guy who I believe was her pimp. She asked me if I would be interested in making a few extra bucks dancing at parties in which males would be the only attendees. I wrote this story in fun, because I couldn't believe something like that happened to me; that a girl approached me with the intention of pimping me out.

I read a lot of articles, some with substantial information and some with superficial information. I am a little of both, don't judge me. The article I read today was about sexual slavery and trafficking. It's easy for me, as an outsider, to see a way out for someone who has been trapped into that life. But after being stripped down mentally, those women don't believe that they have any other choice but to continue to live as they are. And some actually don't have a choice as it is their own parents who are the ones selling them for sex.

One talk show episode dedicated to sexual slavery in America, had a beautiful eighteen-year-old girl on as a guest who had been a prostitute for at least four years. When she mentioned that she had been raped multiple times (15-16 times) the host asked her, in an informative, not accusatory way, to explain to the audience how a prostitute can be raped. The girl explained that money is supposed to be exchanged before there is any sexual contact, but in one incident she'd tried to run away once she realized that the customer wasn't going to pay her. The customer had driven to an area she was unfamiliar with, so when she attempted to get away, she didn't know which direction to run in. And once the customer caught up to her, he dragged her back to his car and raped her.

The host asked her what she would have wanted to be if she wasn't a prostitute and the girl said that she would have liked to be a psychologist. The talk show host tried repeatedly to tell the girl that she could do anything that she wanted to do with her life, but the girl didn't have enough esteem or faith in herself to make it happen. For every piece of useful information the host gave her on ways to get out of prostitution, the girl responded with reasons why it wouldn't work. None of her reasons were valid, but she believed that they were. Maybe I’m wrong, but I felt a twinge of annoyance at the girl because she was making so many excuses. I had to remind myself that she doesn’t live in the world I live in and mentally, she’s been deprived of all the positive things available to her. It was obvious that she'd completely given up on herself and on life when she revealed that she didn't think she was going to live past the age of twenty-two. 

It's sad to think of all the young girls who end up in situations like this mostly because they don't have a good foundation at home.

In the article I read on the girl who was being trafficked by her parents since the age of 11, she used going away to college (which surprisingly her parents supported, but still expected her to 'work' at college and on the weekends) as her ticket out of that hell. What do you do when the people who are supposed to be protecting you are the ones treating you like merchandise? I applaud her for walking away and finding some sense of normalcy in her life.

When I read the different ways young girls end up sexually enslaved, I think of myself at the age of fourteen/fifteen and how easy it would have been for me to fall into this life. I wasn't promiscuous at all, but I was missing nurture and love. And when you are young, impressionable and naive, it's easy to trust someone; anyone who promises to get you away from what your teenage mind believes is the worst, unhappy life. And having no idea that even though things are bad, they could always be so much worse.

Sex trafficking spikes in locales hosting an event with high male attendance. This fact brought me back to that young girl in the Laundromat, who thought that I was as young as she, apparently. I can see her handing me her business card. Telling me about the party her 'boyfriend' is hosting that night and that he just needs us women to dance in sexy underwear. Nothing else, just dancing. Something tells me that if I were lost and empty enough in my soul to have gone, I wouldn't have made it out of that place being the same person I was going in. If I made it out at all.

If you are interested in helping to end trafficking, support with a donation or as a volunteer: End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes,

~Louise C.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Restaurant of the Month - Havanna 27

I've labeled this section of my blog Restaurant of the Month, but with there being so many great restaurants that I have visited over the years, it's almost impossible for me to give credit to only one Restaurant per month. That would mean that I would only mention twelve a year, or five this year, because we only have five months left until December (Damn it’s going fast!) and there are way too many good eating places for me to only mention five. So I will leave this section labeled Restaurant of the Month in honor of how I came to know many of these restaurants. But this could turn into Restaurant of the Week or Restaurant of the Every-Other-Week. Whatever, we'll see what happens.

My second featured Restaurant of the Month is Havanna 27:

27 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Cuisine: Cuban

Disclaimer: There will be many, many Latin restaurants mentioned in Restaurant of the Month because as I mentioned in Undies in a Bunch I am lover of Latin… almost everything.

I'm a sucker for a happy hour special and in this economy, we all should be.

Havanna 27’s happy hour is Monday - Saturday from 3pm - 7pm. All drinks and appetizers on their happy hour menu are ½ price.

See the menu:

I haven't eaten an actual meal at Havanna 27, as I am an appetizer whore, but the appetizers are delicious so I'm sure the entrees will not disappoint.

From this menu I have had the Tostones Rellenos Con Camarones (Green Plantains Stuffed with Shrimp in Creole Sauce). The tostones are molded into mini bowl shapes and filled with shrimp and the yummy Creole sauce. This is my favorite item on their menu.

I have also had the salmon cakes, which I don’t see on this menu, but I’m sure they serve. The salmon cakes are breaded and fried to crunchy perfection and the dipping sauce for the salmon was so good that I dripped it over the garnish the salmon cakes were presented on and gobbled the garnish up too.

The interior of Havanna 27, reminds me of David's Cuban Restaurant in Miami with the lively Cuban artwork on the walls.

The exposed brick, perfect amount of low lighting (not so low that you can’t see your food) and tea light candles glowing on the tables gives this restaurant a cozy, warm feel. And the restrooms are kept clean! That has nothing to do with the food, but it makes me feel so much better about the food I am eating when the restrooms are clean.

Depending on which night you visit Havanna 27, it could be a perfectly pitched atmosphere, as far as noise level goes, or it could be a tiny bit loud by the bar, which is understandable. I am an old lady trapped in a young woman’s body and do not like to have to yell at the person I am having dinner with, but if you get a drink in me, I blend right in with the noise-makers with my tipsy loud mouth.

In no way am I a restaurant critic and I will not be bashing any restaurants in my Restaurant of the Month blogs. I only want to share the good places to eat, so that you also can have a nice dinner that is healthy on your pocket.

Visit their website to view more of their menu options.

Enjoy, and until next time, happy eating!

~Louise C.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Introducing Restaurant of the Month - Patois

Restaurant of the Month began for me five years ago. Four of my friends and I decided to meet every month at a different restaurant in which we would each have a turn at choosing.

Restaurant of the Month had a very successful four-year run, but due to my friends having babies and buying houses too far from the city (the nerve), Restaurant of the Month is no more.

Because I have been blessed with the good fortune of having more than four friends, I continued the yummy venture of introducing and being introduced to many different cuisines and restaurant deals throughout New York City.

I don’t know what type of high society princess I think I am, but I love dining at restaurants. It is such a cozy and soothing experience to sit down with good company with the sole purpose of stuffing your face, laughing and talking as your belly becomes full. I just really enjoy restaurants, especially in this city.

Food is an important part of my life. Whether I am dining at a restaurant or I am the cook for breakfast, lunch or dinner, eating is not a chore or something I do because I need to survive. I respect my taste buds and I take them very seriously. Eating is an experience that brings me lots of pleasure.

I love preparing and serving food to myself and to others, and as a self proclaimed good cook, the rewards of my labor are in the tasty, delicious results of my meals. The taste of food is what I live for regardless of whether I am dining in or out, but I will save my love for cooking for a separate blog. This 'Restaurant of the Month' blog, is about dining out. I need to stay focused. I like food... I'm sure everyone got the point.

My first featured Restaurant of the Month is Patois:

177 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
(Corner of Mulbery Street and Broome Street)
Cuisine: French / Italian

Patois won me over with their Thursday, ladies night happy hour. See their flyer below:

The service is good, as the waiters are charming and polite, the food is always delicious, and even though each lady gets two free appetizers to herself, the appetizers are meal-sized. This depends on what your eating portions are, but there is always food leftover and I always leave this place stuffed.

All drinks are ½ off for ladies (on Thursdays), even if the drink you wish to order isn't on the drink menu. I’m not a big drinker, but everyone I have visited Patois with has agreed that the drinks are made very well. What I can say about the drinks is that although they are great, I can only have one. I'm a lightweight.

I have also been to Patois for Brunch. See their brunch menu:

For $12.95 (plus tax and the service charge) you get the brunch of your choosing, two mimosas or one bloody mary (I don't know what a bloody mary is, the description sounded gross, but I'll try it one day) and a cup of coffee. I didn't have room for coffee after everything else I had for brunch, but that is a delicious deal!

With a restaurant deal as great as Patois', you would expect to have to wait to be seated, but Patois is never crowded. It might be crowded soon, with people like me blabbing about how great their restaurant is.

Visit their website to view more of their tasty options.

Happy eating!

~Louise C.