Guess who's back!  After months of silence, a story on Good Morning America prompted me into returning.  It was about women who have cancer.  Some are opting out of chemotherapy treatments, because they don't want to lose their hair.  The story went on to talk about some new technology that decreases the chances of hair loss.  But honestly, they lost me way before that. 

Let's examine this--I get a cancer diagnosis and the doctor recommends chemotherapy as part of the treatment process.  My first thought is my hair?  And then I flat out refuse chemo?  Seriously?  Are we that vain as a society?  Can I get a rousing rendition of India Arie's "I Am NOT My Hair?

Ok, tell me the truth.  Would you refuse chemo because you might lose your hair? 

So, everyone knows that since Dear Daughter got accepted to both her first and second choice colleges, we've been trying to help her decide which to attend.  Either Clemson University in South Carolina or Drexel University in Philadelphia. 

She thought it best to visit each, and maybe one or the other would stand out.  But when I started planning the trips, it was chaos.  Planes,  rental cars, hotels, etc. etc.  I was so not looking forward to either trip.

However, thanks to Chevrolet, I'm actually looking forward to it now.  We will be undertaking a 8 day road trip that encompasses both University visits.  And we'll be riding in style--a 2010 Chevy Tahoe!!  This will happen in just a few weeks.  I'll even get to stop and meet some of you!  Details to come...  And of course, I'll keep you updated on our progress, through blog posts, videos, tweets, and photos.

Thanks Chevy for sponsoring our trip!!!

Your comments--priceless!!

If it's anyone's fault, I'd say it's my friend, Mikaela's fault.  You see, she's a lash expert.  I mean like--really, a LASH EXPERT.  This is what she does for a living.  She does lashes. For celebrities.  An expert.   A lash stylist and trainer. Really. And everytime I speak to her, she says, "Jewel, let me know when you are ready for some lashes and I'll do them for you."   But anyhow, she posted some pictures on her Facebook page for her business--LadyLash Studios.  Pictures of her work.  Gorgeous pictures. 

I've NEVER ever EVER wanted to enhance my eyelashes.  But, these were gorgeous pictures.  I saw them Saturday night.  Just before I went to bed.  Maybe, because I lost an hour, the images stuck with me.  Maybe.  But anyhow, I had a fancy event to go to yesterday.  But my eye liner pencil needed sharpening and eye lining is probably my strength in the makeup application arena.  And even that took me 30 years.  But anyhow, I went to Target to get a sharpener.

Well, right next to the sharpeners were some fake lashes.  Hmmmmmm.  AND they were ONLY $2.  DON'T JUDGE ME. So, what the heck, I can have that gorgeous LadyLash look for only $2.  Now why this made sense to me, I have no idea.  And the package said "Glamour Eyelashes--Ready to Wear--Self Adhesive."  I'm sold.  Fine.  I'm in.  Let's do it.  Well,  I got home and propped my mirror up on my desk.  Wait, did I mention that I had to be "out the door" in 15 mins.  Well, anyhow, I peeled the lashes from the packages.  They were even nice enough to mark them "right" and "left."  How helpful is that??? So far, I'm doing well.

Apply X brand EYELASHES as close to the base of your own natural lashes as possible.  Avoid inside corner of your eye.  Press down to adhere.
Simple enough, right?  Well in my efforts to avoid the inside corner of my eye, I ended up with the lash starting midways my eyelid and extending out to my hairline area.  So, I took it off and started again.  This time was worse--it was up near my brow and everytime i got the left side of the lash stuck down..the right side would pop up and when I got the right side down, the left sprung up.  Superglue briefly crossed my mind, but I fought that thought off--only because I didn't have time to run back to Target and get some.

My time ran out.  As per the instructions, I carefully returned my lashes to the package for future use.  But actually, I'm going to call Mikaela.  She's the expert.

Your comments--priceless!!
Well, ESCADA has a new fragrance, called Marine Groove.  This will be number 18 in ESCADA's fragrance line and it conjures the lavish lifestyle of glamorous party-goers with a sense of adventure.  So what better place to launch it than Miami?  And what better person to introduce it than actress, model, and multi-platinum recording artist, Mya.

It's going down this weekend--a 2 day event, beginning with an exclusive evening of dancing and libations on Saturday at the hotspot LIV.  Then on Sunday, the celebration continues with a 3 hour chartered yacht party.  Of course, I'll be front and center on that one. 

So exactly what, my pretties, does this have to do with you?  Well, one of my lucky readers will score 2 tickets to the yacht party that leave from Bayside Marketplace in Miami at noon on Sunday, March 14th.  The party includes an open bar, a dj, and several floors of fun! 

All you have to do is leave a comment below telling what you think of this contest, one per person.  You can get ONE additional entry by tweeting about this giveaway.  You can score ONE additional entry by blogging about this giveaway and linking back to this post.  Should you tweet or blog, you MUST leave an additional comment saying that you did.  ONE additional comment for tweeting and ONE for a blog post. 

You have from now until 5pm on Friday to get in on this.  At 5:30pm on Friday, the winner will be randomly chosen, using a random number generator.  Winner will be notified and must confirm within 24 hours or another winner will be randomly chosen.  There is NO ground or air transportation included in this giveway.  Winner must be able to reach the Bayside Marketplace for yacht boarding by 11:45am this Sunday.  Hit me up with questions.

Good luck!!

Here's the week, so far--

Monday--Day 2 of Daughter's Birthday--most of you know that she's a leap year baby. So on those years that she doesn't have a birthday, she claims both Feb 28 AND March 1 as her birthday. She stretches it over 2 days. So Day 2 bought more birthday cards, cake and cash!

Tuesday--She gets an acceptance letter from her first choice in colleges--Drexel University in Philadelphia. She's over the moon!

Wednesday--TheTinyJEWELBox is named Best Personal Blog in the Sun Sentinel Best of Blogs contest. I was over the moon!

Thursday--She gets an acceptance letter from her second choice in colleges--Clemson University in South Carolina. We're both over the moon!

Today--I'm sitting outside waiting on the postman. I'm hoping that I win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and continue the winning streak...

What's happening in your house this week? Your comments--priceless!!

Yes!!!! Last night, at Yolo Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, TheTinyJEWELBox was named Best Personal Blog in South Florida. As many as you know, The South Florida Sun Sentinel held this contest, and the winner was determined by votes. It was an amazing feeling to be with so many big names in the South Florida blogosphere and hear all the hoots and whistles when my name was called.

Thanks to everyone who voted. I HEART YOU!
Of course, I've heard that one Tuesday of the year (Today), IHOP gives a short stack of pancakes to anyone that enters. They've been doing it since 2006. The idea is that they will give you the pancakes, with hopes that you will make a donation to The Childrens Miracle Network.

While IHOP has been doing it only a few years, my Granny celebrated Pancake Day on Shrove Tuesday from as far back as I can remember. She would start mentioning it weeks in advance--Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. It would start a frenzy of questions, since children have a warped since of time. Telling us "next week" may as well have been telling us "next year."

Finally, when Pancake Day would arrive, she would make pancakes by the thousand--well that's what it seemed. She would have many different bottles of syrup--Granny always made you feel like you had choices. We would eat pancakes for hours. Fun times. Sharing a meal with multiple generations of extended family and friends. Such memories.

I will think of her often today. What I wouldn't give to see her just once more..

Your thoughts--priceless!!

By the way, I'm still in first place in the Sun Sentinel's Best of Blogs contest. If you haven't voted today, here's the link. Also, the Awards Ceremony is next Wednesday night. They ask that nominees bring family and friends to support them. If you are interested in attending, here's that link as well.
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Remember that really cool Disney Interactive event for bloggers that I went to? Well, the same folks that put it together have contacted me again for another cool event. This time I'll be "Taking a Ride on the Wild Side with Chevy."

Chevy has partnered with Lion Country Safari to reach out to bloggers. They will furnish a new Chevy for my family to take a 90 minute trip through Lion Country Safari. This is a cool way to take a test drive, huh? They are even providing Panera Bread boxed lunches for the adventure.

This will all happen next Friday, so look for my post about it next weekend. My husband and kids are excited. I am too--I haven't been to Lion Country Safari since I was a kid. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and videos to share!

Your comments--priceless!!!

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The world is abuzz with anticipation this morning. They are anxiously awaiting Tiger Woods to read a prepared statement and head back to rehab. We are full of questions--Will the wife show up? Is Tiger golfing next week? Will he apologize?

Am I the only one who won't be glued to the screen? Am I the only one who doesn't care in the least about his statement? Let's put this thing into perspective--Tiger didn't cheat on US. Tiger didn't cheat WITH us. Therefore, Tiger doesn't owe US anything.

We seem to have a weird sense of entitlement when it comes to celebrities. We think that we should be privy to every detail of their lives. Why? Why? Tiger is an athlete. We watch him on television. We may choose to see him golf in person. But, after the clubs are put away, what more does he owe us? What does his offense have to do with golf? What part of it affected his fans? Why is he not entitled to a personal life? Is anyone available to take me to lunch at 11am est today?

Your comments--priceless!!

By the way, don't forget to vote for me in the Sun Sentinel's Best of Blogs awards. I'm currently in second place in the Personal category. Here's the link. You can vote once per day until March 1st.
Yes!!! I've been nominated again for an award. This time, it's the Sun Sentinel BOB awards. You can vote once daily for TheTinyJEWELBox until March 1st. I'm so honored to be nominated and the competition is stiff!!

I've put a banner to make voting easier, but you have to register on the Sun Sentinel's site. Here's the link to vote directly. TheTinyJEWELBox is in the Personal category.

Thanks so much!!

The past couple weeks have been a blur. What an experience! I've done more in the past week than I thought was humanly possible. I've also learned a few lessons:

  • I don't do well on just a few hours sleep
  • I'm quite good at elbowing for position on red carpets
  • If you haven't eaten in 12 hours, Chile Limon Flavored Cheetos taste amazing
  • Stilettos are over rated
  • $55 for Friday night parking on South Beach doesn't include valet--only park and lock
  • Cj Jeans by Cookie Johnson are my new favorite thing
  • Super Bowl Week swag is the same as anytime else
  • Interstate 95 Road Rangers really do exist
  • Your car really won't run out of gas when the "miles to empty" meter reaches 0
  • Kim Kardashian really is gorgeous
  • Prescriptives 24 Hour Longwear Mascara will last for 26 hours
  • a $10mill home on Miami Beach will only get you 8 bedrooms and 10 baths
  • Wendy's Bacon & Blue burger is my next new favorite thing
  • Always have an extra SD card on hand

That's all that I can think of now. What did you learn this week?

Your comments--priceless!!

Do you know this guy? This is the recently graduated quarterback of the University of Florida football team. His name is Tim Tebow. However, this is NOT a post about football, but rather about eye black, religious beliefs, and constitutional freedoms.

You see, he chose to play football each week with a Scripture written in his eye black. And a lot of folks got angry. Apparently, he's a very conservative Christian guy and rather than wear his faith on his sleeve, he wears it under his eyes. And it earns him a lot of flack.

Why is that? We accept far more from others. Have you seen the permanent tattoos of guys like Tommy Lee or Allen Iverson or David Beckham? Terrelle Pryor used his eye black to show support for his friend, "Vick." Why can't Tim give glory to God? What's up with that?

Again, this is NOT about football. If you are led to comment on his on field performance, his record, his team, his rivals, etc., it means that you don't comprehend well, since you missed the entire point.

Your comments--priceless!!

It's a sad day. I've lost yet another part of my childhood. Donnie Simpson is leaving radio in Washington, DC after 32 years. He is originally from Detroit, but after 32 years in DC, we let him call it "home" too.

Most of the country remembers Donnie from his years on BET's "Video Soul," but in my hometown of Washington, DC, Donnie was our morning radio guy. Since we weren't afforded the luxury of iPods and internet and the such, we counted on guys like Donnie Simpson to introduce us to new music. He also bought us news at the top of the hour. He ended every morning's session with the song, "Jesus is Love."

Alas, everything must change. As Granny used to say, "nothing lasts forever." I'm listening live on the station's website. Celebs are callling left and right to wish him well. Thanks for the memories, Donnie!!

Your comments--priceless!!
While browsing a Barbie site this morning, I came across this picture. It bought back memories of a childhood incident. I laughed out loud.

I know you won't believe it, but I'm a child of the 60s. And when I was a young chick, I loved Twiggy. I mean LOVED Twiggy. I liked the fact that she never smiled. Why I found that interesting-Who knows? I even wanted to dress like Twiggy all the time. In fact, on my Twiggy lunchbox, she had on a pair of white go go boots. Every day at school, while I ate my lunch, I would long for a pair of those boots.

Well, finally, I convinced Mom to buy me a pair. She took me to Rich's in downtown DC. The guy measured my foot and retreated to the back of the store. I remember being soooo anxious. I was scared that they wouldn't have my size and if I didn't get anything, I couldn't get a treat out of the "treasure chest" that they kept for kids. Now, looking back on it, I realize that they were only dollar store trinkets, but back then those treats were to die for.

So anywho, the guy comes back with a box and announces that it was the "last pair." The last pair. That's when I made the decision. The WRONG decision. The decision that I would take those boots home, NO MATTER WHAT! So Mister Man takes the white patent leather boots out of the box and they were gorgeous. It reaffirmed the decision. He put the boots on my feet. They had a long zipper on the inside of the leg. But even before he zipped them, I realized that my toes were folded up inside the shoe part. And I also remembered that he had said, "THE LAST PAIR." I grinned in triumph, but also in pain. I couldn't even walk to the mirror.

For some reason, the psychic powers that Mom usually possessed had taken the day off. I had fooled her. That, in itself, was a great feat. I proclaimed that I loved them. The guy asked if I wanted to wear them home. I KNEW I couldn't walk, so I declined. Mom gave me a headtilt and I thought the jig was up, but she paid for the boots and we left, with me carrying the bag.

I NEVER wore those boots. EVER. I would make up an excuse everytime the subject came up. Of course, it didn't take Mom long to figure it out. I learned an important lesson--what good is having something if you can't use it? I've never forgotten that lesson.

Your comments--priceless!!

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Ok, so yesterday, I found out (AGAIN!) that I'm old and old fashioned. My daughter and I were discussing prom and I suggested a limousine. She looked at me as if I had suggested that they walk to Senior Prom in potato sacks.

"Who does that, Mom???? WHO DOES THAT????" Now, instead of me simply retracting it and abandoning the subject, I took the Old Fashioned Mom route--"Well, when I went to prom, folks rented limos and went to dinner, prom and then the after-parties." Hmmph. I forget her exact response, but I do know that the word "stagecoach" was mentioned.

So, again dear readers, since you are very diverse in age I'll ask. Are limos for prom really "played out"? And more importantly, when did I get old and old fashioned? It had to have been recently. Like last week, or maybe last month. Were any of you there when it happened? Was there a flash of lightning or did my new-fashion simply slink away one day?

Your comments--priceless!!

I found out today that a good friend lost a family member last week. That family member had a medical condition that required medication, but he didn't take it consistently. Folks, if you don't read anything else that I type this year, pay attention to this--We have to do better with our health.

And I'm one to talk. I've neglected my health for years, knowing that I needed to eat better and get my body parts checked regularly, but not doing it. I'm now making a deliberate effort to eat healthier and to exercise regularly, but suppose I had started this regiment years ago? How much better off would I be today? And by the way, I see my hematologist on Monday. I have no idea what my iron level is, but if my energy level is any indication, he may have harsh words.

My greatest fear is losing a parent or a child. But what about me? What if they lose me? Why am I not protecting my own children from living what I think is my greatest fear? It should be a no-brainer, right? What about you? Are you living healthy? Or are you like me--surrounding yourself with junk food and not exercising? Let's do better...

Your comments--priceless!!

There are so many things that I miss from days gone by. Time goes on, life changes, and things that we once held dear are no more--sometimes gone forever and missed and sometimes gone and never thought about again.

My Granny (who is someone that I miss everyday) used to say that nothing lasts forever--not good times or bad times. She was so right. NOTHING lasts forever. Some of the things that didn't last for me and I find myself longing for are:

  • frozen custard from the Polar Bear Frozen Custard place that used to be in DC
  • old friends that I lost touch with, like Brenda Graham, Michelle Pryor, and Katrina Williams (and my cousin, Rachel Rascoe)
  • the carefree days of my youth, when I had no idea that we weren't rich
  • the loud, boisterous family gatherings we had all the time
  • my late Aunt Kitty's rum cake
  • great music with G-rated lyrics
  • paperdolls

What do you long for? What do you miss? Can you get it back or is it gone forever?

Your comments--priceless!!

My friend, Bobbi-Jo is trying to get a dream job--backpacking through Australia. She gets the job if she has the most views on YouTube. Please consider voting for her. She's is very close to winning.

She's a lovely young chick, the kind we need more of--smart, sassy, and gorgeous. When I was her age, I wouldn't have ever considered such a thing, but she wants to do it and I've pledged my help.

Look at her video and see what you think....

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God hears our prayers....
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I have a question. It's on of those "Chicken or the Egg" questions. I'm interested to see how you weigh in on it. Here it is--

Is the world really getting worse or do we simply have more immediate, in-depth coverage of news than we did in the past?

Let me explain. Thirty years ago, if a major news story broke, we couldn't turn on CNN and get the news 5 minutes later. We wouldn't have had up to the minute coverage of such an event. In fact, unless you lived in that particular city, you would have had to wait until your next newcast or the next day's paper. Because of the internet and nationally linked news correspondents, most big stories are available to the public within moments and that coverage can last for days, weeks, months, even years.

Has this kind of access made us think that these news items didn't occur years ago? Of course, they did. We still had serial killers, mass murders, kidnappings, etc., didn't we? What do you think? What came first--the news story or the coverage?

Your comments--priceless!!
Last week, I won tickets to the Circus through a contest over at my friend, The Frugalista's blog. Last night was the night. And last night was also FRIGID, but I braved the cold and made it down to the American Airlines Arena.

After a bonechilling walk from a nearby parking lot, we found our way to some magnificent seats. Everyone else had toddlers and little kids. I felt a bit out of place, since my kids are teens, but we had a blast!

Of course, the cirCUS is more like cirQUE these days, but it was still quite a performance. And, there was more than a few temper tantrums, especially when parents wouldnt part with $30 for stuffed animals and $9 for lemonade.

There was only one disappointment for me. Since I was a youngster, the million clowns coming out of the itty bitty car has been my favorite, but the "new" circus doesnt include it. What a bummer!!

By the way, I took the above picture with my new, snazzy little camera!!

Your comments--priceless!!

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Ok, so it happened again. And THIS time, it happened on my watch. Let me explain--Years ago, when I moved here to South Florida, there was talk of snow flurries in Miami back in the '70s. I searched high and low and couldn't find ANYONE who saw it or even knew anyone else that saw it. I chalked it up to urban myth.

Then, last night, the late night news reported snow flurries in a couple of communities. Of course, all of the stations ran out into those communities and none were able to come up with a photograph or video. In this age of camera phones and portable video cams, NOBODY caught it? NOBODY?

What about the person that reported it in the first place? Wouldn't THEY have recorded it in some way? It just doesn't add up to me. Something's rotten in the cotton...

Your comments--priceless!!

TheTinyJEWELBox has a new look!! Can you believe that all that pink actually started to get irritating??? I thought that I needed something different. And here it is... Out with the old--in with the new!!!

What do you all think? Do you like it? Did I forget anything? Let me know..

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This morning, while having a completely random conversation, I thought of Horehound candy and immediately, it reminded me of my great grandmother. She passed away when I was about 12, but I spent a lot of time with her when I was a child.

I could always count on her to have 2 things--candy and books. There was always a stash of candy. Either the icky Horehound, or a Whitman's Sampler, or a can of Katydids. We would always sit and read. I didn't find it odd then, but she loved children's books. We would read oldies like Charlotte's Web and Nancy Drew. I even introduced her to some of my then-favorites like Harriet the Spy and Little House in the Big Woods.

She even taught me a rhyme using the word PREFACE, that was in all of my books. Here it is--

Peter Rabbit Eats Fish, Alligators Catch Eels, Eels Catch Alligators, Fish Eat Raw Potatoes

How strange is it that I remember that 40 years later? Isn't it amazing the things that our minds choose to remember, and those things that we simply forget?

Your comments--priceless!

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So, back in November, I had a couple of friends who got involved in a write-a-novel-in-a-month program. One of them, FOJ Jan, wrote an amazing story. I can't wait until she becomes a celebrated novelist.

Then in December, one of my good friends, FOJ Jackie told me that he thought that I should write a book. I had just told him that HE should write a book and he turned it around on me. I didn't (and still don't) think I had a book in me. By the way, Jackie is a jeweler. If you want the absolute BEST in unique pieces, check his site or his South Florida boutique--Jackie Abraham Jewelers.

Well, about a week later, FOJ Charisse (who makes her living as a life coach) told me that she thought that I had a book in me. I tried to argue with her. She wouldn't hear me. She insists that I have a book, though she wasn't sure what it would be about, or even if it was fiction or nonfiction. She challenged me to write a half hour a day, about anything that came to mind. She said that after a while, the book topic would be apparent.

I must admit, I did it a couple times, but half heartedly and without any enthusiasm. When she asks, I shrug it off. I'm so sure that there's no book in me. And even if there was, what in the world would it be about?

Today, after re-reading yesterday's blog post and what my plan for 2010 is, I've decided to give Charrise's idea an earnest try. I shall write 500 words a day about whatever I want--for January. I'll see what comes of it..
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Have you ever seen a rail yard? A huge place where railroad tracks crisscross so much that you get dizzy looking at it. Do you know the kind of place that I mean?

Well, I'm convinced that I live in such a place. You see, I always plan my life path. I know where I am and I know where I'm going. I have the course plotted out. I even know where I will stop to rest. Unfortunately, in these moments of wisdom, I sometimes forget to consult with God on what HIS plan is. And because of that, He usually finds a place to switch me off my track and put me on His.

That then causes me panic because rather than get closer to MY destination, I seem to be going in a totally different direction. A NORMAL person would accept that this new way is God's plan and go with it. But me? NOPE. I continue to try to get back on MY track. And God continues to divert my train. And we do it over and over.

And another thing, when you are about to switch tracks, you are supposed to slow down. Except when you are God. I can be going full speed ahead. I have my lil engineers hat on and my dirty overalls. I'm hanging out of the locomotive, on my way to wherever. And then-BOOM! God doesn't even slow me down. He just takes the next off ramp. Umph. It really isn't fun.

I've decided that this year, I will NOT fight with God on where I'm going and what I'm going to do when I get there. So there will be no announcement of plans for this year and no declaration of goals. I will submit completely and let him map out the journey. You can find me in the dining car..

Your comments--priceless!!

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