Magazines

I love food. I love magazines. And food magazines? Cannot resist. That’s why I’m still mourning the loss of Conde Nast’s Gourmet. But there are a bunch of other magazines that entice with gorgeous photos, informative articles and innovative recipes. But how to know which ones are worth your hard-earned dollars? Chicago Tribune food writer Judy Hevrdejs has written a fun and helpful story comparing seven of the top-selling food magazines. She looks at such variables as average number of recipes per issue, usability, typical reader and her gut reaction. Your local paper might have printed it. If not, read it online at http://www.twincities.com/food/ci_14229780?source=rss. My favorites are Cook’s for intriguing reads, Food & Wine for inspiration and Everyday Food for how-to guides.

And while you’re online, stop by the TimesDaily Web site and read my column at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100129/ARTICLES/1295001. This week I wrote about an experience I had this past week, while Younger Daughter and I were babysitting 22-month-old grandson and nephew Capt. Adorable.  The Captain was overdosing on TV and the results were not pretty. I had two choices: 1) Fall back on my old parenting habits and be too lenient and indulgent or 2) employ the good parenting techniques I’d seen Older Daughter — the Captain’s mom — put into play. Read and find out what happened.

Makeup

L'Oreal Age Perfect MakeupI don’t know if it’s a change of season or a cleaner bathroom mirror, but all of a CoverGirl Simply Agelensssudden I’m tired of my usual makeup and have gone on an obsessive hunt for something different. I’ve used bareMinerals foundation for years and I originally loved the light non-makeup feel of it. But now, despite Leslie Blodgett’s assurances that it doesn’t, the powder is settling into and accentuating every wrinkle and line on my face. That may be because I’ve got more L'Oreal Visible Liftwrinkles and lines than I did a few years ago, but still. And since I haven’t looked at what’s new beyond the occasional mascara and lipstick lately, I’m delighted to find foundations aimed at the over-50 me that claim to do exactly what I’m looking for: Cover lines and wrinkles, brighten skin tone and add a little love along the way. And speaking of “cover,” we’ve got Ellen! Listen, if Ellen DeGeneres is recommending anti-aging makeup, I’ve gotta try it. And I’m glad I did, because I’m officially in love with Cover Girl Simply Ageless foundation. It’s light but creamy and really does cover wrinkles and smooth out lines but truly feels as if you’re not wearing makeup. I actually get compliments now — well, my older daughter said my makeup looked good when I asked her, but I’ll take it. And I adore the compact-style packaging  — why give you an applicator without a way to carry the applicator around? Which brings me to L’Oreal Age Perfect Makeup, my runner-up. This is more mousse-like and creamier but does cover well, if a little too thick for me. It leaves more of a matte finish where Simple Ageless has a natural look to it. If I were redoing my makeup to go out at night, I’d go with the Age Perfect, although the cute little applicator brush of course immediately 1) gets lost, 2) gets dirty or 3) becomes a new cat toy. Or is that just what happens at my house? My third pick is L’Oreal Visible Lift Line-Minimizing Makeup. Some people love this and it does good things for your skin, but even though it looks OK on, it’s  too heavy and old-school foundation for me. I can feel it in every pore when I put it on — makes me want to wash my face. Yuck.

For a mascara roundup, read the Smaurai Shopper in The New York Time’s spring women’s-fashion magazine at http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2009/02/22/style/t/index.html#pageName=22samurai. This is the first time I’ve seen someone agree with me in print that the makeup artists’ supposed darling Maybelline Great Lash is overrated and underwhelming. It flakes and glops and leaves me with short stubby lashes. Double yuck. And besides, I can do short stubby lashes on my own without any mascara help, thank you very much.

Michelle Obama

Michelle ObamaI think it’s sort of quaint and refreshing that some people are worried about Michelle ObamaMichelle Obama showing her — gasp! — bare arms. I mean, this is 2009, when celebrities walk around in not much at all and steamy makeout sessions light up primetime TV. I had thought that half-naked-and-falling-out-of-your-clothes was the accepted standard for high-profile dressing, but apparently the bar is much higher. It renews my faith in the morality police that folks are raising eyebrows and shaking heads and tsk-tsking Obama for … being a grownup and choosing to wear what she wants to wear. I know, I know — the criticism is that sleeveless is completely inappropriate for Washington, D.C. winters so that perhaps she’s simply going sleeveless to show off her beautifully fit physique. And to that I say, “Yes? So what’s the problem? Good for her!” Listen, who among us would cover up if we had arms like that? Not me, that’s for sure. I think the real question is why this issue bothers some people. Seems to me that Michelle Obama is bringing dignity and respect and vitality and strength to her position as First Lady — and probably an increase in the sales of handweights, exercise DVDs and gym memberships across the country. Economic stimulus, baby!!!

For a great roundup of links and articles about Obama’s arms, go to the blogher.com post http://www.blogher.com/michelle-obama-and-positive-influence-arm-lust

Healthy Eating

Better nutritionAs much as we try to eat healthfully and buy organic and nutritious Better Nutritionfood, it can get expensive. That’s why I was happy to see an article titled “Eat Well, Eat Cheap” in the March issue of Better Nutrition magazine — a freebie publication that’s probably in your local health-food store. I’m usually cynically suspicious about this magazine — Will the SuperEnergy Natural Organic Green X48  multi-vitamins really help me lose weight, sleep all night and beat every disease that comes my way? — but this article actually was objectively helpful. It’s not on the Web site, http://www.betternutrition.com/ yet (the site’s getting a makeover and will be updated early this spring, so the cover image here is March 2008 instead of the newest magazine that’s out right now), so grab a copy of the March issue if you find it. And what are some healthy and nutritious foods you can include in an even stretched-to-the-limit food budget? Author Lisa Turner details 15, such as eggs, cabbage, sweet potatoes, sardines, canned tomatoes and oats. This issue also has a great recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day potato appetizer that even people who turn up their noses at “health food” will gobble up: Top roasted red-potato slices with a feta-olive oil-fresh basil mixture and garnish with a parsley leaf. Yummy and green!