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Has #SouthernCharm Jumped the Shark for Me?

It's no secret that I love me some "Southern Charm" -- but the last two episodes have left me with this icky, annoying feeling. First, there was last week opening with that bed scene with Thomas and his new child bride -- ahem, I mean girlfriend. Then, there was this week with "guy's night out" at the local bar where we got to see the pick-up styles of old-school Thomas, which harkens back to a time when bosses slapped their secretaries on the behinds and told them to run along now.

First off, as someone near Thomas's age, I find it really creepy that he hangs out in bars with twenty and thirty-year-olds. Since I have CHILDREN this age and don't date people this age, I keep thinking of myself hanging out in a bar with my boys and trying to pick up their friends. It's disgusting! I understand that it's a TV show and the old dudes came up with the concept, so they get to be in on the "fun." But it's just not so enjoyable to me to watch lecherous old dudes hitting on young women. I was a young woman once, and I remember those creeps.

On that note, Ashley, honey. Why do you allow a man to disrespect you so badly? Your ancient boyfriend stands behind you at a party and frames your bum with his hands to his friends and tells them, "I like a tiny hiney." It is VOMIT inducing. Didn't your daddy tell you how precious and beautiful you are? You're better than this. No woman should be treated like that, but in these times of the #MeToo movement, even more so.


When I was 24, I began dating my husband. He looked really young for his age, but when he told me he was 33, I was like, "HE'S SOOOOO OLD!" I can't even imagine what someone in their 50's would feel like to a woman that age. I shudder at the thought. When Thomas talks about the moon landing, that event would probably be before Ashley's parents even met and married. Does she know we landed on the moon?

My kids were raised on a steady diet of '80's trivia and classic rock from the 70's, so I'd like to think they're more well-rounded than the average 20-year olds -- but still, what does a person in their 50's have in common with someone in their 20's? Besides the obvious, I mean.

And what about Thomas Ravenel giving dating advice to JD? Dude, he's not divorced yet and he's the father of four young kids. He's not exactly prime dating material BECAUSE HE IS STILL ACTUALLY MARRIED. The way Thomas just thinks JD needs to go to the gym and leave behind the life he created with Liz is weird. Most men take care of their families. Even if they leave them. Unlike Thomas, who pays for Ashley's apartment after a week of knowing her, but lets the mother of his two kids walk around with a busted iPhone. That says a lot about character. Even if Kathryn was an egg donor and surrogate, she would have fared better than falling in love with Thomas and having his children. Think about that. It's like what, $30k an egg now?

Last night just left me grossed out. Why is Bravo allowing this gold ol' boys mentality on their supposedly forward-thinking network?

Well, maybe it's just a have/have-not way of thinking. I mean, poor Michael had to massage Cameron's feet last night. I did love this video with her explaining that she felt no pain or remorse. LOL




Kristin, Domestic Goddess

My grandmother was truly a domestic goddess. She cooked. She baked. She sewed. And to her credit, she tried to teach me, her only granddaughter to do all of these things. I am without excuse. I learned, but I never took to it. I cook like an Italian, throwing everything in and taste-testing. She measured things -- this is why I can't bake to save my life.

So my daughter bought a prom dress that I adore, but it had this sheath of lace that allowed for cleavage. Um, I'm against cleavage, especially on a teenage girl, so this meant, I had to sew. Let me be clear, I took it to the seamstress first, but she said I had to pick out the fabric and bring it back to them. Seriously? If I have to do all that, I will sew it myself.

So I went to the fabric store and waited in line with all the crafty people. Then, I took out the trusty sewing box that my grandmother bought me as a child.

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And I sewed a little piece of flesh-colored fabric behind the flesh-colored lace. Voila! We had a dress ready for primetime at the Christian Senior Prom. However, this is my daughter, so that wasn't good enough. The waistline is itchy. "Can you sew in something to make it not itchy?"

Can I? We shall see. You know what I can do? I can write a book, paint and quote Austen. Why are we never appreciated for what we CAN do as parents? I'll grant you, those are pretty useless skills as a parent, but I think there is ONE meal that all my kids will eat anyway -- roast chicken or Thanksgiving dinner. Everything else, they complain about. One likes this, the other likes that. Cooking for six picky people for two decades will put anyone off cooking.

My dad is taking a cooking class in Italy. You know what I love about my dad? He didn't even ask me to join them. He knows. Cooking is not fun for me. Eating, that's another story. Anyway, today I'm making a satin sash to go inside my daughter's dress so she doesn't itch. Normal moms probably wouldn't need to brag on this. But I do, because I am fulfilling my grandmother's dream for me. Perhaps one day, I'll pull out the unused cookie gun she bought me for my 40th birthday and really prove my worth. Anything can happen.


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One of these things just doesn't belong here...

Remember that old "Sesame Street" song? My friend sent me this today. I guess my book (The Theory of Happily Ever After) is out early in some Christian stores. Anyway, I do love how all the OTHER covers are serious and elegant. And there's mine -- cartoons and 80's neon colors. If that doesn't describe me to a "T" and how I fit in, well, I don't know what does.


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#TheTheoryOfHappilyEverAfter


My thoughts on #SouthernCharmNOLA

I tend to Tweet WAY too often and perhaps obsess over "Southern Charm." I'm like Trump when this show comes on -- I cannot stay away from the Twitter!

So while I tried to stomach "Southern Charm Savannah" that was not happening for me. I had no connection to the cast whatsoever. So I was excited to hear about "Southern Charm New Orleans." I love New Orleans, the food, the art, the houses -- it's just a beautiful city. The houses in this show are AMAZING. One has this suspended staircase that is to-die-for gorgeous. It also has a creepy carving of the Madame that ran a brothel there in another era, but that's beside the point.

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I liked "Southern Charm Nola" -- I thought the cast of characters was interesting and definitely more diversified, which is nice. And normal. However, after watching last night, I'm really upset about the lack of care toward the marriages on the show.

The lawyer with the voice is moving to a pied-à-terre and leaving her husband across Lake Pontchartrain. Girl, no. If you have a husband who looks like him, the last thing you want to take is "space." That's just stupid. Build your career, but take your man with you or blame yourself when he leaves.

Then, we have Barry and Tamika -- she talks way too much about personal information and I hope she's kidding when she does. Because Barry does not seem to be treated well.

Then, you have artist Jon who thinks it's okay to invite all his married friends over with single women and naked models. Dude, all that will do is shut down your friendships. No wife wants their man hanging with someone who is trying to sabotage their marriage.

On a happy note, everyone on the show is drop-dead gorgeous and the lifestyle is not hard to covet. That's always good for a reality show. But ladies, really, show some appreciation for your southern gentlemen.


Before there was #MrDarcy there was #ChristopherReeve as #Superman...

I loved the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve. Since it was 1978, I'm going to say it came before the 1981 version of Mr. Darcy (David Rintoul.) I mean, Christopher Reeve was a work of art. Anyone who has bothered to sit through "Somewhere in Time" knows that. But I just love how the big joke of this Superman movie was that there were no more phone booths, so he had to change in a revolving door. I don't know what Superman does now because I haven't seen many superhero movies in my lifetime.

The kids are making fun of the bad special effects -- sometimes, the world is too jaded. He was the best Superman.


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This is the first movie I remember swooning over a handsome hero. I think it's pretty evident that I had good taste back then. Who was your first movie crush?


#50Shades at the gym...just say no!

I'm at the gym today. The LORD's DAY! And I'm listening to a "Watch What Crappens" blog on "Southern Charm." (Don't judge me!) on the elliptical machine. I look up and on the TV is what I later figure out is "50 Shades of Grey" the movie, but at the time, the closed captioning reads:

Of course, I'll be your sex slave.

What part of that dialogue or the weirdly edited sex scenes are part of gym fare? I looked around me, thinking others must be a little horrified -- like watching a sex scene with your parents. But nope. Girl next to me is just watching it like it's what's on, so whatever.


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So I know I can be a little old-fashioned and I prefer Jane Austen to E.L. James, but seriously, what happened to the days when Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in separate beds? How far have we gone downhill in such a short time?

At least can't we see that stuff in the privacy of our own homes? In fairness, no one else paid any attention and I went back to my podcast dissing on T. Rav as the worst human being on television. It just makes me happy that other people see through him. And their J.D. impression is on-point. But there's a lot of swearing, so if that offends you, like sex slavery offends me, then don't listen to "Watch What Crappens." How can you NOT love a show that spends 90 minutes dissecting an hour long reality TV show? Epic.


P-Touch Embellish

I'm a labeling queen. I love my P-Touch labeler. As an ADD person, the labels allow me to stay organize and pay bills/manage paperwork for six people. So imagine my excitement, my pure geeking out at finding this fancy P-Touch labeler that allows for PRETTY labels. Are you hearing me? Labels with bling, people!

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I did a friend's job a few years' back while she recovered from organ transplant surgery. While there, I labeled her entire office. When I work for her now, I file everything away and make new labels if she needs them. I have labeled files for everyone in the family and their schools/work/insurance/cars/licenses/bills, etc. This is survival for me. Now that my nest is getting empty, I am really looking forward to making my sons their own set of labels and sending them on their way. I don't think they'll appreciate the polka dot versions. I'll save those for myself.

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Anyway, labels with bling. I'm in!


#SouthernCharm -- The Breakup Bunch Part 2

Thomas had a Summer party and we all know what that means: he's got his tight pants on...


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And a young sycophant on his arm. Seriously, I hope Ashley is an actress because otherwise, there is no excuse for her behavior. When she said she liked the nanny, but didn't understand why T-Rav needed Kathryn's approval. Seriously? Why would any mother want to meet the woman who is basically raising her kids? Is Ashley for real?

I really, really hope that Ashley is an actress because otherwise, she couldn't be any ruder or more obnoxious.

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Back to the Nanny. If that scene didn't show the head games that T-Rav is playing with Kathryn so that she can "earn" the rights to get back into her children's lives, I don't know what does. He just loves to play with her. She has done NOTHING he hasn't done in the past, but her sins are unforgivable. Yet, while he did eight years or so in the slammer, he's the epitome of parenthood. Please. The South Carolina courts need to rethink their ways if you can buy your kids with a good lawyer. Kids need both their parents! T-Rav is competing with Kathryn, I don't think he'll ever get it.

Then, this awful woman Ashley says they can get married and SHE can become the kids' caretaker. How desperate is this woman? Isn't she a nurse? Doesn't she have a job other than kissing T-Rav's bum? Gross.
Ashley is so thirsty the way she's grabbing onto Thomas's pocket, what the heck? And did you notice how Thomas doesn't even seem to notice her but is all over Kathryn when she comes in?

Cameron looks adorable pregnant and that scene of her eating by herself is everything.

In the meantime, Craig explains that he didn't bring a date to the dinner because it's the first time he will see Naomie and he doesn't want to hurt her. See T-Rav? That's how it's done, dude. Oh my goodness, that scene between Naomie and Craig was so tough to watch. I love them both, but they're terrible together. That's such a crime against humanity when people in love are terrible for each other. Maybe that's why I'm a romance writer. It shouldn't be that way. I loved hearing that Naomie was hurt. I have to admit, it didn't feel like she would be.

Austen is taking after T-Rav by having some PDA with one of Chelsea's friend. Tacky. And what about him not picking up the tab and coming over late at night? Chelsea is so out of Austen's league. How did any of this happen?

Then Thomas walks into the kitchen where the gals are and my daughter says, "Why is he even there? He's like that weird dad who shows up at your high school parties." LOL "Seriously, why is he so old and all his friends are so young?" Amen, Elle. Amen. So before, when he had no interest in Ashley when she's hanging on him, all of a sudden in front of Kathryn, he can't take his hands off of Ashley.


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I ABHOR how JD says he's single. Dude, you are not single. You have four little kids, so even if you're being a jerk to your wife, you're not exactly free. Capiche? What a jerk.


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Shoutout to Naomie for calling JD on his crap. He looks SOO guilty when she confronts him. LOL Kathryn just looks happy to not be in the fray. Kathryn has turned out to be so bright. I hope she has officially woken up and is completely over Toxic Thomas.


Excited to take the @JudyBlume MasterClass

I wrote and published several books before I discovered that my natural voice was in first-person. It wasn't until Judy Blume released an adult novel a few years' back that I realized where that love came from -- no other than Judy Blume!

I love the intimacy that first-person storytelling allows. As I watched the commercial for Ms. Blume's MasterClass, she said that she had a messy mind and writing allowed her to clean it up. That is EXACTLY how I tell a story. I will say that my first drafts are not a complete mess -- because I write them over and over as I go. Something every expert tells you NOT to do. But I can't do it any other way. I obsess over those character details until I know them so intimately, I can move on past chapter 5. Then, it probably gets messy.

She also said that when she wrote, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" she wanted to tell the truth. That is paramount to me. I want my fiction to have an element of truth that people can relate to. It's why I have such a hard time with "perfect" characters. No one's life is perfect. No one's. I know that Instagram would make you believe that someone's life is perfect as they pose with their new Tesla or stand in front of their Beverly Hills' mansion, but that's not the case.

In some ways, it allows you to live in an alternate universe where the truth gets shoved under the rug. Kris Jenner's life and marriage looked pretty good until we found out her husband wanted to be a woman. When I wrote the book about the Iraqi missionaries with Carrie McDonnall, she said she was at the airport and she couldn't go through the metal detector, because after being shot 26 times, she was riddled with shrapnel. She looked like a beautiful, young woman with nothing wrong with her at all. She said that looking around the airport, she thought, you never really know what anyone's going through. That is SO true, and it taught me not to judge too harshly. It also makes me want to write and tell those stories of hidden struggles that most people cannot share -- either because people won't understand or because it's not their secret to tell and they keep it for a loved one.

If you could sit at the heels of one of your favorite authors, what would you want to learn? I want to learn how Judy finds the truth she wants to share. What does she need for people to understand? And how her process works.


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Back to work! #AmWriting -- but #SouthernCharm y'all...

I'm finally back in my office. It's been a long time, and I need to be writing every day, so this must change! But first, I have to talk about "Southern Charm" because none of my loser friends watch it. (Where did I go wrong?) Okay, reality TV is like the modern-day melodrama. There are those you root for (Kathryn -- girl get away from Thomas -- he's toxic) and there are those you wait to trip on their own egos. (Pretty much the entire male cast -- except for Craig. I love Craig.) I loved Shep until "Relationshep" and now, he has that Jax look about him. He's too old for that behavior. And for the entire cast, can I just say, STOP DRINKING!!!! You're all like a Tennessee Williams' play waiting to happen.


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For those of you who watch -- let's take this apart one trainwreck at a time.

1. Thomas' new girlfriend. Okay, Ashley a word of advice: YOU NEVER call a woman who mothered two of your boyfriend's children a baby mama. She is attached to him forever. You are most likely the flavor du jour. Ashley, never, ever be that girl who helps a man mentally torture his ex. It will come back to bite you in the bum. Someday, you will be that ex and the next woman -- who will be younger and prettier most likely, will do the same to you. The fact that Thomas was giddy to show Ashley off to Kathryn at the party was quite frankly, creepy and stalkerish. If you've moved on, prove it. Kathryn shouldn't be in your thoughts. And poor Lilly Pulitzer. Those shorts were not a good look. Wedges, really?

2. Kathryn. Personally, I think she's moved on for the most part. I think that Thomas will always try to pull her back in -- but I hope she holds strong. He's not the marrying kind. As proven by the fact that he's spent 50+ years single. Let him stay that way. Or let him play his games with other people, you're better than that Kathryn. I like seeing new, stable Kathryn -- don't let him pull you back into the mess. I cringe every time I hear her yell, "THOMAS! I WON'T LET YOU LEAVE ME!" Bravo, give her a break and stop playing that clip.

3. Craig and Naomi. I miss this couple, but really do think they're terrible for each other at the same time. I think Naomi is a total nag, but I have to admit, if my guy were sewing cute onesies and not working, I'd probably be worse. So I'm going to give her a pass on this one. She deserves a good life.

4. Chelsea. I love Chelsea. I wish I could have been 1/100th as cool as her as a younger woman. She definitely deserves a man with a job.


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5. Why don't any of the men in Charleston work? I mean, it's crazy. Living in Silicon Valley where everyone is a workaholic it is completely foreign to me.

6. Do we think Patricia's ring is real? If it is, it's really ugly just to be big/gaudy. It looks like an actual ice cube. Made with Flint, MI water. Of the ring, she said it could be bigger. Gross. It looks better in this picture than it did on the show.
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6. J.D. and Liz. I have to admit, I did not see JD coming. I think she was the one with the money and she's gorgeous. But I do like the women banding together against the good ol' boys network. That being said, I hope JD gets his act together. They have triplets and another little one. There is no amount of partying that is worth losing that gorgeous family over.

7. Landon. I don't miss her at all. There are people on TV, I love to fake-hate. Dorit on RHOBH is one of them. She is so clueless that I enjoy her immensely. Landon, not so much. She was so easily used by Thomas to get back at Kathryn that I had actual feelings against her. I think the final straw was her thumbing her nose at her dad's job -- trying to help her stop being a gold digger and get some self-respect. I hope that has happened and I wish her well. But I'm glad she's off the show.


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All photos from Bravo television.