Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welcome Gina!

Welcome to my lovely Mummy, who just subscribed to my blog. For those of you that don't know Gina, she's technically my ex-mother-in-law... but for all intensive purposes, she's one of my moms. Most women hate their exes, and most women hate their mothers-in-law; therefore, an ex-mother-in-law, one would think, should be worse... But not MINE! :) She's the BEST!

And did you know we share a birthday? December 9th. Good stuff...

Welcome to The Mer Show, Mummy. I love you!

Love, Mer

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Several Things

Check out my horoscope today:

Everyone's got an opinion (or two or three) about what you should do next, but only you know what's best. Ignore everybody's input (which you didn't ask for anyway) and connect with yourself as you revamp your game plan.

What do you think that means? I'm definitely in the process of revamping my life plan, and have been getting LOTS of input. Maybe that's the cosmos' way of telling me that I just need to feel good about my decisions moving forward and trust only my gut. We'll see how that goes!

OH, did I tell you we ran into Barack Obama in the lobby of TheHotel at Mandalay Bay this weekend? The tarts with me were too self absorbed to notice him (some didn't even recognize his name when I pointed him out), but I sure did! He was tall, slender, and very regal in person... very handsome! I wanted to go up and say something, but I was in a pink wife beater that said "being naughty" on it, so I decided I wasn't appropriately dressed (we all wore matching ones and the bride's said "tying the knot" - not my idea, by the way)...

And last, but definitely not LEAST, I forgot to mention before I left for Vegas that Mr. Finley Joseph Darby is... WALKING, people!!! How exciting is this? My little pookie bear is mobile! And check out one of the first pics of the little tyke motoring about Chez Darby... I love him!

Anyway, have a good day! Love, Mer

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bachelorette Hell

Hey guys! Hope you had a great weekend! Mine was... interesting. As you know from my prior post, I attended a bachelorette party in Vegas. I did lots of fun things, like pool time at Mandalay Bay, spa time at Spa Mandalay, club time, and lots and lots of champagne, but the guest list included a bunch of girls that are sort of my secondary group of friends. In the end, I figured out that about 85% of them are totally narcissistic, substance abusing, crazy bitches - including the bride. Especially Bridezilla, in fact!! So in the end, I uninvited myself from the wedding and have decided that I'm going to stop hanging out with the "B Team", as I have always called them.


Negative stuff - sharing a room with girls who smoke and selfishly took over the entire room, including the beds and bathrooms; dealing with Bridezilla and her defensive groom; spent WAY too much money on a bitch that I'll never talk to again; losing my voice from screaming at the clubs and inhaling smoke all weekend; getting no sleep and paying for it today

Positive stuff - pool time at Mandalay Bay was fun; I won some money at the craps tables with some money that a stranger gave me; I got to check out Tao nightclub which was SUPER cool; went to Drai's which is my fave club in Vegas, spent some fun time with Patricia and Elaina whom I adore; and met some nice people throughout the weekend in Vegas; I get to keep the cool present I bought the bride and groom and I don't have to spend any more money on their wedding! :)

Interesting anecdote - When I got to Vegas, I looked in my tote bag, and my entire makeup case as well as my jewelry pouch was MISSING! GASP!!! I was sooooooooooo upset, but had a long weekend ahead of me, and tried not to let it ruin my weekend. I thought I had lost it along the way, perhaps at the airport or in the plane, and backtracked all the lost and founds along the way - nothing. When I got home last night, I scoured my room - nothing. Then what do you know? When I got to my desk this morning... it was sitting right here! Yippee! That was a close one. Thanks, makeup and jewelry angels, for looking out for me!

And to all my friends and subscribers out there - have a great week! Mer's lesson for the week - don't waste your time on people that don't truly matter in your life. It's simply too short!

Love, Meredith

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Headed Outta Town

Hey guys! I'll be outta town for the next few days, but if you need to reach me, call me on my cell! I'll be at TheHotel at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for a three day bachelorette party.

Ree kee kee! I'll report back on the weekend (minus the stuff that has to stay in Vegas...) next week!

Meanwhile, I just read that Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy is going to be released Monday - oooooh, I can't wait!! What do you think it's going to be? Do you subscribe to the Lupis theory, drug theory, murder conspiracy theory, or one that I haven't even heard yet?? Let's hear it!

Love, Mer

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mer's Beauty and Fashion Tips

One of my girlfriends asked me today for a recommendation on some eye cream and I thought I'd share some of my beauty secrets and best suggestions for Springtime fashion and beauty care. Guys? I know you don't care, so feel free to check out... NOW.

Oligo 25 Eyes – refresh and stimulate the eye area, reducing under eye darkness and bags; great to leave in your purse for rough days, since it’s refreshing, hydrating, and beautifying! Apparently the secret of this little stick is Manganese to reactivate micro-circulation responsible for the blueish color of under-eye circles and Escinine to stimulate drainage of accumulated toxins and to reduce eye contour puffiness. I’m telling you guys – it is amazing stuff!

Vichy Meokine Intensive Wrinkle Corrector for Eyes – This eye cream visibly smoothes out the area underneath eyes and claims to make corrections in 21 days. Actually, I’ve been using it for about a month, and can see differences. I like the way it feels and makes my skin look!

Vichy Meokine Corrective Wrinkle Moisturizer – as I’ve gotten older, my skin has become less hydrated and I have really started needing a thicker moisturizer. This stuff has been super.

Avaha hand lotion – This thick moisturizer is made in Israel and has salts and minerals from the Dead Sea in it. I love the way it makes my skin and cuticles feel and it smells awesome!!

Hoola by Benefit – awesome bronzer; I use it for blush and evening out tan lines in the summer

St. Ives Apricot Scrub– this is my secret to keeping my skin looking so young and feeling soft. Follow it up with Neutrogena Sesame Oil and your man won’t be able to keep his hands off you! You can also gently use it on your face to buff off dead skin cells, and it leaves your skin looking refreshed and clean.

Neutrogena Sesame Oil – this is my MOST FAVORITE beauty secret. I put this on after my shower every morning and not only does my skin smell fresh and clean, but it feels super soft and lasts all day long. Since I started using this, I got rid of those pesky little red bumps on the back of my arms (girls – you know what I’m talking about!), so I’m beginning to think those had something to do with dehydration or clogged pores…

DiorShow Mascara – Lauren introduced me to this stuff. I love it!! I have NO eyelashes at all, and it makes me look like I have some. I feel like a WOMAN having some darn eyelashes!! I wear the black for maximum drama.

OPI ‘Sweetheart’ – this color just doesn’t go wrong on hands or toes; best with a suntan! It’s my Spring and Summer color and has been for a few years. I always get a lot of compliments.

SPF – you gotta have it, girls!!! Whether you find a moisturizer that has it (I used to use Sephora’s bronzing tinted moisturizer that gives a glow and evens skin tone, while moisturizing and protecting you from the sun with SPF 15), foundation, or powder, make sure you use SPF every single day!


Long shorts – I wore some for the first time yesterday and got some serious compliments. Black ones that extend right past the knee are flattering even for short girls. I wore mine with black patent peep toe heels and felt very retro sexy!

Peep toe heels – silver, red, patent, black, you name it and they’re hot this year!

Lucite – Toy watches and Lucite baubles are super hot this year, too. Might be a short-lived fad, but one I’m jumping on this year.

Fabulous sunglasses – my faves are Diors and Guccis, but as long as you find some big, plastic-framed glasses that look fabulous on your face, they dress up any outfit!

Cute swimsuits and covers – Here in California, having a fabulous collection of bikinis and covers is mandatory. I’ve been buying all my suits lately at and am always pleased with my purchases. I borrowed Natalie’s terrycloth Juicy Couture swimsuit covers, too, and they’re so fashionable and functional! I saw some at Target this year, too, that are similar – check out the photo.

Silver vs. gold? My NC girls know that I usually ONLY wear silver. Um, hello?! (hehehe) But this year metallics are big, so I have been branching out into gold here and there!

Well girls, I hope you find that someone helpful! If you have any questions about where to get any of this stuff, get in touch!!

Love, Mer

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Weekend Recap

Well, it was definitely a great weekend, per normal when Lauren comes to town! We must be finally growing up (a little) because we really weren't that bad... No one got ridiculously ill, in trouble, fought with their boyfriends, or did anything they forgot about the next day! (We think...) :)

Friday night we went for a big, fat dinner at Indigo Grill, complete with our favorite shrimp tamale appetizer, encrusted brie, and tons of red wine. Believe it or not, we were in bed by MIDNIGHT!!!! Wow. We got up early the next day and lunched at our other fave restaurant in Little Italy, Buon Appetito. Kati joined us and we ended up having a great amount of food and a few bottles of wine. (And one hilarious digital camera-related incident that must remain undisclosed indefinitely...)

After the lunchtime feast, we made a group trip to Rite Aid and decided it would be a great "beauty shop" day - Lauren and Kerry wanted to dye their hair, and I decided I wanted to, as well. The only other time I've ever tried to dye my hair was in March 2005 when I stayed with Shannon and Petri for a couple of weeks and Shannon and I tried to dye my hair a dark auburn. When we pulled the towel off, it was.... dark brown with a few grays, just like before!!

Well, this time, the color took, because Kerry is a professional with the hair dye! Thanks, Ker, for being my beautician this weekend! So now my hair is just a shade lighter than black and all the grays have washed away (not that there were THAT many...)! Don't tell anyone, but all three of dyed our hair the exact same color, so we're pretty much the Bobsie triplets now!

St. Patty's night, we met up with the boys (Mike (Nat's BF) and his friend Chris, Kiev (Ker's BF) and his friend Jason) at Ibizu, a cute sushi place in Hillcrest, and stumbled over a couple hours later to Nunu's - my fave dive bar in San Diego. I was pretty proud of us for having closed it down at 2:00 a.m.

Of course, we taxied over to La Posta and ordered some Crazy Chips, and headed home for a late night pig-out session. Sunday - hangovers on the couch and Miss Cilman had to ree kee kee all the way home.

Next POS trip - Napa Valley in May!! Can't wait, ladies - I can't imagine more fun people to do Napa with than you...

Love you girls more than I love crazy chips and having no gray hairs combined,


Monday, March 19, 2007

Dancing With the Stars is BACK!

OMG, I'm so excited!!! Tonight is the 2 hour premiere show of Dancing With the Stars!!! I'm not sure why I love this show so much, but I just DO. :) It's so fun and the professional dancers are so beautiful to watch. I guess I've always been fascinated with performance arts, given my 14 years of gymnastics, many years of dance training, and 7 years of cheerleading...

But anyway, this season we've got some pretty interesting characters on the lineup:
  • Laila Ali (Muhammad's daughter) - dancing with the sexxxxxxxy Maxsim Chmerkovskiy
  • Billy Ray Cyrus - remember his Achy Breaky Heart?
  • Clyde Drexler - one of my fave Houston Rockets ever!
  • Joey Fatone (a former NSync performer) - MY advance pick for who's going to win this thing
  • Shandi Finnessey - the token beauty queen
  • Leeza Gibbons - love her, but don't see her being very coordinated
  • Heather Mills - definitely the richest person on the show (Paul McCartney's new ex) and Vegas has odds on whether or not her artificial leg is going to fly off!
  • Apolo Anton Ohno (Olympic skater) - I hope this guy finally wins SOMETHING, so he's my second pick
  • Paulina Porizkova (former supermodel) - this woman made me proud to be brunette as a kid :)
  • John Ratzenberger - (Cliff on Cheers) - he's this year's Jerry Springer
  • Ian Ziering (formerly of 90210) - let's hope he's not as annoying on this show as he was on the aforementioned show...
So who do you think is going to win??? Love, Mer

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the morning to ya, friends! I have an olde Irish prayer for ya today.

May those who love us, love us;
and those who don't love us,
may God turn their hearts;
and if He doesn't turn their hearts,
may he turn their ankles
so we'll know them by their limping.

And a good Irish recipe for ya:

Mer's Version of Shepherd's Pie

2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced in large pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk (approximate)
Grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
2 medium onions chopped
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large bag frozen veggies with corn*, peas, and carrots
1 cup fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce
1 (14.5 ounces) can beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch

8 servings 1 hour 25 minutes 15 mins prep

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes or until soft (don't let them get too soft, to where they're falling apart in the water!). Drain potatoes and mash. Add 2 tbsp. of the butter and enough milk to have a firm but not runny consistency. Season potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. (And I like to add a handful or two of grated cheese, plus 2-3 T sour cream - makes the potatoes scrumptious!)

Heat 1 tbsp. butter in pan; add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add ground beef, and cook until beef is lightly browned, and drain off any excess fat. Add veggie mix and mushrooms to beef and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, adding 1-2 tbsp. water to keep beef from drying out, as needed. Add Worcestershire sauce (enough to cover all the meat and ensure good flavor). Combine and add beef broth and cornstarch; bring the meat mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Place meat mixture into casserole dish; cover with mashed potatoes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are light golden and serve hot.

*Corn is my own addition to this recipe, so if a real Irishman or Brit calls you out on the addition of corn, blame me.

May you have a great St. Patrick's Day!

Love, your favorite Irish lass

Crazy Chips

Guess who's back? Back again? It's Slim Shady herself, Miss Lauren Cilman, AKA DJ Chola, Spanish Gonzo, Slutty Face, etc. Add Lauren plus Natalie plus Kerry plus Mer? Oh boy. I woke up this morning with a photo of nachos sent to my cell phone with a notice that there's a new sheriff in town. And she arrives at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Again, oh boy.

This weekend will be all about food, wine, laughing, dancing, pool time, celebrity gossip, girlie magazines, and lots more food. Next week - lots of spinning classes, ladylike behavior, mineral water, and back to the diet - but for this weekend, forget that!

Regarding the photo, these are the famous nachos from La Posta in Hillcrest. They are usually consumed in the taxi around 2:00 a.m. after downtown closes... My girls and I have dubbed them "crazy chips" and usually the one ordering them shakes her goodies at the dude accepting our order while requesting the crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrazy chips! The reception is always quite positive.

This is the kind of weekend I'm expecting. I hope you surround yourselves with great people and have a wonderful time, as well.

Love, Mer

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Arabs in America

This is pretty cool! I'll have to check this out:

CAIRO, Egypt - A new reality TV show in the Middle East has a familiar set-up: Take a group of young adults, put them in an RV and film their every move as they drive across the United States.

But producers threw out out the formula of partying, petty fighting and outrageous physical competitions and instead focused on a loftier goal — trying to bridge the cultural gap between Arabs and Americans.

"On the Road in America" debuted earlier this year on the Saudi Arabian-owned satellite channel MBC. It follows four young Arabs — three men and a woman — as they travel from Washington, D.C., to California to discover the "real" America.

It was produced by a nonprofit company backed by a string of Washington heavyweights — Republicans and Democrats — including former President George H.W. Bush, who aim to fight negative stereotypes of America in the Arabic-speaking world.

The company, Layalina Productions Inc., has a board that boasts such names as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker III and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton.

But unlike the Bush administration's attempts to win over Arab hearts and minds through radio and TV stations here, Layalina, which means "our nights" in Arabic, is privately funded.

Layalina founder Richard Fairbanks, a U.S. ambassador-at-large under President Reagan, said he hopes shows such as "On the Road in America" have something the U.S. government-financed programs do not — credibility.

"I thought the best way to do it was with the private sector and have it appear on media outlets in the region and appeal to people there," Fairbanks said. "I hoped we could produce programming ... that would have a positive impact on critical thinking and show a different view of the United States."

During filming of the 10-week road trip, the show's quartet — an Egyptian, Ali Amr; a Saudi, Sanad Al Kubaissi; a Lebanese, Mohamed Abou Ghazal; and a Palestinian, Lara Abou Saifan — met with politicians, blues musicians and church leaders as well as ordinary Americans while riding horses in Yellowstone National Park, playing softball in Chicago and touring Universal Studies in Los Angeles.

In the last two episodes of the 12-part series, they returned to visit their home countries.

The show is not an American lovefest. The foursome freely express their opinions — both positive and negative — about America and its relations with the Arab world.

During one radio station appearance in Washington, for example, Saifan, a Palestinian who lived in Lebanon, declared her support for Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group. Her opinion drew objections from the radio host.

Haynes Mahoney, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, said the show fills a void because it shows Arabs and Americans in way not often depicted in the news or movies.

"We believe that peace and our country's security in the long run really depends on having a mutual understanding between people ... This kind of program helps to do that by humanizing both sides," Mahoney said.

Series creator Jerome Gary carefully selected the show's cast, knowing he needed outgoing young adults who were skeptical about the U.S. — but who also wanted to see the country for themselves.

He hopes the show will find a U.S. distributor and be aired in America.

"There is a big colossal misunderstanding between Arabs and Americans," Gary said. "And I want us to understand one another."

Before visiting the United States, Amr disliked the U.S. and worried everyone would think he was a terrorist. But said he was surprised that most people were friendly and interested in learning more about him.

Now that Amr is home in Cairo, he is trying to share his new optimistic American perspective with friends and family.

But some remain unconvinced, he said.

"My picture of the country has changed," Amr said recently at a Cairo coffee shop. "I hope this show lifts the gap between American people and Arab. I know my mind is open and my eyes are open."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Two Things

Good morning everyone! Hope everyone is swell today. I was pretty grouchy yesterday, but am feeling a whole lot better today. I have a couple of interesting little nuggets for you guys today.

Quiz time - who knows the saying "Beware the Ides of March"? Yep, that's right - it's a statement made in William Shakepeare's play "Julius Caesar", which foreshadowed the assassination of the Roman King on the Ides of March. On the Roman calendar, the Ides fell on the 15th day of March, May, July, and October; and the 13th day of every other month. Caesar was warned, but chose to ignore the warning, and... well, you know....

So every year since I read this play in high school, on March 15th, I feel a sense of foreboding. I remember one year I was on spring break in South Padre Island and I was paranoid that I was going to get in trouble (not that I was doing anything wrong)... Nothing's ever happened to me on that day, but for some reason, that phrase always sticks with me. So friends, beware the Ides of March!

Second, Thursday, March 15th is also the annual Starbucks "coffee break" where they serve free coffee from 10:00 a.m. to noon. I personally think it's a scam to get you to come in and buy their muffins, CDs, stuffed animals, and coffee paraphernalia, but if you can get in and out with only the free coffee... I say go for it. :)

Well friends, I should get to work. Love, Mer

Monday, March 12, 2007


Hi guys. I hope all is well! This was a very interesting weekend for me. I spent a lot of time in the sun (it's 80 degrees here right now), talking with people that are important to me, getting to know some better, sharing secrets with others, and even made a new friend who just moved on to my floor in my building. It was an intellectually and emotionally stimulating few days and I liked it.

Anyway, check out my horoscope today. I feel pretty inspired by it, too. Cross your fingers that it's right!

Hope all is well. Love, Mer

You know that salty complements sweet, and that peanut butter complements chocolate -- but it's also true that sadness complements happiness. So if you haven't been experiencing as much joy as you would like lately, take solace in the fact that this blue period -- which will end soon -- is teaching you how to appreciate the brighter days of your life. Pay attention to what you learn today.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dear Cerebral Matter,

Yes, brain, that means you! Can you please focus on work now? Our vacation is OVER and we're back to reality! No more lunchtime margaritas and mid-afternoon naps - it's time for phone calls and searches! I know, I know - it was so nice to escape reality and live in a fantasy world for a few days, but SERIOUSLY, it's time to get back to work...

No more daydreaming of this...

It's time to start concentrating on this:

OK, now get to work!!! Love, Mer