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The School of Flaunt
Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!
What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More
And other things that aggravate!
DON'T CALL ME SWEETIE!!!
The other day I answer the phone and I hear this woman's voice saying, "Hello is this Alexandra?" Well, to begin with that always aggravates me! And I didn't recognize her voice.
I was taught from a very young age telephone manners. When you call someone unless it is a very close personal friend of yours or family that would recognize your voice, this is how you start the conversation.
Hello, this is _______________( use your name here). May I speak with ______________ and then use the party's name.
If the person who answers the phone is not the individual that the caller is asking for they should reply, "No this is not _____________, may I ask what this is in regards too."
Why are you doing this? First of all, maybe the person they are calling doesn't want to speak with this person or doesn't have the time and secondly, do you really want to tell someone who doesn't even give you their name that you might be alone in the home?
After they tell you their name and why they are calling, simple say, "I'll see if they are available." Put them on hold and ask the person they are trying to speak with if they want to speak with this person. Then get back on the phone if this person doesn't want to speak to them and tell them the person they are asking for is not able to come to the phone now or is not available and you would be happy to take a message. SIMPLE!
Sound to business like to you? Well, trust me this is called good telephone manners!!
But going back to the other day and this woman, this is something that really drives me crazy. As I said, she didn't identify herself to begin with so I had to ask her, "Who is calling please?"
So she said who she was and I did know her but not well. Wanting to sound pleasant I said, "Yes this is Alexandra, how are you?"
Remember I do not know this person well! I now hear her saying, "Oh sweetie I'm so glad you are home." SWEETIE! I'm not your sweetie. I'm not under 5 years in age. I'm not an infant who is adorable and you are holding and calling sweetie.
And going one step further, if you think it is permissible to call someone in their later years, Sweetie, just because they are elderly that is rude and condescending! If they are a very close family member and you have been using that name for them so be it.
But it didn't stop with only one Sweetie, she called me Sweetie three times in a five minute conversation. If she felt that she was ingratiating herself to me by trying to be familiar it certainly did not!
I'm sure after the third Sweetie I resembled a cat with my back up in the air and hair standing straight up! She is lucky that I didn't start hissing at her! I wanted to scream, "Stop calling me Sweetie!" But correcting someone's manners is just as rude as the poor manners they are displaying. So stop short of doing that students!
Please Students of Flaunt, SWEET, FRESH, AND TASTY ARE BORDERLINE PHRASES THAT SHOULD APPLY TO FOOD GROUPS NOT PEOPLE OR EXPERIENCES. AND NEVER USE THE WORD SWEETIE WHEN YOU ARE ADDRESSING SOMEONE. Enough said.
P.S. And Yes I did tell her I would help her. But the next Sweetie that comes out of her mouth I going to say with a smile probably while gritting my teeth, "Oh please call me Alexandra that is what all my friends call me." HINT!!
Mummy Dances With The Stars!
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Mummy Dances With The Stars!
Where to begin? As I told you prior to our Easter Ham fiasco, my parents had been visiting Len Goodman and treated to VIP status at Dancing With The Stars. Accompanying them were my mother's BFF, Evelyn and her new husband and my former live-in painter, Miguel.
Here is the back story:
According to my mother, Lenny, as she calls him, is an Old British Pal from "back in the day". Typically, for Mummy, once an acquaintance has "made it", she immediately contacts them, reminding said star what "old dear friends they are". I could make a list but this is about "Lenny".
It would seem that Lenny invited the "rents" and co. to visit the set of DWTS in Burbank.
The happy travelers were ensconced at the Beverly Hills Hotel Bungalows and hired a driver to attend the taping of the show.
They raved about how graciously Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli treated them.
After the show taping, Mummy danced with Len, Daddy with Carrie, and Miguel and Evelyn were given a "lesson" in the quick step by none other than Bruno!
Oh the fun, the costumes! Daddy loved the "Show Girls", as he calls them.
What happened next will go down in the history books. I swear my mother could be accused of assault.
She spotted the guest star! Yes, Josh Groban. The poor guy never saw it coming!!
I can only imagine how it went down.
Mummy: Mr. Groban, what an honor to meet you! Lenny, darling you didn't tell me THE Josh Groban would be here!!
Josh: How do you do? So happy to meet you Mrs, uh.
Mummy: Cadbury darling. Like the chocolate, Clarissa to you, my dear!
And then she was off to the hunt! She had long ago told my daughter, Fiona, that she should find a nice young man like that singer, Josh Groban. Apparently, she meant it!
Josh and Mummy had their heads together deep in "matchmaking status." Poor Josh, is all I can say.
So my mother laid it on thick and invited Josh to her home in England for a lovely "Country Weekend". She even promised to produce Prince Harry for the bait! Of course, she won't tell Fiona until she has arrived. Mummy has such plans for the only Granddaughter!
Should I warn Fiona? No, I think not, This might be fun!
To Be Continued.
FLAUNT FABULOUS WEEKEND WITH SOME OF THE FLAUNT FORTY!
NAMASTE & CHARDONNAY
A few weeks ago I got an invitation from one of the Flaunt Forty (my posse that I hang with) to come to a party. Well, one would think cocktails with husbands in tow but NO this was different! Oh do I highly recommend this party as a flaunt must do! It was a girl's weekend for 14 of us! But not just any weekend!
Let's start with the invitation. On the front was a picture of a woman doing Yoga? "What?" you say. I open it up and of course there was the usual date, time, and place, but it had a list of all the things the hostess had prepared for us. Are you curious now?
First of all we were all to arrive at 6PM the first day to have cocktails and chit chat! As usual this member of our Flaunt Forty posse does not do anything on the cheap! Not only did she have containers of Sangria and lemon water but there was a full bar replete with Mojitos and a gorgeous bartender. A bartender was not needed for only 14 women but this hunk arrived with one of our instructors and volunteered. So the fun began!!
The group mingled and caught up and met our Yoga instructor and our Pilates instructor. Now I can hear your minds clicking away. YOGA and PILATES! Yes! But I will get to that later.
Following cocktails we had a buffet dinner that had been prepared by a chef for us! Yes, a beautiful salad, salmon, wild rice, sautéed mushrooms, and grilled asparagus. We also had delicious dinner rolls that had lavender in them from her garden! For dessert she served fresh strawberries, chocolate cake and whipped cream! (Not from the can!!) Probably everyone's attire at this point was getting a little tight!
You would think that would be the end to the evening but NO, we then had a discussion about Meditation and Yoga from our Yoga instructor. I must admit here I have never done Yoga before. Pilates yes, Yoga no, so I was very interested to see what this was all about. When the Yoga instructor asked if everyone had done Yoga before and I raised my hand and said, "No", she commented, "My you are brave." The thought did go through my mind, "What have I gotten myself into?"
Now I have to add here that everyone came in their yoga outfits. Of course my BFF, LB had her yoga outfit with this little filmy top over it, a jacket in case she got cold, and a large sun hat. Don't ask but the woman always has to have a hat on her head or at least enter the room with one! Hmmm, wonder if she carrying her Block? Have gun will travel!
But getting back to the party. Before you know it we were all on the floor doing stretches and contorting ourselves into pretzels. I learned a Side Plank Pose, Revolved Side Angle, Balasana child pose and a Corpse Pose that I will say was a great way to end our half hour session. All of this was done to very soft music in the background and total silence on our parts, except for our instructor explaining each move. As a small aside our hostess has a party room that is approximately 50 feet wide by 125 feet long. So there was lots of room!
Now some of the Ladies actually spent the night at her home. I frankly have gotten over slumber parties years ago and went home to be in my own bed. A very good plan since I was asleep at 10PM as a result of my detox with the Yoga! And from what I found out they were all up until midnight!
That was day one!
Day two arrives with a nature walk for one hour. I begged off of that one - puhleese, walking with Mother Nature at 7 AM for an hour was not happening. Remember I have been killing myself doing work on my fifteen acres and battle with the Rattlesnakes!
Upon my arrival I hear that the girls dined on Green Smoothies after their hike. I don't have a problem with green smoothies, with the girls, but I really didn't want to start my morning with them. A little to many female hormones! So my plan to join them at 9AM for our 30 minute Pilates class was working out well.
So Pilates we did with our instructor and all of our cores had to have been strengthened! God knows after all of the food we consumed the night before they needed it!
But what next?
Bobbi Brown reps came! How much fun was this? LOTS! They gave everyone who wanted a makeover one!! Now I enjoyed watching but I have tried Bobbi Brown products and unfortunately their eye makeup does not agree with me. I'm allergic to it! But as I said, it was fun just watching them do makeup. And of course we all got a laugh out of the before and after pictures!
Now what? LUNCH! Many salads and white wine for all! It was now time to go home and take a nap!
That was a flaunt fabulous (FF) party for your girl friends!!!
Mummy and the #@%$ Ham!
Don't get me wrong, I love my mother - but our Easter was nearly ruined by her display at the Honey Baked Ham Store.
My parents along with their BFFs Evelyn and Miguel are joining us for Easter weekend. They are returning from LA where they met up with their old pal Len Goodman on Dancing With the Stars!
(More about that at a later date!)
Anyway, I had prepared the menu for Easter Dinner. All we had to do was "pick it up".
Moi: "I have to go out and about now to pick up our Easter meal."
Mummy: "Oh Cate darling, your father will pick up the food. He loves to drive on the wrong side of the road! He thinks it's a challenge!"
Mr. Clarke immediately jumps into the conversation. "If you don't mind Clarissa, I will drive you both around to see a bit of the sights and then we can stop at the Honey Baked Ham store."
So off the merry little threesome went with not a care in the world. That is not how they returned, however! Yes it was three hours later when the car came back into the driveway. I should have known something was wrong by the look on my husband's face!
Moi: "Welcome back! Was it fun? Where is the Ham?"
Mummy: Scowling now! "I should say NOT. That "so called Caterer" was a disaster. We had to wait in LINE for almost an hour and then they hand over the Ham and submitted a disastrous bill to your father for $95.00!!! For a HAM! You can't be serious?"
Mr. Clarke is ducking out the back door now to escape her wrath.
Moi: "But Mummy, this is a Honey Baked Ham, not Costco. It should be a delicious meal. This company is known for their wonderful hams! It was a bit of a splurge, but its Easter."
Mummy: "Easter in the colonies! This is ridiculous! I just told the man to "shove off"! I wouldn't pay that atrocious price for a ham and I also told him in England, we would only serve Lamb on Easter. To this he threw me out of his store and told me to enjoy my Lamb!! Well we haven't been able to get any Lamb. We went everywhere and no Lamb could be found." At this point as only my Mother can do she tosses her hat and handbag into the nearest chair and says, "Your husband is very upset. I see he is drinking on the veranda already. I will join him. Can someone make me a martini?"
Daddy meanwhile is looking outside and talking to himself since I left for the bar and Mummy is waiting on the veranda for her martini.
Daddy: "Now, Clarissa, Cate, we can have something else. We don't need Ham or Lamb. Perhaps Miguel can barbeque for us? I do so love his grilling!"
As I'm making Mummy's martini I'm fuming! Puhleese, Lamb, grilling I don't think so! I had my heart set on a Honey Baked Ham and we will have it! With this I threw on my jacket and backed out of the driveway. ALONE.
What transpired at the Honey Baked Ham shop was my groveling to get a much smaller ham and fly out of there. I only hope I can rebuild my Honey Baked Bridges.
So we are having as Mummy so graciously put it: "The God Damned Ham for Easter."
I am throwing Holy Water all over the house and said a rosary to counter her curses.
Happy Easter Everyone from my Crazy Family to yours!
Mummy and the Branson Wedding!
Published: Friday, March 08, 2013
Mummy and the Branson Wedding!
I was just perusing the Daily Mail when my cell phone started ringing in that old familiar tune of Mummy! (I have given her a special ring tone, The Theme from Jaws).
Staring at the phone I ponder, what is she up to today? Well, let's find out!
Cate: "Hellloooo? Mummy?"
Mummy: "How do you do that Cate? I have blocked my number and how did you know it was me?" Humph..."these new I phones are driving me to drink! Yes, please, I will have another...."
Cate: "Mummy where are you and did you just order a drink?"
Mummy: "Yes, dear. Didn't I tell you? Miguel, Evelyn, Daddy and I are in Africa for the Branson wedding. Quite the fun, dear. You should have come too!! Hello your royal Highnesses! That was Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice. They have such nice manners," she explains.
Mummy: "Now Cate, where was I? Oh yes, Africa. We are having a wonderful time. You know the bride, Isabella Calthorpe. She is Lady Curzon's daughter. Cannot remember which one, they are all so pretty and blonde. Oh! Here comes Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Cressida." Whispering: "She is the youngest of Lady Curzon's girls. Dating Harry now. My, my." Hmmm, "Verrry interesting."
Cate: "Well how lovely for you." I chose not to pursue Mummy's fascination with the Curzon family. Poor Miguel, he is probably rolling his eyes at all of Mummy's antics. But wait, maybe he is enjoying himself?
(Small aside, you remember Miguel was my house painter. My mother and her BFF, Evelyn came in for a brief visit and the next thing I knew, Miguel, his happy fiancé, Evelyn and all were jetting to Las Vegas for a wedding. My husband still misses Miguel's cooking. He had so many talents. On a good note, we have lost weight since his departure.)
Cate: "Mummy I didn't know you ran with the Bransons? When do we go to Necker?"
Mummy: "Oh, I will arrange that soon. Sir Richard and Joan are so lovely. Did you know that their daughter, Holly is a Doctor, and the groom, Sam, was that blonde boy Fiona played with on the beach at Bitter End Yacht Club? Too bad Fiona wasn't older at the time," sigh.
(For those of you who don't know, Fiona is my daughter.)
Cate: "Oh yes, I do remember little Sammy. Well he's all grown up and I am sure the bride is lovely." I'm now remembering something I read about a blooming romance with Harry and the bride's sister. All so much to keep up with.
Mummy: "We are at Sir Branson's private Safari Retreat, Ulusaba. Lovely, if you like animals. I personally am getting quite fond of the Elephant herd that comes every evening. I think they like me too!!"
Why am I picturing Babar and the Old Lady in Paris? Never could get over those royal elephants wearing clothing! Just loved those books as a child!! But I digress.
Cate: "Well what's on the agenda this evening?" Knowing full well that they must have fantastic events planned for every hour.
Mummy: "As a matter of fact, tonight is a Fancy Dress Ball. Not the usual affair! We are all to come as animals. Evelyn, Miguel, your father and I are going as a pride of Lions!! I had the costumes done up at Harrods. They did an AMAZING job, I might add."
Cate: "Well do send some photos! I must share these with our friends; I mean it's not every day that we have a Pride in the family!!"
Mummy: "Well must rush, off. Here comes Harry again! Helloooo your Highness!"
Sweetness is dripping off the phone receiver. As I hear Harry say, "Hello Clarissa, fancy seeing you here. Oh, is this Miguel? We have heard so much about him!"
I drop the phone and nearly fall down. Miguel and Prince Harry? In Africa, dressing as lions?? So much for another boring day at Home Depot buying paint!!
Other Recent Articles
Oscars 2013! Musings from Alexandra and Cate Alexandra Smythe: I sat down with my champagne, smoked salmon, selection of cheeses and toasted pecans for the four hours of Oscars! Surprisingly my husband joined me for the entire show. Probably the champagne was really why he was there.
Roasted Salmon with Carmelized Bananas
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Roasted Salmon with Carmelized Bananas by Bruce Barone I roasted the salmon in a 410 oven for about 20 minutes. You can grill. Ingredients: About 1 1/2 pounds Shetland Salmon (Or Sockeye or King); use leftovers for Salmon Cakes
“Jerry Buss” Reminiscing When the Pan Am TV series was on I would reminisce about my years of being a flight attendant since that show gave me numerous flash backs to those days. But it doesn’t take a TV show to do this. It was just announced that Jerry Buss, owner of the Lakers, has been hospitalized with cancer and I had a flash back to a particular flight.
A Valentine's Day Gift
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A Valentine’s Day Gift Many of you are waiting until the last moment to walk into a card store, the local supermarket, or Costco and pick up something for your Sweetie. Picture us frowning now! Well, a card is really a MUST so go get one before all of the good ones are gone!! Now what do you give with that card?