Sunday, February 21, 2021

When Beautiful People Kill Themselves: Supermodel Stella Tenant's Suicide and Vogue Magazine's Tribute to Her

 When Beautiful People Kill Themselves: Supermodel Stella Tenant's Suicide and Vogue Magazine's Tribute to Her

Suicide. If it isn’t one of the infamous seven dirty words, it sure seems like it is. It’s often absent from obituaries, conversations, people’s everyday chatter.

When I was leafing through my brand new copy of Vogue magazine, my gaze paused at a full-page “Tribute,” with a  photo of a beautiful tall woman in a fur coat and tweed skirt, and I saw it was to the supermodel Stella Tennant.  I had no idea Tennant had died.

I remembered Tennant from earlier years - the 90s, the early aughts, or thereabouts - an impossibly statuesque, thin, and beautiful model with sky-high cheekbones to die for and a sassy short brown haircut.

What I didn’t know was that Tennant had, just last December 2020, sadly, killed herself. Committed suicide. Etc. (One school of thought doesn’t like the word “committed” because it implies a crime).

As I read Hamish Bowles’s tender and anecdote-filled tribute to her, I learned she was actually real British nobility: she was the granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire and his wife, Deborah the Duchess of Devonshire (could a more alliterative and aristocratic name exist?).

Tennant may have been born into a lofty noble bloodline, but she was down to earth. Eventually she moved to a house in the Scottish Lowlands, according to Bowles, not far from the sheep farm where Stella had grown up — her parents, the second Baron Glenconner and Lady Emma Cavendish, the Duchess of D’s daughter, had eschewed London society for quiet farm life.

So what would make someone so beautiful, famous, presumably financially secure, with four beautiful children, want to end their life?

Well, this is the age-old question many people are left with. But if you read more closely, as I did, scouring the web for details, you can learn more about why. Tennant had apparently struggled with mental health issues for years, as have I. I cannot say what anyone else’s experience is, but depression is not for the faint of heart.  It can be a living, breathing Hell; a catwalk in Dante’s Inferno where you must kept strutting, exhausted, all day and night, with no end in sight.

She also apparently worried that, having turned 50, she was going to be considered too old to model. On top of that, she had recently gone through a divorce. Those things are stressful enough. Being isolated on an farm may not have helped. Ultimately only that person knows.

But, the point I’d like to make here is, I think we should, as a society, be able to say “suicide” is a cause of death just like cancer, heart attack, a car crash, or any other disease or misfortune. So often, it's simply not listed. No cause of death is listed.  That's the clue. 

And really, often with suicide, it’s the depression that kills. The person who takes their own life simply cannot take it anymore. They died from a disease called depression.

Unless you’ve lived it, I say, judge not. Tennant’s family did disclose her cause of death, but asked for privacy. That I can understand.

I’m probably not helping the latter cause, but I think the bigger cause is that society should not cringe and whisper the word “suicide,” but speak it out loud without shame,  so it can see the light — and maybe with seeing the light, it will get more attention and treatment than it has in the past.

Bowles’s tribute also focused on Tennant’s remarkable life, not her death. “Initially, Stella, a 23-year old art student when the “London Girls” shoot took place...” —  [where she was “discovered”] — “...was wary of fashion,” he wrote.

“I thought it was a big, shallow world, and I wasn’t sure if I really liked the look of it,” she had said.

She did of course go on to have a great modeling career.

But, “she didn’t care — of course, that was part of the appeal,” milliner Philip Treacy had said, according to Bowles.

“The truth is,” wrote Bowles, “Stella didn’t have to try: she not only possessed but she defined the indefinable It.”

So there you have it. People of all walks of life kill themselves if they’re in enough pain. The “It” girl. Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Robin Williams, that kid you saw around your neighborhood; somebody’s cousin/uncle/daughter.

Maybe if we hear more about it, it will be treated more like the public health crisis it is.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Acorns: What I Made in Two Years with the Acorns Investing App

What I Made in Two Years with the Acorns Investing App

I've found the Acorns app to be an easy, fun way to save and invest money.  It's not my only investment account, but it's the one that has me putting money away without thinking about it.  I'll tell you how I did with Acorns from about February 2019 to February 2021.  

But first, just to throw an extra incentive out there for you (and me), if you sign up for Acorns with my affiliate link:

...I'll pay you $50, as long as at least four people or more sign up.

Grow Small Change into Big Investments with Acorns

If you’ve ever done well in the stock market, you know how satisfying it can be to watch your money that is invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other, grow over time.  But what if you don’t have enough money to even open a brokerage account, and don’t know a lot about stocks or the market?  

Not to worry! That;s where the app called “Acorns” comes in -- which will automatically take small amounts of your money from your bank account at recurring intervals (mine is every two weeks; I believe that's the standard period) and invest it for you.  

How does it work? Well, after your initial sign-up, linking it to your bank account, it does things like “round-ups,” where if you make a purchase at a store, and spend $24.50, for example, Acorns will round it up to the nearest dollar and put that 50 cents in your investment account. And then, of course, it invests the money it grabs from your bank account regularly.

How Well Did I Do in Two Years?

I started with a very small amount, about $20 or so, back in March 2019.

As of this week, the week of February 8, 2021, that small start has grown to $2754.04. (Note: I did withdraw a small amount of cash at one point, so the amount I actually have is less than that, but that's the amount it grew to in that time).

Today I got a note that I was up in the market about $380.


Acorns invests in what’s known as “ETFs,” or exchange-traded funds. But you can also set your portfolio to how safe or aggressive you want to be.

I have mine set at moderately aggressive.

Make "Free" Money When You Refer People 

Now, another fun way to make money with Acorns is to earn bucks by referring people to them. 

Every so often they will email you with an offer like “Make $400 if you get 4 of your friends to invest with us.” (See image above).

You can then click on that link in that email, and it will give you another link you can use to email someone, post on a blog (like I’m doing), tweet, etc. 

We all know there are more than enough ways to “share” things these days, with social media!

They also have a deal where you can get $5 for any friend or person you direct to them who deposits $5 themselves.

So, that's my review of the Acorns app. Two thumbs up! ;) 

Thanks for reading. Now go grab that free money! :) 


Friday, January 29, 2021

Kin Euphorics "High Rhode" Drink Review: Will It Make You Mellow and Happy, or Will It Just Taste Crappy?


I got a lot of online ads for this funky new non-alcoholic beverage, or rather line of beverages, called "Kin Euphorics."  Since I'm always noodling about for a new product to review, I said "what the hey" and ordered not only "High Rhode," but also "Dream Light."

I'll be reviewing "High Rhode" here.

First, it does come in nice packaging...a bright yellow box. There was even a free little wrapped gift, which I'll show in the "Dream Light" review.

The beverage says on the front of the bottle, "Lifted Mind, Relaxed Body, Kindred Spirit."

I took the drink around 4 p.m., which, granted, is not happy hour, but I wanted to see how it affected me before happy hour.  Also granted, I was alone and in my studio -- not with a bunch of people -- well, we can't be with a bunch of people these days anyway -- but next time I'd like to try it with a few close friends and see if the experience is different.

I liked the light taste, which is not very sweet but more on the dry side, but I mixed it with a non-flavored plain seltzer water.  If you wanted something sweeter, you could mix it with tonic water or diet tonic water, say.

I did the suggested 2 oz. serving size, and added enough seltzer to make a drink of about 5 oz. 

I felt a little bit mellower after about 15 - 20 minutes. 

However, I was not socializing with other people at the time but working in my studio. So I'm not sure if the drink would have affected me a different way if with other people.

I put the suggested serving size, 2 oz., in a glass with ice and added some seltzer water. I personally liked the taste of this purple-colored beverage, but if you don't like bitter tastes, you may want to mix it with something like a sour mix or something sweet. 

One of the ingredients is "bitter orange extract." so it's not surprising it had a slightly bitter taste,  Another ingredient is orange peel extract, which should add something nice and fresh to the flavor; and also GABA (Gama-Aminobutyric Acid). 

So, how else did I feel while drinking it?  I felt pleasant, and I don't know if it was a placebo effect or not, but as I said, I felt a little mellower.  However, I would not say it has anywhere near the mellowing effect on me as a glass of wine.

I did also feel a mild tingling in the left side of my brain...however, I cannot say you will feel the same thing. It should be noted that I take a couple of medications; I don't know if this is something that would affect the, well, effect. (Maybe I'll go into my medications in my next review, of the sleepy Kin beverage, or "may delete later," as they say on the interwebs). ;) 

Again, I would like to try this drink with other people, as well, to see if it affects me differently; if socializing has any effect.

All in all, it has a pleasant taste, in my humble opinion, though again if you don't like bitter, you may want to add mixers accordingly.  

I am giving it a four out of five stars review. After I consume it with friends, I'll do a separate review and average the two numbers. ;)

I will add that the cost is a wee steep: it cost me $33.15 (marked down from $39 on the invoice) with free shipping. That's for a bottle of about 10 oz.  The gift with purchase, which I see now on the statement, is actually "edible glitter" -- hmmm...that may be a whole blog post in itself -- is also free.

So, there you have it...if you're curious about an alcohol-free alternative and it won't break your budget, I'd check it out.

Julia Reviews: Kin Euphorics "High Rhode" beverage: **** our of ***** (4 out of 5) Stars.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

My Review of Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in Muna

 My Review of Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in Muna

I'm a bit of a sucker for Facebook ads. When one popped up showing what seemed to be the perfect neutral, flattering shade of eye shadow -- well, it's actually called "eye brightener" -- I couldn't resist ordering it.

I've been on the lookout for the perfect shade and consistency of eye shadow for a while. My most flattering shade is probably a rose beige, and I haven't found the same shade as the old one I used to have. (As with many of my favorite things, it seems "they don't make it anymore." I'm looking at you, Fortified Oat Flakes cereal.. Anyway). 

So I got this set in the mail from Thrive Causemetics when my order came:

It comes with a cute zippered bag...larger than you'd need for this eye shadow, but a nice size to throw a bunch of cosmetics in for travel, the beach, etc.

So, how does it look on? I took before and after pictures.

I'm starting with "After," because in "Before" I look Godawful, lol.

I liked the smooth and easy way the brightener went glides on nicely and you can really control it more than a powder with a brush, especially when you're trying to apply more of the makeup to the crease in your eyelid, and out to the edges.

Here's how it looked one I had it on and blended it a little with my finger:

I'll try to take a better close-up, but there you have it. I blended a small amount of it on the top part just under my eyebrows.

Here I am without any eyeshadow:

Oh gosh..."may delete later," lol.  Looking at this pic, I wonder if next I should buy their waterproof eyeliner, as my eyeliner here looks smudged.

Here's a closer view of the eye brightener stick; you can roll it up, so there's more to it than you just see in the tip.  I like that you can roll it up, as I never liked "eye pencils" in actual wood that you had to sharpen like some Dixon Ticonderoga wooden pencil. 

The stick cost $24.  At first I thought that was a bit high, but given the price of some eyeshadow sets, and that this comes with a cute little bag, and it goes on so easily and looks nice, I think it's reasonable. 

I give this Thrive Causemetics eye brighter stick in Muna shade 4.5 stars out of 5.  How long will it last? We'll see.  I'll be using it almost daily, so I'll write another post to let you know.

Stay tuned for the next "Julia Reviews..."!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

My List of the Best Christmas / Holiday Songs, with a Little Help from My Friends

What are your favorite Christmas / holiday songs?

I decided to make a list of my favorites this year, of both oldies and new-ies, but I didn't finish.

I thought I'd share what I put together so far, and ask you all what your favorite song or songs are...and also who sings it, or who you think has the best rendition of it. ðŸ˜‰

My List (not necessarily in any order):

Brian Setzer Orchestra- [Everybody's Waitin' For] The Man with the Bag

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - "The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth)"
(“Bing passed away before this could air on television. Initial release is November 30, 1977.")

The Whole Charlie Brown Christmas Album by Vince Guaraldi

The Jackson 5 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (With Lyrics)

I’m Dreaming of a White Xmas – best rendition by…?

Josh Groban - I'll Be Home for Christmas [Official HD Audio]

Mary’s Boy Child - Bony M

John Lennon - So This Is Christmas / War Is Over

Paul McCartney – Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas..

Blue Xmas - Elvis

José Feliciano - Feliz Navidad (Official Audio)

Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Official Audio)

Wham! - Last Christmas

The Kinks - Father Christmas

Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas (Original Version - 4K Restored)

Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses


Here are the other songs my friends added (it led to some interesting tangents/offshoots, too!):