How to take a good picture

during the holidays we take a lot of pictures.  By a tree, on Santa’s lap, photo bombing the wise men.photobombing wise men

Then New years rolls around and you want to look in a picture.. so #1 take the picture before you are drunk and have eaten off your lipstick.   Here is my treatise on How to Take a Good Picture   ( in the case of the one above, I don’t look good, but sometimes beauty needs to be sacrificed for humor.)




Food Network has begun running promos for my show.  So fun!  “Daphne Dishes” debuts Sunday Jan. 4th at Noon.  Please Watch.

Rene Zellweger, what is going on?

She has Jennifer Greyed.  It’s a verb now.  It means to have plastic surgery where you look good, pretty even, but not like your former quirky cute self. rene z new face

More on it here.

Look, I don’t blame her.  She was a big deal for a while.. then had this lull in her career because Hollywood only lets 2 woman have careers at a time, she has a minute marriage to Kenny Chesney and then went all Meg Ryan…. well, she looks better than Meg Ryan.

If I had the money I would totally have an eye job.  Clearly I’m not the only one.  Plastic surgery is going gang busters.  As this infographic shows ( I love infographics)

stats on plastic surgeryHang on, laser hair removal is considered Plastic Surgery?  Then every Armenian I know has “gone under the knife”.    Being in my 40’s I paid close attention to this part of the plastic surgery website. “The 40’s are a time when the aging process really begins to set in.”

No shit.

We typically start to see the earlier signs of aging around the eyes and forehead. The skin around the eye is prone to wrinkle and show redundancy.

redundancy’ is a polite term for extra skin.  As in, that amount of skin hanging over your eyeball is really redundant.”

The upper eyelids and forehead can begin to droop and give a tired or sad appearance. Thus it’s no surprise that patients between the ages of 40-54 are likely to undergo an eyelid and/or brow lifting surgery in order to minimize these changes. The lower eyelids are treated by removing or tightening skin as well as treating fat pockets. 

-Years ago I was told that Ford models where all made to get rid of their fat pockets in their teens.  They sucked out the fat and put it in a straw for them to consume with lots of cigarettes.

But, it’s not just those in front of the camera’s.  Even Mormon’s want to look pretty in this life.

From ” Surprisingly, Salt Lake City topped the list with almost five surgeons per 100,000 residents, beating out Miami, San Francisco, and even L.A. New York City did not make either list.”

realself cities with the most plastic surgeons

One thing I loved about Miami when I lived there is that everyone is so honest about their work.  They will walk around with bandages.  Unlike SF, where those crunchy, self important, rich liberals hide out in their $100 t-shirts till the stitches come out out.

There are always friends who say, “Oh, don’t ever get an eye job.”  Thanks, but I have to hold still with eyes closed after I apply liquid eyeliner or the ‘redundant’ part of my right lid gets  it’s own drawn on mustache. Plus, the upside as having been only moderately successful in my professional life, no one really notice.  The downside of only having been moderately successful in my professional life means I can’t pay for it though.  Maybe a yard sale?

Wait, I’ve got the recessionista fix.  Walk around like this.

non surgical eye lift

non surgical eye lift


Perfect blouse

When I was co hosting the Fashion Team my TV husband Lawrence Zarian use to say to me often, “I think you would look great in a crisp white blouse and a black pencil skirt.”  Being from LA for a second I thought he said, Crip’s white blouse, but no, that’s something for gang members.

Always up for a good makeover I bought a black pencil skirt pronto. BTW, LZ does make overs on Kelly Ripa’s show ( I don’t what it’s called now, but she looks so tiny next to the Regis replacement I find it odd), Entertainment Tonight and just about every other syndicated chat show in America.  He is the “The Fashion Guy” and I love him, ALTHOUGH  he did not send me a review copy his first ever book.  “Lawrence Zarian’s 10 commandments for a perfect wardrobe.”  I’m sure one of them is a crisp white blouse.lawrence zarians book

But, with my ample bosom and big ribs the crisp white buttoned blouse often looked slatternly.

June, or Daphne, is busting out all over

June, or Daphne, is busting out all over

I love the tailored look, but the tailored look didn’t love short waisted me.  While my ex TV husband  did NOT send me a book or a white blouse In Style Essentials  did.  A  fantastic white blouse for the well endowed.  It’s a great choice for gals who want to look crisp, professional, classic, but aren’t built like Lauren Bacall.  Here is the KEY: you order it based on your BRA SIZE.  Because I can be anything from a 4 to a 10 in a blouse.  It so depends on how it is cut.  This blouse covers my ta- ta’s without pulling.

a selfie of instyle essential blouse

a selfie of instyle essential blouse

NOW, my one ding on it is this:  I think I need the lower waist measured too.  They sent it to me right before Christmas and I looked great.  But, after two weeks of holiday parties, eating, treadmill gathering dust it did pull a bit on the muffin bump.  But, over all it fit better than other tailored shirts I have tried. I’m a 34D for those keeping track at home. (was not paid for review, but did keep the blouse)

on set with LZ, Vivica Fox. I didn't need a make over that day

on set with LZ, Vivica Fox. I didn’t need a make over that day

One of my commandments is the spray tan.  Takes ten pounds off.

I love this Christmas stuff

My nose is running, I’m tired and have skin so dry I could plant corn in the cracks, but I do love this time of year.  It’s all because of my 4 and 8 year old.  christmas kidThis precious time where they

1) Still want to hang out with me

2) Still believe in Santa Claus

3) are open and excited and haven’t become cynical jaded f*cks.

That time will come, but till then I’m loving it.  I love sharing them with my mom

kids, Aunt Cec, mom, niece Lily

kids, Aunt Cec, mom, niece Lily

best gingerbread house

The four at home in front. maybe I should have asked for a little guy just off the plate to represent Oliver in college

and going to holiday teas, church Christmas boutiques, (my splurge here from the Solvang Bakery) Last year my splurge was piano playing miniature teddy bear. What can I say I’m weak for Christmas kitsch.

Mom, are you sure we can't eat it?

Mom, are you sure we can’t eat it?

personalized gingerbread house

Making hot chocolate, buying our tree.  They insisted on flocked this year. decorating a flocked treechildren decorating christmas trees I have bought ONE gift so far and need to do my budget of what is possible, but in the last few years I’ve just come to accept that anxiety at what I’m putting on the credit card is as much a part of Christmas time as hot apple cider.  Oh, by the way Christmas bazaars, this year no one has had hot apple cider.  What gives?  I’m calling Fox News.

Christmas time goes so fast that one really has to have everything staged and ready to go.  I’m pretty good, but still trying to dig out my Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra holiday CD’s. Good I have spotify, but I have to skip a lot these modern ballads.. blech.

children's christmas

Thanks for the Mick Jagger pose Rex

One reason I have been looking forward to Christmas is so that Vivien can finally wear this exquisite dress that Mark’s cousin Vicki made for her.  She visited us earlier this year and we went fabric shopping. She went back to Oregon and then sent us this picture perfect dress.  Red velvet, green silk sash, ruching on the shoulders. homemade christmas dress A one of kind.  Years from now when Vivien is off clubbing or running her medical practice I will be clutching this dress, shooing  my cats away from its beauty.

kids and santaDear Santa, let this sweetness last as long as possible.teddy bear tea


where are those darn glasses?

If you are North of 40 like me you are forever reaching for your glasses.  Well, a momperneur  sent me a pair of lookie lous reading glasses that are also a head band.   Every once in a while my “Please don’t send me things to review, I’m not coolmompicks.” breaks down and I’m charmed. In this case by a nice lady from Nashville who wants us to be able to find our glasses and be fashion forward.

I hate the glasses with the little nose things, like aviator style because I push them on my head and then get my full locks tangled in my reading tool.

So here it’s a head band.

One change I would make is the large type of the magnification on the side ( see pink letters).  Granted if you are dealing with people who don’t have great eyesight, but I’d like to keep that info on the downlow.

Here it’s glasses.

I mean business

They can be tinted.

Jackie Oh?

Which looks a tad severe and Bono like, although when reading on a lounge chair by a pool on my recent vacay they worked. Funny enough, Vivien LOVED them and took them from me for weeks.  She liked the head band part and then liked pretending to need glasses.  Rex took them from her and announced, “everything looks smeary!”

As my dad use to day, “young eyes.”



Getting back to my roots

Let’s talk about the really big news around here.  My hair.

After 20 years of dying my hair blonde.  I have gone back to my roots. Well, with a few highlights as well.  I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.

I'm naturally blonde and I have a cake!

Hear is my Hair Story:  Like many of us I was a blonde little child.  Golden locks, wispy buttery strands that flew through the rich Culver City air.  I stood out in my clan as they were all brown haired, brown eyed people.

Make Blonde not war

Then in adolescents.. I started to change.  The hair became darker, so I sprayed on Sun In.  But, that left it kind of orangy.  By High School I was done trying.  It was all brown.  My super thick hair a blunt cut that sat on my head like a helmet.  So, I cut it SHORT.  Very Molly Ringwald 1980’s. Daphne Brogdon 1980’s.

Molly, not me, but very close

I went to college and let it go where it would.  I was thinking about saving the world and listening to Grateful Dead, wearing huarache sandals so I didn’t realize that I had developed (gulp)


It was even kind of blue for awhile and then red, due to some temporary dye that wasn’t.  But, hey college is a time of experimentation, right?

"Does that girl have a mullet?"

I went home one summer before my junior year and walked into my friend Carolyn’s hair salon.  “OMG ” she screamed,  ” You look like someone from Sonoma County.”  This was before Sonoma county had great wine and cheese, but was hick central.  I finally came to.

“HELP ME”  She chopped the party in the back off.  Several weeks later she put in highlights.  Then I was on the road to blonde.  It felt like I was back to me.  The golden child.

Now, blondes do turn heads.  But, not so much when they are in sweat pants pushing a stroller.  I like my blonde when I’m all done up or on TV.

If only I always looked like this. But then I'd be on Real Housewives of Culver City

But, that’s not what most of my life is like.  I still want to be pretty.  I have not “given up”.  But, I don’t want to chase a look right now either. It’s also a lot of maintenance and money. I tell Vivien as I gaze at her naturally perfect highlighted hair, don’t chase the blonde Viv.  When you are older, go gently into the sweet night of brown. I don’t want her to spend time on that when she will be in a great scientist discovering a cure for cancer.  She has better things to do.

So, I’ve gone brown.  I’ve gone bangs.  Michele Obama said her bangs were her mid life crisis.  I feel kind of the same way. Although, I would prefer Channing Tatum or Bradley Cooper to also be part of this crisis.“Daph, we like brunettes. Brown brings out the blue eyes”

This is going to sound really goofy, but going darker is one of the bravest things I’ve done in a while.  My friends really see it.  Most like it, a few say they prefer the blonde.  Talking about hair sounds trite, yet it is a part of our identity.

I’ll probably go blonde again.  I always pictured myself a little old lady in a golf dress  with over tan skin in Palm Springs, short blonde hair dropping coins for the lifeguard to pick up for me

I would love to look like Cloris when I'm her age

We’ll see.


We are making changes

We are moving in a different direction.
It’s not you; it’s our corporate restructuring.
The many things you are told when you are no longer wanted at a job.
I just got a very nice boot from Star Magazine. For over 5 years I wrote jokes for the their worst of the week feature.
I really don’t mind.
The managing editor wrote me himself, which was classy not leaving it to a flunky. Frankly I don’t blame them. I was having a hard time getting it up for it. How many times can one write a funny line about a disheveled Helena Bonham Carter?
( “ The char woman wants her look back.” )
At some point we just need to accept she has had children with Tim Burton that’s her look! Like we finally got it with Diane Keaton. The lady likes blazers and hats.
How many times can you make a joke about a wanna be starlet, who I have never heard of, but shows up on the red carpet in a too tight cheetah pattern? ( “Don’t call the wild, they’ll call you!”)
I was first asked to be on the panel when I hosted TV Guide’s “The Fashion Team”. Last year it was cancelled and I thought, “I wonder when Star will cut me loose?” I didn’t tell them my show went the way of the dodo bird. I had in as part of my credit and had hoped that would drive traffic to my site. But, actually it didn’t. I was usually rushing to do the jokes on a Tuesday night while making dinner. Or I would be dropping off Vivien at school on Wednesday and get an email from the editor, “are you sending the jokes?” Crap, I would race home to make the deadline.
One thing that bothered me was the candid shots of celebs on the street.
Look Bai- Ling and Phoebe what’s her name want to be photographed. The ones that dress up in kooky or sexy outfits on the red carpet are fair game. But, Hillary Duffy going to get a Starbucks in sweats, Rumer Willis shopping in shorts and no make up? They are just leading their lives and I look like a hot mess when I go run errands. So, those always made me feel ethically uneasy.

Also, sometimes the editors got it dead wrong. I would get a picture of a celeb in a fashionable outfit and I would write back, “Good look, no joke here.” Fashion can takes chances and still be in good taste. They don’t have to look like Rihanna.

Just in case anyone is planning on hitting the red carpet and doesn’t want to the Worst of the Week here are a few tips.
– No animal prints
– No shiny clothes
– No too tight clothes
– Not too much flesh
– Not too directional in anyway

Will I miss seeing my face in a magazine while I get my pedicure? A bit. But, I will no longer have to correct people when they say, which they did all the time, “ I just read you in US magazine!”


Inside mommy’s purse

Into the bowels of motherhood.  The true secrets of mommy.  The stuff we don’t want anyone to see..

until now…  a horror movie or a cry for help?

It’s just the inside of my purse (eck eck eck eck)

Spare diapers, gold fish crackers, phone numbers to young sailors-wait, how did that get in there?

Normally I would rather show my muffin top than show the inside of my purse ( hmm, did that right).

I finally dumped my purse out on the porch yesterday as I was tired of getting my fingernails encrusted with crackers everytime I plunged in looking for my keys, a pen, my wallet, spare ointment.

How long do you go before you clean out your purse?  I’m thinking I should shoot for once a week and then it will happen once a month.

Oh, the shame

Finding the Good in Back To School (sponsored)

Can you smell it?  Can you smell the tension of trying to get your kids dressed, hair brushed and “for the love of God, put on your shoes” as you try not to get a tardy?  You’d think it was my report card at stake.
Yes, I can smell back to school time is close.  Oh, those last gleeful moments of summer.  Outdoor dining in the back yard, staying up late and mosquito bites. Lathering up the kids with sunblock, glasses, sun hat and the rose of summer: Cherries!


I know some parents think summer creates more work for them, but I have really enjoyed it this year.  But, I have to look for the bright side as summer wanes.

Brightside #1

When Rex starts his two day a week school I will have two mornings I can work out and get into supermodel shape…if you can with two days a week workout.

Brightside #2 when it gets dark earlier, I get the kids to sleep sooner thereby leaving more time to read ( also known as watch DVR’d “House Hunter International”)

Brightside #3 Continuing the tradition of “Day Outs”.  When I was growing up my mom took each of us on our own day out with mom.  We bought our school clothes and then got to pick where we would go to eat for lunch.

“Anywhere you want!”  She would say.  Did I pick legendary restaurants of LA that are long shuttered?  Scandia, Chasen’s, Brown Derby?  No.

“Howard Johnsons!”

Last year was the first year I started it with Vivien.  It is magical being the mom in this equation as it was being the daughter.  I love our time together.  When we shop we discuss likes and dislikes, style and what is appropriate.  She is no longer at the age that I can dress her up like a paper doll, but is not giving me the sullen teen push back.  I know which colors she gravitates too.

But, since she is still a little kid I can’t wear her out and risk a meltdown mid “happy day”.  So I’m doing my research before we set out.  I know from my niece ( 10) the kids are still digging the Peace signs and graphic tees.  Denim is hot, check.  Sears Style helps you do your homework so you know what the kids are into.  I do prefer to go to a place I can pick up a few t- shirts for my stepson as well.  ( sidebar, there was the cutest yellow dress with white lace in the junior department that I wonder if my childbearing hips could fit into).  Sears also has a Sears Personal Shopper app this year for iPhone and Android’s (my phone) that I want to use.  Snap a picture of something you want for back to school and expert shoppers find it and contact you on where you can get it, even if it’s not at Sears.
I smell smart shopping.

This is one of three posts sponsored by Sears.  I was pleased to be asked to be a spokesperson for their back to school tween clothing.  Next post: favorites from the media tour.

What to wear back to school? Survey Results (sponsored)

What are the back to school items you want to skip?  Which ones are on your to do list?

If I was to fill out a survey on the topic I would say

1) One of  my back to school items is trying not to look like the frumpiest lady at drop off.

2) closed toed shoes for Vivien.  She can’t wear her favorite foot wear at her school, sandals, so I will be looking for closed toe shoes that are EASY TO PUT ON.  When we are trying to get out the door I can’t stand wrestling with the hard to slip on shoes.

3) good price.  Yes, I have seen $130 jeans for little kids.  I have also seen people bungee jump.  I plan on doing neither.  They grow out of their clothes so fast it’s koo-koo to spend that kind of money on kid clothes.

Well, speaking of surveys Sears and Blogher did a survey about parent’s shopping habits for this Back to School period. Here are some of the results

two-thirds of parents say they are inclined to spend more on apparel items like jeans, tops and shoes for this school year versus last year.

So, even in a downturn, kiddos still keep growing.  I am more likely to buy something for my kids than myself.

But according to the survey, parents are spending more on KEY items, but, they using newspaper ads, circulars and loyalty programs to track down the best deals. All those services that rhyme with boo pon, you know.

Okay, so what are the key items?  For my 10 year old niece it’s cool pants and graphic tee’s.  Preferably, with a peace sign.  For my 17 year old stepson, it’s tight legged blue jeans and plan t shirts.  For Vivien it’s anything in pink.  So, to make the purchase worthwhile… the maximize your time, here a few results of my own:

1) pick stuff they are really going to wear.  Yes, I would love it if I could still dress my niece up in fancy dresses, but it ain’t going to happen.

2) lay out a few rules.  there will be no midriff showing, a non starter. I’m fine with a peace sign, or Love or American flag, but nothing with a negative or snarky saying thanks.

I know I will soon be made irrelevant, but right now I still a little input.

3) don’t shop at a place that is not your food group.  Make sure it’s a store that has stuff you feel okay with.

4) Sears has a great Facebook application called, “Mom’s Amazing List”, which allows you to actually create your own shopping list and get suggestions based on your child’s gender and age.

5) Avoid the impulse.  I could buy my daughter cute, flowery dresses all day, but her closet is choking with them, so until she gets a little bigger, I can’t justify that purchase.

I should ) my own shopping better.

this is the first of three posts sponsored by Sears about Back to School shopping.  I am going to be doing some media appearances in support of their program.  I love me some Sears.