Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

M-J's Miscellany

Fine English Hairbrush

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 9:35 AM

This elegant hairbrush by Kent is the ideal grooming tool for fine or thinning hair.~~M-J de M.

Massad Ayoob Recommends...

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:55 PM

...a book for Christmas.

Massad Ayoob, Self-Defense Expert

Elegant Christmas Cookies

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Christmas Cookie Design ©M-J de Mesterton 2007


Easy-to-Make, Pure and Simple,

American Classic Style Christmas Biscuit Recipe

"Elegant Christmas Cookies", adapted from a 1950s recipe by Antoinette Pope (The Antoinette Pope School of Cookery). I’ve been enjoying these since I was a child. Here are the ingredients:

One half-pound of butter

Two and a half cups of flour

One cup of powdered sugar

One tablespoon of milk (full-fat, of course)

One teaspoon of vanilla (imitation vanilla is just as good as the real thing)

One egg yolk mixed with two tablespoons of cream (to brush on top, as a base for sprinkles–adds nice flavor, believe it or not). If you are going to use icing and a piping bag to decorate these Christmas cookies, skip this decorating step.


The ingredients, except for the egg yolk and cream, are mixed together and rolled out to a quarter (1/4) inch thickness. Then cookie-cutters are employed; the things are brushed with egg yolk/cream and sprinkled with coloured sugar. I prefer Swedish pärlsokker, or white pearl sugar. Transfer the cut-out cookies to an upside-down cookie-sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until their edges have turned light brown. Allow the cookies ("biscuits") to cool before removing them from the baking sheet.

©2007 M-J de Mesterton

Solar G-Shock by Casio

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 9:30 AM

A collection of solar G-Shock watches by Casio basks in the sun, getting all charged-up to survive for months of multi-function use. These G-Shocks are among the world's toughest and most dependable watches, and each of these models tells time in 48 cities and 29 time zones around the planet; each also includes useful lighted display, alarm, timer and stopwatch functions. And because the iconic G-Shock lateral tank shape is now available in a range of colours and surface treatments, ladies and gents alike may use these rugged watches as fashion accessories. I wear mine with both country clothes and evening clothes--ladies often are amused by the unusual juxtaposition of tough military-inspired styling and silk chiffon...: a G-Shock in the right colour is an unexpected boon to any woman of substance! 

©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Elegant Aloe Vera Plant

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 10:45 AM
Aloe vera plants make excellent hostess gifts. Their neat habit and elegant shape make them welcome in any room. They are low-maintenance and useful in wound-care applications. Because aloe vera needs very little water, it is also the perfect plant for a college dormitory room. The aloe vera plant provides a natural healing salve and some elegant greenery. ~~M-J

Elegant Gift: Ella Sings Cole Porter

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Elle Fitzgerald Sings Cole Porter: Great Cocktail Music