Monday Musings, Movies, and Pearls

Monday Musings, Movies, and Pearls

Happy Monday ladies. This week I’m thinking about movie stars and a surprising discovery I made at the movies. Have you ever read a description of character traits and felt they were describing you to a T? It happened to me at the movie theater last week and I’m still processing it.


We went to see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood which Brad Pitt had just won the academy award for. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but as it progressed, my intuition kicked into high gear and became nervous that it would get violent. The longer I sat there the more uncomfortable I became until I finally bolted from my seat and headed to the lobby.

No one else left the theater which got me wondering why I’m so disturbed by potential violence. As I waited for my husband, I surfed the web and came across an article about highly sensitive people. I’d never heard the term before but apparently it’s a pretty well-known set of character traits. As I answered in the affirmative for almost every question of the simple online test, I decided I needed to read more about it.

This is the book that first described the traits so I’ve ordered it. As I went further down the google rabbit hole I also found this book which looks like a fun read. Have you heard the term? It’s not referring to sensitivity as in touchy-feely. It’s referring to how one responds to outside stimuli.

Everyday Earrings

I accidentally packed just one pair of earrings for this two-week trip and I’ve only worn them once. Unlike a hoop or pearls, they’re too distinctive to wear every day. This has me thinking of hoops and pearls which make great everyday earrings. Hoops with pearls are a very popular look which I’ve had my eye on for since I first saw them last summer. Here are some pearl hoops I’ve been eyeing. Note to self… Jennifer, do not shop for earrings when you’re feeling earring deprived:)

Compression Wrinkles

Have you ever watched the video that demonstrates which facial wrinkles come from age and which come from sleep? It’s disturbing. I’ve always been a side or face sleeper which means each night my face is smashed into the mattress and I’m giving myself permanent sleep lines. I tried everything to make myself sleep on my back. I bought a foam wedge to put under my knees. I bought a big wedge to put under my pillow and I’ve bought several special pillows which are meant to prevent face wrinkles. You know what? They didn’t work. I invariably flipped over in the night and woke up on my face. Enter… back pain. A few weeks of lower back pain cured me of sleeping on my side or face because a heating pad, which feels so awesome on a sore back, just doesn’t work as well unless you’re laying on it. I shoved an ordinary pillow under my knees and after 6 days of sleeping on my back, I’m barely tempted to flip over.

Kirk Douglas

We toured Kirk Douglas’ Palm Springs house yesterday, which was nothing short of amazing. It’s been renovated since Kirk owned it but you can still picture him spending time here, hanging by the pool, playing tennis in the back and just chilling on a lawn chair. Palm Springs is chock full of history and we are soaking it up.

Date Shakes

Yes, there have been date shakes. You can’t or shouldn’t come to Palm Springs without indulging in one or a few, date shakes. They are not low on calories but they are high on fabulousness. In fact, they’re so sweet, we’ve been splitting one.

Palm Springs Date Shake recipe from Bon Appetit


  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup Deglet Noor or Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Instructions here

Have you had a date shake?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel fabulous and confident.
















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  1. Linda J
    February 19, 2020 / 6:00 am

    About being a HSP: Thanks, Jennifer. I needed to be reminded of this. As one person already commented, images stick in my head. I can’t watch any news program, because, as you said about how you felt during the movie, I know something violent will be talked about in just a minute.

  2. Pamela Lutrell
    February 18, 2020 / 2:21 am

    I have not heard of date shakes, but it does sound good and healthy!

  3. Nancy
    February 17, 2020 / 8:05 pm

    Yes, I’ve had the date shakes, my son and his family are stationed at 29 palms base and a visit over Christmas took us into Palm Springs. I happily ate the whole thing:) The zoo there was fabulous! You should try to make it out to the Joshua Tree National Park that’s fabulous too! Guess I’m not one of those highly sensitive people. My favorite genre is murder mysteries but nothing gruesome, I’m more a Agatha Christie who-done-it type. I too love the hoop/pearl combo!

  4. Deb
    February 17, 2020 / 12:52 pm

    Love your necklace looking for one like it go take on my cruise!

  5. Jan
    February 17, 2020 / 11:54 am

    This was an interesting post today.
    I feel that by avoiding certain movies, television shows and books that contain violence, I can limit my exposure to something that leaves me feeling awful. There is so much that we can’t control but this is a small baby step.
    I am also ordering the book “Quiet”. Thankyou for the heads up on these resources.
    On a lighter note, I love your outfit today and the hoops with the single pearl are so sweet!
    There were so many heartfelt responses to your post today. Thanks to all for an uplifting conversation.

  6. Jen
    February 17, 2020 / 10:48 am

    I’ve read both books. I love Judith Orloff’s book on empaths too. I can’t do any violence. And loud noises and crowds are not my thing. I set a lot of boundaries around this and am much happier and less stressed out as a result. (Carrying a dark crystal like smokey quartz or lepidolite helps too even though it’s woo woo.) Those shakes sound so good! I need to try it. Thanks for the recipe. I sleep on a silk pillowcase and a very soft pillow since I’m a side sleeper. It helps prevent crooked morning face for me! Xx

  7. Phyllis Hughes
    February 17, 2020 / 10:29 am

    Is there ever a bad time to buy earrings? I can’t think of a better time to buy them than if you left home with only one pair of Highly memorable earrings. When I travel I tend to take/wear one pair of silver hoops that go with everything. But, if I find another pair while traveling that I can’t live without, they are easy to add to my jewelry bag and make a lovely souvenir of my trip. Hoops with pearls would be lovely, especially if it was a silver hoop with grey pearls. I shall have to do some online shopping and see what I find.

    My daughter is highly sensitive to violence in movies. I can handle some of it, but cruelty just for the heck of it I can’t handle and leave the room. I have given up on some really good books because of the excessive violence in them. As a matter of fact, I have a book that I started in December that has a great deal of violence happening to a regular character that I haven’t picked up in months. This book is part of a series about an English detective that I had been reading. I waited months for this latest book to come out, and now I am realizing why I can’t finish this particular book. The series has had violence in it as it is about murders, but this time it seemed more intense and personal since it is directed toward a young detective in the series. Interesting. Also, explains why I have given up on other murder mystery series when the violence just becomes too intense and too much violence for violence sake

  8. Kay
    February 17, 2020 / 10:10 am

    I live right down the road from Palm Springs, and anyone who has lived here for a long time can tell you about Hadley’s Date Farm. Date shakes, date bread, date jam, you name it. Since I have never liked dates, I always found the place oppressive. I do endorse taking the house tours in PS. Before the age of easy plane travel, the city was a regular retreat place for the Hollywood types in Los Angeles (about and hour and a half drive away.)

  9. Penelope
    February 17, 2020 / 10:09 am

    I wrote a comment on the fb post but it seems to have disappeared somewhere. . I hope I’m not repeating
    I am so surprised and pleased with your mention of the two books on highly sensitive people and introversion.
    I found “The Highly Sensitive Person” over 12 years ago and, like a few other readers who have commented here, it literally changed my life. It answered questions about my orientation to the world and myself that I didn’t even know how to ask. Likewise with “Quiet”.
    Discovering that high sensitivity and introversion are not personality characteristics , but are traits determined by physical factors in the central nervous system, gave me such peace of mind about myself, and a sense of finally being “OK”. After a lifetime of feeling “ wrong” for recoiling from noise, Violence and chaos, bright light, too much attention, crowds, etc, the book validated my emotional and physical reality, and assured me that highly sensitive people have valuable contributions to make in the world. We aren’t a mistake, weak, anti social, defective.
    It has truly been a miracle find for me.
    Like the psychotherapist who commented above, I could go on for hours about this subject, but will just add that in my own subsequent research, I have found a group that helps people like myself with chronic autoimmune diseases that are now correlated with high sensitivity. This too has been extremely revealing and has given me valuable clues as to how to cope with sensitivity and introversion as regards to their impact on health.
    Thank you so much for addressing these books. In a very extrovert world, increasingly assaulting our minds, bodies, and senses, HSP’s and introverts must find ways to self protect without apology.

    Regarding date shakes… had one in Palm Springs in the ‘80’s. Divine. And I loved the desert quiet of that area.

  10. Norma G
    February 17, 2020 / 9:44 am

    I’m highly sensitive, but I love going to the movies. It gives me a chance to laugh, be scared or cry like a baby without seeming like an idiot. I cry easily at movies and even TV shows, but I also think that helps me cope with “real life” situations in my life or people around me. I may need to read the suggested books to understand more.
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a favorite movie of mine, maybe because I remember life and living in the LA area back then. Tarantino was a stickler for detail, nostalgia and familiar social icons of that era.
    There’s nothing like a good date shake while visiting the Palm Springs area. While it’s been at least 12 years since I’ve spent any time at PS, my family and I were frequent visitors to the area for decades. Only an hour from our home, but a total change of pace that we enjoyed for 2 or 3 day mini vacations several times a year. Many things changed when my husband’s health declined and after his passing.

  11. Christine
    February 17, 2020 / 8:44 am

    Thanks for the info on HSP…my daughter and her daughter are this. I wish I had known about this as my daughter was growing up. I will read the suggested books you and your followers have mentioned. And – love Palm Springs! Have spent several winters there.

  12. Lauren
    February 17, 2020 / 8:14 am

    Back Sleeping: Check with your Doctor or Chiropractor to see if this is a good idea….depends on many things (injuries, arthritis, etc.). If you get the “OK” it is highly likely that you will also be told to sleep with a pillow under your knees so you don’t put strain on the spine in the lower back area.

    Highly Sensitive: There really is no “Coles Notes” version…you need to read about it to learn to manage this wonderful trait so that you work abound the issues it brings so you can use it where it is a blessing. Dr Judith Orloff calls it “Empath” (name does not really matter). She has done a lot of work/research and her book “The Empath”s Survival Guide” is excellent. If picking up negative energy from others is an issue (YES this is measurable…isn’t Science great) then reading Dr Christiane Northrup’s book “Dodging Energy Vampires” is a good choice.
    I could go on (Psychotherapists are like that…we help where we can)….I will stop here 🙂

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 8:50 am

      No need to stop on my account. I was a psychology major in college and always fascinated 🙂 I pickup vibes all. The. Time. Thanks for the recommendations. I have lots of reading to do.

  13. Jean
    February 17, 2020 / 8:11 am

    I was recently told I might have a highly sensitive personality. When I did some research it was as if a lightbulb went on. Thanks for recommending this book.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 8:47 am

      That’s what I had. A lightbulb moment!

      • Jane Burkhart
        February 17, 2020 / 12:01 pm

        I too am a highly sensitive person, and an introvert. My counselor was the one who recommended that book a couple years ago, and I’m so glad she did. The best part was finally finding out that there wasn’t actually anything ‘wrong’ with me. I’m just different, like many others. It was like someone was saying ‘you’re not alone’. ❤

  14. Rose
    February 17, 2020 / 8:05 am

    Love your outfit and love pearl earrings, always my go to. My parents had a little house in Palm Springs and I miss going there so much. Never had a date shake though, will have to try one. Hope to go on a golf trip there again sometime.

  15. Elizabeth
    February 17, 2020 / 8:04 am

    Am so grateful to hear about another person, Jennifer!, who has walked out on a violent movie. I remember sitting out The Deer Hunter when I was in university. My friends who watched this movie were shattered by the end and they never teased me about sitting in the lobby. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for writing about this subject, HSP, of which I’ve never read.

    FYI – Jennifer, yours is the only blog, and I follow about 5 ( also Germany & UK ), that inundates me with ads. Your text keeps flipping up & down which makes reading it so frustrating. Is your tech team able to stop this? The other blogs I follow just appear without any ad insertions anywhere on the screen. Many thanks! Elizabeth

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 8:46 am

      I have got my tech team looking into why that happens. Are you reading on mobile or laptop?

      • Elizabeth
        February 17, 2020 / 11:54 am

        On a laptop, iPad.
        Thanks, Jennifer for looking into this.

  16. Diana
    February 17, 2020 / 8:04 am

    I’m obsessed with the earrings with a pearl on the hoop. Can’t find them in your blog except for the photo at the beginning. Did I miss them? Is there a link?

    • Chris
      February 17, 2020 / 8:16 am

      John Hardy available at Nordstrom

      • Jennifer
        February 17, 2020 / 8:51 am

        I’m pretty obsessed with those earrings. Husband is nervous 😉

  17. Eve
    February 17, 2020 / 7:49 am

    We haven’t been to a movie in years. I just don’t like the subject matter of most. I’m sensitive too and sex scenes, violence, obscene language seem to dominate or worse some agenda being pushed. I’m more of a reader anyway.
    I love what you are wearing . I’m all about comfort these days. My first pair of earrings was large gold hoops. Large. Mama just frowned but she let me wear them. They went with my peasant blouse and three tiered skirt. LOL I had a gypsy soul!

  18. Eileen
    February 17, 2020 / 7:25 am

    I read the HSP book a few years ago, it is extremely helpful to me. I decided to have a few visits with a therapist to try to understand myself better, and this book explains a lot , as she noted the same things. She noted that creative types, have been given a gift.. to see and feel things more deeply, and yes, the world wouldn’t understand us that well, as we are in the minority. I will be looking into the other books.

  19. Linda Lennon
    February 17, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Been to Shields date farm for lunch & a lovely lunch but did not go for the shake. Love their path that takes you around several bible scenes. I steer far away from violence in movies & Tv; maybe that’s why I hardly ever watch TV anymore. As far as earrings go, when I travel I pack silver, gold and pearl balls.

  20. Lori
    February 17, 2020 / 7:13 am

    I am extremely interested in the two books on highly sensitive people. I have stopped watching a series, a movie and stopped readiing a book because of the fear of something horrible happening. I don’t find it entertaining and can’t watch. I have never known another person with this quality and am eager to find out why I am this way. I am pleased there are others similar to me in this area.

  21. Joan
    February 17, 2020 / 6:30 am

    This is the perfect time to shop for earrings! They will serve the dual purpose of completing your outfits during this trip as well as being a souvenir from the trip. Years ago I forgot to put on earrings one day before I left the house. When I realized it, I stopped at a store and bought a new pair before I went to my office. After that, I carried an extra pair tucked into my purse in case of another emergency 🙂
    I too abhor violence in person or screen or TV. Not sure if that makes me a highly sensitive person or just a product of periodic violence in my childhood home.
    That date shake sounds delicious! I went to Palm Springs 5 years ago to attend a destination wedding but I didn’t know about those shakes. What a missed opportunity! LOL

  22. Shannon Moore
    February 17, 2020 / 6:14 am

    Quiet, by Susan Cain, is the #1 book that helped me understand myself. It an eye-opener for sure. I highly, highly recommend it, because it described me to a T, so I know there’s truth to it. It helped me look back to childhood and say, “So that’s why I always carried a cat around. It was a self soothing techinique.” I ‘ve never read The Highly Sensitive Person, but I’ll be purchasing it.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:34 am

      I’m ordering “Quiet” now too. I saw it in my searches and was considering it. Thank you!

      • Bea
        February 18, 2020 / 5:17 pm

        I read “Quiet” and liked it a lot. The author
        Susan Cain has done a TED Talk about the concepts she describes in her book.

        • Jennifer
          February 19, 2020 / 6:48 am

          I just started that book. I’ll look up her talk too. Thanks.

  23. Debbie
    February 17, 2020 / 6:14 am

    Oh my gosh I never knew this was a thing but this is so me! I’ve had panic attacks in the past because I tend to get overwhelmed easily. Definitely going to take a look at this book. Love the gray sweater with that necklace and using the scarf as a belt is a favorite of mine.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:31 am

      This could be really eye opening for you too! I’m glad I was able to share it you Debbie.

  24. Ann Martin
    February 17, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Cant totally relate… no violent movies for me either. The images stick in my head and who needs that? On a lighter note, if you’d like a tip for a very fun Palm Springs dinner, make a reservation for the Wed or Sat night communal supper at Sparrows Lodge. Or just go for lunch; so pleasant.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:20 am

      The images stick with me too. It’s awful. We will check it out because heaven knows, I haven’t eaten enough 😉 Googling it now.

      • Ann
        February 17, 2020 / 5:11 pm

        Vacay=Good Eating, at least to my way of thinking. Btw, I meant to type CAN totally relate, but somehow you understood me anyway. ?

  25. Holly
    February 17, 2020 / 5:32 am

    Jennifer, please give us a short book report as you read The Highly Sensitive Person. I, too, am very sensitive to violence in film, tv and even books – I always skip over the violent stuff. I’ve just accepted it but will be interested in finding out if this particular book is helpful.

  26. Corrie
    February 17, 2020 / 5:27 am

    Don’t shop for earrings if you’re feeling earring-deprived? Really? When is there a better time???

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:18 am

      I like how you think:)xx

  27. Sylvie Bernier
    February 17, 2020 / 5:20 am

    Good day Jennifer, I wish to address your comment about Highly Sensitive Persons as I can relate to this. Many years ago, I’ve read the book by Elaine Aron outlined in your article and this literally changed my life. All of a sudden I could finally understand myself and what I had been going through for years. I’m glad that you found this book as well. You’re in for many interesting findings. My best to you !

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:17 am

      Now I’m more anxious to read it than ever. Thank you Sylvie. I always wondered why I startled so badly. I thought it was my ears.

      • Karen H.
        February 17, 2020 / 7:04 pm

        I’m an HSP as well. I studied it years ago as part of my training as a therapist. You are not alone because there are many HSP’s out there who have only heard the negative comments made to them ie. “you’re too sensitive”. I highly recommend Elaine Aron’s book.

  28. Paulette Levy
    February 17, 2020 / 5:03 am

    The shake sounds amazing! I can only see hubby and I sharing one. Yum!
    Yes I am super sensitive to violence in movies and anticipation is the worst part. I left Parasites (best film)yesterday, for awhile , then came back in after the “event”. Don’t want to spoil it…but I definitely get what you feel. I knew what was coming after reading a review a week or so before the awards ceremony. I dislike violence on TV too. That’s why I rarely watch TV, other than the evening news: Politics, weather, etc.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:15 am

      I won’t watch violent TV either. Even if I’m in another part of the house I make my husband turn the sound way down.

  29. Holly Rigby
    February 17, 2020 / 4:59 am

    Hi Jennifer, I love date shakes, although I’ve only had half a one! When I heal from the TKR I had last week, Palm Springs is my first trip. Love it there! I highly recommend James Avery jewelry, a Texas jeweler, great for everyday and special occasions. My daughters steered my husband there about 20 years ago after he found the “perfect gift” for me, a small hedge trimmer, Ha! I have several pairs and many bracelets. They add new designs all the time. No interest there, I just love JA. You look gorgeous on your trip! And I’m thinking of a silk pillowcase? Do they really work?

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:13 am

      Wishing you a speedy recovery on you knee replacent! I can top you…one year my husband bought me a mop at a flea market for my birthday;) I was with him and the man selling it to him said, “good luck with this buddy”.

    • Shannon
      February 17, 2020 / 11:41 pm

      I love JA too! I only have a few pieces and treasure them.

  30. LindaB
    February 17, 2020 / 4:48 am

    For anyone who really wants to be a back sleeper, I’d suggest two things, the first of which is super-expensive: 1. a Sleep Number, fully-adjustable bed — to back sleep without back pain, your back needs to be fully cradled and in a position that lifts your knees and trunk; and 2. a special pillow (I like the MyFacePillow) that supports your neck and keeps your head from flopping to one side. It will take a while to train yourself, but eventually you’ll get there. The other upside — besides no chest wrinkles and reduced eye bags and face wrinkles — is you’ll wake up with no shoulder pain from slide sleeping. It’s worked for me!

    • Joan
      February 17, 2020 / 6:37 am

      Thanks for mentioning the connection between side sleeping and shoulder pain. I always sleep on my side, spending time on both sides during the night. Both my shoulders hurt from other causes but the shoulder on the side I wake up on really aches when I first wake up. Not sure if I can break my side sleeping habit though.

      • Laurel
        February 17, 2020 / 7:09 am

        This is so interesting. My shoulders have been giving me more and more pain as I age. I’m guessing this is why. Yikes.

        • Lori
          February 17, 2020 / 7:19 am

          Me too! Time to work on back sleeping. Ok, I guess I’ve known this for awhile, but time to get serious about it.

          Jennifer: I am also an HSP, and first learned the term 20+ years ago – to better understand my pre-school aged son, who was HSP as a child (very challenging unti lI understood WHY) There are lots of us out there!

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 7:02 am

      I would love one of those beds! What size did you get in the pillow?

      • LindaB
        February 18, 2020 / 4:52 am

        I don’t recall the size (BTW, it’s called YourFacePillow now), but mine is 21×11, with a 7 inch wide head space. It’s memory foam, which takes some getting used to, and it’s important to find the right positioning to keep your neck aligned, so it’s not hyperextended or pushing your chin to your neck — the latter encourages the dreaded tech-neck!

        • Jennifer
          February 18, 2020 / 7:01 am

          Thanks Linda. I have that neck thing already going on ?

    • Sharon
      February 17, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      I have been interested in the Sleep Number bed – which one would you recommend? I saw where Cosco advertised one.

      • LindaB
        February 18, 2020 / 5:06 am

        We bought ours about 7 years ago, and I imagine the models are much improved by now. However, we got the split king (basically 2 twin beds put together) so each of us can have completely independent settings without disturbing the other. It’s a hassle to change the sheets, but these days a lot more sheet makers are offering split king sets. BTW, though I’m not a fan of a bed skirt, we found we had to have one with ours (specially designed to stay in place even when the bed moves) to keep it from looking like a hospital bed! It looks like the newer beds are better designed, looks-wise, so that may not be necessary now.

        There are lots of quality grades, too, and we got the most padded of the options at the time, because we wanted maximum comfort. My sister bought hers a few years later, and opted for the memory foam topper, and wishes she hadn’t.

        No doubt about it, it’s an investment. But good sleep is the foundation of all good health, so we think it’s worth it. When we travel, we stay in nice places, but we’re still always happy to come home to our comfy bed!

  31. Susan
    February 17, 2020 / 4:33 am

    After living in Saudi Arabia for over a decade, I must confess if I never saw another date I would be more than happy. Quentin Taratino’s movies are generally pretty violent, but I found Once Upon in Hollywood boring, although much to my surprise, really enjoyed Parasite (minimal violence towards the end. Being a highly sensitive person is certainly not a negative trait and nicely balances out those who lack sensitivity.

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 6:33 am

      It was slow. If I’d known he was the producer I wouldn’t have gone to see the movie. I’m just not a fan of his style movie.

  32. Linda
    February 17, 2020 / 4:28 am

    Ohhhh that date shake sounds goooood and I am going to try it!

    We used to love going on home tours! Right now my husband isn’t able to do it but I hope in the future to be able to tour again!

    • Jennifer
      February 17, 2020 / 6:29 am

      It’s fun to see how others live, isn’t it?

  33. Val
    February 17, 2020 / 3:16 am

    Love the date shakes in Palm Springs. We split one too !!

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