Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Closet staples..#3, the black leather jacket

Howdy and Happy mid-week.
We are back with another edition of "Closet Staples". 
This is the boldest staple to date, the black leather jacket.

I remember when I bought my first black leather jacket. I was a sophomore in college. My mom was SO upset. To her only "Tough" or "hard" girls would ever dare to wear black leather.
She has since come around and is even known to rock an adorable black leather bomber in the winter.

Where I live in New England, this is the fashion equivalent of a three season room. From October through April (If not later) this baby is in the rotation.

Why is this a closet staple? Well, it NEVER goes out of style. It looks equally as good with jeans and boots as it does dress pants and ballerinas. 

There are a few tips to keep in mind when buying a leather jacket.

  • Consider this an investment piece.
Let me be blunt here, it's next to impossible to get a decent leather jacket at a "cheap price". 
Sure, you can buy faux leather jackets at Target for $29.00 . The problem is that the look so cheap. Something like that will cheapen your entire look.  You don't want to do that. 
Luckily, there are decent faux-leather jackets to be found out there. This one by BLANKNYC does not look as inexpensive as it is.

  • Fit is everything
You want to be 100% sure that you buy a jacket that has the ideal fit for you.
Look for sleeves that end at your wrist.
Look to have enough room in your shoulders and arms, as you need to have free range of motion. 
You should be able to zip your jacket all the way and still have room to breath.

  • Buy leather conditioner (for real leather jackets)
This is so key. If you treat this jacket it right, you'll have it for years upon years. This is what not only will keep your jacket clean, but also it will protect the leather from cracking.

I do love my leather jacket. It does pain me to be talking about jackets though. I just want to live in summer for a (long) while more.

Go off and ROCK the rest of this week!


Monday, August 19, 2019

5 Things that I can't live without

Hello babes!
Was your weekend sun drenched and good to you? I sure hope so.
I used to read a magazine back in the day that did a feature called "I really love my." They would take a celebrity and show them using the same item over and over. They would then show you where you could buy a dupe of it for yourself.
It was normally fashion related item. I loved this feature. It got me to thinking, what are my "just can't make it without them" items. There are a bunch, but here are my top 5.

1) My Nespresso Vertuo
OMG, This gets more use that anything. I love it so much. A few years ago, Nespresso came out with their Vertuo line. This baby makes Starbucks quality lattes at the touch of a button. Unlike the original Nespresso machines,the machines in this line read the bar code of the pod you put in it. It uses this info to brew it to the perfect strength and temperature for that particular coffee pod.   
Here is the link for the exact machine that I have Nespresso

2) IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream
I've mentioned this before. My skin is SO dry.  This is the only cream that I've ever used that really feels like its moisturizing my skin. I have no idea if it actually works as an anti-aging product. I really don't care if it does. It soothes and nourishing my skin. That's enough for me.

3) Cozy Ugg Slippers
Apologies to my vegan readers. You folks have so much admiration from me.
I personally am not a vegan. I love/Need my Ugg slippers. I wear them ALL year long.
My hubby likes to keep the AC set at 68 degrees in the summer. I'm ALWAYS cold. These babies are like Heaven on your tootsies. I just got this pair and am obsessed.

4) Dior Skin Foundation
In my opinion, this is the best foundation ever created. It goes on so smooth. It covers everything you want to cover, but your face will still look like skin. Bonus points for how long lasting it is.Dior Skin Foundation

5) Nordstrom
I can't live without Nordstrom. Nope.
We need new bed sheets? I get them at Nordstrom. I need a cute new outfit for a date night?  Nordstrom, here I come.
Its where I do all of Christmas shopping. Its where everyone gets me a gift card to.
All of the other stores should look at how well Nordstrom treats their customers and take note.

So, what can you not live without? I don't mean people, as in "I can't live without my kids."  That's a given. I'm talking about things here. Tell me the stuff that you just can't get by without!


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Friday Five

Happy Friday, friends!
It's been a second or two since we did a "Friday Five".  So, why not today?

I like the one that Live Journal posted for this week. Its about talking!

1. What makes it easy to talk to someone?
An open and kind demeanor, an enthusiastic interest in people and ideas.


2. Have you ever had a great conversation with a complete stranger?

Yes. Many, many times. See, I can talk to anyone, anytime, any where. I'm just generally interested in people.
One time, I was flying back from Vegas by myself. It was a 6 hour flight and my earbuds just died. I was dreading how long and boring this flight would be. 
My seatmate comes on and worked her way to our row. She was a 2o year old junior at Ole Miss. She was an Alpha Delti Pi sister. She and I talked all the way from Nevada to Boston. She was so sweet, happy and engaging.

3. Do you like to argue?

Noooooo. You can go darken someone else's door step if that's what you like to do. 
Better yet, figure out where your argumentativeness is coming from and work on healing that.
4. Some people like to talk about things, and some people like to do things. Which are you?

Both to a degree. Let's say skydiving is your thing. I absolutely want to talk to you about it.  However, there is no way I'll be doing it with you!
If you want to talk about trying that new coffee shop though, let's just go!

5. Who is easier to talk to – men or women?

It makes no difference to me. Like I said, I can talk to anyone and enjoy doing so.
I will say that I'm more guarded when talking with me in my general age group. I don't want to ever give the impression that I'm flirting with them.

Except for this guy...
I AM always flirting with is guy  ;)

Have a great weekend my pretties!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Reeses Ice cream Sandwiches

Is your mouth watering yet? If you have a sweet tooth, I bet it is!

A few weekends ago, Chad's mom, my mom and Chad's sister came over for Sunday dinner. For Christmas a year or two ago, chad got a meat smoker. Hes a total master at it and everyone wanted to share the deliciousness!!

It was 92 degrees out and the humidity was at 70%.
We were able to avoid putting the oven on for dinner. I was sure as heck not going to ruin it all by baking a dessert.

I came across this recipe for Reese Peanut butter Ice Cream sandwiches on .
I knew this was the perfect dessert for a hot summer night. (almost) Everyone loves Reeses, so its pretty much a guaranteed hit.

Here are a few pointers...

  • Freeze the peanut butter cups prior to making the sandwiches
Otherwise, you are running the risk of crumbling in the peanut butter center.

  • Work fast and work in bunches
Gelato  by nature is softer than traditional ice cream. That is good for making the pieces stick. However, once the gelato gets too soft the sandwiches will not hold together. You'll have a sloppy mess.

  •  Freeze again before serving
Ideally, you want to have these babies back in the fridge for an hour or two before serving them.

  • Make two for each guest
Where these are small in size, its good to have a 2nd helping for anyone who wants it. If they don't ask for seconds, you are left with extra peanut butter cups, darn!  ;)

Here is the full recipe:
Peanutbutter Cup Ice Cream Sandwiches

Monday, August 12, 2019

Two months in being back to naturally curly

           A frizzy yet fun day last weekend in Western MA. This is on the French King's bridge in Gill, MA. That is the Connecticut River behind me. 

Happy Monday to you.
How are you?
It was exactly two months ago today that I blew my hair out for the last time.
I'm really starting to live in my curly hair. There have been some bumps along the way, not too many though. Here are a few things that I've discovered along the way.

  • Curly haired ladies truly are a sisterhood
Holy heck, I had no idea. I could not get over how I was celebrated by other curly haired ladies when I went back to my natural hair! They didn't judge me for straightening it for the last 21 years. They welcomed me with open arms and gave me so much advice and support.

  • Lorainne Massey wrote the book on curly hair
Literally she did. The Book "Curly girl" is the actual play book as to how to cut, style and care for your curly hair.
See it Here
She has entire groups and pages dedicated to following the process.

  • Curls don't just come right back
Blow drying and flat ironing damages your hair, BADLY. Damaged curls will not be anywhere near as curly once they are damaged. I know that I'm not the only one with this problem. 
Nicole Kidman did it too!!  Read that Here .
As Lorainne Massey said in "Curly Girl"  ... "You have to earn the right to have your curls back." You have to go through the awkward phase to get your springy, bouncy curls back.

  • The best product I've found costs under $4.00
On many of the curly message boards people RAVE about LA Looks blue hair gel.
Stupid me, I turned my nose up at it for SO LONG. I know, I'm a product snob. Always have been. I'm rouge at Sephora and diamond at Ulta. I love me high end hair and beauty products. 
However, this stuff beats the $50 gel I had bought previously.  Read about it :Here

  • Its liberating not needing flat irons, round brushes, etc
I was watching a blow out tutorial on YouTube the other day. All I could think of was how happy I am to have that circus in the past.

So, that's it. Those are my thoughts at the two month check in. What about you?  How much do you alter your hair's natural texture?


Friday, August 9, 2019

August Lusts and Musts...well, not really.

Hi there:
A happy summer Friday to you!
Each month I tend to do a round up of a few items or products that I have bought or planning to buy for that month.

We are in August now, and here is the thing.. I'm not buying anything. I do not need anymore summer clothing. I'm sure as heck not going to wish summer away by purchasing fall clothes now.
However , I do think that now is the ideal time to get rid of a lot of things.
If something is still on trend and in good shape (please, do NOT "donate" things that are stained, ripped, etc) I will bring it to the Salvation Army.  Other stuff, like what I'll be listing below, just needs to be tossed.
So, here are the August "must" go...

1) Statement Necklaces
The statement necklace had its moment. From 2012 or so on, it was the focal point of many outfits. Now though, it looks stale as more delicate jewelry is moving the the forefront.

2) Cotton Camis
Circa 2006, I had a cami like this in EVERY color. They were great for layering, or even wearing by themselves.
The look like they are from 2006 though. I've switched out all of these for the fresher, more polished looking satin camis, like this.

3) Anything with Bell (aka 2017 Sleeves) Sleeves
When googling "bell sleeves" the first 5 things that came up were all from 2017.
The bell sleeve was hot in 2017, still acceptable in 2018 and officially dead in 2019.

4) Dated jeans
While its true that jeans are timeless, the same cannot be said for all styles of jeans.
Jeans with white stitching, jeans that are very low cut or super skinny all had their time. That time has passed though.

5) Tankinis 
As Charla Krupp , best selling author of "How to not look old" says , "A Tankini is a disaster for anyone over 40."
Its true. It adds years and pounds. If you don't want to wear a traditional bikini, absolutely DON'T.
A v-neck one piece is flattering on nearly everyone.

There it is, my purge. Do you agree or disagree with these? Tell me!


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lessons from the infamous "FaceApp"

Happy mid-week babes!
If you were on Social media a couple of weeks back, your feed was likely filled with a bunch of age progression pictures.
This was done with an app called "FaceApp". There was a big pull back on use of the app due to security concerns.
While I fully understand someone wanting to hack my phone, due to my 4000+ photos of Bandit..aka the most adorable creature to ever exist, I've kept the app.

I've had too much fun with it. Its crazy how realistic the photos look. The one I did of my husband got me teary eyed. I got a glimpse of the man I'll grow old with!

After playing with this app for quite some time, I made me realize that there are just certain things that age us. 
Now, don't get me wrong here. I am NOT saying I don't want to grow old. On the 30th of this month, I'll be 40!!! I'm looking forward to it. I'm just saying, I want to age with dignity and not speed the process up. 

From looking at the photos from this app and a few other thing, I've come up with a few action points we all can do to keep the early ageing at bay.

1) Beach your teeth

As we age, our teeth yellow. It happens to everyone. Just like the pages in an old book will discolor, the paper in a new book is still white.
You don't need to spend a fortune, or go to the dentist. 
Pro tip: My dentist taught me the best trick. If whiting strips and products make your teeth too sensitive, there is an easy solution. Fluoride. About a week or two before you begin the process, start using fluoride 2X/day. Continue using it for as long as your are in the bleaching process.

2) Fill in your eyebrows
As we age, our brows thin out. A $20.00 (or less!) eyebrow pencil can take off 5 years. Follow your natural shape and don't go unnaturally thick.

3) Get a pore smoothing primer
For whatever reason, pores tend to get larger as we get older. While it next to impossible to stop this, you sure as heck can hide it .

4) Exfoliate!
As skin ages, it gets drier. Sloughing off those dead skin cells will reveal the newer, fresher skin that lies beneath.

5) Use Retinol
I remember years ago I asked a woman that I know (We were on the topic) "Which anti-aging products are you favorites?" 
She was clearly very offended and said "I'm only 32! WHY would I use that stuff?!" I told her to chill and that I'd been using anti-aging creams since I was 15 (yes, really).

6) Get a pedicure
Our nails, toe nails in particular discolor with age. much like our teeth. Luckily, there is a quick fix in a cute pedicure.  Besides, its fun picking out cute polish colors.

7) Wear false lashes
Just like the eyebrows, eye lashes thin out with the passing years.
Temporary false lashes are a quick and inexpensive fix. Don't be intimidated by applying them, after a few tries, you'll realize how easy it is.

8) Lighten up on the eye makeup
Leave the thick, black eye liner for the 19 year olds. The last thing you want to do is draw attention to the fine lines and wrinkles that pop up around your eyes.

9) Avoid harsh hair colors
Avoid the jet black shades. Avoid the super white blonde shades. Avoid the brassy or other artificial colors. If you stay a few shades within what is natural to you, then throw in some highlights and low lights for dimension, you'll take 10 years off.

10) Use blush
A rosy complexion is a sign of youth and vitality. Use blush, use a smidgen more than you did in your teens and 20's. It makes a noticeable difference.

There you have it.
Have you used the FaceApp? What did you think, if so?