Friday, October 18, 2019

Fall of 2019 trends that I'm loving

Howdy, and happy Friday. I hope you guys are all coming off of a great week and are about to have a fantastic weekend.
I can't lie, I'm still SO SAD about losing Bandit. I miss him so much that it physically hurts.
That said, I know that nobody is reading hear because they want to hear me wallow. 

I've always put so much more focus on spring & summer fashion. Which, is silly seeing that I live in New England. I mean c'mon...its cold here 9 months out of 12. 

Anyhow, I've been immersing myself in the fall fashion mags and Refinery 29 TV. Mostly to get my mind off of things. Regardless, it's made me realize that I'm really on board with a LOT of the trends for this fall.
Here are a few of my favorites.

1) Snakeskin
 I'm seeing snake skin EVERYWHERE this fall.
The bag in the photo above, is by Nancy Gonzalez. I bought it two years ago and can no longer find it on-line. But, don't despair This One is very similar.

I just purchased These booties by Jeffrey Campbell
Also, there is This version from Target, which is a total steal.

2) Chunky Cropped Sweaters
I absolutely LOVE  This One, and its at a great price point.

A little pricer, but still adorable is This One . I love the vintage feel.

3) Asymmetrical Necklines 
I can't tell you why, but I've always LOVED asymmetrical tops. This One by Free People looks as comfy as it is cute.

Wait until you see the price on This one! Didn't I just say how great is!?

That's it for today. My top three trends of Fall 2019.
What are you loving this season?


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Where I Shop

                                                          -Where I Shop-

I get asked from time to time where it is I do most of my shopping. I'm a creature of habit. At 40, I know what works for me, and what places carry what  works for me. I also know what doesn't work for me and where to avoid. 
Also, in the interest of efficiency, I'm keeping this list to just apparel retailers. Sure, I shop at Sephora, Ulta, Home Goods, etc but for today, we are focusing on clothing and accessories.
With no further ado,

  • Nordstrom - This is where about 75% of what I own has come from. Their customer service is beyond stellar, they have the best return policy and actually carry quality stuff.
  • Target- No shame here. Target is my go to for t-shirts, tanks, leggings and workout apparel.
  • Venus- Venus is an online retailer. They have adorable clothes at very reasonable prices. They are a great resource for when I need a cocktail dress.
  • Revolve- Another on-line retailer, hey are slightly pricier than the other places that I shop, but they are always worth it.
  • Bloomingdales- This is a place that I always wait to catch a sale, but when I do catch a sale, its typically deeply discounted.
  • Hautelook- This is Nordstrom's flash-sale sight. You can get amazing deals here. Just do not allow yourself to fall into the "I have to order it now!" frenzy that flash- sale sites can drive you to.
  • Talbots- My go to for classic, preppy, New England styles.
  • Madewell-Their clothes truly are well made and are classics.
  • Vineyard Vines- I have a "Shep Shirt" obsession. 
  • Kendra Scott-My go to for cute, not too expensive jewelry. 
  • Amazon/ShopBop- Because you never know what you'll find!
  • Jcrew/ Jcrew Factory- so many things I wear to work are from here.

Conversely, there are some places that I avoid and never end up shopping at, they are listed here:

  • Khols- I've never, ever had any luck here. Also, I hate how you never know what the price of something actually is. It's never what is listed on the tag.
  • Forever 21- The documentary "The True Cost" really opened my eyes to how damaging "Fast Fashion" is. Also, as I've talked about before, I would rather purchase one high quality item instead of 3 "cheaper" pieces.
  • Macy's- I find that at (at least the one near me) Macy's, all they carry now are their own brands. Their in-house brands tend to be expensive, yet poorly made. Thanks, I'll pass.
  • Walmart- I know that they have been really trying to push their fashion as of late. However, I have 0 desire to shop at a store that doesn't value my time as a customer. Their constant lack of open lines is all the evidence that I need to know that my time and schedule is something that they could not care less about.

Okay, there you have it. Where do you most enjoy shopping?


Monday, October 14, 2019

Staying Stylish during The Storm

I'm trying to get back in to a routine after everything that has happened with Bandit. I'm not fully there yet, and still not sleeping well. So, please pardon any grammar, spelling. typing mistakes you might find in this (and the next several) posts. I'm trying my best right now, friends.

Here in Massachusetts, we are coming off of a three day long nor'easter. Those of you not from New England are saying "What in sam's mole hill is a nor'easter?" For an actually definition, read here :What is a nor'easter . For my less technical definition. a nor'easter is crappy, stormy weather.
Like I said, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and get myself put somewhat together each day. This weather has really challenged me to not look a cast member of "The Deadliest Catch".
Here are a few of the pieces that I've been relying on these past few days.

I have worn these booties every day since Wednesday
Sorel Waterproof Wedge Bootie $200-
These booties truly are completely waterproof. They have a rugged sole for traction, are super comfortable, far more comfortable than wearing rain boots all day.  
Sizing tip: Go up one half size.

Sometimes a cute rain coat is perfect. However, sometimes, it isn't. What to do? 
I found that this adorable little moto jacket with hood is a great choice.

This is (a believable ) faux leather, so there is no worry about the rain ruining it. Its warm enough for a cool, fall rain. Yet, it still gives your outfit more of an "edge" than a traditional rain jacket

Luckily, hats are becoming a "thing" again. Regardless of whether you love 'em or hate 'em, there is no denying that a hat can save the day. I got this one at Nordstrom 

I was nervous as to if my newly naturally curly self would still be able to pull off wearing a hat, its fine though.
This baby has saved me from ruined hair on more than one occasion now.

I have never tried to hide the fact that I enjoy high-end bags. However, I'm not going to risk damaging them in this weather. Therefore, a waterproof that I can toss everything, including my purse into, is a must.

This one by Rush is cure, colorful and durable. I know what's in it will stay dry. This will also be great in the summer for on the water or beach activities. 

So, these are the things that I've been using in this nasty weather. They have served me well this past week.


Friday, October 11, 2019

A tribute to the best boy ever

In October of 2014 my husband shared the top photo with me along with the words "WE HAVE TO GET THIS DOG OF OF THE SHELTER NOW!!"
 Long story short, that translated into that dog becoming our beloved Bandit.
I think this picture illustrates why adoption matters. This picture is of the same dog. At first, scared and alone in a shelter, then knowing he was now a loved family member.

Oh boy, was he loved. He was loved so fiercely and deeply.  

Among the flood emotions, I feel angry. (I'm told that this is "normal") I feel anger that he was " short changed" in life. His beginning was so rough. He was an emaciated stay who was eating garbage to survive. He had been shot and had heart worm.
His life took a complete 180 once he was rescued. He deserved so much more of the good times than what he got though.

On November 1st, we should be celebrating his "Gotcha Day". I should be buying him clams and his own lobster for dinner that night. Chad should be pretending to be agitated over this, all the while me knowing that he doesn't mean it, because he too knows that Bandit deserves the world.
Instead, on this November 1st and every preceding November 1st , all that will remain are pictures, memories and that glaring empty spot on the couch where Bandit should be.
Logically, I know that we did everything we could. We spared no expense, we did and tried everything that was suggested. This should make me feel better, some times it does. But most of the time, my heart is just left to wonder if it will ever not feel shattered.

The one thing which has brought us comfort has been the absolute outpouring of love, compassion and friendship. I'm not joking when I say we have received more  flowers, cards, messages and gifts than some people get when a human passes away.
As I'd always tell him "It's not just us who love you, EVERYONE loves you."

As much as it hurts, and it hurts BADLY. Nothing can take away the fact that this was the best boy ever.
As my friend Lisa said about him,  "Hes the most loyal soul to walk this earth."
He was the best guy to watch the sunrise with. He was the best guy to snuggle up in bed with.
 He gave the best greetings when we'd come home. He was the best company if you were home sick. There was nobody better to go for a nice, long walk with. 
Even his "mischievous" behaviors were beyond adorable.

The folks who saved him back in 2014, are my heroes. They have gone and turned what was up until just a few years ago, a very high kill shelter into a shelter that hasn't killed in several years. They work so hard and have saved so many precious lives.
They recently saved a very pregnant mama-dog-to-be. 
Her babies are opening their eyes and discovering this world. Because of the Paws & Claws volunteers, these babies will never know the hardships, fear, hunger and evil people that Bandit , along with some many thousands of other dogs had to experience.
To honor our Bandit, they named this handsome little devil after him.
One day, when our hearts have healed, we'll rescue another paws and claws dog.
But for now, we're still trying to learn how to continue on without our precious Bandit.
Hug your dogs tight, take them for walks, take them for rides, but NEVER take them for granted.

***Also, if you have the means and you can find it in your heart, please consider making a small donation to Paws and Claws. Literally every.single.cent. goes to the animals. There is no 6-figure CEO at this group, just a bunch of selfless volunteers committed to cleaning up the mess that we as a society have made.

Monday, October 7, 2019


Friends, I'm going to be gone for a bit.
On Thursday, we lost this precious soul.
Right now, I cannot focus on anything but him and  how crippling it has been to loose him.

We'll get back to makeup and fashion soon enough.
Right now though, I need to grieve. 
Thank you for understanding.


What I used

Last week I posted the pictures my friend Colleen took of Chad, Bandit, Decoy and me. I'm not kidding when I say that I treasure these photos. 

I have posted them on my Instagram & Facebook, along with posting them here. 
I was so happy over all of the kind words and thoughts from you guys. It's clear to me that so many of you have huge hearts and are animal lovers. People who love animals are my kind of people.
Also, I had several of you mentioned that you liked my makeup in those photos (Thank you!) or ask what makeup I had on in these pictures. 

You know me, I'm always glad to share. I'm especially always glad to share when it comes to makeup.
Buyer beware, I'm not a "chapstick and go" type of girl. This is particularly true when it comes to make up for photos.
So, there is a LOT of makeup that went into this look.  I figured the best pay to do it would be to put the products  together and number them. I'll list and link everything by the corresponding number under the photo. 
There are new readers here, so I want to reiterate that these are direct links, not affiliate links. In other words, I'm not making a single cent off of you. I'm just showing you what I used.  :)

1) Benefit PORE professional primer

2) Charlotte Tilbury AirBrush Flawless Finish Foundation

3) NARS Soft Matte Concealer

4) Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

5) Viseart Natural Matte Eye-Shadow Palette

6) Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour

7) Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel eyeliner

8) Anastasia BH Brow- Wiz

9) Urban Decay Brow Endowed

10) Red Cherry Lashes #43

11) IT Superhero Mascara

12) YSL Touche Eclate All Over Brightening Pen

13) MAC Extra Dimension Blush "Into the Pink"

14) Huda Beauty Resting Boss Face Setting Spray

** Lipstick Not Pictured** Charlotte Tilbury

As you can see...much natural beauty here! HA!

Thank you all for keeping Bandit in your thoughts. 


Friday, October 4, 2019

The Friday Five

Its been a bit since we did a Friday Five. So, why not today?
Remember, you can link your answers via Live Journal. Or, if you like, email me. I do love getting your answers too.

1. What is something amazing that has happened in the last five years?
Two things! I married Chad (April of 2015) and we adopted Bandit (November on 2014.) These two (and Decoy) have brought me more joy and happiness than I could ever express.
They both cause a feeling in my heart that no word exists to explain it.

2. What is something you would love to happen in the next five years?
Obviously, I hope to rescue another dog! 

3. Do you make "life plans" or do you live spontaneously?
I'm a planner. I'm a firm believer in setting objectives and working toward them. Otherwise, life just happens to you. I like to be at the helm and steering this vessel as it navigates the waters of life.

4. Do you think about what you might do when you retire?
There is a commercial out right now that I love. It's something along the lines of "What if my retirement plan is not to retire?". This is so me. I don't ever want to be not doing ANYTHING. I enjoy getting up and going to my office each day,
Likely, I'll scale way back and and have a little part time job or just volunteer. Chad & I plan on spending or winter's in a warmer climate. So, I'll have to have some flexibility.

5. Is your lifestyle similar to your parents, grandparents, or something utterly different?
Well, all of my grand parents passed away when I was very young. Therefore, I cannot really compare to them.
As for my parents, there are some similarities and some differences.
The largest difference is that my parents were raising a family. They worked and scarified quite a bit for us.
Chad & I are child free. So, we are afforded many more freedoms than either his or my parents had.

So, please do share your answers with me! I love seeing them!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Inexpensive and Underrated Beauty

How in the world is it already October? I'm not one to wish any time away. I will say though, I'm looking forward to 2019 going away and never coming back.

Anyhow , I know that I like to talk about luxury beauty products. I also know that high end beauty isn't everyone's idea of what they want to spend their money on.  When I look at my blog "stats" , it becomes pretty clear that more of you are interested in my affordable beauty posts.

I thought today we should look at some brands of cosmetics which are lower priced, but deliver high end results.  If you notice, I steer away from using the term "affordable"  beauty.
I find that to be almost chastising. How do I know what is "affordable"  to anyone else?
Anywoodle , the brands that I'm featuring today are all considered "Drug store" or "Mass Market".

The first brand is BH Cosmetics. That is them in the cover photo of this post. 
Shop them here
They have a great brush collection. Their eye shadow palettes are all over YouTube. They have picked up so much traction that they are sold in places like Target & Ulta.

On to Makeup Revolution Shop Them Here
If there is a high end product that you have your eye on, but don't want to spend the money, there is a really good chance that Makeup Revolution has an exact dupe of it. There also is a really good chance that it will be just as high a quality as the expensive one.
So much so, that other beauty creators have been upset by the similarities. ( Read about that Here and Here).
Personally, I bought KatVon D's shade and light palette and the MUR dupe. I can tell you, they were indistinguishable in both color and wear.

Now, let's look at Wet  n' Wild     Shop them here
Wet n' Wild has been around for 40 years.
for much of that time, they were for lack of a better word, that crappy makeup on the end cap for the drug store beauty isle.
Back in 2017, they seriously stepped up their game. They have top tier beauty "influencers" such a Jeffrey Star reviewing and loving them.
Also, I can personally say that their $4.99 Photo Focus foundation is an exact dupe for YSL's $50+ Ink fusion Foundation.

Moving along to Coastal Scents Shop them Here
I'm a BIG fan of this brand. As far as non prestige brands go, I have more of this brand than any other.
You may not have even heard of them, as they don't seem to advertise at all. However, if you look at their reviews on Influenser, they have a strong following Influenster reviews.
If you check out their "Revealed" palettes, you'll see that they are look a likes for the Urban Decay palettes. 

Last and in no way least is NYXShop them here

Maybe its just me, but NYX reminds me so much of MAC.
NYX liquid Illuminator is the exact same product as MAC's strobe cream. 
Their eye brown pencils are non distinguishable from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I could go on and on.
If you have not yet checked NYX out, do so!

And that friends, is all I wrote. Well for today it is.
What are your favorite lesser expensive products?


Monday, September 30, 2019

Thank Heavens for good friends

Hi there:
My poor Bandit isn't doing so well. He's got cancer, so unfair.
My friend and neighbor Colleen came over and took a few great pictures for us. It was very last minute and she has a bunch of tough stuff going on in her life. Yet, there she was coming through for us.
Even though I'm going through a very rough time right now, still I know that I'm blessed beyond words.

Kisses for my precious boy.

Mr Crazy Pants

Just chillaxing

                                                             My little scamp & me  <3 p="">

When I posted these pictures on Instagram, I had a few of you ask about my sweater and/or booties.
Both are new this year and are available now.
The Sweater is by Free People and is called "My only Sunshine" Buy it here

The booties are by L'Artiste and are called "Luxatti Bootie"  Buy them here

That is all for today.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Hello, Hydration

I have dry skin, like REALLY dry skin. My face is especially hard hit. In the harsh winter months, its not uncommon for the skin on my face to crack.  It looks awful and can be down right painful.
I've tried so many different moisturizers. Sadly, 85% of them have not been able to help. There are a few gems that have really come through for me. 
If like me, you have dry skin, keep reading. This one is for you.

Sunday Riley Tidal Cream                        Buy it here
This one is new to my repertoire, but I already cannot live without it. 
You know how that first drink of water after an intense workout feels? That's exactly like what this was for my skin. My skin actually looked dewy after I put this on. I know that many moisturizers feel great initially, but then you are back to square one after a half hour or so. 
I could still feel this in full affect the next morning. #impressed

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream                  Buy it here

i know that this is marketed as a wrinkle cream. I've said before though, where it is or isn't a wrinkle fighter is in consequential to me. This provides serious hydration. I like to wear this during the day under my makeup.

Olay Micro Sculpting Cream                         Buy it here

My mom would always tell me "Sheila, you are an advertiser's dream." She is correct, I really am.
I kept seeing the ads saying how this has been tested against all of these other high end creams and beat them out.  A few weeks ago, while doing my weekly Target run, I decided to grab one. It really is an effective moisturizer. Also, it comes in under $30. That's a win.

Dr. Brandt's Hydro Biotic Sleep Mask                                         Buy it here

Don't let the work "mask" fool you. This isn't something you peel off, scrub off or anything of that sort.
Its a super powered hydrator that replenishes even the roughest of face skin. It's fragrance free and just makes your skin feel overall more "comfortable".

Well that's it. Out of all of the moisturizers that I have tried, these are the 4 that I find actually work.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I can't believe that next week is October. Can you?


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The early 90's called, they want to lend you some clothes.

Everything old is new, or so they say.

For the past year or so, I've been seeing a lot of 90's styles reemerging. Overalls, chokers, velvet. By and large, its been mid-later 90's trends that have been popping up.
Now, suddenly, I'm seeing early 90's fads becoming a thing again. In the early 90's, I was in elementary school trying so desperately to be a "big kid" like the girls my brother was friends with.
For the most part, I've stayed away from most of the later 90's tends. I always remember my aunt Gini saying "If you lived through it the first time around, you are too old for it the 2nd time around." That stuck with me. Don't roast me if you disagree, different strokes for different folks.
Maybe that's why this early 90's feel is kid of speaking to me. In the early 90's, I was 10-14 years old. By and large, my clothing then came from the children's stores. 

Here are some early 90's water, that I'm dipping my toe into ( or considering doing so).

Classic penny loafers. These scream "early 90's" to me. I bought this exact pair. I haven't worn them yet, but plan to soon.  Eastland Penny Loafer

The padded headband. Oh, the memories. In 1992, I was in 6th grade. I had SO many headbands. I had a headband for every outfit and then some.  While I especially love This One , please don't ever spend $150 on a headband. I'm sure there is an exact replica on ETSY.

All cotton jeans. All cotton jeans are NOT for the faint of heart. I'm intrigued and am considering trying a pair. I do remember jeans from my high school days not being as comfortable as jeans are now with a bit of lycra added in. However, I don't want to be stuck in a begone era fashion wise. Here is an interesting read on the topic. 

Okay, so this one I did wear back then.  The Original Ked Champion. I still remember the ads with Demo Moore doing the voice over "Keds, they feel good." I also remember my mom griping " I can't believe that these cost $19.99! When I was a kid, they were $5.00!"

There you go. As for the picture at the top of the post... You know why I choose that photo?
Because I had that exact same shirt as "Rachel". It was from the now defunct "Learners". In the summer of 1994, I had just turned 14 and was pushing to get my clothes from "adult" stores (Always was in a rush to grow up). I had used some of my baby-sitting money and bought this myself one night when my friend Kathleen and I were doing out Friday night "mall walk". Ahhh, happy early 90's memories.