Today, I am 40 years old

August 30, 2019 in

Wow! That was fast!  The first 40 years, I mean.
At 11:55 pm on August 30, 1979 I came into this world. (With a little help from my mom, of course. Thanks Mom!!) 

My husband has said to me "You are the only person I've ever know who was excited to be turning 40."
Of COURSE I am. This is a milestone and I thank God that I get to experience it.

Honestly, I've never understood the attitude that some folks have about turning 40. Why is it supposedly a bad thing? As much as I loved my teens, 20's and 30's, I wouldn't want to stay in any of those periods of my life indefinitely. 
I do not want to try to make anyone think that I'm not 40. Why would I? Am I supposed to think that there is some sort of shame in being anything older than a 30-something? That's not happening.
Maybe it's because of the fact that a good 90% of the people who I love and admire most are all over 40? I've pretty much always preferred the company of those who are older than me. Even when I was a little kid, I didn't want to "go play with the other kids". I wanted to talk with the adults.

Folks who are my age and younger have benefited quite a bit from the baby boomers in the sense that they redefined what was "old". My grandmother was a stereotypical "old lady" at age 60. That is so far from the case now. Folks who are 60 are running marathons, traveling the globe and being downright fabulous. 

More than anything else though, I'm excited to be turning 40 because I love life. I truly do. I love MY life. I love being married to my best friend. I love the life that we have built. Dare I say it? I wouldn't change a thing about our lives.

I get up each day and I go to the gym to exercise. That means that I'm a healthy able-bodied person. For that, I'm grateful. 
After the gym, I take my dogs and we go down to the harbor to watch the sunrise. 
This means not only do I have two awesome dogs, not only do I get to live right on the ocean, but also it means that I'm alive and well to see another day. For that, I'm grateful

After that, I go into a job that I love and look forward to being at. The person who employees me, is one of my best friends. In my life, I've worked at bad jobs and I've worked for very bad people. That was enough for me to know how good I've got it now. Bill, if you are reading this, I'm so grateful for you. 

I volunteer for an animal rescue. We get dogs out of high kill "shelters" in the south and get them to loving forever homes here in New England. My part isn't huge, but I am able to help. The relief and pure joy of seeing an innocent soul being moved from the "euth list" to the "safe list" is beyond what any words can describe. I get to be a part of that, for that I'm so grateful.

As I've gone through early adulthood , I like who I am much better now that I'm on this side.
I used to be quick to debate. I had the "don't back down" mentality. Now, you can tell me 1+1 =5. I'm not wasting any of my energy to argue with you. I have my thoughts and beliefs, I'm comfortable with them. I no longer have the need to make others see things my way.
I now fully understand how precious my energy and piece of mind is. When I was younger I somehow thought that I had to tolerate the negative a toxic people. I was more concerned with being "nice", even if it were at my own expense. Those days are long, long gone. If you are one of those vapid people, make no mistake..there is no room in my life for you.
Conversely though, I do understand now that we are all humans and we will ALL mistakes. Younger me would hold a grudge. Now, I know not to hold others (or myself) to impossible standards.  
Along my journey to where I am, I've come to see that quality will always trump quantity. I'd rather have a few good people around me than lots of so-so ones.
I'd rather have one (or two) glasses of really good wine once ever few months as opposed to hitting the bars every weekend like I did in my 20's. 

All in all though, what I'm looking most forward to is showing all of these wonderful people in my life just how deeply I love them.
Sure, I've had some hard times, some really, really hard times. That's part and parcel with being a human. But all and all, these first 40 years have been damn good.
I have a circle of people in my life that rally around me, no matter what. 

So, no there is no dread in this newly minted 40 year old. None. 
There is an abundance of gratitude. There is a limitless amount of love. There is a fair amount of refection. Things I did wrong before, I'll do right now. Or at least, I'll sure as all heck try to.
I will not "mourn" the loss of my 20's or 30's, as they are not "gone". They were stops on the ride of life that got me to where I am now. Where I am now, is exactly where I want to be. For that, I'm grateful.


PS: This afternoon , we are taking a break from the fitness and diet routine and going to Peaceful Meadows!
I hate cake, but I LOVE ice cream :)

                                                 Birthday #1

                                          Summer of 1980

                                             My precious baby

                                             My Christening October 20, 1979

                                            The Dynamic Duo

                                       My sis-in-law Stacey 

                                             Ladies who I love

                         My best friend & happy place. 

                                        It's ALWAYS been a dog & me.

                                                1984 fashion

Hi there!
 Popping on here for a special Thursday post. I've gotten so carried away with the end of summer that I almost forgot about Ulta's 21 days of beauty. 
If you are not familiar with the 21 Days of Beauty, it works like this ; each day for 21 days Ulta will pick between 2-3 high end products that will be severely discounted.  Normally, the discounts are between 40-60% off. 
They do limit the quantities that you can purchase (obviously). The sale is good just for that day though. Say there is a mascara that you really want and a blush that you are dying to try. If the mascara is on Monday and the blush is on Thursday, you cannot buy them both on Thursday. Monday's deals are only good on Monday, Tuesday's deals are only valid on Tuesday, etc.
The good thing is that you can get free shipping on Ulta's Website for the specials throughout the 21 days.

With no further adieu, here are the deals!

Week One Deals

Sunday, September 1
  • Peter Thomas Roth FirmX 360 Eye Renewal and Retinol Fusion PM Eye Cream: was $55 to $75, now $28 to $38 
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer: was $32 to $54, now $16 to $27 
Monday, September 2
  • Ofra Cosmetics Highlighter Singles: was $29, now $15 
  • Foreo Luna Play Plus: was $49, now $25 
Tuesday, September 3
  • Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder: was $39, now $20 
  • Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil: was $22, now $11 
Wednesday, September 4
  • Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels: was $18 to $32, now $9 to $16 
  • BareMinerals Concealers: was $20 to $24, now $10 to $12                                    
  Thursday, September 5
  • Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner: was $24, now $12 
  • MAC Lipstick in Diva and Cream In Your Coffee: was $19, now $9 
  • Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel: was $60, now $30 
Friday, September 6
  • Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara: was $25, now $13 
  • Perricone MD High Potency Classics Collection: was $38 to $95, now $19 to $50 
Saturday, September 7
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer: was $23, now $12 
Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream: was $69, now $35                                    

Week Two Deals

Sunday, September 8
  • Too Faced Natural Face and Eye Palettes: was $38 to $44, now $19 to $22 
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light or Reduce Redness Primer: was $36 to $39, now $18 to $20 
  • Dermadoctor Kakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum With Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E: was $95, now $48 
Monday, September 9
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder: was $34, now $17 
  • Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum: was $39, now $20     

Sephora or Ulta?

August 28, 2019 in
Happy hump day kiddos!
Here where I live, today is the first day back to school for the little ones. Its also my mom's first day back, her 30th as an educator.

Pretty frequently, I get asked which store I like better, Sephora or Ulta. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of blah, blah, blah before answering. For me, Sephora is my favorite. However, each store has it's pros and its cons. Depending upon what your beauty preferences are, you may have a different idea as to which of these stores is your beauty ideal.
I'm not here to tell you which is "better". That's for you to decide, I will break down the pros and cons of each and let you be the judge.

Sephora Pros:

  • All prestige brands
  • You can get a pro makeup application done in store by actual makeup artists
  • You can take home a sample of literally anything in the store
  • They send you decent birthday gifts
  • The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly
  • Returns are a breeze
  • When they do have discount codes, they are sizable
  • The in-house brand is on par with all of the other high-end items
  • Their app makes on-line orders easy to place and pay for
  • Carries all of the latest and emerging brands
Sephora Cons:

  • Does not offer coupons
  • Rewards program is not as good as Ulta (Ulta offers money off, Sephora gives you gifts)
  • Sephora's website does not list all available deals like Ulta's does

Ulta Pros:
  • The 21 days of beauty are EPIC
  • Carries MAC
  • Carries Chanel (on line)
  • Offers frequent coupons
  • Has an in-house salon
  • Great rewards program
Ulta Cons:
  • Has a "big box store" atmosphere
  • Coupons frequently cannot be used on prestige brands
  • Employees are not makeup artists (sometimes makeup artists are brought in)
  • Supposedly, they give birthday gifts and gifts for hitting their higher "tiers". I've never received these. When I asked, I was met with snippiness 
  • Employees can be very "attitude full" (At least at the Plymouth, MA location)
  • It can be hard to find help in store
  • Checking out from their website is so unnecessarily long and tedious

Those are my thoughts. What do you think? Do you have a preference? 
Tell me.


The look for

August 26, 2019 in

Hello! Welcome back from the weekend. The (gulp) last weekend before labor day.

This post today is because I recently bought a beautiful pair of Jeffrey Campbell booties.
They are BEAUTIFUL. I was quite excited about them. 
Not too long after they arrived, I found an exact dupe of them on Amazon for $125 less. Grrr
I figured this was the universe's way of telling me its time for another "The look for Less" post.

Lets start off with those aforementioned booties.

This is the pair that I bought. Jeffrey Campbell Cromwell Bootie $175
They are so pretty. They will be an autumn staple, no doubt. 

However, here is their under $50 counterpart         Amazon Dupe $49
They look pretty similar to me!

Look at these wedge sneakers. Could the look anymore alike? 

Seriously though, I had to double check that I was putting the correct pictures in here as they look EXACTLY alike.
One pair is at Target for $38.00 The other is at Nordstrom for $120.

Felicia Wedge Bootie $120

A new Day Wedge $38

Pretty much everyone I know loves Madewell, myself included. They are Jcrew's cooler more sophisticated older sister so to speak. 
Madewell makes these shoes that they call  The Brady Low-cut bootie. To me they are a shoe though. Regardless of that they are called, they are super cute. The problem is the price though. $168. Yikes. Luckily, Target saves the day ...again.

Wedge sneakers  are so hot right now!
Look at this adorable, yet versatile pair from Nordstrom
Blondo Wedge $120

If you are loving the look, but not the price...have no fear. Their dupe is as close as your nearest Target.

If you bought each pair of these in the more expensive version, the tab would be $ 583!

However, if you bought each pair of the lesser expensive version, it will only set you back $153.
That's a HUGE difference!

Well, there you go!

Have an awesome Monday, friends!


Treat yourself

August 23, 2019 in

Happy Friday! One of only a few summer Fridays remaining in 2019 *sniff*.

It seems like I'm always seeing countless articles and blog posts that highlight drug store beauty products. I think that's great. Drugstore products have come so far in the past 5-7 years.

Today though, we are talking about luxury beauty products. We are talking about the fancy, lovely things that just feel special when you put them on.
I've never hid the fact that I'm into high end beauty items. I always have been, literally since I was a child. From time to time, I'll pick a mass market item at Target or CVS on a whim. At the end of the day though, I always go back to my more luxurious items. I know that this isn't realistic for everyone. I also know that plenty of people just don't care to spend a lot of money on their cosmetics, and that's perfectly fine!
However, I do believe that all of deserve a treat now and them. All of us deserve a little bit of luxury in our lives.
If you are ready to add a dash of luxury to your beauty routine, this is where I'd start.

Hollywood Flawless Filter by Charlotte Tilbury       Buy Here: Charlottetilbury Hollywood-flawless-filter
Its a primer, its a highlighter. It goes on like a dream and gives you that "rich girl makeup" ascetic.

Chanel's Loose powder           Buy it here:   Chanel Powder
Aside from how it just looks so pretty on your vanity, it really works well. It sets your makeup perfectly and sends your pores into the witness protection program. 

Tom Ford Fragrance                                          Buy it here: Tom Ford

In my opinion, fragrance is one area where you cannot pass off something inexpensive as anything but something that is inexpensive. 
In my experience, both expensive and inexpensive perfumes can be detected from a mile away for what they are.
Tom Ford's perfumes are just down right intoxicating with their opulence. 
I own Soleil Blanc, its something that prompts total strangers to stop me and ask what it is. 

Pat Mcgrath   Eyeshadow                         Buy it Here :Mothership by Pat McGrath
Beware, this very well may spoil all other eye shadow for you. I bought my first Pat McGrath palette while on vacation in Vegas. I was feeling a little laissez-faire than normal. After opening it up, I knew nothing else would compare.

Cle-de-peau Concealer                    Buy it here: Cle-de-peau
Under-eye circles have been one of my beauty "issues" for as long as I can remember. I'm talking about as far back as my early teen years. I think my skin being as light as it is, is part of the problem. When I was a teen, it was an easy fix. Young, smooth skin can contend with anything. However, as we creep up past our mid twenties, crows's feet and resting lines start to appear. The wrong concealer can make them appear much worse than what they are. 
This stuff covers up all of that dark, without highlighting all of the things that I don't want highlighted.

Orbie Shampoo and conditioner                                          Buy Here:  Orbie
Your hair is the one "accessory" that you wear each and every day. Your hair also takes a LOT of abuse.
It deserves better an drug store shampoo and conditioner. 
This stuff from Orbie is SO luxurious. Getting in the shower first thing in the morning and lathering up with this stuff just feels good.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping oil            Buy it here: Sunday Riley
Ohhhhh, I love ,love,love this. My skin looks noticeably better when I use this regularly.
I have prescription retinoids that I use too. This is where its at though.  My skin literally loves this.

Well, there you go. 
What do you think? Do you ever feel the desire to indulge in luxury beauty? What are you favorites?

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!