Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Still On The Quest For The Perfect Jeans

I'm still on a quest to find the perfect jeans. Of course, what defines "perfect" has morphed over the years with changes in fabric technology and my aging physique. At the age of 32 I could make any garment work. But during that phase I had abandoned jeans for more sophisticated fashion during my days in Hong Kong...a time when " smart casual" jokingly meant "sans tiara" 😎

Once I'd returned to "real life" jeans once again became part of my wardrobe. But it wasn't until I moved to the country and started working from home full time that I divested my closet of all of my suits, donated anything that required dry-cleaning or ironing( except my 19th Century fashions), and settled into a life consisting primarily of denim and leggings.

Comfort and fit are key. At 56 I can still rock a pair of skinny jeans and have no intention of giving up on fashion to resort to mom jeans or those LL Bean "comfort waist" abominations. So, I've been experimenting and can report that there are numerous options for women of a certain age.

1) my favorite jeans so far for fit, style and comfort: Joe's mid rise Vintage 1971 ankle jeans. I could sleep in these and I feel terrific wearing them. Expensive, but watch for sales.
2) NYDJ skinny jeans have the right amount of stretch for comfort and are flattering for adults;
3) Paige premium denim skinny jeans were the most expensive; but hey! I'm worth it!
4) Madewell jeans fit great, are comfortable and reasonably priced. My 22 year old niece recommended Madewell and I highly recommend them for women of all ages.
5) Chico's designs some stylish jeans with a bit of stretch and some bling.
6) Talbots keeps trying but still hasn't gotten it quite right. A good option on sale.
7) LL Bean flannel lined strait leg jeans are just perfect for clearing the driveway after a snow storm. But, these jeans are utilitarian.

No doubt there are other fabulous options. I've heard great things about AG. But I can't bring myself to pay over $200 for denim. Perhaps if I were one to keep only one or two pair on hand; but that isn't me. I want options.

So, what do you recommend? I'd love some feedback and recommendations!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Niece Is Getting Married 10/10~ Where Did The Years Go?

My 22-year-old niece is getting married October 10th. She has grown into a beautiful, thoughtful, smart, self-assured young woman who knows what she wants.  She has an honest, straightforward relationship with her husband to be that many far older would envy.  I wish then years of happiness.

It is difficult to believe that the baby I held during her Baptism is now an adult getting prepared to raise her own family. I have fond memories of her sitting next to me at a holiday dinner and removing my earrings to affix them to her own ears; of bending over with her butt up in the air in front of the fireplace painting her toenails at the age of 3; of my dragging her to the National Gallery, Mount Vernon, the National Cathedral, and the Gettysburg National Battlefield with the promise if a visit to a nearby outlet mall as a carrot.  But she always had an insightful comment or thought to share at each cultural site about George Washington’s architectural design sense, the difficulty of sculpting a gargoyle, the perspective of Fra Lippo Lippi’s painting, or the benefits of holding the high ground in a battle.

We’ve had our times of closeness and separation over time and geography that is a natural part of family and life. But I am proud of the young woman she has become and thrilled to be a part of her special day.

It seems like only yesterday that she was a child – as if I blinked my eyes and the years passed in a whirl. But that is why I’ve learned to enjoy each moment and savor each feeling, experience, sight, sound and smell. It is all so fleeing. But I am intent on embracing each moment and celebrating each milestone with my whole being – hoping that my experience, strength and hope will give some guidance to the next generation.

Here’s to Katy & Trey! Wishing a long, happy, joyful, prosperous life filled with love and abundance.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Estee Lauder Lost Me As a Customer by Making Kendall Jenner Its New “FACE”

Estee Lauder has every right to retain Kendall Jenner as its new “FACE” and spokes model. And I, as a member of the discerning cosmetics buying public, have the same right to boycott Estee Lauder for its misstep in selecting a member of the untalented, publicity hungry, tasteless Kardashian/Jenner clan to represent the brand. Estee Lauder has plummeted to the depth of tastelessness in pursuing this relationship.

Okay- so maybe Estee Lauder doesn’t care that it has lost my business. But I can state with absolute certainty that there are other women of taste that are looking for other options to fulfill their cosmetics needs as a result of this misstep.

Fortunately, I’ve found a BB Cream that will more than adequately replace my previously  “ go to “ Estee Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB cream. – the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water SPF 30!  Were it not for the Estee Lauder decision to pander to the unwashed masses that watch reality TV and more than likely cannot afford Estee Lauder cosmetics, I would not have strayed and found this marvelous product.

So ultimately, I should be grateful to Estee Lauder for making such an unfortunate marketing decision. This gave me the impetus to search out new products that better suit my needs and the image I want to project.

Now, I need to research replacements for my previous "go to" Clinique products since this brand is also owned by Estee Lauder. I just cannot support the concept of "faux celebrity". 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What Advice Would You Share With Young Newlyweds?

My niece is getting married in three weeks and as part of a shower gift we’ve all been asked to write a bit of sage advice for the bride & groom. I generally avoid giving advice. My experience with offering advice has not always turned out so well.  But I can share my experience, strength and hope, the hard lessons I’ve learned over the years including one ill-fated marriage and a debacle of a rebound relationship.

1)   Make a list of all of the characteristics that you love, appreciate or like about your partner.  Keep it in your wallet. Pull it out and read it periodically to remind yourself why you are together.
2)   Express gratitude every morning when you get out of bed that the Universe has brought you together.
3)   Say “I Love You” everyday.
4)   Tell your partner how much you appreciate him / her regularly.
5)   Be Kind.
6)   Continue to have “dates”.
7)   Do NOT TRY TO CHANGE YOUR PARTNER! Accept him/her as they are.  Review the list!
8)   There will be bad days, arguments, tears, frustration, ups & downs – it is not a deal breaker unless there is violence, addiction or criminal activity. Get over it.
9)   Don’t fight over money. There is always enough.
10)                  After you have children, remember that your partner is still the most important person in your life.
11)                  You will not like all of your partner’s friends. That is okay. Just don’t remind them of it repeatedly.
12)                  Compromise. Don’t sweat the little things.
13)                  Do not lie.
14)                  Apologize when you are wrong. And we are all wrong on occasion.
15)                  Give one another time to spend doing “guy stuff” or “girl stuff”.  Sometimes an evening or a weekend alone is wonderful.
16)                  Everybody has challenging family members. We don’t have to like them all but we do have to accept them or tolerate them with a smile.
17)                  Do not get personal in an argument.
18)                  Do not fight by text. If something hateful is put into writing, it is much harder to forget it.
19)                  Sex gets better as you get older. Trust me on this one!
20)                  Each of you should have some money for personal use – shoes, lunch or, a golf game, whatever.
21)                  Laugh often.

22)                   Never go to bed mad at each other.
23)                  Appreciate that your partner has different interests than you do. Celebrate your differences.
24)                  Learn new things.
25)                  TRUST each other.

What pearls or wisdom would you share?

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11, 2015 – 9/11 Must Never Be Just Another Day~

It seems to me that for many Americans, Friday, September 11, 2015 is just another day. Sure, there are some news articles recalling the horror of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the valor of those rescue workers who died in the line of duty squeezed between stories about Serena Williams losing her bid for a grand slam or the impending increase in Metro fares or the Pope’s impending visit causing traffic congestion.  But this is not enough.

What happened to the collective promise of the American public to never forget that terrorists attacked us on American soil, flew planes into the landmark twin towers and the Pentagon – the heart of our military and caused the immediate deaths of 2977 people?   Should we not collectively recall the bravery of the passengers and crew who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to prevent an attack on another unknown landmark?  “Let’s roll” still sends shivers down my spine.

I cannot forget the heroic firefights and law enforcement officers that raced into the burning buildings and climbed up the stairs against the flow of people trying to escape in attempts to rescue those who were trapped – and that 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers were among the casualties when the towers collapsed.

It is impossible to forget the sights and sounds of 200 people jumping from the tops floors of the trade center towers to certain death to avoid burning to death. 

I cannot forget seeing the hole in the Pentagon, the symbol of our military might, as I crossed the Potomac River into Virginia from Washington, DC, and thinking of the 52 military personnel and 70 civilians killed or the horrible burns suffered by survivors.

I will not allow myself to forget the gut wrenching horror that for a brief time caused the civilized world to shout “Je suis Americain!”

And I cannot forget a few weeks later walking with my college roommate through her neighborhood in Pelham, New York as she pointed out all of her neighbors who had lost loved ones in the attacks.

How has it happened that in the 14 years since 9/11 is has become acceptable for people to protest against law enforcement officers because there are some bad apples?  Please stop, take a moment, and click on the links below to look at the faces of those law enforcement officers and firefighters who raced in where angels feared to go.

And these heroes are still dying by the hundreds from 9/11 related cancers. We owe them our memories.  We owe ourselves vigilance. Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.