Friday, November 30, 2012

The Fur Vest

Love the longer length on this Michael Kors fur vest


My Grandmother had a saying “Your wants will keep you poor.” My want of a fur vest is sure to keep me poor. I was strolling past Michael Kors the other day and spied a fur vest hanging on their rack. I went in to look and the salesperson was right there. I couldn’t find a large; I’m quite tall and thought this was my out. The salesperson was helpful and immediately went into the back to find a large and came back with it.

 

Darn, how can I stay on a budget when people are finding the exact size and color that I’m looking for? The worst part was how well the vest fit. It was the perfect length and color. The fur while not super expensive like mink, was still a soft and supple rabbit fur. It was comfortable when closed, not too tight and was just the right weight. It is so frustrating when you find the perfect piece and you know you shouldn’t be spending that kind of money. Granted it was only $450.00 and in comparison to other fur pieces I’ve purchased it was a steal.

 Michael Kors rabbit fur vest
But alas, the fur vest stayed at the Michael Kors store. I was willing to exercise my willpower and did not succumb to its soft and fluffy allure. I still think about it and how it could be an awesome piece in my wardrobe. While I have a couple of vintage fur coats, they are coats. Living in California doesn’t present many opportunities for wearing fur. Although I visit family in Nevada frequently and it gets pretty cold there.

 

So for now I think I will try and figure out a way to get my hands on a fur vest. While rabbit fur is economical, it doesn’t have the lasting properties that you would find in mink. There is also the used fur route. This is how I got my other two coats. The full length mink I inherited and the short stroller I purchased from a used fur dealer. Both coats still have a ton of wear left in them and I plan to use them this winter. I’m just keeping my eye out for either a sale at Michael Kors or a good used fur, a girl can dream can’t she?
 
The light brown Michael Kors vest was also nice
 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's a Shacket?

Women's safari jacket


I opened the Wall Street Journal today and went to the personal journal section. This is my favorite part of the WSJ and I rarely read the rest, although my hubby does. There was a large article about how casual dress is expanding. The once easy to figure out casual Friday is now something that most men think about as clothing options become more complicated. Welcome to the world of women’s clothing.

 
Menwear "Shacket"... look familiar
 
 
What truly caught my eye was the terms “shacket” and “swacket.” Now I didn’t have a clue as to what these terms referred to, except some type of jacket. As it turns out the terms are easy. A shacket is a shirt/jacket. It is lighter weight, has shirt style cuffs and outsized pockets. I have always referred to these types of jackets as “safari” jackets. I actually have two, one in a khaki color and another in black. I bought them when L.L. Bean was having a huge sale and I got them for half price. Don’t ask me why menswear needs to make up new names.

 My favorite sweater coat or swacket

The other term was the swacket, apparently this is a sweater/jacket hybrid. This is an item in menswear that I believe has been around for quite some time. Steve Carrell wore one in the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” when he was going through his hip transformation phase. While I’m sure this style of jacket is practical, I love a good sweater, I have yet to see one on a man who doesn’t look a little bit dorky. Even the model features in the article looked odd. Although these types of sweaters don’t look so odd on women, don’t know why.

 Menwear "Swacket" just seem shorter and have a hood or not

What gets me is the names. They sound so funny and obviously trendy. It appears to be some type of a marketing ploy. If they give these clothing items new and trendy names then maybe men won’t notice that women have been wearing similar clothing items for years. Or even that these clothing items have been on the market in one form or another for eons. Yes I own a shacket or safari jacket and I also own a swacket or sweater coat. In fact I am wearing a swacket as I write this, go figure. So no matter the name remember a light weight jacket is perfect for the office, even if it has a funny name.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Want a Bye



I’m not sure what it is with the holidays, but everything can be quiet, no fuss, no muss, and then all of a sudden stuff starts falling out of the woodwork. I live a relatively quiet life. In fact, I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that if a reality TV program followed me around for a week they wouldn’t have any footage to present to the network because I do nothing. I don’t think shopping is really that exciting to anyone but the shopper.

 

Since I’m probably not alone in the things getting crazy department I’ve decided to try and think up a few tips for staying sane during the holidays. Getting your shopping done is number one. I would suggest shopping on-line. Many on-line stores have unique products that can be shipped anywhere in the world. Why not ship your presents directly to the recipient? You will have to make your decisions early especially if you’re shipping to another country. While it may take a week to send something across country it can take several weeks if a package has to go through customs.


Tip number two, pare down. Try not to be super woman or super mom. I know it’s hard but everyone has those moments where they try and be all things to all people. It never turns out well and you end up exhausted anyways. If you like holiday lights, go for it. If you can’t live without a fresh tree and all the ornaments, put it up. Figure out what you can and cannot live without during the holidays and do just those things. No one will notice whether or not you baked twelve dozen cookies in six different varieties. I actually have a friend who will bake them for you and no one has to be the wiser.

 

Tip number three, delegate. This is where the substitution comes in. The holiday industry has many options for those who don’t want to do it themselves. Personal shoppers and light hangers, yard decorators, and did I mention caterers. Yes they do want to be paid so it will cost a little more than doing it yourself, but think of all the free time you’ll have. That has got to be worth something. If nothing else works ask for a bye. I’ve been good all years and gotten all my required tasks finished on time. Just like a sports team advancing to the next round because they're ranked at the top I think I’ve earned my bye. Wouldn’t that be nice!
This just might be overkill
 
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cyber Monday

Isn't shopping fun?


There is a lot of hullabaloo about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These are traditionally the days that retailers do a lot of business. Many large stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Toys-r-us moved up their Black Friday sales to start on Thursday. Does this mean that there is no longer a Black Friday? I personally avoid these sales but I know from the news and the traffic around town that many people dive head first into shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

 

Cyber Monday came about because a lot of people either weren’t willing to stand in line all night for a flat screen TV for a dollar, or they did and missed out. Apparently you have to get up pretty early to get the best deals. These sales work well because the retailer has a finite number of great deals and they instill a sense of urgency. This doesn’t happen as much with Cyber Monday. The deals, while limited, are on-line and available for purchase.

 
 
 
Many on-line stores offer specials and once the special is gone it is taken down. When a sale is taken down and you didn’t see it, it doesn’t feel as painful to have missed out, at least in theory. If you are an on-line store I hope you did well on Cyber Monday. I know that my store did well but we did have some items on sale all day. While brick and mortar stores have only a few items at the best price, I had a popular item at a discount all day. I’m hoping everyone got one who was interested.

 

Personally I think on-line shopping is the way to go. I saw a video posted on Facebook over the weekend showing shopper at a Wal-Mart crowding and shoving each other for prepaid cell phones. This got me to thinking, if people act this way for a cell phone, what will happen to civilization if we run out of clean water and food. I used to think that people who owned guns and knew how to use them would do well in a zombie apocalypse, now I think it’s the Black Friday shoppers. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime I’m shopping for my doomsday bunker on-line.
 

How fitting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Alice Cooper

I saw Alice Cooper


Well as luck would have it, my anniversary fell on Thursday November 22nd this year. As many already know this was Thanksgiving. So while I got a lot of well wishes this special day from family and friends, I still want to go out and party. This is why this I left for Reno on Saturday. Now I know you’re thinking Reno? Why would anyone go and party in Reno? Well for your information I had ticket to see Alice Cooper in the theater at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

 

This particular theater is really quite nice. It is an old style dinner theater without the dinner. It has tables with chairs and red leather booths with tufted backs. My hubby bought an entire booth and we invited his sister and her new husband along for the ride. It is really fun to sit in a leather booth and watch a show and since its Alice Cooper it was awesome! I am of course writing this after the fact, hence the late posting on my blog.

 You can see Alice Cooper on a platform to the left, sorry

I have never seen so much leather, sleeveless t-shirts and chains in one place…ever. I have to say Alice Cooper puts on a great show and so does his audience. The group sitting in the booth next to us was quite vocal and loved the show. They also committed some real fashion faux pas. Not that I’m the fashion police but I love to take these opportunities to look around at the crowd. The entire group was dressed in strapless mini faux leather dresses with platform stilettos. Their outfits rivaled the costumes on stage. There were of course those who entertained with their wild dancing, you know who you are.

 

In fact there were quite a few people who felt this was an occasion to dress up. Feather boas, tops hats and even face paint. Yes, I said face paint. It was quite entertaining, Alice Cooper puts on a high energy show and his encore was complete with a light show, fireworks and exploding human sized confetti filled balloons. I know that I should have taken more pictures of the crowd, but it was dark. The pictures I have don’t do the concert justice. Overall it was a fun experience and I didn’t even have to dress the part to get in the spirit.

 
Confetti and fireworks in the finale


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Spam

Just love Crabby Road


As many already know, today is Black Friday, which technically began yesterday as some stores opened their doors starting as early as 8pm. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale but I don’t think there is anything on the planet that I’m willing to buy on Thanksgiving Day that requires me to go out in the cold and wait in line. Unless of course it is an instantly clean kitchen and more room in my stomach so I can eat another slice of pie.

 

One of the most amazing things about Black Friday and the days leading up to these huge sales is the amount of spam I receive in my e-mailbox. Not only do stores send out flyers to your home, they pack the newspapers with circulars and now cram you email inbox full of what you can buy and proudly proclaim how much you can save. I do find this a little bit on the annoying side. I received an awesome flyer from Bed Bath and Beyond that allowed 20% off my entire purchase. I thought it would be great until I noticed it was only good till 12 noon today. I refuse to fight for a parking spot while I’m still dopey from tryptophan. I would definitely use this coupon any other time of the year.


I also received a discount offer from Dooney & Bourke, my favorite handbag makers. It was an additional 10% off at their new outlet store opening at the Paragon Mall near my home. Apparently they didn’t have their grand opening last weekend when the mall opened. They are now staging a grand opening on Black Friday weekend. While I think it would be awesome to go, I can’t image how I would get there. The entrance in and out was totally clogged with traffic that even backed up onto the freeway for the past week. I refused then, I still refuse to subject myself to these crowds. I would appreciate this opportunity more in June.

 

So unless someone has invented the ability to teleport me from one location to another, like in the Star Trek movies, I will be staying home and shopping on-line. It is much safer and I can wear my slippers. I guess this time of year I get a little out of sorts because the crowds keep me from my one truly fun activity, shopping. So while I appreciate all the offers that have caused my inbox to scream in agony, one word of advice to retailers. Don’t wait until the 1st of November to inundate shoppers with sales, because we do shop all year round and if we find you annoying, we may avoid you all together.
 
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My House Smells like Pie


Pie...liquid cake...


It is amazing how good pie smells. I stayed up late last night and made pumpkin and apple pie for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. I’ve always been the one to provide the pies each year. It began a long time ago and continues to this day. I guess that is how a tradition gets started. You do something, everyone likes it, and then you keep doing it every year. I just love the way my house smells after baking pie, it’s a smell that can’t be beat.

 The table is set and ready to go!

My family is coming for dinner today. This is probably what I’m most thankful for, having a family to share this day. There are those who do not have family or friends to share their life or a special day together. My family is not all blood or marriage. Some are longtime friends who have always been there when anyone has needed them. Others are new to the clan and seem to want to hang around with our weird little group. They are truly welcome.

 An apple pie just for fun

It has been a slightly difficult year. Things have not gone smoothly 100% of the time, but that’s life. Life is not always rainbows and unicorns and those who will be sitting around my table tonight know this and still come back for more. I am truly grateful for them and their companionship. So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Have a great day and don’t forget to be thankful for your family and friends. Although they all could just be hanging around for the pie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Evening Bag Season



Tis the season to party! There will be parties a plenty starting this week. The Thanksgiving Day kick-off will be followed by rounds of cocktail parties, office parties and culminating in the biggest party of the year, New Year’s Eve. I have quite a few parties lined up myself and of course I’m planning my evening wear.

 

I will try and get as much mileage out of my little black dress as possible. I also discovered an awesome long “rock star” black jacket hiding in the back of my closet. I took it to the dry cleaners and now it is all set to go. I just need to find that red silk blouse I bought with the jacket. It will look really good with my leather skirt. Yes, I said leather. A woman of a certain age can still wear leather if her accessories are right.

 
Got to love this bling
 
 
I’m thinking black nylons to keep the silhouette proper and a beautiful silk blouse that is feminine and appropriate. My suede studded booties are cool and a simple yet trendy evening bag is the last accessory to finish it off. If I wear the leather skirt I need to make sure that I don’t add too much bling. I also need to stay away from my favorite leather jacket. Cloth is best and silk or lace turns a hard edged look soft.

 

I think the evening bag is an important accessory. If I’m wearing a black dress that is super simple I can add more bling. An evening bag that has sparkle, sequin or even a little edge is perfect with a simple dress. If the dress is taking center stage make sure the evening bag is simple and matching, you want it to blend. This is the party season but you still want to look fabulous. Keep everything balanced and you are sure to shine!
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gift Giving




As I was saying yesterday, now is the start of the gift shopping season. There are many who feel a desperate need to get it all done by the day after Thanksgiving. This is why Black Friday is so popular. It is a special shopping day for those overachievers. I think I did a Black Friday about ten years ago; it wasn’t much fun so I’ve skipped every year since. It’s good to say I did it one year. The concept of Black Friday being a super bargain hunting day is slipping away.

 

You can’t cruise the internet without seeing an article about how Black Friday is losing its power. Many shopping experts are saying that this day is not necessarily the best day to find bargains. They’ve done some comparison shopping throughout the year and found that some items are actually cheaper at other times during the year. Now I understand that getting a good deal is important but unless you shop 24/7 and 365 days a year, you will be forced to purchase an item for someone at an inopportune pricing time.

 
 
 
Gift shopping is about finding a gift that is either loved or wanted. While I enjoy a good bargain, I refuse to purchase just because it is a good price. My hubby has a saying that I could save 100% if I just keep my wallet closed. This is especially true for gifts that don’t fit a recipient. We all know that saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” but what about a gift that really doesn’t match, doesn’t that say you have no idea what that person wants? It is best to avoid that situation. When shopping for a gift the first and most important thing is to think about that person and what they need or want. Sometimes this is all you need to do to find the perfect gift.

 

I have had occasions when I couldn’t think of what to get someone. It just takes a little extra contemplation to figure out the puzzle. When you really can’t figure it out you can always ask. I find that this works really well because everyone has something that they just haven’t gotten around to getting for themselves. Sometimes it’s something that they want but feel silly buying. I really love expensive chocolates but don’t want to buy them for myself. I know I can but it just doesn’t feel right, far too indulgent. My son loves socks every Christmas because it spares him the task of getting them himself. So why not try something unconventional, not everyone is pining for a gigantic flat screen TV.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week Begins



This is officially the start of Thanksgiving week and the starting gun has fired to begin the shopping season. Things are going to get hectic and crazy. The stores are already packed and many are searching for that perfect gift. It’s not that I don’t love to shop, I do, I just don’t like the crowds one typically sees in most retail establishments this time of year. It becomes an unpleasant experience to have to either keep moving or get run over or play bob and weave so you don’t get hit. I guess I’m a little crowd-a-phobic. So like most years, I will be doing a majority of my shopping online.

 

There is really something to be said about shopping online. You can do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home. There will be no one elbowing you out of the way or battling for a parking spot at the mall. No long lines to pay for your merchandise. You can browse, find the perfect gift, pay with a credit card and have it shipped directly to the recipient. This is probably the best part. I have relatives out of state and we don’t always see each other this time of year. It’s wonderful when I can have a package sent directly to their home.


 
 
 
I usually spend too much time at the post office anyways so having to stand in line isn’t an option. I make sure my packages are already labeled and paid for; I just go to drop things off. This time of year it gets crazy. The lines are already out the door at our local post office. This is reason enough to not buy your presents at a local store and then wrap them up for shipping. I know that we should all purchase locally, according to all those locavores, but where do you think they got their products. Unless it is handmade they probably bought if from someone else either out of state or out of the country.

 

Let’s face it, most retail stores purchase their products from a variety of wholesalers from all around the world. It is probably better to do some research and find out if the product you’re interested in was manufactured responsibly. So this year I will be doing my spending online and trying to get the gift shipped direct. This will save me a lot of time and free me up for more important things, like shopping for myself.
 
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cashmere and Wool

Cashmere has beautiful drape


While I may not be a huge mitten fan or wear gloves, unless I’m ice skating or making snowballs, I do love a good pair of cashmere mittens. I actually love all forms of cashmere because of its soft texture and expensive look. The problem is I’m a little particular about the quality of my cashmere. I stumbled upon a seller of wool and cashmere the other day while shopping at Costco. Yes, that place has everything.

 

The sweaters that the vendor was selling, while attractive, did not have the feel and weight I would like to see with this type of a product. The wool was thin and itchy. The cashmere seemed transparent and had an uneven weave to the sweater. The sales representative for the product pounced on me right away as I examined the sweaters. I didn’t like the product and tried to move away without giving any comment but she was persistent. She really tried to get me to buy a sweater. I simply told her I didn’t want to pay for dry cleaning and I was too busy to own a hand wash and dry flat sweater.
 

 
It comes in a rainbow of colors
 

I know this is a copout and if I was honest I would have told her I found her product inferior. Even with the low price these sweaters were probably not worth the money. Wool doesn’t always have to be itchy. I had a pair of wool pants in high school that I wore to death; the wool was very high quality. I bought them at I. Magnums in San Francisco. Those pants held their shape, were smooth and a beautiful camel color that went with everything. I really need a pair of those pants again.

 

I’ve never owned a cashmere sweater. Yes, I know I’ve been deprived. I have felt and caressed many cashmere sweaters and the high quality cashmere is soft to the touch and has an even texture. It is light weight not thin or transparent. High quality wool or cashmere wool is made from longer fibers. This keeps the garment from feeling course or itchy. Fuzzy sweater are a result of short fibers poking up and they make you itchy. So while it may be tempting to purchase that sweater because the price is so low, resist because when it comes to wool, you get what you pay for.
 
Wool pants are a classic
 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A New Outlet Mall

The mall under construction


There is a new outlet mall in our area. On a whim I decided to drive over and take a look. The traffic was backed up over the overpass and coming off the freeway. I decided that no outlet mall is that good and turned my car around. I did get information about the mall from my daughter who is much more patient than I and really wanted to go. She said it took about a half hour to an hour to get from the freeway to the parking lot. Once inside the parking lot she found a spot pretty quickly.

 

One word of advice to mall architects, build entrances to shopping malls that can accommodate high traffic. Make multiple entrances so one entrance doesn’t become overwhelmed. This particular mall has only one way in and one way out, poor planning. My daughter went to the Juicy Couture store and had to stand in line. Apparently there were so many people in the store they reached their maximum number. You had to wait for someone to come out before someone goes in. I understand that some of the store were quite small so this makes sense but I don’t think there is a store on the planet that I will wait in line for.


 More construction

Several days after the grand opening I drove past the mall on my way to somewhere else and the traffic was not any better. There were still cars backed up over the overpass and traffic slowed dramatically on all four lanes of the freeway. I also noticed as I passed the mall that parking was filled all throughout the parking lot. I didn’t see too many open spaces. Now it’s not like we don’t have another mall nearby. There is Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton and the funny thing is their parking lot was also packed. Recession…what recession?

 

So I will be waiting for the crowds to die down before I venture to the new outlet mall. I’ve heard they have quite a few stores that require a look. There is Prada, Gucci, and Bloomingdale’s, all places that I want to shop. I think I’ll be braver after the holidays. No point in rushing anything. At least I have patience in this area.
 
It is impossible to get pictures now that the mall is open, maybe after the holidays

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Furry Scarves

A CAbi look from their website


I attend a local women’s networking group. I really don’t think I do that much networking but they are a really fun group of gals who have some really interesting businesses. Sometimes it’s just fun to hang-out and not be a responsible adult once in a while and these women are perfect. They don’t get too wild but they are friendly and love to talk. It’s just a good way to spend some time out of the house. Also did I tell you they serve wine at these events and finger foods?

 

Anyways, I was talking with one of the ladies who sell clothing, how awesome is that? She is a home based business and I give her credit for having so many pieces of clothing stored in her home and not trying to wear it all, I would. In particular she has faux fur scarves. They are really quite nice. Soft and fuzzy, all the things you think of when you wear fur. While they are faux, they really don’t feel faux or look faux. I’m kind of a fur connoisseur and I can see bad faux fur a mile away. This did take a much closer inspection.

The CAbi frosty scarf 

Since my anniversary is coming up I’m thinking that the Chinchilla scarf might be kind of fun. It would look really good with my black sweaters and it would keep me warm. There is also an infinity scarf that resembles mink. It has a rich dark mahogany color that is also quite tempting. The best part about these scarves is the affordable price. You won’t have to pay $300 or more for a real fur scarf as these run around $49. You also won’t have to worry about getting the stink eye from an animal rights activist when you wear it in public.

 

So note to my hubby, if you are looking to buy me a gift for our upcoming anniversary please contact Tifin Kutch Dillon at www.tifindillon.cabionline.com . I’m particularly fond of the faux Chinchilla scarf and I’m sure she can get it to you on the sly. You can also email her at tkutch@gmail.com. Tifin’s scarves are really beautiful, warm and right on trend for fall fashions. Give her products a look see, you might find something you like. She also has really cute leggings and tops.
 
The CAbi infinity scarf

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Hard to be Original

How do you walk in these?


I realized the other day that I’m not very original. I don’t have too many original thoughts or deeds. On the plus side at least I’m predictable. There is a lot of emphasis placed on being original, to be the first, to come up with an idea that no one else came up with before. I’m not sure that it is always a good thing. All this pressure can sometimes create some really awful creations. Case in point, an article on the worst shoe designs of all time and they had some doozies.

 

While some of the shoes were just ugly, others were downright dangerous. There was a pair of shoes with no arch support. How is someone supposed to walk when there is a missing piece right in the middle of your shoe? I find heels hard enough to navigate in on lumpy city sidewalks, throw in a missing arch and I’ll probably do a face plant. I’m not sure if the designer was going for an “OMG what were they thinking” or they were just trying to be one of a kind. See what I mean when I say that being original is not what it's cracked up to be.

 Who thinks these shoes are ugly?

There are the ugly shoes that are now ubiquitous such as Uggs, Crocs, and those weird looking toe shoes that are for running. Most everyone either loves them or loves to hate them. Usually ugly shoes that become popular have one major thing in common, they’re super comfortable. I have a couple of pairs of Uggs, but I won’t wear them out of the house. The reason I’ve succumbed to this boots is the comfort factor. They are so comfortable I will wear them all day if possible.

 

So when I see a designer trying to be tricky with a pair of shoes I have to give them credit for trying something new. If they make them comfortable enough there is probably a market. People might buy them regardless of whether they look good or not. If the shoes are ugly but make a statement, such as I have more money than Warren Buffet, then they might be a hard sell. While it is true that there are people with no taste but tons of money, they might be hard to find. Chances are they aren’t trying to sell the ugly shoe, they’re just trying to be unique.
 
Very unique, but be careful when you cross your legs

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tis the Season to Sparkle



As we head into the holidays we will all be concerned with what to wear to all those holiday parties. While I’ve never considered myself a party girl, I do have a few parties to attend this season. Most are fairly casual so showing up dripping in diamonds and pearls might not be appropriate and I don’t think I’ve been invited to any formal events. This means I won’t be wearing any long evening gowns covered in sequins. Even though I’m not wearing “met the Queen” formalwear, I still want to sparkle.

 

Nothing says the holidays are here more than something sparkly, besides women love sparkly things. It begins when we are young with glitter nail polish and follows us into adulthood. If you really want to make a woman’s heart skip a beat, give her jewelry for a holiday gift. I’ve struggled for years trying to find the perfect gift for my daughter for years. Last Christmas I started a charm style bracelet for her and gave it as a gift. She loved it, success!
 

 

The best way to sparkle is to add one outstanding piece of jewelry. Nothing to bright, nothing too big, for the casual party I suggest subtly. If you are planning on wearing your hair up, you can wear a pair of fabulous earrings. If you’re going to be wearing short sleeves go with some sparkle at your wrists. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. Crystals sparkle like diamonds in most party lighting and only the tacky will ask if it is real. The idea is to add a little fun to your outfit, that’s what makes it a party.

 

Since I love scarves, I’m thinking of going with a classic draped scarf secured with a vintage brooch. If you don’t have any of these I would suggest a place like Esty.com. There are many vintage pieces available or if you’re lucky and the weather holds, there might be a garage sale in your neighborhood. These are great places to find old costume jewelry. This is also the time of year for craft festivals and sometimes vendors sell wonderful pieces they picked up in estate sales. Whichever way you go have some fun this season and don’t forget the sparkly jewelry.
 

 
A simple scarf with a brooch dresses up any outfit

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Make-up Party

They have wonderful mineral powder


I did a little event last night that consisted of playing with make-up and eating desserts. Truly it doesn’t get any better than that. My friend is a Mary Kay representative, www.marykay.com/kk_litz, and every now and then they have a little get together. The ladies set up make-up stations and you can walk around, choose different colors and make-up your eyes, lips, cheeks or just have the perfect color of foundation or powder selected for you. For those you are unsure of make-up, this is a great way to try some new products.

 

While I consider myself a veteran of the make-up wars, I still love to try new colors. It was a great way to try some products that I was apprehensive about and wasn’t sure I wanted to purchase. The atmosphere was friendly and fun. The women were truly interested in the products and there were many representatives on hand to help with application and color choices. Best of all there wasn’t any high pressure sales and no one tried to get you to buy a skin care system or make-up collection. I confess that I did purchase some mineral powder but I was running low and this was a perfect opportunity to get some, since it’s a brand I already use.
 

 I tried Midnight Star and Sterling eyeshadows
 
I’ve been trying to perfect the smoky eye look for quite some time and have been unsuccessful. I’ve followed all the diagrams in fashion magazines but only end up looking like a raccoon that had a bad night. Somehow it always looks ridiculous so I avoid this look. Last night I tried different colors that I don’t own. I’ve found that grey or black are not good a color for the smoky eye and brown is too subtle. Believe it or not I used a midnight blue or navy blue shadow and was able to give a beautiful smudged and smoky look without raccoon eyes. I didn’t even use pencil or liner.

 

I was quite pleased with myself and had a lot of fun. I would highly recommend going to one of these parties if you get invited. It might seem like a high pressure sales event at first but it is a great way to experiment in a non-threating place. The best part about this make-up party is, if you don’t like the results you aren’t going to be seen by anyone and you can wash your face. It was in the evening so I went home afterwards. Although since my eye make-up came out perfect I felt like I should have gone out on the town. Oh well, next time, at least this old dog was taught a new trick.
 
The Black Cherry lipstick is my favorite shade (in the middle)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Heels or Flats?

A nude pump elongates the leg


Which is better a heel or flats? While both can be stylish, one shoe says professional or sexy and the other says comfortable. I do the heels or flats test all the time. I put on the outfit and one shoe with heels and the other no heels then stand in front of the mirror and try and make a decision. Sometimes the decision boils down to how long I will be forced to stand or how far I will have to walk. In an office environment where I will only have to walk a short distance and will probably spend a great deal of time sitting, I can opt for heels. If I know I will be traversing a great expanse, I must go with flats.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that a flat can be professional if given the right outfit. They are a bit trickier and can look a little too casual for some environments. This is where the problem really comes into play. When I take a vacation or visit Vegas I have that one night when we dress up and go out on the town. This can include a show or maybe a fancy dinner. The best look for this special occasion is a dress with nice heels. The problem arises when I have to walk across some huge casino to get to my destination. Let me tell you, Vegas casinos are huge.

 These Cole Haan flats are so cute
 

The weirdest part about this is how much my feet hurt at the end of the night. It must literally be miles from one end to another. The reason I believe this is because I’ve put on the same shoes at home, worn them all day and nothing. No sore feet no blisters. When I go to Vegas and wear the same shoes I have both sore feet and blisters by the end of the night. My hubby always says “why didn’t you bring comfortable shoes?” It’s hard to explain that these are the shoes that didn’t give you an ounce of trouble at home.

 

Since I am going to a small festivity tonight I will have the great heels versus flats debate. I want to be comfortable but I’m not sure how much seating there will be. I can always take a chance and wear heels, since they look fabulous, or I can play it safe and wear flats. It’s a little black dress party so accessories will be important. Well at least I know my jewelry will be fun and add some pizazz to my own little black dress. Come to think of it, that dress is getting a workout this week, it will be the second time I’ve worn it. Isn’t the holiday season fun?

Have these Kenneth Cole booties in black