That Denim Jacket. And How To Style It!

It’s that time of year when we begin to head off from spring into the heat.  It’s a shame that we don’t have long springs anymore.  Spring and Autumn are fleeting and it’s the Winter/Summer mix that goes to the extreme.

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Yeah.  What does this tell you about our extreme weather?

And when it comes to outwear for the warmer weather….well, I’m not much of a cardigan sweater wearer because they feel cumbersome over a shirt and if I wear a cardigan only over my bra, the buttons gap and it isn’t very attractive.

The J. Crew Jackie Cardigan.  I have this and it is packed away to donate.  As much as I wanted to love this and other lady-like cardigan sweaters, they do nothing for me. NOTHING!  I’m confinced that one needs to be between 80 and 90 pounds and 5 feet ten to wear a cardigan successfully over a button down or any shirt.  And my 36 C’s aren’t huge but they aren’t cardigan-wearing friendly either.  This is a no-no for me!

When I traveled to Cincinnati two weeks ago, it dawned on me that it could have very well been the last time I wore my navy wool Schoolboy blazer until the arrival of crisp weather come October.

What I wore at work before leaving for Cincy from Philly.  Quite possibly the last wool blazer day until commencing next October!  

Ok..so I’m not wearing a sweater and the wool blazer will be hanging up for a while.

If a chill is in the air—or if the weather is a bit drizzly what’s the solution?

The Denim Jacket!

That’s right!  The Denim Jacket to the rescue!

Yes!  The Denim Jacket is the perfect choice of outwear for those early autumn/spring days when the temperature is warm but not hot.  And yes.  I wear a trench coat for those rainy office days but otherwise, the denim jacket is my outerwear of choice.

In my varied collection of clothing, I have two denim jackets.  Both have been staples for a few years now.

The first one, a dark denim number by G.H. Bass was purchased some years back at the G.H. Bass Factory Outlet in Limerick.  While my intent was finding a pair of cordovan loafers, I ended up drawn to a cute, fitted number hanging on a rack.  At the sale price of $29.99 it was a great choice and has pockets!

The darker-wash denim jacket.  And with pockets no less!  This was a great price at the G.H. Bass Factory Outlet and it’s worn on a regular basis.

The second one, lighter in both color and fabric, is a great denim jacket by Kut From the Kloth.  This jacket was introduced to me by my daughter, Oona maybe three or four years back.  She found out about it from a blogger she follows and I was fortunate enough to find it on sale at Nordstrom!

This jacket has stretch which makes it flattering as all get-out and the light weight truly makes it an all-season beauty.

The second, a lighter version by Kut From the Kloth.  While it lacks pockets it makes up for a perfect fit and the stretch gives it an incredibly flattering fit!

Let’s take a look at a few ways I style these jackets—shall we?

First of all, some styling advice.  It’s my unprofessional opinion if you are going to invest in a denim jacket–invest in two.  One darker and one in a lighter wash.  You’ll see what I mean as you scroll down.  The other.  I never wear denim-on-denim.  No denim jacket with a pair of denim jeans.  My only exception is a blue denim jacket with white denim shorts or a skirt.  I’m even a bit iffy on white denim jeans.  So here goes it…

Beginning this time of year, later spring into summer,  the jeans and pants go into hibernation and the dresses come out.  Here’s a cute sleeveless dress.  It’s a cotton/linen blend by Cynthia Rowley that I picked up at TJ Maxx for less than $25.  But it’s too early to go sleeveless and not hot enough to wear sleeveless on its own.  Thus the beauty of a denim jacket.  This dress with the darker jacket, a pair of wedges and a cross-body bag make a perfect look for casual days or evenings.  Running errands,  a lunch date ..or what have you.  I love the look.  AND…I like the darker denim with the lighter colored dress…

Same dress.  Same jacket but a slightly dressier look.  Going out to dinner but want to dress the look up a bit more?  Take off the wedges, change into heels and carry a bag to match.  The casual vibe of the jacket is there but with a dressier and edgier look. I LOVE this and the Nine West shoes match the Nat et Nin bag I picked up in Paris years ago!

Another casual look.  Ummm Chippy wouldn’t leave the dress alone.  I figured out that I hadn’t washed it since last summer and I didn’t wash it when I unpacked it from storage so it smelled like me (I’m so full of myself to think this..right?) and that’s why he wouldn’t leave it.  Or…he was hungry and he loves to munch on fabric!  ANYWAY….the lighter jacket is worn with a darker dress.  This dress is my favorite summer dress.  Purchased at Old Navy maybe three years ago for ten bucks. It’s been worn on constant rotation, washed tons of times and still looks great!  I paired the dress with a darker wedge heel.

A darker wedge than the ones in the photo of the lighter dress.  I’m coming around to wearing wedge heels–I’ve found a couple that are narrow-foot friendly!

The summer office-casual.  The office that I work in is pretty casual and during the summer, the A/C is at full blast–making a denim jacket a near-necessity!  Here I have the Kut From the Kloth jacket over a  J. Crew Factory shift dress that’s..OMG..maybe six or seven years old!  As the dress is short, I wear it with flat sandals..a great casual office look!

Here we have some casual suiting!  A white tee,  the dark denim GH Bass jacket worn with navy J. Crew Cameron pants and pointy-toed heels make this a good choice for a casual office look for early Spring/early Autumn.  Too warm for a wool blazer but too cool to not wear something.  Somehow this evokes a casual professional look–dontja think?

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the maxi dress.  I call it lazy dressing because if you didn’t shave your legs or fake-tan.  Here’s your answer.  And the dark maxi with the lighter jacket and wedge heels really give a great look without trying too hard.  Effortless casual!

Here we go!  A light gray maxi with the dark jacket.  See what I mean?  The contrast is attractive! And the jackets stand out against a constrasting fabric.  It’s not what you are wearing but it’s HOW you are wearing it!

So that’s it.  And one thing I would like to add.  Do NOT, and I repeat–DO NOT allow anyone to tell you that wearing a denim jacket is not age-appropriate.  You are pro-aging.  The denim jacket is as classic as that wool blazer.  And have fun mixing it up a bit!

How do YOU style your denim jacket?  Let’s start a conversation about this–add to the comments!

Today’s look!  A Flat lay come to life!  J. Crew pixie pants, a white tee, a polka-dotted scarf and the dark denim!  It’s perfect for this rainy day!

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More Mother-of-the-Bride Fun!

Far be it to not take advantage of Oona’s pre-wedding events to not make it about me. OK?

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Remember.  It’s all about MOI!!!!

Anyway, last weekend I flew to Cincinnati for Oona’s Bridal Shower.  You saw a sneak peak at my last blog post but I’m gonna elaborate more on the weekend.

And boy was this a fantastic Bridal Brunch!!

As the Mother-of-the-Bride naturally.

Number 4 is the only one Oona has stressed.  I did that at her shower when we all introduced ourselves.  My sense of humor got the best of me as I introduced myself as “…..as Oona exited my Origin of the World…”  immediately, I was pulled aside and warned in a kind way to NOT say anything like that at the wedding.  (shhhh–don’t tell but I don’t follow rules!)

I took Friday off from work because I wanted a true three-day weekend.  That’s the thing about working in a low-level clerical position—you need permission to get a day off.  In my other places of employment, it was much easier to finagle time off as a freebie—trust me.   I also worked my schedule out to accommodate leaving early on Thursday afternoon so I could fly from Philly to Cincy and enjoy a few extra hours of fun time.

I also took Friday casual to Thursday!  I travel in comfort, but not like a slob! J. Crew and Gabor wigs assisted me!  Mother-of-the Bride travel attire!

It’s not how it started out though.

For some reason, either I hit horrific weather or I have a displeasure of a delayed flight whenever I travel.  I kid you not.  And about 45 minutes before we were to board the plane, an announcement was made that the flight to Cincinnati would be delayed.

Welcome to my jet-sit world.  I spend more time waiting than flying!  I have to say though, that Delta made every effort and boarded us very quickly when the plane arrived!

Besides having an inner hissy-fit, I dealt with this issue by stress eating not one pretzel, but an additional bucket of pretzel nuggets.  Fresh and hot off the press.  The carbs were murder on my gut but felt so good going down.  I also ate a giant bag of peanut M & M’s.  And read trashy magazines.

And an added surprise was that these nuggets of carbs were also drenched in greasy melted butter.  I wonder why the scale isn’t giving me nicer numbers!!

The plane finally arrived and this Mother-of-the-Bride landed after ten in the evening to rain!  I was two for two.  A delay and rain.  It was shocking that a snow storm hadn’t hit!

Cincinnati here I come…

To rain and a delayed flight….

Now…upon departing the flight, one would think I ran to the airport exit to see Oona and Sam.  No.  CVG is a GREAT airport.  It’s so clean and spacious so I couldn’t resist dawdling (now we know where my son, Roman, acquired the gift of dawdle…).  I came across a cosmetics vending machine!  But I didn’t buy anything!

Why couldn’t I find this at Philly airport during the delay?

Then I came across my favorite part of the airport!  Them bones!

Some stop to smell the roses.  I stop to take photos at airports of skeletal treasure!

But it was great to be back at Oona and Sam’s and playing around with my grand puppy, Gracie.

My boo, Gracie.  OMG. She’s so well-behaved..

Oona and Sam are such great doggie parents…I KNOW they will be fantastic human parents!

Friday brought sun and clouds and brisk weather but it didn’t matter.  There’s something comforting in knowing that your daughter and her future husband can brew a great cuppa coffee.  They make it strong—just the way I love it.  And we sat around gabbing before getting ready and heading out to run errands.

The Mr. Coffee is far better than the grandpa Mr. Coffee we have at home.

Even little Gracie was beggin’ for some!

Ahhhhhhhhh…cawfee!!!

Oona had a nail appointment, and since my nails were looking fine, I passed but kept her company while we discussed family and the wedding preparations.

This freakin’ nail salon!  It went on for days!  I was jealous–but then Oona told me the price of a mani-pedi and I was glad to be living in the Northeast where nail salons are plentiful….and far less expensive!

Next stop was Marshalls –Oona picked some workout clothing (I didn’t –I’m lazy).  And I headed for the cosmetics.  Glory be to Gawd—I found two great eyeshadow palettes!

More on these palettes for my next blog post but boy….at $7.99 each, these palettes were a steal!

We did some food shopping—Sam’s birthday was Friday and his family was coming over for dinner.  Oona looked pensive as she realized time was of the essence—she had to head back to the airport to pick up her best friend and maid-of-honor, Lauren.

Did I say food shopping? I sent this pic to Bonaparte to validate that Pennsylvania is the worst state in the USA because of the State-run, Mob-type Liquor stores!  You can by this at Trader Joes in Cincy!

And that’s where mom comes in—I assured her I could take care of the cake and she could head to the airport for alone time with her bestie!

BTW, this cake is gluten-free, chemical and preservative-free, sugar free, and lower-fat!  Oona added Sam’s favorite candy–Reeses Pieces which are NOT lower fat nor sugar free!  But it was a tasty Birthday cake!

Friday evening, Sam’s family came over for a birthday celebration. Being with Sam’s family is like being with……………. family!!  We all had a great time and I was introduced to a spectacular aperitif/cocktail:  The Aperol Spritz!  This concoction of Aperol, Prosecco, and Seltzer with a slice of orange is the most refreshing drink I’ve ever downed!

You read it first.  Moving forward, the Aperol Spritz will now be called “Mother-of-the-Bride”.   There will be an open bar at the wedding but I may smuggle my private makings!  There’s only 148 calories in one of these!

I drank a lot of them during the weekend.  In fact, as I write this now, I informed the Frenchman that I’ll be stopping at the store for Aperol, Prosecco and seltzer!  He is a bit upset that I am forgoing the beloved Kir Royal but the Aperol Spritz has less calories and with the wedding countdown, every calorie counts!

Saturday was a full day!

Let me tell you something.  Oona and Lauren spent a long time getting their hair perfectly coifed.  Lauren is great with styling and she styled Oona’s hair in perfect beach waves.

I plopped my Jamison wig on—and had extra time to loll around in bed! Oh, the beauty of wigs!

Jamison and Lilly Pulitzer.  You can’t go wrong!

The shower/bruncheon was at LouVino, a Southern-inspired restaurant and wine bar downtown Cincinnati.  What a great place!  The celebration was downstairs in a private room and Oona’s friends, coworkers, future sisters-in-law, mother-in-law and relatives were in attendance.

The upstairs wine bar at LouVino’s. I’m recommending this place to out-of-town guests for Oona’s wedding!

The downstairs room where the brunch was held…

Thanks to Sam’s sisters, the table settings were beautiful..

 

Mimosas kept us refreshed and hydrated!

Oh yeah, and water (in the background) also kept us hydrated.  The food was so great that I never took a pic–I was too busy shoveling the Warm Brussels Salad into my mouth!

We played girlie games.  I won Scattergories.  But the best game was where Oona had to guess answers to questions that Sam answered in advance.  For ever wrong answer, a wad of bubble gum was placed in Oona’s mouth!  It was a riot!

It was only natural that I took myself out of the “Guess the Age” game.  I’m no cheater!

Miss Oona getting ready for more bubble gum!  She actually did a great job.  Out of 30 questions, she got 2/3’s correct!

The prize for the Scattergories win..a cute mug and a Starbucks card!!!!!!!!!!! 

Some of the gifts.  Crate & Barrel is very popular–eh???

Happy little wine glasses…

Happy little Oona!

The baking girl was thrilled to receive mixing bowls.  Did I mention I gifted her with a Stainless Kitchen Aid Mixer…just like mine?  I swear the baking is genetic!

This.  This was on Oona’s wish list and she was so happy to receive this!  (Hmmmm maybe she’ll give me her Mr. Coffee machine…)

BFF’s.  They’ve been friends since middle-school.  Two beauties!

This photo of us was taken after I was crying…

..and this is why.  Lauren, Oona’s BFF and Maid of Honor, gifted Sam’s mom and me with embroidered hankies.  Both moms were crying because it was just a touching and generous gift!   I’m crying again!

I was very happy to be in attendance.  Oona didn’t want a shower in Philly simply because she felt that asking my side of the family and her Northeast friends, was asking them to spend too much money—what with the travel to Ohio and the hotel, she wanted to keep expenses down for everyone.  You know—I was very proud of her decision.  I think I raised a very conscientious young woman!

 

And the fact Sam’s family has welcomed Oona really made me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

May I present the future Mrs. Butts.  Coming from a very competitive family, it pleases me to have my daughter’s future last name be greatness such as this.  When/if they have children and their children are in competitive activities, they can hashtag:  #MyButtsgonnakickyours  or… #Buttsbekickin’

Some after-brunch fun.  Isn’t that dress adorable?  It’s a Lilly Pulitzer..and those shoes!  The daughter has great taste..and she’s gorgeous!

By the time we got back to the house, the rain came and it was time to head to Sam’s mom’s home for a casual, laid back and fun dinner!

And more Aperol Spritzes!

The recipe?  Three parts Prosecco, Two parts Aperol, One part (a splash) Seltzer and an orange slice to make it nice!

Sunday morning brought forth a bit of a hangover and the flight back to Philly.  Isn’t it funny how when you wish for a delay, the flight is on time?

Gracie was sad to see me go.  I was sad to see me go!

 

Minimal dawdling on the return.  There was no delay.  WAIT!  Does that say Air France?  Yeah…but it’s the plane back to Philly…

And despite the timeliness of the flight home, I did manage to get this sweatshirt as a reminder of a great weekend!

I arrived back home Sunday afternoon.  When Bonaparte picked me up, I’m not too sure he was happy to see me because he kept mentioning how tired I looked.  He was right. I had a bad hangover    FOODover, because of all the food I ate.

Yeah. I pretty-much crashed when I arrived home.  Funny how I still think I’m in my twenties sometimes!

Do you ever get sad when you leave someplace and someone?  I was incredibly sad to leave but after I arrived home and unpacked and got to telling the Frenchman about the weekend, the sadness lifted and I felt really happy.  Happy that I was able to enjoy the weekend with my daughter and her future family! And happy to be back sitting next to my husband on the sofa!

And she’s the reason the weekend was a stellar one!  My baby is getting married!

Posted in Bridal Showers, Mother-of-the-Bride, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Is There a Write Way to Communicate?

Ladies. I have so much to write about.  Oona’s Bridal Shower was this past weekend and the weekend in Cincinnati was just way too short!

I landed home in Philly on Sunday.  As you can see,  I was plum tuckered out from the food and beverages consumed!  

We had a blast and it was somewhat bittersweet for me.  My baby is getting married in a little over two months.  She and Sam will begin their lives as one and I feel my job is done.

My baby and me.  It felt as though I began to give her away!

But before I get all misty-eyed, there’s something else that I want to tell you about.

I got more than misty-eyed when Oona’s Maid-of-Honor gifted both me and Sam’s mother, Anna, these hankerchiefs.  Both moms cried!  Isn’t it beautiful?

The shower was not given by me.  The shower was hosted by Sam’s two sisters with the help of their mom.  And because of the time constraints, she opted to not have an additional shower here in the Philly area.  She feels that since everyone is traveling and spending money on accommodations for the wedding, a shower would be asking too much.

Stay tuned…I’ll be writing about the Cincinnati weekend later this week!

More will be written about the shower later this week.  In the meantime, I still recovering!

But…. about a week before the shower, I was contacted by the people at Paperless Post.  As I read about this online stationary company, I became more and more intrigued.

This is my new obsession!  Everyone’s going to be getting little cards from me!!

Why?  You might ask?  Well….it dawned on me that we don’t take the time to actually write to anyone anymore.  Do you remember the days of Pen Pals and writing letters to those you hadn’t seen in a long time?

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Remember those days of ..well, not plumes but of fountain pens and writing letters?  I do!

Back when I was a young girl, it was a very exciting moment whenever we received letters from our relatives in Ireland and Australia.  The whole family gathered around the table to hear my dad read our family’s words.

Even when Bonaparte’s aunt, Daniele was alive, she would write letters to me in either French or broken English and I would follow suit.

Check out the date on the letter Daniele wrote to me.  I kept all her letters.  They are very sweet to look back on!

These days, I still look forward to the little notes and clippings that my Aunt Terry sends to me.

The notes that my Aunt Terry sends me are also kept!  It’s like a treasure chest of letters!

But that’s rare.  Our current means of writing these days is by texting or email.

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An invitation of sorts from Oona for me to cook dinner!  Our means of communication–texting!

Trust me, the times, they are a changin’—this was the first birthday on record that I didn’t receive any cards via the USPS.  My greetings came in the forms of emails, Facebook birthday wishes and Instagram birthday wishes.  I ain’t complaining either—I’m becoming more aware of our changing social habits!

And that’s where Paperless Post comes in.  Since we live in hurried and busy times, this ingenious company has taken the work out of getting into the car, driving to the store, spending hours searching for the right card.

A sampling of an invite!  I’ll be there!!

All you need to do is head to the website and peruse the variety of various cards, stationery, invitations and announcements.

Best stationery I’ve ever seen!  The NYC skyline–just for me to you!

You can even send announcements and flyers out via your iPhone!

Isn’t that nice?  And so much better than an e-bill!

The premise is easy-peasy.  You purchase “coins” that you use to “purchase” your card, invitation, or announcement of choice.

You fill in with any one of the text sizes and fonts. If you chose, you can purchase an envelope or use the free envelope offered. Various backgrounds add some visual interest too!

Fonts, colors, text–all your choice!  This is greatness!

And…you add your contacts to the site for easy sending.  I’m presently texting everyone I know for their email addresses and I’ve got a few cards in “My Post Box” at the ready for emailing!

I’ve got some thank you cards in my post box waiting to be sent!

I like this.  It’s more fun than a generic email and it adds a little “something something” bringing a little note to another level.

While we may not have time to sit down and compose a letter with pen, ink, and parchment these days, we can make time to use our computers to compose an e-letter, invite or card!

I’m guessing that years of The Palmer Method of writing is being replaced by a variety of fonts that can make letter-writing more fun and creative!

What say you?  Have you gone the Paperless Post route yet?  How long has it been since you wrote to someone?  Paperless Post is making it mighty easy!!

The possibilities are endless.  Why…I think I’ll create a card to send to my sons that reads “Call you Mother!!!”  Love, Your Mother!

It’s really funny because Paperless Post came to me at a time when I can really use the offerings!  I may create recipe cards to send out too!

…or perhaps a flyer!

Let me know in the comments how you write—or if you do–or if you’ve gone Paperless Post!

Let me know what your thoughts are because now I don’t have to wait until others get gray hair before I write to them!  Now that I have Paperless Post, I’ll be writing more often!

 

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When I’m Sixty-Four. Oh. Wait! I AM Sixty-Four!

I can remember singing along to Paul McCartney as he melodically sang about Vera, Chuck and Dave—the grandchildren on his knee.  And it was all about being the age of 64.

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine

First of all, I started to lose my hair way before 64!  I was many years ago—not from now!

Yeah.  I didn’t wait till I turned 64 for this….

Hmmmmmm…but I get to wear wigs so it’s all good fun!

And I still receive Valentines.

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And I still GIVE Valentines!

And Birthday greetings and wine.

I even get birthday greetings from my dog!!

In fact, I turned the page to 64 years of age yesterday!

And might I say that the Frenchman has great taste in birthday cards!

It was an odd one at that—not necessarily the day but the months and weeks and days leading up to it.

You see, my dad passed away when he was 64 and quite frankly, the thought of approaching that same age petrified.

The last photo of my dad. Luckily we got to see him shortly before he left us!  He was only 64 years young!

And it doesn’t help that I work in healthcare.  There are days when I wish I was back in finance—I won’t elaborate.

But then a strange thing happened.  I woke up yesterday morning to a sunny day and it was just like any other day.

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God and Mother Nature gifted me with a bright and sunny morning for my birthday!

The alarm went off at 6AM, I got out of bed and made my way to get ready for work.  All very uneventful—in a good way.

When I looked in the mirror to brush my teeth, I didn’t appear to be any older.  The wrinkles hadn’t gotten any worse.  Granted, I look older than twenty years ago but it still wasn’t a sight that made me shudder.

OK so this photo is a couple of months old. And I did brush my teeth yesterday. And I didn’t look any older than I did in this photo!

And as I got ready to put my makeup on, Bonaparte and Chippy came into the little room to wish me a Happy Birthday and then….my Frenchman handed me an oversized bag.  I was shocked.

This bag.  I was speechless but needed to see more!

In the bag was a huge box.  Again.  I was shocked but a bit excited.

….and the box was huge too!

In the box was a bag that I coveted for years. Years. A Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM bag.

I was so overcome with excitement that I was speechless..and that doesn’t happen too often!

And here she is–my Neverfull MM by Louis Vuitton!

The bag is iconic.  It’s been knocked-off and replicated.  And not just by companies that illegally copy.  Michael Kors has his own knock-off as does Ralph Lauren.

The Michael Kors copy.  What’s the difference between his knock-off and a replica?

Ralph Lauren got in on the replication!

But none are as wonderful as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull. (To tell you the truth, I feel even better about having this bag because Bernard Arnault, the CEO and top shareholder of LVMH, is donating millions to the restoration of Notre Dame in Paris).

I’m going to take such good care of this bag!  It’s such a generous gift from my husband! 

In addition, Chippy gifted me with a pearl choker.  As Chippy barked a birthday greeting to me, Bonaparte explained that it was bothering Chippy that I was walking around in four-dollar Walmart pearls and I needed a good strand for Oona’s wedding.  Hey, I’ll take it!

As you can see, Chippy is beside himself with excitement over my birthday!

The GOOD pearls..and they do feel very luxurious!

I immediately put those pearls on–and how chic they look with my striped nightie!

Since this was a day that I wanted to celebrate, even in a subtle way, I got dressed to the nines for work.

Sage by Estetica Designs was my hair of the day.  Bonaparte loves me in darker hair and with the gift he gave me–I couldn’t resist!

I must say that Sage made great Birthday hair!

I wore my custom fit dress from eShakti.  And it looked wonderful.

My party dress!

In fact, it brought memories of me in fine party attire when I was a child.

Me, at four, in a Christmas Party Dress.  Me, sixty years later in a Birthday Party Dress!

There were no celebrations at the office.  But as I worked, thoughts of aging did enter my mind.  Its weird. Twenty years ago I was forty-four and never gave mortality a thought.  In twenty years from now if I’m extremely lucky, I’ll be 84 and at 64, I think of mortality often and put it in the back of my mind.

No celebrations at the office but I had my Neverfull bag with me to keep me company!

When I arrived home, a vase of beautiful flowers greeted me.  My kids never fail to send flowers on my birthday.  And they all call.  Hearing their voices gives me such a lift and makes me wish they were closer in distance!

A mom’s greatest gift.  Love from the kids!

Is my birthday over?  Nah.  On Saturday night, the Frenchman and I are going out to dinner (which I’ll tell you all about) and next Thursday, I leave for Cincinnati to visit with Oona and have some pre-wedding fun at a luncheon in her honor.

And so, rather than live this year in anxiety and fear, I am facing it with gusto and a smile!

And I’ll always stop to smell the roses!

I’m grateful for my health.  I’m grateful for my family.  My cool-as-can-be husband and my children.  I’m grateful that I can still bend over without pulling a muscle and that I can still run up three flights of stairs every day.  I’m grateful that I have a job and a roof over my head.

And I’m grateful that I have the freedom to write about my feelings on everything and anything.

Thank you for the gift of your presence when you read my words and comment!  It’s a year-round gift to me!

Many thanks

Many thanks and I hope you enjoyed my birthday!!

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That Seasonal Transition Has Me Getting Organized!

I know.  I know. I’m quite possibly jumping the gun here because at any given time during April—it can snow.

I’m jumping into Spring knowing full-well that it can snow tomorrow!

But you know what?  I’m home nursing a cold today.   Rarely do I call out sick from work.  But with the focus on detail that I need to give my tasks, I needed this day to just take it easy.   Working while feeling under the weather can be cause for error and I can’t take that chance.

The first time I ever went into work with only mascara, eybrow makeup and nothing else.  I felt THAT awful!

That being said………when I arrived home from the office yesterday, I felt miserable.  It was a hectic day; my head was so stuffed up that I felt as though a vise was clasping down hard on my skull.  My throat was feeling like coarse-grade sandpaper and I was deep in wonder at how many Weight Watchers points were in phlegm (which, by the way, I found out through Google that there are 25 calories in a half-cup–but who’s counting!). I kid you not.

A hacking cough, sandpaper throat, a vise around my head and the taste of phlegm is not a fun time!

Bonaparte had a late client and I had a couple of hours of alone time…with Chippy by my side.

Chippy doesn’t like when I have a cold either!

So, what did I do?

I went into the garage, took the bins of my summer clothing out, carried them upstairs and went to work.

Making the transition from the winter wardrobe to the warm-weather clothing.

The moment hit me. And with weekends becoming busy—getting the deck ready for those nights where we can dine al fresco. Planting geraniums or other potted flowers.

This coming weekend’s project is geraniums for the deck.  Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.  Or snow!

Headed for day trips on the weekend.  Going out to dinner in two weeks for my birthday.  Going to Cincinnati to see Oona.  I am left with little time to get organized.

Though we won’t be going to France this summer, we will be enjoying relaxing time at the YMCA poos or the shore!

And so, I hit the closets and drawers with a verve and gusto.  Not wasting a second of precious time.

The outside temperature hit 80 yesterday and the indoor temperature on the third floor of our home was also pretty intense.  I sweated a lot but it felt so good.

The wool skirts and pants and sweaters were all placed carefully in the bins that held the summer items.  I bid farewell with a “see you in six months”.

Bye Bye my little friends–I’ll see you in the Fall!

And overall, it felt good.  Now, I’m not the most organized person in the world. But I try.  My pantry and cupboards are a mess—but as long as the cabinet doors are closed. It’s all good.

Shirts hung up to welcome the warmer weather..

Skirts on another side. Notice that I kept my favorite leopard-print skirt out. It’s a year-round delight!

Pants in front of the skirts…

And dresses in the front!

With my clothing—I’m a bit more diligent.  In fact, I knew the time to transition was coming when the Frenchman mentioned a few days ago “Cassee..eur clozzzit  eez bih-cominggg  messy” And that’s usually the time when the transition needs to be done.

Summer shorts in drawers…

..and additional room for warm-weather tee shirts has been set aside!

It’s that seasonal thing.

Toward the end of summer and into early fall we get that “longing” for the humidity to take an exit and make way for that first day of sweater weather.  We want crisp air.  We want that morning chill that wakes us up so.  And truth be told…we do welcome the shorter days because there’s something very warm and fuzzy about coming home from the office to a long evening of cozy, comfy pajamas!

The best thing about winter is that it’s always warm and toasty inside but we all love that first blanketed snowfall!

And we garner end-of-winter emotions as well.  We’re tired of the dark.  We want to be barefoot (well, I do at least) We want to rid ourselves of the layers and dress light and breezy because the warm air will have us out and about and push us to be more active!

Yes!  And when I say “Active” I mean actively sitting at the Ocean’s edge on a beach chair, under an umbrella reading a good book!  Very active!

But back to the clothing and organizing.  I needed to do it for another reason.  As you know I’ve put on a bit of weight over the winter.  With Oona’s wedding now three months away, it’s time to get serious.  When I’m organized, I can feel better about myself to the point where I can focus on the bit of weight I need to drop.

It’s a mindset thing—you know?  Organization just puts me in a more motivated frame of mind.

After my morning coffee, I went downstairs and ironed and folded tee shirts!

I did. I went downstairs and ironed a bunch of tee shirts.  Have you ever seen this “Fold-Away”?  I purchased it when the kids were young–it must be 20 years old and it folds shirts perfectly.  I should have purchased two!

Perfectly folded shirts.  I’ll bet Mary Poppins would approve!! 

How about you?  Do you become seasonally organized?  Does transitioning the clothing for the seasons put you in a better frame of mind?

I think I’ll go clean the pantry now!

Yikes!  I’ll see you in a few days!  Anyone else a pantry slob or am I the only one?

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All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go? WTF???

Dressing up for the office is something that I like to do.  Actually, I love dressing up for work.  Not only do I get a kick out of it, but it makes me feel more professional.

So—you can just imagine my reaction when a co-worker saw me yesterday, looked at me and said “Hey. You’re all dressed with nowhere to go.” I was so stunned that I was at a loss for a comeback—and for me, that’s a tough one!

My Little Navy Dress, a strand of tiny pearls, navy pumps and  a remark of being all dressed up nowhere to go.  Really?  Well……I went to the mail room and then to the ladies room and spent the rest of the time in my cubicile so I did have somewhere to go!

There’s something emotionally uplifting about choosing the outfit to be worn, coordinating separates, choosing shoes…. it’s a ritualistic for me.

Bitmoji Image

It really is–getting my clothing ready. It’s as ritualistic as the nuns taking my classmates and me to church on the First Friday of the month to pray all afternoon.

When I was in my early twenties into my early thirties, I worked on Wall Street.  Back then, in the mid-1970’s to early 1980’s, everyone dressed for work.  It was what you did.  You felt good entering an office building dressed for success.  It was a matter of self-pride and self-respect—not to mention there was a strict corporate dress code that nobody cared to challenge.

It’s the strangest thing.  I wore what she’s wearing.  I had that same Coach bag and wish it would be reissued.  But hey–we Yuppies loved our dress codes!

Even during the years when I was a stay-at-home mom I still dressed up a bit when I left the house. I’m not talking about dressing up to the nines nor am I saying I wore a little black dress to the grocery store.  It’s just that I didn’t dress like a slob or that I didn’t care. about how I looked.  I wanted to look nice….for me!

The funny thing is that I dress the same way now that I did when I was a stay-at-home mom. This is definitely a mom outfit!

After my first marriage broke up, I re-entered the work force.  I worked at a local bank and there was a dress code—and the staff always dressed office-appropriate.

From the years I started working at that bank and onto other positions, with every job change came a less stringent dress code—to the point that where I’m now employed, the dress code seems to be null and void.

Welcome to my life.  And I won’t get rid of the business professional clothing!

Welcome to the casual workplace.

Throw a blazer of it and you have instant office polish!

I don’t know what your thinking is but my train of thought is that we Americans have gone way too casual.

First…people started dressing like slobs at airports and even going so far as wearing pajama bottoms with flip flops to their destinations.  That is an exercise in vulgarity—I always end up on long flights sitting across people with the most disgusting feet that are showcased for all to see….and sniff.

Snookie and Brittney Spears make slovenly bookends for the one in her pj’s at the airport.  No wonder the airlines treat us like cattle.

Then it was noticeable during the winter when men were venturing outside in shorts to shovel snow.  Not only that, but even at casual restaurants diners at times take things a bit too casually.  My mother never allowed my brothers to wear baseball caps or any cap in the house

Compared to the average Joe, Jack Nicholson is wearing formal attire here!

Now it’s the normal to see men in department stores, grocery stores, restaurants and even church wearing baseball caps with their favorite teams or logos.  You know—it’s kind of crude.

I don’t know what’s more offensive. The fact he’s wearing a cap indoors or the fact the cap is polyester!

Is this what turned the office environment into an “anything goes” as far as dressing is concerned?  It’s just so weird.  I knew parents who were so put off by children wearing uniforms to school that they tried to have uniforms banned—and they failed.  Their reasoning was “it stifles my child’s creativity”.  Screw that–give your child a box of crayons and paper and let them get creative by drawing.  And when they get older, they can express themselves with clothing after school!  I tell you, I’m the biggest proponent of uniforms because it sets the tone for professional dressing…when need be!

A “Jeans Friday” look.  But with a blazer thrown over it…………for polish!! 

At the office where I work we have “Jeans Friday”—and it’s somewhat of a  mystery to me because on Monday through Friday many co-workers wear jeans.  And leggings.  And what appears to be workout pants.

And don’t get me started on workout clothing and activewear at work!

And so, I’m the odd ball out with my carefully thought-out ensembles.  Oh yes. I will take advantage of the casualness of work but when I do, I make sure it’s a polished version of casual.

Yo!  I said put a blazer over it…………………..for polish!!  And a scarf too…

…and perhaps metallic heels to finish the look!

Too casual with dressing means a too-casual demeanor and in the workplace, I don’t think it’s a good thing to be too casual. Dressing in a more professional manner helps me to work better and give off a better impression.

And in this work-from-home day, you can be a total slob,  But when you are going to the office, it wouldn’t hurt to just dress up a bit and not arrive as though you just rolled out of bed.

…yeah…that’s about right!

If I seem snobby, I certainly don’t mean to be.  Look.  The job I have now is, most likely, the lowest-paying job I’ve ever had so I’m not rushing to the mall every payday to buy new clothing.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  My closet is my boutique and there are a lot of clothes from over the years that I wear on repeat.  I can bet good money that most of my outfits cost less than the leggings, sweaters, workout pants and jeans that many workers throughout the country are wearing.  It isn’t a matter of snobbishness for me.

I wore this today. J. Crew Pixie pants that are about seven years old.  A J. Crew Blazer I got on sale for $29.99 about five years ago, a Gap Tee that was around five bucks on clearance.  See the photo of the shoes. They are so old that they are falling apart.  But I love them.  My closet is my boutique!

Trust me, when I’m home, and not expecting any guests, I dress like a total pig!

My sentiments exactly.  When I’m at work, and out and about I make an effort.  When home–it’s piggly wiggly time!

Rather, it’s a matter of professionalism.  And self-respect and just wanting to have a nice appearance.  Is this train of thought old-school?  It is a Baby Boomer thing?  Is it a pro-aging thing?

On Monday I went all yellow and blue..and Chippy licked my fake tanned legs..

On Tuesday I went with Blue and Yellow. As you can see, I don’t stray too far from my comfort zone!

And Wednesday’s outfit which was cause for comment…

I also wore this cute coat all week…so far..Monday through Thursday. Tomorrow I wear jeans!

What say you?  Am I the only one who is “All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go”? What are your views?  Do you work at home?  Do you commute to an office every day?  I’m very curious about this because I was almost offended by that remark made to me.

Another favorite work outfit!  I love metallic heels!

Seriously.  What’re your views on dressing.  Are we too casual?  Is office casual the new normal?  What do we do with our good clothes?  XOXOXOXO

 

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Baseball. Barbecues. Beach. And Hat Hair!

It’s that time of year—well, at least for one of the B’s—and that’s Baseball.  We’ll have to wait a month or so for Barbecues and Beach!

 

Hey Batta Batta Batta!!!  Hey Batta Batta Batta!  He can’t hit!  But Henry Margu hit a home run with this great Hair Accent!  Hair on a Baseball Cap!!

In the meantime, it’s time to get ready for the warmer weather.

And that can sometimes be daunting for the wig wearer!

This is my frustration at trying to wear a wig under a baseball cap!  Ohhhhhh  I am a Celts fan though!

Fear not though, my buddies at Henry Margu sent me a great summer accessory for review—and just in time for the three B’s—Baseball, Barbeques and Beach!

THE perfect wig hat for summer!   I’m wearing the Classic 8″ length on the beige baseball cap.  What’s not to love?

The funny thing is, I love the look of a baseball cap for the summer.  The brim is well-needed for protection (with the use of sunscreen) against the sun’s harmful rays!

The wide brim will be a tremendous assist in protecting against the sun’s harmful rays–and I know because I had skin cancer!

When I had my full head of bio hair, I always wore a baseball cap with my hair pulled through the back in a ponytail.  Due to the fact that my bio hair was also ridiculously thick, the baseball cap never looked good with my bio hair down because my hair stuck out too much.  Even when blown out to straight perfection.

Ummmmm…nah.  My bio hair (what’s left of it) doesn’t cut the mustard on the Philly Pretzel of hair under a cap!

Even if worn in a pony, it still just doesn’t look good.

And the time wasted on trying to get a full wig to look decent under any cap is a harrowing experience!

Hey. I love my Swami wig but it is so thick and trying to get ANY cap to fit over this one is a pain-in-the……..and the proportions are so wrong.  Arrows point to the shoddy fit of the cap over the wig and the hair sticking out of the wig. 

And so, I was pretty much intrigued when I was asked to review.  I was a bit skeptical because I couldn’t imagine the “hat hair” (as I’m prone to call it) would look or perform well.

Any doubts were gone after I tried this cap on!

But, after wearing it out and about for a day and getting comfortable with it while writing this post and filming a YouTube review, I have to say that I’m very happy with this and will definitely be wearing to the shore this summer—look for me wearing this at Stone Harbor!

And this goes so well with a Lacoste dress!

Let’s take a look why this Hair Accent by Henry Margu should be a summer essential in any wig-wearer’s collection.

The Cap:  The cap is 100% cotton.  It’s strong with being lightweight.  Cotton breathes and therefore, during the hottest days, the comfort level will be high.

Breathable cotton, unlike polyester which holds the heat, is a weather-friendly plus for comfort of this wig/hat combo!

The cap adjusts in the back with two plastic strips that can be snapped together for allowance from a smaller head to a larger head.  You can also adjust it tighter for extra security.

Adustable plastic band straps give for a secure fit for any sized head!

The Hair: The hair is securely attached between the cap and a breathable lace reinforcement.  Although not thick, the hair is dense enough to give the appearance of a full head of hair without being thick.  It’s a well-suited amount of hair for summer months.

The hair is secured with double reinforcement from the lace and the fabric band..

The mesh fabric in the back adds for additional comfort!

The Fit:  Adjustable straps notwithstanding, the fit is very comfortable.  If you are fussy about baseball caps, fear not with the fit of this.  Henry Margu picked out a winner of a cap that not only feels and fits great—but it looks great too!

The fit is great from all angles–as is the density of the hair. You can hit the shore with ease and confidence!

A back view.  Mind you, I’m not even wearing a wig cap. I simply pinned my bio hair up and shoved it into the cap!

How’s the appearance?  Come see!

The shade I’m wearing is 8H…and Henry Margu has some of the greatest hair colors ever!

The fact that the Hair Accents is cap to scalp (or..if you do have bio hair, you can just stuff the hair into the cap and it’s still a comfortable fit) allows for a better fit of the cap.

The cap that I received is the Classic 8” in the shade 8H.  The cap can be worn with the hair down or tucked behind the ears.

Looks great tucked behind the ears too!  Remind me to apply sunscreen to my ears!

 

This also comes in a curly version but I’ll tell you, I prefer the straight for me.

Here’s the curly-haired version.  Even though I prefer the straighter version…after looking at this I think I would also wear this.  Yes. I would!

Many online vendors sell this.  Among them are:  Pattispearls.com; NameBrandWigs.com; WowWigs.com; Amazon.com; Galleryofwigs.com; Theheadshoponline.com; Wilshirewigs.com

Whether you are new to wigs or wear wigs regularly or…even if you don’t want to ruin your bio hair at the beach (because if you have hair that tends to frizz, we know what the ocean air can do to hair that’s been blown out), this Hair Accent is a great Hair Asset!

Now howza ’bout some MLB Hair Accents???

My one suggestion to my friends at Henry Margu Wigs is—can’t you work something out with MLB to manufacture “team” baseball caps with hair?  Yeah.  I would be thrilled with a Boston Red Sox Hair Accent…or a NY Yankees…or a Cubbies….or a Cincinnati Reds Cap with hair!!

Or what about College team hats?  I’m a Longhorn mom!  And a Terps mom!  Yeah…. I think we’re on to something hair!!!!!!

Henry Margu Hair Accents = A Grand Slam!!

Overall rating:  A+ on the hat hair!

Here’s another look from my YouTube channel!

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