The Shoes of Summer. Sandals, of Course!

It could seem a bit odd that I’m writing about sandals this late in the season but better late than never.  Besides—as much as I love shoes, during the summer months, I enjoy giving my feet respite from being closed in to tighter footwear, heels and boots.  It’s kind of like giving my feet the freedom they so deserve.

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Like taking my bra off as soon as I arrive home from work, my feet need to be free of closed-in shoes at times!

The opportunity to be in St. Tropez to purchase another pair of Rondini sandals in person has passed me by for 2018.  However, the opportunity remains to order through their website. Rondini Website

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I never miss an opportunity to get a pair of sandals from Rondini!

Let’s talk about what I love about these sandals.

They are custom made for the feet.  When you go to the Rondini Shop, your feet will be measured in both length and width.  Yes—whether your feet are wide or narrow—you will get the best fit for your feet.  The sandals will be constructed at the shop and will be made within moments-although my foot is so narrow that for one of the pairs I had to go back a couple of days later.

Rondini sandals from Left to Right:  Bikini; Pouche Tresse; Salome

L to R:  Sahariennes 2M, my first pair ever and the Tropeziennes–my second pair!

But the beauty of ordering online is that the sandals will be delivered to your door.  And for custom made sandals, the price isn’t much more than the higher-end sandals you can buy here in the U.S. of A!

The leather sole simply does not wear down. It’s amazing!

These Tropeziennes are about eight years old and have been worn every summer, many times and the heel hasn’t worn down either.  For the money, and the price per wear, these were a great bargain because they are worn year after year after year!

The sandals just mold to your feet…

..and over time, the leather builds up to a nice patina finish..

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This photo was taken last year but I’ve worn these a lot this summer..

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The Tropeziennes are the most comfortable sandals I own.

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Ain’t they purty?????

Speaking of the USA.  The next sandals I’m going to talk about are very “All-American”.  And the two brands have the same designed sandals.  But they are both different fits and different levels of comfort.

What’s more American than sandals with strawberries on them?  Ouch.  One leg is fake tanned darker than the other–how’d I do that?

The two?  Jack Rogers and Palm Beach Sandals.  Part of the preppy uniform.  Part of the American woman uniform.  Part of the Southern girl uniform.  And my girl Jackie Kennedy wore those Palm Beach Sandals all summer long!

I found this little comparison chart online and have to say, it’s pretty-much on point!

Palm Beach Sandals is the brand the Bonanno family created and created for Jackie Kennedy.  But somewhere along the line, Jack Rogers took over in popularity.

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Jackie in her Palm Beach Sandals.  My heart skips a beat when I see the way she dressed!

The difference between the two?  Well, in appearance—not much.  But in fit and construction.  Quite a bit.

Jack Rogers….

….or Palm Beach?  You be the judge!!!

Jacks have a synthetic sole and a leather upper, whereas Palm Beach Sandals are all-leather.

Synthetic sole….

vs. leather sole?  Hmmmmmm…

The Jacks, in the past haven’t had cushioning in the heel—making them very uncomfortable to wear until broken in.  Also—the Jacks have leather that stretches out to no end.

Look closely and you’ll see the outline of the cushioning in the heel of the Palm Beach sandals. 

My old Jack and no cushioning although my strawberry Jacks do have a bit of cushioning.  The brand may have tweaked the sandals a bit!

The heels of the older Jacks that I have are separating from the sole. Granted, these are old but not so old that this should happen on a quality sandal.

With the Palm Beach sandals—the upper sole is a bit wider than the Jacks, but the strapping across is made more with a better fit for a narrow foot.  There is cushioning in the heel area and my preference is that the Palm Beach sandals are a much better fit for me.  They are far more comfortable.

The upper foot area is slightly wider on the Palm Beach Sandals but the straps give a more narrow fit–which is perfect for narrow feet!

I’m definitely a fan.  The fit of the Palm Beach Sandals work better for me!

That isn’t to say that I abhor Jacks. In fact, I purchased a cute novelty pair of Jacks recently from Nordstrom Rack for $59.00 and they are pretty comfortable.

I have to admit, though, that I do like the style of these Jacks better than the other Jacks I have.  The strawberries are just so much fun and summery!

Both brands run in the $100 to $118 area for most models but you can find deals on them.  Jacks can be found at Nordstrom Rack.  I purchased the Palm Beach sandals for $39.99 per pair from Something You boutique on sale.  You gotta look around!

A few months back I ordered a pair of Tory Burch flip flops.  The Tory Burch company sent me a gift card for a pair of returned boots.  The boots were an awful fit and took years to break in.  The same thing with the Reva flats that I have from Burch. They were a bitch to break in!

Tory Burch Black Terra Flip Flops on the left.  My old pair of fancy Old Navy $4.00 flip flops on the right!

I gave the brand another chance when I ordered the flip flops.  (I believe the brand no longer makes these) All I have to say is that for the $79.00 or more that they retailed for, they are an absolute rip-off.  How can a flip-flop possibly be uncomfortable?  I can’t answer that but Tory Burch managed to do so.

They are only comfortable when I’m sitting down.  People pay for the TB logo.  Ugh.  What a waste of money–thank God I used a gift card!

The four-dollar Old Navy flip flops that I purchased many years ago and are still going strong are a million times more comfortable.

Birkenstocks.

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People love ’em.  And I know they are comfortable but this isn’t my cup of tea.

No. I don’t own any with the exception of a rubber pair I picked up last year or the year before.  They are comfortable enough but the way the sole is molded, the fit is just a bit off for me.  I know so many women who love Birks and I’ve tried the regular ones on and they are comfortable but they style just isn’t for me.   I may give them another chance though.

When I made the purchase the $19.99 price seemed right but the top of the foot doesn’t fit me 100 percent.  They are comfy though. I’m wearing these as I write this.

Whatever style you like or whatever your budget, sandals, in my most humble opinion are a great choice for summer footwear.  Let your feet breathe!  Let them loose because come October, those dawgs will be back to closure until May or June!!!

But remember—look for sales and make sure those sandals are comfortable because during these summer months we are on our feet a lot longer than in the winter months!

Make your feet smile the way you do!!  And enjoy the rest of the summer!

 

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Who Needs The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale When You Can Get The Goods At Nordstrom Rack?

That “N-Sale”. Everyone raves about it.  Bloggers abound as well as influencers get all warm and fuzzy over it. They rave about what you have to buy—mostly because they are getting a commission from that “N-sale.”  I’m actually happy the sale is over!

Whatever happened to the timeless, classic Nordstrom I used to know and love?  These days it’s all about what’s “On Trend.”  

Over the past couple of years, the sale has taken a serious turn from selling classic and timeless goods and has turned over to the young and trendy. Thank God for J. Crew sales is all I can say!  Don’t get me wrong—in the past I’ve gotten great buys on leather Longchamp bags and boots—but those buys are no longer to be found.

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Image result for atypical60 leather longchamp bag

These two leather Longchamp bags were great buys at past Nordstrom Anniversary Sales.  I did not see these at the sale this year.

 This year’s sale brought and bought forth for me nothing more than panties and a bra.  And I could have gotten the bra at Nordstrom Rack for a better price.  Oh well.

My big Anniversary Sale purchase.  A Natori Feathers bra and Hanky Panky panties.  I could have bought the bra for a lesser price at Nordstrom Rack!

Anyway, after perusing the Nordstrom site to see if any of my favorite brand of jeans, AG Jeans were on sale.  I did see that a few pairs were.  But they were still pricey.  So, me, being as frugal as my Frenchman would like, headed over to the Nordstrom Rack site.

AG Legging Ankle Super Skinny Jeans–$225.

This pair of AG Jeans was priced for Nordstrom Anniversary Sale at $168.

And not only did I find one but I found two pairs of AG Jeans.  Both around $70 each.  And they were well-worth the purchase! In fact, the two pairs that I purchased came in costing less than one pair of AG Jeans on sale over at the Anniversary price!

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I find myself shopping here more these days rather than at Nordstrom

Let’s have a look at the jeans I purchased.

The first pair I purchased was originally $215.  I paid $70. 

They are skinny jeans with a raw hem–which is as trendy as I’ll get with a pair of jeans.  But they are classic with an edge.

Here’s a better view of the hem.  I also like the color wash of these jeans.

The waist has a higher mid-rise cut, which I find to be the most universally flattering

The overall fit of AG is great.  The size 29 fits beautifully.  The brand hugs curves and if you are curvy AG is a great jean!

The original price tag from the second pair that I purchased–also around $70

A lighter wash and a skinnier jean.  This is the same 29 inch waist size.  

I got a little gut and the jeans stretch nicely over it.  Let’s face it–most of us don’t have 6-pack abs!

Overall, another great fitting jean.  I’ll be getting a lot of use out of them once the weather cools off!  It’s just way too hot for me to wear jeans now.  

Seriously—the point I’m trying to convey is don’t be taken in by all sales.  Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale has become iconic.  However, it doesn’t mean that because it’s an iconic sale that it’s the best sale around.  Because, quite frankly, I don’t think it is.  You can do better at Nordstrom Rack.  And you can also do better at end-of-season sales. And you can do better at online sites.

Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy it!

The jeans that I purchased are my fall/winter wardrobe additions.  There are enough articles of clothing packed away for the upcoming cooler times to keep me well-clothed and stylishly clothed from October through next April.

I should have taken my own advice when it came to this Natori Feathers Bra. It’s $29.99 at Nordstrom Rack.  I paid $40 at the Anniversary Sale!

I wish you happy shopping and smart shopping! And with Labor Day approaching, you’ll be finding some terrific bargains as retailers make way for winter clothes and Holiday shopping!

……especially during the Holidays!!

Do you like Julie London?  I was listening to her in the car today.  I love her voice.  Here’s her version of “Cry Me a River”.  I think it’s the best!

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Do You Margu? I Sure Do! And Here’s Another Wig Review!!!

Are you admiring my poetic ability–LOL??  Let me tell you–things were not going as planned earlier today.  Another unwanted “update” on my laptop caused yet, another glitch that prevented me from filming much needed wig reviews on my YouTube channel.  And after running out of the house with my laptop, driving to Best Buy in this atrocious heat, heading to The Geek Squad counter only to find out I could not get an appointment until 4:30 this afternoon, I almost gave up.

But when I arrived home and glanced in the mirror, I saw a reflection of a great head of hair that held up in the sweltering atmosphere and I had to do something about that laptop.  So, I uninstalled the camera then reinstalled it and was finally able to make the video reviews.

Seriously folks. I ran out with no lipstick-NO LIPSTICK!!! And only eye makeup and when I saw my reflection in the mirror I said to myself “Who is that woman with the beautiful head of hair”–and it was me!

See what confidence a great head of hair can give you?  When your hair looks great, you can do anything—even fix a laptop’s camera!

laptop GIF

So true.  My laptop is such a cause for unwanted stress. I’m scared of it.  But with this wig–I was empowered to take it on!!!

And what great head of hair was this?  It was Hayden.  A spectacular wig from Henry Margu.  I was very, very fortunate to have the brand reach out to me and ask if I would be interested in reviewing a wig or two for them.  Naturally, I was curious.  I’ve seen many wigs by Henry Margu on sites where I purchase from and I was a bit familiar with the brand from watching reviews by Taz of Taz’s Wig Closet.  I also knew that the brand started out some years ago as a milliner and somewhere along the line switched over to creating wigs– but I didn’t have any of the Margu wigs.

So, what happened when Hayden arrived?

The wig arrived within two days.  I was so excited to see what awaited me…

When I opened the box and saw the color of this wig my heart skipped a beat.  The shade, 7H is a beauty! 7H is a medium to light brown with well-blended and subtle golden highlights.  I knew right away that this color would be flattering to women of all skin-tones.  It’s a universal color!

This 7H color though!  Wow!!!  Light brown with such subtle highlights–if you are looking to go lighter but don’t want to go full-on blonde, might I suggest the shade 7H?

The wig is very lightweight and the stretchability made placing it on my head very easy.

Here’s a few pics of how Hayden looks!

See how the waves are more separate and “piecey”?  OMG. I am so loving this look!

Not your granny’s bob.  This is a modern edgy, sassy bob with a kick!

I love the “pieciness” (if that isn’t a word—it is now!) of the style.  I’m a huge fan of the beach waves bobs and Hayden has more of an edge. The waves aren’t as softly curled but more separately pieced apart giving the wig a more “undone” look.  And when I use the term “undone”, I’m using it in the best way possible.  The unit has a natural and very relaxed vibe!  It’s a slightly messy bob and is a pleasure to wear.

She looks great with a clip in the front and check out that hairline.  Hayden also looks great smoothed down a tad!

She looks so natural!!!

Another look at this hairline…

Check out that wave pattern–woudja???

And another look!

Hayden is a great everyday wig.  She’s a great weekend wig.  She’s just a great all-around head of hair.

And the Frenchman loves Hayden on me.  This is big!!!

Let’s look at the construction:

She has a lace front—curved to the shape of your face.  There is also a thin, silicone strip which can prevent the wig shifting.

The curved lace front makes the hairline appear more natural.  That thin silicone band can actually stop shifting!

The full-mono top allows you to part the hair on either side or the middle.  And she’s hand-tied.

The hand-tied, full mono top not only allows for great multi-parting, but also makes the wig more comfortable!

The parting space is extremely natural.

That parting space–it’s better than a bag of tortilla chips!

The ear tabs are long and soft making it more comfortable—especially if you wear glasses!

Cushiony ear tabs–a must, especially if you wear glasses!!!

The adjustable straps are Velcro which also ads to comfort and the cap has a lot of stretch.

Comfy Velcro straps for adjusting!

A stretchy cap to hold the overabundance of intelligence that I have!!

Henry Margu makes a stellar wig—that’s for sure!

Another added plus is that the hair, as light as it is, is dense and full.  And you know how I love me some big hair!

This is not little hair.  It’s a nice weight. I am thrilled to be wearing Hayden!

At a weight of 3 ½ ounces, you can easily get on a scale to be weighed and not worry about extra poundage! (Um…I’ve taken wigs off to get weighed so this is important!)

The bang is 7”, the area around the ear tab is 9” the nape is 4”.  The strands at the layered top run from 5 to 10” and the layered sides run from 6 to 9”.  The layered back is from 4 to 9” and the overall length is 11 ½ inches.

I can tell you right now that Hayden is going to get a lot of love and a lot of wear from me.  She’s a perfect length for fall and winter clothing because the ends of the wig will not become tangled when wearing textured scarfs and sweaters.

Honestly.  If you are a regular wearer of wigs and are not familiar with Henry Margu—become familiar!  If you don’t wear wigs, perhaps now is the time to think about it and check out the other wigs that Henry Margu has to offer.

Wigs have become my accessory.  Of course, I can no longer go out in public without a wig because my hair loss has gotten worse and will continue to.  But it’s ok.  I have an artillery of wonderful hair and now I have a new addition to my family of wigs that give me my best looks on a daily basis.

If you do suffer from hair loss, no matter what the reason, it’s devastating. And sometimes that first step to wearing wigs can be daunting–but when you have a great and natural looking wig–it helps to make the transition so much easier!!!!!

I do.  I do. I do. Margu!!  Will you?

There are no cons with Hayden.  She’s really a fantastic unit.  

Please let me add that I’m grateful to Henry Margu wigs for asking a woman over 60 to review.  My age group is oftentimes ignored and we take up a large percentage of women who wear wigs so I’m very thankful.  Just wanted to add that!!!!

My computer was fixed–thanks to yours truly–and here’s another look at Hayden in my YouTube review!

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Perf-ektly Thrive-n. A Few Makeup Reviews and Then Some!

Alrighty now!  Life is winding down to normal.  The excitement of Oona’s engagement still lingers and work is still mighty busy but it’s so good to be able to sit down on this Saturday and get back to what’s important.    The blog!!!

You mean, can’t BLOG–I’m working too much!

I feel as though I’ve been neglecting my baby for a few weeks.  Summer has a way of doing that with the activity and long days.  So now……it’s back to business!

Summer has a way of making me a bit lazy…..

I’ve been shopping and luckily the shopping was done before the engagement because now I’m on a strict “No Buy”.

Bonaparte put his French feet firmly on the ground and placed me on a “no-buy”.  Thankfully I purchased everything I need! Just call me Spanky!

Even though Oona and Sam are paying for their wedding, there will still be expenses with travel, clothing and other items in connection with the “big day”. Quite honestly, I’ve got enough clothing to last until the cool, crisp days of Autumn and enough in my winter wardrobe to get me through the mildest or most frigid ones!

Mommy of the Bride is hoping they go for a Chocolate Cake!

Anyway, there have been tons of ads on Instagram for Thrive Causemetics.  Note— “Causemetics” is the key word.  Makeup Artist Karissa Bodnar created Thrive after the death of her best friend, Kristy, to cancer at 24 years old.

Karissa Bodnar, right.  A young woman with a purpose!

For every purchase made, Thrive Causemetics donates a product to a woman in need.  In hospitals and such.  I, in good faith, couldn’t pass up a purchase or two.

What I ordered was the mascara and the eyeliner that I’ve heard and read so much about.

Both products are excellent.  For the most part, the Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner, which I use in my top water line, doesn’t transfer to my bottom lid until late in the day—and the transfer is very slight.  The liner stays put, though, on my top line.  It’s definitely worth the money.

Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner.  And it most certainly is waterproof!

A streamlined and slender pen/pencil, there is a twist turn end that allows you to regulate how much product you want.  I don’t put a lot of product because I’m petrified of breaking.  The other end has a little rubber tip for blending..

I feel really bad that I couldn’t get a decent photo of my applying this to my eyes, but I already have one blind eye.  I don’t want a second!  I swatched on my wrist and this doesn’t come off at all!!! I like the control of this liner too.  You can’t mess the application up on it!

This was the best I could do with the liner. I also added some liner to my bottom water line and under my lids for you to see.  Oh dear–from this angle it looks like I have a French nose! LOL!!!

The Liquid Lash Extensions mascara though, is my favorite of the two.  The wand is especially a delight to work with.  It gathers plenty of mascara without getting clumpy.  The funny thing is that I’m a fan of clumpy mascara, but this is different.  It really gives the illusion of longer lashes. And it doesn’t flake or smudge.  It stays put.  And in the summer heat and humidity—it’s a great trait.

This mascara though!  Wow!

It’s excellent..

….and this mascara brush is great!  Separates the lashes like nobody’s business!

This is with one coat.  I used two coats because, as you can see, I missed a spot –the lash primer is visible!

It really does give the lashes some length and it is not going anywhere either!

The free makeup bag that you receive as a gift with purchase is really good too.  It’s large enough to carry enough stuff for a weekend trip.  I stuffed it for our trip to New York City last weekend.

This makeup bag is so cute…

See how deep it is?

Here it is today but last week when we were in NYC, this held a ton of stuff!!!

Realistically speaking though, this is not going to make pro-aging lashes appear so thick so that it looks like you are wearing false lashes.  Let’s face it.  Part of the aging process is that we lose the lush lashes that we once had.  But this mascara is excellent.

At the price point of $24, the mascara ain’t cheap and the $22 eyeliner isn’t cheap either.  However, the quality is there.  The products are also vegan and I’m leaning more and more toward vegan products these days (except for food and shoes).  But just knowing that by making a purchase of these Thrive Causemetics, it makes me feel good to be able to give back to women.

I give both of these products an A.  And I give the company an A+ for empowering women who need to be empowered!

Oy.  Thank God I’m on a no-buy because I swear, Instagram can put one in debt!  One of my favorite IG’ers,  @turtlelovesbeauty, posted a photo with some products from Per-fekt and it brought back memories for me.  Some years ago—oh geez, it was around the time when primers were coming onto the scene I purchased a skin perfecter of sorts and it was pretty darn good.  Back then the $50 price tag was very steep, but I was making good money at the time so I went for it.  Then I lost my job and forgot about the brand.

It was a good thing for me that I reconnected with this brand.  Thank you TurtleLovesBeauty!

Well, I headed to the site and with the discount code that Turtle had, bought two products.  Liquid Gold and self-tanner.  I couldn’t resist another self-tanner.  Both costs less than the original product I purchased many years back. Really. I paid $30 for both! And that included tax and shipping.

I can’t wait to try this on my pasty white legs.  It’s sold out so I’m guessing it’s pretty decent!

The tanner hasn’t been opened yet.  I’m waiting to go through all the tanners I have before opening it but I’ll be sure to review it once I do use it.

The Liquid Gold?  Despite the awful packaging, the product is fantastic!  I don’t even know how to describe this.  The flimsy thingy that it comes in is so questionable and quite clumsy.  The product can also be used on your hair—I would keep away from that.  But on skin it is terrific!  Gives such a subtle and slight glow. Not overly illuminating as so many of these illuminators tend to be.  It’s lightweight and if you prefer, can be used in place of foundation.  I’ve applied this to my shoulders and knees too and I just love it.  In fact, when I went to re-order, I found out that the product is sold out.  Just my luck!

This is a tough call. I give the product an A, but I give the packaging a D+.  Still, I tried to repurchase for the sale price and it’s sold out!

This packaging is horrific but I’m guessing that it may be…

….eco-friendly.  If it is though, couldn’t you come up with something better?  

But my friends, it’s what’s inside that counts.  Take a good look. It doesn’t look like an illuminator.  It’s so subtle and feels nice gliding on the skin…

Im wearing the Liquid Gold in this photo.  It is so subtle –almost invisible but gives off the prettiest and slightest glow. This is a winner! I’m also wearing the Thrive eyeliner and mascara! (And my Jamison wig by Estetica Designs!)

And finally, another look at the Thrive mascara and eyeliner in action. 

Another purchase that I made upon the completion of my “How to Wear Camo….” post was this scarf I found on Amazon!  It cost eight dolliz and sixty-nine cents!!!!!!  What a steal!

A perfect all-season scarf! Lightweight for the summer and a treasure for A/C office buildings!

It dressed up this lbd with an edge!

One of the best Amazon purchases I’ve ever made!!

The scarf is lightweight and the colors are vibrant and not faded looking.  Overall it measures 35.4″Wx70.9″.  A great length.

If you are unsure of going full-on camo with clothing, this scarf is the perfect way to introduce camo into your wardrobe!  Here it is on my Amazon Page IDEA LIST Camo Scarf!

Well, the bread has been baked and I’m making Lemongrass chicken for dinner tonight.  And after dinner, it’ll be back to blogging!!  Stayed tuned for more reviews and goodies!

With Amazon Prime, I’m able to download (or is it upload?) tons of music to my iPhone.  I was so happy to get Warren Zevon on my phone. I loved this guy. What a shame he’s left us.  Remember this song?

 

Posted in Per-fekt Cosmetics, Scarfs, Thrive Causemetics | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Weekend In New York. Pawt Tew!

Okay. When we last left our weekend, Sam and Oona had gone back downtown  to continue the engagement celebrating and Bonaparte and I walked back to our hotel.  The summer air cooled somewhat and it was still hot but it was comfortable.

Sorry, but I forgot to take photos of the hotel. I’ll just have to return for another weekend!

When we got back to our room, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  And I didn’t wake up until almost eight in the morning!

Here’s basically what our room looked like but bigger.

Bonaparte said that between work and the excitement of Oona’s engagement, I really needed that good nights’ sleep.

The sun was shining for the second weekend day in a row.  This was astounding because it seems that we haven’t had a full weekend of sun since summer began!

Another beautiful day and another bird’s eye view from the room!

Our plan for the day was to head up to the Met Breuer and then over to the Frick.  It would take up a good part of morning into afternoon and give us time to drive home, get Chippy and enjoy dinner on our deck!

And might I add, I wore the wig Bonaparte got me for my birthday–Chloe by Envy in the fabulous Chocolate Cherry shade!  I also wore the dress I wore to dinner the night before. It was too hot to wear pants again. Just too hot!

We started out with strong coffee in the hotel’s lobby while we waited for the car.  And I admit, I was still on cloud nine from last night.  Oona and Sam were meeting friends on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for a very authentic Italian lunch.  NOTE:  If you are visiting NYC for a long weekend or a few days, head up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.  It’s more Italian than Manhattan’s Little Italy section!

I coulda had three of these!!

And then we got our gear, headed to the car and bid goodbye. I’ll tell you, the staff at this Marriott couldn’t be more helpful or greater. It was an absolute pleasure!!!  Marriott should be especially proud of the staff here!

Sunday morning in New York City.  It’s sleepy.  A lot like Paris.  The locals stay in and get a later start on this day of rest.  And when they head out it’s usually to a long brunch.  The avenues and streets are empty of the crippling traffic for a few hours—the calm before the storm.  The morning lighting makes the buildings appear crisp and bright.  A few city dwellers out with their dogs in the mixture of tourists out to begin a day of exploring.

Sunday morning in New York–a pleasure to drive when there’s minimal traffic and you hit all the green lights!!

Most of the inhabitants are still sleeping…

A man and his dog out for a Sunday morning stroll.  I don’t think the dog wants to walk–she wants to people-watch instead!

And it’s easy to find street parking too!

Time to get my feet off the dashboard and hit the pavement!

We parked at the corner of 75th and Madison next to the Breuer—you couldn’t possibly get any closer unless the car drove into the building.  This was the first time at the Met Breuer for both of us so we didn’t really know what to expect.  There is a current exhibition showcasing the talent of Picasso, Gustave Klimt and Schiele.  The exhibit, Obsession:  Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso, comes with a warning that it’s pretty erotic stuff.   I would say that for its time, the works were pretty risqué, but neither of us thought they were that erotic.  Some of the works are below:

A welcoming sign…

I don’t know about you, but I love Klimt’s paintings and have ever since I found out about him when I was in my early twenties…

His work is very etherial to me…

Schiele is new to me but I love the way he distorts bodies and I enjoy his simple line drawings too..

His line drawings are gorgeous

This mother and daughter drawing was my favorite.

And then there’s Picasso

I find myself liking his work more and more these days..

Maybe because he hung out in Antibes!!!

It didn’t take long to go through the exhibit.  And when we got into the elevator to see what the other floors had in store—there was nothing.  Other floors were closed off.

How would I rate the Breuer?  Well, it’s a modern building but not ugly modern, it’s streamlined with clean lines.  The architecture is nice.  There’s a lot of open space inside the building but there wasn’t much to see.  Surprisingly, the building is 52 years old and in all the time I’ve lived in Manhattan and have spent hours driving and walking up Madison Avenue, I’ve never noticed it.

We were expecting more works of art to be adorned on the walls rather than just one particular exhibit.  In all honesty, we would return to the Breuer if there was a very special exhibit that we were dying to see—other than that, time would be better spent at the Met on Fifth!

After leaving the Breuer, we headed up toward the Frick.  The location, on 70th and Fifth, is a stone’s throw and a short walk away from where we were parked.  I’ll tell you, if felt so good to finally walk again!

The Frick.  I’ve been here before but there’s just so much stuff that it takes a few visits to absorb it all. It kind of reminds me of a more refined Barnes Collection

We arrived shortly before opening so we found a bench across the street and did some serious people watching.  People watching was much better thirty and forty years ago before big developers chased the middle class and starving artists and entertainers out of the City.  The vibe was a bit crazy and more colorful.  Now it’s just a continuous parade of active wear.  But still, it’s fun!

We had time for a smooch on a bench–and my husband’s French nose smushed my little American nose…

But my nose bounced back!!!  And we continued our fun!

If you’ve never been to the Frick—get there.  Make sure on your next trip to NYC you head up to this mansion turned museum.  Henry Clay Frick was a very wealthy man who had both the “eye” for great art, furniture and everything else—and the money to pay for it.

Unfortunately, taking photographs is forbidden and it’s too bad because the Fragonard Wall Panels that Frick acquired are swoon worthy. I did manage to get a few photos of the garden.

The entrance to the museum, which used to be the Frick home.  I can’t even—it’s that spectacular!

Another outside view…

And another–what a piece of real estate!

One of the Fragonard’s.  I love Honore Fragonard paintings because they are just so romantic and pretty–yes they are just plain ol’ pretty!

A view of the Fragonard Room. Can you believe that someone LIVED here?

Not part of the original home, this courtyard garden was actually a passageway for carriages going between 70th and 71st street!

But it blends in so well with the rest of the museum/mansion!

On our way back to the car, we decided to stop at a small Eli Zabar bakery for a baguette.  Bonaparte was intrigued by the beauty of the loaf in the window.  And here’s where our trip was almost ruined.  Upon entering the establishment, I asked the young woman (most likely between high-school and college age) if we help ourselves to the bread.  She explained yes and pointed to the paper to grab the baguette with and the bag in which to put it.  And when Bonaparte reached for the baguette, a muffin fell to the floor.

Do not go here.  There are tons of other places throughout Manhattan with friendlier and more cordial staff!

Now, I kindly mentioned to the girl that the muffin fell from the shelf but needed to be thrown away and due to protocol, I was unsure if I should pick it up or what?  This set the girl up for a nasty attitude. And she came stomping over, picked up the muffin, noisily threw it into the trash, gave me a scowl and stomped back to the register.  We paid for the baguette, she kept scowling and we left.

Ima tell you somethin’. If Bonaparte was not with me, my native New Yawka would have surfaced and I would have gone on a four-letter word tirade with that little snot. Eli Zabar must be the worst employer in Manhattan to have bratty, miserable workers who are the rudest people I’ve ever come across in a long time.  Suffice it to say, I do not recommend purchasing baguettes, bagels or any other baked goods at Eli Zabar’s.  Perhaps if he hires friendlier workers, it could be worth the trouble but not any time soon.

With Bonaparte there to calm me down, we resumed our walk back to the car and I was once again a happy woman!

Wouldn’t it be lover-ly if I could afford the rent here. I couldn’t afford rent in a janitor’s closet in NYC!!!

We can safely say that from this moment on, I will be window-shopping and searching for Mother-of-the-Bride outfits.  I love the pantsuit. The gown–no!

We made our way to the Holland Tunnel, which by this time, traffic had built up to its regular weekend mess.  But it didn’t matter because it gave us a bit more time to enjoy the City before heading home!

And we drove through Times Square which depresses the hell out of me.  Times Square was better when it was dirty and grimey and full of undesireables.  Now it’s Disneyworld for adults.  It’s got no character anymore..

And does anyone even dress nicely to come into The City anymore?

A quieter street down by the Tunnel.  One of the few cobblestone streets remaining!

Goodbye NYC–till next time!! I love ya!

Those weekend trips.  They are, at times, more meaningful than a full-on vacation. They are little respites from the workweek.  They make for special times. And you just never know what surprises await!

Here’s my favorite song about NYC–its so true and it’s very beautiful! Written by a true New Yorker–Billy Joel–NY State of Mind! Never Forget the WTC.

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A Weekend in NYC—And A Big Surprise! Part One

I’m pretty sure that I mentioned to you that Bonaparte and I were headed to Manhattan for an overnight stay.  My daughter, Oona and her boyfriend, Sam were spending the weekend in The Big Apple because she has a week of business meetings and her boyfriend, Sam, had only been to New York for day trips.

Casual Summer City Street Style!  Camo and sandals!!

It was a great plan to be able to get together since we don’t get to see each other that much anymore.  Cincinnati isn’t that far but between her busy work schedule and business trips, it’s not easy.  And so, this weekend was special.

Will we all get to see the skyline up close?  Read on….

But—it didn’t start out that way….

Thursday evening, I fell asleep early.  Work’s been knocking me out—with sitting in front of a computer all day and problem solving and multi-tasking, it’s tiring.  And at around ten-thirty, Bonaparte woke me up to a ringing phone.  It was Oona and she was incredibly upset.

 

My beauty sleep was interupted!!

The weather in Cincy was horrific.  And because of this, all flights out of the airport were cancelled.  Oona and Sam’s flight was cancelled.  She had a meltdown, I was on the verge of a meltdown too, but they took a risk and rented a car to drive to New York.  It was a smart move because they couldn’t get a flight until Sunday.  There goes the weekend. Right?  Wrong!

With a few hours’ sleep, both woke up early for the ten-hour drive and by afternoon arrived at their hotel downtown.  We stayed in the Marriott East Side in midtown.

Image result for marriott east side nyc

We love our Marriott Hotels!

And so, the weekend went back to being a good one because at least we would all be able to have dinner together. More on this later!

Our Saturday started out with Bonaparte bringing Chippy to Doggie Day Care early; I got ready and we were off to the City!

Dress was street casual for me.  I packed my olive-green pants, a white tee and a camo tee. I like to have a choice with shirts.  My Rondini bikini sandals and a simple black dress were packed for dinner.  In fact, the camo scarf that I ordered from Amazon arrived Friday and I was able to pack it to wear with the dress!

Here’s a better look at what I wore for traipsing around Manhattan on a hot July Day! I went with dark hair as per Bonaparte’s request.  I’m wearing Estetica’s Wren!

And to be comfy but not sloppy, I wore the new skinny camo jeans that were purchased at Old Navy with a white tee and Tropezienne sandals, also by Rondini.  The sandals are perfect for walking around because at almost ten years old, they are broken in to perfection!  Any tote bag was left home because when traipsing around cities, a zippered bag is my preference.  My leather Longchamp bag was perfect because it carries a ton of stuff and matches both pairs of sandals!

The husband, ever the planner, made a wise move.  He ordered tickets for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in advance and we had three-day access to any Met museum.

Access to the entire MET family is a great deal–and purchasing in advance means no lines!

Since check-in at the hotel wasn’t until four in the afternoon, our plan was to hit The Cloisters when we arrived over the GW bridge and after that, drive down to the Upper East Side to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The weather was absolutely beautiful as we arrived at The Cloisters.  If you aren’t familiar, The Cloisters is uptown in Ft. Tryon Park.  Nestled in the Fort Washington area of NYC, it’s just below the Inwood section where I lived for years.

At 10:00 in the mornin’, Bridge traffic was pretty bad–but it’s to be expected!

We drove up the Henry Hudson Pkway. I can’t begin to tell you how many times, I’ve passed these buildings…

And we exited at  Fort Tryon Park–my old neighborhood!

The view from the short walk from the parking area to the museum is spectacular.  A good view of the boats on the Hudson and New Jersey!

And I’m so ashamed to say that in all the years I lived in New York—from Queens to Long Island, then to Brooklyn Heights, then the Upper West Side then to Inwood, I had never been to The Cloisters.  Bonaparte was rather perplexed as to why I hadn’t been to this wonderful treasure of a museum and I really had no answer other than a meek shrug and an “I dunno”.

At The Cloisters Museum.  Bonaparte makes his way up the steps..

This exhibit, Fashion and the Catholic Imagination was fabulous–and it wasn’t about the imagination of girls in Catholic School Uniforms either!  Here’s a look.  Jean-Paul Gautier.  Alexander McQueen and others’ designs are showcased and beautifully curated because they blend in so well with the structure of the building and the surrounding artifacts.

Among the designers showcased were Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier

The exhibit was incredibly well-curated..

A Catholic Bride…

And another–I felt like I was in The Sound Of Music when Maria married Captian Von Trapp!

Fashionable hats on cast iron poles look like caps from Nun’s habits!

And I really don’t know why I had never bothered to go there because it is astounding.

A Unicorn tapestry

Iconic detailing

Stained Glass Windows

Mary and the Holy Child

A centuries-old Mary and Child

A Walk through the courtyard.

And a better view from the garden

It’s a quiet treasure apart from the city stress and noise.  It’s in one of the most bucolic areas of the city on a hill overlooking the Hudson river.  The views are incredible.

A great view of an almost hidden GW Bridge from the Terrace

A great place to find solace in The City!

Another tidbit of greatness is that the parking is free—which is unheard of in Manhattan!  The earlier you arrive the better your chances of a decent parking space though.  We arrived at the right time too because when we left at about noon, the crowds were arriving.  Bonaparte was thrilled to hear many people speaking in French—I was surprised because I hadn’t realized that so many French were visiting New York.  I thought they would all be down in the Cote d’Azur!

I even treated myself to a book of the Saints!!! Be still my heart!!!

We took the long way downtown by driving down Broadway.  It still gives me great pleasure to see all the colorful boutiques, local ethnic restaurants and markets and the daily activity of life during the summer months.  That’s what I miss so much—the activity.  Always something to do. Somewhere to go.

By the time we arrived at the Met, the crowds were deep.  Summer tourists and out-of-towners like us, as well as locals were seeking cultural refuge…and air conditioning! Thanks to the smarts of my husband, we didn’t have to wait on line!

The crowds were moving in at the Met.  The woman behind me was yelling to her friends to hurry up.  I love New Yorkers!!  We’re a loud but fun bunch!

This is just a sampling of the admissions line!

TIP:  Heading into New York City?  Whether for a vacation stay, a long weekend or a day-trip, buy tickets to museums in advance.  You’ll escape the long lines and have more time to enjoy exhibits.

The Met was hosting an exhibit on Versailles—and I think we caught it on the last day.  B wanted to see this exhibit and after we saw it, we both agreed that if you’ve been to Versailles in France, the exhibit was average.  But if you’ve never been to the Palace at Versailles, the exhibit was pretty interesting.

The Three Louis of Versailles.  Louis Quatorze, Louis Quinze and Louis Seize  of the French Nose!

Some authentic Versailles ensembles. I love the striped number and that guy’s coat. I would so wear that now but I think I’m too large for it. Those people were little nuggets of fashion!

I’m obsessed.

And the thought of how to steal this DID cross my mind!

 

We liked the Eugene Delacroix drawings exhibit better.

I’m a huge Delacroix fan. I think he’s an underrated talent and it was such a thrill to see an exhibit dedicated to his drawings.

A Delacroix watercolor

And, we spend a good portion of the afternoon looking at, and admiring, many of the great works of art.

Manet

Courbet

Picasso–I could have spent the entire afternoon here.

Back out to the heat and to get the car!

Need a cab?  Go to the museum and grab one!

By now it was just about  an hour till check-in at the Hotel. We got into the car and drove the forty odd blocks downtown. But first we made a stop at La Maison du Chocolat on Madison Avenue.  We made a macaron purchase and ate eight of them during the drive. I have no shame.

The macaron were bagged in pairs.  We ate four pair!

We passed the most beautifully embellished florist..

And my sons’ old school!

I have to admit, The Marriott East Side is location, location, location at it’s best.  On Lexington and 49th Street, it’s convenient for a walk up to Rock Plaza, Central Park, Broadway, tons of shopping and is just steps away from the subway.  Getting a cab is easy too.

It’s not a super-luxurious hotel and it isn’t a flea-bag either.  It’s an upscale hotel in an older building—and that means character and charm.  The staff is crazy-friendly and incredibly helpful.  The room we had was off the beaten path.  On a floor with limited rooms and our room was fantastic—up 33 floors and quiet.

The view from the room

We dropped our stuff off and went for a little walk up to Rock Plaza!

30 Rock. Where Roman works..

And NBC News–where Jake worked before moving to L.A.

I own the City!!!

So, here’s the thing.  We decided to take a rest before we were to meet Oona and Sam.  We figured earlier in the day that we would meet for a drink at about 6:15 then walk to the restaurant around seven.

With Bonaparte taking a short nap, and me perusing social media, I was somewhat surprised when the phone rang minutes before 5 o’clock.  It was Oona.  She wanted to know if there was a bar at the hotel.  When I said yes, she answered that she and Sam were on the way.

I quickly got dressed—and had no time to change into my other wig!  Bonaparte woke up and I explained that Oona and Sam were meeting us earlier than expected but he could nap a bit longer and meet us down at the bar.  He decided to come with me.

Another phone call to let me know that Oona and Sam were waiting at a table in the Hotel Bar.

When we got to the table, Oona and Sam looked so cute! They didn’t look like they drove ten hours from Ohio to NY either.  Youth! Anyway, Oona hugged me then showed me something.

It was on her finger and it wasn’t a band-aid either.  It was an engagement ring!

OONA GOT ENGAGED IN CENTRAL PARK!!!!!!!!!!  She was born in NYC and she became engaged to be married in NYC’s Central Park.  Sam proposed in Central Park!

The ring. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t get a decent photo…

After a bit of the bubbly, I was able to calm myself down to take this photo!

Well—I let out a scream so loud that the entire hotel staff practically came running.  I proudly announced that my daughter got engaged and we were gifted with a complimentary bottle of champagne! How great is that?

What a surprise on this wonderful weekend.  I’m also gaining a great son-in-law too!

The cute couple!  I’m so happy for them!!  Oona and Sam are a great couple!

We all had a delightful dinner at Le Relais de Venise.  I’ve written about this restaurant before.  It’s become our “go-to” restaurant in the city after Les Halles closed.  The menu is limited to salad, steak and frites and dessert.  And the steak is cooked (or in my case barely cooked) to order and it’s just one of those restaurants that you know you’ll get a consistently good meal.

This joint.  It’s now “our” go-to!

After Kir Royals, we started off with salad…

Followed by steak frites and that sauce is to-die-for..

Profiteroles for dessert!  YUM!

Oona and Sam, still beaming, were headed out into the evening for more celebrating downtown and we went back to our hotel.

Part Two Continued Tomorrow………

 

 

 

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How to Wear Camo When You’re Over 50!

Camouflage—or more commonly referred to simply as “camo” these days has become one of the newest trends in fashion.  Today’s camo is up there with yesterday’s leopard print.  And as the leopard print has become both a new neutral and a mainstay This mixture of olive green, brown and gray is rising to the top of the new normal in clothing.

Image result for atypical60 leopard skirt

It took me a while to come around to leopard print–and I am in absolute love with this leopard pencil skirt I picked up at J. Crew Factory.  So how do I feel about camo–and how can we “mature” girls wear it?  Keep reading to find out….

It’s been around for decades.  I can remember back in the late sixties, oversized camouflage and army fatigue jackets being worn at war protests and rock concerts. And when I was in high school, many of the boys I went to school with had the iconic army fatigue green jackets that they wore with their torn jeans and long hair.

Who knew that the print on the camouflage uniforms these Green Berets were wearing in Vietnam would end up becoming the new neutral trend decades later…

And the uniforms worn at protests would become fashionable?

My brother, Tommy, had the original G.I. Joe complete with a camo ensemble!

Barbie’s fashion certainly has a run for the money now–GI Joe’s outfit is more of a statement these days!

And camo has inched its way into our everyday fashion.

You might think that it’s a print strictly for the younger set.  I mean, everywhere you go, you are bound to see a millennial dressed in a variation of the camo!

They are younger women, but I’ll tell you this much–any older woman would be able to rock any one of these outfits!!  I’m especially sweet on the middle one!

But I digress.  Camo is age-appropriate for everyone—even for women over 50 and beyond.  Yes. We mature women can rock camo like it’s nobody’s business.  We just need to know how to rock the look!

That’s right ladies!! Yours truly climbed aboard the camo love train!

Quite honestly, I never thought I would get aboard the camo train.  But I did. And I love it.  And that’s one of the great things about pro-aging!  We can take risks with clothing that we would have never done back in our twenties or thirties.  These days I find that I’m going for a more relaxed look in clothing than I did going back just five years or so.

Anyway, I had been thinking for a while about how to incorporate camo into my wardrobe because, like leopard, my opinion is that it looks better when it’s discreetly done and not over-the top.

Yes–I said discreet!  High fashion is not always the way to go!

But how to start?  In small doses.  After Googling “camo tees for women”, I came across the perfect tee at American Eagle Outfitters.      Online, it looked great but it was also worn by a model who could not have been older than 22—how would it fare with me?  Luckily, there is an American Eagle at the local mall and when I saw the shirt in real life, it looked surprisingly better than online.

The tee is soft and feels well-worn.  The V-neckline is extremely flattering.  The camo print is muted and not too much.  The shirt is relaxed and has a loose fit.  I ended up purchasing two. One in a small, that is slightly more fitted—it would make a great top for office casual wear.  The other, a medium runs looser and a bit larger and is great for weekend wear.

The tees I bought at Americal Eagle. They are so soft and comfortable with a loose fit. Got ’em in two sizes.  The sleeve length is great too because it’s a true short sleeve!

In fact, I wore the smaller camo tee today to work.  I paired it with olive green pants and a natural colored linen blend blazer.  The blazer offered a more polished look to an otherwise very casual vibe.  To add a bit more polish I wore pointy-toed flats.  The point was to bring everything together and have the camo item blend in rather than to stand out.

I wore the smaller of the two shirts today to the office.  Paired with my olive green pants from J. Crew Factory–it’s a very age-appropriate look. 

I’m hooked on that front tuck!  And the V-neckline is extremely flattering.  I don’t even care about my crepe-ish neck!

And the $7.00 thrifted J. Crew flats gave the ensemble some polish…

A lightweight schoolboy blazer from…..J. Crew Factory tied it all together for the office!

It was rainy today but this outfit will do well into the fall!

Since it’s summer, the camo tee also looks great with white jeans and will look just as good with a pair of white denim shorts.  I follow the K-I-S-S rule “Keep It Simple Simple” One camo item with solids.

I wore the shirt with white jeans this weekend and wore Rondini Tropezienne sandals for a super-casual vibe!

A closer look with the white jeans!

In the fall, a camo tee will suffice with darker jeans.

BTW, I purchased these AG jeans at Nordstrom Rack.  My “fall” purchase.  Check out Nordstrom Rack before heading to the Anniversary Sale–you’ll get a better deal!  I love the raw hem!

I’ll be honest. As much as I love these jeans, they are too heavy to wear in the summer.  I’ll be saving them for when the weather cools off–too bad because I love the fit. These AG jeans are very flattering to the mature body!

Not to stop there, I treated myself to a pair of camo jeans.  Here’s where it gets tricky and you have to know your body type.

These camo print Rockstar jeans from Old Navy are absolutely incredible. Light enough to wear now and they hug the curves.  As you can see from my hind quarters I got the hips and the skinny jeans are fine.  But–this camo print isn’t “in-your-face” loud. The darker colors blend in nicely.  It’s a great pair for the “over 50, 60, 70..” woman!

Camo pants come in a variety of styles.  Unless you are incredibly long and lean, the baggier camo pants can make you look squat, sloppy and add to any extra pounds you may have.

Off the bat, I know of two mature women who could carry these pants off and both are extremely lean and on the tall side…but for the woman with a bit of meat, these could be an unflattering fit..

..and although I love the sneakers, the tight knit cuffs ruin the long line of a skinnier pant.

Instead, if you have curves or don’t care for the baggy look, stick to a skinny pant style.  I found these Old Navy Rockstar jeans on sale and I’m thrilled with them.  The raw hem gives it a bit of an extra edge and, they are light enough to wear in the summer.

These lightweight camo jeans from Old Navy are another great way to incorporate camo into your wardrobe. And at $30, the price was right. I might wear these into New York City this weekend. 

Even this Violet wig by Estetica Designs in Caramel Kiss RT/4 goes so well with camo!

Here’s a close up of the print.  The darker camo is more subtle and that one item of camo can really make an outfit look sharp!

What other camo items would I wear?  Well, presently on my radar is the search for a camo pencil skirt.  This could be a great item for fall and winter.  Paired with a black turtleneck and black boots, I can see a very age-appropriate ensemble—and one that all mature women can rock.

Finding a skirt in this style but with a darker camo print would definitely be a plus in your winter/fall wardrobe!  Might I recommend different shoes though?

Also, on my Wishlist is a camo jacket, but I refuse to spend a ton of money.  Again, Old Navy (what is it with Old Navy lately?) has a great camo jacket—I’m just waiting for the right sale!  This jacket is perfect for fall-into-winter casual wear.  I think that for a more mature woman, a fitted camo jacket can also look fantastic!

Twill Field Jacket for Women – Army Camo

I am in lust with this camo jacket from Old Navy.  It isn’t expensive and is another wonderful way to incorporate camo as outerwear!

Another idea is a blazer like this one–it’s fitted and feminine without being twee!  I like this look!

Remember—the key is to keep it simple and not overdo it or not to overdo it!  If you’re unsure of the print, maybe starting off with a scarf would be a great choice.

If you don’t want to commit to camo clothing, accessories can do wonders to add that something-something extra.  A camo scarf is perfect!

Or pointy-toed ballet flats!

I can’t even with these shoes.  My eyes misted up with happy tears when I saw these shoes.  They are precious!!!!

Whatever your feeling is, I think camo will be sticking around for a while!  Have fun with it and remember, you can own the camo look!!!  For your shopping pleasure I created an idea list on my Amazon page for you.  Camo for the Mature Woman Print the page out, put it in your purse and take it out when you go shopping to get some ideas!!

And remember–don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re too old to wear camo!  You can wear whatever you want!!!

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