Monday, August 29, 2011

Fashion Emergency

I attended a wedding this past weekend that had a morning Thai ceremony and then a more traditional evening ceremony so I knew I would need two different outfits.  For the morning ceremony, I wore a simple, light color dress and had intended on wearing a black dress for the evening (intended being the operative word in this sentence).  Of course, the zipper got stuck and broke as I was getting dressed.  I put my morning dress back on but I felt like it was too casual and a little too short for all the dancing I knew we would be doing later.  My husband is a dipper & a turner, so I knew the shorter dress would not have been good.  I had to get a new dress but we were out of time.  We attend the evening ceremony itself but we sneak out during cocktail hour (yes, not proper protocol but it was a big reception and I knew no one would miss us for 30 minutes and I was in the middle of a fashion crisis), jump into a cab, drive down 8 blocks to the mall, jump out, run into a large department store and I immediately see a dress that I knew would fit me and work well with the shoes & accessories I was already wearing.  I put the dress on, clip off the tags and pay the lady.  The Fashion Gods were on my side.  We were back in 34 minutes. 

I thank my husband for knowing me so well and cooperating instead of just telling me "You look fine..." and going along with me on that adventure (he even suggested it!).   A broken zipper that can't be fixed in time for an event is not exactly a real emergency but he knew that I would be uncomfortable all night wearing the "wrong" dress and he cared enough to help me fix it.  It was important to me.  He so gets me.  That's the kind of marriage I hope for our newly married friends.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cupcake High

I am on a red velvet cupcake high!  Stressful morning so I treated myself to a nice quiet lunch at one of my favorite little restaurants and topped it off with a cupcake, wrapped in its own beautiful little box.  I think the packaging made me happier than the cupcake itself!  The thought that went into the design of the package told me that the cupcake maker thought enough of her customers to make it beautiful and it made me happy the second it was put in my hands.  It was just a small box, nothing too fancy but it was designed for the cupcake and fit perfectly in my hand.  It sat next to me in my vehicle on my way back to work.  I spoke to it lovingly.  I was going to name it but then thought I might not be able to eat it.  This a good example of taking that one little extra step to show someone you put some real thought into whatever it is you are doing.  Some other suggestions:

1)  If you are asked to make a meal for a family in need, add paper plates, napkins and utensils for easy clean up.

2)  If you are asked to host a shower for someone, provide the guest of honor with addressed, self- stamped thank you cards so she just has to write the thank you and drop it in the mail.

3)  If you are asked to carpool for other families, have snacks, drinks in your vehicle for hungry after-school kids. 

You get the idea.  Go the extra step and raise the bar a little.  It will bring others great joy and make you look like a super-star.  I love my new cupcake lady and thank her for bringing a little something extra to my cupcake eating experience. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacation Clothes

I recently went on work/vacation trip and was slightly appalled at what I saw some women wearing (or not wearing).  There were plenty of haltertops with no, ahem, support to speak of.  Not a pretty sight.  However, I was trying to refrain from being my usual judgmenty self because I totally understand the concept of not dressing as you usually would when you are on vacation.  In fact, I have a whole separate vacation/resort wardrobe that I would not wear when I'm at home.  Dresses a little too short for a night out, maybe a sexy little top that I'm actually too old to wear in my real life, etc.  To a degree, you can have a different style while on vacation and get away with wearing something you wouldn't ordinarly wear around town just in case you run into a co-worker, teacher from your child's school, your priest.  But there are still some rules: 

1)  Wear the proper accountrement - please, on vacation or otherwise, no one wants to see the girls hanging to your knees.  Remember the humidity if you are in a tropical climate - clothes will stick to your body.  The right bra and Spanx provide the requisite smoke & mirrors to make that outfit fit just right.  

2)  Don't assume that tropical prints are "vacation" clothes.  Use sparingly and not at all if possible.  Ick. 

3)  Don't pair a nice dress/outfit with FLIP FLOPS.  Dressing for dinner on vacation does not include flip flops.  Period.  If you are wearing flip flops, then you are eating, not dining, and are at the wrong resort.  

Unfortunately, our usual plans for vacation this year fell through and my vacation wardrobe won't be visiting Mexico.  Maybe someone could send it a postcard?


Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm Not Sorry I Bumped Into You

In my opinion, Elton John had it right when he sang "Sorry seems to be the hardest word".  It should be a word used sparingly because it means so much more then we think.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, it means "pained, regretful, penitent..."  I don't like to apologize much and try very hard to avoid things for which I would have to apologize.  So, it is truly annoying when people (mostly women) go around saying "I'm sorry" for the smallest of things like accidentially bumping into someone or blocking your view in the grocery aisle.  I'm sorry, but it's annoying (see how I wasn't really apologizing?).  These two little words have so invaded our everday vernacular they mean something other than what they were intended to mean.  When you accidentally bump into someone, are you really expressing pained or regretful feelings?  No! Of course not (unless you accidentially bumped someone off a staircase or a bridge).  When you bump into someone, you say "Excuse me," not "I'm sorry".  Save your sorrys for those times that it actually pains you to utter those two little words.  When you are literally choking on the words, then you know you are using them correctly. 


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Aging Gracefully

I saw a picture of Heather Locklear on the internet today and she looks FABULOUS!  She is going to be 50 people!  Reminds me of the SNL skit with Molly Shannon as Sally O'Malley.  I often run around crying out "I'm fifty!  I can kick, I can stretch.  Fifty 5-0!"  When my friend turned 50 last year, we couldn't get enough of it.  But now, as I am creeping up on 50 myself, I think about how I will look and feel over the next few years.  I want to look like the Heather Locklears, the Christy Brinkleys, etc. of the world but truth be told, I am not that dedicated to a healthy diet, exercise, blah, blah, blah.  I also don't live their lifestyle with access to the beauty treatments, products and luxury of focusing on how you look.  I mean, that's their job-job, right?  I schelp bankruptcy petitions & lawsuits for a living!  So, here's my simple plan for trying to look as good as Heather Locklear when I turn 50 (it's too late to marry a rocker):

1)  Drink more water - dehydrated skin shows your age
2)  Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize - see #1 above
3)  Stay out of the sun
4)  TRY to stay away from alcohol/red meat/processed sugars & food (or at least cut down)
5)  Be happy with myself

I read about a lot of tricks and gimmicks (the "Instant FaceLift", yea, right!) but none of these will keep me/you young and honestly, I wouldn't want to be any other age but my age right now.  Otherwise, I'd be that unsophisticated 20-something wearing bad shoes who can't hold her booze.  Who wants that?  So focus on what you can do now to look great later.  Small changes go a long way and although not all of us will look like Heather or Christy when we're fifty, we might still be able to stretch and kick. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grooming in Public

Well, you would think it wouldn't have to be said out loud, but no, sometimes it has to be said (or blogged as the case may be).  There is nothing more disgusting than people who groom themselves in public.  True story - my husband was at a IHOP and a woman sitting with her family a couple of booths away was clipping her TOENAILS!  She then proceeded to clip the children's toenails.  I thought maybe it was a reality show, like that show "What Would You Do?" but no, it wasn't.  To this day, I can't eat at that IHOP and I can still hear the unmistakable clip, clip, clip of the clippers in my head even though I wasn't actually there (he replayed the scene and he is an excellent re-enactor). 

Another true story.  I was in the sauna at the gym and a women brought out her loofah and started to EXFOLIATE in the sauna!  And, it wasn't a soft scrubbing - it was a full on scrubbing of nooks and crannies that no one, and I do mean no one, should be loofahing in public.  I literally threw up in my mouth a little.  After giving her the stink-eye to no avail, I left and demanded that the management put up a sign that said "Please do not exfoliate your parts in the sauna, thus sharing thousands of dead skin cells with other sauna patrons who don't want them all over their body."  They refused.  I never used the sauna again. 

Of course, these are extreme examples but that they actually exist got me thinking about what is acceptable and what isn't.  In my view, anything that involves an implement  (clippers, hairbrush, loofah)  or involves the loss of any cells, should be done in private.  Yes, this includes filing your nails!  On my flight the other day, a woman was filing her nails.  Where does she think that dead nail dust goes?  In the air.  My air on the plane.  Why not just sneeze on me? 

So, basically, to be safe, practice most (if not all) grooming habits in private.  I would even say that putting on lipstick is preferably done in the ladies room when out in public and not in front of everyone.  I know, I know, the experts are split on this one but for me, it's personal.  Checking your make-up, putting a few stray hairs back in place, these types of grooming habits are acceptable in public.  Anything beyond this is simply too much sharing...literally, keep your dead skin cells and nail clippings to yourself. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Big City Fashion

Just got back from a few days in Boston.  It was a great trip and I really enjoyed the big city and all the attractions and the food.  I noticed as we were walking about, trying not to stand out as tourists, that there was a lot of good fashion in the metro area.  Women were dressed in adorable skinny jeans with cute ballerina shoes, short dresses that were accessorized perfectly, cute tops layered just right (the weather could be a little cool).  Now, there was a lot of "fashion don'ts" as well but overall, the big city urban look was great.  I did notice that the later the evening, the shorter the dress!  And I mean short, short dresses with high, high heels.  And, these girls were taking the subway.  They take their fashion seriously in the big city. 

Some suggestions for getting that big city urban fashionista look:

Skinny jeans with ballerina flats
T-shirts layered with thin sweater or a scarf wrapped around your neck
Cute short dress with wedge heels

Most of all, it's an attitude towards fashion and wanting to look your best.  Women of all shapes, sizes, age, etc. were on it in Boston and I was impressed.  I probably spent more time people watching than learning about the history of our country but hey, I can always google anything I need to know.  Fashion was living history that was happening all around me and I couldn't help myself.  That counts, right?