Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shoes for Fall: The Dos and the Don'ts

I've been reading so much about shoes for this Fall, what is in, and what is supposed to be so fashionable that we can't live without them, that I'm dizzy. So I figured that it was time to have a look at the world of shoes.First, the peep-toe is big this Fall. Uh, oh. Now these may look great on you, and if they do, wear them, but I remember these from the 'seventies and it's one reason I have so many foot problems today. High heels and little open toes do not go together. If you must wear peep-toes, try these great flats by Calvin Klein
(Gia):Cute, chic, and they won't ruin your feet with your toes scrunched through a 2 inch hole by 3 1/2 inch heels. Or the little beige suede shoes with a tiny heel. You've got the peep-toe, and you can walk for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Next is the metallic finish. I'm all for it as long as it is Christmas or New Year's Eve or maybe even Valentine's Day. Or if you choose a subdued colour such as pewter or bronze. Wear bright gold or shining silver high heels and if you're over 40 you're going to look as though you should be wearing a leopardskin blouse and using a cigarette holder while visiting the local laundromat. If you're younger and it's during the daytime, unless you are at a wedding or involved in a very dressy occasion, people are just going to think that you do not know any better. Save them for disco night or
Just say NO. Instead try these cute ballet flats (below). They are great, not only because they are a more subdued metallic, but because they are a great classic that you are going to be able to wear for more than one season.
Patent is another look that is supposed to be good for Fall. I still associate patent leather with black patent Mary Janes's that I got for Easter year after year when I was quite little. When I was in high school, the rumour was that patent leather shoes were outlawed because boys could see up a girl's skirt in their reflection (yes, it was so long ago that we couldn't wear pants to a public school).These Ferragamos look classic and lovely, but if they're a bit too "old" for you, try these feminine looking T-straps(below). They are patent, have a sexy sling-back as well as the feminine T, and these are in grey, one of this Fall's hottest colours. But please, please make sure that you don't have cracked heels! No one will notice your shoes, and the long line from the rear view that is created with sling backs will be ruined.
Don't forget about the platform - still going strong. But unless you have a fortune to spend and shoes and very strong ankles, opt for the mild platforms instead of the exaggerated ones. The snakeskin pumps below by Cole Haan are wonderful if you can wear the heel and the peep-toe at the same time. However, if you can't stand the height, you may want to forgo the Christian Laboutins.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Get Ready for Fall!!

Okay, if you are on vacation (as most of Europe is right now) lucky, lucky you! However, if you are like many of us in America, especially those who have children, the "Fall" semester has begun for the new school year, and that means new schedules, routines, work, and yes, new clothes!
The temperature here has reached 101 F in the last week, so despite that "Fall" semester business, we are definitely having summer weather.
So, what to do?
This is a great time of year to stay indoors and start preparing your closet for the Fall/Winter to come. How? You've read about this process before, many times, I'm sure, but the process is still tried and true, so stay under the air conditioning and get into that closet!
  • Get a small notebook. You need to make a list of the clothes and accessories that you will really need for this Fall and Winter. If you don't write down that your only black cashmere cardigan has moth-holes in it, you won't remember to buy a new one, and to look for new ways to store that sweater next year so that the moths stay away.
  • Clear one drawer - this is where you'll put all the summer things that you're going to be wearing before Fall really kicks in. Go through your summer pieces and put away those things like stark white pants that you can only wear another week or so anyway.
  • Have one section (small) of your closet where you put the hanging summer clothes you'll be wearing for at least another month. Put away very obviously summer clothing that won't do for your workplace, if you work outside the home.
  • This is a good time to throw away summer clothes that you know you won't wear again because they're stained, they shrank, they are too trendy to be in next year.
  • Give away summer clothes that were from last year, yet you didn't wear them all summer because they no longer fit, you don't care for them, whatever. Pass them on to someone who will wear them. And you won't have to deal with them next April when you're getting ready for summer again.
  • Check your summer shoes and either toss them, give them away, or reserve them for next year.
  • Now, go through the clothes that some people call "seasonless" although few clothes actually fit that description. Some you may not have put away (khaki pants?), some you may have with Fall clothing (black cotton slacks?). Unless you live where there are harsh winters or in the tropics, much of your clothing will (should) fall into this "seasonless" category. (I've found that "seasonless" often means that it is wearable anytime except the hottest summer days and the most frigid winter days).
  • You don't have to go through all your winter clothing right now ---the scratchy wool, the thick turtleneck sweaters. Save going through these for the end of September. But do look at all of your jackets/blazers and your cardigans because these pieces see you through non-coat weather, and then through the coldest winter days as well.
  • If you colour-coordinate your wardrobe, then be sure that both tops and bottoms still fit properly and check for stains, tears, etc. , anything that would prevent your wearing it.
  • Have a category that needs to go to the cleaners, a category that may need repairs or simple work before you can wear it again, and of course, if you can't wear it - get rid of it!
  • Check your Fall shoes. Make notes on which colours and styles need to be replaced, what can be resoled, what needs to be thrown away, which should be given away.
  • If there is anything that you didn't wear last year that you still have: throw it away or give it away!
This is just a beginning, but you should know what you have to mend (or have mended), what should be cleaned, and most valuable of all - the clothing you are going to have to purchase to wear during the next 6 months.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Discontinued Products

Can anyone tell me why it is that when I find a great product, the store that offers it invariably decides to discontinue it? The Bath and Body Works had Pumpkin Body Butter that worked wonders on my ultra dry skin - yes, discontinued! Another favourite is The Body Shop's Grapeseed Body Butter; although it says on their online site that they are temporarily out of stock, I'm afraid that this wonderfully smoothing cream which is the best I've used so far is going to be discontinued also.
So, what to do? First, I've been looking for other formulations that also contain jojoba oil and shea butter as well as the grapeseed oil. There are a couple of possibilities that look interesting only one is in the U.K. and I hate to think what shipping could be for it since it comes in a heavy glass jar.
The other alternative is Ebay, and surprisingly enough I've found quite a few offerings. I got Pumpkin Butter at a reasonable price - not the $3.00 a jar it was selling for on the website when they were getting rid of it all, but a reasonable price with reasonable shipping. If you check Ebay, be sure that the seller has at least a 99% feedback rating (although this can differ depending on how many feedbacks he/she actually has), and that the ad for it says that it has been unopened. If it doesn't state this in the ad, be sure to send an e-mail to the seller to make sure that this is a new, unused product. Likely, it is, since many Ebay sellers will go to stores such as The Bath and Body Works and buy all the products that are being discontinued at rock-bottom prices, then offer them for sale on Ebay to people like me who can't live without them.
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wrinkles? A Temporary Fix

It's rare that I try a "wrinkle-remover" product, or really any product that affects my complexion since the skin on my face is extremely sensitive and prone to what some doctors have called dermatitis and others have referred to as eczema. However, I've read so very much about Dr. Patricia Wexler and what a marvel she is where skincare is concerned that I decided it was worth a chance. While I am going to give some of her other products a whirl, I decided to try her Advanced No-Injection Wrinkle Smoother first since I had just washed my face (with my Purpose soap) and you are supposed to apply it before moisturizer (my regular Aveeno lotion). Guess what? It works. The little lines (well, maybe one is not so little) at the top of my lips virtually disappeared once my makeup was on, and my face did look smoother. Of course, by the end of the day, I had a scattering of little "bumps", the kind that have been referred to as dermatitis. But that's me. Super-sensitive. And I am going to try it again to make sure I can attribute the bumps to Wexler's formula and not heat rash from spending a good part of the day in the pool with the temperature in the upper 90's (30SPF facial sunblock from Clinique and a hat, but it was hot). I bought the Wexler products at the Bath and Body Works online. I can't wait to try the lip plumper!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just Say No! Good, Good Water

Yes, it has been a while - but business has been keeping me busy. The latest news? I've given up Diet Coke!!!
What's so special about this? When you consider that I drank probably over a liter of it a day, giving it up is probably a good idea just because drinking over a liter of anything but water probably isn't very good for you. And with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, the reports concerning the negative effects of drinking the stuff just finally got to me.
So, I have gone Coca-Cola free for over a month now. Do I feel better? I have to answer "yes". I probably will drink a diet Coke now and again, but when I give something up, I have to go "cold turkey" for quite a while. Meanwhile, I've found some good replacements, and number one among them is Dasani's flavoured water, or as they refer to it, "Vitamin Enhanced Flavored Water Beverage". The kiwi-strawberry flavour is as delicious and refreshing as anything I've ever tasted. I don't have more than one per day however, and not every day. Other than that, I'm drinking iced tea without sugar or with Splenda added.
Oh, and the Coca-Cola company! I'm still supporting them by drinking Dasani (and therefore also Emory University, my son's alma mater and a recipient of Coke's generosity) since Dasani is put out by the Coca-Cola company.
Now, all those plastic bottles....I'm thinking we should return to recyclable glass!