Archive of ‘Life’ category

Is spending money on designer handbags worth it?

Not so much a New Year’s resolution, but since the being-unemployed-and-having-no-money-and-then-getting-a-job-and-making-a-lot-less-money-than-before thing, I’m trying to spend my money more wisely (to varying degrees of success).

I know they say to make your investment pieces your shoes and handbags. My tendency, however, is to buy a lot of clothing rather than pay for quality and have fewer items. (I can’t help it! I see cute things and my fingers order them without my brain engaging! I could never even pretend to be French.)

The thing is that, like with the Chloé Susanna boots, I just can’t reconcile paying the price of a trip to Europe on a pair of shoes. That’s not to say I haven’t ever paid what I consider too much money on a pair of shoes or have only cheap handbags. But I do prefer buying lesser known or, preferably, indie designers. I don’t like advertising for a brand. The one bag I have that has a well-known name on it (thought it’s a canvas bag), I wear that side on the inside.

(I do confess the desire to one day own at least one pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choos or Louboutins.)

So, given my usual aversion to status bags, I am surprised by my recent fascination with them.

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Two bloggers that I read have both been posting looks with their Chanel quilted flap bags. There is no way to hide that this is a Chanel bag. If I wore it backwards, there would be no point. (Not that I could afford any of them even used.) But look, there is something so undeniably special and fashionable about them.

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Wishlist Wednesday – New Year’s Day edition

Happy New Year, lovely readers! I thought I would forego my usual wishlist item in favor of wishing you all the loveliest of lovely New Years. I hope this year brings the fruition of all your hopes and dreams.

And for me, I wish a year that I want to celebrate in the end. This past year saw me being a literal spinster. So have a photo from NYE 2012, when I actually made an effort. 🙂

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Music Monday #15 – Dancing On My Own by Robyn

For various and sundry reasons, 2013 was kind of a huge bust. And I know, I know, that means I should so, so be looking forward to letting the door hit it on the way out, but I have been able to muster no enthusiasm for New Years.

Only a small part of the reason is that, once again, I’m single on New Years. And, sure, one could look at it as an excuse to go find someone to kiss at midnight, but, UGH. I’m too old and too over that. (Or maybe I’m just saying all this to have a good excuse to post this song.)

Either way, if I wind up doing something or if I don’t, this is going to be me New Years anthem. (But, if I could be half as awesome as this song and Robyn, I’d be doing quite well for myself.)

After all, “all adventurous women do.”

How was your year? Are you looking forward to New Years? What will your anthem be?

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Les Cinq Petites Choses #4

Affilier Acheté

I decided that instead of talking about all the things that I want, I would talk about the things that I have or that I don’t have but am just appreciating.

Alors, voici, les cinq petites choses que je suis amoureuse en ce moment (is that right?). The 5 little things I’m loving right now.

#1 – You’ll notice that I threw in some French again, and that’s heavily influenced by two of the things on the list today.

I was talking to my friend Darren in Montreal, and he recommended some music artists to me who sing in French. (As we know, I like them.) I promptly went and looked them up, and super glad I did. I’m pretty crap discussing music (despite how much I love listening to it), so I’ll paraphrase Darren.

Alex Nevsky – Himalaya Mon Amour He’s kind of chamber pop/rock with some 60s influences. Apparently, “On leur a fait croire” became an actual radio hit up there, despite the fact that though it sounds so fun, the lyrics are terribly sarcastic and dark.

Le Couleur – Voyage Love EP (Yes, “Le,” not “La,” the error is apparently intentional.) It has a very disco synth sound, but it’s undeniably modern. I even like it despite the synth. 😉 “Vacances de 87” and “Voyage amoureux” are great to dance to.

Peter Peter – Une version améliorée de la tristesse He’s apparently the indie darling up in Montreal. He used to make more folk rock music, but discovered the synthesizer for this album, so it’s kind of experimental synth pop. And good.

(Okay, so technically this was 3 things. A bonus. 😉 )

French music

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On 100 posts…and blogging in general

Yes, you read that correctly. 100 posts.

Holy shit, y’all.

If you would have told me back when I started this thing that I’d be celebrating this (okay, fine, modest) milestone (but still a milestone!), I would have given you my famous eyeroll and side eye. (You know that look.)

Not that I’ve been at it that long. I guess that’s what posting nearly every day does for you.

In that time, however, I’ve had some thoughts on the whole thing. So I apologize for monopolizing this post by airing them.

1. Blogging is hard. I mean, I knew it was. I’ve started and abandoned it so many times. But it’s even harder than I thought. Especially when you’re working full time. Everyone assumes it’s just a bunch of words and pictures on a page, but it’s extremely time-consuming. And potentially expensive. You know, buying things to review. And so forth. Amielle and I are constantly cheering each other on from across continents. Because motivation is necessary.

2. And thankless. So you’ve really got to want to do it. I started this blog for a variety of reasons. One of which was to have a portfolio of writing outside my main industry. (More cryptic half-snippets of personal information.) And, mission accomplished. But, I’ve since formed other goals. None of which have really been accomplished yet. And I sometimes wonder if they will. For every successful blogger, there are thousands of little blogs like mine. I may never get there. And yet.

3. But can be rewarding in surprising ways. I may not have very many readers, but I really value the relationships I’ve developed. Even if they’re just in the form of comments. I like my “blogging friends.” I look forward to you comments. And I look forward to reading your blogs. Trying to blog requires you to comment on as many blogs as you have time for, but there are the ones that I make sure I check and keep up on. (P.S. You’ll find them in te blogroll in my sidebar, which I updated recently.)

4. And is about you, not me. Though perhaps belied by this post, if you’re not finding something interesting to appeal to you, you’re not staying. I’ve seen some of the v/bloggers I used to love turn into ego monsters, where every single thing they post is now photos of themselves doing whatever it is they’re doing. Not what they’re doing. (Then again, they’re the ones with thousands of followers egging them on, so they must be doing something right.) I promise you, my blog and social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…if you’re inclined to follow me 😉 ) will never become showcases of photos of me. Good god, that would be awful. (I do necessarily have to post some photos of myself to show you how things look on an actual person. It’s harder for me than it is for you, trust me.)

And some changes are coming. I’ve joined Google AdSense, just being up front about it. And I’m gonna get all official and add a disclosure policy. (Rebecca, yours is amazing. I may have to rip it off. Oh, sorry, I mean “sample.”) In case I ever do get any PR samples. (Has not happened yet. Even my “semi-sponsored” posts were not actually beneficial.) I also updated my commenting system (a week or so ago) so you will actually see replies to your comments (—let me know if you like this format, because there’s another I can try.)

In general, if you have any feedback—comments, advice, suggestions—I am all ears.

So, in conclusion, thank you for reading this personal, non-topical post, if you’ve made it to the end. I look forward to hopefully entertaining, educating, and enlightening you for 100s of posts to come. (Well, at least another 100. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself.)

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While the cats are away…

There is nothing nicer than going into Manhattan on a holiday weekend when everyone else has gone home to see their families. (Sorry, transplants, but it’s true. :p )

We didn’t even have this in mind, when Rose and I decided to hit all the high-end department stores for some window shopping. (Yes, I like to torture myself, okay?)

We started with Henri Bendel (“Bendel’s”), since it opened earliest. The early bird gets the empty store, apparently!

Next we meandered up 5th Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman.

DSC_1472And I said, well that’s the one thing we’ve got…

DSC_1473Where else do you find huge snowlakes in the sky, other than Fifth Avenue?

DSC_1477Central Park in the distance…

DSC_1478The Plaza. Only Trump would get construction tarp that matches the facade!

And, of course, there were the Bergdorf windows.

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We headed downstairs to bask in the glory of their beauty basement. Rose was color matched for the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (sadly, she’s a mix of 2 shades, which is not wallet friendly at all!) and I fell in love with, and quickly walked away from, a Killian scent.

Also, as an afterthought, we passed by the Creed counter, and I sprayed a tester card with Acqua Fiorentina, at Rose’s urging. Stuck it in my pocket and forgot about it. I pulled it out a few hours later and OH MY GOD, THIS NEEDS TO BE MINE. (See? I just can’t stick to one scent.)

Next up was Barneys, where I expertly avoided the Serge Lutens counter for fear of temptation, completely ignored the Surratt counter out of self-defense, and stopped to drool at the MAKE counter. They have the prettiest shades of bright, colorful eyeshadow!

I went to be color matched at the Sunday Riley counter for their Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, which was mentioned in this tutorial. For future reference. And was sat down and completely made over. By a woman with the most beautiful skin I have ever seen. (If she is using Sunday Riley products, then I should be, too. Which of course means I’m in big trouble, because those things are expensive.)

The primer is often just used as a foundation, and I do confess my skin looked great with just that. And despite it not being matte and despite her adding some Juno Transformative Lipid Serum (dry) oil on top, my skin was not an oily mess by the end of the day. Not as matte as I’m used to, but definitely an acceptable alternative.

Then we were on our way.

DSC_1480Roosevelt Island Tram in the distance.

DSC_1481I haven’t seen a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts since I was little!!

Some beverages followed, in turn followed by my second viewing of the weekend of Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I hated the first movie. Hated it. But despite certain gripes* about this one, I really loved it. Have you seen it? What did you think?

DSC_1482Times Square. Pretty to look at, terrible to walk through!

DSC_1483Do you?

DSC_1484Peek-a-boo!

Then I hit up Sephora for some samples, because a day in the city is nothing without my samples. Two locations provided a motherlode of goodness. Which is good, since my skin is still recovering from the Liz Earle debacle.

I was thinking of doing a write-up of the samples I’ve been trying and my verdicts. Any interest?

Have you tried any of those brands? Any favorite products?

What did you do this weekend?

I’m going to cut my Catching Fire thoughts for any possible spoilers. 😉

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Wishlist Wednesday #11

Yesterday’s post reminded me how much I want this necklace by Les Néréides.

jewelry-les-nereides-lovers-and-starry-parisian-sky-necklace- La nuit de l’amour!

It’s a little kitschier than I normally wear, but I adore anything with stars, and LOVERS IN PARIS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

I really do adore the earrings from yesterday, as well. But I also love the version with the carousel, so I would settle for this necklace, too.

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Giving thanks

For great fashion! Ha, kidding. Well, not so much.

 

I know this makes me downright un-American, but my family has never really been big on Thanksgiving. We’ve done a bit more since I’ve been an adult, but we really don’t do the whole big dinner thing.

 

But, if I was going to a Thanksgiving dinner this is what I would wear.Giving thanks

 

Really, it’s because I found that amazing retro dress and wanted an excuse to wear it for something. And to show it to you guys.

 

I couldn’t pick something to wear over it, so I thought this would give a couple of nice options. I can’t do sleeveless things, so I always need a jacket or sweater over. I think the blue really complements the orange, but the mustard and ochre also look really nice.

 

Again, I think the cognac color of the boots (heels, flats, and bootie options, depending on your preference) really look nice with the overall color scheme.

 

And because I’m obsessed with this Paris line from Les Néréides, I thought this would be a good place to throw one of the pieces in. (I especially want one of the necklaces!) Even if it is an American holiday. (It would be a very me thing to wear for the occasion. 😉 )

 

(Ugh, now I feel like this entire post should go into Wishlist Wednesday!!)

 

Anyhoo, what are your plans for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate? What festive things are you looking forward to wearing this season?

Too excited to wait!

Hey guys! So, if you remember way back a few weeks ago, I fell in love with what even Lisa Eldridge calls “the world’s most expensive lipstick“? Namely, Serge Lutens Pourpre Maure.

And if you’ll remember, I was unemployed at the time, but still wondering if I would spend $75 on a lipstick regardless.

Since then, I have gotten a job, but the question of whether spending that much money on a lipstick would classify me as clinically insane has not been resolved. Also, just because I’ve worked for a week does not mean I yet have any money. (I don’t. And I have bills. And debts. And I took a nearly $30k pay cut for this position, so I probably will never be able to spend like that.)

I even went into Barneys because I was nearby to try it on and make sure it wasn’t really that special a color.

It was.

But, since my new financial situation means I’m going to have to be ever resourceful, I followed up on a hunch that I had. Let me explain.

One of the things I do when discovering a new product that I’m jonesing for is to search for other bloggers who have had experience with it and have written about what they think. Now, every single blogger who wrote about these lipsticks seemed to have a sampler card, whether gotten from the company alone or as a gift with purchase. A sampler card that included my color, plus 5 others, including 2 reds I wouldn’t mind trying.

Well, guess who’s an expert eBayer? And guess who just won the sampler on Friday?

$_57Shamelessly stole the photo from the auction listing as I don’t have it in my possession yet. But I couldn’t wait!

THIS GIRL.

I paid less than $10 for it. And even had a Paypal balance from something I sold, so it’s almost like I got it for free.

So in a few days, I will be doing my happy dance. In the most gorgeous lipstick color ever! (To be honest, the guy at Barneys made me try on the Garde Rose shade Lisa mentions in her article, as well, and I’m sad it’s not included in the sampler. But still.)

Do you use eBay? What’s been your biggest coup of a purchase?

Allons-y!

It’s no secret that I love to travel. While I’ve only gone on mini adventures in the time that I’ve had this blog, my passion is traveling to Europe. But that’s hard to do when you’ve been unemployed for a while, obviously.

 

And, clearly, I love fashion. I mean, clearly.

 

Which is why I was so thrilled to receive an email about participating in the contest that Fashionchick.com is running to win a trip to Amsterdam Fashion Week!

 

This couldn’t be a more perfect contest for me if it tried. Despite living in New York my entire life, I have never managed to get invited to any Fashion Week events, despite how much I wanted to go. Also, I have dear, dear friends in the Netherlands, so visiting Amsterdam would hopefully give me a chance to see them after all these years.

 

In order to enter Fashionchick‘s contest, I had to put together an outfit that I would wear to Amsterdam Fashion Week. Or, since it sounds so much better in French, “Quelle tenue porteriez-vous pour la Amsterdam Fashion Week?”

 

Here’s what I came up with:
What I would wear to Amsterdam Fashion Week

I feel like my Isabel Marant pour H&M dress is a given. It’s the perfect occasion to wear it. But because the dress is so delicate and feminine, I think the rest of the outfit should add some edge.

That merlot biker jacket from Mackage is just amazing and the perfect color. Like everyone else, I have a black leather jacket, but I’ve long lusted after a wine/oxblood leather jacket, and this one looks perfect. (Yes, I know it’s in January. I’ll just throw a wool coat over it or something.)

 

My Calvin Klein Sable boots are elegant and edgy at the same time, a perfect counterpoint to the other two.

 

Rounding things out, I would love a Trixxi Chain from Liliclaspe to keep up the edge and add some sparkle.

 

And, as always, my Giles and Brother Railroad Spike Cuff will be on my wrist. (It has “Allons-y” engraved so that I always keep me spirit of adventure. And it’s a reference to Doctor Who.) (Well, it actually says “Allons y,” since I couldn’t get the hyphen engraved. 😉 )

 

What do you think of my choices? What would you wear if you were going? And can you tell Fashionchick to pick me, pretty please? 😉

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