Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Top Row: Metallic Stripe PJ Set, Diamond Scroll Sleep Pant, Dolman Sleep Top, Shimmer Dot PJ Set, Black Lace PJ set.  Bottom Row: Rolled Sleeve Sleep Top, Pop Art Lips Sleep Pant, Royal Crown Sleep Top, Paisley Sleep Pant.
Sleepytime by beautyandserendipity featuring pj pants

OK, any minute Blogger is going to make me take up drinking in the morning in earnest, but until then ...

I had a really nice Polyvore set called "Sleepytime" prepared for you.  But Blogger and Polyvore were not getting along.  I've been trying since last night to post this set.  This is a much scaled-back version.  Way back.  Bare bones.  

But anyway ... I now have a new sleepwear wardrobe.  I threw out a pair of smelly, uncomfortable old PJ's last night.  I just couldn't face another night in them.  I'm wearing the Royal Crown Sleep Top and Paisley Sleep Pants as we speak.  I'm expecting four new sets today.  Then I shall be ready to sleep in comfort and joy again! 

When you have insomnia, the little things like pajamas become important.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Skincare

Winter Skincare
Top Row:  Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fragrance-Free Hand Cream, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Walgreens Vitamin E Skin Oil, Burt's Bees Daily Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin, Anthelios Sunscreen.
Bottom Row:  Blue Goo Cracked Heel Foot Softener, EOS Lip Balm.  

These are the products that are getting me through this cold winter.  

The Neutrogena hand cream is great for keeping my hands moisturized, and preventing chapping and cracking.  That's very important when you have diabetes and have to worry about infection.  

Cetaphil cleanser works wonders at getting my skin clean without drying it out.  It's very gentle and non-irritating, so it doesn't bother my sensitive, dry skin.  

The Vitamin E Skin Oil is not the exact product I have - I have Walgreens Vitamin E Skin Oil, but this one is similar.  Both oils are made from Vitamin E (tocopheryl) from safflower.  I bought my first bottle last year, and I still have it.  It's 4.8 oz.  I just put a drop into the palm of my hand, and smooth it over my face and neck before bedtime.  Works wonders!  

I use Burt's Bees Daily Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin under my sunscreen.  I love this product.  It's non-greasy, it absorbs quickly, a little goes a long way, it's gentle and non-irritating, and reduces redness.  It's an amazing product.  It's a little pricey for a drugstore product, at $18, but it lasts a long time, and it really is worth the money, since the quality is so high.  

Antehelios SPF 60 Sunscreen from La Roche-Posay is a lotion.  Once again, all I use is a few drops in the palm of my hand, and it covers my face, neck and ears.  It's very gentle and non-irritating.  It absorbs quickly, it doesn't leave a white residue, and doesn't make my skin greasy.  I think this is the best facial sunscreen I've ever used, and I've been using sunscreen since my thirties (that's 20 years ago!).  I have to; I'm fair and I've been known to get a sunburn just walking around on my lunch hour.  This product is also pricey for a drugstore product, at $44 for a 1.7 oz. bottle.  However, I managed to get a good deal on it, and I think I only paid $40 for two bottles.  It pays to be a smart shopper!  I saw it on sale recently at www.drugstore.com for $23.  I highly recommend it.  

EOS Lip Balm has got to be the best lip balm I've ever used.  It doesn't chap my lips, I don't lick it off, the taste and fragrance are very subtle, and it comes in two formulas: regular and medicated.  The medicated version is in the orange container.  EOS, by the way, is the acronym for "Evolution of Smooth."  

And then there's the Blue Goo!  This was a gift from my roommate.  Her sister insisted it was great, so she sent my roommate two jars, and my roommate gave me one.  It works wonders on dry, cracked skin on the elbows, on the hands, and pretty much anywhere else I have dry skin patches.  I used it on my index finger, where it had cracked and bled, and it cleared up the crack in a matter of days, with regular application several times a day.  Now it's healed over and it doesn't bother me anymore.  

All these products are drugstore products.  I bought them online and in the store.  I used www.walgreens.com and www.drugstore.com as well as my local Duane Reade, a drugstore chain in NYC.  Walgreens delivered the items in two days, and I didn't use two-day shipping, either.  I recommend trying drugstores if you're in the market for new skincare products, and your old batch isn't working as well.  My products from The Body Shop weren't cutting it anymore, so I decided to make my life easy and switch to drugstore products, and I don't regret it.  I was very pleased with the quality, the value and the service.  Another good thing about these products is that rated as "Best" products on Paula Begoun's Beautypedia website. That's a handy website if you want reviews and recommendations of beauty products at all price points.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How One New Yorker is Surviving the Deep Freeze

How One New Yorker is Surviving the Deep Freeze
Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 60, Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Daily Moisturizer, EOS lip balm, gray hiking boots, Lane Bryant long-sleeve v-neck t-shirt, brown fleece scarf, teal fleece sweater, LL Bean gray jeans, blue parka with lined hood, wool socks.  

It's cold here in the Big Apple!  The temperature today reached a high of 17*F, but it felt like it was in the low single digits.  

Today was the first day I ventured outside the house in a week.  I knew I had to bundle up, but I was only going from my apartment to a car waiting for me at the curb, and then from the parking lot to the office, and then home again.  So I wasn't out in the cold for a long time. When I was out, though, the cold felt more bracing and invigorating than anything else.  Not that I want to spend time standing on a bus stop in this weather!  

I went to work in the NAMI office today, and this is the outfit I wore.  I was warm enough.  

About the skincare products:  I find the Anthelios Sunscreen is superior to any I have used in the past.  It is worth the money they charge for it.  I apply the Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Daily Moisturizer first, then I apply the sunscreen.  This moisturizer works very well on my dry skin.  It keeps my skin hydrated without being greasy or slick.  The EOS lip balm is the best lip balm I've ever had.  My lips don't chap, I'm not constantly eating it off my lips and it doesn't have a strong odor or flavor.  I also use Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Creme in the fragrance-free formulation, and it keeps my hands from drying and cracking.  

All these products are superior, and they were all drugstore products!  I bought them at www.walgreens.com, and my local Duane Reade, a drugstore chain in the Tri-State area.  The service from Walgreens was excellent, and the items arrived at my apartment two days after I ordered them, without two-day shipping!  I think that's a pretty good turnaround time.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Zizzi - Curvy Fashion Freestyling (texted)

I think this Zizzi video is a great ad for curvy women, plus-size women, whatever we want to call ourselves.  No Rules!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet

This is a great book if you're planning a trip to Paris, or if you are lucky enough to have ample disposable income to afford international shipping rates, and designer goods.  Ms. de la Fressange provides web addresses and phone numbers for most of the shops in her resource guide, which takes up the latter three-quarters of the book.  There are some shops that are labeled "Paris Exclusive" and those are strictly local.  There are some retailers which have international locations, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

The first part of the book, Chapters 1-6, details style, including which items the author believes should be in every woman's wardrobe, how to dress like a Frenchwoman, accessories and jewelry, and style rules and how to break them.  

The second part of the book, the last three quarters, consists mostly of a resource guide to traveling in Paris: where to shop for just about anything, including clothes, accessories, children's clothing and toys, jewelry, food, books and art.  She also has recommendations for sights to visit when one visits Paris, such as gardens, museums, cafes and restaurants, and little out-of-the-way places known only to Parisians.

The book is a great guide to French style and culture.  The author reveals how French women keep themselves stylish and well-maintained throughout their lives.  Ms. de la Fressange has a breezy, lighthearted writing style that makes the book a quick and easy read.  

She does list some affordable retailers, like Muji, which specializes in boxes, available in stores internationally, and also Shakespeare & Company, the legendary bookstore which is now a chain, with stores in New York City, among other locations.  

The book itself is a beautiful product:  The soft cover is done in textured paper, with gold lettering and a self-portrait done by the author.  It comes with a cloth bookmark attached, so you never lose your place.  The design of the book, the text, fonts and artwork between the covers, are colorful, yet subtle, not garish or difficult to read.  Ms. de la Fressange did the illustrations, and the photographs were done by various photographers, including Ms. de la Fressange and Ms. Gachet.  The book is free of typos and errors in grammar and spelling.  This book is very stylish, and you won't be ashamed to be seen reading it in public.  

In conclusion, I think the book would appeal to readers who are interested in French style and culture, and those who are planning on visiting Paris, or those who wish to take an "armchair vacation" and read about a foreign country, known for its culture and style.  

As far as a thorough and complete examination of style, there are many books that are better suited to that task, by authors including Tim Gunn, Anna Johnson, and Nina Garcia, among others.  As I'm sure you know, there are also many magazines, excellent blogs and websites dedicated to style, fashion and beauty, as well as television shows like Project Runway, and networks devoted to lifestyle and fashion.  

Apparently the media is on a mission to make sure no one can complain, "I have nothing to wear!" when they're getting dressed.  One of the best pieces of advice I gleaned from this book was that a woman should know herself and her body, to know what works for her, and what pleases her.  That's when your style starts to come together.  

It always sounds so easy, until you start getting dressed.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Starting Off the New Year

Starting Off the New Year
Lane Bryant Colorblock Performance Jacket in Fuchsia, Tru-Dry Yoga Pants in Black, OneStopPlus Jacket in Soft Knit, OneStopPlus Knit V-neck T-shirts in Purple Berry, Ocean, Pretty Violet and Paradise Pink.  Glamorise Seamless Sports Bra by Magic Lift, Glamorise Magic Lift Active Support Soft Cup Bra.  Yoga Blocks, Yoga Mat.  

We all do it, don't we?  New Year's resolutions, goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, the New Year sees us all making plans to "make this year better."  Well, 2013 would be pretty hard for me to top, so I'm not even going to try.  I'm just going to try to do the things that I want to do, which is what worked for me in 2013.  I think that's what made it a good year.  

I have a good health insurance plan, in that I get a free gym membership.  Fortunately, the gym is right across the street from my house, so what could be easier?  I joined back in April, and lost interest, because I really didn't know what I was doing and didn't have good guidance.  I returned again in September, and I met a really good personal trainer, Kim, and she showed me around to all the equipment she thought would be right for me, and tested me on things like strength, balance and coordination.  She pointed out that I need better gym shoes, which I still have to get.  

I went to the gym regularly for about a month, a few times a week, and then I got sick with a bad cold.  On my first day out of the house since getting sick, October 15, I had the accident on the bus where I was shoved off, hit my head on the concrete sidewalk and got a concussion.  That put me out of commission for a long time.  I went to see Kim at the gym back in November, to see if I need to get a doctor's note to come back, and she said I could get permission from her over the phone, and that would be fine.  But since I have to see her for a checkup appointment anyway, I decided I'd wait until the New Year, when I have car service to medical appointments again, another benefit from my health insurance company.  I need to set up an appointment for a blood test first.  After the appointment with the doctor, when I get approval from her to return to the gym, I'll get back into going a few times a week.  

My roommate switched to my health insurance plan for this year, too, so she'll be able to come to the gym with me.  So I'll have a workout buddy! 

Anyone else have plans for doing things differently in 2014?   

Happy New Year! Welcome, 2014!

Happy New Year, everybody!  May you have a happy and healthy 2014!  Enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.  Take some time to relax and breathe.