icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Hair, hair ... not-so-long beautiful, um, what happened?

The problem with glasses is you can't see what a stylist is doing until they're done.

Ah.

Yeah.

Good that hair grows.

It's not that it's awful. It's just not me.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Yay! Breathtakingly expensive bras have arrived.

At least they look nice. And fit.

I'm now up to three whole bras.

Who knew one could change bra size? I'm used to wearing them out.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I'm down to one bra.*

I have a plentitude of bras. Some of them are even the same size. But my old US Victoria's Secret 32Bs fit like pasties, and while the Victoria's Secret 32Cs kinda fit in the cup (perfect on the left, swimming on the right), the straps are too long and the band feels like I'm a kid trying on my mother's swimsuit.

My UK M&S 30Cs fit like they were made for the doll version of me: the band's tight enough to go SPROIIINNG! when I take it off, and like hell I can fit my boobs into those dixie cups. Yet the UK Valisere 32D fits pretty much like the US 32C, with more room, siiiigh.

And then there's that one US Wacoal 30C petite. Why does it fit when nothing else the exact same size does?

I wanted a different bra. Other options. It's a push-up and thus rather tight. I prefer cotton bras (it's at least cotton lined). I wanted some color options beyond Nude or Black. It's twice the price of my old bras. I'm used to having an unusual but not impossible size to find. Now...

...I give up. I'm happy to find one. I've ordered two more of the pricey things.

Bra sizes make no earthly sense. I want force fields.



*Explanation: I'm not carrying a backpack with 30 pounds of books anymore, not taking buses, and not getting much exercise. So the results are that I've lost muscle mass and am slightly smaller in the band, plus I've filled out in the boob.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I currently have a borrowed bed. It looks a little bit like this:

The daybed

It looks very nice, but it's:

a) a twin, which only worked with S. because he's rather thin and snuggly.
b) not my style at all. I'm not into ultra feminine furniture.
c) brass, i.e. metal, i.e. cold when you touch it accidentally, yeep. There's a reason I like wood.
d) not my bed, which creeps me out. It's one thing to be a guest. Another to always be using someone else's bed.

Replacement options: )

Well. What do you think?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
At a Victoria's Secret a few weeks ago (hush, I was returning jeans) the sales clerk pointedly mentioned that people often need a refit for their bras.

"People wear the wrong size all the time," she said, with a glance at my t-shirt clad chest.

I laughed. "Oh yes. I wore a bra that was a size too big for years. I thought I was a 34B! I had the cup size right, but I was a 32B."

"Well, people's bodies change over time," she explained, with another chest-glance.

Later (weeks later) while wearing the same t-shirt, I happened to look down ... and noticed the visible ridge line across my chest she must've seen. The spill and overflow effect (those Victoria's Secret girls are pros).

Huh.

I got out the tape measure. Did a google search on bra sizing. (In chat the ex volunteered to help. I declined.)

28" ... add two ... what the heck? I'm 30B now? I know I've gained weight. How could it have gone down?

Hold on, hold on. Finish the calculations.

30" band, 33" bust.

That's not a B-cup. That's a C.

I'm a 30C?

How cool is that? And, er, hard to find.

I think it's the unintended consequence of not carrying a day pack with thirty-five pounds of books any more. I've lost an inch of muscle mass across my back and with a little extra weight, plus it being that time of the month... boob benefits.


ETA: Is it silly that now I want a boyfriend to enjoy this with? How does one explain this to potential boyfriends? "Hi, my boobs got bigger and I'm looking for someone to play with them."

Actually, that would probably work.


ETA2: I've been hearing from people who've been told to wear a 32-something when the bra shop doesn't carry a 30.

It's true that you can change your bra style: full coverage bras will handle more breast tissue. This is a good solution for women whose bra size changes a lot during their periods. They can switch to a full coverage bra for their period.

But if you're a C-cup -- you should be able to wear the full range of styles. If the store doesn't carry your size, don't let them try to "make" something else work. Shop somewhere else. Online stores do take returns. As someone who wore a 34B (the wrong size) for years, that's what I plan to do.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The new chairs have arrived!

Cut for image. )

I'm thinking I need to stain them a cherry or walnut color. The oak just doesn't look right in here. The fabric on the seats is less formal than I'd like, but they can be easily recovered and...

... ooooh, are they comfortable.

They're small, they fit my little table much better, I love the shape of the backs, they've good clean lines and...

... ooooh, are they comfortable.

Two of four kitties have already curled up to sleep on them.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
You know how you buy dishes you like, but mostly they were the best option at the time? Moving into your new apartment, you needed plates. Or else the kids broke the last bowl. Don't get me wrong -- you liked that pattern.

But. Later you find your "grown up" dishes:

Grown up dishes! )

The goblets are as heavy as paperweights, feel good in the hand, are simple, casual, elegant, yet also sweet.

The bowls and little dessert plates are winging their way toward me now.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Had a small ball of string ready for use on my crochet-lace scarf. Set it on the table.

I have four cats.

Why am I surprised that it's missing?

(Oh, ah! Found it. I didn't stupidly leave on the table after all.)

In other news, spent the day wearing ... the wrong earrings. I had on a silver necklace with a square garnet. Silver and garnet ring. Did I put on the matching garnet earrings this morning? No. I grabbed the gold and smoky quartz.

Mismatched earrings aren't quite like having your tag showing, but it's close.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The rosacea treatment plan seems to be working. I'm seeing a difference in a matter of a couple of weeks, and a dramatic change after the vitamin K arrived this week.

Vitamin K to ease and erase the inflammation
I'm washing my face twice a day and then using Vitamin K cream. It feels cool and soothing. From the moment I started it, the hot sensitivity began to ease. The windburn-like redness on my cheeks appears to be evaporating, though my nose is still red and sensitive.

Sulfur soap to dissolve the spots
For the bad pustules and flaking, when they form, I use sulfur soap--sparingly, just wetting a fingertip, dabbing it on the sulfur bar, and then dotting the sulfur soap directly on the spots. The results are immediate. But I have to be careful: sulfur soap thins the skin, and can, if I use it too much, cause the blood vessels to show through. So that's for extreme use only. Someone has suggested pine tar soap, so I have to look into that.

Hylaronic acid to both moisturize scaling and dissolve the spots
Usually, if the pustules and roughness on my nose aren't terribly bad, I use hylaronic acid, spreading a dot of it over the worst areas before moisturizing at night while I watch TV. It has the texture of fresh-from-the-plant aloe and forms a tight moisturizing layer. Seems to have the same effect as the sulfur but less dramatic, more gentle.

Jojoba oil to heal the surface of my dry, irritated skin, bring back elasticity
As a wonderful night cream, I'm putting on jojoba oil. It's smoothing my dry, tight skin, restores elasticity within half an hour (no kidding!). Amazing, actually. Aside from the natural sagginess where my age is starting to show (sighs at 44) it feels like I'm getting back the skin I had in my 20s, super soft, super pliable.

Vitamins to feed my skin
I'm also taking the actual Vitamin K2, along with Vitamin E and Zinc. I notice when I don't take the vitamins in the am, my skin feels hot and tight, so they're important. I'm eating more fruit (organic apples, mangoes) and more veggies (red leaf lettuce, broccoli). I'd like to buy more foods high in antioxidants, pick up some white tea. I'm trying to drink more water as well. I still need to get Udo's oil. That will make a difference.

Stopping bad habits that affect my skin
I'm getting more conscientious about sunscreen. And no more McDonald's--that's actually the worst for my skin, I break out the very next day. Chocolate in general is not bad, but it has to be expensive chocolate in moderate amounts (dark is best). Cheap chocolate, especially combined with ice cream or cream, is bad. I'm slowly reducing my (rather high) sugar intake. I've always known it's bad for me but that's a hard one.

In particular, the vitamin K and jojoba oil are both astonishingly effective.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Rosacea Research

I did a whole bunch of research on rosacea Saturday night. I have type one rosaecea which is the mildest but the hardest to treat because it's mostly redness. According to my aunt, dermatologists (after ruling out lupus and other diseases) usually prescribe a mild antibiotic. I don't have health care, so I have to go another route.

If you're at all interested, here's a synopsis of what I've learned.

Turns out doctors have different theories about its cause (a build-up toxins in the GI tract one dermatologist says; bacteria is one theory that's out of favor; a diet that needs to be more alkaline is the more new age approach; the timing suggests to me that it's related to hormonal shifts leading up to menopause since it goes away naturally in the late 50s/early 60s but I'm no doctor).

There's not a lot of disagreement about what helps.

There are three things to do:

1 - Discover and avoid my particular triggers.

So far sun (the worst!), wind/fans/air conditioning, chocolate, ice cream, hot foods -- both physically hot and hot-hot -- and test for niacin and tryptophan. The hard part is avoiding them. I'm trying to reduce chocolate to 1x a week. I'm better with the sunscreen now. I pretend that I don't see the mention of "lack of sleep" as a possible trigger (she says, posting at 5am).

2 - Take care of my skin. Moisturize. Don't take very hot showers or use very hot water on my face.

Use a night cream. Ingredients recommended: topical vitamin K (the NIH found it speeds the healing of bruising after cosmetic surgery) for the redness (otherwise use tetracycline); a good moisturizer for the flaking; avoid anything drying such as alcohol or witch hazel; nordihydroguaiaretic acid and oleanolic acid is the "in thing" for the inflammation, willow bark/salicyclic acid, light use of sulfur as-needed for any pustules; zinc and hyluronic acid and/or aloe for the sensitivity). Jojoba oil should help with any skin damage. There are a couple of expensive products that contain the ingredients dermatologists recommend: DERMAdoctor Calm, Cool and Corrected, Dermaglow Acne Night Anti-Aging Cream, to a lesser extent Skoah Turbo Tonic.

3 - Other than avoiding triggers, dietary changes suggested.

Eat "cooling" foods: apples, watermelon, strawberries, mango, raspberries, purple grapes -- and oh yeah, greenery like broccoli. Shift protein intake from poultry to soy and nuts, especially walnuts. Eat/drink foods high in antioxidants such as white tea, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, parsley, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, soy, even some cereals and dairy, soybean oil, canola oil, and olive oil.

4 - Take antioxidants and vitamins!

Especially take vitamin K (specifically vitamin K2), vitamin E, B-complex, vitamin C, zinc, flaxseed oil and omega 3s (Udo's oil! which I need anyway for my low cholesterol). Vitamin K2 will also help my bone density as aids in the body's use of calcium!
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
And I thought it would take just a month or so.

A year later, part one of the O.A.R. (overly ambitious rug) is finally done: 3 x 5 feet of fluffy, sheepy, thick cream-colored plushness is on the floor, getting stomped on.

It began last Christmas. It was such a little thing, just a cat-sized pad of fluffiness. Now it makes a warm texture accent in the room. You hop off the bed into floof. The pile is about an inch-and-a-half to two inches thick, so your feet really sink in.

I suppose the next 3 x 5 foot section's going to take another year, eh?

Discovered in process:

- Keeping the design simple avoided the attacks of Ugly that infected my past rugs. This rug is not a stand alone work of art but a design element (with added practical warmth for a basement apartment floor).
- Not changing the design midway also helped....
- A monochromatic color scheme is enhanced by a deliberately uneven pile. Good call by designer!mom.
- Technique-wise, I latchhook the reverse of most people, pulling it away from me from beneath the rug. This helps my stamina because I'm not working against gravity (but it gets more difficult in the last few feet when the pile is crowded and I can't see what I'm doing).
- I could buy a rug for the cost in materials (so far $150), but I couldn't get one this thick that's hand-tied. The test for a good rug is to pull on one of the strands -- if it comes out, it won't last. Learning too much about rug quality is like knowing too much about wines. The cheap stuff is ruined for you.
- However, buying yarn online saves mucho dinero.
- Latchhook is mindless and relaxing, a good TV activity.
- Cats like to sleep on rugs while you're working on them, thus adding at least two months to the completion time.

Part two is underway.

I need more yarn.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Silly as it may sound, I like Receiving Things In The Mail, so I've ordered a variety of inexpensive little baubles from Etsy, eBay. Today my sparkly gold-filled thin ring arrived ($8.50, custom sized), and I'm absurdly pleased with it. I didn't realize a hammered gold ring would catch the light like facets. Neat.

I have a couple of semi-precious stones on their way, a paraiba blue tourmaline and a tiny yellow-green tourmaline. I have no idea what I'll do with them, but I have a collection of small gems that I from time to time set in jewelry. I should really learn how to do this without relying on Snap-Tite.

My definition of a day off has become "the days where I only work four hours." But I find I'm blearily tired, even though today is more or less a "day off." A visit from mom woke me up interrupted my kitty cuddle time this am. Said kitty looks as bleary as I feel. I think we both were in the wrong cycle of REM.

Other than odds and ends, I'm giving my bank account a breather from the makeover.

The Wen shampoo is a win, however. I've tried and compared it to Hair One, and they both have a similar effect. But the Wen actually works out to be cheaper. I don't like automatic bill-you-every-month thing, but I'm just going to order it once, cancel, then order it again when I need more. That's what my aunt does and she finds it's easy to cancel.

Time to get a new computer. Now Pandora doesn't work either.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Aha! Did a little online research about rosecea. One of the things suggested was to wear sunscreen.

I've worn sunscreen two days now (a not-kidding-around SPF 45). The pink on my nose is almost all gone. I think simple sunscreen is going to make a big difference.

Which is good, because while my aunt had her rosecea erased by a round of antibiotics, other people haven't had success. I'm allergic to penecillin and prefer to keep the antibiotics for more serious illnesses, if at all possible. But I'd reached the point where, if I didn't see some improvement, I was going to spring for a dermotologist.

Sunscreen. And here I've sneered at it all these years.
icarus: (Out Of Bounds 2)
Making Friends With The Lady In The Mirror

The makeover continues. *eg*

Oh. Have I mentioned this?

Probably not.

In preparing to look for a guy after WG ran off to be gay-gay-gay in 2009, I did about six months of work. I knew I preferred someone younger than me, preferably without kids (never wanted to be a mom). That meant I had to look and dress young.

Personally, I have a lot of confidence, at least in some respects. Maybe when I was a little girl my daddy told me over and over again how beautiful I was and it stuck. For whatever reason, no matter how I actually look, my inner attitude is "I feel pretty! Oh, so prettyyyy!"

So I had to do a reality check. Someone with chronic low self esteem would have to approach this differently.

Reality Check )

On the plus side.... )

Let The Makeover Begin )

Hair color )

Teeth: removing ten years )

Argh, nails )

Skin care )

Hair, hair, long beautiful hair )

Actual make-up )

3-2-1, contacts )

Playing dress-up )

Joools.... )

Getting in shape )

The part I really have to deal with is my attitude. The reason why I end up looking so plain is because there's a part of me that doesn't want to be bothered. I don't do it for myself, to treat myself with respect. It's about them, it's about men. That's why I don't maintain myself.

Don't I deserve to look beautiful? Can't I wear what I like and have fun with it, rather than watching the trends or wearing what everyone else else does? Can't I make friends with the woman in the mirror? I think that's what really needs to happen. :)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Remember my complaint about low-rise?

I don't have a cure for it yet. But there's hope!

At suggestions from some of you (specifically [profile] ness_va, I checked out Levi's new "Curve ID" collection. Yes, someone did some research and discovered that, lo and behold, women have curves, some of us are curvier, others are curviest, while some are curvy-less.

They actually ask the question: do your jeans gap in the back?

Every. damn. time, thanks for asking!

I've a little curve in the hip but a bubble butt, which puts me into their "bold curve" even though, hey, tiny hips. They also offer mid-rise and high-rise jeans. I'm hopeful and looking forward to trying them out.

[personal profile] ursula mentions there are Ann Taylor Loft "Julie" pants for women with curves. And [personal profile] aizjanika points out that Lane Bryant also has curvy styles (though Lane Bryant tends to run to larger sizes--I used to buy them for the cross-dressing boyfriend).

As my friend the Maryland Dog Whisperer says in her ads: There's hope.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Dear fashion Nazis:

I am so sick of low rise.

I, like most women, do not look like a model.

I am 5' 1" and 95 lbs, a petite, skinny woman with short (but narrow-hipped and skinny-thighed!) legs. I have a loooong upper body with relatively wide shoulders. I have a narrow, nipped in 24" waist. Sometimes it's 23". Other times it might be 25".

To put this is perspective: I wear a 4 in jackets and a 2 or a 0 in pants.

Therefore, I look good in styles that place the waist a little higher, at the narrow point, to balance the proportions between my short legs and long upper body.

I am better off with a few pleats at the waist to help my slim hips and thighs balance those big, broad shoulders.

Wide legs and mega-flare styles make me look like a stunted chess piece.

Low-rise never fit me. They're always wide-wide-wide at the "waist"--sometimes three inches wider than what the fit guide says--because the fit guide gives the measurement for the waist, not the hips where these actually hit, and I have narrow hips!

Even if they fit, in them I look like a political cartoon.

Fashion is about infinite variety, n'est pas?

Yet have you provided infinite variety in the last eight years or so?

Nooooo, you fashion police have been stuck on one style. You have flooded the market with low-rise and lower-rise and ultra-low rise styles for yeeeeeears. You mock and call high-waisted styles "mom jeans" and still snigger behind your hands at some celebrity who dared to wear them, "oh, my, wasn't that a disaster?"

I was lucky in the 80s with the high-waisted balloon pant style (which made most women look like walking big butt beauties). I know I can't always be that lucky, and I'm okay with a trend for a year or so.

But this low rise one won't. end!

Please. Women with that bubble gut that sticks out over the belt line don't look good in low rise. Women with teeny little spider legs don't look good in low rise. Women with clunky, thick, short legs don't look good in low rise. Women who are pear-shaped where the belt hits just above their widest point making them look wider, don't look good in low rise. There are a lot of us out here who can't wear low rise.

I'm not asking for much.

I'm only asking for what fashion normally does.

Change.

Yours truly,
The woman who just stuffed three pairs of low-rise pants back into a Victoria's Secret mailing bag, again.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I don't know who this Eileen Fisher person is or why she keeps putting her name on my clothes. But she sure has an eye for wonderfully soft fabrics and clean, simple, and elegant shapes.


(Why she'd put her name on clothes in a secondhand store is another question.)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Let there be shoes....

I went on a Etsy.com spree tonight. It's hard enough to find US size 4 1/2. Finding knee high boots and ankle boots in my size-? Rare.

*SPENDS!*

But it's worth it.

I may have hats and scarves queued up for my next spree.



ETA: Dinner tonight with S. was an excellent Greek Mezze place. Snuggle time after, with chocolate. (In the basement? Oksy, he's put up with my tiny bed and grumpy grandma was upstairs.) Valentine's just came a little late.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
...and then I bought another hat.

I don't know what it is with me and hats these days. First there was the fedora that looked so cute on me but didn't fit so I had to send it back.

Then there was the gray hat that wasn't really me (but my cousin was kind enough not to say so) that I kept.

Waiting for me is a brown felt fedora to replace the one that didn't fit.

Icarus fedora )

Now while replacing my dog-chewed shoes, I came across a boatman hat I liked. I talked myself into it. Then into it. Then out of it.

Boatman hat )

Well, it was twelve bucks.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
As it works out, I have to replace my simple every-day wear work flats. (Thanks, Simbha.)

The ones I had did look a little cheap (they were) and had some scuffs on the side. I'm trying to save for a car, so I'm not going on a shoe spree.

As usual, US size 4 1/2 (European 35) is next to impossible to find. Sadly, my old standby, Cinderella's of Boston doesn't have any decent options.

I was told that vintage tends to have small sizes, high quality shoes. In the olden days all shoes were handmade.

These have an interesting shape, though it's a taller heel than I like. I remembered them from the last time I was looking for shoes, though.

I'm also told that children's shoes (always cheap compared to women's) have more adult-looking styles than in the past. In US children's I wear a size 2 1/2.

Like these boots, not useful for the current 100 degree weather but knee high boots for fifty bucks?

Sadly, these boots only go up to a size 2, not 2 1/2.

These are nicer than they used to be, but nothing on this page really excites me.

The other option is to check out the little boutiques on Etsy.com (introduced to me by [personal profile] raveninthewind, hi Raven! *waves*)

These shoes from Finland are funky and odd with aviator's flavor. I think I like them. They look comfy and like the sort of thing I'd wear all the time.

I love these sexy, strappy things. The size says 4, yet the insole length is the same as my current shoes.

Or European specialty websites for itty-bitty feet.

Dainty Feet doesn't have any interesting, simple flats, but these have a nice shape with the clean lines and scalloped edge.

Then there are Chinese shoes, which are cheap enough that I might check out a pair, just for curiosity's sake.



No doubt they'll fall apart, but they're different, and I'm bored with my usual shoe...

The usual shoe, only I prefer the flats and can't find them:

The usual.


Oh, who am I kidding? I'm hungry for a shoe spree.


ETA: For those who're interested, I grabbed the vintage shoes. They're very high quality (the nicer ones handmade and never worn) for the same price as machine-made. They're also one of a kind.

Er. I spent more than I planned. Not a lot more.

For the future then I'll look at daintyfeet, and perhaps these pointy toes from Zappos (thank you all for the Zappos links). I'll shop the kiddie section when it's time to buy boots in the fall. *nods* We have a long-term shoe plan.

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