Monday, January 16, 2017

All Killer... Derma filler.
 I personally don't think my skin looks particularly great (maybe for my age) but as I keep being asked about my skincare routine, this seemed like a good time to write about it. Keep in mind, cosmetics applied skillfully can keep a complexion looking better than it is. Anyway, you asked, so here's the story.

I don't spend a great deal of money on skincare products. For cleansing in summer, or after a workout, I like Pears soap, followed by Dickinson's Witch Hazel. In cold, dry weather, I cleanse with Ponds Cold Cream, which I always use for makeup removal anyway. Nothing removes mascara like cold cream.

For daily treatment, I use Ponds dry skin cream in winter. In the summer months, I use  Ponds cream developed for reducing age spots. Does it help? Not much, though it might be worse if I didn't. My skintone is quite uneven, but again-carefully applied cosmetics do wonders.There's sunscreen in the cream as well as my cosmetic foundation, so I don't bother applying an SPF to my face. I'm no longer prone to serious break outs, but when they happen I find witch hazel as good a treatment as anything.

 I probably ought to use an eye cream, but can't be bothered. My hands take a serious beating in cold weather, but that's what gloves are for (hiding). Body lotion is whatever came with the perfume sets over the years-I'm currently working my way through, Passion, Jean Nate, and White Diamonds. Unless I start running around naked, I think they're probably good enough.
I should mention, when I was young and my skin was oily, I found Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap a great help. It is expensive, though it lasts for ages. I don't know if it had an overall effect that I'm benefiting from now (doubtful) but it did keep the break-outs at bay in my younger years.

My skincare isn't focused on trying to look younger (talk about a futile effort). I'm rather enjoying watching my grandmother's face emerge on my body (and why not? I liked her!) but I don't enjoy flaking, peeling, and cracking skin. If I can keep that under control I'm happy enough to have some laugh lines-better to laugh than cry. I try never to say, "never" but I don't see myself having anything injected into my face as I'm somewhat squeamish. I don't even like going to have my teeth cleaned. I've never bothered having the chicken pox scars dealt with, and these days there are such excellent makeup primers that they're hardly noticeable if I bother to apply it. I've lived with the scars since I was six-no point getting all worked up about it at this late date. I do have a mole on my chin that needs to be looked at, but otherwise trips to dermatologists are rare. I  have an autoimmune issue that flares from time to time, and that is dealt with as needed, and Dermablend is ace for hiding ugly red rashes. And that's about it. No great secrets...must be the life I've led. *Cough*

Moving along (because those close-ups of my face are frightening me)...

...I wore my Pendleton Turnaround skirt. It is reversible, though the colours are the same just in more muted tones. Yeah, I should have ironed it. Obviously, that isn't happening if I can avoid it. If you start ironing your clothes, next thing you know you're combing your hair. Ironing is surely a gateway to something horrible, and I'm not going there. No, you're right. I'm just fucking lazy. 
 Outfit Particulars:

Pendleton Turnaround skirt-Thrift World
Polo Neck-Gordman's
Napier pendant-Hand-Me-Ups
Clamper bracelet-Salvation Army
Earrings-K Mart
Ralph Lauren cashmere scarf-gift about 20 years ago
Fragrance-Lentheric Miracle

Am I missing out on some great skincare product? I'd love to hear what you're using to keep yourselves from shedding dead skin all over the place like a snake. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Before the Storm

 Ever notice the nicest weather precedes a storm? We're expecting an ice storm over the next two days that is expected to be, in the words of the Weather Service, "Crippling". Sounds like fun. The city has been out pre-treating the roads, but realistically, there isn't much you can do about freezing rain and an inch of ice on the roadways. We're staying home and hoping we don't lose power-that's the biggest concern in such cold temperatures. As it might be a while before we get outdoors again, we took a quick trip over to Lake Manawa State Park in Iowa to enjoy the calm before the storm.

 Ah, nothing like enjoying the great outdoors in the shadow of the smokestacks. "Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain..."
I've just been informed that as I type, the first bands of sleet are arriving in Eastern Nebraska. Guess I can forget getting a quick walk tonight. Oh well, time for Martinis!
 I have a birthday coming at the start of February, so I bought myself a present. This charm bracelet is an Alva museum reproduction.
 "Is it supposed to be something?" asked Mr. ETB.
"A guy on a winged horse with a Gorgon's head in his hand?"
"Oh, that one."
Sigh. He'd flunk if he were my student.

I'm not typically extravagant buying myself nice things, so at $35.00 it was a bit of a splurge-but I love it. The bracelet was an Etsy purchase from Nomads With Baggage. It arrived quickly, nicely packaged and there was excellent communication with the seller. I'd buy from her again in a heartbeat.
Outfit Particulars:

Vintage Frank Usher dress-Goodwill .49 Cents! (I nearly peed myself when I came home and saw what these gowns sell for)
Pink shawl/scarf-Goodwill
Green tights-Walgreen's
Vintage coat (part of an ensemble)-Thrift store in Illinois anout 30 years ago
Vintage Margaret Smith handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-can't remember
Flower pin-Tiff and Tam
The dress is about three sizes too large, but I belted it with the sash from another dress and added the scarf to distract from it. The sleeves would be massive no matter the size, but adding the sash and scarf just created an even greater sense of draping. I love this dress so much, but the colour isn't good on me, and it deserves to be with someone that can wear it as intended. I don't think I'll have much trouble selling it-designer vintage in large sizes are hard to come by, and this one is beautifully made.
Stay safe if you're in the path of this storm. I hope to be in touch soon, but if the power goes, all bets are off. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Where's MY Trophy?

I recently purchased this apron declaring, "Mom's a Winner" with a picture of a woman holding a trophy (it has faded a bit). I'm trying to imagine my own mother's reaction if we'd presented her with this as a gift. Somehow, I suspect it might not have gone over too well. Aprons are a risky gift unless you're certain the recipient wouldn't be insulted.
Of course, if you cook and care about your clothes it is best to wear an apron. Curry+nice clothes=disaster. For me anyway, because I'm a slob. My mother didn't cook much (mercifully) so she didn't require aprons. 
Between us? My mother didn't clean either, so she hired someone else to do it. Good thing too, or the house might have fallen down. But shhhh, don't tell anyone. I don't mean that as an insult-she was good at other things. If there was a trophy for getting your paintbrushes clean, she'd have won it. To this day I've yet to run across a painter that maintains even their most expensive sable brushes the way mum did. Today, we'd probably give it a diagnosis as some sort of disorder, but my goodness, those brushes were better cared for than we were. 

I really didn't know how to cook, clean, or look after myself when I was out on my own. Mr ETB had to endure a rather steep learning curve as far as cooking and laundry were concerned, but after about 25 years I got the hang of it. Perhaps he deserves the trophy. Living on a a farm forces you to cook as there's no take away, and trips to town for supplies were rare. This blog is a scrapbook of sorts from my first pies to making a goose confit. I started the blog as a collection of recipes for my son as he grew up, but I never expected anyone else would want to read it. That people keep coming back here year after year, and that I've formed wonderful friendships is really the best. That's better than a trophy. 

Which is all a long way of saying (once again) that the mirror is dirty. Sigh. I cleaned it yesterday. I think I'm going to conduct toothpaste-spitting lessons where they will practise aiming for the basin instead of the mirror. Until then, we'll have to use our imaginations and pretend this is a clean mirror. 
Ooops, sorry! you caught me having a Jane Russell moment there while I was daydreaming about a mirror that isn't spotted with toothpaste and shaving lotion. Oooh, the glamour!

Outfit Particulars:
Cashmere short-sleeved sweater-Marshall Field's, 1980's
Acrylic Designer's Original's Cardigan-Probably Jordan Marsh, 90's
Necklace-Yard sale
Earrings-Yard sale
Brooches on cardigan-both New Life Thrift
Bracelet-New Life Thrift
Yellow tights-Walgreen's
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Fragrance-Ruffles (I smell the 80's!)
 Nothing like a good wipe-clean vinyl bag.
 Can't wear a cat without a mouse. The cat's tail moves.

 The locket on the bracelet opens, but I haven't put in a photo yet. I'm trying to think of something/someone wildly inappropriate so I can horrify anyone that asks if it opens.
In May it will be thirteen years of Eat The Blog. Maybe (fingers crossed) I'll get the mirror sparkling by then. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Someday, I'm going to step outside for a photo and my hair won't immediately blow wild in a gust of wind. It hasn't happened yet-but the odds say it has to happen eventually. Weather like this, if you go out in a skirt, better wear an extra layer of "pervert-proof-panties" (shorts).

Ever wear so many necklaces the top button on your coat won't close? I suppose that's what scarves are for. I really ought to have a scarf-we're in the freeze again, and the wind's behaving like it has something to prove. I purchased this coat from the now-defunct costume shop last year, but I don't wear it much. There's no particular reason other than a navy, wool coat is somewhat less exciting than the other offerings on the hook. The maker's name is rather special though-Shagmor. Yes well, I would... in a perfect world anyway. Alas, alas.
Here's a closer look at the brooch on the coat. I picked it up last weekend at New Life Thrift. Mr. ETB likes visiting that shop so he can use it as an opportunity to, "Do a quality control assessment of the egg rolls" at the Chinese takeaway next door. I don't cook shellfish at home, so if he wants a shrimp egg roll, or any other seafood, it has to be takeaway. Thankfully, he doesn't mind, and it gives me an excuse to shop at the out-of-the-way thrift store. They were having a buy-one-get-one sale on jewelry up to $3.99, and I was able to come home with a number of lovely pieces.

 When I like something, I tend to stock-up, and so it came to be that I own three very similar knit skirts, all in blue, by Designer Originals. This is the longest, and widest of the three and it probably gets the least wear. Still, on a windy day, a long, heavy (it is VERY heavy) skirt is a sensible thing to have in my wardrobe, particularly in Nebraska where wind is a near constant condition. The same applies with with the cashmere that I bought in every available colour and style (v-neck, polo neck, etc.) over a couple of winters at Marshall Field's in the 80's. Best decision I ever made with respect to my wardrobe. Unless I relocate to a warm climate, these cashmeres will continue to serve as practical layering items year after year. If you're young, and can afford it, spend the money on quality items before you have other responsibilities. I would never buy something like this now, even if it were available (good quality cashmere has gone the way of the dodo). There's a bit of unsolicited advice for you youngsters.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Shagmor coat-Fairy Tail costumes
1980's Country Shop cashmere-Marshall Field's
Vintage Designer Originals knit skirt-Goodwill
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage metal box bag-Brass Armadillo
Brooch on coat-New Life Thrift
Brooch on shirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Short necklace-Sequels
Long necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-came with a dress
Clamper bangle-New Life Thrit
Tights-K Mart
Fragrance-Guerlain Vetiver
A closer look at the Dorset-Rex knock-off bag. There's definitely a difference, but I like having bags I can use without much worry of damaging them. Metal bags are prone to scuffs and dents. The plastic handle is nice on a cold day as a metal one might freeze to my hand.
For someone that wears as much blue as I do, it is maddeningly difficult to find blue bracelets. I dare say, this one is perfect. 

Thanks everyone for your book recommendations on the previous post. I'm going to need a good mental decompressing after I finish teaching this unit. 

I have some hideous 80's suits coming up for a future post, so there's something to look forward to. Oh, they're so bad they're...well, still bad!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Vintage Handbags of 2017

Back Row L-R:
Vintage straw bag with Jordan Marsh, Boston label inside, Enid Collins bag with suede interior made for a dress shop in California, Miami Creations carpet-bag.
Middle Row:
Blue suede and leather Lifestride bag, blue Deco-ish box bag.
1960's metal purse trying to look like a Dorset Rex (it is a cheap knock-off).

The Collins bag was the steal of the day at $1.98. It was buried in a pile of cheap gym bags and carry-on luggage. Marked, "As Is" due to a couple missing stones and some dust, it was easy to clean up and replace the plastic gem (I have a bucket of replacement gems to fix these bags). The most expensive bag was the Miami Creations at $22.00 which is more than I would typically hand over for a bag, but it spoke to I answered. I only wanted to be polite.
All in all, a good start to 2017 for vintage handbags. I've curtailed my clothes purchases, but bought a crazy, patchwork hippie dress that probably won't fit but was too good to leave. Otherwise, I've been good...for the last ten days anyway.
In other news...I sprayed some temporary green in my hair for the hell of it. I rather like it. 

Don't like it? 
Outfit Details:
Vintage blouse-Thrift World
Vintage Pendleton kilt-Can't remember-had it for years
Vintage mohair cradigan (fully lined too)-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Celluloid Scottie brooch-Etsy
Scarab bracelet-Et Cetera, Seward
London tourist charm bracelet-New Life Thrift
 The doggy is grey-I don't know what happened with the light.
 I should never look at my skin at that magnification! Time to get out the heavy-duty hand lotion.
 How's that for matching your earrings to your hair?
We're back to school this week and it hasn't been easy finding my routine. I build a great deal of flexibility into my lesson plans permitting me shift around as needed. When I put the syllabus together last Spring, I didn't anticipate current events necessitating a re-adjustment of our readings. Ha! Anyway, last May I didn't think I'd be ploughing through two volumes of Saul Friedlander second semester, but here we are. Sometimes, things come together by chance like the year I was already teaching 1984, when the Snowden thing happened. As a teacher, I couldn't asked for a better coincidence. Anyway, I'd have rather been covering Romantic poets, but they can wait another month.  

Anyone reading anything that isn't utterly and completely depressing? 

Sunday, January 08, 2017


Getting dressed in January is such a bother! The holidays are over (unless you dress for Burns
Night) and there's nothing but more winter to look forward to. The gaudy sequins, rhinestones, and satin that made getting dressed an adventure have been packed away, and it is just kilts and cable knits (and run-on sentences) from here to spring unless I make an effort. So here's today's effort-an acrylic knit top and skirt from the 70's by the king of matching separates, Marty Gutmacher. Easy care clothes that never wrinkle will always have a place in my wardrobe, especially in January.

Especially in January. January, when my thoughts turn to heavy-duty hand lotion, and sunless tanner.

 New (to me) shoes help. I can't wear them outdoors at the moment, but it is no trouble changing from boots to shoes once indoors.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Marty Gutmacher top and skirt-Thrift World
Sara Coventry brooch-Goodwill
Vintage Handbag-Goodwill
Vintage expandable bracelet-Sequels
Vintage hair clip-can't remember
Vintage enamel and faux pearl earring-Sequels
Fragrance-Vera Wang Embrace Marigold and Gardenia (meh)
 The bracelet can be unwound and re-shaped to be worn on the upper arm or as a necklace.
 A bit chipped but barely noticeable in person.
 I love this brooch. I wear it so much because it goes well with most of my wardrobe.
All right, better go find something worthwhile to do even if it is January. Can't stand around picking my nose all day.
Here's to you, January!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Surplus Vintage

Today I'm wearing the first piece of vintage I remember buying. In 1980 this dress would have been, "Used", rather than "Vintage" but I'm sure it cost less than a couple bucks. I loved the fabric, and although the dress never did look good on me (Empire waists ain't for big boobs) I've kept it because the fabric is so nice. I've resisted cutting it into a skirt, and instead I wear a jacket or cardigan over the tits-squashing top. Somehow after all these years I can't bear to alter it.
Ric-rac too!
I have to take a moment to show you the slippers Mr. ETB surprised me with. They're Daniel Greens, and though the slippers are now made in China they are still so much nicer than most of what is available today. My vintage Daniel Greens are rather beat-up, so it was a wonderful surprise to be given a lovely, brand new pair.
I'm not typically a sucker for novelty perfume bottles, but Watt Perfume caught my eye! The fragrance isn't anything special, but the bottle makes me smile each time I see it.
I should stop buying perfume. This is only the current rotation. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, but thanks to the internet, I've found a community of like-minded fume-heads that are just as hopeless as I am. At the moment I'm currently obsessed with Passion (the Liz Taylor one). The incense, oh god the incense. I shouldn't like it, but I do and I've been dousing myself in it. How could I have ignored this stuff for over thirty years? It has to be the menopause.

Since we're on the subject of things I need to stop buying, I might as well show you how I store my necklaces. Someday, that bear is going to come to life, leap from the wall, and maul me to death. *Cheerful voice* but until then, it is a nifty way to make use of wall space. 
I'm not completely obsessive though. Look how well I've resisted cleaning the mirror!

Outfit Particulars:
1960's cotton dress-Can't remember
Cardigan-Dots, about 17 years ago
Vintage brooch-Mum's
Bangles-all over
Earrings-Thrift World
Hair bow-Tiff and Tam
Shoes-K Mart
Cable Tights-K Mart
Vintage necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage handbag-Thrift store in Western Massachusetts
Fragrance-Elizabeth Taylor Passion

I'm going to be selling from a stall this year, and I hope to do well enough that I don't need to screw around with selling online. I have far too much vintage I don't wear, and don't want for my collection. Obviously, I'd never part with this dress, but how many yellow polyester pantsuits does a woman need? This woman, anyway. We'll see how it goes. I'm hoping local vintage shoppers will respond to reasonably priced, good quality, washed and ready to be worn clothes. I know I would.

If I make a profit, I can spend it on more vintage (and perfume). Because I'm hopeless, and hopelessly out of cupboard space.