Monday, October 21, 2019

Fall Finds and Faves

My fall is starting off sooo well.  Lots of goodies on my harvest plate that I want to share with you!   Meant to get to this sooner, but I can’t tell you how many times I sat down, started typing away and something (or someone) interrupted me.  You know that old saying – “Man proposes and God disposes.”  Actually, I have my own take on it.  I think it should go more like this -- “Man makes plans and God says, ‘Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ………. Nope.”  I’m convinced He has a sense of humor, and I often picture Him getting a big laugh at what we think we can do. 

Anyway, any season that starts off with Puccini’s blockbuster opera Turandot is bound to get the ole juices flowing, particularly when you have a really strong cast, best opera chorus in the world and a fabulous conductor.  Doesn’t get any better.  We left the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday on a high note, and two days later my spirits are still flying high. 

In September, my friend Andréa, proprietor of Maison Marcellé Boutique in downtown Haddonfield, returned from a buying trip to Paris with lots of fabulous vintage couture finds from which she has created a stunning Collection. 

“What would the Queen of France and the Ladies of her Court be wearing if they were all to travel to 2020?” Andréa asked herself.  The answer to that question is the stunning “Modern Marie Antoinette” Collection Andréa has created inspired by what she saw in the streets and on the runways of Paris.  As she describes it, “It’s very dramatic with high collars, overstated sleeves and cinched waistlines … lace, velvets, silk brocades and feathers.”  We can all use a dash of drama in our lives, n’est-ce pas?  Personally, I would rather wear it than create it – more fun, less exhausting!  To check out her Collection, click HERE.

On a more mundane, less ladies-of-the-court level, I have been looking for a plain, black cardigan for several seasons now.  I wanted something slim fitting (i.e., not bulky) that I could wear open over a silky tee or shell or by itself, buttoned up, with a great scarf and/or necklace. 

Last year I bought a reversible dress at White House Black Market in a silky jersey material that has become one of my favorite go-to-pieces for travelling.  Imagine my delight to find this reversible black/leopard cardigan at WHBM.  It’s perfect!  Cross one (two?) basic cardigans off my list. 

It has snap closure and long sleeves, is machine washable and currently on sale.  Now, for those of you fabric purists out there who insist on wool and cashmere, and I used to be one of you, it’s a rayon/nylon blend.  Unfortunately, with age, my skin has gotten increasingly delicate, and I can no longer wear wool or cashmere; it irritates the heck out of my skin.  Other than silk and cotton blends, I now find some synthetic materials more comfortable to wear.  Yet another concession to old age, I suppose.  Things change and we adapt. 

While walking through my local Rite Aid Pharmacy last month, I noticed that they now carry e.l.f. Cosmetics.  I remember when e.l.f. first hit the market via the internet quite a while ago.  The quality of some of the products was a bit iffy, but the prices were so low that it was worth taking the risk.  Unfortunately, they inundated me with so many emails on a daily basis that I finally got annoyed and unsubscribed.  I had pretty much forgotten about them since. 

Until this little eye shadow kit caught my eye -- “Necessary Nudes.”  The colors were perfect for me, the kit was only 2 ½“ square (perfect for traveling), and the price was about $3.  In addition, there was a handy, transparent plastic cover telling you where to place the colors:  Highlight (left), Base (Top Left), Lid (Top Right), Crease (Bottom Left), Line (Bottom Right).  How easy is that!?  The colors actually look better on than in the kit.  The lid shade has a lovely shimmer to it – not too much, just enough.  I’ve been wearing these shades for evenings out ever since I bought them.  They have quite good staying power, although the powdered liner does tend to flake a bit.  Still, this has become my favorite eye shadow kit. 

During the summer, a package arrived at my front door from Sephora – not unusual, except that it was addressed to someone else on a different street in a different town.  There was no label indicating who the shipping agent was and the Post Office said it wasn’t theirs, so I finally called Sephora.  The young lady on the line was surprised that I had taken the time and trouble to get in touch with them about it, which surprised and amused me.  She emailed me a label to return it, I printed it out, affixed it and took it to the Post Office.  Wouldn’t anyone have done the same?  As a reward for “doing the right thing” she gave me 1,000 extra Beauty Insider points. 

Since I had already accumulated quite a few points through purchases, I decided to try a skin care product. 


I had been hearing about a skin care line from the UK called Ren Clean Skincare and decided to give their Global Protection Day Cream for sensitive skin a try.  The good-sized sample was generous enough for me to use daily over the course of several weeks. 

Here are the Key Ingredients: 
- Blackcurrant Seed Oil: Rich in Omega 3, which helps to soothe skin
- Seabuckthorn Berry Oil: A source of Omega 7, used to keep skin soft
- Calendula: Helps skin to repair
- Cruelty Free

Here is What It Does NOT Contain:
- Parabens
- Phthalates
- Sulfates

Here is My Evalution: 
The smell is a bit medicinal, dare I say “funky,” and almost put me off the product, but I’ve gotten used to it.  The price is $49 for 1.7 oz., which is more than I usually pay for face creams.  While I’m willing to spend a bit more on the makeup on my face, I’m a bit of a skinflint about my skin care, all of which comes from the drugstore. 

And The Winner Is!!!   

Ren Clean Skincare Global Protection Day Cream.  LOVE this stuff.  It absorbs quickly, soothes and hydrates my skin, and whether I am wearing a tinted moisturizer or foundation it goes on smoother and lasts longer. 

The way I look at it, that lost package was a win for everyone.  The young lady who ordered it eventually received her merchandise, Sephora’s generous gift of points to me made me a loyal customer and I discovered a great new skin care product.  All because it never occurred to me NOT to do the right thing. 


  1. Dear M-T,
    How can anyone listen to Puccini and not be on a high? Sounds like a lovely evening. You'll have to visit my blog and read (hasn't been written yet) my thoughts on hearing Renee Fleming for the first time. A birthday treat. I enjoyed a visit to Maison Marcellé Boutique which made me long for Paris and brought back memories of my annual trips I would take from Berlin. Your such a good friend for giving her a plug.
    All the best,

    1. Dearest Linda,
      How right you are about Puccini. It was truly a wonderful performance. Renée Fleming is one of my very favorites. I am so delighted you got to hear her live. What a beautiful birthday treat. I will definitely be popping over to read your Blog post on that experience.

      Yes, ma chère, we both miss Paris. It's been a few years for me. There was a time when I was over there at least twice a year to see family and friends. Must revisit all times and old habits.

      Cheers, M-T

  2. Dearest Marie-Thérése,
    LOVE the cardigan you show here and rayon is a perfect natural fibre to wear and enjoy. Still have a few cashmere sweaters and some woolen and luckily they don't bother me at all.
    Just popping in here in-between my mega-task of digitalizing all of our Hi8 video tapes. Found on eBay a NEW in box Sony Hi8 tape recorder for $ 325 so that did beat all the YesVideo conversions from Costco at 19.95 each.
    Will sell it again on eBay when done some time in November, after coming back from a mountain wedding and some more mountain autumn beauty to explore together with Pieter. In a week time, I will have managed the final ones, feeling SO happy and Pieter enjoys reliving them on his new iPadPro 12.9".
    Makes me happy too... Can't believe HOW fast time is going... don't you know a trick for slowing it down?! The word 'bored', I know in seven language but luckily I never knew its true feeling!

    1. Ma chère Mariette,
      I don't think you will ever know or experience "ennui". You and Pieter are just too full of life and energy for that ever to happen.

      What a great idea to digitize all those videotapes and how clever of you to think of reselling on eBay. Brava!!

      I wish I knew how to slow down time or, better yet, stop it altogether at all those wonderful moments we want to savor and relive. If I did, I would surely share it w/you.

      Gros bisous, M-T

    2. Indeed it is, and one for which we should be grateful every day.

      Bisous, M-T

  3. Comment sent to me by my friend, Anna:

    "I am still thinking about the Turandot performance too. Have seen the production so many times but this was special. Of course the first one with Domingo and Marton was special too which I was lucky to see.

    Love that black skirt from Marcellé. And the belt to go with it. Coming back from France recently I also looked at how people dress. Lots of long skirts, very few short ones, wide pants above the ankles. Our tour guide, a woman, looked like she was going out to a nice dinner at 7 AM in the morning. Every day.

    You sure did the right thing with the Sephora box. Not sure many people would bother.

    Having coffee with Kiri!"

    1. Yes, it was a wonderful performance. I, too, remember the Domingo/Marton collaboration. They were fabulous together.

      That black skirt, belt and blouse were snapped up very quickly.

      There seems to be a bit of a ladylike fashion trend going on in Paris. Andréa noticed the same thing. Love long, graceful skirts -- so feminine -- but wide pants above the ankles can be very unflattering if you are not tall and super slim.

      Nothing better than coffee w/Kiri. I have it every morning, too.

      Cheers, M-T

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