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Friday, May 22, 2015

French Girl Friday ~ Margarita Bloom




This week I wanted to do a very different French Girl Friday post. One thing I have learned with all the different books about the French Woman, is that they do like to pamper themselves, maybe not in an ostentatious way, but just with the best they can afford to use... and that extends to lotions, potions and perfumes. Here in the states there are those who believe the same and those that are always looking to cut corners and save a dime; are we not all worth buying the best we can afford to pamper ourselves the way we pamper our friends and family?  Years ago when I first began this blog I would on occasion do a profile of a small business that fall under the heading I am now using on Instagram " Ruby's Musings Approved" , one of those companies was run by the sweetest doll around, her name is Regina and her company Margarita Bloom. her products are simply one of the best I have tried. I have a few for myself as budget allows, and I buy them as gifts for the special ladies in my life. They are such great quality, the packaging is so pretty, prefect for the vanity top or dressing table. Recently Regina has expanded her company to now carry clothing and accessories and she has recently started doing a regular blog as well. Her sight is a delight to spend time on and you can find something for everyone you want to pamper as well as yourself. I wanted to share this wonderful company with you and introduce you ( or re-introduce you if you have been a long time follower) to this delightful gem of a lady/business.

Regina also known as Margarita Bloom


Hi there Sweets... Thank you so much for doing this! Let's get started ...Tell my readers all about yourself so we can learn about the woman behind the beauty!!

Well, to start off my name is actually Regina or you can call me Gina or Genie! A lot of peeps assume my name is Margarita Bloom (The Name of my Beauty Brand) I guess you could say she's my glamorous alter ego. lol.. Really I'm just a girl who loves beautiful things, wants to have fun and always dreamed of having her own company. Personally, I'm pretty shy, a little quiet....though when you get to know me that's when I let loose and become all goofy and nerdy. I love to read a lot ...I admit I used to read romance novels avidly ha! but I do love a good action adventure story or anything magical like Harry Potter. The color pink, magic, unicorns and love make my world go around. 

When it comes to TV...some of my favorite shows are The Blacklist (Who doesn't love James Spader!, Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (I LOVE my superheros!), Arrow, Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries which is one awesome detective series set in the 1920's in Australia!, Penny Dreadful, Outlander, among others! I love to watch old vintage films too like Marilyn Monroe's 1953 "How to Marry a Millionaire", Audrey Hepburn's "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Sabrina", and so many others. Those glamorous gals like Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe of that time era really inspired me when it came to putting together my beauty brand, Margarita Bloom. The Glamour, the fashion! If only we still dressed like that every day life would be SO much more fun and full of adventures, don't you think? 

Speaking of fashion, I've kind of become fashion obsessed lately. Well, I've always been fashion obsessed but I was never able to fully embrace it until now. I just want to get glamoured up every day even if it's just to go to the grocery store I love it so much. I think that's why I decided to add clothing & accessories to my beauty potions now. You see, I used to weigh 130 lbs and almost became a size 8 and while there's nothing wrong with being that size, I was never really and fully happy with how I looked. I always had this dream to look like a California Surfer Girl. I guess that's one of the reasons I love California so much...my love affair with it started when I was a wee little one! Tall palm trees, sandy beaches, pastel bikinis, and the beautiful gorgeous ocean on the horizon. le sigh...What's not to love? I didn't realize it at the time but I was sooo unhealthy. I suddenly had a eureka moment a short while back and figured out what I had to do to lose almost 30 pounds and I have never felt healthier and happier in my own body...which meant more freedom to express myself with my fashion...ergo that inspired me to add gorgeous, utterly adorable & inspiring fashions to our shop. I'm just so excited about it I have to share it with everyone. 



I love to dabble in cooking and am quite obsessed with food!! which I think is one of the reasons I was able to start leading a healthier lifestyle. I'm more aware of what I'm eating and trying to stay away from processed foods as much as I can but that doesn't mean I don't love ice cream or pizza! heehee... 

I've recently started getting into blogging, photography and yes, outfit posts a bit more with my new blog www.cherrylipsblondecurls.com and am always looking to collaborate with amazing companies of all types. You'll see me posting about things I love on there like outfits, accessories, my beauty brand and new fashions we've added to our shop, as well as other beauty/fashion products or services that I'm currently using. It's not just a blog about my brand but everything and anything that I love or want to share with my readers. 

You are just so cute, I loved learning even more about you my long time friend and now do tell us about your wonderful company! Tell us about Margarita Bloom.....

Margarita Bloom is my beauty and now...fashion company. *wink* It has a fun, whimsical and retro flair to it with many themed collections from our Mademoiselle Collection to our Retro Queen Collection. We carry an array of pretty potions like soap, body oils, skincare, lip balms, body balms, sugar scrubs and we'll even accept custom requests from peeps who might be looking for something special or want a whole array of specially scented potions just for their boudoir! We currently have two websites. Our main website here... www.margarita-bloom.com and our other shop here where you'll find our fashions & accessories as well as some more beauty potions... margaritabloom.storenvy.com. We also have a blog that I mentioned before called Cherry Lips Blonde Curls...I guess you can figure out how I came up with that name. lol... www.cherrylipsblondecurls.com  There you can see our vast and loooong list of social media sites that you can follow us on!  Though here are a few that you can click to right now.



So exactly how did you get started ?  

I guess it was just kind of natural! I've always wanted to have my own company...it kind of was like fate or destiny. It never occurred to me to work for someone else. It did take me awhile to figure out what I was passionate about and I kind of flip flopped from one thing to another until I discovered my love for beauty products and then I was never bored ever again. I had found my calling and I guess it was a good thing that I have a natural eye for design as that's something essential to my beauty brand. From there it was just research, research, research and here I am. 

Margarita Bloom Cupcake SOAPS with glitter!

That is so wonderful that you were so motivated, driven and could then take your passion and turn it into something such as what Margarita Bloom has become. Speaking of, how did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?  

It was extremely daunting to come up with a name for my beauty brand.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out what to call my company. I knew I wanted it to be original...something that no one had ever heard of before but at the same time I wanted it to be something that everyone knew! I picked the word "Bloom" because it reminded me of fleurs and everything that smells so pretty and girly just like I hoped my products would smell. From there, Marguerite popped into my head as I had always loved the name and of course you see where I'm going...Margarita Bloom! She's the alter ego of my beauty brand. That glamorous gorgeous pinup gal who loves pretty things and even prettier potions! It was perfect. Besides, who doesn't know and love Margarita's! *wink* Mission accomplished. Original and well known at the same time. 

Antoinette's Summer Palace Rose Mud Masque



So now we know about you, about how the company and it's name came about, what were your dreams for it ...

It first started with a gorgeous website....beautiful packaging...great suppliers. I wouldn't mind one day having my own Margarita Bloom boutique. I imagine I would have a blast interior decorating the boutique and making everything look soo cute, whimsical and yes, there would be lots of pink, a vintage cash register along with a modern one! and it would be just so charming. My dream was that my company would continue to grow and allow me to live out all my daydreams and night time dreams and I have a lot...which I'm still working on as we're a wee little company right now! 


I want to hear more about your wonderful products, I am positive my readers will as well...so fill us in a bit.

Oh my, where to start!? We have so many! We really try to keep the scents as realistic and yummy smelling as possible, use divine ingredients like shea butter, organic sunflower oil, hibiscus extract, roses, exotic sea salts, lavender, calendula, botanicals, cocoa butter, aloe, green tea and so much more! We like to use organic and natural ingredients in our products as well as a nice ying and yang of nature and science to create our pretty potions. We carry products like our Aphrodite line based on you guessed it, the goddess of love to our French Barbie Lavender potions. We even have a bakery line with chocolate potions. There's always something new being whipped up in our beauty lab. *wink*

French Barbie Lavender Oil 



What is your creative process? How do you come up with and develop your products?

It could start with many things. It could start out with a fragrance we're thinking of like for example...Pistachio Macaron! Who doesn't love macarons and pistachios?! In fact, it's my favorite macaron flavor. *wink* We have a lip balm with that flavor right now and are actually thinking of creating more potions with this drool worthy fragrance. Like today we were brainstorming on a body balm for a stockist and thought wouldn't it be lovely to have a Pistachio Macaron Body Balm that you could carry around in your purse and just apply to your hearts content or even just to sniff! Ahhhh...nose nirvana.  From there it goes to the stage of researching packaging, cost estimates, label design...putting everything together, taking photos and coming up with copy for the descriptions on our websites etc... Really anything could inspire a new product...from a pretty new jar we happen to come upon, to a new ingredient we've got our eye on, to a dessert we might have had a week before.
Margarita Bloom Antoinettes Rose Garden Sea Salt soak

 
Your business has grown so much over the last few years from just beauty potions and lotions etc to now include clothing ,accessories, and so much more... tell us about the new division and where you see it going....

I touched upon this in one of your other questions. The idea to add in fashions and accessories got started because I had finally achieved my life long goal of losing some weight that had been making me unhappy and not very comfortable in my own skin. And really life is too short to be unhappy so when I achieved that and I say that loosely because I still have goals I want to achieve, (Ahem, currently trying out a new exercise routine and trying to stick with it! grrr...) I discovered this excitement and passion I had for fashion and I wanted to share it with everyone! It was just natural to add it into my shop. When I'm passionate about something I can't help but share my excitement and peeps seem to respond to that enthusiasm with their own. I would love to continue to add in more cute outfits, sunglasses, purses, stationary items, coin purses (Oh, yes MACARON shaped coin purses will be coming soon!!! ) and more and eventually create a website where I would include both fashions and beauty. Right now all of our fashion and accessory items can be found on our storenvy shop... margaritabloom.storenvy.com 

Margarita Bloom Paris in Spring Apple Vinegar and Aloe Toner

What sets your products and business apart from other such companies that are out there? 

What sets us a part I think is the fact that I sell items that I would truly buy myself and use. I'm not going to sell something I don't like. Also, our packaging, label designs and names of products are very original & I think that sets us apart from other companies and brands. Our customer service. We truly try to go above and beyond to make sure our peeps are happy with their purchases and when they're not happy (which is extremely rare!) we want to do everything we possibly can to take care of them. After all, where would we be without our clients and customers! We love them.

Gorgeous Gardenia Brown Sugar Smash Scrub


You are all about pampering others, adding beauty to their days via social media posts and of course your wonderful products, how do you pamper yourself? 

I have been known to spend hours in the bath. (I may secretly be a mermaid!) Okay, maybe not that long but I love my bubble baths and long hot showers. I love to cook and try out new recipes ...though clean up is never my favorite part! lol...I love trying new foods out. I love lingerie...that's a new guilty pleasure I never used to be interested in but again I find myself obsessed with now. Late at night I love to zone out to one of my favorite tv shows maybe with strawberries and whipped creme to keep me company. I'm quite looking forward to the new shows DC Legends and Supergirl.  

I love to buy myself something new every once in awhile even if it's just a small trinket for a few dollars or maybe a new pair of platform sneakers I have my eye on... *wink* I'm really trying to pamper myself more these days as I was the exact opposite before I lost my weight. There were a lot of things that I missed out on during that time in my life and now I realize you've got to enjoy life and try to experience as many new things as you can and believe me I'm trying! It can be a bit daunting when your pocketbook doesn't match your expectations (Oh, Paris my love...one day we will meet!) but baby steps... 

Give us a final quote that sums up Margarita Bloom and the woman behind it....

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful...that will be my life.” ― Elsie De Wolfe 




I want to thank Regina for this very fun and informative interview, and just again proving what a sweet doll she is, is offering a special discount for my readers ....... good across BOTH web sites!!
20% off with code 
RUBYSMUSINGS 

As Regina mentioned above you can find her on many social platforms, some she listed above, the rest you can find links to such as twitter and Instagram on her websites..... Thank you again to ...

Regina  / Head Glam Girl at Margarita Bloom
Margarita Bloom | Retro Vintage Skincare & Beauty 


Well there you have it my lovelies. I hope you enjoyed this little departure from the normal French Girl Friday posts. I want to thank all of you who read my Ruby's Musings by Request on Tuesday and sent me private messages or left comments... it means the world to me to be able to share my journey with you. It lifts a weight off of my shoulders to be able to share and let go of some of my feelings. 
I did find a new book in which to journey through on Fridays, so look for that, and I also from time to time wish to use Fridays for Fashionable Fridays, so look for that as well in the future. I hope you will also join me on my Facebook page and now I am also on Instagram, you can find the links in the side bars. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ruby's Musings by Request ~ Going Natural Week One

    



Twenty plus years ago I made the decision to have breast implants. I had always been small breasted. Even though I had a nice hourglass shape, I appeared bottom heavy because I had small breasts. I was teased by quite a few people, people close to me about having "fried eggs" for breasts. It took a toll on my very fragile self esteem. When I became pregnant with my first child I put on nearly 60 pounds and my breasts got larger and larger. With my second child, I had lost 40 pounds of that, but put on nearly 30, then with the final child I had lost all of the weight and then some, gained 50 pounds and finally lost it all once again... along with any breast fullness I did have, I was left with empty sacks. I could roll them up and shove them in a padded bra, but it was truly liked rolled socks in the bra cups. 



I was given options, get a reduction and a lift or implants. I obviously chose the latter. I also chose to go up to a full C cup. I wanted to feel and look better and I thought that was how to go about it. Initially I LOVED them, not going to lie, they were full and pretty...and I looked great in clothing. I did not have any post op depression....later I did have post op disappointment. As my breasts healed, they shifted. The first issue was my nipples were too high, I was bottom heavy and could not find a single bra to wear. Surgery number two happened to lower them. Then one shifted.... the implant on my left side slipped out of the pocket behind the muscle and so I lost fullness on the top and the breast sat partially under my arm when not under a bra. To my horror within just a couple of years my right breast implant went flat!!! so surgery number three. The results were not positive. The implant was placed too high, and never settled down to the proper placement, so now I had one breast under my arm pit, and one that actually looked like an 8 ! No joke!!! I have managed to disguise this with a good bra, but could never be seen without it in public, no bathing suits or backless outfits. This bugged me, a lot. I could not stand in front of the mirror without getting upset. Instead of helping my self esteem, the breasts were once again diminishing it. I did not even want my husband to see them, how could I if I did not even wish to see them. To top it off with my fibro, my neck began to hurt quite a bit as did my back, and this last year I was diagnosed with arthritis in my shoulder, and began to have neurothopy in my left breast....even went through ultra sounds and an extra mammogram for that breast to see if what I was experiencing was cancer. Then I was speaking to a few people who said implants, even saline like mine, can cause auto immune issues, I began to wonder if my implants,though I do not believe caused my fibro, certainly fed into many of my issues. I decided right then to have my implants removed. Implants have a 15 to 20 year shelf life, so have always feared them going flat, and so that too fed into me making this decision. So I made the appointment.

   

I went to a very renowned plastic surgery center in my area, and was told that I would be a very small size, perhaps smaller than I was before implants/pregnancy, as the implants caused muscle and tissue atrophy; loss of muscle and tissue. I was also told that I would most likely have pretty good symmetrical results, and no bridges were burned, if I wanted implants back in, I could have them. As we were paying out of pocket, the doctor gave me a deep discount, and though it would nearly clean out our savings that we had set aside to remodel the kitchen and take a vacation this year, and then some, my husband and I agreed to move forward. I set the date, May 8th. I was excited, and scared. Needless to say my blood pressure soared. Something I have a real problem with due to the anxiety I suffer from and my pain levels. I spent the next month doing my best trying to not dwell on it. My daughters were supportive; being small breasted girls themselves. They told me all the perks of being small, going braless, wearing "petals" , being able to wear backless dresses...the cute bras I would now be able to buy. My husband promising me a trip to a local specialty, privately owned, bra shop for pretty bras... all very appealing. Plus if I wanted to there was always great padded, uplifiting bras out there.  The day came very quickly, we paid for our oldest daughter to come out from Texas to care for me for the first few days, hubby arranged to have that Sunday off, Mother's Day as it would turn out, and my middle daughter arranged to have the following Monday off. I was all set. I would be having my breast implants removed and a lift. 

  

I went in for prep at 7:30 a.m., BP soaring to say the least. The nurse tried to insert the iv in my right arm...failing, then the left, again failing ( hello human pin cushion) and finally inserting into my left hand ( I still have the scab and bruising). I met with the anesthesiologist and told him of my issues I had with the tubes from when I had my hysterectomy the previous April, and then spnt about 15 minutes with the doctor as he drew the dots and lines on my breast before being laid down and before I knew it waking up in recovery. I woke up feeling sick and needing to use the restroom. No pain. The nurse dressed me. I used the restroom, the whole time with a bag over my mouth... just in case. Then once I came out, I was put in a wheel chair, my daughter was called and I was taken home. 
Warning photos below .....nothing too graphic, but also not my normal photos I post........ no nude photos...promise....






Before 

  

Day one...

I came home with an ace bandage around my chest and drains hooked to that. Not pleasant for sure. The drains needed to be recorded and emptied four times a day. I was also leaking at the main entry point of the drain on my left side, so had to put in extra bandages and a washcloth to protect my clothing. My youngest was a trooper and not being squeamish took on the job of that task of the drains as my oldest could not quite handle it and my husband had his own doctors appointment to be at as well as needing to go back to work. I spent the day resting on the couch, watching tv, and doing my best to sty upright and comfortable....sipping on ginger ale and eating crackers as I could. I had a sore throat, totally normal, and so also sucking on cough drops. Day two and three was spent pretty much the same way. That Monday I had my first post op. The nurse put me into a surgical bra, but did not feel comfortable removing my drains as the doctor had thought would happen. I was told to come back Wednesday. Finally one drain came out, but the other would stay in until that Friday, my one week point. The job of recording and draining the bulbs were all on me. I gritted my teeth and got through it. 

That Monday... swollen, extra gauze pads,
and drains still in.


  

Friday rolled around, just a few days ago, and I am happy to report that the final drain was taken out, bandages replaced and I as told to come back in one month, June 11 for my next check up. At that point I hope to be told I can be in a regular bra and that everything is progressing nicely. So that is the clinical story, but there is more to it. There is a physical side, tightness, some pain, soreness, itching.... oh my the itching is horrible. I am not doing the pain pills now, but there are moments I am tempted. They really mess with my system.... not to be graphic, but I was constipated for nearly a full week and when I finally could go, it was beyond painful, even to the scary point and I have had two days like that. The exhaustion is overwhelming and my fibro is reacting with flairs all over, not just in a spot or two. My arthritis is not fun at the moment, throbbing really all day and night. The surgical bra is uncomfortable at best and well there is not a single item of clothing seems to be able to cover the darn thing.  I was also able to finally shower and that was wonderful, but it was the first time I truly saw my breasts without the surgical bra. They are bruised, blotchy with red, purple and yellow are stitched up in what is called an anchor shape, so around the nipple, down the front of the breast and across the bottom of the breast. They are still very swollen, hard on the lower half, and soft on the upper part so they are mis-shaped The doctor had said he was happy with the symmetrical look, but the nurse had said though they were close, they were not twins, but sisters....so in my head a-symmetrical... and today looking in the mirror before my shower, I am right. As each day passes they change shape. One is bigger, fuller on the top, the other is more swooped and fuller on the bottom... very much like they were when the implants were in me. I guess I should have expected this, but I had hoped they would be pretty, and as close to symmetrical as possible, so that when they finally heal, and yes it will be weeks, or even months before they are fully healed, they would look nice for myself as well as my husband and well I could go braless in tops etc .... seeing them how they are and knowing that if it is not all swelling on the larger one etc etc and with them sitting at two different levels, I will not be any more comfortable than I have been the last 20 plus years. Size wise it is hard to tell what I will end up being. I am smaller of course, but I appear larger than what the doctor or I expected... but a lot of that is more than likely swelling. I expected to be a small to medium A cup and I nearly look like a nice B.... only time will tell. 

How I look today... added tissues to hide nipples... wanted to keep it PG 


  

The other huge part of all this is the emotional side. The paperwork warns of depression, says acceptance of ones new body will come or seems to come within a few days to a couple of weeks. I do not think I at the moment anyway, have an issue with the size, though as I put clothing on  each day and can not cover the straps of the bra and the seams of the bra show as well and make me look like I have four nipples, I do mourn my former size and my normal bra... that will come soon enough. What I am struggling with is how they look. Lack of sleep, as I am forced to sleep on my back and can not get comfortable, I am sure does not help with my attitude and acceptance. Not really having someone to talk to this , my feelings about it all, is very hard; my husband says I look great, that no one notices the surgical bra showing, that he is sure the breasts will settle and look nice and that he does not see the a-symmetry ...that no one symmetrical anyway etc etc. I have told him he has to say these things if he wants to stay among the living LOL .... OH and he loves smaller breasts... "more than a hand full" he always says, he never really liked the larger breasts. I am worried about having the same old issues that I did with the larger breasts because of the size and shape difference, finding good bras, and then there is the issue of none of my clothing looking good on me, top wise. Never mind as I previously mentioned, how I look naked... not liking what I see in the mirror for the rest of my life. I already have self critical body issues. I see all the flaws, and have a hard time accepting them, no matter how hard I try. I know this may come as a shock for those who follow this blog and my FB or Instagram accounts where I am always sharing fashion photos and look self assured and I preach self acceptance... on many levels it is so much easier to pick others up and make them feel good and nearly impossible on some days to do the same or accept the same for myself.

It is still early, Friday will only be two weeks, and I am positive that my breasts will change quite a bit as swelling goes down, they possibly shift as they heal, and I am hoping with time I shall become more accepting of how they look in and out of clothing, especially after I am able to wear a normal bra and buy some new tops that fit better. It is going to be a long road and not an easy one if how I have felt for the last week and a quarter is any example. I do find sharing this will all of you very therapeutic....even if seems to be my readers way, there is no comments left.... I know you are seeing and possibly reading this and maybe knowing that I might help someone else facing this, to know that they are not alone, be it by choice or for medical reasons ; it is still not an easy journey and having support and someone to talk to that understands, sharing my feelings and what I am going through  is a huge weight lifted... so thank you do that.  

So that is my first week after going back to natural.... I will be posting each week over the next several weeks giving updates and you can always find me over on my FB page..where though I am truthful with how I am dealing with all this, I am trying to not dwell on it. I so dislike pity parties, but it is nice as I said to be able to share my journey. 

Til next time..... 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hodge Podge ~ A Ruby's Musings by Request Post

   


So earlier today I asked my readers what they would like the theme of my blog to be about today.. what questions did they have for me that they would like answered... what were their requests? I guess I should have been a tad more clear; I was thinking I would get questions about my life, but instead I got a real hodge podge of questions. It left me with a quandry as to what to write about today. After five years of doing this blog, I am at a loss....this is why for French Girl Friday posts I buy books and journey through them for inspiration, a jumping point. So anywho, here I was with this array of questions and suggestions and I was perplexed as to how to proceed. I decided on touching base on all of them; nothing too in depth, that could come later. 
  

via the bitchy housewife 


One follower, Susan asked "Do you use plastic outdoor glassware or do you think that is too much?" I am going to assume she means if I am entertaining outside. Well that sadly happens, and when we are just out in the yard working it is water bottles, or the other day solo cups for the lemonade , HOWEVER, when we still lived in Texas and we did have friends over, YES, I had lovely faux hobnail glass in plastic... both a pitcher and glasses, and would serve my drinks all on a nice tray. I think if you are worried about things getting broken it is the way to go. Plus why is it too much to want to set a nice table just because you are outside. Target, Wal Mart and even often The Dollar Tree has very cute plastic ware that you can get on a budget, but really you can find it at every price point from what I have seen. 

Plastic is a wonderful substitute
for the real thing when outdoors,
so many stylish options out there at
all price points. 
Susan also went on to ask "What Champagne do you serve for everyday occasions?" Champagne is pretty pricey since other than one company here in the states is grandfathered in, all the rest comes from the Champagne region of France, so what we think of as Champagne is actually sparkling wine or if from Italy or made in the Italian style, Prosecco . My husband and myself have a Monday ritual of having sparkling wine and fresh baked cookies, I shall not go into how this started, but it has been going on for awhile now. I LOVE bubbly of all flavors and types, not to mention price points, but we have landed on one that is by Trader Joes called Blanc De Blanc, it is a brute and not too fruity or sweet. I am also a big fan of their almond and peach flavors, but can not remember the brand, though they too are sold at TJ's. When it is a special occasion you can be sure I try to buy the real thing, but for everyday, if I was to drink it everyday, and I would love it, about 5.99 is my limit price wise... I found some at three times that amount that is not as good as the cheaper stuff... and well I still have to be able to afford the strawberries to go in it! I ALWAYS use the good crystal however, no matter the price point. 

Bubbly is great for everyday, it makes it seem like a celebration..
but one does not have to spend a huge amount to find something 
delightful to the taste buds!
*
Dior Model Jean Danway in photo

Nancy had many suggestions so shall cover them one by one. "....Refreshing and relaxing treatments at home....Storage systems for best care and easy access to clothing and accessories...Afternoon tea parties...Themed table settings...French girl holiday packing and travel tips..."  Good gracious! was my first thoughts. First off, I am a master of none knowledge wise, and then I thought, I have covered a few of these in French Girl Friday posts, I am sure of it, but I did not wish to ignore the questions/suggestions, so thought on it and will do my best...here goes nothing.....

Hmmm.... what advice to give?
model 
Dovima in photo.

Refreshing and relaxing treatments at home. Well very soon I shall be doing a bio on a wonderful potions and lotions company by the name Margarita Bloom and if I did choose to really pamper myself etc her products are a go to, but on the more less expensive side, I would say a nice foot soak with Epsom salts, lavender is my favorite for that. Coconut oil hair treatment...not pricey and leaves your hair in great condition, simply melt some organic Coconut oil and run through wet hair, put a shower cap on and wait 20 minutes, then shampoo out. I love to use face masks and the drug store has some in little individual packets that are only about 1.50 each, quite the steal. I buy this E.L.F cosmetic brand make up fixative, and I spray it on my face on hot days even when I am not wearing make up and it is very cooling and relaxing after I come in from my walks. Of course good old cat naps are at the top of my list, with the ceiling fan on, and a scented eye mask. 

Chilled body spray is always a wonderful
way to refresh during the warmer weather!
Then just dab on a matching perfume
to pulse points for lasting power. 
Storage for clothing and accessories. Well, I do like everything organized. I put all my shoes in plastic shoe boxes, likewise my scarves. My bulky winter wear such as scarves, hats and gloves go in larger plastic bins. Clothing that might be too big or small that I just can not part with, vacuum bags. My accessories, like earrings, brooches and necklaces I use nuts and bolt lidded boxes from the hardware store to organize and then put them in my standing jewelry dress of drawers that I bought at IKEA. Hats currently are in large plastic sacks, but I dream of hat boxes and IKEA has some pretty ones! 

I love an organized closet, it is easier to 
find what I need and keep it nice till I need it. 
*Joan Crawford in photo

I adore afternoon tea, and I have been known to have a few tea parties, from the very small to the large. Most days it is tea for one and it is just with a cookie, Madelines or a French Macaron , but if it is a large scale party as I once used to have in the past, I of course always have scones, cookies, small tea cakes and finger sandwiches, and several types of tea as well. I thought it would be great fun to post some 1950's recipes I found that still sound yummy today. I shall also tackle here for just a second, themed table settings. The only time I really have done such a thing is for parties and holidays..certainly has not happened for any other reason. I have help plan an Alice in Wonderland tea party, though my daughters did most of the work. A retro candy themed party with a 1950s twist, and went very kitch, and even a Tiki themed party. I once used to own quite a few blue and white Asian dishware items and we would cook Chinese food and dress the table up with the dishes and paper lanterns. I basically just pick a theme, go on a google or Pintrest hunt for images.  I wish I had more to share or even some more practical advice...I shall have to one day attempt to do a few or photograph a few at least, one day. I do know Pottery Barn and Z galleries as well as Pier One is great places to get ideas for themed tables. Even Crate and Barrel .. there was a time when I first started this blog I actually did a post on themed table settings... you should find it under decor and the shopping labels; if I recall. So now back to the tea subject.... 

Tea for many or simply for one is always a
wonderful way to relax and indulge in a little treat or two



  


French girl holiday packing and travel tips. I may do a French Girl Friday post, and if you are new here, it is about channeling my inner French girl, and I do have about a finger tips worth of French in me, AND have been obsessed with all things French most of my life, but as far as holiday packing and such I am at a loss. I can tell you that they have small wardrobes, or at least that is what I have read, I do not honestly know of course. They tend to follow that 10 article of clothing wardrobes, create capsules that mix and match etc so I imagine packing is pretty strait forward. In my own life when I travel I do the same. I take items that can be put together in a number of different ways, and two different types of shoes and a selection of accessories to make the outfits pop. When I used to take a lot more clothing or if the trip is longer than a week, I use the vacuum bags to flatten out my clothing. I have also been known to roll my clothing to prevent wrinkles and to fit more in. I always have a plastic baggy for soiled clothing and wrap my shoes in plastic bags so my clothing does not get soiled from the shoes. So those are my personal packing tips. Travel tips.... well, I always seek out deals online, reading all the reviews, good and bad, make sure there is free breakfast served to save money, and  take snacks and drinks in a cooler for the trip ; I rarely fly, nearly always drive as I do not travel all that much and certainly not too far away. 

Travel can be exciting, but taxing, with so
much to think about... plan ahead, make lists,
do your research... it pays off in the end. 
So there you have it for this week. There will not be a French Girl Friday this week or possibly the  next as I have my breast surgery on Friday morning....removal of breast implants and a lift....but shall be blogging about the surgery the before, and of course after either this next Tuesday or the following Tuesday....til we meet again.....