Yogurt Face Mask

Do you have the following in your kitchen:

  1. Plain yogurt
  2. Honey
  3. Lemon

If you answered, “Yes” then you could be prettier right now.

Basically, you take 2 spoonfuls of yogurt, mix in 1T of honey and 1T of lemon juice, stir and smear that on your face. Rinse after a few minutes and boom! You are prettier. It’s that easy.

I just like this mask and I do think my skin looks rosier and refreshed after I use it so yeah, I think I am prettier after I use it. I pulled it out of a favorite book some time ago.(Three Black Skirts: All You Need to Survive)

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When Full Coverage Can be Riskier than Baring it All

So, I had a sort of obvious revelation today (at work of course where most “oh crumbs” moments happen). It became clear (again) that there is something about a “hint” of skin, a flash of a particular shadow or a peek of an undergarment that is actually sexier/riskier than seeing it all (ladies of the Jersey Shore take note).

Here is what I mean. You can’t show cleavage at work (see Cleavage at Work?). This is only mildly challenging for working women (harder for the busty-er gals) but again, a no-brainer for the majority of professional women (not that kind of professional woman). But, sometimes you make mistakes – or not so much a mistake as loving an article of clothing more than is prudent.

I have this super awesome vintage Valentino black wool sweater with two embroidered flowers at the shoulder area and a whole lot of awesomeness all over it. Anyhoo, it’s essentially sheer. It’s a thin knit merino wool so, since I don’t believe in flashing people at work or even on the street (this may come as a shock to many of you), I wear a black “shell” or tank underneath it to solve that problem.

Except it doesn’t. Unless the tank top selected has a higher neckline, I am still not covering up much. I might as well not be wearing anything underneath.

I have been suspicious of this false coverage provided by my beloved sweater for some time but have been blinded by that same love for too long to admit that there was a problem in our body coverage relationship. The veil was pulled from my eyes today when I leaned slightly over the sink to wash my hands and glanced into the mirror. “Well, crumbs!” I said to myself as I stared at the sweater-accentuated dark line of cleavage my sheer garment was providing to that which I naturally carry around. Crumbs indeed.

This reminds me of another black dress I own that is full coverage and surprisingly daring. I bought this kick-**s dress at Neiman’s when I was 19 (ok, Mom bought it. Thanks mom! We got such a good deal on Last Call on 4!). Since it was made of black velvet and a fine mesh with long sleeves and a high collar, I was concerned that I looked like an old lady. When I expressed my seemingly legitimate concern my mom scoffed at me and bought me the dress. What I didn’t realize, what I couldn’t see with my 19-year-old eyes, was that the only thing holding up the black velvet body covering was the transparent mesh. See? Risky*. The mesh went down to the small of my back and then some. It was technically high-collared but…let’s just say, I was one expensive looking, college co-ed that was turning a few heads! (What every mom wants to hear. Thanks again Mom!)

Moral of the story: You can wear full coverage and still get yourself in some sort of trouble. I am not going to stop wearing that great sweater but I am totally reconsidering the neckline of the next shell I wear beneath it!

Also, if your husband tells you that you look really good in your work clothes. Take another look in the mirror to find out why before you leave the house.

*I once explained to a friend that I was concerned about wearing this dress as an adult because it was a little  “risky” to which that friend replied, “I like Risky B*tches”. Then I believe she bought a domain name related to that term.

My Hosiery n’ Me

Stupid PantyhoseSo, I have problems with hosiery. Here’s my issue: I hate pantyhose, I wear mostly skirts/dresses every single day and the real kicker? I have weird old-lady hang-ups about when it is appropriate to wear bare legs.

Problem 1: I hate pantyhose.
It’s hard to match the color of your skin. It’s a little shiny. It makes me feel like an “Office Lady” or a “Church Lady” or basically, the bad kind of ‘Lady’. The kind of “Lady” you swore you would never be. I also hate paying for pantyhose, the word “pantyhose” and the fact that as soon as you buy some, you immediately run into a desk, scratch the hose with your super sweet heels and then have to pretend like you didn’t notice the gaping hole in your hosiery all day  when you are at a confernce giving presentations and pretending to be a “grown up” professional (see image at left).

Problem 2: I wear a lot of skirts and dresses.
A lot. AND I live in Minnesota so going bare-legged is pretty stupid for a good 2/3 of the year which brings me to problem 3.

Problem 3: I am a little bit of an old-lady.
I have weird old-fashinoned rules about when one should show bare legs in the spring. I don’t care as much about the date on the calendar as I do care about how things look. For example, is there still snow on the ground? You probably look pretty stupid if you have bare legs (even if it’s 65 degrees outside. What are you 16 years old going to prom?). Are there leaves on the trees yet? No? Well, you probably shouldn’t be wearing full summer gear anyway. See? I am already a crotchety old lady.

I am also my own biggest problem. My recent solution is to find hardy nude fishnets (OMG! I love fishnets. Here’s a very old post about them) but even those are hard to find and I am getting even better at wrecking those too.

See? This is a very serious problem. Clearly a problem to lose sleep over.

Open to suggestions!

How Not to Sit Like a Lady During a Panel Discussion

I was recently in the audience supporting a friend’s participation in a panel discussion about a new online feature. On this expert panel were two women and one man. So far, this is a pretty boring post but there are three important, and I mean important things to note in this story:

  1. Panel discussions often require a panelist to sit on a stool slightly raised above the audience’s eye-level so that everyone can see the panelists. So far, not a problem move on to #2.
  2. Two of the panelists were women. Again, no big deal, move on to #3.
  3. One of the women was wearing a fashionably short dress. This is a problem (see #1)!
Disaster struck the panelist wearing the short dress (not my friend by the by)! The audience saw way too much of this expert’s….”inner-upper-thigh area” and beyond. The real tradgedy of all this is that the audience was so focused on not looking that they did not hear a word of what she had carefully prepared for the discussion. She lost a lot of credability simply because of this one oversight. The respectable men in the audience were extra uncomfortable (the pervs in the audience probably enjoyed the show)*.

Here’s a bit of advice on being a modern, professional woman that no one ever teaches you:

Three Rules For What To Wear While Sitting On An Expert Panel

  1. Before you decide to wear a skirt/dress to your next panel discussion, be sure to consider what you might be asked to sit on, how you might have to sit, and how short your skirt can be.
  2. If you are not sure, or have any concerns, just wear pants.
  3. If you find yourself on an emergency expert panel and are wearing a short skirt (emergency panels could happen), then sit with your legs locked together and turn elegantly to the side while facing the audience. You may get tired but it’s better than giving everyone a show and bruising your expert reputation.
Honestly, you can’t blame this individual.  Before seeing this unfortunate event, I never ever would have thought about this. I mean, when you get dressed in the morning do you check to see how you might look sitting slightly raised up in front of an audience? For most of us the answer would be “no”.


It’s a minefield out there professional ladies! Watch yourself and be sure to keep your individual peep shows out of professional situations and save them for special extrovert occasions.

Want more sitting tips?

* How do I know the respectable men in the audience were uncomfortable? My boss was in the audience and he first alerted me to the issue via horrified text, to quote him, “Brittney Spears here should listen to her own privacy advice. Killing me.” He had a perfect view of all the panelists and was trying to position other audience members’ heads in his line of vision so he wouldn’t have to look at the “area”.  You know, ’cause he’s a nice guy, has young daughters, and he’s not a jerk.

Say “Yes” To The….Lingerie Party

Vintage Magazine Advertisement For A SlipIf you are getting married within the next year and a friend comes to you and says “Hey! I really value our friendship. Allow me to throw you a party dedicated to giving you pretty underwear,” just say “yes”. Here’s why:

  1. Nice lingerie is expensive and is, for most, a luxury. Let other people buy you expensive stuff you would never buy for yourself.
  2. There will be no other time in your life when this happens. Name another milestone when a group of people will come together to give you fancy underthings. Housewarming Lingerie Party? No. New Job* Lingerie Party? Nah. Graduation Lingerie Party? Probably not. Your baby shower? No way! I’ve been to a bunch of those and no one is giving you anything sexy or elegant and nothing is made of silk. In fact most of what I see people open, as far as foundation garments go, is “breast warmer/cooler pads” or comfortable nursing things or….swaddles or sling things that hold babies.
  3. You can set rules like “no games” or “no Frederick’s of Hollywood allowed” or “only Frederick’s of Hollywood allowed” – it’s your party.
  4. It’s fun. It’s a fun party that doesn’t have to be raunchy if you don’t want it to be. It can be a part of your bachelorette party or it could be held separately. Have drinks, share stories, try to shock your friends. Everyone wins – including the spouse-to-be.
Probably don’t invite: Your mom, your future mother-in-law, your grandma or the grandma of your soon-to-be spouse. Also never invite jerks- this is a general rule. Only fun, positive ladies that you love should be invited to your lingerie party.
*I guess if your profession is “Lady of The Night” or “Street Walker”, well then, I guess this would make sense.

Cursing for Ladies

Ah, swearing without really swearing. It’s loads of fun. Not only does it mean you can curse at work, in meetings and in front of small children when you’re really mad, these words are so silly, quaint and old-fashioned in some cases, they’ll just make you smile instead. Your anger might even dissipate, leaving you in a much better mood. So go ahead and curse away!

Here are the six I use almost every day as an online project manager:

  • Gosh Darn It!
  • Holy Cats!
  • Nuts to that!
  • Ef that!
  • Crumbs!
  • Wow! That really hurts a lot! (Most commonly used after running into doors, the corner of my desk, the wall .etc. I like to let everyone know exactly how I’m feeling at all times.)
I am working to integrate the following into my own repertoire:
  • Shut the front door!
  • Well Hell’s bells! (remember Huck Finn?)
I’m always looking to diversify my vocabulary so what do you use when you want to swear like a sailor but need to be a lady?

Looking Good While Camping – New Guidelines

The Lie – 

People, even your parents, friends and loved ones, will lie to you. Especially when it comes to the importance of looking good while camping. Here is what they’ll tell you (actually, this is common “knowledge” about camping): “It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you look like if you’re camping. It’s about roughing it and getting dirty. It’s not about appearance.”

You may agree with that statement, hell, I used to agree. In fact, I was raised this way but recently I’ve come to my senses.

It does matter what you wear and how you look when you are camping. Wanna’ know why? Pictures. Yes, we are on vacation and on vacation whether in Paris or Bloody Dick Creek Station in Montana, we will take photos of our vacation. Why do we take pictures of our vacations? So we can remember how much fun we had and to share the photos with our friends, relatives, loved ones and now, thanks to social media, all of our acquaintances, colleagues, potential employers and strangers!

So now, go ahead and tell me it isn’t important how you look when camping. Do it. I dare you.

The Lesson – 

Case in point. I just got back from a super awesome camping trip in the mountains of Montana. Before-hand, I did some careful packing but remembered that “It doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re camping!” so I broke one of my cardinal rules for myself: the no-shorts rule. I packed, and wore, some khaki shorts that my mom picked up for me at a garage sale somewhere. “No big deal,” I thought, “I’m camping and no one is going to see me, and if they do, they’re only other campers I might run into and I’ll never see them again.” Well, I was very wrong. Well, I was right about never seeing those campers again (actually didn’t see many people at all. No one lives in Montana. Seriously. The whole state has a population of one million) because we had our digital camera.

After reviewing some photos of myself in a ghost town named Bannack I just about keeled over. No one of my party cared enough to tell me I looked terrible. Like a middle-aged, overweight, 3rd grade teacher and mother of 5 with a major gut…..in shorts that magically managed to be both low-rise AND high-waisted. When I saw these photos I considered crying then decided to take action. Like the princess I am, I demanded that we delete all photos of me from that time. For the rest of the trip I got to be photo editor of our camera and I learned a valuable lesson: It’s good to look good while camping.

Luckily for me, I packed a pair of fairly flattering, extremely comfortable black yoga pants. I wore them for the rest of the camping trip. I wore them hiking, fishing, cooking, whilst gathering firewood, going to the outhouse and just general sitting around on logs and dirt. The great thing about black, besides the fact that is is supposed to be slimming? It doesn’t show camping dirt! Also, it matches (sorta’) all the other mostly black shirts I brought with me.

New Truth and Guidelines – 

Think about what you are wearing on vacay because there will inevitably be pictures taken for posterity and you don’t want to be remembered as the fat, dumpy woman smiling next to your tan, healthy outdoor-sy friends and husband.

Tips:

  1. Black is your friend while camping. So are yoga pants. They’re comfortable and flexible. (Probably don’t wear them if horseback riding. You have to wear jeans if horseback riding)
  2. A baseball cap is your friend. People will say “Oh, look at you in your baseball cap! You’re so cute. You never ever wear baseball caps.” Then you’ll say, “Oh, well, I wear them when I am camping to hide my disgusting greasy hair.”
  3.  Washing your face helps get the campfire grit that has merged with your natural face oil off your face. It’s ok to wash your face.
  4.  I may have reconsidered my thoughts on clothing but not on makeup while camping. Makeup may make you look better but really? You’re camping. You’re sweaty and dirty and there are not any mirrors and everyone will judge you if, before heading out the door to fly fish, you say “Oh! Just give me five minutes to put my face on!”

That’s it. Be careful out there.