Beauty

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My rue 21 “mini”-haul

Published July 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Copy of tan or taupe high heel boot cage type 7-18-2016

It’s not a terribly big haul but I do believe this brings me up to thirty-one pairs of high heels now. To be honest I don’t know what to call these taupe-colored…sandals? Gladiator boots, high heels? (pictured). They remind me of a cowboy boot “heel” and a sandal since their open-toed. And maybe they fall into the chunky high heel “caged” category which are hugely popular right now. I bought the last three discounted pairs rue 21 had in stock and I’d like to thank the manager who went above and beyond and reserved the heels, faux black leather studded purse that was missing one stud so it was deeply discounted, along with a dress and one pair of earrings. I truly appreciate them doing that for me. 🙂

Do you ever carry a ‘want’ list in your purse and/ or wallet? I do. Do I ever come out of a store with exact said things on my list? Nine times out of ten, no because I find great deals that I change my mind about three or four times.

Is it taupe or “top”?

That’s a tongue twister for me to pronounce the word taupe when trying to describe a certain color of sandal or high heel. I’d always say “tan” or beige. But I’ve seen some people refer to the color as ‘taupe’. So, I bought two pairs of “taupe” open-toed heels and one pair in faux suede black with zippers.

cranberry high heel boot3 sideview

Now about this faux suede and the “man made” imported materials I found out is actually polyester, which for the price I don’t mind wearing on my feet and I don’t mind carrying a fringe faux suede purse either as long as it’s not a shirt, shorts, underwear, or a tank top smothering my body. I always double-check those garment tags before I try on clothes nowadays. Can’t escape the man-made imported footwear, but hopefully with care these high heel sandals/ boots will last me quite some time and I think they accentuate any outfit whether it be for summer or early fall.

And I found some feather hoop earrings for $2. These are awesome and I love that they don’t pull down on the earlobe like some other heavy hoop earrings do. These feather hoop earrings are semi-light weight and they pair well together with just about any outfit. I would have loved to buy a few more pairs but will wait until another time since I believe these to be a delicate earring so when wearing these, be gentle with them. Again,  a lot of the mass-produced inexpensive jewelry made nowadays isn’t sturdy. That can be said of necklaces which is why I only shopped rue 21 for a few necklaces last year. I still have the gold bangle bracelets I bought a year ago.

I came home with a stylish pair of pink framed aviator sunglasses. And on rue 21’s $3 sale rack I tried on and fell in love with a tiny cropped jean jacket that has intentional rips and shreds on the front. Why did this tiny jean jacket call to me? It was the last one on the half-price rack. Get it, try it on, take a “selfie”. Back my day we just called it “take a picture” since the term “selfie” is a new word for this millennium. Just like “Bestie” never existed in my day. We used to just say “best” friends and never abbreviated anything. Going to the mall has been a learning experience for me and I never fail to learn something new whether it’s a new term, word, phrase, etc. Let me state that I have not been living under a rock. I very seldom see and/ or hear these new millennium phrases used everyday. Yes, that makes me so ‘old school’. 😀

I do plan to revise my want list (again for the umpteenth time). When shopping for clothes: don’t go based on online descriptions like for example, if they say, “Model wears a size ¾,” or model wears a size 0 and don’t provide height or weight measurements, go to the nearest rue 21 and try on the garments. I found from past online shopping at home experiences eons ago that trying to base my size compared to a model is vague and impossible.  In fact, to avoid disappointments don’t compare your size to what the model wears. Always try on the garments. I was very fortunate enough there was plenty of sizes of the same garments that I tried on. Some rue 21 clothes will run very true to size, so I’d recommend going one size up if the garment has no stretch to it, especially if its all cotton shorts/jeans and/or jeggings.

I seem to gravitate to the new jeggings that rue 21 just rolled out. However, it’s not so much the $29.99 price that drives me away entirely, it’s the fabric’s rayon content. Rayon is a synthetic that is chemically produced, so it’s kind of like a strand of fiber, but still very much man made fake fabric. Other than that, I love the ripped and shredded jeggings at rue 21. My only small complaint is that some jeggings don’t have functioning front pockets, either. I like to carry pocket change and my shopping list on my person so I don’t have to dig through my purse to find either one of those items.

The “Premiere” brand skinny jeans that have patches on the legs and holes they rock, hands down! 🙂 I love them and am very happy with how they look and feel and the fabric content I believe is cotton/spandex blend. 😀 These skinny jeans will set a person back about $11 total and can be found on rue 21’s sale’s racks. My only complaint is the leg opening down the calf could have some more ‘give’, but I haven’t noticed too much uncomfortable calf pain nor numbness from wearing said jeans. Yet again, I haven’t worn them for long periods since its been oppressively hot outside.

Surprisingly this year I’m not a fan of rue 21 shorts. I was drawn to an orange pair of crocheted shorts, but when I seen they were made of polyester I put them back on the rack without even trying them on. That, and I don’t think I’d look all that cool in a pair of crocheted shorts. I am a fan of acid-washed denim since it was first popular back in the mid-1980s. But there’s something different about the new acid-washed articles. Sure, they look like the original acid-washed ‘kind of’, but…. nothing beats the 1980s acid-washed look. It looked fantastic when it was in style and still stands the test of time even nowadays.

But I had a difficult time finding jeggings in the acid-washed style or any kind of jeans that fall in that specific category. The t-shirts really didn’t appeal to me, yet the funniest t-shirt I saw on rue 21’s website stated, “I’m a freakin’ ball of sunshine!” with an image of a happy face. I couldn’t find that particular shirt in stock locally. I don’t know what it was about the phrase or the image that made me laugh. Another funny saying I saw on a tank top stated, “Suck it up, Buttercup” and that was from a year or two ago.

At first I didn’t think I’d find anything at rue 21, but as I looked around my mall a few times I simply couldn’t find any other store that appealed to me. I kept returning to rue 21 due to their reasonable prices and better selection of garments that do fit me quite well.

The most mind-numbing, beyond boring, and annoying store I ventured in…

was Ross. This is a copy cat of Marshall’s and basically what it is like rack after rack of shoddy made cheap garments where the sizing is never alike. For example, you could compare two size smalls together, and one of them will be barely held together at the seams. That, or the color and size will be way off the mark. And the prices at Ross are higher than in the other places. I’ve only been in Marshall’s one time and that was enough for me. They wanted $8 for a pair of skinny jeans with a broken fly zipper. Unless you’re a seamstress, good luck sewing in a new zipper. Most basic sewing machine’s can’t handle sewing in a zipper through heavy fabric like denim. And Marshall’s pricing was confusing and outrageous I thought. Suggested manufacture’s retail price was so high and Marshall’s prices weren’t much different, either I thought.

And please don’t get me started on Dress Barn next. Even though they were closed the time I went, I took one look at their dress forms in the windows and it was more cheap garments that appeared to be picked over from various chain stores and/ or returned merchandise that nobody wanted.

“I am so going back to rue 21,” I told myself. I wasn’t expecting to find anything special at rue 21, but wound up finding my next outfits for fall and winter for about $34.00. I did step into the Buckle and was amazed to see no more shredded jean jacket vests. I considered myself extremely lucky to purchase the two that I had when they had them. I don’t particularly shop at the Buckle because it’s extremely expensive. The prices turns me away almost instantly and they don’t have anything in stock in my size as far as jeans go. I still consider the Buckle to be a rich person’s store.

And Sears? Eh, that day I wore my strappy Qupid high heels I ventured in there and my stride was very slow over those buffed cracked old tile floors. Sears is washed up, a has been actually. They have no different sizes stocked in their shoe department and the prices of their footwear is horribly over-priced. I thought to myself I could go to K-Mart and get stocked up on three pairs of fashionable fall boots for about $20 and earn reward points. And Sears undergarments were very standard “one size fits all” that I didn’t see my size in on the racks and it looked very picked over. There was one person fielding phone calls and that was it.

I left and walked in those tiny high heels for a little bit, then went straight home to take them off. High heels can cause the tendons that run down your foot to become weak, and over time, ruin your feet completely. I don’t wear high heels for long periods of time or even everyday. If you plan to do a lot of mall walking be sure to wear tennis shoes or something very comfortable.

I loved the compliments I received that day don’t get me wrong about my Qupids, but if the same compliment is repeated to me over and over by the same young man then it just annoys me. I was told that the young man would have probably wanted to ask me out on a date with me wearing said high heels which made my legs appear taller and my feet extremely small. I suspected such, but young men don’t know what they want when they’re twenty-something. And an older woman might be more interested in finding a down to earth, relaxed mature older man close to her age anyway.

Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting. As always I truly appreciate it a lot and special thanks goes out to all my new subscribers. 🙂 I will keep updated with any future fashion/ hauls as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty and the—yikes, it’s not the beast, but something very close to it.

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Now after that blog about sandals and high heels comes the bigger picture and it’s not always pretty: the disgusting flirtatious dirty older men that are attracted to a beautiful “too-young-for them” woman. I’m talking about baby boomer aged men that are so desperate for a date, some can’t even carry on a coherent conversation with me.

And it’s not that I’m trying to be patient, because that wears thin after being detained for fifteen minutes, but I really haven’t found a polite way yet to get these kind of men to leave me alone. Listening to these nervous men yammer on while not even allowing me to get a word in edge wise in a normal conversation is a tall-tale sign for me that something’s amiss. And their utter lack of respecting my personal space gets on my nerves, too.

I was wholly unprepared for a checker at a local grocery store to deliver me a message that an older male customer would like to ask me out on a date, yet they were almost too afraid to even introduce themselves to me for the longest time. The checker told the customer that he wasn’t even sure I was the ‘dating type’. This mystery date ‘never-will-be’ finally did introduce himself to me and wound up detaining me until closing time so I never got to get my discounted fresh strawberries. I try to make it a point to have fresh fruit at all times since I eat a majority of that and leafy greens.

This guy was so nervous in my company he couldn’t carry on a simple coherent conversation and they never got my name correct after I had said it six times which doesn’t bother me. But it sent up red warning flags in my mind when a guy can’t seem to hardly speak or even allow me to speak, then I know something’s wrong. It has nothing to do with the guy being socially awkward. It has a lot to do possibly with the man knowing he’s way out of his league but will never admit to it.

And the other encounter was actually from a random stranger on a different day. Again a much older man approached me in public and had the nerve to get right in my face, and told me how sexy that was. I look myself over in the muggy midday heat. My hair is damp with sweat and it doesn’t help I have on a black shirt that absorbs the heat. I just kicked some major bind weed’s ass in the garden and I tilled and mulched it. I was hot, exhausted and all I want are my fresh strawberries and maybe some Broccoli, is that too much to ask for? I put on a pair of no-frills sandals on my feet this day in particular and my Daisy Dukes weren’t showing too much skin so I thought.

I find myself being detained out in the hot summer sun for a good five minutes by some homely old man who thinks he’s Mr. Casanova. He’s got tobacco-stained teeth. And that doesn’t impress me. In fact, it’s a good sign this guy has never been to a dentist or cared about his oral health because he was also missing a few teeth as well.

As this guy continues to flirt with me, he then asked me out for dinner sometime just “as friends”. My jaw dropped in disbelief and snapped shut. I quickly look at my new pair of second hand sandals I wore and at my reflection in the store’s large window. I was damning myself for my wardrobe selection instead of opting for a pair of uncomfortable work jeans that would easily caused me to suffer heat stroke on this day in particular. All the while  he had me detained, I was thinking of what was going into another donation bag when I did get home: my new shorts I wore that day. I felt like donating everything ‘summer attire’ I spent good money on and just forget about trying to look beautiful. But I was strongly encouraged not to make a hasty mistake because a woman has all the right in the world to feel comfortable, stay as cool as possible in the summer, and still look her best.

And there’s one thing these older men I keep encountering like pesky flies all seem to have in common: they’re always so nervous to talk to me it’s almost like a gushing, swooning teenage girl meeting Elvis in person for the first time (when he was young and caused a huge stir on the Ed Sullivan show). But this is how I envision these older, very unattractive types of men that try to hit on me quite often. I do get tired of it. Any woman would. These types of men know they’re out of their league, but they still keep on with the flirtations until it downright hacks me off. Ever polite, I don’t create a scene. I don’t become rude or impatient though maybe I should with these types. And turning them down politely would likely cause them to either cry like a baby or to turn psycho.

And trying to appear beautiful comes with all the unwanted lecherous advances from said unattractive much older men that are in most cases very inept when it comes to speaking with women. And nearly most of these men lack of manners, have no clue about a woman’s personal space even when she hints strongly through her body language and takes a few steps back. The guy will just lean in more and get right in my face and is oblivious by my reaction.

And all these older guys either reek of booze, smell like an ash tray, or their poor hygiene speaks volumes. They really think they stand a chance dating a beautiful woman that’s clearly out of their league and age range? Give me a break. There’s got to be some clean cut, down to earth, sober men out there that don’t smoke, have drug and/ or alcohol addictions, take exceptionally good care of themselves and are snappy dressers. But those types of clean cut men I’ve never seen yet. I get accosted by the dirty clothed, disheveled appearance, pot-bellied, smelly, bald and gray-haired unattractive men.

I’m not talking about a ‘sugar daddy’ type of man with a massive fortune he spends on a young woman. I’m talking about the kind of dirt poor older baby boomer-aged man that isn’t married (and there’s another red warning flag in my mind anyway as to why not to some lady closer to his age in some cases).

I read one article that clearly missed the point about older men dating younger women. And the person who wrote the article stated that young women should be flattered that a man as old as her father and in some cases grandfather would want to date her. He may not be able to satisfy her intimately and he may not have much money, either. But if Hugh Hefner was penniless and living in a nursing home and on state insurance, for example, then all those bleach blonde, young gals wouldn’t shed their clothes for some wrinkly old man. And I’m sure a lot could be said about the aging baby boomer men that try desperately to get dates with much younger attractive women. If she’s high matience, then forget it. She’ll waste no time with a broke man. If she’s a sensible young woman, she’ll look for a guy in her age group. And if the woman is still very attractive at any age, she’ll discover that all the descent men are very hard to find. Instead, she may attract the wrong kind of attention from less desirable, homely men.

Therefore, I suspect this article was written by some twenty-hipster that hasn’t had much life experience dealing with these types of unsavory dirty old men. If they’re not financially okay, what more could he offer a young woman when he complains that he doesn’t want to work or move out of his elderly parents basement? And if nobody has clued these men in about their personal hygiene that’s beyond disgusting. Believe me, no woman would want to wear a clothes pin on her nose for the length of a relationship. And I’m not talking about those ‘big baby’ men that need a mother figure to look after them hand and foot nor am I talking about the mama’s boys, although I’d say most of these encounters with these homely men could fall into the “Mama’s Boy” category.

And if an older man struggles financially for whatever the reason may be and they’re always complaining about how they don’t have any money to even buy one bag of groceries says a lot! That to me sends up a few more red flags up in my mind. Financial instability for a man is a very bad sign. And if he can’t even cover the three fundamentals for survival: food, clothing, and shelter, then something’s very wrong.

I realize these economic times are very dismal and to make ends meet is difficult on everybody. Yet, it’s that little voice of reason telling me some more complex problem(s) lay at the root of it all and most of these older men that have tried to either ask me out on a date or flirt with me to the point of it being a nuisance makes me think, “Good grief! Enough already! I’m clearly NOT interested in the likes of you.”

And they also complain they don’t want to find a job. They’re quite happy trying to re-sell yard sale and thrift store finds through online auctions while living out of their parents basement. That right there doesn’t set well with me at all. You grow up and try to find some part time job. You learn to save your money and while you’re at it, wash up with some soap and water and buy some shampoo and conditioner and a stick of deodorant. And when their elderly parents do try to urge them to find a place of their own and move out, the said older guy argues with his parents about that and storms off mad. Again, a young woman, if she can help it, doesn’t want to get involved with a man like that. And if they don’t have any desire to work, then young woman, beware! These unemployed types are very bad news and nothing to get tangled up with.

More often than not these particular types of men seem to lack the motivation to change their circumstances for the better, nor will they ever put forth the effort to change their immature attitudes, grow up, become clean-shaven and descent. They may put on a good act in front of a beautiful woman, but after she gets to know him and his insecurities, he’ll likely wind up controlling her every move and then it escalates from there going from bad to worse.

But what will get me to complain the most is the lack of respect these older men have when they get into my face and seem to think I have no problem with that. On the contrary, I simply hate that and back off. But they don’t get the hint and lean in more which really irritates the heck out of me.

I haven’t mastered to just pretend like I don’t hear and keep right on walking or leave the store immediately and screw it if the poor checker has to re-stock the shelves of the items I had in my cart. If there’s anything that will make my s*** list really fast it’s when a homely old man gets into my face and tells me how sexy that is while eying me up and down. He is so vague and can’t talk right that it comes off sounding really dumb.

And just a side note to the all the young men out there that try to hit on me (whether your intentions are just for kicks or you’re really sincere); I’m honestly flattered by your compliments on my t-shirt and mistaking me for a young woman who could be 21 or 23. That makes me feel great 🙂  but please, don’t ask me point blank how old I am. Some women (not all) feel uncomfortable by this. It’s still considered very rude when a man asks a woman how old she is straight off the bat.

I happily reply that I’m old enough to be your mother (a young one at that) and leave the rest unsaid. But to the young fellow who approached me at the mall today who looked like a bad extra from a Vanilla Ice hip hop rap video: so you liked my high heels, did ya’ since you commented on how you liked them… well, I hate to burst your bubble, but they’re too small to fit you, gosh darn it. 😦

And one other thing: knock it off with the bombardment of repetitious comments “I like your shirt!” and “I still like those shoes!” They’re called high heels, but I won’t dock you any points for not knowing since you told me you turned twenty-one last week and maybe don’t have a girlfriend that’s clued you in on the differences in footwear. If you like my high heels so much then why not pop into rue 21 and find a pair for yourself since you seem to have all the time in the world and chill at the arcade.

And quit trying to peddle magazines for our troops and their families while at the mall. It’s called solicitation and I’m amazed that mall security didn’t kick your young obnoxious butt out of the mall. Young fellow you failed to solicit your material to other mall shoppers and just hung out at the arcade with your friends and kept on with your same comments every time you saw me. Somehow I feel your intentions weren’t genuine and you weren’t really serious about gleaning insight in what it takes to find a job like you told me. It’s called going online and submitting your cover letter and a resume. I just can’t fathom how you made it this far without a ‘stepping stone’ form of employment unless you’re one of those trust fund babies.

And there’s the other type of ‘old’ man that gets on my nerves: the ‘sober for four months’ kind. That’s great that you found a way to quit the booze, but trying to impress a woman by admitting that to her off the bat will let her know you’re definitely not a fella to get tangled up with unless she herself is a raging alcoholic.

All these unattractive type of guys see a pretty woman they know is way out of their league, but still they’ll relentlessly hound them and the minutes drag on forever! If their breath doesn’t reek of garlic, then it smells like an ash tray or booze and their personal hygiene is really off-putting. Whether a woman sports high heels, flats, shoes, flip flops, she just can’t escape the lecherous advances of these particular type of aging baby boomers try as she might especially if she has shapely strong legs. And I’ve even had a man drive by me once, honked and smiled.

They drove by so fast I just slowed down on my stroll, not certain who it was that honked at me or why. The same vehicle appeared again and pulled into a businesses drive way just a few feet in front of me blocking my path. They roll down their window and flashed a gold tooth smile at me. I do the very stupid thing and make run in front of on coming traffic (jay running, not  jay walking in this instance) to evade the creep in the truck. I believe he got the strong message I wasn’t interested, and believe me, that’s a very bad example of how not to pick up a woman (literally).

And then there’s the other type of disgusting man who will practically hang out of the open passenger car window while shouting at the pretty woman walking down the sidewalk while his friend slows the car down. And that’s why it’s good to have a pair of headphones on to ignore these kinds of weirdos. I just thought to myself, “Gee, hope he doesn’t fall out of that car and hit his head on the pavement. That would hurt.”

Immaturity knows no age limit it seems like and neither does being socially awkward. And why do these men all seem to display such immaturity and get all tongue-tied towards beautiful women? Half the time they just make a scene and other times they make themselves look like a jerk and it just embarrasses the woman. And I have never spoken to other women that might have found themselves in similar situations when an unattractive old man tries to hit on them and how they’d handle it. Likely, they wouldn’t give the older man the time of day which is what I need to start doing.

Thanks for liking, tweeting, commenting, re-blogging, sharing. I truly appreciate it as always. 🙂

 

 

High Heels: pretty dangerous, but oh, so gorgeous!

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve lost count somewhere between twenty four and twenty seven pairs of high heels that I have bought over the span of a few years. This excludes my flat sandals/ flat heels. Throughout the years there have been some nice dress shoes I bought second hand and made a painful (and blistering) realization as to why the previous shoe owner donated a great looking pair of heels/ sandals /shoes.

 

I believe women have a right to own as many pairs of high heels, sandals, tennis shoes, flip flops (in my day we used to call them ‘thongs’) that she sees fit so long as she has a closet to store all of them. And mine? They’re stored away in shoe bags.

 

What’s a ball park average for say a pair of authentic Valentino stilettos? Well, if you’re a woman who’s beyond ridiculously high maintenance, then $1,000 (USD) for a pair of those original bad boys wouldn’t be an issue.

 

Now for the more *cough*, practical and seasoned shoe shopper that just happens to find a pair of Valentino knock-offs as a lucky thrift store find or perhaps does price-comparison shopping will tell you, sometimes the real deal doesn’t look or feel so sexy after all when comfort is concerned.

 

High heels are fairly standard wardrobe accessories for most women, although not all because others prefer flats as opposed to high heels. Men, don’t feel left out. Perhaps you can glean some gift-giving ideas for that special lady. And it never hurts to ask around, either.

 

It all began with a pair of open-toed high heels I purchased in a thrift store some number of years back. They’re a small size which is likely why nobody else bought them. They fit me nearly perfect. But why did I want to add high heels to my wardrobe when I seldom ever wear them? At least I never wore them daily and don’t plan to because I want to keep my feet and arches in good shape. Secondly, I don’t want to break an ankle while wearing them. And third, I want to keep them looking nice for those special occasions.

 

As a rule when thrift store shopping; if you happen upon a great find, and you’re in a financial position to do so, buy said item(s). Many times over I would happen upon a great find, and reason with myself that said items will still be there tomorrow. Well, in most of those instances the items sold in less than an hour the very same day.

 

I’ll never forget the time I was in the dressing room and my shopping cart was full, and I found a deal on one of those high brand mops with the twist handle so I wouldn’t have to wring out a mop by hand anymore. I thought $2 was a bargain considering these mops sell brand new for about $20… Anywho—I return to my cart and my mop is missing. Some random shopper had the gallbladder stones to snatch it out of my cart. Lesson learned the hard way: when thrift store shopping take somebody along with you to watch your cart contents while in the dressing room. I can’t count how many times shoppers will just take stuff out of other shopper’s carts all the time. If you’re a regular shopper of thrift stores always watch your thrift store hauls like a hawk.

 

I found some good high heels in thrift stores anywhere from .29 cents a pair up to $3. That’s the most I’d ever spend on a pair of high heels, or so I thought before I purchased three pairs of discounted new high heels from K-Mart. Now, I know what the reader might be thinking, “K-Mart? You’re kidding, right?” Nope. I had reward points that expired soon and wanted to use those. I detest Wally world with a passion for reasons I won’t get into and K-Mart has slightly better quality items and fashions. Plus I love the outdated look of K-Mart. It’s all about creature comforts and the layout hasn’t changed much over the decades, either. Whew! 🙂

 

Do I know who Jaclyn Smith is? No, but she broke off my toe nail today as I did a hobble to my vehicle after running errands. I might have spouted off how much I disliked her (brand) of high heel at first before I had a chance to appreciate the comfort level of said high heels. It’s not Jaclyn’s fault K-Mart only stocked one size of her high heels in the discount section and had no half sizes for slender footed women out there. The size I wound up purchasing do fit with ankle cushion inserts so my feet don’t slide and I haven’t experienced any further problems. And the other brand “Attractions” was out of the sleek black shinny “Zoey” high heel on K-Mart’s discount shoe section. The toe was slightly pointy not rounded and caught my eye instantly so that says something about the overall style.

I’m not trashing Jaclyn Smith’s heels nor that of her clothing line. Now some of her clothes do appeal to me. But I can’t find anything of hers that fits me. I mean it’s all very casual and still gives off a sense of “youthfulness” and class that is tailored to just about every woman of any age and income. But her clothes are very cookie cutter ‘one size fits all’ mass-produced a lot of the time.

Since I’ve made it to my weigh loss goal I now fall into the ‘hard to buy for’ petite/ misses category almost veering into a ‘late’ teenager wardrobe section, I sorted through my old jeans and donated all but one pair I saved for when I’m working. The skinny jeans are the way to go for me nowadays because unlike regular jeans, there’s not a massive amount of leg material that needs to either be hemmed or rolled up. I also like the tapered leg of the skinny jeans and jeggings although I always told myself (negatively that is something I really must break myself of), I’d never be able to ‘rock’ a pair of those skinny jeans/jeggings in my lifetime. And as it turns out I’ve been able to find my size without any problems and they fit comfortably, but some good advice when jeggings/ skinny jean shopping; what might fit you great in your average size, may not fit well at all in another brand, so always take the time to try on a few different sizes. I discovered this helpful advice online some number of years ago.

And for the longest time I did my homework when it comes to these impressive, beautiful, sexy, yet somewhat dangerous high heels and what colors go well with both skinny jeans, dresses, and/ or shorts. And the result?

Well, for starters, I pounded the pavement in a pair of chunky sandals that could pass for heels. I tried this because I knew I’d likely break an ankle in stilettos my first time out. Until a woman gets her stride down wearing a pair of those, it’s strongly encouraged to start small with either chunky heels and/or wedge shoes that have more range of stability. So, I started out small and don’t plan to make a career of walking in high heels on a daily basis because I found they are very hard on the arches, ball of the feet, back, legs, etc. Also, keep in mind those thin stilettos have to bare the brunt of a woman’s full body weight, so its no wonders our feet, arches and other parts ache and break after a long day at the office or being on the go.

Well, until you’ve mastered walking in high heels without doing the banana splits or breaking an ankle, practice, practice, practice! Practice walking at home in high heels, at least this was highly advisable by some high heel wearing pros on Youtube. And try to walk on all surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, carpet, grass is quite tricky and the heels just sink into the ground. Always use the handrails when walking up and down the stairs and take it very slow. One other helpful tip: take baby steps and its heel to toe. Your heel is suppose to go down first, then the ball of your foot. Your stride will be different and slowed down considerably in high heels as opposed to tennis shoes. And carry those emergency booties, ladies. I’ve seen these compact ‘shoes’ in Dollar General and really it does sound like good advice even if a woman doesn’t wear high heels. Never know when you might need a pair of them.

I have one little black dress that *sigh* is made of that nasty 100 percent polyester. Until I can find another dress similar in style to it in cotton and a little less “swim suit” feeling against my skin, I’ll hang onto it. I highly doubt I’ll ever don that plastic skin-tight garment anytime soon, (if ever), but it’s made by a company called “Taboo”. Don’t know the exact age of said black dress or if it was expensive. I bought it used.

What other shoe hauls other than Jaclyn Smith and Attraction from K-Mart did I find?

Let’s see here… (sorts through her shoe bags)… I have some Charlotte Russe which retail for $35 new. I bought all of mine used in ‘like new’ condition for about $4 a pair and sometimes at a discount for around $2.00 per pair. And I have some by Fioni and “Fioni Nights” which are a Payless Shoe store brand from my research and retail for about $18 new. They look sexy and sophisticated for being an inexpensive high heel. I even have a pair of Apt. 9 high heels in one size up than what I normally wear. But again, it was the color and style that appealed to me the most and they were a dollar at the thrift store.

I purchased all of my Finoni high heels for about $1-3 each from thrift stores. And there’s another brand I picked up, and even though they’re one size larger than what I usually wear, but when I seen them, I couldn’t put them down! I loved everything about those Antonio Melani high heels, a Dillard’s brand of high heel that retails between $35-109. I bought my pair second hand for $3. And even though it would take a few of those ankle cushion inserts to ever wear these beautiful high heels, I doubt I will because they’re just too ‘Cinderella’-ish to be an ‘everyday’ type of heel, I feel. That, and I have no exceptionally nice outfits or dresses beautiful enough that would compliment said expensive Antonio high heels. And then I have a pair of Gianni Bini high heels that retail for $69-98 at Dillard’s. I bought my pair for $3 second-hand. I plan to reserve those for special occasions and when I gain more practice walking in high heels.

I have some lesser expensive high heels that are a no-frills kind that likely came from a department store for under $10. But its finding these high heels in the right size that won’t make my feet slip or break off a toe nail that’s a challenge. I did see a pair of Fredrick’s of Hollyweird, err, “Hollywood” pair of French Maid/ Role play shoes for $4.99 used. I didn’t buy those because they were gigantic on my slender feet and just fell off. I have heard that Fredrick’s of Hollywood is a famous lingerie store in California. I’ve only seen maybe two other Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie pieces ever surface in thrift stores and it’s not often those stick around. And I’ve also seen a ton of Victoria’s Secret lingerie at thrift stores. Some good advice: leave those teddies alone. Don’t know who wore them before you and if lingerie is a ‘must have’, please, buy it brand new just for personal hygiene’s sake.

I have reasonably deducted that the high heels I keep coming across used must have been donated by a hooker or a trio of ladies of the night. I say this because coming across such fancy high heels (in used “excellent” condition in their boxes with hardly any signs of wear) isn’t all that common to find in my local thrift stores. I’ve seen the all-too-familiar ‘clubbing’ high heels that strippers wear. But those are usually a size 10 and up. What woman has feet that huge? I think to myself, however, my mother let me know the depressing mother-daughter fact of life that our feet grow and flatten as we get older. Thanks a lot. Now I can expect to have unattractive basketball player-sized feet when I get older. 😦

The ‘clubbing’/ exotic dancer high heels don’t stick around very long in the thrift stores. And it’s not often I do come across expensive (and well made) high heels used in my size, but I’ve come home with quite a shoe haul for dirt cheap.

My purpose of going to rue 21 yesterday was to look at their picked over selection of standard Valentino knock-off high heels. Now those gladiator sandals really don’t have any appeal to me and feel uncomfortable to try on. But the Valentino knock-offs I’ve read are worth it because sometimes they feel and look far better than the actual Italian-made, outrageously expensive high heel. And then I found the second of the last pair of Qupids that lace up and they were deeply discounted. It was a pity rue 21 only had one size of those lacy high heels in my size. I believe the next size up would run a little too big, but if they’re still there come pay day, I may have to pop in and check those out.

I keep finding Jessica Simpson high heels all the time in thrift stores, but they’re always in a size too big for me. Some of her styles I do like but wouldn’t ever pay full price for when new. Buying used high heels has taught me a lot about fashion as well. Now used sandals are another story. I’ve had to turn around and re-donate a few pairs of sandals that would blister my toes and ankles and they’d feel so uncomfortable on my feet that it was no wonders a thrift store couldn’t practically give them away for .29 cents. As always, thanks for reading, liking, sharing, tweeting, re-blogging, etc. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

Benefits of Banana Peels.

Published May 28, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Banana-Peels

The benefits of a banana are amazing and I can’t say enough good things about bananas, in general. They taste great, are very high in potassium…

 

But what about that peel? Don’t throw it out, eat it! That’s if you want to. Yes, the banana peel is edible.

Now I don’t buy into the ‘landfill/ banana peels cause global warming’ debate that those are inherently evil for the environment when discarded in the trash here in the U.S., because, they aren’t. And whoever wrote that particular article claiming such, likely didn’t do their research  first or just cut/copied/ pasted something to their website, more than likely. Or… perhaps they don’t have a green thumb  and never stepped foot inside a garden, own a micro-mini farm, a compost heap, or so much try to be like the few out there that do manage to go off-grid and live a self-sustaining lifestyle.

My banana peels break down just fine in my compost and my rose bushes love them and they decompose rather fast, too. The banana peels will give back to the soil which is nutrients which in turn gives flowers and plant much needed food to survive and they make awesome compost! And you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for the bone meal and blood meal products that can be expensive and they don’t give as much in a tiny box.

 

But a lot of folks recommend either frying, baking or cooking the banana peel before it’s consumed to make the tough outer skin a little more easier to digest and soft.

 

What about pesticide residue on the banana peel, if it has any that is? Wash the banana peel and then soak it in a water bath would be my advice. I would refrain using tap water though. Tap water can have bacteria. I will always advocate steam-treated distilled water. That’s what I use to soak all of my fresh produce in. And if it’s a veggie, then it gets some Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar and regular apple cider vinegar.

 

Until recently though I’ve let my rose bushes have all the banana peels and other times they went straight into my compost pile. So long as it is non-meat and no fish it can go into the compost, so that was that or so I thought.

 

I recently tried rubbing a banana peel in my hair because there’s some benefits that will help to soften and give much needed nutrients to the hair follicle. It’s too soon for me to say whether or not I’ve noticed any difference as opposed to when I use the aloe vera leaf juice (that clear slimy stuff) that does make a noticeable difference in how my hair feels soft and becomes shiny. So I will keep an update on the banana peel hair care DIY.

 

Also, there’s even more benefits from a banana peel such as a natural tooth whitener. But this I discovered didn’t work for me, personally as great as the crushed fresh strawberry did to whiten my teeth naturally. Then of course you’ll have to follow-up with a regular brushing afterwards. And this natural tooth whitening should only be done once every two weeks or so I’ve heard, but not everyday as I’m sure it might be hard on the tooth enamel.

 

So, I did more reading on the edible banana peel. And I also did more research and now it’s off to see if these banana peels really do pack as much vitamins as one would need in their diet. Some folks claim banana peels will taste bitter if they’re not cooked, baked, or fried. I happen to be the rare few that do like some edible things to be tart and bitter tasting. Just how many vitamins does a banana peel contain? Let’s see here…

 

12 % of daily fiber.

 

17 % of vitamin C.

 

20 % of vitamin B-6.

 

12 % of potassium.

 

and…

 

8 % of magnesium.

 

And there’s plenty more benefits using banana peels than just eating them. They can help fight acne when applied to the skin. They can soften the skin and work wonders for the hair.

 

I tried rubbing a banana peel on my face, neck, and arms and it does make the skin soft. And if you’re one of those that suffers acne breakouts, (I don’t anymore now as an adult), rubbing a banana peel on the acne might be a healthier and more natural alternative as opposed to the expensive dermatologist prescribed acne creams and over the counter acne products.

 

I remember when I used to have bad teen acne and had to get a prescription (high strength) roll on acne medicine and it was the equivalent to 100 % rubbing alcohol. But whatever ingredients that acne stuff contained, did it ever like to burn my sensitive skin, yikes! I had to refrain from going out into the sun and exposing myself to UV rays after application anywhere from five to twenty minutes.

 

I don’t remember what the name of the prescription was called and this was before the days of Pro-Active acne treatment. All I do remember about the stuff is that it felt like my skin was burning off (like battery acid was applied to it) and it would turn red where the solution was applied on my face likely either a chemical burn and/or allergic reaction. And then, try to wash your face afterwards—forget that. My skin would be so raw that I could feel the heat radiating from it like a nasty sunburn, so it had me thoroughly convinced that prescription acne stuff was bad.

 

Thankfully my teen acne at the time wasn’t severe. It was bad, but tolerable and I still don’t believe that getting that prescription was the way to go. The over the counter acne stuff could only do so much. As a teen I never questioned, gave it a second thought or even so much glanced at all those chemicals and ingredients in all that pre-processed junk food I consumed like the occasional frozen pizzas, the pizza snacks, the soda pop which was probably by and large responsible for a lot of my teen acne due to its loads of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And oh, yeah, the candy and greasy fried foods, can’t forget those. Mind you, I ate this whenever my parents stepped out for the night which wasn’t an every night deal.

 

Oh, and that prescription acne stuff worked wonders stripping away a label from a cassette tape. The acne stuff must have contained something very harsh in it since it stripped off entire labels in one application as well I found out when trying an experiment with it. And when I stumbled onto that weird discovery, I quit using said prescribed acne solution and returned again to using over the counter products instead, and did so sparingly so I could give my skin a chance to heal.

 

Had I known back then about all these wonderful, inexpensive, nearly all-natural home toner, face, and acne remedies you can get from fruit and other common healthy fresh produce I would have opted for that any day of the week than ever having subjected myself to some ‘god-only-knows’ what harmful chemicals were in that prescription solution of acne medicine in a roll-on bottle.

 

But when I was a teenager I didn’t have any decision-making whatsoever when it came to what I wanted to use and/ or try. It was often whatever my parents decided for me and that’s how it was going to be until I was eighteen and living on my own. However, I still argued and complained like any other teenager in my shoes might have done. Oh and everything had to be dramatic. Can’t forget that teenage drama, either. At least there was never a dull moment.

 

And what I love most now that I am an adult is that I can make my own decisions. Thanks for reading, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, liking, sharing, etc. and to all my fellow bloggers and new followers, thank you! I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

My homemade skincare/ hair care aloe vera lotion: a how-to guide with step-by-step pictures:

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It will cost about a dollar or less for the aloe vera leaves depending on your geographical location, and if your supermarket stocks these huge leaves since they might likely be considered a ‘specialty’ item and hard to find/ purchase. I know before we got a new grocery store, I had no idea aloe vera leaves were sold fresh much less grown for their edible purposes as well. In fact, I had never seen a large aloe vera leaf in person until I popped into the new grocer to see what all the hubbub was about. And what I found was some very new and somewhat exotic edibles such as aloe vera and cactus leaves (when boiled cactus leaves are very similar to green beans and freeze well, too) which I’ll blog about here in a little bit in a separate post.

 

Before I spent any money on the aloe vera leaves, I did my research. I scoured youtube to see what others had to say about fresh aloe vera leaves. It turns out I learned of the many benefits of aloe vera and cactus leaves. I had seen whole cactus leaves being sold at some other grocers between $5-7 dollars and you only received two small cactus leaves that you had to then go to the trouble to de-thorn, slice, chop—essentially ‘prep’ the old-fashioned way. I watched several youtube videos on how to cut up a cactus leaf and the thorns fly everywhere even when using a plastic bag and scrapping them with a paring knife. Sounded like a potential whacking off a digit accident waiting to happen.

 

I did more research late at night while waiting for my [then working] off-balance washing machine to finish thrashing another load of laundry. After watching about ten ‘how to’ cut aloe vera leaves and boil cactus leaves youtube videos I decided to give both the aloe vera and cactus leaves a try.

 

Are the aloe vera leaves edible? Yes, the gooey clear gel is edible. However, if the slime is yellow this will act as nature’s laxative and it’s highly recommended to discard the yellow stuff. In small quantities the aloe vera leaf gel can be blended into smoothies, chopped up and frozen for later use for skin application and/or used in DIY olive, coconut, and argan oil hair mask treatments. I even found a use for the aloe vera leaf itself and like to cut it up, bag, label and freeze them for later use when dry shaving my legs or whenever I might need something quick and handy for rubbing on my skin or through my hair to make it soft. I usually run on a very erratic schedule, so yes, there’s going to be prep work involved which should take about 30-35 minutes and you’ll have to set aside time to cut the aloe vera leaves. I find that I can make this aloe vera gel last me about a month (conserving it that is) and stretching it with some steam-treated distilled water. Never use city tap water as that can contain bacteria and other nasties that can’t be filtered out in a city water treatment facility try as they might, plus if the city fluoridates their water or its hard water that’s really yucky!

 

“Make sure it’s steam-treated [distilled water], not the other kind,” That was sound advice from my dear dad a year ago. He’s been a health nut long before I was ever born.

 

Here’s the steps I use for making my homemade aloe vera lotion. Oh, and this must be kept in the fridge or else it will go rancid if sitting out since there’s no preservatives whatsoever when I make my aloe vera lotion.

aloe leaves for hair care

Step one: Wash the aloe vera leaf with some distilled water (never tap water) to give it a quick rinse. Drying the aloe vera leaf isn’t necessary unless you want to do this extra step.

aloe vera step2

Step two: Make sure you have a bowl or other container ready. I find that placing a bowl in the kitchen sink helps and I just scrape the gooey goodness into it from the cutting board. Use a serrated knife and a cutting board as well. Also, be extremely careful when slicing these aloe vera leaves. The gooey stuff is slimy and will be the consistency of egg yoke and it gets over everything and makes work surfaces and the knife you’re using very slippery. So, do exercise caution when cutting the aloe vera leaves with a sharp knife and take your time.

aloe vera step 3

Step three: I like to cut off the tip and end and discard those in my compost container that I plan to empty into my garden. Next, I slice downward to remove the prickly thorny sides of the aloe vera leaf. Sometimes they’ll yield a very tiny amount of clear gooey stuff and I’ll cut those into slices and place them in my freezer bag for later use. When I can help it I don’t like to discard a lot of stuff until I get as much use from it as humanly possible.

aloe vera step 4

Step four: Transfer the clear gooey stuff from the bowl and pour it into the blender. Blenders will vary and I like to start blending with the ice crushing option, then whip and puree. At this point the clear aloe vera gel should turn frothy and foamy. This is normal and the foam will settle. To make this stretch further I also pour in about half a cup of distilled water and blend it some more. Again, this will turn foamy and it will settle. I then make sure my aloe vera jar is handy and fill it. After screwing the cap on it I like to give the contents a good shake then place it in the fridge.

 

Shelf life of my homemade aloe vera lotion is about one week in the fridge. However, I’ve been able to make my aloe vera lotion last for about two weeks even a month if I’m conservative with it and haven’t noticed it going rancid in the fridge. And always whenever I remember I will pick up one or two aloe vera leaves and store them in my fridge until I need one this way I have a constant stock of them on hand. And look for the discounts. Sometime aloe vera leaves will be sold by the red tape bundle at a discount if they’re wilted. This I’ve discovered doesn’t matter much to me since I don’t use the wilted aloe vera leaves for smoothies. I use the wilted aloe vera leaves for my skin and hair care lotions. I use the good aloe vera leaves for the smoothies which I seldom make except once-in-a-while due to their cleansing/ detoxing properties.

aloe vera step 5

Step five: pour the aloe vera lotion in a glass jar. I have heard that plastic containers can leach out chemicals into food and drinks so I re-use a 10 ounce glass green olive jar for my homemade aloe vera lotion (pictured).

 

Hope this how-to tutorial helps for my fresh homemade aloe vera lotion. I never use any preservatives when making this. When it settles it will feel like a raw egg when applying it to the hair and skin. But no need to panic, the skin absorbs the aloe vera gel rather fast and leaves your skin feeling velvety smooth. Sometimes there might be some gel sediment that adheres to the skin and hair. I use a soft-bristle natural foot brush to whisk this from my skin and hair. When applied to the hair (a little bit goes a long way), wrap your hair in a silk or cotton scarf or any soft large light-weight material will do and keep it on for an hour, then remove the scarf and gently comb your fingers through your dry hair. Doing this step after you’ve washed and towel-dried your hair works great and makes your hair feel extremely soft and gives it some shine. I found this to be a huge relief since my area is hard water. And since I quit exposing my hair to all the fluoridated city water recently, I noticed my hair is not as limp, weighed down, greasy or unhealthy or ‘unwashed’ in appearance. Also, I don’t wash my hair daily into overkill like I once used to do years ago and saturate my poor hair strands to chemically-laden shampoos and conditioners (whatever was cheap at one time). I also re-use my fresh fruit/ fresh veggie distilled rinse water and make my own Camomile sun tea on occasion to give some high lights to my hair. Other times I keep a large pickle jar in the fridge filled with part distilled and bottled drinking water (supposedly non-fluoridated when I checked).

DO NOT use a plastic comb to brush out your hair when applying this aloe vera gel into your hair. Sometimes it will leave microscopic gel balls that can tangle the hair, so go easy when brushing your hair. This hair care process shouldn’t be rushed as I found out in my early trial and errors.

Recently, I’ve heard from many folks that strive to grow out their hair and keep it healthy advise to ditch the plastic hair brushes and combs completely, and if at all possible, do not wash your hair with city water unless you have a water purifier/ filtration system that can filter out heavy metals, contaminants and some traces of fluoride. Another hair care top: opt for boar hair bristle hair brushes/combs. And those are difficult to find unless they’re antique. I saw a ‘made in China’ boar hair shower brush at Big Lots a while back, but inset in the middle of it was a chunk of plastic as a faux loofah sponge. I’ll pass thank you very much even though I realize getting rid of all plastics out of my life is nearly impossible although little by little I am making snail pace strides to natural vegan materials as I can afford to do so.

When I need to brush my hair I use an itty bitty antique celluloid comb. The rest of the time I use my antique hair/ clothing brushes since they were made during the 1850’s/ 1900’s and have real hair bristles (not nylon even though it was produced back in this time frame). Since using the antique hair/ clothing brushes to brush my hair vs. using plastic hair brushes has made a huge difference. I haven’t dealt with many tangles when brushing my hair after it’s completely dry, that is. And I haven’t felt any knots or painful tangles in my hair either like I used to get often when using a plastic brush and comb. And I quit combing my hair while its still wet. This is when the hair is most fragile and elastic-like. It can snap, strands can fall out (often referred to hair fall out) when brushed wet, tangle and knot like it’s nobody’s business, and did I mention all of it painful if you have a sensitive scalp? It is.

Thanks for re-blogging, liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting and especially to all of my subscribers. I truly appreciate your likes, shares, etc.! 🙂

I’ll be posting some budget gourmet kitchen how-to goodies from how to grow your own celery on your kitchen window sill, drying your own spices from fresh store-bought/ patio-grown herbs, making cinnamon-flavored toothpicks, and my almost “sugar free” dessert. 😀

 

 

 

 

It’s the Brass Buckle… wait, it’s The Buckle…nope, it’s just “Buckle”.

Published March 11, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

brass buckle clothes 1 This mall store was called “The Buckle”. Why I’ve called it the Brass Buckle for many long years is beyond me. And I finally brought my two expensive beloved new denim vests home. It appears as though I traveled back in time to purchase them. And out of all the clothes at the Buckle there was something about those two denim vests that was special. Maybe a long lost memory of “wish it had been around” back in the day, but these shredded and acid-washed vests wouldn’t have been seen in a high-end clothing store like the Buckle back in the 80’s/90’s. I found an old exterior picture of the former Buckle sign on Pentrist when randomly searching for an earlier image of this store. The Buckle’s typography has changed over the years. I prefer the way the Buckle sign used to look, but that’s because I don’t like seeing boring typography/ signs. Oh, and the Brass… eh, Buckle has always been expensive.

Yours truly wanted to treat myself for sticking with my Yoga and cardio exercises, which have yielded me… no, not six pack abs thankfully, that’s not my goal. But I have slimmed down than what I had when I first began exercising two months back. And has the weight been staying off? Yes and no. It just depends if I have those “cheat” moments and either consume natural sugar from the raw honey or from too much fruit at the wrong times of day. If I consume fresh fruit and/ or fruit smoothies in the morning then my body will burn through that natural sugar. However, if I mess up an have an apple for my dessert or fresh fruit late in the evening, then I gain it all back. So it varies from day to day.

I had a moment of inspiration while in rue 21. In the dressing rooms they post how a person could win $50 if you model their clothes and upload it to instagram or some other picture uploading website. And for us older folks, don’t forget to use your pound sign “#”. I know it’s a “hashtag” but, yeesh, hashtag reminds me of “hash browns”.

Rue 21 tops, alas, I don’t buy any if the fabric has polyester. I find that if it has a high content of plastics it will just irritate my skin. I haven’t found an all cotton top yet at rue 21. But from there, I have taken “after” or “getting there”  photos of my weight loss journey. I still have a long way to go before I’ll ever see those defined abs, which isn’t really my goal, per se, but hey, if it works, great! 😀

And there’s that part of me that was drawn back to the Buckle. I keep wanting to refer to it as “The Brass Buckle”. So, today was especially long on me. Not only did I get in some mall-walking, I also got in some irritating “people-loitering” in the aisles of Wally-world as well. I did price checking for a 1988 House of Coty perfume, Exclamation. It will always weave itself and its fruity hints of the late 80’s and leave a lasting impression of my older sister who has always been my biggest fashion inspiration and liked it at the time back in 1989. I haven’t found a pair of ‘hoop’ earrings yet that won’t pull down on my ear lobes due to heaviness, nor look like the thin hoops I remember seeing. I found some at Wal*Mart that were small and more like what I’m searching for, but only a few neon colors appealed to me. I did the price comparisons and went from the jewelry aisle back to where I found said last pair of jeans. $4.88 versus $19.98 for the jeans. The earrings came in a six pack, which for what they’re made of pot metal I felt the asking price $4.88 was excessive. There were more of those earrings in stock. I scrutinized the neon hoops. The earrings were painted pot metal and kind of on the ‘heavy’ side as far as earrings are concerned.

And hoop earrings are massive in size and heavy nowadays. They’re nothing like the smaller cute light weight pairs of yesteryear. I know I stated in my post I don’t/ haven’t shopped at Wal*Mart, and I that now makes me a hypocrite because I went there today. Since I was out in the area I refer to as “suburb/restaurants/shopping center nightmares” due to the heavy traffic and decided to cure my curiosity.

The pair of acid-washed I found are by “No Boundaries”, a very generic staple Wally word brand. I still have it in my head that $19.99 is steep for a pair of any new pair of jeans, however, it sure beats the dom perignon of $79.99-$200 and up from the other guys. I don’t want to say anything bad about the denim the Buckle stocks, but none of it appealed to me and I couldn’t see spending or putting anything else on layaway from them. The Buckle’s jeans were just too much alike in style, cut, and the prices are way too steep for the average working person. Now, I’m not downing their store. I think it would be an awesome place to shop with unlimited funds, try on and if a person finds something they like, layaway is always there, no matter the income bracket. What is dismaying is the discount rack which is a joke. It doesn’t offer much off the original price.

When I hunt for garments that appeal to me price is the biggest factor. Secondly, the material and texture. If it’s too stiff, scratchy, irritating, or feels like spun plastic, then I don’t even bother to pull it off the rack and look at it. Third, the quality. I know that the article doesn’t always need to be top notch. However, if its my hard-earned money that I’m dumping into a semi-nice wardrobe for any season, then it better last me long after I get it up to the register and pay for it. Like, it better last me two lifetimes over. But I realize that’s pipe dreaming when concerning made in China clothing.

Lets discuss the prices. Do I really want it that badly that I’ll pay a steep price? Do I really need it? And the last question; Will it last? Yeah, as long as I don’t look at the garment the wrong way. But the denim already has shreds in it. How long can it possibly ‘last’? Well, if well taken care of, I suspect it will last me a few years. I bought both of my vests in size large because I think in terms of future laundering. China clothing (especially Asian) runs so small and always has. The size large I was able to button the vests and it felt comfortable. The size small was way too small and I’m a petite woman. And when washed these articles may/ might not shrink. They are 100 per cent inferior cotton, not real, authentic sturdy cotton material the way it used to be once-upon-a-time.

The staff is top notch at the Buckle. I would highly suggest stepping in a Buckle store location, but there have been some disappointments and no resolution to bad reviews about their products when ordered online from countless folks. So buyer beware. Make sure you can go in person to try on some of these clothes and shoes. The Buckle does have some nice summer shoes and that’s all I’ll say about them. But the price turns me away instantly. I’d be insane to ever pay more than $20 for a pair of tennis shoes, albeit $50- 290 for a single pair of their signature sandals, boots, shoes, thongs (flip flops), etc.

I’ve been able to find Daytrip, BKE and a few other signature “Buckle” brands at my local thrift stores for a whole lot less, about $2.49-$4 for either a Daytrip top and BKE shorts. And on eBay, these articles don’t have hardly any resell value. I’ve seen a pair of Gemini Daytrip shorts for $25 Buy It Now. That’s getting cheaper, but still quite pricey when you add on the shipping. These shorts, when new, retail for $45.95 and up. I see them with less zeal than I had when I first laid eyes on their acid-washed shorts a while back. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, etc. I truly appreciate it as always! 🙂

 

 

Dead Malls Everywhere.

Published March 5, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I have nothing against malls. In fact, I find mall-walking very fun compared to the marathon ‘out-of-breath’ beat the huge crowds that mill around Wal*Mart all day long. The reason why I don’t shop at Wal*Mart and haven’t for quite a while: parking spaces can’t be found. Secondly, it is crowded day and night. All of Wal*Mart’s merchandise is bottom of the barrel Made in China cheap and/ or chemically perfumed articles of clothing/ jewelry. But then so is about any place you shop.

As I approach any store my sense of smell is heightened. I usually know right off the bat if the dizzying whiff of ‘chemical’ or a plastic odor hits my nostrils is going to repel me or not before I even pass through those metal detectors. And I can get a general summary that my sinuses will love me back in the worst possible way for the entire evening and that means a migraine headache.

I am super-sensitive to certain smells and various plastics. If I linger looking at the garment tag instead of the price tag, it doesn’t mean I’m picky. I’m checking to see what materials the garment is made of. If there’s a large percentage of polyester, nylon or even rayon, forget it. If it comes to a pair of slim low-rise stretchy denim shorts that have 2 per cent of spandex or less, then I might consider it. Again, it all boils down to three things: a.) price. If the price is asking more than what I think the garment is worth, forget it. b.) If it reeks of chemicals/plastic or states anywhere on a tag that such garment can cause reproductive harm/ cancers in the state of California, then again, forget it. I realize a lot of man-made materials winds up in clothes. Heck even recycled bottles make up the garment tag that sewn into it nowadays. States right on the tag. And with all this outcry over how bad plastics are in ours daily lives, especially since plastics continually leech out toxins into our beverages and foods, the last thing I’d ever want to do is bound myself in polyester or any plastic ‘blend’. Modal is just wood pulp. Yep, essentially paper but its used as a filler because its so cheap to turn into a synthetic fabric but won’t hold up well to getting wet at all.

I’m at probably one of the last 20th century icons that’s seen just about every generation; the mall. But what makes all these malls dead nowadays? And what gems did I bring back from my own day at the mall? Pictures. A few of them and I even wrote down the prices of the items I looked at. I really should do some ‘then and now’ comparisons to show the very bleakness of what became of most malls (some struggling, others since closed and demolished).

But for now, the familiar stores struggle to hang in there. The ones that have made it through the 2008 ‘second’ Great Depression (as I term it) are Claire’s, Victoria’s Secret, Sears (which is really dwindling nowadays in 2016). I saw one browser and no sales clerks asking me every two minutes, “Can I help you find something?”

Yep, something’s wrong here.

And in Dillard’s forget it. No sales clerk even approached me my whole five minutes I was in there looking at their polyester garments. Prices were low on a few items, but not much different than Sears (Roebuck and Company).

I assume my resurgence for my local mall was like touring through a living history museum. For one, the interior and exterior hasn’t changed much (if at all) since the mall was built somewhere in the late 1970s/ early 80’s. Secondly, there used to be a second mall that went up (don’t know what year), but it was on its last leg in 1993, and most stores that were in there originally went bust. There was a lot of dead space, lack of any interior design. There was a fitness gym that went in, then closed down, and the last store to actually be in there was a place called Tuesday Mornings, and by 2010 or so, they ceased all business. The space sits abandoned. The large portion of the second mall now houses a dollar store, and on the other side of is a tack and saddle shop that’s been in the same location for ages. The second mall also housed a movie theater before the interior was re-vamped to expand the dollar store. Before renovations ever began there used to be one over-priced fabric/sewing notions store that never re-stocked their shelves. There was one popcorn place in that second mall and one very itty bitty bead store where a lady sold beads individually and they weren’t cheap. Oh, and can’t forget about the single payphone right in the middle of the second mall. From what I heard about the second mall and why it went under was due to its competition and bad design flaws. It was extremely hard to find the only entrance and exit to the second mall.

So the only remaining mall wins out, and at some point, was a victim of the changing times. Teenagers aren’t allowed to stay past a certain time on Fridays or the weekends. I can understand wanting to make the mall a safe place for family-orientated people to congregate and (hopefully) buy and/or eat at the food court. There’s only five food places in the food court: soft-baked pretzels, pizza, Taco John’s, Asian food, and a cookie place. And its  nothing I’d want to snack on since I’m a strict Vegetarian. A slice of pizza is $3.99 and that’s without a combo or a drink.

Families are some of the very last folks out there that might have some extra money to burn. But again, everyone of all income brackets have to hang onto their money. Mall shopping is nearly a thing of the past thanks to Amazon and other online retail outlets. This practically cuts out the need for the middle man; the physical brick and mortar store to go pick up said item(s) that are ordered. Why go there when you can shop at home and have it delivered to your doorstep?

There’s something ‘dated’ about every mall and it’s no different. If you ever happen to watch a Youtuber’s channel  ThisIsDanBell, he takes you (the viewer), on some spooky and downright accurate ‘memory lane’ tours of America’s deadest malls. You can check out his Dead Mall Series. It’s worth a look see. He runs a close second with Adamthewoo. Adam the woo also goes on urban explorations. Sometimes hilarious and both Youtubers are quite the historians on the locations they film. And then there’s Exploring with Josh, a young Youtuber who goes exploring. And the thing that people reminisce about and is highly requested: malls, abandoned amusement parks, abandon buildings, abandoned schools, etc. And malls seem to be largely popular with every generation. There’s a fascination with how things once appeared, the styles, mullet hairstyles, big hair, and look over there… jeans were normal denim, not the ‘skinny’ look nowadays. Yes, I’ve seen how the 80’s acid-washed and even stone-washed look is trying to make a come back. However, it’s just not the same.

Denim of the Eighties was cotton. It did not stretch or have that luxurious feel of ‘second skin’. It was heavy, and in the summer your waistband soaked up all the sweat and didn’t allow your skin to breathe. Spandex filled that ‘second skin’ in the 80’s/90’s and looked better than the crappy-made polyester leggings I run across far too often. I shouldn’t be downing leggings since I own two *cotton* pairs myself, it’s when they are near see-thru, very thin, or too thick that makes wearing them uncomfortable. Denim of today is mixed with a large polyester content, spandex (about 1-2 %), modal (tree pulp) and I’d almost say tree poop which would be no different, Viscose (again, another tree poop– eh, pulp/paper byproduct), ‘other materials’ that don’t state what ‘other’ includes. And the list goes on.

We remember the sights, sounds, smells, excitement, and Dan Bell puts a lot of special effects and great care in his videos. Adam the woo, and Exploring with Josh are equally good with giving the viewer a strong sense of being there with them on their journeys.  Sometimes there’s a clip of vintage TV commercials, sometimes a sound-track playing in the back ground with that vintage ‘era’ mall/grocery shopping music (kind of like elevator musik) was back in the day. And Dan Bell has inserted in one of his clips of an eerie sounding vintage PA announcement of specials and sales going on store wide while zooming into a closed department (anchor) store. All of their channels are well-worth checking out. They’re awesome. Yet it’s sad to see some of the last time capsules rotting away or being sold at auction where any given mall’s fate will likely be with a wrecking ball.
Forget re-habbing these malls for the ‘hipster’ generation. There’s no stores nowadays that would appeal to me unless upgrading your cell phone or some other techno device every two weeks is in vogue and plays a vital role in one’s life.

Who needs three cell phone stores in a mall? I assume this is what a hipster store is all about, and if it is, then it bores me to tears simply because I don’t see how mall cell phone stores make enough to cover the cost of rent. I imagine mall rent has to be extremely astronomical. Secondly, technology is good, but it goes overboard when all I see are boring cell phone stores and cute little cell phone ‘bling’ (accessories) that serve no actual purpose other than to show off and look cute. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner just about.

I look just like I time-traveled from 1989, albeit my jeans are skinny (modern), my jacket and shirt are ‘pulled together’ goodies bought second-hand. I waltz into Sears and it’s like a ghost town. I’m waiting to hear an intro to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly blare out of their PA system and hope a tumbleweed crosses my path. It wasn’t that dramatic, but it was eerily silent and reminded me of that 80’s film where a meteor wipes off everybody on the planet, (those unfortunate enough to have been outdoors when it hit), and yet, everyone that remained inside survived. If you ever get a chance to see that film (and the name of the title escapes me at the moment), it would be liken to what I pictured a dead Sears store would look like during an apocalypse or even nowadays.

 

So when I tired of taking a “selfie” and another picture of that same old, cracked, asbestos-tile mall floor that’s standard in almost all mall designs, I walked the full length back to browse in Claire’s and returned to the [Brass] Buckle. The Buckle is one of those things on my bucket list (if I ever sit down and actually write one up on actual paper, that is). It wouldn’t be a high priority ‘to-do’ thing, but I did miss out shopping there the first time around when it was still a new designer clothing chain and a very “Preppy” teen store. Not to mention so over-priced even for the 80’s that I never stepped foot inside of one until decades later. Originally the “Brass Buckle” never did have a boho fashion/skinny jeans/ shredded vests, shredded jeans, or shredded jean jackets back in the eighties. They had very straight-laced, high-end designer clothing aimed at rich kids and their parents that could afford to charge it to their credit cards. Somewhere I have a vague memory the Brass Buckle had a paper punch card kind of like a shopper’s reward card is nowadays. I was just reminded of that the day I was at the cashier counter.

But here again, at one time I could never have fathomed me waltzing into a Brass Buckle store now years later. Times have changed. And thankfully the styles have moved away from the plain and somewhat boring fashions for teens of the late 80’s/90s. I say boring because everything was pin-stripe t-shirts, normal jeans, some acid-washed styles minus the rips or shreds in the material. There was no tight long sleeve shirts, fringe vests, Hurley [brand] attire, or even form-fitting shirts like there’s an avalanche of nowadays.

Everything now appears to be boho-clothing, beach/ summer wear, thongs (flip-flops), sandals, hats, sunglasses, shirts, tops, tanks, shorts, Daisy Dukes, acid-washed (the second generation) that still kind of sorta resembles something that looked like original acid-washed did back in the Eighties. Oh, yeah, the rock stars back then also wore acid-washed clothing so it wasn’t strictly for the young, but even the older generation could wear acid-washed denim with style.

And that’s what my eyes fell on, two denim vests. The prices would make one shrink back in fear. But the friendly sales team at the Brass Buckle would make you think otherwise. And they do offer law-away plans, too which was surprising considering they were at one time, a very popular clothing store. I suspect though this isn’t the case anymore. There was maybe two other shoppers in there when I was there as opposed to the place being packed on any given week night years prior. But that’s a sign of the times, as the adage goes. Trends are now mass-produced straight from China, and it’s “Better hurry while the offer lasts,” kind of deal.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for reading, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting, and liking. I truly appreciate it. 🙂