Feb. 2016

All posts in the Feb. 2016 category

rue 21 Layered nail polish, mall stores, and jewelry review:

Published February 29, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I decided to review a store in the mall called rue 21, Victoria’s Secret, and another modern high-end clothing store.

I know, I know… rue 21 is a store aimed at pre-teens/ teenagers/ Twiggy super model folks that have stick figures. But since yours truly here doesn’t need anymore clothes—really, she literally has TONS of downsizing she should be working on in her wardrobe, but it’s a nice day out today. I want to take advantage of the sunshine and somewhat warm odd weather by getting my assets out there and clearing away the rest of the debris from the garden. By tomorrow though, its supposed to be very cold again and unpleasant.  😦

But for right now I wanted to squeeze in at least one blog post before I hit the great outdoor barren land known as my backyard.

I had only been in rue 21 maybe one time before I found their discount section. You know—the merchandise that was likely somebody’s five finger discount, and when its recovered, has missing parts or pieces. Sometimes if an item is boxed, the packaging is so damaged, nobody in their right mind would pay full price for it. And other times said jewelry just breaks because its so cheap and made in China.

I gravitated to their discounted jewelry, and believe me, I don’t care if the set of earrings match or are broken/ missing their mate, etc. If I happen across another pair just like them at a deep discount, I purchase both sets. But most of the earring sets they had on sale for half off were matching and nothing wrong with them. Other sets of discounted earrings were missing a pair or two. So, I bought a few feather earring sets in different colors. Yep, real feathers, but from what specific bird or flock, I have no idea. Oh, and I bought a pair of dream catcher earrings for only a dollar. But most of the earring sets will be in the $2-$3 range or under.

As I was examining the jewelry for long term wear ability (as in can it tolerate daily wear and tear) and the quality of said jewelry, I seldom buy it if its flimsy or the fake gold hoops will tarnish before I have the chance to pay for them. Starting in the 90s (about 1993 and ’94) jewelry had really began a downward spiral. Yes, the inexpensive (and sometimes even high-end stuff) was/ is very inferior. Not so much by way of design, but by quality and the pot metal used to produce it. Pot metal was supposed to be the “new” white metal that was extremely light-weight and very inexpensive to mass-produce in large quantities. Pot metal was used in everything from cookware to phonograph parts back in the day, which is why now one-hundred years later, if you happen across a broken tone arm to a hand crank phonograph, the likelihood it was made of pot metal is very great. In fact, pot metal has its origins stemming all the way back to the Civil war era of the 1860s, if not earlier.

So when the jewelry production became less and less in 1993, I quit wasting my money on it. I also had severe skin reactions to the cheap metal used in the 90’s jewelry, and honestly, I got sick of hearing everybody saying, “Oh, I’m allergic to gold jewelry, too!” Admit it, it’s not real gold. Most folks can’t afford that. And for quite some time I suspect it was something in the metal jewelry that gave me and many others skin rashes to the chemicals used when producing this 90’s jewelry junk. I turned instead to the thrift stores. I know, Ewww, gross. You’re really going to buy second-hand necklaces and earrings? What if somebody really disgusting wore them before you?

Here’s how to sterilize earrings (including used ones): mix a capful of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of rubbing alcohol, give the earrings a quick soak in the solution and immediately place said earrings on a towel to dry. If the earrings are made of enamel-painted metals, be sure not to let them soak for more than a minute or so, or else the enamel paint will flake off and the posts or hooks on the earrings might corrode and become rusty. That’s how we did things back in these ‘old days’ when  shopping for new jewelry became too expensive in the retail chain stores at the mall.

I do remember Claire’s Boutique in the mall was the place to go back in 1989/90. Not only was it up-to-date on the [then]  trend of boys getting their ears pierced, but some of the most awesome jewelry I ever purchased in the late 80s came from Claire’s. I remember my older sister would cart me along to the mall with her (and it was only once a month, if that and whenever our parents could drop what they were doing and provide the transportation), and therefore, a special treat.

Believe me, you don’t want to make the trek on foot from one end of town to the boondocks on a sweltering, windy day to the location where the mall was constantly undergoing expansion despite that it was a far cry from ever becoming a booming metropolis.

Anywho, we make the trek out there, poked fun at all the mall walkers, and I must point out that mall walkers of the late 80’s generation were far different from the mall walkers that mill around nowadays. 80’s mall walkers looked like extras from a Richard Simmons exercise vhs tape. Seriously! My sister and I never did spot Richard Simmons running around in a sweat headband and spandex. And the mall walkers of the 80’s would literally mow you down if you didn’t ‘move-it-or-lose-it’.

And my older sister and I would make ourselves appear older than we were. We were trying to garner the attention from the teenage boys. But since yours truly wouldn’t hit puberty for another year, I couldn’t pass it off, though my sister did do an excellent job on my hair and makeup. In fact, I was still in my ‘tom boy’ faze. I didn’t go all out to dress to impress. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend yet at 12. I believe I enjoyed the mall back in the late 80s due to its exciting atmosphere. I mean the mall around this time attracted all kinds of people. I saw guys in their twenties with hair longer and straighter than mine and they sported more piercings in their ears than I did. And then if you seen a thirty-something show their face in a place like Hastings music store, they were really ‘old’. However, we failed to see that the rock bands we loved so much, all that heavy metal music, those musicians were old enough to be our parents during these times. But we still fawned over them as there’s a saying, “Rock stars are ageless.” And people, collectively seemed to age slower as opposed to nowadays, and I truly believe this is due to a change in our chemically-treated food/ fluoridated and chlorinated drinking water, chem trails…. etc. that I won’t ramble on about.

And nowhere in sight was there a hint of body modifications, lip fillers, breast implants on your average woman back in the late 80s. I mean, I’m sure there was if you were a super model, but your average working woman didn’t feel the compulsion to be driven to such extremes. We didn’t see anybody sporting huge ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes back in the eighties, either. Those we only saw on the educational/ documentaries about different tribes. As a young generation growing up during the 80s we were slowly introduced to the ‘nose piercing’ beginning about 1989. This was made famous by one of the band members in Skid Row. (And if you’re reading this, forgive me if I don’t know who you are. All I know is my sister liked your band). I’m terrible with who played what instrument and the name of said rock star, but the nose piercing was a shocking statement of body jewelry adornment and there was more yet to come.

And nowhere was there any stores aimed strictly at teenagers called rue 21 or even the pre-teen/ little girl store “Justice”. And now even years later I never fail to shock myself bypassing what appears to me to be a store for teenagers, but in reality the store displays bras for little girls?! 😮

I read countless stories about little girls are maturing much younger nowadays and their bodies are undergoing more stress thanks to all the chemicals and growth hormones that are in dairy products, processed foods, in school-mandated vaccines that it’s no wonder the next generation are hitting growth spurts early on even long before puberty. Same goes for the shoes. I’ve been told repeatedly that shoe stores seldom stock a woman’s size 6 or even a men’s size 4 anymore. This is because women’s feet are almost as large as a man’s nowadays. Therefore, I shoe shop in the thrift stores and just hope I find a pair of shoes that still have some miles on them and fit.

And I’m so glad I was one of those girls that went through puberty at about the right age which was 13 long before any of the mandated questionable vaccines became commonplace. Long before the chemicals in our food began to sicken us (literally) though it was always there just seldom brought to light. And it took me half my life to make the connection to that. I was spared, and in retrospect, I consider myself blessed.

Back in my day they weren’t giving growth hormones to cattle or livestock or putting man-made sweeteners in the milk so kids would drink more of it. And if they were, then they sure wouldn’t tell us, the consumer about it because if we all of the sudden became ‘nutritionally concerned’, then we wouldn’t buy their products.

All I did hear about messing with food was the dawn of the GMO’s were being discussed on daytime talk shows like Opera, Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue, Sally Jessie Raphael,  and GMO’s were largely laughed at and discredited in the early 90s as I remember it. I believe it began with the genetically modified yellow corn taco shells from Taco Bell and then became progressively worse as the years went on. Yet today we have people like Alex Jones trying to wake people up to what’s really being put into our food and tap water. But that’s getting way, way off topic.

No, we didn’t have rue 21. There wasn’t a teen store called Justice either back in the 80s/90s. I didn’t receive my first ‘torture device’ known as the bra until I was 13 and it was new-old-stock straight from the 1950’s, I kid you not. I still remember the box it came in. The bra was plain, white, very stiff maybe cotton material, no stretch to it whatsoever. It was horribly uncomfortable, no underwires yet, but you really didn’t need them with this excruciatingly painful itchy undergarment. What chemicals was my first bra made from? Likely stuff that would be banned nowadays for potential carcinogen causing and/ or flammable materials, no doubt.

And bras for teenagers weren’t sexy. There was no ounce of Ooh-la,la when bra shopping with your own mother. And the bra of the early 90s wasn’t aimed at turning on the teenage boys, either. It was a garment that was supposed to support and function and nothing else, although until I made the connection with the bra and health risks it can pose years later, never gave it a second thought as to any potential damage I had possibly exposed myself to for many years.

Bra shopping back in the day was embarrassing, especially with your mom. It wasn’t a fun experience and it wasn’t intended to be one. The goal was never about, “Oh, I want that bra that unhooks in the front, has see-thru lace insets, has cute little bows, unties over the nipples…” or the “Hey, check it out! There’s nothing more than an under bust open shelf bra. My boyfriend will want to see me in that and we’ll have great sex!” Such thoughts like those, if you grew up in a sheltered household that is, you didn’t entertain until you became a legal adult and/ or gotten married. In fact, parents used to lash out on their kids if they even gawked at a naked mannequin in a store window. Nowadays, totally different mind set. Completely different world.

My mom and I made repeated trips down to a small town sundry store called Hampstead’s that was operated by a snow-haired little old lady who was in her 80s (and this was way back in 1990, by the way). I still remember it was that little old lady who laid down the law in her store the first day we met. She didn’t tolerate any loud or obscene behavior and didn’t like teenagers running unsupervised in  her store (and years later as an adult I’d understand why). I came to deeply appreciate all this old lady explained and showed me.

I immediately obeyed, and by the end of that very same summer, we were on a first-name basis. I became a loyal customer buying stale candy and comic books and would help her out when she needed to straighten up the store since I was a.) young and b.) physically able to bend down and reach things and stand on a ladder or use a long pole to reach stuff that was high up on a shelf.

Back then we didn’t do too much on computers except play some floppy copy disks games at school since the internet wasn’t around and computers weren’t in most American homes. If you wanted a job in the real world (aside from mowing lawns all summer), then you had to mentally do the math in your head, dress nice when picking up job applications, speak like an adult, and have/ show manners.

Cash registers weren’t always digital. They used to be manual and didn’t run on electricity and they wouldn’t spit out the correct amount to give back. You had to figure it out in your head and be quick on your toes.

We weren’t given homework on a school website back in the early 90s. And we weren’t so lazy with our grammar that it went unchecked by the keen eye of an English teacher. You learned about these life skills the old fashioned way through physical text books, actual paper ‘homework’ and a teacher’s short fuse. Either knew it or you were written off as a lost cause in a teacher’s eyes at the let out of the first day of school. There was a strict mentality of either you’re smart or were born a dumb ass if you needed anything clarified. I always viewed it as the sink or swim theory.

I knew where to find the best deals that was for certain when growing up, and if we found a close parking space available, then we knew it was going to be a good shopping day and we might hit pay dirt. I assume nowadays the term is “haul” and what you get a lot of for very next to nothing. I don’t create or upload any “haul” videos on Youtube. Maybe I should. But Youtube seems to have so many of those videos and the ‘live on a dollar a day’ grocery shopping videos that it can be mind-boggling at times.

And so I wandered through my local mall this month. I stopped at a junction inside the mall that used to have a beautiful water fountain back in 1993, but it had long since been removed and the space now converted into a corral for fake motorized animals that you can rent to ride for two minutes, five minutes, and thirty minutes, but the cost to ride them is excessive and priced per the minutes. I believe the fountain closed down due to teenagers who used to dip their hands in and snatch the change at the bottom. All mall cops would shout was, “Stop doing that.”

Alrighty then. And here we have these motorized animal scooters. Totally boring. I mean Showbiz Pizza was a lot more fun than these hideous rides. At least at Showbiz a kid could be a kid. A teenager could go there for the arcade games, play them until they ran out of change, and still it didn’t hurt the pocket book by the minute. But entertainment nowadays is so dull. I assume that and the Jump-for-Joy activity are the only two major pulls that keeps this local mall going. Oh, those and the mall theater which has a ticket booth on one side (never busy or open it appears), and the actual movie theater on the opposite side appears completely devoid of staff. To make the movie theater appear busy the mall has installed a few of those crane games.

And everyone milling around seem very out of shape or they look like they don’t feel well. This could very well be due to the chemicals in our foods and the medications they’re likely taking, if any to combat certain conditions. It’s sad. And the trim women are usually the bubbly, loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ‘don’t know what I want in life or care where I’m going’, stick figures with no meat on their bones, yet they show off naval piercings on their fake tanned bodies like its something new to their friends. You only live once, but your attractive artificial-tanned body will prematurely age you given plenty of tanning bed sessions.

I just roll my eyes, “If that’s what it takes to be beautiful nowadays, forget it.” And there’s the type of mall person that wants to just get in, buy their crap, and leave and the walk to get to their vehicle is staggering. But perhaps I fall somewhere in-between all this. I’m not underweight, nor am I obese. I don’t flaunt my midriff and not an inch of my body is pierced other than my ears. When I do step out I make sure my garments cover me. My hair is done up in beach curls, something of which I taught myself how to achieve at home with my home made beach salt hair spray. And I go very easy on the cheap makeup since it irritates my skin. I hope I can find some high end vegan makeup to replace the cheap stuff I wasted my money on and something that won’t make my skin irritated or raw from wearing it.

My generation is completely unrecognizable, wasted (as in lack of nutrients, bloated, pale and sickly). Flat, short cropped hair seems to be the in-style for a majority of the mall women. They bathe in the knock-off designer perfumes, wear chunky jewelry all inspired by either the Kardasian’s or some other female icon nowadays, and they are trying to impress others with their ‘looks’ and still be a ‘friend’ to their kids who accompany them.

Mall men wear baseball hats and/ or are going bald, they don snarky t-shirts that might say, “My wife thinks I look better carrying a six pack of beer, than having an actual six pack [abs]”, open flannel shirts and jeans. They appear to have a beer gut and remark, “No, Hon, I can’t have that off the menu because of my type two diabetes,” And these men should be healthy. They’re young, not old by any stretch of imagination and they look elderly in physical appearance in the face even though some might be 30 and 40-something? But they look beyond their years. Maybe society has aged them or maybe its a result of all the crappy food, fast food, beer, medications, who knows.

And there’s the all too common, young 27-year old woman wearing pajamas and thongs on her feet. She has bed head hair, no makeup on, pushing a baby stroller, another infant strapped to her chest, and yet another baby on the way. Her hair is pulled back in tight a pony tail. She oblivious to all that’s going on around her. She’s yapping to either her boyfriend and/ or husband, cell phone in one hand and busy texting, or maybe even updating her facebook status, and she’s carrying on a conversation with an older lady (perhaps her mother-in-law or her mom) and not giving her undivided attention to the lady or even paying attention to her little ones. There’s a large-sized half consumed cup of Starbucks coffee in the drink holder of the stroller, baby bottle in the other. Boyfriend and/ or husband is eyeing all the single, hot-looking ripped muscular girls with huge breasts and maybe thinking to himself, “Man, if I had to do it all over again,” or “Why did I get myself tied down with kids?”

And Claire’s has officially gone to the little girls. Long gone are the days of buying awesome jewelry, cross pendant necklaces, hoop earrings or even faux rhinestone stud earrings and black thin rubber jelly bracelets. Nowadays everything is rainbow-themed, Twilight (the vampire movie), Hair accessories, over-priced faux leather small purses, more hair accessories, and earrings with cute little unicorns and other girl-ish themed earrings that kind of resemble a throw back to the early 80s but not quite. And then there was the ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes and other body jewelry.

I decided to stop in Christopher Banks (?). I get this store confused with Joseph A. Banks. Well, anyway, I decided while at the mall do as the aimless do, and see it all, so I did. What attracted me were the bright pastels and spring colors this store had on display. I’m getting way ahead of myself.

I’m there in leopard print leggings, suede cowgirl boots with fringe, a black sweater dress with a black dress belt, and the saleswoman takes one look at me and says, “You’re in the wrong store and not an inch of our clothing would fit you. The misses and petites are in our sister store just catty-cornered from this *plus-sized* store.”

I thanked her for her for letting me know since there was no sign stating it was for plus-sized women, and quickly left. I walked out feeling so proud and knew that sticking with my Yoga, getting in some daily cardio and eating clean food is finally paying off for me. It took me a while to find said store. I popped in for a few, looked at all the gaudy spring pastels they had displayed on plastic dress forms, and I began to feel like I stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. I mean, really– the clothes were so far out there I began to get the impression by the shoddy quality of this high-end clothing store, I’d never be caught dead in this place again. And their jewelry was one step down from the average “Made in China” cheap pot metal jewelry. It was so thin, I was afraid to even look at it.

Every inch of fabric was my newest ‘no-no’ when clothes shopping: Polyester—the woven plastic that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and release toxins naturally as the body should. Rayon, spandex, and nylon are in the same ‘plastic’ family as our good ole’ carcinogen buddy, Polyester. Yuck! Absolutely not! I think to myself.

And I could be wrong here, but it seems like the plus-sized clothing had more to offer—design wise as far as fabric and choices went. In the misses and petite sister store the styles were an eyesore. There was no originality that I could see. Screw this, I’m mall-walking past the food court to head back to rue 21.

At the misses and petite store even I found myself at the center of scrutiny by the stern-faced, average stressed out saleswoman. My attire screams… actually, I don’t know, maybe out-dated or perhaps its not typical mall walker/ regular shopper attire. I don’t keep up on trends anymore. And their attitude in the misses and petite store was rather “Can I help you find something?” of an order, very aloof and not at all a friendly greeting like I had gotten from the other sales woman at the plus-sized store. I quickly replied, “Actually, I’m looking for your discounted jewelry.”

And the saleswoman pointed to a very small rack of bracelets and necklaces sandwiched between the towering dressing rooms and right behind the cash register counter. Something about stepping behind the cash register to see a section a store has to offer has always creeped me out. Maybe its just me, but I feel that’s crossing hallowed ground in the retail world even when permission is granted. I personally rather like to see discount jewelry displayed out front or within a few feet from the cash register not behind it. Otherwise its located in an awkward area that you have to contort your body in weird angles just to see the selection. Enough was enough. I hope I never have to shop at Joseph A. Banks, or Christopher Banks or even any “Banks” store at all. I received the distinct impression this wanna-be high end store was for the late forties/ fifties crowd with a more moderate income to play around with. Not necessarily rich or well-to-do to shop at Dillard’s or J C Penny’s so this wanna-be high end clothing store kind of pacifies that high maintenance lifestyle.

And coming back to the old lady with the snow white hair that didn’t like unruly teenagers. I could begin to see why the mall posts a sign that anyone under the age of 16 now has to show proof of photo I.D., and if they have parents that work in the mall, this could be waved, and all 16 and younger teenagers either had to be accompanied by an adult in no more than a group of five kids total and/ or be escorted to the food court and off the mall premises by 6 p.m. on Fridays and weekends or said underage teenager(s) would be ticketed for trespassing. And this is supposed to teach another upcoming teenage generation what? More than likely if they aren’t employed, then their parents will be paying the trespassing fines, and how is this supposed to make the mall safe for others to shop in or curb any type of violence and/ or retail theft due to shoplifting? So between the hours of 6 pm and closing, I presume this makes the mall extremely safe and a fun, family-oriented place after dark? Violence can happen anywhere. Shoplifting is a crime, but it still happens everywhere. I kind of do see the logic in this, but I don’t see how a list of rules in small print will curtail this.

And when have teenagers become so out of control that such strict laws now must be put in place? It’s sad what this generation has become. I know the same thing was said of my generation, my parents, my grandparents, and even my great grandparents. Instead of bringing kids up with morals, respect, and a structured family and/ or religious life, we are now desensitizing kids with violent video games and online B.S. instead. And when violence happens in a mall? Oh, well, if there not out of here by 6 pm, we’ll fine them for trespassing. That should nip it in the bud.

“Attention shoppers, mall curfew will be in five minutes. If you are 16 or under and don’t have a ride, call for one and wait in the food court. A rent-a-cop will escort you out.”

Its no wonders teenagers are the way they are nowadays. They have only one hang out, but it doesn’t stay open very late and only allows in certain ages to congregate there in small numbers. Everything has boiled down to restrictions, no fun to be had anywhere, and when teenagers act out or cause destruction, violence, or shoplift everybody pays somewhere down the line.

How about instilling some positive role models or some good old-fashioned family values in a teenager’s life? Do any still exist nowadays? Maybe so and perhaps not anymore.

Back in my day teenagers got lost and the mall was the place to hang out on weekends at least for a couple hours before supper time. We’d hang out in the food court, down an orange Julius without getting an ice-cream headache, maybe share a slice of pepperoni pizza, ration our gummy colas and sour patch kids, go discover the hottest new rock/ heavy metal band. Heavy metal as I recall was on its way out as far back as 1987, but there were a few bands still on the charts in 1989. And the round-stop trip wouldn’t be complete without shopping for black thin jelly bracelets or finding some dangle cross earrings or silver/ gold hoops.  But it was a different time and enjoyable. I don’t remember ever hearing about mall violence back then unless if it was in a big city that had more than one mall to go to, then I heard about it happening in sporadic, rare instances and the said teenagers were nothing more than thugs.

A 1980’s mall had a much more relaxed and lax social gathering and set of business hours. And there were mall rules everybody had to abide by. They were posted on the entrance and exits in large print. Nowadays all I saw was one measly small-print sign tacked to a store display outside of a book store about teenagers 16 and under had to be off mall premises or risk being fined for trespassing on Fridays and weekends. What teenager is going to stop to actually read and obey that? How are they going to collect on these fines if there’s no court case? Teenagers of today will likely knock the sign to the ground, stomp on it, be kicked out of the mall by a rent-a-cop, and be back in the mall the following week like its some kind of new pastime.

Granted, teenagers in my generation were obnoxious and some non-violent rambunctious behavior could get out of hand at times. But never did I see a teenager or a whole pack of them storm into stores to smash, grab, and then leave.

Perhaps I perceive these new mall rules completely wrong and need to watch a few teen mob videos on Youtube to educate myself. I can see it as heading off potential trouble at the pass before it has a chance to happen.

What I do hate is seeing what’s become of society nowadays. People don’t seem happy anymore. There’s no more ‘care-free’, let your hair down, pull on your tightest jeans, tuck in your plain shirt, style your hair big, apply makeup, bangle bracelets, earrings, a necklace, and your beloved acid-washed jean jacket and lets go try to reel in the men. Eh, where exactly is a good place to meet a man anymore these days? And no, bars do not count. You will never meet a decent sober man in a bar. You might wind up with the loser, a bar fly, or some older man who still thinks he’s Mr. “stud muffin”. And you might wind up with an alcoholic, and even a creeper but that’s about it.

I trekked to Earth Bound Trading Company. I mainly stepped in to see a real life Tibetan singing bowl. Has anybody seen or heard these in person? They are so loud it hurts the ears. But the ‘ringing’ hum they produce lasts for hours. I do like them when they’re combined with meditation music. On this day, however, I didn’t carry my camera phone so couldn’t get a pic of the singing bowl. But it was still a sight to behold. And I saw beaded curtains which are super cool, but the $39.99 price and the fact that the said curtain could not be adjusted to work in my small place made me quickly reconsider. That, and they didn’t have many different intriguing designs. And if you like Bamboo beads, go for it. But I heard more bad about the bamboo beaded curtains than good. The bamboo curtains tangle something horrible and they don’t last as long as their acrylic (plastic) counterparts. Plus the bamboo beads fall off.

Nah, I think I will mosey over to the clothing section. What do I see? A faux leather fringe purse for $58. Well, boy howdy! I could see dollar signs evaporating before my very eyes and I was still a week away from getting paid next. And the fringe was extremely long. The said purse kind of resembled a boho style marries a ‘possibles’ pouch from the Pioneer days. It didn’t appeal to me. Discounted jewelry at Earth Bound Trading Company was varied, and not much of a savings in my eyes.

So, I skimmed through their essential oils list. (And if you don’t have a vitamin store in your town, you’re going to pay double what essential oils generally cost). $14.95 for unscented lotion. Essential oils (depending on scent) were anywhere between $10 per bottle on up to $16 and so on. And the size of the bottle is tiny. You don’t get much for your money. I believe I’ll check back in with Hobby Lobby at this rate. Oh and the clothing was made of Viscose which falls in I believe the wood pulp/ paper family. It’s a chemically-treated cellulose material, that when wet, doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and soaks up sweat and oils like a sponge and traps them. Also, any garment with a high Viscose content will state: “Dry clean only”. I wasn’t about to waste $26 on a summer dress that likely would fall apart once I got it home. I was ready to leave. I head back to rue 21 where I purchased some sturdy-looking bangle bracelets for $2, one bottle of their discounted $1 layered nail polish, except the color I picked out is bright construction worker orange, yellow, and hot pink. I knew that it wasn’t free of the embalming chemicals, but did buy it for painting stuff outside my house. And I also bought another pair of teal-colored feather earrings. I figure once summer hits, I’m bound to find a cotton-made teal tank or summer shirt to go with it from the thrift shops.

As far as shopping on a budget rue 21 wins out as far as discounted jewelry is concerned. As far as rue 21 clothing is concerned, let’s face it, discount racks are the way to go. Sometimes you’ll find a great starter summer wardrobe, or even add to an existing winter wardrobe, but nearly all of their garments will be made polyester or similar plastic blend. I check the tags before I purchase or even try on. And most of the time I go by feel alone and if the material is scratchy, itchy, stiff, too soft like artificial silk, then I don’t even waste my time trying it on. I know that sounds crazy but it does help so said garments don’t wind up in one of my donation bags and I won’t be out any money.

Oh, and Victoria’s Secret is another place I have seen parents dragging their children into. Back in my day such stores were very off-limits and it astounds me that a parent nowadays would expose their children to seeing thongs, g-strings, and racy lingerie. And I must realize that everything nowadays is hypersexualized for a kid growing up and there’s no avoiding that. Sex sells and its everywhere you go. I also see young women in their twenties and older women dragging their boyfriends and husband’s in VS. But their attitudes are what make me take notice. Their ordering their significant others to stay put, they tell their xxx amount of kids to “Shut up, mommy wants to see if this fits so she can look like Kim Kardasian!” And the woman saying it is in her forties and frumpy. She let herself go, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Looks aren’t everything. But as a society I see it with crystal clear vision: the price of beauty and to look beautiful is staggering! And the competition given way to breast implants, tummy tucks, body augmentation, plastic surgery even dental implants to retain that flawless pearly white smile is even more prevalent than it was a decade or so before. And it’s making it harder on women of all body types to achieve. It’s too expensive, way overboard ridiculous, and mind you, I’m light years away from being “old”, but it will happen to me. That’s a part of life.

Once upon a time for a couple of bucks you could shop at home through a mail order racy catalog, receive said lingerie products and you’d be reaching for the Louieville slugger to conk your boyfriend and/ or husband over the noggin’ that very same night you model the lingerie for his eyes only in the privacy of your own home. At least that was the ‘censored’ world of old. Nowadays, babies, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers mill through VS like it’s nothing new. And me? I’m gawking at the $22 price for a single pair of thong underwear that isn’t even stocked in my size. I like the spring colors and neons, but simply hate the crotch floss. This doesn’t look sexy on a plastic dress form and it doesn’t look remotely hot. And did I mention uncomfortable as well? And going back to the attitudes I seen while in VS. Women weren’t happy. They seemed stressed, restrained by the slim-pickings available, and there was the non-stop yelling at their kids who were wanting to go see something else in the mall than be babysat by their mothers. The husband and/ or boyfriends were made to buy said racy lingerie. They all had looks of boredom, and believe me, I have never, ever seen a man become bored in a lingerie store when he’s with his significant other, at least I can only assume this to be true. So, there’s the bickering and fighting from the mom tied down with five kids and one in a push-stroller. There’s the bored young couples and the poor men who want to shield their eyes and leave all the chaos behind. They don’t want to pay for it much less argue with their significant other about it for the rest of the week.

I see this as an outsider because I don’t have a man in my life, yet. In fact, why am I even in VS in the first place? Kim Kardasian sure didn’t make me go here nor did any other air-brushed, photo-shopped VS model for that matter. I guess I was wanting to see if there’s any normal ‘cotton’ underwear that still exist this day in age. And I suppose I had my question answered when all I came across were boy shorts, the ‘sensible’ thong, and g-strings and none of it made of cotton. I’m not talking old women underwear that’s 80 cents at K-Mart. I’m talking something appropriate to wear with Daisy Dukes that won’t have me checking myself over every five minutes, or needing to make pit stops in women’s restrooms to adjust said attire in private. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, sharing and commenting. I truly appreciate it! 🙂


The High Price of Fashion: The Upscale Boutique.

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

More like the “Oh, dear– this is one of those ‘high maintenance’ women’s clothing stores.” But it was also a good place to get a free sample of Vera Bradley perfume, and a generous freebie at that. I believe the one I sprayed on a card had rose-scent to it. The little sample I was given was apple-champagne scented. Hey, at least I smell like a million bucks and the kind sale’s woman was very encouraging when recommending to do try on garments which frankly, surprised me. I say this because I’ve never shopped in one of these places much less stepped foot inside one in over a decade. I had a negative assumption and presumed all upscale clothing shops were the same when it came to trying on clothes for proper fit.

Upscale independent clothing stores (not counting the mall chain stores) used to display this snooty attitude, “Know your size!” and “Pick it out, pay for it, and leave.” I was quite amazed to see this negative impression I clung to for many years didn’t exist in this certain clothing store.

And yep, I also read countless dressing room horror stories about women being belittled by salespeople for trying on garments either one size too small or one size too big. Hey, we all got to find that happy medium somehow. I don’t know about you but I didn’t like the pair of Daisy dukes I wore that day suddenly turning my bikini bottoms into crotch floss. It was a pain, literally… but anywho–

I can’t ever (and don’t) see myself spending three–maybe even four paychecks just to purchase one ‘made in China’ boho-style garment from this upscale store. I will admit I was impressed with one or two articles the saleswoman encouraged me to try on. I really didn’t want to overstay my welcome and it was near closing. I still had several miles to cover on foot to make it home before dark. And looking at it in terms from a ‘retail world’ viewpoint, the hours are long. Sometimes the hours drag on. Salespeople have lives outside of their stores. As a customer I do understand this and I don’t think other customers are so mindful of this aspect. Why? Because we linger, we see something else that catches our eye or there’s so much too look at given the few short minutes before closing. I’m always the type that will come back when there’s more time in the day. Plus it gives me time to research the clothing brands and see if they sell for below what the local asking price is. To my surprise, no such luck. They’re still very pricey even on Amazon. I haven’t tried flea bay and since most of these garments are ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ mass-marketed it would be difficult to find them on there.

And there’s something about stores in general that will make you lose track of time. And just when you think you’ve seen everything, you discover something else that catches your eye. And that was so in my case. I was asked if I had ever heard of Vera Bradley. I answered politely with an amused smile, “No, I haven’t,” and before I could finish, the saleswoman was all smiles and told me all about this line of hand bags, cosmetic bags, small cute over-the-shoulder cell phone purses that can also hold credit cards. But can it pack a water bottle and a full course vegan meal as well? I didn’t think so.

I’m sure Vera is laughing all the way to the bank. I think to myself while curiously looking at the price tag first, not so much at the hand bag or the design thereof. I reviewed the price which was $58. Well, that’s not the most shocking price I’ve seen here. There was a boho long fringe poncho for $95-104. Now, that’s outrageous. 😮 And then there was the other crocheted fringe hippie vest by either a brand Cherishh or Others Follow for around $75-85. And the Blu Pepper fringe vest that did appeal to me was $40. Nope, I shake my head in private when in the dressing room. I love the cut, style and flower pattern. The price turns me off automatically without a second consideration. Cami’s were priced at $28 for one. I was encouraged to try on a red extremely OS (one size fits all) cami and before I could politely decline, it was whisked off to the first dressing room. I was directed into the first dressing room.

First thought that crossed my mind; “Cooper’s ligaments are going to hate me in the morning for this.” And then, “Oh, no– no, no. Way too constrictive!”, “Gawd, the Chinese sure do love us long time.” :/

I didn’t care at this point if I had a man in my future or if he would even love to see me trying to master the art of getting said cami off without taking my Swiss Army pocket knife to it just to extricate myself.  For the asking price of this cami I could very easily have five or ten in many different colors for about five bucks and still have money left over to treat myself to some chia seeds, organic corn chips or more fresh fruit and call it good. After some struggling like Houdini extracting himself out of a straight jacket, I had the cami off and back on the hanger in the same nice condition. Even though it was made of spandex and acetate I believe, I still rejected it. It wasn’t designed for comfort. It was more for looks.

I tried on the fringe vest (similar to this one, only the one I tried on had blue flowers on it) after I donned my shirt, and although the vest looked awesome 🙂 , the $40 price tag was an automatic “No” in my mind. Bummer! 😦

You’d have to be a stripper, super model, CEO, or married to a wealthy man in order to shop here. Not even with all my paychecks combined would I return simply because I know I can find similar boho garments and cami tops elsewhere for a lot less money. And all three clothing lines are very secretive about their prices if you try to find them online. I looked them up when I returned home. I believe it was Blu Pepper I discovered won’t even let you open an account with them unless you can submit proof that you’re an actual clothing retailer and have a license and other documents before you can even buy direct from them. On the other site, I believe it was Cherishh or Others Follow you had to log in to see those prices.

Why so secretive and picky about prices for garments that are sweat-shop produced and will likely fall apart if you look at them wrong? I think if I want some beach-looking, boho apparel I will be looking no further than my thrift stores. But one thing I find amazing is that I have never come across any of these off-brands turn up in thrift stores. A very good reason for this could be is they are very cheaply mass-produced and seldom, if ever, manage to last a year.

I thanked the saleswoman for staying open late to wait on me. I realize it’s no fun being in the retail world. I’ve heard both good and bad and downright horrible experiences from those that do have to work in retail. Everybody has to earn a living, but I think even if I ever won the lottery, I still wouldn’t throw away my money at any upscale women’s clothing store simply because the garments are no less better made. In fact, it seems they are worse. They sure won’t last one summer, at best. And the earrings sold for $16 per pair, and the necklaces were $24-$93. And their Hanky Panky sensible thong underwear sold for $22 each!! Only in Victoria’s Secret could I fathom high-priced underwear, but a small independent clothing boutique?! Give me a break.

And that wraps up my critique of entering an upscale woman’s clothing store. I do see where the term ‘high maintenance’ comes from now.  As always thanks for re-blogging, liking, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Skinny Jeans- my take.

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Well, I’ve definitely seen some variations before they were commonly known nowadays as “skinny jeans”. And I’ve even bought some stretchy skinny jeans in thrift shops. But what is it about them that makes them a health concern for women? And why should it just be about us women? What about the men that wear skinny jeans? They have calves to ya’ know.  It’s the tightness, for one. And secondly, some pairs of skinny jeans can cut off the circulation in the calves so some school’s of thought will propose. And there’s the exact opposite of views that say wearing skinny jeans have no health concerns.

As a society some of us women still walk on stilts on a daily basis or throw on a pair of those to go to special events or a night club. For the inexperienced high heel wearer (yours truly) they do feel like being on stilts, and what’s worse about high heels: over time they’ll destroy your arches and balls of your feet if you wear them on a daily basis.

I didn’t have to invest in high heels to compete in an office workplace setting, but am guilty as sin for owning a few for ‘in-the-future I may be happy to own some. I’ve heard more bad than good about high heels from both women and men alike over the years, especially when shoe shopping. I’ve even watched a video where a man explains why he doesn’t like seeing women (from his cultural standpoint) to wear high heels and he explained it best something to the effect of: “High heels are meant for the woman’s husband to only see and they come straight from the brothel districts and into the runways of New York and women are conditioned to believe that to achieve beauty they must wear them.” This same man also went onto explain his thoughts about women wearing makeup– rather he was disgusted seeing women damaging their health by wearing drugstore makeup, the kind that contains a plethora of potentially carcinogenic-causing ingredients. And he went onto add that natural vegan makeup is out there. It’s pricey, but he hates hearing women say, “I can’t afford it.” His reply was simple: “Save up for it. But if you want to wear the cheap stuff, go ahead.” I thought he expressed his views alright, but here again it all depends on how one was raised.

And when high heels are paired with skinny jeans that’s a tough call. I guess nowadays the phrase is “rockin’ that —-” whatever a person wears and looks awesome.

Am I fashion expert? Nope. Do I get paid to or am I given a deep discount or freebie products to review? Nope. I just love fashion and always have even though I’m very opposed to ever shed my ‘dated’ appearance unless I feel like trying something new.

And to be honest if you skim through Amazon, the people that do give their honest reviews for a product to try out or use or get it for nearly free (I have to assume)—I simply do not have a clue how they get chosen for that. But that’s going way off the skinny jeans topic.

Skinny jeans and where to buy them: Pretty much those can be found at any retailer, thrift stores, and even the more upscale clothing stores like the Brass Buckle. Nowadays its just ‘the buckle’ or the logo “B”. I don’t get why everything has been shortened over the years, especially when it comes to retailers and their store names. Keep it like it always was and let it remain a familiar staple. That’s my take anyway.

So can a woman or man look awesome in a pair of skinny jeans? Yeah, but for a man I’d highly recommend going with Stretch F***** Jeans by Lip Service. I know, it’s kind of a punk/Goth trend in way of clothing. Had I not bought a pair of these particular jeans even though they didn’t stock a woman’s variety that I was aware of anyway eons ago, I could write an honest blog about them. I wound up buying a man’s pair of these Lip Service stretch jeans and don’t know whatever became of them. They were my favorite pair of stretchy black jeans that resembled skinny jeans I’d say it was around 2001 or 2002. And they weren’t constrictive on the circulation nor bad for the calves when worn for long periods. They were black, very durable and went through many, many, many launderings without fading too terribly much and held up quite well I recall.

Now, the only bad draw back I had about Lip Service clothing line is double check your measurements BEFORE you place an online order. And always email your measurements to a reputable place. I used to do a lot of online “Goth” shopping at Ipso-Facto, a California Goth shop. I ordered from them sight unseen and always provided my measurements. One of the last articles I ordered from them was one of the last long gauzy black corset dresses they had in stock and it was expensive!

The back and forth emailing helped to ensure the size Medium wouldn’t be so terribly tight that I wouldn’t be able to get out of said dress. It was beautiful, all black with some inset black velvet, lace up front with black ribbon ties made by Lip Service, gauzy long sleeves that went kind of off-the-shoulder. Somewhere I do have a picture of me in said dress, but where it wound up after I moved is beyond me. I might have sold off the dress on eBay when I stopped dressing Goth.

I believe if you get a pair of skinny jeans in your size, then you should be fine. And be sure to wear a shirt that covers unless you don’t mind showing your behind or underwear to the world when in public. Skinny jeans paired with the right top can look great. They can even look smokin’ (my word for totally awesome), with an old original 80’s heavy metal/ rock concert t-shirt. There was something more form-fitting about those old rock t-shirts from back in my day and even before that and they were softer cotton. I still have a few original rock t-shirts from the eighties. The re-issues of rock t-shirts and heavy metal they come out with nowadays are either too large or way too small, and if they’re a ladies Junior t-shirt then forget it. Those are too constrictive in my opinion and don’t allow the skin to breathe. And it seems like the album art has been enlarged on all of the rock t-shirts nowadays and cracks easily with a second or third washing. And it’s equally bad if it the garment contains 10 or even 75 % polyester. Polyester is recycled plastics which is why I tend to avoid buying garments if they contain polyester. And if they’re complete polyester blend like leggings for example, I don’t waste my money. I try to opt for cotton whenever I can although I realize a lot of the garments out there do contain polyester blend material and the cotton nowadays is extremely inferior, scratchy, itchy, and doesn’t soften with repeated laundering.

Hope you enjoyed this post about skinny jeans. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, and commenting. I always appreciate it. 🙂

Ah, it’s almost summer and that means…

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s almost time to break out the shorts, open-toed sandals, a comfortable top or tank, and sunshine in a bottle.

What? Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie, that is. I recently came across a recipe for it and it looks delicious. For this you will need the following:

Glass Mason jars (any size).

Glass straws such as these or others found here as well. I know they’re pricey, but when you’re trying to ween yourself off of plastic entirely and are concerned about unhealthy chemicals being leeched into your drinks and food, then glass straws might be a very healthy lifestyle investment. Sure glass straws can be a pain to clean (some come with a straw brush) and the other draw back is they can shatter and get broken, but making any lifestyle changes come with extra work.

You will also need a juicer or regular kitchen blender. If you opt for a blender, then you might want to strain this through a cheese cloth. I’ve tried the wire mesh strainers and they end up becoming rusty after one use. And if you have a juicer that gets rid of the pulp, then great. 🙂

If you’re going the blender route, be sure to add in enough water to cover the blades first and foremost to reduce wear and tear.

Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie:

Take one lemon rinse, peel off the rind and slice it into chunks. You may want to remove the seeds before tossing it into the blender. Depending on what juicer you have, the more expensive models I’ve heard and read about anyway should eliminate the seeds and pulp. Also, about the seeds, some can have small toxic properties, and although its considered a very minuscule amount when ingested by eating certain kinds of fruit like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, if the seeds do get ground up, then in turn could cause small sharp particles that can then tear the intestines. Believe me, that doesn’t sound like fun. Therefore, I take the extra time to remove the seeds, especially when in doubt.

Next you will need some Fuji and/ or about three red apples. Wash, rinse and slice them into chunks. Discard the core and seeds in the trash. Add the apple slices in with your lemon.

You will also need some oranges, peeled, rinsed, and seeds removed if you want to go to the extra effort. About two Cara Cara oranges or pretty much any type of orange should work. And you need about three. I used one bag of small Halo Cutie oranges, and prepared these in a juicer and frozen them in ice cube trays.

One pineapple. Rind removed and discarded. Next, you’ll want to cut up the pineapple. Its all a personal preference if you discard the core or use it when juicing. I’ve heard both pros and cons of eating the core of a pineapple. The pros is it contains a high concentration of natural vitamin C and other healthy benefits. The cons of the pineapple core is that it can cause fiber balls to build up in the digestive system that can be difficult for your body to break down. Also, some seeds in fruit aren’t meant to be ingested because they can contain cyanide.  So, for myself personally until I can do more research on eating the whole pineapple I would toss out the core. Yeah, I might be depleting the vitamin properties and not getting the full ‘juicing’ experience, but rather be safe than sorry.

Two Kale leaves washed/rinsed off. I would say optional on this if you don’t like mixing veggies with fruits.

Okay now that you’ve washed, sliced, diced, peeled, chopped and cored your fruit you’re ready to add it into the blender and/ or juicer and whip these ingredients together. Last night I tried making this smoothie with most of the ingredients but lacked the most vital one; the pineapple.

So my “half” sunshine in a bottle smoothie is sitting in the fridge. Today I was determined to  walk to town to get  said fruit. And did the usual errands. I also stopped in a local upscale women’s clothing boutique that sells boho (Bohemian/ Hippie-ish) inspired clothing, jewelry, Vera Bradley hand bags, wallets, small back packs, makeup bags, Hanky Panky thong underwear, and even more Chinese-produced, massively over-priced jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, earrings… eh, I’ll just blog about all that in another post.

Tonight I plan to finish my fruit smoothie, crank out at least two other blog posts on here, do my Yoga for the night, etc. Then tomorrow I plan to get the garden cleared  and get it ready for summer. I already have most of my seeds bought and saved back as many as I could from all the fresh produce I bought at the store (roughly a year’s worth of “almost” free food if it grows and produces, that is).

Oh, and if you tried making this sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie or anything similar, I’d be interested in knowing how it turned out. And should I find the video again of this smoothie I seen on youtube, I will post it in this blog. It looks great, but if you try to make it without the pineapple you’ll have a strong lemon smoothie instead.

Stay tuned for more. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂