Tag Archive | Shopping

Diary of a Swimsuit Shopper

I am not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience; I am a spiritual being having a (sometimes difficult) human experience.

I am not yet, in my opinion, in any shape to don a swimsuit, however neither was this hilarious woman! I received this email from a friend and had a welcome roar of laughter.

(Author unknown) 
When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job. Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

Debbie Reynolds, corset style bathing suit

The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney‘s Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? 
I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as  the fitting room.  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks.  Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared! 
Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The horrors of trying on bathing suits

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned my speed bump and lurched  toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides.  I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an over-sized napkin in a serving ring.
Trying on bathing suits

Miss, could you bring me a 20-year-olds body with that suit?

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan‘s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with  a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in  mourning.
I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.  My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material might become transparent in water.”

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

You’d better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time. Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a stylish bathing suit!

What will you be seen wearing at the beach this summer? Do you have any clothing disaster stories to share?

Stop over at the Life List Club today. Sonia Medieros is posting. Go give her some comment luv, if you please.


A Passion For Fashion and Inner Beauty

You all know how I love featuring women in all professions who inspire the best in us. Sexy, Smart, and Strong Women.

Well, I’ve recently discovered J-na Garcia, owner of J-na Couture. J-na suffered a devastating injury as a child. Her life story could have been tragic, but she chose a smarter path. Her strength and positive nature was apparent even as a six year-old.

J-na combines two passions in her successful career—her passion for fashion and her passion for empowering women to recognize their uniqueness and inner beauty.

J-na says:

As a haute couture designer, I travel the world and meet dozens of women,J-na Garcia, J-na Couture
many who have shared very intimate pieces of their lives with me. I am struck at how
connected many of us are in overcoming major obstacles and trauma in our quest for our

These trials, if we do not let them crush us, can sharpen our intense appreciation for life
and freedom, and give us such passion and drive, that life takes on a completely different
hue, a strong, new intoxicating fragrance, and even a deeper spiritual meaning!”

I’d love for all of you to learn more about J-na.


MR: You had a horrific accident as a child that caused extreme pain and a long recovery. Can you tell our readers a little about your accident and recovery?

JG: When I was 6 years old, I climbed up on the stove to get the Alpha Bits cereal out of the upper cupboard for my little sisters and me. The pilot light caught my nightgown and I went up in flames! Panicking, I ran upstairs to my parents room, burning my body all the way. On the way to the emergency room, I noticed black ashes all over my legs, and I said, “Daddy, am I going to die?” ……….

 I am thankful that 6 year old children can develop “selective amnesia” and block or numb very painful things. What I remember in that state of shock, when I went up in flames, is running upstairs to find my mother. I completely forgot to “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, so the damage was greater than it might have been. I remember seeing black ashes all over my legs and tummy and asking my Dad if I was going to die. Almost 6 months in the hospital and 13 surgeries was a horribly scary thing for me. It took another year for those deep burns to heal.
MR: How did you manage to survive that experience with a positive outlook rather than wallowing in self-pity?

JG: As the eldest of 6 children, I had developed a responsible “Big Sister” attitude and I am naturally a curious and hyper-active person with a constant flow of new ideas and goals. I still have a hard time sitting still! That has helped me leap from a passive, “I am a victim” attitude, which is so boring, to a “What can we do now that is fun?” mind-set. For that I feel very blessed!


MR:Could you describe your business and how it grew?

J-na Haute Couture, beach cover up

J-na Haute Couture Beach Cover-Up

JG: I started out experimenting with new designs and techniques while I raised my kids, always hungry for original and breath-taking couture. I like dramatic clothes, and we travel constantly, so my Diva designs had to be comfortable! Gradually my friends and
business clients would ask me for variations on my creations they admired. This helped me gain confidence!

When my designer son Cal got involved, things really picked up! He has been an invaluable leader and business partner, always nudging me forward. He is an adrenaline-junkie too, but his patience and persistence and youthful influence have paved the way for our business. I follow, symbolically “kicking and screaming”. He was instrumental in our website’s creation and getting our couture in high-end boutiques abroad, even in a Prada boutique!


MR: How do you help other women overcome their trials in life?

JG: I have had the great honor of working as a community service support provider for decades. This volunteer work has been the greatest teacher for me, leading to astounding new understanding of what women and children have survived. These brave souls have
taught me so much. Their strength and resilience is truly inspiring.


MR: What’s your best advice for women striving for a goal, a dream?

JG: Write it down and post it in 3 places where you will see your goal constantly! Embed it deep within your sub-conscious. And if you LOVE this dream, protect it from all negative people and feedback.

Find mentors and cheerleaders. Ask and seek until you get a clear path of practical steps to follow. Be patient and work from your heart…if you love this dream, it will not feel like work. Never give up even if you are delayed. Persist!


MR: How do you define success?

JG: Finding your true inner soul,the fire that nourishes you, the spiritual answers you crave, and gentle loving people who prove loyal and kind, and with whom you wish to grow old.


MR: What is one fun thing we might not guess about you?

JG: I am completely crazy about dancing! It feeds my soul, but I am so addicted that I need to learn to pace myself. I once danced to Latin music for 4 hours straight without sitting down once! Wow, Did my knees pay for that!


Thank you J-na for setting the example that anyone can strive to achieve their highest goals when they push aside the negative forces that try to derail your efforts.

J-na Garcia, J-na CoutureJena Garcia began sewing at 9 years of age and developed a hunger for Vogue Designer patterns…always “embellishing” them her own way, she started out as a little haute couture designer. It has been a driving and burning passion of hers to create the most beautiful clothes ever, with a part of her trying to compensate for the shame of being disfigured. Jena thought, “If people notice my pretty outfit, then they won’t mind the scars on my legs.”
This drive to survive and thrive fueled this creative madness that led her to break all the rules and leap full throttle into the art of couture design after having spent years in company with the greats in couture fashion accessory designers. After 20 years of conceptual development, Jena is unleashing couture concepts that fit her criteria of what haute couture should be:
  • Handmade
  • Custom Fitted
  • Exclusive one-of-a-kind
  • High-end materials
  • Extravagant yet WEARABLE
  • Comfortable
  • Reflect the true self and personality of the individual.
  • Within the reach of more than just the super-wealthy!
Jena has enjoyed 42 years of active community volunteer work, teaching, speaking publicly, and traveling in the glamorous adventures of a seasoned haute couture designer. Giving back is one of the greatest joys of Jena’s life, along with raising 3 amazing kids with Josh, her husband of 33 years.
Please visit J-na Couture at  http://www.j-nacustomgsb.com and read Jena’s complete story at http://www.j-nacustomgsb.com/haute-couture-designer.html.
How have you overcome tragic circumstances? Do you have any questions for J-na?
Don’t forget to stop over at the Life List Club Blog today! My partner in crime, Jess Witkins, is posting today!

Return to Sender

Ahh, Elvis…I’ve lusted after him since I was 7 years old! Mmmmm…

Oh, yeah, the reason this video is here…Well, it’s that time of year again. Yup, time to return all those lovely Christmas gifts that your sister-in-law, the dorky guy at the office who was your Secret Santa and your great aunt just knew you’d love. but. you don’t…which is a gross understatement.

I wonder if you received any of these or if you want to exchange a gift you received for one of these:

facial mask

Photo courtesy of WYCD Radio.com

 The Rejuvenique Anti-Aging Mask – Apparently your wrinkles are showing. But you can pretend it’s a Halloween mask! Or, well, do you play hockey?

ironing cover

Photo courtesy of thepresentfinder.co.uk

Whomever gives you this is ironing board cover must be under the impression your love life is flat because wait…there’s more, a lot more. When the cover heats up, so will you. You see, this hottie loses his towel when he gets steamy.

Now, for the man in your life:

shower gel

Photo courtesy of thepresentfinder.co.uk

Does your man love playing Psycho in the shower with you? Then blood bath shower gel is just the ticket!

bottle stopper

Photo courtesy of thepresentfinder.co.uk

Is your main squeeze a show-off? Then wouldn’t he love to pull out his ‘Happy Man’ bottle stopper at a party?

If you weren’t the lucky recipient of any of these amazing gifts, I hope they will at least keep you laughing as you stand in those long lines to return that hideous appliqued sweatshirt your Mom gave you or the stiletto boots your little sister thought you could still walk in!

What wacky gifts did you receive for Christmas this year? Did you give anything kinda crazy?

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!

Don’t forget – this Friday is the Life List Club Milestone Party! Woohoo! Music,  dancin’ on the tables and PRIZES!! See you there!

Christmas Shopping – Buy American

On what should be the biggest shopping day of the year, I’m kicking the Chinese habit…what’s that, you say? Not Chinese food, which I love, despite the calories. I’m going to try to stop buying Chinese and other foreign-made products to do my part to save our country. It won’t be easy, for sure, but I feel I, we all, have no choice.

I took my six-year-old granddaughter to the dollar store this summer to buy art paper and supplies. While there, she checked out several other toys. “Grandma, every toy here is made in China. Why can’t I find something made in America?” Good question.

We’ve become accustomed to buying what’s inexpensive or easy to grab, since we’re always in a hurry. Consequently, we don’t always pay attention to the quality of a product or where it was made.

America has lost the majority of its manufacturing businesses to other countries. Our big businesses find labor cheaper in China, even with the added shipping costs. As a result, America has lost money and power. Due to many of the foreign policies we’ve adopted, we are no longer perceived as a super power, but as a joke. A country who bases its economy mainly on service businesses will fail. That’s what’s happening to Greece, Italy, and Portugal. Conversely, Germany is more industrial and is surviving.

When President Clinton lifted the trade embargo, he sealed our fate. It’s been said that if all adult Americans refrain from buying $20 worth of Chinese-made products, we could have a $4 billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor…FAST!

Diane Sawyer stated in a news report, “ If every American spent a mere $64 more than normal on USA made items this year, it would create about 200,000 new jobs.”

Let’s seriously consider this during the holiday shopping season.

christmas baby

Photo from Etsy.com by mypocketfullofposies

Our economy has taken a hit like none other since the Great Depression. No one truly knows the outcome and how things may change. Many people have cut back on their spending and gasoline usage to help relieve their personal financial situation. We can do more.

We can’t rely on the government to put politics aside and make the right decisions to correct the economic issues, so we must take some action on our own.

Let’s make it a new American tradition – buy American made products and support owner-operated businesses in your community.

If you feel the same way, here are a few ways you can help your own and the country’s economy:

  1. Consider buying better quality American-made products for your home and family.
  2. Spend your dollars at your local small businesses.
  3. Your grocery store may have a section that displays locally made food products.
  4. Read labels and avoid any product made in China or labeled PRC.
  5. Shop for gifts at art or craft shows for handmade goods.
  6. Realize the real bargain is supporting American-made goods which will create jobs in this country and make the country strong again.

Having trouble finding American made products as I did? Try these ideas for Christmas gifts. They all support your local business people:

  1. Give a gift certificate for a hair salon, a massage, nail salon or a facial.
  2. Gas cards are a great idea with gas prices still so high.
  3. Treat your giftee to a night out at favorite restaurant or a neighborhood movie theater.
  4. Hire temporary maid service for a harried mom, an elderly relative or a sick friend.
  5. Give the gift of lawn mowing, snowplowing or driveway sealing.
  6. Grocery Store gift cards are always welcome.
  7. Who wouldn’t love a certificate for car detailing, car washes  or an oil change?
  8. How about a  gift card for greens fees or a gym membership?
  9. Local theaters sometimes offer big name music concerts and local productions of Broadway plays.
  10. For the hobbyist, buy an Adult Education class for cooking or painting lessons, learning a computer language, dancing, woodworking or basket making.
  11. A local computer geek may be struggling to get his computer repair business up and running.
  12. Every community is rich with crafters who spin wool and weave it into beautiful accessories, hand-form pottery vessels, craft elegant wood furniture, or create designer-like jewelry.

For a big selection of American-made toys click here. You’ll find something for everyone on your list, including yourself and for your home here. Etsy is becoming a widely known location for excellent handmade goods.

I hope these ideas and links make it easier to get into buying locally made products. We need to get our people back to work, get our economy back on its feet. We can’t do that if we send our money overseas.

Do you have any more American-made gift ideas? Have you discovered other things we can do to help ourselves and our country? 

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!

10 Random Things About Me

Hi Everyone! I’ve been tagged by my good buddy, Gene Lempp, of Designing from Bones, to post random facts so we can all get to know each other better. Are you sure you’re ready for this? Okay, here goes:

10. I’ve always loved collecting things: in my teens, I collected boyfriends but became more discerning as I matured. I have collections of lighthouses and seashells (love  the ocean!), books in many genres, clear glassBetty Boop paperweights, Nutcracker soldiers, Santas, AnnaLeigh characters, Betty Boop (my role model), DVDs, CDs, 8-track tapes, 45 rpm records, albums (the music collections are a combo of mine and my husband’s), photographs,and so much more that I have given away to family members.

9. When I was in my 20s, I took a couple of Dale Carnegie Courses…How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Dale Carnegie Sales Course. Can’t say I was ever a great salesperson, but I made some lifelong friendships in those classes and I worked for the organization for sometime. Dale Carnegie was a good man with great advice. I still remember the memory challenges we learned in class and use them to this day…it involves stacking things…and my faux pas while speaking to the class. I’ll leave that for another blog.

8. I’ve suffered all my life with ‘Middle-Child Syndrome‘. Don’t laugh! It’s really real! I don’t know why my sisters roll their eyes at the mere mention of it. You think it’s easy being in the middle – too young for things my much older sister could do – and not as cute as my baby sister? My only option was to try to excel at everything to get noticed. Well, that didn’t work, but I am prettier and smarter than either of them…nah, nah, na, nah, nah!

7.  I was a badass, or pretended to be, when I was young, in my 20s. For several years I rode with a motorcycle club. Loved being on the back of the Harley Chopper, leaning against the sissy bar, with my long auburnHarley Chopper hair ruffling in the wind. I  didn’t need to wrap my arms around my guy; I was one with that machine. He’d rest his hand on my thigh and, with the club, we’d ride all over NY. Riding on the back of a chopper was like sex on wheels…also another blog another time.

6. I’ve read, literally, hundreds of books and articles on the subject of weight loss, aging and general health, until I became somewhat of an expert. You might ask why that isn’t the focus of my blog today…I had a health/mid-life blog for a few years. I still love passing on what I learned, but I needed to learn to write in a way that wasn’t preachy. I will go back to it, as it’s a big part of who I am, and I intend to re-establish myself as an expert in that field and write a non-fiction book. You can find a couple of my old health blogs in my archives on this blog.

5. Back in the early 1990s, I bought Nintendo video games for my kids. The original Mario was the most popular at the time. My son and daughter had a blast playing and got quite good at it. What they didn’t realize is that I wasSuper mario Bros playing it, too…while they were in school (I was a stay-at-home-mom). It wasn’t long before I mastered that game. I knew where every secret prize and points were hidden. They’d come home from school and get so mad at me for beating them at their own game! I loved it! I even rubbed it in with victory dances! Oooh, what an obnoxious mom, I was!

4. I lived in Las Vegas for a year in the 1990s. My late 1st husband was a chef/restaurant owner and lost his upscale business when so much of our city’s manufacturing and electronics businesses moved south or overseas. HisTreasure Island Hotel, Las Vegas clientele was mostly corporate and celebrity customers (yet another blog idea). He had cousins who live in Vegas and thought it would be good to relocate where there was family. I love that part of the country. It has its own beauty and good people, but is much different from the Northeast in so many ways. The kids enjoyed schools with no roofs (only 2″ of rain annually at the time), I loved the lack of snow and my husband enjoyed working, gaining the corporate experience, as executive chef in a hotel/casino restaurant as opposed to being self-employed. I miss it sometimes.

3. I’m an organizer. In 1985, I got involved with a local historical association who wanted to raise funds to create a replica of the first United States plank road, which happened to have been built in my hometown in the 1800s. (and another blog idea!) They had been holding an annual festival, which was poorly attended and consisted of little to entertain the public. I offered to organize a juried craft show for them and it was a big hit. We all brainstormed new ideas and the festival profits skyrocketed! That led to doing the same in my son’s school where I was PTA President raising money for cafeteria renovations, which led to organizing for other groups in subsequent years.

2. Like Kerry Meacham, I finally, after years of wishing for it, was able to goCape Cod whale watch on a whale watch off the coast of P-Town, Cape Cod, MA! We saw many whales come very close to our boat. I didn’t catch shots of them breeching like Kerry’s, but the one shown here is close. It was an awesome experience being so close to them; they’re absolutely majestic! P-Town, where anything goes, was a blast, too!

1. I met the love of my life (my current husband) on an online social networking site (not a dating site per se) called Eons, three years ago. I had been a member of the site for about 6 months and met tons of great folks who I spoke with daily. (And, yes, another blog idea.) I began a group forJim Richards NY’ers to meet at what we call SKITS (which stands for Spending Your Kids’ Inheritance Tour). This man joined my club and I responded with a red carpet (picture) welcome. Little did I know, it wasn’t the first time he’d seen my picture. He checked out where I lived (important because members live all over the country), and then asked me out to dinner. He drove 2 1/2 hours to take me to dinner! This might not sound too unusual to people under 40, but for the rest of us, it’s tough to find a divorced/widowed man who will be comfortable taking  a chance on getting hurt or being rejected in any way, let alone driving any distance to meet a woman!  Well, it was love at first sight and we spent every weekend together after that. We’ve been married now since March, 2010. We are perfectly matched partners and having so much fun!

So, that’s a glimpse into the ‘real’ me. I hope you enjoyed it!

*Rubs hands together with an evil grin* Now it’s my turn to tag some of my dear friends!

1. Jess Witkins   2. Nicole Basaraba   3. Donna Donabella   4. Pam Hawley


You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments! Please tell me something about yourself…anything at all. I’d love to get to know all my readers better.

Don’t forget to stop by for these special events next week:

Sept 6th-100th Post Celebration!                   

 Sept 7th-Author interview, Jody Hedlund

 Sept 9th-Life List Club Friday, with a new member!

Oooh, Sexy! Shoes!

As a young woman, shopping for shoes was my favorite pastime. Dancing shoes, dressy boots, sexy sandals, slick workday shoes and, at least one pair of simply outrageous shoes…I had more shoes than outfits to wear them with.

I’d still love an assortment of shoes and boots, but I don’t need as many now…and stilettos don’t feel so good anymore. I’ve scoured the internet for, what the world considers, ‘Sexy Shoes’. See what you think. You may drool over some and cringe at others. Either way, it’ll be fun to imagine our own tootsies inside those shoes and dream up an occasion to wear them.

platform shoesbeaded heels

#1 – 8″ Platforms    #2 Leopard print    #3 Beaded silver sandals (my favorite)

red mary janesblack pumpsblue patent leather

#4 Red Mary Janes           #5 Black Pumps            #6 Royal patent w/ankle strap

lace pumpschinese platformglitter and acrylic

#7 Black lace ankle strap   #8 Chinese platform       #9 Glitter & acrylic

white laceGothicheart shoe

#10 White lace     #11 Gothic                          #12 Heart platform


leopard stilettomolded platformretro stilettos

#13 Leopard stilettos  #14 Molded platform   #15  Retro Pumps

red bowsee thru shoeswht two strap

#16 Red bow                        #17 See thru                      #18 White two-strap

silver straps8" weirdrhinestone stilettos

#19 Greek style          #20 8″ Weird                      #21 Rhinestone stilettos

My opinion? #12 is kind of quirky and weird, but # 20 makes my feet hurt just looking at them!

Of course, there are thousands more shoe styles, and this is but a small sampling. What strikes you as sexy?

I’d be thrilled if you could choose a pair you would wear and tell me why you like them and where you’d wear them.

Or, just tell me what your all-time favorite shoes were, sexy or not!

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!

Stay-tuned for Wednesday’s Interview with Author, Lisa Rivero! I’ll be choosing one random commenter that day to receive a copy of Lisa’s newly released book, Oscar’s Gift! 


Would You Like Some Cheese with That Whine?

This post is part of a continuing series on Writing Our Next Chapter Together.    Get comfy, now, in your favorite spot. Pour that glass of wine, cup of tea or coffee, whatever soothes you, and relax while you read.

“Would you like some cheese with that whine?” Say that to the person you’re listening to, and he/she will either smile and quit whining or get upset and say, “I’m not whining, I’m venting.” Same thing in my book. I’m not saying we shouldn’t whine to a good listener sometimes, and it’s not an easy task to stop complaining about the stressors in our lives. It can help, at least temporarily. Continue reading