The shoptimist returns (my pick me up picks for the week).

Good morning, Thursday. It'a pandemic, revolution, catastrophic weather event kind of week, and not in that order. I don't even know where or how to begin but it's a lot to unpack and process and I'd be lying if I didn't feel deflated. Add in the RNC and well, you've got a recipe for some serious down and outs. The above photo sums it up for me. I'm trying to stay positive but first I need more coffee and some good news of any kind. 

That's why I'm bringing you another edition of the Shoptimist, my picks for some items that may provide a bit of pick me up. They are in no way a substitute for say, justice, sanity, and peace. But they are a fun way to distract yourself for a moment or two. PS- don't get too distracted, because there has never, ever been a more important time to keep your eye on what matters in this crazy world.

But I propose a respite. So here you go:
It's almost Fall. And I'm craving a new pair of kicks to wear with my beloved pleather leggings. I spotted these Diodora (remember them?) high tops and knew they needed to be mine. They are such a great sneaker- streamlined somehow and even though they are white high tops, they're not at all clown like. I adore them. Slightly narrow in the footbed, but extremely street smart and chic.

I'm also loving these Marfa themed pjs. Pajamas are a thing right now for obvious reasons and these pay homage to one of my favorite places and are a super cute way to go from bed to desk. And you can get them monogrammed.

On that note, an oversized cotton button down shirt has a real appeal right now. I love the crisp comfort of it, paired with leggings or shorts or nothing at all. Who cares, nobody can see your legs. It's a good look, and lots of well priced options like this one from H&M.

And since a girl needs to have a little fun, why not try a leopard print bra? I love this one from Cuup- it's chic and sophisticated and gives a nice little pop of party underneath a button down like the one above. It comes in a nice swath of sizes too so bonus points for however you're blessed.

In terms of beauty, I must recommend this well priced argan oil for all of you out there dealing with frizz. I discovered this product in a CVS by the beach this summer, and I'm never going without it again. It's great for taming the tresses and smells nice too.
And this nail color from Essie is giving me life and fits well with that Pantone color I posted last week. It's a pretty hue and sunny enough to lift my spirits. I adore it. And the name. Sunny Business? Come on. So good.

As the work week comes to a close, I'm looking forward to the weekend and regrouping a bit. I hope you are all healthy and safe and sending you lots of love and a small distraction from this thing called life. Don't you miss "precedented" times though?

Cause that's what's up this thick and thin kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in peace, love, and shoptimism. XO

I miss coming home and other thoughts from week whatever...

Good morning, Monday. Here it is and here we are.

The quarantine has officially gotten weird. As in it's enough already. As someone who has always dreamt of working from home, I'm not mad at that part. But maybe I'm a bit miffed that there is not a meeting out of the home, or a coffee date, or a chance to connect in an office like space once or twice a week. I have an entire sad wardrobe that is ready to be worn again.

But what I miss most about going to the office is not going to the office. It's coming home.

I miss that feeling of earning that beautiful moment when you turn your key in the door and walk into your abode. And exhale after a day of navigating a morning commute, a packed day at the office, and then an evening rush hour ride home. I love my home so much but it's hard to feel the same way about it when you're always in it. I miss that feeling a lot.

Lately I've been venturing out in the evenings for dinner once or twice a week, which I beyond enjoy. The city is starting to feel more alive, and honestly- I have mixed feelings about that. I'm thrilled we have such low infection rates, but I worry. And feel cautiously optimistic as. I see full outdoor restaurants full of lively diners, endless Aperol spritzes, and a new kind of street life I haven't seen in this city, possibly ever. I realize for those of us who are city dwellers, the main thing about living in a big crowded place is how connected we feel. To each other. To a dynamism. To a thriving, pulsing life force. It's what makes city living so amazing and what makes places like the suburbs feel a bit isolating at times. (Not dissing the suburbs calm down).

I'm not sure what any of these feelings are about but the focus of my mind right now is on what it means to be home, come home, and connect with the world in which I live. I'm not dying to go back to working out with a group, but I do find my workouts lately have been feeling a bit meh. I did a yoga class outdoors a few weekends ago in the park and it felt really solid to be with people and practice. As much as I'm Cancerian and need my space, I do love the power of an in person connection. Otherwise, we're all going to become a bunch of shut-ins. Plus winter is coming. Argh. 

I do find it interesting that in this time of so many people having to figure out how to make a living or redefine what matters during this pandemic, the whole notion of "home" takes on a new meaning. What makes you happy? What makes your soul sing? When do you feel most "at home" with yourself and your talents and skills?

I'm curious- how are you all feeling? Are you feeling ready to leave the house and are you missing the connection you get from in-person activities? Or are you still as vigilant as you were and not leaving the house much? Talk to me.

Cause that's what's up this new moon on Maven kind of Monday from beautiful BK. Yours, in coming home. XO

Maven recommends: A shopping list for optimists

Good morning, Tuesday. Thanks for all the love for my post yesterday. A friend said she could always tell when I write from the heart, and New York is not just in my heart, it is my heart. I guess I'm a bit of a late in life optimist because I truly believe we will get through this as evidenced from a lovely evening I had last night celebrating the birthday of one of my dearest friends. If you are in the city and ready to eat out, I highly recommend Le Crocodile @ Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Sensational, covered seating and excellent food and service. 

So while I'm in this optimistic mood, I thought I'd put together a shopping list for optimists. I'll call them shoptimists. Because this round up is for those of us who see the glass as half full, and if you are not one of those types, maybe you could channel the sunny side with some items from the list below. So let's get to it.

I am obsessed with the "VOTE" necklace Michelle Obama wore last night at the DNC. Apparently so did everyone else, because it was trending all over the Twitterverse. It's by this designer here and I just love it. To me, Michelle Obama epitomizes the hope I have as we get to November. Wearing a bit of hope around your neck sure can't hurt. I am dying to own this.

I also received an email from Moscot, a favorite eyewear designer of mine that is prototypically made in New York. They are a true New York brand- quirky and classic all at once. I adore these rose tinted, limited edition shades. From their website: 

"Dedicated to the optimism of New Yorkers and inspired by the charm of the state flower, MOSCOT’s New York Rose Custom Made Tint™ pays tribute to the love affair between the city and its inhabitants. The dusty pink tint is handmade and dip-dyed to capture the patinaed romance of the city while honoring the downtown DNA of The Moscot Family after 105 years in the Lower East Side of Manhattan".Talk about an item for a shoptimist. Yes, please.

Over at Pantone, they've heralded the color of Fall /Winter 20/21 as "almond oil", a buttery shade that exudes a cool, optimistic vibe.  I love this new neutral and it's not only a super flattering shade, but cool, calm, and collected. So good. I love this  cozy, cropped cardigan as spotted on Refinery 29 from & Other Stories. So cute.

I recently did a small project for FOCL, a CBD brand based out west that is phenomenal and smart. I've been a bit of a CBD skeptic as I've never had a positive experience with it (I prefer good old fashioned THC), but their CBD drops are the absolute bomb. Just one dropper and I felt more focused, calm, and ready to face the day with a positive outlook. I highly recommend checking them out. I like the orange cream flavor. The copy on their site says "cool and calm no matter what". Yup. Noted and needed.

And though I've not been drinking a ton of late, I've been prone to a tipple or two of late. As I mentioned, last night I dined at Le Crocodile and it was so fabulous- in addition to the wonderful food (and one of the best shrimp cocktails I've ever had), the frozen aperol spritz was absolutely delightful and immediately put me in a great mood. Sweet, refreshing, and fabulous. Cheers to New York evenings, wonderful friends, and cocktails that take you to a happy place.

I am trying to stay in the light here, folks. I do what I can, and was in the mood to share some positive picks. Cause that's what's up this Mrs. Brightside kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in keeping the faith. XO

You can't cancel New York.

Good morning, Monday. Nice weekend of seeing friends and catching up. Now let's get on with it. Cause I'm a little fucked off today.

For the haters, nay sayers, cancel culturalists, defectors, deflectors, joy killers, unimaginative, unindoctrinated non-believers, a word.

New York is not over.

You can't cancel New York.

So stop saying New York is over. Dead. Dunzo.

I'm sorry but it's not. And just like the picture says, there are not enough middle fingers for this type of thinking/speculating. Yes, New York may change. We all are changing. New York is not over. Maybe your relationship with it is over. But guess what? When you walk away and decamp to the burbs or a small town or Lord knows where, New York will still be here. And once we dust ourselves off and get the leadership we need (come on 2021), New York is going to be just fine.  Right now, we need the chest thumpers and the card carrying New Yorkers who aggravate everyone else in the country who know that this city is not going to die. Because we won't let it. I will cling to my WNYC mug with pride and continue to worship at the altar of Brian Lehrer, not to mention Pat Kiernan on NY1. Because they're NY as f. Our mayor who eats pizza with a damn fork? Not so much.

Because there are people here who will fight for it as long as they can. This is not just a city.  It is a place where people come to make it. To dream bigger. To break free of the bullshit they faced growing up in towns that were not suitable for their brand of shiny bright. 

We may see a few more rats. There may very well be a rise in crime (already is). But for those who think this city is over, that's absolutely ridiculous. Are we going back to the 70s or the 80s or are we going to move forward and regroup, recreate, and reboot? New York is not a city that goes backwards. It's a city that moves forward. And it will continue to do so.

So to those who say New York is over, I simply say- maybe that's true for you.  But that's not true for the millions of people who don't live here because they have to, we live here because we want to and we love it and we will never, ever stop loving it.  This is not for the ten year folks. This is for the people who have roots here and struggle here and above all, life here. This is for the old Italians in my neighborhood holding down the local coffee spot with their throaty conversations and espressos. This is for everyone still trying to make it here, and giving it a go with all their might. Thank you, restaurants. Thank you, boutiques. Thank you to everyone continuing to keep this city going.

PS I just had a bagel. I don't eat bagels anymore but in honor of my love for this town, I ate one. And guess what? It tasted better than ever. As I sit here in my Brooklyn apartment, there are very few places I'd rather be than right here, right now. 

We need a few things to get through this, friends.


We will do this. Let's do it together. I'm not giving up on New York.  If people need to go, let them go. It's all good. But stop cancelling New York City for the love of the Lord. This city will be triumphant for many years to come. Much love from the best city in the world. Call me an optimist or idealist or dreamer. I'm fine with all of those terms. It's because of those descriptors I moved here in the first place. 

Cause that's what's up this giving back to the city that gave me so much kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in NYFuckingC. XO

Throwback Thursday:Belinda Carlisle's perfect quarantine style

Good morning, Thursday. I believe I've reached the angry part of my quarantine program. I am pissed off that we are still so deep in this pandemic, irritated that I feel trapped at home, yet still somehow grateful for all the things i do have to count as blessings.

So my nap dress post was popular. And nap dresses even had a moment in the New Yorker. But since athleisure and nap dresses have both gotten so much play, wtf else will we want to wear come Fall and by we I mean me?

Bet you didn't see this one coming. Because I want to be like Belinda. As in Carlisle.

The other night I watched a fab Showtime documentary on The Go Gos, the ultimate Calfornia girl band that sealed our lips and made us all want vacations. Turns out these girls were not quite the pure sunny ladies they appeared to me- a more typical rock star story was revealed-sex, drugs, you know the drill. These girls started out on the punk scene and then progressed to pop stars. And of course, at their helm with that perfect pop pitch was Belinda Carlisle. The girl of my fashion dreams.

In 1986, Carlisle went solo and made a video for a song called "Mad About You" that was hugely influential on my fashion choices in life. Though I could never be a button nosed, blond bobbed California girl, I could channel that effortless sex appeal in my own way, and as I rewatched the video this week, I realized this- Belinda's style in this video is the epitome of everything I want from my quarantine chic.

The video's premise is all about Belinda and her beautiful sunny sexiness, sashaying around Southern California being madly in love. Andy Taylor of Duran Duran even made an appearance. But other than the cameos and catchy lyrics, this video is so stylish and feels oh so very right now somehow.

See it for yourself here, and know why I am listing the following pieces as perfectly compliant for quarantine.  Here we go:

A black oversized turtleneck. In the video, Belinda's iconic dance around the beach is all about that outsized black mock turtleneck and the hoop earrings (more on that later). Was she wearing pants? Who knows and who cares. We don't need no damn pants in quarantine. To update the look, I love this version from Cuyana. Supa chic.

A bralette. Ok yea. I know. I'm 50 and maybe I'm not having a coquettish pillow moment wearing a bra top. But maybe I am. Who cares. Nobody can see me. In the video, Belinda rocks a bra top with a shrunken cardi and trousers, all black. I love this Norma Kamali bralette, and with indie brands like Negative, Pansy, and Cuup making bras you want to show off, there are no shortage of good bralettes on the scene. 

A shrunken cardi. A shrunken cardi appearing in a video in 1986 is pretty ahead of its time because for me, a shrunken sweater was very 90s, and believe me, I wore the hell out of them. Get something simple like this one from Saks or go more prim and preppy with this one from Kate Spade. 

A cashmere v neck boyfriend sweater. Just so ya know. Everything is black here. That's the brief. I love a good boyfriend sweater and this one from J.Crew is just right. Incidentally, an oversized black cashmere cardigan works too. Very very well. Here's one.

Black trousers. Yea yea ok. Pants are sometimes necessary. Belinda wore her bralette and cardi with some pleated, easy cropped pants. I love this look. And there are no better pants in my mind that from Noir Kei Ninomiya or Comme des Garcons. I splurge on a pair every year. They are perfection. The Japanese are the best when it comes to menswear inspired looks for ladies. I realize we're not going anywhere. But you may. And sometimes, you just want to wear the pants. So wear 'em. And if Japanese design is too high of mind (and pocketbook), how cool are these from COS?

An everyday LBD. You know what's great about most of the stuff I've listed in this post? You most likely have something like any of the above in your closet already. Basics are so on brief right now. And there's no way you don't have a little black dress in your closet. And maybe you'll go to a socially distanced something or other and will want something classic. So do like Belinda who ran through the streets of LA in a sleeveless and retro inspired LBD. That look is not super hot right now so a little hard to find something like it, but I know you have a sleeveless black dress in your closet. I have several. If you're feeling vintage, I love this one on Etsy. Very Audrey H. For a more modern take, how about going for something silky and lingerie like? This one from Modern Citizen is (racerback) bra friendly and would like just swell with the shrunken or oversized cardigan above. What a good look. I also like this one from Aritizia. Sexy.

A party dress. This is not a black dress. This is a festive dress because maybe you're gonna do date night at home and want to dress for it. I've heard crazier things in my life. I'd go with.a vintage wiggle dress like this one. Or this shape is so Belinda. Lovely. What's wrong with all dressed up and nowhere to go? Not a damn thing.

As far as accessories, big silver hoops create the look in the video. I love these from Jennifer Fisher or these from Blue Nile.

And of course, the Ray Ban Clubmaster is just everything. To update, I love the oversized version. So good with a bob and some lipstick.

Also- that makeup and hair- I'm mad about it. In the best of ways. How gorgeous and still so perfect right now? Stunning. Lately I've been doing makeup in the morning because somehow, it gives me hope. I know that's weird but that's my trip right now. I could only aspire to this vintage visage. Insanely beautiful and timeless.

So what have we learned? It's all black basics with a hint of party and classic cuts. So be like Belinda and go for effortless, easy pieces that are sexy, smart, and understated.  I may just say see ya to the nap dress and adios to athleisure. It's all about going back to basics for Fall. Way back to basics, that is. Cause that's what's up this mad about you kind of throwback Thursday in the 718.  Now go shop your closet and see how you can economize for Fall, or alternatively, invest in classic pieces that will last a lifetime. Yours, in go go going. XO

















The many moods of maven: The topsy turvy quarantini edition

Slight update to the below post: Wrote this last night to post today and somehow woke up feeling slightly less unhinged after a good yoga sesh. Exercise is the key to keeping me sane- two days without it and I fell apart...anyhoo- read on.

Good morning, Friday. TGIF. Looking forward to the weekend.

As an early adapter but also late bloomer, the sad and hopeless part of this rollercoaster ride called quarantine came for me this week. The early adapter in me had me loving working from home, working out once if not twice a day, indulging in self care, and taking care of business and myself. I really thought I had the shelter in place thing on lock, and I was feeling great.

Then I went on vacation for a week which was just glorious.

I swam, I sunned, I ate ice cream on a regular basis. We rented a lovely house at the shore and explored local towns while socially distancing. I continued my workouts and felt great, almost like normal life. But the second we got home, I felt different. Gutted. Anxious. Hopeless.

I know so many have been feeling that for months but this was the first time I was in a true hole. I worked from under the duvet most days this week, and my workouts were sucky and even skipped two days. I had a glimmer of joy Wednesday night when I had dinner with friends in a beautiful yard in Brooklyn, with way too much wine and loads of laughs and support for the city we love. i was happy. Way too drunk, but happy. It felt so good to be with friends and hang at  a perfect New York dinner party. And there were rocket pops. I love a rocket pop.

But the next day, hangover in tow, I felt crappy again. I'm having a hard time being productive or focusing or really doing anything at all. I'm craving eggplant parm. And ice cream. The news of an economic apocalypse is too much to take, and I found myself tearful watching Obama at the John Lewis funeral, because I miss having a president with class, dignity, grace, and intelligence. My only consolation this week was my refusal to post a black and white picture of myself, because I didn't feel that searching for a selfie that made me feel good about myself was  the best way to support other women. Turns out I was right. 

Lest you think I'm whining, I may be. And I know beyond know how fortunate I am to be healthy and working and generally keeping it together. Maybe this era of uncertainty is getting to this freshly minted 50 year old in a big way, and it's a tough time to be an optimist. The other night I went for a manicure in the evening and then picked up dinner on the way home and it made me feel normal for two seconds. I'm missing some version of that. I'm not missing the chaos of modern life, but right now I'd take that chaos over this version any day. I also feel that as a creative person living in a city as inspiring as New York, not being able to take part in culture as we knew it is lethal. I miss walking the streets and popping in shops and spontaneously visiting a museum or meeting a pal for dinner. It's not that you can't do that stuff, but it doesn't feel the same with a mask and a pocket full of hand sani. 

So does one eat the parm and allow some wallowing for a few days so one can just get back on the train? I don't know what the answer is but just wanted to share that Pollyana had a week. The question is- do I order fries with the eggplant parm? Inquiring minds.

Cause that's what's up this hoping for a better week next week kind of Friday in the heart of BK. Yours, in thrills, chills, ups, downs, and everything in between. Rest easy, friends. And eat the damn parm. XO

On manifesting

Good morning, Monday. Hot hot hot here in the city. Back at it.

So as you know I turned 50 a week or so ago, and finally, for the first time in my life, I have a real goal. Two, actually. Sure I've had goals before- lose weight, get published, make a real living as a writer- check, check, and check. But up next in this lifetime are two things I'm desperate to manifest. 

First- I want to make more stuff that has my stamp on it. A dress, a scent, more drawing, more writing- maybe even a book. I know my voice is loud and clear, and I am quite sure it's time for me to share that with as many people as I can. I need to start small but it's going to happen. For now it will most definitely be the side hustle of side hustles, but so be it.  From a very young age, I have felt a strong need to make my mark somehow, and on my own terms. Stay tuned for that.

Second- I need a place at the beach. A shack of sorts. After spending ten days there, I know that's where I belong. At least for part of the year. I must admit with this whole working from anywhere moment it's tempting to not renew our lease here and head for the beach for the year. I know people might roll their eyes because winter but I have always fantasized about quiet (albeit cold) winters where I can master something- French cooking, yoga, that whole doing my own thing thing. The hibernation period would be good for my creative soul. I just know it. It's worth exploring, and now instead of my often over the top shopping habits, I now have a reason to more mindfully spend money, and hope to save for a home by the sea. I have always wondered where I would eventually buy something, and the beach is one hundred percent right. Though I love it upstate, bugs. I hate too many bugs. And bears. Not a huge fan of those either. I am at my best at the beach and that's the truth. I know it's true for many, but spiritually, there is no better place for me than the ocean.

So as we all continue to mostly shelter in place, I'm choosing to be in manifesting mode. One of the first steps in manifesting, for me, is sharing my goals, and putting them out there, so all of you gorgeous people can hold me accountable. I've never been one for big life goals, but after all these turns around the sun, perhaps I've figured out what I really want, and if I think hard about it, I've always wanted both of the above. That's pretty miraculous. Large caveat- I'm worried beyond worried about how COVID is going to kill all of our dreams. We just have to get this under control right now.

Hope you are all in manifest mode too. Been listening to tons of guided meditations on the subject and hoping to lock and load my conscious and subconscious minds together. Let's do this, people. Oh and while we're in manifest mode, it's 98 days to the election. We gotta do it. No time like the present.

Cause that's what's up this making it happen kind of Monday back in BK. Yours in sun, sea, and self fulfillment. XO

Short and sweet shameless plug...

Good afternoon, Friday. I've had the best first week of 50, spending it here at my favorite place, the beach. I can't underestimate how much happiness the beach brings me. I just live for it.

So a few days ago some of you may have seen my thoughts on turning 50 during a pandemic in the Ageist. Love contributing to their awesomeness and very happy with the piece. Have a look if you haven't had the chance and share it with all your pals. Link here. Sorry for the delay in sharing, I'm very much on vacation time.  PS that's Phoebe Waller Bridge, who is not 50, but is very fabulous. She is however, wearing a Bella Freud jumper from the year I was born so there you have it.

Though it does feel a wee bit like end of the days, I'm still somehow on top of the world, at least for now. Cause that's what's up this sandy, surfy Friday from the Jersey shore. Yours, in getting published while sand is between one's toes. XO

Maven goes to the beach: My favorite things to wear this Summer

Good morning, Tuesday. Fifth day as a 50-year-old and so far so good.  I'm at my happiest of places, the beach. Even though this is one crazy summer, I feel so happy to be spending my birthday week where I feel the most peaceful and joyous. In my opinion, there is nothing in life better than an ocean breeze and view, and although it looks a little different this year, I can still socially distance by the seaside which is just fine by me.

And no week at the beach is complete without some cute looks. Just look at my fellow Philly girl Grace Kelly. 

My sister and I chatted before I packed (way too much as usual) and asked why I was bringing anything more than bathing suits, tee shirt and shorts. I love that idea but I'm not really a tee shirt and shorts kind of girl. It may be true I haven't put on a stitch of makeup since I've been here, but I have enjoyed switching up my cover ups and putting on a little dress to go get some ice cream in the evenings. Pandemics aside, there are some very cute pieces to be had this Summer, and thought I'd share some of my favorites. Let's take it from the  top.

A good hat is an absolute must to keep away from harmful rays. Since my bathing suits tend to be neutral and black, I love this bucket hat from Loeffler Randall, for a pop of animal print. 

For sunglasses, nothing beats a classic aviator at the beach. I adore these outsized all black sunnies from YSL, and this more affordable version here .

I love beachy dresses of all sorts, but admired  these leggy numbers from UK based Juliet Dunn and I'm in love. Animal print yet again and tie dye on this one  but suits my mood. Also love this pretty pink number which goes great with tan legs.

In terms of bathing suits, I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm wearing a bikini this summer. This one from Lively comes in smaller busted and larger busted versions, and is supportive and beyond comfortable (not to mention affordable) all at once. Simple and chic. I"m not one for loud prints on suits and always keep it minimal. 

I spotted this pair of perfect beach shorts at Givens, a store I found in Cape May last Summer and checked out yesterday and still love. These are from Jungmaven and come in three stellar, surf inspired colors, though I like the classic black and white. So cute over a bathing suit or with a tee shirt. These shorts I absolutely could do. Plus Jungmaven hemp tees and tanks are an absolute, responsibly chic dream.

It's not Summer without a caftan, and Michael Stars is going far beyond his yummy tee shirts this Summer to bring us some super, gauzy caftan realness. So soft and comfy. Great after the beach when back (working from) home in Brooklyn too. And this caftan from new fav brand is just so chic and elegant, but a bit of an investment.

Have you all discovered Freedom Moses? I feel like every NYC fashion girl is rocking these this Summer and I just love them. A great take on the Birkenstock, totally recyclable,  and so many fun prints. I am partial to this Memphis one.

For my dream beach bag (I tend to use the same oversized LL Bean tote I've had forever), this one from Loewe is the bag of the season, even if none of us are really going anywhere. So classic and chic and timeless. And in that bag would go this book. Jennifer Weiner, a fellow Jewish gal from Philly, makes for perfect reading at the Jersey shore, which incidentally, is full of Philly Jewish people. 

In terms of sun protection, I went all in this year and invested in Supergoop and I'm so not sorry. Loving their glow oil and their body mist so much. For my face, I'm all about StriVectin (the brand I write for). Their illuminating finish sunscreen is quickly absorbed into skin and gives you a lovely glow without clogging pores or causing breakouts.  I love it and even put it on indoors to protect against blue light.

 In terms of fragrance, I'm still the biggest fan of Nuxe's classic beautiful rose, gardenia, and magnolia summer scent, which I mix with a bit of Heretic's  sold out vanilla infused Amber rose, which smells fabulous on warm, tanned skin. That Nuxe scent is one of my favorite Summer must haves.

I highly recommend at least a day trip or ten to the beach this Summer if you can. It feels great to breathe some salty air and stare into the sea, hoping for happier, healthier times. Cause that's what's up this seashell of a Tuesday at the Jersey shore. Yours, in happy places and beachy keen styles. XO

Sally O'Malley

Good morning, Friday. I almost said Monday. Oy. 

Well, here we are. And here I am. Today I turn 50 and have been thinking of this moment for about a year now. If I'm being honest, I'm feeling a little fucked off about it. Like, how the hell am I 50?  But I know this feeling shall pass. Because although it's a big birthday, I've never felt stronger, smarter, or better in my entire life.

As someone that's born in a new decade/year (1970), marking these milestones has a lot of significance. So I tend to remember those birthdays the most. Don't ask me about 20. I have no idea. Probably drunk somewhere, making out with someone.

I very clearly remember turning 30, almost more than any other birthday in my life.

When I turned 30 I was in San Francisco on a hellish project, and feeling all the feels. Every single one. I got in a big fight with my boss and retreated to my friend's Victorian in the Haight. There I listened to "Blood on the Tracks" on repeat, and cried. The tears were not tears of sadness. They were tears of relief. I was so happy to be out of my manic panic 20s era. l knew at 30, life would be different. And it was. I met my husband two weeks later and the rest is history. 30 was probably my most important birthday of my life. Until now I suppose.

I turned 40 in Miami and threw myself a party with Jamaican patties, and David had a cake made with my picture on it. I had lots of friends over, my aunt flew down which was awesome, though I'd be lying if I said I was thrilled to fete myself in such a way. I'm not super comfortable with people celebrating me. Not that I'm not worthy. I'm just kind of shy about that stuff. Anyway, 40 was nice, and we all got boozy, but it wasn't really me to have a big bday party, and it still isn't. Thanks, quarantine.

Cut to 50. I'm working my butt off, I'm exercising my butt off, and I'm feeling powerful. I recently got a tarot reading (sorry non-believers) and the first three cards I pulled were the sun, moon, and stars. Can't beat that, really. I thought about renaming this blog "MIdlife Maven". But I'm still me. I don't need a label. I'm going to keep on just as I was because I'm not down with that title.

I feel that great things are in store, but this day threw me for a loop. I don't feel old at all, so I'm wondering how on Earth I'm 50. I had a hard time sleeping last night just thinking about it, but as the day got underway, I started to feel better. The anticipation was killing me. As in somehow I'd wake up with a chinful of hair and a.bucket full of hot flashes. Neither happened. 

Look for a piece from me next week about turning 50 in captivity/quarantine. I'm writing this piece here in the car on the way to the beach, my happy place. Thanks to all my friends and family for wishing me well. I'm a bit thrown off by 50, but so grateful I can find my groove in lockdown, where I can quietly welcome this birthday just as I wish, with a slow bandaid rip. To be honest, I have very little patience, so the slow rip is something I have to deal with. Patience has never been my strong suit, and it sure isn't at this moment.

Cause that's what's up this 5-0 kind of Friday from the highway. Yours, from Sally O'Malley (see above GIF).  XO