This weekend I was feeling so grateful for the little things. I had a moment where I thought to myself, Is there anything I’d rather be doing right now? The answer was no.
So I’m inviting you into my little world where small things mean a lot.
ONE: Loving something old that’s new again
My list of delights starts with my vintage crystal heart necklace. My ex-husband is an antique dealer and this necklace came through his hands probably around 1978 when we lived in LA. I made a point of claiming it for myself. It’s quite fragile and I wore it only occasionally. Many years later I had stashed it in a pretty box when I packed my belongings to move with Russ to Sonoma twelve years ago. I’d thought about it and looked for it but to no avail. Last month when I just happened to open the box that it had been hibernating in I was elated! My heart is so much happier now. Wearing this necklace is a generous reminder that all is well and life is beautiful.
TWO: Discovering a new book
Books are my weakness…or are they my strength? I LOVE books. I ordered Parisian Chic Look Book: What should I wear today? by Ines de La Fressange and Sophie Gachet (Flammarion, 2017) and it arrived on Saturday. Russ and I were off to grab some lunch on the Plaza and I had to bring it with me.
I travel with books every moment even when I’m in situations where it’s highly unlikely that I’d get a chance to sit and read. They’re my security blanket. I’m anxious without them.
This book is full of visual outfit ideas for what to wear to all the things we do, like grab drinks with girlfriends, have dinner with a lover, go to a garden party, head to the airport, all of it! I think it’s brilliant!
THREE: Getting a manicure and being able to say Topless and Barefoot (that’s me!)
I got the best news from my manicurist on Saturday. She said it’s hard to give yourself a manicure. Now that was my personal experience but to hear her say it brought me some solace. I thought it was just me. When I do it myself I get these weird little bubbles in the polish. When she does it there are no bubbles.
My nails aren’t the greatest so I prefer nude shades and this one from Essie, Topless and Barefoot #665, is my current fave. Topless? Barefoot? What’s not to love?
FOUR: I love my body creme by Juara
Whenever I’m in San Francisco my daughter Erin drags me to Credo at 2136 Fillmore Street. It’s full of lotions, potions and makeup that’s all good for you. That’s where I discovered Candlenut Body Creme by Juara. I’d been on a search for a body lotion that wasn’t greasy or full of fragrance. I have dry skin and the person who was helping me said, “This is the best body creme. It’s great for people going through chemotherapy.” Interesting, I’ve been there. How had this product eluded me? Evidently ladies come from nearby CPMC (California Pacific Medical Center) where they’re getting treatment and buy it up. That’s why they’re sometimes out of it. That’s when I’ve gone on Amazon to buy it. It’s a miracle worker for dry skin.
FIVE: My guilty pleasure is a good crime series
Maybe I attribute this guilty pleasure to my bestie from high school, Patricia. I was visiting her in Duluth, MN and we were trying to find something to watch on TV. Her friend had recommended a series called Spiral. It’s French and takes place in Paris. We were so hooked on it. We were binging like crazy.
Since then I’ve been through other crime series from other countries. I loved Shetland which takes place in Scotland. I loved Bordertown which takes place in Finland. I got through both of those this spring and started searching for my next prey. I went on Netflix and chose The Doctor Blake Mysteries which takes place in Australia. The minute I press publish on this post, I’m taking my iPad to bed with me and watching another episode.
SIX: The British version of Harper’s Bazaar magazine
To go along with my love for the BBC and all things British, it’s pretty predictable that I’d love the UK’s edition of Harper’s Bazaar. You know what’s great about it besides all the UK references? There are no perfume strips! Spending time paging through this month’s issue has been delicious. And look! There’s a fox on the front! My nickname to my kids and their friends is Mommyfoxy. I’m feeling all Zen with this cover!
SEVEN: My version of sweats as defined by a stranger in a coffee shop
When I first bought these super wide frayed jeans last winter there were a couple of members of my family saying to each other, What was she thinking? Even I started to wonder that. When I ran into someone in town visiting from Santa Cruz I complimented her on ones she was wearing and told her I owned a pair. “Oh, aren’t they wonderful?” she said. “I wear mine all the time. They’re like sweats.”
More and more I am slipping into these first thing Saturday morning. They’re so comfortable! I imagine they are like sweats even though I haven’t owned sweats in decades, if ever. I lost some pounds over the winter and I think they look better now. They’re easy with platform sandals like these by Dr. Scholl’s from Nordstrom.
I had a lot to smile about as I was getting my mail. I’m wearing my favorite new/old necklace, my nails were freshly painted, I was picking up mail from my P.O. box which is so old-fashioned and charming and I was spending time with my sweetheart. I felt like I was having a romance with life.
Do you have those kind of weekends? Tell me what they look like for you, okay?
DianeJune 13, 2017 at 3:44 am
Brenda. I cannot believe my ears. I am a fanatic about having a book with me at all times. Heaven forbid if I have a minute and not have one while waiting for someone or something. i too have a thing for British fashion magazines, but I don’ t see Harpers very often. I love Woman and Home and Red. I absolutely Love following you and you make my day when things click. You make it OK for me to let the “girlie” side out more often. Thanks for all you do.( I bought all your books the moment they were out and reread them every year)
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm
OH Diane, I have to respond to a couple of things. I love that you feel okay letting the girlie side out more often. Did you know my mother’s nickname her whole life was Girlie? Some people never knew her given name, Alma. So reading that word just made me remember my mom with so much love. I have to check out that magazine! I find the foreign fashion magazines at a favorite bookstore but I don’t think I’ve seen that title. I’m writing it down so I can ask. And how you feel about not having a book with you is EXACTLY my experience. It’s like I panic! I’m happy to find another reading soul mate!
Cindy La FerleJune 13, 2017 at 4:54 am
Ditto what Diane said in her comment!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm
Well, I always love reading your quotes on your Instagram feed. You are definitely a book lover!
AndreaJune 13, 2017 at 7:05 am
Your post made me smile! I’m going to give having a romance with life a try! 🙂
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm
Awesome! Just saying it outloud made me think I want to go to that place a lot more often. Thanks, Andrea. We’ll keep passing it forward!
MarlysJune 13, 2017 at 7:06 am
I bought a beautiful pink sweater. Have not worn pink in years. Lightened my heart.
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm
Oh, and your heart could use lightening I bet. Missing our loved ones is heavy work. Can still see the mischief in Lindy’s eyes! LOVED him so! Hugs to you, my Marlys.
CaraJune 13, 2017 at 7:43 am
Thank you for taking the time to share your life with us. You inspire.
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm
Thanks Cara! I’m happy to hear this!
Mary Ann DoerzbacherJune 13, 2017 at 8:17 am
I, too, love all things BBC. Loved Shetland. Happy Valley is another good one. My favorite part of my hectic day that consists of running my grandchildren to swim and water polo practice, piano and advanced math classes (my daughter is a physician with crazy hours) is curling up at night with my Kindle HD and finding something BBC. I loved Red Rock, an Irish soap opera. Very short episodes with great fun characters.
I have a favorite sterling silver necklace that consists of a long chain with a beautiful locket my daughter gave me with my grandkids photos inside, a lovely medallion my parents gave me for my First Communion (60 years ago) and a smaller medallion from the Vatican. I can add other shorter chains. These items give me comfort and remind me of the best things in life.
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm
I love hearing about your medallions! I just let out a big sigh reading that. I’ll check out Red Rock. I feel like I learn about faraway places when I watch these foreign shows. I also LOVED Happy Valley. I haven’t watched the latest season all the way through. It was so darn tense that I had to take a break. Have you watched the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries? I think that’s what I went to when I was feeling too tense to watch Happy Valley (but I’ll be back!!!). This one is in Australian and has romance in it as well and exceptionally fantastic outfits!
CaraJune 14, 2017 at 3:59 am
Loved the Miss Fisher Mysteries! What an amazing wardrobe. And the lovely jewelry! I liked Last Tango in Halifax, with Derek Jacobi, and the actresses from River & Happy Valley. It’s a bit of a soap opera, but very good acting. Also, Brenda, I hope you’ve watched As Time Goes By– Judy Dench and light and humorous!
BrendaJune 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm
OH my gosh, no I have not watched As Time Goes By. Wait a minute, I’m adding it to my list! Thanks for the tip!
Mary Ann DoerzbacherJune 13, 2017 at 8:20 am
(Somehow Cara’s picture is next to my name.)
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm
Weird! Is this like the movie Face Off? A thriller!!
Adele MillerJune 13, 2017 at 9:47 am
Loved, loved, loved watching Shetland. My current mystery binge is Hostages (on Netflix), an Israeli series with subtitles. Always on the lookout for new suggestions, so thanks!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Whoa! A new series to discover! Thanks for the tip! Also want to share with you Nobel (Norwegian). Really liked that. Takes place in Norway and Afghanistan. I was almost afraid to admit that I’m hooked on crime series as a genre but now I feel like I’m in great company!
Ann WerriesJune 13, 2017 at 9:54 am
Hello, Brenda….so enjoyed hearing about your life today…I too enjoy having a book along all the time….Maybe I missed it, but am curious about the brand of the wide leg cropped jean….I’m looking for a pair and have not been able to find any to even try on locally…Thanks!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm
Sorry, Ann, I should have put that info in the blog. I’ll go back and update it. These were from Anthropologie. I’m sure they have new versions in the store now because I got these in winter time. It’s their brand, Pilcro. I thought they were the weirdest thing ever and decided to stretch my thinking and try them. Now they’re best friends!
cindy hattersleyJune 13, 2017 at 11:31 am
I am a new fan. It was so nice meeting you yesterday. I love your new/old necklace, your jeans (maybe I will have the guts to purchase a pair). I assume whatever you wear on the top should be fitted? I am going to order that book and I am going to check out your netflix find!!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm
So great to meet you, my new friend! The pant is Pilcro and I got them at Anthropologie but gosh, they’re everywhere! Would love to hear how they work out for you. So so comfy. Now I’m following every place where you are and looking forward to that Paso visit!
KateJune 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm
I loved Shetland too – my mum went to school there! Rebus is another Scottish one you might like,based on the books by Ian Rankin, and Wallander is fab too.
And, just as an aside I love reading your blogs I really look forward to them!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Thanks, Kate! I will definitely look up Regus. I have watched both versions of Wallander. Great stories, great relationships. And Shetland, well, I think I could watch that one all over again! Thanks for the tip, Kate!
Stephanie DonavanJune 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm
Just found your blog via The Contessa…can’t wait to get to know you better! I am 60 and enjoy health and beauty and especially the concept of embracing one’s personal style. I LOVE the jeans…I actually bought a pair from Ann Taylor but returned them because I didn’t find them to be very comfy (snug in the hips and loose in the waist on me). Are yours AT as well or another brand? I’d really like to give them another try.
Following you on IG as well; love your stylish feed.
Stephanie aka @tendrheart4
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm
Glad you arrived, Stephanie! It was so fun meeting Elizabeth yesterday. Just started following you too on Instagram. My jeans are from Anthropologie and the brand is theirs I believe: Pilcro. I would think this style would be great on you with your figure. You may have to have the waist taken in to fit better when you find one that’s close. Can’t wait to hear more of your voice here in the future!
Stephanie DJune 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm
You are so lovely and gracious! Thank you for your reply…based on Anthro’s website it looks like those jeans are gone. I love the Pilcro brand tho; I have a pair of straight legs that are as comfy as all get-out. I will definitely be on a search for a resale pair, somewhere Lord, please. Gracias Amiga
BrendaJune 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm
You’re so welcome, but honestly, they don’t have to be this brand. There are lots out there. Just try, try, try! Xx
LA CONTESSAJune 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm
ANTIQUE DEALER in YOUR PAST……………..WOW!
I can see why SANDRA follows you from your writing here………….
I love those jeans and wide legged pant for that matter so tell those girls in SAN ANSELMO to keep their eyes PEELED!
Table Top books are my downfall…………stacks are appearing on my FLOOR!
WHAT A WONDERFUL LUNCH WE ALL HAD YESTERDAY!!!
Ready for the SLUMBER PARTY NOW!
BrendaJune 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm
Oh yes, my dear. Many years with an antique dealer and many antique dealer friends. My addiction includes table top books. If you have too many, maybe I can babysit them for awhile! I will tell my daughters to watch out for wide legged pants that would work on someone 6 feet tall. Yes, lunch with you guys was divine. I already had in my mind’s eye talking on the drive down to Paso to stay with Cindy! You rock, my friend!
SandraJune 13, 2017 at 9:22 pm
Oh, my goodness. That’s why we clicked. I adored Spiral. One of the best crimes series. Have you watched the British version of Broadchurch? River? The Killing? Happy Valley? Let me know if you need more. I remember the thrill of finding my favorite scarf tucked into a purse I had put away. Books, I read non-stop. I’m on a Dorothy Whipple binge right now. Love those pants. The shoes. Will I fall off of them? Love the look afraid of falling. Just adore having you as a new friend.
BrendaJune 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm
LOVED the British version of Broadchurch. Wow, was that powerful! Yes, loved the Killing and Happy Valley. I do need more, keep em coming! The shoes could take getting used to. I’ve been wearing platform sandals for two years or more and they have been the most comfortable on my feet. When I couldn’t wear anything else, I could wear platforms. I ADORE having you as a new friend too! Soul sisters, baby.
Anuj AgarwalJune 15, 2017 at 10:35 pm
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Brenda Kinsel has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 15 Fashion Over 50 Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 15 Fashion Over 50 Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
BrendaJune 16, 2017 at 7:45 am
Anuj Agarwal, thank you so much! To get a comment from the Founder of Feedspot is high praise and to find myself on this list brings me great joy. I’m nearly speechless!
Can’t wait to display the badge on my blog. Thanks, thanks, thanks again! Best, Brenda
AnnJune 25, 2017 at 11:04 am
I’m having one of those happy, thankful days today. And had one yesterday. It’s one of those times of summer when even Facebook posts are all happy, happy, happy.
Thank you, Brenda and others, for all the marvelous Netflix and online mystery series. I was so bummed when Shetland was over. Also love the fantasy of Miss Phryne Fisher’s mystery series set in Melbourne, Australia in the 1920s-30s. And yes, her clothes are luscious! I also like the more sedate Murdoch Mysteries set in Toronto in the 1890s. Thanks to all for the Finnish, Norwegian and Israeli mystery suggestions. Such good tips.
Am currently reading Alice Hoffman’s “The Red Garden” (a book club choice) and truly loving it. Such a simple book that addresses life’s adventures and mysteries in a deft way.
I’m a big fan of Lisa at Amid Privilege who gave your blog a big shout out recently. I was proud to have found you much earlier on my own. Please keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working for me. 🙂
BrendaJune 27, 2017 at 10:22 am
Ooh, thanks for the Alice Hoffman recommendation. It sounds up my alley. Murdoch Mysteries, that will probably be my next one to try out! I’m so glad you’re here and that it’s working for you!!! Yay! Thanks, Ann.