Weekend Update: Adapting…

Susan B wears Birkenstock Essentials orange sandals. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Les pieds…

With the arrival of sandal weather this week, and my nail salon closed for the foreseeable future, I decided to take matters into my own hands and gave myself a pedicure. Including polish. I chickened out on the color though, and went with a sheer natural shade (Chanel Ballerina). Good thing too, as fine motor skills have never been my forté. And they certainly have not improved with age. Results are serviceable, if unexciting. I pushed back cuticles but did not trim, and used a foot file like this one to smooth heels and remove calluses.

The sandals are waterproof, so great for doing garden projects and quick trips outdoors. They are just as comfortable as my regular Birkenstocks, and can be washed! I’ve been wearing them as “house shoes” the last couple of days. The bright orange color is such a pick-me-up!


Baby hummingbird in nest. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

“Our” baby hummingbird is getting so big! He/she has almost outgrown the nest. So cute when it scratches and stretches, fluffs its wings. The downy feathers are almost all gone, and I imagine s/he will be testing those wings soon.

Les jeux…

Quiplash is a fun game you can play on Zoom get-togethers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you’re looking for a fun activity for your next Zoom party, may I suggest Quiplash? We’ve now played a couple of times via Zoom with my Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law (who are still on their boat in Mexico), and some of their other boater friends. It’s a word game, and perfect for this format. We get very silly and laugh a lot. Each game takes only about 15-20 minutes to play, so it’s not a huge time commitment.

Les soldes…

If you need anything Beauty, the Sephora Spring Savings Event is still on. Rouge members get 20% off, VIB’s get 15% off, and Insiders get 10% off. It’s a great time to play with some new makeup, or stock up on your favorite skincare products. (I’ll be replenishing my Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum.) Code SPRINGSAVE.

Aquatalia40% off all full-price styles, and they’re donating 5% of all sales to Delivering Good. Code GIVINGBACK

Chico’sextra 50% off two or more and 40% off one already-reduced style.

Cole Haan60% off best-selling styles

J.CrewBuy 1 Get 1 Free select tops, tees, & sweaters. Code SHOPMORE

J.Jill40% off entire purchase with code 40APRIL

Lands’ End40% off order with code FOG

Madewellextra 50% off sale styles. Code BIGTIME

Nordstrom – tons of current-season items on sale, and some daily promotions. Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas. Lots of Eileen Fisher included too.

Pottery Barn20% off furniture, 25% off everything else. Code EARTHDAY

Talbot’s60% off two or more, 50% off one already reduced style. AND 40% off everything else!

Do you have any favorite games that can be played remotely or via video conference?

Bon weekend!

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  1. Very comfy sandals. I am like you with colour nail polish on my toes. It gets everywhere. I just whipe the spilled spots off with cottonwool and remover. Could you perhaps do a little video of the baby hummingbird? Or is it too far away for the camera?

  2. The one problem with ordering clothes on line now is the delivery time. I totally understand…but just keep in mind it can be more than three weeks for delivery. At least from larger retailers (I am still waiting for Gap and AnnTaylor.) Smaller independents are much faster, and we need to support them.

  3. I checked out the sandals and loved the lemon yellow ones! They will be arriving May 1st, can’t wait, hopefully by then our summer weather will be starting here in the Northwest. Thank you for the tips and ideas, I enjoy reading your blog every morning with coffee.

  4. Break out the UNO! I recently bought a skin file by Microplane and it is amazing to file off all the dead skin on my heels and calluses. I will be tackling my toe nails shaping today and likely foregoing polish as well. If only Bull Durham were around to paint my toenails!

    Hang in there everyone! I’m supporting a smaller company by ordering some nice pieces from them. Vegan moto jacket and beautiful cool knit V-neck sweater with elbow length sleeves among a few. Some beautiful colors for all palettes. Oh…Reset is the store.

    85 degrees here in Sacramento yesterday….hoping May 1 brings some normalcy.

  5. Thanks for the ideas of things to do, see, and read, much appreciated! I work in a gym, and we aren’t slated to open until June 1st, so keep the ideas coming. I’m watching, Making the Cut, on Amazon, it’s set in Paris, and now, Tokyo, so that’s fun. Any good ideas for learning French online? It’s starting to get hotter, so I won’t be outside as much, but the spring flowers and weather have helped. My morning doves under the eves had a baby, and it just flew off this week, so cute.

    1. Check your public library. They may well have an online language program. And if don’t have a library card, many public libraries are issuing them online or over the telephone.

  6. For those who are skittish about polishing with color on their feet – a trick from a friend who was always perfectly mani/pedi-cured was to wait till everything is totally dry – overnight is best and then use a wet terry washcloth to gently rub away any booboos. Works like a charm as long as you make sure everything is very well dried.

  7. I have trouble using pale or sheer polish-it always ends up looking streaky.Even with several layers.Any tips?

    1. The only thing I’ve found that helps is to apply in a thin layer and then smooth over with the brush while it’s still wet.

      1. Thanks,I’ll try it.
        I do the trick,too, of applying,then peeling off the excess the next day in the shower or bath.So much easier!

  8. Such pretty Birks!! Must have a pair for the beach and garden to add to my collection!
    I have this product I bought at Sally Beauty that you use to rim around the toe/fingernail before applying polish. ..this stuff peels off taking the mess with it! I think it was designed for use when applying acrylic nails to protect the skin. Also second the washcloth trick but use a microfibre cloth ( the kind you used for cleaning house) It’s not my fine motor skills it’s my short sightedness…used to be a blessing when I could flex my head to my foot and really ‘see’ what I was doing!! My manicurist and hair stylist are, after my grandchildren, the people I want to see ASAP after the dust settles on this situation. Might be many weeks…I am looking like bride of Frankenstein and refuse to use box colour on my greys as I have seen some pretty sad outcomes..I am brunette with colour resistant temple greys…I have a great cut with bangs that is so far hiding them but when pulled up for work…ugh!

  9. I have to admit that I’ve been sweet-talking my husband into giving me pedis for a couple of years now (my original excuse was that I’d hurt my back). I have to watch him like a hawk, tho! Last summer I asked him to “do my toes” & brought out all my polish — about 10 different colours — stretched out on the sofa beside him & put my feet in his lap & said “you choose”. I then dove back into the mystery novel I was reading. A half-hour later he said “all done” & I sat up & discovered he’d used every colour, a different one on each toe! He thought it was hilarious: “rainbow feet”. I wasn’t as charmed, but left them as was. I had strangers complementing me on my toenails & little kids kept following me wanting to touch them. The weather’s still so cold here just the thought of wearing sandals makes me shiver, but it IS time to get my poor “winter feet” back into summer shape. Love the hummers. We have them here & they hover outside the sunroom windows eyeballing my orchids & mesmerizing the cat.

  10. Susan, you have inspired me once again. I did my own sadly growing-out toes today. The result is far from professional, but I feel much better nonetheless. Also, thank you so much for the tour of your charming garden. I plan to imitate you shamelessly.

    I look forward to seeing your posts. You are keeping our spirits up!

  11. Dear Susan,
    Wonderful, cheerful blog.
    Exactly what I needed today. I had a case of the All Of This (Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name for it) blues.
    I love your bright Birks! They look fabulous on your feet with your pretty newly pedicured toes. Great job!
    I’m on a notification list (they were out of stock) for a bright pink pair in my size.
    Your backyard is gorgeous.
    The games look fun.
    Wishing you, le monsieur, and all your wonderful readers a relaxing weekend. xox

  12. Your feet look pretty good for ‘diy’ job and I like the Chanel colour which is subtle and would look smart on fingernails as well. I do my own pedicures and use a manicare blade (with a handle) to scrape away dead skin – but I have had the odd accident which involved a lot of blood. We are going into winter, so sandals are out and socks in and I can put the bandaids away for a while

    1. You’ll be happy to know he not only survived, but by yesterday evening was flying around exploring the backyard! 🙂

  13. I bought a pair of those plastic Birkenstocks last summer thinking they would get eaten up quickly by NYC pavements. Contrary to my expectations, they are durable and showed hardly any wear after two months of daily use. Also no break in time, unlike most Birkenstocks.

  14. Though not as adorable as a baby humming bird, this morning I had a mom squirrel showing her pup how to jump from the tree branch to the fence top and then scamper to the next tree. My first thought was, “Oh, how cute” but it was quickly followed by “Oh great. Another squirrel.” However, it was kind of heartwarming to see the natural spring rituals progressing on schedule despite our human challenges at this time.

  15. Hello Susan and all, I was inspired by your post and have given myself a pedicure also with clear polish. Do not need to be showing the mistakes. I am the oldest of nine, we are all married with children and most all have grandchildren. A sister has an authentic Bingo game so the family (or at least whomever has time) have been playing Bingo on Thursday nights on the App Zoom. It has been great fun, my son from Memphis and his family join in, we have players from Boston, Chicago, NYC, Kansas City, Iowa, many other places. It has been a great way to stay connected, the best part….we play for prizes.

  16. Gave myself a pedicure a few weeks ago but skipped the polish. I figured my toenails could use a break and it’s not yet sandal weather in my neck of NorCal. When my nail salon reopens I’m springing door the callus treatment!