Reorganizing, Roses, And Russian Doll - une femme d'un certain âge

Thursday Miscellany: Reorganizing, Roses, And Russian Doll

Style bloggers Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age and Brenda Kinsel on a cold day in L.A.

Last week I spent a wonderful afternoon with Image Consultant Extraordinaire Brenda Kinsel. She is such a warm and delightful person, and a great shopping partner! She has a a keen eye and is open to trying new things. I was inspired by how she puts pieces together and coordinates her accessories.

With a string of cold and rainy days on tap, it’s a good time for indoor projects. As part of my ongoing closet re-organization, I want to go through my jewelry, and create accessory bundles as Brenda does. I’ve done this in the past for travel. But at home, I’ve mostly been grabbing and wearing the same few pieces lately. I currently group by type (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.) My plan is to compile some bundles, and then figure out the best way to store them so I can see and find easily. Updates to follow!

A Rose Is A Rose…

David Austin Eden climbing rose pink. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One of the last remaining pieces of our landscaping project is an arch with a climbing rose that will frame our dining area window along the driveway side of the house. I’ve decided to go with a David Austin Eden climbing rose, both for that gorgeous pink color and the full, showy blooms. We’re just waiting for the weather to clear long enough that the soil can dry out to be able to install the arch.

Fragrance: Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting my rose fix with this fragrance, which I picked up in Paris. It’s a playful and irreverent take on rose.

Closeup of Meyer lemons on espaliered tree. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

But I did get my two espaliered citrus bushes in yesterday: a Meyer lemon 🍋and a Bearss lime. As you can see, there are already some impressive lemons and I’ve harvested a couple to enjoy with mineral water. (Will try with a Vodka & Tonic this weekend… 😉) The limes are supposed to bear fruit 3 times per year. There’s no fruit yet, but I do see buds beginning to form.

You Should Watch This…

Natasha Lyonne as Nadia in TV series "Russian Doll." More at une femme d'un certain age.

If you have not yet seen “Russian Doll” on Netflix, I’m not going to spoil the premise. But it’s SO GOOD. It starts out weird and dark, but I urge you to stick with it past the first couple of episodes. It gets both funnier and more poignant as the series goes on. Natasha Lyonne’s performance blew me away. Elizabeth Ashley is also fabulous. Have I mentioned that it’s SO GOOD? I may re-watch to pick up on more of the imagery and subtleties.

How do you organize your jewelry?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Ramona
    February 14, 2019 / 4:09 am

    I have all my clothing and accessories stored in my ensuite dressing room. I organize earrings by color/metal in trays with little compartments for each pair. I store bracelets the same way, but use t-bars for them so they can be on display. I buy bracelets and earrings at art shows and wherever we travel, so they are reminders of where I’ve been and I enjoy seeing them. I store scarves in hanging shoe bags, also by color, since I wear them frequently and do not really wear necklaces. Having everything organized by color allows me the freedom to be creative with how I accessorize without taking a lot of time. I only use a pre-planned “beauty bundle” when I travel. I usually pass along jewelry that I find I’m no longer wearing, probably once or twice a year I will review my collection, but I don’t have any strict feelings about the number of pieces I should have if they are being worn.

  2. February 14, 2019 / 6:37 am

    The Lily at the Washington Post had a wonderful article about Russian Doll, including tips such as looking for an actual Russian doll in episode five, I think it was. They had another article that they said to read after watching the series. I’m still finishing The Good Place but look forward to Russian Doll.

  3. February 14, 2019 / 7:26 am

    Currently watching a Scandi-noir (Border Town), but Russian Doll is next on my list of binge-worthy shows. Glad to hear you’re giving it an all-thumbs-up. Given that we’ll get back home tomorrow to an
    other fresh snowfall, hunkering-down with an addictive series sounds perfect. (also, given that snow and ice waiting for us, your lemon and lime trees and future pink roses are pretty appealing as well 😉

  4. Cee
    February 14, 2019 / 7:43 am

    I binge watched after Andy Weir, author of The Martian, gave it his highest recommendation. All the buzz is well-deserved.

    I need ideas for organizing accessories, especially scarves. My small home was built in 1929 with hardly any closets so storage organization is both necessary and difficult.

  5. Ann M
    February 14, 2019 / 8:01 am

    Adding Russian Doll to our list. You always have the BEST recommendations!

  6. February 14, 2019 / 8:06 am

    CEE, do you have room for an armoire? The flats in our housing co-op are at least a decade older than you, early 20th-century, and built for working-class families who owned very little back then, so two closets, on tiny in the hall and one slightly longer but very quirky with the hot-water heater at one end. Beautiful hardwood floors though.

    Sue, it is good to have an expert outsider to help with that! I love your new friends for the garden.

    • Cee
      February 15, 2019 / 2:38 pm

      Lagatta, yes, a small wardrobe in the bedroom is supposed to hold the bulk of my work wardrobe. I love my plaster moldings and hardwood floors but I have some serious walk-in closet envy.

  7. Brenda
    February 14, 2019 / 8:12 am

    I will re-try “Russian Doll” – I watched some of the first episode, and it didn’t grab me. I trust your recommendations so will give it another go!

  8. Susan
    February 14, 2019 / 8:28 am

    I’m so glad to see your enthusiastic review of Russian Doll. We loved it! We too almost bailed after the second or third episode, when it was hard to see where it was going, but are so glad we stuck with it. It’s one of the smartest, most interesting shows in a while, with so many fascinating details. The entire cast was phenomenal!

    What other shows can you recommend?

  9. Rondi
    February 14, 2019 / 8:43 am

    I recently went through and organized all my jewelry. I keep a couple smaller jewelry boxes on my dresser because they were gifts. One holds most of my every day necklaces. All my other jewelry is in a top dresser drawer. I purchased clear plastic craft boxes with little compartments for earrings. The boxes are approximately 11″ X 7″. And I have other dividers in the drawer for other pieces of jewelry. Some of the boxes nest or can be stacked. Works for me. Very organized and budget friendly.

  10. RoseAG
    February 14, 2019 / 8:51 am

    A couple of other people on my Facebook feed have mentioned that show. I’m going to have to watch it!

  11. Cindylou
    February 14, 2019 / 9:23 am

    That David Austin rose is beautiful, I wish I could find a place in my garden for it. There is nothing like having lemon and limes trees! I have limited closet space so to store jewelry I bought a cabinet the size of a wall mirror that opens to store jewelry. I hang my necklaces and store much of my jewelry there in the space that a wall mirror takes.

  12. Sue Holland
    February 14, 2019 / 10:06 am

    I am fairly new to your blog and am rebuilding my wardrobe after a significant weight loss. i have dresses and skirts that are too large. Got rid of most of my pants etc… Where do I start? Which of your articles do you recommend that I read?

    Thank you,


    • Susan B
      February 14, 2019 / 11:02 am

      Hi Sue, welcome! I think rebuilding a wardrobe can be a fun project and a chance to learn more about your tastes and preferences. Here are a few recent posts that might help you get started:

      You can also take a look at some of my Travel Wardrobe posts for ideas about creating a cohesive capsule.

      Hope you find these helpful, and thanks for reading!

      • Laurie
        February 16, 2019 / 9:03 pm

        I loved Russian Doll. The dialogue was wonderful and there are so many subtle but fun things to pick up on in the background. Glad you recommended it.

        Couple things im hoping you might cover in future posts of you haven’t already: 1) best way to deal with facial hair (especially chin) I pluck but it’s time consuming and not always effective. Do readers have any good tips; 2) wondering if you will cover “athleisure”. It’s everywhere in stores and when I travel I see women of all ages wearing stylized track pants/side stripe with running shoe type footwear. It can look quite stylish. Thoughts?

    • BeeeBeee
      February 17, 2019 / 8:44 am

      Susan is a wonderful source of inspiration, but when I created a wardrobe from scratch last year, I found The Vivienne Files to be the most useful source. Search her site for how to build a capsule wardrobe. Inside Out Style blog will teach you how to choose a palette and what designs are most flattering for your particular body. Adore Your Wardrobe also is very instructional.

      I really struggled and did not enjoy the process which became more like a part-time job but I am now enjoying the fruits of my labor.

      Best of luck.

  13. Katherine C. James
    February 14, 2019 / 12:20 pm

    Russian Doll is fabulous. I watched it in a single evening. Natasha Lyonne, who I’ve long loved, and who has lived a lot of life in her 39 years, is perfection in the central role, and I was fascinated by the clothing and settings. It drew me in completely, and I intend to watch it again soon. There was so much to see and think about in each scene.

  14. Angela in NZ
    February 14, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    Waiting with baited breath for jewellery storage ideas, it’s my Achilles heel. Older, fine jewellery is in a couple jewellery boxes. And currently, costume necklaces are in organza favours bags, roughly colour coded. The rest are in various random original drawstring bags, earring boxes etc, all inside the very fancy cosmetics boxes that are too good to throw in the recycling bin.

    • Garden Goddess
      February 18, 2019 / 10:58 am

      Have you considered a free standing jewelry case? I’ve seen them advertised a lot at Christmas time in advertising supplements in the newspaper (yes, I still get one!) from such stores as Macy’s and Kohl’s. The one I covet had a LOT of drawers (like 8 or 9) and “wing” that folded out on each side to hold hanging necklaces. It was a French-style with curved legs, and had velvet lined drawers. Alas, I live in an old house with a small bedroom that has no extra room, but it would sure make storing jewelry a whole lot easier…

  15. Sharon Corcoran
    February 14, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    Russian Doll had me hooked too!

  16. Sue Lewellen
    February 14, 2019 / 5:08 pm

    I wish I had jewelry to organize! Our home was burglarized a couple of weeks ago and all my bracelets, necklaces and rings were stolen. Luckily my earrings were in the back of a drawer in the bathroom. So now I am accessorizing with scarves and earrings!

    • Susan B
      February 14, 2019 / 5:49 pm

      Oh, I’m so sorry, Sue! What a shame. I’m glad you were at least able to save the earrings.

      • Rondi
        February 15, 2019 / 3:50 pm

        Sue, I suffered the same loss a few years ago from a burglary. You can never replace items that belonged to very special people who are no longer with us. Or pieces you have cherished for many years. It is heartbreaking. I am sorry it happened to you also.

        • Sue Lewellen
          February 15, 2019 / 7:31 pm

          thank you, Rondi. Yes the ring from my mother’s wedding set, the necklace that my mother-in-law wore and the engraved bracelet from my grandchildren can never be replaced! I still feel angry every time I think of someone in my home taking things that mean nothing to them, but meant the world to me!

          • Rondi
            February 16, 2019 / 11:11 am

            Well said, Sue. That is so true.

          • February 16, 2019 / 1:57 pm

            I understand. The blog Passage des Perles in the list on this one touched upon that question not long ago; you can just scroll down a few threads there. I do hope that your grandchildren are still alive and can provide not a replacement but a new gift to honour you.

            The moths stole most of the beautiful things my late mother knit for me. We were often at loggerheads, but attuned in terms of aesthetics and the love of plants and cats!

  17. Gwen
    February 15, 2019 / 4:11 am

    Started watching Russian Doll last night, interesting series for sure. Thanks for the recommendation.

  18. February 15, 2019 / 6:04 am

    Happy to see you recommend this great show. It warrants endorsement.

  19. Lynn
    February 15, 2019 / 6:53 am

    How do you store silver jewelry that will tarnish? Mine is crammed into a “regular” jewelry box that is lined with the cloth that prevents tarnishing but is made for more delicate pieces I think. Bracelets are big and some necklaces are too. The container store has great storage boxes for jewelry but they are not lined with the special fabric.

    • Tenley
      February 15, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Plastic bags sized for the piece. Can be found in cooking and office supply stores.

    • Sarah
      February 15, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      Bead stores have anti-tarnish little zip lock bags.

  20. Peggy Trefaller
    February 15, 2019 / 8:01 am

    GOOD DAY….Just wondering if the long strap on your puzzle bag ….in the picture you just posted with your friend on 2-14, a different strap than the original one that comes with the bag…..I purchased this bag after seeing it on your blog and love it, but I would love it more if the crossbody strap. I have would be longer.
    Thank you and enjoy your day!

    • Susan B
      February 15, 2019 / 8:04 am

      Hi Peggy, this is the original strap. I usually wear as a cross-body, but had been carrying the bag in hand and just slung over one shoulder for a quick photo. I’m quite short, and standard crossbody straps on bags are often too long for me.

      • Wendy L
        February 15, 2019 / 8:44 pm

        I, too, am short but I love a crossbody bag. I’ve had great luck getting the local shoe repairman to shorten the strap to my preferred length. He only charged me a few dollars and it made all the difference!

  21. February 15, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Nice to have been able to spend time with Brenda. Now where are the treasures you found?
    Do you think my sensitive nature can cope with Russian Doll?

  22. February 15, 2019 / 10:04 am

    Hi Susan:
    I store my earrings on ribbons. The studs or wires poke through the cloth with the backs holding them on. Ribbons are grouped according to theme or description. Silver, gold (costume), holidays (all on one ribbon) are in a drawer. Nice jewelry is kept in my jewelry box.

    Love reading your blogs.

  23. Stephanie Anderson
    February 16, 2019 / 2:38 am

    Hi, Susan. Just a comment on your fragrance. I discovered Atelier fragrances at Neiman Marcus about 6 years ago, and they are just wonderful. My daytime favorite is Trefle Pur, which, as befits its name, is a fresh clover/grassy scent that everyone, man or woman, comments on! I also like the Orange Sanguine (blood orange) and several others. A big benefit of these fragrances is that they are made entirely of natural ingredients, without any synthetic perfumes, AND unlike most fragrances, you can unscrew the top of the large bottle and decant some into travel-sized atomizers.

  24. Sandy Andry
    February 17, 2019 / 4:14 am

    What is your guideline for the proper length of a crossbody bag? I, too, am very short and the idea of having the bag’s strap cut to size is appealing to me…but where exactly should the bag “hit” me?

    • Susan B
      February 17, 2019 / 6:19 am

      What I’ve been told is that when the bag is worn crossbody, the hand on the bag side should be able to wrap around the bottom of the bag. To me, that’s the maximum length, and I sometimes find it more comfortable to wear and walk with when the strap is just a little bit shorter.

  25. Jeanne
    February 17, 2019 / 1:28 pm

    I use craft boxes to store necklaces, pins and earrings. I keep statement necklaces in their original bags like from j crew. I have to assess the whole thing every few months or seasonally to bring to the forefront what I am into at the moment. I will take pins that are summery and separate from wintery ones in different boxes. All of this is mostly in two vintage suitcases under my bed that I slide out when I get dressed. Truthfully it is a lot to manage. My mother was a huge collector and she left me and my sister a lot. She had a a little Iris Apfel (is that her last name) in her. Its wonderful but in some ways a burden, and that’s why I got the craft box system. Helps a lot.

    • Garden Goddess
      February 18, 2019 / 11:08 am

      I like your idea of separating your jewelry into seasonal wear! It’s a bit like seasonal capsule wardrobes. Good idea.

  26. February 22, 2019 / 6:18 am

    Such a packed post, thank you! Brenda is a super talented stylist.

    I store my earrings in candy boxes! The kind with little sections. I keep necklaces in small bowls but I have a friend who keeps hers in antique teacups. A tip from my GF Christine: take some of your pieces out and place them on a pretty tray. Rotate the selection every few weeks or monthly. If you do not see them, you don’t wear them.

  27. February 23, 2019 / 4:20 pm

    Brenda is one of my favourite people! Fun to see the two of you together. My jewelry is not well organized and I’ve been meaning to set aside some time to try her beauty bundle idea.

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