Therapy Thursday: Paris, Pups, And Bringing Order To Chaos

Bamboo swivel organizer for makeup and skincare. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Let’s start with that last one, shall we? I’m still in de-cluttering and organizing mode. I’m taking it in small steps, the most recent being my bathroom vanity counter.

The Beauty “Condo…”

We have a very small bathroom, and not much storage space. I tend to accumulate skincare products, between trying new things and switching up my routine depending on the weather. I’d been storing them in some shallow metal bins on the counter, but they always seemed to overflow the allotted space. It made for a messy jumble that was driving me nuts.

I’ve been on the lookout for a beauty organizer that isn’t plastic. I finally stumbled across this bamboo swivel unit, and it’s exactly what I wanted. Corrals all of those little tubes and jars, and makes everything easy to find. Bamboo is a sustainable material, and shouldn’t mildew.

Bamboo skincare and cosmetics organizer. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s the other side. I LOVE that it swivels. I know Marie Kondo advises against purchasing “organizers,” but if you don’t have much drawer space, sometimes they’re a great solution. Rather than feeling stressed out in my bathroom, I now enjoy my morning and evening skincare routines.

How I Store My Scarves

A Paris Fix…

Unboxing My Stylish French Box for February 2019. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I received the February My Stylish French Box (gifted) a few weeks ago, but held off sharing the contents until deliveries were complete so as not to spoil the surprise. Opening the boxes, and discovering what’s inside is half the fun! Sharon curated a beautiful set of unique gifts, all Paris-themed, and all utterly charming.

Paris-themed treats inside My Stylish French Box for February 2019. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

That’s a real French beret on the left, 100% wool. The scented candle is from La Note Parisienne, and the fragrance is a wonderful floral mix. (I’m burning it now, and it’s making the house feel a little more like Spring on this cold, wet day.)

Little delights from My Stylish French Box: a lip balm, exclusive Annick Goutal travel fragrance, a scented candle and antique pharmacy box. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

There’s a red-tinted lip balm, a lovely travel-sized fragrance from Annick Goutal (plus a refill), and an antique pharmacy pill box, perfect for storing small treasures.

Included in My Stylish French Box, a charming print and pouch both with images of Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The charming print and set of notecards are from French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé. The pouchette, made especially for My Stylish French Box, features a view of the Pont Neuf and Ile de la Cité.

The February box is now sold out, but you can place an order for the May box. These boxes make wonderful gifts, too. I can’t wait to see what Sharon has selected for May!

Physical Therapy…

Byron, a senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets acupuncture treatment for back pain. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Both of our dogs are getting along in years. Byron is 13½, and Coco just turned 13. They’re at the point where they’re starting to have more health issues. Byron’s had some disc compression in his back for a while (a not-uncommon problem with Cavaliers, I’m told). But lately it seems to have worsened, creating pressure on nerves, in turn causing him to sometimes lose control of his hind legs. He’s too old for surgery (anasthesia), so at this point we’re just trying to keep him mobile and comfortable.

The vet recommended a local pet physical therapy center, and we’ve been going twice a week for a couple of weeks now. They do massage, some exercises and other therapies including acupuncture, which he tolerates well. We’ve seen slight improvement, so will continue with the program.

I’m still at it with my own “physical therapy” too (Pilates). I’ve noticed continued (if incremental) improvement in strength and my posture. I’ve definitely added some muscle. A lifetime of desk jobs and being hunched over a keyboard has reduced the range of motion in my shoulders, and my teacher has focused a lot of work in that area. I don’t do my “homework” as often as I should, need to work on that. 😉

What’s your favorite “therapy” at the moment?

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  1. I have told myself numerous times that I don’t “need” My Stylish French Box, but every time you share one it weakens my resolve. I believe this one has pushed me over the edge! Thanks for helping me discover such a wonderful treat, Susan! Love the bamboo organizer, too. Wishing you and your pups happiness and health and thoroughly enjoying your stylish take on all things (which make me a regular reader)!

  2. Lots of fun items in the French Box. I’m in a similar situation with my 13 year old whippet. We’ve been doing acupuncture, chiropractic and massage but what I’ve found has really made the difference is CBD oil. It hasn’t made him move around like a puppy but has certainly improved his mobility.

    1. I’m thinking of trying that for myself (arthritis). A friend who is gravely ill (cancer) has been using it and finds it relieves pain and the stiffness that comes from being relatively sedentary – he is over 80 but always walked a lot and swam several times a week. Evidently that component of cannabis does not provoke a high, and one can use it and remain lucid and able to write as long as he feels capable of working. I love critters and am happy that your whippet is doing better.

      Sometimes such medication, if not overused, can be a boost to help us get the exercise we need and which is one of the best forms of therapy, for the mind as well as the body.

  3. The French Box makes me long for spring, which is a long way off here in Michigan. As for therapy, I cannot do without yoga. I took classes for a while, then bit the bullet and put the work into developing my own routine, which I do at least 2-3 days a week. It has increased my flexibility enormously and eliminated so many of the aches and pains of getting older.

    I love seeing pictures of your Cavaliers. They are the icing on the cake whenever I get to read one of your fun and informative posts.We lost our Cavalier at 14 over a year ago and I still miss him. They are the best!

  4. Love the bamboo organizer! Can you share how you store your jewelry, especially necklaces, for easy access?

    1. Hi Lee, thanks! I’m still working out the jewelry storage, haven’t yet found a system I’m completely happy with. I will certainly post once I do! 🙂

      1. Great – thank you! I don’t have a lot of wall space, but I’m seeing Amazon has some very cool wall cabinets.

  5. Good morning, Susan,
    First, a belated Happy Birthday! I turn 62 at the end of March.
    My fav therapy, worked out by my physiotherapist, is a set of exercises done in a heated salt water pool. My mental therapy is decluttering which is not my fav!
    Had a couple of thoughts to pass on to you…
    French cosmetics company, Yves Rocher, stopped testing on animals 30 years ago. It is a very environmentally conscious business because of the packaging and natural ingredients in their products.
    Thought about the white booties you wore on a blog when I saw an ad by Aquatalia recently. They paired white booties with pale gray dress pants and I thought I could actually wear that combo.

  6. Thank you for sharing Susan! My current therapy includes monthly chiropractic visits and have recently incorporated bi-weekly massage with a focus on my shoulder and upper back area which is where I tend to hold stress. Self-care is so important.

  7. Susan,
    Just a generic “Merci” for your work. It’s ridiculous how much I enjoy and look forward to reading your ideas and thoughts!
    A fellow SoCal “Amie”

  8. Susan,
    I do so look forward to your postings, thank you so much. I just ordered the Bamboo Swivel unit as my bathroom counter and I need some organizational help. I will be on a month long trip in May and plan on using your suggestion for the 12 piece travel outfits. Hurrah. Now any suggestion for a makeup holder to pack with ease of access and compact form and use? I do not take lots of make up but with shampoo, and other items it is too bulky, HELP!

  9. If you can find it in your area, swimming therapy really helped my elderly Cocker with her mobility issues…..they strap them into a life vest which is connected to leashes and they ‘swim’ in place in a hot tub…..she was always much more mobile after a good swim……

  10. Susan,
    I’m concerned that, if you swivel the beauty box too quickly, smaller items will tumble off. Have you had that problem? The idea is fantastic and good looking; just wondering if standing lipsticks or shadows would go “kerplunk.”

    1. Hi melmi, I wondered about that too, but it hasn’t been an issue. I think you’d have to spin it pretty hard for things to fly off. That said, you can see that I’m using a bathroom tumbler to hold my products in taller tubes.

  11. We are very fortunate to have in our bathroom a shallow wall cabinet with mirror front. It has been a lifesaver. No more falling over tubes and bottles when you open the vanity drawers. For about 20 yrs I’ve kept my makeup in a one and a half level cutlery organiser in my bedside drawers. But my best tip is for travelling when I use the small slide top closure wallets that cosmetic companies put their giveaways in. So one for night routine and one for day prevents the constant rummage in the toiletries bag. Makes short stay touring easier especially when there is only a basin with no counter top.

  12. Your organizer looks like a great solution. Nothing worse than clutter in the bathroom (don’t even get me started on my sister who has both a makeup and a organizing problem – drives me crazy at her house).

    I don’t like things on top of the countertop so won’t work for me – my solution is to pare down to the absolute minimum (and make my husband keep his stuff in the other bathroom).

  13. My beagle, Snoopy ( adopted at 9 and didn’t want to change his name at that age) just turned 17 years old. He’s acquired one of those large non malignant tumors on his side and is much too old for surgery. It’s melon sized and started growing when he was 15. No one wanted to operate on a 15 year old so here we are at 17 and it’s quite large. He sleeps most of the day and is very fussy regarding his food. Right now he seems comfortable sleeping away the day. I take it one day at a time as I know his time is limited. This is my very last dog. My son and DIL live i Maryland and my twins have made a life in Rome so I’d like to be free to travel plus I cannot take the heartbreak of losing another dog.

    1. I know how you feel, we are dealing with a cat who is almost 21, has some issues and needs someone in the house whenever we are away! I will be so sad when her time comes . . . But it sure will make going away easier!

      1. So true! We have a wedding in Virginia at the end of the month and i have a sitter coming to the house but still….Not looking forward to leaving him. I’ve never been in this position before as all my other dogs demise have been quite sudden or emergencies.

      2. I stopped travelling (turning down volunteer opportunities in Europe) when my Renzo (black cat) was really in his dotage. He died at 20+ several months. I had made the appointment, but he decided to die at home, in my office, in a quiet nook with two high bookcases and a blanket I put out for him. We took his body to the vet’s for cremation… I still cry thinking about that, though I have another black cat, tiny Livia. Both these cats were rescued strays.

  14. I’m all for organizing, and am always finding a corner that needs it. I do default to plastic to hold lipsticks upright, those little plexiglass cubbies that hold a dozen or so. That way they don’t roll.
    Aging pets are a heart-wrencher, they’re family.