What I love this week: a summery fragrance, a balmy lipstick & more

We’re just a week out from the official first day of summer (which I love because it’s the longest day of the year). And our forecast shows there’s (finally!) some warmer weather on the way. I’ve been washing and packing away my warmest sweaters, and sorting and organizing some of my summer clothing. I also switch up some of my beauty products for the warmer season…

A new lipstick that goes on like a balm

Susan B. wears a peach collared shirt and Brian + MW tinted lip balm in "Apricot."

Brian just introduced a new line of tinted lip balms and they’re really good!

This sheer tint goes on smoothly, adds a little color, feels incredibly moisturizing, and stays on for hours! There are 4 tints; I’m wearing Apricot. (I have a lot of natural color in my lips, which makes the color appear a little darker.) I’ve also swatched the Rose tint, which is just a bit cooler. I’d recommend that one for Summers and maybe Blue Springs.

For a limited time, Brian is offering 15% off all lipsticks, lip liners, lip treatments and lip glosses with code susanknows (apply at checkout)! If you haven’t already tried it, I highly recommend Brian’s Re-Creation Lip Treatment which smooths and plumps, and reduces those tiny lines around the lips.

Don’t forget to use code susanknows for 15% off!

Smells like summer…

I like to swap out my fragrance with the season too, and have been looking for something for summer that’s fresh, but not too “sharp.” Lately I’ve been bored with white-floral-dominant scents, and have been on the hunt for some different notes.

I tried a spritz of this recently just based on the pretty bottle, and went back the next day and purchased. Yes, there’s some white flower in there, but some sweetness when it dries down. (At first it reminded me a little of Hermès “un jardin sur le nil,” due to the citrus top note. But it’s a bit lighter and less recognizable.) Acqua di Gioia to me feels sophisticated, but fresh, not haughty.

New lighting

When we were doing our kitchen remodel 5 years ago, the contractor was very insistent that we choose our lighting fixtures very early in the process. We didn’t have time to do much in-person shopping, so we searched online and found something we both thought we could live with. Here’s what we chose for the dining area without having seen it in person:

Casual dining area after kitchen renovation. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I never really loved the fixture we chose. It always felt a bit heavy and massive for the space. I really wanted something that felt both modern and casual, and a bit lighter. A few weeks ago I was looking at lighting fixtures on a whim and this one grabbed me.

Here’s the “after”…

Susan B's dining room with new wicker pendant lighting over dining table.
Susan B's dining room table with new wicker pendant light.

I like this new wicker pendant light MUCH better, and think it really suits the space. It’s also given me a direction for future decor updates, which I’m calling “modern beach cottage.”

The out-and-about hoodie

This cotton terry hoodie is the perfect thing to throw on for those not-quite-warm-not-quite-cold days. (And we’ve been having a lot of those lately…) The gold buttons make it feel a bit more polished than activewear, but it’s just as comfortable.

It’s also available in a navy/white stripe, sizes XX-Small to 3X. I’m wearing size Small. The fit is relaxed, but not hugely oversized. The Navy is close to Spring’s “Bright Navy,” but Winters could probably wear it too.


Pink peonies in a glass vase on a table in evening light.

Few things deliver as much bang for the buck as Trader Joe’s peonies…it’s a short season, so don’t miss out!

What we’ve been watching…

1923 starring Harrison Ford & Helen Mirren

We’ve never watched the Yellowstone series, so weren’t sure if the prequel, “1923” would make sense. But after some introductory narration in the first episode, this series stands on its own, and we’re finding it very entertaining. The scenery is gorgeous, and the stories are engaging. And Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford are both wonderful to watch.

We’ve also been enjoying season 2 of “Schmigadoon” (on Apple+) and I have to say it’s worth watching just for the scenes with Jane Krakowski. She’s a force of nature!

Annnnnd….we’ve been looking foward to the last season of “Endeavor” on PBS Masterpiece. Starts this Sunday!

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  1. I switch out my scents too. I was recently in Rome and picked up a fragrance called Lilibet from the Laura Tonatto perfume boutique on Via Coronai. Laura is famous for developing scents for Buckingham Palace. She’s known as the “nose” of Italy. Lilibet is a combination of Lily of the Valley and a very crisp linen scent. I just love it.

  2. ove the new lighting fixture! it’s really fresh and stylish. As for TV viewing, I really liked “D.I. Ray” on PBS, a British police procedural where the protagonist is a South Asian detective inspector who has to navigate prejudice while solving a murder. I also really enjoyed “Drop of God”, which takes place primarily in France and Japan, about two wine-expert whiz kids who compete for an inheritance in the form of the world’s greatest and most valuable wine cellar. Next up is the final season of “Happy Valley”.

    1. Hi Ellen… and other viewers…I caught the last season of Happy Valley on a long flight from. Vancouver to London . So pleased, since even though I like the comfort of premium economy, I cannot sleep on a plane. 6 hours of excellent UK tv was perfect at keeping me from going crazy with restless leg syndrome.
      Here’s another one BA had on the return flight you might wish to check out…Bloodlands set near Belfast with James Nesbitt …again 6 hours of season 2. Now hope to see season 1 somehow. Hoping to join Britbox.

  3. That light fixture is wonderful there and really changes the mood. I’m going to test that fragrance next time I’m in a store!

  4. Love, love, love the light fixture…looks great! I have been enjoying TJ peonies, too…gorgeous flowers! They seemed to be more plentiful this year.

  5. I’ve worn Un Jardine sur le Nil but it’s hard to obtain where I live, so I’m going to give your recommendation a go.
    Have you seen aTV series called ‘Astrid ‘? It’s in French and I definitely need subtitles as they speak so quickly, but the concept is something different from the usual police procedural, and the main character is very engaging.

  6. The dining room fixture is perfection!

    I switch my fragrances with the season, too; my rotation consists of seven rose-based fragrances that I adore. I’d like to be one of those women with a signature scent but I love perfume too much to confine myself to just one!

    Endeavor was SO good (we watched the British broadcast with a VPN) – so good, in fact, that we’re planning on rewatching. I was nervous about the end because some finales have been let downs (Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you) but this was perfect. You’ll enjoy!

    PS I love these ‘this and that’ posts!

  7. Totally agree with you re TJ’s flowers. For less than the price of a latte, I can buy something that provides weeks (alstromeria) or days (tulips) of pleasure.

  8. Well now I have to get some peonies from TJ”s! I don’t wear lipstick, but that lip balm looks intriguing. And that new pendant in the dining room looks fantastic. It’s like buying a new purse or different accessories; one new look can change the whole look and feel of a room or wardrobe.

  9. Hi Susan, I love your new dining room light fixture! Amazing what a difference it makes, everything look so much lighter and fresher. It feels more like you! Similar from transitioning to an all black wardrobe to fresh new colors.
    Having to make decisions fast and under duress can often lead to things that don’t quite work. We joke that our house “caught covid” during the pandemic- we had to replace 3 appliances, garage door opener, kitchen faucet and even a car, not all were successes!

  10. Thanks for the heads-up Susan. We thought Endeavour was finished! Love the new pendant light. Such a simple switch that makes such a difference.

  11. Well, I have white and pink peonies in my yard! They’re very, very common bushes in my area and very long lived. Your dining area is perfection! Perfect for your style and locale.

  12. It is funny how something as simple as a new light can change the entire look of a room. In your case, the room looks lighter and somehow more modern. 1923, is the sequel to 1883, which was OK. I think part of the problem for some series set in the past, is the female characters look too ‘modern’, with overfilled features, especially lips (which is the case with 1883 – that and the daughter’s behaviour is more Valley Girl than Pioneer). Hats off to Helen Mirren who embraced her somewhat grizzled look in 1923.

  13. Hello,
    I am excited to try Brian’s Re-Creation Lip Treatment. The reviews are compelling. Unfortunately, your discount code isn’t working on the site. It says the code’s limit has been reached. ☹️

  14. Also loving Schmigadoon season 2!! I like it even better than S1 because I love those dark 70s musicals. I need to see Alan Cumming as Sweeney Todd now. 😀

    I think next season will be spoofing Phantom/Les Mis and its ilk….