Friday, April 20, 2012

The Friday Forum - April 20

What a week this has been! When I wrote last week's Friday Forum, I mentioned that I was taking my mother to the doctor that morning. Her doctor was alarmed at Mom's condition. After she thought about it for a few hours, the doctor decided that Mom needed to be hospitalized to get a lot of tests done quickly. Because she doesn't have privileges at our favored, close-by hospital (Virginia Hospital Center), we had to get Mom admitted by going to the emergency room. Fortunately, our McLean Fire and Rescue guys were on the case within minutes.

The "emergency department" (they don't call it an ER) started running tests and determined pretty quickly that Mom's blood sodium level was extremely low (among other things). After a few hours of tests and waiting, she was admitted and moved to a room. Once I got her squared away for the night, I left. I went back at 7:00 am the next morning and spent about nine hours/day there for the next few days - leaving for a spell when my sister showed up. Once I returned to work on Tuesday, I was only able to spend a few hours in the afternoon with her. By then, we had her caregiver with her at all times.

Skipping forward, they did a lot of tests that she needed. It would have taken weeks to schedule and get them all done had we gone about it the normal way, so it was good that she was in the hospital. The last test, an echocardiogram, was done Monday, but it took until Wednesday afternoon for the doctors to raise and stabilize her sodium and calcium levels (lots of i.v.'s and Lasix). While Mom was in the hospital, they also gave her i.v. antibiotics for a UTI that has been persistent. I want to mention that the staff was wonderful. They had to work hard with Mom the first few days, and they were tireless.

She was discharged Wednesday evening. Since then, she has slept a lot. I'm still worried because she has zero energy and appetite - just as bad as when she was admitted. I've been talking to her doctor every day, and we'll take her back for a blood test Monday. I'm working hard to try to get her to eat, and I need to get an appetite stimulant prescribed today. I'm hoping that if she eats, her energy levels will increase.

In June, she will be 90 years old, and despite all her illnesses over the years, she has always sprung back. I'm determined that she will this time too. Thank you all for your queries, prayers, and thoughts. They got her out of the hospital, and I'm hoping all those positive vibes will help her improve every day.

Let's talk about fashion today. There was a great article about brand loyalty in yesterday's New York Times. My compliments to the author, Marisa Meltzer! It reminded me of a point in my life when I had to stop living in my favorite brand, Escada. I felt like Escada had divorced me. I went from wanting everything each season to wanting nothing. Why? Because the company did a 180 with a change in ownership. Instead of designing gorgeous clothing for professional women, they started catering to young Hollywood (see photo above). That wasn't me at all. Additionally, they raised their already luxury-level prices to absurd levels - almost overnight. I felt like a jilted lover. How could they leave me behind? I switched to Giorgio Armani, whose modern yet classic styles continue to suit me, and have experimented with many other brands. I no longer browse the Escada racks.

Do you have brand loyalty - or did you ever? Has your brand let you down? Did you grow out of it? Why did you leave? I thought it might be a fun conversation for the weekend.

Naturally, we'll talk about beauty too. We do that in The Friday Forum, our weekly open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

Saturday, I'll meet Kilian Hennessy, of By Kilian. I'm beyond excited. He has two new fragrances, the first introductions of his Asian Tales Collection. They are both gorgeous, and I've got my bottles reserved. I'll report in after my appointment.

I've got two giveaway contests underway, and they both have midnight Saturday deadlines. If you'd like a chance to win Sephora + PANTONE UNIVERSE Prisma Chrome Blush in Apricot Brandy, click here to enter. For a chance to win Calvin Klein's BEAUTY Eau de Parfum, click here. The BEAUTY giveaway is a two-day contest, so don't dawdle.

Photo courtesy of, Escada, and By Kilian


Tracey K said...

Best wishes for your Mother's speedy recovery.

PerilouslyPale said...

I hope your mom recovers soon. YOu must be so stressed!
Now come on...don't you wanna wear that outfit you posted? LOL
That is so exciting you got to meet Kilian! Yum!

Shelnmum said...

Speedy Recovery to your mom! It must have been a really stressful time for you!

This week my Zuneta order of LMdB goodies arrived and I am so glad I bought the lipsticks and Creme Tint! They are gorgeous!

I am now waiting for my purchase from Nordstrom to arrive. I ordered the LMdB Aurora lip kit which sold out at Zuneta and 2 YSL lip stains:-)

You lucky girl! I hope you have a wonderful meeting with Kilian!;-)

fgirl said...

Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for your mom! I know this must be a really hard time for you.

Looking forward to reading about your meeting with Kilian! How exciting! I love his fragrances.

I was thrilled that Sephora got the Guerlain Pucci collection online yesterday. I bought the meteorites, the brush, and the Edward Bess eye primer. Have been waiting for that for weeks! I am still tempted by the Guerlain Pucci bronze compact, but I love my EB bronzer so much that I'm not sure I can justify it.

Eileen said...

Thank you for filling us in on the latest concerning your mom, Charlestongirl. Hopefully, the appetite stimulant will have her eating better so that her healing energy will get a much needed boost. And, although she is home now, we know it is still a terribly stressful time for you, so make sure you're taking good care of yourself as well. As for all those prayers and good wishes that have been coming your way, know that they continue to surround you and your mom every moment of every day.

I agree with you about Escada's recent direction. It's obvious they want to leave their more conservative elegance behind and focus on a younger, trendier look. Perhaps they thought they were becoming too stodgy and that they needed a change. That's really a shame.

When it comes to my day-to-day clothing needs, I've found that retirement has made a huge difference and I don't feel I've made a completely successful transition yet. My first two years of retirement I didn't get rid of anything. As I cruise through my third year, though, I'm finally ready to let go and do a major over-haul of my wardrobe. My life has gone from go-to-meeting (Armani and Max Mara) to go-to-lunch (Piazza Sempione) :-) And, if truth be told, most days I knock around in jeans (NYDJ) or causual slacks (Ann Taylor) paired with a simple top. I love a well edited wardrobe, though, and look forward to restructuring mine around more casual chic and resort wear. It's a good excuse for some serious retail therapy! LOL

On the beauty front, I haven't purchased anything this week. I've been meaning to go swatch Dior's summer collection, but this week just flew by in a flurry of appointments. Perhaps this weekend I can go take a look.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

CGirl said...

Hi CG!
I'm glad to hear your mom is better and I hope she recovers fully soon!

I'm not sure I'm really label-loyal. I definitely will go to brands I've had good experiences with first, but I'm not afraid to try something new if I think it will work better. This is mostly true for makeup/skincare because in clothes I just wear what fits/isn't awful (working on losing weight).

I have lots of goodies to play with this weekend. My Guerlain-Pucci purchase arrived the other day. I bought the brush, meteorites, and liner. I haven't played much with the meteorites yet, but I love the liner! It really brings out the green in my eyes (I find it more indigo than navy blue) and goes one so smoothly Love it!

I also have 2 of the Rouge Automatique Shines and am in love with them. I have Rose Imperial, which is a lovely warm pink, and Pao Rosa, which is the perfect berry that I've been searching for. They go on sheer by build up easily and nicely. I love the shimmer. Really great product.

I also bought Sephora makeup bags to use as wristlets, but they will be going back. The colors are uneven, one has glue on the bag, and they both just feel very cheap. Even though they were on sale, I'd rather just spend more money for 1 nicer bag somewhere else.

I also plan on experiementing with the new foundation I received: Laura Mercier's Cream Smooth foundation. It's been a long time since I used anything other than mineral foundation, so I will need to play with it.

We are supposed to have a dry weekend (finally!), so I'm looking forward to taking the boys I watch to the farmer's market. They love to help pick out food and I enjoy introducing them to different ones and cooking with them. they always get money to purchase a few things of their own at the market The oldest (5) always gets broccoli! It's a fun trip.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I hope you're able to rest and relax, CG.

Swathi Narumanchi said...

Hi CG, my wishes for your mum's increase in appetite and you feeling less stressed and more relaxed.

I really missed you those couple of days. I keep checking everyday so it was hard to stop myself.

Brand loyalty ? Well, I have never stuck to any one particular brand in clothes. Or anything else. Except my shades, I live and love my Ray Ban aviators.

Beauty wise, I finally bought those Shiseido Shimmering cream eye colors that you keep raving about. They are SO much better than the MAC paint pots. I LOVE them.

Just 5 min back I also happened to see on th LMdB page on Facebook about their three new kaleidoscopes, I am beyond sad that I will not be able to purchase.

Phew, I had a lot to say after a long time.

Again, hope you feel more relaxed and your mum gets on more energy soon.

Love - Swathi

Kate said...

Hi Charlestongirl!

Well, that is odd. I typed a long, rambling comment (shocking, I know), and it doesn't seem to have appeared. Oh well. This will force me to edit this one!

I sincerely hope your mother begins to get her appetite back so she can gain some much-needed strength. What a vicious cycle - not eating, having no energcy, having no energy to eat, not eating, etc. I also hope you are able to get some rest and recharge this weekend. I know you have been run ragged by all these developments with your mom, so I can only imagine how tired you are. I will continue to send prayers and positive thoughts your way. Oh, and a sincere thank you for continuing to blog while you have been dealing with all of this. Your dedication to this blog is abundantly evident, and I (selfishly) appreciate seeing your posts.

I just received my FedEx delivery of Cognac Sable. It. Is. Gorgeous. Stunning. I want to run to the bathroom at work and take off my eye makeup and put this on. Lol! It will have to wait until tomorrow morning. I am dying to see what it looks like!

I am going to again profess my love for LMdB's lipstick in Miami. I think LMdB's "hallmark" for their lipcolors is their slight frostiness/shimmer. I have seen several swatches that seem to showcase it, and I know Miami and Thailand both have that quality. It is very flattering. Not like the frost of days of

I have also started making a beauty wish list so I can be a little more careful in selecing items I want. Currrently on the list are EB's new eyeshadow bases and Noir G mascara. And be still my heart...those new kaleidoscopes from LMdB. Must...practice....restraint!

Enjoy your meeting with Kilian. And try to get some rest this weekend!

Happy weekend, ladies!


Eileen said...

Hi Kate,

Woo-hoo! You finally got your Cognac Sable. You are going to love it. I've managed to come up with some different looks for day and night and they're all gorgeous (she says without a hint of modesty!). I've had no issues with pigmentation, blendability, wear time, or fallout. Mr. Perfectionist has created a stunning and dramatic classic. Have fun with it, Kate. :-)

Kate said...

Hi Eileen,

As soon as the package came, I swatched all the shades on the back of my hand, and they look so pretty. Pictures honestly did not do it justice. I have been watching the video from A Model Recommends who recreated the campaign look with Lara Stone, as well as reading about Karla's makeover with Tom Ford. So, I have some ideas for application. I just cannot wait to get that sparkly copper shade on my eyelids! His collection is superb, in my opinion. I really would like to pick up the darker shade of Shade & Illuminate as well. I'll let you know how it goes once I try out Cognac Sable.

Have a great weekend!

yesplease1816 said...

So glad to hear your mom is out of the hospital, CG!! I will continue to send positive energy her way!

As far as makeup, I was going to try and skip this weekend, shopping-wise, but I've decided that after I finish up a little bit of work here at home, I am going to run to the mall real fast to hopefully grab a few Dior items (one of the new bronzers and an Addict Extreme) and to check out the new Bobbi Brown summer collection that just came in! So excited!!

Happy weekend!

toughdoc said...

Sending many get-well wishes for your Mom! Never underestimate the power of Jewish penicillin, chicken soup! Prayers for both of you!!

The biggest fashion letdown I've experienced is the decline of Gap. While it's not the level of Escada et. al., it was great for good, basic denim and corduroy jeans, tees, sweaters, etc. Their quality is terrible now and the proof is in seeing stores closing and the company not doing well anymore. Now I just go to dept. stores or JCrew, Talbots, but they're not the same.

My makeup obsession for this week has been Butter London nail polishes. Dillards' has them, and if you buy 2 bottles, you get a free bottle of "Go to Bed Red". I bought Disco Biscuit, a sparkly fuchsia, and "All Hail the Queen", a deep shimmery taupe. Love it!

Anonymous said...

I hope your mom gets better soon. I honestly think it may be depression. Oddly, I had to take my mom (almost 90 as well) to emergency last week as well. She was admitted for week for dyspnea. This was her first time ever in a hospital. She was in good spirits after a while at the hospital and had a ravenous appetite. Since she's been home she has no energy, no appetite. I think reality may be setting in that she's no longer independent. I'm an only child so it isnt easy between her needs and the kids. Patience is important. Hope you mom recovers soon. It's hard when you're used to them being strong and resilient.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi everyone!

I just got home from making and cooking Mom's dinner. Even without a stimulant, she was better today and ate and seemed more alert.

I'll write you all here tomorrow first thing. I'm about to hit the bed.

Happy Friday.

Rosemary said...

Hi CG,

I have been absent due to a computer issues. I now have a new desktop computer and am loving it.

I'm sorry your mom has been so ill! You are surely exhausted mentally and physically. I have said a prayer for both of you.

I bought too many Chanel products to count, but we'll give it a try. ;) The new Vitalumiere Aqua Cream Compact in BR22. Love! Love! Love! I am sure to pick up a couple of extras just because I tend to hoard Chanel products I love this much. I replenished some of my Chanel skincare items and bought the Base Lumiere Illuminating Makeup Base which adds a little extra glow to my skin. I also got Chanel's reformulated Pink Explosion, a gorgeous pink blush that stays pink and doesn't turn peach on me. And, I may be late to the party on this one, but my new fabulous Chanel SA suggested the Mystic Eyes quad (believe it's from Spring 2009) for me and I adore it.

No more buying for me! I'm done until Fall...oh, except maybe those extra Vitalumiere compacts...oh, dear. ;)


Mary Ann said...

I hope your mom starts to feel better
soon, I'm sure she appreciates all the good care you give to her. I just received my first Kilian fragrance this week, Back to Black,reminds me a little of when my dad would smoke a pipe. Please give Kilian a kiss from me, he's a hunk, and tell him I love his fragrances, I have several samples as well. I can't wait to read about your meeting
with him.

Sophia1105 said...

Hi Charlestongirl!

I am very happy to hear your mother is feeling on the up and up! That is great news! She is very blessed to have a daughter like you. And I second everything Eileen has said, please make sure you're taking care of yourself during this time too. Thoughts and prayers out to you and your mom!

I picked up the Omorovicza Complexion Perfecting BB Cream and found it to be a tad too light for right now but have been playing with their Cleansing Balm and really enjoying the experience. Now if only I could go there...

All the best to you!

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

glad your muumy is feeling better and bless your heart for all you do :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi PP,

It was stressful. It remains so. I don't ever have a lot of extra time, so adding a few hours/day in to get Mom's dinner (the new caregiver can't cook American), is a stretch.

In a few minutes, I am going to get ready for my appointment. I'm afraid I'm going to be tongue-tied.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Shelnmum. She was a bit more with it yesterday, so I'm hopeful.

Those LMdB cheekies are luscious. Make sure to check out the Chantecaille ones too next week.

That Aurora Lip Kit was scarce. Some counters received a grand total of seven of them!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, fgirl. I was hoping my Guerlain order would show from Bergdorf Goodman this week, but there's always today. I'm resisting double buying just to have it. Hope you enjoy it!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen!

I was unable to get the appetite stimulant. Mom's doctor said it would present a risk of clotting (or bleeding, can't remember), so we bagged that idea.

The good news is that Mom picked up a bit yesterday and ate better. We tried not giving her the nightly dose of Ambien Thursday night. I'm now thinking that, in her weakened state, it was prolonging sleepiness.

I was, at the time, really sad about Escada. I have noticed that our local stores give it much less space than before, so I doubt I'm the only one who decamped. I still wear some of my oldies, though, and love them.

Happy weekend!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh, Cgirl, I love our farmers' market. I am missing it today, but I need to go next weekend.

With the exception of the bags (what a bummer!), it sounds like you had a fun week!

As for clothing, fit is another reason, I think, we stick with brands. I like NYDJ, as Eileen does, for fit. I also like Chico's, but now I'm a 00. If I keep shrinking, I don't know what I'll wear. Good luck with the diet. That's hard.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Swathi,

I don't think I missed an entire day, but there was no way I could write for two hours/day.

Ahh, Ray Ban aviators - so classic, so cool.

Funny, I seldom check LMDB Facebook. I need to do it more often. Yesterday, I got home to three e-mails from them. I started writing, and every time I thought I was finished, there was another one!

Charlestongirl said...

Kate, I am sorry. I have had the same thing happen on blogs. I have no idea what causes it. I've learned to start copying my comment before I hit publish.

Thanks for the well wishes for Mom. I did get a little extra sleep this morning.

Get that EB Illuminating Eyeshadow Base!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Yesplease,

I must remember to look for the other shade of the Dior bronzer today. I must...

Thank you!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi toughdoc!

That's a hoot. It was about the only thing she would eat in the hospital. Now, I think she might kill me if I put it in front of her.

The nephrologist has insisted she must have more protein. Yesterday, I fixed "her hamburger scramble" (ground beef, onions, tomatoes, elbow mararoni, spices), and she ate it. Yea!

Those butter LONDONs are beautiful!

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there, Anonymous, you are right about depression. Mom takes Lexapro. I have a chance on my "ask the doctor list." I'm wondering if she is just plain tolerant to it now.

The loss of independence is depressing. I hope your Mom feels better soon. Just keep getting her favorite foods.

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I was so pleased to hear your hamburger scramble was a winner for your mom. In addition to the energy, her body needs that protein to heal. I hope everything will continue to improve for her--and for you! Get plenty of rest and enjoy yourself this weekend.

I made it to the Dior counter yesterday and bought the Diorskin Healthy Glow bronzer in Sunlight. I love it! It's a bit shimmery (not a problem for me), and has a pink undertone that is much more subtle than Guerlain's Sunblonds which can actually be used as blusher. It's also surprisingly light for a bronzer. As lovely as it is for spring, I think it will actually look gorgeous during the winter when something is needed to combat pallor and add a bit of dimension to the face. I can't help but think it will be beautiful with your coloring.

Enjoy your day!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Tracey!

Hope to see you soon.

Charlestongirl said...


I am going to have to buy it today. Along with Kilian's two new fragrances.

HRH Paula said...

Best wishes for your mom. I know it is sooo stressful when our parents get older!sintio hiprop

BooBooNinja said...

Hi CG,

I said a prayer for your mom. I'm glad that she's out of the hospital and her appetite is perking up. Don't forget to take care of yourself as well.


Dovey said...

Hi Charlestongirl, I am late for the Friday discussion, but I wanted to send my best wishes to you and your mother! I hope both of your days will be filled with hope, love, and strength.