Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday This and That

Like the rest of you, I have been checking out the upcoming spring collections of our favorite lines. I am smitten with the Giorgio Armani photos - and not so smitten with Dior's Trianon Collection. There are a few Dior shades that interest me, but Dior has done that eye palette before. I guess it's a quick way to make money.

Given our cold and icy weather this weekend, I didn't catch up on new arrivals at the local department stores. I did catch up on my sleep. It's amazing how refreshing it can be to alternate naps and reading.

Saturday was a debacle. I discovered mid-morning when I reviewed my bank account online that someone in California had used my debit card (which is in my possession) all week. The creep purchased food and booze. In a 30-minutes in a phone queue, I was unable to get through to the fraud line on the phone, so I went to my bank, where the manager had to wait in the same queue for 30 minutes. It was then that I learned that the creep had also tried to guess my PIN, and the bank denied those three attempts. Should that not have been their clue that my number had been stolen?

Anyhow, my card was whacked immediately after I reported the fraud, and I'm going to have to operate with cash for 7-10 days! That will be extremely inconvenient. I will have to go to the bank tomorrow after work and write a check to get money. I had to limit my gasoline purchase this afternoon to $20 because I realized that I would have no money for parking and lunch at work tomorrow if I used all my cash on gasoline.

For several reasons, including a chewing tooth that cracked Friday and must be fixed after work Tuesday, I'm going to have to take a short vacation from the blog. I won't have enough time to do everything on my "must-do" list, including work, dealing with Mom's medication issues, and write. Tomorrow, I have to buy food (after I get cash), something I was unable to do today. I walked into BJ's, saw lines 15-deep, and walked out. Today, it rained here, so I wasn't able to get photos. What can I show you?

So please forgive my short vacation. I'll be back as soon as I can get my groove back.

Photo courtesy of americanwaste.org

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. It's been an awful season for that kind of thing.. Good you caught it early. Good luck fixing it. I'll be here when you get back JUST DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO TO FIX IT. Laine

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I always read your blog, living in Holland but now I felt the need to respond. Good luck on everything. Wow, unreal all the trouble you have to go through! Good luck!
Gerda from The Netherlands

Deb said...

Hi CG. Sorry to hear your New Year isn't starting off so great; you seem to have had a run of bad luck lately. I applaud you for taking a break, you deserve it. I can't even imagine how time consuming blogging is. I say this with kindness and the best of intentions, but as a somewhat longtime reader, I've noticed a distinct change in your blogging "voice" over many weeks now. You seem to be tired, and at times dispirited. Go take care of you and get your groove back! Your readers will understand and support you.

bisbee said...

Sorry to hear that CG - I had the same thing happen years ago with my debit card...but somehow they had gotten my pin, which I had never given to anyone. They made many withdrawals at ATMs in Russia! I went through channels, filed a police report, but my credit union would not reimburse me! I lost over $2000! Needless to say, I check daily now...and I was able to claim the loss on my taxes. A lawyer would have cost more than I lost!

Take the time you need ...we'll be here when you get back!

melisand61 said...

Sorry for the troubles CG. I have had two debit cards and one credit card closed by the bank for possible fraud within the past year. One, because I caught a few charges that I didn't make and two, because they suspected that the cards had been compromised. There must be a better way... And yes, switching to cash is strange and foreign, isn't it?

Hope things look up for you. Take care of yourself.

roxymisha said...

I get so cross when innocent people are taken advantage of by creeps. So sorry to hear that you have had this nasty episode which, in turn, had made everyday life so difficult. Take care of yourself and, although I will miss your daily blog, it is best to take some time out.

Niki

lov2read68 said...

Oh CG! I'm so sorry to read this. There's no mincing words - that plain sucks! : ( I hope it is resolved quickly. Your readers will be waiting. Take the time you need for yourself - take a deep breath and hit the reset button!

Anonymous said...

Hi CG, that is a terrible feeling to see that somebody else used your account and I am very sorry this happened to you. Right now, because of what happened at Target with the breach, I am using a temporary debit card given to me by Wells Fargo. I also know for a fact that Bank of America will give a temporary debit card while you wait for the new one to come as well. This card is given to you immediately at the branch and does not have to be mailed. You choose the PIN you want and it can be used straight away. Perhaps your bank gives a temporary card as well? I hope so, as that would be one less stress for you, so sorry again! Theresa

LilyBiscuit said...

So sorry to hear about the debit card incident. I went through this about ten years ago....awful!! I'll never understand criminals. Hopefully, in a week or so it will just be a bad memory. Take care and I hope the rest of your January will be bright.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Australia and have been reading your blog all year. Have been incredibly impressed by your enthusiasm and dedication to all things cosmetic. You try hard to bring us something new each day. Other bloggers seem to burn out after a while so please do rest, refresh and recover. Fran

Chris said...

Hi CG! So sorry to hear about everything! I appreciate that you're even able to post so regularly, so never feel obligated to keep it up when there are more important things. Please take care of yourself first!

S Derrick said...

I love the Armani highlighting compact and the new fluid sheer. I don't need either. With pretty highlighting compacts, I tend to look at them more than use them. I hate to destroy the effect. So silly I know. I know. I know.

Personally, I am enamored with Chanel's spring lineup. I've already purchased the eye palette and a lipstick. I'm going back in for a couple more lipsticks, a couple of glosses, and the Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadows.

CG, I agree with the others. You take all the time you need. I'll be thinking of you. I love what you said about alternating reading and napping. That sounds like a cozy way to spend the day with your kitten. A nice cup of tea, a cozy throw, and a good book. Nice.

Adam & Susan said...

so sorry CG! :( glad it was caught sooner rather than later. please take your time and come back when you are rested (and have the time)! i'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

Clarisa said...

Did you happen to have used your card at Target during the week that they were hacked ?

Jo said...

I'm so sorry CG. I can't tell you how many times I've had to get a new debit card because of fraud. I bank with Bank of America and they are really good at spotting it so I haven't lost any money. They also issue a temporary debit card if you visit the bank while you are waiting for them to send you the permanent one.

Take all the time you need. We will be here when you are ready to get back to us.

I'm not feeling Armani or Dior this time around. I can't wait for Chantecaille and Tom Ford though.

Charleston Girl said...

Deb, you are correct. I feel the passion morphing into duty. I see my time squeezed by so many forces. My physical problems are mounting. I am worried about the currency of beauty products, the source of my insecurity as I think about a someday retirement. How can I keep spending so much money?

I will or can brag that BTiB has spectacular readership numbers, and I adore my faithful readers. However, I am not in the league that Christine and Karen inhabit. They pay for little. I pay for most. I make about $100/month on Google ads. Otherwise, BTIB loses money. Lots of it. So that I can show you pretty new treasures. At some point, I have to put money earned into a retirement fund. I'm starting to get nervous.

I know that I have a long-term choice I will have to make in the next few months. Stay or go. I will spend 3-400 dollars on only one new collection. Multiply that by 10. Other bloggers spend nothing. I spend time begging for PR photos. For others, they are sent automatically. I thought after 4.5 years, I had earned my keep. I'm happy with photos! I don't need free stuff, but it sure helps. There are too many bloggers out there asking for free products. I cannot ask. Not me. It would drive me crazy if I were the PR recipient of all those blogger media kits. And envy.

I have enormous appreciation for brands that have enabled me to continue blogging with new collections gifted to me. NEST, Armani in the old days, RBR, TATCHA, and more. I appreciate how hard this business is, and as the number of beauty blogs grows exponentially, we must realize that old relationships...even with bloggers who have no audience left, are stronger than active blogs with good stats. Frankly, I wish companies could measure ROI on the bloggers they support. Old assumptions die slowly.

I hope I'm not whining. I started to explain some of my discontent with a business world and its model that seems impenetrable. Perhaps I am not worthy. Perhaps I should have showier pages. I could improve, but at price? Give up the real job that supports this wondrous hobby?

I need time to mull these forces swirling I'm my mind. I can't do something half-way. I need to commit or quit. Some of my recent writing shows my struggle with that recognition. There is so much more I should explain, but I'm depressing myself..even with a few crazy days coming up, I know I'll be eager to share again soon.

Charleston Girl said...

One more thing: thank you for understanding, caring, and making BTiB a huge part of my life's happiness.

Charleston Girl said...

If I can find a branch with a supply, I can get a temp card after work tomorrow. The gal who helped me Saturday had none.

Charleston Girl said...

If I can find a branch with a supply, I can get a temp card after work tomorrow. The gal who helped me Saturday had none.

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

Perfect time to rest and reassess. Well as much resting as you can do with all of your other commitments. I'll be here with everyone else when you return.

Charleston Girl said...

I have not been to a Target in over a year! There are all kinds of new schemes for skimming card numbers. Then some super-creep simply makes up a new card. It happens to me about once a year. Inconvenient for sure!

Charleston Girl said...

Thanks, Gerda and all for the moral support! It does help my psyche!

If I can't have the next Guerlain collection drop out of the sky (tee hee), I can take comfort in your support.

angusmum1 said...

You are in my thoughts, do what is best for yourself, everyone is supportive.

Melissa Goodine said...

Hello CG,
I read your blog daily sometimes I check several times to read comments from Eileen & Nemo among others. I have a 16 month old son so I don't comment often but I know that you need to do what's best for you. While I think if your interested you could do so many posts with the amount of beautiful products you have in your arsenal. Lol I would love to see your favorites through out your various pieces and I bet others would too. I know when I found your blog 2 yrs ago when I started becoming a makeup addict I read every post you ever wrote and if I'm new to something I look back in your archives for your opinion on it. I guess what I'm trying to say is even if you don't have anything new I'd still read daily to see whatever you publish. My heart goes out to you with all the stuff your dealing with and I hope you get your account cleared of all the fraudulent charges soon.
Melissa

Anonymous said...

We hope you are back soon.

AnneD said...

Dear CG, we all enjoy your blog so much. We also understand when these decisions have to be made. Please know you are appreciated and respected and we want you to take care of yourself first.

Makeup Remastered said...

Hi CG,
What am annoying and inconvenient way to start the new year!
On your later note on blogging - I still frequent blogs like your lovely one as I know I am getting an honest personal view - I may go to other blogs for the release news (you usually have it too!) but gravitate to those I that believe are not driven by the companies that supply PR products. The love you have for your blog and respect for your readers shines through!

bisbee said...

CG...just a suggestion. I am always AMAZED at your purchases - the sheer volume is overwhelming and SO expensive! Couldn't you cut back...quite a bit (do you really need to purchase so many palettes?) and still give us a wealth of information? I think so - we can surely be satisfied by your pictures and descriptions of those products you decide to leave in the store!

Charleston Girl said...

I have thought of that, Bisbee. I have already cut output from two posts/day to one. If I cut anymore, I will end up with two/week. Blogs "die" when they are so infrequent.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if a hug would help even if only a tiny bit, consider yourself hugged.

See you on the other side of your groove! Denise at aeiokid at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

You will overcome!!! These problems with debit/credit cards and the hijacking of our info is all over the place. I have had numerous incidents of my credit card being mis-used. We need the "smart card" with the special chip in it, like Europe has. US businesses haven't wanted to change to this as it costs them money but ya know what? The way we have it now isn't working for so many of us. It's time for the US to catch up and use this better technology.
Your blog is by far the classiest of all and my favorite. You probably will have a somewhat smaller number of followers due to the fact that you stick with the highest of quality products. But this is what your followers are interested in and tend more than not to purchase. This makes you the "Cartier" of beauty bloggers!
Your followers are a very loyal and understanding group. You add much happiness to our day so I personally hope you do not give up. There are real people out here who genuinely care about you and what goes on in your life.
We all hit points in our lives where things can become overwhelming. The answer is to sort out your priorities and tackle one thing after another until things smooth out again, and they will. Our priorities shift as time goes on but we can adjust. Just take one day at a time and know that we all will be here when things straighten out once again.

Deb said...

CG, your reply to my comment struck my heart and sympathy. As I read it, you are dealing with a massive internal struggle that will not be easy to resolve. I am ignorant of how blogs work as it relates to a bloggers relationship with companies and the products. I think I understand what a PR kit is and if I'm correct in my understanding, I can't imagine anyone thinking less of you for accepting them. I believe that they come with an expectation that you will only give glowing reviews of the products sent, but I see other bloggers do the opposite. Again, please forgive my ignorance here, but is your reluctance to go that route due to that fact? If so, I can understand and respect that. But at the risk of being redundant, I must say that I believe none of your readers would think less of you for doing it. As much as you love your blog, your only real responsibility is to yourself. And again, with nothing but kindness intended, please remind yourself of that. I am retired and only a few years younger than you, and it sneaks up on you very fast. In my very humble opinion, that should be your most important consideration. You deserve a relaxed, secure, and comfortable retirement. That is so much more important than your commitment to your blog readers. I know that's easy for me to say as I am not you and not facing your struggle. I walked away from a 36 year career that I loved because it consumed my life and became a grind. All the joy was gone. So if you decide to leave the world of blogging, you will be missed. But do so knowing you made many people happy for a long time and have given all you have. You owe the rest of the world nothing. I wish you nothing but the best no matter what you decide, but most of all I wish that you find yourself, your peace, and your happiness again.

Sara said...

CG, I hope you will have everything resolved soon! I really love your blog but don't want you to feel as though it is a burden! I hope you will find what you are looking for during your break and will continue to read whatever you feel like writing about. -Sara

Charleston Girl said...

I need to clarify something. In my comment rant, I may have led you to believe that media kits sent by PR were not welcomed. I love them! I appreciate them. I need them.

I meant that bloggers send media kits about their blogs to companies. Yes, they put together kits of varying sophistication to "sell" their blogs to brands. They include their social media stats, prices to feature a brand, etc. Why? So that they can get early access to press releases and - yes - free stuff - if they qualify with the brand. They publish a lot of "sponsored posts," for which they charge, depending (usually) on their readership stats. Don't get me going. I could write a whole series on beauty bloggers who don't really care about beauty products. They are "in business." They can't believe it when they have to buy something! Check out those new disclosures required by the government.

Walls said...

Sorry, CG, that is bad luck, but I'm sure your readers understand the need to step back from your blog for a wee spell while you attend to more pressing matters. Wishing you well!

Evelyn said...

I'm with Meredith, you are the "Cartier" of bloggers and always enjoyable to read. It's nice to see a press release but really what I'm looking for in a blog is the writer's voice. I think that's what makes talking about a piece of makeup or a perfume or just life interesting. Thank you for introducing me to new things too!

You deserve a vacation from all that is going on so enjoy your break. I hope to see you back enjoying writing your blog again. :)

kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.com said...

Aw no, that is not the best way to start the year :-( Take some time off, all the time you need. We'll be here when you get back!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how the blogging world works so thanks for explaining. Difficult decisions to make when BTIB is something that you love. Maybe starting with spending half of what you normally do, I am sure all the readers will be with you all the way. Other half straight into retirement. You don't have to be flashier or anything, your blog is great as it is.
Good luck again.
Best wishes from a very mild Holland.
Gerda

Anna R said...

I just heard that Neiman Marcus' database was also breached. It is scary to shop anywhere! And, target's breach was larger than first reported. I hope your personal issues have resolved, I don't know what's worse, dental problems or a stolen debit card!! I enjoy your blog immensely and hope you are back soon.

Solanace said...

Hope you and Charlie are doing well.
Getting used to that Hourglass mascara, it is better than I first thought it was.

Adam & Susan said...

Thinking of you, CG. Hope things are well!!! Susan

*JW* said...

I miss you so much. I keep checking every day to see if you are feeling better. But I had lots of fun searching your blog for kaleidoscope and reading about all the Le Metier de Beaute lovelies. I'm a semi-newbie to the kaleidoscopes and was thrilled to add The Countess. I called, as you suggested, and received it yesterday...am wearing the blue today (on casual Friday) with my jeans. I do hope that you feel like blogging again soon, but take care in the meantime. Thanks, Judy from S.C.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi friends!

I am getting back on track and will write soon. TGIF! This, like last week, has been very busy. In the last two weeks, I've dealt with fraud, a tooth that needed to be fixed, getting a new implant screw (diagnosis, fix), getting my car's service (always a two-day deal after work), extra work-work, and so on. I am feeling, finally, like I did not fall on black ice a few weeks ago. This life management stuff can really derail a blog!

I have purchased nothing new, but I was sent some stunning gifts from beauty companies, and I want to show you. I also have new Armani to show you. Stay tuned. I've missed you!

Chris said...

Woo hoo CG! Glad to hear things are getting better for you!

Jo said...

Hi CG,

I've missed you too. Glad you're getting back on track and everything taken care of and hope to hear from you soon. My bank sent me a new debit card because of the whole Target & Neiman's thing but luckily no one had tried to use my number. What a hassle! Imagine if all those evil hackers actually used their talent for good - what a different world it would be.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY miss your blog and your sage comments on new products. It's clear that you truly love the products that you review/show vs. just putting together some fluffy puff piece because you "have to".

Hope all's well and that you're enjoying the must needed break!

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

Just popped on to check in and saw your comment. I am so happy things are back on track :)

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

We're thrilled to hear that all those problems that plagued you are beginning to resolve and that your spirits are lifting. As much as we miss you and your blog, we want you to refresh and renew and return to us when you can write with the infectious enthusiasm that has been a hallmark of BTiB. So, dear Charlestongirl, take your time and return to us when it gives you joy to do so. We'll be waiting :-). Have a great weekend doing the things you love to do.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear from you, CG. I, too, have really missed your blog yet completely understand the need to take care of all the things you mentioned. And your CC may have had a beauty expense respite as well. I can't wait to hear about these new things.
Tanja

Anonymous said...

Hi CG, glad things are shaping up for you. I've missed you! Been checking in daily and selfishly sad not to see you back yet, but secretly happy you are truly taking the time you need. We'll all be here when you return!! Take care, Denise at aeiokid at gmail dot com.