Now Time to Travel

As we grow up or grow “more mature” or whatever we call it, Lucy and I talk about where we want to visit and what trips we want to plan while we can still enjoy the experiences. Travel is on everyone’ s bucket lists. And today the Internet offers an infinite number of places to see and ways to travel.

Fantasy if only trip Not going to happen but….

I got a catalogue yesterday for an around the world trip for a month to every place I want to see before I die. NO really, I mean everyplace I want to see while I can still appreciate it. From Peru to Samoa to Tibet and Tanzania to Petra and Marrakech, imagine that kind of trip! The problem is, of course, that it costs an unaffordable amount!

 

So Lucy wisely suggests that we do not hold up some unattainable list but rather make a short list that is achievable and reasonable.

Cooking classes and shopping!

She is looking into a shopping and pastry class experience in Paris that she found that sounds like great fun:

 

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-luxury/article/2121230/how-best-hotels-paris-are-combining-shopping-and-art-boost

Look who is coming for breakfast!

At the top of my list is the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi and it has been on my list for a long time. I have a great friend who is also interested in going and we are hoping to get two more friends to join us. It is not a trip to do alone so the more in our party the better:

https://www.thesafaricollection.com/properties/giraffe-manor/

Not your average peeping tom!

While a quick trip to Florida does not require much planning – there is still the complete joy in creating a trip to a far off magical destination, months or a year in advance. A friend recently returned from a working trip to India, and, by some dint of kismet, met the Dali Lama at her hotel. Last week, looking into her eyes I was convinced that traveling is the ultimate facelift for the body and the soul but, then again, it may have also been the experience of meeting the Dali Lama!

Planning a trip that has a special connection to family or your past is another way of culling the wish list. Lucy found a diary by her father from a trip he made to Lake Cuomo after college. She has this journey on her list. I want to travel again to Italy, always to Italy, anytime and anywhere, and also plan to visit the village of my grandparents on the Adriatic Sea.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/solo-travel/best-places-for-women-to-travel-alone

Advice from a travel expert suggests when planning to travel alone choose a hotel that is in the city center within walking distance of sites you want to visit. I bring a book for lunch and or

Breathtaking Lake Cuomo

dinner and my fellow single travelers do as well. It is best to plan a solo travel experience with a reputable travel company who can help with 24-hour emergency services, depending on where you travel.

The take away message for all of us is to plan travel experiences now while we can still appreciate them. So get out there and do it!

Au revoir,

Lucy and Claudia

They Are Watching You!

Let’s face it. The Internet gnomes track every move and search you make on line. You are being watched and profiled so much so that seconds after you search for, say, yoga pants, banner ads appear on the side of your email and your search engine. And it is not a one off as these ads can and do appear months after you searched.

And that is creepy enough but then there are the strange super discounted versions of the product that appear offering deals that are just too good to be legitimate. We found that these businesses are more than likely off-shore companies with questionable labor policies, poor production quality and unreliable customer service.

Because LucyandClaudia.com relentlessly searches the Web for fashion influencers and new products for our friends, we decided to check out some of these untoward sites. Lucy decided it was time to take a chance and ordered a pair of boots from one of these “special deal vendors”.

Boots we both love

Here is how it worked: The boots were “on sale” 50 % off, and then Lucy got a special credit of $5.00 at check out and shipping was $10. The boots are described as handmade and leather and imported (from where you might ask) and of course there were “verified” reviews that were mostly positive. ( The vendor would not even let us put a photo of them on our blog!)

The boots take 8-20 business days to deliver which means, either, they are made to order or, they are coming by slow mule from very far away. Lucy gave them a seldom-used credit card and her address, knowing that she can look forward to an overabundance of promotions and special customer deals, already being offered 15% off her next order.

Maybe this is okay and maybe the boots will be great and we will keep you posted but we do not like this “shopping experience”. Understanding that for a long time, advertisers and businesses could not find how to make money online. Now they can target exactly who they want as the perfect profile customer. There is no question that banner ads are a vital part of marketing and profit for the Internet. But when is enough enough and what about the quality of some of these banner ads?

Banner ads appear with 20 cars every time I open email!

Claudia made the mistake of shopping for a new car on line. You can only imagine the banners and deals she has been offered in these promotions from car gurus to auto trader to car dealerships from all over New England!

We will keep you posted on the boots! Do let us know your experiences with these “super sales deals”.

Ciao

Lucy and Claudia

Fashion Finally Gets a Seat at the Table

The fashion industry is finally being formally recognized at the World Economic Forum(WEF) in Davos.  Although a peripheral topic two years ago, this year the industry has a seat at the table.

The World Economic Forum hosts some of the most exclusive guests on earth. According to the New York Times, “It is an occasion for the global elite to debate the most urgent and far-reaching issues on the planet.”

The inclusion of fashion into this high-power arena means that the industry will be able to take advantage of the emerging technologies and resources for research and to be at the front line innovation that demonstrate best practices in a global environment.

In simple terms, fashion will be a player in this technological revolution that will “change the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

Stella McCartney and Ellen MacArthur

We are delighted that designer Stella McCartney will be one of the leaders representing the industry. We have written about her before. She is a young woman who has dedicated her business to quality design and, at the same time, to working toward minimize environmental impact.  While some designers pay lip service to minimizing pollution from the manufacturing processes of fashion, Ms. McCartney has consistently been on the forefront of environmentalism.  Current data indicates that the fashion industry is a larger contributor to greenhouse emissions annually than all international flights and shipping combined.

On the agenda at the Forum is what is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already impacting the fashion business through digital fabrication technologies, additive manufacturing, 3-D printing and new computational design techniques. “Imagine a world where you want a red cashmere sweater that is a certain fit, style and length. This is immediately manufactured and on your doorstep in five days. That reality is closer than many believe,” said eBay’s chief executive Devin Wenig.”

Those of us interested in fashion support Ms. McCartney and the Forum for recognizing the industry.

Ciao

LucyandClaudia

 

 

Simplify Your Wardrobe

Lucy and I have go-to outfits in our closets that have come to define our individual styles. Pretty much everyone does, either because they are especially comfortable or we just like the look.

Yoga pants are so comfortable and that is why we love them

We decided to check out what our friends consider their “real” clothes. We asked a diverse cross section of friends and colleagues whose lives run the entire spectrum of still working full-time, some part time, or not at all. Still others are taking on grandchild care, taking classes, fulfilling obligations, and/or are offering their career expertise to nonprofit organizations. And some are just having fun enjoying doing nothing more than loving each day as a gift that it is.

Without exception, yoga pants and tights and sweat pants have become ubiquitous, which means that we now wear them at home and then out in the world without feeling “slompy”.

These tights work here but not all can or should wear them on the street

We hail from the generation whose mothers had to look perfect everywhere, from grocery shopping to flying on an airplane. Then we came along and introduced the velour leisure or track suit, really hideous look at the airport back then. But today for us, with so many looks instantly available online, what are we supposed to wear that works, has style and is “cool” and not outrageously expensive?

Here’s what we found:

Wardrobe.NYC introduced its core 8-piece collection at a $3,000 price tag that they say is all you need. We found that we could wear almost everything in this collection and we like the fact that the models are inner-generational. The look is very NYC and may be a bit too edgy for most of us. We suggest you look at their site and see what you think:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/t-magazine/fashion/wardrobe-nyc.html?_r=0

Other options are to work with online stylists who deliver wardrobe choices for your review and consideration. Some women find this approach successful while others find that the stylists do not get their look. And it takes away the fun of mixing and matching.

So if we were to design the perfect wardrobe for us, what would that be? The following is a list of must-haves that we can update as needed without spending zillions on a new season’s look:

  • A beautiful white shirt –pricey and perfect
  • A white long sleeve t-shirt. We can still do that.
  • Black pants – two different styles thoughtfully fitted with some spandex and another over the boot leg style
  • Fitted coat or jacket – not necessarily black
  • Little Black Dress
  • Skirt or two –mid or knee length. brown or grey or black
  • A couple of turtleneck sweaters in a palette that flatters our complexion. Turtlenecks are best. And everyone wears them
  • And, of course, include an ultra violet scarf and hand bag as it is this season’s color.

 

So we are now totally cool. Now, could we do all of this for $1500? We think so and are on a mission to do so. We will let you know and ask that you let us know if you can bring this Simple Wardrobe in on budget.

Ciao

Lucy and Claudia

 

PS   Lucy’s first 2018 “Wardrobe Adjustment”:

“Turn all of your hangars in your closet backwards so the open part of the hook is facing you. When a piece of clothing is worn, turn the hangar around. After 6 months you can tell which you have never worn and time to give them away to your nearest consignment or thrift shop.”

Let’s resolve and be resolute in 2018

“One part of wisdom is knowing what you don’t need anymore and letting it go.” — Jane Fonda

Let’s truly reflect upon the notion of aging: Be brave and fearless. Try something new. Do not retreat. We have been at the Big Show of life for 40, 50 years – now is not the time to wind it down. We must continue to lead and be the power behind our years.

Best Girl Pals Lummy Claudia Pam Lucy 2015

Let ‘s join the conversation: Time for activism. It’s a flashback to the 60’s. If you weren’t a protester than, you have been given a do-over. If government is not where you want your voice to be heard, there is plenty of room to take on the cashmere industry, workers rights, health care in 3rd world countries and so much more.

Let’s share our perspective. We have earned it. Lucy recently spoke to her daughters about what happened with Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and the lot of them. She shared what she learned as a girlfriend, a working woman, and a person out in the world.

Let’s embrace technology: We are on the cusp of another huge sea change…voice activation. It is here. Find a young family member or friend – they will share the gift of making it work for you.

Let’s value the importance of learning: Winter in New England and lots of other parts of the country can be challenging so take an online class from one or more of the masters. https://www.masterclass.com. Think Annie Leibovitz, Gordon Ramsey, Herbie Hancock, Ron Howard, Judy Blume and truly etc.

Let’s buy beautiful not just practical. Today, fabrics are simply gorgeous. So many textures and embellishments to choose from – buy because it makes you feel special.

Claudia lost a friend yesterday whom she had visited on Christmas Eve. Because there are no more words needed –there was never more of a time to remember to:

Cherish each moment

Be kind

Do what you say

Here is to happiness and good health in the New Year

Lucy and Claudia