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Wow, it’s been nearly a month since my last post!  Doesn’t seem like that long, but then again so much is happening and whirling along in wonderful ways.  How does time go fast and yet slow at the same time?

The journey of adjusting to a more urban lifestyle is a glorious one (well, urban at least when I’m commuting and working downtown).  So is the shift away from years of contracting work (meaning, work gigs that last a year or so and then you move on by design).  Now I’m a permanent employee in an industry I’ve always wanted to work in, doing the kind of work I love and am pretty good at doing after more than 20 years doing it.   I’m not “new” at this company any longer (I started late last September), but there’s still so much to learn and it’s awesome.  There are relationships to cultivate for the long haul.  I think that’s the biggest change for me – the biggest adjustment I’ve made.  When I was contracting I was in such a huge rush to get to know everything and everyone quickly and to make an impact quickly, for I knew I didn’t have much time there.  Now, I continue to work hard and grow relationships of course, but now it’s in a much more deliberate and mindful way.  I don’t have to “prove” myself right out of the box to everyone.  I can do it more gradually…organically.  Consistently.  I like it!

And with that comes a huge whoosh of stability and, dare I say…calm.  Something I haven’t felt in years.  I didn’t realize I’d been feeling so unstable in my career the past 8-10 years until I joyously leaped out of my old work ways and into what I’m doing now.  Know how you can just get used to a setting or situation over time and it somehow morphs into “normal” – ?  Maybe a “new normal” – ?  And you think “oh, I guess this is how it’s going to be now.”  That’s not very conscious or mindful…rather, why not actively CHOOSE and DESIGN the way you want your life to be, right?  And damn, I’ve poked around into a few older posts in here from 2009 when I first launched fivenineteen, and into 2010 when I was still out of work and the economy was in the toilet.  Seems like a whole other world…and a whole other fivenineteen.  Check out my archives for yourself!

So with that long, ramble-y windup (I always do that, hmmm)…here’s the point of this post – embracing BEST SELLERS.  This is one of the many cool things I’ve learned from E.  For example, I used to think oh, the weather’s too crappy for going outside for a walk or hike.  Rather, as he puts it, when you have the right (best-selling) outdoor gear, the weather is irrelevant.  WOW.  A total different perspective, right?  I like it!  And with my work life on a more stable front, it’s far easier to invest in great lifestyle upgrades!

Here’s some Best Seller gear I’ve woven into my life!

BoschAhh, a Bosch dishwasher.  E always says the dishwasher is THE most important appliance in the kitchen, and I totally get that now!  When your dishes, silverware and glasses are ultra clean and sanitized you have no worries about any harm or possible germs or disease.  The end!  Oh boy, my old dishwasher was the one already here in the townhouse when I moved in…in 2002.  So who knows how old it really was.  Most recently it would only get dishes clean when running on the heaviest wash cycle and heated drying.  Now, I look back and shudder.  When you wash your dishes in a Bosch, the clean is on a whole other level.  Seriously, people.  And using a fraction of the water and energy. Did you know you just need a teaspoon of (powdered) detergent too?  Hard to believe, but it’s true! There’s also no heating element.  Rather, the load dries when the heat from the wash cycle radiates off the stainless steel interior after it’s finished.  So don’t open the dishwasher while it’s drying.  I’m in LOVE with the light indicator that shines on the floor, which shows how much time is left on the cycle it’s running.  I know this dishwasher will be in my kitchen long after I’m gone.  Heck, it might even outlast the building altogether,  ha ha.  Now I just need to upgrade that vinyl flooring!

Kohler SinkAnd you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a best seller either!  Case in point, this gorgeous Kohler portrait sink.  A brand new $300+ sink for $45?  Yep, we found it at Second Use in south Seattle.  It’s full of new, surplus building materials and reusable goodies for your home..I never knew a place like this existed!  Now the secret’s out for you, too. This sink will add a lot more style to my powder room, and I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on a faucet.  Buh bye, old sink and (leaky) 1980 faucet!

MephistosI love high heels but I’ve learned they just don’t work for me anymore.  Walking a few blocks to my office building from the bus stop, or dashing to hop on the light rail…walking around on uneven pavement in the city…the usual stuff out there.  Gone are the days of walking just a few steps from my car to my office building.  And now that it’s May my low-heeled black ankle boots are getting out of season.

Mephisto to the rescue!  This is the Paldi style in black Nubuck – far longer-wearing than suede.  And they come with the padding already inside.  I was blown away at the sales help provided in the store…I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for, but he took one look at me, pulled these off the shelf and said “I think these are what you need.”  Do I spend $330 on shoes every day?  No, but these are worth every penny. I can wear them with jeans, slacks or skirts, 3 times a week, and the rubber sole will last eons longer than leather, especially in this climate where it’s damp and puddle-y most of the year.  When I wear these, I can walk forever!  I have wide feet too, and the size 8 (Euro size 38) works great.

FluevogOK, now, I still love me a great pair of heels, but we’ve kicked it up a notch with more edge, more style and (yes!) comfort too.  Ever heard of John Fluevog shoes?  I hadn’t either, but now I’m enlightened.  Fluevog shoes start conversations!  Check out these Tent sandals. They’re far more comfortable than they look…the heel bed is slightly sunken (that makes a HUGE difference), and the rubber soles have an extra mini platform with a cool layer of ridges for better traction.  I feel a ton more stable on my feet in these than in any other heels I’ve ever worn!  They will go with just about anything in my wardrobe too.  Please welcome me to the Fluevog Army!

KorsCrossbodyAnd I’m discovering the joy of a hands-free, cross-body style handbag.  So much so that I needed two of these Michael Kors goodies.  Bonus that they were each on clearance!  I’ve been so used to carrying around a ton of crap in larger bags, and I’ve realized I don’t always need to do that, even going to work!  How freeing!  These little beauties hold a LOT more than you might think.  There’s an extra zippered pocket inside, and the outer flap has a zipper pocket to hold even more stuff.  These are great pops of color with whatever you’re wearing.  You know, in my past (much heavier) life I would not have wanted any attention drawn to me by wearing a bright-colored bag.  Now, bring it on!  Yes, even in red, a color I hardly ever wear!

BosciaMy fitness and nutrition coach was here in Seattle last weekend visiting from the Tahoe area to see her Seattle clients.  What a blast, as I hadn’t seen her in about a year!  She says “fivenineteen, you’re a lot less red than you used to be.”  I think she’s right!  Does improved nutrition and fitness cut back on my seemingly-constant ruddy face?  I know I don’t feel so overheated all the time like I used to, so maybe there’s something there too. But I still like toning down my ruddy cheeks on the weekends, even when I’m not doing the whole foundation and makeup routine like I do during the workweek.  I found this Boscia BB cream at Sephora and just LOVE it.  It has SPF (hooray!) and the coverage feels light and is not too orange-y.  Exactly what I need!

WeledaAre the chemicals in deodorants harmful to our health long-term (such as aluminum salts)?  I’m sure there’s a ton of research out there arguing both sides of that question. I’ve been using the same deodorant for so long it’s an unconscious habit to grab it at the drugstore every few months.  Now I’ve learned there are alternatives without those chemicals…and they work!  This is the Weleda citrus deodorant, and it smells wonderful.  The citrus is neutral, meaning it’s great for men and for women.  I haven’t yet tested it during a weight training workout or long walk, but it gets me through the commute and workday with no stink and no pitting out.  Nice.

HighlighterbrushI’m still grinning about rediscovering highlighters as I posted about a while back. Now I have a fantastic brush for the Hourglass highlighter I’m in gooey love with.  This is Sephora’s foundation brush #55. It’s designed for liquid foundation, but you can use it for powder, too.  I’m truly impressed how well it works with my highlighter powder.  It gives that certain je ne sais quoi glow to your cheekbones.  I’m in my (almost?) late 40s (yikes I said it out loud) and I’ll take it! It comes with a protective plastic cap which fits over the brush bristles like a cone.  Genius!  great for travel.

And speaking of makeup, I have virtually zero brand loyalty.  I love experimenting with new products (such as the highlighter in the last pic).  PowderConcealerWhat about other makeup basics like concealer and loose powder?  Hats off to Makeup Geek for her face routines.  While I’m probably 15 years her senior, she has fair skin like me, and I’m always interested in trying new makeup that isn’t too yellow, too orange or too dark on me.  Cue in two new favorites…the Maybelline Dream Wonder compact powder.  Oh my goodness, here’s another reminder that you CAN find incredible makeup products at your drugstore for a fraction of what you would pay in a department store!  Holy smokes.  I tap this on my lids with a small kabuki brush and it’s fabulous.  And unlike loose powder, this is easy for travel or throwing in your purse without worry.  And next to it is one of the Eve Pearl salmon concealers. Neither of these brands are at Sephora, but you can find Maybelline in any drug store and Eve Pearl’s online shipping is superb.  I do have circles under my eyes to some extent no matter how much sleep or exercise I get.  Guess that’s part of having fair skin…those veins show right through!  The best way to correct them is to use a slightly orange (aka salmon) shade of concealer that’s slightly darker than your skin tone.  THEN you apply your foundation over it.  WOW, what a difference!  I’ve always thought using a concealer lighter than my foundation was best, but all it does is draw attention that you’ve got stuff you’re trying to cover up under your eyes!  Going just a shade darker than your skin turns out much better…although in the moment before you apply foundation it looks a little funny.

And I’m having a blast still discovering more about lipsticks and glossesLipsticksLook what I’ve found so far!  OK, so what is it about men loving a nice, classic red or other deeper color on our lips?  When E casually mentioned that my lipstick was usually too pale (in a nice way, of course) I thought OK, why not try some other colors?  Know how you can get used to seeing yourself when doing your makeup a certain way? Why not shake it up occasionally?  It’s just makeup and if it doesn’t work you just wash it right off. Easy!  So I told that story to the makeup artist at the MAC counter at Nordstrom downtown over some lunch hour shopping and she giggled…her husband says the same thing about her lipstick color and she hears it all the time from her other customers as well. So the verdict is in:  Men love our lips, so let’s show ’em off, ladies!  I love using a lip pencil to fill in my entire lip area before applying lipstick, and I really like MAC’s in Soar. I really, really suck at outlining my lips with pencil, plus I’m paranoid that I’ll be left with a silly looking outline of my mouth after my lipstick wears off during the day. So I just color them all in instead.

Some of my new favorites L-R in the pic above:  MAC in Viva Glam VI, NARS in Dolce Vita, Tom Ford in Deep Mink, NARS in Shrinigar and Tom Ford in Violet Fatale.

What are YOUR bestsellers?