Happy Happy Birthday…

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For those who have little ones who watch Sprout, you may have their version of the birthday song become your home's standard song for special days.  When we sing, “Happy Birthday to You” Emerson is meh, but if we sing, “Happy happy birthday to you, to you, to you!” she gets all excited and dances and sings along.  And that is what she sang to me this morning.

Today I am 36 years old, a gosh darn dinosaur in the world of personal fashion bloggers. However I am proud to still be photographing what I wear each day for one doesn't lose the passion for fashion once you hit your '30s (or '40s or '50s or gosh even your '90s!). I like to represent those women who may be over 30, but still want to be stylish, and don't own a single pastel-colored pantsuit or boiled wool cardigan tunic in her closet.

For those who have been reading for a long time, you know I buy myself a beauty-related birthday present each year. Once it was Nars Orgasm blush, another time it was the coveted Shu Eumura lash curler. This year I indulged in the Clarisonic Miair?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B002XURD32.

Skin Care by clarisonic at ShopStyle

Mine is pinkir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B002XURD32, but otherwise it looks just like this picture!

I resisted the hype for a very long time.  From years working for The Body Shop I believed that manual exfoliants could do the job just fine.  From years learning about French style and beauty, I then believed that exfoliating is not necessary, simple cleansing (even sans water) is all you need for beautiful skin.

However in the past year, after the postpartum puffiness and skin craziness has subsided, I see that my skin looks old.  I always looked younger than my years, but pregnancy and motherhood and a sometimes-stressful job have taken their toll.  So I started doing research and saw that people found the Clarisonic to be extremely gentle, will minimize pores, reduce the look of fine lines, and help balance out skin that is dry in some places, scaly in others, and oily in other spots.

I have been using my Clarisonic Mia for a week and so far I am a fan.  It is extremely gentle – not at all like the old-school battery-operated face brushes that scraped off the top layer of skin.  It turns itself off after a minute so you can't over-clean.  The cleanser that comes with the Mia is very gentle, smells a bit like cucumbers, rinses clean, and leaves my skin feeling so soft and amazing.  I haven't seen drastic changes to my skin, but then again I have only had the thing for a week.  After a month, I will give a detailed review.

I am not one who wants to be pampered and spoiled on her birthday – I don't need cakes and parties and hub bub.  Today my husband is coming to visit me at work and he is bringing Emerson – that is the best present ever because I get to show off to my coworkers the two people I think are the most awesome in the entire world.  And I also get a ride home instead of dealing with the Metro.  This Sunday I am going to breakfast with a couple of my friends – nothing fancy, just diner food.  A perfect birthday.

alison gary 066

Well actually this birthday is more than perfect.  My mom gets me a present every year and this year she really outdid herself.  The photo above is my present from her.  These are all books I have been wanting to read, and have been putting off thinking I could borrow from a friend or the library.  It feels so decadent to have all these books waiting to be read (Just Kids – Patti Smithir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0060936223; The Dirty Life – Kristin Kimballir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1416551603; Life – Keith Richardsir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=031603438X; The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbookir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1933615710).  I'll be sure to write a review when I finish one!

Friends, family, books, beauty.  All in all a pretty fantastic 36th birthday!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. All I can say is… thank goodness it’s not just the 20-somethings who are blogging! I enjoyed my 30’s far more than my 20’s, and I’m looking forward to turning 40 this fall.

    When I first started checking out fashion blogs, I knew I didn’t just want to be told what the latest trends were. I was looking for ideas on looking great for my body, my budget, and my age. After spending some time getting to know the fashion blogosphere, I’ve slowly winnowed down the blogs I follow to my “top three”. Yes, you made the cut.

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Bon Anniversaire! I know that it was an amazing one for you (I’m late to the game). So here’s wishing you a week of goodness and joy!

  3. Happy birthday Allie! Lots of birthday hugs all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

    Love your blog so much and I’m so happy to know we’re the same age, makes me feel good to know that we 30somethings can still rock it.

  4. Long time follower (like since ’05-’06 and the french chic message board days 🙂 ) coming out of lurkdom to wish you a Happy Birthday! You look great and I am so glad you are still blogging! Keep on doing what you are doing!

  5. I bought the Clarisonic for my daughter and I (don’t worry – we don’t share the brush head!) – and we LOVE THE CLARISONIC! She has acne, that has remarkably been clearing up, and I have rosacea, which has NOT been made worse by the Clarisonic (I was concerned that it would make it worse). My skin is so smooth and silky, and very very clean! Love this little machine! Oh, and happy late birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday! There are some fashion bloggers your age and older out there. I’m 35 and Sheila of Ephemera and Audi of Fashion for Nerds are a bit older. The “oldies” have stamina!

  7. Happy Birthday! I just turned 36 too (hello new age bracket!) Thank you for your blog. You have wayyy more style then those ‘babies’!

  8. Happy Birthday! I’ve been wanting to read the Dirty Life, I asked my local library to buy it and they were going to call me when in came in but that was over a month ago. Hey 36 is so young and you look great. I’m going to be 43 in a few days. Nanne I was always told I looked young, too. A couple a years ago an older gentleman asked me what grade I was in (I think he must have been senile.) I may not look 43 but I don’t think I could pass for under 30.

  9. Thank you everyone!

    I don’t feel old, but I do notice the majority of fashion bloggers are under the age of 30 and more and more are still college coeds. Nothing wrong with that, but I do realize I am a bit… old in comparison to them. Mama fashion blogger 😉

  10. Happy birthday a little belated! 36 is not old at all, and you look so young still so you have absolutely nothing to worry about! I recently turned 41 and am perfectly happy with that, as I’m always told I look years younger, too:)

  11. Happy, happy birthday! I agree that you look many years younger than 36. I am several years older than 36 & I really enjoy your blog! Hope you enjoy your day, new books & the Clarisonic.

  12. Happy Birthday, Have a great day! I’ve had a Clarisonic since Christmas but I haven’t used it yet because I’m scared. Maybe after reading this, I’ll use it!

  13. Happy birthday!! You really don’t look much over 30, if ya ask me!
    My son is celebrating his first birthday today, it’s a great day to be born 🙂

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