Sale At Sephora Today And Tomorrow

Sephora is having what is apparently a bi-annual 15% off sale. I did not even know this was a thing.

They tier it with their loyalty program (which I recommend, the rewards are frequent and fun). Today only, if you are VIB level (depends on how much you’ve spent, thank you Christmas 2016!) you get 15% off with code VIBSPRING. Tomorrow it’s 10% with code BISPRING for all Beauty Insiders (register online for membership) .

My current replenish-on-outage items, i.e. the things I bought once and will buy again and should therefore have waited to stock until this sale but lesson learned, are the tarte BB cream (it is so silky and glides on with fingers for every day skin tone evening and SPF), the Sephora mi-cellar water for face-cleaning (hate to splash water around in the bathroom as much as I hate it for floors, unless I’m in the shower), and that amazing Bare Minerals liquid lipstick.

The eyebrow pencil is on its way to me – as yet untried, fingers crossed. When I ordered I found I had store credit which was like a little mini-party and I’m still celebrating. While I don’t believe in calling makeup “Beauty,” as they do across retail, I would be just fine if we called it “Fun.”

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Mostly Gadgets Complicate Life But Every Now And Then They Actually Simplify It

My 50s were quite turbulent, now that I think about it. Divorcing, misplacing a job, starting this blog, taking another job, remarrying, leaving a job. Children graduating college and finding their ways into the world of grownups. My mother moving to memory care and all those emergencies.

So I am perhaps more focused on streamlining, on finding calm, than many people my age. Or maybe it’s universal in our 60s? I don’t know?

Anyway, white roses and butterflies are pretty good for transcendent joy but for Zen give me a nifty appliance any day. I never expected to become a late night commercial but here we are.

First, my Instant Pot. For all the hype, Mr. Pot is just an electric pressure cooker. Why do I love him so?

A pressure cooker locks and you cannot open it. Enforced cooking zen. No, you can’t raise the heat just a little. No, you can’t stir one more time. No, you can’t add a just pinch of salt. At least not until it’s finished. After years of intentional multi-step cooking I find the process quite peaceful.

Here’s a recipe for vegan split pea soup, modified from this one on Fat Free Vegan.

Ingredients To Serve Two With Leftovers

  • 1 onion, chopped, smallish
  • 2 carrots, diced smallish
  • 2 celery ribs, diced smallish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp some sort of seasoning blend, I used “Chicken” but “Italian” will do
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • a little white wine
  • a little vegetable broth (optional)
  • 1 cup of dried split peas
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1-2 tsp Liquid Smoke flavoring
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  • Turn on Instant Pot Saute function
  • Dry sauté the onions stirring a lot until they get soft
  • Add the celery, stir for a minute
  • Add the carrots, stir for a minute
  • Add the spices, stir once or twice
  • Deglaze the vegetables with a little white wine, scraping up brown bits
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable broth if you happen to have it
  • Taste, maybe add some salt if you feel like it, or a little more spice
  • Turn off the Instant Pot
  • Add the split peas
  • Add water, stir
  • Close and lock the Instant Pot, press Manual/High, set for 8 minutes
  • Natural pressure release, then use an immersion blender to blend a little bit on the side
  • Add salt and pepper and Liquid Smoke before serving

Eat with french baguette. If someone in your house is an unreformed carnivore, add chunks of ham before serving.

Second, my steam mop. I have told you before that I hate house cleaning. Nothing has changed. But certain aspects I hate more than others – mopping floors, for example. So. Much. Water. First there’s the splashing and the squeezing of the water application device – a mop, I suppose – then there is the Too Much Water On The Floor And It Never Dries aftermath.

With the steam cleaner the water can’t splash, since it’s in a reservoir on the chassis, no squeezing required, because, steam, and it leaves very little moisture behind, so, floors are quick to dry. Thank you Rachel.

Righty-ho. The first rose has bloomed. Off to fill the part of my mind emptied by Zen Pea Soup with Soaring Joy For The Year’s First White Rose. Life in the time of time to oneself is all about thoughtful tradeoffs.



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Digging For Origins, Or, Saturday Morning at 11:01am

So. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been drafting a piece for my Medium page about how I developed my political beliefs. Let me admit, it’s been hard. Super hard. Once I dug in I realized that I believed several things about politics and the economy without any more grounding than personal experience and emotional inclination.

This writing is an iterative process. I write down what I believe – about the safety net, for example – and then I sit and try to figure out my thinking. Occasionally I remember some data I used, but not often. And then, this is the hardest part, I try to locate the origin of my belief in my past. Because if we don’t use data, shouldn’t we excavate our non-data-founded reasoning?

I’d say deconstruct, but you can’t deconstruct what you can’t even see.

A woman on a Facebook thread once told me, I paraphrase,  she believed in building the wall because her housekeeper said the new immigrants were bad. The role of the personal anecdote to reinforce innate biases.

I’m still writing, still editing, still trying to make the piece useful. Why? Because while my specific beliefs aren’t particularly edifying, perhaps the process of self-examination can be. I hope if we question ourselves, we won’t be so defended when questioned by others, and collaboration might become possible. Or if we understand where we differ, not in opinion but in our understanding of the facts that predate opinion, maybe those who study will get guidance on where to focus.

I wonder if the stalwarts here might help out. Can you locate those moments when you made up your mind? Have you catalogued your beliefs and in that process understood their origins? Or do buried thinking, reactions, events, drive everyone?

Say it isn’t so. Say this has been only my own failing, and the rest of you had done your homework before now. If this question feels too weighty to answer, that’s OK. Just tell me it’s too hard to respond and at least I won’t feel like such a dodo for finding this almost too hard to write.

Have a good weekend everyone, much affection radiating out from here in Northern California.

Links To My 8 Favorites Among Victoria Beckham’s Collaboration With Target

And here are links to my 8 favorites in the Beckham/Target lookbook. Am very curious to see how these work when implemented in real fabrics in real life. All polyesters are not the same. Note that most pieces are available in both plus and standard sizes.

  1. White shift with kooky black flowers
  2. Shiny calla lily top and pants
  3. Embroidered “Marigold” tank
  4. Bee jacket
  5. Scalloped tank (lotta lotta scallops as decorative motifs)
  6. Black dress with white collar
  7. Little girl 100% cotton dress in a tea party print
  8. Baby black and white daisies on 100% cotton jammies

I might just like the kids’ clothes best, now that I think about it.

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Victoria Beckham X Target Collaboration, Yes, You Read That Right And May Cheer

This Sunday the products of Victoria Beckham’s collaboration with Target go live on Target’s site. Possibly at midnight tonight – I haven’t gotten an answer about timing. The goods will be in stores too, although I hope not at midnight.

I love Beckham’s stuff. Lady, meet Edge. At Barney’s, her stuff looks like this and costs >$2000.

And here’s a sampling of what you will find at Target. For less than $2000. Nifty 50’s-type prints on a shift. Which is supposed to be “knee-length” on regular people, BTW.

Calla lilies, times two. One could just get the shirt and wear it with jeans or a black skirt.

Lots of this color, Beckham calls it “Marigold.” I can’t wear it but I can absolutely appreciate the reverb.

And plus sizes.


Beckham says the collection was inspired by her relationship with her daughter Harper, so there are really adorable little girl and baby clothes too.

I’ve never bought anything from a Target/designer mashup but my favorite sweatshirt is from Isabel Marant’s work with H&M. It’s plain and gray but somehow a better plain and gray than any other. If Target does Beckham justice this could be killer.

Possibly you need new shampoo and a bathmat and a toothbrush holder, urgently. So urgently that you’ve got to make a quick trip to Target on Sunday morning? It happens.

To work around the fact that this collaboration goes live on Sunday, while respecting my self-imposed rule of no monetized links on my Saturday morning posts, none of these links are, um, monetized. For those of you who enjoy supporting Privilege I’ll add a supplementary post with monetized links later today. When it will no longer be morning. Have a good weekend. It’s still raining here, and I’m still happy about that.

A Sense Of Purpose, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:58am

I was talking to my best friend yesterday (we raised our kids together, first she moved to Belgium, then to New Jersey, now we talk on the phone 3-4 times a week, but I digress), and we wound up at the topic of purpose.

Research shows that people who feel a sense of purpose are better off.

So as I sat in my car outside the yoga studio (I leave early for class so I can call my friend from the car, and often wind up sitting in a parking space, still chatting, as I wait for class to start, but I digress again) I tried to parse the idea.

I could think of three sorts of purpose, at the most abstract level:

  1. You want to win, at something. You are moving always toward achievement, with metrics.
  2. You need to express your sense of meaning in the world, through one medium or another. You are impelled by what feels like your unique and must-be-voiced perspective, and your tools, both.
  3. You want to care for something. A child, children, animals, the planet, an archive or artifact with import, a disenfranchised group.

I suppose there are other purposes in life, but these are the highest-level categories I can think of.

I spent much of my life trying to win. I’m tired of it. The blog was my first chance at expressing a sense of meaning. Thank you. And I cared for my children and still do but if I tried to use all my capacity on them despite their dear sweet natures they’d have to lock me up and throw away the key.

So now, as I said last week, I care for the children I teach. I also care for our country – I do not think of my political activism as trying to win, it feels like caretaking. And I care for my mother, my family of origin, and my husband.

What is your purpose? Does it fall into one of these categories or is it something else entirely? And does it provide most of your happiness?

Have an excellent weekend.

Polished Tomboy In A San Francisco Spring And Princetown Slides

The Uniform, in another guise.

The moto jacket with black bag and bright patterned shoes is perhaps not as perfectly balanced as I’d like. (BTW no graphic tee, the shoes were enough.) But who among us is perfect every day? I felt fantastically cool whether I was or was not.

And yes, I did succumb to the Gucci slides. The designers are doing such amazing accessories, almost like limited print editions. Scrolling through these options gives you an idea of what to my eye verges on mass artistry.

Fortunately, as Sue shows with her customary aplomb, here, Jeffrey Campbell is giving us reasonably priced alternatives.

Finally, I must thank my motorcycle jacket, for there are many sunsets into which we ride, and many ways to do that selfsame riding.

A hushed vroom to all.

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Blue Berries Is Come The Stars, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:04am

I continue to volunteer in a local first grade classroom, twice a week. I am surprised by how much is expected of the children, and by the good will with which they attempt to comply.

I’m there to help with literacy. What that means exactly has evolved over the year.

There are 23 kids in the class, all but four of them speak only Spanish at home. Two of the Spanish-speakers haven’t yet learned English. And yet they are all starting to read and write in this new language. Can you imagine?

Is this a primary marker of the immigrant experience? Home is one thing, your future in the new country another. And when your family is only marginally literate, and you are learning to read in a language they don’t speak, does the gap grow? I imagine a divide not only between parent and child, but also between the child’s own feelings about her emotional self and her self of performance and participation in society.

I could be wrong. I’m a full-blown amateur.

In any case, two stories from Thursday.

The classroom is set up with small tables and chairs, four kids to a table. Each seated spot has a desk-like cubby for pencils etc., each kid takes the same spot every day. Usually the teacher sits or stands up front. When I come, I have my own little u-shaped table by the window. I sit inside the U, four kids at a time sit along the outside, looking at me. We can talk quietly, and I have complete freedom to take a half and hour for each group wherever it will go.

When it was her group’s turn, O was first to the table. She said as she pulled out her chair, “The police came and took my mom to prison but she is going to come back. My big sister and me are staying at my grandma’s.” She sat down. She is usually almost wholly silent, whispering her answers when she does respond, occasionally getting caught in a flight of fancy from which she extracts herself with difficulty. That day she participated, chattering away. Happily.

When it was time for the next group, J ran up with a little hop, as usual. J spoke only Spanish when he first arrived in September. While his accent still makes him a little difficult for me to understand, his sheer enthusiasm for whatever he has to communicate carries the day. He’s confident.

A note. I usually combine drawing with the literacy work, trying to allow the kids to integrate their emotions and aesthetics with what they are learning about language.

I could be wrong.

When I told this group “Today we are going to draw and write about anything that is your favorite.” J immediately said, “Blueberries,” and began to draw, four blue circles with green hats.

Then I asked the kids for some sentences about why they liked their favorites. J covered his paper, telling me it was a surprise. He wrote, without help, except on how to spell “delicious,”

“I think blueberries is delicious because the blue berries because is come the stars”

I asked him why he said that. “Because my mother is tell me this,” he said. “My mother, she call me, ‘Sweetie, time for lunch.”

I don’t really have a point, or a larger idea to articulate. We all know children are endearing. We all know children have mothers of one sort or another.

But I have read that a sense of purpose is the strongest component of a happy life, and that’s what I am finding.

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Polished Tomboy’s 2017 Spring & Summer Uniform

I didn’t set out to build a Spring uniform, but here we are.

Untitled #215


Any time I want to leave the house looking put together I find I reach for my high-waisted cropped/ankle jeans (try 100% denim, you might be surprised how good it feels), a graphic/patterned tee, excellent shoes, and a light functional (AKA derived from a piece of clothing previously wore for a certain function, not meaning “non-broken”) jacket.


A post shared by Lisa Carnochan (@amidprivilege) on

The brown Marants have proven to be quite versatile. They’ll work for fall and winter too.

Here are some other options, at a range of price points (except Birkenstocks because why on earth buy a lookalike?) I’ll be dressed like this until that week this summer when our temperatures exceed 90 degrees and I flee, flushed, to maxidresses. The Gucci slides might follow, I imagine block-heeled sandals will play a supporting role.

BTW, UNIQLO is having a Three Tees for the Price of Two promotion, here. Moomintrolls included.

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Out And About In The Virtual World, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:23am

This week in the world on our screens.

I posted an open letter to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, on Medium. A Medium editor liked it and put it in the top few recommended for that day. I was quite gratified.

I went to a yoga class and emerged blissful, on Twitter.

Fran, of the blog Franish, matched for her residency program in a couples match with her new fiancé. All the congratulations.

And Sue of Une Femme d’un Certain Age and Allyson Walsh of That’s Not My Age were featured in Good Housekeeping. Good things for good people.

If you have good news or an accomplishment you’d like to celebrate below, please do. I love to applaud my friends. I hope you have wonderful weekends.

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