Three Days In Paris–Day Two. Amusement Avec Les Morts and An Avant Premiere

We slept like two little babies on our first night.  Perhaps it was due to the fact we were awake for over 24 hours. Or more likely it was due to the fact that we are both extremely lazy people and all that walking tired our bodies out.  Doesn’t matter though because we woke up refreshed and full of energy.

At 7:30 in the morning, the sky was still a bit dark and the sun hadn’t fully risen.  The days really are shorter in Paris!

Today’s agenda was light.  A visit to Montparnasse Cimetière to see Danièle, and without the Porto I wanted to share with her. We would be meeting Jean Denis and Marie at the cemetery. I guess Bonaparte didn’t want them to know how truly twisted I am! He also most likely did not want me drinking Porto early in the day! Also on our agenda was to stop by Zazi Films to pick up some family paintings and the invite to the Avant Premiere of “Demain Tout Commence”. And lastly, attending the film’s premiere later in the evening.

However, the most important and biggest must, was a morning trip to my mecca of skincare and beauty. My girly heaven. My favorite shop in Paris—CityPharma!

Armed with well-rested feet, two small cameras and a cell phone, we hit the pavement in search of….basically whatever came before us!

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And today, armed with a trench coat over my blazer.  This was my three-day uniform!

Our first stop was up the street to Rue Bonaparte and the corner of Rue Jacob.  After all, we did need to fuel our bodies the way we load up our cars with gas or petrol!  Funny thing, this walking around.  For years—and I mean years, we passed by the bistrot on this corner of Rues Bonaparte and Jacob and never entered.  We were always driving.

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Elegant and discreetly decorated trees stood where customers would normally be seated during warmer months at Le Pré aux Clercs.

This morning would prove different and have us wondering just why we never stopped before.  Le Pré aux Clercs is a charming place to stop and have a quick breakfast. We had café crème at the counter, and Bonaparte had his usual croissant.  The service was great. The café crèmes were strong and the price was incredibly cheap. 3€ per cup.  We were fully loaded and ready to take off.

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Better than my beloved Starbucks, the cafe creme at Le Pre aux Clercs was delicious, strong and dirt cheap. Look how pretty the cup is. Look how lovely my morning beverage is served!

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A sign of the cold weather –tables and chairs stacked indoors..

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Lonely for now, but come summer these chairs will long to be back inside.

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….and the cafe is beautifully embellished for Christmas!

The walk to City Pharma was easy and casual; and along the way we found some entertaining photo ops!

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Is this not the most beautiful window display of all time?  Proof that despite the tackiness of yesterdays Christmas Marche, true elegance is created in Paris! I am having this photo that I took blown up and framed!monday-i-thought-that-was-a-real-person-on-the-left

A more creative window display at a gallery.  When you have nothing to wear in Paris you go with the flow. I though the sculpture on the far left was a real person. I was willing to give her my coat!

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I was moved to tears of joy when we spotted this on an exterior wall of a building off of Rue Bonaparte.  Yet another reason to love the French! #jamaistrump

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Laduree all dressed up in Christmas greenery!

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A bustling scene…

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A hotel named after guess who!

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I love the way the shops are so elegantly decorated!

I also found two more Wallace Fountains!  One was directly in front of the school that Bonaparte attended when growing up.  When I asked him why he never mentioned there was a Wallace Fountain in front of the building he just shrugged and said “Eh. I nev-ahr no-ee-zt eet“.

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I find it amazing that Bonaparte went to school at the site of this Wallace Fountain. But then again, Bonaparte doesn’t like water–he drinks only wine!

So much for the French being nonchalant!

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This really IS “old school” in every way!

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The second Wallace Fountain of the day was at Place Saint-Sulpice..

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Attention to detail.  Saint-Sulpice is being cleaned. Check out how clean the left-hand side of the church is compared to the middle.

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More decorated trees on the street…

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..and more. And I remain fascinated that nobody vandalizes them!

And as we made our way up Rue Bonaparte it came into view.  My one and only important shopping venture.  CityPharma!

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Ladies. It is virtually impossible to NOT be able to find CityPharma. As all roads lead to Rome, in Paris–all roads lead to CityPharma!

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Be still my heart. When I arrive at the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue du Four I become overwhelmed!

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Those sly devils at CityPharna have little display bins at ever corner–temptation abound!

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Aisles upon aisles of the best prices on all items skin care!

Look at this intelligent packaging. Open the box and instructions how to properly apply this cream! I want to marry this.

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Some of my CityPharma haul. Bonaparte needed Advil because he had a headache from the throngs of women in CityPharma..

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Look! Hot Toddy makings in a jar. I love this place!

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At 4 euros, I’ve never seen Patchouli oil this inexpensive. At home, the cheapest I’ve seen it is ten bucks or more. You know I bought this–I love the scent of patchouli oil!

On the way out, I mentioned to Bonaparte that if I lived in Paris, I would be at CityPharma every day.  The woman, who was on the line behind me, was also behind me when I said this.  She nudged me, winked, smiled and was on her way.  We understood each other!

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We passed by Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Pres, last time we were here was for Daniele’s funeral. Looks like the church has started to be cleaned, the tower is nice and bright!

Our walk to Montparnasse was brisk—mostly because it was still rather cold. And I thanked the Lord that I wore a thick fake hair because it kept my head warm!

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Say bonjour to my little French friend. I asked him his name and he looked at me, shrugged his little shoulders and said “Le Woof”.

We were to meet Jean Denis and Marie at the cimetiere at noon.  And we arrived three minutes to so we sat on a sun-drenched bench while our French counterparts arrived exactly on time.

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Resting my feet. Again.  I would have died without these boots. They were both warm AND comfortable.  

Off to see Danièle, and her husband, Yves Robert, the four of us walked merrily up the path that led to the graves.  Oh..and I do mean merrily. We were laughing and remembering funny things about Daniéle rather than going to visit her in a somber and depressing way!

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Jean Denis gave us buttons to place on his dad’s side of the grave. In remembrance of the film “La Guerre des Boutons” one of Yves Robert’s most famous movies.

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This was also a chance for Bonaparte to visit with his favorite cousin, Zazi.  

I need to say something here. You don’t know what fun is until you’ve gone to a French cimetière. Seriously. I am fully aware of those who seek intellectual stimulation by visiting the graves of really, really smart people like Jean-Paul Sartre.  But after our visit with Danièle, we took on a more “joie de vivre” outlook at the resting place of the dead.

We went on a little tour of the headstone sculptures!

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This is definitely museum quality sculpture. They  just don’t make headstones like this anymore! (SMH)

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I was a bit disappointed that the family of Andre Citroen didn’t have a headstone of a Citroen car to watch over their spirits!

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“If there is paradise, paradise will exist only if I am welcomed there by my dogs and cats”. Proof that the Sigre family not only loved their pets, but they had a sense of humor as well!

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I have no idea what this means….

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..but I can tell you, hands down, THIS is the best cemetery sculpture of all time. All. Time.

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I was so enamored and fascinated by Charles Pigeon’s family grave that I wanted to get in between Mr. and Mrs. P and cuddle with them.  Oh if I lived in Paris, I would show up with some strong cleanser and make this grave spankin’ clean and sparkling! This deserves an award!

Living people come here to sit on a bench and enjoy a good book—or a bagged lunch to dine al fresco—or just to sit and reflect  and even to enjoy the museum-quality sculptures that date back to 1824.  In Paris and want to perfect your skill as a flaneur or flaneuse?  Visit either Montparnasse or Père Lachaise cemetaries.  They are pretty lively places and you won’t find any deadbeats—except those who’ve passed on—and most of them are pretty entertaining!

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We spent many late afternoons at this gallery…

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..the walls filled with various works of art and now it was our final closure–and that was a good thing!

After a couple of hours perusing the many artful headstones and family graves, we headed over to the Galerie Andre Girard.  After Danièle’s death, it was decided to close the gallery.  And seeing it empty was our last sign of closure.  We came to terms that our future visits to Paris would be completely different with her passing. She gave us subtle signs that we really needed to move on.

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Although not a Michelin star restaurant, this bistrot was a perfect place to enjoy lunch.

And move on we did! To a light lunch at “le Lithographe Bistrot” on Blvd . Raspail.   Because we drank an enormous amount of wine the night before at Jean Denis’ and Marie’s, we passed on the red and went for regular tap water—which was fine.  Bonaparte and I both had Croque Monsieurs. Marie had a quiche and salad, and Jean Denis ate ultra-light with a bit of cheese topped with honey—he was having a colonoscopy the next day! (Which was very successful—he’s in fine health!)

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I happened to enjoy this Croque Monsieur because it wasn’t greasy.  I’ll worry about my weight when I get home…

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The quiche and salad looked very appetizing!

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Even though I’m not a condiment person–and I cannot stand ketsup, I thought this was a much better presentation of the red stuff than a basic Heinz bottle.

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More jolt fuel after lunch and we were ready to bust a move!

We discussed life in Paris vs. life in America, real estate and Hugo’s films.  I don’t know what it is but whenever we are with Jean Denis and Marie we just have a really great time!  If Bonaparte and I lived in Paris, I know we would be spending a lot of fun times with them!

Bonaparte’s feet were really cold at this point and he decided to cab it to the office of Zazi Films.  A chance stroke of luck was found in the form of Yohan—the owner of the G-7 cab!!  Young and very French looking with glasses and that hipster stubble, Bob Marley tunes were giving me a feeling of summertime!  Bonaparte asked Yohan if he would mind waiting for us as we would not be long—we would be carrying paintings with us that would prove nearly impossible to walk with.  Our cab waited and drove us back.

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..made a stop at Zazi films to pick up paintings and an invite while our cab driver waited!

We asked Yohan if we could reserve him to take us to the Rex theatre later that evening and he did.  We also made arrangements with Yohan to take us to the airport on Wednesday morning.  We now have his number and we have a cabbie that is completely dependable!

If you are ever in Paris and need the number of a reputable cab driver, let me know and I’ll give you Yohan’s number!

I was still too wound up to rest so I decided to go over to Rue Dauphine and do a little shopping…

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What a discovery! A new shop on Rue Dauphine named after my daughter!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that I thought she would like.

And after a bit of unsuccessful shopping, I headed back for a bit of a rest with Bonaparte.

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Time for a half-hour rest in the comfy hotel bed!

Time to get ready for the Avant Premiere.  I had originally planned on wearing a killer pair of red heels. But because of all the walking we did, my feet were kind of sore—and I kept my now old faithful suede thigh high boots.

Yohan was on time to pick us up and we headed over to The Rex theatre for what would be my first experience at a French film premiere!

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This old theatre is massive. Massive!

It’s hard for me to describe the emotions of being at this Avant Premiere without my sounding like a self-centered connasse. But—I am self-centered. I am the center of my universe and I love and enjoy being the center of attention at all times.  When I am not the center of attention, I am forlorn, and saddened.  This is why Bonaparte is just so perfect for me. He brings me back to earth and keeps me grounded!

My ability to stalk seek stars is unfounded. This is why my son Roman doesn’t want me at tapings of Fallon or Saturday Night Live. This is why my son Jake does not want me anywhere near his job at 30 Rock for NBC news. This is why both boys are thankful that the security at 30 Rock keeps people like their loving mother away from them at all costs during the work day.

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I can’t for the life of my understand why BestImage or PurePeople didn’t ask ME to pose on the red carpet. I feel so persona-non-great-ah! Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo, is on the far right. I think this movie is going to keep him busy as a director for a long, long time!

My delusions had moi thinking that I would be walking the red carpet for this film. Oh yes!  I envisioned me posing in front of the “Demain tout Commence” backdrop. Maybe with my ass squeezed into tight jeans I was wearing facing the many photographers and looking back over my shoulders blowing a kiss to them while tousling my fake hair toward the fans of those who have absolutely no idea who I am.

I was shoved into the theatre with the masses. They, in their puffy coats and me in my j. crew trench.  As I showed our invitation to the usher, I was certain that we would be seated next to the actor Pierre Ninney (who in real life is a lot smaller than he appears on screen).  But rather, we were relegated to seats in the side rows.  I was crushed.

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I will say this–the seats in the Rex were the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in!

When I explained my emotional distress to Bonaparte, he seemed to have breathed a sigh of relief and comfort—as though he was actually happy that we were sent to the bowels of the theatre! He seemed even more at ease when I was upset at him for not pointing out my favorite actress Mathilde Seigner to me. He knew very well that I had a mental script planned for my delusional first meeting with her.  I would tap her on the shoulder and say “Ms. Seigner. I love you. You are my favorite actress.  Can you tell your brother-in-law Roman Polanski that MY son Roman is named after him?”  “Ms. Seigner!” “Wait!” “Please don’t run away from me like that!!!” “We could be best friends!!”  “Mathilde!”

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I don’t know if I can ever forgive Bonaparte from keeping me from bothering, annoying,  introducing myself to the great Mathilde Segnier!

Despite my delusions, we had a terrific evening and it was a great experience.  Before the film, Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo Gelin ran up onstage with the cast and was entertaining and endearing as he spoke.  I’ll admit, I would have loved to be on that stage, but the cast was adorable and Omar Sy—I am so in love with him and his mega-watt smile!

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Scenes like this were just so …HAPPY!!  I really want to see this film again–and again–and again!

The film was great. Completely feel-good.  It was mostly French language with parts spoken in English and for the most part, the movie was easy to follow without the use of subtitles.

Have a look at the trailer..and Omar Sy’s mega-watt smile!

In a nutshell, Clemence Poesy (remember her as Eva, Chuck Bass’s girlfriend on Gossip Girl?) gifts wild boy Omar Sy with their baby daughter, of whom he has no knowledge of. She abandons the baby with him.  And Sy and adorable daughter embark on a new life in London!

This movie is so family-friendly and adorable without being saccharine. Hugo did a wonderful job directing this great little comedy-drama.  “Demain tout Commence” opens in theatres throughout France on December 7th. It is supposed to open world-wide—which means coming stateside. And I hope it does because everyone with a heart needs to see this.  I know that the title in English is “Two is a Family” but I’m fond of “Demain tout Commence” because it was Danièle’s favorite saying “Tomorrow it Begins”.

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I am so in love with Omar Sy..and this movie. Go see it. You will thank me! Don’t forget to bring tissues!

When the film ended, we were able to congratulate Hugo. OMG, he was in his element and beaming with happiness. It was so wonderful to see someone so happy. Bonaparte was extremely proud of him.

By this time it was midnight.  And we were hungry.  And cold.  It was Bonaparte’s idea to walk up a few blocks to get a cab because the area of the theatre was still drawing a huge crowd. We should have called Yohan!

So we get a cab and out of nowhere, two men come up to us screaming that we “took” their cab.  Since I’m not very nice and sweet when I’m incredibly hungry, I got my New Yawk on and loudly shouted at them to “get the (insert “eff” word here) outta my way!”  The cab driver must have understood New York English because he had quite the laugh.  Bonaparte had nothing to say. I’m sure he was mortified at my behavior. But, hey, he was nice and toasty in that cab!

OK so here is where there is a difference between New York City and Paris–despite being a late city during the summer months, Paris closes a bit earlier during the hibernation of late fall throughout winter.  We gave up on finding a place to eat and had the cab driver drop us off at Place Saint-Michel.  Our dinner would be take-away from one of the snack stands at the entrance of Rue Saint-André-des-Arts.

But lo and behold, as we made our way from Place Saint-Michel, a vision stood before me at Place Saint-André des Arts. Another Wallace Fountain!  I was thrilled and immediately took a photo.

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Three Wallace Fountains in one day! How great is this???

When Bonaparte asked me how could I have passed through Place Saint-André-des-Arts for years and not have noticed this fountain, I shrugged and said ” Eh” “I never noticed it”.

Oh the nonchalant ways of those who think they are French but are not. That would be me!

Our dinner this evening was a kind of French version of street food.  Au Pt’it Snack.  The greatest cheap eats on Rue Saint-André-des-Arts.  I had the lamb sandwich. Bonaparte had the Gyro—extra sauce. And yes—we’ve enjoyed food from this place in the past!

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If you want cheap eats–this is the place. It’s great for anyone on a budget or who isn’t a foodie to grab a filling meal!

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Monsieur Pt’it Snack was happy to feed me and make me not so pt’it!

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I’ll just have one of everything please!

A full stomach.  A fun premiere. A great film. Hanging at the cemetery with the dearly departed. Overall another great day of nuthin’ and everything!

To be continued….

An appropriate song for Day Number Two could only be Edith Piaf’s tribute to Paris—Padam, Padam!

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Three Days In Paris. Leave the “Chic” At Home and Enjoy Being a Flaneuse!

On The Way There and Day One

Bonaparte and I have returned from a three-day in Paris.  Why only three days?  Well, I’m working now and getting time off from work isn’t easy.  In addition, due to the change of flight plans last summer because of one of many Air France strikes, we had a credit that had to be used by December 28th.  It all worked out because we were able to see the premiere of “Demain tout Commence”, a film that Bonaparte’s cousin directed.  Bonaparte was also able to take care of some family business and I was able to hone in on my skills as a flaneuse.

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Our personal invite to the Avant Premiere at the Rex theatre.  It was fun! But this film was so damned great!  You’ll read more about it on “Day Two”! I will say that I am in love with Omar Sy!

So grab a café crème. Or a cuppa tea. Or a nice stiff drink and come along with me on my latest visit to my favorite city—Paris! (I’ll be adding some tips for you too!)

The weather was nice and sunny as we made our way from Philadelphia to JFK airport in New York.  We gave ourselves a ton of time because it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And while children may have visions of sugarplums this time of year, I had visions of backed-up traffic on the PA Turnpike, the NJ Turnpike and the Belt Parkway.

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Oh yay. We were quite lucky as we exited the Verrazano Bridge to the Belt. No traffic. At all!

TIP:  If you live in the tri-state area and are traveling to France or any other country in Europe, think about flying from JFK. The flights are cheaper and the long-term parking is a steal at less than twenty bucks a day! 

Luckily, we hit no traffic whatsoever and made it to JFK in record time. This gave us plenty of time to find a great parking spot just feet from the Howard Beach Station for the AirTrain.

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Travel tip!  Wanna remember where you parked? Take pictures!!!  I took a photo of the station  where we parked our car for long-term parking. I also took a photo of the row we were in. Makes life just a little bit easier!

The airport was empty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any airport this desolate during the daytime! Checking in was a cinch and stress-free.

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I honestly do not know where all the passengers on our booked flight came from because this is basically what JFK’s terminal looked like. Nobody there!

And then there was the plane.  We were on an Airbus……. And the plane was packed. I know why. This was the smoothest and quietest plane ride I’ve ever been on. And the service was incredible. But more about that on my return home.

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We were on the top section of the plane and it was, hands down, the smoothest flight I’ve ever been on!

We arrived at CDG after a restful and comfortable flight.  We both slept. And that meant a full day of walking around the City.  Sunday morning at the airport was quiet and reality slapped us in the face as we approached the customs line.  It was long and still not as bad as the lines in the summer.  Besides, after exiting and heading to the baggage claim area, Bonaparte’s massive suitcase was waiting for us!

The cab ride into City Centre was great. No traffic. I swear we need to land in Paris on Sunday morning from now on.

It’s so weird. I’m not jaded when I write this but that “butterflies-in-your-stomach” feeling of excitement no longer hits me when I arrive in Paris.  Instead, I get that slightly “anxious” feeling. More akin to the feeling you get when going home after a long stretch of time—you just want to get there.

Paris is so sleepy on Sunday morning! Those who celebrated and enjoyed life the night before are now indoors taking it slow and easy.

We got to the Hotel Prince de Conti, which is now our go-to for small visits.  Any visit a week or longer and it’s time to rent an apartment. Anyway, the room wasn’t ready –obviously since it was early in the morning. But we dropped our stuff off and headed out for breakfast.

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You can’t get a better deal on a hotel than at the Prince de Conti. The location is fabulous..and…

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the lobby is incredibly comfy and charming. The staff is great!!!

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Our room, although small was comfortable, immaculate and perfect for our needs!

We decided our first morning adventure would be to check out the courtyard at Danièle’s old apartment building for old time’s sake.  Bonaparte entered the code and much to our dismay, the code had been changed.  It was more like an omen of sorts. It was like Danièle’s spirit was telling us that we needed to move on.

And so we did.  My blogger friend Elizabeth, of The Vintage Contessa, asked if I would snap a photo of the Wallace Fountain on the corner of Pont Neuf. And so I did!!

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Photobombed by a thirsty Frenchman enjoying his water from this Wallace Fountain on Pont Neuf and Rue Des Grands-Augustins. I’m looking a bit tired here. Perhaps it is due to lack of sleep and just getting off a plane!

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A better view of the fountain!

And at that moment, things began to brighten up!  We walked up Rue Dauphine to head over to Rue de Buci to fuel our bodies.  The streets were becoming lively and we were entertained by an older man who was zooming down the street on his motor bike singing an aria, allegro, at the top of his lungs. I couldn’t get my camera out quick enough and he was gone in a second—his booming voice and flash of long white hair behind him.

We had another surprise as we entered Café Buci; the florist that was across the street was no longer there. Replacing it was a modern, slick, trendy restaurant. We always stopped at that florist to get flowers for Danièle—it was another sign telling us a part of our lives was over.

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Le Yum. Le Yum!  Breakfast at Cafe Buci!  Cafe Creme and croissant!  What could be better?

We walked and walked and walked some more!

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We passed our old neighborhood hangout, Bistrot Saint Andre.  The place where everyone knows your name–kind of like a French Cheers!

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We walked along the Seine near Daniele’s old apartment and took photos of Pont Neuf..

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Enjoying the quiet Sunday morning…

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…while freezing!

My skills as a flaneuse were improving by the minute.  So was my skill to be able to walk in the bitter cold without a winter coat and be able to enjoy myself!

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Look how beautiful the color of the building just plays so well against the daylight!

  It was cold! Now mind you, I’ve been to Paris in the middle of winter and it wasn’t as cold as this late November day was.  Luckily I had gloves and a hat in my bag!

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We headed over to Place Dauphine, which, during the summer months is always lively and full of activity….

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On this Sunday morning–and late morning, Place Dauphine was quiet!

Since it was Sunday. And cold, we headed over to Notre Dame.  I had visions of entering into the Cathedral for some warmth. Just like Mary in the stable on Christmas Eve! Any thought of entering was erased when we spotted the line to get into the church.

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The sun was shining, but didn’t warm things up. We walked over to Notre Dame..

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..wait. Why do people tell me they are afraid to visit Paris because it is dangerous? Excuse me–these guys, aka, military eye candy are  at all heavily-populated areas.  You do not want to mess with these guys.  Paris is safer than the gun-crazed USA!

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I was thinking about going to Mass but when I saw THIS line, I figured it was easier to be a sinner!

Bonaparte suggested walking over to Saint-Séverin over in the Latin Quarter.  And so we did!

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And on the way, food was calling me.  I wanted to stop and grab a little snack..

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The signs were making me hungry…

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This guy tried to make my thighs wider by inviting me in for pizza–as a paying customer!

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As an aside–Paris has some great cheap eats.  Little side streets and passages are chock-full of inexpensive–and good places to fill your tummy!

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We arrived at the beautiful and centuries-old Saint-Severin

The ancient church is beautiful and Bonaparte was happy snapping pictures.  The scent of the church alone sent me into a swoon.  Incense—actually Frankincense wafted through and brought me back to my school days of having to sit through Benediction on Friday afternoons during lent.  It’s one of the smells that I truly love and adore—and I wish a perfume maker would create a scent that smelled like it. It could simply be called “Church”. I’d make it my signature scent!  I’m rambling.

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Before Mass.  The church filled up quickly…

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The lighting and stained glass really added to the beauty of this Church. The detail was so beautiful…

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A nice place to just sit and reflect..

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Perhaps light a candle at one of the many altars…

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..or collect thoughts or pray….

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..or just admire the stained glass. And ignore the “date” stamp that I couldn’t seem to get rid of on my camera!

Anyway, Mass was about to start and no way was I leaving!  I think the weather got colder because with Bonaparte at Mass, Hell must’ve frozen over!  The Mass in French was beautiful.  The cantor, who was blind, was following in Braille and he had a voice that could make angels faint from being overcome with emotion. The acoustics of the centuries-old house of worship were fantastic. His voice was beautiful—and with the accompanying organ, I felt as though I was at a very classy concert.

It wasn’t hard to follow the Mass either.  Many familiar words and phrases appeared and disappeared.  And receiving Communion was very old-school with the priest resting the host on my tongue.  It really was a fulfilling experience.

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We made our way back to the hotel…

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..while snapping photos on the desolate streets!

We slowly made our way back to the hotel and by the time we arrived there, the room was ready.   So we quickly dropped our stuff off in the room, changed and headed out walking along the seine to…

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Boats along the Seine.  Hey. I hope they are heated!

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We spotted a dog on a skateboard. Surprisingly, skateboarding was pretty popular with the mid-twenty crowd!

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We walked over to the Louvre..and this is where Bonaparte had enough of the cold so we snagged a cab over to …

The Christmas Markets!!champs-elysee-in-the-cold

Yeah.  The cab ride took about a minute. We could have hoofed it!

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The Christmas Markets!  Quite possibly, the most incredible Parisian experience of all time!

I simply cannot contain my joyful glee when writing about this long stretch of kiosks and makeshift chalets along the Champs-Élysées. Forget about anything chic or elegant. Oh no. This is Paris at its most tacky.  This is Paris without the smoke and mirrors. This is normal people Paris.  And it was epic, epic greatness. It was total. Just. Total!!

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I saw Uncle Sam. He told me he would return to the USA after Trump is no longer President.  I’m with Sam!

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In the City of Lights–and elegance and style, THIS sight made me realize that even chic gets thrown out the window..

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Check out the kid in the bungee thingy over the trampoline!  I laughed for ten minutes at this sight!

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They aren’t real Bison. This was part of a very unusual Christmas zoo with pretend animals…

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..such as this fabric Moose and stuffed tiger..

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..and what child wouldn’t be filled with Christmas magic at the sight of these happy-go-lucky dinosaurs!

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Those bloggers and writers who insist upon Parisian chic as a constant? Non!  This is the real Paris. These are the real Parisians.  They are freezing their derrieres off. They are not thinking of elegance nor are they thinking of French chic. They are thinking of hot wine and heavy socks!

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One of the more classier Christmas chalets..

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I have absolutely no idea why this bear was randomly displayed nor do I understand why grown men had their photo with this display.

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At least the snow people were dressed for the occasion!

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My favorite chalet had all sorts of stack dolls!

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This–and nothing but cheese–is heaven on earth!

I was in my glories.  Bonaparte was not.  It wasn’t until we entered into a little chalet where the cute young Frenchmen were adorned with medieval style aprons that Bonaparte brightened up.  He was given a sample of foie gras and truffled fromage.  Bonaparte also lit up because he was, once again, in the comfort of animated conversation in his native language.   Things became more entertaining as I sampled the foie gras because I excitedly said a bit loud, and in my New Yawk accent, “Oh my gawd, this is so friggin’ great!!”  Some more French was exchanged between Bonaparte and the musketeers and Bonaparte laughed as he later told me that the young men were surprised to find out I was American because I was so well-dressed! I’m gonna take that as a compliment. Especially since I was freezing my ass off in a blazer, jeans, boots, a turtleneck and a scarf while the rest of Paris was warm and toasty in their puffy coats and jackets!

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The foie gras guy!  Bonaparte had a good time in this place. I’m loving the deer head and the apron. This was fun!!!!

I found another Wallace Fountain in the bowels of the market. And I decided that I would try to find as many of these watering holes as I could during our short stay.

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I felt bad that this Wallace Fountain was relegated to the bowels of the Christmas Market!  But I felt good that I discovered another Wallace Fountain!

We also took this opportunity to scout out the Fnac location on this broad Avenue.  Just as Bonaparte was about to give up the search, I spotted a man with a Fnac bag. I gently tapped him on the shoulder and in my best French asked him where the store was.

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I have no idea how, but one of the passages literally had a window to the Louvre.  There’s so much more to “Louvre” when you wander around aimlessly!

Two minutes later Bonaparte and I were in the warmth of the store.  We picked up a couple of things and were off again!

Two CD’s I picked up.  Jane Birkin has the greatest whisper-singing voice of all time. And the soundtrack of Notre-Dame de Paris is incredible. Garou is Quasimodo. If you get the chance to see this, by all means do–the music is moving.

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Bonaparte picked up two movies.  Les Tricheurs–one of his favorites from his teen years and Rabbi Jacob–his cousin Zazi played the doomed groom. Rabbi Jacob is one of the funniest movies thanks to Louis de Funes

We walked back to the hotel and I thanked God that I had warm socks on my feet to keep my little toes warm.

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We made our exit and walked back to the hotel.

  The Eiffel Tower was in the distance and looked gray against the darkening sky.  It was too early for the lights and too late for the sun to shine on the symbol of Paris.  And no. I did not bother to snap a photo. I have hundreds.  I just wanted to get back to the heated hotel room!

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The sun was starting to set. And let me tell you–the days in Paris are a lot shorter than here. But the good thing is that you get to take cool photos like this!

Back at the hotel we rested a bit before heading out to dinner at Vincent’s cousin, Jean Denis and his wife Marie’s apartment.

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The courtyard at Jean Denis and Marie’s apartment.  That’s one of the crazy-great things about Paris apartments–they all have these magnificent courtyards!  

Jean Denis and Marie are the two people we always have a great time with.  Dinner was fun and animated as we all had lively conversation of our times with Daniele and books and just about every topic under the sun!

My diet was thrown aside as we enjoyed saucisson wrapped in brioche, wine, poulet, wine, salade, and more wine.

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A late night cab ride back to the hotel and it was lights out for the two of us!  We had an ambitious day of doing nothing!

When we arrived back at the hotel, slumber came easy.  Our first day in Paris was spent doing nothing—and everything!!

To be continued tomorrow….Demain tout commence!

Here’s a sampling of my Jane Birkin CD.  “Ex Fan des Sixties”–this song is greatness. I’ve been listening to it for years on French radio.  I love this because it is slightly campy and at the same time great! And she mentions Jimi Hendrix–what’s not to love??

 

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I Am Back. And Heavier!

Hi everyone!  It’s week 13 and I’m back from Paris.

I’ve gained a pound. 148-8-a-pound-gained

I honestly thought I would have gained more considering all the food and drink that went into my body….

I literally ate a ton of food.  I drank so much red wine that I was afraid if I was in an accident, I would have bled Medoc or Bordeaux.

And presently I am working on TRYING TO FIX AN ISSUE WITH MY IPHONE!!  For some reason I can’t upload pictures and I”m pissed off.  I’ve got lots to write about and had a blast.

So as soon as I figure this #$)#$)*# ing stuff out. I’ll be writing posts about the trip.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!

 

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Pragmatic Packing For a Short Trip To Paris and Getting My Flâneuse On!

We leave tomorrow for Paris. It’s definitely not an extended stay. We fly home on Wednesday. Basically, this is three full days and three full nights.

This isn’t a trip for visiting the museums or the many sights. It isn’t a foodie trip either. And it isn’t a somber one like our last short trip to Paris for Danièle’s funeral.

Paris. Daniele's bulletin board at her office!

Memories on the wall of Daniele’s office at Zazi Films. I miss her so much!

Remember our trip of last summer? Remember how Air France went on strike just as we were about to leave and we had to make other flight arrangements?

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Thank you Air France for giving us a credit that cost us more money!

Well, we ended up with a “credit” from Air France.  However, we had to use our “credit” from Air France before December 28 or we would lose it.  We were unable to use the “credit” (and I use that term loosely—hence the quotes) for next summer.  And with this “credit” comes a booking charge of $300 per person. Ultimately this “credit” is costing us six hundred bucks just to fly!

The good thing is that we were able to make our visit coincide with the Avant-premiere of Bonaparte’s cousin’s film “Demain tout Commence”.  The film stars the wonderful Omar Sy, remember him as the assistant from the film “The Intouchables”? Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo Gelin directed the film and we are excited to see him and the film!

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I’m secretly hoping that Omar Sy is at the Avant-premiere and I get to take a selfie with him. I’m sure Bonaparte is secretly hoping I don’t embarrass him in front of his family!

I’m excited that we’ll be returning to the Hotel Prince de Conti. The location is perfect—in the 6th arrondissement.  And the hotel is a charming as all get out!

Paris. Prince de Conti Hotel sign in the wind

Bonaparte also has to tend to a bit of family business and I need to take care of some business of my own.  I need to hit CityPharma for all things skincare.

Paris. Citypharma bag of delights. Ahhhh.

Best prices on all things skincare–and you never know what else you will find!

I need to visit the Christmas Markets on the Champs-Élysées for some Christmas shopping and I need to get to Fnac to buy some music. I need more Michel Polnareff and Christmas music.

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I can’t wait to get to the Christmas markets!! Bonaparte is hoping my friend The Olive Man isn’t one of the vendors!

And I also want to visit Danièle. I plan on sharing a little bit of Porto at her grave. Just like we did when she was alive.  I also want to bring her some white roses because we always got them for her!

Montparnasse Cemetary. Flowers on Daniele's grave

I’m sure all these flowers have been cleared to make way for the ones Bonaparte and I will bring to her.  And Daniele and I will have a little toast of  Porto. Let’s hope I don’t get arrested for sitting on her grave and drinking with her!

It’ll also be fun to just hone in on my skills as a flâneuse—a wanderer.  Paris is the greatest city to just walk around and do nothing.  You never know what discoveries will await.  That’s basically it!

And speaking of basic.  I’ve packed my wardrobe for three days neatly into my Longchamp carry-on.  These winter clothes are much heavier than summer ones—and in the summer I can pack a lot more. But here’s how I did it.

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Thankfully my Longchamp leather bag is a bit on the large size. I can carry the overflow! Thankfully Bonaparte is traveling with a large suitcase so I can load my goodies into it!

First, I tried on a couple of looks to decide which I liked…

possibility-number-1-blue-sweater-stripped-shirt-did-not-go-with-thisI nixed this look because the sweater was too bulky with the blazer. It’s a good look for running out and about at home though!

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Look number two.  This is a packer!  I love the light weight of the striped sweater. The light chambray shirt is a great base for layering and both fit really nicely with my schoolboy blazer. Over-the-knee boots and AG jeans complete the look.   Too bad I have no hair in the back or I could have gone natural in my bio hair…I feel very…

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..very

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Fanny Ardant today with my hair curly!  She’s one of my favorite actors! Maybe I’ll run into her and she will ask me to be her American sister!

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Another casual look that lends itself well to layering. A black sweater under a camel blazer, scarf, same boots and jeans for day…

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And for the movie premiere, a change of jeans to more dressier ones, red heels, same blazer, same sweater and a different scarf.

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For traveling, I’m going with black pixie pants from J. Crew, a black turtleneck, a blanket scarf and a trench coat…..

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I decided that I’ll wear loafers instead of ballet flats. These are better a better choice for running around the airport. The blanket scarf will be a multi-tasker. Bonaparte always takes my blanket that the airline supplies because he gets very cold. I’ll just use the scarf as a throw. 

I’m really want to keep things simple.  A trench is a better choice for me because I can layer with the sweater and blazer. If it ends up being warmer, I can either wear just the trench or just a blazer. At least I have a choice!

And here is what ultimately went into the carry on:

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My essentials (other than makeup).  Magnifying mirror so when I apply lipstick, I won’t look like Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, an umbrella because you just never know when it’ll rain in Paris. A satin pillowcase to protect what little hair I have left, and my favorite tote. This Wythe Hotel tote goes wherever I travel.  Paris isn’t like the USA in that you get bags at the grocery store. I can fit wine bottles, cheese, tons of stuff into this tote. I love it!!

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Two pair of jeans. My AG jeans for day and for evenings skinny legging jeans from Loft.

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Two sweaters. On the left is the J. Crew Factory version of the Tippi Sweater. I actually like it better than the J. Crew version because the length is a bit longer. On the right is the J. Crew Holly Sweater. It is so soft and cozy.  Had I wanted to wear this on it’s own without a shirt underneath, I would have sized down.  

two-shirts-i-see-chippys-favoriteTwo shirts. I know which one Chippy likes! The only reason I am bringing two is that I’m a total slob and I know something is going to spill. I need backup!

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Two blazers. I kept to solids because the choice was just more basic.

I followed on-line directions on folding a blazer for travel.  The instructions are from Black Label and are step-by-step photographs. It took me almost an hour to figure it out.  I ended up putting the blazers into plastic garbage bags after folding for added protection.

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Boots can be a daunting item to pack, but these suede boots from Charles David are a dream. They are so pliable–like suede socks and were easy to stuff into the luggage. I have my heels for evening and thankfully I’ll be able to hold onto Bonaparte and not fall in the middle of the street!

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If my head is warm, the rest of me is comfy!

I also packed a knit cap, gloves, one bra and three pair of panties.  My cosmetics and toiletries are the last items to get packed. OH..and I packed hair too!!!!! I need my topper!

That’s it. A basic pragmatic way to pack for a short stay in the City of Lights.  Nobody needs to be a fashion plate when visiting Paris. There’s too much to see as you wander around–and wander around you will!  But it is a good thing to look presentable and jeans are a perfect choice!  No skirts this time around because I was too lazy to get spray tanned and I refuse to walk around with my fish-belly, white/blue legs on display!

Today’s music is another  import from Canada–Garou!  He’s great! Anyway, this is from Julien Clerc’s  Le Grand Show from 2014. If this doesn’t put you in the mood for Christmas–nothing will!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!

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A Crazy Week And a Bit of A Weight Loss Before Thanksgiving!

This has been one crazy week.  Work is busy—the days continue to fly by.  And our plans for Thanksgiving have been altered slightly.   Instead of traveling out to Long Island, Bonaparte and I made the decision to stay home and enjoy a quiet dinner in preparation of our trip  to Paris on Saturday.

Yeah. I have a couple of items like my hair and jeans in my carry on.  But I need to focus on three days’ worth of clothing. It’s more of a challenge to pack less than to pack more!

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The extent of my packing.  I need to focus. I need to pack more than heels, deodorant and hair!

We were very lucky to have Jake visit us last weekend.

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He cut his hair. And mommy loves the Hipster Jesus look but I think the clean cut look fits Jake just fine! It was great to have him home one-on-one!

His schedule with work in NYC keeps him busy so it was nice to let him eat well and enjoy Texas football and relax!

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Unfortunately, the wrong team had more touchdowns.  Texas lost–against Kansas no less!!!

The weight loss continues, but now the loss is really slowing down.  My body is getting to a comfortable weight.  From seven to ten more pounds and the job of maintaining the lower weight may prove to be difficult. But—I’ll be like Scarlett O’Hara and worry about it tomorrow. Or maybe when I reach that goal!

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I kind of reached my goal for Thanksgiving. So I’m hoping that by Christmas I’m at least two or three pounds down more. As long as the scale doesn’t go up I’m happy!

This is the first Thanksgiving where I haven’t baked anything. At all.  And I’m really not upset about it.  Sometimes it is just good to have a break.

And that break will be good because when we return from Paris, I’ll be going through recipes for cookies to have on hand for Christmas.  Have you ever heard of Chatelaine Magazine?  It’s a Canadian publication but their site offers the best holiday cookies of all time!  (you HAVE to click for the recipes. They are EPIC!! I made many last year and plan on doing a binge biscotti bake next weekend!

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I wish Canada would offer subscriptions to us in the States. I swear I would move to Canada just to subscribe!!!!

But now I want to give you a couple of reviews.  It started with my search for a plain black leather belt.  I went to Nordstrom Rack thinking I could find a simple black belt.  No such luck. The store opened less than three weeks ago and not one woman’s belt could be found. Even the sales staff was perplexed.

And since Ulta  was next door, I decided to take a walk over there to ease my frustration.  I spotted mascara by Tarte cosmetics. I’m a big fan of Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes mascara; and so I thought this “Best in Faux” fiber mascara might be worth a shot.

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This is FALSE advertising by Tarte. The purple mascara tube is more like a trial size IRL…see for yourself!

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Honestly, I’ve had sample sized mascaras that were bigger.  I’m still annoyed about this one!  

What really pissed me off were the ads. The mascara and fiber tubes are photographed the same size. They aren’t IRL. The mascara tube is small and stingy. Shame on you Tarte for doing this.

The lashes looked fine after applying but the fact that the mascara tube was so small is such a future no-buy for me. You NEED the mascara/gel to apply before and after applying the fibers. Therefore you need more of the mascara/gel and less of the fibers! Not worth the twenty bucks.

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Tarte’s “Best in Faux” did give some thickening to my lashes but did not extend the length. The Bella Rose does a better job for less money!

I’ll stick to my Bella Rose fiber mascara that I purchased on Amazon. $14.95 plus shipping. I try to purchase this with other items to get the free shipping. But even with the price of shipping it is worth it. As we age our lashes aren’t what they used to be and that’s one reason I’m a fan of the fiber mascara. The Bella Rose is the best I’ve tried.

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The Bella Rose 3-D Fiber Mascara has a larger mascara/gel tube–they got it right. I’m on my second order of this–and will soon be ordering a third. I use it every day! Every day!

My gift of the week was a lip liner from the sales associate at Ulta. She was so nice to give this to me!  I’m not one for lip liners but I thought I would give it a try.  I love it!  The spice color is a neutral that works! I think I’ll be lining my lips a bit more in the future!

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I think my only challenge with the Laura Geller lip liner will be finding the right sharpener. I’ve zero luck with sharpeners for my pencils!!

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I know. I KNOW. The photo is a bit distorted but I am diggin’ this lip pencil. It kept the rest of my lip color in place without bleeding!

It was a short week. And so, I give you a bit of the offerings that I wore this week on my weight loss journey.

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OK. I know it was a short week, but I wore this outfit last Friday for Jeans Friday at the office. The blazer. THE BLAZER!!!!  J. Crew Factory has their own version of my beloved Schoolboy blazer. IN PLAID!! I love this so much that I can’t stand it! The construction is excellent!  The weight is just perfect and I want to marry it! Yes. I want to marry this jacket but the republicans probably have laws against grown women marrying schoolboy blazers!  This will be worn a lot during the Christmas Season!

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Saturday I wore this to run errands before Jake arrived. Let me tell you this–the scarf came off quickly because it hit an all time high of 76 degrees here in the Philly ‘Burbs!

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No. I didn’t wear this but Sunday after Jake left us, we went to the mall. And as soon as I saw that American Girl opened a store, I HAD to get my nostalgia on and visit. It brought back memories of Oona and her American Girl Dolls. I still have them packed away!  Oh–and Oona thought it was very disturbing that I did this! I don’t!

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Monday’s look was “Blassic”. Black and classic!  I wore Old Navy Pixie Pants, a sweater set from J. Crew and J. Crew Gemma flats.  Oh..my fake hair is a bit crooked!

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Tuesday’s OOTD is one of my favorites. The blazer is from a few years back –Banana Republic.  I never wore it much but shopping in my closet and the desire to wear a bright top brought it out of hibernation. I love the way everything blends in. Trust me, I’m not overly big on brights but I loved the way this worked. I also loved that my hair wasn’t crooked too!

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I also love the brown suede patches on the blazer’s sleeve because the color matches my Longchamp leather bag!

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I was too busy putting my fake hair into a messy updo yesterday and forgot to photograph what I wore. I stuck to a simply textured turtleneck and black pixie pants.  Very basic!

Wait. There’s more randomness..

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Jake wanted steak for dinner–ok? So I made a bearnaise sauce.  I decided to go with champagne vinegar and purchased THIS at Wegmans. Fifteen minutes of TRYING IN VAIN to open the bottle and two cuts on my fingers later, I had Bonaparte return it and get my money back. I was livid!  Maitre Jacques should be ashamed of himself!  I used red wine vinegar instead.

home-made-cranberry-sauce I made cranberry sauce. It’s so easy. A bag of cranberries into boiling water. Let boil until the berries pop–about ten minutes. Add a cup of sugar and let it get thick. Take it off the burner and chill in the fridge. 

And I made the cranberry sauce because I cooked a small turkey breast. And I made a bit of stuffing because…….

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Since we would not be together for Thanksgiving, I wanted to send Jake home with a Thanksgiving Sandwich! I sliced a baguette, spread mayo on one side, and cranberry sauce on the other.  I made the stuffing in a loaf pan so that I could slice it thinly to put on the sandwich. I layered stuffing and turkey and more cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving on a baguette!!

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Oh–and I almost forgot. Saturday’s dessert was the frozen nougatine I made with a salted caramel sauce that I also made. Turned out great–which is why I probably only lost a half pound this week!

Onward and upward. I have to start packing and getting our dinner ready!!

I did a lot this week.  Man! I feel like a very busy woman.

Shania. Shania. Did you hear that?  Here she is…

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Sometimes I’m an Absolute Ingrate. But I Have Lots to Be Thankful For!

It’s true. Sometimes I take things for granted and never truly express my thanks.

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Yes way!  I should express my thanks rather than keep silent about it!

Bonaparte tells me that I’m more French than he is because of my never-ending talent for complaining about everything. And I guess he’s right—but I am a very thankful person. I just don’t express it constantly.finally-a-bitmoji-that-is-angry-and-cross-eyed

Why do people take so long to move their cars when the light turns green? Why do people talk on their cell phones on the grocery store line? I don’t want to hear their private conversations.  How come people spend five freakin’ minutes to LEAVE a parking spot?  Why do I complain?

And today, on this day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for

Good health!

I am thankful that…

My three children will not be spending Thanksgiving alone.  Both boys will be working at 30 Rock—and afterward they are having Thanksgiving dinner with each other at a restaurant. I am so thankful that my sons love each other and truly enjoy spending time with each other. I feel I did such a great job instilling the fact that the kids will always have each other.

My daughter will be spending Thanksgiving with friends in her new city.

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My three little kiddles! My purpose in life.  My gems!  I am thankful for them–every day, every minute, every second!And they will all be home for Christmas.

I have a job!

After almost two years of unemployment and emotional distress over worrying that I would never again be employed, I found a position at a stable and enjoyable business.

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Need a lease on a truck or equipment?  Give us a call and our great sales team will take good care of you! I’ve never been so thankful or happy to be handing this out!!

I have the willpower to take control of my body in the form of losing weight.

 

For the creation of toppers and wigs and hair extensions to disguise my self-inflicted hair loss

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My newest addition from Uni-wigs. Well worth the money. I’m thankful!

That I have the privilege to vote—and that I voted for a woman. I am thankful that my vote counted to give her the popular win over the most vile human who is now other people’s president elect because #heisnotmypresident.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  takes part in a Center for American Progress roundtable discussion on "Expanding Opportunities in America's Urban Areas" in Washington.

I am thankful that I was able to, as a woman, voice my opinion and vote for a woman for president #imstillwithher

I have freedom of speech. I prove it all the time with my written words.

I am once again, a home owner.  I had my home taken away from me during my divorce.  I am so thankful and grateful for Chateau Bonaparte!!

I am able to travel.  Trust me—each time I fly to France, I arrive bruised because of the constant pinching I do to myself!!  I never take my travels for granted.

For Main Line Animal Rescue because they allowed us to adopt Chippy—or is it the other way around?

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Chippy has zero respect for me. THIS is the look I receive when I tell him to get off my white sofa. I am thankful for him.

I am thankful for my children.  They are my gems, my jewels and my purpose in life.

I have a wonderful man who believes in me and is my rock. I am thankful for Bonaparte!

For Bazooka Bubblegum. It sates my cravings for food and it makes the best bubbles ever!

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And sometimes I’ll stuff three pieces into my big mouth just to get jumbo bubbles!

I am also incredibly thankful that I have my circle of friends who read and enjoy this blog—it’s a smallish circle—and we all get along very well. We agree. We disagree. We laugh with each other and we cry with each other. We feel each other and we relate to each other. And I thank you so very much!

Bonaparte and I will have a quiet dinner together. Neither of us likes turkey, so it’s already planned to have a small roast chicken.  And rather than spend the day cooking, I need to do my roots. So I’ll be working on making my hair look nice.

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The table is set for two. Lemon Roast Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, and home made Cranberry Sauce. ….and…

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Yes! Wine time–not WHINE time! Today I’m grateful and thankful!

The house is pretty-much decorated for Christmas with the exception of the Poinsettias, the wreaths and the tree. All of which will be gotten when we arrive back to the States.

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I started the bannisters. The lights are now on and so’s the ribbon!

Hey. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!! Enjoy your families and friends and football and the great meals that you will be gathered for!

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XOXOXOXOXO!

Here’s a beautiful song by The Kinks. “Days”..because the song thanks! Ray Davies looks so hot in this video!!

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Week Twelve! Just WHERE Does The Time Go?

I can’t believe it’s been 12 weeks of a weight loss journey. I’m down another pound.  Truth be told, my personal goal for the week before Thanksgiving was 147 but I’ll take the 148!  I’m hoping to be 145 by Christmas.  As long as I don’t gain weight over the holidays I’ll be fine!

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148.2–I’ll take it.  It will be hard transitioning into the holiday food mode but after last night’s baking experience, I’ll be good!

Remember when I was groaning and moaning about being unemployed and not being able to find a job? Remember how I had so much time on my hands?

Well.  These days I’m actually wondering just where the time goes!  Thanksgiving is next week.  Next week!  Bonaparte and I were invited to my sister’s house out on Long Island.  Oona is spending Thanksgiving with friends in Cincinnati because it’s more important to be home for Christmas.  Jake has to work at the evening news and Roman is working for NBC at the parade.

And because we leave for Paris two days after Thanksgiving, we decided to stay home and have a quiet Thanksgiving—just the three of us. Bonaparte, Chippy and me.  It’ll give me time to get packing and just get the house ready for the holidays.

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This Thanksgiving I’ll most likely fall asleep while watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel!

It’s weird because I actually enjoy being in a mad rush.  Jake is coming over this weekend so I’ll be doing lots of cooking. And I started last night.  I made brownies—for Jake and for the girls at work. Have you ever had Barefoot Contessa’s “Outrageous Brownies”?  They are, hands down, the best brownies on earth!!!

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An entire sheet pan of these dense brownies. I didn’t add nuts though. The girls at work were very happy! 

I also made one of Jake’s favorite desserts.  The Barefoot Contessa Frozen Nougatine!  It’s always a hit and the most requested dessert and there’s no baking!

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The Nougatine isn’t much to look at now, but when sliced and presented with a side of either salted caramel or chocolate sauce–it’s a beauty! And this is the easiest dessert to make!  All the ingredients are folded in (top left photo) then placed in a loaf pan, topped with home made pistachio brittle, covered and frozen. Easy Peasey!

While preparing the brownies, I was a bit naughty. I started to help myself to brownie batter. Not a lot of it, but a good amount.  And you know what?  I felt like crap all day.  Being without sweets has really had a positive effect on my body because I’m so used to not having all that sugar; and when I did, it just made me feel sluggish and “ugh”.

It’s true all that dense, uncooked chocolate and also the pistachio brittle AND licking the nougatine did have a brutal effect on me.  I felt sluggish and sleepy all day!

But out of the bad naughtiness came a very good ephiphany!  I’ll be able to carry out all the holiday baking without pigging out. So it was actually a good thing that I helped myself to the decadence of the best brownies in the world!

How was your week?  Did you stick to your healthy or different habits?  Anything to share?

I’m keeping it somewhat short tonight because I have a turkey breast in the oven. I also have stuffing in the oven and will be making cranberry sauce too.  Why?  Because when Jake is here he’ll be watching  Longhorn Football on Saturday afternoon and I’ll make one of those Turkey-Stuffing-Cranberry sauce sandwiches. Personally, I like those sandwiches better than the entire Thanksgiving dinner!

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Hook ’em Horns!  I’ll be feeding my son while he watches his alma mater’s football team!

The clothing continues to fit better, but I gotta get new bras. I think the girls went down a size. Here’s a bit of what I wore this week!

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Last Friday’s “jeans day” outfit. I call this my bipartisan look because I wore Ivanka Trump shoes. ( I know–I should’t be wearing them but I’m trying to be bipartisian in my own special way!)

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I wore this on  Tuesday. I know I forgot what I wore Monday because I forgot to take pics. This skirt is quite a few years old. It’s a ruched knit skirt from Banana Republic. I couldn’t wear it last year because I got so heavy that the knit stretched out and actually made the skirt shorter. I’m wearing a black turtleneck with a scarf, gray tights and over-the-knee boots. First and last time wearing gray tights. I don’t like them. I should have worn black to give a better flow to the outfit. Hey–you learn through your mistakes! Right??

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Here’s what I wore yesterday. Basic Navy and White cotton turtleneck from J. Crew and to ensure that turkey neck was hidden I wore the polka dotted scarf. I love the combo. I also wore navy pants from J. Crew and gold Tory Burch Reva flats from the year of the flood.  Any way, it’s a pretty basic outfit. BUT. I decided to……

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Add this bright red-orange schoolboy blazer from J. Crew. HOLY SCHNICKIES!! You would not believe the amount of compliments I ended up getting on this outfit.  A random woman stopped me in the parking lot at work to tell me she loved what I was wearing. And all the girls at work complimented me too!  It is amazing what a bright colored item of clothing can do to transform an outfit!

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HOLD ON! NOW I remember what I wore on Monday!  I wore this shirt with black pixie pants and black ballet flats. I had my mammogram and this shirt was mammogram friendly!  Hey. I dress for the occasion!

ootd-toady Are you familiar with Zulily? I ordered this tunic from their site. At $29.99 I thought it was a pretty shirt. Let me tell you something. It’s even better than photographed. The green and blue are very vibrant. The shirt drapes beautifully and the neck is high enough to cover the turkey neck.  I’m very happy with this purchase. Let’s see how it wears over time!

And that’s it for tonight!  I’ve got to keep an eye on that Turkey breast and make some cranberry sauce!  I wanna hear how your week went!

Oh..and because of time, here’s the ever-beautiful Judy Collins with “Who Knows Where the Time Goes”!

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Turtlenecks for Turkey Necks-Join My New Cause!!

The idea actually came to me yesterday.  Like Marianne leading the French into the Revolution, I shall lead my mature ladies into the new cause for fashion.  Disguising the turkey neck!  Read on for my epiphany!

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Marianne may have led the French Revolution, but I would be arrested if I showed up for my annual Mammogram dressed like that. Should Eugene Delacroix had given her a turtleneck perhaps?

Yesterday I had my annual Mammogram.   And in my efforts to make life easier, I had to figure out what to wear. YES. You need to dress appropriately when your breasts will be displayed on a glass plate in front of you and then turned on their sides.  Due to the fact I had half a head of fake hair on my head, I couldn’t wear any kind of knit shirt that I would pull over me because it would most likely move my fake hair from either one side to the other or displace the front of my glorious fake locks to the back.

I also couldn’t wear a knit because you can’t use deodorant when getting a mammogram. The residue could cloud the x rays. That meant I couldn’t wear a sweater. Have you ever forgotten to use deodorant or used a very weak one while wearing wool or a wool blend?  Trust me it takes forever to get rid of the stink!

 

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This is the shirt I wore to get my mammo.  The fake hair would have been all over the place had I worn a shirt that I would have to pull over my head!

Instead, I wore a plaid button down shirt from J. Crew Factory. The shirt is a cotton blend and breathes.  Just to be safe, I stuck a roll-on deodorant in my purse. But the point is I wore a shirt that wouldn’t mess my fake hair. Actually the fake hair was real human yaki hair

Which by the way, the technician, as she was placing my breasts on the plate and as I was holding my other breast away from the machine, mentioned that she loved my thick hair. Quite honestly, the pose I was standing in made me feel like a Playboy Playmate—bare breasted, my head turned up, one hand on my hip and my knee bent!

When I told her it was mostly fake she came in for a closer look and was quite impressed.  But here’s the good part. I told her that I pull my hair out and have done so for many years and that’s why a good part of my hair is gone and not coming back.  Then the technician told me that she had a niece who suffers from the same condition.  I gave her the website information for Uniwigs Toppers. My good deed for the day!

I’m veering off topic.

I had to run around all day with a shirt that displayed my….gasp—Turkey Neck!!! Now I don’t know about you but the absolute worse part about my aging looks is my neck.   I should have listened to my mother and used Ponds cold cream on my neck every night the way she did. I swear when my mother was into her early seventies she had the neck of a thirty year old.

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Truth be told. This turkey has a better looking neck than I do!

Because of this issue, I don’t look downwards in public anymore. I keep my head high. So high that people at work have asked me if there is something wrong with the office ceiling.  I just tell them I’m trying to make my neck look better!

Sometimes life is just so hard!  Medical coverage should take care of Botox injections in the neck!!

But there are other ways to disguise this physical challenge. During the summer I often wear a very lightweight scarf to cover the neck of Butterball.   But with the onset of the cold weather that is now upon us, the greatest option is……..the Turtleneck!!

Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Red Sea, Egypt

I’m beginning to wonder just WHY those high-necked shirts are named after turtles anyway. This turtle has turkey neck!

And you need that perfect turtle!  I’m talking about the turtleneck sweater that stays put—ok?

Do you find that these high-necked sweaters and knit shirts lack in their efforts to stay up?

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Like Bazooka Bubblegum’s friend of Bazooka Joe, I could wear my turtleneck as high as he does!  Hmmmmmm..a new fashion icon perhaps?

Do you find that they just may have looked better on us when we were younger because we didn’t much care if the neck fell down a bit?  Do you find that these days turtlenecks also emphasize the jowl action we have received from Mother Nature?  Yeah. I have that too. But I have my beauty and fashion priorities.  Jowls trump (oh how I now hate that word with a passion) turkey neck. In other words. I can stand the jowls but the turkey neck is a no-no for me.

 

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Yeah. My jowls are starting to look a bit like Droopy Dog’s. However-I’ll deal with the jowls more than the wrinkly neck!

And because of this I’ve been on a seemingly never-ending search for the perfect turtleneck that would stay put and not stretch out on me.  I did find one and you will see that at the end of the post.

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They say that smoking causes wrinkles but I’ll bet ol’ Dino had a very muscular neck under that turtleneck!

But come with me on my Turtleneck tour—I’ll show you what to watch out for. OK?

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An assortment of some of my turtlenecks.  My navy turtleneck sweater is in the dry cleaners!

I picked up this striped turtleneck at J. Crew. I’m a sucker for stripes but the neck is too wide. I’ll have to either keep my neck stretched like the photo on the left or….

Tie a lightweight scarf around the neck to make it more turkey neck friendly. Hey! I LIKE this polka dotted scarf with this shirt!

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The neck is too wide to really stay up on its own!

This is one of the tissue turtlenecks from J. Crew. It’s a no-go. I wear this shirt with pajama bottoms during the winter!

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Another wide turtleneck. The thickness of the knit helps to keep the sweater up, but I like to secure it with a heavier scarf in the colder winter weather!

See what I mean, the neck can fall down, thereby displaying the top tier of turkeyneck.  A warm, cozy and fuzzy scarf helps to keep the neck up.  Better yet, rolled up a bit more and it’ll stay that way. This is exhausting!

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We are getting closer to that elusive perfect turtle!  This is another knit turtleneck from J. Crew. It isn’t as light as the tissue turtle and the neck appears to be a bit wide but…

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The neck pretty much stays put…

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I’m happy with this…….

And THE perfect turtleneck for turkey neck is……

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The J. Crew TIPPI Turtleneck!

Great day in the morning!  I have a lot of love for the regular Tippi sweater but when I saw THIS, I had to try it and it IS turtleneck for turkey neck perfection!

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It stays put. I threw my hair up so you could see how nice and tight the neck is…

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Look! No Turkey neck!

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So I got some jowl action but who cares!  The neck wrinkles don’t show!!

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Add to that, the length of the sweater is just right!!!!

So what say you? Are you with me in this movement to disguise the Turkey neck? Tell me about your favorite ways to disguise turkey neck. It’s a very appropriate question for this time of year!!

How could I NOT have a song by Dean Martin tonight?  “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?” He was so cool–and he wore turtlenecks so well!

 

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The Dining Room Table And a Quail of a Great Dinner!

When Bonaparte and I moved into our new home two years ago, we purchased a new dining room table.  The one he had at his old place was old but not in a “good” old way. It was almost falling apart.  As for me, getting rid of my old dining room table when I lost my home was a memory I don’t want to dwell upon.  And when I moved into my small apartment, I didn’t even have a dining room table.  I had one of those folding card tables.

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Bonaparte may not be crazy about this table but I love it.  We insert the two leafs into it when the kids are over and it becomes much larger.  I love the mismatched chairs.  I am a fan of this table. We have great moments here.

Before I lost my home, the dining room table was used mostly for school projects and to house my sewing machine.   The majority of our meals was eaten at the large island in the kitchen or was eaten at the baseball fields or in the car on the way to sports practices, games or to dance classes.   The meals we ate in the dining room were limited to holidays.

Growing up, my dad worked various shifts in his job as a New York City Police officer.  During the shifts when he was not home for dinner, we ate at the kitchen table.  When he was home during dinner hours we ate at the dining room table. And we ate as a family.   My father was incredibly strict about this rule.  He did not want us eating dinner at our friends’ homes when he was home. The TV had to be shut off and we were not allowed to bring any reading material to the table. He said it was rude and disrespectful. And so we engaged in conversation.

Our conversations usually ended up with one of the kids crying, or someone else yelling and screaming and one of my parents getting angry at one or more kids. Usually it was over spilled milk.  And the decibel of noise reached very high peaks.  But the thing is, we sat around the table, we ate as a family, and we were not allowed to leave that table until we either asked permission to leave or my dad said we could leave.

The dining room table that Bonaparte and I have is one that I love. Bonaparte—not so much.  He doesn’t like the fact that the table isn’t rustic enough.  While I agree, we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted at the time and the table we do have fits our needs.

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I love the distressed edges because perfection is overrated. I love a lived-in look to everything!touches-on-the-naked-tableAnd when it is just us, we still continue to enjoy our “empty nester” meals at this table!

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I love the contrast of the casualness against a more formal rug. Plus, if food spills, it blends in with the rug’s pattern!

It is large enough so that when the family is together, there is plenty of room for all to sit around the table while dining and engage in dining and conversation together. Sometimes the conversation becomes heated. Sometimes it is funny—but we always have something to talk about.

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Not only does the table become larger with the inserts, but I love to dress this table up for guests and the holidays!

And when the family is together, Bonaparte will sit at one end of this long table and me on the opposite end of him. But when it is just the two of us, he will sit at that same place and I’ll sit to the side of him but closer.  During the summer months, we usually eat outdoors at the table on our deck. During the cooler weather and during the winter we sit at our dining room table. And we eat every meal together.  Our dinner time is the time to catch up on our days and discuss the events of the day—ours and the world’s.

 

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The dining room table is also one of Chippy’s favorite spots too!

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Oh no you don’t Chippy!

Our Saturday evening meals are always a bit more extravagant. Bonaparte likes his meals French style.  Beginning with an aperitif and an amuse bouche in the living room. Then we head to the dining room table for a starter or entrée.  And then, I’ll bring out the main plate!  Before my weight loss journey I would always make dessert but now I’ve stopped unless Bonaparte requests one of his favorites—like Crème Caramel.

Food. Theoule. Apartment Kir royales on the terrace.

Whether outdoors or indoors or in France or at home, our weekend meals always start with an aperitif. Kir Royals anyone? Tchin-tchin!

And in my quest to think like Ina Garten and how she loves cooking for her husband, Jeffrey, I truly enjoy creating these lovely Saturday evening dinners. I love cooking for Bonaparte!

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I like to take much of my inspiration from my Ina!  I can’t wait to start some great meals from her new book.  Maybe I can write a cookbook too “Cooking for Bonaparte!”

Last night I made Bonaparte’s absolute favorite meal.  Pan Seared Quail, Sautéed Potato Cubes and a Cherry/Black Currant Cream Sauce.  Oh. I also made Brussels Sprouts for me because presently, potatoes are not a part of my food list.

How did I come up with this recipe?  Well, some years back I was watching Jamie Oliver on TV and he cooked quail. I became intrigued by these little game birds and so I searched for them.

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Jamie Oliver is another one of my inspirations.  If you’ve never watched any of his holiday specials—by all means try to catch one. He’s GREAT!!!

I ended purchasing the quail at our local farmer’s market in Wayne. At the Rittenhouse Farm’s counter.  The quail purchased was frozen and from Cavendish Game Birds in Vermont. I’ve been buying these birds for a few years now.

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They come frozen and tightly packaged. I’ve never, EVER had a bad bird from this company!

Anyway, I didn’t want to roast the quail. I thought if I pan seared them and cooked them on the stove; they would lend themselves better to a sauce.  And since these birds are game, I thought a sauce with certain sweetness to it would be a good choice.

Bonaparte loves his frites, but since I’m not big on potatoes fried at home or the packaged French fries, I thought a bit more.  There is a restaurant that we frequent when we are in Paris. The restaurant is Chez Paul on Place Dauphine.  They serve these little cubed potatoes that are cooked so crisp on the outside and are creamy and soft on the inside.  I had to try a few times to get these potatoes just right and now they are a staple.

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Thank goodness The Fork took this photo! I’m always too busy enjoying meals here to take photos.  We’ll be back here later this month and the potatoes here are incredible!!

And so—I would like to share with you my Pan-Seared Quail. Cherry/Black Currant Sauce and Cubed Potatoes!

You will need:

For the sauce:  Dried Cherries (I found the ones at Trader Joe’s are both economically priced and very flavorful), Black Currant jelly (or Red Currant Jelly if you can’t find the black). Chicken Broth. Heavy Cream. Butter. Shallot. Rosemary. Salt and pepper.

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and speaking of Rosemary.  Every year I buy a Rosemary plant before the holidays. This is the 2016 model I purchased yesterday. I can snip, snip, snip rosemary all winter and the sunroom smells so nice from the aroma! Worth the $14.99!

For the potatoes.

Butter potatoes.  Butter. Olive oil.  Paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.

I get the butter potatoes at Wegmans. On the right a better look. The skin is thin and somewhat waxy. These really lend themselves well to sauteeing!

Quail. Semi-boneless.  From the pack of 6 quail, I had two. Bonaparte had four.  I would say though from two to three per person.

First.  The night before cooking, defrost the quail in the fridge.  The day of cooking, take the quail out of the package, pat dry, place on a plate, cover with cling and put the birds back in the fridge until ready to cook.

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Patted dry and ready for some cling and back to the fridge!

Second:   I do this early in the day. Take the dried cherries and put them in a small bowl. Pour a cup of cognac over them and allow them to soak. Then peel the butter potatoes. (I like these potatoes because they aren’t mealy). After peeling them, cut the ends so that the potato looks more rectangular.  Then proceed to cut into cubes.  Place the cubes in a pot of cold water.  When all the potatoes are peeled and cubed, empty the potatoes into a colander and drain.  Fill the pot with cold water again, add the drained potatoes and drain again. This helps to get the starch off.

Now. Boil the cubed potatoes for about 6 minutes. Drain, pat dry and put into a bowl. Refrigerate the potatoes until ready to sauté them.

Third:  Start the sauce.  Peel and mince two shallots.  Into a medium sauce pan, place two tablespoons of butter and the peeled and minced shallots.  Cook the shallots until transparent.  Then add 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Cook until reduced by half. Next add the dried cherries that were soaking in the cognac and add the cognac they were soaking in.  Bring to a boil—the cognac will lose the alcohol.  Add a cup of cream while the cognac/broth are boiling and whisk constantly. When the sauce looks like it’ll boil over, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting.  Keep stirring and add more cognac.  Add two large heaping tablespoons of the current jelly and keep whisking. Bring back to a boil and when it comes back up to that dangerous level of boiling over, take it off the heat.  Keep stirring.    Put the sauce aside.

NOW—all of those steps can be done early in the day so you aren’t rushing around later on.  I’m a big believer in preparing in advance!

Fourth:  Get two large pans, into both pans place two tablespoons of butter and a little bit of olive oil.  Let the pans get hot with the butter/oil.  Into one pan place the potatoes and into the other the quails.  Sprinkle a bit of paprika over the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Keep an eye on them because you will want to shake the pan every now and then.

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Look behind the potatoes. THAT’S what the sauce will look like.  I should have taken more sauce pics but I didn’t. I’m sorry!

Into the other pan place the quails, skin side up.  Sear for about five minutes then turn over. The quails are done when the leg bone is more visible and the leg meat kind of “rides” up.

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The quails will all fit into a large pan–they don’t take all the long to cook either!

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Almost done.  Look at the bird to the far right in the back. See how the bone of the leg is more visible? That’s a sign the bird is cooked!

Set aside.  The potatoes should be done by now.  Set them aside because now you are going to take one tablespoon of chilled butter and but it into the sauce.  Heat up the sauce on a low/medium heat and allow the butter to melt—it’ll give a silky finish.

TIP:  This is the time of year that I start to do a lot of baking and I make lots of sauces.  Chilled butter is crucial to pie crusts and some sauces. I take a couple of sticks of butter, cut them into tablespoon portions and put the portions into freezer bags. This way when I need the chilled butter, it is pre-measured and chilled.

Plate and enjoy!

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Plated!  This is my portion. I had the quail with Brussels Sprouts and even though I’m on a weight loss journey, I was still able to enjoy the delicious sauce. Priorities!

We lost a great musical poet this week. Leonard Cohen.

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Not only a great talent but I also thought Cohen was very attractive–even when I was younger!

He was a favorite of mine ever since I was young and heard the song “Suzanne” for the first time. But—his Hallelujah is probably the most beautiful song ever written. It is simplistic, haunting, touching and moving at the same time. It is an amazing piece of poetry. Cohen will be missed:

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Week Election. I Mean Eleven. You Won’t Believe What I Stress Ate!!

Well, it’s been some helluva week.  I’m still sad. I’m not in shock—that’s worn off, but I’m saddened that my girl Hillary won the popular vote and Trump ended up President.  Let me not dwell!

But on another note, I envisioned the meeting of the Class Act Michelle Obama and the Crass Act Melania Trump.   The conversation may have gone something like this..

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I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during THIS meeting!!

Michelle:  “Melania, would you like to see your closet?  It’s pretty well constructed and very roomy for all the clothing you will be wearing during your time as First Lady.”

Melania: “Mee-shell”. “Vat I need clah-sit for?” “You know who I am?” “I nekkid model” “I nekkid ack-tress in porn vid-eow!” “I veer no-sink—you silly girl you!”  “I veer za fish net outfit that Donalt like”  “But you nice—I need empty corner in clah-sit for box I came in ven Donalt mail-order me” ” I don’t need for clow-tink” ” I keep box in clah-sit if Donalt vant to sent me back to Slovenia where I vill be star!”

Michelle:  (Looking at Melania in wonder).  “I’ll take you downstairs to see where the good China is kept”  “You will need the various sets of China for the dinners you will be serving.”

Melania: (Looking at Michelle as though she’s crazy) “Oh Michelle—you silly girl” “Donalt say no such sink as good China” “He say China only good for cheep product and take out foot” “I no eat dough becaws Donalt don’t like me fat” “He vant me sexy to run in Vhite House nekkit”. “He say as First Led-ee dat I be 11-not 10!”

And that pretty much sums up how I think our First, Slut, Tramp, not much of a, Lady will be.  All those fundie men will be naming their hands after her—if you know what I mean!

I’m down another pound—but it’s a strange pound indeed. It fluctuates. Depending  on what I’m eating I could stay at 150 or go down as low as 148. The thing I have to focus on now is maintaining a steady weight while losing those last ten pounds!

One day a two ounce difference. The pic on the right was taken before I had a pedi!

I’m also getting to the point where I really don’t miss the desserts. I’m not baking and it’ll be a challenge as the holidays draw near.  But, I did manage to have dessert this weekend. The second dessert in 11 weeks.  I cut it in half so that I could enjoy one half on Saturday and another on Sunday.

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Bonaparte’s dessert is the healthier one with the raspberries. I went for the chocolate but cut it in half to enjoy it twice!

And in keeping to a relatively healthy menu, I made a chicken tajine last Saturday night.  The Moroccan stew is so flavorful and aromatic and very comforting on these cooler nights.  My strategy—serving my food on a smaller dish.   The optical illusion makes me think I’m eating more!

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All these great flavors and aromatics marinating made for a great meal!

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And placing a serving on a smaller plate works wonders for the mind!

Saturday also brought a pleasant surprise of jeans in a smaller size.  THIS is inspiration for the loss!

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My smaller sized jeans. I am loving these so much!!!

I’ll tell you, last night I was just so damned depressed, stressed and upset that I didn’t even want the beautiful salad Bonaparte prepared for me. And I felt awful about it too—but not awful enough that I told him all I wanted was pasta to make me feel better after the result of the election!  He “got” me!  I had the salad this evening and last night I stress ate on…

A Weight Watcher meal!!  Yeah. WW Pasta, Ricotta and Spinach. Worth every one of those 9 Points!  I am actually amazed that I went from shoving any sort of bread, pastry, and baked good into my mouth to calm the nerves to a Weight Watcher Meal. Hell has frozen over ladies!

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I never thought THIS would take the place of chocolate syrup poured over ice cream and topped with chocolate chips and whipped cream–and salted walnuts!  But it did!!

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I know. It looks AWFUL–but it tasted so divine!!

Ok.  Let’s get on to what I wore this week—and let me tell you, I’m starting to love dressing again.  Come with me to my clah-sit and vee pic out the clow-tink! Just like Melania vill do if she vear da clows!

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This was last Friday’s jeans day outfit. Very comfy. The jeans are old 1969 ones fro GAP. If you notice, I still have wide hips and that’s fine. I don’t want to lose any more than ten more pounds!

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Monday was nice and crisp and I wore my new SportKilt in a smaller size. This is a medium and fits beautifully. I paired the skirt with thigh-high boots, tights and a textured cotton turtleneck sweater from J. Crew that was purchased a couple of years ago!

This is my “Election Day” outfit. See those corduroy jeans?  I got ’em at Gap about four years ago for ten bucks and they never fit me–until now. I dug my way through the garage to get these out of a plastic bin. I love them. They have a hint of stretch and I wore them with a very ladylike shell and cardigan set–from J. Crew!  

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And yes. I DID wear shoes to stand on the line to vote! But, I just can’t stand socks!

ootd-wednesday-somber-studyUh oh! This is what I wore for the day after. It was a sad day after the election for me so I went with a somber look.  Old black boots. And old pair of J. Crew Pixie Pants and a shirt that is at least 6 years old.   One of the few pics of me not smiling. I do not like that look. I much prefer to smile!

week-eleven-029Ok. Today I’m happier!  Why? Because the blue pants that I can’t even remember HOW many years ago I purchased can FINALLY be zipped all the way up. I had been wearing them with tunic tops to hide the two inches that couldn’t zip. I wore them as regular pants today!  It was also a happy day to wear a button down shirt under a sweater for the first time in a long time. The shirt is also an incredibly old one that I couldn’t button for a long time and now I can. My Little French Hen is very happy too!

As an aside, I ran out of the awful L’Oreal eyeliner I was using and rummaged through makeup I had but never used. Pays to be a hoarder sometimes. Anyway, I came across this Lights, Camera, Lashes eyeliner by Tarte. It’s GREAT!!  And the thinner pen makes a nice line as you can see on my crossed eye!  Thought I would give this liner a shout-out because a decent liner is difficult to find sometimes!

That’s about it for today! The weight is still coming off but at a slower pace. What motivates me is that clothing is fitting me again.  I’m also not looking to food for solace (the election being the exception)!!

All this weight talk for weeks has me thinking about one of my favorite songs by The Band. The Weight!!  Enjoy!! Robbie Robertson is total eye candy!

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