Why Working is a Good Thing as I Age!

Back in the day, I gave up a promising career on Wall Street.  I did not sacrifice my career when I decided to leave.  It was simply a decision that was made by me.  I left to raise my children.

I swear to God.  I had the same exact suit as the woman in the illustration. I have a photo somewhere and when I find it I’ll post it!  I even wore one of those little bowed ties!!  And the Sony Walkman. And I had that same Coach bag (which was better than the Coach bags now).  And the Bean boots!!!!

It also helped that some 31 years ago, a two-income household was not a necessity.  I was lucky that my husband had a career that allowed me to be home to raise our children.  We gave up fancy vacations but really, not more than that.

And during my gig as a SAHM, I worked harder than I ever have in my life.  It was fun. I loved being home because my life was centered around the kids, the two dogs and our home.

Yes.  That is true!!  Nap time was when ALL the housework was done!

Keeping busy is always a great thing.

Some days did seem like this but my home was always immaculate!

The kids got older and with life changes such as a divorce, I re-entered the workforce.  It wasn’t easy but it was doable.

And when I moved to Pennsylvania, I started a job that I loved.  But the economic downfall led to financial disaster and I lost my job five years later.  The job market was never the same.

Add to that another job that ended up with a closure and, at 59 years old, I found myself in a position that I never imagined.  Unemployed. Unemployed and not able to find a job as good as the ones I had in the past.

Nobody wants to hire an older person.  It’s a rare occasion when they do.  And in the two stints of unemployment I found out that it is much better to be employed than to be unemployed.  And it’s worse when you are an unemployed, empty-nester with a mortgage and car payments and other bills to pay.

And trust me on this–there are TONS of older folks out there looking for jobs. I’ve met a great deal of them through support groups. It’s sad that the job market is faltering for the elders!

Don’t get me wrong.  If I was in the glorious one percent, it wouldn’t be that bad to be without a job because I would be able to 1.  Go to an expensive gym every day and work out 2.  Go shopping all day for the expensive stuff 3.  Go away on many trips and vacations.

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Believe me. Life could be pretty darn cool if I were a princess!! I could get into the life of jet-setting leisure and perhaps own a kingdom!

Besides, the greatest thing about being home was that I could write posts for my blog—which I thoroughly enjoy and it has become my baby!

But—staying home without a job left me no sense of purpose.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  I miss having the kids around.  Then the stress of looking for a job has an awful effect on me.  I eat.  And I eat some more. And I eat some more.

And I wasn’t eating the healthy stuff either.  I made this for dinner after WORK last Friday!  I’m improving!

And I become lazy—which is a very, very bad thing.  And being lazy as you age is an even worse thing!

The lazier I get, the lazier I become!

The past few months, with a break at Christmas time, were a whirlwind of job interviews, a bad job that I stayed with for a couple of days, more interviews, having to be “on” during those phone interviews, and more face-to-face interviews.  It’s taxing.  One interviewer told me—and she was very nice about it that they had someone “in mind” who would be with their company for a long time.  Shades of Grace and Frankie when they applied for a bank loan and were denied because of their age!

My girls Grace and Frankie–after they were rejected for a bank loan due to their age. Look at them–they look fabulous!!!!

Thank God I have Bonaparte.  He’s always supportive and encouraging!

In all honesty, the day I came home  after interviewing the job that I now have, I was discouraged.  I told my husband that I didn’t have much hope because I’m sure I was too “old”.  And a strange thing happened. A week later, I received an offer.

And here’s why I enjoy working while many of us are thinking about retirement.

Working keeps me busy.  It makes me think.  I’m using my brain to resolve issues and to learn new computer programs.

Hmmmm.  I’m thinking.  And it’s fun!

Working keeps me from eating.  Yeah. I said it.  I bring my little yogurt and fruit and sit at my desk during lunch time so that I can leave a bit earlier!

I ran out of blueberries so I’m bringing lemon curd to mix in with my yogurt for tomorrow’s lunch!  

Work gives me the opportunity to meet new people.  I’m not by any means a water cooler gal nor am I at work to make best friends.  But—it’s always fun to work with nice people and to be a part of a team.

I’m social enough but not too much. Gotta get back to work!

Working keeps me young. And I don’t mean a throwback to my wild twenties. It keeps me mentally young!

Working gives me a new bit of self-respect. I get to spend time applying my makeup in the morning so that I look good.

Did I tell you about the makeup tip from Wayne Goss?  Add a drop of oil to your foundation.  It is life changing!!!  See?  I love doing my makeup!!!!

And I’m using more subtle eye looks too!  

I also get to wear all my fun clothes all day. Yeah. I mean all day.  When I was unemployed, I would get dressed to go to the store and to run errands. Once I came back home I changed into my sloppy clothing of either yoga pants or pj bottoms (but never out—especially to a restaurant) and a tee shirt.  And when you become very comfortable in those clothes, it’s easy to become a slob!

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This was my unemployment uniform. Funny thing is I’m wearing the same outfit now!!

Working gives me a routine.  Some of us need a routine. I’m one of those who thrive on routines.  It helps to keep my life organized.  I’m writing a blog tonight.  I’ll write another one on Thursday.  I’ll film a couple of YouTube videos over the weekend and another blog post on Sunday.  I’m very much into this time management!

I’m happiest when things are running like clockwork. I love a routine!

I foresee myself working well into my eighties if I’m lucky.  And I’ll be a very youthful 80 some day!

The scary thing is twenty years ago I was 43 and twenty years from now I’ll be 83!  I need to save up for a facelift! I better stay working!

In the meantime, have a look at what I wore last week to work.  It’s fun to be back in the outfit planning and the office is very casual but I’ll still dress up a bit!

Last Tuesday was my first day at work. I wore my favorite leopard skirt.  And lighter hair. And, BTW, my wigs are also very popular at the office!

Wednesday was gray day. I wore my Banana Republic blazer from many years back and Pixie pants.  I wore my Carrie wig from Uniwigs LaVivid Collection!

On Thursday, I was mad for plaid in my favorite plaid blazer.  Another pair of Pixie pants and old Tory Burch Reva flats added to the casual uniform.  I wore my Justine  wig and a red Tippi Sweater.

And on Friday, we are allowed to wear jeans.  I ended up taking the sneakers off and wearing loafers because it rained and I didn’t want to get my sneakers dirty!

And I look forward to each day so that I can work to my best ability!

That would be me!

Anyone out there in the job market? Interviewing? Newly hired? Ready for retirement?  Let’s tawk about it!!!! Comments please!

Here’s some Elvis Costello “Welcome to the Working Week” from the My Aim is True Album!  A perfect Yuppie song!

 

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Back to DC. Back to Work. And The Slobbing of America!

Bonaparte just left to get Chippy from his overnight stay at PetSmart’s Pet Hotel and we arrived home a little while ago from DC.

Our overnight getaway was a combination of a Valentine’s Day gift and a celebration for my new job.  I’ll write about the job this week.  I’m very happy to be back into the swing of the work force and right now, I’m feeling like a stuffed sausage so I will be embarking upon a new weight loss journey because I gained weight during my unemployment stint.

Our trip to DC was a combo of Valentine’s Day and a celebration of my new job!

But for now, I’m concentrating on our weekend.

As is Bonaparte’s way, he loves me in dark hair.  Lately though, I’ve become quite fond of the lighter locks and we reached a very pragmatic compromise.  When we are together on date nights or out someplace special, I’ll wear a dark wig for him.

This was the look I was aiming for when we went out to dinner.  Outre’s Perm Yaki 14″ is one of Bonaparte’s faves on me!

At work, and when I’m out and about, I’m transitioning into the lighter hair.

 

This is the look I wore on our way to DC.  Lighter hair–April by Bobbi Boss, my J. Crew Dover blazer, a white shirt, jeans, a scarf and loafers. I also brought along a dressy black wool coat for the evening!

Saturday’s weather started out somewhat on the sunny side but cold.  After all, it is still winter and will be for another four weeks!  Snow was in the forecast but it didn’t stop us from driving from Philly to DC. We’ve done the drive many, many times.  When Oona was at University of Maryland, we would always stop by to see her.  Now we just drive straight through.

It started to snow just as we hit Maryland.  And it got worse.  And worse.  By the time we reached our hotel, the weather turned into a true “Wintry Mix” of snow and sleet.  But it still didn’t deter us in any way.

I started playing around with filters on the way down.  Honestly–I didn’t see much of a difference.  My original photo is on the top left.  The subtle changes?  I wish I could afford to look like the photo on the bottom left. Me–but a better version! I’m so shallow. Forgive me Lord!

We usually arrive at the hotel early enough to relax for a couple of hours but due to the slippery roads and low visibility from the falling snow, we had to dress for dinner a few minutes after we arrived to the Marriott.

No big deal though.  It didn’t take long to get ready.  I applied my makeup before we left home and I’m not that girl who reapplies makeup during the day.  No touch up was needed. Just a change of hair, lipstick and clothing.

My hips just keep getting wider but I love this stretchy black tee and my J. Crew Pixie pants. I can eat and the pants stretch with my expanding belly!  I also wore my $7.00 thrifted suede J. Crew shoes. And Bonaparte’s favorite wig! 

We dressed very appropriately for the weather, which, was really bad when we left for Georgetown.

Our dinner was at La Chaumiere, a French restaurant on Georgetown’s busy M Street.  We started going there after our favorite little place, Bistro Français, closed.  And, although it was sad to see a well-established place no longer around, La Chaumiere easily won us over!

La Chaumiere!  What a lovely restaurant and by the time we left, the line was out to the street!

It’s a cozy, warm, very homey and extremely busy restaurant with many old-school French favorites.  Bonaparte and our server were communicating in French and my man was so happy.  He really does become so comfortable when he is speaking in his native tongue!

View from our table!  It’s a homey place and the food is excellent!

We started out with our Kirs while fresh, warm bread was brought to the table. And Bonaparte was in heaven because the baguette slices were just to his liking.

I don’t even remember taking this photo.  I drank a lot of wine!

I began my meal with a terrine of duck foie gras in a berry sauce and toast.  I have no idea why, but my Frenchman started with a salad.  This—from someone who hates vegetables!  He regretted his choice as soon as he saw what I had.  And I realized this so, me, being the giver that I am, allowed him a few tastes!

This terrine and everything else was the bomb!  I’m ordering it next time we return!

For our main plates, I had a veal chop which was great and he had medallions of beef.  Both our entrees were fantastic!

Veal Chop, mushrooms, a cute potato patty wedge–it was delicious!

Bonaparte’s beef medallions. I ate the vegetables!

Dessert was a flourless chocolate cake! I sucked this in like a Hoover vacuum cleaner!

Dessert. And the sauce is caramel. I really need to start fasting!

The walk back to the car was a good one because by the time we left the restaurant the weather cleared up.  We took a nice drive around the city and headed back to the hotel.

Here’s where the fun starts.

When was the last time you stayed at a hotel?  I’ll be honest.  We rarely stay at hotels these days.  Our Paris visits were always at Daniele’s apartment.  Our choice of hotel while in the City of Lights is the Hotel Prince de Conti. It’s in the same neighborhood as the apartment and we’re very comfortable in this hotel—it’s become like home.  In the South of France, we stay at the apartment in Theoule.

When we do go to a hotel we try to find Marriott Hotels.  Throughout  Oona’s Irish dance competing days, we stayed at many Marriotts and we have always been pleased.

And when we go to DC, we stay at the Marriott in Falls Church.

A bit has changed since our last visit which was about a year ago.

The hotel no longer has the credit card type of “key” which you insert at the door.  You now use a credit card “key” that you swipe over the doorknob area.  A little bar at the top of the door knob area lights up green when the door is opened.

Bonaparte holding the “key”…..

You swipe the “key” over the doorknob area and that little white strip turns green and opens the door. It doesn’t–at least not all the time!

Sounds simple. Right?  Not after a bottle of wine.

I would say we spent a good ten minutes swiping and no green light.  It wasn’t until I started using naughty language that my proper husband went in search of assistance.  And just as he came back with a staff member at his side, I swiped once more in anger and the door opened!

Call me old-fashioned, but I like those cards that you insert into a slot at the doorknob to open the door.

I’m not done.  There’s another gripe.  Lighting.

Since when did hotels stop using high-wattage lightbulbs in their light fixtures and lamps?

Who is this lighting for?  And why is the lighting so low?

Now—mine eyes have never seen the glory because I’m half blind. OK? In fact, I can barely see two feet in front of me and at home, I need to apply my makeup in full on 200-watt lighting from two lamps and an overhead light fixture.  I won’t even mention the magnified mirror I use.

This is where I applied my morning makeup–and I had a very hard time because of the lighting!

I swear I’m going to have to invest in a head lamp for the next time we travel. I can have better lighting when I apply my makeup!

While I realize that hotels may try to set the romantic mood during the evening, some of us need to see in order to get to that romantic place.  For the amount of money people are spending to stay at a hotel, why is Marriott skimping on the lighting?

We got a great deal on the junior suite and paid nowhere near the $750 charge. But for $750 Marriott can’t provide decent lighting?

But I can’t complain about the bed. It was so comfortable that we ended up sleeping till almost nine o’clock this morning.

And one thing we love is the breakfast that this hotel has to offer in the overnight package (I sound like such an old person right now—but it’s true!).

Compete buffet with a great selection.  I went with my usual egg white omelet with spinach, mushroom and cheese.  And the asparagus and sweet potato hash on the side.  Believe me, it’s the only healthy thing I’ve eaten since October!

The egg white omelet was delicious–but the asparagus and sweet potato hash was divine!!!!!!

And here’s where I have another complaint.  This is big folks. Oh—this griped complaint is huge!

Whatever happened to dress codes? 

Hotel guests arrived for breakfast dressed in pajamas.  Yes.  PJ’s.  And flip-flops and those slides.

This is an exaggeration–or is it?  But I’m telling you guests at the Marriott arrived for breakfast in pajamas. That is vulgar and vile!

A good number of the men arrived dressed as if they were auto mechanics getting ready to slide under their cars to fix or assess an issue.  Filthy, baggy jeans, old tee shirts, baseball caps.  What is going on here?

I’m telling you, not much offends me.  But sitting across from a woman wearing pj bottoms, with her filthy feet in flip flops turns my stomach. To make matters worse, random children were wandering around while their parents paid no attention to them. And yes.  The kids were in pajamas!

And let’s add flip flops to that as well!

Look. I don’t consider myself to be a snob—because I’m not.  But there’s this thing called respect. And there’s this other thing called consideration. Respect for yourself and respect for others.  And consideration for others is seemingly an intangible item that has gone to extinction along with the Woolly Mammoth.

Consideration, respect and dress codes are about as extinct as my Woolly Mammoth buddy–and he’s better dressed!

I can be crass, uncouth and loud. However, when out in public, I put my manners on and save the crass for the confines of my chateau! I grew up with the instruction from my parents to be considerate and respectful.

Unless I’m at the beach at a snack bar or at my blanket, I’m not wearing flip-flops to a restaurant. Nor am I wearing pajamas.  I make the effort to get dressed.  And you don’t need to get dressed to the nines.  A good-fitting pair of jeans and a nice shirt will do. Since when is bedroom attire acceptable to wear in public?

Bonaparte was even more shocked at the way the guests were dressed.  He mentioned that Americans are becoming more and more sloppy in appearance and I sadly, had to agree.  Remember when people actually dressed to travel?  Remember when people took pride in the way they looked?

Anyway, our plan was to go to the Holocaust Museum—we hadn’t been in a while and thought it was time to revisit.  That plan went out the window when we saw the massive line out into the street.

We didn’t make it to the Holocaust museum or the National Gallery but I got a few nice pics!

We forgot it was President’s Weekend!! Tons of people were visiting DC this weekend—we headed over to The National Gallery but the line to get in was just a bad.

I’m always intrigued by the Washington Monument–it is a beautiful structure!

I love everything about this shot–the sun was hiding at just the right moment!

And so, we simply had a good chuckle and decided that next time, we should make sure we return on a quieter weekend.  It’s so funny but I find as I age, I’m just not into crowds the way I was when I was younger.  I don’t mind crowds at all, but when I go to a museum, I want to savor every exhibit and be there when the crowds aren’t.  That’s all!

Our Nation’s Capital!!

So—tell me, what’s you take on the way too casual attire?  Does it bother you?  Do you think I’m nuts?

Let’s hear it!  Have a great evening and for those of you who are off from work tomorrow have a lovely day!!!

Bonaparte likes to listen to Classical music and that’s what we were listening to in the car.  Here’s one of my favorites by Chopin.  Nocturne op.9 No. 2!

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

It’s the annual day of  love!  St. Valentine’s Day!

There are so many interpretations on this subject.  I’m kind of liking Pompeo Batoni’s rendition of Diana and Cupid.

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Diana and Cupid by Pompeo Batoni.  1761.  Cupid’s been around for a long time!

Anyway, I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!

I love you!  And I thank you for continuing to read this blog!

So here’s how my Valentine’s Day rolled.  While I was getting ready for work today, Bonaparte slipped an envelope into my hand.  Inside was a Valentine’s Day card (and I’m sorry that I didn’t take a photo because it’s hanging in my work cubicle!

In the card was a piece of paper with a message that read “I AM TAKING YOU TO WASHINGTON, DC FOR THE WEEKEND!”

I’m telling you, I was thrilled!  I was so happy because we hadn’t been to DC in ages and we always have a great time.  We chill at the hotel, then go out to dinner, then on Sunday we hit the National Gallery and come home.  Just a nice little getaway!

Trust me, this was a great surprise because thinking about it took my mind off of the traffic issues on 422 this morning.  My second day of work.  I left early to print out some documents for the day and what normally takes 20 minutes took over an hour-and-a-half.

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And many people in the Philly area have this 422 Sucks sticker on their cars. I want one too!

There was a ten-car pile up,  and six other accidents along this horrific road this morning.  Sadly there was a fatality.  And everyone arrived at the office late today!

Anyway,  we are taking it easy for the evening.  I’m going upstairs to watch the Olympics and the coverage hasn’t been that great so far.

I’ll be reporting on my week on Saturday morning before we leave for DC.  I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

Here’s a very pretty song that is very appropriate for today!  Love Makes The World Go Round!

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What’s New With Me? Ohhhhh—Have Some Fun and Find Out!

It was a  fun weekend . Roman  was here for the weekend and we went to the movies.  The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville has viewings of old films and we saw“In The Heat of The Night” starring Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier!  Neither of us had ever seen it and I’ll tell you, after seeing this film, we have regressed since we’ve progressed!

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Two powerful performances and an Oscar for the movie as Best Picture of 1967 and Rod Stieger as Best Actor.  This was one great film!

I’ve got some new stuff to share with you—so please allow me to take a moment here.  Recently I was accepted into Amazon’s Influencer program but I’m really confused as to how it works.  Here’s a link to my influencer thingy.  I’m still trying to make good on this:  Influencer – atypical60
Link:  https://www.amazon.com/shop/atypical60

God only knows if I’ve done this right so have a look see if you dare!! I’ll be adding more items  as I figure it all out!

Anyway,  I registered for the beauty site “Beautylish” last week.  I’ve been intrigued by the site because they sell The Ordinary products and everyone I know who buys from this site loves it.  I have to say, the way Beautylish packages the items is just so great. It’s like receiving a gift!!  Here are my purchases and the total came to less than $35.00!  Free shipping too!

Opening the box is like Christmas!  And that little velvet pouch contained samples!

look how cute the wrapping is…

And it gets better!

Here’s the products I ordered.  I can’t wait to use them…

And look–The Ordinary adds stickers that you can place on the products tubes, bottles, etc. so that you know when to use them!!

A sampling of Oribe shampoo and conditioner was included.  Too bad I don’t have enough hair to use the shampoo on!!! LOL!!

Now—while I realize that I have enough bags and don’t need any more, I will tell you that trying to hunt down a decent and affordable cross-body bag has been in the back of my mind for quite a while.  Seriously—what I have been looking for is a bag that looks a lot more expensive than it is.  I’m also looking for a bag that’ll hold my stuffed wallet, my overstuffed lipstick pouch, my phone, a pen and pad.  I need this in a compacted fashion. And price.  I don’ want to spend a fortune on a bag that’ll be used to literally (not “lich-ruh-lee) will be thrown into my car, then worn on my body and used for grocery and mall shopping—and when we go into NYC to mope around!

And so, before I picked Roman up at the Paoli station on Friday, I stopped at TJ Maxx.  I normally don’t bother perusing the handbag section because there are always a ton of Michael Kors and Calvin Klein bags which are hideous to me.  But—I took a look at the offerings anyway.  Just as I was ready to leave the section, I spotted a bag –and from my bad eye no less!  It looked really expensive but I was drawn to the color and to the simple design.  When I saw the price tag, I threw it in the cart!  $16.99!  Perfect!

Here’s a look:

Here’s the front of the bag.  Very simple design. No logos or anything. I like that..

Another frontal view.

Back view –has a zippered compartment

…the front flap folds over and also has a zippered compartment–you can also see how long the strap is and it can be adjusted

….this front zippered flap is great for hiding stuff..

this bag holds the important items in a very streamlined way.  I’m very happy with this $16.99 price!

I also stopped at the mall because I had to pick up my engagement ring.  Did I mention it needed to be repaired?  When I got mad at my computer and the whole printer debacle:  Here’s THAT post, I had a tantrum and started throwing things.  Well, I hit my hand against the banister and not only bruised it, but I loosened a prong that was holding the diamond in place.  Luckily it was repaired and I feel so much better now.  Let’s hope I don’t have any more temper tantrums in the near future!

Let me TRY to not lose my temper at my laptop anymore!

OK..so I stopped at Sephora and made a lip gloss purchase.  I’ve heard all about Buxom lip products and how great they are and I picked up this lippie.  The color is “Dolly”—it is a very nice neutral but I’m not crazy about this gloss.  Why?  Because it does nothing to plump up my lips—that’s why!!!  It feels very tingly—and that doesn’t bother me.  But I foolishly spent $20 on a product that clearly did nothing for me.  I learned another lesson.  Geez. I spent less money on a great handbag!

The color, Dolly, is a beautiful neutral but I’m just not impressed with this Buxom full-on lip cream.  It didn’t make my lips plumper!

Also, lately, I’ve been playing around with eyeshadow palettes.  I’m loving the Morphe palettes I’ve gotten—no doubt about it.  But, I wanted to get a smaller palette to use for a different purpose.  Ohhhh I may as well tell you…

I’m going back to work.  And I’m very happy because it will be in a corporate setting.  I’m not sharing the company’s name because I don’t know how they would feel about having a blogger on board.  I start on Tuesday and I’m really excited.  First of all, I’ll lose the weight that I gained from being home since September. Fifteen pounds of excess.  Am I upset?  Yes and no.  I’m upset that I had no self-discipline.  No because it was stress eating and stress eating is better than smoking.  Regardless, being in an office setting and focusing on the tasks at hand will keep me busy and back into a routine of eating meals at a set time.

But, I’ll also be thrilled to be back into nice clothing and sharing what I wore for the week with you. It’s been a very daunting roller-coaster ride because of the many interviews I had.  Hipster Jesus has been good to me!

I’ll be happy to share OFFICE clothing that will, once again, be worn.  This garb will be left for the weekends!

And that’s why I’ve been messing around with eyeshadows.  Since neutrals are my faves, I wanted to find a mix of the prettiest ones I could find.  Then I found out that MAC cosmetics has refillable palettes you can create yourself.  I like this idea.  Makeup Geek, an online company, also has palettes you can create as well.  The shadows, both from MUG and MAC, are $6.00 each.  The empty palette to hold four shadows from MAC is $8.00.  Not a bad deal.

I ended up creating two palettes—both neutrals with a bit of a kick. They’ll be great for work— if I’m running a bit late and don’t want to mull over a palette with 35 choices!

This is one of the MAC palettes I’ve created.  I’m wearing these shadows today.  

Here’s the other MAC palette I created.

Overall, I’m happy with the MAC shadows.  The are not as pigmented as I thought they would be; however, the less pigmented shadows are good for a subtle office look!

So that’s it.  Today’s look is with one of the MAC palettes and a blonde wig!  Hope you like!

I’m wearing the first Mac palette that is pictured.  My foundation today is The Ordinary Serum foundation.  On my lips is the Covergirl Outlast lipstick–a coral red.  Very simple.

Today’s eyes.  More subtle–a nice look!

Oh..I’ve been listening to nothing but funk for the past few days.  I created a funk station on my iPhone’s Pandora radio station and it’s great to listen to songs from the 1970’s!  Here’s Average White Band.  Pick up the Pieces!

 

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I’m Wearing Expired Makeup Today. And Like Jimmy Cracked Corn—I Don’t Care!

Because Roman is going to be using the upstairs guest room, and that’s also where I put my makeup on every morning, I decided to tidy up a bit.

This is the “hidden” dirt that came off my vanity. It’s painted black so it’s difficult to sometimes see where the dirt is!  This is all from eyeshadow and powders!

Then one thing led to another and I decided to go through drawers and clean—really clean.

I found Euros!!  But—they’ll be saved for our next visit overseas-I can’t spend them here.

This is a sampling of the euros I found!  I need to take a flight to France so I can spend this.  CityPharma please!

Also found—or rather, rediscovered, was a stash of old Trish McEvoy makeup.  I’m telling you, there is a reason that I’ve never trashed this.

In this case, is a bunch of overpriced stuff….read on…

I’ll tell you the story.

Oh…. about 12 years ago—possibly 13 years ago, I wasn’t feeling too great about myself.  My longest-divorce-in-the-State-of-New-Jersey hadn’t yet been finalized. Bonaparte and I were dating.  Oona was still in high school—her senior year.   I was living in a small apartment which was awful.  I was stressed and…well, if you’ve been through this stuff—you know what I’m talking about.

It was one of those weekends that I was visiting Bonaparte in PA and I decided to stop at Nordstrom.  I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a bit of makeup. My spirits needed lifting.

Now—understand, I had no money and was in serious debt at the time—but it didn’t stop me from doing what I’m about to tell you.

I stopped by the Trish McEvoy counter and a sales assistant must have sensed my vulnerability. She grabbed me and went into one of those “you-need-this-to-make-your-life-better” spiels.  I fell for it hook, line and sinker and before you know it, I purchased $400 worth of product and an overpriced case to house everything.

Some of the makeup is no longer with me—but the leftovers are in this case.  And it was hidden in the back of a drawer.  I took it out and decided to wear some of the eyeshadows and blush powders today.  All are expired—I mean, it’s been over ten years.

The best thing about this case is that it can store all my little samples. I forgot about this!

Powder blush and bronzer is no longer my friend but I managed to use it today.

I used the highlighter?  or is it blush?  whatever, I used that as an additional eye shadow.

How did it go?

I’ve been spoiled by other brushes because these ones are nothing to rave about–and they aren’t inexpensive either!

It went alright.  And I mean a solid alright.  Not great. Not bad.  Just average.

I have six shadows and eyeliners in here.  The shadows are not very pigmented!

The purple shadows, although everyone says are universally flattering—I’m not crazy about them.  Neutrals are still my thing.

I’m glad for the lack of pigment because I really don’t like “colored” eye shadow. I’ll stick to my neutrals!

Surprisingly, the bronzer and blush weren’t that bad.  I had to throw away the concealer because it was way too dark.

Truth?  I’ll keep the blush and bronzer for the summer when my skin is a bit sweaty.  

And I used some of the bronzer on my eyes.  I also used an eyebrow pencil.

Overall.  “Meh”–I do like the eyebrow pencil though!

Oh–and the reason that I kept this Trish McEvoy case and makeup was to teach me a serious lesson.  No makeup like that is worth $400. Not now. Not ever. Never.

And never ever purchase makeup when you feel bad about yourself.  Aggressive sales people will sniff you out the way a dog sniffs out a buried bone!  I’m not saying that all cosmetic sales assistants are aggressive—because they aren’t!!  But Trish McEvoy’s sales people are aggressive as all get out.  Even when I worked at Nordstrom, they were shameless.

I’m off to run errands now and pick up Roman.  Bread is baked and smells mighty fine!!!

What say you ladies?  Have you had experiences like this?  Let’s talk.

I’m listening to funk on Pandora Radio today.  Here’s some Atomic Dog—remember this?

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What Did I Do Today? What. Did. I. Do. Today? I’ll Tell You What I Did!

My loving husband came home from work a little while ago.  He wasn’t in the best of moods because he made a remark about the state of our stove—and I cleaned it.  His adoring tone seemed to be questioning if I did anything all day.

No. I did nothing except to lay around —what do you think I did?

So I’m gonna tell you what I did—because I don’t want to act the way I did when I was angry at my computer—remember that???

Now–tomorrow I pick Roman up at the train station.  He’s visiting for a few days and I’m giving him the King’s treatment.  He was at the Super Bowl.  Jimmy Fallon had a special show after the “This Is Us” episode that aired after the Super Bowl.  Then he had to catch a Six AM flight back to New York.

My son had to work into the wee hours after Super Bowl–and he had a blast.  He was telling me it was so much fun!

He had a great time and was thrilled that The Eagles won.  And he’s been working non-stop.  So, I’m making everything nice for him!

Saturday night, my step-daughter, her husband and their daughter will be coming over for dinner so it’ll be a nice little family gathering.

That means there will be a lot of food at Chateau Bonaparte!

I’ll get to that in a bit.

But first, here’s how the day rolled.

Got up at 6:30, enjoyed my morning cup of cawfee in bed like the princess I am.  Bonaparte makes the best coffee.  And while I enjoyed my morning drug, medication, caffeine fix, beverage, I made a list of what needed to be done.  Now—this was at 6:30 in the morning.

Funny how I’m not a coffee drinker at work or during the day but I NEED my morning cup to wake up!!!

At Seven O’clock, I was in the little guest room makeshift beauty room.  My makeup had to be looking good today because my passport needs to be renewed which means I have to have a new passport photo taken.  Naturally, while making myself presentable, I decided to swatch some samples of my newest Morphe eyeshadow palette.  I’ll be doing a blog post on this sometime soon.  Not this weekend though.

Procrastination at its best.  I was supposed to be applying these shadows to my eyes but played beauty blogger instead and applied them to the inside of my arm!

I had to make a decision on what hair to wear.  I wish you could have “various” or “it depends” next to Hair Color: ______.  Because I wear wigs, I have a varied assortment of fake hair color.  I decided to go with my Justine wig from “It’s A Wig” because this particular wig has strands of just about every hair color I own.  I even pulled a little of my *cough* “natural” black hair out in the front!

Why couldn’t THIS be my passport photo?  Seriously.  Wait till you see how the photos turned out.  Ugh. Leeeeeeeee!!!!

Next—the saga of the Boots from Hell continues.  BTW, thank you to everyone who suggested I get in touch with the Tory Burch company.  I sent them a nice email explaining what happened.  Gerardo, from Customer Service called me!  Can you believe it??  I was shocked.  Thank God I didn’t throw the boots in the trash. Instead, I threw them in the closet in the hallway downstairs.

The boots from hell are finally on their way back to their maker!!

Gerardo sent me an email with a label to send the boots back to Tory Burch in exchange for a gift card.  Works for me!  And—just my luck, my stinking laptop has no printer. I had to email the information to Bonaparte, he couldn’t print the label but printed a receipt. I had a scan to show the people at UPS so that was good enough. BTW, Gerardo is an exceptional customer service rep.  I’m writing a letter to let TB Corporate know how good he is!

Off I went. My wig in place and not shifting. My lipstick looks good. My boots from hell are in the box.  Chippy has been taken out and I stuffed a Kong with a ton of treats and peanut butter for him.

I got to the Rite-Aid to have my photo taken.  The woman was very nice in an authoritative kind of way.  She told me to take my glasses off.  I balked.  I explained to her that my glasses are my personality. Just like Alfalfa from the Little Rascal’s cowlick is his personality.

Image result for alfalfa's personality

Alfalfa’s personality is his cowlick.  My personality is my eyeglasses!

I took them off.

She had me stand in front of a white screen and trying to look my best, even though I couldn’t see a thing, I smiled.

She told me I couldn’t smile.  I explained that I look hideous in photos if I don’t smile.  She said the passport people want us to look hideous.

It was a true mug shot—but nonetheless, I didn’t care.  I was thinking of the letter I was going to write to the head of the passport department explaining that I should be able to use a selfie as my passport photo because I know my good angles.

I have to laugh at this photo.  I’m so cross-eyed that it’s quite sad.  Then there’s the jowls.  Please God. Please let me win the lottery so I can go to Hospital for Special Surgery to have my face lifted.  I’m special!

Next stop was Costco.  Bonaparte gave me very specific instructions that I was to buy the best beef tenderloin they sold. Not the $18.99 a pound one but the $22.99 a pound filet.  I was also instructed to get coffee.

I think this will be enough meat for five adults and one child.  I’ll take mine blue!

Now—I thought it very odd and eerie that there was no traffic this morning. It was as though I was driving through a ghost town.  Then I realized that today was the parade in Philly for The Eagles.  This lack of traffic has given me a new appreciation for Eagles fans.  They were all either lined up in Center City waiting for the parade to start or they were home getting ready to watch the parade on TV.

It was the very first time I’ve ever gotten parking space twenty feet from Costco’s entrance.  And when I made my purchases, I didn’t even have to wait on a line!

Next stop was Wegmans to load up on weekend food!   Again, I had to stop and give thanks to The Eagles.  The parking lot was empty and I buzzed through that supermarket in less than an hour. And I got a lot of food!

And more meat!!  This for the Gyros!!

I’m not done yet!!!!!  And even MORE meat!!

For tomorrow night, Roman has requested my Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and pasta.  When I arrived home, I cooked up the broccoli Rabe and the sausage, put it in a plastic container so that tomorrow evening all I have to do is cook the pasta, reheat the Rabe and sausage, mix and serve!

Chopped up the Broccoli Rabe, par boiled it and…

…took the sausage out of the casing, and cooked it with the veg.  It’s now in the fridge.  I’m making my dinner time-friendly tomorrow!

While the sausage/rabe was cooking, I made mushrooms in Cognac for Saturday night!

I bought the makings for Salmon Rillettes but forgot the white wine and surprisingly there was none at home.  Tomorrow morning I’ll head out to get the wine.

I’ll make the Rillettes tomorrow.  Ewww. I just noticed that the salmon is color enhanced.  WTF????

Pound cake is in the freezer for Saturday evening’s dessert but I made an orange-caramel sauce to drizzle over the slices.

Orange-caramel sauce.  I’ll slice oranges and drizzle this sauce over the sliced pound cake–it’ll look fancy!

Not one to be satisfied with one dessert, I also made a Nougatine.  This is a no-cook, put in the freezer and wait to serve.  We’ll have that on Sunday.

Pistachio brittle for the Nougatine.  It was fun pounding this into small, dusty pieces!

And not wanting to waste any part of the egg, because the nougatine is made with egg whites,  I made lemon curd.

I am a sucker for lemon curd..

All ready for the fridge. It kills me because lemon curd is so overpriced in the stores. It’s the cheapest thing to make at home. Got yolks?  Make lemon curd!

Speaking of Sunday—Roman has also requested the Gyros that we had over Christmas.  I picked up the meat, cooked it and now it is in the fridge taking in the garlic and herbs that will make it more flavorful when we are ready to eat it.

The worst part of making the gyros is pulsing the onions. After the onions are pulsed you have to place them in a kitchen towel and wring out the juice.  I was crying for fifteen minutes after that!

Remember the Rosemary bush I bought before Christmas?  Well, it dried out because I neglected it.  But the needles came off so easy and I was able to bag them. Now I have freshly dried Rosemary and I pounded this for the gyro meat.

Gyro meat ready to be cooked…

Sliced and into the fridge.  The flavors will all absorb and by Sunday–BAM!!!  This will be delicious!

I also made Tzatziki for Sunday.

Best Tzatziki is the stuff you make at home!

Now I am left to make the Rillettes, bake the bread, bake the Pita, peel and cook the potatoes and thinking of what veg to make for Saturday evening.

And that was my day.  It is now 5:00 PM.  I’m thrilled because it isn’t dark yet.  In fact, it isn’t even twilight!  And I never got to watch the Eagles parading through Center City.

Yes. I did all that in one afternoon!  I’m pooped now!

  And how was your day ladies and gents? Ever have one of those days where you’re doing a million things and then someone thinks you did nothing?  Fun times!

On the way home, I was listening to the radio and a song I absolutely used to love was played.  I started seat dancing and singing in my car.  Wild Cherry “Play That Funky Music”. The Seventies—such great funk music!  I miss funk!!

 

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I’ve Got All My Marbles!! Do You???

I’m not talking about those marbles—Lord knows, I’ve lost the marbles between my ears many years ago.  That’s why I march to the beat of my own drum.  Right now, I’m talking about a different set of marbles—and a quite beautiful set at that.

Have a seat.  Grab a cup of tea or coffee and I’m going to tell you about one of our very own Atypical60 neighbors–Vickie Jernigan. Vickie is the mastermind and owner/designer of the company allmymarbles,llc.  She is also a blogger and shares great DIY projects and other cool things like making your own wrapping paper on her blog Surf2create.

Hi Everyone!  Meet Vickie–friend of Atypical60 and an incredibly talented woman!

But I’ll tell you, she had me at the scarfs that she posted on her Instagram feed.  I was fascinated, intrigued and mesmerized.  And I asked her about the process.  One thing led to another and she sent me a scarf to review.

The scarf–when it arrived I was very excited!  Bonaparte was home and LOVED it as well.  He said the scarf is very “chic”!!

The scarf, marbled, is a gorgeous blend of white, robin’s egg blue, lavender and a light violet.  These colors are universally flattering and the beauty of the scarf is that it can be worn in a variety of ways.

The scarf was packaged so nicely with glittery tissue paper and these little tags! 

I could not wait to get to what was nestled under this tissue!!!

The light weight of the  silk fabric lends itself to be worn all year long.  In fact, I wore the scarf on a day when I needed a bit of luck—and it brought me the good.  I’ll tell you about that next week.

The length, 60 Inches by 11 Inches, makes it easy to wear it in a number of ways!

A variety of ways this versatile and beautifully marbled scarf can be worn.  I can’t wait to wear it as a headband during the summer.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Well, I was so curious about Vickie and how she started her company and how she went about learning this procedure of Turkish marbling that I needed to ask a few questions.   I present to you, Vickie Jernigan!

Tell us a bit about yourself.  Where did you grow up?  Your life journey….I grew up in Montgomery, Ala., where I lived after the age of two. I had no idea what I was going to study in college as I approached my senior year of high school until my school piloted a computer programming course for seniors. I absolutely fell in love with programming. I was the only girl in the class! And, when I was in school, boys didn’t take typing. The boys would peck on the keyboard forever to finish their work. There was only one computer, which connected to a computer network at a local college. Because I wanted more time to learn the computer language and play on the computer, I encouraged the boys to let me type their code. They were delighted to give me the opportunity because they despised typing! I continued my studies in computer science through college.  Prior to graduating high school, I met my future husband, Mike Jernigan.  We married in 1979 and I joined him in Auburn, Ala., where he was attending Auburn University. I worked in technology at Auburn until my early retirement in 1994, when my husband and our daughter, then age 10, sold everything we owned and moved to Grand Cayman, BWI. A technology support job provided us a way to move to the Caribbean. Just three short weeks after we moved to Cayman, the island was hit with a devastating category five hurricane, Ivan. The effects of the hurricane made things difficult for the next year, so reluctantly, my family and I moved back to Auburn. We loved the warm weather, the friends we made there from all over the world, and the outdoor lifestyle. We hope to move further south again one day.

Were you always creative?  Did you sew when you were younger?Yes, I had an aunt who was a seamstress by trade. She always had the most beautiful clothes. And, I admired her greatly. She is why I had such an interest in learning to sew. I learned to sew when I was in Home Economics during middle school. I very much enjoyed making my clothes at a very young age, always altering the pattern to do something just a little different. Instead of having someone else make my practice uniforms for school, I made them and saved hundreds of dollars throughout my majorette career. But, that was just the beginning of my sewing and interest in crafts. Through my young adult life I always had some type of craft project going, from cross-stitching to ceramics, and of course, I continued my sewing, especially while my daughter was growing up.

How did you get into making THIS Turkish type of marbling?  Was it an easy process to learn?As you see, I have always been a person who loved to create, even though my long-term career has been in technology. After my daughter moved out for college, with her permission I took over her bedroom as my craft room because I had always had converted closets or small utility rooms as my space to create. Everyone kept telling me I needed to start a blog so they could see all my creations. So, I started a craft blog, which can still be found at surf2create.com, even though it is in a state of hiatus at the moment. I enjoyed creating my crafts in my new space–mosaics, jewelry making, sewing, etc.

I was always surfing the Internet looking for different ideas for crafting to write about on my blog. I don’t even recall where I saw marbling, on Facebook, Pinterest, or just searching the Internet. But, wherever it was, I was just mesmerized with the process, the paints floating on the water, and the beautiful patterns that could be created.

Here’s a nautical piece–a marbled wooden anchor!! 

I watched several YouTube videos on the process and gave it a try. I didn’t receive the results I wanted so I found an online class where I could learn all the techniques and processes. Marbling is an amazing process. It is actually an ancient Turkish art form called Ebru. There is a lot of preparation before and after you actual throw paints on the bath. There are a lot of elements involved. And the atmosphere can cause havoc when working in a tank—in the bath mixture. I have marbled on paper, fabrics, and wood.

Marbled paper that Vickie has out for drying.

First is the bath. This is the water mixture I use as my canvas. The water has to be thick enough to allow the paints to float on top of the bath, but light enough so the paints spread when they hit the bath. This process is where the southern humidity changes the elements, which requires manipulating the bath to the proper consistency. Whether I’m marbling on paper, wood, or fabric designates which type of bath mixture I mix. Carrageenan, which is actually powdered down seaweed, I use mostly when marbling paper or wood. The other bath mixture I use for my larger tanks when marbling fabrics is made with methyl cellulose (MC).

Prep work–the paper tank.

Next, I must prepare what is to be marbled. I use aluminum sulfate, known as ‘alum’, mixed with water. It’s not the kind you purchase at the grocery store for making pickles because that spice has other fillers. I use a sponge to apply alum to paper or wood. But, with fabrics, you must soak them in the alum solution and hang them to dry.

Third, I mix my paints. There are different types of paints for this process, but I love acrylics. The process requires different acrylics that have the right consistency to float. Most of these paints require me to add water when mixing up the paints.

Look at all these paint jars!!!

And all these acrylic paints.  And you thought acrylics were just for manicures!

Now is the fun part, dropping paints one after another on the bath, my canvas. The paints expand and float one on top of the other. I use tools called rakes, combs, and a stylus to make detailed patterns. The paper, fabric or wood is then carefully placed on top of the bath and lifted off, bringing with it the beautiful patterns.

The beautiful Phoebe-Mae, in the tank…she’s having her spa bath…

And here she is–ready to be worn!

Fabrics must be cured by ironing, storing in a dark area, and then given a final washing to secure the integrity of the design on the fabrics. This last process takes a week while the fabric cures.

Do you have a studio—do you make the scarves at home?
Yes, my studio is located in the lower level of my home.  A pool table is where my tanks are set up. So sorry, no more pool playing at my house! And, I still use my craft room for preparing the products and handling my business affairs.

Another piece in the tank!

What do you absolutely love about this process?
That every single piece I design out of the tank is unique. No two pieces are the same. And, to see the paints float on the water. Again, it is mesmerizing!

Another pic of the paper tank!

What made you go into business for yourself!
Well, I don’t have enough closet space to store all the scarves I want to make! And, I want others to enjoy them. Marbling is not a well-known art form either. Having a business, selling my products and talking about marbling is a way to educate others on this amazing art form.

An assortment of finished scarves.  They are gorgeous!

When you design—do you have the “mature woman” in mind—or do you just let your creativity flow?I do let my creativity flow and sometimes the paints have a mind of their own and send me in another direction. But, the greatest thing about my scarves is they are conducive to any style and any age, depending on the colors and pattern! I have had women of all different styles and ages show interest in my scarves – from preppy, vintage, or bohemian to chic and business. And the colors! Wow! You can have bold and bright to soft and pastel. Plus, tell me colors you need for any outfit, and I can custom make exactly what you need in any pattern to fit your unique style.

More scarves!! Click on the link to Vickie’s Etsy shop below!

Tell us a bit more about your Etsy shop!!!!!!!!I just opened my Etsy shop at the end of January. Currently I am offering scarves in 9×54 inches and 11×60 inches, but I will be offering larger sizes in the near future. I plan on developing other product lines as well, from wood bangles to other fabric products. All kinds of fabrics can be marbled. So I’m playing with white denim currently that will eventually become bright, fun pillows! And, just like when I started sewing, always changing a pattern to be just a little different, I will be developing products that will be just a little bit different from the norm. My newest design is the double dip. It is a scarf, which is marbled twice. This process gives the scarf a lot more depth and makes it look multi-dimensional. They are just gorgeous and I can’t wait to design more of the double dips in the tank!

 What do you think of this bracelet?  It has such a “mod” 1960’s vibe! I’m looking forward to seeing these bracelets on the Etsy shop!

I’ve been wearing this beautifully marbled silk scarf quite often!  It’s great to have a unique and one-of-a-kind accessory that nobody else has!!

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Aren’t these Q & A’s fun?  I love sharing the talents of Atypical60’s neighborhood!  Take a stroll to Vickie’s allmymarbles, llc Etsy shop and let your fingers do the shopping!

It’s nice to support each other in all that we do.  Thanks for reading this and I hope you enjoyed learning about Vickie and her craft!

And thanks to Vickie for also sending me these great photographs!

 

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