I Got a New Whip!

No, silly.  Not that kind of whip.  I’m not that kind of gal!

Getcha mind outta the gutta!  I’m not that kind of girl!

I got a new car!  And one of my younger co-workers is teaching me slang words so that I’ll be hip!  And whip is just another word for car.

My new whip!  I’ll tell you all about it!!!

I’m the cool mom!

I AM that cool mom–and what she’s doing is the reason my grown children do NOT attend sports events with me!  I’m hip! And I got moves!!!!

Anyway, the lease on my RAV4 is up next month.  And my husband, in his pragmatic way, paid the lease off beforehand!  Now—I’m sure many of you know that I do not place cars in high esteem. (Read my post from a couple of years ago–It’s a CAR Monsieur Bonaparte! ) They are simply a means to get from Point A to Point B.  If I had my druthers and the cash to go along with those druthers, I would be living back in Manhattan in a very expensive apartment and would gladly be at the mercy of the NYC public transportation.

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A roll of these is the only set of wheels I need.  Unfortunately, subway tokens have been replaced with Metrocards!

But I lack both cash and druthers so a whip it is!

Let’s get back to the car that I traded in. Shall we?  There was some damage to the right side of the car.  I did not think it was bad but apparently it was bad.  I was sideswiped by a moving truck on the Schuylkill Parkway coming back from Philly. It was a hit and run and I couldn’t get the license number of the mutha who hit me.

I didn’t think it was that bad–but apparently it was.

When I got out of the car I did notice scratching on the front fender and later noticed more scratching on the right side of the car.  I’m also legally blind in my right eye and all my auto mishaps have happened on the right passenger side.  Bonaparte had a fit when this happened and I very bluntly assured him that I, his wife, was unharmed!

To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about the mess…

INSIDE the car….

…that would have to be cleaned out!!!

He was more upset about the cost of the repairs since the car would be traded in.

This is just another reason that I hate cars.

And as time grew of the essence and became closer to that time when I was supposed to start thinking about what kind of car I wanted I grew more and more agitated.

No! Not L8R.  NOW!!  It’s time to get a car now!

Here’s the great thing about a husband who is a car fanatic.  He offered to look at cars for me!  And my reaction was simply “Be. My. Guest.”  My loving Frenchman actually spent an entire day going to car dealers and left a deposit on a car—a Honda HRV.

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This was the one that I ALMOST got!  But didn’t!

He explained that the car was for his wife but I had extreme anxiety over shopping for cars and didn’t like the process.  God only knows what else he told the car salesman because Bonaparte came home two Saturdays ago with the Honda for me to test drive.  They let him drive it home to me to test!

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I’ll guarantee that my husband talked me up so that the car salesman thought…..

Be that as it may, I was rather annoyed that my Saturday of doing absolutely nothing but lounging like the princess that I am, was interrupted by having to take a test drive!

After a drive around the block and an adjustment of the seat Bonaparte asked me what I thought.

It kind of went like this:

B:  “Cassee.”  “Whah dew ou sink of zis cahr?”

Me:  “It’s fine”.

B:  “Ahr or com-feur-du-boul?”

Me:  “It’s fine”

B: “Do not forget mee” “An ‘some-tie-mez I drive zuh cahr”

Me:  “It’s fine”

B :“I put deposit on zuh cahr”

Me:   “That’s fine”

Later on we were talking about “zuh cahr”  and I found out there was no CD player.

B:  “I forgot to tell ou—zhayr eez no Cay-Day play-air in zuh cahr”

Me:  “Get the deposit back—I’m not driving any car that doesn’t have a Cay-Day player!”

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No CD Player???  NO DEAL!!!!!!

And so, my Frenchman went back to the Honda dealer, got the deposit back and went back to Mohammed, the Toyota salesman that we’ve been getting cars from for the past ten years.

There was much negotiation.  And the two men butting heads.

And in the end, I got my new car last night.  She’s a cutie but I want to touch base on just what is very important to me in a car:

My new Whip!  She’s real pretty! My little RAV4

  1. Stellar A/C.  I love having the cool, crisp air hitting me in the face after my car has been sitting in a sunny parking lot or spot for a good part of the day.  It’s very important—specially to keep my makeup from melting off.
  2. CD player. Yes!  I realize that CD’s are soon going to be a thing of the past and that many automobile makers aren’t making them anymore.  But what about all of us who have spent quite a bit of money over the years and have amassed quite the collection of music we love—on CD’s!  They are tangible.  I enjoy the process of searching through my CD’s and sliding it into the player and leaving it in there for perhaps a week or two because I’m too lazy to eject it!
  3. Bluetooth hath spoiled me.  I love it because I can talk on the phone without holding it.  That means I can pay more attention to the road. I’m serious about this.  Idiots driving with one hand because they are too busy holding their damned phones in the other don’t signal, they drive slower and they are just plain rude.  Bluetooth makes me a conscientious driver!
  4. Is it good on gas? This is extremely important to me.  It pains me to spend money to fill up my car.  Gas is expensive.  I would rather spend the money on wigs.

And she’s got some extra too:

Little “blind spot” mirrors on the side view mirrors.  Oona was hoping that my new car would have those because she thinks I’m a bad driver..

This “Beepy Thingy”  that lights up if I drift over from my lane.  THIS is great for when there is road construction and those temporary barriers are set in place. I have no depth perception and I’ve sometimes banged into them.  This will keep my safe!

Pretty hub caps.  I’m deeply shallow!

..And the CD player is there!  It’s all good! And it’s so clean!

And look!  I didn’t even throw my shoes anywhere in the car. I placed them in my tote bag!  I don’t know how long the clean part will last but I’ll try!

And that is it.  I don’t care about luxury cars nor do I car about fancy status symbol names in cars.  It doesn’t phase me.  But I do have to say that I’m very fortunate to have a husband who is so in tune with my   disgust of automobiles that he did the dirty work for me.  All I had to do was show up at the dealer and sign the papers.   He’s a good man!

I’m also parking my car far, far away from the office and the other cars in the parking lot.  Besides, walking from and to the car is the only excercise I get these days anyway!

My first new car selfie!!!!

So—what do you look for in a car?  Do you feel like I do—that they are overpriced pieces of machinery?  Do tell!

In the meantime–enjoy one of my favorite songs by The Cars–Drive!

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Life’s a Beach! No Matter Where You Go—So Enjoy It!!

You know that at this particular time for the past ten years, we’ve been on the ever-sunny and every-pleasant Côte d’Azur.  Our favorite pastimes there are relaxing at the pool and spending time at both the beaches in Cannes and L’Estagnol.

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Some go on vacation to get in touch with nature by hiking and doing that nature stuff. This is my idea of getting back to nature–relaxing and doing nothing by the pool in Theoule!

We ain’t there this year and that’s ok.  It gives us time and opportunity to revisit the great expanse of beach here in the Northeast.

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And YES!  New York City is home to some great beaches like Coney Island and The Rockaways.  (My dad was a cop at Rockaway Beach–the place I was born!)

If you grew up near a beach or any large body of water, then you are well-aware of the summer pleasure you enjoyed while younger.  If you still dwell within a decent drive to the beach, then you are also aware of the pleasure the ocean brings.

Photo taken by Anthony22 at Wikipedia

This photo brings back so many memories of Robert Moses Beach.  I grew up ten minutes away and spent many a summer day here from my grade school days all through high school.  Sometimes my friends and I would skip school in the spring just to spend an hour or two here.  My favorite beach of all time!

I can tell you this—as one who suffers from extreme anxiety, when I’m at the shore or any beach in particular, it’s the only non-medication that sooths my soul and calms my nerves.

Is it the scent of fresh clean air with a hint of saltiness to it?  Is it that salty, cool spray the touches your face like a feather as you bring your chair down to the ocean’s edge? Is it the sounds of waves crashing or the seagulls doing that bird noise that they make?  Or perhaps you enjoy watching a child experiencing either delight or fear at their first trip to the huge sea.  For me—it’s all of these reasons.

Yesterday, Bonaparte woke up early to a gorgeous blue sky devoid of any clouds.  The sun was out and bright and I swear I could hear the sun saying.  “I’m baaaaack”—after weekends of lousy weather.

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Yo Momma!  Daddy Cool is back in action and he’s hot!!

I was assured that all the necessary items such as towels, chairs and sunscreen were packed in the car. Bless my Frenchman’s heart.  But I still threw some essentials into my straw bag such as my sunglasses, water, and intellectual stimulation in the form of a book and trashy tabloid magazines (Don’t judge).

Yeah. Yeah. If I was royalty, I would have looked great after giving birth too!  But the REAL dish is Jennifer Anniston’s tool of an ex-husband Justin Theroux.  What a creep.  And the Star never lies *cough*!

After You. The sequel to the most tear-jerker book of all time, Me Before You.  This book is making me cry too.  I’ll be reading the NEXT sequel, Still Me after I finish this.  I’m telling you, I need to get to the beach every weekend just so I can read!

My cheap $7.00 Walmart watch never stops ticking.  The perfect beach watch because the band is rubber.  Take it off before swimming though.

Cheap two-buck hoops also from Walmart give a nice beach vibe to my ears!

I opted for a bikini instead of a one-piece because I wanted to get a bit of sun all over.  I shaved my thighed burns so I could sit any way I wanted too!

On my feet I wore my first-ever pair of Rondini sandals.  They are about ten years old now!!

And I wore a sleeveless coverup with pockets to finish the look off!

We dropped Chippy off at Doggie Day Camp and at a little after Seven in the morning, we were on our way from the Philly suburbs to the beautiful Jersey Shore town of Stone Harbor.

You’ll be happy once you are with your posse there Chippy! 

And away we go!!!!!! I’m the classiest passenger on earth.  Feet on the dashboard, the Frenchman mumbling in his native tongue that I’m dirtying up the car…it’s heavenly!

It was such an enjoyable day that I never got around to taking any photos after we unpacked.  But the umbrella was up, the beach chairs were unfolded, towels placed gingerly over the sand and it was time to bask in the rays and the warmth of the sun.

We arrived a little after 9 AM.  Look. At. That. Sky.  I wish every weekend day during the summer was like this.

The little trail to the beach…

Who’s that man and WHAT is he carrying?

Why…it’s BONAPARTE and he’s the only person I know who brings his own personal chaise cushion to the beach to place UNDER his beach towel due to the comfort level.  

I, on the other hand, am more of a beach bum. This and a towel are all I need!

We also noticed that nobody was tanned yet—I mean everyone at the beach had the last of the pasty hue.  And we blamed it on the extreme lack of gorgeous summer weather.  Usually by mid-June you can spot that one person who’s been working on their tan since mid-April; those who attended the George Hamilton school of tanning.  Or should I say George Hamiltan?

Ahhh..George HamilTAN! My husband could give him a run for his tanning.  

And FYI, this is the only sunscreen that was packed.  I believed my tanning god of a husband when he said ALL the sunscreen was packed. It wasn’t.  This was purchased in France and even though it works very well, I still want my Coppertone spray!

What also struck both of us was that the Atlantic was very calm yesterday.  Almost glassine.  A bit like the Mediterranean Sea.

This is the view from my umbrella taken a couple of years ago.  The water yesterday was even more calm than this. Oh my God. I love the Atlantic so much!

We talked about the difference between the Atlantic beaches we are so familiar with and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Atlantic has much wider beaches, where the Mediterranean’s sandy coast isn’t as wide.  The areas of France that we beach at have rocky surf.  You have to walk over the bumpy bed of rocks before hitting the soft sea sand.  But once you get to that point, you can swim and float and let the sea take you out what seems like miles before you get into the deep waters.

The beach at L’Estagnol. It’s calm and I kinda like swimming in it more due to lack of waves!

Not as wide a beach area but still very relaxing and swim-friendly!


The Atlantic isn’t as gentle nor is she as friendly.  She can be fierce with her undertows and her waves full of rage can knock you out and roll you around to the point of danger.

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Getting caught in waves like this can be a bit frightening and challenging!

Still, growing up on Long Island and spending time at Fire Island beaches and The Rockaways, you learn to respect the ocean.  You become aware of how you can handle both you and the sea.

You can spend the day stress-free with a good book.  There’s something special about bringing a book—an actual paperback book with pages that you turn and dog-ear.  It’s so much better than reading from a tablet.  The book may get splashed with the sea but it really doesn’t matter because the heat of the air will dry the pages in minutes.  The humidity can make the book expand—just like hair that gets puffy from the sea’s humidity.  But that’s part of summer!

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I’m in the 25th percentile.  I’ll only dog-ear MY books!  But it’s cheaper than a book mark!

And when you tire of reading, you can take your chair down even farther to where the waves break and can be mesmerized by the tide greeting you and then leaving you just as quickly. It’s a very relaxing feeling.

We had the best time—just the two of us.  It was one of those days that just made me happy to be with my husband because wherever we go, we make a great team.

BTW, I wore a wig to the beach yesterday.  Last time I was at Stone Harbor was the summer before last.  I still had enough hair that I was able to put it up in a topper with a messy bun.  Those days may be over, but I have to tell you, the wig I wore was beach perfect. It’s Lacey by Envy Wigs and the color is Toasted Sesame. She got sprayed with salt water, got sand in her, and remained in fine shape.  She even protected my head.  And I never felt uncomfortable!

Me  enjoying the sun under the umbrella and under my wig!

The seabreeze threw her around quite a bit….

And she remained beautiful–even upon leaving to go home! I got a lotta freckles yesterday too!  A lot!  

Amazon has accepted me as an influencer and I’m thrilled to be working with them.  And so, I’ve begun to create “Idea Lists”.  Today’s list is in connection with this blog post— Have a looksee on my Amazon store:  “Life’s a Beach”.  I ordered thesleeveless dress with pockets because it’ll make a great beach coverup—it’ll also be cute as all get-out!  Thank you and happy beaching!!!

One of my favorite Beach Boys songs (I have so many).  I don’t quite know what it is but the beach boys just go along with summer!

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Let Me Be Your Flight Attendant—Or At Least Give You A Couple of Travel Tips!

When I woke up yesterday morning and looked at the date on my phone, my reaction was “Oh Merde”.  It’s June 12th already!  And for a fleeting moment, I wave of sadness came over me.  But then it left quickly because I had to get ready for work.

No time to for a pity party!  I gotta get ready for work!

The wave of sadness was because at this date and time of year, my bags are packed and repacked and packed again because Bonaparte and I are getting ready of nearly three weeks in France. Our summer pilgrimage to the Côte d’Azur.  Theoule-sur-Mer.  Final destination Aéroport de Nice!

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I’m not gonna be at the pool in Theoule this summer…

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Nor will I be hanging in Antibes

This year we’re not going.  Mostly because I started a new job in February and getting that much time off just wasn’t in the cards.  Add to that, my husband really isn’t ready to head back to St. Tropez after the death of his dad.

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Some of my best memories at St. Tropez are the times we lunched with my father-in-law, Dany at La Ramade Restaurant!

If you are new to the blog, his dad passed away when we were there last summer.  Much of our vacation was spent spending as much time as we could with Dany before he passed.  And trust me, I’m not complaining about it.  It was a blessing to spend time with the rest of the Lartigue family because they are very welcoming to me.  (The Link to Dany’s Funeral: The Tropezienne Funeral—Or Don’t Rain on my St. TroParade Part Deux)

It was quite the beautiful send off. Before the church services, the mayor of St. Tropez gave a speech about Dany.

And as I brushed the sad away, I decided to have some fun.  I dressed in an outfit that I call “My Air France Flight Attendant” outfit.  Yes.  I wanted to look like the women who take special care of us while we are in flight.

Bienvenue et bonjour mes amis!  Café?  Téa? Ou Eau?

Out came my simple navy sheath dress.  I purchased this dress quite a few years back at the sale price of $7.00.  It truly was a TJ Maxx find!  Around my neck I wore a little faux scarf that I picked up at J. Crew Factory.  I kept it simple with pearl drop earrings and wore my favorite classic bob wig.  I felt as though I was ready to greet the passengers for a flight to Paris!  And it felt great!

In my little delusional world, I was an Air France flight attendant.  I’ve always wanted to be a flight attendant but there’s one obstacle.  I sort of don’t like flying too much!

When I arrived to the office, all I wanted to do was serve coffee, tea, and other beverages to my co-workers.  Why—I even wanted to offer them fluffy blankets, headsets and pillows!

I would also be so great at explaining what to do……..

We won’t be going back to France until November and our trip will not be a long one, but I’m looking forward to returning—in fact, I can’t wait!!

In the meantime, if you are traveling this summer and going to points a far or a near, I’ve got a few little tips for you.  Nothing life-changing but these are little things I always remember to do when going on vacation.

Leave the good makeup at home.  By that I mean don’t pack the luxury brands.  If you leave them behind at your vacation spot, or hotel, you will feel awful and in the long run, you’ll have thrown money out the window.  Bring drug store brands. Trust me, you’ll look just as beautiful with an inexpensive mascara as with a higher end.

I “made” this palette out of drug store brand “Essence”.  This is a great neutral palette to travel with!

Buy a phone charger to travel with.  Here’s the scenario.  You’re at the airport.  You are at your gate and you find out the flight has been delayed for two hours. To appease your anger and frustration you want to play Candy Crush but you realize that you forgot to bring your phone charger.  Do you really want to pay airport prices for a charger that you could have purchased at Walmart for a lot less?  You’re welcome!

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Travel or not, I carry one of these in my bag because you just never know when you need a charger!  Especially at the airport!

Makeup Remover/Diaper wipes.  Bring these.  And yes, you can use diaper wipes to remove makeup. If they are gentle enough for a baby’s butt, then they are gentle enough for your face!  But there’s another reason that I always travel with these—especially overseas.  Not everyplace you stay will have a supply of facecloths.  And even in hotels—the thought that other people were using those washcloths at one time is gross to me.  When I’m finished with a wipe that I’ve used on my face, I’ll wash it really well.  It’ll be my wash cloth for the next day.  Those wipes are strong and will not fall apart.  Maybe it’s just me but I swear those wipes make fine face/washcloths!

Bring these.  Or makeup remover wipes.  They multi-task as wash cloths!!

Two watches.  When I’m in France and when I was in Australia and Ireland, I wore two watches.  It’s important for me to know US time when I’m away so that if I want to call “home” to my kids or anyone else for that matter, I don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what time it is.  I wear one watch set to the country I’m in and the other watch is set to my time at home.  It’s also a great fashion statement!

Although some may think it odd, in my opinion, it is perfectly pragmatic to wear two watches when you travel to a lengthy time zone!

Tote Bag.  Traveling by plane?  A large tote bag is essential.  You can use it as your “purse” and carry a change of clothes (in case the airline loses your luggage), shoes, magazines, makeup—and even stick your regular purse in the tote!!!  Bonaparte is constantly amazed at the amount of stuff I manage to throw into my travel tote! It’s epic! Another reason you need a tote is because the grocery stores in Europe do NOT supply you with bags.  You need to bring your own. Use the tote!

One of my everyday totes. This one is by Tory Burch. It’s too expensive to bring on a trip. I ain’t impressing no one–I’ll bring the cheap tote with me!  (Actually I bring a few totes with me)

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I am the bag lady of travel.  I purchase a large bag when we are at Fragonard because I use it as a grocery tote when we’re away.  The Wythe tote–that’s my godsend for travel. It’s a beach bag, it’s a grocery bag and it holds six bottles of wine easily. I love it so much that I have two. The straw clutch stays home.

Cheap Hoop Earrings.  I can’t stress this enough. Do not bring the good jewelry when you are traveling.  If you are going to be swimming all day or sight-seeing all day, why would you want to schlep the fancy gems with you?  For around six bucks you can go to Walmart or Amazon and get a card full of hoop earrings.  If you lose a pair or three so what? Hoop earrings can go from extremely casual to totally dressed up!

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Inexpensive hoops are the ONLY way to travel baby!!!

Pens and a Journal.  You would be remiss if you did not bring with you, on your trip of a lifetime, or any trip for that matter, if you did not write about all the fun you had.  Journal.  You can write about the restaurants; what was good and not-so-good; shopping; the people.  Keeping a running log of the events you’ve experienced will bring back wonderful memories later on.  I’m not kidding. I’ve got journals that go back 13 years ago.  Every now and then, I’ll go back in time to my first trip to Paris when I met Bonaparte’s aunt, Daniele and I’m so filled with happiness and gratefulness that I had the experience.  It’s also a great reference for you.

My biggest regret? I forgot to bring these to Cincinnati!  It’s so important to journal ANY trip!

Tweezers. Yes.  Ladies.  Come on now.  You know why we need these.  If you wake up in the morning with a few lady whiskers and you do not have a tweezer, your entire day will be ruined.  There is no need to elaborate any further.

You do not want little lady whiskers sticking out of your chin when you travel. And those nasty little hairs have a strange habit of popping up at random times during the day!

Umbrella.  If not for anything else in this blog post, and if you are just going to get one thing from these tips, make it the umbrella.  The weather is fickle no matter where you travel.  Living in Manhattan for a good part of my life, I’ve learned to always carry an umbrella because you just never know.  This is where I would also say you want an umbrella that is also pretty decent and strong—not a two buck one.  My umbrella of choice is this Kate Spade number that’s on it’s third year.  It fits in my tote very nicely. People may laugh but you’ll have the last laugh when it starts pouring and everyone wants to come under your umbrella!

My favorite umbrella.  But I DO have a travel one as well!

Travel clothes.  When I’m on a longer flight, I like wearing comfortable clothing. That means knits—leggings a tee and ballet flats on my feet.  Or, a knit tunic dress.  I don’t like fussy dressing either when traveling because these days if you aren’t traveling first or business-class you are thrown into economy like a bunch of cows to slaughter.

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You can still travel in comfort and not be a slob.  I like a simple one like this or a knit dress.

Got downtime?  Sure, you do.  We all have that hour or two every day for some chill time—usually after a busy day and before dinner.  You can journal now …. or……….and this is a fun thing—if you are in a country where the language is completely foreign to you, go to a newsstand and get recipe magazines.  Try to translate the recipes.  You’ll do fine because there are so many similarities in the way the ingredients are spelled.  This is like a game and it becomes slightly habit-forming.

And reading these food magazines has helped me learn the language too!

Well, that’s about it!  I hope you enjoyed your time on my flight!! My flight to nowhere!! But it’s fun!

Here’s a little “Idea List” from my Amazon page that I created for this post.  Little Travel Helpers  just to give you an idea of what to carry along when you travel.  Have fun looking at it!

No matter where you travel, travel smart and have a great time!

Au revoir! And bon voyage.  Tell me where you’re going this summer because the only place I’m going to is the office!!!!

So Go-Go and have fun!!!!!!!!

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The Anthony Bourdain I Knew…

Was only through his writings and TV shows.  And through them, I felt as though I found a kindred spirit of sorts.

I tweeted this last night.  Yesterday was very difficult…

While the many real-life friends, co-workers, and acquaintances refer to him as “Tony”, I am but one of the millions of minions who just refer to him as “Anthonybourdain”.  And I feel like I lost a close friend when his delicate life ended two days ago.  I don’t cry at the passing of celebrities, but this was different.  I felt that same shock through the system that I have when those I knew personally had passed.

But I don’t want to be morose.  I want this post to be a celebration and fun post about this wonderful man who changed my views on food, travel, and a curiosity of culture.

Bourdain at Les Halles, the restaurant where he was executive chef.  Me, Bonaparte and my kids enjoyed many a brunch here.  The restaurant has since closed but the memories are alive!

This guy.  I first heard about him back in 2006.  I was going through my divorce and working at a local community bank in Pennington, NJ.  My co-workers all knew of my love of cooking and food—especially since I catered the Board Meetings.  One of my colleagues asked me if I heard of Anthony Bourdain.  I hadn’t.  Then she told me he was a food writer of sorts and had a food/travel show. The show was “No Reservations”.  She also mentioned that I would love Bourdain because he was a little edgy—like me.

Not just edgy, but we have similar cooking styles!!

And when I finally did watch the show, I immediately fell in love. His approach to the food and travel wasn’t usual.  He wasn’t the snob with that smug, self-righteous, condescending attitude who made you feel like less of a person because you couldn’t afford the exciting life that he was leading.

Far from it.  He was unpretentious.  He was humble.  He had a wicked sense of humor and irony.  He could be snarky without being mean or nasty.  He could shock in a non-offensive way. He was curious—almost with the curiosity of a kid.  He hung out with people that you knew he genuinely liked and loved.

His unpretentious nature came out best in one of my favorite episodes ever.  His No Reservations episode on Brittany.  It’s a classic and he was at an epic greatness!

And he knew his stuff.

When I read Kitchen Confidential I laughed out loud at some of the things he wrote about because I used to work in a restaurant in NYC.  Everything he wrote was spot on.

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Kitchen Confidential.  A great read and his style of writing will hold your interest!!!

And when I saw photographs of the younger, twenty-ish Bourdain, all I could think of was. “Damn, if I ever met him when I was younger, I would be in serious trouble”.  He was that bad boy so many of us, as young women are drawn to.  (Am I right—or is it just me?) He was that hot looking rebel.  He was the guy who you could possibly allow to take your virginity away—and even as a passing fling, he would still keep in touch with you over the span of many years because he knew it was special.

Bourdain on the far left.  I would have been in serious trouble if I met young Anthony!

He was the endearing rebellious bad boy.

He personified bad-boy charm…

And wore it so well.  Those eyes are saying more than “Want Sushi?”

And he was the endearing rebellious bad-boy man and we loved him for that!

Whether you are team No Reservations, team Layover or team Parts Unknown.  He had a gift.  And that gift was simplicity.  He never strayed far from that simple and to-the-point way about him.

It comes across so well in his TV series.

Some of my favorite Bourdain moments are…

His visit to Paul Bocuse in Lyon.  Bourdain was so humble that I started to cry.  I’m not lying.  That episode made me cry.

Zamir Gotta and Bourdain in Russia for Parts Unknown

And ANY episode with Zamir always made me laugh out loud.  I love these two together!

I forgot to add this Hare dish.  It’s on my “bucket list” of foods to master.

The seafood tower in Brittany.  “I want my seafood tower” is now a catch-phrase with me and my kids!

The Cajun Country episode of No Reservations made me want to high-tail it back to Louisiana for some pig-butchering!

And his visit to Montreal on Parts Unknown is another one of my all-time favorites.  These guys–Bourdain, Fred Morin and Dave McMillan were a trio of fun, comedy and great food! I want to go to Montreal and Quebec!

And the other thing is…through Bourdain, I’ve found great recipes to challenge my culinary skills.  Because of him, I found out about Chef Ludo Lefebvre and added his Snails in Parsley Butter recipe to my regular rotation.

Bourdain “introduced” me to Chef Ludo!!  And he’s a mini-Bourdain!

Image result for atypical60 escargot

And now this is a regular in the Lartigue dinner rotation!

Chef Daniel Boulud’s “Poulet A La Crème” is another dish in my winter rotation.  Without “discovering” Boulud through Bourdain I would have never found this recipe.

Image result for anthony bourdain daniel boulud lyon

I can’t find my photo of the chicken in cream sauce so you’ll have to settle for this pic instead!  Bourdain was a guy’s guy and he seemed loyal and true to those he loved!

And where would I be without the infamous “Salmon Rillettes” recipe of Eric Ripert?  I’ve even made it my own with the addition of dill!

Image result for atypical60 salmon rillettes

Thanks to Bourdain for introducing me to the world of Eric Ripert, Salmon Rillettes are now a staple in my house!

Image result for anthony bourdain eric ripert

The many episodes these two shared–Bourdain and Ripert–they could have had a team series!  They are the reason for our dinners at Frenchie restaurant in Paris!

And let’s not forget the best Beef Bourguignon recipe.  Bourdain’s!  Oona and I have made this together quite a few times on her visits home from college!

Image result for beef bourguignon anthony bourdain

This photo is from The Travel Channel’s Bourdain recipe. I can’t find a pic of mine but trust me, it looks just like this!

Of his visits to France, the Paris episodes of NR and The Layover are counted with my  favorites because they bring memories of the city back to me and make me giddy that I’ll be returning.

I loved watching him read excerpts from a French rule book, eating pain aux raisins and relaxing at Canal St. Martin.

And because of Bourdain, my “travel bucket list” has grown substantially.  I never get to those places but he’s brought them there to me.  Bonaparte refuses to travel to Brittany because he says “the weather is merde” Does my Frenchman not realize that we live in the Northeast of the USA where the weather is crappy 75 percent of the time?

Image result for no reservations brittany episode

Alright.  Maybe it IS a bit overcast in Brittany. But I still want to go there because of Anthony Bourtain.  And I want my seafood tower!

Bourdain put a smile on my face and brought a sentimental tear to my eye and gave me a sense of wanderlust.  He’s given me both delicious food for the palate and food for thought.

And he even got to spend time with THIS guy!  Look how happy both are!!!

He will be missed by a world full of admirers and people like me who only knew him as we saw him on TV or read him through his books and writings.

There’s a whole lotta hurt going on throughout the world today. It’s not going to end in a day or two either. Rest in eternal peace Mr. Bourdain. You’ve touched us all.

I saw this illustration on Instagram this morning.  The artist is Carlos Tourné and when I asked for permission to put it on my blog, he granted it.  The illustration was shocking to see at first, but then—I saw it as a perfect definition without words.

I have to say, when I first saw this I was shocked.  Then when the shock wore off the reality came through. This illustration says it all.  

So please.  If you notice that a friend or relative isn’t their usual self or has changed or seems like they are having a difficult time, reach out to them.  If you are feeling down or depressed or need someone to talk to please call 1-800-273-8255. Nobody should have to cross over that fine line to the end.

Here’s a little video clip of the Parts Unknown episode of Lyon. This is one of my all-time favorite Bourdain moments! Bourdain and Boulud are having lunch in a school with second-graders.  Don’t be jealous of their lunch!!!

This is one of the ways I want to remember Bourdain. And he had the curiosity of a child!

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Come Get Ready With Me! A Guide to the Over 60 Everyday Face.

Ok…I’ve gotten a few requests asking me to do a tutorial applying makeup.  I thought about doing a video and the thought is still lingering.

You can see how I went from plain, no brows, discolored skin to a more even and polished look.  

But in all honesty,  because of the unforgiving lighting in the little room where I get ready in the morning, I thought it would be so much better to do a blog post.  Frankly, I’m sick and tired of women over 50 and 60 and in general using filters when it comes to beauty.  Our faces are not filtered in real life and you know that I’m very transparent. I also jumped at the opportunity to do this while my face was affected by morning allergies.

No filter.  No great lighting. This is me before I apply my makeup.  

So—without further ado, brace yourselves because this is no five-minute makeup routine.  I take my time.  I’ll drink a cup of coffee while I’m getting ready and this is my “me” time before heading out to work—or on the weekends to run errands.  I like to look human.

First of all,  I apply serums and creams in the evening and in the morning, I only use warm water to wash my face.  Then I apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Any moisturizer will do and I follow up with a Primer.

Let’s do this ladies!

Today I used Hard Candy’s Primer. It’s around  $8.00 at Walmart and this is one of the primers that I repurchase regularly.  I apply it over my face and it sets in while I do my eyes.

With the primer applied to my face, I head for my holy grail of eye brightener.  Well-Rested by bareMinerals.  If you are a regular reader of the blog, then you know I’m never without this.  The funny thing is that I don’t have dark circles under my eyes, but I use this to get rid of the shadow above my lid and in the corner of my eyes.

bareMinerals Well-Rested.  I’m starting to run low–I’ll have to run to the mall next weekend and pick up some more. I apply with a medium sized flat bristled brush that I’ve had for years. 

I apply the Well-Rested in the corners of my eyes where my skin is a bit blueish.

And also all over my lid to get rid of any shadowing.  This also makes a great base for the shadows that will follow.

Now it’s time for shadow.  Today (actually it was yesterday when I did this), I’m using that cute palette that I made last week.  The shadows from Essence.



I’m starting off with “Cotton Candy” under my lid but any light shade will do. And contrary to what “they” say, a satin or slightly shimmery shade looks much better than a matte shade!

Next, I take a fluffier brush and apply a transition shade.  MAC Quarry is my favorite but the Essense Mauvie Time is an exact dupe!!

Always tap the excess shadow from the brush to prevent fallout.  When I apply the shadows I tap into my lid rather than swipe because of the crepeiness.  Plus, it’s easier to build up the color more by tapping the shadow into the lid or crease.

When I’ve built up enough shadow to my liking, I’ll go in with the Morphe blending brush and blend, blend, blend to get a softer look.This Morphe brush is great for blending.  In fact, I am pretty fond of all the Morphe brushes I have.

See?  All the shadow has been blended so softly and evenly!

For a little more definition, and because I wear glasses, I’ll go into the outter corners with a darker color.  I’m using Steel The Show which is a perfect dupe for Urban Decay’s Pistol and eighteen dollars less expensive.    But I still blend!

Steel the Show–slightly metallic, which is great because matte gray colors look dreadful on me!  This is a nice shadow.

Layering the shadows also creates depth and when you wear glasses, that helps!

Next up–Brownielicious.  I use a foam tipped applicator to apply this to line my bottom lids and add a touch to the outter corners as well.  These Essence shadows are really amazing and at such a budget price!!

Many pooh-pooh the foam-tipped applicator but boy, it is good for lining lids!

Lids almost done…

And it’s time to wipe any residue or fallen shadow from under my eyes. I always have either diaper wipes or cleansing wipes handy.

I’ll also spritz some of this facial spray both before applying foundation and after!

Brows are next.  Trust me, it’ll all come together.  I use Anastasia’s Dip Brow because, quite frankly, it’s the best brow gel product on earth and it lasts forever. I’ve had this little jar for over two years now!

The Dipbrow has seen better days but I have a brand new one that I’ll use when every bit of this is gone.

I love a dark brow but I don’t like a too-thick brow.  For me, doing the brows is the most challenging part of my routine!

Brows are done and things are starting to look better!

Time for mascara and liner.  She how blotchy my skin looks close up?

My mascara of choice these days is Get Big Lashes by Essence.  This stuff–it’s so fantastic.  It really thickens the lashes!

At $3.99 a tube, this is better than any high-end mascara I’ve ever purchased!

Let’s face it. As we age our lashes aren’t what they used to be. As long as the mascara thickens and darkens properly. I’m happy.  I don’t have time to putz around with false lashes during the week.

The ol’ broad is starting to look human again.

Time for liner.  I’ve stopped lining my lids because I’ve found it makes my eyes look smaller and on those “allergy” days when my eyes are puffy and more hooded, they just don’t look good.  Instead, I tightline.  That is going very close to the lash line UNDER the top lid’s waterline.

I use an e.l.f. eyeliner and shadow stick in Black Smoke. This is an excellent product.  I linked it on my Amazon.com page which I’ll link at the end of the post!

Eyes done. Now it’s time for the face!

Today I used the Wet n Wild Cushion Foundation. I’m such a fan of this because it is so incredibly hydrating and that is a delight for pro-aging skin!

To make it MORE hydrating, I add a drop of Argan Oil (The Josie Maran is a sample. I’m not spending $48 bucks on any oil. I just ordered The Ordinary Argan Oil from Amazon and paid twelve bucks!)

A drop of oil right onto the cushion..

I press a foundation brush into the cushion (the brush I use is from iT Cometics and I’m annoyed because the brush is separating from the handle)

And I apply!

Now–here’t the secret to getting the foundation to look like a second skin. After applying the foundation, I literally “buff” my face with a big buffind brush. It’s like buffing fingernails.

Buffing the foundation…

I’m not done yet….

After buffing I take that cleansing/diaper wipe..

And I press the wipe into my face to blot any excess.  Do you have any idea how hard this is to take a photo when the glasses aren’t on?  I’m friggin’ blind as a bat–LOL!!

Look at the excess that came off!

Now it’s time for concealer. I happen to like concealer because it gives my uneven skin more of an even finish and it brightens.  My hand to God–I swear this MAC concealer is the best I’ve ever used for coverage.  I have basically stopped using anything else during the workweek!

A half pump gives you..

All this coverage and trust me when blended it doesn’t look caked on.  I blend the bejesus out of this with a very damp blending sponge (sorry I forgot to take a photo). I use my Real Techniques blending sponge.

Now–take a good look-see. My wrinkles are still there.  They aren’t covered, yet the foundation still looks fine and my skin looks more even and brighter.  It’s about even and brighter looking skin.  You cannot stop the aging process so ’tis better to embrace it!

During the warmer months I don’t do a contour but with this new cream contour palette and with me showing you how I do my face, it seemed like a good thing to do.

This palette.  I can’t even because it’s just so damned great!  The creamy texture is a pro-aging woman’s best friend!

Because it’s so creamy, I applied this taupe contour with my finger..

And used this inexpensive three-dollar contour brush to blend.

The contour is applied right under my cheekbone and blended in very, very, very, very, very well.  You want a “shade” of color to create a slimming shadow!

Let’s get cheeky now!

Next a coral cream blush by Stila..

And ever-so-lightly I apply and brush in little circular motions on the top of my cheeks.

Almost done. I swear!

Next for fun, I’ll take a little highlighter and

Apply under my eye!

Almost done!  The only thing left is bronzer, which I passed on and lipcolor.  Lipcolor is applied after I put a wig on and after I get dressed because I’m a natural born slob and I get lipstick all over. I’m not kidding.

Why wear one lipcolor when you can wear four?  Seriously, I always mix colors. Today I’m going for a caramel/pink so we’ll see what comes out of this!

Hair on, dress on. I always line my lips in a neutral lip pencil.  It’s stops the lipcolor from bleeding.

And that’s it.  Overall, it takes me about twenty five minutes to do my face because I dawdle.  I drink my coffee and check my phone and I play Candy Crush Saga.  But the difference that makeup does for pro-aging skin is really a beautiful thing. I look like me but a better version of me. Isn’t that what we all want?

Look closely to the left of the bottom of my mouth. See what a slob I am?  Smeared lipstick. I have no idea how that happened either! But it did!

See?  We don’t need fiters.  To the left is a popular filter that so many women use to rid themselves of any imperfections but you can’t see the face. I’ll take my bumps, spots and wrinkles and work with them!  

I wore the maxi dress from Marshalls and everyone at work loved it…

But—But….it was this dress that got a gazillion compliments today.  I am so glad I went back and got this striped bodycon midi!

This dress is definitely a crowd pleaser.  My Frenchman even pinched me!  Oh lala!!

Here’s the link to many of the products I used in this blog post:  Products On My Amazon Page

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you do want a video because I’ll definitely make an effort to film one this weekend!

Here’s today’s look which is basically the same as yesterday’s except I have on a lighter wig. I’m wearing Violet by Estetica Designs.  You know- I like the lighter color better for the warmer weather.

PS.  I want to thank everyone who suggested I do this post because it’s important to me to show off our aging skin. It’s important to show that you do not need filters.  It’s important to come to terms with the aging process so thanks for pushing me to to this.  I appreciate it and always love when I get suggestions from you!!!

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


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My Consistent Inconsistency —Is it Just Me???

Why is it that I start out gung-ho with my weight loss plans, and then something happens to send me off the wagon? Is it just me who does that?  Am I the only one?

Yeah!  Why am I?  Why am I so consistently inconsistent?

Seriously.  It’s like Roseanne Barr blaming Ambien for her racism.  I should blame M & M’s for my fat ass.

Hey you guys–and Greenie!  Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m NOT blaming you for my weight issues.  Although I do have a tendency to eat way too much of you……..

But I don’t.  I take full responsibility for my actions regarding food.

The fact is that I love food.  I love cooking and food is more than a meal to me.  Food is enjoyment.  It’s that Holiday meal that you share for hours at the table with family and loved ones. It’s that three-day weekend where you have cookouts and barbeques with your friends.  It’s the birthdays and graduations and life events that end up centering around food.

It’s the freaking 3/4 of a BAG of these chips I ate because I got “sad” when Roman left us to go back to NYC.  

And I need to realize that I’m a bit over-the-top when it comes to this subject.  I got on the scale this morning after three weekends of wonderful times with the kids and with Bonaparte! I’m five pounds heavier than three weeks ago.  And I’m thoroughly disgusted with myself.

Trust me. When I was at Oona and Sam’s I finished off an excessive amount of these.

I ate my way with gusto and pleasure through Cincinnati when I went to visit Oona and the next weekend I still managed to enjoy the gastronomic pleasure of escargot, steak and other delicacies.  Last weekend when Roman came to visit it was Salmon Rillettes, more steak, Béarnaise sauce, Pina Coladas, home-baked bread and enough corn chips to go around the circumference of the earth.

I don’t even want to begin to count the POINTS in the Pina Coladas I made!  Apparently the sugar from the coconut cream, pineapple juice and rum, stays in your body doing very bad things after you drink these.  Going pee-pee doesn’t get rid of the sugar weight gain!

And today I feel guilty.  I feel like a liar because I’m kind of a bad blogger to not be so diligent.

But no fear!  I’m back on track.  Last night I had bad gas pains because it’s been a while since I made spicy Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken.

Image result for atypical60 vietnamese lemongrass chicken

Most likely the healthiest food I’ve eaten in the past three weeks! But it gave me gas!

Bonaparte, being the loving husband, he is, made me an Alka Seltzer, and like Scarlett O’Hara, I looked forward to the “another day” of tomorrow.

scarlett ohara GIF

Hey there Scarlett–don’t you give me the side eye!  I’m just like you!

So, today is tomorrow and now that tomorrow is yesterday (are you following?) so it’s back to being diligent and counting points.

This evening I’ll have a turkey burger with sliced tomato on a Flat-out bread. One of my favorite vegetables, broccoli will be served on the side and for dessert, a healthy helping of fresh strawberries.

Look!  Only two points!  Now to turn this into a burger bun…..

Let’s hope that the 2018 tomatoes have flavor!!!

A most healthy dessert and no points!!!

I have cucumber and Laughing Cow cheeses as well as Melba Toasts for my lunch during the work week.

I’ll slice the cukes,  and place them atop the Laughing Cow cheese that is spread on the Melba Toasts!  Just like in the picture on the box!

Now that I’ve come clean about my inconsistency, I’m feeling much better!

It’s a cloudy Sunday and the weather has cooled down to a brisk 64 degrees.  It’s funny because 64 degrees is only “brisk” during the summer months.  Had the mercury hit that number during the winter, it would be “unseasonably warm”.  Am I right?

Because my husband was so good to me with the Alka Seltzer, I decided to wear black hair today.  Well, it was also because of a bit of melancholia over missing my natural hair.  Something hit the emotional button this morning and I just really missed that mop o’ hair that I used to curse due to it’s unmanageability.  I grabbed an oldie but goodie out of the bowels of my wig collection and plopped her on my head.

I went with dark hair today. Just like the hair I was born with–sort of!  I forgot how great this Bobbi Boss “Millie” bob wig is.  Maybe I’ll order her in a lighter color!

After this bout of sadness, it was time to get moving.  My nails were so disgusting that I finally got a proper manicure.  Kim cut my nails down because it allows for a healthier growth—besides, I type all day at work and long nails mess me up.  And—a fresh coating or three of my favorite Big Apple Red and I was off to run errands.

Phew!  Once again, the hands are looking like those that the Lartigue men find so appealing.  Well-manicured with red polish!

You know, I hadn’t been to Marshall’s in ages.  When I worked around the corner from the store, it was a regular “stop-by-on-the-way-home” for me.  It’s in the same shopping complex as the Walmart I drive to and it was time to revisit.

Now, I have enough clothing for the summer but it’s always nice to pick up an item or two to add to the mix.  And sometimes you never quite know what will end up in your shopping cart.  Since I had time to kill and no place special to be, I roamed around and tried a few things on.

The shirtwaist dresses that tie in front have always been of great interest to me. I love them but have never seen any in stores—just on women passing by.  When I saw this Calvin Klein number on the clearance rack for $20, I couldn’t help myself.  I tried on the 8 and the 6.  Why didn’t they have an in-between size?  The 8 was just too big and the 6, although it fit better—had the same issue so many dresses do.  The waist was cut too high.  It would have been a wasted purchase for me because I would be tugging down on the waist all day.  Again, this would have been such a great dress if the waist was more long-torso friendly.

This dress though.  Man, if the dress hadn’t been so short-waisted, it would have come home with me.  What a shame–but I just can’t see buying a dress if I’m constantly tugging and pulling at it!

Next was a striped body-con midi.  I LOVED this dress and I’m not a midi person but there was something about the cut that was so appealing to me.  At $14.99, I’m sitting here writing this post and I regret not making the purchase!

Regrets, I’ve had a few–and this is one of them.  I loved this one but passed!

Here’s what I did add to my wardrobe.

A black and white striped jumpsuit.  Now this came as a massive surprise because jumpsuits are way out of my comfort zone. But I have to say, this jumpsuit is so light and is cut so nicely and has pockets!! It came as a shock at how much I loved this and at $19.99 the price was too good to pass by.  The top is a more classic cut and my concern was the length of the pants.

This could have been a tad more long-waisted, but the blouson top rescues it!  I freaking LOVE this!!!!

And then I realized something; which is why you should never throw anything away.  I have a pair of shoes that are over ten years old that I’ve only worn once, and I love.  They would be a perfect match for this striped beaut.

Proof that it pays to hold on to things.  These shoes will be perfect for the jumpsuit!

I’ll be wearing this to work during the week.

The other purchase, another $19.99 fantastic find, is a short-sleeved maxi dress.  A proper short-sleeved dress is very difficult to find.  For some bizarre reason, short sleeves are, for the most part, so short that they are almost the hideous cap sleeve.  Not flattering on the pro-aging arms.  However, this dress had those coveted short sleeves that every short-sleeved article of clothing should have!  Add to that, the dress has slits on the sides making movement more comfortable.  I absolutely adore this dress and know it’ll get a lot of wear into the Fall!

Look at those sleeves!  And the slits are very becoming because they don’t go up all the way. Very pro-aging friendly and I prefer a maxi to a caftan anyway.  With sandals or my white low-top converse sneakers this dress is a great casual Friday dress!  

Oh!!  And guess what else?  You know the Essence palette I wrote about in yesterday’s blog post?  Where I compared the Essence “Mauvie-time” to Mac’s “Quarry”?  Well, that little palette I created has another fantastic dupe—yes it does!!  The shadow “Steel The Show” is an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s “Pistol” (And if you are a regular reader of this blog you are very much aware of the condescending email Urban Decay sent me and therefore I have stopped purchasing any of the brand’s products).

Essence “Steel the Show” on top.  Urban Decay’s “Pistol” on the bottom.  Where’s the difference? Both have excellent pigmentation and I’m wearing “Steel the Show” today.  Check it out in the photo up top of me in the wig!

Pistol comes in at the price of $20 for 0.05 US oz. of product, where Steel the Show costs $1.99 for 0.06 oz. of product!  That’s a huge price difference!

The past week flew by. Being off on Monday really made that work week short.  And I’m lucky to work for a large corporation with an office casual dress code but I think this coming week, I’ll dress up a bit more! Here’s a look at my casual work looks from the week.

Tuesday and back after a three-day weekend!  It was very casual–or rather lazy dressing!

Wednesday and a favorite white skirt from Uniqlo that I bought on sale for practically nothing either last year or the year before.  A fitted striped shirt and ballet flats and I felt like Bardot!

I was too lazy to shave my legs on Thursday so I wore an old pair of J. Crew Minnie pants paired with a ten dollar top from Old Navy from last year.

Just in case anyone forgot what day it was, I wore this to remind my coworkers that it was Friday!!  J. Crew Factory has been stepping it up with some great items.  Both the tee and skirt are from there!

My girlfriends Linda and Sandy both suggested I do a post with a step-by-step on how I apply my makeup. What do you think?  Promising idea?  I think it’ll be fun so this week I’ll be concentrating on how I do my everyday makeup.  Post to follow….

Have a great Sunday afternoon and evening and an even greater week to come!


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More Summer Makeup Goodies For You! And My Very Random Saturday!

Bonaparte has gone to his Dermatologist for his skin check and I’m hoping all is well.  He’s had Melanoma twice so my fingers are crossed that my sun-loving Frenchman is clean!  Update as I’m writing this.  He’s fine and so fine, in fact, that he’s catching rays now on the deck.  Oy vey!

I’m not even going there right now–I’m just happy my Frenchman has a clean bill of health.  I’ll stick with the fake tanner for now though!

I’m sitting here imagining myself sitting under a big ol’ shade tree on a chaise, reading a book and enjoying a cool glass of home made lemonade.  That vision came to me this morning while going through my Instagram feed when I spotted this photo.  I reached out to the woman who posted this (I also follow her, and she said there was no need to mention her) to ask permission to post this pic because I love it that much! This photo literally made my eyes mist because it reminded me of a shade tree in the yard of the home I grew up in.   Why am I so weird?

This photo though–it makes me miss having a yard and I’m, at heart, a city girl!  Can you just imagine sitting here with a great book?  I’m so in love with this visual right now!

The weather report for a rainy day is, once again, wrong. It’s sunny and hot outside but I can assure you as soon as we head outside this evening for our aperitifs on the deck—that’s when the rain will make an appearance.

You know—how come if we make errors or mistakes in our daily work, it isn’t a good thing and too many errors can lead to job loss.  However, meteorologists are wrong 75 percent of the time and their jobs are secure. Am I right???

vanessa bayer what GIF by Saturday Night Live

Yeah. You know WHAT!  You messed up the weather report. AGAIN!!

Anyway, you know that little guest room where I put my makeup on and store my wigs?

My little corner of the beauty world. And yes–I place my wigs upside down on the styrofoam heads.  The become fuller that way!

Well—I have this awful habit of being clumsy. And that means I spill and drop stuff. And that means I spill and drop makeup on the carpet.  Oh, how I despise carpeting.  We almost didn’t move into our chateau because I hated the carpeting that much.  But we ripped some of it up and replaced with hardwood and I long to rip the remaining carpet from the rest of the house and replace with hardwood.  But it’s expensive as all get out so I’ll have to just save up!

And this morning, I got down on my hands and knees with dishwashing liquid, water and a nail brush and scrubbed those little spots out.  My new name is Cinderella Lartigue! I feel so much better though now that the carpet is cleaned.  I mess it up more than Chippy does!

Before and after.  Lordy miss Claudy how I hate carpeting!!!

I was planning to film a YouTube video about a new wig and summer makeup and when I looked at my nails, I realized that I must wait.

They are disgusting. I don’t wear nail tips but have acrylic brushed on my natural nails because they are really brittle.  I couldn’t get squeezed in today so tomorrow morning I’l be at the salon getting my nails done.  I’m pretty bad!

I read one of my favorite blogs after I got down on all fours to scrub–I needed a rest.  The blog?  Not Dressed As Lamb.  Do you read it?  I really enjoy Catherine’s writing. She’s an honest woman with great views and great reads.  But the funny thing is that she did a post on the natural face!  I’m telling you great minds think alike.  Read this post–In Praise of Natural Makeup. 

Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb in her natural beauty. Oh to be in my forties again.  But I’m not so I deal with it!

So, to elaborate on more Summer goodies for the face, I stopped at Ulta yesterday on my way home from work.  Now—you are all most likely well-aware that Ulta is not my favorite store due to the sales non-help.  But—the selection of budget-friendly cosmetics is excellent, and I thought I would putz around and pick up an item or two.

First off, I headed to the non-budget area to see if iT cosmetics had the Lip Serum in the color “Love”. It was nowhere to be found.  Then I spotted the Vitality Flush Reviver Lip and Cheek Stain in one of my favorite shades ever “Je Ne Sais Quoi.”  I had this in the past and forgot about how much I liked it.  Into the bag it went.  And I’m glad I threw it in there.  The flush it produces on the cheeks is a beautiful pink and blends well into the skin.  It’s a creamy stick so it’ll be worn more in the cooler months than in the summer simply because the humid weather tends to melt the creamy products that I’m fond of.

My high-school buddy, AnnaMarie Simonetti got me hooked on iT lip flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi and I’ve been a fan of the lip/cheek products ever since.  This is a repurchase and I’m glad that I made it! It really gives off a natural flush!

Speaking of creamy products, I headed over to the budget section and made a stop at Makeup Revolution’s section.  Are you familiar with this brand?  I’ve written about their shadows and for the price, the products are great!  And on Instagram, I saw a little video of someone using the Cream Contour palette and was intrigued.


….is insanely creamy.  

The last one was that was in the store went right into the bag!  I must tell you. This morning I used this to see how creamy it is, and I was shocked!  This is akin to milk chocolate that’s been left in the car on a sweltering day and you open the wrapper and eat it anyway because it’s so good (don’t judge now).  This is that creamy!

Yes. I have and the contour is as creamy as this!

And it blends so well.  The palette cost $12 and was worth more if you ask me.  Again, I’ll probably save this for the winter but on those dry and cool summer days or date nights, this will be used.  The blendability is beautiful and the highlighting shade is incredible.  I’m completely impressed by this.

I applied some of this super-rich and creamy contour on my wrinkly-crinkly face…

And it blended in beautifully.  This contour palette is an A+ product!

And while perusing the aisles, I came across a tube of lip gloss.  The brand is Lottie London and I saw a shade that looked very similar to iT’s “love”.  Into the bag it went, and I couldn’t have been happier with the $6 and change purchase!  It’s a matte but with the addition of a clear gloss it’s a spot-on dupe for Love and a lot less pricey!

On the left, iT cosmetics Serum gloss in “Love”  on the right Lottie London Slay All Day gloss in Hun.  Yup. They are very similar!

BTW, that nude color I had in yesterday’s blog post–here it is..

I primed my lips with it and went in for the kill with..

The Lottie London Matte Lip Gloss to which I applied a clear shinier gloss. This is an exact dupe for  iT’s Love!

The Essence Cosmetics was very handily next to Makeup Revolution.  The temptation was too much. I picked up another mascara and couldn’t resist making yet another palette.

Good God.  I took my wig off and look-immediate shedding of the bio hair!  Welcome to . my life!  Anyway, here’s the palette I made.  Another palette of summer neutrals.  From left to right.  Brownielicious,  Mauvie-time , Steel The Show, Cotton Candy.

The notable thing that I discovered while making this palette is that the shadow “Mauvie-Time” is the perfect dupe for my beloved MAC “Quarry” shadow.  MAC raised the price of their refillable shadows to seven dollars up from six.  The Essence refillable shadows are $1.99 each—ok?

Shadow at the top is Essence’s Mauvie-Time.  On the bottom, MAC Quarry.  I can’t spot the difference. Can you?

And are very pigmented and blend beautifully.

This look from that palette.  These are excellent shadows!

In fact, I have the shadows from this palette on my eyes today!

For good measure I also grabbed the last of the Number 441 Morphe blending brushes. This is going into my travel bag.  At $6.00 this brush is the only blending brush you will need when it comes to eyeshadows. It does the trick so well. Two of these are better than having one!

If you purchase but one brush, make it this!  I love this brush so much. It is, hands down, the best blending brush ever!

Next, I headed over to the fake tan area.  Oona is a fan of Tan Towels and I hadn’t purchased them in over a year.  Tan Towel gives a great fake tan and the application is a cinch. For those who are hesitant to apply a cream or foam tanner, Tan Towel is the perfect solution because you cannot mess the application up with this!  It is not an inexpensive product. I paid $20 for this little kit and with five towels and a spray mist, it’s a good deal!

It’s been a while but I’m glad I repurchased.  I missed having this and the tan produced from the indivdual towels lasts around five days!

The last item to go into my bag was an idiotic impulse purchase.  A blending sponge by Tarte Cosmetics.  And I am a damned fool for spending $16 on it.  Thirty lashes with a wet noodle for me! I compared it to my Real Techniques Blending Sponge.  Let me tell you—The Real Techniques Blending sponge, a little over eight dollars for a pack of two, is the best blending sponge I’ve ever had.  Need I carry on?

Real Techniques on the left.  I have a backup in my makeup case. The Tarte on the right–what a waste of money. It blends but for the price, Real Techniques is my favorite. And Chippy’s too. He ate three of them!

Related image

Truth. Chippy isn’t sad because of the rain. He’s depressed because I have been hiding my makeup sponges from him and they are his favorite snack!

Today I’m wearing new hair—which is also budget-friendly.  It’s a blunt-cut, middle part bob that is slightly bumped under.  Lyna from Bobbi Boss.  I purchased this unit from HairSoFlyShop and she is becoming more difficult to find.  I am awaiting the sleek version, Lyna Sleek which I ordered in Medium Brown.  This unit is also available on Amazon.

“Hair’s” Lyna!  Another great bob!

Oh Wait!  Here she is with filtered me so that I look as fake as my hair!  I prefer the wrinkled version of me!



I wanted to show you the difference between yesterday’s makeup and todays!  Although the lighting in yesterday’s photo is slightly brighter, you can get a good look at the less pricey dupe items I used on my face such as the lips and eyes!  Further proof that you do not have to spend a fortune!

If you would like a better look at the items I purchased, I’ve listed them on My Amazon Page.  You can get a look then travel over to the sites where the items are also available and remember—if you shop, please shop for the best price!

I ordered Argon Oil from Amazon today.  The Josie Maran sample size that I have is almost gone and I’m not spending $48 on it when The Ordinary has it for  less than  $13.

The Ordinary is one of my favorite affordable brands. Ever!!

Have a great afternoon and if you have a sunny day—go out and sit under a shade tree with an enjoyable book and a glass of lemonade!

And enjoy one of my favorite summer songs ever!


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