What This Baby-Boomer Did in One Day!

First of all, before I move forward with this post, I just want to give remembrance to 09/11/2001. It affected too many of us to forget. It took a toll on friends and family we lost.  For me, it was sickening because people I knew were murdered. I worked in Two WTC and my aunt in One WTC.  We were no longer working in those buildings when the incident occurred but it still had an impact.

What is the purpose of 'never forgetting' 9/11? - Quora

21 years later, I still find it difficult to look at photographs of the twin towers. I honestly believe this is one of the most beautiful and tragic reminders. 

So yesterday, being the “first” Saturday we were home since late spring, I decided to tackle a few chores that needed attention.

Carrying out these chores was so cringe-worthy for me. No makeup. An inside-out nighty, but I menaged to put on a cheap pair of earrings to keep it glam!

Our living room:  We have two off-white sofas. Each has removable slip and cushion covers. This is key for washing. However, I don’t like to wash them too much because I don’t want to ruin the fabric. Between family gatherings, spilled beverages, the dirt from Chippy and normal wear and tear, I decided to begin the project of washing them.

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I know. I know. I’m very “beige” and neutral. I really need window coverings but I can’t find any that I LOVE. And I cannot find a handy-man to instal curtain rods.

Because this process takes days for the slipcovers to dry (i.e., today is rainy and humid—no dry down). One sofa at a time will be taken care of.  Yesterday, after my morning coffee and Wordle, I traipsed downstairs to the living room and stripped the one sofa of its coverings.

Naked and stripped. The covers must be cleaned. Ugh. Don’t even get me started on the bane of my existence–the carpeting.

No money was found in the sofa’s crevices. However, a petrified corn chip was discovered and quickly devoured by Chippy!

While Chippy searches for more petrified crumbs, I ponder if I should leave the sofa naked until November.

In the meantime, I decided to multitask by ironing clothes whilst the first load, the cushions were in the machine.  Then I spot treated the filth off the second load and let me tell you, I was shocked at how dirty the bottom of the slipcover skirt was.

Time to iron and spot-treat. Thankfully, this sofa is rarely used so I’ll let it get dirty before entertaining the thought of washing the covers!

So, after three hours of wash loads, I turned the house into a mess of sorts by air drying them.

24 hours later, this still isn’t dry but it’s created an eyesore..

These will be hanging out for a few days too!

Why am I doing this now?  Because I’m preparing for Thanksgiving.  Next week I’ll wash the covers from the other sofa. The week after we’ll be in Cincinnati.  The last weekend in September I’ll move on the So, loveseat in the sunroom.

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The covers on this loveseat will be cleaned last.  This loveseat is filthy and it’s going to take two washes to get it clean. Ugh.

Okay. All that done, it was on to chore Number Two.  Switching out the summer clothing to the autumn/winter clothing.  Yeah. I realize it is still hot and humid and the mid-day temperature rises to the mid-80’s.  This is where the transitional clothing comes in.

Here we go. Quite possibly, next to cleaning a toilet, this is the most annoying chore. Twice a year. But once it is done, I’m okay with it.

Sweaters at the ready to place into drawers..

Heavy ones in this dresser..

…lighter sweaters in this dresser.

Outfits such as my beloved leopard-print skirt that defies the seasons will be worn with a light jersey tee until that crisp day where the frost makes its annual appearance on our miniscule front lawn.

This skirt never leaves my closet.  A “go-to” for years and it is still going strong!

Gretchen Scott Designs printed pants will make a fun appearance from now till the bowels of winter and onto early spring.

What I absolutely LOVE about the Gretchen Scott GripeLess jeans other than the patterns is the stretch. They stretch across the gut. And, the fabric is lightweight–perfect for this transitional part of the year.

My years-old collection of J. Crew Pixie Pants has also been hung in the closet. And they will, once again, be happy to adorn my ample thighs and calves like a nursing newborn rested against its mother’s bosom.

All those black pants hanging up? J. Crew Pixie Pants..

The black pants folded next to the jeans? MORE Pixie Pants. BTW. I have three pair of jeans for the winter.  None of my other jeans fit across the belly. Time to cut the bread and macaroni! 

Thankfully The Frenchman lugged the tubs of clothing up and down the three flights of stairs in our home. That’s another thing.  There’s the misconception that Boomers and “old people” can survive only in a home without stairs. Not true. I think of it as exercise—at least for now while my knees are working!

Family Guy Stairs GIF

Actually , I’m the one who needs to hold on to the bannister due to my lack of depth perception. But we are both lucky to be running up and down three flights of stairs.

With sweat pouring off me, I dismantled from hangers, folded, placed into tubs and repeated in opposite form. The closet was organized and ready for the coming season.

Pardon the lack of decent lighting but this closet isn’t the largest…

Blazers in the back..

Shirts up front. I need to keep it organized!

Next was to take the winter shoes from one side of the closet to the other. That was a royal pain-in-the-ass.  But it was completed.  And might I add, you don’t need a huge closet—just be mindful of how you hang the clothing.  Pants together, dresses together, skirts together…etc.  It works.

All my winter shoes are in place. Jesus is watching over them. Actually, my Catholic superstition will not allow me to move the Crucifix. Jesus fell off and I can’t find the nail that kept him on the wood–and I’m afriad to glue him. Some of you will totally understand this reasoning.

Is my closet immaculate? No. I have purses that I don’t use crammed into shelves. I would love to sell them on Poshmark or Mercari but I can’t deal with people if they want to return one of them. I would rather deal with the purse pile.

What was next?  Turning the faucet to the bathtub on. My stinky, sweaty, gross body needed a soak and a scrub—not to mention shaved legs. So, after a twenty-minute gig in the now dirty water, I got out, got dressed and off I went with The Frenchman to Rite-Aid to see if I could get my next and third Covid Booster.

RITE AID among pharmacies that have COVID-19 vaccine

Another superstition. I received both my boosters from Rite-Aid so I’m afraid to go anywhere else!

We arrived at the pharmacy only to be told that I needed to make an appointment on line.  Yet another misconception about Boomers—we don’t, we can’t or we refuse to use the internet or iPhone to make appointments or whatever.  A few clicks and I had the appointment for Sept. 24.

Oh. Wait. We’ll be visiting my daughter. Back to the site to reschedule. And in a matter of seconds, I was confirmed for the following Friday. Yes. I am a Boomer. And I am on a computer all day, 8, 10, 12 hours at work. At times I assist those younger than me in using certain applications.  Remember that.

Season 2 GIF by BBC Three

Yessssss. My reschedule was confirmed. YESSSSSSSS. I’m old and have better computer skills than some younger coworkers!

Back to the clothing in the closet. I needed more skirt and pants hangers. Do you know how difficult it is to find these things in real life? Stores don’t have the kind I want. And the last thing I wanted to do was to sleuth out hangers—the thought of looking for a parking spot and the mall or Target or Walmart, then having to deal with people in the store did not make me a happy camper.

As I write this, I’m awaiting the delivery . They should be here momentarily. Nature Smile Wooden Hangers. They’ll do the job!

Back home. It is afternoon.  What next?

Gougères.  My husband, through autumn, winter and spring, lives for these little cheese-embedded orbs of choux pastry.  I do not bake in the summer. It is too hot. I am not a fan of my oven (I need a new one), and, I just don’t have or want to make the time for summer baking.

The mise-en-place for Alain Duccase’s easy and always great to have on hand Gougeres!

And so, yesterday, I whipped up three batches.  Next weekend I’ll go back to baking his pain-aux-raisins and next month, it’ll be croissant time!  With gougères cooled, they were placed into freezer bags and put to rest. They need only a couple of minutes in a 350 oven to reheat.

Ready for the oven..

Ready to cool, bag and place in the freezer!

At this point, it was around 3:45 in the afternoon.  I needed a break. I headed to dirty sofa and reclined my not-aching body. Turned the TV on to Netflix and started watching Chef’s Table—the season is about Pizza. I can’t stand Pizza. Honestly, it’s one of …maybe four foods I don’t like. Gummy candy and mint candy such as peppermint bark and York patties, and tomato sauce and ketchup are the others.

Chef's Table: Pizza' on Netflix will feature this famous Phoenix chef

I need to finish the season but ….I just might try to make a special pizza–even though my oven sucks.

I watched anyway because I love stories about food. Now I am ready to try real artisanal pizza. Not the gooey, smothered in tomato sauce.

At about five, I realized I needed to get dressed. Nicely dressed, that is.  We were headed out to our favorite restaurant for a belated fifth wedding anniversary dinner.

Okay. So the wig (Ocean by Estetica) needed a bit of manipulation. But this dress from Amazon is incredible comfortable and is great for this time of year!

Thrifted J. Crew Leopard print Dulci Pumps. I love these!

I fixed the wig a bit. Cleaned up well after a smelly hog day!

We drove to Springmill Café in Conshohocken and enjoyed a wonderful meal and lots of good wine.

Our absolute favorite restaurant. I can’t believe we’ve been dining here together since 2005!

Someone is very serious about fixing our aperitifs..

We started off with the Country Pate Tasting!

I had rabbit. And although boney, I ate it with my hands. It was outstanding! My husband had filet mignon but the camera was shakey and the photo didn’t turn out..

Dessert was Orange Cake A La Mode and I had a strong coffee. I still fell asleep early!

Was it the wine or was it a day filled with activity that had me falling asleep at 9:30 PM? It was the wine.

wake up sleeping GIF

On second thought, perhaps it wasn’t the wine. Maybe I was tired from a 60 hour work week or just the activity of the day!

So, the next time when someone younger than you pontificates about how “Boomers” are worthless, about how they need to retire because they are taking jobs away from the younger generation (which is complete bullshit because most corporations participate in ageism against older people), about how we know nothing, about how lazy we are—remind them a bit about a few things.

Our generation has a stellar work ethic. We were raised with good values. We know the value of a dollar. We actually work hard and go the extra mile because we have a mortgage to pay, car payments, household utilities, food, clothing and our activities.

Laziness comes in all ages. All genders. All cultures.  Boomers should not be the objective of snark, of disrespect or hate.

David Spade Boomer GIF by CTV Comedy Channel

Show ’em what you got!!!!!!!!!!!!

I rest my case!

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That “Less-is-More” Summer Makeup Process Will Now Be My New “Pro-Aging” Normal

There’s a lot I have to say about this “less-is-more” makeup vibe that has come to be my new normal.

Glow Up Make-Up GIF by BBC Three

Even the host/makeup artist from Glow Up Makeup on the BBC agrees that less is more! I’m in good company!

And there’s good reason: at 67, which is soon to be veering more towards 70 and less from my 60’s, my skin has changed over the years. A lot. And I’m sure yours, if you are around my age, has too.  Even in the past seven years since I started this blog, the change has been quite profound.

Me. At 32 when Roman was a year old.  I miss my hair.

Mo’ hair. Mo’ Makeup’ Less blotchiness. Great Glasses! I’ve definitely aged. A lot! It happens.

My skin is blotchier. I’m not gonna go all out and say I have rosacea, because its one of the few aging skin processes I don’t have. However, there is an unevenness in my skin tone that has become quite noticeable.  I have, due to sun exposure, more freckles and age spots. I have lines—not deep set but definite lines and the one thing that really makes me cringe are the cracks around the edges of my mouth and towards my chin.

No makeup. Mo’ freckles or age spots–whatever they are, they are there.  Mo’ uneven skin tone. Mo’ wrinkles. It happens. It’s aging!

But..it’s life. It is the ageing process and unless you can afford fillers on a regular basis or a very excellent face lift (as in checking in to NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery) done under the expertise of Dr. Andrew Jacono, which most of us cannot afford because we are not wealthy nor are we in the socio-economic grouping of the mega-rich, you gotta learn to deal with the aging face with a French shrug, and work around what aging has done to your face.

I know I’m being hypocritical and I am not ashamed; however, if I won a few million in the lottery tomorrow (or next week), I would be plopping my ass at this guy’s office and getting a face lift–because I could afford it!!

Ain’t gonna lie. I have abused my skin. And whilst abusing my epidermis, it’s been an enjoyable abuse.  Summers of my entire life spent at beaches from Rockaway Beach, New York, to Long Island’s Robert Moses; Fire Island and Montauk. Returning back to NYC to live and spending weekend Saturdays on Long Beach.  To annual summer visits to the Côte d’Azur enjoying the beaches along the Mediterranean Sea.

something about mary old lady - dress up | There's something about mary,  Beauty, Autumn skincare

Yes. I have done this.  I am not ashamed.

I’ve paid a price in the form of MOHS surgery on my face and have to make a dermatologist appointment this week for removal of an epidermoid cyst. It’s so gross and infected and, I did use sunscreen)

episode 9 surgery GIF

..I’m pretty sure the surgeon was thinking this with an “…I’m making a ton of money because of your stupidity”

I shan’t apologize for my love of the summer. I grew up on the beach and to this day, I am most relaxed when I am sitting at ocean’s edge with a good book.  And winter can be just as damaging to skin.

What can I say except that I love the time we spend at the beach–whether in France or the States!

Alas! Let’s not dwell of our shortcomings but let us move forward as to how I am taking a new approach to my face.

I have stopped wearing foundation. That is the greatest and probably kindest thing I can do for me at this juncture in my life journey.  You see, where I used to be able to wear foundation to even out my skin tone, I can’t do it anymore.  Any and every base makeup will settle into the cracks, crevices and wrinkles of the aging face. Some more than others.  On special occasions I’ll carefully stipple a bit of foundation or face makeup where need be, but I won’t allow it to travel further than the small portion of my visage that is smooth.

Bare faced. nothing except moisturizer. My lips are very pigmented. My nose got larger as I’ve aged. I have odd things on my face. My eyes are wonky. And I have wrinkles and cracks–just like old leather. I’m not even gonna discuss the turkey neck!

Instead, I’ve learned to apply a minimal amount of makeup yet achieve quite nice results.  I’ll show you how below.  But first, I want to tell you about products that I stand by.. At the end of this post, I’ll add a link to a new list on my Amazon Storefront. It’s essentials for mature skin. Some of the products, such as Subtl Beauty are not sold on Amazon so I did not add dupes or substitutes because I use only this particular brand.

I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again. I have a love/hate relationship with makeup brands. The majority of them pontificate equality by showcasing all races, all genders with one exception—the wrinkled, aging person. And even the young models are blurred and photoshopped.

Beauty Dress Up GIF by FX Networks

Yes. I must put my face on and I use a lot of cosmetics but the majority of cosmetics companies are afraid of me and my aging!

As “mature” woman it is my mission to show you the reality. The ugly truth and turn that into something more pleasing without smoke and mirrors—without blurs or filters.  Today it is indoor light near a window because it is bee season and I’m allergic to bees. I don’t want to end up in the ER today.

So, let’s move on–again, here I am in my bare face!

No photoshopping. No filters. No blurs. Pure, aging, old-lady skin. Real life ladies. Not some overly processed, filtered Instagram pic.

I have used “Goldies Natural Beauty” Orange Cypress Lotion on my body and face! I’ve been using this every since it was placed in our hotel room at the Wythe hotel in Brooklyn some years ago. It is liquid, hydrating—and it multitasks. One lotion is all I need! Especially for summer!

This. I use this religiously over the summer and just reordered. I cannot be without it. Although I use other moisturizers, this is my favorite because I use it on my face too!  It isn’t too heavy.  Doesn’t irritate my eyes and does the job!

My skin is a bit blotchy because the tan is beginning to fade. And, as my face was constantly in a book during our time at the beach, the sun didn’t hit the areas that my sunglasses covered.  In order to “even” out the tone, I took Seint cream bronzer—it was the first cream bronzer I reached for, and stippled it on the areas that needed to be evened out—then I blended with my Leia Beauty blender. Honestly, this is the greatest blender of all time. I used it this summer to apply sunscreen to my face. I apply cream, blush, whatever. I love this little naughty-looking tool.

It might look a bit wonky but I’ve had this for almost two years. Lasts forever and if it expired so what–it still does the job.

I swear by this. For blending foundation or cc cream or sunscreen or blush or cream bronzer, this is the greatest little tool–even if it looks a bit naughty!

Next, I took concealer and a small Real Techniques mini blender to use as a primer on my eyes. Experts recommend not doing using concealer as primer but you know what? It works for me and you need such a tiny amount!  I’ve been using the Tarte brand for almost a year and there is still plenty left—that’s how little you need.

This mini blender from Real Techniques is perfect for blending concealer-as-eye primer on lids and in corners.

The “experts” say don’t use concealer as eye primer. Don’t listen to the experts.

The concealer gives a good base and acts like the glue to hold the eyeshadow. My eyeshadow lasts all day.

Next are the brows. My brows are not identical twins and I am not going for that effect. I’m going for a more natural look. And, again, contrary to what the “experts” say, I love a dark brow. I was born with dark brows and I shall spend my days with my brows entering the dark side.  I use Trestiques’s Brow Crayon which is my Holy Grail—I have a subscription to this product. That’s how much I love it.  It stays on all day—even during the sweatiest, most humidity-filled dog days of summer.  I have one in each of my Trestique travel sets and mini versions in my mini-travel sets. I love this.  I also swipe elf brow gel in an upward motion to achieve that natural, fuller brow.  At five bucks the elf brow gel is wonderful!

And at five dollars, the elf brow gel is steller. Just as good, if not better than Glossier’s Boy Brow.

Now its eye shadow.  I have weird eyes—since my eyes are naturally crossed due to amblyopia and strabismus, they are two different entities and two different shapes. It used to bother me when I was younger. And, truth be told, even into adulthood, I’ve always felt “ugly”—especially when people made fun of me. Yes. From grammar school into adulthood, people made fun of and added snark about my eyes.  These days it doesn’t bother me anymore—at least I can see out of one eye so it’s all good.

A perfect neutral duo, Subtl Beauty’s Cruise duo is wonderfully pigmented. I’ll use the darker in the evening when The Frenchman and I go out. But for day, the lighter shade is all you need!

I’m using “Cruise” powdered shadow from Subtl Beauty. I swear by this brand. The eyeshadows contain no talc. They are smooth as butter and pigmented like nobody’s business! I love the shade of the lighter of the two shadows in Cruise because it is reminiscent of the discontinued MAC shade Quarry that I loved so much.  It gives a nice definition to the eyes.

Okay. We’re getting there!

And, as with Trestique, I have a stack of Subtl Beauty’s makeup in my travel bags and purses.

I suppose you could say that I’m well-stacked!

I curl the eyelashes with an inexpensive eyelash curler. I don’t use Latisse anymore because, quite frankly, I forget to apply it.

My eyelash curler is used every day. Even when I don’t wear mascara!

Besides, mascara does the job.   Today I’m priming the lashes with Milk primer and using Thrive mascara. I usually use L’Oréal primer and L’Oréal Voluminous mascara but I grabbed these items first.

I purchased the Milk brand eyelash primer at TJ Maxx in the sale bin. I don’t even know if it is still made. The Thrive mascara is incredible–but pricey. I use it for special occasions.

A swipe of Trestique blush in pink. Oops. I spot a lady whisker on my chin. Time to get the tweezer out.

The minis!  I don’t know if the brand makes mini sets any  more but I used this mini-blush and mini eye liner crayon today. I will say that next to the brow crayon, the eyeliner crayon is superb! Another HG of mine!

Done!  Lastly, the lips. Okay. You know how I’m a sucker for multi-tasking. The pink shadow due from Subtl Beauty, Wanderlust just doesn’t work on my eyes. Any pinkish eyeshadows make me look as though I’ve been crying or my allergies are acting up.  So, some days I use this pretty pink eyeshadow as blush but today, I’m using it as lip color!

The Wanderlust eyeshadow duo doesn’t work for me on the eyes but as blush and lip color–it’s great! And a swipe of Biossance Vegan Lip Balm  gives the lips a nice shine!

Yeah. You read it right. Lip color!  I tap the color into place then go over it with a clear lip gloss.

Yup! Eyeshadow-as-lip color. Who’da thunk?  I thunk–that’s who!

And here we go! The finished face with a head o’ hair plopped atop my noggin. I’m wearing Ocean by Estetica Designs. I don’t recall the color but I love the blondeness!

 

Sweet mother of Mary. I always feel better when the glasses are on!

Sigh. I’ve been told, from my reviews on YouTube (which I rarely do anymore because nobody watches me) that I need to use more lip color. I despise red lip color on me simply because I feel that red doesn’t look great on some mature women. For me, it’s a miss.  However, I do have a bright lip balm from MOB beauty that I’ll glide on over a clear gloss when a little “oomph” is rarely needed.

I never noticed how much this lip balm by MOB Beauty resembles my OPI Cajun Shrimp nail color!  I do dab this VERY LIGHTLY on my mouth for a touch more color!

See? Very discreet–just a hint more color.

And when all else fails—sunglasses are the greatest beauty accessory!

I’m in love with these glasses by Sojos. They are polarized and mirrored. And they look so darn good–very  Byrds-inspired!

One can never own too many pairs of sunnies. These readers are always at the beach with me.

Here’s my Amazon List: Mature Beauty Essentials for you to shop. (Yes. I’m shilling—but I’m shilling products I use and love)!

Remember. Wrinkles. Lines. Other imperfections–they are what makes you YOU! Embrace aging (even though I would get a face lift if I had the money). 

Last words. Do NOT, and I repeat do NOT allow any of the influencer photos on Instagram that are filtered and blurred make you feel less about yourself. Those photos are smoke and mirrors. They are not real.  All you need is a bit of makeup. And if you don’t want to wear any makeup–that’s fine too!

Hope your holiday weekend was wonderful. XOXOXOXO

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What I Wore This Summer! And Will Those Clothes Get Me through Autumn?

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reads this blog for sticking through and reading during the summer.  Your comments and support are incredibly appreciative—especially since I just did not have the time to devote to writing.  So………. onward and upward!

The Value Of A Well-Written Thank-You Note

Seriously. Thank you!  Merci! 

Technically, it is still summer until Thursday, September 22nd! Ohhh, and I should be in Ohio babysitting my grandson Owen whilst Oona goes in to the hospital to give birth to grandson number two—unless she goes in earlier.

How much grandma pays attention:  I ordered the book Owen is reading in this photo because I want to bring “Big Brother” gifts to him. Now the book is in my sunroom so we can read it when he comves to visit. Let’s hope I pay more attention to him when I see him. I think this could qualify me as one of the worst grandmothers on earth!  Nah. I love my li’l ishkibibble!

Okay—so as it remains summer for less than three full weeks, mentally, I’m in a summer-to-autumn frame of mind.   Days are definitely getting shorter. I wake up to darkness and by the time The Frenchman and I finish our dinner—it is no longer light out nor is it that magical hour of twilight. It’s freaking dark outside. Nighttime dark! Early morning and evening coolness adds a conundrum of what to wear and the reality that (skip Autumn altogether) the bitter-cold is on the way.

Season 1 Rod Sterling GIF by Paramount+

You are now entering the Twilight Zone–and that is how I feel about Autumn!

Don’t even get me started on the Pumpkin Spice obsession that people have. WTF is the matter with these people?  August 26th hits and they are pumpkin spicing and Halloweening while the temperature is in the 90’s!

Pumpkin Spice Happy Dance GIF by Starbucks

Speak for yourself. That stuff tastes nasty. N.A.S.T.Y.!

Not gonna lie—I experience seasonal depression. And my husband is here to get me through it.  It is simply because I love certain features and particulars of summer. The long days. The hot weather. The barefoot driving.  The beach. The number of books I get to read when I’m sitting at ocean’s or pool’s edge being carried away to an imaginary world—pure escapism.

On our last day of summer beaching, I finished this classic masterpiece! Rebecca Sharp is now one of my fictional favorite characters–right up there with Bernadette from “Where’d You Go Bernadette”, Ignatius Reilly, Miss Havisham and Holden Caufield! 

Barefootin’–at the beach, in the car, at work, in the house. Summer is the time for airing the dawgs out!

I’m getting off topic (sort of) here.  What I want to write about is what I wore this summer.  Two weeks in France had me gloriously living in swimsuits and casual wear. I was thrilled.

Fear not the two piece. It can actually be more flattering AND comfortable then the one-piece swimsuit.

This, along with the two-piece in the top photo were my most-worn bathing suits this summer!

The weather was hot as balls but not humid. And as hot as the mercury rose, there remained a level of comfort.  Granted—at times that level was thin but the comfort remained.

Yes–it was incredibly hot but there was no humidity!

Then we arrived home. And arrived to heat and humidity which is the usual summer weather for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states, air-conditioning has been a must.  Ahhh—the conditioning of air. When we were in France, it wasn’t needed simply because our apartment had the greatest cross-ventilation. In addition, the Mediterranean Sea breeze kept the temperature at a pleasant level.

Who needs A/C when you have a Sea Breeze entering into your dwelling every day?  And, might I add, one that is NOT humid!

I’m not a fan of A/C to make a room/home/office cold. It’s more preferable for me to use it to cut the humidity.  I rarely drive with the air conditioning on. For me, rolling down the windows of my vehicle work better because car air-conditioning is just …cold.

Basically, I am the “she” version of Steve Martin in Father of the Bride.  The office airconditioning has me freezing to the point I really should have winter outwear on hand!

Why do I keep veering off-topic?  This post really is about what I wore this summer—especially to the office!  My wardrobe frame-of-mind completely changed.  I came to the realization that the majority of workers in our company are working from home. They can work in their pajamas, only in underwear, or even naked if they want—as long as there isn’t a Zoom meeting!   However, working in an office environment, has, in past summers, had me dressing up in a more professional manner.

Not a fan of shirtwaist dresses but I had this hanging in the closet. We had “Executive Guests” a couple of weeks ago at work.  The memo said to “dress professionally”.  Guess what? The “Executive Guests” never even encountered me. I was pissed.

This summer I changed up my game and ……………………. dressed for comfort—and many days that meant shorts. Yes. Shorts!  My productivity is greater when I’m comfortable.  Here’s a look-see!

Yes my loverly friends–I wore this get up at work and loved every second of comfort!

And I wore this–I did manage to slide into sandals before leaving the house. But allow me to say that it doesn’t matter HOW old one is. Who cares about the cellulite or veins or crepey skin (which I have)–being COMFORTABLE is more important!!

A fancier version with Lilly Pulitzer shorts! These stretchy shorts are wonderful–too bad they are discontinued!

I believe this outfit was worn to work on a very casual Friday!

I continued to wear dresses, however, due to the comfort level–especially maxi dresses on the days I was too lazy to shave my legs.

Hands down, my most-worn dress of this summer. It has a built-in bra so I only need two articles of clothes. Panties and the dress! I wore this all over France, to the office and my go-to-weekend dress. I’m wearing it today as I write this!

And with decollete is like shoe leather, I’m not stopping that from wearing comfortable clothing!

Can’t go wrong with a LBD during the summer. This is from Old Navy–I think I paid $12.

Here’s another cutie. This bodycon dress from Amazon is very curvy and belly friendly!

This purple frock matches our front-lawn flowere!

And the sleeveless maxi will always step in when too lazy to shave the legs!

I did wear the skirts as well!

Ultimately, will these clothes get me through Autumn?

Yes…

This jumpsuit was purchassed to bring to France but I found it was just too much clothing for me to wear. I wore this to work and felt like toast. Plus it was a bitch to go to the bathroom in.  This will be great for Autum with ballet flats and a blazer!

I am a fan of the sweater-and-shorts combo. This is perfect for those cooler beginning of Autumn days. No longer summer but not quite into the crispness of Autumn!

Another transitional piece is the blazer. This linen blend from J. Crew is befitting of end-of-September into early-October weather. Replace sandals with loafers and you are ready to go!

This pleated skirt was worn once over the summer because the material was just too heavy for my comfort. But with a navy blazer during Autumn, it’ll rock. BTW, this is a thrifted skirt I paid $2.75 for!

One item of clothing that I keep away from during the summer is pants (and jeans too). I just cannot stand how long pants feel against my legs in the summer. It’s like fingernails on a blackboard–it gives me the creeps!

A fun Autumn look! Long pants, a sweater and blazer. In my opinion, this is one of my favorite pants looks!

Closed and point-toed shoes, a blazer over any summer frock will bring the outfit to a very Autumn-friendly level!

One last thing–please do NOT allow age or any imperfections stop you from wearing what you want to wear or what y9ou prefer.  Remember, influencers and the fashion industry want your money. They want to dictate to you how they want you to dress.  Wear what you are comfortable in!

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We Haven’t Seen Each Other In Over Thirty Years? You Never Know Who You’ll Run into in France!

If you have been reading about my summer adventures in France, you might remember that I received a message from one of my old friends stating that she and her husband were in Marseilles.

Wait. We were in Marseille at the same time and didn’t know it? 

Well, we connected and ended up spending this wonderfully, delightful and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day in Villefranche! And without going into detail, my friend Joanie was a bridesmaid in my first wedding. We had a wonderful friendship but over the years, and with life changes, we lost touch.

You have no idea how much fun it was to receive that message and it was even more delightful to meet up with Joanie and her husband Greg!  It was such a case of “Small Worldness” of the greatest!

Animated GIF

But I ran into my friend Joanie–and that was better!

So anyway on Thursday, July 7th, we drove to Villefranche to meet them and, here’s the funny thing—we couldn’t find the train station. Actually, we did find it but we didn’t realize we found it. What ensued was Vincent parking the car and us walking down seemingly a million steps only to find a parking lot at the bottom.

I swear to God, we were driving in circles for a good amount of time–we passed this place at least four times..

We could have parked here…

We finally met J and G, headed back up the steps, which made me realize just how out of shape I am from sitting in front of two computer monitors at work for ten hours a day, but also gave me some welcomed and well-needed exercise.

Tee hee. We walked steps from here to up there!

….luckily I managed to take a photo of where we were parked. Besides–The Frenchman needed to get some sort of medication for a sun sore he had on his lip and a pharmacie was nearby!

So off we headed to Villa Euphrisse de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat!  It’s hard to put into words just how great it is to reconnect with a friend you’ve lost touch with. It was astounding to realize we had children all the same age, each had a pregnant daughter…and, well, it was just magical to be together after all these ….decades!

Nobody changed over the years! We still look the same and I’m having this pic framed!!

We took a leisurely stroll around the grounds, Vincent and Greg getting to know each other and overall—the visit was terrific. But it didn’t stop there.

I never tire of this Villa. It’s a pink palace that is filled with the coolest furniture and stuff!

I didn’t take pics of the interior because we were having too much of a good time but these flowers..

and speaking of which–these flowers, seemingly a million, were all being prepared for a wedding that night!

This Banyan tree was quite magnificent!

Lots of greenery too. The flowers were too bee-inhabited and I’m alergic.

We headed back to Villefranche to enjoy a fun-filled luncheon!  We met British friends of theirs and spent a few hours at a dock-side restaurant with food, drink and animated conversation.

We enjoyed lunch at La Baleine Joyeuse. What a great place to spend an afternoon with old friends and meeting new friends!

Again, I was having such a grand time that I didn’t take pics but I’ll tell you that the Calamari with Aoli sauce was excellent!   The Frenchman said later on that he would have loved to spend dinner with Joanie, Greg and their British friends!

And at the end of the visit toward late afternoon, we vowed to see each other again.  Presently, I am going over our weekends and, hopefully, we will be headed to visit them for a New England weekend in early October!

Back at the apartment it hit us. The next day would be our last day here. How did the time fly by so quickly?  For two weeks, I didn’t have hypochondria. Or in PC terms—health anxiety.  For two weeks I was relaxed and moving.  I was happy and comfortable.  The Frenchman and I were like two young adults.  It was wonderful.

Friday, July8th  was our last day. We took it very easy and just hung out at the pool, made our last dinner at home and packed for our return home.

A last day just admiring this view from the terrace..

Then heading back to the pool and glancing over the fence at the little marina–it’s so mignon!

Our last breakfast on the terrace because tomorrow it is up to a very early rise!

I realize this is going to sound crazy but one of the highlights of staying at this apartment is that I can do laundry and dry it outdoors. OMG–it’s so fresh and clean!

The hours spent on this terrace over the years are countless. Seriously. In 11 years we ate indoors once–and that was the night this summer that it rained!

I will miss these remarkable desserts that are not overloaded with sugar!

Not gonna lie. If I won that billion-dollar lottery, I would have purchased an apartment at La Galere and gone shopping for these tomatoes and crevettes every day. Those tomatoes!

…and due to the shortage of mustard–in FRANCE, I discovered the best mayo ever. I regret not buying this to take home!

I did manage to sneak these home-and in mustard yet!

Saturday, July 9th… It was early to rise and head to the airport to drop the car off and get situated for our flight. Some last-minute shopping at duty free.

Goodbye to our apartment for 2022. Keys returned..

Passports at the ready..

Getting rid of the last of the euros..

..by purchasing some Guerlain and..

…recipe magazines. This is the best way to learn the language!

Allow me to add that the experience of flying to and from Nice was excellent. I was able to piggy-back on my husband’s French passport so I didn’t have to wait on any customs lines!  In addition, the experience of flying United Airlines was an absolute pleasure!

This guy boarded the plane before we did and I got a kick out of the fact he had UT merch on him–same school my son Jake graduated from! Small world it is!

Ready to head home….

Bye bye Nice..

Au revoir Cote d’Azur

…until next time..

I shall remain with my head in the clouds and a ton of great memories of the return!

So once we landed back in Newark Airport, it was a love/hate relationship. I despised the fact that there was minimal staff AND those people-movers were all shut off. Really?  We were lugging heavy carry-on luggage and the people-movers weren’t working–at an International Airport?

Then …we waited almost an hour for our luggage. This was no fault of United–it was an airport thing. The luggage wasn’t even at the baggage claim conveyer it was supposed to be at.

The redeeming quality was Global Entry. Literally. We never waited on a customs line. We just went to the kiosk and exited the airport. That was it!

And, as all good things come to an end, it was good go be home and enjoying being back in my own bed. There is something so peaceful when you come home to that first night in your bed. The pillows welcome you. The mattress is happy to feel your body shape. The sheets and coverings are happy to wrap themselves upon you. It’s nice.

Ahhhhh. waking up the next morning in our bed and coffee The Frenchman made for me. Life is spectacular!

And, it’s a joy to return home to your family. Even if the miles separate you, you know they are not that far away.

Presently, looking forward to every weekend, the birth of grandson number two, and the holidays with family visiting—the trip back to the Côte d’Azur is now a fond memory—but there’s always next time!

Along with my Rondini sandals and the stuff we brought home for Owen, I did pick up some girly skincare products. It’s always fun to apply the creams and spray the scents that’ll bring you back to France!

I hope you enjoyed this post—and wherever you traveled or spent vacation or staycation, I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing time!

 

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Sunday is The Frenchman’s Day of Rest—Not Really, Our French July 4th and More!

CAVEAT!  My apologies my cool-as-ever friends!  It’s been three weeks since my last post but the summer weekends have been very busy!

 Roman came to visit, we’ve been at the beach and yesterday I attended my best friend’s daughter’s bridal shower!   And so, today, I’m back and delightfully remembering and sharing the continuing adventures of our trip back to the Côte d’Azur!

Yesterday I was at my gf Marybeth’s house for the Bridal Shower of her daughter. It was so much fun to spend an afternoon with friends..

Not to mention that every weekend since we arrived home from France, we’ve been at the Jersey Shore–Stone Harbor to be exact!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Ahhh. Sunday. I don’t want to bore you and will spare you of Sunday morn’s details. But we went to the pool and I started another book.

Another book! My ex-boss gave this to me to read. It was a good easy read!

 

Exiting the apartment for a lazy but fun Sunday afternoon!

It was hot. Very hot and we decided, après poolside to take a nice drive to Nice! We drove the scenic route through Cannes and headed off for an afternoon of pure laziness! 

Again, we drove along the Bord de Mer never tiring of the drive or the same views!

We parked the car—for joy because we found a great parking spot and took our time on a constitutional at the Promenade des Anglais. With the heat beating down on us, I couldn’t imagine how people at the turn of the century felt with all those clothes on their bodies.  I wore a sundress and no bra and I was still sweating!

Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. 1900s-1910s. - Album on Imgur

Perhaps Global Warming wasn’t a thing back then but I seriously do NOT know how people could have worn all that clothing . I barely survived without a bra!

Regardless of the heat index, it remained a pleasure to find a couple of seats and watch the boats and people playing in the water and parasailing!

I did not take this photo. It’s from the internet but I was so focused on conversation with my husband and watching the goings on at sea that I didn’t take photos.

We did, however, get to take photos of the Hotel  Le Negresco–my friend Joe had a very good time there back when he was younger!  The picture brought back fond memories for him!

The absolute worst thing that anyone can tell me is about a great night had at a hotel. My filthy mind just doesn’t stop the imagery!

Doesn’t matter though because this hotel sports one of the most beautiful facades I’ve ever seen. Ever!

It’s such a landmark..

A colorful modern sculpture in front of a historical building is always a pleasing sight!

And I got more Socca Chips!!!!!! (Note to every grocery store in these United States. GET SOCCA CHIPS IN YOUR STORES!!)

A stop at Geant for, yet, more crevettes and tomatoes and a very lazy and enjoyable dinner on the terrace ended our quite lazy day!

My “usual” dinner. It pains me to look at these beautiful tomatoes knowing that I can’t get any that look like this for the remainder of the summer!

Monday, July 4th, 2022

Happy Fourth of July!  It’s so funny because for the past 11 years, The Frenchman and I have arrived back in the States on this national American Holiday. Today, we headed to Abbaye du Thoronet.

Fourth of July 2022: History, Trivia, and Celebrations - Farmers' Almanac -  For Anyone and Everyone

No hot dogs, burgers, corn-on-the-cob or fireworks this year–and no arriving back in the States to long lines at customs-we in France!

This was our third visit to this quiet sanctuary. We both love this place because of the history and the fascination (for me at least) of the Catholic symbolism. How did the monks deal with the heat? What about the bees? Trust me, this place has bees and I don’t know how the monks dealt with this as there were no epi-pens back then. My guess is they sacrificed their lives doing the work of The Holy Trinity.

One of my favorite places in the South of France, the grounds are beautiful and the Abbaye is just soaked in history!

Here’s a look-see:

The entrance..

No-frills altar..

Another nook of worship…

A courtyard.

A fountain.

As hot as it was outside, it was comfortable within the confines of these thick stone walls.

Room with a view.

There was no escaping for those monks!

Behind the abbaye is a grove of olive trees–a GROVE!!!

In addition, wine and olive oil were made here.  Those monks were busy bees.

Not a torture devise–it’s where wine and olive oil were made..

 

Incredible that the wine and olive oil production room is still standing.

received a nice complement from the guy at the shop. I asked a couple of questions and he answered in French. My husband was amused and stated that I was merely practicing my French and the guy was impressed with my accent.  Je suis heureuse!

I highly recommend a visit here!

We took the scenic route home simply because we cannot get enough of the sea and next was something that I have wanted to do for years.  Head up to Palais Bulles, that magnificent bubble palace last owned by Pierre Cardin.  I’ve admired it from afar and it was my destiny to see it close up.

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The closest I’ve ever come to the Palais Bulles was from our terrace with a zoom lens!

And since it’s located practically next door in Theoule, I had to see it up close and personal. Here’s the thing though—due to a ridiculous amount of security, I was not able to enter into this fantastical establishment.

I had to duck under the chained security fence just to take THIS picture. If I had been alone and not with The Frenchman, I would have been arrested for breaking and entering!

The absolute best I could do was to shimmy up to the wall, the way a barfly shimmies up to a bar and take any pics I could.

Why are there no bubble structures facing the back of the building?

Are the powers-that-be not aware that I needed to take photos?

How come the groundskeeper didn’t cut these branches..

..so that I could get..

…a better view?

I can guarantee that my fat ass is now included among the security videos as I did sneak under the security fence.  The Frenchman was having a fit—he feared I would be arrested and we wouldn’t be able to return home.  All I could think of is if I had been arrested, I would have probably eaten a nice dinner in my jail cell.

Back home to allow my husband a bit of rest after this harrowing adventure then onto shop for a non-traditional July 4th Dinner.  Mussels. For Mussels Mariniere. And, as usual, the fish monger was soooooooooo incredibly helpful and friendly and listened with patience whilst I ordered my petite mollusks in French!

These mussels were everything!  The photo is a little weird because I served them in a clear bowl!  Oh well!

Tuesday, July 5th.

Our time here is winding down and last week.  Today we are finally headed to L’Estagnol! We were planning to head here last week but The Frenchman opted to not head to this gem of a beach due to a weather report of rain—which, did, in fact occur. However, it occurred at 4:30 in the afternoon.

We woke up early. 5:30 AM to be exact—I liken that time to getting used to my waking time when we get back to the States.  Headed to the car, we enjoyed a pleasant ride and arrived ten minutes prior to opening.

Headed out before the sun wakes up!

Didn’t matter though because being at L’Estagnol early when nobody is there, is akin to owning your private beach.

Here we are–the first to arrive!

Look. I was born in Rockaway Beach NYC and spent many summers at the beach in Rockaway. When we moved to Long Island, I spend many summers at Robert Moses and various Fire Island beaches.  Moving to the NJ/Philly area summer weekends were, and continue to be spent at the Jersey Shore.

But…L’Estagnol is my favorite beach in the world. (I like it better than the beaches in Sydney—too many sharks). You can go out forever and the water doesn’t even hit your chin.  The saltiness of the water in this Mediterranean alcove allows you to float with pleasure.  The water is crystal-clear. The trees in the background offer shade.

 

Just us and the boats!

All is quiet and calm. 

The Frenchman preparing our space while I’m in the water taking photos!

And the clarity of the water is a joy to look at!

It’s a family beach. A vacationer’s beach. A marvel. When my husband was growing up, nobody knew about it.  Now—it’s become more popular but it isn’t a trip to the Côte d’Azur unless we head here.  My only regret was we didn’t come here more than once!

Who wouldn’t love this little gem?

 

The restaurants behind the beach proper reminds us that it is always better to dine properly than to scarf food down at the blanket.

We arrived even before the restaurant was prepared for the day.

And might I add this restaurant has great frites and serves the best seiche ever!

After a day of swimming and sun bathing, along with reading, it was, again time to hit the road back to Theoule and this time, enjoy another relaxing meal at The Clubhouse.

The start of another devine meal at The Clubhouse!

 

Tchin-Tchin! 

Next up.  A day with friends after decades!

 

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Another Change in Plans and a Surprise in Monaco!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

There was a change-up in the plans for today.  The original plan was to head to my favorite beach, L’estagnol.   But the Frenchman nixed the beach trip due to the news last night about…………………. an invasion of…………Jellyfish!

Why we're working to put Africa's jellyfish on the map

The Frenchman had been stung when he was in his youth. It hurt so much that he no longer swims with the jellyfish!

Yes. Parts of the beautiful bodies of water along the coastline of Southern France were invaded by these translucent orbs of painful stings.  The invasion was bad enough in some areas that sun worshippers were forbidden to enter the water!

Lucky for us, we had the pool. And at this juncture, we followed the ritual we had been following for years.  Pool time in the morning, then heading out on our adventures in the afternoon.  As such, this was a beautiful day for doing so.

Another glorious morning by the pool!

Reclining at the pool, I was ready to multitask by reading, journaling, and swimming in water that was invaded by children and not jellyfish. Hmmmmmmmm. I need to ponder that thought.

Anyway, after a morning of fun in the sun, my husband decided we should take a drive to Monaco. We were planning on revisiting but hadn’t had anything set in stone, so what the hell? I was on board. Besides, I enjoy the drive along the Bord du Mer.

Monaco–the Disneyworld of The Riviera. It’s so incredibly clean!

Okay. The thing about Monaco is that, other than the casinos in Monte Carlo, it isn’t the most exciting place—and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. In fact, I kind of like the fact that Monaco is pretty chill and quiet.

Quite possibly, the most risque thing I’ve ever seen in Monaco!

It’s cleaner than any Disney Park and more sterile than any hospital. It’s Monaco. Where even the money that is exchanged has a just-washed glow to it.

…it really is a lovely municipality to wander around in!

With the mindset that we would walk around this quiet municipality, we received quite the surprise as we exited the indoor parking.

My initial reaction was WTF is this anyway?

There was a crowd. At the Monte Carlo casino. A big crowd. Mostly men.

I’m not a car person so this was a total “ugh” to me. The Frenchman, on the other hand, was quite enthralled!

There were Ferrari’s abound. Many Ferraris. In fact, I think most of the very expensive Ferraris throughout the world were in Monaco. It was a testosterone convention!

Forget the cars, I wanted to go to Goyard.

This was as close as I got before my husband dragged me off.

There were women, but mostly arm candy and trophy wives.  I’m pretty sure I overheard someone mentioning I looked like household help. But it was a unique experience and humorous one—at least for me it was. The Frenchman was awestruck by the cars. What else is there to say.

Seriously. I do not think I resembled the household help. Unless, that is, household help gets to wear Lilly Pulitzer as a servant uniform.

Goodbye Monte Carlo.  I hope next time we don’t run into a car convention!

An enjoyable drive back and we were ready to get dressed for dinner at the club.  In all the years we’ve been staying at La Galere, dinner at the clubhouse has never disappointed us and this evening, it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had.