The Commencement of My Jobless Life.

If you read my previous post, you will know that the job I had and loved, was incorporated into another position.  Thus, I was a product of *cough* Corporate restructuring.

comedy central goodbye GIF by Corporate

Yes. You are all at work and I’ve been restructured. Someone didn’t want me!

My tear ducts are just about dried up, although I am having little episodes of misty-eyed moments.  I continue to feel, in my gut, that I’ve been wronged but it is time to move on.

Movie gif. Boo, the pigtailed baby in Monsters Inc throws her head back bawling as a tear streams down her face.

I’m done crying hysterically. Now I’m merely misty-eyed.

I applied for Unemployment Benefits.

Rick Scott Florida GIF by GIPHY News

I’ll tell you what a$$hole.  Tell Corporate America to A. Give employees a living wage and B. Start hiring Seniors at a living wage. Then we’ll talk.

Allow me to tell you how it went:

Last Monday was Labor Day and all government offices were closed. I called unemployment on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM.  The reason I called was I had questions and to be honest, I would feel better speaking to a person.

After four hours of trying to get anything less than a fast-paced busy signal, I figured it was time to apply online.  After all, during Covid lockdown, someone tried to get unemployment using my information and a fraud case was reported.  I successfully corrected that with the help of one of the unemployment workers so all was good.

Unemployment Compensation

I went onto the now familiar website!

And, this time around, I wrote usernames and passwords.

Network Security: How to Protect Your Passwords - Cinch I.T. Blog

Luckily, none of these have ever been used for a password. Unluckily, I cannot remember half of my passwords.  Luckily, I have started to write them down in a safe place!

I went onto the unemployment site and all seemed very easy and clear until it was time to load my resume.  In order to receive unemployment, one must upload their resume and apply to two jobs a week. That is an excellent request and it motivates to push that job search.

Uploading the resume was a cinch.  I went into my documents, opened my latest document, and attached it. What followed was frustration –and this frustration runs rampant when you upload your resume to any corporate site.

In addition to the resume doc, you then must enter manually, every single bit of information from that resume.  Dates and all.  Now, understand something. I had a professional resume coach tell me to leave dates off my resume because it will give my age away.  Even though, I opted to leave the dates on.

Regardless I needed specific dates.

In addition, I attended Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School back in the 1970’s.  The school is no longer around. I attended in the PanAm building in NYC.  The PanAm building is no longer the PanAm building because PanAm is no longer around.

So, every “error” had to be corrected.  And all other information was lost and had to be re-entered.   After an hour-and-a-half plus, all information had been corrected.

Also, I had to enter information on all jobs from April 2022 to the present.  I did this and was asked why I left. I was under the impression it was my present job that was being questioned. (More about that later)

I still had questions so at 3:30 PM I finally got in touch and the questions I had were answered.  I will say that the unemployment offices have very nice people working. The person I spoke with was very helpful.

Then I went to the CareerLink site.  Seven years ago, when I was unemployed, I used CareerLink services and it was the best thing I ever did. I even wrote a blog post about it. In fact, I enjoyed CareerLink so much that I am excited to go back.  Maybe I can get hired by them!

Career link what a nice place

To be honest, I can’t wait to get back to Career Link. It’s a welcoming venue for those who have lost jobs and the assistance is stellar!

In being the compliant person that I am, I uploaded my resume yet again and started to search jobs.  So far, I have applied to six jobs but have heard nothing.  I am not expecting to hear anything until I’ve applied to at least 500 jobs.

Wednesday I was supposed to have lunch with three of my ex-coworkers and was looking forward to it.  However, I received an email that we had to cancel.  I was bummed about it but the lunch has been rescheduled for a dinner next week after working hours.  Again, I am very excited about this.

Instead, I opted to take a million selfies of a wig I received for review.

Do you like my hair?  I’ll be reviewing. It’s Claire by Henry Margu wigs.  Short and Sassy. Perfect for the heatwave we are experiencing.

As I am a rather obsessive individual, on Thursday, I decided to check my dashboard on the unemployment site.  Thank God I did because something was not right.  There was an issue with my review because of a difference in the reason as to why I left the job.

I called unemployment.  Rosary in hand I prayed to Mary that I would not be on hold all afternoon.  Twenty minutes later I was speaking with an employee who, again, was incredibly nice and helpful.  I misunderstood the question as to why I left that job and inadvertently, used the excuse of being laid off.   This time, I was mildly freaking out because I had and continue to have a great relationship with my ex-boss and coworkers and now, I am thinking that they must be thinking I’m truthfully challenged.

I’m selfish.  I don’t hand out “thoughts and prayers” to anyone but myself.

I explained that I left on my own accord and I entered the incorrect information.  He corrected it, my review was finalized and all is well.  Now I am eagerly awaiting my debit card and will freak out if it is not in the mail by next week.  You know I’m obsessed!

The remainder of Thursday was spent cleaning out—or rather purging the fridge, freezer, and pantry.  Our home is very clean and tidy, but, I’m a closet slob. I am not ashamed to admit it.   We do not have a ton of pantry space so everything gets thrown in willy-nilly. It doesn’t matter how many times I try, in vain, to organize it. So far, it has been two full days that it has remained tidy. We will see how long that lasts.

It all looks great until the doors are opened!

The freezer. Oy. In the bowels, I found a package of Oona’s breast milk from last Thanksgiving.  The only reason I threw it out was because I am unsure of how long breast milk lasts in the freezer.  When I breastfed, there was never any extra after pumping.

I’m now second-guessing that perhaps I should have saved this for adding to our morning coffee- Just kidding! No I’m not.  Yes! I am!

Also found in the bowels was a cookie I had made for Owen’s first Christmas in 2021.  Covid prevented Oona, Sam, and Owen from visiting so I kept the cookie in the freezer. I meant to give it to Owen last Thanksgiving, but couldn’t find it.  Now you know how bad I am to have found it this week.

The worst thing is I thought I lost this and wasn’t able to give it to Owen a year later. I found it this week. Due to my 10-pound weight loss and continuing, I didn’t eat it. I should have!

The fridge was next.  I swear the moldy items were akin to penicillin. I could have swallowed some and protected my innards from an infection.  There were lots of expired items.  Now everything is nice and orderly.  And up-to-date!

Purchased in 2019 and best used by 2020. I feel bad this almond meal went mostly unused. 

This was shameful. I used quite a bit of this rice flour. But purchased 6 years ago.

MORE almond meal? At least it was updated to expire in 2021!

My favorite from the pantry. Whole nutmeg. I did use a lot of it.

This is so old that the best used by date has slightly worn off. It’s October 2017.  I opened it up and it still smells good so I kept it.

The freezer is tidy now with all expired items in the trash.  On the bottom is my metal rolling pin which I keep frozen –it helps when I’m rolling out dough!

I don’t have much hope for the pantry staying organized.

Yesterday, I did grocery shopping.

My ex-boss from the job I willingly left. I loved working for her and we are friendly with each other. Her nickname is DeeBee so I sent her this while grocery shopping.

I also changed out my handbag.  My LV Neverfull has been put to rest for a while and my Saumur is my “new” everyday bag.

Being home is forcing me to rotate my bags. Where am I going though? The bedroom to the living room?

In addition, I stopped at Old Navy to check out new offerings.

I loved the faux-leather skirt but couldn’t buy it. As of yesterday, I’m on a no-buy. Until I get a job .

Of note, I make sure to get dressed every day.  Its still hot as balls here in the Philly area so although my attire is usually a sundress, I make sure to put makeup on and add hair.  Ahhhh…the life of being home.  It makes me feel ready to be productive although I end up on the loveseat playing Candy Crush.


Getting dressed, putting on makeup and hair makes me feel much better..

Candy Crush Saga Level 3168 Tips -

I have no shame in telling you that I’m up to level 3168 in Candy Crush. I work hard for my achievements…hmmm. perhaps I should add this to my resume!

Earlier this week, I ordered a Hobonichi Mega Weeks journal from Amazon.  My journals are incredible precious to me.  I use three. A larger Lilly Pulitzer one, a Hobonichi Techo and a Hobonichi Mega Weeks.  I was notified the Mega Weeks arrived last night.  When my husband took Chippy out at around 9:45 it was not there.  When I woke up this morning and saw the notification –and the fact there was no package, I notified Amazon.  Because it is Saturday as I write this, customer service—live customer service, will not be able to assist until Monday.  It was suggested I re-order then call for a refund on the first one. Which will be done.

My planners are extremely important to me. As a naturally disorganized person, these place me in the direction I need to be. From Left. Lilly Pulitzer planner, Hobonichi Techo which I need to order for 2024 and my beloved Hobonichi Weeks Mega.

If I’m asked what I did on a certain date, I check my Weeks Mega.

I shared this experience with our community Facebook page and found out that a group of teens is playing “Ding Dong Ditch” and ringing random door bells and even opening the front door and walking into the homes.  I am assuming these effing vagrants stole my package.

Delivered last night. Some MF’er now has my 2024 Hobonichi Weeks Mega. I’m not finished with finding out who did this.  I need a baseball bat and a camera for the front door!

Tonight, after we go to Spring Mill Café for a belated anniversary dinner, I am sitting at the end of my driveway with a baseball bat in hand. I no longer care. WTF is wrong with the parents of these kids?  Ahhhh.  THIS is how life is when you live in a townhouse community in the Philly burbs.  I miss Manhattan more and more every day.  At least the thieves are more respectful and will mug you as opposed to being little cowardly snakes and stealing Amazon packages.

Conshohocken's Spring Mill Café Has the Best French Fare Around

Can’t wait to get to this place for dinner tonight. I might have duck!

The slipcovers on the loveseat in the sunroom were stripped this morning and are now air -drying downstairs.  I’m looking at one of the sofas in the living room. That one gets stripped and washed after the present slipcovers dry!

The downstairs family room is now an airdry room!

And such is the beginning of my unemployed life. At 68, I kind of have low expectations of getting another job any time soon due to ageism.  But—ya never know!

I leave you with a photograph that my stepdaughter, Claire, took down at the shore. A summer reminder to make you happy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

On Job Loss, Affordability, and Sustainability and More

Okay. First things first. On Thursday, I was let go from my job.  Nothing personal.  It was due to a corporate restructuring.  As the only part-timer in our offices and not the only one to have my position eliminated globally, I am going to return to receiving unemployment benefits for the first time in seven years.

This was my reaction.  I’m not crying anymore. In fact, I was pretty damned proud of myself when I called Medicare to let them know that my primary, Blue Cross, insurance was terminated because I didn’t cry!

It sucks but it  happens.  And it wouldn’t have been that bad had I despised my job.  But I loved it. The salary I was receiving was excellent for a part-time receptionist.  I absolutely had a blast greeting and talking to my colleagues as they passed my desk.  I loved greeting visitors and did get to know quite a few of them.

Sexy Customer Service GIF by Juno Calypso

I was that beautiful and pleasant face that everyone saw upon entering the office!

Everyone made me happy.  And the amount of appreciation I received I received upon getting the heave-ho actually made me misty-eyed.  When the people in HR present you with flowers and well-wishes, it makes you feel better.

HR presented me with this flower-filled vase. It was a sweet touch and is now on the coffee table in the living room.

Another colorful plant is in the alcove off the kitchen!

I received little gifts and exchanged emails and phone numbers and next week I’ll be having lunch with a few of “the girls.”  I cannot wait.  In addition, one of the HR recruiters kindly and generously offered to assist in updating and cleaning up my resume.   I’m a  lucky loser!

How cute is the mug and spoon from my co-worker Lori?  I will miss our conversations about her adorable dog and dog siblings!

And I thought back to 2015 when this blog was newly created.  I was on my first round of unemployment due to a corporate closure and this blog became my baby.  Over the years, I have had times when I wrote blog posts regularly and others (i.e., recently) where I didn’t write as much. My second blog post: A Weekend  In Brooklyn


Ahh..that great weekend in January of 2015.  How life has changed. I’ve been employed and unemployed. I got married to the Frenchman. Oona was working in NYC at the time. Now she’s married with two boys and working and living in Cincinnati.  Jake was working in NYC at the time and now lives and works in LA.  Roman is the lone New Yorker.  Due to the writer’s strike he’s been visiting.  Hopefully for his sake the strikes (actors as well) will be over soon!

Now, I’m returning to my “baby” and will most likely be bothering you with trials and tribulations and humorous happenings while deciding which path to take.  Although the unemployment benefits will assist me financially, I’ll be looking for a new position.  Will I return full-time as an executive assistant or receptionist?  Will I continue to work part-time?  Will I even find another job?

Season 6 Nbc GIF by The Office

I can’t wait to make executives sign documents again!

I mean—at 68 years, we are all well-aware that ageism in corporate America runs rampant. Will I be lucky?  Or will I be a number that enters the fraternity of the “retired” and opt to choose—or rather need to opt for retirement benefits since I cannot get hired.

Season 3 Retirement GIF by The Simpsons

I’m not ready for this life yet.  On the other hand, if I don’t become gainfully employed those politicians better keep their grubby hands off my Social Security Benefits!

It’s a crapshoot.  And I enjoy working.  Working keeps me young.  Working helps me to keep my mind in tune and to think, problem-solve and continue the stellar work ethic my parents instilled in me and my siblings, which I passed on to my children.

you got it boss

I happen to enjoy working. The busier the better!

The weekday, morning ritual of me getting prepared for the office that begins with my makeup and dressing along with the well-needed cup of coffee my husband prepares for me is one I treasure. Upon getting dressed, loading my bag, getting into the car, taking my shoes off because driving barefoot is my jam, hooking my iPhone up to listen to tunes on Spotify as I head off on my commute through Valley Forge Park, and repeating that process as I commute home, is one that I always look forward to.

It’s true. I love primping and preparing for work in the mornings. It’s a ritual along with my morning coffee!

Driving through the park makes me happy.  All four seasons are wonderous and beautiful as I drive past the lushness of summer, the vivid colors of early fall into the aesthetics of the fallen leaves, the bare skeletons of the trees both centuries old and newer that allow me a better view of the streams and hills and landscape that George Washington and company fought through, to the new life of the Crayola crayon Spring Green color of the buds and new leaves of Spring.

My favorite tree in Valley Forge Park. I love the way it appears with the different seasons. I especially love how it looks in late Autum through winter! I will miss the commute!

In addition, work is important to me because I like nice things.  Yeah. I have a side to me that is materialistic and I am transparent about it.  Our home is our castle.  And it may not be a millionaire’s décor but I love the things we have placed in it.

My vintage designer bags are my guilty pleasure.  I make no apologies. My inner Barbie loves all things beauty and skincare and clothing. I bear no shame.  And for this, a job is needed. And so, we’ll see what life brings

The vintage LV Saumur bag that was purchased for next to nothing on eBay and sent to Louis Vuitton Repair for Vachetta replacement. It costs a bit and I need a job to keep this up!

The Frenchman is happy because I will be baking his croissants, pain aux raisins and pain au chocolat on a more regular basis.  He has even signed me up for a baguette class upon our return to Paris in November.

WTF? Old People Have No Energy? | Atypical 60

I’ll have more time to perfect croissant baking!

Oh yeah. About Paris.  He surprised me.  Something to look forward to between possible job interviews and we’ll be spending Christmas in Cincinnati.  Oona is hosting so we’ll all be together at her house. I cannot wait to see what Santa Claus brings Owen and Bennett!  Roman is still affected by the writer’s strike so he will be visiting in a couple of weeks so I will be keeping busy during this time.

I prefer to be optimistic as well!

Little Miss Broadway (1938) -- (Movie Clip) Be Optimistic - Turner Classic  Movies

As Shirley Temple sang in “Little Miss Broadway” (my favorite Temple movie), “Be Optimistic” !  Shirley, I AM  trying!

But back to my life as a consumer.   If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I do appreciate nice clothing.  Not necessarily trendy—but more on the classic-with-an edge side and you are aware that J. Crew is my favorite store. And for now, I’ll have to be mindful and separate from J. Crew for a while.  As will I have to pull back from a good amount of stuff I purchase.

So, lets talk about a possible elephant in the room of this post.

Sustainability.  I try to be as conscientious, knowledgeable, and thoughtful as possibly when it comes to sustainability.  Especially as a consumer.  But there are times when I purchase from online vendors that are foreign and might not practice sustainability as well as they should.

This is not a judgement call nor should it be.  These companies can offer items that are incredibly affordable My take on this is leave the self-righteousness aside.  Not everyone can afford sustainable items—especially given the fact that many companies offering “sustainable” “ecologically-friendly” and “fair trade” items are incredibly expensive.

Sustainable Fashion GIF by Wantering

I try to be as responsible as humanly possible. However, perhaps the fashion industry should make clothing more affordable instead of hiking up the pricepoint for responsibility!

And when I did find out that the company I work for started laying executive-level personnel off, I had a very slight indication that my position could be on the chopping block although it still came as a shock.  With my indication, I, out of curiosity, went on the Temu website to sleuth down anything that could be conducive to my upcoming journey in cutting down on expenses.

Temu (marketplace) - Wikipedia

I’m gonna bet that most of you are either familiar with this logo or with the slightly annoying ads for this globally affordable online vendor.

And what I found was shocking and surprisingly positive as a consumer.

One of my sisters regularly orders from Temu and she can afford the best of the best—still, she loves a great bargain.  When we were visiting her a few weeks ago, I mentioned how I loved her straw summer bag. I thought it was a luxury brand.  When she told me she ordered from Temu, I almost fell over.  Then she went on to tell me she orders a lot of items from them.

I have ordered writing supplies and stickers in the past and had no issue, but I’ve never ordered clothing or other items.  Anyway, after perusing the site, I came across three items and purchased them.

From left to right:  A bright pink sweater, a wig, and a short-sleeved sweater in gray.

One, a long-sleeved bright mock turtleneck in a bright pink/raspberry shade.  It cost $12.09.  I was hesitant about the price and saw that the Large was equivalent to the US sizes 8 to 10.  So, I added it to my cart. Also ordered was a short-sleeved sweater.  Very classically cut.  Very basic but versatile. Also purchased in the size Large for 8/10. The last item ordered was a wig for the grand total of $12.97.  You best believe that my expectations were low—especially for the wig. But I ordered and within a week, my package from Temu arrived.

As my expectations were low, I was curious and filled with a bit of anxiety as I opened the package. And please allow me to say something about the packaging.  I appreciated the fact that the items did not arrive in an oversized cardboard box (Are you listening Nordstrom and Amazon?)  The items arrived packaged in a plastic bag (Okay. Not biodegradable but upon opening was placed in our recycle bin).  No space was wasted in the packaging.  Each item was also in a plastic zip-type bag which I immediately placed into my travel bag. Those bags are useful for packing complete outfits for travel.

I did appreciate the fact that the packaging didn’t take up wasted space!

Here’s what arrived in real life:

The bright sweater.  I was shocked at the softness and feel of this item.  Naturally, its acrylic, but it is lightweight and seemingly well-constructed. The sweater is slightly oversized which gives a nice look during this transitional time of summer-to-autumn. During this current September (Can you believe we are in the “ber” months already?) into October, this can be worn with shorts to give less of a summery appearance but maintaining comfort during warmer days.

The bright sweater.  It looks fine and is very soft..

The mock turtleneck can be turned down with ease and it stays put. The length is perfect and if preferred, can be ordered a size down for a more fitted look.  Due to the oversizing, I wouldn’t wear this with a blazer as it could be cumbersome.  Other than that, it looks fine, feels fine and I’m pleased.  I’ve had pricier sweaters that stretched out and lasted less than a month so I’m interested in the wear of this.

Summer-into-Autumn. Worn with a pair of Lilly Pulitzer shorts, this sweater is lightweight enough to wear through those last days of summer into early Autumn.

A closer look. For affordability you can’t top this.  We’ll see how it wears through the cooler and cold months!

The short-sleeved sweater.  At a cost of $8.09, this sweater is incredible. Let me tell you something—I’ve been looking for a sweater like this for a long time.  I have a similar one that is cashmere purchased at J. Crew years ago. It was expensive even though purchased on sale.  I also have two cotton sweaters like this that were purchased at J. Crew factory maybe seven or eight years back. I love them and they are summer, spring and fall-friendly.  And I believe they were about $25 at the time.  When I opened this, my crossed eyes nearly straightened out!

The gray short-sleeved sweater, aside from a few wrinkles that have since been steamed out, this was a GREAT purchase!

The color ordered was gray, and when I tried it on, I was surprisingly and extremely happy to the point I want to order one in black.   Its lightweight and light enough that it can be worn under a blazer with no problem and will be comfortable. The sleeves are a true short sleeve. Not capped nor are the sleeves too short. They are perfect. The bonding at the neckline, hems at the sleeves and bottom of the sweater  are very well-constructed. The neckline is perfect for a strand of pearls or for a delicate necklace.  The fit is wonderful and very long-waisted person friendly.  I’m wearing this as I type the description.  Its cool-morning, warmer mid-morning so worn with my white denim J. Crew shorts this is a great ensemble for this first day of September.  The shoulders fit beautifully. To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with this.  There is a tag with the components of the fabric:  30% viscose; 30 % polyamide;  20% modal and 20% Elastane so there is a slight bit of stretch which is even better for comfort.  Wash separately but I will and will air dry as I do with most of my clothes.  I tell you, this one is a gem!

Although still summer and worn with shorts, this will be worn with jeans, leggings, pants , skirts and blazers in the upcoming months. I tell you that sleeve length is everything!

Pre-steaming, you can get a better look. This sweater is amazing. And I feel no shame in purchasing it!

The wig. For $12.97 I was expecting close to a disposable head O’Hair.  Not so.  When I inspected this wig, I noticed that the wefting was on point, the adjustable bra-straps were fine and the basic cap construction was very good. The ear tabs are almost non-existent but there is a bit of lambswool-textured fabric where the normally wired ear tabs would be on a more expensive wig. For me, it is no big deal as I find ear tabs to be slightly annoying at times due to wearing glasses.

The wig. It is  not luxury and isn’t expensive and nobody is going into debt purchasing it.  

The try on. The length was a tad long for my personal taste. However the density is good. And the color blend is excellent!

The parting space feels a bit like strong paper under the lace lined cap and appears very thin but the bangs/fringe are cut high so the part is not an integral item of the wig’s appearance.  The length was a bit too long for my personal taste so I took a scissor and cut up into the length to make it conducive to my liking. I also trimmed the bangs slightly. And now, I have to say, I am a fan of this incredibly inexpensive wig.  For the price, the style is on point. It is nicely angled, the blending of the shades of brown to blonde is excellent.  This makes for a most appropriate wig for running errands, headed out to a movie, lunch with friends and more casual events.  Would I wear this to a wedding or very special occasion? Probably not and the only reason is the parting space. But then again, maybe I would.

A little trim works wonders. This wig looks fantastic!

 Not every woman (or man) can afford a pricey wig.  There are many people out there on a very limited budget. And nobody should ever be made to feel less than beautiful about themselves. I really have an issue with the plethora of “wig influencers” out there.  Many have a full head of hair and are shilling for a code commission.  Others review gifted wigs, review after wearing one time, then turn around and sell them for almost full-price.  And most women have this notion that if you do not go into debt for a “good” wig or if you do not buy a “good” wig you will look awful and the wig will look wiggy.

hair snob GIF by Nah Cardoso

Wig snobs and wig influencers should NOT be manipulating you into purchasing expensive wigs.  Stay within your budget. There ARE good wigs that are affordable!

I have some expensive wigs that look wiggy. I have expensive wigs that look fantastic.  And although I review wigs, I don’t receive commission nor do I hand out codes. I am not an ambassador for any one brand.  I am simply a woman who wears wigs daily due to hair loss. I review wigs but would never pressure someone to purchase a wig that they cannot afford.  And this just barely 13 USD wig is wonderful and amazingly affordable.  If there is anyone out there on a limited budget and may not be able to purchase a brand name wig, head to Temu and order this.  There are also other wigs for purchase but this is the one that moved my needle.

Oh. I see this is now $11.97!   It’s even more affordable!

In other news, my leg is healing. Its disgusting looking but is healing. I am airing it out and have been applying ointment on it.  I am also running away from Chippy who insists on trying to lick my wound.  I am trying to avoid my husband as we watch TV in our bedroom. He is mistakenly hit my wound which does not bode well with me.

Photo taken Thursday. On this Sunday as I write this,  the leg has healed even more. MOHS surgery. 

Yesterday , we headed to the beach for that last weekend of the summer. My leg was well-bandaged. No way am I going into the salt water because it will sting my boo-boo.  But you can rest assured I was  slathered in sunscreen and sitting under an umbrella wearing my “Gam Gam” baseball cap! Let me tell you, I have been called many things—some not so nice, but being called gam gam is my favorite title (next to mom) ever!

The briny saltiness of the Atlantic came nowhere near my wound!

My Gam Gam baseball cap! I love it and wear it proudly! I ordered from a friend of my daughter’s–they went to college at Maryland together and Oona has ordered clothing for both Owen and Bennett from  Green Moon Baby Co. 

Have a great Labor Day weekend. Enjoy it as we head into September and autumn and the coming holidays.  And if you enjoy everything pumpkin spice, good for you because I’ll pass!


Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Beauty Products I Cannot Live Without

Happy Last Saturday in August!

Today is sunny and hot but we aren’t at the beach.  I had MOHS on my leg.  I’ll tell you the baby oil and iodine tanning thing has come back to bit me not in the ass but on other parts of my body.\

And I used sunscreen.  My dermatologist said it was from years of damage from my youth. 

That said, hopefully I will be healed by next weekend—the wonderful Labor Day last-weekend-of-the-summer, and will be slathered in sunscreen and sitting under an umbrella reading a book for that last beach weekend of 2023.

Team Coco umbrella sunscreen sun protection beach ready GIF

Me getting ready to hit the beach for Labor Day Weekend!

Anyway, while I was getting ready this morning, I realized that there are products both beauty and skincare that I cannot live without and all I want to I will is share them.  Some are generic and some are specific so here we go!

Hocus Pocus Magic GIF

Let me begin my daily skincare and makeup routine!

Cleaning my face:  In a word:  Albolene makeup remover.  These days products like this are called “face balms.”  However, they are expensive dupes of this greatness that melts and removes even the toughest makeup.  Albolene is such a staple that when I open one jar, I go out and buy another.  The product is scooped out and placed into little plastic jars that I bring when traveling.

I am never without. In fact, Albolene has been mentioned in a good number of past blog posts! It is that good!

Recently, I purchased a cleansing balm just to compare.  Juno Skin that was purchased on Amazon.  The difference is this balm will lather after adding water. It’s good.  But I still swear by Albolene.

This is decent. I like it but it is nowhere near my loyalty to Albolene!

Sometimes I just use soap and water to clean my face.  If it is clean is all that matters. And you don’t need to spend a fortune.

Olive Oil Soap Original Nablusi 100% Natural | Handmade Palestine

The soap I use on my face is Al Jamal Olive Oil Soap. It doesn’t dry my skin and leaves it hydrated. I get it on Amazon.

Face Creams: I’m not going to go there with an extensive explanation. I have tried a million face creams.  Most are very good.  A few have been “meh” to “no.”  But for the most part, face cream is face cream.  As long as you are getting moisture—it’s all good.

Having run out of Cerave, I ran to Walmart recently but did not repurchase.  Instead, I spotted a very familiar pink package.  Do you remember Oil of Olay?  The pale pink lotion in the plastic bottle that everyone used back in the day?  Being of a sentimental nature, I picked up the now renamed “Olay Active Hydrating Hydration Active Beauty Fluid Lotion Original” which is quite a mouthful.  It should have kept the original name.

Yes. I returned to “Old School” Olay! And it’s more than Okay!

To be honest, I forgot how hydrating this inexpensive lotion was.  Other than the strong floral scent (that dissipates after a moment or two), I was shocked at how hydrating this remains.  It keeps the skin soft and for the price, I have, like the prodigal son, returned to the Olay home.  I do not need the new stuff.  Just gimme the old school pink lotion and I’m happy.

I’m not going to go into foundations, concealers, bronzer, blush, mascara—simply because there are just too many types of these products.  Different foundations are used for various purposes from every day to special events.  Concealers aren’t a regular part of my routine.  Bronzers—I have many and don’t use them daily.  Blush—depending on how I feel and the season, sometimes darker and sometimes lighter.  In summer rarely but mostly after the tan has left.  Mascara is another thing.  I’m not faithful to any one brand and I prefer drug store mascara.  So, onto more of my “can’t -live-withouts” ….

Sad Amy Schumer GIF

I’m leaving all the contour, blush, bronzers out of this post. Concentrating on the basics for now!

Q-Tips: I realize we should not be using these to clean our ears. Not to go off-topic but I’ll tell you a story about ear cleaning.  Back in my twenties when I worked at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, we had an in-office doctor.  He came in very handy.  I was getting ready for work one morning and decided to multi-task.  I cleaned my ear with a Q-tip then reached for makeup. While reaching for the makeup, my elbow, in error hit the Q-tip and jammed it into my ear.  It was more painful than labor.  When I tried to yank the tip out, half remained in my ear.  I had to get dressed, take the subway to work and run up to the doctor with this thing sticking out of my ear.

The tips of Q. Nobody should be without these. And don’t clean your ears with them!

The doctor was shocked and could not believe how …. “irresponsible” I was (his word for stupid).  He was ready to send me to the hospital with a possible ruptured eardrum.  Instead, he took a tweezer and removed the leftover Q-tip.  He was even more shocked that my eardrum was not ruptured.

I don’t clean my ears out anymore.  This might be why I now have selective hearing.

Danny Devito Lol GIF by It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Do NOT stick objects into your ears to clean them out!

So just what do I use these little cotton-edged sticks for?  Removing mascara that smears from my bottom eyelids.  Removing nail polish from my toes when I decide to give myself a pedicure.  Applying ointments to my many wounds and skin surgeries.

Neutral Eye Shadow: The amount of eyeshadow palettes I have is ridiculous.  I’m not into color. I’m into neutrals.  This palette that I made myself is entirely composed of MAC shadows. I purchased an empty palette and purchased my favorite neutrals. I do have a couple of the same (far right in top and second row) shadow “Quarry” which is now discontinued. But overall, this is the one I reach for more than any other.  The shadows stay put.  There is no fallout and I’m a fan of the individual shadows.  Separately, they are not expensive so building a palette is a cost-effective move.

You can tell by the state of this palette that it is used a lot. Like every day a lot. TBH, the palettes you build yourself are the best ones!

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter:  It’s not cheap, but I really love this during fall, winter, and spring.  Worn under face makeup, it gives the skin a nice glow.  It’s subtle but you know it’s there.  A little goes a long way and I do have a backup for when my present bottle is used. It’s that product that I will always have on hand.  I do not use it in the summer due to tanning but this is a great three-season product.

Because I heard such great things about L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion being a dupe for the Tilbury Flawless Filter, I purchased it. About 2/3 less expensive I found you get what you pay for.   Although it does give a glow, this dried out my skin to the point I felt like I had a mask on.  I could not believe it.  My face felt so taut and dry—it was a disappointment.   Being resourceful, I will probably use this as an under-brow highlighter.

There are times when the pricier product is better. This is definitely one of them.  Charlotte Tilbury by a mile!

NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue: This gloss in this shade has been a staple for me for years. YEARS!  I have one in every purse. I have two in my vanity and a couple in my stash.  When I see it in the store, I buy it. I hoard this gloss in fear it will be discontinued.  It is a bright pink but so incredibly flattering it’s ridiculous.  It is a universally flattering shade for all skin tones.  And at $5.00 it is a bargain.  Luxury brands that I’ve tried cannot compare to this butter gloss.

Hands down, the greatest lip gloss of all time!

In addition, my lips are constantly chapped. I put this on and my lips stay smooth. This is, hands down, the greatest gloss of all time.

NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue on my lips here!  It’s such a beautiful pink!

Trestique Line Sharpen & Smudge Eye Pencil in Santorini Black Sand: Every. Single. Day.  I use this to tightline my eyes.  Since my eyes are somewhat wonky due to them being crossed, they just look better when tight lined at the water line and inside top lid.  This does not fade. It stays all day.  All. Freaking. Day.   It’s another staple that I have multiples of.  No other brand has come close to staying in place as long as Trestique.

This eye pencil by Trestique is a cannot-live-without.  I have a few stashed away and the tight line never fades! 

e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil:  I’m on my fourth. At $3.00 this is an incredible brow product. Yes. I also have others but this is my most-used. It’s easy to apply, the formula is creamy but not too creamy that it fades.  The tip of the pencil is slanted which makes it even easier to apply.

I travel with this as well.  The formula is outstanding and the price even more so!

e.l.f. Eyeliner Pen: Another inexpensive item. This also runs around three bucks.  The formula is liquid but isn’t “wet.” The tip of the pen is very pointy and felt-tipped. Like a Sharpie for the eyes.  I use this on my top lid and it applies dark over even the glitteriest shadow.  In the past I’ve tried pricey eyeliner pens and this one is by far much better.

That tip draws a perfect line. And the color does not fade during the day.  I picked up another one yesterday!

Subtl Beauty Shine Control Pressed Powder:   Subtl Beauty is one of those brands that I have been using for years.  I love the concept of the makeup stacks and they come with me on every travel destination.  All the products are used regularly but the one that I’m most reliable on is the pressed powder.  Now, as an old and mature woman, face powders are not necessarily my friend.  However, this powder is so finely milled and undetectable that I rely on it daily. Especially underneath my eyes because my mascara won’t smudge.  If there is one powder that you are in the market for, head to Subtl Beauty and pick up this little powder. It’s epic.

The “old” version of the powder is on the left. It’s clear from the pic that this is a well-used and loved powder.  Subtl Beauty revamped their stacks adding a different look and larger stacks with more product. The photo on the right is the powder in a new stack. Same great product. THE best face powder I’ve ever used!

Scent: It might seem out-of-the-box, but I can’t live without scent. I wear it every day.  In summer it’s Fragonard’s Fleur d’Oranger with other seasonal aromas.   My preference is for French brands because they aren’t fizzy or overbearing the way some American brands are. I prefer a lighter more subtle scent.

Presently the Fleur d’Oranger is my summer scent. In a few weeks to welcome autumn, I’ll switch to the sandalwood scent of Fragonard’s Santal!

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen 30 Face Sheer Tint:  My friend AnnaMaria told me about this and I’m so happy she did.  After having skin cancer on my face, I’ve been obsessed with sunscreen for my face but the crappy thing is that my eyes are incredibly sensitive. Therefore, finding a good facial sunscreen is nearly impossible.

If you have sensitive skin or eyes that get bothered by sunscreen, this is the product for you!  My only complaint is the tube. See how dirty it is at the bottom? That’s because a lot of product comes out when you squeeze so you need to be light-handed. Something I am not!

Let me tell you something. This was made for sensitive eyes.  My googly eyes don’t become bothered at all when I wear this tinted sunscreen. And the tint works with cool complexions.  It doesn’t oxidize but will blend in with a tan. It’s a must-have for summer and I do use it off-season when I’m outdoors.  I hope CeraVe never discontinues this.

A New Eyeshadow:  As an aside, I have heard great things about RMS cosmetics. The founder is 68 years old so one would think she markets to the mature woman.  She does not.  Instagram posts showcase young people of diversity but there’s no old ladies.  Her website is clearly geared to a young consumer. It is too bad because the products look fantastic. I sent an Instagram message asking why there are no older mature women and I received a canned response.

Yeah. The founder is 68 years and she’s gorgeous. Look how great she looks in red lipstick. But the daunting thing is the products are geared to young people..

Diversity includes the male makeup fan but omits the old lady makeup fan. This is so phony.  If you are truly diverse EVERYONE of every age will be included.

The one product I was wanting to try is the Eyelights Cream Shadow because it looks like a decent “one-and-done” products for days when you do not want a ton of shadows on your eyes.  However, I was so put off by both the response and the fact the company is really marketed to young people rather than mature.  So, I didn’t order. RMS Beauty Eyelights Cream - Blaze Eye Shadow Women 0.28 oz : Beauty & Personal Care

TBH, I would have spent the $28 to try one of these shadows. I’m so disgusted by ageism that I won’t buy.

So, when I spotted this e.l.f. liquid shadow in the shade “Moon” I was intrigued. For the $6.00 spent, I tried it and liked it a lot. It is glittery but not too glittery. It doesn’t dry too quickly so you are able to blend it in with ease.

Creamy. Glides on. Blends beautifully.  Has a subtle color. And  cost me $6.00!

Here’s how the e.l.f. shadow looks on me. And they say older women shouldn’t wear glittery shades. I call BS!

That’s it for now!    What are your “can’t-live-without” products?  We can recommend to others and learn what we all love!

Here I am earlier today after applying all the products mentioned in this post. Notice the bandage on my upper arm?  I prepared for winter by getting a flu shot yesterday!!!!!  I’m leaving no stone or snowball unturned!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Long-Awaited Wig Post!

Lately I have been on the receiving end of emails and personal messages asking me to write a blog post about the wigs I wear and my “wig” story. I have also received quite a few messages and emails asking me what I think about those in the wig community who pontificate their Christian and political ideologies as well as thoughts on guns.  And yes, there are several wig-wearers who bring sensitive subject matter into their reviews on various forms of social media.

Let us go back a few years here..or “hair”  to see my wig evolution!

Let me address the second part of the inquiries.  I’ve unfollowed those who intertwine wigs with scriptures, Bible passages, politics and, if they are pro-gun, I do not follow. My personal ideologies and beliefs are meant for separate social media posts.  And, out of respect for the wig companies sending me product for review, any sensitive subject matter has no place in a wig review. I have also taken certain wig vendors off my follow list as they support the beliefs of those reviewers. It is as simple as that.  I don’t bad-mouth, I don’t start online arguments, I merely click and unfollow.

Was Jesus a hippie? 🙃✌️(my reflection in the comments) : r/ActualHippies

Hey. Jesus was a hippie. End of story. He didn’t wear a wig either. End of story.

I do, however, have issues with the use of filters, but I will discuss that later in this post.

Anyway, anxiety and stress have long been a part of my life.  It goes back to childhood and I am not going to elaborate on that for now.

nervous sweating

Add stomach aches, headaches, depression….and panic. 

It was around the time I was in high school, that my anxiety took the route of pulling on my hair.  Every time I felt anxious or stressed, I would head up to my room, put on some music (Jimmy Hendrix) and would pull strands of hair out.  Then I started to pick at my scalp until it bled. I’m not going to say I got satisfaction with this, but it did relieve some of the stress and anxiety.

Stay Home Betty Boop GIF by Fleischer Studios

Sadly, I still do this when I’m stressed. I cut my hair (what’s left of it) into a chin-length bob and I’m still pulling.

Because my hair was unusually thick and porous, it appeared that I had a ton of hair—which I did.  The pulling and picking would remain throughout my adult life.  I did not notice any changes in my hair until my forties.  And it was thinning.  My part became wider but it had not reached that issue—yet.  It wasn’t until one of my friends—or was it one of my sisters, who noticed a bald spot on the back of my crown.  I never noticed it because of the way I wore my hair.

The Hair Apparent. An Irresistible Solution to Female Hair Loss and Thinning! | Atypical 60

When I look back at this old photo, the damage had already been done.  Dying my hair disguised the baldness a bit.

When the bald spot was pointed out, I became panicky and made an appointment with my general practitioner.  She brushed it off as pre-menopausal and said that her hair had thinned a lot. Still not happy with her explanation, I kept pulling and picking and noticed that my once lustrous head of hair had become much thinner.  In fact, I started to notice that areas where I pulled my hair and picked at my scalp, the hair was not growing back.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

I didn’t chew my hair nor did I pull out hair other than the hair on my head. But I would search out split ends.   Some people turn to drugs. I turned to pulling out my hair. 

It wasn’t until I changed doctors that I found out I had trichotillomania. A mental condition where hair is pulled out, one can pick their scalp or other areas of the body.  What I never expected was the permanent damage I caused to myself.  Trich is a form of emotional illness and it is a form of body mutilation.  I will not delve further.

My hair was still in okay shape though. With clever styling, the baldness was hidden. And with a clever hairstylist who talked me into long layers, my hair looked damned good! Adam worked wonders!  Then it got to a point where I had to use a product made up of fibers, and sprinkled on the head, to hide the baldness which had gotten progressively worse (and yes, I was still pulling my hair).   I would get my hair styled and Adam worked wonders with the product.

The Lost Weekend Chronicles–Friday With Fallon! | Atypical 60

Adam at Bleu Mousse salon in Wayne, PA was THE best hairstylist I had gone to in my life.  He was incredible and I miss the way he did my hair.

I bought a wig. I’ll never forget the first wig I purchased.  Scorpio by Revlon.  It was a bob and looked good but I was so anxious about wearing it to work or even out in public.  I did manage enough bravery to wear it to my sister’s house on a Long Island visit.  My niece asked me if I was wearing a wig.  When I told her that I was she looked at me and said “It looks nice” in a very non-judgmental way.

This is Scorpio. The first wig I ever bought.  I wish I hadn’t been so self-conscious at the time because looking back, this was a great little wig!

I continued to sit on the fence until I purchased a topper that I figured would solve my issue. At the time I purchased a topper from Uniwigs.  The topper, texturally was fantastic because it wasn’t silky. It matched the coarse texture of my natural hair.  I wore it to work, and if anyone noticed, nothing was said.  The issue with the topper was that I had to constantly adjust and re-adjust it. : Human Hair Toppers with 2 Clips in, 2.4"x 4.7" Silk Base Forehead Topper Hairpieces Hand Tied Wiglet for Women, 12" Dark Brown : Beauty & Personal Care

Toppers were a pain-in-the-neck for me. Constantly adjusting. It is just so much easier to wear a wig!

This was at a time when the women who had wig tutorials on YouTube and social media were women of color.  I owe so much to those women because these women   taught me how to wear and customize wigs.   I learned how to cut a lace front and how to widen a too-thin part by tweezing and adding concealer to hide any line of demarcation.

4 Sexy Wig Options for Natural Hair Women, Wigs under $30 Dollars for Black Women, Honest Wig Review - YouTube

I owe my wig education to women of color. Thank you!

Gradually, I became more confident in wearing wigs. And started my little way of reviewing them on YouTube.

TRESSALLURE MIA WIG REVIEW (@Atypical60) : A Wavy, Layered Winner! - YouTube

Head to my YouTube Channel to watch some wig reviews!  

I continue to review wigs on YouTube and Instagram but slack off during summer. On summer weekends, you can find me at the beach and not in front of a camera. And when I do get the opportunity to review a wig, you can bet your bottom dollar that review will be an unedited, unfiltered, totally transparent review.

No filters.  I do use a ring light to get the house lighting a bit brighter but you NEED to see my skin tone, my wrinkles and features! 

I do not filter my face simply because at 68 years, my face is wrinkled. It is textured.  I have redness that I cover with makeup. I am naturally cross-eyed.  I have a nose. I want you to see me at my worst because you need to see how a wig can enhance an older woman’s looks and add a nuance of youthfulness.

Getting ready to put a few wigs on for ya! I prefer to wear a nylon wig cap because it keeps the hair that I have in place and is rather comfortable. My wigs don’t shift when I wear this type of wig cap.

And that is what you need to realize when looking and researching wigs on social media. Whether it be on Instagram or Facebook, the lands of over-filtering and catfishing, or YouTube reviews where studio lighting added to filters are used.

Fans accuse Khloe Kardashian of over-filtering her selfies -

You will never see me without a proper nose or with over-photoshopped lips.  You need to see my at my worst!

What you need to consider is the shape of your face.  Is it square and angular? (Hello! That would be me) Has age gifted you with jowls?  Then you might want a wig with soft layers framing your face.  And take length into consideration. You do not necessarily want a short wig that is close-cropped.  Length does not have to be long. Shoulder to chin works beautifully on the mature woman.

This is Finn by Estetica Designs. The shade is Caramel Kiss.  My face shape is square and to soften my face, the layers in this wig are just beautiful.   Finn is a favorite!

What is your skin tone?  Are you warm?  Cool?  Neutral?  The color of a wig can make you look vibrant or washed out.    I prefer ashy blonds and caramel browns.  I can get away with reds if they tend to blend toward strawberry blond or have brown in the mix.  A true ginger does not look good on me neither does a bright platinum blonde.

My Favorite Wigs of 2018. The Bridge Edition. | Atypical 60

The burgundy color of this wig was difficult for me to wear. The photo looks okay but in real life, it was a challenge with my coloring.

A strawberry blonde works better for me. In fact, this Easton Wig by Inner Bellezza has me on the receiving end of many compliments at work.

This ashy blonde (I cannot recall the color) of Gabor Wigs “High Society” is another color that works well!

Color makes a difference as we age.  Although my natural hair color was black, a wig that dark looks harsh on me these days.  A few years back I could get away with it because my hair was dyed black.  Now that I’ve stopped coloring my hair, I’m more comfortable in lighter shades.  My opinion but I think older women look much better in a lighter shade.

Oops. Actually this shade “Chocolate Smoke” by Estetica Designs isn’t harsh at all. The wig is my favorite bob “Jamison” and I have her in many colors!

What I'm “Hairing”! | Atypical 60

Back in 2017, this black wig (shade 1B), Storm by Model Model was my favorite wig.  Storm is no longer made and six years later, my skin and coloring have changed to the point this would now be too dark for me.  Dang–I loved this wig!

Decide which type of wig you feel more comfortable with.  Basic cap?  Lace front or mono top?  Human or synthetic hair?  Take these into consideration.  Some love a basic cap.  For me, a lace, or mono top works better because I feel they are more natural looking.  I do have a couple of basic cap wigs that I love and wear quite often and they give off a very natural appearance.

This is a basic wig cap. Note the absence of a true part and a lace front.  At times basic cap wigs can appear “wiggy”.

Harlow by Noriko. This is the shade Chocolate Frost. She’s a basic cap wig but I love her. She looks good for a basic cap. I purchased her on the cheap on a “buy two, get one free”.  This is where you need to research. I’ve seen this wig as little as $111 USD  up to over $200 USD.

Lace front with Lace part. Looking more natural.  Note the silicone strip along the front of the lace.  This helps to keep the wig in place.

Again, the Easton Wig, it’s the lace front and part–incredibly affordable and very well-constructed!

Raquel Welch Bella Vida Wig.  It is a hand-tied, extended lace front and mono top with the new Luxlite cap. Honestly, this is THE most comfortable wig cap ever.  You can’t feel it.

Bella Vida by Raquel Welch Wigs! The Perfect Wig has been created! - YouTube

Here she is.  Bella Vida. Honey Pecan.  I recently reviewed on my YouTube Channel. Here is the link if you would like to see:  Atypical60 Bella Vida Review

Some prefer human hair wigs.  And I’ve noticed there is a slight snobbish aspect of this.  Those who prefer human hair tend to pooh-pooh synthetic wigs.  Here’s my thoughts.  I LOVE synthetic wigs. And I love them because they are easy and convenient.   My bio hair took a long time to wash, dry, and style. It was so thick that it took nearly three hours. I’m not putting myself through that again.  And plopping a synthetic wig on my noggin is so easy!

This is Pandora by UniWigs LaVivid line. It was the only human hair wig I ever owned. I wore it to the beach and went swimming.  It dried wavy and it took forever to get it back to being straight. I have neither the time nor patience to deal with this anymore.

What size is your head?  Some brands will fit better than others.  My head is average to slightly large due to the weight of the hair that I still have.  Estetica Designs, Raquel Welch and Gabor wigs fit me the best.  Other brands favoring a smaller skull can work but toward the end of the day feel tight and I don’t like that feeling. Examples of the smaller wig brands are Jon Reneau and Envy.  Both are very tight on my head.  The best thing you can do is measure the circumference of your head to get the best wig fit for you.

This is Estetica Designs “Alden” in Caramel Kiss. It’s the longest in length that I’ll wear. And I love this wig. Very Julia Roberts. I wore Alden to Oona’s wedding!


“Sage” by Estetica. This is the shortest I’ll go. I love the fullness and I can’t remember the shade!


Gabor Wigs “High Society”  I believe this is the Champagne blonde color. I have three of this model.  Gabor makes a great wig!

Same Gabor wig in a gray shade!

Review by @Atypical60 of Upstage by Raquel Welch Wigs! - YouTube

“Upstage” by Raquel Welch in Cappuccino SS.   

What’s your budget.  This is something you need to be mindful of.  Price increases abound, you should not go into debt because you are being pressured by an influencer that you need an expensive wig.  One of my most-worn and favorite wigs happens to be a very affordable on. Easton by Inner Bellezza.  This is an affordable and stunning wig with a ‘60’s vibe that wears very well!

Back with “Easton” by Inner Bellezza.  This won’t break the bank!

I also love The Wig Company’s in-house brand, Statements.  Not only does The Wig Company offer brand-name wigs, but their house brands are very good.

“Luxurious” by Statements, the house brand of The Wig Company. She’s lightweight and incredibly affordable!

You do not need to experience hair loss to wear a wig!  Remember back in the 1960’s and 1970’s when falls and other hairpieces were popular?  Nobody thought twice about wearing them! There was no stigma. Hair enhancements were fun! What happened over the years to make women balk at wearing wigs for convenience or fun?

HEY LADY! YOU NEED A WIG!!!!! | Atypical 60

Falls and other hairpieces of the 1960’s should have gotten more love decades later. I personally love the look of these falls!

Vacations are a great example.  You are away for a week. You are swimming in the ocean or lake or pool.  All day.  Then you go to dinner.  Imagine the time spent showering and drying and styling your hair.  With a wig, just plop it on and go.

In France this June.  I wore Finn by Estetica quite often. Swim in the morning, wig in the afternoon!

Events are another example of wigs being your best friend.  When my daughter, Oona, was married, all I had to do was plop a wig on my head after my makeup was done. No time spent having my hair done. I took it out of the box then went on my merry way.

My Favorite and Best Wigs of 2019! | Atypical 60

Took less than a minute to do my hair for my daughter’s wedding. I plopped Estetica’s “Alden” in Caramel Kiss on my noggin!

We Attended a Wedding! We're on the Way to Normal! | Atypical 60

For my girlfriend MaryBeth’s daughter’s wedding, I wore “Jamison” by Estetica! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

At work, everyone knows I wear wigs.  It is no big deal.  Some of my co workers have their favorites.  Some like my wavy wigs and others prefer my straight-haired wigs. Either way, it’s always fun!

HEY LADY! YOU NEED A WIG!!!!! | Atypical 60

“Avalon” by Estetica is another favorite of co-workers!

Sometimes I receive compliments from strangers on my hair style.  When they find out it’s a wig, the shock sets in. It is important for me to try to normalize wearing wigs. And usually these conversations last quite a while. It is good to educate others on wearing wigs.

Aging hair.  Let’s face it.  Not all of us have hair that ages well.  The hair that I do have is dry. It is porous and is coarse. The shade range runs from charcoal to white and makes me look washed out.  Cover that aging hair with a wig.  It will boost your confidence and wake up your face a bit.

My bio hair. After two hours of setting, blow drying and adding fibers to cover the bald spots. It’s too much work for me. Wigs look better. With age comes wigsdom!

Do this for you!  If you experience hair loss, hair that hasn’t aged well or just want a bit of change without cutting your hair, wigs are the answer.  This isn’t the time to ponder what others think. This is selfish time. Do it for you.  And have a sense of humor about it.  My kids started calling me Moira Rose after the infamous Schitt’s Creek matriarch who wore wigs daily.    One of my coworkers recently saw the movie “80 for Brady” and said she thought of me when Jane Fonda’s character opened the trunk of her car and it was filled with wigs.  I got a big giggle out of that because I saw that movie on a flight to France this summer and thought of me too!   Honestly, it’s fun when little things like that remind people of you.

Schitt's Creek: Meet Catherine O'Hara's wig stylist Ana Sorys |

Moira Rose and her wigs. I just love her!

Upkeep.  I take good care of my wigs. And I think that’s why they last for a long time.  I use a wide-tooth comb after every use and place the wig inside out back in its box.  Before wearing, I “comb” with my fingers.

After taking my wig off, I run a wide-toothed comb through it..

…then I turn inside out and place… the box!

Then she goes into the wig closet!

I don’t wash my wigs often either.  Since they are synthetic, they really don’t need to be washed often. And when I do wash them, I do not use fabric softener to condition.  I ruined a beautiful Wren wig by Estetica Designs by conditioning it in fabric softener and that was a huge mistake. The wig stretched out; the fibers just hung. It really was a huge mistake.

This is the wig I destroyed by conditioning. I love Wren by Estetica and was so angry with myself when I ruined her..

Here’s my blonde Wren. I’ve had her for a few years and I think I washed her twice. Take care of your wigs and you don’t need to wash them often!

HD fibers don’t wear as well and at times, the ends can get frayed.  Two solutions.  Steam the wig or cut the ends off.  But be careful doing both.  Remember to cut up into the wig and not across.

This is Raquel Welch’s “Current Events” wig. It’s an HD Fiber wig and a number of people don’t like the way HD fibers wear. I’ve had no issue.

That’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this little journey and take these tips into consideration.  Remember—this is for you.  And enjoy!


The most important thing is YOU!  YOU will wear the wig. Not your mother, sister, daughter, friend. It’s you–so be a bit selfish!  And I hope this helped a little bit!

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Why We Need Barbie in Our Lives Right Now. Women! I’m Talking to YOU!

Warning:  Spoilers.  If you have not yet seen the movie, Barbie, then you might not want to read further into this blog post.  On the other hand, you might want the spoilers anyway. It is akin to sneaking into your parent’s closet during Christmas time and peeking at the gifts.

Me, in the “BB” period of my life. “Before Barbie”. Even as a pre-toddler I was trying to figure out how to open Christmas gifts before their time.

Back in 1960, I was five years old.  Barbie, the doll by Mattel, was a year old.  She came into existence in 1959, when I was four.

I remember the day when I acquired my first Barbie. The memory is so vivid.  My parents, me and two younger siblings embarked upon a shopping trip to Green Acres shopping center, now called Green Acres Mall.  My parents had a bit of shopping to do and naturally, their strategy to appease three children was to take us to the toy department.

Back then it was “Green Acres Shopping Center”. I don’t think the word “mall” existed yet. 

Now, you must know, my parents were not the sort to buy toys for us during every expedition of pure consumerism—but there were times when we were pleasantly surprised by the parental generosity.

Such was the case that day.  I was looking at dolls.  And I spotted that thin box with the beautiful teenager dressed in various ensembles.  And inside, was the most gorgeous vision I had ever seen in my young life.

The original Barbie. She changed my entire doll life. And I thank my parents for buying her when I was five years old!

She was blonde.  She had tiny finger and toenails painted red.  Her natural arch was higher than mine.  And in the box were black mules that could slide onto her highly-arched plastic feet. Also in the box were sunglasses.  I almost felt a kinship because I wore eyeglasses due to my crossed-eyes.  However, Barbie didn’t have crossed eyes.  She was perfect!

One of my aunts gifted me with a dark-haired Barbie simply because my own hair was black. Who cares what color Barbie’s hair is. She’s beautiful!

Time stopped for me.  This Barbie who stood erect in her box was not my Thumbelina nor was she my Tiny Tears or Betsy Wetsey. She was small in stature. She could fit into my hand.  I was awestruck.  And with my crossed-eyes, I was able to see two of her.  I wanted just the one.

And then it happened.  My mother picked up a closed box, opened it, inspected it, and handed it to me. (I am starting to cry as I write this).  We walked up to the cashier and Barbie was mine!

On the way home that day, we drove into Brooklyn so my parents could buy a Blackout Cake from Ebinger’s bakery.  I didn’t care about the cake. I didn’t care about my two siblings in the car sitting next to me.  If there was heavy traffic along the Belt Parkway, I was completely unaware because I was sitting and admiring my Barbie.  Barbie was all I cared about.

Thus, began my childhood love of all things Barbie.  I only side-stepped my Barbie the Christmas that I received my Chatty Cathy doll. That was in 1962.  After Chatty’s string broke, it was back to Barbie.

1962 Chatty Cathy Doll Dee Cee Canada Original Clothes Box | Chatty cathy  doll, Chatty cathy, Doll clothes

For quite some time, Chatty Cathy knocked Barbie out of my favorite doll category–until Cathy’s string broke. Then it was back to Barbie!

Barbie coloring books, paper dolls, the Barbie game.  I had them all.  I do somewhat put the blame on Barbie for assisting in my purchasing of brand-name clothing but hey, everyone has their faults.

In an odd way, I blame Barbie for making me aware of brand-name labels. I didn’t want ANY other clothing for my Barbies unless they came in the iconic box for genuine Barbie clothes.

Midge, Barbie’s freckle-faced, flipped hairdo friend, arrived a few years later in 1963; Midge arrived on my 8th birthday.    And as life goes on, somewhere around my 12th year, I wasn’t as interested in Barbie as I was when younger.  I still loved to take her out and dress her, but in my tween sophistication, I discovered Teen and Ingenue magazines and my focus began to shift.

Vintage Barbie: 123 Red-Haired Straight Leg Midge, Mint in Original Box,  1962

I had this exact same Midge. She was the best birthday present ever! 

Then, one day when I was about 14, I headed down to our basement.  It was a very rainy afternoon in the summer and, in a moment of sentimentality, all I wanted to was take out my Barbies, Midge, Skipper and dress them up.  We had a huge toy closet in the finished basement where toys, both current, and of the past, were stored.

In addition, I wanted to check that my favorite Barbie outfit of all time was still on Barbie. I had younger siblings.

There was, however, a problem.  I could not find my teenaged dolls.  I searched to no avail. Then I ran upstairs to ask my mother where my Barbies were.   My mother told me that she had given them to a younger cousin because I no longer played with them.

That was the defining moment in which I realized I could no longer place my trust in adults.  I was betrayed.  Nobody asked me if it was okay to give my property away. Did my cousin ask for the dolls.  When I questioned my mother, she, and in a very annoyed manner, said that it was her decision to give the dolls away.

Jodie Whittaker Trust GIF by Doctor Who

That’s right. From that moment on, I never trusted an adult again. I still don’t trust adults!

From that day forward, I swore that I would never do that to my children.  And I’ve kept that mindset.  In our garage and other closets of the house, I have Oona’s dolls, some Barbies included.  I have Jake’s baseball gear and I have Roman’s action figures. The offer for them to regain ownership is open but all three tell me that I can just hold on to the stuff.

I’m not kidding. This Barbie is housed in a box in the garage. And she’s still unopened! 

Back to the subject at hand.  The Barbie Movie.

Barbie Movie Posters: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae & Dua Lipa –  Deadline

Greatness.  Directed by a woman. Now over $900,000. in receipts globally. It’ll reach a billion. And it isn’t streaming yet!

You can just imagine how my interest was piqued upon learning a Barbie movie would be released this summer.  And although Miss Barbie has evolved into a universe of Pinkdom, my childhood memories returned.

At the King of Prussia movie theatre.  The lobby was decorated in Barbie!

My Barbie never aspired to be a mommy.  And although she and Ken, did have wedding apparel, her teenaged wedding was not a main focus. It was just…………………………………………………………. Barbie!

Vintage Barbie - The Thomas Romanotto Collection: 60 Blonde Ken in "Here  Comes the Groom" Ensemble, 1966

My Barbie was in no hurry to walk up the aisle. Our modern Barbie isn’t ready either!

Another aspect that had me wanting to see the movie was the director.  Greta Gerwig.  I loved Little Women and other films she directed and to have a Barbie movie being directed by a woman made the movie even more appealing to me.

Greta Gerwig Surprises Fans 'Barbie Premiere' at Alamo Drafthouse – Rolling  Stone

Let’s give Greta Gerwig a standing ovation! I want her to win an Oscar–either for Barbie or any future endeavors!

Then there was the cast.  Margot Robbie as Barbie.  Actually, Margot Robbie is Barbie. I thought she was beautiful as Sharon Tate in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” but she is even more so in Barbie!   Ryan Gosling’s Ken was another bit of genius casting.  Both are dolls.

Margot Robbie's Best Barbie-Inspired Looks From Her Press Tour - The New  York Times

Margot Robbie as Barbie was casting perfection! She IS the iconic doll!

The trailers didn’t really focus on the actual story which was a good thing because the movie was better than I could have ever expected.

Here’s the spoiler—so you can skip or read.

The movie starts out in such a profound way.  Little girls playing with their baby dolls.  Make believe mommies.  Ironing and enjoying little tea parties with those cute little babies, gives an indication of the sign of the times.   Weren’t most of us conditioned into thinking that home making and babies were all we aspired to?

From the beginning scenes of girls playing with dolls, I was hooked.

That scene seriously resonated with me. Check out the doll, playpen and ironing board and iron behind me. I was conditioned (and I was VERY conditioned on the ironing–it remains my Zen)

A moment later a structure appears on the screen.  It is a giant structure.  Iconic as the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.   But it is a doll.  A giant doll and it is Barbie (I am getting chills just typing this). Its Barbie donned in the iconic striped bathing suit, her foot arches higher than McDonald’s golden ones, and those fabulous mules.

An homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Barbie towering over all!

The girls in the film are as awestricken as I was back in 1960 when Barbie came into my life.  It is an incredible opening scene and is astounding as to how times have evolved.

And then we are introduced to Barbieland.  Where everything is bubblegum pink perfection.  All Barbies are someone.  From a Nobel-prize winning writer to an astronaut to the President of the United States.  These Barbies are not waiting around looking for Ken Charming!

Barbie' Production Designers Reveal Hardest Part About Creating Barbieland  | THR Video

Good Morning Barbieland!

Our Barbie leads a perfect life in Barbieland.  Women are the rulers—and they are all beautiful and have great and impressive careers and live in a pink universe.  Barbie is always happy.

Barbie is President. Barbie is a Nobel Prize Winner. All Barbies have impressive careers!

Then something happens to our lead Barbie.  She mentions the word “death” and asks if anyone ever thought about it.  Everything stops.  Barbie realizes she said the wrong word.  And the next day her death thoughts recur.

Nihilistic Barbie - Imgflip

The sentence that changes the movie.

And thus begins the journey.

Without giving too many details because I really do not want to spoil this for those who haven’t seen the film, what ensues is an entertaining, enlightening and socially important movie.

I will go on with some details.

Barbie embarks on a journey to the “real world” where she finally meets up with Gloria and her teen daughter, Sasha, played with full teen angst and misery by Ariana Greenblatt

Barbie, with stowaway Ken, embarks on a journey through road and sea and universe.

Everything We Know About the Barbie Movie Sleepover | POPSUGAR  Entertainment UK

America Ferrara’s monologue was incredible food for thought for every woman. Please read every word of it below!

Barbie’s disturbing thoughts are the result of a certain human woman’s emotions morphing into our favorite doll.  The character that America Ferrara plays, Gloria, a Mattel employee, should win an Oscar for her monologue alone:

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.

It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out, in fact, that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.”

I sat in the movie theatre and cried when this monologue was spoken. It rang true. One hundred percent true.  And I felt it in my soul and heart.

And that was one of the great things about this movie.  It had plenty of humor—Kate McKinnon as “Weird Barbie” was the wise one.  Her looks were unconventional because she was that Barbie your younger siblings may have confiscated and somehow used permanent markers to “improve” upon her already made-up face.  Weird Barbie’s hair was chopped into a hair style that any punk rocker may have been envious of.  And we all had a Weird Barbie somewhere in our collection or at the bottom of a toybox.

Which Barbie Does Kate Mckinnon Play in the Barbie Movie? Embracing  Creativity - News

The funniest character was Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie. We all had one!

Will Ferrell as the head of Mattel was, as Ferrell always his, hysterically funny.

Office Barbie GIF by Warner Bros. Pictures

Ferrell had some of the best lines in this movie!

Rhea Perlman was touching as Ruth Handler and there is a scene toward the end of the movie that was incredibly moving.

Rhea Perlman's Barbie Character Explained

It was hard to ever imagine Rhea Perlman as “Carla” from Cheers. She was so sweet in Barbie!

Ryan Gosling—as Ken. He was epic and his song “Just Ken” should win an Oscar.

Is Your Boyfriend Really "Just Ken"? | POPSUGAR Love & Sex

Ryan Gosling as “Just Ken” was epic! A showstopper of a musical Number!

Margot Robbie—as Barbie. She IS Barbie.  There could be nobody else.

Every Time Margot Robbie Flawlessly Nailed a Barbie Doll Outfit (PHOTOS)

The Ken.

Barbie Ryan Gosling Jacket | Ken Jacket - Jackets Masters

Cowboy Ken. Studying up on how to be misogynistic.

If you are of the ilk that feels men are superior to you, please do not move on reading this blog and do not go to see Barbie because it will anger you and your man will keep you barefoot and in the kitchen.  Just sayin’.

Barbie - John Cena as Kenmaid First Look (2023) - YouTube

John Cena as Mermaid Ken was more man than the Kens!

Ken.  When Ken enters the realm of the “real world” with Barbie, he becomes obsessed with “real men” and the patriarchy and misogyny of today’s insecure gender.

Barbie and Ken enter the real world. And Ken soon changes his attire!

Upon Barbie’s return to Barbie Land, with Gloria and Sasha in tow, they see how this ultra-pink, perfect world with women at the lead has shifted to Ken World.   All the Barbies have turned submissive and dismissive of their brilliant careers.  And with Gloria and Barbie’s help, the Barbies are rescued.

Barbie's America Ferrera had no interest in being one of the Barbies

It’s rescue Barbie time. With Barbie and friends!

Honestly, Greta Gerwig did such a remarkable job with this movie

Barbie' Is Still a Personal Movie to Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig = Director Barbie. And another career young girls can aspire to!

It’s got all the elements of a successful film.  Nostalgia.  Humor. Laugh-out-Loud moments.  Wipe-the-tears -away moments. Pathos.  The movie is original!  And I do believe that is what audiences want.

I’m Gam Gam Barbie!

Or…Old Lady Barbie. My high arches make me feel very much Barbiesque!

Personally, I am sick and tired of the same old same old rehashing of romcoms, superhero and Disney movies.  Give me a movie of adult nature—even if it is about a doll!

And I demand a sequel starring Bubble Cut Barbie!

Oh yeah.  We need this movie to remind us of just how important and empowering we women are.  Women are the backbone of every man out there.  And any man who does not like this movie, or who has made negative remarks about it, especially not even seeing it, feels threatened by women.

So get your pink on.  Do your makeup and hair and saunter out to see Barbie!

Posted in #Humor | 15 Comments

Travel Tips and Tip Top Takeaways

*Sigh* Our annual trip to the Côte d’Azur has ended but I still have things to write about.

I have to wait 48 weeks to go back. In the meantime, I have some tips to offer!

The way Vincent and I travel isn’t fabulous, flamboyant, or luxurious. We travel prudently and wisely. And you do not need to be wealthy to travel internationally. It takes saving and planning, pragmatism, and research.

Gloria Swanson Shut Up GIF

Well…I’m NOT rich and I won’t shut up so read on!

And so, I would like to share some tips and takeaways that I have learned over the years—and one huge mistake I make over and over and over, promising myself I will not repeat this the following year.  Let’s go!

First, my biggest mistake.  Why keep you guessing.


Overpacking is my biggest mistake! Every year I do this. Every year I come home and say I will never do this again. But I continue to repeat this error year after year.  Do NOT overpack.  And I write this especially if you are planning to head to a warm-weather, beachy destination.  Naturally, in the winter, we must wear more clothing and outwear is essential, but in summer it’s a different story.

Next year, I swear it’ll be only my carry on!

And this did not need to be packed to the brim!

For two weeks, I lived in bathing suits.  I wore the same dress almost daily.  My pink Lilly Pulitzer sun dress with built-in bra.  This year was the second year in a row that I took the dress with me.  It is, hands down, the perfect type of dress you need for hot weather.  It is appropriate for day-to-night and comfortable as all get out.  Step into a pair of panties, throw the dress on and you’re done.  Simple and non-fussy.

Three of the bathing suits I wore were two-pieces. I wore the middle one the most.

This was worn once. I love it but it was just so hot and I find two piece suits more comfortable. This should have stayed home.

Wait. Let us get back to packing.  You do not need a different outfit for every day—especially if you are in an area where the vibe is casual.  I packed three maxi dresses, four short dresses, two pair of lightweight pants, seven tee shirts, one button down shirt and three pairs of shorts.  I also packed four bathing suits. (I’m not going to focus on underwear).

I did not wear the black maxi. I did, however wear the gray one and the taupe was worn around the apartment.

I wore the black dress quite a bit. The middle one came with me for 6 years. I discovered a hole in it and it was thrown out.  The far right? Never wore.

Never wore the shorts or shirts.


I wore this cropped sleeveless tee. I packed the same shirt in both black and olive. Never wore them.  The navy pants pictured?  I did wear them twice  but not with the tee pictured with them. I wore the pants with the tee pictured on the left.

This is the dress I wore almost every day. Every. Day. Built-in bra so all I needed was a pair of panties and this dress. It’s the best dress I’ve ever purchased from Lilly Pulitzer. I wore this a lot during last year’s visit as well.

I wore this on the plane to and from. I did not wear any of these items except for flying. 

In addition, I packed one pair of sneakers, which were never worn, three pair of sandals, of which I practically lived in one of the pair, one pair of flip flops and the ballet flats that I wore on both flights.  I could have sufficed with the one pair of sandals and the flip flops.

Never wore these. Shouldn’t have packed them

These were the sandals I lived in. The black Salome’s and the Tropezienne sandals. 

Except for makeup, which was minimal and toiletries, which needed to be checked, a carry-on would have been sufficient.

Minimal makeup means mascara, brow product, lip balm and eye liner. Bronzer was to even out my skin from the sun and as eye shadow.

Don’t get me wrong—checked luggage was essential because we rent an apartment and we had beach towels, sunscreen, books, journals and needed the space to bring back items we purchased. But overall, the amount of clothing I took with me was ridiculous.

Schitts Creek Comedy GIF by CBC


Don’t be like me. Don’t overpack.  My mistake is your not mistake!

Be wise in packing.  Try to visualize what your activities will be. If you are going to be at the pool or beach, you certainly don’t need a ton of clothing. If you are seeing the sights, pick comfortable items.  A sundress is far more comfortable than shorts and a shirt.  A simple maxi can be sufficient for dinners out.  I need to practice what I preach!

Apartment or hotel? This could be the most important aspect of a vacation.  Cost-effectively, I honestly feel an apartment (or as in the States, a beach house) rental for summer trips—especially for a week or longer, is the better choice.

In a hotel, your life is an a la carte existence.  (NOTE: this is if you are NOT staying at an all-inclusive resort).  You pay for every meal out.  You pay for clothing to be cleaned.  You must tip everyone.   Hotels are expensive—especially luxury hotels.  Most of us cannot afford two weeks at the Carlton.

If you can afford to stay here on your vacation, chances are you really don’t need to be concerned about a budget.  God love ya–you’re lucky!

It’s different visiting a city for a week or less or a long weekend—for those visits’ hotels are essential.

Airbnb’s, for us, are still in the research stage because we have heard too many disappointing stories that have made us second-guess staying in one.

✈️Airbnb Côte d'Azur: the best Airbnb rentals on the French Riviera

This Airbnb is on the Riviera and looks beautiful. But we are still on the fence.

Staying in an apartment works for us on those longer-than-a-week vacation.  The apartment we rent for our time on the Côte d’Azur works.  It has worked for about 13 years now. We have a relationship with the agency and the owner knows we are great renters.  We take care of the apartment as if it were our own.

I love the apartment we’ve been renting for over a decade. We spend most of our time on the terrace!

The main bedroom (there are two) is nothing fancy. The bed is incredibly comfortable and we keep the doors to the terrace opened at all times–even while we sleep.

We have eaten inside only once. Last year due to a massive rain storm.

It has a washing machine which, upon arrival every summer, I welcome with open arms and dirty clothes.  This year a nice big bottle of detergent was left for me. I cried tears of happiness.  A drying rack is permanently left on the terrace which also brings joy—clothes can be air-dried outside! While I realize to some this might sound silly but the ability to wash clothing and towels, makes the trip easier—and you do not have to go home with dirty laundry in your suitcase.

This little washing machine does the greatest job. It is housed in the main bathroom so I can take a bath and do laundry at the same time!

And then I get to dry the laundry on the terrace!

Staying in an apartment also allows you to feel like a local.  The first thing we do after arrival and unpacking is grab our grocery bags (which we pack in our checked luggage), and head to the local Hypermarche in Mandelieu.  I never tire of grocery shopping in France.  There is so much to chose from and the ready-made food is fantastic.  The quality is much better than here in the States.

Look at the choices of butter!

This is one of the many choices of refrigerated pastry sheets/shells/crusts. It makes me sad that we don’t have these choices at home.

And for those who don’t want to make sauce from scratch. You have ready-made. 

The choices of food and other items can be overwhelming too.  Being that we live in Pennsylvania with the ridiculous “state-run” liquor stores, it is a pain-in-the-ass to buy our Kir Royal or Aperol Spritz makings because we are at the mercy of Pennsylvania’s odd rulings.  In France even the strongest of spirits is available for purchase!

Any type of spirit is sold at the markets. From this to the strongest booze.

Thumbs up for the grocery shopping.

Transportation—Drive or Train? This is another thing that needs to be well-thought out.  If staying on the Côte d’Azur, you have access to a good number of places to visit.  And, depending on what type of vacation you are having, transportation can be vital.  For instance, if you are staying in an apartment across from La Croisette in Cannes and plan on doing absolutely nothing except walking across the street to the beach, you need only your two feet to get around.

But, if you are planning to head to various beaches or towns or to sight-see, renting a car might be a good choice.

2022 MG ZS price and specs: price-leader SUV sticking around | CarExpert

We rented an MG this year. Not our choice by it was the choice Hertz gave us. The car drove well, but the tech stuff was a pia. 

The local train goes up and down the Bord du Mer along the coast.  Stopping at different towns and villages, you might prefer this mode of local travel.  However, if you want to go to St. Tropez, be mindful that the train ends in St. Raphael and you will have to cab it to Ste.-Maxime to take a ferry to your destination.  Don’t forget that taking a train means that you are under the control of the train’s schedule.

The 3 key objectives of the New Provence Côte d'Azur Line

Although I’ve heard great things about the local trains, we prefer having a car. Be mindful that this train doesn’t go to St. Tropez.

It is an individual preference, and for us, renting a car works.  Firstly, my husband grew up in France and is familiar with the highways and local roads—giving him a familiarity which makes him extremely comfortable.  And when you have a vehicle, you are more in control of your travels-within-travel.   If you do decide to rent a car, make sure it is automatic.  It can be challenging on the local roads—especially in the back country where the terrain is mountainous and hilly and driving a stick shift can be annoying.  Automatic gives you better control.

The process of a car rental is easy.  Get off the plane, out of the terminal, head to the car rental and you are done—the process of returning the automobile is even easier.  Drop the car off, a staff member will look the car over, sign paperwork and you are on your way to your flight’s terminal.

Nice, France Airport Information, Provence travel information and tips, by  Provence Beyond

From the Terminal 1, take a tram then head to the car rental. It’s an easy process.

Can We Tawk?  While I’m certainly not fluent in speaking French, I can understand a lot of the language.  But when I am in France, I try to speak as much as possible—even if I’m not speaking the greatest of grammar.  The French love when you make even the feeblest of attempts to speak like a Gaul. Enter a store or any establishment?  A quick “Bonjour” will suffice. You don’t have to flash that big American smile.  That one little word can work wonders.  Next, explain, in French that you speak only a little and you have made an ally.  Chances are most French people do speak English, even if it is as little as you speak their language and you will have great assistance.

If you are ordering duck in a restaurant, the word is “Canard” Not Connard. You do not want to call anyone connard–except if they are a real jerk.

Case in point:  I decided that since I love Octopus so much, I would purchase a whole on, fresh from the Mediterranean to cook for dinner.  I approached the fish monger and in my best French greeted him and asked how to cook a whole octopus as I had never done so before.  My husband chimed in with adding that I was practicing my French language. (He’s such a perfectionist—it’s the French in him).

Géant Casino, Mandelieu-La Napoule - Restaurant reviews

Another tip: if you love seafood and fresh seafood isn’t readily available in your area. Take the time to eat as much as you can when on the Cote d’Azur.

Within seconds, the fish man, started speaking in English, took me by the hand and led me to the area where pre-cleaned and pre-cooked octopus was waiting for me.  He explained that perhaps this was not the time to attempt to cook an entire one.  His assistance was stellar. I took the octopus, thanked him (in French) said “Bonne journee” and continued shopping.

Politeness and recognition counts.  I belong to a few France travel groups on Facebook and some of the posts from Americans complaining about their trips are downright pathetic. Just because you are from America does not mean that everyone will bow to you or hold you in high esteem.  Humility is a virtue.  Remember that.

You Don’t Have to do Everything:   We work so hard during our time at home. 50 weeks of work. (Unless retired). Running around during holidays.  Weekends often spent catching up on stuff you should have done during the work week.  Why shouldn’t a vacation be spent relaxing for the most part?

Vacations are meant to savor—like a delicious meal.  I have seen a plethora of itineraries that leave little for as much as a trip to the toilet.  While I do realize that for many, European trips or any trip overseas can be a trip of a lifetime, it doesn’t mean you need to see every sight known.

chevy chase dancing GIF

No need to be like Clark Griswold and spend your vacation running from country to country in the span of a week!

Would you rather have a trip where you can barely remember what you did because you were running around so much? Or, would you rather have a vacation where you see sights with an equal amount of relaxation.  Swimming at different beaches in the morning, then visiting that town’s sights in the afternoon is a beautiful way to divide and spend your time.

You need to relax.  Set a spell for a while why donja?

We’ve had years where we did a lot of driving and seeing sights but we balanced it out with sitting at the pool or a beach the next day. One day sights, the next day beach or pool.   This was the year we said “screw it” and did hardly any sightseeing.  It was the “lazy” vacation and turned out to be one of the best.

Dining out:  As we rent an apartment, we don’t dine out often.  This time around we went out to dinner three times and each time, we were happy and loved both the restaurants and the food. You do not have to spend a fortune either to get a decent meal.  I have heard people say that food was “meh” and so on.  Sorry-not-sorry but even average restaurants are better than the garbage you get at Cheesecake Factory and the like.  The food (for the most part—beware of menus that offer to many choices), is always fresh and the portions are smaller, although lately it seems portion-size is getting larger, and choices are seasonal.

Egg and Tomato from Marche Forville. And the mayonaisse is great!

It’s nice to take advantage of local produce like tomatoes (I spelled mayonnaise wrong) and local eggs.

We skip lunch.  For us, the long lunches would cut into our precious vacation time and day-drinking wine would put me into a complete slumber.  You gotta do what works for you. Besides, skipping lunch is economical and sometimes healthier.

Please do not treat the servers like second-class citizens. We happened to be sitting next to a couple at one of the restaurants who treated our server like absolute shit. It was inappropriate and entitled.  Again, I love ordering in French.  It brings a connection between you and the server and shows respect on your part.

Salt Bae Night GIF by Storyful

Don’t be a rude or nasty restaurant patron. Treat the servers with respect.

Also, dining out comes later in France.  When we ate on our terrace, we would start earlier because we whiled the night away drinking (I sound like a lush but it was vacation), eating and watching the activity on the sea. It was delightful.  But if you make dinner reservations, make it for at least 8:00 PM.

Check Your Passport!!  After reading and hearing horror stories of passports not arriving in a timely fashion, especially for first-timers, and renewals being delayed, my strong advice is taking care of that important form of identification at least four months in advance.

Back in the day, acquiring a passport was not an issue nor an overwhelming experience.  Now it just seems like a chore.  You need the correct photos, the cost has risen, it takes forever to process and be mailed back to you.  The sooner you take care of this, they less stressful your travels will be.

Travel Flying GIF

Make haste in getting your passport. Do NOT wait until the last minute or the only place you will be traveling is to your bathroom to get sick.

TSA Pre-check and Global Entry:  Speaking of passports, under normal circumstances, TSA pre-check is a great thing to have.  Some airports are better than others.  Inasmuch as I cannot stand Philadelphia Int’l airport (because of parking and the fact flights to France are double of those from JFK and Newark), they have the TSA pre-check down perfectly. No matter how crowded the airport might be, going through TSA is a breeze.  I must give credit where credit is due and Philly is great with this.

Newark, on the other hand, sucks. If the price of a direct flight to and from Nice were not so darn purse-friendly, I would never fly from that god-forsaken airport.  The pre-check line was so bad –actually, it was blended with the non-precheck.

Global entry is far better.  Global entry is just a quicker way of returning home from an international flight.  You don’t have to deal with lines at customs. And if multiple flights are arriving from points global, it can take forever on the customs lines.

That said, when you have Global entry, you head to a kiosk, your image will be taken, you walk to an agent who will say “do you have anything to declare.”  We do not spend a fortune shopping so our answer is always “no,” then we are on our way to claim the luggage.

APC and Global Entry Kiosks | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Global Entry kiosks. The greatest thing that ever happened to arriving back in the States!

The process for TSA/Global entry consists of an interview, having your photo taken and being fingerprinted.  It is easy and I have to say, my experience at Philly was quick.

2 Easy Ways to Get a Faster Global Entry Interview

Interview process was easy peasy!

Heading online to the website for global entry/TSA, you make an appointment.  The appointments mostly take place at the airport closest to you. The good thing is you can schedule your interview for evening hours which makes it convenient for the working person.

After the interview process is completed, a couple of weeks later you will receive a card with your TSA/Global entry number and your photo. Keep this. You can add the TSA pre-check number to your airlines’ reservation and that’s pretty much it.

Get to the Airport Early:  My kids think I am an obsessive crazy lady. As do some of my friends.  I care not. As a woman who experiences extreme stress and anxiety, getting to the airport early makes me a calmer person. And that’s a good thing.

Because Newark and JFK airports are a bit of a drive from the Philly area, we leave *extra* early.  Trust me, my husband is a wise man regarding this subject. He lives by “happy wife, happy life” and has gotten used to my obsession with being early only for travel and my doctor’s appointments. In all other aspects of my life—I am late.

Believe me, if you had to travel on the Jersey Turnpike and the Belt Parkway, you would understand what I’m talking about.

I give two hours to travel to Newark because you never know how traffic will be and you never know how long it will take to find a good parking spot at the economy lot and the timeliness of the jitney to transport you from said lot to terminal.

When “they” say to arrive three hours early to your flight overseas, “they” are not kidding.  Give yourself three hours (I do this when I’m flying solo domestically as well).  If you have luggage to check, most likely you will be waiting on a line—sometimes a small line, and sometimes a long one! As stated previously, TSA pre-check isn’t the same at every airport so allow yourself TSA line time.

Once past TSA, it’s time to head to the gate and give yourself some time to wind down and relax before your flight.  I have a routine.  I always buy a bag of Peanut M & M’s . It is a superstitious but delicious habit I have gotten into. And despite the journals and books I have in my tote or carryon, I relish in purchasing juicy, tabloid magazines and publications. My husband abhors that but I don’t care—happy wife, happy life.

Manning Your Flight Space:   I know, I know, I’m not right in the head.  About a half hour before the flight boards (assuming it isn’t delayed), I man my personal space to board. We fly economy so we board in Group 2 and I’m always the first person in that group to board.  If you happen to be at any given airport when I am flying internationally and spot me on the Group 2 line, I will be the only one on the line for a while so stop by and say hi!

And when Group 2 gets the signal to board, my energy level is akin to a rugby player in a game.  I cannot get to my seat fast enough. There is a method to my madness. I want my carryon in the overhead bin above my seat.  The state of carryon luggage is the bane of my traveling existence.  Families with five kids—not older than the age of five, each with their own luggage of carry-on size. Mommy and daddy cannot pack all the childrens’ belongings in one large suitcase to check?  I have news for you—you will be waiting for hours on a customs line upon your arrival. Those carry-ons will not save you any time.

Then you have the travelers who carry two backpacks. One in back and one in front—along with a tote as a personal item.  I cannot believe the airlines allows people to do this.  Then there is the passenger who takes a slightly oversized piece of luggage as a carryon.  Nope. You better get away from me.

The blame for this?  Both the airlines and entitled passengers.  The airlines companies are bleeding us financially with price increases worse than Chanel and Louis Vuitton.  It is time to stop charging for checked-in luggage. It needs to stop.  On one hand you cannot blame people for want to travel with a carryon, but leave it at that. No need to stuff a piece of luggage larger than the regulated measurements.  No need to carry two backpacks under the auspices of saying it is one.  No need for a family of seven to take up other’s overhead space.

True story (I mentioned it in one of my blog posts), after we were seated and our carryon luggage was housed comfortably and safely in the overhead, a woman came over and tried to stuff her hard luggage into the overhead above me.  I said in my best passive-aggressive tone. “It’s full.”  She got the message and tried elsewhere.

Patience is a Virtue:  In my normal, everyday life, patience is a virtue that, sadly, I do not always practice.  However, when traveling, I exhibit the patience of a saint (my husband will argue this but he’s French so arguing is his jam).

When disembarking the plane, we are both rather polite.  Realizing there are passengers that need to make connections, we wait to leave the aircraft with the last of the travelers.  If you’ve ever missed a connecting flight, you will do the same moving forward. It’s no fun.

Besides, you need to allow for time to get through customs and retrieve your checked-in luggage, get a car rental or a cab or train—it’s going to take time do to all this.  Don’t become stressed with impatience.   I am very fortunate to be able to go through customs by piggy-backing on my husband’s UE passport but there have been times when I have had to wait on customs lines for over an hour.

Just be patient. In due time, you will be settled and enjoying yourself and the time is fleeting so do not try to rush it.

Shopping:  Dismissing grocery shopping, I’m talking about the shopping for items you can bring home.  I’ve traveled enough to not spend a day shopping but it’s fun to do it in drips and drabs.

Our summer shopping in France is always a visit to Fragonard in Grasse. There is a reason for this. Fragonard scents and skincare are among my favorites. Fleur d’Oranger is my favorite scent of all time.  It is my signature summer scent and Fragonard’s orange blossom products from scents to skincare are the real deal.  The smell like pure orange blossom.

Our kitchen area now has the wafted essence of Orange Blossom!

Fragonard Haul

A refill of Fleur d’Oranger, body lotion, shower gel, home scents and a gift of a bag that is perfect for grocery shopping!

My love for Rondini.  When in St. Tropez, it is customary to treat myself to a pair of Rondini sandals.  The sandals are custom-made and custom-fit.  And the price is incredibly reason for the craftmanship.  Owned by the Rondini family, they have been a staple in St. Tropez for decades.  I still have my first pair purchased in 2010.  The Tropezienne sandals purchased in 2011, have been repaired after Chippy snacked on them, and have been worn constantly every summer. They are old and now ragged looking but are so comfortable and broken-in and I love them.

The second pair of Rondini sandals I’ve purchased.  I wore these every day during our vacation. They are VERY worn in!

This year I purchased a third pair of Salome sandals and Sahariennes Fines in patent leather.  The price for two pair came in at around 300 USD.  Considering the fact Tory Burch Miller sandals which are mass-produced and cost from $198 on up per pair, the custom Rondini sandals are a bargain.  If you have narrow or wide feet, or bunions, or a high arch or a low one, these sandals will be made to best fit your needs.

Two pair of Rondini sandals purchased this year!

One can never have enough sunglasses.  Izipizi, a brand of readers that I like, has a pop-up shop in St. Tropez. When we were in St. Trop, I stopped by and purchased a pair of the reader sunglasses. I love them. Under 50 USD, they are very-well constructed and the “reader” factor means I do not have to constantly change glasses.  I love the style.  Bringing useful items home is always a plus because you will have fond memories and take extra-special care of the items.

A small purchase with a big impact. These reader sunglasses were an excellent buy!

Who doesn’t love pretty underwear?  I purchased two bras and some matching panties at the Geant Hypermarché.  At approximately 8 euros for the bras and 7 for the panties, this was a steal. I regret not purchasing more.  After checking the size conversion chart, my French size is a beautiful fit.  And the bras are just so comfortable and lift without padding.  You don’t have to break the bank to buy delicate and gorgeous underwear in France. Groceries and underwear could not be easier in one-stop shopping!

my 36 C is 95 D in France and fits beautifully.

Found at the hypermarche! Who needs luxury shopping when you have this?

In addition, I purchased two pairs of regular reading glasses.  I go through these like a baby goes through wipes during every diaper change.  These glasses are sturdy and look great.

Was glad to have found these.  If you are on vacation and see a great pair of reading glasses for an inexpensive price–buy them!

Oh, and if you are a cook or baker, you can bring a few useful items home—just make sure they are in your checked luggage or you can say bye-bye to them.

These traveled well in our checked luggage.

Random other stuff:  We picked up touristy tee shirts in St. Tropez. Why not? It’s fun. I also purchased a vintage-style baseball cap in Cannes to add to my collection.  There are times, like at the beach, when I just do not want to wear a wig and the casquette, or baseball cap, is a fun souvenir and practical one too—it adds protection from the sun.

Left to right:  A Cannes bb cap for me, a Monaco bb cap for Roman, a very touristy tee shirt for me.


Duty-Free:  Yet another reason to arrive early to the airport is duty-free shopping.  You can find pretty good deals. In the past I have gotten great buys on Longchamp and Repetto but these days, I go for more every-day purchases.   If you like luxury makeup, duty-free is an excellent option.  I picked up a Chanel cream bronzer that was sold out in the states and I love it!

Duty-free is your friend!

It made me very happy to purchase the Chanel cream bronzer at the duty-free price!

In addition, I recently ran out of my La Petite Robe Noir parfum by Guerlain.  Duty-free had it and I added a new scent to my collection. Éclat d’Arpege by Lanvin.  It’s an update of sorts to the original Arpege; a scent that my mother used to wear.  Try a different scent. Luckily, this turned out to be a winner.  A light, floral but not too sweet scent that doesn’t trigger a headache—it’s nice for spring and summer.

You cannot beat duty-free for parfum. I should’ve purchased two La Petite Robe Noirs. 

Other than purchasing Crème de Cassis at the hypermarche, you can find it at duty-free.  And this is the good stuff and the price is right!

Our cabinet is now full of Cassis!

Another tip for those who enjoy cooking and baking.  Buy French recipe magazines.  First, it is fun to translate the recipes—it really helps with learning the French language. Secondly, most of the recipes look good!

It’s always a fun challenge to translate the recipes into English.

And it’s even more of a fun challenge to decipher the juicy gossip magazines!

Save the shopping bags.  If you have little gifts to give during the year, you can present them, nicely wrapped in a shopping bag from France (or any country you visit) It’s that little extra!

A few of the shopping bags I have not given away yet.

Other stuff: 

  • Get in touch with your iPhone company to be placed on a travel plan for the time you are away.
  • Call your credit card company and your bank to ensure that you will be away so you can protect yourself while traveling.
  • If using a car while traveling, keep a Ziploc plastic bag filled with European change for tolls.
  • Make sure you have electrical adapters to charge your phone or camera. Better yet, keep them in your suitcase and do not unpack them when you arrive home.
  • The parking lot. Take a photo of your car and the number of the space it is in. You will not be doing a Seinfeld upon arrival home.
  • Pack baby wipes. Baby wipes. The toilet paper overseas isn’t exactly as soft as here and you want to take care of your heinie. It’s precious.  In addition, Europeans don’t use facecloths the way we Americans do. I remove makeup with baby wipes then I rinse them out and use as ad-hoc washcloths.
  • Leave the “good” jewelry at home.  You can find inexpensive necklaces, bracelets and earrings at Walmart or Amazon.   You don’t want to lose the good stuff.
  • If you are not comfortable carrying your luxury bag, leave it home!  I traveled with my LV Neverfull this time.  It carries a ton of stuff and I’m fine with it getting a bit banged up. It has to go under the seat on the plane and can get squashed. No big deal.  If you are nervous about that. Find a different bag.

at-the-airport-parking-lot | Atypical 60

Take a photo of your car in the parking lot. This was from a past trip to Paris. 

If you are not comfortable taking your luxury bag on a trip, leave it home!!  I don’t mind taking my LV Neverful because it holds a ton of stuff. The pouch that came with the tote, I used quite a bit when we ran errands and when we went out to dinner.  The Wythe Hotel tote on the right has been coming with me since 2015. It works as a beach bag, pool bag, everyday tote and a grocery bag. It is, hands down, THE best multitasking tote I’ve ever had.  Wythe Tote Bag Link

The Best Beauty Tips I can Offer:  Because the sun gives a gorgeous glow, foundation, skin tints, cc creams are not needed.  Even using sunscreen, you’ll achieve a nice color.  The only makeup I travel with in the summer is eye makeup and lip gloss.   I found a great waterproof brow pencil on Amazon that traveled with me and it was wonderful to swim in the water and not lose my brows.

If there was one thing I could seriously suggest to women it is to invest in a wig or two and travel with them.  Hair loss or a full head of hair, wigs for a vacation or travel in general should be essential and normalized.

Back when I had an almost full head of hair, I would spend hours blow drying and styling after a day at the pool.  Or I would spend quite a chunk of change getting a wash and blow out (and I must say the best ones I received were in France).

Now, I literally plop a wig on my head and head out. It’s incredible.  Curly, straight, bobbed, beachy.  So many looks in seconds.

Some of the wigs I wore on vacation: Top left is Brooklyn by Estetica Designs. Top Right is Finn by Estetica Designs. Bottom Left is Avalon by Estetica Designs and Bottom Right is Brave the Wave by Raquel Welch wigs.

I cannot really think of anything else except to say that traveling is such a wonderful thing to welcome into our lives.  It is the perfect way to educate yourself about different people and cultures and you do not have to be wealthy to do so.

Hope this helped in some little way and enjoy the summer no matter where you go!



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Heading to Antibes with Two Days Left! Part Five-Fun on the Côte d’Azur

The final countdown begins. With two days left, we are both wondering where the time has gone. We need three full weeks here.  But, with other commitments, it’s an impossible feat. So, we move on and enjoy every second we have while on this vacation.

Wait a minute. We just arrived here!!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Rather than sit at the pool, we decided to do something cultural. We headed  to Antibes to the Picasso Musee. We’ve been before but it is always fun to revisit and to see how exhibits may have changed over the years.

Our daily goal. At least we got a couple of cultural activities into our hedonistic vacation!

I love Antibes.  The vibe is chill and the drive is beautiful. It’s a very low-key place and is just charming.  And to get there,  took the long way and drove through main and back streets of Cannes.

Casino without the “C” is…. Don’t gamble your money here–especially on vacation!

The red carpet has been taken down. Otherwise, the building is somewhat basic.

Enjoying a stroll and coffee near the train station.

Under an overpass Cannes

Pulp Fiction lives under the overpass!

Headed to Antibes.

The signage is concise! 

Statue in Antibes_Juan les Pin

Statue on a square in between Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. You KNOW this would be banned in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi………

We arrived in Antibes and drove along the coastline. It’s always such a beautiful drive and it never becomes a bore.

Boats in Antibes

Sailboats with Yachts sharing the sea.

And sometimes the yachts are so big they look out of place.


And every summer, I become so excited to see small wooden boats in the alcoves. It is a sight that just makes me happy.

When the ramparts come into view, we know we’ve arrived at the destination.

We parked at the port and it pains me that I can’t get fresh seafood like this in the Philly suburbs. And please don’t tell me I can.

With the car parked, we began the Rampart walk.

The beach crowd as viewed from the ramparts.

And more charming boats viewed from the ramparts.


If I had a bottle of vodka and placed it here, you would have Vodka on the Rocks! Ba dum bum!

We  headed up to the Musee but first we stopped at the church next door, otherwise known as the Antibes Cathedral.  I have this “thing.”  And that thing is stopping at a church to light a candle and give thanks.  Since the church at St. Tropez was closed, I was unable to do so while there. And as we did not go to Cabris this year, I was unable to visit the Chapel of St. Rita. It was here that I offered a prayer for one of my friend’s grandfather who recently passed, for my family and to give thanks.

Antibes Cathedral. I was very happy that it was open because I’m a good Catholic girl.

Always a pleasure seeing good ol’ St. Joseph

And, of course, St. Theresa.

I honestly don’t want to know about this relic.

The Church is absolutely beautiful though and allows time for quiet prayer and reflection.

Immediately following, we stood on queue to enter the museum.  The astounding thing was even now, while not high season, there was a line to get into the building.

If you’re ever in Antibes, I strongly suggest a visit to this Musee.

When I was younger, I was not much of a fan of Picasso, but as I have gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate his works.

His paintings might not appeal to all but they are worth seeing.

And he definitely has a unique style.

I really liked this one.

My favorites are his more realistic drawings…..

…and the collection of plates that he created.

The back exterior of the museum is filled with interesting sculptures by others.

This sculpture was created by Germaine Richier, a friend of my husband’s family. 

Although crowded, it was manageable.

This cactus was so cool.

Time to head back to the car.

If we didn’t stay in Theoule, Antibes would be our next choice.

The homes are just so summery and casual.

We took our time taking the long way home and spent the remainder of the afternoon at the pool. I finished Nicholas and Alexander and found the book so sad, heartbreaking, and disturbing that I had a hard time falling asleep that night.

We took our time going back to the apartment.

Keep those boats coming!

Back in the same bathing suit, baseball cap and ready to do nothing but read.

Another book left by me for visitors who read English language novels. I’ll tell you, this book was absolutely heartbreaking.  I thought about it for days.

On this Thursday evening, we dined on the food we had left in the fridge and I cooked spaghetti. It was bittersweet reflecting on the time spent here and after dinner packed up our belongings for our return on Saturday.  We didn’t want to spend our last day packing.

What’s more carbs? I plan on starting Keto tomorrow–after all, I’ve been home almost two weeks!

Friday, June 30, 2023

Our last day.  We could have driven to the beach but at this juncture, we wanted to head to the pool one last time.  The sun was shining so brightly as if it knew we would be heading home the next day.

Walking to the pool on this last and beautiful morning of our trip.

Golf carts are very popular in this community!

We weren’t alone.

A nice way to spend the last of the days.  Bye pool. See you next summer!

We frolicked in the water and I, working on my last book was firmly placed with my face buried in words, sentences and paragraphs but couldn’t get into it. Our plan was to go out to dinner in Cannes on this last night and it was a great one, thanks to my husband!

A red nose, minimal makeup and ready to go!

We dressed for the occasion, headed into Cannes, and walked along the dock until we reached the restaurant: Au Mal Assis.  This bistro of sorts has been around since 1914 and we  figured it would be a good choice.


A little before 8:00 PM and the light was still upon us.

Who is that suave gentleman?

Ready for our last meal.

It was.

Everything from the service to the food was very good. It was not haute cuisine but it was food with a traditional feel.

We had great seats outdoors.

We started with escargot and it was so stinking good. Lots of garlic and oh-so-buttery.

I did the ordering and our server was impressed with both my French and my accent! He was so nice!

If Johnny Depp had a brother with a rugby player’s build–that would be our server.  And he was so nice!!!

I ordered the Daurade,  grilled Sea Bream which was served with rice and veg.  The portion of the fish was huge and I was unable to finish it.  The fish was also so fresh that I swear I heard it say “ouch” when I cut into it.

Prior to my fish being prepared, it was presented to me whole and I was asked if I wanted the head cooked.  My response was “Non, merci”  The portion was huge and I couldn’t finish. I think it literally jumped out of the sea and onto the serving plate–it was that fresh.

Vincent had filet of beef and frites. Those frites were fantastic. We were so full that we passed on dessert and we agreed that this restaurant is a “go-back-to” next time.

My husband is a man of simple taste. He loves his beef and frites and these were excellent!

We walked along the dock admiring the yachts and boats and took time to sit on a bench to people-watch.  During the day, everyone is casual.  Bathing suits, sun dresses and shorts but in the evening, those who are here dress up.  Nothing over-the-top (for the most part) but tastefully. It’s nice to see.

As darkness approached, we had a bit of time to people watch and yacht watch.  I’m trying to make friends here.

My husband stopped me from asking this guy if I could go aboard his dinghy.  Nevertheless, I didn’t.

It was difficult to move from here.

Alas, we walked back to the car.

At the lot to get the car, I suggested that we take a drive around Cannes—one last time. The funny thing is my husband was thinking the same thing and off we went.  Cannes, at night is hopping!  Lots of people on La Croissette enjoying the start to the weekend.  From families with young children to single men and women looking for a good time clubbing.

Cannes after dark.  I love how elegant this woman looks as she walks her dogs.

The Carlton was lit.

The entrance is just so beautiful and splendid.

Time to go.

Back at the apartment, we did a once-over and headed to the bed in the room where we keep the French doors to the terrace opened. Once more we could be sent to sleep by the sounds of the sea hitting against the rocks—the cicadas were sleeping in silence and I had a hard time falling into slumber.

It wasn’t easy to fall asleep. I wanted to stay longer!

Saturday, July 1, 2023.

Saturday morning, it’s time to bid farewell to the apartment that we’ve called home for the past two weeks over 13 years.

A last view from the terrace.

Good bye sea. Good bye cicadas. Good bye ships.

A last-minute tidying up, taking the bed linens off to make the cleaners’ task easier, we packed up the car and headed to Nice airport. Our flight was at 12:10. We left early—7:00 in the morning because we had to return the car, check luggage and naturally, do some duty-free shopping.

Good bye living room that we never used because we basically lived on the terrace and in the bedroom.

Good bye table and chairs where we enjoyed breakfasts and dinners for 13 years and never got bored.

Good bye hanging laundry.  OMG. I am in heaven every year. The apartment has a washing machine. Every day I did laundry.  It was exciting for me to hang the clothes on this rack to dry outside.  The added benefit is we flew home with no dirty clothing.

All gassed up and ready to roll. I may have mentioned this in another post. The car is an MG. It drove nicely but technology-wise, it was awful.

With a rather wistful expression, my husband heads to the car.

Here’s the weird thing about Nice airport. The domestic terminal is beautiful.  During the times we flew to Nice from Paris then back to Paris, it was a simple procedure. (This was when Vincent’s aunt Daniele was alive and we stayed at her Paris apartment) Now that we fly from Nice directly to the States it’s a different story.

We waited until United opened their agent’s stations for luggage check-in.  I will say, though, the United airlines staff in France is exceptional. Incredibly friendly and accommodating, we checked our luggage in no time then headed to TSA.  The lines were ridiculously long. Mostly because today was now July 1st and the start of Europe’s vacation season of six weeks. Sometimes you have luck on your side because one of the TSA people guided us to a shorter line and on that line an employee seemed to like Vincent’s suave looks because she ran us through the barrier right to the area where we could load our stuff onto the conveyer belt.  My Nivea was confiscated but I did not care because had the can opened, in my checked luggage, a mess that I wouldn’t want to deal with would have occurred.

Off to Duty-free, then customs, then our gate.  We did some shopping, then proceeded through customs, I piggy-backing on my husbands’ French passport.  While waiting to board, I noticed that one of the Philadelphia Eagles football team was on our flight.  Avonte Maddox.  As I am a NY Giants fan, I did not approach him but it was cool to see that he boarded on Group 2—just as we did.

We hit the duty-free..

We picked up a few goodies, perfume and makeup.

The flight home was very smooth and uneventful.  I did cry a bit because I didn’t want to leave and return to reality.  Once again, the flight attendants were stellar. United has, hands down, the greatest staff on and off the ground.

Bye Nice. Hey. Take care of my luggage!

Let me put this out there. I’m a NY Giants fan.  And living in the Philly area, I’m surrounded by Eagles fans. They’re everywhere like little cockroaches.  When I flew home from Cincy in the winter, I flew home on a playoff day. The entire plane was filled with fans singing “Fly Eagles Fly”. I cannot make this up.  And then, who is in front of me to board the plane?  Avonte Maddox of the Eagles.  I’m cursed, I tell you. Cursed!

Off we go!

Higher and higher.

Until 2024!

Upon arrival back in Newark, I could feel my stress level and blood pressure rising. Because we have Global Entry, we breezed through customs. All we had to do was look into a kiosk, then exit while a customs agent asked us if we had anything to declare. We did not.

back at Newark. Hey. Watch out for my luggage!

Back on home turf. Back to anxiety!

The wait for luggage was short but getting back to the economy parking lot was a freaking pain-in-the-ass (I told you my stress level arose like Jesus from the dead.)  No signs.  No signs for the parking lot our car was in.

EWR - Economy Lot P6 - Parking in Newark | ParkMe

Oh. That’s right. The P6 Sign is so elusive that Newark Airport won’t post it.

All other lots had signs. Ours didn’t and we needed to catch the jitney back to the lot.  I finally asked someone, who told us where to catch the jitney.  When the jitney arrived, it was filled. At this juncture, all I wanted to do was get home.

We arrived at the lot, our car was close to the bus stop and we loaded the car.  Then it happened.

My husband paid approximately 350 USD to park our car for the duration of our trip.  It was a pre-paid fee.  Upon arrival to the lot, our license plate was photographed via computer and we were given a ticket. A TICKET.  A ticket of which we saved for our EXIT!

We arrived at the exit, Vincent placed the ticket in the slot and nothing happened. The gate never rose upwards to allow us to leave.  He took the ticket out and repeated the process.  Again. Nothing.  He finally hit a call button and was asked for our confirmation number. He inquired as to why a confirmation number was needed when he had the ticket in his hand.

Now there’s a line behind us. He had to retrieve the paperwork and look for the confirmation number.  After about 6 minutes, we were on our way.  Apparently, this must happen a lot because the car in the next ticket booth was stranded for an even longer period.

The drive on the Jersey and PA turnpikes was practically void of traffic so we made it home in good time.

And we unpacked.  And we were tired because we were on French time. So instead, after unpacking, we enjoyed aperitifs and toasted our two weeks of pleasure and started planning our next visit.

I hope you enjoyed these posts.  It was a pleasure for me to re-create the trip through these blog posts but I’m kind of not done.  Next post will be about Tips and Takeaways!

Hope you enjoyed our trip to the Cote d’Azur this year. I’m wearing my St. Tropez tee shirt. And working on a post about travel tips!

Merci! And thank you for coming along with me.  It wasn’t a fancy trip nor was it magnificent or trying to impress. It was simply a two-week visit back to a place we love.  No matter where you travel  make your memories wonderful!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Back to St. Tropez and Less than a Week to Go. Part Four!

I am sure by this time, some of you could be becoming a bit bored.  My apologies.  There is nothing phony (except losing my iPhone in St. Tropez) about my posts. No posing in fancy clothing in front of designer boutiques.  I’m not that woman. No fake backgrounds.

This is real. No fake backdrop. No photo editing. It’s the way I roll..

No photoshopping nor filters. It is a real-life account of two old people, hanging out and relaxing on France’s Côte d’ Azur.   We may be advanced in our years but it doesn’t stop us from traveling and having fun.  And I think this every day account can be somewhat useful to those thinking or planning travels to this area—especially if you are older or an empty-nester—it’s good for the spirit!

I stand corrected. The only thing fake is my hair–and that’s due to hair loss!

So on with Part Four!

Sunday, June 25, 2023

What is there to say? My journal entries are shrinking since we just are not doing much here. And that’s okay.  In years past we’ve driven to many places and done a ton of sight-seeing.  And, having nothing to do with our ages, we just decided that this year would be our year to basically, not do much.

I had been so diligent in entering our activities in my journal..then I slacked off!

Vacations are meant to savor—like the best meal you have ever eaten. We spend our lives working– driving to work and to run errands. We have stress in our lives—like is my health good?  Is my other half healthy?  Did my bloodwork come back ok?  Are my grown kids ok? Are grandchildren ok?  I won’t even broach the subject of Global issues or politics but you get my drift.

Stressed Over It GIF by HULU

My non-vacation, everyday vibe. I’m sure you can relate!

And so, on this Sunday, we are doing nothing more than sitting in the sun (and under an umbrella), reading, napping, getting up to view the ships in the sea, swimming in the pool and people-watching.

Our last Sunday at the pool.  The weather is perfect today so it’ll be a great day!

 The sun is shining brightly! The weather is slightly cooler than the past few days—perhaps 85 degrees; and the pool water is 80 degrees of salted sea.  My husband loves the water on the warm side like this. I don’t mind but I do prefer my pool water colder—cold enough to turn my lips that blue of an overdyed ice pop after being in the water for a while.

We stayed long enough for me to sit and read “Nicholas and Alexander” all day.  This is the trip where I became obsessed with the Romanoff empire. The book is heartbreaking. My guess is we left the pool around three in the afternoon and headed back to the apartment to change.

Headed back “home” to freshen up on this extremely lazy Sunday.

When we started coming to Theoule, Geant wasn’t open on Sunday. Then it opened during high season. Now it’s opened and it was almost empty!

We drove to Geant Hypermarché, which by now, the staff knows me by name. Or, rather they know my husband by the fact whenever he uses his card to pay, assistance is needed so he can sign.  This is one of the things I find France is behind the States with some of their supermarket technology. It is much easier to use a card here.

That said, when we arrived at Geant on this Sunday, the parking lot was almost empty.  That “Sunday” shopping isn’t quite as hectic as at home.  And since it was quiet inside the store, it was like having the market to ourselves.

I ended up buying two bras and panties, as well as two pairs of reading glasses. The prices were fantastic and…why not?  Prudent souvenirs, I must say.

I purchased two of the same of this pair. At 12 euros each, it was a good deal. They are very well-constructed.

my 36 C is 95 D in France and fits beautifully.

My regret is that I didn’t purchase more bras. I followed the US-to-France conversion table and the 95D fits beautifully!  The panties? I have a big ass so the 40 fits wonderfully. The bras were 8 euros each and the panties I think were 6 or 7 euros.  I’m amazed I bought these at the hypermarche!

We bought what we needed for the evening meal and headed back to the apartment.

I nearly fainted when I saw the Viennetta. Do you remember this frozen dessert? It used to be sold in the States and was the fanciest ice cream dessert of all time. We didn’t make the purchase though.

Dinner on that terrace never gets tired. No matter how many years we stay here, our evening meals are my favorite part of our trip.  Our routine is simple.  Aperitifs.  My husband will look yonder out into the Mediterranean with his binoculars and curse in his native tongue at what a horrible and vulgar site the huge cruise ships are.  He kind of has a point because they are akin to behemoth cities on a barge and just do not add to the aesthetic cohesiveness of the fishing boats, small boats, larger boats, and yachts.

We did manage to buy pastries for dessert. I had a caramel eclair.

My husband opted for a healthier apple tarte!

Egg and Tomato from Marche Forville. And the mayonaisse is great!

One of the grocery items I should have purchased to take home was the mayo.  The French mayonnaise is incredibly creamy and tasty. I’m a Hellman’s fan but this puts Hellman’s to shame.

I head into the kitchen to prepare our meal and return to enjoy our food—for me it’s always the freshest of seafood—for my husband steak or his beloved andouillette. And we sit and have the best conversations. Sometimes about politics. Sometimes about our families.  Sometimes about current events and many times about how much we love it here!

Promo Tentacules De Poulpe Cuite chez Grand Frais

I need to take a moment here to discuss how helpful the assistants at Geant are. As you know, I’ve been living on seafood during this trip. I was thinking about buying fresh octopus as I’ve never cooked a whole one before. The seafood manager advised me against it and, instead, led me to a promo section with readily prepared octopus and it was fantastic.  A

Darkness comes slower and the changing sky takes her time as the sun sets behind the sea.   The thing is—in all the years we’ve come here, only once did we eat inside the apartment. It was last year and a torrential thunderstorm gave us no other choice.

Long evenings here are best!

I will miss our evenings here but we still have a few nights left!

Monday, June 26, 2023.

Oh yeah!  Today is one of those incredibly beautiful days when the sun is shining bright and early, the sky cloudless and the clarity almost hurts your eyes.

And today we head to the beach.  Our original plan was to head back to L’Estagnol. However, my husband was so put off by the crowds that we ended heading to St. Raphael.

Oh no. There’s bird shit on the car.

Off to St. Raphael! And a birdie dropped a gift on the windshield!

A bit about St. Raphael.  I love it.  St. Raphael covers a lot of territory but my favorite area is the city—or more like a village on steroids. There’s so much activity—a major train station, a huge Ferris wheel, lots of restaurants, the beaches are great and there is also a post office. (La Poste backstory:  Our nephew lives in Bordeaux.  He and his partner had a baby about six months ago and we sent a gift from the USA. It never arrived.  It was returned to us a couple of months after we sent it but it was just weird—I won’t bore you with details.  We ended up exchanging the gift for a larger size and decided to send the package from France.  Finding a post office in Theoule and Mandelieu was next to impossible so we kept the gift in the car and figured we would mail it when we found a post office.  We did. In St. Raphael and the gift arrived for Nicolas and his girlfriend two days later. Go figure.)

Port-Brillet. La poste ferme définitivement ce vendredi - Fréjus-Saint- Raphaë

Who knew mailing a gift would end up to be a transatlantic project?

We found a parking space across the street from the beach, declared our space and enjoyed the remainder of the day.  This time I kept my bathing suit top on because my titties had enough of sun exposure and I whiled away the day floating in the sea like a blowfish belly-up!  I did some water exercises.  I Amusingly watched the fish swimming around my feet and enjoyed the many boats that were anchored an arm’s length away.

That big car to the far right? Ours. The most convenient parking spot–that’s what happens when you get to the beach at 8:30 in the mornin’!

Again, my husband found the water to be too cold but he did manage to swim with me for about 10 minutes.   The main reason I was in the water for the entire day was that it was too hot on the sand.  I have no idea what the heat index was but I could have fried a few eggs on the sidewalk.

This bikini was fantastic for swimming all day. I’m ready!

Not yet 9:00 AM and there’s people in the water!

Toward late morning there were a good number of boats in the sea and a good crowd of swimmers and non-swimmers!

Look at that sky–actually, we were on the border of Frejus and St. Raphael.

And here is an interesting observation.  People were barefoot—not only on the sand but in the street!  I was dumbstruck.  As a person who loves being barefoot, there are limits to my naked dawgs.  One is hot sand and the other hot tarred roads.

After a delightful six hours of swimming and sunbathing, we left and decided to do a thing.  We went to McDonald’s for lunch.  Don’t judge.  Truth be told, I cannot even remember the last time I ate anything from this establishment. My husband loves McDonald’s.  I will partake only by having a Diet Coke.

McDonald's | Estérel Côte d'Azur

The golden arches remain the same but the background is green as opposed to the red in the States. I prefer the green.

Regardless, it was high time for me to do some fast-food research and we headed to Micky D’s or as the French refer to it, McDo. There was table service at this McDonalds. And you order from a large, computerized touch screen.  We ordered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (the French equivalent of such), Fries and..a Diet Coke.

Computerized touch-screen ordering and look how clean it is!

You don’t have to be fluent in French to order either. Every item has a photo!

We went to the counter to pay and were given a plaque with a number.  This was for the server’s information so they knew where the order went. Then we sat down at a table.

The staff is very attentive and nice!

We headed to a table..

Placed our number upon it.

The food arrived and the bun was not soggy, it was nice and firm.  The burger was tasty—it had the taste of a grilled burger.  The fries were very good and I had them with a sauce that was a cross between a mayonnaise and tartar sauce.  My husband, my beloved Frenchman let it be known he prefers American McDonalds.

And our lunch was served. Notice that the Diet Coke was served in a regular plastic cup.

It has been decades since I ate at McDonald’s and this burger was very good. My husband prefers the American version.

As one who despises ketchup, this pommes frites sauce was the GOAT!

So much for my research.

I thought of my grandsons Owen and Bennett when I saw this.

Bye McDo!  As much as the meal was good, I won’t be returning. I’m not a fast-food person.

On the way back we stopped in Frejus to pay our respects to the small memorial honoring the American troops who landed there in WWII.  Frejus was a major landing port as well as Normandy.  It’s important for me, as an American who loves my country, to stop and pay respects.  Our troops of past and present are NOT losers the way a certain ex-president referred to them.   I’ll leave it at that because this post is about our visit to France.

This sculpture, on the beach at Frejus, is a homage to the African soldiers under France’s colonization who fought in WWI.

At the memorial in Frejus. I’ve been before but feel it’s important to revisit and repay my respects.

It looks like there might be an 80th celebration next summer. We will definitely be there!

Britain and the USA–France’s two biggest allies during WWII. TBH, I am so proud of our flag hanging here.

It’s an illustration but very emotional.

And here is where our troops landed. They were not losers but they were heros!

The square where we stood.

Plaque honoring John H. Willms of the American Legion.

When we arrived at the hypermarché to get a few items (I’m beginning to feel like our trip was purely to go grocery shopping in France), there was a confrontation between the police and a bicycle rider.  Apparently, there was some inappropriate behavior exhibited by the rider of the bike and the police stepped in.

The two policemen handled the confrontation calmly but firmly and there was no escalation or yelling or anything like that.  I was enthralled.

These police officers mean business but they aren’t mean about it!

Dinner, reading and until the next day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023.

On this Tuesday, we are heading back to St. Tropez.  We want to visit my Father-in-law’s grave and take a walk around places we did not when I lost my iPhone.

And we did things a bit differently today.  We decided to spend time at the pool and head to St. Trop later.

Parked the car and walked through the port to the ferry!

This time, we took our usual route. We drove to Ste. Maxime then we ferried over to St. Tropez.  Les Bateaux Verts, or, The Green Boats, has always been our favorite way to get to St. Trop.

Ste. Maxime. Les Bateau Vert in the water. | Atypical 60

This time we did it right!

It was a familiar pleasure to be back on the little green boat!

The ride across the bay reminds me of taking the ferry over to Fire Island when I was growing up on Long Island.  The boats hold a good amount of people, are a reasonable price and are just—well, they are just fun to ride.  You get that slight spray of salted water, depending on how breezy the air is.  It’s nice and cool, even in the hottest of weather.  And the ferry guys are just nice. It’s fun to see familiar faces through the years and new faces of boys that you know have envious summer jobs.

Refreshing and relaxing ride across the bay!

I don’t know what the name of that bridge is but we’ve driven over it many, many, many times!

Let your eyes drift to the far right of the yacht. Do you see the helicopter? A helicopter!  Why don’t I have friends like this?  Why don’t I have friends–period?

Getting closer! (Please God please do not let my phone drop into the water)

And we’re back!

This time around, I took special care of be mindful of where my phone was.

After a stroll along the docs, we stopped at a souvenir shop and played tourist by purchasing tee shirts. Why not?  Then we strolled to la Ponche, the area that my husband used to live, where his grandmother lived and his father grew up.

The house where my husband lived is on the right.

The little beach at la Ponche. I should have taken my bathing suit because it was hot!

My husband’s grandmother’s house is the one with the balcony.

As you can see from the number of people, it was really crowded.

Fluffy Hydrangeas in front of the house.

Trying to stay cool as a cucumber.

We walked up to Dany’s grave, paid our respects, and made our way back.   I purchased a pair of reading sunglass by the brand Izipizi.  I have a pair of the brand’s regular reading glasses that I ordered online some months back, and after discovering a pop-up shop in St. Trop, I thought the time was right.

Paying respects to

…my father-in-law and my husband’s grandmother.

A quick stop to the Izipizi pop up shop 

I’m a fan of the brand. Last winter I ordered a pair of regular readers online and they are some of my favorites. 

I’m now a huge fan of the reading sunglasses!

A slow stroll back and respite under a shade tree.

I think I want to live in this charming house!

A quick ferry back to the car and it was back to the apartment from a drive along the Bord du Mer!

See you next time!

It’s been fun!

Back to Ste. Maxime!

And a drive back along the Bord du Mer!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

With three days left before heading home, I got lazy about journaling.  It was another pool day and repeat of terrace fun at dinner time. I would like to add these bizarre photos that I took while passing by a poteries shop. I’ve never quite seen anything like it.  It makes Pink Flamingos and lawn Trolls look absolutely classy and elegant! LOL!

The giraffes though.

Who is going to place a gorilla on their lawn?

I can’t even with the rest of this. This. Is. Strange. and. Unusual!

The last of the posts about our trip will be continued………….


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Part Three! Close to Home, L’Estagnol, and It’s Been a Week Already???

Bonjour on this Thursday of June 22, 2023!

Another day of “cloudy-not-cloudy.”  We were going to head to L’Estagnol, favorite beach of my husband’s while growing up.  However, he did not want to chance it if the clouds and sun were going to compete.

Today was truly a cloudy day. But it didn’t keep us or anyone else from heading to the pool!

Instead, we decided to head to the pool and keep local.  We love Theoule-sur-Mer and rarely take the time to hang out in town so today is the day—or rather, this afternoon is the afternoon!

It may be cloudy but I’m still smiling!

The funny thing about the mixture of clouds and sun is that over the past few days, I’ve managed to incorporate a natural tan with the remnants of the spray tan I received before we left the States. Anyway, it was another pool day where I got to read.  And dunk my body into the pool.  It may be a mixture of clouds and sun but the air’s temperature is still hot!

On another book, “Oona Out of Control,” a uniquely entertaining read about a woman who travels back and forth through her lifetime on every birthday.  I recommend this book for a fun and quick beach read!

Oona Out of Order

Bought at Newark airport simply because my daughter is named Oona, this book turned out to be rather delightful. It is now on the bookshelf in the apartment in Theoule.

I wore sunscreen. On my face. And still managed to get a burn. I sat under an umbrella and Iremain flummoxed as to how this happened. The effect on this burn was that my bottom lip swelled up as though a Juvéderm or Botox injection had been misplaced. Oh well. Merde happens!

I’m jumping the gun here. This photo was taken when we were going out to dinner but check out the swollen lips. The sun did that–not filler. I give new meaning to “what a big mouth you have”. Luckily, the swelling subsided after two days.

Around noon, the clouds really started to roll in and the temperature became (thankfully) slightly cooler.  Note—slightly cooler.

We headed into Theoule, parked the car, and took a little stroll along the beach. And then the drizzle commenced.  At least Mother Nature decided to wait until late afternoon.  The drizzle lasted approximately four minutes (Yes. I timed it.), we walked a bit more.

In case you get lost and don’t remember where you are–here’s a whimsical reminder!

Workin’ that Tan!

My mouth hadn’t reached peak swelling yet but it felt good to traipse around in a maxi dress!

Statue. I think it’s in the parking lot

I’m pretty sure this sculpture was in the parking lot at Theoule. It’s just so pleasant to see little works of art scattered about.

Cloudy Afternoon in Theoule

The clouds didn’t keep this little guy away from the beach.

An empty beach is a rarity during this time of year but it did begin to drizzle.

We then decided to drive to Mandelieu-La Napoule, the next village over to pay a visit to Chateau de la Napoule. This chateau, more of a castle was owned by American Henry Clews Jr.  The Nazi’s took it over in WWII and Henry’s wife, Marie, served as their maid so she could hold on to the chateau and Henry’s memory.

The chateau we can never seem to visit

View of the chateau  remains elusive to us.

The little garden area offered a vision of solitude.

A lone shell embedded in stone.

Statue. I think it’s in the parking lot

Oh wait. I think this sculpture was in Mandelieu instead of Theoule. I must return to make sure where it is.

It’s a great history and for 13 years, we’ve passed by and on many occasions, tried to enter but it was either closed for an event or, as last year, was closed for renovations. This year it was closed until the next week.  We will have to make another attempt next summer.

The port in Mandelieu next to the Chateau.

So, while we were parked and walked around the perimeter, the clouds began to cry. I think it is because they felt sorry for us not being able to get into the Chateau yet another year!

The rain subsided, we stopped for groceries and by the time we arrived home, we were welcomed to another sunny evening for dinner on the terrace. At this point the only liquids I’ve consumed have been Aperol, Champagne, Cidre and Wine.  I am now not ashamed nor am I proud—its hydration. Eau de vie.

Here we go again.  I am both obsessed AND amazed with the choice of frozen and ready-made pastry crusts. WHY in these United States do we have only three choices–Pepperidge Farms puff pastry, or pie shells or store brand filo dough. 

These are the offerings of various flavors for baking. It isn’t limited to vanilla, almond and lemon extracts. I wanted to buy all of this.

And still MORE baking ingredients. I was crying.

We did hear the news this evening that pieces of the sub that went down to observe the ruins of the Titanic had been found with no survivors. It imploded which, thankfully for those onboard, killed them immediately with no pain.  My heart did go out to the family of the 19-year-old boy who perished.  My thoughts on this?  Do not mess with nature and don’t mess with the dead. The site of Titanic is an oceanic graveyard.  Let the souls rest in peace.  The ocean is not to be messed with.

OceanGate sub likely destroyed by "catastrophic implosion" - WIRED ME

The news of this was incredibly sad..and money wasted.

Dinner was kept light tonight–well, sort of light!

Naturally, we started with Aperitifs and Socca Chips. (Don’t judge me)

Egg and Tomato from Marche Forville. And the mayonaisse is great!

Dinner was light.  Tomato and eggs with mayonnaise.


And for dessert? A delicious flan and a berry tart!

Bonne Nuit.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Ahhhhhh, time is fleeting. I cannot believe that a week ago we were on the flight to arrive here. But alas! Today the sun is welcoming us with nary a cloud in the sky.

An early breakfast and off to L’Estagnol! Quite frankly, I cannot wait to get there. It’s my kind of beach. No waves. Refreshing water. You can float out forever with the water being shallow enough to stand. And being I’m the worst simmer on earth, this is the jelly to my peanut butter!

But before I go on about L’Estagnol, please allow me to take a moment or ten to showcase our stop for gas and to go to the bathroom.  I have things to tell you.