Hair Apparent…or…Hair Majesty…or Traveling With Wigs!

Okay. There’s a lot going on presently.  I’ve accepted a tentative job offer which I will write about after starting my new position.  It is full-time and is secure. Stay tuned.

Dance Dancing GIF by Working Not Working

I cannot wait to be back at a desk and having all my “stuff” on it and being on a routine again!  I’m so happy!

I’m presently in the process of attempting to pack for our trip back to Paris in ten days.  As such, I was going to write a post about the absurdity of “The French Girl” aesthetic.  I just cannot with that whole “dress-like-a-French-girl” thing. I scraped that thought because it is just so ridiculous and if anyone believes they should, as a tourist, dress like a “French” girl—I have a bridge to sell ya! If you are NOT French, or a Parisian and have been visiting for even decades, you are most certainly not a native in the eyes of the inhabitants. You are now, and forever—a tourist.  Dress for yourself. S’il vous plait.

How to Copy Emily in Paris's Best Outfits

Quite possibly, THE worst show ever. Emily in Paris. Do NOT dress like this when in Paris. In fact, do not dress like this no matter where you are. She does jack shit for a beret as well. 

And then, as I started to curate clothing, I began to think about which wigs to pack.

Constantly curating my clothing, I’m leaning to a black monochromatic vibe.

The hair is such a crucial component of my packing.  I have a clothing wardrobe and a hair wardrobe.   So, I am trying wigs on and deciding which hair works with my personal taste, then I have my husband adding his preferences and there’s a lot of fake hair flying around in the Lartigue Chateau!

If you think that there was a lot of hair by the shower drain, look at all this hair that was flying around my little “get ready” room!

I prefer lighter, ash-toned blondes and gray blends—slightly wavy to straight.  He prefers darker shades and wavy to curly styles.  He loves me in darker hair because my bio hair was dark (before I transitioned to gray—on the twenty hairs that remain on my head) and my natural hair has a wave pattern (which I call frizz). Honestly, you would think that he would be wearing the wigs!

The Frenchman is a fan of wavy wigs like this Estetica Designs one. This is Avalon in Caramel Kiss.

The great thing about wearing wigs—actually, the greatest thing about wearing wigs is the convenience. Especially when traveling or for a special occasion.  I still think back to Oona’s wedding and how much time it took all the women to have their hair done. I literally plopped a wig on –it took about an hour and change off of  my prep time.

This is my favorite Mother-of-the-Bride look ever. And as I have but one daughter, the ONLY M-O-T-B look. Still I love it. My hair took less than a minute to do. Alden by Estetica Designs in Caramel Kiss.

Whenever I travel, the wigs come with me. If it is a short trip, say to NYC for a long weekend or flying to Cincinnati to see my grandbabies, wigs come.  The boys know that “Gam-Gam” has a lot of hair. A lot of fake hair. They do not question it because—it’s Gam Gam and that is how Gam Gam rolls.

Gam Gam can wear a wig under her monikered baseball cap and the grandsons still love me–fake hair and all!

Anyway, hair loss sucks. There are many days when I wake up and wish I had my thick-as-a-mop head of hair back. Ain’t gonna lie.

Another Weekend in NYC. This Time Brooklyn & Blog Memories! | Atypical 60

January 2016. I think this is from my first or second blog post ever. It’s one of the last times I could get away with “wearing” my bio hair. By the end of the year, I was into wigs. This was a great weekend though. Jake, Roman and Oona gifted me and Vincent with a weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was awesome. The best gift I’ve ever received!

On the other hand, my hair loss led me to a path of diversity as far as looks go and convenience. And who doesn’t love convenience?   Especially when traveling.

How do I decide?  Well, for one thing, season is a large factor.  In the summer, oddly, I like to wear longer wigs simply because the fibers of the synthetic hair are going to rub against my skin as opposed to the textures of fabric.  Even more oddly, the hot weather does not affect the longer lengths. Heat is heat. Hot weather will make you hot whether you have a wig on your noggin.  At the most, it’ll be four extra ounces of weight and we are blessed with air conditioning.

Summer hair. Longer. Again. Alden by Estetica Designs.  I’m so tan!

During colder months, I prefer slightly shorter wigs. I said prefer longer wigs at times, depending on the occasion.  And when I say shorter, I mean grazing the shoulders to the shortest being a chin-length bob.

Trend Alert by Gabor Wigs. The shade? Toasted Pee-can. This is coming to Paris. And even though I love my straight bobs–this is adorable!

For me, after a day of sightseeing –especially when in Paris, our timeframe from tourist to diners is limited.  If we get back to the hotel at 6:00 PM and head out to a 7:00 or 7:30 dinner reservation, there is no time wasted on doing my hair.  I am telling you, that was a major issue before losing most of my bio hair. Coarse, porous, and frizzy in any sort of precipitation, it took forever to get my hair to be smooth.  Most times, I ended up wearing it pulled back.

Even if you have a full head of hair. Might I suggest investing in a wig for travel purposes. No fussing with your hair means more time to enjoy your travels!

With wigs, the heavens can rain, snow or fog over like pea soup and I am ready to go back, change my clothes, refresh my makeup, plop a wig on my head and get going.

Christmas TV History: December 2017

When the weather does THIS to you, a wig will save your life and time!

After deciding which wigs to bring with me, I will give them the once-over. If I must wash a wig, I will. And I wash with a mild wig shampoo, no conditioner, rinse until the shampoo dissipates, wring the excess moisture out with a towel, then hang upside down till dry. African Essence Control Wig Shampoo For Human And Synthetic  Hair, 12 Oz : Beauty & Personal Care

My HG Wig shampoo is by African Essence which I purchase at a local wig shop in Norristown. I think it costs five bucks. I don’t condition. However, I will spray African Essence Wig Control on it after drying.

Today, I took my new steamer and manipulated a few wigs a bit by steaming the front up a bit and flattening out some extra frizz on the crown.

My new steamer. $15 and works like a charm!

This is Own the Room by Gabor. The front kept flopping down over my face so I steamed it up in front and now–she behaves beautifully!

The wigs will be placed into plastic, generic zipper bags, air squeezed out and packed into my carryon.  In all honesty, my wigs are more important than clothing to me. If my checked luggage gets lost, I can always get new clothing.  My fake hair is another story. I want to keep my hair as close to me as possible.

My $12 Temu wig has been placed into a bag, labeled…

and now is tucked comfortably in my carryon.

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

..and while waiting to board your flight, to pass the time, you can take your wigs out and comb them!

And speaking of “fake” hair, I prefer synthetic wigs to human hair wigs.  You must be careful with human hair—if you are wearing it during a downpour, you’ll have to spend time drying it and styling.  With synthetics—it isn’t needed.  Just hang it upside down to dry.

Schitts Creek No GIF by CBC

Like Moira Rose, I’m just as defensive about MY wigs. I love the synthetic ones!

And a word to the wise if you are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss due to age, it happens. It is upsetting and I get that.  But if you embrace the alternative—wigs, your life will change. Remember. It is for YOU and nobody else that you will be wearing wigs. Pay no mind to the naysayers.  You do what will make you feel wonderful!

In addition, please. I beg you!!!  Be careful when you are looking at wigs online.  Take heed in listening to wig influencers.  99.9 percent of them use over-filtered images and videos—especially on TikTok.  You simply cannot get a feel of how a wig will look when the wig, along with the influencer is filtered to high heavens.  The color of the wigs needs to be seen in as natural lighting as possible. If you are older, you need to see how a wig looks on another woman with wrinkles.  I am serious.

Real Life v. Influencer Life.  PLEASE. I beg you. Should you see an image of someone shilling a wig and their skin has no texture, scroll on by. It is false advertising and the wig companies should not allow this. Look at the changes in the wig colors as well.  LOL. I lack followers because I refuse to filter or photoshop myself!

So, ladies, pack that suitcase—and if need be or for the sake of convenience, pack that wig!!!!!   And enjoy yourself!

And remember–they need not be expensive. This wig was $12 from Temu. I love this one so much! It’s performed great so far!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 26 Comments

Packing for The Colder Weather Trip

As the holidays approach, many of us will be traveling.  Whether it be by land, sea or air, the seasons influence the way we pack for travel. Northlight 32" Waving Santa Delivering Presents on a Plane  Christmas Decoration : Home & Kitchen

Even Santa will most likely trade the sleigh for the plane. It’s faster!

For us, it’ll be by air and by car.  There are pros and cons to both.  Via air, you must deal with checking baggage, the long lines at customs or TSA, someone inching in on your overhead space, delays, and a plethora of other annoyances.  However, flying across the pond to get to Europe or any other long distance is a lot quicker and a lot less expensive than sailing across or trying to swim and feed the baby sharks.

What Is Baby Shark? - Origins of Pinkfong's Viral Video

Honestly, many of us would rather feed Baby Shark to the baby sharks!

Traveling by car?  We’ll be doing that for the Christmas holiday.  As of today, my husband, my son Roman and I will be driving from Philly to Cincy.  The plan is for Roman to rail it from NYC after work to here, we’ll all sleep for a while then get up to face the 9-ish hour drive.

Christmas Vacation GIF by filmeditor


This will be my husband in the car giving his opinions to my playing Christmas music the entire way to Cincy!

The cons to this are that my husband truly believes he is a LeMans speed racer.  He believes our vehicles, a Toyota Rav 4 and a Toyota Venza are a Ferrari, Porche or Beemer fitted with motors that can go up to 200 MPH.  The anti-acid tablets are in the glove compartment.

christmas vacation GIF

The name is changed to “Vincent” but the rest remains the same. My husband really tries to get away with sonic boom speed!

The other con is that my Frenchman thinks I am the bad driver. I have no other comment to make on this accusation except he is not correct.

The pros to traveling via automobile?  I can bring baked goods.  The baked goods that I have made.  I can freeze them, place them in a cooler and transport them with ease to Oona and Sam’s.  It is also possible to bring more gifts than anticipated. As of today, I have had one gift for my grandson, Owen, sent to the house.  When we head to Paris, we’ll be picking up some cute outfits.  Luckily, I also have the Amazon toy catalog to peruse.

Okay, so these aren’t exactly baked goods but I froze these wontons that I made. I will be making more to transport to Cincy.

Let us not forget Gougeres..and cookies…and other edible items!

But let us get down to the packing. Because, for me, that’s a critical component of travel.  Summer travel is a different ballgame than winter travel.  In summer, you pack lighter clothing.  Bathing suits. Shorts. Sundresses. Sandals.  Let’s face it. It’s easy.  If you are a pragmatic packer, you can fit two weeks into a carryon (I believe I can but my husband thinks otherwise and I usually end up overpacking).

UP Express up vacation messy packing GIF

Two months-worth of packing clothing into a carry on. Then you’re going to attempt to use MY overhead space. I don’t think so! Get a bigger suitcase and check the luggage!

Winter?  Late Autumn? Packing can be daunting.  I’m not referring to going away to a tropical island or a very warm climate—that’s summer packing.  I’m talking about traveling to points North—from the USA to Europe or wherever cold or damp or rainy conditions might apply.

You must be prepared for all sorts of precipitation. This means you need to pack appropriately.

Friends gif. Matthew Perry as Chandler staring pensively out the window at the rain.

It is so upsetting to me that rain would stop someone from traveling. I’m not talking monsoon. I’m talking about rain.  You would not believe the amount of people on travel forums who allow rain to ruin their trips!

That means packing a coat, lighter outerwear such as a blazer or denim jacket or puffy vest.  Some may opt to bring a trench coat that can be layered from underneath with sweaters.  Heavy sweater or light sweater?  Boots?  Shoes v. sneakers?  Gloves? Umbrellas? Purses?  Yada Yada Blah Blah Blah.

Paris 2021.  I wore this coat that I purchased a year prior at Galeries Lafayette.  The little Coach bag is coming with me this time around because I don’t want to lug a bigger one around!

With an upcoming trip back to Paris during Thanksgiving week, I’ve started to, in my Ambitiously Lazy (you know I’m going to overuse that phrase –don’t you?) way, plan and try to figure out which clothing to bring.

And I will bring this carryon. However, I’ll have a much larger suitcase to fit my coat, blazer, boots….

For me, the best tip—and this is good because it’s a visual, is to try different outfits on and take pics with your iPhone.  Or, if you are not up to changing clothing, lay each “outfit” out on the floor and take a pic.  I find this to be a tremendous help because you can see how you can mix and match!

This Jude Connally frock was purchased on Poshmark for $12.  It’s coming with me because we like to dress for dinner.

Jeans, loafers and a blazer. All getting packed.  This could be for a warmer day.

I’m EXTREMELY comfortable in a skirt, sweater, tights and loafers. This gets packed. 

Another way to wear jeans on a dressier level.  Worn with ballet flats.

Jogging pants, ballet flats a tee shirt and cropped puffy vest will be my air ensemble. Exception. I’ll wear long sleeves.

Another possibility is this. Blazer and skirt purchased separately from J. Crew factory. The boots are over ten years old but I love them. And they fold!

Another possible ensemble is this very comfy skirt. The boots are like sock boots and fold into the shape of regular shoes. These are coming!

The Paris weather (as I’m sure all through Europe and the UK) can be unpredictable during the late Autumn.  It rains.  It can be freezing one day and incredibly mild the next.  This means you gotta be prepared for anything.

Place Dauphine. Autumn. 2021. It was warm enough to walk around. But cold enough that we needed winter attire.

For me, it’s bringing an umbrella, boots, hat, gloves, scarves and, in the mild weather case—a blazer.

I headed into the garage early this morning to decide which Hunter boots to take. I’m going with the blue because it’ll lend itself more to my clothing choices.

A few years back I learned my lesson in connection with shoes. I wore my favorite suede flats and they got soaked to the point I had to bring them to a shoe repair. Never again. This time around, and I don’t care how cumbersome they are to pack—I’m bringing my Hunter rain boots.

These shoes by J. Crew were thrifted for seven bucks. It cost me a lot more to have them repaired after walking around Paris in torrential rain. I learned my lesson!

The point is, pack for the weather.

As a follower of many “travel” forums on social media, I’m always flummoxed by those who boast about packing for four weeks in cold climates with a carry on.  I honestly don’t know how these travelers do it.  Perhaps it is my love for clothing blended with the fact that I adore any chance to dress.  And I’m talking about “dressing up.”  I mean to dress. You know. Put nice clothing on your body.  Looking a tad fashionable.

An example of how you can dress casually nice and not look like a slob. 

It behooves me.  People—and these are people who travel.  Will say in one sentence that they do not want to look like a “tourist” then in the next sentence will state.  “If I want to wear leggings and a sweatshirt, I will” in a rather aggressive tone. You cannot have it all.

True. People don’t want to look like a tourist but they will defend leggings and a sweatshirt. No thanks. I’ll dress.

November slightly over a week away.  And that is the month when Autumn hits like a punch in the face.  It gets colder. The sky is gray. We run the chance of snow at any given time from then until March.  If you are traveling—for crying out loud, pack for it!  I just don’t understand that mindset.

Freezing Winter Solstice GIF

Yup! Holiday Season can be cold. It can also be mild. Bring clothing for both!

Yes. I realize that waiting for luggage is a pain-in-the-ass.  You just got off of a possible 7 to longer flight. What is an hour of waiting on customs and up to an hour for luggage going to do to take time from your trip? Honestly, I would rather be warm if I’m walking around a big city or countryside than be cold and uncomfortable.

And I cannot omit this. Please don’t dress in pajamas. It’s fine for young children. But adults? No. These pj’s are for home use and hotel use only.

Regardless, we all have our way of traveling. Whether bringing a large wardrobe or the bare necessities—the Holiday Season is just around the corner so plan and enjoy to the fullest!


Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

What is Frumpy to Me Might Not Be to You. Is that OK?

One of my favorite insta- and-YouTube friends recently posted a video regarding aging, and makeup, and dressing like a granny.

Sandra Sallin's Amazon Page

Sandy –our pro-ageing beauty!

Watch this. What Sandy says is great—especially about lipstick!

I made a comment on her Instagram regarding “frumpy” and was, very respectfully, put in my place. Granny dressing was also part of her video. To be honest, it was a great video. But I have my opinions regarding the way we “Over-60 and Older” women dress. And I may have been slightly (*cough*) opinionated in my comment to her!


Won’t be my first time!

And please allow me to clarify and state my wanted or unwanted opinion.

As I have aged, I’ve remained true to the way I dress.  My style will not change. To some, my choice in certain clothes might be considered a bit “Twee” (excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental, or, to some might be considered “frumpy” (dowdy and old-fashioned typically used of a woman or her clothes). Any form of style is subjective.

These four outfits might be frumpy to some, and to others stylish. Doesn’t matter. It’s what I, as an almost 69-year old woman like and feel comfortable in.

When younger, I followed trends, such as platform shoes, but I never strayed from my uniform style.

Ava Classic | Kork-Ease

Ahh. The iconic Kork Ease platform sandal of the 1970’s. This was as trendy as I got back then….

Alright. This is my 2023 trendy moment.  Barrel leg jeans. But I wear them rather conservatively!

At home, I am an absolute slob. My style is “lazy ambition” and I use that style because that’s how I dress to cook and clean.  I’m ambitious in the kitchen. I’m incredibly ambitious in my ability to bake and lest we not ignore my over-the-top Christmas decorating.  I am sure there are influencers all over Instagram of the “mature” age who would have everyone believe they are dressed to the nines daily.  Not me.  Not Sandy; and that is what I respect about her. She keeps it real. And so do I.

Can You Tell Me What I Wore This Winter? | Atypical 60

My lazy ambitious style.  And now that the cold weather is creeping in, I live for this.

My “at-home-frumpy” wardrobe is at the ready..

And are old tee and sweatshirts.

But let us be honest here.  You are home. You have nowhere in particular to be. Its Autumn-into-Winter.  The cooler-to-cold weather has settled in. You have your groceries so there is no need to even run to the supermarket.  Days are shorter.  Do you really need to get dressed up?

Obviously, you don’t have to dress like this to loll the days away when at home. I love this outfit for a night out to dinner with my husband but I cannot imagine wearing this to clean the house or to sit at the laptop writing a blog post!

There’s a yes and a no here.  Yes, because if you are currently working from home, or had a job loss and your “job” is looking for another one, or if you are retired and home every day—then a good suggestion to keep the self-esteem up is to get nicely dressed a few times a week.

One of my all-time favorite and comfy looks. I have worn this with ballet flats, heels and Weejun loafers. It goes through fall, winter and early spring.  Being unemployed, I can wear this running errands. Or, on some days, writing blog posts or applying for jobs. It’s not frumpy, thank God it isn’t Chico’s style. It’s just “me”!

Then the “no” comes in. Take a day of relaxation from cleaning the baseboards, vacuuming, or doing laundry. Do not bother to dust.  Wear those pajamas! Wear those lounge outfits.  Wear the mismatched pj bottoms with that sweatshirt you love so much. Sit on the sofa and read a book.

And for extra pajama style, wear matching sets!

If your day needs to be spent preparing meals or baking (and as we enter this mid-October phase, we have approximately 9 weeks until the Holiday season), freaking wear the sloppiest, messiest clothing you own because a day of baking or food prep is ridiculously messy. (At least for people like me it is).  Batter drips on your clothing.  Flour gets drawn into the hair and lands on you and your clothes.  Little bits of caramel splash onto your shirt as do little drops of sauces.  Do not wear your fancy clothing.

There is no way I will dress up to make a dinner like this..

..or take three days of wearing good clothing to make croissants.

However, after everything is cooked and baked, I’ll wear one of my Velcro-waisted kilts because I can expand the waistband as I eat. This is my Christmas skirt 2023!

Forgive me for jumping around on this but the “old, frumpy, lady’ stereotype bothers me.  We all don’t run around with a frown on our bare faces nor do our tits sag down to our ankles.

Stereotypes of women | PPT

This is so disgusting on every level–especially the “smell”. It’s a disgrace but people continue to think of old ladies–and old people in general this way.

On the other hand, we all aren’t Carmen the model or Iris Apfel.  And I am not disrespecting both these women but there needs to be a happy medium.

Designer Adrienne Vittadini to use top older models at New York Fashion  Week - Telegraph

Supermodel through the ages, Carmen, is 92 years. She’s beautiful. She is chic. She is stunning.  But the majority of  our age demographic kind of don’t look like this. I’ll bet at home, she dresses like a slob. Actually she probably doesn’t.

19 of Iris Apfel's Most Daring Looks That Prove She's a Style Icon

The wonderful Iris Apfel. at 100 years, she isn’t slowing down. However, there’s the other side of the coin and that’s the “essentric” old lady. She can get away with it. It’s her “thing”  but I’ve seen older women looking like clowns when they attempt the essentric look. It isn’t for everyone.

I’m tired of influencers and their “dress-like-me-by-going-to-Chicos” commissions. None of these women post honest feeds where they are dressed down. None wear dirty clothes. None are pictured cleaning a messy sink.  It’s all an illusion of being perfect. And aren’t we at the age where we have gained enough wisdom to realize nothing is perfect? | Clothes for women, Stylish outfits for women over 50, Chicos  fashion

Honestly, Chico’s clothing is so not my style. The clothing is total “real estate lady” meets “lady-who-thinks-she’s-chic.”  The marketing to the over 50 demographic is incredible. I cannot stand the brand. But hey, that’s just me being opinionated!

I’m not perfect nor do I ever attest to be.  My lazy ambition has a second Christmas tree in our sunroom that I’ve never taken down. It has been up since last November.  There are no excuses as to why this tree is still standing in it’s holiday splendor.  But now, a little more than the official start of the 2023 Holiday Season, it is going to stand there.  Since we will be going to Cincinnati for Christmas this year, we will not get the “real tree.” I won’t be decorating the bannisters.  The Christmas décor will be minimalist.  But my frumpy slob clothing will be packed so I can relax and help my daughter cook for the big day.

Truth be told. I’m enjoying sitting on the loveseat in the sunroom and looking at this tree. 

On another note, I have a job interview later this week.  I won’t dress frumpy, but will dress on the conservative side.   And if I get the job, there is a plethora of office clothing I have amassed over the years.  If I do not get the job, I’m sure there will be other interviews.

As the weather is finally cooling down, I might wear this to my job interview. Office casual is such a thing now that I’m unsure of..

…wearing this skirt and blouse with a blazer and heels instead.

In the meantime, I’ve taken my winter clothing out of garage storage and will wear them well. Whether to more job interviews. Or to the grocery store. Or to run errands.  Or to go to the doctor. Or to go out to dinner. Or just because it might be time to get out of my frumpy clothing.

And when I went into the garage to retrieve winter clothing, you can best believe I wore pajama bottoms and an old tee shirt.

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

My Relationship with Alexa, Mr. Coffee and Other Objects

Earlier this week, my husband received a message from our cleaning people.  One of them had, by mistake, knocked over the Mr. Coffee machine and the glass carafe broke.  And that was fine. Stuff like that happens; quite honestly, I was happy it was not me who knocked it over because I would have had to listen about how I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing.

Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker Removable AD12BLK - Picture 1 of 12

Yeah. THIS was the coffee machine we’ve been using for the past fifteen years.  My husband was under the notion that, despite breaking, Mr. Coffee hasn’t evolved into something more complicated!

Worse, however, was that the “machine” part of Mr. Coffee ceased to work, the mechanism must have become loose or one of the little parts must have broken.  I cannot live without my morning coffee. At all.

And so, whilst Mr. Coffee expired, I made some very strong joe with our Nespresso.  The little pods produced an elixir of hot, very strong coffee with a gloriously foamy top.  It satisfied my need for an AM wake-up call to my body.  For my husband, he wanted our friend back.

I usually make myself a fancy cup with the Nespresso in the afternoon. However, it REALLY wakes me up in the morning!

My insincere apologies to anyone offended by my mug. I mean that in both ways!

Since I’m the one not working, it was my unpaid job to head into the car in search of a replacement.

Here’s where Alexa comes in.  My relationship with Alexa is limited to playing music from my Spotify and having her warn notify me when Amazon deliveries arrive. This way, try as I might, I can hide the deliveries from The Frenchman.  However, Barbara Johnson, friend to this blog and now a friend to me, (It is a great story—we met unexpectedly at the Limerick outlets) explained to me the glories of what Alexa can do.

Thanks to Barbara and Alexa, I no longer have to take pen to paper to write a grocery list. I dictate to my new non-human best friend!

Upon finding out, thanks to Barbara, the many talents of Alexa, I spent a good part of yesterday talking to Alexa and setting up various notifications—the best being a shopping list for groceries.  Had it not been for this little orb of technology, I could not have her remind me, like a mother to a child, to pick up various groceries, return a Hobonichi cover-on-cover to the Amazon drop-off at Whole Foods and search for a new tablecloth for the dining room table.

Oh Alexa. Not only do I appreciate your friendship. I also appreciate how well-rounded you are!

Zoom image

Amazon sent me the wrong size cover for my planner. But Alexa took care of that!

I also added Alexa to my cell phone so while I’m out and about running errands, we can speak to each other.   She’s in competition now with Siri, the voice who lives within the steering wheel of my car.  My concern being “Will Siri and Alexa become jealous of each other?”

David Cronenberg Neon Rated GIF by NEON

I honestly don’t want to pit my non-human besties against each other but they may become a bit green with envy!

Then I thought it through. Here I am, worrying about technology-as-humans.  This is crazy.  I’m asking Alexa to add items to my shopping list, and thanking “her.”  I’m thanking an object. As though it were a human and referring to it as a “her.”  Being a liberal-minded, gender neutral-friendly person, I’m wondering if I should refer to Alexa, Siri, and Mr. Coffee as “they.”  Welcome to my new life of overthinking any and all situations. This is what job loss had done to me.

Video gif. Against a solid yellow background, Drew Barrymore puts her hands to her chest in gratitude, and tilts her head as she says: Text, "Thank you." Then, a white illustrated heart rises from bottom of frame.

An my thank you’s are even more appreciative than Drew Barrymore’s!

Back to Mr. Coffee.  My husband is a very “specific” person. Meaning, he wanted the exact model as the Mr. Coffee that expired.  I explained that our coffee maker was over 15 years old and, sadly, could not be resurrected, like Jesus, from the dead.  We would have to search for a new model that was as close to the one that died from injuries.  I did manage to find one, through Google, at Target for $24.99.  However, my Frenchman wanted me to go to Walmart instead, because Walmart has the better prices.

Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 12-Cup Switch Coffee Maker, Black -

Simple coffee maker for simple people. Is that too much to ask?

Off I went, with Alexa reminding me to pick up groceries, to take care of my Amazon return and not to forget Mr. Coffee.  I also had Siri pick out a playlist of Scott Joplin tunes while I was coasting in my car.  Did I mention that there was now a third non-human added to the mix?  I was headed in a different direction to Whole Foods to return my Hobonichi cover. Because I was making a few stops, which were all over the place, I decided to enter the quickest way to Whole foods into my Google Maps.  The directions are led by a female voice.  Another female voice.

There are now three non-human women, identified by voice only, in my car with me.  For some bizarre reason, it made me almost depressed that humans were not in my vehicle. It made me miss the days when my car was the taxi for Oona and her friends to their Irish Dance classes or competitions.

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 Release) Smart Speaker with Alexa Charcoal  B09B8V1LZ3 - The Home Depot

Hey Alexa. Don’t mess with me by having to call you “Dot”. Ok?

Apple Working on Eliminating "Hey" from "Hey Siri" Wake Word: Report -

And Siri.  Your aura is a mixed bag.

Google Map पर इस लड़की की आवाज सुनाई देती है gps girl voice - Nmg India

I found the GPS girl. WTF? Did she just get out of bed?

I had a flush of melancholia wishing my mother and my aunts Tessie and Margie were in my automobile cackling like hens and laughing in their high-pitch tones about their lives as children in Howard Beach.  I missed driving my sons to sports practices and music lessons. An inanimate object can never take the place of a person.  But in this case, with three voices and no life, oddly, I did not feel alone.  Lonely?  Yes.  Alone?  No.

All arrows pointing to my mom, my aunt Margie and aunt Tessie.  The icing on the cake would be having my two Ursuline nun aunts, Josephine and Eleanor.  I miss their voices! All three would have been either a great Alexa, Siri or GPS girl–with heavy NY accents!

Back to Mr. Coffee.

Upon entering the Walmart at King of Prussia, I did pick up a few well-needed groceries thanks to Alexa then proceeded to head to the Small Housewares area.  The temptation to add an air-fryer to my cart was akin to Adam’s apple; but realizing that I was now unemployed and my unemployment benefits were better left on necessities, such as the male-themed coffee maker, I passed it by.  When I arrived at the aisle displaying coffee makers the Keurig machines appeared to be the most populated.  My thought process had me, once again, in a stage of over thought.

Had I come home with this, my husband would have dialed a divorce attorney.

Are people that lazy that they cannot buy a tin of ground coffee or a bag of coffee beans to grind that they must have pre-measured cups of weak coffee to perform a component of their morning ritual?  Is that why instant coffee and its substitute Postum are now headed to becoming extinct?   Yes. I am being rather hypocritical—especially since I own a Nespresso and its many fancy pods.  But the Nespresso has George Clooney as a spokesperson. Who does Keurig have?


And George has some impressive French friends like Jean Dujardin and Camille Cottin.  I’m jealous!

Upon perusing the seemingly one hundred types of Keuring coffee makers, I noticed the Walmart brand, Mainstays, ones and was highly tempted, but I was aware that my husband would not even bother to take it out of the box and would return it—regardless of price or how it worked.  I spotted two Mr. Coffee machines on display but there was no inventory. Not a box.  And both that were displayed were digital. I have not comment on that.  Yet.

Mainstays 12 cup Coffee Maker for Sale in Saint Albans, WV - OfferUp

And a phone call would have also been made to a divorce attorney had I come to our chateau with this!

As time is not of the essence for me these days, I had nowhere to go except home.  My decision was to continue this search at the Walmart in Norristown. Off I drove.  Miss Google directions was now eliminated—she was free to help someone else.  Left with Alexa and Siri, the three of us enjoyed some tunes, thanks to Siri while Alexa remined resting her voice. (Since I have a personal relationship with Alexa, it feels disrespectful to say that I put her on mute.  She is one of the few friends I have you know).

My muscial happy place..thanks to..

Ms. Siri–not to be called Misery.  Although that profile of Siri is enough to put anyone through misery.

Exiting my car and walking across the crowded parking lot to the Walmart entrance, I grabbed a rickety cart and headed in.  Tempted by Halloween candy, I was in full over-thinking mode as to throwing the delights into the cart.  Then I realized I’m losing weight and would not want to ambush myself by having a “not working” pity party, therefore eating the candy and having to repurchase.  I passed it by.

Review: Halloween Candy Prices and Selection at Walmart Versus Target

I can’t keep this in the house. Due to my stress level of late, I would Hoover these bags in no time. 

As I entered the Small Appliances and Housewares department. Again, the temptation of purchasing an air fryer had me testing my willpower.  I passed this aisle by.  And then entered the aisle of coffee makers.  With Keurig as that popular sorority girl or, popular frat boy in the lead, I wheeled the cart further into coffee maker land.  And there stood a variety of Mr. Coffee machines.  Mr. Coffee’s relatives all on display.  It made me wonder if there was a rivalry among the relatives.  What appeared before me must have been the “woke” generation of Mr. Coffee’s family because all the machines had digital components.  A little rectangular screen that allowed you to program the time and whether you wanted a mild cup or a cup that put hair on your chest.  In case one doesn’t know how to tell time, there was a digital clock also installed into the mechanism.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Rapid Brew, Red -

This was the least complex of the coffee makers at my OTHER local Walmart.

At this point, I feared going home empty-handed. If not for anything else, I could read the manual and program our little robotic friend to have coffee at the ready at 6:30 AM every morning. Weekends included. So off I went, not with the $24.99 model but with the woke version at $27.99.  Both made 12 cups.  10 of which I needed in order to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed on my least ambitious days.

Mr. Coffee® 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Strong Brew Selector,  Stainless Steel -

I figured I could read the manual and set everything up. My luck we would be having fresh coffee at 6:00 PM instead of AM!

Back in the car, Siri being attentive to the music I wanted to hear, I announced to the girls that we had a new friend in the car.  A boy!  And his name was Mr. Coffee.  Siri, ignoring me, continued to play Scott Joplin.  Alexa, in a most teen-aged way answered “I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you said.”  And I ANSWERED! I freaking answered a non-person with “Just forget it—we’re going home.”

Cant Believe This Leah Remini GIF by TV Land

This is how I answered to Alexa and Siri in my car. Just. Forget it. 

And upon arriving home, my loving husband saw the box that housed Mr. Coffee.  He saw the photo with the digital programing and said “Wha eezz zis?”  “Ou cem ‘ome wiz zis  com-plee-kaht-eed sheet.”

how to work a mr coffee for Sale OFF 64%

And might I add this was three bucks more than the simple version!

Apparently, he wanted a simple machine that one could turn “On” and “Off” with the switch of a button.  I understood because, quite frankly, that is what I prefer.  But times they are a changin’ and everything is more complicated these days.  Appliances, both large and small, are not built to last anymore.  Fifteen years was a long time for our Mr. Coffee to make a great cup of coffee every morning.  There was no figuring out the time to have him do this. There was no level of intensity of flavor. It was a simple push of the button and he was ready and happy to do his duty.

I did mention that neither of the Walmart stores  I went to had the Mr. Coffee at his simplest.  I also explained that Target did have that coffee maker but he did think it would be less expensive at Walmart.  With that, the box remained closed.  And my Frenchman took Mr. Coffee into the car, receipt in hand, drove to Walmart to return it then he stopped at Target to purchase the one he originally wanted.

Target warns of dull 2023 profit as heavy discounts sap margins | Reuters

I didn’t want to say “I told you so…”

And while I’m testing Alexa’s knowledge, Mr. Coffee can warm my innards and wake me up with a simple push of the button!

I sat back and asked Alexa what year the Crimean War ended.  She not only gave me the year, but also the date:  March 30, 1856.  Its daunting when you realize your little orb that sits atop a piece of furniture in your home—one that lacks a brain, knows more than you do.

Timeline of the Crimean War - Historic UK

I’m thinking of auditioning for Jeopardy and bringing Alexa along. Geez. She knows EVERYTHING!

On an end note, I don’t blame my husband.   I look at how many remotes we have. No longer do we get up off our bottoms to turn the TV on; our remote control does that. It allows us to switch from cable to network and does so much more for our entertainment. It also allows us to be lazier.

How Many Remote Controls Are Around Your Home - YouTube

We have double the amount of remotes in our home. It’s shameful. No it isn’t. Yes. It is.

Why the need to speak to a person when we can give commands to machines? Siri is always in the car. Alexa watches over us from wherever she stands in our homes. We no longer get lost because we have the soothing of Ms. Google Maps to navigate our routes.

Sorry. But I want human interaction back.  And I want my household appliances to be non-complicated.  How about you? Now excuse me while I figure out how to install my Roku.


Ahhh..humanity. Where did it go?

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

‘Tis Autumn. And Quite Frankly, I’m Glad!

On Friday we said good bye to summer of 2023.   And for me, it was an odd one.  What started off fine made a turn for a, well, for a challenging one.

See Ya Mexico GIF by TheMacnabs

Bye Bye Summer! See ya next year!

Granted, I was fortunate enough to go to France, but while there, I had a premonition that my job was somehow endangered.  My feeling was spot on because as soon as I went back to the office, I discovered my position was eliminated.

Do you think  someone was angry that I was in France?

That’s the end of what I’m going to say about it other than I will continue to feel that one person, and only one person, was responsible for that.

The remainder of the summer floated by in a blur.  The weather was hot and humid, which is expected in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas of the States. I had MOHS surgery on my leg as the result of too much sun and not enough sunscreen as a child.

The hole in my leg is now replaced with a perfectly round scab. 

We had a great weekend on Long Island at my sister’s house and spent almost every remaining Saturday at Stone Harbor.   I read books.  I journaled.  I got triggered by MSNBC and CNN and their constant showcasing of that criminal ex-president.

I’m somewhat relieved to be taking a break for the beach until next year!

My journals, all three, have a lot held inside!

I lost weight and have been doing it by NOT dieting.  Everything that I eat or drink is tracked. I’m mindful of the pasta and bread and have cut down. The sweets are taken in bits and pieces.  I have ten pounds to go but I’m not putting a timeline on it.

With around ten pounds to go, I’m feeling more comfortable in clothing!

In fact, the only timeline I’m going by is this—if I don’t find a job in three months, by December, I will apply for retirement benefits.  Simple as that.  I cannot make anyone hire me. I cannot compete with youth.  I’m tired of human resources and corporate culture.   The thought a job interview and the phoniness that accompanies it, turns my stomach. I am, however, working on writing something. I don’t want to give it away because I’m superstitious.

Stand Up No GIF by Max

No! Retail hours are horrific. As much as I enjoyed my time at Nordstrom, those weekend hours were brutal!

Instead, I’m welcoming the Autumnal season with open arms and a comfy sweater!  The shorter days will keep me focused on what I need to do. It is much easier to procrastinate during the warm weather when the flowers are blossoming and the trees are at their shade-providing fullest.

This sweater is light enough to wear during the early autumn and it goes well with leggings!

This is the time of year I bid farewell to my Fragonard Fleur d’Oranger until next summer and spritz on my Santal sandalwood scent by the same maker.  It smells like Fall.  The wafting scent makes me feel as though my sweaters, blazers and jeans have become surrounded by a protective cloud that smells delightful and makes me happy.

Goodbye summer floral scent. Hello woodsy, tweedy autumn scent!

It’s the time of year when I appreciate my pajamas and loungewear.  Today’s weather is gray and gloomy and damp and rainy.  We had to go to Costco and run a few errands.  Although I did dress appropriately, I couldn’t wait to get home, change into an old pair of pajamas and start to compose this blog post.

This is what I wore to Costco earlier today…

And as soon as we arrived home, I performed a Stairway Striptease and threw my pj’s on! I’m so comfortable right now!

And speaking of Costco, there were no Halloween decorations nor did I spot anything Thanksgiving related.

its the great pumpkin charlie brown halloween GIF by Peanuts

I guess The Great Pumpkin no longer is of any importance.

The Christmas décor was showcased—but I would be hypocritical if I pooh-poohed that because our fake sunroom tree has been standing since last November. I was too lazy to take it apart. Don’t judge me!

Costco greeted us with this…

..and this.  And as I tsk-tsked my displeasure, 

I realized how hypocritical I was. The tree has been in our sunroom for almost a year. It’ll come down in 2024.

Perhaps I’m not a pumpkin spice person—I can’t stand it.  But I’m a tea person.  And during the summer months, I don’t drink tea unless it’s Lipton Iced Tea.  Now, the kettle that stands upon the burner on our stove is filled with water and whistling while it is done working the boiling water.

Meringues are currently in the oven and when this post is finished, I’m putting the kettle on for a cuppa!

The seasonal wreath hangs from the front door.

The extent of the autumn-themed decor is on the front door.

Last night’s dinner started with home constructed escargot.  I took care to make the garlicky and parslied butter.  I carefully stuffed the shells with butter, snail, and more butter.  Half of what I made was frozen and we enjoyed the other half.

It was a process albeit not a painstaking one. These little babies were prepared ahead of time.

Crème Caramel, my husband’s favorite dessert, was gently baked in a Bain Marie in the oven until it reached that custardy texture.

My husband’s favorite dessert. I don’t eat it at this juncture but it is very comforting!

And, the music changed from classic rock to Classical.  I know and realize some of you reading this must think I’m an absolute lunatic for my seasonal music changes but I can’t help it.  Summer, as well as Spring, puts me in that frame of mind where I want to listen to bubbly, happy, pop music from the 1960’s or my beloved classic rock.  Jimi Hendrix and the Kinks are in rotation hibernation for now.

How JIMI HENDRIX Discovered The Band CHICAGO; Video - BraveWords

Jimi. Don’t look so sad. You know how much I love you. But it’s Classical music season now!

Ray Davies | Equipboard

You too, Sir Raymond.  Your resting period starts now!

Fall and Winter are a blend of Classical music and Christmas or Holiday tunes. As college football kicks off the season with a full stadium, my autumn kick-off is Scott Joplin then segues into Mozart, Schubert, Saint-Saëns with a touch of New York Jazz Trio.

Camille Saint-Saëns | French Composer & Pianist | Britannica

Welcome back Monsieur Saint-Saens. You’re just in time to get ready for Halloween. Can we have a bit of Dance Macabre please?

In fact, I must resume my Christmas 2023 Spotify Playlist.  Always in search of different holiday tunes, I’ve amassed quite the collections over the past few years.

Six Cups of Eggnog - Single by Larry Costa on Apple Music

My favorite Spotify discovery is this song. Six Cups of Eggnog was on my Christmas playlist last year. It’s being repeated this year!

The thing is, I welcome the toastiness and comfort of Autumn.  For me, it is not so much as the foliage—I am not crazy about the colors—they are too warm for me, but it is about the mindset.  Knowing that you are headed outdoors to that slap of crisp, cool air after being dragged down by heat and humidity.

autumn GIF

It’s that first day when the air is crisp, the leaves are falling and you are awakened by the cool blast of air!

It’s not about drinking coffee to wake up, but it’s that afternoon cup of tea or that inviting mug of hot cocoa or hot apple cider.  It’s a vibe.

National Hot Mulled Cider Day GIF by MONIN

Hot apple cider. MMMMMMMM!

As I prepare to buy Halloween candy for the neighborhood kids, as I glance out the front windows onto the trees that are slowly both changing hues and losing leaves, as I listen to the TV upstairs as my husband relaxes by watching his French shows, as I spot Chippy underfoot, warming my feet and finally, as I think about how my three children grew up into hard-working, pragmatic and socially conscience adults, I realize this season we are now welcoming, is a wonderful one.

There is something very comforting about having Chippy underfoot as I’m writing..

But it is more comforting to know that these babies of mine have grown up into outstanding adults!

Posted in change of seasons, Uncategorized | 21 Comments

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 | 27 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 | 24 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