The First Trip of 2023—And the Most Important Item to Pack.

Almost two weeks ago I embarked on a trip to Florida to visit my Aunt Terry.  T’was  a girl’s weekend—my sister Theresa is flew in  from California and my sister Germaine from Long Island.

10 Things to Know About Florida

Actually, the Sunshine State wasn’t too sunny-but I didn’t need a coat so it was fine by me!

Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that none of us will experience dreaded delays and will all meet up within moments of each other in Tampa airport.  What with the way the airlines have been running as of late, I have my rosary beads at the ready to start praying to Mary that we all fly without problems.

Loop Text GIF by xponentialdesign

Instead of counting sheep, we can count flight delays!

Since this was a short visit—we  arrived late Friday afternoon. Due to work obligations, I left Sunday morning and they stayed on till Monday. The weather forecast for Tampa looks good. Highs in the 70’s lows in the 40’s –can’t complain.   Summer clothing won’t be packed. Instead, I opted for clothing that can suffice on those balmy autumn and spring days.

Waiting for my plane to arrive, I had to sit next to a self-important passanger having a LOUD conversation with his daughter about relationships and his Christian ideology.  If he was a true Christian he would have made his conversation private. I retaliated by playing Mozart on my iPhone louder than his mouth.

The usual flight outfit of J. Crew Pixie Pants was replaced with a lighter linen blend that I bought a couple of years ago at Target, a black shirt, black ballet flats and a denim jacket.  I’ll be traveling with my vintage Louis Vuitton Randonee PM, and in my carryon was a pair of Pixie Pants and a black jumpsuit worn for Saturday evening’s dinner out.  Another tee shirt. PJ’s, underwear, an additional wig and some makeup.

My flight ensemble for the first trip of 2023!  Very, very comfortable. I wore Luxurious by The Wig Company on my head. A very nice wig for travel. My smaller Randonee went with me and it was perfect!

The suprise upon arriving in Tampa, wasn’t the huge Pink Flamingo welcoming travelers, but it was all of our flights landed on time!  We met, then took an Uber to my aunt’s house.  BTW, Sorry for the lack of photos–I was really having a great time with my sisters and aunts!

This Pink Flamingo looks intimidating but everyone was snapping pics like crazy. Some even took photos of their dogs under this fun structure!

We had a quick dinner at my Aunt’s clubhouse, then headed back to the house for tea and conversation before calling it a night.  On Saturday, we hit a local mall because one of my sisters needed makeup. Then it was on to my brother Tommy’s house to meet the newest family member–baby Emma!  I can’t believe my brother is a grandpa!

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE DRESS ALERT!  MOB ALERT!  I saw this dress at Dillard’s.  Honest to god, I almost purchased it even though I’m not a MOB. It’s just that after writing my blog post : The Mother of the Bride Dress Saga Continues

Okay, back on track–we  headed to Capital Grille on Saturday evening for dinner.  In perusing the menu offerings and in light of the weight I need to lose, I had already decided what I my choice will be—the appetizer portion of the Tuna Tartare for my main course and Oysters on the half shell (0 WW points).   I can do without wine or a cocktail. I’ll stick to unsweetened iced tea.

That whole thing about eating a WW-friendly meal went out the window. I had a cocktail and meat!  Blue Filet Mignon.

BWAAAAAAAAAA!  All that healthy eating went to waste. I was having a great dinner with my sibs and my aunt.  Actually, the healthiest thing I ate was the night before–I had a Cobb Salad at my aunt’s club  (Top Left Pic). And the pic on the top right is the Blackberry Bourbon and Thyme Sidecar I ordered. Yeah–since everyone was pulling my leg I went for the win.  That drink was THE best cocktail I ever had. Thank God it was expensive–the price stopped me from ordering a second.  We enjoyed a Calamari appetizer (bottom left) and I ordered the filet mignon.  I ordered a plain coffee for dessert!

Me and my sibs.  I wish Pete was with us but I know he was looking down from a star and smiling.   Top Left:  My brother Tommy, me,  Aunt Terry, my sisters, Germaine and Theresa. Bottom left is my SIL Beth and my very hungry brother.  Aunt Terry, smiling because we are sitting next to each other!

The next morning, it was time to bid adieu to my family.  We had one last bit of conversation in the car on the way to the airport and the trip was over.  I had a surprise on the plane. It was the day of the Eagle’s playoffs. The plane was filled with “Iggles” fans and when we landed in Philly, they actually sang “Fly, Eagles, Fly”.  I’m a Giant’s fan.  I’ll leave it at that!

And, in true Cathe travel fashion–it rained as I was about to board the plane home. It’s not a trip unless the weather is raining on me. Still it wasn’t enough for a delay!

Hanging out waiting to board my flight back home. Yum. Yum. Biscoff cookies were served on the flight!  And I got to write in my journal! It was a great little trip!

But the most important item—or items  tha went to Florida with me were my traveler’s journal, pens to write with, and a little instant camera.  Allow me to explain.

My Journals.  BTW, the Journal on the right is my Traveler’s Notebook. Pricey but a great way to journal. On the left is one from Amazon–a dupe that was less than half the price. It’s just as good. If interested here’s the link:  Refillable Leather Journal

In the past I’ve always journaled during our trips to France—whether Paris or the Cote d’ Azur, taking the time every afternoon and even evenings was a time to relax, reflect and describe the activities of each day.

Last summer’s visit to France–memories contained in here!

And the memories contained within those journals are priceless wonders.  Every now and then I’ll open a journal from a past visit and will read about the great times we had in 2011—or 2007—or 2022. And my favorite years are the years Vincent’s aunt, my beloved Daniele was alive.

And now–my recent trip to Florida is nestled into my journal!

But, I don’t write when we head to New York City—which is so weird because I lived there for  decades, was born in Rockaway, lived on Long Island then back to the city.  Ink hasn’t hit pen when we’ve visited Cincinnati—and with two grandsons, I feel almost evil that I hadn’t written about our fun experiences there.

I do have past blogs regarding trips over the bridge into NYC but I haven’t journaled about them. It’s a shame too. Next trip. I journal!

The weekends that The Frenchman and I spent over the years in Washington DC deserved to be recorded. And I failed to do so.  The best I did was to write on the blog.

Actually, one of my first blog posts was written about the greatest weekend we had in Brooklyn.  When Jake, Roman and Oona Christmas-gifted Vincent and me with a stay at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, a cake-baking class at Momofuku Milk Bar and a fantastic dinner at an Argentinean Steak house.  In case you forgot, here’s the link : A Great Weekend In Brooklyn, NY!!!

me-and-the-kids-wythe-hotel-brooklyn

This pic is from one of my first blog posts–and one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in my life.  Oona hadn’t even met her husband yet.  I honestly wish I had started journaling back then.

We need memories.  They are important. Recording our trips, events, and activities are a tremendous asset in our thought process—especially as we age.

Season 1 Starz GIF by The Rook

Although we never want this to happen, we oftentimes forget the little things–and journaling is perfect for those little things.

Writing these future memories  brings to our loved ones the gift of words—words about where we’ve been, what we’ve done,  our emotions, our sense of humor and our sense of who we are. We are able to express ourselves in the written form at times, far better than verbally.

I’ll even add little daily entries into my calendar!

And journals are fun to decorate! No matter how old you are! 

Which makes me want to take this a step further.  Writing notes like the simple “thank you”.  The “Thinking of You”. Or basically, any excuse to take a few moments to get a pen, a sheet of stationery or a card and for a minute or so, just to let someone know you are thinking of them.

This card arrived from my Aunt Terry in the mail yesterday. On the inside is a beautiful handwritten note that I treasure!

I’m guilty AF for sending off an email or a text.  Rarely do I have phone conversations anymore. When I do its family. When I text—it’s family.  I need to invest in note cards. And various holiday cards and send them out to let others I love and care about know I’m thinking of them.

Thank-You Notes & Blank Note Cards | Hallmark

I need to invest in notecards and send them out.

But back to the journals. And notebooks.

Back to the journals!

It’s so funny because now, perusing a website for stationery has taken the place of sleuthing down clothing. In fact, the week before my trip,  at my insistence, my husband and I headed into Philadelphia to a Stationery store, Omoi Zakka, so that I could purchase refills for my Travelers Notebook.   It’s such a little gem of a shop, I could have spent hours there—and I definitely plan on returning.

Omoi Zakka, in Philly’s Old City, is a little gem of a stationery store. I need to get back.

I purchased refills..

…and received this cute postcard!

Then I discovered another stationery store located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; Yoseka Stationery.  (I’ve just  received my order) Now I have an excuse to get back to Brooklyn!

If I lived back in NYC, I would be subwaying it to Yoseka Stationery on a regular basis.  I purchased girl stickers by La Dolce Vita. I’m in love with these beautiful stickers.

These stickers from artist Bofa Huang, creator of La Dolce Vita, are, hands down, my favorites. They are very empowering..Here’s a link to a very sweet Interview with her:  Bofa Huang Interview

So, tell me dear friends. Do you keep journals?  Are you writing about your travels? Are you writing about your memories? Are you sending little notes to friends and loved ones?  Do tell because I’m intrigued!

Let me know!

Posted in Bofa Huang, Journaling, Travelers Company, Travelers Journals | 8 Comments

A Part of My Youth Died This Week—Waking Up to Reality!

So, this past Thursday, January 19, 2023, I had my annual OB/GYN checkup.  I have extremely bad doctor anxiety which has made me put off going to my primary doctor for a regular checkup.

Gynecological Chair" Images – Browse 676 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock

I don’t even bother covering up any more….I shake too much to even try to put it on–that’s how much doctor anxiety I have!

I do the eye doctor. I do the colonoscopy doctor. I do the Ob/Gyn and the Mammo.  All with the exception of the eye doctor leaves me in a state of such bad anxiety that it’s difficult for me to function.

Lin Manuel Miranda Doctor GIF by Golden Globes

Web MD is WORSE than ANY online bullying. Every. Single. Day. I have a symptom to Google. And every doctor’s visit I’m told to keep off of the internet as a doctor!  Yesterday I threw up. I thought I had an ulcer but it was due to tasting bad garlic. TIP: If you think something is bad, just throw it out. Don’t eat it or you’ll throw it up. True story!

Just HOW much of a medical-anxiety person am I?  This email arrived from the International Beauty Show in NYC.  I thought it was about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Yes. I did!

Anyway, I went for my lady parts exam. And as soon as she said my parts felt fine, I relaxed a bit.

90 Day Fiance Reaction GIF by TLC Europe

Yeah. After I arrived home from the office, I relaxed with a hot bath. No rose petals because they would make me sneeze. No bubbles because they dry my parts out.  Just hot water and body scrub. I did have an anxiety-filled moment when I cut my leg with the razor I shaved with!

She asked me about my grandson, of which I explained that he’s beautiful, funny, smart and adorable and  at almost two years old, he’s big brother to 4-month old Bennett!  The doctor got a kick out of that and mentioned my daughter and son-in-law aren’t wasting any time.  We had a really nice chat.

And now there are two little ishkabbibles to talk about!

Then she came in with her concerns: my blood pressure and my weight.  My blood pressure was high. Not alarmingly high but high enough for her to tell me to go to my primary doctor.  She also expressed concern regarding my weight and where the weight was settling. The fat wants to stay in and around my gut.

Animated GIF

I’m not completely screwed. I love salt-just call me Bambi.  I hate exercise.  I cannot manage stress.  But–I don’t smoke. One out of four ain’t bad!  Yes it is.

At 165 pounds it’s increasingly difficult to lose.  My “ideal” and most comfortable weight has always been between 135 and 140 pounds.  I was close to that before my brother passed away. Then things got weird.  Lockdown happened.  The job I had at the time was making me miserable and my solution was emotional eating.

And as I write this blog post, I’m having a banana. And rather than shove it into my mouth, I sliced it, put the slices in a ramekin and I’m eating this banana in a more refined manner!

 

Some people lose their appetites during certain life events and stress.  I eat.  And eat. And bake. And eat. And cook. And eat.  Gobble. Gobble. Gobble it all down.

Presently, I feel like a puffer fish with the energy of a slug.

My doctor is correct.  I need to change my wicked ways. And when I got back to the office after my exam.  I ate three squares of Ghirardelli Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel Squares.  And a turkey wrap sandwich.

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Squares 5.32 oz | Casey's Foods

What else would one eat after being told by the doctor to lose weight?

Then I arrived home.  While changing I was perusing Facebook and came across a post by a friend.  David Crosby, the musician, died at 81 years.

Honestly, the news of Crosby’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks.  I think because it made me aware of my own mortality. He was only fourteen  years older than I am. And three years older than my husband. It’s scary.

This hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ll tell you why—but I have to find the proper wording and explanation so here goes…

Music is an important part of my life. Incredibly important. Music is calming for me. Music brings wonderful memories. Music got me through rough spots in my life and great spots in my life.   Christmas music makes me ridiculously happy! Classical music is my deep-winter jam. There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not listening to music.

Mad Genius christmas santa jazz santa claus GIF

Christmas 2022. The year of my “Christmas Jazz” playlist!

Pop music came into play when I was a young child because my mother always had the radio on.  When I stayed with my grandparents and Aunt Terry during the summers as a kid, all songs from the British Invasion were playing on New York Radio Stations of WMCA and WABC.

File:WMCA Good Guys 1964.jpg

These guys. If you are a New Yorker or grew up in the New York City area, you listened to them before school and after school.  

…and you also listened to WA Beatles C radio with Cousin Brucie.

And my favorites have remained. Favorites like the Kinks, Jimi Hendrix,  The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Dusty Springfield.

I love the Kinks. I’ve seen them more than once. And the crush that began on Ray Davies when I was nine years old never ended!

From the time I was around nine or ten, music has always been under my pillow in the form of a transistor radio, on the radio in the house stereo, in the car, in the cassette tape player, in the CD player and now on my iPhone!

Restoring the World's First Transistor Radio | Nuts & Volts Magazine

My little transistor radio was very similar to this. I would listen to it at night under my pillow. During the day it was oftentimes a challenge to get reception unless you moved the radio a certain way.

Then I left the young years for those pre-teen and teen years—and music became even more important.  And this is where David Crosby enters my music life.

David Crosby | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates | MTV | Rock and roll  fantasy, Rock music, Crosby

This is the way I remember him the most. That longer wavy hair and mustache!

The Byrds.  In 1965 just before I was almost ready to enter into the awkward years, I heard the slightly tinny, almost garage-band sound of The Byrds. Their huge hit, Turn Turn Turn , wasn’t written by any of the members of The Byrds but was written by Pete Seeger.

Why was David Crosby fired from The Byrds?

I love this photo of Crosby in his Byrds years.  Who knew he would go on to be the founding member of one of the greatest American rock groups of all time?

David Crosby was a member of The Byrds. I didn’t pay much attention to him at the time because Roger McGuinn was the “cool” Byrd sporting the Granny glasses he turned into an iconic ‘60’s look.  And Crosby wasn’t as cute as Chris Hillman but Crosby was talented in writing and playing guitar.

David Crosby's Hilarious Reason for Being Fired by The Byrds

More Byrds with Crosby!

With his volatile personality—he left The Byrds in 1967 for another group—Buffalo Springfield and was a vocal and musical part of the anti-Vietnam War anthem “For What it’s Worth”.  And FWIW, Stephen Stills didn’t write this song as an anti-war anthem. It was written regarding the LA Sunset Strip Riots curfew in 1966 but turned into an anti-war song.

David Crosby Filled In for Neil Young

Crosby (left) in his Buffalo Springfield days. Richey Furay (later of Poco) and Stephen Stills (of…CSN, CSNY and Manassas)

Again…our spirited David Crosby ended up leaving Buffalo Springfield to start one of the greatest, most influential and memorable bands—Crosby, Stills and Nash, in 1968.  I was 13 years old.

20 best Stephen Stills songs from Buffalo Springfield on - azcentral.com

1968 pic of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Why does David Crosby look like he has something naughty up his sleeve? Stills looks like such a prepster!

It wasn’t until 1969 that I really started to listen to CSN. Their first album was played over and over and over and over—I now listen to it over and over and over on my Spotify!

Crosby, Stills & Nash 1969 Album Cover Location

Not only an iconic album but an iconic album cover. This album basically defines my youthful teen years. I still listen to it regularly!

Crosby wrote one of the most beautiful love songs, “Guinnivere” about the three loves of his life at the time. And yes. One of them was Joni Mitchell.

Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' at 50 - The New York Times

Crosby with one of his Guinnevere muses–Joni Mitchell.  She dumped him for Graham Nash. 

With the addition of Neil Young, CSN became even more of a super-group. And the hits came. Déjà vu is one of my favorite albums.

Déjà Vu' at 50: Album Review

Another album I listen to regularly. Sometimes I like this better than the CSN album then sometimes I don’t!

David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” remains, to this day, my favorite song on the album.  I think it may have inspired my love of long hair on my sons—even though they cut their hair and I still beg them to grow it long……….

My boys back when Jake had long hair and a beard. Roman’s hair never grows that long but he can rock a ‘stache from time to time!

But there’s more to this and I’ll explain.

Those teenaged years, for a great number of us, are awkward and challenging. Unless we were born high-school perfect, especially girls (not being sexist—just blunt).   Many of us didn’t have that beautiful straight hair or perfect skin.  We were coming into our own and yet, didn’t really know ourselves.

Awkward Smile GIF

Yeah. Those years were definitely awkward for me. 

For me, I wasn’t a “popular” kid nor was I a social outcast. I was somewhere in the middle. Just your average high school co-ed.  I had friends—mostly from my Catholic school days, but didn’t have a huge list of them. I honestly preferred to be by myself.  However, I enjoyed just being friendly to my classmates.

What Are You Celebrating Fred Armisen GIF by Saturday Night Live

Yeah. I was pretty-much satisfied with being average. Smack in the middle–a safe place to be when you’re a teen!

One boy in particular, and I remember his name, Eddie Gleckler, made fun of my crossed eyes at any given opportunity, letting me know how ugly I was; but I shrugged him off as a douchey thing.  Still, it made me very self-conscious. He wasn’t a bully per se—but he was a very mean boy.  And mean boys grow up to be mean men.

Laugh At Ha Ha GIF by filmeditor

I would say he was akin to Scut Farkas of  “A Christmas Story”.  Mean. And quite honestly, there weren’t many mean kids in the schools I attended but I HAD to catch the attention of this one.

And going home, turning my stereo on and listening to David Crosby’s soothing voice, made me realize that everything would be okay.   I knew despite my imperfections that I would be someone’s Guinnevere someday.  And although I also thought I would have a boyfriend with long hair—it never happened. All my boyfriends had shorter hair-with the exception of one who had a beautiful head of curls.

The Complications of David Crosby

Surprisingly, Crosby’s soothing voice was a great comfort to me.

Crosby, even with his volatile personality, was a good man. He was the bio-father of singer Melissa Etheridge’s children. That’s a true act of friendship.

Mellissa Etheridge and David Crosby smiling

This photo from The Advocate says it all. What a great friend to donate his sperm. Melissa Etheridge was lucky to have him as her children’s bio dad!

Twenty-five years ago, he took Grace Slick to rehab—basically saving her life. Only a true and loving friend would do that.

No photo description available.

Quoted by Slick:  “The only famous person I know is David Crosby. We’ve rescued each other numerous times for drug-related problems but we’ve been sober for a long time now.” – Grace Slick

So, here’s to you, Mr. Crosby.  You didn’t know me, but I knew you through your music. You helped me to get through those awkward years.  You also gave your musical gift to my three children who adore the Déjà vu album. They listened to it as children.

David Crosby turns 81: Looking back at his career and controversial life

 

Thank you David Crosby for bringing me through those teen years into adulthood–and I’m still enjoying your music!

You’re passing has made me realize my mortality and the mortality of those I love and those I’m quite fond of.

I’m old now. And at times slightly awkward and still average but I hear your voice and am still soothed. So thank you again.

Thank you.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Winter Isn’t So Bad After All—In Fact, I Enjoy This Season!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely a summer person—but for reasons that are purely selfish and self-accommodating.  And I realized this after much thought.

You see, what I love about summer is that I don’t have to wear a lot of clothing. A simple frock that I slide on over my shoulders and allow it to fall over my body means that I will get into my car and drive comfortably without having cumbersome outerwear to deal with.

Pied-a-Fair–The Shoes of Summer | Atypical 60

A simple five dollar frock–Rondini Sandals and a long but lightweight wig make it so easy to dress during the summer months.

Let’s not even broach the subject of driving barefoot simply because I drive that way during all four seasons.

Can We Just Let Summer Be Summer? Please? | Atypical 60

I also passenger barefoot.  I dunno. Summer is the time to let the feet be free!

And truthfully, although I love the beach, I am getting sick and tired of the damage it has done to my skin—even with sunscreen and sitting under an umbrella—that seed of damage was planted when I was a child—from my summers at Rockaway Beach to Long Beach when I lived in NYC to those at Fire Island, the Jersey Shore and the Cote d’Azur as an adult when the damage only got worse.

Put On A Happy Place!!! | Atypical 60

Let us not even go to the subject of my surgeries from sun damage! It’s my own fault!

In addition, I also love the longer days—and to be completely honest with you—that reason is because I’ve always despised driving at night—but due to my new job being part-time (with benefits] and leaving at 3:30 in the afternoon, I’m not driving in the dark. Anymore.

Lastly, although I love and adore our home—I love being in a townhouse. Now that the kids are on their own, we don’t have to deal with curbside appeal. We have an HOA fee for that.  But, living in multiple dwellings often means that you have to deal with certain “stuff”. Our “stuff” is our neighbor’s overly aggressive dog who they insist letting practically live on their deck. Our summer dinners on our deck are a thing of the past as of last summer.

How to Beat the Heat Without Getting Naked! | Atypical 60

No thanks to the dog next door, we can no longer enjoy summer meals on our deck!

And so, I have a new-found fondness for that dark, monochromatic time of year. That season where hibernation seems to be on the minds of more than bears.  I think a good number of us like to spend more time under the covers during this time.

Ahhh. Winter Solstice. My favorite day of the year because after this short day, they get longer.

When I was a child, I loved winter. It was, in fact, the coziest time of year.  Headed to school all bundled up, coming home to hot cocoa while doing homework and studying.  Getting into pajamas earlier than usual, feeling satisfied when my mom cooked a comfort-meal dinner then being nestled on the sofa between one of five siblings to watch a TV show or two before heading to bed.

a christmas story GIF

How many of us when through this winter ritual getting ready for school or play?

Weekend afternoons were spent ice skating on the lakes until our feet and fingers became numb.  We didn’t have snow days back then.  The school buses drove slowly through the snow making that crunching noise as the wheels hit the packed-on snow that covered the road.   Winters seemed longer but it may have just been because we weren’t impatient with our lives back then. We lived each day at a time.

It's that time of year when Charlie Brown is on. The inner child in us is  screaming "YESSSS!" | Snoopy christmas, Charlie brown peanuts, Peanuts  christmas

Back in the day, winters seemed colder and snowier and ice skating at Brightwaters Lakes was a weekend thing!

I’ve somewhat returned to that patience.  And at my age, have learned to appreciate winter, once again, for what it is. Although not a snow person anymore—the shoveling is taxing and driving through snow and icy roads is not only dangerous but it is stressful. There are other things I can now safely say I love and enjoy about winter.

I can do without snow but I love this painting. I have no idea who the artist is but they caputured winter perfectly!

I love my daily commute to and from the office through Valley Forge Park. It’s enjoyable to admire the foliage and lack thereof during the seasons. What I love about the winter is that you get to view the naked trees with their branches and split-end like twigs extending out like nerve endings. You get the shape of the bones of the trees.

On the way to work through Valley Forge Park CAVEAT: Nobody was behind me and I drove very slowly while I snapped these pics!

The bare trees and my music make for a very soothing commute!

I also love to see how the trees change on a seasonal basis!

Honestly, even a dismal scene can be a thing of beauty in the winter! It’s what you make of it and how you look at it!

And the lack of color is wonderful for a neutral-toned lover such as myself. I love my color in the summer and during the holidays.  Otherwise, I’m happy with a few tones that make life appear similar to black and white photography.

Had it been a cloudy day, this would have been a beautiful black and white photo!

And my diet withstanding, I love the weekend meals that I make in the winter.  Saturdays are spent running errands then coming home to cook a restaurant-dining-at-home atmosphere in the privacy of our home.  We don’t have to deal with noisy or complaining diners.  I won’t lie, we do enjoy our dinners out but we don’t do that often. We save those evenings for special occasions.  I enjoy the baking and it comes to a stop in the summer!

I made escargot last night for a starter. I do not do this in the summer…

On Friday, I made 75 Gougeres for The Frenchman. He’ll have a supply to last through February!

Even my music tastes change with the seasons.  During Spring and Summer, it’s more classic rock. Fall is my Scott Joplin season and with Winter comes my beloved Christmas music, classical and smooth jazz.  The later two calm me down.

Snowfall - song and lyrics by Wes Montgomery | Spotify

I can’t get enough of Wes Montgomery’s Snowfall on my Spotify Winter Jazz playlist. I LOVE this one! It’s so wintery and calming!

Winter is also a time to binge on new Netflix discoveries. I am now official hooked on KDrama–AKA Korean dramas and comedy series.  Definitely worth watching and well-done–especially the historic dramas!

I finished Extraordinary Attorney Woo (left side pic) on Netflix. It’s about an autistic attorney and it was fantastic.  I also just finished the 20-episode The King’s Affection–a historical melodrama taking place during the Joseon Dynasty. This was epic. History. Drama. Mistaken identity. Love. Comedy. Tearjerker moments. It’s got it all!

And I will admit, even though I can’t stand outwear, I enjoy my time in sweaters and winter clothing.  To a point.

And notice–no socks!  Not even in winter!!!!!!!!!

The weather may be chilly—and downright cold on some days but I love the warmth of our home. I feel cuddled and coddled.

Hmmm. snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket and Netflix or a book. During the winter months it is all that is needed!

Chippy agrees!

And I love my visits to Longwood Gardens when Roman visits.

Longwood Gardens at Christmas or anytime during the winter is fine by me!

In fact, I’ve been inspired to become a member of a local arboretum—Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens.  I visited last week for the first time and fell in tree-hugging love. The huge deck area has me waiting for Spring when that first burst of warm weather allows me to sit on a chair  or bench within the gardens and get lost in a novel!

Jenkins Arboretum in Devon. In the winter, it’s like having a huge garden to yourself!

I stumbled upon this cut-down tree trunk at the arboretum. Look. It’s older than I am!

I sat on one of these chairs last weekend for quite a while just reflecting upon the beauty of the bare trees. It was glorious!

How about you?  Is winter a time for reflection, self-improvement and hibernation—or are you disgusted with the cold weather?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

So, After Just Under Three Years of Covid as We Know it….I Tested Positive

Yeah. After lockdown and all the required vaccinations as well as booster shots, wearing a mask in public for what seemed like—forever, traveling both domestically and overseas on flights as long as 8 ½ hours, jammed packed at customs—and close enough to others to become impregnated (if I was that young and productive), staying home and becoming more of a misanthropic individual than I ever was.

I tested positive for Covid.

Thank goodness the “T” line is not as dark as it was a few days ago!

There are definitely mixed feelings about this and I’ll address it as I go further into this post.

On Christmas, I had a cold. Nothing to the chest, just a head cold of sorts and feeling a bit tired. Nevertheless, I took it easy.  Since The Frenchman’s granddaughter is in a community presentation of the play “Mary Poppins”, they decided to forego Christmas dinner with us as they didn’t want his 12-year-old granddaughter exposed to germs. And I get that.

sick black and white GIF by Okkult Motion Pictures

Basically, this is what I’ve been going through.

And so, Christmas, as you read in my previous blog post was restful and quiet. Just me. Roman. The Frenchman. Roman went home the Tuesday after Christmas.  I had a few days off with the return to the office last Thursday.

And my return to work was quiet but very productive.  Nobody was in the office and I had the opportunity to catch up on mail, tidying up the facilities and wait for a delivery that never arrived.  Yet, I thought this “cold” was lingering. Something felt “off” and yet it didn’t.

Video gif. A woman behind a desk, punches the air excitedly as she spins with cheer in her chair.

Yessssssss!  I was happy to be back at work–even if for one day!  I honestly enjoy my new job!

So that evening I took a Covid test at home. We ordered quite a few free tests and had a plethora of them in our main bathroom.

How Not to Use Rapid Covid Tests | Kaiser Health News

We have quite the number of these tests. I fact, my obsessive personality has me taking these tests more than I should.

I carefully followed the directions on the test.  Opening the swab gingerly, making sure my hands were clean (as if it really mattered), and, went to town showing the swab up my nose to ensure that I was collecting whatever traces of disease were lining the wideness of my nostrils.

With the focus of a scientist, I placed my dirty swab into a little plastic container and swirled it around 15 times with the liquid that was securely ensconced into said container.

Mcgill Library Chemistry GIF by McGill University

Yes. I take my obsession with these Covid tests very seriously.

And then, I placed my three drops of my snotty residue into a small oval opening that would lead to the area which would tell me whether or not I was infected.

It came as quite a surprise when I discovered a positive result. In fact, I’m such a Doubting Thomasina that I repeated the test. Three times.  Positive.

I’m obsessed and triggered at the same time.

You have no idea what went through my head.  I was thinking about heading to the emergency room. After all, I had heard more than my share of Covid horror stories since my previous job was dealing in healthcare. Thank God in Heaven I am no longer working at a triggering job.

But I thought the worst. I envisioned myself under an oxygen tent, gasping for a molecule of air. I saw my temperature rise 1000 degrees.  I wondered if I needed to be placed into an iron lung.  I started to cry. Not little tears but sobbing, ugly tears. To the point my husband thought I needed to be placed in the ER for my mental health as opposed to the physical.

Mindy Kaling Crying GIF

Well, yeah. I was also crying because I was hungry. I’ll admit it.

Here’s the thing that bothered me though—and please, please, please my friends, please correct me if I’m wrong—because I could be….wrong, that is.

What really bothered me is that, after almost three years, the vaccines, the boosters, the mask-wearing, and the fact my blood type is O Negative, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t get Covid. At all.  My competitive nature makes me feel as though I lost the sport of avoiding this annoying condition.

Jimmy Fallon Kane GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

It’s true. I couldn’t win at the game of keeping Covid at bay and it pisses me off.

Granted, the media did a fantastic job into showcasing the horror of not getting vaccinated—and I appreciate that.  The media also did a stellar job of managing to showcase how politicians could have saved millions of lives—but I’m not going to touch upon that right now.

I only wish the media had showcased a more realistic picture of what can happen after you comply—after you get your vaccinations and boosters and follow the rules.

Fact is, I don’t feel bad.  I’ve had colds where I was a lot worse. Where I couldn’t speak (which everyone I’ve lived with was thankful) for a week, where my chest was like a rattling old trunk, where my only meals were the daily amounts of mucus that flowed down my throat into my belly.

Frequent Colds: How to Prevent Frequent Colds

Believe me, I’ve had colds far worse than I’m feeling with this Covid.

There’s none of that. No sweats. No fever. No chest cough. Just sneezing and what appears to be a congested head.  I swear to you even the stuff that comes out of my nose into a tissue is clear!  Albeit, there’s a lot of that clear stuff running into the tissues…and dripping on my pajama tops.

Quite honestly, the worst part about Covid was sneezing made my hemorrhoids worse.

sick natalie zea GIF by The Detour

I think hemorrhoids should be a symptom of Covid. From one end to the other!

Yesterday, we were able to take down all the Christmas decorations.  I cursed at the lights that were difficult to unravel because I should have unraveled them when the tree fell on top of me but I was too lazy. I, along with The Frenchman, lugged tubs up and down flights of stairs, lifted the tree out of the tree stand so my husband could put the tree outside, wrote a blog post—overall I was very productive.

When it warms up a bit I’ll transplant the Poinsettias into a large pot.

From the family room on the lower level..

To the foyer..

..and

..the..

..living room. All traces of Christmas are gone.  Back to beige..well…

…the Catholic in me is leaving the fake tree in the sunroom up until Epiphany. Then it’s being dismantled.

And so, today I’m home. And just as our Christmas tree slightly overstayed it’s welcome—as the branches started to droop and dry out; I’m feeling like I’ve overstayed my welcome at home. I had a nice time being home for the holidays but I want to get back to work. I enjoy working.

The good tree waits patiently to be picked up.

That process of waking up when the alarm rings at 6:00 AM, gives me joy—because it’s another day that I woke up.  I love brushing away that morning feeling with a dab of toothpaste squeezed upon that brush that’ll enter my mouth.  The feel of the splash of cool water hitting my face rejuvenates me. And the feeling of moisturizer over my face makes me well-aware that I’m keeping my skin soft.

Good Morning GIF

When that alarm rings–I’m up. No snooze button for me!

When my husband brings me my coffee as I’m “putting my face” on makes me happy.  And deciding what outfit to wear is one decision I’m never indecisive about.  My morning commute through Valley Forge Park relaxes me as I listen to my music.

And then when I arrive at work, I’m ready to handle any tasks that come my way.

What I don’t enjoy is being stuck at home when I would rather be at the office. It’s weird.  At 10:25 AM I finished a nice cup of tea.

I know. I know. My tea mug is naughty but today, that’s how I feel. I just want to get back to work!!!!!!!!!!

I applied nail strengthener to my nails and I’m hungry. But since I’m making yet the 1,000,000th attempt at losing weight, I’m drinking water instead. And I’m still hungry. I could actually go for a burger topped with melted Swiss cheese, sauteed onions and cooked mushrooms along with a large chocolate shake. Yeah. My taste buds are longing!

My taste buds are in working order–as is my nose!

Actually, I’ll go into the living room, plop my butt on one of the sofas, turn the TV and peruse through Netflix to find something to watch!

Honestly, have you had a mild case of Covid?  I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume you’ve all been vaccinated and boostered. So please if you did have Covid anyway, I would love you to share your experiences.

I’ll be back to wearing a mask on my own accord!

Welcome to 2023!

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Beauty My Way for 2023. And a Goodbye to Christmas 2022!

Okay. As we end 2022, I’m not going to post about my Christmas Holiday. That much!

Well….not THAT much. I’ll add a few pics!

Fact is, it was a pain in the ass. Literally. I had a hemorrhoid flare-up. And after the plethora of Preparation H (which I used so much of, I couldn’t even save any to use to subdue wrinkles on my face) gel and cream, along with Tucks pads and cream shoved up my back door canal, and sitting in a hot bathtub every night, I’m just now, after a week, beginning to feel normal again.

hemorrhoids GIF

Basically—I feel like this guy!

Add to the fact we all had colds, it was a very quiet albeit relaxing Christmas.

Sick 1980S Tv GIF by absurdnoise

The sofas were decorated with blankets, pillows , Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu and NyQuil!

I kept off Social Media as much as I could because, quite frankly, I’m getting tired of the subliminal bragging that is showcased. Equally tiring is seeing women over forty/fifty/sixty and over filtering themselves to fetal or marshmallow level.

5 Tips to Avoid Over Filtering Your Photos - Nine9

She’s really 88 years old. I got a bridge to sell yas!

Bragging Full Of It GIF by ABC Network

Honestly, MOST people are tired of seeing your annual new luxury cars, bags, shoes, jet planes, islands you own….

Also, I don’t need to see how you are dressed in a different ensemble every night sipping cocktails.  All that booze would give me the worst GERD on earth and I would ruin anything but old pajama bottoms and a tee shirt while cooking or drinking.

Welcome to my Holiday Wardrobe!  Old Navy PJ Bottoms, A tee shirt covered in dripped snot and  filthy, wet tissues stuck in the sleeve. I’m enjoying watching Netflix movies about look alikes switching places!

So here it is. The holiday look for my home in a nutshell.  I am pleased and quite happy with how everything looks. We didn’t get the biggest tree this year nor did I break out the “good” China. It was low key.

Table set for Christmas!

Set for three!

But…I did listen non-stop to my Christmas playlists on Spotify and Roman and I had a great evening at Longwood Gardens.

We did return to Longwood Gardens to see the spectacular gardens at night. It was gorgeous.

Oh! And we did manage a trip into NYC to visit Vincent’s nephew and family in from Paris!

Yup! It was a great day in the City! 

So on to beauty my way.  My blog, as small as it is, is almost eight years.   I was a newcomer to my ‘60’s and as I’m now at the end, I see that during this decade, I’ve noticed the process of aging has hit harder than any past decade.  My skin has definitely gotten a lot drier. The fine lines have grown deeper. The jowls hang from the sides of my jaw like mudflaps.  Where my eyelids were once perky, they are now drooping and tired looking.

Freckles have morphed into age spots.  The uneven coloring has become more uneven. Eyelashes are sparse as are brows.

And the tweezer remains my most-used beauty tool to pluck those surprise lady whiskers that pop up on a daily basis.

Revlon Perfectweeze Slant Tip Tweezers

Yeah. I have one of these babys in each purse and in my car!

Eight years ago, I wore more makeup. My eyes could handle heavier shadow and liner. I used to wear shadow and mascara on my bottom lids as well as the top.  Nowadays all that eye makeup looks hard and harsh. So, I apply eye makeup only to my top lids.

Not gonna lie. I LOVE the way my eyes look here but in the five years since this pic was snapped, my skin has aged. 

Do I miss the heavier look? Yeah. Not gonna lie. But now I need to do what works best for me. And come to terms with my aging.

It doesn’t do any good to get caught in a cosmetics rut of yesteryear because it’ll only age us more.  And it isn’t that I want to look like I did back in the day—it’s that I realize I no longer do look like that so it’s time for a change.

I think the biggest change in my overall use of cosmetics came this year. Realizing that heavier foundations were doing absolutely nothing for me, I started to research alternatives such as cream foundations and tinted moisturizers.

Some creams are better than others. I do like the Seint cream foundations (which the company refuses to call foundations—referring to them as “highlight” instead) but you need a couple of shades for a look that isn’t flat.  Also, their contours are very good but the tutorials are horrific. I’ve yet to see any self-proclaimed Seint make up artist blend that stuff in.  Contour needs to be well blended to create the illusion of a shadow—but that’s another subject.

Actually, in 2021 I went a bit overboard with the Seint makeup–but I do like the creams–they need to be applied LIGHTLY though!

I love the Fenty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Foundation but I equate it more with a tinted moisturizer. A little goes a long, long way.  (I love this so I’m sure it’ll be discontinued any day now) It gives a nice satin finish and the key is to use as little as possible.

This is excellent for mature skin–again, apply lightly and moisturize before using but it really is good.

The iT Cosmetics CC Cream is surprisingly, one that I really like considering I cannot stand the brand. The brushes fall apart, the other cosmetics leave my skin dry as the desert but this is really good. Again—just a touch is needed.

CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ - IT Cosmetics | Sephora

I seriously cannot stand this brand overall–but this is one good product and it stays on all day.

This year brought about my admiration for Jones Road Beauty.  I think Bobbi Brown has done very well with her new “clean” brand.  The “clean” part really doesn’t move my needle. I’m not expecting any cosmetics that I buy to become filthy unless I don’t take good care of them.

It’s whipped and light and I’m definitely a fan.

Anyway, the WTFoundation is an airy, whipped dream of a foundation. There’s definitely a learning curve to applying but once you get it right—you’ll love it.  I also love the whole aesthetic of the brand.  Minimalist, simple and neutral. It’s a no fuss way to approach the makeup.

Here’s a face full of Jones Road Beauty. I’m even wearing magnetic false lashes here. I don’t even know why but I am–and they stayed put all day!

I’m gonna focus more on the makeup that I discovered this year—actually around September. I was really on the fence about it for a while, but the more I use it, the more I really love it.

Chanel Beauty Les Beiges makeup line’s three products I’m talking about are: The Water Fresh Tint; The Water-Fresh Complexion Touch and the Water-Fresh Blush.   The Tint and Complexion Touch both come with little brushes. I can give or take them but the purpose is meant to break up the little “bubbles” with the brush then apply to the fact.

The three Les Beiges makeup I purchased from Chanel Beauty. The Water Fresh Tint; The Water Fresh Corrector and the blush.  I used quite a bit of the water tint already–it’s because the product is very watery!

These products are very watery and the Complexion Touch is more of a concealer that does a great job covering up little flaws. The products feel like nothing but yet, last all day. It’s really weird—but in an excellent way.

This is the water tint. It’s extremely liquid!  Extremely!

The blush is very liquid as well. The corrector–more of a thicker texture.

The little brushes that accompany the corrector and water tint–used to break up the “bubbles”. Your fingers will work just as well.

My big issue is the price. These products are expensive—especially the Water Fresh Tint. If I used this every day, I would be broke—so I save them for when we have guests at work or if my husband and I are going out to dinner—or actually, I did wear these products a good deal during the holidays.

Here’s a Before and After. I used all three Chanel products on my face along with other items…

At first, I applied a ton of moisturizer. Then followed up with Etude Face Blur, which I’ve been purchasing from Amazon for Years: (Face Blur Link ) I love this stuff. Then I applied Charlotte Tilbury Flawless fllter for a hightlighted look.

Then I went in with this eyeshadow palette from Jones Road Beauty. The neturals are wonderful and last all day..

 

Next it was brows and eyeliner…

…and mascara primer and mascara!

Then I went in with this trio on my face.

Lastly, lipstick and gloss..

I don’t spend a lot of money on lip products. The inexpensive stuff works just as well, if not better! NYX  Butter Gloss remains a favorite as does Revlon lipsticks. I prefer pink to reds or corals!

Are these products going to turn back the clock?  No. They won’t. However, they will give you a nice glow and a nice look.  And at this point, all I strive to achieve is a look that won’t scare anyone. In all honesty, I am incredibly pleased with the Chanel products but it’s that price. In justifying—or at least trying to justify the price, I can honestly tell you that I’ve cut down a lot on purchasing makeup and beauty products.

As long as I don’t scare anyone when I leave the house, it’s all good!

I refuse to buy based on social media anymore. Those Instagram ads—those YouTube reviews will have you sliding down the deepest rabbit holes at a rapid speed.  I refuse—absolutely refuse to purchase products where the ads feature over-filtered women and men. I refuse to support any cosmetics company that supports this false advertising as well.  I’ll judge for myself and use the products in my own way.

I no longer follow any influencer who uses a filter. This one–the photo on the right shows how she looks without a filter and she’s an attractive woman. The left photo? Any cosmetics company who supports this false advertising should be fined.  My cosmetics boycott listing has grown quite long.

Best Anti-Aging + Skincare of 2021! - YouTube

I USED to follow Angie of Hot and Flashy. But she’s full of $$$hit these days. She’s old enough to know to use the phrase “Pro” Aging rather than Anti. And she’s pretty honest about the work that she’s had done–I respect that. But don’t sit there pontificating products when you’ve had regular work done. Nothing against her–I like her way , she’s just not my jam anymore.

Another “beauty my way” thing?  My nails. I’ve decided to grow out my natural nails. This one is sure to be a doozy because my husband has a “thing” about longer, perfectly manicured nails. Look. I can’t blame him because beautiful nails make for beautiful hands.

I cleaned up the nails a bit–I thought they would be in worse shape but they are paper-thin presently. It’s gonna be work to get them into decent shape!

However, when I think of all time spent at the nail salon and almost $100 including tip for a set of acrylics or a refill, I feel it’s high time to give my fingers a break (not literally).   And so, the acrylics were ripped off. (Yes. I know that is bad.) I filed down the residue as best as I could.  I ran to Target and purchased a cuticle cutter; cuticle sticks a big file and OPI Start-to-Finish which is a nail strengthener of sorts.

This stuff is all I need for now. 

Do my nails look great? Nope. Not at all.  Am I okay with the way they look? Meh—I know in a few weeks they will begin to look healthier. Actually, within the few days I’ve taken the acrylics off, they are looking slightly healthier.

Fact is, I’ve always admired healthy and natural nails but as a life-long, nail bender—not biter mind you, but bender, I’ve never been able to grow my nails to a decent length (BTW— “nail bender” –That’s when your nails get to a certain length and due to anxiety, you bend the nails mindlessly until they break.)

10 Tips for Healthy Nails – 100% PURE

My nail goal! We’ll see…

We’ll give it a go here and see how it turns out.  I can only hope and try to get my nails in decent shape. I’m not going to beat myself up over this. Just like I’m not going to beat myself up over losing weight…

That’s another thing I seem to go through each year—the false promise to myself that I’ll lose weight. I’ve done it before. Pre-covid era.  Then came Covid and the job that really messed with my mental health and the weight hung like a swinging pendulum.

Cartoon gif. A chubby Trixie Tang from The Fairly Oddparents chews a bite of a giant cookie, and her belt breaks.

I can’t do the emotional eating thing anymore.

Now, with a new job that I enjoy, I can only hope and try to stick to some phase of a healthier eating phase and rely less on emotional eating.

This Christmas was actually a decent start. Since we had colds, it was mostly soups and tea.

I made a ton of soup. In fact, I’ve more on the stove. Make a lot, put it in jars and you’re good to soup up for a few days!

Oh..I made quiches too!

In fact, the huge roast I purchased was cut into two, cooked for Christmas dinner and half is still in the freezer. Desserts were consumed in human portions and most of the cookie dough is still in bags in the freezer.

\

The Buche de Noel this year was smaller and decorated with candied cranberries and rosemary..

The last slices were consumed last night. A decent way to end the year!

And as I sit here at our dining room table on this first day of 2023, I’m looking at the Christmas tree in the living room. She has begun to wear out the welcome as the branches droop downwards. The Christmas music I’ve been listening so gleefully to, beginning right after Halloween, and sounded so happy and made me giddy with excitement, now have a nuance of sadness to them.

The tree is drooping but I’m not ready to let go yet!

The wreaths and décor need to be taken down, wrapped carefully and nestled into tubs for next Holiday season.

Well..TWO of the three wreaths need to be put away, the one on the far right is realy. I’ll just strip the ornaments and ribbon off.

I’ll do that next week. I just want to gaze fondly upon the remnants of Christmas 2022.

Yeah…next weekend I’ll take it all down!

Happy New Year to all.  Have a healthy, safe and prosperous 2023.  Don’t worry about perfection. Don’t fret over unpromised resolutions. Just do the best you can.

Chippy is resting from an attack yesterday! He’s okay though. He’s a fighter!

With my love to you for 2023!

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From Thanksgiving to Clumsiness. It’s All Good!

When I last posted it was two days shy of a month.  There has been a lot going on. And I think I’ll begin with the obvious.

I started a new job. Three weeks ago.

It’s part-time, four days a week—benefits included and is close to home. I’m the receptionist/facilities administrator. A pleasant change from the past five years in disability.

Still business casual but when visitors come, I step it up a bit with a skirt and heels.

On another note, we stayed home this Thanksgiving.  We didn’t go to Paris—what, with a new job and……Oona being in a wedding close by in neighboring Bucks County, PA, meant she and Sam and the boys stayed with us and I got to babysit while Oona and Sam attended a wedding.

Jake flew in from LA. Roman arrived via Amtrak from NYC and my step-daughter and her family were all on board for Thanksgiving Dinner.  My sister and her family were dining at her in-laws and stopped by for dessert so it was a very enjoyable holiday with lots of activity!

A nice shot of me and my boys during the hectic Thanksgiving week!

Due to the babies arriving, I did manage to add some Holiday décor to make the house festive for them!

The small fake tree was in the sunroom. I wanted at least a little holiday embellishment!

As usual, Thanksgiving was fantastic.  Great food and family—what could be better?

Family Art Print featuring the drawing Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell

I didn’t look like that as I served the turkay. I also don’t have a picture but it was pretty-much a modern take on Normam Rockwell’s Thanksgiving dinner!

The icing on the cake was getting to babysit for Owen and Bennett whilst Oona and Sam attended the wedding—actually Oona was in the wedding party. And……. Owen was ring bearer. And after enjoying himself for a while at the reception, he was ready to come to the room and enjoy quality time with GamGam and Uncle Roman!

My grandson, Owen, quite possibly the most adorable not-quite-two years old ring bearer of all time! The flower girl dropped the petals and Owen cleaned them up. Oona is training him very well!

Back to Thanksgiving—Since the kids were over a few days prior, it meant lots of cooking and prep for the Holiday.  I have to say that I should have taken photographs of the turkey because it turned out to be the best I’ve ever made.

Chef Jay Hajj with his turkey. Mine turned out looking this good but I didn’t cook it standing as he suggests because the bird was too big!

I followed the brining instructions from the cookbook Beirut to Boston by Chef Jay Hajj. Hands down, this brine was fantastic.  We had to purchase a huge plastic tub from the hardware store because the 24-pound turkey was a handful.  Placed the turkey in a giant plastic bag, added the brine and placed into the tub.

This book has become one of my favorites and well-used!

Project Source Large 30-Gallons (120-Quart) Gray Tote with Standard Snap Lid in the Plastic Storage Containers department at Lowes.com

It was almost comical. I purchased a tub similar to this, placed a huge plastic trash bag in it, placed the turkey in the plastic bag, poured the cooled brine, closed the bag and filled with ice. For two days. It was well-worth it!

Now, there was so much stuff in the fridge that the tub with the bird and the brine had to be placed out on our deck. Due to the temperature two days before Thanksgiving being more end-of-summer, The Frenchman had to get ice. Luckily when evening fell the temperature dropped drastically and my turkey was bathed in a cold brine surrounded by ice.

I was nervous about the turkey because I didn’t cook it with stuffing.  My ex-husband and his girlfriend had the task of bringing stuffing over. His mother’s recipe for stuffing was always a hit with everyone so I took advantage of one less item to cook.  Anyway, I opted for throwing a couple of oranges and lemons into the cavity and basting the bejesus out of this turkey.  AND, I actually cooked TWO turkeys. Chef Hajj suggests cooking one to make stock. Trust me the first bird was merely a turkey breast but it still did the job.

Needless to say, even I was impressed with the juiciness of the bird. Honestly, three days later the remaining meat was not dry. His brining recipe is a keeper.

I also made his hummus and his Moroccan Meatballs.  The meatballs are such a hit with my family that I’ll make a batch next weekend and freeze them.

Incredibly creamy and the best hummus I ever had. Chef Hajj’s. I’ll never go back to store-bought hummus again!

You can see from the mess I made on the recipe page that these are a family favorite. 

I made a lot. A lot. They keep well in the fridge and Roman would just randomly snack on them–and the sauce is incredible!

After the meatballs are browned, they continue to cook in this ridiculously aromatic and flavorful sauce. I’m getting hungry.

The hummus?  Owen, who isn’t even two years old couldn’t get enough of it. His strategy was sticking a piece of pita into the hummus, sucking the hummus off then redipping the bread.

My little sous chef. He helped me with baking cookies. And ate a ton of hummus!

My apologies for a serious lack of pictures but we were having so much fun that I didn’t take any pics of Thanksgiving dinner.  Here are a few that I did manage to take.

Blueberry crumb oversized muffins which were a big hit..

Croissants which are always a huge crowd pleaser.

Homemade cranberry sauce.

Biscoff roulade. I made it in advance, wrapped it very securly, froze it, thawed it out and decorated it right before dessert. This was delicious.

The Biscoff filling was finger-lickin’ good!

Preparing deviled eggs.

I made quiches in these pie pans that I bought from Amazon.  Very Emile Henry but for a fraction of the price. Went from fridge to oven with no issues and cleaned up like a charm!  The brand is Le Tauci and I’m heading to Amazon to buy two more. 

Onto Friday.  Jake flew back to LA. Oona; Sam and the babies drove to the wedding venue for the rehearsal and spent the night. Roman and I hung out. The next day we drove to the wedding, to Oona and Sam’s room to baby sit.

Wow. It was such a pleasurable time.  First of all, Oona is such a great mom. She’s very much on routine –especially with baby Bennett.  She had a ton of expressed milk in bottles for him. And it was easy peasy. Although I must say, he went through quite a number of diapers!

Baby Bennett is so chill. He’s completely unfazed by me. LOL!

Owen was the ring bearer and after he partied for a while, Oona brought him back to the room. He watched his little Trash Truck videos, we read, then he went to bed.

Tired after dancing and partying at the wedding–it was Trash Truck time and then right to bed!  

On Sunday, Roman and I visited Longwood Gardens to see the trees in the conservatory all dressed up for the Holidays.   And in the Holiday spirit, came home with two ornaments and a Christmassy bar of soap!

Just before the rain arrived at Longwood Gardens!

The Christmas decorations are awe-inspiring and really get you into the Holiday spirit!

Photos don’t do justice to the natural beauty.

It’s so beautiful!

Now THIS is a wreath!

Little goodies that Roman treated me to!

Monday morning brought about a farewell to Roman as he caught the train back to NYC and to work. There is such an empty feeling when the kids leave.  And it takes a few days to get my emotions back to normal.

Here’s where the fun begins.  The office I work is in new. As such, there is still minor construction going on. And on Thursday, work was being done in the reception area which is my new dwelling.  Due to safety measures, I was given the day off. Which was a nice turn of events as it meant another four-day weekend.

On Thursday I decided to run a few errands. One of the errands was purchasing a plain wreath for the front door and Poinsettias.  I drove to my favorite place for product and plants—Produce Junction and I found what I needed.

I purchased a plain wreath and embellished it with ribbon, berries and balls!

My Poinsettias. I need more!

After loading the car and dropping the shopping cart off, I made my way to my vehicle. Then it happened. I fell. I fell because I tripped over my foot. I tripped over my foot because I have this awful habit of dragging my feet. I was wearing flat shoes.  However, my clumsiness me.  I fell hard.  Thankfully the cashmere leggings that were worn were not ripped, but underneath all that fuzzy warmth, I gashed my knee.  My coat never ripped but I had a gash on my arm. My nose got scratched and my clean white tee was now a mess of gray tar, dirt and the remnants of a rainstorm the night before.

I leave the house all clean and arrive home a hot mess! My leg was actually a lot worse. This photo was the cleaned up version!

But there as another surprise.  A surprise worse than the fate of bloody limbs and filthy clothing.  Upon my fall, face down to the ground, I fell an inch away from a used condom.  Yes. My precious visage almost touch someone’s love juice. I could not handle that.

scared horror GIF

No way would I take a photo of that thing. But this is pretty-much my reaction upon seeing that!

As helpful as shoppers and store staff were to run to my assistance, the only thing I could point out to them was the used piece of latex rubber.  Had my face touched that thing, I would have driven straight to the ER to have them degerminate my entire body.

And so, the next two days were spent sore and bloody. I think it would have been a safer haven for me at the office.

Wait! There’s more entertainment.

On Friday, we got our Christmas tree. We’ve always gotten a rather…large tree but this year, my husband suggested going the smaller route. Although I hate to admit it, he was right.  The kids have their own lives. Jake will spend Christmas with his girlfriend’s family. Oona has the same Christmas value routine that I had when the kids were younger. Don’t leave the house—Christmas is for the kids.  Roman will come over simply because he isn’t far away and my husband’s daughter and her family will come for dinner. So, it’ll be small and intimate.

The Christmas Chronicles 2018. WTF?? All I Want is a Freakin' Duck! | Atypical  60

Our 2018 tree. Rather large but pretty. We opted for smaller this year!

We headed out to get the tree and found one at Home Depot. A nice balsam fir number that hit the six-feet mark. It’s full but not oversized.

Ahhh. The Frenchman smiles because he is happy to finally have a smaller tree!

My husband also pointed out that since the tree was substantially smaller in girth that we get a tree stand constructed for a smaller sized tree. I agreed and we purchased a tree stand with plastic screws.

Cinco Advantage Tree Stand, 1 ct - Fred Meyer

This is the tree stand we decided upon. It’s plastic. The screws are plastic. Do you know where this is headed?

Upon arriving home, we prepared for the tree’s placement in the usual corner in the living room.  Honestly, a smaller tree was a pleasure to take up the stairs and place into the stand.  Now, about the plastic stand.  The tree was placed into it. The trunk screwed in, but if felt slightly wobbly to me. My husband assured me it was fine.   The tree, nestled into the corner, settled in for the night before being decorated.

Taking up less space, I think I’m going to go for a smaller tree every year.

Yesterday, I woke up early, and after my morning coffee, headed downstairs to begin embellishing and decorating the tree.  Strands of lights carefully placed upon the evergreen. Spools of ribbon were wrapped carefully on the diagonal.  Ornaments from years past and recent ones were hung with thoughtful placement.

I woke up early to untangle about 8 sets of tree lights. Ever so patiently I must say!

Then it happened. The plastic tree stand that was wobbly in the first place gave out and the tree fell. On me. On me who already had two gashes, a scratched nose from two days before, was now under a fallen tree.  Ribbons became unfurled. Ornaments flew. Chippy’s eyes lit up because he envisioned lots of items to chew.

awkward merry christmas GIF by Videoland

Yes. The tree fell. On me.

I called to my husband. No answer. He was watching the World Cup.

World Cup 2022 Guide to Each Group | The Analyst

Apparently these guys were more important than me and the tree!

I called again. No answer. I managed to lift the tree off me. The tree that was now a tangled mess of lights, fallen needles and ribbon droppings.  I held the tree and called to my husband in a louder pitch. Meanwhile water was on the carpeting.

My voice would wake the dead. If you drove me to a cemetery late at night and had me scream, I can assure you that at the least, spirits would rise and beg me to let them rest. However, my husband was so focused on the World Cup that he didn’t hear me. Finally, after what seemed like hours, there must have been a commercial break because he finally came downstairs.

season 6 squid's visit GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

I’m proud to be loud!

He assessed the damage, went downstairs to the garage and came back with the old tree stand that was used for the larger trees. It worked like a charm.

In the meantime, I had a tree to redecorate, I was covered in tree needles and sap, and had a meltdown.

Understand, we were an hour and change away from attending a community theatre production in which my husband’s pre-teen granddaughter was performing. She’s incredibly talented and it would have been great to see her but there was no way I would be ready in an hour. And there was no way I would leave the mess of the tree on the floor for our dog to tend to while we were away.

The redecorated version. I kinda like it!

Instead, I stayed home to re-decorate the mess.  My husband was not happy but I’m going to see her perform at a later date.

Just some Holiday fun folks.  And as I sit here typing these words, I’m looking up at our tree-standing erect in its corner and thinking—it doesn’t look half bad!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to this Christmas and Hanukkah Season!

I’m spending the day indoors today. Away from parking lots and trees!

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

More on Less is More. Taking the Jones Road to Beautyland!

Over the summer I wrote a post regarding less-is-more in makeup.  And I’m still on that train of thought. And so, I thought I would share a brand that I’ve begun to use. I’m pretty pleased.   It isn’t the only brand I’m using these days but it is one of a few that have made the cut from many.

PAUSE!!! Before I go on about the makeup brand I’ve been using, I want to address the condition of my skin. After the summer, I had another skin cancer removed from my chest near my collarbone. I might have written about it but I can’t quite remember. It was taken care of and I’m now stressing because I’m going for another skin check next week..

Anyway, after the summer, my skin started looking pretty nasty.  The tan that was once glowing and dark and quite possibly adding even more damage to my skin, faded and I was left with more lines and dryness and very dull facial epidermis.  It wasn’t pretty.

This is not a good look. At all.

Needless to say, I reflected and thought back to when I was happy with my skin. I’m not talking normal happy. I’m talking happy happy. It’s been a while. A long while.   And my thoughts took me back a few years to a Korean skincare line, Mizon.  I ordered items from the brand on repeat then for some reason that I cannot remember, I stopped ordering and moved on to other products.

Back in 2018. During the time I was using the Korean Snail Skincare. My naked face looked much better.

I purchased the brand’s serum snail ampoule—a gel textured serum that is applied with a dropper, and snail cream and these golden under-the-eye pads with snail gunk that were very relaxing as well as working to smooth my skin and just make it nice.

I’ve returned to this Holy Trinity of skin care. Thankfully Amazon still has it in a kit–and I subscribed for every four months!

With fingers crossed, I headed back to Amazon and recited a Hail Mary in hopes that both Mizon and the three products would still be sold.  With a streak of good luck and the wish that Mary wanted me to look better, the brand was still being sold—and popular.

I’m pleased to say that my skin is actually beginning to look a lot better.  The snail cream is incredibly hydrating and feels great when I apply it.

Dry skin? This snail cream is incredibly hydrating!

The eye pads are fun. Just plain fun. They feel cool and refreshing and don’t take the wrinkles away but do leave a slight healthy glow.

These eye patches are just plain fun and refreshing. Do they take wrinkles away? No!!!!  But they refresh me enough to help me look bright eyed!

The ampoule?  I’m not a gel or serum person. Honestly, I ended up trashing most of the serums I’ve in my bathroom with the exception of one or two–but the snail serum is the keeper.   And, as it does do something good to my skin, it makes makeup apply and look better.

Onto the new makeup.

The iconic makeup artist, Bobbi Brown, has always been a source of intrigue to me. Mainly because she’s always made that natural, no makeup look really work.

Actually….I purchased this double-decker palette a few years ago and I still use it.  YES. I use expired makeup!

The thing is, I was never able to wear any of her Bobbi Brown brand foundations because no matter what the light shade range, it was too yellow on my skin.  My daughter, Oona, loved the makeup because she was able to wear it and it was beautiful on her.

Bobbi Brown Reflects on Launching Clean Makeup Brand Jones Road

The Bobbi Brown. She looks so natural and nice! And might I add, I love her taste in clothing!

I always thought it was too bad that I couldn’t be friends with her brand but—well, not all brands are made for all skin or people.

Then came Jones Road Beauty.  It’s a brand by Bobbi Brown but a different kind of makeup. It’s actually created with the mature woman in mind! What a concept! The most intriguing items for me, at first, were the Miracle Balm and the WTFoundation.

My collection thus far….

From Left to Right:  The Face Pencil in Shade 5; WTFoundation in shade Porcelain; Face Pencil in Shade 2; The Best Eye Pencil in Black;  Just a Sec shadow in Pewter; Just a Sec shadow in Golden Peach;  Cool Gloss in Pink/Gold; Miracle Balm in Bronze. Not pictured: Miracle Balm in Dusty Rose and Blush in Pop.

 

Bare faced.  After my morning routine of snail skin care and a light application of Embryolisse Lait Creme as primer, I’m ready to take my damaged and aged skin to a higher lever on the Jones Road Highway!

I did use the Face Pencil in Shade 2 today as a concealer of sorts but it’s difficult to see in the photo–it’s because it blends very well with my skin tone. I also used it as a primer for my eyeshadow.

If you zoom in on my incredibly textured face, you can see the pencil under my brow bone which I used as eye shadow primer.

Next was the eyes.  I used the Golden Peach all over my lids to brow bone then went into the crease with the Pewter. What I love about these shadows is that they are not ashy or chalky and not overly-pigmented which is great for building up color. On my brows, I used Trestique’s Brow Crayon because it is my HG brow product!

Just a Sec shadow in Golden Peach. TBH, it’s a great satin shade and one that I’ve been looking for forever. It’s not orange-peachy, it is just a light hint of peach that blends beautifully..

…and let’s discuss Pewter. It blends into this little throw blanket but doesn’t show up as a gray shadow–it’s a very unique shade and looks fantastic on the eyes.

Next was a thin line of pencil liner with The Best Pencil in Black. It is creamy and the line will last all day.  For a precise line, you really need to keep the pencil sharpened.

Lining the lid for me is the most challenging–it’s because I’m cross-eyed.

Here we are. Eyes done. The shadow is just so subtle and for every day it works beautifully. My brows and mascara are different brands. Onto the face!

The WTFoundation is also wonderful. The shade I have is Porcelain and to tell you the truth, I should have gone with a shade or two darker. No worries though because it still manages to fall within my shade range—and with other products still looks great.

It’s like a whipped marshmallow cream for your face. I’ve tried using my Leila beauty blender to apply but I prefer using my fingers and tapping the foundation into my face—then I’ll take a stippling brush and lightly pat the foundation onto my skin and finally, placing my hands over my face to “set” the foundation.

WTFoundation in Porcelain. It’s a bit too light but still within my range. Next time I’ll order a shade darker. But can I tell you–this is one of the best foundations I’ve ever used. As whipped and lightweight as it is, it stays put all day. ALL DAY!

I pat the foundation in with my fingers. Then ridiculously lightly will rub it in then place my hands over my face. The warmth of my hands kind of melts the foundation into my skin.

A little more patting and rubbing and we’ll be onto the Miracle Balm.

TheMiracle Balm is just what it is. A balm for the face. The two balms I have in ownership are the Dusty Rose, which I use as a blush, and Bronze, which is a great way to warm up the face They come in rather large container/tubs and are best applied with the fingers.  I especially have a large amount of fondness for the Bronze Miracle Balm simply because it adds a nice warmth without looking like a heavy powdered bronzer or a contour. It’s truly lovely.  The Dusty Rose balm adds a flush of color and on days when I want a bit more blush, I’ll use a regular blush and apply the balm over it.

It might look very bronze and golden but it goes on completely different.

I prefer to apply this with a little silver spatula/spoon that is available. It makes it easier.

Miracle Balm patted in with fingers. See? I’m not all bronzed out. It simply adds warmth.

Next onto the blush. I prefer a powdered blush over the balm.  The balm seems to intensify the blush and I love that.  I’m using the Jones Road blush in Pop!

Pop is very, very pretty pink blush. I love this one!

With blush on and cheeks flushed, all I need is lip color, hair, and regular clothing!

Because my lips are very naturally pigmented, I have a difficult time with lipstick and gloss. So under this gloss I applied a very pale pink matte lipstick by another brand and applied the Jones Road Gloss in Pink/Gold over it.

I put hair on. But still haven’t gotten dressed yet. See how natural the products are. Do I miss applying a ton of makeup on my face? Well…. not on my face. I do miss putting a lot on the eyes but as I’ve aged,  a lot of eye makeup just makes me look older.

You may have seen reviews on social media where young influencers do the nasty and place a ton of product onto their face. WTF do they do this anyway?  And those same influencers who load the makeup on, don’t have positive commentary.

How Jones Road Beauty 'What The Foundation' Became The Most Divisive  Product On TikTok – Centennial Beauty: Internet Culture, Creators & News

Really? REALLY? Look at the one on the left? What a joke. Don’t even get me started on the over-filtered, over blurred one on the right. HTF is one supposed to see how the products work in real life if you depend on these influencers for a review? I can’t even anymore… It breaks my heart that companies send these women products to try.

In the first place, this makeup really isn’t for them (Why then does PR send them the products—can we talk about that for a moment? In addition, WTF are mostly young women on the JRB site showcased. More old ladies please!). This makeup is for those of us who have really dry skin. Its for we with the dermis of age.  And lines.  And uneven skin tone.

From the Jones Road site. This girl is freaking gorgeous. Gor. Jis. But I wish cosmetics sites would start to show real women and especially those over 50 with no filters so we could see just how this makeup works!  

It is not for those with very oily skin. There. I said it.

Thank God for good house lighting. Here’s another face full of Jones Road Beauty. The Golden Peach and Pewter shadows look stunning here because I built the colors up to wear to the office.

And I’m not gonna lie either. The foundation, upon being applied, does creep into those fine lines and crevices. But..if you just wait a few moments and tap the makeup out of those fine lines, you are good to go—for the day!

Oh look. I got dressed. And before leaving the house, I’ll go in and wipe excess off my face. Trust me when I tell you, my skin is dry as the desert and this stays on all day and really looks wonderful.

It’s so funny because I’m in the middle of a cosmetics purge. Makeup that worked for me pre-pandemic just doesn’t work anymore. That’s the funny thing about the aging process. You age for decades and notice slight differences and then over the course of a few months—it’s BAM! And it seems as though your face aged overnight! Am I right??

And when I look at photos from a few years back, it’s almost shocking to see the amount of makeup I wore on my face whereas now, it’s just that I want less. And what I have less of I want it to be of better quality.

Me. Five years ago. I LOVE the eye makeup but these days, I cannot wear any eye makeup on my bottom lid. My skin is more wrinkled too.  What I wore then, I cannot wear now. It’s reality!

Now I’m wearing less.  Speaking of less, what do you think of this sleeveless top from J. Crew Factory? I bought it for the Holidays but couldn’t resist wearing it to work!

So that’s it. Let me know if you’ve tried Jones Road Beauty—and if you were users of the Bobbi Brown makeup brand! It’ll be nice to see what you think!

 

Posted in Beauty for Older Women | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

On Fakeness, Dishonesty, and Pro-Aging!

Okay. I’m going to get a bit “real” with this blog post.  There’s a lot I have to say. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea. Or, depending on what time of day this is, grab a bottle glass of wine and curl up on your sofa to a decent read.

Read Saturday Night GIF by HULU

Curl up and read!!

Back in 2015 I started this blog. It was basically to keep my sanity whilst in between jobs. The company I worked for disbanded and I was in a slight panic.  And, if you have been reading this blog, you know that it’s somewhat evolved from talking about my life into a sort of “Style” (trust me I use that word lightly because I’m no pro), Cooking, Makeup, Wig, …and basically a “Whatever” blog.  January 12,th blog post 2015 for your reading pleasure

me-and-the-kids-wythe-hotel-brooklyn

The first photo to ever appear in my blog. Me, Oona, Jake and Roman –and my photography skills have not improved since then!

My delusions were rife with hope that I would not have to return to an office job because I foolishly thought I would become an internet sensation for the “mature” group.  After all, how many “mature”, in reality—old ladies have blogs and other social media accounts?   Well..a lot of ‘em do!

And they have great little studios with great lighting and great cameras and even people to manage them. They use filters when reviewing makeup. And even when they tell you they don’t—trust me, they do.  A number of these older women pose as though they are fashion models—the good thing about that is they are more delusional than I.

Create a YouTube studio in your home - Videomaker

This will never be me. There’s too much stuff to crowd my house. My iPhone will have to do.

I’m nobody special.   And I’m fine with that because over the years I realized something.

‘Tis true. The only person I’m special to is me, myself and I!

The majority of people do not want transparency nor do they want honesty. They want to see over-filtered faces with no texture. I’ve come to the conclusion that human beings prefer a filtered photograph of a face without a nose.

The fading nose. It’s the new beauty trend. Do we really need a nose anyway?

And while I realize that some noses aren’t all that attractive, we need them. We need them to breathe. We need them to use the sense of smell—to smell the scent of danger as well as the beautiful scents of flowers, fresh bread cooking, little baby heads and even puppy breath. Apparently, that’s all for naught.

Climate is a driving factor for human nose shape

Save this photograph for reference dear friends–because at the rate over-filtered selfies on social media are going, the nose will become extinct!

And in our present day of social media, from Instagram ads, to Facebook groups dedicated to everything from reselling luxury items to handmade goods, and TikTok videos. Social media is a huge part of the human comedy—or drama, or even of human bondage!  But what bothers me the most is the lack of honesty among “creators”, “influencers” as well as cosmetics companies, skincare companies and clothing companies.

The Bachelor Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

This SNL skit says it all. The glamorous dress. The basic long wavy hair do. The content creator!

It’s all about the disclosure and the dishonesty.

Let me put it this way. I love cosmetics—there’s no way around it. I simply cannot go a day without mascara or brow products or lipstick or gloss.  On days when I want a little extra there’s CC Cream and foundation—running the gamut from extremely light to bare coverage or to full-on coverage when a wedding or special occasion calls me.

It's a Cream Makeup and Mature-Skin Friendly! Maskcara Beauty Review | Atypical  60

Yup! I need all of this so I don’t scare people away. Seriously. I love my makeup and skincare because it makes me look better and feel better!

And the thing is..I can no longer trust reviews on YouTube or Instagram because of the filters that creators/influencers are using.  When I’m interested in a product, I want to see how it looks on textured skin. Skin with lines. Skin that’s sun damaged. Skin that is old!

Kylie-Cosmetics-Kylie-Jenner.jpg

YouTube, Instagram, TikTok…I can’t trust any influencers or creators–and this one is still in her 20’s and using filters!

Sadly, I have to rely on my own devices to try the products out because I no longer trust any social media creators nor do I trust cosmetics and skincare companies because they continue to send products to these people fully knowledgeable about the fact they filter.

Please don't Lose Face — I Love You Just the Way You Were! | Atypical 60

The photo on the left-hand side shows how I looked in real life at my daughter’s wedding. On the right is how I looked with a FaceApp filter.  As ridiculous as it is, many older women–especially those showcasing wigs are using this app and filter to completed de-age their faces. Even the fake hair looks more fake!

Which brings me to yet, another discussion regarding pro-aging. I’ve been on this bandwagon for years—since my fifties. And at the halfway point this very day (October 16th) to 68, it’s even more important to discuss this.

One of my Instagram followers sent me this photo from one of Jamie Lee Curtis’ posts. She’s a proponent of pro-aging. Now, usually I don’t put much stock in what celebrities have to do or say, but Curtis is a different kind of animal. I love her. I follow her on social media. She is herself and in no way is she at that “I’m-so-ashamed-of-aging” stage. She embraces aging.  No fillers or surgery. Her short-cropped hair is a beautiful shade of gray and she’s happy to showcase her person as she is.

I simply adore Jame Lee Curtis. She’s aging so gracefully. She is what REAL LIFE aging looks like. She. is. greatness!

Take someone like Madonna.  I’m constantly flummoxed as to why she cannot embrace aging? I honestly don’t know if her social media posts are meant to be a joke or if she’s serious.  But it bothers me.  She is a gifted, talented and iconic musical presence.  She could, as Curtis does, embrace her age but yet, she doesn’t seem to want to. I must say though, no matter how many filters she uses, her hands give her mature age away.

It’s Madonna. THE Madonna. WTF is she doing this? She is in her 60’s. She should be more relatable to her demographic.

How beautiful is  she in real life? Madonna is stunning! She’s gorgeous and THIS is how she should be showcasing herself!

But even young social media presences don’t seem to want to showcase their true age.  Mikayla Nogueira is an internet sensation. She does makeup tutorials and reviews—on Instagram and TikTok.  She’s all of 24 years old. And she filters the bejezus out of every post. It’s ridiculous. How on earth can someone look at the products she has plastered over her face when her skin texture is smooth as glass. And it’s a shame. It’s a shame because she has admitted to acne and skin issues. If she showcased how the products really worked, it would be not only beneficial, but also helpful to all those out there with the same sort of skin issues.  She’s incredibly successful and has amassed a fortune in charging cosmetic and skincare companies to “advertise” their products.

She is incredibly talented with makeup. But the filters. For the love of God, she filters her face even without makeup. It’s disheartening and dishonest–especially for young women.

And what’s upsetting about that is the false advertising. Use a filter? You’re not being honest. The companies are not being honest. All to make a buck. The other upsetting thing is Ms. Nogueira is every girl. She really is, without her filters, she’s a normal, average 24-year-old. She’s cute and perky. And she knows her makeup stuff. So why hide who you are?

 

It’s disturbing because, as women, we need to be proponents of our bodies and our minds. We can’t allow ourselves to be set up for self-hatred. It starts at an early age. What about all these young girls who think they can use a product and be as beautiful as the perfect creators and influencers they see on the internet?  These people also photoshop their bodies into thinness. What are these young girls thinking when they see this?

And let us not forget the impact the Kardashian family does have when it comes to advertising. Although I’m not a fan, I always thought Khloe was the most attractive of the sisters. But look at the left–she’s photoshopped her face to the point she does not resemble herself.

And what about older women? Jesus H. Christ!  For any women over 50 who sees an over filtered visage on any social media platform then feels bad because of her own lines and wrinkles—that is sinful. And it should not be.

24 Photos Of Women Over 40 In Makeup That'll Make You Smile Uncontrollably

The woman on the left is beautiful and doesn’t need to filter her face. Seriously. She’s really stunning!

The woman on the right? She has texture! She used good lighting but she’s got texture. Her lips have normal lip lines. Thank you!!!!!!!!

24 Photos Of Women Over 40 In Makeup That'll Make You Smile Uncontrollably

Guess who’s wrinkled face is on the right? It’s an old Buzzfeed article.

Aging is a gift. Ask those who have lost a loved one at a young age and they will validate that.   Aging isn’t pretty. O