Changing Habits and Meal Strategies and More Loss!

Saturday, January 16, 2021: Hold on a second. Before reading this, I want you to know that I took all of the existing Christmas decorations down this morning.  All. Of. Them.  Bannisters are now bare of the greenery, lights and ribbon. The sofas are back to neutrality.  It’s all gone.

It is all back to my neutrals! Perhaps I’ll get some black pillows…

But…and this is a hoot.  That fake tree we bought for about $50 or $60?  The one we purchased because we were supposed to travel and I didn’t want a real tree sitting in our chateau while we were away?

This tree!  Which looked far better all decorated.  Next year it goes in the sunroom!

We still got into an argument taking it down.  Mind you, every year we argue on how to get rid of the real tree because it causes a mess. And in 2019, I had a brainstorm to throw the real tree out the window so as not to mess the house up. It worked.

But this year, we couldn’t properly dismantle the three-section cheap-as-all-get-out fake tree. It took a half hour to disembowel one section. And, it wouldn’t fit into the box in which it came.  The end result?

We stuffed it into the box, in two sections and placed it in our “storage” room downstairs. Next year this damn fake tree is going into the sunroom and if we are home, a real tree will, once again, reign in splendor in our living room!

After a ridiculous amount of time, we just decided to literally throw it back in the box it came from, pondering how the hell the factory got it into the box in the first place. It’s staying like this until next November!

I’m so disgustingly filthy now from sweating and lugging everything up and down stairs—but it was great exercise.  So now, I’m on a “cleaning-as-exercise” kick.   And after this post is published, I’m taking my swampy ass up to the bathroom to relax in a hot bath and then head out to buy flowers for the house.

And now…we head to the blog post!

Okay. So, last Saturday Bonaparte and I went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant—Spring Mill Café.

Date night outfit. Pants with stretch, a comfy sweater, darker hair that my husband loves and leopard shoes–minus socks!

I certainly wasn’t going to deprive myself and on the other hand, wasn’t going to over-indulge.

We split a pate tasting and for my main course I went with the Chicken Tagine. I couldn’t finish it.  I did happen to finish off the side of Brussels Sprouts that I ordered.

Our Pate tasting. I had gluten-free bread. And between the both of us, this was perfect!

From top left–Pate tasking; Brussels Sprouts which were incredible; Bonaparte’s Filet and my Tagine. 

And dessert was a small chocolate mousse that we split and one macaron.

Sunday, I made chicken soup.  I deemed it “Lazy Girl Chicken Soup” and here’s how I made it.

My “Lazy Girl” Chicken Soup. I made quite a bit so I ladled servings into Ziploc bags and placed in the freezer.

I took one 32-ounce box of low sodium chicken broth and one 32 oz box of vegetable broth and poured it into a large pot.  Then I took two onions, peeled and cut them up in chunks, peeled about 10 cloves of garlic and threw it all into the pot.  Then I took three large carrots, sliced them and into the pot they went.  In addition, I ground quite of bit of Rosemary—and threw that in!

Then I took organic chicken breasts, sliced them into small pieces and threw them into the pot.

Brought it all to a boil, added a bit of salt (not much) and pepper (much), and let it simmer about an hour.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Monday was interesting.  We had an “appreciation lunch” at work. Which meant we ordered from the restaurant “Founding Farmers” I ordered a large salad, cauliflower hummus, and mushroom risotto, a side of green beans and dark chocolate for dessert.

I kind of ordered a lot of food because I was ticked off at the company I work for. Food as a reward? I work my fat ass off. I was in the office every day since the lockdown. No Christmas bonus. No thank you from corporate. Just lunch.   Food as a reward is what got me heavier. I refuse to reward myself with food…….

Since it was super-busy, I did sit down to lunch and enjoyed about ¾ of the Cauliflower hummus which came with raw cherry tomatoes, raw cauliflower and raw carrots.  Trust me, I was thrilled to be eating those veggies.

The leftover cauliflower hummus. I’ll tell you this was really good. And with the raw veg provided was not half bad!

The rest of the food came home with me.

 

Salad, what was supposed to be Mushroom Risotto but was a pasta dish instead, and green beans all came home with me. 

As did this chocolate–which I still haven’t even sneaked a taste! It’s in the freezer!

Here’s where I strategized and I have no idea if this will work, because I’m writing this on Monday evening.  (CAVEAT: IT DID WORK!  And worked beautifully. Also note how it took nearly a week to write this blog post!)

The salad came with dressing on the side. This is good because as much as I love soggy, day-old salad, I wanted to keep this baby crispy for later on in the week.

I actually at the salad last night, Friday, as a side with my sushi for dinner! It stayed pretty-much fresh with some sogginess but I love soggy so it was all good!

The chocolate went straight into the freezer. I figure at some point; I’ll be able to bake with it—perhaps brownies or cut the chocolate into chunks for cookies.

Now its down to the Mushroom Risotto, which, was actually Mushrooms—not many, and some sort of pasta. I think they either ran out of rice or made a mistake and the green beans.  I took a little bit of the pasta, put it on a small plate and took some of the green beans and put them on the small plate as well.  Portion control.  And after eating, realized that I was full.

This pasta.  The portion was huge.  I ended up with four servings out of this.

I’m gonna try to stretch that pasta and beans as far as they’ll go!

It’s now Wednesday evening.  I had a meal from remaining pasta and green beans, which I also had on Tuesday evening.  I know I know. ‘Tis somewhat monotonous to have the same thing for a few nights in a row. But..I would rather that than let food go to waste.

I cut the pasta into strips, threw a few green beans on the plate and added some of the leftover cauliflower hummus. Four. Meals. And I was not hungry after eating!

On. And because I’m an impatient sonuvabitch, I got on the scale weighing in at 164!  Trust me, so far, I’m very happy—especially since we went out to dinner on Saturday!

Wednesday. A solid 164. Not bad considering…

To keep it in check, I’m making myself busy so as not to be tempted to wander to the pantry or fridge.  Writing a bit each night helps. Taking down the decorations keeps me busy.  I ordered a new wig that was on sale and it ended up to be a bit………………blonde.  Like, very blonde and one-dimensional. So, I took black eye shadow and rooted it.  I must say that it looks a lot better and rooting the wig stopped me from thinking about chips!

Here’s the wig I rooted. Trust me it was Barbie yellow before I added brown eye shadow to it.  Hey. Keeps me from eating!

In addition, I’ve been flossing and brushing my teeth earlier! It’s a simple strategy that works.  I’ve also been spending more time plucking lady whiskers from my chin!

Today, Friday I got on the scale teetering on the edge 0f 163 pounds.  I cannot complain given the fact we had gone out to dinner and that meal I broke down wasn’t exactly low-calorie.  In addition, last Friday, and Saturday (at the restaurant) and Sunday aperitifs were had before dinner.

Actually, it’s more in like 163 1/2.  I’m taking it one pound at a time!

This is gonna be a slow ride but as long as the scale numbers decrease, I’m in a positive place!

Will ya look at that?  I’m wearing a too-tight dress anyway!

And my last strategy?  Wearing dresses that got too tight. I WANT to see that gut shrink!

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How the Hell Did I Lose 5 Pounds During This Stress-Filled, Crazy Week?

Trust me, I know this is a stretch. It’s obvious that losing weight is a difficult process.  But there’s just something about this past Christmas that I can’t say goodbye to.

It’s the decorations.

Literally. The day after Halloween I started planning the Holiday décor.  On November 6th, I flew out to Cincinnati to be with Oona for the weekend.  The plan for Christmas was to fly out to Cincinnati on December 21 to spend Christmas with her and Sam.  My oldest son, Jake, was to fly from L.A. and

Stop those thoughts!  I started writing a blog post about my absolute inability to “let go” of the Christmas Decorations…and was going to make a segue way into losing weight.

So much for my blog post regarding the dismantling of Christmas decorations!

But then shit happened.  And it happened in the form of a would-be-coup. And so, I changed directions.  Let’s take it from there, shall we?

Okay.  So, the most difficult part of losing weight at this juncture has been my innate talent for stress-eating.  It comes in the form of a little bit here and a little bit there until it builds up into a crescendo of binge-eating.  All because I simply do not have the wherewithal (I realize this word has more to do with finances, but I’m using it as a food reference) to stop shoving food into my mouth as a comfort!

Oh yeah. One cookie leads to another. Then another. Then the milk comes out and four more cookies……

And this week was a dozy!

First, was the nail-biting evening of the Georgia Senate election.  If you are a regular reader and friend of this blog, then you know how I feel about the present GOP. I shall not elaborate further. However, during the stressful hours of watching the results, I did not—I repeat—did not reach for tortilla chips, chocolate, peanut butter, peanut butter topped with chocolate syrup sprinkled with a covering of salted nuts, or lemon curd from the jar using my fingers.

Why bother with a spoon?  Let your fingers do the dipping!

I didn’t eat a thing.  Instead, I turned to my husband and said “I’m going to sleep now”.  And I did. And I woke up to good news.

A Jew and A Black man voted in as Senators in a Southern state. Wow! And the credit goes to one strong woman!  Stacey Abrams!

I love this so much….

….and it’s thanks to the power of a woman!  Thank you Stacey!!!!

The next day turned out to be more shocking and stressful. I felt as though “A Tale of Two Cities” had been transformed into modern day Dickens—It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.  Riding on the coattails of a remarkable senate win was a disgraceful turn of events in our country’s Capitol.

Whats with the moron who thinks he’s a howling viking? Seriously, would YOU want any of these vermin on the arm of your daughter?  THIS is what supports that thing who is still in the White House–let that sink in. 

What saved me from stress-eating at this point was the fact that it was truly a horrific day at work. The inhumane amount of tasks kept me from peeking at my iPhone to check on what was happening in the world.  So, when I arrived home and saw the news broadcast, I couldn’t believe my eyes—and my eyes are now in very good working order thanks to my cataract surgery!

Putting it mildly, this was the face of shock when I saw what was on TV. You do NOT want to hear what words came out of my mouth!

Who the f__k does this? As I watched the turn of events on the TV, my initial reaction was to reach for anything and everything I could shove into my mouth.  But I stopped. I focused on what was happening to my country and I didn’t focus on me.  It was an enlightening moment.

I wanna take a bit of time now to give my thoughts on the heinous event that Trump is responsible for before returning to the post at hand.

This filth. This poor excuse for a man. This little cowardly sissy made a plea, not to Americans who truly love America, but to those belonging to his cult. He told them, in no uncertain terms, to head to the Capitol to protest.  He knew full-well, what his racist, gun-toting, ignorant cult is capable of. And then, as they marched to destroy our Capitol, to loot, to destroy and murder, he quietly went back to the safety of his domain.  To the White House—to his cowardly place of temporary residence to sit back and watch the shitshow which he started.

This a$$hole is proud and happy to be looting. I hope he’s as happy when he bends down in the shower when he’s in prison.

Those Proud Boys along with moronic women in tow, broke into the Capitol. They looted. They destroyed personal property and they murdered. 

This pos busted into Pelosi’s office and stole her mail. Luckily he’s been caught and I hope he spends a long time in jail as he so deserves!

And they weren’t stopped.  The Capital Police allowed it.  The Capitol police were seen in news footage calmly walking people with Trump hats gingerly down the steps.  Had this been a Black Lives Matter group, guns would have been used.

Yes. These are terrorists and don’t ever forget it!

And later on, bully-boy came out with a video (obviously written for him because he’s not literate enough to create a full sentence) stating that he called for the National Guard, which was a lie. He ended his little monotone speech sounding more like Soupy Sale’s White Fang than a leader as he pontificated that the election was still rigged.  This is no president. He is an evil, vicious, psychopath and I’m thrilled his reign of terror is coming to a close.

The cowardly lyin’ can’t even read from a Teleprompter. Proof that Wharton will accept any imbecile with a large bank account. 

Seriously. If you get the chance, head to YouTube and catch the Soupy Sales Video of “White Fang is Getting Married” White Fang is more literate than Trump! White Fang also has more emotion!

Seriously.  Click on the link above and you’ll see what I mean!

And if these events aren’t enough to make me shovel any semblance of products to ingest and digest, I don’t know what is!

But the truth is, starting the week at 171 pounds, I’ve managed to shed five  of them as of today, January 9, 2021!

Not my goal but for now, it’s making me mighty happy!

And I did it by not snacking. My daily routine consists of going to the vending machine and treating myself to the least fatty snacks. Either chemically-flavored enhanced popcorn or oatmeal or a bag of pretzels.  And upon coming home from the office, grabbing a bit of lunch meat to “tide me over” until dinner.

I stuck to drinking tea—no milk (that was a sacrifice) when I felt hunger pangs.

I ate light dinners—depending on salad and proteins.

For convenience sake, I love these lentils–plain or added to a salad, they are great–especially when I don’t have time to cook them.

And speaking of salads…Bonaparte makes a great one that he’s been more than happy to make for me!

I relied on willpower. I threw points out the window. I decided to do it my way.

I am not depriving myself of my weekend aperitif. In fact, last night I enjoyed two Kir Royals and this evening we are headed out to our favorite restaurant for dinner. For safety’s sake we have our alcove reserved of which no other diners will be anywhere close to us.  We’ll be masked until our food arrives.

I’m also experimenting.  I made Whole Wheat bread because I refuse to deprive myself.  Earlier this week, I had a craving for tuna fish on whole wheat..

And I happy with the result but…it got stale quickly.  I’ll have to slice and freeze the next loaf!

But my point is, by being practical and watching portions I have shed five pounds. It’s a start. It’s going to be a struggle—I’m aware of that.

But in the meantime, I’m keeping the positivity by dressing for the office every day. Most of my clothing no longer fits.  My wool-blend pencil skirts, in all reality, won’t fit for the remainder of the winter.  Neither will my pants.

I’m telling you this elasticized-waist City Skirt from J. Crew Factory has been a savior!  I may wear it this evening too!

But being able to opt for leggings and knit dresses will work.

Another go-to I’ve been wearing is leggings and oversized sweaters. 

Same leggings. Different shoes and sweater. Oh..and different wig!

This knit dress, also from J. Crew Factory turned out to be my favorite. In fact, I went to the J. Crew Factory site to order one in camel and the dress is sold out!

And about those Christmas decorations?  I did bust a move by removing a couple of pillow covers. That’s about it.  The tree hasn’t been taken down yet. I’ll do that during the week after I undress it of the ribbon and ornaments.  I’ll put the pillows away.  I’ll make the bannisters bare once again.

The extent of my take-down of Christmas 2020!

 

Besides–Chippy won’t let me take his favorite blanket or pillow away from him.  Note my LV bucket bag with the wig atop in the background!  Also note the tag still attached to the pillow we’ve had for about four Christmases now. I’m afraid I’ll be arrested if I take the tag off!

And I’ll move forward.

In the meantime, this little loss of five is making me happy as a little clam!

Let’s hope we don’t go through another crazy week like this! And I hope to lose at least one pound during this week!

 

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Great Makeup Mature Skin Needs! Seriously. You NEED This!

Trust me on this one ladies!  I’ve got another review for you. It’s in-depth and honest—and I hope you enjoy.

For quite some time I’ve been eyeing the brand Trestique.  And after seeing one of my favorite YouTubers, Kerry-Lou of Silver Style Studio (I’ll post her review at the end of this post) reviewing the brand’s Essential Eight, I was certain that I needed to try it!

Quick And Natural Makeup - Kerry-Lou takes the Trestique 5 minute challenge! - YouTube

I’ll post the link to the video at the end of this post but seriously. You HAVE to see this–and follow Kerry-Lou because she’s the best for the mature woman!

Lo and behold, Trestique sent me an Essential Eight kit of my own to test and review.  And after three weeks of using the products, I’m here to give you my opinion on each product in this Essential Eight Kit.

I was so happy to receive this box from Trestique–but would the products deliver?

The products came packaged in a sturdy box, and within the box all products were housed in individual boxes with listed ingredients, a description of the product and an illustration of the product’s specific details.

Neatly packaged and lots of information about each product on the individual boxes.  I couldn’t wait to try!

All products are cruelty-free, when possible, vegan, and made in Italy. They are also fragrance-free! Each tube that the products are housed in are magnetic. This is genius because placed into the pouch, they aren’t moving around. They are staying put and this is a wonderful asset for travel!

I literally couldn’t stop smiling when I opened the box!

The Essential Eight comes with a cylindrical, zippered pouch—each one made from a recyclable plastic bottle. Sustainable thinking!  The pouch holds the eight essential products used for the Five-Minute Face!

Check out the little handle. It’s great for carrying around. And this little case reminds me of the beer can purses that were so popular back when I was in high school!

And there’s also a built-in mirror!

The Tint, Moisturize & Blend Face Stick:  This creamy stick is domed at one end and at the other, has a built-in sponge.  The shade I chose is Cape Cod Stone.  As my skin is fair, I figured this would be the best shade for me, and it was! It’s super-creamy and is NOT a full-coverage foundation. In fact, it isn’t touted as a foundation at all. It’s a tinted moisturizer that lends itself incredibly well for evening out the skin tone.  These days I find myself going the less-is-more route and this works.

The face stick.  This tinted moisturizer is a wonderful choice if you don’t want full-on coverage. It’s light but does give the skin a nice glow and is buildable!

To apply, I just glide the stick lightly across various areas of my face then either blend in with my fingers or a Real Techniques brush.  Then set with a dampened blending sponge.  I haven’t used the sponge that comes with the face stick simply because I am hesitant to put a damp sponge back in a closed tube. I don’t want mold. However, if traveling, I would definitely use it and allow to air dry while I’m out and about. Overall, this is great. I’ve tried tinted moisturizers in the past  and was kind of “meh” about them but this stick won me over big time! It’s better, IMHO, than Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer which I’ve purchased and used once. That’s right. Once. $40 down the toilet.

Super creamy-this tinted moisturizer blended in beautifully.  

The Conceal, Cover, and Correct Crayon: Again, because my skin is fair, I ordered the Porcelain shade. And again, this is incredibly creamy! There’s decent coverage with this and I’ve been switching from finger application and using the housed-blending sponge dry.  What’s great about this is it’s creamy without being greasy. The finish is more on the satin side rather than matte—which I happen to think is very mature-skin friendly.  There has been no issue of the concealer caking up into fine lines. This blends in very well with the tinted moisturizer stick and I’m very, very pleased!

The Conceal, Cover and Correct crayon. This is another wonderful product.  Creamy as all get out but stays put and doesn’t look greasy and doesn’t collect in the lines.  Incredibly easy to blend as well!

I’ve been using under my eyes for a glow as well as coverage.

Color +Contour Cheek Stick:  WHOA!!!  I chose this in St. Barths Pink. This is super-pigmented—a bright pink stick of candy!  But once applied it blends into the prettiest flush of color. I LOVE this!  I even experimented and wore it on my lips which looked beautiful. On the cheeks it lasts but on my lips it didn’t.  It’s a moisture-filled stick of color!

Very pigmented but glides on with a natural flush…

Im loving this cheek stick!  Although I ope to apply with…

…my Real Techniques brush and setting with my InStyle beauty sponge, the built-in brush isn’t bad at all!

Define Sculpt + Set Brow Pencil:  I chose Mocha because I didn’t want to go too dark. Sometimes really dark brow pencils can look harsh.  Now mind you, I’m not crazy about brow pencils to begin with. But this—HOLY CANNOLI! I was beyond pleased with how well this brow pencil performs!  The tip of the pencil is slanted which gives for a more precise application.  It fills the brows in beautifully without being to harsh or heavy looking.  And at the other end is a brow mascara.  My go-to brow mascara is Glossier’s Boy Brow and this brow mascara is just as good if not better.  I actually prefer the wand in this one because it’s slightly wider but still gives great control. An added plus is it’s two products in one.  Who doesn’t love a multitasker? Wait! There’s more. This is great for contouring your nose!!!  Definitely a multitasking product!

THIS!  Hands down THE best brow crayon on earth. The precision tip is literally foolproof and in the background is the little wand.

Here’s a better photo of the wand.  Honestly–this is two great products in one. It changed my view on brow crayons/pencils, etc.!

Color + Blend Shadow Crayon:  Alright. I’m going on record with this one.  I have quite a few eye crayons/cream eye shadow sticks.  The Laura Mercier sticks, at $29 per, can be difficult to blend on the mature eyelid and over time, dry out.  The Bobbi Brown sticks at $30 per, are creamier than the LM ones  but not as creamy as Trestique Crayon.  I do use a primer on my eyelids before applying any shadow regardless of whether a powder, cream or liquid shadow.  The shade I chose is Tahitian Shimmer. This is a very light brownish-almost taupe shimmery shade. It literally glides on so smoothly that you barely need to blend. This shade is so wonderfully appropriate for everyday wear. What’s also remarkable about it is that you can line your bottom lid with this shade and it looks so pretty—not hard or harsh at all. I like this shade so much that I’m pondering ordering the brand’s Cream Matte Crayon in Porto Purple.

This shade, Tahitian Shimmer is such a gorgeous neutral. Shimmery but subtle it is a no-makeup makeup eye.  The texture is very creamy–which is great for mature lids–there’s no pulling and the shadow stays put all day!

This shadow stick is really a dream!

Line, Sharpen + Smudge Eye Pencil:  Ding! Ding! Ding!  We have a winna here!  I kid you not! This eye pencil deserves to be on the “best” product list everywhere!  I wasn’t expecting much because my relationship with eye pencils has been daunting at best and “throw-in-the-trash-immediately” at worst!

Creamy AF! But..the tip is so stinking precise!  I can actually line my upper eyelid again! Hosanna! Hosanna to the Highest! And tightline?  OMG. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this gem of a pencil.  I have it in Santorini Black Sand simply because I love me a black eyeliner! It’s crazy—this stays put ALL DAY!  And…..it glides OVER existing eye shadow. It doesn’t get all blended in with other shadows. I LOVE this!

I’ve been using this every day since I received it and the tip stays pointy. I LOVE this.  For a long time I’ve stopped using liner on my lids but now I’m happily back to lining the lids. Another creamy textured product but the lids stay lined until you wash it off!

It also tightlines beautifully!

And you can use the smudge tip for a smoky look!

Good Vibes Mascara Curler + Lash-Enhancing Mascara: I have this in Iceland Black Lacquer.  First of all, I don’t like to spend money on mascara.  I’m a five-buck L’Oréal Voluminous gal! But we need to talk about this.  There is a built-in lash curler at one end. It’s small and unlike the eyelash curlers we are all familiar with.  And there was a bit of a learning curve for me due to extreme clumsiness and bad eyesight in my right eye.  I pinched my eyelid the first attempt—not badly or anything– I just couldn’t grasp the lashes the way I was supposed to.  But………. once I figured out to go on the lever with a bit less pressure, I discovered this curler is pretty decent and works!  As for the mascara—it’s very good.  Lashes don’t get all clumpy and the effect is quite nice because the separation of the lashes makes for a lengthier appearance (I am using Latisse so my lashes are a bit longer these days anyway). The wand is excellent in applying the mascara and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, I like it better than the Thrive mascara. My only “thing” is mascara has such a short shelf life that spending $25 makes me balk.

Here’s the mascara tube. It’s rather other wordly looking due to the curler. 

There’s a slight learning curve with the eyelash curler but I like it because it grabs smaller sections at a time..

And the wand distributes the mascara very evenly!  

Matte Color + Shiny Balm Lip Crayon. I chose Florence Fig for this lip crayon and am soooo happy that I did.  When it comes to lip color I’m a bit….odd to say the least.  I don’t like anything too dark. I do shy away from mattes because on a mature mouth, they can be a bit drying and appear harsh.  Many lipcolors turn a bit orange on me and I do love a shiny pink.  But—I was extremely and pleasantly surprised with this crayon.  It truly is such a natural lip color that it goes on looking like your lips—but better.  And even though it’s a matte, it’s creamy enough so that it doesn’t tug at my old-lady lips. It’s just applies nicely.  I apply straight from the tube then smudge it in with my fingers. And the best part is the cute little lip balm that is at the opposite end.  It’s so cute but so balmy moisturizing!

Florence Fig!  And look to the left–it’s the matching balm! How cute is this?  The best thing is that this shade is a perfect neutral. It doesn’t oxodize and is perfect if you want some color but not too much and the balm keeps the lips moistened!

Perfect everyday makeup!

Overall. I have to say, this makeup is excellent.  All the products are wonderful and do a great job on the mature face. Again—the tinted moisturizer stick is not a foundation but for those days when you just want a hint of evening out, it’s great!

The finished face! 

How much do I love these products?

Here’s another look with a more intense application of lips and eyes!

Enough that I ordered their mini-sticks and a mini case to use for travel and to throw into my purse.  The brand is currently having a half-price sale on these little products.  They don’t come with the attached brushes but honestly it doesn’t even matter because the cosmetics speak for themselves.

I ordered the mini-sticks and mini-case.  And…

I used them all TODAY!  Top left photo proves how great the concealer is. I waxed my upper lip with wax strips and got a bit rough when I pulled the wax strip off.  I cut myself. Trust me it isn’t herpes!  Anyway (because we all know that anywaysssssss is not a word…), the mini concealer did a fantastic job in covering my self-inflicted wax wond perfectly!

So, is this a Five-Minute Face? Yeah. It is. However, I like to take my time applying my makeup in the morning.  I have my cawfee. I listen to my music.  I relax and take my time! It’s all what you makeup of it!  And this is definitely mature-skin makeup at its best!

Here’s the link to the sale (and I am NOT an affiliate and don’t receive any commission—I just really believe in the brand).  Have a look-see. I honestly think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!   Trestique Sale

Here’s Kerry-Lou’s YouTube review and tutorial.

GOOD-BYE 2020 <br> YEAR-END SALE

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And Just Like That-2020 is Gone. And Just Like This-2021 Is the Now!

Ahhh. Where do I begin?

I’ll start with two minutes prior to my sitting down at my laptop and welcoming 2021!

 happy 2021 balloons

The start of a new year!  It’s very much welcomed!

This morning, at the start of this New Year, I woke up at 7:30 after going down for the count at approximately 10:00 PM last night. There was no fanfare to welcome in the New Year.  No midnight Champagne. No banging of the pots and pans.  In fact, my pots and pans were resting from being constantly heated and assisting in the Holiday cooking and the comfort cooking to expand my body.

My goal was to watch Anderson and Andy. However, my husband had other aspirations of watching his Netflix mystery series so he fed me wine. I fell fast asleep.

It is a well-known fact that wine puts me to sleep. Therefore, when my husband wants to watch his TV shows, he offers me wine. And I don’t refuse.

And so, I woke up rather well-rested on this January 1st after 9 ½ hours of slumber and was ready for my coffee.  With no goals set aside for this New Year, I decided to face reality instead.  This came to fruition while in the bathroom to do what was surely needed other than to empty my bodily wastes.  I got on the scale. I figured that after the huge amount of toxins that exited the orifices of my being, perhaps the numbers would be slightly lower.

The shock of my life.  It is with deep guilt, anxiety and stress that I can now announce to you and the rest of the world, that the 20 pounds I gained have risen to 30 pounds. I’m weighing in at 170 pounds. This didn’t happen magically. It simply happened because I did nothing but shove cookies, bread, butter and any stray bits of food, with exception to Chippy’s kibble, into my mouth.

 

And this is how we gain 30 pounds!  The Angel Gabriel didn’t magically make my gut, arms, chins and thighs bigger. FOOD did!

At that point, I decided to move my body and get some well-needed form of exercise by lifting the newly air-dried clothing that hung over my bathtub and taking them downstairs to iron them. After all, walking down three flights of stairs to iron and eventually up those stairs after doing so was exercise enough for the first of the year. I do believe taking baby steps will be more beneficial in the long run.

And while ironing I thought how easy it is to take that hot steam and iron out the wrinkles in clothing and table linens but at the same time how difficult it is to iron out the wrinkles in our lives.

’tis so much easier to iron out the wrinkles in clothing than in life–dontcha agree?

A spray bottle to make ironing easier wasn’t needed because the salty tears falling from my now chipmunk cheeks were making the cotton fabric nice and damp—so much better for ironing! And completely natural too!!!

Why bother to use a spray bottle to dampen the clothing when I can just cry onto them?  It’s really more organic anyway!

And upon smoothing out my shirts and napkins, I returned upstairs to strip myself of the filthy pajamas I wore. They were replaced with a clean pair of leggings since nothing else fits me’ and a gray Henley shirt which I immediately spilled grease on.  Yes. I’m multitasking. The chopped meat for Bonaparte’s weekend chili is cooking and in my adept gift for soiling my clothing, grease spilled on the shirt.

Once a hot mess-always a hot mess! Within moments of donning this shirt–I got grease stains on it!

Sigh. At least my underwear is clean…….for a while at least.

And with that, a step back in time will be taken.  I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus for the past month. Trust me, it wasn’t self-imposed. It’s just that life had a way of telling me to just stop and rest my mindless mind. This made sense because my body doesn’t move.  I may as well rest my spirit and brain.

My last blog post was written December 13, I wrote about our cancelled visit to Oona and Sam’s home for their first Christmas. I’ll take it from there….

It was upsetting enough to not visit Oona for Christmas. Jake, my oldest son had cancelled his visit and was staying put in L.A.  Thankfully, Roman would still be coming to visit so I wasn’t completely depressed. I was more agitated that due to the pandemic, I wouldn’t be able to see Oona in her last trimester. (Actually, that might be a good thing—for her, simply because I have an innate tendency to be annoying.)

And then it happened. My laptop just kind of died.  With the camera not performing correctly and the issues I was having with everything loading, it was too much.  So off we went to the Geek Squad only to find the battery exploded and there was mold on the inside of the computer.  Could it possibly be because I never even bother to clean this godforsaken piece of technology?  Hey. I’m only human. It’s a clean house and an organized cubicle at work. Everything else gets thrown to the curb.

We left the computer at Best Buy and got it back within a week, only to have the suggestion of bringing it back for a complete rehaul. After agreeing and quite willingly I might add, I left my laptop’s future in the hands of these computer geeks to perform a miracle.

Another week of a computerless existence.

The next morning, I got into my car to head to work.   Happily, nestled in the driver’s seat and enjoying New York Jazz Trio’s Christmas Album on Spotify, I started daydreaming of living back in Manhattan.   In my mind, I’m driving down Broadway admiring the Christmas decorations from the apartment buildings and shops.  And reality, once again, slaps me upside the head.

This little gem of an album turned out to be my favorite Christmas one of 2020!  I’m still listening to it!

I felt a kind-of rumbling coming from my back tire. It didn’t sound good. A passerby walking his dog yelled to me and pointed to my back tire. It was flat. In the timespan of less than two minutes, I left my driveway happily listening to Christmas music and received an early Christmas gift in the form of a busted tire due to the possibility of a stray nail that many neighbors’ tires had also received.

This was not what I was looking forward to–especially at the expense of the roofers who don’t clean up after themselves!

Back to the driveway, and having my husband chauffer me to the office, I was now cursing having a car as opposed to the NYC Subway system, spewing foul language about living in the Philly suburbs and going off the deep end because the goddam roofers in the neighborhood were not picking up nails after doing work on other homes.

Needless to say, the tire was fixed and it was a nail that was deeply imbedded into my tire.

Now we’re inching upon Christmas.  Still no computer but…my girlfriend MaryBeth messaged me that the book series she was reading mentioned my husband’s grandfather in the book “Rich People Problems” (which are problems I’ve never known and never will) the third of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.   What better time than then to order the three books on Amazon and treat myself to reading about the tribulations of rich people?

This was so cool–and I’m deeply shallow enough to have ordered all three books due to this paragraph!

Now, in the meantime, I got my laptop back. It was cleaned and rehauled and working but only after it took me an hour to figure out just how to get back on.  Yeah. I’m that person.

But I decided to procrastinate writing and rather, opted for reclining on the loveseat in our sunroom.  It was the weekend before Christmas and we would be traveling to New York to pick Roman up. I was on a hiatus from everything but work and Roman was about to embark on a two-week hiatus from work.

 

I read……

…and I read until Chippy joined me to let me know he needed to be fed!

We drove to the City to pick him up and I teared up at how beautiful NYC is in the winter. I know.  I know..as much as I adore the hot weather and not having to wear shoes, there’s something about winter I find comforting. It’s the same with the communal living of an old pre-war NYC apartment building.  But that’s another blog post—so I’ll continue with this.

While I realize living like this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, it makes me so comfortable and as though I’m nestled in a cocoon.  You have no idea how much I miss City life.  I cry when I look at this photo!

Back home, with my son and my husband, I was looking forward to just shy of a week off from work. I went into work on the Monday before Christmas with the remainder to stay home and cook and eat and bake and eat and eat and eat. And read. And relax. While preparing for Christmas, Roman and I took a drive around to put us in the spirit of the season. It worked.

Next to city living, I’m a sucker for big old homes like this.  There is character and a story to be told. Aren’t this homes just so Christmasy?

On Christmas Eve, after a delightful meal of just the three of us, I was looking forward to blogging. I figured that Christmas morning would be quite the good time to wake up early and write.  But that changed.  A rain and wind storm were Mother Nature’s Christmas gift and our internet service was out. As was our landline phone (Yes. We have an old-school phone—strange but true). As was our cable TV service.

The table was set in a different tone this year. I went with black and cream. It just seemed appropriate for 2020!

You know what? It wasn’t that bad.  We opened up a few gifts and enjoyed the remainder of the day.

I got a robe. And slippers. Give me another week and this robe will be food-stained!

I also received some great skincare and cleansing products. I think it was a hint to perhaps take a bath.

The meal was great.  It was wonderful to have one of my kids at home.  And eventually, Verizon sent a repair guy to come and make thing right. In fact, he arrived Sunday morning just hours before we drove Roman back to New York.  The damage was, in fact, due to the storm and now everything is back to normal.

 

As I write the ending to this blog post, I’m happy that 2020 is behind us.  Who knew what last year was to bring?   I’ll admit.  I did a lot of crying this morning.

Pretty much sums up my feelings about 2020!  Oona sent this to me because she knows me so well!

I cried because I gained 30 pounds. But I’ll lose those pounds and have begun a plan to do so. I won’t do Weight Watchers. I won’t do Noom.  I’ll just do Willpower. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be very difficult. Food is my comfort. Food is my happy medication. Food is my stress-reliever.  And I have to stop that behavior. And garnering up all my inner strength, I’ll do it. It will take time but I’ll do it.

There’s a lot more of me to love–or despise depending on how you feel about me.  Oh My Gut!  

I cried because I miss the kind of job I used to have before I had children. I was an executive secretary on Wall Street. I worked for a company that took care of me and I was loyal AF.  After years of being a stay-at-home mom and re-entering the workforce at 50 plus years old, I realized what true ageism is. And it hasn’t stopped. I’ve never had another job to equal my beloved job at Morgan Guaranty.  The company I’m with now, only cares about profit and not me. It’s a sad truth. But—in this time of difficulty, I’m fortunate to have a job. I’m fortunate to work for two great women. I’m fortunate to have medical insurance.  And I have to stop that behavior of looking back at a time when companies took care of their employees and corporate loyalty.  I can look forward to five o’clock when I can come home and concentrate on writing!  I need to move ahead!

Wall Street | The Official Guide to New York City

This is where I worked. The building on the left–across from the NYSE.  And my salary was higher back then then it is now. I had free lunch.  Working after 5PM? A car service drove me back uptown.  Those days are over and I need to move forward!

I cried because the aging process has left me with a sagging body and with more wrinkles than I could have imagined.  I cried because I miss that luxurious head of hair I used to have.  I cried because the woman in the mirror looks elderly now.  I don’t know the exact moment when it happened. When did I lose my youth?  I can’t be that old—or can I?   But I’ll deal with it.  I’ll continue to enjoy my time every morning when I transform my aging face with its spots, uneven coloring and lines, scars and wrinkles into a better version of myself.

The pity party ended.

I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and realized what I’m going through is normal.  2020 was a year we all want to forget.  Many of us gained weight. Many (oh I’m jealous) actually lost weight.  We were worried and stressed and felt like we aged ten or twenty years.  Our social lives came to a halt. We couldn’t see loved ones.  (Sorry but Zoom and Facetime aren’t cutting it for me).  2020 was the year when we ceased going to a weekend movie. We couldn’t make plans to meet for a drink. We couldn’t call a friend and meet for dinner.

It does seem that way–doesn’t it?  Hopefully during this new year the world will reopen!

2020 brought serious polarization.  More hate. More viciousness. More rebellion. It made many of us rethink the kinds of people we do want to be with and those we don’t want anywhere near us when this virus ends.   The pandemic changed life as we know it. That was 2020.

Sorry Charlie but your behavior is NOTHING to be proud of. It’s vulgar and violent.

Perhaps 2021 will be better.  We have hope for this new year.  A vaccine could be just the thing we need. But more than that, we need to believe things will get better. We will be social once again. We will see our loved ones and hold them and hug them and enjoy them. We will be able to enjoy an afternoon at the movies again—and escape the hot weather with two hours of luxurious air-conditioning inside a theatre with surround sound while watching a story play out on a big screen.  We will be able to meet our friends at a bar or restaurant.

Let’s welcome 2021 as we would welcome our loved ones or friends.

I got rid of the grease stain!  Have a great New Year all!  

It’s nice to be back!

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Love (of Self) Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (to Yourself)

Having had two back-to-back doctor appointments in the past two weeks, I walked away feeling relieved my health is fine.  But I felt almost even better when the two doctors, both women made remarks about “being too hard on yourself”.

go see a doctor

Seriously.  Going to the doctor is about the only thing I do to take care of myself!

I’ll explain.  At the OB/GYN, we were talking about my health in general.  My weight has gone up, as you well know, over the past year.  Between my brother’s passing, the pandemic, and an incredibly stressful job, I ate. And ate. And ate.

I ate my stress away—or so I thought because I really didn’t.

I ate my grief away—or so I thought because I really didn’t.

I ate my depression away—or so I thought because I really didn’t.

But while doing so, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed every last morsel I shoved into my mouth like meat into a sausage casing!

Tina Fey Sheet Cake GIF by Reactions | Gfycat

That’s me. Shoving every last morsel into my mouth. Shamelessly!

The aftermath is now my fluctuating weight teetering between 162 and 165 pounds.  There’s more of me to love!

Yessirree!  There’s lots more of me to love! Only I hate it and Bonaparte loves it!

But back to the doctors.

We, my gynecologist and I, were discussing the effects of the past year and how difficult it has been to try to lose at the least even five pounds.  Her advice?

I must admit. My gyno rocks and she gives great advice!

“Don’t be so hard on yourself”.  “The Holidays are coming—just enjoy and focus on losing the weight after the New Year”.

When I left her office, I felt slightly better about myself.  It’s a challenge to stand there naked with one of those dopey gowns that tie in front.  I felt my fluffy bits on display and I was ashamed that I was too weak to have will power.  But she made it okay.

BTW, as I write this, I’m preparing escargot for tonight’s starter to our dinner.  Little snails stuffed into shells and nestled between garlicky butter.  Yeah. I’m doing very well!

Well…we DID have to cancel dinner reservations due to another PA Lockdown–and the husband was sad …and I keep a couple of cans of snails in the pantry just in case…so..I did make these. And they were spectacular!

Onto the next doctor’s visit.

Thursday, I had my skin check with my dermatologist.  I’m a fan of hers. Again, another great woman doctor.  So, she asked me how I was doing and I mentioned the weight gain.

What is a Dermatologist? What They Do, Conditions Treated, Procedures

And might I add that my dermatologist works a hellalot harder than this pic. I’ve got tons of freckles and bits all over my body!  She earns her salary on me!

I was wearing nice matching underwear.  A cute pair of purple bikini panties and a Natori Feathers Bra in the same color.  Hey. At least I get to wear something while having my skin checked!  I went on to tell her how gross I felt and I then grabbed the huge flappy mount of flesh that is better known as my belly, cupped it two hands so that the fat just overflowed like bubbles from an over-excited washing machine, and asked the following question:

This is EXACTLY what I did to my dermatologist. Only MY belly fat was enormous!

“Is there any chance I can sell my belly fat to the burn unit at Jefferson Hospital in Philly?” “Hell, I’ll even donate it”

And after a Mona Lisa grin and an eye roll, she said “Why are women so hard on themselves?”  “Men come in here as though they own the world and never say anything negative about their bodies.’  “But women are always making negative remarks about themselves”.  “We need to stop”

It’s true. We need to stop it. We need to STOP being so hard on ourselves!

She then complimented me on the clothes I wear to every appointment and told me I always look great.

When I left her office, I felt wonderful. Not just because I had an excellent skin check, but because her words were so true.

Why can’t we women be more positive about ourselves?

Scolding Do It GIF by MOODMAN

Yes! We BETTER be good to ourselves!  Simply because if we aren’t–others won’t be!

And it’s funny because I’m a generally positive person.  I love my life outside of work. I love my husband and my kids.  I love Chippy. I’ve got a wonderful home.  I’ve got my health.  I haven’t hit any deer yet this season.  My eyesight is better than ever due to the cataract surgery.

Okay. So perhapy Chippy loves me only because I’m constantly bribing him with special treats. I think his look of love is for the biscuit rather than for me!

But yet, I’m hard on myself.  I’m hard on myself at work and in my weight.  Those two things.

And so, I’m making an effort for the remainder of the year to not be so hard on myself.  I’ll focus on the weight loss after the holidays.

I’ll continue to wear my “fat” clothes—and by that, I mean my clothing with stretch.  Those clothes make me feel good.  The clothing that no longer fits is stored away in the garage.  They may come out next Fall and they may not.  The summer clothing that is packed away might be unpacked come Spring—and might not.

This skirt from J. Crew Factory has an elastized waist band. PERFECT for that weight gain and the skirt looks great!

Also from J. Crew Factory is this soft sweater dress. It’s cut on the larger side and feels like a nightgown. This is a great dress for a Holiday meal!

My go-to’s these days are either black stretch pants or leggings and a sweater. I’m more round but the clothing with stretch is more body-friendly!

I’m pretty sure I wrote about these pants in a past post. I sized up and made the great sale purchase at J. Crew.  Jeans haven’t been worn due to the gain but these have a marvelous amount of stretch and I love the leopart pattern!

Ladies. It’s time for some self-love.  No—I’m not talking about being vain or conceited or narcissistic. I’m talking about a genuine love for yourself.  And plain liking yourself!

And despite the satin ribbon for hanging this shirt up and my ittle fang I’m pulling a Sally Field, looking at myself and saying to my reflection “You like me. You really LIKE me!”

This pandemic has taken quite the toll with most of us. It can be hard to comply.  We can become stir-crazy.  We had to cancel our plans to visit Oona and Sam over Christmas.  Bonaparte is especially disappointed because he wanted to see their new home.

I’m gonna miss seeing these two kids over Christmas. It’s heartbreaking for me because I wanted to be inappropriate with my pregnant daughter but next time I see her, she’ll be a mommy!!

I wanted to rest my hands upon Oona’s expanding belly and inappropriately comment on the size of her huge titties. It seems to me there’s an awful lot of milk in them thar mountains! But most of all, I wanted to take care of my baby.  I wanted to do laundry. And cook (much to her delight I won’t be there to make a mess).  And just be there for her and I cannot.  And it isn’t my fault.  I’m not being weak by opting out of a Christmas visit.  I’m caring for my daughter, her husband and her baby boy.  I’m caring for the health of myself and husband by not traveling in a crowded airport.

It’s true. Cancelling a trip due to health concerns isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s empowering and shows strenght because you are protecting others as well as yourself!

Instead, we will drive to New York to pick Roman up and bring him here for Christmas as he has a week off.  Christmas dinner will be me, Bonaparte, Roman, Bonaparte’s daughter, husband and daughter. And they all have to be COVID-19-tested beforehand if they are coming into my home.

Is that being mean?  Certainly not!  It is being kind to my husband and me. It is showing that we care about our health (and yes. I’m getting tested too) and that we love ourselves.

So, this holiday season and beyond, love yourself.  Do yourself a favor and go easy on you!  In order to love others, you need to love yourself.

And remember, loving yourself means never having to say you’re sorry to yourself!

……to yourself!!!!

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Shall We Attend French Cinema? Oui? Non? Oui!

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  With early holiday decorating, work, cooking a feast for Thanksgiving dinner for two, Bonaparte and me, and anticipating if we will be home for Christmas due to another possible pandemic lockdown, it’s been … Continue reading

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Pandemic Travel. A Visit with the Daughter. A Ban. And an Election!

That’s a lotta stuff I’m gonna cover.  And I still owe a listing of French movies and TV shows and gotta get back on track with our weight gloss!

But allow me to interrupt my regular blogging to tell you about last week.

I traveled.  By air. For the first time since last February. That’s nine months.

Bitmoji Image

I must admit–I did enjoy the flight and kudos to American Airlines for being so pandemic saftety-friendly!Now in the final trimester.  There’s a lotta heartburn going on!  The apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree!

The reason for the travel was to see my daughter, Oona and her husband, Sam.  It’s an exciting time in their lives.  They moved into their new home three weeks ago and her baby belly is gaining momentum.  She has entered into the third trimester of her pregnancy and she looks so cute and………………………. pregnant!!

It was weird to get into the travel mode once again.  And naturally, I traveled light.

Everything from Friday through Sunday fit into this Longchamp bag–along with gifts for my grandson!!

Two pairs of black Pixie pants from J. Crew.  A pair of black leggings.  Two black turtlenecks and a black long-sleeved shirt.  Black ballet flats and pajamas. Along with baby clothes for my soon-to-arrive grandson!  I’m thinking that perhaps I should have brought along a more colorful set of ensembles but the fact is, I just wanted to travel light. And black is slimming.  It also brings into question that people will think you are wearing the same thing for three days.

Basically, I wore the same uniform.  I think Oona found it disturbing but personally, I found it to be pragmatic!

Anyway, I flew last Thursday evening (geez—it’s been a week already) out of Philadelphia International Airport.  In all honesty, it was an absolute pleasure. The airport was practically empty. Looking back, most of the human life was in the form of airport workers as opposed to travelers.

Sorry not sorry but I find an empty airport conducive  to my pandemic ideology!

Security was excellent and getting through the TSA was a breeze. Less than five minutes!

It was actually nice to see the airport workers have a break for once!  Trust me, the airport was not this empty when I arrived home!  

The plane was empty. I think if there were twenty people on board, it was a lot.  Nobody next to me.  It was a very safe environment!  The only disappointment was that no snacks or beverages were handed out.  But in the long run, it’s a safety precaution.

My kind of flight. Nobody beside me. Nobody in the aisle across . Nobody behid me!

Things were a bit different upon the return from Cincinnati.  Since it was Sunday, more people were traveling and the plane was pretty crowded.  I consider myself fortunate that I was, once, again, sitting in a row alone with nobody next to me.

And as quiet as Philly airport was Thursday evening, it was pretty crowded on Sunday.  Regardless, I felt safe and will definitely travel again.  Although I don’t think the weekend would be my preference.

So, how was Cincinnati?  It was great! Oona and Sam’s home is spectacular!  In the months of seeing photographs of the progress, being in the home gave a better perspective. It’s a lot larger than I thought.  My coffee mug runneth over with happiness and pride for my daughter. She’s worked so hard to achieve her goals and their home is just incredible.

Here’s some photos.  And I must say, she’s got great taste!

The new home!  It’s just so lovely..

The front door is so lux and heavy and very homey..

Here’s the little mudroom. Notice–MY cubby has the coat thrown down rather than hung on a hook.  Some things never change. But I love the shoes strewn on the rug. There’s something very comforting about this..

The kitchen is gorgeous.  And so stinking clean!

Oona has great taste. Traditional but with a twist.  This is the living space on the ground floor!

They were smart to have the basement finished. Here’s Sam’s well-stocked bar area—perfect for entertaining!

Outdoor space on the back porch. They installed a TV so during warmer times entertaining and watching games can be outside!

The view coming from upstairs. The wooden floors are spectacular!

Does my daughter know how to entertain or what?  Most of that cheese is in my belly.  Gracie was watching over it hoping something would fall on the floor!

I did some cooking and naturally made a mess, which didn’t really go over too well with Oona but when she has a toddler around in a year or so, she’ll thank me for breaking the kitchen in!

By the way, their pantry is huge and all small appliances are kept in there! The builder installed outlets so that they can be used in the pantry rather than make a mess or add clutter to the kitchen. Genius!

The weather was crazy good.  Like summer!  We headed to Findlay Market and enjoyed the warm Fall weather on Saturday.

Enjoying some shopping at Findlay Market.  Cincinnatians are very mask-friendly!

A healthy lunch..

Served with a guilty pleasure!

The anticipation and drama occurred in the form of the election!  When I arrived in Cincinnati, we were still unsure of the results and by Saturday, we happily had a new president elect! It really was fun to be with Oona and Sam to enjoy the results—but I couldn’t celebrate with childhood friends on Facebook because I was banned for seven days!

Yes!  Banned!  Facebook Jail.  And the 7-day ban arrived in time for me to get off of a three-day ban!

9 Best Facebook jail ideas | facebook jail, jail meme, jail

I’ve done them all! In fact, Facebook has a jail cell with my name on it!

My crime?  Using the phrase “Ugly American”.  Apparently, the word “ugly” goes against the Facebook Community. My three-day jail sentence was for using the word “hate”.  My comment was “I hate most men with the exception of my sons and my husband”.  It was in answer to how obnoxious the extreme-right thinking men are.

Hmmmm.  Would Facebook Ban Marlon?

I’ve seen the “eff” word used and worse.  But I was banned for two words. Ugly American.

Facebook is the double-edged sword of the internet. On one hand, I enjoy it because it allows me to “see” childhood and high school friends that I haven’t seen in years.  Some of my blogger friends from this blog and others are also within my FB circle of friends.  On the other hand, I can’t stand the constant policing and censorship.  The wrong individuals are being censored.

I’ll leave it at that!

I’ve also received a ton of hate from a photo I posted on Instagram.  It’s of our new President-Elect, his highly-educated wife and their rescue dog!  And Joe isn’t wearing socks!  Now mind you, I posted nothing offensive when I posted this photo and, instead, had to block and report.

And my exact verbiage to this photo I posted on Instagram was “And he’s sockless.  And he loves dogs. And our new First Lady has brains and a classic style. And he knows how to hold the Bible.  And he’s a Catholic.  A REAL follower of Christ.   

Now. I realize that I didn’t name names of other politicians but the evangelicals came after me with such vintictive hatred.  My guess is they despise practicing Catholics!

But the worst was the aftermath of a photo I posted of Leslie Stahl…

No mention of ANY politician she interviewed.  And the random hatred was more epic than Leslie herself!

Check this out!

This charming response was because I responded to a comment she made about another follower being ugly . I told her to look in a mirror and this is what I received.  It got even better with a remark her daughter made.  I blocked.  THIS from supporters of a man who can’t even face reality!

So yeah, I think it’s odd that people of another party will seek out posts to randomly start trouble.  I keep away from supporters I don’t agree with. I don’t seek them out.  I have no need to and I really don’t care.  I’ll stick with my ideology.

On another note—I’ve procrastinated this blog post for a few days now.  And in my procrastination, the Christmas decorating has commenced!

Keeping it low-key this year.  Notice how bored Chippy was!

Alas, it isn’t decorating time until I don my John Mayer Christmas Hat!

One more bannister and I’m done. Oh. And I need to buy poinsettias. Oh. And I’m trying to talk Bonaparte into getting an artificial tree!

My five-minute wreath.  No hot glue gun needed.  Wrapped ribbon around fake wreath.  Shoved berries in.  Hung on door.  Happy Lazy Holiday!

On to the French movie and TV recommendations!!  Hey. It’s never too early to start the Holiday décor!  But Wait!!!  While at the office on Thursday, a buck. A freaking buck was in the parking lot and was making a saunter toward my car.  Luckily he passed by!

Never a dull moment at the office.  The parking lot is empty but he HAD to spot my whip!

Bye bye from me and Gracie. Chippy will be jealous!

 

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Hey Emily! Can You Leave Paris? S’il vous Plait!

Every now and then a TV show comes along with the most incredibly annoying lead character.

In “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, Larry David managed to turn a nasty, dastardly, politically incorrect, loudmouth into a funny character that you just couldn’t bring yourself to dislike.

Larry Davis in Curb is just such an asshole but he’s a loveable one at that because he’s ridiculously funny and has heart!

The cast of “Seinfeld” was known for their selfish, self-centered personalities—but they were funny and had character and heart!

Kramer, George, Elaine and Jerry. Four extremely self-centered people who made a show about nothing one of the greatest comedies on TV.  It was relatable and true-to-life and just plain funny!

It’s the same with Michael Scott of “The Office” He is so inappropriate, so sexist and infantile. Completely about him and nobody else. Yet, he loves his employees, considers them family and surprisingly, as much as he annoys his staff, they all have a soft spot for him.

Credit for making Michael Scott tolerable goes to Steve Carell because this remarkable actor turned a horrific boss into a character you felt for. And sometimes liked!

That’s what happens with great writing. Writing a character with faults; one who isn’t perfect and does unlikeable things, but at the same time, has a heart—and so, you learn to love that character.

I cannot say the same for the character of Emily in Netflix new series “Emily in Paris”

I know. I know. The visuals of the city are spectacular but Emily is the most unlikeable character ever!

Before I go on to say more about this fiasco of a series, please let me say that I love a good comedy. I love a show and a movie with heart.  I love a character that becomes iconic.  I can’t say that about Emily.  In addition, I love a good French comedy.

Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a great French comedy with a bit of drama, might I suggest Dix pour Cent!  A well-written show with wonderfully-defined characters. It’s about a Paris talent agency and has lots of great guest stars,  intelligent writing and the new season is one I’m patiently awaiting!

So, let’s talk about Emily in Paris.  This comedy with a touch of drama takes place in……… (drum roll please) …. Paris!  And the main reason we watched the show is because our two trips to France this year were cancelled due to the pandemic.  The first, to the Côte d’azur and the second, to Paris for our annual Thanksgiving weekend visit.

Because my husband was taking our cancellation to Paris very sadly—he’s not missed a visit in 50 years, and he’s especially homesick these days, we decided to watch the show because of the recommendations to give it a go.

He’s very homesick.  We won’t be hanging out at our favorite location–Place Dauphine this year.  

Nor will we enjoy our evening walks across Pont Neuf. I think I took this photo last year…or a few years ago.  

And…. we have a guest blogger sitting next to me!  Bonaparte himself!  My Frenchman. We are both going to give you our opinions of Emily in Paris and then in Part Deux, we’ll give you our recommendations for French movies.  So on with the show—or blog!

My Frenchman is assisting me!  And I’m getting prepared to write!

The series starts off with a Face-time phone conversation between Emily, played by Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins) and Kate Walsh (who gives a cameo that you wish had a bigger part) her boss.  Emily’s boss is pregnant and cannot travel to Paris to take a position. And so, she gives Emily the marketing opportunity of a lifetime. To move to the City of Lights.

Paris Real Estate:

My Take:  The premise, from the very beginning sounds a bit trite but nevertheless, a good one. There is so much that can be done with this simple story line.  But it fails and it fails within moments of Emily arriving in Paris.   The cab ride to her new apartment is charming but unlike any ride I’ve ever taken from CDG into Paris Centre.  The drive Emily takes happens to showcase major sights and not the realistic trek from the airport.

Not every route into Paris Centre has you passing the Tour Eiffel!  I snapped this one last year. In 16 years of  visiting Paris, I’ve never been inside the Eiffel Tower. Many drive bys but never inside!

Seriously—a great comedic scene could have taken place as Emily sits in the back of the cab viewing the graffiti-strewn road barriers and buildings on the way into Paris.  She could have been stuck in one of those late-morning traffic jams that rival the Long Island Expressway into Manhattan!  She could have been shown with a “WTF is this shit?” expression which would have made it hysterically funny for those of us who can remember our exact thoughts as we took at first drive from the airport directly into the City of Lights!

This is the reality of the cab ride from CDG to Paris Centre. Bumper to bumper traffic. It’s not a delightful sight! 

The Frenchman agrees with me on this! But he also says that the drive from the airport into most major cities is usually not a very pretty one!

My husband is correct on this one!  The drive is not a pretty one. Lots of grafitti and not even good grafitti at that.  This could have been a hysterically funny first impression of Paris!

Emily has a fiancé or boyfriend or whatever-he-is who stays back in the states but is supposed to visit her.  Within the first 15 minutes of the show they break up.  Oh. Gee. This certainly sets the tone of about what it to happen…

My Take: Emily arrives at her apartment building and is walking up what is a seemingly endless staircase.  This is true.  Many of the buildings in Paris have the hundred-step flights to the apartments—it’s most likely the main reason the French are so skinny!  Who needs a gym when you have to schlep up a million stairs?  Add to that, many of the buildings have an elevator so small that only two people can fit inside. And those elevators are always breaking.  I know this. In all the years we stayed at Daniele’s apartment, the elevator was broken more than it was operating.  Daniele lived on the top floor.  One of the reasons I wished I lived in Paris was so I could climb stairs instead of dieting.
Stairways to the rented flat at Rue de Rivoli stock photo  04544368-b071-44d4-95d8-0ce0f16d71fc

To be honest with you, I wish I lived in Paris. On the top floor of a building because my pandemic weight gain would be lost within a week after climbing this!

The Frenchman agrees.

My Take: But the best is—there’s a scene where Emily argues with the real estate guy who is escorting her to the apartment. And they argue over the flight.  What Emily doesn’t realize is that the first floor isn’t referred to as the first floor. It is the “Rez-de-chaussée”—which is the ground floor.  In essence, the second floor is the first floor.  Got it?

Emily didn’t quite get it so in her arrogant and entitled way, argued about ridiculous the floors’ reference is.  It gets better… The Frenchman also agrees with this.

What also could have been extremely funny here was if they had a sort of “who’s on first” kind of exchange in a comical way as opposed to the know-it-all, self-important way we are getting to know Emily!

Finally, Emily arrives at the apartment—she’s rented a “chambre de bonne”   which was formerly the maid’s or house help living space located on the top floor directly under the roof.  It can get hot but the views can sometimes be spectacular. But our Emily’s dwelling is a hellalot larger to accommodate her many ensembles and accessories (I’ll get to that later).

My favorite Paris apartment.  The one belonging to my husband’s aunt, the actress Daniele Delorme.  Let me tell you, she was a popular actress and business woman, owning her production company. This was her modest apartment. It wasn’t large by any means and the space was so well thought out and organized. It makes me wonder how Emily was able to afford a good amount of space on a marketing salary!

His Take:   Her chambre de bonne is way too large.  Actually, his room when he was a teenager was a chambre de bonne in his family’s apartment. His family had three chambre de bonnes.  One was his, and it was the larger one but not nearly as large as Emily’s.  His sister had a smaller chambre de bonne.

Filming Locations for Emily in Paris on Netflix - Untapped New York

The view from Emily’s Chambre de bonne…

I prefer the view from Daniele’s chambre and parlor where I can see the Eiffel Tower peeking through the rooftops!  It’s got character!

And the real estate guy makes a play for her. Hmmmmmm.  How many more Frenchmen will make a pass?

Without giving spoilers in case you want to watch it; I’ll focus on the little nuances and stereotypes that ruined the series for both my Parisien husband and me.  But both of us were absolutely mesmerized by the beautiful shots of Paris. Quite honestly, the city of Paris is the best actor in the series.  I don’t know who the camera people are for this series but boy, the views of Paris are spectacular! The Frenchman adds:  And true! He says it’s almost as well-shot as Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris!

Woody Allen clearly loves Paris and it shows from the way he filmed Midnight in Paris.  In all honesty, the visuals from Emily in Paris are just as beautiful.

The Cast:

Emily arrives at her new office.  Her boss, Sylvie, played by Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, is one of the best things about the show.   Sylvie is a bitch—and rightly so.  She’s also incredibly sexy and it pleases me to no end that her wardrobe is spectacular!  She wears very sensual clothing without looking trampy!  It’s quite the feat!  PLB is also wonderfully bilingual.  With a trace of an accent when she’s speaking English, I’m flummoxed as to why my Frenchman, who’s been in the States for 50 years, is still hard to understand!   She’s over-the-top in being bitchy to Emily but I can’t blame her. Emily is so arrogant and annoying. And she smokes a lot—even in the office!

Emily’s boss, Sylvie is the ultimate bitch. And she’s deliciously cool and bitchy to go!  and her wardrobe is epic!

The one thing about Sylvie that I’m not crazy about is she’s sleeping with her friend’s husband who happens to be a client of hers.

My Take:  I love Sylvie but I believe sleeping with a friend’s husband is a no-no.  I also think having her huff and puff indoors is ridiculous.

His Take:  Nobody smokes in offices anymore.  Her affair with her friend’s husband is not common but isn’t unheard of. He said it’s a bit of a stereotype.

The office workers.  Bruno Gouery who plays Luc and Samuel Arnold who plays Julien.  Both of these guys are there to add well-needed comic relief to an otherwise not so comical series.  They aren’t really friends but aren’t enemies either.  It will be interesting to see how these characters grow if there is another season.

Luc, who is played by Bruno Gouery has the best line in the series. He tells Emily the French work to live whereas the Americans live to work. It’s true. 200 percent!

Julien, played by Samuel  Arnold is likeable but I think he and Luc fall a bit under the cracks.

My Take: Ashley Park plays Mindy Chen who becomes Emily’s best friend.  And becomes her best friend faster than you can empty a full bladder!  Park is a trained Broadway Tony-Award winning actor and when she does sing in the show you realize that had Broadway not been affected by the pandemic, she would be working where she belongs.  The banter between Mindy and Emily is pretty vapid and deeply shallow. I know this because I’m deeply shallow but not vapid.  It would have been a lot more interesting if Emily and Mindy had met in, say a boutique where Emily was being arrogant and Mindy approached her as how to not behave. Unfortunately, they met in a park under circumstances that was so forgettable I can’t remember why Mindy even bothered to approach Emily.

Ashley Park On Emily In Paris: Best Fashion Looks & Nights Out Interview |  Glamour UK

Ashley Park as Mindy becomes Emily’s best friend within a minute.  Park gets a pass from me because Broadway is closed due to the pandemic. I’m thrilled for her she got a job and she gets to sing. The girl has a great voice. But that hat. For Christ’s sake, learn to wear a hat lower on the head!

His Take:  is only comment is that Ashley Parks overacted.  A lot. I explained she’s BROADWAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!

My Take: Oh!  I forgot! Emily!  Played by Lily Collins.  Where do I begin?  Lily Collins is cute as a button, I give credit where credit is due. And she’s so freaking skinny—I’m jealous!  And she has great hair and eyebrows.  And her daddy is Phil Collins (who was better with Genesis than on his own).  Sadly, I don’t think she’s a fantastic actor.  And I’m confused as to how the character of Emily is so appealing to every Frenchman she meets. I mean, every guy she meets wants to get into her panties—and most of them do.  Does she take birth control?  Does she make the guys use a condom?  Is she playing Russian Roulette with her lady parts to see if she catches an STD?

How much fucking money is Emily making anyway? Chanel bags. Chanel coats!  It is very upsetting to me. Not because Coco was a Nazi sympathizer, but because I think City Pharma on Rue du Four is a better place to go shopping. Maybe she took euros from all those men she did the bouncy-bouncy with!

Seriously. If the writers of this show had one iota of true comic understanding, they wouldhave showcased Emily going into CityPharma on Rue du Four during it’s most crowded time–which is basically always. It’s the greatest shop for all things skincare and health wise. I live for this place!  Screw Chanel. My money goes to CityPharma!

Emily’s wardrobe is also cause for wonder.  She’s in her twenties and her wardrobe is worth a fortune.  Countless Chanel bags.  A few Chanel jackets.  It is so ridiculously unrealistic. And don’t even get me started on the way she wears a beret!  Splayed across her head like a flattened crepe!  WTF does that?  Nobody in Paris—that’s who.  The heels she wears—I’ll tell you this much.  Paris is chock-full of cobblestone streets.  Most of us would fall and break our leg or arm or neck walking around in the shoes that Emily does.   Let me tell you something.  The working women in Paris dress down more than dress up. They save dress up for date nights, weddings, and other social events but when it comes to office attire, the men dress more than the women do.

I cannot get this visual out of my mind–and it isn’t in a good way. WTF wears a beret placed atop her head like a crepe?  Emily does and she looks like an imbecile!

Note to Emily. This is how you wear a beret.  Worn down low on the head. My mother was obsessed with berets when I was a child and I wore them constantly….

Even my daughter, Oona, wore a beret better when she was a year old!

Emily’s personality does feed into the Ugly American stereotype though. She’s so stinking arrogant. I’ve witnessed bad behavior like hers many times and it is an embarrassment.

Why didn’t the company she works for set her up for an immersion course in the French language? Do the writers of this show not know that this could have been hysterically funny?  The French language isn’t easy to master. Lord knows I’ve had my share of mistakes.

Learn the bsics of the language!

True story:  The word “vite” in French means “quickly”.  One day while my husband and I were walking in Paris I was walking rather fast and was motioning for him to quickly come to me.  I said “Ici” “Bite!”  Rather than say “Here. Quickly”, I said “Here!  Cock!” and I was a bit loud and my husband was mortified and told me I used the wrong word.  Something like this could have been very funny.

His Take:  He finds Emily totally unattractive and wishes a nice-looking, more approachable American girl would have been cast instead.

My Take:  Gabriel, played by Lucas Bravo.  First of all, this guy, Lucas Bravo is eye candy.  He’s even better looking than Thomas Dutronc—and that’s good looking!  He’s model material.  Gabriel is Emily’s neighbor.  He’s a chef.  And naturally, he does the bouncy-bouncy with Emily even though he has a girlfriend and Emily is friends with his girlfriend!   Again, the horny stereotype comes into play.

Take a look. There’s nothing more to say about Gabriel the eye candy!

What could have been great comedy would have been if the two of them had a flirtatious repartee between the two of them. The French love to flirt.  And they are great at it.  That innuendo and repartee is epic and this show missed such a great opportunity!  Merde!

His Take:  Lucas Bravo is so handsome it is very unlikely he would fall for someone like Emily! At that age, these things like the cheating happen.  What he really finds confounding is that Bravo is far too handsome to fall for Emily!

The Stereotypes:

My Take: The constant smoking and smoking indoors. As mentioned above, yeah. The French still smoke but so do Americans. People in my office building that smoke spend more work time outdoors on cigarette breaks than they do in their cubicles. I’ve seen many a Frenchman and woman standing outside the Microsoft building in Issy-les-Moulineaux huffing and puffing on those cigs as though their lives depended on every bit of nicotine they could stuff into their lungs.  But they don’t smoke indoors (unless it’s in their homes). And that could actually be a funny thing—bringing up the time spent outdoors smoking as opposed to working.

In France, smoking still has that certain je ne sais quoi | Society | The  Guardian

At least they smoke outdoors these days–but truthfully, come to an American workplace and have a look-see at the “workers” *cough* on cigarette breaks. They smoke more than they work. I know this. I witness it all day long!

The horny Frenchmen.   Please allow me to discuss this. This show makes Frenchmen look as though they only want entrance into the love cottage of we women—or rather Emily, and nothing more.  Fact is, Frenchmen love the ladies.  They respect women in a way that American and men in other cultures do not.  The Frenchman will get to know a woman first.  He looks for signs of intelligence in a woman.  He will be critical and let his woman know what he likes on her—her hair, shoes, etc.

Pépé Le Pew in French

Emily in Paris seems to equate Frenchmen with the horniness level of Pepe Le Pew! And every single one of them want to get into Emily’s panties!

Now this aspect could be a very humorous one—given the fact that it took a while to get used to my own husband’s opinions on what he likes and especially dislikes on me. Let’s just say we’ve had some rather saucy conversations!   In addition, some Frenchmen enjoy a bit of meat on their women.  I’m blessed!

His Take:  Agreed with me.

My Take:  The loud American who smiles a lot.  Okay. This is true and this stereotype is not showcased enough on the show. Mind you, I’m not talking about arrogance. I’m talking about LOUD!  And the constant smiling.

Emily is told she’s loud.  I’m greatly confused by this because the writers on this show have absolutely no idea what loud really is.  Growing up in a family of five siblings, we needed to shout to be heard! Add to the fact we are New Yawkas, we can shatter a glass with our high-pitched loud!  My husband is still, 16 years later, not used to my loudness!   At approximately three weeks before our visits not only to Paris but throughout France, he begins to suggest I speak in my indoor voice—which, essentially is still loud—and then he asks me to speak in my whisper voice. Because my whisper voice is basically a normal tone of voice for other people.

loud GIF

NEITHER CAN I BUDDY! NEITHER CAN I!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, in reality, the writers could have had a freaking field day with the loud American aspect—a stereotype that is definitely true.

The smiling American.  Yeah.  Americans smile to your face then stab you in the back.  Happens all the time!  (In my case, I have a RBF, Resting Bitch Face. I don’t smile at people unless I know them).  The writers could have had an enormous bunch of fun with this.  Smiling then backstabbing. Damn. I should have been a writer for this show!

His Take:  On the smiling—true! 100 percent!  French people do not smile unless they have a reason to smile.  They can be very polite and respectful and not smile about it.  He feels the same about the loudness.  He’s especially surprised at how loud Americans are in restaurants!

Do the French Really Hate Americans?

My Take:  French people hate Americans and are mean to them.  Not true.  Not true at all.  In all the years I’ve been traveling to France with my husband—and especially Paris, I’ve never come across anyone being remotely mean or hostile to me with one exception.  We were in Nimes and stopped at a café for a soda. The waiter, who must’ve been getting ready for the dinner crowd was a real dick. He was nasty and miserable.  All he had to do was explain, in French to my husband that it was a bit late for a beverage because they were setting up for dinner and it would have been fine.  But my take was this guy was miserable to everyone—not just us.

But more on this.  The first time I had the experience of using the French language, I purchased flowers for my husband’s aunt as a thank you for allowing us to stay with her. I ordered a dozen white roses, in French and the proprietor was incredibly nice to me—especially when I had a hard time figuring out the money. He very patiently went over the correct way to say the currency and was just tremendously helpful.  Another time I got “lost” when my husband, his aunt and I went to market. A man selling olives got the best of me and we were enjoying some flirtatiousness and olives.  They finally found me and to this day The Olive Man is a running joke.

In the South of France, we were at an Abbaye. Afterwards, we stopped at an outdoor café and I ordered everything in French.  Across from us was a Frenchman and his dog.  I’m loud and he heard me.  He excused himself and gave me his critique on my French—he was so nice about it and it made my husband very happy.

Another time we were driving to St. Tropez and stopped to get gas and snacks. In the shop area, the cashier was a teenaged guy.  He heard me (loud again) speaking to my husband and when we paid for our goods, he looked at me and said so cutely “Have…. A…. Good…Day!”  OMG. He was so proud and adorable I wanted to hug him.  I gave him a thumbs up and to this day it is one of my favorite encounters!

So yeah.  If you make an effort to be polite and make an attempt to speak the language, no matter how challenged in French you are, you will be treated respectfully!  Don’t confuse being reserved and slightly aloof with hatred.  It’s just not true.

His Take:  He agrees with me.  It’s not because the French don’t smile at you that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. OK?  The French express politeness with words more than facial expressions but they don’t hate Americans at all.  They find Americans loud and think the American idea that the French should all speak English is arrogant but nothing to hate over.

 My Final Thoughts:  Although the exterior shots of Paris are visually stunning. I don’t like the show.  It was created by Darren Star—he also created Sex and the City.  I never watched SATC because having lived as a single woman in NYC, I couldn’t relate to it. Trust me, we all had our trampy moments but overall, we were too busy working to pay the expensive rents and utilities to stay in our apartments. And we had fun with our friends. Lots of parties and dinners and brunches and all had a capsule wardrobe due to lack of closet space.

What really bothers me about this show is it could have been so much better. Star could have made Emily more likeable in two ways. The first by casting someone different. Chloe Moretz would have made an epic Emily because she’s got an edge to her and I think that’s what Emily needed.  Margo Robbie, at age 30 IRL, could have been a wonderful Emily because in her position as a marketing ace, she would have been more believable add to the fact she’s so pretty you could see why every guy in Paris wanted to take her panties off!

Image result for margot robbie short hair | Прически, Марго робби, Красота

Margot Robbie could have made a great Emily. Even though she’s Australian, she’s sooooo All-American looking. I could get why guys want to be with her…

Chloë Moretz on Her Beauty and Skin-Care Routine

Had Chloe Moretz been cast as Emily it would have given the character a more edgy vibe and a bit more snark but in a good way.  

But it’s also the writing. Here you have the greatest opportunity to have a young woman in Paris to live. She’s away from her family.  Doesn’t know a soul, and more realistically isn’t making a ton of money.  She can learn to have style from observing the French women.  She can focus on errors made while learning the language.  She can turn the every-day mundane existence into something funny.  And her character could be likeable if a lonely side or vulnerable side was showcased.

It’s not a show I would like to see having a second season.

His Take:  He did not dislike the show as much as I did. Some of the stereotypes described have value—such as the smiling for no reason and the loudness. But overall, he really could not stand Lily Collins as Emily!  Oh, la lalalalalala!

Stay tuned for Part Deux where we recommend TV shows and Movies!

Stay tuned for Part Deux and our recommendations! And I promise I will take the beret off!

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The “Gloss” Starts NOW! Let’s Lose Some Weight Together!

To be honest, I was a bit scared to get on the scale.  Lately, I’ve been naughty.  The special political stress—or rather PTSD, Political Traumatic Stress Disorder, has been hitting hard the past few weeks so the cheese and Herr’s Tortilla have been very comforting to me.

Herr's® White Corn Tortilla Chips at Menards®

Mommy needs willpower–In the past year, I most likely polished off about a dozen CASES of these little pillows of lead!

Anyway, it was time to face the truth. 160 pounds of me. The scale didn’t lie.

These women are all 70 kg (Fixed) : fatlogic

This is a great photo.  At 6 pounds over what these women are, it’s interesting to see how the same 154 pounds looks on each of these women of different heights. Every one of them looks healthy!  It depends on our comfort level and how toned we are!

The biggest disappointment? Last year at this time, my weight would fluctuate between 142 and 145 pounds but I kept it in check.  Well…. I kept it in check until November. Between my brother’s passing, the trip to Paris during last Thanksgiving weekend in which I ate everything that came within mouth distance, Christmas and then—the Pandemic, let’s just say everything but my mouth was on lockdown!

Umm. I really think Patsy was talking to me and not Eddie!

Isn’t it funny how the weight creeps up?  You think you’re doing ok and then—bam! You look at yourself sideways in the mirror and you see that huge belly.  Your face appears slightly rounder.  The clothes are tighter and then like magic—most of your wardrobe doesn’t fit.  It’s that sloppy 15 to 25-pound gain.  Not a tremendous amount but more than a few pounds.

That’s what I’m talking about!  My gut. I can do the same thing as her! Only mine is bigger and flabbier!

In the past Weight Watchers has been a reliable program for me—but when I go off, the weight comes back unless I follow it forever.

And there’s more to life than salad and zero point foods!

Intermittent Fasting?  I just don’t think it’ll work at this time. If I had a job that I enjoyed, I could probably do the IF, but every day brings frustration and stress during my 9 to 5 life and when I get home from not eating all day, I’m a hangry bitch –like a hungry canine, I’ll shove any foodstuff into my face and then I feel bad and by the time dinner comes around I’m eating again.

hot-dog dog GIF

I lose my girly and behave like a hungry dog if I fast! And I would actually walk around with pizza hanging from my mouth!

Truthfully, I’m tired of spending money to lose weight. So, I’m going in a new direction.

I am eating more salad. I’ll be truthful. It’s not my jam but it’s satisfying!

That, my lovelies, is the direction of willpower and being accountable for my actions.

I’ll be writing down what I eat.  And throwing away all sugary sweets.

Bottom is a Pain aux Raisin from a batch I made for my husband. I made them on Saturday. I have not eaten any. Instead I’m reaching for the Gala apple!

I’ll be researching healthy recipes and I purchased a book (I honestly didn’t even spend money on it because I used my Discover Cash Back rewards) that was recommended to me by a high school friend and reader of the blog, Cyndy Floor!  In fact, when I finish writing the draft of this post, I’m headed upstairs to begin reading.

I’ve started to read the VB6 book by Mark Bittman. I’m a few pages into it and it’s a very good read so far! Thank you Cyndy!!!

And so, I figure if we do this together, we’ll all benefit!

One of the most important things for me is to get rid of trigger foods.  Cheese, pasta, bread, and tortilla chips are my triggers—all carbs.  It’s also difficult to bake for my husband and family because—and this is going to sound so disgusting to some of you—but I’m being transparent—it’s difficult to bake because I like the cookie dough before it’s cooked. Doesn’t matter what kind either.  Same with cake batter—I’ll like the bowl cleaner than Chippy can—and I don’t care that the eggs are raw either.  Frosting, luckily doesn’t contain eggs but I’ll make more than called for so I can graze on it.  Ohhh I feel so much better releasing this confession!  So, what are your trigger foods?

75+ Easy Pasta Recipes - Best Pasta Recipes and Dishes

I had to purge all the macaroni in the house because I’ll eat it. And I never cook a little–I cook an entire box! For me!

Exercise is another thing.  I’m so mentally drained when I arrive home from work that I cannot even bring myself to take a walk around the block.  Instead, I’ve been walking around my office twice a day. I swear I wish I was back in New York City where I walked everywhere!  But I shall make the effort to walk more.

And getting dressed for work every day is helping. My current wardrobe (the clothes that fit) is one with a ton of stretch–thank goodness I didn’t need to purchase larger clothing. I just packed away the clothes that didn’t fit. And when the weight comes off, I’ll bring them out of hibernation!

I’m a big fan of the J. Crew Factory Jamie pants–the elastic waistband is very Pandemic Weight Gloss friendly!

Today I wore a “so-old-they-are-almost-vintage” pair of the original J. Crew Pixie pants. The stretch component is incredible!  The shirt I’m wearing is from Gretchen Scott Designs…

has a ton of stretch but also sucks the flabby bits in!  These are the clothes that will get me through!

Excuses need to be stopped and action needs to be taken. Meals need to be planned.

40+ Weekly Meal Planning Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

This template is what I need. How about you?

In fact, Bonaparte is mulling over what I should make for Saturday evening’s dinner.  I have decided to make Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Black Olives, topped off with Basil!

Everything you need is right here!

Chicken Breasts with Tomato, Black Olives and Basil

Ingredients:        8 Roma/Plum tomatoes cut into quarters lengthwise

4 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless and pounded flat. Preferably organic.

One can of Black Olives—pitted.  Size doesn’t matter. I like large and I cut them in half

Lengthwise.   SAVE the Olive juice!!!!!

Fresh Basil

Olive Oil

White Wine-about ¼ cup.

Garlic—2 large cloves, minced or—mashed through a microplane

Red pepper flakes

Pour a bit of the white wine into a pan, add the tomatoes and garlic.  There’s really no need for the olive oil because the tomatoes will sweat.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a bit of salt. Cook them till just soft because you don’t want them mushy. Set aside.

Drizzle olive oil in another pan. Add the chicken, the remaining wine and some of the olive juice to keep the chicken moist.  When the chicken is lightly browned on both sides, add the tomatoes. Add the olives and cook about five minutes more.

Top with julienned basil.  This is healthy and you can have leftovers for your next meal!

Any tips you want to add or if you want to add your starting weight—place in the comments!  I think we’re going to have a good time! And we’ll be here to support each other!  I’m thinking at some point maybe we can have a Zoom meeting!

PS. I’m not giving up my aperitif on the weekends!

I certainly don’t smoke but that aperitif isn’t going anywhere but in my belly!  We all need a treat!

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It’s a Cream Makeup and Mature-Skin Friendly! Maskcara Beauty Review

Okay. So, after my cataract surgery I had a rude awakening. More like a scary awakening.  I saw my face in the mirror. It was rather frightening simply because during my cataract phase, especially as the cataracts grew worse, I saw myself in a blur.  This meant any flaws, discoloration or wrinkles were basically out of my sight.

You can’t imagine my surprise when, after my eyesight became damn near perfect, the reflection that stared back at me was decades older than I imagined.

Bitmoji Image

This wasn’t nearly as scary as my real reflection!

I had to think quickly.  Although there was nothing I could surgically do to change the ageing process, I realized that it had to be dealt with in a more positive manner.  I studied my face and played around with various liquid foundations that I already have—and lord knows I have quite a few.

Atypical60's Best of Beauty for 2019!!! | Atypical 60

Find the foundations!  There are three in this pic but in my makeup collection, there’s gotta be about 15!

And with a few days off from work to recover, playing around with face makeup (I was not allowed to wear eye makeup) wasn’t such a bad activity to while away the time.

Most of the liquid foundations I have were creeping into my lines and caking up after a while. I really don’t want that at this time.  I’m not saying there’s no longer a use for liquid foundation, it’s just that I started looking more into other options.

Mineral powders do not work for me and never have. My skin is just too dry and the effect, no matter how much moisturizer or primer I use, is horrific.  The powders leave my skin feeling like the Sahara and looking pretty much like the famous desert as well.

Some time ago, I ordered cream makeup from RCMA and I liked it.  It was time to revisit but I wanted to research more about cream cosmetics. So, I did.  And discovered Maskcara Beauty.  The company was started up by a blogger and took off. There is a plethora of tutorials on this brand so I watched many of them and became quite intrigued.

I’m a fan of the RCMA cream makeup but I wanted to try something different for a change!

On Instagram, a woman I follow @over60gal happens to sell the brand’s makeup. I like her little tutorials and she seemed like a nice person so I kept her in mind. The more I researched this makeup the more I became interested.  But I was wary about one thing—the business is run like an Avon thing. Maskcara Beauty is an MLM-Multi Level Marketing company  and the sellers are “artists” when I’m sure most of them have no cosmetology experience at all other than selling Maskcara Beauty.

MLM | What Is MLM | How Does Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Work

A few of the MLM’s that are available..

Regardless, the products still interested me and so I bit the bullet and made a purchase.

My first of two purchases consisted of two highlighters  (basically concealers/foundations) an illuminator, a contour, a lip and cheek color and two eye shadows.  As a gift, because I bought more than four products, I received a palette that stored four of the products purchased.  All items with the exception of the eye shadows are creams. The shadows are powder.

Top–The first Purchase, Left to right:  Contour-Ash; Highlight-Candelight; Illuminator-Dulce; Highlight-White Peach     Bottom-Second Purchase: Highlight-Mango; Bronzer-Bella; Highlight-Aura; Illuminator-Pearl

 

The highlighters, contours, illuminators are all housed in cute little tins.  And for the price of $14 per, it seems a bit on the pricey side until you realize that just a small amount of product is needed-trust me, a small amount is all you need.  The eyeshadows cost $12 each.

Two of the shadows.  Rigoletto on the left, Sabrina on the right.  To be honest, I love the shadows but don’t use them because it’s too much of an effort to take them out of these plastic thingys.

The palettes, made of sturdy cardboard are magnetized and come with built-in mirrors.  They run the gamut in price depending on the size. The prices are from $12 to $40.

Here’s what the palettes look like closed. They are pretty but I just do think they are overpriced.  

The tutorials, from various “artists” can be found on YouTube. In all honesty, the one artist who I feel is the best is a woman named Sarah Martin who goes by the name on both YouTube and Instagram as The Contoured Chemist (on Insta as @thecontouredchemist).  She is, hands down, remarkable.

Minimalist Makeup | A Step by Step for Beginners and Those Who Want SIMPLE  - YouTube

Sarah Martin aka The Contoured Chemist. I’m not kidding when I tell you to head to her YouTube channel.  Her tutorias are incredibly.  You’ll binge on them!  She knows her stuff!

She’s younger than our demographic of the over 50-60 crowd but she’s incredibly knowledgeable about the brand’s products and she uses them, and educates about the products so well. Her tutorials are easy to follow, greatly detailed and she’s got a great personality—she’s amiable and not condescending in any way.

Inasmuch as Sarah is great, I really can’t say that for a number of the artists that have tutorials.  My main issue is with the contour. Most of these artists leave a clear line of demarcation with the contour that it drives me nuts.  Contour is supposed to be blended in to give the illusion of a shadow and not warpaint!

 (Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images)

 

One would think Lindsay Lohan would know how to apply contour but that line of demarcation is so obvious. And that’s the biggest concern I found in watching quite a few of the Maskcara tutorials.  You need to blend–like REALLY blend!

And there is definitely a learning curve with the makeup.  You really need to blend, blend.  If too much product is used, you can end up with a heavy look.  The contour, although creamy has a drier texture than the other products so you really have to play around to find out the best application for your needs.

 No–Chippy didn’t make a mistake!  It’s the Ash contour and it IS drier than the other creams but once it’s warmed up from the heat of your finger, its all good!  I LOVE this color because it looks just like a shadow when you apply and blend!

The brand sells brushes and a blending sponge that is highly recommended but I didn’t want to spend the money. Instead I found brushes on Amazon that are dupes and I use a blending sponge from InStylish that works beautifully.

These brushes from DUcare are fantastic!  I purchased them on Amazon and have the link from my Amazon Storefront for you  (Disclaimer I do receive a small commission from Amazon on items sold) : DuCare Brushes

I’ve been using the Maskcara products exclusively for the past two weeks to get a good feel of how the brand works for me and how the makeup looks and I can say that I’m a fan.  So, lets go and I’ll show you how I use them.

Always start off with a clean face, naturally.  I moisturize in the morning after washing my face and brushing my hair.  Then I wait about five minutes and apply primer.

Caveat.  The pics below are in very natural light. They aren’t flattering pics and I wanted it that way so you could see an untouched and unfiltered photo of a normal 65-year old woman!

 

Oh. Scary!  Nothing on my face except moisturizer. My poor husband has to wake up to this!!

While I realize that primer isn’t essential, I happen to love primer.  With the cream-based makeups, a non-silicone primer works better, in my opinion.  One of the primers I swear by is from the brand Etude, a Korean brand I purchase from Amazon. This is a great primer and I just reordered for the third time!

Hands down–this is one of the greatest primers ever.  It isn’t silicone-based and that’s key if you use a primer with the cream makeups.  LOL!  I received my new primer today–I can’t be without this.  Here’s the Amazon Link-I’m shilling but don’t get mad at me!  It’s worth every penny of the $13.40 Etude House Primer

Next, I head to the eye makeup. I always begin with the eyes because fallout from shadows and any mishaps are better left at the beginning rather at the end after everything else is applied! Doing this also allows for the primer to “set”.

After the eyes, I apply the shade “Mango” under my eyes and anywhere that the redness needs to be toned down. It’s important to use a light touch.  I pick the product up with my brush and push the product in then blend like crazy.  And I use an old Tarte buffing brush to blend.

Pressing the brush into Mango…

Then after pressing the product onto my face, and after blending, I’m buffing with this Tarte brush,

This is followed by a highlighter.  Again, I press the brush down to lift product then press into my skin to blend.

Adding the White Peach highlighter!

Again. Press and blend–don’t be afraid!

On to contour. The shade I am using is Ash and I love it.  It’s a cool toned grayish taupe that gives a great shadow effect.  It’s on the dry side so I pick it up with my finger. The warmth from my skin helps to soften the product.

Ugh. Don’t mind my nails. I need a manicure but I was too lazy to sit at the nail place this weekend. Anyway, I pick up the contour with my finger and…

Swipe it on my wrist..

 I then swipe it on my wrist and pick up the product with a brush and press into my skin and blend like a Ninja smoothie maker! It’s such a subtle color but adds the definition to the cheekbones that you need.

Contour is on and needs to be blended but I wanted to show you where I apply it!

Cheek color is next.  I’m using Hollywood which is a nice shade but a bit on the light side. It gives a nice flush though. In addition, I’m using a Real Techniques brush because I prefer using a smaller one for application.

BTW, the Hollywood cheek/lip color is kept in the tin because I didn’t have room in the palette.  But I prefer to apply this with a Real Techniques brush!