Not Much Ado About Nothing! A Relaxing Weekend!

To be honest, our weekend was productive and relaxing at the same time.   I mean, other than my weekend blog posts it was relaxing!

It started out with a nice rainbow on Friday evening!

On Saturday morning, I organized the little closet in the guest room. The room doubles as my makeup studio and houses my wigs.

It really was productive. In less time than it ever takes me to wash, condition and blow dry my bio hair, I was able to organize my fake hair and even get rid of some nasty wigs that were in bad shape!

Because the sun was shining and the natural light was stellar, I got to pluck a bunch of lady whiskers from my chin. That’s always a good thing.

One of my favorite ways to while away time while waiting for moisturizer to set in is to pluck the lady whiskers from my chin.  Especially when the lighting is great!

Bonaparte and I drove into Philly where we visited the Warby Parker shop on Walnut Street. He used the gift card that my kids gave him for Christmas and ended up with a great pair of sunglasses.

The place was mobbed but there’s plenty of help–and the Warby Parker staff is ridiculously friendly and helpful!

These are the shades that Anthony Bourdain ..Oops–I mean, Bonaparte picked out!

The Frenchman. He’s so serious!  He tried these on but wasn’t crazy about them. I thought they were great! Oh well. We had fun!

Then we walked over to Rittenhouse Square to see what goods we could pick up at the Farmers Market.

We had a nice time walking around Philly.  I ended buying tarragon for the anchovy sauce I made.

And when we arrived home, I baked bread and made a great anchovy sauce for our steak.

Here’s the recipe:

Anchovy Sauce for Filet Mignon or Steak

Peel and mince 4 shallots.  Peel and grate 1 clove garlic.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.  Add the shallots and garlic.  Cook till the shallots are transparent.

Take about four or five sprigs of fresh Tarragon.  Remove the leaves from the stems and chop. Add to the cooked shallot/garlic mixture.

Add one and one-half tablespoons of anchovy paste and stir into the saucepan.

Add ¾ of a cup of heavy cream and cook until the cream reaches the boiling point and keep stirring. Don’t let the sauce boil over but cook for about ten minutes.

Add ¼ cup of champagne cognac to the sauce and cook until the alcohol dissipates.

As the sauce cooks down it’ll thicken.

Spoon over steak.  This is good stuff!


My diet went out the window over the weekend.  I ate way too much of the bread I made and the sauce–it was “eat-it-like-soup” great! Thank God for that broccoli! 

Yesterday was Oona’s birthday. She’s 28 years old now and I just can’t figure out where the time went!  I miss having her around but I admire her independence. I’m proud to be the mom of a successful and empowering young woman!

I’m not kidding when I say time flies. I remember every one of these photos as though they were taken yesterday. Oh wait. The collage WAS taken yesterday! Seriously. My baby is 28!

And that was basically the weekend.

This last week was a busy one at work—so busy, in fact, that I forgot about snapping pics of my outfits.  I did manage a couple of shots though.

Friday’s ensemble. I’m really starting to tire of  the clothes now.  I need a spray tan.  I’m tired.  And I need to win Powerball so that I can stay home and write.

Thursday’s dress. I should have worn this more often because I really like it.  I went with bobbed hair last week for a couple of days.

I think I wore this last Monday or Tuesday.  Very classy with the bra straps sticking out.  I finally took the bra off when I got into the car after leaving the office.  Yes. I’m THAT woman. I begin to disrobe in my car.

Last week also brought some new hair.

This is Konis by It’s A Wig.  The hair is very soft and resembles my bio hair when blown out. Less than $30.  This will be great for the fall and winter.

And this is Claudia by Bobbi Boss.  Hmmm. Perhaps I should have put some makeup on or gotten dressed in something other than a PJ tee. Nuh unh.  I’m too lazy!

I lost about a half pound, but I’m sure I gained it back with the sauce and with all the carbs I ate over the weekend!  And as I write this, I’m eating macaroni salad–there goes the thighs!  And the belly.

See?  The scale is in between 143 and 144. Today it is most likely at 146.

Oh…and I received a lecture from Bonaparte about my recent spending. I’ll leave it at that!

I met MY Waterloo last night when Bonaparte went over the bills.  No more spending for a while! Bonaparte’s daughter snapped this photo last week–she’s in Canada and look what she found!

Welcome to the dawg days of summer.  These are the summer days that make me a bit sad because it awakens my awareness that the days will be getting shorter and cooler.  And although I welcome the cool weather clothing, I love the long and lazy days of summer.  And so, I’ll enjoy them while I can!

And that was about it. How was your weekend?

It was hot in the City of Philadelphia–but not extremely hot–but I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite summer songs by the Lovin’ Spoonful.  Summer in the City!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

The Alluring Message of Allure Magazine. The End of Anti-Aging. Or Is It?

I’m skeptically thrilled.  Not only did Editor in Chief of Allure magazine, Michelle Lee, have the balls to put an “Old Lady”, i.e. the beautiful Helen Mirren on the cover, but she also put out a call to the beauty industry to end “anti-aging”.

I literally ran into Barnes & Noble on Rittenhouse Square yesterday to hunt this baby down.  What a cover!  What a woman! What an editor!

On one hand, I am thrilled!  Finally, an effort is being taken to put an end to the phrase “anti-aging” and everything it stands for.  On the other hand, I can’t help but think “is this a one-time issue thing?”

Let’s see if it is truly the end of “anti-aging” and not just a one-trick pony tale!

Let’s address this. Shall we?

I was a subscriber to Allure magazine for many, many years. In fact, I’ve even had a couple of my letters to the editor published.  When the magazine first came to be I loved that models and/or celebrities were photographed without makeup.  I loved the articles.  It was a great magazine.

The first cover….

..and another early cover.  The articles were great back then..

When the magazine was delivered, I would wait until the kids were in school to read it.  After the housework was done, I would sit on the sofa in the family room and absorb the contents from cover to cover.   During the summer months, the magazine was a regular item in my beach and pool bag.

I do believe this beach bag from J. Crew is as old as Allure magazine is! It is the  bag I lugged my Allure to the beach and pool!

And as I aged, Allure failed to do the same.  Like the woman stuck in a time warp of beauty and fashion, the magazine seemed to be a time machine that was stuck on “young woman”.  And forgot about the reader who started off with the magazine.  She aged.  The magazine didn’t.

Do you remember this delightful packaging from Helena Rubinstein Tulips?  I do–but the model is stuck in a time warp.  And Allure magazine was stuck in the “youth” time warp.  I must say, I DO love this packaging!

Like a woman jilted by many lovers and over the years who lost trust in men, I feel the same about magazines. Beauty and fashion.  I’ve read many of them over the years and as I aged, felt jilted because I was the forgotten reader.  The forgotten demographic. The woman tossed aside for someone younger and supposedly better.

It’s ok Natalie.  I lost the love of the beauty industry. Waaaaaahhhhh!!!

I allowed my subscriptions to lapse.   Vogue, Glamour, —even Allure.  They no longer spoke to me nor did they speak to my generation and generations of women older than me.

The one subscription that I still have, and don’t even bother to read anymore is In Style. It used to be a great publication.  I’m using the latest issue as a makeshift mouse pad.  The previous issues have been thrown in the trash the day I receive them. The magazine completely lost me as a reader.

I don’t even know when the subscription to this magazine runs out but it makes a great mouse pad!

But back to Allure.

I’m beyond happy to see this cover of the wonderful Helen Mirren.  Bright red lips (she can rock that red lip without looking harsh. I wish I could), big ass earrings (the ones younger bloggers think we old ladies shouldn’t wear), lines of wisdom on her face and the tattooed arm of a younger man wrapped around her shoulders.  This. Is. Greatness.

Encore please!  

She doesn’t even have turkey neck!  And her tits are great…

Those orbs of wonder have aged so well…

Mirren is bring aging back the way Timberlake brought sexy back!

Yes.  Mirren is the hero that we need.  But it shouldn’t stop there.

Helen of Troy?  Non!  Helen of all women over 50!

The average, over 50, over 60 and older women are also the heroes that we need.  The woman who is the school teacher, or the military woman, or the police officer or fire fighter, or the flight attendant, or the administrative assistant, or the sales assistant, or the retiree, or the caregiver. These are the women that the beauty and fashion industry have thrown aside and instead reached for the much younger woman.

Take a good look. THESE, the average older women are also the heroes we need!

 The beauty industry has abandoned us for the young woman who depends on mommy and daddy to pay for the items she placed on their credit cards. The younger woman whose most important aspect in life is clubbing on a Saturday night. The woman with the fickle mindset.

Just like the spoiled Veruca Salt, many of the targeted demograph are those spoiled young women who have mommy and daddy pay for everything.   What happened to independence?

They want the it girl.  Not the aging woman.

Beauty and fashion want this….

…and not the 62-year olds like me who are into all beauty products that’ll enhance our features (and not photoshopped or loaded with fillers)

And—it’s too bad because we have the money. We know our minds. When we find a product we love and that works, we are loyal to the product and the brand.

It’s gonna take a while.  And in looking through this edition of Allure, I’m digging much of what is inside.

I see more women of color—I really dig that.

Beauty isn’t just blonde, blue, and white. I’m happy about that!

I’m ridiculously happy to see photos such as this as well.  Beauty has wrinkles and lines!

I see an ad for a fragrance by Ralph Lauren (not a fan of his but I’m giving him credit). The fragrance is Woman and the model is actor Jessica Chastain.  At 40 years old, she is a woman.

Hey Ralphie. Thanks for not using a twenty-something.  You’re a good egg for this but you could do better next time.

But next go-round, I would love to see Lauren use the other Lauren in his ads.  Lauren Hutton.  At 73 years, Hutton personifies aging beauty and should be used more and more by the beauty and fashion industries.

Lauren Hutton. Like fine wine gets better with age. And I LOVE her outspoken personality. She rocks!

Let’s see more of Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin if you are looking for celebrities.

Diane Keaton. Another oldie but goodie.  

And really, let’s see more of the real woman.

Yes. Do it for the real woman who sits at home hoping a two-buck beauty mask will hydrate her skin into mature dewiness!

Ms. Lee, you are on the right track.

I’m giving you a kiss and hug back Michelle Lee–but you need to keep this up. Do. Not. Fail. Us!!

Keep moving forward. Please don’t back-pedal. Be the mover and shaker. Be the Marianne of the beauty industry!

Be the Marianne of the Beauty Industry Michelle!  Liberté égalité fraternité in all things beauté !

There is a slew of us women who are watching your moves.  Bring back aging in all its glory and beauty.

Do it for me.  Do it for you. Do it for the future of all women.



Posted in Allure Magazine, Michelle Lee | Tagged , , , | 44 Comments

Laura Geller. Are you”Effing” Kidding Me? You Made a Foundation That’s Amazing AF!!

So why aren’t  you marketing it to the older woman?

This is so passive-aggressive.  I love the product but I have issues with the brand…

Read on.

I know, I know.  It seems like lately, I’m on a foundation kick.  But when your skin has been on your body for over 60 years, you need to play around. You need to always be on the lookout for a foundation that’ll be kind in loving your wrinkly and lined face.

Am I right?

I’m gonna tell you what happened this week.  OK?  I got an email from Laura Geller Beauty.  No. It wasn’t for a sponsored post and the company wasn’t “reaching out” to me.  Simply stated—the brand wanted my money.

Anyway, I remembered way back—almost twenty years ago, I had some of Geller’s eyeshadow/liner duos.  One was a gorgeous plum with a black liner.  It was that baked stuff and it was fabulous.

The liner/shadow duo was very similar to this only the plum color was a bit on the cooler side of the spectrum and it was fabulous!  I LOVED it!

I also had a body bronzer from the Laura Geller brand.  This bronzer lasted forever!  And I remember that it was superb.

This is the body bronzer–Baked Body Frosting  and now that I’ve found it again, I’m going to order it.  I’m telling you–this on the legs and you don’t need fake tan. It’s a great winter product!

I also remember watching her on QVC.  I liked her manner because she seemed like a cool lady. She seemed real and down-to-earth.  But, you know, tastes change and somewhere along the line, I forgot about the brand.

Laura Geller. She looks like a really nice woman–the kind you want to dish the dirt with. Know what I mean?

So, when I saw the email my memory, along with my interest, was piqued.  I perused the website.  I saw two products that my attention was immediately drawn to.  Baked Balance-n-Brighten Foundation and Baked Bronze-n-Brighten. And then I had another flashback.  I distinctly remember having one of these products and it was horrific!  It was way too dark on my face and oxidized—turning me into a girly pumpkin.

Interest piqued, I just HAD to go back and revisit Laura Geller’s cosmetics!

Anyway, I decided to do a little detective work in the form of reading reviews.

Wait.  Wayne Goss loves the Balance-n-Brighten.  The Wayne Goss.  If Wayne approves, then this must be some good shit!  And I read more reviews and it seems that Balance-n-Brighten Foundation is a good buy. Did I use the wrong product?  Did Laura Geller change her formula?  Was it time to revisit a product that didn’t work for me?

And Wayne purchased with his OWN money. He wasn’t sponsored. And he recommends!  Need I say more?

I clicked.  I purchased. I waited.

Two days later, I received a small box with the Balance-n-Brighten products and a lip gloss in the color “Skinny Dip”.  The sale lippie brought me to the total of free shipping!

The Skinny Dip Lippie.  You’ll see how it rolled a bit later in the post!

Yes. I tried it at night when nobody could see me. And I was stunned. Wayne was right…Or was he??

Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes for this foundation.  I remember some years ago I tried my hand at bareMinerals powder foundation.  It was a virtual nightmare!  My face had morphed into a cross between the Grand Canyon on a dusty day and the Sahara Desert. It was awful.

I’ll admit.  I cannot live without bareMinerals “Well Rested” for my eyes. But their foundation is a complete miss for me. In every way!

My arid skin did not welcome any power foundation kindly.

So, with no high hopes, and the approval of The Wayne Goss, I tried the Balance-n-Brighten foundation.  It was after dinner and my face was cleansed of makeup but I couldn’t help it. I was impatient and had to try it.

W.T.F.???  I was sure I screwed up the application because my skin looked great.  Something was wrong. I was sure of it. I waited for the foundation to oxidize. It didn’t.

I waited for my skin to start cracking from dryness.   It didn’t.

My emotions were getting the best of me regarding the Balance-n-Brighten foundation!  What would I do?

But I wasn’t sold yet.  I would have to wait until the daytime hours to give it the true test.

Since I was running late to work yesterday, I didn’t have time for a full face so the Balance-n-Brighten remained unused.

Today I did. have the time and I did use the Balance-n-Brighten.

Can I tell you how effing great this foundation is?

Here’s the proof in pics.

The Balance-n-Brighten. It’s also made in Italy, which is a good thing!  It’s a great product!

OK Ladies. Take a good look. Before on the left. After on the right. No shit!  Same light. No filters. No fillers. Wrinkles are genuine. Lines are fine. I would not photoshop. Look at the difference in the color.  Evened out the skin tone. Covered flaws without losing the integrity of my skin’s age.

I used the golden “skinny dip” lippie UNDERNEATH my pink lip gloss.  It gave a nice addition and depth.

The finished face. On our way to Philly.  I took this selfie in natural light. OMG–this foundation is freakin’ incredible.

Wait. I also added the Balance-n-Brighten Baked Bronze–which gives a very light and natural glow.

This is better than my Guerlain Bronzer. Yes. It is. 

So now, with the good comes the not-so-good.

Laura Geller is no spring chicken. I’m not saying that in a bad way either. She has entered the “Older Woman” stratosphere. She is one of us.  She’s an Old Broad.  So then why does she only have photos of young women on her website?

This. On the 20th Anniversary blah blah. Were these women even in their mother’s womb twenty years ago? Where is your ORIGINAL fan base Laura?  Isn’t that more fitting of a 20-year anniversary?

That’s right. Girl. I am calling you out! Here’s a foundation that is “Old Lady”, “Mature Woman”, “Older Woman”, “Mature Skin”, “Old Broad”, friendly and you have women who probably haven’t even given birth yet on your website?

8 hours later and the foundation was still doing a remarkable job…

No cakey texture on this old broad’s face. Nothing digging into the lines. Come On Laura. Market to your target.  We have bucks to spend. Do not forget us!

Even worse is your freaking #beauty2share. ( Click on that link. You won’t believe it.  Not an older woman in sight. And the photoshopping is just so sad. Where are the natural beauties? Where are the OLDER beauties?)  Granted. The women who are sharing their beauty are beautiful. I don’t deny any woman of her beauty. However, how many of these women are using filters and/or have been pumped with plastic and fillers?  How many are photoshopped?

Show us real women!  Show us the older women!  I demand to see a lined face. You owe it to the women who are over 40. And 50. And 60.  Older women use your products too!

Come on Laura. I double-dog dare ya! You have the greatest “effing” (I promised Bonaparte I would curb my language) product that is ridiculously aging friendly and you are hiding it from us.  Girlfriend needs a new ad agency. One that recognizes the older woman!

Come on Laura. I want answers. I want to know why you have created an epic product and you aren’t focusing on the older woman. WTF??????

And that is why I’m on a rampage. Therefore, I’m not making anymore Urban Decay or Benefit cosmetic purchases. These companies are not older woman-friendly.  You all remember the patronizing letter I received from Urban Decay, don’t you?  Here it is in case you are not familiar: It’s a Crisis!

I have recently decided to drop e.l.f. cosmetics from my roster as well.   And since Estee Lauder decided to make younger-than-a-fetus Kendall Jenner their spokes baby, I will never again make a purchase from that brand. We older women need to be a militia in force and show these companies that we are visible and should be noticed!

Laura. You have time to redeem yourself and come out publicly on your website giving love to the older woman. I know you can do this.  You are one of us. Come out of the age closet and be proud!

You can do it Laura Geller.  Come out of the closet and out yourself as an older-woman-friendly brand! We will be loyal to you!

Because there’s a whole demographic group of women who would love you and your Balance-n-Brighten foundation.  It’s an incredible product and it works.

Can I get an Amen??

AMEN girlfriend.  AMEN. Let’s PRAISE the older woman!!

Maybe I can’t get an “amen” but Girl, you know it’s true when I tell you this is a great foundation.  I have Milli Vanilli to prove it too.

Girl, You Know It’s True! I can’t stop thinking about these two guys and the fact that if man buns were around in the 1980’s they would be rocking the look!


Posted in Ageist beauty, Laura Geller | Tagged , , , | 38 Comments

Waisted Again! And More Randomness.

It started out as a simple photo that I took to post on my Instagram account earlier this morning.  I decided to wear a dress that I had for years but never bothered wearing.   The dress was purchased when I was thinner and then I gained weight and then I lost weight and then I gained and then I lost.   And it’s back in my closet.

The dress is nice.  It was purchased at J. Crew Factory and I’m sure I was attracted by the stripes.  The cut of the dress is a “Fit & Flare”.  I’m not sure if this style dress is still as popular as it was a couple of years ago, but there were a few seasons when this style achieved great notoriety!

My Instagran compilation. I do these little montages almost every day.  If you want to see more go to @atypical60   on Instagram (shameless plug)

Perhaps it brought back memories of when I was a little girl and my mother would have me wear these types of dresses.  Whatever it was that possessed me to make the impulsive purchase, the dress is not the type that is flattering to me.

This is probaby the only time in my life when a Fit & Flare dress looked good on me–and even then the waist is a bit high!

Hold on a minute there. In the photos that I took, the dress doesn’t look that bad.  That’s because I had to manipulate.  I had to pull the dress down before taking photos.  My natural waist is low. I’m long-waisted.  The waist on this dress is high.  Ridiculously high. It doesn’t touch my waist in any way, shape, or form.

If I pulled this dress down any lower on top, I could have been arrested for indecent exposure!

If the waist was lower, this would be a go-to dress.

Do clothing manufacturers not realize that one style does not fit all?  Trousers and jeans come in various lengths.  Why can’t dresses be made with different waist lengths for different torsos?

This is a beautiful example of a Fit & Fl… Oh. Wait. It’s a Princess line. See how the waist is dropped and doesn’t cut?  It’s a Donna Karan. I can’t afford it..


The dress on the right, by Alexander McQueen is beautiful but the waist still looks too high!

And don’t even get me started on THIS one.  It’s ill-fitting all around!

I am now convinced that the only seamstresses who can make a longer torso dress are the Irish Dance dress makers.  This one was made by Siopa Rince. I should have kept Oona’s dress. Maybe I could have worn it to work!

I did wear this dress to work today.  And all day I was incredibly uncomfortable.

I wore it because I was too damned lazy to change!

 Sitting down, the dress rode up so high that I looked like I was wearing an empire waist!

I must say. I felt like Ed Grimley in his high-waisted pants. Actually, his pants are probably more comfortable than my dress!

And that is why I am most at ease when I wear a simple shift.  For me, they are a flattering style. Same thing with those great swing dresses I picked up earlier this summer at Old Navy. Simple. Uncomplicated!

Me with my cousins, AnnMarie and Kate.  We were together over the weekend at a family baby shower. I’m so comfy in my shift!

The dress came off, went into the wash, and I’ll send it to Oona. If she doesn’t want it, she can bring it to a local thrift shop.

It’s ok though. We all make impulsive purchases and we all make clothing mistakes.  Wearing that fit & flare dress today made me realize that I shouldn’t have bought it. I learned a valuable lesson.

To not make impulsive purchases!!!

And speaking of valuable, I ordered some makeup brushes last week and received them today.  They were an excellent value at $14.00. The shipping was a bit pricey at $7.00 but they were shipped from California.  The brushes are from Morphe. Morphe sells brushes, tools, makeup—all sorts of girly goodies.  The free shipping kicks in at $75.00 but I wasn’t ready to spend that much.

The brushes come packed in a genuine pleather case…

I love that the case is magnetized. It’s perfect for travel. It is also perfect for clumsy people such as myself!

A plastic shield gives more protection…

The brushes are very soft and…

…offers a good variety.  I’ll be reviewing soon.

I heard about the brushes from one of my favorite vloggers, TheHeartsandcake90, mentioned them in a makeup tutorial that I watched and the bendability looked great!

Brittney of TheHeartsandcake90 is one of my favorite wig reviewers and now that she’s doing makeup tutorials…….Check her out on YouTube!!

My diet was sabotaged today.  One of my co-workers tried her hand at making sushi last night. She made a lot—and brought a platter into the office.  I couldn’t stop eating this!  It was so good that I now want to get a sushi kit and make some at home.  After I lose seven pounds!

Nicole made Shrimp Tempura sushi and cream cheese, avacado and jalepeno sushi.  I can see the outline of rice on my thighs as I write this.  Seriously. This was delicious!

J Crew also sabotaged me. Those emails they send me are too tempting.  The first “Fall 2017” item was purchased. I’m waiting for it to be delivered.  A navy ribbed top with bell-sleeved cuffs. It’ll be a great diet aid because I’m such a natural slob that anything I eat will automatically get stuck to the cuffs.

I KNOW, the photo is so tiny. I didn’t know how to make it bigger. I’m not a techie!

Thank you, J. Crew, for assisting in my diet!

What say you ladies?  Any impulsive clothing purchases that you regret? I know I’m not the only one!  Do tell!

I feel compelled to play “Give Peace A Chance” for obvious reasons.  There is a lot of hatred brought on by bad politics.  I won’t get into it. That’s what I use my personal Facebook page for.

John and Yoko.  We need peace now and more than peace we need love.  We need to bring back hippies!

Peace and love will prevail.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 26 Comments

Saturday Musings. Why Is Everything I Love Discontinued?

It’s Saturday. And let me start off by telling you I’m slightly pissed off at the meteorologists in the Philadelphia area.  It was supposed to rain today.  And it was supposed to be cooler.  Instead, the atmosphere in these parts is hot, humid and hotter.

Believe it or not, I was actually looking for a cool and rainy day. I’ve got a lot of cooking to do and don’t like to stand in a hot kitchen!

That’s not bad—in fact, I love the heat.  But if I knew just how hot it was going to be, Bonaparte and I would have gotten up early and headed to Stone Harbor for some serious beaching—and I would spend a few hours more damaging my skin.

With the forecast being cool, it was my plan to get my nails done, bake some cookies for Bonaparte, bake some bread and work on a blog post that required me getting dressed up in many items of clothing.

This is fun in cool weather.  When it gets hot and humid and  Monsieur “I-love-the-heat-and-humidity” Bonaparte doesn’t turn the A/C on, this is not fun.

The bread is rising, the last batch of cookies is in the oven, I’m sweating my ass off, and it was too hot to work on the blog post that I really wanted to write.

Cookies are baked…

I forgot to add, the potatoes are par-boiled. I’m making B’s favorite potatoes. Cubed and sauteed in duck fat!

And so, today I’m just making it a busy catch-up day.

There is a pile of baby gifts that need to be wrapped and I’ll get to that this evening.

Actually, I hope it really does not rain because that’ll mean I have to clear the piles of gifts and everything else off the dining room table.  This is like having the kids home again–the dining room table becomes a catch-all for homework, school books–everything but dining! We’ll be eating outdoors this evening!

Is this the cutest pillow?  I couldn’t resist an extra gift of a swan in a tutu. Swan Lake takes on new meaning!

I am also in a tizzy (did I just write that???) because I’m tired of some of my favorite cosmetic items being discontinued.

Stila’s “In the Know” eyeshadow palette has long been one of my go-to’s. I swear I must have had this palette over 5 years and I hit pan big time but I still use it wisely and sparingly because Stila discontinued it. And it was discontinued a while ago.

Had I been “In The Know” that this palette would have been discontinued, I would have purchased two more!  I swear this  is THE original neutral palette. And I’m using the shadows very sparingly these days. Stila needs to bring this baby back!

This morning while getting ready, I decided to take out my Stila Convertible Color Lip and Cheek Cream in Sweet Pea. I love this.  The pink is bright but not clownish and only a bit is needed to give your cheeks a nice glow. I don’t even use it on my lips—for me, it purely blushes.  My compact is basically a mess from both hitting pan and from brush shedding.  I figured it was time to repurchase.

Can I go on record now to say I am NOT your typical smoke and mirrors blogger? Who else would have the nerve to showcase a hot mess of an overused product that has not only hit major pan but has little brush hairs in it. I don’t care–it still gives good color!

And after I got a pedicure, manicure, lip and chin wax (yeah, I’m like the bearded lady at the circus but I’m losing the hair on my head—go figure!), I drove home to get Bonaparte and we were off to run errands.

Kim does such a great job on my feet–she even scrubbed away my fake tan!!

If Kim didn’t do such a great job on waxing my face, I could possibly tour as the new Annie Jones,  the bearded lady who was the main attraction for P.T. Barnum.

I stopped at Ulta, which is quickly becoming more of a favorite than Sephora for me these days. I think it’s because the store is offering higher end brands while still selling drug store brands as well. One stop shopping.  My only beef with the King of Prussia Ulta is that the sales assistants like to stand around gabbing to each other more than assisting. (For what it’s worth—the sales assistants at the Collegeville Ulta are fantastic!)  Or—perhaps they just don’t like to assist old ladies!  No big deal, I know what I want anyway.  I went up to the wall that displayed the Stila cosmetics and found the Convertible Colors.  Sweet Pea was not there.  I must have looked like I was having a stroke—after all, I am that old in beauty industry years, and finally, someone asked if I needed help.  When I explained that I didn’t see “Sweet Pea” I was told that Stila discontinued it.

Can you believe this?  Is Stila now manufacturing all their cosmetics as limited editions or something?

Anyway, I ended up purchasing a nice coral-pink color “Petunia”.  I tried it on my cheek and it looked fine.  If I end up really loving it, I’ll have to purchase a couple of them because I’m sure Stila will manage to discontinue it on me.

I know–it photographs very orangy.  In reality, it is a very nice coral-pink color and looks rather pretty once it is applied. We’ll see….

This week’s other big cosmetic purchase was Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender. I was intrigued by this because it’s unlike any product I’ve ever seen.  It’s a blur—sorta.  It’s also a product that sets your makeup.  It is supposed to give your face a nice finish because you can wear it over your makeup. You can also use it as a primer under your makeup.

Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender. As odd as it seems, this is really quite an intriguing product that does work!  It’s like a powder made of balm!

It certainly does give a nice finish. I like to think of this as a finishing powder for mature skin.  I can’t use powder to finish my face because it’s so dry—but this. I better buy another one before Mally follows suit with Stila and discontinues!

Ok–I’m 62 and the lines are here to stay. But–I have to say that the Mally  Poreless Face Defender does the job in smoothing the face a bit and  finishing off the makeup without a powdery, dry, look. VERY mature skin friendly!! Thumbs up on this one ladies!

My Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation was the one I went with today since I thought my post would be going in a different direction and I wanted to look extra fetch!   This foundation has never failed me.  It’s light but with a little build does cover and at $48, it may be pricey, but considering I’ve had this bottle for almost two years, it’s worth the money.  It’ll soon be time for a repurchase, though, because I did notice that I’m running low.  I better make a mad dash before it’s gone!

See the bottle?  It’s getting a bit ‘glassy” and the product is leaving me.  I will repurchase because I’ve had it for a long, long time and for a higher end foundation, it works!

Oh. I did manage to lose one pound this week. Trust me, I’m thrilled about that!  I’m at a point if I can lose one pound a week between now and the Holidays, I’ll be in decent shape to stuff myself at Christmas time! I didn’t take a photo because when I weighted  myself I was naked and didn’t want to run downstairs to get my phone. Trust me. I’m down to 144.

I also got some new hair this week.

Look at this hair!  Solar by It’s A Wig .  A Whole lace wig that is pretty- much perfect! Soft and natural.  And just about sold out!  I was lucky to get her!

Another wig I got lucky with. Model Model Joy. Under twenty five bucks on  I love the way she mimics my natural hair blown out!!

What did I wear this week?  Take a look.  I was sick with a stomach bug on Wednesday and stayed home to rest—so I stayed in my ragged pj’s.

Today I went with my $16 dress from Primark. I love it because I can go braless. And I’m diggin’ this Joy wig from Model Model. I did manage to put flip-flops on..

Yesterday I had a bit of an 80’s vibe with the bright colors. I did purchase this lightweight sweater at J. Crew Factory for our trip to France but it stayed home. I like this sweater a lot. Only issue I had was that my drawers kept falling down inside my pants yesterday and I had to pull them up all day. It was not a pretty sight.

Thursday it was a bit cool so I threw a denim jacket over my ten dollar dress. I wore my favorite Rondini Sandals. It won’t be long till these sandals get a rest until next summer.

Tuesday was rainy. And I  started to feel “meh” so I didn’t shave my legs. A maxi took care of that!!!

Monday. My favorite outfit of the week. Simple. Pixie Pants. Repettos and a striped shirt. All-season dressing. What’s not to love?

Are you like me?  Do you get annoyed if the weather report changes drastically after you’ve made plans?  Do you get upset with discontinued items?  Am I overreacting?

Because I get so upset over things like cosmetics being discontinued I need to pull out this CD again.  George Harrison. All Things Must Pass. From one of the greatest albums of all time. All Things Must Pass.

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Getting Testy Over Lip Color! Another Pet-Peeve!

Sunday,  I went to a baby shower.

Isn’t this cupcake beautiful?  I ate every last bit. Let’s hope I’m better at my diet during this week!

It’s been a long time since I last attended a baby shower, and next weekend I have another baby shower to attend—one that I’m looking very much forward to because it’s a family event and I hadn’t seen many of my cousins in a long time.

Anyway, it was an excuse for me to get all girlied-out.  I wore a dress that I wouldn’t wear to the office and made myself up a bit more than usual.

Without sounding narcissistic, I loved the way I turned out!  (Am I a side of beef ?). This dress is a few years old. I got it at J. Crew Factory but it was always slightly tight. If I keep eating cupcakes, it’ll be tight again!  I wore paisley flats and dressed my navy Longchamp bag up for the occasion in the Herme’s scarf.  I’ll touch upon my hair later in the post.

The shower was for a co-worker and the location was a country club that is in a very bucolic area.  In fact, I had to travel through some intensely rural areas of Pennsylvania to get there.  And on the way to the shower, my Smart Phone was very smart in making sure the directions were easy-to-follow ones.

The shower was held at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson, PA. The setting was stunning…

The view from our table.

Everything was perfect!  It was a great time!

A fun time was had by all!

Three hours later, the event unwinded and it was time to drive home.  I programmed my phone for reverse directions so that I would have no issues getting home.  This time around, my Smart Phone wasn’t too smart.

It happened just as I was feeling confident in my ability to follow directions from Google Maps, I spotted the two cement towers at the Limerick  Peco Power Plant and knew I wasn’t too far from the Outlet center that I’m so familiar with. I would be home in no time.

(AP Photo/George Widman

I never thought I would admit that this was a good sight to feast my lost eyes upon!

And then I made a wrong turn.  And another.  And before I knew it, I was lost in Three-Fingered Willie country.   All I could think was thank God this was summer and not winter because, with early darkness, I would have never made it home.

I was expecting Three-Fingered Willie to pop out on the road in front of me.  I cannot stand country roads. 

Fifteen minutes after winding roads, no other traffic and the thought of a running deer or lost cow in the middle of the road, I saw a sign for Oaks.  Oaks is the area I live in.  And I followed that sign.

By this time stress had gotten the better of me and as I approached familiar territory, I needed something to lift my spirits.  I was close to Ulta. So, I stopped in to buy makeup. After all, cosmetics always make me feel good!

I’ve hit pan quite a bit on this palette.  Now is the time for a backup!

After a quick look-see, I decided upon a repurchase of my go-to eyeshadow palette.  Mally’s Nude Attitude.

My new purchase of Mally’s Nude Attitude.  It’s so pretty and clean…

I ended up placing it back into the wrapping and shelving it for the future–when I hit pan on all the colors!

I have an extra bunch of love for Mally Roncal because she recognizes the older and more mature woman. She will always have my affection and business!

Miss Mally loves the older ladies.  I’ll always be a fangirl!

Then after more roaming around I thought it would be a clever idea to look for a mauve-neutral lip gloss.  I saw a tube that appeared to be promising.  The brand is L.A. Girl. The gloss, Glazed Lip Paint The price was right –three bucks and change; so, I gave it a go.

Looks nice–right?  A nice neutral mauve. This could be a great gloss. Extra-glossy. Ohhhhhh.

Arriving home, I went upstairs to change and decided to try the lip gloss out because I couldn’t wait. Well.  The color of the tube was much different than the product that was squeezed out.

Although the texture was right up my alley, the color was way, way off.

The color of the gloss was darker.  Much darker. I looked back at the tube and then at the gloss. And I got pissed off.  First, I was annoyed that Ulta didn’t have a tester. I know. It was the lower end side of the store. But still, it would be nice if we could see what the product looks like inside the tube before we take it home.  The “Blushing” color of this gloss was much deeper than any blush I’ve ever seen!

This is not mauve. This is not blushing. This is clownish.

And it got all over my teeth. Yuck!

I also blame the company for not being realistic in the color of the tube.  Perhaps it would make more sense to have a transparent plastic tube?  Is that too much to ask for?  It’s probably more cost-effective on the company’s part as well.

But this isn’t the first time that I’ve been tricked into thinking a lip color was what it wasn’t.  It happens a lot with lower-end lipsticks.  No testers.  No peeking into the tube. Instead, you will see a little plastic shiny oval or circle with what is supposed to be the color only to take it home and receive a shocking surprise!

This is a major pet peeve of mine. Be truthful in the color.  Therefore, purchasing a lip color is sometimes so difficult.  It is also why, even though I have over 50 lip colors, I stick to Chapstick! I know with Chapstick I’ll get no color—just a smooth looking mouth!

All was not lost, though. I decided to make this work. And, if I apply a lighter color on my lips first…

I don’t even know what color this is, but I thought the L.A. Girl gloss would be a match for this. Anyway, I wiped the L.A. Girl gloss off and then applied this color..

and then I applied the darker gloss very lightly over the first color. It’s not that bad. I did a quick job so it looks sloppy, but it’ll be a good look when I want a bit more color to my lips.

One product I did end up with and loving was the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza.

Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Beach Stick on the left. Las Salinas on the right. A great contour/blush combo!

I’ve been wanting it since May and the few times I ventured into Nordstrom, they were sold out. I was lucky to get my hands on it over the weekend. I used it as a contour. And I love it!  It’s got a little sparkle but not too much. It’s creamy and glides on smooth and blends easily.  All was not lost!

My Baby Shower face.  I took this photo before I blended the Ibiza contour on my nose. I want to show you how the color is. I blended in for a nice look to my nose.  I also contoured my cheeks with it.  I used the Las Salinas Beach Stick to blush my cheeks.  I’m very happy with this makeup look. Do you like my low-lighted fake hair? It’s Kimmie by Freetress Equal.  I was wearing her for the first time. I love the way she looks so natural.

What’s your pet peeve with cosmetics? Don’t hold back either. I wanna know!!! Do you get all over the fact that the color on the outside isn’t the same as on the inside?

And what little ditty could be more appropriate than Connie Francis singing Lipstick on Your Collar!


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Oh Gawd! ANOTHER Mascara and Foundation Review—and The Weight Loss—and What I Wore

We all know that I’m big on drug-store mascara.  Maybelline’s “The Falsies” is one of my faves.  And I’ve noticed the jump in the pricing of many drug store brands. I thought I was alone in this thought. But, one of my favorite beauty vloggers, Emilynoel83 thinks the same!

Emilynoel83–my favorite beauty vlogger.  We are on the same page with the pricing of drug store makeup.  Honestly, subscribe to her channel.  She’s so detailed when it comes to beauty products. I love her!

And speaking of Emilynoel83, I purchased two items that she recommends.  One, a mascara, seems to be getting a lot of love these days.  L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise. I paid $8.99 at Target. Honestly, I thought it was pricey for drug store cosmetics, but L’Oréal is at the top of low-end cosmetics so I went for it.

I shelled out $8.99 for Lash Paradise at Target.  It was three cents cheaper at Walmart, but the price of  Maybelline’s The Falsies has gone up over a dollar at my local Walmart.  Keep reading to see how this fared!

The other item that I tried—a drugstore foundation, is Rimmel’s Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation.  At $6.99, I also purchased this at target and was more what I expect to spend on a drugstore item.

I don’t really know about the “comfort” serum but overall, I was more than pleased with this. Thank you Emilynoel83 for recommending!

OK. So, on Saturday,  I decided to try out the foundation while running a few errands.  I washed my face, applied moisturizer and added a small bit of e.l.f. primer.

I ran out of the Hard Candy primer so I dug into my stash of unused beauty products and used the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer.  Don’t even ask me WTH “Tone Adjusting” is because it didn’t adjust my tone. But–it worked just as well as my other primers.

I applied the foundation with a beauty blender and built up the next layer with a brush.

NO FILTER LADIES!  Left side photo is me without the foundation. Right side after applying the Rimmel foundation. Hey. I know my lips are chapped. But  I want to give you a no-nonsense, full-light, transparent photo.  The foundation is very good. It does cover. Will it perform miracles and make me look 25 again? No. It won’t. Only a great plastic surgeon can do that. But FWIW, this foundation is a great choice for mature skin!

What did I think?  I’m impressed.  My e.l.f. six-buck Flawless Finish Foundation now has some competition.  Although this is lauded as a full coverage foundation, on first application, it isn’t. It’s sheerer. But as it is built up, the coverage fills in.

Oh the things I do for you — here’s another pic. I don’t have my hair on yet or my lippie but the foundation really does cover–you need to build it up!

The shocking surprise here is that this inexpensive little gem of a foundation didn’t look cakey. Granted—I’m 62 years old and my skin isn’t as smooth as it was thirty or twenty years ago. And I can’t afford fillers so I’m stuck with this skin I’m in.  But—the wrinkles weren’t pronounced and the foundation didn’t dig into the crevices of my visage!  I’m writing this at 5 PM and I’ve had the foundation on since around 11:30 AM; the foundation is still looking decent.   I’ll be wearing this more to further test the waters and will give an update—but for the Virgin application, I would say this is well-worth the $6.99.  And my face doesn’t feel dry!

Now for the mascara.  Let me first tell you that I didn’t put a lot of shadow on today. I wanted more of a bare eye to showcase the mascara. I kept it simple with no tight lining and a hint of shadow over my Well-Rested.

Well-Rested, which fell out on my natural lashes making them practically invisible and a minimal amount of shadow.

When I opened the tube, a rather thick-brushed wand greeted me.  I’m not crazy about oversized mascara wands because they are difficult for me to work with. This wand was slightly oversized so I didn’t expect much.

I was somewhat unsure ab0ut the larger wand.  I’m kind of clumsy and was afraid I would mess up the application.

Because of the size of the wand, I had to apply the mascara carefully.  I can be messy. No lash curler for me because I’m lazy too.  The mascara went on fine and with the first coating, I wasn’t all that impressed.

Twcoatings of the Lash Paradise.  Do my lashes look longer?  No–not at all.  But they do look more voluminous and thicker. I’ll take it!

After the second application, I noticed that my lashes did appear to be more voluminous. There didn’t appear to be any lengthening effect but the volume was on point.

A thin swipe of eyeliner and I was finished.

Once I’m dressed and put my hair on I look more human! My hair is “Copper” by Bobbie Boss–a rather nice longer bobbed style!

To tell you the truth, it wasn’t until I took a selfie in the car, that I noticed how good my lashes looked.  Because of the higher drug-store price, I want to see how long this tube will last before I need another one.  I go through a lot of mascara and I’m hoping this lasts over a month. We’ll see.

See?  I really look the way my eyes look–and the mascara did give a bit of volume so we’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks!

BTW, one of the errands I had to run was to pay a Nordstrom bill before Bonaparte got a hold of it.  I noticed that Nordies restocked on the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza.  Oh yes. I did–and this is a great little contour. I’ll write more about it in my next post!

Wanna know how my weight loss went for this past week?  It didn’t.  I stayed the same at 145 pounds.  I did eat (and overeat) the three meals from Sun Basket; the fact I remained the same in weight proved my theory correct.  Sun Basket is a fantastic way to maintain a weight loss due to the portion sizes!

Thank you Sun Basket. Did you have to be THAT good?  Oh..and a little follow up.  I heard from Sun Basket and they are going to bring up the subject of a weight-loss choice.  Boo-ya!

It’s all good.

This week had me kind of “meh” on the clothes bandwagon.  I’m getting the seasonal lazies.  You know what I mean?  It happens at the end of winter into spring and the end of summer into fall.  I’m getting a bit tired of the summer clothing.

Here are some of the past week’s looks! And in no particular order…

Yeah. I’m definitely getting lazy because I’m now on repeat with a lot of clothes. Still, these swing dresses are aboout the most comfortable dresses I’ve worn all summer

This’ll make a good summer-into-fall outfit. It was a bit cool two days last week so I wore pants–or was it leggings? And shoes instead of sandals!

I loved this relaxed look with the oversized shirt. I got this last year at Primark for next to nothing and it worked so well with these leggings from Loft!

Another outfit on repeat..but I love this swing dress too!!


I dressed it up a bit on casual Friday and went for yet another swing dress.  I gotta be real here. I love these sandals but didn’t like the way they looked with the outfit.  I was too lazy to take them off, though and change into other shoes!

And that was what I wore last week!  So tell me, are you veering more toward drug store makeup these days?  Do you notice the price jump in drug store beauty products?  If the prices keep going up, I’ll just go for the high-end. What do you think?

Here’s a new one from my favorite singer–John Mayer. Moving on and Getting Over. I’m so upset.  Mayer is playing in the Philly area later this month and I have nobody to go with. I wish  Oona was living closer by then we could go together.   Boo hoo.


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What’s in the “Kit”chin? A Bright Delicious Sun Basket!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Guess what?  The good folks at Sun Basket were generous in every sense of the word to send me a box of three meals to prepare, test, and review. And boy, do I have a story to tell you!

A wonderful surprise to come home to!  Look at how cute the box is!! It’s so happy!

It started with a Facebook group about food.  There was a post about the trend of meal kits.  I must say, the comments were pretty-much split on positive and negative—but, most of the negative comments were written by food snobs and food purists. I had an idea and reached out to Sun Basket!

How do I feel about meal kits?  Well—my feelings are basically this. If it is a good, and I mean a good kit (I sound like The Barefoot Contessa here with the good vanilla and olive oil), with fresh ingredients and detailed instructions, meal kits can be an immense help to both experienced and inexperienced home cooks.

Take Millennials.  Many of them are literally working over 12 hours a day. I know this. My three Millennials are workaholics.  And this demographic likes the best in everything.  (Oona just purchased a Sous Vide and is all over me as to why I never got one.)   Regardless. Between work, business trips, and the social life, when is there time to go and buy all the ingredients needed for a decent and fresh meal?

Millennials.  A great many are just too busy working and making money—especially with the cost of student loan debt to pay off.  But–this is a group that could do very well with the meal kits!

But— I also want to focus on our demographic.  The older and more mature demographic. How would this kit work for empty nesters who may want to try something new now that the kids are out of the house and time is spent cooking only for two?  What about older people who may not be able to get out as often?  What about older folks who want to try something different?

Yes. And many empty-nesters and older folks love to have fun, and travel, and enjoy good food–doesn’t Bonaparte look like an older version of Anthony Bourdain? 

And so today when I arrived home from work a huge box was awaiting me.  I was excited because I was intrigued about the whole kit and caboodle movement.

And caboodle it was.

Ingredients for three meals included these bagged and packaged for the pulled pork..

…for the salmon. And look how cute everything is packaged…

…and for the shrimp!

And look!  Instructions for recycling.  How could you not love this?

The recipe book–with lots of fun extras!

Look. I’ll be cooking three meals over the next three days, I’ll give my honest thoughts on the instructions, the process, and the result.

Here goes!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I couldn’t wait to get home and start dinner.  It didn’t just rain today, it stormed and the thought of sliders with slaw and corn gave me a feeling of comfort food.  Can I let you in on a secret?  I’ve never had pulled pork before. Swear to you. I’ve had barbequed chicken at the Salt Lick in Texas, but pulled pork is just one of those things that have eluded my palate.

Recipe book on the counter, ingredients gathered I was ready.  I followed instructions, which were extremely easy to follow. This recipe is a great one for a beginner cook!  Water on the burner for the corn.  Pork heating up in the vinegar sauce, with a bit of the sauce put aside and I was ready to make the slaw.  I’m weird when it comes to slaw. I’m very fussy.  In fact, my favorite slaw is made by my girlfriend, Marybeth DiBiase. Her slaw rocks! She should sell her slaw!

Recipe book opened, I was ready and eager to follow the very simple and clear instructions.

The meat, as well as other ingredients was well-packed!

Easy as one, two, three!

Slaw prepared while the meat was cooking and the water for the corn boiling!

The only change I made to this recipe was, in fact, with the slaw.  Rather than oil, I used mayo—only two teaspoons was called for so that’s all the mayo I used. The remainder of the vinegar sauce was poured into the bowl with the slaw makings and mixed.

The portion size was PERFECT.  And Bonaparte finished off the four sliders in no time!

Time to assemble!  I gave Bonaparte 4 sliders and I had two because I’m trying to stick to my diet.

Finger lickin’ good–note the corn juice on my chin.  Hey–it’s the only way to eat a good pulled pork and corn dinner!

Verdict—a winner!  Finger-licking good!  Bonaparte thought the slaw could have used a bit more mayo but I don’t like a very “wet” slaw. The slaw was very, very good.

The pork was tender and the sauce was great—had it been just a tad less sweet, it would have been excellent!  And leave it to a Frenchman to comment on the slider buns. He loved them!!!

Overall, this was a great weeknight meal. The serving portions and the amount of food calculated by Sun Basket were perfect!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s meal!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bonaparte is working late this evening. He’s got a late client meeting so I’m on my own.  Because he doesn’t like cooked salmon (But he does love salmon rillettes—it’s like loving crab cakes but not liking crab), I am going to make the Salmon with Snap Peas, Carrots, and Red Pepper-Almond Salsa.  I’ll be able to take the remainder to work tomorrow for lunch.

What’s in my bag?  All these goodies for a delicious dinner!

An added bonus is the nutrition per serving.  This should be an essential for every printed recipe in publication.

Salmon remained fresh.

The recipe, again, was concise and easy to follow.  But as I started prep work, I noticed that the nutritional value per serving was also included.  I quickly took my Weight Watcher’s calculator out and went to work as a points mathematician.

This dinner was 15 Smart Points per serving. On an allowance of 30 PP per day, this wasn’t bad at all.  I went back to calculate last night’s meal and at 22 Smart Points per serving, this warrants strong willpower of making sure you aren’t snacking during the day.

So, I did the prep work, which took absolutely no time at all.  And the Mint-Cilantro Chutney that is included–can I just say that Sun Basket should sell this on its own.  I kept sneaking little tastes.  There would be no more for dinner if I kept this up!

This.  Mint-Cilantro Chutney. Addictive.  Just. Addictive!

The fact that the ingredients were still incredibly fresh after receiving them on Tuesday was very impressive.  I cut the veg, and didn’t add oil to the salsa. In fact, the recipe did have a little tip to make it leaner—omit the oil in the salsa!

Ingredients for the salsa chopped..

Mixed and chutney added, I had to walk away or else I would have picked at it until it disappeared!

Carrots peeled and cut.

Oil was also not added to the carrots and snap peas. I added a bit of water to the pan instead and the vegs were cooked just the same.

But look at the tip!  OK–so it was to omit the oil from the salsa–but you get my drift!

Salmon in the pan and searing!

The salmon—the cooking time stated was 4 to 5 minutes on one side and 2 to 4 on the other. I like my salmon like my steak—rare! I only cooked the salmon maybe a total of five minutes. Period!

Plated and dinner tout seul—all alone.  Oh. My. God. This was definitely a winner!  This was better than last night’s pulled pork!  The chutney on the salsa and veg and salmon was such a great burst of aromatic favor!  The salmon was fresh, moist, and flaky.  The salsa—I’m making Bonaparte go to the store and buy everything that was in that salsa because I’m making a huge batch!!

Look how colorful and healthy this is. And the taste. I honesty felt as though I had gone out to a good restaurant.  This food is very high-quality!

Sun Basket gets an A+ on this one!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tonight’s dinner brings the taste of Brazil to the palate!  Brazilian Shrimp Moqueca with Yuca Mash.  This was the meal I was most excited to make. I love Shrimp and I love Cilantro.  I’m not familiar with yuca; I had it once many, many years ago but can’t really remember it all that well. Anyway, since it was Friday, and Bonaparte insists on his aperitifs on Friday and Saturday evenings, my one concern was “How long is this gonna take to prepare and cook”?

Yes. This would be me on a Friday evening pre-dinner apertif enjoyment!

Well, time-wise, it wasn’t even an issue.  Everything went smoothly.  In fact, Bonaparte was a huge help in peeling the yuca.  I’ll be transparent with you.  He can’t stand shrimp so I was on my own again—and my challenge was making sure I didn’t eat the entire two servings if I liked it!

Sun Basket had me at Cilantro and Coconut milk!

Who writes the instructions for these recipes anyway?  I want to kiss him or her for making the wording so easy to follow!

And the shrimp remained fresh!

Once again, the ingredients were fresh.  And just enough.  The amount of coconut milk, the garlic, everything in perfect portion, I’m still perplexed, though, as to how Sun Basket managed to send an onion that didn’t make me cry!!!  Thank you for keeping my mascara in place so that I looked pretty during dinner!

My eyes remained the same after peeling and slicing the onion.  Usually my face is striped–not my clothing, when I’m peeling onions!

Sliced and ready to go!

At the boiling point–and I’m not gonna lie. I was a bit concerned that the amount of coconut milk may have not been enough–but  it was, in fact, the right amount!

The yuca with the coconut milk cooked down and reduced wonderfully!

The yuca took the longest to cook.  However, after it came to a boil, I turned the burner down to the lowest setting, put a top on the pot and enjoyed two Kir royals.  By the time we were finished with the drinks, the yuca was nice and tender and ready for mashing.

Once again, I did not use the oil to cook the veg.  I placed about a quarter-cup of water into the pan and let the veg get nice and tender.  The water evaporates and the veg still cooks without added calories.

Veg cooking in the water…

Reduced nicely with no oil.

Shrimp added and I’m getting hungry all over again!

Yuca mashed, veg and shrimp cooked, adorned with seasonings and cilantro, I couldn’t wait to try this.

As soon as I get  to maintenance, I’m buying some yuca!

I’ll tell you one thing; I cheated with the yuca. I tasted the mash before adding everything else to the bowl.  OMG!!  Yuca is manna from Heaven.  But it is starchy. It didn’t matter—it was so good, I could have eaten about five pounds of this.  Thank you, Sun Basket, for providing just the right amount—you saved me from gluttony!

The shrimp, refrigerated, was still the acme of freshness after the third day.  The mix of the onion, pepper, tomatoes, and garlic was not overbearing either.  Everything blended very well to make this an enjoyable event of flavor!  The yuca at the bottom of the bowl was like a buried treasure!

The plated or bowled dinner!  And I was “bowled” over at how delicious this was!

While I was enjoying my dish, Bonaparte kept looking over at me and repeating  in his heavy French accent “Ohhhh, zuh smell of zhat eez  soooo  nice.”  “Perhaps you weehl give me a test ov eet  eef ou don’ mine “He was a sorry Frenchman—sorry he didn’t have a serving.  And he couldn’t enjoy a serving because I dug in for a second helping!

Yes Bonaparte. I DO mime–I mean, mind if you try to take more of my delicious dinner. I’m territorial!

This was my favorite meal from the box.  Whew!  Aromatic and not overly spicy.  I would make this every Friday evening.  I’m not kidding either.  A ++++

The meal was so great that I started dancing the Samba on our deck!

18 Smart Points per serving brought my total up considerably because I went in for a second serving.  Hey.  Sun Basket is to blame for my weakness because the meal was that good. OK?  I’m not taking responsibility for my naughty behavior.  Sun Basket did not save me from overeating tonight!

Now that the three meals have been prepped and cooked and enjoyed, what’re my thoughts?

I highly recommend.  I’m telling my kids about Sun Basket. I think all three could benefit given their devotion to their careers and little time for shopping.   In addition, Oona is doing the “Whole-30” and I think she would love Sun Basket’s Paleo offerings.

To all my Atypical60 friends—Visit Sun Basket’s  website and check it out (And NO I am NOT receiving a compensation for recommending. I am recommending because this is a great subscription. You know I keep it honest and real! This company has great product.)

Would I subscribe/join Sun Basket. That’s a great question.  Yes. I would.  Not at this moment though. And the only reason is that I’m trying so hard to stick to my Weight Watchers point allotment.  And while the meals run the gamut of around 13 to 22 points per serving, I would really, really have to manipulate much lower points between breakfast and lunch.  Especially on the weekends when Bonaparte’s aperitifs are calling.

But—Sun Basket would be epic for maintenance and I’m giving this earnest consideration.

I’m going to research the Paleo, Vegetarian and Glutton-free choices because I think they could be an asset during my particular weight-loss journey. We’ll see—it’s just that I’m so used to counting points that it could be difficult for me to go out of the box—so to speak!

At a price of around $11.49 per person, per serving, this is a very good value.  Hold on. Coming in at less than $70.00 for two people,  the classic plan, this is an excellent value. The value is even greater for the family plan.

For two people, Sun Basket’s Classic Menu Plan is a great choice! And pragmatic too!

What I’m really astounded by is that that there is absolutely no waste with the amount of food provided.  The servings are perfect portions.  Trust me, I go into Wegmans to do my grocery shopping and the pre-cut and peeled vegetables cost from five up to over ten dollars for a plastic-wrapped, Styrofoam thingy—and how much of that will be wasted?  I’m big on no waste and believe me, Sun Basket gets a standing ovation (with me stuffing more yuca mash into my mouth) from me on that! I’ve even managed to save the little containers the extras come in. They are great for keeping spices and other odds and ends.

Standing ovation for an A+ product!

One suggestion I do have for the people at Sun Basket is why not create exclusively foreign meal plans.  It would be awesome to open a box and have makings for old school French recipes, Middle-Eastern meals—dishes that people are intimidated to try making on their own, but may cook if they had the ingredients on hand.  This idea could also be a good one for our immigrants who may not have access to the ingredients they miss from their homelands.

Also, I would give up my Longchamp bags if Sun Basket could collaborate with Weight Watchers—those frozen WW meals are nothing but sodium disguised as processed food. I have many Weight Watchers cookbooks and truth be told—I’m too lazy to go out and shop for the ingredients. Sun Basket would be my best friend if they could do Weight Watchers kits and I believe would be wildly popular!

Sun Basket is one of the few kit companies that is USDA-Certified Organic in their ingredients.  Justine Kelly and Adam Zbar did good on this one when they christened Sun Basket in 2014.

Youse did good!

And that’s it!  I want to give a special shout-out to Sean Timberlake of Sun Basket.   Many companies are not running out of the gate to have the over-60 demographic test and review.  Sun Basket is not ageist.  And I love and respect that—a company with a social conscience that welcomes the older demographic group.   Thank you, Sean. Thank you, Sun Basket!

Many thanks.  Sun Basket is a winner!  

Since my favorite meal was the Brazilian dinner, I have the need to play a Samba!  One of MY favorite singers, Laurent Voulzy and “Spirit of  Samba”

Posted in Empty Nesters, Heathy meals, Meal Kits, Sun Basket | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Bonaparte and I Went to the Movies!

I’m telling you. This is a big deal. It’s been so long since the two of us have gotten up on a Saturday morning, run our errands early and caught the early showing of a movie.

It was epic. We hadn’t gone to see a movie in ….forever!!

Oh yeah. We do movies the older people way. And we go to the earliest possible show. Usually around 11 ish.  Why? You ask.   Well, for one thing, it’s less expensive and we get not only the senior discount, but the matinee showings are cheaper so it’s a double discount.

Another thing is that the movie is never crowded.  I can’t stand a crowded movie.

I dunno who this Shale guy is, but this is how Bonaparte and I like our movie viewing–in an empty theatre!  Whoever he is, Shale is one smart dude!

And it’s because when we do end up in a crowded movie, we usually end up sitting in a row where viewers hadn’t eaten in a week and decide that this movie is where they will consume every candy, every buttery, salted, greasy kernel of popcorn, in the largest bucket they can find, every nacho with gooey processed cheese-food and every large soda the concession stand sells.

This guy…he’s always in the row I sit in!


And they must do this in ten trips. Which means that ten times I should get up so hungry mungry can pass by.

In addition, if we catch the earliest showing, I don’t have to listen to rude gabbers talking while the movie is playing.

And this girl, she’s usually in the seat in front of me, but I don’t sit back quietly about it!

I’ve been known to get up mid-film and yelling to movie-goers to  “Shut the eff up”.  Yes. I have.  Ask my kids.  Ask Bonaparte!

Yes Niecy Nash. I AM going to sedate somebody!!   I paid good money at a senior discounted price. I want to watch the movie in peace!

But, I also like my Saturdays to get my nails done, write, putz around in the great outdoors—and going to a later movie just ruins the timing of the day for both of us.  I haven’t been to a night movie in years.  Wait. I’m lying.  The last time was at the premiere in Paris for “Demain Tout Commence”.  But that was special.

It was very special to go to Paris to see Bonaparte’s cousin’s movie–but it was very crowded.  

So anyway, we went this past Saturday to see the film “Dunkirk”.  This is the film that focuses on three different elements of the Dunkirk Evacuation, an unfortunate event that was a blow to Britain. I won’t tell anymore about the movie’s plot because I do not believe in spoilers.

The movie was great!  Visually it was beautiful although very intense.

What I will say is that I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of seeing a “War” movie, but Bonaparte really wanted to see it.  I’m glad we saw it because the film was fantastic!  It was a visual stunner and there wasn’t a lot of dialogue—there was no need for excessive chatter.  The acting was terrific.  Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead–they were all incredibly intense.  Harry Styles of the boy band “One Direction” was in it and he was great!

Cillian Murphy of the most beautiful man cheekbones of all time played a very disturbed soldier

Fionn Whitehead was great as the brooding Tommy

Tom Hardy stole my heart–but he always does..

Mark Rylance (with Cillian Murphy) had a paramount role. I’m not saying any more.

Kenneth Branagh had a role about as small as this photo–but he’s always fantastic!

The biggest surprise was Harry Styles of the boy band One Direction. He can act!!!

And here’s the thing.

Another reason we haven’t been to the movies in a while because the crop of movies that Hollywood is turning out is garbage!!

It’s true. Many movies are “Les Miserables” in the literal meaning!

I think we must’ve seen six trailers before Dunkirk started.  Only one looked worth going to see. The remake of “Murder on the Orient Express” Yes. Another remake but this one looks fun and entertaining.

I know. It’s been remade many times but this version looks like 100 percent fun!

Entertainment. That’s why I love going to the movies. Under normal circumstances, I want an escape.  I don’t want to be reminded of sickness, climate change, earthly or unearthly disasters or violence.  (Caveat—I do enjoy a good story about WW 1 or WW2 every now and then).

Here’s a visual from the movie “Geostorm”.  I can’t even….

I’m 62 years old. I don’t want so to see a movie for kids. I want an adult story. One with humor and pathos. And they are nowhere around because they have been replaced by movies about Minions and Superheroes.

Yeah. I get it. I know she’s empowering. But it’s a comic book character!!!!!

And I realize that a great number of adults love the minions. I am not one of those aduts.

And quite frankly, I’m tired of Disney movies!

I want another movie like “Big Night”—did you see it?  I highly recommend this wonderful film for the adult mind.  If you see it on DVD buy it–or rent it if available! It’s an oldie but goodie.

A great story and a great cast makes for a great movie!

The music was so great I purchased the CD and play it regularly.  Here’s one of the songs:  Claudio Villa with “Stornelli Amorosi” I don’t know what it means but if I saw it on a menu, I’d order it!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

What I’m “Hairing”!

For those of you who may not be too familiar with my blog, my life isn’t all about what I’m wearing.  It’s also about what I’m hairing.  I hair–or rather, wear, wigs.

My favorite wig–“Storm” by Model Model.  I have five Storms.

It’s due to the irreversible damage that I did to myself because I have a condition called “Trichotillomania”.   I have spent a lifetime pulling my hair and, in the most disgusting habit since nose-picking, picking at my scalp.

I refuse to be ashamed of this and I refuse to be embarrassed about it. It’s who I am.

True. I don’t.  I pulled and picked for most of my life.  It is what it is!

My life has been one of anxiety.  I’ve had twitches and nervous coughs as a child. I also exhibited some OCD. My parents took me to a doctor about my coughing and twitches when I was about nine years old.  The doctor suggested to my parents that they take me to a phycologist.  They did not and nothing was ever mentioned again. Ever.

Back then, it was basically taboo to talk about anxiety or any sort of emotional disorder. And to take me to a doctor—forget it!!!

Boo Hoo!  Back in the day, nobody addressed emotional disorders. Now it’s talked about but still carries a stigma!

And so, anxiety and stress became a part of my life.  And in dealing with it, I pulled at my hair. And picked at my scalp. It was a way of almost soothing me.  And it caused permanent damage.  Because of the picking and pulling, my hair never grew back. Add to that menopause and the natural process of aging and my bio hair just isn’t what it used to be.  I’ve lost more than half of my hair.

This is me every day.  “I’m OK!!!”…

And as I write this, I’m suffering from more anxiety.  The phone rang. It was a recording reminding me to make an appointment for my annual lady exam.  This causes tremendous anxiety for me. I have Pap anxiety, mammogram anxiety, colonoscopy anxiety, skin check anxiety, work anxiety, driving anxiety, weather anxiety, crowd anxiety, traffic anxiety (different from driving anxiety), error anxiety (I effing flip out whenever I make a mistake)  and any other anxiety that you can think of. I have anxiety if a framed picture or piece of art isn’t exactly even. I will go around straightening them.  MY LAPTOP KEYBOARD IS ALSO ANOTHER CAUSE OF ANXIETY!!!

This pretty much sums up my anxieties.  

Regardless, this is a post about the hair that I’m wearing.  So, let’s talk about it.

Wigs. They have a  bad rap with white women.  And don’t tell me otherwise!  Younger women, bloggers, and vloggers will extol the virtues of hair extensions till kingdom come –but mention a wig and the mean girl spirit comes out.

No. This says stereotypical wiggy wig! He looks like Captian Kangaroo for chrissakes!

In the White Community, wigs haven’t become fully accepted or mainstream. Wigs are something women wear when they are sick –that’s the stereotype.  And while that’s true, there are many other reasons women wear wigs.

Women do suffer from hair loss. Just as men do.  There are women who have female pattern baldness, women who have alopecia, women who have Trich and many other reasons.

My mission is to get women to see that wigs are fun. Wigs are cool.  And—wigs are convenient.  They offer us the hair that most of us wish we had.

Catherine O’Hara’s character, wig-obsessed Moira Rose, on the comedy “Schitt’s Creek” makes me so happy–she’s ridiculously funny and the fact she’s wearing wigs makes me love her and the show even more!

And so, I’m doing another wig post today about…you guessed it!! What I’m hairing!  Let’s go!!

Hair I am au natural!  I took a shower this morning and let my bio hair dry naturally. There’s no need for me to blow it out while I’m wearing a wig.    Toppers, which used to work fine to disguise the loss and now only an option if I’m wearing an updo, are not worn that much anymore.  I can no longer get away with “just a topper” if I wear my hair down.

My clean hair.  I’ll be honest.  If I had all my hair back, I would wear it like this all the time.   I dig my waves. But, take a good look…

From the top and the back, it’s not a good look.  I sprinkled some Miracle Hair Fibers on my head.  They work pretty well and are less pricey than Toppik. 

These are the two that I wear and have worn on a regular basis in the past.

This topper is by Uniwigs.  It is the Yaki Texture Topper in the 14 inch I don’t know if Uniwigs still sells the yaki texture topper anymore but they sell the Brazilian Straight. I have that too but didn’t take a photo–

As you can see from the photo, this topper does make my hair look thicker.  The only slight issue I had with this was that the color was not a true jet black and in certain lighting, you could tell and I had to play around with the placement of the clips all the time. But other than that, it always looked nice when my hair was blown out.

Next is the 18″ Enhancer by Tony of Beverly. I have three of these. If you click on the link, you will see that the enhancer looks ridiculous on the model but IRL it looks fine.  If you also scroll down on the link, you will see a review I wrote exactly a year ago. Before I went full-on with wigs. I wrote a few things about wigs I no longer feel the same way about. That’s because I became educated and did research!

Here’s the Tony of Beverly Enhancer.  The lace top is very dark which is great for no scalp peeking.  For the money, this topper is an excellent value and looks fabulous put up…

The Uniwigs topper doesn’t fare that well pulled up because the lace is softer and lifts like crazy.  This TOB Enhancer stays put. This is the one I wore when I fell into the ocean and it never came off–so I ended up swimming in it and never had an issue!  This topper is $55.00 on the Vogue Wigs site.

And now that I’m wearing wigs, I try to look for wigs that resemble my natural hair.  As I’ve written in past posts, I wear hair by companies that are geared to the African American market. This is due to the texture of my hair and the luster of the AA wigs. They aren’t overly shiny! They look realistic.  And they are affordable!

This is Sage, from Model Model.  I cut a couple of inches from the length but she resembles my hair when it was blown straight.  Sage is dense and has a lot of hair–just like I used to have.  BTW–older women CAN wear long hair–even longer fake hair! She is $34.95 on Divatress site–but shop around because she can be found for a lesser price.

Sage again–but in a ponytail.  This wig makes a nice pony but I did pull my bio hair out in the back and blended.  I also had to secure with more pins due to the weight of the hair. 

One other thing I want to mention about Sage. Although the hair itself is heavy and dense, the wig is very comfortable during the summer heat.

Here’s the stock card from Sensationel Empress Rita wig.  She’s on sale for $21.59 on

Here’s how Rita looks on me.  A nice length with nice density and a very light silky yaki texture.  Nice summer wig and nice for date night or even everyday wear!

Next up is Riley.  She is  $22.99 on  I purchased this unit from on sale for $9.99. I bought two.  I cut the length a bit. This is Bonaparte’s favorite wig. I like it but it isn’t my favorite.  I wear it to work quite often.

My newest wig. Samala from Janet Collection.  It’s a human hair blend. OK. And on the stock card,  Samala doesn’t look all that appealing to me because of the color–but the price and length had me intrigued.  Then I saw a video review from …

..TheHeartsandcake90 on YouTube and went for the purchase!

I LOVE Samala! And I’m thankful for that great review or I would have passed on this. It is a flattering wig and just the type I like–again, very similar to my bio hair when blown out.  I paid $19.50 on Elevate Styles for Samala!  Note–sometimes the shipping fee can bring the price of a wig up substantially–my tip is to check out ALL the sites for the best wig and shipping prices!  I like my shiny lip gloss!

Next is Justine from It’s a Wig.  This is my second favorite wig next to Storm.  I wear Justine a lot!!  I “justine” ordered another one!! I’m wearing her off my face in this photo.

Mmmmm. mmmmm!  Look how pretty Justine is.  Thick but not overwhelming. Perfect length.   Stunning. Just. Stunning!

I paid $28.95 for my new Justine at Divatress–and worth every penny because my first Justine washes and wears very well!!!

As you can see, I stick pretty much to what resembles my bio hair.  I also like the “no-style” style. I’m not into fussy wigs–just as I was never into a fussy hair style with my bio hair.  And I think that’s the most important thing to look for when making a decision to buy a wig.  Stick to what you would wear for your bio hair. Don’t stray too much or you won’t be comfortable. Then–after a while head outside the box.  I’m toying with the idea to go lighter in color a dark color with lighter highlights.

In the meantime, I have always loved bobbed hair.  When my bio hair was shorter, I used to wear it in a bob–but I’ll tell you, it took forever to get it right.  Nobody could cut my hair into the kind of bob that I wanted because my hair was just too thick, curly, frizzy and unmanageable.  I would get it cut into a blunt bob and set it in big rollers, then blow dry it and it looked great until the humidity set in–then it looked awful. That’s where wigs can also help. They can give you that style you always wanted!

Ok–so I know I said that I don’t really like a “do” or a styled style–but I still love a bob. Here’s a sampling of two of the bobbed wigs I have–and they ain’t easy to maintain during the day either. However, for a fun change up….

This is the Brown Sugar Silk Lace Bob BS 609. Another wig I ordered from Divatress. I paid $29.95.  It’s a beautiful unit and unlike a few other bobs I’ve tried in the past, this keeps its shape during the day!

One view…

..and another. I literally plopped this on top of my head so it looks a bit sloppy at the part, but this is a great, great bob!

Here’s a bob that gets a TON of love with wig reviewers.  I have to admit. This is also a great bob–Copper, by Bobbi Boss!  I got this so long ago that I can’t remember where I purchased–and I have two!  It’s more like a Lob on me due to my short neck, but this is a great unit!  The price point runs the gamut from $25.00 to $39.00–so if you like this, shop around!

Other info:  I don’t wear a wig cap or a wig grip. I simply put my hair into two braids and pin them up Swiss Miss style.

Two braids pinned up is what works for me!

And today, I washed my favorite wig–Storm. Here’s how I wash my wigs:

Fill the bathroom sink up with cool water and a capful of wig shampoo.

Brush the tangles out before submerging in water.  I use a wig brush or paddle brush–whichever I grab first.  And I’m not gentle when I brush out those tangles–it’s ok though, the wig is synthetic and strong…

Into the sudsy water, she goes. I place her in gently then swish.

Look how filthy the water gets.  I don’t overwash either.  This was three weeks coming.

After rinsing the suds out from the shampoo, I drain the water and refill with more cool water and two capsful of fabric softener. YES! Fabric softener makes the greatest conditioner for synthetic wigs.

Three weeks of wearing this wig and this is the minimal shedding….

Combed my bio hair before washing and this was my shedding.  …….Yeah.

Let the wig relax in the conditioner for about five to ten minutes then rinse.

Some like to blot the wig with a towel. I don’t do that. I simply take the wig, put it in a net and place in the bathtub.  Let it dry and then brush. Turns out like new!

Yeah. So, Storm is in the bathtub in the guest bathroom now.  I’ll keep the wig there for 48 hours to ensure it is completely dried. Then take it out of the net, give it a gentle brush and it’ll be good as new.

That’s about it–and that’s what I’ve been hairing.  

Oh. And today, I ended up wearing the Brown Sugar Bob BS 609!

In the car, running errands with Bonaparte. A bob was in order today!

Thanks for reading–and if you ever want to change up your hair–you can always do it with a wig!

OK.  Maybe to some wig-wearers are a cult. And that brings to mind one of my favorite bands from the ’90’s.  The Cult. And this great song that I almost forgot about–had I not been turned on to “Amoeba Music-Whats in My Bag” on YouTube. My sons got me hooked.  Musicians visit Amoeba Records in L.A. and pick out CD’s, albums, books they want.  And they talk about it on this YouTube show.  Anyway, one musician picked out a set by The Cult–and I went back into my memory.  “She Sells Sanctuary”. Ian Astbury rocks–and he can dance!


© 2017


Posted in Bobbi Boss, Divatress, Freetress, HairSoFly, Its A Wig, Janet Collection Wigs, model model hair, SistaWigs, Tony of Beverly, Uncategorized, Wigs | Tagged , , | 33 Comments