That Last Weekend of Calm Before The Holiday Storm—And a Few Easy Recipes For You!

It’s now 1:03 on Sunday afternoon.  I am enjoying what most likely, will be, the last relaxing weekend of 2017.  The calm before the Holiday Storm, if you will.  Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday and I’ll be baking all Wednesday.  We’ll be spending Thanksgiving at my sister’s brother-in-law’s home. They live only 20 minutes away from us and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.

Among the desserts that was requested was a cheesecake recipe that I had made for years.  My recipe was published in the St. Ignatius Loyola school fundraiser cookbook that the parents compiled.  I can’t believe I still have this book–it was published in 1992 and this cheesecake recipe is a great one.  It dates itself in that I don’t use margarine anymore!  Here’s the recipe for you!

I miss the Racanelli ladies–they were a lot of fun.  It’s kind of sad when you lose touch with people…

The book is literally falling apart but it’s my prized possession from my days as a NYC mom!   This recipe makes THE best cheesecake ever.  You can top with fruit too!!

Today I woke up a bit—well, somewhat feeling anxiety creeping into my bones and felt like spending the day in my bespoke pj’s.

Nah!  I did NOT want to spend the day dressed like this–actually, I did want to.

But you know what?  I can’t get like that so I did my makeup, got dressed and plopped some bobbed hair upon my head.  I feel better already!

I dressed in a fun outfit–simple but with a mid-1960’s vibe!  Let’s do the Swim or the Mashed Potato!!

Bonaparte and I decided to spend yesterday saving on spending!

Not only did the outlets have some big sales–but they had rather big balls too!!

J. Crew Factory sent me a coupon for 60% off items that were normally on sale for 50% off—so an extra ten percent was a great deal! We did some Christmas shopping and I walked away with a gray Teddie Sweater, the Factory version of my beloved J. Crew Tippi Sweater.

How pathetic am I?  I sent a photo of this dress to Oona with the message  “I wish you were a little girl again so I could dress you up like this” .   Why isn’t that dress in MY size?

I have to say, Bonaparte is so nice to me.  He called me “Mon Ange” yesterday because he said I looked like an angel.

What a man!  Do angels wear fake hair piled atop their heads in a messy topknot?  Perhaps it’s my halo! (And yes. I went out with my hair like that!)

Even when I look like something the cat dragged in, he tells me I look nice.  That was just very sweet and unexpected!  Others call me much worse!!

Seriously—I’m in a good place having gotten a head start on the Christmas décor in the house.  I can concentrate on the food and what I can prepare and bake ahead of time.

Last night we started our dinner off with Escargot—the remainder from the order that was delivered last week.

Ohhhhh..these little snails were so delicious! I could have eaten two dozen!

We had steak with an anchovy cream sauce and I made Brussels Sprouts with cranberries and a balsamic reduction.

That anchovy sauce is life. L.I.F.E!!!

And this wine.  At under $25, it was really good!  It smelled like dirt and tasted very earthy–with a bit of a smokey taste.  Me likey!

Bonaparte was so excited because on Friday I surprised him with his favorite dessert—Crème Caramel.  But, I felt like having a bit of dessert myself.  Naturally, I’m really trying to watch what I’m eating and I don’t normally have dessert.  However, when I was at Produce Junction on Friday, I spotted Bosc Pears.  They were 6 for two dollars.  Now—I’m not a fan of pears unless they are cooked and I thought I might make a Pear Clafoutis for Bonaparte.

It’s amazing how he never tires of Creme Caramel!!  NEVER!!!

Instead, I got selfish and decided to poach some of the pears.  I love cooked pears!  But I wanted to try something different.  Since the cold weather is now in full-swing, I thought it would be a good idea to try some warm flavors in with the sweet.  I added sliced ginger and cardamom for starters.  The recipe is below.

I only used four of the six pears.  I might cook the others and add to salad with bleu cheese!

Poaching away.  Some turned right side up while cooking–see where I cored them?

Here’s the cardamom.  

I store it in a plastic bottle.  This is such a beautifully aromatic spice!

Can I just tell you that when the pears were poaching the scent of the ginger made the house smell so comfy—it was as though our home had turned into a giant bottle of ginger-ale!  But the end result was terrific.  BTW, I did not add cinnamon.  I’m not a fan of cinnamon. At all.  It’s way overused.  And if you would like to try this recipe, by all means, add cinnamon to your liking!

My pretty pears.  This was delicious…

The remainder is stored in this jar.  I’m almost tempted to make a caramel cream but I’m seriously cutting down before the Holidays!

Back to Friday. My mind is always spinning when it comes to the appetizers that I’ll serve—especially during Christmas week. Oona will be here a few days before Christmas.  I think Jake will too—he hasn’t let me know yet what day he will be arriving from L.A.  I’m hoping Roman comes a few days before Christmas —but I don’t know if Fallon will be shooting through the Friday before.  Or—he may come Christmas day with his dad.  (Yes.  I’ve invited my ex-husband and his girlfriend for Christmas dinner.  It makes things easier since two of the three kids will be traveling pretty far—and everyone gets along so why not?)

Anyway, back to appetizers.  I like to make things that are pretty-much non-fussy.  For instance,  Rillettes because they can be made in advance.  With the bread that I make or with crackers, it’s a win-win situation.  Plus, I can take a few moments to enjoy time with everyone before I go back into the kitchen to finish cooking.

Pâté is always a good choice and many of the pâtés I make can be time consuming.  I want something easier.  I spotted the last container of chicken liver at Wegmans and had an idea.  I could make a chicken liver pâté!  The recipe is below for you.  I call it a “Faux-tay” simply because my food snobby Frenchman said that I didn’t serve it formed as a true pâté, in loaf form.  Anyway……

Don’t forget to strain the chicken livers before cooking!  

It was great!  He loved it.  This will be made in a few—actually three more weeks and stored in the fridge for Christmas Eve or whenever the family want’s it!

I like placing sage atop the finished product for that something extra..

The clarified butter really helps to seal the pate and it tastes good too!

This time of year really brings out the cook in me.  I’m no pro but boy, cooking is just so calming for me.

As I write this, I have chili in the crockpot.  I literally threw everything together.  Here’s what I did.

Chili in the crockpot for tonight!

Atypical60 Chili!

1 pound ground beef; 1 can kidney beans; 2 cans Rotel Tomatoes with Habanero Peppers; 1 large onion; 2 cloves garlic; 3 jalapeno peppers; tomato paste; harissa; cumin; chili powder; salt; pepper

Chop the onion, jalapenos and garlic (I pulsed in the food processor—otherwise I would cry because of the onion).  Put a little oil in a sauté pan and sweat all three till the onions are transparent.  Then spoon them into the crock pot.   Add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and the harissa into the onion mixture and stir (I used tubed tomato paste because it’s more economical).

HARISSA!  I LOAD up on this when I’m in France because it’s dirt cheap–I can get two tubes for about one euro!  Here is like four bucks a tube.  If you can’t find it, don’t worry–the chili will be fine! This is just my secret ingredient that is no longer a secret!  

Brown the meat in the same pan that the onions, etc. were cooked in.  When browned, drain the grease of the meat.  Then put the meat into the crock pot.

Open the cans of the Rotel tomatoes and pour contents into the crock pot.  Add the kidney beans—bean liquor and all.  Give it all a good stir.

Add the cumin (I add a lot!) and chili powder, salt and pepper.   Cook it all in the crock pot for a few hours on low.

Serve over rice topped with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

I can tell you this much—this chili has a ton of heat from the habanero’s and the jalapenos.  If you like a milder chili, get the regular Rotel tomatoes.

And that’s about it!  Hope you like the recipes and I hope you are enjoying this calm weekend before the Holiday Storm!

In homage to my outfit today, I give you…James Brown from the movie “Ski Party”!!! Part of the entertainment of this clip is watching the extreme lack of rhythm that white people have–watch the clapping!


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How To Wear Plaid When You Are Over 50!

Plaid.  It’s my favorite color!   Just about any pattern will do.  Plaid is part of my heritage.  If your bloodlines are traced back to the UK or Emerald Isle, plaid is your culture.

I just cannot help it–plaid makes me happy. It makes me comfortable.  I just love plaid! And will never stop wearing it!

As a student, I wore a plaid jumper and as I advanced into the upper grades, wore a plaid skirt with a blazer.  A white shirt, knee socks and loafers completed the uniform.  And to this day, my sense of style is based on the uniform I wore for so many years to Catholic school.

Back in my day the uniform shirt was a crisp white blouse with a Peter Pan collar! This is basically the look that shaped my style.

Growing up, there was always a plaid wool blanket in the car or stashed away in a closet to come out and give me comfort as I sat on an easy chair reading during the coldest of days.  Our home is presently festooned with plaid ribbon draped upon the banisters as we get ready to welcome the most wonderful time of the year!

I kid you not.  This was my baby blanket.  Yes.  This blanket has been with me my entire life! Plaid and I go way back!

I’m surprised the label survived this long!

Oh…and there’s just something so enticing and attractive about a man in a plaid kilt.  Dontcha think?

THE Sean Connery!  In a kilt. What a man!!!!  I’m sorry but he is smokin’ hot in this kilt.  This is man candy for the mature woman!

But—sometimes Plaid can go bad.

Plaid gone VERY bad! This is an atrocious look!

There is sometimes a thin line between looking great and looking clownish.  Especially for the mature woman.

We do not want to look like clowns when we are donning our plaid attire!

And as much as I love Edina Monsoon, she is a fashion victim in this Burberry get up. At least lose the hat darling!

Sometimes less is better and with plaid, that rule is solid for me.  Look, I know and I realize that we can wear what we want.  We can wear the short skirts. We can wear the heels.  But—there’s a way to keep it classic, timeless, tasteful, and age-appropriate.

We CAN rock the plaid kilt shirt–the short ones! And we can rock them with heels.   But to give a long and lean look–stick to tights and shoes of the same color.

As much as I would still love to wear knee socks with my short kilt skirts.  It just won’t work anymore. It isn’t a sophisticated look–and has a tendency to give off the appearance that you are trying too hard to recapture youth!

So—come along with me as I show you some looks that just may make you “Mad About Plaid!”

Look Number One:  Plaid gone casual.  This yellow and black plaid kilt  is from Sport Kilt, where the motto is “A Man in a Kilt Is a Man and a Half”.  Well, a woman in a kilt is twice the woman!  Anyway, for an absolutely casual, I’m-going-to-run-errands, look,  This yellow and black plaid kilt is paired with a textured heavier turtleneck, black tights and loafers.

Now–I know I said that shoes and tights being the same color create a nice long line–exceptions to the rules for me are boots and loafers.  The cordovan color looks great with any color tight and its just a casual look.

Even with the Weejuns loafers, it is an absolute age-appropriate look!

Look one.  Plaid gone casual.  A turtleneck and Bass Weejuns  give this a easy vibe!

Look Number Two.  Same Skirt. Different sweater, some pearls and heels give this a more sophisticated office or date look.

Same skirt.  This time with a more fitted sweater. The sweater is a Tippi sweater from J. Crew.  Heels give this a sophisticated look and make the legs appear a lot longer.  Black Mary Jane heels from Paul Green (these are the ones I picked up for a heavy discount at Nordstrom Rack).  BTW, I’m wearing a bobbed wig today. I’m training the part to go to the left–what a challenge. Wig is BS609 from Brown Sugar.  The pearls give a classic look to an already classic look!

For yet another look that ties in, black over-the-knee boots also look great with a shorter plaid skirt!


What NOT To Do.  When you do wear plaid, don’t try to fight a dominant brighter color with that same colored top.  The yellow top in the photo below is a great top–but it doesn’t work with the yellow plaid.  Too much yellow.  Plaid looks best when everything else is toned down!

Ummm.  No.  The yellow top just doesn’t work with this skirt. It breaks the line up and cuts the body in half.  Stick with the black.

Look Number Four.  Stick to a uniform look.  Ugh. First of all, I want you to know that I went to FOUR stores yesterday to look for GREEN tights to go with this outfit. Macy’s, Nordstrom, Marshalls and Walmart.  Not one store had green tights in their inventory.  So pretend that I’m wearing green tights in this photo.

Here’s a kilt with a lot of colors interwoven.  The red stands out–but green, black and navy are also in the mix.  This is where a bit of color looks great.  A navy blazer worn over a forest green lightweight sweater gives this a polished look.  Green tights would be the finishing touch–or a fake tan. (Geez, I really need to tan my legs! Again, pearls worn with a darker sweater just bring more light to the face.

Look Number Five.  The plaid pants.

Same green sweater.  Same plaid.  But this time. PANTS!  Ankle length pants give an updated look to plaid pants and heels give a longer look to the legs.  Fit is key here.  The pants are a slim cut but fit the curves.  They are also lined so they aren’t itchy.  This is a great mature look.  It is sophisticated and classic.   This is a perfect office look but also a more upscale and dressier casual look and the plaid works without looking clownish or like a costume!

Look Number Six.  The plaid blazer

This photo was taken last winter with my old phone. But I have to tell you–I received a ridiculous amount of compliments whenever I wore this–and from strangers no less!  I think it is simply because plaid blazers are not very common.  Add to that, I paired the blazer with distressed straight jeans (horrors–they aren’t skinny jeans!) and loafers.  Shocking that I have this plaid in a blazer, and pants, and a skirt.  But, I  wear each item separately!

What NOT To Do.  Don’t overdo the plaid with one outfit.  The look on the left–it just looks silly.  The plaid blazer with the plaid skirt is just overkill. It’s different with solids–solid colors give off a suiting look.  With plaid and prints it borders on the clownish and fashion victim look.

Plaid with plaid.  No.  Just no.  It needs to be broken up a bit!  

Look Number Seven.  A pop of color!

First of all, thank God I tried these on.  I gained weight because these are a bit tight around the bum.  What a time of year to start watching points!!  Anyway,  Since black is the dominant color in these pants, a red sweater brings a bit of  brightness–which is fun for the Holiday season.  A light buttery yellow sweater or black would work just as well, if not better!

Look Number Eight.  More pants!

Black Watch Plaid.  One of the most popular and more understated plaids around.  And also the most classic look.   This is a safe bet to go with if you are a bit hesitant about wearing plaid.  The dark colors in the plaid blend so well together.  Again–length is key.  This pair hits at the ankle and looks neat and clean.  Worn with navy heels and a navy sweater, it’s a timeless, elegant and serious look.  Green or black shoes and tops look just as good as the navy.  This is one of my favorite plaids.

Look Number Nine.  The plaid pencil skirt.

Where a kilt is fun and kicky–the pencil skirt is more serious.  It brings forth a no-nonsense look to office attire and is that look when you want to attend a country club luncheon.  (Hey, don’t look at me–I don’t get invites)

Navy shoes, navy tights and a navy sweater give this a no-nonsense and a tasteful and stylized look.  Personally, if my legs were tanned, I would forego the tights–even in winter.  But–that’s just me!

This hits all the notes for  how to wear plaid for the mature woman. I love this look–even with the tights!

I was getting tired.  Being your own photographer is quite challenging–especially when you aren’t that good at it!

Look Number Ten.   Another festive look!

You know when you just can’t get the photo quite right?  I thought perhaps I could get a decent shot if I laid down on the floor.  I didn’t.

Instead, I opted for just sitting down.  This skirt–Glen plaid, is the simplest plaid ever.  But, with a bright red sweater, it says “Holiday Time!”   And the great thing about Glen plaid is that the only colors are black and white–and some of the pattern is so closely knit that it looks gray. Really–any bright color would look great with this skirt!

Look Number Eleven.  The plaid shirt.

Who doesn’t love a plaid shirt.  Usually worn with jeans, the plaid shirt is one item of clothing that we’ve all had since childhood.  Now it’s grown up.  Pairing plaids with different textures and patterns is both tricky and difficult.  Here, with a tweed skirt, the shirt works.  A black sweater to tie it in with black tights and boots gives this a fun and flirty look. And YES–mature women CAN wear short skirts.  This is proof.  In fact, I liked this look so much that I wore it out to run errands earlier this afternoon!

I’m Obsessive About– Tights and shoes matching.   I’m not one to be incredibly “matchy-matchy”.  However, when it comes to wearing skirts in the winter–especially short skirts, the tights have to match the shoes.  It makes the legs appear longer and gives a lean look-I can’t stress this enough.  I’m a HUGE fan of bare legs, but they need to be tanned. And if you cannot get those legs tanned during the colder months, the tights work wonders.

No Plaid Overkill.  Save the plaid scarfs for when you are wearing solids.  Seriously.  Or stick to the same plaid as the skirt or pants.  Mismatched plaids do not look good!

Keeping it toasty and tasteful.  I wear plaid scarfs with solids.

He’s got the right idea!!!

Seriously. It is.  This plaid Lady Jacket that I bought last winter at a great discount from J. Crew is one of my favorites.  And it is a great jacket for the mature woman who can’t afford the famous designer Chanel jacket.  Dressed up or down. Doesn’t matter!

OMG. This plaid jacket is such a fun one. And very age appropriate!

Look what I found this afternoon!  GREEN TIGHTS!!  At Primark.  I went back to the mall on a mission.  My goal was to go to every store until I could find green tights!  I’m so happy!

The green tights from Primark.  Four bucks a pair.  Life is good!

So yeah.  With a few pointers and tips, you certainly can wear plaid while remaining classic, elegant, fun and tasteful.  And mature women wear it best!

How could I write about plaid and not include these guys–who are now in the mature bracket!  Bay City Rollers!

Plaid gone bad.  Way bad!  But I still love the song….

Saturday Night!

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Much Ado About Some Things!

Ok.  So, a few weeks ago, maybe actually two or three, I was in Nordstrom Rack checking out the discounted goods and I came across a cosmetics display.  There were some decent buys.  But the one that caught my eye was a cute little eyeshadow pallet by Too Faced.

In the past, I’ve had a couple of palettes from Too Faced and had been generally pleased. This was back when Too Faced palettes weren’t as pricey as they are now—and the palettes were smaller and more compact.

Thanks to mspurplemakeup at blogspot for this pic.  I loved this palette. It was small and affordable and all the shadows were used a lot!

This Too Faced Palette, I believe the name was Boudoir Eyes, was, hands down one of my favorite of all time. I hit pan on every single shadow. I see it is available on the Too Faced website. I think I will order because I LOVE this and forgot about it! I don’t remember ever paying the $36 that it is now though!

The palette that caught my eye is the Too Faced Cat Eyes palette.  Housed in a cute leopard print tin, this palette is nice and compact.  Three larger shadows that can be used as highlighters, three shadows and three wet/dry shadows.  This is a very pragmatic palette and the shadows can be used either every day or with a heavier hand, for the holidays.

It’s so cute in this leopard tin!

The colors are all great choices.  I LOVE  Tiger’s Eye!!

I’ve been using this regularly as of late and am just very pleased with it.  At $14.99, this is an excellent value—especially given the escalating price of drug store brands, this is a great little palette. (Note–it’s $32 on the Too Faced website)

See how nice and subtle the shadows are?  I’m liking this!

And in keeping up with the value aspect, on Saturday Bonaparte and I ventured off to IKEA.  One thing about going to IKEA is that I insist on going early—like when the store opens.  It’s just that it gets crazy-crowded there and the checkout lines are ridiculously long.  I lack patience.

Anyway, my mission was bedding.  We have a King-sized bed.  Bonaparte wanted to buy some new bedding and so did I.  But here’s the thing—we don’t agree on bedding.  Truth be told.  We can always find a compromise with mostly everything—except bedding.  I like bedding to be a bit on the funky side. Mismatched pillowcases, lots of pillows, throws on the bed.  He doesn’t share my affection.

Our present bedding.  It’s ok. I’m not thrilled with it.  I like a more mix-n-match, tons of pillows and throws kind of look.  The things I do for love!

He’s basic when it comes to bedding.  My suggestion was rather than get rid of the comforter that we presently have on the bed, to just get a duvet cover. After all, we have a dog. Chippy believes the bed belongs to him and if you have a dog, you know what that means.  It isn’t worth it to spend a fortune on bedding.

So, we get to IKEA, and thankfully, early because the store was giving away cutlery and big shopping bags.  This was a great and unexpected surprise for me because extra dining utensils are always welcomed—especially since we’ll have a full house for Christmas.  The addition of another big-ass bag for shopping is another plus.  Even if he didn’t find anything, we came out a winner with this free booty!

Certainly not a bad freebie!!  Am I right???

And I can always do with another one of these oversized bags for groceries!!!

We made it to the bedding area and finally decided on a blue printed duvet cover with two matching pillowcases.  I could make this work with navy and white sheets.

Well, as much as I love IKEA, the store’s goods sometimes get the best of me.  Whenever we get furniture from the brand, we always pay for the delivery and assembly.  It takes a rocket scientist with the patience of a saint to assembly the brand’s furniture and other larger items.

Yes. We paid for the assembly of the loveseat.  It would have taken us two days if we did this ourselves!

You would think putting a King-sized comforter into IKEA’S King duvet cover would be a piece of cake.  It wasn’t.  Apparently, the American king size is different from the Swedish king sized.  Our comforter was too big. I’m not talking about a California King either.  I’m talking regular, normal, basic king-sized bedding.

There was a solution though.  The downstairs guest room.  It was time for a bit of updating anyway.  My challenge was putting the Queen comforter that was on the bed into IKEA’s King comforter.  After an hour of matching ends up, and explaining to Chippy that this was not his bedding, the room had a new look.  And by the way, the queen-sized comforter fit perfectly into the duvet cover!

You know how dogs beg?  Well. I had to beg Chippy to get off this duvet. It only took an hour!

And our error turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the guest room. I made it work!!

Still, we needed bedding.  Bonaparte had an easy afternoon yesterday and we headed off to Macy’s.  I’m telling you, the bedding at that store is so freaking expensive.  Bedding everywhere is expensive.  We hit upon a one-day sale and ended up with a comforter set that we both agreed on.  And I’ll be able to make it a bit cozier with dark sheets and perhaps a throw.  Or two!

At long last, we found a comforter that would fit our bed. Now I can get rid of that other thing!!!

A smaller palette.  A bedding purchase gone wrong—but so right in another room of the home.  Free stuff.  It’s all fun and those simple things are what gives us the chance to make much ado about some things!!

As a side note, if you are interested in purchasing the Carrie wig that I reviewed in yesterday’s post, UniWigs has a special code for 10 percent off of the wig’s price:  CATHERINE10

It’s gray, and damp, and looks like rain may be headed our way so I’m going to get under the covers with Chippy and some good reading material!!  Enjoy the day!

I took off these clothes and am now in sloppy pajamas!!!

Hey. Does anyone have Windows 10?  Do you think it sucks as much I think it does?  On Saturday, Windows 10 automatically updated my laptop and literally, EVERYTHING was lost!  It was a deceptive effort to get me onto Microsoft Edge.  It took hours for me to figure out how to recover everything.  Then my video camera didn’t work.  That drove me into a frenzied state and I spent the entire day trying to figure out how to get my camera working.  I finally figured it out at 10:00 last night.  Technology.  As great as it is, it is absolutely horrific!

Here’s the video I uploaded this morning. And I talk about my computer issues and more!  Enjoy my rant. And look for Chippy and what he does!!!

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Let’s Get Wiggy With Carrie From UniWigs LaVivid Collection

The FedEx man came to my door with a package today!  In the package was something I had been waiting for.  A wig!

Surprise!!!!  And was it ever!!!   Read on to see how my surprise ended!

This isn’t any wig.  The folks at UniWigs reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing the Carrie wig from the LaVivid Collection.  The funny thing is, I was eyeing this wig for a while.  I’ve seen many reviews of Carrie and I’ve always thought that she was stunning and very natural looking.

Here’s Lace Front Carrie from the website.  This photo doesn’t even do her justice!

Now—for those of you familiar with my royal wigness, you are well-aware that I shy away from Euro-American wigs.  I’m a fan of African-American textured wigs because they best resemble my bio hair.  But the main issue I have with Euro-American wigs is that they lack density, look like doll hair and, for the most part, are very “wiggy” looking.  I’ve purchased these wigs from other companies and ended up throwing them in the trash because I looked ridiculous.

I was a bit skeptical.  On the other hand, before my hair loss became more intense, I did order toppers from UniWigs and was extremely happy with them.  In fact, I still wear them every now and then when I bring out my bio hair!

Yesterday I DID wear a UniWigs topper atop my bio hair!  It looked great and was nice to see me back in my naturalness!

Well, let’s look at the wig and my surprising results!

First, the wig was packaged very securely.  In the FedEx envelope was another envelope.  In that envelope was the LaVivid Box containing the wig. And more goodies!

The box was nice and compact. No wasted space here for the wig.  This is important to me because I store my wigs in their original boxes!

In the box, the wig came placed in a hairnet.  I love this.  I love this because I keep my wigs in hairnets while I’m not wearing them.  The head of the wig was also stuffed with tissue paper.  This is a good practice—to stuff the head part of the wig with tissue paper so that the wig will retain its shape.

This is the wig in the net after I took her off and before I restuffed with the tissue paper. I wanted to show you how I “shape” the bottom of the wig back into the net!

Also in the box was a wig brush, great for detangling at the end of a wear, a mesh wig cap, and another little package with two combs to be sewn into the wig and a sachet.

In that little package on the far left, where the combs are, is also a sachet.  This is a great idea to make sure your wig smells fresh!  The wig brush is essential.  I NEVER put a wig back into the box without brushing the tangles out.  Let’s face it–all wigs will tangle a bit after an all-day wear, if you want your wig to last then you need to brush it out after wearing.  The wig cap is also a great little addition, but most of the time, I don’t wear them. I find it more comfortable without it. That’s just me!

When I saw the wig, I was pleasantly surprised at the color.  UniWigs sent me “Brown Spice”, a gorgeous blend of brown ranging from dark to light with a hint of auburn blended in.  The depth of the color is spectacular.

This is how Carrie looks on me in natural (but rainy) daylight!  Bonaparte loves this color on me!!  The depth of color is absolutely gorgeous and I have a bit of my dark hair pulled out at the front!!

I figured that the parting space would need a good bit of tweezing, but upon inspecting, the parting space was perfect!  The other added benefit is that the wig has hard lace.  I’m a huge fan of the harder lace because the softer lace tends to roll back—and that can be annoying.

No tweezing needed on Carrie! Just a slight touch of face powder in the part and I’m good to go!

When I saw that Carrie had a left-side part, I knew we were going to be besties!

What I didn’t notice was that fake looking, Barbie doll shininess that so many wigs have.  The wig has a luster and a natural shine.  The kind that you have with your natural hair when you get a great wash, condition, and blow out at the salon.

The construction of the cap is stellar.  Trust me on this.  I have many inexpensive wigs that I love, and the wefts are not as well-constructed as on Carrie.  The wefting on the wig really impressed me.   A lot!

No skimping on the wefts.  Less expensive wigs tend to have less wefting, making the spaces wider in between the wefts. This is nice and compact!

The wig material is made in Japan and the wig itself is constructed in China.

It also has adjustable elastic bands with Velcro.  I’m digging this because I’m used to the bra-strap bands and they can sometimes be a challenge to adjust when you have long nails!

See the straps?  They can be adjusted with the Velcro tabs. I like that!!!!

Overall, this is a very well-constructed wig.

The lace front. From the inside!!!

Want to see how she looks on me?

Shades of Carrie.  See what I mean about the shine?  There is plenty of luster but not overly shiny.  I’m thrilled with her!

And the layers!  Oy vey!  They are so well thought out.  Longer layers are always more flattering and this is beyond my expectations!

At a price point of $188 USD, Carrie is not inexpensive, but she isn’t to the other extreme either.  She’s within the affordable price range.  I think Carrie is worth the money.

Do I have any cons? No.  But I have a couple of suggestions.

Well, it would be great if LaVivid had a wider range of available colors for this unit.  It would be wonderful if Carrie was offered in a natural black and in gray.  Many older women are going gray these days and many of these women have long hair.

My other suggestion.  LaVivid’s selections are shorter wigs.  And while I realize that not every mature woman wants a length as long as Carrie (I do!  I do!), a few shoulder-length or just below the shoulder length options, such as a long bob would be great sellers!

Albeir Awad, the wigs designer for this line is obviously a very talented man—please come up with longer selections!!!

Albeir Awad, wig designer at his craft!  

Below is the video from my YouTube channel.  It’s a fun one—because I was so excited that I couldn’t contain myself!!

I want to give a sincere thanks to the people at UniWigs for considering me for a review and I hope that I did good by you!!!


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Deception—Package the Goods Honestly Please!

Deception: The act of deceiving someone.  A thing that deceives.

We’ve all experienced deception.

Perhaps it was that boyfriend who cheated on you.  To make matters worse, perhaps he did so with your best friend—or any friend.

It’s happened to most of us!  Deception!

Or maybe it was someone who took an idea of yours and made it their own.

No. Stealing ideas can’t be legally taken away–but people do it all the time. It’s deceptive and dishonest and vile. But it happens to the best of us!

Perhaps it was a coworker who stole a project from under you, took all the credit and you were left standing like an idiot.

The look you have when you realized a coworker screwed you over!

People deceive.  People steal, and they steal intangible from you to make themselves appear better, bigger and more creative.

It happens to us all and makes us trust less. It makes us jaded.  It makes us a bit harder.

Seriously?  Yeah.  I’m becoming jaded with all the deception that surrounds us!

And in my deeply shallow thinking, one of the worst deceptive crimes is packaging.  Yes.  deceptive packaging.

It happened to me the other day and I cannot shake it off.

Who would think that a $6.00 bottle of face primer would trigger me into a frenzied state about deception?  But–It did!

I was getting ready to prime my face with my e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer.  I happen to be a huge fan of this primer.  Anyway, I pumped and just a bit came out of the bottle.  I pumped again. Nothing.  It was odd because this was a relatively new bottle—I hadn’t gotten it that long ago.  Perhaps something happened to the pump.  And so, I opened the bottle.  And I found the most deceptive packaging of my life. Inside the bottle was a cylinder. The cylinder was a very light lavender. The bottle, frosted plastic, gave the illusion of the lavender cylinder being the actual product.  Inside that cylinder was another cylinder.  This small cylinder was where the product was held.

After turning the bottle upside down, things appeared suspicious.  Cylinder one was inserted to make fools like me believe there was more product than there actually was….

Cylinder two–see that small, slender little thing of a cylinder?  THAT’S where the product was. And it wasn’t much at all! .47 ounces?  That’s less than a half an ounce.  At six bucks it is no bargain!

Now—there was no mention of how much product was in the bottle.  It was on the box that the primer came in.  Add to that, I never bothered to inspect the bottle by turning it upside down when I purchased it and took it home to use.  I trusted e.l.f. as a brand.

And after researching, I did find out that only .47 oz. of product is in this bottle.  More bottle.  More packaging. Less product. At a cost of $6.00.  So basically, the e.l.f. primer isn’t as inexpensive or as great a value and bargain as I thought it was. Deceptive.

I have another bottle of this primer that I opened. I will use it because I purchased it.  However, I will be more educated next time around.  This e.l.f. primer will not be a part of my routine after the present bottle is used up.

This is what drives me up a wall.  I want to see how much product has been used and how much I have left before I rethink a repurchase.

I’m visual. If I can’t see how much is in the bottle or container, then please tell me how much product is inside!

The Ordinary has great packaging. It is honest packaging.  A great many products from the company are packaged pragmatically.  You can see how much product is left.  And for the squeeze tubes, the amount of product is in clear sight.

My The Ordinary bottle of Hyaluronic Acid.  Look!  I can see how much is in the bottle. Same with The Ordinary liquid primer.  The Ordinary places many items in bottles like this.  

And when the products are in squeeze tubes, at least the amount of product is clearly displayed on the packaging!

I’m a fan of my Skin Actives.  I like products in jars. When I open the jar, I can get a visual of how much product is in the jar.

My jar of Skin Actives Dream Cream is almost at the bottom–and that’s a nightmare!  I need to order!

My beloved Je Ne Sais Quoi Vitality Lip Flush (of which I have three) by iT cosmetics.  I can see how much product has been used, and by God, I’ll scrape every iota out of that tube!

Chippy also likes this.  He tried to eat the tube but I saved it!  See how much product is left?  I’m scrapping that barrel!  I LOVE this stuff! And–I know when to repurchase!

My point is simply this, don’t deceive me with your fancy packaging. I’m tired of it.  I don’t care about your frosted plastic or glass. I don’t care about the ridiculous amount of money that was spent on packaging your product to make it look nice and appealing.  I want product. How come a company like The Ordinary can be a success without the ribbons and bows?

Be honest.  Be truthful.  Be real.  Be transparent.

The same goes for food items and recipes.

It’s that time of year when the comfort food gets placed on the table.  It’s also that time of year when I’m on the lookout for good, hearty dishes to make for our Saturday evening feasts.

Bonaparte has had a hankering for Escargot lately.  We used to buy frozen escargot in the shells from Wegmans.  However, and I think it may be due to some bizarre law that you can’t buy snails in the shell in the State of Pennsylvania anymore, the store no longer sells them in our area.

Bonaparte ordered these babies through the internet. And we got what we ordered!!!

Naturally, my Gallic hero did some online sleuthing and found them at Gourmet Food Store, an online entity.  This online store is amazing! He ordered two plates, spent a ton of money on shipping, and we received them within two days.  We had one plate last night and they were spectacular!  Earthy, buttery, garlicky little nuggets.  This is an online company to be trusted.  They were honest in their online description of the dish and what we received was better than expected.  No deception here!

Such goodness in a little shell!  Miam Miam!!

You can hear Bonaparte talking about these snails!

And then there was the Daniel Boulud’s Chicken in Cream recipe that I watched him make on Mind of a Chef.  It looked freaking awesome.

Chef Daniel Boulud  sure knows how to make a great chicken dish. And now it’ll be on my regular winter rotation!

With pen in hand, I perused the internet and found a YouTube video, but I needed more. I needed an actual recipe and found it on Elle Décor. 

The recipe looked inviting and Bonaparte, knowing who Boulud is, suggested I try it out.  His one concession was that I cook the mushrooms separately because Bonaparte cannot stand mushrooms. I had no issue with it.

I’m a self-proclaimed “Herb Whore”.  I can’t just use a little herbs. I need to use a ton. And this recipe called for a bouquet of herbs that was very petit by my standards. Still, I followed Chef Boulud’s instruction.

Bonaparte, who always must put his two-cent’s worth in, suggested adding Cognac.  I told him to go back to watching TV and that this recipe clearly didn’t need the Cognac.

Well, this recipe was fantastic.  Bonaparte agreed that it didn’t need Cognac.  I was floored at the flavors the small herbal bouquet added.  I was blown away.

I am sorry I didn’t take a photo of the mushrooms that I cooked to add to my serving but this chicken dish was incredible!  I ate one thigh.  Bonaparte ate one breast, two wings and a leg.  He couldn’t help it–it was just so good.  It doesn’t look like much cream but there was, I poured it into a sauce thingy.

Honesty in a recipe. And that’s why I love old-school French home cooking.  Simple.  Easy. Honest.

No deception there.

Tell me.  Have you been deceived?  Can you relate to what this post is about? Let me know.  And for your entertainment, here’s a very honest look at my home!  I have it on my YouTube channel and I know that I sound like a broken record but if you enjoy the video, please subscribe.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend!XOXOXOXO

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My House Stinks–But It Looks Festive!!!!

Oh God.  I’m sitting here at my bespoke office—the dining room table and I have a headache from the stench.  It’s awful. And it’s a good thing that Bonaparte is at work because he would get all “French” on me with the complaining. I can hear it now:

“Merde!”  “Cassee–whut eez zhat smell?”  “Eeet smells est alle pipi pipi!!”  “Wut deed ou dooooooo?”

 Yeah. My resonse to Bonaparte will be “WTF?. I deed nuss-sing!”

As if the stink is my fault—even though it kind of is.

This morning while getting ready, I decided to use a sample foundation that I received at the bareMinerals store at the mall.  A tiny sample, it be, and when I was finished, I threw the empty little container in the trash.

Chippy happened to be with me while I threw this sample in the little trash bin.

And as I was getting my boots on, I saw my little devil scurry past me and run downstairs.  This is his “I’ve-got-something-in-my-mouth-to-eat” run. After my boots were on, I ran downstairs, practically bare-assed because I hadn’t put my skirt on yet!

And there it was, in the tiniest pieces.  The remnants of the tiny sample of foundation. And some of the remaining foundation on the carpeting (just another reason why carpeting is the bane of my existence).   I had to think fast—because if Bonaparte saw that little spot on the carpet, Chippy would never be blamed for it.  I would.

And to make matters worse, Chippy jumped upon the sofa, unfolded the throw blankets and had the nerve to make a bed. Look at the guilt on his face!!

I ran to the closet and grabbed the first thing I could find.  In this case, it happened to be Nature’s Miracle.  This is a cleaner for carpeting—OK?   Only I didn’t see the small writing.  It wasn’t the cleaner—it was the housebreaking product.  It has some sort of ingredient, Attractant Pheromone scent that is supposed to help dogs to become housebroken quicker. And I didn’t even know we had it until today—Chippy came to us completely housebroken.

And here I thought Nature’s Miracle made only cleaning products.  Read the label.  This stuff IS long lasting. I can still smell it and it is now 4:03 in the afternoon!

And so, thinking this was a carpet cleaning product, I sprayed, sprayed and sprayed some more.  But while I was spraying I thought that perhaps the product had gone bad because it reeked of…well, almost of dog piss!!  I ended up cleaning the carpet with something else and then spraying with my lavender chamomile spray that I use for laundry.

Let me tell you something. This stuff works great on making laundry smell nice.  Not so for carpeting!


Four hours later I have a headache and the stench is embedded in my brain.

Yup!!! That’s how I’m feeling at the moment! Let’s hope the smell disipates by tomorrow!

Anyway, now that things are getting a bit organized at the chateau, I spent yesterday getting an early start on the Christmas decorating.  It’s weird because I’ve never attempted to do this before Thanksgiving.  But given the events of the past year—with all the mass gun murders and a major wacko presidentay, the need to have a cozy and festive home was tugging at my heartstrings.

And so, I went downstairs, got most of the decorations out and went to town.

I dressed the banisters!  The theme this year is PLAID!!!

My Christmas/Holiday décor is always kept simple.  I love the shabby chic and casual elegance but never overdo it.  It’s the little touches that bring the look together.

This guy was a gift when I was pregnant with Jake–34 years ago!  I tied a festive ribbon around him and made a bow!  

It’s in the deets!  

This hanging Longaberger basket must be almost 20 years old. It was thrown into the garage. Until yesterday when Bonaparte hung it for me.  I literally threw garland that broke off of a larger piece and little faux berries in it.  Looks cute–right?

Same thing on top of the cupboard!  Old garland and fake berries!

I added a pillow to the loveseat in the sunroom.  The two pillows at the end were already there..

Same thing in the living room. I added a few pillows to the sofas.  The red pillows? They were already there but with different covers.  Red pillow covers were purchased last year at Ikea for less than five bucks apiece!  

And the other sofa with the revamped seat cushions.  Take a good look because normally the sofa is covered in a throw and Chippy thinks this sofa is his personal space and bed!

Pillows and a throw were also added to the downstairs family room sofa. (Ignore the pile of laundry in the lower, far right corner. I do my ironing here.  

The red throw was $4.99 at Ikea last year.  The green pillow, $4.00 at Primark!

One can never have too many Christmas pillows–or white sofas!

This is my favorite pillow. It’s so old-school Santa. And he sits upon a club chair!!

This platter is a festive reminder for when the kids are here to make sure any food in the family room is placed on it!!

The downstairs guest room gets a pillow and a burgundy throw.  Very basic!

And by the way, I did some holiday décor shopping on a very low budget.  Michaels craft store was having great sales and I was able to load up on ribbon.  I also got two baskets for a total of five bucks!

Two baskets totaling $5.00 from Michaels!  I filled the top one with odds and ends of garland and tied a bow around some fake stuff I found in the garage! It made a corner of the kitchen a bit cozy!

A couple of items were found at the local Goodwill store for $1.97 each (OMG, as I write this, that smell is making me ill—Bonaparte is going to have a major fit when he comes home tonight.  What story can I make up?)

This $1.97 little vase/catch all is perfect for holding holly berries!!

Not gonna lie to you.  I went to the Dollar Tree store today to see if I could find greens for the deck.  No such luck.  What I did find was a plastic deviled egg tray.  Honestly, I have a huge ceramic deviled egg tray, but we will be hosting 10 dinner guests for Christmas.  The kids always request my deviled eggs and they are the greatest appetizer because they are so easy to make. But man, if I can just get away with serving them on a plastic tray, it’ll be one less item to stuff into the dishwasher.

I know!  I know!  I feel like the devil for serving deviled eggs on this plastic $1.00 platter, but I can toss it in the trash instead of the dishwasher.  Makes my life a bit easier!

I also purchased four red ceramic bowls—they’ll be great to use as little nut bowls and candy bowls to be scattered around but out of Chippy’s reach!

On second thought, I’m going back to buy more of these. They’ll make great gumbo bowls!

Add to the purchase a leopard scarf for a buck.  The length is a joke, but I can wear it as a fun collar!

My elegant leopard print dolla collla!  It’s too short in length to wear as a proper scarf–but for a buck–it’ll hide my turkey neck!! 

A bag of bubble gum as a diet aid was purchased too.  I’m back on track with the weight.  I’m tracking everything I eat.  I’ll be returning to weekly weight loss posts after the Holidays though. My goal for the next month and a half is to maintain my present weight!

Bubble Gum. The perfect diet aid. Although I prefer Bazooka, Double Bubble will suffice!

Look what I found at Walmart!

I’ve amassed quite a number of ornaments over the years but these were so cute and red that I couldn’t help it.  Check out the rooster ornament. I’ve named him “Bernard Le Coq” after the French actor!

Battery powered lights!  WHO KNEW???  I certainly didn’t!  This makes life so much easier!   Bonaparte will have to return to Walmart to buy more of these great little nuggets of happiness!

Look how nice–and they are timed!  They go off after 6 hours!!!!

Please note that the only other decorative items needed for Christmas are the tree, some poinsettias and more of those battery-operated lights.  I went through the table linens today and they are in the laundry to be washed and ironed.

With all the “house” stuff out of the way, it’ll be much easier to concentrate on the important things like the food and the baking!

Remember—you don’t need a ton of money to make the house festive for the holidays.  You can find inspiration anywhere!

From Jake’s MTV days!  This hat has become traditional attire for me during the Holiday season!

I’ve been dressing up a bit the past few days.  Thankfully, my clothes from last winter still fit so I’m ahead of the game at this point.

Yesterday’s look–Black J. Crew Pixie Pants,  Repettos, a red Schoolboy Blazer and the Brompton bag that Oona gave me a few Christmas’s back.  My “hair” is Shasha by Sensationnel Empress!

Today’s look. And one of my favorite looks ever.  Tan faux suede skirt from J. Crew, J. Crew tissue turtleneck and a scarf, also from J. Crew from years and years ago.  Black tights and black faux suede over-the-knee boots from Unisa complete the look.  My hair today is Kimmie from Freetress!

Here’s a very unique Holiday song.  It’s on one of the Christmas compilation CD’s that I have. I believe the CD is “A Jazzy Christmas”. I’m too lazy to go outside to the car. Anyway, the song is “Blue Xmas” by Miles Davis.  It’s so out there that it’s great. The video is a bit out there too!  Let me know your thoughts on this song—I would love to know what you think! Honestly.  This is such a beatnik song that I love it!


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It’s Election Day! Voting and Hanging With The Locals!

Today is November 7th!  Election Day!

If you are not a slithery, slimy, cowardly draft-dodging snake!

OK. So, it isn’t a major election. It isn’t the Mid-Term election nor is it a Presidential election (I can’t even with last year’s results…).  But, locally, it is an important election.  And I put my American Patriot on this morning, Americannot Russian,  got dressed, and headed to my local polling place—our Fire Department to vote.

Now—I have a funny story to tell you before I go on.

Saturday afternoon, I was in the kitchen, wildly attending to the cooking for the little feast Bonaparte and I shared.  My orange sauce was simmering, I took the choux pastry for the Paris-Brest out of the oven, and was ready to move on to par-boiling the potatoes when the doorbell rang.

Believe me, if the sauce wasn’t simmering, I would never have answered the door!

In our home, I’m the designated door answerer.  My Frenchman refuses to answer the door if it is an unexpected ringer.  He treasures his privacy.

My hair (real and fake) was up in a huge topknot.  Because I had been peeling and cutting shallots, my eye makeup was all but teared off. I was wearing my cooking clothes—old denim cutoff shorts and a stained sweatshirt. My legs were in need of some serious fake tanning. Let’s just say I wasn’t looking my best.

Because Chippy go crazy when the doorbell rings, I scurried downstairs, opened the door and escaped to the steps outside our home.

The person ringing the doorbell was Lisa Mossie. She’s up for reelection of her position as Township Supervisor.  She is a Republican.  Guess where this animated conversation went?

I’m sure Lisa Mossie will be victorious this evening because I live in a red area–but she’s wearing blue–so maybe there is a chance she will come over to the other side!

Anyway, I have to say, Mossie was a pretty good egg in light of the rant that I displayed.  The good thing is that she’s not crazy about Trump—and she wanted a different Republican to become President. The bad thing is she’s a Republican and is in the same political group as those vile members of Congress who want to take medical care, social security benefits, women’s rights and whatever else they can take from people.

Just like I voted for Hillary because I wanted my Bernie to become President. we did share a bipartisanship on our Presidential choices–even though they weren’t the same.   And I did tell her that I had a tremendous amount of respect for her but that I would not vote for anyone who is in the same Party as those who collude with the Russians and who are too afraid to stand up to that one who is president.

Truth be told, I’m not crazy about the Democratic Party either. Both parties have lost their roots and have become too extreme. I remain a true Independent—but I just cannot, morally and ethically, bring myself to vote for any member of the Republican party at this time.

And when all was over with our conversation, I went back into my home with a sigh of relief that because I looked like a total slob with my messy bun, washed-off makeup, stained sweatshirt, cutoff shorts and pasty, fish belly white legs, she would never recognize the properly dressed and fully made up me!

Guess again!

How Lisa Mossie recognized dressed and made up me from messy slob me, I’ll never understand!

You will never believe who I ran into at the voting poll.  I was on the line to get my little voting number (165) and to sign in when she saw me.  And came over to me.  She asked me if I had a change of mind.  And, in front of all the people who were working the polls and those on the line I said …

“No” “I’m not voting for you!”  “But I like you as a person!”

After Lisa left the room, the man who was standing behind me thanked me for speaking my mind.

It’s true though. I did not vote for her, but I think she’s a good egg.  She needs to become an Independent.

Thus, is the story of my local voting experience.

And so, I decided to embark upon a local morning!

With Chippy along to keep me company, my next stop was the local dry cleaner.  I had two kilt skirts to be pressed.  Yeah. I could have ironed them myself but when it comes to pleats, I’ll let the pros handle it.

Next stop was a small challenge.

It’s a challenge.  Will I be able to find goods at the Goodwill?

One of the blogs and IG accounts I follow is Jodie’s Touch of Style.  Jodie is on a thrifting challenge and I decided to stop by our local Goodwill boutique (I don’t call it a store.  I’m too sophisticated a blogger!)

This is my local Goodwill “Boutique”. I’m pretty sure it is within the township boundaries of Phoenixville!

So, I go into the boutique, grab a cart and start wheeling around. It was a bit disappointing because this shop is nothing like my beloved Red, White, and Blue Salvation Army Thrift Store in Trenton/Mercerville, NJ. That store is the top of bar for all thrift stores.

All this China–I got from the Red White and Blue Store years ago.  I love that it all has a history.  I use the little holly and ivy cups with their matching saucers for Christmas eggnog.  I love these treasures so much!

Anyway, I’m heading over to the bags, when I passed by the shoes. Now—even when I visited the Red, White, and Blue store, I couldn’t bring myself to try others’ shoes. I have a thing about getting Athlete’s foot.  That was, until today when I spotted this pair of pointy-toed, suede flats.  In my size.  From J. Crew. J.-Freakin’-Crew!  $4.00.

I tried them on. I figured anyone who would spend their money on J. Crew, made-in-Italy, suede flats, is not the person with Athlete’s foot fungus.

I need to clean these babies with a suede brush. I don’t even care that the tips are worn. I would have done worse in wear–I can be pretty rough on shoes.  I love these.  I. Love. These!  

In the cart they went!

Satisfied with my shoes, I decided to not press my luck with anything else that could be a carrier of a potential fungal infection and went over to housewares. After all, someone else’s donations are another’s treasure!

I found a cute red ceramic catch-all that could be used as a vase and a wall hanging.  Both were $1.95 each.

I may vote blue, but red will always be my favorite color!!  Isn’t this little catch-all adorable?

More red!  This time in a wall hanging with a clown and pasta!

Since Chippy was waiting in the car it was a good idea to get back to him.  Again, off we went to discover local!

Our next and last stop was Produce Junction.  This store has always intrigued me because I’ve often heard that the pricing on all things produce and flowers and plants are the best.  They weren’t kidding.  I ended up purchasing flowers, fennel and arugula for next to nothing.

Produce Junction.  I’ll have to get up very early within the next few weeks due to the Holiday rush!  Lots of great veg and flowers!

Two fennel bulbs for a buck.  It’s funny–I don’t like licorice but I LOVE fennel!

$2.50 for these lovely flowers…

Oh. Wait!!

Here’s a better pic of the flowers. I moved them into the living room.

Speaking of living room, remember the cushions that we dropped off at the reupholstery place?  We got them back yesterday!

Top pic. Before.  Bottom pic. After. And let me tell you, it is now a pleasure and easier on the back to sit on this sofa again! Pays to go local!

A busy morning and Chippy was itching to get back home to do his business.

And he was also eager to get back to his comfortable places–the bed in the upstairs guest room and…

His other spot on the loveseat in the sunroom.  He is watching over the 2017 Annual Rosemary bush that I purchased yesterday–at our local Wegmans!  I have to tell you,  this bush will be used for a ton of holiday cooking and will last well through the winter. When it dries out, I’ll take the dried leaves and turn them into a powder.  If you spot one of these at your local store, do yourself a favor and get one!  The scent is lovely!!


The little pasta clown is now hanging on the wall in the sunroom!

So yeah.  On this November 7th, it is still not too late to get out and vote.  Every single vote does count—and while we have our freedom, it is still important to make sure we keep having our freedom. It’s a privilege that others don’t have.  Please vote!

I wore my “I Voted” sticker proudly today!  It is my civic duty as well as my right to complain!

Oh…a few friends of the blog have requested that I demonstrate how to tie a scarf. And when I arrived home, I made a little video.  Here you go!


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Cooking for the Frenchman. Who Inspires Me?

Whew!  It’s early Sunday afternoon.  My morning started off very aggressively.  I cleaned the baseboards throughout our home.

This is not my idea of fun. I would rather be cooking!

Trust me. This wasn’t an easy job. I had to get down on my hands and knees with a toothbrush!  And three hours later, I feel as though the house is spanking clean and Holiday prep has officially begun!

The baseboards are now cleaned–as are all the vents in the house.  I want to paint now!

That expensive Ethan Allen sofa in the living room, the one that has been discontinued so I can’t purchase additional slipcovers anymore, had seat cushions that saw better days.  Considering the sofa is over ten years old it’s been holding up pretty well with the exception of the seat cushions.

Those cushions have seen better days for sure!

We did inquire at Ethan Allen if the cushions could be replaced.  And for the price of over $900, they could.  Someone would come to our home and fix the cushions right there.  We decided to shop around.

And locally, right up the road, we found an upholstery place!  We took the cushions there yesterday, at Bonaparte’s suggestion.

If you live in the Philly area, might I suggest saving this information should you need upholstery or draperies?

We explained that we needed the seat cushions replaced.  The owner zipped open the cushions and told us that they were very well constructed and underneath the down part of the cushions, the foam was shot.

Mr. Basile, assessing the worn cushion!

He is replacing the foam in the cushions for the wonderfully affordable price of $200.  That’s $700 less than Ethan Allen.  We pick our cushions up next week.

Poor Chippy!  He’s dazed and confused that his comfort cushions are temporarily unavailable!

It pays to shop around and to shop local businesses!

And Friday had me doing some sleuthing.  One of Bonaparte’s friends told him about a new “French” restaurant that opened up in Wayne.  La Jolie.  He was also told that on one of the walls, is a poster-sized copy of a photograph that his grandfather, Jacques-Henri Lartigue was known for.

I’m pretty sure this is the poster of Renee Paris that JHL photographed is the one in La Jolie!

Naturally, this was intriguing to him and he asked me to call the restaurant to make dinner reservations for next weekend.  But before I called, my wonderful Frenchman asked me to find out if the restaurant had Steak-Frites on the menu.  Now—since this is a new restaurant, there is no website.  This bothered me. A lot. I like to see a restaurant’s website. I worry if there is none!

We’ll be having dinner here next weekend. I hope the food is good.

So, with Chippy in tow, we drove into Wayne to check this place.  I found the menu in the window, snapped a photo and called for reservations.

I think I’m becoming French by osmosis because I am not impressed with this menu.  In a true French Bistrot, items like sweetbreads, brains, and kidneys would be available.  And yes, I am the person who would order those items!

Yeah. That would be me taking photos of the menu. How else am I gonna find out what is served since La Jolie has NO website!

But, as a new restaurant and pretty-much local, I’m looking forward to dining there. I’ll probably order the rabbit!

I’m not kidding you when I tell you how serious Bonaparte was when he asked if I could find out if steak-frites was served.  He lives for this dish and that’s how he judges any French restaurant.

Being married to a Frenchman is a very unique experience when it comes to food.  There’s food and then there’s food.  The meals we eat during the week tend to be very simple.  He works all day and wants to relax in the evening.  Weeknight dinners are quick and easy.

But when the weekend comes, it’s a different story.

We dine.  And I recreate his favorite French meals. Thankfully, I love doing this. Sometimes, he’ll suggest a dish that he wants.  Even though pizza isn’t a French dish, the French do love them their pizza.  It has to be a super-thin crust and with traditional toppings. No Hawaiian pizza with the ham and pineapple.  Instead, a simple Margherita pizza is the favored choice.

Now—I’ve never made a home-made pizza before. I’m not a fan of pizza.  At all. And on the rare occasions when I do eat pizza, it has to be white.  As much as I love tomatoes, I cannot stand tomato sauce.

Anyway, Bonaparte asked me if I could try making pizza.  I took the challenge and was inspired by his suggestion.  I found a great pizza dough on the site Epicurious, made the dough a day ahead and on Friday night, we had a pizza dinner.  Anchovies were added to B’s pizza; mine had home-made pesto and cheese.

Bonaparte was thrilled with the pizza I made for him.  This is a keeper!

I, too, was happy. Happy with my pesto pizza.  

The verdict?  B loved the pizza so much that he requested it be placed on a regular Friday evening rotation.

Last night’s feast was Magret de Canard, duck breasts, with an orange sauce, as requested by Monsieur Lartigue.  Now—I love duck but I’m not crazy about oranges.  I love orange blossom perfume, but the round orb of citrus is not my fruit of choice. Then I thought about my dad’s favorite meal—Duck L’Orange, he ordered it whenever he and my mom went out for dinner.  And I thought—ok. I’ll look for a recipe for the sauce.

Ahhhh.  Duck breasts!  I call it the steak of game!  I wish it weren’t so pricey though!

Overwhelmed by the huge amount of orange sauce recipes, I figured screw it, I’ll create my own.  And because of B’s request and the fact that my dad loved duck in orange sauce, both men inspired me to create my own sauce.

B’s only suggestion for the sauce was that it contain Grand Marnier.  It gets good.

Off I went into the kitchen.  I had my herbs, thyme, and rosemary and tied them together so they could infuse the sauce. Fresh oranges for the juice and slices; marmalade; shallots; chicken stock; butter; and Cointreau rounded up the ingredients.  Bonaparte was running errands and I couldn’t find the Grand Marnier. No big deal because Cointreau is orange flavored.

I reduced the sauce until it was a good syrupy consistency.  I tasted it. This was some good stuff-why hadn’t I been a fan of orange sauce?  When B returned home, I asked him to try the sauce.  His eyes were focused on the Cointreau bottle on the counter.  He went into French mode and was almost crying because I hadn’t used the Grand Marnier.  I dunno—he was mumbling in French that Cointreau wasn’t the same as Grand Marnier.

My Orange Sauce.  I took the herbs out before serving.  I have to say, this tasted pretty darned good!!

My face said it all, and he tasted the sauce without the Grand Marnier.  He loved it!  I knew I had a winner!  And when he asked that I make more sauce, I added the Grand Marnier.

With this I served spinach and the Pommes de Terre that was inspired by the restaurant over on Place Dauphine that we regularly visit—Chez Paul.

Did I mention the potatoes are cooked in Duck fat?  Last night’s feast!  

But before the main plate, our entrée was the salmon rillettes that I make that are inspired by Chef Eric Ripert’s salmon rillettes.

I wonder if Chef Eric Ripert realizes how much of an inspiration his salmon rillettes are for me.  It is now a regular rotation on our chateau’s menu!!!

These are always served with the Pullman loaf bread that I make on a weekly basis.  The bread, toasted, serves as a strong base for this wonderful and easy starter!

Home-baked bread and Ripert-inspired Salmon Rillettes.  What could be better?

Dessert was very special and was inspired by French pastry chef, Jacques Genin.  Let me explain this one.  I’ve been bingeing on the new season of “Mind of a Chef”—I’ll get back to this.    Jacques Genin has a patisserie in Paris.  He creates chocolates, sweets, and fabulous desserts.

Oh, if only this guy knew that he inspired me to make a dessert.  I don’t know how he would feel!

One of the desserts he is known for is the Paris-Brest, a choux pastry shaped like a wheel and filled with Hazelnut and almond praline cream.

Jacques Genin’s Paris-Brest looks a lot better than mine!  This is his!

Always on the search for a great Christmas dessert, I thought I would challenge myself and if it worked out, it could be one of the desserts for Christmas dinner.

I carefully made the praline paste on Friday.

I made a brittle out of the hazelnuts and almonds. Then I processed until a buttery paste was formed…

Vanilla pastry cream was made next…

I whipped the pastry cream and added the praline paste. Then I whipped heavy cream and folded the two to get this luscious praline cream filling!

The choux pastry before the oven and after baking.  Then I split the “wheel” in half and filled with the cream!

Yesterday I made the choux pastry and after dinner filled it.  OK. So, it didn’t turn out looking as beautiful as Jacques Genin’s, but it tasted great and the praline cream was freaking amazeballs!  This dessert was a hit with my Frenchman and I will be making it for Christmas.  Now that I can say I’ve worked out any glitches, I know the next one will be more beautiful to the eyes!

The finished Paris-Brest.  It isn’t perfect, but the taste was incredible!  I’m proud of myself for this one…

The praline cream was so good that I’ll be making more to fill some cream puffs that I’ve got in the freezer!



Don’t ever be afraid to try this.  I got the recipe from Epicurious but I will be tweaking the next one. I want the cream to be a bit thicker! Epicurious Paris Brest recipe.

Genin’s inspiration came from Season Five of “Mind of a Chef”. This season’s focus is on Chef Ludo Lefebvre. However, when I saw that Paris-Brest dessert, I had to try making it.

It’s funny because Bonaparte reminded me that my first attempt at making his favorite dessert of all time, Crème Caramel, was a complete fail. So was the second and third and fourth.  For some reason, I just could not get the caramel right nor could I get the baking time correct.  The fifth attempt was a charm.  I took my time and realized not all ovens are alike. I adjusted the cooking time and the result was a perfect crème caramel—which I regularly make without thinking!

Creme Caramel.  I thought I would never get this right–and after a few attempts, I did! Don’t give up!

It takes time and practice, practice, practice until you get it right!  And when you are both determined and married to a Frenchman, you try until you do get it right!  I’m French-trained–by Bonaparte!

Chef Ludo Lefebvre and his cute-as-a-button wife, Kristine.  Hey. She knows what it’s like to be married to a Frenchman!  

Hmmmm….who will be my inspiration for tonight?

Tonight’s inspiration will be from Chef Ludo.

Besides his great cooking, I’ve never seen a Frenchman with teeth as perfect has Chef Ludo’s!!!

His omelette.  French style. There are no brown edges or an overdone middle in this recipe.  It is a barely cooked in the center and the outside of the omelette is shiny and yellow.  The middle filled with Boursin cheese.  Sounds easy but it isn’t.  It’s a feat to get that omelette to undercooked perfection. And that’s ok because I’ve got a dozen eggs that I can practice on!

I’m wondering if perfecting this omelette will take as many times as perfecting my creme caramel?  I hope not!

 Some food for thought–who inspires you to cook?  Are you inspired by others to cook?

Here’s a great video. It’s Chef Ludo with Jacques Genin and his Paris Brest.  From Season 5 of “Mind of a Chef”.  I highly suggest watching this season on Netflix. You’ll end up bingeing!


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Time To Do (Home) Work

Let it be known that I am not the most organized person on earth.  It’s weird because when I lived in New Jersey, I was very obsessive about the appearance and cleanliness of my home.  I’m pretty sure that it’s been mentioned in past blog posts that I vacuumed the house twice a day because of the dogs.

Twice a day baby. That was me. Vacuuming was even more important than getting my lip waxed!

 I also got down on my hands and knees three times a day to scrub the kitchen floor.

Just call me “momderella”!!

Those days are gone. I love a clean home—don’t get me wrong. In fact, next week I’ll be scrubbing all the baseboards in the house to prepare for Holiday cleaning.  But the fact is, I’m terribly disorganized.

This would be me. Too impatient to do things the correct way and my shortcuts never work out!

You can be clean and still be disorganized.  I’m a closet slob. No matter how much I try, the disorganization gene just overpowers any attempt to be perfectly organized.

But my disorganization came to a climax yesterday and I couldn’t take it anymore.  My closet hadn’t been seasonally purged in over a year.  Yes. It’s true.  And even though I’m not a capsule wardrobe woman, a good amount of my wardrobe needed to be encapsulated.  In bins.

It is true. I’m disgraceful.  I couldn’t even FIND clothes in this closet. Something had to be done!

Think about it.  Why would I get rid of future “vintage” clothing?

And now that I’m “Bullet Journaling”, I jotted down things that I had to do.

Like, get plastic bins to store the clothing away.  And go to David’s Tea to refill my Lapsang Souchong Black Tea.

Hands down, THE best tea on earth. It is so smoky and strong and delicious. I love this stuff!

With Chippy in the car, off we went to begin my transformation of disorganization.

I don’t think Chippy wanted to go to the mall–he’d rather be playing ball!

First stop was King of Prussia Mall—that’s where David’s Tea is located.  I parked the car in my usual spot in the covered parking lot by Nordstrom.  I rolled the windows down to a safety measure so that Chippy would have plenty of air. God forbid a do-gooder; dog police extremist should hear his bark.

And as I stepped out of the car, Chippy started to cry.  Trust me, I’ve been around dogs long enough to know the difference between a bark and a dog cry.  Obviously, my baby didn’t like the covered parking lot.

I needed my tea.  The only solution was to bring Chippy with me.  I could always use the explanation that he’s a service dog but ate his little “Service Dog” cover.

Luckily, dogs are quite welcomed at the KOP mall!  And I was thrilled that my little man was behaving.  David’s Tea is on the upper level.  Chippy refused to go on the escalator so we were elevated instead—which he loved.

My little flirt had the best time at David’s where he made a couple of friends.

Look how happy Chippy is.  Trust me,  the thought crossed my mind to have this nice woman from David’s dog sit while I went shopping with money I don’t have!

Tea in hand, I decided to see if he would be welcomed at J. Crew!  Oh. Happy. Day!  He was the center of attention at my favorite store.  Now I know that Chippy can be my new shopping partner!

Back in the car, Chippy satisfied because he was able to wrap the entire world around his paw and we were off to get my bins.

Ahhhh Walmart!  Black bins, which I’m assuming are to be used to store Halloween decorations and costumes, were in the Halloween clearance section for $5 each. I bought two.

These five buck bins held more than you would think.  I was so happy to place my future “vintage” clothing in these things!

Back home and ready to purge.

And what did I notice?  Jesus fell off the cross.

My buddy Jesus fell off the cross!  Look at the hole in his hand. NO WAY was I putting nails through his hands to attach him back on that cross.  Jesus–you’s a free man now!

Let me explain.  I have a very old crucifix.  It belonged to my parents.  When you slide the top of the crucifix down there is a hole on each side to place candles and there is a small bottle of Holy Water.  I never got around to hanging it because it is old and I’m afraid that I’ll bump into it, it’ll fall and get ruined.

The poor thing was no better left in the bowels of my closet.  I guess the nails were so brittle that they gave way and Jesus fell off the cross.  I’m afraid to nail him back onto it.  It’s that Catholic Guilt and fear.

We’ll get back to Jesus in a bit.

Anyway, I took all the summer clothes out and rolled some of them and folded others into the bins.  I also went into a chest of drawers and continued my purge.

Two bins–filled to the brim.  And they are now in the garage that I need to clean!

There is such a feeling of accomplishment when organization takes place—even when you are of the organizational-challenged group of people in this world, you can still get that special feeling!

Look how nice my closet is now!  Dresses, pants, and skirts on one side and shirts on the other.  Can you see how much I love plaid?

It hasn’t stopped there either.   I decided that we need to purge our garage.  We moved into our home three years ago.  And to date, we have not tackled the garage.

I’m seriously tempted to call the Junk Man and have him take everything away!  Ugh.  The thought of tackling this makes me want a few shots of Bourbon!

Today I went out and purchased a heavy-duty work light because the lighting in the garage sucks.  It’s going to be an all-day chore to purge this non-room but the good thing is that’ll be great exercise!

The nice man from Walmart was so kind to me. He told me to MAKE SURE I keep the receipt and RETURN the light after I use it and say that it didn’t work right!  I love the kindness of strangers!  This is true. Gotta love Walmart!

It’s now late Friday afternoon.  Bonaparte just arrived home and tonight after aperitifs, I will attempt to make home-made pizza.   Tomorrow’s feast will be Magret de Canard with an Orange sauce and for dessert, I’m giving the French dessert, Paris-Brest a go.  (Click the name–its the Epicurious recipe and I’m using it!)

My Paris-Brest won’t look as good as this!!! But–I’ll try until I get it right!

Stay tuned…….

In the meantime, I made a video yesterday about styling skinny jeans. And if I keep cooking like this, I won’t be wearing skinny jeans for long!

OH!!! Back to Jesus.  He’s lying on his cross—not nailed!  And he’s resting atop one of my J. Crew shoeboxes!

He is now at rest watching over my shoes! 

Tell me.  Are you a closet slob?  Are you as disorganized as I am?  Please let us know!!!!

Enjoy the weekend!! XOXOXOXO  And enjoy my ill-fitting wig as I style skinny jeans!!!

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When the Deeply Shallow is Stressed, She Watches TV

My apologies for being lost in action the past few days.  Truth be told, I’ve been stressed.

How stressed was I?  I ate five Kit Kat bars and four Heath Bars from the stash of Halloween candy.  I gained 5 pounds, which I thought was going to be more.  So now I’m back to counting points and being choosy about carbs and dairy.

Those Heath Bars–I ate more than I stated.  Kit Kats too.  I’m now back to counting points and calories.  I need to cut on the carbs too! But, I’ll admit. Halloween candy is the best for stress-eating!

Being out of work basically, sucks.  It sucks not because I don’t have a current job, but it sucks because I have no steady income.

Buh bye money honey.  I miss you–but that’s about all I miss!

And the worst part is that I told the boys and Oona that it would be a good idea if we didn’t exchange Christmas gifts this year because I just can’t afford to do so.  With no disposable income, everything is going toward the mortgage, car payments, my affordable health care, utility bills, insurance for the automobiles, and food.

Actually, the worst part of that was the fact that all three kids were fine with it.  All three said there wasn’t anything they wanted except to be together during the Holidays.  I’m blessed.

Add to that, I’m not networking very well.  I haven’t as much as wrote a sentence for my book, my YouTube channel is absolutely horrific because I lack the skills to edit and script, and my lack of subscribers makes marketing the blog very difficult.

What’s a deeply shallow individual supposed to do when the unsuccessful life she leads makes her stressed?

Yeah, well, besides a nap I need a good weekend of binge-watching TV!!!  Get the tee shirt and jeans off and get the PJ’s on!

Why—she watches TV!!! That’s what she does I did I’ve been doing!!!

And my new favorite TV show is “At Home With Amy Sedaris”.  It’s only three episodes in and already it’s a bag of chips and more!

Amy is the perfect next door neighbor. She can do EVERYTHING!!!!!

I love Amy Sedaris.  (Did I mention that her brother, David is my favorite author?)

Amy, a cute elfin sprite of a woman, had a show some years back.  The show was “Strangers With Candy”. In a nutshell, the show was about a woman, Jerri Blank. Jerri was a runaway.  An ex-con and drug addict, if you will.  She returns home to Flatpoint at the age of 47 and returns to high school—as a Freshman.  The show was hysterically funny—or at least it hit my humor button. And I was hooked and watched every episode.  I also love the fact that Sedaris isn’t afraid to make herself look less than beautiful.

Sedaris as Jerri Blank in the show “Strangers With Candy”.  I need to binge watch this again!

Anyway, her new show is Pee-Wee’s Playhouse for grown women! She lives in a cute almost animated looking house.  It’s colorful and fun.  She does crafts—just like Katie Brown and Martha Stewart.

I can’t WAIT for Amy’s Christmas Crafting!  Look!  Jane Krakowski is helping her.  Amy has such cool friends!

She cooks—just like The Barefoot Contessa and Martha Stewart.

27056_003 At Home with Amy Sedaris 102 – Alison Rosa

Dare I attempt to make this Shrimp and Olive tree the next times we have guests?   Amy has the happiest kitchen!

  She has “friends” who stop by—like Stephen Colbert and Paul Giamatti.  (My favorite one, though is Nick Kroll—playing the creepiest but funniest guy trying to get into Amy’s pants).

That Amy, she gifted Stephen Colbert with a raisin necklace and an ice cream she made–all because he sat her turtle!!

Nick Kroll is so hip.  Does this scene look familiar?  Amy is teaching Nick how to make an ice cream cake. Things are getting awfully hot–hope that ice cream doesn’t melt!!

Paul Giamatti was a very naughty businessman who stayed beyond dinner time at Amy’s house!  Ohlala!!!

She is bubbly and effervescent and always positive. And that is why I love this show so much.  It makes me laugh at my own lack of perfection and my attempts to be the perfect hostess/crafter/cook.

She even covers skin care–just like you-know-who!!!

And sometimes things go wrong–but look at that chair.  I want it!

Overall, she’s a cross between Donna Reed and June Cleaver!  Sort of….

I wish Amy Sedaris was my friend! And thanks to Amy, I channeled her and made a five-minute Christmas wreath that is now ready to be hung in the house!  I hope Bonaparte likes it!

Before…a twig wreath, cranberry embellishments and plaid ribbon. All less than $12!

After.  My five-minute wreath.  No hot glue needed either!  Easy Peasy.  I can’t wait to hang this up!

And I’ve binged on Fuller House.  YES!!! I did!  I spent last Sunday in bed.  All day. Watching Seasons Two and the first half of Season Three.

There is a special place in my heart for “Fuller House”.  This is a continuation of the wonderful “Full House”.  It takes place where Full House left off—only years later.

Just when you think TV can’t get any cornier–it does!  But in the best way!

And Fuller House is even more corny than the original.  There are “ohhhhhs” and “awwwws” and enough canned laughter to last through a nuclear holocaust.  It is rife with dopey innuendo and the most cloyingly precocious children.  Danny Tanner, Uncle Joey, Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky make appearances.  And Aunt Becky looks fabulous. It’s not fair.

Oh yes.  The New Kids On The Block choreography as well as NKOTB are back this season!

The same ridiculous catchphrases are back.  “Oh Mylanta!”  “How Rude!”  “You Got It Dude!”  Thirty years later, it warms my innards when I hear those words.

Kimmy Gibbler is back and she should be a guest on Amy Sedaris’ show. They would make a great pair.   This time around she is engaged to her Latino ex-husband (don’t even). Stephanie Tanner is coupled with Kimmy’s brother Jimmy.

My favorite subplot is the romance between Stephanie Tanner and Jimmy Gibbler!!

The story lines are just as convoluted as the old ones. With one twist that is really starting to get on my nerves.  DJ Tanner, now a widowed DJ Fuller, is in the middle of a love triangle.  Her old high school boyfriend Steve or the handsome vet she works with, Matt.  Just for the record, I’m team Matt.

And my least favorite subplot is DJ’s indecisiveness with Matt…or Steve?   TEAM MATT!!!

But silly storylines aside.  The reason that this show calms down my stress level is because the show is about family.  Extended family.  And no matter how crazy things get, you always have your loved ones to make you whole.

In the end, it’s about family; no matter how corny!

DJ Tanner-Fuller has always been that organized, well-grounded big sister.  She plans.  She has it under control.  And I’m now channeling my inner DJ by making another attempt at Bullet Journaling.

My third attempt this year. Let’s hope third time’s a charm thanks to DJ!!

I need to get organized—about my blog, my book and my channel. With the holidays coming I need to get prepared and seeing visual lists and making entries of what needs to be done and what I have done will only help that.  Thank you, DJ!!

My last binge is a series on Netflix.  It is a remake of a movie from 1986.  The movie was a TV one. The Worst Witch.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched this with my kids when they were younger.  We had the VHS tape and DVD!  The movie was based on the series of books by Jill Murphy.

My favorite version of The Worst Witch!  Charlotte Rae, Diana Rigg, Tim Curry  and Fairuza Balk.  This movie was epic!

The original cast stars Charlotte Rae is Miss Cackle, Diana Rigg as Miss Hardbroom, Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble and the amazing Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard!

It was everything I needed to help me forget about my worries, anxieties, and stress. And instead, I remembered watching the adventures of Mildred Hubble with Jake when he was three years old—and then Roman and then Oona.  And for two Halloweens in a row, Oona was Mildred Hubble for Halloween.

I wish I could find the photos of Oona dressed like Mildred Hubble!!

Naturally, I was very intrigued when surfing the Netflix choices and came upon the new Worst Witch series.  And since I had no plans to get out of bed on Saturday, except to cook dinner, I decided to have a go at binge-watching.

I felt extra-special about binge-watching this series because my son Jake now works for Netflix!

And I’ve always loved the idea of having magic powers and being able to cast spells. And the great thing is that the witches of Miss Cackle’s Academy ultimately learn that it is better to follow the Witches Code and to use your powers for good over evil.

Perhaps I’m drawn to this show because of the uniforms!  I can’t help it!

And the newest Miss Cackle is so sweet and nice!!

There’s a little of Mildred Hubble in us all.  We are Mildred when we make mistakes. We are Mildred when others make fun and even despise us.  But in the end, we Mildred’s are the winners when we are able to bypass how others see us and we remain strong and positive.

Mildred screws up flying the way I screw up driving.  But it’s cool!

Today is Wednesday. I’ve had my few days of rest and I’ve de-stressed a bit.  I’m ready to move onward and upward.  The weather is where it should be on this November first.  There is a crisp chill in the air.  It is time to get the scarfs and boots out of hibernation.

It was so exciting to get dressed in jeans and boots, a blazer and a SCARF today!!!!!  

It is time to start the big clean for Christmas.  It is also time to plan the desserts that I will be bringing over to my sister’s in-law’s after Thanksgiving Dinner.

Every now and then we need to take a step back.  We need to stay in bed for a day. We need to relax either by reading or watching silly tv shows.  It’s time to rewind.

So, tell me, how do you rewind when you are stressed?  Do you give yourself a pajama weekend?  Stay in bed? Sit on the sofa all day with a big comfy blanket around your body?  It’s a good time to talk about this because many of us will be a bit stressed or depressed around the Holidays and we need to have support so let’s support each other!!!

And sticking to the Fuller House theme,  Jodie Sweetin, who plays Stephanie Tanner is a very gifted singer. I can’t get this song out of my head!

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