Better Red Than Dead! (No. It Isn’t Political. It is Fashionolitical!)

Whoa! Don’t judge.  Nyet!! Remember the slogan from the Cold War days of yore?  And red is the color of the political party I do NOT belong to!communist-poster

I’m not with them. Although I have to admit, those Russians of the Cold War era know how to make those communists look might strong!

However, red is my favorite color.  It goes back to childhood.  My mother used to dress me in bright yellow (a favorite but I’m allergic to bees and yellow attracts bees so I can’t wear yellow during bee season. Which leaves the dead of winter as the only time I can wear yellow) and red.

She said that red looked great with my fish belly white, pale, pasty, fair alabaster coloring and black hair. I guess it  also  looked good with my sunburned skin after a day at the beach!

It was a two doll Christmas. I must have been good that year.Now we know where my love of ironing started

Me and Sissy under the tree

I’ve been wearing red all my life. Although I have to say, I do believe my mother has me in too much red in the bottom photo.  Red goes well with my crossed eyes too!

And I don’t put that much stock in horoscopes, but with my Zodiac sign being Aries—the best color for this Ram-a-Lang-a-ding-dong lady is ….red!

And a couple of weeks ago when I read one of the blogs I read on a daily basis, une femme d’un certain âge, Susan’s post about red lit a candle under my ass.  Red is my favorite color and I have a lot of red in my wardrobe and elsewhere around the house.

East Side. Red Side. All Around The Townhouse! Ton’s of red!

Fuggetabout Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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I treated myself to a beauty mask yesterday and realized this will be the extent of my halloween costume.  Less than two bucks. I’ll wear red lipstick though!  Trust me, this’ll scare the hell out of the trick-or-treaters!

  Christmas is my favorite season.  My home goes red. I try to get as many red ornaments on the tree. Why I even make sure that the roast I serve is deep red on the inside!

Down to the dishtowels, every accent in the home during Christmas is RED!

Alas, with the magical, fiery and passionate color, you have to be careful with her.  Just as there are many moods to a woman going through Menopause, There are many moods of red.   She has an abundance of shades, hues and variations ranging from burgundy to an orangey fire-engine red.

Not all reds work for my skin tone.  The burgundys look horrific on me. I look sickly and tired.  The fire-engine reds are a bit too orange and I have to beware of the other colors I wear with it.

I like my reds the way I like beef. Blue/red. That’s red with a touch of blue—it gives a cooler tone.

Meat

“Meat” is my favorite shade of red. I wish I could find this shade of red for clothing and lipstick!

 I have a brighter red on my fingers but a deeper red—not quite burgundy on my toes. The fingers look much better.   Oddly enough, I like the brighter red on my nails better! And speaking of nail color, you gotta go with what looks best on your skin tone.

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The nail place didn’t have OPI’s Dutch Tulips in gel or regular so I had to change things up a bit. Darker on the toes. Brighter on the fingers!nlf15_g_youdontknowjacques_0It’s not red. But I am so in love with this nail color. I can’t wear it though–it looks awful with my coloring.  I have to wait till I can admire it on my daughter. Oona’s hands look great with this color nail!

My favorite nail color of all time is OPI’s “You Don’t Know Jacques”.  A beautiful clay, taupe, neutral that would look fabulous on my walls, it just looks awful on my hands.  My daughter Oona has the coloring that was made for “YDKJ” and wears it regularly. It looks lovely on her.

And over the years with my red experiences, I’ve realized a few things that I would love to share with you. I also want to share the fact that the clothes you will see are all years old. And 99.9 percent have been purchased on deep discounts.  I’m very budget-minded!

Red is not a color that you should wear from head to toe unless you are Santa Claus and even good ol’ Santa breaks up the look with white fur trim and black boots!  Red stands out and calls for attention.  We need to respect redness!

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My Courreges ensemble is a hand-me-down from Daniele. I have to get this tailored and cleaned before I wear it. But–it’s a lotta red! And–this needs to be toned down with a black bag, black shoes and  no red on the lips!

If I’m wearing red on top, I won’t wear red accessories. One exception is a plaid scarf. More on that later on.   Really.  I’ll stick to my big white faux pearl necklace and wear a pearl bracelet or a gold-tone or leather-strapped watch. (This reminds me I need a black-banded watch. Put it on the list!)

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My red Tippi Sweater from J. Crew. Boy, is this an oldie but goodie!

Same with my favorite red skirt that I got two years ago on sale for $29.99 at J. Crew. It’s my Christmas Skirt.

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I LOVE this flouncy skirt. It’s such a fun skirt to wear during the holidays. It is a very heavy wool skirt and was worth far more than the $29.99 I paid for it! One of my best deals ever!

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Here’s a better photo of the skirt.  On the left is an old faithful. A striped number I picked up at Old Navy too many years ago for a grand total of six bucks! Let me add. OLDER women over 50 and 60 CAN wear skirts like this. Keep it simple!

I’ll stick to one or two things red thing red—most of the time.

Here—let me show you how  in badly-focused photos. Trust me; this is a labor of love today. After I write the text I have to take my hair out of individual rollers, blow dry each section, put the rollers back in, and put makeup on, take out the rollers, Toppik my bald spots and get dressed.  I do this because I love you!

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Do you like my red lips?  I do but it’s too much bother to wear a red lip on a daily basis. I have to do concealer then make sure it doesn’t bleed. This lip color is “Ulta Matte Lip Cream” in “Passion” It really is  a beautiful red!

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I love everything in this pic–the bag, the shoes and the scarf. However, I would not wear all three at the same time. It would be a bit too accessory matchy-matchy for me.

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The red flats (from J. Crew) nestled in between my Vince Camuto heels and the J. Crew factory flats with a hint of red in the plaid.

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The latest addition to my red collection.  This was given to me by my childhood friend, Anne Neagle. She was cleaning out her closets and sent this fabulous bracelet. Anne knows I love red and the letter “H”!  Hello!!!!

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I have a red Coach Legacy wallet that is now in storage. See that red clutch? It’s years old–I paid $9.99 at TJ Maxx and every time I wear it I get compliments. I also love the gold chain so when I’m holding a couple of drinks I can sling it over my shoulder.  I can’t omit my favorite Longchamp bag!

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This Vera Bradley duffel bag?  I used it to cart Oona’s feis stuff many years ago. I use it to house my hair rollers these days!

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The pants on the left have little tiny dots of red in the middle of the white designs. It is a very subtle touch of red and I love it! I’m wearing it with my new red bracelet–thank you Anne!  On the right–don’t judge. Don’t laugh. I actually DO wear these red plaid pants. I almost fainted when I saw them in the clearance rack at Old Navy for $7.00.  They look so great with a hunter green Tippi Sweater and Bass Weejuns.  I don’t care how “preppy boy” it looks. I love the look!

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Here’s another look at the pants. The black ones have a bit of stretch!

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Here’s a Buffalo Check shirt. It’s very hipster. I wear this with black leggings and black boots. I’m the cool mom!

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Here’s another one of my all-time favorite looks. The checked skirt I got on sale at J. Crew. I love this flouncy look–it’s very flattering. But the black and red just rocks! I like the red bag with the red sweater.

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For a change up, red heels look great too. But–a red bag with be overload. I would use a black bag!

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On the left is too much red. Way too much. The photo on the right is a better example of wearing red for an office look. I paired the skirt with a navy Tippi sweater and Navy heels. Much better I think! Don’t you?

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Whoa. This is so out-of-focus but I wanted to show a blazer that was “ADVERTISED AS RED” on the J. Crew site and is really an orange/red.  The scarf I’m wearing is the only scarf that I can wear with this monstrosity of a jacket. 

red-blazerI still haven’t forgiven J. Crew for LYING about the color of this blazer. But you know what? It’s just as much my fault for making an online purchase when I wasn’t sure of the color.  Beware of online photos and catalogue photos. Sometimes the color is “off”.  I still wear this though–but not that much!

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A black Schoolboy Blazer (J. Crew didn’t lie this time about the color) worn with a navy and red scarf. (I love navy/black/red combos).  The jeans are Gap 1969 Legging Jeans in the short length.  I like this length with boots and ballet flats. With heeled shoes I like my jeans longer.  Again, if you want a bit more red the red ballet flats look fine with this. I prefer the black ballet flats. A red bag and the red leather bracelet give just the right amount of red..

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This photo was so out-of-focus I had to post a small version. I’m wearing a navy Schoolboy blazer with a navy/red plaid scarf…

the-scarfs-of-rednessListen. If you aren’t crazy about red or are a bit shy of wearing it–a plaid scarf with a bit of red is a perfect choice!!!

scarfsDuring the winter, these heavier scarfs are great for hiding turkey neck and the colorful plaids are flattering to all skin tones!

THIS is the real 60 Wrinkles lines and all

A red sweater with a red plaid scarf is great too because it isn’t overkill. The other colors of the plaid keep it from being too much!

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My most comfy articles of clothing are red-based! Oona will want her sweatshirt back after she sees this!

my-favorite-lounging-outfit

After changing all those outfits it was great to take everything off and slip into my “at home” sloppy look.  It was even better after I re-rolled my hair!

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And just as I was about to end my post, Oona sent me this photo. She fell in love with this pillow.  Like mother. Like daughter!  I may have to run to Target to pick a couple of these babies up! Bonaparte will kill me if I bring another pillow into the house!

So what say you?  Are you better off red?  What color do you absolutely love that you have tons of?  I want to know. We all want to know!

red-drinks

Tchin Tchin!  I like my drinks red too! Here’s a toast to the color red and a toast to all my friends who are reading and not reading!

Of course, today’s song has to be “Lady in Red”. Chris de Burgh. 1986!

Posted in Fashion for older women, How to Wear Red. | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Weight A Minute! Can You Believe It’s Been FOUR Weeks Already?

Hard to believe I’ve been actually sticking to this weight loss journey. If it weren’t for you, my friends, I probably would have given up.

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And if I made it through 4 weeks, I am now determined to go the distance!

So here’s what the journey on this fourth week was like…

We never made it to New York last Saturday because the weather was a bit “meh” so we hung out at home. We ended up hitting a couple of stores to get ideas for the makeover of our home office.  Yeah. After Bonaparte saw the photos I posted, he was shocked at how awful the office looked.  Looks like the home office is our next project!

Sunday was baking day for me.  Katie, one of the girls I work with (and the one who hired me) was returning from a week of Jury Duty.  I made cupcakes with two frostings.  One frosting was salted caramel and the other cream cheese frosting.  Unfortunately I lost my bearings and sampled a ton of the frosting.  My comeuppance came in the form of a pound gained when I weighed myself the next day. Proof that you really need to focus on what you are putting into your mouth.

Its a messy process

There really wasn’t much to clean because I did more than lick the spoon!

Tuesday was a blast.  The office I work in had “Phillies Night” and my boss rented a box at Citizens Bank Park.

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Phillies vs. Chicago!  Phillies won too!  In all the past offices I’ve worked in the only companies that had social activities were the now defunct Morgan Guaranty Trust Company and the small firm that I am now employed at.  I love going to work in the morning. Have not felt that way since I worked on Wall Street!

 And yes.  There was an overabundance of all foods stadium.  Hoagies, chicken, brownies, ice cream and the best home-made potato chips I’ve ever eaten.  But here’s the sort of good thing.  I only ate a handful of chips. And a half bag of peanuts.  I felt like an elephant. I ate those peanuts like an elephant!

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Peanuts and baseball. Is there anything better?

But the real fun was that it was Bonaparte’s first-ever trip to the ball park. His first MLB game!  (I’m working on a post about it so stay tuned).  It was also a great time to socialize with some of the people I work with outside the office!

And here’s what I discovered this week.  After looking at the scale climb a pound I was angry.  At me.  I’m putting all this effort into eating healthy and losing weight at a pragmatic rate and then I go stuff my face with frosting! I didn’t even bother with a cupcake. Trust me; the amount of frosting I consumed was worse than eating three cupcakes!   But I learned I just can’t do that and think I’ll lose weight.

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Oh. I can eat this in two minutes. But I won’t. I’ll eat celery with hummus instead.

Bonaparte has also started to support me as well. He kindly gave some input.  He reiterated what I’ve always known.  He said that I perhaps should cut down on my portion sizes—regardless if the tomatoes are 0 points.

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I’ll have to eat 1/4 of a roast chicken instead of a half of a chicken.  A small steak instead of a huge porterhouse.  An ounce of cheese instead of the whole mozzarella ball. Okay!

He said he felt bad for me because he understands what it is like to have a huge appetite.  (Only he doesn’t gain weight. Those French genes make me so envious). I’m happy to have him in my corner!

And even with the little steps backward like the frosting binge, the peanuts-as-dinner and the pound gained, I managed to lose another pound from last week’s weigh-in.

Tonight, I’m in at 157.6.  That’s one pound and two ounces less than last week!

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Down one more pound and two ounces!  See the boo-boo on my right foot?  I was in the supply closet at work and knocked a few heavy items onto my foot. The co-workers are no aware of my clumsiness!

With that, I’ve noticed that my clothing is fitting better.  Here’s a sampling of my work week weight wardrobe (Say that three times fast!)!

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On Monday I felt so “ugh” because of all the frosting I gluttonously vacuumed into my mouth.  I wore pixie pants, an oversized cotton sweater that I got at Old Navy a long time ago. I’m wearing Sam Edelman ballet flats that feel like slippers.  A light oversized sweater is actually a good choice while losing weight–especially if you went off-course!

OK. Here’s Tuesday’s outfit. I wanna point something out here.  The skirt. It has a great amount of stretch and fits nicely as you can see from the photo on the right. HOWEVER, look at the photo on the left. It isn’t the best choice skirt when wearing a shirt tucked in. It cuts my body in half making me look a bit “squat”. I usually wear skirts like this with a knit pullover or sweater.  That look is better worn after a weight loss of quite a few pounds.  That shirt is one of my faves though.  I got it about seven years ago at J. Crew Factory. It is 100% cotton and is so light that it can be worn all year! The skirt is an oldie from GAP.

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There’s a reason for this incredibly out-of-focus photo. I was in a rush because I didn’t want to be late for work. I wore this yesterday.  The shirt is  95% cotton and  5% spandex. See how shapely it is? It hugs without being too tight. And I notice my waist is returning–which makes me happy!  The pants are from J. Crew I think two years ago. I’m not in love with them because the fit is a bit off–even with the stretch. But hey, I’ll wear them anyway!

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Yeah. Another awful photo. Bonaparte’s grandfather, J.H. Lartigue, is probably rolling over in his grave over my lack of photography skill!  But anyway, THIS is what I wore today. On the FIRST day of AUTUMN!  A light, cotton summer shift from Lilly Pulitzer.  Global Warming sucks.  I want to wear layers and blazers and boots.  Not any time soon because it was so painfully hot today.  The good thing–no–the great thing about wearing this dress was that it is becoming lose on me. It was tight as all get-out when I was at Nordstrom and now it actually fits!  Weather staying hot, this is a decent dress for losing weight because of the looseness but it ISN’T boxy!

Thank you everyone! I’m so happy that I have support not just from Bonaparte but from you. It’s so much fun to keep sharing our journeys—whether or not we had good weeks!

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Maybe next summer I’ll be asked to be on the cover…!!

My musical gift tonight is for obvious reasons.  George Harrison (again) singing Dylan “If Not For You”. This IS for you my friends. Thank you! XOXOXOXO!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

She’s Selling Me The Good Foundation. It’s Coming With High Expectations.

Ok ladies. Sing along with me to the tune of The Beach Boy’s “Good Vibrations”

“She’s selling me the good foundation”
“It’s coming with high expectations”

“Um bah bah. Good Foundation Ba-ah”

I bought a new foundation.  Expectations were high! Actually, I was in Ulta last week to pick up another Mally 24/7 Brow Express. Just my luck Ulta isn’t selling it anymore.  My brows are screwed.

But it didn’t stop me from checking out the foundations.

The cool weather is approaching and the time to change up the makeup is upon us. The thing is, I have quite the number of foundations. They range from high-end to low-end.

When I was young—I’m talking in my twenties and thirties. I never wore foundation.  If I had a blemish I covered it up with Max Factor’s Erase. Remember that?  Best concealer ever made!

My routine was pretty simple. Eye makeup and lip gloss. I didn’t even need blush because I had strong pink undertones.

Truthfully, I didn’t even start wearing foundation until I was in my early forties. My skin started to change. It became a bit drier and a bit—well, blotchy.

My go-to foundation was a drug store brand. L’Oréal’s True Match. I wore it for years. Years! The second I hit the bottom of the bottle, I would run out and replace my C-3, Creamy Natural.

 

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My color was C3, Creamy Natural. But I am “cool”. Oh yeah. I’m cool alright!

That little bottle served me well until I hit menopause.  The foundation that once gave me a smooth appearance was suddenly not working for me anymore.

And that’s when I began my search for the perfect foundation.  I’m still searching.

I used Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation. This was before they reformulated it and renamed it Ultra HD Foundation.  I wore that foundation until they changed it.  The Ultra didn’t work for me.

MUFE did not cover all my flaws.

In all fairness, this stopped working for me a bit before they reformulated and changed it up from HD to “Ultra” HD.  *Sigh* I swear sometimes I feel I have to change foundation as much as I change underwear!

I couldn’t wear Lancôme foundation because none of the colors are a good match for my skin tone.  MAC foundation is just too yellow for me.

It isn’t easy to find a foundation that works.

On a whim, I purchased Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm. The sales assistant promised me it would smooth out my skin and cover my “fine lines”.  When I questioned her on the fact that the “balm” couldn’t possibly be hydrating because it wasn’t liquid, she laughed and told me that it would fill my face with moisture.

She lied.  It remains one of the worst products I’ve ever purchased. A complete fail.  I use it as a backup concealer. As a concealer it isn’t too bad. But I see that Tarte no longer makes this.  Oh. I wonder why???

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This “balm” or whatever it is, is certainly NOT older woman friendly. In fact, I don’t think it is ANY woman friendly. Although it is a decent backup concealer.

Another product that I sometimes wonder why I purchased is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation.  The foundation itself isn’t bad. I just wonder why I purchased the gimmicky push compact that the foundation comes in.   An incredibly light hand is needed in applying this foundation too.  It can get really cakey after a while and enhances not your natural beauty, but enhances every line and crack you have.   I guess that’s why the Lauder Company is rebranding themselves more toward youth.   I swear if I didn’t spend $45 bucks on this, I would have thrown it in the trash.

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Left to right. Marc Jacobs foundation, Becca foundation, and Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in the gimmicky push down compact.

Givenchy’s Teint Couture Foundation was one that I liked a lot. It never got cakey.  It was pretty matte too but not drying.   It didn’t cover the fine lines though.

Blend of foundations

You know, the more I think about it, the more I liked the Givenchy Teint Couture foundation.  I think I liked it better than the Marc Jacobs. See–this is the problem with having so many foundations…

Neither does the Marc Jacobs foundation that I have.  This happens to be another foundation that I like because of the ability to not cake up.  But I think a lot happens to depend on how I apply. I always apply with a blending sponge then buff with a brush.

And as much as I like the Givenchy and the Jacobs foundations, they didn’t achieve Holy Grail status for me.  I would like more of a dewy glow. That dewy look just looks nice and hydrating without looking like an oil slick.

e.l.f. cosmetics is so inexpensive that I’ve given their BB cream and tinted moisturizers a try. And I have to say, the tinted moisturizer isn’t bad—I’ve said it before too. It isn’t great either. It’s ok. It’s fine.  You really need to build it up to get good coverage—but you can’t build it up too much or it’ll get cakey. And yes—despite the promises of smooth skin, even tinted moisturizers can get cakey if you apply either too much or apply with a heavy hand.

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The e.l.f. face makeups. I equate BB’s and tinted moisturizers with foundations–only they are extremely light.  As you can see, I’ve used the Flawless Finish Foundation quite a bit.  The BB cream looks well-used too but I don’t remember using it all that much. I hope Bonaparte isn’t diggin’ into my makeup!

But—e.l.f. has one of the best foundations ever for the money. Flawless Finish Foundation.  At six bucks this is an absolute steal.  It’s funny too because on the back of the bottle, the directions state to “Apply generously 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every two hours”.  I’m sure this is because the foundation contains SPF 15 sunscreen.   Look. Any woman in her right mind would never apply a foundation generously.  This is not a mask. This is a foundation.  If you are that concerned about the sun (as I am because I had skin cancer on my face), you will apply sunscreen before you apply foundation.  I’m sorry if I’m sounding snarky here, and I know those directions meal well, but this foundation is so great that you only need a small amount for good coverage.  A small amount will last all day and again, won’t hide the fine lines, but if you blend and buff, you won’t get that cakey look. The color I use is  “porcelain”.  This is the foundation I bring with me if we are going away for a long weekend or a few days. If I leave it behind, I won’t freak out. Honestly, it’s a great travel foundation.

My only con with this is that the pump in the bottle is cheap and on one occasion broke. For six bucks, I can’t really complain though.

And last of all, my newest addition.

Back to Ulta. I was looking around at the foundations and a cute makeup assistant from Becca approached me. We started talking and I told her I was checking out the Becca cosmetics because I’ve heard, but never used!  I also told her that cosmetics companies lie when they pontificate about what their products do.

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Isn’t Melissa Luna adorable?  Look how glowy her skin is! I need to go visit her again!

Well, Melissa Luna, (That’s her name! I love it—it rhymes with Oona!) suggested I try Becca’s “Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation”.

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Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation. Lives up to it’s name–I’ll tell you that much!

She told me that it was a good choice for drier and more mature skin and that it went on smoothly and had good staying power. She never made a promise about disguising “fine lines”. She put a sample of the color “fair” on my cheek and it blended in well.  At $44.00 for one ounce, the price was pretty much the average of a higher end foundation. But I figure it this way–it’s as though one ounce of food was 44 Weight Watchers points. I would only eat a teeny bit and make it last a long time. With this foundation, I only use 1 point worth on my face!  Isn’t that a great way of looking at it?

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It looks darker in the bottle but goes on so naturally and blends with my skin tone!

I’ve been wearing this as my “office” foundation since making the purchase and here’s what I think.

First of all, I am not crazy about the “dropper” method.  The foundation comes in a nice looking frosted bottle. And instead of a pump bottle, you use the dropper to apply the makeup.  At first I was a bit put off because of the thickness of the product. I thought that there would be an awful lot of waste with this dropper thingy.

dropper

My only “con” is this dropper. It looks thick but it isn’t. Oh well, I guess the dropper is better than having a pump break.

But—you only need a drop or two for your entire face.  I apply with a dampened blender sponge then I buff.  Honestly, it goes on smoothly.  It actually gives off a bit of dewiness. Yeah.  And, the staying power is great.  Does it hide my fine lines? Hell no! But the product doesn’t get all gunky and cakey in those fine lines.

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It may not hide my fine lines but this Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation did NOT get cakey in those lines!

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Ready for work. Ugh. It was dark and pouring rain so the lighting is a bit weird but look closely, on my cheek you can see where the foundation gives a luminosity. I’m really happy with this….AND–get this….

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When I came home from work ( I  KNOW, I’m cross-eyed as hell. I had a lot of documentation to look over today) and washed my face, all the foundation washed off so that meant it stayed put–from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM!

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This is a tissue with the foundation that I wiped off at 6:00 PM. That is staying power!

I can definitely see a repurchase here.  I’m also very happy that Luna was upfront and honest with me. She made no false promises. She agreed that it is hard to find the right foundation too.  I will be visiting her again at Ulta to see what other surprises Becca cosmetics may have in store for me.

Could Becca cosmetics be a good choice overall for the mature woman? I honestly don’t know, but I do know that the Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is a good one for older women.

 

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I wasn’t too thrilled with this photo from Becca’s website. Where are the OLDER WOMEN?? I’ve already e-mailed Becca. We’ll see if I get a reply!

If you are looking for a decent foundation for the winter, check out this Becca foundation and let me know what you think?  Do you have a favorite foundation? What do you look for in a foundation? I’m nosey! Let me know!

Speaking of “Good Foundations”..I watched “Love and Mercy” yesterday—the movie about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.  Paul Dano was greatness—but John Cusack was a bit miscast. Anyway the movie was great—so today I’ll give you some “Good Vibrations”!! XOXOXOXO

 

Posted in Becca cosmetics, e.l.f. | Tagged , | 42 Comments

An Open Letter to Fashion and Beauty: Why Do You Ignore Me and My Peers?

Dear Beauty and Fashion Industries:

Why do you ignore me?  For years and years I’ve been a faithful supporter and consumer.  My relationship with both of you started when I was an awkward pre-teen.  I would look through Seventeen and Mademoiselle Magazines and imagine that I was Colleen Corby or Terry Reno.

These were the looks I aspired to as a pre-teen and later a teen.  Look at the NATURAL beauty of the models.  Look at the simplicity of the clothing and how uncomplicated the looks are.  Colleen Corby, Left, and Terry Reno, right were my two favorite models!

I would imagine my skin without pimples and my eyes without the awning of a unibrow.   My happiest fashion days of those years were the days when the mailman would deliver my monthly issue of Ingénue. And the best—the absolute best issue was the September issues of Glamour and Mademoiselle—that yearly college issue was better than the Glamour  “Do’s and Don’ts” throughout the year! At over an inch of fashion thickness, I was filled with hope that I, too, would be as well-dressed and well- tressed as Sybill Sheperd , then of Hunter College was.  She stared back from the pages at me and her eyes told me that I could achieve that same look as hers.

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No gimmicky looks here. I still dress like this.  It is a timeless fashionable look that will remain classic!

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Tell me, will THIS look from London Fashion Week remain classic? And who will wear these frocks other than the perhaps well-monied young girls with indulgent parents? Can we design for older women please?

I would imagine myself as a vision either in plaid, or stripes or a cute baby doll dress.  Those images shaped the style I would continue to have into the present day of my 61 years.

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Yes. This is a look that I continue to wear in my 61st year…

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..and it never gets tiring!

It was so simple back then. Clothing was worn by modelsFashion models. They specialized in the fine art of selling clothing without speaking and without being a Z-list celebrity.  Models back then were discovered on trains, at school—even walking down the street.  Fashion ads back then were a bit more realistic in the use of age appropriate models.  Just a tad—which is better than what we have in the present.

Today, the fashion industry puts Z-list celebrities who were discovered through sex tapes shilled by their mother.  Yeah. Anna Wintour. I’m talkin’ to you.   Although I loved thumbing through Vogue purely because of Grace Coddington’s fabulous editorial spreads, I divorced myself from your magazine when you splashed Kim and Kanye West on your cover.  Your obsession with celebrities and your ageist tone is a disgrace.

When did the fashion industry go from catering to the “ladies-who-lunch”—women who were older and chic and oozed elegance from every orifice of their slender bodies, to catering to the younger generation who’s only link to journalism is Instagram and Snapchat.  At one point, the fashion industry was well-aware of the woman who was purchasing the  designer clothing. They were not the Gigi’s and Karli’s of the world.

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Versace believes that all  moms look like and  dress like Karli Kloss and Gigi Hadad.  Karli is 24 years old. Gigi is 21. Gigi sure was sexually active to have two kids AND to have enough money to dress like this while carting her kids around at such a young age. MOST moms are wearing t-shirts stained with breast milk leakage and coffee stains.  Who is Versace kidding with this shit?

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At least fashion ads of the early 1960’s stuck to more appropriate age limitations! These women are not 21 year olds wearing clothing for women a bit older!

 What happened to true fashion journalism? Fashion journalism has been reduced to collages of outfits—purely visual with descriptions of “Sooooooooooooo Cuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttteee” rather than an in-depth read about construction, fabric and fit.  Yeah. That would be too much to concentrate on and actually read.

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Mr. Karl. Take a look at the people behind you. They are from the fashion press. I’m sure they would love to write an in-depth article about you. I know I would! They are not young. You ain’t young either.  Why don’t you stop catering to the young and start paying attention to the older, more seasoned journalists rather than the 2-second attention-span Snap Chatters and IG Bloggers?  Trust me, I am an IG fan, but an IG photo isn’t journalism.

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At Miu Miu. Check out the average age of the women watching this. You can rest assured they are old-school fashion editors.  This look is another one that would not be flattering on an older woman. So who would wear this anyway? Can you imagine wearing this after a big meal?  The buttons on the skirt would pop right off!

But mostly, why do you abandon the group of women who are over 50 and 60 and older?  Do you realize that we still love to look our best?  Are you aware that we, as a group, spend an enormous amount of money on clothing? Do you realize that many of us have salaries that afford us the luxury of purchasing well-made and well-tailored clothing?   And for the woman who is on a limited budget, she can look to your clothing to get ideas of what to look for during a sale or in discount shops.

You have taken us out of your demographic. Oh yes. You have!   Look through any magazine and you will see young celebrities-as-models putting their best come-hither look while wearing clothing that an older woman can adorn with panache!

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Lower the hem a bit and ANY older woman would look smashing in this beaut of a dress. I would wear this out to dinner with a pair of nude Repetto flats. Then I could drink and not worry about falling on the street.

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Mr. Karl.  THIS dress would be perfect for the older woman. The cut of the sleeves, the shape of the dress. So why do you think showing a young model wearing it is going to make the woman it was made for wear it. And the sneakers look pathetic.  Just. pathetic. 

Longchamp! Shame on you! Although the nylon LePliage is incredibly popular with Sorority Girls and Soccer moms, your main buyer is the older woman. I know this. I sold a ton of Longchamp leather bags to women my age.  I own three cuir Longchamp bags and eight LePliage bags of various sizes.   Stop using Alexa Chung as your spokesperson and go with someone older. Lauren Hutton perhaps?  Better yet, maybe you can get Terry Reno or Colleen Corby out of retirement and back to where they belong–modeling as mature women.

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This is just a sampling of the many Longchamp bags I own.  Proof that moms and older women are the Longchamp demographic…

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Alexa Chung, as cute and adorable as she is, along with her peers are not your number one demographic.  Can we have a Lauren Hutton or Colleen Corby please? I have that bag! I love it! I’m an old lady!

Same with Brahim bags.  Stop with the younger models. Your main buyer is the older, way older woman.  I never, ever sold a Brahim bag to a woman younger than her late fifties.  So stop being delusional.  Get your customer in your ads.

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I have never, NEVER, sold a Brahmin bag to a woman who looks like this.  Enough said!

And Mr. Karl—don’t think you are getting off scott free either.  I saw Signe Chanel three times. I own the DVD.  The older women who work for you—they all love and adore you.  From what I saw of the film, you are quite fond of those older women as well. So why don’t you have an ad campaign praising the older woman???  You design beautiful clothes. You are a  genius. Why do you insist on using only young almost pubescent models in your shows?  Come on, Mr. Karl. You have aged 11 years since Signe Chanel was filmed. Start using women your age and a decade younger.

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Regardless of Mr. Karl’s insisting on using young women as models, this was one of the best fashion documentaries of all time. You really get an education on what goes into a haute couture collection. AND Mr. Karl’s seamstresses are all older women. And they rock!!!!

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Mr. Karl’s mature workers are incredibly loyal to him. Nice thing is that he truly loves these women. Mr. Karl. I love you too but you gotta start using older women as models!

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Mr. Karl.  All these YOUNG models look miserable. None of them are smiling. That is because they would never wear these outfits. OLDER women were made for these pant suits. Can you give me one? I like the suit Cara Delevigne is wearing. Make the pants a bit slimmer though. And the jacket more fitted. Thank you Mr. Karl.

These days my fashion icons  are a 97-year old Frenchman who happens to be my better half’s father and the style of Bardot—and she’s 81! I also have a new icon. The Lady In Green!

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My fashion icon. Dany Lartigue the 97-year old Frenchman who happens to be Bonaparte’s dad! Do we see a pattern here?

Ste. Maxime. Best dressed woman in France.BLOG GOLD

The Lady in Green.  Click to read more about her. THIS is the woman who should be modeling for all fashion houses. She is true fashion! She is older!  She is awesome!

Fashion designers need to realize that most women  have larger, saggy titties. We need a lift! Boning in clothing can help achieve that perky appearance.  Are you listening?  We have ass. God-given ass. We have ass that bounces and ass that jiggles. We have rounded asses. Not flat ones.  Why don’t you design for women with womanly curves?  Perhaps you can add a bit of old-school girdle material into the front panel of dresses .  Have the panel start below the breastline and above the origin of the world. It would help to suck the fluffy softness achieved over the years without cutting our bodies in two!  Are you listening to me?

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This page is ripped out of my latest issue of “In Style”.  Queen Bea has a curvy body but is covering her curves with this hideous monstrosity of non-fashion. What a victim. Look at Dakota Whats-her-name. She has the bottom half of a schoolboy.  

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In Style’s only saving grace is this showcase of Iman. But the magazine needs to focus more on older women. They do a pretty good job but need to do a better one!

You designers of the fashion industry could do great things if you only started thinking about the women you threw out to pasture like a bunch of cows.

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Say hello to my fashionable friends.  I’m in the pasture with you girls!

I’m done with you. I’ll rely on my memories of  the 1960’s and old Frenchmen for fashion ideas.

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I will still follow this look–but without the bow…

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Better yet, I’ll stick to iconic simplicity that is true timeless fashion!

Don’t even get me started on you, beauty industry. You have no idea of  the amount of money I’ve spent over the years on all things beauty. Ski n care. Creams, serums, mousses that looked good enough to eat—which I most likely did do after the mousse failed to work on my face!

You lie, beauty industry. You lie. In fact, I’m sure Donald Trump looked to your industry for guidance in his never-ending trail of false promises.

Anti-aging products? No. You cannot stop the process of ageing.  We all age. We will all lose hydration. We will all be shriveled up raisin faces at some point in our lives.  What will the long-term effect of all those fillers be?  The only way to keep the aging process at bay is surgery. The infamous face and neck lift and 99.9 percent of us women cannot afford that kind of surgery.

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Read more about how I feel –just click . You have no idea how ads like this piss me off.

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THIS is the face of ageing. It is MY face. And even with cosmetics you can see the lines. I just look a bit more polished!

Why do you continue to have ads showcasing the visage of a younger woman in your anti-aging campaigns?  And you Photoshop the younger women to make them appear even more youthful!! Do you think we are stupid? Do you think we don’t know Photoshop and airbrushing?

Do us a favor. Tell us the truth. Tell us that your potions and lotions won’t turn the clock back twenty or thirty years. But do tell us that the creams can hydrate at best helping us to look good over the span of eight or ten hours.

The foundations? Please.  No matter how inexpensive up to the top of the line super pricey, all give us the promise of dewy , glowing skin that won’t cake up or show fine lines.  That. Is. Not. True.

All foundations will creep into fine lines. Whether you use a sponge, a brush, or your fingers to apply, they will get a tad cakey.  Instead of lying, try a different approach. Tell us how to best apply the foundation so that we older women can enhance what we do have and cover redness and blotchiness.

Lines, drooping lids and redness. They won’t go away, but I can help disguise them and take the emphasis off them with cosmetics. That is a good thing and the beauty industry needs to be honest about this.

These days my eyeshadow may not glide on as smoothly as it did in my younger days. And that’s ok because I’ve learned through trial and error how to work around my drooping eyelids. I’ve learned to not bring attention to my crow’s feet, which get deeper by the day.

Mascara won’t make our lashes longer. Fiber Mascara will give us the appearance of longer lashes, but regular mascara won’t. So stop telling us that we will have more lush, luxurious and lengthened lashes with the swipe of your brand’s wand as it comes out of the tube.  Most of us older women have lost the many lashes we once had.  Just tell us that your mascara will darken our lashes.  Clumpy mascara works wonders. I think you know that already but don’t want to say that!

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I’m a huge fan of Bella Rose fiber lash mascara. It does what it says it’ll do. Kudos to you Bella Rose!

Estee Lauder has always been a more “mature” cosmetics company with Clinique as their younger sister. Estee. You lost me when you hired Kendall Jenner as your spokeswoman. I, as do the older women we all know, have absolutely nothing in common with this young woman. Why on earth would I purchase cosmetics that you are rebranding for the young?

It’s sad. It is incredibly sad and disheartening that the beauty industry feels the need to place the emphasis on youth rather than celebrate maturity.  The beauty of the mature woman should be celebrated by this industry.  We have character. Our faces tell our life story.  We deserve to be treated with respect. And you need to respect us by telling the truth in advertising and using older women in your ads.

And by older I mean from 50 to 80 years old and up.

As a consumer I won’t stop buying clothing. And I won’t stop buying stylish clothing.  I won’t stop my cosmetics or skin care purchases. But I have stopped reading fashion magazines. My boycott is the lack of older women as models—I’m not talking the patronizing kind either. I’m talking about using older models on a regular basis.

I won’t stop purchasing cosmetics either, but will be more careful about what I do purchase.  Lauder is off my list because they blatantly started a more youthful campaign.  I’m also leaning more toward drug store brands these days as well because many of the brands are just as good as high end. It’s all about packaging and “branding” these days. And less about product!

Notice that I have an Estee Lauder foundation. No more. I refuse to purchase any Lauder item.  But take a look at a small sampling of the many cosmetics and skincare items I own. And I love my cosmetics–but am tired of the way the industry ignores the older woman!

I’m being open and honest with you fashion and beauty industries. Please be honest with me. Please start to recognize and respect the older woman.  Learn to celebrate us rather than patronize us.  You are missing out on a great opportunity!

“Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds. Because the simple minds of these industries HAVE forgotten about me and us!

Posted in Older women | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Weight Loss Friday. Easing Into Change On Week Three!

Hi All!  I hope you are all doing fine this week. I’m amazed that it’s been three weeks and I’m now looking forward to writing these Friday-on-Thursday-night posts!

This week I’m down a pound. I have to tell you, if this was the rate of loss when I was in my thirties, I would have been so discouraged.  But—I’m coming to terms with a slow loss. It took a couple of years to pack the weight on.

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Down a pound. Much better than being up a pound!

If I lose a pound a week at a steady rate, I’ll be 15 pounds lighter at Christmas.  Trust me—that is a good thing.  I’ll tell you why—because that kind of weight loss will encourage me to not wolf down all the baked goods and holiday foods!

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Nope!  THIS holiday season I won’t let the baked goods tempt me!

But—I’m starting to ease into a change of eating habits on this third week.  I’m beginning to think twice about that mid-afternoon craving, reaching for a bottle of water, and concentrating on tasks that need to be completed on the job.  It’s working a bit.

And I’m not going to get all self-righteous either. There are times that I find it difficult to limit my intake of cheese. I’m like a mouse—actually more like a rat in the fact that I could inhale a wheel of brie at any given time.

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That’s right. I AM cheesy–Mozzarella, Brie, Swizz, Those plastic orange processed cheese-food sheets. I don’t discriminate!

My “trigger” food is pasta.  I can’t eat one serving size.  And when I cook macaroni, it is incredibly difficult for me to not cook the entire box. That is because physically I am able to eat an entire box!

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Macaroni, spaghetti, linguini, elbows. I don’t care. I’ll even eat it without sauce!

I’m trying to talk myself into craving produce and fruit.  Vegetables—I love. Fruit—it depends on what it is.  Blueberries have been my bestie the past two weeks.  It’s nearly impossible to get a decent strawberry around here and bananas sometimes give me heartburn.

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Look at this beautiful produce. Keep looking because it isn’t mine.  My daughter Oona took this picture of her Farmer’s Market goodies. I think she was trying to give me a hint!

This weekend Bonaparte and I are going to take a drive to Nyack, NY and I’m hoping to bring home a decent amount of NY State apples.  There is nothing like a crisp, crunchy apple to satisfy those cravings for sweets.  Well, maybe perhaps a warm apple crisp instead with vanilla ice cream or a freshly-baked apple pie……chart-apples

Cortland and Empire are my favorite apples. This chart is from Maine’s Fresh Ideas–how ’bout them apples?

For a main meal, I’ve been cooking one particular dish lately.  It’s simple. Here’s the recipe!

Tomatoes, Black Olives and Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

6 Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise and quartered.

1/2 cup of large black olives pitted and cut in half lengthwise.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced—or do what I do and grate the garlic with a microplane.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat.

1 Cup rice flour—poured into a plate so you can dredge the chicken in the rice flour.

To taste:  Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

For garnish:  Fresh basil

Olive oil

White wine or rosé.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan.  Add the cut tomatoes, garlic and olives.  When the juice from the tomatoes starts to release, add about a half cup of wine.

Cook until the tomatoes are soft but not mushy about 5 to 8 minutes.

When cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Dredge the chicken in the rice flourI use RICE flour because it doesn’t taste floury; it doesn’t give a heavy coating either. Rice flour keeps the moisture in the chicken and is gluten-free.  It’s my secret to moist chicken breasts!

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan that you cooked the tomatoes in.  No need for a new pan. I’m teaching you the value of being lazy.

Sauté the breasts until they are browned.  Now add the tomatoes, olives, and garlic. Don’t drain them either—make sure all that juice goes in there.  Season with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

You’ll know when it’s done. And when it is, place the breasts on a plate and load the tomatoes on top and garnish with the basil.

This is a very good dish because it is filling and it has tons of flavor!  And—it leans to the healthier side.

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I promise, next time I make this dish I’ll take a photo of the chicken too!  The tomatoes should look like this. I keep the garlic on top and away from the bottom of the pan because I don’t want it to burn!

The other thing about losing weight is that I refuse to buy any new clothing. (Well, maybe a sweater).  I touched on this last week and will touch on it again.  Clothing with stretch is your best friend while losing weight.  The fabrics really hug your body and you can begin to see progress!

Here are some of the outfits I wore this week.  Like always, I keep it simple.

 

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Tuesday’s OOTD was very simple.  I try to stick to a monochromatic palette because it helps to give a slimmer appearance.  The blouse is from J. Crew–about six or seven years ago.  Navy cardigan and pants with a hint of stretch also from J. Crew.

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I had to give these shoes some love because they are one of my fave pairs of flats. Suede and patent and I love the little straps and buckles and look at that toe clevage!!!  These are also very old shoes. Via Spiga. I got them for next to nothing on sale at Nordstrom maybe four years ago.

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This was my OOTD on Wednesday.  The pencil skirt is pure stretch. It also has a high waist so it really sucks the gut in. I love this skirt. I think it was ten bucks at TJ Maxx.  I wore a stretchy sleeveless shell with it and my Kut From The Cloth Denim Jacket. The denim jacket is actually a cotton with stretch blend.  See how the skirt hugs my hips and the upper legs?  It doesn’t fall into a rectangular shape–which would make me look boxy and heavier!

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And when the office gets hot, I can take the jacket off with my right to bare arms.  Who says older women can’t go sleeveless?  HEY–take a look at my mid section. It’s not slender but I’m still wearing a body-hugging shell. And it looks better than a baggy shirt!

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Today’s outfit. That great t-shirt dress from Old Navy (the $15.00 one). Again. The stretch in the fabric gives the dress a nice fitted look.  I don’t accessorize too often but today, I wore a brown leather belt and wore it loosely so that it fell below my waist. Wearing a belt that way doesn’t “cut” your body, it lengthens it. And while losing weight, the length is a good thing!  And even though I’m not a fan of Mr. Kors, I’m so in love with this wrap watch.  I can’t afford an Hermes wrap watch but this will suffice! The shoes are literally ten years old from Seychelles. I love the brown with the pewter and the comfort level of these shoes is illegal!  They are like slippers!

The weather has been wreaking havoc on my hair. Adam did a great job blowing it out, but those muggy mornings love to bring the frizz around and I’ve been wearing my bio hair in a side bun and a top bun. Today I put it in a big-ass bun with the help of one of those hair donuts.  I also added a couple of hair extensions to wrap around the bun.  Make a high pony tail and slide the donut over the pony. Wrap the hair around the donut and you have instant bun.

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My big-ass hair bun.  See that little white hair?  I was playing with Chippy! I need to be more careful!

A big-ass hair bun is much better than getting a big ass from a cinnamon bun—or from the pain au raisin that I’ve made for Bonaparte!

 

Success. Pain aux raisins

My hair bun has a lot less calories than these pain au raisin I made for Bonaparte..but they are the same size!

Have a great week. Remember we are here to support each other.  If you have any strategies you want to share—chime in with the comments dearies!

I’ve been listening to “All Things Must Pass” constantly this week.  Since we’re going into apple season, I thought I’d give you some “Apple Scruffs”—by George, my favorite Beatle! It’s a feel-good song and we all need to feel good!  XOXOXOXO!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

And Just Why Do We Need New Kitchen Counters?

I’ll get to that question.  But first, I’m going to tell you what is leading up to it.

I was all set to write about a couple of home projects that we need to carry out.

We’ve been in Chateau Bonaparte for a little over two years now.  As empty-nesters, we pared down and didn’t feel the need to “fill” the home with a ton of “stuff”.

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This is part of our “pared” down family room on the lower level.

Believe me, I know stuff. I had a lot of it in the house in New Jersey and in the apartment in New York.

Bonaparte had a lot of stuff in his past homes. And when we blended homes, we had a shitload of stuff.

The leftover stuff is in the garage and the room that’ll be the second guest bathroom—at some point.

And lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that I don’t have to decorate anything.  OK. Well, maybe just a little bit.  In our living room is a corner.  Along that corner is a sofa table that is holding a butterfly-shaped screen of sorts.  I like the screen but I no longer find the sofa table of any use.  I purchased it, along with a matching coffee table from a neighbor back in NJ who was selling it. I love the coffee table though.  My plan is to hopefully, find a slipcovered club chair and put it in the corner.

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This is where the Christmas Tree stands each holiday season. I think this looks awful and I want to put a chair here.

Bonaparte and I are butting heads over this.

I would also like to hang some light fabric drapes in the living room as well. The drapes will warm up the room a bit.

That’s it for decorating because we have enough stuff in the house.

The bigger projects, other than the bathroom, are to actually clean out the garage and to tackle our home office.

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I swear to God, our home office is a disgrace.  Look at that plastic trash bin under the desk. See the frayed plastic trash liner? Chippy chews on it.  I cannot understand Bonaparte’s attachment to that fugly trash bin!

The home office is in dire need of organizing.   It seriously needs some lovin’.

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To make matters worse, I’ll go on to sites like Pinterest and Houzz and then become completely depressed. I want shelves like above for our office!

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Or maybe something like this!

The other big project is painting.  I would like to add some neutral hues to our off-white walls.  Bonaparte isn’t as enthusiastic as I though. He said it would cost a small fortune to have the house painted. And while I agree, I think back to my younger days when I painted the walls myself.  Between work, writing, and just being lazy, I simply cannot be bothered doing this myself.

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A few examples of the “whiteness” in our chateau are the walls..

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..and the furniture..

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This Ethan Allen sofa is a stretch. It’s more of a cream white. And don’t even get me started on how horribly this EXPENSIVE sofa has worn. I just thought of another project. The cushions need restuffing!

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I’m starting to feel really bad now. Our home could use a bit more color!

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There’s a bit of brown glass here. I decided to use the boy’s beer crowlers as decorative objets d’art!

At this point in my life, travel is far more important that my home being a showcase of sorts.

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At least I have color on our rugs. Wait. The rugs are incredibly alike! Are we seeing a pattern here?

I’m fine with the fact that all of our sofas, our loveseat, and our club chair are slipcovered in white. The white lends itself well to playing around with different colored and patterned pillows. But I really need to incorporate a bit more throughout!

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I need to treat the rest of the house with the love I give to my sunroom..

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I love my little touches!

I love what we have. Little things just need to be tweaked a bit.

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Bonaparte’s grandfather Jacques Henri Lartigue snapped this lady walking her dog in Paris.  She even told me to get some color on my walls!

But—despite Bonaparte’s reluctance to have walls painted I almost passed out when he suggested we go to the Philadelphia Home Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center last Saturday.

It was so odd of him to suggest it.

Never having been to one of these exhibitions before, I envisioned booths with beautifully covered sofas.  I pictured faux windows with custom-made window treatments.   Would the floors be covered with the Oriental area rugs I love so much?  Or—would samplings of hardwoods cover the floors of each exhibitor’s booth?

Yes. Going to this show of all things home would be great fun.  I could pick out tons of paint samples.  Maybe I could even find yet more decorative pillows to purchase!

And Christmas is just around the corner!! Could it be?  Would I find ornaments?

And then the truth came out. Bonaparte really wanted to attend this home show because he wants to replace our kitchen counters! I’ve never heard him utter a word about his displeasure with these counters until Saturday morning.

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The Emperor getting ready to measure our “chip” kitchen counters.

He told me the counters looked “chip”.  No—not “chipped”. Cheap!  In heavy French accent, “chip” means “cheap”.  Now, to tell you the truth, the counters don’t bother me in the least.   These counters serve me well for rolling out dough.  I cut meat and veg on them when I’m too sinfully lazy to use a cutting board.  I flatten meat out with a not-so-delicate bang of the mallet on these counters.  Stuff sits upon these counters.

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I can make these counters look less “chip” by getting rid of the “stuff” that Bonaparte insists on setting upon the counters!

Perhaps it is my never-ending love of Walmart, but the thought that these counters looked “chip” never dawned on me.  When I told Oona what Bonaparte said, she agreed!  Oona said they looked “cheap”—I know she meant “chip”!

So we went off to the show.

And let me tell you something, it was nothing like I envisioned. First off, we had to walk through the lobby of the casino.  The casino smells of cigarettes and booze—akin to an old man’s bar. However, those old man’s bars smell a lot better!

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Yes folks. The Philadelphia HOME SHOW was in a gambling joint!

We made our way downstairs—to the lower level of the gambling haven.  There were no beautiful sofas or window treatments or rugs or pretty, fluffy pillows.

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We arrived early to beat the crowds. My guess is the crowds were there–only they were upstairs gambling, drinking and smoking!

Instead, we were bombarded by aggressive sales reps from cabinet refacing and hot tub companies.  Booths equipped with energy-saving heaters and air conditioning units abound.  It was not too pleasing.

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Those “giveaway” signs nearly killed me. The only “giveaway” was a free estimate!

At one point a sales man literally jumped out of his booth, landed two inches in front of me and bellowed “CAN I HELP YOU?”  To which I answered just as loud: YES YOU CAN!  VOTE FOR HILLARY!!”  Silence came over the crowd.

It was then when Bonaparte spotted the booth he was looking for. A company that installed kitchen counters. Beautiful kitchen counters.  Colonial Marble and Granite.  This is a company that advertises granite countertops for $1,499!  That’s less money than a LV Neverfull bag!

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I’ll get to the $1,499 countertops later on!

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This was the only booth to garner a crowd. And the only booth with a life-sized computer screen that allowed you to figure out an estimate on your own.  We made an attempt at the life-sized screen and it was at that moment Bonaparte had the idea to leave the home show and head to the Colonial showroom in King of Prussia, not too far from my office.

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This modern technological wonder looked so fascinating!

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Instead, it was downright confusing and intimidating. After 15 minutes of trying to get to the home screen, Bonaparte had had enough. We drove to the Colonial showroom.

Since I was still inhaling the vapors of the Marlboro’s and beer from upstairs, I couldn’t wait to leave. I was also intrigued at how much of a deal we could get on new counters.

We arrived at Colonial.  Our salesman was actually a really nice guy. He was patient with our questions and led us into a huge warehouse filled with slabs of marble, granite and other kinds of nature’s stone gifts that I know nothing about.

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But before we entered the overheated warehouse, we were lured with visions of countertops such as this. BTW, THIS is what I liked!

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And in the gallery of kitchens, I spotted this baby.  All I could think of was “How do I steal this and get away with it?”

 

As we walked through this medina quarter of slabs, we picked out the ones we liked the best. After making a list, we went back into our salesman’s cubicle.  It was there that we discovered the slabs we picked out were of much higher levels then the granite slab that was advertised for $1,499.  In fact, our estimate was just under ten thousand dollars. 

To tell you the truth. I don’t think we even saw any of the $1,499 slabs.

Ten grand for kitchen counter space.  Oh. And that cost didn’t include the plumber’s fee to turn our plumbing back on after the counter is installed.  And there is also an extra cost to cut some of the backsplash to correctly fit the new counter in.

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Another view of the beautiful stove in the pretend kitchen at the showroom.  Those counters–we picked that one out.  That’s what ten grand would buy for our kitchen!

Bonaparte told me that the kitchen sells a house. And while he’s correct, I do think we’ve been watching too many episodes of House Hunters. Our appliances are stainless steel. Stainless sells!  I know this.  The couples on House Hunters all go crazy for Stainless Steel! They can drool over my stainless appliances while ignoring my “chip” counters for the time being!

*Sigh* after looking at some of those beautiful slabs, I can see how new counters would look fantastic.  But at this time, I can’t justify that cost.

It would be more worthwhile if Bonaparte checked me into the hospital for a face and neck lift! He could replace my countenance instead of the counters!

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Bonaparte could spend the counter money on my countenance. It’s almost the same thing. I think my work would actually be less expensive!

Regardless of the counters, we love  Our House…Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young! The love in a house is more important!

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Please. Don’t EVER Forget!

I started writing a post last night about home decorating and improvement from my “empty nester” point of view.  But when I woke up this morning, there were reminders of this horrific event that is now 15 years old.

Back in the late 1970’s I worked in the WTC.  While I have good memories of working there, I never felt fully “safe” there–the elevators shook and swayed and the building seemed to be a Tower of Babel of sorts.

Probably the most intriguing memory was the morning when Philippe Petit took a highwire stroll across the towers. We all agreed he was a friggin’ nut! But we all wanted him to make it across safely.

Nobody could have imagined the horror that would take place in the future.  The mass murder affected many of us.  I still get emotional when I see the view of Manhattan from across the river. She never looks as “long” anymore.

To date, I’ve not gone to the memorial.  It’s hard because I can visualize the faces with a good number of the names. I don’t want to have a visual of their last moments. It’s too much.

Today, 15 years later, I still get weepy over this. We simply cannot forget.  I’m not going to politicize this. There is no need.  I just want to repost what I wrote last year without a change.

Thanks for understanding.  My humor will return tomorrow!

Anniversaries are reminders of special days. They may not be great reminders and they may be fantastic reminders.

Today is an anniversary of sorts.  It has been 14 years since the catastrophic event of the Twin Towers in New York City.

My then-husband was out of the United States on a business trip.

My oldest son, Jake, had entered into his Freshman year at University of Texas in Austin.

Roman was a Sophomore in high school and Oona was in seventh grade in middle school.

I was home, I was getting dressed and just about to sit at the computer.

Ruby, my Yellow Lab, and Dorothy, my Bassett Hound was at my feet.

The TV was on.

I was not watching the TV, but I heard that a plane crashed into one of the two towers.

My first thought was “Holy shit. I used to work in that building”.

I could not for the life of me, figure out how that could have happened.

Then I thought about how nervous I was working in the WTC to begin with. The elevators drifted from side to side because they worked at such an incredible speed.

The building itself seemed to sway in the winter’s wind.

Then—it happened again and we all knew that something was not right.

The Pentagon exploded.

The plane went down in Pennsylvania.

America, as we know it, changed from an innocent and idealistic child of a country into a geographical and historic grown up.  We were violated and we were wounded by extremist hatred.

Videos and images of bodies jumping from the towers, videos of the crashes, videos of a destroyed downtown were constantly aired to keep us informed.

Those images were horrific.

Worse than that, were the videos of the extremists who were living in these United States of America, celebrating these horrific events.  Celebrating because they are filled with hatred.  Celebrating because they are bigoted against Western society, yet they seemed to enjoy living in this society.

I remember losing people I grew up with. Losing people who lived in my neighborhood in NYC.

I remember one of my former playground moms having a son who was a waiter at “Windows On The World”.   A while later his arm was found. He was identified by his tattoo.

His tattooed arm was  closure.

Another young neighborhood kid was a fireman who went into the building and never made it out.

One of my cousins, a battalion chief for the NYFD, took the morning off so that his wife could go to the doctor.  His entire battalion was killed.  My cousin, Patrick,  died seven months later.

That day, it seemed that the world was on our side.

That day, it seemed like our entire being as Americans were bound together.

We aren’t though.

We still have hatred and bigotry in our own back yard.  We have hatred toward the LBGT community.

Hatred and bigotry still live within the confines of our borders in the form of politicians and “Christian” extremists.

People get pissed off because security measures at airports are too strict and those measures cut into their selfish time.

People get pissed off because, in trying to make our beautiful country a safer place for her citizens, they don’t want stricter gun laws.

People get pissed off because they don’t believe that others should be able to love who they want to love.

When will we learn?

I haven’t forgotten. But I certainly am not yet ready to forgive the evil that still dwells among us.

THIS is the image I chose to remember the anniversary of 9/11 with. The cross is hope. It is of a cross that was found at the site and taken to rest at Good Shepherd Church–my old parish in Inwood.  Many parishioners were murdered that day…..

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There are no words………….

Hope that one day, we will all be able to accept others as they are and the world will be a better place.

Listen. Hope is great…and I always attach a song. Today, I’m still doing that, but it’s a happy and hopeful one.  “High Hopes”—because that is what we all need! XOXOXOXO!

We also need to go back to innocence–just like the kids in the video!

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Weight Loss Friday. Weak Two.

It isn’t a typo.  I was weak this week. Well, actually I was weak last weekendDon’t judge!  In addition, I’m posting this on Thursday evening because somewhere, it’s already Friday! Oh my friends, I hope you fared better than I did last weekend!

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Hey, I don’t even LIKE pizza, but I was such a glutton last weekend I would have walked right up to a slice and slathered it all over me!

Roman came to visit last Friday, and on Saturday evening I cooked up a storm of a dinner for all of us—including Bonaparte’s daughter and her family.

And I had no will power.

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Yes. Let’s. Let’s Taco about my weakness when it comes to food!

While out and about on Saturday afternoon with Roman, we stopped at the new Taco Bell by my home.  We had to do it because when Roman was in high school, it was one of those places we stopped by all the time. And it brought back memories of when he was playing JV Baseball and I ran to get Taco Bell for him and his team mates. I got into a lot of trouble from the coach for that bad mom move.  The good moms brought oranges to the games!

Anyway, while Roman ordered half the menu, I devoured gingerly snacked on a cheese quesadilla, which was 11 Weight Watchers Points. Given my 30 daily point allowance, the 11-pointer was setting me in the right direction.

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Yum. Yum.  You have no idea how great 11 points can taste! I can’t even drive past Taco Bell because the temptation is too good. What would Jesus have done in the desert for 40 days if there was a Taco Bell? I’ll tell you what he would have done. He would have caved!!!!

Until aperitif time.  I’m so weak. I had a couple of aperitifs and appetizers. Then I had a bit of lemongrass chicken but I had quite the portion of my macaroni/shrimp salad. I couldn’t help it. Dessert was the  frozen nougatine that I made.

I fared no better in the consumption department on Sunday. We headed into Philly and walked a lot, but I enjoyed nice Bourbon and the spicy green beans that Roman bought.

Bourbon and diet coke

Just in case you didn’t read my Philly post, I enjoyed a nice shot of Jim Beam followed by a chaser of Diet Coke..

Bloody Beans. Bloody Awesome!

..and we feasted upon these spicy Bloody Beans. To be honest with you, I figured the beans would clean out my innards because they were so spicy and I would lose some weight with the cleansing. My asbestos stomach wouldn’t allow it.

Dinner was another gluttonous event.  Right outta the film “La Grande Bouffe”.

La Grande Bouffe

Might I suggest watching the film. It’ll change the way you think about a big feast!

Oh. And since Monday was a holiday, there was more stuffing my face drinking and eating.

I felt like a stuffed bird by Monday night!

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Yes. This is me after the three-day weekend!

Was I ashamed? No—and I should have been a bit ashamed because I have no willpower at times. But, I was with my son and having a great Labor Day Weekend.

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What’s a Holiday weak-end without a delicious burger and all the trimmin’s??

And the 3-day Holiday weekend is over.  And I paid for it when I stepped on the scale Tuesday morning. I gained two pounds, bringing my weight to 162.

But—the past few days I went off carbs. Drank lots of water and ate small and healthy portions and am happy to report that my weight is a pound lighter than it was last week.

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Bonaparte knew I was upset and he surprised me by making this healthy salad for our dinner last night!  

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I managed to take a little bit of the leftovers for lunch today. Look at that tomato. This year was an excellent tomato year!

Lesson learned!  Have willpower and don’t be weak.  And now I’m encouraged with that small loss.

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My weight after dinner this evening. AFTER dinner!! Despite my weakness, I managed to lose a pound. I’m pumped!

With the heat index in the mid-to-high nineties here in the Philly ‘burbs, the summer clothing isn’t going to be packed away for a while.

But I want to touch upon something. Dressing while losing weight.  I’m not a fan of boxy clothing. Even at my heaviest, I still like a fitted item of clothing.  And, while losing weight, I also want to keep the “look” simple.  It’s just too hot for accessories. Wearing a heavy necklace would do me in and wearing a scarf would have me sweating.

And today, I kept it hot-weather simple. I wore a simple t-shirt dress. I am so happy that Old Navy brought this dress back for another season. I purchased two last year and three this year.  My closet has two black, two gray and one blue of this baby.  I paid $15 for this dress and love it. There is a bit of stretch and the bust line has darts to give it a good shape. The sleeves aren’t too short—they are an actually “short” sleeve.

This is a great dress to wear during weight loss because the stretch will kind of shrink as the body shrinks.

Even though I didn’t accessorize with this dress, I wore nude Repetto ballet flats, my watch with the brown leather wrap around band and carried my Longchamp leather bag in the caramel color.  See what I mean about being fitted?  You do NOT have to be skinny or lean to wear a fitted dress!!

What do you think?

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I also cut bangs into the topper I’ve been wearing. It’s too hot for a wig and my hair is in such dire need of a root job–the thinning is worse than ever too. I’m plopping toppers on my head these days. Bangs make it look a bit more natural!

And for my weakness. It’ll pass. All Things Must Pass. George Harrison (RIP my favorite Beatle) said so:

 

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Clothing and Makeup–That Summer-Into-Fall Transition

Time to back track a bit.  Last Friday before leaving the office for the Labor Day Weekend, I was given a check.  At first I was shocked because I feared the check would be followed by “Get the Hell outta here and don’t come back!!!”  Instead, I was told it was a bonus.

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My inner reaction to that bonus was akin to this! I think I did the happy dance in the parking lot though!

Recovering from the aftershock, I thought “Ohhhhhhhhh…I don’t have to tell Bonaparte about this.”  “It can be my secret!”  Then I thought about all the good things he’s done for me so I caved in and told him about the bonus.

I was such a fine and decent person that I drove directly to the bank to deposit my treasure.  But I did keep a little cash for me.

And when I left the office to drive to the bank, I was contemplating the outfit I wore that day.  Since I wanted to be a bit patriotic looking for the Labor Day Weekend, I wore white jeans, a Tory Burch tunic that I purchased online for 75% off (which made me also ponder the incredible markup), navy ballet flats and I carried my red leather Longchamp bag.  Yes. Even Liberals can be patriotic!  I could hear my mother telling me from the great beyond that I had better put the white jeans away after this weekend.

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When I purchased this tunic, I wasn’t crazy about it. But the more I wear it, the more I like it. Cream and Navy make a nice match.  And I mean it when I say, white jeans are a better match for cool weather rather than the hazy, hot, humidity we get here in the Northeast!

Sorry mom.  I plan on wearing the white jeans in the fall and winter and spring too. The summer weather is just too hot to wear them on a constant basis. And that’s what I find so difficult around this time of year. The mornings and evenings have a touch of cool—but it’s that coolness where you need a bit of sleeve action—and mid-morning to late afternoon are hot—so you really do need the summer clothing.

But the thing is, I’m tired of the summer clothes. I’ll get back to this a bit throughout the post…

Anyway, since I had a bit of time to kill before picking Roman up at the train station, I decided to stop by the brand new Ulta cosmetics store in King of Prussia.

There was nothing that I was in dire need of, but I wanted to see if there were any new products that would catch my interest.

Part of the beauty of the store was the newness. All the products were lined up so perfectly and the shelves were full.  It was girly heaven!

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These displays are just so nice and organized…

how-im-looking-fizz-and-bubbleIt’s too bad I’m not a fan of bubble baths or I would have gone crazy. My ob/gyn said that bubble bath product can dry out your lady parts. Trust me my outer  body is dry enough ….

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Silly me. I thought that the fatgirlslim was a diet product. I’m glad I didn’t eat it!

The one item I figured I would purchase—and get this—in a brand spanking new store—was gone.  I thought I would pick up iT Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Gloss Stain in the wonderful “Je Ne Sais Quoi.”   Even though I have two of these glosses—both in purses I use, I wanted another to keep with my makeup at home.  I ended up buying the Lip Vitality in the same color. A third tube.  My girlfriend Annamarie Simonetti got me hooked on this. I owe her a lifetime of thanks! Truly, I do–the stain is so natural and the color lasts all day!

Lip VitalityGloss stain and Lip Flush in Je NeSais Quoi

I always have my “Je Ne Sais Quoi” on hand but just my luck Ulta was out of the shiny gloss. I’m running out!!  

With quite a few foundations in my stash at home, I didn’t even bother…

But I did manage to head over to the less expensive “drug store” brands on the store’s opposite side of the pricier cosmetics.

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I thought about buying this mask but my epi-pen expired and I’m allergic to bees. I was afraid I would have a bad reaction!

I ended up with a couple of masks, a gel lipstick from NYX and a palette of shadows and highlighters.

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We’ll see how the mask works..

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I picked up NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in “Air Blossom”. The color is a true pink that glides on and is very hydrating. Problem is the color wears off within an hour. I fixed that problem with a swipe of the iT Lip Vitality Stain and the color lasted a lot longer! Personally, pink is a great color for older women–it’s very flattering and doesn’t look harsh.

The palette was a great find that I will be using a lot this fall. A lot!  By BH Cosmetics, it’s the Carli Bybel 14-Color Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette.  The price was $14.50 and in comparison to many of the higher end palettes, it looked pretty decent. It really did—and I have many high-end palettes to prove this!

Although I do not know of this Carli Bybel, her collaboration with BH cosmetics is a winner! This is the display palette. I think from the looks of it many customers were trying it out!

I’ve never heard of BH cosmetics nor have I heard of Carli Bybel. And after Googling Ms. Bybel, I found out she’s one of those makeup gurus on YouTube. She resembles Kim Kardashian.  However, she is a prettier version and this palette is nicely pigmented and has great staying power!

And over the weekend, I kept pretty much to a minimum of makeup due to a blend of heat and personal laziness.

But I’m beginning to transition from lazy summer non-makeup to a slightly more made up look.  Since I’m working in an office which has far better lighting than the horrific lighting in Nordstrom, it isn’t as much of a challenge to look somewhat human.

Besides—I miss posting about cosmetics and all things makeup. Summer was too busy.

It’s that time of year again.  Makeup talk!

I’ll tell you what I used for my work look yesterday.  After moisturizing, and applying serum and primer, I soaked my Real Techniques blender sponge (which was basically on vacation all summer), and mulled over whether to put foundation on or take a gander at tinted moisturizer. The tinted moisturizer was the chosen item.

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e.l.f’s tinted moisturizer–it’s ok.   I like e.l.f. foundation much better but while the weather is still a bit warm hot, it’ll suffice during the transition.

 You know—I want to take a lighter approach to foundation and concealer.  While I realize that cosmetics companies all state their foundations, etc. don’t look cakey—they do!  And mature skin is drier. And has more lines. And has wrinkles. And no matter how you blend, brush, blend some more and buff, there will always be a hint of cake if you use too much.  My new “thing” is to just place a bit of foundation on my face where there’s a bit of red.  I’m not applying where the fine lines lay.

Now—I’ve never been a fan of tinted moisturizer because the high-end brands that I’ve tried didn’t work for me.   Women swear by Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer. It dried my skin out more than it already is.   Women give rave reviews to Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Boost tinted moisturizer.  It didn’t boost anything for me except the fine lines.  I rest my case.

I have elf brand tinted moisturizer in my stash. The coverage is so-so.  For my skin, I needed to build it up a bit. BUT—it doesn’t make my skin feel dry like the higher end products I’ve used in the past. Is elf’s TM great? No. It isn’t. But it isn’t awful either.  The tint wore off toward the afternoon. Foundation definitely lasts longer, but for the three bucks I spent on this—it’s fine.

After applying my Holy Grail,bareMinerals “Well Rested” in the corners of my eyes to get rid of the blue bruised look, I applied the highlighter and shadows from the Carly Bybel Palette.

 Building up the eyes.  See what a difference brow pencil makes?  My go-to is Mally 24/7 Brow Express.   Notice the hooded eyes.  This has been a gradual ageing thing but I combat it by using a dark shadow in the crease. It helps to disguise it!

And I just realized what is wrong with this palette. The highlighters and shadows don’t have proper names so I can’t tell you which colors I used. I’ll figure it out.

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Bottom left–large circle. I used the highlighter on my brow bone and all over.  Next was the yellow-ish shadow on the top left. I used it on my top lid. Then I used the middle bottom brown in the crease and lightly lined the rim of my bottom lid with the darker brown to the far right.

Shadows done and brows filled in with Mally 24/7 Brow Express. I’m on my second Brow Experss will soon be on my third. I LOVE this!

Two coats of inexpensive Falsies Mascara on top lashes and NYColor Sky Line mascara on the bottom.

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Two coats of Maybelline’s The Falsies on top. I use NYColor Sky Line on the bottom because the wand is great for bottom lashes–and the price is less than three bucks!

Tightlined and lined eyes.

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Eyes all ready.

I was so lazy I didn’t even bother to get the blush. I just took my blush brush and swiped blush residue on my cheeks. Hey….don’t judge.  I do this when I just want a hint of blush. It works!

Lipstick swiped on and ready to go.  I wore the NYX gel lipstick in Air Blossom, and swiped Je Ne Sais Quoi over it.  Done!

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My roots are so pathetic. I’ve been too busy to get them done. I have an appointment with Adam for this Saturday. Thank God.  Anyway, I clipped a topper on and then did a big messy bun. Easy hair do!

 

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Isn’t that lip color great? Look how shiny!

I wore a years-old dress from J. Crew and was off to work.

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I also thank God for stretch fabric. This dress stretches with my hips and gut. But all kidding aside. This is a great transition dress because in another month I can wear it with tights and boots.  And I don’t care what the “fashun” experts say. I’ll continue to wear shorter dresses–they are more comfortable!

Total time to get ready from the moment I finished my coffee in bed and got my lazy ass off my cushiony comfort zone and washed (I always take a bath the night before) my face, brushed my teeth, did the face and ran out the door—30 minutes!

Oh..and I also discovered that by paring down on the cosmetics, I can sleep 15 minutes longer. And god knows I need as much beauty sleep as I can get!!

As an aside, I had no idea that the heat index would reach 91 today.  Thankfully our office is very well air conditioned.   Because I was too lazy to shave my legs, I wore a pair of J. Crew pixie pants. I also wore a light weight white linen shirt from J. Crew. I love the simple combo of black and white because it’s a foolproof good look at any time. Also—the light weight of the shirt was excellent for the more summeresque weather!

 

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A truly foolproof ensemble. Black Pixie Pants, A White Linen Shirt, Flats. Wear to work, to run errands–even out to dinner.  This is a great transition outfit! And comfy to boot!

I have to say, it feels good to be writing about clothing and makeup again. Summertime makes me lazy –so it’s back to not-quite-normal because I will never be normal.

Did a random song ever pop into your head that you couldn’t get rid of?  It happened to me today and I could not get “When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-bobin Along”. Yeah. I know.  Now it your turn to listen! Dean Martin makes the song so much better!

 

 

 

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Fun in Philly on a Laboriously Labor-Free Labor Day Weekend!

As I sit here writing, I am looking out the window and can see that the deep green color on the trees is beginning to fade. In fact, there are a few arrogant leaves that already decided to show their rust and yellow colors.  That’s the sad thing about this holiday weekend of Labor Day; a fare thee well to summer as Mother Nature prepares to bring her living things to a dormant stage and then onto hibernation.  The weird thing is that summer isn’t technically over yet. It’s still hot, hazy and humid. And this pattern of weather will continue through into late October. Fall isn’t fall anymore.

Tree in front of house

Check it out. If you look closely at the tree in front of my house, you can see a few renegade leaves that have changed color…

But I’ll continue that subject another time.  Today, it’s all about the great, lazy but productive weekend Bonaparte and I spent with Roman!

Due to his upcoming schedule of working on the weekends for SNL, his weekend visits will be few and far between. And on Friday evening after work, I picked him up at Paoli for a couple of days of chill.

Saturday was kind of a lazy day with the running around of errands.  Adam cut Roman’s hair—and I’ll tell you, Adam has become our family hair cutter/stylist.  First it was Oona, then me, and now Roman.  And nobody is ever disappointed.

Next it was on to pick up some last-minute groceries for dinner. Bonaparte’s daughter, her husband and their daughter would be joining us; and from their off to Iron Hill Brewery to pick up a growler of beer for Roman and Bonaparte’s son-in-law. Boys love their beer!

Refilling the Crowlers

I don’t think Iron Hill Brewery is aware that these empty growlers will be used as decor in my home.  I love the way they look! Boys and Beer!

Dinner was lively and enjoyable with a ton of food and sleep was welcomed.

But the real fun was in yesterday’s adventure in Philly.

Our plan was to hit the store “Art in the Age” to replace a pair of Warby Parker sunnies that Bonaparte broke.  Then we were going to head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to put our membership into good use.

Art in the age bag

If you will be in Philly soon, might I suggest a trip over to Art in The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction? It’s a cool shop!

Things didn’t exactly turn out as planned.   We forgot all about the “Made In America” music fest that was taking place in Philly by the museum.  Rather than take a “just-my-luck” train of thought, we just shrugged and headed over to the shop instead.

Now. You have to understand something before I go any further with this.  I can’t stand going into Philly.  And it isn’t necessarily because I hate Philly—it’s because the street parking is so f*cked up.  I’m serious.  Philly may be the “City of Brotherly Love” but it is also “The City of Parked Vehicle Hate”.  Illegal towing is a common practice and the towing mafia seems to be of no bother to the governing officials.   The signage throughout the city is ridiculously confusing—at least in Manhattan, the verbiage is more “in your face”.  And God forbid if you are three seconds late to your metered car. The Philly meter maids can sniff out a car that is thirty seconds over the metered time the way drug-sniffing police dogs can smell contraband.

CONFUSING SIgnS iN PHILLY from AxisPhilly

AxisPhilly.com got the right idea with this confusing photo!  Actually Philly parking signage is even more confusing!! The site has ceased. I hope it isn’t because of it’s expose on the parking…..

I want to love Philly so badly, but the parking issues just won’t allow me to do so.

Fun here

I DO I really want to give Philly some lovin’–but parking prevents me from doing it!

But yesterday something different happened.  As we approached the shop on Third Street, we saw an open space on the street. It was directly across from “Art in the Age…” We studied the sign which mentioned that it was a loading zone. But was it a loading zone on a Sunday during a holiday weekend?  And it was stated that two-hour parking was allowed. We took our chances. We parked.

Sign at Art in The Age

…and then we headed into Art in The Age…

We’ve been to “Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” once before. It was for Bonaparte to purchase a pair of Warby Parker sunglasses—and I also did a bit of Christmas shopping for the boys.

cool key holders

Art in The Age just has some seriously cool stuff…

This time back had Bonaparte not finding the same sunglasses he original purchased but a different purchase was made.  He spotted a vintage lightweight coat for me.  Although rust can be a difficult color to wear, I tried the coat on. It fit beautifully. The cut was incredibly basic and simple. Very ’60’s.  He said it was the perfect weight coat for our visit back to Paris this November.  Sold!

The coat front and back views

The coat is so basic and doesn’t look like much when on the hanger, but when worn, it looks great. I’m too lazy to put it on with clothes. I’m in my pj’s now. but I’ll snap a pic in the future. I promise…

..in the meantime, check out the details on this basic coat. It was a find!

We walked around a bit and returned to the car because Bonaparte was really concerned about the parking.

A Walk down third street

We admired the Philly spirit as we flaneured around town…

Philly Phinds

I’m glad to see this is Hillary territory!

He suggested we drive around and see where the drive would take us.  It took us straight into the Society Hill section.  We spotted what looked like a spot in front of the restaurant “Twisted Tail”.  I swear to God, you have no friggin’ idea what goes into parking in this city.  We saw another confusing sign and mulled over whether or not it was an actual “space”. Luckily one of the staff who was serving outdoor diners told us the space was, in fact, legal and she suggested we just move the car up a bit.  This took fifteen minutes.

The Twisted Tail coaster

South Philly. Society Hill. Great location. 509 S. 2nd Street. We were lucky to get  a space!

Bonaparte headed over to the kiosk to pay.  After another solid ten minutes of Bonaparte standing in front of the kiosk, Roman went over to see if everything was ok.  It took Roman thirty seconds to figure the process out and we had a couple of hours to kill.

We headed over to the farmers market, Roman picked up some Bloody Mary sauce and a jar of Bloody Beans. Let me tell you, these beans were the bomb!  Hot’n Spicy veg..of which I’m sure were Weight Watchers friendly!!

We walked some more and headed toward Penn’s Landing.  On the way we stopped for pause at the Vietnam Vets Memorial.  It’s a shame there were not more people in this tiny area.  All vets deserve more love.

vietnam war memorial

A small memorial for a war that wasn’t even a legally declared war….and war continues…

more memorial

The space was small but the memorial was a respectful tribute to our veterans…

At the war memorial with help from the vietnamese community

We also found this to be very moving.

And when we arrived at Penn’s Landing, we were in for the best surprise ever!  I had no idea of how great this area is. None.  We had a blast!  Roman picked up a cold beer; we sat down on a bench in front of a huge ship and under the shade of trees.  In between the trees were hammocks that people were laying in and relaxing.  Adirondack chairs were scattered for visitors to sit and just-well, just do nothing more than chill and people watch!

A beautiful day at Penn's Landing

I felt as though I was Christopher Columbus discovering a great land. It was a great landing that I didn’t discover!

Roman stopped for a beer at a stand…

Beer Stand

Beer.

Roman said this beer was a good one. I tasted it. It was awful. I hate beer.

We enjoyed the green beans. We enjoyed watching the people.

Bloody Beans. Bloody Awesome!

On the other hand, the pickled Bloody Beans that Roman purchased were Bloody Amazing! I loved them!

Boats 1

 People watching and a walk along the boat-lined landing made for a great afternoon. Notice the clear skies. Where’s the big storm?

Boats 2

Submarine from WWII

Boats 3

A ship turned restaurant. Too bad there was an event taking place. It would have been fun to try this out!

We walked the landing and then hit the Punk Rock Flea Market.  Roman ended up buying a bowl made out of a vinyl Boz Scaggs album.

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This is pretty much what the bowl looked like but I forgot to take a photo. You can DIY following Wiki’s instructions…but…

The Vinyl Record Lady

Black.Vinyl.Fashion had incredibly beautiful vinyl bowls as well as jewelry…

Jewelry from Vinyl

Vinyl cuff bracelets and earrings. The earrings were beautiful and I should have bought a pair. I’ll be back…

Bonaparte purchased a framed butterfly for his granddaughter from Fine Arts A Flutter.

FINEARTSAFLUTTER card

The framed butterflies and bats–yes–BATS from Fine Arts A Flutter were incredibly intriguing.

Butterflies

Bonaparte picked up a framed butterfly–not this one but a large blue butterfly, for his granddaughter. Butterfly love runs in the Lartigue family…

Bats from fine arts a flutter

I LOVED the framed bats. I know–it seems a bit creepy, but trust me, these were great.  I feel the need to buy a couple of framed bats and hang them on one of the bathroom walls.  I’ll be bat–I mean, I’ll be back!

Arthur and Annette from Fine Arts A Flutter

Arthur and Annette, the proprietors were really patient in explaining the whole bat thing. They were very kind to answer our questions and you could tell they were enjoying what they do!! 

I also noticed that there is parking in a lot at Penn’s Landing. This means we will be back. Oh yes. We will be back!

It was the best afternoon I’ve ever had in Philly!!!!!!!

Not to end it there, when we returned to the car, we still had some time on the meter so Roman suggested we head into the bar at The Twisted Tale for a drink.  Since Bonaparte was driving, he passed. But Roman and I were in the mood for a nice Bourbon.

Bourbon and diet coke

Still life with Bourbon and Diet Coke.  I’m not big on hard liquor but bourbon just goes down so smooth and it so warm. I love it! 

The bar at this restaurant is great. I hadn’t been to a “bar” in a long time and I enjoy the socialization that transpires as you enjoy a good cocktail or beverage.  Our bartender, Cody, was entertaining and knowledgeable as she explained the story of the Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon that Roman was drinking.  My choice was more basic. I opted for Jim Beam!

Bonaparte and I need to revisit The Twisted Tail for some serious cocktails and dinner.  It was a comfortable place and not snobby in the least.  This is a stellar neighborhood bar in every way!

Armed with our treasures we headed home, but along the way, Bonaparte wanted to drive by the boat dock to have a look at the United States–the ship his sister Isabelle sailed from France to the USA.

The gate was opened but I got violently kicked out.

The gate was open. So I sauntered in and was chased out by a guard who had a gutter mouth worse than mine. I was so impressed but petrified at the same time. I never got close but the boat yard smelled like old socks. It was awful!

Abandoned ship in ship yard. The United STates.

Instead, I opted to take this artsy photo behind a chain link fence. If I stayed any longer my post would have been about being arrested in Philly!

Then it was off to drop Roman off to spend time with Bonaparte’s daughter and her family.  We enjoyed our dinner on the deck and both agreed that we need to spend more time discovering Philly—as long as we can figure the damn parking out!

Chippy wants wine

We were able to spend time with our OTHER child–Chippy!

With Roman coming back home just after the most intense college football game aired on TV, the remainder of the evening was filled with stress and excitement.  Bonaparte left us on our own while he headed upstairs to watch the more refined sport of tennis.

University of Texas was playing Notre Dame.  I’m a Longhorn mom.   Jake, my oldest, attended University of Texas in Austin.  And he flew there for the game.  My brother, Pete, is a die-hard Notre Dame fan.  Although my sibs and I are basically undereducated scrubs, a few of my relatives and many friends attended Notre Dame.  So it was family v. family!

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My brother Pete apres tailgate. He wore Longhorn sunnies upside down. Joke was on him.  UT won!!!!

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A sea of burnt orange is always a beautiful vista!!!

Happy to report that after a near heart-attack inducing three hours, UT won!  It was the best game ever!

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Hook ’em Horns!  May you have a fruitful and successful football season!

And today, we dropped Roman back at the train station for his return back to New York.

I managed to bake cookies. Corn cookies for Roman to take home.

And I made sure to bake a batch of Corn Cookies for him to take home!

Things are back to normal for now.  I’m listening to the sounds of those late-summer crickets, there is a small breeze outside. The breeze isn’t cooling me off, and it is strong enough to rustle the leaves on the trees in front of the house, but it isn’t enough to make the leaves fall yet. That’s nice.

Hope your Labor Day Weekend has been a great one…and now we will get ready to welcome fall and the coming holidays……

Due to the nature of last night’s game, and the great backfield in motion, I can only think of one song……… Mel & Tim with the great song Backfield in Motion. Thanks to Oldies But Goodies on YouTube.

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