OMG!! OMG!! I Made It To Buzzfeed! I Made It To Buzzfeed!

It happened this morning.  Just before my husband (I love calling Bonaparte that!) brought me my morning coffee, I grabbed my phone from the nightstand to see if anything in my self-important life was happening.

I was shocked that I did not spill my cawfee all over the sheets after seeing the surprises that awaited me on my phone this morning!

After all, yesterday was a dreadful day.  I was incredibly pumped to attend the website-building class that Bonaparte signed me up for.  I got dressed.  I even wore one of my schoolboy blazers so that I would appear studious.

I did NOT  wear the scarf because it was too hot, but I DID wear my navy schoolboy blazer to class!  I need to look like a smart person!

Honestly, I felt like a kid going off on her first day of school because Bonaparte handed me my class confirmation email and went over the directions to the class location with me.  All that was needed was my Barbie lunch box!

Why didn’t I save my favorite lunchbox?  I could have taken it to class with me!! (photo from pinterest)

I’m that pathetic!

I arrived at the parking lot and decided to make sure I had everything.  I looked at the confirmation and noticed that Bonaparte had the right date but the wrong month.  And so, I sighed, got all misty-eyed because I could feel a slight pity-party hour coming on, and drove home.

I had my big pity party over the weekend when I became unemployed. This was an hour of pity akin to a cocktail hour…a pityhour!

The weather sucked. It was hot, cloudy, humid and by the time I arrived home, all I wanted to do was wallow in “On Demand” shows like “Bringing Up Bates”  (don’t judge–I realize I am at the opposite end of everything this family stands for–but I can’t stop watching them!) and “Dance Moms”.  My beloved “Billy on the Street” was  far too intellectually stimulating for me at this point.

I lovBilly Eichner and “Billy On The Street” always makes me laugh–but yesterday, even my buddy Billy was just too MIT/Harvard/Smart Person School for me!

And so, the rest of the evening had me even more depressed over the white supremacy “TrumpCare” because I’m out of a job and will be losing my Obamacare i.e. AFFORDABLE HealthCare and need to stop now because I will become so upset that I will not be able to continue to write!

Back to this morning…

And when I turned my iPhone on, I noticed that there were an awful lot of new Instagram followers on my feed.   This was an “uh oh” moment for me!  If you follow me on Instagram, you are well-aware that I am no fan of the “follow-to-unfollow” movement.  I have no time for that. It is dishonest. It is not the proper way to gain followers.   All I could think of was a bad “follow-to-unfollow’ joke was being played on me!

Hmmmm. Could my son Roman have put his boss in on the delusional joke I thought was being played on me?

I could not figure out, for the life of me, why people were suddenly following me.  It was great—but I was a bit wary of BOTS.

Then I received a Facebook notification.  One of the women on a private page that I follow asked me if I saw the latest BuzzFeed post because I was in it!  Sweet Mother of Jesus—that was all I needed to see!

Click the link below to see the article.  It’s 40 shades of beauty!!

This is What 40 Shades of Rhianna’s Fenty Foundation Looks Like On 40 Different People

Yes. That is ME. On BuzzFeed.  I am Number 8. Shade 170.  Rihanna created a diverse cosmetics line but it took BuzzFeed to add an old lady to the mix. Thank you BuzzFeed!

Immediately, I clicked on the link, and there in all my lined glory was my face included in a post about Fenty Foundation.  I was shocked.  I was excited. So excited, in fact, that I thought I would either need an entire box of Depends or I would have a heart attack.  At my age, either could happen!

But most of all, I was thrilled!  I was as happy as a clam.  And it wasn’t so much because I was chosen to represent Fenty Foundation Shade Number 170, Light Cool, (It was –I’m being humble), but it was because BuzzFeed recognized an OLDER WOMAN!  It took BuzzFeed to include a mature woman to represent a foundation whereas none of the cosmetics companies include us!

I’m telling you, I’m sitting on Cloud 9 with my  lime soda (my diet), I’m thrilled that li’l OLD me was included and can represent my demographic!

This was one small step for women and let’s hope one giant leap for womankind.  Perhaps we  mature ladies will begin to be included. in beauty/fashion tidbits on a regular basis!

It starts with one small step.  I haven’t worn these shoes in ages.  Please God, please let me have someplace to go in these shoes.

Thank you BuzzFeed.  Thank you Michelle Rennex! for writing the article and including this mature woman!

Flowers to all the other 39 people who represented shades of diversity and flowers for BuzzFeed!

Speaking of beauty (I am supposed to be tweaking my resume now), I don’t know about you, but it just seems that lately it’s becoming more difficult to do my eyes.  They are hooded.  I shudder to mention crossed.  The skin on my upper lid is getting droopy and I can’t afford Botox or eye lift.

But—it just seems that all the eye shadow is collecting in one area and my shadow is looking too heavy-handed. Partly because I do have a heavy hand.

Something had to be done.  I went to YouTube and found an informative video on brushes and another video on applying shadow to hooded eyes.

Take notes ladies and gents!!  This video from Whitney Hedrick is great!  I learned so much….

This is another video from Ms. Whitney on applying the shadow. It worked for me!

And wouldn’t you know?  My man Wayne Goss published a video today on makeup for hooded eyes.

Wayne Goss gives great advice too.  I need a makeup artist to greet me in the morning!

Anyway, this morning I took Whitney Hedrick’s advice. I went through my brushes and found the ones closest to those she mentioned in her video.   I used them to apply my eye shadow just the way she advised to do.

I felt like such a good student. I went lightly and love the look!

I also listened to Wayne.

Proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks!!   The hints in the videos are valuable in every sense of the word.  As we age, we really do need to change the way we apply our makeup.  And both beauty experts agree that less is, at times, more! I’m running with that!

A much better view of the eyes!!  I’m so glad I watched those videos!!! I’m also glad that I’m wearing burgundy hair today!  Konis by It’s A Wig!! I have my Fenty foundation and Match Stix in Amber as well as a touch of Trophy Wife on the eyes and cheeks and Gloss Bomb!  

Have you changed the way you apply makeup as you are aging?  Comment with your tips—it’ll be a fun share!!!

I can’t wait to read your make up changes!!!XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Hair I Go Again!

Recently I received a couple of emails asking me about wigs.  Questions along the lines of how do I pick a wig?  What styles to look for?  What do I like?

So, I figured that today, I would hone in on a couple of my favorite wigs and a few others.

Before we look at the wigs, here’s a look at my natural hair.

I gotta say, my natural hair has aged in not the greatest way. It has become dry and brittle and much has to do with all the years I’ve colored it.  Not to mention the pulling either! I’m also too lazy to mousse it so that the curls will be more defined.  Add to that, the bald spots are just too big these days to chance it by going out with my “natural” hair down. It’s easier to wear a wig.

After washing and conditioning my hair, I sprinkled Toppik on the now larger than ever bald spots.  Toppik still manages to work like a charm. However, the one issue I have is that presently, my fingernails are bare.  While I’m not working, I thought I would give my nails a break from the gels and acrylics and let them grow on their own.  Toppik’s fibers tend to get all over the place and that means in my nails. This makes my natural nails look filthy.  Just sayin’.

Back to the wigs.

I’ll start off by saying that Storm, by Model Model is my all-time, go-to, favorite wig. There’s a reason for this.  I’ve mentioned this in past wig posts. I’m not a fan of an overdone hairstyle.  I think those looks are great for special occasions and parties and holidays but for the everyday style, I like a low-maintenance understated look.  Storm fits the bill.

Storm, by Model Model Hair. There is not one con about this wig. I LOVE this head of hair and it is as though it was made just for me and only for me. (But it wasn’t). The length. The density. The texture. The style.  The best! I’ve been wearing this unit since June–almost 4 months and she is still in fine shape!

I’ve taken this baby on vacation to the South of France this past summer and wore the unit almost every day.  Storm remained comfortable even in the hottest temperatures. Walking and touring all day and out to dinner in the evening—this unit never disappointed.  And, managed to stay in pristine condition.  I finally washed the unit after three straight weeks of wear and she cleaned up well.

Here I am on the terrace in Theoule-sur-Mer. OMG. Look how fake tanned I am–perfect with my fake hair. Right Storm?

In fact, the first Storm unit I purchased was way back in February and after a few washings and a ton of wear and tear, I disposed of it.  Believe me, the $32.99 (sistawigs.com) that I spent was well worth it.  When I had more hair, I would spend over $40.00 a week on a wash and blow dry.  Need I say any more?

My current Storm is the one I took to France and is still aging very well.  I’ve ever-so-slightly trimmed a few ends after washing and she is in no way ready for retirement.

As you can see, I’ve got backups in both 1, which is Jet Black and 1B, a lighter, more natural off-black.

Hmmmm.  Perhaps I should pick up another Storm! Whatya think?

Now—the thing about this wig is the parting space. Within the realm of four inches apart, it can be parted either to the right, or to the middle, or to the left.  Most wigs have a right-side part. I’ve always worn my natural hair with a left-side part.

And even though this wig is advertised as being middle-and left-side part friendly, she still needs a bit of training to get her to the left.

One of my new Storms. Before I cut the lace off. I’m training this one to have a left side part.

I cut the lace and am holding the part to the left with a bobby pin.  After taking her off, placing her in the net and putting her back in the box, the bobby pin should work fine to help train the parting space.

Lace cut off and bobby pin in place, I haven’t’ even tweezed the part yet. But she’ll go back in the box with the bobby pin in.

 

Three more views of this beauty. (The wig–not me).  I realize that I haven’t tweezed the part nor added powder but without any manipulation, the wig is so natural looking.  The price ranges from the low thirties online up to $40.00 at a local beauty supply store.  If there is one wig that you purchase–consider this!

Next favorite is Konis.  Konis is by It’s A Wig.  I think I have more wigs by this company than any other company. I think the brand’s wigs are very well constructed, they are comfortable as all get out and they fit well.  The quality is superior.

Konis. From It’s A Wig.  The color TT99J/550 a delightful melange of burgundy. It’s like a fine wine!!!

Konis is also a favorite because of the “unstyled” style!

I have this unit in two colors.  In TT99J/550 which is an auburn/brown/burgundy and in 1B/30. 1B/30 is an off-black base with strands (and sometimes chunks) of light brown and golden brown interspersed throughout.  It’s really become a favorite with me because as I am older, I’m finding that a bit of a lighter color is attractive and flattering.

Konis at left in 1B/30 my new favorite hair color. I love the off-black with the light brown/dark golden highlights.  Konis at right. TT99J/530. Maybe Bonaparte doesn’t care for this color because since it resembles a great burgundy, he can’t drink it!

Another look at Konis in 1B/30. Konis is a bit longer than Storm and isn’t as dense but is nonetheless a beautiful wig. The beauty of an unstyled style wig is versatility is key. This can be worn from day-into-night. From errands and to a luncheon with the girls. From work to after work. 

Bonaparte isn’t a fan of TT99J but I love it. I think it’s a fun color that, when the light hits it a certain way, really looks very burgundy.  And as someone who is conservative with hair colors, this is a momentous change!  But a good one!

Next up is a bob.  Juno.  Another unit by It’s a Wig.  I ordered this in TT99J/530 and the same wig in black.  HairSoFly was having a sale back in May and the wigs were $9.99 each!  A deal I simply could not pass up.

Juno. I love this bobbed style from It’s A Wig.  It is an angled bob and shorter in the back–and that’s where the bobs get a bit high maintenance. They need to be combed back into shape a lot during the day. I’m lazy. And I have a nerve to say that because when I think of all the time and effort I put into wearing my natural hair in a bob–rollers, then drying the sections, then back into rollers then taking the rollers out then if I went outside and it was humid or raining…….

Now—here’s the thing with bobs.  I love the style.  I always have.  My bio hair was styled in a bob for years.  And having wavy/curly/frizzy/coarse hair, the struggle I had with the upkeep of this style was a challenge.  The bobbed “do” only behaved during the coldest, driest days of the winter.

You would think a bobbed wig would prove to be the greatest solution for someone who loves a bobbed style but the natural hair doesn’t lend itself well to doing so.  Well…yes. And no!

Yes, because it’s a thrill to finally be able to wear a bob and not have to worry about the humidity turning it either into a pyramid shape or just a mass of frizz.  But, I personally find that with any bobbed wig I have worn, I am constantly combing it or fussing with it to get it to lay “just so”.  It is a bit of a high-maintenance wig for me.

This is “Millie” by Bobbi Boss. I love the color–again 1B/30.  I lucked out with this particular unit because the way it lays on my head is perfect. My other Millie doesn’t lay this nicely.  This isn’t as angled as Juno but overall, I really like this one.  This is a great “I’m running errands and will be out and about” wig!

And the other thing is that sometimes, no two wigs of the same style will lay the same way.  Case in point with Bobbi Boss “Millie” wig.  The unit I have in black just never seems to lay right on my head, but this unit in 1B/30 fits like a charm and looks like a charm.

Another view of Millie. I really like this one!

Bonaparte has been “hinting” to me that he would like to see me in more wavy/curly styles and a bit shorter in length.  I love a straight wig—and he likes them a bit on the curly side.

This one is for Bonaparte. Texana by Freetress Equal.  Big and bouncy. I love this for date night but it is too glamorous for everyday use. I’m training this one to veer off to a left-side part!

Another wig that I’m “training” for a left-side part is “Texana” by Freetress Equal.  This unit that I’m training is my second Texana.  My original unit is a right-side part and I love this wig for a date night. It is full and lush and very pretty. There’s a lot of hair on this baby.  As an everyday wig, it’s a bit too glamorous for my taste but as a night out wig—it’s perfect.

IMG_5434

Another view of Texana. I wore this on our recent date night to Spring Mill Cafe!

“Claudia” by Bobbi Boss is a wig that I’ve ordered at a good sale price but haven’t had the opportunity to wear yet.  It’s a medium/long wig and is more on the silky side in texture.  This’ll be a nice winter wig!

This is Claudia by Bobbi Boss. As you can see, I haven’t tweezed the part, and literally plopped her on my head for this post.  This is where looking at video reviews helps. I saw this online and liked it. After watching TheHeartsandcake90 review on YouTube, I made the purchase and was happy I did.  This will be a winter wig for me!

On a whim and on a sale price, I ordered this unit.  “Feather Flip 4” from Isis Collection Red Carpet wigs.  This is very va-va-voom.  Should the occasion arise that Bonaparte and I are invited to any Holiday parties, I will be wearing this unit.  It’s a bit long and I’m thinking of going to a salon to have it trimmed because I do like it a lot.  But after butchering one of my wigs, I’m not going to take the chance on butchering another one! My hair cutting skills aren’t!

Feather Flip 4 from Isis Collection. Bonaparte likes this one. Actually, he loves it but suggested cutting a couple of inches off. I won’t attempt that one! This is way too va-va-voom for me. I’ll wear this at Christmas and if we go to any Holiday Parties!

Here’s another view. It’s very late 1970’s Charlie’s Angel’s looking! Nuthin’ wrong with that!

When you are looking for a wig remember to keep a few things in mind.

  • Try to stick with what is in your comfort zone. Don’t go for any offbeat styles or any colors that you are unsure of. As you become more and more familiar with wearing fake hair, then you can experiment with style and color. But at the beginning stages, I would suggest being more comfortable.
  • Stick with a style or “un” style that you like.  Remember—if you start wearing wigs to work, you do not want a wig that is high maintenance.  You want a wig that you can put on your head and forget about.  That’s why I am all about the underdone look in wigs.
  • Study the types of textures.   Take a good look at your natural hair.  Is it coarse or silky? If you have coarse or wiry hair, I’m telling you  African-American wigs are your best bet.  European-American wig companies, in my opinion, have more silky-Barbie doll-like textures and are overly shiny.  In addition, the pricing is far more expensive.

Doesn’t matter though what your preference is because it comes down to what makes you comfortable.

My online wig stores of choice are:  Divatress.com; Glamourtress.com; HairSoFlyShop.com; Sistawigs.com and Elevatestyles.com

Other online wig stores:  Voguewigs.com; Cysterwigs.com; Wigs.com

(as an added treat, if you go to the Wigs.com site and search for the Brie wig by Vivica Fox, you can go to the reviews and weed through them.  I wrote a review back in 2015 when I was a complete newbie to the world of wigs. I got a kick out of the review because I’ve learned so much since then!)

Hey. Did you ever wake up and realize that you aren’t having a good “looking good” day?  Let me tell you something.  I woke up with allergy-ridden puffy eyes. It didn’t help that I ate a ton of hidden salt over the weekend in the form of Kalamata olives either.

Anyway, the weather affects my face.  Call me crazy, but it does. Does it affect your face?

That said, I was thrilled to open a nice box of goodies that my friends at Skin Actives.   I was sent some products that I haven’t yet used and I will be using and reviewing.

I’m excited to try these products that my friends at Skin Actives sent me to review!

As you all know, when I review a skincare product, I give it a good two to three-week window of time to see if the product will work its magic.

I’ll be reviewing this Bright-I Cream.…..

Dream Cream, Desert Salt Scrub, Skin Brightening Cream (which I can’t wait to put on my age spots), and the Desert Salt Scrub (there is a caveat that the Desert Salt Scrub isn’t made for the face–but I used it on my face last night and my face felt sooooooo good!)

The Lip Care Kit is another one that I’m looking extremely forward to using because my lips are so dry…

A very unflattering photo of my mouth–but see how dry my mouth is?  I can’t wait for the Lip Kit to work magic!

Hmmmmm.hmmmmm.  This will be but to good use!

The Sun Set is another set that I’m going to take very seriously. Just because summer is about to end doesn’t mean we stop protecting our faces from the sun. Nuh uh!!!

I would think this is also great for protection against the extremes in weather during Winter sports activities!

Skin Actives is one of the two skin care companies I’ve worked with in the past.  And I’m happy to be working with this company again because if I didn’t like the products, I wouldn’t be writing about them.  And one of my HG products is the Skin Actives Collagen Serum.  I’m almost down to the bottom of yet, another bottle!

I purchased this bottle of Collagen Serum a while ago and am almost finished. I apply this every day and I love it.  Since using it on a regular basis over a year ago, there is an absolute improvement.  

So, stay tuned because a review will be in the not-so-distant future.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  Ours was relaxing and I’ll be attending a website class tomorrow. I’m excited and will let you know how it went!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Another One Bites the Dust. And when DIY Turns Into DYT!

You know that I’ve always been open and honest on my blog and share just about everything with you.  Have you noticed that I’ve been running a few errands during the day this past week and that my wardrobe of sorts has been incredibly casual?

This is basically how I felt this week!

I lost my job last week.  It wasn’t the case of job performance but rather the case where business has been very slow. This makes the last one on board the first one to leave. That would be me!

This just about sums up how a person of my age feels when it comes to the job search! Get my helmet ready but don’t mess up my hair!!!

I am legally changing the lyrics to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” with “Another Job Bites the Dust”!

I’m changing the lyrics Freddie.  Look down upon me from where you are and give me a sign that it’s ok to do so!

Luckily, I’ve got great references so I’m off to a good start.  And naturally, everyone will be following my trials and tribulations as I embark upon a job search at the ripe age of 62!  This is gonna be fun!

Next week I start a class in web design because as I’m searching for a way to help pay the mortgage, I’ll be trying to improve on the blog and continue to write on my book.   The key is to keep busy!

But—the best part is that I have my husband for support.  My daughter, Oona is also very supportive but I haven’t told my sons yet.  I can’t do that yet because I’m afraid I’ll start bawling.

So—I won’t tell them until I’m ready.

Now that that’s out of the way, I went back to Sephora yesterday to return the Tartelette palette. I had the receipt. The crew at Sephora is always helpful and pleasant and I ended up exchanging the palette for the Fenty Foundation in Number 170 and another Gloss Bomb.  The total came to six dollars that I owed.  There is still plenty of Fenty in the sample foundations I was given but I wanted to ensure that I had the full-size foundation in my stash!

The full-size foundation and another Gloss Bomb. Both will make me look great for my upcoming job interviews!  Hey Rihanna–can you hire me as the older woman inclusion?

I honestly cannot say enough about this foundation. It really hides the broken capillaries and redness…

BTW, all the hype about the Morphe brushes?  I’m really annoyed with this fan brush. I took it out of the little plastic protective cover and look.  Stray bristles.  I still used it to ever-so-lightly apply the Trophy Wife highlighter to my cheeks.  Those strays need to be cut!  I’ll get around to it one of these years!

Let’s talk about DIY—or in my case, DYT, Don’t You Try!

I’m sure many of you have been hearing about the “Do It Yourself” dermabrasion popularity. I’ve watched many YouTubers praise this treatment and that one fantastic way of doing this is to “shave” your face.

Shaving your face is supposed to be a wonderful way to smooth your skin– and, it multitasks for getting rid of lady whiskers!

Ever the timid one because I’m afraid of infection, I went to the store to get new razors.  Since I’m now unemployed, I purchased the cheap razors.

And last night, as I finished my nightly skin care ritual, I spread a bit of moisturizer upon my red, wrinkled face, adorned with the fuzzies and started to shave.

Am I the quintessence of pulchritude or what?

Ouch!  I thought I nicked my cheek but kept going in the downward direction.  Ouch. I thought I nicked my chin.

As I looked up at my less-than-gorgeous reflection in the mirror I saw a slow and slender stream of the most sanguine liquid traveling down my cheek.  It was blood.  A rather nice shade of red, but nevertheless—it was blood.  My blood.

These photos were taken after I cleaned up a bit. The photo on the far right is the “welt” I had when I woke up this morning!

I also noticed a bit of the blood on my chin.

WTF did I do?

I ran out of the bathroom that I use and into our bedroom to ask Bonaparte if I looked like I needed to go to the emergency room for stitches.

His eyes popped out of his head like two little escargot shells!  In a horrified voice, he started speaking in French.  I understood what “merde” meant.  I also understood “fou”. Especially as he started repeating the word over and over, he put his forefinger to his temple and made circles in the air.

After Bonaparte recovered, I had to get him a couple of Tylenol to get rid of the severe headache I gifted him with!

This isn’t the first headache I’ve gifted my Frenchman with!

I began to wonder if this he was beginning to regret marrying me!

And then Bonaparte brought up another little DIY project I hit upon two weeks ago.

After reading how bad commercial deodorant is, I had a serious bout of hypochondria and anxiety.  I threw my deodorant in the trash and ran to the store to buy a new box of baking soda.  I didn’t have all the ingredients required to make homemade deodorant, so I just poured a ton of baking soda in my hand, made a heavy paste with a bit of water and slathered the paste, as though it was spackle, on my pits.

Not only did my arm pits become red and irritated, but they became bumpy and rashed out. I couldn’t shave my underarms for a week.

At least the baking soda stopped my pits from smelling bad!

I am now using a crystal deodorant.

My new deodorant. I swear if the pits of my shirts turn yellow, I’ll stop wearing deodorant altogether and just walk around like a stinky little skunk!

These two incidents also brought a very sentimental stroll down memory lane for me.  It was when I was in my late teens and used my body for a DIY bikini wax experiment! Click on the link below to read about this charmer!

Wax On. Wax Off. But Please Bring a Bucket Of Ice Cubes for the Thighed Burns!

Moving forward, the only DIY projects I will be doing will be in the home décor genre and NOT on me.

Let me concentrate on redecorating the sun room and..

…adding more plants to the chateau.  It’s safer!

 Luckily, my face is healing at a quick rate. And my friend Laura sent me a photo of a better way to take care of my face.

Shout out to my girl Laura Sullivan for showing me what I SHOULD be using.  Laura used to babysit for my kids and now she is babysitting for me!! 

Instead of shaving face, I need to save face!

And I was able to cover the red welt up with the Fenty foundation. Does Riri realize her foundation has medicinal value?

I’m looking rather “human” today!

Here’s a look at the casual clothing I wore this week as I spent more time writing and doing odd things to my body.

This was Tuesday’s outfit. I went to a career workshop and HAD to get dressed. I stayed in my pajamas on Monday!

Wednesday’s outfit. This was my favorite. I wore my new jeans and was able to go braless in this off-the-shoulder shirt!

Thursday was a trip to the local library for another career workshop and the same jeans. I’m going to make it a point to get dressed every day so I don’t gain weight. I worked so hard to take it off and am petrified I’ll put it back on!  NO ICE CREAM IN THE HOUSE!

Technically it is still summer. And summer weather returned back with a vengeance yesterday.  I wore shorts and a wrinkled tee but felt like a million bucks when I applied Trophy Wife to my eye lids.  

It’s 85 degrees today and humid.  I’m wearing my son Jake’s old gym tee from St. Ignatius Loyola School in NYC.  The shirt is 24 years old. It’s in great shape too!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!  And if you shave your face, please be careful. And make sure your DIY’s don’t turn into DYT’s!!

How could I not post this great song today. The great Freddie Mercury and Queen.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 77 Comments

A Beauty Purchase That Didn’t Work—and A Couple That Did!

Did I mention I purchased an eyeshadow palette by Tarte? Yeah. As if I needed another eyeshadow palette. I picked it up the other day when I was at Sephora getting my Fenty on.

This seemed like a clever idea because I don’t have a true matte palette.  Sometimes mattes can appear to be ashy;  but I decided on the purchase anyway because I’ve heard good things about this palette. One of the YouTube vloggers I follow praised this—and she’s of the mature demographic so I figured why not go for it.

Let’s take a gander at how the shadows work. Shall we?

The packaging is quite nice.  The case is built very solidly.  This makes it excellent for travel.

I have to say, the overall packaging of this doesn’t get any better. The compact is strong and great for travel. The mirror is exceptional. It’s good quality and large!!!  A little instructional guide page is included too.  But sadly, this did not work for me.

The mirror is of very good quality and it is large—which is a good thing. I could never understand why tiny little quad palettes have tiny little mirrors.  Who can see themselves in a tiny mirror anyway?

The colors are neutrals with a couple of purple and darker colors thrown in for good measure.

As soon as I hit the first shadow with my brush, I had an “uh oh” moment.  There was a good amount of lift—and I didn’t go heavy handed.

 

I used the palette yesterday morning.

Here’s what I used.

I started out with super mom over my entire lid up to the brow bone.  This was applied after my beloved “Well Rested” concealer.

I followed with “free spirit” on the lid, then “force of nature” in the crease and “dreamer” at the edge of my lid.

I lined my eyes with Tarte’s eyeliner, which I love and forgot I had. The tip of the liner is ridiculously perfect! Then I realized my eyes needed a bit more so I applied “bombshell” with a foam applicator then went back under the brow with more “super mom”.

I do not think these shadows are highly pigmented.  Maybe mattes aren’t as pigmented as satins and shimmery shadows.  But I just wasn’t thrilled with the outcome.

I lined my bottom lids with the “shutout” color from The Balm’s Batter Up shadow stick. I liked it–a lot!!!!

And contrary to what many experts say about women of a certain age not wearing those satin and shimmery shadows—I digress.  For me, they work better.  I think a matte shadow is just too chalky for my taste.  It looks too one-dimensional despite the layering and blending.

The neutrals  are really nice but this just did not work for me. Perhaps it’ll work for you. If you are into mattes, I think this could prove to be a great palette!

The Tartelette Palette was a complete miss for me. In fact, I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before in my life. I’m going to return it.  I will exchange it either for a more satin finished palette or the Fenty Foundation.

See what I mean?   There is nothing outstanding about these shadows ON ME.  Proof that no two shadow palettes are alike or work for everyone!  Ohhhhh that lazy eye of mine is so turned in!!!

Tarte is one of those brands where either I love a product or it’s a complete miss.  I love the Lights Camera Lashes mascara—it’s one of the best.  And the Tarte cheek stain sticks are fabulous. I have had a couple that lasted for years (Hmmm. Perhaps I’ll exchange the palette for a cheek stain stick!).

Tarte Cheek Stains (from the Tarte Site)

I’ll tell you, I’ve had two of these and they lasted well over two years each.  A great value and a great product!

Tarte’s eyeliner is also very good. And I’ve got a few other products that I like as well.

Chippy ate the bottom of one of my favorite brushes—from Tarte, and I still use it.  The brushes are excellent.

But the Amazonian Clay Foundation was one of the worst beauty purchases I had ever made.  The foundation was way too pasty and thick. It just didn’t work.

Hands down, this was THE worst foundation I’ve ever purchased in my life. But the brush is one of the best ever. Chippy ate the bottom of this brush and I still use it!!

Allow my mistaken purchase of the eyeshadow palette to be a little lesson for you.  Just because an item works beautifully for one person, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for another.

Matte eyeshadows can age our aging eyes and I truly believe the slight shimmer of many eye shadows deflect the light and make our eyes appear more luminous and youthful.

The next time you go in search of an eyeshadow palette or a single shadow, try it before you buy it!  I should have listened to my own advice.

On a livelier note, I received a package in the mail today. The two items from Fenty Beauty I ordered last week were delivered.  The Trophy Wife highlighter and the Match Stix Contour in Amber.

Both items were neatly cocooned in bubble wrap and wrapped in tissue paper.

Riri sent me a little postcard too. To remind me that my imperfections are perfect!

I’m excited to try the Match Stix because the Amber color is the perfect taupe for cool toned skin.

Oh boy!  The Match Stix package design is so photo-friendly. The honeycomb “tube” allows the item to sit on a surface without rolling all over the place!

This.  The perfect cool taupe for contouring!

The Trophy Wife—I had to put it on. And I applied it over the matte shadow, proving to me that a bit of sparkle does bring a luminescence to the eyes! This will be well-used!

Oh. This is gorgeous!  Gorgeous!

The eyes! And just a hint on the cheeks.  This is what I’m talking about people!  A shimmery and glittery eye that WORKS for the older woman!  

And that’s about it in the beauty department for today!!!

I managed to jump on the scale and at 145, my goal is to lose 7 pounds.  It’ll come off slowly but as long as I’m not gaining, it’s cool!

No song today. I’m on me way to run some errands. And I’ll be talking about some  personal changes in my next post!

Have a great day my friends!!!!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

The Jeanorosity of the Rewards Note.

When we last left off, I was at Sephora, delighting in all things Fenty.

And after I left the mall, I felt a burning sensation coming from my purse. The leather was smokin’!  As I unzipped the top of the bag, I saw the embers rising from the purse and moving into the air.

 

This little guy was burning a hole right through my purse!!!

The $40. Nordstrom Note that I received was burning a hole in my bag.  I figured this was an omen from a higher power that perhaps I should take a little visit to either Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack.

Since I’m on a budget these days, I decided to drive from the mall over to The Rack.  I’ve always found good buys there and why should today be any different.

Nordstrom moved the rack in King of Prussia from the larger mall site to a smaller venue–and still has the same great buys!

Lord knows I have enough sweaters—besides, J. Crew is my go-to sweater store.

My underwear is mostly from TJ Maxx. Need I say more?

It’ll soon be boots weather and I’ve enough boots to last me a while.

But there is one clothing item that I never tire of collecting.

Jeans.

Yes—and especially since so many articles are written about how women our age and slightly younger and older shouldn’t wear them.  My rebel was on.

Could I end up making a purchase for $40 or less?  Hmmm. I had ten bucks in cash on me so I could have gone slightly higher but I thought it would be more fun to challenge my budget.  I felt like a clothing version of House Hunters.

..and when they see a home at $350,000 they freak out and end up going with the smallest home that needed the most work because it was a great value at $100,000.  I had a $40 Note.  I was not going over my budget. I am a Jeans Hunter!

Off I went into the wanderlust of the clearance racks.  And they were loaded with jeans. Now—the thing about jeans is the sizing.  No two manufacturers follow the same size chart. I’m not kidding either.  When I look for jeans, I give myself a three-size allowance.

This time it was size 6, size 28 and 29.

Since my favorite brand, AG, was over my discounted budget today, I went for something more affordable and hit it with Paige, Hudson, and a brand I’m not familiar with –AB Democracy.

Here’s how it rolled in the dressing room:

I really liked this pair by Paige.  But–I have a few pairs of torn jeans at home. Did I need another pair?

And another pair of torn jeans. I liked the way these jeans looked from behind. But–again, do I really need more torn jeans?  A couple of bucks over my budget, I had enough to cover the cost. This was a second pair of Paige jeans.  This brand works pretty well for me.

 

Another pair of Paige jeans. These were a 28 and the waist was a bit low….

And muffin top to match. Ugh!  This was a complete deal breaker.  No matter how great the jeans look with a longer shirt or sweater worn over them, muffin top is an absolute deal breaker!  It simply means that the jeans do not fit. Period.

Oh. These are my jeans  These are the jeans I wore.  Why did I take a photo of me in them??

Next was a brand I had never heard of. AB Democracy. The brand has built-in “butt lift” technology. OK.  I didn’t feel any built-in technology but my butt looked good!  I also liked the raw hem. I’ve been eyeing this type of jean since last winter. These were an all-time sale price of $23.00.  Very good for my little budget!

The last pair of jeans I tried on was this pair from Hudson. I LOVED how these jeans looked.  I loved the dark wash and the wider cuff and the length.  The fit was excellent too.  I wanna show you something. Look at the photo on the far right. See how my hip sticks out?  That is because I HAVE hips!  Skinny fit jeans are a great option if you are a bit gifted in the hip area–they still manage to give you a nice line.  What I didn’t love too much about these jeans was that they were a bit too stiff. I ended up trying these jeans on three times!

The final decision was a tough call. I loved the Hudson jeans with that wide cuff. I loved them. But the stiffness of the denim ended up being a deal breaker for me.  Which is somewhat odd because I love my clothes crispy and without fabric softener, but these jeans were just too stiff.

A closer look at the AB Democracy jeans with the “Booty Fit”.  I liked the color of the Hudson jeans better but it came down to comfort for me. These were softer and therefore more comfortable!

The jeans I ended up buying were, surprisingly, the AB Democracy jeans.  The comfort level was astounding. The jeans were soft and bendable with my body.  I’ve been drawn to the raw edge hemless hem since this type of jean became a bit popular but didn’t want to spend much money on them. At $23 and change, they were the perfect jean for my budget with money on the note left over.

After a bit of roaming around the store, I fell upon a fun surprise. A copper eyeshadow stick by “The Balm”.  The name of the eyeshadow is Shutout and the box had a mention of Fenway Park—home of the Boston Red Sox. My oldest son, Jake’s beloved ML Baseball team. How could I pass this up?

Have you ever made a purchase based on packaging alone?  I did.  I sure hope this ends up to be a decent eye shadow!  I’ve heard good things about the brand, The Balm-we’ll see!

Last,  I spotted a spray bottle of Evian and made an impulse purchase to complete my note.  My skin is so dry and I can’t go wrong with a bit of H2O on my face!  It’s weird because I only started to recently mist my face with an elf setting spray that is basically fancy water.  This will work well.

Note–this is natural mineral water.  I’m doing it!  I’m gonna fill up a spray bottle with regular water!!!

Actually, I think I’ll buy a 33 oz size of Evian, a one-dollar spray bottle, fill it up and use that. No. Wait. I’ll use tap water.  Water is water!

Overall, I was very pleased with my purchases that Nordstrom treated me to!

These jeans had me at the unfinished hem!

Ladies!  Do you remember this guy?  The one in the photo below.  Jimmy Webb?  He wrote great songs!  Do you remember ‘Teen magazine?  I freaking LOVED this magazine.  And I remember this cover too because I thought Webb was so good looking!  But the scandalous thing was that he ended up with the cover model, Patsy Sullivan. She was a minor and they ended up eventually getting married and having either six or seven kids!

A blast from the past. And at  35 cents, Teen magazine was a great bargain!

Speaking of Jimmy Webb–here’s a song he wrote about me. “Lady Fits Her Blue Jeans” (he really didn’t write it about me–but I can think he did!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Fiti Fiti Fenty—Is Riri’s Cosmetics Line a Fit For The Mature Woman?

Please don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the new cosmetics line from Rhianna. Fenty Beauty.

And as talented a singer and entertainer Miss Rihanna is, I’ll bet she will end up making more money with her cosmetics line. She will be the next cosmetics mogul!   In Rihanna’s own words:  

 “FENTY BEAUTY WAS CREATED FOR EVERYONE: FOR WOMEN OF ALL SHADES, PERSONALITIES, ATTITUDES, CULTURES, AND RACES. I WANTED EVERYONE TO FEEL INCLUDED. THAT’S THE REAL REASON I MADE THIS LINE.”

Miss Riri has created a line of cosmetics that is based on inclusion.   All shades of beautiful are included!

This has been a pretty much long anticipated cosmetics line! Does it work for old ladies?  We shall see!

Fenty Foundation is available in 40 shades. 40 SHADES!!!  It took a talented woman, an entertainer, to come up with this genius idea.  And none of the major cosmetics could not do this.  Riri is my hero!

40 Shades!  Forty Shades of beautiful packed into all these wonderfully frosted bottles!  And pump bottles no less!

An added bonus is the packaging. Look.  The packaging has the same lettering as the charts in the eye doctor’s office. I felt like I was getting a new pair of glasses.  Auntie Riri even found a way to include women with bad eyes.  Thank you, Rhianna. Thank you for including my crossed-eyes! I’m misty eyed with gratitude!

Call me crazy, but that backwards “N” on the packaging reminds me of the eye charts that I’m tested on–and always fail.  I’m getting verklempt! (tissue please)

Let’s face it.  (pun intended).  I can’t imagine what it must be like for a woman of color to have to search for that right shade of foundation in shades ranging from lighter to darkest brown.    I’m pasty white and go through hell to find a foundation that’ll match my non-pigmented skin!  It’s astounding how different skin tones can be so hard to match. Not anymore!

I’m so happy about this. Maybe Riri will start to incorporate older women on her Fenty Beauty Site!

Anyway, I spent a good part of the weekend bingeing on YouTube reviews of what Fenty has to offer.  Women and men were going crazy over this foundation.  Might I suggest you take a good look at the many videos?  My favorite review is by  Champagne Taste. She gives a timeline onto how the foundation wears.  Miss Champagne nailed it!

This young woman, Champagne Taste, gave the most detailed timeline review.  No BS with her. I like that!!  And the foundation LASTED!

After perusing the website for Fenty Beauty, I decided on two items to try and am waiting for them to be delivered. The first is the highlighter, Trophy Wife.  Too yellow for me to use as a highlighter, I’ll use it as an eyeshadow.  I love the color.

This is the highlighter, Trophy Wife that I ordered. I’ll be using this as an eyeshadow. Bangin’!!!

The second is from the Match Stix Collection of contour and highlighters.  I picked Amber because of the coolness of the color. I think it’ll be a great contour for my skin tone.

My second item is the Match Stix Amber (I’m not sure if this stock pic is the shade I picked but it’s pretty darn close).  Amber is a cooler toned contour. And you can purchase these in groups of three and the packaging is magnetized!!  I’m lovin’ this so much!

Foundation is one item I will never order online without trying in person.  Many of the reviews, although incredibly favorable, did mention to go with a shade or two lighter than your skin due to the dry down being slightly darker.

As a fan of the pump bottle, and as a fan of the clarity of the bottle, although frosted, I am grateful that Rihanna thought about a bottle in which you can see how much foundation you are using!

I needed to try the foundation. As a self-proclaimed Foundation Junkie, I felt it my duty to check this miraculous creamy elixir out!

And so, yesterday morning, I headed to the mall to Sephora.  It had been a while since I’ve been to the mall by my lonesome because Monsieur Bonaparte likes to monitor my spending loves me so much that he is always willing to accompany me on my shopping trips.

As I approached the Makeup Mecca, I noticed that the Sephora sign didn’t look quite right. That’s because it was gone!  Had it been that long since I was there?  WTF was Sephora????

I just about passed out when I saw this shell of a Sephora shop! Forget Where’s Waldo–WHERE’S SEPHORA???

I was so shocked that I had to stop and think about what date it was!

After reading the sign that the store had moved, and after my heart went back to a normal beating rate, I was able to find the new Sephora.

Like Dorothy following the Yellow Brick Road, I followed the 50 shades of cream tiles up to….

The Mecca of makeup–and all things Fenty!

And the Fenty display practically greeted me in all its glory.

Like Christmas in September!  I wanted everything!

A sales assistant/makeup artist, MJ approached me to see if I needed any help and I eagerly explained my need for the foundation. I told her (as if she couldn’t tell by the lines in my face) that I was of the “mature” demographic group and my skin is very dry.  I asked since the foundation has a matte finish, would it look alright.

Let me tell you, MJ was a doll.  She explained that prepping the skin was far more important for the hydration.  And the next minute, I was color matched for the foundation.

Who wouldn’t have a great time at Sephora!  MJ. I wanna party with you cowgirl!

The foundation that was the best match was 170—for light skin with cool undertones.  MJ brushed a small amount on my neck and I couldn’t tell where the skin and foundation met.  She also gave me a couple of samples to try before I buy.  This way I could see if the foundation worked for me.  The secret to having the foundation not change color is to shake before applying.  I’m excited to use this!

MJ at work like a scientist.  One of the reasons I enjoy shopping at Sephora is due to their generosity with the samples.  The “try before you buy” approach is not only a sign of great customer service but a win-win for both the store and customer.  You don’t have to purchase the product and then return if it doesn’t work out. That’s a loss for the company and a waste of time for you.  I’m a fan of this approach!

I  purchased Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer lip gloss.  This gloss is freaking amazing.  I am not kidding you.   Because my lips are naturally heavily pigmented, I must apply a bit of foundation or concealer to my mouth so that the lip color won’t get all wonky.

This was put on my naked lips and looks absolutely beautiful.  I was in a state of shock.  Mommy needs to get more of this.

OK. So as soon as I arrived back home, I whipped out the Fenty Gloss Bomb.  On my bare naked lips ladies. This is  GORGEOUS! I’ll be frank–I didn’t know how it would look on me but boy–I am loving this color. I’m cool-toned but this flush of color really IS universal. It adds a bit of warmth to my mouth. I’m a fan of this one!

The primer was also getting a lot of love and I purchased that as well. After using drug store brand primers for quite some time now seemed like a good time to try a higher end.

I purchased two of the Fenty line from Sephora and two from the site.  Keep reading to see if I’ll make the purchase of the foundation!

Fast-forward to earlier this morning. At 7:15 AM as I got ready for the day!

Don’t look at my nails!  I took the acrylics off to allow my nails to breathe. I’m going natural.  ANYWAY!–here’s the primer.  It has a slight tint but goes on the skin nicely….

I went light with the pump because I didn’t know if a lot of product came out. I ended up using one and a half pumps and spread it on my face. It went on very smoothly and was not greasy at all.  It felt ever-so-slightly tacky at first, then the tackiness dissipated very quickly.  I was left with a smooth canvas.

Time for the foundation!

As instructed by MJ, I shook the package very well to distribute the foundation’s ingredients. 

The photos below are step-by-step of how the foundation looked as I put it on.  Please be aware I do NOT use filters of any kind. What you see is the untouched, lined face of a 62-year-old woman. No fillers. No filters. No BS!

Top left.  I dotted the foundation on one side of my face. I’ve seen in reviews that this dries very quickly.  I didn’t have that issue. This blended well. On one side of my face, I used a foundation brush and on the other, I used a Real Techniques blending sponge.  I liked the sponge application better. I felt I had more control over the product.  Top Right photo is after the foundation was blended in.  Bottom Left. Because my skin is very dry, I sprayed setting spray on my face for hydration. This was mentioned in a couple of reviews.  It worked like a charm.  Bottom right. The sample of 170 atop my face.  As you can see this is a very good match. And this sample will last me for a few days. I didn’t need a lot of product–this makes the value of the foundation even greater!

I contoured a bit with the Ibiza Beach Stick from Charlotte Tilbury.  Some reviews stated that the cream contours were a bit difficult to apply and lifted some of the foundation. I did NOT have that issue at all! In fact, I’m really looking forward to the Amber Match Stix.  Since I’m no longer tanned, I notice that the Ibiza is a bit too warm for my cool tone–I made it work anyway by blending and the foundation stayed put.  I added a bit of Stila Convertible Color in Petunia and then put some hair on.

Before and “Hair”fter. Notice the hint of color with the Gloss Bomb. The foundation is looking mighty fine!

The price point is very good.  The primer is $32.00, the foundation $34.00, the Match Stix are $25.00 each but there are sets of three for $54.00 which is an excellent value.  The lip gloss is $18.00. The highlighters come in at $34.00.  With the rising cost of drug store cosmetics, Fenty is a very affordable higher end line.

Here’s a closer view of the finished face.  I would definitely vouch for the fact that Fenty cosmetics are “mature” woman friendly!!!

Something tells me this line is here to stay and the beauty industry will be coming out with many, many shades of foundation in the future.

How do I rate the cosmetics?  Well, my love of the lip gloss is very deep! The foundation is a definite winner–you have to make sure though that you prep your skin well before using.  I would not use this if I was in a hurry or a rush to get out the door.  But that’s a good thing because we should all have a collection of different foundations for different uses.  This is job interview foundation. This is special occasion foundation.  This is “I’m- Meeting -Someone” foundation.  No matter how you rate it, it’s damned good foundation!  The primer is excellent!  And both the primer and foundation are spectacular values because you don’t need a ton of product.  Auntie Riri did good!

And after getting caught in the rain–a downpour to be exact…..

 

This was at 1PM. Approximately 6 hours after application and the rain didn’t wash this foundation away. And I got soaked. Look at my wig!  My synthetic hair needed to be washed anyway!

And yes. I would say this cosmetics line is a good fit!

Rihanna’s come a long way from Pon de Replay—her first song. Here it is!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The Favorite Aunt Comes Up North To Ride Out Irma!

If you are familiar with this blog, you may remember the couple of times I mentioned my favorite aunt. My Aunt Terry.

She was the closest thing to a fashion icon I’ve ever had. She is hands down, the sole reason for my love of art.  Many trips she took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, when I was a young girl, provided delightful and educational lessons—especially on Impressionism from her.

Anyway, Aunt Terry now lives in Florida.

Aunt Terry.  With a fish story of the huge Marlin she caught!!

And was very concerned about Irma destroying her condo.  And a couple of my cousins ensured that Aunt Terry was carried up North via Frontier Airlines.  Just in time for her birthday.

Hell hath no fury like a hurricane named Irma. Heck, if I was named Irma I would be pretty pissed off too!

Now. Due to a lot of stuff that has been going on in my life, I’ve somewhat fell off the family bandwagon.  You know—you lose touch, sometimes things aren’t going so well and you want to shut down, then stuff gets better but you’re too embarrassed to get back in touch.  Life happens.

But—in our family, babies are a big deal. And I was able to reconnect at a cousin’s baby shower a few weeks back.

My cousins Ann Marie, Kate and guess who!

And another generation of cousins are expecting AND expecting at the same time. MORE cousins!

A few days back I received a message from my cousin, Kate.  She explained that Aunt Terry was coming up to ride the hurricane out—she would be staying at Kate’s.  And I was invited to surprise Aunt Terry at a little Birthday celebration.

I was so good. I didn’t eat any cake. That was because I wolfed down about a pound of fresh Mozzarella cheese!

I happily accepted.  Unfortunately, Bonaparte had a client and I would be driving back to New Jersey by myself.  No big deal but he was going to be missed by everyone.

Aunt Terry was mega-surprised when she answered the doorbell and I was standing there!  Kate never let on that I was going.

We had a blast!  Before the rest of the family arrived, we got down to talkin’ politics of which we are on the same page.  This was heavenly to both of us.

My sister and her husband arrived with my niece, and the rest was cousins from the Wynne contingent of the family.

Aunt Terry (middle) the Matriarch of the Wynne’s of the USA.  There’s more of us in Ireland. 

And it is great to be back in the loop.  Family is everything. Family is that group you know you can always trust.  Family knows you and just eye rolls your faults and failures. And family laughs with you.

Everyone is smiling now—but wait till they start to fight over that rainbow cookie cake!

The British Royals may have Queen Elizabeth–but WE have Aunt Terry!

The ride back home was just as pleasurable because I spent the entire ride home gabbing on the phone with my other sister who lives in California!  The ride went very quickly!

I’m not really “feeling” it today to write a long post. I get a bit weird on 9/11.  I worked in the Trade Center when I was younger and today hits home for me due to the loss of many people I knew.  The world as we knew it ended that day and a new, less kinder world emerged.

Never forget.  I reposted this last year and here it is this year.  “Please Don’t Ever Forget”.

The Downtown skyline before our world changed.

And about Saturday night’s dinner—It was divine!

We were in the big stone building…

When we arrived at the restaurant, both buildings were buzzing with activity.   Yes. Spring Mill Café is two buildings.  One, the main structure resembles an old French farm house while the other is a little quaint cottage.

To the back, the little cottage is lit up. We had dinner in that building once–it was very charming!

And to please my husband, I wore a wavy wig. This is Texana by Freetress!

Here’s the dinner!

Tchin Tchin!  We started off with Kir Royales!

Bonaparte started off with a Salade de Tomates

And I started off with a Baby Squid Salad. It was great!!!!

Bonaparte’s filet.  The man loves his beef!

I FINALLY snapped a photo of my Moroccan Hen over Cous Cous—after I chowed most of it down!

We sipped on a beautiful Margaux–smelled and tasted just like dirt–I mean, earth! 

And the server brought out dessert with a celebratory candle!!

We don’t go out to dinner often but when we do, it is for a special occasion and to a great restaurant!

So how was your weekend?  Did you reconnect with family or long-lost friends?  Did you do anything special?

I can’t stop thinking of Sister Sledge right now.  We Are Family! From 1979!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Nice Little Surprises

Bonaparte and I are going out this evening to “our” special and favorite restaurant.

Spring Mill Cafe.  The restaurant of many wonderful meals that we’ve enjoyed!

Spring Mill Café in Conshohocken, PA.   Just the two of us. We will be celebrating our marriage in a quiet way.

From Spring Mill’s website

See that table all the way in the back, in the little alcove? That’s our table!!  We always sit there!!

He surprised me with the announcement of our special dinner.  My plan was to cook. And I’m happy with the surprise.  It put a huge smile on my face!

Yesterday, I was home from work and Bonaparte showed up with flowers for me.  It was another pleasant surprise.  I love little surprises.

Aren’t they lovely? Flowers always brighten up the day–and a room!

Another surprise that came my way this week nearly knocked my socks off. Wait!  I don’t wear socks.  This surprise left me in total shock—and in the best way.

I received a package from one of our Atypical60 friends!  Marie Bénédicte is a friend and reader from France and she totally blew me away.  It’s funny how great surprises occur when you need them.  My week at work wasn’t the greatest. And so, this surprise just made everything happy and pleasant.

Among the little surprises?   I’ll share with you!

The box opening!!  Look at all the goodies!

Cute little brushes that are already in my travel bag and makeup!

Nail enamel–in my favorite color and powder foundation from T. LeClerc!  I love the packaging. And the lip glosses are to die for!

Mustard, a little pesto, Espelette pepper which I’ve already used and is great and violet candies.  I’m a fan of the violet candies–how did Marie know that???

The lip glosses are incredible. I’m wearing them in the pictures and have not primed my lips in any way. My lips are naturally very pigmented and I have an issue with lip color right out of the tube. Both of these are great on bare lips.  

This is the top lip color. I believe the name is Meringue. It looks somewhat warm in the tube but it is a universal gloss if you ask me! This gloss is from T. LeClerc. The gloss in the bottom photo is Innoxa “Haute Tolerance”  in Rose Lacte.  It is almost clear with a hint of color. I LOVE this gloss!

The powder foundation in the left-hand photo is “Amande” from T. LeClerc. I’ve applied it to my inner wrist. The coverage is excellent. I’ll be reviewing later this week on my face. Same with the Number 1 Chair poudre on the right.  Lighter in color but the coverage is still very good.  I think both powder foundations will also serve very well as eye shadow primers!

I’m having a complete slob day today. Does that ever happen to you?  Since we are going out this evening, I don’t want to be bothered with doing makeup now and again later.  I don’t feel like getting dressed twice and I should because I need to run a few errands this afternoon.

No makeup except the Innoxa gloss (which I’m in love with), a filthy hair-dye stained tee and shorts. I’m slobbing it today!

OH!! Did I tell you????? I ordered Laura Geller’s Baked Body Frosting. I had this years ago and it does a great job when I don’t feel like applying fake tanner and waiting for it to dry! Left–before. Right top–after. Looks great–right?

I need a new selfie stick. The selfie sticks for this not-so-smart iPhone 6 are now operated remotely. That means the remote thingy wears down and you must get a whole new set.  I can’t stand it.

We also need to get more mums for the deck.

One of these days I’m going to do a post about “Slob Style”.  In the meantime, here’s what I wore on this shortened work week!

On Tuesday I wore a black swing dress. With my selfie stick broken, I couldn’t get decent photos!

Wednesday was a rainy one. I wore my “mom” outfit. Pixie Pants, a chambray shirt and an old pair of Cole Haan Air Nike (discontinued–of course!) ballet flats!

Thursday’s outfit was my favorite!  It’s now Plaid Season!  My pants are a bit tight around the waist which means it definitely IS time to return to the Watchers of Weight!

Who says older women can’t wear denim jackets?  I have had this denim jacket for years. It’s from the G.H. Bass outlet. I think I paid about $35 and it is just a great cut–nice and fitted!

And the hair. I’m really loving this color. IB/30. Off black with streaks of auburn. This is Joy from Model Model Hair!

And with that.  I give you a delightful surprise of a song.  “Undone—The Sweater Song” from Weezer. It’s a great song to listen to whilst dressed as a slob but this song gives me great memories of listening to music with my kids when they were all home! Enjoy the weekend!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

The Queens of Lemon Tarts And a Skincare Tip And Other Stuff!

I’ve had a few requests for the recipe to that beautiful lemon tart I made for last Saturday night’s dessert. And it was great.

But I can’t take full credit.  The ladies responsible for that recipe are Carole Clements and Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen.  The recipe is from the book they co-wrote.

French—The Secrets of Classic Cooking Made Easy.

If you should ever come across this book, buy it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t even stop to think. Just buy it. It is a fantastic cookbook–easy and foolproof and full of French homestyle recipes!

I honestly cannot say enough about this book. I’ve written about it a few times in past blog posts.  It cost me all of $6.00 at Borders. Remember the book store Borders?  Well, when Oona was at her Irish Dance classes in North Jersey, I would drive over to the Borders store close to Scotch Plains.  There’s nothing like a book store to while away a couple of hours. Every trip brings a new adventure.

Anyway, when I started seeing Bonaparte, I thought it would be a promising idea if, perhaps, I was able to whip something up that reminded him of his home country.  When I saw this book, I immediately picked it up.

Lo and behold, he started flipping through the pages shortly after my purchase and he said many of the recipes were basic old-school French home cooking.

Since then, this is my go-to book. I’m not kidding. It’s used more than my Barefoot Contessa books—and the pages have the stains to prove it.

There are some excellent dessert recipes in here too.  One that I hadn’t made was the Lemon Tart or as they say in French, Tarte au Citron. I happen to love lemon.  It’s just a refreshing taste—I make Lemon Curd quite often and I always have a jar of preserved lemons on hand.  And so, I decided to make this lovely dessert.

The tart turned out just as beautiful as in the photos!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 shortcrust pastry (recipe for shortcrust follows this)
  • Grated rind of 2 to three lemons (I used three)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (fresh or the kind you buy in the store—really doesn’t matter)
  • ½ cup superfine sugar (I used regular sugar and the result was fantastic)
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out the pastry thinly and line a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan (I used a tart pan).  Prick the base of the pastry.
  2. Line the pastry shell with foil and fill with baking beans (I used the ceramic kind) bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are set and dry. Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Place the lemon rind, juice and sugar in a bowl. Beat until combined then gradually add the heavy cream. (I used my KitchenAid).
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time then beat in the yokes and pour the filling into the pastry shell. Place the tart on a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.  The recipe in the book says 15 minutes.  I’m pretty sure I had my tart in the oven for a good 40 minutes.
  5. Let cool, chill and dust with Confectioner’s sugar before serving. I whipped some heavy cream with a bit of Confectioner’s sugar, spooned into a pastry bag and piped little stars on the tart.  Sorry, I didn’t take a pic of the decorated tart. I forgot!

Shortcrust Pastry

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar (I used 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 3 to 8 tbsps. iced water.
  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl. Cut the butter in. I use a pastry blender to cut the butter in but you can use your hands or even a food processor. Whatever works for you. Cut the butter in until the texture is like fine crumbs.
  2. Slowly add the water mixing until a crumbly dough begins to form. Don’t overdo it or the crust will end up tough. If too dry, add water by the drop, if too wet, add a bit of flour.
  3. Form into an oval, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for about a half hour.
  4. After a half hour, roll the dough out to o a nice thin circle and line in the pie plate or tart pan.

This is a GREAT crust recipe. It turns out perfect!  But remember, don’t over mix!

Hands down, THE best crust recipe ever.  EVER!

Right out of the oven. I allowed the tart to cool down to room temperature, then lightly covered in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge until time to enjoy!

And that is the recipe.  It’s easy and light and lovely!

You know how much I have fallen in love with Laura Geller’s Balance n Brighten foundation, right?  Well, I’m still in love with it and I’m using it every day.

I’m using the Balance-n-Brighten Foundation every day!  Here I am wearing it today! (I’m also wearing Model Model “Joy” wig)

But, I never realized that powder and baked foundations are more difficult to clean off your face because of the fine composition.

Another look at this fabulous foundation!  

Hey, I would have never known about this if I hadn’t watched the vlog of Jill Lynn Beauty Therapy on Evening Skin Care Routine. She used the term “anti-aging” and if you go onto YouTube and read the comments you will see my comment on the use of “anti-aging”.  Despite the fact she used “that” term, she’s got some stellar advice.

I cringe with the use of “Anti-Aging” but Jill Lynn Beauty Therapy has some good tips. Maybe I can get her to stop using “Anti-Aging”!

I like her gentle manner and she wears wigs too!

Anyway, I decided to heed her advice and after washing with my favored Vivant Skincare Mandelic Acid 3-in1 Wash I spritzed the  brand’s 3% Mandelic Acid 3-in-one toner on a cotton round.

This is the toner. It doesn’t dry your face either!

Can you believe this?  And I thought my skin was cleaned.  It’s true, the baked foundation really does stick to your skin!

Holy Shit. I couldn’t believe the dirt that was still left in my pores.  I almost ran down to the laundry room to grab the Lestoil! For my face!

I was too lazy to run upstairs and take a photo so I robbed this off the Vivant Skincare website.  Read my review on Vivant Skincare Products. (Click on the name).  I’m telling you, this skincare company has great, great products.  The 3-in-1 wash lasts forever. You only need a bit to clean your entire face!

Instead, I went back, gave my face a second scrubbing with the Wash and repeated the toner. That second scrubbing really got all that baked-in foundation off.

After the second cleansing.  I’m thinking that perhaps I should treat myself to a facial–a deep cleaning one!

Watching the vlog also made me realize that I need to be less lazy about my evening skincare routine.  I’ve been exfoliating and taking extra diligent care of my skin!

Remember—if you use a mineral powder foundation or a baked foundation, make sure your skin is cleansed well!

Now on to nothing particularly special. Bonaparte doesn’t like my tying an Herme’s scarf on my purse—according to him, it was too expensive to be thrown around.

I love the way my Hermes scarf looks on the Longchamp bag. Bonaparte does not.

So, I searched for inexpensive alternatives.  Through another blogger, I found out about an inexpensive web shop. Shein.  There are some interesting items being sold on this site.

I would not buy clothing simply because I’ve heard the stuff runs very, very small.  However, the selection of scarfs that are available is astounding.

I purchased this cute scarf and…

It’s on my other Longchamp bag.  OMG!! I just noticed the blanket on the sofa!  I’m a bad blogging photographer.  I should have taken the blanket off the sofa but it’s raining and Chippy would make the sofa dirty!

Chippy’s got the rhythm!

At an average price of $5.00 for the scarfs, it is an excellent buy. Especially if you are planning to wear a scarf as a handbag accessory or a thin scarf as a wrap bracelet.

Shein’s five dollar version of the Twilly scarf…

Which I purchased and wear as a wrap bracelet. I’m diggin’ this look. I must buy more!

And guess what else Shein sells?  Sandals that look like a very famous and unattainable French brand that begins with the letter “H”—hint, I have an expensive scarf from the brand and Bonaparte doesn’t want me using it as an embellishment on my purse!

Yes. These are from Shein

Too bad they don’t come in narrow widths!

Yeah. $25, as opposed to over $600. They are a bit on the wide side, but I plan on hot gluing some foam on the inside of the straps to make the fit narrower.  They look fine!

Well, that’s a whole lot of stuff tonight!  Go get some lemons and make a tart!

Oh. I also got some new music.  My man Laurent Voulzy released his Belem CD last week.  It’s very Brazilian-inspired.  Here’s some Spirit of Samba for you!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Move Over Josephine! Bonaparte is Mine!!! (The Story of how a New York Girl and Parisian Man Met)

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND. MANY HAVE WONDERED.  MANY HAVE ASKED.

HERE YOU GO!

A couple of readers are curious as to how Bonaparte and I came to be a couple and I thought it would make for a fun post so here goes! I hope you enjoy….

Joséphine de Beauharnais and Napoleon Bonaparte

Joséphine de Beauharnais and Napoleon Bonaparte

Seriously Josephine. Get outta my way. The Frenchman is mine!

The story of little loud-mouthed girl from New York and baguette loving little French Parisian boy….

My divorce wreaked some havoc—especially havoc in the form of a horrific financial downfall.   My oldest son was away in Austin at University of Texas. My middle son, my daughter and I were now housed in a small apartment. I may have lost our home, but at least there was a roof overhead.

It wasn’t easy. The water and electricity were constantly being shut off—so much so that the staff at Trenton Water Authority knew me by my first name. But—they were always pleasant and I always managed to scrape up enough cash to have the water put back on. Ditto the electricity.

I’ll skip some other bad stuff that I don’t want to get into. But—after a while, it was time to get back on the social train. I was signed up for a “trial” of 30 days on “Match.com”. I had two meetings over coffee, but just figured I was better off alone. Anyway, a couple of days before my “trial” ended, I figured I would peruse through the pickin’s.

match_com-logoYes. We met on Match.com!

I stopped at a picture of a man in a light blue crew-neck sweater. I could tell it was wool and not polyester—that grabbed my shallow attention. Then I noticed this gentleman’s eyes were as blue as the color of the sweater. This gentleman appeared to be very distinguished. Something I was not. In fact I was sitting at the computer in granny pants and an old, holey T-Shirt.

I then went on to read his profile. He liked art (check); New York City (check, check, check); fine food (sorta check—I was cooking for teens but I love me a great and fancy meal!) and tennis (uncheck). OK –so three out of four wasn’t bad.

Renoir's home. Nudes having a great time.

I love art..especially Renoir, so it was a good thing Bonaparte had a good appreciation–I mean, he’s French afterall…..

nyc-parking-tickets2

Given the fact he loved my home town, was also a plus!

Then I noticed where he was born and raised. Paris, France.

Eiffel Tower Day View

I had heard that Parisians were the rather “difficult” of all the Frenchmen–and women!

Oh.

Now, you need to understand something—I fed into that whole “Oh-the-French-hate-Americans” thing. Yes. After 9/11 I had a propensity to refer to “French Fries” as “Freedom” fries.

freedom-fries1

Yup! I don’t necessarily like fried potatoes, but I did refer to them as “freedom” fries. These days I just call them “Frites”!

I learned every single stereotypical image about the French from cartoons and TV shows.

RepublicFrench

Yes. My educational on French stereotypes were from “great” sources…

Pepe_Le_Pew

…although sometimes Pepe Le Pew is easier to understand.

However, something inside me, perhaps it was the contrarian or the curiosity, made me write a little blurb to him. It went something like this:

“So, you like art. Impressionism? It’s my fave. I love Renoir. You like NYC? I lived there for many years!” “You got an accent?” (THAT was a dopey question)

He wrote back. We spent a bit of time writing back and forth. I finally wrote to him that my “trial” was about to expire and I gave him my email address and told him to just shoot me an email.

We emailed back and forth and he asked me for my phone number. I gave it to him. He called. He had a very heavy accent that was somewhat hard to understand. But, we kept talking.

He asked me out—that last weekend of November 2004. Actually, Thanksgiving weekend. I explained to him that I could not make it because my daughter had a regional Irish Dance competition in Philadelphia and would be busy from Thanksgiving evening through that Sunday. (Yay! Party time at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas!) Anyone involved in Irish Dance is fully-aware that you never make plans that conflict with those Thanksgiving weekend regionals!

Irish Dance competitions, especially the Oireachtas, takes top priority. Over EVERYTHING!!! (spoken like a true dance mom)!

He asked if I wanted to meet him the following Friday. Friday, December 3rd, 2004. I nervously agreed. It was just easier talking on the phone and emailing than having to get all dressed up, and trying to look “pretty” and worrying how I looked, and did I look too fat…yada yada yada.

We both wanted to keep things casual so we met on somewhat safe and common ground. We met at The Marketplace in Princeton. The Marketplace was a smaller mall, and in that mall were many stores I frequented! (I spent many a rainy summer day there when the kids were young). In addition, I felt comfortable there. I figured if things turned sour, I could always use some retail therapy—and spend money I didn’t have.

I spent a lot of time, and money I didn’t have at this Princeton Mall. It was a safe place for our first meeting!

It was easy to spot Monsieur Bonaparte because, luckily, he looked just like his photo. In fact, he looked very nice. Until I noticed what he was wearing on his feet. A FRENCHMAN wearing TENNIS SHOES???? Yes! I was shocked. As much as I fed into the “anti-French” propaganda, the one thing I did have in common with the French was the disgust of white tennis shoes and/or sneakers. In my most humble opinion, tennis shoes belong on the tennis court and only on the tennis court.   The sneaker thing—only a few types of sneakers get my stamp of approval. Chuck Taylors and old-school Keds. End of story.

ugh

Was Bonaparte REALLY French–or was he faux-French. What self-respecting Frenchman would wear these on a DATE????

I become physically upset when I see tourists wearing white tennis shoes/sneakers, heavy ankle sport socks and ill-fitting shorts with t-shirts—especially when I see this kind of attire in a large city. It was bad enough for me to be seen off the courts with someone wearing these hideous shoes!

Those tennis shoes had my red flag at half-mast.

red-flag-half-mast300

My red flag was at half-mast. Uh Oh!

As Bonaparte was not familiar with the Princeton area, so we took my car and we drove down Route 1 just a bit to grab a bite to eat at The Princetonian Diner.

Princetonian Diner

Best diner in the Princeton area! The burgers and “freedom” fries are delicious!

Bonaparte had his red flag at half-mast upon entering my car—which, by the way he later deemed as the messiest car he had ever been in. I don’t even it being a mess except for a few pieces of sports equipment that belonged to the kids. The car wasn’t that bad. I mean really; he actually thinks he saw papers strewn on the floor!

My oh my. Bonaparte had HIS red flag at half mast after seeing the inside of my little green Cavalier.  Now we were even!

Wait. It gets better. After having a quick bite at the diner, Bonaparte asked me if I wanted to drive across the road to check out furniture at Ethan Allen and Domain. (I thought he was moving a bit fast!). It turned out his daughter was moving into a new place and he wanted to check out furniture for her.

Imagine that! This helicopter mom met her helicopter dad!

130626103433-helicopter-moms-story-top

Get rid of those red flags. Helicopter Mom has met her true match..

helicopter dad

The French version of the Helicopter Dad!!!!

We actually had a pretty good time checking out all that furniture—it seemed that we both had pretty much similar tastes!

budget-300-groupon-ethan-allen-knLA2

Surprisingly, all the sofas and loveseats in our home are white and slipcovered! Who knew?

A stop at Starbucks ended our first “date” *giggle* *giggle*

starbucks

A delightful end to our first date was a stop at Starbucks!

We have been together since that first date–but there’s more so read on…

Shortly thereafter, Bonaparte administered a “test”, unbeknownst to me. The test was disguised as a movie and dinner date. He was to cook dinner for me after seeing a “surprise” movie.

When I arrived at Bonaparte’s home, he was ready to leave. (*NOTE: Bonaparte is ALWAYS on time. Worse yet, he’s early. I am always late with the exception of doctor’s appointments, air and train travel. That’s it.) I think I may have been a couple of minutes late because he was not smiling. Oh wait. He’s French!

To lighten things up, I asked him “Why do you always wear those white tennis shoes? You’re supposed to be French! I thought the French had better taste in footwear?” “They really are not attractive!” (He didn’t realize I had a “thing” about footwear).

Embarrassed, he took the fugly tennis shoes off and changed into the classy, chic, European loafers, that he should have been wearing in the first place.

He also explained “Ah em so embarrahrrrazzz.” “Ah soughs zhat Americanzzz loved zuh tennis shuz.” “Ah em zoo ‘eppy ow don’ lek zhem.” “Ow ahr lek zuh Fra’shhh. Ow spek ur meen”.

(Translation: “I thought that Americans loved the tennis shoes. I am so happy you don’t like them. You are like the French. You speak your mind.”)

Score one for me!

While on the way to see the movie, he wouldn’t budge when I asked him whatmovie we were seeing. Instead, I hounded him about dinner. He was making roast chicken, French style. He then started talking about the various courses. He explained that we were having , in his words

“Pate and Cornish hen to start” He explained in his heavy accent.

I asked him why we were having Cornish hen before having chicken.

SH1406_Herb-Roasted-Cornish-Game-Hens_s4x3

He knew I love a good meal, but Cornish Hen as a starter?  Whoa–I’m not that much of a little piggy!

He was becoming frustrated “Cornish hen..wizz mutar!!!”

Sensing his frustration, I started to laugh and asked why he was getting so upset.

Bonaparte: “Ow no zouz gren zings zhewish pip-ul et?” From zuh bar’rel?”

(Translation: “You know those green things jewish people eat? From the barrel?”)

Me:               “Yeah. You mean pickles??”

Bonaparte: “Oui.” Cornish hen ahr leedul peekuhls”.

Thus, I found out what “cornichon” were! Years later, I still cannot understand everything he says!

pickles_cornichons_jar

This is what the “Cornish hen” was! Oops!

The movie turned out to be “A Very Long Engagement”. A World War I epic of love and the search for a loved one. It starred Audrey Tatou and Gaspar Uliel as the doomed but engaged lovers, Mathilde and Manech. I loved this film. In fact, to this day it remains one of my faves!

a-very-long-engagement

a-very-long-engagement-movie-poster-2004-1010250240

I outsmarted Bonaparte! He had no idea I was a fan of French cinema!

This film turned out to be the “test”. Apparently, Bonaparte was unsure of a long-term relationship if I didn’t like French film. What he didn’t realize that I had been a fan of French cinema since my early twenties. Living in Manhattan gave me the opportunity to enjoy many French films. I was especially fond of Francois Truffaut, Louis Malle, Jean Renoir and Eric Rohmer. (Also..Bonaparte’s uncle, Yves Robert! Bonus!!!)

After expressing my disgust at this ridiculous test, I scored another one for me!

I guess the French are just more pragmatic in their relationship thinking! They judge compatibility  by film and food!

We’ve had ups and downs, but mostly ups.  We have fun and enjoy each other and balance each other very well. It’s nice!

Bbonaparte and Me

I even introduced Bonaparte to selfies!

me and Bonaparte NYC 2010

Bonaparte wasn’t used to divey bars in NYC until he met me! Here we are waiting for my son Roman’s band “Bad Man Yells” to begin playing. My oldest son Jake is with us. This is from 2010!

Bonaparte and me

In Long Island. November 2011 at a family wedding (my side)!

So that’s it. Here’s a link to an article I wrote in “FrenchEntree” about my first attempt at making a nice French dinner for Bonaparte. It started out as a complete disaster but it really is a fun read:

My Dinner for Bonaparte

To keep you in the mood..Le Temps De L’Amour from Francois Hardy! Oh lala! XOXOXOXO

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments