Red Lipstick and Randomness

So…remember a while back I wrote a post basically complaining about how horrible I looked in red lipstick and despite what is said, there isn’t a red lipstick for everywoman! To refresh your memory or if you haven’t read it, here’s the post: Not All Women Over a Certain Age Can Wear Red Lipstick….

And boy, I’ve been avoiding red lipstick like the plague.  My go-to lips are either a nude color or a nice light pink but red….nuh unh.

A light pinky-nude is what I’m usually wearing. Until it wears off.

But something happened.  I’m on a three-month auto-delivery for my favorite eye-brightening powder/concealer however you want to categorize it.  bareMinerals Well-Rested. I can’t live without it.  And with every delivery comes a free sample of one of the brand’s products.

An old Well-Rested. I sweat the 3-month timing on the auto-delivery is perfect because just as I’m running out…a new one pops up at the door!

This time it was a sample of Statement Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade VIP.  And after looking at it I threw it in a pile to be thrown out with the trash.  But something happened.  Last night as I was tidying up, I had a change of heart and decided to at least try it on before saying bye-bye to it.

My little sample lipstick.  This packs a punch of red for sure!

I didn’t even prep my lips with moisturizer or concealer to tone down my natural pigment. I applied it straight to my naked mouth.  And when I looked in the mirror, I did a double-take. It looked good.

Who’d a thunk I would find a red lipstick that worked for me?

Actually, it looked great.  I was shook!        And pleasantly surprised.

This little sample really made a big impact!

But  today  I decided to take it a step further.

Kept it simple to focus on the lips!

Since I’m not wearing foundation or concealer on my face during the summer, I decided to even tread lightly with the eye makeup today and concentrate on the lips.  I did the brows, added my Well-Rested for some brightening (I didn’t even care about diminishing the “hood” on my hooded eyes), added mascara and tight lined my eyes.

There was a bit of prep work…

Then I prepped my lips. I did apply a touch of liquid concealer to tone down my natural pigmentation and did outline my lips in NYX’ Wonder Pencil.

NYX Wonder Pencil. This is GREAT for protecting lips against bleeding lipstick!

I’ve been using this pencil for years and find it really does help to stop lipstick from bleeding.

I sorta like less makeup on the eyes with a red lip too!

Then I carefully applied the liquid lipstick.  I did take my time simply because I was wearing it to the office and didn’t want to overdo it.

Surprisingly, the lipstick stayed put all day.  It faded a bit but the stain was still put.  I drank four cans of La Croix water and when I arrived home, I was shocked that there was a still a good amount of lipstick on me!

This photo was taken shortly after dinner this evening.  I got hair mail today. Do you like it?  Anyway, as you can see, the lipstick is still on. Faded but still stained. This is after 12 hours and after dinner!!!!!! And I NEVER reapply. I’m lazy!!!

Now…I wouldn’t wear a red lip every day.  I’m simply too lazy with the preparation—especially since my lips have a tendency to chap. Red lipstick on chapped lips isn’t the greatest look.

But…bareMinerals states that this lipstick is hydrating. It’s weird because matte lipsticks aren’t known for being hydrating but…my mouth never felt dry during the day. So, I’m thinking there’s something to this.

Overall, a great, great red lipstick!

Will I purchase this after the sample is gone?  No. I’m heading to the mall later this week to the bareMinerals store to purchase it before the sample is gone!

For special occasions, this is fabulous.  I’m taking it with me for Oona’s wedding.  She’s going to have a makeup artist to do our makeup and I’m thinking for photographs; this may be a decent shade—but I’ll leave that up to the bride and the makeup artist!

OVERALL FOR A RED LIPSTICK—I give it an A+.  It’s cool-toned skin friendly, mature woman friendly and stays on all day, albeit fades it still stays!

Now for some randomness.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I post photos of my outfits of the day.  Lately, I’m getting into what inspires my ensembles.

Two that were fun are from this week!  With one of my childhood schoolmates visiting Paris and other parts of France, I thought it would be fun to be inspired by the striped columns at the Palais Royal.  I wore a black and white jumpsuit purchased last summer at Marshalls for $19.99!

Inspiration in the form of the columns at the Palais Royal in Paris!  I’m wearing my black Rondini sandals that were purchased in St. Tropez.  Very French-inspired!

I wore my Estetica Designs Alden wig pulled in a side ponytail and wore very neutral lipstick. In hindsight, I shoulda worn the red lipstick.

The Alden wig looks great in a side ponytail but I could’ve used a bit more lip color. I kept it too neutral. Oh well!

Today my inspiration was from the newspaper.  Black, white and “read” all over. But in my case, it was black, white and “red” all over!  Red shoes.  Red lips and my skin are a bit red from the sun!

My inspiration for today!  Black. White and Read/Red all over!

I love my red shoes and Chippy loves the fake tanner on my legs.  My toe is still not healed so I had to take the shoes off at work!

Overall, I’m so happy with today’s look!  Gray and red look great together!

Another bit of randomness.  Last night an old dance mom friend sent me a message with a photo of engraving detail.  It’s from a perpetual trophy her daughter received. From Oona’s old Irish Dance School. It was given to her as an exemplary student of the school who personified hard work, a positive attitude and good sportsmanship.  And she showed me who’s name was on it from years past.

Oona is at the top and it’s so nice to see familiar names!!!

My daughter received in back in 2002 when she was 13 and I remember how proud of her I was. It was such a wonderful memory. And it was great to know that one of my old dance moms friends daughter received it!

I’m off to ponder what to make for dinner this weekend.  Yeah. I realize it’s Tuesday but Roman will be spending the weekend with is so I’m in “mom” mode right now!

Thumbs up for red lips and randomness!!!

Did you ever change your mind about something?  Like a hair style or makeup or anything?  I’m kind of happy that I changed my mind about trashing that sample lippie!!!

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My Spirit Animal is Neither a Spirit Nor an Animal!

As much as I love animals, I don’t look to them to be my teacher or messenger.  Therefore, my spirit animal is not an animal.

I have a reality show star to lead my delusions in the right path and to teach me…….and my spirit animal is…………

Patricia Altschul of Bravo’s Southern Charm!

My spirit animal—Patricia Altschul. She isn’t a Patti. She’s no Patsy either. She’s PATRICIA!!  I must get that book…and those pink flamingos.  I wanted some for my lawn but Bonaparte would not allow it! 

If you’ve never watched the show (which I strongly suggest you start), it’s Bravo’s finest.  The drama is exemplary.  Old money.  Old Southern Lineage.  Men who are experiencing Peter Pan Syndrome.  The women they hang with.  Actually, the women are the hard workers on this show.

Image result for southern charm cast season 6


This is the cast of Season Six. WHERE’S PATRICIA??????  And the men pictured have zero ambition.  Complete Peter Pans.  I can’t even…but the drama is so delightfully addictive!

There’s also tons of booze on the show!

And the one character who makes it all worthwhile is producer Whitney  Sudler Smith’s (he’s the only male on the show with an actual career) mother Patricia.

Producer Whitney Sudler Smith, the only male on Southern Charm with a career, and his mom, the fabulous Patricia Altschul!

Now. You are aware that I’m my own idol—which has nothing to do with narcissistic behavior. It’s just that I found my style and my many hair looks (with the aid of my wigs) that fit me.

And might I add that there’s nothing wrong with being your own idol.  You should be the best you that you can be!  And by the time you reach my age of 64, you’ve been around long enough to know yourself!

But there’s always room for admiration! And I admire this woman.

Why do I love and admire her so much?  Well…it’s because she’s the ridiculously wealthy and very-much refined version of me.  (If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you are well-versed in my delusions!)  She speaks her mind and is a fantastic hostess and she’s a lady at all times!

My spirit animal Patricia Atchul and me.  Our similarities are just so incredibly different!  We’re practically twins!

It’s also because we’re so much alike and so different at the same time! I’m the Paupered princess to her Well-Monied princess!

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I may be the Paupered Princess–but at least I’m dressed in natural organics and not polyester!

Anyway, let’s do some serious comparisons to our similar differences so that you can get a better understanding of how likely unlike each other we are–and I adore her so much. I wonder if she would feel the same way about me…hmmmmmm….

We both enjoy a good long dress at home to lounge in.  She prefers Caftans while I have a penchant for the maxi dress!

Oh my.  What an elegant at-home look!

….and I prefer the more laid back version of a Lilly Pulitzer maxi and Rondini sandals!

Both of us are moms!  And our children all have sucessful careers!!

She’s a great mom to her son, Whitney..

I like to think I’m a great mom to my sons Jake and Roman……

And my daughter, Oona!

We both love fresh flowers!

Ohhhhhh…that arrangement of flowers is truly spectacular and most likely came from a very expensive florist!

Ummmm …I paid $20 for these flowers at Wegmans and they don’t even fill the vase…

But I’ve had these Walmart Poinsettias hanging out in my kitchen nook since December!!!  I guess we are differently alike!

Patricia poses so elegantly with her dog!

How did the DailyMail photographer capture this moment?  Treats?  Or is Patricia’s Pug incredibly well-trained…

I am lucky if I get a photo of me with Chippy..and when I do, it certainly isn’t very elegant!

I tried to bribe Chippy from under the coffee table with treats…

He took the treats but wouldn’t budge.  So I had to climb under the coffee table. OUCH!  I banged my head. And the last thing I need is yet, ANOTHER head injury. People still don’t think I’ve recovered from the head injury I suffered in a bathtub fall years ago!

Finally!  A portrait with Chippy!  See..I told you Patricia and I are similarly different!

Patricia loves a good martini and she’s perfected it!

Yum Yum!  A Dry Martini is so delightfully refreshing!

Am I classy enough for a martini?

I want a proper cocktail just like Patricia!

Ewwww.  It’s too much for me.  Oh well, I won’t be embarrassing my daughter at her wedding…

Oh wait!  I’m lowbrow. I love me my Aperol Spritz’s.  I wonder if I can get Patricia to drink my favorite aperitif!

Patricia’s son, Whitney, went to boarding school far away.

My boys traveled from far  away too!  From the way, upper Upper West Side–past Washington Heights to attend school at St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side.  In NYC terms, that is as far as boarding school!

Jake’s first day of Kindergarten at St. Ignatius Loyola.  That uniform still makes me so happy.  The blazer and pants were purchased at Brooks Brothers and my sons still buy clothing at that store! 

Patricia has a Butler to serve her!

Patricia’s butler, Michael is the MAN!!! And the younger male cast members can take a cue from Michael. He is employed.  They ain’t!

I have my French husband, Bonaparte, to serve me! And he serves me well because he INSISTS on cleaning up after me because I’m blind in my right eye and can’t see the mess I’ve made.  Case in point. Check out the counter behind him.  I was baking. He was so obsessive that he cleaned it before he left for work!

My Parisien!  When he gets upset with me he speaks in French.  Doesn’t he realize that I understand every word he says??

Patricia loves a classic and tasteful LBD! And how about those gams?

Patrick McMullan==Photo – CLINT SPAULDING/, too love a LBD!

I got mine on sale at Banana Republic years ago. I can assure you that Ms. Patricia did NOT get her LBD at Banana Republic!

Patricia loves a great place setting!

My lottery goal is to afford the kind of China that Patricia has..

I also love fine China and a killer place setting!

My fancy China was purchased about 20 years ago at the Salvation Army Red, White, and Blue Store in Hamiton NJ.  I got 60 pieces for $20..and it’s gold-plated! usual place settings are more on the casual side!

Patricia loves her white sofas…..

Again with a dog.  WTF?  Why can’t I get a good pose with Chippy?

So do I..and I’m especially fond of the white loveseat in my sunroom!

My Ikea Ektorp Loveseat!

See?  It’s fun to have a person as a Spirit Animal!  I look at the little “Patricia Altschul” inspired items in my home and can channel her!

These Mother-of-Pearl  spears were given to me as a gift many years ago.  I like to pick up olives with them and pop them into my mouth. It makes me feel very refined.  And then if I drop an olive I usually drop the “f” bomb which is so absolutely vulgar and trashy.  I’ll bet Patricia Altschul doesn’t have the gutter-mouth that I have!

Either way.  We are both pro-aging women.  And I’m sure that Patricia Altchul is her own icon too!

Two women.  Completely different but similar.  We’re both proagers and are both over a certain age!  But…I’ll keep enjoying having Patricia Altschul as my Spirit Animal!  As long as she doesn’t sue me!

Do you have a Spirit Animal?  Is it human or an actual animal!  I’m nosey!



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There’s a Summer Face

There really is.  My summer face is definitely different from the winter/fall/spring face.

The face makeup basically gets put away until September rolls in and I opt for a lighter touch for the most part.

The freckles shine through and presently, the red glow that I received from the sun (and I used plenty of sunscreen) hasn’t turned to that bronzed hue of tan.

My summer face. The foundation is gone.  So is the concealer.  And the contour.  And the five lipsticks I layer upon my big mouth!  It’s freckles and lighter makeup!

Mascara is the only cosmetic item that I use with a heavier hand.

There’s just something about the hot weather that makes me want a fresh face.  Maybe it’s due to lighter clothing and sandals and the beach.  Whatever it is, I’m definitely affected by the seasons.

It’s all kightweight.  Clothing down to footwear. Even my feet need a break..ok..I worded that wrong–especially since I broke my toe.  My feet neet a REST from being enclosed for months!  

Anyway, I did do a bit of shopping for some items that I would like to share with you.  All are very summer-friendly and lighter than the winter stuff. So, come along with me and we’ll have a bit of fun!

Sandy Nude Eye Palette by Bobbi Brown—I’m not huge on the Bobbi Brown brand.  The cosmetics are pricey and the foundations are a miss for my skin tone.  They are just too yellow for me.  But when I saw this at TJ Maxx, my interest was piqued.  It wasn’t on a huge discount either. I paid $24 and this retails for $39 in Department stores and online.

It’s a keeper but I question the brush that was included!

What drew me to this was the compacted size.  For traveling and to throw in a purse, it was rather appealing. Add to that the shades are neutrals.

It opens up.  Scroll down to see. It’s a great use of space!

But I’ll start off with a little tidbit that I find so freaking annoying.  The brush that came with the palette.  It is a waste.  The bristles are soft but seriously—you think I’m going to use the same tiny, miniscule brush for all the shadows that are contained in this palette?  No.  But the real clincher is that there is no place to store the brush!!!   Is one expected to just throw the brush in a cosmetic bag, let it fall to the bottom and get filthy?  Personally, I would rather invest in a small set of brushes that come in a case and that will fit into a bag.

Completely useless. It would have been better if there was space in the palette for it but..Nope!

What’s great is the shadows.  They aren’t the most pigmented but they are extremely buildable and give a great finish.  The shadows have no fallout and the lift is good too.  The darkest shade, Rich Caviar works well as a crease shadow and an eyeliner.  This is a great little summer palette but man, that brush is the dopiest addition ever.  Do I think the full retail price of $39 is worth it?  That’s tough because as a travel palette, this is wonderful and will last a long time but for an everyday palette, the shadows aren’t extraordinary and if you are a neutral shadow person, you most likely have similar shades at home already.

Fully opened.  The bottom right-hand shade is Rich Caviar.  It is, hands down, the best shade in the lot.  

I built up the shadows on this look and lined my eyes with the Rich Caviar. Overall, it’s a decent palette and very travel-friendly–especially for summer vacay!

  Benefit Gimme Brow—Mini Sized: There are two sizes of this incredible product.  Full size at $24 and the mini at $12.  In my most humble opinion, the mini is more manageable to work with.  After trying other similar brow products, the larger wands can be cumbersome.  And Benefit has a great range of shades.

Trust me the $12 for the mini-size is all you need!

The shade I use, Number 6 is dark enough without being too harsh or oxidizing. The small wand is perfect and a bit goes a long way.  I use this every day and fill in with my Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow.

Don’t let the size fool you. This packs a whollop!

…and the brush is incredibly manageable!

This is a great brow product and stays put through sweat and rain and ocean!

Take a look-see at the brows.  It’s a great product!

Mascara is mascara..right?  Well..some work better than others.  I’m hooked these days on L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara and the brand’s primer/base.  When I’m not wearing a lot of makeup, I like my lashes to be extra.  And this…this is all you need.  The white base preps the lashes and the mascara–at less than $6.00 at Walmart is the greatest buy ever!

This mascara doesn’t run either. I don’t wear waterproof even in the sweatiest of times.  This stays put but really gives lashes a wonderful thickness..

I’m wearing the mascara in this pic. You can get a good idea of the thickness.  And for the’s a winner!

Even being kissed by the sun,  a bit o’ blush is needed.  What I mainly do with blush in the summer is hit the spots that the sun didn’t get to or the spots that the SPF was applied a bit thicker.  Blush blends into the sun’s color.  I purchased this luminescent blush by Milani at Walmart.  It was around six dollars and I love the color.

Dolce Pink by Milani. It’s very pretty because it gives that light glow and it isn’t matte.. The price is definitely right and this is a great summer shade!

Did I hear that the mature woman should not wear glittery eyeshadow?  Well, I must’ve heard wrong because these glittery babies from Stila are beautiful for that special…cocktail party…dinner date…or just because.

Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow.  I happen to be big on Stila and these little shadows are gorgeous.  Just the right amount of glimmery shine. They go on wet and dry to a nice shade.  (I’ll be posting pics over the weekend). I’ve worn these on my lid for that something extra!

Three different glitters–gold, rose gold and  platinum.  And a little swipe across the lid will make those eyes stand out!

Foundation is one of those products that, for me, is very-much needed during three seasons.  When that tan fades, my skin tone is ruddy, blotchy and uneven and I depend on this product to help even out my skin tone.  Be that as it may, during the summer I want my face to be a bit more natural.  Still, there are times when I do need the assistance of a foundation.

You can bet your bippy that I’ll be wearing it for Oona’s wedding–mainly for photo purposes.  But every now and then, a darker and lighter foundation will suffice during the three hot months from July through August.

Cushion foundation fits the bill and although I do have Wet ‘n Wild’s cushion foundation, I picked this up at Marshalls for $3.99

Darker than my other foundations, it looks a bit yellow on the back of my wrist but blends in well to even out my summer skin tone.

I’m wearing this foundation on my face. I wore it to work yesterday and it blended in nicely.  Made the red appear more tanned.  For the price of $3.99 it was well-worth it!

Since the cushion foundations don’t have a ton of product, I am very selective when using them.  But the next cushion foundation I’m adding, I purchased from Amazon and am adding the link:  Misha Cushion Foundation! Missha Cushion Foundation Number 23

Missha is a Korean brand and I have this in the light shade 21.  

Here it is in the shade Number 23.  As you can see, it’s darker and not as yellow as the L’Oreal.  What I love about this brand’s foundations is that the cushion foundation gives off a nice luminosity!  And it’s inexpensive but does the job!

Last of all, I won a wig in a contest!  Back in January, I won Alden.  A brand new head of hair from Estetica.  She wasn’t available for sale back when I won her but she is now and boy is this a great head of hair.  I call it Julia Roberts hair!  She is so incredibly versatile because worn down, she’ll be fantastic three-season hair.  But………

Julia Roberts hair in my favorite shade–Caramel Kiss!

I put her in a low messy bun and wore her two days to work this week.  I received a ton of compliments!! This is a great wig for that messy bun because the fibers are like two-day bio hair. Slightly coarse which is fantastic for pulling hair back!

I’m loving this messy bun.  I know this’ll be worn often this summer!

So that’s about it!  How’s about you?  Do you lighten up the makeup during the summer or keep it the same year round?  Let’s talk about this!


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Put On A Happy Place!!!

Yesterday, the start to this Memorial Day 2019 Weekend started off on a perfect foot!  Bonaparte and I woke up early, dropped Chippy off at Doggie Day Care and headed down the shore!  Stone Harbor to be exact!

Chippy may have looked forlorn but he was thrilled to be romping with his canine buddies!

Memorial Day Weekends of recent years past were either too cold, too cloudy or too rainy to head to the beach.  But this year got it right.

The beach is my happy place and it was just so enjoyable and relaxing to be there yesterday.

We arrived just before nine in the morning to an almost-empty blanket of sand.

Bonaparte and I are early beach-goers. Tis better to arrive early before the crowds to man your space!

The air, still somewhat cool but warm with the sun’s rays, welcomed us as though we were old friends.

And my suit of choice!  (click to see and perhaps purchase)  The Navy Swimsuit I got on Amazon..  and I think I finally figured out to link the products correctly!  

And we had the best time.  I read.  We sat in our chairs and talked.

Oh look!  Someone doesn’t want his photo taken!

And we laid down and bathed (with sunscreen).

With plenty of sunscreen, I still managed to get tomato red!

The ocean was still too cold to venture into but I did manage to get my feet wet and it felt great!

And might I add that the salt water had a wonderful effect on my broken toe which is no longer bruised but it is swollen!

The ocean is such a happy place for me.  Growing up on Long Island meant being at the beach from the time school ended in early June until school resumed in early September.

I also find the ocean to have a calming effect on me!

It was a place to meet friends, catch up on local gossip and to relish in a less responsible time of life.

Summer still life. An old towel (really, this towel is around 15 years old and still fine!  A pair of flip flops.  A straw tote and the sand!  It’s all you need!

It’s always good to revisit those thoughts!

I did quite a bit of reading.  This book is sooooooo juicy!

When we left the beach, we headed to Bala Cynwyd so that The Frenchman could vote in an election in his native France (He has dual-citizeship)

Those French…they really take equality seriously.  He received equal amounts of political information from every party.  I’m happy to say he voted wisely!

Afterwards, we came home and sat down to an enjoyable dinner on the deck and a rather patriotic dessert.  It was a two-fold dessert actually.  Gorgeous RED strawberries, thick WHITE cream, served in BLUE bowls to signify Memorial Day Weekend and that my husband voted in a French election!

RED Strawberries.  WHITE cream. BLUE bowl to signify our American Red, White and Blue for Memorial Day and my husband’s Red, White, and Blue colors of the French flag to recognize his voting!

Today has been a day of lolling on the deck, reading, creating a couple of YouTube videos and preparing for a new appetizer to start off tonight’s dinner. It is also a day to appreciate all the freckles my face acquired yesterday!

A beauty gift from the sun.  Freckles!  Seriously. I freaking LOVE my freckles and the good thing is that I won’t need face makeup for a while!!!  

Another of chef Eric Ripert’s recipes: Eric Ripert Croque Monsieur

This photo is from the NY Times. Hopefully, the Croque Monsieur I make will look as enticing as this!

And hopefully, this will be another winner.

I baked a loaf of Pullman bread; The Gruyere cheese has been sliced as paper-thin as I could get.  And the smoked salmon and caviar are at the ready.  I’ll let you know how it turns out!

All the ingredients are at the ready. I even baked a second loaf of bread because I don’t like the way this one turned out.

Tomorrow will be the third of this three-day weekend! And even if I do nothing more than finish my book, it’s gonna be a great relaxing day.  How is your three-day coming along??

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day Weekend!!!!  All our love from me to you!

And for all the women who wear wigs…here’s a little “how to” on wearing a wig to the beach…or pool!

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Sun of a Beach! Where’d You Get That Bathing Suit?

I said those words.  To my daughter.  Last Sunday.

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So tell Mommy where you got that bathing suit please!

She was in Austin, TX for her Bachelorette Weekend and she sent me a few photos.  In one of the photos she was wearing the most gorgeous one-piece bathing suit.  My interest was highly piqued because I hadn’t seen a decent one-piece in years.

Here’s the bathing suit.  It’s Oona’s body but I promised I wouldn’t post the pic! Isn’t this suit beautiful??

She proceeded to tell me that random women were approaching her on Lake Travis to inquire where she got it.  And so, did I—but I was more interested in how much money she spent because it looked like she spent a small fortune.  Then she came in for the kill.  It was an Amazon purchase and she said it was the greatest suit because it wasn’t flimsy, the top was padded and the suit was heavy enough that it was opaque and not transparent.

And the price was under $30.00.

Naturally, the second I clicked my cell phone off from the call, I put that phone to work on Amazon in a mad search for that swimsuit.  I found it.  And more.

Oh I found it!  And I appreciate this detailed description. It’s spot on!

Now before I go further, let me do some explaining.  I’ve never been much of a one-piece bathing suit woman.  I love my two pieces and the reason is my longer torso.  But…I gained a bit of weight over the winter and the stress-eating overtook my desire to lose weight for Oona’s wedding.  It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen and it’s ok.  I’m not going to beat myself over it.

My job is taxing in the fact that there’s never a free moment.  And, the office is being renovated and we’re moving into temporary digs.

My new workspace.  The computer and phone get moved on Tuesday!  I spent an hour scrubbing down the work station!

Not to mention I broke my toe the other night.  I was running into the bathroom to turn the bath water off and BAM—right into the door. ( As if I would ever walk slowly)

My foot is a mess.  The worst part is that I can’t wear my pointy-toed shoes for a while!

Somewhere in my neighborhood small children were asking their parents what “f***ing  S**t” meant.  Yes.  The windows were open and I screamed a chorus of those two illustrious words!

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Add some screaming and the “F-bomb” and you got my reaction!

There’s been no time to exercise and I’m pretty-much beat. I gotta get back into a better frame of mind and body!

Therefore, it’s time I tried one-piece swimwear.  Besides, the only part of my body I want tanned anyway are my limbs and face the rest of me can remain fish-belly white!

And so, I perused Amazon for swimwear and I want to share the swimsuits I purchased. The great thing is…all three were purchased at a price that’s less than any one popular brand sold in a department store.

Here we go!

One. Two. Three.  Son of a Beach, these are great suits!

I ended up buying the same bathing suit Oona has except I purchased it in Navy.  The brand is Hilor and the suit comes in at an affordable $28.99.  Now I’m just under 5 feet 6 and if I were 5’7 or taller, I would not recommend this suit because it is NOT for the long-torso.  I’m telling you; I made the cut by a hair.

Had I been any taller this would have been too short for my body. It just made the cut!

That is the only criticism of this suit.  The stripes at the waist are black and a somewhat transparent fabric.  The rest of the swim suit is a heavier stretch fabric and the suit has removable pads.  It definitely sucks the belly in and covers the butt nicely.  It’s modest in a very stylish way.

I love the defined waist and the fit is fabulous.  The mesh/striped mid-section is a sassy detail!

There was a caveat that the suit runs slightly small so I sized up to a Large and the fit is just right!

And that neckline!  Huh?  Isn’t it wonderful?  Modest yet not frumpy!

The second suit is also by the same brand, Hilor.  It’s a plunge neck with a ruched torso.  And it fits wonderfully.  This suit is a size 10…again, I sized up.  At 150 pounds and a 36C bust, this is a great fit.  In the reviews, women who are very busty mentioned a good amount of side boobage but that isn’t something I need to worry about! At $26.99 it was the least expensive of the three.

The deep V-plunge isn’t slutty looking at all…

Here’s a better look at the vivid paisley. I love this print.  Can’t wait till I get a tan.  

The paisley print is bright and vivid and although the neckline plunges, it isn’t over-the-top. The ruching gives an illusion of a slimmer frame and again, it sucks the body in where need be.  And coverage is in the right places.

Note–I have a gut and this suit does a nice job of sucking it in.  The ruching really helps!

Suit Number Three is by the brand B2prity.  I love the name. t $28.99 this is a lovely tummy slimming suit.  This, I purchased in my regular clothing size of 8 and it fits beautifully. In fact, this is the suit that is the ultimate in comfort.  The top can be adjusted to provide more…or less coverage.  Again, there’s ruching.  But this print…. I absolutely love it.

This suit.  And had I not read the reviews, I would have sized up. I took a chance with my regular size and it worked. I LOVE this one because it is more on the long-torso friendly side.  The description of actual size was spot on.

I’m a fan of ruching in the mid-section, but this print..

And the top can be adjusted to give more coverage. It all depends on what you are comfortable with!

It’s too bad that Bonaparte and I weren’t invited to any Memorial Day pool parties because I would have worn the leaf bathing suit with this great leaf dress that I also purchased from Amazon!

Oh if we had a party to attend!  This dress was another Amazon find and it is the cutest summer shift ever!  With the tropical bathing suit underneath, this would be THE best pool or beach party ensemble ever!

I’ll tell you, I posted a pic of the bathing suits on my Instagram account and my girlfriend Anne, a friend from childhood, purchased the one Oona wore.  Anne also ordered the navy!

Three great suits from Amazon.  My friend Anne also purchased the navy suit!

Another recent Amazon purchase is this straw tote.  No way am I lugging a good bag to the beach but this is under twenty bucks and it’ll serve its purpose well.  Large enough for a beach towel and my tanning lotions and sunscreen, a couple of bottles of water and reading material.  I pray the weather is great this weekend so the Frenchman and I can hit the beach!

The perfect beach “bag”.  We usually do some shopping in town after the beach and a bag like this is perfect for carrying around.  There’s a zipper closure at the top too.

May I add that Walmart’s Equate brand is VERY comparable to the more expensive brands 30 spf is still 30 spf whether you spend six bucks or twelve!  

If you are interested in any of these items, I made an idea list on my Amazon Store (which I do receive commission on items purchased).  Here’s the list to click:  SUN OF A BEACH

OTOH, I’ve been into maxi dresses the past few weeks.  The black and gray dresses were purchased a couple of years back at Old Navy…and as luck would have it, the dresses have now been discontinued.  It’s shameful because I love the cut of these dresses so much.  You can skip shaving your legs and still look decent!

The simple cut of this maxi …

And this gray maxi make it summer-perfect. Too bad it’s been discontinued!

The makeup is being kept very neutral too!

How are you spending the first summer holiday weekend?  Will you wear white???!!!  Going swimming?

My summer drink is LaCroix water. I’m hooked on this stuff and I’m finally getting good use of this Lilly Pulitzer Koozie!

Whatever you do or don’t do..enjoy this coming three-day weekend and party safely!

Here’s to a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend! I’ve traded my Kir Royal for an Aperol Spritz!  The Frenchman is not happy about this! Tchin Tchin!

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That Denim Jacket. And How To Style It!

It’s that time of year when we begin to head off from spring into the heat.  It’s a shame that we don’t have long springs anymore.  Spring and Autumn are fleeting and it’s the Winter/Summer mix that goes to the extreme.

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Yeah.  What does this tell you about our extreme weather?

And when it comes to outwear for the warmer weather….well, I’m not much of a cardigan sweater wearer because they feel cumbersome over a shirt and if I wear a cardigan only over my bra, the buttons gap and it isn’t very attractive.

The J. Crew Jackie Cardigan.  I have this and it is packed away to donate.  As much as I wanted to love this and other lady-like cardigan sweaters, they do nothing for me. NOTHING!  I’m confinced that one needs to be between 80 and 90 pounds and 5 feet ten to wear a cardigan successfully over a button down or any shirt.  And my 36 C’s aren’t huge but they aren’t cardigan-wearing friendly either.  This is a no-no for me!

When I traveled to Cincinnati two weeks ago, it dawned on me that it could have very well been the last time I wore my navy wool Schoolboy blazer until the arrival of crisp weather come October.

What I wore at work before leaving for Cincy from Philly.  Quite possibly the last wool blazer day until commencing next October! I’m not wearing a sweater and the wool blazer will be hanging up for a while.

If a chill is in the air—or if the weather is a bit drizzly what’s the solution?

The Denim Jacket!

That’s right!  The Denim Jacket to the rescue!

Yes!  The Denim Jacket is the perfect choice of outwear for those early autumn/spring days when the temperature is warm but not hot.  And yes.  I wear a trench coat for those rainy office days but otherwise, the denim jacket is my outerwear of choice.

In my varied collection of clothing, I have two denim jackets.  Both have been staples for a few years now.

The first one, a dark denim number by G.H. Bass was purchased some years back at the G.H. Bass Factory Outlet in Limerick.  While my intent was finding a pair of cordovan loafers, I ended up drawn to a cute, fitted number hanging on a rack.  At the sale price of $29.99 it was a great choice and has pockets!

The darker-wash denim jacket.  And with pockets no less!  This was a great price at the G.H. Bass Factory Outlet and it’s worn on a regular basis.

The second one, lighter in both color and fabric, is a great denim jacket by Kut From the Kloth.  This jacket was introduced to me by my daughter, Oona maybe three or four years back.  She found out about it from a blogger she follows and I was fortunate enough to find it on sale at Nordstrom!

This jacket has stretch which makes it flattering as all get-out and the light weight truly makes it an all-season beauty.

The second, a lighter version by Kut From the Kloth.  While it lacks pockets it makes up for a perfect fit and the stretch gives it an incredibly flattering fit!

Let’s take a look at a few ways I style these jackets—shall we?

First of all, some styling advice.  It’s my unprofessional opinion if you are going to invest in a denim jacket–invest in two.  One darker and one in a lighter wash.  You’ll see what I mean as you scroll down.  The other.  I never wear denim-on-denim.  No denim jacket with a pair of denim jeans.  My only exception is a blue denim jacket with white denim shorts or a skirt.  I’m even a bit iffy on white denim jeans.  So here goes it…

Beginning this time of year, later spring into summer,  the jeans and pants go into hibernation and the dresses come out.  Here’s a cute sleeveless dress.  It’s a cotton/linen blend by Cynthia Rowley that I picked up at TJ Maxx for less than $25.  But it’s too early to go sleeveless and not hot enough to wear sleeveless on its own.  Thus the beauty of a denim jacket.  This dress with the darker jacket, a pair of wedges and a cross-body bag make a perfect look for casual days or evenings.  Running errands,  a lunch date ..or what have you.  I love the look.  AND…I like the darker denim with the lighter colored dress…

Same dress.  Same jacket but a slightly dressier look.  Going out to dinner but want to dress the look up a bit more?  Take off the wedges, change into heels and carry a bag to match.  The casual vibe of the jacket is there but with a dressier and edgier look. I LOVE this and the Nine West shoes match the Nat et Nin bag I picked up in Paris years ago!

Another casual look.  Ummm Chippy wouldn’t leave the dress alone.  I figured out that I hadn’t washed it since last summer and I didn’t wash it when I unpacked it from storage so it smelled like me (I’m so full of myself to think this..right?) and that’s why he wouldn’t leave it.  Or…he was hungry and he loves to munch on fabric!  ANYWAY….the lighter jacket is worn with a darker dress.  This dress is my favorite summer dress.  Purchased at Old Navy maybe three years ago for ten bucks. It’s been worn on constant rotation, washed tons of times and still looks great!  I paired the dress with a darker wedge heel.

A darker wedge than the ones in the photo of the lighter dress.  I’m coming around to wearing wedge heels–I’ve found a couple that are narrow-foot friendly!

The summer office-casual.  The office that I work in is pretty casual and during the summer, the A/C is at full blast–making a denim jacket a near-necessity!  Here I have the Kut From the Kloth jacket over a  J. Crew Factory shift dress that’s..OMG..maybe six or seven years old!  As the dress is short, I wear it with flat sandals..a great casual office look!

Here we have some casual suiting!  A white tee,  the dark denim GH Bass jacket worn with navy J. Crew Cameron pants and pointy-toed heels make this a good choice for a casual office look for early Spring/early Autumn.  Too warm for a wool blazer but too cool to not wear something.  Somehow this evokes a casual professional look–dontja think?

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the maxi dress.  I call it lazy dressing because if you didn’t shave your legs or fake-tan.  Here’s your answer.  And the dark maxi with the lighter jacket and wedge heels really give a great look without trying too hard.  Effortless casual!

Here we go!  A light gray maxi with the dark jacket.  See what I mean?  The contrast is attractive! And the jackets stand out against a constrasting fabric.  It’s not what you are wearing but it’s HOW you are wearing it!

So that’s it.  And one thing I would like to add.  Do NOT, and I repeat–DO NOT allow anyone to tell you that wearing a denim jacket is not age-appropriate.  You are pro-aging.  The denim jacket is as classic as that wool blazer.  And have fun mixing it up a bit!

How do YOU style your denim jacket?  Let’s start a conversation about this–add to the comments!

Today’s look!  A Flat lay come to life!  J. Crew pixie pants, a white tee, a polka-dotted scarf and the dark denim!  It’s perfect for this rainy day!

Posted in denim jacket | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

More Mother-of-the-Bride Fun!

Far be it to not take advantage of Oona’s pre-wedding events to not make it about me. OK?

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Remember.  It’s all about MOI!!!!

Anyway, last weekend I flew to Cincinnati for Oona’s Bridal Shower.  You saw a sneak peak at my last blog post but I’m gonna elaborate more on the weekend.

And boy was this a fantastic Bridal Brunch!!

As the Mother-of-the-Bride naturally.

Number 4 is the only one Oona has stressed.  I did that at her shower when we all introduced ourselves.  My sense of humor got the best of me as I introduced myself as “… Oona exited my Origin of the World…”  immediately, I was pulled aside and warned in a kind way to NOT say anything like that at the wedding.  (shhhh–don’t tell but I don’t follow rules!)

I took Friday off from work because I wanted a true three-day weekend.  That’s the thing about working in a low-level clerical position—you need permission to get a day off.  In my other places of employment, it was much easier to finagle time off as a freebie—trust me.   I also worked my schedule out to accommodate leaving early on Thursday afternoon so I could fly from Philly to Cincy and enjoy a few extra hours of fun time.

I also took Friday casual to Thursday!  I travel in comfort, but not like a slob! J. Crew and Gabor wigs assisted me!  Mother-of-the Bride travel attire!

It’s not how it started out though.

For some reason, either I hit horrific weather or I have a displeasure of a delayed flight whenever I travel.  I kid you not.  And about 45 minutes before we were to board the plane, an announcement was made that the flight to Cincinnati would be delayed.

Welcome to my jet-sit world.  I spend more time waiting than flying!  I have to say though, that Delta made every effort and boarded us very quickly when the plane arrived!

Besides having an inner hissy-fit, I dealt with this issue by stress eating not one pretzel, but an additional bucket of pretzel nuggets.  Fresh and hot off the press.  The carbs were murder on my gut but felt so good going down.  I also ate a giant bag of peanut M & M’s.  And read trashy magazines.

And an added surprise was that these nuggets of carbs were also drenched in greasy melted butter.  I wonder why the scale isn’t giving me nicer numbers!!

The plane finally arrived and this Mother-of-the-Bride landed after ten in the evening to rain!  I was two for two.  A delay and rain.  It was shocking that a snow storm hadn’t hit!

Cincinnati here I come…

To rain and a delayed flight….

Now…upon departing the flight, one would think I ran to the airport exit to see Oona and Sam.  No.  CVG is a GREAT airport.  It’s so clean and spacious so I couldn’t resist dawdling (now we know where my son, Roman, acquired the gift of dawdle…).  I came across a cosmetics vending machine!  But I didn’t buy anything!

Why couldn’t I find this at Philly airport during the delay?

Then I came across my favorite part of the airport!  Them bones!

Some stop to smell the roses.  I stop to take photos at airports of skeletal treasure!

But it was great to be back at Oona and Sam’s and playing around with my grand puppy, Gracie.

My boo, Gracie.  OMG. She’s so well-behaved..

Oona and Sam are such great doggie parents…I KNOW they will be fantastic human parents!

Friday brought sun and clouds and brisk weather but it didn’t matter.  There’s something comforting in knowing that your daughter and her future husband can brew a great cuppa coffee.  They make it strong—just the way I love it.  And we sat around gabbing before getting ready and heading out to run errands.

The Mr. Coffee is far better than the grandpa Mr. Coffee we have at home.

Even little Gracie was beggin’ for some!


Oona had a nail appointment, and since my nails were looking fine, I passed but kept her company while we discussed family and the wedding preparations.

This freakin’ nail salon!  It went on for days!  I was jealous–but then Oona told me the price of a mani-pedi and I was glad to be living in the Northeast where nail salons are plentiful….and far less expensive!

Next stop was Marshalls –Oona picked some workout clothing (I didn’t –I’m lazy).  And I headed for the cosmetics.  Glory be to Gawd—I found two great eyeshadow palettes!

More on these palettes for my next blog post but boy….at $7.99 each, these palettes were a steal!

We did some food shopping—Sam’s birthday was Friday and his family was coming over for dinner.  Oona looked pensive as she realized time was of the essence—she had to head back to the airport to pick up her best friend and maid-of-honor, Lauren.

Did I say food shopping? I sent this pic to Bonaparte to validate that Pennsylvania is the worst state in the USA because of the State-run, Mob-type Liquor stores!  You can by this at Trader Joes in Cincy!

And that’s where mom comes in—I assured her I could take care of the cake and she could head to the airport for alone time with her bestie!

BTW, this cake is gluten-free, chemical and preservative-free, sugar free, and lower-fat!  Oona added Sam’s favorite candy–Reeses Pieces which are NOT lower fat nor sugar free!  But it was a tasty Birthday cake!

Friday evening, Sam’s family came over for a birthday celebration. Being with Sam’s family is like being with……………. family!!  We all had a great time and I was introduced to a spectacular aperitif/cocktail:  The Aperol Spritz!  This concoction of Aperol, Prosecco, and Seltzer with a slice of orange is the most refreshing drink I’ve ever downed!

You read it first.  Moving forward, the Aperol Spritz will now be called “Mother-of-the-Bride”.   There will be an open bar at the wedding but I may smuggle my private makings!  There’s only 148 calories in one of these!

I drank a lot of them during the weekend.  In fact, as I write this now, I informed the Frenchman that I’ll be stopping at the store for Aperol, Prosecco and seltzer!  He is a bit upset that I am forgoing the beloved Kir Royal but the Aperol Spritz has less calories and with the wedding countdown, every calorie counts!

Saturday was a full day!

Let me tell you something.  Oona and Lauren spent a long time getting their hair perfectly coifed.  Lauren is great with styling and she styled Oona’s hair in perfect beach waves.

I plopped my Jamison wig on—and had extra time to loll around in bed! Oh, the beauty of wigs!

Jamison and Lilly Pulitzer.  You can’t go wrong!

The shower/bruncheon was at LouVino, a Southern-inspired restaurant and wine bar downtown Cincinnati.  What a great place!  The celebration was downstairs in a private room and Oona’s friends, coworkers, future sisters-in-law, mother-in-law and relatives were in attendance.

The upstairs wine bar at LouVino’s. I’m recommending this place to out-of-town guests for Oona’s wedding!

The downstairs room where the brunch was held…

Thanks to Sam’s sisters, the table settings were beautiful..


Mimosas kept us refreshed and hydrated!

Oh yeah, and water (in the background) also kept us hydrated.  The food was so great that I never took a pic–I was too busy shoveling the Warm Brussels Salad into my mouth!

We played girlie games.  I won Scattergories.  But the best game was where Oona had to guess answers to questions that Sam answered in advance.  For ever wrong answer, a wad of bubble gum was placed in Oona’s mouth!  It was a riot!

It was only natural that I took myself out of the “Guess the Age” game.  I’m no cheater!

Miss Oona getting ready for more bubble gum!  She actually did a great job.  Out of 30 questions, she got 2/3’s correct!

The prize for the Scattergories win..a cute mug and a Starbucks card!!!!!!!!!!! 

Some of the gifts.  Crate & Barrel is very popular–eh???

Happy little wine glasses…

Happy little Oona!

The baking girl was thrilled to receive mixing bowls.  Did I mention I gifted her with a Stainless Kitchen Aid Mixer…just like mine?  I swear the baking is genetic!

This.  This was on Oona’s wish list and she was so happy to receive this!  (Hmmmm maybe she’ll give me her Mr. Coffee machine…)

BFF’s.  They’ve been friends since middle-school.  Two beauties!

This photo of us was taken after I was crying…

..and this is why.  Lauren, Oona’s BFF and Maid of Honor, gifted Sam’s mom and me with embroidered hankies.  Both moms were crying because it was just a touching and generous gift!   I’m crying again!

I was very happy to be in attendance.  Oona didn’t want a shower in Philly simply because she felt that asking my side of the family and her Northeast friends, was asking them to spend too much money—what with the travel to Ohio and the hotel, she wanted to keep expenses down for everyone.  You know—I was very proud of her decision.  I think I raised a very conscientious young woman!


And the fact Sam’s family has welcomed Oona really made me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

May I present the future Mrs. Butts.  Coming from a very competitive family, it pleases me to have my daughter’s future last name be greatness such as this.  When/if they have children and their children are in competitive activities, they can hashtag:  #MyButtsgonnakickyours  or… #Buttsbekickin’

Some after-brunch fun.  Isn’t that dress adorable?  It’s a Lilly Pulitzer..and those shoes!  The daughter has great taste..and she’s gorgeous!

By the time we got back to the house, the rain came and it was time to head to Sam’s mom’s home for a casual, laid back and fun dinner!

And more Aperol Spritzes!

The recipe?  Three parts Prosecco, Two parts Aperol, One part (a splash) Seltzer and an orange slice to make it nice!

Sunday morning brought forth a bit of a hangover and the flight back to Philly.  Isn’t it funny how when you wish for a delay, the flight is on time?

Gracie was sad to see me go.  I was sad to see me go!


Minimal dawdling on the return.  There was no delay.  WAIT!  Does that say Air France?  Yeah…but it’s the plane back to Philly…

And despite the timeliness of the flight home, I did manage to get this sweatshirt as a reminder of a great weekend!

I arrived back home Sunday afternoon.  When Bonaparte picked me up, I’m not too sure he was happy to see me because he kept mentioning how tired I looked.  He was right. I had a bad hangover    FOODover, because of all the food I ate.

Yeah. I pretty-much crashed when I arrived home.  Funny how I still think I’m in my twenties sometimes!

Do you ever get sad when you leave someplace and someone?  I was incredibly sad to leave but after I arrived home and unpacked and got to telling the Frenchman about the weekend, the sadness lifted and I felt really happy.  Happy that I was able to enjoy the weekend with my daughter and her future family! And happy to be back sitting next to my husband on the sofa!

And she’s the reason the weekend was a stellar one!  My baby is getting married!

Posted in Bridal Showers, Mother-of-the-Bride, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments