A Long “A Weighted” Date Night

Time to return to the weight loss posting.  It hasn’t been easy to lose the extra calories pounds that were added on during Christmas.  But—I was not going to deprive myself of the enjoyment of sitting around the table with my family during the holidays.  Family. Food. Fun.

I am finding it somewhat difficult to get back into the swing of my weight loss program; I’m at a plateau.  It’s fine though because I am watching what I’ve been eating and went back to cutting out sugar and processed foods.  It’s the cheese that’s killing me.

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Seriously–do I need a pedicure or what? I’m a disgrace to beauty bloggers everywhere!!

Anyway, at 147.8, I’ve hit a plateau. It’ll take me a while to really get back to the weight loss normal—and with less than ten pounds to lose, it will take some time.  Those last elusive pounds are tricky.  In the meantime, I spent yesterday getting ready for date night!

Truth be told. Bonaparte and I really don’t go out on many date nights.  During the week, we are so happy to come home after work that neither of us can be bothered going out.  Even for errands.  We will wait for the weekend.

And on the weekends, I find it comforting and therapeutic to cook our special meals.

But when we do go out for date night, it’s to a really good restaurant.  And last night we dined at our personal favorite—Spring Mill Café.

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Obviously I’m no Jacques-Henri Lartigue when it comes to photography. And I snapped this pic BEFORE the wine. It was a blustery mix of snow and rain as we drove into the parking lot at Spring Mill Cafe!

The restaurant is not an elaborate one nor is it extremely spectacular.  The food is French style country with a bit of an edge—but not too edgy. The menu isn’t large but the offerings are always excellent.

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Menu at the ready…

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The cozy table all set in our little alcove and we were ready for a great meal!

We love it because it is “our” place.  We can always expect the service to be excellent. Our little alcove to be reserved and the food always consistent.

And after all the running around and cooking and busy-as-a-bee moments of the holidays, we decided to put one of our Christmas gifts, a certificate to Spring Mill Café, to use.

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Spring Mill is a BYO and the wine that Bonaparte decided to bring was a Bordeaux he had sitting around for about five years. A Chateau Lanessan 2000. It was GOOOOODDD!!!

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We did enjoy our Kir Royals with the Pate Tasting.  They know Monsieur Lartigue well at Spring Mill Cafe–I can tell by the large amount of baguette on the plate!

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You-know-who had his usual steak. And he RAVED about the perfection of it. He spoke in his sleep of it–and woke up praising the taste!

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I went with my wintertime favorite:  Deconstructed Cassoulet.  I was thrilled to see it on the menu again.  I LOVE Cassoulet–and  deconstructed is such a different and more refined way to enjoy it.  Duck Confit.  Sausage in a little puff pastry.  Beans. I was in epicure heaven!

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Yeah. I know. I said I have given up sugar.  I cheated last night with dessert.  I had the Mousse au Chocolat..

img_8538It did not take me long to polish this little gem of a dessert off..

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Ohlalalala!  I helped with the Creme Brulee too!  Overall, it was a fantastic dinner and fun date night!

I was happy because I was looking a bit neglected and a bit raggy and preparing for date night  was a great way to spend a Saturday by doing all things girly!

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A bit of makeup left over from the day before. Yes! I’m THAT lazy at times–but I didn’t have to apply any to go to the nail salon.  Casually dressed for my nail appointment!

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My friend Kim, on the right and her sister!  I LOVE going to Oaks Nail Salon on Egypt Road! If you live in the Philly area, you really should stop by here. Kim is the best nail technician ever!  She’s going to go back home to Vietnam for a few weeks to visit her father and I can’t wait to see her when she returns!!

Bonaparte was exasperated by the state of my nails.  I ripped the gel off and cut my nails down to the nubs because it is impossible to type on this new laptop with longer nails.  In a fit of getting used to the keyboard—let’s just say I had a moment, and the nails were cut!

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Look how disgusting my nails were after I ripped the gel off and cut them down.  The fact that Toppik residue from filling in my bald hair spots are also embedded in my nails makes them look absolutely vulgar! Bonaparte would not take me to dinner unless I had them fixed!  AFTER–look and admire Kim’s handy work!  She’s an artisan!  My hands look pretty again!

Being that my little toes looked awful on the scale, I also decided to have a pedicure and had those lady whiskers waxed away!

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Yeah Kim. I don’t blame you for wearing a mask to take care of my stinky feet!  

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Look at those cute toes!  And look at that hair that just fell from my head! Can I ever take a decent photo?

Next step was a relaxing bath upon arriving home.  Bonaparte took Chippy with him to run errands and I had the house to myself.  I exfoliated and then put a light coating of fake tan on my legs.

The snow started falling.  Being on the safe side of “milkbreadeggs”, we had the milk and eggs. I baked some bread!

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I normally use my Pullman pan for baking loaves of Brioche. This time I made white sandwich bread…

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Out of the oven and warm–it turned out great!  I’ll be baking more for next weekend. We’ll toast slices for foie gras!

While the bread was baking, I decided to relax with a cuppa tea and my new favorite TV Show.  “The Mick” starring the great Kaitlin Olson of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”

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You KNOW how much I love “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and THIS show, The Mick, is just as funny–if not more!  This IS the ultimate girl show. Ultimate!!!!

At this point it was time to get ready.

I turned my unmade wrinkly face into a more human appearance.  I didn’t want an overdone look.

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I know.  You are thinking it is nearly impossible to get this face to look like….

And since my hair needed a bit of help I placed a Tony of Beverly topper over my bio hair for a fuller look.

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…THIS!  Marc Jacobs Foundation, Maybelline contour stick, Naked Smokey Eyes palette,  NARS Multiple in Riviera, e.l.f. eyeliner crayon used as brow color, NYC Color liquid Eyeliner, Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara–which I picked up for two bucks and will go back to buy more, Chapstick and iT’s Lip Vitality. Whew! That’s a lot to look natural!

I went “high-low” with the attire.  I know, I know, I know!! Many of my circle of friends here aren’t crazy about the ripped jeans look. But I love the way it looks with some high-end finishes.  When I go out to eat, I want to be comfortable. Hence the jeans!

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I give up on the pics. My phone takes lousy pics in evening lighting.  I need a digital camera!  Anyway, I wore my favorite AG jeans that were on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Pewter heels. J. Crew FACTORY version of the Tippi sweater which does not shrink when washed and my J. Crew Lady Jacket. Lots of fake pearls completed the look!

And YES. OLD PEOPLE GO OUT ON DATE NIGHT!  I could sense the tone of “eww” and “ugh” when Oona called and I told her B. and I were having “date night”.  Sorry, twenty-somethings.  Sixty and Seventy somethings are allowed to enjoy date night too! Let’s not get all ageist on our social lives!

And so, we left Chippy to his own devices, of which he most likely spent the entire evening trying to figure out how to get the bread off the counter, and headed to Spring Mill Café! And that was my Saturday!

Today the sun is shining and later this afternoon I’ll be running an errand. My new project is re-stuffing the cushions on  that “bane-of-existence” overpriced Ethan Allen sofa. What a headache!

Getting back into the weight loss grove—here’s some of the outfits I wore this week!

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From the quality of the photo, it is hard to see that the pants are Black Watch plaid.  These pants have not fit me properly in over two years. They were tight and uncomfortable. Now they are loose and I love them so much more!

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A better view of the pants. I thought I purchased these from J. Crew–but I didn’t. They are from Loft!

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My “Poinsettia” skirt. THIS is from J. Crew. I ordered it maybe three years ago and could not even get it zippered up last year. I was so disappointed!

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These days I can zipper it up and the waist is a bit large!

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Office attire with my “Nun” boots! I love these boots because they remind me of the shoes the nuns who taught me wore. I know–I’m weird.

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A little bling to brighten up an all-black outfit never hurt anyone!

img_8484And finally, my new Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket from J. Crew. My bargain of the year-even though we are only a bit over two weeks in!!

That’s it for today!  I realize I need to save up for a new camera–or a new phone!  And I continue to curse this new laptop because one false move on the keyboard and the cursor is all over the place. Making me a real-life “curser”!!  Have a great day and for those with the three-day weekend (not I), enjoy your Monday off!!

And mentioning food, here’s a song that I’m constantly revisiting. I love this song so much. French Canadian singer Lisa Leblanc’s “Kraft Dinner” I need to see her in concert!! Canada! I love all her imports!

 

 

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Don’t Call Me A Liberal. I’m a Humanist!!!!!!!!

Ever since I’ve been associated with my desire for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to be elected President of these already great United States of America, I’ve been labeled a Liberal.

I’ve also been called a “Snowflake”.  A term I actually had to research and found this description: An overly sensitive person, incapable of dealing with any opinions that differ from their own. These people can often be seen congregating in “safe zones” on college campuses.

Apparently, “Snowflake” is used to describe the generation of spoiled, overly sensitive young people who were raised by overly sensitive, overly politically correct parents. I’m flattered that others would think of me as being so young and youthful!

I’m veering off topic here.

Because I did not vote for Trump seemingly makes me a liberal.

Let’s get this shit clear right now.

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No. I am NOT a “Liberal” I am a Humanist.  I care deeply about people. I am self-centered–NOT self-righteous. And self-righteousness is a trait both Liberals AND Conservatives share too well!

I am not a liberal.  I do not believe in political correctness. I  do believe in being polite and gracious.   I do not get insulted if a man calls me “dear” or “honey” or tells me that I look nice or pretty. I’m mature enough to realize that it is a compliment. And those compliments come from men of a generation or two ahead of me. Generations past when little terms of endearment such as “dear” and “honey” were not harassment.

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And I’m that girl who calls the mailman “sweetie” and he doesn’t get upset. And I call the lunch delivery guy “toots” and I haven’t been arrested for harassment!

You know what harassment is? Harassment is when a man debases women. Men such as the president-elect. He grabs women by the pussy. And he’s proud of it. He said those words in a video that the entire world saw. And yet, he was elected president. That is the sort of character people voted for. I’m still puzzled how any woman could vote for a man who speaks like that about women.

And because I mentioned that Trump is a debasing and filthy pig for speaking about women in that manner, I am labeled a “liberal”.   Um. I think not. I am merely a person who would never, ever speak about any of my female counterparts in that way.  I’m a Humanist.

And because I thought it vile and disgusting and inhumane that the man who is our president-elect spoke before a crowd and mocked the disabled, I am labeled a “Liberal”.

I guess I’m a real snowflake because I took the president-elect’s mocking of the disabled personally.  I had a sister who was physically and mentally disabled. She died.  In the world of our president-elect and his cronies—they love when disabled people die because they won’t need government “entitlements” as they get older.

Because I’m compassionate and feel for the disabled, I’m a liberal.  No. I am but a person who cares about those who are limited in their development both physically and mentally.

People I know who voted for the president elect also call me a “bleeding heart liberal” because I believe in medical insurance for all citizens of these United States.  Why is that such a liberal way of thinking?  Why shouldn’t all the people of our country have health insurance?  Why should superior health care only go to the wealthy?  The political mafia doesn’t sleep with the fishes—they sleep with the healthcare CEO’s and lobbyists.  The president-elect and his ilk are creaming in their polyester trousers over the dismantling of the affordable health care program, aka “Obamacare”.  While I realize Obamacare isn’t perfect, it does work and millions of people who could not afford healthcare now have it. I am one of those people. Obamacare could have been perfection had the Republicans and Conservatives in Congress embraced it and truly cared about We the People. Instead, these politicians were so full of hate for President Obama that they stymied every move he made.

They hated Obama because of his black blood.  Those pasty white crackers most likely hated Obama even more so because he is bi-racial. And in their fish-belly white world the thought of a white woman and a black man making a little café au lait baby who would grow up to be President was more than they could handle. Imagine. A man of “tainted” blood becoming President! I’m sure those conservative congressmen and women went to their houses of worship on Sunday and prayed for the KKK to really make that big house on Pennsylvania Avenue the Whiter house!

And because I wish the best of healthcare for all of the citizens who share my roots of being American, and because I love, admire, and support our wonderful President Obama, I am labeled a liberal.  In reality, I just want fairness for everyone.  And I think Obama had a rough time from the get-go. I am proud and happy that I voted for him twice.  And because I voted for Obama does not a liberal make me—it makes me a woman who does her civic duty and gets out there and votes! Voting is a privilege that I do not take lightly.

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Yes. I can hold a grudge longer than Harry Houdini could hold his breath. And I’m snarky. And I complain. But you know what?  I truly, truly care about people. 

I do not like extremes. The extreme right sickens me because they hate and despise any one person or group who isn’t like them.  They hate gays. They hate Catholics (except for the extreme Catholics like the very dangerous vice-president-elect Pence) and Jews and Muslims and Atheists and Hindus and any person who isn’t “Christian”. They can go to church but they can’t pray that hate away!

The extreme right hates all the people in this beautiful America who receive “entitlements”.

The extreme right believes the all people who receive “entitlements” from the government are all either black, lazy, drug addicts, alcoholics, single mothers, and people who don’t want to work.

I’m labeled a snowflake because I believe in government assistance for those who need it.  I’ve been with the unemployed and I can vouch for every single one of them. They would rather work.  Sure, a small number of people take advantage of the programs. But the numbers are so small and so miniscule that it doesn’t even put a dent in the government spending. I don’t refer to government assistance as “entitlements”.

You wanna know who the truly entitled are? They are the angry people who can’t stand the fact that someone else is receiving any sort of aid.  They are the ones who “assume” everyone is cheating them.

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No way can I understand that people think don’t think the wealthy aren’t entitled. I have a bridge to sell ya!

But these same people never question the entitled attitudes of the wealthy one percent.  The one percent who cheats the government of billions of tax dollars every year!  The wealthy who vote with their purse strings only.  The wealthy that own large companies and outsource cheap labor as their employees.  These are the truly entitled and our government has made entitlement programs for them so their taxes are cut and they can use cheap labor instead of hiring Americans.

And I’m the liberal because I can’t stand the thought of outsourcing?? Wow!!!

Oh the extreme left doesn’t get a pass from me either.

I’m sick and tired of their overtly “do-gooder” policing. Guess what?  It’s ok for someone to leave their dog in a car with the window cracked while running into the store for a container of milk.  That person’s dog won’t die in the middle of winter if its owner leaves the vehicle for a two-minute transaction.  And thanks to the extreme lefty politically correct, I now have to drive a half a mile in a parking lot to find a space because of the great number of “special” parking spaces.   I see people running out of cars with handicapped plates faster than superman outflying a speeding bullet.  And the parking spaces for “women with small children”?    No.  Get out of the car, take your child by the hand and teach them how to walk properly in a parking lot!! Telling a woman her dress is beautiful is not harassment.  A parent disciplining their child in public is not abusive.  A parent beating the living shit out of their child is abusive. Get your priorities in place!

Because I feel that the president-elect needs to stop his immature rants and babyish bullying on Twitter, I have been labeled quite the falling snowflake.   Not quite. I just believe that a man who is going to be sworn in as the leader of our already great country should be focusing more on what is important for our country. He better get those “pussy-grabbing” fingers off his phone and perhaps grab a pen instead and take notes on how to behave like a mature adult.

The extreme left and the extreme right are both very, very dangerous groups of people. We need to get back to being a moderate and bipartisan society.

Because I believe very strongly that religion has absolutely no place in politics, I’m labeled a dangerous and very bad liberal person.

Really?  Our Country was founded by men who couldn’t stand organized religion.  I’m still trying to figure out just how and when Jesus unwillingly got involved in all political goings on.

Our America is not a Christian country in exclusivity.  We are a melting pot of religions and religious ideologies and not all of them are Christian.  We are Atheists, Agnostics, Baha’i, Buddhist, Confucians, Hindus, Islams, Jains, Jews, Sikhs, Shinto, Taoists, Universalists, Scientologists, Rastafarians, Muslims, Pagans and Wiccans.  And I thank the good Sisters who taught me in Catholic School; they reminded us that not everyone shared our beliefs and that we should accept and respect all religions and all beliefs.

Because I’m respectful of the ideologies and beliefs of others I am labeled a liberal.  Not really, I’m just intelligent enough to realize that not everyone believes in the Jesus and God that I believe in.   I’m also intelligent enough to pray to St. Anthony every time I lose something. He helps me find things. Lots of things!  I’m a Humanist who loves me my Saints!

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Thank you St. Anthony for finding my long lost lipgloss. Can you help me find my Alex and Ani bracelets tonight? Can you tell St. Jude I need him for a request…and St. Dympha…

I am a Humanist.  I believe in compassion and empathy. I believe in humility.  I believe in respect and kindness.  I believe in equality. I believe that no one person is better than the other.  I believe that people should be treated with dignity.

And today I am a Humanist who is so very afraid of what will happen to our great country and her people come the day that vile man is sworn into the Presidency.  His companionship with a Russian dictator will have an effect on our country. Good and decent people will suffer. And those who voted for this awful specimen of a human being will also suffer. He is not a Humanist, nor a liberal nor is he a moderate. He is a vicious, deceitful and dangerous man and he built an entire campaign around anger and hate.

I am a Humanist who is asking all my friends on Friday, January 20, 2017 to pray to their God; be it Ra, Yahweh, Mohammed, Bob Marley, Buddha, or Hipster Jesus.  Pray for America. Pray for our people. Most of all, pray for strength—because we are going to have to be strong during the darkest political days to come.

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My beautiful country and Liberty Enlightening The World both weep because our great country is about to fall on dark days. What happened to the real America–the America who welcomed and loved and cared? She’s dying..

I Ask you to listen to this song by George Harrison.  The melody is haunting but the words are so incredibly true.  “Beware of Darkness”

 

 

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Is That Sale Really a Bargain?

It was during this past Christmas shopping season when I spotted her.  I left the office and headed to the mall to pick up a few gifts.  I was lucky.  I had extra cash in my Longchamp bag because I was gifted with a fine and dandy Christmas bonus.

The bonus afforded me the pleasure of giving to others without being stressed out over credit card charges.

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You KNOW I’m a giver. I couldn’t wait to hit the sales!

As I walked in the direction of my favorite store, J. Crew, I saw a sign with bright red lettering. So festive for the Holidays.  The sign read 50% Off!

 

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You had me at “Sale”!

And as I made my way into the store, with every intention of buying for others, I saw her. She was on a hanger.  A foot away from me.  In her plaid, quilted glory.  The J. Crew Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket.  I walked over.   Breaking into a cold sweat from the overwhelming flush I get every time I see the color “plaid”!  I touched her.  Lightweight. Not wool, this minx of a Lady Jacket, but a natural 100% polyester of the best blend!  The lining—a deep forest green that made the perfect companion to the same green that was blended into the plaid.  I tried her on.  The 8 fit perfectly.  It was a fit that lent itself more to the snug side rather than the loose.  She was a charmer and I looked so “fetch”!!

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The Mother of all Lady Jackets. I immediately fell in love–with the jacket!  Look at that plaid. Look at the detail in the trim. This HAD to be mine!

And then I glanced down at the price.  At $228.00 I was a bit taken aback.  I couldn’t justify spending even half of that price—not when my generosity for others was overflowing.

Instead, I made the purchase of a different Lady Jacket.  A black textured one. The fit was much looser but could be worn with a heavier sweater underneath.  At a price point of $198.00 and a coupon for $20.00 off, the price of 79.00 was a more affordable one.

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J. Crew has to start placing models who eat a meal on their site.  She needs to eat at least a peanut or seventy! This jacket looks better on a more filled-out body! Like mine!

A short while later, I was armed with gift cards and my own sale item. The Lady Jacket that I liked. I didn’t love it.  Surprisingly enough, I ended up wearing the second choice quite a bit during Christmas and up to the present.

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Bad quality pic but here’s the black Lady Jacket on me.   It’s so chic and Channel-ee. Mr. Karl would even agree that it looks elegant!

 I love blazers. I also love Chanel-inspired jackets.  But here’s the thing. I cannot afford the real deal.  I’m not wealthy. And so, I look for a similar style at a sale price.  That sale price could be a bargain.  And sometimes when I make a purchase of an item on sale, it turns out not to be the great bargain I thought it would be.

Back to the Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket.  A few days after Christmas I received an email from my best friend, J. Crew.  I was instructed to open the email to discover new sale items!  Lo and behold, the Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket was on sale.  The sale price was $159.99.  Oh. It gets better.  The was an additional 50% off that sale price. Final price $79.50.  My fingers never worked faster!

Unfortunately, at that early hour of the morning, 8 AM to be exact, there was a glitch with the J. Crew site and I was unable to order.  I walked into the office sulking.  A few hours later, I decided to try my luck again. The glitch was fixed but the jacket was no longer available in my size.

I was so upset that I went to twitter to the J. Crew’s customer service, @jcrew_help.  It pays to tweet your painful heart out. Didn’t the good folks at @jcrew_help find the jacket in my size.

I made the purchase, I received the jacket and I’m absolutely in love with it and will be wearing it for a long, long time!

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I’m so in love with this jacket! Here it is all dressed down for Saturday errands! It’s so perfect!

This sale priced-jacket turned out to be a great bargain for me.  Due to the fact it isn’t wool, and it is lightweight means I get to wear her in the Winter, Spring and Fall.  I’ll allow her to air out during the heat of the summer!

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My two Lady Jackets!  The sale purchases ended up being great bargains!  Both will be worn often! Both ARE being worn often!

Sales are great events and if you shop them wisely, you will make great investments. It pays to think out a purchase!  When we travel, oftentimes I’m in Paris during the “Soldes” and don’t think I don’t take advantage of that!

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If you plan to travel overseas, you will luck out if you coincide with the “Soldes”.  The prices and bargains are not to be believed!

I have another sale item that turned out to be the bargain of the century.  I’ve written about it before but I’ll revisit.  My Longchamp le Pliage weekender/duffle bag—the best deal ever at Charles de Gaulle airport a couple of years ago.  43 euros.  I’m pretty sure it was marked down that low because of the color. A creamy white.  But I don’t care.  I welcome dirt and filth to adhere to any item of luggage that I have because nobody will make an attempt to steal my shit!  I cannot begin to tell you how many flights, how many weekend trips that trusty bag has been on.

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The cream colored bag is the one I got for practically nothing at CDG airport in Paris. I was also lucky enough to be traveling during the sales!  This holds a ton of stuff and I don’t have to check it in!! Best. Bargain. Ever!

It was the deal of the century.

I have a couple of duds too.  J. Crew recently added a Tippi Turtleneck to their line of lightweight sweaters.  The sweater, when new, looks great. The length is wonderful—especially for me who is long waisted.  I loved it so much that purchased three of them at a great sale price.

Then I washed one of the turtlenecks. And it shrunk a bit. In length. I wouldn’t have minded if it shrunk in width—I like a snug fit. But length—unh unh.  Shrinkage of just a half-inch in length is bad for me.  My choices of wearing this shrunken sweater are now limited; making the sale price no bargain. In addition, I’ll have to dry clean the others, making the price per wear higher.

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The sale price on these Tippi Turtlenecks turned out not to be a great bargain after all. Can you see how much the black sweater shrunk in length. I was so upset but I learned a lesson!

I have another recent sale item in my possession. Donna of “Grandlakestyle” on Instagram brought this beauty to my attention.  It’s one of those super cozy, toasty, wintery sweaters that is perfect for lounging at home, or a casual day at the office or for running errands.  Total?  $19.99 from the J. Jill site.  It’s adorable.  For the price, this is a sweater that’ll be worn winter after winter and during the Christmas season—and it isn’t ugly!

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This sweater is so stinkin’ adorable!  And it is comfy and cozy to boot!

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I wore this just hangin’ around the house. It’s so warm too! It was a great deal at $19.99 which included shipping!

My other prized possession of this season is the J. Crew Factory version of the infamous Schoolboy Blazer.  My plaid passion.  It was half off of the sale price of $89.99. The construction is excellent and not shoddy at all.  The fabric is heavy and this is just as good as the original J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer.  It is a great item to have! And was worth every penny of the $45.00 I ended up spending on this!

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My little plaid Schoolboy!

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I’m a sucker for contrasting detail like this red fabric around the collar.  It makes me love popping it!

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Isn’t it adorable?  I love a blazer with jeans because it gives a polished look!

Old Navy has a wicked T Shirt dress that I’ve written and raved about. Damn! It’s on sale for $12.97 now.  I have a Large and even with my weight loss the Large still fits although I notice it is looking a bit looser.  The dress was a huge bargain at $15.00 and I hope this little gem is brought back for next summer’s season.  I have two in black, two in gray and one in blue and trust me, this is a dress that has been and will continue to be worn many, many times over.

Photo on the left. I took my pajama bottoms and sweatshirt off just to show you how this looks. The top is getting a bit loose but even with a substantial weight loss, the L fits very well!  Photo on the right is from earlier in the fall layered with a denim jacket, scarf tights and boots. It’s a versatile three-season dress and you can’t beat the price. I’ve washed these dresses tons of times and no shrinkage. I air dry!

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These dresses have also been traveling with me for two years now.  They pack very well!

Old Navy also made a killer T-shirt that was five bucks.  The length and fit were perfect and when I found out the shirt was discontinued, I hoarded!  It’s still a bargain!

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I still have some that haven’t been worn or opened. I LOVE these tees!

I don’t buy clothing at full price. Never. I will stalk an item until it is on a special sale or until it is marked down.

In France, I load up on beauty items and skin care.  All at sale or bargain prices.

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My mecca of all things discounted beauty and skincare! On the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue du Four. The best corner in Paris!

Many of the items in our home were purchased during sales (with the exception of the overpriced Ethan Allen sofa that I can’t stand looking at).

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All of these items were well-thought out and frugal spending choices.  That sofa?  It’s a Cindy Crawford sofa and it has held up better than the Ethan Allen one!  Sometimes the pricier version isn’t always the best!

How’s about you? You go after the sales or not?  How do you shop?  Do you have some great deals you want to share?  I’m nosy and need to know!

WAIT!! Before I end this post!! Last night Jimmy Fallon returned from the Golden Globes to do the first Tonight Show back. HE THANKED MY ROMAN ON-AIR!!  The link is below.  Get past the commercial and watch the first minute of his monologue. He runs up to Roman and hugs him!  I wish I had been there–better yet, it’s good I wasn’t–I would have embarrassed my son!

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/queen-latifah-fred-armisen-the-flaming-lips/3449293

You like “Sale-ing?”  Because writing this post made me think of the song “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. 1979.  I loved that song!!

 

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Atypical 60 Looks at The 2017 Golden Globe Awards!

I know I’m supposed to be working on a post about sales and bargains. But I got waylaid because……Award Season has begun!

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Award Season!!  Part of the Golden Globe fun is when the camera pans to all the stars shoving food in their mouths while eating their dinner!!

Time to pick the best of the best in the entertainment industry!  Oh trust me. I love going to the movies.  But I look at film in a different way. I usually come out of the movie thinking that some idiot who can barely write got a shitload of money for coming up with a mediocre screenplay. I could do better.

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I very rarely look this content and happy while watching a movie that Bonaparte has paid almost twenty bucks a ticket for. The films are usually worth watching on Netflix for ten bucks a month.

And the acting!  Many times I’ve left the theatre trying to figure out who the cast slept with to snag such a great or even lousy role—and for a really, really hefty salary.  I could act for a cheaper price—and nobody would even have to sleep with me either. Actually, nobody would even want to sleep with me!

Yes.  I enjoy loving to hate those who are even more self-centered than I am!

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Thank you. Thank you. I am the center of my universe. No make that I am the center of THE universe!

The Red Carpet? I would rock it like a space ship! I know how to pose. Trust me; I’ve been posing in front of a mirror since I was a kid.  Lips pursed. Chest out. Tummy sucked in. Ass sticking out like a bustle. Hand on hip.  Head tilted to the side.  One leg slightly in front of the other.

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Ann Hathaway’s talent for posing surpasses her talent for acting..

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..I don’t know who this is but she is the best poser of all time!

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Talk about sassy!  Miranda Kerr has got it goin’ on with the stance!

It’s time to dish the snark!

I first started my Golden Globe evening by turning on E’s “Countdown To the Red Carpet” and my blood started to boil.

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It was more like “deadly” from the Red Carpet with Kris Jenner hosting!

Why was Kris Jenner hosting?  She has no talent other than making billions by shilling a video of her daughter Kim going pee-pee on Ray J.  Oh—she made lots and lots of money for Ryan Seacrest so I guess he had to let her host. Her talent is making money.

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Ugh. The dress is absolutely hideous! And the hair. Look at her cheek implants! I think they were supposed to be planted in the other end! Oops–it looks like they were!

She was awful! Awful.  With all her millions and billions, she can’t afford a decent hair style?  Honestly, I’ve seen butch women with better haircuts than Kris Jenner.   Her face looks more plastic than Nicole Kidman’s!

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Kris is smiling because she knows that Ryan Seacrest will do whatever she tells him to!

And the dress. I can’t even. I swear she wore the lining of a purse that was purchased about 50 years ago at Woolworth’s.

Note to Ryan Seacrest.  Please have just Giuliana Rancic and only Giuliana Rancic as the sole woman hosting all of the Red Carpet events that are televised on E!

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Ryan, you need to take a step back and bring Giuliana back into the spotlight. For ALL the Red Carpet Events!

And Rancic’s male companion host should be none other than Billy Eichner of “Billy on the Street” fame!  He would be perfect! He’s Jewish.  He’s Gay. He’s loud!  He tells it like it is!  He’s like the guy gay version of Joan Rivers. He could change his name to Jon Rivers!!!

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Billy Eichner don’t take no crap from anyone!  He would be the next best thing to Joan Rivers on that Red Carpet.  

Please Ryan Seacrest. If you should see this, please reach out to Billy Eichner!

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And the stars LOVE him!  Look at how happy Rashida Jones is to be with him!!

Poor Joan Rivers!  I’m sure she is turning in her grave! Since she’s left us, the stars don’t even make an attempt to look…well, to look like stars anymore.

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Joan–the entertainment world is just not the same without you. It’s so boring!

They all look like hot messes.

Shall we take a look at last night’s gowns?

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At first glance, I loved Blake Lively’s look. Her breasts are looking mighty fine because she just had a baby and she’s nursing! My breasts were HUGE when I nursed!  I feel a connection here.  Then I looked down and saw those tiny pockets! Pockets are supposed be large enough to stick your entire hand in.  This gown should have had either larger pockets or no pockets at all.  She was one of my best dressed until I saw the pockets. But then, she was wearing Ryan Reynolds–so I guess she really WAS best dressed!

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08:  74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Ryan Reynolds and actress Blake Lively arrive to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: (l-r) Actor Ryan Reynolds and actress Blake Lively arrive to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Seriously–what’s with trying to get your hands in those mini-pockets?  I don’t understand the pockets at all!

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I’m Just Jealous of Just Jared because I wasn’t at the Golden Globes and he was.  Sofia Vergara must have gotten her invite very late because she looks like she took a roll of aluminum foil, crumpled it up and made a gown out of it.  Why is she wearing her beautiful hair back?  She has the greatest hair ever. It needs to be down. SHE is one of the few who can actually wear a plunging neckline. Why wasn’t she?

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Instead, we had a parade of flat-chested ingenues sporting the deepest of necklines!  I love Jessica Biel but this ensemble is one hot mess…

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I almost gave her a free pass because she and her  husband Justin are so cute. Look how lovingly he looks at her!  I took the pass back because the top of the dress is just awful. Awful!

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08:  74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actress Mandy Moore arrives to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Actress Mandy Moore arrives to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

And if you do insist on wearing a plunging neckline, please have boning to push the girls up a bit. Mandy’s girls look awful. They are saggier than mine and I”m 61 years old!

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Laura Dern got the plunge just right.  But she should have had some lift on top. I have to admit. I’m not a huge fan of prints like this but I love the way she looks.  The dress fits well and is very flattering on her.  

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She may not have been at the Golden Globes this year, but Katy Perry knows how to make HER globes look great. THIS is the body for a plunging neckline! Please lady stars, take note for next year. Either get a boob job, get great boning in the dress or better yet–don’t wear a plunging neckline!

Reese Witherspoon delights in this classic gown that fits her beautifully from cut to color at the Golden Globe Awards on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

My favorite look of the evening. Reese Witherspoon was best dressed.  She looks like buttery goodness.  She should get an award for being best dressed!

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Why would a cute girl like Anna Kendrick want her titties to look malformed? This dress is awful.  There is nothing beautiful about it.  Why Anna. Why?

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She was beautiful in Sex and The City and even more beautiful as one of the Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus.  So why did Sarah Jessica Parker..

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…wear this monstrosity of a get up?  If she wore a brown cloak she could have passed as a Yodel or a Little Debbie Swiss Roll!  The hair. OMG. The hair.  Are we playing Old Heidelberg Beer Lady?  This is wrong on so many levels..

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Emma Stone is pasty white.  I am pasty white. I would NEVER wear a gown like this with my pasty white skin. She looks ill.  What happened to the fake tans?  What happened to the fake tits? Is Hollywood making a turn for the natural look?  Stop it!  You are here to entertain.  Stone needs bright colors!

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OK..so this Valentino dress looks slightly better on the Red Carpet–but even with a bit more blush of color on this dress, it just doesn’t have that wow factor. She really needs a brighter color!

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It’s bad enough that Carrie Underwood has horrific posture. And even worse that she looks like a giant wad of chewed Bazooka Bubble Gum. I’ve nothing more to say about this disaster.

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I freaking LOVE Viola Davis. She is one of the most beautiful women on earth.  The dress?  She looks great in the one-shoulder.  The fit is fabulous, and the gown is lovely in classic simplicity.  But the color is wrong.  A deep purple or a bright orange or a bright red would look epic.  It isn’t a great yellow.

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Worst dress of the evening belongs to Felicity Jones. She may have purchased this at Forever 21! The fit is awful.  The top looks too small and short waisted and she is drowning in the bottom.  This is a mess. And she’s so pretty!

I have to open up my big mouth about Damien Chazelle, the screenwriter and director for the film “La La Land”. What an ass!  You can always tell the character of people by the way they refer to others.  In his acceptance he referred to others who worked with him as “my”.  “My” this.  “My” that.  You work on a film—you work as a team. This narcissist could have used the word “Our”. Or better yet, just said the name of the person.  Oh you have no idea how that “my” gets on my last nerve.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (7734778bg) Damien Chazelle - Best Screenplay - La La Land 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Jan 2017

Damien, you may be a winner at the Golden Globes, but you are not a winner with me.  Your crew is a team. You are part of a team. The people who work for you are not “YOURS”. 

Don’t get me started on the two-second tribute to Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher. The story of their passing is an incredible twist of fate. And the women were Hollywood royalty.  That was not a tribute—it was a mere mention.  Let’s hope the Academy Awards gives these two wonderfully talented a true tribute!

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Golden Globes. You screwed up by not giving these two wonderful women a REAL tribute. Shame on you. Shame. On. You.

When my girl crush, Viola Davis, started her personal tribute to Meryl Streep, I started to groan. Viola—Granny Smith apples are the best apples for an apple pie or tart. Go ask Francois Payard. He will agree with me!  Whatever apples Meryl uses are not the best. Streep is an actor’s actor(ress). She is not a professional baker.

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Viola. I want to bake with you. We would have so much fun together!  I could even show you how to make the best Buche de Noel for next Christmas!  I love the lashes. Can’t we be friends?

And then, the light from above started shining when Streep made her acceptance speech for receiving the Lifetime Achievement award!  She got political in the most graceful and classy way—something I could never do. And with grace and class, Meryl Streep tore that #notmypresident down with a few sentences.  I. Love. Meryl. Streep!

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Meryl. You’ve just about achieved anything an actor could. I do believe the time has come for you to enter politics! If a reality show host could become (notmy) President of the USA, then surely you, who played Margaret Thatcher could have a good chance of becoming the first Lady President.  Whadya say?

With Streep being the only high point of the evening, I shut the TV off and went to sleep. I had enough of the real  La La Land for one night!  Reese Witherspoon was the closest to a Wow but she’s worn that look before.   My opinion is that these ladies either need new stylists or need to check themselves in a mirror before heading out to award shows.

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Bravo to Meryl Streep for putting the #notmypresident in his place.  Bravo to Reese Witherspoon for being the best dressed. Bravo to Laura Dern for a spectacular look and Bravo Mention to Viola Davis–the color of the dress stopped me from giving you a full-on Bravo!

I want to see the return of old school elegance and glamour.  I do not like the current awards look!

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This is elegance–Lana got it right!

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This is true glamour–right down to the killer nails. Loretta Young’s look is incredibly beautiful!

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Hepburn. Simple perfection!

Ready for round two.  The Oscars!!

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..or better yet, we should rename them “The Catherine’s”!!  Told you I was self-centered!

What’s your opinion?  Today’s stars not looking so elegant?  Did you watch the Globes?  I’m curious!

There is only one song that I can give you.  The Kinks “Celluloid Heroes”. Sung by SIR Ray Davies!

 

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A Snowy Weekend–and Back to Normal!

This has been that weekend in January.  The one where all the signs of the Holiday Season have been dismantled and nestled away in their proper resting places until next Christmas.  The pillows and lights and decorations will be in a deep slumber until the end of this coming November when they will be, once again, sparkling and shining and making everyone filled with happiness and fond memories.

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A small sampling of what was packed yesterday.  Good bye until later this year!!

There is always a sense of bittersweet tone of melancholy whenever I take the decorations down.  I get a flush of sadness and emptiness because the kids are no longer home. They have their own lives and carry on without the need from me. I know—it is so self-centered—but hey, I’m still a mom. And its okay to feel that way.img_8323

As an aside, we started the weekend off by watching “Being There” on Friday evening. I hadn’t seen this movie since 1979 when it first came out and I saw it in the theatre.  It was better and more meaningful watching it in 2017!  Trust me–if you have the opportunity, watch this before the next president is sworn in. Oh god, the great Peter Sellers was such a genius. He is missed!

The house looks barren and empty with the absence of the reds and greens of Christmas.  I think that’s why I love my sun room so much.  The reds make me happy and it’s the most inviting and cozy corner of the home.

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No more evergreens, ribbons and lights on the stairways. Ugh. Now I have to dust!

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Festive pillows have been replaced.  The cabinets are no longer embellished.

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Little nooks are no longer holiday themed..

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All is monochromatic in whites and creams–and another project is having the ridiculously expensive Ethan Allen sofa reupholstered with more goose down. 

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The newest addition to our walls is this painting of Bonaparte’s sister Agnes, who passed away some time ago.  It had been in Daniele’s apartment and we were lucky to have acquired it during our last visit to Paris.

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The sun room always remains my favorite cozy spot. I love it here!

I did manage to salvage the few poinsettias that I didn’t destroy and I’ll keep them as long as possible.

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The poinsettias are enjoying themselves in a sunny nook of the kitchen. I hope they will be around for a while!

But now that things are back to normal, I have to admit I enjoy resuming our winter weekend routines.

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Bonaparte enjoying HIS routine of taking Chippy out to do his business..

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…while I just loll around taking photos of my boots and bag for Instagram!

Yesterday was snowy and cold.  And running some early morning errands lent itself well to my coming home; to not only take the remainder of the decorations down, but to give me respite in my kitchen.  It was back to our Saturday evening dinners for the two of us.  Starting with the aperitifs and ending with Bonaparte finishing off the remainder of my uneaten meal.

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Part of my Saturday fun is the prep work for the dinners.  Yesterday, the shallots were diced, the dried cherries were reconstituted in Cognac for the cream sauce.  The hens were buttered and seasoned well-ahead of time, the duck fat was purchased for the potatoes and the rosemary was grinded by hand in my mortar and pestle!

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Mushrooms poached in Cognac (can you tell I love cooking with Cognac?) for a great side dish..

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…the potatoes were beautifully cooked in the duck fat (I had ONE little cube–Bonaparte was very happy)..

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And the hen turned out delicious.  I’m a fan of Cornish Hen because it is a welcome change from chicken.

Today has me in my Sunday routine of no makeup, a roller set to give my hair a break from blow drying and lazing around in comfy PJ bottoms and a tee shirt.

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Makeup free and my hair in rollers. I am the quintessence of pulchritude!

I also baked some chocolate chip cookies for a co-worker. His birthday was last week, so it’s a belated birthday gift from me. Better late than never I suppose!

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I hope these taste good. I’m back in diet mode so these are off limits to me!

Chippy is enjoying having the sofas in the house all to himself.  And as I look around the chateau, I remembered that our new project is to find a handyman to hang up curtain rods in the living room.  We need to have window coverings made to give the room some warmth.  I’ve been procrastinating and probably will continue to do so on this subject.

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Someone is glad to have the sofas back to himself.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by the need to restuff the Ethan Allen sofa (Ugh–this sofa is a headache for me).

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And another project is window coverings for these two windows!

Oh. And don’t think I didn’t forget that I need to get back to my weekly weight loss posts. I will return to posting later this week. I really did overindulge over Christmas—but that’s over and it is back to carefully watching what I’m eating.

But in keeping up with what I’ve been wearing—here’s a look at some of the ensembles I put together this past week!

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Monday’s look was  catwalk in leopard spots! I love this skirt I got on sale at J. Crew Factory!  The weight is a heavy one for the winter!

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Tuesday–Black & Tan!  I love my inexpensive over-the-knee boots!!

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Wednesday was a very lady-like day for me in this lady jacket from J. Crew–which I got for half price.  I think this was Wednesday. Maybe it was Thursday. I forgot to take a photo of one of the days this week!

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Jeans Friday!  I wanted to add a feminine touch to this otherwise kind of masculine look so I added a touch of bling in the form of a fun necklace!

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I got dressed up to run errands yesterday because the jacket I literally coveted and dreamed about is now mine. I got it on sale and I’m going to start a post about this jacket and other sale items after I publish this post. This is my favorite look of the week.  You have no idea how much I am in love with this jacket.   The Daniel Wellington watch the kids gave me for Christmas is also getting a ton of love from me.  

And that is my weekend!  I hope you are having a lovely snowy weekend–stay toasty and warm!!  And have fun!!

Since life is back to two in the house, what would be a more fitting song than to give you Bill Withers and “The Two Of Us”?

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The Best Appetizer You’ll Ever Make

I think.  And let me tell you, I was thinking about this all day!  It started with an Instagram photo that my friend (I’m delusional-remember? I have pretend friends.) Anthony Bourdain posted.  He looks incredibly thin these days.  I hope he isn’t feasting on nose candy.voyages2-atw-0514515-3

This is not the photo from Instagram. Bourdain looks overfed in this photo compared to the IG one. He’s too thin.

He needs to go back to Lyon to allow Paul Bocuse  force-feed him like a duck on his way to becoming a foie gras supplier!

French chef Paul Bocuse is seen during the 2011 Bocuse d'Or cooking contest ceremony in Chassieu, near Lyon, January 26, 2011.   REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE - Tags: FOOD HEADSHOT)

French chef Paul Bocuse is seen during the 2011 Bocuse d’Or cooking contest ceremony in Chassieu, near Lyon, January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

This is the guy that Bourdain needs. Perhaps he could roast another Hare for Bourdain or force feed him!

I’m getting off topic here.

Anyway, if you like to entertain—even if you don’t like to entertain.  I have a great, great appetizer for you.  I know, I know, prep work and the thought of actually cooking and baking and following complex recipes stresses you out. Right?

Don’t worry, this appetizer is simple and easy to prepare.  The other great thing is that it is more on the healthier side than the unhealthier side. You can make it ahead and forget about it until the guests come.

It’s funny but give me a new recipe and I’m a happy woman.  I love classic French cooking. I love Middle Eastern cooking.  I love baking.  But the one thing I’ve always found challenging is finding a decent hors d’ oeuvre or appetizer that isn’t too heavy, too fatty, or takes too much time to prepare from scratch.   Sure. I can buy the frozen kind, which I do—but I like to have at least one or two home-made little treats that we can enjoy before dinner.

Back to Bourdain. Trust me, this is going somewhere.

Thanks to my friend Anthony Tony, Bonaparte and I have enjoyed some wonderful meals at Frenchie restaurant in Paris.  I’ve stocked up on some great kitchen supplies at E.Dehilleran.

Paris. E. Dehillerin!If you get a thrill at shopping for cooking and kitchen supplies, this is the place to shop when in Paris.  I needed a lot of time here! Thank you Tony!

And I discovered chef Eric Ripert through the bromance of these two guys.  I’ve written to these men in hopes that I could join them on their food adventure—we could be a great trio. But they gave me the brush off. A real throwmance.

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Yeah. This is the way the two of these guys spoke about my near-stalking. Bourdain just smugly paid me no mind.  Ripert looks like he could very well call the gendarmes on me!

Regardless, last year in 2015, I was, once again, perusing the internet in hopes of finding good appetizer for Christmas.

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Guess who I was entertaining for dinner that Christmas?  Not John Meyer.  It was my son, to Meyer’s left.  I miss Jake’s  “Jesus Jake” look–after all, my first born son is like the second coming of you-know-who!  (You can see that I still live vicariously through my grown children.  Mommy isn’t right in the head)

I was interested in Rillettes when what should my wandering eyes appear on the screen before me but a link to Chef Eric Ripert’s Salmon Rilette.

I figured it would be great to try making them because I certainly would never be invited to his restaurant Le Bernardin, where I could enjoy his salmon rillette on toast.

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I would love to have dinner here, but Ripert would run for his life if he found out I was coming!! Does he not realize that I would be with a bona-fide Frenchman? Bonaparte could complain  talk to Ripert in French and I could once again be ignored!

I had to make them!  Here’s his recipe if you can’t click on the link above:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1-pound fresh salmon fillet, cut
into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces smoked salmon, diced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chive
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice                                                                                                                    Sea salt and pepper to taste.  NOTE:  I add fresh dill for a bit of depth.

In a shallow pan, bring the white wine and shallots to a boil. When the shallots are cooked, add the salmon and gently poach the salmon until it is just barely opaque. Remove the salmon from the wine and immediately drain on a towel-lined sheet pan. Strain the wine, reserving the shallots. Place the salmon and shallots in the refrigerator to cool.

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I cooked the shallot in Mouton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a good wine for cooking. I then added the cut salmon and poached for under three minutes

Combine the poached salmon and shallots in a mixing bowl with the smoked salmon, chives and some of the mayonnaise and lemon juice—use the mayonnaise and lemon juice sparingly to begin, and adjust to taste.

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After the salmon was poached and all was drained, it was placed in the fridge to cool. Then I added the..

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Smoked salmon and other ingredients.

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Everything blended and ….

Mix the rillette—do not over-mix or mix too hard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add fresh dill like I do if you would like.  Serve cold with toasted baguette slices. We also serve on those little pumpernickel slices.

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Put into jars.  I actually doubled the recipe so we would have extra. 

These are great with Pouilly-Fuissé. And the amazing thing is Bonaparte couldn’t get enough of the rilette–and he isn’t much of a fish eater but he loves these. It’s definitely been a keeper. Second Christmas in a row that I’ve made these and it looks like the rilette will be made a lot during the year!

And there you have it!  It is the best appetizer you will ever make—even if you are not a fan of salmon, you will enjoy making this because it is that easy!

So really, I have Anthony Bourdain to thank for this. Because if I never watched his show, I would have never found out about Eric Ripert. And then I would have passed the Salmon Rilette recipe by…and then….

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Thank you Chef Ripert for the greatest appetizer recipe on earth!  Encore Merci!

A good French appetizer. A good French wine.  Here’s a beautiful French Song. Juliette Greco “Sous le Ciel de Paris”. I swear every time I hear this song I can visualize just wandering around St. Germain…

Posted in Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, French Cooking | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Atypical 60’s Best of 2016—The Best Stuff for Mature Woman

As we sidle into 2017, we will be venturing into all things new and improved.  Thusly bringing our indecisiveness to the top of the emotional heap!  But, as we do move forward, I want to take some time to share with you some stuff that needs a shout out.

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Yes. This is the face of a 61 Year old woman. And although no products I use have created miracles and turned the face of time back to give me the appearance I had thirty or forty years ago, I still have my best products and other stuff of last year that I want to share!

As Oprah has her favorite things, so do I.  But mine are mostly more budget-minded and work well for the mature woman.  Since the beauty and fashion industries continue to ignore us older ladies and focus solely on youth, I feel it is my personal mission to get our empowering and beautiful demographic of women noticed. Well, I’m sure to fail in getting us noticed but I’ll take the initiative here and share some of my favorites that got me sailing through last year!

Without further ado, I give you my best stuff for 2016!

Best Makeup Remover: Albolene. Hands down, this is the shit! I’m sure all my  drag queen besties will attest. Albolene gets rid of every speck of makeup—no matter how heavy you slop it on!  Makeup just melts off.  The price is great too.  For a huge mutha of a jar, I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $14.  A little goes a long way. In addition, you don’t have to “tug” at your skin to get your makeup off—and at our age, tugging is a no-no!

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I took this photo in August of 2015. The very same jar is in my bathroom and still has about 1/4 of the cleanser left. I don’t call this a cleanser though. I use it as a makeup remover!

Best Primer(s):  I’ve spent money on high-end primers and I have to admit. The ones that work best for me are the low-end.  elf and Hard Candy. Both smooth and prep the skin in a lovely way—especially the Hard Candy—it is very hydrating. A little goes a long way. At a price point of $6 for the elf, and around $8 for the Hard Candy, your skin—as well as your purse strings will thank you!

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With these primers, there is no need to waste money on the high-end. I know this. I’ve learned my lesson. Less expensive is better.

Best Foundation: This is a tough one because I have gone through so many foundations in my mature and immature lifetime!  I’ve narrowed it down to three. And after much thought, my number one is  Marc Jacobs Full Coverage Foundation.  It literally glides on. If you want more coverage, you can build.  However, this is a light foundation that does the job to cover and stays put all day! And in all honesty, it is the most “old lady” friendly because it isn’t cakey.  I’ve hemmed and hawed during 2016 as whether to repurchase—and after almost a full year of using this, I will. A bit pricier at $55., but given the fact it’s almost a year old and I’m still using it—the price isn’t really too bad.  The next two are “best of’s” but for different reasons. Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is a wonderful color match for me—and it does offer a bit of luminosity and is long-wearing.  I find that if applied too heavily it can look a bit cakey—you gotta tread lightly. At $44, it could be pricey if you use a lot but t it’s still a very good foundation. Coming in next is the elf Flawless Finish Foundation at six bucks, this foundation is an excellent buy! I’m not kidding!  This is my go-to travel foundation. (if you know me well, you are aware that I travel with low-end cosmetics because I would freak out if I lost the good stuff or left it behind!). Coverage is excellent. Not a lot of shades to choose from but if you find a match, you are in luck!  Long lasting.  Only issue I have is with elf’s pumps. They have a tendency to break fairly quickly.  Overall though, this foundation is an excellent buy!

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From left to right. Becca, elf, Marc Jacobs. All 2016 Best Of’s!

Best Eye Shadow Palette: Two have become my favorites last year. Yeah. I have the Naked’s and I have Stila and more. However, I’ve used two palettes during 2016 over and over again.  Mally’s Nude Attitude is a great palette.  The shadows have a bit of a subtle sparkle but still manage to work well on mature eyes.  Nice nudes with a couple of colorful shades, the pigmentation is excellent and the shadows stay put during the day—and I don’t use an eye shadow primer either.  A bit of fallout but cleans up so easily. If applied with a light hand, no fallout issues.  $35 is the price point. Not overly expensive but certainly not inexpensive.  Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic Elements–I have to thank fellow blogger Adryana of Adryana’s Beauty Blog for introducing me to the Makeup Revolution brand.  Wow! Just. Wow!  This palette of matte nudes is only $7.00!! Seven Bucks!  I cannot say enough about these shadows. They go on so silky smooth and there is virtually no fallout.  The pigmentation is incredible and as mattes can be a bit on the “ashy” side, there is absolutely no “ashy” look to these shadows at all!  I kid you not when I say that every woman should have this palette in her collection!

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Top–Mally Nude Attitude Palette. I’ve hit pan on the color Cafe au Lait and just hit pan on Sand.  I’ll be hitting pan on other colors shortly.  Bottom:  Revolution Redemption Palette. I can’t say enough about how great this seven-buck palette is.  The after effects of the shock of this low price point still gives me the chills!  I highly recommend this palette to everyone!

Best Lip Glosses/Sticks:  Oh how I miss the bee-stung mouth I had back in my twenties and thirties. I could wear dark lipstick. I could wear neon lip color! I could wear the burgundy’s. Sigh!  Alas, my lips have aged. I would say my mouth is the one area of my face that has aged the most.  Reds and dark colors look harsh on me.  I’m mature and wise enough to realize that “color” no longer works for me.  Pinks can be difficult too—my skin coloring is pale with pink undertones and I need a more muted pink in order to look halfway decent.  The following are my faves from last year.  IT Cosmetics Lip Stain, Lip Vitality and CC Lip Serum.  I find IT cosmetics to be very hit-or miss.  The foundations are horrible for my aging skin—although the products are advertised to be anti-aging. However, the lip products are epic!  The lip gloss stain and vitality flush in the color “Je Ne Sais Quoi” are the perfect hint of color—especially if you have heavily pigmented lips like mine.  I’ve also used the Lip Vitality Flush as blush in emergency situations.  The Lip Serum in the color “Love” is a wonderful almost caramel pink. I have to say that I have three separate “sets” of these products, two in purses and one at home. The price point of these items runs around twenty bucks apiece but it is so well-worth it. These are my lip holy grails!  Coming in second are the NYX products.

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My “Holy Trinity” of lip products!  IT Lip gloss stain and Vitality Lip Flush in “Je Ne Sais Quoi” and serum in “Love”.  Stellar. Just. Stellar! And for mature lips, the no-color colors work so well..

the-lipsAlso on my “best of” are NYX lip glosses, sticks and butter gloss.  The color on the photo of the products looks more peachy, but the bottom photos show the true color once applied.  Oh..and that Sephora gloss that snuck in there is pretty good too!

Best Mascaras and Eyeliners:  Mascaras-my best of’s are the Bella Rose Lash Fiber Mascara and Maybelline’s The Falsies for my top lashes.  Both products are great.  I love the Bella Rose because of the lushness it gives the lashes.  I am a fan of The Falsies because of the same lushness it gives my lashes. I interchange between the two.  I order Bella Rose from Amazon. At $14.99 it is a great buy.  The Falsies I purchase at Walmart because Walmart offers the lowest price–around five bucks–and I go through Mascara the way the president-elect, what’s-his-name goes through lies!  On my bottom lashes I use Wet ‘n Wild’s MegaLength and New York Color’s SkyRise Mascaras. It depends on which one I grab first. I LOVE both these mascaras for the bottom lashes because of the wands.  They both have a thin wand which doesn’t pick up a ton of product and makes it a cinch for applying mascara to the lower lashes. Each mascara costs around $2.00, making them inexpensive but great bargains!

New York  Color also has a favorite eyeliner of mine–and has been for quite a few years. In fact, I hoard this eyeliner.  Under three dollars, it is a liquid liner that has a super-thin brush and the liner is dark and lasts all day!  I’ve had a difficult time finding the right felt-tip liner.  Many of them don’t house a lot of product and the tip just wears down. Not so with this Tarte Lights Camera Action Precision Liner. The tip is thin and has managed to not wear down. It is easy to work with and makes a great line.  I did buy this on a special sale at Ulta for $10.00. Normally $20.00 it is still worth spending the money on!

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Top: Bella Rose Fiber Mascara and Maybelline’s The Falsies.  Bottom:  Wet ‘n Wild Megalength and NYColor’s Sky Rise mascaras. Great “best of’s”!!

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See what I mean about the bottom lashes?  Both these mascaras do a fantastic job!

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Top: Tarte’s liner. Bottom NYC Liner. I’m a lover of eyeliner only on my top lid.  I can’t line the bottom because it looks aging and harsh. Instead, I’ll apply a thin line of a lighter shadow.

Best Cosmetics Brushes:  Years ago, Oona and I purchased cosmetic brushes from Vera Bradley.  Yes. That Vera Bradley.  The brushes were amazing. Great quality, no shedding, wooden handles and they came housed in cute Vera Bradley brush holders.  These little wonders were discontinued.  But I still have them.  All my regular brushes have been packed away on a little vacation.  So have my beauty sponges.  They have made way for the new kind of brush that has intrigued me since I saw them.  What do you call them?  Spoon brushes?  Tooth brushes?  Whatever they are called, this new, oversized, heavily dense kind of brush is (in my Oprah voice) AH-MAZE-ING!!!  Oona gifted me with a set this Christmas. I know, I know—I received these gems at the very end of the year, but in the week that I’ve played around with these brushes—and play around I did, I found that the blendability is superior, less product is needed, and you can really go light-handed.  The set that Oona purchased for me is around $30 on Amazon.  I know you can spend upwards of $400 for this type of brush but this less expensive brand, Bestidy, makes a great brush.  I’m definitely a fan!

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The more I use these, the more I love them.  The really thin brush on the left hand side, I’ve been using it to apply powder shadow as a liner on the bottom lid and works like a charm…

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I place a bit of product on the brush and blend..

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better for contouring than a blender sponge..

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Finished face–all products except lips, liner and mascara were used with these brushes..even brows!!  I’m sold!

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Let’s Talk About Christmas 2016!!!!

It was great. And it wasn’t about the gifts (I’ll get to that later).  It wasn’t about the food (Well, yes it was—but not in a great way. I ate way too much).

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I was listening for my buddy Santa but I don’t have a chimney.  He still came through though!!

It was about family.  It was beyond great to have the three kids here.  Jake had to leave the day after Christmas due to working at the Nightly News.  He also had to get ready for a trip to London.

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Jake didn’t stay long but we were lucky to have him visit when we returned from Paris!

Roman and Oona both left on Thursday. Oona back to Cincinnati then to Atlanta for New Year’s Eve and Roman back to New York City to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn with friends.  Chateau Bonaparte is now back to the quiet normal of me, Bonaparte and Chippy.  Some of the decorations will be taken down this weekend—actually, I’ll wait till next weekend. I want some alone time with my tree.

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Roman has a little break before resuming duties at Fallon and SNL..

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Oona is now back in her favored Cincinnati!  I miss them already!

I’m now preparing to go into hibernation mode. You know that time of year after the holidays and everything is damp, cold, and gray?  And all you want to do is come home from work and put your pajamas on?  That’s how I’m feeling.  You too?

So back to Christmas 2016.

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Be that as it may, as much as I love Christmas, I always manage a few faux pas!

I picked Oona up at Philly airport last Thursday, the 22nd of December.  At Philly Airport—which was an absolute zoo.  Luckily I listened to the girls at work and left early to get there.  It took me two hours—traffic was that bad.

 Christmas Eve Oona drove to New York and met the boys for a late lunch/early dinner with their dad.  I cooked all day.  Bonaparte had the foresight to send Chippy to doggie daycare so he could hang with his canine homies!

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Basically, THIS was my Christmas Eve Day Still Life!  Lots of baking and cooking.  I’ll show you through pics!

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More treats and cookies…

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The meringue mushrooms for the 2016 Buche de Noel!

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WAIT!! In the middle of my busy cooking frenzy, the doorbell rang!  It was a surprise!  For me!  And the surprise was these tulips from Jake’s girlfriend Juliana!  You know who mommy is liking…….

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To accompany the pre-dinner drinks, I served deviled eggs, but prepared everything the day before.  Took the yolks out and made the filling.  Spooned it into a piping bag, sliced the eggs in half and put into the fridge then on Christmas Day all I had to do was pipe and serve. Did I mention that Anchovy Paste is my secret ingredient?  Well, it is and it is no longer a secret!

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OK. Mommy needs a break–just one of many.  I’m so lazy..

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And with laziness comes productivity.  I forgot to water my Rosemary tree because of my laziness. But with that came a beautifully bunch of the dried herb.  So–now I just snip and grind.  It’s perfect!

Christmas Eve dinner for B. and me was a quiet one while we waited for the kids to return  from New York. I don’t even remember what we ate. I think it may have been a roast chicken from Wegman’s.  My brain was very busy thinking about the next day!

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A few moments to admire the ornaments on the tree before everyone returned home!

Oh. I forgot to mention. Early in the morning I had my hair blown out by Adam and he gifted me with a bottle of whiskey.  My hair dresser sure knows how to please me!! Either that or he was trying to find a way to wind me down.

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The hair looked great–and naturally as soon as I arrived home, I wiped the makeup off, took the clothes off and put on sloppy clothing.  Am I the only woman who did this on Christmas Eve?  I take casual to a whole ‘nother level!

Christmas day was relaxing and perfect.  The funny thing is when the kids are little and are mesmerized by that Santa magic, everyone wakes up early—like at 6 AM.  Now we wake up after 9 and the gift-giving is so much more civilized. Nobody is ripping anything apart!

Alright.  Its all coming back to me.  The day sort of didn’t start out perfectly.   Trying my damnedest to get my best Martha Stewart on, I woke up before everyone else to start that wonderful Christmas Breakfast.  My perfect breakfast began with putting the French Toast Casserole into the oven to warm up.  My next action was breaking the eggs for a massive dish of scrambled ones.  I reached into the fridge for the eggs and realized that I didn’t have enough of these egg-cellent little beauties.  So, I had to improvise and made a frittata instead. Whipping egg whites helped to create the illusion of volume.  Cooking the bacon was next.  I carefully opened the ONE POUND of bacon that was ready to be consumed by my bacon-loving family.  The opened bacon remained on the counter whilst nature called to me.  I should have moved the bacon.

When I got back to the kitchen, the bacon, in the opened package was not on the counter.  I knew that I left it there.  I searched high and low until it dawned upon me that I was not the only being awake.  Chippy was with me.  Or rather he had been with me.  I found him under the coffee table in the living room. And I must have been cursing up a storm because when I turned around Oona was behind me. She was not happy.  With me!  We struggled to take the remnants of the package out of Chippy’s mouth, and Oona grabbed a long strip of plastic that he was about to swallow.

Oona, more upset about Chippy’s consumption than her breakfast continued to carry on about how I was not the greatest Dog Mom.  I reminded her that I was a founding member of The Bad Mom movement.

By now Roman was on his way downstairs.  Jake and Bonaparte were still asleep.  Roman asked what that weird pile on the living room floor was?  I looked over. Chippy threw up.  And it was such a mess that not one strip of bacon could have been salvaged and reused.

Like hung-over partier, Chippy spent the remainder of the morning on the loveseat in the sunroom.  The only time he left his position was when we were opening gifts.  He discovered the joy of receiving when the kids handed him his wrapped presents that Sandy Paws left him.

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No. That is not the look of remorse in Chippy’s eyes. He’s devising new ways of stealing food!

Everyone was happy with their gifts and we did manage to squeeze some breakfast in!

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Jake’s love for retired Larry Bird and the Celtics knows no boundaries!  Check out his holiday socks!

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Bonaparte gave me this laptop.  My post would have been published sooner but I’m STILL figuring things out!!

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The kids gave me this great Daniel Wellington watch.  See that red line to the right?  I had no idea what it was and I contacted the company.  Eventually it came off because it was a part of the protective film that I didn’t realize was there. The DW company never got back to me. I guess they figured that my inner moron would eventually figure it out! I love this watch!

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Oona knows that mommy is a cosmetics junkie–as is daughter!  I LOVE these brushes.  So much that I packed all my other ones away. True!

Another great little gift was this Mexican garlic grater.  You put the unpeeled garlic into that blue tube and roll it.  The skin peels right off. Then you swirl the garlic on the plate-the plate is beveled so the garlic grates easily and you clean with the brush. Yes. Mommy got a new toy and has been cooking with garlic every day since Christmas!

We grazed all day until Bonaparte’s daughter, her husband and their daughter arrived in time for aperitifs and dinner.

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The festive table.  Do you like the cute ribbons around the napkins? That was because I was too lazy to iron the cloth napkins so I just wrapped them around the silverware! It’s hard being lazy!

This was the year that I discovered the pleasures of riding the Paris Metro after ten years.  This was also the year that Bonaparte discovered the very guilty pleasure of the American Comfort food better known as Mac & Cheese.  Every Christmas I make a huge mutha of a Mac & Cheese.  The kids love it.  Bonaparte’s granddaughter loves it.  I love it. (Chippy loves it too—but that’s our secret).  Bonaparte has snobbishly turned his ample French nose up at it every year.  I dunno what happened but I guess B was feeling a bit frisky and adventurous this Christmas and said:

“Couwd someone pliz pahss zhet Ahmehrickahn chiz sin zhet ou ahr awl ett-een(h)?”

Translation: “Could someone please pass that American cheese thing that you are all eating?”

Stunned and silenced, the huge ceramic casserole dish containing this food of the Gods was passed over to him.  He took a forkful.  Then another. Then another. And like Mikey with Life cereal, we all sighed as he announced that “Zis eez goowd sheet!” He liked it. He really liked it!

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All the ooey-gooey American Cheesiness was what my Frenchman needed.  I understand that many restaurants throughout France are now serving their own versions of this spectacular comfort food!

Later on, Bonaparte told me that he could not believe what a food snob he had been all this time.  He ended up finishing the remaining macaroni and cheese over the next couple of days. I had to “hide” some for him.  I guess I’ll be making more in the future!

Here’s where things got a bit….dramatic. After being on my feet literally most of the day, I sat down at the dinner table to enjoy the fruits of my laborious dessert with everyone. My beautiful Buche de Noel 2016.

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The genoise cake was moist.  The creme de marron (that’s fancy French talk for chestnut cream) filling was amazing.  The ganache frosting was the best I’ve ever gorged on. I couldn’t stop dipping my finger into it!  The meringue mushrooms looked adorable and the “dirt” on top was ground up pecans. Francois Payard would be proud of me if he knew me!

I didn’t even drink  ( I had one aperitif) so I cannot blame the drama on too much wine or too many Kir royals. During dessert Bonaparte.. or someone at the table started talking politics.  Then it happened. Bonaparte’s son-in-law, who was the only person at the dinner table who voted for that man who is president-elect of this already-great America, started glorifying that man who is NOT my president.    I made a promise to Bonaparte that I would not get all crazed. I promised my children I would not get all crazed.  Hell, I promised Chippy I would not get all crazed.  And so I left the table.  But I didn’t go quietly. That is all I will say.

And while I was upstairs in my bedroom stewing away because the next four years are going to be a sh…..

I need to stop.

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I was able to see the world through Santa Face glasses.  They made the lights look like Santa’s face!  Roman told me the magic wore off at midnight.  I believed him.  The magic lasted!!

Eventually I came back downstairs.  And enjoyed the rest of the evening laughing with the kids over the TV show “Billy on the Street”. Bonaparte is now a fan of Billy Eichner!

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I should be jealous of Billy Eichner because I, too, would love to ambush people on the street.  The difference is that I would get shot.  Billy does not get shot. This show is the funniest–I’m obsessed!

It was, a very, very wonderful Christmas.

The next day was even more fun.

Ever the economical one, Jake decided to take the train back to New York via the train from Hamilton, NJ.  And me, Jake, Roman and Oona headed back to New Jersey to enjoy a great brunch. We intended to enjoy this meal at the old Parkway Diner in Ewing, NJ—but the Parkway is gone and in its place is the Capital Restaurant—a fancier diner but with the same heart and great food.

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I miss Olden Avenue in Ewing through Trenton.  It was fun going down memory lane!

I really have a good time with my kids.  We genuinely enjoy each other and are more like peers as we all age.

After we dropped Jake at the station, it was a unanimous decision to drive by our old neighborhood. That action prompted a visit to drive by the high school and middle schools that the kids attended.

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Roman and Oona–and even I, were absolutely shocked to see that the student parking lot at Hopewell Valley Regional High is now covered!  Kids these days can’t carry an umbrella?  Ahh..I have great memories of volunteering at the schools the kids attended!

And what would be the topping on the cake but a trip down fun times memory lane than to buy some chocolate milk and ice cream at Halo Farms on Spruce Street in Trenton.

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Suddenly Roman and Oona were youngsters again as we entered through the doors of Halo Farm!

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Best prices on milk and beverages ever. We bought Chock Milk ( no misspelling–we call chocolate milk chock milk). And Halo smells like a dairy–there is an old milky scent that is so warming to our hearts!

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Welcome to my ice cream happy place…

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Oona pondering what else to buy..

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Roman framing his visual of our beloved favorite ice creams. I’ll admit.  We got some strange glances…

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And the creamy icy treasure!  We went with “Chock” ice cream, Chocolate Peanut Paradise and Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch.  And my diet has resumed!

There is nothing more fun than to go back in time and enjoy a late-night, after-dinner treat than ice cream from the carton.  Yes.  I still enjoy those “Bad Mom” moments! They are right up there with my “Bad Dog Mom” moments!!

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Good bye Christmas 2016!!!

Alas, all great things come to an end.  As did Christmas 2016.  However, I’m left with memories of how wonderful this or rather last Christmas was.

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They may be grown now, but they will always be this age during Christmas!!

There is no song today. Instead I’ve decided to post two of my favorite holiday videos. The great comic genius of John Roberts.  Both describe my idea of Christmas and New Years.  This is me.  Down to the whiskers on his face.  Enjoy. Because I laugh like crazy every time I see these videos!

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When I Was 61-It Was a Very Good Year. Goodbye to 2016!

I know.  I still have so much to write about the Christmas that passed.  But between figuring out how to use this new laptop that Bonaparte was generous enough to gift me with for Christmas, and juggling work and simply hanging with the family, I got waylaid.

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Oh you did NOT want to be anywhere within ten miles of me when I began to figure this little computer out.  I felt so bad for Bonaparte!  But now, I am thanking him profusely!

And on this last day of 2016, I want to share my thoughts on this past year with you.

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Goodbye 2016!!  We got another year comin’ to us!

 

First of all, I thank all my Atypical60 friends for continuing to enjoy reading my postings-whether they are rants, or complaints or about fashion or cosmetics or whatever—the fact that you comment and read my words is so inspiring to me and keeps me going.   You have no idea how thankful I am.

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Thank you so very much for hanging with me..can you believe that this little blog has been around for almost two years???

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You, my friends, are da real MVP’s of this blog. You keep me going..and going..and going…even though sometimes you wish I would STOP IT ALREADY!!  

Secondly, I realize that there was a lot of sadness this year. Especially with the passing of a great many people who entertained us and made impacts on our lives.

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This is my absolute favorite photo of George Michael and the way I will remember him.  “Wake me up before you go-go” is now a regular sentence in my vocab. I say it when someone has to leave before I do.  Oh I am so sad about him.

The saddest—in my opinion was the shocking passing of daughter and mother within 24 hours. Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.  Words can’t even express that horrific passing.

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Growing up, my two favorite Debbie Reynolds movies were “Bundle of Joy” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. I’ve seen all her films and watched her one season TV show.  My kids will always remember her as the grandmother in “Halloween Town”.  Carrie Fisher was far more than Princess Leia to me. She was a great writer. Witty and sharply funny “Postcards From The Edge” was one of my favorite books years ago.  I loved this mother/daughter team so much.  I can’t get over this one…

For me, and for a great many others, our presidential election was also an incredible shock to the system for 2016.  There were high hopes of history being made in the form of the first woman president. Instead a misogynist, narcissistic sub-human who degrades women has become our president-elect.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  takes part in a Center for American Progress roundtable discussion on "Expanding Opportunities in America's Urban Areas" in Washington.

I refuse to post any photos of that man who is president-elect. He ain’t MY president. Not now. Not ever. Never. I’m still with her!

Rather than dwell on the bad or the sad, I want to take the time to reflect on the good.  On what made 2016 a very good year for me, at 61!

2016 was the year I became fully-employed again.  After almost two years of dealing with ageist HR people and being turned down for positions I know that I was very-well qualified for, I found a position with a small company and couldn’t be happier.

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I am still happy to wake up each morning and go to work.  I am truly enjoying this job..

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Not only that, but look at what we collected as a small office–we adopted families for Christmas and sent them lots of gifts.  I love me an office that gives back!

This was the year that I traveled to France not once, but twice.  It was fun spending more time than usual on the Cote d’ Azur and was even more fun to spend time in Paris at the beginning of the Christmas Season!

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I rode in the Paris Metro for the first time ever–after over ten years worth of visits!

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November’s end and December’s beginning –the best time to go to Paris!

St. Tropez. I think we're leaving.

Our annual trip to St. Tropez  was great this past summer..

L'estagnol. Arrive early

And to L’Estagnol…I pinch myself each time I get to travel to France!

2016 was the year I finally decided to do something about my weight.  A loss of twenty pounds was sorely needed. And although I did give myself a break during this Holiday Season by enjoying full-blown meals while the kids were here—those decadent meals complete with bread, wine and dessert.  I am ready to get back to my new norm of cutting out all the bad stuff.

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I haven’t weighed myself since Christmas Eve. And I won’t till next week. But I’m expecting to be up a few pounds and then I’ll lose it.  Actually, I just weighed myself because I felt I wasn’t being honest with you and me.  I’m thrilled to say after all the shit I stuffed in my mouth, the gain was two pounds.  I’m looking forward to returning to my diet!!!!

I still continue my affordable health care.  Because I work for such a small company, the medical plan offered is out of my affordable reach. Pennsylvania sucks for allowing health care companies charge more for insurance due to age. At my age, I would be paying over $800 a month for medical benefits—and that is with my employer kicking in over $500.  Yeah.  Don’t get me started about our ageist society.

I’m thankful to have another year down with healthy lady parts.

2016 is the year Oona moved closer to home. OK—so Cincinnati is still far away. But it isn’t as far as Arkansas and the airfare is a lot cheaper!

2016 has brought my three children more success in their careers.  As a mommy, how could that not make my year shine brighter?

Mommy and Me time!

I’m glad Oona is closer to home. She LOVES Cincinnati and is thrilled to be back!

This year, as with every year, brings the relationship between Bonaparte and me stronger.  Although he does get a bit envious when Chippy comes to me more than he does to Bonaparte.  The reason is that I drop crumbs on the floor when I’m cooking and I give Chippy treats. When will B learn?

Chippy likes my hair

There’s a reason he comes to me..it has everything to do with fallen food!

When I think back to those years when I lost my home and lived in uncertainty as to whether or not I would ever have a home again—and I had to drag the kids along with that uncertainty, it is great to spend year number two in our new home.  And it is a home in every sense of the word. Warm and inviting and full of love.  Home is where the heart is and I’m glad to be here another year!

Downstairs Family Room another view

From the top down to the bottom, the feel is warm and homey!!

And as we enter into 2017 full of speculation and worry about our beautiful America, let’s concentrate on the good and positive.  I will try—and will continue with humor and pathos! Enjoy this lovely last evening of 2016.  And all the best for 2017!!!

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Bye Bye Sweet 16…

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Make way for the new!  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOURS!!!

There’s more to come……….

But first, I thought about what a good year this was…and the one song that came to mind was “It Was A Very Good Year”.  Have a listen to this song. It really is beautiful.  Sinatra….

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My Christmas Gift is the Reason I Haven’t Been Posting

Yes.  Almost a week later, I am ready to throw my gift out the window. Am I an ingrate?  No. I’m just not good with new technology.  I got a laptop.  I am typing this on my new laptop.  I cannot get this thing to function.  But eventually I will.

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My mouth is also forming very bad words other than a kiss! It’s the fault of friggin’ Microsoft!

Christmas was great!  I have lots of fun stuff to share with you.  The kids are all doing well and Bonaparte and I had a wonderful time with them!

Too much food. No weight loss posts until next week, or the week after!

Hope you all had a great Holiday and here’s a song that is keeping my sense of humor going!  The International  Silver String Submarine Band!!

You will be hearing from me this weekend!!! XOXOXOXOXO

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