Manic Organization Is Searching My Soul!

Manic Organization is searching my soul
I know what I want
But I just don’t know, honey 
How to go about getting it

Feeling sweet feeling
Drops from my fingers fingers
Manic Organization hasn’t captured my soul. YET!

If you love Jimi Hendrix as much as I do then you will know why I changed the lyrics of his song I need them to match my current mood.

It hit me while at the office this morning. At work, I’m incredibly organized. Organization is 90% of getting the job done.  Organization helps you to perform more efficiently.  Even when working on more than one task at a time, I need to have everything in its place.


This is one area of my desk at work. I keep the phone message book next to the phone, and always have a highlighter and pen close by.  Current work is always to the left…


And work that comes after the current gets placed in a neat pile to the right of me. I keep certified mail receipts on top of those little file boxes and when the return receipt comes back to me, the receipts are matched up and placed in their proper box.


And EVERYTHING has a file.  I can’t print on them either. I NEED and HAVE to make little labels or I can’t function correctly. It is a little OCD! My calculator never leaves that spot unless it is in my hands and my hand sanitizer is close by. So why am I such a slob then?

But home—well, that’s another thing.  I love my home to be neat and tidy.  And I take pride in the fact that Chateau Bonaparte is a comfortable and welcome abode.


Why is it so hard for me to keep organized at home?

But I got a slight, small, mediumsized, big major problem. I cannot keep a closet organized.  I cannot keep my bathroom organized. Hold on there. I did say my. I use the guest bathroom upstairs when I get ready in the morning. I use that same bathroom when I do my hair.  I think having separate bathrooms keeps a couple happy!

Now understand, the linen closet in this tiny bathroom is well organized.  The good towels are in the master bathroom’s closet.


All the old towels are folded neatly.  That’s because the old towels are never used! Why would I allow my guests to use old towels? In fact, I don’t even know WHY I have these towels–they don’t match the decor and they are old and raggy. Time for a purge! At some point. Maybe before Christmas–actually maybe AFTER the holidays!

This is basically what my bathroom looks like when I finish getting ready in the morning.


Random hair roller that I snagged from Chippy’s mouth–and I’ll still put it in my hair.  Bonaparte will be so mortified when he sees that I’ve posted this and other photos of the mess I make!

My morning routine continues in the upstairs guest bedroom.  In this room is a small closet.  I keep sweaters, and blazers, and lots of my hair in here.  I also keep costume jewelry and makeup and anything that doesn’t fit into the large closet in our bedroom.  Are you following me?

And this closet usually looks like this.


Yeah. This tiny closet, which has been professionally fitted with shelving and rods, did NOT help me in any way to be more organized!

The desk which turned into a makeshift vanity is another bone of messy contention.


And this. THIS is the absolute worst.  Half the time I have to place whatever makeup I’m using on my LAP because the mess I made ON the desk is so bad!

And no matter how much I try to keep organized, within 48 hours of neatness, the mess comes back.

The really sad thing is that I’m not even ashamed of myself for this tremendous lack of respect for my stuff.  I should be ashamed.

I am the one who loves to iron.  I am the one who, when the kids were younger, was down on my hands and knees three times a day scrubbing the kitchen floor. I vacuumed twice a day.  I was a bit obsessive.

And now—the kids are gone. We are empty nesters. I have become the female version of Oscar Madison of sorts while Bonaparte has become the French Felix Unger. He is constantly picking up after me and mumbling naughty words in French.


Yes. Bonaparte is Felix compared to my Oscar…the awful thing is that while I type this, I’m wearing a sweatshirt that is filthier than Oscar Madison’s!

But I will say that it really doesn’t take much time to tidy of the little messes I make.  I did have a surge of Manic Organization when I arrived home from work today. I think it was because I couldn’t find a sweater that I was searching for. Organizing will allow you to find anything!

While Bonaparte went out to fill my car with gas, (Don’t judge! I have a bizarre fear of pumping gas and Bonaparte kindly does this task for me). I tackled the mess in the  bathroom…


Mr. Clean couldn’t have done a quicker job!  

I went to the little closet, tidied it out in no time and found two sweaters I thought I lost!


Neat and orderly–for about two more days!


My blazers are always hanging up neatly though…


And my cosmetics are ALWAYS neatly organized in these little pocket hangers that I got at Five Below! They hang over the door!


And this is as good as it’ll ever get with my makeup desk. I’m telling you by tomorrow morning it’ll be a mess again…


And I need to have shelving installed for some of my hair!


…for now.  I’ll just seize the moment!

Tell me, am I the only one who is organizationally challenged? Do you have a little bit of an organizational issue—or is it really just me?


I won’t count sheep tonight. I’ll just count hangers and shelving!

And why I count hangers to help me go to sleep later, you just know I could not pass up posting “Manic Depression” by my Jimi.  There must be some copyright issues on YouTube with Hendrix, so I’m posting this version with Seal and Jeff Beck instead—but it still sounds amazing!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!



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How to Make A Great Sauce–Tips from a Saucy Lady.

Yeah. And that woman is me.  Believe me, I’m no professional chef nor am I a professionally trained cook, but the one thing I do well is a sauce.


So true. Not only is my taste in classic clothing strong, but my taste for a classic sauce is the same!

Let me also add that as I continue on my weight loss journey, I refuse to starve myself.   If I starve, I will become cranky. If I become cranky I will become resentful. If I become resentful I will become very bitchy to Bonaparte.  My phone conversations with Oona will  have her saying “Mom.” “You need to stop this.”


If’n I don’t eat. I get very cranky and resentful!

And so—because the cool weather is here, and the days are becoming shorter, Bonaparte and I have resumed our “Saturday Night Feaster”.  Last Saturday we opened up the Feaster Season with Chicken Veronique—which I wrote about in Thursday’s post.

But I really want to touch upon what truly makes a meal special.  The sauce.

If you want to get a better understanding of what I mean when I talk sauce, check out Netflix and watch the film “King Georges” about French chef Georges Perrier.  When I saw the film last week for the first time,  a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that I am just like him with the sauce obsession.  I wrote to him but he didn’t write back. Just another delusion in “The Life Of My”!


If you like French food–and want to know why Perrier is so passionate, watch this movie! It is great and very entertaining. You WILL laugh!


And though I am just as passionate about my sauces as Georges is, I don’t smoke. Hmmm..maybe falling ashes into a sauce will give it a more “smoky” taste!

But I made Bonaparte watch this documentary Friday evening and he was quite entertained by it. I wanted Bonaparte to understand just how passionate Perrier was about sauces–especially since Bonaparte insists on sauces with our weekend meals!

Anyway, last night we had Cornish Hen. Now—Cornish hen is fine on its own. But to make it truly spectacular, you need a sauce.  I’m not talking about heavy, consistency-as-thick-as-paste gravy. I’m talking about a true sauce.

You don’t need flour to make a thicker sauce.  And you don’t need to go to the grocery store to buy a jarred sauce that cost about the same as making it from scratch.  And when you make a sauce at home, you are using fresh ingredients.  Caveat: If you cannot find dried cherries, substitute with the “cherry” craisins.

What you do need to make a great sauce is time.  And patience.  That’s why I don’t do sauces in the summer.  I don’t have the patience during the hot weather months to stand guard over the hot pot.

My only exception is Béarnaise because I can make it in the blender.


Photo from Wikipedia because I am too lazy to look through my own photos. ANyway, this is the color of a good Bearnaise. I’m a firm believer in the more tarragon in the recipe, the better!

I started off using Julia Child’s recipe but realized that Tyler Florence’s is more user-friendly.  (Click that purple printing for his recipe. It is very easy and not intimidating!)Now I just use my own instincts.


Child recommends Bearnaise for chicken and fried fish. I’m sorry but I would never put a Bearnaise on chicken. I’m iffy about putting it on fish too but for the birds. No. Just my opinion!



The Julia Child recipe for Bearnaise.  As you can tell from the filthy mess of these pages, I’ve used this recipe–a lot!  Truth be told–it’s the only recipe from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” that I use.  I know this is sacrilegious, and as much as I love watching her on old TV shows, I find her recipes to be very convoluted to read properly. 

Anyway, back to the sauce I made last night.  I don’t know about you, but our cold-weather Saturdays are spent usually running errands in the earlier part of the day and relaxing during the afternoon.  This is the time I start the prep work for our dinner.

I’ll show you in pics what I did last night because it’s so much easier than my rambling. My apologies my friends!


Tonight it is Cornish Hen with my very own Cognac Cherry Rosemary Creme Sauce and Turnip greens!

henWe have our organic cornish hen from the Wayne Farmers Market..


I “Spatchcock” the little birds.

spatchcocking-doneSee that backbone?  It’s going to be made into a broth for the sauce.


The little birds covered with red onion and waiting to be prepped with a herbed butter in between the meat and the skin, topped with canned cherries and into the oven. 

Now for the sauce:


The backbones of the hen, along with necks and gizzards are brought to a boil and simmered for an hour. I also add some salt and pepper. The broth will reduce to about a cup.


This photo was taken before I ran back to the store for fresh Rosemary.  I had to go to more than one store. Believe me, the Rosemary is what adds the extra depth and flavor to this sauce.  Here’s the ingredients.  If you cannot find regular dried cherries, (Trader Joe’s has ’em) the cherry Craisins are a fine substitute.

canned-cherries-ill-use-the-juiceWhile the broth is cooking, drain the canned cherries.  The juice will be used in the sauce and the cherries will be cooked with the birds…


Let the dried cherries/craisins soak in about a cup of the cognac–but you will need more cognac later…

I forgot to take a photo, but while the cherries are draining and the Craisins are soaking and the broth is cooking,  peel and mince one large or two small shallots.  Melt two tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan, add the shallots and cook them until transparent.


Now you are going to keep an eye on the sauce like a nosy neighbor!


Add the broth to the cooked shallots, and cook it till reduced to about a half of a cup, add the cognac soaked Craisins and the cognac that you soaked them in…


Let it boil until it reduces a bit more…


Then add the cream.  Cook this until it boils–and let it boil until it almost reaches the top of the sauce pan–then lower the flame to below a simmer. KEEP STIRRING.  Add more cognac, salt and pepper (use white pepper) and a couple of sprigs of Rosemary as well as chopped Rosemary.  Let it cook on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Taste it to see if you need more cognac. Take it off the heat and let it rest while the hens cook.

And after the hens are cooked and taken out of the oven to rest for a few minutes, put the sauce back on over a low flame and add two tablespoons of COLD or CHILLED butter. The cold butter thickens the sauce and makes it super-silky!


While the food cooks, it is time to enjoy an aperitif or two.  We looked through this book  about Bonaparte’s grandfather while enjoying our Kir Royals!


Cornish Hen plated and….

close-up-of-the-sauce-with-cherries-and-rosemaryThe silkiest, smooth and most flavorful sauce ready to be spooned over the birds!

Bonaparte is looking forward to more dinners with sauces–maybe next weekend it’ll be steak au poivre or steak with Madeira sauce…

Steak with foie gras, mushrooms and madiera sauce

Steak with Mushrooms, Foie Gras and Madeira sauce.  I”ll do a step-by-step next time I make this!

See?  You CAN enjoy a good and hearty meal while losing weight–just don’t do it every night!  And you CAN have a great sauce without being heavy or using a ton of flour!

Oh..and after dinner, we watched a GREAT movie starring Vincent Lindon.  “The Measure of a Man”.  I HIGHLY recommend this film to ANYONE who has lost a job and has been on the search for a long time.  It is gripping and intense. To make matters more gut-wrenching, Lindon’s character has a special needs child.  It is filmed documentary-style. And there isn’t a ton of dialogue but Lindon acts mostly with his eyes and facial expressions.  He definitely deserved the Cesar award last year for best actor.  If you have Netflix–you are lucky because it was recently added!


The remarkable Vincent Lindon in a very emotional film–it doesn’t get more real than this!


Yeah. Let me know if you love a good sauce or if you’ve tried your hand at sauces–or what you think of sauces in general! I’m the nosy neighbor!!! Let me know if you’ve seen the two movies mentioned here too!!!!

Today’s song is a sort of “Six Degrees of Separation”.  Sandrine Kiberlain. She’s a French actress but also a singer–and I picked up her CD on one of my trips to Paris–it ended up to be one of my faves and I love this song “Le Quotidien”. But–it turns out she used to be married to Vincent Lindon!! Anyway, it is a very sweet song and her voice is just so very soothing!

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Week Eight. Ain’t It Great?

I’m down another pound. And considering the large amount of food I consumed last weekend, I’m thrilled. Ain’t that great?


This is great! And I’ve got 12 pounds to go till I reach my goal–and I feel this is going to be the most difficult part of the journey!

Now that the cooler weather is here (which is an absolute joke because it was hot as balls from Monday on…) and the days are getting shorter, we are returning to our ritual of Saturday evening French Meals.  I made Chicken with Grapes, or Chicken Veronique, or Chicken Supremes de Volaille Veronique—however you say it, it is pure deliciousness.

The recipe I use is from the book “French, The Secrets of Classic Cooking Made Easy” by Carole Clements & Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen. As you can see from the photo, the page is a mess. I use this recipe all the time.  But I’ve tweaked it a bit.  I make the sauce separately and make it in advance because I think the sauce achieves a better consistency and the flavors blend much better. I also throw fresh tarragon into the sauce!

I also pound the chicken really flat and dredge it in rice flour before cooking. The rice flour keeps the breasts moist without giving a heavy coating.

chicken-veronique-recipeYou can tell by the mess of this recipe that I’ve made this a lot!  It is an incredibly tasty dish–especially when you make the sauce separately and add tarragon!

Anyway, I’m rather proud of myself. It’s October 20th—11 days before Halloween and I haven’t had any candy.  Under normal circumstances, I have at least four bags of chocolate candy by now and “sneak” a ton of it. Last year I finished off an entire bag of Butterfinger Cups a week before Halloween.

My strategy? I’m not buying the candy until a couple of days before the Hallowed Eve!

In addition, if I really get the urge for something sweet, I’ll have one of these little rose flavored covered anise candies I got in France.  Along with my chai tea, one of these little gems really hits the spot.


These little drops of candy smell just like roses. The flavor isn’t for everyone, but it sure satisfies the craving for something sweet. I’ll be stocking up on these next month when we are in Paris!

Do you have any strategies to beat those mid-afternoon craves—or do you crave something in the evening?  Share your tips! Please!

Let me tell you something—I am soooo tired today.


Oh..I wasn’t the only one who was walking around in a sleep-deprived stupor today. The majority of my co-workers were in the same state. We all watched the debate!


It was bad enough when whiney boy Trump said the election is rigged against him but the last straw was when he stood up on the podium and called Hillary Clinton a nasty woman! He’s no real man–he is a cowardly bully who abuses women in every way!

We stayed up to see the aftermath of the Presidential debate last night and I’m exhausted. That debate left me emotionally spent!


That’s right Donald Trump. You know nothing about being a decent and kind person. It is beyond sad!

Look—if any of my reader friends are voting for Trump. I don’t hate nor do I despise you.  Let’s get that out in the open.  It is Donald Trump who I despise.  He is just an awful man in every sense of the word.

I should have stayed true to my promise of watching Amelie. For about the 100th time!


I SHOULD have watched Amelie. It is THE most “feel-good” film of all time. I highly recommend this beautiful love story. You will fall in love and will cry like a baby from happiness!

On to more pleasant subject matter.

Remember the other day I wrote about winterizing skin and cosmetics?  Well, I realized that I left a great little blush out of the post.  It’s this NYC Color liquid stain. It looks like nail polish but it isn’t!  It goes on very bright and you have to blend quickly, but the payoff is great. This lasts all day and isn’t drying to your skin at all. It is also great on the budget. It was less than $4.00 and is worth more.


NYC New York Color Lovatics Cheek Tint is really wonderful.  This color is Cheeky Pink and even though it looks red in this out-of-focus photo, it goes on nice and pink…


I have it on my cheeks. I’ve been using it all week and a little goes a long way!

Another eye shadow palette I have been using often is this one by Makeup Revolution. I found out about this brand and this palette from another blogger.  $7.00 at Ulta, it is the Redemption Iconic palette. The shadows are matte but don’t go on ashy. They glide on like silk—which is an amazing trait for a matte shadow. The colors, even though neutral are very pigmented and don’t fade at all throughout the day. Surprisingly, the double-sponged tip applicator is of excellent quality too!  I’m blown away by this one!

Look how matte these shadows are!  And they glide on so silky. I’m telling you for the price of seven bucks, this palette is a steal! There isn’t a bad shadow in the bunch!

And I need to give a shout out to reader Nancy W. She reminded me that I needed to order more of the collagen serum from Skin Actives by sending me an email asking me which serum I recommended a while ago. Thank you Nancy—my order is in! I hope you ordered too!


Oh..this serum is so much better than pricier department store brands–and I USED to be a huge Lancome Genifique fan. At $14.00, this is a hellalot better and far less expensive!

I’m also annoyed with Mother Nature.  This Global Warming is getting out of hand because there is a great fall/winter wardrobe in my closet that is itching (not literally!) to get out and be worn and seen.

And the temperature just rises and rises. Yesterday it hit 84 and earlier this evening when I left the office, the temperature in my car was 78.  Come on. I’m done with this heat.

My clothing is fitting much better—and I know that I’m going against all expert advice about keeping clothes and what to get rid of but—I am glad that I’ve saved all my old work clothes. Because now I do not have to go out and purchase another wardrobe.

I purchased two items over the weekend and was so excited to wear them and couldn’t due to the heat—so I’m hoping that next week’s weather is cool, cold freezing!!


Alright. The moment I “spotted” (pun intended) this leopard print skirt on J. Crew Factory’s site I HAD to make it mine.  I also had to have those thigh-high boots when I saw them at DSW. Bonaparte was kind enough to buy them for me!  I wanted to wear this outfit so badly. I even had the heels set aside to wear with tights if it was too warm for boots. Unfortunately it was too warm for the entire outfit!

Here’s what I wore this week!


Saturday’s weather was still a bit on the cool side so I was comfortable in a blazer and scarf. I wasn’t able to fit into these ankle jeans for a while but now they fit fine! And YES. I DID wear shoes. I wore loafers!

On Monday I wore a black t-shirt dress


This $15.00 Tee shirt dress from Old Navy is one that’ll be worn three seasons.  I stopped fake tanning the legs because I thought I would be wearing tights. It stinks because I have to shave my legs every day during the warm weather. 


This is where I’m glad that I hold onto clothing. I purchased the black tunic shirt maybe a little over a year ago and never wore it.  It is incredibly light and was perfect for this fall heat!   I prefer the “half tuck” that is shown in the photo on the left but it isn’t office appropriate. The untucked shirt on the right looks a bit more polished for a casual office look. And YES you CAN wear white after labor day! I said so. It’s ok!


By Wednesday I was beginning to go crazy with the summer’s return. I went with this years old skirt from J. Crew Factory. I actually THREW this skirt in the trash but had second thoughts so I took it back out. I like it now.  But I don’t want to wear it till the Spring!!


About this tunic.  I purchased it last year online. It was 70% off on the Tory Burch sale.   I ordered a size 10–ok? Well, when it arrived, the 10 was snug and looked awful–but I kept it.  I wore it before Labor Day weekend and it fit a bit better but I was still “meh” about the fit.  I decided to wear it today and was almost jumping for joy because it FINALLY fit so nicely.  Tory Burch clothing DOES run small though–I think her blondeness designs for skinny-ass Philly Mainline ladies and not for real women with curves!  I’m wearing pants from J. Crew. I swear these pants are from the year of the flood because I don’t even know what pants they are but they are nice and soft and stretch nicely!  Sam Edelman flats are on my feet!

This weight loss journey is now becoming routine—and I don’t mean that in a bad or boring way.  It’s just that I’m thinking more about what I’m eating and thinking less of getting snacky and just shoving anything into my mouth. I’m finding out that I can enjoy those Saturday evening full-course French meals and still lose weight by really focusing on the diet during the week.

And that was my week! I hope you had a wonderful and successful week.  Don’t forget to comment on your strategies for craving sweets while dieting!!

That damn debate is still on my mind. As is the word “Nasty” that Donald Trump used in calling My President Hillary. I would rather think of the Janet Jackson song “Nasty”—it’s much better!   And my good thoughts are with Ms. Jackson—at 50 years old, she is pregnant.  That is an empowered woman!


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Paris Without Danièle. Part Un.

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Atypical 60:
Hi all. We are back from what was the shortest visit we’ve made to Paris, the circumstances certainly not the best, but I want to tell you about our weekend.  I’m dividing this into three parts…

Gallery | 2 Comments

Winterize Me!

I started this post a couple of days ago. The weather was nice and cool and bordering on cold. Now we have the leaves falling and the temperature is rising. I hate that.


The leaves are falling and the temperature is rising. We are expecting highs of  80+ this week. Ugh!

The summer clothing is packed away. I went off a no-buy this weekend and bought a new pair of boots and a skirt. I wanted to wear both today but it got too hot and I ended up unpacking a tee-shirt dress.


Yeah. I bought this skirt at J. Crew Factory for 40% off and those boots were also a steal.  I really would have settled for wearing those black suede heels that are murder on my feet. I’ll have to wait a week or so until the weather gets cooler. Again!

But you know what?  I don’t care. I’m still going ahead with this post.

And you wanna know why?  It is simply because my skin has gone overnight from summer mode right into winter mode.  The first sign of cool weather and my skin goes berserk.

This is disgusting—but have I ever held back personal information from you? No, I have not. And I don’t plan on it either.  But—my skin is so dry that I have face dandruff.  Yeah. Little flecks of my dry skin are just flaking off. It’s so gross.   Honestly, my skin is like flaky pie crust!


You certainly cannot see the peeling skin from this unprofessional photo I took, but see where the blotchy redness is? See where that shiny strip of skin is?  It peeled off.

I’m a peeling—and it ain’t appealing!  But then again, maybe the wrinkles will peel off too!

My skin is dry as the Sahara.  Not just on my face either. ‘Tis the season to start slathering my body in the only body lotion I use—Original Scent Jergens. I’ve traded in the fake-tan Jergens lotion for the good old standby. The good thing about Jergens is that it doesn’t feel “filmy”–I hate that feeling under jeans and tights. Ewww!

I’m also using a ton of moisturizer on my face.  I’m cocktailing it with my  Vivant creams, Skin Actives and old-school Olay. Which reminds me– I need to order more of the Skin Actives Serum.


I kid you not.  This is my morning and evening ritual.  What a sight! This is 61!

And you know how they say to drink a ton of water to stay hydrated?  Well, whoever they are, I am drinking a ton of water!  This weight loss journey has me drinking water all damned day! And no matter how much water I drink, I’m still not hydrated enough! And I spend way too much time in the bathroom!

I’m winterizing me.

I’m also winterizing my makeup. The powders have been placed into hibernation until the Spring.

Let me explain.

I have various contour/highlighter sets. They are powders. I can’t do powders on my face when the  Fall and Winter weather dries my skin out.  This isn’t counting eye shadows. I’m talking about the cheeks, the nose—everywhere a contour would be placed.


This is a highlighter and contour palette by NYX (a company that does NOT use older women in their ads. I wrote to them and they did not answer me. Just sayin’!). I’m now using this palette as eyeshadow.

Instead, I’m using these palettes of contour/highlighter powders as eyeshadow palettes.


Marc Jacobs Highlighter/Contour powder duo. It is now an eyeshadow duo for me!


A shimmery highlighting palette from Wet n’ Wild. It is now going to be used as eye shadow for special occasions–like Christmas!

Both eye looks were done using contour and highlighter as shadow.  Creative cosmetics!


The lighting stinks but here’s a good view of contour as eye shadow in the crease of my eye.


No more bronzer till May or June. I do have to say, though, that the Guerlain Terra Cotta Bronzer lasts forever as does the Wet ‘n Wild bronzer.  A little goes a long way.  

I also have one powder blush that I use from time to time. It’s put away.


I’m not much of a coral cheek gal, but every now and then I’ll pull this out during the summer.  I’ve had this palette for years–and I’m sure the beauty police would arrest me for using such “past their expiration date” makeup–but this stuff isn’t cheap! I want my money’s worth!

The cream blushes and my Lip Vitality as blush are now in the front of the line.

I’ll be going through Chapstick and lip balm the way a “woman of the evening” goes through “Summer’s Eve”!


I use Chapstick as a blur (I’ve written about that more than once!) as well as a lip balm BUT, this lip balm that I’m holding is the best I’ve ever had in my life!  It costs less than one euro and I’ll be bringing a supply home if CityPharma in Paris sells it! I used the last of it today!

I pulled out the cream contour–well, I don’t really know if this is contour or a dark foundation stick but I’m using it as contour AND a make-shift bronzer.

Oh. It is foundation. It’s Maybelline FIT me! Shine Free + Balance foundation stick. The color is coconut or Number 355. Very smooth and creamy and incredibly blendable! Good for mature skin! (Even though Maybelline doesn’t SAY so!)


This is NYX Mineral Stick Foundation in MSF01. It’s very light. This is also extremely creamy but I would never actually use this as a foundation–it would be wayyyyy to cakey on my flaky face. Instead, I’m using it on my lips.  OK–let me explain. My lips are VERY pigmented and in the winter they become even more pigmented. I use this under lipstick/gloss to get a better finish..


See?  It’s my winter lip primer!  If you have a lot of natural color in your lips this is great to prep for lipcolor!


Here’s the finished look. All shadows are contours. The blush is the NARS Multiple Stick in Riviera.  I did contour with the Maybelline Fit and it blended beautifully.  I used the NYX foundation as lip primer and over that I have a couple of no-name glosses and finished it off with Lip Vitality! I’m going super-light handed on the foundation–just a bit on the cheeks. My skin is just to dry right now!

My hair needs to be winterized too! And I completely forgot about the Ouidad Shine Glaze Serum that I’ve been using on my hair for YEARS!!!


(Forgive my slob look but I just took my makeup off and changed into my slob clothing) I completely forget about this and I’ve been using it faithfully for years. Ouidad Shine Glaze Serum. I use it on dry hair–it tames any frizz, keeps hair manageable and I need to buy more! This is a great product to winterize your hair against the elements!

Let’s admit it. Humidity is a bitch for the hair, but is great for the skin! And I am sick and tired of balmy, humid days. I’m ready for crisp, cold air at this point.

Speaking of “winterizing”, I think Ballard Designs has gone too far with the winter theme. We were at the King of Prussia Mall on Saturday.  Well–I almost fainted when we passed Ballard–the entire store is Christmas ready. I’m sorry, Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I go nuts with the red pillows and the theme throughout Chateau Bonaparte, but to see this in stores when Christmas is two months away and the weather is friggin’ hot outside. No. Just. NO!!!!


I just could not believe this–talk about commercialism and rushing the season…..

Let’s winterize our music today with Vivaldi. Winter from the Four Seasons!


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Ina Kinda Fangirl! My Search For The Barefoot Contessa Will Never End!

As I was laying reclining like the lazy slob that I am, comfortably while drinking my morning coffee earlier, I happened to catch a couple of episodes of The Barefoot Contessa.

Because I actually have a real job now, it’s been difficult nearly impossible to watch my make-believe bestie on TV these days. And we all know how one thing leads to another with me.

Watching my Ina did lead to another thing—and that was my never-ending search for her! Fuggetabout finding her on Long Island.  Even though I grew up out there, the traffic on the Belt Parkway is so horrific that I limit my visits to my sister’s house on Thanksgiving.  And even when I visit on Thanksgiving, I always bring a touch of Ina with me.  I make her Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream as one of the many desserts I bake! It has become a tradition.


Silly me. I can’t find any photos of the Pumpkin Roulade that I make–this is off The Food Network site and my roulade looks just like this!  Ina also taught me the wonderfulness of Mascarpone cheese!

No. I’ll just continue my search for her when we are in Paris next month!


I do believe that Jeffrey is whispering into Ina’s ear “Don’t look down Ina, I think it’s that crazy woman again trying to invite us for an aperitif!”

But as I was watching her this morning, I turned to Bonaparte and said “Hey. I can continue my search for Ina when we’re in Paris next month! Maybe she and Jeffrey will be there after Thanksgiving!”  “Oh. My. God.  Maybe they will be on the same Air France flight from JFK and I can sit with her and she’ll want to be my best friend!!”

Bonaparte’s reaction to this was not a good one. In fact, he was downright upset, angry, concerned French about my plan!

“NON!” “Cassee, ou wee no’ look for zees Eena woman!” “Ou nid tew stop zees behahvvv-ee-our—I wee no’ allouw zees stowk-eeeng to go on!” “Pliz—we go to Paris for Hugo’s feem premiere—no’ tew wok zuh strits to stowk zee Eena!”  “We go to Guerlain and Repetto—ou be  a good gehrl!”

In case you are not used to Bonaparte’s accent he said “No! Cathe, you will not look for this Ina woman. You need to stop this behavior. I will not allow this stalking to go on. Please—we go to Paris for Hugo’s film premiere—not to walk the streets to stalk the Ina. We go to Guerlain and Repetto—you be a good girl!”

And as tempting as a trip back to the Guerlain boutique and Repetto for more shoes seems, I will search for Ina through the side-eye as we carry on our favorite activity of flaneur and flaneuse through the 6th and other arrondissements!


At some point I WILL have to stop and rest my feet, but finding Ina will be in the back of my mind as I wander the streets of the 6th!

But there is a reason that I love Ina. It is because she is me. She is everyone–woman or man, who loves to cook. She is everyone who loves that casual/chic approach to entertaining.


Our incredibly casual dining room table is always transformed into chic with simple and elegant table linens.  For now, it’s just plain old casual! I think Ina would like my table!

She friggin’ speaks to me through her cookbooks.


You can literally hear Ina speak to you as you read the recipes. There isn’t a bad one among them!

I know if Ina met me, I would be the “Well-Heeled Peasant” to her “Barefoot Contessa”!

Perhaps it is time to trade these heels in for a clunkier one!

Get it? Well-Heeled Peasant?  Hmmmm. Can I brand myself?

And it goes beyond that.  She is the only cookbook author whose books I’ve made countless recipes that have become regular dishes.


I hold her close to my heart!


Not gonna lie. I went out and purchased little tabs to bookmark favorite recipes. How CRAZY is THAT?

Oh…and speaking of tradition, her Slow Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise has literally become the “new” Christmas Tradition meat dish in our home since it was published in her Foolproof cookbook in 2012!


You can tell from the condition of the page that this recipe is a well-used one in our home! It has become the Christmas meat choice of the family. This is beef perfected!

The most requested dessert of all time in Chateau Bonaparte happens to be Ina’s “French Nougatine”. It is the perfect dessert after a hearty or any meal.

sauces and nougatines all made. Into the freezer wiwth the loaves and the fridge wiwth the sauces. Waiting for Saturday.

I always have to make two of the Nougatine because the family loves this so much. I also make a chocolate sauce to accompany it!

She writes the truth. Her recipes are foolproof. They are simple. They are easy. They are delicious!  Trust me on this one. I have a lot of cookbooks.  And I’ve had both successes and failures with them all. The only exception of 100% success is with Ina!

But I’m especially giddy with delight at—”Barefoot in Paris”.  It is one of my two favorite cookbooks offering French cooking (The other being “French, The Secrets of Classic Cooking Made Easy”).

Ina’s Souffle on the left.  My Souffle on the right.  

Barefoot Contessa Gougeres on the left. Mine on the right.

Ina’s Madeleine on the left, mine on the right.

Lest we not forget about THIS regular recipe! The best aperitif ever. The KIR!

Food. Theoule. Apartment Kir royales on the terrace.

Although I must admit, we like ours “Royale” style–with Champagne and a bit more Cassis! (CAVEAT–now that I”m on a diet, I take mine with a lot less Cassis–to many calories)

Not only does she have wonderful versions of French home cooking, but she adds resources and has a few pages on places to visit if and when you do visit Paris.  She even includes my favorite cooking equipment store—E. Dehillerin!

*Sigh* Ina and I have so much in common.

She’s really, really intelligent. OK. Scratch that one. I’m not the brightest lightbulb in the pack.

She loves cooking for Jeffrey! I love cooking for Bonaparte!

We both love our Kitchen Aids!

We both love Paris! (Even though she is lucky enough to have an apartment there…)

We both love good vanilla and olive oil!

Not only do I love good vanilla, but I also love good vanilla bean paste! And the GOOD Olive Oil  I smuggled brought back from France is all gone!

We both love casual chic.


That’s right.  I get my casual chic on with nice table settings. Like Ina, I love me some white plates. And it’s fun to be casually chic when serving appetizers like proscuitto-wrapped asparagus stalks.  I listen to Ina’s advice about mixing store-bought appetizers with home made. I’ll make deviled eggs but serve them with olives and other items from the store!

We look like sisters (OK–not really, but I like to believe we do!).


We DO look a bit alike when I don a short bobbed wig and wear my navy shirt!  And I love my Kitchen Aid!

I also become quite envious of her circle of friends. They are so refined and classy—just the opposite of me!  Bonaparte would fit right in—but I’m afraid I’m too loud and boisterous to be invited to one of her cocktail parties or dinners. Then again, opposites attract—Bonaparte and I are a perfect example! I’m sure Ina and I would make the perfect pair of best friends!

Regardless, I know that if I made  chicken with morels and chanterelles, that Ina would ask me to be a guest cook on her show!

I would carefully make the sauce first. Then I would cook the chicken and  she would love the finished dish! I know this because…


Ina loves Morels and has her very own Chicken With Morels recipe!

Sometimes while cooking, I’ll find myself asking to Chippy “how good is THAT”—Chippy doesn’t answer. He’ll just try to get crumbs off the counter!

Chippy on counter

Any crumb or morsel is a GOOD one for Chippy!

And despite Bonaparte’s pleas, I’m packing my selfie stick and I’ll carry it in my purse while covering the streets of Paris. Just in case.

I will also make a stop at E. DDehillerin. Just in case.

Paris. E. Dehillerin!

Too bad the last time I was here I didn’t run into Ina. Maybe next time! Can you imagine? I know hope she would not run away from me!

But for now, I’ll spend the rest of this afternoon, looking through Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for recipes I haven’t yet tried. I know they will be excellent.

And I’ll wait impatiently for October 25th—that’s when her new cookbook “Cooking For Jeffrey” hits the shelves.  I can have fun with her recipes and do more “Cooking For Bonaparte”!


This book to me, is the equivalent of the latest Harry Potter book to adoring fans. This fan girl cannot wait to get this book!

 I know this is terribly off-topic but, Ina’s name reminds me of the German word “Eine”. And “Eine” reminds me of the Rutles song “Eine Kleina Middle Klasse Musik”. FYI. The Rutles is a group featuring Eric Idle that was a parody of the Beatles.  Here’s the song I’m talking about! I think Ina would get a good laugh from this song!



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Weight Loss Week Seven..and It Sure Ain’t Heaven!

Heaven, at this point on my weight loss journey would be a place where you get to eat ice cream, any food item with salted caramel, soft pretzels and mountains of oil and garlic laden pasta.

If you are as old as I am and older, you will remember this cartoon from childhood TV viewing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these two kids are in foodstuff heaven! I can’t stop thinking about this cartoon! I want to be animated!

It’s OK. And I’m doing fine. In fact, I’m down another pound.


Another pound down.  About ten to thirteen more pounds to go!

But there definitely is a struggle!


Oh yes. The struggle IS real–it isn’t processed like cheese food. It is real like a good brie!

The struggle feels like the one you get when you are trying to put tights on. You know what I’m talking about! They are called “tights” for a reason!  Just getting them over your toes straight and not twisted is a struggle.  And being this far into a diet is like having that tights struggle in your stomach!


You know what I mean. Forget getting tights up over the thighs–just getting them over the toes is bad enough!

Not going to lie.  I actually had a moment two nights ago.   When I arrived home from the office, Bonaparte noticed that I wasn’t quite “myself”. I was cranky and looked very sad. He thought I had a bad day.  I had a bad lunch!!

And by that I mean I didn’t have lunch. Let me explain.  My coworkers all have hearty appetites. (Which is one of the reasons I love my job so much!) And they order really good food.  I’ve been bringing lunch—usually a sandwich thin and a Boca Burger or yoghurt and fruit.  But on that particular day, I was running late and did without.  So I drank my Chai tea  instead.

And sitting with everyone in the conference room, and watching them enjoy plates of deliciousness just made me sad that I wasn’t joining in on the culinary fun!  I know. This is my choice—but it got to me!

Bonaparte was concerned with  my confession, but he was even more concerned when I started to cry.  As in sobbing. As in tears streaming down my face.  WHO DOES THIS OVER FOOD????  I’m a grown-ass woman for cryin’ out loud!


I think Bonaparte thought that I was as my mother would refer to, as “touched” in the head! I’ll agree with that!

Anyway, after that cry, I felt much better and was able to carry on.

Until yesterday.  A coworker arrived at the office with a huge brown bag filled with Philly Pretzel Factory pretzels.  Soft, salty, doughy twists of happiness. Like soft misshapen pillows these pretzels be.  And I didn’t have any.  Well, I did. But, I very carefully wrapped one up. And like a baby in a bunting, I took special care of it.  I placed it gingerly in my purse.  And I took it home.  And last night for dinner, I ate it!  I ate all 8 points worth!  Yes—the pretzel is Weight Watchers friendly and had a decent point allowance. But—had I started eating this in the office, I would have gone back for a second and a third and quite possibly a fourth.


This is a loaded gun for me. Seriously. It is a trigger waiting to be pulled–and gobbled down!

I ate my pretzel with a side of boiled shrimp.  Bonaparte remained concerned. I remained blissfully happy!


Chippy was concerned too–but it was because he was mad at me for not sharing my pretzel. He didn’t speak to me all night! Too bad! I don’t go after his Milk Bones–what does he want from me anyway?

And that pound that I lost? I’m thrilled about it!

That moment I had this week—I’m sure I’ll have more. It’s what you do when you choose to change the way you eat. bitmoji-20161013184418

Right? I know I”ll have more moments–but I’ll remain strong and reap the benefits with looser clothing!

And fitting into clothing that was either too tight or didn’t fit at all are two rewards that come with being diligent.

Here’s a sampling of what I wore over the week! I want to point out that every item of clothing that I wore was from “shopping” in my closet. With the exception of the kilt, all the clothes are at least two or more years old.


Friday is jeans day at the office.  I could not zip these jeans up a month ago and now they fit fine.  That sweater–I got it the year J. Crew introduced this French Hen, I think it was 2012. I am wearing it again. I forgot I had it!


This is what I wore when we went to The Barnes Foundation to see the photography exhibit.  Old J. Crew Factory Gigi pants–the Factory version of the Pixie Pant. These are maybe three years old. Everything else is years old. I’ve gotten a ton of use over the past couple of years from the Kut From the Kloth denim jacket.  Oh..and speaking of trendy stuff–ghillie shoes are really popular now. I got these last year at Old Navy for about ten bucks.  They look just as good as the pricier versions and are incredibly comfortable!


On Monday I was in a “black and white” frame of mind because of the after effects of the photography exhibit. I got my “Sixties” on.  I wore my new SportKilt. OH..BTW, did you know that SportKilt will take in a kilt that got too big!  This is a weight loss journey miracle. I’ll be sending this kilt back to be tailored in a few weeks!  The boots are Nine West–about three years old–maybe four!


I think another reason I may have been a bit sad this week was because Monday was Jake’s birthday. He is now 33!  I was sad because he’s really busy at work–especially now that the news is all about the election–and I haven’t seen him in a while.  


Tuesday I wore my new favorite outfit!  I couldn’t even zipper this skirt four weeks ago. I got it about three years ago online, ON SALE at J. Crew for something like $19.99.  I wore it with a many, many years old Black Tippi sweater and black suede shoes. I love the little splashes of red with the Longchamp bag and my hand-me-down bracelet from my bestie Anne!


OK. Let me talk about this get up.  Not only could I NOT zip up this skirt before my “journey”, but my ass was so wide that the back of the skirt was shorter than the front. This skirt now fits perfectly.  And I only lost 12 pounds so that amount does make a tremendous difference.  The blue sweater is another Tippi I got years ago at J. Crew and the boots are from Nordstrom–I believe they are three years old.  

ww7-the-skirt-now-fitsHere’s a better pic of the skirt and boots.  I went with different shades of blue and it worked…

ww7-boots-and-a-bagI LOVE this Coach bag. I don’t even know how old it is–I’m guessing at least seven years old. Oona bought it when she worked at Coach during college and now it is my hand-me-down. It remains one of my faves and goes well paired with these boots!


This scarf was the perfect accessory to add some color. I hope Oona doesn’t want this back after she sees it–because she’s not getting it back! Bad Mom rules!

todays-outfitHere’s my outfit from today. I did the happy dance around the house because I was so excited that these pants fit me again.  I LOVE this pair of Old Navy Pixie Pants. I got ’em quite a few years back on the clearance rack for seven bucks. I love them.  The cotton textured turtleneck is from J. Crew..maybe a year or two old. I’m a vision of true class in my dollar Walmart earrings!!

SEE! You do not have to spend money if you go “shopping” in your closet!


I would like to mention, though, that I did wear the hair extensions that Irresistible Me gifted me this summer, every day. I’ve finally figured out how to cover my hair loss and let the extensions go unnoticed! I’m happy with this.    

I hope your weight loss journey week was a good one and that you didn’t have those “moments” that I had.   If you did, though, let me know. We can laugh about our adventures together!

Here’s a good song for weight loss. “I’m A Loser”–The Beatles!

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Seeing The World in Black and White. A Trip To The Barnes Foundation

I slept well last night–and am now ready to tell you about our Saturday adventure!

Bonaparte was really excited about an exhibition that is currently on display at the Barnes Foundation in Philly.   The exhibit, “Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography-1890 to 1950″ is a showcase of various French photographers from a private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg.  He was excited because the exhibit includes some of his grandfather’s, Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s, photographs.


We purchased this Book at the foundation’s gift shop! It is a great insight into the wealthy (opposite of my) life of Bonaparte’s grandfather and family!

I was excited too, both happy and unhappy. I was thrilled with the photographs but pissed off that The Barnes Foundation misspelled Bonaparte’s grandfather’s name.  Check out the link and you’ll see the error: Barnes Foundation Exhibition Page!

Anyway, Saturday morning we woke up to gray and rainy skies—and I liked that. I thought it was appropriate for venturing into Center City to see an exhibit of black and white photography.


A rainy day in Philly –check out the guy on the bike to the right…..


Look at his two dogs in the basket! You just never know what fun sights you will see when in a city!

Since Saturday is also errand day, we got everything out of the way before ten in the morning.  That meant I got dressed and did my hair and makeup in record time.


Yes. Mr. Bonaparte, Hair Consultant was very happy with this look of bio and hair extensions! I am to please my Frenchman!

If you’ve never been to Philadelphia, might I suggest a visit to The Barnes Foundation when you make it to the City of Brotherly Love?  While it isn’t my favorite museum, the collection of art that Dr. Barnes amassed over the years is mind boggling!  Renoir, Van Gogh, Courbet, Manet—just to name a few.  It’s envious!


It doesn’t even look like Fall yet. It looks more like summer, but this is the outside  of The Barnes Foundation.


A long pathway leads to….


…the entrance.  The grounds remind me, in an odd way, of Fondation Maeght in France. It’s very peacful and calming.

And there is a reason it isn’t my favorite museum. The layout is a carbon copy of Dr. Barnes home—and he had small rooms. And all the works of art were displayed in the walls in the small rooms. On a weekend, those rooms get really really crowded. Photographing the paintings is forbidden.  I’m a sucker for beautiful art and I was too much of a wimp to even attempt to snap a pic with my phone.


Put 25 to 30 people in this room and it is like a subway car.  See the borders on the floor? You can’t step over them. But look at those Renoirs. It is astounding!  BTW, I did NOT take this pic–it’s from the Barnes Foundation’s site!

In addition, there are “borders” on the floor of the rooms. These borders serve as boundaries that you must not step over or you will be reprimanded for going too close to the art.  And, as I am one inch away from having Chippy attend seeing-eye dog classes, it was a challenge for me to get a closer view of many of the paintings I so admire!

But-those issues aren’t deal breakers because the paintings and other objet d’arts are worth going to see. It is that spectacular.


A lovely surprise in the entry way of the building…


…and to tell you the truth, this isn’t a bad little gift shop to get some early Christmas shopping done!

Luckily, we were able to take pictures of the pictures at the exhibition!  And what an exhibit it was!     Let’s take a look–shall we?


I love this photograph by Man Ray–and how the two sets of lips meeting compose another set of lips!


One of my favorite Lartigue photos. She gets around, this Anna–I have her on a wall at home!



Jean Cocteau–and he’s always smoking!


These two guys look like a barrel of fun.  But look at how they are dressed!  Top hats and morning suits–to ride in a balloon. Times have changed!


Another Man Ray photo. Isn’t it timeless?  


Bonaparte is carefully studying his family photos. I decided to snap him in black and white! It was more fun that way. I wish I could have “seen” in black and white. Would’t it be great to shut off the ability to see in color every now and then and see the world through black and white? Not all the time though.


Bonaparte’s cousin. She lived dangerously sliding down that banister in a long skirt! It would have been wrapped around my neck if I tried that!


Another cousin in the old-timey equivalent of an all-terrain vehicle! Who said the French are too serious?

You know, I go through a lot of emotions looking at these old photos.  First off, I love black and white photography because there is a touch of mystery. It’s fun trying to imagine the skin tones and the colors of the hair of the people in the photos. It’s a good workout of the mind trying to visualize the colors of the clothing, buildings, countryside and everything else. And there are so many hues and shades of blacks, grays, whites, creams, sepias.




I just about screamed with delight when I found out Picasso had a place on the same street as Daniele!

It’s also quite enchanting and eerie at the same time. Let’s face it—people look so serious that it’s downright scary at times!  But it is sweet to see the beauty and how people lived in lost times!


Prostitutes in Mexico. The brows on the one on the left are frightening. I would say the working gal on the right is the more classically-trained one!


I’m also a fan of this pic of a group of working girls.  Their well-rounded bodies should come back in style!


What I find fascinating about this lady of the evening is that she’s dressed in all natural fabric. No polyester or blends years back–and this isn’t that far back!

Old photos are a visual history lesson.


I LOVED this photograph–just everything about it. The Dubonnet ads in the back make it so much more interesting.  


I also love this corset shop photo. Those waists are so tiny. Maybe I need one of those as part of my weight loss journey!


This is a self portrait of the photographer Brassai, who took most of the photos in this exhibition, in Eze. That was another fun aspect about this exhibition. It’s great to be familiar with many of the areas photographed!



Jean-Paul Sartre on the Pont des Arts..


…and a lone body getting ready for the climb up steps in Montmartre ..I wish I had photographed the entire exhibition!

It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours—and it was fun to imagine what Bonaparte’s family was like before losing their fortune to the Russians. Yeah. That’s right—the Russians!  Bonaparte’s great grandfather was a financier who owned a bank.  He, along with many wealthy Europeans, invested in a railroad that was to be built by the Russians. Sounds good. Right? Well, what they weren’t expecting was the Russian Revolution. And we all know the outcome of that!  Great-grandpa Lartigue and many others lost their fortunes.

I could have gotten a lot of shoes with that railroad money!!

The rest of the day was spent running more errands and then coming home to a wonderful French dinner of Rognons à la Moutarde-Kidneys in a Mustard Cognac Cream Sauce that I made especially for Bonaparte!

And what better way to end a post about photographs?  “Pictures At An Exhibition,  Movements 1 and 2”.  And composed by the Russian talent, Mussorgsky!  XOXOXO

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No Post Today! The Debate Did Me In!


I  am beyond frustrated and am just cranky tonight!

I wanted to write a long post this evening about the visit to the Barnes Foundation that Bonaparte and I made on Saturday. But I’m spent. My apologies.


I’ve been asking myself this question since the non-debate, debate ended! Why didn’t the candidates talk policy? Why was Trump sniffling like a dripping faucet?  Why was Hillary so vulnerable? Why was Trump allowed to stand over Clinton like a sick, depraved stalker? 

The debate did me in.  I stayed up late to hear the news teams and their reactions. Debating has now reached a new low.  And I’m so tired tonight. I need to double up on my beauty sleep!


I need to pray to my buddy, Hipster Jesus, the original Liberal who spoke of love and kindness. There sure as shit wasn’t any love or kindness last night!

So, goodnight, bonne nuit, and sweet dreams.  I’m taking my bra off and getting into my jammies. The makeup is off and I’m going to dream of a perfect world!

I think we all need to dream tonight about what a wonderful world we could have if there was no hatred or bigotry or racism or ageism.   Love to you all!!

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Here’s To the Men Who Love Women–The REAL Men!

I’m sitting here with hair dye plopped on my roots and looking out the window on this gray and rainy Sunday morning.  I may head out later on this afternoon to purchase tights or I may not; it depends on how the weather will hold up.


Notice that I have more dye on my SHIRT than on my HAIR! At least the roots will be covered!

It’s 8:25 in the morning and it’ll take a good part of the day to “do” my hair.  The rollers are set aside and so are the bobby pins.

I wore wigs on Thursday and Friday. They were a bit shiny and straight. I liked them but a certain someone who just happens to be a Frenchman, has now decided to give his opinion on the hair that I wear.  He wants to go wig shopping with me.  This is both great and not so great.  It’s great because he now realizes that my hair loss is severe enough that I can no longer rely on the hair fiber sprinkles.



Bonaparte did NOT like this look on me…


..nor did he like this.  He said it doesn’t fit my personality or my squared-angular face. Just what I always wanted. A French beauty and hair consultant! 

me-with-yaki-topperHowever, Mr. Bonaparte, beauty consultant, DOES love the natural way my Uniwig topper blends in with my bio hair.

My guess is that he will LOVE my new inexpensive Model Model wig–it is very wavy and I happen to think it looks very natural!  But moving forward, I will bring Mr. Bonaparte, Beauty Consultant with me to the wig store!

He told me that I need to find “hair” to match my face. He wasn’t talking about my upper-lip hair or lady whiskers either.


And NO Mr. Bonaparte, Beauty Consultant. I will NOT take you with me when I get my lip waxed!

He basically meant that I need to find a wig that is more like my personality and better suited to my facial features.  He does not like straight, close-to-the-head hair on me. He likes waves—which are more conducive to my bio hair.

But more than rolling my eyes and looking up at the ceiling over his latest efforts to be my hair “consultant”.  Something better dawned upon me.  Bonaparte loves and respects women!

I’m sure by now you have all seen or at least read or heard about the latest and not-so-greatest from the misogynist known as Trump.   Using the word “pussy” to describe how he grabs women.  Speaking about women as though they are nothing more than objectified sexual beings.  Not only is he hateful and disrespectful to all women, but as he described his antics, he was married and his wife was pregnant at the time. That is an all-time low!


This was NOT the pussy Trump was referring to…


Neither was this! OK??

A real man does not use these words. A real man is not a bully. A real man exhibits discretion.  A real man is respectful. A real man is kind and a real man is not a macho man.

I can’t wrap my head around why any woman—or real man for that fact would continue to support someone who displays such vile, vulgar, and disrespectful words, actions and thoughts toward another woman. I can’t wrap my head around the hate that Hillary Clinton receives from these women who support Trump.  My guess is that these are un-and undereducated women who grew up in households where women were treated like second-class citizens.  My thinking is that these are the women who need to depend 100 percent on men for their existence because they either refuse to do it on their own or—well, or whatever.  Do I hate these women? No. I don’t.  I feel sympathy and empathy for them. I feel that way because there has to be deep-rooted issues for these women to make them feel that way.


I am saddened by the women who don’t support Hillary–actually, I’m more saddened by the vengeful hatred they spew toward her. But–I’m not a hater of women. I feel sorry for the women who support Trump because there are deep-rooted issues that they face.

Regardless, I don’t want to go there…this post is more about the real man I share my life with and the men who genuinely love and respect women.


To Mr. Bonaparte! Fashion Consultant. Beauty Consultant. All-around decent Frenchman who loves women!

Bonaparte loves women. He doesn’t love them in a lewd and malicious way. He loves women in a genuine way. He is happy to be among the company of women.  He would rather compliment a woman on her successes rather than talk football with the guys.  (Although he does love his soccer!).

He finds women to be fascinating and intriguing.  When he speaks of his granddaughter and her capabilities, his eyes light up.  When he speaks of his daughter, he regards her so highly that I swear his feet lift up off the ground.

And when he speaks about how my own daughter, Oona, has reached success and has matured, his eyes tear up. He is proud of her and happy for her.

And during all of our visits to see Daniele, he always put her needs and wishes before ours, making sure she was always well-taken care of!

Paris. Fondation LV. Daniele and Vincent!

Bonaparte with Daniele–on our last visit with her before she passed.  Look how happy she is!  He always made sure she was taken care of!

And when he tells me that a certain outfit doesn’t look good on me, he isn’t telling me that because he wants to humiliate me or want me to feel bad about myself. He is being honest and he will suggest something that will flatter me.  Sometimes I listen to him and sometimes I do not listen to him.  And he doesn’t become angry if I don’t pay attention to his suggestions. He will always find something to compliment me on.


One of the outfits that Bonaparte would not like to see me venture out in public wearing! Don’t worry Mr. Bonaparte, Fashion Consultant. I won’t.  Well, maybe. Well, only if you aren’t around!

He understands my struggle with weight, but will tell me not to lose too much off my “boo-tee-feel” Renoir derriere.  And yet, he fully supports my efforts of weight loss—in fact, sometimes he supports it a bit too much!  But it’s all good.

A fat ass  Christmas

Only a real man would say something nice about an ass this wide. Merci!

When I get into the zone of darkness and doom, he doesn’t become angry with me. He allows it to ride out, but he also approaches me and very kindly asks me to let him know what is bothering me—I need to get it off my chest.


Well, CAN we?  I guess so!  Even when I close up (and you can ask my kids about THAT one), Bonaparte gets me to open up to him.

When we are out and about, he will notice a chic older woman and point her out to me.  He was equally fascinated by the infamous “Lady in Green” that we spotted in Ste. Maxime this past summer and it was he who tried to get better photos of her.  Bonaparte appreciates a well-put-together woman.

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

The infamous “Lady in Green”. Bonaparte was over-the-moon impressed with her ensemble!

As much as I love Renoir’s nudes, my favorites are the nudes by Gustave Courbet because they are more realistic and are what they are.


Real Man Gustave Courbet’s self-portrait portrays the shock of Frenchmen after hearing how Trump speaks about women! Courbet, one of the leaders of Realism in painting, is my favorite painter of nudes. I also love his other paintings. I LOVE Courbet!


Courbet’s “Nude With Parrot”. I love how beefy these women were. 

Bonaparte favors the ethereal nudes by Renior because he says the love of women shows through more.  Yes. A real man can appreciate the female body in all her glorious nudity in the right context.


Renoir’s Bathers. Seriously. How can you NOT love the softness in Renoir’s paintings. He is my favorite Impressionist. But Bonaparte absolutely adores Renoir’s nudes! Renoir is another real man with a love for a beefier female body! Right on guys!

He praises my cooking—especially when I present a French dish that reminds him of being back in his native France.  And he will clean the mess I made without complaint.  A true sign of a real man.


Last night I made Rognons a la Moutarde. Kidneys in a cream and cognac mustard sauce. It reminded Bonaparte of his life in Paris! And I’m a sucker for offal!

The world can take a lesson from the way a Frenchman looks at women in general.

Oh..I know all about the amorous adventures of Frenchmen—but a good number of these adventures are overblown and stereotypical.  Even in their dalliances on film and those of real-life, the Frenchman treats women with respect and with dignity.  Two of my favorite French film male characters are both characters created by Francois Truffaut—Antoine Doinel, portrayed by Truffaut look alike, Jean-Pierre Léaud, and  Bertrand Morane, played by one of my favorite French actors, Charles Denner.


Jean-Pierre Leaud, not only a Truffaut look-alike, but he is Truffaut’s alter-ego, Antoine Doinel.


Francois Truffaut–another man who TRULY loved women!


The great and handsome man of the sexiest speaking voice of all time–Charles Denner.  His portrayal of Bertrand Morane was honest and touching. A real man with faults but who loved women

Both characters aren’t perfect. They have faults. But they both love and appreciate women.  And because of that I highly recommend watching the five-part film series The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, beginning with The 400 Blows.  I also highly recommend Truffaut’s The Man Who Loved Women.

400 Blows. One of the best films of all time.

The 400 Blows–quite possibly one of the greatest films of all time–and an insight into the minds of both Truffaut and Doinel.


It is time for me to revisit this film!

But I’m getting off subject here as I usually do.

Certainly my life with Bonaparte isn’t without ups and downs.  And he is incredibly grateful for the many times, the few times, the times, when I always apologize that one time I apologized after an intense argument!


As much as it damn near killed me, I apologized. Once. I believe it was one of Bonaparte’s happiest moments ever!

It is also the little things he does—like filling my car up with gas simply because I’m obsessed that a drop of gas will get on my clothing or my good shoes and some dope with a cigarette will approach me and I will go up flames.

Yes. It is true. I suffer from Zoolander Gas Station Explosion Syndrome!

Or the way he will bring flowers home because every home should have fresh flowers—how many real men do that?


When I come home from work and plop my bag on the counter, I’ll be surprised with flowers like this!

And the way he still opens the car door open for me.

But he isn’t the only real man I know.  The two other real men are my sons, Jake and Roman. They treat women with the respect we so deserve and are huge proponents of their sister.   The highest compliments I’ve ever received were not how great my sons performed in sports or academically. The highest praise I, as a mother received, was from mothers of girls who expressed their appreciation of how my boys treated their daughters.  What mother would not be proud of that?


My sons have grown from kind and respectful boys into real men. I am proud and thankful for that!

So today I want to ask you to leave a comment in celebrating the real men in your life!  This is a time when we need to pause and remember that there are decent men out there and not lascivious, lewd, lecherous, filthy animals such as the male who is running for president of these already GREAT United States of America.


Although I don’t say it often enough, thanks to all the real men out there who treat us women with respect and thank you to my sons and Bonaparte. You are a rarity!

Here’s Barbra. As Fanny Brice. Belting out one of the great songs celebrating her man Nick.

Here’s to all the good and real men out there. Fathers. Husbands. Sons. Brothers. Friends. You know who they are!




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