Don’t Excessorize! Accessorize—Less is More Money!

With a day off yesterday from Retail Hell, and having to work the dreaded closing shift for the next three days, there is little time left for me to focus on the remainder of packing for our trip to France.

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The return to where Bonaparte spent his summers as a child. The return to where I did NOT spend my summers as a child!

Being the high-maintenance old hag that I am, I’ll have a couple of days early next week to get a spray tan.


Yes. I listen to St. Teresa. My pasty white skin needs a bit of darkening!

Don’t judge—I’m pasty white and don’t want the good citizens of the Mediterranean to think I’m some kind of whitefish as I swim.  I don’t need to be fished out of the sea by net or hook. I need to blend.


Like a flounder blends in with the sand, I need that spray tan to blend with the people of the Mediterranean!

Bonaparte is stressing out because my hands are in horrific shape. I peeled my acrylics off and what’s left is a mess of paper thin, peeling nails that are breaking off by the seconds.  It looks pretty disgusting. My nails need to be done.  I also need a pedicure.

My freakishly vile hands

My nails are horrific. Oops! There goes MY commission for the next few days. These talons will scare the customers away!

Oh. And I need to visit Adam to have my roots colored and my hair blown out.

Oops! Almost forgot. I need to have my lip waxed. I think I’ll get a chin job done too. I don’t want to spend hours looking for stray lady whiskers every morning!  I  really need to see a barber for a shave.

88 cent tweezers

I will safely state that tweezers are THE most accessory I will be packing! Not for my brows but for my ladywhiskers!

Yet, somehow I’ve managed to pack nearly three weeks of clothing into my Longchamp weekender.  I swear to goddess, this oversized Longchamp bag is the best bargain I’ve ever purchased. And to think it only cost me the equivalent of $50USD at the duty-free Longchamp shop at CDG. I picked it up last summer–just moments before boarding our flight home.

Longchamp layout

And there is still room to add more. I LOVE this bag!

You never know where the next great bargain will await….

And now, I wanna talk about the other stuff that needs to be packed. Accessories.

Here’s the thing—I’m not much of an accessories girl to begin with. Although I have a shitload of costume jewelry that is sitting on a shelf in a closet that I hardly ever wear, I can’t bring myself to unload it.  I keep going back to the one oversized faux pearl necklace from J. Crew. Go figure.

I hardly wear any of this stuff except for the oversized fake pearl necklace to the far left. See the little Donald Duck figure in the photo on the right?  Jake bought that for me at Disney World when he was six years old. He wanted to surprise me with a thank you gift for taking him there! That is ONE item I will never, ever get rid of. I’m a sentimental old fool!

And I have the good stuff that Bonaparte has given me.  But I’m not traveling with the “good stuff”.  Worrying about jewelry and watches and the like does not a fun and productive travel holiday or vacation for me make.  I want to chill.

Maybe it’s because I’m older—I simply cannot be bothered carrying all that stuff (exception being cosmetics) around anymore.  Besides, as long as my hair looks good and my eyes don’t look so crossed on any given day—I’m fine!

Fashion, as well as travel magazines, love to tell you what you must bring when going away.

A few pages taken from the latest issue of ‘In Style” magazine that I received the other day.  Um. No! I’m NOT bringing an Hermes handbag to the beach. WTF???  Take a look at the price points of some of the items pictured.  It is absolutely ridiculous. The average person cannot afford most of this on the underpaid average salary! Get real–Editors need to know who their REAL demographics are and not the delusional demographic!

Editors love to write about brand name luxury jewels and accessories. And photographers capture this essence of a jet set existence with pictures of expensive items that bring our lemmings out in full force.

Uh unh. Me no can afford Rolex watch. Even if I could, it would NOT be packed for a vacation.  I would bring Roger Federer along though. He’s the Rolex of cute tennis players! I could “watch” him all day long!

Stop!  If you are going to bring the small stuff, you don’t have to spend a fortune!

Don’t Excessorize. Accessorize!

And do it inexpensively.   This way you’ll have more money to spend on the good stuff like shoes and bags!

As far as accessories go, I’m packing three  scarfs—and I know I’ll probably only wear one.  Two will be able to be mix and matched with most outfits and one will go with the solids.

Three scarfeteers

These three scarfs are great for summer because they are incredibly light. The paisley and dotted ones are from Jacrew–last year or the year before. The stripes from Old Navy that I picked up a few months back. 

Jewelry?  My oversized hoop earrings that were purchased on a card full of various sized hoops at Walmart a few years back have seen better bling days. The rest of the hoop earrings are in fine shape but when I’m on a beach vacation, I want those big mothers.  I picked up faux gold and faux silver oversized hoops at Walmart for $2.88 per pair. That’s all I need. Those cheapies will take me from beach to pool to sightseeing to dinner.

Cheap earrings

Walmart specials. Who will be able to tell that these are inexpensive? Believe me, nobody will get that close to me to tell!  And–they are hypo-allergenic! What a treat!

The woman who can accessorize with abandon while away is one I admire but I ‘m too lazy!


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I’ll just stick to packing an excess of striped shirts. Bonaparte’s dad is my newest fashion icon! I love his striped bag!

My good watch?  It’ll be locked up and secured while travelling. Instead, I’ll wear a seven dollar number that I also picked up at Walmart.  From a distance, nobody will be able to tell that it’s an inexpensive timepiece. As long as it tells me what the time is, I’m fine. If it gets lost or if I accidentally swim with it—I won’t freak out!

My cheap watch

It may have a one-year Warranty but all I care about is that this tells me the correct time for three weeks.  I would have preferred to find one without the fake  gold, but for the price point–I’ll take this!

When I was younger, I didn’t bother to wear a hat to the beach or out and about in the sun. Then I got skin cancer on my face. And a hat is a must.  But I’m not going to spend a lot of money.  My dermatologist suggested a wide-brimmed hat rather than a baseball cap for added protection.  A lighter weight hat is great because my head won’t sweat—and who needs hat hair??  I also like a hat that’ll pack away easily.

Another Walmart purchase was this hat for less than four dollars.  It serves the purpose. It’ll keep the sun out of my face and look chic at the same time.

Cheap hat cheap earrings

A grand total of $3.72 for this hat that’ll serve the purpose of throwing me some shade (not THAT kind–I’m talkin’ about the shade that protects from the sun!)

I’ll wear the Kate Spade reading sunnies that were purchased last year at Nordstrom Rack for $19.99 while reading at the beach. For wandering around, the less-than-stellar sun glasses from Amazon will suffice.

Getting my chic on

So do I look really look like a Walmart doyenne? Or do I look Riviera chic?  


Ohhhh..maybe I’ll run into Joan Collins in St. Tropez and she will think I’m her twin–I mean her younger cousin!

Two belts, one thin navy belt and one wider brown belt will be packed.


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Two belts. That’s all. Both are old. I think the navy one is so old that it turned black. It must be about 15 years old! Maybe it IS black!

As far as toiletries are concerned, I’m packing deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a few skin care items and that’s about it. (Actually, I lie. I didn’t even begin to start with the toiletries, skin care products or cosmetics yet!)  Anything else, including sunscreen, will be purchased when we do our grocery shopping at Geant. (My favorite store!)

Theoule. Geant. Sunday afternoon.

Who knew shopping could be so much fun???? I love Geant hypermarche!

The heat can get pretty intense on the Cote d’Azur. Walking around half the day is cause for melting makeup.  I’m not bringing foundation or concealer.

No matter how much sunscreen I put on my face, I’ll still get a healthy color and my freckles will pop up. That’s cool.

I’ll pack my eyebrow pencil and one neutral shadow palette.  Mascara. Liquid and pencil eyeliner.  Chapstick. NARS Multiple in “Riviera” (I like a cream blush).

iT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush and Lip Gloss Stain. And more Chapstick! I’ll bring a bronzer too—just to even out my skin tone as it gets a bit darker!

eyeshadow eyebrow pencil lip glosses

Among the cosmetics I’ll pack are a neutral eyeshadow palette (Thank you Emily Rose  for introducing me to Revolution cosmetics. I found the palette at Ulta!), Mally eyebrow pencil and iT lip products!

That’s it.

Oh wait. That’s not it. I’m such a liar! I still have hair stuff, more cosmetics and footwear to pack….

Forgive me as I pull a Scarlett O’Hara and think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day and I have to get ready for work now!


Yeah. I’ll think about the rest of my stuff to be packed tomorrow! Note the lack of accessories on good ol’ Scarlett!

No music today. I’m having WP issues…..Again! XOXOXOXO!!!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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21 Responses to Don’t Excessorize! Accessorize—Less is More Money!

  1. Maggie says:

    Hi Catherine: I just found your blog and love it! I am a neighbor (Bryn Mawr) and would love some recommendations for the best shopping…. Have a great time on vacation. t looks as if you have it all figured out.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maggie! It’s nice to meet neighbors! The best shopping is where you get the best deals. I’m a big fan of TJ Maxx in St. Davids! And I’m always on the prowl for whatever sales J. Crew has! LOL. I always think I have it figured out when I travel and no matter how much I scale down, I continue to pack too much. XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. tvonzalez says:

    Delusional demographic – that MML. You are apparently a hat person because the floppy hat is tres chic on you!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL. Right?? Am I right or what?? 99.9% of the magazines cater to a delusional demographic!! Thanks for the compliment on the hat. I think it goes back to childhood when my mother always had me in those hats like Madeleine! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Bernadette says:

    True chic in the fashion of Jacki O.

  4. The Badger says:

    OMG chin hairs, I can be sitting at my desk and then put my hand under my chin and feel a whisker here and there…………… good thing shaving the legs has dropped off I guess that is a positive. And one white stray eyebrow …FTLOG

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Badger. I’m with you on that one. It’s true. I don’t have to shave my legs so often anymore. Instead of once a day once every other day and those white brows. Ewwww. It always seems that there’s always one stray! XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. martha Welch says:

    Catherine, I love your blog! You are a hoot and I find you so very relatable. You keep things real and I appreciate it. Such a refreshing point of view. Have a wonderful time in France . Safe travels.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Martha! Thank you so much! I’m touched that you “get” me. It’s important to be real with no smoke and mirrors. The only time I lie is when I go shopping and tell Bonaparte that I didn’t (oops. Hope he doesn’t see this!) Thank you for wishing me safe travels! XOXOXOXO!!!

  6. spearfruit says:

    Oh My Goodness – so much to do for the trip! You are a trip! You will have a great time, my dear – I always enjoy reading yours posts! Happy day to you. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      HI Terry. Whoa. Didja hear about the Air France strike? Yeah. We had a change in plans that I’m working on writing as we “speak”. …….Good day to you my darlin’! XOXOXO!!

  7. mareymercy says:

    I am not a jewelry gal either. Half the time I forget my wedding ring! I love a good necklace though. And a good spray tan!

    • Catherine says:

      Cynthia. I’m so glad to have another not jewelry gal in my corner! Oh..the spray tan. I’m so looking forward to being sprayed before I go! XOXOXOXO!!!

  8. EMILY ROSE says:

    You’re welcome hunni!! I hope you enjoy their products as much as I do!! 💖💖

  9. Anna says:

    Hi Catherine, I love your posts and look forward to following your journey. Thank you.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Anna! Welcome aboard. I hope you continue to enjoy my posts–my aim is to please. Thank you so much for taking the time to send my your kind thoughts! XOXOXOXO!!!

  10. I wish more women could be as relaxed and enjoy their lives like you seem to do instead of grieving their youth and beauty. They, as well as you, are still both beautiful and gorgeous!

    May I come with a small suggestion? I used to have my own studio and design costume jewellery,
    ( I think that’s what it is called in English?) bijouteries?

    I think with your colours you would look amazing wearing costume jewellery in turquoise, deep red coral, amber and perhaps coloured pearls with a metallic finish etc

    I don’t mean to be rude in anyway giving you a suggestion like this, I live in Spain since many years and despite being Scandinavian I might have picked up a trait or two after all the years here… And here we give each others suggestions and advices even when not asked for, it is a sign of caring, so I hope I didn’t offend you in any way, and if I did, I truly apologize!

    I was wondering if perhaps you could give me an advice? I am looking for a self bronzer, l hate lying on the beach for hours to get a tan, and with age my skin has changed so my legs stay crispy white while the rest of me still manage to get a proper tan, so I look a bit funny when, and if wearing shorts.

    Do you know any good brand that doesn’t turn you yellow or orange? I used to use Clinique but they seem to have changed the formula, so the last time I got all yellow, (and stripy on top of that) so maybe not the nicest look…

    And by seeing all your pics of what to bring I have a feeling you will look absolutely smashing!

    Un abrazo grande!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maleandro! Oh no–I’m not offended in any way! In fact, I take very well to your suggestions. Deep red is one of my favorite colors. And I like turquoise but never thought I would good in it. In fact, I have a pair of unworn turquoise earrings and am going to wear them today! Thank you!!!! As far as self-tanners go. Tan Towel brand is fantastic for the legs. The towels are easy to use–you just rub them into your skin and the color is great. I also like Jergens and if you see it, St. Tropez has a very good self tanner.
      Thanks again and I will always welcome your suggestions! XOXOXOXO!!!

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