A Makeup Brand You Don’t Want to Ignore! Let’s Create a MOB Scene!

A funny thing happened to me recently while perusing through Instagram. One of those infamous Insta-ads, came across in my feed. Normally, I ignore them. But this was different. It was an ad for MOB Beauty, and I just can’t ignore any makeup brand.

MOB Beauty–NOT to be confused with MOB Wives!  MOB Beauty takes a more natural and kinder approach!

To be honest, I had never heard of MOB, but then again, the brand is relatively new and my interest was highly piqued simply because going through the brand’s feed, the products looked really lovely. But something else caught my attention—the lack of mature, lined faces.  I dunno what came over me but I contacted the company to find out why, in this all-inclusive age, weren’t ageing faces within the photos of their Instagram feed.

I received a very, very nice reply—almost apologetic, and an offer to try the products.

You have no idea how touched and honestly happy I was.  Being of the 60 + demographic, it’s daunting to be excluded in the beauty industry—especially since we have plenty of disposable income to spend on beauty and skincare products. Add to that, we’re a younger older generation!  So, I took MOB up on the offer and put together a palette and two lip colors-one a balm and one a lipstick.

No wasted packaging here. No too-large box, just well-thought out and earth-friendly!

Before I go into the review of the products, here’s a link to the company’s website: MOB Beauty.  It’s good reading and you’ll find a few surprises. Among them, one of the co-founders is Victor Casale, a co-founder of Cover-FX, and former managing director at MAC.

The Problem With Palm Oil + Why Creating a Sustainable Beauty Brand Takes  Time with MOB Beauty's Victor Casale | Gloss Angeles | Podcasts on Audible  | Audible.com

Thank you Gloss Angeles for taking this photo of Mr. Casale! He of the MAC cosmetics (and my favorite shadow shade of all time is by MAC–Quarry!). He’s the co-founder of MOB Beauty!

The company believes in sustainability and they stand true to their word with both their products and packaging.  All packaging is recyclable and reusable.  There’s nothing fancy, no unicorns or bubbles–just good, pragmatic, organic packaging!

Here’s how the individual refills are packaged. Mine have already been recycled!

Choosing the products for my palette was easy because you can decide on products that go best with your skin tone—light, medium, or dark.  Being I’m of pasty-fish belly white skin tone, I chose light! Sadly, I never made it to the beach enough this summer to even graduate to Medium.

The palette I chose. All nice and complete!

There are three sizes:  the smallest—a Compact 1+ for one to two refills; a Palette 4+for 1 – 8 refills and the largest—Palette 6+ which I chose.

Here’s what it looked like when I ordered.

For the eyes I chose M2 (a soft bone); M4 (a dark espresso); M6 (a cool peach) and a black cake eyeliner.

For the face I chose M36 (a soft rose taupe bronzer); M15 (a plum pink blush) M68 (a strawberry pink clay cream blush) M49 (a shimmering pink champagne highlighter)

The two lip colors I chose were the lipstick in M7 (Carnation Pink) and the lip balm in M53 (Clear Shimmer)

Lipstick on the left and lip balm on the right.

Now, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or sparking water and come along as I use the products. A few things of note. I took the photos without face makeup on. I figured a bare face would be able to best showcase the products for you.  The products were applied around 7:30 AM in the same natural light in my little guest/makeup room because I really wanted to be as transparent as possible.

Here we go!  Please note that I apply my makeup whilst wearing my nightie. I refuse to get my clothing messy–especially since I’m a natural-born slob!

I’ll also point out that I have visible pores. I no longer try to hide them.

So, I started with a bare face.  Moisturizer was applied as was eye cream. After that set in, I applied a thin coating of Embryolisse because that’s what I do every day.  Concealer was applied to my eyelids and to the brow bone and blended in with a beauty sponge.

Here I am–in all my naked face, pro-aging averageness!

This is what I use as an eyeshadow primer. It works for me.

Wanting to brighten the area of my eyes, I went in with a soft blending brush to the color M2. These shadows are finely milled and are butter soft, so a light touch is all you need.  I blended the color throughout the upper eye area. Then I brushed M6 for a bit of depth.

I started with M2 to the far left, then proceeded with M6 next to it! That fluffy blending brush did the job.

Hair (what’s left of it) pulled back and brightening the eyes!

Lastly, I applied the M4 shadow. This is crazy-pigmented and a super-light touch, which I learned, is all you need!  All the shadows blend remarkably well so even if you go a bit overload, you can blend the color away.

On to the darker M4 Espresso shade in the crease of my eyes for some depth. We’re not done yet….

As a “lets-try-this” I also used the M4 shadow as a brow powder. I love me a product that multitasks and if traveling and you forget a brow product or if you run out of your favorite brow product, it’s always a good thing to have something laying around that works. This works!  Therefore, M4 is a great multi-tasking shadow!

The brows are awake from their helping of espresso!  I love a product that multi-tasks!

After the shadows were applied, I went in with the black cake liner. It has been a long, long time since I’ve used cake liner. And I put my bended eyeliner brush to good use.  Me, being the lazy woman I am, used my spit to wet the liner.  (Oh, come on now! Don’t be disgusted. How many of you had a mother who spit into a tissue then wiped schmutz off your face—and how many of us did that to our children?)  It’s my saliva. It’s organic and I’ve been vaccinated.  I applied a very thin line then went in with a black eye pencil to tight line my eyes.

Yes. I did.  And I must say this bended brush is excellent for cross-eyed me to apply my liner. I think I’ll go back to wearing cake liner on a regular basis!

The eyes have it! Let’s give a hand to these shadows because they certainly don’t make me look older than I am!

Mascara was next and the eyes looked very, very nice. Overall, I was incredibly pleased with all the shadows. And for matte shadows, the finish was soft and not chalky or harsh. I’m already eyeing more matte as well as shimmer shades.

Not too shabby!

Eyes done and it’s next to the bronzer-as-contour.  This bronzer is everything I’ve been searching for in a powder. First off, it doesn’t even feel like a powder—it’s so freaking light-as-a-feather on the face. And the shade M36 is perfect for light-to-pale skin. It’s got that taupe/gray/rose thing going on so it really gives the illusion of shadow—especially around the jowl-line. I love this and already know it’ll be a winter staple.

Heading into M36 with a contour brush!

Can you see that subtle contour I acheived with the bronzer? I swear this bronzer is the money shade!

Grandma’s ready for blush now!

Blush is next!  I used the M68 Cream Clay Blush. WOW! This is very pigmented and a light touch is really all you need.    It’s a beautiful flush and is cream and it stays put all day!

THIS BLUSH THOUGH!  I wish it photographed as beautiful as it really is. I appled with a Real Techiques brush. This little brush needs to be replaced but it is the greatest brush for applying blush!

Blush blended in to a natural flush! 

Over the blush, I applied the highlighter and did so with my finger. Again, this is a buttery soft powder that feels just beautiful.

See that glow on my upper cheek? It isn’t sweat. It’s the MOB highlighter. I am rather fond of this champagne pink shade. It goes very well over the blush!

The lips were last. The cool thing about MOB being sustainable is the fact the lipsticks can be snapped into an empty capsule. You can use the capsule for a good number of refills which is less trash to add to our environment.  I dapped the carnation pink lipstick, which is super creamy. It’s more of a satin finish than a matte.  Over that I swiped the lip balm. This lip balm is epic. Believe me, I am Our Lady of Perpetual Chapped Lips and this balm really makes my lips soft and hydrated!

The empty capsule comes in at a cost of $5 and will last through many, many, many refills..

The lipsticks and balm (refills) come like this. The bottom snaps into the capsule. It really is a simple but remarkable idea!

Lipstick with gloss applied as a top coat.  I must admit–it looks rather nice–doesn’t it?

And here’s the finished face!  I’ll tell you—I switch regularly between cream shadow and powders. Some of the lighter shades of powder shadows can come off one-dimensional and chalky. MOB created a matte that really is mature-eyelid friendly. They don’t age my eyes either. They blend very well.  The one thing I think I would change is perhaps saving the espresso shade more for the evening. But the dark brown really works well as a makeshift eyebrow product!

I put some hair on and got dressed! Overally, I highly recommend MOB Beauty for my mature-proager girls/they/them/.for everyone over 50,60,70….

The face colors—bronzer, blushes and highlighter are all exceptional. This is great quality makeup. The price for the palette I chose with the makeup, is $135 and is an excellent buy.  And you have the option of smaller sizes which are even more cost-effective. All the products are vegan and cruelty-free.

Hey! You really get what you pay for with this!  The palette is worth every cent!

But most of all, these products work well for mature skin. The shades blend well and don’t draw attention to our…. changing skin. The shades are very well—thought out and natural in appearance.

Sustainable beauty is what it is all about!

It’s not easy to find products that truly work when you’re above a certain age, but I highly recommend this brand.  Go peruse their site and let me know what you think?  And I do believe we will be seeing more age-friendly brands in the future!

 

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Sometimes You Do. Sometimes You Don’t. Getting What You Pay For.

A pair of sandals brought on the inspiration for this post.

The sandals that inspired this blog post!

This past birthday, I received a gift card to Nordstrom. It lent itself to a good amount to be spent in the store.  Considering that my body grew larger, I couldn’t quite bring myself to use the card for upsized clothing. And, as I have a seemingly overabundance of beauty products, there was no need for me to head to the makeup counters.

Bitmoji Image

Although limited in clothing due to the pandemic weight gain, there’s always room for summer sandals!

Inasmuch as I’m a sucker for shoes, I was nearing that time of year where my proper shoes head for hibernation in the bowels of my closet and the sandals make their annual appearance. And that’s when it hit me. The purchase I needed to make.  Tory Burch Miller Sandals.

Amazon.com | Tory Burch Women's Miller Patent Thong Sandal | Flip-Flops

Yes. I did. With a gift card and a credit to my account. I finally made the purchase.

For a few years, I’ve been admiring these sandals simply because I like the esthetics. The Sandal looks good. They can be dressed up or down and have a very feminine vibe. They are quite attractive.

However, I was wary about making the purchase—and I’ll tell you why.  I’m not a fan of the Tory Burch brand. When I worked in the handbag department at Nordstrom, Tory Burch bags were by far, the most popular of the “Bridge” brands. (In case you aren’t aware—a bridge bag is the one that isn’t in the “designer” luxury category and yet, isn’t in the “fast fashion” or inexpensive categories. These are the brands that run in the middle. Although I have to say the price point for many bridge brands borders on luxury prices).   Women of all ages go crazy for anything Tory Burch.

Tory Burch Bags: 15 Picks From the Semi-Annual Sale Up to 62% Off

I have this Tory Burch bag. I never use it because I use my Louis Vuitton Neverfull instead. It’s a nice bag but not a “Wow” bag. I feel the same way about all the brands bags but women go crazy over the brand.  What can I say?

My dealings with the brand run the gamut of okay to meh. Some years back I was a huge fan of the Tory Burch Reva Flat.  These flats were a bitch-and-a-half to break in.  Blisters and sore toes finally heeded to what ended up to be a pretty darn comfortable shoe. In fact, although old, they are in my rotation of shoes to wear during “bad” weather.

My black TB Old School Reva Flats. I happen to wish the brand kept the elasticized back. But who am I?  Anyway, it took forever to break these in and now they are comfy like bedroom slippers. I’ll keep wearing them till they fall apart–which will most likely be soon from the looks of these!

I’ve had a horrible experience with a pair of boots that broke and had to be repaired countless times. Ultimately, I wrote to the company and actually did get help in the fact I was able to send them the boots and they sent me a credit. I’ll give kudos to the brand’s ONLINE customer service! To the boutique at King of Prussia Mall–the customer service is horrific!

The thing that sucked about these boots is that they looked absolutely beautiful. I loved them. And then, the zipper just kept breaking and breaking and breaking–Read about it:  The (s)Tory of the Boots From Hell-Part One

The Saga of the Boots from Hell Comes to an End.

You get the gist of where I’m coming from—right?

Back to the sandals—at $198, I just was not going to shell out my money for these very popular sandals. But…a gift card, along with a store credit and a sale (and not the awful Anniversary Sale), allowed me to come home with a pair of the coveted Miller Sandals for nothing out of my pocket.  The sandals I purchased were in the shade “Makeup”, a nice, neutral nude/blush color that would go with everything.

Pretty sandals they are. And the nude color lends itself well to most of my summer clothing!

The sandals run a bit small for the masses but when you have narrow feet, as I do, then they run TTS. And so, just a few weeks after my birthday in Mid-April, I treated myself to a pair of the Tory Burch Miller Sandals.   And in all honesty, I liked the look of them so much that I ordered a printed pair from the Tory Burch website—which, I might add, were on sale for a deep discount!

I don’t know what the deal is, but the pair I ordered off the TB website (on the right) at a deep discount is wearing much better than the ones from Nordstrom!

It’s sometimes difficult to describe, but once the warm weather hits, I just want nothing to do with shoes.  My toes need a break from squeezing into pointy-toed flats and heels.  My feet need the freedom from being confined all winter. And, since I live to drive barefoot, I love my sandal life!

And I’ve worn these quite often to work!

Now, given the fact that the Miller Sandals are such a nice neutral shade, I ended up wearing them a lot. I mean, a lot.  Mostly to work because that’s the only place I go to anyway. I wore them in NYC once and a few times on errands. Never to the beach.

The sandals have a leather upper. The sole is rubber. The foot bed is a foam padding covered by fake leather. So, we’re not talking about an entire leather sandal here. And the $198 price for the regular Miller Sandal climbs upward to $228 depending on which model you buy.

At a price of upwards to $228 depending which Miller you buy, these are rather pricey.

These Miller Sandals have been with me for a little over three months.  And lo and behold, last week I noticed that the leather “thong” separating my big toes from the rest is peeling.  The leather is peeling!!!!   The foot bed is showcasing the oil from my toes—and it makes the sandals look pretty dirty when they aren’t on my feet.

Close up of how the footbed is wearing–after a short time.

Don’t even get me started on the wear and peeling of the “leather” on the thong area! 

At over three months, what will they look like after a year? Or two? How will they hold up—and I take very good care of my footwear.

For me, you don’t get what you pay for when purchasing the Tory Burch Miller Sandal.  They have the quality of a $39 pair of sandals.

As pretty as the sandals are, there is no way on earth they are worth the price tag of $198 and upwards.

The printed Millers are wearing better but then again, I haven’t worn them as often as the others. It’s a shame because they are a beautiful sandal–just not worth the money at all!

Which brings me to my beloved Rondini Sandals.

I know at this juncture I sound like a broken record that skips and repeats but Rondini sandals are worth every dollar and euro spent.  In fact, in USD, each pair of Rondini sandals that I’ve purchased over the years were less expensive than the Tory Burch Miller Sandal.

My Rondinis. The youngest pair is from 2017–the last time we were in St. Tropez. That’s five summers. The oldest is either ten or eleven years old. They all have worn beautifully. The leather forming to the shape of my foot. The patina from the leather is gorgeous and every single pair came in at under $200 USD. You definitely get what you pay for at Rondini!

First off, they are custom fit and made in the studio. You are getting the perfect fit in a sandal. The sandals are all leather. No man-made plastic or faux leather. And the sandals that I’ve had have lasted years—one pair a decade and a few more inching on that. Believe me, I got what I paid for and then some. And if you can’t make it to St. Tropez, you can head to Rondini’s Website. The customer service is stellar!

Back to Nordstrom.

The skirt I eagerly awaited for.

I posted about my purchases from the disappointing Anniversary Sale. And I was eagerly awaiting a brown knit skirt that I was sure would be a great buy.  It wasn’t.

Sorry not sorry but this skirt just didn’t look right–now matter how I tried wearing it.  It was just “off”.

The skirt was shoddy. It had a cheaply-constructed hem—the kind you know would never lay quite right after a wash or dry clean.  It was flimsy and the brown was slightly “off”—it wasn’t a true rich brown.  I thought about keeping it for those winter days when the weather is horrible. Then I thought some more and realized I would never wear it even in bad weather.

The brown shade just wasn’t as rich as I thought it would be and the construction was downright shoddy. It’s garbage.

Back she goes!

I’m actually headed to Nordstrom after I finish this blog post. I’m eagerly awaiting returning this!

In my pro-aging journey, I’m becoming a bit more particular about what I buy as far as clothing goes. I haven’t purchased one summer item. And it has nothing to do with the weight gain, it’s just that I don’t want to spend the money when I have a closet full of clothes that work for me.

As an aside, this Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi Dress is definitely a favorite and is worth the money. I’ve worn her for the past two summers on a constant rotation!

I will say, though, that I’m incredibly disappointed in the Tory Burch sandals. What about you?  Have you had experiences where you just paid too much money for an item that wasn’t worth it? Please share!

 

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Weigh to Go!!

It’s Thursday. My self-proposed weigh-in day.  The pounds are coming off slowly. But, as long as the needle on the scale moves downward—I’m fine!

Thirteen pounds to go until I reach my first goal! It’ll be a while!

This week brings another pound down. At 158, I’m actually happy. Why? Well, last Saturday, my husband surprised me with a dinner out to our favorite restaurant—Spring Mill Café. Weight loss journey or not, there was no way I would turn a dinner at our favorite restaurant down.

Back to Spring Mill Cafe. We just may be back next month for our Wedding Anniversary dinner!

“Our” table was reserved for us..

We started out with the Pate Tasting. I’ll admit that we put quite a dent in here before I remembered to snap this photo!

I ordered Tajine D’agneau.  Lamb Tajine.  I love Moroccan food and this is the best lamb tajine (or tagine) that I’ve ever had. Whenever it’s on the menu, I order it!

And yes, despite the decadent amount of red wine we consumed, there was room for dessert. A small serving of Chocolate Mousse that we shared!

During the day, we enjoyed the sun and ocean breeze at Stone Harbor and upon arriving home, I jumped into the shower, finished a book, then got ready for dinner. It took me less than ten minutes to get dressed and put the makeup and hair on.  That’s the great thing about summer—the sun is the makeup artist. All it takes is a bit of eye makeup, lip gloss and yer done!

We drove down to Stone Harbor early in the morning despite the mix of clouds with the sun.  Hey–any day at the beach is a good day!

All dressed up for dinner. LOL. My fang tooth is peeking out!

The worst part, though about this change of diet is the weekend. As you know, being married to a Frenchman, he loves his aperitifs on the weekend. But—I’m being very good in that I have my little Weight Watchers snacks which are 2 points and I’m incorporating the drinks into my weekly totals.

Four Days in Paris 2018- Part Two Our Rebellious Thanksgiving Dinner and a  Most Busy Black Friday! | Atypical 60

We’re never too removed from our Weekend Kir Royals!

He enjoys the Gougeres whilst I pretend these protein puffs are what he’s having!

It’s also a slow process because I sit on my ass all day at work—literally, all day. And when I get home, I’m too drained to move. I’m working on that though.

sleep glasses

Me. After working all day and trying to blog!

During the week, I’m definitely eating healthier. Since blueberries are abound right now, I’m bringing them to work and munching on them during the day.

Blueberries for Sal: McCloskey, Robert: 9780140501698: Amazon.com: Books

Do you remember this iconic book?  My life is Blueberries for Cathe!

In the evening, it’s been pretty-much a cold platter followed by a snack of my homemade granola.

Weeknight meals have been pretty-much platters similar to this. I’ve been mixing non-fat Greek Yogurt with a bit of Tahini as a dressing of sorts.

My dinner this evening. Note the salt on the edge of the plate. I’m not giving it up!

The recipe I used is from Cookie +Kate. I modified by using walnuts instead of pecans because that’s what I had in the house. I also added nutmeg because I love nutmeg. Although not low in calories or fat I measure out 1/4 cup for a little snack during the weeknights!

Luckily, a good number of my summer work clothing still managed to fit throughout this season because the clothes have stretch as well as many of the dresses being shift dresses and swing dresses. Here’s a look at what I’ve been wearing this week. It’s really important to me to maintain a level of positive style while I go through this process.

On Monday I wore a very short shift that has been in my rotation for almost ten years. This little number is from J. Crew Factory and fits much better when I weigh less. However, since it is a shift, it is forgiving for the extra pounds!

I wore this olive swing dress on Tuesday. I LOVE this because it is a true short-sleeved dress and the swing style hides a plethora of sins. It’s one of my favorite Amazon Purchases as is the scarf . Link to the dress:  Amazon Favorite!

Worn with a camo scarf and very blond hair–courtesy of Henry Margu Wigs, I really liked this look a lot!

Yesterday I wore pants for the first time in three months. These black paper-bag waist pants were purchased in the early spring.  But I didn’t shave my legs so I wore the pants. Because they are a loose pant, they don’t give a slimming effect but I like them anyway because I love the look and they are super-comfy..

And by changing my eating habits, my gut is shrinking. Albeit very slowly but it is shrinking!

And today, I wore another J. Crew Factory frock from years past. I love this strait shift because it also hides the flabby bits but also reminds me of the house dresses my mother used to wear.

It can be very motivating to try to look your best—and heading to an office absolutely helps me with that—especially since all I really want to do is shove my face into a gallon of ice cream!!

Ice Cream Eating GIF

I’ll be honest. This is what I want to do–except with Butter Pecan !!

Let’s see what the next week will bring!

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The Overrated Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. And What I Bought!

Okay. Before I show you what my purchases were from Nordstrom’s Overrated Anniversary Sale, I want to touch base on a few things. And, as an ex-employee of Nordstrom, I can speak freely about this.

Actually, no it isn’t!

There was a time when I looked forward to this annual sale. For me, it was all about that great pair of boots or that wonderful handbag that you could buy for a very decent discount. The merchandise offered was epic.  I’ve made purchases on leather Longchamp bags and various brands of boots. Going back a few years, the sale was something that was well-worth the annual wait.

I’ve had this leather Longchamp bag for seven years now and I love it…

…same with this Navy Longchamp bag. And Navy is difficult to come by. Both of these were epic purchases!

Then something happened. It happened to Nordstrom.  The store became a “brand” and became obsessed with “influencers”. Not that there’s anything wrong with this but…. Nordstrom veered of the path and seemed to have lowered standards. Rather than keep the store’s exclusivity, Nordstrom fell prey to social media and the younger influencers while forgetting about their loyal customers!

Nordstrom seems to be veering more and more toward a younger market–but remember-the younger consumer isn’t as loyal as the older consumer. They follow trends…and at some point, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale won’t be trendy.  Read this article from Buzzfeed: Influencers Arent Into the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale--it’s an excellend read!

But what really bothers me about the change in the Anniversary Sale is the influencers (a great number of them) receive a commission through an affiliate program on items sold. And that’s also fine. I don’t begrudge anyone from a commission. And when I worked at Nordstrom, the commission was excellent. However, there was a downside to commission.  And that was the return of an item.  Any item that was returned within a timely fashion was held against your earnings. I honestly don’t know if that is the case with the affiliate program, but I’m guessing it doesn’t.

black friday success GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski

It’s all about the Benjamins–or is it? What about losing commissions on returned items?

Which brings me to another thing. Influencers have early access—even earlier than I do as a card holder. I’m constantly wondering just how much do they return of their purchases?  Given Nordstrom’s ridiculously generous return policy, I can betcha there’s a ton of returns on purchases from these influencers.  And as an ex-employee that irks me.  I’ve seen purses returned with little tobacco pieces from unsmoked cigarettes as well as purses that smelled like cat piss. I’m not kidding. I’ve even had customers buy stuff with every intention of a return after a special occasion. That’s thievery and Nordstrom enables it. You buy something and you wear it, and unless it completely falls apart, due to bad construction, you keep it.  As a consumer, I purchase to keep.

My other ‘thing” is that a lot of influencers who don’t make the purchases will recommend a ton of items that they wouldn’t even buy themselves.  I just don’t understand that train of thought. Perhaps it’s that I’m not easily influenced. Perhaps its that when I recommend something, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve lived with it for quite some time!

With each passing Anniversary Sale, I’m becoming more skepitcal!

So, let’s get back to the Anniversary Sale of 2021.

I perused. And perused. And perused. And the disappointment was at a high. The quality of the goods used to be remarkable. There was a time when you could find different, out of the ordinary pieces there—but no more. The price point is still higher but the quality is lower. The store just isn’t special or luxury anymore.

Regardless, I did manage to find a few items for the fall. And as I’m on a no-buy, I discovered an old gift card that I had from a couple of years back that had gone unused.

What did I buy?

What did I buy? Sneakers, a scarf and two pairs of leggings. And last year I purchased leggings and a scarf.

I purchased a knit midi-skirt that has yet to arrive.

I’m actually looking forward to the arrival of this skirt. I’ll look great with boots!

The Skirt:  Is brown, comes mid-calf, has a slit and I made the purchase for fall/winter because the color veered off my usual black or navy. Brown isn’t a color I wear but I thought with a black shirt and black boots, the skirt will look great. Also, given the fact I’m losing weight, the knit fabric is very weight-friendly. The Anniversary Sale price is $29.90 returning to $49 after the sale. I used a note and got this for $19.90

You can’t go wrong with leggings–and good ones at that!

Vince Camuto Two Seamed Back Leggings:  You cannot go wrong with a good, solid pair of leggings. I chose black simply because I’m a fan. After reading many reviews, I went with the leggings in two sizes. One in Small and one in Medium.  Apparently, these run large and although I have gained pandemic weight, I was afraid that the Medium might be just a tad big.  These are not flimsy in any way, shape or form. They are extremely opaque and well-constructed. The seam in the back gives them a more expensive look. Retailing for $49 after the sale, I paid $29.90 for each pair.

This is the size Medium. It’s a bit looser in the bottom leg and in the waist. Both fit well.

There isn’t much difference between the Small and the Medium. The differences are that the waistline on the Medium is slightly larger and more comfortable. However, the waistline on the small is tighter but not to the point where it is painful or squeezing me.

Check out the waist on the Medium. It’s looser and a more forgiving size. And a tad more comfortable!

Whereas the waist on the Smaller size cuts into my gut more.  Regardless,  both sizes are keepers.

A very good buy!

The leg in the calf area on the Medium is slightly looser but not by a lot.  The leg on the Small for me, is a better fit.  I prefer the Small because I like the tighter leg and as I lose weight, the waist should be a better fit. I’m still keeping the Medium sized though because for home wear and those days where I just want to be extremely comfy and not polished, they will suffice!

I’m still in shock that I purchased these. But I’m thrilled that I did!

Nike Court Vintage Premium Sneaker:  The pair cost $49.90 and is now sold out. The sneaker runs about $70 or $75 after the sale—but I don’t know if this will be re-stocked. The funny thing is I’m not a sneaker person. Yet, I made the purchase.  How can I put this?  It’s not an ageing thing but since I need to get out and move—a helpful part of keeping my depression at bay, I have been searching for a more stylish pair of sneakers and saw these. While I haven’t ventured outside with them, I’ve worn them at home and they are comfortable—so far! I like the way they look too.

I’m an 8 1/2 and these fit TTS. They are comfortable and look great with the leggings!

Another thing that I like is these aren’t fabric. They will be much easier to keep clean!

Treasure & Bond Wrap Scarf. This cream and brown and black scarf caught my attention because last year I purchased a scarf by the T & B brand and love it. In fact, it was my most-worn scarf last winter. This scarf, purchased at the Anniversary price of $25.90 was a different story. After the sale it will retail for $39 and believe me, it isn’t worth the $39 price!

My scarf purchase this year. Although I like the scarf, the quality isn’t as good as the quality of the scarf I bought last year.

See the scarf in the top left-hand pic? I purchased it at the 2020 Nordstrom AS. I wore it regularly and love that scarf. It is one of my favorites!

While I like the print and the colors, I’m disappointed in the quality. It’s very flimsy. Unlike the scarf that I purchased last year with a higher thread count and a smoother sturdier feel, this is textured and more of a knit. That isn’t to say I don’t like it. I do like it and I’ll get a good amount of wear out of it. It’s just the quality isn’t that great. In fact, the sale price of $25.90 was high. It should have been less than twenty bucks.

It looks fine around my neck..

…but close up, you can see how flimsy it is. This scarf will be a mess from getting pulled on everything. 

Since I can’t say how the quality of the skirt is, just how do I feel about my purchases?

The leggings? I’m very pleased with.  It’s a basic purchase that you can’t go wrong with and the quality is excellent!

Overall. I’m very pleased with the leggings.

The sneakers were the money purchase.  The price was excellent and the quality and style are really spot on.

The sneakers were the money purchase and nobody is more surprised than I am!

The scarf? Quality is “meh”, but given the print, I’ll get use out of it.

What can I say?  It’s nice looking but flimsy as all get-out!

And if you found the items you wanted were sold out—wait a while. The returns will come spilling in. Or better yet, go to Nordstrom Rack—you’ll find a better deal I’m sure!  For entertainment purposes, here are links to past blog posts I’ve written about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:  What Happened to The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?   Who Needs the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

I know that at this third post about the sale, I sound like a broken record but I’m tired of the hype over nothing. I’m tired of the marketing and I’m tired of Nordstrom dismissing their root customer!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 26 Comments

Yet, Some More Talk on Skin Care!!

Okay. I know somewhere in the bowels of my blog archives I’ve written about skincare on more than one occasion. And today, I’m gonna talk about it a bit more!  From time to time, I do receive products for review. And I’m grateful for that. As a 66-year-old example of our “mature” demographic, companies aren’t too swift to send products for review to the older woman. Especially if the company’s niche is geared more toward the younger woman.

And listen, I’m no skincare expert but I know what works for me. My skin needs hydration. It’s super-dry with the exception of that glistening glow during the heated summer months and that is largely due to the sweat that’s dripping down my face—it keeps me hydrated.

sweating britney spears GIF

Yes. Ms. Spears and I have that same sultry, sweaty glow! Only she looks better! I am also of the #freebritney movement!

All kidding aside, we definitely have different issues going on with our skin. We have more lines. We have a tendency toward a more uneven skin tone as we age. Our skin sags. It just isn’t as taut as it once was. But that doesn’t mean we need to give up on taking care of our skin.

Old Woman GIF by memecandy

Let the good times roll but take care of the skin first!

But the other aspect is that good skin provides as a better canvas of sorts when it comes to applying the rest of the makeup.  Foundation on dry skin doesn’t look too appealing and can actually make us look older.  The same with the blush and other products.  We need a good base for everything and that’s where the care of the skin is paramount.

It’s true. A good skincare routine and products will improve your skin and give a better canvas for makeup. I’m taking it a step above and not even wearing foundation during the summer. I’m letting my skin do the talking!

Trust me, when I was young, I basked in the sun, washed my face with Ivory Soap and pretty-much neglected my skin.  But back then, I don’t think I was alone.  We didn’t have the products that are available now.  Maybe with the exception of Noxzema which was used for everything from moisturizing, to after-sun care, to cleansing—and that camphor scent—I don’t know-something tells me that Noxzema wasn’t the best product to put on your face.

Pin on Seventeen in the 70's

 

Camphor and Menthol were two of the ingredients in this stuff. Trust me, at 16 years old my skin never looked that good. Noxzema worked for sunburn but on my face? No!

And during this summer, I’m wearing less makeup anyway. It’s a choice I’ve made to get my skin into better condition for the fall and winter months.  So come along with me while I tell you about two skincare brands that I’ve been using and at the end of this blog, I’ll show you a brand that I’ve just received to begin testing.

The first brand is Y’our Skincare. The company reached out to me a while back and I was on board because the “kits” so to speak are personalized based on your answers to the quiz on the brand’s website. The quiz is fun and easy and is pretty-much on target to match you up with the appropriate products for you needs!

My skin report. Aha! Just as I thought!

I received products for the four-step process. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations at the time because I didn’t know whether or not the quiz was gimmicky or not.  My expectations were so wrong!

Four products and it couldn’t be more convenient. All numbered!  These are the four products I received!

Cruelty free, the products are natural and work. I’ve used them for about two months and am a fan.

Step One is the Gentle Cleanser and this really is gentle on the skin but is an excellent cleanser–and a tiny bit is all you need. BTW don’t mind my nails. I’m going for a manicure tomorrow evening.

I start out with the gentle cleanser.  True to form, it’s gentle. But before I continue, please allow me to add a caveat. Since I wear eye makeup and a heavy dose of mascara, I do remove my makeup first with Albolene.  I’ve been using it for years—actually over a decade and this “lard-for-the-face” makeup remover is epic.

Okay. Back to the Y’our Gentle Cleanser. I don’t detect a scent. It is a clear gel-like substance and a little is all you need.  It does an excellent job of cleansing and my face doesn’t feel tight after using it. For a gentle cleanser, it does the job of getting the face clean.

This is the money right here. Only one ounce but just a tiny bit is all you need. I’m getting nervous though because I know I’m near the end of this. I wish..oh how I wish this day cream was offered in a larger size because I would be all about it!

The Day Cream. Holy $hit! This cream is excellent!  I truly love this stuff and am rather sad that a larger size isn’t included in the kit. The packaging is great because the pump actually works!  One pump is all you need. It is light. It blends into the skin quickly and seemingly dissipates so there is no moisturizing “film”. It really is a beautiful product!

If you are a serum person, you’ll like this. For me, if felt fantastic on my skin but I’m not a serum person. 

The Serum.  Look. I’ll be honest here. In my opinion, serum is serum. I’m not a big serum person. I’ve used this serum many times and it didn’t irritate my skin. It soaked into my skin fine.  It did what it’s supposed to do I suppose. If you are a serum person, my thought is you’ll like this. If not a serum person—it’s part of the kit so it can’t hurt.

Another winner. This night cream is also excellent. A little thicker than the day cream and a more whipped texture. AND IT DOESN’T IRRITATE THE EYES!!!!!!!

The Night Cream.  Another winner here!  The night cream is a thicker consistency but not too thick. It’s like a whipped product. And it doesn’t irritate the eyes. That’s the one issue I have with products—especially when applied in the evening for overnight use.  Many will sneak into the eyes for some ungodly reason, causing stinging and irritation. This does not!  And it’s a great thing!

Overall?  I feel the kit is worth it. It’s a no-brainer (on my part simply because I’m lazy). The products work. My skin is in very good condition.  So, I can’t complain. My only complaint is that I don’t think the products are sold separately. I perused the website and didn’t see any product sold individually. And that’s a shame because the day and night creams are two items that I would purchase regularly!

The skincare kit comes in at $180 for a three-month supply. It seems pricey but if you head to a department store for luxury brand skincare, you’ll most likely pay a bit more. And to be honest, the price of drugstore brands’ skincare regimens keeps escalating.  So, you’ll be paying about the same amount no matter what.  As I stated, I’m lazy so the convenience of purchasing this kit is pretty decent.

I give this an A+ for the way the products work but an A- because I don’t think the products are sold separately.

Onto the next brand—Boom by Cindy Joseph.

Ain’t gonna lie. I love my Boom Sticks!  I use them regularly and for everyday and travel, the Broomstick Trio is epic greatness. One is in my travel kit and one is always within reach. In fact, I am an ambassador for the brand but let me make it clear that I receive no monetary compensation!  I just happen to be pretty passionate about my Boomsticks!

Seriously. I love my Boomsticks.  They are always with me!

The brand also has a skincare line.  And the products I have are Boomsilk, Boom Nectar, Boom Gold, Boom Clean and Boom Scrub.  The target market for this brand is the woman over 50 and in all fairness, the skincare products, for me, run the gamut of excellent to okay.

The Boom Skincare!   

Let’s start with the Boom Clean.  Like the Y’our Gentle cleanser, the Boom Clean is a winner. The two products are incredibly similar. In fact, I would say they are twins inasmuch as they perform the job in the best way.  A gel substance, this does the job of gently cleansing the face. A drop is all you need to get that face nice and clean!  This is my favorite product of the bunch. You can never have enough facial cleansers—and gentle at that.  This product is sold out on the website but retails for $32. It sounds expensive but to tell you the truth, so little is needed that it will last a long time.

Boom Clean.  You know, the gentle cleansers are perfect for mature skin because the gel-like substance just glides on and you don’t need a lot of pressure to get a soft lather. This is a great product.

Next is the Boom Scrub.  A creamy texture with little exfoliation bits that aren’t scratchy. This is a very good product that I happen to like—as long as I use it my way and not the recommended way. It’s recommended that you leave it on for a few minutes –kind of like a mask, and then massage and wash off.  This way didn’t work for me. My skin is just too sensitive and I found that after a minute or so, my skin was tingly to the point of irritation.

BOOM SCRUB | BOOM! by Cindy Joseph

Sorry. I thought I took a photo of this.  Here’s the scrub from the website.  When I use this MY way and not the recommended way, it’s fine. I love the gentle exfoliators that are in the product. But if used the recommended way of letting the scrub set on your face for a few moments, it’s just irrating. My skin is uber-sensitive, I suppose. Not knocking this at all. I like it as long as I use it my way!

However, when I use this as a scrub—literally, it’s much better. I apply it to my skin which I’ve splashed with water, then massage the scrub into my face and wash off immediately after scrubbing.  The little exfoliation bits are soft and do a very good job of smoothing out my skin.  I don’t use this often either. Perhaps once a week—sometimes twice.  Retailing for $48, I’m a bit on the fence about this. It is a good product and the gentle exfoliation is a wonderful thing simply because it is gentle. However, if you do have sensitive skin, if kept on too long, it could irritate you.

Boom Silk. This can be used as a whole-body moisturizer but I use it only on my face. For me,  it’s just too thick for my body but for extra moisturizing on the face–especially during winter, this is great!

Boom Silk. A heavier moisturizer, I’ve not used this much during the summer simply because the temperature makes me sweat and the sweat keeps me hydrated—thus the need for a heavier moisturizer is better used when the weather cools down.

This is so rich in emollients that you have to mix the oil in with the product. This is what you want in the dead of winter!!! Again, you don’t need a ton of product. I’ve had this for a while but I use it only on my face!

But…during the cooler months this is used on those days when my skin has been very dry and I need a little assistance and is excellent as an overnight moisturizer. You do not need a lot of this. Believe me, I learned my lesson. The first time I used this, I applied too much and it got in my eyes. I spent a while rinsing it out.  That taken into consideration, this moisturizer is fantastic for those autumn/winter days and nights!  First of all, it’s so chock-full of emollients that you need to mix the oil into the cream. There is no scent whatsoever and it really works to hydrate dry skin.  The price varies on this one.  From $29 for a two-ounce jar (which might be a great option if you don’t want to commit to a larger size), to $44 for a four-ounce and $64 for an eight-ounce jar.  Truthfully, I do believe this moisturizer is very fairly priced. Not only do you get options, but the $64 for the larger jar is a good deal. Take a look at the price of luxury-brands are charging for heavy-duty moisturizers and you’ll see this price is decent.  I use this only on my face and not on my body.

A deep-moisturizing face and eye serum, I’ll stay with moisturizer. Honestly–let me know what you thing if you use a serum. Maybe I need to rethink serums!

Boom Nectar. Again. I’m not much of a serum person.  I know. I know.  A large number of influencers, bloggers and the like love them some serum. I think of it as an “extra”. For me, it doesn’t matter because I really just don’t see much of a difference using any serum but, hey, that’s just me!  This serum retails at $58 for a 1-oz bottle and $86 for a 2-oz bottle. How do I feel about the pricing?  Well, as a non-serum person, I think money can be put to a better choice of products.  This is my personal opinion—especially since I think it’s important to prioritize spending.

This little 1/2 ounce bottle houses Boom Gold. A facial oil. I’m beginning to come around to the oils. It is good, but I still prefer a cream to oil.

Boom Gold.  This is a tiny bottle of oil. It’s good. Very good. But, again, for the type of skin that I have, this is better left for those dry, cold days of fall and winter and even those spring days when it’s more on the cool side than warmer side. Maybe it’s just me but my skin is just naturally less dry in the summer. So basically, all I need is a good moisturizer and cleanser.  This, for me, is also better used in the evening than the day. The Boom Gold is hydrating though.  And at a price of $54 for .05 ounces, it’s a bit pricey. But, if you do purchase this around the beginning of October, it’ll last the entire winter because you don’t need to use it every day/night and you’ll only need a drop.

Boom Bag™ (Complete)

All of the products (including the epic greatness of the sticks) can be purchased for $286.90.  It’s a fair enough price.  And personally, I would rather give my money to a smaller company than a larger one such as the luxury brands sold in department stores. 

All these Boom products, along with the beloved Boomsticks can be purchased in one complete “Boom Bag” for $286.90.  Given the price of luxury brands, I think this is a decent price for all the products. Believe me, I got suckered in to purchasing a Trish McEvoy kit that cost me $400 about ten years ago. There was no skincare included—it was all makeup and it was the biggest waste of money I’ve ever spent.  So, I gotta say, the pricing of the Boom products with few exceptions is overall pretty good.

I gave this a B+ for the skincare collective. And I’ll tell you why-The Gold and Nectar are pricey–so I don’t know if they are “essentials”. But the cleanser and the silk are incredible–on their own, they get A+.  And the Boomsticks–well, definitely an A+.  I would recommend trying the smaller sizes that are available so you can test the waters!

 

Between Y’our and Boom’s products, my bare skin is looking pretty decent. Not bad for 66!

What I just started to use:

WildMint skincare!  A UK-based company (don’t worry, they ship to the USA). The UK is pretty strict (as is all of the EU) about what goes into skincare products and cosmetics so I’m really pleased to be trying these out!

WildMint Skincare. I received five skincare products ranging from cleanser to eye cream.  I’ll begin this regimen tonight (Monday, July 26, 2021) and am really looking forward to seeing how these products will be doing on my skin.   But..I have to be honest here. I used the eye cream. And it was hydrating AF! Incredibly hydrating!  I compared it to my L’Oréal eye cream and hands down, the WildMint was so much more hydrating under the eyes.  So, from the looks of it, these products look promising!  I’ll let you know in the beginning of September! Holy Cannoli! Can you believe that September is only five weeks away?  Let’s get prepared for that fall/winter skin!

The WildMint Bright Eyes?  It is insanely hydrating. I think we’re gonna be besties…

….finally, an eyecream product that 100 percent doesn’t irritate my eyes.

As an extra, I’m going tell you what I’ve been using on my body.

Goldies Orange Cypress Lotion.  The first time I came in contact with this lotion was, believe it or not, the first time we stayed at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn back in January of 2015!  I mentioned the brand in one of my very first blog posts!  Anyway, last month when we returned to the Wythe for another wonderful weekend, the Orange Cypress Lotion was in the bathroom and I couldn’t help myself. I slathered this milky lotion all over my body.  It made my skin so soft that I ran to the front desk (after I got dressed, naturally) to inquire if the product was sold at the hotel. It wasn’t but within hours of our arrival home, I went online and ordered.  At $30 for 12 ounces, it’s worth the money, however, I’m going through this stuff the way my grandson Owen goes through diapers.  I’m pondering ordering the half-gallon at $115 for the winter simply because I know that if I order the larger size, I’ll use it till next Spring.

I bought this at the end of June and have put quite the dent in it already. Oh let me tell you this is a keeper. I’ll be ordering more of this and other products from Goldies. THIS is the kind of body lotion I love. Light and not greasy!

But what I love about this is that it really soaks into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy film the way many body lotions do.

And when nostalgia hits me, there’s Jergens Original Scent.

Jergens Original Scent Dry Skin Moisturizer for Hands & Body

Call me a sentimental old fool–just don’t call me late to dinner. But every so often I feel the need to rub this into my skin and it brings back wonderful memories. I honestly think I love the smell of this better than the product!

I dunno but every now and then, I take the Jergens Original Scent down from the shelf and rub it into my arms and legs. That cherry/almond scent always gets to me. It brings back memories of my childhood. It runs the gamut on drug store pricing from $6.00 up to around ten bucks. You cannot go wrong with this.

Yup. The changes in our skin over the years can be a bit of a shock to the system, but if we take care of that skin, it’ll look and behave better. We’ll never attain the epidermis of our youth, but as long as the skin is in decent shape, it’s all good!

Oh yeah. My skin looks great–especially with the bra strap sticking out from my dress that’s too tight! LOL!

What do you use on your skin?  Luxury brands? Off-the-beaten-track brands? Drugstore brands?  I’m really interested!

Posted in Skincare over 60 | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Prodigal Glutton Returns! And This Time She’s Ready!

OMG. I have so much to tell you.  Last week I was diagnosed with Severe Depression.  Finally an answer to my broken spirit!!

Strange as it seems, I was actually happy and relieved to find out I am experiencing severe depression. At least I know what needs to be fixed. And that’s a good thing!

You have no idea how relieved I was. I mean, really. I was going absolutely crazy (pause.  I am a bit crazy—with depression) trying to figure out why I cry every morning before I head to work and every evening as soon as I leave the office. During the work day I’m irritable, cranky, overwhelmed and overstressed.

sad its over GIF

This is me between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM!

That all feeds into my deep-rooted feelings of being a failure.  But wait! There’s so much more that can’t even broach for now—that will all come in a future blog post.

Fail Season 9 GIF by The Office

At times, Dwight Schrute and I are on the same wavelength. My failures are epic failures!

And people experiencing depression can actually be happy while they are miserable. And that’s for the future post as well.

Emotional peaks and valleys come and go but overall, you can be happy and depressed at the same time. It’s complicated!

But……………. this depression has caused me to turn to food for comfort.  Ever since my brother, Pete, passed, I’ve been sinking.  He passed in November of 2019 and the circumstances were just so horrible. He was on vacation. The beginning of November. His body couldn’t be brought home until December. So, we had to continue with life as “normal” (and I use that term lightly) as possible.  My husband and I spent Thanksgiving in Paris, and I can attest, it wasn’t the most glorious trip we’ve ever had.  The dark cloud had planted itself above my fake hair and was ready to create a fog that went straight into my spirit.

And as much as I love Paris, that last trip had a dark cloud over me.

Suffice it to say that the 2019 Christmas Holidays were not as festive as they could have been. Then in January Covid-19 came to be. And eight weeks later we were in a lockdown. And we all know how the next year and change went.

Masks Wear A Mask GIF

And we masked up over a year. And I still carry a mask in my car and one in my purse–even though I’ve been double-vaxed!

So, let’s get back to my turning to food for comfort.  While in Paris, I ate. A lot. But a lot of good food. I enjoyed my meals but didn’t stray too far.

I especially loved the bone marrow among other things.

Christmas did me in. The baking. The cooking. The sampling. Shoving baked goods and anything else in my mouth to feel better was my ultimate goal. Some drink alcohol. Others grab for weed. And those who are motivated, work out. I eat and laze around the house like Jabba the Hut!

 

Yum yum!  Ten for me, one for you!

After a bad day at work (Monday through Friday) I would come home and literally pick and graze before and after dinner. My pants got tight. My thighs grew somewhat thunderous. My double chin became quadruplets. My upper arms could be used as mudflaps on a huge truck.  You get the visual?

Bend Over Parks And Recreation GIF by PeacockTV

I couldn’t even get this far because my pants wouldn’t go past my thighs!

I ate more. The more depressed and miserable I became, the more I shoved food into my mouth like a Hoover.   Then my pants stopped fitting altogether. I purchased shapewear. But it was too effing uncomfortable and I felt as though I was a sausage in a casing. So, I took the shapewear off and just ate some sausage instead!

Why have a piece of cheese when you can have the entire block?  Why have a slice of cake when you can eat the entire three layers?  Why have a tiny bit of the appetizer when you can just eat it all?

I managed to lose about 9 pounds doing a calorie count, but I suck at math and those pounds returned. Oh, what a vicious cycle. And oh, how I was just destroying myself both emotionally and physically.

And when I returned home from work last Wednesday night, I had a bit of an awakening.  I arrived home looking a wreck.  The mascara streaked into dark gray lines down my face because they got stuck in the river of tears.  My nose was running like a tap.  My wig was crooked.  My unshaven legs were pinching me. My brows were smeared. I looked like hell.  I’m not kidding either.  I ran upstairs to get changed. I whipped my clothing and underwear off and caught a glimpse of my naked body in the full-length mirror.  My gut was akin to that of a five-month’s pregnant woman. My titties were larger and saggy.  And although I clearly recognized the reflection and owned it, I didn’t recognize me. The woman in the mirror wasn’t who I used to be. And I wanted the old me back.

Diet Pants GIF

Honestly, I was better off naked because I felt like a stuffed sausage with clothing on!

So, I did a thing.  I ran naked into the bathroom and stepped upon the scale. The scale which I have been avoiding for way too long.  And then I looked at the number. At 165, I’ve been heavier. And even at a heavier weight, my body was in better shape because I moved.  I’m telling you. This job that I have is killing me. I sit on a chair. In a cubicle. All day long.  All.  Day.  Long.  By the time I get home I’m too tired to even function.

But that night—it was different.  I decided to do something.  I threw an old nighty over my billowing pillow of a body, ran downstairs and went to re-join Weight Watchers. It’s the only program that seems to work for me. Counting calories didn’t. Giving up bread and pasta didn’t work either—I just overate shit that wasn’t pasta or bread!

I can do this. I can give up bread or most likely just eat small portions and not the entire loaf!

And I funny thing happened when I went to sign up again. I didn’t have to rejoin. All I had to do was reactivate my account because I’m a Lifetime Member. And I wasn’t too far off my first goal so it was all good.

My WW App welcomed me back with new updates!

The Prodigal Glutton was welcomed back in the best possible way!

Parable of the Prodigal Son Explained (Parables of Jesus) - YouTube

Hey. Let’s give this parable a modern twist by explaining the Prodigal Glutton!

My account was untouched for well…almost two years.  And upon returning, I wasn’t judged. Nor was I shamed. And certainly, wasn’t looked down upon.   What I did conclude is that I am responsible for my body.  It’s difficult. Very difficult because when depression sets in or any emotional setback, things are easier said than done.  But, I’m a fighter.

And fight I do.  No matter how down I feel, it’s important for me to get dressed nicely for work and put a bit of makeup on! It’s my way to fight the battle!

My phone is my guide this time. And I’m preparing myself, or rather organizing myself to be set up for success!  I purchased a scale…

I bought a WW scale to weigh my protein and other food items!

And even purchased a little box of 2-point snacks.   Here’s the thing about the snacks. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, The Frenchman and I enjoy aperitifs before dinner. With that comes a little appetizer—I’ve been known to down a family sized bag of tortilla chips. These little bags will help set me straight.

I bought a box of these protein puffs. Two points a bag. It might seem silly but these little portions will keep my gluttonous desires at bay. I had some of these WW snacks at my sister’s and they are quite good!

So yeah. It has been a week, I weighed myself this evening when I returned from work and I’m down five pounds.  At a weight of 160, there’s twenty pounds of love that needs to be spread somewhere else!

I’m also wearing more “weight-loss-friendly” summer clothing. Trust me, there’s a whole bunch of shift dresses that don’t fit presently.  Instead, I’ve opted for jersey swing dresses and looser dresses  that I’ve had through thicker and thinner and looser but not sloppy dresses.  Pants can wait till the fall.

And this skirt by the brand Ripskirt  is a wonderful asset to the weight loss journey because the closures are velcro. The waist can be made smaller as I lose! 

Inasmuch as I’ve put on weight, I’m not giving up wearing a bathing suit either. Trust me, when it’s hot out, it’s hot and the beach offers relief. It doesn’t matter if I appear to be a beached whale, I am squeezing into a swimsuit!

I’m still wearing the swimsuit. Trust me this pic looks good due to the lighting and angle.

Anyway, I want to return to my blog on a regular basis too. It’s been very difficult to write. The ideas are there but when I arrive home from work I’m literally spent. I honestly cannot function.   However, I’m trying my best to put any emotional issues aside and work them out. In the meantime, It’s baby steps.  I want my clothes to fit again and I want to return to my productive writing!

Actually, this blog is my baby. Over six years I may not have a large following but those who have been within this wonderful circle of friends, have been along while I shared everything from life with a Frenchman, to the careers of my children, from weddings to funerals. From travels and fun times. To makeup, skincare and style. It’s always a good time. And I want so desperately to return to that. And I will!

keyboard smash

I gotta get back on my blog goals!  

Tell me, have you put weight on during the pandemic? How are you handling it?  Have you lost weight? Has the lockdown spun you into a depressed state? We need to discuss this! So let’s begin!

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OMG! I Won the Lottery and Am Moving to Paris!!!!!!!!!.

I have a surprise for you.

I WON THE LOTTERY AND AM MOVING TO PARIS!!!!

Oh Yes I did! And I was so shocked that my crossed-eye straightened out then crossed again!

My emotions are just all over the place right now.

We haven’t been since November of 2019–before the Pandemic and we were lucky enough to catch an exhibit of my husband’s grandfather’s photographs! But this time–it’s for reals. We’ll be moving to the City of Lights!

Anyway, I’ve decided to make a list of all the things that I am looking for in my magnificent Paris Apartment. So come along with me on my real estate wish list!

I  would like an apartment in the Sixth Arrondissement.  Specifically, Quai des Grands Augustins. More specifically 55 Quai des Grands Augustins. That building holds years of great memories for me. All those long stays with Vincent’s aunt, Daniele—I miss them.

Ahhh. The entrance to 55! The dress shop next door was replaced by a kitchen renovation store which I believe is now gone. Oh  this place holds such fond memories!

Speaking of Place Dauphine, this photo, taken when I had a full head of hair, is one of my faves. My husband snapped this cutie of me, Antoine Bourseiller and my husband’s aunt, Daniele Delorme. We were headed over to Le Caveau for dinner!

Besides, it’s close to the parking lot under Place Dauphine and if we have an apartment in Paris, we will have a car as well—if only to get a way on a long weekend.

Place Dauphine! My favorite square. Look carefully. Directly above that first iron post in front of you. To the right of the lamp post. There’s a little fence. That leads to the parking log/garage!

Besides, I love the scent of that parking lot. Disinfectant, wine, cigarettes and pee-pee.  A rather “earthy” scent if you will.   If an apartment cannot be found in that building, I would settle for an apartment on Place de Furstemberg. It’s a cozy, charming square and when I get the urge for Eugene Delacroix, I can saunter over to his home-as-Musee and pretend he’s still alive. He can make a cup of coffee for me and we can talk about art and what a liberated woman George Sand was!

The Citroën 2CV Was Created to Get Rural Europe off Horses

And this is the car that I will buy in order to escape Paris Centre to head to Brittany for some oysters!

Aww. Who am I kidding. The main resason I want to live in the 6th Arr. is because I want to be close to CityPharma!

Oh wait, we have a conflict here. My husband wants a place in the 16th arr. It’s a bit “Upper East Side” but chicer and pricier. I like the funk and hipness of the sixth.  But I’m not surprised. After all, my husband did live on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for a while and I lived on the Upper West Side! Our agent  has his work cut out for him. At least we both agree on being fond of Haussmann style apartments!

Yes. The Frenchman prefers the understated elegance of the 16th while I prefer to be an aging hipster in the 6th!

And although I’m more of a neutral decor person, there’s too much color in here for me, we both agree on the Haussmann style apartment!

I  don’t really care about “an American Kitchen”. I don’t need, nor do I want, a huge frigo (that’s “fridge” in French—trust me, anything to do with food and I can suddenly become fluent).  I want to be like a skinny old French lady. Therefore, a skinny old fridge will suffice for me.

I loved Daniele’s skinny yellow frigo.Not large by American standards but the kitchen was charming. I want that charm.

All I need is a gas range. And cabinet space. And a dishwasher. And good lighting. And a window that I can look out of to view the going’s on because I’m that nosey neighbor.

This is the vision Americans have of a typical Parisian kitchen. That is because they watch too much HGTV and House Hunters International’s real estate agents break that vision immediately…

This is more like the typical Paris kitchen, and I don’t care if my million-dollar apartment has a kitchen like this. I’ll go out to a bistro!

This was the view from the range in Daniele’s kitchen. I loved to cook and look out. The pigeons kept a safe distance from me though because they knew how much I love squab!

Let’s talk views. I don’t give a flying hoot about a view. If I want to look at the Eiffel Tower, I’ll either go to the Eiffel Tower or look at a picture.

I swear I have a gazillion photos of the Eiffel Tower. I snapped this on one of our trips. Perhaps it is the jaded New Yorker in me but I really don’t feel the need for a daily view of this.

I’m perfectly content to have a view of a courtyard or the street. I can people-watch from the pleasure of my home and I would not have to get dressed to do so. The most entertaining view I’ve ever had was the view from Daniele’s chambre. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave a fabulous view of the apartment building across the courtyard. There was one apartment dweller who loved to walk around naked. He really didn’t’ care.  I’m different though. I don’t want to scare anyone with the ripples and wrinkles that hang out at various points of my naked being.

Okay, so this isn’t naked guy. But, over time I got to watch this view of workers adding another floor to the building across the way! Can you see the Eiffel Tower to the far left. I actually looked very magical at night!

I don’t mind a ground floor apartment This goes hand-in-hand with the view but covers a bit more.  The ground floor is better for me because I’m just not a fan of elevators in many French apartment buildings.  They are very small-i.e., not wide and are meant to fit only skinny French people such as my husband. My hips don’t lie when I tell you this. My hips take up ¾ of the width of most French elevators. My hips could cause me to get stuck in the elevator—okay? That would not be a good thing. And those elevators break down.  Like clockwork. Every visit we made to Daniele’s had a broken elevator for at least three days per trip. Daniele lived on the top floor.  End of story. No. Wait. We’ve also stayed at the Prince de Conti hotel and the elevator broke while we were there. It took two days to repair it.

Tinsy French Elevator ; ) | Ashley McRae | Flickr

Ashley McRae gets credit for this photo. Can you imagine being on this with a ton of luggage? Can you imagine being on this with wide hips?  Yeah!  I’m perfectly happy to have a ground-floor apartment. I don’t need elevator stress and trauma!

Another thing. Have you ever witnessed furniture being delivered to a Paris apartment? It’s stressful. Because the elevators are so tiny for tiny French people and the hallways are narrow for those same thin and tiny-boned French people, large pieces of furniture and objects d’art have to be hoisted by ropes or special outdoor elevators, to transport the furniture to the apartments. I’ve almost had major anxiety attacks just watching this. It’s horrifying. I would not be a good customer for those nice moving people.

Astuce de déménagement : assurer la sécurité des meubles !

The furniture elevator is also used. And it’s wider than the people elevators! What happens if the furniture falls off? Do you get a refund?

There’s a bit of an issue here. My husband does not want to live on the ground floor. He doesn’t want to be subjected to any petty crime.   Does he want to put neighbors and passersby at risk for losing their hearing as I start screaming and yelling in fear as furniture is being hoisted from the outside into a window on a higher floor? Does The Frenchman not realize that by being on the ground floor means he gets a head start to run to the Boulangerie for our evening’s tradition baguette as well as the morning’s croissant. Seriously, what kind of Frenchman is he anyway? In addition, if I drink too much wine and fall and break a bone, it’s easier for the ambulance to get me. There will be no running up flights of stairs or the possibility of getting stuck in the elevator!!

Let me tell you–I much prefer the tradition baguette. It tastes better. I don’t think The Frenchman would like to hear me say “I told you that if we lived on the ground floor you would have gotten to the boulangerie earlier before they ran out of tradition baguettes!”

And if we lived on the ground floor, in the Sixth, he could run to Cafe de Paris on Rue de buci and grab a couple of these babies!  This happens to be one of my favorite photos that I took. Its a thing of beauty and I need to get a print for our wall!

No open floor layout please. I’m old school. I love designated spaces. I love doors. If there is a mess, I can close the door and walk away. Open floor plan means more cleaning. Oh wait. I won the Lottery. I can hire someone to clean. I still don’t want an open floorplan. I don’t want to socialize with guests while I’m preparing dinner. I want to focus on cooking and creating the perfect meal. I don’t want anyone watching me while I cook either. Close the door and enjoy your aperitifs please.

Paneled Solid Wood Primed Equal Interior Shaker Standard Door

I dig a closed floor plan. Shut the door and the mess is hidden!

Another thing is I love to air-dry clothing. When we lived in NYC, our bedroom was a laundry-drying room.  To this day, our downstairs family room is where I air-dry clothes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of European combination washers and dryers as one entity. But when it comes to my clothing, one of the rooms must be used to air-dry my clothing and an open floor plan would not be conducive to my desire to air-dry laundry!

I want my magnificent Paris apartment to have a clothes-drying system that is suspended from the ceiling. What could be more entertaining than having guests come over only to look up and see your underwear drying??

Fireplaces.  I want a couple. That work. On the weekends in the winter when the days are shorter, I want to arrive home from a day of practicing my skills in the fine art of flânerie!  Or perhaps a day of flea-market perusing or taking in a museum event. Or arguing with anyone who gets in my way.  Yes. A fireplace would also be so romantic. The Frenchman and I could recline on the floor in front of the fire while sipping our Kir Royals.  Ohhhhh. Wait. If we recline on the floor, we won’t be able to get up. We shall sit on the sofa that is set in front of the fireplace!

This fireplace will do just fine. First I’ll have to figure out how to steal it from Fontainebleu and bring it back to our magnificent Paris apartmemnt. And then I would have to worm my way up from the floor into a chair!

Big-Ass Windows. I know. I know.  I desire an apartment with a lot of those floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s nothing more elegant than waking up in the morning—without my hair and makeup and a filthy old torn nighty and opening up one of those larger-than-life French windows and soaking in some Parisian air!  On second thought it may be better to do after I put my hair, makeup and decent clothing on.

7 of our Most Instagrammable Apartments in Paris - Paris Perfect

Although a view of the Eiffel isn’t a priority, opening up a floor-to-ceiling window every morning would be the icing on the cake. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring–no matter what the weather, I would open those windows every day!

The bathroom. Mommy needs a bathtub. To soak the fleshy body in. And to shave my legs ever-so-gracefully. Shaving one’s legs is just so much better in a bathtub than having to bend down in the confined space of a shower then dropping the shaving cream and then dropping the razor. A bathtub is prettier and gives a much nicer vision!

Well, mommy wants a bathtub, but this bathroom in a very pricey, and luxury apartment that is offered by Kretz & Partners isn’t exactly what I was thinking. God forbid I drink too much red wine and throw up in said bathroom. I would not know where the throw up or marble starts. This is a danger for me!

Oh yeah! I want a bidet too!  That’s something I cannot understand why we aren’t hooked on these things in America! Not to be vulgar or anything, but that little opening in the hindquarters needs some attention—especially after a meal that didn’t exactly agree with your intestines if you know what I mean.  I love a good bidet and one would be an absolute must in the search for a Paris apartment.

If we Americans embraced the bidet, there would have been no toilet paper shortage during the pandemic. In fact, there would have been a surplus. Just sayin’!

Lastly, NO EFFING CARPETING! I want and demand only hardwood flooring. And the more ancient, the better. Nobody hates carpeting more than I do. Carpeting is disgusting, and vile and full of ground-in filth. When I had the house in New Jersey, I owned two carpet steamers. It was an obsession. And what appeared to be clean—wasn’t. I would empty filthy carpet water every two weeks.    When we first saw our present home, I hated it only because of the carpeting. My better half changed my mind with a promise that some carpet would be ripped out and replaced with hardwood. He came through on his promise!

This is my kind of flooring. Carpeting be gone. MY Paris apartment will have only the best and oldest hardwood. No carpet mites for me!

So that’s it. My “little” Wishlist.   I don’t care about outdoor space because the entire city is outdoor space enough for me—and the little squares scattered throughout the city are plentiful.  Do you want to know which agency we’ll be using for our search for that elusive Paris apartment?

“L’Agence” The Parisian Agency as it is titled here in the USA. Better known as Kretz and Partners!

Kretz and Partners not only sells luxury apartments in Paris, but we can go to them if we want a charming chateu throughout France!

Truth be told, I did not win the Lottery. But I thought my delusional mindset would make a great segue into this wonderful new little series on Netflix!!

The Kretz Family! From Left to Right.  Louis, Martin, Sandrine (who wears great heels) Raphel, Valentin and dad Olivier.

If you are a fan of “Million Dollar Listing” or any luxury real estate shows, you will love L’Agence. It’s different because it not only focuses on luxury real estate both in Paris Cite Centre but it also showcases some pretty nice digs outside of Paris and more.

 

Here’s a bathroom from a 15 million Euro place in St. Tropez. Who knew? Perhaps we can move here and walk to Maison des Papillons Musee Dany Lartigue and admire all the butterflies! Regardless, it’s my kind of bathrool!

The show also focuses on the Kretz family. The entire family with the exception of the youngest son, Raphel, and the grandmother, Majo (who happens to be epic greatness), is in the business. It’s crazy!  But crazy in a best, most charming, most endearing and entertaining way.

This family is a hoot. Here the boys are fixing their grandmother, Majo, up on an online dating site. Majo is epic greatness!

Sandrine Kretz, the mother of four boys, used to be a school teacher and ended up starting this real estate company with her husband Olivier.  Sons Martin, Valentin and Louis all followed into the business with youngest son Raphel who is in school, waiting on the sidelines.

Sandrine Kretz Age, Partner Family Origine Net Worth: The Parisian Agency

Yes. She kicks ass in real estate. She’s a mom to four sons. But the best is that she can rock a pair of stiletto heels while walking on the streets of Paris! I’m shook!

The greatest surprise of this mini-series is Majo!  She is queen of the grandmeres and we all need to look to her as our major goal in the aging process!   She’s got the greatest personality and she’s just a wonderful example of joie de vivre!

L'Agence - L'immobilier de luxe en famille | TMC

Majo, on the far right, deserves her own series. She’s goals. Total Goals!

The show also focuses a lot on the dynamics of the family. It’s such a refreshing change from the cut-throat competitiveness and snark of other real estate shows.  There may be ups and downs with the business and emotions and family issues, but overall, this is a loving, respectful and happy family that happens to work together.

I especially love the kitchen table scenes. My family is so different. We’re so loud. The Kretz family is so…so….so refined!

The real estate itself almost takes a back seat—I’m thinking maybe because this season (there will be a season 2) is only a few episodes and focuses more on the family. But the real estate offerings will make your mouth water.  From ultra-modern grand homes to more traditional but still grand maisons. From modern apartments to Haussmann style apartments and buildings, and even as far away as Ibiza, the dwellings are total eye-candy!

Lisa Chavy, founder of LIVY Lingerie was my favorite potential buyer. I freaking loved her. She wore leather without looking tarty and the way she handled wearing heels while getting into a boat–I was in awe. I’m still amazed that she is so young and can afford millions on a home. We have the same taste!

This guy on the right was looking for a place on Ibiza.  Let’s just say he was more interested in the terrain than a home. I’ve nothing more to say.

And THIS guy, Sebastien, was so ….particular. with a 5.5 million budget he was impossible to please. And he seemed more interested in resale value. My husband kept defendingMonsieur Sebastien  against my remarks. With all due respect, he did want a home that wasn’t a museum.  Sebby. Please. You have young children. Move to the Sixth!

Another really cool aspect is the Kretz family also works with various businesses and designers to find space for shows and events. And they hold an annual party at their home for clients. I want to be invited to one of their soirees some time.

The Kretz family actually had a runway show of Lisa Chavy’s lingerie designs.at their house party!  Can you imagine me me wearing this? The Zebra would be stretched out to the point it would resemble a striped elephant!

So yeah, even though I didn’t win the Lottery, please don’t tell me I’m the only one who has these thoughts.  My husband gets very upset with me when my imagination runs away with me.  But….

If I did win a massive amount of money in the Lottery, I would buy an apartment in Paris—after I moved back to New York City. And I would call the Kretz family immediately to let them know that my husband and I are on the hunt for a Paris Apartment.

Which of the Kretz agents would we work with?  Why, it would be Valentin.  He speaks English and he lived in New York City for a year so it would be fitting. Besides, his wife doesn’t speak French. Just like me!   It would be  great, the Frenchman could give his preferences in French, while I go on with my demands wishes in English!

Valentin is definitely the agent I would go with. Besides–he reminds me of my son Roman! How could  I not go with that???

Besides, I could ask Valentin the secret to how in the name of Jesus, his mother is able to walk the streets of Paris in high heels.  As much as I despise carpeting, it’s the only floor material that I can walk around in heels.  And I’ll need to be able to walk in high, strappy heels when we go to dinner on Place Dauphine!

Tis true. I need to be able to walk the streets of Paris in these gold heels. Presently, I can only walk on carpeted flooring in them. And I detest carpeting!

So, am I the only one with delusions of winning the lottery? Do tell!

 

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A Most “Sandal”ous Post! What’s Worth the Cost?

Let’s see now. June is almost over. And for over a month, I’ve been meaning to write a post on the subject of sandals.  You see, I’m on a no-buy.  A little over a month ago, I decided that there were more than enough clothes and other items in my possession.   I honestly did not need any more stuff.

Dont Buy It GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The exception to the rule being if my husband buys it for me. That doesn’t work.

Shoes?  There is a plethora of shoes in my closet. And quite frankly, the heels are collecting a bit of dust since the pandemic.  For some reason, during the past winter, I ended up wearing more flats and boots than heels.  And as I age, the lower kitten heels and flats are making my feet happier. To be honest, I’ve thought long and hard about selling my shoes on Mercari or Poshmark but I just cannot deal with people—especially if they try to scam me by saying my shoes aren’t what they thought they would be. I’ll just continue to allow them to collect dust.

Heel Mary Full of Grace, My Shoes Are With Thee.. | Atypical 60

All of these shoes, with the exception of the floral ones (I trashed because the fit was horrific) are still in my closet. Collecting dust.

But now, it’s summer. And actually, when the weather warms up in late spring, I’m ready to say goodbye to closed shoes and give my feet and tootsies a break. It goes beyond the pedicure. It’s the absolute freedom that a sandal affords. Like being barefoot without really being barefoot. Trust me, I love being barefoot. I drive barefoot. And growing up so close to the beach, I spent most of the summers as a teen…barefoot!

This photo was actually taken in March of 2016. It was an early spring that year!

Things are a bit different now. I dare not run through the grass barefoot in my development because not everyone picks up after their dog. Add to the fact that workers have been in the neighborhood replacing roofs and dropping rusty nails like rain, I really don’t need to step on an old, corroded nail and get God only knows what kind of infection, even though I had a tetanus shot two years ago. The feet may need and want freedom, but protection is needed as well.

I also dare not walk barefoot in the streets of France for the same reason, but I love both driving and passengering barefoot in the car!

Flip-flops as a sandal are not my jam. Besides, I think they can be dangerous and other than the beach or pool, they just look sloppy. Don’t even get me started on the number of travelers wearing flip flops on airplanes. With bad feet. That end up sitting next to me!

I Hate Feet GIF by Big Brother

Darlin’ I’m with you. And people with the filthiest feet exposed while wearing flip-flops always seem to be drawn to me!

And because my feet are so ridiculously narrow, many mass-produced sandals literally slide off my feet. So then, just what do I look for in sandals?  We’re gonna discuss that now.  Come with me.

All sandals are not created alike.  All sandals are not meant to fit every kind of foot.  And over the years I’ve amassed quite the collection ranging from mid-price to higher-priced. I believe somewhere in this post there will even be a very cheap pair if I can find them.  (Forget it. I couldn’t find them) But I’ll go over some of the sandals and their brands that I do have. And mind you, every single pair has been with me for a while.  I’ll start off with the two purchased just before my  No-Buy and continue from there. Some of my purchases have been for naught as well and some, I still purchased knowing full-well that they were not worth the money they retail for.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals: These are the most recent. The black geometrical pattern pair was purchased in early spring on sale. It was supposed to be a big sale price at $139 but the sandals were still a bit expensive for what it’s worth. The nude ones (the color “Makeup”) were purchased with gift cards from Nordstrom. So even though I only paid $50, the $198 price point is still ridiculously overpriced.

The “Iconic” Tory Burch Miller Sandal. I state iconic in a semi-sarcastic tone.  From appearance, they are a nice looking sandal. Not gonna lie about that. However, they do fall short in length and if you have a wider foot you need to size up. If you have a narrow foot, stick with your regular size because if you size up, you will break a bone. You will!

The Miller sandals are incredibly popular.  Many even refer to this sandal is “iconic”—I think that’s a stretch. The overall design is actually quite nice. They take a bit of time to break in to total comfort but they aren’t bad.  The foot/sole of the sandal runs a tad short so sizing up is a good option—if your foot isn’t narrow.  This was my issue.  My shoe size is 8 ½.  The S/A at Nordstrom suggested size up to a nine for “ultimate” fit and comfort. I did and almost broke my leg with the first step. The vamp of the sandal was so wide that I slide out of the sandals and tripped. My regular size of 8 ½ fit much better. And although the vamp is a bit narrower than the next size up, the sandals could be a bit narrower.  But they look good. I prefer to wear them with maxi dresses and pants and don’t wear them very often. They still need to be broken in a bit more.  Overall, they are nice and flattering to the foot but absolutely not worth the cost of $198 and upwards!

During Spring these were worn with pants quite often. It’s too hot for pants presently. Honestly, it’s too hot for underwear but my parts are sagging so that’s another story.  They look nice and surprisingly, this pair is more comfortable than the other pair. Go figure.

Same sandal in the Makeup color. I like a good nude and this color is wonderful. But for mass-produced sandals that aren’t custom fit, these are wayyyyyyyy overpriced.  There’s no way I would be buying another pair of these sandals. I can see spending $39.99 or $29.99 for these because, quite franky, that’s all they are worth…ahhhh paying for a name!

Jack Rogers: Women, especially of the Preppy genre, go crazy over this brand.  Granted, the design of the Navajo is iconic and is a great summer look. The original design, by another brand was Jackie Kennedy’s favorite. Jack Rogers jumped on the bandwagon, copied the design and through strategic and brilliant marketing, made this company a multi-million preppy-must-have.  But the fit is absolutely horrific. And I don’t know why I keep giving this brand “another chance” because those chances barely work.   Currently, I have a pair in the platinum color which is beautiful.  The width is “Narrow” –yes, the brand sells narrow sandals.  However, and a huge however, the leather stretches. A lot!  When I first got the sandals I loved the fit—especially since it was narrow. Then after three wearings—only three, the leather stretched out to the point when I do wear them, I need to dig my toes into the insole just to keep them on.   Again, for a sandal priced well over $100, it’s not worth the cost.

Over the years, I do believe that I’ve given Oona at least three pair of these. I don’t even know what I have these strawberry sandals in my possession. These sandals, even at a narrow width, are an absolute waste for those of the narrow foot. They work much better for wider feet!

Palm Beach Sandals:  This brand, created prior to Jack Rogers, was the original iconic sandal but for some reason isn’t as popular as Jack Rogers. It was a small family-run company but I do believe now has since changed ownership and is available for franchise as advertised on the Palm Beach Sandals website.   It’s a shame too, because these sandals happen to be very good. The price of the sandals, in my opinion, is too costly for what it’s worth.  Sorry, but at $128 and upwards, as good as the sandals are, it isn’t worth it.  But the fit is much more narrow-foot friendly. Add to that, these are hand-made but not custom-fit.  I have a few pair and every pair has been purchased from both Poshmark and Mercari for a fraction of the retail cost. The average price I’ve paid is $30 and well-worth it. I feel if you can find these sandals on a “pre-loved” website you can do wonderfully. All the pairs I’ve purchased were never worn!  The leather doesn’t stretch.  They are hand made and I personally think these are much better than the Jack Rogers.

Every pair of PBS that I own were purchased pre-loved and never worn. I lucked out but it took a while to find the right pairs.  I have to say, I do like these a lot!

The gun metal gray is my favorite. It’s basically a neutral that goes well with so many of my summer clothing and I can wear them into the early fall–okay, late fall–who am I kidding? Notice how nice the fit is across the strap. Truly a narrow foot sandal!

Tony Bonanno Sandals:  I must take a moment of pause here. Tony is the son of Stephen Bonanno of Stephen Bonanno Sandals (now defunct) and of the Bonanno family who made those iconic treasures for Jackie Kennedy.  Tony deserves a ton of credit for revitalizing the family business and I wish him nothing but tremendous success. He makes the sandals to your measurements.  I purchased a pair of the Eva Sandals and he made them to fit a narrow width.  Over the two years I’ve worn these, the leather has stretched a bit and I would love to purchase another pair but have him make them narrower across the strap. When I leave my no-buy I’ll do this.  Look. The Jack Rogers, The Palm Beach Sandals and the Tony Bonanno sandals all share similarities in design and are all a bit pricey. But this is a true small business and I want him to do well. So, I would bite the bullet on another pair. But not now.

The Tony Bonanno Eva Sandal. Truth be told, I like this model because it’s a change from the usual Original Classis.  

I also like the fact you can make your own choices when it comes to the leather and the whipstitching trim.  The navy leather and gold trim is a nice combination. But next time I purchase these, I’ll definitely ask for a narrower strap!

Rondini Sandals: Hands down, my all-time favorite sandal. There’s nothing more to say. Well, actually, there’s a lot to say!  The Rondini family has been making sandals in St. Tropez (their only shop) since 1927.

Most people associate St. Tropez with Yachts, the mega-wealthy and nightclubs. I associate St. Trop with Rondini and my Father-In-Law Dany Lartigue (RIP). TBH, I don’t really feel like I’m there until I see this shop!

My husband’s mother wore the family’s custom-made sandals. His grandmother did. His father did. And now…I do and have been for about 14 years. From my first pair to the most recent pair which was purchased on our last visit, I’ve never been dissatisfied. Sadly, our trip to the South of France this summer and last summer were cancelled. I’m praying next summer is a go and I’ll head back to the little studio early in the morning to get there when Rondini opens!

My husband’s mother, the beautiful Evie Lartigue–she’s wearing her Tropezienne sandals. And..get this, she dated Roger Vadim–he even mentioned her in his book! I need a moment!

I’ll never forget the first time I was there. The studio was very cozy and small with a limited number of seats. There was a line outside by the time I made my purchase and it was one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had.  The foot is carefully measured in length and width. No pressure whatsoever to chose the sandal you want. The customer service is stellar. If you don’t speak French—don’t worry because someone will be able to help you speaking English!

And look! Rondini is open on Sunday!

They go far and above to get that perfect fit for you.  Back in 2018 I purchased the Pouce Tressé in Red. Well, for that particular sandal my foot was so narrow that extra time was needed to make them. Three days later we headed back and the sandals were ready. The sandals were €130 with no extra charge to make them narrower.

My foot was so narrow that it took a couple of days to make these extra narrow. Anoter plus is they will be honest and let you know if your foot isn’t a good fit or a certain style. I had another style in mind and was told that my foot was just too narrow. I appreciate that. A lot.

The sandals come with their own little protective pouch which is epic for traveling!

Another year, I guess it was six or seven years ago, when Chippy was younger, he snacked a favorite pair of Rondini’s—the Tropezienne sandals. He chewed one of the straps till it was broken. We packed the sandals in our luggage, and when we stopped at the shop to have the strap fixed, I was told that the leather replacement might not be the same exact color leather because I had mine for a number of years. Honestly, you can’t even tell which strap was repaired.  It’s crazy.

The Salomé sandal, a chic black number is worn to the office and when I want a bit of a dressier sandal look. These are remarkably comfortable and absolutely no “break-in” time! The cost of my black leather Salomé sandals was 145.  As an aside, this is an extremely popular sandals and offered in a plethora of colors.

This is one chic pair of sandals. I want another pair.

There’s just something so elegant about this elongated T-strap. It makes the foot look so pretty!

Allow me to say that these custom-made sandals make a $10 dress look like a million!

The Tropeziennes are the ones that are my old reliables.  Imitated, duped, knocked off all over France. But there’s nothing like the one and only original by Rondini! I cannot believe how well-molded to my feet these are and every time I wear them, I think of The Frenchman’s mother and her Tropezienne sandals. Keeping it in the family! At €150 for the double-tanned leather, and upwards for other kinds of leather, these are so worth it.

These add a touch of class to an abandoned lot in Brooklyn, NY. Yes. I wore these during our weekend in Williamsburg a couple of weeks ago. And I walked the city streets all day and these were as comfortable as an old pair of slippers! 

They’ve been chewed on by Chippy and repaired. I’ve had them maybe 12 years? And they fit better than ever!

Over a decade old and still looking great!

The Sahariennes are the first Rondini sandals I’ve purchased. They are so special to me and I use these as my go-to beach sandal. More than a flip-flop but not as dressy as the other sandals, these are indestructible!  And yet, remain looking fantastic. Present priced at €140, I believe the price may have been ten or twenty euros less when I purchased these years ago.

The abuse these sandals have taken is incredible. I’ve sat at ocean’s edge only to get them soaked. They have been worn in the pouring rain and stepped into puddles. They’ve been to every beach from our visits to France and Long Island and New Jersey and these babies are still fine. There’s some cracking at the inside but I’ll condition them–at some point.  They fit my feet perfectly.

This picture was taken the week before Memorial Day when we were down the shore.  Year after year they are my “beach” sandals!

The Bikini is my favorite sandal of all time. I freaking love this sandal so much that for the past two years, I’ve envisioned myself taking the ferry from Sainte-Maxime early in the morning, to arrive at Rondini at opening and purchasing a pair in gold leather. This sandal is just so beautiful and feminine and looks so pretty. It’s a bit boho and glamorous at the same time but can be worn with basically anything. It’s so versatile. This fabulous sandal retails for €150 in the double-tanned leather that I have and €155 for the metallic, which I plan on adding to my collection.

My favorite sandal of all time. I get tons of inquiries and compliments when I wear these.  They are just magnificent!

The strap placement is just so gorgeous and those leather straps once tied, don’t loosen during the day!  This is the ultimate summer sandal!

I wear these to work quite often

Trip Bits and Travel Tips. And Astute Observations | Atypical 60And  everywhere else! 

Another few words I want to add to this. The Rondini sandals are a great price and stellar value for the price. All the other sandals I mentioned have price points ranging from approximately $128 upwards to the price of the $198 Tory Burch Miller. That’s the full retail price.

The Shoes of Summer. Sandals, of Course! | Atypical 60

Yes. These sandals are pricey but they are custom-made. all leather and literally mold to your feet. You will have these for decades!

And although the USD is at a pretty pathetic conversion rate as of this date, the conversion from 150 euros for the bikini sandal to the $179.50 conversion rate still comes in less expensive than the mass-produced Tory Burch sandals. Think about that. A custom fit and made sandal for less than $200 USD. A sandal you will have for years and years and over a decade. A sandal that can be repaired at a minimal cost.  In addition, the sandal molds to your feet in the best possible way. All leather. It doesn’t get better than that.

My little family of Rondini Sandals. I need another pair or three.

I also am a huge believer that when traveling, purchase an item that will be with you forever.  An item that you can’t get at home. And that’s where the Rondini sandals come in. I know many people who purchase Chanel and Louis Vuitton leather goods in France and other parts in Europe because the price is slightly better than here. But you can find that stuff here. I would rather go for something a bit unique. But that’s just my opinion. I honestly don’t mean to get preachy!

Oh. One last thing. I didn’t include strappy heels in the post because I personally don’t consider these as a true sandal. IMO, they are a shoe. But I love these gold strappy shoes! Very feminine!

So that’s it. Sandals that can be better than barefoot. It’s Sandalous I tell you, Sandalous!

Posted in Custom made sandals, mass produced sandals, Summer Sandals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Frenchman. A Birthday. And a Comedy of Errors with A Happy Ending.

This past Saturday was my husband’s birthday. To me honest, we really don’t make a big deal about the day because that is his preference.  For a number of years, we happened to be in France on his birthday and …well, we were too busy just being in France to take time out for a birthday celebration.  In addition, he just doesn’t care about his birthday so we downplay it.Bitmoji Image

Truth be told, I kind of don’t like a big production for my birthday either. So I get where he’s coming from!

But this year, I decided to take him out for a birthday dinner. Since our last four weekends were rather busy ones—what, with being away in NYC twice, a wedding and a beach weekend, I hadn’t had time to plan just where I would take him for dinner.

Quite a few cityscapes lately!

Spring Mill Café was closed due to hosting a wedding so his absolutely favorite restaurant was out of bounds for this special evening!

Nice Little Surprises | Atypical 60

A wedding halted plans to take Bonaparte here but it wasn’t too bad to change up the gameplan!

Instead, I opted for making dinner reservations at a local restaurant.  Paloma’s in Phoenixville. It’s a lovely place and the co-owner just happens to be a Frenchman. It seemed befitting.  And so, I headed to Open Table to make online reservations.

All I can say is–no. I’ll make reservations by phone from now on thank you!

Saturday morning, I presented Bonaparte with a gift and a card. Nicely wrapped, I was pretty excited about my choice to him.  It was a reprint of a photo on canvas.  During his father’s funeral weekend, the family got together for lunch and a photo was taken. It’s really a great photo and I thought that given the occasion and the fact he hadn’t seen his family in a while, it would make a nice and thoughtful gift.

Here we are in St. Tropez 2018. Now on canvas and enlarged. 

My hunch was correct because he really did seem to be touched by the thought and he’s carefully thinking of where in our home to hang it.

And then there was the dinner.

Truth be told, I’m rather wary of making dinner reservations online.  Very wary. I prefer phone. I need to speak to a person in order to calm my anxieties.   And since I didn’t receive any email or text confirmation from the Open Table site, I was getting nervous.

So, I called the restaurant. And there was no reservation in my name.  Almost in a panic, I explained that I did make a reservation on Open Table but never received a confirmation. Then I asked if there was any way I could make a reservation because it was my husband’s birthday and I really wanted to take him to Paloma’s.  And while I was on the phone speaking, I was multi-tasking because every nasty word that I’ve ever used during my lifetime was running through my head and directed at Open Table.

Season 2 Omg GIF by Friends

Me. Explaining my big issue with Open Table. I’m certain I got the reservation, not out of desperation, but because they didn’t want to listen to my long-winded  explanation!

Luckily, I was able to get a reservation for 7:45 so things looked good.

The remainder of the day was spent in well-needed relaxation. Late in the afternoon a delivery was dropped off –it wasn’t a gift for my Frenchman but rather some goodies from Momofuku.  Spices and stuff!   I had to scold Chippy because he seemed to think the goodies were for him.

Apparently Chippy thought it was HIS birthday!

Anyway, when the time came, we drove into Phoenixville, got lucky with parking and walked over to the restaurant.   Downtown Phoenixville is great. Bridge Street was closed off so that the locals and visitors could enjoy hopping from place to place without the added annoyance of traffic. It’s a bit sad that a number of business closed due to the pandemic, but it was great to see a good amount of people enjoying the weekend by being out and about.   The restaurant is at the tip of Bridge Street just as you enter the downtown area. It’s really a lovely place.

I’m a fan of Downtown Phoenixville–and in the summer, it’s a hoppin’!

So, we arrive at the restaurant and I’m all happy because I’m taking my man out for a great dinner. We get to the front desk and I give the hostess and host (who were incredibly cute and friendly) my name and then it happened.

The entrance to Paloma’s is so grand!!  It’s really a beautiful restaurant!

They wished my husband a happy birthday. And they wished it very enthusiastically and cheerfully.

Happy Birthday GIF by The Office

I would have joined in except I saw the expression on my husband’s face which kept me at bay–just like a junkyard dog!

And then I saw my husband’s face. It was not the face of a pleasant man. Oh no it was not! It wasn’t even the face of a man who was content.  His face had no expression at first—and then his mouth turned down into a scowl.  To be honest, he looked like a typical Parisien who got to the boulangerie and found out there was no bread left.

Yeah. There’s a reason I call my Frenchman “Bonaparte”.  Only my Bonaparte is taller. This could have been his reaction upon being wished a joyful happy birthday!

And I had to put on my smiley face and say to the very friendly hostess and host “Oh. He’s shy. He doesn’t want to be reminded of birthdays.”  And as they both turned to see if the table was ready, I had to explain to my husband that after the screw up with Open Table, I felt the need to mention his birthday so we could get a reservation.

youtube glasses GIF

I had to give him the “really” face and shrug!

He remained stone-faced.  It was at that very moment my expectations reached a new low for the evening.

We were seated by a table that gave us a great view of Bridge Street so we could observe the goings-on.   On the table was a little sign from the staff that read: “Wishing the Happiest of Celebrations to You”, which I prayed he didn’t notice. If he did, he said nothing.

Look at this nice little greeting that awaited us at the table. I had to HIDE it! Who hides something nice like that????

Our server was great but I felt bad because when we ordered Kir’s, she returned and told us the bartender didn’t make them.  My low expectations were now swallowed by emotional quick-sand. I could feel the rage emanating from my husband’s body, through his shirt and onto my shoulders. But as low as my expectations were, my sense of failure was at an all-time high!

Amy Poehler Expectations GIF

Trust me, if my expectations were any lower, I would have to look up to look under!  But I can be happy while doing so!

Instead, we ordered bona-fide cocktails.  We both went with Fear and Loathing in Phoenixville, a refreshing blend of Bourbon, Pineapple Juice, Lemon and Absinthe.  I tend to think my husband picked that drink because that was how he felt at the time.  But it was really, really good—and although I’m not much of a hard liquor woman, Bourbon is my jam.

Here’s the “Aha” moment when things started to look up!  Yum Yum!!

It was time to pick an appetizer so we went with the charcuterie board.  Now..this is where the dinner was starting to pick up.  The charcuterie arrived chock full of saucissons and prosciutto and pickled vegetables and little toasts.