Back to the Côte d’Azur. Nothing Changes Yet Everything Changes!

Yesterday, July, 9,2022, The Frenchman and I returned back to the States from two glorious weeks on the Côte d’Azur. Staying, once again, at the apartment in Theoule-Sur-Mer that we have rented since 2011.

I’m missing this view already!

Our exception years being when Oona got married, and Covid Lockdown. This was the first time back in 4 summers and it felt so damn good to be back.  Not much changed yet, everything changed. There is a ton an absolute ton of construction going on. Add to that, it was crowded but not as crowded as in the past. I honestly think that the cloud of Covid is still looming. There are parts of France that are making masks mandatory, yet again, beginning on Monday, July 11!

Mother-of-the-Bride Guide! You Might Need This One Day! | Atypical 60

And next week Oona and Sam celebrate Wedding Anniversary Three. And in September, baby boy Number Two!

But enough about that. I’m here to share pictures and fun from our return to Theoule!

Let’s start with the flight:

Actually, let’s start off with my travel outfit. A $12 skirt from Amazon which is now $9.99. (of which I loved so much I purchased two). An old jersey shirt from Target. Old ballet flats from J. Crew and this delightfully lightweight wig from The Wig Company!

It was the first time ever that we flew directly into Nice.  In the past, we’ve always flown to Paris and then to Nice. In the years that Daniele was alive, we would spend time with her in Paris, fly to Nice from Orly, then back again to Paris to spend more time with her. Those days were lovely.

After she passed, it was flying to Paris then changing for Nice. It was a pain-in-the-ass, but since there were no direct flights that could accommodate our working schedules, we dealt with it.

New airport departure requires leaving extra early for the airport. Good thing we did because finding the parking lot was a feat in itself. Now that we found it, we are aware for future flights.  TRAVEL TIP: Always take a photo where you park!

Going through TSA was a breeze and we had time to stop for a late afternoon snack at the airport.  We had a good time!

Finally, this year, The Frenchman booked direct from Newark to Nice directly via United Airlines. I have to say that flying on United was a great experience. We had a slight delay leaving New Jersey but the pilot made up for lost time. And the return was wonderful.

You can see NYC in the far background!

Ready to go!

The food on the flights was better than American Airlines and Air France. Yeah. It was.

A little delay caused our flight to leave as the sun set! 

And a perk of having a loud, annoying voice was that when we landed in Nice, and I observed the incredibly long customs line, I said to my husband “Ugh. I wish your French passport allowed me quick access through customs”.  An agent heard me and said; indeed, the French passport could be used to allow me through customs with my husband. I wish I had known this years ago!  The customs entry was wonderfully quick—especially on the return home.

But enough about the flights.

And at daylight we were over land!

Let’s get to business.

We arrived in Nice mid-morning. Luggage in hand, tram to pick up the car rental and off on A-8 to the second Mandelieu exit!

Coming in for a landing at Nice!

Coming into Theoule-sur-Mer and  La Galere was almost a dream. It had been so long it almost didn’t seem real. But with key in hand and our entry pass into the community, memories all came back.

I couldn’t help myself. Only in France can you spot an “older” gent on a bike in the barest–and I mean barest of swimsuits. This was literally a man thong.

This welcoming sculpture was new. It wasn’t there before Covid hit!

The apartment was just as before save for a new sofa and a few cosmetic touches. The washing machine in the bathroom made me so incredibly happy because, hey—I love doing laundry on vacation—especially after sweating for hours as we see the sights.

View from the bedroom. The only time the doors to the terrace were closed was during a 4-hour rain in the late afternoon through early evening. Other than that the weather was sunny every day!

And we settled into our regular routine with ease. Heading to the terrace to enjoy the view, unpacking. And then a drive to Geant Hypermarche to get essentials and food. Oh. And Cider and Kir Royal makings.

We unpacked right away! TRAVEL TIP: To avoid sticky fingers from other passengers, make sure to use luggage with the filthiest exterior. Also, bring a workhorse bag. I brought my vintage LV Randonee that fits over the shoulders like a backpack. It came in handy for seeing the sights!

Cleaned up after unpacking, changed and ready to hit the hypermarche!

Our first dinner on the terrace proved relaxing and stress-free as I began my first night of nothing-but-fish-or-shellfish.  Crevettes and the best tomatoes on the face of the earth.

Crevettes, the best tomatoes on earth, eggs and mayo. A simple yet filling meal on our first evening!

The sun sets later in France and after a bit of relaxation and boat-watching, we fell into that same beautiful slumber with the French doors to the bedroom wide open and the sound of the Mediterranean Sea putting us into dreamland.

Sunday, 6.26.2022

After eleven hours of much-needed sleep, The Frenchman woke me with coffee, croissants and pain au chocolat.

And then it was back to the pool. There were changes. The pool used to be a freebie if you lived in the community. Now there is a charge. Our charge was an additional 360 Euros charge for the time we were there. However, it was an error and the charge had been included into the rental.

Morning at the pool. All is calm before the crowd arrives!

We used to pay for cushions to place over the chaise lounges for comfort. Since Covid hit, there are no more cushions and the old chaises have been replaced by new ones.

How great is this ?

Due to bees and my bee allergy, we didn’t sit near the flowing plants but moved to the opposite side of the pool. It was hot!! And this was the first year I hit the pool like a freshwater fish. (I didn’t wear a wig either)

No wig. No tan yet. And ready to hit the pool!

That first day, we spent 6 hours poolside. I happily read, jumped in the water, read, jumped in the water, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Back to the apartment to shower and dress. And off to Geant to get preparations for dinner. Geant is opened on Sunday but was not crowded so it was a pleasure.

The basics people. The basics. Creme de Cassis,  Champagne and butter. And bread.

Dinner consisted of a recipe I saw on Chef Edward Delling-Williams show—Endives with Lardons. And it was spectacular!

The Frenchman LOVED this Endive dish. I followed the recipe and am upset that lardons are not sold in the States. I’ll have to buy slab bacon and cut it but honestly, this was GREAT!!

Another relaxing evening.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Coffee and Crossiants!

Our usual breakfast! On the terrace and a great way to start the day off!

Today it was beach time. Sunny, sizzling hot and a heat haze—not a humidity haze but a heated one.  It was the first time I ever experienced what were waves in the Mediterranean. Not big Atlantic Ocean waves but tiny ones. There was a lot of activity and at 8:53 AM, we had to drive around in search of a parking spot!

Ready to head to the beach in Cannes. Again. No wig. It allowed more freedom for serious sea time!  This striped dress from J. Crew was worn with every beach/pool visit!

I had never seen waves this big at Cannes–and trust me, they were not that big but the sea was so refreshing!

Still life–beach style. The bathing suit top came off. That was the only time because I got bitten my a mosquito on my titties.

After the beach, we drove to Cabris, revisiting this lovely town as always and I stopped by the Chapelle of St. Rita to offer my thanks, light a candle and reflect.

The view from Cabris is always breath-taking..

A quiet, winding street..

…flowers in a window..

..and a local store add to the charm!

St. Rita lives in a chapelle that dates back to 1761!

My girl St. Rita. I thank her with every visit..

…and I say a little prayer!

From there, it was a trip to Grasse to Fragonard and off to Mougins. Mougins is the most adorable artsy community I’ve ever been to in France—and this was the first time I was there. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been in the past.

On to Grasse to get my Fragonard fill!

An old perfume vat welcomes visitors!

Fragonard Haul: Body Lotion, Scent, Hand Cream and Soap!

Next stop–Mougins!

These pepper sculptures were..

An absolute delight to behold!

Picasso sure gets around!

And so does Bart Simpson!

Flowers of Mougins!

Okay. I’m stopping here because I’m off to get a much-needed manicure and pedicure. My feet are gross from all the walking we did.

Here’s a little video. It sucks because it’s so random but it’s fun. The two water fountains?  The first is from the Fondation Maeght. The second water fountain is from Abbaye du Thoronet.  The dead bee being eaten by ants? Vincent had to swat the bee because it was ready to sting me. It fell and out of nowhere a ton of ants finished it off within minutes.  Enjoy!

l continue later in the week…

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Thoughts on “The Coastal Grandmother” Label

Onto the newest trend and stereotype “The Coastal Grandmother”.

Just a sampling of The Coastal Grandmother. Even though a few of them are NOT grandmothers. And WTF is Martha? She’s the Coastal Grandmother Supreme?

I know. I know.  I KNOW! This label is meant to be fun. But personally, I find it inane and elitist and you can read on for my thoughts regarding yet, another stereotypical visual of the older woman.

*sigh* I can breathe now. Here’s Martha in her, what appears to be Easter Coastal Grandmother best. It’s hideous. Thank God the woman can cook and bake!

Somewhere along the line, a younger woman decided that she wanted to go to bed early, thinking that all women over the age of 50/60/70 go to bed early.  Yet, nothing is mentioned about catching the “early bird special” at chain restaurants at 4:30 PM—the way many grannies do. She, bless her heart, had this image in her head of the perfect home–beach house style. And the perfect vision of the perfect woman, grandma age, creating fabulous meals, while dressed in a sweater tied around that perfectly, crisp button-down shirt with the starched collar perfectly popped.  There’s more to it, but to get you “woke” (a trendy phrase meaning nothing more than awakened), on the trend, I’ve come up with some assessments below.

Early Bird Specials in South Florida Are Dying, Thanks to Baby Boomers -  Eater

How about all those wanting the Coastal Grandmother lifestyle head to dinner at 4:30? That’ll pop your bubble!

Why does Halloween have to be on a weekday?! It's bad enough the old rich people  go to bed early. But now everybody else too! | Halloween Ecard

Honey, forget Halloween. Old Rich Coastal Grandmother’s hit the hay after drinking that bottle of wine at 3:00 in the afternoon!

Read on if you are not offended. Read on if you are offended. Read on if you want to become a Coastal Grandmother or already are. Read on if you refuse to follow this trend. Just…………………….read on!

TCG Movie Choices: Most-loved movies of TCG are by filmmaker Nancy Meyers—she’s big with this labeled group.  I saw two of her movies. The first being “Something’s Gotta Give” which I liked. I didn’t love it. I liked it. A lot. I didn’t love it because I’m sick and tired of seeing perfect people and their successful careers on the big screen. Personally, I’m sick and tired of perfect people pretending to not be perfect.

The Beautiful Filming Locations of Something's Gotta Give — LocationsHub

Look what they are wearing at the beach. The BEACH no less. I get so freaking hot at the beach that unless I’m down by the water, my body gets drenched in my own sweat! This is soooooooo Coastal Grandmother–and Grandfather!

Yeah. Give me a dark swimsuit so those ultra-violet rays are even more attracted to me. Hey, something’s gotta give-right? The sun giveth to me damaged skin!

The second being “The Parent Trap”. Not the stellar original starring Hayley Mills but the cheap knock-off starring Lindsay Lohan. I’ll admit, Lohan was great with her clipped British accent but the original version was far better. However, if you want to see one of the best Disney movies ever. Actually the only Disney movie besides Pollyanna, that is greatness, please watch the original parent trap!

Annie and Hallie Are Back With the Cast of 'The Parent Trap' | The Mary Sue

Isn’t she precious? Every Coastal Grandmother’s dream….

Hayley Mills looks back on 'Parent Trap,' Lindsay Lohan remake

I’ll take the original version. Haley Mills was a bit less perfect and was a tad snarky!

My director of choice is Jean-Pierre Jeunet.   Think “Amelie”— quite possibly the greatest film of all time. And Amelie wore cool clothes and had a fabulous hairstyle! There was nothing coastal about her. Granted.  Amelie was too young for Coastal Grandma status, but the movie is just so charming and showcases people who arent’ wealthy or perfect!

The Word Travels Blog: Travel Movie: Amelie

Amelie. THE greatest movie of all time. However, TCG would cringe at the fact Amelie was a waitress, loved a man who was employed in a porn shop, and loved dark colors! 

Think “Delicatessen” An extremely dark and lovely film, also by the same director.  I loved the dark and quirkiness of it.  The cinematography is dark. Furniture is sparce and there is a darkness cast over the rooms.  Nobody is perfect. It’s awesome!

Delicatessen (1991) - Photo Gallery - IMDb

The interior shots of Delicatessen would have TCG reaching for that box of wine on her countertop!

The Coastal Grandma would ban my favorite movies from her bright, white living room or screening room!

The Coastal Grandma Clothing: The clothing style of this group? Loose fitting ensembles. Think Eileen Fisher. Personally, I can’t stand Eileen Fisher’s clothing. The items resemble burlap sacks. And don’t get me started on the way women wear the brand’s clothing. Also, think light, airy, ill-fitting khaki pants, button-down shirts, clothing that doesn’t bring out your feminine side at all.

Jesus. Who actually totes wine around in a wicker tote? I use a brown bag so nobody knows I’m drinking “medicine”. And those pajamas? I think the last time I wore an actual pajama set I was ten. Mules? My feet slide right out of them. I’m highly insulted by the French market basket. TCG will spend a lot of money on hers. I get mine for 5 euros in France!

Despite the fact that TCG wears white and light neutrals, she LOVES Eileen Fisher. This must be the look TCG sports during hurrican season!

Ahhhhhh. Here we go. The “dressed” CG ensemble.


Credit: Anne Hathaway/Instagram

Celebrities are getting in on the act. It’s *eyeroll* Anne Hathaway pontificating how she adores the CG look. But wait. It looks like she’s in Paris or some city in Italy. Screw that. I would NEVER walk around my beloved 6th arrondisement looking like that. And another thing. She’s skinny. She can carry that look off better than those of us with meat on our bodies. 

Look. I have a couple of loose-fitting pants. But I wear those pants with fitted tops to balance the look. I also wear delicate shoes such as ballet flats or delicate sandals.

My rebel Coastal Grandmother look. Loose pants that add about 30 pounds to my ass . But they are sooo comfortable. I wear them with a very fitted top and ballet flats to balance the look.

I also have a ton of black in my wardrobe. All year I wear black. In summer I switch between my black clothing and my Lilly Pulitzer frocks. But I lean more toward the Morticia Adams style of color. In fact, most of my black clothing is being packed for our visit to France next month!

Why don’t Coastal Grannies wear little black dresses?  This baby is already packed for France!

The CGM also wears old-school waspy sunhats.  Years ago, I attended a wedding in Connecticut. It was my ex-husband’s cousin. He married some Mayflower babe. I never saw so many wrinkled, baggy clothing and those sunhats. I think my ex-husband’s relatives may have been ahead of their time. My wigs are my hats. They cover my scalp from sun exposure and look more fetching than those ill-fitting chapeaus.

British Grannies wear fascinators to weddings, while WASP Coastal Grandmother’s wear chapeaus like this. TBH, this is one of the fugliest hats ever..

..and I thought Emily in Paris didn’t know how to wear a beret. These. Are. Awful.

They also favor those ridiculous oversized wraps, tunics and all things Chico’s and Talbots. No thank you. I’ll take J. Crew and Old Navy with a bit of Lilly Pulitzer thrown in for good measure.

The coastal grandmother: easy, breezy, laid-back yet immaculate – are you  ready for the latest on-trend lifestyle? | Life and style | The Guardian

If I wore this, I would be in an emergency room with a broken arm or neck. It would get caught in a door in the house or car, it would fall off me and I would trip over it. Why would anyone wear this? 

I will opt for my Lilly Pulitzer Wynne maxi dress with slits!

My fitted clothing would award me with the label of “Slut Puppy Grandma”.  I’m fine with it. More to follow on this subject later in the post.

 

The fitted Mother-of-the-Bride Summer Wedding look. Black? OMG. It’s so anti-coastal grandmother!

The Coastal Grandmother’s Beauty: Makeup? TCG seems to either eschew it or prefers an extremely natural look.  Actually, many of them can afford  plastic surgery and fillers.  But subtle!  Nobody can tell! Who are we kidding here?   What I find hysterically funny is the young woman who pegged the whole Coastal Grandmother thing, used a filter for her face in her Tik-Tok video. Really? You wanna be a grandmother? Let’s see wrinkles, lines, ruddy complexion and sun spots. God forbid any of them spend up to an hour applying their face unless…unless a makeup artist is coming to the house!

The originator of the phrase “Coastal Grandmother” Lex Nicoleta,  looks older than Diane Keaton with her over-blurred image. IRL, she’s absolutely beautiful. Why would she blur her face like that?  I guess she wanted to look the age of TCG! It’s nuts. She’s incredibly beautiful and ruins her look with those freaking filters.

Coastal Grandmother face? The real face?  The beauty is also in the surgery she had for basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. The true Coastal Grandmother has spent a lifetime of summers at the beach. Sitting by the ocean with a book when younger, then spending her child-rearing years running around after her children, slathering them in sunscreen while she doesn’t have the time to do so.

Remember last year when I had my overpriced lip filler? Well. These days I make my big mouth bigger by filling in with a five dollar NYX lip pencil. In addition, my eyebrow grew back from my MOHS surgery. 

Would it be fitting to encourage all those Coastal Grandma wannabe’s to damage their skin with baby oil and iodine then decades later have them realized they made a huge mistake?  Real life Coastal Grandmother vs. Wannabe Coastal Grandmother!

tanningsession.info | Skin care tips, Baby oil tan, Baby oil

Quite possibly, the dumbest thing I ever did to my skin. But..it isn’t brought up in The Coastal Grandmother aesthetic. It should be.

The Coastal Grandmother Homestyle: And let’s broach the subject of furniture, shall we?  TCG, surrounds herself with shades of white in that ever-so-beachy way.  Without sounding like a complete hypocrite, I surround myself with shades of white and off-white slipcovers. These slipcovers, upon closer inspection, have traces of dog-paw dirt, spilled wine drops, and fake tan spots. I like that lived-in, kind of dirty aesthetic!

Not gonna lie. This airy and clean look moves my needle. But it’s just too strategically imperfect perfection. 

My version of light and airy. Offwhite with tan and brown. Very uncoastal coastal.

And that splash of color is from a bloody paw of Chippy’s and one of his stray eyelash hairs.

I definitely would be kicked out of The Coastal Grandmother club due to having VERTICAL blinds in our sunroom. They are so tacky and out-of-style! But I’m too lazy to change them.

The Coastal Grandmother lives to read books by Erin Hilderbrand. Like Summer of ’69.  TCG can look back fondly on those years. I look back on my Summer of ’69 in a different way. It was the summer I tried, unsuccessfully to convince my strict parents to allow me to get a mother’s helper job on Fire Island–allowing me the freedom to live away from home (about 5 miles away) for the summer. My parents did not trust me.  It was also the summer I started to spend hours making my frizzy hair straight so I would look “cute”, and the summer I discovered baby oil and iodine.  Causing me to have bad burns and blisters–a front-runner to my MOHS surgery!

My summer of ’69 was spent fighting with my parents, getting bad sunburns and attempting to tame my frizzy hair.

Might I sugges the wonderful read, Where’d You Go Bernadette” My iconic favorite female fictional character, Bernadette was far from a Coastal Mother or Grandmother. She was downright nuts! My daughter Oona loved the book because Bernadette reminded her of me!

Not only one of my favorite books but it was a movie with the great Cate Blanchett! She was my ideal Bernadette! 

Fresh flowers? I love ‘em. But I don’t have a yard to grow them so I buy them from the local grocery store. I do, however, treasure my years-old poinsettia plants.  I’m sure any self-righteous Coastal Grandmother would shudder at the thought that I keep Christmas plants in my home all year!  But, being a good Catholic girl, I don’t like to kill living things.

13 Coastal Grandmother Fashion Essentials - PureWow

I’m so jelly. I would love to have a Coastal Grandmother garden like this. But I wouldn’t have the time to tend to it because I must work for a living. I also don’t own this much property. I’m poor!

 I have to settle for Peonies from the grocery store..

…and repotting poinsettias on the deck…

Poor Chippy. He’s probably contemplating what his life would be like had he been a Coastal Granddog!

Did you know that TCG loves to cook? Cook!! Since when has cooking an actual meal become a part of this aesthetic?  TCG prides herself with comparisons to Ina and Martha.  OK. I love both of those women because they have taken cooking to a simple and elegant level. Ol’ Martha has even gotten many women to bake. This is all ages. OK? But….TCG cooks while dressed in her Coastal Grandmother attire. HTF does she manage this?  I, being the messiest cook and baker of all time, must wear filthy pajama bottoms, an old tee shirt and no wig.  It’s only after the cooking/baking is done, that I run upstairs, plop hair on my noggin, put clothing on, run downstairs to my family/guests/husband, realize I forgot to put underwear on, then run back upstairs to undress, throw old panties and a stretched out bra on, then back downstairs.  Truth: when it is just my husband and me, I don’t bother to get out of the pajamas–something that took The Frenchman years to come to terms with–but it’s either me in slob attire or bad food.  I rest my case!

Coastal Grandmother' look is transforming home interiors

I love Ina. She must be preparing a special Coastal dinner because she’s wearing a white shirt. 

This is MY cooking attire. I’m wearing a white shirt too–but it’s got spots and stains on it. And I’m wearing pajama bottoms and I took my hair off!

What I cooked and baked..

What is that green stuff?  Did she cook that or is it the decor? I don’t look that good when I sit down to eat. I guess Coastal Grandmothers really cater their meals in secret!

And since TCG loves to drink the little cocktails every evening, I doubt she should turn out croissants, pain aux raisins and other delectable the way I do.  I save my drinking for the weekend only. And that consists of a Kir Royal during Fall/Winter/Spring and an Aperol Spritzer during summer.  Throw in a glass of red wine when my husband wants to watch soccer, or fowtbawl, and he wants me to sleep. My tolerance is low. I don’t know how these women can drink every night of the week.

Gen Z and Millennials are embracing the 'coastal grandmother' aesthetic -  Vigour Times

Ohhhh. I feel sooo much better now that Ina is in her “everyday” blue shirt. And enjoying her everyday cocktail. My liver would be shot.

 

That whole Coastal Grandmother vibe brings forth the toney, old-monied and well-monied woman. The one who owns a beach house—perhaps in the Carolinas, The lower Jersey Shore, all the way down to the Carolinas.  The New England Coastline as well.  The Hamptons.

South Hamptons Beach House With Deck and Heated Swimming Pool | HGTV's 2019  Designer of the Year Awards | HGTV

Don’t fool yourselves. The Bon-a Fee-day Coastal Grandmother spends her summers in a home she and her wealthy husband own in the Hamptons!

I prefer my coastal vibe to be along the Mediterranean. Where the amount of salt in the water makes me float and, when I’m in my thinner stages, allows me to take my top off and let my girls enjoy the heat and sun!  Again, my “Slut Puppy Grandma” vibe comes into play.

My vision of Coastal Grandmother decor. The apartment we rent in Theoule-sur-mer. And I cannot wait till we are back!!

The house on the far right? It’s the home my husband spent his summers. In St. Tropez. I get to ride his coattails and I am not ashamed! 

Robert Moses State Park Beach - Babylon, NY

Whereas I got to destroy my skin with the crowds of Robert Moses on Long Island. And to this day, I miss that beach so much. So anti-Coastal Grandmother!

I’ve got my two-piece at the ready! 

The apartment we rent in Theoule overlooks the Sea.  It’s very shabby-chic and very French with pragmatic but pleasing touches.

I love L’estagnol beach in France. Next to Moses, it’s my favorite beach ever!

And yes. I love my New York beaches. I love my Long Island beaches far more than the Jersey Shore which is closer to our Philadelphia-suburb, inland home.  But when I do go to the beach, I’m not donned in khaki pants, a chambray shirt, Birkenstocks and a waspy sunhat.  My normal mode of beach dress is a simple frock I can slip out of the moment we throw our old towels down on the sand.

Truth is, the majority of us do not own a beach home. Many of us are comfortable in our lives.  We have nice stuff. We have nice furniture. We have our own personal style.

It’s also that subtle smugness of this label that completely turns me off. That longing to be part of the elitist group –didn’t we go through that with college sororities? Aren’t we supposed to be accepting of all women no matter what their socio-economic status? Why would anyone shove what they have down another person’s throat?

Knock it off already! Why does everything have to come down how celebrities do it?  I have no aspiration to be like any of these women (although I AM a huge fan of Fonda’s activism)

I dunno. It just bothers me that so many women are on the band wagon for this aesthetic. It’s so not individual.  Be yourself. Don’t be a poseur!  Feel good about your personal aesthetic and embrace it!

All is not lost, though. I do have a favorite Coastal Grandmother duo. Grace and Frankie! Yes. They have that great Coastal home they share on the California Coast. And they were married to very well-monied attorneys. And one likes to drink, whilst the other digs her weed.  One dresses the part of Coastal Grandmother, with a penchant for tighter clothing and the other……….is more of a Coastal Crunchy Granola Grandmother (I can relate). But I love them. I love their characters because they are fun. They have become wiser in their advanced age then they were in their younger selves. They remain loyal to themselves and each other!

Not gonna lie. THESE TWO are my FAVORITE COASTAL GRANDMOTHERS! But I’m pissed off that their faces are filtered!

And they are funny AF!

So. What are your views on The Coastal Grandmother?  I’m curious. I swear social media gets more and more phony by the day—but I still find it fun and entertaining!

 

Posted in #Humor, Uncategorized | 35 Comments

WTF? Old People Have No Energy?

Old people can’t move around? We can’t do things?

Key Findings | Australian Human Rights Commission

 

And words to describe us are also offensively stereotypical.

Granted, when it comes to our miserable Smart TV in the living room, I wait till Roman comes home to fix the glitches that occur on a regular basis. And I’ll curse like a sailor at the TV. But when it comes down to my energy level and actually doing things. I can do things better and with more gusto than those twenty years younger than me. And I don’t go to the gym.

What exactly prompted this rant? It’s the offensive stereotype. Add to the fact so many “mature” bloggers/vloggers and Instagrammers are now shilling supplements that you ingest into your body.  That shit isn’t going to give you energy. OK?  If you want something that’ll help your bones or energy level, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor went to medical school. Your doctor can assess what the issue is. An influencer cannot.

The 7 Best Vitamins for Seniors To Protect Brain, Eye, and Bone Health —  Snug Safety

And don’t even get me started on these “wellness” companies that prey on older folks. Eat your vegetables. Who cares if they give you gas. 

I grew up in a house where we were not allowed to snack. We didn’t eat candy except on occasion. We only had soda at birthday parties.  We ate three square meals a day and my mother made sure we ate our vegetables. Eating properly was our supplements.

Healthy Eating Pyramid | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of  Public Health

This is how we ate growing up. It wasn’t till stress hit my adult life that I got fat. Now I’m back on track.

But…I’m getting off track here.  The subject is about moving your body and doing things.

My laptop has been with its second family—The Geek Squad for an annual cleaning out. And now that my little rectangle of technology is back at home, I’m back to writing.  And today I’m writing about stuff that old people can do—except it is in the form of what I’ve been doing. So, here goes…

My work life has been hectic but in the best possible way. With this promotion came a different set of responsibility and since it’s a newly-created position, there are glitches to iron out and the fact we will need more staff.  In the meantime, I’m working from 7:00 AM to sometimes 8:30 in the evening.  I don’t feel overworked but when I do arrive home, I’m mentally exhausted from sitting in front of two computer monitors on a daily basis. The reward is my paycheck.

you got it boss

I’m back to really enjoying work!

However, that doesn’t stop me from awakening at 5:00 AM to prepare myself. My early morning routine consists of sitting in my little makeup room, getting my makeup on, drinking coffee and playing competitive Wordle against my two sisters. It’s a great way to start the day off and I actually enjoy looking nice.

I enjoy enhancing my 67-year old mug with makeup rather than with photoshop and filters!

The makeup and clothing give me a little boost of energy for the day.

Seriously. Being dressed keeps me going!

Through it all, both The Frenchman and I are planning our trip next month back to France. We will be returning to “our” apartment in Theoule that we rented for nine years. And doing so has given me a step up on my travel journaling.

 

I’ve enjoyed my travel journals over the years but this year, I’m going extra! I even purchased a small polariod camera to have photos ready to place in the journal.

I’m prepared with the itinerary, which I’ve already had to change due to the St. Tropez flea market being on Tuesday instead of Wednesday like my husband thought.   I have everything at the ready.

I’ve already switched Wednesday to Tuesday and Tuesday to Wednesday. It’s all planning!

And, as usual, we will divide our day between pool/beach time and sightseeing.  Our energy level is paramount when we travel. We walk high in the hilly terrain of Cabris and Eze. We visit old abbayes. We are on the move most of the time. And we thoroughly enjoy it all. We don’t head back to the apartment to nap or “rest” during the days. And our evenings are spent on the terrace lingering over three-hour dinners and enjoying the view of the Mediterranean.

Back in the d'Azur Groove! (Sing it Loud)! | Atypical 60

Even when we are on the terrace enjoying the view, we’ll be excited about our next excursions!

Last weekend, the weather was pretty lousy. So, I baked bread and made Pain-aux-raisins.  Starting Friday evening after dinner to make the brioche, getting up early to roll out the dough, proof the rolled goodies and bake. Then carefully wrapping them in parchment, bagging them in freezer bags so my husband could enjoy them as dessert when he feels so inclined.

I make these often and don’t ever let anyone tell you they aren’t time-consuming. The dough is made the night before…

And somewhere along the line, my husband couldn’t find a decent baguette. So I went home to bake “The Good Loaf” and made it in record time–just in time for the Leg-of-Lamb dinner!

The weekend before it was also lousy weather-wise. And I made croissants. This was a three-day process. Again, on Friday evening, I made the dough.  And I made the block of butter needed to laminate. On Saturday I laminated the dough, made the turns and let it rest overnight. On Sunday, I cut the croissants, allowed them to proof and baked. Yeah. It’s a long process but totally worth it. Now The Frenchman has croissants that, like the pain-aux-raisins, are in the freezer, wrapped and bagged. And they defrost and warm up in the oven beautifully.

And allow me my bragging rights that this was the best batch yet. I FINALLY got the laminated down down right! They are nice and light and buttery!

In addition, last weekend I did some replanting of poinsettias but ran out of dirt.

I zestfully started to repot poinsettias last week but ran out of dirt. Back inside they went!

There was also cleaning and a ton of ironing. Running up and down three flights of stairs to haul clothing and to clean.

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My ironing spot. Downstairs family room. The clothes get brought down from the third floor then back up again. Add to that I usually forget something so it’s up and down. I’m old. And I can still managing running up and down stairs!

This weekend? It’s been busy. Friday evening, I actually relaxed by switching out my handbag. I haven’t used my vintage Alma in quite some time so I decided to show her some love and prepare her for Saturday and Sunday.

Hey. Don’t judge. It’s work to switch out the handbags. There’s stuff I need so it’s about three or four trips up and down the stairs. Then there’s the switching of the scarfs to wrap around the handles. That takes forever! It drains me. It actually drains my energy!

I had to run a few errands, Actually, I’m lying.  My nails, once again, are a mess. The gel polish on my acrylic nails started peeling and looked pretty nasty. My husband was aghast but now that the weather is nice and hot, I don’t want to spend hours in the nail salon.  I ran to Target to get gel nail polish remover. Plus, we needed Windex.

This is the strangest thing about Target. You go in for one thing and you end up purchasing a plethora of items.  While in the store, I noticed a cute dress on a mannequin. It was 12 bucks. So, I grabbed one to try on. Then I saw another slightly different $12 dress. So, I tried it on. Then I saw a cute jersey tee shirt. So, I tried it on.

$12!  So nice I purchased the middle one twice. One is already packed in my suitcase for France!

Then I realized I needed black olives for the evening’s dinner I was preparing. So, I bought two cans. Then I realized how much my children loved the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day. I thought that my grandson Owen should have a copy so I headed off to the book area. I couldn’t find it but found a cute little “Baby Shark” Book. Then I realized that I needed an oversized envelope to put the book in. so I headed to the stationery department and found the envelopes. Then I realized a high school friend’s mother was very ill, so I bought a card for her.

I’m hoping Owen likes the book. He’s quite the reader you know-LOL!

Then I headed to Michael’s craft store in search of a pouch to house my journaling supplies. I didn’t find one so I ordered one on Amazon. But. I did manage to purchase a travel comfort knife.

Then I came home and realized my makeup brushes needed cleaning. So, I cleaned them.

Later that night, I decided to clean the big brushes too!

Then the Frenchman reminded me we needed to go to an afternoon performance of The Addams Family in which his granddaughter was playing Pugsley and she was fabulous. It was a very enjoyable couple of hours.

StagelightU Grades 9-12 Sundays & Tuesdays — Stagelight

It was surprisingly enjoyable. The kids were very talented.

When we got home, I slipped into something more comfortable. (i.e., took my bra off and put on an old maxi dress that is now loungewear). I proceeded to make dinner.  And then we had a splendid time welcoming in the hot weather with aperitifs and appetizers. Oh. I made tapenade out of kalamata olives that were in the fridge. Why not? I had the energy despite being an old fart!

 

Made my favorite hot-weather dish. Chicken breasts with tomatoes and black olives.  Switched out my winter aperitif of Kir Royal to Aperol Spritzer and we had a great dinner ending with fresh berries and cream.

Last night’s fare. Which, I had the energy to make AFTER we arrived home from the theater!  My sister-in-law saw a photo of the chicken dish on Instagram so I wrote it out for her!

Today?  I woke up early. Had coffee in bed with Wordle played against my sisters. Then proceeded to relax in a morning bath. Then got dressed and ran out to run more errands.

CoComelon Bath Time! Children's Finger Puppet Board Book Ages 0-4: Scarlett  Wing, Cottage Door Press: 9781646384068: Books - Amazon

Shaving my legs in the tub is my idea of bathtub fun!

This time it was Walmart. I needed to buy more dirt. And Walmart has the best prices. I also picked up a little plant. Then, realizing how truly disgusting my nails are, purchased some stick-on nails.  Then, realizing we will be at the beach next weekend, good weather willing, I picked up sunscreen.

SPF that only I will use. The Frenchman refuses to put it on his body.

Press-on nails because you’ll see how disgusting my nails are later in this post!

Ohhhhhhhh, I forgot to tell you. I had my skin check. It’s so pathetic. Before I go, I get all stressed out. I take a magnifying glass and check my body. It’s sick. There’s really something mentally wrong with me. Anyway, I’m all scared but …my dermatologist was pleased that my skin is in great shape (except for the wrinkles) and I breathed a sigh of relief because I can go back to hours on end in the sun.

Every self-respecting hypochondriac needs a good magnifying glass. My husband was getting annoyed with my constant “Does this look like something”?

Ok. Then whilst wandering aimlessly around the Walmart aisles, I purchased cheap jewelry. I refuse to bring “good” jewelry on vacation.  I bring cheap stuff. If someone can see that it is cheap, they are standing way to close to my personal space—back off!

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a longer time, then you know that the Walmart Hoops are my HG for vacation. And after 10 years of old ones, I broke down and spent $4.88 for new ones! 

Then the thought hit me. Why not purchase another bathing suit? A two piece. I did. My husband can’t stand it because he said the bottom is too big. Doth he not realize that my gut will spill over into anything smaller?

My piggy bits are getting smaller and my fake tan application is all over the place and despite my husband’s hatred for this suit…

I like it because the top makes the titties look higher!

So, I texted my husband asking if he needed anything from Wegmans. He wanted pumpernickel bread to enjoy the tapenade and asked me to make more for tonight.  He also asked me to get water. I also added we needed new flowers. Off to Wegmans.

Yeah. My old lady strength hauled that big-ass bag of dirt from the shopping cart into my car.

I needed more strength so I shoved some surimi into my mouth. It was better than grabbing a donut!

Still full of pep, I arranged the flowers. They look nice–don’t they?

And when I arrived home, we finally, took down the fake Christmas tree that was in the family room. It was up since the beginning of December. My bright idea was to turn it into a year-round holiday tree but I stopped at Cinco de Mayo. The sunroom looks so nice and back to normal.

Ugh. After almost SIX months, the fake tree is now stored away. That little piano that was meant for Owen is now a permanent Object d’art! I REALLY need to get rid of those horrific Vertical blinds!

Then I decided to repot the other poinsettia and the little plant. So off I went to dig up the dirt from the bag.  I use my hands because my hands are the best gardening tools ever.

That big bag of dirt didn’t go such a long way!

My hands went from looking bad to looking worse than one could imagine.  But I cleaned them. They still look pretty bad but they need a rest from the acrylic nails.

I’m laughing at this most disgusting display of fingernails. It looks like I worked on an automobile all day..

Even a good scrubbing couldn’t undo the damage from the acrylic nails. That’s what the press-on nails are for!

I made more tapenade.

More tapanade! And let me tell you something. That little, mini food processer from Walmart was the best $9.99 ever spent! It works wonders!

Then I had a bit of a Pity Party/FOMO moment because I MISSED driving out to Long Island to attend the 100th year anniversary of St. Patrick’s school. I loved that school so much. I loved the nuns who taught me. I felt so…so LAZY by not driving out. But then thought about the traffic on the Belt Parkway–especially on this first weekend of fabulous weather. Beach traffic would be unbearable!

I’m so upset because I wanted to see people I went to school with. I hope my sister Germaine went. She lives five minutes away. 

So, tell me, dear friends—do we lose energy when we become old?

Soooo….do we lose energy? I think not!

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Am I Crazy for Preferring to Work In An Office As Opposed to My Home?

Regarding my new position. I need to be replaced. That means someone needs to be hired to work as an Administrative Assistant—the position I had for four and a half years.

Stressed Big Sky GIF by ABC Network

This is me now! I’m on the phone–a lot. And I’m having a blast!

During this time, rarely was I out of the office. I called out sick when my husband had his very mild heart attack. I also called out ill when I had my two cataract surgeries and a couple of times when I just felt too ill due to a fever, food poisoning or an incredibly bad cold.

The Cataract Chronicles—Part Two; The Bad Eye Has Surgery! | Atypical 60

Ahhh. The eye surgery that changed my life–and my sight for the better. I took two days off. One for each eye!

I was also out of the office during my vacation and holidays.

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Oh St. Tropez—we haven’t been since lockdown–and we’ll be back at the end of next month!

During the infamous lockdown, I volunteered to go into the office every day. Every. Single. Day.

Jennifer Lawrence Volunteer GIF

Well…I really volunteered because I didn’t want to work from home!

The reason I volunteered to do so is for multiple reasons.  First off, the office would be empty save for three or four people who were nowhere near each other.  Secondly, because the company I work for handles documents, most of which are extremely confidential, someone needed to be in the office to handle documents that were to be mailed out and documentation and paperwork that came in.

Season 6 Nbc GIF by The Office

And during lockdown, I was NEVER closelikethis to anyone! Heck–there weren’t even that many people in the office!

The best part was driving to and from the office with no traffic. To be honest, there are days when I wish we would go back to lockdown—simply due to traffic.

Driving Area 51 GIF by MOODMAN

Honestly, I felt like an alien being on the road with nobody else–and it was GREAT!!!!

So, you might know where this is going.

My ex-boss (but she’s still my boss for two hours a day because I volunteered to work from 7:00 AM until 9:00 AM for her) has been having a daunting time finding not one replacement, but an additional replacement for another employee who left.

It’s been beyond daunting.  The position has been offered as “in house/office”. And therein lies the issue.

Nobody, and I mean nobody wants to return to the office to work. I find this fascinating—and not in a good way. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that people would rather stay home 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  There’s actually a fear factor in writing this blog post because I got flamed in a Linked-In debate. People working at home were ridiculously defensive—to the point it made me wonder how many of them were goofing off and concentrating more on housework than work work.

Work From Home Writing GIF by NEON

Could this be why folks prefer to work from home?

Trust me, I love my home. It’s my castle. My nesting place. The place that makes me happy.  But the main thing is, my private, home life is so sacred to me that I want nothing do to with my job the second I enter through the front door into my hallowed foyer.

And until I arrive home, THIS king of the house loves to rearrange the sofa pillows…

And when my home is decorated for the Holidays, it’s even more of a happy place!

I know my person. If I was working from home, I would procrastinate. There would be a reason to get off my fat ass and take Chippy for a walk—which I never do—that is my husband’s arena.

Okay Chippy. Instead of working, I shall take you walking!

I would be headed to the fridge to mindlessly snack during the working hours. I am already 18 pounds overweight and it is difficult to lose even one pound—if I worked from home, I would be dangerously overweight.

Yup! I would be baking more bread and chowing down on it..

Not to mention taking endless breaks to also bake croissants! And eat them!

I like and enjoy the entire process of waking up, being presented with my morning coffee as I sit in my little makeup room getting face and hair ready for the day.

My little corner of the upstairs guest room where the magic happens…

All made up and ready to go!

The ritual of the day’s ensemble is also an enjoyable one.

Sometimes I’ll wear pants and long hair..

Sometimes I wear a dress and medium hair. But most times I go barelegged!

Sometimes I drive to work myself. Other times The Frenchman drives me in order to be economical.

I love my cubicle. It is my home away from home. Granted the office has but a handful of employees on any given day, but I find my little space enables me to be extremely productive. Even during stressful work days.  Work keeps me organized and Lord knows that I’m so disorganized in my personal life. So much so that I’m now using planners to keep me on the straight and narrow.

My cubicle is full of family photos and tons of sticky notes! It’s my personal work space and I love it!

Look. I realize that we all have our personal preferences. My daughter and her husband love working from home. Having a child who’s one and another on the way (Yes. Oona is pregnant again. Owen will be a big brother come September), they are into a routine of driving Owen to daycare and then back home. There commute is to daycare and back—not an office.

Yes. Owen is going to be a big brother! They work fast!

And I get that.

But for an office position that requires one to be in the office five days at first, then a day from home later on, I don’t get it.

Do people not need money? Do people not have mortgages and car payments and utility bills and other expenses?

Season 3 Bills GIF by The Simpsons

Seriously. Are most people independently wealthy that they don’t need to work?

Would people really rather have no job than a job that requires driving to an office?

What about nurses and doctors and police officers and firemen and teachers and people in retail and restaurants who have gone back to their establishments?

Heroes First Responders GIF by The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Think of those who have no choice. They are helping others.

I’m incredibly flummoxed that older people who can’t afford to retire but have had no luck getting hired due to age discrimination. I have to say, one of the saving graces of the company I work for is not an ageist one. And I’m almost shocked about this one. I head people my age voicing their opinions on age discrimination but here we have two positions and very few applicants.

I guess older people might not care to return to an office environment.

It’s weird. And I wonder if people will ever be returning to an office.

Life People GIF

I’m beginning to think that people who need people aren’t people who need people anymore. I think the pandemic has made us anti-social.

What are your thoughts? I’m really interested to read them because this is one topic I just cannot wrap my head around. And, as always, we can all be respectful on this subject!

I’m curious to read your comments below! I’m eagerly anticipating…

Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments

What’s New Besides My Recent 67th Birthday?

I’ll tell you.

I’ve been off the radar for a few weeks simply because I’ve been hard at work. I received a promotion. A great promotion that I’m proud of. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to master but overall, I’m working my way into this new arena and just want to focus on doing the best I can.

Season 3 Nbc GIF by The Office

Yes. I did. However, I was more surprised than Jim from The Office was!

For now, the hours are a bit…well, more than I’m used to but will subside. The paycheck, however, is nice!

A plus is that the company I work for could have hired someone much younger. Instead, age wasn’t a deterrent, so I’m extra pleased.

happy will and grace GIF by HULU

My reaction was more akin to this!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that that’s out of the way, The Frenchman took me to Morocco for my 67th!

Morocco in Philadelphia, that is.

We headed into Center City last Saturday to the restaurant Marrakesh. Given for our joint love of Mid-Eastern food, it was the perfect choice for my birthday.  To be honest, we don’t venture into Center City (the term for Philly) often because the parking situation sucks so badly. I swear to God, parking is far better and more convenient in New York City and Paris-it really is. In both those cities, there is parking abound.  And yeah, even though parking can be pricey, it’s a helluva lot cheaper than retrieving a towed car or finding a ticket on your windshield.

Vintage Driving GIF by Det Danske Filminstitut

If only………………

The mayor of Philadelphia should really do something about the parking situation. For instance, make parking free from Saturday to Sunday evening. After all, WTF is the money going from parking tickets because Philly’s roads are horrific.

Okay. Back to the dinner. I ramble every time I head into Philly because I hate the parking that much!

Philly. Center City. It may be the City of Brotherly Love but it sure ain’t the City of Motor-ly love! (I’m happy with this pic I snapped from the car)

So, we found a parking spot lit-uh-ruh-lee 50 feet from the restaurant. God must’ve been watching over me and gifted me with the space.  It was good for two hours which was about the time it took us to enjoy our dinner!

jesus wink GIF

I honestly think God gifted me not only as a birthday gift but I was so good about not cursing during Lent!

Reservations are definitely needed because this place gets crowded and when we arrived, and gave our name, we were offered a choice of being seated outside or in. Because there was still a chill in the air, we opted to dine indoors and were so happy we did.

We will definitely be dining al fresco during the summer when we return!

The interior of the restaurant was absolutely beautiful. Adorned and festooned in all décor Moroccan. I felt as though we had been transported to a home in the real Marrakesh!

How colorful and cozy is the interior of this restaurant?

I immediately understood how this place has been in operation for 43 years!

Next, our server greeted us, seated us and we washed our hands in rosewater. This was a great touch and should be made available in every restaurant!

And we were given warm towels too!

Our meal consisted of seven courses. Yes. S.E.V.E.N.  You must bring your appetite with you!

It was one of the most enjoyable restaurant experiences ever!

We started off with a delicious, simple and robust salad—actually three salads in one. The eggplant melted in your mouth. The carrots—I’ve never tasted carrots prepared this wonderfully and cucumber and peppers. The seasonings were perfect.  But that eggplant was heaven-in-your-mouth!

If I could have that plate of salad every night—–I would!

Next was B’stella, a pie made from flaky filo dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The inside loaded with juicy chicken, nuts and spices. I’ve made this once at home and it was very good—but the version at Marrakesh was off-the-charts outstanding. I wish they sold this to take home. I was a bit skeptical that my husband would find it a bit too sweet but he loved it (I didn’t make mine too sweet because of this reason). He was raving about it all night!

At this juncture I completely threw my caloric intake out the window. We were eating the crumbs–the CRUMBS–that’s how good this was!

Following the B’stella was Spicy chicken in a cumin-based sauce. This made me want to leave me cushioned seat, run into the kitchen, grab the chef by the collar and demand to have the recipe.

This chicken though. OMG. Juicy and the spices and sauce were incredible! 

Following that was lamb. And while I realize that lamb isn’t everyone’s jam, I happened to come from a family that ate lamb regularly. My mother was the master of the leg-of-lamb Sunday Roast. And this lamb was a different take. Chunks of fall-off-the-bone meat. We had the Tagine style lamb served with almonds and the best honey sauce I’ve ever had in my life. There were other options of preparing both the chicken and lamb but we went with what we love. Spicy and Tagine!

Even if you aren’t crazy about lamb, you would not be able to resist this dish. Melt-in-your-mouth-fall-off-the-bone tender!!

We’re not done yet. The cous-cous platter was the next course. At this point we had to pace ourselves

And we did because………………….

The Saturday evening Belly Dancer arrived and was displaying her talent on the floor. She was awesome. I want to take up belly dancing now! Actually, she motioned for me to get up on the floor and me, being the exhibitionist that I am, jumped at the opportunity and shook my wares. Someone even placed money in my pants but I gave it to the dancer!

belly dance GIF

The photos I took of the belly dancer at the restaurant wouldn’t upload. But our entertainment was similar to this! She was awesome!

Now that I had my share of exercise, it was time to get back to the next course.  Couscous topped with chick peas, veggies and raisins. The last time I had couscous that good was in Paris when my husband’s aunt’s Moroccan housekeeper made her couscous by hand. I was immediately transported back to Paris!

The couscous. My eyes rolled to the back of my head in awe.

Did I mention all the while a huge basket of flatbread was passed around? It was so wonderful to soak up all those juices with this bread. The carbs were part of my birthday gift! At this point my piggy-bits were doing the happy dance. And the fruit platter was placed on the table.

I finished off the grapes!

And lastly, Baklava for the final dish. I couldn’t even finish it. It was delightfully sweet and full of flavor but my innards were full to capacity.

I couldn’t finish. And it was simply because I was stuffed!!!

One last wash of the hands and my birthday dinner was finished. As an aside, we were glad that we hadn’t made the decision to dine outdoors because it started raining!

As another aside, we were able to bring our own wine and the wine that my husband chose was the perfect one for this meal.

Our bill? $70. For two. For all that food! If you are ever in Philly, or live close by, you have to head to Marrakesh. It’s freaking amazing. The next time any of the kids are visiting, we’ll head to Philly (and even deal with the horrible parking) and enjoy another meal at this restaurant!

It really was a nice birthday. I keep the birthdays low-key these days. It was my brother Pete’s birthday too. Twins 13 years apart but since he passed, the birthday is a bit bittersweet these days.

This remains my favorite photo of my brother Pete and me. It was back in the early 1990’s. He was visiting from Korea and we took the kids from NYC to Tice’s farm in New Jersey to pick pumpkins. I miss him so–our mutual birthday has been broken..

I started the day by transitioning my winter clothing to warmer-weather clothing that still fit.  Actually, the ones that stretch.  And lo and behold, the weather got colder as soon as I transitioned!

All the summer frocks are a hangin’ in the closet and it’s freezing outside!

The summer shoes are also in their rightful places!

Jake, Roman and Oona gifted me with a gorgeous bouquet and my little Ishkabibble, Owen, sent the cutest card and a Starbucks gift card! He “gets” me!

A week later and my birthday bouquet is still going strong!

My grandson is a regular PicassOwen!! He drew on the card!

And now, I’m off to get a manicure and head to Bala Cynwyd to accompany The Frenchman as he casts his second vote for Emmanuel Macron!

emmanuel macron meeting GIF by franceinfo

Let’s hope he wins again!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments

I Passed on The Oscars–But I Saw That Slap!!!

Ahhh yes. There used to be a time when any major award show was a “must watch” for me.

The Golden Globes. The Emmy Awards. The Grammy’s. The Tony’s.  And the mother of all award shows…The Academy Awards!

Troy Kotsur on 'CODA' Oscar Win and What's Next - Variety

I used to lit-uh-ruh-lee plan my entire day around Oscar! No more!

I would begin my Oscar countdown by watching Joan Rivers on the red carpet.  And I loved her wit, sarcasm and her accolades when they were rarely deserved. It gave me such pleasure to see her put such self-important act-oors in their place. And of course, it was all about the hair, the makeup, and what the entertainment world was wearing—or not wearing!

Joan Rivers' Red Carpet Style Through the Years - E! Online - CA

I miss my Joan. She was the greatest thing to ever happen to awards shows. She must have been rolling around in her grave over last week’s ceremony!

A few years back, I would gloriously review these shows on the blog.  And might I add, there was always praise, and snark and a few jokes made regarding ensembles that ran from beautiful, to garish and downright whore-ish.

52327807 Celebrities attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on on February 26, 2017. Celebrities attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on February 26, 2017. Pictured: Kirsten Dunst FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (310) 505-9876 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: NO FRANCE

Kirsten Dunst from my 2017 look at the Oscars. Hands down. She was THE best dressed that year! I LOVE this entire look!

Now. Understand. I don’t even watch award shows anymore.

My first “red flag” that the awards environment was shifting was the banning of Ricky Gervais from hosting The Academy Awards after he did a remarkable job of poking fun at the self-righteous, narcissistic, self-important actors who –well, basically are fuller of themselves than being full of sh*t! (It’s still Lent)

Ricky Gervais mocks Oscars slap with alopecia joke from The Office | Evening Standard

Of all the Oscar hosts, I’ll take Gervais. He was greatness and I if he ever comes back as host, I’ll be watching again!

And then we had Covid. And then came onto a new phase of award shows. Somewhere along the line, people became offended at the slightest remarks, made in fun about anything from clothing, to hair, to shoes to makeup…and the list goes on.  Folks became uber-sensitive.

life GIF

And too self-important!

Comedians, who actually made pretty funny jokes about the actors in the audience, were seemingly put at bay. Instead of “roasting”, it became a politically correct “toasting”. People found comedy “offensive”.   The Oscars, in particular, were becoming a platform for politics as opposed to a night of fun, happiness, and laughter—at one’s and others’ expense.

Currently, the uber-sensitive would despise these roasts, I happen to think they are hysterically funny. If you lack the ability to laugh at yourself, you lack a sense of humor.

The very last thing I want at an awards show is politics. Just as church and state should be separated, so should the Awards shows and politics.  I want to see fluff. I want to see the campiest, tackiest dresses ever. I want to see all sorts of makeup looks. I want to see the tasteful ensembles as well as the tasteless.

 Lizzie Gardiner, 1995 - Sorry, But These Are The Worst Oscar Dresses Of All Time - StyleBistro

This gold AMEX dress goes down as one of the tackiest ever!

And I want a chuckle.

 Demi Moore, 1989 - Sorry, But These Are The Worst Oscar Dresses Of All Time - StyleBistro

And this getup just made me laugh. It still does!

The Frenchman and I opted to not watch the Oscars Sunday night simply because I no longer have the patience to watch any form of narcissism. I cannot tolerate self-importance and, instead, we watched The Righteous Gemstones. I needed my fix of Uncle Baby Billy.

Righteous Gemstones Season 2: The Family Needs To Learn From Baby Billy

Uncle Baby Billy is far more interesting than any award show. And those teef!!!!!

To be honest, I was hoping that Troy Kotsur, who played the father in CODA,   would win for best supporting actor.  I was also hoping CODA would win for best picture. I wanted Questlove to win for Summer of Soul and lastly, Kenneth Branagh for anything to do with Belfast.

Deaf actor Kotsur wins supporting actor Oscar for 'CODA'

And he won!!!!!!!

Questlove Was Meditating During the Oscars Slap

...and Questlove won!!!!!

Kenneth Branagh's Oscar win was long overdue

…and Branagh won!!!!

All four of my hopes came true.

Apple Original Film 'CODA' Nabs Three Oscar Wins, Including Best Picture

And CODA won Best Picture! I was four for four!!!! Too bad I’m not a gambler!

But I missed the dramatic turn that brought the Oscars to a sudden halt for a few minutes.

When Will Smith slapped Chris in, what is now called “The Slap Heard Around The World”.

The slap heard around the world: Will Smith really did hit Chris Rock at the  Oscars

It’s assault. Plain and simple. Assault.

And from seeing footage of the circumstance, and reading about the incident hundreds of times since last Sunday, I must put my two-cents worth in.

We have Chris Rock. Mr. Rock is a comedian. He is a very funny comedian. His standup is very funny.  He was great on SNL. He is great in movies. He’s talented.

Chris Rock Stand-Up Monologue - SNL - YouTube

From his start on SNL to his guest-hosting, Chris Rock is a very funny guy!

We have Will Smith.  He used to rap with DJ. Jazzy Jeff.  He used to be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Which, by the way, was a really great show. My kids loved it! Then he became a star of movies, and his star kept rising.  Pardon me for saying, but I also think as his star rose, he became quite full of himself. That isn’t to say he’s not talented. He is.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - NBC Series - Where To Watch

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a great family show. I watched it with my kids–and I admit that Carlton was my favorite character. I hope Will Smith doesn’t assault me for saying that!

And we have Jada Pinkett-Smith.  She was in one of my favorite shows from the 1990’s: A Different World. She had hair. Now she doesn’t have hair. She, too, is a talented actor.

Remember When Students On A Different World Performed This "Black Unity"  Step For Jada Pinkett Smith? - Watch The Yard

Another great family show was “A Different World” which I also watched with my children.  The then Jada Pinkett was great in it. Shhh. Don’t tell her that Jasmine Guy as Whitley was my favorite from the show or Jada will do the eye-roll and side eye and her husband will slap me!

On Alopecia:  There are various degrees ranging from temporary to extremely severe.  Overall, it isn’t life-threatening. Devastating?  Sure.  But any form of hair loss is devastating at first. Then you get used to it and either wear wigs or shave your head.

Classification of female androgenetic alopecia 1 - Stock Illustration  [57980542] - PIXTA

A diagram of female androgenetic alopecia 1–or female pattern baldness. Either way,  five of these drawings call for a wig to be worn. Just my opinion.

Jada shaved her head. And quite frankly, she looks beautiful with a shaved head. And might I add, she isn’t completely bald. There is growth on her shaved head.

Jada Pinkett Smith's green Jean Paul Gaultier Oscars dress

Not gonna lie. She looks beautiful. She looks gorgeous with her shaved head. The dress is stunning.  The shoes? I would have rather seen her in pointy-toed, toe-cleavage bearing shoes. Don’t tell Will or he’ll slap me.

It is also a fact that Mr. and Mrs. Will Smith have what is known as an “Open” marriage. Meaning they can do the bouncy-bouncy with other people than each other. The fact that this is openly discussed by both-especially Mrs. Smith I find to be too much private information and bordering on vulgarity.  But that’s just my opinion.

How Will and Jada Smith figured out their open marriage

Personally, I don’t think we, the public, need to know about their open marriage. That is their business. Ugh.

Okay. So, the tone is set.

The Oscar ceremony is a chance to give accolades to those who have worked hard.  Hosts joke and poke fun.  Bob Hope did it.  A lot. When Ricky Gervais did it, he was booted from ever hosting again. Too bad. I love him.

The nine Oscars hosts who gave the most | Oscars 2019 | The Guardian

As much as I love Gervais, I do believe Bob Hope was the greatest Oscar host of all time. I remember watching him from childhood to adulthood and he poked fun at everyone. Thankfully Will Smith wasn’t born yet or he’d slapped Mr. Hope!

This year Chris Rock made a reference to the movie “GI Jane”.  Demi Moore starred in the movie. She sported a shaved head. Her shaved head was akin to Jada Pinkett Smith. They were twinning!  Chris Rock’s joke.  He didn’t say “Hey, what’s the difference between Jada Pinkett’s head and a cue ball?”  He didn’t say “Hey Jada, why aren’t you wearing a wig? Isn’t your head cold in this air-conditioned building?”

Stills From the Movie G.I. Jane | Demi moore, Gi jane, Demi more

Oh. Look! Demi Moore has a shaved head. For the movie “GI Jane”!

Nope! He merely made a remark about her starring in G. I. Jane 2 due to the similar hair style. Period.

G.I. Jane 2' Jada Smith Joke Explained After Will Smith Smacked Chris Rock  at Oscars

Oh look! Here’s the REFERENCE Chris Rock made. It wasn’t mean-spirited. It wasn’t vicious. It was a JOKE!!!!  

And it was amusing. Not in a rolling-off-the-sofa-laughing kind of way, but in a chuckling smirky kind of way.

And Will Smith laughed.  And appeared to have enjoyed the little reference-as-joke.

Will Smith LAUGHED at Chris Rock's Jada joke before storming on stage and  slapping him

At first–he laughed. And a hearty laugh it seemed to be…

Then he saw his wife’s eye roll and side eye.

Jada Pinkett Smith rolls her eyes at Chris Rock's joke before husband Will  Smith hits out - Mirror Online

Uh oh….someone’s wife isn’t very happy. It’ll take more than a Louis Vuitton bag to make her happy……

And all of a sudden, he started spewing the eff word (it’s still Lent and I’ve been good). And he ran up on stage and slapped Rock clear across the face.

What Happened With Will Smith & Chris Rock At The Oscars? - News Nation USA

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh how the laughter changed.  And spewing the “f” bomb in front of all those people. Save it for the highway Will. Save it for someone almost smashing into your car or NOT signaling when getting into your lane.

It was a disgusting display of assault. And worse than that, when Smith won his award for best actor, the phony Hollywood elite gave him a standing ovation.

Chris Rock shuts down fan who cursed out Will Smith during show

What a pathetic creature Smith is. 

A standing ovation he clearly did not deserve.

Serena Williams breaks silence on Will Smith and Chris Rock on stage Oscars  altercation | HELLO!


Whaaa Whaaa Whaaa. A most narcissistic, self-serving display of patronizing and insincerity. 

It remainsastounding to me how a knowingly group of mostly liberal, peace-pontification people can yap about anti-violence then moments later give accolades and an ovation to a self-serving, self-righteous, self-important, narcissist, who executed an act of violence that was televised for the world to see.

Oscars 2022: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock unacceptable in any other  workplace | Daily Telegraph

…and lest we not forgot those fawning over this assaulter

Let’s add to that his innate and selfish ability to take the glory away from Questlove and other winners.

Questlove talks 'Summer of Soul' Oscar win and The Slap on 'Fallon'

 

I was thrilled that Questlove was able to discuss his Oscar win on Fallon and happy that my son got to see this live!

Smith is a tool.  His wife, with her side-eye and openly speaking of her extra-marital events is no better.

So that’s it. What will happen with Smith’s career? I honestly don’t care. What about Rock? I’m happy that his stand up is still going strong. And Mrs. Smith? I don’t care either.

Adam Sandler Shows Public Support For Chris Rock After Will Smith Slap! -  Perez Hilton

I’m happy that Adam Sandler and others have Rock’s back after this event.

I’m glad my favorites won Oscars and I’ll end it at that.

A week later and what do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Can You Tell Me What I Wore This Winter?

Okay. I gained that horrific Pandemic weight. And as I write this, I am on the road to losing the weight my doctor told me to lose in January. I’m down to 162, now it’s 160, but it’s going to be a long road to drop twenty more pounds.

Alright. So I’m 2 ounces over 160 pounds. But I’m losing at a slow but steady rate!

No getting around it. My aging body doesn’t drop the excess baggage as readily as it did when I was younger. And it acquires excess baggage just by thinking about food.

Inspired by the ever-transparent and wonderfully truthful Jamie Lee Curtis (that is her REAL tummy–she refused to have a fake one for an upcoming film),  I, too, decided to showcase my piggy bits. These bits are taking forever to lose!

Here’s the thing. Last Fall when I laid my summer clothing into hibernation until Spring, I had no idea that the clothing to be unpacked for winter would be tight on me—or just not fit at all. No idea.

Could you please explain why I had the Gallstones to be surprised that my clothing didn’t fit or was very tight? Could it possibly be because I was a glutton? And a lazy one at that!

There were quite a number of winter clothes that were in hibernation along with the summer ones.

And that brings me precisely as to what I wore during this past Fall/Winter season.  It was weird because I hadn’t gained enough weight to go out and purchase new clothing. On the other hand, I did gain enough weight that only clothing with stretch, as in pants, along with skirts that contain stretch and Velcro or elastic waistbands were worn on repeat.

skinny jeans GIF by gifnews

Err, most of my jeans got this tight!

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for different looks each day as I headed into the office. But to tell you the truth, I don’t even care. Not only did Covid change the way I look at cosmetics with a “less-is-more” approach, but I also used that same approach to clothing.

I’m officially “basic”. Not trendy. Not chic. Not elegant. Just. Basic. And I’m fine with it.

Comedy Reaction GIF by CBS

Many are so insulted by being called basic. Me? I don’t give a flying fu..(Oops! I gave up cursing for Lent). I don’t care if I’m a Basic.

Not one for over-accessorizing, I wore my Hot Girls Pearls practically every day. I absolutely love the way these menopausal and hot-flash friendly oversized faux pearls (you keep them in the freezer) give my neck comfort and look incredibly flattering with crew-necked tops and sweaters.

I love my Hot Girls Pearls — an added feature is the magnetic clasp, and you can get them on Amazon–Here’s the link

But back to the “basic” thing. “Basic” has become such a negative word in the “fashun” world for a number of years. And it’s ridiculous that this five-letter word (Hmmm. Could Wordle be thinking of using this word soon?) has become such an insulting word.  I’m not insulted though.

I would rather be wearing a basic wardrobe as opposed to a trendy one. Think about it.  Trends die quickly.  The last “trends” I can think of that have stuck around and become mainstream are leopard prints and skinny jeans—and that’s out of how many trends?

Emily In Paris Fashion: The 30 Best & Worst Outfits | ELLE Australia

Yes. I would much rather prefer to be a basic and blend in than to be garish and vulgar in the latest trends.  Take a look at Emily in Paris to see the absolute worst ensembles of all time.

Zara and H & M don’t move my needle. Probably because I have perused both stores and have never found anything worth purchasing.  Old Navy? The brand may be fast fashion, but I’ve purchased many basic items from the brand that have lasted forever.  And let’s not dismiss my adoration for J. Crew.

Old Navy jeans. $15 on sale. I have worn them all winter. Paired with a J. Crew sweater and scarf it’s a nice basic look!

Anyway, I thought I would just showcase some of the outfits that I’ve worn on repeat from the Fall up until now. And funny thing is, the weather has been on such a warming trend I thought to get my warmer-weather clothing that still fits out of hibernation. And then it went back to freezing cold so forget it for a while.

Although slightly snug, I love this J. Crew blazer I snagged on Mercari for $40.

This outfit has been worn to the office so many times this past fall/winter that I feel as though it is a uniform. The elastic waistband on this J. Crew Factory skirt from years past, and J. Crew now-discontinued Tippi Sweater are a perfect match–as well as the Hot Girls Pearls!

My Christmas-that-covid-still-ruined dress. I think I actually wore boots twice this entire winter. The dress from Loft is a winner because a holiday meal can be enjoyed without having to undo pants at the waist!

The one skirt that managed to zip up to my waist without killing me. Another J. Crew beauty. I wore this when I felt like fake tanning my legs. Honestly, I did that a lot during the winter because it wasn’t super-cold.

Skinny jeans with stretch. Another pair of Old Navy dark wash jeans. Worn with a J. Crew tee, J. Crew blazer and J. Crew shoes found at Goodwill for $7.00 a few years back.

Short skirts, heavy sweaters, tights–proof that one is never too old to wear a shorter skirt.  I really did do the basic thing all season!

One of my favorite kilts. I may wear this tomorrow since the temperature took a springtime nosedive back to winter. The velcro waist on this SportsKilt  is so weight loss/gain friendly . I love this brand so much!

Basic black. Basic leggings. Basic top. And more Bass Weejuns. I really started to dress for complete comfort last fall!

Another Old Navy frock–and the second time I wore boots. That scarf? It’s from two years ago purchased during the pathetic Nordstrom Anniversary sale. It was probably the only item worth buying and I’ve worn it constantly!

I love these J. Crew Factory pants so much but I had to put them away because my belly got so fat that the waist was killing me. I swear I got sick at work because the waist was so tight. Hopefully, next fall or winter!

Leopard-print pants with a ton of stretch. From Target. A trend that went mainstream. I love leopard print but tend to not overdo it!

These Katy jeans by Kut From The Kloth have become a mainstay during the past few months as well. I wore them to Paris. OMG. It’s SNOWING outside.  Okay, back to the blog. I wore these a lot. A LOT!!

Again with the Katy jeans. And the pearls!

The camel coat I purchased in Paris before the lockdown? I wore it almost every day during the late fall into the entire winter. That vintage coach bag? I got it during lockdown for $45. It’s the greatest used investment of all time. I freaking love it.

I wore this recently. My favorite AG jeans are snug around my disgustingly overblown belly, but they are beginning to fit a lot better. Two months ago I couldn’t even zip them up. It’s a rare occurence for me to wear a white button down shirt because I find them so awkward to wear under a blazer but I like the look.  Repetto ballet flats–very basic, complete the look!

And another basic look to give a monochromatic winter vibe. Leggings and a heavy sweater. And as is the case when I’m home, bare feet!

And when I am home I mostly live in pajamas these days or leggings and a tee shirt.

Atypical 60 | A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With  An Atypical Twist! | Page 2

Old Navy Pajama Bottoms–how I love you. I’m most comfortable in an outfit like this. Sadly, I cannot dress like this at work!

So how basic have you become? Do you think Covid had something to do with it or just because as we age we become more comfortable with our taste? I think it’s a combination of both! How about you?

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Review Time! Hide, The Foundation, and an Out-of-the-Box Makeup Blender!

I’m back on this snowy Saturday. And I’m in my pajamas. I’m not getting out of them! 

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed makeup or makeup products but I’m back on this ridiculously snowy Saturday to give my, once again, opinionated opinion!  I’m also hoping that the flickering lights, caused by the intense wind outdoors, don’t go off along with the electricity. And to think we jump the clocks ahead this evening.

The scenic view from our living room window. I cannot believe we jump the clocks ahead tonight. The wind is howling more than I do!

Anyway, the folks at LEIA Beaute, send me their Ultraflesh® Blender to try out. It was sent to me about a month ago and I’ve been using it on a regular basis when I do use foundation.  I also use it to apply moisturizer.

I know. I know. It resembles something else and this is the smooth side, but this little blending tool is fantastic!

This blender, composed of closed-cell polymer is the most unusual little tool I’ve ever used. Unusual in a good way though. It looks a little on the……ummm…phallic side—and a bit small at that. But trust me, this little applicator is really fantastic.

Here’s the pebbled side. This is the side for blending foundation in the most wonderful way!

Makeup doesn’t absorb into the blender so you don’t need as much foundation/blush/contour, therefore getting more of your money’s worth from the makeup products you do use. I think the most difficult learning curve with this little jewel is that you really have to concentrate on the less-is-more thing.

Great for travel and home and is housed in a plastic covering so your dog can’t get at it!

It comes housed in its own case and is small enough to throw into your travel bag. The cost, at $59 might cause your eyes to widen, but when you think about it, how many sponge blenders do you go through?  Speaking for myself, our dog Chippy has eaten so many sponges over the years, that the price of this is worth it. Besides, I just keep it in its little house when not in use.

Onto the foundation.

My typical Covid, mask-wearing face. Lips and eyes. No foundation.  But you know…sometimes I like to wear more…

Between aging, the Covid era and wearing a mask at all times when not at home, I’ve just about stopped wearing foundation.  I don’t know about you, but I’m embracing the less-is-more approach these days. Neutral eye shadow. A hint of blush. Sometimes highlighter. Sometimes bronzer. Always brow crayon. Always lip color. Even primer isn’t worn that much anymore.

But there are those days I do want to even out my skin tone and want a more cohesive look. That’s when I grab the foundation.  Foundations I used a few years ago, just don’t work anymore. It’s a combination of my skin changing, deeper lines and wrinkles and some foundations just look too matte and chalky these days.

Seriously. Look at those lines and creases. NON FILTERED lines and creases. Proof that most foundations aren’t going to work anymore. And if you see an old-a** (remember, I’m not swearing during Lent) lady extolling how she looks 16 due to foundation, she is not only truthfully-challenged but she’s filtering up the wazoo!

Always on the search for something that could work with my aging skin (other than my beloved Almay Smartshade Skin tone Matching Makeup—not a true foundation), I came across ads on Instagram for Hide foundation. I was intrigued but not quite sold simply because the ads showcase younger women  (as usual—right?).   But after seeing ad after ad after ad, I decided to bite the bullet and headed over to Amazon to make the $29 purchase.

Shameless plug, the link above will bring you to the product on my Amazon storefront. Hey. A gal has to make a bit of commish for spending this time writing! 

Before I tell you if the purchase was worth it, I’ll tell you what I didn’t like about the foundation.

The shade range is average. Twenty shades of foundation just aren’t enough to cover all skin tones.  According to the chart, the shade I chose was Linen.  As I’m fair-skinned I thought this would be a good choice.  Turns out the shade was a little lighter than I could have used. However, I’m a believer in the fact that every person can use a two-to-three shade range for their skin. I would definitely go darker for summer weather when my skin has been exposed to the sun (with SPF, naturally).

The shade range is a bit–I dunno, lackluster? I honestly think the company could add a few more to the lineup! I’m Linen, top row middle photo.  Actually, I should be more of the last photo on the top row. 

I couldn’t find any information on the HIDE site as to whether there is SPF in the foundation so I would take that as the foundation is SPF Free. That’s really not a big deal for me as I apply SPF to my face when I’m outdoors.

SPF - Suncreen Protection Factor what this really means

Although I use SPF on its own, I definitely welcome makeup that contains it. 

Those are basically the two cons. The fact there’s no mention of SPF and the shade range.

Now for the actual product:

Here it is. Linen. It’s liquid but not super-thin. It actually has a decent texture. 

Applying by dotting the foundation on my face then blending with the LEIA blender, I was pleased.  You don’t need more than one pump. The texture is somewhere between a medium-weight liquid and a cream. But it isn’t thick. It’s actually got a nice texture.

This was actually my reaction when I first dotted the Hide foundation on my face. The color looked yellow and I honestly didn’t think it would work.

It endedup working very well!

It blends very well.  And actually, looks good.