Onto St. Tropez to See Dany and a Quiet Birthday for Bonaparte!

NOTICE:  At Vincent’s request, I shall go back to referring to him as “Bonaparte”.  He likes it better!

Sunday, June 18th

Bonaparte woke me up this morning at 9AM!  I was in such a deep slumber that I had a bit of vertigo upon waking.

My last memory was of getting into bed but I don’t remember anything else. Sleep deprivation from travel works in strange ways.  Honestly. It does. I never heard him wake up, shower, dress or leave to get his morning Croissant. I had to stop and catch my bearings because for a second because I didn’t quite realize I was in France!

The sky is cloudless today.  And, it’ll be a hot “Fete de Pere”—Father’s Day.  Vincent is obsessed with the weather.  He fears that either the Mistral will hit us or the skies will suddenly turn cloudy and rain will start pouring down.

He is thinking this because of the “moutons” on the sea. Little whitecaps aptly named because they resemble little mouton (sheep).  And whereas yesterday’s sea was as smooth as glassine, today’s is a bit choppy.

We are off to St. Tropez to visit Dany.  Bonaparte’s brother Francois is also here from Paris for a few days to check in on their dad as well. Francois will leave knowing Vincent is here.

I took a nice relaxing bath, shaved my legs, applied minimal makeup, my Storm wig, my $10 dress from Old Navy and my Rondini Tropezienne sandals.

Here I am!  Finally looking human again.  It’s funny because I always take way too many cosmetics with me and never use them.  A touch of eye makeup and gloss is all I need.  The fake tan has faded into a more acceptable on and I’m ready to go!

We drove to Ste. Maxime and picked up the Bateaux Verts over to St. Trop.  Boy did we have a fun ride!  The water was so choppy that the small boat was rocking around like crazy.  It was like being on an aquatic roller coaster and both of us were loving it!

The water was choppy but we didn’t care!  We were comfy inside the boat’s small cabin area!

It may look calm in the Port at St. Tropez, but the water was otherwise!

Getting closer!

Oops!  Hey big boat. Don’t hit us!!

Time was, finally, on our side and we arrived 45 minutes before meeting Francois at our favorite restaurant, La Ramade.  What else is there to do except to hop into Rondini to see if I could make my annual purchase.

Some women shop at Chanel.  Rondini is MY choice!

The shop, on this Sunday, was crowded.  Across from where I was sitting was a family. Parents making what looked like the first Rondini purchase for their two small daughters.  They looked so adorable in their little sundresses and trying on tiny Tropezienne sandals.  A group of young women was mulling over which sandals to get while a woman, with her husband and their dog, who was relaxing next to her was trying to decide on a couple of pairs.

I wanted red sandals this year and ended up trying on the Pouce Tressé (which translates into “Thumb Braid”—that’s thumb thing else!) sandal.  I loved the look due to the simple strap across the big toe and the simple strap across my foot.  But—the fit was off.  A smaller size had the straps fitting perfectly but the sole was too short.  The larger size had a sole that fit perfectly but the straps were too wide for my narrow foot.

The Rondini Pouce Tressé sandals which became another addition to my collection!

This is Rondini, ladies!  And therefore, was no problem.  The sandals would be custom made for me at no extra charge.  Narrow straps would be put into place on a larger sole.  It would take five days for the sandals to be ready. No problem because we would be coming back to see Dany again.

I can’t tell you how much I love this shop. The business is family run and the sales help is remarkably knowledgeable.  We left Rondini empty handed but with the promise of another great pair of sandals toward week’s end.

On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at the little square in the center of town and watched a group of men celebrating Fete de Pere by playing Boule.  It was hot but the dry air made it very comfortable.

Bonaparte snapped this one of me sitting on a bench at the square.  The time on the camera is weird.

I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille!

Fountain in the square

On our way to the restaurant

We arrived at the restaurant to meet Francois waiting at our table.  It’s great to see him again and even better to see Bonaparte enjoying time with his brother.  They spoke about Dany and other subjects and it was fun to see Bonaparte speaking so carefree and natural in his native tongue.

Back at the eternally casual and charming La Ramade!

It was also great to be back at La Ramade. I love this charming little restaurant.  The Provençal offerings are one of the most important reasons that make this place my favorite.  I settled on my usual, Rognons de Veau (veal kidneys) while B’parte had Frog’s Legs and Francois ordered “Lamb Pieds and Paquets”—and when I was offered a taste I was amazed at how tender the meat was. It was delicious!

Bonaparte in deep thought about what to have for dinner that evening!

La Ramade never changes–and that’s a good thing!

The owner is a very, very hard working guy.  And he knows how much I love my kidneys!

I ended up taking one of these great red menus home with me.  Bonaparte will frame it and we can hang it up in the kitchen area. This is a true souvenir!

From sitting down on arrival through the endless cups of strong coffee at meal’s end, this little restaurant is consistently great!

This is what the Pieds & Paquets look like–but I got the image from Wiki because I didn’t take a photo of them.  They were quite delicious!

When we finished lunch, we headed to the residence (assisted living) where Dany lives.  I knew he wasn’t well but wasn’t prepared for the sight.  His mouth was opened as if struggling either for air or to speak.  His eyes were alert and alive.  His legs distorted and discolored.  The machines pumped in a rhythm that seemed to be pushing him to get well—almost like the huffing of The Little Engine That Could.

Bonaparte and Francois at Dany’s bedside.  I cut Dany out of this photo because I couldn’t bring myself to show you how ill he looks.

On this Fete de Pere, it made me miss my own dad terribly.

He had moments of lucidity and was talkative despite the struggle to get the words out. At one point, he motioned for me to go over to him.  He grabbed both my hands—and I could feel the remaining strength he had.  He put my hands up to his lips, kissed them and he told me he loved me.

To give the nurse a break, I fed him his custard and gelatin. He didn’t take much but at lease it was something.

This look at life in St. Tropez was painted by Dany some years ago.  It is a magnificent painting and one of my favorites.

We left him at 4:30 with the promise of coming back to see him during the week.

This stack of Dany’s beloved hats was in his room. I HAD to snap a pic. I am going to print and frame this photo because–to tell you the truth, I think its a good one!

Our walk back to the boat was slow and somewhat quiet.  We passed another group of older men playing Boule and figured that many of them probably knew Dany from back when St. Tropez was a fishing village.

On the way back to the apartment we stopped at a boulangerie in Saint-Raphael who is opened on Sundays. We picked up bread, and for Bonaparte to celebrate Fete de Pere, a Tarte Tropezienne.

 

OK. So if you are ever in the area in and around St. Raphael, this is one boulangerie that is opened on Sunday into the evening.

We went back with not one loaf but two loaves.  Where are the fishes?

Peanut M & M’s with different personality descriptions printed across the bag. A Blagueur is a joker.  

Dinner was light—our lunch was filling.  Salad and Kir Royals.

 

I could not get enough of these ridiculously flavorful tomatoes.  I had at least one a day! And the mayo–don’t get me started. The store-brand mayos are out of this world.  All other mayo can go to Hellmans!

We did have olives and saucisson too!

After a busy day, we retired early to another deep sleep-enabled with the help of clean sea air!!

Monday, June 19th

Despite Bonaparte’s warning last night that it could rain this morning (he is paranoid) we woke up to another day of bright sunny and cloudless skies.

Another sunny and bright day greets us!

Mother Nature’s birthday gift to Bonaparte!

It is his birthday today and all he wants to do is relax!  That’s fine with me. We have plenty of time here and with the craziness of our travel woes to get here and seeing his dad yesterday, I would say Vincent deserves to spend this day anyway he wants to spend it!

It is off to the pool!

Another year and the pool is looking mighty cool!

View from the little bistro area

Another view.

The pool never changes.  Most of the staff is back and the pool girl from a few years ago has returned for a while.  She gives us a very warm welcome and remembers us.  She will be back in July though and won’t be here for a few weeks.

A view of the port from the pool

I have no idea where Bonaparte wandered off to take this pic but it’s a nice one!

The same regular group of swimmers is here.

The skinny lady with the tanned leatheresque hide is still walking the perimeter of the pool. Skinny as ever. Looking straight ahead. Still puffing on the cigs.

It is extremely hot but comfortable. Word on the street—or rather word from the news on French TV is that the Canicule has arrived.  And I couldn’t be happier!

Sitting under the parasol, with plenty of sunscreen slathered over me, pen in hand, I’m thrilled to be doing what I love.

Bonaparte oversees the day and decided that we should drive into Cannes to see what’s happening! We walked over to FNAC and I picked up some CD’s to add to my collection.

The bay on the way to Cannes

Bonaparte was obsessed with the boat to the far right. Up close, it really was very impressive

Here’s a better view.  I wish we knew some of the owners of these dinghies-I could have had a birthday party for Bonaparte!

Window display in Cannes

Cannes you believe it?  What a naughty sign.  I love it!!

A fresco homage to the actor Gerard Philipe. He was Daniele’s first boyfriend!

This year’s CD purchases proved to be among the best. All of these are winners!

We walked some more and stopped for a refreshing Citron Presse—with the return of the Canicule, this delightful lemony beverage hit the spot.

From the table on a lazy and very hot Monday afternoon in Cannes…

…perfect for enjoying a refreshing Citron Presse!

A stop at our hypermarche for a birthday dessert came in the form of a Tarte Tropezienne.  Back “home” to enjoy, yet another dinner on the terrace and a birthday celebration.

Another trip to the local hangout!

Quite possibly the greatest supermarket display of all time.  A Senorita, in France, standing atop sausages.  Is there a hidden message here?

Where else can you go to be stumped by an overwhelming amount of honey?  

Have patience with me dear friends because I’m literally obsessed with French hypermarches.  

You have no idea how hungry I am getting right now..

Why can’t Wegmans sell olives like this?

This is just a portion of the deli area

Here’s the good stuff

What does Bonaparte want for his Birthday dessert?

He wants a small Tarte Tropezienne!

Back home to start dinner

And as the sun makes the way to set

We pinch ourselves because this is paradise!

Tomorrow we wake early and head to L’Estagnol!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Here’s a tune from the Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy CD. OMG. I’m enjoying this so much! La Baie Des Fourmis. I can’t stop listening to this song!

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I’m Back From Summer France 2017. Let’s Start At The Beginning. Shall We?

Hi Everybody!!!  And greetings from….HOME!!!  I’m back in my “office” of the dining room table.

Back in my “office”.  Luckily Bonaparte is busy with his work because when he sees this mess he’ll be back speaking in French.  And not telling me how much he loves me either!

The skies are sunny for now and I’m listening to one of the CD’s I picked up on the trip. Daniel Balavoine. One of my favorite French singers (I’ll be writing about the goodies I bought in a separate post!).

Balavoine. R.I.P. He was great–and I have lots of new music!!! I’ll be writing about it!

We arrived back in PA at about 9:30 last night. No traffic on the NJ Turnpike, the Belt Parkway was, with the exception, near JFK airport, empty, which is rare.  Most of the unpacking was completed upon our return but our bodies conked out after a short while and we ended up with a solid night’s sleep.  I think my favorite part of returning from any trip is sleeping in your own bed.

I look like an unmade bed today. It’s because I just wanted to finish unpacking, upload a ton of photos and start writing. No makeup–actually makeup left over from yesterday morning before we left for home.  Look at my roots–what a disgrace. I’ll look better tomorrow!

But-I don’t want to tell too much about our return home because I’m just gonna start this post off at the beginning of the trip. OK?

I will say that the vacation had a major twist.  We didn’t get to see everything we had planned on due to a Lartigue family event.   I also had the news of one of my son’s moving at month’s end to L.A.

And, as usual the trip proved to be great and bittersweet at the same time.

Aww—let me just copy my Journal entries. OK?  Hope you enjoy. I’ll tell you, I’m thrilled to be back at this laptop that I curse because I’m just so happy to be writing.  Here goes it:

June 16, 2017

Another June. Another trip to France.

Earlier this month, Vincent’s (I’m writing Bonaparte’s given name, Vincent, in these posts-sorry for the confusion, but that’s how I journaled) dad, Dany, suffered a broken hip from a fall.  He had surgery and, at 96 years, his recovery has been slow and not going to well.  He’s out of the hospital and back into his residence—and even though he is ailing, we’ll be able to visit him in St. Tropez!

Someone doesn’t want us to go. Out of hiding Chippy. You’ll be on vacation from us!

Chippy is with the vet.  Bags are packed in the car and we are off to JFK.

On our way to J.F.K.!

My sister will be picking our car up at JFK tomorrow and bringing it back to her home for the time we’re away.  Timing proves to be everything as she and her family return from their vacation in the Caribbean tomorrow to the same airport and same terminal. Rather than an Uber, they’ll pick our car up!

This is how my sister and I communicate.  Instead of calling her and explaining where the car was, I sent photos and text messages. Not a bad idea–huh? We left the keys in the car and the door unlocked.  It’s safe. Read about the security at JFK in the post and have a laugh at the irony!

Yeah. We hit no traffic as we drove to the airport. We drove early because traffic is just so unpredictable—especially on the Belt Parkway!

JFK is crazy crowded.  Compared to our trip to Paris last November when the airport was virtually empty, it is now a zoo of New Yorkers and Tri-State residents (like you-know-who), who are stepping hurriedly and lively while the tourists from other walks of the USA and world-wide are inching by at a snail’s pace looking totally confused and like deer in the headlights.

The lines to get to the TSA are ridiculously long and a woman standing behind Vincent and me strikes up a conversation.  She has an accent and I find out she is going back to Austria to visit her family, who she hasn’t seen in 5 years.  We talk and find out that we both live in the Philadelphia area.  She, like us, refuse to take flights to Europe from Philly.  The price airlines charge from Philly is sinful.  The price to fly out of JFK is half of what it costs from where we live.  And trust me, the way the airlines treat people these days, we should be getting discounts!

My travel ensemble.  I’m very surprised the jeans still fit–albiet a little tighter around the ass, thighs and belly.  The diet starts tomorrow! BTW, I was ready to take most of these items off for the folks at the TSA but everything stayed on.

There is no security here at JFK.  I’m not kidding.  I always jump at the opportunity to disrobe for the TSA no matter what airport I’m in. Perhaps I was a stripper or burlesque queen in a past life! Just as I was ready to take my sneakers off, I heard a loud voice yelling. “KEEP THE SNEAKERS ON!!!”.

So, then I decided to take my scarf, actually, my lady bib off and heard the same voice—but this time with even more of a demanding loudness “KEEP EVERYTHING ON.  ON!!!!!!”

The watch, bracelet, earrings and wig all stayed put. Cell phone in purse as I walked through the arbor of security.  Nothing beeped.

I must admit, I was now feeling both pissed off and mighty confused and concerned.  I had shit in my bag that should have been confiscated. Hair stuff that I forgot to pack in my suitcase that was checked in and randomly stuffed into my purse. OK?

There were no trays for change or little items.  I later spotted the trays in a huge bile. A Tower of Babel of security trays if you will at the exit of the security lines.

WTF?  I was no convinced that our plane would be lost somewhere over the Atlantic and the sharks would feed well off the grilled human remains that would drop into ocean like manna from heaven!

Everyone looked suspicious to me. I caught a glance of myself in a mirror and even I looked suspicious!

Something else needs to be clarified here.  I’ve been reading and watching on the news about so many Americans being afraid to travel overseas and remaining in the States for “staycations”.  Really? If that’s the case then why is it that this International terminal, with surrounding gates having flights to Italy, Paris and other parts of Europe are jammed packed with mostly Americans? Americans who are traveling out of the country?  It’s a great sight to see because it proves that we aren’t afraid to travel!  Yay US!!!

At 5:15 PM, the skies are still bright and sunny and surprisingly, contrary to the rain always delaying any flight I am on, there is no change of precipitation.  So why then are we not getting ready to board our plane—which isn’t even at the gate yet?

There is a lull in the terminal.  Two other flights to Paris have left.  The flight to Italy is gone. And a flight to China has just taken off.

Our flight has been delayed.  There is no explanation for this.  We should have been airborne at 6:40 PM.  It’s now after seven thirty.  I’m getting a bit cranky.  Perhaps we will be boarding the plane some time before Air France decides to go on another strike.

A family of four adults is standing about five feet in front of us.  They are bitching and complaining that their water bottles are leaking.  From the looks of it, these are water bottles they took from home. I can tell.  And I’m shaking my head that the lack of security here should have taken those bottles away.  What if the bottles are holding liquid bomb stuff?

Vincent is giving me “that look” because he knows what I’m thinking. He also knows that I’m hungry and cranky.  I just wanna get on the damned plane that still has not arrived.

It’s 8:30 PM.  I’m thinking how many birds would it take if they formed a flying carpet of sorts and flew me to France. I could explain to the little flying rodents that they would be able to scavenge better crumbs in the land of snails and frog’s legs.

The only people in the terminal are the more than 500 who will be on our flight. Seating is limited. There is no place to charge my phone.  I am realizing that when the plane does arrive, it’ll take forever to embark due to the number of travelers.

I HAD to take this photo because of the man bun. I’m telling you this much. France is the man bun capital of the world.  I regret not taking photos of all the man buns I saw.  

You know what?  I like my flights empty and my wine glass full.  Just sayin’.

Our plane finally arrived.  Our two-hour delay has turned into a four-hour one.

Finally. Our plane arrived.  The only people not cranky were the guys loading the luggage. They were thrilled thinking about the OT they would be receiving on payday!

The flight, thankfully, was uneventful.  The only thing on my mind at this point was if we would be further delayed and miss our flight from Paris to Nice.

Saturday, June 17th

Well—we arrived in Paris only to spend an hour on the tarmac while our terminal location was changed.

My guess is that we’ll miss our connection flight. The one Vincent assured me we would never miss because we had plenty of time in between flights.

People are freaking out because they’ve missed connecting flights to other parts and there is no explanation nor offers of assistance for them.  I’m a bit put off by this because the flight attendants on Air France are some of the most congenial, most pleasant and efficient attendants I’ve ever had the pleasure of assisting me.  I’m guessing they haven’t received any information from the powers-that-be.

It is now almost noon.  Paris time.  Our flight to Nice is 2:30 PM.

But—we still must go through customs.  Get our baggage. Recheck our baggage and get back through security.  I am convinced we will miss our flight.

As we approach the customs line it dawns on both of us that we will be spending at least an hour-and-a half on this never-ending snake of humanity.  There are two—two—border police in booths.  Vincent, being adept at the “French Line Cut” grabbed me and motioned for me to follow him.  We scurried over to the European customs line—the one for those with European passports.  Then when we were at a good close distance, he whispered to me to “look surprised that I got on the wrong line”. I did. And was able to cut ahead without people being angry at me.

The wait was cut down to an hour.  We had an hour-and a half until our flight to Nice.

Luckily,because of the time spent at Customs our luggage arrived at baggage claim before we did.

We lugged our stuff onto the tram to bring us to the terminal where the flights to Nice arrive and depart.

I do believe that St. Christopher was watching over us at this point—either that or he took pity on Vincent, who had to deal with my mini-meltdown in the middle of CDG airport.

You’re still my travel saint, Christopher.  Doesn’t matter to me about the Church taking your status away. You’re a saint to me!

Surprisingly, check in was a chinch and the lines at Security were non-existent.  Then I realized it was lunch time in France!

At 1:30 PM, we were at the gate with an hour to spend before our flight.  I found a seat to charge my phone, there was plenty of room to sit and relax, and we received news that the flight to Nice would be delayed!  But only by a half hour.

Time to relax a bit before leaving for Nice!

Our seats were great. Plenty of room because we were by the emergency exit.  Just my luck a man with gross feet had to end up sitting next to me.  I spent the one-hour flight making sure his filthy manfeet didn’t come anywhere near me!

You know me. You know that I have a thing about feet. Especially manfeet.  Look at his big toenail.  I spent the entire flight focusing on this guy’s feet!

As we did make the descent,  Bonaparte was kind enough to snap some photos for me!

And while I was focusing on manfeet, Bonaparte was concerned about “all the clouds in the sky”. Yeah. He thought THIS was too cloudy!

OK. Ready to get the Alps-Maritime out of sight…

…and the first sight of the Cote d’Azur!

..and a second view!

Landed and baggage collected it was time to get the car.  And as we were in the car, air conditioning on, my favorite radio station Nostalgie on full blast, we were ready to exit the airport and begin our vacation 2017!

But—just as we were making our exit, Vincent needed to check something.  He wanted to make sure the car was diesel rather than petrol.  Diesel is far less expensive.  Guess what?  Back to the Hertz car rental to change the car!

This time the exit from the airport is for reals!

Baggage out. Baggage in.  Again, we were ready to make our exit from the airport!

On Route A-8, we finally had a good laugh about our misadventure to finally make it to France. Stress magically disappeared as we arrived at the apartment.

It’s funny how trivial things make a lasting impression and can give you a sense of “home”.  I always know that I’m close to our place in Theoule when I see the “Pepinieres Jacky Rubino” sign.  It’s crazy but I almost feel as though I know Jacky Rubino.

I didn’t take a photo of the sign in Theoule, but Jacky Rubino’s name is always such a welcoming sight to me. It reminds me we are really on vacation!

To some familiarity may breed contempt but to me it breeds a feeling of belonging and comfort!

The apartment looked the same with one change.  Where a huge palm tree grew on a neighboring terrace, blocking the view of the sea, the view was now in full swing.  The tree was cut down making the vista more spectacular and larger than ever.

Turning the key to enter into our familiar place always brings a smile…

…the view from the terrace never fails to bring a smile to our faces…

..and the view got better with the cutting of the overgrown palm tree…

Someone was freaking out because of the cloudy sky. Are you kidding me?

The plants on the terrace have been well-maintained..

and add a pretty touch.

With no time to waste, we dropped the luggage off and headed to our happy place, Geant Hypermarche!

OK. Back out of the apartment and on the way to do some grocery shopping!

It didn’t matter that the market was jammed packed with shoppers.  We were drooling over the produce and French groceries.  And our dinner consisted of a roti chicken. Smaller than the ones sold here but packed with flavor.  Cheese. Olives.  Other staples we would need for our stay added up to $128 euros—which is a great price for quite a lot of stuff!

I swear to you, if we lived here, every single staff member of Geant would know me by name as would I theirs!  I am obsessed with this hypermarche!

…and this isn’t even the GOOD cheese the marche sells!!!

This is the deli section folks. The DELI section. Look at the sausage and pates and good stuff.  It’s no wonder I gained weight!

Our first dinner was spent overlooking the sea. It was as smooth as glass and was just the medication I needed to bring calm and comfort to me and to destress.

The view during dinner. Luckily the clouds disappeared!

It was even more comforting to go to sleep with the doors to the terrace opened and listening to the concert given by the cicadas, frogs, owls and doves.  They were welcoming us back!

To be continued….

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Here’s one of my favorite Daniel Balavoine songs for you to listen to:  “L’Aziza”

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Some Summer Reading for You While I’m Away!

I won’t even tell you what I did about an hour ago. I will tell you. I repacked and purged half the clothing I originally packed.  And at one point I just started to throw stuff into the suitcase. I’m done with the pack.

But–I don’t want anyone to forget about me so I’m posting links to some of my past posts.

A Summer reading list if you will:

  1.  Shit Old Ladies Do (My favorite post and resonates so well after the “Hoop Earrings” Post!!
  2. Icona Am In Love With Little Edie Beale’s Fashion Style (I LOVED Edie Beale. LOVED her. Gray Gardens was one of my favorite documentaries!!)
  3. Atypical60’s Best of 2016. The Best Stuff For The Mature Woman
  4. Makeup Me a Kardashian  (Some fun stuff)
  5. Move Over Josephine. Bonaparte is MINE!!  (The story of us)
  6. I am Edina Monsoon (My alter ego)
  7. Just Another Day in St. Tropez (one day last summer.)
  8. The Return to Paris and the Canicule. I Sleep With The Fishes.  (The Parisian Heat Wave of two years ago)
  9. Enough of This “Shift” Do You Hear Me? My Version of Advanced Style!  This post got the most comments ever.  I got a lot of “shift” from a couple of people too.  It was, hands down, my most controversial one!
  10. Taking Hippie Back   (We need Hippies now more than ever. Yes. We do!)

They don’t have to be read at once ladies!!!  But these are some of my faves and I may quiz you!! LOL!!

I will miss writing but, we all need a rest and regroup every now and then.  See you in a few weeks!  I love you!!!

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What All The Hoopla About My Hoop Earrings? Now I’m Too Old For Them?

Just as I promised my daughter, Oona, that I would not go on any more rants about a certain political figure in the White House or the party that is overturning our healthcare, I found out that I am now officially “Too Old” to wear my beloved Hoop Earrings—among other things.

Huh?  WHO is too old to wear hoop earrings?  Not me!!!! I’m only 62–I’m in my youth!

My friend and reader of the blog, Juliet, gifted me with a link to a great article: “To The Women Over 40 and the 20-Somethings Who Write About Them” (Thank you, Phoebe Holmes, for writing this article!). I am so thankful that Juliet added the link because I did research and found the article Ms. Holmes was referring to.

It was “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing Over the Age of 30

First of all, you KNOW anything that leads to an article or slide show with the pigeon-toed pose is going to be a study in “dumb”.  This mindless and infantile pose is better left for those lacking intelligence and originality.

Hoop earrings were on the list.  I’m trying to curb my language so I won’t write the word that I used to describe this bozo who wrote “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing Over the Age of 30”.  I will give you a hint. The word started with the letter “C”.  Yeah. It was the bad word!

Oh yes she did. She had the nerve to say that hoop earrings should only be worn for women UNDER the age of 30.  Someone needs her head examined. It ain’t me!

My favorite earrings were Number 16. Which is a riot because 16 is my lucky number.

How dare anyone disrespect my wearing of the hoops!

And guess what?  I’m never, ever, ever, ever, giving up my hoop earrings and here’s why:

Hoop earrings go very well with my wigs and scarfs!

Hoop earrings go with everything. They give off a Boho vibe. They are as hot as a summer day and as chill as a summer evening.

This was the temperature when I got into my car after work yesterday. I didn’t care because I looked as cool as a cucumber in my HOOP earrings!

Hoop earrings are simple. They are glistening thin circles of simplicity.

I got spray tanned after work today.  My hoops look fabulous with my natural fake tan!

They can be rather lady-like when they are tiny hoops and when bigger and bolder, they can be quite badass!

Here I am channeling my inner Kardashian. (Click the link to read about my transformation). My hoops are Khloe K. Badass!

I love the way hoop earrings look when hair is pulled back or when hair is down.  Hoops against long hair look striking.

My hoops are perfect for when I don’t want to overthink my earrings. Hoops in. Done.

And hoop earrings just look fabulous.

That’s right 62 and fabulous in my hoops!  

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on them either.  For travel, I always stock up on inexpensive “gold” hoops because if I lose one while swimming, I won’t fret. If I leave a pair behind, no stress because they didn’t cost a fortune.

This is just a smattering of my collection of hoop earrings.  I have a bunch already in my travel case.  Who cares if I lose any?  They were cheap!!! (But look like a million bucks!)

And if someone can tell that I’m wearing cheap hoops, then they are too close to my personal space and need to exit before I make them exit.

You really need to look through the list if you can handle the moronic ads.  Apparently, this “fashun” *cough* expert feels that women over the age of 30 should not wear leopard. My guess is that she saw me in my leopard skirt and realized she was no match for how I slayed the look.

Yeah 20-somethings!! I wear LEOPARD too. Don’t be jealous because I, an old lady, can rock the look better than you can!

And I wear graphic tees. THOSE were on the list too!

But it kills me. It really does.  Age is just a number.  Nobody, at any age, should be dictated on what or what not to wear.

And that is the trouble with fashion these days. Everyone thinks they are an expert. They aren’t.

YOU are your own expert and don’t ever forget it.  If you wanna wear hoops, get your ears double pierced and wear two hoops in each ear.

Wear leopard.

Wear that graphic tee!  And wear it proudly.

One day, the infant who pegged that internet slide show will be mortified when she finds herself well over the age of thirty and looks back on how ignorant she was when she was younger.

I need to finish packing now. I’m making sure I bring my extra-big hoops.

With all the hoopla that has been going on in Chateau Bonaparte the past week, I haven’t been showing my outfits.  I’ve forgotten to post them. Here’s two from today and yesterday. And I’m wearing hoops!

This is today’s outfit.  I’m wearing a simple dress and no face makeup because I got sprayed after work. Bonaparte doesn’t like my fake tan. It’s a bit blotchy but it’s because I can’t take a shower yet.  The girl from last time did do a much better job though.

Yesterdays OOTD. More hoops. And I DID wear shoes. But they were downstairs and I got lazy!

Tell me, though.  Is there anything that you have worn that someone told you that you shouldn’t have?  What was your reaction?

I am one Twisted Sister when I get angry! We all should be angry at articles that try to dictate what we should no wear.  “We’re Not Gonna Take It!”

 

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I’m Just a White Lady in Black Hair!

As a blogger, I strive to be transparent and honest.  I also like to write about why I do what I do.

If you are a regular reader, then you know about my struggle with hair loss.  The root (pun intended!) of it began many, many years ago to curb my anxiety by twirling my bio hair, picking out hairs with split ends and further splitting the ends, picking at my hair and finally pulling it.

You have NO idea of the amount of time I have spent pulling out strands with split ends.  And then splitting those ends further. Hours. HOURS I tell you! No wonder my crossed eyes never straightened out!

This is called Trichotillomania. And it caused damage that is not reversible. The hair I’ve lost is gone for good and it is due to just me and only me.

My hair was always being pulled, tugged, torn, you name it. I did it!

But moving on from that, and moving on from the products that disguised the loss and hairpieces, I want to talk about wigs.  Again.

I also want to talk about why I don’t wear what I call “White Lady Wigs”. These are wigs that are overly shiny. The texture is way too thin, many have a “perma-tease” bump. And they just do not look realistic on my head.

This is supposed to be a joke wig of a “granny” wig. I find this insulting and offensive. First of all, the stereotype of the older woman pisses me off.  The great majority of us CARE about how our hair looks…get it together and stop stereotyping.

In photos, on wig sites, these white lady wigs will always look fabulous. And the wig companies charge a lot of money for these wigs that cannot compare with the types of wigs that I wear on a daily basis.

This is the beautiful Raquel Welch. She has a line of wigs. The price runs the gamut of about $100 up towards $1,000.  We all know Ms. Welch is gorgeous. No doubt about it. She would be even more gorgeous if she wasn’t photoshopped. No 76-year old woman is that wrinkle-free.  Anyway, I purchased this wig about two years ago. It looked horrific on me. I donated it.

Believe me. It isn’t that I’m knocking or being disrespectful to these companies or the women who wear them. It’s just that white lady wigs do not work for me. I’m a believer in wearing what makes you comfortable and what gives you confidence and what makes you feel good.

This is another white lady wig I purchased a few years back. It is by Noriko and I can’t remember the name. It does NOTHING for me. It does not resemble my bio hair. It is thin and lacks the density my bio hair once had. It also has a very unnatural sheen.

And that is why I wear wigs by brands that make wigs for African-American women.  And there is a reason for this.

My biological hair is very coarse and wiry. It is dull. And by “dull” I mean not shiny. So why then would I wear hair that looks like it came off a Barbie or any other doll?

 

This photo was taken in February of 2016 and I was still able to wear my bio hair with a bit of Toppik to cover the “bald spots”.  See how coarse it is?  It doesn’t shine and it is dense. I miss it–but–it is the hair I was born with and why would I want to wear a wig that doesn’t resemble this head of hair?

I want my fake hair to look as natural as possible. Makes sense—doesn’t it?

My hair is closer to Yaki texture—which resembles my coarse, wiry, kinky in spots hair that has been blown out.

My winter beauty. Outre’s “Perm Yaki 18” I have three of these!

But—what I also absolutely love about the wigs I wear are the fact that they are affordable and that is very kind to many of us women who just don’t have the funds to spend hundreds or thousands on wigs.  Wait—let me also add, the more affordable the wig, the more looks you can achieve.

Now THIS is what I mean when I want a dense wig. This is Freetress’s Soft Volume wig. I cut bangs into it.  Now. Look at this wig vs. the white lady wig a few pics above. Tell me which looks more natural!

Honestly, women need to stop fussing with their hair and stop allowing the weather to dictate how to style their coifs to protect from humidity and the elements and just plop a wig on. It’s always a great hair day!

One of my favorites is Justine by “It’s a Wig”. I love the brand’s name. It’s like “Who’s On First”.  i.e.  “Cathe, your hair looks great”  “It’s A Wig”.  ” Oh, what kind” “It’s A Wig” “Oh, what’s brand”  “It’s a WIG”….and it goes on and on.  

If you are a woman suffering from thinning or hair loss due to several reasons, may I suggest pouring a glass of wine or an iced coffee, sit at your computer, turn on YouTube and start watching reviews.

Yes. Reviews are paramount.  On any site, you will see the model wearing a wig that has been styled, manipulated and possibly photoshopped.  If you want to see the real deal you absolutely need to watch thorough reviews by real women.  And I literally binge on wig reviews.

I got lots of faves but at the top of my list are:

NaturalJoy.  Her reviews are hands down, spot on when it comes to describing everything about any wig you are interested in. She’s a “Bob” expert. I’m not kidding.  I literally almost didn’t buy a certain bobbed wig because I couldn’t find a review of hers on it.  I ended up making the purchase—which was a good one, but boy, it took courage. With reviews from NaturalJoy, I always feel more comfortable with a purchase. She is very detail-oriented and knows her stuff!  She gets into the construction and all the nuances of each wig.  You can’t not want every wig she reviews!

NaturalJoy is my Number One Go-to Reviewer!!   I can’t wait for the rest of the Bob Series!!!  Here’s her review of Rita!

My most recent wig, Rita, was purchased solely on her review and let me tell you, Rita is fabulous.  Did I mention that NaturalJoy is doing a “Bob Wig” Series?  This is more important to me than the episodes I watched of “Gossip Girl”.

Left side is Rita on me right out of the box. I didn’t even manipulate the part yet and the stock card is still on the wig.  Right is my bio hair from a few years ago.  Rita looks better than my bio hair!  If it hadn’t been for NaturalJoy’s review, I wouldn’t have known about this little cutie! I even went a shade lighter!

Next of my faves—TheHeartsandcake90.  I also rely on her reviews as well. Again, very detail-oriented and reviews on quite the variety of wigs.   She is very descriptive and explains everything like—well, like a teacher. That’s because she is a teacher! My next wig purchase will be the Bobbi Boss Claudia that she reviewed. As soon as I get back from France, I’ll be rockin’ Claudia!  Thank you Heartsandcake90! She’s also very very good in addressing any issues that a wig may have. She’s also a fan of NaturalJoy!

Thank you TheHeartsandcake90!  I am now the proud owner of THREE Storm units. Thanks to your review and Storm is an absolute favorite.

One of my Storms. Outta the box and lace just cut. She’s packed for the trip to France!

Storm is a great, great everyday wig!!!

DeeDee Woods comes in on my “Top Three” as well.  OMG. She is the big sister that you always wanted. You know, like when you were in high school and you were the oldest and you had nobody to look up to. Yeah. That’s DeeDee Woods.  Her reviews are also great.  She loves a natural look and she will keep you well-informed and well-educated on the wigs you may be interested in.

Here’s the very pretty DeeDee with the Shasha wig.  And yes. I ended up making the purchase!

“Hair” I am in my Shasha!  Bonaparte likes this one a lot.  It is very natural!

A few others whose reviews I enjoy are:

BodiedbyKeira. I love her because she makes me smile and her sense of humor gives me the giggles.  She’s fun to watch and very informative.

If you want fun and a good time while watching a wig review, by all means watch BodiedBykeira. You can’t stop smiling. And her reviews are GREAT!!

SamoreLoveTV.  There’s a special place in my heart for SamoreLove. Her accent reminds me of my old homestead of New Yawk City.  When she says certain words like “off” and pronounces it “ouwf”. I get homesick and my accent thickens.  Yeah. It duz!  But her reviews are good.  Her newest  is one I can resonate with because she focuses on a bob wig for those of us with “showt” necks!  And she’s got a sense of humor!

Hey! SamoreLove!! WHY did you just post this today?  It’s too late for me to order this bob for my trip!  I need this bob. Oh..boy do I need this bob. My neck is also short!!!  Isn’t she adorable?

I don’t know if these young women are aware, but their reviews erase the boundaries of age and race.  Women empowering women is what it is all about.

My Bobbi Boss Copper. Pay no attention to the fact that I didn’t put the edges down. I literally plopped this on my head for the blog photo.

Model Model “Sage” wig. Another wig I purchased from a review.

Freetress DP “Smoky” wig.  I was hesitant to make the purchase because I didn’t see reviews but I’m glad that I did gain the confidence to do so. I love this short bob. I think it is a great head of beach hair. And yes. I will go in the water with this on. It cost only $17.95!

I think Caucasian women can learn a lot about confidence from African American women.  Where we are self-conscience about things like wearing wigs, Black women own that confidence. These are empowering women who know what works and what does not. We all need to be more like them!

And that is why I wear wigs marketed and created for African American women.  A wig that is more in tune with my natural hair gives me the confidence to go out and be confident and empowering.  I don’t care if the hair I wear is fake. I don’t care if there is a line of demarcation on my Swiss lace—it’s better than walking around like Friar Tuck!

Um..you think I look weird in a wig?  What would you think if I walked around like Friar Tuck. Because that’s what my head looks like now. Only the hair part is way longer!

My wigs are packed. And Bonaparte has also gained confidence in his knowledge of wigs. He believes he is now my “wig” consultant.  He likes my wigs wavy. I still prefer a straight bob or a longer look!

Where do I get the wigs?  From HairsoFly, Divatress, SistaWigs, Glamourtress.  These are just a few of the many sites that sell wonderfully affordable and more natural looking wigs! Take a look at the sites.  If you have thinning hair or any hair loss, take a chance and have fun knowing you will have a great hair day!   NOTE:  You know me. I am not sponsored. I am adding the links to these sites because I purchase from them!

Some wiggy fun for you. The B-52’s. “WIG”.  PS I love the bouffant wig in the video!

 

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Ms. France-y Pants Has a Meltdown!

It’s true.  Miss France-y pants here has had a meltdown over such a ridiculous task.  Packing.  As you know, I wrote a post about the start of my packing chore.   Everything was all nicey-nicely organized—to a point.

That’s right!  C’est Moi, Ms. France-y Pants had a meltdown!

Then things got weird.  At work, I’ve got a bunch of new responsibilities, which I love having.  However, when in the learning process things can become frustrating—especially if you are like me and are a perfectionist at work tasks.  I do not like to make mistakes. Errors are time-consuming and they are not efficient.  In my own little world, there is no room for error.  *NOTE—this is at work only. IRL, I am One. Giant. Error!

More like what a week!! Why do I get so anxious about everything right before a vacation?

And given the fact that it has been a busy week, I just started throwing clothing in a pile until I had no idea what I was throwing in that pile.

The piles just getting higher and higher 

The funny thing is, I know I will overpack.  Again. 

And then I think of those whose blogs I read and how great and organized they are at packing and I feel so inept.

But then I think of where I’m going—and it is strictly casual.  And that makes me happy.  But then I think of the casual clothes that I have and which ones should I bring and what about my cosmetics and skin care and other shit stuff that absolutely needs to come with me or I won’t be able to survive.

So, I had a bit of a meltdown.

I kind of just went blank.

I should have done more packing last night.  Instead, I decided to play with my hair—and by that, I mean the hair that I recently purchased!

This is what I did last night.  I played with my hair.  Bonaparte has asked me to pack the hair in the bottom left-hand picture. He said it is a nice look for going out to dinner!

I should have taken care of all this stuff early this morning.  Instead, I went over to my Poinsettias that have been around since November and started worrying about them and wondered if they will miss me. I told them that I love them and want them to hang around for next Christmas.  This is not normal behavior.

Hello my little red and green babies!  I want you to stick around for next Christmas!  I need to pack now…..sort of!

Procrastinating further, I decided to run some errands this morning rather than concentrating on finishing the packing.

I went to the mall to make an appointment to get spray tanned.  (click the link for last year’s version!) I can’t go to the Cote d’Azur looking so pasty white.  What if a golden-tanned fisherman mistakes me for a baby white whale?  He’ll harpoon me!! I need to blend in with the locals.  Wednesday evening after work I will be transformed from parchment paper skin into a glorious fake tan!

I can’t wait to get back here!  Bonjour Nice!

And will ya look at what movie Air France will be showing!!! Demain Tout Commence!  The film directed by Bonaparte’s cousin!  Part of my procrastinating was perusing the Air France in-flight entertainment choices!

After I made the tan appointment, I figured that since I was already at the mall, I would stop off at Old Navy.  Oh, happy sale day!  Dresses for ten bucks!  And forty percent off shorts. 

Wow!  I just about flipped my wig over this great deal.  Ten bucks for this dress–and the scarf was $4.49. A cute outfit for less than fifteen dollars!

I was feeling very procrastination productive and next stop was Barnes and Noble.  Clinton Kelly, who just happens to be one of my make believe best friends, wrote a book that came out in paperback. It’ll make for great pool and beach reading.  Not to stop there, I also made the purchase of the straw “Bonjour” market tote. It’s so cheesy and kitschy. I had to have it. Besides, it’ll be fun to roam around Marché Forville with my fun tote!

Nothing says “Tourist” more than a straw bag with the word “Bonjour” displayed across the front.  After almost ten years of hanging out on the French Riviera, I feel the pretentious entitlement of saying that I can get away with this!

Oh Clinton. Thank you for hating everyone except me!  I can’t wait to get to the pool, sit under my parasol and start reading this epic piece of American literature!!

I arrived back home a bit after noon—closer to 1 PM. And Bonaparte gently reminded me that he put Chippy into doggie daycare today so that I could finish packing in peace. Talk about a hint!

Yes. A “certain someone” reminded me that I really, REALLY, needed to start focusing on packing the suitcases.   The delusion of only bringing a carry on was just that–a delusion!

I didn’t know what to tackle first!

So, I went up to the little guest room that houses my wigs and makeup and more clothing and I went to work.

Here’s how it rolled.

While I realize it’ll be hot as balls in the South of France, I’ve decided to pack these jeans.  They will serve as my weight scale. They are a size 6 and fit nicely. I can put them on every morning and if they still fit, then I know that no weight was gained!

This went back into the closet. I’m bringing the Primark dress instead.

 

Bonaparte brought my filthy pink suitcase up from the garage. Oh. I LOVE my dirty pink suitcase because the filthier it gets, the less someone will want to take it!

Wow!  A treasure chest of toiletries was in that dirty suitcase!!  I did not realize how much stuff I already had!

Here’s the Other ten dollar dress I purchased at Old Navy.  It’s not my “color” but I really don’t care–it’ll travel wrinkle-free and I can wear it over my bathing suit…

Speaking of bathing suits. Booyah!  Don’t ever tell me I’m too old at 62 to wear a bikini. Yeah. I have flabby bits and I’m not “buff” who cares!  That’s what I love about the French beaches.  Women of all ages can wear what they want and nobody gets judgy!

My other Target Special.  As long as the thighed burns are shaved, it’s all good and I can jump into the sea! I beach for comfort and a two piece gives me the comfort I need! THIS IS 62 PEOPLE!! THIS IS 62–WE CAN WEAR BATHING SUITS LIKE THIS IF WE WANT! Damn. My wig is getting wonky from all the clothing changes!

I took out the white shorts I originally packed and replaced them with this pair from Old Navy.  Notice anything?  In the first picture, I have my tee on backward.  I fixed it as you can see in the photo on the right!

The boyfriend denim shorts from Old Navy were 40% off. These are coming with me.  I swear to you, I’ll end up in the bathing suits, shorts, and the Primark dress the entire time I’m in France.

I can wear these white jeans out for a casual dinner. I’ll wear it with the blue checked Gingham shirt.

THE Gingham shirt. I sewed the missing button on and it is now packed!

And among other items that were packed was my daily hair, reading material, and my journal!

I’m hoping four books are enough.  I read A LOT on vacation. It’s the way I relax at the pool and unwind before sleeping!Barnes and Noble better never close. There is nothing like a bookstore to calm the wild beast of a soul!

My new phone is properly accessorized with a case, a shatter-resistant screen, and the plug thingy.

 

I don’t know why I’m bringing half of this stuff. But at this point, I’m too tired to go over the clothing again.  What I do know is one of the reasons I love visiting the Cote d’Azur is because it is incredibly casual.  I’m not even bringing heels.  I’m living in sandals, converse sneakers, and more sandals.  I’m bringing one dress to go out to dinner only because Bonaparte likes dressing when we dine out.

All my stuff for a bit over two weeks is now housed. And I REFUSE to revisit this!

There is nobody to impress and I don’t have to be fashionable—just simple and beach bummy.

I have my hair. And my makeup.  And my sense of humor.

Time for a beauty mask!

And a dinner al fresco with some bangin’ hair!

I’m ready!

And the piles are gone. I just need to vacuum..

And the daybed is back to normal and ready for Chippy to sit and gaze out the window!

Are you like me? Do you melt down before going away for any length of time or vacation? I really want to know!!!

Here’s a very soothing tune to bring you to that calming place of going away!  “Le Chant des Sirenes”  Frero Delavega.

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A Summer Face. And the Cold Shoulder Just Got Hot!

Well, technically, it isn’t summer yet.  But with all the rain and chilly weather we’ve had, it’s more like March or October!

On second thought, maybe I should be happy it isn’t full-on summer yet! I don’t want to be shark food!

Perhaps I should be watching the movie “A Summer Place” to get into the mood of summer!

Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue as the young lovers of “A Summer Place”. The movie was greatness and bordered on camp. Summer Camp!

But, if you really want to get prepped for your summer place, start with the summer face! Heavy foundation—actually, foundation in general, can seem very heavy during the summer months.  And when you’ve been out and about in the sun, your face is going get a shade or two darker—even with tons of sunscreen.

Since I don’t feel like spending money on a darker foundation, and as I like my face to breathe a bit when the heat and humidity roll in.  I normally forgo foundation completely and rely on bronzer and a bit of blush to even out my blotchy skin.

Anyway, I rediscovered tinted moisturizer this morning while getting ready for work and it was an “aha” moment.  There was an old tube of elf tinted moisturizer in my makeup cache so I figured what the heck. And decided to apply it.

As you can plainly see from the looks of the tube, this tube of tinted moisturizer has been around for a while!

I must say, I was pleased with the results.  Coverage wasn’t something I was going after. Instead I just wanted to even out a few bits on the visage and it worked.  At $3.00 a tube, I’ll make a purchase before we leave for France next week.  In fact, I wrote about this tinted moisturizer last fall. For transitioning into cooler weather makeup, I wasn’t enthralled about this product. However, transitioning into hot weather, it’s much better!

Top right before I applied the tinted moisturizer. Bottom right gives you a good look before blending. It’s light and really doesn’t give great coverage.  Photo left. The end result.  It gives a nice finish for a warm-weather face!

Did I ever mention my love for drugstore mascara?  I’ve purchased high-end brands and was always pleased but for the price, the right cheap mascara works just as well.  My present favorite mascara is Maybelline’s “The Falsies”.  However, in my supreme cheapness, I’ve noticed the price has risen—at Walmart no less!

My fave mascara on the right–Maybelline’s The Falsies. It made my “Best of 2016″ listing!

Ever the mascara cheapskate, I went on the prowl and discovered this mascara by Essence.  Essence has great budget lipstick and glosses so I went for it and was very happy.

Forbidden Volume Mascara. I am liking this a lot!!1

Snapping these pics this morning almost made me late for work!!  Left pic. Before the mascara.  Middle Pic. First Coat.  Right pic.  Second Coat.  Cannot complain about the result!

At $3.99, I’ll pick up a few more!

Ok. Let’s talk shoulders!  The new trend, which sort of isn’t new at all, since Lucy stomped grapes with this look, of the off-the-shoulder look is going strong.

Well, it’s more of an Off-ONE-Shoulder. But do you see the leopard scarf around her head. Lucy was a trend-setter!

Here’s our Lucy in a more demure state and both shoulders are displayed. Thank you Tumblr!

The look is summeradorableness but not all off-the-shoulder looks are created equal.  I’ve tried quite a few tops and many of them had shoulder roam. The off-shoulder didn’t stay off and crept up. Also, wearing the right bra can be challenging.  Truth be told,  I either just tuck my bra straps inside my bra or take the damned bra off and go braless.

Lets have a look-see, shall we?

I picked this shirt up at Marshall’s the other day. I am in love with it..

The shoulders are more angled which make the fit fantastic!

See the sleeves?  just below 3/4 and the sleeves tie. It’s really a great look for summer.

 

And it buttons up the back!!  Don’t pay attention to the unbuttoned one. Actually, the button fell off and now I have to sew another one one. 

I really love this shirt. Notice the mess in the background. I still have to pack and the pile is only getting worse.  BTW, I’m not wearing a bra and you can’t even tell!

My denim Off-the-shoulder dress from Primark. This dress is great!  Comfy and pretty!

At $16.00 the quality is outstanding!

The ruffle isn’t overpowering…

It’s slightly A-Lined. Ever so slightly!

Oh dear God. Bonaparte is going to have a fit because of the mess behind me. He’s sure to be even more upset that I had the nerve to post a photo with a horrific pile of clothing to be packed! Believe me–the rest of our home is spotless (except my bathroom)

OK. Here’s where the Off-the-Shoulder look is just “meh”.  This is the dress from J. Crew that I had to size down from a Medium to a Small. The ruffle is just overwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong–the weight of this dress is super light and great for hot, hot days, but I like the Primark dress much better!! Luckily, I got this on sale for $35.  I’ll still wear it though!

I’m waiting for the fashun experts to come out in force blabbing that women of a certain age shouldn’t be wearing this look.  But you know what?  This look was made for us. We get to show those beautiful shoulders of ours that have been hidden for years.

Although not a fan of smoking, take a look at that beautiful dress our Lucy is wearing. It’s a stunner. Note the neckace–it’s just a tad longer than a choker and doesn’t dangle. I love this look..

More proof this look isn’t a trend. It’s just been revived is all.  Why can’t I find a top like the green plaid one?

It’s a great look—off-the-shoulder ruffles are their own accessory!  You don’t need a scarf and I find you don’t even need necklaces—less is more!

What do you think? Have you tried this look? Thinkin’ about it?  Do tell!

Naturally, there was only one song that could relate to “A Summer Face”—the theme song to “A Summer Place” Ladies—Percy Faith.  Remember this goodie? I still get goosebumps listening to this because I was five years old when this movie/song came out and I can still remember my parents listening to it.

 

 

 

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My Anti-Social Media Personality is On The Rise

When I started this blog just over two years ago, I never gave much thought to social media.

My vision was to write about the life of one 59-year old woman and her misadventures and life as both an empty-nester and one of living with a Frenchman. Over time, the blog evolved into more—I started writing about fashion, cosmetics, food, traveling, and randomness but all with a sense of humor.

Me as Little Edie Beale from my post about Edie Beale as my fashion icon. It was humorous but respectful to my Edie! And it actually was one of my personal favorite blog posts!

Sounds simple. Right?

Then, as I started to become a bit (and I mean a bit) more educated about the world of blogging, and started to research on how to make my blog more “popular” (i.e. followers) it was always stressed at how important social media was. To have a successful blog, it meant taking steps to be a part of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I get that. To a point.

I opened a Twitter account and started to “Tweet”—but realized three things.  1. I am not a celebrity nor am I a mega-blogger so my tweets basically went unnoticed. Which is fine because tweeting is too much of an effort for me.   2.  Since Trump became president, I’ve tweeted some nasty stuff and saw that the nasty stuff I’ve written shows up on the sidebar of my blog.  I don’t want to mix my politics with my blog because there is enough political shit roaming around cyberspace. And—I didn’t want to offend any of the more reserved readers of my blog with my tweets toward a certain political figure.  3. My Twitter Account isn’t even in my blog’s name and it’s too much of a bother to change it.  So—I’ve stopped tweeting for now.

I’ll just keep my personal twitter account.  It’s too much bother to have one in my blog’s name. I can’t believe I actually tweeted over 2,000 times!

I’ve been on Facebook for a few years now. And what I absolutely loved (and I say loved because I no longer feel that way) about FB was the ability to connect with friends I’ve had since my childhood days and old friends from my New York and New Jersey days.

But, FB has become a weird place. It has brought out the worst in me because of the way I feel about a certain person who was elected President. That’s all I will mention on that subject.   But, slowly I noticed many “sponsored” posts popping up. I do not want to see posts about healthcare or people who need prayers (and no—I’m not against prayer. I pray all the time. I just do not want that stuff shoved in my face). I don’t want to see ads. All I want to see on my private FB page are posts from my friends and posts from those in the groups I belong to.

I‘m a fan of NARS cosmetics but I don’t want to see this on Facebook or any form of social media.  Leave me alone!

Separating my private life from my blog, I do have a Facebook page for my blog. And at first, I was very “gung ho” about it.  Now I’m very lazy—and it isn’t because I don’t want people to read my posts, it’s because I’ve become disillusioned with Facebook in general.

I need to get back to being friends with my blog’s FB page, but…

I don’t wanna deal with all of this!  I want simplicity! This is too complicated!

And then there’s the piece de resistance of all social media (well, at least in my eyes). Instagram!

I started an Instagram account maybe a bit over a year ago in my blog’s name. The reason being that we have no internet service at the apartment we rent in Theoule but I thought it would be fun to snap pics and post them when I had the opportunity to be in an area with Wi-Fi.  And I thought it would be great to have a glimpse into the lives of others through their photos.

And all was well until recently. I noticed that my favorite “feeds” from those I followed weren’t showing up and those who I follow, I follow for a reason!  I love their posts and photos! I also noticed that more and more “sponsored” ads were showing up in my feed.  I do not like that.

Why is this showing up in my IG feed?  I am not a follower nor do I plan to be. My loyalty to scent is with Guerlain!

My suspicions were validated when I read a blog post from “Not Dressed As Lamb”  The post is “Why Instagram Really Isn’t Much Fun Anymore“.  Honestly, click and read her post to get a better understanding of the demise of Instagram.  She’s got a nice blog and is very generous in her link ups.  And her name is Catherine *ahem*. What a lovely name for a lovey woman!

My posts were being inundated with comments from sites that advertised to me I could get more “likes” and exposure if I paid them.  Oh, hell no—no way would I pay for a “like”!

Uh unh.  Catherine don’t PAY that game!

Nothing was in chronological order anymore!

Yeah Instagram. You are being rude by taking the people I follow regularly and hiding their feeds from me. And you are being rude with all those ads, and allowing follow-to-unfollow…

Worse yet, was the “follow-to-unfollow” trend that I was being baited with.  In case you don’t know what “follow-to-unfollow” is, it is an incredibly dishonest and unethical means of getting your account numbers to rise—thusly, having your account become very intriguing to “brands”.

You “follow to unfollow” me and you will have one less follower!

A IG’er will suddenly “follow” you. And, being polite, you follow back.  Many times, these are bloggers who are after big numbers. A day or so later, you will notice that same person who followed you has “unfollowed” you.  This was happening quite often to me—so I did some sleuthing and discovered these Instagrammers/bloggers had something like 20,000 followers and were only following about 50 people. I became wise to that little activity and uploaded an app for that.  Now if someone follows to unfollow me, I can find out who they are and “click”—their number just went down a follower.  Does it make a dent in their numbers?  Nope!  But it makes me feel a whole bunch better!

You got that right.  (Caveat–this is referring to Instagram only. I “lost” many “friends” from FB due to my politics–and I’m better off!)

My blog is my baby. I look forward to coming home from work to write.  I never know what’ll pop into my head and I let my thoughts collect then start blogging.  I love the people who read my blog because it’s an excellent group. We’ve become friends who’ve never met and we all respect each other.

And with or without Social Media, I’m pleased as punch to keep writing, to keep venting, to keep others laughing and to keep having fun.

With or without Social Media, I got a loverly group of Atypical60 friends!!

And speaking of fun, I did a bit of shopping for our upcoming trip.  I can’t believe we leave for France in two weeks!

Whadaya think??

You will NOT believe this.  I happened to stop at Primark after work on Thursday looking for another pair of those $13 jeans.  Well, THIS dress was randomly hanging on a rack. It was the last one. And my size. $16 worth of heaven. I like it better than the one I bought at J. Crew! It also looks just like the one Oona bought at Zara.

Try-on’s at Marshalls.  The white jeans and checked top from the middle pic came home with me and are now in the huge pile to be squeezed into the carry-on!

This hat was a great buy for $12.99.  The top is SPF 50 fabric, which will also protect my fake hair from getting all tangled up like it can with straw.  The brim is nice and wide to protect my face in the sun.  I freakin’ love this hat.  Notice the color of my “hair”?  It’s the Juno wig from It’s A Wig and I got her for $9.99!

I wasn’t very good in journaling my outfits this week.  Here’s Friday’s casual look.  I love this sweater but, alas, it is now too warm to wear it.

This was my favorite look of the week.  A pocketed skirt that I picked up last year at Uniqlo paired with a $4.00 Tee from Old Navy. Black Repettos and a French Market basket as tote gave me a bit of a Bardot vibe! (well, if Bardot wore fake black hair and was cross-eyed and wore glasses and was about 20 pounds heavier and wasn’t French!)

A maxi from last year–Old Navy gave me a day without having to shave my legs!

I’m wearing this now!!

Hey. What say you?  Are you into social media?  Whether or not you are a blogger, I am really curious!!!

What other song could I have possibly played today except this one—Follow You Follow Me from Genesis! Have a great end to the weekend!!

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A Diller, A Dollar, A Bargain Time Scholar!

It started with a trip to the local dollar store last Saturday.  I needed bobby pins to secure my hair under the wigs I wear.

Ohhh. Dollar Tree!  I could spend hours in here. I mean it. I really could!

Naturally, I couldn’t just go into a dollar store and buy one item and leave. God forbid!

So, I looked around but I didn’t have much time to do so because Officer Bonaparte, my spending police was waiting for me in the car. (Talk about trust! How bad is it that the man doesn’t even trust me in a dollar store!  A dollar store—OK?)

Yeah Bonaparte. You stay in the car with Chippy and listen to your Mozart. I’ll be but a minute…..or more.

My spirit was gleeful as I spotted a fan!  Not a fan you plug into an outlet but one of those plastic and fabric fans.  This was a Chinese foldable fan and I figured that it could be a very pragmatic purchase if the air conditioning at home broke down.  And for a buck—I purchased it!

This will also be wonderful for those menopausal moments of hot flashes! And a dollar!! It’s so pretty!

Not stopping there, I had to check out the cosmetics aisle.  Time was ticking away like a bomb—I knew Bonaparte would never step foot in this or any dollar store. His Frenchness would not allow it.  But—I’m pretty much lower on the cultural ladder.  However, I knew if I wasted too much time he would be mumbling in his native tongue all the way home.

With a street named after him, Bonaparte is too refined to step into my dollar store haunts!  And I like it that way!

And so, I grabbed a cute little palette of eye shadows.

This neutral palette is great!  A great mix of sparkly and matte and the shadows have very good pigmentation. Hey, and for on-the-go, that little sponge applicator isn’t all that bad!

Housed in a discreet faux leather case, this little cosmetic nugget could prove to be a great purchase!

The faux-leather case with a band for a closure is very discreet.  I should go back for another to throw in my purse!

The brand is L.A. Colors and the shadows worked well.

I went home and couldn’t wait to play!

This is the look “eye” achieved with about three of the shadows.  Very nice for an everyday look. AND, the shadows lasted all day without primer!

Let me say this.  Sometimes you need to go out of your box of high-end brands and embrace the inexpensive bargain!

The verdict on this dollar bargain.  Excellent. This is a great palette for the summer.  If you go to the beach or a pool, chances are you are like me and don’t do the whole makeup thing on the eyes.  Mascara runs off in sweaty heat.  Swimming washes any makeup off.

But, if you are planning to go out and about directly upon leaving these places, you want to look decent.  Two minutes with your car’s mirror and you can get a great look!

This palette is already in my travel bag for our trip to France!

Next bargain is this pair of jeans from Primark.   (Click the link–but their website sucks!!  It’s easier to just go into the store!) I like my jeans skinny.  However, I do like a bit of stretch to them.  And, in the warm weather I tend to keep away from heavy denim.

Wow!  In any other country, I’m a moose!  I’ll take the USA numbers!  But this is the Primark brand, Denim Co.

These jeans are Primark’s “Denim Company” jeans.  Not as stretchy as a jegging but not a heavy jean, the fit is excellent.  And the cotton is light enough that will allow for comfort in the heat of the summer.  The color selection is very good. I already have a pair in cream and went back for the black.  I want to get the fatigue green.  At $13 a pair—this is an excellent bargain.

See how nicely this pair of $13 jeans fits?  Don’t mind the mess in the room–I’m still packing and unpacking.  

Here’s another look…

And the best I could do from behind. I wanted to get a good ass shot because these jeans are dubbed “push up” jeans and they do a decent job of pushing up the butt a bit.  What I really like about these jeans is that they keep their shape after wearing them all day!

I don’t know how the line got there. I wasn’t doing the Limbo Rock!  But, I wanted to show you how nice and form-fitting these jeans are at the ankle. Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that fit like this at the ankle?

A decent blend–71% Cotton, 27% poly and 2% elastin. It provides a decent fit.

Not all bargains are heaven sent.  I purchased a ponytail for nine bucks. I figured it could prove to be useful for summer hair wear.  I just couldn’t make it work. In the photos, it looks fine but don’t forget, that’s ‘cause I’m standing still.  After a few moves of the body the hair just wasn’t working.

It photographed well, but just didn’t work!  I’m still not giving up on it though!

As a “fall” (remember those), it would have worked so well if it were much denser. Oh well, I’m going to continue to play with this to make it work as a huge bun. We’ll see!

I say bring back the “falls” of the 1960’s. Recognize the model?  It’s Lauren Hutton! I love that hairdo!

Sometimes you just need a good bargain. Tomorrow’s bargain can very well turn out to be that elusive gem!!   Do you have any recent bargains?  Are you a secret bargain hunter?  Do tell!

I think a great song for today would be “Shop Around”! The Miracles!!!

 

 

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Summer Sandals, the GOAT of Totes and a Talented Friend!

I would not consider myself a flashy or formal dresser by any means.  Accessories are not my important thing either. I’m very basic.

Casuality is more the vibe that I dig.  And when it comes to summer footwear and bags, I tend to lean toward the super chill.

Summertime and the feet need a break from the winter confinement!

Don’t get me wrong. I love dressing for work. And when Bonaparte and I have a date night, or when the kids come to visit and we go out, I like to step the look up a bit.

But when it comes to travel, weekends, and “time off”, I love a no-fuss, simple look.

And with summer footwear, it’s sandals.

Ok. So these aren’t sandals–but they are somewhere between a bootie and sandal and these are the most comfortable shoes of all time.  I wouldn’t wear them in the dead of winter, but they can be worn from late spring into early fall. And, gray is a sort-of neutral–right???

These wedge sandals are by Crown Vintage. I love them but I do have issues wearing them. My foot is very narrow–and the strap was buckled on the third hole for the past two years. Due to stretch, the buckle is now in the fourth hole the one closest to my ankle  And due to my very high instep (pictured), I have a problem keeping these on. It’s a shame because I really love these but I cannot wear them often.  It’s really a beautiful wedge!

With bags, it’s a tote!  I lug a lot of “stuff” around in the summertime.  When traveling, I need a huge bag because it needs to go from pool or beach to touring to grocery shopping.  Even when not traveling, I like a tote-as-bag in the summer.  When out and about, you never know what you can pick up—and I like to carry my notebooks around too.  Totes offer more room.

In addition, I like to keep to a neutral color palette for the footwear and totes.  During these warm months, sandals are my footwear of choice.  I think a neutral color elongates the legs.  Along with a neutral tote, you don’t have to keep rotating bags.  I like routine.

My summer footwear and bag palette. I don’t stray far from my comfort zone!

This summer brings me pretty much set on footwear and bags. Although I did spot this beauty at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. Unfortunately, Bonaparte was with me—and that meant the spending police officer was accompanying me. And that meant I couldn’t sneak the purchase in.  But—she will be mine. Oh. Yes. She will be mine!

I dig this.  A lot.  And I’m still pissed off that Bonaparte had to police me from spending only $19.99 on this fun summer tote! I hope Barnes and Noble doesn’t sell out of this before next week!

Back to sandals.  I’m extremely brand loyal to Rondini. (click on the link to see the beautiful sandals they have to offer) I swear to you, I can’t wear any other sandals.  I look around, yes, I do. And the price point at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, J. Crew, and other shops have me scratching my head in wonder at the unreasonable prices for goods that are mostly made in China.  For less than the cost of a pair of Tory Burch Miller Sandals, I can have a pair of sandals, custom fit and made for me within moments in the small shop of this wonderful and trustworthy family run business.  The notable thing is that you can order online from them and they will walk you all the way through your purchase.

 

This is the Tory Burch Miller sandal. It’s incredibly popular and at $195. I feel it is ridiculously overpriced. Look at the sole–it’s thin and rubbery!

Rondini Salome Vernis.  These were purchased two years ago.  This year they are priced at $140 euros–that’s $156.USD today.  This is the only pair I have that is out of my color palette and I need to wear these more often! Still less expensive than Tory Burch…

My very first pair of Rondini’s.  Sahariennes–they are now 130 euros. I wear these as beach flip-flops and running errands.  They are at least six years old and have been worn constantly.Rondini Tropeziennes. The sandal that started it all. See how my toes have made an imprint on the insole?  These have molded to my feet perfectly.  I was thrilled when the folks at Rondini were able to fix these sandals after Chippy snacked on one of the straps. You cannot tell there is a replacement strap on this pair! We were able to drop them off in the morning and they were ready after lunch!  Service is excellent!

 My beloved Bikini sandals. OMG. I love these so much. They can be dressed up or down.  I wanted to show you how they look from the back as well. (After contorting my body for this pic, I can tell you that I could perform with Cirque du Soleil!) I love these.  At 145 euros, they are still less than the mass-produced sandals in upscale department stores.  Ugh. I need to fake tan.  

And the construction is also remarkable…

The sandals are wrapped and placed in a nice storage bag.  I can’t wait to add another pair to my collection!

And then, there were Dr. Scholls!  These get a lot of love from me.  And have since I was in high school!

With the totes, it’s almost the same. I have many of the Longchamp Le Pliage nylon and leather bags. This brown one is my most-used and favorite. It comes to France with me every summer.  It’s so friggin’ old that I use it as a beach bag and after the beach, it is used as a catch-all tote—and I even put other totes inside of it for grocery shopping.  My Wythe Hotel bag gets housed inside this baby!

This well-worn, hot mess of a Longchamp bag is in constant use during the summer. Look at the photo on the bottom right. That’s French beach sand!  I know, I really should empty it out…

See what I mean?  The Wythe tote goes into the Longchamp.  I’m leaving the Scholl’s home this summer.  On second thought…..

I also like to use this well-worn French Market tote as a bag during the summer months as well. It’s beginning to look a bit raggy and I’m planning on buying one when we are in France—they are inexpensive as all get out. I think I paid the equivalent of $10 USD when I purchased this in Chartres.

Although usually kept in my car for grocery outings, I do like to use this as a tote during the summer!

My new and favorite tote is this monogrammed number. Is this not the greatest?  It was done by a childhood friend and schoolmate, Kathy Torre Innace.

I love everything about this tote.  The magnetized closure is handy and the length of the straps is perfect for staying on the shoulder.  Look at the monogram job Kathy did–this is absolutely perfect!

She has a business of her own these days.  Sew Spectacular—click on the name for the link to her FB page.   Her talent is remarkable—she embroidered this tote.  The second I saw it, I had to have it.  in my opinion, it is the G.O.A.T. (that’s Greatest Of All Time!) of totes!

Here’s Kathy!!  I love her glasses and she’s the best grandmother on earth!  She and I were just a couple of many girls who shared the same first name at St. Patrick’s Grammar School!

Trust me, if you order anything from her, you will be more than 100% satisfied.

Next on my list of things to buy from Kathy are her stemware coasters. The coasters fit over the bottom of the stemware. My wine glasses need this.  Have you ever seen anything this clever??  I haven’t!! Ugh. I wish I had a wedding shower to go to because this would be a great gift to give!  I’ll just have to gift myself!

I could drink wine all day with coasters like these.  They are designer shoes for wine glasses!!!

Well, my weight loss journey is moving along very slowly. I gained a pound and now lost a pound—so I’m steady at 144 but I really want to get down to 140. It’ll take a while but at least my clothing still fits.

Here’s a look at what I wore last week.  And I’ve made the transition from winter to summer fake hair!  In no particular order…

Well, I finally wore the “Heels on Fire” tee. I love it. And to add, I wore red heels and rel nails and a red watchband!  

Neon and navy. Not a bad combo!

I loved this look because it was feminine with an edge!

Maxi Dressing!  I didn’t shave my legs and this worked perfectly for those lazy days. I LOVE the cut in armholes on this dress. It is very flattering for all arms!!!

Friday’s look.  The unironed tee drove me nuts all day. But–I cannot begin to tell you how many compliments I received on the shorter bobbed wig!

Saturday’s look was my favorite. Completely basic.  $13 jeans.  $4.00 tee.  Hair at $19.99. What’s not to love?

One of my favorite summer songs of all time:  War’s “Summer”–it’s just so relaxing and chill and just reminds me of summer!

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