Please don’t Lose Face — I Love You Just the Way You Were!

CAVEAT: As an experiment, I decided to upload (or download) a face app—Face App, in fact.  I played around to give you some examples of what this post is about. I did not want to use the images from the people that I’ve seen on Social Media who change their images. For me, it isn’t ethical—and so, I used my face to prove my point. Read on and have a few laughs on me—okay?

I love being on Instagram. It’s downright fun.  And, despite the continuous parade of political posts, I also enjoy Facebook.  And lest we not forget YouTube because I have an absolute blast filming wig reviews on my Channel.

Thumbnail Image for my Color Comparison Video Review about Summer Heat by The Wig Company!  No blurs. No filters. Just different lighting.

In fact, one of the reasons I love social media is that I can get a great look at products—both in photographs and videos.   It’s a wonderful aspect of the medium to showcase real results or a real person. 

Especially with the mature demographic?  Or is it.

Now.  As a genuinely curious nosey individual, I like to get a good look at how—let’s say a skincare product or a wig, works on the women showcasing these items and products.  And, at times, I find many images and little videos a bit daunting.

I’ll tell you why.

It seems that filtering and blurring and enhancing images have become quite popular in influencer and reviewer lands. And, as an influencer of sorts, myself, I abhor the use of photo enhancements.

Please influencers–don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.  And don’t morph your real images into a scary version of Influencer IT clowns!  I cringed when I saw this photo of me.  That smile is so freaky. But the best thing is my turkey neck is on full-display.  Ya think people won’t notice that?  I like the photo on the left better–especially since my little fang is peeking through!  

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve changed saturation on clothing that I’m showcasing simply because the lighting at the time of photographing can be a bit naturally filtered—especially early in the morning when I’m snapping pics before leaving for work.  I’ll use the sharpening effect to get a more defined result.

Here’s a photo I posted on Instagram to showcase the Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi. I did use the saturation effect to show the true colors. But no filters!

Another photo using the saturation effect in order to get a better idea of the vibrant colors in the shorts and the top!  No facial enhancements or filters!

But I never touch the face.

The face is sacred to me.  Jowls. Lines.  Freckles.  Fish lips. Crossed eyes.  Facial scars.  It’s the mélange of imperfections that make me…. well, me! And yes.  I’ll be honest.  Aging can be daunting.  Not gonna lie.  I’ve said it before and will say it again.  If I had the funds, I would find the best plastic surgeon, check myself into NY Hospital for Special Surgery and let the knife do the walking.  Its more organic to have the skin pulled and lifted then sewn back vs. needles with synthetic fillers injected into the skin.  Or at least that’s my humble opinion.

But let’s get back to the subject at hand.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find truth in influencer advertising these days. A great skincare product—especially at our pro-age stage of aging, is a treasure.  While we aren’t looking for a miracle to erase the effects of aging, we can all admit we’re looking for a product that’ll hydrate and plump up the skin a bit.  Something that’ll work well either under makeup or alone.  And we don’t need to alter our image to get the point across!

On the left, is an image of me that was taken exactly one year ago. Two days before Oona and Sam’s wedding. I was sitting on their front porch. No makeup. Only moisturizer. Oona and I were ready to get spray-tanned for the wedding. The photo on the left is one of my all-time favorites because it’s makeup free, I had a great sleep the night before, I was excited to be with my daughter and future son-in-law and I was happy. The image on the right. It’s downright creepy.  I look about 14 years old. But the sad thing is that I’ve seen images of women on Social Media, in their 50’s and upwards that have morphed themselves into looking 14 and it is laughable and sad at the same time!

Same with makeup. We don’t want a foundation that will showcase every wrinkle and crevice. We want a lightweight foundation with a good amount of coverage to hide redness or age spots while not giving notice to said crevices. 

Another delightfully creepy photo. The left-side photo is from Oona’s wedding day.  It was taken after my makeup was applied. We went with a very natural look and the makeup artist was perfect in her application.  Estetica Designs also gifted me with the Alden wig so it was a great fake head of hair atop a non-filtered, non-blurred, non-enhanced face.  And check out my turkey neck!  It’s epic!  On the right is me with lighter skin and a darker neck.  I look like a freak!

I also don’t want to look like a Bratz Doll either.  And I don’t want to see anyone else looking like one!

I‘m sure you’ve seen the Bratz dolls.Huge lips. Non-existant nose.  Big made up eyes and totally plastic! And feminists were offended by Barbie?  I’ve got news for you….

Oh look!  It’s me!  With a Bratz make over!  The nose couldn’t be made smaller but I DO look completely plastic!  This is so shallow. And I, as a deeply shallow individual find THIS too shallow!

Believe me. It takes a while and a number of photos to come up with just the right one when showcasing products.  But eventually you get that great shot and don’t need apps!

And although the image on the left, isn’t the most flattering one of me (but it’s better than my eighth-grade photo), I prefer it to the Bratz (oh God what an offensive name for a doll) look!

Is that too much to ask for?  I think not.

The public ain’t stupid. These photos are of Jennifer Lopez. Jennie-From-the-Block will be 51 next week. She’s got a bangin’ body, she does.  But that photo on the left is enhanced and played with.  The photo on the right hasn’t been enhanced or photoshopped. And that’s a good thing because it shows her in that lighting that we all dread!  She’s beautiful and gorgeous and she took a lot of criticism for that photo on the left!  

And I cringe and shake my head in creepy disgust whenever I see a woman, of the mature demographic, who has lit-uh-ruhl-ee  used either Photoshop or other “enhancement” technology to not only erase any semblance of aging—such as lines and loss of gravity, to turn herself into a blurred mirage of a modern-day version of Dicken’s Ghost of Christmas Past!

This image of The Ghost of Christmas Past from Muppets Christmas Carol looks more realistic than some of the blurred images I’ve seen on older influensers.  I kid you not!  One in particular blurs herself to the point I always think my screen is dirty!

Look. I have bad eyesight. Very bad eyesight. To the point that my husband is driving me to work and back these days due to my issues with light-sensitivity. Add to that, I’m working at a computer eight hours a day—in fluorescent lighting, which is horrific, only to take the occasional ladies-room break.

If you are of the age to remember this guy, Mr. Magoo, you might want to move to the side of the road when I’m driving.  I’m Ms. Magoo!

I’m also wearing an eye patch on my bad eye—and so, I’m working with one good eye.  Any images of an over-filtered face are freaking me out because I think “Is it my eyes, or does she appear that cloudy in life?” 

I tell you, I’m a timeless beauty and with the eye patch and mask, I have a face that could stop a clock. But at least I’m not using a damned filter!!!

You are losing face with me. And that is not good. It is a learned disrespect that also brings a loss of trust. And a loss of trust is, quite possibly, one of the worst things that can happen.

trust engineer GIF

I rest my case.  Trust IS important!

And please—stop with the not-so-cutesy animal ears and faces. It’s fine for teens and kids but adults?  No. Just. No. 

Celebrities love doing this shit—and they look ridiculous.

Oh those Krazy Kardashians.  It doesn’t matter WHO you are. These filters look ridiculous when anyone over 17 uses them!

Anyway, probably the single most insulting thing that happened to me while morphing various images of myself came in the form of making an attempt to enhance a photo of me from my eight-grade school portrait.

How ugly was it?  Well, remember Pat from SNL?  This was Pat’s reaction upon seeing my eighth-grade photo!

It is, hands down, one of the saddest, awkward, downright ugliest photos ever taken of a 12-year old girl and I still have PTSD over the fact my mother never made an attempt to try to get me to look pretty. So, I tried doing it myself.

I uploaded the pic to Face App. Low and behold the “male” icons showed up at the bottom of the app!  Can you believe it?  I was so ugly that Face App mistook me for a boy.  I hope my mother is looking down from Heaven realizing how she traumatized me with cutting my hair so short and not trying to pluck my unibrow.

Look! Face App thought I was a boy!  A BOY!!  How freaking insulting and sad is that. And yes, I’m still traumatized!

Anyway, 53 years later , after altering my image, I finally look like a girl.

Quite possibly the ONLY altered image of my face I’ll ever be happy with.  Mostly because I resemble, in an incredibly loose way, my comic book icon..

…Archie’s girlfriend, Veronica Lodge. I always wanted to look like this.  Yeah. I was an odd kid!

All kidding aside.  We need to be happy with who we are and what we look like.  Yeah. I was ugly as fuck as a pre-teen.  But you know what?  I was a late bloomer.  A very late bloomer.  And perhaps that’s why I’m comfortable in my aging skin these days.

Seriously. You can take a great photo in good lighting and when you know your good angles. Nobody needs to enhance the bejesus out of their face. (except perhaps if they have a bad eighth-grade portrait)  Our aging process is a privilege!

But—a high school classmate, Pete D’Alia said it all  “…..eventually everyone you want in your life will see behind the curtain. I’ve made my peace with it.”  Great words to remember!

Peace. Namaste. And be true to yourself. Don’t lose face. You are loved as you are!

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To Mall or Not To Mall–How the Pandemic Changed My Shopping Habits!

Hi All!  I know.  I know. Lately I’ve been so focused on this pandemic but personally, I think we need to come face-to-face with all aspects.  Our lives have changed and will remain changed for quite some time.

Who knew that wearing masks would be the new normal?  Who knew that we would be distancing ourselves socially?  Who knew that our homes would literally and figuratively become our castles?  Huh?  How about that?

 

I tell ya, I’ve amassed an entire wardrobe of masks!  

My son, Roman, brought these to me.  One of his friends made them!

Her card!

But one thing that has, I’m sure, affected us is shopping.

I’m not talking about shopping for the essentials.  Or food that is readily available. We’ve all been very cautious to do our grocery shopping less and purchasing more at one time.  We take careful steps. We comply with store regulations.

No. Nonononononononono!  I’m talking about those once-pleasurable shopping trips. To the mall perhaps to pick up some makeup, or get a spray tan, or to add an item or three to your wardrobe.

Bitmoji Image

Remember when shopping was actually FUN?  Or a trip to the mall was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon or a way to beat the heat with that pumped up air conditioning?

Special occasion? Head to your local department or specialty boutique? 

Someone had a baby?  Head to the mall to get all giggly and excited about those adorable baby clothes!

Whatever the reason, our public shopping-for-fun has changed.

Our local King-of-Prussia semi-opened last week.  I stopped by Nordstrom to see if I could purchase Guerlain’s Meteorites in a darker shade due to the summer darkening of my fair skin.   Needless to say, the inventory was remarkably low and I left without the product I went in for (more about the Meteorites later on in this post). 

This is what I wanted. This is not what Nordstrom had in their Guerlain inventory. 

But I found two things astounding.  First, Nordstrom had almost five months of closure.  Why didn’t the store’s powers-that-be load up on inventory before re-opening. Better yet, why didn’t the store wait until they could stock up on inventory?  Honestly, I felt almost violated.

The other astounding thing was I felt so uncomfortable being both at Nordstrom and at the mall. The thought of touching items that strangers touched grossed me out. The thought of entering a dressing room where someone who could have had COVID made me uneasy.   I looked around at the people who were shopping and suddenly—I didn’t want to be there. 

yuck

The thought of being in a dressing room in such confined quarters during this time is somewhat gross.

And so, I left but returned yesterday.   I needed batteries for three watches that somehow lost their tick-tocks at the same time during this time and headed back to the mall.

Three watches–all ready to tell me what time it is now that the batteries have been replaced!

It was eerily empty. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when each individual store will open.  Some are still closed. Some are opening soon. It’s just odd.  And as soon as the batteries were put into place in the time pieces, we left the hall of shopping immediately!

Saturday morning. 11:30 AM.  The mall is empty save for one lone wanderer!

Random openings abound. This is a great little shop with ceramic table ware imported from Poland. I’m glad to see that they have not gone under!

In the meantime, I’ve discovered that online shopping isn’t quite as bad as I thought it to be in the past!

It’s soothing, relaxing, stress-free, and feeds into my laziness!

There’s something soothing about heading to my computer (as shitty as my laptop is) or iPhone, perusing various sites and allowing my fingers to do the walking. In fact, during this pandemic I’ve gained 16 pounds but my fingers have slimmed down due to the amount of online shopping I’ve done!

And so, before I proceed, please allow me to give you a few pointers in connection with online shopping.

Know your favorite brand clothing’s fit.  Example-for me, I am adept at J. Crew’s sizing.  With J. Crew Factory, it’s another thing because the sizing can be inconsistent.  With Lilly Pulitzer, it depends on the fabric and style of the dress, if a dress is all-cotton, then going up a size may be in order—especially if one has gained a few pounds over the past few months.

The Wynne maxi by Lilly Pulitzer. So nice–I have three in different prints. Luckily the Medium fits beautifuly due to the fabric and the stretch..

Here’s another Lilly Pulitzer dress I ordered online.  Due to my pandemic 16-pound weight gain, she’s a bit on the tight side but she’ll fit better by the end of the summer.  Seriously–know your size!

Check the return policy.  Usually, there’s no issue with returns. However, in some instances there are.  Recently Lilly Pulitzer had a summer sale on line.  The items were final sale. In a case such as this, you really really need to be mindful of the fit of the clothing.  I purchased a third Wynne maxi dress.  I have two others—the first, I paid full-price because I wanted it for my daughter Oona’s bridal shower.  The second, purchased during the Lilly Pulitzer After Party sale, in a different print. The dress was less than half the price of the original and the third as well. But do research to make sure the sale price is on point. You might be able to purchase elsewhere for the same sale price with a more user-friendly return policy for sale items!  I will say that Amazon has a very good return policy!

Shop the sales. The online sales can be good. Better than in-store prices, but as stated above, do your research because you could find that treasured sale item for an even lesser price!  Case in point–photo below–but also take into consideration the shipping and handling costs.  Lilly Pulitzer offers free shipping. I don’t know about the company below!

Belk had the same Wynne maxi for $9.60 less than what I paid from the Pulitzer site. But, there may have been a shipping charge so do your homework!

For convenience sake. This pandemic took alot out of us. Both physically and emotionally.  For convenience sake I find that shopping online has been stress-free. You don’t have to get dressed and get into the car and deal with bad drivers on the road. You’re not spending extra money on gas nor are you putting stress your car. No time is wasted waiting for a sales assistant and don’t have to deal with rude or ageist sales assistants.  In addition, you don’t have to worry about some a-hole parking within millimeters of your car in a parking lot. No tracking down a cashier. No dealing with people who may have the virus.

As empty as the parking lot is, I make sure to park far away from others. And for some reason, when I return to my car, there always seems to be a car parked less than an inch away from mine!

Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with shopping on Amazon.  This is the big one.  Over the past few months, I’ve done quite a bit of shopping on the ‘Zon! From a ceramic egg-separator to masks-as-a-headband. From dresses that I absolutely adore to bathing suits. To makeup and tooth care for Bonaparte. Birthday gifts and even French lentils and yeast for baking. Amazon has it all.

Now, that’s not to say there have been shopping fails because there have been. 

I still remain wary of purchasing “brand-name, luxury” cosmetics. Case in point—remember the Guerlain Meteorites I wrote about earlier in this post?  Well, upon arriving home from Nordstrom, I decided to go online to peruse the net in search of these little cosmetic pearls.  I found them on Amazon and for a price that was too good to be true.

It was too good to be true! 

When I received the Meteorites there were a few red flags. Guerlain wraps the box that the meteorites come in with clear cellophane.  There was no cellophane wrapping. This was a concern.

Buyer beware when purchasing luxury brand cosmetics from Amazon. There are a plethora of fakes and I don’t think there’s a close watch on them.  Best leave the luxury makeup to in-store purchases or purchasing from the brand itself.

Secondly, the font of the printing on the Amazon-purchased Meteorites was different. It was smaller. I opened the box and the silver container looked pretty good. I compared it to the original Meteorites that I purchased in Paris. They both looked identical.

Then…I opened the container.  Guerlain is very particular and the puff applicator that comes with the Meteorites is fluffy and white and soft and perfect for applying.  The Amazon-purchased Meteorites came with a beigeish foam applicator. This was a dead giveaway that what I bought was a fake.  The pearls didn’t have that pleasant scent either. 

I returned them.

Also returned was a pair of “faux” Jack Rogers/Palm Beach Sandals by Pierre Dumas.  I love the style of “Jacks” as well as Palm Beach.  These sandals were so cheaply constructed and wide enough that two of my feet could have fit into one sandal. I returned them.

Second fail were these sandals. I should have taken the reviews to heart. They were returned!

Some of my favorite buys?  Here you go! And here’s my Pandemic Shopping Idea List on my Amazon Store for your entertainment!  It’s the first Idea List on the upper left! Scroll down to see:  Atypical60 Amazon Storefront

Masks-as-Headbands. As masks, these sucked!  Way too flimsy but as headbands, they are fantastic!  I love the thick 60’s vibe. Here I’m pictured back from the beach!

And, oh, how I love the way this mask-as-headband looks over my Estetica Reeves wig! Total ’60’s!

Thin headbands/scarfs as handle wraps for my LV Alma bag!  I love the way these look!

This dress!  The style is incredibly flattering. The length is wonderful–not too short and it has pockets!  So nice…

I bought it twice!

Another great dress!  This will suffice well into the fall and the scarf is also an Amazon buy!

Two items I wear every day are this Rosary-inspired chain with a delicate crucifix and a Star of David. They are both important to me as I despise antisemitic behavior. 

This bracelet! I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve worn this since I ordered it. In fact, I ordered a second one.  My sister had this and I was admiring it. She mentioned she purchased it on Amazon and I immediately made the purchase. This was just before the lockdown and I’ve worn this on the average of four times a week.  IT was the best $12 ever spent!

Bonaparte’s birthday was last month and I ordered this poster of a movie starring his aunt, Daniele.  We had it framed and it’s now hanging in his home office! Amazon is great for finding old movie posters!

Embryolisse is my favorite multi-tasking skin cream. I use it as a primer whether or not I’m wearing makeup.  It’s a face cream, primer and makeup remover.  And I ran out! My goal was to repurchase in France but as you know…..

We didn’t make it to France.  I found it on Amazon. It damn near killed me to pay full-price but this is a holy grail item for me!

When you aren’t looking for luxury makeup, you can find some pretty decent options –I ordered these stick highlighters and blush and must say I’m extremely pleased!  All glide on beautifully, are well-pigmented and stay in place!

A kitchen helper with a sense of humor!  I ordered this egg-separator, Mr. Bogeyman. It’s gross but funny as all get out!  And it works!!!!

And let’s not disregard Poshmark.  As a lover of the Palm Beach Sandals I purchased a great unused pair of gray/gunmetal sandals for $30!  I was thrilled!  Seriously, Poshmark can be a goldmine for unworn items—it just takes a few moments of entering keywords of what you are looking for.

Never used! Brand new in the box!  I love these so much!!!  Poshmark find for sure!

I’m also rather fond of this elephant-print Lilly Pulitzer frock I acquired from Poshmark!

Honestly, none of us have the answers as to what the future of shopping brings.  What will Holiday shopping be like?  With a number of stores filing for bankruptcy and closing, what’ll happen to retail? 

For now, I prefer the online shopping. It’s just more convenient as long as the return policy is a fair one. 

And quite honestly, I’m surprised at how much I’m loving online shopping!

So that’s it.  Have you been mall shopping lately?  Are you doing more shopping online?  It would be interesting to see what your thoughts are!

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I Needed a Rest-But Did I Really Rest? Or. What I’ve Been Up to the Past Few Weeks.

Happy Independence Day!!

Old Glory isn’t hanging in front of my home because I am a true believer in proper Flag etiquette. We don’t have a flag pole but I love this symbol of us!

As I type this, fingers to keyboard, I realize how difficult it is to begin this blog post. I swear to you, the most challenging issue is how to write an introductory sentence.

Let me just begin telling you what I’ve been up to during this three-week hiatus.

My Social Media Hiatus - Doreen Andrews - Medium

This just about explains it!

First of all, I needed a rest. Not a physical one but rather a mental and emotional rest.   This pandemic has gotten the best of me.  I’ve been going to the office. Every. Single. Day.  since the lockdown. 

This is the rest I needed.  And now, I’m well-rested!

Where most people are working from home, I’m getting dressed every morning.  Applying makeup, and choosing my daily hair in the form of a wig.  I’m spending money to gas up my car. And at the end of the day, arriving home to prepare dinner.

Every day. Makeup. Nice Dress.  Wig and a smile! Whilst others are working from home in their PJ’s….

The thanks and gratitude I’ve received is the company no longer matching my 401K, no raise for 2020 and therefore, not one iota of thanks for going in every day to face the same eight hours in front of a computer with nary a break in sight.

And I’m told I should be grateful I have a job.

Thankful Memes

This meme pretty-much sums the way I feel on some days.  I AM grateful but sometimes…I just can’t …

And I am grateful to have a job. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m grateful to have a job to go to.  I’m grateful to be working for two wonderful women. I’m grateful for both my medical benefits and now, the Medicare that I pay into to receive extra benefits.

But it isn’t that.  It’s just that I’m tired. Not “I-need-to-go-to-sleep” tired.  I’m tired spirit-wise.  My spirit is broken.  At 65 years old, I resent, at times, having to work. 

Add to that, a divorce that left me both penniless and without a home—basically, hitting rock bottom, and having to go through all this at a time when ageism reared its ugly head, I’ve been a professional failure so to speak.  I never had the opportunity to regain the promising career I had when I worked on Wall Street.

LOL!  This is pretty-much me!  I am rather intrigued at the prospect of converting my retirement funds into pennies. It’ll make me feel wealthy! 

Rebecca Howe is my professional Spirit Animal inasmuch as my career goes. She was never able to rise above the pitfalls career-wise.  We’re so much alike—with the exception that I was damned lucky to meet Bonaparte while she ended up with a white-collar criminal.  (Watch the last few seasons of Cheers if you need a refresher—it’s funny as hell!)

The absolute funniest thing about this is that I’ve said the exact same thing at LEAST 1,000 times to my husband.  He doesn’t even flinch anymore!  Rebecca and I are just so much alike.  Even down to the way we cry. I’m not kidding. I have the same cry! It’s so funny!

Regardless, it doesn’t mean I’m miserable or unhappy.  In fact, other than my professional (I use that term loosely) life I’m very happy.  I have a great husband. Three incredibly grounded and kind children, a loving son-in-law, a fantastic step daughter, a home that is my respite and castle and knock-on-wood, good health.

But the thing is, I want to spend the rest of my life enjoying it to the fullest.  I want to travel. I want to visit my kids. I want to go on day trips.  And I can’t do that because retirement is not an option.  It’s all about the money.

First it was the soup. Now it’s no retirement. And that makes me stressed!

Years ago, people received a pension.  This allowed for a more lucrative retirement situation.  Now we are responsible for our 401K—just like the onus is on us more and more for healthcare!   But I am not alone. This situation I am in is not unique. It’s more and more becoming the new normal for people in the over 50 and over 60 demographics.

Indiana Jones and the.. Search for his pension - Cheezburger ...

Duh!!!  NOW I get it!  The Temple of Doom was really Indiana Jones’s search for a pension!

With so many “older” workers who’ve never recovered or never became fully employed during the last economic downfall, it’s quite ordinary. Whatever happened to respecting the older generation?  Huh?

That being said, thanks so much for allowing me to vent. Between the hiatus and being able to let off some steam, I’m feeling much more like myself!

So…. just what have I been up to?

Well, for starters, we celebrated Bonaparte’s birthday.   The obstacle was just what do I get the man who wants for nothing and isn’t really fond of birthday celebrations?  I thought about it. Then I thought some more.  It almost hurt my brain with all that thinking!  However, I did find a great gift that was meaningful.

A poster of one of his aunt’s, Daniele Delorme’s, posters from a film she was in.  The colors went with many of the touches in our home and it would be a wonderful addition to his home-office.

A rather melodramatic movie, it was a visual tour of Paris and as always, Daniele was great!

He loved it and as I write this, we are awaiting a phone call from the framer to pick it up.  I’ll share a pic of the framed poster. 

Nearing another phase in the pandemic, my son Roman was contemplating a visit before resuming work in mid-July.  His main concern was Bonaparte’s health. He was tested for COVID, which was negative and we had the pleasure of my son for two weeks.

Not wanting him to take a bus or train to Philly, Bonaparte, Chippy and I embarked on a little road trip through the PA Turnpike, the NJ Turnpike and across the George Washington bridge to pick him up and then after the visit, to bring him back to his apartment.

These two guys!  They are quite the pair!

I’ll tell ya, having him here for a couple of weeks made me so happy.  It made Bonaparte happy too.  We had great conversations over dinner, had a great time with each other and even got to enjoy a day down the shore!

Yeah. We enjoyed the day down at Wildwood Crest visiting Vincent’s daughter and enjoying the beach!

But there’s more.  The Frenchman has an obsession with the size of TV’s.  Our 65-inch TV just wasn’t cutting it for him anymore.  And so, I was surprised to find an incredibly huge box in our foyer when Roman was visiting.  We are now the proud owners of a 75-inch TV in our bedroom.

This movie “Si Versailles M’etait Conte or Royal Affairs in Versailles was a great history lesson about the history of Versailles and France and the French Revolution..

Bonaparte’s aunt, Daniele Delorme played the feminist Louison Chabray!  It was fun seeing her on the “big” home screen!

…and might I add that the costume design was epic!

Can I just say that at first, I thought it was a rather silly and frivolous purchase, but as I watched my friend, Rebecca Howe from Cheers on that big screen, I was enthralled.  Besides, it’s far better for my eyes.

Rebecca Howe ~ Cheers | Rebecca, Women, Ruffle blouse

As soon as I saw my buddy Rebecca Howe on the 75-inch TV, I knew I would love this!

What happened with the 65-inch TV?  We gave it to Roman. And now, everyone is happy and well-entertained!

Speaking of the shore, we hit the beach for the past two weekends!  Yesterday I had the day off, lending itself for a spectacular and well-needed and appreciated three-day weekend.  We went to Stone Harbor on the Jersey Shore.

Beach feet. The salt water. The sun. Socially Distancing myself while others do not.  It’s all part of summer 2020!

And while it was a wonderful day for Bonaparte and I, I was a bit disappointed that nobody was donning a mask.  I had my mask. It was on from the moment I arrived until the moment I hit the water with my chair.   Social Distancing is my jam.  That’s why I took my chair to the Ocean’s edge and literally sat in the water where I had a stellar social distancing experience.

There’s a melange of peeling skin, sunscreen, sand ON the face and a mask. I don’t care how unattractive this looks. I’ll wear a mask as long as need be. It’s astounding that others refuse! 

Back on the sand, the mask was on and in the entire time we were at the beach, I saw one. ONE other person with a mask.  I will leave it at that.

Summer is the time for dining al fresco and we’ve been fortunate to do so for almost every night the past three weeks with the exception of two rainy evenings and one too-hot evening. I’m changing up my game plan with healthier meal planning this summer.

Yum yum.  Tomatoes. Lemon. Avacado. Bananas. All available year round but the tomatoes this summer are outstanding!  

Oh. The aperitifs are still rolling around. Its just more plant-based meals and enjoying seasonal produce!

I made a roasted eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and cashew cheese terrine. Actually, it turned out to be incredibly tasty!

This Fourth is a bittersweet one for us.  In the past (except last year when Oona got married), we’ve arrived back from France to the USA on Independence Day. Today would have been that day. It really was daunting to not be able to travel overseas due to this pandemic. And more daunting is the fact that Americans are banned from traveling to the EU for now. Hopefully, that’ll change for our November visit to Paris!

Yeah….this is the day that we’re usually at Nice airport early in the morning.  Our “special” way to celebrate July 4th!

Oh wait!  There’s more!

Last week—Monday after work to be exact, I had the first Mani-Pedi in four months!  Four. Months.   Now, I’m pretty bad in applying nail polish to both my fingernails and toes. Add to that, I’m danger with a nail clipper so my hands and feet weren’t exactly looking their best.

Let’s just say my feet and hands needed some love!

And the nail salon I regularly visit finally opened.  And opened with every safety precaution available.  Upon entering, I had to wait on an “X” by the door until called over to the main counter.  Then my temperature was taken –98.6 allowed me to have my nails done. 

A new way to look at a nail spa!

Pexi-glass separating each pedicure and hand station led to a very safe environment.  The only disappointment was that no lip-or chin waxing can be done till further notice.  At this point I’m feeling like the bearded lady at a side show so let’s hope the face can be waxed sooner than later!

My feet needed this!

And in the end–it was all beautiful and back to normal–albiet it the new normal!

 

Well, now that I’m back, I’ve got more reviews and more stuff to write about and share with you.  Remember!  Be safe and keep protected. This “thing” isn’t over yet!

Here’s hoping you enjoyed your red, white and blue!

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Pied-a-Fair–The Shoes of Summer

The Summer Solstice 2020 occurred last night.  The longest day of the year.  Luckily, Bonaparte, my son, Roman and I enjoyed a late dinner on the deck with great conversation and food.  I didn’t even have time to be depressed over the fact that beginning today, the days become progressively shorter.

Last night it WAS a table for three. Outdoors. We commenced while the sun was shining and ended when the Big Dipper was in full view!

Yes. That’s how my thought process works.  The most depressing day of the year is the Summer Solstice because the days following grow shorter. On the other hand, my favorite day of the year isn’t Christmas, nor is it Thanksgiving or any holiday—it’s the Winter Solstice.  And that is simply because the days following become longer.

My inner Druid wanted to do a Solstice dance and prance in high hopes we can keep daylight longer all year!

Alas. It is summer!

It’s that time of year again.  And even though we are slowly coming out of the quarantine lockdown, and we may not be out-and-about with the vim and vigor of the past, we still need to remember a certain part of our body that needs some extra love. 

The feet.

Ahhhh.  The feet.  Les Pieds. The Dawgs.  Taken when my feet were well-pedicured I’m missing France very much this summer!  My feet were very happy that day driving to Antibes!

My poor dawgs haven’t had a proper pedicure in over three months.  And my attempts at polishing my toenails have been feeble at best and horrific at worst. But my feet know that I’m trying to give them the love they so deserve. 

My poor feet.  I can’t even apply polish on my toes without making it look like a complete fail!  At least I went with a light pink rather than Big Apple Red!

They haven’t been on vacation due to the pandemic and cancelled travel plans.  They haven’t even been out and about much because my Covid life consists of waking up.  Getting dressed. Getting into the car to drive to work.  Sitting in my cubicle at my computer all day.  Monday through Friday.  Getting back into the car to come home.  Arriving home.  Preparing dinner.  Then going upstairs to relax and it begins again the next day.

I am sure that my feet miss being at the beach as much as I do.  Presently, they miss walking around various areas of the Cote d’Azur.  They miss the cool of the pool.

Today, my feet would have been relaxing by the pool at our apartment in Theoule. I would have been sitting under an umbrella reading a book.  Enjoying the sun.  Instead, ‘m indoors and my feet need some lovin’!

They miss the rocky bottom of the Mediterranean.  They miss the feel of sand between their toes.  And miss the texture of both soft and hard grass under the soles.

The feet miss the sand of L’Estagnol and the rocky bottom of the sea.  

I’ll tell you, there is nothing like well-polished toes and the feeling of freshly-pedicured feet upon the inner soles of sandals!

But the one thing they don’t miss is the feeling of winter feet. 

For sure they are not missing being crammed into tights then into boots!

Yeah. They don’t miss being crammed into my favored pointy-toed heels nor do they miss being squished into boots.  They don’t miss that tightness of heavy socks over them to ensure that the boots worn in frigid conditions will keep them warm. They don’t miss the heavy sock-slippers I traipse around the house in when the winter weather arrives.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my pointy-toed shoes. But–to everything there is a season. And it’s time to Turn, Turn, Turn into summerized footwear!

Now, they are happy.  And they are happy because the summer footwear has been taken out for the season!

My summer uniform. An easy summer dress and Tropezienne sandals!

If you are like me, you realize that summer is the time for dressing freedom.  Freedom from and outerwear and heavy jeans and pants.  It’s that time of year when the lightweight dresses come out of hibernation for the warm three or four months we can enjoy until the days become cool again.

But for now, it’s all about the shoes.  Wearing nothing clunkier than the possibility of the soles of a wedged sandal or open toed one. 

Bring on the summer.  Aren’t these wedges pretty?  Lilly Pultizer definitely has the monopoly on great golden wedges!

The heels are strappy.  The feet are breathing freely.

Hmmmm. Hmmmm.  Strappy heels are so summer-cool!

The sandals are flat and comfortable. And the feet thank you.

My flat and comfy Palm Beach Sandals. This still is from a YouTube video I made on my summer shoes.  Except I had to delete it because I was wearing a short dress and you could see clear up my legs to my origin of the world–and even though I was well-covered, it wasn’t a good thing!

And so, I wanted to take you on a little tour of the shoes I’m wearing  this summer. 

More golden wedges from Lilly Pulitzer.  I don’t know why I’m such a sucker for gold footwear during the summer–but I am!

Be mindful, if you will, that the majority of these shoes have been with me for a while. And I’m not one to go out year after year to replenish anything trendy.

Classic Dr. Scholl’s. I’ve got two pair!

Part of this is sticking to classic footwear styles.

My love for Rondini never ceases.   These custom-fit sandals are worth every euro—converted into USD!  At an average of about $150, I’ve had some of these sandals over 10 years and they haven’t worn out. 

My Rondini Collection.  It WAS supposed to grow this summer…

I was planning on treating myself to these gold leather Bikini sandals from Rondini this summer.  Oh well, there’s always next summer!

The Bikini!  My favorite of all the Rondini sandals. I’ve been wearing these at least three times a week and they look so great with everything. 

The leather, as it ages, becomes softer and achieves a beautiful patina. 

These Tropeziennes by Rondini are over ten years old.  Chippy snacked on a strap years ago.  They were brought back and repaired and are good as new! But the leather ages so beautifully!

There’s no way I can resist a strappy heeled sandal.  I gravitate toward these simple heeled gems because that’s just what they are. Simple and classic. 

A nude strappy heeled sandal is perfection for summer wear..

As is gold!

Flip-flops?  To the beach. But we haven’t been there yet.

Surprisingly, these fancy flip-flops have been with me for about nine years. Old Navy created a winner with these navy beauties.  Beach sandals!

The Great American Jack Rogers and Palm Beach Sandals bring forth the iconic Jackie Kennedy years—and also a standard summertime sandal. 

Shades of Jackie Kennedy.  I, just as Jackie did, prefer the Palm Beach Sandals due to the narrower fit!  But I still dig my Jacks!

My personal preference?  The Palm Beach brand because they fit my narrow feet much better.  The “Jacks” stretch out way too much—and even though the brand does offer some sandals in a narrow width, they still, over time, manage to stretch out across my precious dawgs.

Do I ever wear closed-toe shoes during the summer? 

Well…. rarely.  If I wake up to a deluge of precipitation, perhaps I’ll don a pair of ballet flats, but not my good Repetto’s.

Old-School J. Crew Made-In-Italy Ballet Flats are my preference for nasty summer rains.

And during those weekend downpours, the oldest pair of Weejuns I own. Over 20 years old and still going strong!

And when in the comfort of my home, it’s the bare feet that make me the happiest.

I LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Atypical 60

At home I love my feet shoeless. Just like I love my titties braless!

 

Do tell.  How do you summarize your feet?  Do you wear the full-on closed-toed shoes?  Are you a sandal fan?  Flip-flops?  Are you itching to get a pedicure when this pandemic subsides?

Tell me about your summer shoes please!!

And most of all—are you sad that the days are getting shorter?

 

 

Posted in Summer footwear | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Skincare I Wear. And Test. And Revew. And…A Pleasant Surprise!

Hi Ladies and Gents!  It’s been a moment since my last blog post so I’ll fill you in:

Last week we took a trip to NYC to pick up Roman so he could spend a couple of weeks in the bucolic burbs before a possible return to work in July.

Yeah!  We drove from Philly to New York…and it’s always a pleasure..

Doesn’t the GW look splendid?

We celebrated Bonaparte’s birthday.

Ahhhh. The various stages of Bonaparte!  Top left, in his office. Next to that his mom Evie (who I think was one of the most beautiful women ever) with his sister Isabelle and a very young Bonaparte!  Bottom left, his cerebral but cool Parisen days and  a baby Bonaparte with his dad Dany. Jacques-Henri Lartigue took that one and it was used for a TWA ad back in the day!

And for his birthday, I gifted him with a movie poster of a film starring his aunt, Daniele.  He was very touched by this gift!  

I’m in the process of searching for an ophthalmologist because my eyesight is not improving. I shall leave it at that.

Bitmoji Image

Eye see you. Sorta-LOL!

And so, I’m ready to have fun to return to the blog and write about the things I love!

Among those things is skincare! And how befitting was it that Medipharma Cosmetics reached to me last month to see if I would be interested in in testing and reviewing two skincare creams and a mascara (which I shall review the mascara at a later date but it is really good!)

Medipharma Cosmetics is a German company  based in Homburg and has a huge loyal customer base and is a trusted brand across the pond!

medipharma cosmetics | Medipharma

And yes, they also have a line of sun care products.  I need this in my life! And I must admit, European sun products are fantastic!

Always interested in skincare, I accepted the offer. 

Did I have high expectations?  Truth is, I never do until I try a product out for a while.

Nor did I have low expectations.  I basically had no expectations and that’s not a bad thing!

If you follow this blog or my Instagram feed, you know I’m not one of those who open a jar, apply the product and fall in immediate love with it.  That isn’t real life. That isn’t honest and it isn’t being transparent.

So, let’s talk about my skin—shall we?

Okay.  Here’s the view.  Lines around my mouth, on the sides of my face, under my eyes.  I do have an uneven skin tone, but I don’t really look to skincare to even the tone out.  I can do that with makeup.  The signs of aging are apparent!

Ever the pro-ager, my skin is still, at 65 years, aging.  The lines and wrinkles are there.  My newest sign of aging are weird bags under my eyes.  And as I cannot afford fillers, I live with them and work around them.   My skin has also become more textured as I’ve aged.  It’s just not as smooth as it used to be.

And this is okay.  It’s normal.  It happens as you age.

What I’m looking for in a skin cream—or any skin care product at this time is hydration. Think of a sponge.  When a sponge is dry, you notice the crevices and little textured holes—they are pretty pronounced and the sponge feels dry and rough.

Add water and that sponge takes on a new appearance.  It plumps up.  And as it holds the moisture, it no longer feels rough and those little crevices are blurred.

Konjac Sponge Review | Dermstore Blog

See what I mean?  Notice the lines and texture of the dry sponge. Look how it plumps and smooths when wet!

That’s kinda how a good moisturizer works.

Now. Back to the Medipharma products.

The two creams I was sent.  Nachtpflege, which is the night cream and the Intensivcreme, which is the day cream.

I’ve been using the Intensivcream during the day and in the evening the Nachtpflege cream for about 5 weeks now. Every morning. Every night.

Both jars hold 50ml of product, which translates to 1.6907 ounces.  Both have a shelf life of 6 months. 

At over one ounce, I’ve been using these creams for over 5 weeks and there is still plenty of product left!

Both have a “green” scent that dissipates within seconds of application.

I know. I know.  You think I’m nuts to say the products have a green scent but hear me out.  Go outside to your lawn.  Pluck a strand of grass or a leaf from a shrub.  Snap it in half and smell it.  See what mean?  It has a very “green” and clean scent.

Even better, the creams have the scent of freshly-mowed grass but it dissipates so quickly!  It really is such a clean and crisp aroma!

That’s what these products smell like.

Trust me, I’m no scientist but here’s a listing of the ingredients.  There’s stuff I can’t pronounce but there are also ingredients that are very hydrating and mature-skin friendly such as beeswax, glycerin, olive fruit oil, jojoba and shea butter.

Here’s a listing of ingredients.  As you can see there’s some cool stuff in here!

Both have the consistency of cream that is just about to reach that whipped stage. And of the two, the Olivenӧl Nachtpflege is the less “whipped” with a very dewy feel.

It’s a nice texture–almost the whipped cream stage but not heavy and pretty lightweight.

The night cream is crazy with hydration.  I’ve even stopped using Cerave on my face at night because I prefer this!

Neither cream is greasy. And that, my friends, is a great thing!

Pardon my Pandemic nails please but the day cream is just beautiful under makeup.  It applies nicely and soaks into the skin in a timely manner, making the daily beauty routine more user-friendly and the creams are not greasy!  

The fact the creams aren’t greasy lends itself very well to applying cosmetics over the creams.

The day cream is slightly thicker than the night cream but is still incredibly lightweight and hydrating.

Let me add this—due to the pandemic and wearing of the mask on a daily basis, I’m not wearing liquid or cream foundation these days.  However, I’m applying powdered bronzers for a sun-kissed glow.  The combo of powder over a cream, especially one that can be greasy, could be disastrous.  But, given the fact these are not greasy, the powder bronzers or any powdered product I’m using, looks fine!  That is a great thing.

Wearing a mask can cause some funky stuff from sweat and the combination of product.  I’ve not had an issue with any breaking out from either of these creams. They are great “mask” products! 

Hey. If you are complying by wearing a mask every day you are well-aware that some products may have a tendency to cause breakouts.  Not so with these creams.  I’ve had no breakouts. No random pimples and no irritation.

Ohhhh. And speaking of irritation.  We all know that my eyes are ridiculously super-sensitive and it is the main reason I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. There has been NO irritation to my eyes at all. NONE!  Granted, this has no sunscreen so if you want sunscreen you’ll have to apply over the cream.  But given the fact many creams bother my eyes, this is remarkable.

No filtered photography here. Just a nice photo after using the creams for five weeks.  I do have makeup on over the cream but overall, I’m very pleased!

So let’s see. Just how does my skin look and feel after five week’s use?

I’m happy.  Actually, I’m very happy and impressed.

Ain’t gonna lie. Lines are still there but the hydration quotent is stellar!

Are the creams miracle workers?  No cream works miracles. No cream, no matter what their marketing strategy is, will erase your lines or wrinkles.  For that, you need lots of money and a certified plastic surgeon to give you a face lift or a certified dermatologist to shoot you with fillers.

face lift- GAH!!!

Hold that thought.  I think a cream is better than stretching the skin like this!

But these creams are incredibly hydrating.  And, in my very average-woman opinion, hydration is key.  My skin feels good and looks good.  It doesn’t feel dry. It feels dewy and hydrated.  And good is important.

In this picture, the day cream is literally my makeup! I’m wearing a glow from Guerlain’s Meteorites in Light that has been applied over the day cream.  I’m also wearing the Medipharma mascara!  The lashes are lookin’ good!

And another point I want to touch upon is that it’s important to rotate skin care products.  It’s like shampoo and conditioner.  If you stick to the same products month after month, year after year, you get the feeling they hit a plateau in helping you.

Like tires need rotation, so does your skin care regimen.

Honda Tire Rotation Service | Roy Schmidt Honda Effingham, IL

Just as tires need rotation, I’m a firm believer that skin care as well as makeup products need to be rotated. (When I had a full head of hair I did that with shampoo/conditioner. Now I rotate my wigs!)

Overall, I give these products an A+.  They do what is needed for hydration. They are non- irritating.  The texture is lovely.  The ingredients are pretty-much natural.  They don’t interfere with any cosmetics you will apply over them.  The scent, as clean as it is, will dissipate quickly and the price is right.

Speaking of price, you can use the code atypical25 for a twenty-five percent discount on your order.

Medipharma products can be found on Amazon.  As such I will leave a link to my idea list for Medipharma!   I do receive a small monetary amount for items sold through Amazon and want to be transparent about that!

My Amazon Links  Medipharma Idea List.

If you try, let me know in a few weeks what you think!  I’ll be back with more fun!

Last week we took a trip to NYC to pick up Roman so he could spend a couple of weeks in the bucolic burbs before a possible return to work in July.

We celebrated Bonaparte’s birthday.

I’m in the process of searching for an ophthalmologist because my eyesight is not improving. I shall leave it at that.

And so, I’m ready to have fun to return to the blog and write about the things I love!

Among those things is skincare!

Medipharma is a German company and has a huge loyal customer base and is a trusted brand across the pond!

Always interested in skincare, I accepted the offer. 

Did I have high expectations?  Truth is, I never do until I try a product out for a while.

If you follow this blog or my Instagram feed, you know I’m not one of those who open a jar, apply the product and fall in immediate love with it.  That isn’t real life. That isn’t honest and it isn’t being transparent.

So, let’s talk about my skin—shall we?

Ever the pro-ager, my skin is still, at 65 years, aging.  The lines and wrinkles are there.  My newest sign of aging are weird bags under my eyes.  And as I cannot afford fillers, I live with them and work around them.

My skin has also become more textured as I’ve aged.  It’s just not as smooth as it used to be.

And this is okay.  It’s normal.  It happens as you age.

What I’m looking for in a skin cream—or any skin care product at this time is hydration. Think of a sponge.  When a sponge is dry, you notice the crevices and little textured holes—they are pretty pronounced and the sponge feels dry and rough.

Add water and that sponge takes on a new appearance.  It plumps up.  And as it holds the moisture, it no longer feels rough and those little crevices are blurred.

That’s kinda how a good moisturizer works.

Now. Back to the Medipharma products.

I’ve been using the Intensivcream during the day and in the evening the Nachtpflege cream for about 5 weeks now. Every morning. Every night.

Both jars hold 50ml of product, which translates to 1.6907 ounces.  Both have a shelf life of 6 months. 

Both have a “green” scent that dissipates within seconds of application.

I know. I know.  You think I’m nuts to say the products have a green scent but hear me out.  Go outside to your lawn.  Pluck a strand of grass or a leaf from a shrub.  Snap it in half and smell it.  See what mean?  It has a very “green” and clean scent.

That’s what these products smell like.

Trust me, I’m no scientist but here’s a listing of the ingredients.  There’s stuff I can’t pronounce but there are also ingredients that are very hydrating and mature-skin friendly such as beeswax, glycerin, olive fruit oil, jojoba and shea butter.

Both have the consistency of cream that is just about to reach that whipped stage. And of the two, the Olivenӧl Nachtpflege is the less “whipped” with a very dewy feel.

Neither cream is greasy. And that, my friends, is a great thing!

The fact the creams aren’t greasy lends itself very well to applying cosmetics over the creams.

Let me add this—due to the pandemic and wearing of the mask on a daily basis, I’m not wearing liquid or cream foundation these days.  However, I’m applying powdered bronzers for a sun-kissed glow.  The combo of powder over a cream, especially one that can be greasy, could be disastrous.  But, given the fact these are not greasy, the powder bronzers or any powdered product I’m using, looks fine!  That is a great thing.

Hey. If you are complying by wearing a mask every day you are well-aware that some products may have a tendency to cause breakouts.  Not so with these creams.  I’ve had no breakouts. No random pimples and no irritation.

Ohhhh. And speaking of irritation.  We all know that my eyes are ridiculously super-sensitive and it is the main reason I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. There has been NO irritation to my eyes at all. NONE!  Granted, this has no sunscreen so if you want sunscreen you’ll have to apply over the cream.  But given the fact many creams bother my eyes, this is remarkable.

So let’s see. Just how does my skin look and feel after five week’s use?

I’m happy.  Actually, I’m very happy and impressed.

Are the creams miracle workers?  No cream works miracles. No cream, no matter what their marketing strategy is, will erase your lines or wrinkles.  For that, you need lots of money and a certified plastic surgeon to give you a face lift or a certified dermatologist to shoot you with fillers.

But these creams are incredibly hydrating.  And, in my very average-woman opinion, hydration is key.  My skin feels good and looks good.  It doesn’t feel dry. It feels dewy and hydrated.  And good is important.

If you are seeking hydration, this is exceptional!

And the day cream is just as good!

And another point I want to touch upon is that it’s important to rotate skin care products.  It’s like shampoo and conditioner.  If you stick to the same products month after month, year after year, you get the feeling they hit a plateau in helping you.

Like tires need rotation, so does your skin care regimen.

Overall, I give these products an A+.  They do what is needed for hydration. They are non- irritating.  The texture is lovely.  The ingredients are pretty-much natural.  They don’t interfere with any cosmetics you will apply over them.  The scent, as clean as it is, will dissipate quickly and the price is right.

Use the code atypical25 for twenty-five percent off. You’ll really like these!

Speaking of price, you can use the code atypical25 for a twenty-five percent discount on your order.

I’m linking to both the Medipharma cosmetics site and my Amazon store.  I do receive a small monetary amount for items sold through Amazon and want to be transparent about that!

Medipharma Cosmetics:   Medipharma English

My Amazon Idea List:  Atypical60 Medipharma Idea List

If you try, let me know in a few weeks what you think!  I’ll be back with more fun!

 

Posted in European skin care, mature beauty, Skincare | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Flower Power, The Yellow Phase and Personal Time Off!

It’s been a moment.  Actually, it’s been longer than a moment. It’s been months of pandemicmania.  And we, in this area of Pennsylvania have now entered into the “yellow” phase.  That means more businesses are opening.

Report: Philadelphia and Surrounding Counties Soon Moving to COVID ...

Aggressive mitigation my ass.  I can’t even go inside a bank to have documents notarized. And I wear a mask!

Don’t even ask me how this “Yellow” phase is working, but the local Hallmark store opened and on Saturday, Bonaparte and I drove to his bank to have a document notarized and we could not enter the bank as only the drive-through and lobby for ATM use was opened.

Hmmmm.  A Hallmark card store vs. a Bank.  I guess it’s more important to buy a friggin’ card than it is to have an important document notarized.

Anyway, with our trip to France cancelled, I am making every effort to bring France to our humble chateau!   And that means going overboard with the flowers.

You see, at the Marché Forville, the choice of flowers available is astounding.  As are the choices of produce and tons of other goodies.  And I liken our local Produce Junction as a little Marché Forville of sorts.

Just a sampling of the flora available at Marche Forville in Cannes.  Thank goodness I took photos.  And yes. I’m getting ready for a pity party this afternoon!

And after not being able to enter the bank, we drove over so I could purchase flowers to fill our home with  lots of pretty petals and greenery!  But I’m going to backtrack a bit.

I purchased six vases worth of flowers yesterday–but more on that in a while!

We had severe storms this past week.  I think Mother Nature has had it and she let us know.  Tornados hit, which is a rarity.  Trees were knocked down and over 100,000 homes are still without power.  We were the lucky ones.

A little glimpse of the damage that was done in this area. It was horrific!

I was at work.  The power went off.  And seriously, you gotta love Corporate America.  I was given a choice to stay and wait for the power to go on or go home and take Personal Time Off, PTO for short.  Let. Me. Tell. You. There was no way that I was going to leave to take any PTO.  As one of a total of three people in the office , this was not what an executive choice I was expecting.  No.  I stayed till five waiting for the power to return and listened to music.

View from my cubicle

The next morning, power in the office was still off.  My boss sent me a text stating I had to take PTO (which was not her doing) and after a brief meltdown, simply because nobody puts my PTO in a corner, it came to fruition that I better take my anger out in a positive way.

I refuse to allow Mother Nature to dictate my time off.  That PTO of mine is sacred to me!

And so, I got a bucket. And water. And cleaning products. And got down on my 65-year old hands and knees and scrubbed every baseboard in the house.  I also scrubbed the vents and the wainscoting.  Much to my ultimate surprise, I wasn’t as sore as anticipated.

My cleaning ammunition.  It was a filthy job that needed to be done!

This ungodly and shameful chore commenced at 8:00 AM and by 10:30 AM was complete.  And when I glanced at my phone, I noticed another text from my boss. She was trying to reach me because the power went back on.

How filthy were the baseboards, and vents?  Does this give you a clue?  Shameful?  Should be but it isn’t.  It’s a job well-done!

Now, understand something.  Whilst cleaning I wore an old white tattered pair of denim shorts, a baggy t-shirt, no wig, no makeup and no underwear.  It is imperative that I am absolutely comfortable tackling a filthy, grimy chore.

Realizing that I could hurry into the office and make up the two-hour time difference rather than lose any PTO, I quickly shed those shorts to add panties. The shorts then went back on.  The baggy shirt came off, a bra went on as did a more presentable shirt.

Plopped on some hair, put underwear on, changed my shirt and flew into work!  

I plopped a head of fake hair on, slid into loafers, grabbed the car keys and sped.  In fact, when I arrived at the office, my boss’s reaction was “Did you fly here”?

My only answer was “Pee. Tee. Ohhhhhh”.  She got it.  She gets me!

What vacation?  However, my personal time is precious!

And I spent a pleasant day at work knowing that I didn’t have to take any personal time off.   But she also reminded me about  the “Yellow” phase.  In other words, she reminded me my pandemic office honeymoon was about to end.  More coworkers will be arriving.  I’m distraught!

I’ll tell you. For the most part, the people I work with are good eggs. But there’s that minute contingent I refer to as “groundhogs”. The ones who pop their heads up from their cubicles to “watch” every move others make.  The little snitches.  They snitch if someone laughs. If someone talks too loudly.  If someone isn’t being nice to them.  If someone is eating. If someone is breathing. 

You know the person I’m referring to. They can’t keep their eyes or mind on THEIR work so they have to play the role of office snitch! Little groundhogs sticking their faces over their cubicles. Get back you rodent!

If you work in or have ever worked in an office, you know the type I’m referring to. My workcation is about to end!

So, back to the flowers.

I was struck by the incredible number of white flowers that were available at Produce Junction and was immediately brought back to those times at Bonaparte’s aunt, Danièle’s apartment in Paris.  She loved white roses and she loved her orchids. The apartment was always filled with flowers.

The table in Daniele’s living room was chock full of orchids.  Ahhhh I miss this view!

Suffice it to say I went a bit overboard.

I couldn’t help myself…

….flowers just make me happy…

….and I’m saddened by the fact our visit to France this summer was cancelled..

…and strategically placed throughout the house..

..they bring a smile to my face!

It didn’t stop there.  We bought plants for the deck.  It’s odd how this year there appears to be a shortage of geraniums, which I love for the outdoors, and the ones available were inches from death.

Seriously.  Bonaparte purchased the last of the remaining “good” geraniums!

I went with an assortment.

We’ve got some Lavender..

…and Rosemary and Begonias..

…and I took the Poinsettias from indoors and brought them outdoors…

…and we’ve got a Lilly

….and I did the dirty work (as usual) while Bonaparte cleaned up after me (as usual)!

All I want is to be reminded of the terrace at the apartment in Theoule we’ve rented for years.  We had it for this year and I was looking so forward to waking up and having breakfast overlooking the Mediterranean. 

Flowers on the terrace at Theoule. Oh I miss this view in the morning!

And in the evening, I was looking forward to sitting down and spending hours over dinner.  Watching the sun set upon the sea, listening to Bonaparte complaining about the large cruise ships destroying the beautiful vista.  I just miss it so much.  And part of that is I work so hard all year round.  At this stage in my life, I always envisioned a retirement of pleasure so that I could enjoy the years that remain.

I miss those delightfully lingering dinners on the terrace!

Why, I even miss the way Bonaparte complained about large cruise ships ruining his view as we sat down to enjoy the Mediterranean!

But I’m trying to do my best by setting a nice table for our summer dinners on the deck at home!

Can I click the heels of my Tropezienne sandals three times and be back on the terrace at Theoule?

Alas, that is not to be and I’ll be working till my last breath.  And that is why my personal time off is sacred to me.

Yeah. I’m crying because there won’t be ANY travels!

Later on, I’ll venture out to another plant nursery to find some plants that’ll hang loosely as they grow.  I want to sit on our deck during the remaining warm months before the sun sets earlier and earlier.  I want to squint my eyes and pretend that the rooftops across the way are the Mediterranean Sea with tiny whitecaps.  I want to look at the plants and pretend I’m back in Theoule.

This view just ain’t happening this year!

And while sitting outside, we’ll listen to a compilation of French pop music that I added to my Spotify!

This is an actual playlist from my Spotify!  You can tell I’ve been on Spotify for a long time–it’s in my pre-Lartigue last moniker!  But I’ll tell ya, there’s some great songs on this playlist!

Tonight, we will watch a French movie starring Danièle and the actor of the best speaking voice of all time—Charles Denner!

Daniele co-stars in this film. And it’s got subtitles!!!

More surprises in the cast!  Yves Robert, Daniele’s husband and the singer Sacha Distel.  I’m guessing he’s not gonna sing in this movie!

Hmmm. I wonder what Charles Denner is holding in his hand and I wonder what Daniele is sidling in over!

As we near the different phases of this pandemic, I wish to remind all to not have a false sense of security. Please remain safe and well!

Stay safe. Stay well.  It’s time to buy more plants!

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The Bag I Covet. And the One I Bought.

If there’s one activity that I discovered during this pandemic season, it’s the ability to bring new life into an old bag.

A sampling of the vintage Coach Bags that I’ve restored during this pandemic.

Since the commencement of the big lockdown, I’ve whiled away hours perusing the internet (much to Bonaparte’s dismay) in search of inexpensive bags that could be restored.

Only two brands spoke to me:  Louis Vuitton and Coach.

I”m definitely all about the vintage LV Monogram bags as well.  All of these with the exception of my Neverfull bag were purchased pre-loved and were cleaned up and  repaired.

I love the Louis Vuitton Monogram canvas bags.  The checkered print of the Damier and the Damier Azur, not my jam. But there’s something so lovely about the deep brown coated canvas adorned with initials and symbols that I find irresistible. And it looks striking against the Vachetta leather.

And for me, it’s all about the monogram. I’m just not into the Damier -The grayish/blue and cream checks do nothing for me..

Due to my stubborn searching, I was lucky enough to find a few bags and small leather goods to restore and become rather close siblings to the Neverfull bag that Bonaparte gifted me with in 2019 for my birthday.

The one bag, the very one bag I was searching in vain for was a Vuitton Noé Bag. It didn’t matter whether the bag was the larger GM or the smaller, more petit PM. I love the drawstring element. I love the casual unstructured vibe. I love the bucket bags.

But the thing was, I was never able to find that one Noe for me.  First of all, I don’t buy damaged goods.  And by damaged, I mean, I won’t buy a bag that has a ripped strap or handle. Nor will I purchase a bag with scratched canvas or tears, rips, or burns in the coated canvas.  I’ll restore an old bag. I’ll clean up the filthiest, greasiest bag with incredibly tarnished hardware. I’ll even tear apart a bad lining.  But I won’t deal with damage.

Cracked leather, no. It’s an impossible feat to find one in good used condition that doesn’t cost a fortune!

My LV Bucket GM had to have the trim repaired because while I was refurbishing the bag, I got a bit heavy-handed and the trim started ripping.  It cost me over $100 to have repaired. Still, for the price of what I paid added to the cost of repair, it was still a great deal.

Mrepaired bucket bag.  It cost me over $100 to repair and the bag still remained incredibly affordable!

I’ve searched Poshmark, Mercari and eBay in hopes of finding my elusive Noé to no avail.  Other sites that sell preloved LV bags are just out of the budget I set for myself. If a bag is in “great” used condition and being resold for nearly what the original cost is, I may as well just save for a new one.

And that’s what I was planning to do. Until a “thing” happened. That thing was a price increase earlier this merry month of May. It was the third of the brand’s price increase for 2020.

The price of my coveted bag is now up to $1,730 dollars.  I’m not buying it!

That. Is. Abominable.  It is greedy and arrogant.  We are in the throws of a pandemic.  People have lost jobs.  People are dying. And this brand raises their prices.

I read that the latest increase was due to the rising costs of supplies.  I call Bull$hit.  The cobbler who repaired my LV bag had the foresight to order a ton of supplies—leather from Italy, polishes and cleaners from Canada and other items, when this lockdown barely started.  So why didn’t a huge conglomerate of luxury items do the same?

Even more disturbing was the rising cost of the used Noé bags I researched.  Bags for $300, $400, $500 damaged beyond repair. My mind was filled with questions.  How could someone trash a bag that was really expensive?  How could a bag like that be damaged in the first place?  How could someone have the audacity to even sell a bag in that sort of condition?

This Noe, although not obviously damaged is incredibly old and lackluster and still managed to sell at over $600.  I’m sorry but no pre-loved bag that looks this aged should be sold for that amount of money.

In the meantime, I rediscovered a brand that I loved when I was younger. Coach.  When I was in my twenties and working down on Wall Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, the bags were the “It” brand.  The simple lines.  The pragmatic styles.  No logos.  Just stellar leather. That’s it.  Leather with no fabric lining.  No status symbols. Just a fabulous bag.

The simplicity of Coach bags always warms my heart. I recently refurbished this 45-year old Dinky Bag!

When she was in college, Oona worked at Coach and loved that job!  She worked weekends when she came home for laundry and wellness visits.  She worked during holiday and summer vacations and worked there for over four years!  One of my favorite bags is a tote she gifted me with.

This Old Bag's Got More Old Bags! More Vintage Bag Love. Coach Has ...

Oona gifted me with this Coach tote abour 13 years ago.  It still remains in my rotation and I absolutely love this bag!

Then came what I call the “C” years.  Ugh.  Coach lost its way and followed logo suit with other brands.  Less leather-more canvas and the letter “C” splashed all over.  Call me “C”razy but I thought those years cheapened the brand.

Coach finally did an examination of conscience and now sells updated versions of vintage and iconic models.  But here’s the thing.  Why spend the money when you can just buy a vintage Coach bag, clean and polish it up, and get that old-school Coach vibe?

And that’s what I did.

Luckily the Coach bags of vintage years are still incredibly affordable. But who knows for how long?  Anyway, I’ve restored a small number of these lovelies and am having a grand time wearing them to the office.

More of the vintage Coach bags that I’ve rehabbed!

But back to that coveted Noé.  She was still in the back of my mind until I spotted something else.  A Coach Lula’s Legacy bag.  Smaller than either of the Noé bags I coveted; this bag was still large enough to hold essentials that could be needed.  A journal for writing could even fit.

Coach Lula’s Legacy.  Everything the Noe bag isn’t–and is at a wonderful price.

All leather.  No coated canvas to become damaged. No Vachetta leather to stain.  A simple drawstring bag that needed a very big cleaning.

I spotted her on eBay and was charmed by the seller’s description.  The bag had been in many college bars. It had lots of beers spilled upon it.  The inside was stained with pen marks from being thrown into the bag after classes.

This bag had a history and was filthy. I loved her.  There was no damage just beer, ink and dirt. And the seller had a sense of humor and was honest.

I dunked her. I scrubbed her. I dried her.  And conditioned her.

The bag became mine for $40.  I dunked her in water. I scrubbed her. I conditioned her.  The dirt and grime were gone but there was permanent darkening in spots—I’m guessing from the beer.  This bag must’ve trekked miles with the Walk of Shame—or Shameless!

As clean as she got, there are still some dark spots but it is part of her charm!

Lula’s Legacy certainly is—a legacy!

See?  She’s clean but has the markings from all those beers! Still, she’s strong and powerful!

The rich chocolate brown will lend itself well to the coming fall and winter palette as well as now. So yeah, I still dream about that Noé but now isn’t the time.  I’m fortunate to be working but who knows how office policies will change once people return.

It’s time for frugality.  I’ve put a halt to refurbishing future vintage bags—but I have enough for now.

Lula holds a good amount of my stuff:  Here’s a look-see

As you can see, quite a bit fits into Lula’s belly!

This wallet!  It is the greatest one that I found on Amazon.  It’s small and compact and holds a ton of cards and money!  Chippy is coveting it as a snack!

Hand sanitizer that I FINALLY found and found at Produce Junction when I purchased flowers yesterday!

Mplanner–which since March the only writings are “go to work” “come home” “cry”

My Louis Vuitton Agenda PM which also has nothing of plan in it.  I had to cross out our visit to France next week!

A little burlap sack with lip balm, lipstick and lipgloss.

Another little sack with extra masks–just in case

A wig comb that Chippy snacked upon

A reusable shopping bag housed in a little sac from Monoprix.  I have one in every purse.  I hoard these when we are in France. One can never have enough of these little shopping bags!

Don’t even ask.  2012. I started using this as a food journal but lately there isn’t enough room to add what I’ve been eating!

So yeah. Lula holds quite a bit.  Chippy thinks it’s Christmas!

And so, my Coach substitute for Noé will suffice just fine!

Do you have a bag that you covet?  Are you tired of rising costs for “luxury” bags?  Let us know!!!

 

 

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The New Bronze Age—For Proagers!

It’s a daunting time for sure.  Under normal circumstances a great number of us would be getting ready to head to the beach, the shore, a lake, a pool—perhaps even putting those last-minute vacation details and plans together.

chilling in a cooler

Or perhaps spend the day at the ball park, or at an outdoor party where the cooler is always opened!

But this year, it’s different. Many of us have had our overseas travel plans cancelled.  Many of us haven’t had local pool clubs opened yet.  And although beaches are technically “opened”, there are those of us who err on the side of caution.

No scenes like this for 2020. Our summer trip to France was cancelled!

Due to my age, and my husband’s health being compromised, we are continuing to play it safe. And the thing is I miss the beach.  I miss the feeling of sand between my toes and running from the heated granules into the ocean to cool off.

This. I miss this.

I miss the feelings of the sun beginning to lightly kiss my face to the intense heat beating down on it causing an ethereal glow from the beads of sweat glistening against the summer hue that we achieve during this time of year.

Sitting on the deck doesn’t do it for me.  I cannot get a spray tan because the tanning salon is temporarily closed.   Other than the protection from sunscreen, the only thing left to do is fake the sun’s bronzing glow.

I’m faking the glow!  And saving my face at the same time!

And that is what I’ve been doing.  It’s not hard to get the results.  It isn’t ruining the skin.  It is definitely pro-age friendly and I’ll show you what I did to get the look as though I’ve been sitting out all day, at ocean’s edge, reading a book while the surf hits my legs! Seriously. At the mature age we are, we need to protect our skin now more than ever!

The other great thing about this is there’s no liquid or cream foundation to creep into lines and wrinkles that come with pro-aging.  So—it’s a win-win situation.  Come along with me as I show you how to get that sunny, bronzed pro-age look. It’s the new Bronze Age!

Okay. First things first.  After splashing my face with tepid water, I apply moisturizer. Today, it’s in the form of L’Oreal Rosy-toned moisturizer.

Let the Skincare Begin and A Peek at My Bio Hair! | Atypical 60

I’ve been using this moisturizer regularly ever since I received it from Influenster for review!

Next, I apply Embryolisse as a primer of sorts and while both moisturizers are setting in, I apply a base for my eye makeup. Which, by the way, I keep very simple.

A small amount is all you need to get beautiful results. I’ve had this tube for six months and use it every day. It was purchased at CityPharma in Paris and I’ve got a backup waiting to be opened!

I ran out of bareMinerals Well-Rested and this Bare Study Paint Pot from Mac is a great summer substitute! A bit of shimmer but not too much!

And I use Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow as eye shadow.  The lighter shade for an all-over wash on the lids up to the browbone and the darker for the crease and my lower lids!

After the moisturizers are soaked into the skin, I’ll apply a layer of Glossier’s Futuredew.  This isn’t a foundation nor a skin tint. In fact, it’s hard to pinpoint just exactly what this is!  It isn’t a moisturizer either. It’s just a liquid product with a slight pinkish tint that gives the skin a very dewy appearance. I freaking love this and just ordered a second bottle. The pump distributes just the right amount and quite honestly, this is a wonderful product for mature skin.  It reflects light so there will be less attention to those lines if you know what I mean.

Although the Glossier brand is marketed toward our Millennial friends, I love the brand. It is full-on mature skin, pro-aging friendly.  I  cannot say enough about this Futuredew either. It is a fantastic product!

Here’s how it looks out of the bottle..

…and here’s how it looks on my face. Just a hint of glow. That’s it!

Now. Here’s photos of the bronzers that I use.  They run the gamut from matte to shimmery.

Hey! I don’t use these all at once!  Each one serves a purpose!  We’ve got mattes and bronzers with a hint of shimmery radiance!

You can zoom in to thee which products these are!  And they are all excellent!

The mattes are used after a day or so out in the sun. I find that with a fresh face of sunglow (a more friendly term for a bit of the old sunburn), a wash over the visage with a matte bronzer both evens out the skin tone and subdues that overactive glow a bit!

Since I’ve been not enjoying the great out-of-doors and the only lighting I’ve been under is the annoying fluorescent light at the office, and wearing a mask, let’s say I could use a bit of color on my face.

However, wearing a mask isn’t all that great if you wear a liquid or crème foundation.  The mask gets dirty quickly and I do believe there’s more bacteria from a liquid or crème.  Therefore, I’ve been going without face makeup for a while.  On the plus side, my skin feels a lot better.

Back to the bronzer.

Today, I’ve used the following bronzing products on my face:

I started out with Laura Geller’s Baked Bronze-n-Brighten in “Fair”.  It was brushed on with a fluffy, oversized face brush from iT cosmetics.  One of the brand’s brushes that managed to last for a while.

The Laura Geller Baked Bronze-n-Brighten. In Fair.  It gives a nice glow and a bit of buildable color!

It gets brushed all the way to the hairline!

Over that, Laura Geller’s Baked Body Frosting was then brushed, with the same brush, all over my face with a light touch.  A lighter touch lends itself well to a better application. Remember—you can always build a color up rather than go heavy-handed realizing you went too dark!

Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting. This is an OG product. In the past eight years I’ve had two and trust me, this lasts forever. For. Evah!

Can you see the bronze pro-aging taking place? I couldn’t because I can’t see for $hit without my glasses!

Baked Body Frosting also gets applied on the legs and arms and neck to give an all-around healthy glow!

Next is a bit of the slightly but not completely matte, Guerlain Terra Cotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in 02 Blondes shade. I find this works very well on fair skin.  It’s a bit pricey but I purchased it at CDG airport for a very good price. Again—don’t overlook airport shopping because you can find great deals—especially on beauty products!

Guerlain Terra Cotta Bronzer. This is another awesome product. And you know what?  These bronzers last a long time because they are only used during the summer months!  (I pay no mind to expiration dates when it comes to powders)

No contouring either.  It’s about quick and easy during the heated months.  Less is more—right?

A bit of blush never hurts and our blogging friend, Sandra Sallin, the wonderful artist whose blog “Apart from My Art” is always entertaining, sent this Laura Geller blush to me.  The shade didn’t work for her and she kindly thought I might be able to use it.  Sandy knows her colors because I love this Baked Blush-n-Brighten Cherry Truffle.  It works in the winter and with the bronzed glow, is a perfect shade!

Although it photographs warmer, this blush works so well on cool-toned skin that’s looking for a sunny glow!

I’m holding on to this too, because it looks like the brand discontinued it!  Why?

To apply the blush, I used a favorite blush brush from Vera Bradley.  Oona and I both ordered her brush sets around 15 years ago when Oona started wearing makeup.  Vera Bradley has since discontinued this incredible brushes that I STILL USE!  Why, Vera, why?

Over that I applied Subtl Beauty’s highlighter in Champagne.

Proof that great things come in small packages!  Subtl Beauty’s Champagne highlighter is universally flattering, is buildable and can pack a whollop!

The highlighter was applied with a smaller brush from Morphe.  I don’t use a filter on my photos because I want to be transparent about the faults in my skin!

Under the eyes, I also applied the Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten with my Kerry Lou Fan brush.  This brush is one of my favorites.  It’s so soft and picks up product beautifully.  Since my bottom mascara has a tendency to smear, I use this brush to apply either powder or bronzer to keep the mascara in place.

Another great brush, I’m addicted to Kerry-Lou’s fan brush!

See how I went from fish-belly white to a nice healthy bronze age glow?

Put my hair on. Got dressed and a swipe of gloss finish it off.

A swipe of Merengue Butter Gloss by NYX , which is becoming harder and harder to fine, completes the look!  The hair is Beautiful Choice from The Wig Company’s Statement Line!  And the Honeybee earrings were purchased on Etsy!

It may look like a process, but it is easy and quick.  About five minutes total! In addition, although I’m not one to carry makeup around in my purse, during these months I’ll throw in the Subtle Beauty highlighter and bronzer and if need be, apply with a tissue.  That’s correct! I’ll gently rub the tissue over the makeup then rub on my face!  I’m too lazy to carry a brush around and if I get ugly. I get ugly. But to avoid a truly sweaty look, the tissue application works wonders because it absorbs the sweat!

Two little stacks from Subtl Beauty slip right into the purse!

For a quick touch-up, all I do is pat a tissue into the bronzer and rub on my face. It’s multi-tasking. I’m blotting my face and adding bronzer at the same time! But I have to tell you that I rarely touch up. When I get ugly. I get ugly!

So that’s about it!  I have to say, Laura Geller bronzing products are some of the best on the market.  I keep coming back to them. And the Baked Body Frosting—I’ve had this for over two years now and it seemingly lasts forever.  The cost per use is remarkably affordable.

Minimal effort and time is all it takes!

If you’re unable to get in the sun, might I suggest playing around with bronzers. There’s a shade for every skin tone and with the proper application you won’t look dirty or orange!

What bronzers do you use?  Any additional suggestions would always be welcomed! Add your’s in the comments.

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A Good Book and The Better to See You With!

Let’s go back a couple of weeks. Shall we?

We’re taking a little trip back in time!

Mother’s Day.  One of the gifts I received was a book. The book was from my daughter, Oona.  Oona knows me so very well.  She knows my likes. She knows my delightful glee with a fun read.  It’s true.  I know.  I know. Other than cerebral literature such as Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, I enjoy a light, easy and entertaining read. Especially when it’s about reality show stars!

Oona gifted me with “The Art of Southern Charm” by Patricia Altschul with Deborah Davis.

You know what?  This book is PERFECT reading during this covid/pandemic/lockdown/quarantine time because it is so thoroughly entertaining! And fun!

If you are a regular reader of this blog or if you know me in real life, then you know I’m absolutely obsessed with Miss Patricia.  In fact, I wrote a blog post as an homage to her “My Sprit Animal…”

This book is fun, in it she discusses her fabulous career and life and there’s some great little tidbits to use in everyday life. Seriously. This born and bred New Yorker loved the book and finished it off in one sitting while relaxing in my sunroom.

Okie Dokie–so I don’t have a cat. I have Chippy instead!  But I spend time–an entire afternoon, in fact, to read this delightful book!

And here’s the thing.

My eyesight is horrific.  And we all know that eyesight is one of the most important senses.  We need to take care of our eyes—especially as we pro-age!

And—prescription eyeglasses are expensive. The stronger the prescription, the more money you will shell out—whether or not you have insurance, those windows of sight assistance are pricey! It’s a daunting subject, the one of eyeglasses, because for most of us who need to wear eyeglasses, we have one pair.  Maybe two if we invest in prescription sunglasses.

Let’s face it.  We change up the color of our hair. We even change up the style of our hair regularly if we wear wigs!  We change our clothing daily. And, hopefully, change our underwear daily.  But we cannot do that with our prescription eyeglasses.

True dat.  We can change up our looks with different clothing and even hair!  But what about eyeglasses?

I know that the over-the-counter and readily-available readers can help a good many people who need slight assistance.  However, for those of us with really bad eyes, that 200 or 250 or 275 or 300 lenses doesn’t suit our needs.

There is a solution!

A while back I received an inquiry from Voogueme online eyeglass company.  They wanted to know if I would be interested in trying their glasses out for review.

Hmmmmmmmmm. Intrigued and interested, I headed to Voogueme.com to find out more about this affordable brand!

So off to the website I went and was intrigued.  Frames are affordable ranging from $6.95 for sale frames up to the average price of around $25 give or take a few bucks.  You can get the glasses in readers, frame only or build up your pair with your prescription.  And the buildable prescription price with progressive lenses, or coatings still come in less expensive than what one would normally spend elsewhere.

I took a good look at my current glasses, which I happen to love. They are a rounded black frame by Ray Ban.  I have the same frame in tortoise for my prescription sunglasses.  With my medical insurance, progressive lenses, blue coating (for computer use) non-glare coating, both pair cost a pretty penny.  Actually, a lot more than a pretty penny. Two pair cost me—with insurance about $850. And I have good insurance.

Don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE my present glasses but it’s nice to know that options and affordable prescription eyeglasses are out there!

Spending this amount of money really doesn’t give me wiggle room to change up my glasses.

And that’s why I was intrigued with Voogueme.

When I agreed to review two pair of glasses that would be sent to me, I headed back to the website to choose frames.

I got a copy of my prescription from my eye doctor and then used the printable ruler from the website to measure appropriately for the glasses.

Taking the measurements was the area that made me nervous, but with the help of my husband and carefully following directions, we entered the numbers and that was it.

Now; because of our current situation with the Covid and lockdowns, etc., it took longer than expected to receive the glasses.  But—it was no big deal. We all need that extra bit of patience during this time.

The glasses arrived last week.  And during this week, I’ve worn both pairs to work and out and about. The lenses are fine and I’m incredibly impressed. I can see clearly.  I can work on the computer with no issue.  I can read.

My Ray Ban glasses are in the far left photo. The two pairs of glasses I received from Voogueme are the middle and far right.  They are rather fetching if I must say so myself!

Now—I did not get any coatings or bells and whistles other than my lenses.  That means I cannot wear these at night or in pouring rain because the glare from oncoming traffic would be really bad.  Other than that, these are excellent.

Let’s talk more:

The packaging:  I was thrilled with the packaging.  Have you ever ordered something online and the size of the box is ridiculously large for the items you ordered?  Yeah. I thought so.  Not in this case. We’ve got some very practical and pragmatic packaging here. No wasted space!  The two pair of glasses fit snugly into the box.  That’s a biggie for me!

Just big enough to fit the eyeglasses, I was very pleased with the packaging. It bothers me to receive a huge box when the product is so much smaller. I don’t like wasted space!

The cases:  The glasses came in separate cases. One, a bright orange, plastic case that has a built-in clasp closure.  The plastic is hard and strong.  Inside the case, the glasses were packaged in a plastic zip bag with information pertaining to the glasses.

Inside the case, the glasses were placed inside a plastic pouch with information pertaining to that particular pair of glasses! There’s no such thing as too much information here!

The other pair came in a deep, bright pink case with black trim and a black ribbon tab.  The pink and black trim are fabric over a heavier component material. I don’t know whether it is plastic or a heavy-duty cardboard.  It zips open and closed and the zipper appears strong and doesn’t stick. Like the orange case, this is a hard case as opposed to a soft, pliable case.

The cases were very well-constructed. The top case was a fabric-coated plastic or heavy cardboard. It was solid. The zipper was of good quality. Not cheap and it zipped very smoothly. I like the ribbon tag as well  The bottom orange case was all plastic and strong with a built-in clasp. Both the cases offered excellent protection for the glasses inside.

The frames: I’m a fan of big glasses. It’s my personal preference. With a square face shape that is angular, my jawline is as wide as my forehead. Small glasses look out of proportion on me. Trust me, I went through that small, rectangular glasses phase and hated it.  It was such a pleasure to return to big, round frames.

That being said, both pair are “oversized”.  The first pair I liken to Iris Apfel glasses.

This is a photo from the Iris Apfel MAC cosmetics ad. See the glasses?  They are huge and match this fabulous woman’s personality!

Big rounded with a hint of cat-eye at the far ends, they are black frames with a strong wire arm. The fit over the ear is very comfortable and the fit at the bridge of the nose is comfortable too.  There are two little plastic “nose rests” if you will (I can’t think of what to call them), on each side of where they rest on your nose. They are incredibly comfortable.

My big, rounded Iris glasses!

These are fun glasses!  They are big and bold and I love ’em!

The second pair is tortoise with gold accents.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would like the gold trim/accents but I have to say, of the two pair, this is the one I love!  The “arm” is thicker and isn’t wire. However, the comfort level over the ear is stellar.  The bridge of the nose is gold and also has those nose “thingies” albeit a tad lower.

These tortoise and gold glasses are the greatest surprise!

I must say, the husband did a fantastic job in measuring for these glasses because both pair are a perfect fit!

This is the money pair.  Quite honestly, I love these glasses.  The fit is excellent and the quality exceptional.  I’m over-the-moon with these tortoise and gold cuties!

The quality: The quality of both glasses is absolutely excellent. Neither pair feels “cheap” or flimsy.  They are both constructed very strongly. Compared to my Ray Bans, I would have to say that the tortoise pair is better made.  Ain’t gonna lie.  Both pair are slightly heavier than my Ray Bans but certainly not in a bad way.  On the head, they don’t feel heavy.  They feel strong.

There’s nothing to complain about with these glasses!

They are securely screwed.  The lenses are solidly in place and overall, I am very impressed and pleased.

Everything about these glasses is a plus!

The extras:  Each pair came with its own microfiber cleaning cloth.  For a natural glasses slob such as me, this is great.  Honestly, I don’t know how I do it, but I’m the biggest glasses pig ever. It just about kills the husband that I can even see.  I give new meaning to “walking around in a fog” due to the filth on my lenses.  So, this is a good touch.

The bright orange microfiber cleaning cloth came inside the case for each pair of glasses!

A ruler to measure future purchases also came with the glasses. Can I tell you how great this is?  Working with the printable ruler was a bit challenging because it was copier paper. But this is more substantial. It’s coated/laminated cardboard and the printing is clear.  It’s going into my eyeglass file for future use.

The stronger construction of this ruler as opposed to the printable one on the brand’s website is wonderful. It’s a heavier and sturdier version and is now safely placed into my eyeglass file for future use!

Oh Wait. Get this—a repair kit was included.  Can you believe it?  A cute tiny screwdriver on a hangtag.  Who hasn’t needed one of these at one time or another for glasses?  An extra set of nose-thingies was also included. And so, I ask—why don’t all prescription glasses come with a little screwdriver and nose-thingies?

This!  There’s a screwdriver at each end and a hang tag so you can’t lose this essential accessory in repairing the glasses. And why aren’t these little gems included with EVERY pair of glasses we buy?  I also love the extra nose thingies!

Lastly, a card for ten percent savings on a future pair of Voogueme glasses was included. This card is going into my glasses file with the ruler!

This expires on 12/31/2020.  But I have a feeling the ten percent could go a bit longer!

Last thoughts? I recommend Voogueme Look. I can’t predict the cost of everyone’s prescription eyeglasses simply because we all have different sight issues.  Whether you want all the bells and whistles such as coatings, progressives, etc. or whether you are looking for a pair of frames only or whether you want a simple pair of readers, you have your choice.

With the rising cost of health insurance, our needs are becoming more expensive and it’s great to have an affordable option. I’m not saying a “cheap” option but I’m saying an affordable option.

Perhaps you own a very, very expensive pair of designer frames for your prescription glasses—I’m talking really expensive. Whether prescription or not. You’re going to the beach, a pool party, barbeque or even on vacation.  You don’t want to spend the entire time worrying about your pricey designer glasses.  Voogueme gives you an incredible option.

A less expensive pair—or rather, a very affordable pair will alleviate any fears you have of losing that number one pair.

For me, these glasses are an excellent change up to my regular glasses and a great option for a day down the shore or a travel weekend.

This is definitely a reputable company and I’m both impressed and happy with the glasses I received.

I’m a happy camper here. And I must say if you are looking for an affordable pair of perscription glasses, Voogueme is a great start!

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Where Have I Been? A “Heart” felt Answer.

A funny question to ask during this lockdown, isn’t it?  Where are we going besides our homes, and for some, work.

Allow me to answer.

I’ve been at work.  A never-ending saga of paperwork and faxing and mailing.  Quite honestly, I never thought work would have me so spent at the end of the day.  Thoughts of jobs past come to mind and I was always very energetic upon leaving and returning home.  Up for shopping. Up for a movie. Up for anything.

you got it boss

Must. Get. The. Job. Done!  Goals!

All I want to do at the end of the day is just come home and stress-eat and go to bed.

Bitmoji Image

Disguised as beauty sleep. But it isn’t! It’s SLEEP!!

Being in front of a computer for eight hours with very little to no human contact, only getting up from my cubicle to go to the bathroom and make a run for the scanner, copier or trash is wearing on me.  But it is a double-edged sword because I’m extremely lucky to even be working during this time.  And the tasks themselves are not difficult—especially when there is nobody around to distract.  And my work-ethic keeps pushing me. Yeah. I have personal goals and they always come to fruition at the end of the day.  Therefore, it’s all good!

you got it boss

Actually, I have a GREAT boss so it IS all good!

But I want to tell you about something that happened earlier this week.

Like Miss Clavel turning on the light in the middle of the night and knowing something was not right, Bonaparte turned on the light in the middle of the night because he knew something was not right.

Like Miss Clavel, Bonaparte knew something was not right!

He woke me from a sound sleep Tuesday evening. He told me to get dressed because he had to go to the hospital.  Ever the pragmatic man, he managed to pay a plethora of bills before waking me from my slumber, showed me where they were and told me when to mail them.

Still in a daze, I woke, put on clothing while forgetting to put panties on under my jeans, threw on a wig and got into the car.

He was having chest pains. And for my husband to wake me up and go to the hospital, those pains must have been pretty bad because his tolerance for pain is incredibly high.

So off we went. In the middle of the night. To Paoli Medical Center.

We parked in the emergency lot and all was quiet.  As we entered the hospital, we were both met with thermometers at the forehead to take our temperatures.  Now—under normal circumstances, I would have asked “Am I alright”?  “Is my temperature OK”?  This time I kept my mouth shut and concentrated on Bonaparte.

Bonaparte’s “Waiting” room. I’ll tell you this much-he was well-taken care of by the nicest and caring staff!  They were great!!!!

As he was the soon-to-be patient, the hospital had him take the mask he was wearing off and replace it with a hospital mask.  I was able to keep my mask on.

I was able to keep my lovely mask on!

At the reception desk, he was asked how long the pain persisted.  I stood there shocked as he stated since the previous weekend.  When the receptionist gave me the side-eye, I explained that he never said anything to me.

I’ll spare you the deets of the remainder of the ER visit but my Frenchman had a minor heart attack that could have turned into a major one.

He was admitted for surgery the next day and at close to four in the morning, I drove home in darkness and quiet.  Empty roads with the occasional set of headlights approaching me.  I was tired but not tired.  And when I arrived home, I arrived to a chewed plastic bag on the kitchen floor.  Chippy got into the garbage. And while I should have been making an attempt to get back to sleep, I was cleaning up not the garbage in the kitchen, but that of the bathroom in our master bathroom.  Our rascal managed to carry the trash down a flight of stairs.

Chippy knew something was not right as well!

I finally got back to sleep near daybreak.  And stayed home from work.

Now—here’s where my complete failure to comprehend comes in. Since I was home, I decided to get all dressed up nicely. I put on a bright pink, Lilly Pulitzer shift because it’s a happy color.  I put on a dark wig because Bonaparte loves me in dark hair.  I put makeup on.

All dressed up and ready to visit Bonaparte!

And I called the hospital to find out when visiting hours were.

The operator on the phone must have thought I was a moron. She explained that due to the Covid virus there were no visiting hours.  At all. For anyone.  After I sheepishly relayed to her that I thought the rule was only for Covid patients, she validated the rule was for everyone.

Oops!

I even kept my Main Line Health lime green bracelet from the ER on!  Lime green is such a Mainline color! It went quite well with my Lilly Pulitzer frock!

Needless to say, Bonaparte’s surgery was a success.  He had two stints placed into his body to open arteries.  And on Thursday morning, I went to work and let my boss know that I would be leaving to either, take the dog out and then pick up the husband if he was discharged or pick up the husband if he was discharged, drive him home, return to work and finish my day.

His battle scars of black and blue from where the stints were placed and traveled!

Luckily, I received a call at morning’s end to come pick him up –he was being discharged.

So off I went to pick him up and drive him home.  And upon arriving home, the poor man almost had another heart attack.  I almost hit his car.  Yeah.  His car was parked in front of the house. Very close to our driveway. And as I turned into the driveway he screamed. I never made the full turn but reminded him that there is no sight in my right eye and I have no depth-perception. (which makes wearing a mask very challenging).

Anyway, as I drove off back to the office, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I was happy and thanked God and all the Saints and Mary that my man was home and resting!

Yes. He was told to rest. But you know, Bonaparte is quite the man. That afternoon he was with clients over the Zoom conference video on the computer.  And as I write this now, he’s upstairs on this rainy Memorial Day Saturday watching soccer.  I love the sound of the TV in the background as I write this.  Chippy is happy and content.  Prep for dinner had begun and this evening we are not having a heavy sauce or tons of butter-laden baguette.

We’re having a healthier dinner this evening!

We are having a chicken, artichoke and grape tagine.  The Mise-en-place is set up. The chicken is marinating and I’m blissfully grateful to have my husband home with me.

Harissa and tomato paste. One can never have enough Harissa!

Caramelized onion, artichokes and grapes at the ready!

And chicken is marinating in the fridge!

Enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend. Whether the weather is damp or cold or rainy or warm—remember, it’s only weather.  Your loved ones are more important.

Memorial Day 2019 at the Shore.  This year it’s a different story but who cares??!!

Oh—BTW, Bonaparte was tested for Covid.  It came back negative!

Some flowers I arranged just for you!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a review on eyeglasses for you!

 

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