Mother-of-the-Bride Chronicles. On Tuesday We Travel. On Wednesday We Work!

As I sit here starting my blog posts about the lead-in to my daughter’s wedding and the celebration, it’s now that I’m ridiculously misty-eyed.  Oona and her husband are in Mexico on a well-needed and deserved vacation (do they still call it a honeymoon) and I’m back at work.  A mere mortal.  I’ll never again be a Mother-of-the-Bride and having an only daughter makes it all more special.

Mr. and Mrs. Butts–before they were married!  I can’t believe how quickly a year went by.  Exactly a year ago she said yes!

So, come along on my last leg of the journey and share stressful and fun times with me!

Bags packed. And yes–my MOTB Calvin Klein dress was stuffed into that weekender!  I travel light…..sort of!

I left last Tuesday for Cincinnati.

Minimal makeup and a bra peeking out from my maxi dress!  I kept it real classy!

Because I’m deeply concerned obsessive about traffic and airport conditions, such as the lines at the TSA, I arrived three hours before my flight. Don’t judge.  I would much rather be at the airport to spend time people-watching, playing Candy Crush on my phone and reading trashy magazines then to arrive an hour before my flight and deal with the stress of rushing to make a flight.

Candy Crush is my other Zen besides ironing.  Look. I’m in 15th place and very competitive. Great airport fun…

The airport was surprisingly empty for this July Tuesday.  I breezed through TSA, sat down to a delightful snack of a $7.99 bag of Peanut M & M’s and I ate every one of those tasty nuggets.

An entire $7.99 family bag was consumed by yours truly. And I felt sick halfway through but didn’t stop…

Not to be outdone with my appetite for overpriced airport food, I made my way to the Philly Pretzel stand and purchased a Pretzel Meal—three soft pretzels with a bottle of water.  There’s something even more delicious as you are washing those salty pillows of carbs down to your stomach with room-temperature bottled water.  I was in junk food heaven.

How much do I love these pretzels?  Well, I was thinking that the little spots of salt looked like whiteheads on pimples..and that didn’t gross me out enough to stop eating them.

My LV Neverfull MM bag is just like me.  Never full!!

When I got bored with Candy Crush, I took out a wig and combed it.  I believe in quality hair care—especially when the hair is fake.

Ever the class act, I didn’t even head to the ladies’ room to comb out my wig. I took it out of my bag, held it out and played hair dresser!

The biggest surprise for me was the weather.  I’m that person.  Whenever I travel by air—it rains.  It was an oddity for me to take off under clear skies!  The flight was quick and, true to form, we landed in rain and thunder—it made me feel so much better!

Bright lights.  Wet Cincy!  It’s how I travel!

Oona and Sam picked me up at the airport and due to a jackknifed truck, traffic wasn’t exactly moving and by the time we arrived at the house, it was time to fall into slumber.  But it felt so good to be with my baby once again!

Wednesday brought forth a mighty busy day.

Porch life. I swear Oona and Sam have the greatest front porch ever!  I enjoyed my morning cup of coffee….

…and played Mrs. Kravitz the nosey neighbor while watching Sam walk Gracie.  It was a bit on the wet side Wednesday morning but sitting on that porch was still enjoyable.

Oona and Sam both put a full day at the office and that meant I was alone with Gracie the grand puppy to assist with some wedding tasks.  Place cards needed to be cut and alphabetized.

Something tells me Gracie didn’t like the fact I had work to do

Cellophane bags needed to have Oona and Sam stickers placed on them.  The bags were for cookies.  The happy couple decided to have 20 dozen of their favorite cookies from Donna’s Gourmet Cookies to hand out to wedding guests as an extra.

You have no idea how challenging it can be to peel over 200 stickers in one piece

 But I peeled ’em…

…and placed them on the bags!

Thank God for this paper cutter.  It helped my crossed eyes to cut straight!

In addition, I did four loads of laundry.  I folded the sheets I washed and ironed what needed to be ironed.

Mommy couldn’t be happier that the daughter uses Tide!

And naturally I was in my glories ironing these napkins to look like…

I’m hoping that Oona realizes her iron is of excellent quality.  She had to think for a moment of where she kept it.  

By the time I finished it was mid-afternoon and time for me to take a bath and get ready for what was to come.  Upon Oona’s return from work, we headed downtown to her tailor to pick up the wedding gown.

Ahhhh..it was so refreshing to be clean once again! I’m wearing my Avalon wig by Estetica Designs.  She’s a great travel wig!!

When she tried it on for that final fitting, it was perfect. Tony King is tailor extraordinaire and what a sweet man.  We hung with Tony for a bit then made our way very gingerly and carefully to her car with the dress and veil in tow.

Tony King. THE King of wedding dress alterations!  He’s a Cincinnati legend and sweeter than a cup of honey.  I wanted to hang out with him.  He’s that guy–the one you can have a few laughs with.  Oona was blessed to have him work her dress!

Maneuvering those wedding dresses is no easy feat.  The car seats had to be pushed down, the plastic covering had to be just so and nervously we were off to head home before Sam arrived.  He couldn’t see the dress!

Dress home, hung and hidden, the three of us headed out to dinner at Revolution Rotisserie Bar & Restaurant.    I’m telling you there’s some good stuff to eat in Cincy!

I wish this place was in Phoenixville or Philly or NYC!!

We started off with deviled eggs and I’ve got to figure out the recipe.  The yolk filling was thicker than mine but capers were added and they were good eggs!!!

Why have I never put capers in Deviled Eggs?  Why?????  These were da bomb!!

Although the place is a chicken restaurant, I went with the Pimento Burger.  I had never had pimento cheese before and it was ages since I had a burger.  And they cooked it rare!!!  Angus Beef burger served on a Brioche bun, slathered with homemade pimento cheese, jalapeno-bacon fig jam, home made tater tots that got deliciously mushy and arugula.  And I wonder why I gain weight.

This burger was a work of art.  And I ate every last crumb without guilt.  Looking at this now makes me hungry AF!

Oona and Sam went with the chicken and it was delicious. Sam and I both had a side of the Crispy Brussels Sprouts–most likely the healthiest thing I ate all week!

Note to self–make crispy Brussels Sprouts as soon as possible.  If you love the Sprouts of Brussels you must try these nuggets of pleasure.

 It’s a very neighborhoody ambiance but I was a bit flummoxed that it closes at 9 PM.  If this place was smack in the middle of New York City or Philly, it would be doing business until two in the mornin’!!

When we got back to the house it was time to continue our work on wedding preparations then off to bed!

All divided into tables and alpabetized.  It was good work and fun!

Tomorrow will bring more fun and surprises!!!  Stay tuned for Thursday, Friday and the big day!

Hmmmm. I enjoyed this so much that I’m wondering if I can be a “Rent-a-Mother-of-the-Bride”

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Preliminary Packing –The Mother-of-the-Bride Chronicles

Almost a year to the date, Sam proposed to Oona in NY’s Central Park.  Bonaparte and I were spending the weekend in New York and we were able to celebrate with them moments after she said yes!

She said yes!  And the big day is almost here!

And now we are in the throws of that last  week and a half before the big day.

So, what did I do this morning?

I did the eyes a bit today and added magnetic lashes. It took me a f(^(*&(& ing half hour to get them on! I’m wearing Hunter by Estetica Designs today!  I needed a shorter wig due to the humidity and heat!

I started my “Preliminary Packing”.  It’s the packing before the packing.

Since it’s summer and the weather is very hot, especially in Cincinnati because it’s a landlocked area, I’m packing light clothing.  I’m not even packing shorts except the loose ones I’ll be wearing around the house.

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Yeah. It’s sizzling!  I mean the weather. It’s spicy hot!

I’ll be sundresses for me.

And I’m hoping to put everything—even my mother-of-the-bride gown into my carryon.  Oona has a steamer so whatever wrinkles are made in the dress—they’ll be steamed out!

So, come along with me on a little tour of what I’m packing so far.

I have my Longchamp Weekender on the floor to the left of my vanity.  My “Makeup” room is a bit unorganized today because of the packing and figuring out what I’ll be bringing and wearing since I’ll be sticking around for five days!

I love a good packing challenge and by God, I’ll get EVERYTHING into that bag on the floor!  

In order to ensure a structured bottom of the bag, I’m placing my Mother-of-the-Bride hair, at the bottom of the bag.

My besties at Estetica are too good to me.  They gifted me with a Wedding Alden and a card!

Caramel Kiss RT 4! OMG. I’ll have Julia Roberts hair for Oona’s wedding!

Now, I’ll be bringing more hair with me but I’m unsure which wig. I feel like Jamison will be upset if I don’t bring her but I think I’ll be bringing Avalon instead! (Shhhh. Don’t tell.)

I’m on a longer, wavier kick this summer.  It’s a difficult decision between Avalon and Jamison. But..this is why I preliminary pack!

And this wig comb by Jon Renau is the bomb!  I ordered three more to keep in my purses.  At three bucks a piece, these are wigsavers! Into the bag with ya!

Now for the prelim clothes..

My designated “slob” outfit/PJ’s . I was drinking coffee when I did the prelim pack and spilled some on the shorts.  The cami isn’t working!

Stuffed into a little plastic pouch and into the bag.

TRAVEL TIP: Keep plastic pouches  the clothing comes in. The pouch above?  A bathing suit came in it and now it’s used as a travel pouch!

The Rehearsal Dinner Ensemble. I went with the dress from Guess. I tried it on at Lord and Taylor when I searched for the MOTB dress and went back for this one. It’ll suffice well because there’s some stretch!

I love this dress so much!  It’s comfortable and has a bit of stretch!…

And the shoes…they’ll also be worn at the wedding and will be off my feet as soon as I hit the dance floor!

Because I don’t want the lace to get messed up, I turned the dress inside out…

And rolled her up…

And for added protection, placed her into a small white trash bag. Into the weekender you go!

I’m big on placing practically everything in bags. Those black heels for the rehearsal dinner? They’ll be going into a shoe bag that came with Rondini sandals. I have six of these bags and they are the greatest travel asset for shoes!

In the bag and in the bag!

This won’t be the time to bring a ton of footwear. For everyday, I’ll bring my favorite Rondini sandals–my Bikini sandals.  They look great with easy summer dresses!

Set aside but NOT  yet packed because I wear these a lot. I’ll be wearing them to work this week!

One of my ten-dollar Old Navy dresses. I’ll wear this to get spray-tanned.  On Thursday before the wedding, Oona and I are getting sprayed! This is the perfect dress because it’s loose and comfortable.  Into the bag you go!

The one undergarment I can’t do without for the wedding!

The sticky-boobs I ordered from Amazon. Holy Smokes, these are great! They push up and stay put.  You are in the bag!  Plus, the packaging adds structure to the weekender!

The Hanky!  Oona’s Maid of Honor, Lauren, gifted this hanky to me and had one made for Sam’s mom too. I’ll be wiping tears of happiness and melancholy from my eyes. Isn’t it gorgeous?

It’s rolled up and………

Placed in this metallic clutch.

The wedding purse is a nice-sized metallic clutch with a chain strap that I picked up at Nordstrom back when I worked there.  It was a huge seller for special occasions.  The hanky, a phone and a lipstick will fit perfectly!

The strap hidden…..

…and the strap exposed to put over my shoulder when I’m enjoying a beverage at the cocktail hour.

You know, the clothing isn’t the challenge.  It’s the little things.  I’m planning to pack my two Lilly Pulitzer Margot Dresses and the bright colors call for bright earrings. Or do they?  Do I bring the tassel earrings or only hoops?  I’ll be wearing the good pearls and good pearl earrings for the wedding.  They are on display but not in the bag yet!

I’m undecided on the tassel earrings.  That’s why I preliminary pack!

Same with makeup. It’s a challenge because a makeup artist will be doing my makeup for the wedding. And I’ve really lightened up on the face makeup for the summer.  I put some stuff into a basket to mull it over.  The Morphe lip gloss is definitely going as is the MAC eyeshadow quad and the Benefit Gimme Brow.  I gotta think about this……….

And there we have it.  For a while.  What else needs to be packed?  The two Margot dresses which I can roll up, and my MOTB Dress which I may carry separately and have the flight attendant hang it up.    Underwear needs to be packed and a second wig.

Overall, it looks pretty good! This Longchamp bag that I picked up years ago for 43 euros at Charles de Gaulle airport is the greatest purchase ever.  I still have a ton of room for the rest of my packing!

This bag expands just like my waistline!

So let’s see how many times I’ll be changing my mind on the packing!!!

Presently, I’m stressing my daughter out so I’ll leave her alone for a few days.  I guess this is the norm for the Mother-of-the Bride!

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Oh well!  I’m going to relax with a glass of whine and wine now!!!  XXOXOXO

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A Trip to The Mall. Or. The Frenchman Buys an Outfit!

July Fourth was a quiet one this year.  Being on a Thursday meant there was no four-day  or three-day weekend for me.  I had to head to the office twenty-four hours later .  And so, it was a day of reflection rather than fireworks.

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This year, July 4th was just a day off from work…or was it?

I thought of my grandparents and how they immigrated from Ireland to a welcoming America.  I thought of my husband and how he immigrated from France to a welcoming America not very long ago.

Two of my favorite Imports!  My Irish grandmother who had 98 wonderful years, and my Parisien husband!

No fireworks. No barbeques.  Instead, we managed to have a very productive day.

At the mall.  At the King of Prussia Mall.

Ahhh the good old KOP Mall.  And after a bit of a makeover, its better than ever!

You know how I bought my Mother-of-the-Bride Dress months ago?  Well…the husband realized he needed a new blazer for the wedding.  So off we went.

Now, under normal circumstances if the shopping trip isn’t about me, interest is quickly lost.  However, because my daughter’s wedding is two weekends from today, Monsieur Bonaparte needed to bust-a-move!

For once, it isn’t about moi!!!!

We started off at J. Crew.  The Frenchman was looking for “his size” of 42 Long.  Much to his chagrin, there was no 42 long.  We were approached by a sales assistant, and, naturally, I had to do the talking simply because my husband is afraid of being “accent shamed”.  Hmmm…. let’s think about this for a minute.  A debonair and very sensual French accent or a nasal, loud, high-pitched Long Island accent?  I did the talking.

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It’s true. You should hear me sing Happy Birthday at the top of my lungs!

Our sales assistant, Brian, was great. He was patient, and incredibly helpful and when I explained that Bonaparte wanted to look around at other stores, he completely understood.

Get a good look at this. We’re at J. Crew and the husband is telling me NO PHOTOS!  I’m rolling over on the floor laughing.  As if I’m not going to take the opportunity………

With a wave of the hand and a word that we would be back, we were off in search of the elusive blazer.

More on the fantastic Brian later.  He had me at manbun/topknot!

Next stop Nordstrom.  You know, I’m becoming increasingly disappointed in this establishment. The selection of Mother-of-the-Bride dresses was bad enough but for God’s sake, the store didn’t even have navy blazers/sportscoats for men let alone one in my husband’s size.  And the salesman was about as helpful as a hemorrhoid.

Nordstrom.  Men’s suits but let’s discuss a friggin’ navy blazer. OKAY???

From there we decided to take a walk over to Brooks Brothers.  Brooks Brothers has always been dear to me ever since I worked on Wall Street.  Besides—it’s where I bought Jake’s uniform blazer and pants when he started Kindergarten at St. Ignatius Loyola.

Back in the day..when the Kindergarten age cut-off date was December 31!  Four-year old Jake on his first day of school dressed in Brooks Brothers!

And as we started our walk over to B-Squared (my nickname for Brooks Brothers), I spotted it.  The new Morphe store at KOP mall.  Hell would have frozen over if I didn’t take a detour and the Frenchman saw that look on my face so he took it in stride and in we went.  Morphe pulled all the stops out because there was a section for seating, which my man took full advantage of.

OMG!  Morphe at the KOP Mall.  This is sure to turn into my new hang-out!

Haylee, the cutest sales assistant approached me to see if I needed help.  This was a great thing because we all know that at Ulta, the sales assistants run away from any woman over the age of 40 and if you are older than 60, they practically shove you out the store!  I’m not even mentioning Sephora anymore.

Isn’t Haylee adorable?  and her makeup is on point!  Thank you Morphe for NOT being like Ulta and Sephora and having sales staff that will approach the mature demographic!

There’s something so appealing about a new store. Everything is so well-organized.  The fixtures are so spanking clean that they sparkle.  And the products, little virgins, are so precious.

Look how pretty everything is..and so new.  I see Jeffree Star stuff!!!

My only disappointment was that Jeffree Star wasn’t there. Yes. In my delusional imagination, I thought there would be a chance I would hear a “How are ya” from my favorite makeup guru.

Thanks Gurl for this video.  I’m depressed that my Jeffree wasn’t at Morphe to ask me this question.  Now I feel like $hit because he wasn’t there!

Instead, I picked up his Velour Lip Scrub in Cherry Soda. I figured there’s no calories so I would indulge.

I’m such a sucker for Jeffree Star’s packaging!

And might I add that this lip scrub works wonderfully to exfoliate the lips into soft and kissable little pillows!

I also picked up a Morphe Lip Gloss in the shade Boho. It’s a great gloss and a caramel pink that is a perfect neutral.  The total for both was $18.00 due to a 20 percent sale.  I was happy.  And off we went to Brooks Brothers!

And a gorgeous neutral this is!

OH WAIT!  THIS POST ISN’T ABOUT ME!  SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (NOT SORRY)

The salesman at Brooks Brothers was very helpful and went all out to find a 42 L.  Now, Brooks Brothers has always been known for more of a conservative and looser cut in their suits and sports jackets.  The brand is changing with the times and the blazer Bonaparte tried on was more of a slim cut but he wasn’t fully satisfied with the looser sleeves.  With thanks for the help, we were yet, off again.

Don’t worry. He’s French–he’s actually smiling!  Seriously, he liked this jacket but the sleeves were too loose.

This time we headed to JoS. A. Bank men’s store.  Funny, but I’ve always called it Joseph Banks. My bad.

As he “sinks” about the fit of this blazer…

He likes it…and I “sink” it looks nice but we both keep thinking about J. Crew.  

Again, we had great assistance and three blazers were tested.  In fact, one was almost purchased but the husband still wanted to be sure. We headed off to Bloomingdales.

The selection at Bloomingdales was less-than-stellar. WTF is it these days that makes it nearly impossible to find a blazer?  I almost feel sorry for men because the suits are readily available but the blazer/sports jacket is almost elusive.  I’m glad I’m a woman.

Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom both have a better selection of casual clothing than suiting for men.  I think..or rather I “sink” that’s sad.

The sales man at Bloomingdales was a pain-in-the-ass. I know my husband will think I’m being mean but he was pushy. I can’t stand that.  What is it with department store help?  Oh wait. I worked at Nordstrom. It’s commission. The sales assistants are like sharks ready to bite your leg off.

Yeah. OK Jerry Maguire.  At Bloomingdales it was more like “Help You Help Me get a commission”

Needless to say, we left Bloomingdales, and quite frankly, I couldn’t get out of that store fast enough!

Now, at this point, I would have allowed impulse to take over and made a purchase just to have anything. But my husband is a methodical shopper. He thinks.  He mulls a purchase over.  He’s very European.  No wonder the French are such great dressers!

And all the while he kept mentioning that he liked the blazer at J. Crew the best.  So off we went to return to J. Crew.

Brian was still there and he couldn’t have been more helpful.  He measured another blazer against Bonaparte’s body to get the proper fit.  And then he had the Frenchman try on a 40 Regular just for the heck of it.  Both Brian and I were quite surprised because the jacket was a near—perfect fit.

Brian measuring Bonaparte’s arm.

Near perfect?  Yeah.  Apparently, what he wanted was a shorter sleeve length because he likes the tip of his shirtsleeves showing.  It ended up that a 40 Long wasn’t needed. In fact, ¼ inch of the 40 Regular will be trimmed off by the free tailoring at J. Crew.  If you use the J. Crew card, you get free alterations.

But something else happened.  While at J. Crew, the husband noticed a pair of pants.  The pants had a slight vintage 1970’s vibe without looking too Burt Reynolds.  A subtle plaid, if you will.  A gray and navy to be exact.  He picked the pants up and his face took on a gleeful glow.  Brian, our great sales assistant thought it was so cool that Bonaparte picked those pants.

The Ludlow pants. Oh those pants!  Both Brian and I were pushing for those pants!

Bonaparte’s only issue was that he thought he might be too “old” for such a fabulous pair of pants.  Ummmmmmm…. you all know what my reaction to that was!!!

Off to the dressing room to try the pants!

The pants.  The Stepfatherhood of the Traveling Pants!!!

And the blazer!  

The end result?  The “Stepfather-of-the-Bride” is gonna rock the dance floor at Oona’s wedding!

It’s okay.  He’s very happy.  It’s that French smile!

It’s that magic moment when the retail stars align.  Brian, the gem of J. Crew is the brand’s best sales assistant.

Brian and Bonaparte!  You can see that The Frenchman is thrilled beyond belief because you can actually SEE the smile this time!  Thank you Brian!!

And moreso, was happy because the husband never spends time nor money on himself. It was a fun shopping trip!!  My husband..he’s a dandy!!!!

And that’s how our July Fourth was spent.  A quiet evening with aperitifs on the deck and a lovely meal and it was upstairs to sleep and wake up to go to work the next day.

How did you spend your Fourth?

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THE Dress You Need to Have This Summer!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are well-aware of my love for simple dressing during the summer.

 

Even a simple Maxi dress will do.  I wear them on days I’m too lazy to shave my legs.

The jeans and pants are placed on hiatus.

I did happen to try these jeans on today to see if they still fit.  My scale is my jeans.  Not gonna lie..I was thrilled they fit but more thrilled to peel them off.  Even in our A/C home, they were still to hot to wear. Any longer and I would have gotten a lady-parts infliction from the body heat!

Bye bye fancy pants. See you in the winter!

Why…even my favorite skirts don’t see much time out of the bowels of my closet.

And I deem this skirt “all-season”  but it’s too hot for separates right now so back in the closet with ya!

It’s all about one-stop, basic summer frocks.

And…although I adore my incredibly budget-friendly ten-dollar Old Navy dresses……

My ten-buck fave from 2017 and still in regular rotation!

I’m also a fan of the brightly-colored, completely summer-friendly dresses of Lilly Pulitzer.  Yeah, they are pricier than your discounted store brand, but they are worth the money simply because they are classic, well-constructed, and fit beautifully.

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The original.  Brunette and gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer. Who knew that one simple shift would start an empire?  (I’m wondering if I can get one of my wigs in an updo like that!)

And, after much consideration, I realized that one of the brand’s dresses is the “must have” dress for the summer.

It’s the Lilly Pulitzer “Margot” dress.  She’s a great dress for the “mature” woman over 60, over 50 and all pro-agers would love her.  The reason?  Well…let me show you.

My first Margot Dress–You can read more about her here:  Pink Pineapples and Summer Style

My second Margot.  She arrived in the mail yesterday!

First of all, she’s a swing dress—a bit more generously cut than an A-line but nonetheless flattering to the mature body.  Unless we are working out for an hour or more every day, our body isn’t what it was back when we were 20 or 30.  My gut has expanded—especially after all the stress-eating I’ve been doing before Oona’s wedding.  Those ten pounds I was supposed to lose? Just call me “Hoover” because I’ve been sucking up junk food at a rate faster than Superman flies.  And with a bit of weight gain or a natural thick mid-section, this dress hides a plethora of sins.

Side view.  See how she hides a plethora of sins?  Too bad she couldn’t hide the crappy job I did on my fake tan.  I stopped mid-foot–oh well!

Then there’s the length.  Pulitzer has a tendency to go for the short dresses. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.  But there are those times when a longer length is more wearer-friendly.  The office.  A special event such as a Bridal or Baby Shower—you get my gist.  You want to be able to sit down with ease and comfort and a dress that doesn’t ride up to your “Origin of the World”.  You don’t want to tug at the hem.  This dress is the perfect sitting dress. She’s comfortable as all get out. Doesn’t ride up. And you can eat as much as you want without the waist getting all tight and cumbersome.

The length is perfect.  Falling about an inch above the knees. I’m just a hair under 5 feet 6 so the length will work even better if you are shorter!

Margot “sits” beautifully. No tugging on this baby.  And you don’t even have to get a wax job because she seriously won’t offer any additional surprises!

Seriously–this is a great sitting dress!!!

The neckline.  Yo!  For those of us with turkey neck…. need I say more!  The neckline is high and she ties in the back so you can tie her a but tighter for more of a lift or looser if you are one to be uncomfortable with anything touching your neck.

Yeah. This neckline rocks for those of us with turkey neck…..

….and you can bend down without any tittiepop!

See how it ties in the back?

Sleeveless but flattering.  Okay.  Most of us are not blessed with those fabulous arms of Michelle Obama, and, as is my case, I’m too lazy to work on the arms.  The way the dress is cut, there’s no sleeve at all. Just two armholes.  It’s hard to describe but sometimes a sleeveless top isn’t deeply cut and can be less flattering.  This dress fits the bill.

Those arms. I’m so jelly…actually my arm flab IS like jelly!  *Note to self* Write to Mrs. Obama and ask her to give me free lessons on toning my arms. And tell her how much I miss her!

My upper arms aren’t thin but this dress works.  I’ll be excercising shortly by using the vacuum behind me.  I’m so classy with that appliance behind me…

Dressed up or down she works.  You gotta love a dress that multi-tasks.  Margot is a dress that can be worn running errands as well as a night out or to an event.  Trust me, I would wear this one to an afternoon wedding—all it takes is a change of shoes.

OMG. My husband is going to have a fit when he reads this blog post because he’s only going to notice the lousy job I did on my fake tan!   All Frenchmen think they are beauty experts…ANYWAY,  worn with flip flops for a very casual vibe…

…or worn with heels to give it a more dressed up vibe.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I REALLY have to exfoliate my feet at some point. Not today though because I’m working on blog posts!

The fun of it all.  I can’t help it.  The tassels on this dress are so stinking adorable. We have our “thing” about what attracts us to something.  I got a thing for tassels.

Yeah. That’s right. You had me at “tassels”!

The colors.  I love fun and bright colors every now and then.  And although I’m a plaid and neutral gal during the winter, summer brings forth an appreciation for the lighter side.  I’ve taken the brand’s dresses with me to the South of France and they make nice dinner attire.

The bright colors are just so summer fun!!!

The care—I’m pleased to say that this particular dress comes with a “color warning” and I appreciate that.  A lot.  Fair warning that when the dress fades a bit, it isn’t a defect.  You know what you are buying and that’s a good thing for the consumer.

Lucky for me I’m poor and need to go to work five days a week. My cubicle is far away from direct sunlight. Hell, I’m not even near a window.  Looks like I may get more colorlife out of this dress than I thought!

Washing instructions…. I wouldn’t touch an iron to this and would wash in very cold water on a delicate cycle.  And would air-dry.  I’m very particular about placing any clothing in the dryer.  Honest to God, on laundry day, the lower level family room is full of clothing on drying racks.

After raising three kids and being a slave to laundry, I pretty-much know the washing deal with this dress. However, if you aren’t well-versed in the art of laundering, this tag is a very useful bit of information!  Read it and pay attention!

There’s definitely a different vibe with summer dressing.  And the more I pro-age, the more I love the non-fussiness of a simple frock slipped over my head and forgetting about everything else.  This sizing is generous as well.  I could have sized down to a Small for a more fitted look but I like to wear a padded strapless bra to keep the girls from sagging so I went with a Medium and she fits like a charm!

With a heavily-padded strapless bra, the top of a smaller size may be tight.  The Medium fits my body very well!

Another thing—be on the lookout because now that it’s after July 4th, many of the stores will be getting their inventory ready for sales and trust me, I’ll be picking up a third Margot later this summer to pack away for next year!

Image result for lilly pulitzer margot dress

I’m eagerly anticipating a sale so that I can acquire a third Margot!

How’s your summer dress radar? Do you have a tendency to veer toward dresses? Shorts with a tee?  Maxis?  Do tell!!

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Let’s Summer-eyes!

As we head into July, we’re in the full-blown throws of summer!  That means heat, humidity, haze with a touch of afternoon showers that can either bring the humidity down or keep it lingering.

Bitmoji Image

Ummm hmmmm.  I beat the heat with a dunk in a pool or the ocean…and I wear my fake hair doing it!

And summer is that time of lightening it up a bit.  Lighter clothing.  Lighter hair (whether fake or made golden by the sun or a bottle). Lighter makeup which I touched upon in my “There’s a Summer Face” blog post.

Yup!  With my lighter fake hair there’s no need for “Sun In”!

Fact is, I’m rather enjoying going almost barefaced.  With the few Saturdays we’ve spent at the beach, my skin as gotten was I call the “Irish Tan”.  Red-to-almost-tan and tons of freckles!

My Irish Tan. Not quite tan but not too red.  And Freckles!

The foundation has been put away until the Fall.  The exception being Oona’s wedding in less than a month.  Blush?  Not really!  Contour?  Nope!

Heading into the deep summer it’s eyes only.  With a swipe of lip gloss or lipstick.

And here’s the thing.  I’ve rediscovered cream eye shadow!  Do you remember cream eyeshadow of decades past?

The sticks by Max Factor that practically broke if you applied with too heavy a hand and the ever-popular Yardley of London Pot O’Shadows that were whipped cream for the eyes.  Both looked great the first hour but after that initial 60 minutes, the shadows took on a life of their own by creasing and melting and falling victim to nature’s and your skin’s oily elements!

That stackable eye shadow stick.  My mother had it and I thought it was so cool but the shadows wore off so quickly!

And the mother of them all Yardley Pot O’Shadows.  Just for nostalgic reasons, I wish Yardley of London cosmetics was still around. I would buy everything!

Okay. So they aren’t creams but do you remember this kit?  A forerunner to today’s palettes?  I had this.  It was all you needed!! Too bad the shadows weren’t neutrals!

I had all but forgotten about cream shadows until I happened to come across a YouTube video about Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks.  I was drawn.  I was intrigued.  And oh-so-interested.

So interested, in fact, that I had to beg, bother, whine, ask the keeper of the credit cards, Bonaparte, if, perhaps I could use a card to purchase some Laura Mercier Cosmetics.

Yes. It’s true. When I want to spend, Bonaparte makes a quick exit and races away from me!

Okay, let me backtrack a bit.  The Frenchman now has control of all the plastic spending instruments in the home.  It’s either a cash purchase or, in very rare instances, online purchases.

When he sees I’ve been spending he’s about as happy as his French peers when they dance!

I swear to you what I’m writing is the truth.  I mentioned that I wanted to purchase the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick cream shadows.  Only two of them, mind you, simply because they ain’t cheap!  At $29 per stick, they are pricey.   My trusting and loving husband inquired why I couldn’t just go to the mall and buy them.  Then I had to go into a long-winded explanation of how none of the luxury stores at King of Prussia mall carried the shades I wanted.

He caved in and I ordered two sticks plus a lip gloss.

The good stuff has arrived!

My shadows, a lip gloss, a sample shadow and a sample of powder!  And the samples are generous!

What I loved was that I received a very generous sample of one of the shadows I was thinking of purchasing.

I actually received TWO powder samples.  I’ll tell you I was giddy!

But lets’ get to the sticks, shall we?

I ordered Cobblestone, a true taupe and Intense Amethyst a gray/taupe/purple stick.  The sample sent was Au Natural.

Cobblestone on the left, a gorgeous taupe and Intense Amethyst on the right.  A steel/taupe/violet.  Very pretty!

And this sample!  OMG it is probably the best sample (along with the bareMinerals VIP lipstick) that I’ve ever received. There’s nothing like a generous sample!  This shade is Au Natural!

Here’s a photo of the swatches on the inside of my wrist.  And I have to say, that these shadows do NOT go anywhere.  When I went to wipe the swatches off, nothing moved.  Then I took a paper towel with water.  Nothing moved.  Finally, when I used soap and water, they washed off.

From the bottom up, Au Natural; Cobblestone; Intense Amethyst.  I’m telling you, it was difficult to wash these swatches off–and that’s a great thing!

Another plus is that there’s a bit of a satin/glowy finish to give the shadows more depth.  They aren’t over-the-top shimmery…just very subtle.  And the shades are beautifully neutral.

I do see more of these in my future..but don’t tell Bonaparte!

And as much as I love my eyeshadow palettes, I’m becoming more and more fond of these cream sticks for the summer.

A perfect example of how well they blend!  I’ve been wearing all three sticks the past couple of weeks!

Now. They don’t glide on the eye the way those whipped cream shadows do and the sticks aren’t as “creamy” as sticks of the past.  The sticks are denser.

I went with a heavier hand and a bit of shimmer on the lids this past Saturday when The Frenchman and I went out to dinner!  And the glow is real–we were at the beach all day!

Application?  Since these shadows really stay put, you need to work fast in blending.  I take a synthetic eyeshadow brush and blend to the desired finish.  That’s it.  Done.

I’m wearing Au Natural on the lids and blend it with either a synthetic brush or my fingers!

And the shades last all day. LIT. UH.RUH.LEE  all day!

About that price…. I love me a great discount on makeup.  But every now and then, a product will come along and I’ll shell out my The Frenchman’s money for a good cause—Me!  And why not?  We need to treat ourselves!

Seriously.  I give these shadows a very-well deserved A+!   They are beautiful and do the job!!

Going almost bare-faced this summer has me thinking.  Do you remember when we were all younger?  Our teen years?  We didn’t wear the amount of makeup that young women wear today.  It was a more natural look. We didn’t glop the face makeup on our faces.  We had no idea what contour or bronzer was!

My favorite model of the 1970’s–Patti Hansen. Look how natural. Freckles and all. And she went on to marry Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones!  We need to get back to this natural look!

Nobody filled in their lips.  Nor did we pencil in our brows to look like railroad cabooses.

The only highlighter we had was sweat and it looked marvelous.

Don’t get me wrong. I love makeup but I’m starting to think that less is more.  What’s your opinion?  I’ve been posting pics on my Instagram account of me in less makeup but I don’t think it’ll be a growing trend!

I’m wearing the Cobblestone and Au Natural Caviar Sticks. Just a touch!  And my Finn wig by Estetica Designs!  Keep it natural–even with fake hair!!!

What’s your opinion?  Are you going barefaced this summer and saving the heavy stuff for the cooler weather?

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Pink Pineapples and Summer Style!

Sigh.  Even though I would much rather be outdoors and at the beach every day from the months of June through September, I must face the hard fact that I work for a living.   The Paupered Princess does not have a Trust Fund.  This Paupered Princess is not royalty nor an heiress.

It’s a sin.  Really. It is. I would much rather be at the beach. i.e. Down The Shore and living the life of a beachcomber than to head to an office during the summer months.  But, this princess is paupered so work I must!

I cover the humidity and the haze and the heat with aplomb and dress for this active season.  It’s definitely a different vibe than the winter.

In addition, I would also love to cover the heat and humidity as happily as Oona did when she was just a toddler!  I still can’t believe she is getting married in four weeks!

The bright colors are a staple.  The simple shift dresses allow for less fuss in wardrobing and more time for getting where you want to go!

 

That’s it ladies!  Throw a shift over your head and you are good to go…………..anywhere!

So, let’s talk about casual summer dressing.  Luckily, I do work in an office where casual dress is welcomed.  For some that means dressing in leggings and sweatshirts.  For me it means a more relaxed approach to style.

laundry day

Quite honestly, the pitfalls of a casual or non-dress code at the office oftentimes means that someone will forget that they need a laundry day….. Um humm..just sayin’!

This is my summer of Lilly Pulitzer.  I’ve picked up a few items to add to my growing collection of warm-weather clothing—both for work and outside of work.

Yup!  This is my “Summer of Lilly”.  The brights are extra this year! And I’m not ashamed!

Let’s take a look at what I’m wearing………..

A couple of months back, I picked up the Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi dress which I’ve been enjoying.  She’s great for the days when I’m too lazy to shave my legs but still want to look fabulous.  A great multi-tasker this Wynne dress is—from work to a party to relaxing, she covers it all! (And might I add that “Wynne” is my maiden name!)

I’m a “Medium” in the Lilly Pultizer brand.  My body appreciates the dresses with a bit of stretch!

The colors on this are vivid, but not over-the-top bright–making this a great choice for the woman who wants color but not neon!

LOOK!  A blogger pose!  WTF am I looking at?  I dunno!

And my favorite part of the dress is the slit on each side.  Gives more movement and air conditioning to your stride!

My love for shifts never fades and I had been looking for a dress that can be worn to the office, to run errands and even for a day at the beach should we decide to grab a bite after lolling around at ocean’s edge for hours on end.   The moment I tried this Pink Pineapple dress on, I fell in love with it.  There’s a story to tell.  Growing up, whenever I, or my siblings, made a bonehead move or screwed up in a minor way, my dad would say “Hey..you’re a pineapple!”.  It got to the point where I thought Pineapple was my first name.  It’s funny how certain memories stick out in your mind.

The second I saw this Pink Pineapple dress at the Lilly Pulitzer store in King of Prussia Mall, I was taken back to my childhood. Memories of my goofing up so many things led my dad to refer to me as “Pineapple”.  I thought it was my given name for a while. Oh well, I could have been called much worse….

I’m wearing it today!  You can see that it is a rather bright frock–but it’s fun. And comfy!  And screams “summer”!!

Here I am trying to look fun and whimsical with Chippy. He’s having no part of my blogger poses.  I’ll be withholding one of his treats today!

Anyway, this dress with the pineapples on it brought back some fine memories of my dad!  But I love the fit and the ease of it. It’s more of a slight A-line swing dress but there’s a bit of stretch in it which gives it a more fitted look as opposed to being shapeless.

I really do love this dress!  Pink Pineapples it is!  I’m thirsty for Pink Lemonade right now!

My other Lilly dress is a bright neon green and navy.  It’s got a high top which is great when I’m bent down at my desk.  I can be pretty modest at times.

Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph!  Trying to take blog photos is so challenging when you are using a selfie-stick that barely works!  I just stepped in dog-shit!  It’s not Chippy’s either because we pick up after him.  Let me go wash up!

Okie Dokie!  I’m back!  Isn’t this dress adorable?

It’s got a high neck and check out the neon-green tassels!  I love this!  BUT WAIT! CHECK OUT MY SMEARED LIPGLOSS!  I noticed this after I took the picture. Sorry but I’m not going to do a selfie-reshoot! I Baby-Janed myself!

Here’s another look at the tassles! Whimsy squared!

Sorry but I’m obsessed with these tassles!

I wore this dress to work on Friday and wore white tassle earrings!

I wore this dress last night when Bonaparte and I went out to dinner!  I wore gold heels and my Julia Roberts hair!  (Alden by Estetica Designs!)

Now. With both of these dresses, a regular bra can’t be worn.  I have a racer-back bra but the straps will still show through on the darker one.

I bought sticky boobs.  They are silicone bra cups that stick to your chest.  At first, I was skeptical but they ended up to be ridiculously comfy and never fell.  They are sold in finer department stores but I found them on Amazon for a great price.  You size by your cup and these fit my C cups perfectly.  I’ll also be wearing these with my Mother-of-the-Bride dress next month!  Shameless plug from my Amazon store:  Rosmax Adhesive Silicone Bra

These delightful pillows of silicone came nicely secure in a clear plastic package. And I’ve placed them back in here after wearing!

Oona and her Maid-0f-Honor Lauren swear by these things.  They also gave me instructions on using them.  After using, rinse with cold water or cold soapy water if needed. Allow to dry completely and put them away until next time!  I’m telling you, these sticky boobs stayed put all day!  From seven in the morning until seven at night they were completely secure and were incredibly comfortable!

Here they are out of the package.  There is a clasp on each inside end of each cup so that you can attach the cups in true bra form.  The cups are also lined in cling which I’ve placed back onto them after rinsing and drying.

And here’s the inside!  At $16.99 this was well-worth the price.  You order by cup size.  I ordered the “C” cups and the fit was perfect!  A great summer undergarment!

I’m loving the pink and purchased this pink shirt and shorts from Lilly Pulitzer earlier in the season.  I’m especially fond of the way the neon pink looks with a tan and the shorts fit very well. My legs are beginning to be a bit crepey but it won’t stop me from wearing shorts.  It’s all about proportion with me.  A longer “short” has a tendency to make me look a bit squat. And there’s no way I’m wearing short shorts.  This five-inch inseam is a perfect length. Not too long. Not too short.  Just right!  And do not allow anyone to tell you that you are too old for shorts or that shorts are inappropriate for a woman over 50 or 60. Hogwash to them!

Shorts!  The five-inch inseam is a great and flattering length. Listen to me. I have cellulite and I have that crepe-paper skin on my thighs. I don’t care because it’s hot out and pants are strictly for cold weather!

See my crepe-paper skin?  I don’t care.  But I do love the scalloped hem!  This is the same print as my Wynne maxi dress!

Pulitzer’s brand isn’t inexpensive but it isn’t a luxury designer brand either.  The investment of a few pieces is well-worth the money because these are classic and timeless summer styles.

This Lilly Pulitzer dress was purchased about seven years ago.  And was worth every cent because I’ve been wearing it for years…

…and years.  I’ve washed it and ironed it and she still looks great!

What is inexpensive is the everyday costume jewelry I wear with the clothes.  I stand by my conviction that Walmart has some of the greatest inexpensive costume jewelry—downright cheap—that I’ve ever purchased.  The hoops…never fail!

A four-dollar necklace.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on jewelry….

And my Walmart hoops.  A card of six pair will set you back around five bucks!

I’ve been summarizing my face and haven’t had foundation on it on almost a month! True dat!  Since we’ve been at the beach..or “down the shore” as these Philly and NJ locals call it, I’ve managed to get a bit of color.  My freckles popped out too.

Hey. At 64 pro-aging years, I’ve finally learned to appreciate a bare face..but still love the eye makeup and lipstick!

The thing is, during the hot weather, I enjoy an easier makeup routine.  It’s the eyes and lips these days and I’m sticking to a pink lip for every day.

It’s all good–especially when my lip gloss smears and settles into my wrinkles!  LOL!!

Same with the manicure and pedicures.  Pink for the summer!

Inka Dink a bottle of pink!

Kinda like being a true-to-life Pink Pineapple!

Image result for pink pineapple

There really IS such a thing as a pink pineapple!  Who knew???

How do you switch it up for the summer?  Lighter makeup?  Shorts?  Simple dresses?

Whatever changes you make, be sure to please yourself first!

 

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Red Lipstick and Randomness

So…remember a while back I wrote a post basically complaining about how horrible I looked in red lipstick and despite what is said, there isn’t a red lipstick for everywoman! To refresh your memory or if you haven’t read it, here’s the post: Not All Women Over a Certain Age Can Wear Red Lipstick….

And boy, I’ve been avoiding red lipstick like the plague.  My go-to lips are either a nude color or a nice light pink but red….nuh unh.

A light pinky-nude is what I’m usually wearing. Until it wears off.

But something happened.  I’m on a three-month auto-delivery for my favorite eye-brightening powder/concealer however you want to categorize it.  bareMinerals Well-Rested. I can’t live without it.  And with every delivery comes a free sample of one of the brand’s products.

An old Well-Rested. I sweat the 3-month timing on the auto-delivery is perfect because just as I’m running out…a new one pops up at the door!

This time it was a sample of Statement Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade VIP.  And after looking at it I threw it in a pile to be thrown out with the trash.  But something happened.  Last night as I was tidying up, I had a change of heart and decided to at least try it on before saying bye-bye to it.

My little sample lipstick.  This packs a punch of red for sure!

I didn’t even prep my lips with moisturizer or concealer to tone down my natural pigment. I applied it straight to my naked mouth.  And when I looked in the mirror, I did a double-take. It looked good.

Who’d a thunk I would find a red lipstick that worked for me?

Actually, it looked great.  I was shook!        And pleasantly surprised.

This little sample really made a big impact!

But  today  I decided to take it a step further.

Kept it simple to focus on the lips!

Since I’m not wearing foundation or concealer on my face during the summer, I decided to even tread lightly with the eye makeup today and concentrate on the lips.  I did the brows, added my Well-Rested for some brightening (I didn’t even care about diminishing the “hood” on my hooded eyes), added mascara and tight lined my eyes.

There was a bit of prep work…

Then I prepped my lips. I did apply a touch of liquid concealer to tone down my natural pigmentation and did outline my lips in NYX’ Wonder Pencil.

NYX Wonder Pencil. This is GREAT for protecting lips against bleeding lipstick!

I’ve been using this pencil for years and find it really does help to stop lipstick from bleeding.

I sorta like less makeup on the eyes with a red lip too!

Then I carefully applied the liquid lipstick.  I did take my time simply because I was wearing it to the office and didn’t want to overdo it.

Surprisingly, the lipstick stayed put all day.  It faded a bit but the stain was still put.  I drank four cans of La Croix water and when I arrived home, I was shocked that there was a still a good amount of lipstick on me!

This photo was taken shortly after dinner this evening.  I got hair mail today. Do you like it?  Anyway, as you can see, the lipstick is still on. Faded but still stained. This is after 12 hours and after dinner!!!!!! And I NEVER reapply. I’m lazy!!!

Now…I wouldn’t wear a red lip every day.  I’m simply too lazy with the preparation—especially since my lips have a tendency to chap. Red lipstick on chapped lips isn’t the greatest look.

But…bareMinerals states that this lipstick is hydrating. It’s weird because matte lipsticks aren’t known for being hydrating but…my mouth never felt dry during the day. So, I’m thinking there’s something to this.

Overall, a great, great red lipstick!

Will I purchase this after the sample is gone?  No. I’m heading to the mall later this week to the bareMinerals store to purchase it before the sample is gone!

For special occasions, this is fabulous.  I’m taking it with me for Oona’s wedding.  She’s going to have a makeup artist to do our makeup and I’m thinking for photographs; this may be a decent shade—but I’ll leave that up to the bride and the makeup artist!

OVERALL FOR A RED LIPSTICK—I give it an A+.  It’s cool-toned skin friendly, mature woman friendly and stays on all day, albeit fades it still stays!

Now for some randomness.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I post photos of my outfits of the day.  Lately, I’m getting into what inspires my ensembles.

Two that were fun are from this week!  With one of my childhood schoolmates visiting Paris and other parts of France, I thought it would be fun to be inspired by the striped columns at the Palais Royal.  I wore a black and white jumpsuit purchased last summer at Marshalls for $19.99!

Inspiration in the form of the columns at the Palais Royal in Paris!  I’m wearing my black Rondini sandals that were purchased in St. Tropez.  Very French-inspired!

I wore my Estetica Designs Alden wig pulled in a side ponytail and wore very neutral lipstick. In hindsight, I shoulda worn the red lipstick.

The Alden wig looks great in a side ponytail but I could’ve used a bit more lip color. I kept it too neutral. Oh well!

Today my inspiration was from the newspaper.  Black, white and “read” all over. But in my case, it was black, white and “red” all over!  Red shoes.  Red lips and my skin are a bit red from the sun!

My inspiration for today!  Black. White and Read/Red all over!

I love my red shoes and Chippy loves the fake tanner on my legs.  My toe is still not healed so I had to take the shoes off at work!

Overall, I’m so happy with today’s look!  Gray and red look great together!

Another bit of randomness.  Last night an old dance mom friend sent me a message with a photo of engraving detail.  It’s from a perpetual trophy her daughter received. From Oona’s old Irish Dance School. It was given to her as an exemplary student of the school who personified hard work, a positive attitude and good sportsmanship.  And she showed me who’s name was on it from years past.

Oona is at the top and it’s so nice to see familiar names!!!

My daughter received in back in 2002 when she was 13 and I remember how proud of her I was. It was such a wonderful memory. And it was great to know that one of my old dance moms friends daughter received it!

I’m off to ponder what to make for dinner this weekend.  Yeah. I realize it’s Tuesday but Roman will be spending the weekend with is so I’m in “mom” mode right now!

Thumbs up for red lips and randomness!!!

Did you ever change your mind about something?  Like a hair style or makeup or anything?  I’m kind of happy that I changed my mind about trashing that sample lippie!!!

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