A Weekend in New York! Part Two-Back on Home Turf!

It isn’t “Over the River and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go”….but is more like “Over the GW and through Riverside Drive, to Mid-town NY we go…”

As I begin to tell you about the venture from Upstate to New York City, I want to start off with this:   The last time we stayed in the City was the weekend before the big lockdown. It was the last of February/first of March and things were eerily empty.  Here’s the link to that blog post so you can get a better idea for comparison’s sake.

https://atypical60.com/2020/03/21/that-virus-and-a-weekend-in-new-york-city/

This time around, we were back just as The City was about to reopen.  People were on the streets without masks, and although masks were still required in establishments, there was a very different vibe.  People looked happy. And there were a lot more people on the streets as well as a lot of traffic.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve passed these signs over the years, I would be able to buy a new apartment in the city!

So, we drove over the GW and took Riverside Drive HH Parkway  to Midtown. We crossed over in Central Park and decided to do a little drive to Times Square and over to the Upper East Side where Bonaparte lived when he came to The States.  We were opposites even before we met. He was an Upper East Sider and I was an Upper West Sider!   (Note to self-this is another blog post).

Here’s the building I lived in from the 1970’s to 1985. It was more like a dorm back then and apartments are now selling from close to a million to over a million. My luck has never been in real estate!

 

 

And here’s where Bonaparte lived on the Upper East Side. Definitely more chic and refined than the old, funky building I lived in!  Opposites in every way!

It was so apparent that we are, quite possibly, returning to the pre-pandemic normal!

Check it out–definitely more people than pre-pandemic! It’s good to see everyone out and about. Traffic sucks though.

We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard on Third Avenue and 53rd Street.  Before I get into how this hotel was, you need to know that we are loyal patrons of Marriott Hotels.

Courtyard New York Manhattan Midtown East (New York, NY): What to Know  BEFORE You Bring Your Family

Thank goodness for Trip Advisor–I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the hotel. It’s not very interesting though.

However, it’s only steps away from the subway–which is remarkably convenient!

We used to stay at the Marriott Midtown—and that’s where we stayed just before the lockdown.  Sadly, the hotel has closed—and the reason for the closing was due to the lack of business during COVID. And that’s sad on so many levels because it was a grand, old-school hotel. Very elegant and very old New York.

It breaks my heart that this Marriott Hotel closed. It was such a great old-school hotel and I do hope Marriott has the wherewithall to reopen it.

Anyway, my husband decided to book a room for Saturday night at the Marriott Courtyard. And here’s where my only gripe about our weekend came.  First of all, the room was great.  The bed, as with all Marriott hotels was incredibly comfortable. The views were spectacular.  The staff was friendly, helpful and fun. The room was very clean.   And we even had a large-screen TV.

In typical Marriott style, the bed was comfortable as all get out and I love the simplicity of the bed linens.

The big screen TV kind of surprised me but Bonaparte was happy!

The bathroom was fine–but I’ll get to my gripe about it in a bit.  The lighting? WTF is going on with hotel lighting lately?  In Paris, horrible lighting is used in hotel rooms but the bathrooms are well-lighted. We need good lighting to get ready!!

But….and please read this carefully if you are going to be traveling any time soon.

I do believe management at Marriott took a bit of an advantage with the pandemic. It was the pricing.  Bonaparte paid $350 (tax included) for the room. For one night.  It may seem reasonable for New York City but here’s where I digress.

There was no doorman to welcome us nor was there a valet to take our car. Instead, we were given a little piece of paper with a map to a garage around the corner and up the street.  After dropping the car off, the paper had to be validated for a whopping $5.00 discount.

The house restaurant, The Bistro, was closed due to the pandemic. It hadn’t reopened yet.  And the oddest sight was a microwave oven in the hallway –what?????

Bitmoji Image

My exact reaction upon seeing the microwave oven in the hallway. 

Even more perplexing was the placement in the bathroom of the body gel, shampoo and conditioner. These items were securely placed into a holder that was attached to the wall. You couldn’t get the toiletries out.  I took a bath.  The products were a good four feet from the tub. Perfect if you were taking a shower but not so if you enjoy a relaxing soak. I had been in a serious bath tub accident years ago. I didn’t need another one.

Really???  Really???? As if I’ll steal these huge bottles? Bring back the sample-sized goodies please…

Take a good look at this photo.  I took it moments before soaking in the tub. Now look at the placement of the products. This is not very clumsy-person friendly. I envision many bathtub accidents almost as bad as the one I had.

While I realize you may be thinking that I’m a pain-in-the-ass with my gripes about the hotel but here’s my point.  Marriott cut corners due to the pandemic—and rightly so.  However, the prices should have been lowered a bit and the amenities that were no longer available should have been a part of a slight cut in the price.  If I’m rambling, I’m sorry.  It’s just that this bothers me. And if you have plans to travel any time soon, check with the hotels to see if they have returned to all their services. That’s all.

Bitmoji Image

The objective is for the customer to SAVE money. Not for the establishment to be stingy. Thank you.

Other than those issues I mentioned, the hotel was fine.

The views were wonderful..

And as evening approached, the views became rather magnificent.

There’s something very comforting about the sight of a city all lit up in the evening.

I really cannot complain about the views we had. A corner room makes all the difference!

We walked around a bit then headed back to our room for a bit of rest before heading out to dinner.

We took a little walk around..

…and enjoyed the views from the ground.

Perhaps it’s because Bonaparte and I could be creatures of habit. Or perhaps that we’re just older now. But we do like to play it safe when we go out to eat.  We have our favorite places in Paris. We have our restaurants of choice in Philly.  And when we are in New York, we love having dinner at Le Relais de Venise L’entrecôte.  Honestly, it’s our go-to.  Especially with my Steak/Frites lovin’ Frenchman!

Ready for dinner. I did a quick change by adding a bit more makeup, changing my hair from Reeves to Finn and wearing a go-to travel dress purchased a couple of years ago at Old Navy. I love the dress so much I bought a backup and use both all year round!

The restaurant is just a couple of blocks away from the Courtyard. It was a great evening for walking!

The menu is limited. Very limited to a salad with a terrific mustard dressing; steak, cooked to your liking of rare, medium or well. And let me tell you the rare is delightfully rare. The sauce that is served over the steak is remarkable. I, as well as many, have tried to duplicate it to no avail.  And fries.  And everyone gets two helpings!  The only choices are the drinks, and dessert and the desserts are wonderful.

The salad is so simple lettuce, walnuts and dressing–but the dressing packs a punch!

Although I’m not much for fries–I’m very particular, these are great. Cooked perfectly. That sauce though. It’s unbelievable. And when you love your red meat red, Le Relais delivers on it! Sorry I didn’t take a photo of the dessert. I drank too much wine and forgot!

This restaurant is consistently very good.  In fact, there’s one in Paris that we’ve yet to go to simply because there’s always a line outside to get in!

As he carefully reads the wine listing, he ponders not the taste or which wine will accompany dinner to the fullest, but he wonders which wine will put me to sleep the quickest!

There’s no happier sight than a Frenchman with a glass of wine and frites!  He had three helpings of the fries.  Three. And he’s still lean.

And I just had a third helping of red wine!

Dinner was just as expected and with both our stomachs full, we headed back to the hotel.  Did I mention that wine puts me to sleep?  Bonaparte likes to feed wine to me when he wants to watch TV without my commentary.  Needless to say, I fell asleep as soon as we got back to the hotel.

The City after dinner.  More people now then pre-pandemic!

Did I mention we bought Milk Bread from Paris Baguette? It’s great for toasting. And for loading up on carbs!

Ahhh. Sunday! We woke up and got ready.  Again, it was a struggle for me to reach the body gel from my reclining angle in the bath tub.   We got dressed and headed out to breakfast at Paris Baguette.  We are no strangers to this place. The pastries are decent and the coffee is fantastic.   In fact, we did manage to pick up a couple of goodies Saturday afternoon and enjoyed an afternoon snack.

Paris Baguette | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of  NYC's Midtown Manhattan

Although not a French company, Paris Baguette is a chain of decent pastries. The croissants aren’t bad but the coffee is excellent!!!!!!

Our plan was to check out of the hotel after breakfast, head to the garage to get the car, meet Roman then drive over to the West Side to the Intrepid Museum.

I’ll tell you, the garage we parked the car in was the best location ever.  Across from a police station and a fire house. It doesn’t get much safer than that.  Anyway, I need to give kudos to the staff of Icon Parking.  Management at this parking company must be really good because the employees were just very nice—with a good sense of humor.  Seriously.  You know you’re old when you can’t figure out how to scan your parking code into the little scanner at the cashier.  The staff was very helpful.

NYC Parking - Book Daily + Monthly Parking Online and Save More! |  IconParkingSystems.com

Headed to NYC?  Might I suggest Icon Parking? It’s not cheap but it’s better than chancing it with street parking and tickets.

I felt our car was very safe because it was housed across from a police station and fire house. How cute is this police SmartCar?

And with that, I’m ending this and will continue Part Three, our visit at The Intrepid because that museum deserves its own post!

My only regret?  Not snacking on my favorite dirty-water dogs slathered with mustart and kraut!

See you at the Intrepid! Stay Tuned!

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A Weekend In New York—Part One. Enjoying the Outdoors Again!

It’s hard to believe as I write this that I’ll be dividing this post into two—or even possibly, three parts.  Two days, one night in New York and there’s so much to tell you.

I’ll begin with a backtrack to a few weeks ago, right after my birthday.  Bonaparte decided to book an overnight in New York City.  We were both vaccinated twice and after our Cincinnati visit to be with Oona, Sam and Baby Owen, it felt good to get away again.

I mean, come on now–is this little nugget the cutest and happiest little guy ever?  He was so worth pandemic travel and I can’t wait until my next visit!

And as the lockdown was continuing to come to a close, my husband decided that an overnight in The City was a remedy for working hard and needing a little getaway for the two of us. It was decided that we would drop Chippy off at doggie daycare early in the morning and head up to Nyack, just north of Manhattan (to me it’s Upstate), to visit Bonaparte’s grandfather’s grave, hang out for a bit then head down to Manhattan.  We also had tickets to visit the Intrepid museum on Sunday.  It re-opened just days before our visit. Roman was going to meet us and the weekend proved to be a busy and fun one.

Saturday morning, we were blessed with great weather.  Trust me, after the chilly Spring and rainy weekends, it was an absolute pleasure to see the sun shining and feeling its warmth through the windows as I got ready.

You all know by now that when I travel, I don’t like to lug a ton of makeup around with me. And now at my proaging years, less is more.  After applying my makeup, I packed my cosmetics in a little travel bag, packed my necessities and hair and got dressed.

Believe me when I tell you that less is more these days–especially when I’m traveling!  All of these cosmetics was used.  The mini-kit by Trestique, the Subtl Beauty stacks, The Boom sticks and the Smart Shade face makeup by Almay. They did the job!

Since we would be walking around, and my piggy bits have expanded, I opted to wear a stretchy pair of J. Crew Pixie Pants that, by now, have to be a decade old. The greatness of these pants is they’ve been with me through thick and thin. Presently the pants are my thick buddy.  I also went with a striped shirt and a navy blazer.  Going out to dinner in The City always calls for a bit more polish and if the evening was going to be cool, I could wear it over my dress.  Now. I’m definitely not a sneaker person but I love my old reliable Converse low-tops. I wore them (and even wore peds) because they were the best choice for walking around. Since I didn’t want to carry a huge tote or a good designer bag, a restored-by-me vintage Coach Willis bag was chosen.  The long shoulder strap is perfect to wear cross-body and held the essentials I needed to bring.

The blazer was as heavy as it got. I packed a very light black jersey dress and pointy-toed flats for our dinner date and a black shirt for the next day. I’m wearing my Reeves wig by Estetica. I cut it.  But the vintage Willis bag was a pragmatic choice.  Worn as a crossbody it worked well!

Packed and ready to go, we bid adieu to house and roofers.  While we were away the roof was replaced. It was a great day for home repairs and for us to be out of the way.  Hitting the road and listening to music, we were off and running!

No way could I ever do this. But I must say the roofers did a stellar job!

I get excited when that first Cityscape is spotted.  It’s something I just never tire of.  And so, I snapped a pic!

The view of the skyline from the Jersey Turnpike is one I never tire of.  It just makes me happy!

As we approached the GW Bridge, we took the last exit and opted for the scenic views of the Palisades Parkway.  If you’ve never been on this road, I have to tell you, it’s one of the prettiest parkways in the Northeast.  The Hudson River is just beautiful and as you drive north, those last views of the City are magnificent and make way for the more bucolic views as you approach the lower parts of Upstate NY.

The 8 Most Scenic Drives in New Jersey | Fun

Although we didn’t stop here, might I suggest if you are ever on the Palisades Parkway to stop and admire the many majestic views! 

When we exited the Palisades, we drove through Tallman Park.  I’m filled with fond memories whenever I pass through Tallman.  When we lived in NYC, before moving to the suburbs, my friends, Jeannie, Diana and I would load the kids into the minivan and make a day of it at the pool. It was a great way to spend a hot summer day!   Most of the traffic in the park and elsewhere on the roads was made of cyclists riding for pleasure, sport and exercise.  For a moment there was a tinge of envy rushing through my body because I wanted to be with them.

Our first stop was Piermont.  Piermont is one of those picture-perfect villages in Rockland County. It’s a bit funky, a bit artsy, with big old houses and new condos along the river. It’s one of those places that remind me of the village we lived on Long Island—it was charming and everyone knew everyone else. Like a big family.

The walk along the marshy reserve was heavenly and delightful!

We walked along the Hudson River Reserve and took our time while doing so. The views were lovely. The view of the Tappan Zee Bridge, or Tap, as I’m prone to call it, were spectacular. I’m very sentimental about that bridge simply because when I was a child, our trips from Long Island to Upstate always involved a trip across this bridge and I thought it was just wonderful. Be still my heart.

I couldn’t get a close up because we were pretty far away but you can see the bridge.

Here’s a better view. The water was like glass. No sailboats just a motorboat scattered here and there.  

As much as I’m a City Girl, I love being by any body of water and the Hudson River rocks it!

Oh look!  We found a little beach. Believe you me, if I lived nearby, this would be my private little beach inlet!

Anyway, it was just so damn good to be outside. And out in a place of liveliness and esthetically pleasant.  For the first time in over a year, I felt like I was released from prison—the prison of COVID. Always unsure of venturing outside the house. My two safe havens were the office, simply because nobody was there, and my home.  The two times I flew to Cincinnati before my vaccination, I was nervous. It wasn’t until the second vaccination that my confidence was boosted to a very high level.

A sculpture caught our interest..

It has a nice story!

I’m sure others felt the same because everyone we passed was truly happy. It’s that look in the eyes.  It was easy to tell that passersby were just as thrilled as we were to be out in the sunshine.  Just a simple activity as walking along the river was just short of a miracle.

Driftwood that settled in nicely with the rocks makes for an impressive still life of sorts.

A lone bench that wasn’t too lonely for long!

We made a bench unlonely. Hey. What is my hubby looking at?

The walkway at the Piermont Reserve is more than charming. It’s a community.  Men and children were fishing.  Ducks were grouped together and I’m sure they were giving us humans the side-eye.

The ducks were most likely quacking to each other that they liked the lockdown better..

Remnants of a once-used pier..

Homes along the water are reflected in the mirror of the Hudson!  Check out that sky!

A number of trees along the way were decorated with bird houses!

The Piermont community welcomes these little signs and  artfully delightful fishes!

What a happy sight!

Hey! I’m a picture postcard!!

On the way back, a wedding was about to take place.  We were able to listen to the Irish music the fiddler was playing. I was wondering where the Irish Dancers were!

I had a Zillow moment. Then after looking at the price, my moment dissipated!

As we ended our walk we came across a wedding about to begin!

This guy was belting out some fine Irish tunes on the fiddle!

Back in the car we made our way to my husband’s grandfather’s gravesite. But first we passed by the home he lived in.  Nestled among bit shade trees and lots of greenery, the home really fit into the artsy esthetic of the area.

The home where Bonaparte’s grandfather lived–and so did Bonaparte for a couple of years as a child!

As we made our way to the cemetery, it was apparent that the pandemic was in the final stages.  People enjoying brunch and lunch al fresco, families out with their children, shoppers, more bicyclists—all welcoming a new life from the one that was put on hold.

Communal Kitchen Restaurant - Nyack, NY | OpenTable

People were enjoying time out and about..

Andre Girard founded the CARTE Network to work for the Resistance and against the Nazis. It was sweet to see this American flag next to his headstone.

We paid our respects to Grandpere Girard and I gave Bonaparte a moment with his grandfather. And then we headed back down to The City. But we took it slow and enjoyed the scenery.

And I especially admired the scenery of the old homes. Oh I could live here in a NY Minute!

 Couldn’t you live on the porch all summer?

Imagine having a canal as your backyard!

Stay tuned for Part Two! It’s off to Manhattan!

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Filler Up! My Face–Not My Gas Tank! or..My Experience With Fillers!

For quite some time, I was mulling about the possibility of getting fillers.  And, I finally went through with it. This has been a long time coming. The appoint was made last December while I was having my annual skin check.  Because it was one of those things I kept going back and forth on, the appointment was purposely scheduled four months in advance just in case I changed my mind.

I filmed a YouTube Video about my experience as well.  It should be up and running at some point today!

Well, the appointment had to be pushed back a few weeks due to receiving my second Covid vaccine. I called my dermatologist’s office to see if it was, in fact, safe to get the fillers after the vaccine and it was suggested I wait at least three weeks.  And so, this past Tuesday, May 4th, I headed off to receive fillers for the first time. Here’s my story and how it went!

Monday, May 3rd. Night.

Because I have this “thing” about early morning appointments, as well as flights, the alarm is always set but I don’t get much sleep.  My appointment to receive, at the time I thought would be Juvéderm, was at 7:15 AM.   Five AM was my wake-up time. I figured by the time I got ready and headed off to the doctor, my timeline would be managed. Besides, I move a bit slower without my coffee.

Tired Good Night GIF

And although I always sleep like a baby, I did toss and turn because I wasexcited!

Tuesday, May 4th.

As predicted, the alarm went off at five AM but I was pretty-much awake by then. And a bit tired. Nonetheless, I got ready, eye makeup only, my favorite head of hair, Jamison, atop my head. I figured a classic bob would suffice. Besides, if I had to remove my hair it was no big deal because Dr. Covello knows that I wear wigs.

Excited and not nervous in the least, I was sad because I wanted coffee so badly but didn’t want to waste a moment of time waiting on a Starbucks line. So off I drove into the early morning rain to the dermatologist’s office.  Having an early appointment worked very well for me because I was able to head to work immediately afterwards.

I arrived bright and early. Well, maybe not too bright. It was raining!

I arrived at the office just as it opened and checked in.  Less than five minutes later I was escorted into a regular examination room and Dr. Covello came in to explain what would be done. Originally Juvéderm was going to be used, but the doctor decided on Restylane instead. Putting my complete trust in my dermatologist, I smiled and said “Filler Up”!

Prior to receiving the injections, Dr. Covello explained the process to me.  She also said that, due to the downturn in my mouth, there was a chance I would want to come back for a bit more.  In fact, she was willing to do it then.  However, since this was my first experience with fillers, I opted for the one vial at the moment and the possibility of another in the near future. I wanted to see how the initial injections and result went.

Dr. Covello–so chic in black was ready, willing and able to make me look my best! Filler Up Doc!

Comfortable in my seat, a numbing spray was applied to my upper mouth and the corners.  It took less than a minute for the spray to work and the needle was injected at various points above my mouth.  When I tell you there was no pain, I’m being one hundred percent serious!  There was absolutely no pain whatsoever.  All that was felt was a slight pinch as the needle went into my skin. And when I say slight, I mean it. It was a mega-second pinch.

Now, I had some deep lines.  It’s a combination of serious sun damage, getting the damage zapped and genetics from my mother’s side. It’s weird. My mother and her sisters had deep lines above their mouth as they aged. And only one of her sisters smoked. So, there were definitely some genetics working. The one vial wasn’t enough to handle my chin scars and that’s fine. It was mostly the lines above the mouth that I was concerned about.

Before and after. You can see the deep lines. After the injections, I had a nice surprise.  I sat with a cold compress of frozen peas. Trust me, I was so coffee-deficient at the time I was ready to eat the frozen veg! And there I am in the car following the injections!

In fact, Dr. Covello injected me once below my bottom lip in the middle to even things out.  She massaged the areas that were injected and that was it!Done and a cold compress placed on my mouth for about five minutes, checked out, and on my way to work.

Here I am immediately after the injections. Hmmmm. I wonder if I should have opted for some filler to smooth out the wrinkles in my decollete

There was swelling. And it showed up more as the day went on and into the evening.  It did NOT affect how I worked.  There was no queasiness or feeling ill. In fact, there was no issue with my working a full day then driving home.

Back from the office and in my filthy nightie..

Okie dokie! That’s better. I threw on some hair. This is how the first night looked. Swelling but it doesn’t look too bad!

Bruising was expected but never happened that first day. Swelling continued as got ready for bed. And there was soreness. The soreness began around early afternoon and remained sore until I went to bed. There was some slight itching but nothing to drive me crazy and wanting to scratch.   In addition, you’re not supposed to take anti-inflammatory OTC drugs so I went to bed a bit sore but still managed to get in a full eight hours of shut eye.

Wednesday, May 5th I woke up with all soreness gone.  My lips were swollen but all in all, didn’t look bad. I could feel slight bumps in the inside of my mouth where the injections were and only felt it because my tongue hit those areas. It wasn’t bad though.  I did apply makeup but very lightly. Inspecting my mouth, I did see that the lines had dissipated but the really deep lines were just less deep. Still, I was happy.

Wednesday. Day Two. Call me crazy but I really liked the way the swelled lips looked!  No bruising. I did have a red mark that looked like a scratch which I covered with concealer but other than that. All was good!

In addition, there was no bruising. At this juncture, I figured if I hadn’t bruised by now, I most likely wouldn’t.  Now. On this second day, the soreness was gone but my mouth didn’t feel 100 percent yet.  What did it feel like?  Okay. If you are a naughty sun worshipper (as yours truly has been), you’ll experience that kind of tightness after a day in the sun—usually the first or second time you’re at the beach for the season.  You know the feeling—it’s like a sunburn without the burn.  The sensation is a tautness. It’s not painful at all, nor is it uncomfortable. It just is what it is.

A bit of pink lipstick–I may have had to use more but I was thrilled!

Thursday, May 6th.  Hey!  The swelling went down quite a bit. But I have to admit, I kind of like my lips nice and plump and juicy.  They remind me a bit of how my mouth looked when I was younger.  But—I’m not trying to recapture my youth. I’m simply trying to improve upon the ageing process if you will. I do have a little “mark” above my lip that I’ve covered with concealer. If that’s the closest thing I’ve gotten to bruising, I’ll take it!

Thursday. You can see the red mark-I didn’t bother to cover it. I got lazy.And the swelling is still going down. I dunno. I think I like my fat lips! 

More Thursday  lips!

Friday, May 7th.  I’m almost back to normal. Well, as normal as can be for now. Swelling has gone down. I’m very happy with my appearance above my mouth. I don’t feel any bumpiness at all in the inside of my mouth.  I can wash my face with my regular gusto. And my “Resting Bitch Face” doesn’t look so bitchy anymore.

The Friday Face! And the swelling has gone down considerably! Where are my super-sized lips?

Almost back to normal. Zoom in. You can see the faint lines that were where the deep lines were!

Saturday, May 8th.  It’s been five days. My mouth is where it should be. No more swelling. I have pretty big lips to begin with but they have more definition now.  One of the issues I had before getting the filler was my uneven lips caused the lip gloss/lipstick on my upper right side of the top lip to smear. Its weird because my bottom lip was bigger on that side. Now it’s all evened out.  There is the faintest bit of redness where the lines have dissipated but that’ll disappear in a short time. You can only notice if I zoom in on a photo.  Another plus. I like the way my mouth looks when I smile with my mouth opened.

Saturday.  It didn’t take long at all to get back to normal! 

Holy Cow! I’m even smiling with my mouth opened!  Yes. I am a happy little camper!

EXTRA!  Sunday, May 9th, Mother’s Day!

I’m finishing this post up today!  Here I am wearing red lipstick.  The shade Courage by Bare Minerals–it was a sample that I had hanging around the house!

Yup!  Almost a week later and it’s back to normal but in a slightly better way. Not overdone at all!  And I’m wearing red lipstick!

Overall, I’m extremely glad that I did this.   And I’m currently saving up because I do want a bit more tweaking where my “accident” lines are on the side of my mouth near the chin and I do want a bit of a lift at the corners.   It won’t take long to save because my husband, for my birthday, told me to keep the other money I saved for my first fillers and he treated me.   Quite honestly, I’m really glad I did this. But I also have to thank Dr. Covelo for her expertise.  She didn’t overdo anything. She was very careful and made sure that everything, in the end, looked natural and did a stellar job!

I want to have some deep lines on the chin filled in as well as a little uplift at the corners of my mouth!

Honest, Final Thoughts and What to Expect: Let’s talk about this.  In the first place, this isn’t cheap. The cost of the Restylane with the application from the dermatologist was $650—this is the cost for one vial. It’ll last about a year or slightly under.  So, if you’re considering a bit of filler, it gives you time to save up in between one injection season to the next!

Fillers are not a miracle worker.  How do I put this?  If you go on the Restylane site, you’ll see younger women sporting their results.  That bugs the living $hit out of me.  It’s basically the same thing on the Juvéderm website. And I think that’s wrong in so many ways.  It doesn’t give an honest picture of how a woman in her sixties or fifties or even seventies will look after a vial or two.

You are not going to look 20 or 30 years younger. Please get any notion of that out of your head. What you will achieve is a better and tweaked version of yourself. I look my age but better. That’s all. And that isn’t too bad.

This is me with Oona 31 years ago. My bio hair was full (although the bangs leave much to be desired) but look at my face. I have no wrinkles at all. My mouth was very nice at the time, full and no lines. Dang–my chin. I had a sculpted chin. That’s it. I’m playing the lottery. I need a chin lift.  Seriously folks, the fillers are not going to make me look like this–but they help to make me look a bit better.

If you follow any sort of social media, remember that there is a huge difference between a filler and a filter. Many people use face apps that literally distort their present face into one that looks unrealistic and ridiculously youthful. There’s something very disturbing to me when I see a woman in her fifties or older showcasing a product or item on the internet and she’s filtered her face to appear as though she is naturally without wrinkles or lines or fault. Imperfections are fine. And fillers won’t rid you of every flaw. You’ll still have the sun spots or age spots or whatever you want to call them.

This is what a face app does to your face. It makes you look like a freak. Albeit perhaps a pretty freak–it still makes you look like a freak. Many women over the age of 50 use these freaky face apps thinking they are fooling people. They aren’t. There is a huge difference between a face app and fillers.

If you are addicted to fillers then perhaps you can achieve that youthful look but be careful not to overdo it.   In fact, I’m happy that I have to save up for fillers because I can see how one thing can lead to another. First—oh my lips. Then—oh my marionette lines. Then—oh my forehead. Then—oh my eyes.  I’ll stick to what I’m really self-conscious about and that’s my mouth and chin.

Go to a professional.  While I have heard of Botox parties, I’m too chicken to attend one. (Not that I would actually be invited to one). This is serious stuff.  Find a professional such as your dermatologist or a nurse-practitioner or very experienced skin-care expert. For me, I’ll stick to my dermatologist.

Six days of the filler experience. From the first through today.  I’m so happy I went to my dermatologist!

Expect swelling. Expect redness and for some slight bruising.  Expect a pinching sensation that’ll last but a second or two.  Also expect soreness for about a day. Depending on your sensitivity, it could be longer.  But don’t expect to be back to normal the next day.

You might freak out a bit after a few hours or the next day when you see the swelling or other side effects. Have no fear. This is normal and will take a while for swelling to go down.  And if you are planning on getting fillers before a big event, do it at least two or three weeks prior!

After the fillers with no makeup. You can see that my skin doesn’t look thirty years younger but the deep lines have dissipated.

Here’s the other side. You can see where I need to be tweaked a bit.

My experience was very positive. Going to a dermatologist helped.  Being realistic in my expectations also helped.  And remember, if you decide to go for fillers, do it for you. Don’t do it because someone in your life is telling you to do so and you’re not there yet. Wait till you are ready.  Do it for yourself.

My experience was ridiculously positive. And if anything, hopefully this post will help you to see how my filler experience went if you are thinking of getting them!

Have you had fillers?  Are you thinking about it?

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Broaching a Taboo Subject! Leaky Lady Parts and A Solution!

I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this but here goes because it’s quite a taboo subject. Bladder leakage!

Hey my dear friends–someone has to broach the subject!!

Almost 38 years ago I gave birth to my first child.  Upon delivering a ten-pounder, it was a great experience that changed my life.  I felt so overcome with a love that I never experienced before. And due to the fact that my ob-gyn allowed me to partake in a completely natural childbirth (I was very Crunchy-Granola at the time), my “Origin of the World” went through some changes.

Selina Meyer Babies GIF by Veep HBO

My reaction was slightly different. but being self-centered quite similar. I said “He’s BIG. So BIG. Am I OK”? to which the nurse curtly replied “YOUR BABY is healthy”. 

I had a fourth-degree laceration which warranted having a catheter shoved up my love canal for four days. Trust me when I tell you that I loved it at the time because it made for voiding very easy. But when it was taken out, I wasn’t too eager to void!  I’m not even going to talk about the back door exit!

Regardless, that birth paved the way for the next two deliveries which were easy-peasy bladder squeezy.

And yes, I did Kegel exercises upon returning back to work. Every moment spent in an elevator was kegeling.  And even as a stay-at-home mom, I continued the Kegels randomly.

Gem GIF

I dunno know if a machine like this would even help!

But a weird thing happened.  I began to age.  My young “origin of the world” was now an old piece of real estate. Instead of a leaky roof, I had a leaky basement. Not ridiculously leaky but leaky enough that I had to, and still do, hang around the throne a bit till the faucet stops dripping if you know what I mean.

And upon arising, there’s sometimes a bit of hidden bodily precipitation that manage to ever-so-gently slide down the thigh.  Not enough for surgery but enough that I really should wear a pad. But the fact is, during my productive ovary years, I went through a ton of pads and they were uncomfortable AF.  Presently, I deal with it and do the laundry more often than not.

peeing adam sandler GIF by IFC

In the movie “Billy Madison” perhaps it was cool to go pee pee in your pants but I’m sorry, I don’t wanna be Miles Davis. Nor do I want to be Miles River!

My current concern is the wedding party I’m attending for my bestie’s daughter later this month—Memorial Day weekend, in fact.  My great concern is dancing. Trust me, when there’s a party, I’m on that dance floor.  The Frenchman sits at the table and I’ll grab anyone that has a heartbeat and can breathe to run up to the dance floor to boogie with me.  And therein lies the issue.  My bladder MUST be completely empty.  This is a challenge because I also enjoy partaking in adult beverages at any sort of social event.  I don’t get plowed but I do enjoy a drinkie-poo or three.

This is the dress I’m wearing to the wedding party. It’s made for dancing with that slit–but I don’t need anything that resembles lemonade dripping down my legs!

So, I’m usually, emptying, dancing, leaking.  Emptying, dancing, leaking. On repeat.  At Oona’s wedding it wasn’t bad because I wasn’t drinking.  Well, just one drink, and after that I remained dry—everywhere!

Remember Oona’s wedding? I think I was the happiest Mother-of-the-Bride on earth. And I made sure I was dry!

No longer am I able to make like Jack La Lanne and perform jumping jacks—it turns into Jumping Jack Flash Flood.  I cannot dance around the house like a happy little fool because I get a bit leaky.  Trust me on this, it’s not to the point I need to call my doctor—it’s just at that little annoying point. And I’m not exclusive. It’s an issue many of us face as we pro-age.

Mick Jagger GIFs | Tenor

Note to self. Write to Mick Jagger and ask him to update the song “Jumping Jack Flash” to “Jumping Jack Flash Flood”  I wonder if he has leakage issues.

Anyway, you can just imagine how intrigued I was when the people at Zorbies, a new  brand that makes absorbent panties reached out to me and asked if I wouldn’t mind the panties out for a little review.  Since it’s a product that is conducive to our demographic, I jumped on the opportunity.

It’s a new brand and it’s nice to be able to give a shout out.

I received two pair. One pair I haven’t used yet because I’m saving it for the wedding party.

Here’s my thoughts.

The panties came in separate plastic zip-topped bags.  Personally, I like that because it lends itself well for travel.Upon taking the panties out for observation.  I noticed that they are designed in the USA and made in China.  If you have no issue with that as I have no issue, please read on.  If you don’t purchase products made in China—just out of curiosity, please read on anyway.

The brand is pretty transparent in giving information regarding the panties. Notice that they also give you the information on the various fabric layers in the bads.  As I like to air-dry many of my items, I would dry these on a rack.

I ordered the size “Medium”.  And although I’m still (pass me those chips please) making an effort to lose pandemic weight, the medium fits perfectly.

The panties are actually quite nice. Not granny looking but not hotsie-totsie either. Very pragmatic in design. I like that these come just below the belly button!

The waistline falls just below the belly-button which makes for more comfort.  A high waistline can oftentimes roll down—especially when Spandex is included in the mix.

My leggings come up mid-belly. The panties are cut with a lower waist which is great because who wants their panties sticking out from the top of their trousers, skirt or leggings?

The only bulk is my naturally flabby gut.  Even my butt has no added bulk–and there’s padding there too!

The padding—these panties, upon first glance, may appear somewhat bulky, but all that changes once you put them on.

Turned inside out.  Honestly, when I saw how much padding there is I was concerned about a bulky appearance but they aren’t bulky at all!

The trim around the legs is wonderful. I don’t know about you, but many stretchy panties have that elastic trim around the leg opening that has a tendency to “cut” into skin.  These don’t which adds to the comfort level.

The leg edges/trim/hem–whatever you want to call it doesn’t cut into the skin at all. I love that because it definitely adds to the comfort level!

The fit.  Now, I promised my husband that I would not model these panties so that my image wearing them would not be splayed over the internet. But I will attest that the padding is not bulky.  Below are photos of me wearing a pair of J. Crew leggings over the panties.  The leggings are somewhat thin but there’s no bulk from underneath. The photo from the side is the same –no added bulk, just my piggy-belly.

These leggings are pretty thin but opague. You can’t even tell I have absorbent, padded panties on…

Again, a side view and you still can’t tell. The only thing sticking out is my gut.

The padding also covers a large area where leakage might occur.  From the entrance to your origin all the way to the back. And excuse me for being vulgar but—the padding in the back is great to absorb booty juice.  There. I said it.  Some of us due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or hemorrhoids or lack of muscle in the anal area do have a bit of the booty juice dripping out. And with the padding reaching to the back, having a larger area of absorption is a good thing!

 

The back view and there is padding at the back door! So go ahead and eat that gassy food!

Today I’m wearing these and without going into too much detail, I can honestly tell you, that these are working.  I literally drank two liters of Diet Peach Sparkling “Beverage” and am on my third. (Don’t judge—I know regular water is healthier).  I turned-on Black-Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling’ and danced around the house, ran up and down three flights of stairs, and did jumping jacks. I also played “Chase “with Chippy (who is now underneath the coffee table hiding from me), and these panties absorbed lady part precipitation.

Chippy is hiding from me. I wore him out and my paadded panties didn’t fail me!

The padding now feels dry because—well, the moisture was absorbed. There’s no odor. And I plan on keeping these on all day. I’ll be headed to the mall later and I feel absolutely confident.

With this padding, you are definitely well-protected!

Let’s talk price.  The Ladies Classic Moderate Classic Style, which I have runs $33.25 for a single pair and $99.75 for a four-pack.  The price is fair. The disposable brands of absorbent underwear retail for a lot more when you have to keep purchasing. So overall, the price point is very fair.

I would say the price is very fair–especially considering the cost of disposable absorbant panties!

The brand also has other options such as Period Underwear and panties where you can use removable pads.   The period panties are in the “Why-didn’t-these-exist-when-I-had-my-period” category.  When I think back to those days of tampons and maxi pads on heavy flow days—arrgh!  The tampons would leak (and I shoved two up there), the pads, even with the wings, would move and I would be left with panties that I would have to fight with my dogs to get them out of their mouths and into the wash. Many times, I just trashed the panties.  These would have been a godsend!  Plus, they are great for new moms after delivery!

All this absorbent padding would have worked well to keep my dogs from appearing as though they were in lust with me during my heavy flow days! 

In addition, there are also models for men.

More transparency from the brand!

These are sold exclusively in the continental US through the Zorbies Website www.zorbies.com  and through their eBay store if you want items shipped outside of the USA.

My overall view is very favorable! 

 What’s my overall view?  These are great.  They perform well. Aren’t bulky. Won’t stink and you can wear with confidence.   My only issue per se is with the use of the word “incontinence”. For me, it’s up there with “anti-aging” and just sounds negative.  While I realize that the incontinence term is used by physicians and the medical world as well as the brands selling products to help.   If I could create a word to use it would be “absorbitence”, or a more body-friendly term. But hey, that’s just me!

Thumbs up people!  It’s really a great item.  I’ve often thought about purchasing disposables but the Zorbies are just so much better, more cost-efficient in the long run and comfortable! 

So, jump up and down. Dance. Run. Chase the dog.  Shake your Booty.  And live with confidence if you have the leaky-lady-faucet or if other areas of your lower body are a bit—leaky!

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Styling v. Wearing—Is There a Difference?

There  certainly is a difference and it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for a while but never got around to it.  Until now.

If you aren’t familiar, I post on Instagram.  A lot.   I post on a mostly-daily basis of outfits that I’m wearing.  Overall, how I wear the ensembles oftentimes showcases my style.  And basically, style is how you wear clothing:

Almost every morning I post on Instagram the outfit that I am wearing for the day.  I’m not styling a thing. I’m merely wearing clothes!

Style is defined (as a particular way  of doing or saying something), or refers to a unique form of clothing or way of arranging your appearance.

As quoted above, it pretty-much describes what I’m talking about. What I find daunting is the misuse of the word style when it comes to fashion.   It is up there with my chic pet peeve. Chic is another term that is ridiculously misused. There are very few women who truly personify the description of chic.  It is elegance and sophistication blended with style.  That’s a tough mix to come by. I’m veering off topic…

I have no idea who this woman is, but she personifies chic in it’s essence. Check out her hair. It’s gorgeous and styled without looking like a “do”. She’s elegant while being casual. Nothing fussy.  She is both chic and stylish. On to the subject matter.

“Style” as a noun is used to describe the kinds of clothing and the way someone wears those clothes.

A little look-see at my personal style for work. blazer, heels (MUST BE POINTY TOED–that’s my style) and a scarf. I wear these clothes. This is my style but I don’t style any of it.  Kabeesh?

For example:  My personal style, I would say is more of  classic-with-an-edge. A  sort of preppy-going-outside-the-lines. And my style is literally based on the school uniform I wore for many years.  Shirt. Skirt. Blazer.   And I play off that. It could be jeans, tee shirt and blazer. Or pants, shirt and denim jacket. Or skirt, shirt and blazer. Or skirt and sweater. It’s very simple. But—it’s my style. My mode of dressing.

…or plaid kilt (PLAID is my favorite color) with sweater and tights (tights only in winter otherwise I’m bare-legged) with ballet flats.

And my three-season favorite weekend outfit (Fall, Winter, Spring when the weather is still chilly)  Jeans, tee, scarf, blazer and loafer on sockless feet.  It is my style–and again, I haven’t styled a dang thing!

 My summer style is the dress.  I would call it “”Lazy Lady Style”simply because I can’t be bothered wearing a lot of clothing  during the warmer and heated months.

I’m a big Lilly Pulitzer fan for summer dressing.  The bright colors are fun–it’s what I like to wear..

And when it comes to summer travel, I’m all about the dress. This photo was taken in St. Tropez in 2017. I just took this dress out of the storage bin and hung it in my closet. I paid ten bucks for it at Old Navy–this will be the fifth summer I’m wearing it.  And it wears well–hmmm maybe my style is frugal!

“Styling” as a verb is where the over-use and misuse of the word comes in.   Throwing on a pair of shoes is not “Styling”. It is “wearing”.  Adorning those same shoes with embelishments such as bows or ribbons or gemstones is styling the shoes then placing the embellished shoes on your feet is still wearing.  Sliding into a pair of heels or sneakers or flip-flops is not styling. It’s wearing and again, so many get it wrong.

This plain pair of pumps has been embellished. They have been styled.  The owner of these shoes worked on styling them and she will wear them.

And don’t even get me started on this look.  First of all the young woman is gorgeous.  However, I’m tired of this look and even more tired when influencers say they are “styling” with accessories such as the hat.  For the love of Pete, will someone PLEASE tell these women the hat is supposed to be worn lower on the forehead.  This is not styling. It’s a trendy look that will be dated by next year.  Oy vey!

And basically, I wear clothing.  Sadly, I’m not much for styling and it’s mostly because I just don’t have that certain “thing”.  I’m lousy at accessories. I’ll wear the same earrings until they lose the gold plating or they break. I have a necklace of big fake pearls that were purchased a few years back at J. Crew Factory. I wear them on repeat all year.

Quite honestly, these fake pearls have been worn so many times I cannot believe they aren’t discolored.  My jewelry style is purely costume but I don’t style my fake jewelry–I wear it.

Scarves?  I wear the basic double loop or tie it up on my neck to hide the turkey wrinkles!  In fact, this winter I mostly wore but one scarf. It seemed to go with everything I wore and I wore it more than often!

My most-worn scarf this winter. I didn’t exactly style it but I did manipulate it to cover my turkey neck!

And the only other way I know how to wear a scarf is the double loop. 

But here’s the thing—I wear clothing well. Trust me I’m not bragging or being full of myself. I know my body. I try to wear clothing that fits me well when I gain weight and when I lose weight.  But as far as a unique ability to make a simple frock or pair of pants look unique, by styling– I’m not gifted.

Presently I’m in a “heavier” stage that has remained in place since February. But because I know how to wear clothing, these paper-bag waisted pants look okay.  Nothing on this outfit is styled. I’m wearing the pants with a fitted knit top and pointy toed leopard shoes.  

And therein lies the issue on social media. Wearing a pair of jeans with a shirt and sneakers is not style. It is simply wearing clothing.  I see this all the time too.  Women wearing clothing and telling how they’ve styled it—throwing on a pair of slides is not styling an outfit. Donning a sweatshirt is not styling.

Looks such as this are splayed all over social media–especially by the mature woman as “styled”.  I’m sorry but this is not a styled look.  It is a fine outfit for raking leaves or running errands but I would not say it the very “styling” is appropriate!

I’m going to show you two examples of proper styling:

Last week I was perusing through my Instagram feed and came across a little video post by Susan of Une Femme du Certain Age Blog.  She showcased how she took a pair of jeans and a tee shirt that she was wearing and she styled it.  The video is on the blog which I’ve linked.  The addition of a Chanel-esque tweed lady jacket, a chain bracelet, earrings and white driving loafers changed the simple look into a stylish ensemble.  And the little extra was the front tuck of the shirt.  Honestly, I was so happy to see a bona fide style video I practically did a happy dance.  She got it. @susan_unefemme

Oh look! Susan is wearing jeans and a tee! (Sorry about the blurred image).

Now she takes a Chanel-inspired tweed Lady jacket..

..and she STYLED her look.  The use of a lady jacket with jeans is unique.  The little front tuck of the tee shirt is that little nuance that adds the extra.  The driving loafers and bag complete the styled ensemble. It’s taking that one element and styling a look.  Had a barn jacket or windbreaker been worn with the tee, jeans and sneakers replaced the loafers, it would not have been a styled look.

Another Instagram true styler is my friend Josie of @living.la.vida.fifi.  I honestly have never seen anyone work the magic that Josie does with a scarf. Her knack, knowledge and ability put her in a class of her own.  It’s crazy. She simply does not wear a scarf. She styles them.  She gets it. And I swear to you I’ve tried to copy her scarf looks and I just can’t do it.

One scarf, two looks…

..oh wait–there’s more!

Can you believe this? I can barely loop a scarf around my neck. THIS is how styling works with a scarf! 

My big style moment came last week.  I have a Dr. Fauci basketball tee shirt that I ordered from Regis High School, where he was a student.  (Dr. Fauci is my hero).  I wore it with a pair of black leggings.  Simple enough—right?  But I decided to turn those two items into suiting.  I took a black J. Crew Schoolboy blazer and a pair of heels.  Voila! I styled otherwise ridiculously casual items into a more professional style.

My bit styling moment from last week.  I styled my Dr. Fauci tee and leggings into  suiting.  I tell you this tee shirt is epic greatness!  I only wish it had been delivered before I had my second vaccination!

So, there you have it.  You can wear clothing without styling—but the way you wear those clothes can be stylish.   And when an outfit is styled to the true meaning, thought goes into the look.  And it becomes unique.

I don’t think this counts as styling, but I love wearing a blazer with shorts. It reminds me of my high school days. 

What are your thoughts on this?  It’s been a while since we had a long comment discussion.  You think I’m on track?  Do you agree with my wearing v. style.  I’m really curious because I’m wondering if others feel the same way!  Don’t be shy now! Let’s hear it!

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Traveling After that Second Vaccine-And More Owen Time!

Last Thursday evening we flew to Cincinnati to visit Oona, Sam and………. grandson Owen.  It’s been a hectic few day since our return on Sunday.

Destination Cincinnati!  And I love flying at night–it’s like a light show when you make the landing!

 

Presently I’m in the midst of baking a birthday cake.  It’s for me and my stepdaughter.  Saturday evening I’ll be hosting a post-vaccination dinner with me, my husband, my son Roman, my stepdaughter Clare and her husband and daughter.

Actually, I made the cake yesterday.  I procrastinated this post.  Why?  I was busy taking yesterday off from work to cook and bake. BTW,  this is the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake and I use the recipe from the Milk Bar Cookbook.  HOWEVER,  I’m posting the link for the recipe from Boston Girl Bakes because her recipe is so clear and concise that I think you’ll appreciate it should you want to attempt this:  Boston Girl Bakes Birthday Cake Reccipe!

So yeah—I’m making my own cake. It’s a process that I startedWednesday night.  Tomorrow I’m going out to dinner with my friend Grace and Friday, my official birthday, I’ll be home from work and cooking for the family.

Actually, I ended up baking TWO cakes. I want chocolate..

And because I don’t like waste–I make Cake Truffles from the leftover cake scraps!

And…the cakes are in the freezer now until this evening!

The best thing about this upcoming dinner is that everyone will have been vaccinated. We won’t need masks.  We were together at Christmas but it was stressful.  I made anyone coming into our home give me proof that they were tested negatively for COVID.   It just …. well, it was just different.   And I have to say that mentally, it’ll feel a lot safer now that we’ve all received our vaccines.

Which brings me to the original topic of this post.

We traveled together by air for the first time since returning from Paris in December of 2019. Our last road trip was March of 2020—a week before the infamous lockdown. We spent a weekend in New York City and it was eerily empty.

TBH, I love traveling with my husband-we are a great travel team and it was just like old times to be traveling together again!

Now—I’ve traveled by air twice during the pandemic. In November to visit Oona and Sam before Owen was born and in February, a week after Owen was born.  During those flights, I took every precaution known to humanity.  Double masked at the airport and during the flight.  Wore my eyeglasses for protection and upon arriving at the house, took my travel clothes off, jumped in the shower and scrubbed any and every germ that happened to come my way.

Second dose received and one mask!

But this time, things were better.  Both Bonaparte and I having had our second vaccinations, it was both a relief and feeling of protection.  That’s not to say we have a false sense of security because we don’t. It’s just that being vaccinated has given us hope—and a measure of emotional stability during this time and a safety net.

The bags were packed—those little jaunts are perfect for carry-on luggage (and mine was half-filled with baby clothing.  The masks were in hand and away we drove to Philadelphia airport.

The less I carry-the happier I am!

Now here’s where I bitch and complain.  When we fly from Philly, we normally park in the economy lot and take a jitney from the lot to the terminal. The lot is huge so the process takes a while.  Because of the pandemic, and due to the fact that people aren’t traveling as much, the lot happens to be closed.  Now, when my husband gave me the news about the closed lot, I was overjoyed. It meant parking in the short-term garage directly across from the terminal.  Park the car, and walk through an enclosed overpass to the tunnel.  Easy—right?

I ALWAYS take a photo of where we park. Trust me, it’s the best travel tip I can offer because it saves a ton of confusion!

Well, not exactly. You see, where other airports (JFK in particular) have proper signage and more concise direction to parking lot space, Philly airport has the bare minimal signage and absolutely no direction whatsoever.  After circling the airport twice, we finally figured out how to get to the garage.  We park the car in the designated area for Terminal F, unload our stuff and head to the terminal.  But we couldn’t find the exit to Terminal F. There were NO SIGNS!!  No arrows pointing the way to the overpass. Nothing.  We ended up two terminals away and walking to our much-needed Terminal F. As in eff-you-see-kay. Quite frankly, Philly airport is one of the absolute worst airports I’ve ever had to deal with.

Thursday evening at Philadelphia Airport. It’s empty yet there were a ton of cars in the garage!

We had a couple of hours to kill because we left directly from my office.  It didn’t matter because we figured we could grab a bite to eat and chill.

Now here’s where the reminders that we are still in the midst of a pandemic come in.  The Food Court. In this huge rotunda of all things fast food, all but two places were closed.  At that point I was salivating over the thought of enjoying a pillowy soft, salty Philly Pretzel—but the Philly Pretzel stand was closed.  In fact, the only two opened were Sbarro and Smashburger.

And the owners (if it is a franchise) of these two establishments are geniuses.  Both made a small killing while we were there and I can just imagine the bucks made during the entire pandemic.  It was the first time I’ve ever had sweet potato fries and they were quite good.

It is an enigma as to how my refined Frenchman who demands only the best in dining, is so hooked on fast-food burgers! But he is! And thank the Lord Smash Burger was opened for a quick bite to eat!

The plane wasn’t as crowed on the way to Cincy as it was during our trip back—but in being fair, we did fly home on Sunday!  And as empty as Philadelphia airport was last Thursday, on Sunday you would never even know there was a pandemic.   Lots of travelers.  They all must’ve felt mighty safe because most of them looked like they just rolled out of bed. Dirty feet and flip-flops abound. Things are getting back to normal.

BTW, to all those who insist on wearing flip-flops to showcase their fungiesque and filthy feet and pajamas, a little black jersey dress that doesn’t wrinkle and flats are just as comfortable and stylish. 

And as we made our way back to our car, wondering how long the walk would take us, we saw a sign.  It was a small sign.  The printing was not eye-glass wearer friendly, but more of a 20/20 vision entitlement. But we spotted it anyway.  It was a sign leading to the overpass to get to the parking lot via Terminal F.  It took us less than a minute to get to our car!

And as we exited the short-term lot, and got ready to enter the toll, it was a surprise to find that the cost of parking from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon was Seventy dollars.  Yes. $70.  Seven-tee bucks! The airport spared no mercy to those who were unable to use the economy lot.  Bonaparte was fine with it but I wasn’t.  At JFK, we park for five nights and days and the cost is $38.50.  No jitney. A few feet to the little train that takes us to the terminal.

Regardless, we had a great time. It was great to be with Oona and Sam and Owen and their dog, Gracie.  And it was wonderful to be able to travel again and not feel stressed or afraid.

Gracie-girl and French Grandpa!  She’s so adorable..

And loves her attention–is she competing with Owen?

It was so much fun to be back with Oona, Sam and Baby Owen.  He’s just so adorable and I wish I could see him every day!

Tummy Time with this l’il nugget is so much fun!

It’s been two months since I last saw him but he’s just growing by leaps and bounds.

He’s looking so serious. He was absolutely mesmerized by Bonaparte’s speaking French to him. Most likely because my family is so loud and he speaks so softly..

The weather was kind enough to allow Sam to grill burgers and brats and we enjoyed dining al fresco.  Bonaparte was in his glories!

The only indication of His Supreme Gaulness is the wine! 

We had such a wonderful visit. The two-day journey was just enough to allow the new parents to be great hosts and then get back to their life as a new family!

And he slept the entire ride to the airport to drop us off.  I cannot wait to see him again…

And back to Philly we flew..

My new jam is the mobile boarding pass.  My old-fashioned husband was indifferent!

And now it is back to reality!  Hope you enjoyed our little visit and things are looking good as we get back to baby-steps of travel!!

Posted in The new travel, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Random Thoughts on Aging. Or, Aging Ain’t For Sissies!

Before I go further, allow me to give credit where it is due. I didn’t come up with “Aging Ain’t for Sissies”.  The credit belongs to Instagram poster tine_tibby0824 and I had to steal it.

Anyway, in less than two weeks, April 16th to be exact, I’ll be sixty-six years old.  It’s a bit difficult in some ways and its other ways it’s pretty cool.  Turning 65 wasn’t a big deal but there’s something about crossing the line from 65 into the high sixties knowing that you’ll be closer to seventy.

I Did A Thing. I Rejoined Weight Watchers Last Night | Atypical 60

And chances are, I’ll be baking my own birthday cake..

Saturday Randomlings | Atypical 60

And it’ll most likely be the Milk Bar Birthday cake recipe that I love!

I’m more aware of my mortality. And without being morose or maudlin, I become scared when I think about it.  I mean, chances are I won’t be around for my grandson Owen’s thirtieth birthday. It bothers me.

Seriously. I wanna be around forever so I can enjoy this guy as he enters into his thirties!

It also grates on me that after a divorce, and being a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years, my return back to the workforce has been a steady stream of shitty jobs. Women who stay home to raise children work 24/7 as nurses, doctors, chefs, bakers, seamstresses, referees, diplomats, cleaning ladies, therapists, problem solvers, project managers, fashion consultants, personal shoppers, coaches, taxi drivers, event planners…and that’s just within the family!  Yet, these multi-tasking skills are for naught when looking for a job.  Human Resources is interested only in your up-to-the-second resume and your current job.

All this and more while raising three children. And Corporate America couldn’t give a shit about the multitasking that a SAHM does!

I shall exit this earth as we know it as a professional failure!

Yes. Aging is a harsh reality and it hit me hardest the day I had my cataract surgery.  Pre-surgery, I saw life through foggy lenses.  My face looked—well, it looked almost wrinkle free. And the uneven skin tone kind of blended into a blurry but attractive rosy color.

This is how I thought I looked before cataract surgery.  No wrinkles and a rather ethereal aura!  Little did I know…

And when I took a look in the mirror with my near-perfect and new eyesight, I was shocked, appalled and started to cry. The reflection that stared back at me didn’t look anything like the one prior to the removal of the cataracts.  I was wrinkly—as in really wrinkly.  There was no longer a distinction between freckles and age spots.  My skin was a myriad of uneven tones.  And, I could spot the chin hairs so distinctly.

That THIS was how I really looked!  OUCH!

I wanted to get into my car, head to the surgery center and have my cataracts placed back into my eyes!

It’s true. Aging Ain’t for Sissies and I’ve put some random thoughts on the subject below.  Maybe you can relate?  Maybe you cannot.  Maybe you’ll laugh at yourself along with me.  Maybe you won’t.  But here we go.

That’s right. Aging Ain’t for Sissies. We gotta be warriors!

Do you notice that you’ve been searching through the bowels of the linen closet or the cabinets in the bathroom for those maxi-pads you wore before menopause made you love every month?  Only now, the pads are used for that little drip of pee-pee that drips out when you sneeze or laugh or jump up and down.  Yeah.

I swear to you that when I found a supply of Oona’s maxi pads, I jumped up and down for joy.  Then I leaked so I had to open the pack and put one in my panties!

Not to be vulgar or crude, but do you experience the Farty Party?  You know, when you are walking fast and from out of nowhere little puffs of air in the form of flatulence randomly exit from your butt?  Ahh. I remember a time in life when all it took was a squeeze of the cheeks to hold those little passes of gas back in.

Come to my farty party. It’ll be a real gas!

It’s the same thing on the other end.  Do you ever think about a time when you thought it was disgusting to burp and belch?  These days, I let it all out. I would rather release that garlicky or onion-scented burp than hold it in!

15 Surprising Foods That Cause People to Burp | 6 Minute Read

When you are in your Sixties, it is a surprise if you find a food that DOESN’T cause you to burp.  Ohh. I just burped!

The hair apparent.  Apparently, it’s moved.  The hair on top of your head, the tresses that used to be, at one time, your crowning glory, has fallen.

The hair on my head has fallen

Some of these hairs miraculously landed on your chin—or worse, under your lower lip. Or worse are now growing in your nose.  The brush which you faithfully gave your tresses 100 strokes a day has now been replaced with a tweezer in which you pluck 100 times a day!  Oh…and let us not forget the magnifying mirror.

To my chin.  

The tweezer is now my preferred beauty tool! Excuse while I go pluck around for a while!

Our mid-sections have expanded quite a bit but it is the expansion of the nose on the face that has us mystified.  How did my nose grow as I’ve aged?  Is it to hold my snotty attitude of my youth?  Or is it to house the new nose hair?

The reality of it is that our noses DO grow as we age!

There was a time when I could scrub floors and jump up from all fours when I was done. Now I’m lucky if I can actually get up without crawling to the nearest table leg or chair to hold on to as I slowly make my way to a standing position.

At least she had a good reason for not being able to get up. I can just about get off the sofa!

My body makes noises now. I’m not talking about the farty-party noises either.  My knees crack.  My stomach gurgles. And when I eat—I make eat noises that used to gross me out when I was younger!

My body makes more noises than a one-man band these days!

I’ve actually passed by reflective windows and mirrors and scared myself with my reflection.

This happens on a daily basis!  I’m not scared of my own shadow but I am scared of my own reflection!

I’m beginning to tolerate the scent of moth balls, old-lady perfumes and Ben-Gay! Clothing with elastized waist bands is looking rather stylish these days.

J. Crew and J. Crew Factory have perfected the elastic-waistband. It looks normal in front and from behind it’s totally elastic!  I wore these pants with a tucked-in-the-middle Tee and sandals.  I”m the cool granny!

I can’t stand the music that younger people listen to.  Give me classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Now that was music.

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Then. And Now.  He’s looking pretty nice these days but I do think he should let go of the super-long hair!

I’m constantly amazed at big corporations pontificating their do-gooding Equal Opportunity bullshit.  Until they include hiring people over 50, 60 and the like with that group of Gay, Trans, Bi, Yellow, Black, Brown and disabled persons, they are not inclusive.  Think about that for a moment!

Diversity, equality and inclusion - The Science Council ~ : The Science  Council ~

Spot the old person.  That’s right. The old person isn’t represented.  There IS no inclusion until older people are treated equally.

With Cancel Culture brings a Pandora’s Box of sorts.  Do you realize that All In the Family; The Jefferson’s; Maude; Barney Miller; F-Troop; Hogan’s Hero’s and possibly MASH would not be aired on TV simply because anyone could be offended by the content.  People don’t laugh at their shortcomings anymore.

And believe me, as adorable as Patty Duke and Sally Field were, someone today would find reason to be offended by these two nuggets of cuteness and great clothes!

I continue to be perplexed when I see TV commercials showcasing bratty, entitled children who refuse to eat what their poor working mother makes for dinner and then out of nowhere packaged Macaroni and Cheese appears and the kids, although still entitled brats, are suddenly happy.  For god’s sake, make a meal and if the children don’t like it, tell them to either eat what you made or go to be hungry. Chances are hunger will take over.

Have you seen any of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercials? It is nothing more than teaching bad parents how to be worse by giving into their entitled offspring.

And speaking of children…I recently saw a House Hunters International episode where a couple was taking their four children to live in Brussels.  They went to a bakery during the show and the baker gifted the family with treats.  Not one person in this family, parents or children, said thank you.  I guess manners are a thing of the past. Oops. I’m showing my age every time I say “Thank you” or “Excuse Me”.

What are pâtisserie, boulangerie and viennoiserie?

Wouldn’t YOU be thankful for a free sweet like this?  You know you are old when you are shocked at bad manners.

On the other hand, our aging has given us wisdom.  We are more confident about ourselves. We say what we want without worrying what others will think. We wear what we want. If we want long hair—we’ll wear our hair long whether it is real or fake!

That’s right. I will wear the longer hair–even though it’s fake. And the makeup. And the old sweatshirt…

We can wear the short dress and the jeans and the hoop earrings.

…and I will always wear that short dress!

We can travel without worrying about when the children have to go back to school!

Visiting Paris Anytime Soon? Let's Talk About It! | Atypical 60

And, we’ll be returning this Fall. We had our vaccinations!

We can make every night a date night!

At our age, every night can be date night! We don’t have to get a babysitter!

But most of all, we can thank our lucky stars that we are aging! It’s something many don’t get to experience. So let’s toast to aging!

HOn the sixth day of Christmas, let's make a toast with our Champagne  glasses!!! Have you found your perfect Holiday … | Champagne, Sparkling  wine, Champagne glasses

Here’s to aging!

Posted in aging, birthdays | 42 Comments

It’s All About the Body-Friendly Pants!

Trust me. I know the title is weird but you may thank me later.

Truth be told, I’ve hit a plateau in my weight loss journey.  I’m not really that mad about it simply because I’ve been eating with nary a care in the world. And now I am back on track. But I have to tell you, there’s a brand of pants that I’ve been really loving during this weighty time.

The pants are by Gretchen Scott and they are the Gripeless Spandex Jeans and are wonderfully flattering and stretch in all the right places. I’ve written about these pants in the past but it is time to revisit.

One of the number of Gretchen Scott pants I own.  These are so body-friendly and I love ’em!

Another great attribute of these pants is the prints.  Now under normal circumstances, I’m not much of a printed pants woman.  It’s solids or plaid for me.  But these pants—they are just different!  And with a 97% Polyester/3% Elastane content, these stretch in the right places! Machine washable and cool-dryer friendly, I remain faithful to air-drying!

The prints are fun and colorful–and the many colors add to different looks!

Something happened the first time I laid eyes on the brand’s Gripeless pants and jeans.  It was the prints and the colors. The prints are fun and whimsical and really disguise any flab you might have in your gut.  And trust me, I know gut! My gut is that one part of my body that’s the most challenging. Due to my stomach issues, there are days when I’m bloated. And if I eat too much bread, I get bloated. And if I eat too much dairy, I get bloated. And if I eat onions and garlic and get all gassy—I get bloated.

Therefore, my biggest issue is the waist/torso area.

The pants stretch to accommodate the widening waist!  

What I love about the Gretchen Scott pants other than the fun prints and vibrant colors, is the fit of the legs.

I’m especially fond of this India-inspired “Animal Kingdom” print! It’s just loverly!

They are skinny with a bit of give so that they are never too tight.  The waist area stretches to perfection and is never uncomfortable. I think this is essential for post-menopausal women since our middle area has a tendency to spread a bit.  The pants are sized nicely too.  The brand takes all body sizes into consideration with a size range that runs the gamut from Shrimp which is XXSmall to Diva which is XXXL.

Worn with navy heels for a more dressy and polished look or..

…worn with bright flats for a more casual look, the pants are versatile as well as practical.

And despite any weight gain I’ve endured over the time from my brother’s death at the end of 2019 through the pandemic, the Medium sized pants have managed to stretch with my body.  Allow me to give you and idea of how some of the pants fit me.

Notice the fit through the leg. Slenderizing but not super-tight. There’s some give here.

..and worn with a bright tank top–this is a nice summer look!

Next in line are the more trendy, loose-legged, wider legged, and paper-bag waisted pants.  Let us not dismiss the elastic waistband. There are pants with an elastic waistband that are not frumpty-dumpty.

Let’s take a look. Shall we?

I never expected to love the paper-bag waisted pants as much as I do. keeping in proportion, my feeling is that it’s best to go with a more fitted tee or top when wearing these pants!  These were purchased at Target and I really need to have another pair in my closet!

I’m loving the look of this outfit and it’s very body friendly. The top is from Amazon and I’ll add it to my idea list that I’ll post below. I don’t feel like shaving my legs tonight so I’ll probably wear this ensemble to work tomorrow!

Now a look at the J. Crew Factory Jamie Pants.  The ones below were purchased yesterday.  There was a 60% off sale at the store and we happened to be at the outlets, so I took advantage.  And that’s also something else I wanted to touch base on.   I’ve changed the way I’ve dressed during this pandemic.  Pants are now a larger part of my wardrobe than dresses are. It is very odd indeed because I’ve always considered me a dress kinda gal. Now it’s the pants!

These are the navy Jamie pants purchased yesterday. I also have them in black.  The photo was adjusted with more light so you could get a better look at the detailing.  The pants come above the ankle and I love this length. I’m wearing with a bright v-neck tee, also from J. Crew Factory.

A view from the side-I wanted you to see my gut. These elastized-waist pants are very tummy friendly!!

And now for the wide-leg version of the Jamie Pant.  I actually like these better because the wide leg is rather intriguing.  They look good even though I’m out of focus..

Here’s a better look at the wider leg. Not too long so that I’ll trip over the fabric, these graze the ankles as well. I like these better with heels than flats!

And allow me to reiterate how important the tops are in keeping with a flattering look.

Here I’m wearing a cotton tee. It doesn’t look bad but…it does add a bit of volume to my upper body. A more spandex-type fitted shirt is better.

As an aside, there are dresses that are body-friendly as well.  The dress below, another Gretchen Scott Designs item, was purchased from Mercari, cost me $34 which is a steal considering the average $169 price tag on most of the brand’s dresses–and was received in never-worn, new-with-tags condition.

Yeah. The gut still sticks out but at this point, I don’t give a shit. I LOVE this dress and for the most part, it stretches in all the right places and as I lose weight it’ll look better! It’s a size Medium and I’m a happy camper!

As far as the dresses go–I’ll definitely be wearing more in the summer as the weather gets hot.  But..I’m slowly switching it up to more pants.

Has the past year affected how you dress?  Let’s talk about this!

Here’s my idea list that you can check out. The Gretchen Scott Pants I’m showcasing on the blog post aren’t on Amazon but similar items are.Rember to take the list when you go shopping!  I’ve added affordable pants that come close to what’s in the post:  Idea List_Body Friendly Pants

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments

It’s Okay to Let ‘em See You at Your Ugliest! It’s Okay!

Yesterday I did a thing.  I filmed a video for my YouTube channel and I went outside of my comfort zone.

I did a “GRWM” or, in layperson’s terms “Get Ready With Me” video.

This type of video is remarkably popular.  I’m sure it has something to do with our curiosity and wondering just how others manage to pull their makeup looks together.  Most of these videos are filmed by younger women.  Those with peaches and cream skin. You know the type I’m talking about.

GET READY WITH ME: Fall Night Out! - YouTube

I don’t know who this YouTuber is but even though she’s younger, I give her lots of credit for the before pic. Yeah. She’s got perfect skin. And yeah. She’s tons younger but it’s about the fact she is pretty honest with the no makeup look. And I have to say. She’s gorgeous without makeup. But..we’re a lot older!

It’s the woman who hasn’t entered into the realm of serious ageing.  Her skin isn’t full of wrinkles or age spots and the uneven skin tone hasn’t set itself into her complexion yet.  Ninety-nine-point nine present of them, I pass by simply because they are not relevant to me.  My only exception is the wonderful Shelby Wilson, who always manages to do the fresh face and natural face video. The. One. Exception.

This is Shelby Wilson. She is the ONLY younger YT makeup guru I follow. and I’ve gotten a ton of great tips from her. Her looks are multi-generational! Please allow me to strongly suggest you watch this video:  Doing My Mom’s Makeup

But—what bothers me and, quite frankly, upsets me to no end is when I see the mature, over-50, over 60, old lady, proaging woman, whatever you chose to call her, filming these videos and using a filter to erase the lines and wrinkles and other signs of ageing she has acquired over the years.

No. Your computer screen is not dirty nor are your eyeglasses smeared with Vaseline. It’s me with an over-filtered photo. And it is ridiculous. And it is one of the reasons I left many online wig groups because older women INSIST on filtering their faces.  Sure. The wrinkles and flaws are visually erased but it isn’t REAL. It isn’t what an older woman looks like (correction unless she is able to afford the best face lift on earth). I shake my head.

And it drives me equally crazy when women of the mature age-bracket, use filters and Photo Apps on their Facebook posts and Instagram feeds.  If you must resort to this way of catfishing people, then you are not happy nor are you pleased about ageing or your looks. And it goes against the thought process of ageing gracefully.  Or gratefully.

Hey. I didn’t look this smooth since I left my mother’s womb–and I’m sure upon first sight I was wet and wrinkly.  But seriously folks–I’m 65 years old and if anyone believes that this is what I really look like, I have a bridge to sell you.

To be honest, I’m grateful that I’ve aged thus far. In three weeks as I enter into my 66th rotation around the sun, I am very aware of my flaws.  In fact, I’m going to go further and be completely transparent.

Over the years, I’ve had the pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis zapped from various spots above my mouth due to sun damage. This has left me with a very blurred lip line and very uneven lips.  It is something that I’m very self-conscious about and for my birthday, I’m treating myself to Juviderm to give myself a more defined lip line. I’ve been saving up for this for six months as my husband isn’t thrilled about my choice.  But—my mouth. My choice.  In the meantime, it doesn’t stop me from showing how I really look.

I’ve had at least 8 spots on my upper lip burned and zapped off by my dermatologist. It has left me with a less-defined lip, a blurry lip and a very uneven mouth, which has left me very self aware and unable to wear red lipstick.  I want to wear red lipstick again. I also want my mouth to be well-defined again.  

Truthfully, the only fakeness about me is my hair and my nails..

Speaking of which, I need to get a fill-in next week. And I need to reapply the fake tanner that Chippy licked off this morning…

…..at least my titties are real. I can usually be found lifting them up at least a dozen times a day. I know, I know–sometimes I’m naughty!

And that’s my point.  It is okay to let people see you at your “ugliest”. And by that, I mean it’s okay to go without makeup. It’s fine to allow others to see you as you really are. You don’t need to hide behind a filter.  Granted, I’m not going to go all filler-crazy and spend every last cent on fillers. No way. I’m just merely correcting the results from sun damage.

Let’s go from ugly to acceptably normal–shall we?

Back to the Get Ready With me.  I showed a step-by-step, which I’ll go through below in still photos.  To see the video, click this link:  Get Ready With Me. From Ugly to Acceptable

 

Bare Faced and completely hideous to some degree.  Look!  I have freckles, age spots, scars from accidents and acne, sun damage, a scar from skin-cancer surgery.  Wrinkles. I’m the whole package of a flawed face—and it’s okay!