A daily chat between girlfriends for inspiration, encouragement and guidance to promote joyful aging while wearing strength, confidence, and head-turning, personal style.

Dec 31, 2010

Priority Number Two for 2011 & Friend Friday



NUMBER TWO: BE A BETTER STUDENT!












Friend Friday and my number two priority seemed to go hand in hand , so I decided to combine them today!!


I left the picture a little foggy, because that is how I feel sometimes about blogging…a little foggy and overwhelmed!!


I want to always be a student…always learning…always staying informed of the world and what is going on around me!!


My "Student" outfit centers
around these soft blue cords I purchased
on sale at Coldwater Creek for $22!
Also, a multicolored Simply Vera T
from Kohls; a anarok from Avenue; and
a scarf I've had forever!


My goals for 2011 are simple in this category:


1. To stay informed of current event happenings…I am a journalist after all!


2. To learn more about blogging!! Katy at ModlyChic mentioned SEO in her blog and I had to go research it!! So much to learn…..


3. After my youngest graduates from high school in May, I want to look seriously at tackling a Masters of Journalism online. But, at this point I do not know how I would do this and the blog at the same time….it will take prayerful consideration!!


4. READ, READ, READ….














Now, to Friend Friday Questions:














1. What’s the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?


I have so much I want to learn!! I want to learn more of the technical aspects and merchandising of blogging…(would love to make some money with it if possible); but I mostly want to understand my audience and what they want. I hope to put into practice a desire to serve the audience and meet their needs.








2. What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?


I learned that in order to be successful with blogs, it takes a massive amount of time. So, what I hope to put into practice is better time management!! I still clean my own house, wash our dishes, do our laundry, teach, write, and so many “others;” therefore, I have to plan well or I will lose my mind.






3. Do you have any high level goals for your blog in the coming year?


As I stated, I would love to discover a way to make some income and justify the large amount of time I put into it. (I am not complaining…I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of blogging!!) I am also working on a couple of other things …I hesitate to mention here, because they might not materialize. But I know that in order to properly market this, it will require even more time!!   Vlogging?  Yes, that interests me a great deal! Maybe my goal should be to create some additional income in order to hire a maid or an assistant! Now there’s a goal I can get behind.






4. If you could collaborate with one blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you collaborate with and what would you like to collaborate on?


I was so honored to be asked to collaborate with Reva  http://revasrags2roses.blogspot.com/ for the pearl party! It was such fun and I like collaborations. I just am honored to do this with anyone who blesses me with the request. There are so many talented and gifted bloggers out there, and with great humility, I am thankful to be a part of the community. I do not possess the photography talent or graphic arts talent as many of these ladies…but I will always give it my best!!


5. What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?


I like to “read between the lines” and be there to support them in all aspects of their journey as successful, confident women! Style involves so many facets of how we live life and I want to be a friend and support system for the phases of style that might include fashion and might include other areas. It is laughable to look at me as a “fashionista,” but I hope other bloggers will look at me as a friend and a support. I also teach communications and have worked in the industry for, well, let’s just say over 30 years. I like to offer encouragement when I see talent and there is some incredible talent out there.
Finally, on this New Year’s Eve, I would like to thank all of you for your support and acceptance of this blog and I hope I can live up to your expectations next year. I also want to thank two very special friends:


1. My dear friend Gigi who talked me into doing this and has helped me in the beginning when I wanted to quit!


Gigi!!!


2. My dear friend, Mrs. Joy, who does my photography on work days. I do not know what I would do without her!!


Mrs. Joy!!



There are nine more priorities for my 2011 focus so stay tuned!!


Love you all!

Dec 30, 2010

My Top 11 Priorities for 2011






NUMBER ONE: CHOOSE JOY DAILY!


I am one of “those” people…you know…we see the glass half full rather than half empty….and, I am well aware, annoys, the half empties. But, just because life is life, I also have my moments when I struggle with the “down and outs.” About eight years ago, I had to live with three children, one husband, my mother and my mother-in-law (MIL) in my MIL’s house!! My friends kept informing me that I was insane, but it was a necessary evil while we sold a house and purchased another. My mother was there to care for the MIL who broke her hip while chasing down our dog! Got the picture


I came out of that moment pretty scarred to say the least and thought I had lost my joy forever. Somehow though, I found it after turning 50 and going through a personal crisis…. an eye opening, defining moment.


So, this year, I plan to live with joy every day….no matter what comes my way! It’s a goal! We will see how I do, but the game plan is to:






1. Just take one day at a time…which means, I do not ponder the future a lot.


2. I do not take myself or my circumstances too seriously....laughing and singing are key parts of this!


3. I understand that I exist for a purpose and look each day for ways to fulfill it as a mother, wife, teacher, friend, writer, and now blogger.


4. I also know that I am not alone and have a place to go for refreshment, encouragement and guidance!


5. I desire to inspire and encourage as many people as possible for that brings joy to me.


It is very stylish to be JOYFUL! A smile can turn any outfit around!


Even when your umbrella is broken, choose joy!!






In honor of JOY, I chose this outfit! It represents joy to me and brings a smile for several reasons…..


1. I really love the royal blue!


2. This scarf was a surprise Christmas gift from a friend and I was really touched she thought of me.


3. When I wear this outfit, look in the mirror, I smile!



Hair looks gross because it is really raining and San Antonio
needs it!!  Rejoice!





Long Cardigan from Stein Mart

Black Travelers Cami from Chicos

Scarf, gift, from Ann Taylor’s Loft

Jeans, Lane Bryant


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu-rLA4POkI&feature=related

Dec 29, 2010

TA DA! My First Contest!





May I have a drum roll, please?


In honor of the holidays, I am going to host the first ever over50feeling40 contest! When I decided I wanted to host a contest, I went shopping for a piece of jewelry; I wanted to find something fun & creative; classy, and attractive to several age groups.


At a jewelry show, I found this necklace and just loved it!! I really think it meets all my criteria and I hope you will love it as well.




Don’t laugh…but this will be an old fashioned pull a name out of a big jar contest. However, there are things you can do to ensure your name goes in the jar several times! Here goes:






1. Your name goes in once if you are a follower of this blog!


2. Your name goes in again if you follow me on Twitter (over50feeling40),


3. Your name goes in again if you mention this contest on your blog.


4. Your name goes in again if you mention the contest on Twitter!


5. Your name goes in each time a new reader tells me that they came to my blog as a result of hearing about it from you!!






On January 7, I will draw a name out of the jar and announce a WINNER! I will also notify you through email, so make sure that I know your email address when you officially message me that you are in!! I will place the necklace in the mail as soon as we exchange a mailing address through email. This necklace is going to look beautiful on one of you and I personally cannot wait to see who wins!


Do you see the tiny touch of bling in the silver!!





COMING ATTRACTIONS:



Also, here are some of the places I spent my Christmas money (which is sadly all gone), nevertheless, I got some great deals and really stretched it far!! So, I will have these looks on this blog in coming days along with my New Year’s Resolutions!!

One of my favorite resale shops!, San Antonio!

The beautiful Village at Stone Oak, San Antonio, TX




Yes, Goodwill, get ready for some thrifting!!



It will be fun!!!


ENTER THE CONTEST TODAY!!

Dec 27, 2010

It's Not You....It's The Clothes!

The Inspiration!





I needed to meet two former students at La Madeleine this morning for brunch and I woke up in a fashion fog!


Nothing was jumping out at me until my eye caught this page in a recent Coldwater Creek catalog. I was drawn to the length of the white shirt thinking, “That will hide a multitude of sins…” and I knew I had all of the components to mimic such and outfit.


When I first put everything on, I was beyond bummed. I looked even bigger than I am! How could that be! I immediately began to scold myself for not working harder to lose the weight. For being an embarrassment to all females everywhere….for having the biggest hips in Texas… for too much Christmas candy and cookies…when it occurred to me that maybe the length of the shirt was a detriment to a body shape like mine and NOT a help as I originally thought.


That is when I began to tweak the catalog look….instead of a black T, I went with a purple one; I put on a shorter white collared shirt; and instead of solid black pants, I went with a wide leg, pin stripe. I was amazed at how this look was slimming…really just by shortening the shirt.




Copying a look is so often how we learn about personal style; but, it is important to modify the look for your own body type. All of us tend to berate ourselves when clothes do not fit or look like a picture when it is not us…just the clothes and the fit!





Though feeling very “hot,” I still ordered smart at brunch…(I highly recommend the Smart Choice Omelets with spinach, onions, tomatoes, and fat free, cholesterol free eggs!!)



Two future business stars and my brunch dates!!!

Dec 26, 2010

Splitting Hairs Over Hair Color


Hair Stylist, Esther, with roses from her wonderful
husband!





There are some situations that you just know going in are no-win crisis moments. For example, if my mother asks me to cook one of her favorite meals, I already am 100% sure that I will not get it right. Therefore, I avoid it at all costs.



That is how I felt last week when my 24 year old daughter came home and announced that I was going to help her color her hair. I immediately thought…this is a recipe for disaster. But, she was adamant that we were going to tackle the task.


Teen Jess!






Before walking you through the process, please allow me to give a little history. Jess was blonde from birth to 18. During her teen years, she was bleached blonde and surrounded by a sea of blonde friends. So, you might be able to understand how her dad & I felt when she walked in from college with chocolate brown hair…. shocked is putting it mildly. I do not know that her father has ever recovered, but after I looked closely, I actually found her change to take her from gorgeous to striking (I am her mother after all). Never before had her blue eyes been so dominant or her porcelain skin so vibrant.


The next year, she convinced me to do the same and I went from the straggly blonde I was sporting (as grey had moved in to join the other colors) to a shorter, darker, more stylish me. The hero in my make over was (and is) my stylist, Esther….who is easily on my BFF list for the last five years.


Esther is from Panama and she is a genius with hair...while she also cares for a seriously ill husband, runs a small business, and helps provide for a huge family back on a Panamanian farm. Making certain that she is in my budget is one of my top priorities. I would counsel anyone that a stylist is the way to go….


But, I am not a young twenty-something world traveler who wants all of my money to go toward jetting about and entertaining in Austin, TX.


So, here comes Jess with a desire to stretch the dollar and need for me to be her accomplice. We began the morning of Christmas Eve, when, I have to admit, I was thinking that if this went horribly wrong, there was no way to fix it for several days and it could potentially ruin our entire holiday.


The root of the problem!


We went with a new product, Clairol Perfect 10. She knew a co-worker who had great success with the product, so a personal testimony made the difference. You can see in the pictures where we started on our path toward fabulousness. I am happy to report that it was extremely successful and I can now recommend the product! (Whew!) All disaster diverted…thank you Clairol!


Weapon of Choice






I still will not leave Esther, and, hopefully she will never leave her clientele to move back to Panama...may it never be! But, for those on a stricter budget…Perfect 10 works well!


One box gave complete coverage for one with
long, thick hair!






Gorgeous!!






Gorgeous...all over!










Anyone else have a hair story you would like to share??

Dec 23, 2010

Random Questions & Christmas Wishes

Almost Time!






Sweet Brett from  http://silverpooleofflightgirl.blogspot.com/ tagged me with these Random Questions ...so here goes ladies:






1. What did you want to be when you grew up?




I started writing in elementary school and in MS a teacher introduced me to journalism. I decided at that time I would be a journalist and I never once questioned the decision. For years, I watched Barbara Walters on the Today Show and wanted her job…but decided to specialize in print during college.






2. What is your favorite childhood game?


Along with the girls in my neighborhood, I would set up “house” under a big willow tree and play dolls and house for hours. It actually saddens me that I do not see kids do things like this anymore.






3. What is your favorite birthday?


My 16th birthday was a dream birthday. I got to pick out my first car and I went for a 1969 jade green Ford Mustang!! I still miss that car today. It also helped that the guy I had a massive crush on, Ronnie Bernard, gave me a copy of The Archies singing “Sugar, Sugar.” My parents allowed me to have a party in our backyard and the entire day was awesome.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H8wkQnrWPg&feature=fvst






4. What is something you always wanted to do and haven’t yet?


Experience Paris. I would love to visit all of Paris…from the Eiffel Tower, to the Louvre, to the fashion district, to the sidewalk cafes.






5. What was your first love?


Music, writing, and the jade green Mustang all run closely together. The first two were my forms of escape from a household full of fighting….they helped me survive.






6. Who was your first music idol?


Paul McCartney, Paul McCartney, Paul McCartney….and occasionally the other Beatles. They set my style at the time. I wanted to look like Jane Asher, Patti Boyd, Maureen Cox, and Cynthia Lennon…the women behind the early Beatles. They all wore big hoop earrings, and had long, very straight hair and bangs...I have had bangs ever since then!






7. If a theme song played everywhere you went, what would it be?


Most of you may not be familiar with this song. It is sung by a contemporary Christian artist named Twila Paris and called THE WARRIOR IS A CHILD. The song describes me…a fighter, a warrior, someone not afraid to speak out, but one who occasionally is taken down in battle and needs to return to the
ONE IN CHARGE for refreshment and inspiration. This has been my personal theme song for several years.  When it was first released, I thought it had been written just for me.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRNFf3ykQvM


8. What is your favorite city to visit?


My absolute favorite BIG city is New York! ….especially this time of year. My favorite SMALL town is Fredericksburg, TX. You would love the atmosphere of this unique, German, Texas hill country town. It is a wonderful place to get a Bed & Breakfast and then shop the quaint little merchants along the main thoroughfare, eat German food, and tour a winery.




This was fun and scary at the same time.  It is always a little frightening to become personal and vulnerable on this venue.  But I like so much what I learn of the other ladies and believe that questions like this just enhance the blogging experience....so with that said, TAG YOU ARE IT...some of you may have already been tagged, but since I do not know, here goes:


1.  Reva of http://revasrags2roses.blogspot.com/
2.  Serene of http://elegantbohemian.blogspot.com/
3. Paula of http://fashionoverfifty.blogspot.com/
4. Terri of http:ragsagainstthemachine.blogspot.com


If you do not get a email from me, then please forgive me...I seem to be having some email issues.


For all of you, I leave these last words until next week:


The lights are up!



The tree is done!



The kids are home!



Now, may you all enjoy the blessings of the season and remember:








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFPHIK9ann8





Dec 22, 2010

Maturity is Style



This is the time of year when we gather with family members and glean wisdom from the experiences of the young and the old. This left me pondering the word “maturity.” Maturity can be a powerful style element in a woman’s life. Maturity is a sobering thing. Many believe that it’s a rite of passage and is bestowed upon you the more years that wisp by.







Yet, there are youth who wear the badge of maturity bolder than many adults. Adults who so often feel as though they missed something in their own youth and they now want to live it vicariously through children.


But there is something to be said about the phrase “With Age Comes Wisdom.”






For sometimes in the faces of our elders, we can see lessons learned embedded deep within each wrinkle. One of the wisest women I have known, was five feet tall with a story- telling- face- of- lines leading through many journeys. Every day of her life she wore a bun twisted neatly at the base of her neck, bright pink cheeks, sparkling eyes, and a below- the- knee- dress. When she heard people say outrageous things, she would smile and shake her head. I always knew there was a lesson to impart, but she would only offer her wisdom if asked.


Years of living on the mission field of Bolivia and serving as a pastor’s wife and mother had not worn her out, but empowered her to live out loud. Until the day she died in her late 80s, she served the needy and taught children in Sunday school. She sang and laughed every day….in more than one language.


Several years ago, I found myself in a taxi with her in Washington D.C. I was clinging to the door as the driver sped down a road, weaving through traffic and just barely fitting in between cars as if the taxi was holding its breath to slip in. I was terrified, but Verena was laughing and conversing with the Israeli taxi driver in his native language.


She loved people everywhere, and did not want to miss one second of experiencing life through another member of creation. She also loved God, her country, the classics, powerful music, and would tear up every single time she spoke of her beloved late husband, Pastor. I only knew this rugged, strong man except through her stories which made me long to meet him face to face.


Though not one fashion magazine donned her bookshelf, she had style. She was a cover girl for maturity…not age….maturity. There is a difference.




For those of you spending time this year with grandmothers and great grandmothers, I encourage you to really sit down and listen…look into their faces…and discover the style they wear right this minute, today.


Dec 21, 2010

True Confessions: My Secret Relationship With Pearls








For the first part of my life, pearls were just something my mother wore to church. But all of that changed the summer of my 18th birthday!


I was excited to be hired in the merchandising department at AstroWorld theme park in Houston, which, by the way, no longer exists! The park was strategically located near the Astrodome, one of the wonders of the world….now embarrassed by JerryWorld in Dallas. But, I digress.


They dressed me in an oriental costume and placed me in an outdoor booth called The Pearl Cove, near a lagoon and a loud speaker screaming Chinese tunes all day long...(.I still hear that music in my sleep.)


I fished oysters out of a tank for customers; opened them; and if they paid "only $9.99" more, would make a necklace or ring with the pearls.


The best part of this job was finding the pearls. Sometimes the oyster would have one really large pearl; sometimes up to 16 pearls; sometimes they were black; and sometimes they were blue. But, always they were beautiful.


Other than that, the allure of this occupation wore off quickly after several soakings in Houston rain and one time actually gluing a ring to my thumb that I was working on for a customer. The glue we used was permanent and I lost some skin in this deal.


This is a long story to say, I have loved pearls ever since then…they are timeless, classy and feminine!!


I was so excited when Reva http://revasragstoroses.blogspot.com/ asked me to join other bloggers in a celebration of pearls! Check these gorgeous ladies out!