Let's discuss...how we achieve strength, confidence, youthful thinking, inspiration and head-turning personal style!

Feb 28, 2011

Stylin in the Grocery....Part II (Including What I Bought)



UNIQUE. It’s the best word to describe Dessie’s Boutique owners, Thaddaeus and Colette. Everything about these two superwomen is UNIQUE.


“We have always wanted to do things different,” said Colette. She went on to explain that they did not desire to open a New York or Dallas boutique, but a fabulous boutique with the big feel of Las Vegas. “We don’t want our customers to go other places and see themselves there. We want our place to be completely different from anywhere else.”


When the grocery store opportunity was presented to these ladies, it just felt right. They knew that ladies do not have a lot of time on their hands, and to offer one-stop-shopping might be appealing. They were right…it has been appealing and surprisingly enough, it is not a place of cheap fare. Colette said, “Our customers know quality and beauty. They recognize they are getting a good deal for top of the line merchandise.”




“Today’s woman is not one dimensional,” said Thaddaeus when explaining why they have such a variety of merchandise in their small location. “She needs to look great no matter what the occasion. A pair of jeans can be made stylish.”


They only buy one of each piece of clothing they carry. “We want our customers to feel special, unique, and not see themselves on any other woman,” Thaddaeus said. “Who wants to look like someone else?” She told me that as I posted pictures of their clothing, it would soon be gone, and no one else in San Antonio would have another one. But, she does encourage customers to come tell them what they like and their needs, and she can track down a UNIQUE look just for them.




Thaddaeus on styling:

1. Be yourself. Dress for you. Not anyone else. Don’t ever try to be just like others. Find ways to be UNIQUELY YOU.

2. Always dress and look good. You will feel better about yourself.

3. Your clothes need to move with you.

4. No matter what your size, dress up and learn what is flattering on your body. She carries clothing from size 4-32 and encourages all women to look their best no matter the size.

5. HAVE COURAGE! Be the one to start the trend, not follow it. “I have so many ladies say they wish that women wore hats again,” Williams said. “So, I say, you wear one, and I guarantee others will!” Enjoy life with some bling! Don’t stay drab, boring, or invisible. “Men may not always notice what you are doing, but girlfriends always do!” Modeling taught Williams to live outside of her box. “Our fashion shows were real events. We did a show for the Big Game Hunters Association and we all had to be made up like animals with hair and makeup. We did crazy, wonderful things.”

6. She also learned to appreciate quality modeling for Frost Brothers and working in New York. Though it was forty years ago, she loved the richness of Halston and Valentino; and the theatrics of Yves St. Laurent. “When I buy for other women, I look for designer quality, because I have been raised to know what it is,” she said.

7. Locally, she keeps the climate in mind when she is buying for the shop and special events; such as, the upcoming Fiesta celebration.

8. Over 50 women don’t have to look like “older” women. You can be sexy and respectable. You will look younger when you do too.






Unfortunately, customer service is UNIQUE to some businesses this day and time, and it is a key component of the success at Dessie’s Boutique. But, the crème de la crème perhaps are the shopping bags. Colette hand paints every single one and they are all different. She is the mother every other mother scoffed about, because when her children were in school, she would hand paint a different lunch bag every day! No two bags at the boutique are the same and she will even take special orders for special occasions.




Both ladies kept discussing how they needed more space. Yes, for merchandise, but I could also see a kitchen-type table and chairs as a boutique addition, because the conversation is rich! And that would also be UNIQUE!













What I bought at Dessie's Boutique:


I bought this incredible multi-colored tunic!
My silk puple jacket: Chico's
Blue cami & Bracelet: Lane Bryant
Jones of New York Trousers: Macys
Belt & Earrings: Stein Mart
Shopping Bag: One of a kind from
Dessie's Boutique
Love the Colors!!! And I can easily wear this tunic for casual with
jeans!!








Feb 26, 2011

Look What I Found at the Grocery Store....Stylists Extraordinaire!

Fabulous Hats surround the rim of the store!


A couple of years ago, while in the grocery checkout line, I looked up from my coupons long enough to see that a Specialty Women’s Fashion Boutique had opened right in front of my sacker. I believe at that time I said under my breath, “There is no way that will be here long.” Women are not going to walk away from carts of groceries and take time to shop for fun. Ladies, I was so wrong. Not only is the boutique still here in my grocery, but this afternoon I sat down with the owner, Thaddaeus Iglehart Williams (59) and her business partner Colette Singh (45) and, let me tell you, I believe these ladies could make any venture successful.



Thaddaeus (L) and Colette(R) are really
more family than friends.  They do
everything together.


Dessie’s Boutique is named after Williams’ mother who passed on fourteen years ago, but her spirit is still alive within her daughter and the store. “She was the greatest influence in my life,” Williams said. She loved to dress up and believed that women did themselves a disservice when they refuse to. “She was such a strong woman. She taught me to have a strong faith and the importance of education, so that I did not have to depend on anyone. I learned to be able to make it on my own if I needed to.”


All of her mother’s lessons are evident in Thaddaeus’ life. She has been a secondary school educator for 27 years working with at-risk students, she is mother of three; she is a pastor’s wife, a business owner, and faithful friend. Her business partner is her very best friend who is also an educator of at risk students. Her husband is a pastor but also a Vice Principle in one of the largest school districts in the state. You can see the thread of education throughout her world and she believes that prepares anyone to be a survivor. She epitomizes strength and dignity.


Come back tomorrow to see how Grocery
Couture Works!  (Dessie's is
located in the Northwoods HEB,
at 218/1604; or call her at 210-232-5540)


And, she believes that fashion is a natural fit with everything else. She saw in her Monte Vista church how men, women, boys, and girls began to feel empowered and like survivors when they felt better about their appearance. She has done many fashion shows and sales in her church building. Her original trek into fashion began when she was discovered at age 18 by the fashion coordinator for Frost Brothers, at that time a high end department store in downtown San Antonio. After following her around an event, the woman recruited Darlene, to be the first African American model for Frost Brothers. She also took Darlene to New York for six years to model. Dessie’s daughter, Darlene, changed her name to Thaddaeus (her father’s name) because she felt it was unique and would help her career.






Well, this is one of the longest posts I have ever written. But, there is much more to tell. Thaddaeus and Colette have definite ideas about business and dressing women….so tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.  Now, I have to go pick up something for dinner while I'm here!!




Dessie's carries a beautiful line of jewelry made by a woman who has
no hands and uses her toes to fashion the pieces!

Feb 25, 2011

Love You All - But Sitting Out Friend Friday

The name of our high school
newspaper is The Revelation, but I
love the fact that ELATION is above my head!
Facing the day with JOY is a must!!
Back to business:
Blouse: Lane Bryant
Cardigan: Chicos
Liz Clairborne Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Marshalls



Back in the 1980s, for a short time I was one of the judges for the Miss Texas/USA Pageant circuit. (Ok, I know you are looking at my picture and thinking HER???...I haven't always looked this way guys!) There were some things about this position that I loved….elegant hotels & exquisite restaurants were at the top of the list….but the actual job was always so stressful to me. Narrowing a group of really impressive young ladies down to just one was tough. I guess I have a heart for losers! My criteria for selection were so different from the other judges…but I suppose that is why they have a panel and not just three.



While rewards are great and recognition food for creativity, I am going to join with Terri at http://ragsagainstthemachine.blogspot.com and sit out the Friend Friday award nominations. I have been motivated, educated, and touched by so many bloggers for different reasons and I could never begin to narrow them down to ten or place them in categories. Once again, my criteria would be so different from others. I love looking at the nominations on other sites, however, and encourage you to do just that.


When I judged pageants, I was looking for an intelligent spokesperson more than a beauty queen. On the blogs, I follow women whose style encompasses more than clothing…..there are so many out there and I hope to recognize them in different ways as I go forward!!








GREAT NEWS: If the interview doesn’t get postponed, I am scheduled to meet with an amazing woman tomorrow and I look forward to sharing her life with all of you!!

Feb 23, 2011

Droopy Pants and Stacy London

Lane Bryant Jacket
Simply Vera Top: Kohl's
Bracelets: Avenue
Earrings:  Stein Mart
While watching WHAT NOT TO WEAR last night, one of Stacy London’s outfits caught my attention.



When shopping with the woman hiding behind clown outfits (trust me that was the story line), Stacy wore a simple black blazer, skinny black pants, and a T shirt sporting a  graphic design of white, black, and silver gray. My thoughts immediately went to a Simply Vera T I purchased last year at KOHL’S and have worn  only twice.






So, Stacy became my inspiration for today’s look. Though she is more than likely a size 0-2, and I….well, we don’t need to go there… I feel like I have captured in this look what I liked about her style on TV. This morning my scales delivered the good news that I am down 16 pounds…let’s hear a cheer…and as you can see my new Coldwater Creek dark denims that I got for Christmas are quickly getting too big….I may be forced to go shopping. But it is difficult to know exactly when to shop, because I want to lose a lot more weight. I may have to go to skirts for a longer period of time…while I work through the pants issue. My perception is that it would be easier to find more reasonably priced skirts and dresses while I wait on the bottom portion.


My droopy drawers are not Stacy's skinny pants
but I am on my way...watch out London!
I just do not have a great amount of discretionary income, so it is hard to know exactly when to shop when in the midst of a weight loss program. Any recommendations?????










ONE STICKY NOTE:


I really want to get to know those of you have become so faithful to follow and comment on this blog. Therefore, I am going to begin now to occasionally respond to your comments. So, start checking back for my responses and to see if you would like to keep a conversation going!!


Gigi looked so fabulous today I just had to
post her look!!

Feb 22, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder




This is a story about this stick! Well, actually, it begins with the vase. The vase came from my grandmother’s farm in East Texas and is one of several antiques from her house I really love. It was sitting empty by a picture on my dresser for a few weeks. I would put an occasional flower in it…but in my eyes, the floral didn’t work. Then one day, I was walking across our backyard and I saw this stick.



I wish I understood completely why I love the stick. It has a wind-blown appearance…and there is just something artistic about it to me. I placed it in the vase…stood back…and smiled with deep pleasure at the completion of the dresser-top décor. Unfortunately, Mr. Bear did not feel the same way…neither did my sons. But, my daughter gets it! To my husband and the boys, it is just an ugly stick! To us, it is art…..I will say, however, that he has not convinced me to ditch the stick. I am determined that for now it will stay there.


Merona Jacket: Target
Brown V Neck T: Walmart
Necklace: Lane Bryant
Bracelets: Gift & Walmart
Shoes: Target
Watch: Resale Shop
Skirt: Macy's


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…..I think of my stick often when surfing fashion blogs. I am sure there are times when someone visits my site and ponders, “WHAT IS SHE THINKING? I WOULD NEVER WEAR THAT!” I often see bloggers who ask for an opinion on an outfit and get a variety of opinions. We all think so differently about style and fashion. It is important to learn what beauty your own eye beholds. What colors do you like? What fit suits your body type? Are you an accessory person or not?


I am an accessory person!  The necklace was on clearance
at Lane Bryant: the watch was from The Garment Exchange Re-
sale shop in SA; I combined two bracelets. The darker color
was a gift; the link strands were from the recent
accessory swap and came from Walmart!




Just don’t hide behind frumpy because you do not know what you like. Begin experimenting and learning what excites you when you look in the mirror …what looks best on you. Then stand firm. Unless it is one of those times when you need advice and want to know what others think. Opinions are always nice to have and then you can make a decision……and go on to stand by your own beliefs and not let anyone rattle your cage…or stick as it may be.

Feb 20, 2011

Wonderfully Wicked















If I could be on the front row of every musical theater production which passes this way, I would without a doubt. However at least today on this balmy afternoon (thanks to my wonderful husband); I had the pleasure of having middle front row seats to the afternoon matinee of “Wicked.” This musical touched my heart more than any production has in a long time and that was a total surprise. I had not read the book or even one review, so the entire production was virgin territory and I actually think that made it even more special, because I went in with few expectations. This show, though, has everything needed for success: great music, amazing sets & staging, captivating writing, comedy, and loveable characters.



The theater..the theater...what to wear to the theater!  I chose a little bling from Lane Bryant, with a floral, flowy jacket that is so old I cannot remember where I bought it!  This is the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk!...right by the
theater!


Yes, I highly recommend you see it….but I also recommend that if you ever visit San Antonio you see the Majestic Theater. They will not let us take pictures inside (though I tried and was reprimanded by a female version of Colonel Klink!), but suffice it to say this theater is fabulous, exquisite, and uniquely San Antonio. You look up into the stars at night over Spanish Mission tops complete with white doves flying overhead. The Latin architecture and dark rich woods are luxurious. I have traveled and been in many theaters and there truly is none like it...that I have seen.


My favorite 50+ outfit I spied out-
side the Majestic!!  The scarf
draped beautifully in the
front.  She had short, perfectly
coiffed gray hair!


Elphaba’s plight to become The Wicked Witch has many twists and turns….but I guess the age old theme of female friendship is what touched me the most. Her turbulent relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch, is a journey walked by two completely different individuals who grow to love and respect one another. Though the well- known song, "Defying Gravity", was extremely powerful, my favorite song turned out to be “For Good”… A moment when two close friends say good bye and sing of their love and appreciation for one another.










Elphaba sings: “It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime; so let me say before we part so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart, and now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzrGFQysfYU&feature=related


Today, we were the windy city!!
Downtown Trolley Cars

Though I really, really wanted to go to
the Bakery afterwards, I resisted ...not on my diet!
So sad!




Feb 18, 2011

Friend Friday: YUK...The Dreaded Body Image!!






1. Since you started blogging, has your image of yourself changed?



     I began this blog July 2010, because I was in a very healthy place with my body image. I had finally reached a point where I accepted my Size 18, curvy figure and had learned to dress it in a more flattering way. I believe any body type can be dressed stylish, fun, and confident…..and I wanted to send that message to women 50+ who are struggling with so many body changes. I would not be honest if I didn’t tell you that there are times I look at my pictures and still cringe a little at the way a particular outfit fits me….but I am cringing over the way the outfit maybe doesn’t flatter my figure the way it should. The way clothes FIT your body can have so much to do with how you feel about your body.  I started my new journey when I received a wake up call after I turned 50...my driver's license picture first shocked me into realizing that I had given up on life and had shut down.  That picture began a journey to where I am today....and it is way more fun!! 


2. Are you self conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it, or do you post about it anyway?


Humility, Honesty, and Humor…..the three Hs of my blog!! I do not believe that the blog can be successful, and properly reach out to women 50+, unless I am willing to be real. I often discuss my body issues…for example, since I began a doctor supervised diet for health reasons (complete with hormone supplements)…I have blogged about it. (BTW….11 pounds down as of yesterday…WOO HOO!) Right now, I have a skunk running down the middle of my hair, because my sweet stylist is in Panama….waiting for her is ridiculously hard!! I do have some wrinkles forming around my mouth that are driving me crazy, but, an unavoidable evil of aging!  Acceptance of who we are...where we are has much to do with all of this....I can look great, but I cannot stop ageing...though many try!!






3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?


My main message has always been to encourage the 50+ woman to be strong, confident, and dignified in the life she is leading, where she is, right now. That message is about who we are on the inside as women. It is about the person underneath the wrinkles or belly fat. So, often I find that women who are wearing oversized, frumpy clothing are hiding from life. We can get so focused on the outside that we allow it to shut us down on the inside. When you hit 50, you also see flashing stop signs reminding us that LIFE IS SHORT….you are on the flip side. Instead of allowing our bodies to control us, it is time to get out there and have some fun. Taking time for you to learn how to dress will just enhance the fun!! What does my future hold in the evolution of body image…..to live a HEALTHY lifestyle and ENJOY life!


4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you are having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?


I began this blog with the intention of not revealing my true identity. In fact, my profile picture was a fun, Fiesta mask. I only did that because I was fearful of judgment from women in and around my work place. It did not take me long to realize that if the women I really wanted to speak to were going to take me seriously, that I had to reveal my complete self. Otherwise, it looked as though I did not believe what I preached. As the audience for the blog grew, those women became more important to me than caring about what others thought of me. The blog has empowered me in a way to be more confident of my message and if others are laughing or not agreeing, then so be it. The fact that the blog now runs on the local newspaper website, is evidence that I have ceased to care what others may think of what I am doing. The audience has become the most important aspect of the blog. Also, you only have to ask my students to know that just last year, I absolutely LOATHED having my picture taken. For the last ten years, I have not allowed my picture to be in the yearbook….one of the perks of being in charge of the book. (Honestly, those photos are sooo bad…it is the quality that makes the faculty pictures look so horrendous) But, the blog has helped me get over that. I have said good bye to looking at my pictures as an older, larger woman….but now looking at them as the joyful, confident women I am.


5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart? It takes time to get over any struggles you have. Younger girls mostly struggle with weight issues, but, us seasoned ladies are struggling with head to toe issues and it is not something that goes away quickly. Begin today changing things that will make you feel better about you. I went shorter and darker with my hair. I learned the proper way to put on makeup to enhance my features. I began a regular regime to care for my complexion. Finally, I learned to dress and love my body right where it was. But, I had to make a conscious decision to stop hiding!


Before considering what will make you feel better on the outside, you must accept your strengths on the inside. Make a list today of everything that makes YOU SPECIAL. Then read that list to yourself while looking in the mirror. You are unique…like a snowflake…there is no one else in this world exactly like you. REJOICE IN THAT! Today, enter just one room with confidence and a smile on your face. Then get up tomorrow and do it again. BABY STEPS! Eventually, you will feel better and once you see clothes on your body that fit your body…you will want to see it again, and again, and again. Do not allow anyone else to have power over you to tell you what you should look like. Women so often allow family, men, and other women to control them and tell them how to feel about themselves. THIS IS ONLY ABOUT YOU! You need to strive to first please yourself and make a constant decision to not listen to negative voices around you. I know this is not easy for some. It is a daily effort to change how you feel and eventually the positive becomes a part of who you are. This is healthy thinking. Life is too short to live it shut down by the negative voices of others! You can do this! I know, because I did.

Now, for the FIRST Time ever, I will reveal what
picture it was at age 50 that woke me up and made
me realize it was time to change and to LIVE:



Seven Years Ago!!





Me:  Today!

Now, read more great answers at ModlyChichttp://www.modlychic.com/2011/02/730.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Modlychic+%28ModlyChic%29

Feb 17, 2011

The One Reason I Bought It

On Sale $11 Jacket: Stein Mart
Print Blouse: Lane Bryant
Brown Trousers: Coldwater Creek
Shoes: Marshall's
Steve Madden Belt: Ross



After working in public relations for a few years, I know there are many studies to tell retailers the buying habits of women. Researchers are constantly seeking….what is the one factor motivating you to purchase a particular piece?



I often attempt to chart a pattern in myself, and I know that some patterns presently exist whereas, before I hit my 50s, I was all over the map with my reasons to buy. After working in the industry, I am much more aware of the techniques used to motivate a purchase…it might be the display or the music on the sound system, but all of us, at various times, are pretty much manipulated by marketers in one fashion or another.


I thought of this today when I dressed for work, because I bought this top for one reason only….I loved the print!! Fortunately, the top fit well and has versatility, but I loved this print so much….I probably would have purchased it any way. I gravitate toward these colors: purple, rust, black, brown, and military green as my favorites. But, in the past year, I have attempted to add more variety so that I am not in a rut.




Buying habits?? Sometime, when I am not planning weddings, I might do some research on our 50+ age group and see if I can draw any conclusions!!

Feb 16, 2011

Unexpected Blessings!

Black & Blue: It Works!
Necklace & Jacket: Chicos
Blue Tank: $5 @ WalMart
Pinstripe Toursers: Lane Bryant
Ann Taylor, LOFT Scarf
Miss Bison Shoes: Re-Sale Shop
Ring: Avenue







Yesterday, I mentioned finding a great bargain at AVENUE. It was about this time of year I discovered the $5 trousers, so after work, I thought “WHY NOT?”…and stopped by Avenue once again. Two wonderful things happened there…first, they had a bowl of costume jewelry rings for $4.99. Recently, all of my fun costume rings were stolen in a burglary at my home, so yesterday I purchased the first two rings toward replacing the fun ones which are gone. While waiting in line, a woman in front of me turned to apologize for how long her transaction was taking. I replied, “Don’t worry about it. I teach high school and standing in total peace for a moment is wonderful.”


Here's my ring close up!!


That is when another woman came from behind me and said, “You know I like it when people walk up to soldiers and thank them for their service, but I also think we should walk up to teachers and thank them for their service as well. So, honey, thank you for your service.” WOW! How great this unexpected blessing made me feel! She was a true sweet heart!




Two other things I observed about this woman:


1. I am going to guess that she wears around a size 22. She was dressed in great colors, trendy clothes, and fun accessories. She communicated joy, confidence, and comfort in her own skin! Yes, I could tell all that just being around her a short time.


2. She was shopping with her mother. I would guess she was in her 30s and her mom maybe in her mid to late 50s. They were having so much fun shopping together and had been out all afternoon, and, I actually inwardly wished I could join them!!




Unexpected blessings sometimes come in the form of a bargain ring….or cute shoes at a resale shop….or a kind word from a stranger! So many of the readers of this blog have been blessings to me…so thank you…and MAY IT BE CONTAGIOUS and carry forward to others.

Feb 15, 2011

Chocolate Therapy!

Safari Style: Hunting for ways to
avoid unhealthy eating!!



The day was my version of walking through a mine field. Valentine’s Day….working in a school….on a restrictive diet….was one of the most miserable experiences I have been through in a long time. Around every corner was a chocolate covered strawberry…..a luscious truffle….or a brownie piled high with buttercream icing. Our precious parents loaded up the teacher workroom with mountains of quiche…candies….croissants….tea sandwiches….dips….chips……luscious desserts of every kind imaginable. I fixated on food all day.



Misery….but to date I have lost six pounds and truly desire to keep it going. To be healthy and feel better is important to me. So, for the first time since I have been a teacher (12 years)…I walked away with a fruit plate and not a plate piled high with everything!! I did succumb later in the day to a small sampling of chocolate…and I was slightly up on the scales this morning…so NO MORE!


Instead, I will wear chocolate….like I have done today!! It will have to be my therapy!! Also, one of this morning’s headlines was that clothing prices may go up 10% this next year.  http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/business&id=7958674  
  But, never fear, there are just too many great ways to avoid high prices in fashion. The Dana Buchman jacket that I am wearing today is a great example. Last week Kohl’s had its Valentine’s Day sale….the jacket was already marketed down. I took a $10 cash coupon from a previous purchase…combined it with a $10 off coupon from the newspaper…combined it with a 15% off coupon from their email…..and was able to purchase this $90 jacket for $25.00!! One day last year, I stopped by Avenue and they were clearing off a clearance rack…I purchased the brown trousers I am wearing today for $5.00!! The scarf is from the Chico’s outlet at one of the Tanger Outlet Malls!! You can do this, ladies….NEVER PAY FULL PRICE!!


This color combo is one of my favorites
as evidenced by the colors on the wall
and carpet of my home!  I love to see
animal prints with safari green!!

Feb 14, 2011

IN THE PINK!!

Cable & Gauge Cardigan, Marshall's: $19
WalMart V Neck T: $5
Heart Necklace & Pearls: Gifts
Coldwater Creek Brown Trousers: $32 (50% off)
Rhinestone Studs, Walmart: $3.99




Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! What a great day to pull out your red, white, pink, and, of course, the New Color of the Year ….honeysuckle (pink).



My day began with reaching deep into the prize jar and selecting a lucky winner for my Vintage Inspired Contest and I had to laugh….it was Lise Marie @http://southerncomfortga.blogspot.com/.  There must be something in the water over there, because her blog partner, Joy, just won a cool bracelet from Brett @ http://silverpooloflightgirl.blogspot.com/.



Congratulations, Lise. I hope you enjoy your new accessories and, for everyone else, I will do this again soon!! Because I love to shop and want to do more than a gift card, I purchase my own prizes!! Look for something related to warmer weather!!


Yesterday, I shared wedding preparations with you and on this day dedicated to romance, here is a bit about the engagement. My daughter’s finance, who I will call R, is a hopeless romantic…lucky for her!! They met working in state government offices….she a legislative aide….he a clerk to a State Supreme Court Justice. They have many friends in government/political work. So, it was fitting that R planned to pop the question when they went to a conference in Washington D.C. He worked his resources to get out on the top rim of the U.S. Capital…the friend who led them to the top had a camera and two flutes of champagne under his coat…so, with the country’s power city in the background, R asked a powerful question and J said YES!


AHHHHHH, Here’s to love!


She said YES!

Feb 13, 2011

Vera Wang & The Heart of a Bride




Vera Wang understands marketing. She understands that all women…no matter size…no matter income… want to look & feel beautiful. When she received a letter from a young bride requesting that someday Wang design an affordable line of wedding dresses, the designer says that it actually touched her heart.



Which brings us to last Friday; February 11 was the official debut of the Vera Wang (more affordable) line of wedding dresses at David’s Bridal shops around the country. My daughter received a call last week from a bridal consultant tipping her off to the debut, so she made one of the first appointments in San Antonio for the Vera Wang WHITE Collection http://www.davidsbridal.com/Browse_White-by-Vera-Wang?cm_re_o=4BpAkzy%20ZBFw%20VzTw%20vv.viCjCVBlbfbBE%20nCjCewyz%208zET%20dw_%20vv%20dkzltn%20invivv . The entire line is stunning…classic femininity….unique, impeccable design…every dress is breathtaking and I believe the top of the line is $1400. Wang says, “I want to bring freedom to weddings. There are no rules for me. Color, fabrics, textures, architecture, femininity…all are blended together in unexpected ways in every one of my designs.”




Yes, we said “yes” to a Vera Wang gown. But, the one my daughter is wearing in this post is not it!! I wanted you to see this gown, because it is so fabulous. Jess was the first one to try it on at this David’s Bridal location and she literally stopped traffic in the store and brought managers from everywhere to see this gown. It fits so well and is incredibly gorgeous with a fully draped skirt of hand cut bias organza flanges and tulle which swirls into shapes of roses. It comes in Ivory and Soft White and is featured on the cover of the David’s Bridal Vera Wang brochure. It is a show- stopper gown. One consultant made a comment I really appreciated. She said, “Everyone at the wedding will be talking about this dress. But, if you want everyone to notice the bride, as well, then you might want to make a more subtle statement.” So, our statement is a bit more subtle and comes closer to fitting the size of the wedding, the venue, and my daughter’s personality.




I have witnessed on the blogs the popularity of Simply Vera, her line of women’s wear designed especially for Kohl’s. I know that I love it. From all of us, thank you, Vera, for making your exquisite eye for fashion available to those of us in the trenches who love affordable beauty!!


Feb 12, 2011

Let's Rodeo!




Rodeo…one of the words which lead the rest of the world to make fun of Texas and assume that everyone here rides a horse. I have to admit the word conjures up excitement within me. Like most Texans, I have been attending rodeos since I was very young (that’s where I first met Little Joe Cartwright, SIGH!). Not only do I love the competition, but the fact that rodeos are unashamedly American and Texan. When my dad wanted to give us a treat, he would plan a trip to a big city rodeo as have traditionally been in Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Among my young Texas friends, every girl at some point wanted to be a barrel rider.




Now to live in one of those cities and experience the excitement of rodeo every year has made me feel proudly-authentically-Texan. Now is the time of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo… and this year has been one of the coldest yet! Western wear is a staple in every Texan’s wardrobe, so it is worn throughout the year, but at the highest level now. You will probably see some of my different Western looks as this blog continues. For me, western-style means a great white shirt, leather, boots, denim, and turquoise-to-beaded jewelry. The key is to learn how to balance this look and not go so over the top that people whisper behind your back. Remember, less is more. Chic-western is so much more attractive than gaudy-western.


Merona Jacket: Target
Liz Claiborne Blouse: Ross
Coldwater Creek Jeans
Torquoise Earrings & Boots: Stein Mart
Torquoise Bracelet: Boutique
Leather Belt: Marshalls


The pictures are from Gigi’s students. She is a master art teacher and every year raises thousands of scholarship dollars for our students when their paintings are selected and auctioned at the Rodeo. They must paint from an actual photograph which makes the competition even more endearing. From the trail riders, to the longhorn roundup, to the bull riding, I will always love rodeo time and I will always mourn Michael Landon’s passing…..