over50feeling40: May 2011
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

May 31, 2011

So, How's the Diet Going?


The good news is that I have not gained any back….the bad news is that I have not lost any more. With end –of-school-busyness, I have not really been as attentive to the diet as I should be, but I am so pleased that I have not put any of the lost pounds back on! My plan was to get a vigorous exercise program going this week (my first week off from school) and then I broke the rib…..so the “vigorous” part just might have to wait a little longer.

Jacket: Stein Mart
Cami & Capris: Lane Bryant
Sandals: Ross

I would like to give some of the parents a little advice. At the end of the school year, the parents at our school always show their love through food. One day, they brought in stacks of pizzas and cute containers of candy and left it all in the teacher workroom. I seriously am not complaining about the sweet attention they give us….but I would love to recommend a healthier fare or a non-food kind of love!! Sometimes, it takes great will power to be a teacher. This year, I had students come to my media workroom regularly with cake balls and cookies!!

Some of my favorite options!

I continue to have the great problem of clothes not fitting…especially the bottoms. I hope to pick up some great deals on pants when July sales kick in!! I have gone from a size 20 to a 16. I hope to get to a 14 or 12 over the next year since I plan to return to the HCG regimen in the fall.

Great With Fruit or just a spoonful!

Pictured here are a few of my favorite food items which have seen me through! The biggest lesson over the last few months has been: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTEIN!

I AM SO EXCITED... I just won an Ina Garten Cookbook (ironic in light of the post topic) from
Inspired Design .  Thanks, Debby!

May 30, 2011

Help Me Talk Teen-Talk!!

It is officially the beginning of summer….at least that is the way a school teacher thinks! While there is much going on in my private life this summer, I have also set goals for my professional life. I am a goal setter…trained by the business world to be that way.

I have a list of goals for this blog, but also a list for my life as a high school teacher. One of those goals is to work alongside one of the younger, trendy teachers to create an assembly for teenage girls about the messages they send with their clothing and on social media. One of the greatest challenges working with teens today is often their real lives and their online lives are completely different. It breaks our hearts to see how their low self- esteem is literally guiding some to market themselves sexually on a Face Book page.

So, I would love to ask you…the wisdom of the blogosphere…what you would say to teens about their choices for dress and for social media messages. What are some things we can communicate to them that might catch their attention??

Cardi, Earrings, Bracelet: Stein Mart
Cami: Chico's, Travelers
Skirt: Lane Bryant
Shoes: Payless

A NOTE ABOUT YESTERDAY’S POST: First, Paula at Fashion Over Fifty  rocks a mini-skirt better than most women I know! I admire her for it and do not judge her for it….I hope no one read judgment into that post. I have set guidelines for ME….the Pam guidelines of style are completely different from YOUR guidelines. The post came from researching what others say about our age group. As a reporter, I plan to put out the information and let you discuss it. Mini-skirts are not in my wardrobe goals, but for those of you who love them and wear them, I applaud you. The blog began almost a year ago with MY journey and how I process this thing called STYLE….but as Judith so simply wrote, "Love that we make our own rules.” Our own discernment tells us what is best for us. I love all of you who love the mini-skirt and hope you did not read a different message there!

Now, what would you say to the teens??

May 28, 2011

Common Mistakes in the 50+ Wardrobe

Since beginning the blog, I spend a lot of time reading websites, newsletters, and books for women over 50. Often, the advice and observations are the same. Take for example, the common wardrobe mistakes made by middle aged women….I compiled a list of the ones mentioned multiple times:

1. Dressing too old….this is the frumpy look I’ve discussed on over 50.

2. Dressing too young….trying every trend and using no discernment for what might be sophisticated for our age.

3. Dressing too oversized….attempting to cover a multitude of sins…when in actuality; oversized garments make us look larger.

4. Dressing too tight….the opposite can also be true. Sometimes women, young and old, think too- tight- breasts –falling- out is sexy. One stylist I recently read said that you need to be able to pinch one to three inches of material in order for the garment to be proper. If you can’t pinch at least one inch, things are a little too crammed in there!!

I mentioned the word discernment. Dictionary.com defines discernment as discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding. We need to listen to that small voice inside of us when we look in the mirror….if we question whether a look is appropriate, then many times it is not and we need to return to the closet. But, then there are times when we feel like it is appropriate, though out of our comfort zone, and we need to just take the plunge and wear it. There is a balance here as we learn to trust ourselves. This is not about the fashion “rules” so many of us balk at…it is about taste and achieving the style we are going for in an appropriate, stylish manner.

For example, one site said that a message or graphic t-shirt is too young a look for our age. However, my “discernment voice” tells me that I can pull it off and it can be youthful, but not too young for a 50+ woman. I have set goals (to be discussed in a future post) for my style and this look falls within my goals. On the flip side….you will never see me in a mini-skirt…that’s not what I am going for.


What would you like to wear that you are not quite sure whether it is a over 50 fashion faux pas or not?

Jacket: Old Navy\
Capris: Talbot's
Cole Hahn Flats: Marshall's
Graphic T: Handed out free
last year at Lane Bryant's with a
Bracelet:  Forever 21
Ring and Earrings:  Stein Mart

May 27, 2011

The Best Laid Plans.....

Journalism has taught me to expect the unexpected. Just when you plan out every story in a publication, something big happens and changes everything. NBC news analyst, Tim Russert, had a sign in his office which read , THOU SHALT NOT WHINE. I have reproductions of that sign all around my classroom in honor of Russert and as a reminder to my student journalists to expect the unexpected.

At the beginning of this week, I had every moment until my daughter’s wedding on June 18 planned. There is much to do and since I have a few days off before teaching summer school, I had planned to get it all done next week. Then came the unexpected.

On Wednesday, Gigi and I snuck out of school to run down the street to one of San Antonio’s favorite Mexican restaurants for a quick lunch. We were talking rapidly as always and walking toward the entrance when my foot caught on something and I fell hard onto concrete. I hate falling. It’s embarrassing and makes me feel old! My pride is always the first injury in a fall…I just want to quickly get up…shake it off…and go on my merry way.

This really was the restaurant’s fault. A tree root has grown under the sidewalk and pushed a piece of it up making this a dangerous place for anyone to walk. The manager even admitted that he has known he needed to deal with it….but did not even offer to buy our lunch!! (Just a note: I do not believe in these types of law suits. I will not sue them. I support business and our economy doesn’t need these types of litigations)

During the lunch though, the pain in my side, under the left breast, became sharper and sharper. Breathing was difficult. Laughing, impossible. Coughing…don’t go there. It turns out that I have a broken rib…..so X rays, doctor visit, two pain killers, and much annoyance later….I am somewhat crippled until the wedding.

The restaurant has said they will cover all medical bills so I am waiting patiently for their insurance company to call. The good thing is that I spoke to the manager immediately after it happened and GIGI took a quick picture with her phone. The picture of the sidewalk is the most telling evidence of negligence on their part. I encourage you that if something like this happens to you to take immediate action just in case you need doctor bills covered. Now, I also have to deal with that pesky doctor question, WHEN WAS YOUR LAST BONE DENSITY SCAN? (Shhhhh, I haven’t had one…but will get one now)

So, here I am….in pain with much to do….but, THOU SHALT NOT WHINE.

May 24, 2011

What Do You Like About You?

What do you see? An old woman

What do you see? Wrinkles!! And dark circles!

What do you see? My fat face

What do you see? A woman who’s tired and dried up

So tell me, when you look in the mirror, what do you see? These responses came from middle aged women after I held a mirror in front of their faces and asked the question….only one out of six had a positive answer. I think there are many reasons why we so easily think negatively about our personal appearance. I do believe that hormones and menopause play a huge role in our thinking, but we can help to turn it around by being aware. I also know there really is power in practicing positive thinking!

Now, I am not one of those who think that positive thinking can make you a millionaire or pave your way to heaven….but it can help ladies to be more joyful and confident. It is important to see the beauty you have….as a unique one of a kind creation…no one else is exactly like you. Thinking positively can be practiced…just start small and make a decision (a choice) to think that way. Look in the mirror and immediately think of your best feature…maybe it’s the color of your eyes, your smile, white teeth, porcelain skin, huge dimples, thick eyelashes, precious laugh lines, pink cheeks…no matter what…there is something there you can rejoice over. Every day, before you scowl, chose to smile instead at just one thing you see in the mirror. Also, the minute the negativity begins….mentally place a stop sign in its path and begin to look for the positive. It takes time…but with time, any practice can become a habit.

Now, I like my eye color…a hazel cat eye that is sometimes green and sometimes yellow. What about you….what do you like about you??

Jacket: Marshall's
Cami: Chico's
JNY Pants: Macy's
Shoes: Target

Dana Buchman Bracelet: Kohl's
Necklace: Avenue

The Best $15 Skirts In Town!

Gigi looks fierce in her Stein Mart
jacket and Target skirt!

Gigi and I share many things in common…our love of fashion, art, colors, design, and our ridiculously low shopping budgets. Recently (but separately), we both discovered great skirts for just $15 and we happened to wear them on the same day.

Gigi found hers at TARGET and she really did get an awesome deal. If you examine this skirt closely, the fabric and rich gold tones make it easy to pass for a much more expensive skirt. She created a fabulous classy style with some beautiful gold jewelry and gold sandals.

Fabric looks so expensive!

Mine was more casual, but came from KOHL’S. I had to pair the sale price with a coupon to get it for $15, but was very pleased with the results. This is the second time I have styled it for the blog and the biggest difference here are the fun Born Concept hot-pink sandals and the jewelry. I matched the sandals with a touch of pink in the earrings, and then I matched a fun ring with my nail polish. I really liked the more subtle touch of color since I am often over the top with it. We enjoyed complimenting each other for our great shopping skills and then went back to checking out our little munchkins for the school year!!

Jacket: Lane Bryant
Skirt: Kohls
Shoes: Marshalls

What has been your favorite way to spend fifteen dollars lately?

Ring: Stein Mart
Bracelet: Lane Bryant
Shoes: Marshalls
Essie Polish

Also, be sure and check out my profile on Collette's Twitter Tuesday feature!  It was fun to answer her questions!!


May 23, 2011

It's Friday, Friday....Casual Friday!!

Blouse: Ann Taylor
Scarf: Marshall's
Shoes:  Nordstrom's RACK

I know , I know …it’s Monday…not Friday. But, perhaps this will brighten your outlook about the week. If we begin with a Friday attitude, we should enjoy the rest of the week…right??

In our school, teachers and students are allowed to wear jeans and school spirit shirts on Fridays. The only problem with that is that Gigi and I feel frumpy and old in that particular look!! So, being the rebellious ones, we try to have fun with the jeans as much as we can. These looks were from last Friday!

Jeggings& Blouse: Lane Bryant
Shoes & Jacket: Target
Belt: Stein Mart
Necklace: Chico's
Earrings: Stein Mart

Earlier in the week, Gigi shared with me her birthday shopping prizes, one of which was this long sleeved T from Ann Taylor. It has these understated, snap epaulets on the shoulder. I suggested she create a look I recently saw on A Femme d un Certain Age with a scarf on the shoulder.

Trish posts pictures of French women on the street and in the countryside and more than one have sported a scarf on the shoulder. The outcome brought compliments even from Gigi’s husband and she loved the look. All thanks goes to Tish. 
I still love my jeggings from Lane Bryant…they are currently one of the few things I have that fit…and I really like them with a great jacket. Though casual, I feel confident and powerful in this style!! Looking at it gets me excited about Friday, so close yet so far away!!

Does anyone have a Friday casual look we can use for inspiration later this week?


May 22, 2011

Not A Box of Chocolates...But A Roller Coaster

Corkscrew, Cedar Point

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Suess

I have a confession to make. I do not like carnival/theme park rides. I am not a fan of swinging. In fact, I am just not big on any kind of motion …especially if it is fast. I don’t understand Donica Patrick. My least favorite ride of all time is the roller coaster. Even now, just trying to remember the feelings, I can get anxious about the fast curves and the high plunges…feelings that I realize many of you relish and run toward when entering a theme park gate.

Hooray, Last one for high school!

So, when I say my life is presently like a roller coaster…that for me is not a good thing. I will be riding it all summer long as we go from high school graduation of the youngest…to wedding and good bye of the oldest…and moving- to- a- big- city- for- work of the middle one….and that final plunge into the empty nest. Yesterday, I turned the first fast curve into the graduation of the youngest, a glorious moment and accomplishment for him. Now, the ride picks up bullet speed toward the wedding.

Graduation Pink Rose dress came from Ross,
$14!!  Belt from Stein Mart,
Necklace Stein Mart,
Cuff from Avenue

Plateaus mean that one day emotions are quiet (remember the roller coaster when it slows right before you know a huge dive is coming) with the plunge on the horizon. When we take students somewhere on a bus, it is easy to be the faculty member in charge and control them…being in charge of the team on a roller coaster is quite different, because you never feel in control yourself.

Favorite Student shoes were from Charlotte Russ,
the Jersey Ruffle Peep-Toe Bootie

Sometime toward the end of the summer, I will get off the ride. Mr. B and I will ponder huge decisions about selling our home. Whenever, the actual roller coaster has stopped for me, there have been moments of nausea and sea legs. Hopefully, I will get off of this one with a solid stance, joy, and peace.

I bought this dress right after
I started the diet, so it is
too big now...the bodice was
larger than I thought it would be,
but the belt helped and
made it wearable! It is
a very soft jersey knit and was perfect
for comfort on a long day!

May 20, 2011

Honey, I'm Home....Wearing Menswear! And FBFF Pet Peeves Too!

A friend of mine asked me why I do these blogger challenges….honestly, because they are fun! I am not attempting to compete with the younger girls…or hungry for attention…I just simply find them to be fun!

I’ve worn menswear before…in my much younger days. Once I worked in management as the Communications Manager for an automobile distributorship. As the only female on the management team, I enjoyed an occasional whimsical moment and would wear a tie or even a tuxedo to special events and car shows. I really like the look.

Busyness has robbed my creativity lately…I would have loved more time to put some thought and a special touch or two into this look. But it is what it is……a classic menswear feel!!

Now for the real creativity, check out the other Bloggers who do it better at Bloggers Do It Better

Now, confess, do any of you really wear a men's tie every now and then??

The second challenge today is Modly Chic Friend Friday and today Katy discusses blogging pet peeves.  I am certain we all have them, but here are mine:

1. Stealing Ideas.  It is disheartening to work hard on a blog only to have your ideas obviously stolen and "slightly tweaked" by someone else!! 
2. Light Colored Fonts with long body copy.  Something I teach my students NOT to do with their publication, but I find in a few blogs. This is not difficult to fix and might increase hits!
3. Mostly merchandising items with no personal touch.  I can read an ad circular any where, so I probably will not read it here.
4.  Using a fashion blog to further a political agenda.  Here for fashion, not politics.  This is a pet peeve of mine with fashion magazines also.
5. Cold, unfriendly, prideful attitudes.  I love a blog that is warm, welcoming and friendly and will usually avoid any that are not.

You can read other answers by clicking the Modly Chic link above...your pet peeve may be a blogger who combines blogging events into one post!! 

So, here's one more,  just hop on over  Over 40 Blog Hop!!!
I think I am finally done!!!!

May 18, 2011

A Black and White Situation

“There’s something strange and powerful about black and white imagery.” - Stefan Kanfer

Black and white is classic…..

Black and white is classy…..

Black and white is timeless….

Black and white is elegant….

Black and white is a faithful fashion friend!

Cardigan: Black White Market
Pencil Skirt: Stein Mart
Shoes: Marshalls

From Dillards

One of the explanations of the phrase “black and white” is that it means a simple approach to complicated situations.

I would agree, and add that applies to “black and white” fashion as well.

How do you feel about BLACK AND WHITE???

May 17, 2011

Blogger Dilemma: What Would You Do?

San Antonio Fashion & Passion Weekend

Followers of this blog perhaps read the recent posts from the fashion event held in San Antonio, but I have not written of everything.

I sat through an hour beauty demonstration featuring an experienced makeup artist who works events such as Hollywood red carpet galas and New York Fashion Week runway shows. I sat on the front row and took a multitude of notes and pictures. I asked questions specific to my 50+ audience. She had some great comments and guidance which was new to me and I was anxious to share with you….ladies that would learn from her knowledge as well. As I was leaving, I handed her my card and told her she would be featured on my blog. I actually did this at most of the booths I visited that day.

So, I was quite surprised when my phone rang the next morning and it was this makeup artist! She said that she was going to write a book and did not want her tips to be published in a blog….almost as if it were a reward NOT to print her advice; she said that she was going to start a new website soon and was looking for some bloggers for her site. Her last words were a promise to call me the following week to discuss her plans……the call never came.

She helped Lavern end a "racoon eye" problem

I have decided that I really do not want to be responsible for destroying anyone’s book sales, so I will not print what I learned that day…though, I could. But, I am a little miffed at how it was handled and why she is doing these shows if she doesn’t want this information published by a blogger. There could have been an unidentified blogger there who would have gone ahead and used the information.

Just curious, bloggers: What Would You Do?

May 16, 2011

Yes, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

The word ELATION has come off my wall
so that the room can be painted...so I
added a touch!!
Shirt Dress: Lane Bryant
Jacket: Chicos
Shoes: Target

As soon as I typed this cliché, I wondered where it came from. The first time it was used in written literature was in 1534 by John Fitzherbert and was intended to illustrate that old dogs and old people learn less well than the young.

I would like to take issue with that statement…I teach high school and sometimes that is just not true!! But, I digress.... today’s outfit is a new trick I learned on the blogs…I have just never done this before.

The trick is to cover the top of a dress in order to create a skirt-appearance. I am sure some of you are thinking…Seriously, she has never done this?? But I first noticed it on What I Wore 2day with Kasmira. ….in fact, she does it a lot and since then I have wanted to give it a try. So, here is my try…instead of purchasing a khaki skirt, I just covered the top of my khaki shirt dress.

I must say…I really like the look! Woof, Woof…this dog’s still got a few tricks!!

Scarf:  Forever 21
Ring:  Lane Bryant
Belt:  Chicos
Bracelet: Kohls

Have you done this before or is it news to you?

May 15, 2011

Five Not-So-Easy Pieces

My Lane Bryant Jeggings
would be one of my
signature pieces!

Could you describe your signature style with just five pieces of clothing? I found this a difficult task, but after reading the style column by Michelle Benza on the site 50+Fabulous,  I decided to give it a try. Her column, Create Your Signature Style With Just 5 Items, discussed how to create a personal look for the current Spring/Summer 2011.

As would my JNY black
pencil skirt from Dillard's

Her five pieces were:

1. A Pretty Dress
2. A Colorful Jacket

3. Espadrille Wedges

4. A Leather Handbag

5. Sunglasses

I took a walk back through my blog pictures since April and found this really a tough task….describe who I am in just five pieces. So, I looked at it this way; I currently have few bottoms that I can wear since I have been losing weight. Therefore, the majority of my outfits center around the bottoms that presently fit. My skinny jeggings; a black pencil skirt; and black capris are my go to bottoms when I want to look my best.

My black capris from Talbots
have been a keeper for 2011!

I am known for my flats and my scarves. That makes up five. But, it leaves out all of my new dresses, my fun jewelry, tops, and form fitting jackets. Yet, after pondering all that I love, if I was to describe my signature favorite style (what I want people to think of when they think of me), it would be my jeans, a basic white T shirt, a fitted jacket, flats, a fabulous bag and great jewelry. So, maybe I am not that complicated after all!!

Yes, I am the scarf lady, but it is one accessory which
makes me.....ME!

Favorite new flats are Antonio Melani from Dillards

What five pieces would make up your signature style this spring??